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Title: Ireland under the Tudors. Volume 3 (of 3) - With a Succinct Account of the Earlier History
Author: Bagwell, Richard
Language: English
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2 vols. 8vo. 32_s._




VOLS. I. and II.

From the First Invasion of the Northmen to the year 1578.











  _All rights reserved_




By a mistake which was not the author's, the title-pages of its first
instalment described this book as being in two volumes. A third
had, nevertheless, been previously announced, and this promise is
now fulfilled. The Desmond and Tyrone rebellions, the destruction
of the Armada, the disastrous enterprise of Essex, and two foreign
invasions, have been described in some detail; and even those who
speak slightingly of drum and trumpet histories may find something of
interest in the adventures of Captain Cuellar, and in the chapter on
Elizabethan Ireland.

A critic has said that your true State-paper historian may be known
by his ignorance of all that has already been printed on any given
subject. If this wise saying be true, then am I no State-paper
historian; for the number of original documents in print steadily
increases as we go down the stream of time, and they have been
freely drawn upon here. But by far the larger part still remains in
manuscript, and the labour connected with them has been greater than
before, since Mr. H. C. Hamilton's guidance was wanting after 1592.
Much help is given by Fynes Moryson's history. Moryson was a great
traveller, whose business it had been to study manners and customs,
who was Mountjoy's secretary during most of his time in Ireland, and
whose brother held good official positions both before and after.
Much of what this amusing writer says is corroborated by independent
evidence. Other authorities are indicated in the foot-notes, or have
been discussed in the preface to the first two volumes. Wherever no
other collection is mentioned, it is to be understood that all letters
and papers cited are in the public Record Office.

It has not been thought generally necessary to give the dates both in
old and new style. The officials, and Englishmen generally, invariably
refused to adopt the Gregorian calendar, but the priests, and many
Irishmen who followed them, naturally took the opposite course. As a
rule, therefore, the chronology is old style, but a double date has
been given wherever confusion seemed likely to arise.

It has often been said that religion had little or nothing to do with
the Tudor wars in Ireland, but this is very far from the truth. It was
the energy and devotion of the friars and Jesuits that made the people
resist, and it was Spanish or papal gold that enabled the chiefs to
keep the field. This volume shows how violent was the feeling against
an excommunicated Queen, and, whether they were always right or not,
we can scarcely wonder that Elizabeth and her servants saw an enemy of
England in every active adherent of Rome.

At first the Queen showed some signs of a wish to remain on friendly
terms with the Holy See, but she became the Protestant champion even
against her own inclination. Sixtus V. admired her great qualities,
and invited her to return to the bosom of the Church. 'Strange
proposition!' says Ranke, 'as if she had it in her power to choose; as
if her past life, the whole import of her being, her political position
and attitude, did not, even supposing her conviction not to be sincere,
enchain her to the Protestant cause. Elizabeth returned no answer, but
she laughed.'

The Elizabethan conquest of Ireland was cruel mainly because the
Crown was poor. Unpaid soldiers are necessarily oppressors, and are
as certain to cause discontent as they are certain to be inefficient
for police purposes. The history of Ireland would have been quite
different had it been possible for England to govern her as she has
governed India--by scientific administrators, who tolerate all creeds
and respect all prejudices. But no such machinery, nor even the idea of
it, then existed, and nothing seemed possible but to crush rebellion
by destroying the means of resistance. It was famine that really ended
the Tyrone war, and it was caused as much by internecine quarrels among
the Irish as by the more systematic blood-letting of Mountjoy and
Carew. The work was so completely done that it lasted for nearly forty
years, and even then there could have been no upheaval, but that forces
outside Ireland had paralysed the English Government.

My best thanks are due to the Marquis of Salisbury for his kindness in
giving me access to the treasures at Hatfield, and to Mr. R. T. Gunton
for enabling me to use that privilege in the pleasantest way.

  _March 17, 1890_.






  Papal designs against Ireland                                  1
  James Fitzmaurice abroad                                       3
  The last of Thomas Stukeley                                    6
  Defencelessness of Ireland                                     8
  Ulster in 1579                                                 9
  Fitzmaurice invades Ireland                                   10
  Manifestoes against Elizabeth                                 13
  Attitude of Desmond                                           17
  Nicholas Sanders                                              17
  Murder of Henry Davells                                       20
  The Geraldines disunited                                      22
  Death of Fitzmaurice                                          23



  English vacillation                                           25
  Progress of the rebellion                                     26
  Last hesitations of Desmond                                   28
  Desmond proclaimed traitor                                    31
  Youghal sacked by Desmond                                     33
  Ormonde's revenge                                             35
  The Queen is persuaded to act                                 38
  Irish warfare                                                 40
  Pelham and Ormonde in Kerry                                   42
  Maltby in Connaught                                           43
  State of Munster                                              44
  Ormonde's raid                                                48
  Rebellion of Baltinglas                                       51
  A Catholic confederacy                                        52
  Results of Pelham's policy                                    54
  Low condition of Desmond                                      57



  Arrival of Lord-Deputy Grey                                   59
  The disaster in Glenmalure                                    60
  Consequences                                                  63
  Spanish descent in Kerry                                      65
  Siege and surrender of the Smerwick fort                      72
  The massacre                                                  74
  State of Connaught                                            79
  An empty treasury and storehouses                             79
  The Earl of Kildare's troubles                                80
  Confusion in Munster                                          83
  Raleigh                                                       85
  Ormonde superseded                                            87
  Death of Sanders                                              89



  Partial amnesty--William Nugent                               91
  Maltby in Connaught                                           92
  John of Desmond slain                                         93
  Savage warfare                                                96
  Recall of Grey                                                97
  William Nugent's rebellion                                    99
  Ormonde is restored                                          101
  How ill-paid soldiers behaved                                102
  Desmond's cruelty                                            103
  General famine                                               104
  Abortive negotiations                                        105
  The rebels repulsed from Youghal                             107
  Ormonde shuts up Desmond in Kerry                            107
  Last struggles of Desmond                                    108
  Ormonde and his detractors                                   110
  Death of Desmond                                             113
  The Geraldine legend                                         114



  Case of Archbishop O'Hurley                                  116
  Spanish help comes too late                                  118
  Murder of Sir John Shamrock Burke                            119
  Trial by combat                                              121
  First proceedings of Perrott                                 122
  Sir John Norris and Sir Richard Bingham                      124
  The Church                                                   125
  Munster forfeitures                                          126
  The Ulster Scots                                             127
  A forest stronghold                                          131
  Proposed University                                          131
  Hostility of Perrott and Loftus                              134
  State of the four provinces                                  135



  The MacDonnells in Ulster                                    138
  Perrott's Parliament                                         140
  Composition in Connaught                                     147
  Perrott's troubles                                           148
  The Desmond attainder                                        149
  The MacDonnells become subjects                              150
  Bingham in Connaught                                         151
  The Scots overthrown in Sligo                                154
  Perrott's enemies                                            157
  Irish troops in Holland--Sir W. Stanley                      161
  The Irish in Spain                                           163
  Prerogative and revenue                                      165
  Bingham and Perrott                                          166
  Perrott leaves Ireland peaceful                              168
  The Desmond forfeitures                                      169



  Unprepared state of Ireland                                  172
  Sufferings of the Spaniards--Recalde                         173
  Wrecks in Kerry, Clare, and Mayo                             174
  Wrecks in Galway                                             176
  Alonso de Leyva                                              177
  Wrecks in Sligo                                              180
  Adventures of Captain Cuellar                                183
  Spanish account of the wild Irish                            185
  Summary of Spanish losses                                    188
  Tyrone and O'Donnell                                         190
  Wreck in Lough Foyle                                         191
  Relics and traditions                                        192
  The Armada a crusade                                         193
  The last of the Armada                                       194



  Ulster after the Armada                                      196
  O'Donnell politics                                           197
  The Desmond forfeitures--Spenser                             198
  Raleigh                                                      199
  Florence MacCarthy                                           200
  The MacMahons                                                201
  Bingham in Connaught                                         203
  O'Connor Sligo's case                                        208
  Bingham and his accusers                                     210
  Sir Brian O'Rourke                                           212
  Mutiny in Dublin                                             217
  Tyrone and Tirlogh Luineach                                  218
  Rival O'Neills                                               220
  Rival O'Donnells                                             221
  Hugh Roe O'Donnell                                           222
  Tyrone and the Bagenals                                      223



  Escape of Hugh Roe O'Donnell                                 226
  O'Donnell, Maguire, and Tyrone                               227
  Trial and death of Perrott                                   228
  Spanish intrigues                                            233
  Fighting in Ulster                                           234
  Recall of Fitzwilliam                                        236
  Tyrone's grievances                                          237
  Fitzwilliam, Tyrone, and Ormonde                             238
  Florence MacCarthy                                           240
  Remarks on Fitzwilliam's government                          241



  Russell and Tyrone                                           242
  Russell relieves Enniskillen                                 244
  Tyrone generally suspected                                   245
  The Wicklow Highlanders--Walter Reagh                        246
  Feagh MacHugh O'Byrne                                        247
  Recruiting for Irish service                                 248
  Soldiers and amateurs                                        250
  Sir John Norris                                              251
  The Irish retake Enniskillen                                 252
  Murder of George Bingham                                     253
  Tyrone proclaimed traitor                                    254
  Quarrels of Norris and Russell                               255
  Ormonde and Tyrone                                           255
  Bingham, Tyrone, and Norris                                  256
  Death of Tirlogh Luineach O'Neill                            258
  Tyrone's dealings with Spain                                 258
  A truce                                                      259
  O'Donnell overruns Connaught                                 260
  Liberty of conscience                                        261
  Confusion in Connaught                                       263
  Elizabeth on the dispensing power                            264
  Norris and Russell                                           265
  Story of the Spanish letter                                  267
  Spaniards in Ulster                                          268
  Bingham in Connaught                                         268
  Bingham leaves Ireland                                       271
  Crusade against English Protestants                          272
  Disorderly soldiers                                          273
  Death of Feagh MacHugh                                       274
  Dissensions between Norris and Russell                       276
  Bingham in disgrace                                          278



  Last acts of Russell                                         280
  Norris and Burgh                                             282
  Burgh attacks Tyrone                                         283
  Failure of Clifford at Ballyshannon                          285
  Gallant defence of Blackwater fort                           286
  Death of Burgh                                               287
  Death of Norris                                              288
  Belfast in 1597                                              289
  Disaster at Carrickfergus                                    290
  Tyrone and Ormonde                                           291
  Brigandage in Munster                                        292
  Florence MacCarthy                                           293



  Bacon and Essex                                              294
  The Blackwater fort                                          295
  Battle of the Yellow Ford                                    297
  Panic in Dublin                                              300
  The Munster settlement destroyed                             301
  The Sugane Earl of Desmond                                   302
  Spenser, Raleigh, and others                                 305
  The native gentry and Tyrone                                 307
  Religious animosity                                          308
  Weakness of the Government                                   309
  O'Donnell in Clare                                           310
  Tyrone in Munster                                            311



  Essex offends the Queen                                      313
  His ambition                                                 315
  Opinions of Bacon and Wotton                                 316
  Great expectations                                           318
  Evil auguries                                                320
  Sir Arthur Chichester                                        321
  Essex in Leinster                                            323
  In Munster                                                   324
  Siege of Cahir                                               325
  Deaths of Sir Thomas and Sir Henry Norris                    326
  Harrington's defeat in Wicklow                               328
  Failure of Essex                                             331
  Anger of the Queen                                           332
  Death of Sir Conyers Clifford                                336
  Essex goes to Ulster                                         339
  Essex makes peace with Tyrone                                340
  The Queen blames Essex                                       342
  Who goes home without leave                                  343
  Harrington's account of Tyrone                               344
  Reception of Essex at court                                  346
  Negotiations with Tyrone                                     347
  Folly of Essex                                               348
  Liberty of conscience                                        349



  Raleigh's advice                                             351
  Tyrone's Holy War in Munster                                 352
  Arrival of Mountjoy and Carew                                353
  Tyrone plays the king                                        354
  Ormonde captured by the O'Mores                              355
  Carew in Munster--Florence MacCarthy                         360
  Docwra occupies Derry                                        361
  Carew in Munster                                             363
  O'Donnell harries Clare                                      365
  Mountjoy and Essex                                           366
  James VI.                                                    368
  The Pale                                                     369
  The midland counties                                         370
  Mountjoy bridles Tyrone                                      372
  Progress of Docwra                                           373
  Relief of Derry                                              375
  Spaniards in Donegal                                         376
  Carew reduces Munster                                        377
  The Queen's Earl of Desmond                                  379
  The end of the house of Desmond                              384



  Mountjoy and the Queen                                       386
  Final reduction of Wicklow                                   387
  Mountjoy and Essex                                           388
  Confession of Essex--Lady Rich                               389
  The last of the Sugane Earl                                  391
  Mountjoy in Tyrone                                           392
  Plot to assassinate Tyrone                                   393
  An Irish stronghold                                          394
  Brass money                                                  395



  The Spaniards land at Kinsale                                398
  Mountjoy in Munster                                          399
  The Spaniards come in the Pope's name                        400
  The siege of Kinsale                                         401
  O'Donnell joins Tyrone                                       403
  Spanish reinforcements                                       404
  Irish auxiliaries                                            406
  Total defeat of Tyrone                                       408
  Kinsale capitulates                                          411
  Importance of this siege                                     414
  Great cost of the war                                        415


  THE END OF THE REIGN, 1602-1603.

  The Spaniards still feared                                   417
  The Queen's anger against Tyrone                             418
  Carew reduces Munster                                        419
  Siege of Dunboy                                              421
  Death and character of Hugh Roe O'Donnell                    425
  Last struggles in Connaught                                  426
  Progress of Docwra in Ulster                                 427
  The O'Neill throne broken up                                 428
  Last struggles in Munster                                    429
  O'Sullivan Bere                                              430
  Submission of Rory O'Donnell                                 432
  Tyrone sues for mercy                                        433
  Famine                                                       434
  Tyrone and James VI.                                         435
  Death of Queen Elizabeth                                     437
  Submission of Tyrone                                         438
  Elizabeth's work in Ireland                                  439



  Natural features                                             441
  Roads and strongholds                                        442
  Field sports                                                 444
  Agriculture                                                  445
  Cattle                                                       445
  Fish                                                         447
  Trade and manufactures                                       447
  Wine, ale, and whisky                                        448
  Descriptions of the people                                   450
  Tyrone's soldiers                                            451
  Costume                                                      452
  Conversion of chiefs into noblemen                           453
  Bards and musicians                                          454
  Tobacco                                                      455
  Garrison life                                                456
  Spenser and his friends                                      457



  Elizabeth's bishops                                          459
  Forlorn state of the Church                                  460
  Zeal of the Roman party                                      461
  Bishop Lyon                                                  463
  Position of Protestants                                      464
  Papal emissaries                                             465
  Protestant Primates                                          466
  Miler Magrath                                                468
  The country clergy                                           469
  Trinity College, Dublin                                      470
  Irish seminaries abroad                                      472
  Early printers in Ireland                                    473
  Toleration--Bacon's ideas                                    474
  Social forces against the Reformation                        475

  INDEX                                                        477


  MUNSTER                                         _To face p._ 24.
  ULSTER                                         _To face p._ 244.


Page 18, line 12 from bottom, _for_ provided to Killaloe _read_
provided to Killala.

Page 56, bottom line, _before_ Sanders _insert_ and.

Page 384, line 4 from bottom, _for_ Butler _read_ Preston.




[Sidenote: Papal designs against Ireland. Stukeley.]

Sidney's departure had been partly delayed by a report that Stukeley's
long-threatened invasion was at last coming. The adventurer had been
knighted in Spain, and Philip had said something about the Duchy of
Leinster. The Duke of Feria and his party were willing to make him
Duke of Ireland, and he seems to have taken that title. At Paris
Walsingham remonstrated with Olivares, who carelessly, and no doubt
falsely, replied that he had never heard of Stukeley, but that the
king habitually honoured those who offered him service. Walsingham
knew no Spanish, and Olivares would speak nothing else, so that the
conversation could scarcely have serious results. But the remonstrances
of Archbishop Fitzgibbon and other genuine Irish refugees gradually
told upon Philip, and the means of living luxuriously and making
a show were withheld. 'The practices of Stukeley,' wrote Burghley
to Walsingham, 'are abated in Spain by discovery of his lewdness
and insufficiency;' and he went to Rome, where the Countess of
Northumberland had secured him a good reception. 'He left Florida
kingdom,' said Fitzwilliam sarcastically, 'only for holiness' sake, and
to have a red hat;' adding that he was thought holy at Waterford for
going barefooted about streets and churches. 'It is incredible,' says
Fuller, 'how quickly he wrought himself through the notice into the
favour, through the court into the chamber, yea, closet and bosom, of
Pope Pius Quintus.' An able seaman, Stukeley was in some degree fitted
to advance the Pontiff's darling plan for crushing the Turks. The old
pirate did find his way to Don John of Austria's fleet, and seems to
have been present at Lepanto. His prowess in the Levant restored him
to Philip's favour, and he was soon again in Spain, in company with a
Doria and in receipt of 1,000 ducats a week.[1]

[Sidenote: Thomas Stukeley on the Continent.]

There was much movement at the time among the Irish in Spain, and
the air was filled with rumours. Irish friars showed letters from
Philip ordering all captains to be punished who refused them passages
to Ireland, and the Inquisition was very active. One Frenchman was
nevertheless bold enough to say that he would rather burn than have a
friar on board, and those who sought a passage from him had to bestow
themselves on a Portuguese ship. In 1575 Stukeley was again at Rome,
and in as high favour with Gregory XIII. as he had been with his
predecessor. The Pope employed him in Flanders, where he had dealings
with Egremont Radcliffe. That luckless rebel had bitterly repented; but
when he returned and offered his services to the queen, she spurned
them and bade him depart the realm. From very want, perhaps, he entered
Don John's service, and when that prince died he was executed on a
trumped-up charge of poisoning him. Stukeley was more fortunate, for
he had then left the Netherlands, and Don John took credit with the
English agent for sending him away. Wilson was equal to the occasion,
and said the gain was the king's, for Stukeley was a vain 'nebulo'
and all the treasures of the Indies too little for his prodigal
expenditure. It would be interesting to know what passed between the
two adventurers, the bastard of Austria and the Devonshire renegade;
between the man who tried to found a kingdom at Tunis, and talked
of marrying Mary Stuart, conquering England, and obtaining the crown
matrimonial, and the man who, having dreamed of addressing his dear
sister Elizabeth from the throne of Florida, now sought to deprive her
of the Duchy of Ireland. Like so many who had to deal with this strange
being, perhaps the governor of the Netherlands was imposed upon by his
vapourings and treated him as a serious political agent. After leaving
Brussels he went to Rome, well supplied with money and spending it in
his old style everywhere. At Sienna Mr. Henry Cheek thought him so
dangerous that he moved to Ferrara to be out of his way. At Florence
the Duke honoured Stukeley greatly, 'as did the other dukes of Italy,
esteeming him as their companion.' But he was without honour among his
own countrymen, and they refused a dinner to which he invited all the
English at Sienna except Cheek.[2]

[Sidenote: Fitzmaurice on the Continent.]

James Fitzmaurice was already at Rome. He had spent the best part of
two years in France, where he was well entertained, but where he found
no real help. He received supplies of money occasionally. The Parisians
daily addressed him as King of Ireland, but nothing was done towards
the realisation of the title. Sir William Drury's secret agent was in
communication with one of Fitzmaurice's most trusted companions, and
his hopes and fears were well known in Ireland. At one time he was sure
of 1,200 Frenchmen, at another he was likely to get 4,000; and De la
Roche, who was no stranger in Munster, was to have at least six tall
ships for transport. De la Roche did nothing but convey the exile's
eldest son, Maurice, to Portugal, where he entered the University of
Coimbra. Sir Amyas Paulet had instructions to remonstrate with the
French Court, and the old Puritan seems to have been quite a match for
Catherine de Medici; but there was little sincerity on either side. The
Queen-mother's confidential agent confessed that all was in disorder,
and that the French harbours were full of pirates and thieves, but
she herself told Paulet that De la Roche had strict orders to attempt
nothing against England. Having little hope of France, Fitzmaurice
himself went to Spain, where his reception was equally barren of
result. The Catholic King was perhaps offended at the Most Christian
King having been first applied to, and at all events he was not yet
anxious to break openly with his sister-in-law.[3]

[Sidenote: Fitzmaurice and the Pope.]

But at Rome, Fitzmaurice was received by Gregory with open arms. He was
on very friendly terms with Everard Mercurian, the aged general of the
Jesuits, who was, however, personally opposed to sending members of the
order to England, Ireland, or Scotland; a point on which he was soon
overruled by younger men. What the life of a Jesuit missionary was may
be gathered from a letter written to the General about this time.

'Once,' wrote Edmund Tanner from Rosscarbery, 'was I captured by the
heretics and liberated by God's grace, and the industry of pious
people; twelve times did I escape the snares of the impious, who would
have caught me again had God permitted them.'

But the harvest, though hard to reap, was not inconsiderable. Tanner
reported that nobles and townsmen were daily received into the bosom of
Holy Church out of the 'sink of schism,' and that the conversion would
have been much more numerous but that many feared present persecution,
and the loss of life, property, or liberty.

This chain still kept back a well-affected multitude, but the links
were worn, and there was good hope that it soon would break.[4]

[Sidenote: Fitzmaurice expects to free Ireland.]

We know from an original paper which fell into the hands of the English
Government, what were Fitzmaurice's modes and requirements for the
conquest of Ireland. Six thousand armed soldiers and their pay for six
months, ten good Spanish or Italian officers, six heavy and fifteen
light guns, 3,000 stand of arms with powder and lead, three ships of
400, 50, and 30 tons respectively, three boats for crossing rivers, and
a nuncio with twenty well-instructed priests--such were the instruments
proposed. He required licence to take English ships outside Spanish
ports, and to sell prizes in Spain. Property taken from Geraldines was
to remain in the family, and every Geraldine doing good service was
to be confirmed by his Holiness and his Catholic Majesty in land and
title. Finally, 6,000 troops were to be sent to him in six months,
should he make a successful descent.

As sanguine, or as desperate, as Wolfe Tone in later times, he fancied
that England could be beaten in her own dominion by such means as
these. Sanders, who was probably deceived by his Irish friends as to
the amount of help which might be expected in Ireland, had no belief in
Philip, whom he pronounced 'as fearful of war as a child of fire.' The
Pope alone could be trusted, and he would give 2,000 men. 'If they do
not serve to go to England,' he said, 'at least they will serve to go
to Ireland; the state of Christendom dependeth upon the stout assailing
of England.'[5]

[Sidenote: Fitzmaurice and Stukeley.]

Stukeley appears to have got on better with Fitzmaurice than with
Archbishop Fitzgibbon, which may have been owing to the mediation of
Sanders or Allen. The Pope agreed to give some money, and Fitzmaurice
hit upon an original way of raising an army. 'At that time,' says an
historian likely to be well informed about Roman affairs, 'Italy was
infested by certain bands of robbers, who used to lurk in woods and
mountains, whence they descended by night to plunder the villages,
and to spoil travellers on the highways. James implored Pope Gregory
XIII. to afford help to the tottering Catholic Church in Ireland, and
obtained pardon for these brigands on condition of accompanying him
to Ireland, and with these and others he recruited a force of 1,000
soldiers more or less.' This body of desperadoes was commanded by
veteran officers, of which Hercules of Pisa (or Pisano) was one, and
accompanied by Sanders and by Cornelius O'Mulrian, Bishop of Killaloe.
Stukeley kept up the outward show of piety which he had begun at
Waterford and continued in Spain, and he obtained a large number of
privileged crucifixes from the Pontiff, perhaps with the intention of
selling them well. It must be allowed that an army of brigands greatly
needed indulgence, and fifty days were granted to everyone who devoutly
beheld one of these crosses, the period beginning afresh at each act of
adoration. Every other kind of indulgence might seem superfluous after
this, but many were also offered for special acts of prayer, a main
object of which was the aggrandisement of Mary Stuart.

Stukeley was placed in supreme charge of the expedition, which seems to
have been done by the desire of Fitzmaurice, and the titles conferred
on him by Gregory were magnificent enough even for his taste. He took
upon himself to act as mediator between some travelling Englishmen
and the Holy Office, and having obtained their release he gave them a
passport. This precious document was in the name of Thomas Stukeley,
Knight, Baron of Ross and Idrone, Viscount of Murrows and Kinsella,
Earl of Wexford and Carlow, Marquis of Leinster, General of our Most
Holy Father; and the contents are certified 'in ample and infallible
manner.' Marquis of Leinster was the title by which Roman ecclesiastics
generally addressed him.[6]

[Sidenote: Battle of Alcazar, 1578. Death of Stukeley.]

Stukeley left Civita Vecchia early in 1578, and brought his ships,
his men, and his stores of arms to Lisbon, where he found nine Irish
refugees, priests and scholars, whom Gregory had ordered to accompany
him. He called them together, and, with characteristic grandiosity,
offered a suitable daily stipend to each. Six out of the nine refused,
saying: 'They were no man's subjects, and would take no stipend from
anyone but the supreme Pontiff, or some king or great prince.' This
exhibition of the chronic ill-feeling between English and Irish
refugees argued badly for the success of their joint enterprise. After
some hesitation, Sebastian of Portugal decided not to take part in
this attack on a friendly power, and he invited the English adventurer
to join him in invading Morocco, where dynastic quarrels gave him a
pretext for intervention. Secretary Wilson was told that Stukeley had
no choice, 'the King having seized upon him and his company to serve
in Africa.' Sebastian had also German mercenaries with him. There
was a sort of alliance at this time between England and Morocco,
Elizabeth having sent an agent, with an Irish name, who found the
Moorish Emperor 'an earnest Protestant, of good religion and living,
and well experimented as well in the Old Testament as in the New, with
great affection to God's true religion used in Her Highness's realm.'
Whatever we may think of this, it is easy to believe that the Moor
despised Philip as being 'governed by the Pope and Inquisition.' But it
is not probable that this curious piece of diplomacy had much effect on
the main issue. Stukeley warned Sebastian against rashness, advising
him to halt at the seaside to exercise his troops, who were chiefly
raw levies, and to gain some experience in Moorish tactics. But the
young King, whose life was of such supreme importance to his country,
was determined to risk all upon the cast of a die. The great battle of
Alcazar was fatal alike to the Portuguese King and the Moorish Emperor.
Stukeley also fell, fighting bravely to the last, at the head of his
Italians. It may be said of him, as it was said of a greater man, that
nothing in his life became him so much as his manner of leaving it.[7]

[Sidenote: Result of this battle.]

The Geraldine historian, O'Daly, says Fitzmaurice landed in Ireland
entirely ignorant of Stukeley's fate, but this statement is
contradicted by known dates. Nor can we believe that if Stukeley had
come with his Italian swordsmen while Fitzmaurice lived, it would have
fared ill with the English--that a little money and less blood would
have sufficed to drive them out of Ireland. Yet it is probably true
that the battle of Alcazar was of great indirect value to England.
Sebastian left no heir, and the Crown of Portugal devolved on his
great-uncle, Cardinal Henry, who was sixty-seven and childless. The
next in reversion was Philip II., whose energies were now turned
towards securing the much-coveted land which nature seemed to designate
as proper to be joined with Spain. For a time, however, it was supposed
that he would heartily embrace the sanguine Gregory's schemes, and
rumours were multiplied by hope or fear.

[Sidenote: Ireland ill-prepared to resist invasion.]

Lord Justice Drury knew that the lull in Ireland was only temporary,
but Elizabeth made it an excuse for economy, and disaffected people,
'otherwise base-minded enough,' were encouraged to believe that the
government would stand anything rather than spend money. By refusing
to grant any protections, and by holding his head high, Drury kept
things pretty quiet, but he had to sell or pawn his plate. He hinted
that, as there was no foreign invasion, her Majesty might continue
to pay him his salary, and save his credit. Meanwhile, he had some
small successes. Feagh MacHugh made his submission in Christ Church
cathedral, and gave pledges to Harrington, whom he acknowledged as his
captain. Desmond and his brother John came to Waterford and behaved
well, and a considerable number of troublesome local magnates made
their submissions at Carlow, Leighlin, Castledermot, and Kilkenny;
twenty-nine persons were executed at Philipstown, but the fort was
falling down, and this was little likely to impress the neighbouring
chiefs. Drury's presence alone saved it from a sudden attack by the
O'Connors. But a son of O'Doyne's was fined for concealment, and his
father took it well, so that it was possible to report some slight
progress of legal ideas. Meanwhile there was great danger lest the
Queen's ill-judged parsimony should destroy much of what had been done
in Sidney's time. Thus, the town of Carrickfergus had been paved and
surrounded by wet ditches; the inhabitants had, in consequence, been
increased from twenty to two hundred, forty fishermen resorted daily
to the quay, and sixty ploughs were at work. But over 200_l._ was owing
to the town, the garrison were in danger of starving, and it was feared
that 'the townsmen came not so fast thither, but would faster depart

[Sidenote: Ulster in 1579.]

Tirlogh Luineach O'Neill was now old and in bad health. It was again
proposed to make him a peer; but this was not done, since it was
evident that a title would make fresh divisions after his death. There
were already four competitors, or rather groups of competitors, for the
reversion; of whom only two were of much importance. Shane O'Neill's
eldest legitimate son, known as Henry MacShane, was supported by one
legitimate and five illegitimate brothers, and Drury's idea was 'by
persuasion or by force of testoons' to make him a counterpoise to the
Baron of Dungannon, whose ambitious character was already known. The
bastardy of the baron's grandfather had been often condoned by the
Crown, but was not forgotten and might be turned to account. Against
the advice of his leeches old Tirlogh was carried forty miles on men's
shoulders, to meet Bagenal at Blackwater, and said he was most anxious
to meet Drury. Dungannon, who expected an immediate vacancy, begged
hard for 200 soldiers, without which the MacShanes would muster twice
as many men as he could. He promised not to go out of his own district
as long as the old chief lived. Drury temporised, since he could do
nothing else, and tried what effect his own presence in the North
might have. The suddenness of his movement frightened Tirlogh, who got
better, contrary to all expectation, and showed himself with a strong
force on the top of a hill near Armagh, refusing however to come in
without protection. This Drury refused on principle, and Tirlogh's
wife, who was clever enough to see that no harm was intended, tried
in vain to bring her husband to the Viceroy's camp. Meanwhile he and
the Baron became fast friends, and the latter proposed to put away
O'Donnell's daughter, to whom he was perhaps not legally married,
and to take Tirlogh's for his wife. Drury made him promise not to
deal further in the match; but his back was no sooner turned than
the marriage was celebrated, and the other unfortunate sent back to
Tyrconnell. At the same time Tirlogh gave another of his daughters to
Sorley Boy MacDonnell's son, and the assistance of the Scots was thus
supposed to be secured. There were rumours that Fitzmaurice would land
at Sligo, and a general confederacy was to be looked for. Fitton, who
had been long enough in Ireland to know something about it, saw that
the Irish had great natural wits and knew how to get an advantage quite
as well as more civil people, and that Tirlogh, like the rest of his
countrymen, would submit while it suited him and no longer.[9]

[Sidenote: Fitzmaurice and Sanders sail for Ireland.]

After Stukeley's death James Fitzmaurice continued to prepare for a
descent on Ireland. After his return from Rome he went to France, where
he joined his wife, son, and two daughters. He then spent nearly three
months at Madrid with Sanders, and obtained 1,000 ducats for his wife,
who was then in actual penury at 'Vidonia' in Biscay. But he could not
see the king, and professed himself indifferent to help from Spain or
Portugal. 'I care for no soldiers at all,' he said to Sanders; 'you
and I are enough; therefore let me go, for I know the minds of the
noblemen in Ireland.' Some of Stukeley's men, with a ship of about 400
tons, had survived the Barbary disaster. O'Mulrian, Papal Bishop of
Killaloe, came to Lisbon from Rome with the same men and two smaller
vessels, and by the Pope's orders Stukeley's ship was given to them.
Sanders accompanied the bishop, and there seem to have been about 600
men--Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, Flemings, Frenchmen, Irish,
and a few English. It was arranged that this motley crew should join
Fitzmaurice at Corunna, and then sail straight to Ireland. A Waterford
merchant told his wife that the men were very reticent, but were
reported to be about to establish the true religion. When questioned
they said they were bound for Africa, but the Waterford man thought
they were going to spoil her Majesty's subjects. Meanwhile Fitzmaurice
was at Bilbao with a few light craft. The largest was of sixty tons,
commanded by a Dingle man who knew the Irish coast, but who ultimately
took no part in the expedition. William Roche, who had been Perrott's
master gunner at Castlemaine, and James Den of Galway, were also
retained as pilots. A little later Fitzmaurice had a ship of 300 tons,
for which he gave 800 crowns, several small pieces of artillery, 6,000
muskets, and a good supply of provisions and trenching tools. The men
received two months' pay in advance.

Fitzmaurice's one idea was to raise an army in Munster, and he told
an Irish merchant who thought his preparations quite inadequate, that
'when the arms were occupied' he made no account of all the Queen's
forces in Ireland. He was accompanied by his wife and daughter and
about fifty men, who were nearly all Spaniards. Sanders went to Bilbao
after a short stay at Lisbon, and two merchants, one of Waterford
and one of Wexford, who came together from the Tagus to the Shannon,
reported that a descent was imminent. 'The men,' they said, 'be
willing; they want no treasure, they lack no furniture, and they have
skilful leaders.' To oppose a landing the Queen had one disabled ship
in Ireland, and there were no means of fitting her out for sea.[10]

[Sidenote: The voyage.]

The French rover, De la Roche, in spite of Catherine de Medici's
assurance, seems to have co-operated with Fitzmaurice. John Picot, of
Jersey, bound for Waterford with Spanish wine, was warned at San Lucar
by a Brest man that De la Roche and Fitzmaurice spoiled everyone they
met. To avoid them Picot kept wide of the coast; nevertheless he fell
in with eight sail 60 leagues N.W. of Cape St. Vincent. They fired
and obliged him to lower a boat, and then robbed him of wine, oil,
raisins, and other things of Spain. Picot saw twelve pieces of cannon
in De la Roche's hold, but was warned significantly not to pry under
hatches again. The Jerseymen were beaten, the St. Malo men spared,
and all were told, with 'vehement oaths and gnashing of teeth,' that
if they had been Englishmen they would have been thrown overboard--a
fate which actually befell the crew of a Bristol vessel two or three
days later. Finding that Picot was going to Ireland, his captors said
they would keep company with him; but thick weather came on, and by
changing his course, he got clear within twenty-four hours. A few days
after Fitzmaurice was in Dursey Sound with six ships, and others were
sighted off Baltimore. He picked up a fisherman and bade him fetch in
Owen O'Sullivan Bere, but that chief refused, and three days later the
invading squadron cast anchor off Dingle.[11]

[Sidenote: Fitzmaurice and Sanders reach Ireland.]

The portreeve and his brethren went off to speak with the strangers
next morning. Some Spaniards whom they knew refused to let them come
on board, and they sent at once to Desmond for help. The preparations
for resistance were of the slightest. The constable of Castlemaine
reported that he had only five hogsheads of wheat, two tuns of wine,
three hogsheads of salmon, and some malt; and that he was dependent
for meat upon such bruised reeds as Desmond and Clancare. There were
neither men nor stores at Dublin, and no hope of borrowing even 500_l._
Cork had but five barrels of inferior powder, and no lead. At Waterford
there were only 2,000 pounds of powder. All that Drury could do was to
write letters charging the Munster lords to withstand the traitors, but
a fortnight passed before he himself could get as far as Limerick.[12]

[Sidenote: They land at Dingle.]

Mr. James Golde, Attorney-General for Munster, writing from Tralee,
thus describes the manner of Fitzmaurice's landing, which took place on
the day after his arrival at Dingle:--

'The traitor upon Saturday last came out of his ship. Two friars were
his ancient-bearers, and they went before with two ancients. A bishop,
with a crozier-staff and his mitre, was next the friars. After came
the traitor himself at the head of his company, about 100, and went
to seek for flesh and kine, which they found, and so returned to his
ships.'[13] On the same day they burned the town, lit fires on the
hills as if signalling to some expected allies, and then shifted their
berths to Smerwick harbour, taking with them as prisoners some of
the chief inhabitants of Dingle. At Smerwick they began to construct
a fort, of which the later history is famous. It was believed that
Fitzmaurice expected immediate help out of Connaught. 'Ulick Burke is
obedient,' said Waterhouse; 'but I believe that John will presently
face the confederacy.' Drury could only preach fidelity, and commission
Sir Humphrey Gilbert to take up ships and prosecute the enemy by sea
and land.[14]

[Sidenote: Proclamation of Fitzmaurice.]

Fitzmaurice brought to Ireland two printed proclamations--one in
English for those who spoke it and were attached to the English crown,
the other in Latin for the Irish and their priests.

The first paper sets forth that Gregory XIII. 'perceiving what
dishonour to God and his Saints, &c.... hath fallen to Scotland,
France, and Flanders, by the procurement of Elizabeth, the pretensed
Queen of England; perceiving also that neither the warning of other
Catholic princes and good Christians, nor the sentence of Pope Pius
V., his predecessor, nor the long sufferance of God, could make her to
forsake her schism, heresy, and wicked attempts; now purposeth (not
without the consent of other Catholic potentates) to deprive her
actually of the unjust possession of these kingdoms, &c.' Any attack
on the Crown of England is disclaimed; the usurper was alone aimed
at, and the help of the English Catholics was considered certain. The
Catholics were everywhere, but 'Wales, Chestershire, Lancastershire,
and Cumberland' were entirely devoted to the old faith, and their
proximity to Ireland increased their importance. Throughout England
the husbandmen--the raw material of every army--were 'commonly all
Catholics.' Elizabeth had a few friends indeed, but she would be afraid
to send them away from her, and if Ireland remained united, all must go
well. One great crime of Queen Elizabeth was her refusal to declare an
heir-apparent; by espousing the cause of that heir, whose name is not
mentioned, the reward of those who worship the rising sun might fairly
be expected. Fitzmaurice explained that the Pope had appointed him
general because he alone had been present at Rome, but that he intended
to act by the advice of the Irish prelates, princes, and lords, 'whom
he took in great part for his betters.' And his appeal ends thus: 'This
one thing I will say, which I wish to be imprinted on all our hearts,
if all we that are indeed of a good mind would openly and speedily
pass our faith by resorting to his Holiness' banner, and by commanding
your people and countries to keep no other but the Catholic faith, and
forthwith to expel all heresies and schismatical services, you should
not only deliver your country from heresy and tyranny, but also do that
most godly and noble act without any danger at all, because there is
no foreign power that would or durst go about to assault so universal
a consent of this country; being also backed and maintained by other
foreign powers, as you see we are, and, God willing, shall be; but now
if one of you stand still and look what the other doth, and thereby the
ancient nobility do slack to come or send us (which God forbid), they
surely that come first, and are in the next place of honour to the said
nobility, must of necessity occupy the chief place in his Holiness'
army, as the safeguard thereof requireth, not meaning thereby to
prejudice any nobleman in his own dominion or lands, which he otherwise
rightfully possesseth, unless he be found to fight, or to aid them
that do fight, against the Cross of Christ and his Holiness' banner,
for both which I, as well as all other Christians, ought to spend our
blood and, for my part, intend at least by God's grace, Whom I beseech
to give you all, my lords, in this world courage and stoutness for the
defence of His faith, and in the world to come life everlasting.'[15]

[Sidenote: Continuity of some Irish ideas.]

The whole document is a good example of the sanguine rhetoric in which
exiles have always indulged, and of the way in which the leaders of
Irish sedition have been accustomed to talk. The part assigned to
continental powers and to English Catholics in the sixteenth century,
was transferred to the French monarchy in the seventeenth, and to the
revolutionary republic in the eighteenth; and now, in the nineteenth,
it is given to the United States of America, and to the British

[Sidenote: A second proclamation.]

A translation of the shorter paper may well be given in full:--'A just
war requires three conditions--a just cause, lawful power, and the
means of carrying on lawful war. It shall be made clear that all three
conditions are fulfilled in the present case.

'The cause of this war is God's glory, for it is our care to restore
the outward rite of sacrifice and the visible honour of the holy altar
which the heretics have impiously taken away. The glory of Christ is
belied by the heretics, who deny that his sacraments confer grace, thus
invalidating Christ's gospel on account of which the law was condemned;
and the glory of the Catholic Church they also belie, which against the
truth of the Scriptures they declare to have been for some centuries
hidden from the world. But in the name of God, in sanctification by
Christ's sacraments, and in preserving the unity of the Church, the
salvation of us all has had its chief root.

'The power of this war is derived first from natural, and then from
evangelical, law. Natural law empowers us to defend ourselves against
the very manifest tyranny of heretics, who, against the law of nature,
force us, under pain of death, to abjure our first faith in the primacy
of the Roman Pontiff, and unwillingly to receive and profess a plainly
contrary religion; a yoke which has never been imposed by Christians,
Jews, or Turks, nor by themselves formerly upon us. And so since Christ
in his gospel has given the help of the kingdom of heaven--that is,
the supreme administration of his Church--to Peter, Gregory XIII., the
legitimate successor of that chief of the Apostles in the same chair,
has chosen us general of this war, as abundantly appears from his
letters and patent (diploma), and which he has the rather done that his
predecessor, Pius V., had deprived Elizabeth, the patroness of those
heresies, of all royal power and dominion, as his declaratory decision
(sententia), which we have also with us, most manifestly witnesseth.

'Thus we are not warring against the legitimate sceptre and honourable
throne of England, but against a she-tyrant who has deservedly lost her
royal power by refusing to listen to Christ in the person of his vicar,
and through daring to subject Christ's Church to her feminine sex on
matters of faith, about which she has no right to speak with authority.

'In what belongs to the conduct of the war, we have no thoughts of
invading the rights of our fellow-citizens, nor of following up
private enmities, from which we are especially free, nor of usurping
the supreme royal power. I swear that God's honour shall be at once
restored to Him, and we are ready at any moment to lay down the sword,
and to obey our lawful superiors. But if any hesitate to combat heresy,
it is they who rob Ireland of peace, and not us. For when there is talk
of peace, not with God but with the Devil, then we ought to say, with
our Saviour: I came not to bring peace on earth, but a sword. If then
we wage continual war to restore peace with God, it is most just that
those who oppose us should purchase their own damnation, and have for
enemies all the saints whose bones they spurn, and also God himself,
whose glory they fight against.

'Let so much here suffice, for if anyone wishes to understand the
rights of the case he need but read and understand the justice and
reasonableness of the fuller edict which we have taken care should be
also published.'[16]

[Sidenote: How Fitzmaurice understood liberty of conscience.]

In these papers the arguments derived from the right to liberty of
conscience, which all Protestants should respect, and from the Papal
claims which all Protestants deny, are blended with no small skill;
but Fitzmaurice, while demanding liberty of conscience for himself,
expressly denies it to those who disagree with him.

[Sidenote: Desmond and Fitzmaurice.]

There can be no doubt that Desmond was jealous of James Fitzmaurice;
and historians well-affected to the Geraldines have attributed the
latter's rebellion to the ill-feeling existing between them. It is
said that Lady Desmond, who was a Butler, had prevented her husband
from making any provision for his distinguished kinsman. It was
reported to Drury that Fitzmaurice had called himself Earl of Desmond
on the Continent, and that this would be sure to annoy the Earl, whose
pride was overweening. But this does not seem to have been the case.
Fitzmaurice is not called Earl either in his own letters or in those
written to him. The general of the Jesuits addresses him as 'the
most illustrious Lord James Geraldine'; the Pope speaks of him as
James Geraldine simply, and so he calls himself, sometimes adding 'of
Desmond.' But that he should have been appointed general of a force
which was to operate in Desmond's country was quite enough to excite
suspicion. No sooner did the news of his arrival reach the Earl than
he wrote to tell Drury that he and his were ready to venture their
lives in her Majesty's quarrel, 'and to prevent the traitorous attempts
of the said James.' He had nevertheless been in correspondence with
Fitzmaurice, and had urged his immediate descent upon the Irish coast
some eighteen months before.[17]

[Sidenote: Nicholas Sanders, the Jesuit.]

Not less important than Fitzmaurice was Dr. Nicholas Sanders, who
acted as treasurer of the expedition. He was known by the treatise _De
Visibili Monarchia_ which Parker said was long enough to wear out a
Fabius, and almost unanswerable, 'not for the invincibleness of it, but
for the huge volume.' Answers were nevertheless written which no doubt
satisfied the Anglican party, but the Catholic refugees at Brussels
thought so highly of Sanders that they begged Philip to get him made a

[Sidenote: Making the best of both worlds.]

The English were then in disgrace at Rome, where the appointment of a
Welshman as Rector of the new college had caused a mutiny among the
students, and Allen doubted whether his own credit was good, but it
was upon him that the red hat was at last conferred. To Sanders must
be ascribed most of what was written in Fitzmaurice's name, and that
was a small part of what fell from his prolific pen. Queen Elizabeth,
said the nuncio, was a heretic. She was childless, and the approaching
extinction of Henry VIII.'s race was an evident judgment. She was
'a wicked woman, neither born in true wedlock nor esteeming her
Christendom, and therefore deprived by the Vicar of Christ, her and
your lawful judge.' Her feminine supremacy was a continuation of that
which the Devil implanted in Paradise when he made Eve Adam's mistress
in God's matters.' When a knowledge of Celtic was necessary Sanders's
place might be taken by Cornelius O'Mulrian, an observant friar, lately
provided to the see of Killaloe, or by Donough O'Gallagher, of the same
order, who was provided to Killala in 1570. Letters in Irish were
written to the Munster MacDonnells, Hebridean gallowglasses serving
in Desmond, whom Fitzmaurice exhorts to help him at once--'first,
inasmuch as we are fighting for our faith, and for the Church of God;
and next, that we are defending our country, and extirpating heretics,
barbarians, and unjust and lawless men; and besides that you were never
employed by any lord who will pay you and your people their wages and
bounty better than I shall, inasmuch as I never was at any time more
competent to pay it than now.... We are on the side of truth and they
on the side of falsehood; we are Catholic Christians, and they are
heretics; justice is with us, and injustice with them.... All the
bonaght men shall get their pay readily, and moreover we shall all
obtain eternal wages from our Lord, from the loving Jesus, on account
of fighting for his sake.... I was never more thankful to God for
having great power and influence than now. Advise every one of your
friends who likes fighting for his religion and his country better than
for gold and silver, or who wishes to obtain them all, to come to me,
and that he will find each of these things.'[18]

[Sidenote: Fitzmaurice appeals to Desmond.]

In the letter written by Sanders to Desmond in Fitzmaurice's name, the
Earl is reminded that the latter 'warfareth under Christ's banner,
for the restoring of the Catholic faith in Ireland.' Then, flying
into the first person in his hurry, he says His Holiness 'has made me
general-captain of this Holy War.' There are many allusions to Christ's
banner and to the ancient glories of the Geraldines, and the epistle
ends with a recommendation to 'your fellows, and to all my good cousins
your children, and to my dear uncle your brother, longing to see all
us, all one, first as in faith so in field, and afterwards in glory and
life everlasting.'

A like appeal was made to the Earl of Kildare, and we may be sure
that none of the Munster lords were forgotten. Friars were busy with
O'Rourke, O'Donnell, and other northern chiefs, and the piratical
O'Flaherties brought a flotilla of galleys, which might have their own
way in the absence of men-of-war. Three of Fitzmaurice's ships sailed
away, and were expected soon to return with more help. Thomas Courtenay
of Devonshire happened to be at Kinsale with an armed vessel, and was
persuaded by his countryman Henry Davells, one of the Commissioners of
Munster, to come round and seize the remaining Spanish ships. Courtenay
seems not to have been in the Queen's service; like so many other men
of Devon, he was probably half-pirate and half-patriot. To cut out the
undefended vessels from their anchorage was an easy and congenial
task, and thus, to quote another Devonian, 'James Fitzmaurice and his
company lost a piece of the Pope's blessing, for they were altogether
destituted of any ship to ease and relieve themselves by the seas,
what need soever should happen.' The O'Flaherties sailed away with
the two bishops on Courtenay's arrival, but Maltby afterwards found
their lair upon the shores of Clew Bay. One was promptly hanged by
martial law; a second, who had property to confiscate, was reserved
for the sessions, and a third was killed for resisting his captors;
the rest were to be hanged when caught. Fitzmaurice had with him at
Smerwick but twenty-five Spaniards, six Frenchmen, and six Englishmen,
besides twenty-seven English prisoners whom he forced to work at the
entrenchments. Provisions were scarce, and the whole enterprise might
have collapsed had it not been for a crime which committed the Desmonds

[Sidenote: Murder of Davells and Carter.]

On hearing of the landing in Kerry Drury had despatched a trusty
messenger to confirm the Earl and his brother in their allegiance.
The person selected was Henry Davells, a Devonshire gentleman who had
served Henry VIII. in France, had afterwards seen fighting in Scotland,
and had long lived in Carlow and Wexford, where he was well known and
much respected. His countryman Hooker, who knew him, says he was not
only the friend of every Englishman in Ireland, but also much esteemed
by the Irish for his hospitality and true dealing. 'If any of them had
spoken the word, which was assuredly looked to be performed, they would
say Davells hath said it, as who saith "it shall be performed." For
the nature of the Irishman is, that albeit he keepeth faith, for the
most part, with nobody, yet will he have no man to break with him.'
The same writer assures us that the mere fact of being Davells' man
would secure any Englishman a free passage and hospitable reception
throughout Munster and Leinster. He was equally valued by Desmond and
Ormonde, an intimate friend of Sir Edmund Butler, and on such terms
with Sir John of Desmond, whose gossip he was and whom he had several
times redeemed out of prison, that the latter used to call him father.
Davells now went straight to Kerry, saw the Earl and his brothers, whom
he exhorted to stand firm, and visited Smerwick, which he found in no
condition to withstand a resolute attack. Returning to the Desmonds
he begged for a company of gallowglasses and sixty musketeers, with
whom and with the aid of Captain Courtenay, he undertook to master the
unfinished fort. Desmond refused, saying that his musketeers were more
fitted to shoot at fowls than at a strong place, and that gallowglasses
were good against gallowglasses, but no match for old soldiers. English
officers afterwards reported that sixty resolute men might have taken
Smerwick, and were thus confirmed in their belief that Desmond had
intended rebellion from the first, and that Fitzmaurice, whose ability
was undeniable, would not have taken up such a weak position without
being sure of the Earl's co-operation. But religious zeal might account
for that.

Davells, who was accompanied by Arthur Carter, Provost Marshal of
Munster, and a few men, started on his return journey, prepared no
doubt to tell Drury that nothing was to be expected of the Desmonds.
John of Desmond, accompanied by his brother James and a strong party,
followed to Tralee, surrounded the tavern where the English officers
lay, and bribed the porter to open the door. Davells and Carter were
so unsuspicious that they had gone to bed, and allowed their servant
to lodge in the town. When Davells saw Sir John entering his room with
a drawn sword he called out, 'What, son! what is the matter?' 'No more
son, nor no more father,' said the other, 'but make thyself ready, for
die thou shalt.' A faithful page cast himself upon his master's body;
but he was thrust aside and Sir John himself despatched Davells.

Carter was also killed, and so were the servants. In a curious print
the two Englishmen are represented as sleeping in the same bed.
Sir John holds back the servant with his left hand and transfixes
Davells with the right, while Sir James goes round, with a sword
drawn, to Carter's side. Outside stand several squads of the Desmond
gallowglasses, and armed men are killing Davells' followers, while
Sanders appears in two places, carrying the consecrated papal banner,
hounding on the murderers, and congratulating the brothers on their
prowess. According to all the English accounts Sanders commended the
murder as a sweet sacrifice in the sight of God, and two Irish Catholic
historians mention it. But Fitzmaurice was a soldier, and disapproved
of killing men in their beds. There is no positive evidence as to
Desmond. Geraldine partisans say he abhorred the deed, but he never
punished anyone for it, and Sir James was said to have pleaded that he
was merely the Earl's 'executioner.' Desmond accepted a silver-gilt
basin and ewer, and a gold chain only a few days after the murder.[20]

[Sidenote: Fitzmaurice and John of Desmond.]

'Landed gentlemen,' says Sidney Smith, 'have molar teeth, and
are destitute of the carnivorous and incisive jaws of political
adventurers.' The Munster proprietors held aloof with the Earl of
Desmond, 'letting "I dare not" wait upon "I would,"' while the landless
men followed his bolder and more unscrupulous brother. When Fitzmaurice
disembarked, Desmond had 1,200 men with him; shortly after the murder
of Davells he had less than 60; but Sir John was soon at the head of
a large force. The activity of Maltby not only prevented any rising
in Connaught, but also made it impossible for Scots to enter Munster.
He lay at Limerick waiting till Drury was ready, and when the latter,
who was ill, came to Limerick at the risk of his life, it was Maltby
who entered the woods and drove the rebels from place to place. For
a time Fitzmaurice and his cousin kept together, though it may be
that the latter's savagery was disagreeable to the man who had seen
foreign courts, and who was evidently sincerely religious, though the
English accused him of hypocrisy. According to Russell, who gives
details which are wanting elsewhere, the two marched together unopposed
into the county of Limerick, where one of Sir John's men outraged a
camp-follower. Fitzmaurice ordered him for execution, but Sir John,
'little regarding the Pope's commission, and not respecting murder or
rape,' refused to allow this, and Fitzmaurice, seeing that he could not
maintain discipline, departed with a few horsemen and kernes, nominally
on a pilgrimage to Holy Cross Abbey, really perhaps to enter Connaught
through Tipperary and Limerick, and thus get into Maltby's rear. In
doing so he had to pass through the territory of a sept of Burkes, of
whom some had been with him in his former enterprise. Fitzmaurice was
in want of draught animals, and took two horses out of the plough.
The poor peasants raised an alarm, and at a ford some miles south of
Castle Connell the chief's son Theobald, who was learned in the English
language and law, and who may have had Protestant leanings, appeared
with a strong party. He was already on the look-out, and had summoned
MacBrien to his aid.

[Sidenote: Death of Fitzmaurice.]

Fitzmaurice urged Burke to join the Catholic enterprise; he answered
that he would be loyal to the Queen, and a fight followed. Burke had
but two musketeers with him, one of whom aimed at Fitzmaurice, who was
easily known by his yellow doublet. The ball penetrated his chest, and
feeling himself mortally wounded, he made a desperate dash forward,
killed Theobald Burke and one of his brothers, and then fell, with or
without a second wound. 'He found,' says Hooker characteristically,
'that the Pope's blessings and warrants, his _agnus Dei_ and his
grains, had not those virtues to save him as an Irish staff, or a
bullet, had to kill him.' The Burkes returned after the death of their
leader, and, having confessed to Dr. Allen, the best of the Geraldines
breathed his last. Lest the knowledge of his death should prove fatal
to his cause, a kinsman cut off Fitzmaurice's head and left the bare
trunk under an oak--an evidence of haste which shows that there was
no great victory to boast of. The body was nevertheless recognised,
carried to Kilmallock, and hanged on a gibbet; and the soldiers
barbarously amused themselves by shooting at their dead enemy. 'Well,'
says Russell, 'there was no remedy--God's will must be done, punishing
the sins of the father in the death of the son. Fitzmaurice made a
goodly end of his life (only that he bore arms against his sovereign
princess, the Queen of England). His death was the beginning of the
decay of the honourable house of Desmond, out of which never issued
so brave a man in all perfection, both for qualities of the mind and
body, besides the league between him and others for the defence of

[Illustration: _To face page 24._


_London: Longmans & Co._ Edwd. Weller, _lith._]


[1] Strype's _Annals_, Eliz. lib. i. ch. i. and ii. i. Walsingham to
Cecil, February 25, 1571, and Burghley to Walsingham, June 5, both in
Digges's _Complete Ambassador_. Lady Northumberland to Stukeley, June
21, 1571, in Wright's _Elizabeth_. Answers of Martin de Guerres, master
mariner, February 12, 1572; Examination of Walter French, March 30;
report of John Crofton, April 13.

[2] Stukeley to Mistress Julian (from Rome) October 24, 1575, in
Wright's _Elizabeth_, Motley's _Dutch Republic_, part v. ch. v.;
Strype's _Annals_, Eliz. book ii. ch. viii.; Wilson to Burghley and
Walsingham, February 19, 1577, and to the Queen, May 1, both in the
Calendar of S. P. _Foreign_; Henry Cheek to Burghley, March 29, 1577;
Strype's _Life of Sir John Cheek_. Stukeley left Don John at the end of
February, 1577.

[3] Intelligence received by Drury, February 19, 1577, and April 16;
Examination of Edmund MacGawran and others May 10; Paulet to Wilson,
August, 1577, in Murdin's _State Papers_.

[4] Edmundus Tanner Patri Generali Everardo, October 11, 1577, in
Hogan's _Hibernia Ignatiana_.

[5] Sanders to Allen, Nov. 6, 1577 (from Madrid) in Cardinal Allen's
_Memorials_; James Fitzmaurice's instruction and advice (now among the
undated papers of 1578) written in Latin and signed 'spes nostra Jesus
et Maria, Jacobus Geraldinus Desmoniæ.'

[6] This passport, given at Cadiz in April, 1578, 'by command of his
Excellency,' is in _Sidney Papers_, i. 263. O'Sullivan's _Hist. Cath._
lib. iv. cap. xv. O'Daly's _Geraldines_, ch. xx. Strype's _Annals_,
Eliz. book ii. ch. xiii.

[7] Letter signed by 'Donatus Episcopus Aladensis,' David Wolf the
Jesuit, and two other Irish priests, printed from the Vatican archives
in Brady's _Episcopal Succession_, ii. p. 174. Edmund Hogan to Queen
Elizabeth (from Morocco) June 11, 1577; Dr. Wilson to----, June 14,
1578, in Wright's _Elizabeth_.

[8] Drury to Walsingham, Jan. 6 and 12, 1579; to Burghley, Sept. 21,
1578; Drury and Fitton to Burghley, Oct. 10, 1578; Fitton to Burghley,
Feb. 22, 1579. Note of services &c., town of Knockfergus in _Carew_,
ii. p. 148.

[9] Drury to Walsingham, Jan. 6, 1579 (enclosing an O'Neill pedigree);
to Burghley, Jan. 6 and Feb. 11, 1579; to the Privy Council, March 14;
Fitton to Burghley, Feb. 12, 1579.

[10] Patrick Lumbarde to his wife (from Lisbon) Feb. 20, 1579; Nic.
Walshe to Drury, Feb. 27; Declaration of James Fagan and Leonard
Sutton, March 23; Drury to Walsingham, March 6; Desmond to Drury, April
20; Examination of Dominick Creagh, April 22, and of Thomas Monvell of
Kinsale, mariner, April 30.

[11] July 17, 1579. Examination (at Waterford) of John Picot of Jersey,
master, and Fr. Gyrard, of St. Malo, pilot, July 24; Lord Justice and
Council to the Privy Council, July 22; Sir Owen O'Sullivan to Mayor of
Cork, July 16; Portreeve of Dingle to Earl of Desmond, July 17. The
story of the Bristol crew is told in Mr. Froude's 27th chapter, 'from a
Simancas MS.'

[12] Lord Justice and Council to the Privy Council with enclosure, July
22, 1579; Waterhouse to Walsingham, July 23 and 26; Mayor of Waterford
to Drury, July 25.

[13] James Golde to the Mayor of Limerick, July 22, 1579.

[14] Desmond, abp. of Cashel (Magrath), and Wm. Apsley to Drury, July
20, 1579; Waterhouse to Walsingham, July 23 and 24; Commission to Sir
H. Gilbert, July 24; James Golde to the Mayor of Limerick, July 22.

[15] The signature is 'In omni tribulatione spes mea Jesus et Maria,
James Geraldyne.'

[16] These two declarations are at Lambeth. In the _Carew Calendar_,
they are wrongly placed under 1569, when Pius V. was still alive. They
are printed in full in the Irish (Kilkenny) _Archæological Journal_,
N.S. ii. 364.

[17] Desmond to Drury, July 19, 1579; Russell. The letter from
Desmond's servant, William of Danubi, to Fitzmaurice, calendared under
July 1579 (No. 37) certainly belongs to the end of 1577, just after
Rory Oge had burned Naas.

[18] James Fitzmaurice to Alexander, Ustun, and Randal MacDonnell,
July, 1579; these letters, with translation, were printed by O'Donovan
in Irish (Kilkenny) _Archæological Journal_, N.S. ii. 362; Strype's
_Parker_, lib. iv. cap. 15, and the appendix; Sanders to Ulick Burke
in _Carew_, Oct. 27, 1579. In Cardinal Allen's _Memorials_ is a letter
dated April 5, 1579, in which Allen calls Sanders his 'special friend.'

[19] Fitzmaurice to Desmond and Kildare, July 18, 1579; Waterhouse to
Walsingham, July 24; notes of Mr. Herbert's speech, Aug. 3; Maltby's
discourse April 8, 1580; Hooker in _Holinshed_.

[20] Hooker and Camden for the English view of Desmond's conduct;
Russell and O'Daly for the other side, and also O'Sullivan, ii. iv.
15. The picture is reproduced in the Irish (Kilkenny) _Archæological
Journal_, 3rd S. i. 483. In his 27th chapter Mr. Froude quotes
Mendoza to the effect that Davells was Desmond's guest; but Hooker
says distinctly that he 'lodged in one Rice's house, who kept a
victualling-house and wine tavern.' In a letter of Oct. 10, 1579,
Desmond says his brother James was 'enticed into the detestable act.'
E. Fenton to Walsingham, July 11, 1580; Lord Justice and Earl of
Kildare to the Privy Council, Aug. 3, 1579. Examination of Friar James
O'Hea in _Carew_, Aug. 17, 1580. Collection of matters to Nov. 1579.

[21] Irish _Archæological Journal_, 3rd S. i. 384; _Four Masters_;
Camden; Hooker; O'Sullivan, ii. iv. 94. Waterhouse to Walsingham, Aug.
3 and 9, 1579. Fitzmaurice fell shortly before Aug. 20. O'Sullivan
calls the place _Beal Antha an Bhorin_, which may be Barrington's
bridge or Boher. This writer, who loves the marvellous, says a
Geraldine named Gibbon Duff, was tended among the bushes by a friendly
leech, who bound up his eighteen wounds. A wolf came out of the wood
and devoured the dirty bandages, but without touching the helpless man.
The Four Masters, who wrote under Charles I., praise Theobald Burke and
regret his death.



[Sidenote: Vacillating policy of England.]

Sir John of Desmond at once assumed the vacant command, and Drury
warned the English Government that he was no contemptible enemy, though
he had not Fitzmaurice's power of exciting religious enthusiasm,
and had yet to show that he had like skill in protracting a war.
The Munster Lords were generally unsound, the means were wanting
to withstand any fresh supply of foreigners, and there could be no
safety till every spark of rebellion was extinguished. The changes of
purpose at Court were indeed more than usually frequent and capricious.
English statesmen, who were well informed about foreign intrigues,
were always inclined to despise the diversion which Pope or Spaniard
might attempt in Ireland; and the Netherlands were very expensive.
Moreover, the Queen was amusing herself with Monsieur Simier.
Walsingham, however, got leave to send some soldiers to Ireland, and
provisions were ordered to be collected at Bristol and Barnstaple.
Then came the news that Fitzmaurice had not above 200 or 300 men, and
the shipping of stores was countermanded. On the arrival of letters
from Ireland, the danger was seen to be greater, and Walsingham was
constrained to acknowledge that foreign potentates were concerned,
'notwithstanding our entertainment of marriage.' One thousand men
were ordered to be instantly raised in Wales, 300 to be got ready at
Berwick, extraordinary posts were laid to Holyhead, Tavistock, and
Bristol. Money and provisions were promised. Sir John Perrott received
a commission, as admiral, to cruise off Ireland with five ships and
1,950 men, and to go against the Scilly pirates when he had nothing
better to do. Then Fitzmaurice's death was announced, and again the
spirit of parsimony prevailed. The soldiers, who were actually on
board, were ordered to disembark. These poor wretches, the paupers
and vagrants of Somersetshire, and as such selected by the justices,
had been more than a fortnight at Bristol, living on bare rations at
sixpence a day, and Wallop with great difficulty procured an allowance
of a halfpenny a mile to get them home. The troops despatched from
Barnstaple were intercepted at Ilfracombe, and all the provisions
collected were ordered to be dispersed. Then again the mood changed,
and the Devonshire men were allowed to go.[22]

[Sidenote: The Munster people sympathise with the rebellion.]

[Sidenote: Death of Drury, who is succeeded by Sir William Pelham.]

The Earl of Kildare, who was probably anxious to avoid fresh suspicion,
gave active help to the Irish government, 'making,' as Waterhouse
testified, 'no shew to pity names or kindred.' He exerted his influence
with the gentry of the Pale to provide for victualling the army, and
he accompanied the Lord Justice in person on his journey to Munster.
The Queen wrote him a special letter of thanks, and Drury declared that
he found him constant and resolute to spend his life in the quarrel.
The means at the Lord Justice's disposal were scanty enough:--400
foot, of which some were in garrison, and 200 horse. He himself was
extremely ill, but struggled on from Limerick to Cork, and from
Cork to Kilmallock, finding little help and much sullen opposition;
but the arrival of Perrott, with four ships, at Baltimore seemed
security enough against foreign reinforcements to the rebels, and
Maltby prevented John of Desmond from communicating with Connaught.
Sanders contrived to send letters, but one received by Ulick Burke
was forwarded, after some delay, to the government, and Desmond still
wavered, though the Doctor tried to persuade him that Fitzmaurice's
death was a provision of God for his fame. 'That devilish traitor
Sanders,' wrote Chancellor Gerrard, 'I hear--by examination of some
persons who were in the forts with him and heard his four or five
masses a day--that he persuaded all men that it is lawful to kill any
English Protestants, and that he hath authority to warrant all such
from the Pope, and absolution to all who can so draw blood; and how
deeply this is rooted in the traitors' hearts may appear by John of
Desmond's cruelty, hanging poor men of Chester, the best pilots in
these parts, taken by James, and in hold with John, whom he so executed
maintenant upon the understanding of James his death.' No one, for love
or money, would arrest Sanders, and Drury could only hope that the
soldiers might take him by chance, or that 'some false brother' might
betray him. Desmond came to the camp at Kilmallock, but would not, or
could not, do any service. Drury had him arrested on suspicion, and,
according to English accounts, he made great professions of loyalty
before he was liberated. The Irish annalists say his professions were
voluntary, that he was promised immunity for his territory in return,
and that the bargain was broken by the English. Between the two
versions it is impossible to decide. The Earl did accompany Drury on an
expedition intended to drive John of Desmond out of the great wood on
the borders of Cork and Limerick. At the place now called Springfield,
the English were worsted in a chance encounter, their Connaught
allies running away rather than fight against the Geraldines. In this
inglorious fray fell two tried old captains and a lieutenant, who had
fought in the Netherlands, and the total loss was considerable. Drury's
health broke down after this, and instead of scouring Aherlow Woods the
stout old soldier was carried in a litter to his deathbed at Waterford.
As he passed through Tipperary, Lady Desmond came to him and gave up
her only son as a hostage--an unfortunate child who was destined to be
the victim of state policy.

Sir William Pelham, another Suffolk man, had just arrived in Dublin,
and was busy organising the defence of the Pale against possible
inroads by the O'Neills. He was at once chosen Lord Justice of the
Council, and the Queen confirmed their choice.

Drury was an able and honest, though severe governor, and deserves
well of posterity for taking steps to preserve the records in
Birmingham Tower. Sanders gave out that his death was a judgment for
fighting against the Pope, forgetting that Protestants might use like
reasoning about Fitzmaurice.[23]

[Sidenote: Desmond still hesitates.]

Maltby was temporary Governor of Munster by virtue of Drury's
commission, and had about 150 horse and 900 foot, the latter
consisting, in great measure, of recruits from Devonshire. He summoned
Desmond to meet him at Limerick, and sent him a proclamation to
publish against the rebels. The Earl would not come, and desired
that freeholders and others attending him might be excepted from the
proclamation. Maltby, who had won a battle in the meantime, then
required him to give up Sanders, 'that papistical arrogant traitor,
that deceiveth the people with false lies,' or to lodge him so that he
might be surprised. Upon this the Earl merely marvelled that Maltby
should spoil his poor tenants. 'I wish to your lordship as well as
you wish to me,' was the Englishman's retort, 'and for my being here,
if it please your Lordship to come to me you shall know the cause.'
It did not please him, and the governor made no further attempt at

[Sidenote: Maltby defeats the rebels.]

The encounter which gave Maltby such confidence in negotiation took
place on October 3 at Monasternenagh, an ancient Cistercian abbey on
the Maigue. The ground was flat, and Sir William Stanley, the future
traitor of Deventer, said the rebels came on as resolutely as the best
soldiers in Europe. Sir John and Sir James of Desmond had over 2,000
men, of which 1,200 were choice gallowglasses, and Maltby had about
1,000. Desmond visited his brothers in the early morning, gave them his
blessing, and then withdrew to Askeaton, leaving his men behind.

'He is now,' said Maltby, 'so far in, that if her Majesty will take
advantage of his doings his forfeited living will countervail her
Highness's charges; and Stanley remarked that the Queen might make
instead of losing money by the rebellion. After a sharp fight, the
Geraldines were worsted, and the Sheehy gallowglasses, which were
Desmond's chief strength, lost very heavily. The two brothers escaped
by the speed of their horses and bore off the consecrated banner,
'which I believe,' said Maltby, 'was anew scratched about the face, for
they carried it through the woods and thorns in post haste.' Sanders,
if he was present, escaped, but his fellow-Jesuit, Allen, was killed.
In a highly rhetorical passage Hooker describes this enthusiast's
proceedings, and likens his fall to that of the prophets of Baal.
Maltby's commission died with Drury, and he stood on the defensive as
soon as he heard of the event.[25]

[Sidenote: Desmond and Ormonde.]

Ormonde had been about three years in England, looking after his own
interests, and binding himself more closely to the party of whom Sussex
was the head. Disturbance in Munster of course demanded his presence,
and he prepared to start soon after the landing of James Fitzmaurice.
'I pray you,' he wrote to Walsingham, 'do more in this my cause than
you do for yourself, or else the world will go hard.'

[Sidenote: Desmond is forced to say 'yes' or 'no.']

In thanking the Secretary for his good offices he said, 'I am ready to
serve the Queen with my wonted good-will. I hope she will not forget my
honour in place of service, though she be careless of my commodity.'
A month later he was in Ireland, and after spending some days at
Kilkenny, was present at the delivery of the sword to Pelham, whom he
prepared to accompany to the south. He had the Queen's commission as
general in Munster, and Kildare was left to guard the Ulster border.
Little knowing the man he had to deal with, Desmond wrote to bid him
weigh his cause as his own. 'Maltby,' he said, 'is a knave that hath
no authority, who has been always an enemy to mine house.' To some
person at Court, perhaps to Sidney, he recounted his services. Before
the landing of Fitzmaurice he had executed three scholars, of which one
was known to be a bishop. He had at once given notice of the landing,
had blockaded Smerwick, and had helped to drive off the O'Flaherties,
so that the traitors had like to starve. After Fitzmaurice's death
he had broken down the fort and had been ready to victual Drury's
army, had not the latter prepared to support his men by spoiling the
Desmond tenants. Finally, he had delivered his son, and would have
done more, but that many of his men had deserted while he was under
arrest. All along he had feared the fate of Davells for his wife and
son, knowing that his brother John hated them mortally. Maltby had
none the less treated him as an enemy, and had in particular 'most
maliciously defaced the old monument of my ancestors, fired both the
abbey, the whole town, and all the corn thereabouts, and ceased not
to shoot at my men within Askeaton Castle.' The letters which Ormonde
received from Desmond--for there seem to have been more than one--were
handed over to Pelham, who directed the writer to meet him between
Cashel and Limerick, or at least at the latter place. He was to lose
no time, for the Lord Justice was determined not to lie idle. Desmond
did not come, but he had an interview with Ormonde for the discussion
of certain articles dictated by Pelham. The principal were that Desmond
should surrender Sanders and other strangers, give up Carrigafoyle or
Askeaton, repair to the Lord Justice, and prosecute his rebellious
brother to the uttermost. The penalty for refusing these terms was
that he should be proclaimed traitor. After conferring with Ormonde,
he wrote to say that he had been arrested when he went to the late
Lord Justice. He refused to give up Askeaton, perhaps thinking it
impregnable, but was ready to do his best against Sanders and his
unnatural brethren if his other castles were restored to him. Pelham
answered that the proclamation was ready and should be published in
three days, unless Desmond came sooner to his senses. Still protesting
his loyalty, he refused to make any further concession. A last chance
was given him; if he would repair to Pelham's presence by eight
next morning he should have licence to go to England. No answer was
returned, and the proclamation was published as Pelham had promised.
By a singular coincidence, and as if to presage the ruin of the house
of Desmond, a great piece of the wall of Youghal fell of itself upon
the same day. The die was cast, and the fate of the Geraldine power was

[Sidenote: Desmond is proclaimed traitor. November, 1579.]

The proclamation asserted that Desmond had practised with foreign
princes, that he had suffered Fitzmaurice and his Spaniards to lurk in
his country, and that he had been privy to the murder of Davells and
others. He was accused of feigning loyalty and of purposely allowing
the garrison to escape from their untenable post at Smerwick. It was
said that he had gone from the Lord Justice into Kerry against express
orders, had seen that the strangers were well treated--being, in fact,
in his pay--and had even placed some of them in charge of castles. He
had joined himself openly with the proclaimed traitors his brothers,
and with Dr. Sanders, that odious, unnatural, and pestiferous traitor;
and quite lately his household servants had been engaged with the
Queen's troops at Rathkeale. Perhaps the strongest piece of evidence
was a paper found in a portmanteau belonging to Dr. Allen, 'one of
the traitors lately slain,' which showed how the artillery found at
Smerwick had been distributed by Desmond among the rebels. To detach
waverers it was announced that all who appeared unconditionally before
the Lord Justice or the Earl of Ormonde should be received as liege
subjects. Besides Pelham, Waterhouse, Maltby, and Patrick Dobbyn, Mayor
of Waterford, the subscribers to the proclamation were all Butlers;
Ormonde and his three brothers, Lords Mountgarret and Dunboyne, and
Sir Theobald Butler of Cahir. Some of these had been rebels, but all
were now united to overwhelm the Geraldines and possibly to win their
lands. 'There was,' said Waterhouse, 'great practice that the Earl of
Ormonde should have dealt for a pacification, but when it came to the
touch he dealt soundly--and will, I think, follow the prosecution with
as much earnestness as any to whom it might have been committed.' He
was, in fact, enough of an Irishman to wish that even Desmond might
have a last chance; but when it came to choosing between loyalty and
rebellion his choice was as quickly made as his father's had been when
he resisted the blandishments of Silken Thomas.[27]

[Sidenote: Weakness of the Government.]

[Sidenote: The Queen grumbles.]

Finding himself in no condition to attack so strong a place as
Askeaton, Pelham returned to Dublin, and Ormonde went to Waterford to
prepare for a western campaign. He wrote to tell Walsingham of his vast
expenses. His own company of 100 men was so well horsed and armed that
none could gainsay it; but the ships were unvictualled, and Youghal
and Kinsale were doubtfully loyal. 'I have the name of 800 footmen
left in all my charge, and they be not 600 able men, as Mr. Fenton
can tell, for I caused my Lord Justice to take view of them. They be
sickly, unapparelled, and almost utterly unvictualled. There are 150
horsemen with me that be not 100.... My allowance is such as I am
ashamed to write of.... I long to be in service among the traitors, who
hope for foreign power.' But the Queen was very loth to spend money,
and very angry at the imperfect intelligence from Ireland. The number
of Spaniards who landed was never known. There were certainly more
in the country than Fitzmaurice had at Smerwick; and the number of
harbours between Kinsale and Tralee was most convenient for contraband
cargoes. Her Majesty also grumbled about Pelham's new knights, lest
they should be emboldened to 'crave support to maintain their degree.'
There were but two, Gerrard the Chancellor, and Vice-Treasurer Fitton;
both had served long and well, and it was customary for every new
governor to confer some honours. Peremptory orders were sent that
the pension list should be cut down, and the Queen even talked of
reducing the scanty garrison. She was offended at the proclamation
of Desmond, as she had been five years before, and found fault with
everything and everybody. Pelham said the proclamation was an absolute
necessity, since no person of any consideration in Munster would stir
a finger until 'assured by this public act that your Majesty will deal
thoroughly for his extirpation.' Before the proclamation, at the time
of the fight with Maltby, Desmond had guarded the Pope's ensign with
all his own servants, and 'in all his skirmishes and outrages since the
proclamation crieth _Papa Aboo_, which is the Pope above, even above
you and your imperial crown.' In despair the Lord Justice begged to be
recalled, but Ormonde, who knew Elizabeth's humour, made up his mind
to do what he could with small means. At this juncture, and as if to
show that he had not been proclaimed for nothing, Desmond committed an
outrage which for ever deprived him of all hope of pardon.[28]

[Sidenote: Desmond threatens Youghal.]

[Sidenote: Sack of Youghal]

The town of Youghal, which had always been under the influence of
his family, was at this time fervently Catholic. The Jesuits kept
a school there, and the townsmen had been 'daily instructed in
Christian doctrine, in the celebration of the Sacrament, and in good
morals, as far as the time permitted, but not without hindrance.' The
corporation were uneasy, and sent two messengers, of which one was a
priest, to fetch powder from Cork. Sir Warham St. Leger, who had been
acting as Provost Marshal of Munster since Carter's death, gave the
powder or sent it, and offered to send one of Sir Humphrey Gilbert's
well-armed ships to protect the town, which the fallen wall laid
open to attack. But the corporation refused to incur the expense of
supporting Gilbert's sailors or Ormonde's soldiers, and made little or
no preparation for their own defence. On Friday, November 13, Desmond,
accompanied by the Seneschal of Imokilly, encamped on the south side
of Youghal, near the Franciscan priory, which his own ancestors had
founded. He gave out that his intentions were harmless, and that he
had come only to send messengers to Ormonde, who could prove that
he had been wrongfully proclaimed traitor. Meanwhile, he demanded
wine for his men, and the mayor, who was either a fool or a traitor,
let him take the ferry-boat, which was the only means by which the
town might be relieved from the Waterford side. The Geraldines were
to take two tuns of wine, and then depart; but during Saturday and
Sunday morning they had frequent conversations with their friends on
the walls. The result was that they mustered with evidently hostile
intentions, and that the mayor ordered the gunners in the round tower,
which commanded the landing-place, not to fire first, although they
had a 'saker charged with a round shot, a square shot, and a handspike
of an ell long, wherewith they were like to have spoiled many of them.
One elderly man of the town commanded not to shoot off lest the rebels
would be angry therewith, and threatened to kill the gunner if he would
give fire.' Other sympathisers had already carried out ladders and hung
ropes over the walls. With such help the rebels easily entered the
breach, and in an hour all was over. Wives and maidens were ravished,
and the town was ruthlessly sacked. Many of the inhabitants helped the
work, 'notwithstanding that they saw the ravishing of their women, the
spoiling of their goods and burning of their houses, and that (which is
most detestable treason), notwithstanding that they saw the Earl and
Sir John, the Seneschal of Imokilly, and divers others draw down in
the court-house of the town her Majesty's arms, and most despitefully
with their daggers to cut it and thrust it through.' 'This they did,'
Ormonde added, 'as an argument of their cankered and alienated hearts.'
The plunder was considerable, and the Four Masters sympathetically
record that many a poor indigent person became rich and affluent by the
spoils of this town. Some of Lord Barry's men were present, and most
of the plunder was carried into his country and sold there. As one of
Desmond's followers filled his pouch with gold and silver from a broken
chest, he said to his master that the thing was very pleasant if not a
dream. Dermot O'Sullivan, the historian's father, stood by and warned
the Earl that the sweetest dreams might be but a mockery. The houses
and gates were burned, and when Ormonde came a few weeks later he
found the ruins in sole possession of a friar, who was spared for his
humanity in securing Christian burial to Henry Davells. The mayor was
caught and hanged at his own door, and it is hard to say that he did
not deserve it.[29]

[Sidenote: Ormonde's revenge.]

[Sidenote: The garrisons.]

A fortnight after the sack of Youghal, Ormonde was in the field, and
thus describes the nature of his three weeks' campaign: 'I was in
Connello the 6th of this month, between Askeaton and Newcastle, two of
the Earl's chief houses, and preyed, spoiled, and burned the country,
even to the mountain of Slieve Logher, and returned to Adare without
sight of the rebels. In the county of Cork I burned John of Desmond's
town and castle called Lisfinnen, with all his land in Coshbride.' He
then returned to Tipperary, and let his officers go to Dublin for a
holiday. The soldiers had had bread only for one day out of four, and
neither wine, beer, nor spirits. Beef and forage were scarce, and they
had passed rivers, wading to the stomach, often seven times a day, and
never less than three. They had to bivouack in the open, and camp-fires
were hard to light in December. 'It is easier,' said Wallop, 'to talk
at home of Irish wars than to be in them.' The garrisons had not a very
pleasant time of it either. Sir George Bourchier was at Kilmallock with
200 men whose pay was two months in arrear. He had but fifty pounds
of powder, and was unable to join Ormonde, for the chief magistrate
locked the gates, and the inhabitants declared that they would vacate
the town if he deserted them. Desmond was expected daily, and the fate
of Youghal was before their eyes. Sir William Stanley and George Carew
had been left by Maltby at Adare. Between them and Askeaton lay Kerry,
which Sanders, in the Pope's name, had granted to Sir James of Desmond.
One morning early Stanley and Carew passed 120 of their men over the
Maigue in one of the small boats, then and now called cots, which
scarcely held ten at a time. After spoiling the country and putting
to the sword whomsoever they thought good, they were attacked by Sir
James, the knight of Glin, and the Spaniards who garrisoned Balliloghan
Castle. Though the enemy were nearly four to one, Stanley and Carew
managed to keep them in check till they reached the river, and then
passed all their men over without loss, they themselves being the last
to cross. It may be supposed, though Hooker does not say so, that they
were in some measure covered by the guns of the castle. A little later
Desmond tried to lure the garrison out by driving cattle under their
walls, failing which 'he sent a fair young harlot as a present to the
constable, by whose means he hoped to get the house; but the constable,
learning from whence she came, threw her (as is reported to me), with a
stone about her neck, into the river.'[30]

[Sidenote: Rumours from abroad.]

[Sidenote: Ormonde's troubles.]

The English Government urged Pelham to go to Munster himself, and he
waited for provisions at Waterford. Reports of the rebels' successes
came to England constantly from Paris, for the war had become a
religious one. By every ship sailing to France or Spain, 'Sanders,'
said Burghley, 'sent false libels of the strength of his partners,
and of the weakness of the Queen's part.' He spread rumours through
Ireland that a great fleet was coming from Spain and Italy, bringing
infinite stores of wine, corn, rice, and oil from the Pope and King
Philip. Munster was to be Desmond's; Ulster Tirlogh Luineach's, and a
nuncio was soon to come with full powers. It was reported that Desmond
and Sanders distrusted each other, and that the latter was watched
lest he should try to escape. His credit was probably restored by the
arrival of two Spanish frigates at Dingle. It had been reported in
Spain that both Desmond and Sanders were killed, but after conferring
with the doctor, and learning that the rebellion was not yet crushed,
the strangers promised help before the end of May. Sanders pleaded hard
for St. Patrick's day, lamenting that he had been made 'an instrument
to promise to perfect Christians what should not be performed.' Still,
through the spring and summer he confidently declared that help was
coming, and in the meantime both he and Desmond were hunted like
partridges upon the mountains. Pelham begged the Queen to consider what
her position would have been had a stronger force landed with James
Fitzmaurice, and to harden her heart to spend the necessary money.
Ormonde was still more outspoken, and we know from others that his
complaints were well founded. 'I required,' he said, 'to be victualled,
that I might bestow the captains and soldiers under my leading in
such places as I knew to be fitted for the service, and most among
the rebels. I was answered there was none. I required the ordnance
for batteries many times and could have none, nor cannot as yet, for
my Lord Justice sayeth to me, it is not in the land. Money I required
for the army to supply necessary wants, and could have but 200_l._, a
bare proportion for to leave with an army. Now what any man can do with
these wants I leave to your judgment. I hear the Queen mislikes that
her service has gone no faster forward, but she suffereth all things
needful to be supplied, to want. I would to God I could feed soldiers
with the air, and throw down castles with my breath, and furnish naked
men with a wish, and if these things might be done the service should
on as fast as her Highness would have it. This is the second time that
I have been suffered to want all these things, having the like charge
that now I have, but there shall not be a third; for I protest I will
sooner be committed as a prisoner by the heels than to be thus dealt
with again; taking charge of service upon me. I am also beholding to
some small friends that make (as I understand) the Queen mislike of
me for the spoil of Youghal, who most traitorously have played the
villains, as by their own examination appeareth, an abstract of which
I send to the Council, with letters written by the Earl of Desmond and
his brethren to procure rebellion. There be here can write lies, as in
writing Kilkenny was burned, before which, though it be a poor weak
town, the rebels never came. They bragged they would spoil my country,
but I hope if they do they will pay better for it than I did at the
burning of theirs.'[31]

[Sidenote: Burghley and Walsingham persuade the Queen.]

Burghley and Walsingham strove hard to persuade the Queen that her
economy would save nothing in the end, and Pelham's wise obedience
in discharging some pensioners conciliated her a little. But he told
the ministers that there had been no such peril in Ireland since the
conquest, and Burghley agreed that the fire could only be quenched by
English power. The conflagration would be great if not checked before
the spring, for the Pope stood ever ready to supply Spanish coals, and
the barbarous people ever willing to receive them. But even Burghley
thought some one was to blame for proclaiming Desmond before there
were means to punish him. The Queen, he told Ormonde, had yielded at
last; 'money is sent, munition is in lading, and so is victualling for
2,000 men for three months, and for men to serve it is certain there
are more in charge of the Queen's pay than ever there were in Ireland
those hundreds of years, and for anything we hear no open hostilities
in any part of Ireland but these in Munster, so as now merely I must
say _Butleraboo_, against all that cry as I hear in a new language
_Papeaboo_. God send you only your heart's desire, which I know is
agreeable to mine, to banish or vanquish those cankered Desmonds and
their sequels, and to plant again the Queen's Majesty's honour and
reputation.... I and others have persuaded her Majesty that you may
have authority to reclaim by offer of pardon all such as have offended,
saving the Earl and his brothers, and such as murdered Davells, and
such as have come from foreign parts to stir up the rebellion, among
which I mean Sanders, that viper, whom of all others the Queen's
Majesty is most desirous that you could take hold of.[32]

[Sidenote: Miseries of Irish service.]

Ormonde sent Zouch and Stanley to garrison Youghal, who lost two or
three men in passing the Blackwater at Lismore. The Spaniards set fire
to Strancally Castle, where some of the plunder had been stored, and
ran out at the first sound of the English drums. Some were shot or
drowned, and the remainder crossed over to Decies in boats, 'where
they were very friendly welcomed in sight of the soldiers.' Sir James
Fitzgerald of Dromana was loyal, but his followers preferred Desmond.

Stanley and Zouch went on to Youghal, driving before them 140 cows and
300 sheep, with which they fed their men. The poor soldiers suffered
dreadfully from rain and cold, for they were penniless, and unroofed
houses gave but scant shelter. For horses there was no food. Nor was
this misery peculiar to Munster, since Athlone required repair to the
extent of 500_l._, Maryborough and Philipstown did not keep their
defenders dry, and the wall in each case was ready to fall into the
ditch. Leighlin and Dungarvan were almost untenable. Dublin Castle was
much dilapidated, and the timber of Kilmallock was rotting. English
artificers must be brought over to repair damages, 'for lack of skill
and desire to gain by the work had been the ruin of all.' On the other
hand there were signs of wavering among the rebels. A ship with 400
soldiers from the Pope was driven ashore at Corunna, and four-fifths of
the men perished. Sanders was suspected of wishing to steal away, and
Desmond had him carefully watched.[33]

[Sidenote: Foreign sympathisers.]

At this juncture one French and one Spanish vessel arrived in Dingle
Bay with letters for Desmond and earnest inquiries for Dr. Sanders.
They were well received by the country people, and the bearers of the
letters were conducted to Castle Island, where they found the men they
sought. The foreigners said it had been reported at the French and
Spanish Courts that no Geraldine was left alive. Sanders 'railed and
reviled them' for not performing their promises to perfect Christians;
but they still maintained that 20,000 were ready in Spain to sail with
James Fitzmaurice's sons, and that France would also help as soon as
the truth was known. One Owen O'Madden, a foster-brother of Desmond
who was present, fell into Ormonde's hands, and reported that Desmond
and Clancare had solemnly sworn to join their forces; 'which oath was
ministered by Dr. Sanders, having a mass-book under their feet and
a cloth spread over their heads.' He believed that Lord Fitzmaurice
would also join them. The confederacy would command a force of 600
gallowglasses, 1,600 kerne, and 80 horse, with 200 musketeers. Sympathy
with the Geraldines was universal among the common people, but men who
had something to lose were in no great hurry to commit themselves. 'I
suppose,' said Pelham, 'it is now considered that what foreign prince
soever come, he will not allow to any freeholder more acres than he
hath already, nor more free manner of life than they have under our
Sovereign. And further I am told that some of the traitors themselves
begin to consider that the invaders will put no great trust in those
that do betray their natural prince and country.'[34]

[Sidenote: The nature of Irish warfare.]

Pelham left Waterford about the middle of February, having with great
difficulty made such preparations as would give likelihood of a
successful campaign. Unable to feed pack-horses he had his provisions
carried by 300 strong countrymen, and he vigorously describes the
pleasures of Irish warfare. 'Touching the comparison between the
soldier of Berwick and the soldier of Ireland, alleging him of Berwick
to serve in greater toil... all the soldiers of Christendom must give
place in that to the soldiers of Ireland; and so much difference for
ease... as is between an alderman of London and a Berwick soldier.' And
surely, said Captain Zouch, 'the wars here is most painful, in respect
that of force we make great and long journeys without victual, by which
means we have great sicknesses, and, do what we can, we shall never
fight with them unless they have a will to fight with us.' But a good
spirit prevailed, and some companies stood so much on their reputation
that they begged to be mustered, in order that their wants might be
known and supplied.

[Sidenote: Pelham and Ormonde's campaign.]

[Sidenote: State of Kerry.]

Ormonde joined the Lord Justice at Clonmel, where it was arranged that
the Butlers should guard the eastern end of the Aherlow fastness.
Pelham proposed to make all the country from Askeaton to Dingle 'as
bare a country as ever Spaniard set his foot in.' At Limerick he spent
more than a fortnight listening to reports of what was going on in
Kerry and in Spain, and waiting for Wallop and Maltby. On March 10, he
met Ormonde at Rathkeale, and each assumed his own share in the work
of destruction. The Earl took the Shannon side, the Lord Justice kept
inland, spoiling the country far and wide, and meeting with no enemy.
Near Shanet Castle, the original seat of the Desmonds, from which their
war-cry was derived, the two camps were not far apart, and the country
was scoured to the foot of the mountain in which the Feale and the
Blackwater take their rise. According to the Four Masters, they killed
'blind and feeble men, women, boys and girls, sick persons, idiots, and
old people.' Four hundred were killed in the woods on the first day,
and everything that would burn was burned. The next camp was at Glin,
where provisions had been collected, and thither came Lord Fitzmaurice,
who thought it time to declare himself on the side of the strongest.
Pelham and Ormonde then determined to cross the mountain into Kerry,
having heard that ships with stores had arrived at Dingle. Desmond
had already gone that way, in the belief that the ships were Spanish.
Passing the Feale a little above Listowel, the army marched unopposed
to Tralee, and on the march Patrick Fitzmaurice, heir of the house of
Lixnaw, followed his father's example. Everything between Castle Island
and Tralee was already destroyed by the rebels, and Tralee itself was
burned, with the exception of the abbey. Three hundred men, under Sir
William Stanley, were detached to Castlemaine, and Pelham and Ormonde
started for Dingle, but were driven back by a furious snowstorm from
the foot of the Corkaguiny mountains. In the meantime the ships had
gone to the Shannon, and Pelham, having no means of feeding the men,
was forced to withdraw Stanley's division from Castlemaine. Clancare
had promised to come to Tralee, but excused himself on account of the
floods. The same reason prevented Pelham from recrossing the mountains,
and he lost men and horses in fording the Feale near its mouth. The
ships had arrived at Carrigafoyle, and immediate preparations were made
to besiege the castle, which was held by nineteen Spaniards and fifty
natives. The commandant was Captain Julian, 'who reported himself to be
a very notable engineer,' and who had undertaken the defence at Lady
Desmond's request.

[Sidenote: Siege of Carrigafoyle.]

[Sidenote: Fate of the garrison.]

While the guns were being landed, Pelham went forward to view the
place, and had a narrow escape from a shot. 'The villains of Spaniards,
and the traitors,' said Ormonde, 'railed like themselves at Her
Majesty, especially the Spaniards, who had named the King of Spain
King of Ireland, which, or it be long, God willing, they shall dearly
pay for.' Julian probably trusted in the strength of the castle, which
was eighty-six feet high, surrounded by water, and defended by several
outworks. On the land side there were two separate ditches, divided by
a wall, and a strong earthwork. Vessels of 100 tons could go up to the
wall at high tide. The pieces used in the attack were three cannons,
one culver, and one culverin--not a formidable battery according to
modern ideas, but too much for the old castle, even with Julian's
additional defences. The hyperbolical Four Masters say such guns had
never yet been heard in those parts, and that their tremendous and
terror-awakening roar penetrated every glen from Mizen Head to Tuam.
A cannonade of six hours on two successive days was enough to make a
practicable breach, both in the barbican and in the inner walls, which
crushed many as they crumbled. The storming party soon mastered all
but one turret, which stood farthest from the battery and was still
intact. The fire was directed upon this point, and two or three shots
dislodged the garrison, of whom, says Zouch, 'there escaped not one,
neither man, woman, nor child.' Those who swam were shot in the water,
others were put to the sword, and a few who surrendered, including one
woman, were hanged in the camp. Captain Julian was kept prisoner for
two or three days and then hanged. The people began to curse Desmond
for bringing all these misfortunes upon them. He answered that, if no
help from Pope or Spaniard came before Whit Sunday, 'he should seek a
strange country and leave them to make their compositions.' The castles
of Balliloghan and Askeaton were abandoned by their defenders when
they saw the fate of Carrigafoyle. Those at Askeaton escaped across
the water, having made an unsuccessful attempt to blow up the castle.
Pelham occupied this last stronghold, and the war was turned into a

[Sidenote: Maltby in Connaught.]

Sanders and Desmond failed to rouse Connaught, which Maltby had
retained after Drury's death. Richard Burke, called Richard-in-Iron,
husband of the redoubtable Grace O'Malley, alone ventured to take arms,
in reliance upon the remoteness and natural strength of his country. He
collected all the loose men of Connaught, and sent for 100 Scots bowmen
from Ulster. But the Hebrideans were disinclined to join him, knowing
that they would encounter English soldiers and a skilful leader. To
prevent them from changing their minds, Maltby secured Sligo, through
which they would have to pass. O'Connor Sligo, and O'Rourke--proudest
man in Ireland though he was--agreed to Maltby's terms, and kept their
words as to excluding the Scots. He had two English companies, to which
he added 100 native horse and 400 foot, who were to pay themselves
in Richard-in-Iron's country, and to cost the Queen nothing. Burke,
with 1,000 men, had spoiled the devoted district about Athenry and
the northern part of Roscommon, but he fell back to the shore of the
Atlantic before Maltby could advance. When all was ready, he went
from Athlone to Ballinasloe, where he hung six malefactors, and to
Athenry, where he hung another. At Clare Galway he met John and Ulick
Burke, full of complaints against each other, between whom he made a
truce till he had leisure to hear them. He then marched by Shrule and
Ballintubber to Clew Bay. The fate of a castle held by a priest, who
was Richard-in-Iron's chief counsellor, is thus concisely described:--

'I put the band, both men, women, and children, to the sword, whereupon
all the other castles in the country were given up without any
resistance.' Grace O'Malley came to him with some of her kinsmen, but
her husband took refuge with his forces in the islands in Clew Bay.
Burrishoole Abbey, where Maltby encamped, was chosen by him as the site
of a walled town, the people seeming very willing to have such a place
among them, and MacWilliam Burke, who accompanied the governor of his
own accord, offered land for its support. Richard-in-Iron, finding
Maltby too strong for him, said he was ready to submit. Maltby sent for
boats to Achill, but the weather was so bad that he could not reach the
island for a week. In the meantime more than 100 of Richard's followers
had died of starvation--a little episode which shows what Irish warfare
sometimes was. In the end Burke submitted to the garrison which Maltby
left at Burrishoole. The return journey to Athlone was accomplished
in deep snow. The starved pigs and sheep with lambs came out of the
woods into the camp, but they were killed and eaten. During the siege
of Carrigafoyle, Maltby was in Scattery Island, and in frequent
communication with Pelham, whom he joined at Limerick after the capture
of Askeaton.[36]

[Sidenote: Man-hunting and cattle-lifting.]

Pelham's policy was to bridle the Desmond district with garrisons, who
should be strong enough to eat up the country and to fatten themselves
while the rebels starved. He hoped thus to localise the struggle in
Kerry, which was too poor to maintain it unaided. The English fleet
would look after the seaboard. The garrisons seem to have performed
perfectly their rather inglorious duties. Captains Hollingsworth
and George Carew had 400 foot at Askeaton, but no horse, the soil
being already too bare to support them. The soldiers drove in all
the sheep and cows in their neighbourhood, and killed twenty-five of
the miserable people who ventured to protect their own. Sir George
Bourchier, who had two companies and a troop of horse at Kilmallock,
scoured the woods in the Maigue district, and killed sixty rebels in
a skirmish, making good his retreat and keeping his spoils. Captain
Walker, who held Adare with 200 men, met Desmond himself on one of
his forays. The Earl had about 600 followers, who stood well to their
pikes for a time, but were ultimately worsted with great loss. Captain
Dowdall occupied Cashel with 300 men. With the help of Lord Dunboyne,
he penetrated Aherlow wood, and brought off 300 cows and ponies.
Pelham himself lay chiefly at Limerick, endeavouring to do his part by
diplomacy, while Ormonde was securing his own district against Piers
Grace and other marauders.[37]

[Sidenote: Gathering at Limerick.]

The 10th of May was appointed by the Lord Justice for a general
assembly of the Munster lords at Limerick. Ormonde duly appeared,
bringing with him White, the Master of the Rolls, who had just returned
from England, Lords Dunboyne and Power, and Sir James Fitzgerald, of
Decies. Lord Roche and his son Maurice, who had for a time been in
rebellion, and Sir Thomas, of Desmond, came from Cork, and two days
later they were followed by Lord Barry and by Sir Cormac MacTeigue.
Thomond also attended. None of the western chiefs came, but Lord
Fitzmaurice took the precaution of sending an excuse.

[Sidenote: A new peer.]

Sir William Burke, whose son had lost his life in taking that of James
Fitzmaurice, received his patent as Baron of Castle Connell, and was
invested by Pelham. 'The poor old gentleman,' says White with a certain
pathos, 'made many grateful speeches in his language, and afterwards,
partly from joy at his own promotion, partly from some natural
remembrance of his child, and partly from the unwonted straitness of
his new robes, fell suddenly in a swoon at the Lord Justice's table,
so as he was like to have been made and unmade all of a day.' Seeing
no hopes of many more, Pelham conferred with those who were present.
Lords Barry and Roche were sworn to forego their private quarrels and
to join with Sir Cormac in prosecuting the rebels, under Ormonde's
directions, and particularly in keeping them out of the county of Cork.
A like arrangement was made for Waterford, and Ormonde was to encamp
at or near Kilmallock. The deliberations at Limerick were concluded
by a volley of three or four hundred shots. Pelham himself decided
to visit Kerry. As the plot thickened round Desmond, Dr. Sanders
redoubled his assurances that help was coming from Spain. Six thousand
Italians were reported to be in the Asturias, ready to sail. The Lord
Justice believed himself well able to deal with invaders; but want of
provisions and arrears of pay in the Queen's army helped the rebels
more effectually than any foreigners could do.[38]

[Sidenote: More hares than people.]

[Sidenote: An Earl's house.]

[Sidenote: Desmond, Pelham, and Ormonde.]

After many delays Pelham and Ormonde prepared to enter Kerry together.
The Earl lay for some time at Cashel, where he enjoyed the society of
Sir Nicholas White. The Master of the Rolls complained, with an odd
professional conceit, that he had to sleep in the Star Chamber--that
is, in the open air. Clancare's eldest son was also in the camp, and
Ormonde declared that if the father wavered in his allegiance he would
'graft him to the highest tree in his country.' In the meantime they
probably amused themselves with coursing, for White says her Majesty
had many countries forsaken of the people, but well stocked with
hares. Pelham left Askeaton on June 11, joined the Adare garrison,
and marched up the Maigue valley to Bruree. Edward Fenton, who had an
eye for scenery rare in those days, was struck by the pleasantness
of the scene. The neighbourhood was explored next day, but neither
rebels nor cows were caught in any numbers, and the army crossed the
hills which divide Limerick from Cork. Ormonde broke up his camp and
joined the Lord Justice near Buttevant, where Lord Roche came to pay
his respects, but offered very little help in the way of provisions.
Pelham noted this in silence, and led the whole army up the Blackwater,
driving the MacCarthies and O'Callaghans with their cattle into the
vast woods. Then followed a toilsome and dangerous march through the
hills to Castle Island, the Lord Justice riding in advance and taking
up the ground himself. 'The island,' says White, and the ruins attest
it, 'is a huge, monstrous castle of many rooms, but very filthy and
full of cowdung.' Desmond and Sanders had but just time to escape, and
the Earl's store of whiskey, the Countess' 'kerchers,' and certain
sacerdotal vestments, which Pelham calls masking furniture, fell into
English hands. White secured the _sanctus_ bell, a cruciform lectern,
and the cover of a chalice. 'Never,' he says, 'was the bad Earl and
his legate _a latere_ so bested in his own privy chamber and county
palatine of Kerry.' The bell and lectern went to his patron, Burghley,
'with remainder to Mrs. Blanche as toys.' The valley of the Maine
was full of cattle, but the soldiers were too tired to do much. Some
horsemen, who were fresher than the rest, managed to bring in 1,500
kine and 2,000 sheep. Desmond and his wife had a narrow escape, being
carried on men's shoulders through the bogs. The best of the cattle
were driven off into Clanmaurice, but Lord Fitzmaurice and his son
Patrick came into the camp. While Pelham was at Castlemaine, Ormonde
searched the recesses of Glenflesk, where he found no cattle, but
many of the Munster chieftains, Clancarties, O'Callaghan, MacAuliffe,
O'Donoghue More, and MacGibbon. All offered their services, and he took
them with him to Pelham at Castlemaine. Thus accompanied, the whole
army marched to Dingle, having first erected a breastwork to protect
the cattle which had been taken.[39]

[Sidenote: Dingle found in ruins.]

[Sidenote: The peasantry starving.]

At Dingle they found the squadron under Winter. Pelham dined on board
the admiral, and afterwards went round the fleet, the 'Swallow' firing
a royal salute when he went ashore. Over 8,000 pounds of biscuit and
10 tuns of beer were sent round to Castlemaine. Dingle was found razed
to the ground by John of Desmond, though the merchants' houses had
been 'very strong and built castle-wise.' The inhabitants--Bonvilles,
Hallys, Scurlocks, Knolts, Sleynys, Angelis, Goldings, Horgetts, Rices,
and Trants--hung about their ruined homes, cursing John of Desmond, the
Knight of Kerry, and Dr. Sanders, as the root of all their calamities.
The 'Merlin' was sent to ransack the numerous harbours between Dingle
and Cork, and Pelham and Winter scoured the country; on one occasion
amusing themselves by robbing an eagle's nest. The Lord Justice came by
chance upon a deserted bakehouse belonging to the Knight of Kerry, and
converted a barrel of meal into bread, from the want of which he had
suffered much. After exploring both shores of Dingle Bay, even sending
light vessels to the Blaskets, lest cattle should be harboured in those
sea-beaten islands, Winter and Pelham returned to Castlemaine, and came
suddenly upon a vast herd of cows, not less than 4,000 or 5,000, which
they drove into their entrenchments, and slaughtered for the use of
the fleet. The starving people of the county besought Winter for God's
sake to give them something to eat, and he left them twelve or thirteen
cows, a few goats, and 400 sheep, the distribution being entrusted to
one MacMorris, a steward of Desmond's, who had deserted, and from whom
some service was expected. The works made for the protection of the
prey were then razed, and the fleet sailed for Berehaven.[40]

[Sidenote: Ormonde's raid.]

[Sidenote: An Irish palace.]

Ormonde accompanied Pelham to Dingle and left him taking in provisions
from the fleet, while he went to look for James of Desmond in
O'Sullivan More's country. He had to pass round the bottom of Dingle
Bay through Clancare's territory, and that Earl met him and acted as
guide. The expedition was not expected, and 1,000 cows were taken; but
Ormonde's followers were closely pursued by O'Sullivan's sons. Many
of the chief's tenants sided with the strongest, and with their help
the cattle were brought away. Beef and water formed the only sustenance
of Ormonde's men, but they did not lag in their work of destruction,
and the fires which they raised in Valentia were seen across the bay
at Ventry. Pelham returned to Castlemaine, where Ormonde, 'sore broken
in his feet with rocks,' joined him after a foray of five or six days.
He brought with him Clancare, O'Sullivan Bere, and O'Sullivan More,
'Mac Fynyn of the kerne,' MacDonogh, O'Keefe, O'Callaghan, MacAuliffe,
O'Donoghue More, and all the other chiefs of Desmond except O'Donoghue
of Glenflesk, who remained with the traitor earl. The combined forces
of Pelham and Ormonde encamped between Pallice and Dunloe by the lower
lake of Killarney, 'the famous lake called Lough Leane.' Sir N. White
notes forty islands, an abbey--Innisfallen--in one, a parish church in
another, in a third a castle, 'out of which came to us a fair lady,
the rejected wife of Lord Fitzmaurice, daughter to the late MacCarthy
More, eldest brother to this earl.' Edward Fenton was struck by the
beauty of the scene, and interested by the report of large mussels
containing pearls; but he was even more struck by Clancare's castle,
'called the Palace, a name very unfit for so beggarly a building, not
answerable to a mean farmer's house in England, and his entertainment
much like to his dwelling.' O'Sullivan More's castle of Dunloe had been
razed by Ormonde during his first expedition against James Fitzmaurice.
Leaving Killarney, the army explored Glenflesk, which White, with
Virgil and Cacus in his mind, calls a 'famous spelunce.' But they
saw neither men, monsters, nor cattle, and crossed into the upper
valley of the Blackwater without any fighting. Near Kanturk Ormonde
recovered his heavy baggage which he had left behind on first entering
the mountains, and the whole army then marched by Mallow to Cork. The
citizens, who were half-starved themselves, were very slow to relieve
their wants, but at last agreed to send Pelham 100_l._, to give 100_l._
worth of wine on credit, and 100_l._ worth of friezes, brogues, and
stockings. Many soldiers had broken down for want of bread. They could
do anything, White said, 'if they had but bread, the lack whereof is
their only overthrow, and nothing else.'[41]

[Sidenote: Great gathering at Cork]

[Sidenote: Ormonde's speech.]

In White's quaint language, all the lords and chiefs 'cisalpine and
transalpine the mountains of Slieve Logher,' were present at Cork.
Pelham found that nearly as many Barries as Geraldines were in
rebellion; but nevertheless Lord Barrymore stood the stiffest on his
defence. The rest had very little to say for themselves, and Ormonde
bitterly upbraided them, 'charging himself with their faults for making
of Her Majesty to conceive so well of them.' Desmond, he says, was
their ancient scourge and enemy, and as they had favoured him he would
cast them off and bid each shift for himself. He would utterly refuse
their friendship and spend his blood against them all and against all
Her Majesty's enemies, 'advising such as loved him to follow his ways,
and such as would not bade them defiance, swearing a great oath and
clapping his hand upon the Bible, that if Her Majesty did proclaim
them traitors with the rest he would lay it on their skins, and in
conclusion advised the Lord Justice to carry them all with him to
Limerick till better order were taken with them.' All were received
to mercy except Lord Barrymore, who was committed for trial. 'He is,'
said Ormonde, 'an arrant Papist, who a long time kept in his house Dr.
Tanner, made bishop here by the Pope, who died in my Lord of Upper
Ossory's house, being secretly kept there. Believe me, Mr. Secretary,
you shall find my Lord of Upper Ossory as bad a man as may be.' Pelham
took Clancare, Barrymore, and several others with him, and, having
been delayed at Mallow by a summer flood in the Blackwater, arrived
at Limerick without further adventure. He professed himself fairly
satisfied with the progress made. Frequent inroads, and still more the
steady pressure of the garrisons, would soon starve out the rebels,
unless help came from abroad. In that case, he said, 'I look their
strength will be infinitely multiplied.'[42]

[Sidenote: Rebellion of Viscount Baltinglas.]

As if to fill the time till the Spaniards came, a movement now began
which defeated Pelham's calculations. The new rebel was James Eustace,
who had lately succeeded his father as Viscount Baltinglas, and who
was an enthusiastic Catholic. He was already connected with the
turbulent O'Byrnes, and his father had been in opposition on the cess
question; but it is clear that religion was the chief motive. Before
he succeeded to the title, Sanders and others persuaded him to go to
Rome, and what he saw there under Gregory XIII. had exactly a contrary
effect on him to what the Rome of Leo X. had upon Luther. On his return
he heard mass, boldly gloried in the fact before the Ecclesiastical
Commission, and was mulcted in the statutable fine of 100 marks,
Sidney quaintly declaring that he could not countenance 'Papistry and
abolished religion.' Loftus was told to exact the money or a bond, and
to imprison in default. The young lord went to gaol for twenty-four
hours, and was pardoned on signing the bond. But fine and imprisonment
never convince, though they sometimes silence, and Baltinglas was in
no way changed by what courtly officials called her Majesty's godly
proceedings. 'I mean,' he wrote to a Waterford merchant, 'to take this
holy enterprise in hand by the authority of the Supreme Head of the

[Sidenote: Baltinglas and Ormonde.]

The letter fell into Ormonde's hands, and the bearer seems to have
been hanged in chains. Ormonde had already warned the Viscount to
be careful, and he now sent an answer which at once committed him
irretrievably and almost without hope of pardon. He said he had been
commanded to take the sword by the highest power on earth, and would
maintain the truth to the extent of his means.

'Questionless,' he added, 'it is great want of knowledge, and more of
grace, to think and believe that a woman uncapax of all holy orders,
should be the supreme governor of Christ's Church; a thing that
Christ did not grant unto his own mother. If the Queen's pleasure
be, as you allege, to minister justice, it were time to begin; for
in this twenty years' part of her reign we have seen more damnable
doctrine maintained, more oppressing of poor subjects, under pretence
of justice, within this land than ever we read or heard.... If Thomas
Becket, the Bishop of Canterbury, had never suffered death in the
defence of the Church, Thomas Butler, alias Becket, had never been Earl
of Ormonde.'[43] Ormonde sent the letter by express to Walsingham, for
the Queen's eye, characterising it as 'foolish, traitorous, popish, and
devil-persuaded,' praying that God might confound all her unnatural
subjects and give her victory over all His enemies.

'Sir, I pray you tell her Majesty that poor Lucas will remain constant
in the true faith, whoever follow the Pope and do the contrary, and
that neither Becket nor Canterbury shall alter him.'

[Sidenote: A Catholic confederacy.]

It was a year of great activity among the English Catholics. Parsons
and Campion had just landed; the air teemed with rumours, and papers
were freely circulated to prepare men for something extraordinary.
A Devonshire gentleman named Eve brought one of these to Waterford,
and it was not calculated to make the task of the Irish Government
easier. Ten or twelve thousand men from the Pope, rather more from
the King of Spain, and rather fewer from the Duke of Florence, were
expected to invade England, and there to reassert the Pope's lawful
sovereignty. Elizabeth was declared ineligible, both as bastard and
as heretic, to wear the vassal crown, and it was proposed to publish
the Bull of excommunication in every Christian church and court. The
English Catholic nobles were, however, to be allowed to crown one of
their own number, who was to be independent of Spain, but her faithful
ally in reducing the Hollanders. All Church lands were to be restored.
The importer of this notable scheme was arrested by the Mayor of
Waterford, and sent in irons to Clonmel, with his companion, a merchant
of Bridgewater, to be dealt with by Pelham. We may, however, be sure
that for one such production intercepted, many escaped the notice of
the officials, and that Baltinglas had reason to expect support from
outside. But he probably rested his hopes mainly upon the help of his
neighbours, and even fancied he could get Kildare to join him.[44]

[Sidenote: Attitude of Kildare.]

On July 14th, nearly a fortnight before the insurrection actually
broke out, the Archbishop of Dublin met Kildare on the legendary hill
of Tara. Baltinglas was only two miles off, and in charge of the
Earl's own troop. Kildare had been told everything, and he informed
Loftus that the Viscount and other Papists had conspired and were
ready to rebel. 'The first exploit they will do,' he said, 'is to kill
you and me; you, for the envy they bear to your religion, and me,
for that being taken away, they think there is no one to make head
against them.' Dr. Loftus indeed might have had a bad chance had he
fallen into their hands, but there is no likelihood that they had any
murderous intention towards Kildare. The threat was probably used as
likely to have weight with one whose sympathies were already more than
half-gained: The Archbishop pressed the Earl to arrest the traitor
and more than once received an evasive answer; but at last Kildare
confessed what was doubtless the true cause of his inaction. 'I should
heap to myself universally the hatred and illwill of my country, and
pull upon my house and posterity for ever the blame.' At last he agreed
to make an appointment with Baltinglas, and to arrest him, provided the
Archbishop had an agent present to charge him on his allegiance. In the
meantime he went to the Viscount several times in a quiet way, and did
nothing until he and Feagh MacHugh O'Byrne were in actual rebellion.
After this Baltinglas wrote to tell the Earl that he had unfurled
his Holiness's banner, and asking for an interview at the bridge of
Ballymore Eustace. Kildare not appearing, he wrote again to express
his regret and to urge him to join the good cause. 'I trust therefore
the day shall never come that strangers shall say that when Christ's
banner was in the field on the one side, and the banner of heresy on
the other side, that the Earl of Kildare's forces were openly seen to
stand under the heretical banner.' The charming was not particularly
wise, yet Kildare did not altogether refuse to hear it. In the end he
so managed matters as to alienate both sides.[45]

[Sidenote: Results of Pelham's proceedings.]

At the very moment that Baltinglas broke out, Lord Grey de Wilton's
patent as Deputy was signed in England. Pelham had but a few weeks of
authority left, and he did not pass them in idleness. By the advice
of Sir Warham St. Leger, and with the consent of Ormonde, he detained
most of the Munster lords and chiefs at Limerick; and, having thus laid
hands on the shepherds, he proceeded to make his own terms with the
flock. 'My manner of prosecuting,' he wrote to the Queen, 'it is thus:
I give the rebels no breath to relieve themselves, but by one of your
garrisons or other they be continually hunted. I keep them from their
harvest, and have taken great preys of cattle from them, by which it
seemeth the poor people that lived only upon labour, and fed by their
milch cows, are so distressed as they follow their goods and offer
themselves with their wives and children rather to be slain by the army
than to suffer the famine that now in extremity beginneth to pinch
them. And the calamity of these things have made a division between
the Earl and John of Desmond, John and Sanders seeking for relief
to fall into the company and fellowship of the Viscount Baltinglas;
and the Earl, without rest anywhere, flieth from place to place, and
maketh mediation for peace by the Countess, whom yesterday I licensed
to have speech with me at Askeaton, whose abundance of tears betrayed
sufficiently the miserable estate both of herself, her husband, and
their followers.' It was by just such means that Mountjoy afterwards
put down a much greater rebellion and a much abler rebel than Desmond,
and those Englishmen who knew Ireland best could see no alternative.
'It shall be found,' said Bagenal, 'how severely and thoroughly good
Sir William Pelham hath handled Munster; as in all his government here
he deserved with the best that preceded him, so in that wrought he
good perfection, and so weakened the traitors there, that John Desmond
is fled to Leinster, where he is to salve his drained estate with
Baltinglas. His own actions, if his commendation should be withdrawn,
will sufficiently express his desert.'[46]

[Sidenote: Terms offered to the repentant.]

[Sidenote: Death of Sir James of Desmond.]

All important persons who sued for mercy were first required to imbrue
their hands in some better blood than their own, and special services
in proportion to their rank were required of leading rebels. Rory
MacSheehy, a noted captain of the Desmond gallowglasses, was given to
understand that he could have a pardon if he gave up Sanders alive.
Sir John of Desmond sought to confer with St. Leger; he was told
that he could have his own life by giving up his eldest brother, Dr.
Sanders, and the seneschal of Imokilly. Sanders himself might perhaps
be spared, if he would lay bare the whole network of foreign intrigue.
The detained magnates were let loose one by one as they seemed likely
to do service. Sir Cormac MacTeige MacCarthy was sheriff of Cork; he
made humble submission, confessed his negligence, took a new oath, and
departed with 150 English soldiers under Captain Apsley and Captain
Dering. Soon afterwards Sir James of Desmond entered Muskerry and
collected 2,000 of Sir Cormac's cattle, which he proposed to drive off
into the mountains west of Macroon. The sheriff came up with him, and
a skirmish followed, in which Sir James was wounded and taken. He was
carried from Carrigadrohid to Blarney and thence to Cork, where he was
tried and condemned, having in vain begged for summary decapitation to
avoid a public trial. After two months, during which he gave earnest
attention to religious subjects, he was hanged, drawn, and quartered,
or as the Four Masters say, cut into little pieces, dying a fervent
Catholic and, as his enemies allowed, 'a yielding to Godward a better
end than otherwise he would have done if he had not died the death.'
'And thus,' says Hooker, 'the pestilent hydra hath lost another of his

[Sidenote: Munster chiefs in trouble.]

Lord Fitzmaurice was at liberty, but his two sons were detained
at Limerick, and he was told that he could only make his peace by
intercepting Desmond or the Seneschal, or at the very least by
procuring the release of Sir James Fitzgerald, of Decies, who was
imprisoned in Kerry by the rebels. Sir Owen O'Sullivan Bere it was
thought safe to keep at Limerick; but his neighbour Sir Owen MacCarthy
Reagh was released, his tanist Donell na Pipy being retained as a
hostage. Clancare had been protected by Ormonde, and the engagement
was kept, but he was required to leave his son, Lord Valentia, in
pledge. Lord Barrymore remained contumacious, and was sent to Dublin
Castle, his sons being encouraged to come in under protection, but St.
Leger was told to keep them safe until they offered good security.
Sir Warham, who was always for harsh courses, advised that the father
should be executed and his estate confiscated. The example, he thought,
would be salutary, and the land would pay the whole cost of the war.[48]

[Sidenote: Narrow escapes of Sanders and John of Desmond,]

In the meantime the garrisons were busy. Sir George Bourchier was near
taking a rich prize at Kilmallock. During a night foray, the soldiers
fell in accidentally with Sanders and John of Desmond. Sir John was
wounded, and both he and Sanders were over an hour in company with the
soldiers, whose suspicions they disarmed by exhorting them, in English,
to slay the Irish. An Englishman in Sanders' service was taken and
killed by the soldiers, because he would confess nothing. James O'Hea,
a friar of Youghal, was made prisoner, and gave important information.

[Sidenote: who contrive to join Baltinglas.]

A division of opinion had arisen between Desmond on the one hand,
and his brother and Sanders on the other. The Earl was inclined to sue
for peace, but the others were determined to fight it out to the
last. Finding themselves straitened in Kerry, they made their way
to Leinster, where Baltinglas eagerly expected them. With about
five-and-twenty followers, they passed through the glen of Aherlow, and
crossed North Tipperary into the Queen's County, where they were helped
by the remnant of the O'Mores, and by the veteran Piers Grace, until
they joined the O'Byrnes near the border of Wicklow. They had an escape
on the road, which Pelham called strange, and which a Catholic writer
evidently thought miraculous. They met Ormonde--or more probably one
of his brothers--who called out that they were in the net. 'A sudden
tempest,' we are told, 'arose on a fine day--whether at the Doctor's
prayers, or not, God knows--and the rain was so thick that the Earl,
with the ministers of Satan, could not advance against the Catholics,
nor even hold up their heads for a whole hour.' The fugitives, who
had the wind at their backs, threw away all superfluous weight, and
escaped. Having lost their best leader, the Munster rebels sought terms
for themselves. Baltinglas summoned Desmond himself to join him, for
defence of the Catholic faith, but the Earl's people said they were
starving, and could endure no longer war; and they openly reviled
Sanders as the cause of all their misery.[49]

[Sidenote: Desmond almost surrenders,]

[Sidenote: but changes his mind]

[Sidenote: when a new governor comes.]

Wearied by want of bread and all comforts, the rebel Earl began to
feel that the game was up, and he besought Winter to give him a
passage to England. Pelham did not object, provided the surrender was
unconditional; but would allow no agents to pass, nor the Countess to
go over without her husband. The poor lady's tears showed him that her
cause was desperate. Chief Secretary Fenton was principally struck by
her impudence in venturing to defend her husband's conduct. Pelham was
inclined to believe that they both meant nothing but villainy, and were
only seeking time to get in the harvest, and he directed Bourchier at
Kilmallock, and Case at Askeaton, to give the fugitive Earl no rest
for the sole of his foot. The hunted wretch might have surrendered
to Winter had it not been for the change of government, which, both
before and since, in Ireland, has often been wrongly supposed to denote
a change of policy. He had perhaps been told that Grey's orders from
the Queen were to treat him leniently. At all events he changed his
tone, though he had but 120 gallowglasses with him. These men clamoured
loudly and vainly for their quarter's pay, and the camp was followed by
a horde of poor starving creatures, who begged such scraps as unpaid
soldiers could give. In spite of all this, Desmond now declared that he
would yield to Grey only, for that he remembered former hard treatment
in England, and doubted that it would be worse than ever. And so the
matter stood when Pelham, who had himself desired to be relieved,
received the order to go to Dublin, and there surrender the sword to
his successor. He had declared himself willing to serve under the new
governor in Munster, with or without the title of Lord President, and
the latter was directed to take advantage of his zeal, his experience,
and his martial skill. As it was, he left Ireland on the nominal ground
of health, perhaps because he could not get on with Grey, or because
the Queen was frightened at the expense. He afterwards found work in
the Netherlands, and Bourchier was left in charge of Munster with the
rank of Colonel, Ormonde having enough to do in defending his own
country against the Leinster insurgents.[50]


[22] Drury to Walsingham, Aug. 23, 1579; Walsingham's letters of Aug.
5, 6, and 7; E. Tremayne to Burghley, Aug. 5; Proportions of victual,
&c. Aug. 24; Wallop to Walsingham, Aug. 27, and Sept. 3, 4, and 14;
Instructions to Sir John Perrott, Aug. 19.

[23] Lord Justice and Earl of Kildare to the Privy Council, Aug. 3,
1579; Waterhouse to Walsingham, Aug. 22; Gerard to Walsingham, Wilson,
and Burghley, Sept. 10, 15, and 16; Drury to Walsingham, Sept. 14 and
17; Wallop to Burghley, Sept. 20. Drury died Sept. 30, and what Sanders
said about him is in a letter of Feb. 21, 1580, printed in Strype's
_Parker_, appendix 77.

[24] Maltby to Walsingham, Oct. 12, 1579, with enclosures.

[25] Maltby to Walsingham, Oct. 12, 1579, and to Leicester, April
8, 1580; The Jesuit Allen is not mentioned by the Four Masters, by
O'Sullivan, by O'Daly, or by several other Irish authorities, but
frequently by Hooker, who says he was Irish-born. Russell mentions him,
but calls him an English priest, and this seems probable.

[26] Ormonde to Walsingham, July 27 and August 10, 1579; Desmond to
Ormonde and also to some powerful person at court Oct. 10; and the
letters in _Carew_ from Oct. 17 to Nov. 1.

[27] Waterhouse to Walsingham, Nov. 4, 1579. The proclamation is in
_Carew_, under Nov. 2.

[28] Ormonde to Walsingham, Nov. 7, 1579; Walsingham to Waterhouse,
Nov. 8; Pelham to Wilson, Nov. 28; to the Queen, Dec. 15 and 28; and
many other letters in _Carew_.

[29] O'Sullivan Bere, ii. iv. 15; Pelham to Burghley, Nov. 28, 1579;
Arthur and White to Maltby, Nov. 27; St. Leger to Ormonde, Dec. 1;
Ormonde to Burghley, Dec. 27; Pelham to Burghley, Jan. 27, 1580.
Abstract of examinations Jan. 4, 1580. Hooker says Desmond's horde
took five days to collect the spoils, and that Ormonde sent an armed
vessel which recovered some guns, but that her master was killed. See
also the examination of Friar James O'Hea in _Carew_, Aug. 17, 1580,
and the petition of Anyas, Burgomaster of Youghal, Sept. 9, 1583.
Edmund Tanner, S.J., to the General of the Jesuits, Oct. 11, 1577, in
_Hibernia Ignatiana_.

[30] Pelham to the Irish Council, Jan. 26, 1580, in _Carew_. Ormonde to
Burghley, Dec. 27, 1579; Wallop to Burghley, Dec. 29; Letters of Dec.
3, in _Carew_; Hooker.

[31] Ormonde to Walsingham, Jan. 4, 1580; Burghley to Ormonde, Jan. 26;
Pelham to Wallop, Feb. 9; to the Privy Council, Feb. 28; to Walsingham,
May 20; Lord Justice and Council to the Privy Council, Jan. 29: the
four last in _Carew_.

[32] Burghley to Pelham, Dec. 30, 1579; and to Ormonde, Jan. 26, 1580.

[33] Pelham to Burghley, Feb. 4, 1580; Waterhouse to Walsingham, Feb.
3; G. Fenton to Burghley, Feb. 18; Lord Justice and Council to the
Privy Council, Jan. 29, in _Carew_.

[34] Pelham to Wallop, Feb. 9, 1580; to the Privy Council, Feb. 10 and
28; to the Queen and to Leicester, Feb. 16; Lord Roche to Ormonde, Feb.
11: all these in _Carew_.

[35] Pelham to the Queen and to Burghley, April 1, 1580; and to the
Queen, April 5; Zouch to Walsingham, April 8. Hooker.

[36] Discourse of Sir N. Maltby's proceedings, April 8, 1580, and his
letter to Walsingham of that date.

[37] Pelham to the Privy Council, April 11 and 16, 1580, in _Carew_.

[38] Pelham to the Privy Council, May 20; James Golde to Leicester,
May 20; White, M.R., to Leicester, May 31, all in _Carew_. White to
Burghley, May 31; Pelham to the Queen. May 18.

[39] Sir N. White, M.R., to Burghley, Walsingham, and Leicester, May
31, 1580, the last in _Carew_; Journal of Occurrences, July 2; Pelham
to Wallop, June 21; Edw. Fenton to Walsingham, July 11; Ormonde to
Walsingham, July 21; White, M.R., to Walsingham, July 22; Pelham to the
Privy Council, July 9, in _Carew_.

[40] Chiefly from Journal of Occurrences, July 2.

[41] Edw. Fenton to Walsingham, July 11; Ormonde to same, July 21;
White M.R. to same, July 22; Pelham to the Privy Council, July 4 and 8
in _Carew_.

[42] White M.R. to the Privy Council, July 22, 1580, where Ormonde's
speech is given; Ormonde to Walsingham, July 21; Pelham and his Council
to the Privy Council, July 9 and 12, in _Carew_.

[43] Baltinglas to Ormonde, received before July 24, 1580, to R.
Walshe, July 18; Ormonde to Walsingham, July 24. I believe the
connection of the Butlers with the Beckets has never been proved.

[44] Eve's seditious libel, July 3; Pelham to the Mayor of Waterford,
July 26, in _Carew_.

[45] Baltinglas to Kildare, July 22, 1580; Deputy Grey to the Queen,
Dec. 23; _Earls of Kildare_, ii. 198 sqq.

[46] Pelham to the Queen, Aug. 12, 1580, in _Carew_; Sir N. Bagenal to
Leicester, Oct. 3, in Wright's _Elizabeth_.

[47] Pelham to Lord Fitzmaurice, July 27, 1580; to St. Leger, Aug.
15; the Estate wherein Pelham left Munster, Aug. 28: these three in
_Carew_. St. Leger and P. Grant to Ormonde, Aug. 6; St. Leger to
Burghley, Oct 9.

[48] Pelham to Burghley, July 15, 1580; to St. Leger, Aug. 26; the
latter in _Carew_. State in which Pelham left Ireland, Aug. 28, in
_Carew_. St. Leger to Burghley, July 15.

[49] Paper by J. Holing, S.J., in _Spicilegium Ossoriense_, i. 94.
Pelham to Bourchier, Aug. 5, 1580; to the Queen, Aug. 12; to Winter,
Aug. 16; State in which Pelham left Ireland, Aug. 28; all in _Carew_.
G. Fenton to Burghley and Leicester, Aug. 8; Wallop to Walsingham, Aug.

[50] Pelham to Winter, Aug. 24, 1580; Winter to Pelham, Aug. 24;
Directions to Sir G. Bourchier, Aug. 28: all in _Carew_. Gerard, White,
M.R., and Wallop to Burghley, Oct. 7; Wallop to Walsingham, Sept. 28;
Grey to the Queen, Oct. 5. Grey landed Aug. 12, and was sworn in Sept.



[Sidenote: Lord Grey's instructions.]

Whatever private hints the Queen might give to Grey, his official
instructions contained nothing to Desmond's advantage. On the contrary,
he was warned to avoid the common fault of former governors, who had
been too easy in granting pardons to notorious transgressors of the
law, and had thereby bred boldness in subjects prone to offend. In
future, pardons were not to be given without good reasons, nor at
all in general terms, but only for some specified offence. On the
other hand the Queen was anxious to have it known that she did not
wish to extirpate the inhabitants of Ireland, as it had been falsely
and maliciously reported. Outrages committed by soldiers were to be
severely punished, and officers of high rank were not to be exempt.
The rebellion was to be put down as quickly as possible, so that her
Majesty's charge might be reduced. Grey landed on August 12, but the
sword of state was still in Munster, and he could not take the oath
without it. Baltinglas and Feagh MacHugh O'Byrne were in force not much
more than twenty miles from Dublin, and he resolved to attack them
before Pelham's arrival.[51]

[Sidenote: State of the Pale.]

Whatever hopes Desmond himself may have had from Grey, the change
of government was not favourable to the chances of a rebellion near
Dublin. The advent of a governor of high rank generally signified
increased force, a more liberal expenditure of money, and more activity
in official circles. Lord Chancellor Gerard had just landed on a
part of the coast over which Baltinglas was for the moment supreme;
and the latter had unaccountably neglected to make him a hostage.
'Compared with the rest of his doings,' said Pelham, 'this doth argue
that both he and his followers be the most foolish traitors that ever
I heard of.' The Chancellor reported that all the Leinster chiefs as
well as O'Neill, O'Donnell, O'Rourke, and O'Connor Sligo were sworn
to Baltinglas, and that he had the hearts of the whole country. The
rebels had burned Harrington's town of Newcastle, and openly displayed
the Pope's banner; but Kildare seemed to stand firm, and comforted the
Chancellor by abusing the captains for giving false musters, saying
that the Queen paid for 1,300 when she had only 700. But his most
trusted follower, Gerald Fitzmaurice, had joined the rebels with his
company. Sir William Stanley brought reinforcements from England,
but in such plight as to argue no great probability of good service.
Out of 120 calivers scarce twenty were serviceable, and the men were
raw, ill-provided with necessaries, and fewer than their leader had
been given to expect. The captains, blamed by Kildare, said their
pay was at least three months in arrear, and of course all their
men were discontented. Gormanston lay at Naas with 500 men, but the
distrust was so general that Archbishop Loftus believed the throats
of all Englishmen were about to be cut. 'Unless strangers land,'
the Chancellor remarked, 'I mistrust; and if they do I am of the
Archbishop's mind.' Meanwhile the country south of Dublin was at the
mercy of the rebels, and it was easy to know who sympathised with them.
'They religiously prey,' said Gerard, 'overskipping some, many have
taken oaths not to fight against them.' 2,000 Scots were plundering
loyal people in Ulster, and it was hard to see where it was to stop.[52]

[Sidenote: Grey attacks the Irish in Glenmalure.]

Baltinglas and Feagh MacHugh lay in the valley of the Liffey,
somewhere about Ballymore Eustace. On the approach of Grey's army
from the side of Naas they withdrew into Glenmalure, a deep and rocky
fortress--a combe, as the Devonian Hooker calls it--to the N.E. of
Lugnaquilla. The glen was thickly wooded, and at least four miles long,
and Colonel George Moore was ordered to enter it with about half the
army. Grey was more a knight-errant than a general, and he determined
to attack at once and in front, though warned by those about him of
the risk he was running. His object was to drive the rebels from
the covert, so that they might be shot or ridden down on the open
hillside. Old Francis Cosby, general of the Queen's kerne, who was a
man of extraordinary personal courage and of unrivalled experience in
Irish warfare, foresaw the danger; but he was not listened to, and he
boldly advanced to what he believed to be almost certain death. Jacques
Wingfield, the Master of the Ordinance, who doubtless remembered his
own overthrow nineteen years before, was present with his two nephews,
Peter and George Carew, and he vainly tried to dissuade them from
risking their lives. 'If I lose one,' he then urged, 'yet will I keep
the other,' and George, reserved, as Camden says, for greater things,
consented to stay by his uncle. Sir Peter, with Captain Audley and
Lieutenant Parker, were with Colonel Moore in front, while Sir Henry
Bagenal and Sir William Stanley brought up the rear. 'When we entered,'
says Stanley, 'the foresaid glen, we were forced to slide sometimes
three or four fathoms ere we could stay our feet. It was in depth at
least a mile, full of stones, rocks, bogs, and wood; in the bottom a
river full of loose stones, which we were driven to cross divers times.
So long as our leaders kept the bottom, the odds were on our side. But
our colonel, being a corpulent man, before we were half through the
glen, being four miles in length, led us up the hill that was a long
mile in height; it was so steep that we were forced to use our hands
as well to climb as our feet, and the vanward being gone up the hill,
we must of necessity follow.... It was the hottest piece of service
for the time that ever I saw in any place. I was in the rearward, and
with me twenty-eight soldiers of mine, whereof were slain eight, and
hurt ten. I had with me my drum, whom I caused to sound many alarms,
which was well answered by them that was in the rearward, which stayed
them from pulling us down by the heels. But I lost divers of my dear
friends. They were laid all along the wood as we should pass, behind
trees, rocks, crags, bogs, and in covert. Yet so long as we kept the
bottom we lost never a man, till we were drawn up the hill by our
leaders, where we could observe no order; we could have no sight of
them, but were fain only to beat the places where we saw the smoke of
our pieces; but the hazard of myself and the loss of my company was the
safeguard of many others... were a man never so slightly hurt, he was
lost, because no man was able to help him up the hill. Some died, being
so out of breath that they were able to go no further, being not hurt
at all.'[53]

[Sidenote: Defeat of the English.]

Carew and Audley had a dispute at the outset, and the loud talk of
two usually quiet and modest officers had a very bad effect on their
men. The renegade captain, Gerald Fitzmaurice, had full information
from Kildare's people, if not from the Earl himself, and he knew the
companies had never been together before. They contained many raw
recruits, and he rightly calculated that they would be thrown into
confusion by an unseen enemy. The soldiers fresh from England wore
red or blue coats, and Maltby, who was with Grey in the open, saw how
easily they were picked off. 'The strangeness of the fight,' he adds,
'is such to the new-come ignorant men that at the first brunt they
stand all amazed, or rather give back to the enemy.... Their coats
stand them in no stead, neither in fashion nor in giving them any
succour to their bodies. Let the coat-money be given to some person of
credit, with which, and with that which is also bestowed on their hose,
they may clothe themselves here with jerkins and hose of frieze, and
with the same money bring them every man a mantle which shall serve him
for his bedding and thereby shall not be otherwise known to the rebels
than the old soldiers be.' The recruits wavered, the kerne ran away to
the enemy, and so 'the gentlemen were lost.'

Stanley says not above thirty Englishmen were killed, but Moore, Cosby,
Audley, and other officers were among them. Grey thought the rebels
were fewer than the soldiers, who were stricken by panic. Sir Peter
Carew was clad in complete armour, which proved more fatal than even
a red coat. Suffocated from running up hill he was forced to lie down
and was easily taken. It was proposed to hold him to ransom, 'but one
villain,' says Hooker, 'most butcherly, as soon as he was disarmed,
with his sword slaughtered and killed him, who in time after was also

Three months afterwards George Carew rejoiced that he had the good
fortune to slay him who slew his brother, and announced that he meant
to lay his bones by his or to be 'thoroughly satisfied with revenge.'
No doubt the survivor under such circumstances would be filled with
remorseful bitterness; but his thirst for revenge, fully slaked by a
murder three years later, can be scarcely justified even according to
that ancient code which prescribes an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a

[Sidenote: Consequences of the affair.]

When a civilised government receives a check from its revolted
subjects, the moral effect is generally out of all proportion to the
actual loss. But Pelham had effectually bridled Munster, and Maltby had
for the moment nearly neutralised Connaught and Ulster also. O'Rourke
and O'Donnell now both took arms in the Catholic cause, and there
was every prospect of a general conflagration. Maltby rode post from
Dublin northwards, and such was the dread which he had inspired, that
O'Donnell at once disbanded his men, and wrote to say that nothing
should make him swerve from his allegiance. The President hastened
to Leitrim, where he found that O'Rourke had dismantled the castle.
He immediately began to repair it, though he had to draw lime eight
miles. The tanist Brian O'Rourke, who regarded the chief as his
greatest enemy, helped the work, and gladly acted as sheriff under the

O'Rourke appeared at the edge of a wood with 1,200 men, of whom 500
were Scots; but Ulick Burke, who begged for the place of honour,
charged at the head of 200 soldiers and 500 kerne. Some Scots were
killed, and the building was not further interrupted. Leaving a strong
garrison in the castle, Maltby then hurried back to Dublin, and arrived
there in time to be a witness and a critic of the Glenmalure affair.
He warned the English Government that Ulster was in a dangerous state,
and that Tirlogh Luineach's wife was determined to make a new Scotland
of that province. 'She has already planted a good foundation, for she
in Tyrone, her daughter in Tyrconnell (being O'Donnell's wife), and
Sorleyboy in Clandeboy, do carry all the sway in the North, and do seek
to creep into Connaught, but I will stay them from that.'[55]

[Sidenote: Results of the defeat--in Ulster,]

The news of Grey's defeat did not reach the officials at Cork for
eleven days, and then only in a fragmentary way, but its effect upon
the natives was instantaneous. Tirlogh Luineach, whom Captain Piers
had just brought to terms, suddenly swept round the lower end of Lough
Neagh, drove off the cattle of the loyalist Sir Hugh Magennis, and
killed many of his men, demanded the title of O'Neill, and the old
hegemony claimed by Shane, declared that he would stand in defence of
religion while life lasted, and proposed to invade the Pale with 5,000
men. The Scots' galleys lay in Lough Foyle, and effectual resistance
seemed impossible. The Baron of Dungannon sent his cattle to the
mountains, and hid himself in the woods, protesting his loyalty even
'if all the Irishry in Ireland should rebel,' and if he had nothing
left but his bare body. But Magennis, after crouching for a while at
Narrow Water, was forced to go as a suppliant to Tirlogh's camp.

[Sidenote: In the Pale,]

[Sidenote: and in Connaught.]

The southern side of the Pale was in no better case. A strong force
under John of Desmond besieged Maryborough, and the constable was so
closely watched that he dared not write. A private settler living in
the unfinished castle of Disert, and expecting to be attacked every
moment, sent the news to Dublin, but was forced to entrust his letter
to a poor beggar-man. Ladders were ready in the woods to attack all
posts. Some of Ormonde's villages were burned, and his brother Piers,
though he maintained his own ground, could not save Abbeyleix from
the flames. The remnant of the O'Connors rose once more, and Ross
MacGeohegan, the most loyal and useful subject in the midlands, was
murdered by his half-brother Brian, whose mother was an O'Connor. 'All
is naught here,' wrote Maltby from Dublin, 'and like to be worse.' He
had to reach Athlone by a circuitous route, and found his province
already in an uproar.[56]

[Sidenote: The Spaniards appear at last.]

It was in foreign aid that all Irish rebels mainly trusted; and it was
supposed that the fleet would prevent any descent upon Munster, the
only district where strangers from the South would have much chance of
maintaining themselves. Winter had been directed to cruise about the
mouth of the Shannon, having first sent some light craft to the Biscay
coast for news. He was not to land himself, but if necessary to employ
a naval brigade under Captain Richard Bingham. The admiral was not
in good health; he hated the service, he hated Captain Bingham, and
he was ready to run home as soon as there seemed the least chance of
victuals running short. The fleet reached Ireland about the beginning
of April, and early in July Winter threatened to sail away. But the
Queen's positive orders restrained him for a time, and Pelham was at
hand to inculcate obedience, reminding him that there was generally a
Michaelmas summer in Ireland. Pelham left Munster on the last day of
August, on December 5th Winter sailed for England, and on the 12th the
long-expected Spaniards arrived at Smerwick. The admiral was required
to explain his very unseasonable departure, and it must be admitted
that he had reasons, though a Drake or a Nelson might not have allowed
them much weight. The ships were foul, and sailed too badly either for
flight or chase, the sails and ropes were rotten from the unceasing
wet of a Kerry summer, victuals were running short, there was a most
plentiful lack of news, and the Shannon was a bad anchorage at the
best. Whatever the Queen may have thought of the admiral's conduct, it
did not prevent her from sending him to Ireland again.[57]

[Sidenote: An English sea-dog in Spain.]

An attack on England could not be secretly prepared in Spain, for
the carrying trade was in England's hands. Armed rovers like Drake,
Hawkins, and Frobisher, half merchants and half buccaneers, came and
went as they pleased upon the peninsular coast, in the confident hope
that no Spaniard could catch them. Such a one was Captain James Sidee,
an excellent seaman but not altogether free from suspicion of piracy,
whom it had been necessary to pardon some years before. He sailed
boldly into the splendid harbour of Ferroll, and wrote to the governor
demanding the surrender of certain English subjects whom he supposed
to be living there. He had perceived, he said grimly, that the country
folk were in terror at his approach, but he was no pirate and would
take no one by force, for Ferroll was the 'king's chamber which he was
commanded not to break.' But he wanted his own fellow-subjects, who
had plundered a Plymouth ship at sea, and hinted plainly that he could
take them if he liked. He said they were only cowkeepers who had left
their cows, and John Fleming, James Fitzmaurice's admiral, had run away
from his creditors. The Irish bishop who was with them might find some
better employment than keeping kine in Ireland. The Spanish governor's
answer does not appear; but one Barnaby O'Neill wrote to say that the
bishop was noble, chaste, virtuous, and learned, while the heretic
bishops of England were shoe-makers, scavengers, and pudding-makers,
that Fleming was Lord Slane's cousin, and that Sidee had served under
that rebel, traitor, and coward, the Prince of Orange. Sidee retorted
that the Silent Prince was far above his praise, and that he did not
believe his correspondent was an O'Neill at all, for he had never heard
his name. He might of course be some bastard, but he rather inclined to
think that he was really one William Hall, a murderous thief well known
in Ireland and Spain. Sir William Winter was of opinion that Sidee's
proceedings would not facilitate English diplomacy in Spain, and indeed
it was an uncomfortable time for Englishmen there. But Philip was most
anxious to avoid war--much too anxious indeed for the taste of his
ambassadors in England--and Elizabeth's subjects suffered more petty
annoyance than actual hardship.[58]

[Sidenote: Irish refugees in Spain.]

William Carusse of Drogheda sailed from Tenby to Spain, with a cargo,
in the 'Gift of God,' a vessel of only nineteen tons. Being chased by a
man-of-war, he put into Santander, where he found an English ship and
an English bark, and where he was boarded by the corregidor, and by
two or three ecclesiastics who vainly searched for books, and seem to
have helped themselves to six shillings. The national proverb that in
Spain a little oil sticks to every hand was exemplified by Carusse's
treatment. He made friends with Mr. Browne, natural brother of Lady
Kildare, and afterwards with Oliver Plunkett, a Drogheda gentleman who
had served Spain in Flanders. Both befriended him with the Spanish
authorities; and as they meditated an invasion of Ireland, it was not
their cue to make enemies there. Browne had a map of Ireland drawn
by himself, and showed by his conversation that he knew the coast.
Plunkett declared that the conquest of the island would be child's
play, but that Dublin and Drogheda might give trouble. Lord Gormanston
had just married a relative or friend of Plunkett's, who was most
anxious to send her a letter of congratulation, but Carusse refused to
carry letters. His sails were then taken away, and by Browne's advice
he gave six ducats to the corregidor, four to a scrivener, and two
each to two other officers. Then the sails were restored. Five hundred
ducats belonging to him were impounded, but afterwards restored,
with a deduction of four as a fee for counting them. A further fee
of three ducats and expenses was exacted by Browne, and then Carusse
was allowed to go free. He noted that Plunkett had three large ships
under his orders, and he conversed with several Irishmen, including a
priest and a friar. All talked long and loud of the coming conquest,
and the ecclesiastics dwelt with unction on the bishoprics and other
preferments which would be vacant. Meanwhile the very Lord Gormanston
about whom Plunkett spoke was giving information to the Government.
It was, he said, a religious war, and religion would draw men far;
nevertheless, he could do a great deal if he had only money. Ireland
was as corrupt as Spain.[59]

[Sidenote: Devastation of Kerry.]

[Sidenote: The Spaniards land.]

The fleet were lying at Ventry when the news came that Pelham had gone
to Dublin, and left the troops under Sir George Bourchier's command.
Bourchier immediately entered Kerry with 600 or 700 men, and with the
help of Lord Fitzmaurice began to devastate the country still further.
From Castle Island to Dingle, on both sides of Slieve Mish, the powers
of fire were tried to the utmost. An Englishman who had been with
Sanders was taken and executed, and Lady Desmond was closely chased
for two miles. The Earl fled into Limerick, and the wretched people
crowded down to the sea, and submitted to the admiral, as the lesser of
two evils. Winter persuaded Bourchier to spare them, on condition of
their maintaining a garrison of 200 foot and 30 horse at Tralee, and
of giving hostages for good behaviour, otherwise they were told that
Sir George would execute his commission strictly; and his commission
was 'to burn their corn, spoil their harvest, kill and drive their
cattle.' The 4,000 cows which had been driven in were then spared, and
so were many prisoners poor and rich. Winter sailed away just as the
hostile expedition was leaving Corunna, and one week later four Spanish
vessels came into Smerwick, where they landed men and tents, and began
to fortify on the old ground. Two other ships were taken at sea by the
Huguenots, who carried them into Rochelle. The more successful part
of the squadron took a homeward-bound Frenchman with 56,000 codfish
from Newfoundland, killed the captain and three men, and brought the
remaining twenty-eight to Ireland, where they used them as labourers.
One of the Spanish ships was a galley with thirty-two oars, and they
gave out that she was powerful enough to batter castles. But Captain
Thomas Clinton, who was cruising about the mouth of the Shannon,
said he would fight her had he but ten musketeers on board his small
vessel. The strangers were nearly all Italians, and only about 600 men
seem to have landed, though there were rumours of more coming. Friar
Matthew Oviedo was apostolic commissary, and with him were Dr. Ryan,
papal Bishop of Killaloe, two Jesuit preachers, and three or four
friars. Desmond came down the coast to meet them, and attacked Ardfert
and Fenit castles with their aid. But they had brought up only small
cannon, and the Irish garrisons easily beat them off. Captain Bingham
contemptuously designates the rank and file as 'poor simple bisognos,
very ragged, and a great part of them boys'; but they had 5,000 stand
of arms, and four kegs of Spanish reals were given to Desmond. Ormonde
immediately prepared to take the field, and Grey, who at first scarcely
believed that the strangers had landed, thought it better to temporise
with Tirlogh Luineach, to whom Sanders had offered the sovereignty of
Ulster. If the Queen would give him a butt or two of sack, it might,
for the moment, make him forget to urge inadmissible claims. 'As toys
please children, so to Bacchus knights the lick of grapes is liking, of
which crew this is a royal fellow.'[60]

[Sidenote: Ormonde's march to Smerwick.]

Just three weeks after the landing of the Spaniards, Ormonde set out
from Cork with 1,600 men. He was completely ignorant of the enemy's
force, but was anxious to have the first brush with them; and he
passed the mountains into Kerry without his full armour and without
camp furniture. He learned at once that Desmond and his brother John,
Baltinglas, Piers Grace, and Sanders, with most of the foreigners, were
strongly posted at Bungunder near Tralee. They gave out that they would
fight, but fell back at Ormonde's approach, and left his way open to
Smerwick. The enemy in the field broke up into small bodies, but the
fort was too strong to attempt without artillery. After conferring with
the invaders, Baltinglas returned to his district, thus passing, as
John of Desmond and Sanders did, twice unmolested right across Ireland.
Hearing that Desmond had got into his rear, Ormonde turned to pursue,
when the garrison of Smerwick made a sally and tried to provoke a
fight. But Ormonde was too cautious thus to be drawn under their guns,
and went on to surprise Desmond's bivouac near Castlemaine. He took a
few Spanish prisoners as well as some 'painted tables, altar-cloths,
chalices, books, and other such furniture said to be the nuncio's.' The
Earl left his troops in the county of Limerick, and went home to help
his wife to make great cheer, for the Lord Deputy Grey had written to
him for 1,000 beeves, and he remarked that he might as well ask him to
kill all the enemy with a breath. 500, by great exertion, might perhaps
be collected. He found time to write a letter to a Spanish nobleman
and to send him a hawk taken, as he was careful to mention, out of one
of the many castles from which Desmond had been driven to woods and
mountains. He told his correspondent that he was busy hunting the wild
Biskyes and Italians, and that the rebel Earl would soon be hanged and
quartered, like his brother James. 'As for the foreigners,' he added,
'this much I will assure you, that they curse the Pope and as many as
sent them, which they shall shortly have better cause to do.'[61]

[Sidenote: Rapid voyage of Bingham.]

Having had time to put his squadron into something like trim, Winter
was ordered back to Ireland, Bingham accompanying him as vice-admiral.
Sailing from Harwich with a fine breeze from the N.E., they ran
through the Straits and down Channel as far as Ryde, where some days
were lost waiting for orders. When the word was at last given, the
wind held in the same point, but the sea rose and the ships parted
company in Portland Race. Captain Bingham, in the 'Swiftsure,' looked
into Falmouth, but did not see the admiral, and chose to think that
he was gone ahead, whereas he was really far astern. Bingham ran past
the Land's End, where the wind changed to W.N.W., made Cape Clear in
the morning, and anchored at the mouth of Valentia harbour. Winter
strongly objected to his second-in-command's excessive zeal, and it is
plain that they hated each other cordially. In great glee probably at
having outstripped his chief, the strenuous Bingham went into Valentia
with the boats, but found only Captain Clinton, who directed him to
Smerwick. There he anchored near the fort, after a run of sixty hours
from Portland, of which ten had been passed in Valentia harbour; yet
he tells us that the 'Swiftsure' was the slowest ship in the fleet.
Ormonde was gone already; and the garrison, with the help of the
peasantry, were busy strengthening their works. Bingham prepared to
cut out their ships; but they towed them in almost aground, and, after
exchanging shots with them, he made up his mind that the works could
not be taken without heavy ordnance. Fourteen pieces were mounted on
the rampart, the largest being of the kind called sakers. John of
Desmond and all the foreigners were at the fort, and Bingham understood
that many of the latter would leave Ireland if they could. The chill
October weather did not suit the Italians, and many of them died. Brave
Romans the Irish called them, but the Englishman said they were as poor
rascals as he had ever met with.[62]

[Sidenote: Grey goes to Kerry.]

Towards the end of October, the Lord Deputy, much hindered by flooded
rivers and a bad commissariat, slowly made his way by Kilkenny into the
county of Limerick. At Rathkeale he was joined by the English companies
whom Ormonde had with him, and led the united force to Dingle. The Earl
seems to have returned himself. Among the newly arrived captains was
Walter Raleigh, burning with anxiety to distinguish himself, and ready
to tempt fortune to almost any extent. When the camp at Rathkeale broke
up, he held his own company in ambush until the main column had gone
to some distance. Then came some wretched kernes to pick up what they
could, as the lepers came to the Syrian camp before Samaria. Raleigh
took them all prisoners, including one who carried a bundle of osiers,
used by the Irish as halters, and who imprudently said that they were
to hang up English churls. 'They shall now serve an Irish kerne,' said
Raleigh, and this jester out of season was hanged forthwith. The other
prisoners, says Hooker, were treated according to their deserts, but
we are not told what those deserts were. The whole army then marched
as far as Dingle, where they encamped to wait for the admiral, who
lingered at Kinsale after his rough voyage. After conferring with
Bingham and viewing the fort, Grey agreed that regular approaches were
necessary, and until the fleet came nothing could be done, for the army
was not provided either with trenching tools or heavy guns.[63]

[Sidenote: The fleet at Smerwick.]

More than a week later an express came from Winter to say that he had
been delayed by weather, but was now in Smerwick harbour, and that
three provision ships had come from Cork and Limerick. Grey at once
rode to Smerwick from his camp near Dingle, and Winter agreed to land
eight pieces of cannon. Next day was Sunday, part of which Grey spent
with Bingham studying the ground, and on Monday he moved his camp to
near the doomed fort. At his approach the garrison hung out the Pope's
banner and saluted the Lord Deputy with a round shot, which very nearly
killed Jacques Wingfield. A small party sallied forth and skirmished
with the advanced guard of the English under cover of a heavy fire
from musketeers lying in the ditch. The practice was remarkably bad,
for the only damage done to the English by more than 600 rounds was to
graze Captain Zouch's leg without breaking the skin. Grey pitched his
tent near the fort, and that night a trench was made. The sailors went
to work with a will, and two pieces were mounted, which began to play
next morning at a distance of about 240 yards from the work. The enemy
had mounted their guns so badly that only two seriously annoyed the
besiegers. These were disabled by two o'clock; and the garrison were
reduced to musketry and to harquebusses which they fired from rests.
Every little skirmish went against the Italians, and in spite of four
sallies the sappers worked up that night to within 120 yards of the

[Sidenote: The foreigners cannot maintain themselves.]

The only serious casualty happened next morning. Good John Cheke, as
Grey calls him, was a son of the great scholar, and inherited most
scholarlike poverty, although he was Burghley's nephew. Tired of living
as a dependant on his uncle's favour, and much more in awe of him than
of Spanish bullets, he begged a horse from the great Lord Treasurer
and resolved to seek his fortune in Ireland. Incautiously raising his
head above the trench, he received a fatal wound, and Grey descants
at great length upon his edifying end. 'He made,' wrote the Puritan
warrior to the Queen, 'so divine a confession of his faith, as all
divines in either of your Majesty's realms could not have passed, if
matched, it; so wrought in him God's spirit, plainly declaring him a
child of His elected.' Grey observed that the fatal volley came from
under a wooden penthouse, and pointed out the spot to Winter, who
himself laid the guns. The second shot dislodged the musketeers, and at
the fourth a flag of truce was shown on the ramparts. The Pope's banner
had first been struck and replaced by a black and a white banner. This
was to warn Desmond, who had promised to be on the neighbouring hills
with 4,000 men. The furling of the black flag was a first signal of
distress; but no help came, and a parley was asked for. Sir James
Fitzgerald of Decies had been given by Desmond to the Italians with
instructions to exact 1,000_l._ ransom; he was now brought out and
liberated. The camp-master, Alexander Bartoni, a Florentine, then
came into the trenches, and said that certain Spaniards and Italians
had been lured to Ireland by false representations, that they had no
quarrel with Queen Elizabeth, and that they were quite ready to depart
as they had come. A Spanish captain followed, but he made no pretence
of being sent by his king, or of having communicated with any higher
authority than Recalde, the governor of Bilboa. The Florentine said
they were all sent by the Pope for the defence of the Catholica fede,
and Grey, in true Puritan style, replied that his Holiness was 'a
detestable shaveling, the right Antichrist and general ambitious tyrant
over all right principalities, and patron of the diabolica fede.' All
conditions were refused, and in the evening the commandant, Sebastian
de San Josefo, a Bolognese, came himself into the trenches and begged
for a truce till morning.

[Sidenote: The surrender.]

[Sidenote: The massacre.]

The interpreter was Oliver Plunkett, who expected no mercy and
therefore opposed all negotiations, and his double-dealing may have
caused such confusion as to make it possible to say that the garrison
had surrendered on promise of their lives. The strangers may even have
thought they had such a promise, but it is clear that Grey's terms
were unconditional surrender or storm as soon as practicable. The
unfortunate Sebastian embraced his knees, and promised to evacuate
the place unconditionally next morning. Catholic writers accuse San
Josefo of cowardice, but he could not help surrendering, for the fort
had been heavily battered, and there was no chance of relief. To make
assurance doubly sure the English worked all night and mounted two
fresh guns before sunrise. On the morrow about a dozen officers came
out with their ensigns trailed and surrendered the fort at discretion.
Grey distributed them among his officers to be held to ransom for their
profit. The arms and stores were secured, 'and then,' says Arthegal
himself, 'put I in certain bands, who straight fell to execution. There
were 600 slain.' Hooker adds that Mackworth and Walter Raleigh were
the captains on duty, and that they superintended the butchery.[64]

[Sidenote: The massacre approved by the Queen.]

The poor Italians had no commissions and were treated as filibusters,
just as the Spaniards would have treated Drake had they been able to
catch him; but many blamed Grey, though he does not himself seem to
have been conscious that he had done anything extraordinary. Sussex
was among the critics, though he had plenty to answer for himself,
but the Queen approved of what had been done. At the top of the
despatch sent in answer to the Lord Deputy's, she wrote as follows, in
the fine Roman hand which sometimes contrasts so strangely with her
studiously involved and obscure phraseology:--"The mighty hand of the
Almighty's power hath shewed manifest the force of his strength in
the weakness of feeblest sex and minds this year to make men ashamed
ever after to disdain us, in which action I joy that you have been
chose the instrument of his glory which I mean to give you no cause to
forethink." She censured Grey rather for sparing some of the principals
than for slaying the accessories; not for what he had done, but for
what he had left undone; for the object was to prevent such expeditions
in future. Elizabeth, who belonged to her age, probably wondered that
anybody should object. Nor does it appear that the Catholic powers
made any official complaint; it was their habit to do likewise.

[Sidenote: Reflections on the event.]

Those who condescended to excuse Grey urged that 600 prisoners would
be very inconvenient to an army of 800, and that lack of provisions
made delay dangerous. But there were eight ships of war and four
provision-vessels in the bay, which might have carried most of the
prisoners, and enough biscuit, bacon, oil, fish, rice, beans, peas, and
barley were found in the fort to support 600 men for six months. The
4,000 stand of arms taken might easily have been conveyed on shipboard.
Between 300_l._ and 400_l._ was found in Spanish reals, and this money
was divided among the soldiers, who were in their habitual half-paid
state. If the Pope recruited for this enterprise, as he did for the
former one, among the brigands of Umbria and Samnium, there would be
a reason for treating the rank and file rigorously while sparing the
officers, but this point is not raised in the official correspondence.

The best defence of Grey, and yet not a very good one, is to be found
in the cruelty of the age. After the fall of Haarlem Alva butchered
three or four times as many as perished at Smerwick. Santa Cruz put to
death the crews of several French ships after the fight at Terceira in
the Azores. It would be easy to multiply examples, but it may suffice
to say that Captain Mackworth afterwards fell into the hands of the
Offaly O'Connors, who mutilated him horribly and flayed him alive.[65]

[Sidenote: Reasons for failure of foreign invaders.]

The Four Masters say that the name of the Italians exceeded the
reality, and that either Limerick, Cork, or Galway would at first have
opened their gates to them. This is probable enough, and at any rate
Smerwick was a bad place for their enterprise, for it was hardly to be
supposed that England would not have the command of the sea. The same
mistake was made more than once by the French in later times, and it
may be assumed that Ireland is unassailable except by an overwhelming
force. The Spaniards at one period, and the French at another, might
often have landed an army large enough to overtax the actual resources
of the Irish Government. For a time they might have been masters of
the country, and would at first have commanded the sympathies of the
people. But the rule of a foreign soldiery would soon become more
irksome than the old settled government, and the invading general
would find as little real native help as Hannibal found in Latium,
or as Charles Edward found in Lancashire. Had Limerick, Galway, or
Cork admitted Sanders and his Italians the struggle might have been
prolonged, but while an English fleet kept the sea, the result could
hardly have been doubtful.

[Sidenote: Composition of the Smerwick garrison.]

The garrison at Smerwick consisted chiefly of Italians, with a
contingent from Northern Spain, and the numbers were variously
estimated at from 400 to 700. Two hundred are said to have been veteran
soldiers, but opinions differed as to the general quality of the men.
Grey, when he saw their corpses, mused over them as gallant and goodly
personages, while Bingham said they were beggarly rascals. Among the
officers were a few Spaniards, but the majority were from Italy: Rome,
Florence, Milan, Bologna, Genoa, and Bolsena being all represented.

[Sidenote: Executions.]

A few Irishmen who had allowed themselves to be entrapped were hanged,
and some women with them. An Englishman who followed Dr. Sanders,
a friar who is not named, and Oliver Plunkett, were reserved for a
peculiarly hard fate. Their arms and legs were broken, and they were
hanged on a gallows on the wall of the fort. Plunkett, who was examined
before his death, said that twenty-four sail at Corunna and Santander
were ready to sail for Ireland. Lord Westmoreland was to be sent over
by the Pope, and Charles Browne, at Santander, was in correspondence
with Inglefield and others.[66]

[Sidenote: Account of Fort Del Oro.]

Not only was the extreme point of Kerry a bad place to attack Queen
Elizabeth, but the fort itself was ill suited for defence. The only
water supply was from streams half-a-mile off on each side, and the
work was too small for those whom it had to protect. Its greatest
length was 350 feet, and its average breadth was about 100, and
50 square feet of ground to each person is but scanty room. 'The
thing itself,' says Sir Nicholas White, 'is but the end of a rock
shooting out into the Bay of Smerwick, under a long cape, whereupon a
merchant of the Dingle, called Piers Rice, about a year before James
Fitzmaurice's landing, built a castle, under pretence of gaining by the
resort of strangers thither a-fishing, whereas in very truth it was to
receive James at his landing, and because at that very instant time,
a ship laden with Mr. Furbisher's new-found riches happened to press
upon the sands near to the place, whose carcase and stores I saw lie
there, carrying also in his mind a golden imagination of the coming of
the Spaniards called his building _Down-enoyr_, which is as much as
to say, the "Golden Down." The ancient name of the bay, Ardcanny...
from a certain devout man named Canutius, which upon the height of the
cliffs, as appears at this day, built a little hermitage to live a
contemplative there.'

White's description is very good, but it applies only to the little
promontory which contains the salient seaward angle of the work, and
where embrasures are still clearly traceable. The lines on the land
side, which did not exist at the time of White's visit, are visible
enough, being covered with roughish pasture, but the 'mariner's trench'
is undecipherable owing to tillage. There was a bridge between the
mainland and the outer rock, and Rice's fortalice was no doubt confined
to the 'island.'[67]

[Sidenote: State of Connaught.]

In the meantime, O'Rourke had risen and attacked Maltby's garrison at
Leitrim. The President had but 400 English, half of whom were newcomers
and 'simple enough,' and he had to ferry them over the flooded Shannon
in cots. The gentlemen of the county advised him not to face such great
odds, but 100 of their kerne behaved well, and he put a bold face on
it. The O'Rourkes and their Scots allies railed exceedingly against
the Queen and exalted the Pope; but they did not dare to face the
dreaded President, and disappeared, leaving him to burn Brefny at his
will. Ulick Burke seemed at first inclined to serve faithfully, and
Maltby was disposed to trust him, but John and William were in open
rebellion, and their youngest sister begged for protection. 'I pray
you,' she wrote to the President, 'receive me as a poor, destitute,
and fatherless gentlewoman.... I found nowhere aid nor assistance, and
no friends since my lord and father departed, but what I found at your
worship's hands.' A few days later Ulick styled himself MacWilliam,
and joined John, who accepted the position of Tanist, in forcibly
collecting corn for the papal garrison. They announced that they
would hang all priests who refused to say mass, and Maltby reported
that the papal Bishop of Kilmacduagh was leading them to the devil
headlong. They demolished Loughrea, and most of the castles between the
Shannon and Galway Bay. Communications with Munster were interrupted,
and Maltby, self-reliant as he was, began to fear for the safety of
Galway, where there was no stock of provisions, and no artillery worth
mentioning. Affairs were at this pass when Grey's success at Smerwick
reduced the rebellion in Connaught to insignificance.[68]

[Sidenote: Want of money.]

Grey was not long in Ireland before he encountered the great
Elizabethan problem of how to make bricks without straw. Treasurer
Wallop estimated the soldiers' pay at 6,000_l._ worth, exclusive of
extraordinaries, and the victualling difficulties were as great as
ever. The English officials in Dublin seldom gave Ormonde a good word,
but on this head their complaints chimed in with his. The victualler
at Cork warned him not to reckon on more than twelve days' biscuit
and wine, and there were no means of brewing at Cork. 'I know,' said
the Earl, 'it is sour speech to speak of money; I know it will be
also wondered at how victuals should want.... I never had for me and
my companies one hundred pounds worth of victual, and this being
true, I can avow that some have told lies at Court to some of your
councillors--yea, not only in this, but in many other things.'

'The soldiers,' said Sir William Stanley, 'are so ill chosen in England
that few are able or willing to do any service, but run away with our
furniture, and when they come into England there is no punishment used
to them, by means whereof we can hardly keep any.'

Meantime there were loud complaints of abuses in purveyance for the
Viceregal household, and the Irish Council could think of no better
plan than to swear the purveyors, and cut off their ears in case of
perjury. Wallop reported that bribes were openly taken in official
circles; that was the usual course, though he had never given or taken
any himself.[69]

[Sidenote: Kildare in charge of the Pale.]

When Grey went to Munster he left Kildare to act as general in the
Pale. With the whole force of the country, and with 1,400 men in the
Queen's pay, including garrisons, he undertook to defend Dublin to
the south, and to do some service against the rebels. Six hundred men
were on the Ulster frontier, and these also were to be at his disposal
in case of necessity. He and his son-in-law, the Baron of Delvin,
were accused of conspiring to turn the war to their own advantage,
by promising everything and doing nothing. Should the Pope's title
prevail, they would be all-powerful; should the Queen be victorious
they would at least make money out of the business. It was arranged
that Kildare should have 600 men paid by the country in addition to
the Queen's troops. He preferred to take the money, and to raise 400
kernes himself; 'but I think,' said Wallop, 'he will put all that in
his purse and three parts of his entertainment of his horsemen, and
fifty shillings a day for his diet. In this town he lieth for the most
part, and spendeth not five pounds a week, keeping his chamber with a
board not anyways an ell long.' A civilian named Eustace, 'properly
learned, but a papist in the highest degree,' was accused of fomenting
treason among the nominally loyal, and Gerard, by remaining 'a secret
ghostly father to him for a time,' made him fear for his own neck,
and induced him to give information against many persons in the Pale.
Maltby took care to remind the Irish Government that both Kildare and
Ormonde had given security for John and Ulick Burke, and that Kildare
was the same man that he had always been and always would be. It was
plain that those to whom the conduct of the war was entrusted did not
care to end it, and that only English officers and soldiers could
really be depended on. An occasional raid into the Wicklow mountains
did not advance matters much, and Feagh MacHugh was able to burn
Rathcoole, a prosperous village ten miles from Dublin, and to make the
very suburbs tremble for their own safety. Kildare made light of the
burning of Rathcoole, and threw the blame on inferior officers; but
this was not the view taken by the Council generally.[70]

[Sidenote: Kildare is strongly suspected.]

When Grey returned to Dublin he found the whole official circle bent
upon disgracing Kildare, and after some days' consideration he summoned
the general body of nobles to meet the Council, ostensibly for the
discussion of military dispositions. Delvin saw that he was suspected,
and vehemently demanded an enquiry, putting in a written declaration
in answer to rumoured accusations. The full Council, including
Kildare, found this statement inconsistent with known facts, and
committed him to the Castle. Then Gerard, who had conducted the private
investigation, rashly disclosed his whole case, and openly accused the
Earl of complicity with the treason of Baltinglas. Wallop, who believed
that no good thing could come out of Galilee, observed that the
Chancellor 'would needs have the attorney and serjeant by, who are of
this country birth, and so were many councillors then present, by means
of which it is now in every man's mouth what the Earl is to be charged

The Vice-Treasurer adds that his lands were worth 3,000_l._ a year,
but that he had taken good care to return them to England as worth
only 1,500_l._, that the only road towards good government lay through
severity, and that unless traitors were made to pay both in person
and lands, Ireland would always be what it long had been,--'the sink
of the treasure of England.' Waterhouse, whose office it was to look
after unconsidered trifles of revenue, thought the original cause of
war was Kildare's military commission, and that treason should be made
to pay its own expenses. 'I will hear your honour's opinion,' he wrote
to Walsingham, 'whether her Majesty will be content to have her great
charges answered out of the livings of the conspirators, and to use
a sharp and a severe course without respect of any man's greatness,
wheresoever law will catch hold, or whether all faults must be lapped
up in lenity with pardons, protections, and fair semblance, as in times
past; if severity, then is there hope enough of good reformation; if
mildness, then discharge the army and officers, and leave this nation
to themselves, for sure the mean will do no good. We must embrace one
of these extremities.'[71]

[Sidenote: Kildare and Delvin prisoners in England.]

Grey could not deny that appearances were strong against the Earl, and
he ordered his arrest, giving full credit for their exertions to Gerard
and Loftus. He believed that 'greediness of pay and arrogant zeal to
Popish government' were the stumbling-blocks of great personages in
Ireland, and that Delvin certainly was 'a wicked creature who had cut
the poor Earl's throat.' As if to add to the suspicion, Kildare's son
and heir ran off to the O'Connors, and they refused to let him go when
Grey sent for him. At last, fearing the construction that might be put
upon this, they handed him over to Ormonde, and he was shut up in the
Castle with his father and Lord Delvin. All three were sent over to
England, Secretary Fenton carrying the despatches, and Gerard going
with him to tell his own story.[72]

[Sidenote: The Munster rebellion drags on.]

The capture of Smerwick did not put down the Munster rebellion; but
Ormonde, or some of those about him, contemptuously reported that
Desmond, his brother, and Baltinglas had 'but a company of rascals and
four Spaniards, and a drum to make men believe that they had a great
number of the strangers.' Both Youghal and Ross thought themselves in
danger, and Wallop reported that communications between the capital and
Limerick were only kept up by 'simple fellows that pass afoot in nature
of beggars, in wages not accustomed.' Grey and Ormonde having turned
their backs, Desmond appeared again near Dingle, and Bingham felt that
there might be an attack at any moment. Half of Captain Zouch's men
were dead and buried, the survivors being too ill to work or fight.
Captain Case's company were little better, and they would have made
no resistance without Bingham and his sailors, who worked with a will
and raised a breastwork tenable by 20 men against 2,000 kernes and
gallowglasses. The men were put on short allowance, and having thus
made the provisions last thirteen days longer than they would otherwise
have done, Bingham was compelled to return to England. His crew were
so reduced by spare diet that they were unable to work the ship up
Channel, and had to run into Bristol. He left Ireland, to quote a
correspondent of Walsingham, 'in as great confusion as the Tower of
Babylon was a building.' There were more soldiers in Munster than had
been since the first conquest, and war material was abundant. But no
two officers agreed with each other personally, or were agreed upon
the policy to be pursued. Ormonde was in Dublin, looking after his own
interests, and leaving his lieutenants to shift for themselves. Sir
Warham St. Leger, Chief Commissioner at Cork, claimed superiority over
Sir George Bourchier at Kilmallock, while the latter acted as a captain
of free lances and granted protections to whom he pleased. Sir William
Morgan at Youghal would give way to neither, and there seemed no escape
from the difficulty but once more to appoint an English President,
'upright, valiant, severe, and wise.' In the meantime the rebellion
was as strong as ever, and what the rebels spared the soldiers
ravaged. In Connaught the young Burkes daily razed houses and fences,
northern Leinster lay waste, in Munster nothing was left standing save
towns and cities, and Ulster was ready to break out on the smallest

[Sidenote: Official attack upon Ormonde.]

The English officials all maintained that Ormonde had shown himself
unfit to conduct the war. One writer estimates his emoluments at
215_l._ a month, and another at 3,677_l._ a year, and the first result
of a peace would be to deprive him of these comfortable subsidies. He
was mixed up with Irish families and Irish lawsuits, and could not have
a single eye to the public service. He owed the Queen over 3,000_l._ in
rents, and the war was an excuse for not paying. Nor was his system of
warfare calculated to finish a rebellion, for all experienced officers
said that could be done only by settled garrisons. 'He followeth,'
says his enemy St. Leger, 'with a running host, which is to no end but
only wearing out and consuming of men by travel, for I can compare
the difference between our footmen and the traitors to a mastiff and
wight greyhound.' According to the same authority Ormonde was generally
disliked, and those whom he was set over would 'rather be hanged than
follow him, finding their travel and great pains altogether in vain.'
He procured the imprisonment of the Baron of Upper Ossory, whom he
accused of treason, of harbouring papists and consorting with rebels,
and of meeting Desmond after he had been proclaimed; but Wallop
thought the Earl coveted his neighbour's land, being 'so imperious as
he can abide none near him that dependeth not on him.' Spenser's friend
Ludovic Bryskett said the Lord General did nothing of moment with his
2,000 men, and as for his toil and travel, 'the noble gentleman was
worthy of pity to take so much labour in vain.' Wallop, Waterhouse,
Fenton, and St. Leger agreed that Ireland could only be pacified by
severity, and that Ormonde was not the man to do it. But perhaps the
heaviest, as it is certainly the most graphic, indictment was that
which Captain Raleigh forwarded to Walsingham.[74]

[Sidenote: Adventures of Raleigh.]

Lord Barrymore's eldest son David, Lord Roche's eldest son Maurice,
Florence MacCarthy, Patrick Condon, and others, long professed loyalty
because it seemed the winning side. But Barry's country lay open to
the seneschal of Imokilly, and in passing through it Raleigh had an
adventure by which the world was near losing some of its brightest
memories. On his return from Dublin, and having at the time only two
followers with him and as many more within shot, he was attacked at a
ford by the seneschal with seventy-four men. The place seems to have
been Midleton or Ballinacurra, and Raleigh's aim was to gain an old
castle, which may have been Ballivodig, to which his Irish guide at
once fled. In crossing the river Henry Moile was unhorsed, and begged
his captain not to desert him. Raleigh rode back into the river, and
recovered both man and horse; but in his hurry to remount, Moile fell
into a bog on the off side, while his horse ran away to the enemy. 'The
captain nevertheless stood still, and did abide for the coming of the
residue of his company, of the four shot which as yet were not come
forth, and for his man Jenkin, who had about 200_l._ in money about
him; and sat upon his horse in the meanwhile, having his staff in one
hand, and his pistol charged in the other.' Like an Homeric hero he
kept the seneschal's whole party at bay, although they were twenty to
one. Raleigh modestly left the details to others, and only reported
that the escape was strange to all.[75]

[Sidenote: Raleigh's policy.]

Two days later David Barry was in open rebellion, and Raleigh minded
to take possession of Barry's Court and of the adjoining island--the
'great island' on which Queenstown now stands. He had been granted the
custody of these lands by Grey, but Ormonde interposed delays, and
Raleigh, who was as fond of property as he was careless of danger,
greatly resented this. 'When,' he said, 'my Lord Deputy came, and Barry
had burned all the rest, the Lord General, either meaning to keep it
for himself--as I think all is too little for him--or else unwilling
any Englishman should have anything, stayed the taking thereof so long,
meaning to put a guard of his own in it, as it is, with the rest,
defaced and spoiled. I pray God her Majesty do not find, that--with
the defence of his own country assaulted on all sides, what with
the bearing and forbearing of his kindred, as all these traitors of
this new rebellion are his own cousins-german, what by reason of the
incomparable hatred between him and the Geraldines, who will die a
thousand deaths, enter into a million of mischiefs, and seek succour of
all nations, rather than they will ever be subdued by a Butler--that
after her Majesty hath spent a hundred thousand pounds more she shall
at last be driven by too dear experience to send an English President
to follow these malicious traitors with fire and sword, neither
respecting the alliance nor the nation.... This man having been Lord
General of Munster now about two years, there are at this instant a
thousand traitors more than there were the first day. Would God the
service of Sir Humfry Gilbert might be rightly looked into; who, with
the third part of the garrison now in Ireland, ended a rebellion not
much inferior to this in two months.' A little later, Raleigh reported
that he had repaired Belvelly Castle, which commands the strait between
the island and the mainland, but that Ormonde meant to rob him of the
fruits of his trouble and expense, and to undo what he had done. The
soldiers, he declared, cursed the change which made them followers
of the Earl rather than of the Lord Deputy, and spent their strength
in 'posting journeys' with convoys to Kilkenny instead of in service
against the rebels.[76]

[Sidenote: Ormonde loses his command.]

Grey yielded to the arguments of those about him, and announced that
there was no help while Irish government and Ormonde were continued,
adding that neither Walsingham nor Leicester would believe it.
Leicester at least, who corresponded frequently with Maltby, was quite
willing to believe anything against their common enemy, and it may be
that the present favourite prevailed over the absent friend. At all
events the Queen yielded, and Grey was allowed to tell Ormonde that
his authority as Lord Lieutenant of Munster was at an end. The Earl
submitted cheerfully and with many loyal expressions, saying that he
would do such service without pay as would prove him no hireling. His
property, he declared, was wasted in her Majesty's service and the
loss of salary would be therefore great, but to lose his sovereign's
favour and to be traduced in England was far worse. There was now a
disposition in high quarters to grant pardons freely; had he known it
he could have brought in every man in Munster.

He had thought nothing worth notifying while Desmond was still at
large, but he would now make a collection of his services, and the
Queen should see that he had not been inactive, and that his activity
had not been fruitless. In private he had confessed to having borne
too long with some for old acquaintance' sake; but blamed Sussex
for forgetting his friends, and could not excuse Captain Zouch, who
by sickness had lost 300 men out of 450. Walsingham, in a moment of
irritation, had said that his appointment had resulted in the death of
only three rebels. Three thousand would be nearer the mark, and that he
was ready to prove.[77]

[Sidenote: An amnesty.]

The dismissal of Ormonde was intended by Grey and those about him to
form part of a policy of the severest and most unsparing repression,
and it was assumed that Gilbert, or some equally uncompromising person,
would be appointed President. The Queen, on the other hand, considered
it merely as a piece of economy, for she determined at the same time
to grant a general pardon, or as the Lord Deputy despairingly put it,
to 'leave the Irish to tumble to their own sensual government.' It was
the easiest way perhaps for a Lord Deputy; but he had a conscience,
and could not see it with equanimity. A considerable number were
excepted by name, but even on these terms a proclamation of amnesty was
a confession of failure. The news leaked out prematurely through the
treachery of a servant, and the rebels bragged loudly of the revenge
they would have when their past offences had been condoned.

[Sidenote: Grey's despair.]

The change of policy did not prevent Maltby from executing
Clanricarde's son William, and he reported to Walsingham the opinion
of an ancient Irish counsellor that her Majesty was only casting
pearls before swine. Desmond still had 1,600 able men with him, and
a brilliant night attack by Zouch on his camp, though it was made
much of, had no particular result. As to Leinster, Grey reported it
generally rebellious; but the bogs and woods were far smaller than in
Munster, and the remains of castles showed that Wexford and Carlow at
least, with the flatter portions of Wicklow, had formerly been well
bridled. The object of the rebels was to have no stronghold, for the
open country would be always at their mercy. As the Lord Deputy's train
passed through Wicklow the O'Byrnes showed themselves on the hills and
even cut off some plate-waggons; but he made his way to Wexford, where
he hanged some malefactors, and garrisoned Arklow, Castle Kevin, and
other places. Grey felt he had done nothing worth speaking of, and
begged earnestly for a recall, since he had been overruled in opposing
the amnesty as 'not standing with the reason which he had conceived
for her Majesty's service.' Sheer severity, was in fact, all he had to
recommend, for 'fear, and not dandling, must bring them to the bias of
obedience... it is a pity that the resolutions in England should be so
uncertain.... If taking of cows, killing of their kerne and churls,
had been thought worth the advertising, I could have had every day to
trouble your Highness.... He that to-day seems a dutiful subject, let
him for any of those, or for other less crimes be to-morrow called upon
to come and answer, straightway a protection is demanded and in the
mean he will be upon his keeping, which in plain English is none other
than a traitor that will forcibly defend his cause and not answer to
justice.... Beggars fall to pride, rail at your Majesty, and rely only
upon the Pope, and that changes shall in the end free them.[78]

[Sidenote: Death of Sanders.]

Just before Ormonde's dismissal became known, his enemy, Sir Warham
St. Leger, told Burghley that he lost twenty Englishmen killed for
every one of the rebels. But famine and disease succeeded where the
sword failed, and in the same letter St. Leger was able to announce
that Dr. Sanders had died of dysentery. For two months the secret had
been kept, his partisans giving out that he had gone to Spain for help;
but at last one of the women who had clothed him in his winding-sheet
brought the news to Sir Thomas of Desmond. Since the fall of Fort Del
Oro, he had scarcely been heard of, and had spent his time miserably
in the woods on the border of Cork and Limerick. Some English accounts
say that he was out of his mind, but of this there does not seem to
be any proof. All agree that he died in the wood of Clonlish, and it
seems that he was buried in a neighbouring church. His companion at the
last was Cornelius Ryan, the papal bishop of Killaloe, and according
to O'Sullivan--who had evidently himself good means of knowing the
truth--the following scene took place:--

'In the beginning of the night, Dr. Sanders, whose naturally strong
frame was worn out by dysentery, thus addressed the Bishop of
Killaloe,--"Anoint me, illustrious lord, with extreme unction, for my
Creator calls me, and I shall die to-night." "You are strong," answered
the bishop, "and your case is not bad, and I think there will be no
dying or anointing just now." Nevertheless, he grew worse, and was
anointed at midnight, and at cockcrow resigned his spirit to the Lord,
and the following night he was secretly buried by priests, and borne to
the grave by four Irish knights, of which my father, Dermot, was one.
Others were forbidden to attend, lest the English should find the body,
and make their usual cruel spectacle of the dead.'

[Sidenote: What he did for Ireland.]

Sanders had been three years in Ireland. He had brought upon the
country only bloodshed, famine, and confiscation, and yet among the
starving people, none could be found to earn a reward by betraying


[51] Lord Grey's instructions, July 15, 1580, are printed in
_Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica_.

[52] Gerard, C., to Burghley, July 29 and August 3, 1580, to
Walsingham, August 3 (with enclosures); to Wallop, August 7; Lord
Deputy Grey and Council to the Privy Council, August 14; Zouch and
Stanley to Walsingham, July 29; Pelham to Gerard, July 30, in _Carew_.

[53] _Four Masters_: Stanley to Walsingham, August 31, 1580.

[54] George Carew to Walsingham, November 20, 1580. For the defeat
in Glenmalure, see Stanley, Maltby, and Gerard to Walsingham, August
31 Grey to Walsingham, August 31; to Burghley, September 12; Wallop
to Walsingham, September 9; Hooker; _Four Masters_, 1580; Camden,
who exaggerates the loss; O'Sullivan, ii. iv. 14, who ridiculously
estimates the slain at 800.

[55] Maltby to Leicester and Walsingham, August 17; the former in
_Carew_; Gerard to Walsingham, August 14.

[56] Hugh Magennis to Grey, August 29, 1580; Dungannon and Sir Hugh
O'Reilly to Grey, September 3; Gormanston to Grey, September 4;
Sir N. Bagenal to Grey, September 2; Mr. John Barnes to Grey (from
Disert), September 4; Nathaniel Smith to Maltby, September 3; Maltby to
Walsingham, September 7 and 8.

[57] Pelham to the Privy Council, July 14, 1580; to the Irish Council,
July 22; to Winter, August 16, all in _Carew_. Instructions to Sir
William Winter, March 17; and considerations which moved him, September
23; Sir R. Bingham to Walsingham, September 20; Baron of Lixnaw to the
Munster Commissioners, September 15.

[58] The correspondence about Sidee is between March 19 and 21, 1580;
Winter to the Privy Council, April 27; Notes for the Privy Council, May

[59] Examination of William Carusse, August 12, 1580; Viscount
Gormanston to Gerard, July 28.

[60] Grey to the Queen, October 5, 1580; Bingham to Walsingham,
September 20 and October 18; and to Leicester same date in _Carew_;
James Golde and Thomas Arthur to Wallop and Waterhouse, September 30;
Commons of Lixnaw to same, September 27; Thomas Clinton to the Attorney
of Munster, September 26.

[61] Ormonde to R. Shee, October 8, 1580, to an unnamed correspondent,
Nov. (No. 71), to the Conde 'the Lemes' (? De Lerma) October 31.

[62] Captain R. Bingham to Walsingham, October 13, 18, and 23, 1580; to
Leicester, October 18, in _Carew_.

[63] Hooker; Grey to the Queen, November 12, 1580; Bingham to
Walsingham, November 3.

[64] Strype's Life of Cheke, ch. vi. Bingham to Leicester, November 11,
1580, in Wright's _Elizabeth_; to Walsingham, November 12; Grey to the
Queen and to Walsingham, November 12; Anonymous to Walsingham, November
(No. 27). Bingham says the confusion and slaughter were increased by
the sailors who swarmed in over the sea-face of the fort, but Grey
makes no excuse. See also G. Fenton to Walsingham, November 14, Hooker,
Camden, and Spenser's _State of Ireland_. The poet expressly says that
he was present. All the above agree that Grey made no promise, and
the _Four Masters_ do not materially contradict the English writers,
for their 'promise of protection' may only refer to the negotiations.
O'Daly and O'Sullivan, whose accounts seem to have been drawn from the
same source, and very probably from Sanders, accuse Grey of bad faith;
but they also say the siege lasted forty days, and that the English
had recourse to fraud because force had failed. Now it is certain that
only one clear day elapsed between the turning of the first sod and
the surrender of the fort. _Graia fides_ became a by-word in Catholic
Europe, but that would be a matter of course, and it is a pity that
so great a scholar as O'Donovan should give implicit faith to rumour,
while scouting as 'mere fiction' the solemn statement of such an eye
witness as Edmund Spenser.

[65] The Queen to Grey, December 12, 1580; Anonymous to Walsingham,
November (No. 27); Dowling _ad ann._ 1583; Maltby to Leicester, May
28, 1582. The chronology of the Smerwick affair is as follows: Friday,
November 4, fleet enters Ventry harbour; 5th, moves to Smerwick; 6th,
reconnoitring; 7th, Grey shifts camp from Dingle and opens trenches;
8th, battery opens; 9th, battery continued and surrender agreed upon at
night; 10th, the foreign officers come out, and their men are massacred.

[66] The above details are in the letter of November 11 and 12, already
cited; the examination of Plunkett in a letter of the latter date from
Grey to Walsingham.

[67] Sir N. White to Burghley, July 22, 1580. I have heard that Mr.
Hennessy interprets 'Ard canny' as 'hill of Arbutus,' and without
reference to any saint. There is a contemporary map of Fort _del oro_
in the Record Office, which seems correct, and it is printed on a
reduced scale in the _Kerry Magazine_. I inspected the place and took
measurements in June 1883. _Dun-an oir_ is the 'earthwork of gold.'
Poor Frobisher's gold was pyrites, as the London goldsmiths knew, but
an Italian alchemist was believed. The 'carcase' mentioned by White was
that of the ship, not of the owner.

[68] Lady Honora Burke to Maltby, October 29, 1580; Maltby to
Walsingham, October 25, October 27, and November 17; Gerard to
Burghley, November 27; _Four Masters_.

[69] Ormonde to Walsingham and to Burghley, September 28, 1580; J.
Thickpenny to Ormonde, September 27; Stanley to Walsingham, October 2;
order by the Lord Deputy and Council, October 3; Wallop to Walsingham,
November 12.

[70] Wallop to Walsingham, October 9 and 25, and November 27; to
Burghley, November 11, 1580; Waterhouse to Walsingham, October 13;
Lord Chancellor and Council to the Privy Council, November 3; Gerard
to Burghley, October 18; Captain R. Pypho to Walsingham, November 9;
Kildare to Walsingham, December 10. Writing to Wallop, on November 17,
Maltby says of Kildare, 'sicut erat in principio et tel il sera toute
sa vie.' The letter is a queer mixture of Latin, French, and cypher.

[71] Wallop and Waterhouse to Walsingham, December 23, 1580.

[72] Grey to the Queen, December 22, 1580; Lord Deputy and Council to
the Queen, December 23; Wallop to Walsingham, December 30; White, M.R.,
to Burghley, February 2, 1581.

[73] James Sherlock, Mayor of Waterford to Walsingham, November 18,
1580, with the enclosures; Wallop to Walsingham, November 30; Bingham
to Walsingham, December 12 and January 9; John Myagh to Walsingham,
January 26, 1581; White, M.R., to Burghley, February 2.

[74] Notes of Ormonde's entertainments December, 1580 (No. 45); Wallop
to Walsingham, January 14, 1581; to Burghley, May 13; L. Bryskett
to Walsingham, April 21; St. Leger to Burghley, June 3. See also
'Observations on the Earl of Ormonde's government,' drawn up probably
by Maltby and St. Leger, and calendared in _Carew_ at March 1582. For
Ormonde's quarrel with Upper Ossory see his letter to Walsingham, July
21, 1580; and to Grey, August 28; and Waterhouse to Walsingham, August
13. King Edward's old playfellow was six months in prison, and his
lands at the mercy of the Butlers. He earnestly desired a trial, adding
that his enemy's hands were perhaps less clean than his; see his letter
to Leicester of June 7, 1581, in _Carew_.

[75] Captain W. Rawley to Burghley, Feb. 23, 1581; Hooker in

[76] Raleigh to Walsingham, February 25, 1581; to Grey, May 1.

[77] Grey to Leicester, March 20, 1581; to Walsingham, May 12, June 9;
to the Privy Council, June 10; Wallop and Waterhouse to Walsingham,
June 10; Ormonde to Burghley, July 15.

[78] Grey to the Queen, April 26, 1581; to Walsingham, May 14; to the
Privy Council, June 10 and July 10; Zouch to Walsingham, June 15;
Maltby to Walsingham, June 30; Lord Grey's services, September, 1582.

[79] St. Leger to Burghley, June 3, 1581; where it appears that Sanders
died about the beginning of April; O'Sullivan, lib. iv. cap. 16;
_Four Masters_, 1581; Camden; Hooker; Holing, S.J., in _Spicilegium
Ossoriense_, i. 94.



[Sidenote: Exceptions from the amnesty.]

Desmond, his brother John, and Baltinglas were excepted by the Queen
from the general pardon. Grey himself made several further exceptions,
not, as he explained, that he wished to remove the hope of mercy,
but only that he did not think them cases for pardon without further
inquiry. Lady Desmond was excepted, as having encouraged the rebels
to persevere, and as having remained with them rather than live
under protection. David Barry, to whom Lord Barrymore had conveyed
his lands, and Baltinglas's brothers, Edmund and Walter, who were
heirs-presumptive to his entailed property, were excepted, not only
as important rebels, but lest the Queen should lose the escheats.
Feagh MacHugh O'Byrne, 'the minister of all wickedness in Leinster,'
refused a pardon unless a like were granted to Desmond and his brother,
and unless 'religion might be at liberty.' Several other rebels or
plotters were excepted, among whom it is only necessary to mention
William Nugent, Lord Delvin's brother, who had become the leader of a
separate conspiracy. Perhaps Grey's additions to the list of those whom
Elizabeth thought unfit for pardon may have wrecked the whole scheme.
July 17 was fixed as the last day for the rebels to come in, and up to
that date very few penitents appeared.[80]

[Sidenote: Conspirators welcome the amnesty.]

While notorious offenders abstained from taking advantage of the
Queen's clemency, it was noticed that many inhabitants of the Pale,
against whom nothing was known, were eager to accept the pardon. As
early as 1575 William Nugent had fallen under the suspicion of the
Government, and was supposed to have an understanding with Baltinglas
from the first. He eluded capture during the winter of 1580, and in
March 1581 it was announced that he had conspired with some 300 of the
O'Connors and MacCoghlans to raise an insurrection. A few weeks later
he fled to Tirlogh Luineach O'Neill, who flatly refused to surrender
him to the Lord Deputy, when he appeared in person at the Blackwater.
In the autumn Nugent was back in the Pale, and suing for mercy; but
he got no encouragement, and added to the weight of his offence by
helping the mountain rebels to harry some of the Archbishop of Dublin's
property. When Baltinglas fled a month or two later, he made his way
back to Ulster, and thence to Scotland and the Continent. A very large
number of his friends and neighbours were more or less implicated, and
it is easy to see why so many gentlemen of the Pale were anxious to
cover themselves by accepting a pardon.[81]

[Sidenote: Maltby in Connaught.]

Clanricarde was in confinement at the time of the Smerwick affair,
and it is doubtful how far he had the power to influence his sons. He
persuaded the younger, William, to ask for protection, but could not
make him observe the implied conditions. Maltby granted it only with a
view of weakening the two elder brothers. In the meantime, and no doubt
having an understanding with the Earl's sons, 600 well-armed Scots
invaded the province. They were to be paid at the rate of 4,200_l._ a
quarter, and it was supposed that their presence would turn the scale
in favour of Richard-in-Iron, Grace O'Malley's husband, who claimed
to be Lower MacWilliam by popular election only, and against Richard
MacOliver, who had been made tanist by the Queen. John Burke took
advantage of the occasion to plan an attack on the O'Kellies, and the
Scots encamped near Shrule, where they engaged to meet the Burkes on
the 1st of March. Three days before the appointed time, Maltby made
his appearance. Richard-in-Iron, who had advanced within ten miles
of Shrule, at once drew back into Mayo, and the Clanricarde Burkes,
hearing of the President's movements, never stirred at all. The Scots
were surprised, and Maltby, after killing a few, drove them before him
to the Moy. They crossed the river, and he followed, but they made
good their retreat into Ulster. The President then recrossed, and at
Strade Abbey the two competitors for the chiefry of Mayo met him. They
were both submissive enough to Maltby, but not at all polite to each
other. Richard MacOliver said Richard-in-Iron was a traitor, that all
those who elected him were traitors, and that he himself would refuse
to be MacWilliam, except by the Queen's appointment. The other told
him he lied, and the President had to remind them that this was very
improper language to use in the presence of the Queen's representative.
It was agreed that Richard-in-Iron should be MacWilliam, and that
MacOliver should be sheriff of Mayo, receiving 40_l._ a year out of the
chief-rent of his barony of Tyrawley.[82]

[Sidenote: Clanricarde's son hanged.]

About three months later William Burke, though he was under protection,
took to plundering people on the highway, and had even the audacity
to offer their goods for sale at Galway. He behaved so outrageously
that the townsmen laid hands on him. Nine of his men were executed
by martial law, and Maltby held special sessions for the trial of
the chief offender. The Grand Jury found a bill for treason, and the
prisoner was then tried and convicted. The verdict was considered proof
of Burke having violated his protection. The Irish annalists insinuate
a breach of faith; but even a free pardon would not save a subject
from the consequence of acts done after its date, and Maltby seems to
have been legally justified. He refused 1,000_l._ for the prisoner's
life, and a like sum for that of Tirlogh O'Brien, a noted rebel who was
executed two days before.[83]

[Sidenote: John of Desmond is slain.]

More than a year had passed since the capture of Smerwick, an amnesty
had been proclaimed, and yet the end of the rebellion seemed no
nearer. On January 2 a spy came to Zouch at Cork to tell him that David
Barry was at Castle Lyons and might easily be taken. The Governor
waited till nine o'clock at night, and then set out with a hundred men,
of whom one-half were mounted. Arriving at the castle at daybreak, he
found that Barry had not arrived; but in the immediate neighbourhood
he lighted accidentally upon John of Desmond with three companions.
He had been sent by his brother the Earl, who himself lay north of
the Blackwater, to compose a quarrel between Barry and the seneschal
of Imokilly. So little danger was dreamed of that Sir John and his
friends rode on ponies and without defensive armour. Patrick Condon,
a noted leader, and another managed to escape, but Sir John was run
through with a spear and also shot in the throat by one Fleming, who
had formerly been his servant. James Fitzjohn of Strancally, a cousin
of Desmond, was taken prisoner. Sir John only survived a few minutes,
but he was able to say that had he lived longer he would have done more
mischief, and that Henry Davells was never his friend. His body was
sent to Cork and hung in chains over one of the gates for three or four
years, when a great storm blew it into the river. The head was sent to
Dublin as a 'New Year's gift' for Grey, and stuck upon a pole on the
castle wall. James Fitzjohn was executed, having first confessed that
the Earl was in a sad plight, and lived only by eating at night the
cows that he had killed in the day. A turquoise set in gold was found
upon Sir John and was sent to the Queen; his _agnus dei_, with its
glass and gold frame, was transmitted to the Earl of Bedford. Having
been designated as his successor by James Fitzmaurice, who had the
Pope's authority for so doing, John of Desmond was acknowledged as the
Catholic leader, and his death was of considerable importance. He was a
man of ability, and the only person fit to manage the turbulent chiefs
who had never served, and who could therefore never command.[84]

[Sidenote: Ill-timed parsimony.]

The rebellion had received a great blow, and if it had been followed
up promptly all would soon have been over. But the Queen immediately
ordered the discharge of 700 men, making the second reduction of
the forces within three months. Zouch had now only 400 men at his
disposal, and disasters of course followed. In March James Fenton, the
secretary's brother, who had succeeded Captain Apsley in West Cork,
crossed over from Berehaven with the intention of provisioning Bantry
Abbey, where he expected to find some of his men. David Barry, with a
strong party, had already cut the detachment to pieces, and lay hidden
in the building till the first boat landed. The unsuspecting soldiers
were all killed. Fenton, who followed in another boat, turned back
when he discovered what had happened. The Irish gave chase, but night
favoured the fugitive, who landed in the darkness, and after three
days' 'cold entertainment on the rocks,' scrambled back to his castle,
badly bruised and very hungry, but unwounded.[85]

[Sidenote: Indecisive skirmishes.]

[Sidenote: Zouch presses Desmond hard.]

In April the Baron of Lixnaw joined the rebels, and the soldiers in
Kerry narrowly escaped annihilation. Captain Acham and a score of men
were killed and the rest closely shut up in Ardfert Abbey, where they
daily expected to be overwhelmed. The presence of a Spanish vessel
may have determined the action of the Fitzmaurices. There had been a
similar visitor before the descent at Smerwick, and it was thought that
another and stronger force was about to fortify one of the islands
off Baltimore or Castlehaven. Zouch had, however, the satisfaction of
taking his revenge on David Barry. Led by John FitzEdmond of Cloyne,
a noted loyalist, he surprised Barry in a wood near the Blackwater,
and killed nearly 100 of his men. The defeated chief sued for
protection, and Zouch granted it until his return from Kerry, whither
he immediately hurried, and succeeded in relieving the beleaguered
men at Ardfert. He then went to the glen of Aherlow, where Desmond
himself lay. The rebels were so hard pressed that Lady Desmond took
to the mountains, leaving her baggage and female attendants to be
captured. Zouch's foot could not come up in time, and nothing decisive
was done. Zouch took it on himself to offer the Earl life and liberty,
but he demanded the restoration of all his lands and possessions. Lady
Desmond, however, went to Dublin and surrendered to Grey.[86]

[Sidenote: Lady Desmond surrenders.]

[Sidenote: Savage warfare.]

[Sidenote: Desmond's heir.]

Lady Desmond's desertion of her husband was justly considered as a
sign that he was becoming weaker, but the immediate effect was to make
him freer in his movements. He plundered and devastated the whole of
Tipperary, and descended the valley of the Suir almost to Waterford.
At Knockgraffon, near Cahir, he defeated Ormonde's three brothers in a
fair fight, though the Butlers had greatly the superior force. In Kerry
he was not opposed at all. The seneschal of Imokilly had the eastern
part of Cork and the western part of Waterford at his mercy, and the
estates of Lord Roche were so completely depopulated that settlers had
afterwards to be brought from a distance. The style of warfare may be
guessed from the Irish annalists, who remark that when Grace MacBrien,
the wife of Theobald Roche, 'saw her husband mangled, and mutilated,
and disfigured, she shrieked extremely and dreadfully, so that she died
that night alongside the body of her husband, and both were buried
together.' There were but fourteen men fit to bear arms left alive in
the whole district round Fermoy. Ormonde's own house at Carrick was
plundered by the seneschal. On the whole it was thought that the time
had not come to show mercy to important rebels, and the Queen ordered
that Lady Desmond should be sent back to her husband, unless she could
induce him to surrender unconditionally. Her only son, as she wrote
to Burghley, 'remained in the castle of Dublin, without any kind of
learning or bringing up, or any to attend on him,' and she begged that
he might be sent to England as 'the lesser evil of the two.'[87]

[Sidenote: Grey is recalled.]

However much the Queen may have been to blame, it was clear that
Grey had not been a successful governor, and Burghley had formed
a bad opinion of his capacity. He had begun with the disaster at
Glenmalure, and his bloody success at Smerwick had not added much to
his reputation. Sheer severity was his great resource, and he had made
enemies on all sides. Yet Sidney had been severe enough, and even
the children in the streets clamoured for his return. 'Where,' said
Secretary Fenton, 'there is so great an antipathy and dissimilitude
of humour and manners between a people and their governor, then the
government cannot be carried in just rule and frame no more than a
wound can be healed which is plied with medicine contrary to its
proper cure.' The Queen had accused her most successful lieutenant of
extravagance, but she found his successor more costly still, and she
resolved to recall him. There was no great difficulty about this, for
he had very often begged to be relieved, but it was feared that a bad
impression would be made in Ireland. Elizabeth therefore determined
to send for him under the guise of a conference. This resolution was
quickly acted upon, and Grey surrendered the sword to Wallop and

[Sidenote: Causes of Grey's failure.]

[Sidenote: The famine in Munster.]

The governor of a dependency will always be in some measure judged by
the state in which he leaves the country that he has been called to
rule, and, tried by this standard, not much can be said for Grey. The
friend and hero of Spenser was called, as the poet himself records, 'a
bloody man, who regarded not the life of her Majesty's subjects no more
than dogs, but had wasted and consumed all, so as now she had nothing
almost left, but to reign in their ashes.' Sir Warham St. Leger, who
certainly cannot be suspected of any great sympathy with the Irish
people, and who was not hostile to Grey, has left a terrible picture
of the state of Munster. The country was ruined almost past recovery by
the ruthless exaction of cess, and by the extortions of the soldiers.
30,000 at least had perished by famine within six months, and disease
also was doing its work. Cork was then a small town, consisting of one
street scarce a furlong in length, yet there were sometimes seventy
deaths in a day and very seldom as few as twenty. John FitzEdmond of
Cloyne, one of the few really loyal men in the province, had lost
nineteen-twentieths of his people, and the cattle, which could never
graze in safety, were as lean as their masters. The only inhabitants
in tolerable case were the actual rebels, who took freely all men's
goods and escaped disease 'by enjoying continually the wholesome air
of the fields.' And this was Grey's settled policy. Five counties
were to be laid waste, in order that the traitors might be starved
into submission. 'I have,' St. Leger said, 'often told the Governor
that this is far wide from the true course of government,' for the
towns would waste away, the revenues dwindle, and the whole country be
exhausted by such a frightful drain. Nevertheless, the destruction was
nearly as complete as it could be. Nine-tenths of the men had succumbed
to the sword, the halter, or the pestilence. The women escaped better,
but, taking one thing with another, a competent observer thought there
were not enough people left alive to cultivate one hundredth part of
the land. But the most harrowing account of all is the oft-quoted
passage of Spenser, though the poet lays the blame on the people and
not on their ruler. At the beginning of the war, he says, Munster was
full of corn and cattle. Eighteen months had destroyed all. Lean as
were the starving people, their legs would not bear them, and they
crawled out of caves and glens to feed on carrion, or, like ghouls,
to scrape the dead from their graves, 'and if they found a plot of
watercresses or shamrocks, there they flocked as to a feast for a time,
yet not able long to continue therewithal, so that in short space
there were none almost left, and a most populous and plentiful country
suddenly left void of man or beast; yet sure in all that was there
perished not many by the sword, but all by the extremity of famine
which they themselves had wrought.'[89]

[Sidenote: Rising of William Nugent.]

[Sidenote: A chief justice executed.]

If Grey was unsuccessful in dealing with Munster, he had at least
driven Baltinglas to Spain and crushed the abortive rising of William
Nugent. Seven persons were executed on account of one, and six on
account of the other movement. Of those who suffered, the most
remarkable was Nicholas Nugent, late Chief Justice of the Common
Pleas, who was perhaps actuated by discontent at being removed from
his place. He was uncle to Delvin and his rebellious brother, and the
mode of his conviction must have added much to the hatred which was
generally felt for Grey. Privy Councillors were joined in commission
with the ordinary judges, 'and with them,' said the Lord Deputy, 'I
went in person, and sat upon the bench, to see justice more equally
ministered.' The evidence against Nugent and against Edward Cusack,
who was tried at the same time, was almost wholly that of an informer,
John Cusack, who had been one of the most active conspirators. Grey
blames the prisoners for audaciously casting doubts on the evidence of
'this double-dyed traitor. A verdict was, however, secured, some of the
jurors knowing in their private consciences that the prisoners were far
from that innocency that they pretended.' Nugent appears to have died
protesting his innocence, though he made private admissions to some
officials which perhaps went to show that he was technically guilty of
treason. But these admissions were not made until after his conviction,
nor in open court at all. Baron Cusack, and perhaps another judge, was
against the verdict. It is to be feared that the extreme severity shown
was rather because Nugent was a troublesome person than for anything
actually rebellious that he had done. Formerly, when a Baron of the
Exchequer, he had opposed the cess, and had been removed from the bench
by Sidney. Gerard restored him to a higher place, and from this he was
driven by Grey.[90]

[Sidenote: Sufferings of Nugent and his wife.]

William Nugent himself underwent the utmost misery. He lay in the
fields without covering at night, and his friends were afraid to
attract attention by bringing him as much canvas as would make a
shelter-tent. His wife--the Janet Marward, whose abduction has been
already related--was with her mother, Mrs. Nicholas Nugent, but his
two boys were in his own keeping. Nicholas Nugent might have made his
peace with the Government had he been able to get hold of the eldest;
but William said the brother, wife, and child were over many hostages.
Give him back his wife, and the children should be sent in exchange.
The poor mother, who was half-crazed with her troubles, supported her
stepfather's request that the child should be given up, in hopes,
probably, that she might thus see him. All the while John Cusack was
the active agent who swore in confederates for the 'holy cause,' and
took the lead generally. William ultimately escaped to Scotland, and
thence to Italy, and his wife, after some delay, was allowed to receive
the profits of her own property. Ormonde warmly supported her cause,
and reminded Burghley that she had been married by force. The only
charge against her was that she had sent some shirts to her destitute
husband, but she was imprisoned for a whole year. 'If any fault were,'
it was urged on the Lord Treasurer, 'the dutiful love of a wife to a
husband in that extremity may, I trust, procure some remorse towards
her in your Lordship's honourable opinion.' The desire of the informers
to get her land probably caused the harsh treatment. She was at one
time on the point of starvation, and yet was accused of offering a
bribe for her own safety, and fined 500_l._ She had, she pleaded,
nothing to give, and though she had friends, 'who perhaps would have
given all they had in the world rather than see her life lost,' yet
they had given nothing with her knowledge.[91]

[Sidenote: Raleigh sides with Ormonde,]

Walter Raleigh was not on good terms with Grey. 'I like not,' said
the latter, 'his carriage or company, and he has nothing to expect
from me.' The brilliant adventurer, who had now got Burghley's ear,
may have been influenced by this, but, whatever the reason, he seems
to have turned to Ormonde, whom he had formerly depreciated. His plan
for ending the Desmond rebellion was to put the Earl's pardon and
restoration altogether out of the question, and to receive to mercy
and service all those chiefs who were actuated more by fear of him
than by disaffection to the Government, such as Lord Fitzmaurice,
MacDonough of Duhallow, Patrick Condon, and the White Knight. 700 men
in garrison would do the rest. The Earl of Ormonde was to be chiefly
relied on for bringing back the still rebellious chiefs to their
allegiance. Raleigh's reasons may be given in his own words: 'There are
many adhering to Desmond which heretofore was good subjects and served
against the Earl, and some of them being evil used by the English
soldiers and having an opinion that in the end her Majesty will both
pardon and restore the Earl as heretofore he hath been, they do rather
follow him for fear to be hereafter plagued by him, if now they should
not follow him. And therefore if many of these were privately dealt
with to return to the service of her Majesty, and to be permitted to
possess their own countries quietly, and were well persuaded that the
Earl should never be restored, they would be brought to serve her
Majesty, &c.'

[Sidenote: who is restored.]

The soldiers, he added, if they were to be really efficient, should
be able to live on their pay, for the certain evils of free quarters
were worse than the risks of rebellion. This reasoning prevailed, and
Ormonde was appointed governor of Munster, with power to act as Raleigh
had advised.[92]

[Sidenote: Disorders of an ill-paid soldiery.]

Ireland could not be held without an army, and that army was
irregularly paid. The consequence was that the Queen's peaceable
subjects found their defenders more burdensome than their enemies. 'I
think in conscience,' said Bishop Lyons '(speaking it with grief of
heart), amongst the heathen there is no such wicked soldiers.' In the
Pale food and forage were taken without payment, 'every soldier, having
his boy or woman, would when he came in the afternoon have a meal's
meat, which they term a "Kusshyinge," and then after that his supper,
and if the poor people when they came offered them such as they had,
as bread, milk, butter, cheese, or eggs, they would have none of it,
but would have flesh, and when they found poultry or sheep they would
kill them, and every soldier would have a quarter of that mutton or
poultry at his pleasure, with the reversion of which he would break
his fast in the morning and have sixpence for his dinner, for all
which they would pay nothing, nor captain nor officer give their bill,
whereby the ordinary allowance might be answered of the country.' Men,
and even women, were beaten to death, and a great part of Kildare lay
waste. A proper composition, in lieu of cess, and increased pay were
the only remedies which the Irish Government could suggest. In Munster
there was scarcely any attempt made to levy a regular cess, but the
soldiers took whatever they could find. If the mayor or citizens of
Cork interceded for their miserable neighbours, they received such
answers as, 'Ye are but beggars, rascals, and traitors, and I am a
soldier and a gentleman.' Under these circumstances it is not wonderful
that Desmond's band was 1,000 strong, that the rebels reaped the corn
everywhere, and that Captain Smith and his company, who were among the
worst offenders, were cut to pieces at Ardfert. The cattle were swept
away at noon from under the walls of Cashel. The seneschal of Imokilly
plundered freely in the immediate neighbourhood of Cork, and the mayor
pursued them in vain--luckily, in St. Leger's opinion, for the citizen
soldiers were fit only to defend walls, and scarcely to do that against
any serious attack.[93]

[Sidenote: Desmond's cruelty.]

Desmond was strong for the moment, but his cruel and impolitic conduct
shows that he was a desperate man. Four gentlemen of the Geraldines,
who had refused to follow him were captured and sentenced by his
council of war to be hanged. But the Earl said that every Geraldine
who failed him should be cut in pieces, and called on as many as loved
him to give the prisoner a stroke of the sword. They were accordingly
'cut in gobbets,' in Desmond's presence. He attacked the O'Keefes, a
loyal clan upon the upper Blackwater, killed the chief's son and other
prisoners, and took 'the Vicar of Oskallie, and put out upon him a jury
of twelve of the Earl's men, which jury passed upon him and condemned
him to death, seeing he was a true subject to her Majesty, and held
office under her highness always.' Of the whole party, O'Keefe alone
was spared, and he was badly wounded.[94]

[Sidenote: Death of Clanricarde, whose sons come to terms.]

From Maltby in Connaught came the only news which could possibly be
called good. Old Clanricarde was at last liberated about the end of
June, and a few weeks later he died at Galway of jaundice, aggravated
by vexation at the sight of his ruined castle and wasted country.
With his last breath he cursed his sons should they prove disobedient
subjects, and thanked the Queen for her clemency. The young men soon
came in and professed their willingness to have disputes settled
according to law, but Secretary Fenton observed that it would be
easy to make a civil faction between them, and cut off one without
disturbing the province. There was little difficulty in proving that
Ulick, the elder brother, was Earl, and the more difficult matter of
the lands was settled quietly, and with at least some show of amity.
Each competitor gave a bond in 10,000_l._ to abide by the award, which
was based upon the principle of equal division, first choice being in
some cases given to the Earl. The whole barony of Leitrim was given to
John absolutely, and the title was afterwards conferred upon him. The
castles of Portumna and Loughrea were awarded to Ulick; the brothers
agreed to surrender Ballinasloe to Maltby. The right of some other
Burkes were defined, and in general terms it may be said that the
baronies of Dunkellin, Loughrea, and Longford remained with the Earl,
though some parcels were excepted. The award was accepted, but the
hatred of the brothers was of too long standing to be thus appeased,
and it was not long before it broke out again.[95]

[Sidenote: General famine.]

Famine and pestilence continued to rage through the summer, autumn, and
winter of 1582. All Waterford, Limerick, and Cork, and a great part of
Tipperary, were spoiled. 200 or 300 kine for the public service were as
much as could be had for love or money. 'The wolf and the best rebel
lodged in one inn, with one diet and one kind of bedding.' Archbishop
Loftus being, as Spenser says, more mildly disposed, as 'was meet for
his profession,' than his colleague Wallop, was so horrified that he
advised Burghley to pardon Desmond. There might, he said, be some
question of the Queen's honour if the war of Ireland was like other
wars, between one prince and another, but this was against a subject,
bare, rude, and savage. The only honour to be had was by healing the
sores of the poor subjects. For the famine was not confined to Munster,
but ran its course even in Dublin under the eyes of the Lords Justices.

A horse of Secretary Fenton's was accidentally burned, and was eaten by
the people before it was half-roasted. Another of Wallop's died, and
was devoured, entrails and all, apparently without any preparation. It
became, indeed, a regular thing 'to eat the carcasses of dead horses,
and to buy them at the soldiers' hands.' The Lords Justices admitted
that this was a lamentable thing to happen under a Christian prince.
The Irish, however, they explained, were less averse to carrion than
other people; still they could not but be grieved that the soldiers
should extort money for any such wares. The fact is that all were
starving alike.[96]

[Sidenote: St. Leger seeks to treat with Desmond,]

[Sidenote: and foretells Ormonde's failure.]

Sir Warham St. Leger, who hated Ormonde and all his works, attributed
the evil state of Munster to the 'cockling and dandling of
hollow-hearted wretches,' in pursuance of the Earl's policy. In the
meantime he intrigued for a capitulation on Desmond's part. He had
taken the Seneschal's natural son--a boy of seven--'as like him as if
he had spit him out of his mouth,' and proposed to hang him in case
the father should break out again. In the meantime he endeavoured to
treat with Desmond through his means, but the rebel Earl was buoyed up
constantly with the hopes of aid from abroad. The Countess persuaded
him never to write anything, for fear of compromising himself with
foreign princes. St. Leger was authorised to offer him his life,
restraint without any imprisonment in some part of England or Ireland,
and hope of further mercy for himself and child; but a full restoration
was not to be thought of. There seems to have been little sincerity in
the negotiation, though doubtless both the Queen and Burghley would
have been glad to avoid further expense; and Ormonde, on his arrival,
found the state of affairs unaltered. St. Leger foretold his failure.
The protectees would fail him, and he would have enough to do to
keep his own. 'He is,' he said, 'a person most odious of all men to
Desmond's friends.... It is death to all the lords and chieftains of
both factions to have English government come among them, for they know
that if English government be established here, their Irish exactions
is laid aground; the which to forego they had as leave die, such is
their devilish consciences.' How true was the prophecy as to Ormonde's
failure will appear hereafter.[97]

[Sidenote: Ormonde returns to Ireland with fresh powers 1583.]

After many delays Ormonde was at last despatched, and 1,000 men were
assigned to be under his orders in Munster. He had power to promise
pardon to all rebels except Desmond himself. His pay and allowances
were calculated on a liberal scale, amounting in all to over 4,000_l._
a year, and his rents due to the Crown were suspended until he should
be able to make the lands profitable. Much was left to his discretion.
Thus, rebels who surrendered might have a promise of their lands in
consideration of a reasonable rent. 300 men were sent from Devon and
Cornwall, Cheshire and Lancashire, Somersetshire and Gloucestershire,
to fill up the gaps in the Irish garrisons. A large store of provisions
was sent; but, on landing, Ormonde found Waterford, Tipperary, Cork,
and Limerick in such a state that he thought it would not last for two
months. His personal allowance was fixed at 3_l._ a day, but Wallop
at once made a difficulty about paying this and many other claims.
Ormonde, he said, was already too great for Ireland, and desired to
be absolute in his government. Money no doubt was scarce in Dublin,
but the Vice-Treasurer was advised to satisfy the Earl's demands. The
new governor lost no time in preparing for action, but he complained
bitterly that companies were defective, that troops of horse were
mounted on borrowed ponies, and that he was expected to perform
impossibilities. He was ordered not to have more than four per cent.
of Irishmen in any band; whereas Englishmen could not be had, and the
Irish were the best shots.[98]

[Sidenote: Gallant defence of Youghal.]

While Munster waited for its new governor, the Seneschal of Imokilly
made two attempts to get possession of Youghal. Just at the beginning
of winter, some English soldiers, who were probably unpaid, agreed
to open the gates; but the plot was discovered. More than two months
later, two goldsmiths, who pretended to be soldiers, were admitted into
the town. On the appointed night one kept the guard drinking while
the other held a ladder for the assailants, whose plan was to occupy
every stone house, and to cut it off from the gates. Fortunately, the
soldiers had only a few days before broken down a stair leading from
the walls, and thus only a few rebels were able to descend at a time.
Two houses were, however, taken, and held for three days, in one of
which the seneschal, in cold blood and with his own hands, knocked out
the brains of six soldiers. Dermod Magrath, Papal Bishop of Cork and
Cloyne, and 'a very learned man in the papist doctrine,' was present,
and persuaded him not to kill any of the townsmen. The Sovereign, or
Burgomaster, Francis Agnes (or Anes), behaved with great gallantry,
and on the rumoured approach of troops from Waterford, the seneschal
withdrew, having lost some sixty men, but carrying away a great
quantity of corn, wine, beef, and hides, and leaving half the town in
ashes. Cork was asked to send men to the relief of Youghal, but that
city had none to spare, having itself been pressed by the rebels, who
came up to the very walls and carried off the linen which was drying on
the hedges. One of Ormonde's first cares was to reinforce the garrison
of Youghal.[99]

[Sidenote: Ormonde shuts Desmond up in Kerry, and his adherents fall

In order to put down the Munster rebellion, the first thing was to
localise it. The Queen herself had suggested that if Desmond could be
kept out of Tipperary and Waterford, it would be comparatively easy
to deal with him, and this was the plan adopted by Ormonde. At first
he fixed his headquarters at Clonmel, whence the woods of Aherlow
were easily accessible, and the Seneschal of Imokilly, who lay there,
was harassed by the garrisons of Limerick and Kilmallock. In a month
after Ormonde's arrival, Desmond fled to the borders of Kerry, and his
adherents began to desert him fast. Patrick Condon and over 300 others
received protections, which they showed a disposition to pay for with
the heads of their late comrades. The Baron of Lixnaw submitted about
the end of March and was followed in a few days by Gerald MacThomas,
called Toneboyreagh, who had long kept the county of Limerick
disturbed, and now served well against his late associates. About the
same time Lady Desmond came to Ormonde under a twenty days' protection,
but as she still demanded life, liberty, and property for her husband,
no terms were granted to her. She then surrendered unconditionally,
rather than return to such misery as she had lately endured. Early in
June the Seneschal of Imokilly also made his submission, and Desmond
was thus deprived of his last important supporter. The rebellion was
now confined to Kerry and West Cork, and thither Ormonde repaired about
the end of June.[100]

[Sidenote: Desmond is hard pressed;]

A few days before Ormonde's arrival Desmond and his wife had a narrow
escape from a night attack by the garrison of Kilmallock. The bed
in which they had lain was found warm by the soldiers, into whose
hands 'the countess's gentlewoman' and others fell. A fog covered the
flight of the two principal personages; but cattle, plate, jewels, and
wardrobes were all captured. The presence of a lady and her attendants
no doubt acted as a clog, and Desmond himself was becoming infirm. The
old hurt received at Affane was likely to be aggravated by cold and
fatigue, and a month later he had to be carried in his shirt by four
men into a bog, and ferried over a river in a trough to escape from a
sudden attack by Captain Thornton. After this he fled into Kerry, and
it was reported that he would be glad if possible to escape by sea. He
was too closely watched for this, but after the failure of his wife's
mission, he still refused to come to Ormonde. The following letter to
St. Leger may well be given entire:--

[Sidenote: but will not come to Ormonde,]

'Sir Warham, where I understand that the Earl of Ormonde giveth forth
that I should submit myself before him as attorney to Her Majesty, you
may be sure he doth report more thereof than I have sent him either
by word or writing. But this I have offered in hope to prove the
unreasonable wrong and injuries done unto me by her Highness's officers
in this realm from time to time, unguilty in me behalf as God knoweth.
I am contented upon these conditions so as me country, castles,
possessions, and lands, with me son, might be put and left in the hands
and quiet possession of me counsel and followers, and also me religion
and conscience not barred, with a pardon, protection, and passport for
me own body to pass and repass. I would have gone before her Majesty
to try all those causes just and true on me part, as I still do allege
if I might be heard or may have indifference, and likewise hoping that
I might have more justice, favour, and grace at her Majesty's hands
when I am before herself than here at the hands of such of her cruel
officers as have me wrongfully proclaimed, and so thereby thinking that
her Majesty and I may agree; if not that I may be put safe in the hands
of me followers again, and I to deliver me son and me said possessions
back to her Majesty's officers. Dated at Feale the 28th of April,

[Sidenote: who insists on an unconditional surrender.]

Ormonde would hear of nothing but an unconditional surrender, and
continued to ply his double policy of war and clemency. Before the end
of May he could announce that 134 had been slain, and 247 protected,
since those last mentioned. The few remaining rebels were reduced to
horseflesh or carrion, and Desmond himself knew not where to lay his
head. He had still eighty men with him, but his pride was sufficiently
humbled to make him address Ormonde directly. He could not, he
said, accuse himself of disloyalty, but confessed that he had been
misled, and pleaded that he had been tyrannously used. He begged for
a conference, 'humbly craving that you will please to appoint some
place and time where I may attend upon your honour.' Ormonde, who was
justly proud at this falsification of St. Leger's prediction, would not
alter his terms, and a few days afterwards reported that the rebel's
eighty followers were reduced to twenty. A little later, when he was
himself marching towards Kerry, he learned that the fugitive's retinue
consisted of only five persons--a priest, two horsemen, one kerne, and
a boy. The people of the South-West had already experience enough of
an invasion by Ormonde, and hastened on all sides to make terms for
themselves. There were rumours that the Queen was getting tired of the
war, and that he would be recalled. He was, he said, so confident of
success that he was ready to begin the reduction of the forces under
his command. Success was very near when he had been removed before, and
he begged that the mistake might not be repeated. 'Thus,' he said, 'am
I handled, and do break the ice for others to pass with ease.'[101]

[Sidenote: St. Leger thwarts Ormonde.]

Sir Warham St. Leger did all that he possibly could to thwart Ormonde.
Protections to rebels were, he said, bad things, which enabled traitors
to extort from good subjects. Henry VIII., he reminded the Queen, had
quieted the Pale for years by first making a somewhat dishonourable
peace with the rebels, 'and then paying them home.' His advice was that
Desmond should be received to life and liberty. 'I dare,' he added,
'adventure the loss of one of my arms, which I would not willingly
lose for all the lands and livings that ever he had, he will, within
one quarter of a year after he is so received (if the matter be well
and politically handled), be wrought to enter into new treasons,
and thereby apprehended, and his head cut off according to his due
deserts.' Any other course would be too expensive. In other words, the
wretched man was to be lulled into fancied security, watched by spies
and tempted by false friends until he was induced to do something
technically equivalent to treason. This abominable advice was not
taken, happily for Elizabeth's honour; but constant detraction was
very near shaking Ormonde's credit. Wallop and Fenton, who knew the
Queen's weak point and who hated the Earl for his independent conduct
and position, lost no opportunity of showing what a costly luxury her
Lord-General was. Walsingham urged Ormonde to make a quick end lest
her Majesty should repent, and he afterwards repeated St. Leger's
sentiments and almost his very words about the impolicy of granting
protections. Burghley, however, stood firm, and it was probably through
his influence that some of St. Leger's letters to the Queen were kept
from her eye and sent back to Ormonde, who accused his adversary of
offering to secure mercy for Desmond if he would only hold out until
the Earl was no longer governor of Munster, and of giving out that
his supersession was resolved on. Ormonde says he heard this from
rebels who were likely to know the truth, that it was confirmed by
a priest who had long been with Desmond, and that the latter had
thus been 'animated' to hold out although in great straits. Ormonde
thought Wallop disliked him nearly as much as St. Leger, and the
Vice-Treasurer's own letters bear out this opinion.[102]

[Sidenote: Ormonde scours Kerry.]

Fate, or Burghley, had, however, decreed that Ormonde should be allowed
to finish the business in his own way, and the sad story may now be
told to the end. There was no more fighting to be done, and at the
end of June the Lord General passed through Tipperary and Limerick
into Kerry. He visited Castle Island, Castlemaine, and Dingle, a
principal object of the journey being to prevent Desmond escaping
by sea. Castlemaine he found roofless and in ruins, and that famous
hold was never again destined to resist the royal power. Clancare,
the two O'Sullivans, and other gentlemen came to him with assurances
of fidelity, and not the slightest resistance was offered anywhere.
The protected people, he said, had generally served well, and were
supported by their friends without charge to the Queen. Those who did
no service had given hostages, and the work of reducing the garrisons
might now be at once begun. The rebels were weary of the war and were
ploughing the land; sword, law, and famine had done their work. In
all his journey to the farthest point of Kerry, and back by Kinsale
to Cork, Ormonde had to tell of no enemy but Sir Warham St. Leger,
'who dwelleth in Cork Castle to small purpose for any good service he
doth... drinking and writing (saving your honour) shameful lies.'[103]

[Sidenote: Desmond is driven into a corner.]

Early in August St. Leger reported that Desmond had crossed the Shannon
and escaped to Scotland; but there was no truth in this. He was
confined to that part of Kerry which lies north of Castlemaine and to
the mountainous corner of Cork where the Blackwater rises. Ormonde was
pretty confident that he would be captured, and none of the protected
men relapsed except Goran MacSwiney, a captain of gallowglasses. Orders
were sent to reduce the army in Munster from 1,000 to 600, and to
prepare, if possible, for a further reduction to 200. On the very day
that this order was penned Lord Roche was able to announce that he had
very nearly taken Desmond, and that he had actually taken his chaplain,
who was not so well horsed as the rest. 'I would,' Ormonde wrote to
Burghley, 'this chaplain and I were for one hour with you in your
chamber, that you might know the secrets of his heart, which by fair
means or foul he must open unto me.' The poor man was coupled with
a handlock to one of Ormonde's servants, so that no one could speak
to him privately. And thus the hunted chief was deprived of his last

[Sidenote: Death of Desmond.]

On November 1, Goran MacSwiney was killed, and Ormonde proceeded
to discharge 110 foot and 12 horse. Even yet a few desperate men
adhered to Desmond, and he might have long eluded his pursuers but
for an outrage done in his name. On November 9, he sent twenty men
on a plundering expedition to the south side of Tralee Bay, and they
drove off forty cows and some horses belonging to Maurice O'Moriarty,
whose house they robbed, and whose wife and children they barbarously
stripped naked. Next day, having first asked leave from Lieutenant
Stanley at Dingle, the O'Moriarties, with near a score of kerne and
some half-dozen soldiers of the garrison of Castlemaine, traced
the lost cattle to the woods of Glanageenty, about five miles to
the east of Tralee. Owen O'Moriarty climbed the hill by moonlight,
and looking down into the deep glen saw a fire beneath him, which
was found to proceed from a cabin. The hut was surrounded, and at
daybreak the O'Moriarties entered. Taken unawares and but half-awake,
Desmond's companion only thought of escaping, and he was left behind
and wounded in the arm with a sword-cut by a soldier named Daniel
O'Kelly. 'I am the Earl of Desmond,' he cried, 'save my life!' 'Thou
hast killed thyself long ago,' said Owen O'Moriarty, and now thou
shalt be prisoner to the Queen's Majesty and the Earl of Ormonde, Lord
General of Munster.' They carried him some distance, but a rescue
was imminent, and Owen ordered O'Kelly to strike off the prisoner's
head, since it was impossible to fight thus encumbered. The soldier
obeyed, and the head was carried to Castlemaine, and from thence to
Ormonde at Kilkenny. The ghastly trophy was by him sent to the Queen.
As the best evidence against those who 'spoke malicious lies touching
the service and state of Munster,' it was exposed on London Bridge.
The like exposure at Cork was designed for the headless trunk, but
friendly hands hid it for eight weeks, and finally deposited it in a
neighbouring chapel where only Fitzgeralds were buried, and which is
still called 'the church of the name.'[105]

[Sidenote: Desmond a popular hero.]

The spot where Desmond was decapitated is marked by a mound, and
retains the name of _Bothar-an-Iarla_, or the Earl's way. A gigantic
elder formerly overshadowed the place, and in our own day it is covered
by a young oak, a holly, and a bright tangle of ferns and foxgloves.
A good carriage-road runs through the once inaccessible glen, and
marks the difference between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Desmond's death closes the mediæval history of Munster, and it is no
wonder that much legendary glory attaches to his name. He was a man of
little talent or virtue, though he need not be too severely condemned
for refusing to see that the days of feudal or tribal independence
were over. But the past has an irresistible attraction for Irish
sentiment, and the popular ear is more readily opened to fable than to
historical truth. With nothing heroic about him, the unhappy Earl is
still honoured as a hero; but even the fidelity of tradition to his
memory is less than that of the natives to him while he yet lived. Let
thus much be said in honour of the poor kerne, who stood so staunchly
in a doubtful cause. The Earl's ghost, mounted on a phantom steed
with silver shoes, is said sometimes to rise at night from the waters
of Lough Gur; and when the west wind comes up fitfully from the sea
and makes slates and windows rattle, the Kerry people still call upon
travellers to listen to the Desmond howl.[106]


[80] Grey to the Privy Council, July 10, 1581; Wallop to Walsingham,
July 17.

[81] Wallop to Walsingham, March 8, 1581; L. Bryskett to Walsingham,
April 21; Grey to the Queen, August 10; G. Fenton to Leicester,
September 1; and to Burghley, September 21.

[82] Relation of Sir N. Maltby's proceedings, March 23, 1581.

[83] Maltby to Walsingham, June 30, 1581; _Four Masters_, 1581. From
Maltby's letter of September 20, it appears that Burghley approved of
William Burke's execution.

[84] Zouch to Burghley, January 5, 1582; White Knight to Ormonde,
same date; William Wendover to Fenton, January 6; Grey to Walsingham,
January 13; Russell; O'Daly.

[85] The Queen to Grey, January 28, 1582; G. Fenton to Walsingham,
March 28; St. Leger to Fenton, March 24.

[86] G. Fenton to Walsingham, May 8, 1582; St. Leger to Walsingham, and
Justice Meade to same, May 28; Loftus and Wallop to Walsingham, June 7;
Grey to Walsingham, June 16.

[87] Maltby to Walsingham, June 17, 1582; Wallop to Walsingham, June
21; Walsingham to Grey, June 25; Lady Desmond to Burghley, August 28;
Lords Justices to the Privy Council, October 12; _Four Masters_, 1582;

[88] G. Fenton to Walsingham, November 5, 1581. In a letter to
Walsingham of July 2, 1582, Grey complains that Burghley listens to
slanderers; the Queen's opinion, &c., July, No. 76. The sword was
delivered August 31.

[89] Spenser's _View of the State of Ireland_. This is one of the
many passages tending to prove that the original shamrock was the
wood-sorrel, and not the white clover, which could never have been
edible; consult Bentham's British Flora under _Oxalis_, and see
below note to chapter 52. St. Leger to the Queen, March 12, 1582, to
Burghley, April 20; Justice Meade to Walsingham, May 28. The soldiers
were nearly as badly off as the natives, Dowdall to Walsingham, April
24. In the relation of Lord Grey's services (September 1582) is
mentioned 'the general destruction of the enemy's churls.' The churls
were the non-combatant country folk.

[90] Grey to the Privy Council, April 12, 1582; to Walsingham, May 7; a
friend to Mrs. Nugent, July 5, 1583; Sidney's _Brief Relation_, 1583.
Sir Robert Dillon, who succeeded Nugent as Chief Justice, was much
blamed for his conduct in this case; see his letter to Walsingham, June
25, 1582.

[91] John Nugent's confession, February 5, 1582; petition to Burghley,
September (No. 85); Ormonde to Burghley, May 30, 1583; Janet Nugent's
petition, August 30; warrants for the remission of her fine and for
restoration to her property, April 18, 1584. It is stated that the fine
was imposed on the information of John Cusack. William Nugent left
Ireland in or before January 1582.

[92] Grey to Walsingham, May 7, 1582; Mr. Rawley's opinion, October 25.
Ormonde's appointment was announced on December 3.

[93] The Bishop of Ross to the Lords Justices, October 9, 1582, with
remarks by the Lords Justices; Auditor Jenyson to Burghley, September
4; St. Leger to Burghley, September 22, and to the Lords Justices,
September 26; the Portreeve of Cashel to the Lords Justices, September

[94] Letter from Onor Cartye enclosed in one from the Lords Justices
to Walsingham, October 3, 1582; St. Leger to Burghley and Walsingham,
September 22.

[95] Maltby to Walsingham, June 21, 1582; Clanricarde to Maltby, July
7; Fenton to Leicester, August 13; to Walsingham, August 23. The award
is in _Carew_, under November 17.

[96] Barnaby Gooche to Burghley, August 27, 1582; Justice Meade to the
Lords Justices, October 13; Lord Justice Loftus to Burghley, November
5; Lords Justices to Burghley, December 8; Spenser's _State of Ireland_.

[97] St. Leger to Fenton, October 31; to the Queen and to Burghley,
November 26, 1582; Burghley to Loftus and Fenton, and to St. Leger,
December 9; St. Leger to Burghley and Walsingham, February 2, 1583.

[98] Earl of Ormonde's demands, &c., November 1582; Walsingham to
Wallop, December 6; Burghley to the Lords Justices, December 8; Rate
for 1,000 men to be sent into Munster, December 15; Lords Justices to
Burghley, January 5, 1583; Ormonde to Walsingham, January 27; Wallop
to Walsingham, February 7 and March 6; Minute for the Lords Justices,
March 5; Ormonde to the Lords Justices, March 20. Ormonde left London,
or Windsor, December 22, and landed at Waterford (viâ Milford) January
21, having been long hindered by storms.

[99] St. Leger to Burghley, Oct. 29, 1582, and Jan. 16, 1583; and to
Walsingham, Feb. 11.

[100] G. Fenton to Burghley, Feb. 24, 1583; Ormonde to the Privy
Council, Feb. 28 and April 5; to the Queen, April 24; to the Privy
Council and to Burghley and Walsingham, May 28; to the Lords Justices,
June 15; to the Queen, June 18; to Walsingham, June 22; Thomas Mynne to
Wallop, April 9.

[101] G. Fenton to Walsingham, Jan. 16; St. Leger to Walsingham, Feb.
11; Sir W. Stanley to Fenton, May 25; Desmond to Ormonde, June 5;
Ormonde to Burghley and to the Queen, June 18; to Burghley, June 22.

[102] St. Leger to the Queen, May 8 and Aug. 5 (the latter was
intercepted); to Burghley, Aug. 5 and Oct. 19; to Walsingham, Aug. 5,
1583, and Sept. 14, 1584; Ormonde to Burghley, Oct. 20, 1583; to the
Privy Council, Jan. 23, 1584; to Burghley, Jan. 26, 1584; Walsingham
to Ormonde, March 25 and June 12, 1583; Lords Justices to Walsingham,
June 18, 1583; G. Fenton to Walsingham, May 30, 1583. The tone of all
Wallop's and Fenton's letters is unfriendly to Ormonde.

[103] Ormonde to Burghley and to Walsingham, July 10, 1583. The nobles
and gentlemen who came to Ormonde at Cork and gave pledges were as
follows:--Earl of Clancare; Lords Barrymore, Roche, Kinsale and Lixnaw;
Sirs--Thomas of Desmond, Owen MacCarthy Reagh, Owen O'Sullivan, Barry
Roe, Lord Lixnaw's son Patrick, the White Knight, Patrick Condon,
the seneschal of Imokilly, Cormac MacDermot, nephew to Sir Cormac
MacTeig, Callaghan MacTeig MacCarthy, brother to Sir Cormac MacTeig,
O'Sullivan More, Donell, nephew to Sir Owen O'Sullivan, O'Donoghue More
(inhabiting in MacCarthy More's country), O'Donoghue of Glenflesk,
MacDonogh MacCarthy of Duhallow, O'Keefe, MacAuliffe, O'Callaghan,
MacFynnyne, William, brother to the Knight of Kerry, Thomas Oge,
seneschal of Kerry, Donogh MacCragh (a rhymer), and divers captains of
gallowglasses of the MacSwineys and the MacSheehy's.

[104] St. Leger to Burghley, Aug. 5 and Oct. 19, 1583; N. White to
Burghley, Aug. 24; Ormonde to Burghley, Sept. 4 and 23 (the latter
enclosing Lord Roche's letter); Privy Council to Ormonde, Sept. 19.

[105] I have followed the strictly contemporary account printed by
Archdeacon Rowan in the _Kerry Magazine_ (Jan. 1854), and reprinted
by Miss Hickson in _Old Kerry Records_. No other account is so full,
and it is easily reconciled with the _Four Masters_ and with Ormonde's
letters printed by Mr. Gilbert in vol. iv. of the _Irish National MSS_,
and see Ormonde to Walsingham and Burghley, Nov. 28, and Smith's _Cork_.

[106] The spot where Desmond fell is on the right bank, rather low down
in the glen. No doubt the cabin where he spent the night was higher up.
In the survey made by Sir Valentine Browne and others, and privately
printed by Mr. S. M. Hussey, is the following passage: 'A great wood
here and there, filled with oak-trees fit for house timber, but not
large enough for the making of ships and castles. But the greater part
of the said wood consists in underwood of the age of fifty and sixty
years, filled with dotted trees--ash, hazels, sallows, willows, alders,
birches, white-thorns and such like.... The wood is called Glanageenty,
in which the late Earl of Desmond was slain in his rebellion,
containing in length about four miles, and in breadth two miles, which
said woods, because no woods there are saleable, and they lie under the
mountains of Slew-Logher, far from any river or navigable stream, are
here valued at _nil_.' I inspected the ground in June 1883.



[Sidenote: Sir John Perrott is made Lord Deputy.]

As early as December 1582, Sir John Perrott had been spoken of as
Grey's successor. His actual appointment was, however, deferred for
more than a year, Loftus and Wallop continuing to act as Lords Justices
till June 1584. They were fortunate in seeing the end of the Desmond
rebellion, but less so in having to deal with those who had been
engaged in it. Lady Desmond, in her poverty, subsisted upon a pension
allowed her by Ormonde, until the Queen's pleasure should be known;
and the protections which he had given to the seneschal of Imokilly,
Patrick Condon, and other leaders, were respected. Wallop did not like
the Lord-General, but he did not thwart him seriously. Piers Grace,
an old and notorious offender in the Kilkenny district, was pardoned
at the Earl's intercession, and the Lords Justices observed that they
would not have done it for anyone else.[107]

[Sidenote: Archbishop O'Hurley.]

[Sidenote: His treatment at Rome.]

In 1581, after the death of Fitzgibbon, Gregory XIII. appointed Dermod
O'Hurley to the Archbishopric of Cashel. He had spent fifteen years
at Louvain and four at Rheims, and he was deeply engaged in the plans
of Irish exiles against Elizabeth's government. We get a glimpse of
him at Rome not long after his appointment, and find him, like his
predecessor, occupied in schemes for the invasion of Ireland. The
caution of the Italian ecclesiastic is, as usual, contrasted with the
sanguine temper of the exiles. Christopher Barnewall, who had been sent
to the Continent by Baltinglas, was introduced by O'Hurley to Cardinal
Como, and informed him that Kildare and Delvin were in prison, though
both had served against the Wicklow rebels. 'Who,' said the Cardinal,
with an expressive shrug, 'would trust an Irishman? The Earl promised
to take our part.' O'Hurley thought he had not gone so far. 'Wilt thou
tell me?' answered the Italian angrily, and produced a letter from
Kildare and a document signed by most of the Lords of Ulster, Munster,
and Connaught, which made his view good. 'Do you think,' he said, 'that
we would have trusted to James Fitzmaurice and Stukeley, or to all
these lords which subscribed the great letter, unless we had received
this letter from the Earl of Kildare? The Pope has no money for any of
your nation.'[108]

[Sidenote: O'Hurley reaches Ireland,]

[Sidenote: where he is tortured]

[Sidenote: and hanged.]

O'Hurley landed at Drogheda in September, 1583, bringing letters from
Rome with him. He was harboured by Lord Slane, whose daughter was
married to Ormonde's natural son Piers, and in the latter's company
he went into Munster after a few days' rest. The Archbishop, who was
soon hunted down, with Ormonde's help, made no secret of having been
engaged in the work of the Inquisition, and charged Kildare and Delvin
with the late insurrection--thus showing that Barnewall had spoken
truly. Walsingham recommended the use of 'torture, or any other severe
manner of proceeding, to gain his knowledge of all foreign practices
against Her Majesty's states.' The Lords Justices objected that they
had no rack nor other such instrument of terror, and that the Tower
of London would be a fitter place for the experiment. Walsingham then
advised them to toast the prisoner's feet at the fire with hot boots.
A commission was accordingly made out to Fenton and Waterhouse, and
the ordeal was applied with frightful severity. The letters brought
by O'Hurley had been intercepted, and could not therefore be denied,
but nothing of importance was elicited. A letter which he had written
to Ormonde was produced, and the Lords Justices took care to hint
at the Earl's complicity, but without effect. The lawyers held that
an indictment for treasons committed abroad would not lie, and in
any case a trial by jury was not to be risked. The Lords Justices
suggested martial law, to which, as they grimly observed, the landless
Archbishop could not fairly object. Seeing that further torture would
be useless Walsingham agreed to this course, and noted the Queen's
'good acceptation of their careful travail in this matter.' Throughout
the correspondence it is evident that Elizabeth and all her servants
looked upon O'Hurley mainly as a traitor and not as a recusant; and
that defence of their conduct may stand for what it is worth. The
torture is indefensible; but it was only too common in those days, and
O'Hurley himself had been an Inquisitor. The Archbishop was hanged
privately in the Castle early on June 19, after the arrival of Perrott,
but before he had been sworn in.[109]

[Sidenote: Help comes from Spain,]

[Sidenote: but it is too late.]

There can be no doubt that the court of Rome had urged upon that of
Spain the necessity of relieving Desmond. But Philip II. was never in
time, and his energies, such as they were, were absorbed by Portuguese
affairs. It was not until the final defeat of Strozzi's expedition to
the Azores that Irish exiles could get their business attended to.
The Cardinal of Como became friendly once more, and sent for William
Nugent almost as often as the post arrived from Spain, saying that
he remembered him at every turn of his beads. The Pope saw Nugent
every six weeks, and the intervals were spent in making interest with
Gregory's son Giacomo, whose influence over the aged Pontiff had become
very great. It was confidently reported that the whole Spanish fleet
would sail for Ireland on its return from the Azores, but only two
ships actually arrived. The papal bishop of Killaloe, Cornelius Ryan,
had been sent by Desmond to Spain towards the end of 1582. In the
spring of 1583 it was announced that help was coming, but it may have
been delayed until the return of Santa Cruz and his fleet. Desmond had
been dead nearly two months when the tardy succour arrived. Bishop Ryan
appeared on the west coast with one large ship laden with artillery.
Another, also with munitions of war, anchored in Ringabella Bay outside
Cork harbour, and sent a boat, which brought off a countryman. Of those
on board the chief spokesman was a friar named Shane O'Ferrall, who
wept bitterly on hearing of Desmond's death. A Spaniard wrote down all
the particulars. 'Is there none of the Earl's name,' he asked, 'that
will take upon him to follow and maintain that enterprise? You say
none. Well, if any had continued it until now, we had brought here to
furnish them treasure and munition good store, and shortly they should
have had more, and aid enough.' There were three bags of silver and
two of gold, each as much as a man could carry. A present was sent
by O'Ferrall to a lady living close by--marmalade, lemons and figs,
a poignard, and a taffeta scarf--and then finding their occupation
gone, the strangers left the coast. Don Antonio and Philip Strozzi
had not saved Portugal, but they had destroyed Spanish influence in

[Sidenote: Murder of John Burke;]

[Sidenote: his popularity.]

[Sidenote: Clanricarde is pardoned.]

Within a week of Desmond's death the newly made Baron of Leitrim came
to a violent end. Public opinion attributed the deed to his brother,
and no doubt he profited largely by it. Clanricarde himself said that
he had intercepted a band of traitors in the Baron's company, and
that he fell in the scuffle. His sister, Lady Mary, clamoured loudly
for vengeance, but the Earl found means to silence her. A competent
English observer tells us that 'Sir John of the Shamrocks,' as the
Irish called him, was the best beloved man in Connaught, perhaps in all
Ireland. 'He was very well spoken, he was courteous, he was liberal
to every man that had occasion to try him, in his house he was very
bountiful, and he wrote better than any Irishman whose letters I have
seen.... First he would speak fair to every man, and mean no truth to
any man that was honest. He had always a treasonable mind, and did ever
thirst after blood. He was betrothed to one woman, and, leaving her, he
was married to two others; they are all three alive. He was a common
haunter of women, and men say he had a child by his own sister, and a
great maintainer of thieves he was.... The Earl will not steal from one
to give to another. He will not spare the offender for any respects; I
mean thieves: other offenders are seldom punished in Ireland, and never
among the Irish.' The Earl offered to prove the incest by irrefutable
witnesses. The Lord Justice thought the simplest plan was to attribute
the murder to the mutual hatred between the half-brothers since their
cradles. They advised that Clanricarde's future good conduct should be
secured by a pardon, 'especially in those remote parts where so many
heinous facts contrary to the laws of God and man have been infinitely
borne with in all ages.' Three years before, when Clanricarde was ill,
it was generally supposed that his brother had poisoned him. To avoid
further confusion the English Government thought it better to allow a
pardon. The murdered man had no legitimate children, and the peerage
died with him. This long-standing faction fight was now at an end; the
Earl was undisputed master over all the possessions of his house, and
became the mainstay of English law and order in the West.[111]

[Sidenote: Trial by combat.]

The once mighty tribe of the Leinster O'Connors had fallen very low,
but even the miserable remnant could not keep from internecine war.
Teig MacGilpatrick, who led one party, was accused by Connor MacCormac
of killing men who were under protection. Connor retorted that they
had broken into rebellion since protection was granted. The Lords
Justices persuaded Connor, and Sir Nicholas White persuaded Teig to
appear and accuse each other. An appeal of treason was thus technically
constituted, and for this they were told that trial by battle was
the proper remedy. Fearing, it would appear, that the courage of the
litigants might ooze away, the combat was fixed for the next day. The
Lords Justices and Council sat solemnly in the inner Castle yard, the
display being made more impressive by a large attendance of military
officers. The proper ceremonies were observed, and the Lords Justices
were careful to excuse any possible want of accuracy by pleading the
shortness of the time. The combatants who were allowed only sword,
target, and skull-cap, were stripped to their shirts and searched by
Secretary Fenton himself. They then took their seats on two stools
at opposite ends of the lists, and the pleadings having been read a
trumpet sounded the onset. Connor, who was wounded twice in the leg and
once in the eye, attempted to close, but his adversary was too strong
for him. Having stunned and disarmed his accuser, Teig, who was himself
seriously wounded, 'but not mortally, the more was the pity,' cut off
his head with his own sword and presented it on the point to the Lords
Justices, one of whom, be it remembered, was the Archbishop of Dublin.
Fenton sent the sword to Leicester, 'wishing her Majesty had the same
end of all the O'Connors in Ireland.' 'We commend,' they said, 'the
diligent travail of Sir Lucas Dillon and the Master of the Rolls, who
equally and openly seemed to countenance the champions, but secretly
with very good concurrence with us and between themselves for her
Majesty's service.'[112]

[Sidenote: A second trial goes by default.]

The Lords Justices hoped to make more O'Connors kill one another, but
a second combat arranged to take place two or three days later was
frustrated by the non-appearance of the accused, a brother of the
victorious Teig, who had accepted the challenge for him. His adversary,
Morrogh-ni-Cogge, came into the lists and made proclamation for two
hours with drums and trumpets. Morrogh was adjudged victorious, but the
absent man described him as 'readiest to fight with those that he knew
were farthest off from him.' He urged that his brother had no right to
promise for him, that Morrogh was too base a fellow to place in the
balance with him, and that he could not be spared until his brother had
recovered. 'Notwithstanding,' he added, 'when my brother is whole of
his wounds and able to take charge of his men, if it shall please the
Lords Justices to call Morrogh and me face to face, that I may know
upon what ground and quarrel I am to fight, I will then make it openly
known how little able that vain boaster is to stand in my hands, who at
the very sound of my name was wont to trot over whole countries.'[113]

[Sidenote: Arrival of Perrott--his instructions.]

Sir John Perrott was in no great hurry to take up his government, and
five months elapsed between the date of his patent and his arrival in
Ireland. It was rumoured in Dublin that he would not come at all. In
England and in Ireland, his choleric temper involved him in frequent
quarrels, and it is probable that delay was caused by some of these.
His instructions did not greatly differ from those which Elizabeth was
wont to give to her representatives. To increase the revenue without
oppressing the subject, to reduce the army without impairing its
efficiency, to punish rebels without driving them to desperation, and
to reward loyal people without cost to the Crown--these were the usual
orders, and they were easier to give than to carry out. Perrott had
already tasted the misery of Irish official life, and his half-brother,
Sir Henry Jones, warned him that he would now be envied more than ever,
and truly prophesied that he would never see him again.[114]

[Sidenote: Perrott and Ormonde.]

The settlement of Munster was, of course, the most important part
of Perrott's work, and he was probably chosen because he knew that
province well. He was ordered to take Ormonde with him, and to give his
opinion due weight. The Earl was directed to come to England as soon
as he had given all the information in his power. Tired of the delay,
and fearing lest he should be undermined at court, Ormonde slipped over
to Wales and met the new Lord Deputy, who handed him a gracious letter
from the Queen. This somewhat reassured him, but he complained of hard
dealing in being displaced before he had made known in England in how
good and quiet order he had left his late charge. At Carew Castle he
received orders to accompany his host to Ireland, and complied, though
he always hated a sea-passage. He felt that his personal interests were
safe in the hands of his old companion in arms, but thought it a little
late to consult him about Munster. The journey would only increase his
debts, unless, as he hinted to Burghley, the Queen made it worth his
while; 'but over I will, God willing, and back again, seeing you wish
it should be so.'[115]

[Sidenote: Perrott makes a speech,]

[Sidenote: which is generally admired.]

Perrott made a speech to the great crowd assembled at his installation.
He said that the Queen held her subjects of Ireland equal with those
of England, and that her care, as well as his own, was to make them
equally happy by means of good government. Among other sayings it
was noted as worthy of remark, that he wished to suppress 'the name
of a churl and crushing of a churl,' and to substitute such terms as
husbandman, franklin, or yeoman. 'This,' says Secretary Fenton, 'was
so plausible to the assembly, that it was carried from hand to hand
throughout the whole realm in less time than might be thought credible
if I should express it.'

[Sidenote: No respecter of persons.]

Next day the Lord Deputy ordered a general hosting, according to
the ancient custom, for six weeks, beginning on August 10. Tara was
assigned as the place of meeting, and Tyrone, Ormonde, Barrymore, and
Mountgarret were among those who signed the order. Perrott devoted a
few days to the Council, whose help was necessary to enable him to
gather up the reins. Fenton found him 'affable and pleasing, seeking
by good means to recover the hearts of the people that were somewhat
estranged, quick and industrious, careful of her Majesty's profit,
sincere, just, and no respecter of persons.' Indeed, he did not respect
persons enough. Wallop, whose office of Vice-Treasurer made him the
most important man next to the Viceroy, and who had been virtual chief
governor for nearly two years past, was on the point of quarrelling
with him at the outset, but forced himself to make allowance for
the Deputy's passionate disposition. With Loftus, who had lately
been Wallop's colleague in the government, and who was still Lord
Chancellor, Perrott was at open war in a very short time.[116]

[Sidenote: John Norris governor of Munster, and Bingham of Connaught.]

John Norris, the most famous of Lord Norris of Rycot's six good
sons, had been appointed Lord President of Munster. Bingham, whom
Perrott knighted at his installation, was, at the same time, made
Chief Commissioner of Connaught in Maltby's room, but with inferior
emoluments. The Lord Deputy proposed to settle the two provincial
governors in their places at once, and to return in time for the
hosting at Tara. Norris went straight to Munster, and Bingham
accompanied Perrott to the West. All the chief men of Connaught
and Thomond flocked dutifully to the Viceroy, and he decided
controversies to their satisfaction. The sheriffs maintained great
trains of followers, who became a scourge to the country, and this
abuse was sternly repressed. Clanricarde and the rest were ready to
make some permanent arrangement with their tenants, 'so as I,' said
Perrott, 'would take a time among them to perform it, which, if I
have quietness, I will do hereafter.' He was not fated to have much
quietness. Bingham's first impression of his province was that the
Irish should be won by plausible means. It was, he said, their habit
to acknowledge their duty to her Majesty on the arrival of a new Lord
Deputy, 'more for fashion than for faithful obedience.' The fashion and
the want of faithful obedience have both continued to our own time.
Bingham saw clearly that the Queen's government would never be really
popular--'the people, for every small trifle, are daily suggesting that
they are intolerably oppressed and extorted upon.' His advice was to
keep them down by steady but gentle pressure, 'so that by having too
little the country may not be waste, and by having too much the people
may not rebel. Nevertheless, my meaning is rather to better their
estate than to make it worse.' He understood the problem, but he was
not much more successful than others in finding the solution.[117]

[Sidenote: State of the Church.]

John Long, a Cambridge man and a Londoner, was consecrated Primate
on the day on which Perrott left Dublin. As a special mark of favour
the new Deputy had been allowed to fill the vacant see. Loftus
desired the appointment of Thomas Jones, Dean of St. Patrick's, who
ultimately succeeded him in Dublin. Not much, either good or bad, is
recorded of Archbishop Long, but he became the chief pastor of a most
forlorn flock. 'There are here,' says an English visitor to Ireland,
'so many churches fallen down, so many children dispensed withal to
enjoy the livings of the Church, so many laymen--as they are commonly
termed--suffered to hold benefices with cure, so many clergymen
tolerated to have the profit of three or four pastoral dignities, who,
being themselves unlearned, are not meet men, though they were willing,
to teach and instruct others, as whoso beholdeth it must not choose but
make it known.'[118]

[Sidenote: Munster thoroughly cowed.]

Many of the chief men of Munster came to Perrott at Limerick, and the
rest signified their intention of attending him at Cork. But news
arrived that Scots had landed in Ulster, and the Lord Deputy, who liked
fighting better than anything, turned aside from Limerick, crossed
Tipperary, and returned by Kilkenny to Dublin. Ormonde and Norris,
together with all the late rebels whom the Earl had pardoned, were
ordered to make ready for the northern enterprise. Malachi O'Moloney,
Papal Bishop of Kilmacduagh, was suspected of having a hand in the
Ulster plot; he came to Perrott, renounced the Pope, and took the
oath of supremacy; but there can be little doubt that this conversion
was insincere. A messenger from Tirlogh O'Neill had certainly been in
Munster, but found it impossible to stir up the embers of the Desmond
rebellion. Lord Fitzmaurice told him plainly that no one would stir
as long as Perrott and Ormonde were in Ireland. The Lord Deputy could
therefore turn his back safely on Munster, and he hastened to Dublin
to make preparations for repelling what he believed to be a serious

[Sidenote: Escheated lands in Munster.]

[Sidenote: Difficulties of the survey.]

Far more important than the perennial but limited trouble with the
Scots, was the question of surveying and resettling the attainted lands
in Munster. In June 1584, a commission for the purpose was directed to
Vice-Treasurer Wallop, Sir Valentine Browne a man of long experience
in English revenue business, Surveyor-General Alford, and auditors
Jenyson and Peyton. Their survey began early in September, and they did
not return till the end of November, having found a great part of the
province waste; and Kerry in particular seemed impossible to re-people
except by importation from England. Sir Valentine Browne, who was an
elderly man, was active and zealous, but he found the work very hard.
'He hath,' says his colleague the Vice-Treasurer, 'been sundry times
bogged, yet hath gone better through with it than might be imagined
so corpulent a man of his years would have been able.' Rivers and
mountains had to be crossed, and provisions could hardly be procured
at any point between Limerick and Dingle. One hundred persons fed at
the Commissioners' table, who had to supply it on credit. Wallop was
struck by the great fertility of the land, and estimated that the Queen
would have a new revenue of 6,000_l._ within three years. But the
difficulty in making an accurate survey was very great. It was supposed
that land worth more than 1,000_l._ a year had escheated in parts of
Tipperary, outside of Ormonde's jurisdiction; but what he had once
claimed no one dared to inhabit in spite of him. The Earl's palatinate
was originally a matter of grace and favour, but he tried to extend it
to the whole county, and it seemed doubtful whether any subject ought
to be so great. The difficulty of arriving at the truth proved even
more serious than Wallop at first supposed. Many months passed without
anything being decided, and in the meantime Munster was in the utmost
misery. Vice-President Norris could not prevent his starving soldiers
from running after his brother into Flanders, and the towns, which
truly pleaded poverty, could neither be forced nor persuaded to support

[Sidenote: Scots in Ulster.]

Ormonde, who was in a hurry to get to London, deferred his journey that
he might accompany Perrott to Ulster. The young Earl of Thomond, who
had been educated in England, and who lived to be called 'the great
Earl,' was glad to take part in the expedition. His great object was
to have the county of Clare acknowledged as part of Munster, and freed
from the jurisdiction of the Connaught government; and in this he
ultimately succeeded. Clanricarde also gave his services, and so did
Lord President Norris. Perrott had 2,000 trained men with him, besides
Irish allies, and he thought they would all be necessary. It had been
his intention to govern plausibly, and 'to look through his fingers at
Ulster as a fit receptacle for all the savage beasts of the land;' but
the Scots were said to be 4,000, and there were the usual reports about
Spanish ships. Norris, who had a cooler head than Perrott, afterwards
said that he thought the Scots were bent 'only on their customary
fetching of meat.' They took 3,000 cows from Tyrconnell, but their
numbers were larger than usual. Macleans, as well as MacDonnells, were
engaged, and the whole movement had probably more to do with Hebridean
politics than with any intention of hurting Queen Elizabeth. The Scots
disappeared as quickly as they had come, and when Perrott reached
Newry, he found that no foeman worthy of his steel awaited him. He
resolved, however, to go on, and to show that Ulster was within his

[Sidenote: The Scots clans,]

[Sidenote: and the Ulster Irish.]

Secretary Davison was in Scotland at this time, and he ridiculed
Perrott's fear of Scottish invasion. The obscure politics of Isla
and Cantire were not well understood even at Edinburgh, and the
Englishman's judgment may have been warped by the contempt which he
certainly felt for Arran. The whole thing, he said, had been greatly
exaggerated. But, notwithstanding his opinion and that of Norris, it
seems clear that the uneasiness among the western clans had something
to say to the fall of Gowrie, and to Arran's short-lived triumph. The
islanders would hardly move for king or regent, unless they saw some
advantage to themselves. Some of them at least were paid by cattle
taken from the O'Donnells, and all were willing to make interest at
court if it could be done cheaply. Perrott's ships just failed in
intercepting the Scots at Lough Foyle, and he could only speak from
report. 'Yet truly,' he maintained, 'although they ran away thus
cowardly, howsoever Mr. Davison was abused by his intelligence, they
were in number little fewer, their training and furniture no worse,
and their purpose no better, than I wrote.' Tirlogh Luineach was not
minded to oppose Perrott, and he came to him at Newry without pardon
or protection. The old chief's adhesion proved of little value, for,
like other Irish leaders before and since, 'the better subject he
became, the weaker he waxed, and the less regarded of his followers.'
In fact he required help against his own people. But O'Cahan and the
crafty Baron of Dungannon also came in, and Perrott proceeded to invest
Dunluce Castle.[122]

[Sidenote: Slight connection of the western clans with Edinburgh.]

[Sidenote: Perrott takes Dunluce.]

The legal government of Scotland accepted no responsibility for the
raids of Macleans and MacDonnells in Ulster. Formerly attempts to
retaliate on the Hebrides had not been successful, though Perrott
wished to repeat them; but James and Elizabeth were at peace, and the
Queen was quite justified in treating the intruders as filibusters.
Whether or not they were partly moved by Catholic intriguers in Mary
Stuart's interest really mattered very little, for they could not
influence seriously the fate of creeds or kingdoms. But they were a
constant source of expense, and the officer who dealt them a crushing
blow would deserve well of his sovereign. This honour was, however,
denied to Perrott, and reserved for Bingham. The Scot who commanded
the garrison of Dunluce declared that he held the castle for the King
of Scots' use, and would defend it to the last. He can, however, have
had no valid commission. The position of this place was at once its
strength and its weakness. Situated on a precipitous rock rising out of
a stormy sea, and connected with the mainland by a narrow ledge, it was
almost unapproachable by any enemy. On the other hand it could scarcely
be relieved, and it was impossible for the garrison to escape. The fire
of three pieces converging on the small castle soon made it untenable,
and the forty men whom it contained surrendered at discretion on the
second or third day.[123]

[Sidenote: Claims of the MacDonnells.]

The MacDonnells had always rested their Irish claims upon their
relationship to the extinct Bissetts. The extent of the lands once
held by that family was very uncertain; but Sorley Boy never ceased
his efforts to get rid of the MacQuillins, who had long held the
Route, and upon whom the garrison of Coleraine habitually depended for
provisions. Lady Agnes O'Neill, on the other hand, had the Campbell
instinct for annexation, and endeavoured to set up her own son Donnell
Gorme Macdonnell against his uncle. As the elder brother's son he had
perhaps the better legal right; but Sorley was supported by the clan.
Tirlogh Luineach was under his wife's influence, but had enough to do
to hold his own against Shane O'Neill's sons, and against the Baron of
Dungannon. Norris said Tirlogh could do nothing without the Queen's
help; but even he seems to have been persuaded by Lady Agnes that
Sorley's followers resented his tyranny, and were ready to leave him.

After the loss of Dunluce Sorley went to Scotland for help, and Perrott
agreed that Donnell Gorme should have a grant of the Bissetts' lands in
consideration of reasonable service. Donnell, on his part, undertook to
entertain none but Irish-born Scots, to book the men of his country and
be responsible for them, and to serve against his uncle or any other
foreign Scot. MacQuillin made a contract for victualling Coleraine,
and O'Donnell, whose wife was Donnell Gorme's sister, made a treaty
with Tirlogh Luineach, who agreed to maintain 300 English soldiers and
to perform other services. Magennis and the Clandeboye O'Neills also
made terms, and Perrott, finding no enemy in the field, returned to

[Sidenote: Perrott, Ormonde, and Norris lift 50,000 cows.]

[Sidenote: The forest of Glenconkein.]

The war being at an end for want of an enemy, Perrott thought that
Scottish raids could best be prevented by clearing the country of
cattle. Norris and Ormonde entered Glenconkein, now the south-western
portion of Londonderry, but then considered part of Tyrone, and
50,000 cattle were collected in what was then an almost impenetrable
stronghold. Twenty-five years later Sir John Davies described
Chichester's march though the district, 'where the wild inhabitants
wondered as much to see the King's Deputy as the ghosts in Virgil
wondered to see Æneas alive in hell.' The woods were then said to be
among the best in Ireland, and to be as extensive as the New Forest;
but they had been wastefully treated, and it was feared that they would
soon be exhausted. So completely was the work of destruction carried
out that a report written in 1803 declared the county of Londonderry to
be the worst wooded in the King's dominions. In the sixteenth century
a considerable population inhabited Glenconkein, who tilled such
portions as were fit for tillage, and who looked upon the O'Neills as
their superior lords. As had been the case in Kerry, fires marked the
course of Ormonde's march. Norris took much the same view of the Ulster
problem as Sidney had done. Permanent garrisons must be maintained, and
this would be the cheapest way in the long run. 'Ireland,' he said,
'is not to be brought to obedience but by force; and albeit that some
governments have been performed with fewer men, yet have these times
served for nothing but to give breath for a further trouble, and then
the country ruled by entreaty and not by commandment.'[125]

[Sidenote: Perrott proposes to dissolve St. Patrick's,]

[Sidenote: and to endow a university.]

Among the private instructions given to Perrott by the Privy Council
was one directing him to consider 'how St. Patrick's in Dublin, and
the revenue belonging to the same, might be made to serve, as had been
theretofore intended,' for the erection of a college. This old plan
of Archbishop Browne's had been revived in 1564, and again abandoned
in deference to the remonstrances of the threatened foundation; but it
was very much to Perrott's liking, and he adopted it with additions.
The dean, Thomas Jones, had just been promoted to the see of Meath,
and a principal obstacle had thus been removed. The Courts of Justice
were at this time held in the Castle over the powder magazine, but
the lawyers had also claims upon the house of Black Friars, on the
left bank of the Liffey, where the Four Courts now stand. Ormonde and
others had conflicting interests, but the Judges and Bar petitioned
that they might be otherwise compensated, and that the law might be
permanently lodged by the riverside. This was the plan favoured by the
late Lords Justices, but Secretary Fenton, with whom Perrott agreed,
cast eyes on the Friars as a convenient landing-place, and wished to
turn it into a Government victualling-store. The Lord Deputy's idea
was to combine the two schemes; to let the judges sit in St. Patrick's
church, to convert the residence of the chapter into inns of court, and
to found a university with the revenues. The two cathedrals, he urged,
were too near together to be both useful, and St. Patrick's was 'held
in more superstitious veneration' than the one named after Christ. He
thought 2,000_l._ might suffice for the erection of two colleges, and
the surplus, which he estimated at about 700_l._, could go to eke out
the revenue of Christ Church. 'For the conversion of the whole church
of St. Patrick,' he told Burghley, 'whatsoever shall or can be said to
the contrary, it proceedeth from particular covetous humour without
regard to the general good. I could name the sink if I listed whereinto
the whole profit falleth under the colour of maintenance of a few bad
singers.' A reformer who begins in this way, though he be a king and
not merely a viceroy, very seldom succeeds in effecting reforms.[126]

[Sidenote: Loftus and Jones are too fond of money.]

Adam Loftus was fond of money. He begged so unblushingly for himself
and his relations, that the chapter of Christ Church, on granting one
of his requests, made him promise, before them all, not to ask for
anything more. Even this promise he afterwards tried to evade. He was
accused of jobbing away the revenues of St. Patrick's, and the late
dean, who was married to his sister-in-law, earned a very bad name
for wasting the substance of his deanery first, and afterwards of
his bishopric. One extant deed in particular bears Swift's indignant
endorsement, made in 1714, as 'a lease of Coolmine, made by that rascal
Dean Jones, and the knaves, or fools, his chapter, to one John Allen
for eighty-one years, to commence from the expiration of a lease of
eighty years made in 1583; so that there was a lease of 161 years of
253 acres in Tassagard parish, within three miles of Dublin, for 2_l._
per annum... now worth 150_l._, and, so near Dublin, could not then
be worth less than 50_l._ How the lease was surrendered, I cannot yet

[Sidenote: St. Patrick's rescued;]

[Sidenote: though Loftus liked a university in the abstract.]

[Sidenote: Archbishop Bancroft.]

Loftus was accused of being interested in many such leases, and it
was said that in defending St. Patrick's he was really defending his
own pocket. He had been dean himself, too, and very possibly he was
not anxious for the inquisition which must have taken place had the
cathedral been dissolved. On the other hand, the Archbishop could give
good reason why Perrott's plan should not take effect. St. Patrick's,
he said, was the only place in Ireland where a learned man, and
especially a learned Englishman, 'could, without imminent danger,
thrust his head.' There were twenty-six dignitaries, some of them very
slightly endowed, and of these fifteen were university graduates. With
the exception of one bishop, there were no good preachers in Ireland
but those furnished by St. Patrick's, and amongst them were Dean Jones,
Thompson, the treasurer, Conway, the chancellor, and Henry Ussher, the
archdeacon, who lived to be Archbishop of Armagh. Of three bishops
who could preach, two had been promoted out of St. Patrick's, and
Christ Church neither had done nor could do anything in that way. He
was ready to give what help he could towards the establishment of a
university, but a university could not be maintained long if there were
no benefices to bestow upon fellows. The prebends did not depend upon
temporalities, but were all attached to parishes. Kildare was patron of
two, but the others were in the Archbishop's gift, and they were all
opposed to Perrott's scheme. Loftus himself was ready to resign rather
than leave himself 'a perpetual blot and infamy' to his successor,
for having consented to the destruction of his cathedral. Archdeacon
Ussher was sent to England, and Loftus also employed Richard Bancroft,
one of the prebendaries, to plead the cause of St. Patrick's at Court.
Bancroft became Archbishop of Canterbury, and gained lasting fame for
his services in connection with the authorised version of the Bible,
but appears to have resided very little in Dublin, though he held his
preferment there for at least thirty years.[127]

[Sidenote: The scheme makes Perrott and Loftus enemies.]

Whatever may be thought of Loftus's character, his arguments on
this occasion were good, and Burghley felt them to be unanswerable.
The thing could not be done, he said, without the consent of the
prebendaries, and he asked Perrott how he would like to have his own
salary diverted to some other use. Preaching was necessary as well
as teaching, and there was no greater abuse in the Church of England
than the transfer of livings to abbeys and colleges. Tithes had been
instituted for the service of parishes, and he would never do evil
that good might come. Perrott answered that the idea had not been
originated by him, and that his instructions from the Privy Council,
signed by Burghley himself with many others, would have warranted him
in proceeding far more roughly than he had done. Where he seems really
to have done wrong was in not showing this order of the Privy Council
to Loftus, and in letting him suppose that he was acting of his own
motion. Even after Burghley had given his opinion, he was unwilling to
give up the scheme, and the Archbishop begged for a letter signed by
the Queen herself. This was granted, and the royal missive was read to
Perrott in the presence of Waterhouse and Sir Lucas Dillon. Even then
the Lord Deputy was not silenced, and the result was bitter hostility
between the Queen's representative and the Chancellor Archbishop, who
should have been his chief adviser.[128]

[Sidenote: Three hundred executions in Munster.]

While Norris was absent in the North, Sir William Stanley governed
Munster, and improved the occasion by 300 executions. 'This,' he said,
'doth terrify them so that a man now may travel the whole country, and
none to molest him.' The Lord President on his return declared the
country was waste and depopulate. Even malefactors were scarce, and
there was no chance of resettling the province but by importing people.

[Sidenote: State of Connaught.]

[Sidenote: Forty-eight executions in Leinster.]

[Sidenote: Feagh MacHugh a prosecutor of thieves.]

In Connaught Bingham complained that he was denied means to maintain
the strict government necessary for a people who were not naturally
inclined to civility. He hoped nevertheless to increase the revenue
in time. From Leinster alone was there anything like a good report.
The Master of the Rolls went circuit, and 48 prisoners out of 181 were
executed on verdicts found by their own clansmen. Among them were
two landowners of the Kavanaghs, who had regularly preyed upon the
Barrow navigation, and whose property near Leighlin thus escheated to
the Crown. White settled some dispute between chiefs and sheriffs,
and visited Feagh MacHugh O'Byrne at Ballinacor, 'where law never
approached.' Nor was the reconciliation with the notable partisan
altogether hollow. About three months afterwards, fifty head of cattle
were lifted in the Pale, and 'carried with a pipe to the mountain.'
Feagh MacHugh followed, brought back the cows, and sent three of the
reivers' heads to Perrott. The piper and another were sent alive, and
speedily hanged, and O'Byrne declared his willingness to send his own
son, who had been implicated in the robbery. 'Your lordship,' said
Perrott, 'perhaps will marvel to hear that Feagh is such a prosecutor
of theft, and will think it a great change that the O'Connors are ready
to do good service; and the O'Mores, having put in pledges, do live
without doing harm. In Munster only one of the Burkes is abroad in
Aherlow woods with a 20 or 30 swords.'[129]

[Sidenote: State of Ulster.]

[Sidenote: Perrott addresses the Parliament of England.]

[Sidenote: The Queen spares both money and thanks.]

Exhaustion or despair had for a time quieted East, South, and West, but
the North was still unsubdued, and Perrott felt that only permanent
garrisons could secure it. He asked for 600 men, 25 to be levied in
each of the 24 handiest counties of England and Wales. In common years
the Queen had hitherto spent 30,000_l._ or 40,000_l._ a year over and
above the Irish revenue, and the average expense was considerably more.
If he might have 50,000_l._ for three years only, he would at the end
of them hand over Ireland provided with a trained garrison of 2,000
foot and 400 horse, with seven walled towns of a mile in circumference,
with seven bridges, and with seven castles; and the whole country
might then be governed infinitely better and more cheaply than it had
ever been before. He went so far as to write a letter to the English
Parliament, addressing it as 'most high and noble assembly.' The
malice of the Pope was urged, and also the certainty that foreign
princes would again attempt Ireland, and make it a noisome neighbour to
England. 'Choke up the sink at once,' he exclaimed, 'make one charge
of all, conceiving you do but lend so much upon large interest.'
But even Perrott was not rash enough to address Parliament without
Elizabeth's leave, and the despatch was forwarded through Walsingham,
who consulted Burghley and promptly suppressed it. The Queen, they
said, would certainly resent anyone but herself moving Parliament. She
had now resolved to help the Dutch, and was the more determined to
spare treasure in Ireland. No real danger was to be apprehended from
the Scots, about whom she meant to deal roundly with King James. But
Perrott was thanked for his services, and some minor requests were
granted. A few weeks later, fearing perhaps lest he should be puffed
up, she wrote with her own hand as follows:--'Let us have no more such
rash, unadvised journeys without good ground as your last journey in
the North. We marvel that you hanged not such saucy an advertiser as
he that made you believe so great a company was coming. I know you do
nothing but with a good intention for my service, but yet take better
heed ere you use us so again.'

He could only reiterate, what seems to have been the fact, that
thousands of Scots had really landed, and had run away before he could
reach them.[130]


[107] Birch's _Memoirs_, i. 27; Ormonde to Burghley, Jan. 26, 1584;
Lords Justices to Ormonde, Dec. 31, 1583.

[108] Second examination of Christopher Barnewall, Aug. 12, 1583.

[109] The text is taken from the official correspondence, Lords
Justices to Robert Beale, Oct. 8, 1583; to Walsingham, Oct. 20, Dec.
10, March 7 and 8, 1584, April 14, and July 9; Walsingham to the
Lords Justices, April 28, 1584. It appears from the Catholic accounts
that combustibles were poured into the boots. That of the Jesuit
Holing, who died in 1599, may be taken as contemporary; it is printed
in _Spicilegium Ossoriense_, i. 87. 'Tormenta nova illi parantur;
nam ejus pedibus atroces hæreticorum ministri ocreas, butiro, oleo,
et sale oppletas, ac--quod longe crudelius fuit--crudo ex corio
conditas subjecerunt; postea, vero, catenis simul et compedibus
alligatum, aperto in loco, nempe in medio castri--ubi spectaculum
mundo, hominibus, et angelis--ubi ab omnibus videri potuit, lento igne
apposuerunt, illicque detinuerunt, donec ipso corio consumpto, butiro,
oleo, et sale ferventibus, ossa non cute pro carne tecta verum etiam
omnino munda fuerint relicta.... Postea in ergastulum et obscurissimum
carcerem reducitur, et post sex menses tanquam traditor et reus
criminis læsæ majestatis, ab iniquo judice ad mortem condemnatus est.
Ad extremum, post inaudita tormenta et carceris molestias, albescente
cælo, ne forte tumultus fieret in populo qui ejus exemplo, doctrina,
et constantia permotus ad ejus defensionem perveniret, ignorantibus
civibus patibulo suspensus martyrium consummavit Dublinii circa
annum 1585, mense Maio.' Other accounts, which agree in essentials,
are collected in Brady's _Episcopal Succession_, ii. 11, 599. The
Valicellian MS. there quoted, says a withen rope was used to protract
his agony; but Bacon tells us that this kind of halter was generally
used in Ireland, and that a rebel objected to any other.

[110] Ormonde to the Privy Council and to Burghley, Jan. 11, 1584, with
enclosures; Wallop to Walsingham, Jan. 21.

[111] John Browne to Hatton and Walsingham, Nov. 19, 1583; Clanricarde
to the Privy Council, Jan. 31, 1584; Lords Justices to the Privy
Council, March 28, 1584; Wallop to Leicester, Jan. 26, 1581, in
Wright's _Elizabeth_. The _Four Masters_ bear out Browne's statement as
to John Burke's popularity; see also a damaged paper calendared under
Nov. 1583 (No. 99). The Earl's pardon passed the Irish Council, June
28, 1584. Lady Mary married O'Rourke. 'That honest woman,' Bingham
wrote some years later, 'is deceased in childbirth' (to Gardiner, June
10, 1589).

[112] Lords Justices to the Privy Council, Sept. 12, 1583. Fenton to
Leicester and Warwick, Sept. 13, in _Carew_; Hooker. This is one of the
last, if not the very last trial by combat in the British Islands. Lord
Reay's case, in 1631, is in Howell's _State Trials_, vol. iii., with a
minute account of the ridiculous ceremonies proper to such a mode of
trial; but in that case the fight did not actually take place.

[113] Reasons of Brian MacGilpatrick O'Connor &c. (translated out of
Irish), Oct. 15, 1583. The brothers seem to have subsided, or as some
would say risen, into farmers.

[114] The memorial of the Privy Council and the Queen's instructions
are both printed in _Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica_; see also Perrott's
_Life_, and Ormonde to Burghley, March 13, 1584. Perrott landed at
Dalkey, June 9, and was sworn in by Loftus in St. Patrick's on the 21st.

[115] Ormonde to Burghley, March 13, 1584 (from Carrick); docquet of
letter, April 4; Ormonde to Burghley, May 19 (from Abermorles); June 4,
(from Carew).

[116] Order for a hosting, June 22, 1584; Wallop to Walsingham, July 9;
Fenton to Walsingham, July 10.

[117] Henry Sheffield to Burghley, July 12, 1584; Memorial for Mr.
Edward Norris, Aug. 6; Bingham to Burghley, Aug. 7.

[118] William Johnes to Walsingham, July 14, 1584.

[119] Perrott's Memorial for Mr. Edward Norris, Aug. 6, 1584.

[120] Wallop to Burghley, Sept. 17, 1584; to Walsingham, Oct. 14
and Dec. 4; Sir V. Browne to Burghley and Walsingham, Oct. 18; to
Walsingham, Dec. 11; Waterhouse to Walsingham, Nov. 28; Lord Thomond
to Burghley, July 14, 1585; Vice-President Norris to Perrott, Dec. 30,

[121] Fenton to Burghley, Aug. 19, 1584; Perrott to the Privy Council,
Aug. 21; Bingham to Walsingham, Aug. 30; John Norris to Burghley, Oct.

[122] Walsingham to Hunsdon, Aug. 24, 1584, in Wright's _Elizabeth_;
Privy Council to Perrott, Aug. 31; Perrott to Privy Council, Sept. 15.

[123] Perrott to Privy Council, Sept. 15 and 17.

[124] Norris to Burghley, Oct. 16, 1584. The various agreements are in
_Carew_, from Sept. 18 to Oct. 7. Perrott returned to Dublin within
a few days of the latter date. On the 20th he sent Walsingham 'Holy
Columkill's cross, a god of great veneration with Sorley Boy and all
Ulster.... When you have made some sacrifice to him, according to the
disposition you bear to idolatry, you may, if you please, bestow him
upon my good Lady Walsingham or my Lady Sidney, to wear as a jewel of
weight and bigness, and not of price and goodness, upon some solemn
feast or triumph day at the Court.'

[125] Norris to Burghley, Oct. 16, 1584. See also (in Russell and
Prendergast's Calendar) Sir John Davies to Salisbury, July 1, 1607, and
Aug. 5, 1608, and the second conference about the Plantation, Jan. 12,
1610; and J. C. Beresford's report in the _Concise View of the Irish
Society_, p. ccxxii. In the Irish _Archæological Journal_, vol. i. p.
477, Ormonde's contemporary panegyrist, who is an unconscious satirist,

    Twice he set Glenconkein on fire,
      This wealthy and tender-hearted chieftain;
    He left no herds around Lough Neagh,
      This seer so provident and bountiful.

According to O'Donovan (_Four Masters_, 1526) Glenconkein originally
composed the parishes of Ballinascreen, Desertmartin, and Kilcronaghan.

[126] Sir J. Cusack to Cecil, Feb. 2, 1564; Memorial for Perrott in
_Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica_; Fenton to Burghley, Jan. 31, 1584;
Petition to the Judges, Feb. 16; Perrott to Walsingham, Aug. 21; and to
Burghley, Oct. 22.

[127] Loftus to Walsingham, Oct. 4, 1584; and March 21, 1585;
to Burghley, March 18, 1585; Petition of the prebendaries (with
enclosures), Dec. 1584. See also Ware's _Bishops_, arts. 'Jones' and
'Loftus,' and Cotton's _Fasti_. Writing to Burghley, Jan 10, 1585,
Loftus says the only great abuse was the non-residence of prebendaries,
some of them by her Majesty's express command, and he proposes to
remedy this by calling on them to reside, or resign. Bancroft was one
of these privileged absentees. For Swift's remark see Monck Mason's
_Hist. of St. Patrick's_, book ii. chap. iii. sec. 8, where another
disgraceful lease made by Jones is also mentioned. Loftus was an
accomplice in this later case.

[128] Burghley to Perrott, Nov. 6, 1584; Loftus to Burghley, June 7
and 11, 1585. Writing to Burghley on the previous 10th of Jan., Loftus
says Fenton had dealt earnestly for the overthrow of St. Patrick's.
'After all,' says Monck Mason, 'the opposition made by Loftus must be
considered as quite reasonable. Had the scheme taken effect there would
scarcely have remained a single benefice in the gift of the Archbishop;
the Crown presented to all the dignities in the other cathedral, and
the Chapter to all the prebends.'--_Hist. of St. Patrick's_, book i.
ch. 14.

[129] Stanley to Walsingham, Sept. 17, 1584; Norris to Burghley, Nov.
20; Sir N. White to Perrott, Sept. 16; Bingham to Walsingham, Nov. 24
and Dec. 21; and to Burghley, Dec. 24; Perrott to Burghley, Dec. 4.

[130] Perrott to the Privy Council, Oct. 25, 1584; to Walsingham
(enclosing that to the High Court of Parliament), Jan. 17, 1585; to the
Queen, April 1; Walsingham to Perrott, Feb. 1; the Queen to Perrott,
April 14. Perrott's proposed towns were Athlone, Coleraine, Sligo,
Mayo, Dingle, Lifford, and Newry; bridges at Coleraine, Lifford,
Ballyshannon, Dundalk, the Munster Black Water, the Feale, and Kells
in Clandeboye; castles at Ballyshannon, Meelick, Castle Martin in the
Route, at Gallen in King's County, Kilcommon in Wicklow, and on both
the Blackwaters.



[Sidenote: The Scots invade Ulster in force.]

Colin Campbell, 6th Earl of Argyle, died in September, 1584, leaving
his eldest son a minor, and this event added to the confusion generally
prevalent in the Western Isles. Sorley Boy, as usual, contrived to take
advantage of the situation, and persuaded an assembly of chiefs who met
in the island of Bute to support his Irish claims. 1,300 Scots, under
Angus MacDonnell, landed on Rathlin, a much greater number being ready
to follow, and Sir Henry Bagenal hastily moved from Carrickfergus to
meet them. The ships which should have co-operated failed to appear,
and the Scots attacked him in his camp at Red Bay. In spite of the late
negotiations Donnell Gorme was in command, and it is evident that the
islanders were not really worsted, though the English officers put a
good face on the matter. Sir William Stanley was hastily summoned from
Munster to take charge of Coleraine, and Norris was also sent for.
Stanley accompanied Bagenal as far as Glenarm, and then marched inland
to Ballycastle. The Scots had threatened to burn Ballycastle, but a
skirmish with Bagenal proved that they could not do this, and they then
withdrew in a northerly direction.[131]

[Sidenote: They are driven away.]

Stanley arrived at Ballycastle on New Year's day, with two companies of
foot, and joined Captain Carleile, whose troop of horse were already
quartered in Bunamargey Abbey. Captain Bowen's company held the fort
of Dunanynie on a hill to the westward. At eleven o'clock that night
the Scots made a sudden attack, set fire to the thatched roof of the
church with brands fixed to the points of their spears, and fell upon
the infantry encamped outside. Stanley rushed out in his shirt and
succeeded in rallying the men, but many were hurt by arrows. He himself
received one in the back, another pinned his arm to his side, and a
third penetrated his thigh. Some horses were burned in the church, and
none could be got out in time to pursue the Scots, whose enterprise
failed in the main. But a fleet of galleys from Cantire passed in
full view, and a very unusual calm prevented the Queen's ships from
following. Stanley sent for reinforcements, and Perrott laid all blame
on the English Government for not sending the 600 men he had asked for.
But the real difficulty was to feed the garrisons already established.
There was no good harbour. Ballycastle Bay is rocky, and everything had
to be landed upon rafts. Some provision vessels were driven back to
Holyhead; others in great danger rode out the gales off Carrickfergus
and Coleraine, 'where the sea raiseth such a billow as can hardly be
endured by the greatest ships. And scarce once in fourteen days those
winter seas will suffer any small vessel to lay the ships aboard to
unlade the victuals.' Money, as usual, was wanting, and the supply
service was none of the best. The captains were charged 42_s._ for
corslets, which might be bought of better quality in any London shop
for 25_s._ or less. Useless articles were sent, and whoever else might
be to blame, Perrott was quite sure that the Master of the Ordnance in
Ireland deserved hanging.[132]

[Sidenote: Sorley Boy offers to become a good subject.]

Sorley Boy found that the garrisons, notwithstanding all difficulties,
were likely to become permanent in Ulster. He was growing old, there
had been attempts to dispose of him by foul means, and on the whole
he thought it would be better to make terms for himself. He therefore
sought an interview with Captain Carleile, and professed willingness to
live and die a faithful subject of Queen Elizabeth, on condition of
being acknowledged as owner of at least a large part of the Bissett
estate. He only asked, he said, for such terms as Sidney had been
willing to grant some ten years before. But Perrott preferred strong
measures. At first he wished to go himself, but the Council dissuaded
him, and he even allowed Norris to return to his province. The Lord
President was very angry at being brought to Dublin merely to suit the
Council's humour, and at having to spend 300_l._ in bringing up 40
horse and keeping them serviceable. Perrott, he said, had never really
meant him to go to Ulster. Such honours as might be had there he wanted
for himself, but he liked economising at other folks' expense. The
officers stationed in the North proved sufficient, and hunted Sorley
from place to place till he was glad to escape to Scotland. Before
April 26, no important Scot was left in Ulster, and Perrott was at
leisure to meet his Parliament on that day.[133]

[Sidenote: Perrott's Parliament--the House of Lords.]

A list of this Parliament has been preserved, and it is interesting to
compare its composition with that held by Sussex in 1560. The spiritual
peers summoned were twenty-six in place of twenty, but in both cases
it is doubtful how far the more distant bishops attended. The temporal
peers had increased from twenty-three to twenty-six, but the earldom of
Tyrone and the barony of Dungannon were both centred in the person of
Hugh O'Neill, who petitioned the House for the higher title conferred
by patent on his grandfather, and whose claim was allowed.[134]

[Sidenote: The House of Commons--counties; cities and boroughs.]

Twenty-seven counties are mentioned instead of twenty on the former
occasion, Connaught being now divided into Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, and
Sligo. Cavan, represented by two O'Reillys, and Longford represented
by two O'Ferralls, appear for the first time as shires, and so do
Longford and Wicklow. Wexford and Ferns are given as separate counties,
and Tipperary, reverting to ancient custom, is divided into the County
and the Cross. Ards disappears as a separate county. All the shires
named appear to have made returns. Thirty-six cities and boroughs are
enumerated instead of twenty-nine, only Carrickfergus and Downpatrick
neglecting to make returns. Athy is omitted, and Cashel, Inistioge,
Dingle, Callan, Philipstown, Maryborough, Swords, and Downpatrick are
added. For some unexplained reason the counties of Cork and Sligo
returned three knights each.[135]

[Sidenote: Representation of the Irish race.]

[Sidenote: Irish chiefs in Dublin.]

Besides the O'Reillys and O'Ferralls the house of Commons contained
but few of the native race. An O'Brien and a Clancy sat for Clare.
Sir Hugh Magennis divided Down with Sir Nicholas Bagenal, and Shane
MacBrian O'Neill was returned, but did not attend, as Captain
Barkley's colleague for Antrim. Among the burgesses we find a Shee or
O'Shea sitting for Kilkenny, a Gwire or Maguire for Trim, a Kearney
for Cashel, a Hurley for Kilmallock, a Casey for Mullingar, and a
Neill or O'Neill for Carlingford. John Ffrehan, who was returned for
Philipstown, was most likely a Celt also. The bulk of the members
were of old Anglo-Irish race, with a good sprinkling of more modern
settlers, of officials, and of military officers. John and Thomas
Norris sat for the counties of Cork and Limerick respectively, Sir
Warham St. Leger for Queen's County, Sir Richard Bingham for Roscommon,
and Sir Henry Harrington for Wicklow. Nearly all the chieftains of
Ireland, though not actually members of Parliament, obeyed the Lord
Deputy's summons, and he strictly insisted on English costume being
worn. 'Please your lordship,' said old Tirlogh Luineach, 'let my priest
attend me in Irish apparel, and then they will wonder at him as they do
now at me; so shall I pass more quickly and unpointed at.'[136]

[Sidenote: Parliamentary procedure.]

[Sidenote: The Speaker.]

Rules were laid down for the conduct of business in the House of
Commons. Members were not to wear arms in the House, they were to
speak standing and uncovered, and only once on each reading of a Bill.
Freedom of speech was granted, and freedom from arrest for members,
their servants, and their goods. On the other hand no member was to
disclose 'the secrets either spoken or done in the House' to any
stranger, under such penalties as the Speaker, with the assent of the
House, should think proper to inflict. One rule may seem strange to the
present age, in which parliamentary debate has come to be so largely
a matter of flouts and gibes and sneers. Every member was enjoined
'to frame his speech after a quiet and courteous manner, without any
taunts or words tending to the reproach of any person in the said House
assembled.' The first struggle was about the election of a Speaker.
Nicholas Walshe, Chief Justice of Munster and member for the city of
Waterford, was put forward by Perrott. Ormonde had a very good opinion
of him, and Perrott, when President of Munster, must have learned his
value. The opposition, though strong, was fruitless, and Walshe was
duly chosen Speaker.[137]

[Sidenote: The Parliament is hard to manage.]

[Sidenote: A prorogation.]

Perrott had not been easily induced to abandon his scheme for the
dissolution of St. Patrick's. He continued to attack Loftus, but
nevertheless gave him the chief control over the drafting of Bills; and
the Chancellor was accused of purposely drawing them so as to arouse
opposition. By Poyning's law, and the Acts explaining it, these Bills
had to be sent to England and returned after passing the Privy Council.
If disapproved in this form, they could not be amended without sending
them to England again. Travelling was tedious, Parliaments were short,
and thus there was a risk that all legislation would be stopped. One
Bill was for extending to Ireland all the English laws against Popish
recusants, and this was certain to arouse the fiercest animosity.
Another contained provisions derogatory to the privileges of the
peerage. Desmond's Bill of Attainder as amended contained eight names
instead of twenty times that number, and made so many reservations
that it would have been almost useless to the Crown. Nearly all the
other Bills went too far or not far enough, but the difficulty might
have been avoided by suspending Poyning's Act, as had been done in 1537
and 1569. The landowners and lawyers of the Pale said that they feared
to make the Viceroy despotic, but Perrott said that they dreaded all
legislation favourable to the Crown. The bill only passed the Lords
by one vote, of which the validity was disputed, Lord Lixnaw having
given his proxy first to Lord Slane, who opposed, and afterwards to
Lord Dunboyne, who supported the bill. The Chancellor took it privately
from Dunboyne, and counted the absent peer among the 'contents.' Upon
this or some other pretext the Commons threw the Bill out on the third
reading by a majority of thirty-five. Perrott looked upon this check
as a disgrace to himself and a hindrance to the Queen, and prorogued
Parliament for a few days. This enabled him to bring the Bill in
again, but it was lost by a reduced majority, although Ormonde's
friends, who had at first opposed, now voted with the 'ayes.' Partly
by his rudeness, and partly by his determination to prevent jobs,
the Lord Deputy had made many enemies, and six Englishmen turned the
scale against the Bill. 'And thus,' said Perrott, 'they have not only
overthrown the repeal of Poyning's Act, that should have set them at
liberty to treat of that and all other things necessary for this State,
but also dashed most of the statutes that were penned in Ireland and
sent back confirmed from England, as, namely, that for the safety of
the Queen.'[138]

[Sidenote: Agitators.]

The chief opposition to Perrott's measures came from the Pale, and
among the leaders were Sidney's old antagonists Richard Netterville
and Henry Burnell. 'These popular fellows,' said Perrott, 'or good
countrymen, as they would be gloriously termed, have been ever of this
humour against all governors, and some of them, namely Netterville and
Burnell, have been in the Tower of London for causes of far less moment
than this is.'

[Sidenote: A fair system of taxation rejected.]

One great cause of opposition was a Bill proposing to equalise
ploughlands, and to impose a tax of 13_s._ 4_d._ in lieu of cess on
each ploughland throughout the whole country. The Pale had hitherto
paid when Irish countries were not charged, and the native chiefs
were now willing to come to an arrangement. But even in the counties
which had always contributed there were many permanent exemptions, and
still more fraudulent evasions. A new survey had thus many terrors,
and, as is so often the case, threatened interests were more powerful
than arguments founded on considerations of public policy. The Pale
offered a lump sum of 1,200_l._ in lieu of all cess; but this was far
less than had always been paid, and Perrott indignantly refused it.
The chance of making the whole country voluntarily contribute to the
expenses of government was thus unhappily lost. The Irish chiefs, who
had come prepared to agree with the Lord Deputy, now left Dublin in
far worse humour than they had reached it, and the plan of making them
English subjects was indefinitely postponed. Religion was at the bottom
of the whole difficulty, and one of the Pale patriots said, in open
Parliament, that 'things did prosper in Henry V.'s and former kings'
times when the mass was up.' Perrott was willing and anxious to punish
his parliamentary opponents, but required orders from home first,
'because these kind of people by the mild dealing of England have ever
found more favour there than hath been for the good of this State.'[139]

[Sidenote: Small results of the session.]

[Sidenote: A stranger in the gallery.]

Parliament was a second time prorogued on May 25, and it did not meet
again for eleven months. The only legislative results of the first
session--or, more properly speaking, of the first two sessions--were
an Act for the attainder of Baltinglas and his brothers, and an Act
for the restoration in blood of Laurence, the son of the old Geraldine
rebel James Delahide. A German nobleman who was in Dublin during
the session is said to have been much struck by Perrott's stately
appearance at the opening of Parliament. He had, he said, travelled
through Germany, Italy, France, and England, but had never seen anyone
so majestic, and he asked for his portrait to carry home with him.
And this presence, coupled with substantial fair-dealing, no doubt
made Perrott popular with the masses and with the Irish chiefs. With
officials and members of council it was different, for they felt the
weight of his hand. Had he been as courteous as he was anxious for the
Queen's service, his fate might have been very different. A reformer
can never hope to be really liked by those who desire the maintenance
of abuses; but a soft hand is no less necessary than a stout heart.[140]

[Sidenote: Eloquence of Sir John Norris.]

The oratorical honours of the session were carried off by John Norris.
Fenton said he would deserve the Queen's special thanks had he done
her no other service, and Loftus, himself a great preacher, pronounced
him to be the best speaker in the House, both for force of reasoning
and eloquence of delivery. But Norris himself had no wish 'to be
drowned in this forgetful corner,' as he called Ireland, almost in
the very words of a still more remarkable man nearly a century and a
half later. He longed to be again in the Netherlands, and thought that
he could save Antwerp with 20,000_l._ Once lost, it would never be
regained. Had his advice been taken, Ghent and Bruges might have been
retained; but the Walloon provinces were now past hope, and the Dutch
would have to yield unless they received foreign help. His prayer was
heard, and a commission to his brother Thomas to execute the office of
Lord President in his absence was signed on the day before the Irish
Parliament met. Immediately after the prorogation he left Dublin, and
was in Flanders a few weeks later.[141]

[Sidenote: Ulster again invaded by Scots,]

[Sidenote: who surprise Dunluce,]

[Sidenote: to Perrott's great disgust.]

Norris was gone, and Stanley had returned to Munster, when the Scots
again invaded Antrim in some force. 170 English soldiers encountered
1,200 Scots and Irish, near Carrickfergus, and Perrott again moved to
Ulster. He approved and confirmed a deed by which Tirlogh Luineach
handed over the southern half of Tyrone to the newly-acknowledged Earl,
reserving the northern half to himself, with such tribute as he might
be able to collect from Maguire and O'Cahan. Wallop and Loftus, who
were left in charge of the Pale, saw it was quite impossible for the
Lord Deputy to keep the Scots at bay without garrisons and fortresses
more permanent than the Queen was inclined to pay for. Perrott was
really of the same opinion, but he persevered in the hopeless task.
There were, he said, more than 2,000 Scots in Ulster, combined to
set up Shane O'Neill's sons. Journeys to the North had always been
allowed, and he could not see why he, of all Deputies, was to be kept
in enforced idleness. He did, however, return to Dublin after a short
absence, for the orders to save money were peremptory. The army was
almost literally naked, and many soldiers for sheer want took service
with the Irish. The natural result was not long delayed. Perrott had
returned to Dublin early in September, and on the 1st of November,
Dunluce--about the capture of which so much fuss had been made--was
once more in the hands of the Scots. Peter Cary, the constable, a man
of English blood and Ulster birth, had but fourteen soldiers, of which
several were Irish; and, what was perhaps more important, he had a
Scotch mistress. Ropes, which are said to have been made of withes,
were let down at night by two of the Irish warders, and fifty Scots
climbed over the battlements. Cary, whose orders not to keep Irishmen
in the fort were strict, refused quarter, and he and his English
soldiers were killed after a desperate resistance. 'I do not,' said
Perrott, 'weigh the loss, but can hardly endure the discredit. As
things are purposed now any man is fitter for the place than I am.'
James VI. had promised Perrott to punish his subjects as rebels should
they again invade Ireland; but he had not the power, nor perhaps
the will, to keep his promise. Queen Elizabeth's thoughts were now
concentrated on foreign politics, and economy was her one object in
Ireland. It was even proposed to disband companies lately raised, and
necessarily composed of natives, since Englishmen could not be found to
serve without pay or clothes. 'Thus,' said Wallop, 'have we trained and
furnished Irishmen to serve the enemy's turn.' Walsingham could only
say that Perrott might have lived in better season under Henry VIII.,
when princes were resolute in honourable attempts. 'Our age has been
given to other manner of proceedings, whereto the Lord Deputy must be
content to conform himself as other men do.'[142]

[Sidenote: Composition in Connaught.]

Unsuccessful with his parliament, with his council, and with the
great men of the Pale, Perrott found the chieftains of Connaught
still amenable to reason. Ten years before, Sidney had found them
willing to hold their lands of the Queen and to pay rent, but the
completion of the contract was Perrott's work. The commissioners named
were Bingham as governor, the Earls of Thomond and Clanricarde, the
Baron of Athenry, Sir Tirlogh O'Brien, Sir Richard Burke of Mayo,
O'Connor Sligo, O'Rourke, O'Flaherty, and others, and they proposed
that the Queen should have a quit rent of 10_s._ a quarter out of
all arable and pasture land in Connaught and Clare. There were to be
no other exactions except certain days' labour for fortifications or
other public buildings. Contributions of horse and foot on warlike
occasions were to be matter of special agreement. Anxious for
peace among themselves and convinced that they could not make head
against the State, the chiefs agreed to these terms, in the hopes of
obtaining a firm and just government. To make things pleasant, some
special privileges were granted to a few important people, and it was
calculated that a revenue of rather less than 4,000_l._ a year would
be secured to the Crown. Less than one-third of the whole soil was
really included in this settlement; waste lands, water, and fraudulent
concealments will account for the rest. The plan of the composition
was good, but the result did not fulfil Perrott's expectation. In
so extensive an area many were dissatisfied with their lot, and the
Government was neither strong enough nor steady enough to enforce order
among a rude people.[143]

[Sidenote: Perrott's personal troubles.]

[Sidenote: His traducers.]

Perrott claimed to be a careful husband of the Queen's resources,
and rather ostentatiously professed his contempt for the interested
criticism of others. But Elizabeth's parsimony increased with her
years, and she was only too ready to listen to those who told her she
was being robbed. She directed a stringent inquiry into the revenue,
suggesting that arrears had been allowed to accumulate, that improper
concessions had been granted, that crown leases had been given without
due inquiry, that personal allowances had been made without exacting
service in return, and in short that everyone's interests had been
regarded but her own. 'It is not meant,' she said, 'that the possession
of lands and chattels lately escheated by rebellion should be in
the power and authority of the Lord Deputy, but to be stayed at her
Majesty's will and pleasure.' This and other similar hints cut Perrott
to the quick. No doubt his despotic temper sometimes induced him to
overstep the bounds of strict law, and his enemies were always on
the watch. He was accused of making money unfairly out of household
and table allowances. It was said that his accounts showed annual
liveries, whereas they were in reality biennial; he allowed no fires
even in bitter February weather, and there was no good cheer in the
Castle. 'I had little thought,' he indignantly exclaimed, 'that any
part of her Highness's honour had depended on my supper. I am sorry
that men's eyes are so narrowly bent on my diet, and I doubt will
watch my uprising and downlying too.' He had always provided supper
for those who could enjoy it; as for himself the doctors had forbidden
him that insidious meal for nearly a quarter of a century. And yet, he
said, he would rather die of indigestion than incur the imputation of
niggardly conduct. 'I pray you,' he wrote to Burghley, 'help to rid
me hence, that I may avoid all these spiteful occasions of grief and

[Sidenote: Rumours of invasion.]

[Sidenote: Miserable state of the army.]

Preparations for the settlement of Munster, and speculations as to the
coming of the Armada, occupied the early days of 1586. A rover, who put
into Cork Harbour, declared that 20,000 Spaniards were intended for
Ireland. Redmond O'Gallagher, whom the Pope had provided to the See of
Derry, and whom the Queen had not sought to displace, was once more on
his travels in search of aid from France or Spain, and Munster lay open
to attack. There was no garrison even at Limerick, which was called the
strongest place in the province, and the guns had fallen to the ground
from their rotten carriages. The muskets were useless from rust, and
the feathers had damped off the arrows. Cork, Waterford, and the rest
were in no better case. Wallop had to pledge his plate for 100_l._,
and the captains were in debt through vain attempts to clothe their
shivering men, who ran off to the Irish chiefs to look for brogues and
frieze mantles. The Vice-Treasurer anxiously begged for 20,000_l._;
if the Spaniards landed it would cost 300,000_l._ to get rid of them.
But Elizabeth's thoughts were all given to the Continent, and better
than any man in Ireland she probably understood the real impotence of

[Sidenote: Parliament--the Desmond attainder.]

[Sidenote: Parliament dissolved.]

In the second session of Perrott's Parliament the chief business was
the Desmond attainder, and there was so much opposition that some of
the judges were sent for to assure the House of Commons that Ormonde's
rights should be saved. In the bill which then passed, Desmond and his
brothers John and James, James Fitzmaurice, and thirty-four others were
named, their lands being vested in the Crown without inquisition, but
without prejudice to innocent parties. Eighty-two others were attainted
by name in another Act, which contained the same reservations. Some of
the late Opposition had apologised, but an Opposition still remained,
and Perrott was not allowed to punish it as he wished. The Commons
rejected a bill vesting the lands of persons thereafter attainted in
the Crown without the usual formalities, and they finally refused to
grant a subsidy of 13_s._ 4_d._ upon every ploughland. The session
lasted less than three weeks. At the dissolution Speaker Walshe
addressed the Lord Deputy at length, praising the constitution,
lamenting that the Queen was an absentee, and hinting pretty plainly
that the subject was overburdened. 'Lamps,' he said, 'cannot give light
that are not maintained with oil.' Perrott's answer, if he gave one, is
not recorded; but Elizabeth was so little pleased with her Parliament
of Ireland, that she summoned no other during the remaining sixteen
years of her reign.[146]

[Sidenote: The MacDonnells in Antrim.]

[Sidenote: Sorley Boy becomes a subject,]

[Sidenote: and a great landowner.]

Perrott's last invasion of Ulster, and his correspondence with the King
of Scotland, had done little good. Dunluce was now in Sorley Boy's
hands, and the English Government inclined to make friends with him.
Sorley hesitated to go to Dublin, and in the meantime his eldest son
Alaster was killed in Tyrconnell. After being wounded in a skirmish he
swam across a river, but we found him, says Captain Price, 'by great
chance in a deep grave, strewn over with rushes, and on every side six
old calliox weeping... but a quick corse therein, and in memory of
Dunluce we cried quittance with him, and sent his head to be set on
Dublin Castle.' Perrott was inclined to make the most of success, and
to break off the negotiations, 'as though,' said Fenton, 'by this blow
hydra's head were seared up.' But his loss made the old chief readier
to treat, and he came to Dublin on protection, after writing a humble
letter. It is said that an official brutally showed him his son's head
over the Castle gate, and that he proudly answered, as if to justify
Fenton's simile, 'my son has many heads.' He made a formal submission,
prostrating himself before a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, admitting
that he had no legal right in Ulster, and particularly condemning his
own folly 'in leaving such men in the Castle of Dunluce, within this
her Highness's land, as should say they kept it in the name, or to the
use of, the King of Scots, a Prince that honoureth her Majesty and
embraceth her favour.' The land he held had been taken by force, and he
was willing to keep it on such terms as the Queen might be pleased to
grant. Upon this basis a treaty was concluded, by which Sorley had a
grant by knight service of all the land between the Bann and the Bush,
and of much to the eastward, and he was made Constable of Dunluce,
while resigning his claim to property in it. He became a denizen,
and having got all that he had fought for, gave Perrott no further
trouble. A great part of the Glynns, comprising the coast between Larne
and Ballycastle, had already been granted to his nephew Angus. Thus
were the MacDonnells confirmed in the possessions for which they had
struggled so long.[147]

[Sidenote: Bingham in Connaught.]

[Sidenote: The Mayo Burkes rebel,]

[Sidenote: and are harried by Bingham,]

[Sidenote: who strikes terror into all.]

Bingham soon tried how real was the submission of western Connaught,
for he held sessions at Galway, and hanged seventy persons, of whom
some were gentlemen. This he modestly called the cutting off of a few
bad members. He then, after a three weeks' siege, took Clonloan Castle
from the O'Briens and killed all the garrison. He went next against the
Hag's Castle in Lough Mask, which was held by some Burkes, who had
risen rather than attend Galway sessions. An attack in boats failed,
but the garrison slipped away by water, and resolved, according to the
annalists, to defend no more castles against the Queen of England.
Resistance was vain, and most of the chiefs came in to Bingham, among
them being Richard Burke, a noted partisan, who was called the Hedge
or Pale of Ireland. It was proved that he had been intriguing with the
Scots, and he was promptly hanged, by the sentence of a court-martial.
Peremptory orders then came from Perrott to give the rest protection,
and the Burkes immediately broke out again, saying that they would have
a MacWilliam, though they fetched him out of Spain. They would have no
sheriff, and attend no sessions, nor serve a heretic hag, but would
transfer their allegiance to the Pope or the Catholic king. They were
near 800 strong, and Bingham would not attack them without Perrott's
orders, who gave them as soon as he saw clearly that conciliation
had done no good. After three months' delay, Bingham again took the
field, with Clanricarde and others, and had a parley with the rebels
at Ballinrobe. They stood out for their old terms, whereupon Bingham
proclaimed them all traitors and hanged the hostages in his hands.
Three thousand cows were driven from the mountains between Mayo and
Galway; but the annalists assert that the guilty escaped, and that
only the innocent were plundered. The soldiers, they say, killed old
men, women, and boys, 'and hanged Theobald O'Toole, supporter of the
destitute and keeper of a house of hospitality.' The proclamation had,
however, the effect of making Bingham's enemies distrust each other.
The Joyces, a tribe of Welsh origin, very long settled in Galway, the
Clandonnells, or gallowglasses of Scottish descent, and the various
septs of Burkes, kept separate; while the O'Flaherties, who had lately
been in rebellion, were now glad to attack their neighbours at the
Governor's instance. Sir Murrogh of the Battleaxes, chief of the
O'Flaherties, plundered the Joyces, while his kinsman Roger, with a
flotilla, prevented them from escaping into the islands. The corn was
not yet ripe, but Bingham meant to burn it when the time came, and
thought that his subjects would then be in no case to make dangerous
alliance with the Scots. The bad spirit showed signs of spreading, and
a messenger from Munster reported that Leicester was dead in Holland,
and that his army was destroyed. Two great Spanish armies, he gave out,
had landed in England, there was a Spanish fleet at Baltimore, James of
Scotland was preparing for war, and, to crown all, Queen Elizabeth was
at the point of death. Bingham managed to catch the tale-bearer, and
hanged him as a spy, and finding that they had little chance against
this pitiless soldier, most of the rebels came in; 'so pined away for
want of food, and so ghasted with fear within seven or eight weeks, by
reason they were so roundly followed without any interim of rest, that
they looked rather like to ghosts than men.' Except a small body of the
Burkes, who remained in arms at Castlebar, no one was left to greet the
Scots when they at last appeared.[148]

[Sidenote: The Scots invade Connaught,]

[Sidenote: and are pursued by Bingham.]

Two years before, Donnell Gorme, a brother to Angus, had been granted
nearly two-thirds of the Glynns which were then in his possession. But
he afterwards rebelled, and was ready for anything. Messengers from the
Mayo Burkes earnestly sought his help, and being joined by his brother,
Alaster, he brought 2,000 Redshanks from the isles. The brothers landed
in Innishowen, and all the loose Scots in Ireland gathered round them,
so that their force was uncertain. Only a week before their appearance
on the Erne, Wallop said they were less than 600 bare-tailed beggars,
and not at all dangerous. They plundered O'Dogherty and Maguire, and
waited at Belleek for news of their Connaught friends. Bingham, who was
at Balla in Mayo, heard that they were likely to enter his province
by the north shore of Lough Ree, hurried to Roscommon, found that he
had been misled, and then made his way to Sligo by forced marches. The
Scots were encamped on the Erne, and he sent to ask what they wanted.
The MacDonnells said their friends had drawn them over by offering the
spoil of Connaught: that like all other soldiers in the world they had
no shift but to serve the highest bidder, and that they would take what
they could until hindered by the strong hand.[149]

[Sidenote: Bingham watches the Scots.]

[Sidenote: Who draw towards Mayo.]

Bingham had with him but 60 regular horse and 400 foot. Of these 300
were half-trained Irishmen, and upon his 200 kerne and 200 Irish horse
he could place little reliance. He stood on the defensive till help
came; and after a fortnight's delay the Scots advanced stealthily
towards the Curlew hills, and passed Bingham's scouts on a very dark
and stormy night. 50 Irish horse watched the bridge at Collooney, but
they made no fight, and 400 Scots passed before the infantry came up.
The rest of the intruders crossed higher up by a ford Bingham had never
heard of, but they lost some 50 men in subsequent skirmishes. Bingham
then discharged his Irish auxiliaries. 'They were,' he said, 'to me
a great trouble, and very chargeable, and during their being in my
company, I could keep no enterprise secret, and yet but mean men when
they come to action, for at the charge they forsook me.' Their hearts
were not in the work, and no real help was given but by Clanricarde
and two or three of his men. While waiting for reinforcements, Bingham
crossed the Slieve Gamp mountains near the sea, with a view to saving
the great herds of cattle in Tireragh. Mayo was the real destination
of the Scots, but Bingham's information was uncertain, and he moved
towards Lough Gara, where he was joined by 40 horse and 250 foot
which Perrott had ordered up from Munster. He had now nearly 600
men, of which less than 100 were horse, and this was his greatest
strength. It had been supposed that the Scots would seize Roscommon;
but they moved 'the clean contrary way' towards Ballina, giving out,
and perhaps believing, that Bingham's forces had abandoned him, and
that the country was theirs. Sir Richard's spies brought the news at
noon, 'before our men could kill their beef and prepare it to refresh
themselves with'; and he followed the Scots at once through the woods
to Bannada Abbey. A priest and two gentlemen of the O'Haras guided him
by Aclare to Ardnarea on the Moy, where the strangers lay waiting for
the Burkes to join them.

[Sidenote: Bingham follows the Scots by night,]

[Sidenote: and annihilates them at the Moy.]

Bingham left Castlemore-Costello in the afternoon of Wednesday, halted
at Bannada Abbey two hours after nightfall, and marched by moonlight
to Aclare. With the morning light, he says, 'we forsook the highway,
and took through the mountains with horsemen, footmen, and carriage,
carrying all our own forces as in a "heyrse" together, keeping the
bottoms and lowest passages as near as we might by circumferent ways,
and with as great silence as was possible.' Reaching firm ground about
nine o'clock, Bingham learned that the enemy were only two miles away,
and pushed on at once with his cavalry, the advanced guard actually
riding into their camp unchallenged. The Scots got into order as
quickly as they could, Bingham skirmishing until his foot came up.
He had the advantage of ground, and the Redshanks broke at the first
charge. 'I was never,' said Captain Woodhouse, 'so weary with killing
of men, for I protest to God, for as fast as I could I did but hough
and paunch them.' In an hour all was over. About eighty swam naked
over the Moy, and were mostly killed by the natives whom they had come
to fight for; the rest became entangled in each other, and, to use
Bingham's own expression, were carried out to sea in 'plumpes.' Both
their leaders were slain. A thousand corpses lay on the field, and 500
more were found next day about the banks and shallows. 'The number of
their fighting-men slain and drowned that day we estimated and numbered
to be 1,400 or 1,500, besides boys, women, churls, and children, which
could not be so few as as many more and upwards.' If it be true that
Bingham only lost two or three men, and those chiefly through their own
folly, the surprise must have been more complete than we should infer
from the English accounts. 'They were,' says the Four Masters, 'first
aroused from their profound slumbers by the shrieks of their military
attendants, whom the Governor's people were slaughtering throughout the
town. The Scots then arose expertly, and placed themselves, as well as
they were able, in order and battle array.'[150]

[Sidenote: Perrott insists on going to Connaught.]

[Sidenote: Bad feeling between Perrott and Bingham.]

Bingham had asked for only 250 men from Perrott, and had particularly
requested that the Deputy should not enter Connaught. He complained
that the aid was tardily sent, and that much of the effect of his
victory would be taken away if he were not left to follow it up in
his own way. The Council also opposed Perrott's expedition, but
notwithstanding this and the rebuke he had received from the Queen
for visiting Ulster under similar circumstances, he set out upon the
journey, but had only reached Mullingar at the date of Bingham's
victory. He went on to Galway, though his retinue were a heavy burden
to the province. He took cattle for their use at a forced price, and
thus broke the composition which had been made in his name, but chiefly
through Bingham's exertions. Perrott afterwards declared that the
journey only cost the Queen 100_l._, that Bingham had requested his
presence, and that the Council had given him leave to go. But it is
impossible to reconcile these statements with those made in a hostile
sense. At first the Council altogether refused their consent, and then,
when some of Perrott's opponents were absent and more of his supporters
present, they agreed, by no means unanimously, that he should go to the
borders of Connaught only. After the overthrow of the Scots there was
no longer any valid reason for going forward. Bingham complained that
at Galway the Lord Deputy did nothing but hunt up evidence against
him, so as, if possible, to make it appear that his misgovernment
had made the Burkes rebel. The chief men of the clans were, however,
induced to sign a paper in which they declared their confidence in the
Governor. They said their revolt was caused by what they could not deny
to be commendable reforms. It had been reported that 'this new governor
would make their churls their masters, and that the gentlemen were
like to become beggars for want of their cuttings and spendings, and
such other exactions as they compelled the tenants to yield unto them
at their own devotion.' This and the destruction of their old tribal
organisation, by abolishing the name and power of MacWilliam, were
the real causes of the outbreak; and surely we need look no farther.
It is impossible to say whether Perrott was jealous, or whether he
really disapproved of Bingham's proceedings; but he indulged in strong
and even coarse language, and that could not fail to excite prejudice
against him.[151]

[Sidenote: Perrott quarrels with his Council]

Like many of his predecessors, Perrott chafed under the restraint of
the Council. The English or official party at the Board were inclined
to lessen his power by frequent references to the Home Government.
On this side were Lord Chancellor Loftus, Sir Nicholas Bagenal the
Knight-Marshal, Vice-Treasurer Wallop, and Secretary Fenton. The Great
Seal was in the Chancellor's hands, the signet in the Secretary's, and
Perrott had thus the mortification of seeing his opponents concerned
in every act of importance. Most lawyers of Irish birth took the other
side, and of these the most active were Sir Nicholas White and Chief
Baron Sir Lucas Dillon. Loftus and his friends generally leaned on
Walsingham, while their opponents had more hope from Burghley. Fenton
was in England during the latter half of 1585 and until March in the
next year, and Perrott, who knew what the Secretary's influence would
be, expected his recall, and was ready to welcome it.

[Sidenote: and thereby displeases the Queen.]

The Queen did not blame her representative directly; but she sent home
despatches by Fenton which he greatly disliked, though they were very
moderate and considerate in terms. The Council was to be more often
consulted, and the Secretary was directed to read all instructions
from headquarters openly at the Board at least once a quarter. This
was no new thing, but a rebuke may have been implied in giving Fenton
the initiative. In secret matters the Deputy was to confer with the
English councillors, and offices in his gift were to be bestowed only
on fit persons, which seems to suggest that he had made some improper
appointments. Perrott considered these orders derogatory to his
dignity, and he begged to be relieved.[152]

[Sidenote: Perrott quarrels with Archbishop Loftus,]

[Sidenote: and sends the Chief Secretary to gaol.]

[Sidenote: Challenges the Governor of Connaught,]

[Sidenote: and assaults the marshal.]

The argument between the Lord Deputy and the Lord Chancellor about St.
Patrick's was so loud that it reached the Queen's ear, and she wrote
to them both, enjoining a reconciliation. Burghley added some fatherly
advice to Loftus, and an open breach was avoided. But the Archbishop
lost no opportunity of doing the Deputy an ill turn. "Contempt of God's
religion," "immoderate government," "abhorred and loathed of the best
sort of this people," were among the expressions he allowed himself
to use in writing to Walsingham. With Burghley he was more guarded,
acknowledging that the private mislike between him and the Deputy
made open complaint unbecoming, yet complaining very strongly at the
same time. There was not much outward scandal, for the Chancellor's
mitre protected him in some measure, and a dignified ecclesiastic had
probably enough self-restraint to avoid irritating language. Others
were less fortunate. Secretary Fenton owed 20_l._ to the Deputy, and
50_l._ to one of his retainers; and for this small debt--the liability
to pay which he had not denied--Perrott had this high official hurried
off through the streets on market-day, and ignominiously cast into
the common gaol. For this extraordinary proceeding the Queen took her
Deputy severely to task, and ordered Fenton's immediate enlargement.
'Considering,' she said, 'how inconvenient it is at all times, but
especially in so doubtful and perilous a season as this, to have
you and the rest of our Council there divided, as we hear you are
by factions and partialities, to our just offence and mislike, the
slander of your government and prejudice of our service, whereof we
doubt not but you will, for your own part, have that regard that in
honour and duty appertaineth.' Bingham's duties in Connaught kept him
from the Council-board, but Perrott gave him as little countenance as
possible. There was a standing dispute about the house at Athlone,
which was in the Deputy's hands, and which Bingham naturally wanted
for an official residence. Perrott's journey into the province against
the Governor's advice made things worse, and Bingham complained of
hard usage, 'especially in bad speeches and uncourteous terms, such as
for modesty's sake I omit to write here.' Theobald Dillon, collector
of composition rents in Connaught, was supported by the Lord Deputy
against Bingham; but the Council heard Dillon's charges, and declared
them unfounded. The evening before the Council gave their decision, and
doubtless after the result of the hearing was known, Stephen Seagrave,
constable of the Castle, came to Bingham, on Perrott's part, with a
great white truncheon in his hand, and informed him that his lordship
was ready for the combat. Bingham said he never heard of any such
combat before, and the Lord Deputy admitted having sent Seagrave. The
provocation alleged was mere hearsay: that Lord Delvin had told Perrott
that Sir Richard had told Lieutenant Jacques that he would fight the
Deputy if he were out of office; and Seagrave was told to tell Bingham
that the duel might take place at once. Still worse was the treatment
of Sir Nicholas Bagenal, who was near eighty years old, and who had
served the State well for half a century. A dispute arising in the
Council Chamber, Perrott actually struck the old man. According to
Bagenal, he knocked him down; others thought the blow was nothing,
but that the aged marshal fell in the confusion. Bagenal held up his
stick, but not till the Deputy had first laid hands on him. They were
separated; and then this edifying dialogue took place: 'You do lie,'
said the Deputy, 'if you think I have dealt evil in anything.'

'You lie,' said the Marshal, and to mend it said, 'if you were not
Deputy, I would say you lie, for I care not for Sir John Perrott.'

'If I were but Sir John Perrott,' said the Deputy, 'I would teach him
that came from a tailor's stall, to use me thus.'

'It makes no matter,' said the Marshal.

'Well,' said the Deputy, 'because you doat, I will bear with you;
otherwise I would commit you to the prison.'

'If you did,' said he, 'I would come out, whether you would or not.'

'Very well, Mr. Marshal,' said the Deputy, 'get you hence, for it is
not reason to talk with you. A man would think you are drunk.'

'Nay, you are drunk,' said the Marshal to the Deputy.

After this it is hardly worth while to repeat Wallop's complaints,
that his labours in Munster were slighted, and that the Lord Deputy
sometimes indulged in violent language against him, and against Chief
Justice Gardiner.[153]

[Sidenote: Perrott's troubles.]

Perrott's health may partly excuse him, for he suffered much. 'By God,
Mr. Carew,' he wrote, 'I daily grow weaker and weaker of body through
the great pain I have of the stone, growing more and more upon me in
this slimy country. In Connaught, if I travelled one day, through the
grating of the stone in my kidneys I was fain to rest another; and in
the end the Irish ague took me, that I was seven days like to die in
Galway, and am not yet thoroughly recovered thereof, nor shall not (I
believe) pass this next year, except her Majesty, of her great grace,
give me licence to go to the Spa the next spring; a suit that I made
to her Highness nine years agone. It were better her Majesty preserved
me to serve her in some other place, than I to be wilfully cast away
here.' Ireland was a prison where he could do no good to himself nor to
any other man. 'Help your poor friend out of this hell,' was his prayer
to Leicester. If he could but see Elizabeth all would be well, for she
had promised not to listen to detractors who were his enemies because
he served one God and one Queen; but now her Deputy was brought into
greater contempt than ever Sir John Perrott was. One can sympathise
with the man; but no good work could be expected from a governor who
had personally quarrelled with all the more important members of the
Council, by whose advice he was bound to act.[154]

[Sidenote: An Irish regiment sent to Holland,]

[Sidenote: under Sir William Stanley,]

[Sidenote: who deserts to the Spaniards.]

[Sidenote: Stanley wished to invade Ireland,]

[Sidenote: but never effected anything.]

Ireland being comparatively peaceful, it occurred to Elizabeth, or to
some of her advisers, that an Irish force might be raised for service
in the Netherlands. Perhaps it was also thought that the more loose
swordsmen were sent out of the country the more likely it was to
remain quiet. The officer chosen was Sir William Stanley, who had done
good service in many parts of Ireland, and who had been rewarded by
a reversionary grant of the Mastership of the Ordnance. The Catholic
party was at this time in the ascendency at Deventer, and had given
trouble by introducing provisions into the beleaguered city of Zutphen.
Leicester sent Sir William Pelham to secure Deventer, and Stanley, whom
he must have known well in Ireland, was ordered to support him. Pelham
secured the municipality in Protestant hands, and Leicester then handed
over the place to Stanley, who was known to favour the old religion,
and suspected of being concerned in plots, and who had been associating
with Spaniards for months. Leicester's chief object in making this
appointment seems to have been to annoy Sir John Norris, from whose
control, with almost incredible folly, he specially excepted Stanley
and his Irishmen. The fort of Zutphen, which had been lately taken,
was entrusted to Rowland Yorke, an adventurer of the worst character,
who soon opened communications with the Spanish garrison of the town.
Stanley's Irish soldiers were allowed into Zutphen to hear mass; and
Leicester, though he was warned of what was going on, took no steps to
prevent it. When the Earl went to England, Yorke and Stanley had ample
time for plotting, and Deventer was given up to the Spaniards in due
course. But treason rarely prospers. Yorke, who was promised a large
reward, died under suspicious circumstances before he could enjoy it.
Stanley seems to have been more disinterested; but he received money
from Philip, joined Parma's army, and was seen by Robert Cecil during
his mission to France in 1598, who notes that the renegade was fain to
pull his cap over his face. Nor did all Spaniards approve Stanley's
conduct, if it be true that in passing through Seville 'he was well
handled of the country, for they unarmed him, unhorsed him, reviled him
for his lewd doings towards his prince, and made him go on foot; but
coming to the King he was in favour, and punishment used on such as
thus dealt with him, and the officers displaced for suffering it.' An
invasion of Ireland was contemplated under Stanley's leadership, and he
looked forward with pleasure to the service. 'I will,' he said, 'ruin
the whole country as far as Holland and the parts about Wezel (Ijssel)
and Emden in six days, and in Ireland I will open such a game of war as
the Queen has never seen in her life.' Against his advice the descent
on Ireland was abandoned, and he sank into obscurity; it was even
reported that he had gone mad. An Italian named Giacomo de Francesqui,
and sometimes called Captain Jacques, who had been his lieutenant
in Ireland, was arrested by Burghley's orders. This officer was on
friendly terms with Florence MacCarthy, and was known to have been
acquainted with Ballard; and it was thought that he might be utilised
by the Spaniards in Munster. Most of Stanley's Irish levies doubtless
left their bones in the Low Countries, but a few returned to Ireland,
and eleven of these poor men were pardoned by Elizabeth nearly seven
years after the treason at Deventer. 'They were,' she said, 'innocently
forced to disobey us.' For many years there were reports that Stanley
was coming to Ireland, but he never came. In Cheshire old Sir Rowland
Stanley 'grievously lamented his son William the traitor, maintaining
his son in Cambridge, and also relieving his wife and children, having
no other maintenance.'[155]

[Sidenote: The Irish in Spain.]

[Sidenote: Drake is the terror of Spain.]

[Sidenote: Irish merchants partisans of Spain.]

If Stanley's advice had been taken, Elizabeth might have been reduced
to serious straits, for it was impossible to prevent a Spanish descent,
and there were but scant preparations to meet an enemy on shore. Early
in 1586 it was rumoured that there would be an invasion on May Day, and
Perrott asked for a small cruiser to gather news on the Biscay coast.
Merchants from Spain and Portugal reported that Irishmen were free from
the embargo laid on English shipping, and that the many Irish residents
in the peninsula made no secret of what was going on. Forty thousand
men had been collected; eighty-five ships were ready, all but the
rigging; Irish refugees from Rome and elsewhere flocked to Spain. Irish
sailors were often detained by the Spanish Government, and occasionally
told their adventures to Perrott, who also employed a secret agent,
one Davy Duke, who knew Italian and Spanish, passed as a Jesuit, and
had letters of introduction from a papal bishop imprisoned in Dublin
Castle. Miles Brewett, mariner of Dublin, told how he had been taken
before Santa Cruz, and how the Marquis had said that he knew Perrott
very well, regretting that he was such a Lutheran, and wishing for one
of his best horses and for one of his best hawks. The Admiral asked
Brewett much about Ireland, and he answered that he had never known it
so quiet. One of James Fitzmaurice's sons boasted to him that 5,000
men were going to Ireland, that Feagh MacHugh was ready to welcome
them, and that all Ireland would do the same, except Dublin, Waterford,
and Drogheda. But Brewett heard from others that Philip was weary of
the Irish, and that his subjects called them beggars. Their priests
cried out against Duke, who, after learning all he could, went over
to Bayonne and wrote boldly to say that he was going to his mistress
Queen Elizabeth. He bade the Pope farewell, saying that he liked of
his countrymen's company, but not of their learning. As the plot
thickened, news of Santa Cruz came constantly to Waterford, and Drake's
very successful predatory cruise was freely discussed by merchants and
others. One said that the great sailor must have taken Cadiz if he had
landed at once; for that the whole population were at a comedy, where
eighteen persons were crushed to death in the panic caused by his
appearance--a lady with 16,000 ducats a year being among the victims.
Even in the heart of Castille, Spaniards hardly thought themselves
safe. Philip and his train were amusing themselves on some artificial
water, and a lady who was invited to enter the royal barge refused to
do so, 'for fear of Sir Francis Drake.' The usually impassive monarch
is said to have lost his temper, and banished the timid, or perhaps
only sarcastic, lady from court, swearing a great oath that he would
be revenged on England. To bring this happy result about, he ordered
that all Irishmen and Scots should be used as Spaniards. Baltinglas had
left a brother who assumed his title, and offered to invade Ireland if
the King would give him 5,000 men. Philip was willing to do so much,
but the Irish gentlemen clamoured for twice or thrice as many, and he
then said they did not know their own minds, and should have none at
all. Despairing of Spain, Fitzmaurice's son and some others proposed
to go to Ireland and make terms with Perrott, but this plan was given
up, owing to rumours of some severe measures of the Irish Government,
and they again began to talk glibly of invasion. Santa Cruz had good
information about Ireland from Limerick and Waterford merchants, 'who,
under colour of their conscience lie at Lisbon these two years past,
and hath their wives and children at home, and doth nothing but hearken
for news of the state of England and Ireland, and whatever they can
hear they report to the Cardinal and Marquis, and deliver the same
with more than they can learn, and all to win themselves credit.' The
English court were not blind to the danger of Ireland, though almost to
the last Elizabeth seems hardly to have realised the Armada. Everything
was wanting for the defence of Ireland, and the Queen would not listen.
'If,' said Perrott, 'any number of enemies arrive here, the cities and
towns of this kingdom, and consequently the realm itself, will stand
in great danger of losing, and the few Englishmen that be here in like
danger of perishing.... I wish that the desire of peace (whereof I have
little hope) may not cause forgetfulness, or breed peril to lose that
we have.'[156]

[Sidenote: The cess.]

The regular revenue of Ireland was small, and as an army was absolutely
necessary, it had been usual to levy irregular taxes upon the shires
of the Pale. There were plenty of lawyers to condemn taxation without
the consent of Parliament; but in this case the prerogative had
been allowed, though there were many long disputes as to the amount
of the aid, and as to its incidence. Cess of some kind had been
exacted since the time of Edward III., and Sidney, who understood
the subject thoroughly, describes it as a 'prerogative of the Prince
and an agreement and consent of the nobility and Council to impose
upon the country a certain proportion of victual of all kinds, to
be delivered and issued at a reasonable rate, and, as it is commonly
termed, the Queen's price, so that the rising and falling of prices
makes the matter easier or heavier to the people.' The cess had been
regularly levied since the latter years of Henry VIII., and a practice
had crept in of applying it to the Lord-Deputy's household as well
as to the army. The uncertainty of the impost was the worst part
of it, and Elizabeth wished to substitute a regular money payment.
Temporary arrangements were made, and the total sum leviable was fixed
at 2,100_l._; the cultivated parts of Kilkenny, Tipperary, Wexford,
Carlow, King's County, and Queen's County being made contributory,
as well as the original Pale. Perrott tried to abolish the cess
altogether, and to substitute a fixed land-tax of 1_l._ on every
ploughland. This was reduced to 13_s._ 4_d._, but the Bill failed in
the House of Commons, and Perrott had to fall back upon the composition
of 2,100_l._[157]

[Sidenote: Bingham is sent to Holland,]

[Sidenote: but soon returns to Ireland.]

The Council acquitted Bingham of all Dillon's charges; but no peace
followed, and Perrott continued to pile up accusations against him. For
the sake of quiet the English Government resolved to utilise Bingham's
energies in Holland, and he took the opportunity to sum up his services
for Burghley's information. Connaught was at peace, though he had
little help from his official superior, and Elizabeth was sure to be
pleased at his having made the province pay its own expenses. 'The Lord
Deputy,' he said, 'took the Composition book from myself, and would
not give me so much as a copy of that which in effect was my own work,
whereby I was driven to search it out with infinite labour and pains.'
Bingham had been given to understand that he should succeed Lord
Willoughby in Holland, and be allowed to appoint a deputy in Connaught.
But the Queen named Sir Thomas Le Strange to act during his absence,
while giving particular orders that none of his officers should be
displaced. Bingham saw no prospect of advancement in Holland after the
departure of Leicester, on whose patronage he relied, and returned
to England with him or before him. He was admitted to the Queen's
presence, the house at Athlone was given up to him, in spite of Perrott
and of Wallop's claim to a leasehold interest in it, and he returned to
Ireland much stronger than he had left it.[158]

[Sidenote: Perrott's credit declines.]

[Sidenote: Perrott leaves Ireland.]

The restoration of Bingham to his government marks the time when the
scale finally turned against Sir John Perrott. His faults of temper
have been already sufficiently commented on; he was in bad health; and
worse things than ill-health or ill-temper were whispered about him.
But Ireland was manifestly peaceful, and by appointing Sir William
Fitzwilliam the Queen showed that she expected quiet times and wished
for an unambitious policy. Whatever chagrin Perrott may have felt at
his supersession, he certainly expressed none. All he asked was that
his successor might come at once, so as to let him take the waters
at Bath; Spa being now out of the question. Fitzwilliam, however,
lingered six months; and when at last the time came for delivering the
sword Perrott presented to the Corporation of Dublin a silver gilt
bowl bearing his arms and crest, and the words _relinquo in pace_. In
handing over the badge of office he called his successor to witness
that all was peaceful, and hoped that he would say so to the Queen's
Council. Fitzwilliam answered that if he could leave it half as well
he should do his Queen and country good service. 'There is,' continued
Perrott, 'no ill-minded or suspected person in this kingdom, which can
carry but six swords after him into the field, but if you will name him
and shall desire to have him, notwithstanding that I have resigned the
sword, yet... if they come not in on my word, I will lose the merit and
reputation of all my service.' Fitzwilliam replied that it needed not,
for all was well. Three days later Perrott left Ireland for ever. A
great number of noblemen and gentlemen came to see him off, among whom
old Tirlogh Luineach was conspicuous. That representative of an order
that had almost passed away accompanied him to the ship and would not
put off until the last moment. He watched the retreating sail until it
was below the horizon, and then shed tears 'as if he had been beaten.'
Nor was it only lords and chiefs who mourned for Perrott. The poor came
forty miles to see him pass, praying for his long life and striving to
take his hand if possible, or to touch the hem of his garment. When he
asked them why they did so, they answered, 'that they never had enjoyed
their own with peace before his time, and did doubt they should never
do so again when he was gone.'[159]

[Sidenote: State of Ireland when Perrott left--Connaught and Leinster.]

The quiet state of Connaught is perhaps most justly attributable to
Bingham, but the Lord Deputy might take full credit for Leinster.
Yet it was perhaps well that Fitzwilliam was polite, for the home
province, though not in rebellion, was full of brigands who would
certainly not have come at Perrott's call. Feagh MacHugh, with his
100 swordsmen, gave a ready refuge to vain and light persons, but
he thought it politic to pay his respects to the new governor. His
son-in-law, Walter Reagh, one of the bastard Geraldines who had long
given trouble, was ready for any desperate feat. Captain Thomas Lee
planned his destruction, but Mrs. Lee was an Irishwoman and kept
the outlaw well-informed. Walter Reagh promptly murdered one of his
followers who had been in communication with Lee, and the captain, not
unnaturally, separated from his wife. Sir George Carew had assigned his
constableship of Leighlin to Dudley Bagenal, son of the old marshal,
whom Perrott justly called a 'very unadvised man.' Bagenal had treated
many of his Irish neighbours abominably, yet he neglected to keep his
proper quota of English, and garrisoned his fort with kerne at 40_s._
or 3_l._ a year. Walter Reagh having stolen some cattle, the constable
pursued with eighteen men, was drawn into an ambuscade, killed and
mutilated. Walter Reagh was not hanged until ten years later.[160]

[Sidenote: Munster. The Desmond forfeitures.]

[Sidenote: The settlement hangs fire.]

[Sidenote: Irish and English tenants.]

Munster was exhausted by war, and the only danger was from Spain. Some
said soldiers were as little needed in Kerry as in Surrey or Middlesex,
but little could be done in the way of colonisation while rumours of
the Armada filled the air. The land, however, was roughly surveyed, and
the seignory of 12,000 acres was fixed as the basis of a plantation,
fractional parts being assigned in proportion to the colonists'
means. The younger sons of gentlemen and substantial yeomen were to
be encouraged to take leases under the undertakers, as the great
grantees were called, and English artisans and labourers were also to
be provided, while settlers from the same country were to be placed
near one another. Difficulties soon arose. A disposition was shown to
stretch the Queen's title, and this caused universal distrust. Thus
Fitzgerald of Decies, who had been created a viscount for his staunch
loyalty against the Desmonds, and who had always claimed to hold of
the Queen, was required to prove his title strictly. If he could be
made out Desmond's tenant, then was Decies at the Queen's mercy. It
was no wonder that Mr. Surveyor Robins had stones thrown at him. Legal
questions sprang up like mushrooms after rain. Who were innocent of
rebellion, and how far were conveyances to uses fraudulent? 'At Cork,
Kilmallock, and Clonmel,' said the Solicitor-General, 'we spent five
weeks in hearing the claims and titles to her Majesty's lands found by
office. We had every man's bills, and fair evidence showed us, whereby
it appears that the Irishry (especially by their daily feofments to
uses) have practised as many fraudulent shifts for preserving their
lands from forfeiture as in England; and albeit their evidence be fair
and very lawlike without exception, yet because fraud is secret and
seldom found for her Majesty by jury, we have put the undertakers for
the most part in possession, who, dwelling but half a year upon the
lands, shall have better intelligence to discover the false practices
than the commissioners can possibly learn out. They plead their cause
by lawyers, who almost all of them in those parts have purchased titles
against her Majesty, so as we have had much trouble to pacify and
content them in some reasonable sort by persuasion of further hearing
hereafter, and full allowance of their good titles.' The Irish took
advantage of the delay to take possession of land everywhere, and three
or four years after Desmond's death, the population was five times as
great as it had been at the end of the war. A native squatter would
offer a higher rent than any English settler, and everyone saw that
the Plantation would fail in its main provisions. Between surveyors,
lawyers, and undertakers it was impossible to make a clear title to
anything, and the settlement hung fire during Perrott's administration.
But some of the undertakers came over and resided, leaving the final
measurement of lands to a future day. They quarrelled among themselves,
and made confusion more confounded.[161]

[Sidenote: Ulster.]

[Sidenote: Tyrone and Tirlogh Luineach.]

[Sidenote: Ambition of Tyrone.]

In Ulster Tirlogh Luineach was getting old, while Hugh O'Neill,
representing the bastard Dungannon branch, grew daily stronger. Hugh
was now Earl of Tyrone, with a title to all he held in his country or
district, reserving 240 acres to the Crown for the fort at Blackwater,
and with a grant of markets and fairs. The new Earl covenanted to let
Tirlogh enjoy the chiefry during his life, to abide by the decision of
a royal commission as to boundaries, rents, and services, and not to
make estates to any of the smaller chiefs called _urraughts_, without
consent of the State. Tirlogh was thus placed in possession of that
part of Tyrone which lies north and west of the Mullaghcarne mountains,
while receiving 1,000 marks from the Earl for the remainder. But Tyrone
grasped at all which Con Bacagh or Shane had enjoyed, and Perrott saw
that he was restrained by fear only. His wife was O'Donnell's daughter,
and with that chief's help he hoped to crush Tirlogh. But Hugh, the son
of Calvagh, claimed the succession in Tyrconnell, and joining his force
to that of Tirlogh he attacked Tyrone's camp at night. The latter's
force was much superior, but he was surprised, defeated, and obliged to
fly to Dungannon. Hugh was afterwards murdered by order of Ineen Duive,
who wished to clear the succession for her own son. When Fitzwilliam
reached Dublin, he found the Earl and Tirlogh there, lodging complaints
against each other. Tyrone's defeat gave great delight to many, and
David Power, who had some personal experience of his dealings, said
publicly at Dundalk that he would climb so high as to break his neck,
while Perrott thought 'nothing had done so much good in the North these
nine years.' But the troubles in Ulster were only beginning.[162]


[131] Perrott to Walsingham, Nov. 16 and 27, 1584 (with enclosures);
to Burghley (with enclosures), Jan. 15, 1585.--Gregory's _Western
Highlands_, chap. iv., where Perrott's siege of Dunluce, and other
matters belonging to 1584, are placed under 1585.

[132] Stanley to Walsingham, Jan. 5, 1585; George Peverley, victualler,
to Walsingham, Jan. 5; to Burghley, Jan. 20; Perrott to Walsingham,
Nov. 16, 1584; to Burghley, Jan 15, 1585. The Master of the Ordnance
was the same Jacques Wingfield who so narrowly escaped professional
ruin in 1561.

[133] Composition of Lord Deputy and Council with Sorley Boy, Oct. 17,
1575; Sorley Boy to Perrott and to Captain Carleile, Feb. 5, 1585;
Captain Barkley to Perrott, Feb. 26; Norris to the Privy Council and
Fenton to Walsingham, March 7; Beverley to Burghley, April 1; Perrott
to Walsingham, April 24.

[134] Lists printed from the roll in _Tracts relating to Ireland_,
vol. ii. p. 134. Kildare, who died in England this year, no doubt had
his writ of summons, but does not seem to have attended. He was ill in
London on Aug. 3.

[135] _Lists_ as above.

[136] _Lists_ as above. Perrott's _Life_, p. 199; see also a partial
list of members calendared at May 11, 1586. The _Four Masters_, under
1585, give a sort of Homeric catalogue of the chiefs present.

[137] _Tracts relating to Ireland_, vol. ii. p. 143. Ormonde to
Burghley, Oct. 20, 1583; Sir N. White to Burghley, May 27, 1585.

[138] Sir N. White to Burghley, May 27, 1585; Perrott to Walsingham,
May 30; the Poyning's Suspension Bill is in _Carew_, June 1585, No. 578.

[139] Perrott to Walsingham, May 30 and June 18, 1585. He believed that
the opposition would collapse if firmly handled, and that firmness
would save the Queen's pocket. 'If they escape,' he said, 'farewell to
my reputation both with Irish and English.'

[140] Irish _Statutes_, 27 Eliz.; Perrott's _Life_.

[141] Norris to Walsingham, March 3; Fenton to Walsingham, May 24;
Loftus to Burghley, May 31. 'I am forced to play at small game to set
the beasts here a-madding, merely for want of better game.... You
think, as I ought to think, that it is time for me to have done with
the world; and so I would, if I could get into a better, before I was
called into the best, and not die here in a rage, like a poisoned rat
in a hole.'--Swift to Bolingbroke, from Dublin, March 21, 1729.

[142] Perrott's _Life_; James VI. to Perrott, Aug. 8, in _Carew_;
Perrott to Walsingham, Aug. 10 and Nov. 11; to Burghley, Sept. 8
and 24; Sir H. Bagenal to Perrott, Sept. 3; Wallop to Burghley and
Walsingham, Nov. 18; Walsingham to Archbishop Long, Dec.

[143] Composition Book of Connaught and Thomond, Oct. 3. Details may
be studied in the appendix to Hardiman's edition of O'Flaherty's _West
Connaught_. As to the measurement it may be observed that Clare, to
take one county as an example, is estimated at 1,260 quarters. Making
allowance for the difference between Irish and English measure, this
gives rather less than 250,000 statute acres for all Clare. The real
area is about 828,000 acres. The gross acreage of all Connaught and
Clare is about five millions and a quarter, and a rental of 4,000_l._
gives much less than a farthing per acre.

[144] Perrott to Burghley, Sept. 8 and 24, 1585. The 'Articles'
referred to were sent to Ireland by Fenton in the following spring, and
are printed in _Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica_, i. 63.

[145] Perrott to Walsingham, Jan. 27, 1586; Sir G. Carew to Walsingham
Feb. 27; to Burghley, Aug. 2, 1588, in _Carew_; Lord Deputy and Council
to the Privy Council, Jan. 28, 1586; description of Munster, 1588, p.
530; Wallop to Burghley, Oct. 1585 (No. 19) and Nov. 18; to Walsingham,
March 7, 1586; Vice-President Norris to the Privy Council, Oct. 18,

[146] Printed statutes, 28 Eliz. caps. 7 and 8; Perrott to Walsingham,
June 18, 1585; Lords Gormanston, Slane, Howth, and Trimleston to the
Queen, Dec. 10, 1585. Parliament was dissolved May 14, 1586; and see
Speaker Walshe's speech on that day.

[147] Perrott's _Life_, p. 216; Hill's _MacDonnells of Antrim_, pp.
171-187; the Queen to the Lord Chancellor and Council, Feb. 26, 1586;
Captain Price to Walsingham, March 31; to Burghley, April 15; Fenton to
Burghley, April 19 and June 14, 1586; Submission of Sorley Boy, June
14. The Indentures are in _Carew_ ii. 427.

[148] Docwra's _Relation_; _Four Masters_, 1586; Bingham to Walsingham,
Feb. 5, 1586; to Perrott, July 30 and Aug. 16 and 26; to Loftus, Aug.
30; Wallop to Walsingham, Aug. 23. The execution of Richard Oge Burke,
called _Fal fo Erinn_, was made a principal charge against Bingham in
1595 and 1596, when his accusers seemed to have driven him finally
from Ireland. Bingham justified this execution, since most of the
Burkes (including the Blind Abbot, afterwards MacWilliam) declared,
under their hands and under the sanction of an oath, that Richard Oge
had persuaded them to resist the Governor, to bring in Scots, and
to hold the Hag's Castle against him. Seven members of the Council
of Connaught were present at the execution, 'Sir Richard having no
other means of ordinary trial at that time by reason of the great
troubles.'--Discourse of the late rebellion of the Burkes, with all the
signatures, Nov. 17, 1586; O'Flaherty's _West Connaught_, p. 186.

[149] Wallop to Walsingham, Aug. 23, 1586; Maguire to Perrott, Aug. 28;
Bingham to Loftus, Aug. 30; answer of Donnell Gorme, &c. (Sept. 22).
Bingham says he marched seventy-two miles in two days.

[150] Docwra's _Relation_ ('not slain past two persons'); _Four
Masters_, 1586; Stowe's _Chronicle_; Bingham to Burghley, Oct. 6, 1586,
'not one man slain by the enemy;' to Loftus and Perrott, Sept. 23; to
Wallop, Oct. 18; Captain Woodhouse to Fenton, Sept. 23. Bingham owns to
'divers men hurt and galled.'

[151] Bingham to Burghley, Oct. 8 and Dec. 5, 1586; to Wallop, Oct.
18; Wallop to Burghley, Nov. 15; Irish Council to Burghley, Sept. 27;
true discourse of the cause, &c., Nov. 16 and 17; Perrott's note of his
expenses, Sept. (No. 43).

[152] The despatch sent by Fenton is printed in _Desiderata Curiosa
Hibernica_, i. 49; Perrott to Walsingham, Jan. 12, 1586, and four
letters to Burghley, on April 12, 15, 16, and 26, from White, Fenton,
Perrott, and Wallop respectively.

[153] Perrott's _Life_, p. 243. Loftus to Burghley, April 26 and Dec.
4 and 12 1586; to Walsingham, Sept. 30; Bingham to Burghley, Dec. 5
and Feb. 26, 1587; acquital of Bingham under the hands of the Council
(Loftus, Bagenal, Bishop Garvey of Kilmore, Gardiner, C.J., and
Fenton), Feb. 20, 1587; Wallop to Walsingham, May 31, 1586; Perrott to
Leicester, April 18, 1587, in _Carew_; the Queen to Perrott, Feb. 9,
1587. For the altercation with Bagenal see the Marshal's own passionate
and affecting letter to the Privy Council, May 15, 1587, and another
to Leicester in _Carew_; the Council's account, May 15; and White's
account, May 23. See also, for Perrott's behaviour, Wallop to Burghley
and Walsingham, April 26, and July 5, 1588.

[154] Perrott to Sir George Carew, April 27 and Oct. 30, 1586, and Aug.
9, 1587; to Leicester, April 18, 1587 (all in _Carew_); Perrott to
Walsingham, March 7, 1588.

[155] The above is chiefly from Motley's _United Netherlands_, chap.
xiii.; the story of Stanley's ill-treatment at Seville is in a letter
of Dec. 17, 1587, from Bishop Lyons of Cork to Fenton, on the authority
of Galway merchants lately from Spain; Privy Council to Perrott, Jan.
30, 1587; warrant for arrest of Captain Jacques, Feb. 9. For reports
about Stanley see the Irish and Foreign S. P. _passim_; the pardon for
the eleven soldiers is in Morrin's _Patent Rolls_ 35 Eliz. No. 31. For
Sir Rowland Stanley see Sir Roger Wilbraham to Burghley, May 10, 1590.

[156] Perrott to the Privy Council, Jan. 28, 1586; to Walsingham, Feb.
7, 11, and 20, and March 7; Examination of Miles Brewett, April 26,
1587; James Wyse, Mayor of Waterford, to Perrott, July 30; Perrott
to Walsingham, Aug. 9; news by Tyrrell and Woode, Aug. 21; Gaspar
Thunder's report, Oct. 5; Instructions for Sir W. Fitzwilliam, Dec.;
Perrott to Walsingham, May 12, 1588.

[157] Sidney's Brief Relation, 1583; Sidney to the Privy Council, Jan.
27, 1577, in _Carew_; petition of N. Nugent and others, July 1563, in
_Carew_; Answer of B. Scurlock and others, Jan. 11, 1577, in _Carew_;
Fenton to Burghley, Aug. 22 and Sept. 4, 1586; Perrott to Burghley,
June 10, 1585; Note of acts, 1586, in _Carew_, ii. 425. The composition
is in Morrin's _Patent Rolls_ (note to 39 Eliz.)

[158] Acquittal of Sir R. Bingham, Feb. 20, 1587; his discourse, July;
Bingham to Burghley, Oct. 3, 1587, and Feb. 13, 1588.

[159] Perrott to Walsingham, March 7, 18, and 21, and April 1, 1588,
and Perrott's _Life_; Fitzwilliam's patent is dated Feb. 17, but he was
not sworn till June 30.

[160] Perrott to Carew, March 27, 1587, in _Carew_; Sir N. Bagenal to
Burghley, March 26; H. Sheffield to Burghley, March 29; Andrew Trollope
to Burghley, Oct. 27 (for Lee's case); Perrott's declaration, June 29,
1588, and Fitzwilliam to Burghley, July 31.

[161] Wallop to Burghley, April 26, 1586; St. Leger to Burghley, May
30; Sir Roger Wilbraham, S.G., to the Munster Commissioners, Sept.
11, 1587; Arthur Robins to Walsingham, Sept. 17; Andrew Trollope to
Burghley, Oct. 19; Sir W. Herbert to Burghley, April 30, 1587, and to
Walsingham, July 12, 1588.

[162] Morrin's _Patent Rolls_, May 10, 29 Eliz., and May 13; Tyrone's
answer, April 1587 (No. 58); Andrew Trollope to Burghley, Oct. 26,
1587; Tyrone to Perrott, Jan. 4, 1588; Perrott to Walsingham, May 12;
Bingham to Burghley, May 15; Wallop to Walsingham, June 21.



[Sidenote: The Armada expected.]

On the death of Jacques Wingfield, Perrott had granted the Mastership
of the Ordnance to his son, Sir Thomas. It appeared, however, that
there had been a grant in reversion passed to Sir William Stanley,
which was voidable, but not void, by that officer's treason. On the
place becoming legally vacant it was conferred upon Sir George Carew,
the late Master's nephew. He reported that almost everything in the
Dublin store was rusty and rotten, and that the small remainder would
soon be as bad, since no allowance was made for maintaining it in a
serviceable state. The gunners and armourers were no better than the
stores; while Cork, Limerick, and other places were as ill-provided
as the capital. Yet the Spaniards were daily expected, and the whole
population, exhausted by their late sufferings, stood at gaze, waiting
in fear and trembling for the great event.[163]

[Sidenote: The Spanish ships appear.]

[Sidenote: Admiral Recalde.]

On the 2nd of August Drake made up his mind that the enemy could not
land in any part of Great Britain, and left the Armada to contend with
the elements only. The rumours of English defeat which reached Spain
were industriously propagated in Ireland also, but on the 26th the
discomfiture of the invaders was known as far west as Athlone, though
no letter had yet arrived. In the first days of September the flying
ships began to tell their own story. From the Giant's Causeway to the
outermost point of Kerry the wild Atlantic seaboard presented its
inhospitable face, and the Spaniards who landed met with a reception
to match. At first they were the objects of great anxiety, and if the
fleet had kept together, the crews, sick and hungry as they were,
might have made some dangerous combination with the natives. But the
Duke of Medina Sidonia, with fifty-two ships, managed to weather the
Irish coast. This was owing to the advice of Calderon, who was the only
officer with him that knew our shores, and who had a proper horror of
the terrible west coast of Ireland. Admiral Recalde, a distinguished
sailor, but with less local knowledge, parted company with the Duke
off the Shetlands. When the storm moderated he had twenty-seven sail
with him, but by the time he reached Kerry these were reduced to three.
There were twenty-five pipes of wine on board, but no water except what
had come from Spain, 'which stinketh marvellously.' There was very
little bread, and the thirsty wretches could not eat their salt beef.
Recalde anchored between the Blaskets and the main land, and sent for
water. But Smerwick was close by, and no Kerry Catholic cared to run
the risk of comforting the Queen's enemies. Recalde's ship, 'The Don
John of Oporto,' was one of the largest in the whole Armada, containing
500 men, but of these 100 were ill; some died daily, and the strongest
were scarcely able to stand. The masts were injured by the English shot
and would not bear a press of canvas, yet there was nothing for it but
to trust once more to those crazy spars. When Slea Head was passed, the
immediate danger was over, and Recalde ultimately reached Corunna, but
only to die of exhaustion four days after. He seems to have had some
presentiment of disaster. When Medina Sidonia was appointed to command
the expedition, his Duchess wished him to decline the perilous honour.
If he succeeded, she philosophically remarked, he could be no more than
Duke of Medina Sidonia; whereas he would lose his reputation if he
failed. 'Yes,' said Recalde significantly, 'if he returns.'[164]

[Sidenote: Misery of the Spaniards.]

[Sidenote: Wreck off Kerry.]

[Sidenote: Spaniards hanged at Tralee.]

The noble landsman to whom Philip, with extraordinary folly, entrusted
the greatest fleet which the world had yet seen, had probably no
choice but to make his way homewards as best he might. Unable to cope
with the English or to co-operate with Parma, a great seaman might
perhaps have been equally unsuccessful in attaining the objects of the
expedition. But a chief of even ordinary capacity might have managed
to ship some fresh water on the Faroes or the Shetlands. Neither on
those islands nor on the Norwegian coast could any serious resistance
have been offered; but the chance was lost and the consequences of this
neglect were frightful. Wine was but a poor substitute, and some of
the victuals were as unwholesome as the foul water. Among other things
lime had been mixed with the biscuit, and for this many bakers in Spain
were afterwards hanged. The ships were so much damaged, and the men
so weak, that it was often impossible to keep clear of the coast. One
unfortunate vessel, named 'Our Lady of the Rose,' foundered in the
Sound of Blasket, in sight of the open water which Recalde had reached.
The Genoese pilot had probably no local knowledge, and steered her on
to a sunken rock, where she went down with 500 men on board; but not
before an officer had killed the poor Italian for supposed treason. The
pilot's son alone escaped, by swimming, to tell the tale. Among the
doomed was the young prince of Ascoli, said to be a son of Philip's,
who had originally sailed with Medina Sidonia and had taken a boat at
Calais, had failed to regain the admiral's ship, and had sought refuge
upon that which had now gone to the bottom. A small vessel, which
seems to have had no boat, was driven into Tralee Bay. Three men swam
ashore and offered to surrender, saying they had friends at Waterford
who would ransom them; but the names of those friends they refused to
disclose. Lady Denny hanged the whole crew, consisting of twenty-four
Spaniards, on the ground that there was no way of keeping them safely.
Norris afterwards regretted that this had been done, but he also at
first dreaded a landing in force.[165]

[Sidenote: Wrecks off Clare.]

Seven ships were driven into the Shannon, and lay for a short time
off Carrigaholt. The Spaniards burned one which was too leaky to go
to sea again. Another was wrecked in Dunbeg Bay, on the other side of
Loop Head, and between 200 and 300 men were drowned. Another was lost
at Trumree, a few miles farther north, and the names of Spanish Point
and Mal Bay are believed to commemorate the impression which these
disasters left upon the native mind. 300 men who landed were slain by
the sheriff, in obedience to Bingham's orders. Another ship lay for a
time at Liscannor, where there is little or no shelter, but the crew
were unable to land; one of her two boats was washed ashore, and a
large oil-jar found in her showed that water was the Spaniards' great
want. Other ships were seen off the Arran Islands, and one of 200 tons
came within a mile of Galway. It is not recorded that any of these were
lost; but neither does it appear that any were relieved. They drifted
away in misery, the men dying daily, and the survivors having to work,
though themselves in a condition very little better than that of the
fabulous Ancient Mariner.[166]

[Sidenote: Wreck in Clew Bay.]

[Sidenote: Spaniards slaughtered by the Irish.]

The ocean waves which roll into Clew Bay are partly broken by the
island of Clare, which belonged in the sixteenth century to the
O'Malleys--a clan famous as sea-rovers and fishermen. The western
half of the island consists of a heathery mountain, which is said to
harbour grouse, though other grouse are so far away. The eastern half
is cultivated; but as late as 1870 there were no roads in the island,
no wheeled vehicles, and only a single saddle, reserved for the annual
visit of the agent. A native leaning on his spade, and lamenting the
badness of the potatoes, asked a stray visitor if there were any news
of the world. Upon these lonely rocks a large ship, commanded by Don
Pedro de Mendoza, foundered with 700 men. Less than 100 had landed two
days before, and these were all slaughtered by Dowdary Roe O'Malley,
for the sake of the gold which they had brought with them. Mendoza
tried to escape with some fishing-boats, but he shared the fate of his
men, much to Bingham's regret. One poor Spaniard and an Irishman of
Wexford were spared out of 800. At Ormonde's village of Burrishoole
farther up the bay a ship of 1,000 tons and fifty-four guns was driven
ashore. Most of those on board were lost, but sixteen landed with gold
chains and surrendered to the Earl's tenant. It was reported in London
that the Duke of Medina Sidonia was among them, and Ormonde sent over
a special messenger with orders to seize all that was valuable, to let
the Duke ride his own horse, and not to put him in irons, but to treat
him as the greatest prince in Spain. But Ormonde was not fortunate
enough to capture this rich prize, nor is it likely that any of the
plunder was reserved for him.[167]

[Sidenote: Wrecks in Connemara.]

[Sidenote: Spaniards executed.]

In the western part of Galway two vessels were wrecked, one of them
being the 'White Falcon' with Don Luis de Cordova and his company.
The O'Flaherties were at first disposed to shelter and befriend the
strangers, but Bingham made proclamation that anyone who harboured
Spaniards for more than four hours would be reputed as traitors. Many
were brought to Galway accordingly, where 300 were straightway executed
by the Provost Marshal, who was then sent to exercise his office in
O'Flaherty's country and to do what he could towards saving ordnance
and munitions; and other officers were sent into Mayo with similar
instructions. Of the prisoners at Galway forty picked men were reserved
for Bingham's decision, of whom thirty were afterwards executed. Don
Luis and nine others were spared, as likely to be worth ransom, or to
be able to give useful information.[168]

[Sidenote: Alonso de Leyva.]

The most famous Spaniard in the Armada was Alonso de Leyva, who was
in command of the troops, and who would have acted as general had the
invaders effected a landing in force. Even at sea he was the second
in command, and had a commission to take supreme direction in case
anything should happen to the Duke of Medina Sidonia. De Leyva had
been suspected of intriguing for the command during the life of Santa
Cruz, and even of thwarting that great seaman's preparations. He had
served under Don John in Flanders, where he raised a famous battalion
consisting entirely of half-pay officers, and afterwards in Sicily and
Italy; and had resigned command of the cavalry at Milan on purpose to
take part in the expedition against England. When the Armada actually
sailed he had charge of the vanguard, and had pressed the Duke hard to
attack the English in Plymouth Sound, where their superior seamanship
would avail them little. The guns of the fort, he said, would be
silent, for their fire would do as much harm to one side as to the
other. This bold advice was probably wise, but Medina Sidonia was not
the man to take it. At a later period De Leyva is said to have directly
accused the Duke of cowardice, and to have been threatened by him with
the penalty of death--his only answer to every criticism.

[Sidenote: His ship and followers.]

He himself sailed on board the 'Rata,' a ship of 820 tons, 35 guns,
and 419 men, of whom only 84 were seamen. Among the landsmen were many
noble adventurers, who were desirous of seeing war under so famous
a captain. When the fleet parted company the 'Rata' remained with
Recalde, and went as far as 62° north latitude; the object being to
reach Ireland and to refit there. The increasing cold frustrated this
plan, and the half-sinking ships staggered southward again in the
direction of Spain.[169]

[Sidenote: Alonso de Leyva wrecked in Mayo,]

[Sidenote: and again in Donegal.]

The 'Rata' was driven, much disabled, into Blacksod Bay, and anchored
off Ballycroy. The sailing-master was Giovanni Avancini, an Italian,
who, with fourteen of his countrymen, being ill-treated by the
Spaniards, stole the ship's only boat and wandered off into the
country, where they were robbed and imprisoned by the 'Devil's Hook's
son' and others of the Burkes. De Leyva then sent men ashore on casks,
who recovered the boat, and the whole ship's company were brought safe
to land. They then entrenched themselves strongly in an old castle near
the sea. Two days later, the 'Rata' was driven on to the beach. A boat
full of treasure, besides such unaccustomed wares as velvet and cloth
of gold, fell into the hands of the natives, and the ill-fated ship
was fired where she lay. Meanwhile the transport 'Duquesa Santa Ana,'
of 900 tons, drifted to the same remote haven. She had 300 or 400 men
on board, who had been specially levied in honour of the Duchess of
Medina Sidonia, but room was somehow made for all De Leyva's people,
and the transport set sail for Spain. The overladen craft had no chance
against a head wind, and was driven into Loughros Bay, in Donegal.
The shelter was bad, the cables parted, and the 'Santa Ana' went on
the rocks; but here, again, no lives were lost. The shipwrecked men
encamped for several days, and heard that the 'Gerona,' one of the
four great Neapolitan galleasses which the luckless Hugo de Moncada
had commanded, was lying in Killybegs Harbour. De Leyva had been hurt
in the leg by the capstan during the confusion on board the 'Santa
Ana,' and could neither walk nor ride. He was carried nineteen miles
across the mountains between four men, and encamped at Killybegs for a
fortnight, while the galeass was undergoing repairs. He despaired of
reaching Spain in such a crazy bark, and determined, if possible, to
land in Scotland. The Spaniards were, in the meantime, dependent on
MacSwiney Banagh for food, and that chief was afraid of bringing famine
on his country. At first, the unbidden guests had beef and mutton, but
afterwards they were obliged to buy horseflesh.[170]

[Sidenote: Alonso de Leyva sails a third time,]

Some of the Irish pressed De Leyva to stay and to be their general
against the English heretics, but he pleaded that he had no commission
to do any such thing. He does, however, seem to have had some idea
of wintering in Ulster, which he abandoned either on account of the
difficulty of getting provisions, or because he saw no chance of
defeating Fitzwilliam, whose arrival in Ulster was constantly expected.
And he may have thought that the MacSwineys were not altogether to be
trusted. The 'Gerona' had been made seaworthy with MacSwiney's help,
and by using the materials of another wreck, but she would not hold
anything like the whole of his people. The bulk of them were willing
to take their chance of a passage to Scotland, and, in the meanwhile,
to make friends with the natives, and to join their fortunes to those
of their shipwrecked countrymen. The galeass originally carried 300
galley-slaves, who could not be dispensed with, and less than that
number of soldiers and sailors combined. It may be therefore assumed
that she put off from Killybegs with not far short of 600 men on board.
Her pilots were three Irishmen and a Scot.

[Sidenote: but is finally lost off Antrim.]

The noble volunteers all shared the fortunes of their chief. The
'Gerona' was a floating castle rather than a ship, built for the
Mediterranean, and for fine weather, and utterly unsuited for the work
required. Nevertheless she weathered Malin Head, and may even have
sighted the Scotch coast. The wind came ahead, or the leaks gained
upon the pumps--no one will ever know exactly what happened. For some
time the fate of Don Alonso was doubtful; but about the beginning of
December it became certainly known that the galeass had gone to pieces
on the rock of Bunboys, close to Dunluce. But five persons, of no
consequence, escaped, nor were any of the bodies identified. Hidalgos
and galley-slaves shared the same watery grave.[171]

[Sidenote: Importance of De Leyva.]

Alonso de Leyva is described as 'long-bearded, tall, and slender, of a
whitely complexion, of a flaxen and smooth hair, of behaviour mild and
temperate, of speech good and deliberate, greatly reverenced not only
of his own men, but generally of all the whole company;' and Philip
said that he mourned his loss more than that of the Armada. It was well
for England that the sovereign who rated Don Alonso so highly had not
given him the supreme command, for the 'brag countenance,' which stood
Lord Howard in such good stead would not then have been allowed to pass
unchallenged. The loss of the 'Gerona' brought mourning into many of
the noblest houses in Spain and Italy. 'The gentlemen were so many,'
says a Spanish castaway, who visited the fatal spot, 'that a list of
their names would fill a quire of paper.' Among them were the Count
of Paredes, and his brother Don Francisco Manrique, and Don Thomas de
Granvela, the Cardinal's nephew.[172]

[Sidenote: Wrecks in Sligo.]

[Sidenote: Great loss of life.]

Three large ships were wrecked on the seaboard immediately to the north
of Sligo Bay. A survivor recorded their failure to double the 'Cabo
di Clara,' owing to a head wind. Erris Head was probably the actual
promontory, and the Spaniards must have thought it was Cape Clear.
Their ignorance of the coast is evident, and it seems certain that
they mistook the north-west corner of Connaught for the south-west
corner of Munster. Cape Clear was well known by name, and they would
have been in no danger after doubling it. As it was, the west coast was
a trap into which they drifted helplessly. Even of those who succeeded
in rounding the Mullet we have seen that few escaped. Of the three who
were lost near Sligo, one was the 'San Juan de Sicilia,' carrying Don
Diego Enriquez, son of the Viceroy of New Spain and an officer of high
rank. They anchored half a league from shore. For four days the weather
was thick, and on the fifth a stiff nor'-wester drove them all aground.
The best anchors lay off Calais, and there was no chance of working
her off shore, for sails and rigging were injured by the English shot.
The beach was of fine sand, but there were rocks outside, and in one
hour the three ships, badly fastened in the best of times, and kept
afloat only by frequent caulking, had completely broken up. Don Diego,
foreseeing this, got into a decked boat with the Count of Villafranca's
son, two Portuguese gentlemen, and more than 16,000 ducats in money and
jewels, and ordered the hatches to be battened down. With a proper crew
she might have reached land safely, but more than seventy despairing
wretches flung themselves into her, and the first great wave swept
them all into the sea. The imprisoned hidalgos had no control over
the boat, which was driven on to the beach bottom upwards. More than
thirty-six hours later the natives came to rifle her, and dragged out
the bodies. Three were dead, and Don Diego expired immediately after
his release. According to the Spanish account more than 1,000 were
drowned altogether, and less than 300 escaped, and this agrees pretty
well with what we learn from English sources. 'At my late being at
Sligo,' says Fenton, 'I numbered in one strand of less than five miles
in length above 1,100 dead corpses of men which the sea had driven upon
the shore, and, as the country people told me, the like was in other
places, though not of like number.'[173]

[Sidenote: The survivors are stripped and robbed by the Irish,]

[Sidenote: who rejoice over their prey.]

[Sidenote: But some are more humane.]

The smallest of the three ships was that which carried Don Martin de
Aranda, who acted as judge-advocate-general or provost-marshal to the
Armada, and who had been ordered by the Duke of Medina Sidonia to hang
Don Cristobal de Avila and Captain Francisco de Cuellar for leaving
their places in the line. The first was actually hanged, and carried
round the fleet at the yard-arm of a despatch boat to encourage the
rest. Cuellar was spared at the provost-marshal's earnest request,
and with him he remained until the loss of the ship. He stood on the
poop to the last, whence he saw hundreds perish and a few reach the
shore astride on barrels and beams, to be murdered in many cases, and
stripped in all, by '200 savages and other enemies,' who skipped and
danced with joy at the disaster which brought them plunder. Don Martin
de Aranda came to Cuellar in tears, both sewed coin into their clothes
and after some struggles found themselves together upon the floating
cover of a hatchway. Covered with blood and injured in both legs,
Cuellar was washed ashore, but Don Martin was drowned. 'May God pardon
him,' says the survivor, and perhaps he needed pardon, for it was he
who had signed the order to kill all the French prisoners after the
fight at Terceiras. Unobserved by the wreckers, Cuellar crawled away,
stumbling over many stark naked Spanish corpses. Shivering with cold
and in great pain he lay down in some rushes, where he was joined by
'a cavalier, a very gentle boy,' who was afterwards discovered to be a
person of consequence, stripped to the skin, and in such terror that
he could not even say who he was. He himself was a mere sponge full
of blood and water, half-dead with pain and hunger; and in this state
he had to pass the night. Two armed natives who chanced to pass took
pity on them, covered them with rushes and grass which they cut for the
purpose, and then went off to take their part in the wrecking. Green
as the covering was, it probably saved Cuellar's life, but at daybreak
he found, to his great sorrow, that the poor, gentle lad was dead.[174]

[Sidenote: Adventures of Francisco de Cuellar.]

[Sidenote: A devout damsel.]

Slowly and painfully Cuellar made his way to what he calls a monastery,
probably the round tower and church of Drumcliff, which is about five
miles from the scene of the shipwreck. He found no living friends in
this ancient foundation of St. Columba, but only the bodies of twelve
Spaniards, hanged 'by the Lutheran English' to the window gratings
inside the church. An old woman, who was driving her cows away for fear
of the soldiers, advised him to go back to the sea, where he was joined
by two naked Spaniards. Miserable as they were, they picked out the
corpse of Don Diego from among more than 400, and buried him in a hole
dug in the sand, 'with another much-honoured captain, a great friend
of mine.' Two hundred savages came to see what they were doing, and
they explained by signs that they were saving their brethren from the
wolves and crows, which had already begun their ghastly work. As they
were looking for any chance biscuits which the sea might have cast up
four natives proposed to strip Cuellar, who alone had some clothes,
but another of higher rank protected him. While on his way to this
friendly partisan's village, he met two armed young men, an Englishman
and a Frenchman, and a 'most extremely beautiful' girl of twenty, who
prevented the Englishman from killing, but not from stripping, the
wretched Spaniard. A gold chain worth 1,000 reals was found round his
neck, and forty-five ducats sewn up in his doublet, being two months'
pay received before leaving Corunna. He protested that he was only a
poor soldier, but it was nevertheless proposed to detain him as worth
ransom. Cuellar records, with some complacency, that the girl pitied
him much, and begged them to return his clothes and to do him no more
harm. His doublet was restored, but not his shirt, nor a relic of great
repute which he had brought from Lisbon, and which 'the savage damsel
hung round her neck, saying, by signs, that she meant to keep it, and
that she was a Christian, being as much like one as Mahomet was.' A
boy was ordered to take him to a hut, to put a plaster of herbs on his
wound, and to give him milk, butter, and oatmeal cake.[175]

[Sidenote: A visit to O'Rourke.]

[Sidenote: Cuellar is enslaved by a smith;]

[Sidenote: but escapes to MacClancy.]

Cuellar was directed towards the territory of O'Rourke, narrowly
escaped a band of English soldiers, was beaten and stripped naked by
forty 'Lutheran savages' not easily identified, mistook two naked
Spaniards for devils in the dark, joined them, and at last, after
enduring almost incredible hardships, reached the friendly chief's
house, partly wrapped in straw and fern. O'Rourke had many houses. This
one may have been Dromahaire, near to the eastern extremity of Lough
Gill. It was a castle, and Cuellar calls it a hut, the probability
being that thatched outhouses were generally occupied, and that the
stone keep was little used except for defence. Everyone pitied the
stranger, and one man gave him a ragged old blanket full of lice.
Twenty other Spaniards came to the same place, reporting a large ship
not far off. Cuellar was unable to keep up with them, and thus failed
to embark on a vessel which was soon afterwards wrecked. All that
escaped the sea were killed by the soldiers. Cuellar then fell in with
a priest, who was dressed in secular habit for fear of the English, and
who spoke in Latin. Following his directions the Spaniard sought the
castle of MacClancy, a chief under O'Rourke who held the country south
and west of Lough Melvin, and who was a great enemy of Queen Elizabeth.
A savage whom he met enticed him to his cabin in a lonely glen. The man
turned out to be a smith, who set his prisoner to blow the bellows.
This lasted for eight days, and as the old man of the sea refused to
let Sindbad go, so did this old man of the mountains declare that
Cuellar should stay all his life with him. The Spaniard worked steadily
for fear of being thrown into the fire by this 'wicked, savage smith
and his accursed hag of a wife.' The friendly priest then appeared,
and owing to his exertions, four natives and one Spaniard were sent
by MacClancy to release Cuellar. He found ten of his shipwrecked
countrymen with MacClancy, and everyone pitied him, especially the
women, for he had no covering but straw. 'They fitted me out,' he says,
'as well as they could with one of their country mantles, and during my
stay of three months I became as great a savage as they were.' Cuellar
seems to have been susceptible to female influences, for he remarks
that his host's wife was extremely beautiful and very kind to him, and
he spent a good deal of time in telling her fortune and those of her
fair relatives and friends. This was amusing at first, but when men
and less interesting women began to consult him he was forced to apply
to his host for protection. MacClancy would not let him go, but gave
general orders that no one should annoy him.[176]

[Sidenote: A wild Irish household.]

An account of an Irish household by a foreigner who had lived among
the people for months, and whose sight was not coloured by English
prejudice, is so rare a thing that Cuellar's may well be given in full.

[Sidenote: The men.]

[Sidenote: The women.]

[Sidenote: The Irish rob the Spaniards, but save their lives.]

'The habit of those savages is to live like brutes in the mountains,
which are very rugged in the part of Ireland where we were lost. They
dwell in thatched cabins. The men are well-made, with good features,
and as active as deer. They eat but one meal, and that late at night,
oat-cake and butter being their usual food. They drink sour milk
because they have nothing else, for they use no water, though they have
the best in the world. At feasts it is their custom to eat half-cooked
meat without bread or salt. Their dress matches themselves--tight
breeches, and short loose jackets of very coarse texture; over all they
wear blankets, and their hair comes over their eyes. They are great
walkers and stand much work, and by continually fighting they keep the
Queen's English soldiers out of their country, which is nothing but
bogs for forty miles either way. Their great delight is robbing one
another, so that no day passes without fighting, for whenever the
people of one hamlet know that those of another possess cattle or other
goods, they immediately make a night attack and kill each other. When
the English garrisons find out who has lifted the most cattle, they
come down on them, and they have but to retire to the mountains with
their wives and herds, having no houses or furniture to lose. They
sleep on the ground upon rushes full of water and ice. Most of the
women are very pretty, but badly got up, for they wear only a shift
and a mantle, and a great linen cloth on the head, rolled over the
brow. They are great workers and housewives in their way. These people
call themselves Christians, and say Mass. They follow the rule of the
Roman Church, but most of their churches, monasteries, and hermitages
are dismantled by the English soldiers, and by their local partisans,
who are as bad as themselves. In short there is no order nor justice
in the country, and everyone does that which is right in his own eyes.
The savages are well affected to us Spaniards, because they realise
that we are attacking the heretics and are their great enemies. If it
was not for those natives who kept us as if belonging to themselves,
not one of our people would have escaped. We owe them a good turn for
that, though they were the first to rob and strip us when we were cast
on shore. From whom and from the three ships which contained so many
men of importance, those savages reaped a rich harvest of money and

[Sidenote: Wanderings of Cuellar.]

[Sidenote: A narrow escape.]

[Sidenote: A friendly bishop.]

Cuellar helped MacClancy to defend his castle against the Lord Deputy,
and the chief was as unwilling to let him go as the smith had been. He
escaped with four other Spaniards, during the first days of the new
year, and after three weeks' hardship in the mountains found himself
at Dunluce in Antrim, where Alonso de Leyva had been lost. He was
told that his only chance of a passage to Scotland was by some boats
belonging to O'Cahan, which were expected to sail soon. The wound in
his leg had broken out afresh, and he was unable to stand for some
days. His companions left him to shift for himself, and after a painful
walk to Coleraine he found that the boats had gone. There was a
garrison there, and he had to take shelter in a mountain hut, where
some women compassionately nursed him. In six weeks his wound was
well enough to enable him to seek an interview with O'Cahan, but that
chief, who was afraid to help any Spaniard, had gone upon a foray with
the soldiers. 'I was now,' he says, 'able to show myself in the town,
which was of thatched houses, and there were some very pretty girls,
with whom I struck up a great friendship and often visited their house
to converse. One afternoon when I was there, two young Englishmen came
in, and one of them, who was a sergeant, asked me if I was a Spaniard,
and what I did there. I said yes, and that I was one of Don Alonso de
Luzon's soldiers who had surrendered, that my bad leg had prevented me
from going with the rest, and that I was at their service to do their
bidding. They said they hoped soon to take me with them to Dublin,
where there were many Spaniards of note in prison. I replied that I
could not walk, but was very willing to accompany them. They then
sent for a horse, and their suspicions being set at rest, they began
to romp with the girls. The mother made me signs to leave, which I
did very quickly, jumping over ditches and going through thick covert
till I came within view of O'Cahan's castle. At nightfall I followed a
road which led me to a great lagoon.' This was probably Lough Foyle,
and here he was befriended by herdsmen, one of whom, after a visit to
Coleraine, told him that he had seen the two Englishmen 'raging in
search' of him. He kept his counsel, but advised Cuellar to remove into
the mountains. He was conducted to the hiding-place of a bishop, 'a
very good Christian,' who prudently dressed like the country folk. 'I
assure you,' writes the devout Spaniard, 'that I could not restrain my
tears when I came to kiss his hand.' It seems almost certain that this
was Redmond O'Gallagher, papal bishop of Derry and acting Primate, one
of the three Irish prelates who had attended the Council of Trent. He
had twelve other Spaniards with him, and by his help Cuellar managed to
reach Scotland. 'He was a reverend and just man,' says the latter; 'may
God's hand keep him free from his enemies.'

[Sidenote: Final escape of Cuellar.]

Four shiploads of castaways from the Armada were ultimately despatched
from Scotland, and were not molested by the English, to whom they were
no longer dangerous; but Cuellar was wrecked once more near Dunkirk,
and saw 270 of his companions butchered by the Dutch. At last, in
October 1589, fourteen months after his narrow escape from swinging at
the Duke of Medina Sidonia's yard-arm, did this much-enduring man reach
Antwerp, which was then in the hands of Alexander Farnese, and from
thence he wrote the account which has been so largely used.[178]

[Sidenote: More than twenty ships lost in Ireland]

It is not possible to trace the history of every ship lost on the
Irish coast. Bingham, in a letter written when all was over, says
twelve ships were wrecked in his province, which included Clare, and
that probably two or three more foundered about various islands. He
particularly excluded those lost in Ulster and Munster. In a paper
signed by Secretary Fenton the total number of vessels lost is given
as eighteen, but full accounts had not yet come in, and that number
certainly falls short of the truth. Cuellar says that more than twenty
were lost in the kingdom of Ireland, with all the chivalry and flower
of the Armada.[179]

[Sidenote: Great loss of life.]

[Sidenote: Donegal.]

[Sidenote: Connaught.]

[Sidenote: Munster.]

According to Fenton's account 6,194 men belonging to the eighteen ships
whose loss he records, were 'drowned, killed, and taken.' This does not
include those who escaped, nor the men belonging to ships not comprised
in his list. At the end of October the number of Spaniards alive in
Donegal alone was not far short of 3,000. About 500 escaped from
Ulster to Scotland--'miserable, ragged creatures, utterly spoiled by
the Irishry'--and some of their descendants remain there to this day,
and preserve the tradition of their origin. Very few of them reached
Spain, and on the whole, we may believe that the number of subjects
lost to Philip II. out of that part of the fleet which was lost in
Ireland, cannot have been much short of 10,000. 'In my province,' says
Bingham, 'there hath perished at the least 6,000 or 7,000 men, of which
there hath been put to the sword by my brother George, and executed
one way and another, about 700 or 800, or upwards. Bingham spared some
Dutchmen and boys, as probably engaged against their wills, but these
were executed by the Lord Deputy himself when he visited Athlone.
Twenty-four survivors from a wreck were executed at Tralee, but this
was done in a panic, and was quite unnecessary. Munster was indeed too
thoroughly subdued to make the presence of a few Spaniards dangerous.
In Ulster the arm of the Government scarcely reached the castaways
until they were no longer of much importance. Even the native Irish did
not always spare those who had come to deliver them. The MacSwineys
killed forty at one place in Donegal. Plunder was no doubt the object,
as it had been in Tyrawley and in Clare island, but a desire to curry
favour with the Government had also a good deal to say to it. It was
only in those parts of Ulster and Connaught where the power of the
chiefs was still unbroken, that the Spaniards received any kind of
effectual help.[180]

[Sidenote: Tyrone and O'Donnell.]

[Sidenote: The Spaniards powerless.]

Tyrone did what he could for the Spaniards by sending them provisions,
and he bitterly reproved O'Donnell, who with his eldest son had helped
the Government against them. Other O'Donnells joined the strangers,
and the chief does not seem to have carried his country with him.
His MacDonnell wife made no secret of her intention to employ the
foreigners for her own purposes. Tyrone himself was careful not to
commit any overt act, and indeed professed the utmost loyalty, but he
took the opportunity to renew his complaints against Tirlogh Luineach.
Two brothers named Ovington or Hovenden, who were partly in his service
and partly in the Queen's, skirmished with the Spaniards wrecked
in Innishowen and brought most of them prisoners to Dungannon; but
many of their soldiers ran away, and their own good faith was much
suspected. The MacSwineys all helped the Spaniards more or less, and
O'Dogherty complained that they transferred them to his country as soon
as their own had been eaten up. With men and boats he had saved many
hundreds from a wreck, but this was little more than common humanity
demanded. There were at one time about 3,000 Spaniards alive in Ulster.
O'Rourke had given them arms; MacClancy interrupted the communications;
Ballymote, where George Bingham had a house, was burned by the
O'Connors, O'Dowds, and O'Harts, who said they were making way for King
Philip, and it was thought that Sligo must inevitably fall into their
hands. Bingham's vigour disconcerted the plans of the confederates,
and a good many of the Spaniards made their way to Scotland. A few
continued to lurk in different parts of Ireland, down to 1592 at least,
but it is hardly possible to believe, what is so often stated, that
they were in numbers sufficient to leave traces upon the features and
complexions of the natives. Spanish blood there may be in Ireland, but
it is surely more reasonable to attribute it to the commerce which
existed for centuries between a land of fish and a land of wine.[181]

[Sidenote: Wreck in Lough Foyle.]

[Sidenote: Officers ransomed.]

The ship wrecked in O'Dogherty's country was the 'Trinidad Valencera'
of Venice. She had on board about 600 men--Spaniards, Greeks, and
Italians; and of these 400, including more than 100 sick, were brought
to shore, some of them with arms, but 'without even one biscuit.'
'The natives, who are savages,' had retired into the mountains, but
they found some horses at grass, which they killed and ate. They were
attacked by Tyrone's foster-brethren, Richard and Henry Hovenden, who
made much of the glorious victory of 140 over 600. The Spaniards said
that they had surrendered on promise of their lives and of decent
treatment; but that their captors nevertheless stripped them naked and
killed a great many, not more than eighty being reserved as prisoners.
Among these was one who seemed to carry 'some kind of majesty.' This
was probably Don Alonso de Luzon, chief of the tercio or brigade of
Naples, who was distinguished by a pointed beard and a large moustache.
De Luzon with several other officers was brought to Drogheda, where
they were told that those who had plundered them were not Englishmen
but sons of the soil. Don Diego de Luzon and two others died after
their arrival, and several had perished on the road. Don Alonso and
Rodrigo de Lasso, who were both knights of Santiago, were sent to
London for ransom, as well as Don Luis de Cordova and his nephew, the
only prisoners whom Fitzwilliam allowed to live of those which Bingham
had saved. More than fifty others were afterwards sent over, and
something like 800_l._ appears to have been paid by way of ransom for
them all.[182]

[Sidenote: The Irish got the plunder.]

[Sidenote: Small gain to the Queen.]

[Sidenote: Relics and traditions.]

The amount of plunder secured did not at all satisfy expectation. Much
treasure fell into the hands of the Irish, who regarded the wreckage
as a godsend. The small arms and the lighter pieces of artillery were
appropriated in the same way. The larger cannon were not so easily
moved, and a few were recovered by Carew and others. One wedge of gold
found its way to the Queen, and there were rumours of various costly
articles which had been seized by officers or adventurers. The guns
rescued for her Majesty hardly exceeded a dozen, and a few others were
sent into Scotland by the MacDonnells, who also got hold of a good many
doubloons. The relics which have been handed down to us are very few,
but the memory of the invincible Armada is preserved by the names which
have clung to some points of the Irish coast.[183]

[Sidenote: The Armada a crusade.]

[Sidenote: Irish priests on board.]

[Sidenote: Other Irishmen.]

By a strange reading of history it has lately been attempted to divest
the Armada of its religious character. It is very true that some of
Queen Elizabeth's subjects were conspicuous by their loyalty, though
they adhered to the communion of Rome: they were Englishmen first and
Catholics afterwards. But it was against heresy and against the queen
of heresy that Philip shot his bolt. One Spanish poem in honour of
the Armada begins with an invocation of the Virgin 'conceived without
sin,' and ends with some lines about turning the Lutherans into good
Christians. Another poet laments that the wise, powerful, and warlike
island of Britain had been changed from a temple of faith into a temple
of heresy. The land which produced the Arthurs, the Edwards, and the
Henrys, was now, he says, condemned to eternal infamy for submitting
to a spindle instead of the sceptre and sword; and he apostrophises
Elizabeth as anything but a virgin queen, but rather as the wolfish
offspring of an unchaste mother. Lope de Vega, who served in the
Armada, contents himself with calling Philip the Christian Ulysses,
and the Queen of England a false siren; and he avers that faith only
despatched the vast fleet from the Spanish shore. 180 Spanish and
Portuguese friars sailed in the Armada, Franciscans, Dominicans,
Carmelites, Augustinians, and Theatins being all represented; and there
were certainly some Irish ecclesiastics. 'Tomas Vitres' is probably
Thomas White of Clonmel, who became a Jesuit in 1593. There was also a
friar named James ne Dowrough, who originally went to Spain with James
Fitzmaurice, and who was cast upon the coast of Donegal, where the
people paid him much respect. Some few Irish laymen there were also on
board, of whom the most important was a son of James Fitzmaurice, who
died at sea and who was buried with a great ceremonial in Clew Bay. One
or two other Desmond Geraldines are also mentioned. There were a few
who belonged to good families of the Pale, the most important being
Baltinglas's brother, Edmund Eustace. Eustace was reported dead, but
he got back to Spain. Cahil O'Connor, who killed Captain Mackworth,
was another, and he also was afterwards alive in Spain. James Machary,
a native of Tipperary, said he was impressed at Lisbon. On the whole
it is clear that there was no thought at all of a descent on Ireland,
though some Spaniards taken in Tralee Bay said that on board the
Duke of Medina's ship was an Englishman called Don William, a man of
a reasonable stature, bald, and very like Sir William Stanley. But
Stanley had not left the Netherlands, and there were other Englishmen
in the Spanish fleet.[184]

[Sidenote: Rumours from Spain.]

[Sidenote: A tradition.]

As late as February, 1589, Irish merchants spread flattering reports in
Spain. Alonso de Leyva was alive, they said, and held Athlone against
the Lord Deputy with 2,000 men; but an Irish bishop at Corunna said
there were no Spaniards in Ireland, and the tellers of both tales were
arrested until the truth should be known. Norris had recommended that
Irish auxiliaries should be used in retaliating on the coast of Spain,
and when he visited Corunna with Drake they lamented that the advice
had not been taken. 'Had we had either horse on land, or some companies
of Irish kerne to have pursued them, there had none of them escaped.'
There is a tradition in Munster, and the local historian fixes the date
in 1589, that Drake was pursued by Spaniards into Cork harbour, that he
took refuge among the woods in the secluded Carrigaline river, and that
the foreigners sailed round the harbour and departed without being able
to find him. It is not easy to say when this happened, but the place is
called 'Drake's hole' unto this day.[185]

[Sidenote: The last of the Armada.]

The Scotch Government did what it could to get rid of the Spaniards
peaceably, but some were not shipped off until July 1589, and even then
a remnant was left. They hung about the Orkneys, taking stray English
vessels and even committing some murders on Scottish soil. In the
correspondence to which they gave rise Bothwell's name is frequently
mentioned, and they continued to give trouble for some years. The few
who lingered in Ireland could do but little harm, and the years which
followed Philip's great enterprise were unusually quiet.[186]


[163] Carew to Burghley, July 18 and Aug. 2, 1588; to Walsingham, July
18, Aug. 4 and Sept. 18; to Heneage, July 18 and Aug. 4, all in _Carew_.

[164] Examination of Emanuel Fremoso and Emanuel Francisco, Sept. 12,
1588; James Trant, sovereign of Dingle, to Sir Edward Denny, Sept.
11; Bingham to Burghley, Aug. 26; Ormonde to Mr. Comerford, Sept.
18. Recalde's ship was burned by Drake at Corunna in April 1589;
she had then sixty-eight pieces of brass cannon. See Duro's _Armada
Invencible_, ii. 446. 'Cuando torne' were Recalde's words.

[165] Examination of Juan Antonio of Genoa, Sept. 15; Vice-President
Norris to Walsingham, Sept. 8 and 9; William Herbert to Fitzwilliam,
Feb. 1589; Peter Grant's news under Feb. 28.

[166] Nicholas Kahane to the Mayor of Limerick, Sept. 12; George
Woodloke to the Mayor of Waterford, Sept. 10; Boetius Clancy, sheriff
of Clare, to Bingham, Sept. 6. Mr. James Frost, of Limerick, writes as
follows:--'One ship was driven upon the rocks at a place called Spanish
Point (_Rinn na Spainig_) near Miltown Malbay.... The tradition is that
the other ship was driven ashore at a place called Ballagh-a-line, not
far from Lisdoonvarna. Boetius Clancy of Knockfime, a place one mile
distant from the scene, was sheriff of Clare in that year. He ordered
such of the crew as came alive on the shore to be hanged, and they were
buried in one pit near the church of Killilagh. The place of execution
has been long since called Knockacroghery (the hangman's hill) and
the tumulus of earth heaped over the dead Spaniards is called _Tuaim
na Spainig_. In a few years afterwards, peace being restored between
England and Spain, a request was made to the English Government for
permission to exhume the body of the son of one of the first grandees
of Spain, who had been on board the lost ship, in order to its removal
home for burial. Consent was given, but the body having been placed
with the rest in one grave, could not be found. Clancy was greatly
blamed by all parties for his inhumanity.'

[167] Edwarde Whyte to Walsingham, Sept. 30; Ormonde to Comerford,
Sept. 18.

[168] Edwarde Whyte to Walsingham, with discourse enclosed, Sept. 30;
examination of Don Luis de Cordova, Oct. 1.

[169] _Duro_, i. 34, 44, 200, ii. 374, 440, _ib._ 66-70 for the names
of the noble volunteers, among whom is 'Manuel Paleologo,' with two
followers.--_Froude_, xii. 503.

[170] The most circumstantial account of De Leyva's adventures, so far,
is the deposition, taken on Dec. 29, of James Machary, a Tipperary
man who was on board the 'Santa Ana.' Other particulars are in the
'discourse' sent by E. Whyte to Walsingham on Sept. 30. See also
Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Oct. 27, with the enclosures; _Duro_, i. 171
Gerald Comerford to Bingham, Sept. 13.

[171] Bingham to the Queen, Dec. 3; Fitzwilliam, &c., to the Privy
Council, Dec. 31; _Duro_, ii. 65; advertisement by Henry Duke, Oct. 26.

[172] Machary's examination, Dec. 29, and that of George Venerey, a
Cretan. _Duro_, ii. 66-70, 364. The gentleman-adventurers who sailed
both on the 'Rata' and 'Santa Ana' were doubtless collected on board
the 'Gerona.' Captain Merriman, writing to Fitzwilliam on Oct. 26,
says 260 bodies were washed ashore, as well as certain wine, which
was appropriated by Sorley Boy MacDonnell. A small cove close to the
Giant's Causeway is still called _Port-na-Spania_. There is a local
tradition that the fallen pillars of basalt on the height were knocked
down by the Spanish gunners, who mistook them for Dunluce Castle; but
they were not thinking of bombarding castles just then.

[173] Cuellar's narrative in _Duro_, ii. 342; Sir Geoffrey Fenton to
Burghley, Oct. 28. The following is from Col. Wood Martin's _History
of Sligo_, 1882: 'The largest of the galleons struck on a reef (from
that circumstance called _Carrig-na-Spania_, or the Spaniard's Rock)
situated off the little island of Derninsh, parish of Ahamlish. On the
map of the Sligo coast (A.D. 1609) is placed opposite to this island
the following observation:--"Three Spanish ships here cast away in A.D.
1588."' The bodies lay on Streedagh strand, and cannon-balls and bones
have been cast up there within the last few years.

[174] _Duro_, i. 123, ii. 343-347.

[175] _Duro_, ii. 347-350.

[176] _Duro_, ii. 350-358. The chief who sheltered Cuellar is called by
him Manglana, and in the State Papers MacGlannagh or MacGlannahie. 'The
barony of Rossclogher in Leitrim,' says O'Donovan, 'was the territory
of the family of Mag-Flannchadha, now anglicised MacClancy.'--_Irish
Topographical Poems_, xxxvii. 268.

[177] _Duro_, ii. 358-360. Cuellar calls all the Irish--men and women,
chiefs and kerne--by the same name, 'salvajes.'

[178] The work quoted is _La Armada Invencible_, by Captain Cesareo
Fernandez Duro of the Spanish navy, Madrid, 1885. For my first
acquaintance with this book, which deserves translation, I am indebted
to a charming article by Lord Ducie in the _Nineteenth Century_ for
September 1885. Neither Captain Duro nor Lord Ducie can explain the
words 'D. Reimundo Termi Obispo de Times,' nor can I. The Irish word
Termon may have something to do with it, but whatever 'Termi' and
'Times' may mean, 'Reimundo' is good enough Spanish for Redmond. A
year later Bishop O'Gallagher is mentioned in a State paper as 'Legate
to the Pope and custos Armaghnen ... using all manner of spiritual
jurisdiction throughout all Ulster ... these twenty-six years past
and more.' The Spanish captain's prayer was heard till 1601, when
the bishop was killed by the English not far from the place where
Cuellar had kissed his hand. Brady's _Episcopal Succession_, s.v.
_Four Masters_, 1601. Note of Popish bishops, &c. by Miler Magrath,
calendared at Dec. 17, 1590.

[179] From a careful comparison of accounts I venture to distribute the
wrecks as follows:--

  1. To the south of Slea Head ('in Desmond' Fenton says);

  1. 'Nuestra Señora della Rosa' (945 tons, 26 guns, and 297 men),
     between Slea Head and the Blaskets;

  1. Deserted and burned near Carrigaholt in Clare;

  1. At Dunbeg in Clare;

  1. At Trumree in Clare;

  1. The 'White Falcon' (500 tons, 16 guns, 197 men), in Connemara;

  2. In Clew Bay (of which one was the 'Rata,' 820 tons, 35 guns, 419

  1. In Tyrawley;

  3. Near Sligo, the 'San Juan de Sicilia,' one of them (800 tons, 26
     guns, 342 men);

  2. At uncertain places in Connaught;

  2. At Killybegs;

  1. The transport 'Duquesa Santa Ana' (900 tons, 23 guns, 357 men), at
     Loughros Bay;

  1. In Boylagh, Donegal;

  1. The 'Trinidad Valencera' (1,100 tons, 42 guns, 360 men), on the
     Innishowen side of Lough Foyle;

  1. The 'Gerona' galeass (50 guns, 290 men), between Dunluce and the Bann.

This makes twenty, and there were probably two or three more lost.
The 'Barca de Amburg' (600 tons, 23 guns, 264 men) sank off the coast

The numbers of men given in this note are from the Spanish official
list (_Duro_, ii. 60), but we know that many were transferred from
one vessel to another. See, besides the authorities already cited,
Fenton's note calendared at Sept. 19, 1588, and Bingham to the Queen,
Dec. 3. Other ships mentioned in Spanish accounts as having been lost
in Ireland are the galleon 'San Juan Battista' (750 tons, 24 guns, 243
men); the 'Anunciada' (703 tons, 24 guns, 275 men), and the transports,
'Gran Grifon' (650 tons, 38 guns, 286 men), and 'Santiago' (600 tons,
19 guns, 86 men).--_Duro_, ii. 328.

[180] Note by Fenton, Sept. 19; Bingham to Fitzwilliam, Sept. 21 and
Oct. 10; to the Queen, Dec. 3; Norris to Walsingham, Sept. 8 and 9;
advertisements from Henry Duke, Oct. 26; Fitzwilliam, Loftus, and
Fenton to the Privy Council, Dec. 31.

[181] Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy Council, Oct. 12, with
twenty enclosures; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Oct. 27, with six
enclosures; Solomon Farenan to Fitzwilliam, Feb. 18, 1589; Bingham to
Fitzwilliam, Jan. 3, 1592; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, May 9, 1592.

[182] _Duro_, ii. 450 sqq.; examination of Don Alonso de Luzon,
&c., Oct. 13, 1588; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Dec. 31. Sir Horatio
Pallavicino arranged with Walsingham for the ransoms; see his accounts,
Dec. 1589, No. 85, and Oct. 31, 1591, also G. B. Guistiniano to
Burghley, April 8, 1591. On March 14, 1594, Tyrone made it an article
against Fitzwilliam that neither he nor the Hovendens had been rewarded
for their service.

[183] Bingham to Fitzwilliam, Sept. 21, 1588; Sir W. Herbert to
Walsingham, Dec. 27, 1588; Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy
Council, Dec. 31 and Jan. 30, 1588-9; see also several letters in
_Carew_ from June 2 to Aug. 1, 1589. The most important relic that I
know is a very handsome table preserved at Dromoland; it was washed
ashore near Miltown Malbay, and tradition says that it was 'in the
admiral's cabin;' but Sidonia never went near the coast of Clare.
Lord Inchiquin writes that a letter, supposed to be still extant,
accompanied the table to Dromoland, but that he has been unable to find
it. An iron chest washed ashore near the Giant's Causeway is in Lord
Antrim's possession. The Macnamara family formerly possessed cups, a
watch, crosses, &c., out of the Armada, brought from the Arran Islands,
but these I have been unable to trace; guns have been recovered, but
not many, and the rudder of a ship was cut into gateposts near Westport!

[184] For the poems see _Duro_, i. 237, and ii. 85; examination of
Spaniards taken at Tralee, Sept. 9, 1588; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Oct.
27, with enclosures; examination of James Machary, Dec. 29, &c.

[185] Fitzwilliam to Burghley, March 14, 1589, with enclosures; Drake
and Norris to the Privy Council, May 7, printed in Barrow's _Life of
Drake_ Smith's _Cork_, i. 216.

[186] Notices in the Calendar of S. P. _Scotland_, especially Oct. 28,



[Sidenote: Ulster after the Armada.]

[Sidenote: Case of Sir John O'Gallagher.]

When the danger was over, it was not unnatural that Fitzwilliam should
wish to chastise those who had favoured the invaders, or at least to
reduce them to submission. His enemies said he only wanted to convert
some of the Spanish treasure to his own use; but it is clear that he
got none of it, either for himself or for the Queen. On two miles
of strand in Sligo 'there lay,' he says, 'more wrecked timber in my
opinion (having small skill or judgment therein) than would have built
five of the greatest ships that ever I saw, besides mighty great boats,
cables, and other cordage answerable thereunto, and some such masts,
for bigness and length, as in mine own judgment I never saw any two
could make the like.' But there were no doubloons. The castles of
Ballyshannon and Belleek were in possession of Tyrone's father-in-law,
Sir John MacToole O'Gallagher, who had formerly enjoyed a good service
pension of 100_l._, of which he had been deprived by Perrott. He
was now in close alliance with Ineen Duive, the mother of Hugh Roe
O'Donnell, and it was dangerous to oppose her, for she murdered at
this time another O'Gallagher whose independent bearing annoyed her.
Neither O'Rourke nor any of the smaller chiefs who had befriended the
Spaniards came to Fitzwilliam, and the cattle were driven off into the
mountains. O'Donnell did come, and so did Sir John O'Gallagher and Sir
John O'Dogherty. Fitzwilliam's enemies said O'Gallagher came under safe
conduct, but the annalists do not allege this. The Deputy himself says
he persuaded him to come by courteous entreaty, and that O'Dogherty
came of his own accord. He treated them as sureties for Perrott's
tribute, of which 'not one beef had been paid,' and carried them both
prisoners to Dublin; but the 2,100 cows remained in Donegal. Whether
word was broken with these chiefs or not, Fitzwilliam's policy was
certainly bad. How were O'Rourke and MacSwiney punished by imprisoning
O'Gallagher or O'Dogherty? There could be no result except to make
Irishmen very shy of the Viceroy. O'Dogherty remained in Dublin Castle
for a year or more, and the deputy Remembrancer of the Exchequer said
he was only released then because certain hogsheads of salmon were
sent to the Lord Chancellor's cellar. O'Gallagher remained six years
in prison, Fitzwilliam saying he was too dangerous to liberate, and
his critics maintaining that he only wanted to be bribed. The wretched
chief, who was old and infirm, was released by Sir William Russell, but
died soon after.[187]

[Sidenote: O'Donnell politics.]

Fitzwilliam, who went from Donegal to Strabane, made Donnell O'Donnell
sheriff. He was O'Donnell's eldest son by an Irish wife or mistress,
and it was supposed that he would do good service against the Scotch
party, who thirsted for his blood. It was hoped that Tyrone would help
to get the promised rent from Tyrconnell, but he contented himself with
entertaining the army sumptuously at Dungannon, and he afterwards made
the treatment of Sir John O'Gallagher one of his principal grievances.
The redoubtable Ineen soon afterwards burned down her husband's house
at Donegal, lest it should serve to shelter a garrison, and at the same
time her son Hugh, who was a prisoner at Dublin Castle, was betrothed
to the Earl's daughter. The Lord Deputy's journey to the North had no
results of importance, but he could boast of not losing one man in
seven weeks.[188]

[Sidenote: The Desmond forfeitures.]

[Sidenote: Opposition to the undertakers.]

In order to clear up some of the claims made upon the forfeited
Desmond estates, it was thought wise to send over no less a person
than Chief Justice Anderson. His law could not be gainsaid, and he
was not likely to err on the side of leniency. The English lawyers
joined in commission with him were Sir Robert Gardiner, Chief Justice
of Ireland, Thomas Gent, Baron of the Exchequer in England, and
Jesse Smythe, Chief Justice of Munster; and upon these four fell the
principal part of the work. Of eighty-two claims only one was allowed,
a conveyance from Desmond being produced in that case, of a date prior
to his first treasonable act. In the absence of such proof, the Queen
was held to be seised in fee of all the Earl's estate. The materials
exist for a detailed account of the Munster settlement, but they are
more properly available for histories of Cork, Kerry, Limerick, and
Waterford than for that of Ireland. One of the suitors aggrieved by
the decision of the commissioners was Lord Roche, and his case is
especially interesting because of its connection with Spenser. He
made seven distinct claims, and on the first being dismissed, because
he had 'sinisterly seduced' the witnesses, he refused to proceed
with the others, and threatened to complain to the Queen, whereupon
the commissioners sent him to gaol. The imprisonment was short, but
he declared that one of the undertakers had shot an arrow at him,
professed to be in fear of his life, and begged Ormonde to lend him
some house on the Suir, where he might be safe for a time. In the
meantime he managed to make the country very unsafe for some other

[Sidenote: Spenser.]

Spenser had Kilcolman and 4,000 acres allotted to him, but he
complained that the area was really much less. Less or more, he was
not allowed to dwell in peace, and his chief enemy was Lord Roche,
who accused him of intruding on his lands, and using violence to
his tenants, servants, and cattle. The poet retorted that the peer
entertained traitors, imprisoned subjects, brought the law into
contempt, and forbade all his people to have any dealings with Mr.
Spenser and his tenants. An English settler named Keate asked Morris
MacShane, one of Lord Roche's men, why he had no fear of God; and it
was sworn that he answered, 'he feared not God, for he had no cause;
but he feared his Lord, who had punished him before and would have his
goods.' Lord Roche was charged with many outrages, such as killing a
bullock belonging to a smith who mended a settler's plough, seizing
the cows of another for renting land from the owner of this plough,
and killing a fat beast belonging to a third, 'because Mr. Spenser
lay in his house one night as he came from the sessions at Limerick.'
Ultimately the poet's estate was surveyed as 3,028 acres at a rent of
8_l._ 13_s._ 9_d._, which was doubled at Michaelmas 1594, making it
about five farthings per acre. Spenser maintained himself at Kilcolman
until 1598, when the undertakers were involved in general ruin.
Troubles with Lord Roche continued to the end, and it may be doubted
whether even the happy marriage which inspired his finest verses ever
reconciled him to what he has himself described as--

                              My luckless lot
    That banished had myself, like wight forlore,
    Into that waste, where I was quite forgot.

[Sidenote: Raleigh.]

[Sidenote: Fatal defects of the settlement.]

Raleigh, whose society was one of Spenser's few pleasures in Munster,
settled a very large number of English families upon his great estate
in Cork and Waterford. Passing afterwards into Boyle's skilful hands,
this settlement became of the greatest importance, but it was overrun
like the rest in 1598. Ten years before the crash came, Raleigh could
see that Thomas of Desmond and his son James were dangerous neighbours.
Sir Richard Grenville and Fane Beecher had the whole barony of
Kinalmeaky between them, and at the end of 1589 there were only six
Englishmen there, upon land estimated at 24,000 acres. The hero of
Flores had a very poor opinion of the prospect unless questions which
proved insoluble could be speedily settled, and the English settlers
found their position everywhere very disagreeable. Grenville and St.
Leger planted a considerable number in the district immediately south
of Cork, and Arthur Hyde did pretty well on the Blackwater; but, as
a rule, the newcomers were greatly outnumbered by the natives. Nor
can it be doubted that many returned to England when they found that
Munster was not Eldorado. Irish tenants were easily got to replace
them, and even to pay rents to the undertakers until it was possible to
cut their throats. When the day of trial came, the remaining settlers
were easily disposed of; they cried, and there was none to help

[Sidenote: The Clancarty heiress;]

[Sidenote: secretly married to Florence MacCarthy.]

Among other devices for balancing the Desmond power in Munster,
Elizabeth had made Donnell MacCarthy More Earl of Clancare, and
Shane O'Neill had spoken very sarcastically of this attempt to turn
a foolish chief into a 'wise earl.' His only legitimate son ran away
to France, where he died, and all hereditary rights were then vested
in his daughter Ellen, who became an important figure in the eyes
of English and Irish fortune-hunters. It appears that Clancare sold
his daughter to Sir Valentine Browne as a wife for his son Nicholas,
Sir Thomas Norris having first given up the idea of wooing her. Sir
Valentine was a mortgagee, for the earl had wasted his substance
in riotous living, and in the hands of a family of undertakers and
land-surveyors every claim of that sort would have its full value.
In the eyes of the MacCarthies and of the heiress's mother, who was
a Desmond, the proposed match was a disparagement, and early in 1589
a private marriage was celebrated between Lady Ellen and Florence
MacCarthy, who had probably come from London on purpose. Sir Nicholas
Browne afterwards married a daughter of O'Sullivan Bere. The heiress
does not seem to have been much consulted, and a marriage which began
so romantically was not in the end even moderately happy. In 1599 she
distrusted her husband, who called her 'foolish and froward,' and not
long afterwards she was practically a spy upon his actions.

[Sidenote: Mac Carthy politics.]

[Sidenote: Florence and Donnell MacCarthy.]

Florence was Tanist of Carbery, which had passed to his uncle, and
the result of his runaway match would be to unite the territories of
MacCarthy Reagh and MacCarthy More in one hand. Now that the Desmonds
were gone, a MacCarthy on this scale would be the strongest man in
Munster. To break up these great estates was a fixed object with the
English Government, and Florence was sent as prisoner to England,
where he remained for several years. His wife escaped from Cork, hid
for a long time among her people, and then joined her husband in
London. The clans generally acknowledged him as MacCarthy More, but
there was another claimant in the person of Clancare's illegitimate
son Donnell, who had many friends among the people, and who was
probably his father's favourite. A peaceable inhabitant was murdered
by this spirited young man, whom he had ventured to reprove for his
Irish extortions, and who supported himself and his band of followers
by promiscuous robbery. 'It is thought,' said St. Leger, 'that this
detestable murder was committed by the Earl's consent, for that the
party murdered would not relieve him with money, to bear out his
drunken charges at Dublin.' Florence, on the contrary, was a scholar,
and a man who, notwithstanding his gigantic stature, used his pen
more readily than his sword. His accomplishments, and the very hard
treatment he received, have made him interesting, but there was nothing
heroic about him. He was an astute Irishman, and while English writers
could rightly accuse him of treasonable practices, his rival Donnell,
called him 'a damned counterfeit Englishman, whose only study and
practice was to deceive and betray all the Irish in Ireland.'[190]

[Sidenote: Fitzwilliam and the MacMahons.]

In June 1589 Sir Ross MacMahon, chief of Monaghan, died without heirs
male. He held of the Queen by letters patent, and was regarded as
MacMahon, and also as feudal grantee of the whole country, except the
districts comprised in the modern barony of Farney, which had been
granted to Walter, Earl of Essex. He was liable to a rent of 400
beeves and to certain services. His brother Hugh Roe at once claimed
his inheritance. Fitzwilliam's great object was to break up these
principal chiefries into moderate estates, and he thought this a good
opportunity. Brian MacHugh Oge also claimed to be MacMahon, but upon
purely Celtic grounds, and very much upon the strength of 500 or 600
armed men whom he found means to pay. Fitzwilliam persuaded Hugh Roe
that he had not much chance of success, and brought him to agree to a
division, but his kinsmen refused, since each gentleman of the name
claimed to be the MacMahon himself. Fitzwilliam then acknowledged
Hugh Roe as chief, and sent him 400 foot and 40 horse. Brian MacHugh
was in possession of Leck Hill and of the stone upon which MacMahons
were inaugurated, and was supported by Tyrone and by Hugh Maguire,
who had just become chief of Fermanagh upon the death of his father
Cuconnaught. On the approach of the Queen's troops he fled into
O'Rourke's country, and left Hugh Roe in possession. Returning a few
days later with help from O'Rourke or Maguire, he drove his rival from
Clones, and killed a few soldiers, but without coming into collision
with the main body. Hugh Roe did, however, maintain himself, but
soon showed that he had no intention of abandoning native customs.
He rescued prisoners from the sheriff of Monaghan, drove cattle in
Farney, burned houses, and behaved himself generally like a spirited
Irish chieftain. These offences legally involved a forfeiture of his
patent, and Fitzwilliam found means to arrest him. Tyrone looked upon
the cattle-stealing merely as 'distraining for his right according
to custom,' but Fitzwilliam saw another chance of effecting the much
desired partition. The Queen was inclined to think that MacMahon
had committed nothing more than 'such march offences as are ever
ordinarily committed in that realm,' that great caution should be used
in punishing a man who undoubtedly depended on the Crown, and that
Brian MacHugh in particular was not to be preferred. In the end Hugh
Roe was tried and executed at Monaghan. In 1591 the country, with the
exception of Farney, was divided between six MacMahons and MacKenna,
the chief of Trough. The rent reserved to the Queen was 7_s._ 6_d._ for
every sixty acres. An ample demesne was assigned to each, and those
holding land under them, at a rent of 12_s._ 6_d._ for every sixty
acres, were called freeholders. A seneschal was appointed to represent
the Crown. Brian MacHugh was established in Dartrey, and Ever MacCoolie
in Cremorne. The church-lands, and only the church-lands, were leased
to private speculators, but the settlement was not destined to remain

[Sidenote: Charge of corruption.]

Fitzwilliam has been accused of acting corruptly in this matter; but
such charges were matters of course, and his own strong denial ought to
prevail, since there is no evidence against him. 'I did it,' he said,
'to the profit of her Majesty and good of this State, nothing regarding
mine own private; I speak it in the presence of God, by whom I hope to
be saved... if ever there were such a motion or meaning for me, or for
any of mine, let God wipe us all out of his book.'[191]

[Sidenote: Bingham in Connaught.]

[Sidenote: Jones Bishop of Meath.]

Bingham had treated the Spaniards very severely, as well as those who
harboured them. The consequence of allowing them to draw together on
Irish soil would have been serious, and in Walsingham's eyes at least
he had done no more than his duty. But the chiefs who already hated
him now hated him worse than ever, and when the danger was over plenty
of Englishmen were ready to censure his proceedings. Among them was
Thomas Jones, Bishop of Meath, and afterwards Archbishop of Dublin,
a Lancashire man, who had been admitted to the Council at the same
time as Bingham, in accordance with the Queen's instructions to Sir
John Perrott, and who had afterwards been sharply rebuked by her for
proposing severe measures against recusants, and for openly and without
notice blaming that Deputy's remissness in the matter. He now gave
out that Ustian MacDonnell, a noted leader of gallowglasses, had been
unadvisedly executed by the Governor of Connaught. Bingham replied
that the court-martial was quite regular, and the sentence just. He
had, he said, 'never a foot of land in the world as his own, nor yet
anything else, and had always been the worst man in all these parts of
his time.' The chief charge against him was that of combining with the
Devil's Hook's son and other Burkes to receive Alonso de Leyva when he
was driven upon the Erris shore, and for preventing the country people
from supplying the troops, while they readily gave their cattle to the
Spaniards. The Bishop of Meath, with John Garvey, Bishop of Kilmore, a
Kilkenny man, who was immediately afterwards translated to Armagh, the
veteran Sir Nicholas White, Sir Robert Dillon, Chief Justice of the
Common Pleas, and Sir Thomas Lestrange, were appointed commissioners
for the pacification of Connaught. They may have let their hostility
to Bingham be known, or--as was so often the case--their mere presence
seemed to show that he was distrusted. The result was not satisfactory,
for they found the Mayo Burkes in open rebellion, and they left them in
no better case. White thought these people desired peace, and that it
was prevented by a revengeful disposition in some of his colleagues to
lay all the blame on Bingham.[192]

[Sidenote: Murder of John Browne in Mayo.]

John Browne, the founder of a great Connaught family, had been in the
service of Sir Christopher Hatton, and was attached politically to
Walsingham. He arrived in Ireland in 1583, and Sir Nicholas Maltby
appears to have been his first patron there. His original project, in
which he was associated with Robert Fowle and others, was to rebuild
and people the deserted town of Athenry; but this proved impracticable,
and at a hint from Walsingham, the adventurers took all Connaught
for their province. Browne established himself at the Neale, near
Ballinrobe, and prided himself on being the first Englishman who had
settled in Mayo. When Bingham came into Maltby's room, he recognised
a congenial spirit, and in 1586 Browne was employed by him with much
effect against the Burkes and Joyces. In 1589 he received a commission
to harry the Burkes and all their maintainers with fire and sword,
and a few days afterwards they killed him. Daniel Daly, sub-sheriff
of Mayo, who was also employed by Bingham, was murdered at the same

[Sidenote: Bingham and the Mayo Burkes.]

[Sidenote: A rebellion.]

The reason or pretext given for their rebellion by the chiefs of
Western Connaught was that Bingham's tyranny was intolerable. They
declared that they had paid for protections which proved no protection,
and for pardons which were not regarded, and that they never would
be quiet until there was a radical change. It is always very hard
to decide whether complaints such as these were really genuine and
well-founded, or whether the mischief was mainly caused by the jealousy
of chiefs who saw their authority disregarded, and their power of
levying endless exactions curtailed. They spoke of liberty, but most
Englishmen considered that they only wanted licence to oppress. Their
power to give trouble was at least not doubtful. William Burke,
called the Blind Abbot, was chief of the Lower Burkes, and aspired
to be MacWilliam Iochtar. Another leader was Richard MacRickard,
called the Devil's Hook, or the Demon of the Reaping-hook. 400 of
the Clandonnel gallowglasses joined the Burkes. Sir Morrogh ne Doe
O'Flaherty dismantled his castles in Galway, ferried 600 men over
Lough Corrib, and entered Mayo in company with his neighbours, the
Joyces. The outbreak had been a long time hatching, and was violent
in proportion. Sixteen villages were burned, and 3,000 cattle driven
away. All who were not with the insurgents were held to be against
them, and peaceable husbandmen had a bad time of it. One housewife
was called upon to feed 100 men, and particularly observed that they
gave her no thanks. In another poor dwelling six barrels of ale were
drunk or spoiled, and the owner was threatened with personal violence.
It was Lent, but a Spanish priest who was with O'Flaherty, gave them
all absolution for eating flesh, and there was much feasting at other
people's expense. Sir Morrogh was fond of money, and a promise of
500_l._ was supposed to have reconciled him to the probable execution
of his son, who was a hostage for his good behaviour. On the whole, the
number of men in rebellion was thought not to fall short of 200, and
they had some pieces of ordnance and stores taken from three ships of
the Armada. There were about twenty Spaniards with them, who did not at
all relish the conditions of Irish warfare.[194]

[Sidenote: Royal Commission in Connaught.]

Bishop Jones and his fellow-commissioners came to Athlone on April
11, about three months after the murder of Browne. The O'Flaherties
had in the meantime been very thoroughly beaten by Lieutenant Francis
Bingham and other officers, assisted by Gerald Comerford, the martial
attorney-general for Connaught. They lost something like 200 men, while
only one soldier fell. Bishop Garvey was sent first into Mayo, while
Jones and his other colleagues went straight to Galway. Sir Murrogh
refused to come into the town without a protection, and this the mayor
refused to grant in opposition to Comerford, lest Bingham should take
him nevertheless, and so destroy the credit of the corporation. Sir
Richard was at little pains to hide his dislike of the whole inquiry.
The Bishop of Meath laid down the principle--and with this at least it
is impossible not to agree--that loyal men should keep their words, no
matter how much rebels broke theirs. 'What!' said Bingham, 'would you
have us keep our words with those which have no conscience, but break
their word daily? I am not of that opinion.' Chief Justice Dillon's
reading of his commission was that he was to make peace; Sir Richard
commanded the troops, and might fight if he pleased. Bingham said he
would hold his hand until the commissioners had done their best, or
worst, and he let them see that he had no belief in their doings. The
Bishop of Kilmore succeeded in bringing the leaders of the Burkes to
Galway; and the Blind Abbot, as soon as he came within sight, held out
the commission which had been found on Browne's person at the time of
his murder, and declared he would send it to the Queen. The knowledge
that this document existed, said another Burke, was the real cause of
the crime.[195]

[Sidenote: Bingham too strong for the commissioners,]

[Sidenote: who become ridiculous.]

Bingham was at Galway during the visit of the commissioners, though
he did not conceal his disgust, and he had a considerable force with
him. He declared that soldiers were necessary for the safety of the
commissioners, and perhaps they were; but their presence brought
danger of another sort. In the town the governor had many enemies
and the rebels many friends, and brawls took place between them and
some of Bingham's men, who were probably indignant at the treatment
of a chief whom they trusted, and who habitually led them to victory.
'Nay, sirs,' said Sir Richard to two of the Burkes who were stating
their grievances, 'would you not be clean rid of a sheriff, or would
you not have a MacWilliam established among you?' The commissioners
professed themselves unable to detect any such intention, but the
event showed that Bingham was right. Sir Morrogh O'Flaherty and the
Blind Abbot refused altogether to come into Bingham's presence,
and the commissioners agreed to meet them outside the town. The
trysting-place was an abbey beyond the river, probably the dissolved
friary of the Dominicans, and Bingham blamed the commissioners for
trusting themselves in a place where violence was easy, while some of
his followers illustrated this opinion in a very curious way. Two men,
dressed like nuns, or at least like women with 'mantles and caps,' and
a third in a black gown, which may have been intended to represent the
garb of St. Dominic, passed through the church while the commissioners
were in the choir. 'Let us go and tarry no longer,' said Jones, 'for I
see they do begin to mock us already,' and accordingly they regained
their boat and went back to the town. The masqueraders, who were joined
by others, took their place in the choir and went through the farce of
a parley. Afterwards they paraded the streets, 'I am the Bishop of
Meath,' said one. Another said, 'I am the Justice Dillon; reverence
for the Queen's Commissioners,' and so on. In the end, after several
abortive discussions, Jones and his colleagues left Galway without
concluding peace. It is evident that Bingham's discontented subjects
distrusted each other quite as much as they did him. Sir Morrogh
O'Flaherty was ready to make separate terms for himself, and the Burkes
feared to promise anything, lest others should take advantage of them.
Bingham's hands were untied, and he proceeded to restore order in his
own way.[196]

[Sidenote: O'Connor Sligo's case.]

[Sidenote: Bingham defeats his claim.]

Sir Donnell O'Connor of Sligo had surrendered his possessions to
the Queen and taken out a fresh grant with remainder to the heirs
male of his father. The castle and Dominican friary were originally
founded by the Kildare family, and the O'Connors were technically
their constables; but attainders intervened, and the claim was too
antiquated to weigh much with Elizabethan statesmen. Sir Donnell died
about the beginning of 1588, and his nephew Donough claimed to succeed
him. According to Bingham, both Donough and his father Cahil Oge were
illegitimate, and he was anxious to have the castle of Sligo in safe
hands, because it commanded the passage from Ulster into Connaught.
Donough, who was attached to Leicester, declared that the governor's
real object was to get all for his brother George; but Bingham's
proposal was that the barony of Carbury, on account of its strategic
importance, should be retained for the Queen, and that all O'Connor
Sligo's lands in the neighbouring districts should be regranted to
Donough. A commission, consisting of the Bishop of Meath, Sir Robert
Dillon, and others, was appointed by Perrott to inquire into the
matter, and they decided in favour of Donough. Bingham declared that
they were quite wrong, and that he gave up Sligo under compulsion,
for fear of disobeying the Lord Deputy, and in plain defiance of the
Queen's real interest. After Perrott's departure from Ireland a
further inquiry into Donough's title was made, the commissioners being
Bingham himself, with Chief Justice Sir Robert Gardiner and Mr. Justice
Walshe. The jurors were substantial men, but it was alleged that
Bingham had taken one of them by the beard, and threatened to punish
him as a traitor if he persisted in finding Donough legitimate. After
five days a verdict was obtained for the Crown, and the Chief Justice
particularly stated that the trial was impartial, that all O'Connor's
challenges were allowed, and that Bingham did not use a harsh word to
any witness or juror. Sligo remained in safe hands during the time the
Armada was on the coast. Walsingham wrote a stinging rebuke to Bishop
Jones for his corrupt conduct in the matter, and for his malice to
Bingham. 'It was told me at what time you were in England that I should
in the end find you a hypocrite. And what better reckoning can I make
of you... this practice of yours, though not by Sir Richard Bingham, is
sufficiently discovered already from Ireland, and the gentleman I doubt
not will stand upright there, in despite of all your malice.' Others
accused Jones of acting entirely under Dillon's guidance, and the
latter of receiving bribes. William Nugent, the ex-rebel of the Pale,
said that he received 100 cows for making a false record.[197]

[Sidenote: Walsingham supports Bingham.]

Bishop Jones was profuse in apologies both to Walsingham and Burghley;
and, though Swift calls him a rascal, there is no proof that he acted
corruptly in the matter, while it might not be safe to say as much of
Sir Robert Dillon. On June 10, Fitzwilliam himself arrived at Galway,
whence Bingham departed at his urgent request, and on the following
day the Blind Abbot and Sir Murrogh ne Doe O'Flaherty made their
submissions openly in the church of St. Nicholas, and remained on their
knees for nearly three-quarters of an hour. The Lord Deputy received a
statement of their grievances in writing, and lost no time in advising
Burghley that he thought they would never trust their lives under
Bingham's government. A few days later, Sir Richard told Walsingham
that Fitzwilliam only impoverished Connaught by the cost of his train,
that he had done nothing in three weeks, and that the province was
a prey to rebels whom he, the governor, was forbidden to chastise.
Hostages had been given, Archbishop Garvey's eldest son among them,
for the chiefs lately received on submission--'a couple of doating old
fools,' who were amply protected by the garrison. O'Rourke was the
real head of the rebellion, and he was shielded by the spite of Jones
and the corruption of Dillon. The Queen's representatives, he added,
had, in fact, sued for peace, and it was not worth having, for the
other parties were beggars and wretches. The terms were that the chiefs
should disperse their forces and go home, that they should surrender
any foreigners among them, that they should make such reparation for
their rebellion as the Lord Deputy should appoint, and that they should
pay for all the harm they had done since the first appointment of the

[Sidenote: The attack on Bingham fails.]

[Sidenote: The O'Flaherties.]

Fitzwilliam refused to let Bingham confront his accusers at Galway,
lest the terror of his presence should silence them. The result was
that their uncontradicted statements were sent over to England, and
Walsingham's wrath was hot within him. The unfairness of the procedure
was evident, the reason for it much less so. 'It may fall out, my Lord
Deputy, to be your own case, for it is no new thing in that realm to
have deputies accused.' Considering Walsingham's evident prejudice
against him, Fitzwilliam suggested that the Queen should give him a
successor. The trial of the case was removed to Dublin; and the Lord
Deputy foretold that no Connaught chief would go there to accuse
Bingham. If fear did not prevent such a journey, poverty would. And so
it turned out. Much was proved against inferior officers, and there
can be no doubt that the Governor of Connaught was apt to shield
useful underlings under almost any circumstances. That he was guilty
of extreme severity, and that he executed children who were retained
as hostages, is probably true. But he managed the province well, and
got a large revenue out of it. And it is certain that he had friends
among the Irish as well as enemies. Among these was Roger O'Flaherty,
grandfather of the author of _Ogygia_. This Roger owned the castle
and lands of Moycullen, and had long complained of Sir Murrogh's
usurpations. It seems that he was satisfied, for he wrote strongly
in the Governor's favour, who also befriended him with the English
Government. Sir Murrogh was an enterprising man, and never made the
impossible attempt to prove his title to land. 'Why, man,' he told his
own counsel, 'I got it by the sword; what title should I say else?'
Bingham was an absolute ruler. Opposition he checked ruthlessly, and he
cared little for constitutional forms. He took no pains to conciliate
anyone, and was of course accused of provoking men to rebel. Nor did he
care to disguise his opinion that many of the Irish ought to be rooted
out. Perhaps the worst charge against him is that made by Fitzwilliam,
who called him an atheist, 'for that he careth not what he doeth, nor
to say anything how untrue soever, so it may serve his turn.'[199]

[Sidenote: Bingham and Bishop Jones.]

Fitzwilliam and Jones acknowledged that William Burke, the Blind Abbot,
was a fool, and on the whole the person who suffered most from the
inquiry into Bingham's conduct was the Bishop of Meath. Sir Richard
said his lordship blamed intemperate language, while he himself
exclaimed at cards, 'God's wounds! play the ten of hearts.' He was so
busy preparing a case against him that he found no time to preach once
during the three weeks that he spent at Galway, though he would go to
church in the morning to hear an exercise and again in the afternoon
to hear a play. He was superseded in the Connaught commission, and
Walsingham rebuked him for not attending to his own proper duties. The
Bishop's apology was almost abject, and he promised to give up temporal
business. He had, he said, not neglected his own diocese, though
thinking it unnecessary to preach in Dublin more than once a term.
Fitzwilliam defended him, and he was employed again during Walsingham's
life, but not in business connected with Connaught. Loftus, whose
wife's sister he had married, considered him as one of his own family,
and urged that the Papists had taken great advantage of the Bishop's

[Sidenote: Sir Brian O'Rourke.]

The composition in Connaught had been favourable to the power of Sir
Brian O'Rourke, the chief of Leitrim. Nominally, his jurisdiction over
the people of his country was restrained; but so large a share of land
was given to him absolutely that he found himself stronger than ever,
and refused to acknowledge the Governor of Connaught, maintaining
that he was under no man except the Lord Deputy himself. In the
original scheme for shireing Leitrim made in 1583 a considerable part
of Fermanagh was included, but the arrangement did not hold for the
purposes of the composition agreed upon two years later. O'Rourke's
country, as then defined, is contained within the modern county of
Leitrim. Its contents were roughly estimated at some 75,000 acres. Of
this nominal area more than 8,000 acres were allowed to O'Rourke in
demesne. Out of about 50,000 more he was permitted to receive a rent
of 300_l._ a year, and the rest he was to hold by three knights' fees.
The smaller freeholders were required to pay ten shillings a year out
of each quarter of 120 acres, and to supply eight horsemen and forty
footmen on general hostings. Old MacMurry, one of these subordinate
chiefs, wept with joy and blessed the good Queen. 'We have,' he said,
'heretofore paid O'Rourke better than ten marks, or a quarter; and
shall we indeed escape now for a trifle of twenty shillings!' But
O'Rourke refused to pay his rent to Bingham, and was friendly to the
intruding Scots. After their overthrow at Ardnaree it was no longer
possible to despise the Governor, but O'Rourke persuaded Perrott to
remit part of what he owed, and it was not until after that Deputy's
departure that Bingham found himself really master. When the Spaniards
came, Sir Brian did what he could to help them, and his rent was soon
again in arrear. The King of Spain sent a friar with letters of thanks
for his services to the Armada, and early in 1589 he was reported to be
in open rebellion, and to be acting under the secret advice of Tyrone.
His sons and brothers, with more than 400 men, swept the northern part
of Sligo to the Moy, and drove off 3,000 cows and 1,000 mares. O'Rourke
kept so many armed men among the bogs and hills of Leitrim that it was
said he could not feed them without spoiling a neighbouring county.[201]

[Sidenote: O'Rourke defies the Queen.]

O'Rourke had struggled hard to prevent a sheriff from being established
in his country, and it was natural that he should wish to retain his
autonomy. But his unwillingness to obey any authority lay much deeper
than any mere dislike to Sir Richard Bingham. About a month after the
slaughter of the Scots at Ardnaree in 1586 the Serjeant-at-arms for
Connaught saw a wooden figure of a woman set on wheels near MacClancy's
house on Lough Melvin. The bystanders told him it was meant for a
hag who lived over the water, and who had denied a carpenter milk.
This seems to have been the same effigy as that on which O'Rourke
caused the words 'Queen Elizabeth' to be written, and upon which he
showered abuse, while the gallowglasses hacked it with their axes. A
halter was placed round the neck of the mutilated figure, and it was
then dragged through the dirt by horses. This was an incident in the
Christmas festivities which Sir Brian kept 'according the Romish and
Popish computation'--that is the Gregorian calendar--and he took the
opportunity of announcing that her Majesty was 'the mother and nurse
of all heresies and heretics.' Bingham did not hear of the matter
until after his return from the Low Countries; but it was reported to
Perrott, and his refusal to order O'Rourke's arrest was brought against
him at his trial.[202]

[Sidenote: Fitzwilliam gives Bingham his way.]

Sir Brian O'Rourke was lawfully married to Lady Mary Burke, and her
only son Teig had a grant of the family estates in the next reign. But
he had an elder son by the wife of John O'Crean, a merchant of Sligo,
and it was to him that the chiefry was likely to fall. The work of
chastising O'Rourke was entrusted by Bingham to Clanricarde, and it
seems to have been a labour of love, either because the Earl resented
wrongs done to his sister, or because he hated her former misdeeds,
or because he felt that his nephew's case had some resemblance to
what his own had been. With thirty horsemen and some kerne of his
own, and two regular companies, he set out from Elphin and marched
to Ballinafad, where news came that O'Rourke was at his house near
Lough Gill. Clanricarde asked Captain Mordaunt if his soldiers could
go another fourteen miles the same night, and was told that they
would do their best. The daylight overtook them at some distance from
O'Rourke's house, and they had to fight after their long night's
march. The O'Rourkes fell back into a bog, and Clanricarde insisted
on following them with his horse. He was dismounted, and a spur torn
from his heel. The bullets flew thickly about him, and Mordaunt's
men came up only just in time, his gallantry exciting the admiration
of the English officers. O'Rourke was never able to make head again,
but he probably fancied himself safe in his own country. When the
Lord Deputy held sessions at Sligo a few months later, he refused to
attend, on the ground that the Binghams had something to do with them.
The result was that Fitzwilliam accepted Bingham's policy as against
O'Rourke, though he was always ready, and often with very good reason,
to testify against the Governor's harshness and against the tyranny of
his brothers, cousins, and followers.[203]

[Sidenote: Bingham subdues the Burkes.]

While it was still uncertain whether Bingham or his enemies would get
the upper hand, the Burkes continued in rebellion. They went about
in bands of 500 or 600, openly celebrated the Mass, and robbed all
who were not with them. The Blind Abbot was made MacWilliam, with all
the ancient ceremonies, and in virtue of his office he proceeded to
assault and capture a castle garrisoned by Attorney-General Comerford's
men. When Bingham had gained his cause in Dublin, it became evident
that his policy must prevail; and a letter from the Queen herself,
whom the creation of a MacWilliam touched in her tenderest point,
probably decided Fitzwilliam's course. He made arrangements to have
a strong force at Galway, and went there himself, to make a last
effort for peace. Sir Murrogh ne Doe came in, but failed to find
acceptable pledges, and was lodged in gaol. The Burkes did not appear,
and some thought their contumacy was caused by the wording of the
proclamation, which gave safe conduct to come, but not to return. It
may be remembered that no less a personage than Shane O'Neill had been
detained in virtue of a quibble of this kind. At all events the time
of grace was allowed to pass, and Bingham went to work in earnest.
With about 1,000 men, of whom more than three-quarters were regular
soldiers, he swept Tyrawley from end to end. Only once, in a defile of
the Nephin range, did the rebels make a stand, and they burned their
own villages without waiting to be attacked. The poor MacWilliam had
cause to rue his blushing honours, for he had a foot cut off by one of
Thomond's soldiers, with a single blow of his sword. That Earl marched
on foot through the mountains, and Clanricarde was also very active.
The wounded chief lay for several days, without meat or drink, in an
island in Lough Conn, and was afterwards drawn on a hurdle from place
to place, to seek the alms of his clansmen. 'It is not,' said Bingham,
'a halfpenny matter what becomes of him now.' The Burkes all submitted,
on Sir Richard's own terms, and peace was concluded with them.[204]

[Sidenote: O'Rourke is expelled,]

[Sidenote: surrendered by James VI.,]

[Sidenote: and hanged.]

O'Rourke's turn had now come. He may have supposed that his country
was unassailable, but was quickly undeceived. Bingham had no doubt
about being able to subdue him in ten days, but refused to move without
written orders from the Lord Deputy, lest he might be disavowed
afterwards. The order was given, and the Governor, who was suffering
from dysentery, sent four divisions of soldiers into Leitrim under his
brother George and Sir Henry Duke. Some malcontent O'Rourkes helped
the English, and much damage was done. The mere presence of so large a
force was enough to exhaust the district, and the subordinate chiefs
were glad to make their peace, and perhaps glad to free themselves
from O'Rourke, who fled to the MacSwineys in Donegal. Cuellar's friend
MacClancy was hunted down, and killed as he tried to swim to one of
his islands. He had still fourteen Spaniards with him, and some of
these were taken alive. O'Rourke remained during the rest of the year
in Donegal, and then escaped to Scotland, but James gave him up to the
English Government. In thanking her dear brother for this, Elizabeth
wondered how his 'subjects of Glasgow should doubt the stop of their
traffic for so poor a caitiff, who was never of ability to make or give
traffic.' In London O'Rourke justified Sidney's assertion as to his
being the proudest man he had ever dealt with, for he demanded that
the Queen herself should judge him. His refusal to surrender Spaniards
after the proclamation was treason, and he was told the indictment
was sufficient if he refused to plead. 'If it must be so,' he said,
'let it be so,' and he was accordingly condemned and hanged at Tyburn,
with all the usual barbarities. He was attended on the scaffold by
Miler Magrath, but refused his ministrations and upbraided the old
Franciscan as an apostate. He had previously refused to bend the knee
before the Council. 'I have always thought,' he said, 'that a great
distance separated you from God and the Saints, whose images alone I am
accustomed to venerate.'[205]

[Sidenote: Mutiny in Dublin.]

Experience had shown the many evils of an ill-paid soldiery, but
efforts at reform were not always wisely directed. New-comers and raw
levies were sometimes better treated than the old garrison. Those
whose services were yet to come got all the available money, while
veterans, 'who passed all the soldiers in Europe in the travel and
hard diet they had endured,' had to put up with scanty and irregular
payments on account. Old soldiers saw their boys receive a shilling a
day in punctual weekly payments while their own sevenpence was often
in arrear. In May 1590, in the absence of their commander and without
the knowledge of their officers, Sir Thomas Norris's company of foot
suddenly left Limerick, and appeared in Dublin with drums and fifes
playing. At eight in the morning they assembled on the bridge at the
Castle gate, and clamoured for their pay and allowances, many months
in arrear. Fitzwilliam, whose passage was obstructed by them, at first
thought of a whiff of grape-shot, but changed his mind, and sallied
forth among the mutineers. Sir George Carew bore the sword before
him. 'Rather than let it go,' said Archbishop Loftus, 'your lordship
may be sure he will do as the Mayor of London did.' The services of
a Walworth were not required, and, indeed, the poor soldiers seem to
have had no evil intentions. They besought Fitzwilliam to be good to
them, and only one man used some offensive expression. The Lord Deputy
turned his horse upon him, calling him baggage and mutinous knave,
and drew his blade when the man held up his piece in self-defence.
Gentlemen and servants streamed out of the Castle and drew their
swords, and Fitzwilliam cried out, 'Disarm these villains!' They
made no resistance, but fell upon their knees, and sixty-one out of
seventy-seven were imprisoned. Many of the arms were stolen in the
confusion. Fitzwilliam soon pardoned the mutineers, and sent them back
to Munster. 'The choler,' says Carew, 'that his lordship was in was
very exceeding abundant, yet so tempered that any man might discern
that his valour did appear unspotted either with fear or cruelty, for
he thrust himself into the midst of them all without respect of his
person, and struck many with the flat of his rapier, yet hurt none
saving one of them a little in the head, and holding the point of it
at sundry of their breasts, forebore to thrust any of them into the

[Sidenote: Tyrone and Tirlogh Luineach.]

[Sidenote: Tyrone hangs one of Shane O'Neill's sons,]

[Sidenote: and aims at supremacy in Ulster.]

The part of Tyrone lying north and west of the Mullaghcarne mountains
had been retained by Tirlogh Luineach in 1585, when he agreed to take
1,000 marks a year for the rest. The lease was for seven years, but
O'Neill had reserved and wished to exercise the power of taking back
the territory in three, which expired at Michaelmas 1588. Fitzwilliam,
who had a strong bias in the Earl's favour, obtained the remaining
four years for him, but on condition of paying 300 fat beeves a year
in addition to the rent. The two chiefs continued nevertheless to
quarrel, and it is curious to note how the English officials sided with
Tyrone. The mere fact that he represented the settlement by patent was
enough for many of them, and they did not see the danger of making
him supreme in the North. Shane O'Neill's sons were giving trouble,
and the ghost seemed more terrible than the reality. Con MacShane had
long been a prisoner with Tirlogh Luineach, but was now released and
taken into his confidence. A brother, Hugh Gavelagh, who had been two
years in Scotland, now returned to Ulster, and was supposed to have
incurred Tyrone's enmity by giving information to the Government. He
had promised Perrott to bring over no Scots, and he kept his word; but
it was known that he might have plenty if he wished, and his popularity
in the North was very great. Hugh Gavelagh was seized by some of the
Maguires, sold to Tyrone, and by him hanged on a thorn-tree, and it
was reported all over Ireland that the Earl could find no executioner,
and had to do the business himself. This he denied, giving the names
of the actual operators, and defending his conduct strenuously. Hugh
Gavelagh, he said, had murdered many men, women, and children, and
there was no regular law in Ulster, 'but certain customs ... and I hope
her Majesty will consider that, as her Highness's lieutenant under
the Deputy (as I take myself within my own territory), I am bound to
do justice upon thieves and murderers; otherwise, if I be restrained
from such-like executions, and liberty left to O'Neill, O'Donnell,
and others to use their ancient customs, then should I not be able to
defend my country from their violence and wrongs.' In this sentence we
have the whole difficulty of Tudor rule in Ireland briefly expressed.
The Government was not strong enough to enforce equal justice, and
practically confessed its impotence by allowing authority to lapse into
the hands of Tyrone and such as he. From Fitzwilliam downwards, nearly
all the officials seemed to think that they could keep things quiet by
strengthening a man who aimed at being O'Neill in the fullest sense
of the word, but who was quite ready to play at being an earl when it
suited him, and to remember his English education. Walsingham saw more
clearly from a distance, and wished to make Tirlogh Luineach Earl of
Omagh, with an estate of inheritance in his part of Tyrone, and with a
superiority over O'Cahan for life. To his rival he was willing to give
the rest, including a perpetual superiority over Maguire. But Tyrone
was determined to have all, and the men immediately responsible for
order found it convenient to support the younger, the abler, and, as it
turned out, the more ambitious and dangerous man.[207]

[Sidenote: Rival O'Neills.]

[Sidenote: The MacShanes.]

In order to understand the history of Ulster during the last decade
of Queen Elizabeth, it may be well to define the position of parties
there just before Tyrone entered upon his last struggle. Besides the
Earl himself, who was for a long time looked upon as the representative
of English ideas, and who was probably not an O'Neill at all, there
were three families who claimed to be at the head of the ruling race.
Tirlogh Brasselagh, Shane O'Neill's uncle, claimed to be the eldest of
the house, and, according to ancient Celtic notions, he had perhaps
the best right. His lands lay to the south of Lough Neagh, and he
had many sons; but his party was, on the whole, the weakest. Tirlogh
Luineach, the actual chief, represented the family of Art Oge, who had
long been excluded from the supremacy, and he was thought to hold his
position more by force and policy than by right. His eldest son, Sir
Arthur, seems not to have been legitimate, but was fully acknowledged
as his heir male both by Tyrone and by the Government: his influence
was greatest in what are now the baronies of Strabane. The third set
of pretenders were Shane O'Neill's seven sons, known as the MacShanes.
Their legitimacy is not worth discussing; but they were favourites with
the Irish, and by them generally thought to have the best right. Hugh
Gavelagh, Con, and Brian were at this time the most formidable. Tyrone
says he made an agreement with Tirlogh Luineach that one of these three
should always remain with him as hostage, that Hugh Gavelagh's neck was
specially pledged for its performance, and that the breach was the
cause of his death. The other brothers were Henry, Arthur, Edmund,
and Tirlogh. With a score or so of fighting O'Neills, all trying to
be first, it is not surprising that Ulster was turbulent, or that its
reduction by the strong hand was only a question of time.[208]

[Sidenote: Rival O'Donnells.]

The actual chief of Tyrconnell was Sir Hugh O'Donnell, the husband of
Ineen Duive, whose own son, Hugh Roe, was in prison. Donnell, an elder
and seemingly illegitimate son, by an Irish mother, was made sheriff
by Fitzwilliam in 1588, and was a thorn in Ineen's side. Calvagh's son
Con died in 1583, but he in turn left nine sons, of whom Nial Garv was
the most formidable, and their claims under the patent could hardly be
denied. A third set of pretenders were the descendants of Hugh Duff,
who were of the eldest blood, and who appealed to Celtic law. But the
favourite of the clansmen was young Hugh Roe. All the tribes of the
North depended more or less upon O'Donnell and O'Neill, and the lesser
chiefries were in dispute as much as the greater.[209]

[Sidenote: Hugh Roe O'Donnell.]

[Sidenote: Kidnapped by Perrott, 1587.]

There was a prophecy that Ireland should be delivered by the O'Donnells
when Hugh succeeded lawfully to Hugh. Its fulfilment was expected in
Henry VIII.'s time, and now again it was in men's mouths. Perrott, who
had small regard for such fancies, noticed the boy's importance, and
decided that he would be a good pledge. In the winter of 1587, he sent
a ship laden with wine and manned by fifty armed men round to Lough
Swilly, where the master, John Bermingham of Dublin, traded freely with
the natives. Hugh Roe came to hunt in the neighbourhood, or to visit
MacSwiney Fanad, near whose castle of Rathmullen the false merchantman
lay. As soon as the strangers heard of his arrival they went on board
and kept careful watch. In due course messengers came from MacSwiney,
who wanted wine to entertain his distinguished guest. Bermingham
answered that he had sold all he had to spare, but would be most happy
to entertain MacSwiney and the gentlemen with him. They came on board
accordingly, and when they had caroused for some time in the cabin, the
seamen quietly got under way, shut down the hatches, and carried the
whole party out to sea. Pursuit was impossible, for the natives had no
boats; and Hugh Roe was lodged in Dublin Castle, where he found many
companions in misfortune, and where prisoners 'beguiled the time only
by lamenting to each other their troubles, and listening to the cruel
sentences passed on the high-born nobles of Ireland.'[210]

[Sidenote: First escape of Hugh Roe O'Donnell, 1591.]

Although not more than fifteen or sixteen years old, Hugh Roe was
married to Tyrone's daughter, and the whole North was thus interested
in his safety. Perrott refused 2,000_l._ for his release, and he
remained in prison until Fitzwilliam's time. His brother Donnell, who
married a daughter of Tirlogh Luineach, would have seized the chiefry,
had he not been killed in resisting a force raised by Ineen Duive on
behalf of her husband and son. Hugh's fellow-prisoners were hostages
from every part of Ireland: among them being Henry and Arthur, sons of
Shane O'Neill, and Patrick Fitzmaurice, afterwards Lord of Kerry. The
seneschal of Imokilly died in the Castle early in 1589. After more than
three years' confinement, Hugh Roe found means to escape with some of
his friends. A wet ditch at that time surrounded the Castle, and the
approach was over the wooden bridge, where the Lord Deputy had lately
come into collision with the mutineers. The favour, almost amounting
to subservience, which Fitzwilliam showed to Tyrone made people think
that he was ready to connive at his son-in-law's escape; but this is
very hard to believe. 'Upon my duty,' he said when supporting one of
the Earl's numerous applications for Hugh's release, 'no reward maketh
me write thus much.' Friendly partisans were numerous in Dublin, and
the soldiers who kept the gate always wanted money, and were often
under female influences. A rope was conveyed into the Castle, and Hugh
slipped on to the bridge in the dusk of evening. The sentry was for the
moment inside the gatehouse, and the prisoners managed to chain the
gate on the outside. Art Kavanagh, 'a renowned warrior of Leinster,'
was near with swords hidden under his Irish mantle, and the whole
party slipped out of the town, and across the mountains to a wood near
Powerscourt. Hugh's companions here left him, for his shoes had fallen
to pieces with the wet, and his feet were lacerated by the furze.
Felim O'Toole, the lord of the neighbouring castles, was appealed to;
for he had lately visited Hugh in prison, and was supposed to be his
friend, the rather that he had married the sister of Feagh MacHugh
O'Byrne. Fearing to offend the Government, or believing that escape was
hopeless, O'Toole decided to gain credit for loyalty, and he gave up
the fugitive, who was taken back to Dublin and loaded with irons.[211]

[Sidenote: Tyrone elopes with Mabel Bagenal,]

[Sidenote: which her brother resents.]

A plot in private life may have great public consequences, as every
generation can testify. The Helen of the Elizabethan wars was Mabel
Bagenal, daughter of Sir Nicholas and sister of Sir Henry, whose charms
were at least one principal cause of the Ulster revolt. Tyrone had
been first married to a daughter of Sir Brian MacPhelim O'Neill, from
whom, according to his own account, he was 'divorced by the orders of
the Church.' As to the validity of this divorce there were certainly
doubts at the time, but the repudiated wife married again and had
children. Tyrone's second venture was with an O'Donnell, and he talked
of discarding her too, though possibly without intending to do it.
She died, and he then fell in love with Miss Bagenal, whom he might
see at Newry as often as he pleased. Bagenal would not consent to the
match, and his objections had some weight: the possible opposition of
the Queen, 'the incivility of the Earl's country not agreeing with his
sister's education, and the uncertainty of a jointure to be allotted
for her maintenance after the Earl's death,' being those which seemed
important to the Irish Government. Tyrone was a much more civilised
being than Shane O'Neill, and Mabel Bagenal was more accustomed to
Irish ways than Lady Frances Radclyffe; but Bagenal hated the proposed
alliance as much as Sussex. 'I can,' he told Burghley, 'but accurse
myself and fortune that my blood, which in my father and myself hath
often been spilled in repressing this rebellious race, should now be
mingled with so traitorous a stock and kindred.' To keep her out of
harm's way, he sent Mabel to her sister, who was married to Sir Patrick
Barnewall, and who lived at Turvey near Swords; but Tyrone invited
himself to the house for a night, obtained a secret promise of her
hand, and presented her with a gold chain worth a hundred pounds. A
few days after this he came to Turvey to dine with several friends,
and after dinner the young lady slipped away on horseback behind one
of them. 'When I understood,' he said, 'that my prey (the language of
cattle-lifting) was well forward in her way towards the place where we
had agreed upon, I took my leave of Sir Patrick Barnewall and his lady,
and followed after, and soon after I was gone, the gentlemen which were
in company with me took their horses and came away privately.'[212]

[Sidenote: Tyrone's marriage, 1591.]

Tyrone was fifty and Mabel twenty, which makes the romance rather
less romantic, and Bagenal may have been right in saying that he did
'by taking advantage of her years and ignorance of his barbarous
estate and course of living, entice the unfortunate girl by nursing
in her through the report of some corrupted persons an opinion of his
haviour and greatness.' At all events she probably liked the idea
of being a countess. Tyrone's intentions were so far honourable, in
spite of Bagenal's insinuations to the contrary, and the marriage was
celebrated at William Warren's house near Dublin, by no less a person
than the Bishop of Meath, who declared that he was chiefly actuated
by regard 'for the gentlewoman's credit.' And, as Tyrone well knew,
regard for Bishop Jones's credit would prevent the marriage from
being seriously questioned. But Bagenal's hostility was unabated, and
even in his sister's presence Tyrone openly declared that he hated no
man in the world so much as the Knight Marshal. There is no evidence
that he ill-treated her, as Shane ill-treated his victim, but there is
some that she was not altogether happy in the wild life which she had
chosen, or with her crafty and unscrupulous mate. She died after less
than five years of matrimony, and so did not live to see her brother
killed in conflict with her husband.[213]


[187] Fitzwilliam to the Privy Council, Dec. 31, 1588; to Burghley,
Aug. 20, 1590; Robert Legge to Burghley, Feb. 17, 1590; _Four Masters_,
1588; Fynes Moryson, 1589; compare Captain Lee's account in _Desiderata
Curiosa Hibernica_, i. 129. Sir John O'Gallagher is called Sir Owen
O'Toole in some English accounts, but this is wrong and misleading; the
Christian name is _Eoin_ not _Eogan_. Fynes Moryson was not in Ireland
in 1588, and very probably copied Lee's story.

[188] Fitzwilliam to the Privy Council, Dec. 31, 1588; Tyrone to
Walsingham, Feb. 5, 1589; Patrick Foxe to Walsingham, Feb. 12.

[189] Book of the proceeding of Commissioners for 'aryer' claims in
Munster, Sept. 3, 1588, of which there is a copy or rather a version
(Aug. 29-Sept. 14) at Hatfield, with many details. Most of the facts in
this and the two preceding paragraphs are from Mr. Hamilton's Calendar
1588-1592. See also No. 128, 1591, in _Carew_. In 1597 Sir Nicholas
Browne prophetically described the settlers as 'fowls fatted in mews,
to be spoiled at the pleasure of the country people' (MS. _Cotton_,
privately printed by Mr. Hussey.)

[190] Everything about Florence MacCarthy may be read in his _Life
and Letters_ by Daniel MacCarthy, a book of much research, but
unfortunately even more chaotic than the common run of family histories.

[191] The documents are collected in Shirley's _History of Monaghan_,
pp. 80-91. The notes in O'Donovan's _Four Masters_ are very incorrect
in this case, though they have often been copied. Essex was much
pressed to surrender his patent for Farney, but steadily refused.

[192] Sir N. White to Burghley, April 7 and May 9, 1589; report by
Bingham, April 10, and his answer to charges in November (No. 39).

[193] Among many papers concerning Browne, see his letter to
Walsingham, June 10, 1585; Bingham to Perrott, July 30, 1586; Patrick
Foxe to Walsingham, Feb. 26, 1589. The murder took place between the
last date and Jan. 13, when Bingham's commission to Browne was signed.
For Walsingham's views see Morrin's _Patent Rolls_ 26 Eliz. (No. 39).
The _Four Masters_ make out that Browne and Daly were killed in battle,
but this was clearly not the case.

[194] Bingham to Burghley, April 6, 1589; Fitzwilliam to Burghley,
April 9, with fourteen enclosures.

[195] Report of the Commissioners in Fitzwilliam's letter to Burghley
May 14, 1589.

[196] Bishop of Kilmore to Burghley, May 10, 1589; Bishop of Meath to
same, May 13; Fitzwilliam to same, May 14, with enclosures; Bingham to
Walsingham, May 23.

[197] Bingham to Burghley, Feb. 24, May 15 and 28, Aug. 26, 1588;
Perrott to Walsingham, March 18, 1588; Gardiner, C.J., to Walsingham,
Jan. 31, 1589; case of O'Connor Sligo, Feb. (No. 53); Walsingham to the
Bishop of Meath, June 24; Kildare to Nottingham, May 31, 1590; and a
paper dated Feb. 21, 1592; William Nugent's Articles, Aug. 14, 1591.

[198] Fitzwilliam to Burghley, July 19, 1589; Bingham to Walsingham,
July 24 and Sept. 4; the Articles are printed from a Cotton MS. in
O'Flaherty's _Western Connaught_, p. 396.

[199] Walsingham to Fitzwilliam, July 8, 1589; Fitzwilliam to Burghley,
Aug. 9, Sept. 2, Oct. 6, and Dec. 19; Summary of rebellion by John
Merbury, Aug. 1. Fitzwilliam calls Bingham 'atheist,' but Bishop Jones
(to Burghley, May 13) said he was 'a gentleman of great value, and
one that feareth God.' The Bishop sums up the causes of his great
unpopularity under four heads:--1. Hanging gentlemen by martial law.
2. Commissions to prosecute protected persons by fire and sword. 3.
Dispossessing men from their land by 'provincial orders' without legal
trial. 4. Oppression by the soldiers.

[200] Bingham to Walsingham, June 24, 1589; Bingham's answer to
charges, Nov.; Sir N. White to Burghley, Dec. 5; Bishop Jones to
Burghley, Dec. 6, and to Walsingham, Dec. 8; Loftus to Walsingham, Dec.
8; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Dec. 13.

[201] The composition with O'Rourke, and much else concerning Leitrim,
may be read in Hardiman's notes to O'Flaherty's _Western Connaught_,
pp. 346-352; Bingham's Discourse, July 1587; Bingham to Burghley, May
15 and 28, 1588; John Crofton and others to Bingham, Oct. 19, 1588;
Bingham to Fitzwilliam, March 6, 1589; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, with
enclosures, April 30; John Merbury to Burghley, Sept. 27, 1589.

[202] Bingham to Burghley, April 6, 1589; Fitzwilliam to Burghley,
April 9, 1589, and Oct. 31, 1591; John Ball's declaration, April 1590
(No. 96); John Bingham to Burghley, Aug. 8, 1591.

[203] Captain Nicholas Mordaunt to Fitzwilliam, May 11, 1589;
Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Oct. 6; Account of O'Rourke's country by
Fenton and Burghley, Feb. 1592 (No. 43).

[204] Theobald Dillon to Burghley, Oct. 18, 1589; Edward Whyte to Sir
N. White, Oct. 20; the Queen to Fitzwilliam, Nov. 19; Fitzwilliam to
Burghley, Dec. 19; to the Privy Council, Jan. 27 and March 2 and 24,
1590, with enclosures; Bingham to Burghley, April 7.

[205] Fitzwilliam to Burghley, March 24, 1590, with enclosures;
Bingham to Burghley, April 23; Camden. Bruce's _Letters_ of Elizabeth
and James VI., April 1591. The charges against O'Rourke are detailed
in the _Egerton Papers_; O'Sullivan Bere, tom. iii. lib. ii. cap. 1;
_Four Masters_, 1590 and 1591. It is stated in O'Donovan's notes to the
Annals, and in many other places, that O'Rourke begged to be hanged
with a withe, and Bacon's essays are given as an authority; but this is
not what Bacon says. His words (No. 39, 'Of Custom and Education') are:
'I remember in the _beginning_ of Queen Elizabeth's time of England, an
Irish rebel condemned put up a petition to the _Deputy_ that he might
be hanged in a withe and not in a halter, because it had been so used
with former rebels.'

[206] Relation by Carew, May 28, 1590, and his letters of May 31 and
July 26 to Burghley, Raleigh, and Heneage, all in _Carew_. The Master
of the Ordnance evidently sympathises with the poor soldiers. See also
Loftus to Hatton and Burghley, May 31.

[207] Walsingham's opinion and other papers in April 1587; Lord Deputy
and Council to the Privy Council, March 31 and May 15, 1589; Kildare to
Burghley, May 31, 1590; Tyrone's answer to Articles, March 19, 1590.
All Fitzwilliam's letters during this period bear out the text; see
the _Four Masters_, who say Hugh Gavelagh was greatly lamented, and
O'Donovan's notes under 1590.

[208] Archbishop Magrath's report to the Queen, May 30, 1592; for Sir
Arthur O'Neill see Tirlogh Luineach's petition, July 1, 1587; for the
MacShanes see Tyrone's answer to Articles, March 19, 1590, and the
opinion of Coke, S.G., Aug. 13, 1592.

[209] The O'Donnell tangle may be understood from Archbishop Magrath's
report, May 30, 1592, and from the Appendix to O'Donovan's _Four
Masters_ See also Fitzwilliam, Loftus, and Fenton to the Privy Council,
Dec. 31, 1588.

[210] _Four Masters_, 1587; Perrott's _Life_, p. 278; Tyrone to
Walsingham, Dec. 10, 1587.

[211] _Four Masters_, 1590; Note of pledges in Dublin Castle, Aug.
1588; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Nov. 29, 1589, and to Sir G. Carew in
_Carew_, Jan. 15, 1591.

[212] Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy Council, Aug. 21, 1591; Sir
H. Bagenal to Burghley, Aug. 13; Tyrone to the Privy Council, Oct. 31.

[213] The documents are collected in the _Irish Arch. Journal_, N. S.
vol. i. pp. 298-314. One of Tyrone's main grievances against Bagenal
was that he would not pay him the 1,000_l._ reserved to his sister by
her father's will; and he continued to clamour for this money even
after poor Mabel's death.



[Sidenote: Second escape of Hugh O'Donnell, 1592.]

[Sidenote: His sufferings from exposure.]

[Sidenote: He reaches Donegal.]

It was no new thing that prisoners should escape from Dublin Castle,
nor that they should be brought back again; and Hugh Roe did not
despair. A year after his first attempt, and at the same evening
hour, he knocked off his irons and lowered himself with a long rope
into the ditch. His companions were Shane O'Neill's sons, Henry and
Art, and they were helped outside by Tyrone's confidential servant,
Tirlogh O'Hagan. The fugitives passed through the streets unnoticed,
and reached the mountains that same night. Their sufferings from
exposure were great, and Art O'Neill, who had grown fat in prison, and
had besides received a blow from a falling stone when getting out of
it, was forced to lie down under a rock at the foot of the mountains.
Edward Eustace, who had been sent by Feagh MacHugh to act as guide,
was now despatched to that chief, and food and beer were sent to their
relief. The men who brought the provisions said that O'Neill was past
help, and there he died. Hugh was badly frostbitten and the nails of
his great toes afterwards fell off, but he was able to drink some beer,
and they carried him to a solitary house in the woods of Glenmalure. In
due course Tyrone sent a messenger, with whom he travelled northwards,
though he had to be lifted into the saddle and out of it. Felim O'Toole
was now eager to help, and accompanied him to the Liffey, which he
forded unperceived just above Dublin. His guide spoke English, and led
him through Meath to the neighbourhood of Drogheda. Avoiding the town,
they diverged to Mellifont, which belonged to Sir Edward Moore, and
here they were lodged and helped on their way. After resting until the
evening of next day, they rode all night, and passed through Dundalk
as soon as the gates were opened in the morning. The danger was now
over, and Tirlogh MacHenry O'Neill, whose power lay in the south part
of Armagh, forwarded them safely to Dungannon, whence Tyrone sent Hugh
O'Donnell, under escort, to Lough Erne. Here he was met by Maguire, and
brought in triumph to Ballyshannon. Henry MacShane O'Neill did not go
to Glenmalure at all, but escaped northwards from the Dublin mountains,
among which his brother had died, and thus fell into Tyrone's hands.
The Earl kept him long in captivity, and it is probable that in helping
his son-in-law to escape, he also intended to prevent the Government
from setting up the MacShanes against him.[214]

[Sidenote: O'Donnell, Maguire,]

[Sidenote: and Tyrone.]

Hugh Maguire said that he had given Fitzwilliam 300 cows to free his
country from a sheriff, but that one had nevertheless been appointed,
in the person of Captain Willis. This officer did not confine his
attention to Fermanagh, and much of Tyrconnell was actually in his
power. This company, who bore a very bad character in the country, were
quartered in the monastery of Donegal, from which they expelled the
friars, and Hugh Roe's first care was to get rid of the intruders. The
O'Donnells mustered in large numbers, and Willis and his men were glad
to escape with their lives into Connaught. The friars then returned
to their house. During March and April Hugh was in the hands of the
doctors, who are said to have amputated both his great toes; but in May
his father made way for him, and he was installed as O'Donnell with the
usual ceremonies. Two expeditions against Tirlogh Luineach followed,
and all the country about Strabane was laid waste. Nor was Tyrone quite
idle, for he allowed his son Con to attack MacKenna, the chief of
Trough, who had profited by Fitzwilliam's settlement of the MacMahons'
country. The opportunity taken was while MacKenna was attending the
sessions at Monaghan, and the commissioners were forced to adjourn. It
suited neither O'Neills nor O'Donnells to have sheriffs and gibbets so
near them.[215]

[Sidenote: Tyrone induces O'Donnell to submit, 1592.]

Fitzwilliam proceeded to Dundalk, intent upon making Tyrone give up the
offenders, so that they might be hanged at Monaghan, but the outrage
turned out to be much less grave than was reported. Anxious to gain a
good character, which might be of use to him in arranging his law suits
with Tirlogh Luineach, Tyrone went to Donegal, and brought Hugh Roe
O'Donnell with him into the Lord Deputy's presence. Hugh made public
submission in the church at Dundalk, swearing to be loyal like his
father, and to expel strangers from his country. The result was that
all opposition to him ceased in Tyrconnell, since no pretender could
hope to cope with a chief who enjoyed the help of the Government.[216]

[Sidenote: Sir John Perrott is accused.]

[Sidenote: His enemies.]

It has been often said that Sir John Perrott was driven out of Ireland
by intrigue, but the fact is that he had long clamoured for his own
recall. In England he enjoyed considerable influence, sat as a Privy
Councillor, and remained in communication with several men of position
in Ireland. But he made enemies everywhere, and it is supposed that
the real cause of his downfall was a quarrel with the Chancellor, whom
he openly taunted with having danced himself on to the woolsack. 'Sir
John Perrott talked,' says one biographer, 'while Sir Christopher
Hatton thought.' He despised the usual and perhaps necessary arts of a
courtier, and was too frequently absent from the centre of favour and
intrigue. Burghley was certainly his friend, but, great as was the old
minister's power, he could not always prevail against combinations. In
Dublin the official set were generally hostile to Perrott, and many
had personal grudges against him. He himself attributed his misfortunes
to Loftus, whom he had abused for not allowing St. Patrick's Cathedral
to be turned into a college, and Bishop Jones had also his grievances.
Philip Williams, Perrott's secretary, having been dismissed and
imprisoned by him, offered to disclose matters affecting the Queen; and
it was to the Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Meath that he applied
for help. Sir Nicholas White, who in some degree represented the old
English families of Ireland, as distinguished from the purely English
and official element, was favourable to Perrott. His firmest ally was
Richard Meredith, a Welshman, who had been his chaplain, and who held
the deanery of St. Patrick's and the bishopric of Leighlin together.
Sir Richard Bingham, who had no cause to love Perrott, does not seem
to have borne malice; but Fitzwilliam evidently leaned to the side of
his accusers. The late Deputy's language was not only violent, but had
that unfortunate quality of picturesqueness which made people remember
it. Thus Loftus could tell Burghley, with the certainty of getting
corroborative evidence, how his enemy had boasted that he would send
the Council out of Dublin Castle on cabbage-stalks, and how he had
threatened to pull the Archbishop into small pieces, like grass between
his fingers. Such speeches were not treasonable, but they show why so
many men were anxious to prove that Sir John Perrott was a traitor.[217]

[Sidenote: Charges against Perrott.]

[Sidenote: The witnesses.]

Numerous accusations were brought against Perrott soon after his return
to England, but he had little difficulty in meeting them. Matters
became more serious when a letter purporting to be written by him was
actually produced, in which he offered to make Philip II. king of
England and Ireland, on condition of being made hereditary Prince of
Wales. It seems clear that the paper was forged by Charles Trevor, an
adventurer who had been employed by O'Rourke to manage his son's escape
from Oxford, and whom Perrott had formerly imprisoned. His companion
in the Castle, and perhaps his accomplice in the forgery, was one
Dennis O'Roughan or Roughan, who had originally been a Roman Catholic
priest and had lived in Spain. Finding it convenient to return, Roughan
professed himself a Protestant, and had several children by Margaret
Leonard of New Ross, whom some called his wife and some did not. He
was evidently a liar of the first magnitude, for he told Fitzwilliam
that he had said mass to Perrott, who was no persecutor, but who was
certainly a sincere Protestant and a hater of Spaniards. When Trevor
escaped from prison the forged letter, or one like it, remained in his
hands, and he seems to have been accused of several of the forgeries
and found guilty of at least one. Roughan produced his false letter,
and pretended to be in fear of his life from Perrott's friends. With
an evident desire to make the most of it all, the Deputy sent over
his son, with orders to give the document to the Queen herself.
Bishop Meredith observed that John Fitzwilliam would have to ride
very fast if Perrott did not know all before her Majesty. Considering
the abundant evidence as to Roughan's bad character--and he was a
perjurer by his own confession--it might be supposed that no credit
would have been given to him. Probably much of the truth was kept from
the Queen's knowledge. An enquiry in Dublin had but doubtful results,
and the commissioners, whom the Queen herself rebuked, were accused
of partiality to Perrott. They examined Roughan, who soon showed his
real colours, and they were probably disinclined to do anything on such
evidence. When the man went to London, where nothing was known about
him, he accused the commissioners of corrupt dealing, but he soon lost
credit in England too. Fitzwilliam evidently leaned strongly against
Perrott, and Sir N. White was placed under restraint by him. Whether
anyone really believed Roughan may be doubted, but the information
gained in connection with his story enabled Perrott's enemies to draw
their net round him.[218]

[Sidenote: Trial of Perrott, 1592.]

[Sidenote: He is found guilty,]

[Sidenote: though probably innocent.]

At the beginning of February, 1591, Sir John Perrott was in the custody
of the Lord Treasurer; and of his friends we are told that the Bishop
of Leighlin was merry in the Fleet, and Sir Nicholas White sad in the
Marshalsea. Contrary to the expectation of many, Sir John was sent
to the Tower on March 8; and there he was destined to end his days.
His imprisonment was close, and he complained of impaired memory from
the treatment he received. At last, in April 1592, he was brought to
trial for treason, his indictment specifying that he had compassed the
Queen's death. On one side were Popham, Egerton, and Puckering, and
on the other a rough old knight, conscious of many rash speeches, but
strong in the confidence which innocence gives, and 'renouncing the
merits and mercy of his Saviour Jesus Christ' if he was really guilty.
The court did nothing to supply the want of counsel. Chief Justice
Anderson behaved with his usual brutality, declaring that Perrott was
worse than Babington or than any of the traitors, and they were many,
at whose trials he had assisted. Hunsdon was one of the Commission, and
he also interfered very often and very unfairly. The accused could do
little but protest that he was innocent, and that Roughan and Williams
were perjured scoundrels. He wished the devil might take him body and
soul if he had uttered a certain coarse speech, which many thought the
real cause of Elizabeth's animosity. He appealed to Rokeby, master of
requests, who was one of his judges, whether his experience in Ireland
had not taught him that witnesses there had no respect for an oath and
might be cheaply bribed to swear anything. God, he said, would plague
his persecutors for their corrupt dealing. He was found guilty, but a
great judge of our own time has described his trial as 'the scandalous
attempt of prerogative lawyers--of which Elizabeth herself was
ashamed--to convert the peevish speeches against her, of that worthy
old soldier, Sir John Perrott, into overt acts of high treason.'[219]

[Sidenote: Death and character of Perrott.]

'Sir John Perrott,' says Swift, 'was the first man of quality whom I
find upon the record to have sworn by _God's wounds_. He lived in the
reign of Queen Elizabeth and was supposed to be a natural son of Henry
VIII. who might also probably have been his instructor.' According
to Naunton, who is not a bad authority on such a point, Perrott was
aware of his royal parentage. 'What,' he asked the lieutenant of the
Tower, with oaths and fury, 'will the Queen suffer her brother to be
offered up a sacrifice to my skipping adversaries?' Naunton shows that
circumstances make the fact not improbable, and adds that Perrott's
manners, appearance, and voice were like those which the Elizabethan
tradition ascribed to Henry. Hatton, the chief of Sir John's skipping
adversaries, was now dead; and the Queen was urged by Burghley and
others to spare a faithful, though rash, servant. At all events she
refused to sign his death-warrant, and when his speech to Hopton was
reported to her, she swore by God's death that they were all knaves.
It was thought that she intended to pardon him, and she was often
heard to applaud a rescript of Honorius, 'that if any person speak
ill of the Emperor through a foolish rashness and inadvertency, it is
to be despised; if out of madness, it deserves pity; if from malice
and aversion, it calls for mercy.' Perrott died in the Tower in the
following September; but his chief request was granted, and his son
was allowed to inherit. The fact of that son being married to Essex's
sister may have had something to do with this.[220]

[Sidenote: Tirlogh Luineach O'Neill resigns the chiefry]

[Sidenote: in Tyrone's favour, 1593.]

The disputes between Tyrone and Tirlogh Luineach were hard to settle,
for the several grants were not easily reconcilable with one another.
But Coke's opinion was taken, and that great lawyer laid down that, by
virtue of an indenture made in 1587, the Earl might be forced to leave
Tirlogh and his son in quiet possession of such lands as should be
awarded to them by inquisition. This had been practically a condition
of reviving the earldom in Hugh's person, and the older grant of all
Tyrone by Henry VIII. was so far modified by it. As to the lands,
Fitzwilliam effected an arrangement nearly in accordance with Coke's
opinion; but Tirlogh was now old, and finding himself unable to resist
both Tyrone and O'Donnell, he thought it wiser to resign his chiefry
in his rival's favour. 'Hugh O'Neill, namely the Earl,' say the Four
Masters, 'was then styled the O'Neill, and Tirlogh Luineach, having
made peace with O'Neill and O'Donnell, sent away the English whom
he had with him. This was done in May 1593. Ulster was then under
the peaceable government of these two; and they had hostages of the
inhabitants in their power, so that they were subject to them.'[221]

[Sidenote: The Four Masters' notions of peace.]

[Sidenote: A titular archbishop.]

Tyrone's object for the movement was to keep things quiet and to gain
credit for loyalty; but neither he nor O'Donnell ever enjoyed much of
the peaceable power described by the annalists. Brian Oge O'Rourke had
a dispute with the Binghams about his composition rent, and plundered
the country about Ballymote. Maguire's emulation was aroused, and,
in spite of a promise to Tyrone, he also invaded Connaught, leaving
Lough Allen to his left, and penetrating to Tulsk in Roscommon, where
Sir Richard Bingham was encamped. The English party were outnumbered,
and Maguire drove off many cattle, but, in the running fight which
followed, Edmund MacGauran, titular primate of all Ireland, was killed.
According to Bingham, MacGauran was constantly occupied in stirring
up sedition, which he fostered by assurances of Spanish aid. 'He
was, he says, 'a champion of the Pope's, like Dr. Allen, the notable
traitor; but, God be thanked, he hath left his dead carcase on the
Maugherie, only the said rebels carried his head away with them that
they might universally bemoan him at home.' O'Sullivan said that the
Archbishop had special orders from Philip II. to stir up war against
the Protestants, and to hold out hopes of Spanish succours, and that
Maguire was sorry for his loss rather than pleased at the spoil which
he was able to secure.[222]

[Sidenote: Maguire attacks Monaghan,]

[Sidenote: but is defeated by Tyrone,]

[Sidenote: who soon changes sides.]

O'Rourke kept Bingham pretty busy during the summer, and Maguire turned
his attention to Monaghan. It was not difficult to raise a party among
the MacMahons, and Monaghan was vigorously attacked early in September.
The garrison repulsed the assailants, but not without considerable
loss, and Fitzwilliam found it necessary to make a great display of
force. Bagenal and Tyrone commanded the troops, which were collected
at Clones, and Maguire drove off his flocks and herds into Tyrconnell.
The fords over the Erne near Belleek were found indefensible against
so strong a force, but Tyrone was severely wounded in the thigh. This
victory of the brothers-in-law only increased their mutual hatred, for
the Marshal claimed most of the credit, which the Earl thought belonged
to him. The O'Neills were engaged in large numbers, and the tactics
which afterwards proved so fatal to Bagenal had been employed on his
side. 'Maguire's assailants,' says O'Sullivan Bere, 'had 700 horse
against 100, and musketeers against archers, and the leaden bullets
went further than the arrows. The musketeers in the woods bordering on
the river shot down with impunity the Catholics who stood in the open,
while the archers could take no aim at men protected by thick clumps
of trees.' The same writer says that Bagenal asked Tyrone to write in
praise of his valour both to the Queen and to the Deputy, and that
the Earl replied that he would tell the truth when he came into their
presence. It was one of Tyrone's grievances that Bagenal got more than
his due share of credit, but it is probable that this was mainly an
excuse for the course upon which he had already determined. According
to O'Sullivan, O'Donnell was on his way to help Maguire, but was
delayed by a messenger from Tyrone, who begged him not to compromise
him while in the power of the Protestants, whose party he was about
to desert. Tyrone believed, or pretended to believe, that the Marshal
had orders from Fitzwilliam to arrest him; and, wounded as he was, he
withdrew to Dungannon, out of harm's way. This was his last service to
the Crown during Elizabeth's life, and the annalists believed that it
was rendered unwillingly.[223]

[Sidenote: Bingham takes Enniskillen, 1594.]

Bingham pressed Maguire from the Connaught side, and boats were
launched upon Lough Erne, so that the defeated chief was hunted from
island to island, during a great part of the winter. To find his cattle
was to take them, for no resistance could be made; but Enniskillen
Castle held out for a long time against the fire of field-pieces. 'To
present her Majesty's forces,' said Fenton, 'before a castle in Ireland
and not to carry it were highly dishonourable to the State, and a
dangerous preparation to all the Irish to think less of her Majesty's
strength.' But the soldiers worked while the Secretary criticised, and
early in February Enniskillen was taken by assault, on the ninth day
of the actual siege. Boats, protected with hides and hurdles, kept
the garrison occupied, while the trenches were advanced, and ladders
were used for the final storm. But O'Sullivan declared that the place
would never have been taken had not Bingham bribed one of the warders,
known from his hideous countenance as 'the pig's son.' The traitor, he
says, made a feigned resistance only, and was spared, while the rest,
including some women, were put to the sword. Maguire was driven into
Tyrone with a few followers, but Bingham maintained that nothing had
really been done until Bundrowes, Ballyshannon, and Belleek were taken
from O'Donnell. The Lord Deputy did not like Bingham nor his advice,
but the event proved that the latter was right.[224]

[Sidenote: Recall of Fitzwilliam.]

[Sidenote: Negotiations with Tyrone.]

Fitzwilliam's health had been failing since the summer of 1592, and
latterly he had been very anxious to leave Ireland. The Queen had
been ready to recall him at Michaelmas, but Burghley said he should
have the honour of finishing Maguire's affair, and he could only beg
that he should not be expected to catch a runagate rogue. 'I am,' he
said, 'upon the pitch of sixty-nine years old, my body is weak, my
stomach weaker, the stone doth oft torment me, and now the gout hath
utterly lamed me in my leg. My sight and memory do both fail me, so
that I am less than half a man, and not much more than a dead man.'
Had the Queen adhered to her original intention he might have been
spared these pains. He was now directed to appoint Lords Justices if
he felt too ill to carry on the routine business of government, but
if possible to retain office until the arrival of his successor. The
new viceroy was Sir William Russell, fourth son of Francis, Earl of
Bedford, who had served with credit in Holland, who was by Sidney's
side when he received his death-wound, and who succeeded him as
governor of Flushing. Fitzwilliam did not find it necessary to appoint
Lords Justices, but he was unable to leave Dublin, and negotiations
with Tyrone were referred to commissioners. The Earl maintained that
he was quite loyal, but that the Lord Deputy and the Marshal were in
league against him. Bagenal had orders to treat with O'Donnell, and
sent one Darby Newman, from Newry, to make a beginning. Tyrone received
Newman at Dungannon, and refused to send him on to Strabane. Bagenal's
emissary, he said, was not sufficiently important to risk his credit
for; he had already done too much, and was determined that Tyrconnell
should not be treated as Fermanagh had been. The Marshal, he added,
raising his voice for all to hear, might do it by himself if he could.
Maguire was now again at the head of 200 or 300 men, and would not
leave a head on anyone's shoulders who wore hat or cloak, or who spoke
a word of English. With Bagenal he would have no dealings, nor would he
let O'Donnell have any; but any other commissioner should be welcome to
his country. Archbishop Loftus, Chief Justice Gardiner, and Sir Anthony
St. Leger, the Master of the Rolls, were chosen, and they proceeded
to Dundalk early in March. In the meantime, Tyrone tried to enlist
the great influence of Ormonde on his side, and his letters were so
startling that the latter thought it right to send them straight to the

[Sidenote: Tyrone's grievance]

Tyrone kept the commissioners waiting for some days, professing to be
afraid of Bagenal's treachery; but he appeared at last on protection,
and gave in a long list of grievances. Hatred of the Marshal, whom he
accused of bribing Fitzwilliam with money extorted from the people
under him, seems indeed to have been the mainspring of his movements at
this time. As to the settlement of Monaghan, for instance, he says that
'every peddling merchant and other men of no account had a share of the
land; and the Marshal (who never took pains in bringing of that country
to subjection) had a great part of it.' Besides the general statement
of his grievances given to the commissioners, Tyrone sent a secret
article to Sir Henry Wallop, whom he thought inclined to favour him.
In this he alleged specific acts of corruption against Fitzwilliam and
Bagenal, saying that he did not mention these to the commissioners only
because they were in such haste to be gone. But before Loftus and his
colleagues left Dundalk he promised to keep the peace until his cause
could be heard impartially, and swore that if O'Donnell or any other
broke out in the meantime, he would be the first to cut his throat.
This did not prevent some of the O'Neills from immediately harrying the
Marshal's country, nor from burning houses with women and children in
them. Indeed there can be little doubt that it was a main object with
Tyrone, as it had been with Shane O'Neill, to get rid of the settlement
at Newry. It was planted on purpose to bridle Ulster, and it had proved
effective. And English laws or English officers are unpopular in
Ireland exactly in proportion to their efficiency.[226]

[Sidenote: Fitzwilliam's opinion of Tyrone]

[Sidenote: and of Captain Thomas Lee.]

[Sidenote: Lee's opinion of Irish chiefs]

[Sidenote: and of Sir Henry Bagenal.]

Fitzwilliam emphatically denied all charges of corruption against
himself, and said he had always treated Tyrone with the consideration
due to a useful instrument. Appearances were now very much against him,
and the Chief Justice had shown scandalous partiality in separating
from his fellow-commissioners and remaining for two or three days quite
alone with the Earl. Captain Thomas Lee too, who was a needy man and
suspiciously intimate with Tyrone, had stolen away to him and was not
likely to exercise a good influence. Lee, who was afterwards hanged at
Tyburn for his share in the Essex conspiracy, distinguished himself
in the Wicklow district, and he has left a curious paper in which he
cautioned the Queen against the probable cost and trouble of an Ulster
war. According to him the North could only be governed with Tyrone's
help. The chief authority there should be in his hands, and, that
being granted, there would be no difficulty in getting him to accept
a sheriff and to have regular assizes at Dungannon. 'Being often his
bedfellow,' says Lee, 'he hath divers times bemoaned himself, with
tears in his eyes, saying if he knew any way in the world to behave
himself (otherwise than he hath done) to procure your Majesty's assured
good opinion of him, he would not spare (if it pleased you to command
him) to offer himself to serve your highness in any part of the world
against your enemies, though he were sure to lose his life... which
tears have neither proceeded from dissimulation, or of a childish
disposition, (for all who know him will acquit him thereof) but of
mere zeal unto your highness, &c.' Of a childish disposition, indeed,
he may well be acquitted; but dissimulation was his strong point. And
Lee's proposed system of government involved arrangements with other
chiefs also; yet he averred O'Donnell, Maguire, Brian Oge MacMahon, and
Brian Oge O'Rourke to be traitors and villains and obstinate against
the Queen. O'Donnell was married to one of Tyrone's daughters, and
Maguire was soon to wed another. Again he says, 'all the friends to
your highness in those countries are but two, O'Hanlon and Magennis....
O'Hanlon is married to the Earl of Tyrone's sister, and merely enriched
by the Earl; Magennis's eldest son is to marry the Earl's daughter.
And if this affinity were [not], the manner of the Irish is always to
the part they see strongest; and when your Majesty (as there is no
doubt) shall prevail, they will then seek favour and make offer of much
service, but seldom or never perform any; whereof myself have been
too often a witness.' This testimony is remarkable because it exactly
coincides with that of Bagenal, who said his neighbours, O'Hanlon and
Magennis, were combined with Tyrone, not because they liked him, but
because he seemed, for the moment, to be the strongest. In Tyrone's
interest Lee stigmatises Bagenal as a slanderer and a coward, but he
agrees with him where his hero's interests are not specially concerned,
praising Bingham to the skies and losing no opportunity of calling
Feagh MacHugh a traitor.[227]

[Sidenote: Ormonde and Tyrone.]

Burghley urged Ormonde, for his own honour and the State's safety, to
make some arrangement with Tyrone, and Sir George Carew, whose advice
was taken about this time, believed that the new Irish trouble might
thus be nipped in the bud. Ormonde, he said, 'has that credit with the
Earl as at his will he can lead him to do what he list, for upon his
wisdom and friendship he only dependeth.' A correspondence took place
accordingly, in which Ormonde entreated Tyrone to bear himself loyally
in the sight of all, and never to forget the Queen's benefits. He had
promised the commissioners to behave himself, and it was dishonourable
for gentlemen to break their words. By presenting himself frankly to
the Viceroy, as became a nobleman and a good subject, he would show
that he had nothing to fear, and he might be sure of justice if he
harboured no traitors in the meantime. Tyrone thanked his adviser
heartily, promised to come to Dublin like the Queen's loyal subject
as he was, and declared that he feared nothing but the spite of
Fitzwilliam and Bagenal, who sought his life. As to harbouring rebels,
there were two or three thousand proclaimed traitors in Ireland, and it
would be strange if some were not sheltered near him.[228]

[Sidenote: Florence MacCarthy in Munster, 1593-1594.]

Owing in great measure to Ormonde's intercession, who gave a bond in
1,000_l._ for his good behaviour, Florence MacCarthy had been released
from the Tower early in 1591 and left at liberty, provided he did not
go more than three miles from London. He was a persistent and skilful
suitor, and his constant pleas of poverty were not without their effect
on the Queen. First she granted him a warrant of protection against
arrest for debt, and then she devised a means of enriching him without
expense to herself. David Lord Barry had been implicated in the Desmond
treasons, and had been fined 500_l._, which he was not asked to pay.
He looked upon this as in the nature of a mere recognizance, and he
had done nothing whatever to forfeit it. The Queen had nothing new to
complain of, but she gave Florence MacCarthy leave to recover the fine
if he could. This was a poor reward for Barry's loyalty; especially
as he had been the first to warn the Government of the danger to be
apprehended from Florence's marriage, and was even now cautioning
them against letting Florence return to his own country. To Ireland,
nevertheless, he was allowed to go, and Fitzwilliam ordered Barry to
pay the 500_l._ in four quarterly instalments. It does not however,
seem to have been paid, and Florence spent more than the whole amount
in costs. Lord Barry, who remained staunchly loyal, put in one dilatory
plea after another, and in due course Florence was himself involved in
treasonable plots. His brother-in-law Donell--if the term can be used
of a bastard--continued to maintain himself in the character of Robin
Hood, and the undertakers had their difficulties with both.[229]

[Sidenote: Remarks on Fitzwilliam's government.]

Fitzwilliam's long public career was now at an end, though he lived
until 1599. Years before he had expected to be buried in Ireland and
slandered in England; and slandered he seems to have been, though
he was allowed to sleep in his own country. He was not a brilliant
man, and he was never given the means of doing very great things; but
he steadily advanced the power of the Crown in Ireland. Not being a
professional soldier he gained no remarkable victories; but of his
courage there could be no doubt, as the Dublin mutiny well proved.
The charge of corruption has been commonly repeated against him, but
this old-world gossip wants confirmation. It was the general practice
to make accusations of covetousness against Irish officials, and
especially against chief governors. Russell did not escape, and it is
clear that many things capable of an ill interpretation would be done
in a country where enough money was never forthcoming for the public
service. It is evident that neither Elizabeth nor Burghley believed the
stories against Fitzwilliam, and if an official satisfies those who
employ him he can afford to despise unpopularity. He was not a great
man, but he was eminently serviceable, and, if he gained no striking
successes, his reign was free from crushing disasters.


[214] _Four Masters_, 1592. On Feb. 27, Gardiner, C.J., writes to
Burghley that Hugh Roe is back in Donegal; under May 31, 1589, there is
a list of twenty-two prisoners who had escaped from Dublin Castle, of
which eleven had been brought back, but Hugh Roe is not mentioned. In
1594 Henry, Con, and Brian MacShane were all in Tyrone's custody; (No.
139) in _Carew_ of that year.

[215] _Four Masters_, 1592; Fitzwilliam to Burghley, July 7. Captain
Lee, in _Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica_, vol. i. p. 106, says Willis had
with him three hundred of the very rascals and scum of that kingdom,
which did rob and spoil that people, ravish their wives and daughters,
and make havoc of all.

[216] _Four Masters_, 1592; Tyrone to Burghley, Aug, 2; Fitzwilliam to
Burghley, Aug. 8.

[217] Loftus to Burghley, Dec. 27, 1590, and Feb. 4, 1591; Lloyd's
_State Worthies_. Loftus began the attack by recommending Philip
Williams to Burghley, Dec. 18, 1586. Williams's wife applied to Jones a
few days later, and the Archbishop forwarded her letter, Jan. 1, 1587.
Fitzwilliam wrote to Burghley in favour of Williams, Sept. 17, 1590;
see also Sir R. Bingham to Geo. Bingham, Oct. 29, 1591.

[218] The forged letter is dated June 25, 1585, and calendared Feb.
16, 1590; Commission dated March 20, 1590, from the Privy Council to
the Bishops of Meath and Leighlin, Sir L. Dillon, Sir N. White, Sir E.
Moore, Sir E. Waterhouse, Walshe, J., and Calthorpe, A. G. Dillon and
White to Burghley, June 26 and 28, 1590; Bishop Meredith to Burghley,
July 13, 1590. Fitzwilliam's letters are too numerous to cite;
their general tenour bears out the text; many letters as to Trevor,
especially Sir R. Bingham to G. Bingham, Oct. 29, 1591. For the priest
Roughan see an amusing account in Strype's _Life of Aylmer_, and for
Perrott's quarrel with Loftus and Jones see his _Annals_ (Eliz.) book
ii. chaps. 3 and 4. For evidence of Roughan's perjuries see Morrin's
_Patent Rolls_, 42 Eliz. No. 21.

[219] Lord Campbell's _Chief Justices_, i. 247; Howell's _State
Trials_, vol. i.

[220] Introduction to Swift's _Polite Conversation_; Naunton's
_Fragmenta Regalia_; Howell's _State Trials_. There is a curious
account of Sir Thomas Perrott's marriage with Lady Dorothy Devereux in
Strype's _Aylmer_.

[221] Fitzwilliam and Bagenal to Burghley, July 25, 1592; Mr.
Solicitor-General Coke to Burghley, Aug. 13; _Four Masters_, 1593.
By the articles of agreement concluded at Dundalk on June 28, 1593,
Tirlogh Luineach was awarded a life-interest in the Strabane district,
while the Earl's supremacy was acknowledged over all Tyrone.

[222] Bingham's letter of June 28, 1593, is quoted in Brady's
_Episcopal Succession_, i. 223; O'Sullivan Bere, tom. iii. lib. 2, cap.
6. There is an original intercepted letter at Hatfield from Primate
MacGauran to Captain Eustace, dated Madrid, June 28, 1591, in which the
writer says:--'I hope in God Ireland will soon be free from Englishmen,
and notwithstanding that the Catholic King his captains be slow in
their affairs, I am certain that the men now purposed to be sent to
comfort the same poor island, which is in distress a long time, will
not be slow. I ought not to write much unto you touching those causes,
for I know that a Spaniard shall be chief governor of them. The Irish
regiment is written for.'

[223] O'Sullivan, tom. iii. lib. 2, cap. 7; _Four Masters_, 1593;
Shirley's _Monaghan_, pp. 97 and 98; the Earl of Tyrone's grievances,
March 14, 1594.

[224] Fenton to Burghley, Feb. 2, 1594; Captain John Dowdall to
Fitzwilliam, Feb. 2, 3, and 7; Bingham to Puckering, C.S., Feb. 15;
Cornelius Maguire to Fitzwilliam, Feb. 7; O'Sullivan, tom. iii. lib. 7,
cap. 7.

[225] Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Jan. 30, 1594; to Cecil same date;
Ormonde to Burghley, Feb. 20; Tyrone to Bagenal, Feb. 17; declaration
of Darby Newman, Feb. 19; draft minute by Burghley and others
concerning the viceroyalty, March.

[226] Tyrone's grievances, March 14, 1594; Tyrone to Wallop, April 3;
Bagenal to Fitzwilliam, March 20; Ormonde to Tyrone, May 21.

[227] Fitzwilliam to Burghley, Feb. 28 and April 19, 1594; Bagenal to
Fitzwilliam, March 20. Lee's declaration to the Queen is printed (with
some obvious mistakes) in _Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica_, vol. i. pp.
89 to 150. It was written in England between Oct. 1594 and March 1596,
as is proved by the references to Sir Robert Gardiner's movements. Lee
was of Reban castle near Athy, where he had property.

[228] Ormonde to Tyrone, April 19 and 30, and May 21, 1594; Tyrone's
answer to the letter of April 30; Burghley to Ormonde, April 7; Carew
to Burghley, April 13.

[229] Florence MacCarthy's _Life_.



[Sidenote: Arrival of Russell, 1594.]

Sir William Russell left Theobalds on June 25, and did not reach Dublin
till August 1. Even at midsummer no wind served to sail out of the
Dee, and at Holyhead itself there was a week's delay. Keeping to the
letter of his instructions, Russell refused to receive the sword until
Fitzwilliam and the Council had given him a written account of the
state of Leinster and Connaught; and this ten days' pause gave Tyrone
time to look about him. Ormonde went to Dublin, and waited anxiously
for eleven days to see whether the northern earl would perform his
promise. On August 15, and to the great surprise of all men, Tyrone
made his appearance, the late Deputy having sailed for England the
day before. Russell had desired his predecessor to stay and make good
his charges; but Fitzwilliam declined, unless ordered to do so on his
allegiance, and Tyrone was thus enabled to say that he would have
easily cleared himself in his oppressor's presence, had the latter
stayed but one day longer.[230]

[Sidenote: Tyrone in Dublin.]

[Sidenote: He is allowed to go free.]

On arriving in Dublin, Tyrone sent in a written submission, and two
days later he presented it on his knees to the Lord Deputy sitting
in Council. Again he laid all blame on Fitzwilliam and Bagenal,
acknowledging that his efforts to save his life from their machinations
might have some appearance of ingratitude, and professing himself ready
to serve the Queen and her new Deputy. He promised to do his best to
restore peace in Ulster, to expel the Scots, and to protect the Pale.
He was ready to receive a sheriff, provided Armagh and Tyrone were made
one county, and to have a gaol at Dungannon, and to pay a reasonable
composition. He promised to send his eldest son, Hugh, to Wallop or
Gardiner, who might send him to an English university within three
months, to give sufficient pledges, and to molest no Englishman within
his jurisdiction. The division of Armagh from Tyrone had long been part
of a settled policy, and the fact that Tyrone insisted on its reversal
should have been warning enough. At the same sitting of the Council
Bagenal produced a written statement of his charges against the Earl.
The first of these, and the one which would weigh most with the Queen,
was that many of Tyrone's foster-brothers and household servants had
joined with Archbishop MacGauran, who was unquestionably the emissary
of Rome and Spain, and that Tyrone had nevertheless protected and
favoured them. But Bagenal was naturally not ready to prove his case by
witnesses then and there, and upon this it was decided not to detain
the Earl, although he had come in quite voluntarily and without any
condition whatever; 'and it was resolved, for weighty considerations
concerning Her Majesty's service, that the Earl should not be charged
with the said articles at this time, but to be deferred to a more fit

Russell afterwards said that he thought it safer to let him go, because
his brother Cormac MacBaron was puffed up by some late successes, and,
as tanist, would naturally take advantage of the Earl's absence and
be ready to cut his throat. Tyrone's submission, too, had been very
humble: he had promised to banish the Scots, to appease the rebels, and
to give his son as pledge. In fact his humility disappeared as soon as
he was clear of the Pale; he neither expelled the Scots nor appeased
the rebels, and he never sent his son to Dublin. The evident truth is
that Russell, who was new to Ireland, was completely hoodwinked, and
that the Council, after the manner of councils, took the course which
was easiest for the moment, and sheltered both themselves and the
Viceroy behind a formidable list of names.[231]

[Sidenote: Reverses in Ulster.]

[Sidenote: Russell relieves Enniskillen.]

Fitzwilliam had confessed to Perrott that he received Ireland from him
in peace, and that he should do the Queen good service if he could
leave it but half as well. Measured by that standard his success had
not been great, for he left the island very much disturbed. Ulster
was 'replenished with more treason than we have known it in former
times.' Bingham had bridled Connaught; but O'Rourke was with O'Donnell,
and was a constant source of danger. Feagh MacHugh and his crew were
traitorously bent, and the arrival of 3,000 Scots in Donegal was likely
to aggravate the general peril. After all the fighting in Fermanagh her
Majesty had no stronghold left there except Enniskillen, and that was
closely besieged. Sir Henry Duke and Sir Edward Herbert were sent with
600 foot and 46 horse to revictual it, but could not, and Sir Richard
Bingham went to help them with 200 foot and 50 horse. Before he could
arrive, Maguire and Cormac MacBaron had attacked the relieving force at
the ford of Drumane on the Arney river, and routed them completely. The
convoy fell into the hands of the Irish, and the place was long known
as the 'ford of biscuits.' This news met Bingham on his way northwards,
and he returned to Dublin. The check was a severe one, and Russell
lost no time in taking the field himself. His route was by Mullingar,
Athlone, Roscommon, and Boyle, over the Curlews. Lough Arrow and Lough
Allen were passed on the right hand and Lough Melvin on the left, the
dangers of the march being from bogs and flooded rivers rather than
from armed opposition. Enniskillen was relieved for that time, and
Dublin was reached on the twenty-second day. The return was by way
of Cavan, and the only casualties were from drowning at the passages of
the Sillees and the Erne.[232]


  Edwd. Weller, _lith._

_London. Longmans & Co._]

[Sidenote: The Queen blames Russell.]

[Sidenote: Tyrone generally suspected.]

Sir Edward Moore of Mellifont, who was on friendly terms with Tyrone,
was employed to patch up a truce, and war was deferred until the new
year. In the meantime Russell had to bear as best he might the Queen's
severe blame for letting the Earl go, in spite of direct private orders
from her. The reasons which he gave were indeed very inconclusive, and
it is plain that Tyrone had known how to profit boldly by the moment of
weakness which in Ireland has always attended every change of governors
in old times, and every vicissitude of party in our own. But opinions
were still divided as to Tyrone's real intentions. Some professed to
believe that his animosity was only against Fitzwilliam and Bagenal,
but others, if we may judge by the sequel, were less optimistic or
better informed. Tyrone's brother had contributed to the disaster at
Enniskillen, and neither he nor the O'Neills who served under him would
have acted against the chief's wish. There was plenty of Spanish gold
circulating in Tyrone, and powder was being made there with imported
sulphur. In Roman Catholic circles there were great hopes of what
the Earl would do, but some feared that he sought an earthly rather
than a heavenly kingdom. It was more certain that he had enormously
increased his force, and that he was daily enlarging his power over the
neighbouring chiefs. He had obtained leave to import a great quantity
of lead by way of roofing his house at Dungannon, and that was now
available to make bullets. It is difficult to say exactly when Tyrone's
correspondence with Spain began, but some great movement was clearly
impending. Jesuits and seminary priests swarmed throughout Ireland,
and in any city or town, says one Protestant writer, 'there is not an
Irishwoman nor merchant's wife throughout the kingdom but refuseth to
come to the church, save that in Dublin a few women, under twenty in
all, are not quite fallen from us.'[233]

[Sidenote: The Wicklow Highlanders, 1595.]

[Sidenote: Death of Walter Reagh.]

When the Christmas festivities were over, during which the Earl of
Kildare tilted at the ring, Russell went into the Wicklow mountains and
returned on the third day. Feagh MacHugh was driven from Ballinacor and
the house garrisoned, O'Byrne himself, with his wife and the notorious
bastard Geraldine, Walter Reagh, being proclaimed traitors. Some
heads were brought in, but after a few days Walter Reagh's brother,
Gerald, was out with his followers and burned the village of Crumlin,
not three miles from St. James's gate. The lead was stripped from the
church, and carried off to make bullets. The Lord Deputy appeared in
Thomas Street, had the gate opened, and sent horse in pursuit, but the
mischief was already done. As such insolence could not be allowed to
pass, another journey was immediately undertaken, and a camp was formed
at Ballinacor. A fort was built, and there was no difficulty in getting
a hundred labourers from among the O'Byrnes. But Feagh had plenty of
sympathisers. In one place a girl warned six kernes of the approach of
soldiers; in another a bag of bullets was found newly cast. Heads came
in fast, but straggling foragers from Russell's camp were sometimes
cut off. Ormonde came up from Kilkenny with a large force, and it
became evident that Walter Reagh's career was near its end. One of his
brothers was taken by the Kavanaghs, the Gerald who burned Crumlin was
killed, and he himself was wounded in attacking the house of Sir Piers
Fitzjames Fitzgerald, who was sheriff of Kildare and Ormonde's kinsman.
His leg being almost broken by the blow of a hammer, he was carried by
his followers to a cave, and there attended by a native leech, 'who
went every second day to the woods to gather herbs.' With the help of
this leech Walter's first cousin, Dermot MacPhelim Reagh, betrayed him
to Sir Henry Harrington, and promised also to give up Feagh MacHugh
himself. Another O'Byrne, Murrogh MacTeig Oge, is also mentioned as
being in the plot. Walter Reagh was brought to Dublin, examined, and
hanged alive in chains for twenty-four hours, 'as a notable example of
justice.' This was Russell's opinion, but it must be evident that such
barbarity could have no real effect, and in fact the Wicklow rebels
were soon as strong as ever.[234]

[Sidenote: Feagh MacHugh O'Byrne.]

[Sidenote: Interference of Tyrone in Leinster.]

No sooner was Walter Reagh dead than Russell set out again for the
disturbed districts of Leinster. A camp formed at Money, between Tullow
and Shillelagh, was the Lord Deputy's headquarters for three weeks, and
he visited all the country round, finding time for a little hunting
and fishing, and receiving heads of prisoners almost daily. Several
companies scoured the Wicklow mountains, but never quite succeeded
in catching Feagh MacHugh. But his wife, the famous Rice O'Toole,
fell into Harrington's hands, and a Dublin jury found her guilty of
treason. The sentence was death by burning, as if she was considered a
witch, but the Queen spared her life. The arrival of Sir John Norris
required Russell's presence in Dublin, preparatory to dealing seriously
with Tyrone. Sir Henry had already brought rather more than 2,000 of
the Brittany veterans, and the news of their coming kept the North
quiet for a moment. Garrisons were left to bridle Wicklow, and it was
supposed that the fort at Ballinacor could easily hold out. But Feagh
MacHugh had now a thorough understanding with Tyrone, who had promised
him 1,000 men--400 from himself, 400 from O'Donnell, and 100 each from
Maguire and O'Rourke. The MacMahons had also promised a hundred. These
were to be maintained for a year, doubtless with some of the Spanish
gold which was circulating in Ulster.[235]

[Sidenote: Recruiting for the Irish service.]

[Sidenote: Impressment.]

[Sidenote: A contractor.]

[Sidenote: How the horse were raised.]

We are now entering upon the great Tyrone war, which cost Queen
Elizabeth so many men and so much money. The trained troops at her
command were very few, and fresh levies were constantly required. From
what took place in one county, we may judge of the method pursued
all over England, and gain some idea of the drain upon the scanty
population of that time. Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, a great figure
among the nobility of that day, was Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire.
In March, 1595, he was directed by warrant to make a compulsory levy
of 100 men for the Irish service. This was done, and the new company
assigned to Captain Nicholas Merriman, the captain and his two
subalterns being appointed by the Crown, and not by Lord Shrewsbury,
who thought some men were pressed 'rather for ill will than for any
care of the Queen's service'; nor is the suggestion singular in the
correspondence of this period. In the same year Derbyshire had to raise
three horsemen for the Irish service, and the cost was compulsorily
divided among the gentlemen and freeholders. John Manners of Haddon was
assessed at 53_s._ 4_d._, while some had to pay only six shillings. In
1596, fifty more men were raised for Ireland. Directions are sometimes
given that the arms and uniforms should be bought of particular
persons. Captain Merriman, who was a skilled veteran, commended the
armour supplied by Mr. William Grosvenor, of Bellport, who was a friend
of Shrewsbury, and a 'follower of the Earl of Essex.' In April, 1597,
twenty-three men were pressed for Ireland; four of them ran away, and
the arms of those who did not were so bad that the officers had to
buy others from the armourers at Chester. In 1598, 100 men were first
levied, and after the disaster at Blackwater fifty more were wanted.
These levies were not completed till the spring of 1599; but in 1600
the demands began again. One hundred and fifty were required, but some
ran away, and some were inefficient, and there was a further call for
fifteen men before the year was out. John Manners was also ordered
to provide one light horseman, with a cuirass and staff, at his own
charge, and the county was forced to have carpenters, smiths, and
bricklayers among the recruits. In 1601, three horsemen and 110 footmen
were raised, and there was a further levy of horse ordered as soon as
it was known that Spaniards had landed at Kinsale. About 70 gentlemen
and ladies are mentioned as specially contributory to this last call,
and again John Manners had to supply a gelding with a good saddle, and
a good man to fill it, 'furnished with a good cuirass and a caske, a
northern staff, a good long pistol, a good sword and dagger, and a
horseman's coat of good cloth.'

[Sidenote: Unpopularity of the service.]

[Sidenote: A ragged regiment.]

Clothing for foot soldiers was contracted for at 40_s._ a head. After
the victory at Kinsale, we read of no more levies in Derbyshire, but
the drain had been severe. Of foot-soldiers alone, some 450 were raised
in that single county, from 1595 to 1601, and we may be sure that most
of them never returned. Naturally the service was very unpopular;
'Better be hanged at home than die like dogs in Ireland' had become a
Cheshire proverb. Sometimes it was necessary to 'set sufficient watch
in all the highways, footpaths, and bye-lanes, for the apprehending
of such soldiers as shall offer to escape before God sends a wind.'
And it is not difficult to see how Shakespeare made the study for his
immortal picture of the ragged regiment with whom Falstaff refused to
march through Coventry. 'You appointed twelve shires,' said the Mayor
of Bristol, 'to send men here for Cork. We protest unto your lordships,
excepting of some two or three shires, there was never man beheld
such strange creatures brought to any muster. They are most of them
either old, lame, diseased, boys, or common Rodys; few of them have
any clothes, small, weak, starved bodies, taken up in fair, market,
and highway, to supply the place of better men kept at home. If there
be any of them better than the rest we find they have been set forth
for malice.... We have done what we could to put able men into silly
creatures' places, but in such sort that they cannot start nor run

[Sidenote: Officers and adventurers.]

[Sidenote: veteran.]

But if the Irish service was odious and terrible to the poor conscript,
adventurous young gentlemen sought therein the means of retrieving
their fortunes and of getting out of scrapes. 'There is,' says one
such, 'nothing under the elements permanent. Yesternight I lived with
such delight in my bosom, concealing it, that I was for this voyage,
that the overmuch heat is now cooled by a storm, and my prayer must
be to send better times and fortunes than always to live a poor base
justice, recreating myself in sending rogues to the gallows.' The
veterans who had fought and bled in many lands were not anxious to have
their places filled by lads, who were brave enough doubtless, but who
had everything to learn. Complaints upon this subject are frequent,
but no one has told his story better than Captain Bostock, who, having
served for eighteen years by sea and land, thought he was entitled to
some reward. Bostock was at the siege of Antwerp in 1582, and remained
long in the Netherlands, wherever hard knocks were going. Then he
commanded a ship commissioned by Henry of Navarre. Afterwards he was in
the Netherlands again, under Russell and Vere, and with Lord Willoughby
at the siege of Bergen. Then he commanded her Majesty's pinnace
'Merlin' in Portugal, returned to Holland, and served under Essex all
the time that he was in France. His next venture was in command of a
man-of-war to the West Indies. Then there was more fighting in the
Netherlands, and under Fitzwilliam and Russell in Ireland. In the
voyage to the Azores Bostock was captain of a man-of-war, and 'fought
with a carrack every day for twenty days.' Then he served under Essex
at sea and in Ireland, and at the end of it all found that he had spent
1,000_l._ of his patrimony, and was still without recognised rank. 'A
soldier that is no captain,' he says, 'is more to be esteemed than a
captain that is no soldier; the one is made in an hour, and the other
not in many years, of both which kinds I know many.'[237]

[Sidenote: Sir John Norris.]

[Sidenote: Norris and Russell.]

[Sidenote: Essex interferes.]

Russell had asked for a good officer to help him, but, to his great
disgust, the Government sent him a general with absolute authority. A
commission, indeed, was to be issued by the Lord Deputy and Council,
and for this Russell expressed his thanks; but the terms of it were
dictated by the Queen, who fixed upon Sir John Norris as the fittest
man for the place. Norris was still Lord President of Munster, but the
administration of that province was left to his brother, and he was put
over all the forces in Ireland, with almost unlimited authority, for
the purpose of pacifying Ulster. His promises of pardon or protection
were to be performed as a matter of course by the Lord Deputy and
Council. The fame of Norris was deservedly great, and it seems to
have been thought, as it has sometimes been thought in our own time,
that the mere terror of his name would save the cost of an army. But
he was under no such illusion himself, and complained before he left
England that Russell was hostile to him. He was in bad health too, and
declared that but for that he would post back from Bristol and refute
the detractors who began to buzz as soon as his back was turned. The
servile herd of courtiers well knew that abuse of Sir John Norris
sounded sweet in the Earl of Essex's ears. The favourite had interfered
in the appointment of officers, and was told that the general had
accused him of passing over the best men. This Norris denied, declaring
that he had always tried to be the Earl's friend, and wondering why
the latter would always treat him as an enemy.[238]

[Sidenote: Arrival of Norris.]

Norris landed at Waterford on May 4, after a bad passage, which brought
on the ague to which he was subject. He found the season so late that
there was no likelihood of much grass before June, and in any case he
was unable to ride for some days. Russell civilly begged that he would
take his time, and he did not reach Dublin until four weeks after
leaving Bristol. While riding near the city his horse fell with him,
and this accident brought on a fresh attack of ague. But he saw enough
in a very few days to make him realise that the struggle before him was
very different from any that had preceded it. The rebels were more in
number and better armed than of old, and they had plenty of ammunition.
Spanish gold found its way from Tyrone to some gentlemen of the Pale,
and something like a panic prevailed. Two thousand good soldiers had
hesitated to march ten miles by a tolerable road from Newry to Dundalk,
and had clamoured to be sent by water. The like had never been heard of
before, and both gentlemen and townsmen for the first time refused even
to pass the doors of a church.[239]

[Sidenote: The Irish retake Enniskillen.]

While Russell waited at Dublin for Norris, Maguire regained possession
of Enniskillen. The garrison had been reduced by sickness to fourteen,
who were promised their lives; but the English account says the
promise was not kept. Monaghan was also threatened, and 1,400 foot
and 200 horse were sent to Newry. With this force Bagenal succeeded
in victualling the place, but Tyrone greatly harassed the army on its
return, killing over thirty and wounding over a hundred; ten barrels of
powder were expended and many horses lost. It was said that the Irish
engaged were more than 5,000, and that twice or even three times that
number were in the neighbourhood. The road between Dundalk and Newry
was then broken up by Tyrone's orders. Russell reported that the powder
left in the Master of the Ordnance's hands was less than had been
burned in this one day's work.[240]

[Sidenote: Murder of George Bingham.]

[Sidenote: The Irish seize Sligo.]

Sir Richard Bingham had lost no opportunity of warning the Government
how necessary it was to seize the passage between Ulster and Connaught;
he had made preparations at Sligo for the occupation of Ballyshannon.
His plans were frustrated by one of those unexpected acts of treachery
in which Irish history abounds. The governor of Sligo, under him, was
his cousin, George Bingham the younger, who seems to have depended
almost entirely on Irish troops, and especially upon his ensign, Ulick
Burke, Clanricarde's cousin-german and son of that 'Redmond of the
besoms,' as he was called from his sweeping raids, who had been the
actual murderer of Sir John Shamrock. George Bingham had lately made a
descent upon Tory Island, which he plundered, and also upon MacSwiney
Fanad's village at Rathmullen, where he sacked the Carmelite monastery.
Ulick Burke was left in charge at Sligo, and it seems that he or his
Irish followers were offended at not receiving their due portion of
the spoil. Sir Richard Bingham admits that they were badly paid, and
that all the mischief came from that. At all events George Bingham and
eight Englishmen with him were butchered by the treacherous ensign
without a word of warning. Ulick had been twice saved from hanging by
Bingham, but he gave the signal by stabbing his preserver with his own
hand. Sligo, with its guns and stores, was handed over to O'Donnell,
and Ulick Burke became his constable. 'This,' says Sir Richard, 'is the
worst news ever happened in Connaught in my time.'[241]

[Sidenote: Tyrone is proclaimed traitor.]

[Sidenote: A garrison at Armagh.]

A week after the disaster at Sligo, Norris started for Newry, whither
Russell followed him five days later with 2,200 foot and 550 horse.
Tyrone and his adherents were proclaimed traitors at Dundalk, both in
English and Irish. The causeway through the Moyry pass had been broken
up, but no resistance was offered, and a band of pioneers soon made
it practicable. In the presence of the Lord-Deputy Norris disclaimed
all power and responsibility, but there was no outward breach between
them. Russell reached the Blackwater without serious fighting, and
pitched his camp close to Armagh. The church was fortified and made
capable of sheltering 200 men, and Tyrone spent his time in burning
the houses round about and in razing his own castle of Dungannon. He
had intended to make a great stronghold, fortified 'by the device of
a Spaniard that he had with him, but in the end employed those masons
that were entertained for builders up, for pullers down of that his
house, and that in so great a haste, as the same overnight mustering
very stately and high in the sight of all our army, the next day by
noon it was so low that it could scarcely be discerned.' The arrival
of cannon at Newry had already taught Tyrone that he could not defend
any castle against a regular army, and he afterwards constantly acted
upon that principle. Besides making Armagh tenable, Russell again
relieved Monaghan. There was constant skirmishing, which cost a good
many men, but nothing like a general battle. On his return to Newry the
Lord-Deputy very early fell into an ambuscade, but no one was actually
hurt except O'Hanlon, who carried the Queen's colours. The Moyry pass
was again found unoccupied, and a council of war was held at Dundalk.
Russell announced that he had fulfilled her Majesty's order, and would
now leave Ulster matters to the general, according to his commission,
while Bingham should attend to Connaught. Norris said he would do
his best; but if his invasion of Tyrone were frustrated by want of
provisions, as the Lord-Deputy's had been, he trusted it should be
without imputation to him. 'And so,' says the chronicler, 'every man
returned well wearied towards his own dwelling that had any.'[242]

[Sidenote: Strained relations between Norris and Russell.]

During the expedition Russell wrote to say that he agreed better with
Norris than he had at first thought possible. But the general looked
at everything upon the darkest side. He accused the Lord Deputy of
stretching his conscience to injure him, of detaining letters so as to
deprive him of the means of answering them, of making his commission
less ample than the Queen had ordered; and he declared, though without
actually naming Russell, that his letters to Cecil and Cecil's to him
were certainly opened. He maintained that every obstacle was thrown in
his way, and that his private fortune was spent without increase of
honour after so many years of service. The means provided were utterly
inadequate, since even Russell thought more than 3,000 men necessary
for the Ulster war, and scarcely half the number were actually
available. 'I wish,' he says, 'it had pleased God to appoint me to
follow some other more grateful profession.'[243]

[Sidenote: Ormonde and Tyrone.]

It was not without many misgivings that the proclamation against Tyrone
was allowed to issue, Burghley dreaming almost to the last moment of
a pacification by Ormonde's means. But Ormonde himself had already
made up his mind that Tyrone could not be trusted at all, since he
had broken his last promises. Nevertheless he went to Dublin, and on
arriving there found that the humour had changed. No commission came
for him, and without one he could attempt nothing. His anxiety was lest
the Queen should think him lukewarm, whereas his greatest wish, though
far beyond his power, was that Tyrone's and every other traitor's head
should be at her Majesty's disposal. He rejoiced at the appointment of
Sir John Norris, and wished the Queen had many such to serve her. 'When
Tyrone is proclaimed,' he said, 'I wish head-money may be promised for
him, as I did for the Earl of Desmond, and pardon to be given to such
others of the North as will serve against him.'[244]

[Sidenote: Bingham foresees disaster.]

Bingham came to Dublin to confer with Russell and Norris, and the
result was to show clearly how much the work to be done exceeded the
available means. The Governor of Connaught said no quiet could be
expected in his province until the Ulster rebels were stopped at the
Erne. Three whole counties were in revolt, and Clanricarde's near
kinsmen had been engaged in the Sligo massacre, although he himself was
loyal. Russell agreed with Bingham, but the majority of the Council
were for stumbling along in the old rut. Bingham went back to Athlone,
expecting nothing but disaster, and Norris went to Newry with the
certain knowledge that he had not men enough to effect anything. First
he tried what negotiation would do, and Tyrone sent in a signed paper
which he called a submission. He was heartily sorry for his offences,
and humbly besought pardon first for himself and all the inhabitants
of Tyrone, but also for all his adherents who would give the same
assurances, 'for that since the time I was proclaimed there have passed
an oath between us to hold one course.' This submission was rejected,
as it would have practically acknowledged Tyrone's local supremacy, and
of this rejection the Queen quite approved.

[Sidenote: Tyrone resists Norris,]

[Sidenote: who is wounded.]

Armagh was victualled without much trouble by Norris in person, and
the army then returned to Newry for more provisions. Bagenal succeeded
in surprising 2,000 of the enemy's cows, and Armagh was again reached
without fighting. Some days were spent in fortifying and in making
arrangements for a winter garrison, but Norris failed to bring on a
general engagement. Tyrone kept to his vantage-ground, but made a
great effort to annoy the English at a little pass which cannot be far
from Markethill. The baggage was sent on in front and escaped, but the
rearguard had to fight their best. There were Scots with Tyrone whose
arrows proved very effective, and the Irish horse were much more active
than the English. Norris himself was shot in the arm and side, and his
horse was hit in four places. His brother Thomas was shot through the
thigh, and Captain Wingfield through the elbow. 'I have a lady's hurt,'
said Sir John; 'I pray, brother, make the place good if you love me,
and I will new horse myself and return presently; and I pray charge
home.' Two other officers were killed with ten men, and about thirty
men were wounded. It does not appear that Tyrone's losses were much
greater, and it was evident that nothing of moment could be done with
the forces at hand. Norris told Russell that he ought to send him every
man he could scrape together, regular or irregular, leaving pioneers
and carriers to follow as they might; and that, if this were not done,
he would not be responsible for anything. He sent his brother Henry
straight to England, complaining that he had but 150 draught horses,
when formerly ten times that number came out of the Pale, and that he
was not properly supported in any way. And yet Russell may have done
his best. He did detach Thomond with five companies and 145 horse to
Newry, besides sending Secretary Fenton to help the wounded general in
administrative work. But to get supplies from the unwilling Catholics
of the Pale was beyond his power. The gentry had promised to muster
1,000 foot and 300 horse at Kells for the defence of the border, but
a month after the trysting-day only one-third of that number had

[Sidenote: Death of Tirlogh Luineach O'Neill, 1595.]

[Sidenote: Tyrone is made O'Neill.]

At the moment of this first fight with Tyrone in his character of
proclaimed traitor, old Tirlogh Luineach died. He had already resigned
the chiefry, but it now suited his successor to drop the mask, and he
went at once to Tullahogue to be invested. And yet he was quite ready
to renounce the name of O'Neill four months later, though objecting to
take an oath on the subject. The annalists say he had been appointed
heir 'ten years before at the Parliament held in Dublin in the name
of Queen Elizabeth.' But it is, of course, quite untrue that Tyrone
was made tanist by Act of Parliament, and the Four Masters themselves
record that Tirlogh had resigned in his favour more than two years
before. In 1587 it had been intended to make Tirlogh Earl of Omagh, and
thus to perpetuate the division of Tyrone. The old chief had always
realised, in a vague way, that an O'Neill could not stand alone, and
had listened without enthusiasm to the bards who called upon him to
imitate the legendary heroes of his race, and to make himself monarch
of Ireland in spite of the English. The real effect of his death was to
make Tyrone chief of Ulster in the popular estimation, as he had long
been in real power. He also saw that the Queen would be too strong for
him unless he could make foreign alliances, and he strove to excite
sympathy abroad by appearing as the head of a Catholic confederacy.[246]

[Sidenote: Tyrone has dealings with Spain.]

[Sidenote: Conditions of peace or war.]

Nothing, said the Queen, would more become this base traitor whom she
had raised from the dust, than his 'public confessing what he knows of
any Spanish practices, and his abjuration of any manner of hearkening
or combining with any foreigners--a course fit in his offers to be
made vulgar--that in Spain and abroad the hopes of such attempts may
be extinguished.' Tyrone protested that he never corresponded with
Spain before August 20; but this can hardly be true, for in a letter
to Don Carlos, written little more than a month after that date, he
complained that the King had returned no answer to frequent previous
letters. He begged Philip to send 3,000 soldiers, at whose approach all
the heretics would disappear, and the King Catholic be recognised as
the sole sovereign of Ireland. Elizabeth shrank from the cost of war
and from the suffering which it would bring, and Norris was ordered to
negotiate. A general without an army is not usually the most successful
of diplomatists, and Sir John had no belief in the work. There were,
he said, but two courses open. One was to give Tyrone a free pardon,
mainly on condition of his abjuring Spain and the Pope, by which means
these potentates would be alienated from him. If there was to be
fighting, then he thought it best to leave Connaught alone, and confine
himself to Ulster. He demanded a separate treasurer, as Ormonde had
in the Desmond times, 5,000_l._ a month for six months, and 2,000_l._
more for fortifications, and power to spend the whole as he liked. With
this, but not with less, he thought he could post a garrison at Lough
Foyle, for like every other competent soldier he maintained that Tyrone
could be bridled only by permanent fortresses. The course which seemed
easiest and cheapest was taken, and the negotiations began without
sincerity on Tyrone's part, and with a presentiment of failure on that
of Norris, who thought force the only remedy.[247]

[Sidenote: A truce with Tyrone.]

Norris did not himself meet Tyrone, but sent two captains, St. Leger
and Warren, who made a truce to last until January 1, and for one
month longer should the Lord Deputy desire it. Peace was to be kept
on both sides, but none of the points at issue were decided. Tyrone
and O'Donnell made separate submissions, upon which great stress was
laid; but as they were both in correspondence with Spain, it is clear
that their chief object was to gain time. Tyrone further declared his
readiness to renounce the title of O'Neill, protesting that he had
assumed it only to prevent anybody else from doing so. Upon these
terms, since no better were to be had, the Queen was inclined to pardon
the chief rebels; but this only encouraged them to make fresh demands.
Burghley in the meantime was advising that money should be sent into
Ireland, where he foresaw nothing but trouble. 'I see,' he said, 'a
manifest disjunction between the Lord Deputy and Sir John Norris. Sir
John was too bold to command the companies in the English Pale for
Waterford without assenting of the Deputy, for out of Munster he hath
no sole authority. I fear continually evil disasters.'[248]

[Sidenote: O'Donnell overruns Connaught.]

O'Donnell had in the meantime made himself master of a great part of
Connaught. Bingham failed in a determined attempt to retake Sligo,
and his nephew, Captain Martin, was killed by an Irish dart, which
pierced the joint of his breastplate as his arm was raised to strike.
Russell went to Galway, and was received with full military honours;
and at first the rebellious Burkes seemed inclined to come to him.
But O'Donnell entered the province, and persuaded them to content
themselves with a written submission, accompanied by a statement of
their complaints against Bingham. They accepted a MacWilliam at the
northern chief's hands, in the person of Theobald Burke, a young
man who had just distinguished himself by surprising the castle of
Belleek in Mayo, and inflicting great loss on a relieving force led
by Bingham's brother John; and by Christmas there was no county in
Connaught, except Clare, in which the inhabitants, or great numbers of
them, had not united with O'Donnell.[249]

[Sidenote: Negotiations with Tyrone, 1596.]

[Sidenote: Liberty of conscience demanded]

If a peace could be made on anything like honourable terms, Russell
was authorised to act without further orders from home, and to
pardon every rebel who would come in and submit himself. Wallop and
Gardiner, both of whom were thought rather friendly to Tyrone, were
sent as commissioners to Dundalk; but, protection or no protection,
Tyrone refused to enter that town. The commissioners were fain to
waive the point, and a meeting of five persons on each side was held
a mile outside. Swords only were worn, and the greatest distrust was
shown. 'The forces of either side stood a quarter of a mile distant
from them, and while they parleyed on horseback two horsemen of the
commissioners stood firm in the midway between the Earl's troops and
them, and likewise two horsemen of the Earl's was placed between them
and her Majesty's forces. These scout officers were to give warning
if any treacherous attempt were made on either part.' Tyrone and his
brother Cormac, whom the keener spirits among the O'Neills made tanist
in defiance of the Queen's patent, O'Donnell, Maguire, MacMahon,
O'Dogherty, O'Reilly, and many others, were at the meeting or in the
immediate neighbourhood. The first article of the Irish demand was
'free liberty of conscience'--free liberty of conscience for those
who were anxious to exchange the sovereignty of Elizabeth for that
of Philip II. Free pardons and restoration in blood of all of the
northern rebels, the maintenance of Tyrone's power over his neighbours,
the acknowledgment of O'Donnell's claims in Connaught, a pardon for
Feagh MacHugh, and the non-appointment of sheriffs in Ulster, except
for Newry and Carrickfergus; these were the other demands, of which
they believed the concession would 'draw them to a more nearness of
loyalty.' They amounted, in truth, to an abrogation of the royal
authority in nearly all Ulster, and in a great part of Connaught. The
negotiations following lasted eleven days, with growing distrust on
both sides, and at last a fresh truce was concluded, for February,
March, and April. The terms, in so far as they differed from the former
ones, were in favour of Tyrone and O'Donnell. On the very day that the
truce was concluded, Russell wrote to complain that the commissioners
were too easy with men who made immoderate demands, contrary to
their former submissions; and on the next day, as if his words were
prophetic, an indignant letter came from the Queen, accompanied by a
much-needed remittance of 12,000_l._ She had good reason to complain
that the more inclined to mercy she showed herself the more insolent
the rebels became, and was particularly annoyed at the fact that the
commissioners addressed Tyrone and his associates by such titles as
'loving friends,' and 'our very good lord.'[250]

[Sidenote: Neither Tyrone nor O'Donnell can be conciliated.]

[Sidenote: Their pretensions.]

So anxious were the commissioners for peace at any price that they
withheld the terms on which the Queen was willing to pardon the rebels
until the truce was safely concluded. Nor did they venture to show
the actual articles sent from England, thinking the chiefs would be
less alarmed by conditions of their own devising. Elizabeth held the
language of a merciful sovereign, who was ready to pardon rebels, but
who had their lands and lives at her mercy. Tyrone had forfeited his
patent and should only receive back portions of his estate, while his
jurisdiction over his neighbours was ousted altogether. He was to give
several substantial pledges, and to send his eldest son to be educated
in England. O'Donnell, Maguire, O'Rourke, and the MacMahons were to be
treated with separately, and in every case members of their septs who
had not rebelled were to have some of their lands. If the Earl held
out, efforts were to be made to detach O'Donnell from him. All this was
inconsistent with what the chiefs had demanded from the commissioners;
and the latter could only give the Queen's ideas in their own language,
and solicit observations from the parties concerned. Tyrone said he
was anxious to send over his son, but that his people would not allow
him, and, indeed, it is likely that he was afraid of his brother
Cormac's doings as tanist. He had no objection to a gaol, nor to a
sheriff--provided that official were an inhabitant of Tyrone--was ready
to renounce the name of O'Neill, though not upon oath, and agreed to
give reasonable pledges. But he would not consent to a garrison at
Armagh, insisting that Tyrone and Armagh should be one county; nor
would he bind himself, without the consent of his clansmen, to pay a
fine in support of the garrisons at Monaghan, Blackwater, and Newry.
O'Donnell was even less accommodating, ironically offering to build a
gaol in Donegal, whenever he agreed to receive a sheriff there. He
claimed the county of Sligo as his own, and maintained that O'Dogherty
held all his territory of him. Having received these answers, the
commissioners returned to Dublin, and when Gardiner went thence to
England, the Queen for some time refused to see him.[251]

[Sidenote: Confusion in Connaught.]

Russell's journey to Galway had resulted in a truce, but there was no
peace in Connaught. Bingham managed to victual Ballymote across the
Curlew mountains, but not without the help of three veteran companies,
who did all the fighting and lost five officers and fifty men. Boyle
and Athlone were threatened, while a MacDermot and an O'Connor Roe
were set up, as well as a MacWilliam. At last the Burkes, aided by
a party of Scots, having done what damage they could on the Galway
side of the Shannon, crossed the river and began to harry the King's
County. The Lord Deputy started without delay, was joined by O'Molloy
and MacCoghlan, and fell upon the intruders at daybreak. A hundred
and forty were killed or drowned in trying to escape, and Russell
then turned to the castle of Cloghan, which was strongly held by the
O'Maddens. 'Not if you were all Deputies,' they replied, on being
summoned to surrender, and added that the tables would probably
be turned on the morrow. Russell humanely proposed that the women
should be sent out, but the O'Maddens refused. Next morning a soldier
contrived to throw a firebrand on to the thatched roof, which blazed
up at once. A brisk fusillade was directed upon the battlements, and
another fire was lit at the gate, while the assailants made a breach in
the wall. Forty-six persons were cut down, smothered, or thrown over
the walls, while two women and a boy were saved. The Scots who came
over the Shannon had been reported as 400, and Russell made a good deal
of his success; but Norris reduced the number of strangers to forty,
and spoke with contempt of the whole affair.[252]

[Sidenote: The Queen on liberty of conscience.]

[Sidenote: More negotiations.]

When the Queen at last consented to hear Chief Justice Gardiner's
account of his proceedings in the North, she expressed great
displeasure. The demand for liberty of conscience, she said, was a
mere pretext, the result of disloyal conspiracy, and put forward as an
excuse for past rebellion more than from any desire to do better in
future. Tyrone and the rest had no persecutor to complain of, and what
they asked was in reality 'liberty to break laws, which her Majesty
will never grant to any subject of any degree'--a pronouncement which
might well have been quoted by the foes of the dispensing power ninety
years later. And, as if it were intended to strike Russell obliquely,
a new commission was ordered to be issued to Norris and Fenton. They
were to meet the rebels during the truce, and to 'proceed with them to
some final end, either according to their submissions to yield them
pardons, with such conditions as are contained in our instructions; or
if they shall refuse the reasonable offers therein contained, or seek
former delays, to leave any further treaty with them.' And at the same
time there was to be a general inquiry into all alleged malpractices
in government which might cause men to rebel. Some of the directions
to the new commissioners were rather puzzling; but the Lord Deputy and
Council refused to suggest any explanation, for that they were 'left no
authority to add, diminish, or alter.'

Russell indeed gave out that he would go to the North himself, and
Norris was in despair. 'The mere bruit,' he says, 'will cross us, and
I am sure to meet as many other blocks in my way as any invention can
find out. I know the Deputy will not spare to do anything that might
bring me in disgrace, and remove me from troubling his conscience
here.' Russell, on the other hand, complained that Burghley was his
enemy and sought out all his faults. 'I wish,' said the old Treasurer,
'they did not deserve to be sought out.'[253]

[Sidenote: Captain Thomas Lee.]

Tyrone must have been an agreeable, or at least a persuasive man, for
he often made friends of those Englishmen who came under his personal
influence. Such a one was Captain Thomas Lee, who at this juncture made
an effort in his favour; saying that he would be loyal 'if drawn apart
from these rogues that he is now persuaded by.' He would go to England
or to the Deputy if he had a safe-conduct straight from the Queen, and
Essex and Buckhurst might write to him for his better assurance, since
he believed Burghley to be his bitter enemy. Lee confessed that he had
not seen Tyrone for some time, and that he founded his opinion upon old
conversations; but he was ready to stake his credit, and begged to be
employed against the Earl should he fail to justify such an estimate.
For having ventured to address the Queen when in England without first
consulting Burghley, Lee humbly apologised, and hinted, perhaps not
very diplomatically, that a contrary course might have preserved the
peace. The Cecils had little faith in Lee's plausibilities, and it was
reserved for Essex to employ him as a serious political agent.[254]

[Sidenote: Norris and Fenton go to Dundalk.]

[Sidenote: A hollow peace follows.]

Fenton foresaw that Tyrone and O'Donnell would probably 'stand upon
their barbarous custom to commune with us in the wild fields.' And
so it proved. They refused to come into any town, and proposed a
meeting-place near Dundalk, with a river, a thicket, and a high
mountain close at hand. This was rejected, and they then suggested
that the commissioners should come on to the outer arch of a broken
bridge, and back across the water, while they themselves stayed on
dry land. This was considered undignified, and indeed the proposal
looks like studied impertinence; and in the end it was decided that
Captains St. Leger and Warren should act as intermediaries. Tyrone at
once waived the claim to liberty of conscience, 'save only that he
will not apprehend any spiritual man that cometh into the country for
his conscience' sake.' While protesting against the continuance of a
garrison at Armagh, he agreed not to interrupt the communications,
and in the end he received a pardon upon the basis of the existing
state of affairs. The gaol and the shrievalty were left in abeyance
during the stay of the garrison; but the Queen made no objection to
Armagh and Tyrone being treated as one county, or to the demand that
the sheriff should be a native. The Earl disclaimed all authority to
the east of the Bann and of Lough Neogh, and, while renouncing foreign
aid, promised to declare how far he had dealt with any foreigner. He
refused to give up one of his sons, but surrendered his nephew and
another O'Neill as pledges, on condition that they should be exchanged
at the end of three months. The Queen, upon whom the cost of the great
Cadiz expedition weighed heavily, professed herself satisfied except on
one point. Tyrone had promised some time before to pay a fine either
of 20,000_l._ or of 20,000 cows, but he now maintained that the figure
had been mentioned for show, and that it was an understood thing that
it should not really be paid. The promise had been made to Russell, and
Norris had left the matter in doubt. But it must be acknowledged that
the Lord Deputy saw the real state of the case more clearly than his
sovereign, and he maintained that the rebels were only gaining time
till help came from Spain, and that Norris was overreached by 'these
knaves.' The peace was a feigned one, the pledges were of no account,
and there was no safety for the English in Ireland but in keeping up
the army.

[Sidenote: Russell's strictures on Norris.]

Tyrone and O'Donnell had not met the commissioners at all, and O'Rourke
had run away immediately after signing the articles. On the other
hand, Norris and Fenton could report that Maguire, with several chiefs
of scarcely less importance, had come into Dundalk and made humble
submission on their knees. Russell acknowledged that the Queen was put
to great expense in Ireland, and that there was very little to show
for it, 'which,' he urged, 'is not to be laid to my charge, but unto
his who being sent specially to manage the war, and for that cause
remaining here about a twelvemonth, hath in that time spent nine months
at the least in cessations and treaties of peace, either by his own
device contrary to my liking, as ever doubting the end would prove but
treacherous, or else by directions from thence.'[255]

[Sidenote: Story of the Spanish letter.]

Captain Warren remained with Tyrone for a month after the departure
of Norris and Fenton for Dundalk. He then brought with him to Dublin
a letter from Philip II. to the Earl, encouraging him to persevere
in his valiant and victorious defence of the Catholic cause against
the English. Warren promised, and his servant swore, that the letter
should be returned or burned without any copy being taken. Tyrone at
first vehemently refused to produce it at all, but at last agreed that
the Lord Deputy should see it on these terms. Russell at once proposed
to keep the document, and the Council supported him; only Norris and
Fenton voting against this manifest breach of faith. The Lord Deputy
had been blamed for not detaining Tyrone when he might perhaps have
done so honourably, and now he was determined not to err in the
direction of over-scrupulousness. Warren was naturally indignant at
being forced to surrender what he had promised to keep safely, and the
official excuses were of the weakest. The Earl was thanked for giving
such a proof of his sincerity, and urged to say what verbal messages
the Spanish bearer had brought from so notorious an enemy to her
Majesty as the King of Spain.

Tyrone retorted that Warren had produced an undertaking, under the
hands of the Lord Deputy and Council, to perform whatever he promised,
and that they had broken his word and their own, 'wherein,' he said,
'if I be honourably and well dealt with, I shall refer myself to the
answer of her most excellent Majesty.'

The whole proceeding was as useless as it was discreditable, for the
letter was quite short, and Norris, after once hearing it read, was
able to repeat all that it contained. O'Donnell, who was even more
determined than Tyrone upon the plan of war to the knife with Spanish
aid, wrote to say that he wished for peace, but could not restrain his
men, and that he would give no pledge, 'inasmuch as Captain Warren
performed not his promise in not returning the letter he took with him
to Dublin upon his word and credit.'[256]

[Sidenote: Spaniards in Ulster.]

It was not likely that Tyrone would tell the Government what passed
between him and the Spanish messenger Alonso de Cobos; for he took
care to see him in the presence only of those he most trusted, such
as his brother Cormac, his secretary Henry Hovenden, O'Donnell, and
O'Dogherty. The Spanish ship put into Killybegs, where munitions were
landed for O'Donnell, but De Cobos came forty miles by land to see
Tyrone. An interpreter was necessarily employed, and he told all he
knew. Cormac dictated a letter in Irish, reminding the King that he
had begun the war, gloating over his successes, and promising wonders
if Philip would give him 500 men in pay. The Pope sent beads, stones,
and relics, which the interpreter saw, and also an indulgence for
flesh every day in war time. The northern Irish, he observed, had but
lately taken to fish, butter, and eggs on Fridays and Saturdays. Cormac
himself told him that he expected the Spaniards very soon.[257]

[Sidenote: Bingham in Connaught.]

[Sidenote: His severity.]

[Sidenote: Norris and Bingham.]

Immediately after the receipt of the Spanish letter Norris and Fenton
set out for Connaught. Tyrone himself had pointed out that the two
northern provinces hung together, and the understanding between the
western and northern chiefs was at this time pretty close. The Burkes
insisted that all their quarrel was with Bingham and his kinsfolk only,
and Norris was ready to believe the charges against him of injustice in
his government, and of seizing the lands of those who opposed him. Of
Bingham's severity there can be little doubt; but he had ruled cheaply
and successfully, and it was not his fault if O'Donnell's road into
Connaught was still open. In August 1595 the hostages in Galway gaol
knocked off their irons after a drinking-bout, and passed through the
open gate of the town. They found the bridge held against them, and
on trying to cross the river they were intercepted by the soldiers on
the other bank. All who escaped instant death were recaptured. Bingham
sent a warrant to hang all the prisoners who had taken part in the
attempt, and hanged they accordingly were--Burkes, O'Connors, and
O'Flaherties from the best houses in Connaught. To mutinous soldiers
Bingham showed as little mercy. Some recruits in Captain Conway's
company made a disturbance at Roscommon, and Bingham ordered that the
mutineers should be brought to the gallows, as if for execution, and
then spared. This was done, but next day things were worse than ever,
and a ringleader, named Colton, threatened Conway and took the colour
from his ensign's hand. Captain Mostyn, whose company was also tainted,
was knocked down, and the mutiny was not quelled until over thirty men
were hurt. Bingham hanged Colton promptly, and most soldiers will think
that he did right. But Norris had made up his mind that Connaught could
be pacified by gentle means, and his hand was heavy against Bingham,
especially as Russell seemed inclined to shield him. Sir Richard, on
the contrary, pleaded that all his arguments had been overruled in
Dublin, that he had not been allowed to defend his province for fear of
hindering the negotiations in Ulster, and that the reinforcements sent
to him were a 'poor, ragged sort of raw men.' Everything had turned
out as he foretold, and he had never asked for money from Dublin until
the neglect of his warnings had encouraged a general revolt. O'Donnell
had exacted 1,200_l._ sterling from the county of Sligo since the
castle there was betrayed, and his brother plundered Connaught with a
rabble of Scots, while he himself helped to amuse the commissioners at
Dundalk. 'I think,' he said, 'this is partly scarcity of meat at home,
the people of the North being always very needy and hungry.' The Irish
Council, he declared, wished to draw all eyes upon Connaught so as to
hide their own failures; and as for his provincials they had a thousand
times better treatment than they deserved, for their real object was to
re-establish tanistry and its attendant barbarism.[258]

[Sidenote: Charges against Bingham,]

Finding the Lord General favourable to them, the Mayo Burkes plied
him hard with charges against Bingham 'and his most cruel and ungodly
brother John.' They had seized most of the cattle, it was urged, upon
various pretences, and in three years had become possessed of many
castles and of 200 ploughlands, offering no title 'but a high gallows
to the possessor.' 'Her Majesty's clemency,' they said, 'is better
known to strange nations than to us her poor misers, being altogether
racked and governed by the Binghams, the dregs of all iniquity, here
_in culâ mundi_ far from God and our sovereign.'

Bingham came to Dublin, and both he and Norris, who agreed in nothing
else, were loud in their complaints of official inaction. He strongly
maintained, and he certainly was right, that the Queen's true policy
was to separate the two rebellious provinces and not to include them
in the same treaty. The Dundalk articles now made it impossible to
garrison Ballyshannon, and Sligo was the next best thing. The Connaught
rebels, he said, 'will seek to retain their titles of Macs and O's
with their unhonest law, even as Ulster does.' But Norris was probably
right in believing that there would be no peace between Bingham and the
Burkes, since they were 'so much embrued in each other's blood;' and
when he went to Connaught the accused governor was detained in Dublin
by Russell, lest the sight of him should hinder the negotiations
at Galway or Athlone. Bingham took care to remind Burghley that the
composition was better both for Crown and subject than anything yet
devised, 'for the Irish lord is the greatest tyrant living, and taketh
more regality by the tanist law than her Majesty doth, or ever did, by
her princely prerogative.'

[Sidenote: who leaves Ireland suddenly.]

The summer passed in futile diplomacy, while O'Donnell lived upon the
western province and spared his own country. 'If Bingham,' said the
Queen, 'appear guilty, he shall be removed; but we must not condemn
a governor unheard and without good proof.' Tired of waiting, the
suspected chief commissioner left Ireland without leave, on September
25, and on his arrival in London was committed to the Fleet.[259]

[Sidenote: Catholic confederacy,]

[Sidenote: and general attack]

[Sidenote: on English settlers.]

It suited the Queen to take an optimistic view of the situation, but
the confederacy against her was spreading gradually over all Ireland.
The Connaught rebels put Norris off from month to month and from week
to week, while the Ulster chiefs used the respite afforded them to draw
in Munster, with which the Clan Sheehy, the old Desmond gallowglasses,
gave a ready means of communication. Tyrone had just received full
pardon, yet he wrote as follows:--

'We have given oath and vow that whosoever of the Irishry, especially
of the gentlemen of Munster, or whosoever else, from the highest to
the lowest, shall assist Christ's Catholic religion, and join in
confederacy and make war with us... we will be to them a back or stay,
warrant or surety, for their so aiding of God's just cause, and by our
said oath and vow, never to conclude peace or war with the English, for
ourselves or any of us, during our life, but that the like shall be
concluded for you, &c.'

Many of the scattered settlers in Munster were murdered about this
time, and it was upon the property of Englishmen only that the
MacSheehys and other robbers maintained themselves. In Tipperary, says
the Chief Justice of Munster, there was 'a school of thieving of horses
and cows where boys from every Munster county, some the bastard sons
of the best of the country,' were trained in this patriotic exercise.
The master and usher and seven of their pupils were tried and hanged.
Care was taken that Protestant clergymen should not go scathless. One
James, parson of Kilcornan near Pallaskenry, was visited by a party of
swordsmen, but they were under protection and he unsuspectingly offered
them refreshments. Nevertheless they murdered poor James, wounded three
other Englishmen, and burned down the house; the leader swearing upon
his target that he would never again seek protection, nor 'leave any
Englishman's house unburned nor himself alive.' The same spirit was
shown in the inland parts of Leinster, where Owen MacRory O'More was
specially protected by Russell's order; but this did not prevent him
from making a perfectly unprovoked attack upon Stradbally. Alexander
Cosby, whose father had been slain at Glenmalure and who was himself
married to a Sidney, sallied out with his two sons and the kerne under
his orders. A fight took place on the bridge and the Irish were driven
off, but Cosby and his eldest son fell. Dorcas Sidney ('for she would
never allow herself to be called Cosby') and her daughter-in-law
watched the fight out of a window and saw their husbands killed. In
southern Leinster the death of Walter Reagh had not quite destroyed
the old Geraldine leaven, and some of the Butlers were also engaged,
greatly to Ormonde's indignation. Whatever Tyrone's own ideas were
about religion, it is quite evident that out of his own district he was
regarded as the leader of a crusade. The new English in Ireland were
Protestants, and the instinctive horror of the natives for settlers
whose notions about land were irreconcilable with their own was
sedulously encouraged by priests and friars.[260]

[Sidenote: The soldiers are disorderly and oppressive,]

Elizabeth persisted in believing Tyrone's professions, only because
she saw no way of forcibly subduing 'him whom she had raised from
the dust.' She was 'greedy,' said her secretary, 'of that honourable
course'; but Russell, who advocated the reduction of Tyrone, forgot
to say how it was to be done. It was more clear to her that there
was much oppression and extortion, and that her poor subjects in
Ireland had a right to complain. The intolerable tyranny of sheriffs,
provost-marshals, and other officers was the constant complaint from
Ulster and Connaught; but those provinces were confessedly in a state
of armed peace at best, and much might be said upon both sides. In
Leinster and Munster the charges were more definite, and are more
easily understood. They may be summed up in a declaration on the
part of the inhabitants of the Pale that 'the course of ranging and
extorting is become so common and gainful as that many soldiers (as is
said) have no other entertainment for their captains; and many that are
not soldiers, pretending to be of some company or other, have, in like
outrageous sort, ranged up and down the country, spoiling and robbing
the subjects as if they were rebels. And most certain it is that the
rebels themselves, pretending to be soldiers, and knowing how gainful
the course is, have often played the like parts.'

[Sidenote: owing to irregular payment.]

Real soldiers were so terrible that the poor people had no heart to
resist even sham ones, and so the country went from bad to worse. The
very fruit trees were cut down to feed barrack fires, and houses, if
the wretched inmates deserted them to avoid their oppressors, were
demolished for the same purpose. Very severe orders were issued, rape
and theft being made capital offences, and these were not suffered to
remain a dead letter; but the next Viceroy did not find that matters
had been much improved. In Munster also there was plenty of military
violence, and even lawyers, while complaining that the gown was quite
subordinate to the sword, could not but acknowledge that sheriffs and
gaolers were as bad as the soldiers. It is easy to see, and it is
proved by a cloud of witnesses, that most of these horrors were caused
by irregular payment of the troops, nor does Burghley himself leave
us in any doubt. 'I cannot,' he says, 'forbear to express the grief I
have to think of the dangerous estate of her Majesty's army in Ireland,
where all the treasure sent in August is expended.' Besides pensioners
and supernumeraries, there were 7,000 regular soldiers, for which the
monthly charge was 8,560_l._ sterling, which necessary reinforcements
would soon increase to 10,422_l._ 'for which the treasurer hath never
a penny in Ireland.' And it was certain that the increase would
be progressive. 'What danger this may be I do tremble to utter,
considering they will force the country with all manner of oppressions,
and thereby the multitude of the Queen's loyal subjects in the English
Pale tempted to rebel.'[261]

[Sidenote: Feagh MacHugh is hunted down,]

[Sidenote: killed,]

[Sidenote: and beheaded.]

In November, 1595, Feagh MacHugh came to Dublin and submitted on his
knees. The Queen was inclined to pardon him, but his terms were not at
first considered reasonable. If confirmed in his chiefry, he professed
himself ready to restrain his people, to attend assizes like other
gentlemen, and to kneel before the Queen herself, 'which I more desire
than anything in the world.' Even this rough mountaineer, who pointed
out to Elizabeth that his property was not worth confiscating, had
caught the prevailing tone of flattery. Nevertheless Feagh remained
in close alliance with Tyrone, and in September 1596 he struck a blow
which undid most of Russell's work in Leinster. Elizabeth had in the
end agreed to pardon him, with his wife, sons, and followers, to
confirm him in his chiefry by patent, and even to restore Ballinacor,
which she found a very expensive possession. Eight days after this
was decided at Greenwich, Feagh wrote to Tyrone, offering to trouble
the English well, and begging for a company of good shot; and a month
later he surprised Ballinacor. After this there was no further talk
of pardon, and Russell pursued the old chief to the death. A new fort
was built at Rathdrum, and Captain Lee, who was perhaps anxious to
efface the memory of his ill-success with Tyrone, scoured the mountains
during the winter. Cattle by the score and heads by the dozen were
collected, and the end may as well be told at once. One Sunday morning
in the following May Feagh was forced into a cave, 'where one Milborne,
sergeant to Captain Lee, first lighted on him, and the fury of our
soldiers was so great as he could not be brought away alive; thereupon
the said sergeant cut off Feagh's head with his own sword and presented
his head to my lord, which with his carcase was brought to Dublin...
the people all the way met my lord with great joy and gladness, and
bestowed many blessings on him for performing so good a deed, and
delivering them from their long oppressions.' The head and quarters
of this formidable marauder were exhibited upon Dublin Castle, and a
sympathiser says the sight pierced his soul with anguish. Four months
after, one Lane brought what purported to be the head to Essex, who
sent him to Cecil for his reward. Cecil said head-money had already
been paid in Ireland, and Lane gave the now worthless trophy to a lad
to bury, who stuck it in a tree in Enfield chase, where it was found
by two boys looking for their cattle. The Four Masters say Feagh was
'treacherously betrayed by his relatives,' for the O'Byrnes of the
elder branch had never acquiesced in the dominion of the Gaval-Rannall.
Thus one by one did the chiefs of tribal Ireland devour each other.[262]

[Sidenote: Complete failure of Norris in Connaught.]

Norris remained in Connaught from the beginning of June until the week
before Christmas, and Fenton was with him most of the time. Nothing of
any importance was done, and when their backs were turned O'Donnell
entered the province and the rebellion blazed up more fiercely than
ever. The Burkes and their immediate allies had 2,000 men, besides
the help of O'Donnell, Tyrone, and Maguire, and it was reckoned that
an army of more than 3,000 was required for Connaught alone. Bingham's
ideas about cutting it off from Ulster by garrisons on the Erne were
fully adopted, and the possession of Ballyshannon becomes henceforth
a main object with successive governments. Yet Bingham himself was in
disgrace, and Sir Conyers Clifford, a distinguished soldier whose Cadiz
laurels were still green, was made governor in his room. The Irish
annalists tell us that he was a much better man than his predecessor,
but such praise did not make his work any easier. That Bingham was
severe and even harsh is certain, that he was sometimes unjust is at
least probable, and there is no reason to doubt that he was greedy
about land; but he was efficient, and in the eyes of Irish chiefs and
of their panegyrists that was the really unpardonable sin.[263]

[Sidenote: Dissension between Russell and Norris,]

[Sidenote: of which Tyrone takes advantage.]

'I am quite tired,' says Camden, 'with pursuing Tyrone through all his
shifts and devices.' He had received his pardon in the early summer,
and had spent the rest of the year in trying to forfeit it. Russell
was not deceived, and he asked to be recalled, complaining bitterly
that he was not credited, while Norris was 'authorised to proceed in
a course of pacification which, in the opinion of the Deputy and most
part of the Council, did tend directly to her Majesty's disadvantage,
and the gaining of time to the said rebels,' who were on the look-out
for help from Spain. In the meantime there was no lack of pretexts on
either side for imputing bad faith to the other. Frontier garrisons
were always involved in disputes, and blood was sometimes shed. As the
winter advanced Tyrone became bolder, and at last tried to surprise
the Armagh garrison, whose communications he had been threatening for
some time, although he had specially covenanted not to do so. Marauding
bands entered the Pale, and at Carlingford, though they failed to
capture the castle, they carried off Captain Henshaw's daughters, 'the
one married and the other a maid,' as prisoners to the mountains.
Tyrone was himself present at the Armagh affair, where thirty-five
soldiers were killed, but he pleaded that promise had not been kept
with him, and that soldiers had committed outrages. He had even the
impudence to pretend that the prosecution of Feagh MacHugh was such
a breach of faith, though Feagh had not been included in the Dundalk
treaty, and though he had attacked Ballinacor while his pardon was in
preparation. Being threatened with the execution of hostages and with
a new proclamation of treason, which would annul the pardon, the Earl
thought it safer to yield for the time. At Christmas he threatened
Newry with 5,000 men, but on the arrival of Norris there, he allowed
Armagh to be revictualled. Tyrone quite understood that there was great
jealousy between Russell and Norris, and he endeavoured to play off one
against the other. Sir John constantly complained that the Lord-Deputy
thwarted him in every possible way, and the latter as constantly denied
the charge with much indignation; but he showed some rather small spite
in refusing to allow Norris to send letters by his messengers. This
division of authority could scarcely work well, and in the autumn of
1596 it was proposed to recall both rivals and to send Lord Burgh over
with supreme authority; but the project was allowed to sleep for some

[Sidenote: More negotiations;]

[Sidenote: but the Queen's patience is nearly exhausted.]

As soon as Armagh had been victualled, the negotiations began again.
If Tyrone could complain that his hostages had not been exchanged
according to the Dundalk articles, Norris and Fenton could reply
that he had never given his eldest son according to promise. Once
he appeared in person, and, with hat in hand, made his accustomed
professions of loyalty. The latest communications with Spain had been
O'Donnell's offer, and not his; but he had not again rejected Philip's
overtures because the English had not kept their promises to him. He
said he had written three letters to Spain; but he knew that these had
been intercepted, and he forgot that he had alluded in them to many
previous appeals. He altogether denied that he had incited Munster men
to rebel, but he did not know that his letter sent by the MacSheehys
had also been intercepted. Nevertheless Elizabeth was still ready to
treat, but she told the Commissioners that her patience was nearly
exhausted and that she was preparing for war. They accordingly fixed
April 16 as the last day of grace, but Tyrone refused to come. He said
that Norris might be overruled by Russell, who showed malice to him,
and moreover Lord Burgh, about whom he knew nothing, was coming over as
Deputy, who might not be as good to him as the Lord General had been.
Finally, he suggested April 26 for a meeting, but this was treated
as a mere evasion, and Norris returned to Dublin. Hostilities were,
nevertheless, suspended throughout May and June, during which interval
the change of viceroys was effected.[265]

[Sidenote: Bingham is in disgrace.]

Sir Richard Bingham lay more than two months in prison, and was then
released on account of ill-health, although still considered under
arrest. It was decided that he should return to Ireland, and the Queen
refused to give him an audience. The charges of the Burkes against
him and his were ordered to be tried at Athlone, before Norris,
Fenton, and two other councillors. Clifford was to be present, though
only as a spectator. Ill as he was, Bingham embarked, but was driven
back, and had to recruit his strength by staying at Beaumaris. It
became unnecessary that he should go at all, for news came that the
peacemaking of Sir John Norris, whom he calls his 'most intollerablest'
persecutor, had quite failed, and that Sir Conyers Clifford was going
to govern a province whose condition grew daily worse. O'Donnell
entered Connaught as usual through Leitrim, and, accompanied by his
MacWilliam, plundered O'Connor Sligo's adherents, and reached Athenry,
which was carried by escalade. The place was laid in ashes, and the
people left houseless and naked. The invaders--3,000 foot and 200
horse--then went to Galway; but here they could do no more than burn
some of the suburbs, 'for a great piece of ordnance scattered them,
and, clustering again, another greater piece was let fly, which utterly
daunted them.' The rebels threatened Galway with the fate of Athenry
as soon as the Spaniards came, and then proceeded to ravage the open
country. Clanricarde's castles were not attacked, but throughout the
north-eastern part of the county there was scarcely a cottage, a
stack, or a barn left unburned, and a vast booty was carried off into
Donegal. 'We bear the same,' said Clanricarde, 'most contentedly, for
our most gracious Princess, from whom we will never swerve for any
losses or afflictions whatsoever.' Kells was burned at the same time
by the O'Reillys, and everyone who knew the country saw that worse was
coming. 'It was plain,' said Bingham, 'that his removal would not quiet
Connaught, nor any other alteration in government there, but rather the
expelling of all the English, which is generally required throughout


[230] Russell to Cecil, Aug. 16, 1594, and to the Privy Council, Aug.
17; Ormonde to Burghley, Aug. 19; Russell's Journal in _Carew_, June to

[231] Submission and answers of Tyrone, Aug. 15 and 17, 1594;
informations preferred by Sir Henry Bagenal, Aug. 17; Ormonde to
Burghley, Aug. 19; Resolution of Council, Aug. 17, signed by Russell,
Loftus, C., Jones, Bishop of Meath, Ormonde, Gardiner, C.J., Napper,
C.B., A. St. Leger, M.R., R. Bingham, T. Norris, R. Dillon, G.
Bourchier, M.O. The letter of the 19th to the Privy Council has the
same signatures with the addition of Secretary Fenton's. Russell's
additional reasons, some of them after-thoughts perhaps, are in a paper
later than Oct. 31. The defeat of Duke and Herbert at Enniskillen
may have frightened some of the Council. Captain Thomas Lee, in his
declaration already quoted (p. 112), tells the Queen that Tyrone 'came
in upon the credit of your state,' but this is quite contrary to the

[232] Summary collection of the state of Ireland by Sir W. Fitzwilliam
and the Council, Aug. 1594; order by Lord Deputy Russell and Council,
Aug. 13; Russell to Cecil, Aug. 16; Russell's Journal in _Carew_, Aug.
and Sept. O'Sullivan, tom. iii. lib. 2, cap. 11. The Four Masters are
somewhat incorrect, for Enniskillen was not taken by Maguire till May
1595; their information fails them for the later months of 1594.

[233] Russell's Journal in _Carew_, Sept. to Dec. 1594; the Queen to
the Lord Deputy and Council, and a separate letter to Russell, Oct.
31. A paper containing 'presumptions' against Tyrone's loyalty belongs
to the latter month of 1594, and the writer, who is evidently well
informed, does not specify any actual communication between Tyrone
and Spain. O'Sullivan says O'Donnell sent Archbishop O'Hely to Spain
immediately after the loss of Enniskillen in February (tom. iii. lib.
2, cap. 8), and this is confirmed by Walter Reagh's examination, April
9, 1595, who said O'Hely had gone to Spain long before.

[234] Russell to Burghley and to the Privy Council, April 8, 1595; Lord
Deputy and Council to the Privy Council, April 10; Sir H. Harrington
to Burghley, April 10; Russell's Journal in _Carew_, Jan. 16, 1595, to
April 10, on which day Walter Reagh was hanged. _Four Masters_, 1595;
O'Sullivan, tom. iii. lib. 2, cap. 9.

[235] Examination of Walter Reagh, April 9, 1595, by which it appears
Tyrone was intriguing with Feagh early in March; Russell's Journal in
_Carew_, April and May; Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy Council,
April 10.

[236] The details about Derbyshire are from the _Belvoir MSS._ in the
appendix to the 12th report of the Historical MSS. Commission, vol.
i. pp. 326-381; Mayor of Barnstaple to Cecil, Aug. 24, 1602; Mayor of
Chester, Sept. 14 and Oct. 22 and 24, 1602; Mayor of Bristol to the
Privy Council, May 29, 1602. The letters from these mayors are all at
Hatfield. On Sept. 18, 1595, Burghley tells his son Robert that he
knows how to provide horse for Ireland at the expense of the clergy,
and this levy was made; Hugh Bellott, Bishop of Chester, to Burghley,
March 13, 1596. Commissary Peter Proby writes to Burghley from Chester
on April 10, 1596, that the recruits malingered and threw away arms
and clothes rather than sail, and that it might be necessary to send
them on board pinioned. There are many details about recruiting for
Ireland in Peck's _Desiderata Curiosa_. In 1584 the Queen ordered
some recusants, who professed themselves loyal in all but religion,
to furnish certain men, or 23_l._ in lieu of each man. If they obeyed
cheerfully, she said, she might perhaps 'qualify some part of the
extremity that otherwise the law doth lay upon them.'

[237] George Manners to his father (John Manners) and to Edward
Whittock in _Belvoir Papers_, May 15 and June 27, 1600; Captain Ralph
Bostock to Cecil, 1600, MS. _Hatfield_.

[238] Sir John Norris to Cecil, April 14, 1595, from Rycott; to
Burghley, April 29, and to the Privy Council, May 2, from Bristol; to
Cecil, May 3, from on board ship; Russell to Cecil, May 23; Essex to
Norris and the latter's answer, Aug. 13; MSS. _Hatfield_, ending with
'your Lordship's as shall be fit for me.' The commission is in _Carew_
(No. 160).

[239] Russell's Journal in _Carew_, May 1595; Norris to Cecil, May 8;
to Burghley and to Cecil, May 29.

[240] Russell to Cecil, May 23, 1595; Bagenal to Burghley, May 29; and
Russell's letter of June 27; Report by Lieutenants Tucker and Perkins
in _Carew_, June 1.

[241] Bingham to Russell, June 6, 1595; O'Sullivan (tom. iii. lib. 3,
cap. 3) does not seem to see any inconsistency between what he says
of the Irish soldiers being 'prædâ fraudati,' and of the Englishmen
who 'vel occisi, vel fugâ salutem petentes devastatæ religiosæ domus
Carmelitarum poenas sacrilegii luerunt.--_Four Masters_, 1595. Many
English writers confuse this George _Oge_ Bingham, who was Sir
Richard's cousin, with the elder George, who was his brother.

[242] Journal of the late journey by the Lord Deputy from June 18
to July 17, 1595; Russell's Journal in _Carew_, June and July. The
Four Masters substantially agree. The proclamation against Tyrone,
O'Donnell, O'Rourke, Maguire, MacMahon and others is among the State
Papers, 'imprinted in the cathedral church of the Blessed Trinity,
Dublin, by William Kearney, printer to the Queen's most excellent
Majesty, 1595'; see also _Carew_ under June 28 (which is probably
wrong). O'Donnell, 'whose father and predecessors have always been
loyal,' is represented as Tyrone's dupe, and the Queen desires that
he should be 'entertained secretly with hope, for that we have a
disposition to save him.' The English Government had now discovered
that Tyrone's father was a bastard; it used to be the O'Neills who said
so. He was proclaimed traitor at Dundalk on June 23, and at Newry on
the 26th.

[243] Russell to Burghley, July 14, 1595; Norris to Burghley, Aug. 1
and 3, and to Cecil, July 4 and 20 and Aug. 1.

[244] Ormonde to Burghley, April 3, 1595, in answer to his letter of
March 21, also April 7. Some drafts of the proclamation are as early as
April 10.

[245] The fight in which Norris was wounded took place on Sept. 4,
1595. O'Sullivan says it was at 'Pratum Fontis' or Clontubrid near
Monaghan, but that is certainly wrong. Bagenal, who was closely engaged
himself, writing to Burghley on Sept. 9, says 'nine miles from Newry,'
on the direct road from Armagh. See also Captain F. Stafford's report
on Sept. 12. There is a good account dated Sept. 16 in Payne Collier's
_Trevelyan Papers_, vol. ii. Tyrone's submission, Aug. 22; Norris to
Burghley, Aug. 25, and Sept. 8 and 10; to Russell, Sept. 16; Russell to
Burghley, Sept. 14, and to the Privy Council, Sept. 21.

[246] _Four Masters_, 1593 and 1595, with O'Donovan's notes; Morrin's
_Patent Rolls_ 29 Eliz.; Philip O'Reilly to Russell, Sept. 14, 1595.

[247] Privy Council to Russell, Sept. 12, 1595; Tyrone and O'Donnell to
Philip II, and to Don Carlos, Sept. 27. Piers O'Cullen, the priest, on
whom the letters to Spain were found, broke his neck trying to escape
from Dublin Castle (Fenton to Burghley, Jan. 12, 1596). Copies of the
above are in _Carew_. Norris's letters to Burghley on Sept. 8, 10, and
27, and the abstract of his letters sent by Sir Henry, with Burghley's

[248] Papers in _Carew_, Sept. 27 to Oct. 28, 1595; Burghley to his son
Robert, Dec. 2, 1595, and Jan. 2, 1596.

[249] _Four Masters_, 1595; Russell's Journal, Nov. and Dec. Writing to
Cecil on Oct. 22, Norris says the overthrow near Belleek was shameful,
the Burkes being a 'mean sort of beggars' and neither Tyrone nor
O'Donnell near. See also O'Sullivan, tom. iii. lib. 3, cap. 3 and 4.

[250] The negotiations are detailed in the _Carew_ papers for January
1596, and in Russell's Journal; and see Cecil to Russell, March 9.

[251] Articles sent from England, Sept. 28, 1595; Articles propounded
by the Commissioners, Jan. 28-30, 1596, both in _Carew_; Cecil to
Russell, March 9.

[252] Russell's Journal for March 1596, mentions 300 or 400 Scots.
_Tribes and Customs of Hy Many_, p. 149. Norris's letter of March 20
gives some details, and also Fenton's to Cecil of same date.

[253] The Queen to the Lord Deputy and Council, March 9, 1596;
Instructions for the Commissioners, March 11; Burghley to his son
Robert, March 30 (in Wright's _Elizabeth_); Norris to Cecil, March 23,
and Fenton to Cecil, April 10.

[254] Captain Thomas Lee to Burghley, April 1, 1596; Cecil to Russell,
July 10, 'Captain Lee doth pretend he could do much, &c.' Lee went to
Tyrone accordingly, but did nothing. His Geraldine neighbours seem to
have taken this opportunity of burning a village belonging to him.

[255] The effect of her Majesty's pleasure with Tyrone's answer, April
12, 1596; Fenton to Cecil, April 10, and Norris and Fenton to the Privy
Council, April 23; Russell to Burghley, April 27; the Queen to the Lord
Deputy and Council, May 25; Russell to the Queen, May 16 and June 30,
MSS. _Hatfield_. Writing to Russell on Nov. 22, 1595, Tyrone promised
to levy a fine of 20,000 cows on himself and his allies; the Government
had demanded 20,000_l._ Tyrone's pardon (see Morrin's _Patent Rolls_)
is dated May 12, 1596, and he received it a few weeks later. It
included the Earl's relations and all the inhabitants of Tyrone, his
astute secretary, Henry Hovenden, being included by name.

[256] Philip II. to Tyrone, Jan. 22, 1596, N.S.; Norris to Cecil, June
1 (the Spanish letter was produced in Council, May 31); Lord Deputy and
Council to Tyrone, June 1; Russell to Burghley, June 2; Tyrone to the
Lord Deputy and Council, June 11; O'Donnell to Norris, June 26, and
another undated one of the same month. We know from Henry Hovenden's
letter to Tyrone on June 27 (in _Carew_) that the latter had advised
O'Donnell to 'take hold of Captain Warren's dealing, &c.'

[257] Rice ap Hugh to Russell, May 18; John Morgan to Russell, May 21;
Information of George Carwill taken at Newry on June 21. Tyrone met the
Spaniard at Lifford. Writing to Norris on May 6, Tyrone and O'Donnell
say they told the Spanish gentleman that they had been received to
their Prince's favour and would have no foreign aid.

[258] _Four Masters_, 1595; Captains Conway and Mostyn to the Privy
Council, April 12, 1596; Norris to Cecil, April 23 and 25; Bingham to
Burghley, April 22. Norris says that Russell, though really hostile to
Bingham, tried to prevent inquiries, in order to keep him (Norris) out
of Connaught and leave the government there to a tool of his own.

[259] Norris to Burghley, May 4 (with enclosure), and May 16, 1596;
Russell to Burghley, May 16 and June 9; Bingham to Burghley, May 18 and
June 11. Bingham came to Dublin on May 8.

[260] Translation of Irish letter signed O'Neill (not Tyrone),
O'Donnell, O'Rourke, and Theobald Burke (MacWilliam), July 6, 1596;
Chief Justice Saxey's advertisements, January 1597, in _Carew_;
Russell's Journal, 1596; Joshua Aylmer to Sir J. Norris, April 26,
1596; William Cosby to Russell, May 19, 1596, and an interesting note
in O'Donovan's _Four Masters_; see also 'Report concerning O'Donnell's
purposes' to Russell by Gillaboy O'Flanagan (long prisoner with
O'Donnell) May 12; 'Words spoken by MacDonnell' (chief of Tyrone's
gallowglasses) to Baron Elliott, June 15; Edmond and Edward Nugent to
Russell, June 20; and 'Occurrents in Wexford,' June 26. As to Spanish
and papal designs on Ireland about this time see Birch's _Memoirs_, ii.
153, 177, 180.

[261] Burghley to his son Robert, Oct. 31, 1596, in Wright's
_Elizabeth_; Orders for the soldiers, April 18, 1596; Declaration of
the state of the Pale, June 1597, and Chief Justice Saxey's declaration
already quoted, all in _Carew_. The Four Masters absurdly say that
Norris had 20,000 men with him in Connaught this year.

[262] _Four Masters_, 1597. For the Enfield head see the examination of
John Dewrance before Richard Chandler, J.P. for Middlesex, Sept. 21,
1597, MS. _Hatfield_; Russell's Journal, and the letters in _Carew_ for
August, September, and December, 1596. Feagh was killed May 8, 1597;
see also his own letter to Burghley, April 25, 1596.

[263] Russell's Journal; Declaration by the Lord Deputy and Council
(including Norris and Fenton) in _Carew_, No. 261, soon after Christmas

[264] Calendar of S. P. _Domestic_, Sept. 30 and Dec. 22, 1596; Letters
in _Carew_ from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9. On Aug. 10 Tyrone wrote to Russell
that he was surprised at his reasonable offer of peace not being
accepted; this was a month after his incendiary letter to the Munster
chiefs. Russell answered that peace with his sovereign was a 'proud
word,' and that he was sent to 'cherish the dutiful and correct the
lewd, of which number thou art the ringleader... thy popish shavelings
shall not absolve thee' (MSS. _Lansdowne_, vol. lxxxiv). Petition
of Sir W. Russell in _Carew_, 1596, No. 253. As to the letters see
Burghley to his son Robert, March 30, 1596, in Wright's _Elizabeth_ and
elsewhere. On Oct. 22, 1596, Anthony Bacon wrote to his mother 'that
from Ireland there were cross advertisements from the Lord Deputy on
the one side, and Sir John Norris on the other, the first as a good
trumpet, sounding continually the alarm against the enemy, the latter
serving as a treble viol to invite to dance and be merry upon false
hopes of a hollow peace, and that these opposite accounts made many
fear rather the ruin than the reformation of the State, upon that
infallible ground, _quod omne regnum divisum in se dissipabitur_';
which sums up the situation very well.--Birch's _Memoirs_, ii. 180.

[265] These abortive negotiations are pretty fully detailed in Fynes
Moryson's _Itinerary_, part ii. book i. ch. i. under 1596; Russell's

[266] Clanricarde to Russell, Jan. 15, 1597; Oliver French, mayor of
Galway, to Russell, Jan. 19; Bingham to Sir R. Gardiner, Jan. 20 and
27. These four letters are printed in Wright's _Elizabeth_. Russell's
Journal; _Four Masters_, 1596 and 1597; the Queen to the Lord Deputy
and Council, Dec. 4, 1596, in Morrin's _Patent Rolls_, under 39 Eliz.:
'As to the proceeding for the examination of the complaint against
Bingham and the trial thereof, we think it meet that, after the
complaints shall be made privy of our hard usage of him here, and the
remitting of him to be tried in Connaught, &c.'



[Sidenote: Last acts of Russell.]

The destruction of Feagh MacHugh enabled Russell to leave Ireland
without discredit, but the latter days of his government were
darkened by a disaster of a very unusual kind. One hundred and forty
barrels of powder which had been drawn from the quay to Wine-tavern
Street exploded, accidentally as was supposed, and there was a great
destruction of life and property. Men were blown bodily over the
housetops, and among the dead were many 'sons of gentlemen who had come
from all parts of Ireland to be educated in the city.'

[Sidenote: Appointment of Lord Burgh.]

The Queen had for some time made up her mind to entrust the civil and
military government of Ireland to Thomas, Lord Burgh, though Burghley
wished to leave Norris at the head of the army. Considered as general
there could be no comparison between the two men; but it is absurd to
say, as so many have said, that Burgh was totally ignorant of military
matters. He was governor of Brill, and had fought in the Zutphen
campaign, where he distinguished himself by gallantry of a rather
headlong kind. But he was chiefly known as a diplomatist, and the fact
that he was, or had been, a man of fortune may have weighed with the
frugal Queen. Russell, who expected his recall daily, retired from
Dublin Castle to a small house, and put his train upon board wages; but
he need have been in no hurry, for his successor's appointment hung

'The Queen,' says a well-informed news-writer, 'hastens the Lord
Burgh's despatch, but by-and-by it is forgotten; it lives some day or
two, and lies a-dying twenty days. Many will not believe it till they
see him go; but it is very certain that nobody gives it furtherance
but the Queen's own resolution; and his standing upon an imprest of
3,000_l._ and a house furnished makes her Majesty let it fall.'[267]

[Sidenote: Arrival of Burgh, May.]

The financial question was settled at last, Lord Burgh receiving
1,200_l._ for immediate needs. He carried 24,000_l._ to Ireland with
him, and was allowed to retain the governorship of Brill. His health
was bad, but he did not let this delay him. 'I am,' he told Cecil,
'cut all over my legs with the lancet, and have abidden loathsome
worms to suck my flesh.' He could not wish even his enemies to feel
such anguish. But he managed to take leave of the Queen in spite of
his swollen legs, and a week after the leeching, he travelled as
far as St. Albans, accompanied by Raleigh, Southampton, and other
distinguished men. On the morning of his departure, he went to see
Essex at Barnes, and the Earl brought him back to London in his coach.
At Stony Stratford he opened his instructions, and found, to his great
chagrin, that one article had been added to those which he had already
seen. The Queen had been dishonoured, she said, by the facility with
which knighthood had been bestowed, and he was forbidden to give it 'to
any but such as shall be, both of blood and livelihood, sufficient to
maintain that calling, except at some notable day of service to bestow
it for reward upon some such as in the field have extraordinarily
deserved it.'

He was thoroughly alive to the difficulties awaiting him in
Ireland--difficulties which had been aggravated by the delay in
despatching him, and now he was deprived of the means of rewarding
his friends, and made to seem less trustworthy than his predecessors.
He was in Dublin on the twelfth day after leaving London, and found
nothing there to his liking. Almost all supplies were wanting, the
number of effective soldiers was much below what it should have been,
and the horses were too weak for active service.[268]

[Sidenote: Burgh and Norris.]

[Sidenote: General misery.]

It was known that Norris, who had been on bad terms with Lord Burgh
in England, resented his appointment, which Essex may have promoted
for that very reason, and it was supposed that he would submit to his
authority grudgingly and of necessity, or not at all. But the general
came to Dublin four days after the new Lord Deputy's arrival, and the
latter saw no reason to complain. 'Sir John Norris and I,' he wrote to
Cecil, 'have in public council and private conferences agreed well. I
think you wrote to him to become compatible.' Writing on the same day,
Norris says nothing against Burgh, but shows some apprehension that
Russell would be his enemy, and notes that both he and the Council
had stated openly, in the new Lord Deputy's presence, that there was
no charge against him. But a news-writer in London, who retailed the
Court gossip, talks of a solemn pacification between Norris and Burgh,
'made with much counterfeit kindness on both sides.' The general
then returned to his province of Munster, begging to be recalled,
and protesting at the same time that ill-health and not ill-temper
had made him weary of the service. It may have been the reason why
this greatest soldier of his age and country had of late constantly
preferred negotiation to war. Russell was already gone, and on his
arrival in London found that the Queen was too angry to see him, the
world at the same time noticing that he was 'very fat, both in body and
purse.' Lord Burgh threw all his energies into military organisation,
and complained that his brains were tired by captains who expected to
find a city of London in Dublin. Almost everything was wanting, and the
general misery, he told Cecil, 'lamentable to hear as I am sure in your
ears, but woeful to behold to Christian eyes. I see soldiers, citizens,
villagers, and all sorts of people daily perish through famine; meat
failing the man of war makes him savage, so as the end is both spoiler
and spoiled are in like calamity.'[269]

[Sidenote: Burgh attacks Tyrone,]

[Sidenote: crosses the Blackwater,]

[Sidenote: and maintains his ground.]

Tyrone, with 800 foot and 80 horse, was encamped between Newry and
Armagh, and Captain Turner was ordered to attack him suddenly. The
surprise was almost, but not quite, complete, and the rebel Earl
escaped through a bog on foot and with the loss of his hat. 'I trust,'
said Turner, 'it presages his head against the next time.' Armagh was
revictualled, and the Irish withdrew beyond the Blackwater. Early in
July Burgh was able to advance to Armagh, whence he surveyed the famous
ford which had given so much trouble. It was defended on the north side
by a high bank and deep ditch manned by about forty men, and Tyrone,
whose camp was near, thought it could not be carried until he had
time to come up. Burgh saw that a surprise was his only chance, and,
though some said he was no general, he was at least soldier enough to
observe that the shape of the ground would shelter his men while they
were in the water. Choosing out 1,200 foot and 300 horse, he started
at daybreak and at once undertook the passage. His men wavered, but
he led them on himself, and they swarmed over the breastwork before
any reinforcements could arrive. The defenders ran away, and Tyrone
hanged a score of them. Burgh's success, which was a great one, seems
to have been entirely due to his personal gallantry. Next day Tyrone
made a strenuous effort to regain the position, and half-surprised the
army, who were assembled 'to hear a sermon and pray to God.' Good watch
was, however, kept, and the assailants were beaten back. The soldiers
fell in rather confusedly, and in pursuing their advantage went too
far into the woods. Burgh gave special orders to avoid all chance of
an ambuscade, but there were many volunteers whose discipline was of
the slightest. Some were relatives of his own, and all served out of
friendship or for the fun of the thing. The horse became entangled
in the woods; Turner and Sir Francis Vaughan, the Lord Deputy's
brother-in-law, were killed, and two of his nephews wounded. Again he
had himself to come to the rescue, rallied the soldiers, and finally
repulsed the Irish with loss. He felt he might be accused of rashness
and of exposing himself; but his excuse was ready. 'I have not,' he
said, 'that wherein my Lord of Essex is and all generals be in a
journey happy, scarcely any of such understanding as to do what they
be bidden; as he hath many: when I direct, for want of others I must

[Sidenote: New fort built at the Blackwater.]

As soon as the news reached England Essex said that the extirpation
of Tyrone would be easy work. Russell had ended well, Burgh had begun
well, and Ireland was improving. But Feagh MacHugh's sons were as bad
as their father, and Tyrone's power was destined to outlast both the
life and the reputation of Essex. The Queen was much pleased, and upon
the sore question of knighthood yielded so far as to say that she would
sanction any reasonable list that the Lord Deputy might send over. At
first she had complained of his rashness, but had satisfied herself
that he had done rightly, only reminding him that he was a deputy, and
that hazarding his person unduly was like hazarding her own. In seeking
help from Spain Tyrone claimed a victory, and made much of having
killed the Lord Deputy's brother-in-law, but he could not prevent the
English from building a fort at Blackwater. It was entrusted to Captain
Thomas Williams, who had served most of the princes of Christendom for
twenty-three years, and who proved himself a hero indeed.[271]

[Sidenote: Burgh's plan of campaign.]

Lord Burgh's plan was that Sir Conyers Clifford should invade
Tyrconnell from Connaught, while he himself was at the Blackwater,
but the latter found it impossible to be ready in time. Thomond and
Inchiquin, Clanricarde and Dunkellin, O'Connor Sligo, and many others
obeyed his summons; his object being to take and garrison Ballyshannon,
which was now recognised as the key of Connaught and Ulster. O'Donnell
made great efforts to prevent this, but Clifford crossed the Erne on
July 29, about half a mile below Belleek, not without severe fighting.
Lord Inchiquin and O'Connor Sligo vied with each other who should be
the first over, and the former, who wore a cuirass, received a bullet
under one arm which went out at the other. He fell from his horse, and
perished in the waters. His body was carried to Assaroe and honourably
buried by the Cistercians there, but was claimed by the Franciscans
of Donegal, on the ground that his O'Brien ancestors had long been
buried in a friary of their order in Clare. The dispute was referred by
O'Donnell to the same bishop, Redmond O'Gallagher, who had befriended
Captain Cuellar in the Armada days, and to Nial O'Boyle, bishop of
Raphoe. The decision was in favour of the Franciscans, and this loyal
O'Brien rested among the O'Donnells, for whose overthrow he had fought
so well.[272]

[Sidenote: Clifford attacks Ballyshannon,]

[Sidenote: but has to retreat.]

Four guns were brought from Galway and landed near the castle of
Ballyshannon, which was defended by a garrison of eighty men, of whom
some were Spaniards, and commanded by a Scotchman named Crawford.
After three days' cannonade, ammunition began to run short, and little
impression had been made on the castle, while O'Donnell's force grew
stronger every day. Clifford's position was now very precarious, for
the fords were held behind him, and all communications interrupted.
He attempted to re-embark his ordnance, but the gyn broke, and he had
to leave three out of four pieces behind him. Just above the fall
of the Erne a passage, called by the Irish the 'ford of heroes,'
was left unguarded, probably on account of its difficulty, and at
daybreak Clifford, who had spent the hours of darkness in making his
arrangements, waded the river unperceived by the Irish. Many were swept
over the fall and out to sea, but the main body struggled over and
formed upon the left bank. The O'Donnells pursued without stopping to
put on their clothes, and there was a running fight for some fifteen
miles; but Clifford reached Drumcliff in Sligo without much further
loss. The English had no powder and were completely outnumbered, but
torrents of rain fell and wetted the ammunition of their foes. Maguire
and O'Rourke were both with O'Donnell in this affair. Clifford marched
on foot in the rear, and indeed personal bravery was the only soldierly
quality that could be shown. His ablest officer denied that forty
years' service in the best European army could teach a man anything
useful for Irish warfare. The service was barbarous and hateful, and he
begged to be put into some other war, for in Connaught nothing was to
be got or learned.[273]

[Sidenote: Tyrone's pretensions.]

After his successful journey to the Blackwater, Burgh remained some
weeks in the field, and during that time he vainly endeavoured to come
to terms with Tyrone. The latter refused to give the pledge demanded,
and while declaring that he was reasonable and that his conscience was
discharged, talked of making peace with the Queen as if he had been an
independent sovereign. In the meantime he was earnestly soliciting help
from Spain, and the death of Lord Kildare was one success of which he
boasted. That Earl was, however, not wounded at all, though some say
that the loss of two foster brothers in the late fight had preyed upon
his mind. Burgh now declared that his patience was exhausted, and went
back to Dublin to make preparations for a further invasion of Ulster.
'All your popish shaven priests,' he wrote to Tyrone, 'shall never
absolve you, God destroying the counsels of the wicked against his

[Sidenote: Gallant defence of the new fort.]

[Sidenote: Death of Burgh.]

When Burgh had left Armagh, and Clifford had been driven from
Ballyshannon, brave Captain Williams had a hard time at Blackwater.
Tyrone found it impossible to prevent supplies from entering the ruined
city, although he could and did surround the outpost completely;
but when an escalade was attempted, the stout soldier within was
more than able to hold his own. The storming party were picked men,
who received the Sacrament and were sworn not to abandon their task
till they had carried the fort, but they lost all their ladders and
afterwards owned to 400 killed and wounded. Three days later Burgh left
Dublin to relieve the beleaguered garrison, and reached Armagh without
opposition. He perhaps hoped to surprise some of Tyrone's people, but
met none until he came near the Blackwater, which he passed after a
sharp skirmish. His intention was to advance to Dungannon, or perhaps
to establish an advanced post there, but he was taken suddenly ill.
The fort was victualled and relieved, and the Deputy was carried in a
litter to Armagh, and thence to Newry, where he died a few days later.
He made a will in the presence of several witnesses, of whom John
Dymmok, author of a well-known treatise on Ireland, was one; but his
strength failed before he could sign it. Bagenal and Cecil were named
executors, and all goods he bequeathed to his wife, Lady Frances, to do
her best for the children; and for her and them he asked the Queen's
protection, 'myself having spent my patrimony and ended my days in her
service.' To the Queen he left his garter and George, also his papers,
and his body to be disposed of as she pleased. The dead Deputy's
servants ran away, and Bagenal was in some doubt as to what he should
do; for no chief governor had died in office since Skeffington's time.
The body was buried at Westminster more than three months later, and
Sir Francis Vere agreed to pay Lady Burgh 400_l._ a year out of his
salary as governor of Brill. The money was perhaps badly paid, for the
poor lady was long suppliant to Cecil, and described herself as his
'unfortunate kinswoman.'[275]

[Sidenote: Sir John Norris retires to Munster,]

[Sidenote: and dies there.]

The death of Lord Burgh was a serious loss to the Queen's service, and
it did not come single. Sir John Norris retired to his province of
Munster after conferring with the Lord Deputy, but there is nothing
in his letters to show that the latter dismissed him in an unfriendly
way. There was not much love lost between them, perhaps, but there
is no evidence of anything more than this. Norris went to Waterford
and Limerick, though every movement hurt him, and he reported that
Munster was in a very poor state of defence. The Queen would not give
the necessary funds, and the inhabitants of the town would do very
little for themselves. But there was no immediate danger of a Spanish
invasion, and he begged leave to recruit his health. Afterwards he
could return to his post, and he was ready to remain at all risks if
he could do any good. Tyrone wrote to him, but he sent the letter
unopened to Burgh, apologising even for saving time by occasionally
communicating directly with the English Government. He advised that
the rebel should be well pressed during the summer, in which case many
would leave him. 'I am not envious,' he said, 'though others shall reap
the fruits of my travail, an ordinary fortune of mine.' To curry favour
with Essex some insinuated that the President was shamming illness
to get out of Ireland, but the event proved that his complaints were
genuine. Old wounds neglected or unskilfully treated ended in gangrene,
and he died at Mallow, in the arms of his brother Thomas. The most
absurd fables were told about his last hours, and an historian gravely
relates that the enemy of mankind, black and dressed in black, appeared
to him while playing cards, reminded him of an old bargain, and claimed
his soul then and there. 'We may judge,' adds this credulous writer,
'how much God helped O'Neill, who had not only often beaten Norris,
the best of English generals, in battle, but also vanquished the devil
himself, who is believed to have helped him according to contract.' The
body was embalmed and taken to England, and Elizabeth wrote a beautiful
letter of condolence to Lady Norris, in which she charged her to bear
up for her husband's sake, reminding her that her own loss as Queen was
scarcely less grievous or less bitter than a mother's.[276]

[Sidenote: Consequences of Burgh's death.]

[Sidenote: Belfast in 1597.]

A vacancy in the chief governorship of Ireland was always a cause of
weakness, and often of disaster. Discipline was relaxed, and enemies
of the Government knew how to take their advantage. At Carrickfergus,
which was an exposed place, there had lately been many bickerings among
the authorities; insomuch that Captain Rice Maunsell, who commanded the
troops, imprisoned Charles Egerton, who was constable of the castle.
One consequence was that Belfast fell into the hands of Shane MacBrian
O'Neill, who hanged and disembowelled every Englishman found therein.
Sir John Chichester, a younger brother of the more famous Sir Arthur,
was then appointed to the military command, and his first essay was
most successful. 'Belfast,' he says, 'is a place which standeth eight
miles from Carrickfergus, and on the river, where the sea ebbs and
flows, so that boats may be landed within a butte (musket) shot of the
said castle; for the recovery whereof I made choice that it should
be one of my first works; and on the eleventh day of July following
attempted the same with some hundred men, which I transported thither
in boats by sea; and indeed our coming was so unlooked for by them as
it asked us no long time before we took the place, without any loss to
us, and put those we found in it to the sword.' Shane O'Neill's castle
of Edenduffcarrick was afterwards taken by Chichester, which afforded a
means of victualling the Blackwater fort by way of Lough Neagh. Shane
MacBrian and the other O'Neills of his sept then went to Dublin and
submitted, giving sufficient hostages for their good behaviour.[277]

[Sidenote: Disaster at Carrickfergus.]

By the death of his elder brothers, Donnell and Alaster, James
MacSorley had become chief of the Irish MacDonnells. Though unable to
speak the Lowland tongue, he had lately been knighted by James VI.
and received with much distinction at court, where his liberality and
fine manners made him a favourite, and at his departure he was thought
worthy of a salute from Edinburgh Castle. He and his brother Randal
soon aroused suspicion at Carrickfergus. They demolished their castles
at Glenarm and Red Bay, and concentrated their strength at Dunluce,
which they armed with three guns taken from the Spanish Armada. These
pieces they refused to surrender at Chichester's demand, and there were
also suspicious dealings with Tyrone, whose daughter Randal afterwards
married. The governor invited the MacDonnells to a parley, and they
appeared with 600 men about four miles from the town. The immediate
complaint was that they had been plundering in Island Magee. Chichester
went to meet them, but his men had scarcely recovered from a long march
two nights before, and much of their powder was still damp. A council
of war was held, at which Moses Hill, lieutenant of horse and founder
of the Downshire family, offered to surprise the MacDonnells in their
camp if the governor could wait till night. This was agreed to, but
rasher counsels ultimately prevailed. Captain Merriman, who was said
to have captured 50,000 head of MacDonnell cattle in his time, thought
it a shame to be braved by such beggars; others thought so too, and
Chichester gave way willingly enough. As the English advanced the Scots
retreated, but soon turned on their pursuers, whose ranks were not well
kept and whose muskets were almost useless. Horse and foot were driven
back pell-mell towards the town, and Chichester was killed by a shot in
the head, after being wounded in the shoulder and in the leg. Maunsell
and other officers also fell, and only two seem to have escaped
unwounded. About 180 men were killed out of a force which probably
did not exceed 300. Some saved their lives by swimming over into
Island Magee, while Captain Constable and others were taken prisoners.
The survivors from the battle and the officers who had remained in
reserve named Egerton their governor and expected an attack, but
MacDonnell chose rather to appear as an aggrieved man who had fought in
self-defence. The check to the Government was a severe one, and Tyrone
was greatly strengthened by it.[278]

[Sidenote: Lords Justices appointed.]

[Sidenote: Ormonde Lord General.]

The Irish Council made Sir Thomas Norris sole Lord Justice, very much
against his will. He had succeeded his brother as Lord President of
Munster, and left Captain Thornton there to do the work, and to draw
most of the salary. This temporary arrangement was altered by the
Queen, who appointed Archbishop Loftus and Chief Justice Gardiner Lords
Justices, gave the supreme military command to Ormonde, with the title
of Lieutenant-General, and ordered Norris back to his own province.
The appointment of Ormonde involved fresh negotiations, and Tyrone was
more likely to agree with him than with any English Deputy. 'You now,'
the Queen wrote to her general, 'represent our own person, and have to
do with inferior people and base rebels, to whose submission if we in
substance shall be content to condescend, we will look to have the same
implored in such reverend form as becometh our vassals and such heinous
offenders to use, with bended knees and hearts humbled; not as if one
prince did treat with another upon even terms of honour or advantage,
in using words of peace or war, but of rebellion in them, and mercy in
us; for rather than ever it shall appear to the world that in any such
sort we will give way to any of their pride, we will cast off either
sense or feeling of pity or compassion, and upon what price soever
prosecute them to the last hour.'[279]

[Sidenote: Ormonde's futile negotiations with Tyrone,]

Tyrone himself sought an interview with Ormonde, and submitted humbly
enough to him at Dundalk. 'I do,' he said, 'here acknowledge, upon
the knees of my heart, that I am sorry for this my late relapse and
defection.' He begged a truce for two months, and undertook not to
prevent the Blackwater fort from being victualled in the meantime.
In the negotiations which followed, 'free liberty of conscience for
all the inhabitants of Ireland' was demanded by Tyrone; but while
placing this claim in the forefront, he never really insisted upon
it, and no doubt its main object was to make an impression abroad. In
1591 he had taken care to be married to Mabel Bagenal by a Protestant
bishop, 'according her Majesty's laws,' and he now undertook not to
correspond with Spain or any foreign nation. Another promise was to
victual the garrison at Blackwater, and he did actually furnish forty
beeves, ten of which were rejected by the inexorable Williams, though
the leanest beef was probably better than the horseflesh upon which he
and his brave men had lately lived. In the end Tyrone refused to give
up his eldest son, or any hostage; but he agreed to accept a sheriff
provided a gentleman of the country was appointed, to maintain and
victual Blackwater fort, to renounce the name of O'Neill, to renew his
submission to Ormonde in some public place, and to pay a fine of 500
cows. On receipt of his pardon, he further agreed to disperse all his
forces, and send Scots or other hired strangers out of the realm.

[Sidenote: who despises a pardon.]

These terms were accepted, and a pardon passed under the great seal
of Ireland; but the result was only a truce, and open hostilities
were resumed within two months. At the very moment that the pardon
was given, Tyrone was encouraging his confederates to believe in an
imminent Spanish invasion of Munster, and it is evident that he had
never intended to yield upon any essential point.[280]

[Sidenote: Munster brigandage, 1597. Florence MacCarthy.]

Munster had lately been pretty quiet, but there were not wanting
signs of the tremendous storm which was soon to burst over it. The
MacSheehys, the remnant of the Desmond gallowglasses, 'preyed, spoiled,
and murdered' over eighty English families. Of three brothers, one was
sentenced 'to have his arms and thighs broken with a sledge, and hang
in chains, so was he executed without the north gate of Cork;' the
second was killed by an Irish kerne, and the third fell by an English
hand when Spenser's house at Kilcolman was sacked. Donnell MacCarthy
saved himself by coming under protection and behaving well for a time.
His father, the wicked Earl of Clancare, died late in 1596, and Sir
Thomas Norris advised that some small property should be assigned to
'his base son of best reputation,' while Florence might be given the
bulk of the remote and barren heritage of McCarthy More. Florence and
Donell both went to plead their own causes in London, while the widowed
countess complained that she and her daughter were 'prisoners there for
their diet.' The poor lady begged for her thirds, 'notwithstanding any
wrangling between my son-in-law, Nicholas Browne, Donell MacCarthy,
and the rest.' She gained her cause, and Donell was given some lands
which his father had conveyed to him. Ormonde thought the presence of
Florence important for the peace of Munster, and asked Cecil not to
detain him, while Florence himself begged the Secretary to let him
serve her Majesty in Ireland, instead of keeping him in London at her
cost. When the news of the outbreak arrived, he received 100_l._ for
his journey to Ireland, but he lingered in the hope of getting all the
late Earl's estate, and Essex had left Ireland before his return.[281]


[267] Sir T. Wilkes to Sir Robert Sidney, Jan. 17, 1597; Rowland Whyte
to same, Feb. 21, March 4, April 13, in _Sidney Papers_, vol. ii.;
Motley's _United Netherlands_, ch. ix. The explosion of powder was on
March 13, and is recorded by the Four Masters and in Russell's Journal.

[268] Rowland Whyte to Sir R. Sidney in _Sidney Papers_, May 4, 1597;
Lord Burgh to Cecil, April 26 and May 4, MSS. _Hatfield_, and to
Burghley, May 23. R. O. Burgh left London May 3, and reached Dublin on
the 15th. He suffered from a wound or hurt received in Holland in 1595,
see his letter to Essex of Aug. 27, and that year in Birch's _Memoirs_,
i. 285.

[269] Russell's Journal in _Carew_, May 1597; Chamberlain's _Letters_,
June 11; Burgh to Cecil, May 24 and June 12; Norris to Cecil, May 24
and June 10; Russell to the Privy Council, June 25, MS. _Hatfield_.

[270] Captain Richard Turner (sergeant-major) to Essex, June 14; Lord
Burgh to Cecil, received July 28. Several other letters are printed in
the Hist. MSS., _Ireland_, part iv. 1, appx. 12.

[271] Essex to the Queen (July) in Calendar of S. P. _Domestic_; Cecil
to Burgh (end of July); Tyrone to the King of Spain (not before August)
1597, in _Carew_, No. 275.

[272] _Four Masters_, 1597; Clifford to Burgh, Aug. 9. This Lord
Inchiquin (Murrogh, 4th Baron) served in Perrott's Parliament.

[273] _Four Masters_, 1597; O'Sullivan Bere; Clifford to Burgh, Aug.
9; Sir Calisthenes Brooke to Cecil, Aug. 13. As was more fully proved
in 1689, the possessors of Enniskillen and of the Erne from Belleek to
Ballyshannon, about four miles, held the keys of the partition between
Ulster and Connaught.

[274] Tyrone to Burgh, Aug. 10, 1597, and the answer, Aug. 16.

[275] Lord Burgh's will, Oct. 12, 1597; Sir H. Bagenal to the Queen,
to Burghley, and to Cecil, Oct. 13; Rowland Whyte to Sir R. Sidney,
Feb. 1, 1598, in _Sidney Papers_; Frances Lady Burgh to Cecil, Jan.
1599 (one of several), _Hatfield_. For the assault and relief of the
fort see Fenton to Cecil, Oct. 5, 1597; Captain Williams to the Privy
Council, Nov. 1; the _Four Masters_; Moryson. Burgh died Oct. 13, a
wrong date being usually given; he had no recent wound apparently.

[276] Sir John Norris to the Privy Council and to Cecil, June 10, 1597;
to Burghley, June 2; to Cecil, July 20; O'Sullivan Bere, tom. iii. lib.
iii. cap. 10. The Queen's letter of Sept. 22 to Lady Norris, which
begins 'My own crow,' has been printed by Fuller, Lloyd, and others.
Norris died before Sept. 9, on which day the Presidency of Munster was
placed in commission. In an undated letter at Hatfield, which evidently
belongs to the early part of 1597, Norris begs leave for 'this spring'
before it is too late. His lungs were affected, besides the trouble
from his wounded leg.

[277] Services of Sir John Chichester and the garrison of
Carrickfergus, Sept. 16, 1597.

[278] Egerton, North, Charles Maunsell, and Merriman to Lord Justice
Norris, Nov. 6, 1597, enclosing Lieutenant Harte's account, who
was present. Other accounts are collected in the _Ulster Journal
of Archæology_, vol. v. pp. 188 sqq. See also Gregory's _Western
Highlands_, chap. vi., where James MacSorley is called 'Dunluce,' as if
that had been a Scotch lairdship. Chichester's overthrow was on Nov. 4.

[279] Sir T. Norris to Cecil, Oct. 31, 1597. For the terms on which
Ormonde and the Lords Justices were appointed see _Liber Munerum
Publicorum_, part ii. p. 5. The Queen to Ormonde, Dec. 29, in _Carew_.

[280] Submission to Ormonde, Dec. 22, 1597; the Queen to Ormonde, Dec.
29; Heads of agreement submitted at Dundalk, March 15, 1598, all in
_Carew_; Fenton to Cecil, April 20. The course of the negotiations
may be traced clearly in Moryson, under the year 1597-8. The abortive
pardon was dated April 11.

[281] Florence MacCarthy's _Life_, chap. viii. Honora Lady Clancare and
Florence MacCarthy to Cecil, July 29 and Aug. 8, 1598, MSS. _Hatfield_.



[Sidenote: Bacon and Essex.]

[Sidenote: Bacon's advice.]

While Ormonde was trying to make peace with Tyrone, Francis Bacon
was encouraging Essex to occupy himself with Irish affairs, in which
he had an hereditary interest. Honour, he argued, was to be got by
succeeding where so many had failed, and the lion's share would fall
to him who had made choice of successful agents. Neither Fitzwilliam
nor Norris had been the Earl's friends, and Russell had been a lukewarm
one; whereas Ormonde and Sir Conyers Clifford were well disposed, and
there was no danger in supporting them for the time. Popular opinion
declared that Irish affairs had been neglected, and the mere appearance
of care in that direction would win credit. Sir William Russell, Sir
Richard Bingham, the Earl of Thomond, and Mr. Wilbraham, the Irish
Solicitor-General, were all at hand, and the necessary information
might be had from them. And then we have this truly Baconian passage:
'If your lordship doubt to put your sickle into another's harvest;
first, time brings it to you in Mr. Secretary's absence; next, being
mixed with matter of war, it is fittest for you; and lastly, I know
your lordship will carry it with that modesty and respect towards aged
dignity, and that good correspondence towards my dear kinsman and your
good friend now abroad, as no inconvenience may grow that way.' In
Cecil's absence Essex played the part of secretary, while Raleigh and
Russell, Sir Richard Bingham, Sir Robert Sidney, and Sir Christopher
Blount were all mentioned as possible viceroys; but none of them were
willing to go. Bacon's further advice was asked, and his idea was
to temporise with Tyrone, strengthening the garrisons and placing
confidence in Ormonde, while taking steps to remedy the real abuses
from which Ireland suffered. 'And,' he says, 'but that your lordship is
too easy to pass in such cases from dissimulation to verity, I think if
your lordship lent your reputation in this case--that is, to pretend
that if peace go not on, and the Queen mean not to make a defensive war
as in times past, but a full reconquest of those parts of the country,
you would accept the charge--I think it would help to settle Tyrone in
his seeking accord, and win you a great deal of honour _gratis_.'[282]

[Sidenote: The Blackwater fort beleaguered.]

The fort at the Blackwater was but a ditch intended to shelter 100
men. Lord Burgh had left 300 men there, and sickness was the natural
consequence of this overcrowding. The time expired on June 7, and on
the 9th the solitary stronghold was again surrounded, Tyrone swearing
that he would never leave it untaken. But Williams was such a soldier
as neither numbers, nor threats, nor want of support could daunt.
An escalade was again attempted, with ladders made to hold five men
abreast; but the two field-pieces were loaded with musket bullets and
swept the trench. The captain vowed that he would blow all into the
air sooner than surrender, and his courage communicated itself to
his men. All who could stand at all fought bravely, and the corpses
of the assailants were piled up so as to fill the ditch. No further
assault was made; but victuals were scarce, and the soldiers, who did
not disdain the very grass upon the ramparts, subsisted mainly upon
the flesh of horses captured in several sallies. Seventeen or eighteen
mares, the captain told one of Fenton's spies, would last for a month
at least, and he would hold out till the middle of August. 'I protest
to God,' Ormonde wrote to Cecil, 'the state of the scurvy fort of
Blackwater, which cannot be long held, doth more touch my heart than
all the spoils that ever were made by traitors on mine own lands. The
fort was always falling, and never victualled but once (by myself)
without an army, to her Majesty's exceeding charges.'[283]

[Sidenote: Preparations for relief of the fort.]

[Sidenote: Tyrone's tactics.]

Honour might require that an army should be sent, and yet there can
be little doubt that Ormonde was right from a military point of view.
One isolated fort could be of little use, and it was even now in
contemplation to revive the settlement at Derry. About 1,000 seasoned
soldiers from the Netherlands were placed under the command of Sir
Samuel Bagenal, a like number of recruits were added, and the whole
force was held in readiness for an expedition into Ulster. But the
plan of surrounding Tyrone, which had been so often urged upon the
English Government, was not destined to be carried out for some years
to come. In the meantime it was decided that Captain Williams should
be relieved. The forces actually available at this time did not much
exceed 7,000 men, and of these somewhat more than a third were of Irish
birth. About a third only were English, and rather less than a third
were natives of the Pale, with English names, but with many Irish
habits. The numbers which Tyrone could gather round him were at least
equal to all the Queen's army in Ireland, and only a very strong body
of men could hope to succeed now that the rebel chief had had time
to interpose all sorts of obstacles. Earthworks had been thrown up
between Armagh and the Blackwater, trees had been felled and branches
intertwined across the roads, and holes had been dug in all the fords.
Of the three Lords Justices, the churchman and the lawyer were opposed
to the attempt altogether, believing that it was better to defend the
Pale and withdraw the Blackwater garrison while easy terms could still
be had. Others of the Council agreed with them, but Ormonde was supreme
in military matters, and Sir Henry Bagenal was at hand to urge him
that the relief of the fort concerned her Majesty's honour. Failing
to dissuade him from the enterprise, the others pressed him to take
the command in person, and, if he had done so, the result might have
been very different. But Desmond's conqueror was now sixty-six years
old, and he preferred to serve against the Kavanaghs nearer home. He
remembered that the safety of Leinster had been especially entrusted to
him, and Bagenal, whose town of Newry lay near the scene of action, and
who was as bitter as ever against his brother-in-law, was most anxious
to be employed.[284]

[Sidenote: Battle of the Yellow Ford. Complete defeat of the troops.]

[Sidenote: Death of Bagenal.]

Four thousand foot and 320 horse with four field-pieces marched out of
Dundalk under Marshal Bagenal's command. Many of them were veterans who
had seen continental war, but from the first ill-fortune attended them.
The officers seem to have had but little confidence in their general,
and the simple soldier is quick to take the cue from his immediate
chief. Strict orders were given that no one should stay behind, but the
young gentlemen who served as volunteers lingered in the town, and some
of them were killed by the Irish horse while crossing the difficult
ground between Dundalk and Newry. The main body reached Armagh without
fighting, and as they approached could plainly see the enemy encamped
between the town and the river. After his arrival Bagenal called a
meeting of officers and told them that he intended to avoid the direct
road, which was strongly held, and to march a mile or two to the right.
By so doing he hoped to keep on hard ground. One bog had indeed to be
passed, and his plan was to skirmish there while a passage for the guns
was made with sticks and boughs. Early next morning the army marched
accordingly in six divisions, with intervals of at least 600 yards,
and the Irish skirmishers then began to harass them before they had
gone half a mile. The little river Callan was passed at a point where
there is now a bridge and a beetling mill, but which was then a ford,
with a yellow bottom and yellow banks. From this point the column was
fully exposed, the O'Donnells drawing round their right flank while
the O'Neills pressed them on the left. Tyrone was protected by a bog,
over which his men moved with the agility begotten by long practice,
and O'Donnell's sharp-shooters took advantage of the juniper bushes
which then studded the hills on the right. The Irish outnumbered the
relieving force by at least two to one, and their loose formation gave
them an advantage over the closely packed English battalions. The
vanguard nevertheless struggled through the bog until they came to a
ditch a mile long, five feet deep, four feet wide, and surmounted by
a thorny hedge. This they carried with a rush, but not being properly
supported they were beaten back, and the Marshal coming himself to
the rescue was shot through the brain. The centre were delayed by the
largest piece of artillery, which stuck fast while the O'Donnells
easily picked off the draught-oxen. The usual confusion which follows
the death of a general was increased by the explosion of two barrels
of powder, from one of which a private soldier was rashly replenishing
his horn. Colonel Cosby, who commanded the third battalion, hurried to
the front, but it was then too late. He was taken prisoner, and his
regiment shared the fate of the first two. The rear half of the army
had enough to do to maintain itself against O'Donnell, Maguire, and
James MacSorley, but preserved its formation, and, covered by Captain
Montague's horse, made a pretty orderly retreat to Armagh. 'I protest,'
said a young Irish officer afterwards distinguished in these wars, 'our
loss was only for the great distance that was betwixt us in our march,
for when the vanguard was charged they were within sight of our battle,
and yet not rescued until they were overthrown. The explosion, and the
delay about the gun, did the rest.'[285]

[Sidenote: Results of the defeat.]

Between killed, wounded, and missing the losses did not fall far short
of 2,000. Not less than twenty-four officers fell, the gun which
caused delay by sticking in the mud, was abandoned to the victors,
many colours were taken, and nearly all the new levies threw away
their arms. Several hundred Irish soldiers deserted, and with them
two English recruits, who called next morning to their comrades that
Tyrone would give them all twenty shillings bounty to join him. Among
the captains killed was Maelmore O'Reilly, Sir John's son, who was
known as 'the handsome,' and who fought with distinguished bravery.
The survivors gathered in the church at Armagh, but it seemed doubtful
whether they could maintain themselves there. A great part of the
provisions, the conveyance of which to the Blackwater was the object
of the expedition, had fallen into the hands of the enemy, and the
remaining supplies would scarcely suffice for ten days. The Irish
soldiers continued to desert steadily, and the disheartened remnant
of the foot dared not attempt to reach Newry without help, but it
was known that Maguire and O'Donnell were also short of provisions,
and at last it was decided that the horse should break through the
victorious Irish who swarmed round the camp. Montague performed this
service successfully, though not without loss, during the night which
followed the battle. Terence O'Hanlon pursued him closely, and it has
been particularly recorded that Captain Romney was surprised and killed
while smoking a pipe of tobacco by the roadside.[286]

[Sidenote: Panic in Dublin.]

[Sidenote: The fort evacuated.]

This disastrous battle was fought on August 14, and on the 16th
Montague told the story in Dublin. Ormonde was away, and the other
Lords Justices were panic-stricken. They wrote a humble letter to
Tyrone, begging him not to attack the defeated troops 'in cold blood.'
'You may,' they added, 'move her Majesty to know a favourable conceit
of you by using favour to these men; and besides, your ancient
adversary, the Marshal, being now taken away, we hope you will cease
all further revenge towards the rest, against whom you can ground no
cause of sting against yourself.' This missive never reached Tyrone,
and the Queen said it was stayed by accident, though the Lords Justices
declared they had revoked it. 'The like,' Elizabeth declared, 'was
never read, either in form or substance, for baseness.' And, as it
turned out, Tyrone was not unwilling to make a bridge for his defeated
enemy. He thought their supply of provisions greater than it was, and
he feared that troops might land at Lough Foyle, while Armagh was still
held. His own army, he said, was costing him 500_l._ a day. These
reasons were not known till later, but the terms dictated by them were
gladly accepted. Captain Williams and his heroic band were allowed
to leave the Blackwater, the officers retaining their rapiers and
horses, but without colours, drums, or firearms. The whole army then
marched unmolested to Newry with their wounded and baggage. Ormonde was
able to report that the loss in killed was not so great as at first
reported, but might easily have been greater 'if God had not letted
it; for their disorder was such as the like hath not been among men of
any understanding, dividing the army into six bodies, marching so far
asunder as one of them could not second nor help th'other till those in
the vanguard were overthrown. Sure the devil bewitched them! that none
of them did prevent this gross error.'[287]

[Sidenote: The Irish army disperses.]

The Irish leaders are said to have harangued their men before the
fight upon its special importance, and many writers have blamed Tyrone
for not advancing straight upon Dublin. But Celtic armies, though
they have often won battles, have never known how to press a victory
home. Owen Roe O'Neill, Montrose, and Dundee were all subject to the
same disability; and Tyrone probably did as much as he could. 'The
chiefs of Ulster,' say the annalists, 'returned to their respective
homes in joy and exultation, though they had lost many men.' Dublin
was in no danger, nor any of the principal towns; but the country was
everywhere in a flame. O'Donnell had most of Connaught at his mercy,
though Sir Conyers Clifford could hold his own at Athlone and maintain
garrisons at Tulsk, Boyle, and Roscommon. Tibbot ne Long, who headed
such of the lower Burkes as remained loyal, was forced to take refuge
in one of the boats from which he derived his name, and MacWilliam had
Mayo at his mercy. With 2,000 foot and 200 horse and accompanied by
O'Dogherty, who was sent by O'Donnell to help him, he swept all the
cattle, even from the furthest shores of Clew Bay. The Earl of Thomond
was in England, and his brother Teig, who dubbed himself the O'Brien,
overran Clare, though a younger brother Donnell remained loyal and
opposed him strenuously. To hold all Connaught and Clare, Clifford
had but 120 English soldiers, and had but very little effective help
except from Clanricarde, who offered to supply 500 cows for 500_l._ As
times stood, this was thought a very honourable offer, but O'Donnell
had no difficulty in driving off 4,000 head from those who hesitated to

[Sidenote: General attack on English settlers.]

In the Pale and in the midland counties things were little better than
in Connaught. The Lords Justices discovered a plot to surprise Dublin
Castle, and hanged some of the conspirators, but Friar Nangle and
other priests who were implicated escaped their vigilance. Croghane
Castle, near Philipstown, was surprised by the O'Connors, who scaled
the walls, killed Captain Gifford and his men, and wounded his wife
in several places. The English proprietor, Sir Thomas Moore, seems
to have been absent, but the Irish carried off Lady Moore and left
her in a bog, where she died of cold. Alexander Cosby, the chief of
the Queen's County settlers, had been killed in 1597, and his widow
was fortunately in Dublin, but Stradbally fell into the hands of the
O'Mores. James FitzPiers, the sheriff of Kildare, was a Geraldine, and
being threatened with the pains of hell by Tyrone, he surrendered Athy
to Owen MacRory O'More. Captain Tyrrell, who was Tyrone's best partisan
leader, went where he pleased; and it was evident that nothing less
than the extirpation of the English settlers was intended.[289]

[Sidenote: Rebellion in Munster.]

[Sidenote: The Sugane Earl.]

Of many partial attempts at recolonisation the greatest was that on
the forfeited Desmond estates, and the storm was not long in reaching
Munster. Piers Lacy, of Bruff in Limerick, who had already once been
pardoned, went to Owen MacRory, informed him that all the Geraldines
were ready to rise and make James Fitzthomas Earl, and that the
MacCarthies would also choose a chief. Tyrone's leave was first asked
and was readily given, for the idea of a new Desmond rebellion was
already in his mind. Some months before he had spread a report that the
attainted Earl's son had escaped from the Tower with the Lieutenant's
daughter, that he had been warmly welcomed in Spain, and that he
might soon be expected in Munster with large forces. At Michaelmas
accordingly Owen MacRory, Tyrrell, and Redmond Burke, Sir John
Shamrock's eldest son, led 1,400 men to the Abbey of Owny in Limerick,
but made no advance while Norris was at Kilmallock. As soon as he
withdrew they divided into several companies, and destroyed all that
was English, and only what was English. They burned Sir Henry Ughtred's
castle at Mayne near Rathkeale, which he had not attempted to defend.
Cahir MacHugh O'Byrne joined O'More at Ballingarry with some of his
men, and there they waited until James Fitzthomas had overcome his
natural hesitation. Stimulated by the threat of preferring his younger
brother, he came in with twenty gentlemen, and assumed the title of
Earl as of O'Neill's gift. The plunder collected by this time was so
great that a cow was publicly sold in the camp for sixpence, a brood
mare for threepence, and a prime hog for a penny.[290]

[Sidenote: Ormonde's warning disregarded.]

From Golden on the Suir Ormonde wrote to warn this new Desmond of his
danger, and summoned him to his presence under safe-conduct. 'We need
not,' he said, 'put you in mind of the late overthrow of the Earl your
uncle, who was plagued, with his partakers, by fire, sword, and famine;
and be assured, if you proceed in any traitorous actions, you will have
the like end. What Her Majesty's forces have done against the King of
Spain, and is able to do against any other enemy, the world hath seen,
to Her Highness's immortal fame, by which you may judge what she is
able to do against you, or any other that shall become traitors.' But
the Geraldine had made up his mind and refused to go. Practically, he
complained that the State had held out hopes of the Desmond succession
to him, and that he had served against his uncle on that account. A
pension of a mark a day from the Queen had been paid for one year
only. Others had grievances as well as himself, and indeed it was not
hard to find cases of injustice. 'To be brief with your lordship,'
he concluded, 'Englishmen were not contented to have our lands and
livings, but unmercifully to seek our lives by false and sinister means
under colour of law; and as for my part I will prevent it the best I

[Sidenote: The Munster settlement destroyed.]

[Sidenote: Spenser.]

Rightly or wrongly, the last Earl of Desmond had been held legitimate,
and the first marriage of his father with Joan Roche treated as null
and void. The boy in the Tower was therefore the only claimant
whom the Government could recognise, and the sons of Sir Thomas Roe
Fitzgerald were excluded. But the Geraldines accepted the new creation
at O'Neill's hands, and the Queen's adherents in Ireland could for the
time do no more than nickname him the Sugane or straw-rope Earl. The
English settlement of Munster melted away like the unsubstantial fabric
of a vision. 'The undertakers,' to use Ormonde's words, 'three or four
excepted, most shamefully forsook all their castles and dwelling-places
before any rebel came in sight of them, and left their castles with
their munitions, stuff, and cattle to the traitors, and no manner of
resistance made.... Which put the traitors in such pride, and so much
discouraged the rest of the subjects as most of them went presently to
the towns.' But all the settlers were not fortunate enough to reach
these cities of refuge, and numerous outrages were committed. English
children were taken from their nurses' breasts and dashed against
walls. An Englishman's heart was plucked out in his wife's presence,
and she was forced to lend her apron to wipe the murderer's fingers.
Of the English fugitives who flocked into Youghal, some had lost their
tongues and noses, and some had their throats cut, though they still
lived. Irish tenants and servants, but yesterday fed in the settlers'
houses, were now conspicuous by their cruelty. Among those who escaped
to England were Edmund Spenser and his wife, but one of their children
perished in the flames. The poet lost all his property, and of his
life's work in Ireland only his books remain.[292]

[Sidenote: Raleigh.]

At Tallow, in Raleigh's seignory, there were 60 good houses and 120
able men, of whom 30 were musketeers; but they all ran away, and
the rebels burned the rising town to the ground. The destruction
of his improvements at this time may account for the small price
which Raleigh's property fetched in the next reign. Among castles
in the county of Cork which were abandoned without resistance by
the undertakers or their agents, were Tracton, Carrigrohan, and two
others belonging to Sir Warham St. Leger; Castlemagner in Sir William
Becher's seignory; and Derryvillane in Mr. Arthur Hyde's. In Limerick,
besides Mayne the rebels took Pallaskenry and another house from Sir
Henry Ughtred, Newcastle, and two more from Sir William Courtenay;
Tarbet and another from Justice Golde; Foynes, Shanet, and Corgrage
from Sir William Trenchard, and Flemingstown from Mr. Mainwaring. The
Abbey of Adare, which was leased to George Thornton, was also left
undefended. Castle Island was taken from Sir William Herbert, and
Tralee from Sir Edward Denny; and in Kerry generally all the English
settlers fled.

[Sidenote: Norris.]

Mr. Wayman, a great sheepmaster, left twenty well-armed men at
Doneraile, but they ran away and were all killed on the way to Cork.
Norris's English sheep were stolen from Mallow; his park wall was
broken down, and his deer let loose. Many settlers fled with their
clothes only, and being stripped of these they died of cold on the
mountains. The churches and other vacant places in Cork were filled
with starving wretches. Youghal was full of them too, and so closely
pressed that men scarcely dared to put their heads outside the gates.
The most fortunate of the settlers were those who reached Waterford
and got a passage to England. Here and there alliances among the Irish
saved individual colonists from utter destruction.

Thus Oliver Stephenson, born of an Irish mother, was protected by his
relations. He was summoned before the Sugane Earl, who ordered him to
show cause why he should not surrender his castle of Dunmoylan, near
Foynes, to Ulick Wall, who claimed it as his ancient inheritance. He
was, he says, respited till May and ordered to give it up then, 'if my
prince be not able to overcome their power.' Stephenson begged Norris
not to construe his shift as treason, and promised in the meantime
to get all the information possible from his maternal relations.
Stephenson saved himself, and was afterwards trusted by Lord President

[Sidenote: Hyde.]

[Sidenote: Barkley.]

Arthur Hyde was in England when the rebellion broke out, but his wife
and children were at his castle of Carriganeady, or Castle Hyde, on
the Blackwater. On the day that Owen MacRory and the rest entered
Munster, the country people rose 'instantly before noon,' and began
plundering all round. Hyde's own cattle and those of his English
tenants were taken at once, but his wife and children escaped to Cork
with Lord Barry's help, and his eighteen men held the castle for three
weeks. Hyde landed at Youghal, but could do nothing, and his garrison,
seeing that there was no chance of relief, yielded on promise of life
and wearing apparel. They were stripped naked, but not killed, by
Lord Roche's tenants before they had gone a mile. The Sugane, who was
present in person with an overwhelming force, appointed Piers Lacy
seneschal of Imokilly, and the castle was surrendered to an Irishman
who claimed it. Forty persons depending on Hyde were left destitute,
and he sought to form a company. Sixty-four muskets and other arms,
with much ammunition, had been provided, and it is probable that things
would have gone differently had Hyde been himself at home. A more
successful defence was that of Askeaton, by Captain Francis Barkley.
The revolt was sudden and unexpected, and he had only the provisions
suitable to a gentleman's house in those days. On October 6, more
than 500 English of all sorts--men, women, and children--accustomed
to a decent life and nearly all householders, flocked into Askeaton
at nine in the evening. The panic was so sudden that they came almost
empty-handed. 'I protest unto your lordships a spectacle of greatest
pity and commiseration that ever my eye beheld, and a most notable
example of human frailty.' An English barque lay in the Shannon, and
Barkley was fortunate enough to get rid of some useless mouths that
way. Others were conveyed to Limerick, where the mayor and citizens
used them well. By Ormonde's advice 120 able men were retained. With
soldiers who knew the country, and who burned for revenge, this brave
captain announced that he would hold out till death. Corn and beef
were still to be had, and he only asked for the means to keep his men
together. Askeaton did not fall.[294]

[Sidenote: The native gentry make terms with Tyrone.]

[Sidenote: Religious animosity.]

[Sidenote: Why the settlement failed.]

The White Knight, Patrick Condon, Lord Barry's brother John, and
Lord Roche's son David, quickly came to terms with the rebels, and
Norris believed that the rest would follow from love or fear. Lord
Barry, indeed, held out bravely; but most of his neighbours had no
choice, for the Government could do nothing to protect them. The
Lord President could not trust his Irish troops, and had to retire
from Kilmallock without fighting. Four days later, after effecting
a junction with Ormonde, he was able to victual the little garrison
town, but had to fall back again immediately to Mallow. Tyrone had
warned his friends not to fight a pitched battle, but only to skirmish
on difficult ground. After several days' desultory warfare in the
woods about Mallow, Ormonde was recalled to the defence of Kilkenny
and Tipperary, and Norris went back to Cork, leaving the rebels to do
as they pleased. An English prisoner with Desmond could report but
one family of his countrymen spared. A priest told the new-made Earl
that they were Catholics, and proclamation was made that they were
not to be hurt. They were robbed of all, but carried their lives to
Cork. After Ormonde's departure Owen MacRory went back to Leinster
with Cahir MacHugh. He had been ten days in Munster, and left all the
other counties at the Sugane's mercy. The Queen was much chagrined, and
blamed both Norris and Ormonde for not giving more effective support
to the undertakers. But it does not appear that they were to blame,
for the revolt was extremely sudden, and the settlement had not been
so managed as to afford the means of resistance. 'For whereas,' says
Moryson, 'they should have built castles and brought over colonies of
English, and have admitted no Irish tenant, but only English, these
and like covenants were in no part performed by them. Of whom the men
of best quality never came over, but made profit of the land; others
brought no more English than their own families, and all entertained
Irish servants and tenants, which were now the first to betray them.
If the covenants had been kept by them, they of themselves might have
made 2,000 able men, whereas the Lord President could not find above
200 of English birth among them when the rebels first entered the
province. Neither did these gentle undertakers make any resistance to
the rebels, but left their dwellings and fled to walled towns; yea,
when there was such danger in flight as greater could not have been in
defending their own, whereof many of them had woeful experience, being
surprised with their wives and children in flight.' So much for the
weak defence, as well-informed Englishmen understood it. The causes of
the outbreak, as seen from a Protestant and English point of view, are
told by Chief Justice Saxey. Seminaries and Jesuits haunted the towns,
of which the mayors were recusants, though shielded by being joined in
the commission; the judges of assize were also recusants for the most
part, and in charging grand juries they never spoke against foreign
power, nor to advance the Queen's supremacy; the English tenants were
too scattered, owing to the undertakers' slackness; and, lastly, the
late exaction of cess, instead of the customary composition, had
bred discontent. O'Sullivan, as usual, makes the contest one between
Catholics and royalists, and the annalists, who were more emphatically
Irish than Catholic, make it a war of races only. 'In the course of
seventeen days,' they say, 'the Irish left not, within the length and
breadth of the country of the Geraldines, from Dunqueen to the Suir,
which the Saxons had well cultivated and filled with habitations and
various wealth, a single son of a Saxon whom they did not either kill
or expel.'[295]

[Sidenote: Rebellion in Leinster and Tipperary.]

[Sidenote: The Jesuit Archer.]

Of three branches of the Butler family ennobled by the Tudor monarchs,
two were in open rebellion. Mountgarret was a young man, and was
married to Tyrone's eldest daughter. He now sent to Ulster for 3,000
auxiliaries, and invited his father-in-law to spend Christmas with him
at Kilkenny. In the meantime he allied himself with the Kavanaghs, and
took the sacrament with Donnell Spaniagh at Ballyragget. Lord Cahir
was married to Mountgarret's sister, and followed his lead. He refused
to go to Ormonde when summoned, who says he was 'bewitched (a fool he
always was before) by his wife, Dr. Creagh, and Father Archer.' Two
loyal neighbours went to Cahir under safe-conduct, but the poor man
was not allowed to see them privately. Dr. Creagh, papal bishop of
Cork, and the Jesuit Archer were both present, and the peer confessed
that he must be ruled by them. Creagh abused one of the visitors for
not saluting him, and Archer disarmed him for fear he might hurt the
bishop. The two churchmen declared that all the abbey lands should be
disgorged, and that all Catholics should make open profession, 'or be
called heretics and schismatics like you.' They insisted upon three
points: the full restoration of the Catholic Church, the restoration
of their lands to all Catholics, and a native Catholic prince sworn
to maintain all these things. Gough told them that their ideas were
ridiculous, and that they could not tell what his religion was because
that was shut up in his own breast. He told Cahir that he was sorry
to see him so 'bogged,' and unable to speak or call his soul his own;
after which, he and his friend were not sorry to get away safe.[296]

[Sidenote: Weakness of the Government.]

'I pray God,' said Ormonde, 'I may live to see the utter destruction of
those wicked and unnatural traitors, upon all whom, by fire, sword, or
any other extremity, there cannot light too great a plague.' He pursued
Owen MacRory and Redmond Burke, with a mixed multitude of Fitzpatricks,
O'Carrolls, O'Kennedys, and O'Ryans, into the woods of the north-west
of Tipperary, and captured 100 horses laden with the spoils of the
Munster undertakers. But not very much could be done, and he complained
bitterly that he was badly supported by the Lords Justices. An
archbishop and a chief justice, both old men, were not the Government
suited to a great crisis, and matters of such vital importance as
the victualling of Maryborough were left almost to chance. Ormonde
relieved the place with 300 cows collected by himself, but not without
hard fighting, and the annalists oddly remark that he 'lost more than
the value of the provisions, in men, horses, and arms.' The conduct
of the war in Leinster was entrusted to Sir Richard Bingham, whose
prophecies had been completely fulfilled, and who was appointed Marshal
in Bagenal's place. Norris was to remain in Munster, Clifford in
Connaught, Sir Samuel Bagenal on the borders of Ulster, and Ormonde in
Dublin to control the military arrangements. To hold the towns and to
temporise was all that the Queen required until a new viceroy could be
had. Bingham had been often consulted of late, and much was expected
from his unrivalled knowledge of Ireland; but he was past seventy,
and worn out with more than fifty years' service by sea and land. He
died soon after his return to Ireland, and Ormonde was left to his own
devices. Before the end of the year it was known that the government
would be entrusted to Essex.[297]

[Sidenote: O'Donnell in Clare, 1599.]

[Sidenote: How mortgages were redeemed.]

After the victory at the Yellow Ford, O'Donnell remained for more
than six months at Ballymote. His inactivity, say the annalists with
unconscious irony, was caused solely by the fact that there was no
part of Connaught left for him to plunder, except Clare. The Earl of
Thomond had spent the year 1598 in England, where he made a very good
impression, and on his return remained with Ormonde, at and about
Kilkenny. Of his two brothers, Donnell, the younger, represented him in
Clare, while Teig led the opposition and made friends with Tyrone's
adherents in Tipperary. Accompanied by Maguire, O'Donnell entered
Clare, thoroughly plundered the baronies of Burren, Inchiquin, and
Corcomroe, and returned unscathed to Mayo. Ennistymon, which was part
of the territory ravaged, belonged at the time to Sir Tirlogh O'Brien,
who was 'a sheltering fence and a lighting hill to the Queen's people,'
and who co-operated with the force sent into Clare by Sir Conyers
Clifford. Teig, after some skirmishing, thought it prudent to submit,
and sessions were successfully held at Ennis. Thomond then returned
to his own country and proceeded to chastise Teig MacMahon, who had
lately wounded and imprisoned his brother Donnell. MacMahon had taken
an English ship which was in difficulties on the coast, but 'found the
profit very trivial and the punishment severe,' and he had also seized
his castle of Dunbeg, which was in pledge to a Limerick merchant, but
without paying the mortgagee. Carrigaholt was taken, and all MacMahon's
cattle driven away. Cannon were brought from Limerick against Dunbeg,
but the garrison did not wait to be fired at, 'and the protection
they obtained lasted only while they were led to the gallows, from
which they were hanged in couples, face to face.' Thomond then went
northwards, and restored to his friends the castle from which O'Donnell
had expelled them.[298]

[Sidenote: Tyrone's rule in Munster.]

During the early months of 1599 Tyrone's illegitimate son Con was
preparing his way in Munster. The Earl blamed him severely for
imprisoning and robbing Archbishop Magrath, of whose re-conversion
he had hopes, since his liberty could not be restrained nor his
temporalities touched without direct authority from Rome. 'But if,' he
added, 'the covetousness of this world caused him to remain on this
way that he is upon, how did his correcting touch you? Withal I have
the witness of my own priest upon him, that he promised to return from
that way, saving only that he could not but take order for his children
first, seeing he got them, and also that he is friend and ally unto
us.' Con tried to extort ransom from the astute Miler, who promised
to befriend him as far as possible without 'hurting his privilege in
her Majesty's laws,' but Tyrone sent peremptory orders that he should
be released without any conditions. In the almost complete paralysis
of authority, most of the Munster gentry made terms with Con and the
new Earl of Desmond. Lord Barry and Lord Roche between them might
bring 100 men to the Queen, but they had no allies worth mentioning.
Norris had about 2,000 men, but the general falling away was such
that he could do very little. At the end of March he left Cork with
eighteen companies of foot and three troops of horse. Lady Roche, a
sister of James Fitzmaurice, was ready to come out of Castletown to
meet him, but Tyrone's Ulster mercenaries would not allow her. The
capture of Carriglea castle was the only real success, and the Lord
President returned on the ninth day, the rebels skirmishing with him
to the outskirts of Cork. The rebels in Tipperary and the adjoining
parts of Leinster assembled 'before an idol in Ormonde called the Holy
Cross, where again they solemnly swore not to abandon nor forsake one
another.' Everyone saw that a system of garrisons was the only way to
break down the confederacy, but this policy was not showy enough to
please the new Lord Lieutenant.'[299]


[282] Letter of advice to the Earl of Essex, to take upon him the care
of Irish causes, when Mr. Secretary Cecil was in France (February to
April, 1598), and a second letter from Bacon a little later, both
printed by Spedding, vol. ii. pp. 94-1_0. There are many significant
passages in Rowland Whyte's letters in _Sidney Papers_, vol. ii. pp.
82-97. Essex was busy with Ireland before Cecil's departure and before
Bacon's first letter, for Whyte wrote on Jan. 19: 'Yesterday in the
afternoon I went to the Court to attend my Lord of Essex, and he no
sooner began to hearken unto me, but in comes my Lord of Thomond, in
post from Ireland, and then was I commanded to take some other time.'
And see Chamberlain's _Letters_, May 4, 1598. Spenser, who wrote in
1596 proposes that Essex should be Lord-Lieutenant, 'upon whom the eye
of all England is fixed, and our last hopes now rest.'

[283] Fenton to Cecil, June 11; Ormonde to Cecil, June 18. O'Sullivan
Bere (tom. iii. lib. iv. cap. iii.) owns to 120 killed in the attempted
escalade. The eating of grass by the garrison recalls the defence of
Casilinum against Hannibal (Livy, xxiii. 19).

[284] Loftus, Gardiner, Wallop, St. Leger, and Fenton to the Privy
Council, Aug. 16; Lords Justices Loftus and Gardiner to the Privy
Council ('in private'), Aug. 17; Ormonde to the Queen, Aug. 18; State
of the Queen's army, March 31, 1598, printed in the _National MSS. of
Ireland_ from a paper at Kilkenny.

[285] Lieut. William Taaffe to H. Shee, Aug. 16. He calls the
powder-barrels 'firkins.' Captain Montague's Report, Aug. 16;
Declaration of the two Captains Kingsmill, Aug. 23, and that of Captain
Billings who commanded the rearguard. All the above, with many other
papers, are printed either in _Irish Arch. Journal_, N.S. vol. i. pp.
256-282, or in _National MSS. of Ireland_, part iv. 1. See also Camden
and the _Four Masters_. There is a minute and nearly contemporary
account in O'Sullivan Bere, tom. iii. lib. iv. cap. 5, but he was not
present. It is O'Sullivan who mentions the junipers, which do not now
grow wild about Armagh. I have carefully inspected the ground, having
besides the advantage of consulting two pamphlets kindly sent to me by
Mr. E. Rogers of the Armagh Library, whose great local knowledge has
been brought to bear on the subject.

[286] O'Sullivan; Montague to Ormonde, Aug. 16. The English accounts
specify twelve colours as lost; O'Sullivan says thirty-four.

[287] Ormonde to Cecil, Sept. 15. In writing to the same, on Aug. 24,
Ormonde admits the reduced list of twenty-four officers killed and one
taken prisoner, 855 men killed and 363 wounded. To these must be added
the missing, and there were certainly several hundred deserters. Other
English estimates of loss are considerably higher. Camden says 1,500
men were killed.

[288] _Four Masters_, 1598. Sir C. Clifford to the Lords Justices,
Sept. 7; to Cecil, Oct. 30; Lady Clifford's declaration, Oct. 31.

[289] Lords Justices and Council to the Privy Council, Nov. 23 and
27, 1598. Sir R. Bingham to the Lords Justices (from Naas) Nov. 27.
There is a MS. dialogue among the Irish S.P. for 1598, which purports
to be the ocular testimony of the writer, Thomas Wilson, and which is
dedicated to Essex. The interlocutors are Peregryn and Silvyn--the
names of Spenser's two sons--and the dialogue, which unfolds the state
of things in King's County from harvest 1597 to All Saints' Day 1598,
is very much in the style of that between Irenæus and Eudoxus. Is
Thomas Wilson a stalking-horse for Edmund Spenser?

[290] _Four Masters_, 1598; O'Sullivan, tom. iii. lib. v. cap. 2;
Discourse by William Weever (prisoner with the Munster rebels) Sept. 29
to Oct. 10. Fenton to Cecil, April 20, for the Tower story.

[291] Ormonde to James Fitzthomas, Oct. 8, 1598; James 'Desmonde' to
Ormonde, Oct. 12.

[292] Ormonde to the Queen, Oct. 12, 1598; Chief Justice Saxey's
account, October.

[293] List of castles abandoned without resistance in Ormonde's letter
to the Queen, Oct. 21, 1598; Oliver Stephenson to Norris, Oct. 16;
Henry Smyth's _State of Munster_ 'as I did see and hear it,' Oct.
30. An anonymous paper of October gives some details of Raleigh's
settlement at Tallow. See also James Sarsfield, mayor of Cork, to the
Privy Council, Oct. 21.

[294] Arthur Hyde to the Privy Council, Oct. 28, 1598; Captain F.
Barkley to the Lords Justices, Nov. 3.

[295] Sir T. Norris to the Privy Council and to Cecil, Oct. 23, 1598;
W. Weever's discourse, Oct.; Chief Justice Saxey's account, Oct.; the
Queen to Ormonde and the Lords Justices, Dec. 1, and to Norris, Dec.
3; Moryson, book i. chap. i.; O'Sullivan, tom. iii. lib. v. caps. 1-5;
_Four Masters_, 1598. Dunqueen is close to Slea Head, the westernmost
point of Kerry.

[296] Ormonde to the Privy Council, Nov. 5, 1598; Edward Gough and
George Sherlock to Sir N. Walshe, Nov. 16. Gough and Walshe held
Cistercian lands at Innislonagh and Glandore; Sherlock had those of the
Canons Regular at Cahir; but none of the three bore Protestant names.

[297] Ormonde to the Privy Council, Nov. 5, 1598; to the Queen, Jan.
19, 1599; the Queen to Ormonde and the Lords Justices, Dec. 1, 1598,
in _Carew_. Bingham's appointment as Marshal was announced on Aug.
31, only seventeen days after Bagenal's death. He reached Ireland in
October, and died at Dublin, Jan. 19. A memorial by Cecil, dated Nov.
4, 1598 (in _Carew_, p. 523), has the words 'Clifford betrayed, Bingham
lightly condemned.' Bingham's Irish patent is dated Oct. 13, and the
Queen informed the Lords Justices that she had specially chosen him,
that he was to draw pay and allowances from the day of Bagenal's death,
and that he was to have all the privileges that had ever attached to
the office. Morrin's _Patent Rolls_, 40 Eliz. 57 and 58.

[298] _Four Masters_, 1598 and 1599. The Queen to Sir T. Norris, Dec.
3, 1598, in _Carew_.

[299] _Four Masters_, 1599. For Con O'Neill see _Carew_, March and
April, Nos. 299-301; Journal of Sir T. Norris, from March 27 to April
4; Justice Golde to Essex, April 4; Essex to Privy Council, April 29.
Lord Roche had a private quarrel with the Sugane Earl.



[Sidenote: Position of Essex.]

Sir Henry Wotton, who was a good judge and who had special means of
observation in this case, was of opinion that Essex wore out the
Queen's patience by his petulance. He has recorded that a wise and, as
it turned out, prophetic adviser warned the Earl that, though he might
sometimes carry a point by sulking at Wanstead, at Greenwich, or in
his own chamber, yet in the long run such conduct would lead to ruin.
'Such courses as those were like hot waters, which help at a pang, but
if they be too often used will spoil the stomach.' The advice was not
taken, and Essex continued to treat every check as a personal insult.
The natural effect followed, and by the year 1598 'his humours grew
tart, as being now in the lees of favour.'[300]

[Sidenote: He offends the Queen]

[Sidenote: by his petulance.]

Burghley died a few days before the disaster at Blackwater, and Philip
II. not many days after. The policy of Spain was not much affected,
though the change might be thought like that from Solomon to Rehoboam;
but England missed the wise and kindly hand which had often held Essex
straight. Bagenal's overthrow brought into sudden prominence that
thorny problem with which the impetuous favourite was of all men the
least fit to cope. Patience, steadiness, organising power, knowledge of
men, were the qualities needed in Ireland then, as now, and Essex was
conspicuously deficient in them all. 'I will tell you,' said a great
court official, 'I know but one friend and one enemy my lord hath: and
that one friend is the Queen, and that one enemy is himself.' It seemed
as if no misconduct could permanently alienate Elizabeth, and yet he
tried her forbearance very hardly. A few days or weeks before the old
Lord Treasurer's death, she had proposed to send Sir William Knollys,
Essex's uncle, to govern Ireland. The Earl favoured the appointment
of Sir George Carew, who was certainly much fitter for the work than
himself, and whom he was thought to be anxious to remove from the
court. The Queen insisting, he turned his back on her with a gesture of
contempt. Raleigh--who was, however, his enemy--says he exclaimed that
'her conditions were as crooked as her carcase.' She in turn lost her
temper, and gave him a box on the ear. He laid his hand on his sword,
swearing that he would not have endured such an indignity from Henry
VIII. himself, and immediately departed to Wanstead.

'Your Majesty hath,' he afterwards wrote to Elizabeth, 'by the
intolerable wrong you have done both me and yourself, not only broken
all laws of affection, but done against the honour of your sex. I
think all places better than that where I am, and all dangers well
undertaken, so I might retire myself from the memory of my false,
inconstant, and beguiling pleasures.' Of course it was very undignified
of the Queen to strike anyone, but many things may be urged in excuse.
She was old enough to be her favourite's grandmother. She had known
him from early youth, and she had every reason to look upon him still
in the light of a spoiled child. No one with any sense of humour would
resent a blow from a woman as from a man, and Essex might very well
have treated it all as a joke. But what is to be said for a man who
insults a lady well stricken in years, who is his sovereign, and who
has heaped upon him honours and benefits far beyond his deserts?[301]

[Sidenote: Essex determines to be Viceroy.]

Norris and Bingham being dead, the appointment of a Lord Deputy
became a matter of pressing necessity. The Queen thought of Mountjoy,
who, as the event proved, was, of all men, fittest for the arduous
task. But Essex objected to him, much upon the same grounds as Iago
objected to Michael Cassio. He had indeed some experience in the field,
but only in subordinate posts; and he was 'too much drowned in book
learning.' Another argument was that he was a man of small estate and
few followers, and that 'some prime man of the nobility' should be sent
into Ireland. Everyone understood that he had come to want the place
himself, and that he would oppose every possible candidate.

During the autumn of 1598 and far into the winter, the affair hung
fire, more perhaps from the difficulty of satisfying his demands for
extraordinary powers than from any wish to refuse him the dangerous
honour. Indeed, if we may believe Camden, his enemies foresaw his
failure, and were only too anxious to help him to the viceroyalty on
any terms. About the new year his appointment seemed to be certain,
and by the first week in March everything was settled. 'I have beaten
Knollys and Mountjoy in the Council,' Essex wrote in great exultation,
'and by God I will beat Tyr-Owen in the field; for nothing worthy her
Majesty's honour hath yet been achieved.' It is not in such boastful
mood that great men are wont to put on their armour. And besides all
this, Knollys was his uncle and Mountjoy his familiar friend.[302]

[Sidenote: His uneasy ambition.]

It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to inquire how Essex came to desire
such a thankless office as the government of Ireland. His ambition was
not of an ignoble cast; but it is certain that he grasped greedily
at every important command, and that he could scarcely brook a
superior, or even a colleague. This was clearly shown in his ridiculous
quarrel with the Lord Admiral about precedence, no less than in more
important matters. He probably saw the Irish difficulty well enough,
but any hesitation about incurring the risk of failure was more than
counterbalanced by the fear of someone else gaining great glory.

[Sidenote: Bacon's excuses.]

Bacon had advised him to remain at Court, but to take Irish affairs
under his special protection there, to consult with men who knew the
country, to fill places with his own friends, and to patronise others
who were likely to be useful. In short, he was urged to make what the
newspapers now call political capital out of Ireland, but not to risk
himself and his reputation there. While giving this counsel, Bacon had
expressed a fear that the Earl was not the man to play such a game
skilfully. And so it fell out. By the beginning of the year 1599 Essex
saw that he would have to go. Years afterwards, when Elizabeth was
gone, Bacon found that an inconvenient cloud hung over him on account
of the part he had played. He then tried to persuade others, and
possibly succeeded in persuading himself, that he had really 'used all
means he could devise' to prevent Essex from venturing into Ireland.
The fact seems to be that he kept quiet as long as the thing could have
been prevented, and did not try to make Essex reconsider the matter
when he decided to go. He afterwards said that he 'did plainly see
his overthrow chained as it were by destiny to that journey'; but at
the time he did no more than warn him against possible failure from
defects of temper, while he enlarged upon the great glory which would
follow success. A comparison of extant letters shows that Essex himself
was far more impressed than Bacon with the danger and difficulties of
the Irish problem, though, when he was on the eve of setting out, his
impulsive nature allowed him to brag of the great things that he was
going to do.[303]

[Sidenote: Opinions of Wotton and Bacon.]

'I have heard him say,' writes Wotton of Essex, 'and not upon any
flashes or fumes of melancholy, or traverses of discontent, but in a
serene and quiet mood, that he could very well have bent his mind to
a retired course.' This is confirmed by other authorities, and indeed
Essex, though he had a soldier's courage, was by nature a student
and a dreamer rather than a man of action. Circumstances brought him
forward, and his character made him uncomfortable in any place except
the highest. Bacon wished him to stay at court with a white staff, as
Leicester had done, but the work was uncongenial. If he could have
succeeded Burghley, perhaps he might have accepted the position; as it
was Ireland offered him the kind of power which he most coveted, and
though he was not blind to the danger of leaving a Hanno behind him,
he fancied that he was fit to play the part of Hannibal. Just as he
was starting Bacon wrote him a long letter of advice, reminding him
that the Irish rebels were active and their country difficult, but
reminding him also that 'the justest triumphs that the Romans in their
greatness did obtain, and that whereof the emperors in their styles
took addition and denomination, were of such an enemy as this... such
were the Germans and the Ancient Britons, and divers others. Upon which
kind of people, whether the victory were a conquest, or a reconquest
upon a rebellion or a revolt, it made no difference that ever I could
find in honour.' Years afterwards Bacon pleaded that he had done
what he could to stop Essex, on the ground that the expedition would
certainly fall short of public expectation and 'would mightily diminish
his reputation.' Again he mentions the Germans and Britons, the woods
and the bogs, the hardness of the Irishmen's bodies, so that there can
be no doubt about what he alludes to. We have the original letter,
and Bacon stands convicted of misrepresentation, the grosser because
careless observers might so easily confound it with the reality.[304]

[Sidenote: Difficulties and delays.]

About the beginning of December the number of Essex's army was fixed at
14,000. Then there was talk of a smaller establishment, and the affair
went through the usual hot and cold phases of all suits at Elizabeth's
court. Spenser had experienced the miseries of hope deferred, and
Shakespeare saw the spurns which patient merit of the unworthy takes.
'Into Ireland I go,' writes the Earl on New Year's day; 'the Queen
hath irrevocably decreed it, the Council do passionately urge it,
and I am tied in my own reputation to use no tergiversation.' He had
many misgivings, but had decided in his own mind that he was bound to
go. 'The Court,' he admitted, 'is the centre, but methinks it is the
fairer choice to command armies than humours.' In the meanwhile the
humour changed daily. Essex was not patient, and the whole wrangle must
have been inexpressibly distasteful to him. On Twelfth-day the Queen
danced with him, and it was decided that he should start in March.
Three weeks later there were fresh difficulties about the excessive
number of gentlemen whom he proposed to take with him. As late as
March 1, it seemed doubtful whether the Queen's irrevocable decree
would not after all be altered. Mountjoy, who had a much cooler head,
had earnestly advised his friend to leave nothing to chance, to his
enemies' pleasure, or to official promises, and it is to the Earl's
consciousness that this advice was sound, that the delays must be
chiefly attributed. On March 6 letters patent were passed, releasing
him from the arrears of his father's debts incurred in the same
thankless Irish service, and six days later he was formally appointed
Lord Lieutenant. That title had not been granted since the return of
Sussex thirty-seven years before.[305]

[Sidenote: Departure of Essex.]

On March 27 Essex took horse at Seething Lane, accompanied by a
brilliant suite. Prayers were offered in the churches for his success
against the imitators of Korah and Absalom, in whose cases God had
manifested to the world his hatred of all rebellion against His
divine ordinance, and foreshadowing His probable care for an anointed
queen. 'Do not,' said the Anglican divines, 'punish our misdeeds by
strengthening the hands of such as despise the truth.' Through Cornhill
and Cheapside, and for more than four miles out of town, the people
thronged about their favourite, with such cries as 'God bless your
lordship! God preserve your honour!' The day was very fine at starting,
but ere Islington was passed there came a black north-easter with
thunder, hail, and rain; and some held it for a bad omen. Nor did the
popular hero travel as though he loved the work or believed in himself.
On April 1 he was at Bromley, bitterly complaining that the Queen would
not make Sir Christopher Blount a councillor, and announcing that he
had sent him back. 'I shall,' he wrote, 'have no such necessary use
of his hands, as, being barred the use of his head, I would carry
him to his own disadvantage, and the disgrace of the place he should
serve in.' The place was that of Marshal of the army, which Blount did
actually fill, and there is no reason to suppose that he would have
been any useful addition to the Council. Such virtues as he had, and
they were not many, were those of the camp. On the 3rd, Essex was at
Tamworth, and on the 5th at Helbry, the island off the Dee which Sir
Henry Sidney had found so wearisome. The wind did not serve, and there
was a delay of a week before he sailed from Beaumaris, having ridden
over Penmaen Mawr, 'the worst way and in the extremest wet that I have
endured.' After a bad passage Dublin was reached on the 15th. William,
13th Earl of Kildare, 'with eighteen of the chiefs of Meath and Fingal'
set out to follow in the Lord Lieutenant's wake. The vessel, built for
speed and probably overpressed with canvas, foundered in mid-Channel,
and all on board perished.[306]

[Sidenote: Great expectations,]

[Sidenote: which cool observers do not share.]

The public expectation from the mission of Essex was such that
Shakespeare ventured to suggest a possible comparison between him and
the victor of Agincourt. Had he succeeded he would have been the hero
of the Elizabethan age, greater in the eyes of his contemporaries than
Norris or Raleigh, greater even than Drake. His task was, indeed, no
light one, for the rebels in arms were estimated at very nearly 20,000
men, of which less than half were in Ulster. In the south and west the
chief towns and many detached strongholds were held for the Queen, but
in the northern province her power was confined to Carrickfergus and
Newry, Carlingford, Greencastle, and Narrow Water, all on the coast,
and to one castle in the inland county of Cavan. The preparations
were on a scale suitable to the emergency, for 16,000 foot and 1,400
horse far exceeded the usual proportions of a viceregal army. Nor
was it composed wholly of raw levies, for Essex insisted on having
Sir Henry Docwra, with 2,000 veterans, from Holland; his plan being
so to distribute them that some seasoned soldiers should be present
everywhere. But there had always been corruption in the Irish service,
and cool observers thought it necessary to make allowance for false
musters and cooked returns. A crowd of adventurous young gentlemen
accompanied Essex, among whom was John Harrington, the Queen's godson,
and by her much admired for his wit. Harrington was advised, by a
friend at court, to keep a secret journal in Ireland, for future use in
case of disaster. 'Observe,' says the letter, 'the man who commandeth,
and yet is commanded himself. He goeth not forth to serve the Queen's
realm, but to humour his own revenge.' There were spies about him,
'and when a man hath so many shewing friends, and so many unshewing
enemies, who learneth his end here below?' Cecil cautioned Secretary
Fenton that the new Lord Lieutenant thought ill of him because of his
friendship with Sir John Norris. Justice Golde of Munster, who knew his
country well, hoped Essex's 'famous victory in mighty Spain would not
be subject to receive blemish in miserable Ireland.' It did not require
the penetration of a Bacon to see that the expedition was likely to
end in failure, and in the ruin of the chief actor.[307]

[Sidenote: Powers given to Essex.]

The Lord Lieutenant's commission was of the most ample kind. He was
authorised to lease the land of rebels generally, and more particularly
to give or grant property affected by the attainder of Tyrone and
others in Tyrone, Tyrconnell, Fermanagh, Leitrim, and the Route,
exceptions being made in favour of O'Dogherty and Sir Arthur O'Neill,
as rebels by compulsion rather than through disloyalty. Officers not
holding by patent he was empowered to dismiss, and even patentees might
be suspended. He might grant pardons for all treasons, but in Tyrone's
case he was only to pardon for life, and not for lands, and to exact
some guarantee before giving even life and liberty to one who had 'so
vilely abused her mercy.' That 'capital traitor' was in no case to be
spared without due submission first made in all lowly and reverend
form. The power of making knights had usually been granted to viceroys,
and had been sometimes abused by them. This touched Elizabeth in her
tenderest point, for it was by not letting it become too cheap that she
had made knighthood a real defence of the nation. Essex was charged
to 'confer that title upon none that shall not deserve it by some
notorious service, or have not in possession or reversion sufficient
living to maintain their degree and calling.'[308]

[Sidenote: Sir Arthur Chichester.]

Among the officers serving under Essex in Ireland was Sir Arthur
Chichester, whose value he had learned during the Cadiz expedition.
In his capacity of Earl Marshal he directed Chichester to take a
muster of 2,600 at Chester; but it was to Cecil that the latter owed
his appointment to command a regiment of 1,200 men, and it was to him
that he applied for the pay due to his brother John when slain at
Carrickfergus, remarking at the same time that he was a 'better soldier
than suitor.' Cecil had protested against so able a man being wasted in
the command of a mere company. Chichester landed at Dublin; and went to
Drogheda, which Essex visited on purpose to review a regiment of which
he had heard so much. The veterans, who came straight from the strict
school of the Ostend siege, made an imposing show on parade, and the
Lord Lieutenant thoughtlessly charged them with his mounted staff. The
pikemen did not quite see the joke, and stood so firm that Essex had to
pull his horse back on its haunches, and 'a saucy fellow with his pike
pricked his Lordship (saving your reverence) in the rump and made him
bleed.' Chichester was sent to his brother's old post at Carrickfergus,
and there he was generally quartered till the end of the war and of the

[Sidenote: Essex postpones his departure for Ulster.]

'This noble and worthy gentleman our lord and master,' said Wotton, who
was one of his secretaries, 'took the sword and sway of this unsettled
kingdom into his hands 15th instant,' adding that the Bishop of Meath
preached a grave, wise, and learned sermon on the occasion. Essex was
instructed to inform himself by conference with the Council, and the
result of several meetings was a resolution not to attack Tyrone and
O'Donnell, but rather to plague those Leinster allies who had lately
taken a solemn oath of allegiance to them in Holy Cross Abbey. Want of
forage, involving lean cattle and weak draught-horses, was the reason
given for inaction; but it is proverbial that a council of war never
fights, and the Lord Lieutenant was but too ready to adopt a dilatory
policy. 'A present prosecution in Leinster, being the heart of the
whole kingdom,' was what the Council advised, and if that plan had
been adhered to, there was a good deal to be said in its favour. About
30,000 rebels were reported to be in arms altogether; and of these the
home province contained 3,000 natives, besides 800 mercenaries from
Ulster. The mountains of Wicklow and Dublin had not been quieted by the
death of Feagh MacHugh; his sons, with other O'Byrnes and O'Tooles,
still carried on the war, while the bastard Geraldines and a remnant of
the Eustaces were out in Kildare. Carlow and Wexford were terrorised by
Donell Spaniagh and his Kavanaghs. Owen MacRory commanded a powerful
band of O'Mores in Queen's County, and in King's County there were
still many unsubdued O'Connors. Lord Mountgarret and the O'Carrolls
were also reckoned as rebels. Meath and Westmeath were full of armed
bands, while Longford and Louth had suffered greatly by incursions
from Ulster. A force of 3,000 foot and 300 horse was sent forward
to Kilcullen, and on May 10 Essex set out from Dublin to take the

[Sidenote: Campaign in Leinster.]

From Kilcullen bridge on the Liffey to Athy bridge on the Barrow, the
line of march lay through a wooded country, and stray shots, which
did no harm, were fired at advanced parties. Athy was found to be
decayed through the disturbed state of the country, but the castle
was surrendered without difficulty, and Ormonde made his appearance,
accompanied by his kinsmen Lords Mountgarret and Cahir, both of whom
had been considered in rebellion. About 200 rebels showed themselves,
but retired to bogs and woods on the advance of Southampton with a
detachment. Lord Grey de Wilton was carried by his impetuosity further
forward than his orders warranted, and was placed under arrest for a
night. Both lords had cause to regret what was perhaps an ill-judged
exercise of authority. Sir Christopher St. Lawrence here distinguished
himself by swimming across the Barrow, recovering some stolen horses,
and returning with one of the marauder's heads.

[Sidenote: Owen MacRory O'More.]

After three or four days the provision train came up, and Maryborough
was relieved; the rebels not venturing to make their threatened attack
at Blackford near Stradbally. From Maryborough, which Harrington calls
'a fort of much importance, but of contemptible strength,' Essex made
his way to Lord Mountgarret's house at Ballyragget. The line of march
lay through a wooded pass; where the O'Mores had dug ditches and made
breastworks of the fallen trees. Essex showed both skill and activity,
but he lost three officers and several men; and the natives could
hardly have hoped to stop a viceregal army between Dublin and Kilkenny.
One Irish account says the English loss was great, and another notes
the capture of many plumed helmets, from which the place was named the
'pass of feathers.' The accounts agree that Owen MacRory had not more
than about 500 men with him, and Harrington says he offered to have
a fight with sword and target between fifty chosen men on each side.
Essex agreed to this, but the Irish did not appear. The Lord Lieutenant
did not risk as much as Perrott had formerly done, when he proposed
to decide the war by a duel with Fitzmaurice, but Ormonde must have
remembered that day well, and can hardly have thought this later piece
of knight-errantry much less foolish.[311]

[Sidenote: Campaign in Munster.]

The Kilkenny people expressed their joy at the arrival of Essex 'by
lively orations and silent strewing of the streets with green herbs and
rushes,' and he received a similar welcome at Clonmel. But he did not
like the Latin oration delivered at the latter town: it adjured him not
to bear the sword of justice in vain, while he anxiously protested that
it was for the exercise of clemency that 'her Majesty had given him
both sword and power.'

[Sidenote: Siege of Cahir.]

Essex was now in Munster, and his resolution first to subdue the home
province had been thrown to the winds. Derrinlaur Castle, which annoyed
the navigation of the Suir, was surrendered; its indefensibility had
been proved in 1574, and the fate of the garrison was doubtless well
remembered. Another castle higher up the river gave more trouble. Lord
Cahir was in the viceregal camp, but his brother James (called Galdie
or the Englishman) undertook to defend the family stronghold, and
it was necessary to bring up heavy artillery. The want of foresight
which characterised this campaign was conspicuously shown here. The
battering train, 'one cannon and one culverin,' was brought up by
water to Clonmel, but no draught horses had been provided, nor were
there any means of strengthening the bridges, which might sink under
so unusual a weight. The guns were slowly dragged by men all the way
to Cahir, of the strength of which there is an elaborate official
account. The critical Harrington admits that it was not built with
any great art, but that nature had made it practically impregnable,
which was not true even in those days. An assault would have been
difficult, for the castle was then surrounded by water; but a battery,
which completely commanded it, was easily planted near the site of
the present railway station. Lord Cahir called upon his brother to
surrender, but was answered by threats and insults. Two days later the
guns came, were placed at once in position, and opened fire in a few
hours; but the carriage of the largest 'brake at the second shot,' and
took a day and a half to repair. A ball stuck in the culverin, but
that too was cleared in time, and fifty rounds from this light piece
was enough to silence the garrison on that side. An orchard under the
south-west wall was occupied the same night, and most of the garrison
escaped by the left bank of the river; but two of the English captains
were killed. Before a breach could be effected the White Knight
threw in reinforcements, and the besiegers made another lodgment at
the north-east end of the island. The cannonade was renewed at close
quarters, and on the night of the third day the garrison made a sally.
The intended assault had been assigned to Sir Charles Percy and Sir
Christopher St. Lawrence, with four companies of the Flanders veterans,
who repulsed the attack and entered the castle along with the Irish, of
whom about eighty were killed. A few escaped by swimming, and the guns
were soon mounted on the deserted walls. Having repaired damages and
placed a garrison of 100 men in the castle, the Lord Lieutenant marched
northward along the left bank of the Suir. He made much of this siege,
which was the single thing he had to boast of in Munster, but it was
a small matter after all. A year later James Butler, with sixty men,
again got possession of this 'inexpugnable' fortress without firing a
shot, but soon surrendered to Carew, whose bare threats were enough to
secure his object.[312]

[Sidenote: Death of Sir Thomas Norris.]

[Sidenote: Irish tactics.]

The bridge at Golden was repaired and the army passed to Tipperary,
where a letter was received from Sir Thomas Norris, whom Essex had
already met at Kilkenny. The Lord President announced that he had
been wounded in a skirmish with the Castleconnel Burkes, but he
recovered sufficiently to accompany Essex in part of his Munster
campaign. The wound seems to have been fatal at last, for on August
he was dangerously ill, and in September commissioners were appointed
to execute duties which had been neglected since his death. The
Lord-Lieutenant himself was well received at Limerick, and entertained
with two English orations, 'in which,' says Harrington, 'I know not
which was more to be discommended--words, composition, or oratory, all
of which having their peculiar excellencies in barbarism, harshness,
and rustical, both pronouncing and action.' After several days' rest
the next operation was to revictual Askeaton, and the Sugane Earl
showed himself at Adare with 2,000 or 3,000 men. The bridge was not
defended, but the Irish galled the army in passing a boggy wood beyond
the Maigue, and the soldiers 'went so coldly on' that Essex had to
reproach their baseness. Harrington describes the enemy as 'rather
morrice-dancers tripping after their bag-pipes' than soldiers, and
declares that in all Munster they never once strayed from the edge of
their woods 'further than an old hunted hare doth from her covert for
relief.' Some fighting there was, and the official account makes much
of the Irish losses and little of the Lord-Lieutenant's; but Harrington
says that Plunkett, an insurgent captain who was supposed to have
shown slackness, had next day to give Desmond hostages for his good
behaviour. As Essex passed through each hedge, the thorns closed behind
him, and left the state of Munster unaltered.[313]

[Sidenote: End of Munster campaign.]

[Sidenote: Death of Sir Henry Norris.]

Askeaton was easily victualled by water from Limerick, and Essex turned
aside to Conna near Lismore, where Desmond had his chief residence. The
move was thought a strange one, and Harrington could only conjecture
that he wished to 'give the rebels an inexcusable provocation,' but
O'Sullivan, much less ingeniously, says that he did not dare to proceed
further westward. At Finniterstown the army had to pass between two
woods, and had a sharp fight with Desmond, who had been joined by
Lord Fitzmaurice and some of the MacCarthies. Captain Jennings was
killed, Sir Henry Norris had his leg broken by a bullet, and a third
officer was shot through both cheeks. Norris 'endured amputation with
extraordinary patience,' but died a few weeks afterwards, making the
third of these famous six brothers who had fallen a victim to the Irish
service. After an interval, which was allowed to elapse for fear of
causing fresh sorrow, the Queen wrote to condole with Lord and Lady
Norris on the 'bitter accident' which had deprived them of two more
sons, and the survivor was ordered home from Holland to comfort them.

The army then marched by Croom to Bruff, whence Essex went with
Ormonde, Blount, St. Leger, and Carew to consult the Lord President
at Kilmallock. They agreed that there was no money, no magazine, no
remnant of any kind of victual of her Majesty's stores, cows enough for
only two days, and hardly ammunition for three. On Norris promising
to procure some beeves out of Lord Barry's country and to send them
to Conna the advance was resumed, the line of march being over the
Ballyhoura hills to Glanworth and Fermoy. Essex himself went to Mallow,
detached a party to Cork for the promised supplies, and then rejoined
the army with Cormac MacDermot MacCarthy, who brought 100 cows and
200 kerne. There was some fighting, and Sir Henry Danvers was wounded
between Fermoy and Conna; but the latter castle was dismantled. Lord
Barry brought the convoy safely to Castle Lyons, and the Blackwater was
passed at Affane, a ford which was only practicable for one hour at low
water. The President returned from the neighbourhood of Dungarvan with
1,000 men, with which he expected to be able to maintain the war in
his province, and Essex marched without fighting through Lord Power's
country to Waterford.[314]

[Sidenote: Defeat of Harrington in Wicklow.]

In pursuance of his original intention to settle Leinster before going
further afield, Essex had proposed to give Sir Henry Harrington,
seneschal of Wicklow, 700 foot and 50 horse, 300 of these to be
seasoned soldiers. His sudden resolution to attack Munster altered
this, and the work was left to 'four new companies and Captain Adam
Loftus, his company of foot, who were all Irish and most of them lately
come from the rebels; myself,' Harrington plaintively adds, 'without
either horse or foot, or any penny of entertainment.' The O'Byrnes
had fortified the passage of the Avonmore near Rathdrum, and, in
order to accustom his troops to the presence of an enemy, Harrington
led them out several miles and encamped near the river. This was on
May 28, when Essex was before Cahir. Phelim MacHugh sent peaceful
messages to Harrington, which can have had no object but to disarm his
suspicion. Next morning the Irish were in considerable force, and,
after reconnoitring, the seneschal ordered a return to Wicklow. The
enemy pressed on his rear and hung on his flanks, the ground being
for the most part bush, wood, and bog. A stream which crossed the
road was safely forded, but some signs of insubordination appeared in
Loftus's company, which was explained by an attempt on the part of his
subalterns to gain over some of the hostile kerne who had formerly
fought on the Queen's side. If this was a stratagem on the part of
the O'Byrnes it was completely successful. Loftus did his best in the
rear, the post of danger in a retreat, but received a wound from which
he afterwards died. His men immediately ran away, and, although no one
pursued, never stopped till they got to Wicklow. The Irish then charged
down the road, and the main body of infantry behaved no better. 'I
persuaded them,' says Captain Atherton, 'but to turn their faces and it
should be sufficient for their safety, but they never offered to turn,
nor speak, but, as men without sense or feeling, ran upon one another's
backs, it not being possible to break by reason of the captains, which
endeavoured by all means to stay them, but all in vain.' As soon as the
ground allowed them, the soldiers broke in all directions, throwing
away their arms and even their clothes. Captain Charles Montague, who
had already done such good service at Blackwater, handled his troop of
horse well, and, though wounded in several places, brought off all the
colours, and covered the retreat of the few foot soldiers who retained
any kind of order. Captain Wardman was killed, and this was the end of
Essex's great scheme for the settlement of Leinster.[315]

[Sidenote: Essex returns to Dublin,]

At Waterford, the Lord-Lieutenant was 'received with two Latin
orations, and with as much joyful concourse of people as any other town
of Ireland.' He inspected the fort of Duncannon, and Harrington, who
amused himself in country quarters by reading books on fortification,
and who hoped at coming home to talk of 'counterscarps and casemates,'
shoots his wit at the expense of Sir John Norris in his capacity of
engineer. Stripped of technicalities and Italian terms of art, the
criticism is that the fort was too confined, and that it was commanded
from the land side. The wit forgot that Irish rebels had no artillery,
and did not notice that the course of the channel forced all ships of
any size to come close under the walls. Against a Parma or a Spinola
the defences would have availed little, but after-events proved that
Duncannon was an important post in Irish warfare. Boats were brought
from Carrick and New Ross, and the army was ferried over from Passage
to Ballyhack. This proved a long operation, 'the boats not being great,
and the carriage of our army far greater than ever heretofore in this
country followed so few fighting men,' in which statement the reason
of Essex's failure is perhaps contained. The line of march lay by
Ballibrennan to a ford over the Slaney, between Enniscorthy and Ferns.
The direct road to Dublin was by Carnew, but the Duffry was a land
of woods and hills, swarming with rebels and practicable only for a
fighting force; whereas Essex could muster no more than 1,200 effective
men, clogged with hurt and sick, and 'with at least thrice as many
churls, horseboys, and other like unserviceable people which were of
necessity to be guarded.' It was, therefore, determined to go by the
coast, and no enemy appeared until Gorey had been passed. From this,
villages and houses were burned on both sides of the road 'to whet the
rebels choler and courage,' who made a stand at a river four miles
south of Arklow.

Essex himself passed the deep water with his horse, and Ormonde led the
rest of the army over a better ford near the seaside. The Irish, who
were about 1,000 strong, did not venture to close, but skirmished on
the left flank, the broken ground being too far off for them to do much
harm. Captain Lawrence Esmond was, however, killed. Essex endeavoured
to draw the enemy down by masking a part of his force, but the natives,
as Harrington observes, were not easily to be drawn into an ambuscade.
Ormonde and Blount, with the head of the column, advanced to the
seaside, hidden from the others by the shape of the ground. The Irish,
being on the height, saw their advantage, and very nearly succeeded in
cutting off the baggage train in the centre. A hard fight followed,
and a charge of Southampton's horse just saved the army from a great
disaster. Several of his men were bogged and in great danger. Captain
Constable escaped with two wounds, and Mr. Seth Cox, 'a gentleman whose
industry had adorned him with much both science and language' was
killed. Captain Roche, an Irishman by birth, who had long served the
French king, had his leg shattered by a shot.

[Sidenote: having effected nothing.]

After some more fighting, the rebels were beaten off with the loss
of 100 men. Donell Spaniagh, Phelim MacFeagh, and Owen MacRory were
all present, and were willing to treat upon protection being granted.
Essex sent word to Phelim that he might have a safe-conduct as far as
Arklow if he would come and sue for mercy as a repentant rebel, but
that a messenger sent for any other purpose would be hanged. Dublin
was reached without further fighting, and the Irish annalists, with
whom Harrington is in almost verbal agreement, may be left to sum up
the results of the expedition. While the 'army was in Munster,' say
the Four Masters, 'the Geraldines continued to follow, pursue, and
press upon them, to shoot at, wound, and slaughter them. When the Earl
had arrived in the Decies, the Geraldines returned in exultation and
high spirits to their territories and houses.... In Leinster they
marched not by a prosperous progress, for the Irish were pursuing and
environing them, so that they slew great numbers in every road by which
they passed.... They said it would have been better for the Earl if he
had not gone on this expedition, as he returned back without having
received submission or respect from the Geraldines, and without having
achieved any exploit worth boasting of, excepting only the taking of

[Sidenote: Severity of Essex.]

Essex lost no time in holding a court-martial on the officers and
men of Harrington's force. Piers Walsh, Loftus's Irish lieutenant,
who was certainly guilty of cowardice, and perhaps of treacherously
communicating with the enemy, was shot; all, or nearly all, the
soldiers, had run away; they were sentenced to be hanged, and were
actually decimated. The other officers, 'though they forsook not their
places assigned them, but were forsaken by the soldiers, yet because
in such an extremity they did not something very extraordinary...
were all cashiered' and imprisoned. Harrington himself, being a Privy
Councillor, was not tried, but was placed under arrest during her
Majesty's pleasure. His thirty years' service were not forgotten in
England, and he soon returned to his duty. The decimation was not
approved of, and Wotton notes it as a piece of Roman discipline, and
as an instance of Essex's tendency to severity. On the voyage to the
Azores he had thrown a soldier overboard with his own hands.[317]

[Sidenote: Dissatisfaction of Elizabeth.]

Instead of settling Leinster as announced, the Lord Lieutenant had
only succeeded in getting rid of his army. 'The poor men,' he wrote,
'that marched eight weeks together be very weary, and the horsemen so
divided that I cannot draw 300 to a head.' And still he promised to
overthrow Tyrone, or be himself slain, if he could find him 'on hard
ground and in an open country,' which he was as little likely to do
as Glendower was to draw spirits from the vasty deep. There had been
sharp letters about his making Southampton general of the horse. His
commission gave him power to do this, but the Queen had expressed her
personal repugnance to such promotion. She disliked the formation of
what, in later Irish history, has been called 'a family party.' Blount
was Essex's stepfather, though about his own age, and Southampton had
without leave married his cousin, Elizabeth Vernon, who was a maid of
honour. Essex tried to maintain the appointment against the Queen's
will, mainly on the ground that no volunteer would adhere to him
when thus discountenanced; but Elizabeth said she did not see that
Southampton's counsel or experience could be of any particular value,
and refused to believe that 'the voluntary gentlemen are so discouraged
thereby as they begin to desire passports and prepare to return.' The
Lord-Lieutenant had to submit, and Southampton continued to serve as a
volunteer. The account rendered for two months showed no great balance
in the Queen's favour, and it is evident that she thought pretty much
as the Irish did about the futility of the Munster journey. He had,
she said, 'brought in never a capital rebel, against whom it had been
worthy to have adventured 1,000 men; for of these two comings in that
were brought unto you by Ormonde (namely, Mountgarret and Cahir),
whereupon ensued the taking of Cahir Castle, full well do we know that
you would long since have scorned to have allowed it for any great
matter in others to have taken an Irish hold from a rabble of rogues
with such force as you had, and with the help of the cannon, which was
always able in Ireland to make his passage where it pleased.'[318]

[Sidenote: Essex on his defence.]

Before the end of May Cecil knew that Essex intended to visit Munster,
so as to make things safe there before going to the North, and he
expresses no opinion on the subject. But the Queen soon grew uneasy,
and complained that she was giving the Earl 1,000_l._ a day to make
progresses with. When the results of two months' expenditure were
known, her indignation burst forth. Nothing had been done but what
President Norris might have done as well, and she was especially
displeased 'that it must be the Queen of England's fortune (who hath
held down the greatest enemy she had) to make a base Irish kerne to be
accounted so famous a rebel.' Ireland was in a state worse than that
in which Ormonde had left it, and Tyrone was announcing to continental
nations 'defeats of regiments, deaths of captains, and loss of men of
quality in every corner.' Essex entrusted regiments to young gentlemen,
and made such a fuss that the rebels were always fully prepared. This
was just criticism, and indeed the Earl's own story tallies with it.
He provides the excuse also, but he had only found out what was known
to hundreds of officers who had served in Ireland. The rebels, he
said, were much more numerous than the soldiers, and for light warfare
they were both naturally more active and better trained to fight. The
Queen's gallant officers and gentlemen of quality did more good than
all the rest, and the real difficulty was to restrain their ardour,
whereas the rebel leaders 'dare never put themselves to any hazard,
but send their kerne and their hirelings to fight with her Majesty's
troops.' English officers with cavalry could always win in the open,
and towns were in no danger; but in bogs and woods he was loth to
'wager the lives of noblemen and gentlemen against rogues and naked

These were the commonplaces of Irish warfare since Surrey's and
Skeffington's days, and Essex was learning his lesson at an enormous

[Sidenote: Campaign in Leix and Offaly.]

The Lord-Lieutenant was ill, of the malady which nearly proved fatal
in the following year, and the results of overwork and failure were
not lessened by rebukes from the Queen. An intended expedition into
Leix and Offaly was noticed by her as unworthy of his rank, but yet he
determined to go. Blount was first sent to victual Maryborough, and
the sergeant-major to Philipstown. Captain William Williams commanded
at the latter place, and he had just lost 60 men by allowing them to
fall into an ambuscade. There was no difficulty in relieving the forts,
but when Essex himself followed, he had some sharp fighting on the
border of Westmeath. The Irish were commanded by Captain Tyrrell, a
noted English or Anglo-Irish partisan in Tyrone's pay, who always kept
200 men with him. In days long gone by, the Anglo-Norman Tyrrells had
driven the O'Dooleys from Fartullagh, and now they were in arms against
the Queen of England's representative. Sir Conyers Clifford came from
Connaught, to meet the Lord-Lieutenant, and his horsemen fought bravely
on foot in a country where there was no place for cavalry. 'In all
this journey,' says Harrington, who came with the Connaught troops, 'I
was comrade to the Earl of Kildare, and slept both on one pillow every
night for the most part; here at the parting, my lord gave Sir Griffin
Markham great commendations, and made him colonel and commander of
all the horse in Connaught; and gave me and some others the honour of
knighthood in the field.'

Clifford lost many men before effecting the juncture, and yet the
natives were so completely surprised that they had no time even to
hide their children. Many hundred cows were taken, but the result
of the expedition was that Essex returned to Dublin and Clifford to

[Sidenote: Anger of Elizabeth.]

[Sidenote: The cheap defence of nations.]

At the beginning of August, the Irish Council demanded 2,000 fresh
men for the expedition to the North, but before an answer came, they
declared that nothing could be done for the year. It is difficult
to say how far this inconsistency was caused by the fluctuations
of Essex's own temper, but it was clear that he did not inspire
confidence. The Queen granted the reinforcements, while severely
criticising the conduct of both Lord-Lieutenant and Council. She had
been repeatedly told, and could very well believe, that a garrison at
Lough Foyle was the chief thing needful. 'We doubt not,' she said,
'but to hear by the next that it is begun and not in question.' In the
meantime the garrisons in Connaught and Munster and in the midland
forts seemed scarcely able to maintain themselves. 'We can hope of no
success,' she said sarcastically, 'than to be able to keep our towns
which were never lost, and some petty holds of small importance, with
more than three parts of our army, it being decreed for the head of
the rebellion, that our forces shall not find our way this year to
behold him.' She could not understand how no more than 5,000 men were
available, instead of at least double that number; and, indeed, it is
not easy to understand even now. And there were other things to make
her angry. Essex had been specially ordered to make no knights except
for some striking service, and he now made no less than fifty-nine,
without having anything to show for it. The court news-writer, from
whom we learn so much, notes that he had begun by dozens and scores,
and had now fallen to 'huddle them up by half-hundreds; and it is noted
as a strange thing, that a subject, in the course of seven or eight
years, should, upon so little service and small desert, make more
knights than in all the realm besides; and it is doubted, that if he
continues this course, he will shortly bring in tag and rag, cut and
long-tail, and so bring the order into contempt.'[321]

[Sidenote: Defeat of Sir Conyers Clifford (August).]

[Sidenote: Death of Clifford.]

It may be doubtful whether Essex intended again to take the dilatory
advice of his Council, or whether he would have been stung into
action by the Queen's taunts. A great disaster seems to have finally
determined him, though it should probably have had the contrary effect.
O'Connor Sligo had been with Essex in Munster, whence he returned to
Collooney, the only castle which he had preserved from O'Donnell, and
where he was at once beleaguered by him. Essex ordered Clifford to
relieve him and to occupy Sligo, by which means he hoped to distract
Tyrone's attention. Clifford, with a force of something under 2,000
men, went to Boyle, and, in spite of the Lord Lieutenant's caution
against over-confidence, resolved to pass the Curlew mountains without
resting his men, after two days' march in the hot harvest weather. He
does not seem to have expected any opposition, but O'Donnell had been
watching the pass for weeks, and had given orders that the army should
be allowed to get well on to the mountain before they were attacked.
The Irish scouts saw them leave the abbey of Boyle, so that there was
plenty of time for O'Donnell to bring up his forces. On arriving at
the narrowest part of the pass between Boyle and Ballinafad, Clifford
found it strongly defended by a breastwork, and held by 400 men, who
fired a volley, and then fell back. The road up the mountain, which
consisted of 'stones six or seven foot broad, lying above ground, with
plashes of bog between them,' ran through boggy woods, from which the
Irish galled the soldiers, who exhausted their powder with little
effect. Sir Alexander Radclyffe, commanding the advance guard, was
mortally wounded, and as no reinforcement came up, a panic ensued,
and the whole array were driven pell-mell back to Boyle. Sir John Mac
Swiney, an Irish officer in the Queen's service, faced the enemy almost
alone, cursing the vileness of his men, and 'died fighting, leaving the
example of his virtue to be intituled by all honourable posterities.'
Only the horse under Sir Griffin Markham behaved well, covering the
retreat and charging boldly up hill 'among rocks and bogs, where never
horse was seen to charge before.' Markham had his arm broken by a shot,
and Sir Conyers Clifford was killed while trying to rally his men.
Harrington thought the imagination of the soldiers was bewitched, and
cites the extraordinary escape of Rory Oge from his cousin Sir Henry in
1577, when they thought 'he had, by magic, compelled them not to touch
him'; but this panic is easily explained by the moral effect of recent
defeats. So far as Ireland went, people were losing their faith in
Elizabeth's star.[322]

[Sidenote: Effects of this disaster.]

O'Rourke, who remained in possession of the field, cut off Clifford's
head and sent it to O'Donnell, and MacDermot, in a letter which
Harrington very justly characterised as 'barbarous for the Latin,
but civil for the sense,' announced that, for the love he bore the
governor, he had carried his headless trunk to the neighbouring
monastery of Lough Cé. He was ready to exchange it for his own
prisoners or to give it decent burial himself, and he would offer no
obstacle to the burial of other officers. 'The Irish of Connaught,' say
the Four Masters, 'were not pleased at the Governor's death, for he
had been a bestower of jewels and riches upon them, and he had never
told them a falsehood.' The same authorities say the Irish did not
attribute their victory to arms, but to the miracle of the Lord and
to the special intercession of the Blessed Mary. Nor was superstition
confined to the victorious party, for not only did the English soldiers
talk of magic, but Clifford himself was said to have prophetically
dreamed of his capture by O'Donnell, and of being carried by monks
into their convent. The defeat was particularly disastrous, because
Clifford's troops were not raw recruits, as Harrington's had been.
Essex determined to employ them no more, except to defend walls. The
immediate result of the battle was that O'Connor Sligo submitted to
Tyrone, and became a loyal subject of the real king of Ireland.[323]

[Sidenote: A council of war decides to do nothing.]

Essex's first and natural impulse was 'to revenge or follow worthy
Conyers Clifford,' but others thought that very little could be done.
In early spring it had been decided to wait till the summer, and now
in harvest-time the season for fighting was considered to be past.
Again the General placed his fate in the hands of a council of war, and
again his advisers resolved to do nothing. 'The Lords, Colonels, and
Knights of the army,' as they style themselves, declared that there
were less than 4,000 men available for a campaign, that many soldiers
deserted to the rebels, ran away to England, feigned sickness, or hid
themselves. The uniform ill-success of the Queen's army had lately
been such that her troops had no heart for the Ulster enterprise, and
it was certain that they would be greatly outnumbered by the rebels.
'The Connaught army consisting of a great part of old companies being
lately defeated,' there was no chance of establishing a post at Lough
Foyle, and in any case there were not men enough to garrison it, and
the same would apply still more strongly to Armagh and Blackwater,
whither provisions could not be brought by sea. For these reasons, and
being thoroughly aware of the state of the army, the officers declared
against any journey far north. 'In which resolution,' they say, 'if
any man suspected it proceeded of weakness or baseness, we will not
only in all likely and profitable service disprove him, but will every
one of us deal with his life, that we dissuaded this undertaking with
more duty than any man could persuade unto it.' The Queen was very
angry with the Lord Lieutenant for calling in 'so many of those that
are of so slender judgment, and none of our council,' to keep men from
censuring his proceedings, and there can be little doubt that it was a
weak device to shift the responsibility. Seven days after the officers'
declaration, Essex left Dublin, resolved to go as far and do as much
'as duty would warrant, and God enable him.' This meant that he would
fight Tyrone if the arch-rebel would forego his advantage of position
and come out to battle. 'If he have as much courage as he pretendeth,
we will, on one side or the other, end the war.' He had come to see
that the 'beating of Tyrone in the field' depended upon the good
pleasure of that chief, and it would have been well for his fame had he
mastered that elementary truth before he undertook to censure better
soldiers and wiser men than himself.[324]

[Sidenote: Essex goes to the north.]

[Sidenote: Tyrone in sight.]

Essex left Dublin on August 28, with the intention of placing a
garrison at Donaghmoyne in Farney. That land of lakes and hills was
his own inheritance by the Queen's patent to his father, and he may
have had some idea of securing his own as well as of annoying Tyrone.
He travelled through Navan and Kells, and at Castle Keran, beyond
the latter town, he mustered an army of 3,700 foot and 300 horse. But
the idea of establishing an outpost either in Monaghan or Cavan was
quickly abandoned for three reasons, any of which would have been ample
by itself. It was not worth doing, since there was nothing to defend
beyond Kells. It could not be done, because it would be impossible to
bring provisions on horseback from Drogheda. Last and not least, Tyrone
was in Farney, ready to burn the Pale up to Dublin gates as soon as
the Lord Lieutenant's rearguard had passed. It was resolved that Kells
should be the frontier garrison, and the army marched to Ardee. The
camp was so placed that Tyrone's could be seen on the other side of
the Lagan, and there was some small skirmishing when a party was sent
down to cut firewood near the river. Next day Essex advanced to the
Mills of Louth, and encamped on the left bank of the Lagan. Tyrone made
a flank march at the same time, and the two armies were quite close
together, the Irish keeping the woods, though 10,000 or 11,000 strong.
Sir William Warren, who was used to treating with Tyrone, went to seek
the enlargement of a prisoner, and next day Henry O'Hagan came to ask
for a parley. 'If thy master,' Essex is reported to have said, 'have
any confidence either in the justness of his cause, or in the goodness
and number of his men, or in his own virtue, of all which he vainly
glorieth, he will meet me in the field so far advanced before the head
of his kerne as myself shall be separated from the front of my troops,
where we will parley in that fashion which best becomes soldiers.'
Vainglory there was, but rather upon the challenger's own side; it
was as a general, and not as a champion, that Elizabeth had sent her
favourite to Ireland.[325]

[Sidenote: Essex meets Tyrone,]

[Sidenote: and retires without fighting.]

Next day Essex offered battle, which of course was refused by the
enemy, but Tyrone again sent to desire a parley. A garrison was placed
at Newrath near the mill of Louth, and on the following day the army
marched towards Drumcondra. They had scarcely gone a mile when O'Hagan
came again, and 'speaking,' like Rabshakeh, 'so loud as all might
hear that were present,' announced that Tyrone 'desired her Majesty's
mercy, and that the Lord Lieutenant would hear him; which, if his
lordship agreed to, he would gallop about and meet him at the ford of
Bellaclinthe, which was on the right hand by the way which his lordship
took to Drumcondra.' Essex sent two officers to see the place, who
reported that the ford was too wide for the purpose; but Tyrone, who
knew the ground, found a spot 'where he, standing up to his horse's
belly, might be near enough to be heard by the Lord Lieutenant, though
he kept to the hard ground.... Seeing Tyrone there alone, his lordship
went down alone. At whose coming Tyrone saluted his lordship with much
reverence, and they talked above half-an-hour together, and after went
either of them to their companies on the hills.' Of all the foolish
things Essex ever did, this was the most foolish. By conversing with
the arch-rebel without witnesses he left it open to his enemies to
put the worst construction on all he did, and he put it out of his
own power to offer any valid defence. Two days before he had declared
war to the knife, and now he was ready to talk familiarly with his
enemy, and practically to concede all without striking a blow. A more
formal meeting followed with six witnesses on each side. Tyrone's
were his brother Cormac MacBaron, Magennis, Maguire, Ever MacCowley,
Henry Ovington, and Richard Owen, 'that came from Spain, but is an
Irishman by birth.' Southampton, St. Leger, and four other officers of
rank accompanied the Lord Lieutenant. By way of humility, the Irish
party rode into the river, 'almost to their horse's bellies,' while
Essex and his followers kept on the bank. Tyrone spoke uncovered,
saluting the viceregal party 'with a great deal of respect,' and it
was arranged that a further conference should take place next morning.
Essex continued his march to Drumcondra, but Tyrone came himself to the
place of meeting--a ford where the Lagan bridge now stands. Wotton was
one of the commissioners on the Lord Lieutenant's part, and it is not
likely that the negotiation suffered in his hands. He was chosen as
the fittest person 'to counterpoise the sharpness of Henry Ovington's
wit.' The result was a cessation of arms for six weeks to six weeks
until May, either side being at liberty to break it on giving fourteen
days' notice. If any of Tyrone's allies refused to be bound, the Lord
Lieutenant was left at liberty to attack them. To save Essex's honour
it was agreed to that his ratification should be by word simply, but
that Tyrone's should be on oath. Next day the Lord Lieutenant went
to take physic at Drogheda, and Tyrone retired with all his forces
into the heart of his country, having gained without fighting a
greater victory than that of the Yellow Ford. Bagenal was defeated,
the Earl of Essex was disgraced; one had lost his life, the other his

[Sidenote: The Queen blames Essex severely,]

[Sidenote: and he leaves Ireland without leave.]

'If these wars end by treaty,' Wotton had said on his first arrival,
'the Earl of Tyrone must be very humble.' But the wars were ended so
far as Essex was concerned, and the rebels had conceded nothing. A
week before his meeting with Tyrone, Essex had written to the Queen,
warning her to expect nothing from a man weary of life, whose past
services had been requited by 'banishment and proscription into the
most cursed of all countries,' and almost suggesting that he meditated
suicide as the only means of escape. Nor were Elizabeth's letters such
as to encourage him. He had disappointed the world's expectation, and
his actions had been contrary to her orders, 'though carried in such
sort as we were sure to have no time to countermand them.' 'Before your
departure,' she wrote, 'no man's counsel was held sound which persuaded
not presently the main prosecution in Ulster; all was nothing without
that, and nothing was too much for that.' An army and a summer had been
wasted, and nothing had been done. The only way of accounting for the
way in which the available troops had dwindled from 19,000 to less
than 4,000 was by supposing that he had dispersed them in unnecessary
garrisons, 'especially since, by your continual report of the state of
every province, you describe them all to be in worse condition than
ever they were before you put foot in that kingdom.' He had condemned
all his predecessors, he had had everything he asked for, and he had
done worse than anyone. Two days after the despatch of this letter
Elizabeth received the account of the truce with Tyrone, which she
promptly characterised as the 'quick end made of a slow proceeding.'
She had never doubted that Tyrone would be ready to parley 'specially
with our supreme general of the kingdom, having often done it with
those of subaltern authority; always seeking these cessations with
like words, like protestations.' She blamed Essex severely for his
private interview--not, she was careful to say, that she suspected
treason; 'yet both for comeliness, example, and your own discharge, we
marvel you would carry it no better.' He had neglected her orders and
sheltered himself systematically behind a council which had already
wrapped Ireland in calamities. If she had intended to leave all to
them, it was 'very superfluous to have sent over such a personage as
yourself.' His despatches were as meagre as his actions, and he had
told her nothing of what passed between him and Tyrone, nor of his
instructions to the commissioners, so that 'we cannot tell, but by
divination, what to think may be the issue of this proceeding... to
trust this traitor upon oath is to trust a devil upon his religion. To
trust him upon pledges is a mere illusory... unless he yield to have
garrisons planted in his own country to master him, and to come over
to us personally here.' The letter concluded with a positive order not
to ratify the truce, nor to grant a pardon without further authority
from herself, 'after he had particularly advised by writing.' One week
after the date of the letter Essex left Ireland, in spite of the most
stringent orders not to do so without a special warrant.[327]

[Sidenote: The O'Neill in his hold.]

Some account of Tyrone, as he appeared among his own people near
Dunkalk, has been fortunately preserved in a letter from Sir John
Harrington, who was at once a keen observer and a lively writer,
and who had already seen him at Ormonde's house in London. Tyrone
apologised for not remembering him personally, and said that the
troubles had made him almost forget his friends. While the Earl was in
private conversation with Sir William Warren, Harrington amused himself
by 'posing his two sons in their learning, and their tutors, which were
one Friar Nangle, a Franciscan, and a younger scholar, whose name I
know not; and finding the two children of good towardly spirit, their
age between thirteen and fifteen, in English clothes like a nobleman's
sons; with velvet jerkins and gold lace; of a good cheerful aspect,
freckle-faced, not tall of stature, but strong and well-set; both of
them speaking the English tongue; I gave them (not without the advice
of Sir William Warren) my English translation of Ariosto, which I got
at Dublin; which their teachers took very thankfully, and soon after
shewed it to the Earl, who called to see it openly, and would needs
hear some part of it read. I turned (as it had been by chance) to the
beginning of the forty-fifth canto, and some other passages of the
book, which he seemed to like so well that he solemnly swore his boys
should read all the book over to him.' Harrington was not insensible to
flattery of this sort, for he has recorded the reception of his work
at Galway and its soothing effect upon 'a great lady, a young lady,
and a fair lady' who had been jilted by Sir Calisthenes Brooke; but it
did not prevent him from afterwards calling Tyrone a damnable rebel.
It was O'Neill's cue to speak fairly, and he took occasion to say that
he had seen his visitor's cousin, Sir Henry, in the field, and that he
must have been wrongly accused of misconduct in the fight near Wicklow.
Tyrone deplored his 'own hard life,' comparing himself to wolves, that
'fill their bellies sometimes, and fast as long for it;' but he was
merry at dinner, and seemed rather pleased when Harrington worsted
one of his priests in an argument. 'There were fern tables and fern
forms, spread under the stately canopy of heaven. His guard for the
most part were beardless boys without shirts, who, in the frost, wade
as familiarly through rivers as water-spaniels. With what charms such a
master makes them love him I know not; but if he bid come, they come;
if go, they do go; if he say do this, they do it.' He made peaceable
professions, and spoke much about freedom of conscience; but Harrington
perceived that his only object was to temporise, and 'one pretty thing
I noted, that the paper being drawn for him to sign, and his signing it
with O'Neill, Sir William (though with very great difficulty) made him
to new write it and subscribe Hugh Tyrone.'[328]

[Sidenote: Essex deserts his post (September).]

[Sidenote: His reception at Court.]

The only possible excuse for Essex's leaving Ireland against orders
was the Queen's last direction to 'advise by writing' the progress of
his negotiations with Tyrone. He had given a promise--a foolish and
rash promise--that he would 'only verbally deliver' the conditions
demanded by the arch-rebel. A letter to Sir John Norris had been sent
into Spain, and Tyrone refused to open his heart if writing was to be
used. Essex could, however, refer to the instructions given by him to
Warren, and in any case he might have waited until her Majesty had
expressed her opinion as to his promise of secrecy. After all, the most
probable supposition is that he was sick of Ireland, that he felt his
own failure, and that he hoped to reassert over the Queen that power
which absence had so evidently weakened. He swore in Archbishop Loftus
and Sir George Carey as Lords Justices, Ormonde remaining in command
of the army under his old commission, and charged them all to keep
the cessation precisely, but to stand on their guard and to have all
garrisons fully victualled for six months. He sailed the same day, and
travelled post, with the evident intention of himself announcing his
departure from Ireland. Having embarked on the 24th, he reached London
very early on the 28th, hurried to the ferry between Westminster and
Lambeth, and appropriated the horses which he found waiting there.
Lord Grey de Wilton, who had not forgiven his arrest, was in front,
and it was proposed by Sir Thomas Gerrard that he should let the Earl
pass him. 'Doth he desire it?' said Lord Grey. 'No,' was the answer,
'nor will he, I think, ask anything at your hands.' 'Then,' said his
lordship, 'I have business at Court.' He hurried on to Nonsuch, and
went straight to Cecil.[329] Essex arrived only a quarter of an hour
later, and although 'so full of dirt and mire that his very face was
full of it,' made his way at once to the Queen's bedchamber. It was
ten o'clock, and Elizabeth was an early riser, but on this occasion
she was 'newly up, the hair about her face.' He fell on his knees and
kissed her hands, and the goodness of his reception was inferred from
his own words that, 'though he had suffered much trouble and storm
abroad, he found a sweet calm at home.' He dressed, and at eleven had
another audience, which lasted an hour. Still all went well. The Queen
was gracious, and the courtiers as yet saw no reason to stand aloof;
but Cecil and his friends were thought to be rather cold. Elizabeth
was evidently glad to see her favourite, and for a moment forgot his
real position. The first meeting of the Privy Council dispelled the
illusion, and on the 1st of October he was committed to the custody of
Lord-Keeper Egerton.[330]

[Sidenote: Negotiations with Tyrone (October and November).]

It was very uncertain as to what would be the consequences of Essex's
escapade, and those who were left in charge could only temporise as
best they might. In about two months Sir William Warren had three
separate parleys with Tyrone, and in each case it was the English
diplomatist that urged a continuance of the cessation of arms. Tyrone,
who had his immediate followers extraordinarily well in hand, seems
to have kept the truce, and he had reasons to complain of injuries
done him by the English party. In the paralysis of government outrage
upon the borders could scarcely be avoided, and Tyrone's allies were
less steady than himself. 'In all the speeches,' Warren wrote, 'passed
between him and me, he seemed to stand chiefly upon a general liberty
of religion throughout the kingdom. I wished him to demand some other
thing reasonable to be had from her Majesty, for I told him that I
thought her Majesty would no more yield to that demand than she would
give her crown from her head.' Warren laughed at a letter addressed
to Lord O'Neill Chief Lieutenant of Ireland. 'I asked him,' he says,
'to whom the devil he could be Lieutenant. He answered me, Why should
I not be a Lieutenant as well as the Earl of Ormonde.' The reasoning
is not very clear, and it seems at least probable that many regarded
him as the Pope's viceroy. In making James Fitzthomas an earl he had
greatly exceeded even the most ample viceregal powers. From the meeting
with Essex to the date at which he resolved to begin fighting again,
his official letters are signed Hugh Tyrone, but on November 8 he gave
Warren fourteen days' notice to conclude the truce, on the ground of
injuries done him by Thomond and Clanricarde. That letter and those
succeeding it, with one significant exception, he signs as O'Neill.
In repeating the notice to Ormonde he says, 'I wish you command your
secretary to be more discreet and to use the word Traitor as seldom as
he may. By chiding there is little gotten at my hands, and they that
are joined with me fight for the Catholic religion, and liberties of
our country, the which I protest before God is my whole intention.' In
all these negotiations Tyrone professes to rely entirely upon Essex
to see justice done, and declares war 'first of all for having seven
score of my men killed by the Earl of Ormonde in time of cessation,
besides divers others of the Geraldines, who were slain by the Earl
of Kildare. Another cause is because I made my agreement only with
your lordship, in whom I had my only confidence, who, as I am given
to understand, is now restrained from your liberty, for what cause I
know not.' And this letter, being intended for English consumption,
is signed Hugh Tyrone. Immediately after writing it he again took the

[Sidenote: Amount of blame imputable to Essex.]

'The conditions demanded by Tyrone,' says Essex himself, 'I was fain to
give my word that I would only verbally deliver.' The consequence was
that there is not and cannot be any absolutely authentic statement of
those conditions. There is, however, a paper printed in a collection of
repute, and immediately after one of Cecil's letters, which professes
to be a statement of 'Tyrone's Propositions, 1599.' The Queen herself
says that Essex, on his return, acquainted her with Tyrone's offers,
but in so confused a manner as could only be explained by supposing
that 'the short time of their conference made him not fully conceive
the particular meaning of Tyrone in divers of those articles.' What
probably happened was that Tyrone talked big, and that when Essex came
to think over it afterwards, he could not clearly distinguish between
extreme claims which had been mentioned, and serious proposals which
had been made. But the 16th article in 'Tyrone's Propositions' is
clearly not invented by the writer, who was probably hostile to Essex.
It demands 'that O'Neill, O'Donnell, Desmond, and their partakers,
shall have such lands as their ancestors enjoyed 200 years ago.'
Whether Tyrone ever demanded any such thing is doubtful, but it is
certain that this, or something very like it, was what Essex told the
Queen. 'Tyrone's offers,' she says, 'are both full of scandal to our
realm, and future peril in the State. What would become of all Munster,
Leix, and Offaly, if all the ancient exiled rebels be restored to all
that our laws and hereditary succession have bestowed upon us?' And
again, 'we will not assent in other provinces [than Ulster] to the
restitution of all traitors to their livings, or the displantation of
our subjects that have spent their lives in the just defences of their
possessions which they have taken and held from us or our ancestors.'
It is quite evident then that Essex actually laid before Elizabeth
a proposal which involved the reversal of every attainder and the
expropriation of all settlers upon forfeited lands. After this it
hardly seems worth discussing matters of commerce, or proposals that
Englishmen should be debarred from all preferment in Church and State
in Ireland, while all statutes prejudicing the preferment of Irishmen
in England should be repealed.'[332]

[Sidenote: What Tyrone meant by 'liberty of conscience.']

Liberty of conscience was what Tyrone continually asked for, but
not what he or his friends were prepared to grant. He undertook
generally to 'plant the Catholic faith throughout Ireland,' and when
did Rome bear a rival near her throne? In a letter to the King of
Spain he acknowledged his object to be the 'extirpation of heresy,'
and recalcitrant chiefs were reminded that present ruin and eternal
damnation would be their lot if they did not help to 'erect the
Catholic religion.' Jesuits boasted that his victories had already
made it impossible for Protestants to live in certain districts.
Tyrone claimed personal inviolability for priests, and treated the
imprisonment of one as a breach of the cessation. In the paper already
discussed he is said to have demanded that the Catholic religion should
be openly preached, the churches governed by the Pope, cathedrals
restored, Irish priests released from prison and left free to come
and go over sea, and that no Englishmen should be churchmen in
Ireland. The article about the release of clerical prisoners is just
such a coincidence as Paley would have urged in proof that 'Tyrone's
Propositions' form a genuine document. But here again it is probable
that this was only laid before the Queen as Tyrone's extreme claim, and
that Essex gave her some reason to suppose that he would be satisfied
with less. 'For any other personal coming of himself,' she wrote, 'or
constraint in religion, we can be content, for the first, that he may
know he shall not be peremptorily concluded, and in the second that we
leave to God, who knows best how to work his will in these things, by
means more fit than violence, which doth rather obdurate than reform.
And, therefore, as in that case he need not to dread us, so we intend
not to bind ourselves further for his security than by our former
course we have witnessed; who have not used rigour in that point, even
when we might with more probability have forced others.'[333]


[300] Parallel between Essex and Buckingham in _Reliquiæ Wottonianæ_.

[301] _Reliquiæ Wottonianæ_; Camden; Essex to the Queen in Devereux's
_Earls of Essex_, i. 493. The letter quoted in the text is the best
proof that Camden's story is substantially true. See also Spedding's
_Life of Bacon_, ii. 91, 103. For Spanish popular notions on Philip
III. see _Carew_, Aug. 23, 1602. Beaumont, the French ambassador
in 1602, says the Queen told him, in a broken voice, that she had
warned Essex long since 'qu'il se contestast de prendre plaisir
de lui déplaire à toutes occasions, et de mepriser sa personne
insolemment comme il faisait, et qu'il se gardast bien de toucher à son
sceptre.'--Von Raumer, Letter 60.

[302] Spedding, ii. 124-126; Essex to John Harrington in Park's edition
of _Nugæ Antiquæ_, i. 246.

[303] Bacon's advice to Essex immediately before his going to Ireland,
Spedding, ii. 129; Essex to Southampton, Jan. 1, 1599, printed by
Abbott; Bacon's _Apology_, first printed in 1604.

[304] The letter of advice is in Spedding, ii. 129; Apology concerning
the Earl of Essex; Essex to Southampton in Abbott's _Bacon and Essex_,
chap. ix. Jan. 1, 1599. Essex wrote to the Queen, just before starting,
as follows: 'From a mind delighting in sorrow, from spirits wasted
with passion, from a heart torn with care, grief, and travail, from a
man that hateth himself and all things also that keepeth him alive,
what service can your Majesty expect? since my service past deserves
no more than banishment and proscription into the cursedst of all
other countries.' The letter ends with some verses in praise of a
contemplative life, and Essex signs himself 'your Majesty's exiled
servant.'--_MS. Harl._ 35, p. 338.

[305] The progress of the negotiations may be traced in Chamberlain's
_Letters_ (Camden Society). Essex to Southampton, Jan. 1, 1599; and
Charles Blount (afterwards Lord Mountjoy) to Essex, Jan. 3, both in
Abbott, chap. ix.

    'Full little knowest thou, that has not tried,
    What hell it is in suing long to bide;
    To lose good days that might be better spent
    To waste long nights in pensive discontent;
    To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow, &c.'--_Spenser._

[306] Devereux, ii. 16-24; _Four Masters_; Prayer for the good success
of Her Majesty's forces in Ireland (black letter, London, 1599).

    Were now the general of our gracious empress
    (As in good time he may), from Ireland coming,
    Bringing rebellion broached on his sword,
    How many would the peaceful city quit,
    To welcome him?--_Henry V._ Act 5.

[307] Chamberlain's _Letters_, 1599. Robert Markham to John Harrington
in _Nugæ Antiquæ_, i. 239; Fenton to Cecil, May 7; Fynes Moryson's
_Itinerary_, part i. book i. ch. i. At Hatfield there are a great many
letters asking Essex to employ the writers or their friends in Ireland.
Most of these anticipate triumph. William Harborn on Feb. 3 asks for
nothing, but presents the Earl with an Italian history of the world in
four volumes, 'to attend your honour, if they be permitted, in this
your pretended Irish enterprise, at times vacant to recreate your most
heroical mind.' The Queen's instructions speak of a 'royal army, paid,
furnished, and provided in other sorts than any king of this land hath
done before.' Its nominal strength was raised to 20,000, but they were
never really under arms at once.

[308] The Commission, dated March 12, is in Morrin's _Patent Rolls_,
ii. 520. The instructions, dated March 27, are fully abstracted by
Devereux, and in _Carew_.

[309] Chichester to Cecil, March 17, 1599, MS. _Hatfield_. Account of
Sir Arthur Chichester by Sir Faithful Fortescue in Lord Clermont's
privately printed _Life of Sir John Fortescue_, &c.

[310] Report on state of Ireland April 1599, in _Carew_, and further
particulars in Dymmok's _Treatise of Ireland_ (ed. Butler, Irish
Arch. Society, 1843). Dymmok's account of the Leinster and Munster
journey is, with slight omissions, word for word (but better spelt)
Harrington's journal from May 10 to July 3, after which it is
continued from other sources. (_Nugæ Antiquæ_, i. 268-292.) There is
an independent journal in _Carew_ from May 21 to July 1. The opinion
of the Irish Council is printed by Devereux, i. 24. Essex to the
Privy Council, April 29. Sir H. Wotton to Ed. Reynolds, April 19, MS.
_Hatfield_, where it is noted that Sir H. Wallop died within an hour of
the Lord Lieutenant's arrival.

[311] _Nugæ Antiquæ_, i. 269-275; _Four Masters_; O'Sullivan Bere, tom.
iii. lib. v. cap. 9. O'Donovan cannot exactly identify the 'transitus
plumarum,' and the name is forgotten in the district. Harrington
places it between Croshy Duff hill, which is two and a half miles from
Maryborough on the Timahoe road, and Cashel, which is four miles from
Maryborough on the Ballyroan road. Captain Lee, in _Desiderata Curiosa
Hibernica_, i. 114, suggests that Tyrone would willingly settle all his
differences with Bagenal (whom he very wrongly accuses of cowardice)
by a duel. Tyrone was the last man in the world to do such an act of
folly, but Lee exposes his own character.

[312] The Lord President, Ormonde, and other councillors 'hath
persuaded me for a few days to look into his government.'--Essex to the
Privy Council, May 21, 1599, MS. _Hatfield_. The few days were a full
month. _Nugæ Antiquæ_, i. 275-278; Journal of occurrents in _Carew_,
under June 22. The battery was planted on May 28, and all was over by
the 31st. 'The castle of Cahir, very considerable, built upon a rock,
and seated in an island in the midst of the Suir, was lately rendered
to me. It cost the Earl of Essex, as I am informed, about _eight weeks'
siege_ with his army and artillery. It is now yours without the loss
of one man.'--Cromwell to Bradshaw, March 5, 1649. Thus history is
falsified by flattery and local vanity. There is a picture-plan of the
siege in _Pacata Hibernia_.

[313] Journal of occurrents in _Carew_, under June 22; _Nugæ Antiquæ_,
i. 278-280. The Journal, the _Four Masters_, and O'Sullivan Bere, tom.
iii. lib. v. cap. 6, all agree that Norris died of a wound in the head.
'Kilthilia' may be Kilteely near Hospital, whither the Journal says the
wounded man was first carried. He died in his own house at Mallow.

[314] _Nugæ Antiquæ_ and Journal _ut sup._ Essex left Askeaton on
the 8th, and arrived at Waterford on June 21. The Queen to Lord and
Lady Norris, Sept. 6, in S.P. _Domestic_, and Rowland Whyte to Sir R.
Sidney, Sept. 8, in _Sidney Papers_.

[315] The contemporary accounts are collected in _National MSS. of
Ireland_, part iv. i. app. xiv. Atherton's is the most minute. There
is also a field-sketch made by Captain Montague. The Irish were not
numerically stronger than Harrington's force. Loftus, who died at
Wicklow for want of a skilful surgeon, was the archbishop's son.

[316] Journal in _Carew_, under July 1; _Nugæ Antiquæ_, i. 254, 259,
and 286-292; Dymmok's _Treatise_. Essex left Waterford June 22, and
reached Dublin July 2.

[317] Essex to the Privy Council, July 11; Devereux, ii. 50-52; Fynes
Moryson, part ii. lib. i. cap. i.; _Nugæ Antiquæ_, i. 292; _Reliquiæ

[318] Privy Council to Essex, June 10; Essex to the Privy Council, July
11; the Queen to Essex, July 19.

[319] Essex to the Privy Council, May 21, MS. _Hatfield_; Cecil to Sir
H. Neville, May 23, in Winwood's _Memorials_; Chamberlain's _Letters_,
June 10; Essex to the Queen, June 25, in Moryson; the Queen to Essex,
July 19.

[320] Dymmok's _Treatise_, p. 43; _Nugæ Antiquæ_, i. 255; the Queen to
Essex, July 19 and Aug. 10. Harrington's comrade was Gerald, fourteenth
Earl of Kildare. The 'sergeant-major' was either Captain Richard Cuny
or Captain George Flower.

[321] The Queen to the Lord Lieutenant and Council, Aug. 10 in _Carew_;
Chamberlain's _Letters_, Aug. 23.

[322] Dymmok's _Treatise_, p. 44; _Nugæ Antiquæ_, i. 255-257 and
264-268; _Four Masters_. Harrington was present, and Dymmok's account
is from those who were. O'Sullivan Bere says the English lost 1,400
men, but Harrington says Clifford's whole force hardly amounted to
that number. O'Donnell, though not far off, took no actual part in the
fight. H. Cuffe to E. Reynolds, Aug. 11, MS. _Hatfield_, written when
the bad news was quite fresh.

[323] _Four Masters_; MacDermot's letter is in Dymmok; Essex's
instructions for Dillon, Savage, and Dunkellin in _Carew_, Aug. 10.
Dymmok gives Aug. 15 as the date of Clifford's death, but it must have
been a week earlier.

[324] Essex to the Queen, soon after Aug. 15, in Devereux, ii. 56, and
two other letters at p. 67. The officers' declaration is at p. 55,
where the names of the signatories are given. They fairly justify the
Queen's stricture in her letter of Sept. 14.

[325] Dymmok's _Treatise_; Journal in _Carew_, No. 315. The two
accounts substantially agree. It was the hereditary privilege of
O'Hagan to inaugurate O'Neill.

[326] Journal in _Carew_ and Dymmok _ut sup._ Moryson and Camden
closely agree. The chronology is as follows: Essex leaves Dublin
Aug. 28; musters at Castle Kieran, Aug. 31; between Robinstown and
Newcastle, Sept. 2; Ardee, Sept. 3; Mills of Louth, Sept. 4; O'Hagan's
first overtures, Sept. 5; the meeting at Bellaclinthe, Sept. 7;
cessation concluded, Sept. 8; Essex goes to Drogheda, Sept. 9. See also
Shirley's _Monaghan_, p. 104. There is a story told somewhere that
Tyrone spoke much of religion, and that Essex answered, 'Go to, thou
carest as much for religion as my horse.' The original articles of
cessation, dated Sept. 8 and signed Hugh Tyrone, are at Hatfield.

[327] Essex to the Queen, Aug. 30, from Ardbraccan; the Queen to Essex.
Sept. 14 and 17--all printed by Devereux. On March 27, Essex had
licence at his own request 'to return to her Majesty's presence at such
times as he shall find cause,' but this was revoked by her letter of
July 30. Sir H. Wotton to E. Reynolds, April 19, MS. _Hatfield_.

[328] Harrington to Justice Carey in _Nugæ Antiquæ_, i. 247. Park gives
April as the date of this letter, but this is disproved by internal
evidence, and it certainly belongs to October. See also _ib._ pp.
260 and 340. Warren's own account of his 'second journey to the Earl
of Tyrone,' is dated Oct. 20. The first lines of the 45th canto of
Harrington's translation of _Orlando_ are:--

    Look how much higher Fortune doth erect
    The climbing wight on her unstable wheel,
    So much the higher may a man expect
    To see his head where late he saw his heel, &c.

[329] Sir Christopher St. Lawrence, according to Camden, offered his
services to kill both the peer and the secretary.

[330] Letters from Rowland Whyte to Sir Robert Sidney in _Sidney
Papers_, ii. 117, 127, from Sept. 19 to Oct. 2; Essex's _Relation_,
written by him during his imprisonment.

[331] The letter to Essex is of Nov. 22, and with seventeen others
belonging to the last three months of 1599, is printed by Mr. Gilbert
in App. 16 to _National Manuscripts, Ireland_, part iv. 1. In a letter
of Nov. 6, to the Lords Justices, Lord Lieutenant (Ormonde), and
Council, the Queen approves of the slaughter by Ormonde 'in revenge of
that that brake the cessation in Wexford... do not irritate nor oppress
any such as have submitted ... in respect of any private unkindness of
your own.'

[332] 'Tyrone's Propositions, 1599' are in Winwood's _Memorials_, i.
118, immediately after Cecil's letter of Oct. 8 to Neville, and are
reprinted by Spedding and Abbott. The letter does not mention any
enclosure. In _Bacon and Essex_, pp. 134-148, Dr. Abbott endeavours,
not very successfully, I think, to show that the document is entirely
unworthy of credit. It is, however, not called 'Essex's propositions,'
but 'Tyrone's,' and I have shown that the most outrageous part of it
was regarded by the Queen as a serious proposal. Essex should have
broken off the conference at the mere mention of such a thing. Sidney
would have done so, or Norris, or Mountjoy. The Queen's letters to
Fenton and to the Lords Justices, &c., are of Nov. 5 and 6.

[333] The Queen to the Lords Justices, &c. Nov. 6; Tyrone to Warren,
Dec. 25; to the King of Spain, Dec. 31; to Lord Barry and others, Feb.
1600, in _Carew_. On Feb. 13, 1600, the Vicar Apostolic Hogan told Lord
Barry he had 'received an excommunication from the Pope against all
those that doth not join in this Catholic action.' James Archer, S.J.,
in a letter of Aug. 10, 1598, printed in _Hibernia Ignatiana_, p. 39,
informs Aquaviva of 'frequentes Catholicorum victorias, unde fit ut
hæretici ex multis locis migrare cogantur.' For Henry Fitzimon, S.J.,
the priest of whose imprisonment Tyrone complained, see his _Life_ by
Rev. E. Hogan, S.J., p. 209. 'I never went to Tyrone,' Warren wrote
to Cecil, on Dec. 24, 1599, 'but I was forced to bribe his Friars and



[Sidenote: The government is entrusted to Mountjoy.]

In October 1599 the government of Ireland was offered to Mountjoy, who
refused it. He may have thought that Essex would have to go back, or he
may have been unwilling to leave Lady Rich. But in the following month
he was nevertheless ordered to be ready within twenty days. It became
evident that Essex would not be employed again; he made Mountjoy and
Southampton guardians of his interests, and for his sake they both went
perilously near to treason. Mountjoy undertook the thankless office
with a heavy heart. He told the Queen that everyone of his predecessors
had without exception been blamed, and that there was no one in Ireland
whom he could trust. Very unjustly, he included even Ormonde in this
sweeping censure. It was Raleigh who had insisted that he should be
appointed, and the Queen listened chiefly to him about Irish affairs.
'This employment of me is by a private man that never knew what it
was to divide public and honourable ends from his own, propounded and
laboured to you (without any respect to your public service) the more
eagerly, by any means to rise to his long expected fortune. Wherein, by
reason of the experience I have heard your Majesty holds him to have in
that country, he is like to become my judge, and is already so proud of
this plot that he cannot keep himself from bragging of it.'[334]

[Sidenote: Raleigh's advice.]

The usual delays took place, and the twenty days were prolonged to
eleven weeks. Raleigh's advice, like that of everyone who really
understood the problem, was for a system of garrisons. A Lord President
in Munster with a considerable force, a local governor in Connaught
with smaller means, a strong post at Lough Foyle, and the remaining
troops under the Lord Deputy's immediate command--these were the means
by which it was hoped to reduce Ireland. A large army under Essex had
failed, and his successor was expected to do everything with 12,000
foot and 1,200 horse, though everyone but the Queen thought this force
too small. Lord Grey de Wilton, who was Essex's known enemy, desired
the command at Lough Foyle; but Mountjoy resented this idea as an
insult, and the choice fell upon Sir Henry Docwra, who had served under
Bingham in Connaught and under Essex at Cadiz. Grey consoled himself
by sending a challenge to Southampton, who said he was ready to fight
when time and place served, but that one so out of favour as himself
could hope for no mercy if he broke the law in England. Mountjoy took
leave of the Queen on the 24th of January, but was not made a Privy
Councillor, that honour being reserved till his return. Those who were
to accompany him also kissed hands, and Elizabeth read a little lecture
to each upon his duties. A fortnight later the Lord Deputy left London
with an escort of 100 horse, and wrote from Daventry to Cecil begging
that he might not be kept too closely to the 13,000 men. Southampton
was not allowed to go with him.[335]

[Sidenote: Tyrone's Holy War in Munster.]

Whether Tyrone cared much or little for religion, it became an object
with him to appear publicly as the champion of Rome, and as such he
sought help from Spain and Austria. He then marched into Munster, and,
acting in concert with Desmond and the ecclesiastics there, called
upon all to take part in the holy war. He wasted a considerable part
of Westmeath, and carefully ravaged Ely O'Carroll. 'All its movable
possessions,' say the Four Masters, 'were carried away, and nothing
left but ashes instead of corn, and embers in place of mansions. Great
numbers of men, women, sons, and daughters were left in a dying state.'
The reason or pretext for this severity was that O'Carroll had hired
certain warriors of the Macmahons, and had killed instead of paying
them when the settling day came round. At Holy Cross Abbey the relic,
which had been hitherto preserved in spite of the dissolution, was
brought out to do him honour. Ormonde and Delvin watched his course,
but did not venture to attack him. The annalists oddly remark that on
his progress by Cashel to the neighbourhood of Bandon he only injured
those who were opposed to him. Among these was David Lord Barry,
who had remained firmly loyal since his pardon in Lord Grey's time.
Tyrone reviled him for deserting the cause of the Church, and as the
principal means of preventing the southern nobility from joining him
in rebellion. 'Her Highness,' replied Barry, 'hath never restrained
me for matters of religion,' and he demanded the restoration of some
of his followers who had been captured, and of 4,000 kine and 3,000
horses. He defied Tyrone, and promised to have his revenge some day,
with her Majesty's assistance. He had hoped to save the island on which
Queenstown now stands, but the castle commanding the bridge over the
narrow strait was of no avail to protect his property. Tyrone landed
his parties in boats, and not a single house was left unburned.[336]

[Sidenote: Arrival of Mountjoy and Carew (February).]

In the meantime Mountjoy had been appointed Deputy, and Carew President
of Munster. They landed together at Howth on February 26, and found
things in as bad a state as possible, almost the whole island being
virtually under the sway of the victorious rebel. The Queen realised
that the country could not be bridled without fixed garrisons, but she
cautioned Mountjoy against frittering away his strength by multiplying
small posts. It had long been recognised that fortifications at Lough
Foyle would do more than anything to cripple the O'Neills, and 4,000
foot and 200 horse were assigned for this service to Docwra; while
3,000 foot and 250 horse were allotted, by official orders from
England, to the presidency of Munster. The force left under Mountjoy's
immediate control did not, therefore, exceed 5,000 men, and he was thus
prevented from repeating Essex's mistake, that of 'making progresses'
at a great expense without achieving any permanent results.[337]

[Sidenote: Tyrone plays the king in Munster.]

Carew was necessarily delayed in Dublin for about six weeks, and in the
meantime Tyrone went where he pleased in Munster. His principal camp
was at Inniscarra on the Lee, and thither came friendly messages or
hostages from nearly all the neighbouring magnates, whether of English
or Irish race. Among his trustiest lieutenants was his son-in-law,
Hugh Maguire, who, on or about the last day of February, made a raid
in the immediate neighbourhood of Cork. Sir Warham St. Leger and Sir
Henry Power, the acting commissioners for Munster, went out for a
ride, in no expectation of an attack so near the town. Their men were
marching at ease and in loose order when they suddenly came in contact
with Maguire's party. St. Leger fired his pistol at the chief with
fatal effect, but the latter had strength enough to retaliate with
his half-pike; and so the two leaders fell by each other's hands, and
with few or no other casualties on either side. To Tyrone the loss was
great, and probably decided him to leave the province before Carew
could appear. Marching through the eastern part of Cork, and leaving
Cashel on his right hand, he passed through Westmeath and reached his
own country without striking a blow or ever seeing an enemy. Ormonde
and Thomond came out from Limerick with a considerable force, but no
battle took place, though Carew has recorded his opinion that the loyal
Earls were very anxious to fight.[338]

[Sidenote: Tyrone's march through Ireland.]

Tyrone left about 1,800 men behind him in Munster, chiefly under the
command of Richard Tyrrell, and with 600, which were probably his best,
he travelled so fast as to elude Mountjoy, who had made preparations
for intercepting him in Westmeath. The Ulster men marched twenty-seven
miles in one day, and reached Tyrone in less than a quarter of the
time that it had taken them to perform the outward journey. The Queen
and her viceroy did not escape 'the great dishonour of this traitor
passing home to his den unfought with.' Ormonde and Thomond, who had
been keeping Easter together at Kilkenny, then repaired to Dublin; and
Mountjoy matured his plan for the re-conquest of Ireland in detail.
Carew was ready before Docwra, and on April 7 he set out for his
province, the two Earls having preceded him to Kilkenny.[339]

[Sidenote: Ormonde is taken prisoner by the O'Mores (April).]

[Sidenote: The Jesuit Archer.]

Carew reached Kilkenny on the third day, and his company of 100 horse
were billeted in the neighbourhood by Ormonde's directions. Each day
the Earl proposed that the President should accompany him to a parley
with Owen MacRory at a point between Ballyragget and Ballinakill in
the Queen's County. So little did he dream of danger on the border
of his own county, that he refused Carew's proffered escort, and set
out with about forty mounted men, of whom more than one half were
'lawyers, merchants, and others, upon hackneys,' and with no weapons
but the swords ordinarily worn. His company of 200 foot were left two
miles short of the place of meeting. O'More brought a picked troop
of spearmen with him, leaving in the rear 500 foot and twenty horse,
'the best furnished for war and the best apparelled that we have
seen in this kingdom,' 300 of them being Ulster mercenaries, left by
Tyrone on his return to the North. The two parties met upon a heath
sloping down towards a narrow defile, and with a bushy wood on each
side, 'the choice of which ground,' says Carew, 'we much misliked.' An
hour's conversation then ensued between Ormonde and O'More about such
questions as would naturally arise between warlike neighbours. Carew,
who noticed that the Irish kept edging further forward in the covert on
each side, was for departing before mischief could happen; but Ormonde,
who was quite unsuspicious, desired first to speak with Archer, who as
a Kilkenny man might be open to the arguments of his natural chief.
The Jesuit came forward, and after some talk the Earl called him a
traitor, and upbraided him with seducing the Queen's subjects into
rebellion. Archer replied that the Pope was the Sovereign of Ireland,
and that he had excommunicated Elizabeth. Ormonde then spoke of the
Pope in contemptuous terms, whereupon Archer threatened him with his
stick. At this signal, whether premeditated or not, the two parties
became suddenly intermingled, and Melaghlin O'More pulled the Earl off
his pony. Others, wrote Carew, and Thomond, 'tried to seize us too.
We had more hanging upon us than is credibly to be believed; but our
horses were strong and by that means did break through them, tumbling
down on all sides those that were before and behind us; and, thanks be
to God, we escaped the pass of their pikes, which they freely bestowed
and the flinging of their skeynes.... Owen MacRory laid hands on me the
President, and, next unto God, I must thank my Lord of Thomond for my
escape, who thrust his horse upon him. And at my back a rebel, newly
protected at my suit, called Brian MacDonogh Kavanagh, being a-foot,
did me good service. For the rest I must thank my horse, whose strength
bore down all about him.' Thomond received the stab of a pike in his
back, but the wound did not prove dangerous.[340]

[Sidenote: Mountjoy and Ormonde.]

[Sidenote: Ormonde a prisoner, (April to June).]

[Sidenote: His release (June).]

Mountjoy distrusted Ormonde, more perhaps from jealousy than because
there was any real pretext for doing so. 'Taking notice,' the Queen
told her Deputy, 'of our cousin of Ormonde's good services, and in
respect that he hath been much toiled now in his latter years, we have
left unto him the choice whether he will retain the place of Lieutenant
under you or not. We would have himself and all the world know that we
make extraordinary estimation of him.' He retained his post with an
allowance of three pounds a day, and his almost independent position
galled Mountjoy, as it had galled other Deputies before his time.
Ormonde had trusted to his own vast influence, and he would certainly
have been warned had the intention of seizing him been known generally
among O'More's followers. If there was any premeditated design, it
was probably divulged only to a few. At first he was confined at
Gortnaclea Castle, near Abbeyleix, where he was allowed to have his
own cook and other comforts, but not to see anyone, except in Owen
MacRory's presence. Archer plied him hard with religious argument,
and some believed that he conformed to Rome; but this is at least
extremely doubtful. Tyrone was anxious to get him into his power, but
O'More had no idea of giving up such a hostage, and it is probable
that the Leinster men would, in any case, have refused to let him
be carried out of their province. A rescue was feared, and after a
month the Earl was removed from Gortnaclea, and carried from cabin
to cabin in the woods. From the intolerable hardship of this life
he was relieved by Sir Terence O'Dempsey, who allowed his castle of
Ballybrittas, near Portarlington, to be used as a prison. It was
supposed that the Ulster mercenaries, or Bonaghts, wished to carry off
the Earl to Tyrone by force, and the transfer was made by the O'Mores
without their knowledge. Besides this, Dermot MacGrath, papal bishop
of Cork, who is called legate by the English, and who was, perhaps,
vicar-apostolic, was of opinion that the capture had been treacherous,
and was thus opposed to Archer. Fenton managed to get access, for
his spies, to the Earl, among whom a 'gentlewoman' named Honora is
particularly mentioned. Finding, perhaps, that his prisoner was not
likely to be as useful as he first supposed, and fearing that he might
lose all advantage by death, O'More gradually relaxed his demands.
The first terms offered were that all garrisons should be removed
out of both Leix and Offaly; that the former county should be given
up to Owen MacRory; that all his nominees should have protection for
six weeks; and that during that time there should be no invasion of
Ulster. Afterwards there was an attempt to make Ormonde sign a paper,
which would have involved him in the guilt of O'More's rebellion, but
he eluded these snares, and was released after two months' detention.
'It may please your sacred Majesty to be advertised,' he wrote to the
Queen, 'that it pleased God of his goodness to deliver me, though
weak and sick, from the most malicious, arrogant, and vile traitor
of the world, Owen MacRory, forced to put into his hands certain
hostages for payment of 3,000_l._ if at any time hereafter I shall seek
revenge against him or his, which manner of agreement, although it be
very hard, could not be obtained before he saw me in that extremity
and weakness, as I was like, very shortly, to have ended my life in
his hands.' He believed that he owed his liberty to the report that
Leinster would be overrun with troops, to prevent which the Irishry of
the province themselves offered hostages, and were ready to quarrel
with O'More should he refuse them. They were twelve in number, one
being Sir Terence O'Dempsey's son, and Ormonde's intention was to
ransom them one by one. Sir Terence had married a Butler, and whatever
became of the other hostages, a ransom appears to have been paid for
this one.

Mountjoy was fain to confess that 'the Earl doth continue with as great
affection as ever to her Majesty, and with much more spleen against
the rebel; but the tie upon him to the contrary are the pledges he
hath put in, whom no doubt the traitors will retain upon their own
conditions whatsoever his were. I do not think he will deliver his
daughter, although I believe he hath promised to do it... I cannot but
bear a kind of reverence to so ancient a servant of her Majesty, and a
compassion to the miserable fortune he was in... it shall be hard, but
I will put the Earl and the fathers of the pledges in blood against the
rebels, and that will soon mar all contracts between them. I have many
plots upon Owen MacRory to take him, and I think it is a thing that the
Earl doth very much practise, and will go very near to perform.'[341]

[Sidenote: Tyrone and Ormonde.]

Lady Ormonde was in bad health at this time, and her death in the
following year was perhaps hastened by anxiety. She begged that her
husband's military allowance might still be paid, as absolutely
necessary for her support. Mountjoy took proper measures for her
protection, and even if he had not done so from kindness, the custody
of her daughter was a matter of public importance. She was Ormonde's
only child, and there were sure to be many candidates for her wardship,
and for her hand. Besides which, possible heirs male would be ready to
advance their claims should anything happen to the Earl. Tyrone was
supposed to desire the heiress for his son, and he took the trouble
to deny the imputation, but this may not have been until he saw that
O'More had no idea of surrendering his great prisoner. 'Use him
honourably,' he wrote from Dungannon, 'but keep him very sure until he
be sent hither by the help of yourself and such as we have appointed
for that purpose. Therefore be not tempted to enlarge him upon any
proffer, for if you will desire ransom you shall have money and gold at
my hands.'

It was not till more than a month later that he denied any wish to have
the young 'lady' or 'my lady mistress,' as he calls Lady Elizabeth,
'for by demanding her, men would say that I should have her for my
son.' It seems clear that his first object was to get Ormonde into his
hands, and failing that he wished to have credit for liberality and
kindness. 'For any motion,' said Ormonde contemptuously, 'of marriage
of my daughter to any of that base traitor Tyrone's brood, upon my duty
of allegiance to your highness, I never thought of any like matter,
neither was it demanded of me.'[342]

[Sidenote: Carew in Munster. Florence MacCarthy.]

[Sidenote: Barbarous warfare.]

As soon as Mountjoy had provided for the safety of Kilkenny, Carew
started for his own province, where St. Leger's death had left Sir
Henry Power in temporary charge of a very troubled community. The
rebels in the county of Waterford came in to the Lord President at
once, and it was thought wiser not to ask questions. In Cork, Florence
MacCarthy was trying to play the impossible part of a neutral,
while Dermot O'Connor, at the head of a strong body of mercenaries,
was really the most powerful person in the province. Essex had
been authorised to give Florence a patent of inheritance to his
father-in-law, with discretionary power so to limit it as might seem
best for the public safety, but his sudden departure prevented this
being done. St. Leger and Power wished the patent to issue, and thought
the best way of restraining Donell's violence would be to acknowledge
Florence as MacCarthy More. To show his power, or to annoy a personal
enemy, Florence soon afterwards ravaged Lord Barry's barony of Ibane
with '700 of the traitors' bonies, otherwise called here among us
cabbage-soldiers.' Yet he continued constantly to protest his loyalty,
while maintaining that he dared not declare openly for the Queen, lest
Dermot should forsake him and secure the triumph of that 'bastardly
rascal Donell MacCarthy,' whom Tyrone had acknowledged as MacCarthy
More. O'Connor was not originally a person of much importance, but
he had married Lady Margaret Fitzgerald, the late Earl of Desmond's
daughter, and, being a valiant man, found himself at the head of
1,400 Connaught free companions. Tyrone had given him the chief
command in Munster, and the loose swordsmen flocked to his standard.
He was, however, 'a mere mercenary serving in Munster only for pay,'
and probably quite ready to sell himself to the highest bidder. Lady
Margaret could speak English, and it was thought that she would do
anything to procure her brother's restoration to the earldom of
Desmond. According to Florence's account it was the fear of Dermot, and
the necessity of doing something to make his own people believe in him,
that induced him to appear in arms on the rebel side; and provocation
was not wanting which might justify such action on his part. Sir Henry
Power sent 1,000 men into Carbery, under Captain Flower, with general
orders to spoil all who failed to give securities for their good
behaviour. It does not appear that any time or much notice was given,
but Flower carried out the work of destruction thoroughly. From Kinsale
to Glandore harbour, and from that to Dunmanus Bay, not a grain of
corn was left unburned within ten miles of his line of march, 500 cows
were drowned to save the trouble of driving them, and 'the churls and
poor people' were treated as enemies and killed. On his return Flower
was threatened by Florence with a superior force, but reached Kinsale
without any serious encounter. Near Ballinhassig, between that town
and Cork, the troops were near falling into an ambuscade, and even for
a time put to flight. In the end they made good their retreat, but
the victory was not much to boast of. When Carew heard of the affair,
he regretted deeply what had been done. He could not reckon on much
above 1,700 effective men in the field, too few to fight the Sugane
Earl and the MacCarthies at once, and it was better to have Florence
as a faithless, but on the whole peaceable neutral, than as an open

[Sidenote: Sir Henry Docwra occupies Derry (May).]

While Carew was preparing to re-conquer the South by a mixture of force
and fraud, a successful lodgment was made in the extreme north. On May
6, Sir Henry Docwra sailed from Carrickfergus with 4,000 foot and 200
horse. Boards and spars for building, master carpenters and master
masons, and a great quantity of tools and victuals were provided.
The mortality among Randolph's men was not forgotten, and there were
100 flock-beds for a hospital. Three pieces of cannon were thought
sufficient in view of an Irish siege. On the seventh day the ships
grounded at the entrance of Lough Foyle, waited for the tide, advanced
a little, and then grounded again. At last, on May 16, the work of
unloading began at Culmore. One hundred men fired a volley from the
shore, and horse were also visible; but they did not venture to dispute
the landing, and in six days an entrenchment capable of sheltering 200
men was thrown up about some ruined walls. O'Dogherty had dismantled
his castle of Ellogh in the immediate neighbourhood; but it was easily
repaired, and received a garrison of 150 men. Having thus made good his
ground, Docwra marched with his main body to Derry on the 22nd, and
this is how he describes its then condition:--'A place in manner of
an island comprehending within it forty acres of ground, whereon were
the ruins of an old abbey, of a bishop's house, of two churches, and
at one of the ends of it an old castle, the river called Lough Foyle
encompassing it all on one side, and a bog, most commonly wet and not
easily passable except in two or three places, dividing it from the
mainland... the ground being high, and therefore dry, and healthy to
dwell upon. At that end where the old castle stood, being close to the
water side, I presently resolved to raise a fort to keep our store of
ammunition and victuals in, and in the other a little above, where the
walls of an old cathedral church were yet standing, to erect another
for our future safety and retreat unto upon all occasions.' Wisely
refusing to be tempted into pursuit of cunning enemies on their own
ground, Docwra devoted his whole strength to the task of making the
place habitable for the winter. Two ships were sent to coast along
for timber and building materials, and a strong party was sent to cut
birch in O'Cahan's woods on the other side of the Foyle. 'There was,'
he said, 'not a stick brought home that was not well fought for.' The
ruins of old Derry and of Randolph's settlement were utilised, stone
and slate were found hard by, and 'of cockle shells to make a lime we
discovered infinite plenty of in a little island in the mouth of the
harbour as we came in.'[344]

[Sidenote: Docwra fortifies Derry (May to June).]

To prevent Tyrone's whole force from being directed against Docwra
before he was in a position to stand a siege, Mountjoy himself moved
northwards at the same time. He advanced as far as Newry, and Tyrone
immediately faced him and turned his back to Lough Foyle. Southampton
followed the Deputy with a small force, and the Irish attempted to
cut him off in the Moyry pass. There was some sharp fighting, but the
Earl, who behaved valiantly, charging more than 200 horse with only six
followers, made good his junction with the main army, and Mountjoy,
having waited at Newry till he heard that Docwra was safe, turned back
to Dublin. Tyrone and O'Donnell, with about 5,000 men, then threatened
the new settlement at Derry, but the garrison stood strictly on the
defensive and nothing was done. Docwra thought it prudent to abandon
the project of detaching 1,000 men to Ballyshannon, and losses by
sickness soon showed the wisdom of his decision. Sir Arthur O'Neill,
son of old Tirlogh Luineach, came to the fort with a few followers, and
the garrison found abundant occupation in hunting cows for their own
consumption, and in skirmishing with the O'Cahans and O'Dogherties.[345]

[Sidenote: Carew in Munster. Florence MacCarthy.]

Carew's great idea was to divide his enemies by policy before he
proceeded to crush them by force. His first object was to disarm the
active hostility of Florence MacCarthy, and to that end he sought an
interview with him. 'So fearful a creature,' he said, 'I did never see,
mistrusting to be killed by every man he saw,' but both Lord Thomond
and Sir Nicholas Walshe swore solemnly that he should return safely.
The practical result of the conference was that Florence promised the
President to remain neutral, while the Sugane Earl reminded him that
he would be more than 1,700 strong, and that he would take no excuse.
Another means of weakening the rebels was to make them distrust each
other, and to this end Carew encouraged a protected rebel, named John
Nugent, who had been in the service of Sir Thomas Norris and had
deserted, to kill John Fitzthomas, the Sugane Earl's brother. The
attempt failed, and Nugent was promptly hanged; but it was known that
the would-be assassin had obtained money, a horse and arms from the
President, and the feeling of insecurity among the Irish became as
great as if the murder had actually taken place.[346]

[Sidenote: Carew employs Dermot O'Connor,]

[Sidenote: who arrests Desmond (June).]

Another plot was directed against the Sugane Earl himself, and it
came very near succeeding. Dermot O'Connor and his wife proved quite
ready to do the President's work, and Lady Margaret's unwillingness
to acknowledge any Desmond but her brother was an excuse which would
have some weight with the people of Munster. The jealousy between
Dermot's mercenaries and the followers of James Fitzthomas was already
excessive. At all events Dermot agreed to deliver up the Sugane Earl
for 1,000_l._ Archbishop MacGrath had been active in the matter, and
his two sons became securities for Carew, along with two of Lady
Margaret's foster-brothers, named Power. To give up these hostages
openly would have disclosed the plot, and it was arranged that they
should fall as it were accidentally into Dermot's hands. They very
nearly fell victims to the violence of his men, who were not in the
secret. To give Dermot the desired opportunity of seizing his ally, the
President ostentatiously dispersed his force, by way of putting him off
his guard. As a further protection Carew wrote a letter to the Sugane
Earl, which made it appear that he had undertaken to deliver O'Connor
alive or dead; and it was calculated that this would be sufficient
defence for the latter when the treachery should have taken effect.
The letter was placed in Dermot's hands in such a way that he could
say he had intercepted it. All precautions having been taken, O'Connor
asked for an interview with the man whom he intended to betray. They
distrusted one another, and each brought an armed force with him.
The ill-feeling already existing between the followers of Tyrone and
Desmond soon found a vent, and, to avoid further disunion, the two
leaders agreed to dismiss their men. Dermot had a few trusty adherents
in ambush, and with their help he arrested the Sugane Earl in O'Neill's
name, producing Carew's letter as sufficient warrant. The prisoner was
secured at Castle Ishin, near Charleville, and word was sent to the
President to come to Kilmallock, where Lady Margaret was to meet him
and receive the promised thousand pounds.[347]

[Sidenote: O'Donnell harries Clare]

In the meantime Hugh Roe O'Donnell had resolved to follow up
Tyrone's plan of persecuting all native lords who refused to join
the confederacy. Lord Barry had already suffered, and the Earls of
Clanricarde and Thomond were now to have their turn. It was seen
that Docwra was not strong enough to take the offensive, and Tyrone,
therefore, required no help as against him. Leaving a corps of
observation under O'Dogherty and Nial Garv O'Donnell, Hugh Roe mustered
all his forces at Ballymote. The chiefs who came to him were O'Rourke,
O'Connor Sligo, O'Connor Roe, MacDermot, and Theobald Burke, calling
himself MacWilliam Iochtar. The allies marched without fighting to the
neighbourhood of Gort, and then suddenly burst into Clare. A camp was
pitched near Ennis, where only the monastery was spared, and plundering
parties were sent in all directions west of the Fergus. 'Many a feast,'
say the annalists, 'fit for a goodly gentleman, or for the lord of a
territory, was enjoyed throughout Thomond this night by parties of four
or five men, under the shelter of a shrubbery or at the side of a bush.'

[Sidenote: and Clanricarde.]

Retreating slowly to Corcomroe Abbey, and scouring the country right
and left, the invaders burned every house; and we are particularly told
that the smoke enveloped the whole line of march, and that it was dense
enough to make them lose their way. The rocky passes of Burren were
passed without opposition, and the victorious raiders encamped near
Oranmore, where they divided their immense booty of cattle. A few had
been killed and wounded in the foray, especially in the attack on Clare
Castle, and the survivors were sent home in charge of Theobald Burke
and of those who guarded the cattle. O'Donnell himself, with 500 foot
and 60 horse, went to Loughrea, and drove off all the herds they could
find to Ballymote. The English account says that Thomond punished
his enemies with the help of Captain Flower and of over 800 English
soldiers, and that he recovered a great part of his cattle; but of
this the annalists--ever favourable to O'Donnell--make no mention. In
Clanricarde there seems to have been no opposition at all.[348]

[Sidenote: The Sugane Earl rescued.]

O'Donnell's enterprise restored the spirits of the Irish, and perhaps
prevented Carew from seizing his prey promptly. Piers Lacy collected
4,000 men and suddenly surrounded Castle Ishin. Carew had vainly
awaited Lady Margaret for a week at Kilmallock, and he now, in spite
of Flower's absence, advanced to the rescue. But it was too late. A
priest had persuaded the garrison, and the Sugane Earl was already
in Lacy's hands. Dermot O'Connor excused himself, and no doubt this
failure was not his fault; but the chance of 1,000_l._ was lost, and he
soon made friends with the rebels once more. The Munster Irish still
very naturally mistrusting him, he withdrew into Connaught, and on his
brother-in-law's restoration to the honours of Desmond again offered
his services to Carew. A safe-conduct was accordingly sent to him, but
he was waylaid near Gort by Tibbot-ne-Long Burke, with 100 men in the
Queen's pay, taken prisoner, and put to death. Private revenge was
Burke's motive, but Clanricarde and the President were 'exceedingly
incensed' at a murder which threw doubts upon the good faith of

[Sidenote: Mountjoy's share in the Essex conspiracy.]

Elizabeth's dislike to name a successor was well known, and should
have been respected by one who owed so much to her as Essex did. That
there was, in fact, no dispute about the matter was due to Cecil's
admirable management, but the Earl's uneasy ambition was not likely
to lose the chance of establishing a claim on the coming man. He
entered into negotiations with James in 1598, representing that Cecil
favoured the claims of the Infanta and was plotting to make them good.
James had little to fear from any rival; but it was in his nature
to be busy, and he intrigued with Tyrone as well as with Essex. In
August 1599, immediately before his journey to the north, the latter
thought seriously of taking 2,000 or 3,000 men over to Wales, and
broached the design privately to Southampton and Blount, who both
earnestly dissuaded him. It was about that time that Mountjoy also
opened communications with James, and with him the influence of Lady
Rich may have counted for much. His first proposals to the Scottish
king are not known, but we may judge of their nature by what happened
afterwards. When Essex after his return from Ireland, was committed to
the Lord-Keeper's house, and in daily fear of being sent to the Tower,
he called upon Mountjoy and Southampton to look after his interests.
They were willing to help him to escape, but he declared himself ready
'rather to run any danger than to lead the life of a fugitive.' When
it was finally decided that Mountjoy should undertake the government
of Ireland, Essex pressed him to take some more decided course. 'He
then swore,' says one who was present, 'exacting the like oaths from
my Lord of Southampton and myself, to defend with the uttermost of our
lives her Majesty's person and government during her life against all
persons whatsoever, and it was resolved to send Henry Lee again into
Scotland, with offer that if the King would enter into the cause at
that time, Lord Mountjoy would leave the kingdom of Ireland defensibly
guarded, and with 4,000 or 5,000 men assist that enterprise, which,
with the party that my Lord of Essex would be able to make, were
thought sufficient to bring that to pass which was intended.' It seems
that James was not expected to do more than show himself on the border,
while his ambassador in London pressed for a public acknowledgment of
his right to the succession. Lee was still in Scotland when Mountjoy
went to Ireland, and he was arrested as soon as he returned. What Essex
intended, or whether he had any definite plan at all, may be doubted;
but Mountjoy made it clear that he at least was playing only 'for the
establishment of the succession, and not for private ambition.'[350]

[Sidenote: James VI., Essex, and Mountjoy.]

Mountjoy told Southampton that he had foreseen Essex's ruin before his
return from Ireland, and that he had opened the correspondence with
James as a possible means of saving him. The king was advised not to
leave the whole realm in the hands of his enemies, and it was hoped
that a diversion might thus be made. In his second letter, if not
in his first, Mountjoy proposed that James 'should prepare an army,
declare his intent, and that he would be ready to assist him with the
army in Ireland, whither he was going,' but insisting on his former
stipulation that nothing should be done against Queen Elizabeth. This
might, perhaps, mean no more than that, if the succession were declared
in England, he would see the same done in Ireland. Southampton made
similar offers, but also reserved his allegiance to the Queen. James
gave an evasive answer, declaring that he would bear the matter in
mind, but that the establishment of a garrison at Lough Foyle was
a condition precedent to any action on his part. Mountjoy did not
afterwards deny that he had entertained the idea of bringing troops
over to Wales, but only in consideration of the heir to the throne
being engaged in the business. James's caution did not suit the
impatient Essex, who approved of a suggestion by Danvers, 'that the
army of Ireland would suffice alone.' He sent Southampton over to sound
Mountjoy, 'which,' says the envoy, 'I did, and he utterly rejected it
as a thing which he could no way think honest, and dissuaded me from
any such courses.' Lady Rich was on the other side of the Channel,
and loyalty now resumed its sway. Willing, as he says, to redeem his
fault of intention, the Earl remained as a volunteer in Ireland, and
Mountjoy vainly tried to have him made Governor of Connaught. This
was in June, and in the following month Southampton went to Holland.
The probability is that Cecil had a shrewd suspicion of the truth.
But Essex determined to make another attempt. Early in August Danvers
and Cuffe met at the Cross Inn at Oxford, and the latter brought a
direct message from Essex. 'My Lord requested,' says Danvers, 'that
notwithstanding my Lord of Southampton's departure, I would proceed
in my journey, and communicate the projects with my Lord Mountjoy,
and procure his letter.' He took the precaution of sending a special
messenger to London, who returned with reiterated instructions from
Essex, and thereupon he started for Ireland. He was met with a positive
refusal from Mountjoy, who spoke even more decidedly than he had done
to Southampton. 'He desired my lord to have patience, to recover again
by ordinary means the Queen's ordinary favour; that though he had
it not in such measure as he had had heretofore, he should content
himself; that at his coming home he would do for him like a friend;
that he hoped my lord would do nothing but that which should be
justifiable in honour and honesty. In that confidence, if he sent for
a letter, he would send him such a one as he might justify.' Very good
advice, but not such as Essex was capable of following for long. The
spoiled child would have all or nothing.[351]

[Sidenote: The Pale: Mountjoy's plan.]

The defeat at the Blackwater and the complete failure of Essex had
reduced the army to a miserable state. Under Mountjoy the soldiers
gradually gained confidence, and no doubt he was well advised in not
hurrying matters. After the skirmish in the Moyry pass he lay for some
days at Newry, and in the meantime a certain amount of damage was
done in the Pale. The causeway through the pass was partly broken up
by the Irish, and he thought it prudent to return by Carlingford to
Dundalk. 'At this time,' says Moryson, who, as Mountjoy's secretary,
was an eye-witness of what he describes, 'the county of Dublin on the
south of the Liffey was, in effect, entirely overrun by the rebels;
the county of Kildare was likewise possessed or wasted by them. The
county of Meath was wasted, as also the county of Westmeath (excepting
the barony of Delvin) and the county of Louth; so that in the English
Pale, the towns having garrisons, and the lands from Drogheda to Navan,
and thence back to Trim, and so to Dublin, were only inhabited, which
were also like to grow waste, if they were further charged with the
soldiers.' The English writer excepts Delvin, but the annalists say
it was invaded by Tyrone six months before, who wasted it until the
Baron 'submitted to O'Neill on his terms.' Maryborough and Philipstown
were cut off from Dublin, and Mountjoy's first care was to restore
perfect communications. His plan was to strengthen and victual the
garrisons so as to secure them against attack, while harrying the
country so thoroughly as to make it impossible for the Irish to keep
the field.[352]

[Sidenote: Mountjoy in King's County (July).]

The remnant of the O'Connors were still troublesome in Offaly, and
they had the help of Captain Tyrrell, a renowned partisan who was much
in Tyrone's confidence. Mountjoy, to quote his own words, went 'into
the country on foot over a bog, and went out of it in like sort.'
But he was not always on foot, for he records that grey Davies, his
easiest-going horse, was shot under him. With little loss he drove
the Irish up and down the country, and the O'Connors never made much
head against him. During the three or four years of Tyrone's supremacy
they had destroyed most of the King's County castles, and Mountjoy's
care now was to destroy the crops, so that they could not reoccupy
the ground. Not only did he reap the green corn, but used harrows and
grubbers with long teeth, called _pracas_, to root it up.[353]

[Sidenote: Mountjoy in Queen's County. Death of Owen MacRory (August).]

A fortified post was established at the Togher, between Monasterevan
and Maryborough, thus securing access to Philipstown at all times;
and here again Southampton did good service by his gallantry and by
his example to the soldiers. Sir Samuel Bagenal was able to take the
offensive in the neighbourhood of Newry, and Sir Richard Moryson about
Dundalk. O'Donnell wasted much of his strength in useless forays,
and Docwra was beginning to make himself felt in Tyrone's rear. In
the middle of August Mountjoy started from Carlow with 800 foot and
100 horse, and entered the Queen's County, burning the villages and
destroying the standing corn. Owen MacRory remonstrated, in a letter
to Ormonde, against this 'execrable and abominable course,' and also
wrote to ask Mountjoy for a conference with some gentleman sent by him.
The Lord Deputy handed the letter to an Irish fool named Neale Moore,
who answered that no one in the camp was base enough to confer with
him, but that if Owen would submit to him on his knees, he, the said
Neale, would undertake that his submission should be accepted or that
he should return safe. Next day O'More was killed in a skirmish near
Timahoe, and with him Callogh MacWalter, the man who first laid hands
on Ormonde at his late capture. The Earl was now in the field with a
large force, and Mountjoy's plan of embroiling him with the O'Mores had
taken full effect. After Owen's death the sept never made head again,
and the English settlers gradually returned to their houses. There was
much hard fighting both going and returning, but everywhere the Lord
Deputy was victorious. From Carlow almost to the foot of Slieve Bloom
the cattle were driven off and the crops destroyed. But on returning,
the pass of Cashel was found to be occupied by more than 2,000 men.
Donell Spaniagh, seeing how the event was likely to turn out, begged
for protection to go to Dublin, which was granted, since it was
impossible to take him; and then, like Rob Roy at Sheriffmuir, he drew
his men off to a hill whence they could see the fight. Keeping on the
high ground, the troops passed safely to Stradbally and thence to Naas.
But Sir Arthur Savage, the new governor of Connaught, was unable to
effect a junction. The great point gained was that the soldiers began
to think themselves invincible, and that they had confidence in their

[Sidenote: Mountjoy presses Tyrone back (September to October).]

After a short rest in Dublin, Mountjoy established a camp at Faughard
near Dundalk. The array was supposed to be over 4,000 strong, but
was in reality under 3,000, and the weather caused much sickness.
'Our tents,' said the Lord Deputy, 'are often blown down, and at
this instant it doth rain into mine, so that I can scant write.'
Great floods prevented any forward movement, but there were constant
skirmishes. Tyrone had an entrenched camp in the Moyry pass, which was
twice captured, though no attempt was made to hold it; and finding
that Mountjoy's progress could not be stopped, Tyrone left the passage
open to Newry. The earthworks in the pass were levelled, and the woods
on both sides cut down. The facts are clear enough; but the Irish
annalists give a totally misleading account of these movements, and of
those that followed them.[355]

[Sidenote: Mountjoy bridles Tyrone (November).]

After waiting ten days at Newry for provisions, Mountjoy marched out
towards Armagh. Rather less than half-way he built a fort in a strong
position, and named it Mount-Norris, after Sir John, his master in the
art of war. Tyrone was near, and did what he could to hinder the work;
but he was defeated with loss, and the fort finished, victualled, and
garrisoned with 400 men in one week. Finding it impossible to keep
his horses alive in a country where the grass had been eaten down by
cattle, the Lord Deputy did not attempt Armagh, but proclaimed a reward
of 2,000_l._ for Tyrone alive and 1,000_l._ for him dead, and then
returned to Carlingford, where there was a good store of provisions.
At Narrow-water a vessel brought cheese and biscuit for the soldiers,
who had been fasting for two days, and having eaten it 'never men went
on in a greater jollity.' The narrow pass between Carlingford mountain
and the sea was disputed by Tyrone. The ground was thickly wooded, and
the Irish had erected a strong barricade and dug several trenches.
Mountjoy's principal secretary was killed by his side, and the place
fell to Moryson, the historian, but the troops made steady progress.
Tyrone narrowly escaped a shot, and his men gradually yielded to the
disciplined valour of soldiers who fought under the eye of a captain
in whom they believed. Fynes Moryson, who was staying that day with
his brother, the governor of Dundalk, could hear the volleys seven
miles distant 'sensibly by reverberation of the garden wall;' and says
'the Irish lost 800 men, while the English had 200 killed and 400 not
seriously wounded, and that Tyrone's reputation (who did all things by
reputation) was clean overthrown, so that from all places they began to
seek pardons and protections.' Strength, or the appearance of strength,
has always ruled in Ireland.[356]

[Sidenote: Docwra extends his power in Ulster.]

While Mountjoy slowly but surely reduced the Pale and the district
bordering on it, Sir Henry Docwra held his own at Derry. Sir Arthur
O'Neill, old Tirlogh Luineach's eldest son, joined him, and did good
service both as adviser and ally, but he brought no great force into
the field. Tyrone derided him as 'Queen Elizabeth's earl that cannot
command 100 kerne,' and she felt the sarcasm keenly, having really
contemplated the transfer of the arch-rebel's honours to his kinsman.
Sir Arthur advised a raid into O'Cahan's country, and 700 men were sent
by night along the Donegal shore of Lough Foyle. At Greencastle they
took boat, and crossing silently came upon all the cattle collected
in fancied security, for attack from that side had not been dreamed
of. One hundred live cows and some carcases were secured, 'but for
want of means to bring all away the soldiers hacked and mangled
as many as they could.' The process of exhausting the country was
deliberately undertaken. Sir John Chamberlain, who was the leader of
this expedition, was killed a few days later in repelling an attack
upon Aileach castle by the O'Dogherties, his body being pierced by no
less than sixteen wounds. Four days after this fight, in which Docwra
himself had a horse shot under him, a strong outpost was fortified
at Dunalong on the eastern bank of the Foyle. In this case also the
approach was made by water, and Tyrone, who was encamped not far off,
found the entrenchments unassailable after a single day's work upon
them. Within their lines everywhere the English were safe, but not a
mile outside.[357]

[Sidenote: Fighting about Lough Foyle.]

Among the Irishmen who had been recommended to Docwra by the
Government was Maelmory MacSwiney, who had been chief of O'Donnell's
gallowglasses, and connected with him by close ties; but who was now
in receipt of a life pension of six shillings a day and in command of
100 English soldiers. This man opened communications with O'Donnell,
and drove out a large number of horses on purpose that they might be
seized. This was done before daylight, and near 200 were swept off
into the heart of Tyrconnell. The alarm being given, Docwra leaped
from his bed and pursued with a score of horsemen, leaving the rest
to follow as soon as they were ready. He was wounded in the head and
his men had enough to do to carry him off, leaving the prey with the
O'Donnells. Docwra was confined to his bed for a fortnight, and on his
recovery found that not more than twenty per cent. of his men were able
to pass muster. It was clearly proved that MacSwiney was the cause of
the late disaster, and he was sent by sea to Dublin; but the hatchway
being left open for the reception of the beer barrels, he sprang on
deck, threw himself into the Foyle, and reached O'Cahan's country, the
people on board being too much amazed to stop him. Instigated perhaps
by this keen spirit, Rory O'Cahan, the chief's brother, brought a
present of sixty fat beasts, which were much wanted, and afterwards
put the soldiers in the way of taking as many more. Having thus made
himself agreeable, Rory asked for 800 men to do a more important piece
of service. Sir Arthur O'Neill warned Docwra not to trust him, and it
turned out that his object was to lead the soldiers into an ambuscade
prepared by Tyrone himself. Having secured his own safety, Rory then
offered to ransom his hostages for a certain quantity of cattle,
threatening that he would never spare an Englishman if they came to any
harm. Docwra's answer was to erect a gibbet on the rampart, and to hang
the poor wretches before the face of their principal, who stood with
300 men on the other side of the Foyle.[358]

[Sidenote: Sufferings of Derry garrison (September to October).]

[Sidenote: They are relieved.]

As the autumn days closed in, the garrison of Derry were in a miserable
state, 'men wasted with continual labours, the island scattered with
cabins full of sick, our biscuit all spent, our other provisions of
nothing but meal, butter, and a little wine, and that, by computation,
to hold out but six days longer.' The temptation to desert was great,
and both Tyrone and O'Donnell offered free passage through their
territories. Not only was the garrison diminished, but the loss of
horses and the miserable condition of those left made it impossible to
patrol at any distance from the walls. On the night of September 16,
O'Donnell crept up unseen to the very edge of the bog which bounded
Derry on the land side, and then, for some inexplicable reason, his men
fired a volley. The garrison sallied out, and put them to flight. It
was probably a last effort to frighten Docwra into a parley, for he was
relieved the very next day. A plentiful supply of provisions, 50 fresh
horse and 600 foot were introduced from the sea, as well as two timber
frames upon which water-tight storehouses might easily be erected. And
it was announced to the men that they were to receive 4_d._ a day extra
when they worked upon the fortifications. The Irish had lost their
opportunity, and it never returned.[359]

[Sidenote: Neill Garv O'Donnell.]

[Sidenote: Docwra wins Lifford (October).]

A more important recruit than either MacSwiney or Sir Arthur O'Neill
was Neill Garv O'Donnell, grandson of Calvagh and husband of Hugh Roe's
sister Nuala, who separated from him in consequence of his defection.
He brought 100 men with him, and was promised a grant of Tyrconnell as
soon as his brother-in-law had been expelled. The O'Donnells had never
been a united family, and Neill Garv probably thought his claim at
least as good as that of the actual chief. His three brothers took part
with him, the immediate consequence being that the English had plenty
of fresh meat and that they were much less closely beleaguered than
before. The first actual service required of Neill Garv was to take the
ancestral seat at Lifford, and for this purpose over 300 men were sent
under his guidance. The castle had been razed, but a weak earthwork
defended the small town, and Hugh Roe had left some thirty men in
charge. They fled without resistance, after setting fire to the place,
and the English proceeded to entrench themselves strongly, finding
welcome shelter in about twenty houses, which were all that the late
garrison had left unburned. Twice within a fortnight O'Donnell vainly
exerted all his force to recover the place, though his presence enabled
the country people to get in their crops and to carry away the produce
safely. On the second occasion there was a sharp skirmish, in which
Captain Heath was killed, and Neill Garv had a horse shot under him,
but Lifford was not retaken. Four days later Sir Arthur O'Neill died of
a fever brought on by 'drinking too many carouses on his marriage-day,'
and his brother Cormac claimed to succeed him. But Tirlogh, his son
by a former wife, was accepted by Docwra, and did such service as his
youth permitted.[360]

[Sidenote: Spaniards in the North (November).]

About the beginning of November, two Spanish ships put into Broadhaven,
with money, arms, and ammunition for the Irish. O'Donnell sent the
foreigners word that Killybegs would be a better place for them, and
also announced their arrival to Tyrone. Eventually the Spaniards put
into the little harbour of Teelin, whence the cargo was carried to
Donegal, and divided between the two chiefs. A descent of this kind
had been talked of for months, but Cecil had given little credence to
these rumours, and when the long-expected aid actually came, it was not
enough to affect the result, or to imperil Docwra's position in any

[Sidenote: Docwra annoys Tyrone.]

[Sidenote: The O'Dogherties.]

Neill Garv and his brothers Hugh, Donnell, and Con made several raids
from Lifford into Tyrone, and took Newtown, now Newtown Stewart, from
the O'Neills. O'Donnell's great object was to get possession of his
formidable kinsman, and he employed two of the MacDevitts, a sept
of O'Dogherties, named Hugh Boy and Phelim Reagh. Captain Alford,
the governor of Culmore, pretended friendship with these men, and
engaged to give up the fort to them, with Neill Garv inside. Alford's
object was to draw them into an ambuscade, and he pretended to make
conditions. 1,000_l._ down and 3,000_l._ a year pension from Spain
were promised him, and a chain of gold formerly given by Philip II.
to O'Donnell, and worth 160_l._, was actually given in earnest. A day
was appointed for the treason, but the Irish broke their tryst. In a
short time Hugh Boy and Phelim Reagh were Docwra's firm friends. Cahir
O'Dogherty, the chief's son, had been fostered by them, and was now
in O'Donnell's hands, who had announced that he should succeed his
father. But when Sir John died, he favoured Cahir's uncle, and the
foster-parents were very angry. On condition that their nursling should
be established, they offered to keep Innishowen at Docwra's service.
O'Donnell was induced to free the young man, and immediately all the
O'Dogherties, with their cattle, left him, and returned to their own
district. Supplies were thus secured to the English garrison, as well
as good intelligence, and Docwra confesses that without their aid the
progress made would have been comparatively small. Thus it ever was in
Ireland: the natives fought among themselves, and so lost all. 'They
had their own ends in it,' said Docwra, 'which were always for private
revenge; and we ours, to make use of them for the furtherance of the
public service.'[362]

[Sidenote: Carew subdues Munster (July to August).]

[Sidenote: Glin Castle.]

[Sidenote: Murder of a loyalist.]

Shortly before midsummer the White Knight made his submission, and
was soon to do signal service. The castles of Bruff and Lough Gur
were taken and garrisoned, the mere preparations for a scientific
cannonade being enough to cause their evacuation, and the triangle made
by Limerick, Cashel, and Kilmallock was freed from the rebels. The
county of Waterford was almost cleared, and Connello and Aherlow alone
harboured any considerable number. Cahir was voluntarily surrendered,
and the ordnance left there by Essex was sent to Clonmel. Glin in
Limerick and Carrigafoyle in Kerry still held out, and the first was
besieged by Carew on July 7. Sending his guns by water, he passed on
his way through the heart of Connello, and Piers Lacy abandoned Croom
Castle at his approach, having already ruined the other Kildare house
at Adare. The Sugane Earl marched near the President, and encamped
only a mile off at Glin, but never ventured to make any attack. The
ordnance, 'one demi-cannon and a saker,' were landed and placed in
position. The Knight, who believed in Desmond's boasts, expected to be
relieved, and would not surrender at discretion, although his son was
in Carew's power, and in some danger of being hanged. The first day's
firing made a breach, and a lodgment was effected in the basement under
the hall. Three out of the four towers were thus made untenable, and
the fourth, into which all the garrison had retired, was attacked in
the same way, and a fire lit in it, which burned many. Next day the
tower was assaulted, and those who survived of the eighty defenders
were cut in pieces or thrown over the walls. Captain Flower, who led
the stormers, was wounded in four places, and there was a loss to the
besiegers of eleven killed and twenty-one wounded. The moral effect
of this siege was great. Desmond seems to have believed that the
carriages of the cannon were unserviceable, but Carew had discovered
and remedied their defects some weeks before. O'Connor Kerry, who
despaired of defending Carrigafoyle, voluntarily surrendered it, and
was received to protection. The small castle of Liscahan near Ardfert
was taken by surprise, and entrusted to Maurice Stack, a native of
Kerry, 'and a man of small stature but invincible courage,' who with
fifty men successfully defended it against Desmond's attacks and
Florence MacCarthy's plots. Stack was afterwards murdered in cold
blood by Lady Honora Fitzmaurice's men, and Thomond never spoke to his
sister afterwards. Sir Edward Denny's house at Tralee, and Sir William
Herbert's at Castle Island, were found in ruins, no attempt being made
to defend these old Desmond strongholds. Lixnaw the Fitzmaurices had
not time to raze, and at the end of August Carew was able to give a
good account of Munster generally. 'All our garrisons,' he wrote,
'in Kerry, Askeaton, Kilmallock, Youghal, and Lismore, I thank God do
prosper and are now at their harvest, which must be well followed,
or else this summer service is lost. Wherein I will be careful to
lose no time, for the destruction of it will procure the next year's
famine; by which means only the wars of Ireland must be determined...
no day passeth without report of burning, killing, and taking prey ...
infinite numbers of their cattle are taken, and besides husbandmen,
women, and children, of weaponed men there hath been slain in this
province, since my coming, above 1,200, and of her Majesty's army not
forty slain by the enemy.'[363]

[Sidenote: Final defeat of the Sugane Earl (September).]

Tyrone was himself so much pressed by Mountjoy that he was less able
to send help to his Earl of Desmond, who was driven by Wilmot first
into Connello and then into the great fastness of Aherlow. A gallant
officer, Captain Richard Greame, lay at Kilmallock with his troop of
horse, and attacked Desmond's greatly superior force on the march. The
Irish were surprised, and completely routed, with the loss of 200 men.
The 400 who remained unwounded dispersed into Connaught or Ulster, and
the Sugane Earl never recovered the blow. 300 horseloads of plunder,
besides the usual prey of cattle, fell into Greame's hands; but Cecil
remarked that the prize was hardly so marketable as that which came in
Spanish carracks, and directed that 100_l._ should be given him. Carew
asked that he should be knighted, and Mountjoy willingly complied,
though he hesitated for some time in view of the very strict orders
which he had, not to make chivalry too cheap.[364]

[Sidenote: The Queen's Earl of Desmond.]

As the fortunes of one Desmond fell, those of another brightened for
a moment. James, the son of the rebel Earl who fell at Glanageenty,
was born in 1571, and had been in the Tower since 1584, much of his
time before that having been spent in Irish prisons. The quantity of
medicine administered to him was enough to ruin any constitution, and
in fact he possessed little vigour either of mind or body, though the
Desmond pride sometimes showed itself; and of course he knew nothing
of the rough world, or of the rough ways by which his ancestors had
raised themselves to almost regal power. But his letters show that his
education had not been neglected, though no mere instruction could make
up for the want of practical training. It occurred to Carew, who saw
the difficulty of purely forcible conquest, that the affection still
felt for his house might be utilised in Munster, and Raleigh strongly
supported this view. Cecil had not much faith in the plan, but he
submitted to the judgment of those who knew Ireland, and joined them in
urging the young man's restoration upon the Queen. Elizabeth yielded,
but slowly and with many misgivings. Failure would make her ridiculous,
and too great success on the legitimate Earl's part might make him
harder to pull down than the pretender had been. He was allowed to
assume the title, and here is his letter of thanks to Cecil:--

'Right honourable, I have received by Sir Geoffrey Fenton your honour's
directions how I should subscribe unto my letters, which I protest
unto your honour is much troublesome unto me, in regard that I had
no further assurance than by his word of mouth. I am so jealous and
fearful of her highness's grace and displeasure that I beseech your
honour to bear with my overpressing you with my many importunities.
I must hold myself as your honour's poor creature, in which ever I
will acknowledge your favours in that height of regard as to your
direction I will ever tie myself. And so I rest your honour's in very
affectionate assurance,

  J. DESMOND.'[365]

[Sidenote: The Queen is persuaded to send Desmond over.]

[Sidenote: His reception in Munster.]

Cecil's idea was to send Desmond's patent to Carew, 'to be shewed to
that generation of incredulity' the people of Munster, and not to be
delivered to the Earl unless his services made it worth while. But
when the document was brought to the Queen she refused to sign it, and
Desmond left London before it was done. Two days later she relented,
and Archbishop Miler Magrath, who overtook him on the road, carried it
to Carew in Ireland. 'God doth know it,' said Cecil, 'the Queen hath
been most hardly drawn unto it that could be, and hath laid it on my
dish a dozen times: "Well, I pray God you and Carew be not deceived."'
Captain Price, a plain soldier who had no object but to do his duty
and return, was sent in charge of the young Earl. It seems that some
wished to send Raleigh, but Cecil objected upon Carew's account. The
party sailed from Bristol, and reached Youghal after being two days and
a night at sea. 'I was so sea-sick,' Desmond wrote, 'as whilst I live
I shall never love that element.... I had like, coming new of the sea,
and therefore somewhat weak, to be overthrown with the kisses of old
calleaks; and was received with that joy of the poor people as did well
shew they joyed in the exceeding mercy of her sacred Majesty towards
me.' Weak and sickly, and never likely to take to Irish life, was what
Cecil had pronounced him to be, and the kisses of the old wives at
Youghal were the only successes which awaited him. That noted loyalist,
Mr. John Fitzedmond, received him with profuse hospitality at Cloyne.
At Cork things were different, and there can be little doubt that
intentional discourtesy was shown to the Queen's Earl. Neither lodging
nor supper could be had, and Desmond was feign to seek shelter with the
mayor. This was John Meade, a lawyer who had been chosen in pursuance
of a settled policy adopted by the corporate towns at this time.
Limerick, Waterford, Clonmel, and Kinsale preferred political agitators
to merchants, and lawyers were the fittest to make civic immunities and
privileges a means of embarrassing the Government. The portreeve of
Cashel was the most profound civilian in Ireland, and as obstinate as
learned. As to Meade, said Desmond, he might be called Lack-law, 'if
he had no better insight in Littleton than in other observations of
his place for her Majesty's service, for it was much ado that we got
anything for money, but that most of my people lay without lodging,
and Captain Price had the hogs for his neighbours.' Meade excused
himself by saying that he did not know how far attentions to Desmond
could be agreeable to the President, since he came to Cork direct from
the sea, and that he feared any public welcome might be ill-taken by
the Government. The arrival of 400 Welsh soldiers had made lodgings
scarce, and the learned mayor found plenty of reasons for his neglect.
But Captain Price, who had the best means of knowing, took the same
view of the matter as the young Earl, and Meade was soundly reprimanded
by the Privy Council.[366]

[Sidenote: Fortunes of the restored Desmond.]

[Sidenote: Strange scene at Kilmallock.]

The Geraldine who held Castlemaine for the Sugane Earl now gave it up
to the real Desmond, and this was the only important result of his
restoration. The Queen was half-hearted about the matter, hesitated
to bestow an estate, and did not care to provide the means for much
show. Five hundred pounds a year was not a bad allowance in those days,
but the young Earl was inclined to extravagance, and he felt acutely
that he could do nothing unless he were trusted with the command of
men. His adherents among the people might give information as to his
rival's whereabouts, but there was no chance of catching him if he
had to apply to the nearest garrison for means to follow up the clue.
In the meantime Greame's victory had made the fugitive insignificant,
and Carew had little doubt about being able to hunt him down. The true
Desmond spent part of his time at Mallow, where some supposed him to
have become enamoured of Lady Norris. Carew sent him to Kilmallock in
the company of Archbishop Magrath, and of his friend Boyle, who was to
report privately as to his reception by the people. At Youghal men,
women, and children had upset each other in the streets to see the
restored exile, but at Kilmallock the excitement was still greater. A
guard of soldiers lined the street between his lodgings and Sir George
Thornton's house, where he went to sup; but the crowd broke the line,
and the short walk took half an hour. Doors, windows, and roofs were
filled with people, 'as if they came to see him, whom God had sent to
be that comfort and delight their souls and hearts most desired, and
they welcomed him with all the expressions and signs of joy, everyone
throwing upon him wheat and salt (an ancient ceremony used in the
province upon the election of their new mayors and officers) as a
prediction of future peace and plenty.' Next day was Sunday, and the
Protestant Earl went to church. On his way the country folk shouted to
him not to go, and when he came back after service they abused and spat
upon him. The multitude which had flocked the little garrison town soon
deserted it, and he whom they had come to welcome might walk the empty
streets and sup where he pleased with as little danger of being mobbed
as any private gentleman. He oscillated between Kilmallock and Mallow,
but felt himself powerless, and the murder of his brother-in-law,
Dermot O'Connor, made him think that his life was not safe. The poor
lad soon expressed his desire to be back in England, and to live there
quietly, in preference to any Irish greatness which the Queen might
intend for him. Cecil rather encouraged him to return, at least for a
time, and till the question of an estate could be settled, and held
out some hopes of an English wife, 'a maid of noble family, between
eighteen and nineteen years of age, no courtier, nor yet ever saw you,
nor you her.'[367]

[Sidenote: The end of the house of Desmond.]

In 1598 Tyrone announced, and possibly believed, that Desmond had
escaped 'by means of the Lieutenant of the Tower's daughter, who had
gone with him,' that he had reached Spain, and that he would be in
Munster within a month, with men, munitions, and treasure. Had this
been true, he could hardly have done Elizabeth more harm than the
Sugane; but coming, as he did, with an Earl's patent and a Protestant
archbishop, he neither hindered Tyrone nor served the Queen, and he
slunk back to England almost unnoticed. He did not marry, nor was his
allowance at all lavish, but he was kindly treated and not shut up
in the Tower; and his last days seem not to have been unhappy. 'If I
turn me,' he wrote from Greenwich, 'into time past, I behold a long
misery; if into the present, such a happiness in the comparison of
that hell as may be a stop to any further encroachment.' He died nine
months after his return from Ireland, leaving five sisters, for whom
the Queen made some provision until they found husbands. The eldest,
Lady Margaret, was married to Dermot O'Connor, and his murder left her
a widow; she received a pension of 100_l._ Catharine, the third, was
the wife of Lord Roche, and the three unmarried ones had pensions of
33_l._ 6_s._ 8_d._ The second, Lady Joan, was destined by her mother,
who had married O'Connor Sligo, to match with Hugh Roe O'Donnell. Her
brother opposed this, as well as Carew, and she seems to have had no
great mind for it herself; but the plot cost her a short detention
with the Mayor of Cork, who again made what difficulties he could.
Lady Joan afterwards married Dermot O'Sullivan Bere. Lady Ellen, the
fourth sister, married three times, her last husband being Edmund Lord
Dunboyne, and she lived till 1660, when her stepson was restored to his
country but not to his property. Lady Ellice, the fifth, married Sir
Valentine Browne the younger, of Ross Castle at Killarney, and thus,
as the wife of an undertaker's son, enjoyed some portion of the vast
estates which had been forfeited by her father's rebellion. The title
of Desmond was given by James I. to a Scotch courtier, upon whom he
also bestowed the only daughter and heir-general of the great Earl of
Ormonde. It was Buckingham's plan to depress the Butlers by separating
their title and estates, and by giving the latter to a favourite like
himself. But Lady Elizabeth Preston defeated this scheme by marrying
her cousin, the future Duke; and thus, through the greatest of the
cavaliers, the long strife between Ormonde and Desmond was ended at


[334] Mountjoy to the Queen, printed in Goodman's _James I._ (ed.
Brewer) ii. 23; Letters of Rowland Whyte to Sir Robert Sidney, Oct. 31,
1599, to Jan. 12, 1600, in _Sidney Papers_.

[335] Rowland Whyte to Sir R. Sidney, Nov. 29, 1599, to Feb. 9, 1600,
in _Sidney Papers_; Fynes Moryson, book ii. chap. i.

[336] Letters in _Carew_, Dec. 31, 1599, and Feb. 13, 23, and 26, 1600;
Tyrone to Barry with the answer, in _Pacata Hibernia_, Feb, 26, 1600;
_Four Masters_, 1599 and 1600.

[337] Docwra's _Narration_; _Pacata Hibernia_, lib. i. cap. 1.

[338] _Pacata Hibernia_, lib. i. caps. 2 and 14. The Four Masters say
St. Leger's encounter with Maguire was premeditated, but the English
account is here to be preferred. Compare O'Sullivan Bere, tom. iii.
lib. v. cap. 12. Lady St. Leger had been previously married to Davells
and Mackworth, and was thus by violence left a widow for the third time.

[339] The Queen to Mountjoy, March 10, in _Carew_; Carew and Thomond to
the Privy Council, April 18, _ib._

[340] Carew and Thomond to the Privy Council, April 18, in _Carew_ and
_Pacata Hibernia_. See also the Catholic accounts of the Four Masters
and of O'Sullivan and Peter Lombard. All the documents are collected
in a memoir by the Rev. James Graves, in the Irish _Archæological
Journal_, N.S. vol. iii. pp. 388 sqq. There are two contemporary
drawings, one of which is reproduced in _Pacata Hibernia_ and the
other in _Facsimiles of Irish MSS._, part iv. 1. I have endeavoured to
harmonise the various accounts.

[341] Ormonde to the Queen, June 16; F. Stafford to Cecil, June 18;
Mountjoy to Cecil, July 4--all in Mr. Graves's memoir cited above. And
see his further note in _Irish Arch. Journal_, N.S. vol. v. p. 333. On
Aug. 21, Redmond Keating submitted to Mountjoy, on condition to deliver
the Earl's pledges remaining in his hands; see in _Carew_ under Aug.
26, 1600. The Kellies and Lalors did the same.

[342] Fenton to Cecil, April 12; Carew and Thomond to the Privy
Council, April 18; Tyrone to O'More April 22/May 2; to Ormonde April
29/May 9 and May 26/June 6; to Lady Ormonde May 25/June 5; Ormonde to
the Queen June 16--all these are in the memoir cited. Elizabeth, Lady
Ormonde, was the Earl's second wife, and daughter of John, second Lord
Sheffield. In Eugene Magrath's Irish panegyric on her husband (_circ._
1580) every laudatory epithet is lavished on the 'amiable, lovely, &c.
countess.' See this curious poem in _Irish Arch. Journal_ (Kilkenny),
i. p. 470.

[343] Note of Captain Flower's journey, April 1; Joshua Aylmer to
Cecil, April 21; Sir Henry Power to the Privy Council, April 30; Carew
to Cecil, May 2; Florence MacCarthy to Cecil, May 6; _Pacata Hibernia_,
lib. i. cap. 5. Cecil's letter to Essex, April 1599, St. Leger's and
Power's to Cecil, Dec. 10, and Lord Barry's to Cecil, Feb. 12, 1600,
are printed in Florence MacCarthy's _Life_, chap. 9.

[344] Docwra's _Narration_, edited by O'Donovan for the Celtic
Society's _Miscellany_. The cockle-shell island was probably one of the
'kitchen-middens' which are common on the Irish coast.

[345] Docwra's _Narration_; Fynes Moryson's _Itinerary_, part ii. lib.
i. cap. 2; _Four Masters_, 1600. Mountjoy left Dublin on May 6, and
remained out till the end of the month. See also his letter to Carew of
July 1 in _Carew_. 'The garrison of Derry,' say the annalists, 'were
seized with disease on account of the narrowness of the place and the
heat of the summer. Great numbers died of this sickness.'

[346] Carew to Cecil, May 6 and Aug. 17; _Pacata Hibernia_, lib. i.
chaps. v. and vi.

[347] _Pacata Hibernia_, lib. i. ch. vii.; _Four Masters_. June 18 is
the proper date of this capture; the annalists wrongly say that it was
in January.

[348] This raid was at midsummer.--_Four Masters_ and _Pacata
Hibernia_, lib. i. ch. viii.

[349] _Pacata Hibernia_, lib. i. cap. 18. The date of the murder was
Oct. 24.

[350] Declaration of Sir Charles Danvers in the correspondence of James
VI. with Cecil (Camden Society). The evidence of Cuffe, Blount, and
Southampton in the same collection bears this out. Southampton saw
James's answer to Mountjoy's first letter. It contained nothing but
compliments, allowing of his reservations, and referring him for the
matter to the bearer (Lee), who delivered unto him that the King would
think of it, and put himself in readiness to take any good occasion.'
There is a letter to Essex at Hatfield dated from the Court at Nonsuch,
Aug. 18, 1599, in which Thomas Wenman warns the Earl that he had been
slandered to the King of Scots as being opposed to his succession, that
James would work all craft for his destruction, and that he should be
careful who he had about him.

[351] Declaration of Danvers _ut sup._; Henry Cuffe to the Council,
_ib._, and his Examination, March 2, 1601 (printed by Spedding);
Confession of Southampton, _ut sup._

[352] Fynes Moryson's _Itinerary_, part ii. book i. cap. 2; _Four
Masters_, 1600.

[353] Mountjoy to Carew, Aug. 12, in _Carew_; Moryson, _ut sup._; _Four
Masters_, 1600. This raid was during the last days of July and the
first of August.

[354] Moryson, _ut sup._; Journal, 11-26, under latter date in _Carew_;
Mountjoy to Carew, Sept. 4, _ib._

[355] The dates are Dublin, Sept. 14; Faughard, Sept. 20; Newry, Oct.
21. Moryson, _ut sup._; Lord Deputy and Council to Carew, Oct. 8, in
_Carew_; Mountjoy to Carew same date (No. 478); _Four Masters_, 1600.

[356] Nov. 2-13. The _Four Masters_ add nothing to Moryson's account.

[357] Docwra's _Narration_, June 1 to July 29; _Four Masters_, 1600;
Cecil to Carew, Sept. 28, in Maclean's _Letters of Sir R. Cecil_.

[358] Docwra's _Narration_, July 29 to Sept. 16; _Four Masters_, 1600.

[359] Docwra's _Narration_, Sept. 16 to Oct. 3.

[360] Docwra's _Narration_, Oct. 3-28; _Four Masters_, 1600; Journal
of Mountjoy's proceedings, in _Carew_, vol. v. p. 497. In the Ulster
settlement Docwra was granted 2,000 acres about Lifford.

[361] The _Four Masters_ are here to be preferred to Docwra; see also
Cecil to Carew in _Maclean_, Aug. 29, 1600.

[362] Docwra's _Narration_, 'about Christmas'; _Four Masters_, under
Jan. 27, 1601.

[363] Carew to the Privy Council July 18-20 and Aug. 25; _Pacata
Hibernia_, book i. chaps. ix.-xii.

[364] This fight was on Sept. 16. _Pacata Hibernia_, book i. chap.
xiii.; Mountjoy to Carew, Oct. 8, in _Carew_; Cecil to Carew, Oct. 15;
Carew to the Privy Council, Nov. 2.

[365] Desmond to Cecil, MS. _Hatfield_. The letter is not dated, but
Fenton was in London during July and August 1600. Writing to Carew on
July 11, Cecil calls the young man James Fitzgerald, and Desmond in
later letters. The patent was ready by Aug. 29, and received the Great
Seal on Oct. 1. It is printed in _Pacata Hibernia_, book i. chap. xiv.

[366] Desmond landed on Oct. 14. Nearly all the letters are collected
in Florence MacCarthy's _Life_, pp. 485-500, where details as to the
Tower life, medicines, &c. may be read, and in Cecil's letters to Carew
(ed. Maclean).

[367] _Pacata Hibernia_, vol. i. ch. xiv. and the letters in Florence
MacCarthy's _Life_; Carew to Cecil in _Carew_, March 22, 1601. 'I do
not at all, or at least very little,' Desmond wrote to Cecil on Dec.
18, 1600, 'participate of the Italian proverb, _Amor fa molto, argento
fa tutto_.'

[368] Fenton to Cecil, April 20, 1598. William Power, writing from Cork
to Cecil, Jan. 17, 1602, says 'you were a father to the unfortunate
young Earl, as himself often told me.'--Carew to the Privy Council,
Dec. 20, 1600, and March 6, 1601; _Pacata Hibernia_, book i. chap.
xviii.; Desmond Pedigree in _Irish Arch. Journal_, 3rd series, vol. i.;
Desmond to Cecil, Aug. 31, 1601. Among the 1602 papers at Hatfield,
there are petitions from two of the Desmond ladies asking Cecil for
part of the allowance meant 'for our poor brother, that we might end
the rest of our unfortunate days without being troublesome.'



Mountjoy felt that his own hands were not quite clean, and he knew
that Carew was more thoroughly trusted than he was. The President's
excellent temper prevented anything like a rupture, but the Deputy's
letter shows how sensitive he was. It was in answer to one of these
despatches, in which he had likened himself to a scullion, that
Elizabeth wrote with her own hand one of those letters which go far to
reveal the secret of her power. 'Mistress Kitchenmaid,' she said, 'I
had not thought that precedency had been ever in question, but among
the higher and greater sort; but now I find by good proof that some of
more dignity and greater calling may by good desert and faithful care
give the upper hand to one of your faculty, that with your frying-pan
and other kitchen stuff have brought to their last home more rebels,
and passed greater break-neck places, than those that promised more
and did less. Comfort yourself, therefore, in this, that neither
your careful endeavour, nor dangerous travails, nor heedful regards
to our service, without your own by-respects, could ever have been
bestowed upon a prince that more esteems them, considers, and regards
them than she for whom chiefly, I know, all this hath been done, and
who keeps this verdict ever in store for you; that no vainglory nor
popular fawning can ever advance you forward, but true vow of duty and
reverence of prince, which two afore your life I see you do prefer. And
though you lodge near Papists, and doubt you not for their infection,
yet I fear you may fail in an heresy, which I hereby do conjure you
from; that you suppose you be backbited by some to make me think you
faulty of many oversights and evil defaults in your government. I
would have you know for certain that, as there is no man can rule so
great a charge without some errors, yet you may assure yourself I have
never heard of any had fewer; and such is your good luck that I have
not known them, though you were warned of them. And learn this of me,
that you must make difference betwixt admonitions and charges, and like
of faithful advices as your most necessariest weapons to save you from
blows of princes' mislike. And so I absolve you _a poena et culpa_,
if this you observe. And so God bless and prosper you as if ourself was
where you are.--Your Sovreign that dearly regards you.' It is easy to
understand what an effect such a letter must have had, and how Mountjoy
must have been encouraged in his difficult work.[369]

[Sidenote: Final reduction of the Wicklow Highlanders (January).]

It was supposed at the time that the death of Feagh MacHugh would free
Dublin from the depredations of the O'Byrnes; but his son, Phelim
MacFeagh, continued to give trouble, and the suburbs of the capital
were in almost nightly alarm. Shortly before Christmas Mountjoy set
out for Monasterevan, whither he had sent Arras hangings and other
baggage betokening a long stay there. But he himself suddenly turned
off near Naas, crossed the snowclad mountains with a strong force,
and entered Glenmalure quite unexpectedly. Ballinacor was surrounded,
and Phelim's wife and son captured, the chief himself escaping naked
out of a back window into the woods, while Mountjoy and his followers
consumed the Christmas stock of provisions. The cattle were swept out
of the country, the corn and houses destroyed, and at the end of three
weeks the Lord Deputy retired. Garrisons were placed at Tullow on one
side and Wicklow on the other, and these highlanders gave no further
trouble. Phelim MacFeagh, who was saved by the mountain floods, came to
Dublin, and submitted with due humility.[370]

[Sidenote: Mountjoy in the central districts (February).]

The early months of 1601 were spent by Mountjoy in devastating the
central districts. Starting from Monasterevan on January 29, he passed
by Kildare, which was in ruins and quite deserted, to Trim, and from
thence by Castletown Delvin to Mullingar, 'the shiretown of Westmeath,
compassed with bogs.' Athlone was reached on February 17, and then,
without resting more than a night, he doubled back to Macgeohegan's
castle of Donore. Between Lough Ennell and the place still called
Tyrrell's pass, he found the redoubtable Captain Tyrrell in his
stronghold, 'seated in a plain and in a little island compassed with
bogs and deep ditches of running water.' An attempt to cross with
hurdles and faggots was frustrated by the current, and an officer was
shot. Moryson, the historian, had a narrow escape. The English horse
kept always on the move, which generally protected them against the
fire of matchlocks, but the secretary, who was no soldier, and whose
white horse gave a good mark, felt one bullet whistle past his head,
while another struck his saddle. Proclamation was then made that no
one, on pain of death, should succour the rebels in any way, that the
country people should bring provisions to the camp, and that soldiers,
also on pain of death, should pay the market price. Two thousand crowns
were placed on Tyrrell's head, who thought it prudent to steal away
by night to another island in Queen's County, which was for the time
inaccessible, on account of the floods.[371]

[Sidenote: Mountjoy and Essex.]

While staying at Donore Mountjoy got a letter to say that Essex had
been sent to the Tower. 'It is not credible,' says Moryson, 'that the
influence of the Earl's malignant star should work upon so poor a snake
as myself.' Yet so it was. Mountjoy thought it prudent to range himself
ostentatiously on Cecil's side, and to depress Essex's friends, with
some of whom his secretary was connected. He took his most private
papers into his own custody, and Moryson says he never quite recovered
the blow. He tells us that, however his principal might clamour to be
recalled nothing was further from his thoughts, and that he had made
preparations to sail for France in case he was sent for to England.
Ten days later came a gracious letter from Elizabeth, in which she
announced the death of Essex, cautioned his successor to look well to
the loyalty of his officers, and forbade him to leave his post until
the intentions of Spain were better known.[372]

[Sidenote: Death of Essex. His confessions.]

[Sidenote: Lady Rich.]

Mountjoy had been implicated in the Essex intrigues quite enough
to make him nervous; but when it became clear that the Queen would
overlook all, he was probably sincerely anxious to return. He wrote
to solicit Nottingham's good offices, and the answer throws a curious
light upon the manners and morals of the time. 'I think,' wrote the
Lord Admiral, 'her Majesty would be most glad to look upon your black
eyes here, so she were sure you would not look with too much respect on
other black eyes. But for that, if the admiral were but thirty years
old, I think he would not differ in opinions from the Lord Mountjoy.'
And then he goes on to speak of Essex's behaviour after his trial,
and of those upon whom he had most unnecessarily drawn the suspicion
of the Government. His friend Southampton, his stepfather Blount, his
secretary Cuffe, were but a few of those to whom he ascribed a guilt
greater than his own. '"And now," said he,' so Nottingham continues,
'"I must accuse one who is most nearest to me, my sister, who did
continually urge me on with telling me how all my friends and followers
thought me a coward, and that I had lost all my valour;" and then thus,
"that she must be looked to, for she had a proud spirit," and spared
not to say something of her affection to you. Would your lordship have
thought this weakness and this unnaturalness in this man?'

Lady Rich was accordingly committed to the Lord Admiral's house, but
bore herself so becomingly that she was at once released. In writing
to thank her late gaoler for his kindness, she says: 'for my deserts
towards him that is gone, it is known that I have been more like a
slave than a sister, which proceeded out of my exceeding love, rather
than his authority... so strangely have I been wronged, as may well be
an argument to make one despise the world, finding the smoke of envy
where affection should be clearest.' This letter was sent to Mountjoy,
who--to do him such justice as is possible--was true to this most
unfortunate Penelope. Five years later, when Lord Rich had obtained
a mere ecclesiastical divorce from his wife, no less a divine than
William Laud was induced to perform the marriage ceremony between her
and her lover, and before that date Bacon had addressed to Mountjoy
('because you loved my lord of Essex') his tardy and inadequate
apology. It was not the fault of Essex that neither his sister nor his
friend suffered with him.'[373]

[Sidenote: Steady progress of Mountjoy.]

The Barony of Farney in Monaghan was next invaded, and the adherents of
Ever MacCooly MacMahon had their houses burned, after which Mountjoy
stayed for a month at Drogheda, and then returned to Dublin. Sick and
tired of the work which he had to do, he told Carew that he could
welcome the Spaniards, 'but I fear me,' he added, 'they are too wise to
come into this country, whom God amend or confound, and send us a quiet
return and a happy meeting in the land of good meat and clean linen,
lest by our long continuing here we turn knaves with this generation
of vipers, and slovens with eating draff with these swine.' The Lord
President in the meantime was reducing Munster to a quiet state. More
than 4,000 persons were pardoned during January and February, and at
the end of March, when Desmond left Ireland, there was scarcely any
more fighting to be done. Carew could despatch troops into Connaught,
and prevent Tyrone from sending help by the road to the Sugane Earl,
who lurked, for the most part, in Tipperary. Lord Barry very nearly
caught him, and accused his enemy the White Knight of harbouring the
traitor. Carew threatened to hold the latter responsible for his
country, and his fears settled the fugitive's fate. His object was to
remain at large until the Spaniards came, but, as usual, they were
too late. Ten years before, a papal archbishop had written that help
was coming. 'Notwithstanding,' he said, 'that the Catholic King his
captains be slow in their affairs, I am certain that the men are
purposed to be sent to comfort the same poor island, which is in
distress a long time.' Another archbishop now urged the last of the
Desmonds to hold out, 'knowing and firmly hoping that the help of my
lord the Catholic King is now coming, which when it cometh all things
shall be prosperous.' The help did come at last, but by that time James
Fitzthomas was in the Tower.[374]

[Sidenote: The last of the Sugane Earl.]

The Knight's followers, one and all, declared that they knew nothing
of the hunted man's whereabouts, though some of them were his daily
companions. Probably they did not believe in their chief's sincerity,
but at last one of them asked him if he was really in earnest, and,
finding that this was so, led him straight to a cave not far from
Mitchelstown, many fathoms deep, and with a narrow entrance, perhaps
the same which tourists still visit as a natural curiosity. The
Knight came to the mouth of the cave with a few men, and summoned
the occupants to surrender. Desmond's only companion was his
foster-brother, Thomas O'Feighy. Appeals to the spirit of clanship
were lost both on the Knight and his men, and threats were also in
vain. Bribes to be paid when the 6,000 Spaniards held Munster--he
mentioned the very number--were not very alluring, and so Tyrone's
Earl was given up to Sir George Thornton, who conveyed him to Cork.
His confinement was close, both there and in Dublin, and irons were
considered necessary. There had been so many escapes from the Castle
that he did all he could to avoid being sent to England by offering to
do shadowy services against Tyrone. But things were not managed as they
had been in Fitzwilliam's time, and to the Tower he came some three
months later. A year afterwards wages were paid to a watcher with him
'in his lunacy,' and he died in the State prison in 1608. His brother
John remained in rebellion and reached Spain, where his son became a
Spanish count, and died fighting bravely in the imperial service. John
Fitzthomas never assumed the title of Desmond in Ireland, and it was to
avoid pretenders that Carew advised the Government to spare the elder
brother's life.[375]

[Sidenote: Mountjoy in Tyrone (June to August).]

Mountjoy allowed himself little rest. Having issued the currency
proclamation, and done what he could to prepare the troops for the
expected Spanish invasion, he started again for Dundalk at the end
of May. A strong work was thrown up in the Moyry pass, effectually
blocking Tyrone's approach on that side. No serious resistance was
offered, but carriage was very difficult, and the Lord-Deputy had to
pay dear for pack-horses. Before the end of June he placed a garrison
of 750 foot and 100 horse at Armagh. He surveyed the scene of Bagenal's
defeat, and made preparations for rebuilding the dismantled fort at
Blackwater. A post was established at Downpatrick, which brought the
Magennis family to their knees, and by the middle of July he felt
strong enough to cross the Blackwater in force. The fords had been
elaborately fortified by Tyrone with trenches and abattis in the
Irish manner, but he scarcely ventured to make any defence. Some of
the colours taken from Bagenal were displayed on the Irish side,
but the Queens troops easily passed over, under cover of two small
field-guns. A new fort was made tenable, and properly entrusted to
gallant Captain Williams, whose leg was broken by a shot in one of
these skirmishes. Mountjoy advanced as far as Benburb, the scene of
Owen Roe O'Neill's great victory half a century later, and there was
a great deal of firing; but Tyrone dared not come to close quarters.
His men had also to spare their powder, while Mountjoy's supply was
practically unlimited. Doctor Latwar, the chaplain, like Walker at the
Boyne, had learned to love fighting for its own sake, and 'affecting
some singularity of forwardness more than his place required,' was
mortally wounded in the head. The Lord-Deputy's chief loss was in his
Irish auxiliaries, and Moryson coolly notes that 'the loss of such
unpeaceable swordsmen was rather gain to the commonwealth.' The latter
part of July was spent in cutting down the corn, and clearing the woods
on both sides of the Blackwater, and the fort being then able to take
care of itself, Mountjoy marched back to Armagh, where he undertook
similar operations. Piers Lacy, the noted Munster rebel, was killed
in an abortive attack upon the camp. It was Mountjoy's intention to
seize Dungannon, and to make it a centre of operations in reducing the
North, and nearly all August was spent in preparing provisions so as
to make a decisive campaign possible during the following winter. He
was at Newry or Dundalk on the 29th, when a letter came from Carew to
say that the Spaniards had been sighted at sea. This forced him to draw
towards Dublin, but he left Ulster firmly bridled by garrisons, and it
is evident that Tyrone would soon have been reduced to extremities if
it had not been for the diversion made by the invasion of Munster.[376]

[Sidenote: Plot against Tyrone's life.]

[Sidenote: An Irish stronghold.]

An Englishman, named Thomas Walker, who had worn out the patience of
his friends, and was in danger of prosecution for a seditious libel,
visited Ireland, as he professed, for pleasure and to see the country.
He reached Armagh in July, and informed Sir Henry Danvers, who was
in command there, that he was going to kill Tyrone, that the idea
was entirely his own, and that he required no help. Danvers was in
command of the garrison, and anxious to do something which might wipe
out the remembrance of his elder brother's treason. He told Walker
that the attempt was honourable but very dangerous, and advised him
to think twice, but having consulted Mountjoy, who was in camp hard
by, he allowed him to pass through the lines. After several narrow
escapes from loose horsemen, Walker came into Tyrone's presence, who
turned pale when he heard of the force at Armagh. The rebel chief was
dressed in a frieze jacket open in front, and 600 or 700 men were in
the neighbourhood. Walker told him his father had been mixed up with
Essex's conspiracy, and that he had come for protection, since the
Queen's government was wont to visit the sins of the fathers on the
children. Tyrone had tears in his eyes when he spoke of Essex's death,
and said that Walker was safe with him. He asked to see some of the new
money, at which he gazed earnestly, some of his train saying, 'These
wars hath made the Queen of England poor, that she coins copper money.'
On hearing that the device was attributed to Cecil, the Earl said he
wished he had him there to make him shorter by a head. The bystanders
used many opprobrious terms, and a Spanish captain took occasion to say
that his master still paid the royallest in the world. For a moment
Walker was close to Tyrone with a sword in his hand, but his heart
failed him, and he got no further opportunity. Tyrone attended mass,
but Walker was not allowed to be present, as he had 'no godfather.' He
was sent on to Dungannon, where he found Lady Tyrone and her mother 'in
a cott,' and they took him to an island stronghold not far off, the
fortifications of which were still unfinished. They crossed in a canoe
and four huge hampers of provisions were brought in, each of which took
three men to carry it. The ladies observed that the whole English army
would attack them there in vain; but Mountjoy, not many weeks before,
had found a soldier to swim over and burn the houses in a similar
stronghold for no greater reward than one angel. Walker was informed
that he was to go to Scotland, whither Tyrone was in the habit of
sending all such visitors. He was strictly forbidden to return to the
camp, and though he offered a round sum for a guide no one was found
bold enough to disobey the chiefs orders. After this he went to Randal
MacSorley, whose favour he gained by professing to be a good Catholic,
and who allowed him to go to Chichester at Carrickfergus. In the end he
was sent back to England. Mountjoy seems to have held that there would
be no harm in murdering a proclaimed rebel upon whose head a price had
been set. He thought Walker little 'better than frantic, though such a
one was not unfit for such an enterprise.'[377]

[Sidenote: Brass money].

[Sidenote: Confusion caused by debasing the coinage.]

'Of all the plagues of that time,' says Macaulay in his history of
1689, 'none made a deeper or a more lasting impression on the minds of
the Protestants of Dublin than the plague of the brass money.' And the
great Dutchman is still toasted for delivering them from that evil. The
attempt of James II. to obtain a revenue in this way was the worst, but
it was neither the first nor the last enterprise of this kind. Swift
roused the people of Dublin to fury by his diatribes against Wood's
patent, which, though not all that he called it, was nevertheless a
scandalous job. Elizabeth's father, brother, and sister had issued
base coin, and she had reaped honour by restoring the standard. And
now she herself listened to the voice of the tempter, who in this
case was Lord Treasurer Buckhurst. Had Burghley been alive, she would
not have been asked to repeat an experiment which had always failed.
The chosen instrument was Sir George Carey, who had succeeded Wallop
as Vice-Treasurer. The expense of the army in Ireland was great, and
Buckhurst imagined that it could be lessened by paying the soldiers in
debased coin. In those days it was generally held that the presence
of bullion in a country was an end in itself; and it was thought
possible to tie the trade of Ireland to England, while preventing the
exportation of sterling money to foreign lands. The money which went
abroad was chiefly spent in arms or powder, and this traffic tended
to maintain the war. The Queen saw clearly that the proposed change
would do her no credit, and that the army would object to it; but she
was hard pressed for money, and allowed herself to be persuaded. All
coin current in Ireland was accordingly cried down by proclamation,
and new twelvepenny, sixpenny, and threepenny pieces were issued, with
a harp on one side, and containing only threepence worth of silver
to each shilling. All payments were to be made in this rubbish, and
no other coin was to be considered legal or current. Those who held
English or foreign money, plate, or bullion 'of the fineness of the
standard of England or better,' might demand a bill of exchange on
London, Bristol, or Chester, payable in sterling money at a premium of
sixpence in the pound. Those who held the new coin might bring it to
Dublin, Cork, Galway, or Carrickfergus, and demand bills of exchange
on the same places in England at the rate of nineteen shillings
sterling to the pound Irish. Those who held English money in Ireland
were entitled to receive twenty-one shillings Irish for every pound,
and bills of exchange upon Ireland were given at the same rate in
England. The old base coin circulating in Ireland was made exchangeable
for its nominal value in the new currency, and the importation of
English money into Ireland was prohibited. This system of exchange
distinguishes Buckhurst's plan from James II.'s, who simply declared
that the impression of his own hard features turned kettles and old
cannon into gold and silver; but it was bad enough. At first the full
extent of the evil was not seen, and Carew who seems not to have been
much more enlightened than the Lord Treasurer, thought no great harm
would be done. But the towns soon began to grumble, and coiners were
quickly at work, even within royal fortresses. English coin being no
longer current in Ireland, the lawyers held that there was no law to
punish those who counterfeited it. The genuine Irish coin was so bad
that it was easy to imitate it and to leave out the silver altogether.
Those who were interested in the trade gave out that the legal currency
contained no silver, and so no one knew what anything was worth. The
Queen lost by the bargain, prices became high and uncertain, and the
only gainers were those who traded in money. Carey controlled the
course of exchange, and it was believed that he profited very largely.
Taught by sad experience, the Irish officials at last announced that
the whole policy of degrading the coin was exceedingly distasteful
to soldiers and merchants, rich and poor. 'We humbly acknowledge,'
they tell the Privy Council, 'that experience showeth that the prices
of things do follow the rate of silver and gold which is in the
money.... And when your lordships do think that the prices of things
by this project shall fall... we are not of that opinion.' An attempt
to restrain the course of exchange only made matters worse, and the
difficulty extended into the next reign, when the English Government at
last came to see that honesty was the best policy.[378]


[369] The Queen to Mountjoy, Dec. 3, 1600, copy in _Carew_. There are
other letters of the time from Elizabeth to the Lord Deputy beginning
'Mistress kitchenmaid.'

[370] Moryson, part ii. book i. chap. ii. On Jan. 1, 1601, Mountjoy
dates a letter to Carew (in _Carew_) 'from the camp among the rocks and
the woods in these devils' country.'

[371] Moryson, Jan. 29 to Feb. 25, part ii. book ii. chap. ii.;
Mountjoy to Carew, March 11, in _Carew_.

[372] Essex was arrested Feb. 8 and executed Feb. 25. Mountjoy heard
the news on the 22nd and March 2 respectively. Moryson, book i. ch. ii.

[373] Nottingham to Mountjoy, May 31, 1601, enclosing Lady Rich's
letter. Notwithstanding the Lord Admiral's playful allusion to 30
years, Mountjoy was 38 and Penelope 40. The letters are printed in
Goodman's _James I._ ii. 14-20.

[374] Moryson _ut sup._; Mountjoy to Carew, April 10, 1601, in _Carew_;
Edmund MacGauran, titular Archbishop of Armagh, to Captain Eustace June
18/28, 1591, MS. _Hatfield_; Matthew de Oviedo, 'Spanish Archbishop of
Dublin,' to James Fitzthomas, Jan. 3/13, 1601-2, in _Pacata Hibernia_,
book i. chap. xix.

[375] _Pacata Hibernia_, book ii. chap. iii. White Knight to Carew,
May 29, 1601. Many of the letters &c. on this subject are collected in
_Irish Arch. Journal_, 3rd series, vol. i. pp. 544-559. O'Daly wrongly
states that the Queen's Earl stayed on in Ireland after his rival: he
returned to England two months before his capture. From State papers
calendared under June and July, 1608, it appears that John Fitzthomas
was then called Earl of Desmond in Spain.

[376] May 22 to Aug. 29, 1601; Moryson, part ii. book ii. chap. i.

[377] Information of Thomas Walker (taken in England), Oct. 3, 1601,
MS. _Hatfield_; Walker to Mountjoy, Aug. 22; Mountjoy to Cecil, Aug.
23. Walker maintained that he never thought of killing Tyrone until he
found himself in Ireland.

[378] The proclamation is in Morrin's _Patent Rolls_, 1601, of which
several original printed copies are extant, bearing date May 20, 1601.
The whole story may be read in _Carew_, 1601-3, and in the first vol.
of Russell and Prendergast's Calendar. See also Camden and Moryson. In
Feb. 1603 Mountjoy wrote: 'the alteration of the coin, and taking away
of the exchange, in such measure as it was first promised, hath bred a
general grievance unto men of all qualities, and so many incommodities
to all sorts, that it is beyond the judgment of any that I can hear to
prevent a confusion in this estate by the continuance thereof.'

Moryson says the pretence was that the rebels would be impoverished,
whereas the Queen's servants were the real sufferers--'we served in
discomfort and came home beggars, so that only the treasurers and
paymasters had cause to bless the authors of this invention.'



[Sidenote: Rumours of invasion.]

Cecil had been right in saying that no Spaniards would come in 1600,
and he was equally well informed about their intentions in the next
year. In the autumn he inclined to think that they would go to Galway
rather than to any part of Munster, where the strength of the rebels
had been so lately and so thoroughly broken. Limerick and Waterford
were mentioned as probable objects of attack, but Carew thought an
invader would avoid the former as giving no means of retreat, and the
latter as being too easily reached from England. Cork he thought the
most likely to attract them, especially as Florence MacCarthy had
recommended it, and he set to work to remedy its natural weakness as
far as possible. 'The other towns', he said, 'are neither worth their
labours to gain, nor her Majesty's charges to defend.' The Spaniards
did, in fact, aim at Cork, and may have been more easily turned aside
by hearing that a warm reception awaited them there. Carew had in the
meantime taken the precaution of arresting Florence and sending him
to England. It may be doubted whether faith was not broken with him;
but there can be no doubt of his dealings with Tyrone or with the
Spaniards, and both the Queen and Cecil approved of his detention.[379]

[Sidenote: The Spaniards disembark at Kinsale (September).]

Cecil warned Carew that the danger of invasion would not be over till
the middle of October, and at the beginning of September Mountjoy
thought it prudent to be ready for an immediate journey into Munster.
On the 21st both Deputy and President were Ormonde's guests at
Kilkenny, and on the next day an express came to say that the Spaniards
had been sighted off the Old Head of Kinsale. Captain Love, in a small
pinnace, had descried them at sea off Cape Finisterre a fortnight
before, had noted that they were full of soldiers, and had made sail
for Cork harbour, to give the alarm. This says much for the superior
sailing power of the English, but it is possible that the ships seen by
Love were those which were driven into Corunna by bad weather. Lisbon
had been the original point of departure. The main fleet, with Don Juan
D'Aguila on board, arrived off Cork, but found the wind blowing out of
the harbour's mouth and did not attempt an entrance. They had already
passed Kinsale, to which port they returned, and on September 23 Don
Juan disembarked all his men, without opposition. The garrison, which
was less than 100 strong, evacuated the town, most of the substantial
inhabitants accompanying them with their goods, and the Spaniards
marched in with twenty-five colours. The 'sovereign,' with his white
staff, saw them properly billeted, and it was noticed that he did it
with more alacrity than if he had been providing quarters for the
Queen's troops.[380]

[Sidenote: Mountjoy goes to Munster.]

On the news reaching Kilkenny, a council was held. Ormonde and
Wingfield advised the Lord Deputy to return to Dublin and prepare his
forces, while the Lord President went to prepare supplies at Cork.
But Carew urged Mountjoy to start at once for Munster, though with
his page only. If the provincials, he said, saw the chief governor's
back turned they would think he lacked forces, and there would be a
general revolt. The army too would make more haste when the general
had gone before. These arguments prevailed, and when Mountjoy heard
that Carew had provided supplies enough to support the whole army for
two or three months, he rose from his chair and embraced him with many
cordial words. Carew had 100 horse with him, and, thus escorted, the
two set out together next day. A night was passed with Lord Dunboyne
at Kiltinan, another at Clonmel, and a third at Lord Roche's castle
of Glanworth. After spending one day at Cork, Mountjoy went with some
horse to a point overlooking Kinsale, and found that most of the
Spanish ships were gone. There had already been a little skirmish in
the neighbourhood of the town, but no serious attempt could be made
to disturb the strangers for nearly three weeks. Don Juan spent the
interval in strengthening his position, and in trying to make friends
with the country people. In this he had very little success, for the
weight of Carew's hand was still felt, and it was evident that the
cloud which was gathering at Cork would soon burst.[381]

[Sidenote: The Spaniards come in the Pope's name.]

The Spaniards brought arms for the country people, but very few of them
came in, and they were ordered by Mountjoy to drive all their cattle to
the eastward of the Carrigaline river. The corn for five miles round
Kinsale was burned, and the inhabitants were warned by proclamation not
to take part with the Pope and the King of Spain, who were unjustly
maintaining rebels against their anointed sovereign. Among those who
accompanied Don Juan was Matthew de Oviedo, a Spanish Franciscan who
had been papal commissary with Desmond twenty years before, and who
was now titular Archbishop of Dublin; and he was probably the author
of the Latin counter-proclamation. In this document the deposing power
is claimed for the Pope, and its exercise by Pius V., Gregory XIII.,
and Clement VIII. is treated as conclusive. Elizabeth being thus made
a mere usurping heretic, the Irish are absolved from all allegiance to
her and are ordered to support the Catholic cause, on pain of being
considered heretics themselves. In his own name the Archbishop wrote
to O'Neill and O'Donnell, and Don Juan sent more than one messenger to
hasten their coming. The Spaniards were without cavalry, having been
given to understand that horses would be provided for the 1,600 saddles
which they brought with them. Finding no allies, they had thus no means
of acting on the offensive, and the English horse rode up to the very
gates of Kinsale. The townsfolk were encouraged to withdraw their
families and property, and were allowed to come and go until October 8,
'without any imputation of treason.' Don Juan gave them equal liberty;
and this increased his chance of a successful defence, for he had about
4,000 men, and there were only about 200 houses in the town. Lord Barry
went to Galbally with such forces as he could collect, in the hope of
intercepting Tyrone on his march southwards, and Mountjoy made such
haste as was possible to be at Kinsale before him.[382]

[Sidenote: Kinsale besieged (October).]

[Sidenote: Rincurren taken.]

On October 16 Mountjoy marched out of Cork, encamping on the first
night at the Carrigaline river, and on the second under Knock Robin, a
hill close to Kinsale. Ten days were spent in the wet fields without
the means to entrench, for it was thought that longer delay would
have a bad moral effect. At last the ships, with guns and tools,
came to Cork, and were sent round to Oyster Haven, where there was
no difficulty in unlading them. Don Juan had garrisoned Castle Park,
on the west side of Kinsale Harbour, probably in the vain hope of
preventing the entry of English vessels. He had another outpost at
Rincurren on the east side, but neither work gave serious annoyance to
the army, which was now entrenched on the Spittle hill, to the north
side of the town. Carew found the artillery in very bad order; but the
delay was of no service to the Spaniards, whose boats were effectually
kept off by Captain Button in his pinnace. At last two pieces opened
on Rincurren, 'but within two or three shot the carriage of the better
culverin brake, and, about two of the clock in the afternoon, the
other received a flaw.' The rest of the day was occupied in mending
the carriage of the sound gun, and Don Juan tried to make a diversion
by dragging artillery out of the town and firing into the camp. Two
men were killed near the Lord Deputy's tent, and two hogsheads of
his beer broached, but no serious harm was done. In the morning 'the
culverin began to play, and about nine of the clock the demi-culverin
was mounted, which after a few shot brake her axletree; before three
she was remounted, and by that time a cannon likewise planted, and all
three pieces without intermission played.' But Carew thought the fire
too vague, and, having obtained Mountjoy's leave, he laid the guns
himself, so that the fire might converge on one spot. The true range
was got with a quadrant, and the cannonade was thus continued after
sunset. Another attempt was made to relieve the post by land, but this
was frustrated, with loss to the besieged, and by six o'clock the
Spaniards in the castle called for a parley. They offered to surrender
the fort on condition of being allowed to depart with arms and baggage.
This was refused, a further parley declined, and the battery continued
until two in the morning, when many of the besieged attempted to escape
by the waterside. Twenty-three Spaniards were taken and thirty killed.
Of the Irish all the fighting men escaped, but churls, women, and
children were taken. The captain in command had his leg broken, and his
subaltern, Don Bartholomeo Paez de Clavijo, was forced to surrender
next morning, being allowed to carry out his own sword and give it
up to Carew in person. He was quite ready to blow up the fort, with
himself and all his men in it, but the eighty-six surviving soldiers
threatened to throw him over the walls. The lives of the Spaniards were
spared, and they were sent to Cork, but no terms had been granted to
the Irish, of whom Dermot MacCarthy, called Don Dermutio, was the only
person of note. He had been in Florence's service, had lived in Spain
as a pensioner, and was able to disclose many important secrets. He
was, however, afterwards hanged at Cork.[383]

[Sidenote: Progress of the siege (November).]

[Sidenote: Castle Park taken.]

A few days after the first success Thomond arrived from England with
1,000 foot and 100 horse, after having been blown far to the westward
and forced to take refuge in Castle Haven. Both men and horses were
worn out by the long confinement on board, and had to be sent to Cork
to recruit. About the same time Sir Richard Leveson arrived with his
squadron and 2,000 soldiers, and the ships were warped into harbour
in spite of the wind. Neither guns nor men were now wanting, and the
siege began in earnest. The camp had already been fortified on the
north side, so as to prevent an attack by Tyrone's forces, which were
daily expected, and Castle Park, on the south side of the harbour,
was taken, after two ineffectual attempts. After a long cannonade the
Spaniards, who were but seventeen in number, surrendered, and it is
hard to see how so small a garrison could ever have been expected to
maintain itself. The fact probably was that Don Juan expected to find
an Irish army to help him, and that he found an English one instead.
Mountjoy's camp was thoroughly fortified, and his approaches almost
completed before any relieving force appeared. O'Donnell had, however,
been long on his way. On hearing of the Spanish descent he at once
raised the siege of Donegal, and, accompanied by Brian Oge O'Rourke,
MacDermot, and others, including some Munster exiles, marched from
Ballymote through Roscommon and Galway to Shannon Harbour, where he was
ferried across, and through Westmeath and King's County into Tipperary.
At Moydrum, in O'Meagher's country, between Roscrea and Templemore, he
lay for three weeks waiting for Tyrone, and the annalists observe, with
apparent pride, that his people 'continued plundering, burning, and
ravaging the country around them, so that there was no want of anything
necessary for an army in his camp, for any period, short or long.' The
Irish and Catholic hero knew no better way to advance the cause than by
harrying people who were as Irish and as Catholic as himself.[384]

[Sidenote: O'Donnell joins Tyrone (November).]

A council of war decided to send Carew to Tipperary, in the hope of
intercepting O'Donnell before his junction with Tyrone. Carew obeyed,
though he considered the expedition useless. Having the goodwill of
the country O'Donnell was sure to have news of his coming, and against
such a light-footed enemy he expected to have no better success than
Ormonde had with Tyrone. He left the camp on November 7, with 1,000
foot and 250 horse, and was afterwards joined by Sir Christopher St.
Laurence's regiment and by the irregular forces under Lord Barry's
command. On arriving at Ardmayle on the Suir, he found that there
was no possibility of attacking O'Donnell among the bogs and woods,
but supposed that the latter would hardly be able to go by without
fighting, for the mountains of Slieve Phelim, which in summer offered a
road into Limerick, were impassable from the rain. A great and sudden
frost disconcerted these plans, and O'Donnell made a night march of
over twenty Irish miles on hard ground. More than 200 years later Lord
Anglesea had personal experience of a winter's ride over these hills,
and his sufferings resulted in the road which still bears his name.
Carew hastened to intercept O'Donnell on his descent into Limerick,
but found that he had already passed. To follow him into the wilds of
Connello would be to court disaster, and there was nothing for it but
to return to Kinsale.[385]

[Sidenote: Spanish ships come to Castle Haven (December);]

[Sidenote: but are destroyed by the English fleet.]

Meanwhile the siege went slowly on, Mountjoy having an excellent
engineer officer in Captain Josiah Bodley, whose elder brother founded
the great Oxford library. Six guns were mounted in the trenches, and
Sir Richard Leveson's ships directed their fire upon the lower town.
The Spaniards made frequent sallies, which were always repulsed, and
they were unable to prevent the erection of more batteries. About
twenty guns altogether were placed in position, and great execution was
done both upon the Spaniards and upon their works. Being summoned to
surrender, Don Juan said he would hold it against all enemies, first
for Christ and then for the King of Spain, and on December 2 he made
his great effort. 2,000 men sallied forth about 8 o'clock at night, and
attacked the trenches with great determination. In the darkness and
rain they succeeded at first, but reinforcements came up fast, and they
were beaten back with a loss of 200 men killed and as many wounded.
They spiked one gun, but this was afterwards made serviceable, and it
was now evident that the garrison could do nothing unless they were
relieved by Tyrone or by reinforcements from Spain. Next day there was
a report, which turned out to be true, that more Spaniards had come to
Castle Haven. Twelve ships had sailed from Corunna, but of these only
six reached Ireland, and finding the Queen's ships in Kinsale harbour,
they did not venture to put in there. About 700 men were landed, and
with these O'Donnell effected a junction. Sir Richard Leveson went
round, with four men of war and two tenders, and the roar of his guns
was heard in Mountjoy's camp. The result was that only one Spanish ship
escaped; the rest were sunk or driven ashore. Five guns had, however,
been landed, and some 300 rounds were fired at the admiral, who was
windbound for twenty-four hours. At last he warped his ship out with
boats, and returned to Kinsale.[386]

[Sidenote: Tyrone arrives in the neighbourhood (December).]

Early in November Tyrone began his southward march. He plundered the
western part of the Pale, and made his way slowly to the Bandon river,
which then flowed through dense woods. 'O'Donnell,' said Fenton, 'and
Tyrone following after, used all the means they could to work the
Irish royalists to their side, but have reduced none of reckoning, for
anything yet discovered: only they both made havoc of some countries,
as a revenge to the loyalists that refused to rise with them.' At
the news of Tyrone's approach Mountjoy completed the investment of
Kinsale, by erecting a small work to the west side of the town. Next
day the Irish horse showed themselves within two miles, and on the day
after that Leveson's squadron again entered the harbour. The camp was
strengthened against an attack from the land side, and the Spaniards
made several fruitless attempts to interrupt the work by sallies.
Cooped up within narrow limits and subsisting wholly on biscuit, the
invaders suffered terribly by the almost incessant cannonade, and Don
Juan grew anxious. In a letter which was intercepted he besought Tyrone
and O'Donnell to relieve him. The besiegers, he said, were wearied by
their labours in the wet fields, and were unable to man a third part of
the trenches. The assailants, who should be well seconded on his side,
were sure to succeed, 'and being once mingled with the enemies their
forts will do them as much harm as us.'[387]

[Sidenote: Irish auxiliaries.]

The only allies gained by Tyrone in Munster were in West Cork
and Kerry, and they did not declare themselves until the Spanish
reinforcements arrived at Castle Haven. Castlemaine held out for the
Queen, but Thomas Fitzmaurice Baron of Lixnaw came with O'Donnell from
the north, and recovered the castle which gave him his title and two
others. O'Connor Kerry surprised his own castle of Carrigafoyle and
killed the guard, which consisted only of a sergeant and twelve men.
Sir Fineen O'Driscoll, 'who never in the course of his whole life had
been tainted with the least spot of disloyalty,' gave up his castles
at Baltimore to the Spaniards, and O'Sullivan Bere did the same with
Dunboy. Most of the O'Sullivans and MacCarthies were engaged, but
Sir Cormac MacDermot, lord of Muskerry, remained with Mountjoy, who
took care so to employ him as to attract Don Juan's attention. Sir
Cormac had, however, an understanding with the Spanish general, and
promised him to deliver up the Lord President alive or dead. Carew
knew all about it, but ate, drank, rode, and conferred privately with
this dangerous ally, whose design perhaps was only to make himself
safe in case the Spaniards should triumph in the end, or in case he
should fall into their hands. Tyrone had with him MacMahon, Maguire,
Randal MacSorley, MacDonnell, and some of the O'Connors and Burkes,
but his chief dependence was upon Captain Richard Tyrrell and his

[Sidenote: Dangerous position of the besiegers.]

Placed between two fires, Mountjoy's position was critical enough,
and Tyrone's plan was to blockade him. On December 21 the Irish, with
whom were a small body of Spaniards, showed themselves in force to
the east of the camp, and they had complete possession of the country
between the Bandon and Carrigaline rivers. The line of communication
for supplies was thus cut off, no forage could be obtained, and it was
decided by a council of war on December 23 that the horse should be
sent away to Cork.

The situation was indeed not unlike that of Cromwell before Dunbar, the
English having the command of the sea, and the enemy that of the land.
If no battle had been offered him, Mountjoy might have been forced to
abandon the siege. The Spaniards made sallies every night, and Don
Juan, some of whose letters were intercepted, urged Tyrone to attack
the camp. According to the annalists, he wished to pursue the Fabian
tactics which had so often succeeded, but was overruled by O'Donnell,
who was 'oppressed at heart and ashamed to hear the complaint and
distress of the Spaniards without relieving them.' The attack might
have been successful had there not been treachery in the Irish camp.
Brian MacHugh Oge MacMahon, who was one of Tyrone's chief officers,
had a son who had been Carew's page, and this gave an excuse for some
friendly intercourse. A bottle of whiskey was sought and given for old
acquaintance' sake, and when thanking Carew for his civility, MacMahon
found means to disclose Tyrone's plans. Thus warned, Mountjoy doubled
the guards and had all the soldiers ready to fall in at short notice. A
flying column of about 1,000 men was kept under arms, and at daybreak
on December 24, the enemy's lighted matches were seen in great numbers
towards the north-west.[389]

[Sidenote: Tyrone attacks Mountjoy,]

[Sidenote: and is completely defeated.]

It had been arranged that the camp should be attacked at midnight,
and that the besieged should make a sally upon the trenches at the
same time. Forewarned as he was, Mountjoy might have found it hard to
resist such a combined onset, but there were other reasons for the
failure of his assailants. 'The chiefs,' say the Irish annalists,
'were at variance, each of them contending that he himself should go
foremost in the night's attack, so that they set out from their camp
in three strong battalions, shoulder to shoulder, and elbow to elbow.
O'Neill with the Kinel-Owen and others were in a strong battalion
apart; O'Donnell, with the Kinel-Connell, his sub-chieftains, and
the Connaught men in general, formed the second battalion; those
gentlemen of Munster, Leinster, and Meath, with their forces, who had
risen up in the confederacy of the Irish war, and who had been in
banishment in Ulster during the preceding part of this year, were in
the third.' Misled by his guides, O'Donnell wandered about all night,
and when morning broke, Tyrone with O'Sullivan and the Spaniards found
themselves close to the English lines and unsupported. It is very
difficult to understand the plan of attack. Mountjoy's information
was to the effect that the Castle Haven Spaniards, with 800 Irish
under Tyrrell, intended to throw themselves into the town, join the
garrison, and renew the combined attack on the following night with
every chance of success. What really happened was that the Irish fell
into confusion on finding themselves suddenly faced by a well-prepared
enemy. Intending a surprise, they were surprised themselves. Tyrone
drew off his horse to re-form them, and the foot, supposing him to be
flying, began to waver on all sides. O'Donnell came up at this time,
but all the endeavours of the chiefs were vain, for the ground was
flat and open, and there was no scope for O'Neill's tactics. Seeing
the enemy in disarray, though still unbroken, Wingfield obtained leave
to act on the offensive, and Clanricarde importuned him not to lose
this chance. Tyrrell and the Spaniards stood firm, and the English
horse passed between them and Tyrone's main body. A small bog had
to be passed, but the troopers struggled through it, and but little
resistance was offered. 'All,' says O'Sullivan, 'were seized with panic
terror, or rather routed by divine vengeance.' The Spaniards, who were
less fleet of foot than their allies, made a stand about the ruins of
an old castle, but were cut to pieces. Their leader, Alonso del Campo,
was taken and five other officers killed. The Irish lost something
like 2,000 men, while on the English side there was but one fatal

[Sidenote: Utter rout of the Irish.]

[Sidenote: O'Donnell flies to Spain.]

[Sidenote: Disastrous retreat.]

'The Earl of Clanricarde,' says Mountjoy, 'had many fair escapes,
being shot through his garments, and no man did bloody his sword more
than his lordship that day, and would not suffer any man to take any
of the Irish prisoners, but bid them kill the rebels.' He despatched
a score at least with his own hand, and the Lord-Deputy knighted him
on the field among the dead bodies, some of which were probably those
of his kinsmen. The pursuit continued for two miles, and the slaughter
must have been much greater but that the half-starved horses could
go no farther. The whole army was paraded, and public thanksgiving
was offered for the victory. Indeed, both sides spoke of a special
interposition of Providence, and old prophecies were remembered or
invented to suit the occasion. Greatly dejected, Tyrone withdrew to
Innishannon, and no further attempt was made to relieve Kinsale. 'There
prevailed,' say the annalists, 'much reproach on reproach, moaning
and dejection, melancholy and anguish, in every quarter throughout
the camp. They slept not soundly, and scarcely did they take any
refreshment.' Next day it was decided that O'Donnell and others should
go to Spain, and that his brother Rory with the rest of the Ulster
chiefs should go home, Tyrrell and some of the Burkes remaining in
Munster under the general command of O'Sullivan Bere. With a shrewd
knowledge of Irish politics O'Donnell urged that the whole army should
remain in the south until he could bring fresh reinforcements from
Spain, for that those who had been affectionate and kind to them when
advancing, would plunder and mock them on their return. Tyrone was
perhaps ready to renew the conflict in Munster, but the Celtic army
broke up into its component parts, and each clan struggled northwards
separately under its own chief. Their road was by Mallow, Croom, and
Abington, and O'Donnell's words came true, for 'they which did kiss
them in their going forward, did both strip them, and shoot bullets
at them on their return, and for their arms they did drown them and
tread them down in every bog and soft place.' 200 perished in crossing
the Blackwater, the Maigue, and the Mulkear. Horseflesh was their only
food, the wearied animals sinking with the wounded, who were left to
their fate, or being killed by riders whom they could no longer carry.
The principal chiefs were borne in litters, and Tyrone arrived quite
unexpectedly in Cavan, where he killed a few cows for his exhausted
followers. Not less than 3,000 men and 500 horses were believed to
have been lost, besides all baggage, and the survivors were utterly
demoralised. 'A troop of women,' said Carew, 'might have beaten
Tyrone's army.'[391]

[Sidenote: Spaniards and Irish.]

[Sidenote: Kinsale capitulates.]

Bagenal's death was avenged, and his brother-in-law's military
reputation destroyed. Irish writers lay the chief blame on Don Juan
d'Aguila, and yet he does not seem to have been the real cause of
failure. His constant sallies certainly betray no inactivity, and the
failure of Tyrone to keep the appointed time is quite enough to account
for his not making one at the critical moment. His was the common fate
of every Spaniard who had attempted to attack Elizabeth within the
bounds of her hereditary possessions. Spanish organisation had become
thoroughly bad, while that of the English improved daily. Mountjoy
and Carew were good managers, but they were well seconded from home,
and sometimes the Queen even anticipated their wants. She felt that
her work would be incomplete if she left Ireland unsubdued, and the
strength of her last years was ungrudgingly spent in that work. Don
Juan saw that nothing could be made of an Irish alliance against such
a Queen and such devoted servants. It was clear that Kinsale could
never be relieved but by fresh efforts in Spain, and he had seen what
Irish storms and English sailors could do. The town would be taken by
assault, and the accompanying carnage would be of no service either
to King or Pope. For six days after the battle the siege operations
were resumed and the approaches brought very near the walls, and on
the seventh Don Juan sent out his drum-major and an officer bearing a
letter. He asked that a confidential messenger might be sent into the
town to confer with him, an officer of like rank being given as surety
for his safe return. Sir William Godolphin was accordingly sent in,
and Don Pedro Enriquez came out into the camp. Don Juan told Godolphin
that he had found the Irish weak and barbarous, and he could not be
sure that they were not perfidious. Mountjoy, on the contrary, he had
found a sharp and powerful enemy, and, on the whole, he was ready to
capitulate. If fair conditions were not accorded, he would bury himself
alive rather than yield. He professed not to be urged by necessity, but
by a just disdain and spleen conceived against the Irish. Godolphin
returned with his message, and on his second visit he was authorised
to hold out hope of fair terms. Mountjoy took care to say that he had
the game in his own hands, as indeed he had, but he was anxious to
save blood and to show her Majesty's clemency. Where both sides wished
for peace there could be little difficulty about arranging the terms.
Don Juan declared that he felt himself absolved from all engagements
to the Irish. His master had sent him to co-operate with the Condees
O'Neill and O'Donnell, who had long delayed their coming; and when
they did come they were shamefully defeated by a handful of men, and
'blown asunder into divers parts of the world.' O'Neill had fled to
Ulster, and O'Donnell to Spain, 'so as now,' he said, 'I find no such
Condees _in rerum naturâ_ (for those were the very words he used) as I
came to join withal, and therefore have moved this accord the rather
to disengage the King, my master, from assisting a people so unable in
themselves that the whole burden of the war must lie upon him, and so
perfidious as perhaps might be induced in requital of his favour at
last to betray him.'[392]

[Sidenote: Terms granted to the Spaniards.]

Both parties were eager for a settlement, for the loss by sickness had
been great on the Queen's side; and the negotiations were short. Don
Juan undertook to surrender not only Kinsale, but also Castle Haven,
Baltimore, and Dunboy. Mountjoy contracted for the safe conveyance
of all the Spaniards and their allies into Spain, and for their
victualling and good treatment during the necessary interval. The
Spaniards were bound not to serve again against Queen Elizabeth until
after they had been actually landed in Spain. More than 3,000 officers
and soldiers were embarked under the terms of this convention, besides
many priests and monks, 'and a great company of Irish.' The articles
were signed on the 2nd of January, on the 3rd Don Juan dined with
Mountjoy, and on the 4th a Spanish ship appeared off Kinsale. A boat
was sent out to say that the stranger might enter safely, for that
Don John and the Lord Deputy were now very good friends. The Spanish
captain hauled the boat's crew on board and at once made sail, and thus
the first news of the surrender of Kinsale was carried to Spain about
five weeks later. Another vessel with letters put into Berehaven, and
the packet was sent up by land to Don Juan, who, with his principal
officer, had accompanied Mountjoy to Cork. Carew, with the latter's
consent, had the messenger robbed on the road, but without hurting him.
Don Juan's suspicions were aroused, and he was not satisfied with the
explanation given, but a proclamation was issued offering a reward for
the discovery of the thieves. Spanish dignity was saved and Mountjoy
kept the letters, which were of great importance. Large reinforcements
were preparing in Spain, and the King wrote to say that he had heard of
the defeat of Tyrone and O'Donnell, and that he nevertheless depended
on Don Juan to maintain himself until help arrived. Details of the
intended aid were given in other letters, and it was probable that had
the news come earlier Kinsale would not have fallen, or at least would
have had to be taken by storm. Carew had strongly urged that a golden
bridge should be provided for a still formidable enemy, and the wisdom
of this advice cannot be doubted.[393]

[Sidenote: O'Sullivan determines to defend Dunboy.]

Baltimore and Castle Haven were soon taken. The Spaniards gave no
trouble, but the O'Driscolls made some futile attempts at resistance.
At Berehaven the task was more serious. The Spaniards had increased the
natural strength of Dunboy Castle by throwing up earthworks, on which
they had mounted three small cannon. On hearing of the capitulation
they were ready to surrender, but Donnell O'Sullivan refused to be
bound by the articles. Bringing 1,000 men quietly under the walls, he
mastered the castle by surprise and forced the Spanish captain and some
gunners to remain. The other Spaniards were sent to Baltimore, and
preparations were made for a desperate resistance. O'Sullivan wrote an
eloquent letter to Philip III., as to his sovereign lord, in which he
denied Don Juan's right to surrender his castle, which alone protected
his property and the people living along twenty leagues of coast. He
begged for help, and if help could not be given, then he asked that
means might at least be provided to carry himself and his family to

[Sidenote: Spanish ideas about Irish politics.]

Don Juan sailed on March 16. At Cork he lived familiarly with Carew,
and presented him with a book on fortification as a keepsake. The
Irish in Spain brought so many charges against Don Juan that he was
imprisoned, and he died soon afterwards under restraint. He lived long
enough to bring many counter-charges, and as late as 1618 there was a
wretched Spanish sergeant in prison at Ghent, who believed that he owed
his miseries to complaints made by Don Juan d'Aguila of his conduct
at Kinsale. The Spaniards were getting tired of war with England, in
which they were nearly always worsted, and of alliances with the Irish,
which had brought them nothing but loss. Don Juan made direct advances
to Mountjoy, and Captain Roger Harvey, Carew's nephew, had a curious
conversation at Baltimore with Don Pedro de Soto, an officer of high
rank, who thought there was no real reason why England and Spain should
be at war. King Philip, said this candid Spaniard, had indeed a great
revenue, 'but the infinite number of garrisons which he is daily forced
to maintain, would devour another such Indies, if he had them.' If the
Queen would only stand neutral in the Netherland quarrel, there might
easily be peace between two great nations. This conversation afterwards
induced Carew to intrigue a little in Spain. Nothing came directly
of it, but Don Pedro's feelings were perhaps those of many in the
peninsula, and the way was paved for a change as soon as Elizabeth was

[Sidenote: Importance of this siege.]

Excepting that of Londonderry, the siege of Kinsale is the most
important in Irish history. Spain was to Elizabeth what the French
monarchy was to William III. In both cases England headed the
Protestant world against what threatened to become a European
despotism. In both cases Ireland was used by the dominant Catholic
power to create a diversion, and not for her own sake. The defeat of
Tyrone and the subsequent surrender of Kinsale put an end to Spanish
attempts on Ireland, as the breaking of the boom across the Foyle made
French attempts virtually hopeless. In both cases it became evident
that whoever ruled in London must necessarily be supreme upon both
sides of St. George's Channel. D'Avaux, and even James II. himself, had
as little sympathy with the Irish as Juan d'Aguila.

[Sidenote: Reception of the news by Queen Elizabeth.]

The official account of the battle of Kinsale was sent over by Henry
Danvers, and the Queen gave most gracious thanks to Mountjoy, as well
as to Thomond and Clanricarde. But Carew contrived that the first
news should be brought to London by his friend Boyle, whose activity
and good fortune were shown in a remarkable way. 'I left my Lord
President,' he said, 'at Shandon Castle, near Cork, on Monday morning
about two of the clock, and the next day delivered my packet, and
supped with Sir Robert Cecil, being then principal Secretary, at his
house in the Strand; who, after supper, held me in discourse till two
of the clock in the morning, and by seven that morning called upon me
to attend him to the court, where he presented me to her Majesty in her
bedchamber; who remembered me, calling me by name, and giving me her
hand to kiss, telling me that she was glad that I was the happy man to
bring the first news of the glorious victory. And after her Majesty
had interrogated with me upon sundry questions very punctually, and
that therein I gave her full satisfaction in every particular, she
gave me again her hand to kiss, and commanded my despatch for Ireland,
and so dismissed me with grace and favour.' Boyle does not say by what
route he made the journey from Cork to London in such a wonderfully
short time; but the place of landing was probably Bristol. With a
south-west wind and a flood tide in the Avon the feat is possible;
but it is probably without a parallel. And great must have been the
endurance of the man who, after galloping from Bristol to London, sat
up talking till two in the morning, and was on his feet again at seven.
The picture is a curious one, and it is interesting to note how this
brilliant and successful man, writing more than thirty years afterwards
and in the fulness of wealth and honours, is careful to record that he
twice kissed Queen Elizabeth's hand.[396]

[Sidenote: Great cost of the war.]

The Queen was at first inclined to think the Spaniards had too easy
terms, but declared herself satisfied when she had heard the whole
story. The expense of the war and the waste of English blood was
terrible, and she would not deprive even Tyrone of hope. He found means
to make overtures very soon after the siege of Kinsale, and Cecil told
Mountjoy privately that he did not think her inexorable, though the
fear of being cajoled did not, as she wrote, 'permit her to hold any
other way with the arch-traitor than the plain way of perdition.' But
the capitulation had been granted 'to save the blood of her subjects,
dearer to her than revenge or glory,' and the same consideration
prevented her from driving Tyrone to desperation. In the meantime the
army was to be reduced, and the rebellion extinguished in detail. Carew
accompanied Mountjoy to Waterford and Kilkenny, whence he returned
into Munster. The Lord Deputy went on to Dublin, where he lay inactive
for some weeks, completely disabled by the hardships of the late


[379] Carew to the Privy Council, Aug. 6, 1601; Cecil to Carew, Sept.
5--both in _Carew_. 'For Desmond (James Fitzthomas),' says Cecil, 'I
find him more discreet than I have heard of him, and for Florence the
same which I ever expected, which is a malicious, vain fool.'--_Pacata
Hibernia_, lib. ii. cap. 6.

[380] Journal in _Carew_, No. 198; _Pacata Hibernia_, cap. 10; Carew to
the Privy Council, Sept. 14.

[381] _Pacata Hibernia_, caps. 9, 10, and 11. The Spanish ships are
described as fifty, forty-five, and thirty-five. The latter number
probably came to Kinsale with Don Juan. Storms and accidents account
for the rest. Small vessels had been purposely chosen, with a view to
the Irish harbours.

[382] _Pacata Hibernia_, caps. 10 and 11; Warrants in _Carew_, Sept. 28.

[383] _Pacata Hibernia_, cap. 13; Fynes Moryson, part ii. book ii.
chap. ii.; Journal in _Carew_ (No. 199) Oct. 29 to Nov. 1.

[384] Journal in _Carew_, Nos. 199 and 200; _Four Masters_, 1601;
Docwra's _Narration_, p. 257. Castle Park fell on Nov. 20.

[385] _Four Masters_, 1601; _Pacata Hibernia_, cap. 14; Journal in
_Carew_, No. 200; Carew to Mountjoy, Nov. 22. Carew returned to the
camp on Nov. 26.

[386] Journal in _Carew_ (No. 200) Nov. 29 to Dec. 9 _Pacata Hibernia_
caps. 17, 18, and 19; Cecil to Carew, Feb. 9, 1602.

[387] Journal in _Carew_ (Nos. 200 and 201) Dec. 7-20; Letters of Don
Juan d'Aguila, Dec. 10/28, in _Pacata Hibernia_; Fenton to the Queen,
Dec. 4, printed in the _Ulster Journal of Archæology_, vi. p. 64.

[388] _Pacata Hibernia_, caps. 15 and 18; _Four Masters_, 1601.

[389] Journal in _Carew_ (No. 201) Dec. 21-3; _Pacata Hibernia_, cap.
21; Moryson. The _Four Masters_ and O'Sullivan both say the English
were on their guard, and the former note the report of treachery, but
without giving MacMahon's name.

[390] Mountjoy's report is in _Carew_ (No. 201). His private secretary,
Fynes Moryson, the historian, was present. Carew's account is in
_Pacata Hibernia_. The _Four Masters_ and O'Sullivan Bere are to be
preferred for the movements of the Irish, and the latter may have
learned some particulars from his uncle. See also Sir H. Power (who
commanded the flying column) to Cecil, Dec. 27.

[391] _Four Masters_, 1602; Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy
Council, Jan. 14; Carew to same, Jan.; Sir F. Stafford to Cecil (from
Newry) Jan. 14; Clanricarde to Cecil (from Cork) Jan. 15. 'The rebels
are utterly forsaken of all aid from the Spaniards, and not able to
make any head. O'Donnell is made away for Spain, as we think. I do not
think we have lost fewer than 3,000 men; by fights and hurts not above
300, all the rest by sickness.' Captain A. Enfield, R.N., to Fulke
Greville, Jan. 6, in 12th Report of Historical MSS. Commission--_Coke

[392] A short relation of the siege of Kinsale in _Carew_ (No. 202)
signed by Mountjoy, Carew, and others. O'Sullivan and others say the
English outnumbered Tyrone's forces. It is true that the Irish made no
general or united effort, but only a small section of Mountjoy's army
was actually engaged. Moryson, who was present, says the former were
6,000 foot and 500 horse, the latter barely 1,200 and 400.

[393] Translations of the letters from the Duke of Lerma and others are
in _Pacata Hibernia_, ii. chap. xxvi., the terms of capitulation (Jan.
2, 1602) in chap. xxiii. See Carew to the Privy Council, Jan.

[394] Letters to the King of Spain and the Governor of Galicia in
_Pacata Hibernia_, ii. chap. xxviii.

[395] _Pacata Hibernia_, ii. chap. xxix. and iii. chap. xiii. Don Pedro
de Heredia to Lord Carew, April 1, 1618, and the answer, Oct. 21, both
in _Carew_. Don Juan's peaceful proposals are mentioned by Moryson.

[396] The Queen to Mountjoy, Jan. 12, in Moryson; the Earl of Cork's
_True Remembrances_.

[397] The Queen to Mountjoy, Feb. 8 1601; Cecil to Mountjoy, received
July 8, both in _Moryson_.


THE END OF THE REIGN, 1602-1603.

[Sidenote: The Spaniards still feared.]

Starvation by means of garrisons was Mountjoy's prescription for
the Irish malady, and this treatment he pursued to the end. But he
continued to dread Spanish intervention, for, in common with most
Englishmen of his time, he overestimated what was really a decaying and
impoverished power. Cecil knew better, and throughout the spring and
early summer of 1602 he continued to write in a rather contemptuous
tone of Spanish intentions. In August he was able to say positively
that there would be no invasion in force, though he could not promise
that Philip would not send a few forlorn companies to keep up some
sort of reputation in Europe, to put the Queen to cost, and 'to fill
the world with continual rumour of his undertaking humour.' To Carew
he wrote in the same strain, and with still greater freedom. It was
impossible to keep Spanish ships from Irish harbours, 'whereof there
be more than the Queen hath ships,' but the coast of Spain might be
so harassed as to give them enough to do at home. Sir Richard Leveson
was better employed taking carracks in the Tagus than he could be in
Ireland, and between Hollanders and Englishmen the Catholic King was
not likely to have many men to spare. But the Queen would not grudge
the necessary outlay to make Cork, Kinsale, and some minor posts
defensible. Thus encouraged, Mountjoy was free to attack Ulster, and he
proceeded slowly, but surely, to draw the net round Tyrone.[398]

[Sidenote: Docwra and Chichester in Ulster.]

Docwra was supposed to have between three and four thousand men in
Derry and Donegal, Chichester nearly 1,000 at Carrickfergus; and
about 800 more were in Lecale and in the garrisons at Mount Norris,
Armagh, Blackwater, and Newry. Mountjoy had over 3,000 under his own
command, and at the beginning of June he advanced to Dundalk. Docwra
had established a post at Omagh, and had no difficulty in joining the
Lord Deputy at Dungannon, while Chichester ferried his contingent over
Lough Neagh. Tyrone, who had laid Dungannon in ashes, was forced out
of his country into the almost inaccessible wilds of Glenconkein, and
his deserted strongholds were taken. In one three guns were recovered,
probably those taken at Blackwater. A new fort was built and manned
at Mountjoy on Lough Neagh. Provisions falling short in July, Docwra
was sent back to collect and victual a force at Omagh, with which
Chichester, who now had hopes of 'soon beheading that wood-kerne
Tyrone,' could co-operate from his fortified post at Castle Toome
on Lough Neagh. Mountjoy retired towards Monaghan, taking all the
small strengths in that direction, though not entirely without loss
from sharp-shooters, and wrote home to urge the positive necessity
of keeping the garrisons on foot. Tyrone was now driven from place
to place like a hunted hare; but if the efforts to run him down were
allowed to relax, he would gain strength quickly, and all the work
would have to be done over again.[399]

[Sidenote: The Queen disinclined to spare Tyrone.]

Tyrone was now begging earnestly for mercy, but the fate of Essex
warned Mountjoy against meddling with so dangerous a person. The
rebel would not come in upon his bare word, nor would he give that
word; for to detain him afterwards would be dishonourable, while he
might be blamed for letting him go. He could only urge that while
Tyrone was lowest was the best time to bring him to terms. After much
hesitation the Queen was induced to promise him his life, but through
Mountjoy only, and without divulging anything to the Council. Cecil
saw no reason why she should not publish it to all the world. If peace
could only be dreamed of, he said, 'for saving of Christian blood
and of miseries of her natural people from hence hourly sent to the
shambles! ... but her Majesty is the kingdom, and myself her humble
vassal.' Negotiations went on through the latter half of 1602, and in
the meantime Mountjoy prosecuted the war. He gave out publicly that the
Queen had resolved never to pardon Tyrone, but let him know that he
himself might possibly become a suitor for him. That depended on how
he behaved; 'and yet,' he wrote, 'I have told him that I will cut his
throat in the meantime if I can.'[400]

[Sidenote: Carew reduces Munster.]

Carew had nominally nearly 5,000 men to complete the reduction of
Munster, but the real number was much less. Nearly half of the
available force was sent, under Thomond's command, to ravage the
country west of Kinsale and on both sides of Bantry Bay. Carew himself
left Cork six weeks later, and made his first halt on Tyrone's late
camping-ground near Carrigaline. Nights were spent at Timoleague,
Rosscarbery, and Castle Haven, and Baltimore was reached on the fifth
day. In crossing the mountains between Skibbereen and Bantry Bay slight
resistance was made by some of the O'Driscolls and O'Sullivans, but
Dunnemark was reached in safety on the eighth day from Cork. This
place is called Carew Castle by the President, who is careful to note
that it belonged to his ancestors, and that the Irish name was derived
from their title of marquis. It is two miles to the north of Bantry,
and was found a convenient place to collect the cattle and ponies
of the neighbouring country. An O'Daly, whose ancestors had been
hereditary bards of the old Carews, was here caught tampering with Owen
O'Sullivan, and was sent for trial to Cork. The Spaniards in Dunboy
were warned that they could expect no quarter if they remained there.
If they left before the siege began they would be sent safely to Spain,
and Carew suggested that they might deserve greater favour by spiking
the guns or disabling the carriages before they came away. No notice
was taken of this message, and the army lay at Dunnemark until all was
ready for the attack on Dunboy.[401]

[Sidenote: Kerry.]

Early in February Carew sent Sir Charles Wilmot to Kerry with a force
sufficient to overcome what remained of the rebellion there. Lixnaw
Castle was taken, and Lord Fitzmaurice driven away into the mountains
of Desmond. Carrigafoyle was found deserted and partly dismantled. The
Dingle peninsula was thoroughly ransacked, the castles all taken, and
the Knight of Kerry driven into Desmond. The cattle in Iveragh were
also collected, and their owners forced into the woods of Glengariffe.
Wilmot's road to Bantry Bay lay by Mucross and Mangerton--'a most
hideous and uncouth mountain'--and great preparations were made to
attack him by the way. Carew moved up as far as Carriganass, and in
the end the Irish showed no fight, though trees had been felled and
breastworks erected at every point of vantage. The junction of the two
forces was effected, and on the same day ships came from Cork. The army
had provisions left for only two days, and would have been forced to
retreat but for this seasonable aid.[402]

[Sidenote: Dunboy Castle.]

Dermot Moyle MacCarthy, Florence's brother, had been in Ulster the year
before, and Carew had then declared his intention to plague him on his
return. He thought him both wiser and braver than Florence himself, and
certainly more popular with the scattered swordsmen--half soldiers,
half caterans--who still maintained the rebellion. Reduced to want by
Carew and Wilmot, this chief took some cows belonging to MacCarthy
Reagh, and while fighting for their possession was killed by his own
first cousin. To prevent his head from being exposed at Cork, as the
President had threatened, the dead man was conveyed to Timoleague Abbey
and there buried by a friar with great solemnity. After this it was
judged impossible to take a military train round by Glengariffe, and
it was decided to cross Bantry Bay. Tyrrell seems to have understood
that the game was up, and would have been ready to join Thomond; but
the Jesuit Archer prevented him, and he failed to come to the parley
which he had himself asked for. The weather was very bad all this time,
which the superstitious attributed to Archer's conjury, but Carew said
he hoped soon to conjure his head into a halter. And yet he was not
altogether incredulous himself. 'The country of Bere,' he wrote, 'is
full of witches. Between them and Archer I do partly believe the devil
hath been raised to serve their turn.' Nevertheless Thomond established
himself in Bere Island by June 1, and here he had an interview with
Richard MacGeohegan, who held Dunboy for O'Sullivan. The Earl argued
that the castle must fall, and urged the constable to gain credit
by yielding it in time, while the latter tried to make out that the
besiegers ran upon certain defeat, and could never even land in face of
such strong fortifications. Neither persuaded the other, and Carew went
on with his preparations.[403]

[Sidenote: Carew at Berehaven]

In spite of the witches, the army was transported into Bere Island
without much difficulty. The sandy bay near Dunboy was found strongly
fortified, and Carew resolved to make a false attack. The little island
of Dinish was seized and two guns mounted on it, the fire of which
occupied the defenders of the works on shore. The main body was then
quietly ferried across Berehaven to a point westward of Dinish and
close to Castletown. High ground hid the landing-place from the castle,
and when the stratagem was at last discovered the Irish had to go round
a deep creek. They found Carew's men ready for them, and were worsted
in the skirmish which followed. Tyrrell was wounded. Archer narrowly
escaped, leaving his missal behind him, as well as a servant, who was
immediately executed. On the morrow a camp was pitched half a mile to
the north-east. Next day the work of entrenching began, materials for
gabions having to be brought from a wood nearly two miles away. The
artillery was landed in full view of the castle and without damage from
its fire, but Carew did not begin to batter until the eleventh day
after landing. In the meantime the Irish had taken courage from the
arrival of a Spanish vessel at Kilmakilloge in Kenmare Bay. She brought
12,000_l._, much ammunition, and letters urging the Irish chiefs to
remain firm. But perhaps the most important part of the cargo was Owen
MacEgan, Bishop-designate of Ross and Vicar Apostolic or Nuncio, for
he is called by both titles, who had absolute ecclesiastical authority
over all Munster. He was able to impress the defenders of Dunboy with
the idea that a great Spanish force would immediately come to their
relief, and they imagined that they could hold out for two or three

[Sidenote: An island stronghold.]

The Irish had built a small fort in the island of Dursey, which they
intended for their last refuge. It was defended by forty men and three
pieces of Spanish artillery. Captain Bostock and Owen O'Sullivan
were sent by Carew, with 160 men, to reduce this remote stronghold.
The water being tolerably smooth, the Queen's pinnace was brought
up near enough to attack from the sea side, and the bulk of the men
were landed in boats. The soldiers showed so much dash in assaulting
the fort that the garrison came out and surrendered as soon as the
outwork was forced. They were taken to Carew's camp, and all executed.
Owen O'Sullivan recovered his wife, who had been O'Sullivan Bere's
prisoner since February. In this out-of-the way place Bostock found no
less than 500 milch cows, besides wheat and oil, and the existence of
such islands goes far to explain the long resistance of West Munster.
Nothing could be done against them without ships, and ships were very
seldom available.[405]

[Sidenote: Capture of Dunboy.]

[Sidenote: Two desperate men.]

Carew was a good artilleryman, as artillery was in his days, and he
promised that Dunboy should fall within seven days after he had opened
fire. Others expected a longer siege, but he was much better than
his word. The fire of four guns, concentrated upon the castle, made
it untenable within twenty-four hours. Tyrrell's attempt upon the
camp had been fruitless, and it was plain that there was no chance of
relief. After four hours' fire a turret fell in, burying many under its
ruins. In another four hours the west front of the castle collapsed,
and dice were cast to decide who should lead the stormers. The post
of honour and danger fell to Captain Doddington's company, and his
lieutenant, Francis Kirton, was the first man to enter the breach.
Kirton was wounded in three places, but he made good his ground, and
Carew's colours were soon planted on a commanding point of the works.
The besiegers still fought, but their guns were carried with a rush,
and the whole place was now commanded. Forty men tried to escape by
sea, but armed boats guarded that side, and they were killed. Among
them was Melaghlin O'More, the man who pulled Ormonde off his horse
when he was captured two years before. Seventy-seven men were left, and
would have surrendered at sunset upon promise of life only; but this
was denied, and the Jesuit Dominick O'Colan came out by himself. Next
morning, twenty-six more gave themselves up, including two Spaniards
and one Italian, who were all that remained of the foreign gunners.
MacGeohegan was mortally wounded, and Thomas Taylor, an Englishman's
son, but married to Tyrrell's niece, was chosen commander in his room.
Taylor shut himself up in the vault with nine barrels of powder, and
with a lighted match in his hand swore to blow all up unless he and
his companions were promised their lives. His men prevented this,
and forty-eight surrendered at discretion with him. When the English
officers entered, they found MacGeohegan still living. With a lighted
candle in his hand, he staggered towards an open powder-barrel, but
Captain Power held him back, and the soldiers killed him. Of the 140
picked men who composed the garrison, not one escaped. The powder was
then spent in blowing up the walls, and the castle, from which so much
had been expected, was laid level with the ground.[406]

[Sidenote: Fate of the survivors.]

[Sidenote: A Jesuit.]

In this, as in every such Irish siege, the actual capture was
comparatively easy; the real difficulty was to reach these distant
strongholds, and to maintain an army in the wilds. The garrison,
champions of a lost cause and dupes of a feeble tyrant, deserved a
better fate; but Carew showed no mercy. Of the survivors fifty-eight
were at once 'hanged in pairs by the Earl of Thomond.' Twelve of
Tyrrell's best men were respited for a time, but were also hanged
when that leader declared that he would remain true to his master the
King of Spain. Taylor was taken to Cork, and hanged in chains near
the north gate on the discovery that he had taken a principal part in
George Bingham's murder. O'Colan, whom the English called Collins,
was closely examined at Cork, and Catholic accounts say that he was
tortured. He gave no useful information, but freely told the strange
story of his own life. Born at Youghal, and educated at a Jesuit
school there, he went at the age of seventeen to France, made some
money as a waiter in inns, and served the League for nine or ten years
under the Duke of Mercoeur. He rose to the rank of captain; and was
recommended to the King of Spain by Don Juan D'Aguila, who was then
in Brittany. Coming under the influence of the Jesuit Thomas White of
Clonmel, who was rector of the Irish seminary at Salamanca, he was
admitted, after a time, to the Society of Jesus, whose principles,
we are told, he preferred to Dominican vigour or Franciscan rigour,
but not to full priest's orders; and Archer, who knew him only by
reputation, asked that he might accompany him to Ireland. His military
knowledge was perhaps thought useful at Dunboy. After keeping him a
prisoner for about four months, Carew found that nothing would be
gained by preserving his life, and he was hanged, drawn, and quartered
at Youghal, meeting his fate with the greatest courage and in a manner
most edifying to his co-religionists.[407]

[Sidenote: O'Donnell in Spain.]

[Sidenote: Death and character of Hugh Roe O'Donnell.]

The fall of Dunboy prevented the King of Spain from sending prompt
help, but he did not give up the idea. Rumours of fresh invasions
were rife during the summer, and sooner or later O'Donnell might have
returned with another army. That chief had sailed from Castle Haven
immediately after the battle of Kinsale, and fugitives from Munster
continued to join him whenever opportunity offered. He landed at
Corunna, and went straight to the King at Zamora. Falling upon his
knees he obtained favourable replies to three requests: that an army
should be sent to Ireland; that the King, when he gained Ireland,
would set no O'Donnell over him or his successors; and that he would
never deny any right that the O'Donnells had ever had. Philip sent him
back to Galicia, then under the government of his zealous friend, the
Marquis of Caraçena. Exiles are ever sanguine, and he professed to have
no doubt of ultimate success; but Spanish vacillation sorely tried his
impatient spirit. When the surrender of Kinsale became known in Spain,
some vessels intended for Ireland were unloaded, and Don Juan's report
was unfavourable. The disgrace of that unsuccessful commander revived
O'Donnell's credit, and the ship which brought over Bishop MacEgan and
his 12,000_l._ was despatched. O'Donnell began to despair of a great
fleet, and begged to be allowed to go with a few small vessels. He
asked his friends in Ireland to let him know the whole truth, but to
keep bad news from Spanish ears. This, of course, could not be done,
and the arrival of Archer and a crowd of fugitives after the disaster
at Dunboy, must have outweighed all his arguments. He sought the King
again at Simancas, and there he died after an illness of seventeen
days. His body was carried, with great pomp, to the royal palace at
Valladolid, and buried in the Franciscan monastery with every mark of
respect. His solemn requiem was the death-song of the Irish tribal
system. Much romance cleaves to his name, but his ideas scarcely rose
above those of an ordinary chief. Local supremacy was his main object,
and the panegyric of the annalists fails to raise him to the height of
a national hero. He was, they say, 'the vehement, vigorous, stern, and
irresistible destroyer of his English and Irish opposers.' He died at
thirty, but there is nothing to show that he would have even attempted
the task of building a stable edifice with the shifting sands of Irish

[Sidenote: Assassination plots.]

The Irish accounts do not suggest foul play, but Carew believed that
O'Donnell had been poisoned by one James Blake, of Galway, who had
announced his intention of killing him. Blake was not hired by Carew,
but he would hardly have made him his confidant if he had not expected
reward, and he it was who brought the first news of O'Donnell's death
to Munster. John Anias, who had been implicated in a plot to murder
Elizabeth, had offered to kill Florence MacCarthy, and afterwards gave
out that he had been suborned by Cecil to poison that troublesome
person. Cecil and Carew employed Anias as a spy, but denied that he
had ever said anything about poison, and had him hanged out of the
way as soon as he could be caught. Neither Blake nor Anias would have
dared to speak of such things to a modern statesman, but the morality
of that age was different. A similar suspicion attaches to the death
of Hugh O'Donnell's brother, Rory, afterwards Earl of Tyrconnell. An
Italian came to Sir Henry Wotton, who was then ambassador at Venice,
and offered to kill Tyrone or Tyrconnell, but without mentioning their
names or even seeming to know them correctly. Wotton said the Earls
were of no importance, having run away because they could do no harm
at home. No doubt proclaimed rebels might be justly slain; 'yet,'
he added, 'it was somewhat questionable whether it might be done
honourably, your Majesty having not hitherto proceeded to the open
proscription of them to destruction abroad, neither was it a course so
familiar and frequent with us as in other states.' Three months later
Tyrconnell and his page died rather mysteriously at Rome, others of his
party also sickening. Roman fever was probably to blame, though Wotton
seems to have half-suspected poisoning, but in the interest of the
papacy, and not of the King of England.'[409]

[Sidenote: Last struggles in Connaught.]

When O'Donnell sailed for Spain he left his brother Rory in charge of
the clan, who led them through all Munster and Connaught. The vast
herds which Hugh had taken from his neighbours were found grazing
peacefully in Sligo, and Ballymote was given up by O'Gallagher to the
acting chief. Sir Niel Garv was co-operating with Docwra, and kept his
rival out of Donegal; but Rory allied himself with O'Connor Sligo,
and sought help from Brian O'Rourke against Sir Oliver Lambert, who
was pressing him from the Connaught side. Tibbot-ne-Long and others
of the lower Burkes solicited Lambert's help, and he came up from
Galway with a strong force, while O'Rourke fought for his own hand
and refused to help O'Donnell. Lambert says he might easily have been
stopped either at Ballina or Ballysadare, but he reached Sligo without
serious fighting. The town had been burned by O'Connor, and the castle
was in ruins. O'Donnell passed his cattle over the Curlews, and across
the Shannon into Leitrim. Lambert, though camping in places 'where no
Christians have been since the war begun,' could never catch him, but
took 200 cows and a keg of Spanish powder. When the English were in
Leitrim, and when Leitrim was invaded in turn, O'Donnell was safe in
Roscommon; but Lambert established communications with his friends at
Ballyshannon. The O'Malleys and O'Flaherties infested the coast, and
Sir Oliver had to provide a galley with fifty mariners and fifteen oars
on a side, for these pirates spared no one, and Bingham had found it
necessary to take similar precautions. Lambert thought Sligo would be a
dainty place for a gentleman if walled, and he placed a garrison there,
which was able to maintain itself until the end of the war.[410]

[Sidenote: Progress of Docwra in Ulster.]

The absence both of Tyrone and of Hugh Roe O'Donnell in Munster left
a comparatively clear field to Sir Henry Docwra; 'the country void,
and no powerful enemy to encounter withal, more than the rivers.'
Castle Derg and Newtown (Stewart), both lately garrisoned, had since
been betrayed by Tirlogh Magnylson, a follower of Sir Arthur O'Neill,
who had become a favourite with the English officers. Tirlogh first
curried favour with Captain Atkinson at Newtown by helping him to
seize some cattle. Having dined with this officer, he persuaded him
to take a walk outside the castle. Three or four confederates suddenly
appeared, who made the captain prisoner, while others got possession of
the courtyard and of the hall-door. The soldiers 'lying in the Irish
thatched house' were all killed. Captain Dutton lost Castle Derg by a
similar stratagem. But in the absence of the great chiefs Docwra was
clearly the strongest man: O'Cahan's country was harried to punish
his perfidy, and even women and children were killed. Donegal was
victualled, and Ballyshannon, 'that long desired place,' taken and
garrisoned. Tirlogh Magnylson's turn soon came. Countrymen in Docwra's
pay pursued him from place to place, and his followers were killed one
by one without knowing their pursuers; those who were taken, says Sir
Henry, 'I caused the soldiers to hew in pieces with their swords.' The
hunted man travelled about the woods at night, sometimes occupying
three or four cabins successively, and lighting fires to attract
attention where he did not intend to stay. A boy was set to watch, and
at last the poor wretch was seen to take off his trousers and lie down.
Four men, says Docwra, 'with swords, targets, and morions, fell in upon
him; he gat up his sword for all that, and gave such a gash in one of
their targets as would seem incredible to be done with the arm of a
man, but they dispacht him and brought me his head the next day, which
was presently known to every boy in the army, and made a ludibrious
spectacle to such as listed to behold it.' Captain Dutton's betrayers
had better luck. They had killed no one, and were twice spared by
Docwra, after swearing 'with the most profound execrations upon
themselves, if they continued not true.' They broke out, nevertheless,
and the ringleaders kept the woods till Tyrone's submission, when they
were pardoned by Mountjoy's express command.[411]

[Sidenote: Mountjoy breaks up the O'Neill throne.]

Throughout the summer and autumn of 1602 Docwra and Chichester
continued steadily to reduce small strongholds, to drive cattle, and to
make a famine certain should Tyrone hold out till the spring. In August
Mountjoy again went northwards and planted a garrison at Augher. At
Tullaghogue, says Moryson, 'where the O'Neills were of old custom
created, he spent some five days, and there he spoiled the corn of all
the country, and Tyrone's own corn, and brake down the chair where the
O'Neills were wont to be created, being of stone, planted in the open
field.' But he could not get within twelve miles of the rebel Earl
himself, who had retreated into thick woods at the lower end of Lough
Erne, and who endeavoured to keep his friends together by letters in
which he urged them to make no separate terms for themselves; 'if you
do otherwise,' he said, 'stand to the hazard yourselves, for you shall
not have my consent thereunto.' One transient gleam of success rewarded
Rory O'Donnell and O'Connor Sligo. In an attempt to force the passage
of the Curlews from the Roscommon side a panic seized the English
soldiers, who may have remembered the fate of Sir Conyers Clifford, and
they fled in confusion to Boyle, but without any great loss.[412]

[Sidenote: Last struggle in Munster.]

It was in Munster that hopes of Spanish succour were strongest; but
Carew was able to send troops and supplies to help Mountjoy, and at the
same time to finish his own work. Sir Cormac MacDermot, the chief of
Muskerry, whose intriguing nature was well known to Carew, was found
to have received 800 ducats from Bishop Owen MacEgan, and to have
placed Blarney Castle at the disposal of the Spaniards. Captain Roger
Harvey was sent, on pretence of hunting the buck, to call at the castle
and ask for wine and usquebaugh, 'whereof Irish gentlemen are seldom
disfurnished,' and if possible to get possession of the place. But the
warders were on their guard, and Harvey could not even get into the
courtyard. Sir Cormac himself was at Cork, not having dared to refuse
attendance at the assizes, and his wife and children were also secured.
Finding himself in the lion's mouth, he ordered his people to surrender
Blarney, while he made preparations for his own escape. After dark on
the evening of Michaelmas-day he got out of the window in his shirt,
several gentlemen being outside to receive him. A passing Englishwoman
raised the alarm, but the runaway was befriended by town and country
and got safe away over the walls, only to find that he could do
nothing. His castle of Kilcrea had already surrendered, and Macroom
was taken, owing to an accidental fire which arose while the warders
were singeing a pig. No Spaniards were visible, and Tyrrell, who had
eaten up Bere and Bantry, proposed to quarter his men in Muskerry.
At last, towards the end of October, Sir Cormac came to Carew, and
sued for mercy on his knees. A protection was granted to him, for he
was helpless without his castles, his eldest son was at Oxford well
watched, and Tyrrell had destroyed his corn. Raleigh advised Elizabeth
not to pardon him, his country being worth her while to keep, and its
situation being such as to leave him always at her mercy. Orders were
accordingly given that his pardon should be withheld, at least until
he had provided an estate for his cousin Teig MacCormac, who had first
revealed his intrigues with the Spaniards.[413]

[Sidenote: Remarkable retreat of O'Sullivan Bere.]

[Sidenote: Passage of the Shannon.]

[Sidenote: A disinterested guide.]

O'Sullivan Bere still maintained himself in Glengariffe, but his
position had become hopeless. In December Tyrrell gave up the contest
and marched eighty miles without a halt from near Castleisland into
the King's County, 'leaving all his carriages and impediments, as
they tired, scattered to hazard.' Wilmot then attacked O'Sullivan's
position, and succeeded, after six hours' sharp fighting, in driving
off 2,000 cows, 4,000 sheep, and 1,000 hackneys. Sir John Shamrock's
son, William Burke, refused to stay a moment longer, cursing himself
for lingering in Munster and losing his brave followers. O'Sullivan was
thus forced to fly, and on the night of the 3rd of January he slipped
away, with all his family and retinue. When Wilmot came to his late
camping-ground he found only sick and wounded men, 'whose pains and
lives by the soldiers were both determined.' The fugitives had a sharp
skirmish with Lord Barry near Liscarroll, but reached the Shannon at
Portland on the ninth day, fighting all the way and not venturing to
turn aside after cattle, although often very hungry. Finding no boats,
they killed twelve horses, and Dermot O'Driscoll, who was used to the
canoes or _curraghs_ of the west-coast fishermen, constructed one
with osiers, twenty-six feet long, six feet wide, five feet deep, and
capable of holding thirty men. Eleven horseskins were used to cover
this ark, and the twelfth was devoted to a round vessel planned by
Daniel O'Malley and intended to carry ten men. The O'Malleys were more
given to the sea than even the O'Driscolls, but the round ferry-boat
sank, while the long one answered its purpose. Ormonde's sheriff of
Tipperary failed to prevent O'Sullivan from crossing the great river,
and he reached Aughrim on the eleventh day from Glengariffe. Sir
Thomas Burke, Clanricarde's brother, who had the help of some English
soldiers, attacked him here with a superior force, but was worsted
with loss after a hard fight, and O'Kelly's country was passed on the
same day. On the borders of Galway and Roscommon MacDavid Burke showed
the will, but not the power, to stop the fugitives, who eluded pursuit
by leaving great fires in the woods near Castlereagh. They suffered
horribly from snow and rain, their shoes were worn out, and their last
horses furnished a scanty meal. O'Connor Kerry's feet were a mass of
sores, and he reproached those members for their cowardice, which was
likely to imperil his head and his whole body. He struggled on with
the rest, and in a wood near Boyle, heaven, as the pious historian
believed, provided them with a guide. A barefooted man, in a linen
garment and with a white headdress, and carrying an iron-shod staff
in his hand, came to meet them. His appearance was such as to strike
terror, but he told O'Sullivan that he had heard of his glorious
victory at Aughrim, and was ready to lead him safely into O'Rourke's
country. O'Sullivan, who was perhaps less credulous than his kinsman,
secured the stranger's fidelity with 200 ducats, which he magnanimously
accepted, 'not as a reward, but as a sign of a grateful mind.' He lead
them by stony ways to Knockvicar near Boyle, where they bought food and
dried themselves at fires. The blood upon O'Connor's blisters hardened
with the heat, and he had to be carried by four men until they found
a lean and blind old horse, on whose sharp backbone the sufferer was
rather balanced than laid. The Curlews were safely passed, and at
daybreak on the sixteenth day of their pilgrimage O'Rourke's castle
of Leitrim was in sight. Of over a thousand persons who started from
Glengariffe, but eighteen soldiers, sixteen horseboys, and one woman
reached the house of refuge. A few more afterwards straggled in, but
the great bulk had died of wounds and exposure, or had strayed away
from their leaders. 'I wonder,' says the historian, 'how my father,
Dermot O'Sullivan, who was nearly seventy, or how any woman, was able
to sustain labours which proved too much for the most muscular young
men.' The distance traversed was about 175 miles as the crow flies.[414]

[Sidenote: Rory O'Donnell submits.]

[Sidenote: Tyrone sues for mercy.]

Like many chief governors before him, Mountjoy contemplated spending
much time at Athlone, and the Queen approved of this. He went there
in November 1602, and both Rory O'Donnell and O'Connor Sligo came to
him there before Christmas. Rory called to mind the hereditary loyalty
of his family since Henry VIII.'s days, adding that he himself had
agreed with Sir Conyers Clifford to serve against his brother Hugh,
and had been put in irons by him. O'Connor claimed to have brought in
Rory, and to have suffered likewise for his fidelity to Clifford. His
legs, he said, had never healed properly, being 'almost rotted' with
the irons. Tyrone lurked in Glenconkein in very wretched case, whence
he wrote in most humble terms, and, as he said, with a most penitent
heart. Mountjoy had sent back his last letter because it contained no
absolute submission. 'I know the Queen's merciful nature,' he now
said, 'though I am not worthy to crave for mercy.... Without standing
on any terms or conditions, I do hereby both simply and absolutely
submit myself to her Majesty's mercy.' Sir Christopher St. Laurence
conducted some negotiations on his own account, but the Lord Deputy
earnestly repudiated any knowledge of these, and continued almost to
the end to say that he might possibly intercede with the Queen, but
would do nothing more. Elizabeth's instinct told her that Tyrone was
no longer formidable unless she set him up again, and this it is most
probable she would have never done. A month after the letter last
quoted, and barely two months before the Queen's death, Mountjoy talked
of hunting the arch-traitor into the sea. He and Carew were together at
Galway soon after Christmas, and it was agreed that the latter should
go to England. Both of them wished to get away, but the Queen would not
hear of the Deputy quitting his post, nor would she let the President
go without his superior's leave; and Cecil cleverly contrived that
the suggestion should seem to come from Mountjoy himself. Never, we
are told, was 'a virgin bride, after a lingering and desperate love,
more longing for the celebration of her nuptial' than was Carew to
go to England; but he returned to Munster and made things quite safe
there before he started. Now that Tyrrell and O'Sullivan were gone, he
ventured to send to Athlone 500 men out of 700, which were all he had
available after providing for the garrisons and making allowances for
the sick and missing. He feared that O'Sullivan might return, but of
this there was no real danger. The war was now confined to a corner of
Ulster, and if Elizabeth had lived the fate of Tyrone might have been
like that of Desmond. To run him down was, however, a matter of extreme
difficulty, and he seems to have thought that he could get out of
Ireland if the worst came to the worst.[415]

[Sidenote: Tyrone driven into a corner.]

While Mountjoy was conferring with Carew at Galway, Docwra and
Chichester were pressing Tyrone hard. He was confined to about
200 square miles of glens and woods in the south-eastern part of
Londonderry and the easternmost corner of Tyrone, and his fighting men
scarcely exceeded 50. His numerous cattle were on the inaccessible
heights of Slieve Gallion, and he himself had several resting-places
surrounded with felled trees and protected by streams which were only
fordable in dry weather. Docwra came to Dungannon with 450 English foot
and 50 horse, and with 200 O'Cahan and 100 O'Dogherty kerne. Chichester
had a fortified post at Toom, where the Bann leaves Lough Neagh, and
he gathered there all the forces that the Ulster garrison could spare.
Letters between the two leaders for the most part miscarried, and it
was found quite impossible to converge upon Tyrone. From the very
entrance of the woods the O'Cahans ran away to their own country, and
the O'Dogherties pronounced the travelling impossible. The men sickened
fast; one guide went off to Tyrone and was followed by another, who
first contrived that cattle coming to Docwra's relief should be stolen.
Chichester penetrated farther into the woods, and fought two skirmishes
without doing much harm to his light-footed adversary. Docwra returned
to Derry two or three days after Christmas, and Chichester also
abandoned the enterprise. The country about Toom was eaten as bare
as an English common, and things were rather worse at Derry, which
was quite out of the course of trade, and equally deprived of local
supplies. It was no better in the Pale, and the whole army, now reduced
to a nominal 13,000, depended entirely upon victuals sent from England.
Even Dublin feared famine, and everyone was so worn out that it was
difficult to get any service done.[416]

[Sidenote: Famine.]

The confusion in the currency crippled trade and caused distress in the
towns. But the winter war had worked a far greater mischief among the
poor rebels in the country. Mountjoy had clearly foreseen a famine,
had done his best to bring it about, and had completely succeeded.
Multitudes lay dead in the ditches of towns and other waste places,
'with their mouths all coloured green by eating nettles, docks, and
all things they could rend up above ground.' Sir Arthur Chichester
saw children eating their mother's corpse. Captain Trevor found that
certain old women lit fires in the woods, and ate the children who came
to warm themselves. Rebels received to mercy killed troop-horses by
running needles into their throats, and then fought over the remains.
Not only were horses eaten, but cats and dogs, hawks, kites, and
other carrion birds. The very wolves were driven by starvation from
the woods, and killed the enfeebled people. The dead lay unburied, or
half-buried, for the survivors had not strength to dig deep, and dogs
ate the mouldering remains. Some fled to France or Spain, but they were
few compared to those who perished at home.[417]

[Sidenote: Tyrone and James VI.]

[Sidenote: Elizabeth and James VI.]

Had Tyrone escaped from Ireland he would have gone to Scotland, or
perhaps only to the Scotch islands. In 1597 he had offered his services
to James, complaining of hard treatment at the hands of Deputies, and
apologising for not having paid his respects sooner. While accepting
these overtures and declaring himself ready to befriend him in all his
'honest and lawful affairs,' the King, with characteristic caution,
noted that the time had not come. 'When,' he wrote, 'it shall please
God to call our sister, the Queen of England, by death, we will see
no less than your promptitude and readiness upon our advertisement to
do us service.' Tyrone took care to be on good terms with the sons
of Sorley Boy MacDonnell, to one of which, Randal, created Earl of
Antrim in the next reign, he afterwards gave his daughter. A channel
of communication with Scotland was thus always open, and it was
certainly used on both sides. Early in 1600 Tyrone thanked James for
his goodwill, and assured him that Docwra's expedition was intended to
end in the writer's extermination. This letter came into Cecil's hands,
and no doubt he was constantly well-informed. He had a Scotch spy, one
Thomas Douglas, who also acted as a messenger between James, Tyrone,
and the MacDonnells, and who carried a letter from the Duke of Lennox
to Ireland early in 1601. This did not prevent James from offering to
help Elizabeth with Highlanders against Tyrone in the same year. The
Queen thanked him heartily, but remarked that 'the rebels had done
their worst already.' It is plain that she saw through her good brother
like glass. 'Remember,' she once wrote to him, 'that who seeketh two
strings to one bow, may shoot strong but never straight; if you suppose
that princes' causes be vailed so covertly that no intelligence may
bewray them, deceive not yourself; we old foxes can find shifts to save
ourselves by others' malice, and come by knowledge of greatest secret,
specially if it touch our freehold.'[418]

[Sidenote: The question of toleration.]

Tyrone had made an unconditional submission, so far as it was possible
to make it by letter; but the Queen was very unwilling to pardon him
or to grant him anything more than bare life. At the same time there
was a disposition to press the matter of religious uniformity, and
to revive the Ecclesiastical Commission which had long lain dormant.
Vice-Treasurer Carey was not content with the mischief done by the new
coin, but must needs recommend a sharper way with recusants as a means
of pacifying the country, and perhaps of filling official pockets.
Mountjoy, whose great object was to end the war and get home, in
effect told Carey that Satan was finding mischief for his idle hands in
Dublin, while the army was half-starved, and the Lord Deputy himself
likely to be reduced to salt ling. 'If,' he wrote from Trim, 'you did
but walk up and down in the cold with us, you would not be so warm
in your religion.' Mountjoy had his way on this point, and nothing
was done to frighten the Irish unnecessarily, or to drive the towns
into Spanish alliances. He reminded Cecil that Philip II. had lost
the Netherlands by bringing in the Inquisition, and that the States,
who at one time held nearly all the provinces, had lost many of them
by pressing the matter of religion too hotly. All religions, he said,
grew by persecution, but good doctrines and example would work in time.
In the meanwhile he advised discreet handling as the only means of
avoiding a new war, of which, he said, 'many would be glad, but God
deliver us from it.'[419]

[Sidenote: Death of Queen Elizabeth.]

At the beginning of March, Mountjoy received two letters from the
Queen, written on February 6 and 17, and another from Cecil, written on
the 18th. In the first of these despatches, which were all delivered
together, Elizabeth told her Deputy to send for Tyrone on promise of
life only, and to detain him; in the second she authorised him to
offer life, liberty, and pardon; and in the third, speaking through
Cecil, she rather enlarged his powers, while laying some stress on
altering the title of Tyrone, on reducing the size of his country,
and on forcing him to keep the roads into it always open. There was
no difficulty about the last covenant, for the felling of a few trees
would always nullify it; but Mountjoy pointed out that O'Neill, and not
Tyrone, was the dangerous word, and that it was great gain to have an
earl by any name instead of a chieftain by that one. As to curtailing
the repentant rebel's land, he thought that obedience would be more
probable from one who would lose rather than gain by change. The great
Queen was no more when the letter containing this reasoning was sent,
so that we cannot tell whether she would have agreed to it or not.
On the very day of her death, commission was given to Sir William
Godolphin and Sir Garret Moore to treat with Tyrone, and he and his
adherents were protected for three weeks. Elizabeth died on March 24,
and Mountjoy knew this on the 27th; but his secretary, the historian
Moryson, had the address to prevent the news from being publicly known
before April 5, and in the meantime Tyrone had made his submission.[420]

[Sidenote: Submission of Tyrone.]

To save time under the extraordinary circumstances in which he
was placed, Mountjoy sent Godolphin to tell Tyrone that the least
hesitation would probably be fatal to him, and that his former delays
had much incensed the Queen. Godolphin was not in the secret, but
he felt that it was no time for ceremony, and in the belief that
confidence would beget confidence he rode several miles beyond
Dungannon to meet Tyrone, who readily accompanied him to the fort at
Charlemont. Next day the commissioners brought their prize early to
Mellifont, where Mountjoy lodged. There, says the secretary, who was
present, 'Tyrone being admitted to the Lord Deputy's chamber, kneeled
at the door humbly on his knees for a long space, making his penitent
submission to Her Majesty, and after being required to come nearer to
the Lord Deputy, performed the same ceremony in all humbleness, the
space of one hour or thereabouts.' He had ever preferred the substance
to the shadow, and his formal humility stood him in good stead. The
written submission was equally complete, and contained not one word
about liberty of conscience or in favour of that Church as whose
champion the Pope had sent him a crown. He renounced all dependence
upon foreign principles, and especially upon Spain, abjured the name
of O'Neill, abandoned all his claims over the lands of neighbouring
chiefs, and agreed to accept such estates only as the Queen should
grant him by patent. He promised to disclose all he knew about dealings
with Spain, to bring his son back from thence if possible, and, in
short, to do everything that might become a faithful subject of the
English crown. Mountjoy in return promised a royal pardon, and a
patent for nearly all the lands which he held before his rebellion. 300
acres were reserved for the fort of Mountjoy and 300 for Charlemont,
and Ulster was to submit to a composition as Connaught had done. On
April 4, Tyrone reached Dublin with the viceregal party, and on the
5th, Sir Henry Danvers arrived from England with official tidings of
the great change. King James was at once proclaimed, and the people
shouted for joy; but Tyrone, on whom all eyes were fixed, shed abundant
tears, and he was fain to hint at grief for the loss of the mistress
whom he had been fighting for the last ten years. 'There needed,' says
the observant secretary, 'no Oedipus to find out the true cause of
his tears; for, no doubt the most humble submission he made to the
Queen he had so highly and proudly offended, much eclipsed the vain
glory his actions might have carried if he had held out till her death;
besides that by his coming in, as it were, between two reigns, he lost
a fair advantage, for (by England's estate for the present unsettled)
to have subsisted longer in rebellion (if he had any such end) or at
least an ample occasion of fastening great merit on the new King, if at
first and of free will he had submitted to his mercy.'[421]

[Sidenote: The conquest of Ireland Queen Elizabeth's work.]

During the last four years and a half of the Queen's reign, it was
computed that the Irish war had cost her about 1,200,000_l._, and
this was an enormous demand upon the slender revenue of those days.
The drain upon the life-blood of England was also terrible. Droves of
recruits were forced annually into the ranks, to perish among the bogs
and woods, while the most distinguished officers did not escape. The
three Norrises, Clifford, Burgh, Bagenal, and Bingham died in Ireland,
while Essex and Spenser were indirectly victims of the war there. The
price was high, but it secured the conquest of Ireland. Lawyers in the
next reign might ascribe the glory to James; but the hard work was all
done ready to his hand, and it would not have been done at all had it
been left to him. It was by Elizabeth that the power of the chiefs
was broken, and until that was done neither peaceable circuits nor
commercial colonies were possible in Ireland. The method pursued was
cruel, but the desired end was attained. It is easy to find fault; but
none who love the greatness of England will withhold their admiration
from the lonely woman who repelled all attacks upon her realm, who
broke the power of Spain, and who, though surrounded by conspirators
and assassins, believed that she had a mission to accomplish, and in
that faith held her proud neck unbent to the last.


[398] Cecil to Mountjoy, Aug. 7 in _Moryson_; to Carew of Feb. 9, 1602,
and throughout that year in _Maclean_; Chamberlain's _Letters_, June
27, 1602.

[399] _Moryson_, May 30 to July 19, on which day Mountjoy reached
Monaghan; Chichester to Cecil, June 20 and 2_

[400] Mountjoy to Cecil, June 5, 1602, and Jan. 8, 1603; Cecil to
Windebank, June 15, 1602. Windebank read the latter to the Queen.

[401] Journal among R.O. MSS. _Ireland_, April 23 to May 7; _Pacata
Hibernia_, book ii. chaps. ii. and iii.

[402] _Pacata Hibernia_, book iii. chaps. iii. and iv.

[403] Journal, May 13 to June 1; Carew to Cecil, Aug. 6, 1601, May 29,
1602; _Pacata Hibernia_, book iii. chap. v.; Carew to Mountjoy, June 1
1602, in _Carew_.

[404] Journal June 1-17; Carew to the Privy Council, Jan. 22, 1603;
_Pacata Hibernia_, book iii. chaps. vi. vii. and viii.

[405] Journal, June 12.

[406] Journal, June 17-18.

[407] Examination of Dominic Collins, July 9, 1602; _Pacata Hibernia_
book iii. chap. ix.; _Four Masters_, 1602. There is a life of O'Colan
in _Hibernia Ignatiana_, pp. 89-102.

[408] _Four Masters_, 1602; O'Donnell to O'Connor Kerry, May 24, in
_Carew_; List of Irish refugees in _Pacata Hibernia_, book ii. chap.
xxii. The extreme claim of the O'Donnells included not only Tyrconnell,
but Tyrone, Fermanagh, and all Connaught; see Docwra's _Narration_.

[409] For James Blake's designs see Carew to Mountjoy, May 28 and Oct.
9, in _Carew_ and _Pacata Hibernia_, book iii. chap. xv. The story of
John Anias may be read in the Life of Florence MacCarthy, Maclean's
_Letters_ of Cecil to Carew, and in _Pacata Hibernia_, book iii. chap.
vii. For Tyrconnell's case see Wotton to James I., April 24, 1608, in
Russell and Prendergast's _Calendar_, and his subsequent letters in the
same volume.

[410] Lambert to Mountjoy, June 18, 1602; _Four Masters_.

[411] Docwra's _Narration_, 1602 till April 20. Docwra to the Privy
Council, March 11.

[412] Docwra's _Narration_, June to September; Tyrone to O'Connor Sligo
in Moryson, book iii. chap. ii.; Mountjoy to Lambert, Sept. 12; Lord
Dunkellin and Sir A. Savage to Mountjoy, Aug. 7; Mountjoy to Cecil,
Oct. 12.

[413] _Pacata Hibernia_, book iii. chaps. xii. and xiv.; Cecil to
Carew, Oct. and Nov. 4; Privy Council to Carew, Dec. 16--all in _Carew_.

[414] O'Sullivan Bere, _Hist. Cath._ tom. iii. lib. vii. chaps. viii.
to xii. The Four Masters describe this wonderful march to Aughrim, and
are perhaps preferable as far as they go. See also _Pacata Hibernia_,
book iii. chap. xvii. The itinerary is as follows, as near as I can
make it out:--1. (Jan. 4) Ballyvourney; 2. Pobble O'Keefe (near
Millstreet); 3. Ardpatrick (in Limerick); 4. Solloghead (near Limerick
Junction); 5 and 6. Ballinakill (in Tipperary); 7. Latteragh (eight
miles south of Nenagh); 8. Loughkeen; 9 and 10. Portland; 11. Aughrim
(in Galway); 12. Ballinlough (in Roscommon); 13 and 14. Woods near
Boyle; 15. Knockvicar; 16. Leitrim. The dates are made clear by Carew's
letter to the Privy Council, Jan. 22, 1603, in _Carew_.

[415] Tyrone to Mountjoy, Dec. 12/22, 1602, and March 19/29, 1603;
Moryson, book iii. chap. i.; _Pacata Hibernia_, book iii. chap. xx.;
Carew to the Privy Council, Jan. 22, in _Carew_, and Cecil's letter to
Carew, _passim_; O'Connor Sligo to Cecil, March 1, 1603.

[416] Docwra's _Narration_, December; Bodley's visit to Lecale in vol.
ii. of _Ulster Arch. Journal_; Capt. Thomas Phillips to Cecil, July 27,
1602; Mayor and Sheriffs of Dublin to Cecil, Jan. 17, 1603; Mountjoy to
Cecil, Jan. 8 and 20; Docwra to the Privy Council, Feb. 23.

[417] Moryson, part iii. book iii. chaps. i. and v.; O'Sullivan, tom.
iii. lib. viii. cap. 6; _Four Masters_, 1603. In describing his visit
to Lecale at the beginning of 1603, Bodley casually remarks that the
Irish soldiers ate grass--_vescuntur gramine_. Moryson says the wild
Irish 'willingly eat the herb shamrock, being of a sharp taste, which
as they run and are chased to and fro, they snatch like beasts out of
the ditches.' This passage is conclusive proof that the wood-sorrel
was called shamrock in the sixteenth century; see above, note to chap.
xxxix. Modern claimants to the title of shamrock are the white clover,
the common trefoil (_medicago lupulina_), and the bog-bean (_menyanthes
trifoliata_); but none of these are edible by men.

[418] Queen Elizabeth to King James VI., June or July, 1585, in Bruce's
_Letters_ of those two sovereigns, also Dec. 2, Feb. 3, 1601-2, and
'after July,' 1602; James VI. to Tyrone, Aug. 10, 1597, in _Lansdowne
MSS._; Tyrone to James VI., April 10, 1600, in Scotch _Calendar_; and
the letters printed in _Ulster Arch. Journal_, vol. v. pp. 205-8.

[419] Mountjoy to Cecil, Jan. 20, 1603; to Vice-Treasurer Carey, Jan.
25; Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy Council, Feb. 26 (draft in

[420] Cecil to Mountjoy, Feb. 18, 1603, in _Carew_; Moryson, book iii.
chap. ii.

[421] Moryson, book iii. chap. ii.



[Sidenote: Natural features of Ireland.]

The physical features of a country must always have great influence
on its history. Plains naturally submit to strong and centralised
government, while mountains tend to isolation and to the development
of local liberties. Where races have warred for the possession of
a country, the weaker has been often driven into some mountainous
corner, which the conquerors have been contented to bridle by castles
or fortified towns. But where mountains or other natural strongholds
are scattered over the face of the land, the conditions of conquest
are different. It has been noted that while no country is more easily
overrun than Spain, none is more difficult to occupy permanently. And
this was the case of Ireland. As long as the Anglo-Norman settlement
retained its vigour, the natives were driven into the less fertile
districts, while fortresses protected the good land. But as the
policy of the Plantagenet kings gradually weakened the colony, the
castles were de