Ireland a History

The History of Ireland, using Historical documents to dispel some of the myths and legends that have always surrounded Irish History.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The History of Ireland - The never ending story

History of Ireland


The Mesolithic (8000 BC - 4500 BC)

What little is known of pre-Christian Ireland comes from a few references in Roman writings, Irish poetry and myth, and archaeology. During the Pleistocene ice age, Ireland was extensively glaciated. Ice sheets more than 300 metres thick scoured the landscape, pulverizing rock and bone, and eradicating all evidence of early human settlements. Something similar happened in Britain, where human remains predating the last glaciation have been uncovered only in the extreme south of the country, which largely escaped the advancing ice sheets. During the Last Glacial Maximum (circa 16,000 BC), Ireland was an arctic wasteland, or tundra. The Midland General Glaciation covered about two thirds of the country with a drifting sheet of ice. It is highly unlikely that there were any humans in the country at this time, though the possibility cannot be discounted entirely.
The earliest evidence of human occupation after the retreat of the ice has been dated to between 8000 and 7000 BC. Settlements of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers have been found at about half a dozen sites scattered throughout the country: Mount Sandel in County Derry; Woodpark in County Sligo; the Shannon estuary; Lough Boora in County Offaly; the Curran in County Antrim; and a number of locations in Munster. It is thought that these settlers first colonised the northeast of the country from Scotland. Although sea levels were still lower than they are today, Ireland was probably already an island by the time the first settlers arrived by boat. There is nothing surprising in this, though, for most of the Mesolithic sites in Ireland are coastal settlements. Clearly, the earliest inhabitants of this country were seafarers who depended for much of their livelihood upon the sea. In some ways this economy was forced upon them, for many centuries were to pass before the treeless permafrost was transformed into a densely forested fertile land.
The hunter-gatherers of the Mesolithic era lived on a diet of seafood, birds, wild boar, deer and hazelnuts. They hunted with spears, arrows and harpoons tipped with small flint blades called microliths, while supplementing their diet with gathered nuts, fruit and berries. They lived in seasonal shelters, which they constructed by stretching animal skins over simple wooden frames. They had outdoor hearths for cooking their food, and they are known to have built canoes from dug-out tree trunks.
During the Mesolithic the population of Ireland was probably never more than a few thousand.

The Neolithic (4500 BC - 2500 BC)

The Neolithic saw the introduction of farming and pottery, and the use of more advanced stone implements. It was once thought that these innovations were introduced by a new wave of settlers, but there is no compelling evidence for a large-scale invasion at this point in Irish history. It is much more likely that the Neolithic revolution was a long and slow process resulting from trade and overseas contacts with agricultural communities in Britain and on the continent.
Agriculture began around 4500 BC. Sheep, goats, cattle and cereals were imported from Britain and the continent, and the population rose significantly. At the Céide Fields in County Mayo, an extensive Neolithic field system - arguably the oldest in the world - has been preserved beneath a blanket of peat. Consisting of small fields separated from one another by dry-stone walls, the Céide Fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 and 3000 BC. Wheat and barley were the principal crops cultivated.
Pottery made its appearance around the same time as agriculture. Ware similar to that found in northern Britain has been excavated in Ulster (Lyle's Hill pottery) and in Limerick. Typical of this ware are wide-mouthed, round-bottomed bowls.
But the most striking characteristic of the Neolithic in Ireland was the sudden appearance and dramatic proliferation of megalithic monuments. The largest of these tombs were clearly places of religious and ceremonial importance to the Neolithic population. In most of the tombs that have been excavated human remains - usually, but not always, cremated - have been found. Grave goods - pottery, arrowheads, beads, pendants, axes, etc - have also been uncovered. These megalithic tombs, more than 1,200 of which are now known, can be divided for the most part into four broad groups:

• Court tombs - These are characterised by the presence of an entrance courtyard. They are found almost exclusively in the north of the country and are thought to include the oldest specimens.

• Passage tombs - These constitute the smallest group in terms of numbers, but they are the most impressive in terms of size and importance. They are distributed mainly throughout the north and east of the country, the biggest and most impressive of them being found in the four great Neolithic “cemeteries” of the Boyne, Loughcrew (both in County Meath), Carrowkeel and Carrowmore (both in County Sligo). The most famous of them is Newgrange, a World Heritage Site and one of the oldest astronomically aligned monuments in the world. It was built around 3200 BC. At the Winter_Solstice the first rays of the rising sun still shine through a light-box above the entrance to the tomb and illuminate the burial chamber at the centre of the monument. Another of the Boyne megaliths, Knowth, contains the world’s earliest map of the moon carved into stone.
• Portal tombs - These tombs include the well known “dolmens.” Most of them are to be found in two main concentrations, one in the southeast of the country and one in the north.
• Wedge tombs - The largest and most widespread of the four groups, the wedge tombs are particularly common in the west and southwest. County Clare is exceptionally rich in them. They are the latest of the four types and belong to the end of the Neolithic. They are so called from their wedge-shaped burial chambers.
The theory that these four groups of monuments were associated with four separate waves of invading colonists still has its adherents today, but the archaeological evidence does not really support this point of view. It is much more satisfying to regard the megaliths as native expressions of an international practice. The growth in population that made them possible need not have been the result of colonisation: it may simply have been the natural consequence of the introduction of agriculture.
At the height of the Neolithic the population of the island was probably in excess of 100,000, and perhaps as high as 200,000. But there appears to have been an economic collapse around 2500 BC, and the population declined for a while. By this time, metallurgy was already established in the country.

The Bronze Age (2500 BC - 700 BC)

Metalworking began in Ireland around 2500 BC, when bronze, an alloy of tin and copper, made its first appearance. Bronze was used for the manufacture of both weapons and tools. Swords, axes, daggers, hatchets, halberds, awls, drinking utensils and horn-shaped trumpets are just some of the items that have been unearthed at Bronze Age sites. Irish craftsmen became particularly noted for the horn-shaped trumpet, which was made by the cire perdue, or lost wax, process. These are found in many places throughout Europe; there is a representation of one lying by the side of the famous “Dying Gaul” by the Greek sculptor Epigonus.
Copper used in the manufacture of bronze was mined in Ireland, chiefly in the southwest of the country, while the tin was imported from Cornwall in Britain. The earliest known copper mine in these islands was located on Ross Island in County Kerry; mining and metalworking took place here between 2400 and 1800 BC. Another of Europe’s best-preserved copper mines has been discovered at Mount Gabriel in County Cork, which was worked for several centuries in the middle of the second millennium. Mines in Cork and Kerry are believed to have produced as much as 370 tonnes of copper during the Bronze Age. As only about 0.2% of this can be accounted for in excavated bronze artifacts, it is clear that Ireland was a major exporter of copper during this period.
Ireland is also rich in native gold, and the Bronze Age saw the first extensive working of this precious metal by Irish craftsmen. More Bronze Age gold hoards have been discovered in Ireland than anywhere else in Europe. Irish gold ornaments have been found as far afield as Germany and Scandinavia. In the early stages of the Bronze Age these ornaments consisted of rather simple crescents and disks of thin gold sheet. Later the familiar Irish torque made its appearance; this was a collar consisting of a bar or ribbon of metal, twisted into a screw and then bent into a loop. Gold earrings, sun disks and lunulas (crescent “moon disks” worn around the neck) were also made in Ireland during the Bronze Age.
One of the most distinctive types of European pottery, Beaker or Bell-Beaker ware, made its appearance in this country during the Bronze Age. This was quite different from the coarse, bucket-shaped pottery of the Neolithic. Beaker ware was once thought to be associated with a particular culture - the Beaker Folk - whose arrival here supposedly coincided with the introduction of metallurgy. But this view is no longer tenable: there were no Beaker Folk, and metallurgy was well established in Ireland long before the appearance of Beaker ware. Irish Beaker ware was of local manufacture and its appearance is evidence of foreign influence rather than foreign invasion.
Smaller wedge tombs continued to be built throughout the Bronze Age, but the grandiose passage graves of the Neolithic were abandoned for good. Towards the end of the Bronze Age the single-grave cist made its appearance. This consisted of a small rectangular stone chest, covered with a stone slab and buried a short distance below the surface. Numerous stone circles were also erected at this time, chiefly in Ulster and Munster.
During the Bronze Age, the climate of Ireland deteriorated and extensive deforestation took place. The population of Ireland at the end of the Bronze Age was probably in excess of 100,000, and may have been as high as 200,000. It’s possible that it was not much greater than it had been at the height of the Neolithic.

The Celts

In Ireland the Iron Age was the age of people now generally referred to as Celts. These people are distinguished from their predecessors by their use of iron, and through a range of other cultural traits shared with Celtic populations elsewhere in Central and Western Europe. The extent to which these similarities appeared through invasion, or alternatively through other forms of cultural diffusion, is a matter of some dispute. It has traditionally been thought that Celtic invaders brought the first Indo-European tongue into Ireland, dispacing earlier non-Indo-European languages, but some scholars now suggest that an Indo-European language, ancestral to the Goidelic group of languages, may have arrived in Ireland as early as the Neolithic.
The field suffers from the fact that it is of interest to multiple academic disciplines, and that attempts at cross-disciplinary syntheses tend to be controversial. Related to this, historical syntheses created many decades ago, based primarily on mythology and on linguistic studies, are still frequently quoted as being authoritative, even where modern views of the same material would accept a broader interpretation, and where archaeological and genetic evidence suggest different conclusions. Complicating the matter is a complex relationship between understandings of Irish pre-history and understandings of the Irish national identity.
The Celtic languages of Britain and Ireland can be divided into two groups: P-Celtic and Q-Celtic. When written records first appear in the fifth century of the common era, Gaelic or Goidelic (a Q-Celtic language) is found in Ireland, while Brythonic (a P-Celtic language) is found in Britain. At one time, it was natural to assume that Ireland had been invaded by Q-Celts and Britain by P-Celts. Even today it is not uncommon to hear that there was one Celtic invasion in Irish history. In 350 BC, according to this view of history, a group of people called the Milesians introduced the Irish language tongue to Ireland and subjugated the pre-Celtic inhabitants by virtue of their superior weapons. But this view is primarily mythological.
The truth is more complex. For a start, recent DNA studies have suggested that the people who introduced the Celtic languages to these islands may well have been Celtic-speakers, but they were not members of a Celtic race. Ethnically they were indistinguishable from the pre-Indo-European inhabitants who preceded them. What’s more, their arrival had so little impact on the genetic inheritance of the native peoples that they cannot have numbered much more than a few thousand.
The Y-chromosomes of the modern Irish are closely related to those of the Basques, which has led some anthropologists to surmise that the Basques are a remnant of the pre-Indo-European population of western Europe, and that the pre-Celtic language (or languages) of Ireland may have been related to Euskara, the Basque tongue. (See Celt for a discussion of the so-called “Celtic problem.”)



O'Rahilly's historical model

The Celtic scholar T. F. O'Rahilly proposed a model of Irish prehistory, based on his study of the influences on the Irish language and a critical analysis of Irish mythology and pseudohistory. His ideas, though extremely influential, are no longer universally accepted. However, he distinguished four separate waves of Celtic invaders:
• The Cruithne or Priteni (c. 700 - 500 BC)
• The Builg or Érainn (c. 500 BC)
• The Lagin, the Domnainn and the Gálioin (c. 300 BC)
• The Goidels or Gael (c. 100 BC)

The Gaelic conquest of Ulster

In Ireland contemporary written records only go back to 431 AD. The Gaelic king of Tara known as Niall Noígiallach, or Niall of the Nine Hostages, is the earliest historical figure whose historicity is beyond dispute and of whom we know more than a few meagre details. According to extant records his father Eochu Mugmedón was a king of Tara and ruler of the kingdom of Meath (although the territory of the Midland Gael only came to be known as Meath several centuries later).
Niall succeeded his father around 400 AD and is said to have ruled for twenty-seven years. His reign marks the rise of Tara as the dominant power in the country. The origin of this power was the conquest of Ulster, the culmination of centuries of conflict between the Gael of Tara and the Ulaid of Emain Macha. This conflict is reflected in the mythical cycle known as the Ulster Cycle, which includes the Irish national epic, Táin Bó Cúailnge.
The Gaelic conquest of Ulster was undertaken chiefly by three of Niall's sons, Conall Gulban, Eógan and Énda, who were rewarded with three subkingdoms in the west of the newly conquered province. As a direct result of the conquest, Ulster was reorganized into three overkingdoms:
• Ulidia, in the east, covered most of the modern counties Antrim and Down. It was ruled by the Dál nAraide, a native Cruthnian dynasty that had sided with the Niall in the war. The Ulaid or Dál Fiatach, who had been the dominant power in Ulster for centuries, were overthrown; their royal seat at Emain Macha was destroyed, and they were driven eastward into County Down. The Gaelic conquest also had a significant impact on Scottish history. One of the Ernean tribes of Ulster that had been reduced to vassalage by Niall were the Dál Riata, whose traditional territory was in the northeast of the country. Following their overthrow, some of the Dál Riada crossed the sea and colonised Argyll. In the course of time this colony became the dominant power in northern Britain. The Kingdom of Scotland was created in the ninth century by the union of Dál Riada and the native kingdom of Pictavia.
• Airgialla (sometimes Anglicized as Oriel, in the centre of Ulster, covered much of counties Derry, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Armagh, Monaghan and Louth. This kingdom was actually a confederacy of nine sub-kingdoms, each of which was ruled by a native dynasty that had been reduced to vassalage by Niall's conquest. In order to ensure their loyalty to him, these were obliged to send prominent members of their families to Tara as hostages. Hence the name Airgialla, which means 'hostage-givers'. This is also presumably the origin of Niall's epithet Noígiallach, or 'of the Nine Hostages.'
• Ailech, or Aileach, in the west, was co-extensive with the present county of Donegal. At first it consisted of three sub-kingdoms, Tír Eógain, Tír Chonaill and Tír Énda, but Tír Énda was conquered by Conall's descendants and incorporated into Tír Chonaill (although descendants of Énda continued to hold territories both here and in the Midlands). The two remaining kingdoms later increased in size and prominence, and their names have been preserved in the Gaelic names of two of the modern counties of Ulster: Donegal and Tyrone. Ailech was ruled for about eight centuries by the descendants of Conall and Eógan, collectively known as the Northern Uí Néill, and also provided numerous High Kings of Ireland. The capture (around 425) of Ailech, the royal seat which became the capital of the Northern Uí Néill and from which the kingdom takes its modern name, marked the end of the Gaelic conquest of Ulster.
After his death Niall was succeeded as king of Tara by his son Lóegaire mac Néill, during whose reign Roman Christianity was officially introduced into the country. Niall of the Nine Hostages has the distinction of being the ancestor of all but two of the long line of kings of Ireland who ruled from the fifth century down to the time of Brian Bórú in the early eleventh century.


Christianity had replaced Paganism by A.D. 600. Gaeilge (Irish) is the indigenous language of the island's inhabitants, though settlers such as the Vikings and Normans introduced others.
Overt English colonial interest in Ireland began 1171, after the arrival there of an invasion force of Normans in 1169, but the Crown of England did not gain full control until the whole island had been subjected to numerous military campaigns in the period 1534-1691, which included the Desmond Rebellions, the Nine Years War (Ireland), the Irish Confederate Wars, and the Williamite war in Ireland, and was colonised in the Plantations of Ireland.
From 1782-1800, Ireland regained a form of self-governing status through the Parliament of Ireland, but power was limited to the Anglo-Irish, Anglican minority and the mostly Catholic population suffered severe political and economic privations. This brief experiment was terminated following the outbreak and vicious suppression of the 1798 rebellion. In 1801, this parliament was abolished and Ireland became an integral part of a new United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Act of Union. The new political system led to a massive decline in trade and investment as business activity switched to London. In the 1840s, the population of Ireland fell due to famine and emigration from a peak of 8m to 4.4m in 1911.
In 1922, after the War of Independence, the southern and western twenty-six counties of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom and became the independent Irish Free State (known today as the "Republic of Ireland"). The remainder of the island, known as "Northern Ireland", remained part of the UK. After independence in 1922, the Free State suffered from economic difficulties and continuing mass emigration for many decades. However, since the 1990s the Republic has been enjoying economic success, becoming known as the Celtic Tiger. Meanwhile, since its establishment, the history of Northern Ireland has been dominated by sectarian conflict between (mainly Catholic) Nationalists and (mainly Protestant) Unionists. This conflict erupted into the Troubles in the late 1960s, until an uneasy peace 30 years later.





What little is known of pre-Christian Ireland comes from a few references in Roman writings, Irish poetry and myth, and archaeology. The earliest inhabitants of Ireland, people of a mid-Stone Age, or Mesolithic, culture, arrived sometime after 8000 BC, when the climate had become more hospitable following the retreat of the polar icecaps. About three or four millennia later, agriculture was introduced from the continent, leading to the establishment of a high Neolithic culture, characterized by the appearance of huge stone monuments, many of them astronomically aligned (most notably, Newgrange). This culture apparently prospered, and the island became more densely populated. The Bronze Age, which began around 2500 BC, saw the production of elaborate gold and bronze ornaments and weapons.
The Iron Age in Ireland began about 600 BC. By the historic period (AD 431 onwards) the main over-kingdoms of In Tuisceart, Airgialla , Ulaid, Mide, Laigin, Mumhain, Cóiced Ol nEchmacht began to emerge (see Kingdoms of ancient Ireland). Within these five or more kingdoms, despite constant strife, a rich culture flourished. The society of these kingdoms was dominated by druids: priests who served as educators, physicians, poets, diviners, and keepers of the laws and histories.
Historians developed the concept from the 17th century onwards that the language spoken by these people could be called the "Goidelic languages", a branch of the "Celtic languages", and this was explained as a result of invasions of "Celts". However, research during the 20th century indicated otherwise, and in the later years of the century the conclusion drawn was that the language and culture developed gradually and continuously. No archaeological evidence was found for large intrusive groups of Celtic immigrants in Ireland. The hypothesis that the native Late Bronze Age inhabitants gradually absorbed influences to create "Celtic" culture has since been supported by recent genetic research. 1.
The Romans referred to Ireland as Hibernia. Ptolemy in AD 100 records Ireland's geography and tribes. Ireland was never formally a part of the Roman Empire but Roman influence was often projected well beyond formal borders. Tacitus writes that an Irish tribal chieftain was with Agricola in Britain and would return to seize power in Ireland. Juvenal tells us that Roman "arms had been taken beyond the shores of Ireland'. If Rome, or an ally, did invade, they didn't leave very much behind. The exact relationship between Rome and the tribes of Hibernia is unclear.
Early Christian Ireland 400-800

Main article: Early Christian Ireland 400-800
The middle centuries of the first millennium AD marked great changes in Ireland.
Niall Noigiallach (died c.450/455) laid the basis for the Uí Néill dynasty's hegemony over much of western, northern and central Ireland. Politically, the former emphasis on tribal affiliation had been replaced by the 700's by that of patrilinial and dynastic background. Many formerly powerful kingdoms and peoples disappeared. Irish pirates struck all over the coast of western Britain in the same way that the Vikings would later attack Ireland. Some of these founded entirely new kingdoms in Pictland, Wales and Cornwall. The Attacotti of south Leinster even served in the Roman Legions in the mid-to-late 300's.
Perhaps it was some of the latter returning home as rich mercenaries, merchants, or slaves stolen from Britain or Gaul, that first brought the Christian faith to Ireland. Some early sources claim that there were missionaries active in southern Ireland long before St. Patrick. Whatever the route, and there were probably many, this new faith was to have the most profound effect on the Irish.


Tradition maintains that in AD 432, St. Patrick arrived on the island and, in the years that followed, worked to convert the Irish to Christianity. On the other hand, Palladius was sent to Ireland by the Pope in 431 as "first Bishop to the Irish believing in Christ", which demonstrates that, by whatever means, there were already Christians living in Ireland. Palladius seems to have worked purely as Bishop to Irish Christians in the Leinster and Meath kingdoms, while Patrick - who is now believed to have arrived as late as 461 - worked first and foremost as a missionary to the Pagan Irish, converting in the more remote kingdoms located in Ulster and Connacht.
Patrick is credited, possibly too much so, with preserving the tribal and social patterns of the Irish, codifying their laws and changing only those that conflicted with Christian practices. He is credited with introducing the Roman alphabet, which enabled Irish monks to preserve parts of the extensive Celtic oral literature. While it is impossible to deny the very real effect Patrick had on his contemporaries, the fact remains that there were Christians in Ireland long before he came, and Pagans long after he died.
The druid tradition collapsed, first in the face of the spread of the new faith, and ultimately in the aftermath of famine and plagues due to the Climate changes of 535-536. Irish scholars excelled in the study of Latin learning and Christian theology in the monasteries that flourished shortly thereafter. Missionaries from Ireland to England and Continental Europe spread news of the flowering of learning, and scholars from other nations came to Irish monasteries. The excellence and isolation of these monasteries helped preserve Latin learning during the Early Middle Ages. The arts of manuscript illumination, metalworking, and sculpture flourished and produced such treasures as the Book of Kells, ornate jewelry, and the many carved stone crosses that dot the island. Sites dating to this period include clochans, ringforts and promontory forts.

Viking raids in 850.

The first recorded Viking raid in Irish history occurred in 795 when Vikings from Norway looted the island of Lambay, located off the Dublin coast. These early Viking raids were generally small in scale and quick.
These early raids interrupted the golden age of Christian Irish culture starting the beginning of two hundred years of intermittent warfare, with waves of Viking raiders plundering monasteries and towns throughout Ireland. Most of the early raiders came from the fjords of western Norway. They are believed to have sailed first to the Shetland Islands, then south to the Orkneys. The Vikings would have then sailed down the Atlantic coast of Scotland, and then over to Ireland. During these early raids the Vikings also traveled to the west coast of Ireland to the Skellig Islands located off the coast of County Kerry.


The round tower at Glendalough

Ireland and England were both being raided by Vikings in the early 840's. The Vikings were beginning to establish settlements along the Irish coasts at this time and began to spend the winter months there. Vikings started settlements in Waterford, Wexford, and most famously, Dublin. The archaeologicalevidence found in Kilmainham, on the western side of Dublin city, is proof of the Viking settlements during this time period in Ireland. Written accounts from this time (early to mid 840's) show that the Vikings were moving further inland to attack (often using rivers such as the Shannon) and then retreating to their coastal headquarters.
Thorgest (in Latin Turgesius) was the first Viking to attempt an Irish kingdom. He sailed up the Shannon and the River Bann to Armagh in 839 where he forged a realm spanning Ulster, Connacht and Meath which lasted from 839 to 845. In 845, he was captured and drowned in Lough Owen by Maelsechlainn I, King of Mide.
In 848, Maelsechlainn, now High king, defeated a Norse army at Sciath Nechtain. Arguing that his fight was allied with the Christian fight against pagans, he requested aid from the Frankish emperor Charles the Bald, but to no avail.
In 852, the Vikings Ivar Beinlaus and Olaf the White landed in Dublin Bay and established a fortress, on which the city of Dublin (from the Irish Gaelic Án Dubh Linn meaning the "black pool") now stands. Olaf the White was the son of a Norwegian king and made himself the king of Dublin. This moment is generally considered to be the founding of Dublin, although Greek and Roman records do mention a settlement called Eblana (or Deblana) on the same site as early as the 1st century. The death of Olaf the White's successor, Ivar, caused political instability in the kingdom of Dublin and caused many Viking settlers to depart for places such as France and England.
The Vikings founded many other coastal towns, and after several generations a group of mixed Irish and Norse ethnic background arose (the so-called Gall-Gaels, Gall then being the Irish word for "foreigners" - the Norse). This Norse influence is reflected in the Norse-derived names of many contemporary Irish kings (e.g. Magnus, Lochlann or Sitric), and DNA evidence in some residents of these coastal cities to this day.
A new wave of Viking attacks on Ireland began in 914 which created an unstable peace between the Irish and the Norse and evolved into a drawn-out war. This time, the Vikings attacked from the south of Ireland at Waterford, and developed a settlement there. From here, the Vikings set out to raid areas in southern Ireland. The Vikings went to the west of Waterford and established another settlement at Limerick.
The descendants of Ivar Beinlaus established a long dynasty based in Dublin, and from this base succeeded in dominating much of the isle. This rule was ultimately broken by the joint efforts of Maelsechlainn II, King of Meath, and the famous Brian Boru (c. 941- 1014) at the Battle of Clontarf where Brian Boru died.
Although the Irish were subsequently free from foreign invasion for 150 years, interdynastic warfare continued to drain their energies and resources. In 1150, Christian Malone, Abbot of Clonmacnoise, wrote a famous book entitled "Chronicum Scotorum". It is a chronology of Ireland from the Flood to the twelfth century.
Early Ireland had an unusual government. All men who owned land, all professionals, and all craftsmen, were entitled to become members of an assembly, known as a tuath. Each tuath's members annually formed an assembly which decided all common policies, declared war or peace on other tuatha, and elected or deposed their 'kings'. The tuath was thus a body of persons voluntarily united for socially beneficial purposes, and its territorial dimension was the sum total of the landed properties of its members. About 80 to 100 tuatha coexisted at any time throughout Ireland.






The Coming of the Normans 1167-1185

Norman Keep, Trim Castle - before renovation

A tower house near Quin. The Normans consolidated their presence in Ireland by building hundreds of castles and towers such as this
By the 12th century, Ireland was divided politically into a shifting hierarchy of petty kingdoms and over-kingdoms. Power was concentrated into the hands of a few regional dynasties contending against each other for control of the whole island. The Northern O'Neills ruled much of what is now Ulster. Their kinsmen, the Southern O'Neills, were Kings of Meath. The kingship of Leinster was held by the dynamic Ui Cheinnselaigh dynasty. A new kingdom rose between Leinster and Munster, Osraige, ruled by the family of Mac Gilla Pádraig. Munster was nominally controlled by the Mac Cartaig, who were however in reality often subject to the Ó Brians of Thomond. North of Thomond, Connacht's supreme rulers were the Ó Conchobair.
After losing the protection of High King Muirchertach MacLochlainn - who died in 1166 - the King of Leinster Diarmait Mac Murchada (anglicised as Diarmuid MacMorrough) was forcibly exiled from his kingdom by a confederation of Irish forces under the new High King, Ruaidri mac Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair. Fleeing first to Bristol and then to Aquitaine, Diarmait obtained permission from Henry II to use his subjects to regain his kingdom. By 1167 he had obtained the services of the brothers Robert fitz Stephen and Maurice fitz Gerald, their first cousin, Prince of Dehurbarth Rhys ap Gruyffd, and most importantly, Earl of Pembroke Richard de Clare, known as Strongbow.
The first Norman knight to land in Ireland was Richard fitz Godbert de Roche in 1167, but it was not until 1169 that the main forces of Normans, Welsh and Flemings landed in Wexford. Within a short time Leinster was regained, Waterford and Dublin were under Diarmait's control, and he had Strongbow as a son-in-law, and named him as heir to his kingdom. This latter development caused consternation to King Henry II of England, who feared the establishment of a rival Norman state in Ireland. Accordingly, he resolved to visit Leinster to establish his authority.
Pope Adrian IV (the first English pope, in one of his earliest acts) had already issued a Papal Bull in 1155, giving Henry authority to invade Ireland as a means of curbing ecclesiastical corruption and abuses.
Henry landed with a large fleet at Waterford in 1171, becoming the first King of England to set foot on Irish soil. Both Waterford and Dublin were proclaimed Royal Cities. Adrian's successor, Pope Alexander III ratified the grant of Irish lands to Henry in 1172. Henry awarded his Irish territories to his younger son John with the title Dominus Hiberniae ("Lord of Ireland"). When John unexpectedly succeeded his brother as King John, the "Kingdom of Ireland" fell directly under the English Crown.
Henry was happily acknowledged by most of the Irish Kings, who saw in him a chance to curb the expansion of both Leinster and the Normans. This led to the ratification of the Treaty of Winsor in 1175 between Henry and Ruaidhrí. However, with both Strongbow and Diarmuid dead (in 1171 and 1176), Henry back in England and Ruaidhrí unable to curb his nominal vassals, within two years it was not worth the vellum it was inscribed upon. John de Courcy invaded and gained much of east Ulster in 1177, Raymond le Gros had already captured Limerick and much of north Munster, while the other Norman families such as Prendergast, fitz Stephen, fitz Gerald, fitz Henry and le Poer were actively carving out virtual kingdoms for themselves.


Ireland in 1014: a patch-work of rival kingdoms.
The extent of Norman control of Ireland in 1300.
The Lordship of Ireland 1185-1254


King John's Castle sits on the southern bank of the River Shannon. It was built in the Twelfth Century on the orders of King John of England
Initially the Normans controlled large swathes of Ireland, securing the entire east coast, from Waterford up to eastern Ulster and penetrating as far west as Galway and Mayo. The most powerful forces in the land were the great Anglo-Norman Earldoms such as the Geraldines, the Butlers and the Burkes, who controlled vast territories which were almost independent of the governments in Dublin or London. The Lord of Ireland was King John, who, on his visits in 1185 and 1210, had helped secure the Norman areas from both the military and the administrative points of view, while at the same time ensuring that the many Irish kings were brought into his fealty; many, such as Cathal Crobderg Ua Conchobair, owed their thrones to him and his armies.
The Normans also were lucky to have leaders of the caliber of the Butler, Marshall, de Burgh, de Lacy and de Broase families, as well as having the dynamic heads of the first families. Another factor was that after the loss of Normandy in 1204, John had a lot more time to devote to Irish affairs, and did so effectively even from afar.
However, the Anglo-Normans suffered from a series of events that slowed, and eventually ceased, the spread of their settlement and power:
• numerous rebellious Gaelic lords who at best stretched resources, at worst regained territory from the Normans.
• a lack of direction from both Henry III and his successor, Edward I who were more concerned with events in England, Wales, Scotland and their continental domains.
• outright war between leading Hiberno-Norman lords such as the de Burghs, FitzGeralds, Butlers and de Berminghams.
• division of estates among heirs, the most damaging being that of the Marshalls of Leinster, which split a large single lordship into five.
Politics and events in Gaelic Ireland served to draw the settlers deeper into the orbit of the Irish, which on occasion had the effect of allying them with one or more native rulers against other Normans.


Gaelic Resurgence, Norman Decline 1254-1536
Irish Military Revival 1249-1367

Anglo-Norman Ireland was deeply shaken by three events of the 14th century.
The first was the invasion of Ireland by Edward Bruce of Scotland who, in 1315, rallied many of the Irish lords against the English presence in Ireland. Although Bruce was eventually defeated in Ireland at the battle of Faughart, near Dundalk, his troops caused a great deal of destruction, especially in the densely settled area around Dublin. In this chaotic situation, local Irish lords won back large amounts of land that their families had lost since the conquest and held them after the war was over.
The second was the murder of William Donn de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster, in June 1333. This resulted in his lands being split in three among his relations, with the ones in Connacht swiftly rebelling against the Crown and openly siding with the Irish. This meant that virtually all of Ireland west of the Shannon was lost to the Anglo-Normans. It would be well over two hundred years before the Burkes, as they were now called, were again allied with the Dublin administration.


The Black Death rapidly spread along the major European sea and land trade routes. It reached Ireland in 1348 and decimated the Anglo-Norman urban settlements
The third calamity for the medieval English presence in Ireland was the Black Death, which arrived in Ireland in 1348. Because most of the English and Norman inhabitants of Ireland lived in towns and villages, the plague hit them far harder than it did the native Irish, who lived in more dispersed rural settlements. A celebrated account from a monastery in Kilkenny chronicles the plague as the beginning of the extinction of humanity and the end of the world. The plague was a catastrophe for the English inhabitations around the country and, after it had passed, Gaelic Irish language and customs came to dominate the country again. The English-controlled area shrunk back to the Pale, a fortified area around Dublin.
Additional causes of the Gaelic revival were political and personal grievances against the Anglo-Normans, but especially impatience with procrastination and the very real horrors that successive famines had brought. Pushed away from the fertile areas, the Irish were forced to eke out a subsistence living on marginal lands, which left them with no safety net during bad harvest years (such as 1271 and 1277) or in a year of famine (virtually the entire period of 1311-1319).
Outside the Pale, the Hiberno-Norman lords adopted the Irish language and customs, becoming known as the Old English, and in the words of a contemporary English commentator, became "more Irish than the Irish themselves." Over the following centuries they sided with the indigenous Irish in political and military conflicts with England and generally stayed Catholic after the Reformation. The authorities in the Pale grew so worried about the "Gaelicisation" of Ireland that they passed special legislation in a parliament in Kilkenny (known as the Statutes of Kilkenny) banning those of English descent from speaking the Irish language, wearing Irish clothes or inter-marrying with the Irish. Since the government in Dublin had little real authority, however, the Statutes did not have much effect.
Throughout the 15th century, these trends proceeded apace. Central English authority in Ireland all but disappeared in this period. The monarchy of England was itself in turmoil - being fought over in the Wars of the Roses. As a result, English interest in Ireland diminished further. The (English) Kings of Ireland effectively delegated their power over the Lordship of Ireland to the powerful Fitzgerald Earl of Kildare, who dominated the country by means of military force and alliances with lords and clans around Ireland.
Around the country, local Gaelic and Gaelicised lords expanded their powers at the expense of the English government in Dublin. See Main article Anglo and Gaelic Ireland 1367-1536 for details of the Irish kingdoms in this period.

Elizabethan Ireland

Ireland under Elizabeth.

‘THE family of O'Sullivan,’ says Sir Bernard Burke, ‘deduces its descent from Olioll Ollum, king of Munster, who reigned A.D. 125.’ Mr. O'Hart in his Irish Pedigrees, traces their genealogy still further back (4th ed. i., 243.)

Until 1192 the O'Sullivans were seated in South Tipperary, on the banks of the Suir, between Clonmel and Knockgraffan, on which was their principal fort, celebrated in the third century as the residence of their progenitor, king Fiacha, who compelled Cormac MacArt, the Ardrigh, to send hostages thither from Tara ( Annals Four Masters, iii., 94-95, n.; Book of Rights, 91, n.; O'Callaghan's Irish Brigades, 374; Lewis's Topographical Dictionary, 239.) The Anglo-Norman invaders gradually expelled this family from its ancient territory, and compelled it to seek a home in that wildest part of south-west Cork and Kerry, skirting the Atlantic, and now comprised in the baronies of Beare and Bantry, County Cork, and baronies of Iveragh, Dunkerron and Glanlough, in Kerry ( Book of Rights, 46-91, n.; Annals Four Masters, iv., 1132; O'Callaghan's Irish Brigades, 374;) The family became divided into two great sections—O'Sullivan More, in Kerry, and O'Sullivan Beare, in Cork ( O'Callaghan's Irish Brigades.)

Mr. Joyce tells us ( Irish Names of Places, i., 134), that our author's district acquired its name from Beara, a daughter of Heber, king of Castile, and whom Olioll Ollum's father, Owen More, married. On his return from Spain with his bride, Owen More called the harbour 'Beara' in her honour. This harbour is now Bearhaven, the island which shelters it is the Great Bear Island, and the neck of land between Bearhaven and Kenmare Bay is the barony of Bere or Bear. Prefixed to the second volume of State Papers Henry VIII. (Ireland) are three curious old maps of Ireland, in the earlier of which (1567 and 1609-11) the names of the Irish septs are set down, showing the districts they occupied, and the territory of 'O'Sullivan Biar' is shown as this barony.

The O'Sullivans appear to have been settled in their new home early in the fourteenth century, as in 1320 we find them founding a Franciscan monastery at Bantry, in which they and many other nobles chose burial places Annals Four Masters, iii., 523). A century later the line of cleavage between the two families is marked by an entry in the Annals of the Four Masters, iii., 566-7, that O'Sullivan More chose a burial place in another Franciscan monastery founded by The MacCarthy More, on a site near the lower lake of Killarney, which an old legend relates to have been miraculously pointed out. At what time our author's family assumed the cognomen 'Bear', I have not been able to ascertain. It first occurs in the Annals of Four Masters under the year 1485. The name is now always spelled O'Sullivan, but our author wrote O'Sullevan. The Irish word is O'Suilebhain ( O'Hart's Irish Pedigrees). To count up the various spellings in the patents, etc., of James I., and Elizabeth would be a tedious and profitless task. The deeds of derring-do of the historian's father, and the unhappy dissensions in his family, form part of his history, so need not be anticipated here. Apparently the only materials for a biography of our author are contained in his own works. Harris, the continuator of Sir James Ware, seems to have been unable to discover any others, ( Irish Writers, 110.)

From the Catholic History we learn that his father's name was Dermot (Tom. ii., lib. iv., cap. xv., et passim), that his grandfather was also a Dermot, and was The O'Sullivan Bear (Tom. ii., lib. iii., cap. iv., et passim); that his father was a younger son appears from the fact that he was not The O'Sullivan Bear, whose name was Daniel, and to whom our author refers as his 'patruelis' (Tom. iv., lib. iii., cap. iv.); that he was born in Dursey Island, off Crow Head (Tom. i., lib. i., cap. iv.); that in the year 1602, while yet a boy, he was sent to Spain with his cousin, son of the O'Sullivan Beare, and who was going as a hostage to Philip III (Tom. iii., lib. vii., cap. i.), that he was educated by a Jesuit Father, Synott, ‘one of his own people,’ and by Roderic Vendanna, a Spaniard, and other professors (Tom. iii., lib. vii., cap. i.); that he obtained a commission in the Spanish Navy from Philip III. (Dedication of History); and that in 1618 he fought a duel oustide Madrid with an Anglo-Irishman, Bath, who had insulted his cousin (Tom. iv., lib. iii., cap. iv.). With his history he published letters to his cousin The O'Sullivan Bear, and Father Synott and Patrick Trant, giving an account of the actions of the fleet in which he took part.

The first-mentioned letter is reprinted at page 391 of The Celtic Society's Miscellany (Dub. 1849.)

From a poem prefixed to another of his works, Decas Patritiana, we learn that he was one of seventeen children; that thirteen of his brothers having reached man's estate perished in the dark days of Ireland, meaning the wars of the closing years of Elizabeth's reign; that after what he calls the sad fall of Ireland, the remaining four emigrated to Spain, whither also came his parents; that he was educated at Compostella; that Synott taught him Latin; Vendanna enlightened him on physics; Marcilla instructed him in divine wisdom; then he engaged in the wars of His Catholic Majesty, serving in the army and navy; that his brother Daniel also served in the navy, and after many vicissitudes perished in the war with the Turks, and was buried at sea; that his sister Helena, was drowned returning to Ireland; that his father, the son of Sheela FitzGerald, lived to the great age of nearly one hundred years, and was buried in Corunna; and that his mother soon followed her husband to the grave; that her maiden name was Johanna McSwiney; that her mother (Margaret), was of the MacCarthy More family; and that when he wrote this poem, only his sister Leonora and himself remained of all his family, the former being a nun in the convent of Stelliferi.

From the Decas Patritiana (1646) we learn that Philip learned the rudiments of his religion in Ireland from Donagh O'Cronin, who was martyred in Cork in 1601. (See Our Martyrs, p. 212.)

Mr. Webb says ( Compendium of Irish Biography), O'Sullivan died in 1660, relying on a letter from Peter Talbot to the Marquis of Ormonde, saying: ‘The Earl of Birhaven is dead, and left one only daughter of twelve years to inherit his titles in Ireland and his goods here, which amount to 100,000 crowns.’ Mr. Webb does not show how he identifies the Earl of Birhaven, nor what our author's Irish titles were; and I should imagine the letter refers to the cousin, the son of The O'Sullivan Bear. (See Catholic History, III., viii., 5.) The historian must have been about ten years of age when, in 1602, he emigrated to Spain, as he was able to translate Irish into Latin, and as all his brothers (except Daniel) reached manhood before the war was finished, i.e., 1603.

The only works of which I have any knowledge were:—

1. The Compendium of the History of Catholic Ireland, written in Latin, and published at Lisbon in 1621.

2. Letters to The O'Sullivan Bear, Fr. Synott, and Patrick Trant, also in Latin, describing his doings whilst in the navy, and printed with the history.

3. Decas Patritiana; or A Life of St. Patrick, divided into ten books of ten chapters each, published in Madrid, 1629. There is a neatly bound copy of this rare work in Marsh's Library, Dublin. The first book gives a summary description of Ireland, the birth, education, and early life of St. Patrick, whom he states to have been born in Armoric Gaul. The second book opens with an account of the learning and arts in Ireland before St. Patrick's arrival, and asserts the knowledge of letters. Here also is a relation that a description of the person and passion of Our Saviour was given by a pilgrim eye-witness to King Connor MacNessa. O'Sullivan asserts that the Apostle James preached the faith here, and that his father, Zebedee, was our first Archbishop. In this second book he relates the mission and first successes of St. Patrick. Then follow five books dealing more particularly with the mission in the several districts, a separate book being devoted to Meath, Connaught, Ulster, Munster, and Leinster respectively. The eighth book deals with miscellaneous acts, such as the expelling of serpents, etc., and also relates his preaching in England and the Isle of Man, his miracles and death. The ninth book is devoted to Patrick's Purgatory, to which also he gives up the second book of his Catholic History. The tenth book is a glorification of the Irish for their steadfastness in the creed preached by St. Patrick.

4. In the same volume as the Decas Patritiana are Latin elegies in the author's praise by Don Geo. Mendoza and Don Antonio Sousa, with O'Sullivan's verses in reply and the long poem on his family which I have already cited. Mendoza's poem, after congratulating O'Sullivan on the publication of his history, refers to the other works still lying in darkness, and hence we know of the following works: —

5. A confutation of the histories of Giraldus Cambrensis, and Stanihurst as calumnies on the Irish. This work was called Zoilomastix. I do not know if it be now extant.

6. A work on astronomy.

7. Various lives of Irish saints. O'Sullivan himself tells us in the Decas Patritiana (lib. ii., cap. i.; lib. vi., cap. viii.) that he had written lives of SS. Kyran of Saiger, Abban, Albe, and Declan, none of which have been published. His life of St. Mochudda is published in the Acta Sanctorum, (i. 47) of Colgan.

8. With the Decas Patritiana he published a reply to the famous Archbishop Ussher's censure on his history, which reply he called Archicornigeromastix. As Ussher's work would not be allowed into Spain, being heretical, O'Sullivan was obliged to answer what he had not seen. The entire tract is simply an abuse of Ussher, to whom he applies every coarse epithet he could command. This work reflects little credit on its author, and it is a pity it did not give place to some worthier effort.

9. To the Dempsterian controversy as to Ireland's title to the ancient name of Scotia, O'Sullivan contributed his Tenebriomastix vindicating Ireland's title.

O'Flaherty, of Ogygia fame, tells us ( Ogygia Vindicated, 69) he had a copy of this work, and that it was not published. He describes it as ‘a large volume in Latin, not yet printed, where he also inveighs against all the Scotch impostures whereof I have a copy.’ Lynch, the celebrated Gratianus Lucius, quotes ( Cambrensis Eversus, cap. xxv., ii. 662) from this work, and gives this description of it, ‘Philip O'Sullivan ... has already crushed and utterly demolished Camerarius in a work consisting of six books, which is as much superior to his adversary's in nervous eloquence as it is in the justice of its cause. His ardour was indeed too vehement for my tastes; but a son of Mars must get some indulgence for virulent invectives, as those who live in the camp generally resent injuries more indignantly and punish them more severely than others.’

10. Bound with the Patritiana Decas is a long letter to an Irish Jesuit, Cantwell, urging him to publish a history of Ireland he had undertaken. This letter is in reality an essay on the writing of history. Colgan speaks very highly of O'Sullivan ( Acta, 791).

11. Harris never saw the Zoilomastix, but says O'Sullivan was supposed to have drawn up the account of Irish affairs presented to the king of Spain by Florence Conroy, Archbishop of Tuam.

12. There are occasional references in the history to some other work from which our Author takes extracts. See Chapters 11 and 19 of Book IV., Tome II. If these excerpts are typical of the lost work, we might conjecture it was a martyrology of the reign of Elizabeth. These quotations are in a much more florid style than the history, and may have been juvenile essays. They are, at all events, no fair specimens of his historical exactness, and it is a pity that in transferring them to the pages of solemn and solid work the author's ripened criticism was not applied to modify the poetry which overlies and tends to discredit the facts which are in the essentials strictly accurate.

Compendium of the History of Catholic Ireland dedicated to Don Philip of Austria, most potent Catholic King and Monarch of the Spains, the Indies, of other kingdoms, and various dominions. By Don Philip O'Sullivan Bear of Ireland with the sanction of the Holy Inquisition, the Ordinary, and the King. Printed at Lisbon by Peter Crasbeeck, Printer to the King, In the Year of Our Lord 1621. Translated and edited by Matthew J. Byrne.

Dedication. Philip O'Sullevan to Don Philip of Austria. Most potent Catholic King and Monarch of the Spains, the Indies, of other Kingdoms, and various Dominions:

Most potent Monarch! I venture to commit this, my Compendium of Irish Affairs, to the patronage of your Catholic Majesty, for many reasons. I pass over its being due to you in earnest token of a grateful spirit, by me who, in an honourable commission all too generously bestowed by your royal father, bear arms in your fleet: I refrain from dwelling on yourself or pleading the course becoming your officer: I omit enumerating the generous and noble succours to the Irish people afforded by yourself and the mighty monarchs, your father, and grandfather.

But there is one reason I cannot refrain from mentioning: You are the strongest bulwark and protector of the christian family: Ireland for christian piety and devotion to the holy faith is overwhelmed with the most tremendous load of calamities. You are striving to spread amongst all peoples, and far and wide to propagate, the worship and splendour of the holy and apostolic religion, and to enlarge the confines of the Roman Church: Ireland has never swerved from that law which Christ our Redeemer instituted, the blessed Apostles preached, and the Roman Pontiffs instructed us to cherish. You are ever a barrier to the pestilence of hellish heresy: Ireland is overwhelmed with the most violent fury of heresy. You are the refuge of Catholics: Ireland turns to you as to an asylum. You above other kings are most justly styled 'Catholic': Ireland stands forth Catholic, amidst the monstrous confusion of the errors of the north.

p.xxiv

Add to these the singular piety of your disposition and the eminently admirable spirit wherewith in the very beginning of your reign you commenced so excellently to establish your sway, forbidding all apostates from the Catholic faith access to your kingdoms, and determining that the Batavians and other assertors of nefarious doctrines and persons ill-disposed to the christian law should be reduced by force to proper obedience to the church, so that the holy faith of our Saviour should appear practised and honoured, not only in those realms which were handed down to you by your ancestors, but, also, it is hoped that your labours and zeal will in a short time under happiest auspices restore and re-establish it in its former splendour, authority and dignity in other realms in which, dishonoured by the crimes of impious men, it has fallen to the lowest depths. For these reasons I have thought that this History of Catholic Ireland, which 'till now hath lain in the dark, should go forth into the light under the patronage of your royal majesty. Long live your invincible majesty.

Philip O'Sullevan.

p.xxv

Don Philip O'Sullevan of Bear in Ireland to the Catholic Reader

ALTHOUGH, Catholic reader, in ancient times and even at this present day, there have been many and various affairs of the kingdom of Ireland well worth knowing and commemorating, yet its records, either wholly unpublished, lurk in darkness shrouded in the thickest mist, or are so much written in the Irish language that they are confined to the home circle and have not been sufficiently published by anyone in Latin.

And so those who have compiled the church histories of our times have either altogether passed over that island in silence, or recorded the fewest and most meagre particulars of it, notwithstanding that it endured for the preservation of christian piety the severest trials-aye, greater than is generally known.

Hence, some foreign writers justly complain that there is no Irish historian bringing to light the knowledge of his country's affairs, and placing them before the eyes of foreign people, and this is all the more strange because at this very time there are many religious and secular Irishmen distinguished for their talents in theology, philosophy, canon and civil law, and the study of other sciences.

Verily, unless I am deceived in my judgment, the current of present events, and the accumulation of many calamities deter our people from the attempt. For we are so distracted and tossed about on the most turbulent waves and by the confusion of all our affairs that there is no leisure for writing. Whence might be said of us that verse which Ovid sings of himself; —

1. Though were my soul with fortitude sustained,
As great as his whom Anytus arraigned:
Yet, since the wrath of Gods so far transcends,
The utmost rigours to which men's extends;
Wisdom itself, falls shattered by its weight:
And even he whom 'wise man' Delphi hight,
Unnerved–would fail to write in my sore plight.

p.xxvi
Moreover, it is necessary either to basely lie, which is contrary to the laws of history, or to offend those with whom in Ireland lies the government and the power of life and death. How few would care to run so great a risk? Whence it is that our invincible martyrs, who, suffering the greatest tortures resolutely, gave up their lives for the law of Christ the Redeemer: our most pious confessors, who worn out with the filthiness and squalor of fetid prisons, winged their way to the glory of empyrean realms; our most eloquent Orators, who have encountered the fury of infernal doctrines; our most valiant and renowed generals, and magnanimous soldiers, who preferred to fall in arms fighting strenuously and devotedly, than to submit to heretics—an accursed race of men; our women, who, endowed with masculine resolution, have never yielded to fear of the heretics; our children and infants, whose lives the sword of the heretic so little spared are deprived of their just credit and to what graves their bodies are consigned, therein also are their fame and memory interred. Such considerations impel me to undertake the writing of this history—a task to accomplish which demands both greater ability and leisure than is mine, tossed about as I am, in the general wreck of my fatherland.

However, I resolved to save from oblivion and destruction the fame of the greatest and most distinguished Irishmen, who displayed great virtues, both in fighting for the Catholic faith and in peace; for men celebrated in history, after the body is turned into dust, live as if endowed with a kind of immortality, as the same poet happily testifies:

1. In song is valour made immortal,
And rescued from death's gloomy portal.
It's fame lives on through generations.
Stone nor iron, time's depredations
May resist; and all must yield to age:
Yet long will live the written page.
The record tells of Agamemnon:
And tells us also about each one,
Who fought against him, and who for him;
Were Thebes not sung in ancient rhythm,
Who now would know the chieftains seven?
And so e'en older things are proven,
And later tales preserved till now.
E'en gods (if reverence will allow),
With all their might, need poet's song,
To sing what meeds to them belong.

In a less lofty strain, however, I will commence describing the nature of the Island; the origin of its people; their

p.xxvii
customs, religion, and fortunes, especially since the rise of the present heresies. Nor will I omit those feats which the enemies of the Catholic religion and ourselves valiantly and bravely achieved, and how our countrymen were conquered by them, but will set down their triumphs more carefully than they are recorded by their own writers to this present day. Nor will I anywhere wrong them or pass upon them unmerited censure or defraud them of their just credit whenever they acted equitably, lest passing over such, I should bury the truth. And so farewell, my Catholic reader.

On the various vicissitudes of Ireland under Elizabeth.

General sketch of the tyranny of Elizabeth and distractions of Ireland.

IMMEDIATELY on the death of the Catholic Queen Mary, she was succeeded by her sister Elizabeth, the daughter of Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn, and who became queen in the year of our Redeemer 1559. As soon as she wielded the sceptre, imitating her father, she excited the most violent and fierce storms against the professors of Christian truth. In England she nearly extinguished the Catholic faith and religion; then she set herself to detach the Irish from the faith. The system of her persecutions has been given above, and is here also repeated. The most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist, in which Christ our Lord is really and truly present is removed from the churches and the eyes of the people; sacred images are burnt; priests banished; and the entire Catholic people groan under injustice; churches are contaminated either by profane uses or execrable heretical superstitions. Ecclesiastical revenues are bestowed on most abandoned heretics; all things established for the honour of God are defiled. Catholic bishops, friars, priests, either in hiding or disguised in secular apparel, scarcely dare to walk abroad. In their places Lutherans, Calvinists, and other sects of heretics are supplied. The messenger of faith, religion, piety, virtue, is banished; licentiousness, lust, crime, heresy, is hospitably received. The queen is declared head of the church in her own kingdoms, and all must admit her to be head and attest same by an oath. These ordinances began to be enforced by the royal ministers and magistrates first in the queen's towns despite the greatest opposition and firmness of the townsmen; then they were carried into the territories of the Irish chiefs, and here because the chieftains were nowise willing to conform, various artifices were devised, by means of which they were despoiled of their property, gradually overthrown and punished with death. Hence the sword was drawn. The kingdom blazed, burned, and perished with war, slaughter, and famine. As long as some of the Irish were in arms for the liberty of the Catholic religion and of themselves, so long a cessation from persecution was allowed to other chiefs and to the queen's towns, until the defenders of liberty were destroyed. Queen Elizabeth, the instigator of all these crimes, was not undeservedly smitten with the sword of excommunication by Pope Pius V. We shall relate, although not all, yet in great part, the events most deserving of mention which occurred during those twenty-nine years of Elizabeth's reign.

The memorable martyrdom of John Travers, D.D.

WHAT Alanus Copus Nicholas Harpsfield and Father Henry Fitzsimons, of Dublin, have related about John Travers, an Irish doctor of sacred theology, who fell in Henry's or Elizabeth's time (I have not definitely ascertained which) is worth repeating. This man wrote something against the English heresy, in which he maintained the jurisdiction and authority of the Pope. Being arraigned for this before the king's court, and questioned by the judge on the matter, he fearlessly replied—‘With these fingers,’ said he, holding out the thumb, index, and middle fingers, of his right hand, ‘those were written by me, and for this deed in so good and holy a cause I neither am nor will be sorry.’ Thereupon being condemned to death, amongst other atrocious punishments inflicted, that glorious hand was cut off by the executioner and thrown into the fire and burnt, except the three sacred fingers by which he had effected those writings, and which the flames,—however piled on and stirred up, could not consume.

The most memorable of the remarkable vicissitudes of Shane O'Neill, chief of Tyrone.

GREATER butchery of ecclesiastics was prevented by various risings of the nobles, some of which are now to be related, and in the first place those excited by Shane O'Neill, chief of Tyrone,1 which are as follows:—Con O'Neill, chief of Tyrone, having paid the debt of nature, left two sons, Shane and Fardorch, born of different mothers. Shane succeeding on his father's death as chief of Tyrone, was held in great esteem amongst the Irish, old as well as new, of which latter race was his paternal grandmother, the daughter of the Earl of Kildare: nor was his jurisdiction narrow, for he annexed to Tyrone a great part of Tyrconnell as a ransom for Calvagh O'Donnell, chief of Tyrconnell, when he was taken prisoner, as I related above. The English, therefore, greatly feared him as they were not ignorant that the power of this Catholic hero would resist the persecution of Catholics which they were plotting and had already begun to carry out. Wherefore desirous of diminishing his power, they eagerly seized an opportunity which offered. Between him and his brother Fardorch there arose a dispute about their father's property. The latter honoured with the title of baron of Dungannon the English incite to war, and inflame him with the hope of obtaining the chieftaincy, and with no want of alacrity help him with royal forces. A troop of Englishmen is also sent to O'Donnell, who freed from his captivity went to England to ask aid of the queen. With this assistance, though chiefly by the suffrages of the clansmen who readily deserted O'Neill, O'Donnell recovered the whole of Tyrconnell. And now O'Neill was fiercely attacked on the one side by O'Donnell, and on the other by his brother, Fardorch, and on both by the forces of the queen. Moreover, the regiment of Scots which he drew from Scotland for the war, mutinied and pillaged his country, on account of their hire not being punctually paid. Nevertheless O'Neill, in the very beginning of the war, wiped out Fardorch. Leading the rest of his army against the Scotch regiment he slew three thousand Scots. Besides this, seven hundred English whom the queen sent to O'Donnell's assistance, under command of Randal , an Englishman, were destroyed by divine vengeance. There is in the chieftaincy of Tyrconnell a town overhanging Lough Foyle, which is an episcopal seat of great fame, under the patronage of St. Columba, hence it is called Dire Colum Kell Derry, that is, 'the Grove of Columba's cell.' English heretics having landed in this town, they, against the wish and command of O'Donnell, expel the priests and monks, invade the holy churches, and in one church place for safe keeping gunpowder, leaden bullets, tow-match, guns, pikes, and other munition of war. In other churches they performed the heretical rites of Luther, Calvin, and others of that class of impious men. They left nothing undefiled by their wickedness. St. Columba (it is supposed) did not long delay the punishment of this sin. The natives confidently assert that a wolf of huge size and with bristling hair coming boldly out of the nearest wood to the town and entering the iron barriers, emitting from his mouth a great number of sparks, such as fly from a red hot iron when it is struck, proceeded to the place in which the powder was stored and spitting out sparks set fire to powder and church. I will not take upon myself to vouch for the truth of this story: upon fame and longstanding tradition let it rest. This which is admitted by all, I may assert, viz., that the gunpowder suddenly took fire, the English who were in the church were burnt up, and those who were patrolling round the church were struck with burning tiles and killed; those who fled to neighbouring houses or into the adjoining lake were killed by pursuing tiles, some of which were thrown five hundred paces from the town. And thus without a single Irishman being wounded, miserably perished Randal with seven hundred English except a few witnesses of the slaughter, who, returning to their English fellows, gave an account of the catastrophe in their native and peculiar manner in these words:—‘The Irish god, Columba, killed us all.’ Mark the words of the barbarous heretics! as if the Irish worshipped St. Columba as a god, and not as a faithful servant of God, who, because he observed the commandments of his Creator, and because of his holy and innocent life, is noted in the calendar of the saints for many miracles. In his lifetime, being filled with divine inspiration, he foresaw that this holy city would be violated by heretics. When he was oppressed with great grief on this account, being asked the cause of his sorrow by his companion Baethan, ‘Anguish,’ said he, ‘Baethan, that Randal should be in this grove.’ Which prophecy committed to writing, but after long ages unintelligible, was clearly spoken of this Randal of the English.

O'Donnell who, though a Catholic, introduced heretics into the holy town to defile holy things, also quickly suffered meet punishment. When, after the destruction of these English, he was leading against O'Neill a large army of his own clansmen, he suddenly fell dead from his horse, overtaken by some sudden disease in the heyday of his health and vigour. His brother Hugh O'Donnell succeeded, and O'Neill carrying on hostilities against him as against the deceased, surprised and having raised some troops, surrounded him, ill-protected by a few attendants. O'Donnell having lost a few of his men sought safety in flight, but, on the same day having rallied his forces, he returned again to fight the victor with a determination to be avenged. Many fell on both sides fighting stoutly. At length O'Neill, his line having been broken and his forces destroyed, with difficulty escaped with a few followers, no whit however disspirited, for on the eighth day after, having quickly collected forces, he encountered the queen's troops and obtained that famous victory which is called 'of the red coats', because among others who fell in battle were four hundred soldiers lately brought from England and clad in the red livery of the viceroy. Although made famous by this victory, he unluckily fell not long after. That he might have greater forces against the queen and O'Donnell, he had brought a regiment of Scots from Scotland, and, when he was off his guard amongst them and fearing nothing, he was surrounded by Scottish soldiers, mindful of the cutting off of the Scotch regiment a short time before, and falling under almost innumerable stabs of poinards, he was slain despite the efforts of the officers to restrain the fury of the men. Thus the Scotch regiment avenging the death of their fellow-countrymen put an end to this war.

The chieftaincy of Tyrone was thereupon added to the queen's dominions, but to little purpose as Turlough O'Neill forthwith took possession of it, worn with war and for the most part wasted. Against Turlough the queen afterwards excited Hugh O'Neill, son of Fardorch, aided the latter and honoured him first with the title of baron and then of earl. This will later on be shown by us in its proper place.
On the Earl of Clanrickard.

AFTER the pitiable murder of John O'Neill, Richard Burke, Earl of Clanrickard, whose estates in Connaught stretched far and wide, was cast into prison by command of the queen, for it had been determined and resolved by the English that the Irish nobles whom they well knew would be assertors of the Catholic faith should be rooted out completely. The earl's sons, Ulick and John, provoked by the queen's injustice, declared war and did not desist from their proceedings until their father was restored to his former liberty. He afterwards dying left them surviving, the one as Earl of Clanrickard and the other as Baron of Leitrim.

On the O'Mores and O'Connors of Offaly.

NOT long afterwards Leinster was convulsed with tyranny and confusion. The chieftaincy of Leix was (as we have seen above) taken from O'More and added to the royal crown. Rotheric Rory, son of O'More, ill brooking this, endeavoured to recover his patrimony by arms in a fierce struggle of six years' duration. At one time making truces, and, on the expiration of these, again renewing the war. Amongst others the following was a memorable event:—He had taken as prisoners of war Harrington, a privy councillor, and Alexander Cosby, governor of Leix, both Englishmen. The English opened negotiations for ransoming these, but about the same time a huntsman of Rotheric's enraged on account of a fine inflicted on him by his master, fled to the English and arranged with them to betray Rotheric, and set Harrington and Cosby at liberty. Harpole, an Englishman, under the guidance of the huntsman, set out with two hundred soldiers against Rotheric. Rotheric had built a house in the midst of a dense and impassable wood and fortified it by a ditch, access being had by two avenues. When the huntsman had arrived here on a stormy night, ‘here,’ said he, ‘sleeps Rotheric with his wife. John O'More, a kinsman, and one old man, and he has Harrington and Cosby in chains, but such is his daring and valour, as you so often found, that lest he escape by that luck by which he has so often surmounted other perils, spread for him this net which I usually lay for deer.’ Ridiculing the advice of this man the English block the two avenues, surround the door, and fire into the house. Rotheric, being aroused, struck with great presence of mind at Harrington and Cosby four or five times with his drawn sword. Rushing from his house he, with his sword, intrepidly knocked down Harpole who was nearest to the door, and although the latter was not wounded, being protected by a coat of mail, yet all were struck with fear, so that the former brandishing his sword escaped unhurt through the midst of his enemies, his kinsman following. His wife and the old man were slain by the heretics when they entered the house. Harrington, severely wounded, especially in the left arm, but Cosby unhurt, because he hid himself behind Harrington when Rotheric was striking, were set at liberty. Some days after, five hundred English and Irish mercenaries under command of Fitzpatrick, chief of Ossory, invaded Leix. Rotheric led four hundred Irish against them, but before he came in sight, leaving his own men to reconnoitre the strength and position of the enemy, he fell by chance into their midst with only two companions, with whom he perished under many wounds. On hearing this news, Rotheric's soldiers filled with rage rushed thirsting for vengeance against the enemy and routed them, and after many were slain the commander with difficulty escaped on horseback.

Tyranny of Cosby, an Englishman.

WHEN disturbances were allayed tyranny used ever increase. Francis Cosby, governor of Leix, and his son Alexander raged savagely against the entire Catholic body. He summoned the men of his province to Mullagh Mast for a convention to discuss matters of administration. He suddenly surrounded the assembly with armed bands, and of the family of O'More killed on the spot one hundred and eighty unarmed and unsuspecting men. He lived mostly at Stradbally, where before his doors grew a tree of great height and abounding in spreading branches. From this he was accustomed to hang not only men but also women and children for no crime. When women were hanging from the tree by a halter he took an incredible pleasure in at the same time hanging by the mother's long hair their infant children. It is said that when the tree was without the corpses of Catholics hanging from it, he was wont to say—‘You seem to me, my tree, shrouded with great sadness, and no wonder, for you have now long been childless. I will speedily relieve your mourning. I will shortly adorn your boughs with corpses.’

On Cathal O'Connor, MacFort, an Englishman, and an instance of English treachery.

ENRAGED by this cruelty Cathal O'Connor renewed the rising, inflicting great devastation on the English, and often vainly attacked by them. At last MacFort, an Englishman, opened a treaty of peace with him. He said he would not trust his safety to the promises of MacFort unless the latter produced the order and warrant of the queen. A day was arranged between them on which MacFort should produce the warrant. When the day arrived, MacFort on horseback and Cathal and Conal MacGeoghegan on foot (as arranged) came to a parley, no safe pass having been given. Nor did this seem necessary since the horseman could easily escape from the foot, and it was not likely one man would venture to attack two. Besides Cathal and Conal were speaking from a high and steep bank, and MacFort did not ascend thither. After MacFort had frequently shown them a parchment document which he would not give to be read, he was going away without anything being settled, when Cathal became desirous of ascertaining what the parchment contained, so springing from the high ground at horse and rider he so balanced his body as to get his arms round the neck of MacFort and dragged him from the saddle to the ground. Conal followed his comrade. Both tried to snatch the parchment from MacFort. He endeavoured to put the parchment into his mouth, crunch it with his teeth and swallow it. They compelled him to disgorge the parchment by strongly pressing his jaws with their hands. In it was written (as I learn) an order from the queen by which MacFort was directed to capture Cathal whenever he could, either by craft or force, and when caught to put him immediately to death. Having learned this perfidy, Cathal and Conal with their swords slew MacFort, whom otherwise they would have let go unhurt. After this Cathal went to Spain, whence returning again to Ireland he perished in the shipwreck of the Spanish fleet at a port of Gallicia, which is commonly called Corcubion Corruna. Conal escaping with impunity ended his days in Ireland.

The FitzGeralds of Munster.

BUT not even the Munsters enjoyed immunity from English injustice. The FitzGeralds of Munster were provoked to take up arms there. In order to understand how this came about we shall say something of their origin. We have elsewhere shown that there were in Ireland two families of FitzGeralds, one in Leinster of which we have spoken above, the other in Munster, and of which we are now to treat. The chief of this family on its first introduction into Ireland was called MacThomas, which name was changed by the English to the title of Earl of Decies or Desmond (which is the same). Now John FitzGerald, Earl of Desmond, had three sons—James the eldest, Maurice the second, and John the youngest. The two younger died leaving issue:—Maurice left Thomas (who soon died) and James; John left Thomas, James, and Maurice. James, son of Earl John, who became earl on his father's death, begat four children. Thomas surnamed the Red, by the daughter of Viscount Roche, whom he divorced, and married a daughter of the chieftain O'Carroll, by whom he had Gerald and John. After her death, a daughter of the chieftain MacCarthy bore him James. Now when dying he is said to have provided by a written will that Gerald, the second in point of age, should be his heir and successor in the earldom. To Thomas, the eldest, he also left no inconsiderable property. With these, however, the latter was not content, aspiring to the earldom and chieftainship of the illustrious family, but in vain, for it is said he was set aside for Gerald by the clansmen, and that he failed also in his case before the privy council, whether justly or no is not here to be canvassed. The dominion of this family through the influence and favour of the English kings, and constant aggression on their neighbours, had in a short time grown to that extent that the earl of Desmond was regarded by the English themselves as a powerful subject. For although some of the old Irish chiefs had greater resources, they were counted by the English not in the number of subjects but of enemies, although they paid tribute. But as power generally excites the hatred of many, so with this family, great enmity and hostility entered its territories, and principally on the part of the chiefs of Clancarthy, Thomond, and Muskerry, who treasured recollections of wrongs inflicted by the Geraldines fighting for the English crown and for the increasing and pushing of their own dominions. On this account there was a standing feud in which, amidst the frequent clash of arms, blood was with great bitterness freely shed on both sides. Nor were the FitzGeralds less odious to many also of the new Irish lords of English extraction. By Earl Ormond and almost the whole family of Butler they were held in inextinguishable hatred. Indeed both frequently fought fiercely for the honour of governing districts and exacting tribute, and all the while the kings of England, who held the reins of government in Ireland and ought to have prevented this incendiarism, connived at the ruin of both families, which were Catholic. Nor were the FitzGeralds, barons of Lixnaw, often less odious, but as they sprung from the same Geraldine stock were often warred upon. Wherefore, when an opportunity offered, during the reign of Elizabeth, John FitzGerald (brother of Earl Gerald), whilst yet a youth defeated John Butler in battle and slew him with his own hands. This, and a recollection of his ancestors' wrongs, haunted Thomas Butler, brother of the deceased, and surnamed the Black Earl of Ormond, a Protestant in religion owing to his being educated in the English court, but who before his death was converted to the faith, as I shall show later on. He having learned that Earl Gerald with a few companions was in that part of Decies which adjoins Ormond, got together a larger band of soldiers and surrounded him. Gerald although far inferior in numbers, nevertheless prepared to trust his safety to battle rather than to flight. The few being surrounded were overcome by the numbers of their adversaries. Gerald himself received a bullet wound in his foot and fell fighting bravely. Thence he was taken by Ormond to Affane and cured by the great care of the doctors, who, however, were not able to prevent his ever after limping slightly. Having been cured he was sent into England to the queen, who had him committed to the tower of London, partly to gratify herself by removing this stout impediment to persecution, and partly anxious because there was at large John FitzGerald, brother of the earl, a high-souled hero, generous, distinguished in warlike arts, and a favourite with the Irish. She laboured therefore to capture him also, and this was effected without any difficulty, because John neither fled from her nor dared to do the least injury, thinking more of his brother's than of his own safety. Him also she cast into the same prison as his brother. Ill brooking this, James FitzGerald, son of Maurice, the uncle of Earl Gerald, refused to recognise the queen's authority until she restored his kinsmen to their former liberty. Hence a war broke out. There followed James's party, other kinsmen of his, almost all the followers of the earl, and nearly the whole family of the FitzGeralds of Munster; some from lower Munster, principally gentlemen of the MacSweeny family, named Edmund, Eugene, and Murrough, uncles of mine; some from the principality of Bear, under command of Dermot O'Sullivan, my father; and other spirited youths. By their aid and valour James got and endeavoured to hold possession of the country of his kinsman the earl. The queen ordered her lieutenants in Ireland to march against the rebels, and easily aroused the Earl of Ormond's hatred of the Geraldines. She incited Thomas FitzGerald, surnamed Roe, a foolish man, eldest brother of Earl Gerald, with the hope of obtaining the earldom, and named him governor of the earldom, which, no doubt, seemed to him the next step to the title of earl. She played on the tempers of the Irish chiefs; relaxed her persecutions; intimated that she fought not against religion but to assert her right to govern. Thus the war swelled, and it was wonderful what luck attended the campaigns of James and of his lieutenants the MacSweenys and others. He routed the royal forces at Kilmallock town. He was victorious at Mount Sannid, and successfully encountered them at Kuillchugi wood (Kuill-chugi). At the church of Cloyne he slew General Morgan and destroyed his forces, and in other places came off victorious. Nor did he cease from his undertaking until his kinsmen, the earl and John, were released from prison and restored to their former position, and himself promised pardon.

War of MacCarthy and Earl Desmond—James FitzGerald sails for Spain.

SOON after James' rising was calmed down a war broke out between Earl Gerald and Donald MacCarthy, Chief of Clancarthy and earl of Valencia, and at the river Maine a battle was fought which was rather a slaughter than a fight; for while some illustrious gentlemen of MacCarthy's fell, and amongst others Murrough and Eugene MacSweeny, whose assistance James had formerly employed against the heretics; of FitzGerald's forces only Colus, brother of Maurice, succumbed. Shortly after, James, thinking (as it seems to me would have been the case), that on account of the English he would be very unsafe in Ireland, crossed over to Spain with his wife and two young children.





Richard, Primate of Ireland, a Famous Hero.

IRELAND was long miserably convulsed by these misfortunes. When the turmoil of war was becalmed the English had, after the old fashion, nothing but fury against holy bishops, friars and priests. About this time was arrested the Primate of Ireland, of whose life and death in prison a few memorable incidents are here recorded.

Richard O'Melchrebus, commonly called Creagh, and by some writers Cravaeus, was the son of a merchant of the town of Limerick in Ireland, of well-known integrity and respectability, and after the manner of his people receiving a Christian education and instruction in letters in his childhood, he became inflamed with piety and zeal for divine knowledge. As a young man engaged in his father's business, he, in company with other merchants, sailed for Spain in a trading vessel laden with a cargo. Having sold his goods there and bought others to traffic with, and these being shipped, and all prepared for the return journey, a favourable wind blowing, the hour was appointed at which all merchants should embark. On this day when at early morning they came to the ship, Richard said to his companions that he must hear the holy Mass before he embarked, and that having heard it he would join without delay. Intent on seeing the celebration of the holy Mass he was left behind by his companions, who shortly weighed anchor and set sail. Seeing them from the land and calling them, he saw them together with the ship and cargo suddenly sink within the very harbour. Greatly struck by this incident he gave thanks to God that he himself had been preserved, and resolved to lead another life less perilous to his body and far safer for his soul. He applied himself therefore entirely to study. Excelling in piety, and by no means unskilled in learning, he was in a short time ordained priest and consecrated Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland. He returned immediately to his native land, bringing the fruits of divine wisdom and sanctity instead of worldly and paltry merchandise, that with these helps he might afford a salutary aid to the souls of his people stricken by a most vehement persecution under Elizabeth. The holy bishop entering upon his sacred office was arrested by the English priest-hunters and sent into England. Cast into the Tower of London, and whilst in chains long and frequently pressed by bribes and threats and assailed with menaces he never would desert the Catholic religion. Amongst others let us make known this remarkable incident. The archbishop was brought before the tribunal of the Privy Council, a plan having been previously arranged and concerted by the heretics that the keeper's daughter should charge the bishop with having made an assault upon her to violate her chastity. The holy bishop standing before the tribunal was falsely accused of this crime (as arranged). The girl of beautiful appearance, and decked out, entered the court amidst great expectation of the councillors and all bystanders. When she turned her eyes upon the innocent man she was dumb, and could not answer a word to the commands of the councillors to speak, not did her voice return until within herself she silently changed her wicked resolution, and then instead of what she had previously arranged and the councillors expected and ordered, she suddenly broke out to the contrary, saying that she had never seen a holier man than the archbishop, that she had never been tempted to sin by him, much less assaulted nor had even her clothes been touched, and that this she could not deny even if she had to die for it. The holy bishop however was recast into the same prison, and after some days gave up his soul to his Creator.

Patrick O'Healy, Bishop of Mayo, and his comrade, Connatius O'Rourke, Franciscans and Famous Martyrs.

NO milder course was taken with Patrick O'Healy, Bishop of Mayo, and his companion, Connatius O'Rourke, of whom I have already written as follows:—In that most doleful time during which Elizabeth, Queen of Britain, after destroying the church in England, was assailing the Catholic religion in Ireland also with the utmost violence, there flourished Patrick O'Healy, an Irishman of by no means humble origin, who having embraced the order of the Seraphic Francis, in Spain, stayed some years diligently studying in that most famous academy of Complutus. Then after he had elsewhere and finally at Rome, in the convent of Ara Coeli, proved to all the innocence of his life and his sincerity by many evidences of holiness and penance, he was consecrated bishop by Pope Gregory XIII. in the year of our Redeemer 1579, and laden with gifts was sent into Ireland, that country requiring him to assist it struggling against the deadly contagion of English heresy. When he reached Paris on his journey he earned in public debates in the university then widely famous a reputation for great ability and very uncommon learning. With him went his companion Chaplain Connatius O'Rourke, son of the chieftain O'Rourke, a man of a noble ancestry, reckoned amongst the first in Ireland, a light of the Seraphic Franciscan Order, and of irreproachable character. Both having embarked in a ship weighed anchor for Ireland. When they arrived there they landed on the open shore, whence going towards Askeaton, which was a town of Earl Desmond's, they were captured by the Queen's emissaries and soldiers—Earl Gerald FitzGerald and his brother John and other kinsmen being absent. They were sent in chains to Limerick city, where they were shut up for fifteen days in a dark and fetid prison. When Drury, an Englishman and Viceroy of Ireland, thought them sufficiently tried by this punishment and likely to give in, they answered him that on the contrary that place appeared to them sweeter and more enjoyable than the most delightful garden replete with many scented flowers and cheered by the glowing sun and a pleasant puff of air cooling the heat of autumnal midday. The furious viceroy determined to punish them more severely, and ordered them to be brought before him. Then turning an angry eye and truculent countenance upon the bishop, ‘Why is it,’ said he, ‘you mad and wicked man, that you spurn the commands of the Queen and contemn her authority, and make a mockery of her laws? Be converted, if you be wise; be converted to the Queen and to her creed. In this way whatever crimes you have committed heretofore shall be forgiven on the simple condition that abandoning the Pope's faction and guidance you attest by an oath that the Queen is head and prince of the church in her own dominions. So not only may you have the bishopric of Mayo, but richer rewards from the Queen, such is her royal munificence.’ The bishop answering nothing to all this, gently smiled. Where upon the viceroy asked, ‘What are you laughing at?’ ‘Give me,’ said the bishop, ‘this leave I pray. How could I restrain a smile when you bid me be converted who have never turned from the true religion of God. Wherefore if I should follow the Queen's schism from it, that would not be a conversion but a perversion, since it is always called a conversion to the true religion from the false, but a perversion from the true to the false.’ ‘We will pass from these jokes,’ said Drury, ‘but I know very well that the design of the Pope and king of Spain to make war on the Queen, especially in this kingdom of Ireland, is well known to you, and that you are in their councils, which you cannot conceal.’ The bishop made no rejoinder to this, and when he was plied with questions, whilst his hands and feet were broken with a mallet, and splinters driven between the nails and flesh of his hands, he betrayed nothing. His companion Connatius intrepidly followed in the footsteps of his holy superior. The viceroy transferred both from Limerick to the town of Kilmallock, and there sentenced them to death. When they were brought to the scaffold, which was erected on a hill not far from the gates of the town, the bishop addressed the crowd with wonderful cheerfulness and rare eloquence and sacred learning, confirming the people in the Catholic faith, warning them against the errors of the English; and then he named a day of reckoning for the viceroy to render an account of his unjust sentence against him, an anointed bishop, and his priestly companion, and for his extensive cruelties against friars, bidding him in the name of the Lord to stand before the divine tribunal before the fifteenth day. Thereupon our martyrs were hanged with a halter fashioned from the holy girdles with which friars of the Seraphic Order bind their habit. The bishop was hung between his comrade Connatius and one who was accused of robbery, and whilst he hung was pierced in the forehead by a bullet from an English soldier. Thus the two martyrs rendered their souls to their Creator. There are witnesses to attest that those who were present and saw conspicuous and obvious signs were filled with an incredible consolation on account of this miracle; it is well-known that their bodies hanging from the gibbet were never touched by any beasts, or in the least molested, when the other corpse was torn by wild dogs and birds. The viceroy quickly fell into a horrible disease, and suffering great pain rotted daily from an incurable corruption, accompanied by a most repulsive stench, and on the fourteenth day from the martyrs' deaths he died at Waterford perpetually tormented by wicked devils. The bodies of the martyrs were in a short time buried by the Catholics.

On Miler, Pseudo-archbishop of Cashel.

AS it is right that these holy and glorious men who attained by their merits the highest praise on earth and eternal happiness in heaven should be celebrated in books and records, so on the other hand the wicked and abandoned men should not be passed over in silence, in order that not only might the living justly condemn them, but also that posterity might execrate their name. And so Miler, a man not as exalted in birth as famous for wickedness, entered into religion in which he conducted himself in a very irregular way and with very little of the manner of a religious.

Consecrated a priest and endowed by the Pope with no little power and authority, he set out from Rome to Ireland as if he were going to denounce the new dogmatic errors of the English, but, perhaps, thinking otherwise in his mind; for from the time he reached England, I am informed, he used to carry the apostolic letters in a large and beautiful pyx or locket which hung openly from his neck and was obvious to everyone, for no other purpose but that he might betray himself and his calling. Being arrested by the ministers of justice, he was brought, together with the apostolic letters, before Queen Elizabeth or her council, and deserted with little unwillingness the Catholic religion, readily embracing the Queen's sect and bribes before he performed the least duty. Then made pseudo-bishop of Cashel, he right away in unholy union wedded Anna Ni-Meara. She upon a Friday would not eat meat. ‘Why is it wife,’ said Miler, ‘that you will not eat meat with me?’ ‘It is,’ said she, ‘because I do not wish to commit sin with you.’ ‘Surely,’ said he, ‘you committed a far greater sin in coming to the bed of me a friar.’ The same woman asked by Miler why she wept: ‘Because,’ said she ‘Eugene who was with me to-day assured me by strong proof and many holy testimonies that I would be condemned to hell if I should die in this state of being your wife, and I am frightened and cannot help crying lest this be true.’ ‘Indeed,’ said Miler, ‘if you hope otherwise your hope will lead you much astray, and not for the possibility but for the reality should you fret.’ Not long after Anna died consumed with grief. This Eugene who then, as at many other times, had endeavoured to bring her back to a good life was O'Duffy, a Franciscan friar, some of whose rather incisive poems, written in Irish against Miler and other heretics, are extant. Well, the wicked Miler married a second wife, and now lives sinning, not in ignorance but wilfully. He does not hunt priests nor endeavour to detach Catholics from the true religion. He is now nearly worn out with age.

Thomas O'Herlihy, Bishop of Ross, an Illustrious Hero.

OF far different moulds were Miler and Thomas O'Herlihy, bishop of Ross, who was present at the famous Council of Trent. Returning to Ireland his lot was also cast in the reign of Elizabeth. It is almost incredible with what zeal he laboured there against heresy, by preaching, administering the sacraments, and ordaining priests. Long and diligently sought by the English, he was at last arrested, sent to England in chains and cast into the Tower of London. Thence brought before the Privy Council, he with marvellous learning and skill pleaded his cause and refuted charges. However, he was not on that account the less maltreated, but was sent back to the same prison. Thence again brought before the council and accused he spoke not a word. When asked by the councillors the cause of his silence, ‘If,’ said he ‘justice and right had been done there would now be no need of my pleading, since I have already sufficiently cleared myself of the crimes alleged, and proved my innocence, but since not by law but by your will I am to be dealt with, it seems to me useless to endeavour to legally exculpate myself where justice and law avail nothing to the accused.’ Thrown into his former bonds he was long tortured with hunger, thirst, and fetid darkness, and his body from filth covered with vermin, and the soles of his feet gnawed by rats. At last he was released, some of the Queen's councillors thinking he was a fool and an idiot. I do not know if it be true, as I heard, that some of the Queen's councillors were corrupted by a bribe from Cormac McCarthy, son of Thady, Irish chief of Muskerry, to free the bishop. Freed from his chains, for some years he discharged his holy duty, and at length fulfilled his holy mission.

Insurrections in Leinster.

ABOUT this time Leinster was convulsed with no inconsiderable disturbances, the origin of which may be gathered from what we now relate. The Leinstermen ill-brooked that the celebration of the holy mass and sacraments of the church should be forbidden to them; that priests should be either proscribed or cast into prison, or slain; that churches should be defiled with heretical ceremonies; and at last wearied with long continued persecution, and fearing greater would come upon them, some nobles took counsel how to meet these evils. Gerald FitzGerald, Earl of Kildare, whom we have shown was restored by Queen Mary, planned to capture Dublin Castle. James Eustace, Viscount Kilcullen and Fiach O'Byrne, son of Hugh, a gentleman of birth, both engaged to form a conspiracy amongst the nobility. When correspondence on this subject had passed backwards and forwards between the gentlemen, the wife of one gentleman, a woman full of jealousy, fearing lest perhaps letters were coming from another woman to her husband, seized one of the letters when he was asleep and gave it to a heretic kinsman to read. He, clearly understanding the matter, disclosed it to the viceroy. By order of the viceroy thirty-six gentlemen of Leinster and Meath were suddenly and unexpectedly seized and suffered the extreme penalty of the law.

The Earl of Kildare, who could have taken up arms, took the matter easily, submitted himself to the judgment of the English, by whom he was thrown into chains, and after a short time he died in prison. The viscount and Fiach with some associates endeavoured to save their lives and liberty with their swords. They fought a memorable battle at Glenmalure, where they defeated Grey, an Englishman, the viceroy of Ireland. They killed eight hundred soldiers, and amongst them the cruel butcher of Catholics, Francis Cosby, governor of Leix, of whom we made mention above. Carrying on war as opportunity offered during two years, they laid waste the neighbourhood, but after numerous raids and receiving not a few wounds, they were deserted by their men and reduced to straits. The viscount and his brother flying to Spain were received by Philip II., that most pious king, and whilst they lived they were supported and honoured by the generosity of the munificent king. Thus fell the sons of Rowland, Viscount Eustace and his family, as that ghostly verse, which I cited above, foretold to himself: —

1. What greedy lust the church's rights usurped,
That will with blasting blight thy fields oppress,
And quickly cause that all thy sproutings warped,
Shall leave an airy space for leaves to dress.

Fiach did not lay down his arms until promised safety, and was left in possession of his property.

The Second War of the FitzGeralds of Munster.

WHILST these events were taking place in Ireland, James FitzGerald, of whom we have written rather a full account, upon his arrival in Spain explained the position of affairs in Ireland to his Catholic Majesty Philip II., and sought aid from him for the Catholics. Thence he went for Rome through France, where at that time was Conor O'Ryan, a Franciscan bishop of Killaloe, and an Irishman, and Thomas Stukely, who by some is said to have been an illegitimate son of King Henry VIII. of England, by others to have been born of an English gentleman and an Irish mother, by others he is called an Irishman altogether. This man professedly in aid of the Irish was harassing the English, either incensed against them or moved by piety, or desirous of revolution and war, in hope thereby to gain something, or perhaps aspiring to rule as a man born of royal blood. At the same place was Sanders, an honour to the English race, flying from their tyranny after he had written a book on the English schism.

At that time some bands of brigands grievously pestered Italy; sallying from the woods and mountains in which they hid, they destroyed villages in midnight robberies and raids, and blocking the roads despoiled travellers.

James besought Pope Gregory XIII. to assist the Catholic Church in Ireland, then almost overwhelmed, and at length obtained from him pardon for these robbers on condition of their accompanying him to Ireland, and from these and others he got together about one thousand soldiers. The Pope appointed them generals; Hercules Pisano, a brave man and famed for his skill in military matters, and other Roman soldiers who embarked with Cornelius, the bishop, and Doctor Sanders. James ordered Stukely to make for Lisbon and await him there until his wife whom he left in France, should arrive. Stukely steering his ships from Italian shores for Lisbon, with favourable winds, arrived during those days in which Sebastian, the famous king of Lusitania, was fitting out an expedition against Mauritiana.
The king asked Stukely to accompany him into Mauritiana, promising on his return that either he himself would cross with Stukely into Ireland or at least would give him additional forces to assert the liberty of that island. Stukely freely accepting this promise fell by the forces of the barbarians in that well-known slaughter of Lusitanians—a famous race—together with the illustrious king Sebastian. The Italians who survived the massacre returned to Spain, where James also had now arrived, and he having enrolled the Italians who survived the massacre of Mauritiana, had, with a few Cantabrians given by his Catholic Majesty, eight hundred soldiers. According to Michael of Isseltus, one Sebastian San Joseph was appointed commander of the soldiers by order of the Pope.

These embarking in six ships with a large commissariat, batteries, arms for four thousand Irish, James, Cornelius, the bishop, and Doctor Sanders, sailed from Spain for Ireland and after a prosperous voyage arrived in the harbour of Ardnacantus, which is called Smerwick by the English, and is opposite the town of Dingle. There is in that port a rock, which the natives call the 'Oilen-an-oir,' well fortified by nature, partly washed by the tide, partly fenced by high rocks, and joined to the mainland by a wooden bridge. This was in the charge of Peter Rusius, a citizen of Dingle, who had there a guard of three or four youths. James finds out where Peter is, and having seized him and bound him, cocked him atop the roof of a sow,2 and by his soldiers pushes it towards the rock. Peter shouting out orders his men to surrender the rock. James quickly threw into it six hundred soldiers under command of Lieutenant Sebastian San Joseph. He fortified it during six days of continuous work. Moreover, on the mainland in front of the rock he constructed a trench and mound, and stationed there cannons taken from the ships. It was a very strong fortress, almost impregnable. He gathered from the neighbourhood wine, oil, beer, sea-biscuits, and meat. He sent back the ships with the remaining two hundred men. In the meantime his cousin, John FitzGerald, brother of Earl Gerald, and other noble youths joined him. To these he explained that he had been sent by, the Supreme Pontiff to aid the Irish in asserting the rights and liberty of the Catholic Church against the heretics. On this account he carried the keys inscribed on his banners, because they were fighting for him who had the keys of the kingdom of heaven. He said, however, he would not be satisfied with John's fidelity until he had done some noble deed whereby he would provoke the anger and indignation of the heretics and show that he would be faithful to himself. Thereupon John entering the town of Tralee killed Davers, a magistrate; Arthur Carter, provost-marshal of Munster, both English heretics; Miach, a judge; Raymond the Black, and others. The rest of the Englishmen he drove out of the town. San Joseph was animated by James and encouraged to strenuously defend the fort, and he gave as interpreter an Irish gentleman of the Plunkett family. Cornelius the bishop, and Doctor Sanders were left with John to stir up and excite the good will of the men. James himself set out with eight Irish horse and eighteen foot which Thady McCarthy had supplied in order to enlist in the war others with whom before leaving Ireland he had communicated the object of his journey. He met on the way Theobald Burke, Lord of Castleconnell, with Richard and Ulick his brothers, and a number of cavalry and infantry greater than his own. These, although Irishmen, Catholics, and kinsmen of James, nevertheless swayed by an insane stupidity in order to prove their fidelity to the Queen, fired on James from a distance. James now crossed the ford of the narrow pass (Bealantha an Bhorin,) and the Burkes got to the same place. James was there struck by a bullet, and thereby roused to fury he turned round his band. Both sides fought rather more bitterly than successfully. James putting spurs to his horse rushed into the tide at the ford, intrepidly followed by his horse and foot. He rushed on Theobald with drawn sword, and struck him a great blow, splitting his skull in two, through the helmet, and scattering his blood and brains over his breast and shoulders. When Theobald fell dead from his horse the Burkes yielded the ford, then James pushing forward they took to flight, James following close on their heels. There perished of the Burkes with their leader Theobald, his brother Richard, and William Burke, gentlemen; Ulick, also, the third brother, was mortally wounded. Edmund O'Ryan, gentleman, lost an eye, and several either fled wounded or were completely destroyed. On the other side, only James died within six hours of receiving his wound, having his sins first forgiven by a priest whom he had with him. Eighteen soldiers were wounded, of whom Gibbon FitzGerald, surnamed the Black, stricken with eighteen wounds, was left hid in a hedge, where he was secretly nursed by a friend, a doctor. When the latter had left, a wolf coming out of the adjoining woods gnawed the old cast-off bandages tinged with pus and blood, but never attacked the abandoned sick man. The others after they had buried at Cadmeus their leader, lost in the engagement, returned to John FitzGerald. The successor of the deceased lord of Castleconnell was created baron by the Queen for this action.

The news of James' death having spread, the majority of the Irish participators in his plans lost hope and failed to take up arms. Sebastian San Joseph was privately alarmed. The English, on the other hand, plucked up spirit, and applied for aid from England. The Queen ordered an abatement of persecution. She sought to stir up the Irish. The earldom of Desmond is said to have been promised to Thomas Butler, Earl of Ormonde, if he would speedily bring the war to an end. She was afraid that Eugene O'Sullivan, chief of Bear, my kinsman, would join in the war, and so ordered him to be seized unexpectedly and put into prison, nor was he released until the war was over. A garrison under command of Fenton, an Englishman, was placed in Dunboy, the castle of his chieftaincy. With the Earl of Ormonde and other Irish troops, although they were Catholics, especially Anglo-Irish of Meath and their English followers, Grey, an Englishman, the Viceroy of Ireland, got together about one thousand five hundred soldiers, forces very inadequate to storm such a fortification as the Golden Fort. Nevertheless with these and two or three transport ships he blockaded Sebastian by land and sea with a double line, and, having placed his cannon, made an attack. The assailed made small account of the attack, being not only well furnished with artillery and arms, but also thoroughly protected by the nature of the place. Already the heretic had for about forty days in vain plied his cannon on the fort, wasting his strength to no purpose. He was tried by the inclemency of winter at sea and in the open camp, where he was without houses, under shelter of a few camp tents; he was being deserted by the Irish, who were brought thither against their will; and he was losing some English troops, killed by the fire of the artillery, and amongst others John Shickius Shinkwin qy., a man of great standing amongst them. However, not to abandon the enterprise which he could not achieve by force, he tried strategy. He sent a flag to demand a parley. Plunkett endeavoured to prevent a conference with the English, a callous and treacherous race of men, by whom Sebastian, a credulous and incautious man, might perhaps be deceived.

Sebastian, with whom the command rested, thought a conference should not be refused, and so, having got a safe pass, he approached the viceroy in his camp, with Plunkett as interpreter, and, speaking with his head uncovered, showed himself a man of cringing disposition. The interpreter, however, kept himself covered. The viceroy and commandant proposed peace to each other. Plunkett interpreted their speeches opposite ways, making the commandant say to the viceroy that he would lose his life rather than surrender, and making the viceroy say to the commandant that he was determined to give no quarter to the besieged. The commandant perceiving the false translations of the interpreter by the inconsistency of the viceroy's face, ordered Plunkett to be carried back to the fort and cast into prison, and negotiated with the viceroy through another interpreter. Then returning to his men he informed them that he had obtained from the viceroy very fair terms of capitulation. Plunkett shouted from his chains that the Pope's fort was perfidiously betrayed; that the viceroy would soon be forced by the winter's rigour to raise the siege; that John FitzGerald was coming to the rescue; that all the Irish would desert from the English if the commandant held the fort; that there was enough victuals for the besieged for many months; and finally that there was no trusting the heretics. To the same effect spoke the captains of the Cantabrians and Hercules Pisano, saying that they would not only defend the fort, but even engage the enemy in the open if necessary. The commandant persuaded the soldiers to side with him, and so through the cowardice of this timid general the valour of the others was overcome, and he who was more anxious to save his life than win glory lost both. He surrendered the fort in the month of December on the one condition, which was secured to the besieged by the oath of the viceroy, that he might march out safe with soldiers, arms, bag and baggage. However the heretical faithlessness held itself bound neither by honour nor the sanctity of an oath nor by the laws held inviolate amongst all people civilized and barbarous. The fort being surrendered, the defenders were ordered to lay down their arms, deprived of which they were slain by the English except the commandant, who being let off is said to have gone to Italy. Plunkett was for a short time reserved for a more cruel death. Shortly afterwards he was put to death, having had his bones broken by a mallet. Hence 'Grey's faith' became a proverb for monstrous and inhuman perfidy.3

Grey returning thence to Dublin placed garrisons in the Munster towns, and applied to the Irish and to England for aid against John FitzGerald. He ordered his lieutenants to do their utmost to bring the war to a speedy termination, and not to rest until they either took or killed John. The Earl of Ormonde and other Irish nobles hating the pride and power of the FitzGeralds were easily drawn to serve against them. John with his brother James, his kinsmen and followers, the spirited young men of the MacSweenys (those who were cut off in McCarthy's war being sorely missed by the FitzGeralds), Dermot O'Sullivan, my father, who led the infantry of Bear, and others, endeavoured to protect himself, and at the same time harass the enemy.

From the very beginning of the war Earl Gerald did not dare to approach the royal camp or trust his person to the heretics, being mindful of the long imprisonment in which he had formerly been kept by them; but, on the other hand, he did not openly break with them or assist his brothers and kinsmen. Moreover, his too accommodating wife had surrendered their only son, James, as a hostage to the Queen that his father would continue friendly. Nevertheless, the Earl was considered the latter's enemy and his towns laid waste with fire and sword. To defend them he took up arms. He had not long taken up arms, and been rather successful at the start, when the Queen offered him pardon and his former privileges and other honourable terms of peace on the one condition that he would surrender to her authority Dr. Sanders, who was an Englishman. Gerald replied that he would never be the betrayer of the holy priest, who not being protected by any of his own people had fled to the supreme Pontiff, and thence had come into Ireland, attracted by its renown for the Catholic faith and the piety of the Irish. When they could not agree about this condition a bloody war commenced, which was fought out during three years with various and varying fortune. We shall relate some of the more important events. At Springfield, Tarbert Herbert qy., an Englishman, with four companies, and John FitzGerald at the head of five hundred foot and some cavalry, had an engagement. Dr. Sanders bid John be of good cheer, and promised that while he fought, the doctor on bended knees, would pour forth prayers to the Lord for him, nor leave the place unless he conquered. While Sanders on a high mound prayed to God, John engaged in battle, and, though inferior in point of numbers, overthrew the enemy; put them to flight with slaughter; and took their standards and military stores, suffering himself no serious loss.

After a few days Malby, an Englishman, president of the province of Connaught, passing through Limerick city, arrived at the place called Eanach-beg (the little marketplace). He was at the head of five hundred English soldiers and more numerous Irish auxiliaries, amongst whom were Ulick and John Burke, sons of the Earl of Clanricarde, and Peter and John Lacy. John hastened to meet them and when he had halted in the distance a few of his men charged the enemy in a disorderly manner and drove them into the nearest fort. Thence the royal troops again sallying forth, despising the smallness of the Catholic forces, boldly attacked and put them to flight, until John came to their rescue. There were slain on that day, of the Catholics, Thomas FitzGerald, son of John, cousin of the earl, and Thomas Brunnus Browne, gentleman, with twenty-three foot.

The royal cavalry from the town of Kilmallock followed John as he went from Clonish to Aherlow, and he successfully skirmished with them. At Pea Field (Goart-na-pisi), Earl Gerald, after he had taken up arms, destroyed ten companies of the Queen's troops. A short time afterward he invaded and ravaged the Butler's country. The Butlers, following, came up with him at Knockgraffan with a numerous army, under command of Edward and Peter Butler, brothers of the Earl of Ormond, MacPiers, Baron of Dunboyne, and Purcell, Baron of Lochmogh, but were defeated by Gerald, and the flower of the Butler army cut off.

Daniel O'Sullivan, a young man who was afterwards made chief of Bear, carried on war against the English for the protection of the Spaniards. At the monastery of Bantry he destroyed a company of English, overwhelming them with stones; and at Lathach-na-ndaibh (the slough of the oxen), slew Dermot O'Donovan, who, by order of the English, was wasting Bear. Gerald ravaged the country of Cashel and in endeavouring to restrain him, Roberts, an Englishman, with the townsmen and garrison of Cashel, coming to Scurlochstown (the town of the Surlogs), was routed, and some of the Cashel citizens captured. Gerald stormed and dismantled Youghal, a noble and very wealthy town, in the storming of which Dermot O'Sullivan, my father, captain of the foot of Bear, with signal valour and against immense difficulties, scaled the walls by ladders, the besieged in vain resisting. When pillaging the town a soldier of his, having forced a strong box, took out a sack full of gold and silver, saying, ‘Here, most valiant captain, is a lucky find unless it be a dream.’ Dermot replied, ‘Do not, my brave fellow, be so greatly charmed with your dream, lest, waking up, you find it be not a true image, but a delusion of the senses.’ Afterwards Dermot fought Fenton, an Englishman, governor of Dunboy, by various stratagems. A company of English soldiers, remarkable for their dress and arms, and who were called the 'red coats,' sent a short time before by the Queen for the war, were destroyed near Lismore by John FitzGerald, called the Seneschal, a gentleman of birth, at the head of an inferior number of foot. From Fitzmaurice, Baron of Lixnaw, the heretic had extorted six noble youths as hostages, and these were hung on suspicion of his entering into rebellion. Fitzmaurice, transported with rage at this act, slew four English companies with their commander, Achamus Hatsim, having surrounded them at the town called Ardfert, that is the hill of miracles. After these victories the die of fickle fortune quickly turned another side, ruining the hopes of the Geraldines.

James FitzGerald, brother of the earl, having gone to ravage Muskerry on account of an old grudge, was taken by Cormac MacCarthy, son of Thady, chief of Muskerry, and, being sent to the English at Cork, was put to death. Another James FitzGerald, son of John, uncle of the earl, was slain in an encounter by Brian O'Brien, an Irish gentleman. Earl Gerald, ravaging MacCarthy More's country had, with a few men, halted at Aghadoe, while his brother John was making an incursion, when Zouch, an Englishman, coming out of the town of Dingle with sixty horse and a troop of foot following, surrounded the Earl unawares, and encompassing the houses of the unfortified town, slew Maelmurray MacSweeny, a captain, Thady MacCarthy, lord of Coshmang, and David FitzGerald, gentleman. The Earl himself, half asleep, fled to his castle, whence, sallying forth, having got together some troops, and following Zouch he rescued the captive women and spoils from him. The loss of Maelmurray was, however, a great and sore blow to the earl. Not long after this John left the army with only eight horse, for the purpose of settling a dispute and quarrel that had arisen between some of his party who were absent. He was crossing Drumfinen on a pleasant evening, and, having ridden during the midday heat, now dismounted to refresh himself by walking with his comrades, who fearing no danger, thinking the enemy were a long way off, were on foot leading their horses: when, however, the light changed they saw not far off Zouch approaching with sixty horse. Immediately all remounted on their horses except John, who at other times was the most dexterous of all, and a man of great courage and stoutness, intrepid in sudden emergencies, and who usually mounted his horse with the greatest ease. But now, not even with the aid of others could he mount, for a torpor came over him and completely non-plussed him, and his horse, at other times gentle and tame, was now restive, plunging now on his fore legs and now rearing on his hind legs. Then John, addressing his comrades, said, ‘Fly, my more fortunate brave comrades. I cannot mount my horse. I have lost all power. This is my fated day.’ So leaving him, his seven comrades fled, of whom James FitzGerald, lord of Strangkelly (Tiarna Scrona Calli), when he had gone a little way, exclaimed, ‘I will not desert John, a most valiant hero, by whose aid and valour we have often conquered the heretics, by whose single hand many of the enemy perished. Best son of the Earl whom I have ever known! I will not allow him to perish alone. As he, when victorious, often rescued me from the hands of the heretics, I will now share death with him.’ With these words he dismounted and took his stand beside John. Meantime the enemy came up, and both being surrounded, preferred to be slain rather than give up their arms.

By the deaths of John, Maelmurray, and others whom we have mentioned, Earl Gerald was deprived of a great part of his resources, and broken down, and nearly altogether worn out and exhausted of his power. However, he protracted the war nearly a year longer, and then, reduced to extremities and the greatest poverty, he was gradually deserted by all, and, maintained by his lieutenant Geoffrey MacSweeny, hidden in caves or woods. Geoffrey, submitting to the English, and arrested by Earl Ormond, was questioned about Gerald but replied he knew nothing. A witness who had seen him with Gerald was produced. When the fact had been proved by an eye-witness, Geoffrey, thinking he could no longer deny with safety to himself,—death awaiting him if he prevaricated—confessed that he was with Gerald, and promised to deliver him to Ormond provided a sufficient reward were given to him. Being promised the reward, Geoffrey, highly lauded, was sent to bring in Gerald in chains. Nor did it seem likely to anyone that for Gerald's sake he would risk reward and fortune, and bring himself in great peril of his life. But Geoffrey had greater piety and more estimable honour, and he transferred Gerald to other lonely places, and there he maintained him by hunting and plundering, until, whilst looking for food, he was intercepted and killed.

Then Gerald, with four or five companions, sought a very dense wood in his own country, which is called Glenagenty (The wood of the Wedge), and lurking here he was surprised and beheaded. In memory of this, the place which was then stained by his blood is to-day said to be of bloody hue. The guides of those who tracked him were two brothers, servants of his, and upon whom he is said to have conferred many favours, Eugene and Daniel, who, perhaps, looking for someone else, fell upon him in company with the Queen's minions; but they perished miserably, being hung, the one in England, for I know not what crime, the other in Ireland during the great war, (of which I am to write later on) by Fitzmaurice, baron of Lixnaw, for this foul crime.
On Bishop Cornelius and Dr. Sanders.

WE must not here omit to mention the death of Dr. Sanders. He was seized before the end of this war with dysentery of the bowels. Up to that time he had been healthy, and though in everyone's opinion he was in no danger, yet at the beginning of the night, he thus addressed Cornelius, bishop of Killaloe:—‘Anoint me, my good lord, with the last Unction of the dying, for tonight I am to depart this life, being summoned by my Creator.’ ‘Surely,’ said Cornelius, ‘you are strong in the robustness of your constitution, and do not seem to me to require anointing, or look as if you were dying.’ However, being more severely distressed by his illness, he was anointed in the middle of the night, and before cock-crow gave up his soul to the Lord, and on the following night was secretly buried by the priests, being carried to the grave by four Irish gentlemen, amongst whom was my father, Dermot. Many were not allowed to be at the funeral lest there should be anyone who might discover the body to the English, who were wont to display their cruelty even against the dead. Cornelius, the bishop, went to Spain, and ended his days at Lisbon, A.D. 1617. Some years after he is said to have written in the margin of Stanihurst's book on the manners and customs of Ireland, opposite each falsehood, this note, ‘He lies.’





The Letter of the Supreme Pontiff, Gregory XIII. to the Irish, reproduced.

THESE are the most memorable events of this war, as to which I must not omit the letter Pope Gregory XIII. sent to the Irish: —

Gregory XIII. to all and every the Archbishops, Bishops, Prelates, and Princes, Earls, Barons, Clergy, Nobles, and People of the kingdom of Ireland, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

A few years ago we exhorted you by our letters to recover your liberty and against the heretics to hold and defend the same under James FitzGerald, of happy memory, who with great zeal was planning to raise the heavy yoke of servitude put upon you by the English deserters from the holy Roman Church; and in order to encourage you all, and nerve him to meet the enemies of God and of yourselves, and incite you to the more readily and zealously aid him, we granted to all who were sorry for, and confessed their sins, and joined the army of the said James in defence and maintenance of the Catholic Faith, or aided him by advice, countenance, supplies, arms and other warlike things, or in any other way encouraged him in the expedition, a plenary indulgence and remission of all their sins, like as was usually granted by the Roman Pontiffs to those who went to war against the Turks, and for the recovery of the Holy Land. But we have lately, with great grief, learned from you that the said James has fallen (so it pleased the Lord) fighting bravely with the enemy, but that our beloved son, John FitzGerald, his cousin, has succeeded him in this undertaking with singular piety and greatness of soul (may God prosper his cause), and has already achieved many noble and commendable feats for the Catholic faith. Wherefore, with the greatest earnestness we can command, we, in the name of the Lord, exhort, require, and urge all and every of you to aid the said John and his army against the heretics in every way, as you did the said James whilst he lived, and by the omnipotent mercy of God, and the authority of his Blessed Apostles, Peter and Paul, to us confided, we grant and extend by these presents the same plenary indulgence and remission of all sins, as was granted to those who fought against the Turks and for the recovery of the Holy Land, and was contained in said letters, to all you who confess and communicate and aid the said John and his army; and after his death, if this should chance (which God avert), to those who adhere to and support his brother James, and this indulgence shall continue as long as the said brothers, John and James, live and maintain the war against the said heretics. And because it is difficult to bring these, our letters, before all whom they concern, we will that copies under the hand of a Notary public, and attested by the seal of an established ecclesiastical authority, be accepted everywhere as fully authenticated, and as if these presents were produced and shown.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, under the fisherman's ring, the 13th day of May, 1580, in the eighth year of our Pontificate. Caes Glorierius.
Entered by the Lord General of the Holy Council of the Cross, John de la Rumbide.

The foregoing letters were taken from the originals, corrected and compared by me, Alphonsus de Serna; by the Apostolic and Ordinary's authority, a Notary public of the Archives of the Roman Court, in this town of Madrid, Diocese of Toledo, the 14th day of October, 1580.

To accommodate this letter to our history one must know that the Pope's 'Jacobus' and my 'Jaimus' following the Irish pronunciation, denote the same person.

On Ulick and John Burke, Sons of the Earl of Clanrickard.

FROM what we have seen above, it may be clearly gathered with what great zeal and diligence the English endeavoured the destruction of the Irish, and how largely the Irish themselves aided their own destruction by assisting the English in order to injure one another. This will appear more strikingly clear in the example which I shall subjoin. Ulick and John Burke, sons of the Earl of Clanrickard, by different mothers, disputed the inheritance of their deceased father. The English regarded this occasion as affording an opportunity for the destruction of both, and by a secret warrant in writing authorised one to slay the other with impunity. It is agreed by all that Ulick had very little affection for his brother. John, fearful on this account, when he was entertained by a kinsman of both in his castle, kept a wary man of his own followers on guard at his bedchamber whilst he slept, and caused the keys of the castle to be given to him. But there is no security where perfidy exists. His host, a perfidious and inhuman man, having provided a feast and produced his cups, made the guards drunk, and whilst they slept, soaked with wine, the keys were abstracted and the doors thrown open, as arranged, admitting to the castle during the night an armed band of Ulick's, by whom two noble gentlemen, retainers of John's, were surprised asleep and put to the sword. John, who was sleeping in the next room, roused by the clamour and uproar, quickly threw on his cuirass over his shirt, and with drawn sword hastened to defend the entrance to his room. He kept all at bay until it was agreed that he should be delivered safe to his brother Ulick, who was at the gates; but there is no trusting the perfidious. Scarcely had he given up his sword, and taken off his cuirass, when he was slain by the assassins in the very chamber, and with cruel wounds in the same year in which the Earl of Desmond was beheaded. He left two sons of whom we treat more fully hereafter, Raymond, Baron of Leitrim, and William.

Dermot O'Hurley, Archbishop of Cashel, the most unconquerable and illustrious Martyr.

WHEN these wars in which our Island suffered so pitiably were over, a new danger sprang up, far more miserable and monstrous, namely the tyranny exercised against priests and other Catholics. The first who fell under this persecution was Dermot O'Hurley, Archbishop of Cashel, of whom we have already written, as follows: —

Dermot O'Hurley was by birth an Irishman, the son of a gentleman, and in his boyhood was, under the care of his parents, politely brought up, and instructed in the rudiments of letters. As he grew older he made such progress at Louvain and Paris in the higher studies that, if confronted with men of his own age, he was second to scarcely anyone as a grammarian; he was equal to the most eloquent as a rhetorician; superior to most in jurisprudence; and in theology inferior to few. Having obtained the degree of Doctor in Theology and Civil and Canon Law, he for four years publicly taught law at Louvain. Uniting to these accomplishments a splendid presence, dignity, and gravity of mind, he seemed to the Supreme Pontiff, Gregory XIII., after he had spent some years at Rome and taken Holy Orders, worthy of being consecrated Archbishop of Cashel. As soon as this office was imposed upon him, he returned to Ireland, to perish in that most doleful time for his country when its sceptre was swayed by Elizabeth Tudor, Queen of England, who was not only infected with the stain of most foul heresy, but was also the bitterest enemy of the Catholic Faith and of holy bishops and priests.

The cruelty of their Princess in persecuting the Catholics was carried out by the Royalist governors and ministers, not only in England, where they had now destroyed the splendour of the Faith, but also in Ireland, where the natives, even to this day, patiently endure all extremities for Christ's sake. However, our Archbishop, with the greatest pains and zeal, administered the Sacraments to the flock of his jurisdiction, and expounded the Gospel of the Lord, confirming all in the Faith, and for nearly two years vainly sought after by the English, being protected by the care and devotion of the Irish, and disguising his identity and calling by wearing secular apparel. In this guise other priests also, in Ireland, Scotland, and England, are going about to the present day, since the fury of the English Kings rages against the Church of Jesus Christ. Eventually it chanced that one day while the Archbishop was staying with Thomas Fleming, an Anglo-Irish Baron, at his castle of Slane, in his own dominion, a grave question was started at dinner, in the presence of the squint-eyed Robert Dillon, one of the Queen's judges. The heretics, giving each his own opinion, freely proceeded to such extreme folly, that Dermot, who was present, and long kept silent lest he should betray himself, could not any longer stand their rashness, and so, to the great astonishment of all, he easily refuted the silly doctrines of the heretics, with an air of authority, and great eloquence and learning. Hereupon Dillon was led to surmise that this was some distinguished person who might greatly obstruct heresy. He related the matter to Adam Loftus, Chancellor of Ireland, and to Henry Wallop, Lord Treasurer, both Englishmen, and with whom the government of Ireland then rested, as the Viceroy was absent. These ordered Baron Thomas under heavy penalties, to send them the Archbishop in chains. The Archbishop, having meantime left Slane, was arrested by the Baron and Royalists emissaries in the castle at Carrick-on-Suir in the month of September, 1583, whilst staying with Thomas Butler, surnamed the Black, Earl of Ormond, who was much offended and distressed at the arrest, and afterwards did his best to rescue the Bishop from the executioners, except that he did not take up arms as he ought to have done in such a case, and perhaps would have done, but that he was a Protestant. His other efforts were unavailing.

The Bishop being brought to Dublin, the chief city of the kingdom, was kept many days in chains in a dark, dismal, and fetid prison, until that day in the following year, which is kept under the name of the Lord's Supper, on which day he was attacked by the heretics in this manner: First he was brought before Adam, the Chancellor, and Henry, the Treasurer, and civilly and kindly invited to follow the tenets of the heretics, and promised large rewards on condition of abjuring his sacred character; relinquishing the office received from the Pope, and (O villainy!) entering upon the Archbishopric under the Queen's authority. He told them that he was bound and resolved never to desert the Church, Faith, or Vicar of Christ Jesus for any consideration. Then the Chancellor and Treasurer endeavoured to deceive him by cunning arguments, straining every nerve to establish the truth of their falsehoods. Dermot not relishing this, especially as he was not allowed to reply to their nonsense, bade them, stupid and ignorant men (such was his high spirit), not to offer ridiculous and false doctrines to him, an Archbishop, and Doctor of celebrated academies. Then the heretics, filled with anger, exclaimed: ‘If we cannot convince you by argument, we will make you quit this your false law and embrace our religion, or feel our power.’ The Bishop was bound hand and foot, was thrown on the ground, and tied to a large stake. His feet and legs were encased in top-boots (a kind of boot at that time common, made of leather, and reaching above the knee), filled with a mixture of salt, bitumen, oil, tallow, pitch, and boiling water. The legs so booted were placed on iron bars, and horribly and cruelly roasted over a fire. When this torture had lasted a whole hour, the pitch, oil, and other mixtures boiling up, burned off not only the skin, but consumed also the flesh, and slowly destroyed the muscles, veins, and arteries; and when the boots were taken off, carrying with them pieces of the roasted flesh, they left no small part of the bones bare and raw, a horrible spectacle for the bystanders, and scarcely credible. But the martyr, having his mind filled with thoughts of God and holy things, never uttered a word, but held out to the end of the torture with the same cheerfulness and serenity of countenance he had exhibited at the commencement of his sufferings, as if, flying the heat of the summer sun, he were lying in a dainty bed upon a soft pillow, beneath an overshadowing tree, with spreading leafy branches, and beside a rivulet humming with gentle murmur through fragrant lilies, quietly refreshing himself after hard work and the weariness of long vigils.

When, however, in this savage way, the tyrants had failed to break the unconquerable spirit of the martyr by their more than Phalaric cruelty, he was by their order, brought back to his former prison, a foul place, filled with a dense fog, ready to endure worse torments, if such could be devised.

There was at this time in Dublin, Charles MacMoris, a priest of the Society of Jesus, skilled in medicine and chirurgery, who, because he was of the Faith of Christ, had been imprisoned by the English, and again discharged by them on account of curing some difficult cases for certain noblemen. This man visited the holy Bishop in prison, and gave him such medical treatment, that on the fourteenth day he was able to get up from his bed for a little while. The Chancellor and Treasurer, learning of this, and that
the Earl of Ormond was coming, by whose influence and power they feared Dermot would be saved, determined in their malign wickedness to put him to death as soon as possible. Fearing, however, that the people would raise a disturbance, and rescue their pastor from death if it were generally known by the citizens that he was to be executed, they ordered the dregs of their soldiers and executioners to bring out the Bishop on a car early in the morning, before sunrise, and before the people were up, and hang him on a gallows outside the city.

Which being done, out of all the citizens, he was met by only two and a certain friend who had been extremely faithful to him, and had made him his particular care from the time of his capture. These followed him; and before he was strung up the Archbishop, seizing the hand of his friend, and strongly squeezing it, is said to have impressed on the palm, in an indelible red colour, the sign of the cross—a rare and holy pledge of his gratitude to his most faithful friend. Thereupon he was hung by a halter made of plaited osiers, and in a short time strangled, and, so dying, acquired eternal reward in heaven in the year of Our Lord, 1584, on the seventh day of the month of June.

It is said that on the spot where Dermot perished, a noble lady was delivered from a wicked devil, by whom she had been long tormented. William Fitzsimon, a citizen of Dublin, removed the body of the martyr from the place where the heretics had buried it, and placing it in a wooden coffin, interred it in a secret grave. Richard, a famous musician, has celebrated this suffering and death in a plaintive and pathetic piece called 'The Fall of the Baron of Slane.'

The Martyrs Gelatius O'Culenan and Hugh O'Mulkeeran.

HAVING told what I know about that unconquerable martyr, the Archbishop of Cashel, I will now more briefly narrate a few incidents concerning Gelatius O'Culenan, an abbot, and Hugh O'Mulkeeran, a priest. Gelatius O'Culenan was born of no mean family, and being educated at Louvain, went on to Rome. Returning thence to Ireland, he entered the holy Order of Saint Bernard. Increasing daily in virtue, he was deemed worthy of the Abbacy of Boyle by the Pope, and his holy Order. Shortly after this appointment he was captured by the English, who offered him the bishopric of Mayo, and other vacant sees in the province of Connaught, if he would only forsake the Catholic religion and the Pope's party. Thereupon he replied to the heretics, ‘These are great and generous offers which you make me, but how long will you give me to enjoy them?’ ‘As long as you live,’ said the heretics. ‘And how long will you give me to live?’ said he. ‘We cannot,’ said they, ‘fix the term of your life or prolong it, nor can we know the hour of your doom.’ ‘Therefore,’ said he, ‘it is far better for me to obey Him, and follow His law, Who knows my fated hour, and can give a longer life and grant me an eternal and happy existence in heaven, than for the sake of the vain, fleeting, and deceitful prizes you offer to lose my eternal happiness by complying with the wishes of you, who cannot prolong life by a single moment.’ The English, enraged at this answer, ordered the friar's fingers, legs, and arms to be crushed with a mallet. When even this torture could not shake his constancy they ordered him and Hugh O'Mulkeeran, the priest, and who professed the same sentiments, to be hanged. Hugh was dismayed and wept, whereupon the Abbot asked the executioners to put Hugh first to death, so that he (the Abbot) might give courage in his dying hour to the timid priest, and this was conceded. Hugh being hanged, the Abbot followed, not only intrepidly but cheerfully. And so both being hung on a gibbet in Dublin, speedily ascended to heaven in the year of our Redeemer, 1584, on the 21st day of November, at which date the Abbot had completed 26 years. His body was hung on the battlements of Dublin Castle, a sad spectacle to Catholics, and a target at which the English used to discharge leaden bullets.

Fierce Atrocities of the English in Connaught.

NOR was this persecution confined to priests, but was also exercised against other Catholics. Richard Bingham, Knight, an Englishman, and the Queen's President of the Province of Connaught, began his administration with such mildness and moderation that he was most acceptable to all, and the Connaught men gave him the honourable title of the Kind President. However, this was not a real but a feigned benignity; not the simplicity of the dove, but of the fox. After he had established a great reputation for kindness and goodness, the heretic broke out into more than Phalaric cruelty, greedily spilling the blood of the Catholics. He hanged O'Connor Roe, aged about 80 years, and slaughtered many of the O'Connors and Burkes.

Flying from this cruelty, two gentlemen of the Burke family betook themselves and their families to a castle in a lake belonging to them. Thither in boats and pontoons came Bingham, accompanied by a guard of soldiers. When he disembarked on the island, the Burkes, sallying from the castle, charged him. The heretics turned tail and rushed to get on board their pontoons. The Burkes pressing on, Bingham threw himself into the water and narrowly escaped by swimming. Driven by the same barbarous cruelty, Fergus O'Kelly concealed himself and a few companions in a thick wood. Frequently sallying forth, he attacked the English and was in turn often attacked by them. At last Bingham pardoned him and received his allegiance, but shortly afterwards, when Fergus was on Christmas night happily taking his supper at home, he was unexpectedly surrounded by a magistrate and band of soldiers sent by Bingham. While the heretical barbarians were detained breaking open the doors, Fergus sent away his family through an underground passage, which, fearing such an event, he had long previously dug up from his house. He, himself, having loaded a gun, addressed the magistrate by name, as if he were going to beg for mercy from the barbarian, and as the latter was replying Fergus shot him with two bullets. Having loaded a second gun, he killed another soldier, and the house being set on fire by the heretics, he followed his family through the underground passage and safely escaped. Whether he be still living or not, I do not know. Some samples of cruelty in the Munsters are given.

IN the Munsters, also, the English did not fail to utterly destroy generous men, with barbarous brutality, thirsting for human and Catholic blood. Beginning with my uncles, Gelatius and Brian MacSweeny, they put them to death. My father, Dermot, was also eagerly sought for and his servant Gerald, being captured, was tortured with fire applied to his hands and feet, until the nails and tops of his fingers were burnt off and destroyed, but being a man endowed with great fidelity and resolution, he would not betray his master.

Shortly after this, Dermot accompanied by five retainers fell in with one of the Queen's magistrates accompanied by fourteen soldiers, and a sharp fight took place. Finally, Dermot was struck down covered with many wounds, two retainers were killed and three wounded. Nor was the fight a bloodless one for the enemy of whom no fewer fell with their leader, before it was terminated by some men coming up from the nearest hamlets. Dermot and the other wounded men were cured by most attentive nursing. Daniel MacCarthy, son of The MacCarthy, flying from the barbarous fury of the English, haunted wild and inaccessible places, and at times saved himself only by a strong band of armed men. He had a wonder, fully intelligent dog called Kiegan (Keegan geir), which, whilst his master slept, always kept watch, and whenever he scented anyone coming or passing by he used to awake MacCarthy, and going before him, point out a way of escape. When Daniel had thus for some time secured his safety, Thady, a woodsman, who was ill-disposed towards him, slew the dog with a sword although the animal was not doing any harm. For this iniquitous deed Thady quickly suffered meet punishment, for he was hanged from a tree by Daniel.4.

The following also, Posterity, which will judge of the old man's actions generously and dispassionately, may, perhaps, regard as an instance of cruelty and ingratitude.

Donough MacCarthy, surnamed the White, an Irishman well known amongst his own people for his hospitality and generosity, entertained the English President of the Munsters not only in a sumptuous and splendid banquet, but also had his servants perform dances and sports. A few days afterwards the President ordered his host, when he came to Cork, to be put to death, alleging that an honest and frugal man could not support so large a retinue and would have no need of so many servants unless for robbery, rapine, and other illegal practices (of which there was no proof.)
The English fan dissensions amongst the Irish Chiefs.

IT was not the least of the misfortunes which afflicted that unhappy island, that the Irish chiefs levied war against each other, and the English, with whom the government of the country rested, not only permitted these feuds, but fanned and encouraged them, as we have already seen on several occasions. Here again some other instances should properly be mentioned in the order of time.

Between Turlough O'Neill, chief of Tyrone, and Hugh O'Neill, who was afterwards surnamed the Great, Baron of Dungannon, and son of Fardorch, there was a bitter dispute as ho the chieftaincy of Tyrone, which the Queen was so far from preventing breaking out into war that actually royalist forces were supplied to each to enable them to carry on the war. The Baron pitched his camp at a place called Carricklea (the Grey Rock) having with him 2,000 men, a great portion of whom were royalists. Thither hastened the O'Neill with 800 men, of whom two companies were royalists under William Mostyn and Surdan Parker?, the majority of the rest were led by the MacSweenys of Munster:—Murrough, surnamed Na-mart, the son of Melmurry, and Murrough, the son of Owen, kinsmen of mine, who, having a taste for war or adventure or flying from the tyranny of the English in Munster, had a few days before led some bands of foot from Munster to Ulster. The armies being confronted, the royalist troops on each side seemed to attack each other perfunctorily and without spirit, neither suffering nor inflicting any injury. The Munstermen routed the other forces of the Baron, put them to flight, and killed many, contrary to all expectations, seeing the former were so very much inferior in point of numbers. A mutual arrangement as to the principality was subsequently entered into, and the Baron was created Earl, for the English thought it expedient that one should be a check on the other, so that neither should be able to do anything against the Crown. And not only in war but also in legal proceedings the English governors endeavoured rather to thwart than to advantage the Irish provincials. Of this I will give an instance:—When Rossa MacMahon (Rosa bui), surnamed the Sallow, chief of Oriel died, his brother Hugh, surnamed the Red (Aodha Rua), Patrick (Gillaphadrig Mac Art Moil), Ever, chief of Farney (Ebhir Mac Iul) and Brian, Lord of Dartry (Brien Mac Aodha), all of the MacMahon family, went to law about the chieftaincy, before William Fitzwilliam, an English heretic, and the viceroy of Ireland, whom The Red bribed by a promise of 700 cows to give judgment in his favour. The Viceroy decided that Ever should be satisfied with Farney and Brian with Dartry; he placed a garrison in the town of Monaghan, the capital of the chieftaincy; and divided the remaining villages and lands between the Red and Patrick, awarding the better lot to him who had promised the bribe and leaving him the title of The MacMahon. This was in sooth, a charming judgment, by which a great part of the property over which they were squabbling was taken from each claimant, indifferently, and bestowed upon others who had no title at all. Cicero severely censures a like decision of a Roman judge, Offices, Book I. The Red, however, would not give the cows, being aggrieved at Monaghan being taken away from him, and alleging that the Viceroy had not adhered to the bargain, where upon the Viceroy, pretending some crime against him, put him to death at Monaghan, and added his territory to the Queen's possessions. These, however, Brian, Lord of Dartry, shortly afterwards recovered and was inaugurated The MacMahon in spite of the English, as we shall show later on. Meantime I must not pass over a famous judgment of John Perrot, Viceroy of Ireland, in a suit instituted before him between Thady and Cathal O'Connor of Offaly about some booty. He decreed that the matter be settled by the sword rather than by law, and they, being ashamed of appearing cowardly if they declined this single combat, took seven days to prepare for the duel, during which time Thady incessantly poured forth prayers to God, beseeching the Divine assistance. Cathal, however, devoted all his care to mastering the art of combat.

On the appointed day, they entered the lists in the presence of Perrot and others, and fought vigorously and skilfully on both sides, inflicting many deadly wounds of which Cathal died within a few days.

The English extort hostages from the Irish.

IN this most lamentable state of things, the English, fearing that the Irish roused by their wrongs and for the sake of their persecuted religion might rebel, extorted hostages from many of them, and dreaded Hugh O'Donnell, Chief of Tirconnell and other Ulster chiefs, from whom they had not hostages. They dare not, however, ask hostages from these, lest they irritate men ready for rebellion, and whom they knew well would no more give hostages than pay a tribute to the English crown. What they could not accomplish openly they endeavoured to effect underhand and by treachery. John Birmingham, an Anglo-Irish merchant of Dublin, was induced by the Viceroy, partly by bribes and promises, and partly by threats, to load a ship with merchandise and embark therein fifty soldiers supplied by the Viceroy, and sailing from Dublin he was carried by favourable winds between Ireland and Scotland into Lough Swilly in O'Donnell's country.

On the news of the strange merchant some young chiefs came down, of whom the principal was Hugh O'Donnell, surnamed 'Roe,' eldest son of the O'Donnell, then aged fourteen years. Accompanying him were Owen MacSweeny, surnamed 'Oge,' chief of Tuath, and Owen O'Gallagher a gentleman. These the merchant invited on board to inspect his wares, but when they came on board they were seized by the fifty soldiers and clapped under the hatches. MacSweeny Fanad was released upon his giving them as a hostage his son, Donnell MacSweeny surnamed Gorm. MacSweeny, Tuath was also released upon giving as a hostage a youth of humble birth dressed in his son's clothes. Owen O'Gallagher likewise gave as a hostage Hugh O'Gallagher, his nephew, the son of his brother Cormack. Birmingham returning to Dublin handed over to the Viceroy the four hostages, Roe, Gorm, Hugh, and the peasant youth whom the Viceroy dismissed when he ascertained he was not Tuath's son. The three noble youths were committed to the castle of Dublin with the other hostages.

An account of the fierce persecution started by the English against the Catholic Faith.

WHILST Ireland was thus pitifully ruined by the quarrels of the chiefs both between themselves and with the royal crown, and the blood of ecclesiastics was spilled by the English, the chiefs, either worn out by their factions and now exhausted of their resources, or hostages, for many of them being in the hands of the English, seemed little likely to take up arms in defence of the Catholic religion. Hereupon a persecution broke out against the faith of Christ, and the tyrant, Queen Elizabeth, ordered that all should entirely abandon the Catholic faith, forsake the priests, accept the teachings and doctrines of heretical ministers, embrace the Queen's sect, and on holydays attend the services in the churches. And to this were they compelled by fear, terror, punishment and violence. This terrible attack on the Catholic faith was now the more severe and dangerous because just at this time more than ever since the reception of the faith, were Irishmen ignorant of theology, philosophy, and jurisprudence, so that they were unprepared for controversy and for preserving the people in the true religion of Christ Jesus, because through their factions, the confusion of affairs, and the barbarous fury of the heretics, their schools were gone to ruin and scarcely was there anyone able to teach publicly the higher studies. The holy communities of friars were for the most part scattered and banished, and in many places priests could not easily be found to baptise infants; in many places the younger folk knew only so much of the faith as they had learned from their mothers and nurses, and some, indeed, were so ignorant of the evidences of the faith that they knew not how to prove or explain anything beyond that they themselves firmly believed whatever the Roman Catholic Church believed; that with it was the true doctrine of the Catholic faith; and that they had very little trust in the doctrines of the English whom they believed to be ill-disposed to the faith. The royalist towns suffered more through this want of instruction and ignorance than the countries of the chiefs, because the English used to congregate in the royalist towns. And this is the reason why the herds and country people, not to mention the ancient and modern Irish chiefs, are more pure and enlightened in devotion to the Catholic faith than the Anglo-Irish who dwell in the royalist towns. In the depth of this darkness and ignorance there is no doubt but that the Irish providentially shunned, ridiculed, and despised the English preachers and were saved from their errors by an unseen and secret light of faith which, alone in a wonderful manner, guided many to follow the true faith of the supreme Pontiff, from which the English had recently fallen away.

Thady O'Sullivan, a famous preacher, confirms the Irish in the Catholic Faith.

IN these straits the great and good God, who never deserts his own in the last pinch, sent to the aid of the Irish Thady O'Sullivan, a doctor in Theology, and a light of the Seraphic Order. This man, having studied Divinity in Spain, returned to Ireland amidst the blaze of this persecution. He visited Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, and other royalist towns. He travelled the countries of the chiefs, and all Ireland; expounding the evangelical law, preserving the people in it, and keeping them away from the new errors. So elegant was his Irish, so great his learning, so innocent his life, and such his success, that the Irish called him the second Patrick, because through him, God preserved them in the Catholic faith which He gave them through St. Patrick. When the fame of this great preacher had spread over all Ireland and reached the English, and when he was eagerly sought for by them, my kinsman Owen O'Sullivan, chief of Bear, concealed him until the search was somewhat abated, and saved his life by seizing two abandoned wretches who had made up their minds to betray him to the heretics. Finally, Thady died a holy death a few days before the beginning of the great war about which I am to write later on.

Some interesting instances of Persecution.

I WILL relate here some events of this persecution in which will be shown both the constancy of the Irish and how empty and unstable their own sects appeared to the heretics themselves. To begin with: the noble Irish youths who were held by the English as hostages in Dublin being brought to church on a day which was observed by the heretics as a festival and holyday, set up a great shouting and bawling when the ministers commenced their hymns and music, preventing them from being heard, and obstructing the heretical ceremonies, nor did they desist until they were carried out of the church and sent back to their former prison, whence they were never again summoned to wicked rites.

On the day on which the Feast of the Lord's Supper is commemorated, the heretical ministers arranged in a ring or circle, and on bended knees, a large crowd of Irish farmers and rustics whom they forced into church, and one minister bearing a large mass of wheaten bread vainly offered a piece to each! Another tendered drink out of a large bowl of wine. The first of the rustics who accepted the bread helped himself with the left hand, and immediately taking the cup of wine poured the whole liquor over his long and unkempt beard, pretending that he had drunk it all. But when the second boor found the glass empty, ‘Why, comrade,’ said he, addressing the first, ‘have you not left me any wine?’ whereupon the former, striking the latter in the face with his piece of bread, cried out ‘If I have drunk all the wine do you eat all the bread.’ Hereupon mocking laughter, shouting and uproar, broke out and put an end to the whole plan of heretical Communion despite all the ministers could do.

In a certain village near the town of Drogheda, dwelt an English minister, who greatly annoyed the Catholic priest of the village, and other Catholics: now endeavouring to seize the priest, anon complaining of his neighbours, and wanting to be present at marriages, baptisms, funerals, and other sacred rites. Once it happened that a certain neighbour died whose body the rest wished to bury, with the priest in attendance, and unknown to the minister. The body was with utmost privacy brought to the church, surrounded by women—the men were not present for fear of the English; the grave was just dug and the priest had begun to say the holy Mass, with one boy answering. When the heretical minister, who had watched all night, discovered this, he secretly and stealthily entered the church, and stood silently at the door, until the Consecration was over. Then, however, seizing the priest by the collar, and also laying hold on the chalice and Sacrament, ‘Give me,’ said he, ‘this chalice and also come with me yourself, whom I arrest by the authority and command of the Queen.’ Hereupon the women, rising up and quickly laying hands on the minister, threw him into the dug-out and open grave, and began to cover him with earth and stones. He cried out to stop, begging pardon and promising he would never again, in the smallest way, molest a priest or any Catholic. When he had sworn to this, he was, at the bidding of the priest, let go by the women, and afterwards kept his oath, not annoying the villagers, but becoming respected and beloved by them. Another minister, being at last tired of persecuting Catholics, allowed the subjects of his jurisdiction to marry, baptise infants, and enjoy the ministrations of Catholic priests, provided they paid his fees and entered marriages so celebrated and children so baptised in his register or book, lest he be punished by those to whom was confided the power of visiting and punishing too neglectful ministers. Similarly another minister, when a new-born infant was brought to him before the Catholic priest, and the fee extorted, said, as he returned the child baptised to the parents, ‘The fee is small, but rightly so, since if it be less than full, so also is my baptism. Take your child to be baptised by a Popish clergyman, who will please you better, and give him the balance of the fee. I am aware how difficult it is for you to pay the full fee to him and me, but I require this part because I have no other means of subsistence. Therefore I pray you to excuse me.’
The same minister consoled his wife, whom the children of the district used to hoot as she walked along the streets and sometimes cover with spits and slavers, calling her the priest's wife, with this observation: ‘That she was not a clergyman's wife, nor himself a clergyman, although enjoying the benefice of a Protestant minister, which he held to support himself, and that Catholics might live more freely and Catholically under him than under others.’
There was a certain pretended English Bishop (Lyons) who being informed by spies where there was a Catholic priest, secretly sent a messenger to warn the priest to quit that place lest he be arrested by the soldiers, and when he was not found there, the Bishop had the infamous spies severely reprimanded, and warned not to bring him any more falsehoods.

A certain priest, being enamoured of a woman, committed himself more than once, and being cautioned by the clergy and rebuked for his crime, he would not do penance, but finally, when the priests endeavoured to inflict a salutary remedy for his public wickedness, went to the heretic Bishop and promised that he would follow the Queen's sect, and give the Bishop satisfaction if he were enrolled in the ranks of the ministers and got an ecclesiastical benefice. The heretic Bishop, however, asked him, ‘What objects induce you, what persecution compels you, to forsake your old religion? Is it not cherished by others more pious and more holy, and every way more eminent than yourself? It is great folly to desert a religion without reason. Do you think that we will place confidence in you who so easily change your early and up to now settled convictions? With the same inconstancy would you abandon us also. I am, indeed not ignorant that it is not for love of the Queen nor zeal of her religion. nor any other reason than the lust for a woman whom you do not wish to give up that you come to us. But we think less of you than if you remained true and steadfast amongst your own.’

A Wonderful Miracle is related.

AMONGST the miracles occurring during this tyranny, some of which I have in part related, and others of which I will partly detail, although passing over many of them, yet I cannot pass over the following on account of the importance of the affair.

In Leinster an English Bishop of the Diocese of Ferns, at the head of his heretics, invaded a church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, near the village called Castle Ellis, which is in O'Murphy's country, and destroyed statues of the Virgin Mother and of the titular Saint, always held in great esteem by the natives, and also offerings brought thither by the Catholics and the ornaments of the church, and caused his English comrades to overturn the altars. Next he set about plotting cruelties against the Catholic Irish because they would not assist in this crime. But before he could carry out his intention, he suffered the penalty of his crime. For immediately a pain spread all over him by which he was violently racked and reduced to madness and dashing his huge body on the ground and against the stones, he put an end to his impious life. His body, buried in the holy church by his brother and comrades, was found the next day outside the church, thrown up on the walk. The English, thinking the Irish had done this, again buried the body and put guards, but again the second night the grave was opened, and the body was nowhere to be found. By the greatness of this miracle, not only did the brother of the pretended bishop and his comrades embrace the Catholic faith, but it also came about that even to this day no Englishman dares to violate that church. Daniel O'Murphy celebrated this novel and rare miracle by large gatherings of the neighbours and by sports.

Brief account of the General State of the Kingdom.

TO bring to light every instance of this tyranny would be tedious. Throughout the whole island this violent tyranny produced immense confusion. The Catholics struggling against the sway and orders of the ministers, shunning their doctrines, and avoiding their deadly rites; sometimes beating the ministers with cudgels, and terrifying them by night and day. On the other hand, the ministers bringing the matter before the magistrates, the Catholics were thrown in to prison and fined by the magistrates. The Queen and her councillors and magistrates directed all their zeal and plots to despoil the Irish of their goods, to gradually overthrow them and take away their lives. This they had often before tried, being of opinion that the Catholic religion could not be stamped out in any other way than by annihilating those in whose breasts it was deeply rooted, nor could the new errors be established as long as those flourished who ever hated them. Therefore many mulcted in heavy fines were reduced to poverty; many men of noble birth were put to death. All were required to produce the patents under which they held their properties, so that means might be found of despoiling them of their goods. This might be easily done, as most of the Irish had no patents and did not require them since they were owners of their countries before the time of the English rule.

And so the destruction and annihilation of the whole island and Catholic faith were imminent. This was the state of things when that great war began, which it is now time for us to relate.

On the Fifteen Years' War.

The war carried on for nearly fifteen years by many of the Irish against Elizabeth, Queen of England, for the liberty of the Catholic religion, from the beginning of the year 1588 to 1603, in which not only was the whole of Ireland utterly wasted and destroyed, but also the flower of the English nobility was cut off; in which great forces, but greater animosities encountered; and in which the conquerors were often conquered:— Enumerates those who sided with the Queen.

THE combatants were very unequal in their resources. In the first place, the entire power of the heretical kingdom of England backed the Queen and the propagation of her doctrines, and she was also supported by all the resources of that part of Ireland which is called Finegald, or the English province, the majority of the inhabitants of which although they are Catholics, yet are not only of English descent, but also preserve the English laws and institutions and the English language, albeit in a crude and archaic form.

Befriending the same side were the municipalities and towns of Ireland, because merchants and men, addicted to trade and commerce and arts of peace, are not easily induced to take up arms to which they are unused, even for liberty and Catholicity, which they, nevertheless, faithfully profess. The chiefs and nobles of Ireland, who are not only very warlike, but place the chief glory of this life and rest all things in arms, were divided into two great and powerful factions, the one siding with the English and royalists; the other with the Irish and Catholics.

The race of mixed English and Spanish blood, that is the new Irish, influenced by the favour and gifts of the Kings of England, for the most part took sides with the heretics, although themselves Catholics, preferring the cause of kith and kin to the Catholic religion, which they embrace and revere. Some of the most illustrious of these shall be named:

The new Irish Chiefs who adhered to the Queen's Party:

Munstermen—Thomas Butler, surnamed Duff, Earl of Ormond; Barry More Viscount Buttevant; MacPierce, Baron of Dunboyne; MacPadrig, Baron Courcy; Burke, Baron of Castleconnell.

Connaughtmen—Ulick, and his son, Richard Burke, Earls of Clanricard; Theobald Burke, son of Richard, surnamed Na-long, claimant for the chieftaincy of the MacWilliam's country; MacPhoris or Bermingham, Baron of Dunmore.

Leinstermen—Henry, William, and Gerald FitzGerald, Earls of Kildare; St. Lawrence, Baron of Howth.

Meathmen—Preston Viscount Gormanstown; Nugent, Baron of Delvin; Fleming, Baron of Slane.

Meathmen—O'Melaghlin. The following Meathmen, as to whom there is some question whether they be old or new Irish, also aided the Queen:—Barnewall, Baron of Trimblestown; Plunkett, Baron of Louth; Plunkett, Baron of Dunsany; Plunkett, Baron of Killeen.

Those above named we shall call the Irish of the English or royalist party, to whom should be added the Ulster Anglo-Irish who inhabit Uriel Louth and others.

List of those who took up Arms for the Catholic Faith.

IN defence of the Catholic Faith, the old Irish deriving their descent from Spain, not only held the first place, but were the mainstay and bulwark of the war. Of these the most illustrious were the following:

Ancient Irish who fought for the Catholic Faith.

Ulstermen—Earl Hugh O'Neill, Chief of Tyrone, with his followers, namely:—Magennis, Chief of Iveagh; MacMahon, Chief of Oriel; Maguire, Chief of Fermanagh; O'Kane, Chief of Oireacht-Aibhne; James and Randal MacDonnell, Chiefs of The Glynns; O'Hanlon, Chief of Orior. O'Donnell, Chief of Tyrconnell with his followers:—MacSweeny, Chief of Fanad; MacSweeny, Chief of Banagh O'Doherty, Chief of Inishowen; O'Boyle.

Munstermen—O'Sullivan, Chief of Beare and Bantry; Daniel O'Sullivan More, whose father, the Chief of Dunkerron, was prevented by old age from taking up arms; O'Conor Kerry of Iraghti, Connor; Donough MacCarthy, son of Cormac MacDonough, claimant to the Chieftaincy of Duhallow; Dermot MacCarthy, son of Owen MacDonough, another claimant to the Chieftaincy of Duhallow; O'Driscoll, Chief of Corca-Laighe; O'Mahony of Carbery; O'Donovan; O'Donohoe of Eoghanaght or Onaght; O'Donohoe of the Glen.

Connaughtmen—O'Rourke, Chief of Breifny; MacDermot, Chief of Moylurg; O'Kelly, Chief of Hy-Many.

Leinstermen—Although none of the Leinster Chiefs deserted the Queen, nevertheless, many noblemen took up arms for the Faith, especially of the four families of whom the chief were the Kavanagh's, the O'Conors of Offaly, the O'Mores of Leix, the O'Byrnes.

Meathmen—MacGeoghagan, the Chief.

Some of the new Irish nobles followed these.

Munstermen—Roche, Viscount Fermoy; Richard Butler Viscount Mountgarret; MacMaurice, Baron of Lixnaw; Thomas Butler, Baron of Cahir; Patrick Condon, Chief of Condons; Richard Purcell, Baron of Loughmoe; William FitzGerald, Knight of Kerry and Lord of Rathannan, Edmund FitzGerald, Knight of Glin; Edmund FitzGerald, the White Knight.

I have here recounted only those who were in possession of their properties and estates when they took up arms for the faith. Others also, I will mention in the course of my history, who either deserted the English after they had lost their properties or who acquired during the war estates they had not previously been in possession of. Such were Florence and Daniel MacCarthy, who for a while held the chieftaincy of Clancarthy; O'Conor, Chief of Sligo; James FitzGerald, Earl of Desmond MacWilliam Burke; Raymund Burke, Baron of Leitrim; Owny O'More.

These were the most eminent of those who declared war for the Catholic religion, and whom we call the Irish and Catholic party. All, however, did not confederate at the same time, but when some had laid down their arms, others took them up. When some were annihilated, others renewed the war. If all had joined together at one time, they would either have conquered, or at least given the heretics a much greater task.

There were other noblemen, many of them little inferior in rank to many of those we have mentioned and more renowned in actions, although not chiefs of septs or of the countries where they lived. Such were Niall O'Donnell, Garve; Cornelius O'Driscoll, son of O'Driscoll More; Dermot O'Sullivan, my father; Fiagh O'Byrne; Cormac O'Neill; Cornelius O'Reilly; Dermot MacCarthy Reagh; William Burke; Brian O'Kelly; Richard Tyrrell; Brian O'More; Walter FitzGerald; Dermot O'Conor; Peter Lacy; Edmund O'More; James Butler; Murrough MacSweeny; Ulick Burke; Daniel MacSweeny; Richard MacGeoghagan; Manus MacSweeny; Maurice O'Sullivan; Thady O'Mahony, Carbery; and very many others on both sides, whom I pass over here, as it would be too tedious to name them.

I also pass over many of the Irish Chiefs who stood idly by and in observing a neutrality, effectively aided the victors.

Why all the Irish did not secede from the Heretics, discussed.

OF these magnates who aided the heretics, three or four were heretics, but conscious of their heresy and time servers. The rest were Catholics, who resolutely professed all articles of Catholic belief; who harboured Catholic priests, educated in faith and morals, in Spain, Italy, Germany and Belgium; who were wont to receive the most Blessed Body of Christ Jesus, with the greatest veneration; and who revered all the rites of the Catholic Church. This being so, one would naturally ask, how such illustrious and Catholic Princes? how so many Catholic and pious citizens, municipalities and cities? how such Christian soldiers? should not only help heretics, but even assail Catholics fighting for the rights and liberties of the Catholic Church.

In truth, I think, this must have been a punishment of God on Ireland for the crimes of Irishmen. The municipalities and towns lay the blame on the old and new Irish chiefs of the English faction who did not secede from the heretics, and on their Catholic priests, who were far from exhorting them to war. Moreover, they say that they felt aggrieved at being so despised and looked down on by the chiefs and nobility of the Catholic faction, that the latter would not seek their friendship or company. The Irish chiefs of the English faction do not all give the same reason for not deserting the Queen: some say they were cowed by the disasters of those who had in former times withdrawn their obedience from the kings of England; that they despaired of the Catholics succeeding, as they were not assisted by the Pope or the Kings of Spain or France; that they hoped the Queen, a woman of many years, would soon die, and that it would be wiser for them to await her soon expected death, than risk themselves and their fortunes; they had no doubt but that when the war was finished those, by whose aid and valour the Queen would have conquered, would obtain from her as a reward for their services, liberty to live as Christians and Catholics; that they feared the power of the Irish chiefs lest if these conquered, themselves would be deprived of their properties; that they had persuaded themselves right and justice were on the side of the English in this and other wars which, with the permission of the Pope, former Catholic Kings of England had waged on many Irish chiefs, not about religion, but about titles to land and government; that at this time, there was no persecution of priests; that the Catholics who aided the heretics were not excommunicated by the Pope, or stricken with the censure of the church; yet they would not have been deterred from the league by all these circumstances had it not been that many priests and friars gave an opinion that it was not only lawful to assist the Queen, but even to resist the Irish party and draw the sword upon it. Indeed, the priests were also divided amongst the two parties. All of the old Irish race threw themselves heart and hand into the defence of the Catholic Faith. Thus also thought and acted most of the priests of the new Irish, but not all, for some stood out against the Irish and Catholic party, who had great influence with the Irish chiefs and cities of the English party.

The Pope, on being informed of these Irish factions, by his decree ordered all Irish, not only to abstain from oppressing the Catholic chiefs, but to assist them. By the supporters of the other faction it was objected that the Pope's letter had been obtained on a false representation. This question was at too late a stage, referred to the famous Universities of Salamanca and Valladolid, where all the doctors agreed that the letter had not been obtained surreptitiously, and the opinion of the Irish priests of the English party was condemned in the year 1603, after the war had been nearly finished, as we shall show at greater length in its proper place. If this judgment of the Universities had been obtained at the beginning of the war, doubtless it would have turned against the heretics the arms which were taken up for them.
The Irish overcome, not by Arms, but by various artifices.

HOWEVER, the Irish and Catholic party was defeated, not by the valour of the enemy nor by the arms of the heretics, but by various crafts and stratagems. Not the least of the English stratagems was, that as soon as the war broke out they at once ceased persecution and tyranny and did not harass or annoy either the Irish priests of the English faction nor the Irish laymen of their province, although they never tolerated the open profession of the Catholic religion.

By this indulgence they retained the friendship of the Irish chiefs of the English faction, and of some of the priests and cities. For it is the custom of the English, and the policy of the Irish government in war and critical times and difficulties not to provoke the Irish with the least injustice, to make much of them, and load them with presents: in peace and prosperous times, they kill, destroy and ruin. They endeavoured with great assiduity to persuade the Finigald or English province, and the Irish chiefs of the new race that they would be expelled from their possessions and properties by the old Irish who were fighting for the Catholic Faith, if these conquered, and by this misrepresentation they rendered credulous men not only obedient to themselves but made many of them active against the Catholics.

The English Governors and clergy by themselves and their followers declaimed against the unheard of cruelty of the Spaniards, and unjustness of their laws, in order to deter the Irish from friendship with them, but there is at this day no Irishman who does not know perfectly well that the truth is otherwise.

The Irish, if they deserted the English a thousand times during the war, were nevertheless as often received back into friendship and all their former offences forgiven and themselves oftentime richly rewarded. But those who deserted once in times of peace were put to death, and the English, that they might not seem to break faith, falsely charge them with some new offence, and however trivial might be the charge it is sufficient to have them adjudged to death. Indeed, I am not surprised that an equal punishment should await those who never deserted from them, although they were Catholics. For although the English may not hate them more, assuredly they do not love more those Irish who are heretics, however friendly, graciously and plausibly they may behave towards them, when they require their assistance and help to destroy Catholics. When the Catholics are destroyed they then mete out the same punishment to heretics whom they know esteem the Catholics and are heretics not from conviction, but in appearance only and through fear. Actuated by a like spirit against the Scots, they spare no Scotchman.

Nor should another Protestant device be omitted—namely, the plan of laying waste the Catholics' lands, towns, crops and cattle with fire and sword, so that those whom they could not overcome by valour, they conquered by

famine and want, and sometimes they did not spare even the lands of their own subjects or of the Irish of the English party, destroying their corn and cattle and forbidding cultivation, lest these being captured might furnish supplies to enable the Catholics to carry on the war.

Brass coin was, by order of the Queen, sent to Ireland in the year 1601, by which on the one hand the Queen replenished the exhausted resources of her army, and on the other withdrew Irish gold and silver. As soon as the war was finished this brass money became valueless, to the great injury of the Irish and of the Queen's tax-payers, especially merchants. Indeed the Protestants held that the Irish war would never have been finished while the Irish had victuals or gold or silver to procure them, and that their own army should be supplied from England. These were the reasons why so great a number of ruined Irish inundated foreign nations, especially Spain and France.
The Irish conquered not so much by the English as by one another.

THE Catholics might have been able to find a remedy for all these evils, had it not been that they were destroyed from within by another and greater internal disease. For most of the families, clans, and towns of the Catholic chiefs, who took up the defence of the Catholic Faith, were divided into different factions, each having different leaders and following lords who were fighting for estates and chieftaincies. The less powerful of them joined the English party in the hope of gaining the chieftainship of their clans, if the existing chiefs were removed from their position and property, and the English craftily held out that hope to them. Thus, short-sighted men, putting their private affairs before the public defence of the holy faith, turned their allies, followers, and towns from the Catholic chiefs and transferred to the English great resources, but in the end did not obtain what they wished for, but accomplished what they did not desire. For it was not they, but the English, who got the properties and rich patrimonies of the Catholic nobles and their kinsmen; and the holy faith of Christ Jesus, bereft of its defenders, lay open to the barbarous violence and lust of the heretics. There was one device by which the English were able to crush the forces
of the Irish chiefs, namely, by promising their honours and revenues to such of their own kinsmen as would seduce their followers and allies from them, but when the war was over the English did not keep these promises.

This hope turned Con and Henry, sons of the chief Shane O'Neill, and Art, son of Turlough, against O'Neill. The same greed for chieftaincy prompted Niall O'Donnell, surnamed Garve, to effect the destruction of Tyrconnell by levying war against O'Donnell. The same envy drove Owen O'Sullivan against his cousin The O'Sullivan Bear. The same ambition set Thady O'Rourke against The O'Rourke, his brother. The same lust excited the English Maguire against The Maguire. Why should I narrate the dispute between Florence, Dermot and Daniel as to the chieftaincy of Clancarty? Why should I recall how Earl James FitzGerald was stripped of his resources by the faction of the other James? Why repeat six hundred examples of the same thing? Assuredly, my countrymen, however high they may stand amongst the nations in the profession of, and devotion to, the Catholic faith and Divine religion, yet during this war, were far worse than Turks or heretics in faction, dissension, ambition and perfidiousness. Wherefore, it could not be otherwise than that by so many and so great distractions, Ireland should be utterly destroyed, for as the holy Evangelist has it, ‘Every Kingdom divided against itself shall be destroyed.’ Indeed my wonder is how it should have so long withstood so many divisions, so many wars, such incendiarism. And, indeed, had it not been accomplished by God, I do not think that the few Catholics could have so often overcome the multitude of Protestants and their allies; that half-armed soldiers could have been able to defeat armies thoroughly equipped with all kinds of arms; that the attenuated resources of the Catholics could have withstood during fifteen years the wealth and power of the Queen of England; that from small beginnings a war should have, beyond all expectation, swelled to such dimensions that the heretics were nearly on the point of losing all Ireland.
What was the State of Ireland at the Beginning of this War?

AT this time Daniel MacCarthy, chief of Clancarty and Earl of Valencia, more anxious for peace than war, and growing old, tried in every way to retain the friendship of the English, and being given to sumptuous banquets and magnificent entertainments, he encumbered his ample patrimony with lavish expenses. The English having correctly gauged the man's disposition feared no obstruction from him to persecution, provided only they allowed him to live as a Catholic.

The truly brave family of the Munster Geraldines was nearly extinct. Two other powerful chiefs of Munster (with shame be it said) fell under the contagion of heresy. O'Sullivan, chief of Bear, and his kinsman Owen were quarrelling about property. In Connaught, Ulick Burke, Earl of Clanrickarde, after he had killed his brother John, was so odious to many of the Irish that he not merely failed to secede from the English, but even kept many Connaught men in obedience to them. Other Burkes quarrelled about the chieftaincy of the MacWilliam's country. The Leinster Irish chiefs who used most constantly take part against the heretics were for the most part extinct. The Earl of Kildare, brought up a heretic from his cradle, offered no hope to his country. The Anglo-Irish chiefs of Leinster and Meath seem never to have plucked up spirit. In Ulster, Turlough O'Neill, chief of Tyrone, and Hugh O'Neill, created Earl of Tyrone by the Queen, stood jealously out against one another, so that neither did any harm to the English. We have seen that hostages against rebellion had been wrung from Hugh O'Donnell, prince of Tyrconnell and other Ulster chiefs. The more powerful being thus divided and hampered, who would believe the weaker would venture anything? Yet, although as we have shown above, there was little to hinder truculent persecution, a certain fear of the Irish chiefs haunted the heretics when they attacked the Catholic faith, after they had extirpated it in England.

On the Fifteen Years' War.

We have set out the champions of both sides, and their warlike resources, and the state of Ireland when the war began. Now let us describe the war itself, its source or causes, and here relate its first and tentative stage.
On the Wreck of the Spanish Fleet; Alfonsus Leiva; O'Rourke; MacSweeny Tueth and others.

PHILIP II., that most far-seeing King of the Spains, pitying the misfortune and the darkened state of England, over which, having married Queen Mary, he had reigned for a short time, got together a splendid fleet and valiant army under the command of the Duke of Mitina Sidonia, and despatched them to that island, where undoubtedly they would have destroyed the deadly pest of heresy in its very cradle, if they had landed safely. But our sins rising against us, in the year of our Redeemer 1588, partly by the skill of the heretics, but principally by a storm which arose, the fleet was scattered far and wide and portion of it returned to Spain; part caught by the storm between England and Belgium was carried round Scotland and Ireland; while a great part of it was wrecked. Some ships were driven by the storm on the coasts of Ireland and Scotland, and these striking on jutting rocks and sinking, had some of their men drowned, while some narrowly escaped by swimming or scrambling. The English killed such of the strangers as they caught. Alfonsus Leiva, a Spanish nobleman, having sailed round these islands, became distressed for want of provisions, and took his ship, shaken as it was by the storm, into an Ulster port in the country of MacSweeny Tueth. Three hundred other Spaniards, whose ship had been wrecked off Sligo, a part of Connaught, sought the protection of Brian O'Rourke, surnamed More, chief of Breffny, who was not far off. As soon as Elizabeth, Queen of England, and her Viceroy, John Perrott, had learned this, they required O'Rourke and MacSweeny Tueth to suffer the royalist ministers to try the Spaniards. To this requisition O'Rourke and Tueth replied that the Catholic religion, which they professed, would not allow them to hand over Catholics to death, and moreover that it would be incompatible with their honour to betray those who had fled to their protection. And hereupon O'Rourke provided a guide and provisions for the three hundred who had come to him and sent them to Tueth, with whom Leiva was staying while his ship was being repaired. Others also, who had been shipwrecked in different places in Ireland, flying from the English, flocked to him, the Irish supplying them with guides and provisions. Already there were with Tueth nearly 1,000 Spaniards under command of Leiva. Tueth, elated by the number of Spaniards, and relying on their valour, urged Leiva to declare war against the English in Ireland; that he would arm his mercenaries; that O'Rourke would do the same; that all the Irish would join in defence of the liberty of the Catholic faith; that the Queen had neither means nor sufficient forces nor fortified places; that having first gained Ireland, England might then be easily conquered. Leiva replied that this would not be at all right for him, as he had not received orders to that effect from his own king, but that when he got to Spain he would urge the king to send a stronger army to assert the freedom of Ireland. And so, being supplied with provisions by Tueth, he embarked all his soldiers in his ship, now repaired. But scarcely had he set sail, when in the sight of the mourning Tueth, the ship, burthened with the multitude of men, went to pieces and sank with all hands.

The Spaniards who afterwards escaped from the shipwreck to the Irish coast, were sent by the Irish to Scotland, to Earl Bothwell, commander of the Scottish fleet, and by him were sent to France or Belgium.

The Queen having ordered that O'Rourke's and Tueth's disobedience should be punished by force, Richard Bingham, an English knight, Governor of Connaught, proceeded to attack O'Rourke, and got together a few English and many Irishmen. Amongst others, Ulick Burke, Earl of Clanrickarde, accompanied him. O'Rourke had some time previously hired Murrough MacSweeny, surnamed Na-mart, with his band of two hundred Munstermen; and had, shortly before, armed many mercenaries, and he had no more forces when, in the village of Drumahaire, he was surrounded by the enemy's cavalry and gunmen to whose assistance a division of pikemen were coming up. Murrough, when it seemed as if he must not only suffer defeat, but even perish unavenged, if he gave battle with such scanty forces to so numerous an enemy, arranged his ranks and evacuated the village, he, himself, bringing up the rear, encouraging his men and sustaining the enemy's attack, in which he received a wound from a leaden bullet, which passing from the end of his nose across his cheek, put out his left eye. He suffered so much from this wound that he was unable to discharge his functions, and a panic seizing the rest, they seemed on the point of breaking their ranks, when my uncle Roderic MacSweeny—a young man—quickly assumed the command and taking up the colours and arms from his kinsman Murrough rallied the panic stricken and brought off the rear ranks.

When Murrough's wound had healed and the war seemed about to be renewed he was not able to do anything. For he had lost his left eye and was still more blinded by the beauty of Gorumplath O'Rourke, O'Rourke's niece by his brother Conn, whom he abducted, violated, and then dismissed. O'Rourke, indignant at this foul deed, ever afterwards considered the author of this crime unpardonable. O'Rourke being about the same time deserted by Murrough and by his own mercenaries, was driven to Tueth, by whom he was received not only with kindness but with great and unheard of magnificence.

Tueth surrendered to his rule his towns and whole country, transferring to him the entire legal administration, and himself serving in the army as a captain under O'Rourke.

O'Rourke, having received this power, had two of MacSweeny's most intimate followers hanged, and when on account of so severe a punishment for a trivial offence, Tueth's friends remonstrated with him for having given all his authority to O'Rourke, ‘Do not be surprised,’ said Tueth, ‘he is assuredly more worthy of a chieftaincy who knows how to execute justice, than I who, perhaps, should allow crimes to go unpunished.’ The royalist army pursuing O'Rourke after he had been driven from his own country, turned the entire weight of the war against Tueth.

This army was a large one, composed of some Englishmen but principally of Irishmen, who thought they would not be safe in disobeying the Queen when there appeared to be no means of resisting her. O'Rourke, worried and fretted by the loss of his possessions, went, against Tueth's wish and advice, to Scotland to hire Scots for the purpose of recovering his country. Here he was seized by James Stuart, King of Scotland, who afterwards became King of England also, and sent in chains to London, to Elizabeth Queen of England.

There he was brought before the Privy Council and asked by one of the Councillors, why he did not bend the knee, ‘I am not accustomed to do so,’ said he. ‘But,’ said the Councillor, ‘do you not genuflect before images?’ ‘Certainly,’ said he. ‘Why then,’ said the Councillor, ‘not do the same now? ’ ‘Because,’ said he, ‘between God and his saints, whose images I respect, and you, I have ever thought there was a great difference.’ Shortly after he was put to death. When this became known, his son Brian was proclaimed O'Rourke, by the clansmen, and the war in Connaught being renewed, he endeavoured to recover his patrimony with the assistance of Tueth, in a successful campaign.

Disturbance in Leinster and other events.

ABOUT this time the English Protestant oppressors of the Catholic religion putting into execution the royal commands and grievously harassing the Leinster-men, petty disturbances arose in Leinster. Walter FitzGerald, surnamed Reagh, of the Earl of Kildare's family, flying from this persecution, betook himself to the village of Gleran, amidst the dense woods adjoining the country of Fiach MacHugh O'Byrne, son of Hugh, whose daughter this Walter had married. This Fiach, like his father, was the bitterest enemy of the Protestants. He had joined Viscount Eustace's conspiracy against them, as we have seen above, and having returned to his allegiance, he afforded protection to Catholics who fled to him from Protestant oppression. Some he concealed; others he openly rescued. For this he was attacked by the royalists, but partly by valour and partly owing to the thickness of his woods, he kept himself safe until promised pardon and protection, which the English freely conceded lest he should create greater disturbance. While Reagh was staying with Fiach he was often attacked by the English, and he, in turn, accompanied by a few armed men, attacked them. As he was returning to Gleran after ravaging some outlying districts inhabited by English, he met Dudley Bagnal, an English knight, brother of the Marshal of Ireland, with a company he had garrisoning Leighlin. A fight ensuing, Dudley and nearly his entire company were killed. Not long afterwards, Walter with 60 foot, unexpectedly attacked Ormond, plundered it, and defeated and put to flight a superior number of horse and foot of the Butlers, who had given chase, killing some, especially their leader Peter Butler, nephew of the Earl of Ormond by a brother.


Traversing, by unfrequented roads, large tracts of Leinster and Meath, he reached Lough Swedy, a town of Meath, in which lived many opulent Englishmen, the doors of whose houses were broken in by night, and he and his comrades entering slew the men and returned home laden with booty. Finally, seeing he had done so much injury to the Protestants, and could not be easily captured, on account of his daring and the shelter of thick woods, and to prevent greater troubles, the English thought it best to pardon him and forgive all his crimes. Negotiations being opened and having got a safe-pass he went to Dublin to John Perrot, Viceroy of Ireland. When the brothers and relations of Dudley Bagnal heard of his arrival they surrounded the house in which he was with an armed band. Reagh, putting on his helmet and a shield on his left arm, defended the door by himself, with a drawn sword, until the Viceroy coming up, put an end to the fight, and sent him home safe, with pardon for his deeds.
Earl Tyrone, suspected of rebelling against the English, is called to account.

NO sooner were the risings of O'Rourke and Tueth quelled than the Queen was distracted by greater events. For Hugh O'Neill, surnamed Gavelock, (because of his being born while his mother was a captive in chains) the son of the Chief, Shane, returning from Scotland to Ireland reported to William Fitzwilliam, the English Viceroy of Ireland, that some Spanish noblemen of the Duke of Medina's fleet, had been laden by Hugh O'Neill with presents, and sent into Scotland with letters to the King of Spain, in which he asked protection against the Queen, promising his own co-operation; and that the Spaniards had communicated all this to him—Gavelock—thinking he was in Tyrone's confidence, as he was allied to him by blood and was a Catholic in religion. The Viceroy and Irish Council set out from Dublin for Stradbally, a town in Ulster, and summoned Tyrone to explain. He unhesitatingly denied the charge, alleging that Gavelock was an enemy of his and unworthy of credit. Gavelock asserted that he was ready to prove the charge in single combat, but he and Tyrone were forbidden to enter the lists. Gavelock undertook to produce witnesses. A day was appointed on which the witnesses were to be produced, and Tyrone having given bail, and being dismissed, prevented Gavelock from prosecuting his enquiries, and kept him in custody. Disobeying the Viceroy's command to send Gavelock a prisoner to Dublin, Tyrone had him hanged, a Meath-man acting as executioner, for on account of their loyalty and affection for the O'Neill family and the Chief Shane, no man out of all Tyrone, could by any means be brought to put Gavelock to death.

Tyrone then went to Dublin to the Viceroy, and thence to England to the Queen, seeking pardon, which he obtained, having, as it is believed, bribed some, and the Queen, perhaps, thinking it wiser to maintain him, even if guilty, as a rival to Turlough O'Neill, chief of Tyrone, for which reason he was supported and petted. And so returning to Ireland, bail was given by Earl Ormond and Christopher Hatton, Privy Councillor in England, that he would attend in Dublin before the Viceroy whenever called to account. A few days after the Viceroy summoned him to Dublin, that he might keep him in perpetual imprisonment. He preferred to risk himself rather than his sureties, and so he set out for Dublin, having sent before him his House Steward who provided a splendid and magnificent banquet, to which he invited the leaders of the nobility and Queen's army. Tyrone himself dismounted at nightfall at the gate of Dublin Castle where the Viceroy was staying, and entered. The Viceroy greeted him, bid him refresh himself that night after his fatiguing journey; not to miss his banquet; and to wait on him (the Viceroy) next day. Tyrone on leaving the Castle turned his horse into the field, as if he were going to return, and then accompanied by a single gentleman, fled into Ulster, considering as the fact was, that his sureties were now discharged from any liability on their bond. When he had delayed for some time, the House Steward bid the guests sit down, saying Hugh was either detained by the Viceroy in the Castle, or that he did not rightly know where his master was.

The Ulster Hostages fly from the English.

A FEW days afterwards, some of the Ulster hostages, viz.: Hugh O'Donnell Roe, Daniel MacSweeny Gorm, and Hugh O'Gallagher, of whom we have spoken above, fled from Dublin Castle. Roe, however, fell into the hands of Felim O'Toole, an Irish gentleman, and the Queen's officers. Felim desired to release him despite the Queen's officers, and though he knew he would imperil his property and get into difficulties. Dreading this misfortune, Rosa O'Toole, Felim's sister and wife of Fiach O'Byrne, persuaded her brother to consider at once his own, and Roe's safety, and to this end to detain Roe with himself that night in Castlekevin until he should be liberated, against Felim's wish, as it were, by her husband Fiach, coming with an armed band, for she thought her brother should be more cautious than her husband who was already used to rebellion, and had devoted his life to fighting against the Protestants, and in support of their enemies. This advice being approved of, Fiach hastened with an armed band to rescue Roe. The Viceroy being also informed in Dublin, sent a company to bring in Roe in chains. That night it rained so heavily that the waters of an intervening river overflowed its banks and inundated the adjoining country, so that Fiach could not possibly cross the ford. Meantime the English, who were not obstructed by the river, carried off Roe to Dublin, where he was more closely guarded in the same castle, and even put in chains.

After some days had passed, he again planned a dash for freedom with Henry and Art O'Neill, sons of the chieftain Shane, who were confined in the same prison. This plan he also communicated to a youth—Edward Eustace a friend of his, and to Fiach the most inveterate enemy of the Protestants. The lad Edward promised
to supply him for his flight with four horses. Fiach promised a guide who would conduct him to his house in Glenmalure and that he would send him thence safely into Ulster. On the appointed night, Roe procured a file with which he cut the fastenings of his, Henry's and Art's chains. He also procured a very long silk rope by which to let themselves down from the top of the high castle. In the early part of a stormy night, they tied one end of the rope to the privy and first Henry clutching the rope with his hands and between his legs, descended down the privy sewer, and without waiting for his companions, took the road to Ulster and escaped safely. Roe followed and waited for Art. Art in sliding down the rope too quickly was badly hurt by a stone which accidentally fell from the sewer and was scarcely able to pick himself up. The lad Edward, who had promised the horses had four fleet steeds saddled in stable the three previous days, but on this day they had been taken away by a friend without his knowledge. The guide sent by Fiach was waiting near the castle, and during that night and the following day conducted Roe and Art through bye-ways and lonely places, lest they be caught. It was winter time, a few days before the feast of our Lord's Nativity, and the ground was covered with deep snow. Owing to this, Roe, who had worn out his shoes, by the long and hasty journey, lost the nails of both his big toes which were frozen off with the snow, his feet, now bare, being exposed to the action of the snow and roughness of the ground. Art, although he had stronger shoes, was so seriously hurt by the falling stone, that being hardly able to cover the long and rugged roads, he was delaying Roe. Nearly worn out they arrived at night in a cave not many miles from Fiach's house, and leaving them there, as arranged, the guide set off to report the fact to Fiach.

The two youths, who flying all day, had not taken any food were famished with hunger, but worn out with the journey, passed the night sunk in a deep sleep. And now the second day had dawned and no one came from Fiach. The third day of fast was running out, ‘Art,’ said Roe, ‘see how the brute beasts feed on plants and leaves, let us also, who though endowed with reason are nevertheless also animals, assuage our hunger in the same way until food is supplied by the faithful Fiach.’ And so he plucked leaves from the nearest tree and eat them, but Art refused those offered to him. Meantime Fiach left no stone unturned to supply them with food. but was
long prevented by those who observed his smallest act and movement as that of a suspected man. At last on the third night he sent food by four soldiers. Art, exhausted by the wound from the stone and the long fast, could not lift the food to his mouth, nor when put to his lips by Roe and the soldiers could he eat it. Roe who was more robust, and who had considerably sustained his sinking energies by the leaves, refused to eat, for grief at seeing his comrade breathing his last before his eyes. However, Art being moved out of his sight, he was forced to eat by the soldiers. After the excitement and fuss of those who were searching for Roe had subsided, and Art being interred, Roe was secretly brought foot sore, to Fiach's house and cured. When he had been cured Fiach sent him by Walter FitzGerald Reagh to Ulster to the Earl of Tyrone; Tyrone sent him to Maguire, and Maguire delivered him to his father, Hugh O'Donnell, Chief of Tyrconnell.

Roe complains of the wrongs inflicted on him, and being elected O'Donnell, resolves to free his native land from Heresy.

AT this time Willis, an Englishman with two companies, was levying tribute in Tyrconnell, and was attacked by MacSweeny, as soon as ever the latter had heard of Roe's safe arrival. Willis betook himself to the monastery which is called the fort of the strangers Donegal. Being surrounded there he surrendered to Roe by whom he was dismissed in safety with an injunction to remember his words, that the Queen and her officers were dealing unjustly by the Irish; that the Catholic religion was contaminated by impiety; that holy bishops and priests were inhumanly and barbarously tortured; that Catholic noblemen were cruelly imprisoned and ruined; that wrong was deemed right; that himself had been treacherously and perfidiously kidnapped; and that for these reasons he would neither give tribute nor allegiance to the English.

The O'Donnell being an old man, resigned the chieftaincy, which he had held for nearly twenty years, and asked that the government and command should be entrusted to his son Roe, whom he named The O'Donnell, and required all subjects of his country to admit Roe's authority, while he himself, after the manner of Irish Chiefs, devoted the seven years which he lived after this, to prayer and meditation on holy things.

O'Donnell, by which name we shall henceforth call Roe, was inaugurated in the usual way, and then directed all his plans and thoughts to this one end, namely, to liberate his native land and the Catholic religion from the heresy and tyranny of the English, forming a confederacy with those who followed him either by custom or in right of his Chieftaincy.

These were Owen MacSweeny, surnamed Oge, chief of Tuath, who had already rebelled in order to save the Spaniards; Donough MacSweeny, Chief of Banagh; Daniel MacSweeny, Chief of Fanad; John O'Doherty, Chief of Innishowen; O'Boyle; and others of lesser note, from whom should by no means be omitted, O'Rourke, Chief of Breifny in Connaught, who lost no opportunity of avenging the death of his father, who was killed by the Queen.

O'Donnell did not doubt but that Earl Tyrone would also take up arms for the Catholic religion, unless prevented by a great dread of Turlough O'Neill, his kinsman and Chief of Tyrone, who mindful of ancient feuds seemed unlikely to let pass any chance of injuring the Earl. And Turlough might be easily deposed as the leaning of the Tyrone-men was towards the Earl. Desirous of removing this obstacle, O'Donnell, first of all attacked O'Neill, and putting his capital—Strabane—in the hands of the Earl, drove Turlough into a small island in a lake. Here until his death, two years afterwards, O'Neill maintained himself midway between O'Donnell and the Earl, indifferent to the war, either because he was worn out by age, or because the clansmen would not side with him against the Catholics, or because he himself, a Catholic, did not wish to help Protestants.
Maguire takes up Arms against the Protestants: Edmund, Primate of Ireland, killed by the Royalists: and sundry other matters.

AT the end of the following autumn, Hugh Maguire, Chief of Fermanagh, was forced to take up arms against the Protestants. For the Protestant bishop of Meath sent an heretical minister to the Abbey//, called Clones. This is in the chieftaincy of Oriel, near Maguire's country. Here the minister in various ways harassed not only the country people and farmers, subjects of the Abbey, but also the adjoining tributaries of Maguire's, who were Catholics and yet forced to attend heretical worship against their will, and on their resisting, the minister prosecuted them for offences under the Popery laws (as the Protestants call them), and for treason, and had them fined, pursuing with rapacity the wretched means of the poor. He very soon paid the penalty of this wickedness when he was burned one night in his house. The English accused Maguire of being the perpetrator of this deed, and summoned him to a trial, and when he did not attend to take his trial on the appointed day, but on one excuse or another postponed attending from day to day, they sent two armies to either bring him in in chains, or strip him of his property. Meantime Maguire harried a few of the English who lived in Connaught.

About this time Edmund MacGauran, Primate of Ireland, Archbishop of Armagh, was conveyed from Spain by James Fleming, a merchant of Drogheda, bearing a message to the Irish from the King of Spain, to declare war on the Protestants in defence of the Catholic Faith, and informing them that he would very speedily send them aid. The Primate going to Maguire who was already at war and a man of warlike propensities, had no difficulty in persuading him to continue the struggle on the faith of his Catholic Majesty's assurances, and reliance on his sending assistance.

Maguire with the Primate and slender forces crossed O'Rourke's country of Breifny and again attacked Connaught. On hearing this, Richard Bingham, an English Knight, Governor of Connaught, sent against him William Gilbert, an Englishman with a small force. They met at a place anciently called the shield of miracles (skieth na bhfeart). The cavalry of both parties preceded the foot battalions, covering the wings. The day was very dark owing to a thick mist, so that they did not see one another until they came face to face. The trumpet suddenly giving the command, precipitated both into battle. Maguire, who never in the least lost his presence of mind, ran Gilbert through with a spear, killed him, and routed and put his cavalry to flight. The foot closely followed Maguire. The Primate was mounted on horseback and accompanied by only two gentlemen—Felim MacCaffrey and Cathal Maguire. While Maguire was fighting Gilbert, another troop of royalist cavalry fell upon the Primate, who, as he was flying fell from his horse and was killed as he lay on the ground. Felim was also slain fighting. Some foot-soldiers of the Catholic army recognising the Primate's voice, although they could not see him on account of the thick mist, rushed up and thinking Cathal who with drawn sword was defending the Primate, was one of the Protestants, they killed him with many wounds, while the Protestants escaped unhurt, owing to the fleetness of their horses. Maguire was more grieved at the Primate's death than rejoiced at the victory, and laden with booty returned home. Subsequently O'Rourke and Maguire resolving to punish, not only the English Protestants, but also those Irish Catholics who aided them, laid waste O'Ferrall's country of Annaly in Meath. William O'Ferrall tried to rescue the spoils in a cavalry fight, but at the very first charge Maguire put an end to the combat, having by his dexterity and valour pierced William with a spear. On his death the others offered no further resistance, and O'Rourke and Maguire retained the booty.

Maguire encounters with disadvantage the Royalist Army and loses Enniskillen by treachery.

WHILE these events were in progress, the two armies which the Queen had ordered to be mobilised against Maguire, were got together. One was led by Henry Bagnal, knight, Marshal of Ireland, and Governor of Ulster, who had under him far from contemptible forces from Irish and English garrison troops and recent Irish levies. He had 700 horse, the greater part of which, as well as a considerable part of the foot, was commanded by Earl Tyrone, who thought it would be very unsafe for him not to assume the appearance of obeying the Queen's orders. Maguire, much alarmed at the impending danger, besought O'Donnell to help him. He got from O'Donnell a few Irish gallowglasses and Scottish bowmen and armed some of his own mercenaries, of whom nearly 100 were cavalry, but he was still very inferior in strength to the enemy. Bagnal with all his forces encamped on the south side of the river Erne, intending to cross the ford called Belacooloon and attack Maguire's mercenaries who had fled thither. Maguire encamped on the other side of the river. The battle began by hurling missiles on either side. The royalists had the advantage in numbers, in equipment, and position, since they had a much larger number of foot, 700 horse against 100, and gunmen against archers, and of course, the bow could not send the arrow as far as the gun sent the leaden bullet. Moreover the gunners were able from a wood which adjoined the river bank, to attack with impunity the Catholics who were standing on open ground, while the archers could not well aim their arrows against the royalists protected by the thickness of the wood. When, in this way, the fight had been carried on with great loss to the Catholics, Earl Tyrone, who commanded the royalist cavalry, set spurs to his horse and forced the ford with all his cavalry and charging the Catholics, totally routed them, but did not pursue them far, as he was pierced in the thigh by an Irish foot-soldier, and Maguire with his cavalry came to the rescue of the foot. In this battle the Catholics lost under 200, and the royalists very few. The ancient enmity between Tyrone, who had been seriously wounded, and Bagnal, was increased by this victory, as each claimed for himself the glory thereof. Bagnal because he was the commander of the army and because as Governor of Ulster the others were under his authority: Tyrone, because he had brought up the greater part of the cavalry; had crossed the ford with the horse; had put the Maguirites to flight; had all the risk; and had been wounded. Wherefore, when asked by Bagnal to certify to the latter's valour in letters to the Queen and Viceroy, Tyrone replied that he would tell them the truth. O'Donnell, who was coming to Maguire's assistance with a larger number of cavalry, gunmen, and gallowglasses, arrived the night after the battle, and would have attacked the enemy, were it not that he was privately asked by messengers from Tyrone to have a care of the latter's safety, and not surround the Protestants while he was in their camp, which he would soon quit, as in fact he did, fearing lest Bagnal would throw him into chains, and so send him to the Viceroy (as it was believed he had orders to do). That very night he fled, wounded as he was, from the camp to his town of Dungannon, where he was soon cured under medical treatment. At this time Richard Bingham, Governor of Connaught, captured Enniskillen rather by the treachery in the garrison than by force. This is an island surrounded by the small Lough Erne, and on which Maguire had a castle fortified by a double ditch. Against this Bingham led fifteen companies of foot and four of horse collected in Connaught partly from the English. but chiefly from Irish Catholics, and marched through Breifny, O'Rourke's country, at this time wasted and ruined. Ferried over in pontoons and small boats, he for some days in vain assailed the castle, which was defended with great bravery by 80 men. Seeing clearly that he was only wasting his energy, he sounded a parley with the defenders. One who was not of noble birth, but in whom the defenders principally trusted their safety and the castle, on account of his intimacy and influence with Maguire, by whose munificence he had been enriched, came to Bingham's camp. This man was not inaptly nick-named the boar's or sow's son, for besides being of ungainly build and ugly countenance, he had projecting from his mouth two huge teeth like a sow's or boar's tusks. Corrupted and seduced by Bingham's promises and bribes, he arranged to betray the castle, and then returned to his own people as if resolved to defend the Castle to the death. When the truce had expired Bingham attacked the Castle in the usual way. The defenders each defended his own post. The boar's son, as if fighting bravely and stoutly, showed himself to the enemy on the outer ditch. They bore down on him in great numbers. He, as arranged, fled and left the place undefended, and as soon as he got within the second ditch quickly turned about. Thither also the enemy following, he allowed them in, and fell back on the Castle gate, which, upon his entry, the soldier there stationed hastened to close and fasten against the advancing enemy, but the sow's son with a blow of his drawn sword felled him to the ground and throwing open the gates let in the enemy who slew all the defenders except the traitor. Even the old men, children and women who had fled to the castle were thrown headlong from the top of the bridge which connected the island with the mainland. Having placed a garrison in the Castle, Bingham and Bagnal beat a hasty retreat, already distrusting Tyrone, and fearing O'Donnell and Maguire would be reinforced by large forces.

O'Donnell besieges Enniskillen and sends a messenger to Spain to beg assistance from his Catholic Majesty.

AFTER the retreat of the royal armies, O'Donnell determining to avenge Maguire's losses, without delay, and being especially incensed by the cruel slaughter of the old men, women and children, hastened to besiege and storm Enniskillen. As he had no brass cannon to batter the Castle it was easily defended by the English. O'Donnell perceiving this, and thinking within himself that it would be hard to liberate Ireland and the Catholic religion from the heresy and tyranny of the English without the help of foreign princes, he sent James O'Healy, Archbishop of Tuam, a man of approved learning and innocence of life, as ambassador to lay before Philip II., Monarch of the Spains, the state of affairs in Ireland, to beseech him to send to the well nigh failing Catholic faith in Ireland, the succour he had promised through the Primate of Ireland, and to assure him of the co-operation and allegiance of O'Donnell and other Irish chiefs. The bishop was most graciously and with more than royal generosity, received by the King, to whom he explained the feelings of O'Donnell and other Irish chiefs towards the Spaniards; their faith; constancy; bravery and military skill. Also the island's climate, salubrity, fertility, harbour accommodation, rich cities and towns, beauties of river and lake and many other advantages, adding, what now no one who knows the island doubts, that Ireland once possessed, Scotland, England, Holland or Batavia, and all Belgian France might with little difficulty be assailed and conquered. He then begged the king (as was the end and object of his mission) to help the Catholic religion. The King could at first scarcely credit the bishop's speech because of the contradictory reports on Ireland spread by the English who hid its glories in a cloud of lies, lest that most promising island celebrated for its many indigenous charms, and from which England, the nurse of error, might be destroyed, should be sought after by the Spaniards. He therefore summoned to his presence, Richard Stanihurst, who, to curry favour with the English, had published a book in disparagement of Ireland, but he would not contradict the Bishop in anything he had said, for it was entirely true, and the King then believing the Bishop's account began to admire and pay greater attention to Ireland, and dismissed the Bishop, in a ship himself provided, loaded with presents, and with an answer to his message. After the ship had left the Spanish shores, it was again driven into port by the violence of wind and weather, and whilst waiting for settled weather and a favourable wind, the captain of the ship, appointed by the king, happened in a quarrel in a town called Sant Ander to kill a man, and to avoid arrest by the magistrates of that place, he embarked the Bishop and others and set sail in bad weather with the result that the ship was wrecked and all hands perished in the storm. A few years subsequently His Catholic Majesty ordered a fleet with 17,000 men to sail for Ireland, but this was wrecked off a port of Gallicia called Corcuvion, with the loss of 10,000 men.

Meanwhile O'Donnell, confident that his Catholic Majesty, the greatest bulwark of Christianity, would send help to the Irish in good time as he had promised by the Primate, made no delay in enrolling Irish and Scotch troops and cut off Enniskillen from supplies.

Disturbance in Leinster renewed. Sundry matters detailed.

PETTY risings of Leinstermen again took place, occasioned by Peter FitzGerald, a heretic. This man was, on account of his inhuman cruelty, made a magistrate by the English, and put to death not only men but, such was his brutality, even women and children. He especially thirsted for the blood of Walter Reagh FitzGerald and suddenly surprised the latter's town of Gleran with a band of assassins, but to no purpose as Reagh was at the time from home and his wife who was there fled for safety. Shortly after this, Reagh with Turlough, Felim and Raymund O'Byrne, sons of Fiach, his kinsmen, with 12 horse and nearly 100 foot unexpectedly attacked Peter's castle, and having first set fire to the doors and then to the rest of the house, burned him and his family. Meantime the English neighbours with a troop of horse and some, foot surrounded Reagh, but he charging and wounding a few of them, put the rest to flight. Hereupon Reagh and the sons of Fiach were proclaimed enemies and were diligently and closely pressed by the English. Reagh being unexpectedly surrounded in his town of Gleran by Protestants and Irish auxiliaries, especially Butlers, betook himself with a few armed men into a small fort which in anticipation of sudden emergencies he had surrounded with a trench and ditch. This the enemy attacked. He endeavoured to repulse them. The enemy in great numbers pressing in on all sides, Reagh's brother Gerald was killed by a leaden bullet, fighting bravely. Most of the others were wounded. Reagh, when he could no longer hold the fort and was short of provisions, broke through the midst of the enemy's serried ranks and escaped with a few men. Not long after when at dusk he had distributed his soldiers in the village, he himself with two comrades entered a house some distance from the others and stumbled on 16 of the enemy's soldiers. Swords were drawn on both sides; five of the royalists were severely wounded; one of Reagh's two comrades was killed and he himself was thrown down with his thigh almost broken by a blow of a mallet. His second comrade, one George O'More, lifting his fallen leader from the ground and putting him on his back endeavoured to rescue him from the enemy's hands by flying to his comrades who were staying in the nearest hamlet. When his pursuers gained on him he let Reagh down and fought with four or five until his comrades came to the rescue. Reagh was concealed by these, but while under treatment was betrayed by his guardian who had been captured by the English, and was afraid of his own head. Being brought to Dublin he was impaled on a long sharp iron spike and so perished. After Fiach heard of Reagh's death he successfully attacked the royal troops four times. After these victories, fortune, seldom long favourable to the Catholics, turned the die. It was pretended that Turlough, at once the first in birth and valour of Fiach's three sons, had arranged to betray his father to the English. Fiach believed this the more readily, because Rosa O'Toole, his wife and Turlough's step mother, who was imprisoned in Dublin by the English, sent him the warning, whether merely fearful of her husband's life or deceived by the craft and treachery of the English, is uncertain. Turlough therefore was seized. ‘Because,’ said Fiach, ‘Paternal love will not allow me to inflict fitting punishment on your perfidy, I will give you up to those to whom you would have betrayed me, that as you have experienced paternal affection, so you may test the humanity of the enemy.’ Turlough was sent in chains to Dublin and not only expiated his imaginary crime but shed a lustre on his entire house by his noble death, for though often pressed by the English and offered bribes to subscribe to the royalist sect, he preferred to die a cruel death professing the Catholic creed of Christ, than to live denying it. He was a sad loss, especially to his father, who shortly after was betrayed by one in whom he had complete confidence and who guided the enemy to where they surprised him with a few retainers, and beheaded him. However Felim and Raymond, his sons, did not, on this account, fail to carry on the war their father had started.

Tyrone for various reasons becomes incensed against the Protestants, and suspected by them.

MEANWHILE O'Donnell continued the siege of Enniskillen, and Earl Tyrone became daily more irritated against the Protestants and suspected by them. In the first place the Queen's thanks were sent to Bagnal for the victory obtained over Maguire at the ford of Belacooloon, but no acknowledgments were offered to Tyrone, at which he was indignant, nor was he so vexed at being defrauded of his due as at Bagnal's reward, exultation and triumph therein. Indeed for many reasons these men hated one another with inextinguishable hatred. As Governor of Ulster, Bagnal was regarded by Tyrone as encroaching on the clansmen's rights and to be resisted. Tyrone captivated by Bagnal's sister, a remarkably fine and beautiful woman, had abducted and married her and converted her from the Protestant to the Catholic faith, and he complained that her allotted dowry was withheld from him by Bagnal. Bagnal had often said that his sister and family were not as ennobled by the illustrious rank of her husband as disgraced by the rebellion and recent perfidy of the Papist, and that he had step-children to whom, and not to his sister's issue, in case she had any, should his vast estate descend. On this and other accounts they challenged one another to single combat in Dublin, and probably would have fought had not friends prevented them. Hence Bagnal omitted no chance of harassing Tyrone, and of exciting the Queen's jealousy against him. Moreover Tyrone reflected on the recent cruel death of MacMahon and his name attainted by act of Parliament, and he recalled the destruction of other Irish chiefs. But to a Catholic, the liberty of the Catholic religion especially appealed. To these other misgivings were soon added.

When Shane O'Neill, Chief of Tyrone, was treacherously destroyed by his own Scottish soldiers (as we have shown above), his possessions were forfeited to the Queen, although ineffectually, because Turlough O'Neill retained them. Amongst these, Farney, a town of Ever MacMahon's, was specifically forfeited to the Queen as it had belonged to Shane and been given by the Queen to the Earl of Essex, an Englishman. But up to now neither the forfeiture nor grant had been enforced as Ever withheld possession of his property. Subsequently, after this Earl's death, his son granted Farney to one John Talbot, an Anglo-Irishman, and Talbot was put into possession of the castle and patrimony of Farney by decree of the Queen, the Catholics vainly protesting against his having unjustly procured from the heretics in his iniquitous action the property of Ever, a Catholic. Now Ever's sons, thinking it a suitable opportunity while O'Donnell was up in arms, got together a company of friends and attacked Farney Castle by night. They unexpectedly applied fire to the doors, Talbot who was within the castle was awakened by the smoke and clad only in his shirt slipped out of bed and threw open the doors. Having hid behind the door, he escaped naked, when Ever's sons and their band rushed in, and fled for safety. His family, also, stripped and turned out, followed him. The English blamed Tyrone for this act, asserting that without his connivance Ever's sons would not have dared to do it. About the same time the English who had garrisoned Armagh, the seat of the Primate of Ireland, determined to enter the Church and threw into chains the Sacristan, who resisted them, and other priests. Brian O'Neill who chanced to be in the town at the time, took up the quarrel and liberated the priests, and ordered twelve of the English soldiers to be hanged. The rest of the garrison fled, and the Protestants felt perfectly certain that Tyrone was the instigator of this action.
The Royalist Army routed by Maguire and Cormac O'Neill at the Ford of the biscuits. Enniskillen surrendered to O'Donnell, by whom the English of Connaught are ruined.

IN this state of things, the garrison of Enniskillen castle, surrounded by O'Donnell, was pinched with hunger, so much so that the Sow's son, the betrayer of the castle, and who had been left in it by the English, and was now like a ravenous pig labouring under the pangs of an empty stomach, was sent in a boat with five comrades over the lake, because he knew the district and roads, to tell in what straits the castle was. But, being intercepted by the Catholics, was, together with his comrades, slain with many wounds. Nevertheless, the English being well aware of the castle's difficulties hastened to throw in supplies; corned meat, cheese and a large supply of biscuits were got ready. Soldiers were drawn out of the garrisons; a hosting of Irish made; 2,500 men, of whom 400 were cavalry, were got together out of the recent Irish levies and English garrison. Henry Duke, an English knight, and Governor of Offaly, was appointed commander, and Fool Fuller, also an Englishman, was marshal. O'Donnell being informed of their designs sent messengers to Tyrone, to inform him that the Protestants were coming to relieve Enniskillen; that he would resist this to the death, to point out the critical situation of affairs, and that he must consider Tyrone his enemy, unless he came to his aid in such a pinch. On receipt of this message, Tyrone was perplexed with conflicting anxieties, thinking in his own mind that O'Donnell had started this war in an uncertain hope of aid from Spain, and before seeing the Spanish colours in Ireland, and thus put the fate of the Catholics in great peril, even should O'Neill himself come to the rescue. On the other hand, if he did not assist the Catholics, although he was already suspected by the Protestants, he would be regarded as an enemy by both parties. However, when the Queen's army was coming up, Cormac O'Neill, brother of Tyrone, arrived in O'Donnell's camp with 100 horse and 300 light armed musketeers, but whether sent by Tyrone, or on his own motion, is not generally agreed on. Maguire and Cormac with a thousand foot, advanced from O'Donnell's camp to meet the enemy, and obstruct their advance, and by keeping them from sleep and rest render them less vigorous when encountering O'Donnell himself later on. Meantime, Duke halted, about nightfall, not more than three miles from a ford on the river Farney. Here, as soon as it was dark, gunmen sent by Maguire and Cormac, suddenly poured in upon him a close and heavy fire of leaden bullets. Duke sent his musketeers against these gunmen, and, so both sides fought throughout the whole night at long range, and the royalists were rendered sleepless by reason of the danger and the noise of the guns. On the next day, after dawn, Duke drew up his entire army in three divisions, supported by wings of cavalry and gunmen. He had a large quantity of baggage, and beasts of burthen carrying supplies, asses, attendants, and hangers-on, which he divided into two parts, placing one portion between the first and second division, and the other between this and the rear column. Having arranged his troops in this position he moved them, half asleep with the vigil of the previous night, out of his camp, and as he advanced was continuously attacked by the Catholics, hurling darts and compelling him to halt frequently, while he in turn drove them back. At 11 o'clock he came within gunshot of the ford on the Farney. Here he ordered the cavalry to dismount because the ground was unsuitable for a cavalry fight. Maguire and Cormac with 1,000 foot now attacked in full force. Their musketeers resisted the first division rather stoutly, and not only their musketeers but also their pikemen pressed the rear division. The first division cleared the way with the sword, and driving the Catholics back gained the ford. Meanwhile the Catholic musketeers, who were attacking the rear division, drove the wings of Protestant gunmen in on the column and staggered it with an incessant fire of leaden bullets. The ranks being now disordered, the Catholic pikemen, charging through, put them into confusion and drove them into the second part of the baggage, and finally back on the second division. Thereupon the middle division was involved in a double struggle—to rally the rear division, and to resist the Catholics. But the Catholics, pressing on, routed both, and driving them through the other division of baggage, threw them into the first division. Thus the whole army, in a confused and disordered crowd, crossed the ford abandoning the provisions and all the baggage, saving only those horses which were especially required by the cavalry. Thereupon, Duke held a council of war as to what was to be done. George Oge Bingham thought they should retreat, lest having lost their provisions all should perish from want, and share the fate of the defenders of Enniskillen, whom they could not assist. On the other hand, Marshal Fool Fuller ?, whose name signifies stupid, foolishly protested, and maintained that they should relieve the Queen's Castle. The place where the Protestants had halted was marshy, and their horses sinking in this bog could not be brought into action, so that they were shot down by the Catholics with impunity. Fool, therefore, advanced his wing of gunmen against the Catholics to drive them back, whilst he re-organised the ranks of the army. However, he soon gave up this attempt, being pierced by a javelin and killed. The entire Protestant army was thereby panic-stricken and abandoning, even the horses fell back without any order or discipline upon the ford, which it had a short time previously crossed. It was obstructed in this by the Catholic sharp-shooters, some of whom rifled the baggage whilst others defended the ford. Doubtful what was best to be done, the army rushed to another more difficult ford, which it perceived an arrow shot higher up the river, and plunged in before the Catholics occupied it. However, such was the haste and panic, and the depth of the ford, that about 100 soldiers were lost, over whose bodies the rest crossed. A few of the Irish followed the Protestants, who, despising their numbers, halted for a moment, whilst Duke, the General of the English army, and other captains, threw away their arms and clothes except their shirts, but even when so stripped, he was not sufficiently light nor able to run without being supported between four of his Irish soldiers. The Catholics intent on rifling the baggage, allowed the flying and terror-stricken enemy to slip through their hands. The few Catholics who had pursued beyond the ford returned immediately. In this way, little over four hundred of the English Protestants and Irish Catholic mercenaries in their service perished in the river and by the sword. The horses, a huge pile of arms, the provisions and all the baggage were captured, amongst these, an immense quantity of biscuits scattered in the very ford gave this place the new name of Beal antha nambrisgi. On hearing of the royalist army being routed and put to flight, the castle of Enniskillen, blockaded by O'Donnell, was surrendered, the defenders being dismissed as agreed, and Maguire was completely restored. Shortly after this surrender of the Castle—MacSweeny Tuath, one of the prime movers of this war and who was present at the siege, paid the debt of nature—a sad loss to the Catholics. He was succeeded by Maelmurray MacSweeny, the son of Murrough Mall (Mac Muracha M bhuill), whose constancy was not at all equal to that of his predecessors, as will appear later on. The siege being over, O'Donnell remembering the cruelty with which the English had thrown women, old men and infants, from the bridge of Enniskillen, with all his forces invaded Connaught, which Richard Bingham held ground down under heretical tyranny. In his raids extending far and wide he destroyed the English colonists and settlers, put them to flight, and slew them, sparing no male between 15 and 60 years who did not know how to speak the Irish language. He burnt the village of Longford in Annaly, which Browne, an English heretic, had wrested from O'Farrell and now occupied. He returned to Tyrconnell laden with the spoils of the Protestants. After this incursion into Connaught, not a single farmer, settler, or Englishman, remained except those who were safely inside the walls of the castles and fortified towns, for those who had not been destroyed by fire and sword, being stripped of their goods, retired to England, railing with bitter curses against those who had brought them into Ireland.

Na g-Ceann with O'Donnell's assistance reduces Belleek Castle; successfully encounters the English; and is inaugurated The MacWilliam.

AT this time O'Donnell honourably entertained a Connaught nobleman, Theobald Burke, surnamed The Bald (Theobald na-gCeann), the son of Walter, and nephew of The MacWilliam, and who having been despoiled of his ancestral estates by the English and imprisoned in Athlone had escaped a few months previously. O'Donnell persuaded him to attempt the recovery of his father's estates by force of arms, and Na-gCeann, having got from O'Donnell a few soldiers, returned to Connaught and besieged the castle of Belleek. This was held by a garrison under John MacKinnily, an Irish Catholic, but loyal to the Queen, and when it seemed as if he must soon perish from want of provisions, the Protestants resolved to come to his aid. Between those of Duke's army who did not desert after the defeat at the ford of Biscuits, garrison troops summoned from the town of Galway, and recent levies in Connaught from the village of Clonacastle, there were in all fourteen companies of foot and three troops of horse, over which Fullerton, an Englishman, was placed in command. The principal captains were Tuite, an Anglo-Irishman; Hugh and William Moystyn, sons of an English father and Irish mother; and George Bingham Oge and Minch, Englishmen. These were ordered to throw supplies into Belleek castle. Na-gCeann being informed of this, and having got further forces from O'Donnell, marched with a thousand men to meet Fullerton and attack him in the passes on his road and so fight him at advantage. Fullerton set out from Cloonacastle and having advanced about twenty miles proceeded to ravage the country and drive off his prey. Na-gCeann's advance guard fell in with the scattered and dispersed royalist plunderers and slew about sixty of them. Fullerton, however, getting the prey together crossed the ford of Ballylahan and divided his forces into two columns between which he placed the booty, prisoners, and other baggage. Himself accompanied by his body guard marched in the middle, protected as if by a fort. The natives incensed at the plundering, and the soldiers sent on by Na-gCeann, suddenly coming up attacked the baggage on the march, drove off the cattle; scattered the baggage; carried off almost all the provisions; slew Fullerton with many wounds; and got off themselves safely despite the efforts of those who ran up from the columns. Here upon the royalists deprived of their general and supplies, dejectedly betook themselves to Inishcoe, a large but then deserted village. There they rested after their march for three days, during which time they suffered from want, living on scanty rations of biscuit and water. Meantime John MacKinnily having used up all his provisions, essayed to relieve his hunger on herbs and cabbages, but being at last unable to subsist on these and worn out with want, he surrendered to Na-gCeann's mercy. The royalist captains hearing of this, returned by another route to the country of Theobald Burke, surnamed Na-long, claimant to the chieftaincy of MacWilliam's country, and who more on account of this claim, and of enmity to Na-gCeann than of love for the Protestants, ever adhered to the Queen. As they were returning by Mount Nephin, Na-gCeann attacked them about 7 o'clock in the morning, and pursued continuously attacking them, sometimes at close quarters and sometimes at long range until about five o'clock in the afternoon. The Catholics were inferior in numbers, but the Irish gunmen and Scottish archers sent by O'Donnell were great marksmen. The English weak with hunger were hardly fit to carry their arms, and so the Irish killed those who fell out of the ranks in sight of their comrades. Hence the Irish mercenaries in the Queen's army were engaged in the double task of defending themselves and their English associates. On that day 400 of the royalists were slain including Tuite the Irishman, and Minch, the Englishman. The Catholics did not suffer any considerable loss. Shortly after this Na-gCeann was, at O'Donnell's instance, inaugurated The MacWilliam, by which title we shall hereafter call him.

The English Garrison driven out of Portmore and besieged in the Castle of Monaghan.

THESE risings increased daily. There is in Ulster a river which the Irish call the Abhainn-mhor, and the English the Blackwater, either because it is more turbid than other Irish rivers, which are usually clear and pellucid, or because the English often met with defeat and disaster on its banks. On this river there was a fort, famous on many occasions in this war, as will appear later on, called by the English, the Blackwater fort, and by the Irish, Portmore, that is to say the great fort. It was situated three miles beyond Armagh, the seat of the Primate of Ireland, and seven miles south of Dungannon, Earl Tyrone's chief town. From this fort the Queen's English garrison and heretical minister were expelled by certain Irishmen. Moreover, some of the MacMahons besieged Monaghan castle, the capital of Oriel, unjustly taken, as we have seen, from that family by the Viceroy's decree and fortified by an English garrison. The besiegers cutting off all supplies, it seemed as if the garrison must surrender from want. A quarrel having broken out in Armagh, as we have seen, between the Catholic priest in charge of the principal church and some English soldiers, a certain Irish nobleman, who at the time chanced to be there, cleared the town of all the Queen's garrison who were well punished, some severely wounded and some killed. For all these things the English laid the blame on O'Neill.




On the Fifteen Years' War.

WE have seen the first irregular and preliminary stage of the war. And now follow greater events, more memorable and interesting. We shall in the present book relate the fierce and bloody contests between O'Neill, the great leader of the War: O'Donnell, and other Irishry on the one side; and on the other, John Norris, a most distinguished English general; Russell, and the proud Borough, Viceroys; the Earl of Kildare; Bingham and other champions of the Queen's party.
The Equipment and Leaders of both Parties. Earl Tyrone inaugurated The O'Neill.

BY these risings of the Catholics, commotions, and defeats, Elizabeth, Queen of England, was sorely worried, and strained every nerve to quiet Ireland and break down the Catholic forces. In the year 1594 she appointed William Russell viceroy instead of William Fitzwilliam, who had held that office but had resigned. She recalled from France the English veterans who were employed there against His Catholic Majesty, Philip II., and ordered a levy in England and Ireland. John Norris, an English knight, with 1,800 English veterans from France, speedily landed in Ireland. Such royalist troops as he found in Ireland—veterans and raw recruits alike—he summoned to his standard, and hastened into Ulster as if to relieve Monaghan castle which, as above mentioned, was surrounded by the MacMahons.

At this time died Turlough, who had been The O'Neill, and who was regarded as the impediment to the Earl of Tyrone's making war on the English. On his death
Tyrone was after the Irish fashion declared The O'Neill by the clansmen and by this title we shall henceforth call him. However, he wrote to Norris asking him not to take extreme measures and stating that he would prefer to preserve the Queen's friendship than to be her enemy; that he had never conspired against the Queen's crown; and that he had been unjustly accused by envious persons. He sent a similar letter to the Queen. But Bagnal, the Governor of Ulster, and O'Neill's bitterest enemy intercepted and suppressed both letters. O'Neill when he saw that an answer to his letters was too long delayed and that the enemy was approaching, prepared to meet him and prevent him relieving Monaghan, which MacMahon's people with the slender force at their command, could not do. Maguire, a most redoubtable hero and Chief of Fermanagh, who was captain of the horse; O'Kane and other chiefs at the head of about 2,000 horse and foot, accompanied him. Norris is said to have increased his army to 4,000 horse and foot splendidly armed. Some were English veterans trained in France, some Anglo-Irish, others old Irish, especially O'Hanlon, Chief of Orior in Ulster, who by hereditary right was royal standard-bearer beyond the river Boyne. Bagnal, Governor of Ulster, was in attendance, and Norris himself, who had displayed the greatest courage and military skill in fighting the Spaniards during the French and Belgian wars, in which he had deservedly earned glory and fame, for in truth he was the greatest of the English generals of his time, although in this war fickle fortune or rather Divine Justice showed him little favour.

The Equipment and Leaders of both Parties. Earl Tyrone inaugurated The O'Neill.

THE great General Norris, with his army, entered Oriel in MacMahon's country and came to a place not far from Monaghan which is called Clontibret (Cluoin Tiburuid), where he displayed his forces to the enemy. O'Neill, not less skilful as a general, but inferior in strength, came against him. Here for the first time the two far-in-a-way most illustrious Generals of the two most warlike islands faced each other. The ground here was an open and level plain, but somewhat heavy with moisture. The waters flowing from the surrounding bog formed a ford over which the English might most conveniently cross. O'Neill blocked this ford; Norris tried to force it. O'Neill endeavoured to drive him back. A cavalry fight and musketry skirmish commenced simultaneously round the ford. The Royalist horse were better armed; the Irish troops were more nimble. The Irish sharpshooters were far better marksmen. This advantage was often common to both parties since there were generally more Irish than English in the Royalist army. The Queen's musketeers were twice worsted by the Catholics, and recalled by Norris, who was always the last to leave the fight, and had even a horse shot under him by a leaden bullet. All of both parties justly admitted the superiority of Maguire's cavalry. Norris being annoyed at his men having been twice repulsed and unable to hold their ground, James Sedgreve, an Irish Meath-man of great size and courage, thus addressed him and Bagnal—‘Send a troop of cavalry with me and I promise you I will drag O'Neill from his saddle.’ O'Neill was stationed on the other side of the ford supported by forty horse and a few musketeers surveying the battle thence and giving his orders. For the third time the cavalry and musketeers renewed the fight and Sedgreve accompanied by a troop of picked Irish and English horse charged the ford. In the ford itself a few horse fell under the fire of O'Neill's bodyguard, but Sedgreve rushed upon O'Neill and each splintered his lance on the corslet of the other. Sedgreve immediately seized O'Neill by the neck and threw him from his horse. O'Neill likewise dragged Sedgreve from his horse and both gripped each other in a desperate struggle. O'Neill was thrown under but such was his presence of mind, that prostrate as he was, he slew Sedgreve with a stab of his dagger under the corslet between the thighs and through the bladder. Eighteen illustrious cavaliers of the Royalists fell round Sedgreve and their colours were captured; the rest sought safety in flight. With them all the Queen's forces were likewise compelled to retreat, having lost seven hundred more or less, whilst the Catholics had only a few wounded, and no number of killed worth mentioning. On the following day as Norris retreated, being short of powder, he was followed and attacked by O'Neill at Bealach Finnuise, where O'Hanlon, Chief Standard Bearer of the Royalist Army, was wounded in the leg and others were shot down by leaden bullets.
Hinch, an Englishman, who held the Castle of Monaghan with three companies of foot and a troop of horse, was obliged to surrender it for want of provisions. He, himself, was let go scot-free as agreed.

The Catholics fortify two Castles taken from the English in Connaught.

WHILE this campaign between O'Neill and Norris was in progress in that part of Ulster which adjoins Meath and faces England there was no lack of activity between O'Donnell and Richard Bingham in that other part of Ulster which adjoins Connaught and in Connaught itself.

In Connaught George Bingham Oge held Sligo Castle with 200 foot, of whom some were Irish. Leaving this in charge of Ulick Burke, son of Raymond, an Irish chief, with some of the soldiers, Bingham himself with the rest sailed round to Ulster in two ships and raided Rathmullan, the chief town of MacSweeny Fanad who was then absent; dismantled the Carmelite Convent and forced the monks to fly to the castle. Laden with booty, he returned to Sligo. Ulick thought that the Irish soldiers were defrauded in the division of the booty and took council with them as to how they should be revenged on Bingham and the English. He arranged to wrest the castle from them on a certain day, and when it came round the Irish attacked the English. Bingham was poniarded by Ulick and the others were either killed or seeking safety in flight, paid the penalty of their sacrilege in raiding the home of the holy Carmelites. The castle was surrendered to O'Donnell, who appointed Ulick commander of it. About this time Tomaltagh and Cathal MacDonough took Ballymote castle from George Bingham the Elder.

In the following autumn, about the time of Norris's defeat by O'Neill, Richard Bingham made an incursion to recover Sligo and take vengeance on Ulick for the slaughter of his kinsmen. He besieged Ulick locked up in Sligo castle. Ulick sallying out every day with the defenders fought before the walls. O'Donnell hastened with 1,600 troops to raise the siege. He pitched his tent at Duraran within view of the enemy. On the first two days the cavalry of both sides riding up to the river which flowed between them, skirmished with javelins. On the third day Roderic, brother of O'Donnell, with Felim MacDevit and another gentleman, having crossed the river, reconnoitred the camp. Against him came Martin, an Englishman, who was accounted the best horseman in Bingham's army, accompanied by his troop. Roderic giving reign to his horse fled to his own people. Martin followed and was the first of his troop to rush the ford when Felim turning round pierced him with a spear and knocked him dead from his horse, into the stream, while Roderic and Felim and their comrade got off safely. On the following day, the fourth of the siege, Bingham raising the blockade, returned home, O'Donnell following and harassing him with missiles.

Russell, the Viceroy and Norris, worsted by O'Neill, Bingham vigorously but fruitlessly attacks Sligo Castle.

IN the following year the English proclaimed O'Neill an enemy and traitor to his country, and now, thoroughly incensed against him, Russell the Viceroy and Norris, commander of the Queen's army took the field.

There is in Ulster a town called Newry, which the English always kept strongly garrisoned. Thence the royalists with all their forces sallied forth, fully determined to capture the city of Armagh, the seat of the Primate of Ireland. However, they had gone scarcely eight miles when at Kilcloney, O'Neill met them with half as numerous forces, and accompanied by Maguire, O'Kane, the sons of O'Hanlon and other noblemen. Here a battle commenced after midday, and the royalists having suffered severely, were forced to retreat to Newry. On this day the Catholics had 200 and the Royalists 600 killed.

Bingham on his side was by no means asleep. He summoned the Irish earls of Thomond and Clanrickarde, and made a levy in Connaught. He collected the garrisons and Anglo-Irish gentry of Meath, and with 24 standards attacked and blockaded Sligo. Ulick Burke and his garrison advancing outside the ramparts fought stoutly, but at last
was shut up in the castle by the overwhelming numbers of the besiegers and kept off the enemy by hurling missiles from the towers, battlements, windows, and other fortifications. The Royalists advanced a sow5 under the walls of the castle and began to bore and undermine them. Ulick pounded the roof of the sow and the soldiers in it with a beam of great size fastened by ropes to the battlements and alternately raised and dropped. O'Donnell advanced to the rescue of the besieged, and Bingham fled. Six hundred Royalists perished in that siege. However the castle was so troublesome to defend that O'Donnell demolished it.

The Royalists treat for peace with the Catholics; occupy Armagh; and unsuccessfully assail O'Neill.

SINCE the Royalists were unsuccessful in the field, they made truces with O'Neill and O'Donnell and opened negotiations for peace. Henry Wallop, Treasurer of Ireland, and Robert Gardner, Chief Justice, came to them to ascertain with what terms they would be satisfied. O'Neill complained that the reward of his labours and merits had been intercepted by Bagnal, and that he had been falsely accused of crimes, and also complained bitterly of other wrongs. Amongst other terms he asked a full pardon for all offences and that he and his people should be allowed to profess the Roman Catholic faith, and that the Queen's judges and ministers should never enter his country. O'Donnell and others made the like demands, first complaining much of their wrongs.

Meantime 1000 English foot who were hired in Belgium by the Batavians against the Spaniards, were recalled and sent into Ireland. Russell the Viceroy and Norris quickly marched into Ulster these and the veteran English and Irish troops from France and Ireland, as well as the English recruits in Munster, Leinster and Meath, and so called Anglo-Irish:—a regular army three times the size of O'Neill's. Without any resistance they entered Armagh, the most celebrated and holiest metropolitan city of Ireland, expelled the monks, priests, and holy nuns, and other townspeople, the town being without natural protection and entirely defenceless.
They entered and profaned the churches, turning them into stables and to profane uses. They fiercely destroyed images of the saints and in the height of their delight went on not doubting but that with so strong an army they would on this single expedition crush O'Neill and all the Catholics and cow their resolution. However, they had not gone more than a mile and a half from Armagh when O'Neill at the head of his slender forces met them, later than, perhaps, he would have wished, as he would have desired to keep them out of Armagh. At Beal antha Killotir Kilcreevy Otra? O'Neill blocked the road and vigorously attacking the English veterans from France and Belgium in the midst of their triumph, he threw them in to confusion and drove them before him, and pursued them as with broken ranks they retreated to Armagh, killing and wounding many. The Catholics lost only forty, amongst them two noblemen, Farmodirrhy O'Hanlon and Patrick MacGuilly. The Royalists leaving 500 soldiers under Francis Stafford, knight, at Armagh, returned and halted not far from Dundalk, whence the Viceroy leaving the entire management of the war against O'Neill to Norris, returned to Dublin to look after affairs in Leinster and Connaught.
The Spanish Ambassadors prevent the conclusion of peace. The Garrison of Armagh strangely chastised by Saint Patrick.

NEGOTIATIONS for peace were again opened. The Queen offered fair and honourable terms to the Catholic clergy and laity. Hostages were given by O'Neill and O'Donnell and other Irishmen that they would agree to fair and honourable terms and not prosecute the rebellion any further. But before peace was concluded or arms laid down Cobos and other ambassadors of Philip II., King of Spain, reached O'Neill and O'Donnell, bidding the Irish in the King's name to be of good heart, that an army would be sent to their assistance by His Catholic Majesty without delay. The result of this embassy was to break off negotiations for peace, and the war was renewed on both sides. O'Hanlon, Magennis, and all Ulster except the Royalist garrison towns and the Anglo-Irish of Louth, joined the Confederation.
The war spread in Leinster, and Connaught was very unsettled.
O'Neill was so sorely vexed at the holy city of Armagh being contaminated by heretics, that he determined to cut it off from provisions, not daring to assault it while so strongly garrisoned. St. Patrick, however, the Patron and Guardian of Ireland, and who was the first to consecrate this city to God, would not put off the punishment of the crime which impiously defiled the sacred town with heretics. It is believed that he was the Bishop who, clad in pontificals, frequently and plainly appeared to the English at night and threatened them; took away the iron tips of their spears; and extracted the bullets and powder from their guns. Rowley, an English captain, was so terrified by these portents, that he became almost insane; and Baker, an English adjutant, being carried by the Bishop to the pinnacle of the church, swore he would never again profane churches and dreading Divine vengeance, he abandoned the army, was converted to the Catholic faith, and began to do penance. Meditating on this incident, I cannot restrain my tears or refrain from deploring the state of things in these times and the perverse behaviour and madness of not merely the new, but even of many of the ancient Irish who, although they were Catholics, assisted the English heretics who had placed a garrison in the holy city of Armagh and defiled it, laying impious hands on the images of St. Patrick, the Patron of Ireland, and of other saints and expelling God himself as present in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, trampling them under foot or hacking with their swords when pursued. Nor do I bewail so much the folly of laymen as the crass stupidity of our parochial guides and masters and other clergy who during this war yielded obedience and afforded assistance to the heretics. Baker, an English heretic soldier, swears to Saint Patrick that he will never again violate churches in Ireland, and, lest he be compelled to break his oath, he gives up the army, his pay, rank and glory, and (O shame!) the Anglo-Irish Catholic priest will not influence Irish Catholics against assisting the English heretics who have desecrated the Church of Saint Patrick and attacked its defenders.

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O'Neill intercepts the supplies sent to Armagh and by stratagem cuts off many of the Garrison. Armagh is surrendered to him. He vainly attacks Carlingford Castle.

TO return to our subject. A great swarm of lice afflicted the garrison of Armagh and many perished of this plague. Famine soon followed. The Royalists, exercised by this circumstance, sent three companies of foot and one troop of horse with supplies. O'Neill with eight companies and some horse intercepted these at Mount Bued, routed them in a night attack, and captured the provisions. At dawn the next day he dressed some of his own cavalry and foot in the English uniform and ordered them to go towards the city carrying the captured standards and the provisions. He, himself, followed with the rest and commenced a feigned attack. The cavalry on both sides dexterously encounter and break their spears on one another's cuirasses: guns are briskly fired at the report and flash of which soldiers fall as if wounded. Stafford the Governor of Armagh garrison, seeing this, sent half of the garrison to assist those conveying the supplies. There is a monastery within a gunshot of Armagh, having passed which the garrison were attacked in the rear by Con, son of O'Neill, who had been placed in ambush in the monastery with some foot, and in front O'Neill with all his men who had been engaged in the feigned fight bore down and destroyed them under Stafford's eyes. Not long after this Stafford was compelled by want of food to surrender Armagh to O'Neill, and as agreed, was sent to his own people.

Twenty-four miles from Armagh and eight from Newry is Carlingford castle, overhanging the river and fortified by nature and art. It was now held by half a company of English with whom were Thomas Kellody and eight other Irishmen. Thomas and the eight Irishmen, as arranged with O'Neill, suddenly attacked the English and killed six and drove the rest out of the castle. O'Neill had promised Thomas that he would be at the castle at cock-crow that night and Thomas waited for him in the castle until near dawn, but O'Neill delaying too long, Thomas left the castle and fled. At break of day O'Neill halted with his men before the castle, and fearing lest it was held by the English did not venture too close, until

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Thomas should give the signal. The English who had been expelled from the castle, seeing O'Neill halting and no signal given from the castle, guessed that it had been abandoned by Thomas, and themselves entered the empty fort and defended it. O'Neill disappointed in his expectations returned home.

Norris occupies Armagh a second time: erects Mount Norris; loses both: and unsuccessfully encounters O'Neill.

AGAIN Norris with all his forces seeks Armagh deserted by O'Neill, and places there a garrison of four companies under Henry Davers, a knight. Thence he makes for Portmore and occupies that place also; the fort having been dismantled and the buildings burned by O'Neill. He was prevented advancing further by O'Neill's appearance with his army, encamped on the road where he could not be attacked with advantage. Norris commenced to erect a fort which he called after himself Mount Norris. O'Neill endeavoured to obstruct him. Fighting went on for some days, some falling on both sides but the Royalists suffering most. At last Norris retired, leaving a garrison under Williams in the new fort. After his retirement O'Neill soon reduced this fort and Armagh into his possession by cutting off the garrisons from supplies. He sent the garrisons safely away as agreed. Norris again set out in force to recover Armagh. At Mullaghbrack, in Orior, O'Neill ventured a battle and routed and scattered the enemy, who reorganised by Norris, renewed the fight. Again they were defeated by the skill and valour of O'Neill's gunmen and of Maguire, his master of the horse. For a second time reanimated by Norris they renew the combat, and for the third time are compelled to retire before the fierce attack of the Catholics, and to retreat, Norris himself receiving a bullet wound, according to many. The gentlemen of both parties justly conceded the honours of this day to Maguire.

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Norris vainly treats with O'Donnell for peace in Connaught and carries on an unsuccessful war.

I DO not find that after this day Norris again faced O'Neill. Setting out for Connaught he halted at Athlone and assembled all his forces. Thither came the Earls of Thomond and Clanrickarde; Na-long; and other Irish chiefs of the English party; The Anglo-Irish; the levies of Munster, Leinster and Meath; Irish and English veterans; and the reinforcements recently sent from England. He is said to have had about 10,000 horse and foot. O'Donnell mustered his forces of 5,000 against him. At this time there accompanied O'Donnell out of Ulster, the three MacSweenys and O'Doherty, bound to him by ancient ties of fealty, and the ever valiant Maguire; out of Connaught came O'Rourke, MacWilliam, O'Kelly, MacDermott, O'Connor Roe, O'Dowd. With him came also Murrough MacSheehy, a Munster gentleman of birth, with 300 men, who had been for about two years lurking in the woods in Munster and there raiding the heretics as opportunity offered and going through many trials in harassing them. There were also some ecclesiastics, especially Raymond O'Gallagher, Bishop of Derry, and Vice-Primate of Ireland, who absolved from the ban of excommunication those who went over from the Royalist army to the Catholics. Norris advancing from Athlone with his great and well-ordered army came to the village of Ballinrobe in MacWilliam's country and halted there to the south of the river as O'Donnell was encamped on the other side thereof. On the first day and following night a brisk fire was kept up on both sides. On the following day Norris beat a parley, to which O'Donnell agreed. Out of the conference arose negotiations for peace. Every day under truces terms of peace were discussed, and the entire nights were spent in fighting, making attacks on one another's camps, capturing outposts and scouts and fighting hand-to-hand and at long range. It happened that on one night when Na-long was on sentry, three hundred Royalists were killed. Some fled from Norris to O'Donnell, especially Thady O'Rourke, The O'Rourke's brother, who had lived with his kinsman the Earl of Ormond from his childhood. In treating for peace Norris offered O'Donnell, O'Rourke, MacWilliam and others, great advantages if they would return to the Queen's allegiance. The treaty was delayed by the arrival at this time in Donegal of a Spanish ship

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urging O'Neill, O'Donnell and the other Irish chiefs in the name of his Catholic Majesty not to abandon the course they had begun, and assuring them of Spanish aid. And so when the negotiations had wasted a whole month, Norris being about to return, shifted his camp. O'Donnell followed him and seriously harassing his rear ranks and outside wings with missiles. Norris, however, decided not to help his distressed followers until the Catholics who were attacking them crossed the nearest hedge, thinking, indeed, that those who should cross the hedge might easily be cut off by his men. O'Donnell also seeing this, and being mounted on a fleet horse, rode up to the hedge and recalled his men who were eager to cross it. Norris baulked in this plan, railed with terrible imprecations against the fate which condemned him to lose in Ireland, the smallest speck of the wide world, that fame which his great valour and military skill had earned for him in France and Belgium, and complained sorrowfully that the enemy's generals were not to be surpassed by him in military skill nor their troops to be excelled by his in stoutness and steadfastness. And fairly, indeed, might so great a general launch complaints against the fickleness of fortune. For in the opinion of all whom I have consulted in this matter, Norris was of all the English who flourished at this time, first alike in military skill and in valour, and in France and Belgium earned a great name by the success of his campaigns. Therefore I do not doubt but that it was Divinely ordained the Catholics should have most luck, but the Royalists, although stoutly and courageously fighting, should nevertheless be unfortunate. Nor is this strange, for I have no doubt but that the Irish Catholics in the Royalist army must have fought with a heavy conscience against the Catholic religion, and the English were not as strong and as suited for sustaining the burthens of war and battle as the Irish, and O'Neill studiously chose ground suitable for himself to meet Norris upon and where he fought at an advantage which seemed necessary to him, as he was inferior in point of numbers.

Relates some events in Leinster. The extraordinary death of Norris.

NOW I must notice events in Leinster which, although provided with meagre resources, yet joined the Catholic

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confederation with great resolution and valour. After the removal by treachery of that resolute hero and relentless enemy of heretics, Fiagh O'Byrne, his sons Felim and Raymond took up their father's arms. While Raymond headed risings against the heretics, started in Leinster, Felim went into Ulster, to O'Neill, to ask help, and having got from O'Neill nearly 300 foot under command of Brian O'More, surnamed Reagh, a Leinster chief, most opportunely came to the assistance of his struggling brother and after some successful forays recovered his entire patrimony, at this time nearly altogether lost. Thence Brian harassed with sudden raids those English who inhabited Wexford, and the Irish of the English party. As he was driving off a prey, four English companies with 400 Irish auxiliaries overtook him in an open plain. Brian having drawn up his column of 400 Irish foot (he had no more), hazarded a battle and by the Divine assistance conquered. The English were slain to a man, and not a few of their Irish auxiliaries were missing. The rest sought safety in flight. The risings in Leinster swelled when Owny O'More came of age. He was the son of Roderic, of whom we have made mention above, and having been concealed and reared by Fiagh O'Byrne was, with his brother Edmund, sent by Fiagh's sons into Leix before he was of an age for war. Here, with the aid of some kinsmen and of some of his father's tenants in Leix, he endeavoured to recover the patrimony of his ancestors from the heretics. Wareham St. Leger, Governor of Leix, endeavouring to suppress his young efforts, was defeated with the loss of about 50 men. I have detailed these out of many incidents of the time of Russell and Norris, who were deprived of their government for their unsuccessful management of the war, and a successor was appointed. The Presidency of Munster was left to Norris, and he filled this office for three years until he met a most extraordinary death. It is said that as he was amusing himself by night at Mallow, a person of black visage and garments suddenly entered the room, with whom Norris, leaving his game, retired into his bedroom, whence all witnesses were excluded except one boy, who concealed himself near the door and heard the conversation which is said to have been somewhat as follows: ‘It is time,’ said the black one, ‘for us to put the finishing touch to our plans.’ ‘I don't wish to do it,’ said Norris, ‘until we have wound up the Irish war.’ ‘On no account,’ said the other, ‘will I wait longer than the appointed day which is now come.’ Suddenly a great uproar was heard,

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attracted by which, those at play and the servants forced the door and burst into the room, when the Black one, who undoubtedly was the Devil, was nowhere to be found, but Norris was on his knees with his neck and shoulders so twisted that the top of his chest and his face were over his back. He was, however, still living and ordered the trumpeters and drummers to be called to sound his deathknell, and whilst they were clamouring, he died about midnight. His body was embalmed with aromatic and fragrant perfumes, and sent into England. A propos of this incident, I am amazed at the folly of the heretics in bestowing this great honour on the corpse of an impious man, while they scatter the relics of saintly martyrs. It may, however, be seen how much the Good God helped O'Neill in not only often defeating Norris, the most skilled of the English generals and superior in every warlike equipment, but even in conquering the Devil himself, who it is thought agreed to help Norris.

Borough the Viceroy and the Earl of Kildare wage an unsuccessful war on the Catholics.

AT the close of the year of Our Lord 1597 Thomas Baron Borough, a man of generous disposition and open hand, inured to war and of gracious manners, was sent as Viceroy to Ireland and on his arrival won over some of the Leinstermen and other Irish by his courtesy and graciousness. He effected a month's truce with O'Neill, O'Donnell and others, but being unable to agree on terms of peace, commenced a more vigorous campaign against O'Neill. He had a large army composed of the troops formerly serving under Russell and Norris and those lately sent from England, with which he invaded Ulster. He was followed by the Meath Anglo-Irish and regular troops under Barnwall, Baron of Trimblestown. These latter were met at Crickstown by Richard Tyrrell with 400 foot, sent by O'Neill to spread disaffection in Leinster or promote it in Meath. This Tyrrell was an Anglo-Irishman, but a Catholic, like

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the rest, and incensed by English injustice, had escaped from prison to O'Neill. When Barnwall saw the small forces Tyrrell had, he sent against him his son with 1,000 foot, not doubting but that the youth would achieve a glorious victory, by the éclat of which he himself would gain the good graces of the Viceroy. Tyrrell, a veteran soldier, well skilled in war, defeated the Meathmen and put them to flight, and having killed many of them, carried off Barnwall's son a captive to O'Neill, by whom he was afterwards liberated on ransom.

Borough occupied Armagh and Portmore, which O'Neill had deserted. He unsuccessfully tried to advance, but was stopped by O'Neill, who blocked up the roads with two camps. In one was MacMahon and Cormac, brother of O'Neill and Art, encamped on Drumflugh within two gunshots of the enemy's road to Benburb. In the other camp O'Neill himself and James MacDonnell of the Glens pitched their tents at Tobermesson. The Viceroy being blocked on his march began to reconstruct Fort-Norris, which O'Neill had dismantled and in order to obstruct this work there were fought by day and night many skirmishes of cavalry and infantry, and especially with missiles both at long range and close quarters. O'Donnell came to O'Neill's assistance and his cavalry had the better of the enemy's horse and of Turlough O'Neill son of Henry and uterine brother of O'Neill, but who espoused the Queen's side. On a night in which the Catholics had attacked the Royalist camp there was a rumour that the Viceroy had been wounded, which I will not take on myself to say was true or false, but, leaving the Earl of Kildare in command he retired from the camp and died in a few days.

Kildare, delighted and flushed with his authority, endeavoured to effect what the Viceroy had been unable to do, namely to advance further.

Proceeding through a wood and bye-ways with his leading gentlemen and best soldiers, he had got over the worst of his road when the Catholics heard of his move and coming up attacked him and slew 60 royalist gentlemen including Turner, the Paymaster-General of the Queen's army, Francis Vaughan, the Viceroy's brother-in-law, and Thomas Walen, all Englishmen. Kildare thrown from his horse by a stroke of a lance and again mounted by two brothers—O'Hickey, Irishmen, sons of his fostermother, was badly bruised and fled wounded and died in a few days after The O'Hickeys while mounting their master, were themselves surrounded and slain. Many

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royalists were wounded, and as many as had come thither out of the camp were killed, routed, or driven back. The royal army immediately retreated, having faced the Catholics between Portmore and Benburb from the end of Spring for about four months, and leaving garrisons at Armagh and in Portmore under Thomas Williams, an Englishman. Hereupon the Irish whom Borough had conciliated, immediately broke out into rebellion again.

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On the Fifteen Years' War.
WE have seen the campaigns of Russell, Norris and Borough. These were fierce enough, but fiercer followed. In this book are contained the events which occurred while Earl Ormond commanded the royalist army down to the death of Marshal Bagnal.
Henry Bagnal relieves Armagh and attacks O'Neill's Camp.

ON Borough's death, Thomas Butler, surnamed The Black, Earl of Ormond, an Irishman, was appointed commander of the royal army. Adam Loftus, Chancellor of Ireland, and Robert Gardiner, a judge, discharged the functions of Viceroy, and in their time occurred many memorable incidents.

O'Neill, understanding that the garrison of Armagh were in want of provisions, resolved to cut them off from supplies. In the Spring he called out his men from their winter quarters to Mullaghbane, fifteen hundred paces from Armagh and pitched his camp over against Newry, believing the royalists would go that way to Armagh. He stationed his brother Cormac at Armagh with 500 soldiers to prevent the garrison sallying out. Henry Bagnal, an English knight, Marshal of Ireland, and Governor of Ulster with 24 companies of foot and 10 troops of horse, left Newry to relieve the besieged, and O'Neill did not doubt but that he would meet him on the road. However, Con, an illegitimate son of O'Neill's who had been vexed by his father a few days previously, fled to the English, and Turlough O'Neill, son of Henry, and uterine brother of O'Neill's, who was already with the English, being both well acquainted

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with the locality, secretly conducted Bagnal with all his forces and baggage through unused roads and bye-ways past O'Neill's army. Bagnal immediately sent 1,300 foot and three troops of cavalry with provisions on to Armagh. Cormac attacked them as they were bringing up the provisions and also on their return, but could not keep such superior numbers from entering the town. Meantime Bagnal, with the rest of his forces, attacked O'Neill's camp. Now Turlough and Con O'Neill led the way and because they did not seek O'Neill's life, although irritated against him, and because for personal reasons they bore a stronger hatred to O'Hanlon who always sided with the Catholic party, they endeavoured to bring Bagnal to that wing of the camp where O'Hanlon was. But it turned out quite contrary to their intentions, for O'Neill was stationed where they expected O'Hanlon to be, and the royalists surrounding unawares twenty-four gentlemen placed by O'Neill on guard outside the camp, either killed or seized them; broke into the camp and surrounded the tent of O'Neill who with those on that side of the camp fled half asleep. The royalists pillaged the abandoned tents and slew some camp-followers in their sleep. O'Neill getting his forces together drove out the enemy and for a great part of the day hung on their retreat, firing upon them. On this action Bagnal plumed himself on having got the provisions into Armagh; spoiled part of O'Neill's camp, and suffered little.

The English Governor of Carrickfergus, cut off by The Chief of the Glens, and Barnwall, General of the Meathmen, is routed by MacMahon.

WINTER ensuing, John Chichester, an English knight, who held Carrickfergus with a strong garrison sallied out to forage, with 500 foot and a troop of horse. At Aldfreck he fell in with James MacDonnell, Chief of the Glens, with 400 foot and 60 horse. The gunmen on each side attacked one another. The royalists were driven back by the Catholics. John coming to the rescue with his cavalry, his gunmen renewed the fight and forced the Catholics to retire. James then brought up his horse, rallied his musketeers and charged John. He was struck by three lances but saved by his corslet. John was killed and fell

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from his horse and his cavalry and foot turned tail. James pursued for about three miles up to the fort and slew all of the royalists he overtook so that barely messengers of slaughter escaped. Baron Barnwall, with his Meath Anglo-Irish troops and some companies of English was routed and put to flight by MacMahon, Chief of Oriel as he was ravaging that country Monaghan.

O'Neill and O'Donnell make a fruitless attack on Portmore. Brian O'More successfully encounters the Royalists.

FOILED in his attempt to cut off supplies from the garrison of Armagh, O'Neill at once set about reducing Portmore by starving it out. During the siege O'Donnell, who had come to his assistance, persuaded him to try an assault on the fort. Having calculated its height scaling ladders of proper length and wide enough for five men to mount abreast were made and advanced to the fort. The besieged hastened to drive off the assailants at first with a heavy discharge of artillery and as they came closer the musketeers opened fire, which was returned by the assailants. The ladders were brought forward to the Castle, but the besieged, who had learned that these ladders were being made, had deepened the ditch which surrounded the castle so that most of the ladders did not reach to the parapet and those who got to the top of them and could not get farther on account of the shortness of the ladders fruitlessly attacked the besieged. Those ladders which did reach to the top of the fort were so few that the first to ascend were easily slain before they could be succoured by their comrades. One hundred and twenty Catholics perished, and amongst them Murrough Kavanagh, a Leinster nobleman and stout soldier who had distinguished himself in Belgian wars. The others being tired out abandoned the assault and besieged the fort in the old way.

At this time Owny O'More seeing that he was unable to withstand the enemy's forces, came to Ulster and asked O'Neill to aid Leinster. Meantime Brian O'More took on the conduct of the war in Leinster and seven times successfully encountered the English and their Anglo-Irish allies from Wexford, capturing seven standards and fourteen military drums.

The Earl of Ormond driven out of Leix and Owny comes to the rescue of the Catholics.

THE double anxiety of the insurrections in Leinster and the failure of provisions in Portmore, in addition to other matters oppressed Elizabeth, Queen of England, and she earnestly commanded her men to prevent a double mishap and to quell the risings in Leinster and relieve Portmore. For these purposes recruits were sent from England, the garrisons were called out, a muster was made in the Irish provinces, and about 8,000 horse and foot of every kind were got together. Of these those who were decrepit with age or appeared too young for war were dismissed. The English recruits lately raised were placed in garrison towns. Of the remaining Irish and English 4,500 foot and 500 horse were selected for their stoutness and skill to relieve Portmore. Two thousand of the Irish allies and some regular Irish troops and the English, of whom few were cavalry, were entrusted to Ormond to quell the Leinster rising. With these Ormond was confident he could reduce Leix and put down all insurrections in Leinster. Leix, in which there appeared to be most difficulty, was first attacked. Brian O'More, who had but 300 foot, was placed in the greatest peril, but did not hesitate to harass Ormond by blocking the narrow passes. Ormond sent against him 1,000 foot, English and Irish, under James Butler, his nephew, son of his brother Edward. Brian, relying on the nature of the ground, did not hesitate to fight. James, dividing his forces into two divisions, advanced. In this way Brian was forced to quit his advantageous position and encountered the division in which James himself was, on the level ground with missiles and especially with musketry, and being wounded by a bullet his spirit became rather heightened than cowed and he all the more zealously encouraged his men to fight. James, pierced by two bullets, perished miserably—a Catholic of illustrious birth fighting for heretics. On his fall the rest fled, and the other division was also routed as it was coming to the rescue. Brian, pursuing the fugitives effected a great slaughter, and would have done greater execution had not Ormond come up and shielded the panic-stricken, and leaving the rebellion unsettled, departed out of Leix. Brian died of his wound within four days and on his death all Leinster might, perhaps, without much difficulty have been reduced, were it not that the very opportune arrival of Owny O'More encouraged the insurgents. When O'More was looking to O'Neill for aid there was with the latter Raymond Burke, Baron of Leitrim, who had been deprived of his estates.

We have already shown how John Burke, Baron of Leitrim, when slain by his brother Ulick with the sanction of the English, left an infant son Raymond, and the government of the Barony was adjudged to the Queen because according to English law the wardship of chiefs during minority vests in the Queen. The government of the barony was, however, bestowed by the Queen on Fenton, an Englishman and secretary of the Irish Privy Council, and from him Ulick, Earl of Clanrickarde, uncle of Raymond, had purchased the barony and thus getting into possession he refused to restore the barony to Raymond who was now of age and out of wardship. Raymond went to law and got judgment from the English and the Queen, but on account of the war breaking out before Raymond got possession, the English failed to carry their judgment into execution lest in such dangerous times they excite the ill-will of so powerful a man as the Earl. Raymond therefore turned to O'Neill for assistance to recover his patrimony. O'Neill was so engaged in the defence of Tyrone that he put off helping him and with faint hope of success Raymond set out for Leinster with Owny, who was also accompanied by Dermot O'Connor, a Connaught Chief. These were followed by all the Connaughtmen who having been driven from their homes were staying with O'Neill. Richard Tyrrell, also, of whom we have made mention already, was brought along by Owny who with these entered Leix on the same day on which Brian had fought the enemy, but not able to assist in the battle or come up with Ormond on his retreat.
The Catholics and Royalists come to a Fierce General Engagement with all their Forces. Bagnal is slain. Armagh and Portmore are recovered by the Catholics.

WHILE these events were taking place in Leinster, Henry Bagnal, an English knight, Marshall of Ireland, and President of Ulster, arrived in the town of Newry, in the
province of Ulster, and which was held by a strong garrison of heretics, and situated not more than nineteen miles from the fort of Portmore which he was going to relieve with a rather large army of Royalists. Thence after three days march he halted in the city of Armagh. Bagnal was skilled in the art of war, and what you rarely find in a general, he was equally pre-eminent in council and in courage, cautious in prosperity, courageous in adversity, and not so insolent towards the vanquished or those who surrendered as most of the English, who are never sparing of gibes. And so I would venture to compare few of his people's generals with him and to prefer still fewer. He was bitterly incensed against O'Neill not only on the general ground of religion and loyalty, but also on account of private quarrels. He commanded 4,500 foot, under forty colours and a like number of captains, lieutenants, ensigns, sergeants, and 500 horse under eight colours, of whom Montague, an Englishman, was master. Of the whole number, there was a slight majority of Irish in the pay of the English. All were veterans, the Englishmen being either the survivors of those who, under John Norris, had fought in France, or who had been picked from the Belgian garrisons, or who, from the beginning of this war, had learned military tactics in Ireland. The Irish, also, who, formed into corps under regular military discipline, fought as mercenaries in the Royalist army, had often given proof of their valour. Amongst them were some Irish young men of illustrious birth, especially the O'Reilly's son, Maelmurray, who from his singularly fine figure and wonderfully handsome countenance, was surnamed the Fair, and Christopher St. Laurence, son of the Baron of Howth. Here was no tyro. Here was none unskilled in military science. All were exceedingly well furnished with all kinds of arms. Foot and horse were sheathed in mail. The musketeers were equipped for the fight, some with heavy and some with light guns, girded with sword and dagger and having their head protected with helmets. The whole army gleamed with crested plumes and silken sashes, and other military ornaments. Brass cannon mounted on wheels were drawn by horses. There was a large supply of gunpowder and iron and leaden balls. Pack horses and oxen carried a quantity of biscuits, corned meat, cheese, butter, and beer sufficient both to victual the army and provision the fort of Portmore. Drivers accompanied the baggage, and a large number of suttlers and foragers followed. The fort of Portmore was three Irish miles6 from Bagnal and being

besieged by O'Neill, was suffering from want of food. When O'Neill heard of Bagnal's arrival he moved his camp a mile from the fort and pitched it against Bagnal within two miles of Armagh, leaving a few men to prevent the besieged sallying from Portmore.

On this day the Catholics numbered 4,500 foot and about 600 horse, amongst them O'Donnell, who brought about 1,000 Connaught mercenaries under the MacWilliam Burke, and 2,000 of his own men of Tyrconnell and others. The rest were followers of O'Neill, his brother and kinsmen, and chiefs who were bound to him by ancient ties. In a word, there were assembled here nearly the entire youth of the nobility of Ulster and many young Connaughtmen of by no means ignoble birth. They were, however, very inferior in equipment, for both horse and foot were light armed, except a few musketeers, who had heavy guns. For this reason O'Neill being informed of the enemy's equipment, the strength of their army, and the resolution of their general, was in doubt whether a wise man would give ground until Fearfeasa O'Clery, an interpreter of Irish Prophecies, assured him, the holy prophet Ultan had foretold that in this spot the heretic would be routed, and showed him the prophecy written in Irish verse in a book of holy prophecies. Reassured by this prophecy O'Neill stimulated his men to the fight with this speech:—‘Most Christian and fearless men, the Great and Good God has this day in His Divine generosity more than granted our most earnest and frequent prayers and petitions. We have ever been praying to God and his Saints to grant us to fight the Protestants on equal terms. For this have we offered up our prayers; for this have we made our offerings, and now we are not only equal, but actually superior in numbers. Therefore, you, who have, when inferior in numbers, routed the heretical columns, are now in superior numbers pitted against them. I, for my part, hold that victory lies not in senseless armour, nor in the vain din of cannon, but in living and courageous souls. Remember how often when you were not so well equipped or disciplined you have overcome greater generals and forces, and even Bagnal himself. The English never could compare with the Irish in spirit, courage or steadfastness in battle, and the Irish who will be fighting against you will be dispirited by the consciousness of their crime and schism in fighting against the Catholic faith. This very Catholic faith will stimulate your valour. Here you are to defend Christianity, father-land, children and wives. Here must well-deserved chastisement be meted out to Bagnal, of all heretics, your bitterest enemy, who assails your properties, who thirsts for your blood, who impugns my honour. Here must be avenged the insult put upon me by Bagnal when I was deprived of part of my camp at Mullaghbane. Here must we get satisfaction for the deaths of your comrades whom we have lost in the attack on Portmore, and that fort itself which you have so long besieged, and have now cut off from supplies, must be captured. Here is to be obtained that victory which the Lord has promised in the prophecy of St. Ultan. On then, with good heart and with the help of God and his Saints.’

Bagnal on the other side then addressed his men:—‘Trusting in your valour, my most invincible comrades in arms, I have chosen you as my associates, and that the glorious victory I have promised myself might be accounted your work, I have stationed the unskilled and untrained in the garrisons and left to the Earl of Ormond the base and the infirm through whose degeneracy I thought this campaign might be imperilled. Indeed I have ever had such proof of your spirit and valour that I cannot but feel assured and most confident of victory this day. And I believe you have escaped safely with such providential good hap so many misfortunes, so many trials, that on this day you should crown your whole lives with a happy victory and avenge the misfortunes and deaths of your comrades, of Norris and Borough, cut off by rebels and traitors. What! Dare they, unless mad, encounter with naked bodies, armed men, men superior both in bodily strength and stoutness of spirit? I am a fool if they abide the bare look of you, and if you do not this day reduce all Ulster to your sway and subdue all Ireland to the Queen and your selves reap an immense spoil. Remember your valour who under my command succoured Armagh and stripped O'Neill of a considerable part of his camp at Mullaghbane. Whoever brings me, before evening, the head of O'Neill or O'Donnell, I promise a thousand pounds of gold, and to everyone I will give according to his deserts thanks and acknowledgments both on the Queen's and my own behalf. Come, then, let us make haste and not delay our victory.’

Having finished his harangue Bagnal raised his camp at Armagh, before sunrise about the fifteenth day after Lord Ormond's defeat by Brian O'More.

The pikemen were divided into three columns which were preceded and followed by the wings of horse and musketeers.

It was a fine pleasant day when unfurling their banners they marched without opposition over the smiling plain, to the sound of the trumpet, the music of pipes, and the beat of military drums, stimulating man and beast to combat. Presently the road became more difficult, lying between shrubs, which, however, were low and thin. Bagnal having entered this road about 7 o'clock a.m. was assailed with a close fire kept up along the entire cover by 500 beardless youths armed as musketeers and sent by O'Neill. These skirmishers, standing beside the shrubs and shifting amongst the trees,7 brought down horse and foot at long range and this with all more impunity in that the royalist cavalry on account of the shrubs could neither assist their own men nor resist the Catholics, and because the ground was more favourable to the skirmishers already in possession than to the approaching royalists. From these straits Bagnal, with much difficulty, at last extricated his forces, severely harassed by the sharp skirmish and annoyed at seeing themselves attacked with impunity by the skirmishers who seemed such a boyish and silly sort of men. An open plain extending to the Catholic camp came next and as soon as Bagnal gained this the royalist cavalry charged the Catholic skirmishers at full speed. However, O'Neill had dug numerous pits and trenches in the first portion of the plain, especially on and around the road itself, and covered them in with brambles and hay. Into these the mailclad and incautious cavalry tumbled and in this pell-mell fall the legs of the horses and riders were broken and the Catholic skirmishers did not allow them to be relieved by their comrades without a struggle. By this stratagem the royalist army reached the less obstructed plain not only dispirited but having some of their cavalry and foot lost and wounded. Here O'Neill's wearied skirmishers were supplanted by fresh and sound troops and Bagnal also advanced to the fight his skirmishers and heavy armed musketeers. These the Catholic light cavalry charged. The mailclads, too secure in the protection of their armour, held the field.

The light-armed excelling in dexterity and speed and wheeling their horses again and again returned to the fight inflicted many wounds but giving ground, however, all the time.

The mail-clads fought at close quarters with lances about 6 cubits 9 feet long, resting on their right thighs. The light-armed, having longer lances which they grasped in the middle and held above the right shoulder, rarely struck except at advantage, at other times hurling wooden darts tipped with iron and about four cubits long. Thus Bagnal advanced often compelled to halt by O'Neill's lightarmed, and as often repulsing them, until about eleven o'clock he halted not far from the Catholic camp. Now the plain was here bounded on both sides by a marsh and between these bogs O'Neill constructed a low light ditch four feet high and a quarter of a mile long with a rather deep trench inside more to impede the enemy than assist himself. Midway between the ditch and royalist army oozed the discoloured waters flowing from the bogs, whence, perhaps, the place was called according to many the Yellow Ford (Beal atha bui) although according to others it is called the Ford of Saint Buianus. The fight was renewed at the ditch with great vigour by the cavalry and gunmen of both armies. In the heat of the fight an English gunman who had used up all his powder was taking some more from the barrel in which it was and accidently put in the hand which held the lighted tow match; the light being put into, the barrel ignited it and the two nearest barrels also full of powder and blew up some of the soldiers. Meanwhile Bagnal had got into position against the Catholic's ditch and columns his brass cannon, one of which when charged with powder and ball and fired off burst in pieces with the charge of powder and killed some who were standing round.

With the rest Bagnal broke down the ditch and the Catholic cavalry and musketeers exhausted from their defence of the ditch offering no further resistance, the enemy opened his cannon on the uncovered columns of Catholic pikemen. Some parts of the ditch he levelled to the ground and drove the troops from it. Through these breaches the two first divisions of the royalists rushed, one against O'Neill and another against O'Donnell, who held the left wing, and some files crossed the ditch, to whose support Bagnal brought up the rear division. At the same time the royalists, cavalry and musketeers pursued the cavalry and musketeers of the Catholics whom they drove from the ditch, and now both sides fought fiercely on the level ground and the men on both sides commingling dragged one another from horse back. Hereupon the Catholic pikemen, who had moved out of cannon range from the ditch, seeing the enemy's cannon now paralysed, charged the royalist division, though not yet formed into ranks. At this instant, Bagnal who was protected by a coat of mail and helmet which was proof against the shot of a heavy gun, thinking that he had already conquered and in order that he might more freely survey the whole battle field and breathe easier, and fatigued with the weight of his heavy armour, opened the visor of his helmet and raised it but did not set it down and close it before he lay lifeless on the ground struck by a bullet on the forehead. By his death the 3rd division with which he had been was panic-stricken. The two divisions to whom the news of their general's death was not yet announced stoutly stood the brunt. The Catholics in like manner were no way backward in the battle. O'Donnell protected himself by the valour of the musketeers. O'Neill's division seemed in greater peril. In this doubtful state of things, O'Neill, who kept on horseback beside his division with 40 horsemen and as many musketeers ordered the musketeers to fire on the royalists. On obeying this command the musketeers seriously harassed and broke the ranks of the opposing gunmen who had no assistance. O'Neill added terror to their confusion by charging with his 40 horsemen in to the midst of their corps. His division of pikemen following, O'Neill with a loud cry put the royalists to flight about an hour after mid-day. Those who were engaging O'Donnell seeing this, also broke their ranks and turned tail and Montague also retreated with the cavalry. The wings of musketeers betook themselves to flight. O'Neill, O'Donnell and Maguire, who commanded the cavalry, hung on the rear of the fugitives. The dyke and ditch was then a greater obstacle to the flying royalists than it had previously been to them in making their attack, and falling over one another they filled the dyke and were trodden down where they fell by the hoofs of the horses and under the feet of the infantry. The rear division, in which Bagnal had been was of no assistance to the others in their distress, being itself depressed and panic-stricken by the death of its leader. Maelmurray O'Reilly, surnamed the Fair, however, urged the panic-stricken to pluck up spirit and resist the enemy with him, crying out that it was more glorious to fall fighting and avenged than to be slain with impunity in flight, and that even now they might withstand the enemy's attack and drive him back. Some, reanimated by the Fair's appeal, especially young Irishmen allied to him in blood, renewed the fight. The Fair was to be seen everywhere amongst the combatants helping those most hardly pressed, and in greatest danger. However, those few who stood by him were deserted by the royalists and fell covered with wounds inflicted by the Catholics who surrounded them, and the Fair himself, being left alone, was slain fighting most valiantly. All the royalists scattered in flight took to their heels over the plain and underwood by which they had come, flying even to Armagh and slain as they straggled. The horse and about 1,500 foot betook themselves to the Church of Armagh. More than 2,500 royalists perished in the battle among them Bagnal, the commander of the army, 23 captains, many officers, ensigns and sergeants, 34 colours were taken, all the military drums, the cannon, a great quantity of arms, and the entire commissariat. Nor was this a bloodless victory for the conquerors, for although less than 200 were killed, yet more than 600 were wounded. Those who took refuge in the Churches of Armagh, which were held as royalist garrisons, were besieged by the victors. Montague escaped with the cavalry under cover of the darkness of night. Terence O'Hanlon, with some horse from O'Neill's camp, pursued him as he fled in disorder and confusion, and captured the baggage and two hundred horses, and slew three officers. Moreover, Romley, an English captain, was seized and slain the next day, as he was smoking a pipe of tobacco on the roadside. The foot capitulated and were dismissed without their arms, Armagh and Portmore being surrendered to O'Neill.

Several Successes of the Leinstermen and Others.

OWING to this victory and the opportune arrival of Owny O'More many of the Leinstermen plucked up spirit and took up arms for Faith and Freedom, especially Donald Kavanagh, surnamed the Spaniard, because he had lived about four years in Spain. Owny reduced the whole of Leix to his sway except Maryborough and two other forts. Daniel, the Spaniard, wasted with fire and sword a great part of Meath, because it had not joined the confederacy in defence of the Catholic faith against the English. Raymond Burke wrested from the Earl of Ormond and held possession of Lower Ormond which is not far from Leix, and placed garrisons in the forts which had surrendered. In Connacht many deserted from the English and some Ulstermen, who shortly before had gone over to the English, now returned.

WE will now relate some of the actions of the royalist armies under Ormond and Essex the Viceroy, and at the beginning of Blount's government. These actions were bloody and numerous, the war being now carried into Munster.
Describes the state of things in Munster when the war broke out.

WHILST the events we have so far recorded were taking place in Ulster, Leinster, and Connaught, MacCarthy More died leaving Helena, his daughter, betrothed to Florence, son of MacCarthy Reagh, and they disputed with the Queen of England the deceased's estates. Moreover Daniel, an illegitimate son of More's, considered himself no ways unworthy of his father's estate and that his sister Helena should not be preferred to himself, but he did not trust his case to the English, whom he did not expect would be fair judges towards him. However it is suspected that he would have promised them his support were it not that O'Neill was assisting him to obtain his father's chieftaincy. In addition there were James and John FitzGerald dissatisfied at seeing themselves deprived of the Earldom of Desmond since their father Thomas had adhered to the royalists against his brother Earl Gerald.

Therefore, it is said, they turned to O'Neill for assistance. Dermot and Donough MacCarthy were at law about the Chieftaincy of Duhallow, and not satisfied with the decision and rulings of the royalist judges. Others also were ill-affected towards the English both on the general ground of religion and for personal grievances. However, all enjoyed the most profound peace and were then, on account of present difficulties less worried by the English than at other times, and the Munstermen were very little inclined for rebellion with a few exceptions and these possessing little power or resources were not able to do anything worth mentioning. Thus Munster had a good supply of provisions and supplied such of their own, and many of Connaught and some of Leinster, who came looking for victuals when their own countries had been laid waste. Their President, John Norris, had died, as we have seen, and his brother Thomas Norris, a trained soldier, succeeded him.

How the war was carried into Munster and who seceded immediately from the English.

IN this state of things Peter Lacy a Munster gentleman of birth, full of courage and of some eloquence, fled from the English against whom he had committed some crime and came to Owny O'More in Leinster and persuaded him to make an incursion into Munster, representing that most of the Munster men eagerly desired this and were anxious to rebel; that all the Geraldines would make James FitzGerald Earl of Desmond and follow his lead; that the MacCarthys would elect for themselves a Chief of Desmond. Owny approving of this advice, and O'Neill consenting, he brought round to his views his friends who were carrying on the war in Leinster. These were Raymond Burke, Baron of Leitrim, and MacWilliam his brother; Dermot O'Connor and his two brothers Carbery and Con, and Richard Tyrrell. Owny, at the head of 800 foot and about 30 horse, hastened into Munster sooner than anyone had expected, leaving his brother Edmond to look after Leix. Earl Ormond, general of the royalist army, was expected to oppose his progress, but he did not turn up, either surprised by Owny's celerity or because he dreaded to venture a battle. Thomas Norris, an Englishman, President of Munster, perceiving the necessity of driving the enemy from his province, got together such forces as the shortness of time would permit, from the garrisons of his province, the muster of Munstermen, and chief persons of Munster, and summoned all to Mallow, proposing to meet Owny there. As Owny came up he sent bold letters challenging Norris to draw out his troops, but the latter refused and leaving a garrison at Mallow, retired to Cork. Owny followed and his light-armed skirmished with Norris's rear guard with missiles. Instantly more Munstermen than was at all expected seceded from the English: Patrick FitzGerald, who was called Fitzmaurice and Baron of Lixnaw; William FitzGerald, Knight of Kerry and Lord of Rathfinnan; Edmond FitzGerald, Knight of Glin; Edmund FitzGerald, the White Knight and almost all the Munster FitzGeralds, the majority of whom hailed James FitzGerald as Earl of Desmond, by which title we shall henceforth call him. Dermot and Donough MacCarthy, claimants to the Chieftaincy of Duhallow; Daniel son of MacCarthy More; Patrick Condon; O'Donoghue of Eoghanacht or Onaght; O'Donoghue of the Glen; also joined the confederacy. Some other distinguished men also seceded:—Roche, Viscount Fermoy; Richard Butler, Viscount Mountgarret, who had married O'Neill's daughter; Thomas Butler, Baron of Cahir; and others. Many, however, remained friendly to the Queen, not only all the cities and towns, but also chiefs and nobles. Hereupon many flocked from Connaught who were suffering from want in consequence of the devastation of their country and were armed by the Munster-men and officered by Dermot O'Connor, William Burke, Richard Tyrrell, Brian O'Kelly and others. The Munstermen were also enrolled and given captains. The war being thus kindled in Munster, Owny returned to Leinster.

Struggles of the Munstermen with the English and with one another.

WHATEVER English were in the countries of those who took up arms against the Queen, were plundered of their goods and expelled. Some of their forts were stormed but were of little importance, if we except Molahiff Castle which was held by 30 royalists under Nicholas Brown, an English knight. William Burke, Thomas FitzGerald, surnamed Oge, and some of the MacCarthys who lived on the river Maine, attacked this castle with 300 foot, pouring in shot on battlements and windows and compelling the besieged to withdraw therefrom. The besieged defended the fort stoutly and bravely with missiles. One of them was such a wonderful marksman that he shot dead or wounded with leaden bullets sixteen of the assailants. A sow8 was advanced to the castle under cover of which the soldiers undermined the wall. The garrison, manning the breach fought fiercely but were in the end beaten back and the assailants forced an entrance. The besieged cast down on them paving stones and rafters which they tore up. While these were falling the assailants drew back a little but again charging captured the fort and slew the defenders. Dermot MacCarthy, claimant to Duhallow, deeming none more worthy than himself of the country and title of MacCarthy More, assembled a force of Connaughtmen and summoning his friends hastened to take possession of the Chieftaincy after the English had fled. Daniel, illegitimate son of MacCarthy, accompanied by a band of his friends and some Connaughtmen whom he had hired, marched against Dermot, asserting that the country and title of his father justly belonged to him. Both sides gave pledges to abide by the decision of impartial arbitrators and refrained from war. Daniel, however, who remained in the country, was inaugurated MacCarthy, by Daniel O'Sullivan, brother of O'Sullivan More. Forthwith Daniel, now in possession of the Chieftaincy of Clancarthy, and James Earl of Desmond sent troops to compel the Munstermen who had not yet seceded from the English to secede and to levy tribute or contributions from them. The land forces sent against MacCarthy Reagh and the men of Carbery were successful but the naval forces were worsted by the O'Driscolls. Various other battles were fought between those Munster men who adhered to the Queen and those who had seceded from her, and there was slaughter on both sides. Some shook off the English yoke of their own accord; some were compelled to do so; some were indifferent. Others, yielding to the victors for the time being paid tribute to both parties in turn.

First expedition of Thomas Norris against the Catholics.

WHILE the Catholics of Munster were thus fighting and exhausting one another, Thomas Norris, President of Munster, was enabled to collect his forces at Cork. He made a hosting of the Irish of his Province; consolidated the veterans and recent recruits from England; and summoned some Munster Chiefs of his party; which in all gave him 2500 men. With these arranged in three divisions he set out to withdraw the veterans from the garrison of Kilmallock and leave the recruits there. Hearing of this, William Burke, then in the Youghal district, unexpectedly came up with 300 foot and on Saturday, at the Pass of Ballaghawry, routed the rear division where were stationed the English recruits clad in red coats and driving them into the middle division killed many, seized the baggage, and amongst these the pet and hunting dogs which Norris prized. However, Norris reached Kilmallock, and as he returned from thence on the following Monday to Ardskea, he was pursued by the Earl of Desmond, Viscount Mountgarret, Baron Cahir, Baron Loghmoe, William Burke, and Richard Tyrrell, with very nearly equal numbers, and fighting was kept up the entire day over eight miles of ground. Some on both sides were killed and wounded but the royalists suffered most and of their noblemen Tamquin, an Englishman, perished. The contest ended only when Norris betook himself into Buttevant.

Second Expedition of Thomas Norris.

NORRIS prepared another expedition against the Catholics, and at the head of 2400 foot and 300 horse entered Viscount Roche's country, and occupied Bridgetown, a castle which, unfortified by nature or art, had been abandoned by the Viscount. Thence he proposed to make for Castletown Roche, half a mile off, but which was better protected by nature and by a garrison. The Viscount determined to defend this to the death and opportunely there came to his aid Daniel MacCarthy, who had obtained the Chieftaincy of Clancarthy, Earl Desmond, Dermot O'Connor, and William Burke, with about 2500 foot and less than 100 horse. Pitching their camp between Norris and Castletown Roche, they resolved to withstand his attempt. As soon as he marched his army they drove his wings back on the main body and compelled the entire army to return to camp. When the musketeers

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attacked the camp they were driven back by the artillery, and the Catholics giving way were pursued by the royalist cavalry and gunmen and forced back on their own cannon, but these in turn drove back the royalists who were followed by the Catholics, and there was no more fighting for some days. Between both armies was a pretty ridge by no means impassable, the obtaining possession of which was accounted the victory and on the high ground of which the victors were wont to exhibit on poles the heads of slain enemies. Each strained every nerve to carry off from this ignominious position the heads of their own men, and hence arose fierce fights. When twelve days had been spent fighting in this way more to the injury of the royalists than of the Catholics, and Norris had ceased to contest the ridge and seemed more disposed to retreat than advance, the Catholics leaving a strong garrison in Castletown Roche, sat down near Bridgetown, a place overlooking the road and near Norris's camp, in order to cut off his retreat. Norris drew out before dawn his horse and 700 musketeers and suddenly poured in a heavy fire on this camp. Some of the assailed on that side suddenly panic-stricken fled. William, coming to the rescue from the other wing reanimated his men and put Norris to flight and pursuing him to his camp killed and wounded some horse and foot. On the next day Norris, sending on his baggage before dawn, hastened to Cork, and the Catholics following him slew, at Monanimy 200 royalists. The rest being dispersed, the pursuit was abandoned.

Thomas Norris and the Baron of Castleconnell and his brother are slain.

SOME months later Thomas Burke, brother of Baron Castleconnell, and who had seceded from the English, got some soldiers from Baron Raymond and his brother William and attacked an ill-fortified fort in Muskerry. Norris and his army being in this district, hastened against Thomas with more than 200 horse and 1000 foot and came up with him and his cavalry and gunmen at Kilteely. Thomas, who had only 200 foot, meditated retreating. Norris not satisfied with this charged with his cavalry his rear ranks.

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On this attack Thomas faced about and John Burke, a Connaughtman of birth, struck Norris with a spear through the helmet and left the iron point of his lance in Norris's head. Norris suffering from this wound, retired to Mallow where he died within fifteen days. Dermot O'Connor, accompanied by 100 men was marching through the country of Richard Burke, Baron Castleconnell, when he was surrounded by the Baron and his brother Thomas, now reconciled to the English, at the head of 300 hired troops and three companies of royalists sent from Limerick. Compelled for his life to attack these in the desperate straits in which he found himself, Dermot routed and put them to flight and killed the Baron and his brother Thomas.
The Baron of Inchiquin being drowned, the Governor of Connaught besieges the Fort of Ballyshannon; O'Donnell raises the siege and invades Clanrickarde.

WHILE these events were, going on in Ireland, Dermot O'Connor was litigating before an unjust tribunal in England his claim against the Queen to the chieftaincy of Sligo and neither obtaining his entire country nor getting leave to return to Ireland lest in these troubled times when many were in rebellion he should try to recover by arms the property which was withheld from him. The Queen was conceding to him Ballymote castle but not Sligo; but when Sligo was captured by O'Donnell, then he was offered it instead of Ballymote. When both were lost by the Queen, she granted both to Dermot and allowed him to return to Ireland and to recover and hold for ever whatever of his chieftaincy he was able. O'Connor reached Conyers Clifford, an English knight, at the time he was preparing an expedition against O'Donnell with 4000 men amongst whom were Irish auxiliaries of no mean rank:—the Earls of Thomond and Clanrickarde and Murrough O'Brien, Baron Inchiquin. With this army he marched to besiege Ballyshannon, a castle of O'Donnell's. Proposing to cross Ballyshannon ford which was held by O'Donnell, he attacked Ath-Culuain. In the very ford, as elsewhere, O'Connor and Baron Maurice disputed the palm of valour and while each endeavoured to get before

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the other Maurice's horse stumbled in the bed of the stream and threw him, and on account of the weight of his armour he sunk to the bottom of the river and rose no more. In spite of a few men placed there by O'Donnell, Clifford crossed the ford and assailed the castle with four cannons. The castle was held by Hugh Craphurt Crawford? a Scotchman with 80 soldiers of whom six were Spaniards and the rest Irishmen. On the first day of the assault a royalist foot soldier distinguished by his gilded coat of mail ventured too near the castle and was shot down and a comrade of his coveting his coat of mail was also shot with a leaden bullet when he incautiously came near the castle. A third making the same venture was also shot and the besieged thereupon stripped the three of their arms and clothes. O'Donnell, few of whose men had yet come up, attempted to relieve the castle. A cavalry fight ensued, in which O'Connor was wounded fighting valiantly. When O'Donnell abandoned the attempt the royalists more freely battered the castle with cannon, fired into it, and destroyed its defences. Moreover, advancing mantlets, they undermined the walls and closed with the defenders in the breach, but were repulsed. Changing their tactics they made a tunnel into the castle, through which some armed men entered but were destroyed by beams and stones rooted up and hurled on them by the besieged. Meantime O'Donnell attacked the royalist camp night and day, hindering them from the assault and depriving them of sleep. He was now joined by nearly all his mercenaries and followers, by O'Rourke and other allies and O'Neill coming to his aid was not far off. The royalists, fearing the increased Catholic forces, and every day more severely assailed by O'Donnell, and now tired out, raised the siege, leaving three cannon and shipping the fourth and at early dawn crossed the river over which they had come at a ford called Casan-na-gcuradh. They fled in such disorder that some perished. O'Donnell pursuing the fugitives slew some of them. On this day 300 royalists perished either in the river or by the sword. After this O'Donnell invaded Clanrickarde's country where a few horse of Clanrickarde's meeting the wings of O'Donnell's cavalry, turned tail, dreading their numbers. Manus, brother of O'Donnell, who just for the first time donned the soldiers' coat, followed one of the Clanrickardes too hotly. The latter dismounted and fled into a deep bog impassable to horse. Manus also dismounted and followed him and they joined in single combat with sword and shield, Manus eventually killing

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his enemy. A great part of this country was laid waste. The town of Athenry was scaled and stormed and an English company which garrisoned it was slain. Not long after this O'Donnell ravaged the countries of Baron Inchiquin, of Turlough O'Brien, a knight, and of O'Shaughnessy.

Owny encounters Ormond. The men of Offaly storm Castle Croghan, and about Father Archer.

MEANTIME in Leinster Owny O'More having cut Maryborough off from supplies had reduced it to great extremities. Earl Ormond, general of the royalist army left Dublin with more than 4000 cavalry and foot to relieve this fort, and reached a small stream called the Blackford, where Owny at the head of about 1500 men attacked him in the open plain. They fought fiercely and stubbornly. Owny frequently drove the enemy's wings back on his main body, but was in turn driven off by the numbers of the foe. On this day Ormond lost 600 men whose bodies he placed in houses and burned, so that the full extent of his losses might not be known, for it is the English custom to conceal their own dead, and expose their slain enemies in public places. Sixty Catholics fell and about 80 were wounded. Ormond forcing a passage by dint of numbers, victualled the fort. Cahir, Murrough and John O'Connor, gentlemen of Offaly, with 100 foot surprised and scaled with long ladders, Castle Croghan in Offaly held by a garrison under Thomas More, knight, and Sifford, both Englishmen, and slew the defenders.

Again Earl Ormond, commander of the royalist army and Owny O'More, drew out their forces and faced one another. There was at this time with Owny Father James Archer of the Society of Jesus, an Irishman most zealous to spread the Catholic religion and consequently very bitter against the heretic enemy and therefore held in the greatest hatred by the English. And, indeed, he was most useful first to O'Neill and afterwards to Owny and subsequently to O'Sullivan and other Catholic opponents of base dogmas by his zeal, advice, pains and industry. Even by his own influence he often got Catholics to turn their arms against the heretics. This religious, actuated by a hope of bringing Ormond to reason, sought an interview with him. Ormond

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agreed and so on one side Ormond, Donough O'Brien, Earl of Thomond and Chief of Limerick, and George Carew, President of Munster, mounted on horseback; and on the other side Archer on foot, accompanied by three Irish soldiers met at a conference in view of both armies without any safe conduct on either side. Here, as Carew did not understand Irish, Archer, who spoke English fluently, began to speak in English as was his wont piously and devoutly. Ormond interrupted, him advancing some silly argument against the holiness of the Pope. Irritated at this Archer changed his tone somewhat and at the same time chanced to lift in his right hand the staff or stick on which he was resting his aged limbs. The three Irish foot soldiers who accompanied him and did not understand English thought the priest wanted to strike Ormond with his stick. Hereupon, fearing some harm to the unarmed priest from the armed men and wishing to guard against it, two of them attacked and dragged Ormond from the horse and the third drew his sword. Several others from the Catholic army ran up to their assistance and dreading the numbers, Earl Thomond and Carew took to flight. The royalists rushed en masse against Archer and Con O'Reilly, sent by Owny, resisted these. On both sides the cavalry and musketeers attacked until night put an end to the fight. On the following day both parties quitted this place. Ormond was kept in custody by Owny and converted to the Catholic faith by Archer. However, being safely released by O'Neill's orders in memory of ancient friendship, he returned again to his former heretical vomit. But I must not pass over Archer. He was held not merely in awe by the heretics but even in a kind of admiration or superstitious terror and they believed him able to walk dry-footed over the sea; to fly through the air; and to possess other superhuman power, arguing thence that he ought to be called Archdevil rather than Archer.

What Earl Essex effected in Munster and Leinster. Various matters related.

THINGS had now for so long gone against so many royalist generals and armies that the English determined to annihilate the Catholics with overwhelming forces. To this end

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Robert, Earl of Essex, who at this time was credited with greater achievements than any Englishman of the period was made Viceroy of Ireland, second to no one9 and Commander-in-chief of the royalist army. Setting out from London he landed in Dublin towards the end of March in the year 1599, according to Camden. Here was mustered the greatest army that could be got together out of those who had recently come from England and those previously in Ireland, as if he were about marching against O'Neill, and so O'Neill prepared to meet him and O'Donnell was coming to O'Neill's aid. But contrary to universal expectation, Essex set off for Munster at the head of 7000 foot and 900 horse. Owny O'More with 500 foot, met him in Leinster as he was leading his army through a narrow pass and routed his rear guard and killed some soldiers and officers and carried off some spoils amongst which were many helmet plumes, whence the place is to this day called the Pass of the Plumes (Bearna na gchleti). When Essex reached Munster he immediately besieged Cahir, a castle of Thomas Baron Butler's, in which only seven or eight musketeers had been left as a garrison. Earl Desmond, Baron Raymond and his brother William came to the castle's assistance, at the head of only 1000 foot and a few horse, forces very unequal to those of the royalists, for they were not prepared and bad not expected Essex would have attacked them so soon. There was access to the castle by a bridge which Winkle, an English captain, held with a strong guard. On the second day of the siege William Burke with 500 foot and 200 horse marched to relieve the castle, dislodged Winkle from the bridge, cutting off some of the royalists, and placing James, brother of Baron Thomas with a garrison of 50 foot in the castle, returned safely. However the castle was beaten down by constant cannon adding notwithstanding the efforts of Desmond who by losing no chance of fighting endeavoured to raise the siege. On the tenth night of the assault James and his soldiers abandoned the ruined castle and fled to their own people. Essex, leaving a garrison in the fort, came to Limerick, the Catholics not venturing to oppose him. Thence he made for Askeaton to strengthen the garrison. By this time Donal MacCarthy and Earl Desmond had got together 2500 men with whom
they blocked the passes on the road. William was placed in the first post to oppose the enemy's march. In the second position was Dermot O'Connor in the difficult level ground, and in the last were stationed Walter Tyrrell and Thomas Plunkett, with 580 men in the narrowest passes of the road (Rower bog). If, as was hoped, the enemy could be caught between these three, he might have been destroyed with impunity. And such would have been the case had Peter Lacy, the chief of staff, commanded as many say he did, though Walter and Thomas deny it, that Walter and Thomas should first attack Essex and then Dermot and William fall on his rear. And so on Saturday Essex marched his forces in four divisions to the passes, and now the Earls of Thomond and Clanrickarde and Baron MacPiers with the first division of Irishmen passed William and Dermot without opposition as had been arranged. Then passing Walter and Thomas they deployed out of the passes into the open. When Dermot saw this, thinking that the enemy had escaped through the treachery of Walter and Thomas into the level ground where he was stationed, he began the battle and was forced by the numbers of the enemy to give ground and fall back on William. Both renewing the fight pursued the enemy for three hours fighting vigorously, but inflicting little damage because the enemy were free of the passes in which Walter and Thomas should have opposed them with all their strength. However these latter allege they were ordered not to fight until the others had begun the battle but many assert the contrary and say that an arrangement was come to between them and Essex through one Tyrrell that they would not obstruct. Daniel MacCarthy thought they should be punished according to their crime, but the Earl disagreed fearing dissensions amongst the troops. Subsequently, a quarrel having sprung up, Thomas was killed by Peter Lacy. But to return to our subject. Essex reached Askeaton where the Catholics attacked his camp at night. Strengthening Askeaton with a stronger garrison, Essex not venturing further returned on the following Monday by another route. Here, at the village of Finniterstown, the Catholics sallying out from a wood attacked at once the first, rear and middle divisions. Henry Norris, an English knight, brother of John and Thomas, supported by a strong troop of musketeers charged the Catholics and was struck by a leaden bullet and fell from his horse. Many other royalists and some Catholics were slain, for the fight raged from 9 in the forenoon to five in the afternoon, until Essex halted at Croom. Thence Desmond followed him for six days as far as Decies, attacking night and day and thinning his army. After Essex's return to Dublin, Cahir castle was speedily recovered by James Butler, brother of the Baron, and the English garrison were slain.

Essex made another expedition against the O'Connors of Offaly and the O'Moores against whom he had little success and daily diminished his army, so that he asked assistance from England to enable him to proceed against O'Neill.
The Governor of Connaught cut off by O'Donnell in battle.

AT this time, Clifford, the Governor of Connaught, resolved to fight O'Donnell, by land and sea, and in the first place to attack Sligo and rebuild the castle O'Donnell had dismantled. To this end O'Connor Sligo went round amongst the Connaughtmen on the Sligo side of the Curlew mountains, exhorting and beseeching them to desert O'Donnell. A troop of O'Donnell's horse accidently met this O'Connor accompanied by a few horse, and engaging him, forced him with the loss of a few men to take refuge in Collooney fort, where he was surrounded and attacked by O'Donnell. O'Connor stoutly defended the fort for about forty days, when it appeared he should surrender from want. Clifford becoming aware of this, hastened his expedition in order to recover Sligo, as he had already purposed, and on his way to succour O'Connor, he ordered Theobald Burke, surnamed Na-long (the naval) claimant to the MacWilliam's country to sail from Galway with the fleet which was conveying the provisions, cannon, lime and other materials for reconstructing the Castle, whilst himself with the rest of the forces took the overland road. O'Donnell, well aware of this plan, placed 400 foot under MacSweeny Fanad and Mac William to garrison Sligo. He ordered O'Boyle to continue the siege of Collooney fort with 200 horse, while he himself with the foot and O'Doherty held the Curlew mountains through which Clifford's road lay. There were two roads through this mountain, one very narrow and difficult, the other wider. He placed three companies in the more difficult road with orders to prevent the enemy's advance until he sent others to their aid. On the more open road himself and O'Doherty with 2000 foot—an invincible column, pitched their tents. O'Rourke was encamped not far off with 140 foot. Meanwhile Na-long reached Sligo harbour with twenty ships and boats, but did not venture to land, awaiting Clifford's arrival. Clifford got together 2500 picked youths and three troops of horse from the Irish and English regular forces and Irish auxiliaries. Amongst the allies the most famous were—The O'Connor Don, chief of the plain of Connaught, Maelmurray MacSweeny, chief of Tuath, who, irritated against O'Donnell, had recently deserted to the English, and Richard Bourke, Baron of Dunkellin, son of Earl Ulick. Clifford, advancing from Athlone with 36 colours of infantry, and three of cavalry, reached Boyle. O'Donnell directed trees to be cut down here and there and thrown across the path in that part of the mountain which is called Bellaghboy, to impede the enemy's advance and serve as a cover for his own defence, for he had decided to fight in this spot, and pitched his camp nearly two miles at the other side of it. The feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary being now at hand, all the Catholics obtained through Confession pardon of their sins on the vigil and on the feast itself received fasting the Body of the Lord Christ. The day was dark with clouds and rain. O'Donnell, therefore, thinking the enemy would not leave his camp, did not himself advance to Bellaghboy where he might fight with advantage. However, MacSweeny thinking this a suitable opportunity, as he surmised O'Donnell would not leave his tents on account of the rain, persuaded Clifford to seize the Pass. Clifford, leaving Griffin Markham, an English knight, and Master of the Horse, with the cavalry at Boyle, since a cavalry engagement could not be advantageously fought in the mountains, himself occupied the unguarded pass with his foot. Scarcely had the Catholics received Communion when some mounted scouts returning brought the news that the enemy was at Bellaghboy and had passed the felled trees. O'Donnell immediately ordered the soldiers to take their meal quickly so as to be all the stouter for the fight, and forthwith thus addressed them:

‘By the help of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, we will this day utterly destroy the heretical enemy whom we have always heretofore worsted. We fasted yesterday in honour of the Virgin, and to day we celebrate her feast. Therefore in Her name let us fight stoutly and bravely the enemies of the Virgin and we shall gain the victory.’
The soldiers being greatly inflamed to war by this speech, he sent on 600 musketeers under Eugene MacSweeny, Tuath, and Hugh and Tuathal O'Gallagher, with orders to attack and delay the enemy, while himself brought up the gallowglasses. The enemy had climbed out of the narrow passes to the middle and open part of the mountain, and about 11 a.m. the rain was ceasing when the gunners came up with O'Donnell's men. There on account of the favourable nature of the ground and the great spirit of the young men, a fierce encounter with leaden bullets at long range commenced, and many wounds were inflicted on both sides. The Irish gunners are giving way; their leaders remonstrate at this baseness, and at their fighting with such faintheartedness for the Virgin. Stung with shame by these reproaches, and roused by zeal to fight earnestly for the Virgin they renew the contest. It is scarcely credible with what spirit and perseverance and skill the musketeers of both parties fought. The royalist gunners were driven back on the pikemen's division, and that division itself, overwhelmed with a shower of darts, and wounded, changed its front and from one side to another turned round three times in a circle, not knowing what it was doing. O'Rourke coming up with 140 foot to the support of the Catholics added terror to the already disorganised, and on seeing him the whole royalist army turned tail leaving behind a great heap of arms. The Catholics pursue. Although O'Donnell had hurried up with the gallowglasses yet he did not find the fight going on. I do not believe the royalists would have been put to flight by the gunners, had it not been for the aid of the Virgin Mother. The Catholics hung on the rear of the terror-stricken fugitives for three miles. Clifford was carried for some time by two Irish soldiers to whom he promised a large reward, but was eventually overtaken and killed by a pike-thrust in his side. The felled trees and obstructed roads were great obstacles to the fugitives, and they left there not only their arms but even their garments. The Baron of Dunkellin had a narrow escape. Griffin with all the cavalry came out a mile from Boyle to the rescue of the fugitives, and put to flight the first of the Catholics, who were pursuing and slaughtering the enemy without any order; but O'Rourke, supporting the Catholics, and rallying them, and withstanding the enemy, received two bullet wounds, one in the right hand and the other in the right thigh, and made the cavalry retire. The Catholics again pursued as far as Boyle, into which Griffin betook himself. Of the royalists there perished with their leader Clifford, and Henry Ratcliffe, another English nobleman, 1,400, who were nearly all English or Anglo-Irish of Meath, for the Connaughtmen knowing the locality, escaped more easily. Of the Catholics 140 were wounded and killed. Almost all the royalist arms, colours, military drums, baggage and clothes were captured. O'Neill, who was coming to O'Donnell's assistance, was two days' march away. When Clifford's death became known, Na-long brought back the fleet to Galway. O'Connor, submitting himself to O'Donnell's award, was restored by him to the whole Chieftaincy of Sligo and loaded with other presents, and he swore henceforth to aid against the Protestants.

What did Essex achieve in Ulster?

IN the following month of September, Earl Essex, receiving reinforcements from England, invaded Ulster. O'Neill, putting himself and his forces in evidence sought for a conference, through O'Hagan. Essex replied that he would be found in battle array on the morrow. On this day cavalry and musketeers advanced by both sides engaged in some slight skirmishing. O'Neill again asked for a parley which Essex did not think ought to be any longer denied. Both coming down alone to the banks of a river which lay between them, spoke from thence. Here it was arranged that they should meet again on the 8th of September each accompanied by eight of the principal men of his army and they made a truce to the kalends of May of the following year on condition that either might renew the war on fourteen days previous notice to the other. In a short time Essex received very bitter letters from the Queen, upbraiding him for managing things so badly and sharply admonishing him, whereupon he crossed to England on the 28th of September and was cast into prison. O'Neill sent a message to the English that there would be no truce if the management of affairs was changed and Essex cast into prison who had made and promised to observe the truce and that he would look to his own interests and let them beware of him when the fourteen days had expired. Essex was put to death not long after this.

Ambassadors from the Pope and King of Spain reach Ireland. Achievements of O'Neill in Munster, and of Blount the Viceroy in Ulster. Maguire and the President of Munster succumb to their respective wounds.

A FEW days after these events, Brother Matthew d'Oviedo, a Spaniard, and Archbishop of Dublin, and Martin Cerdo, a Spanish gentleman of birth, arrived in Ulster bringing from the Pope indulgences and remission of sins to all who would take arms against the English in defence of the Faith; and to O'Neill a plume of Phoenix feathers, and bringing from His Catholic Majesty, Philip III (Philip II. was now dead) 22,000 pieces of gold to pay the army.

When the Spanish legates had returned home, O'Neill, leaving strong garrisons in Tyrone, set off for Munster in the middle of winter, accompanied by some of his allies in war and at the head of by no means despicable forces. His object was both to see the piece of the Holy Cross which is said to have been in Holy Cross abbey, and to sound the dispositions of the Irish and perhaps to defy the enemy. He pitched his tent in County Cork. Here Maguire, sallying out from the camp accompanied by Edward MacCaffrey, his standard bearer, Neill O'Dorney, and one priest, fell in with Wareham St. Leger, an English knight, and President of Munster, at the head of 60 horse. Between these two there was in addition to the general grounds of hostility a personal jealousy because Maguire was universally recognised as the bravest and best horseman amongst the Irish and Wareham amongst the English. Maguire seeing the number of the enemy's cavalry did not think it consistent with his honour to fly or surrender, but setting spurs to his horse rushed into the midst of his foes. As he was brandishing his spear Wareham shot him with a leaden bullet from a pistol. Nevertheless Maguire aimed his spear at Wareham, and he wishing to avoid the blow by bending his head, was pierced through the helmet, and Maguire leaving the spear hanging from his head escaped with drawn sword through the midst of the enemy followed by his two comrades also wounded, and by the priest. Again wheeling his horse and charging he routed and put the band to flight, but did not pursue them
far. Before reaching O'Neill's camp he dismounted and having got absolution from the priest, died of his wounds. Wareham also died within fifteen days raving from his wound. O'Neill taking with him Donough MacCarthy, claimant to Duhallow, lest he should return to the good graces of the English, returned to Ulster, notwithstanding Earl Ormond, who seemed disposed to fight. The year 1600 had closed when Charles Blount, Baron Mountjoy, was sent to Ireland as Viceroy, in February. He, setting out for Ulster, did not advance as far as any of his predecessors but got only to Faughard. There he lay encamped more than three months and O'Neill having by daily battles and a ditch and dyke constructed across the road, prevented access to Armagh and Newry, Blount returned to Dublin without having effected anything. O'Neill suffered no loss worth mentioning except that he lost Peter Lacy, a stout cavalier of Munster, of whom we have above made mention, and who was wounded by a gunshot in the head.
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SO far the Catholics prospered. But now not only did their fortunes decline, but they came down with a crash, as will appear in the following books, and especially in this present book, in which the fiercest and most bloody struggles are recounted.
Summary account of how the Catholic Forces declined.

THE English being in the greatest danger of losing Ireland and knowing that help would be sent to the Catholics from Spain, were distracted with various councils how to meet this disaster.

Finally, they resolved to reduce the whole of Ireland to the utmost poverty and want. They gained over to themselves the very Irish on certain terms and those who would not be conciliated they destroyed by artifices and practices inciting them one against another. In this, fortune favoured the English. First of all brass money was sent to Ireland by which all Irish gold and silver was withdrawn to England while the brass money itself soon became worthless. In this way the Irish were defrauded of their own money and reduced to the utmost poverty. Moreover the corn was cut down and other devastations were committed.
By the death of Owny O'More, Leinster is at peace.

OWNY O'MORE with an inferior number of men came up with the Viceroy Blount on his way to victual Maryborough,

a fort of the Chieftaincy of Leix, and Owny having incautiously advanced with one comrade beyond his own troops was struck by a leaden bullet and killed. On his death almost all the Leinstermen lost heart and very soon afterwards the Viceroy Blount received into favour Daniel, the Spaniard, Felim O'Byrne, the O'Tooles and others, and almost the whole of Leinster wasted and weary of war was pacified. Raymond brother of Owny O'More alone held out.

Conclusion of the War in Munster.

THE Munstermen were, so far, too well equipped for war to be easily defeated by English arms, but were overcome by this device:—Florence, son of MacCarthy More, was as we have seen, disputing the Chieftaincy of Clancarthy with the Queen. The Queen gave him leave to wrest the chieftaincy, if he could, from Daniel MacCarthy and hold it for ever. Florence was hailed by his followers, mercenaries and friends, and Daniel was deserted, not even the Earl of Desmond coming to his assistance. However in a short time Florence himself was seized and sent by the English into England, where he was thrown into prison in the Tower of London, and Daniel having no forces surrendered to the English on getting a pardon. Thus half the force of those who were carrying on the war in Munster was broken down.

Another young James FitzGerald, son of Earl Gerald, was released from the confinement in which he had been kept in England, and being instituted Earl of Desmond by the Queen, was sent into Ireland in opposition to James then Earl of Desmond, and was received by many of the Irish. However the Catholic Earl made so stout a resistance, the English promised a large reward to Dermot O'Connor, his lieutenant, to betray the Earl to them. Dermot was gained over both by the bribes and for the sake of the young Earl whose sister he had married, and imprisoned the Catholic Earl in Castle Lisin in order to deliver him thence to the English. A report of this having got abroad, Fitzmaurice, Baron of Lixnaw, Dermot MacCarthy Reagh, The Knight of Kerry, William Burke, Brian O'Kelly, and Peter Lacy at the head of 1,800 men stormed the Castle. Dermot was not far off, but being inferior in numbers
dare not try to raise the siege. He expected George Carew, an English knight and President of Munster, and who had left Kilmallock, would relieve the fort, but Fitzmaurice prevented this by sending troops to block the road. The Earl was released on the seventh day of the siege, the garrison stipulating that with O'Sullivan More and other hostages they should be sent to Dermot. Dermot, thinking he would not be safe either with the Irish against whom he had committed so great a crime, or with the English, since he did not fulfil his compact, returned with his followers to Connaught. Richard Tyrrell attacked and wounded him on his march, slew many of his men, and liberated O'Sullivan More and other Munstermen. Dermot was scarcely cured of his wounds when he was cut off in battle by Na-long. Na-long informed the Irish that he had done this on account of Dermot's base crime against Desmond, while to the English he gave his reason that Dermot had always been, an enemy to the Queen.

William Burke disagreeing with the Earl as to his hire be took himself to his brother the Baron in Eliogarty. While the Catholics were unsettled and weakened by these domestic feuds, Carew bombarded with cannon and reduced Glin Castle, the fortress of the Knight of Glin. Desmond having only 600 men set off for Eliogarty and joined Raymond the Baron, and William, who had possessed themselves of a great part of that country. This expedition cost him little more than the loss of Maurice his illegitimate son, who fell fighting bravely. Afterwards, while suffering from fever and being nursed in hiding, he was betrayed by the White Knight to the English, by whom he was committed to the Tower of London, where he died. Before his death, his rival the young Earl was recalled to England, having served the purpose. Fitzmaurice, Peter Lacy, and others fled to O'Neill. The rest submitted to the English and so the war in Munster was at an end.
O'Neill's resources on the wane.

THE Ulstermen of O'Neill's party, whose countries had been the seat of war were now exhausted of their means and resources, and therefore quite unable to carry on the fight any longer. They begged and pressed O'Neill to allow them to make peace with the Queen through him. He praised them all for their constancy and fidelity to himself and their fight for the Catholic religion and country, but admitted that their complete destitution forced them to submit to the English. Magennis, O'Hanlon, and Ever MacMahon son of Julius, were received into favour by Blount, and he himself advancing as far as Armagh and Portmore placed garrisons in them. He was prevented from advancing further by O'Neill, although his forces were weak enough, yet after Blount's return, O'Neill suddenly entered Armagh and carried off all the horses of its defenders.

O'Donnell's resources greatly broken down.

O'DONNELL alone kept his forces intact until they were in great part destroyed on him in this way:—As he had preserved his country by successful battles on land, making Connaught the seat of war, a fleet was organised in England which, sailing between Scotland and Ireland, put into Lough Foyle in O'Donnell's country. In this fleet was no Irishman of standing except Maelmurray MacSweeny Tuath who had quarrelled with and deserted O'Donnell. He had fought against him at Ballaghboy on the day Clifford was slain and having distinguished himself by his valour in Leinster, had been knighted by Essex and had subsequently crossed to England.

However, on the night in which the English reached this port, he jumped overboard, swam ashore, and coming to O'Donnell begged his forgiveness on bended knees and got restored to all his possessions. The English, who were 4,000 under Henry Dowcra, a knight, landed and occupied the unfortified town of Derry, the famous episcopal seat of Saint Columba, overhanging the lough and fortified it with works and batteries. On the second day after their landing O'Donnell came up and carried off 168 of their horses and again the Catholics seized some horses grazing near the town, which the English pursued. A cavalry fight ensued. Hugh O'Donnell, surnamed Oge, wounded Dowcra, piercing his helmet with a spear and breaking his head. An English gentleman fired a pistol placed close up to Daniel O'Gallagher, an Irish gentleman, and though the bullet grazing the eye passed out through the nose, yet the powder burned out O'Gallagher's eye. Daniel wresting the pistol from the Englishman struck him with it on the head and knocked out his brains. The English were driven back into the town from whence they seldom afterwards ventured out. Therefore, O'Donnell leaving John O'Doherty, Chief of Innishowen, and Niall O'Donnell, surnamed Garve, his kinsman son of Con nephew of Calvagh, formerly chief, to manage the campaign against them, himself invaded Thomond and laid waste a great part of it and returned home safely. Meanwhile Dowcra's lieutenant having advanced out of Derry was killed in battle by O'Doherty. And now the English regretted having entered the Foyle, and not getting aid from any of the Irish, would soon undoubtedly have withdrawn, were it not that Art O'Neill, son of the chieftain Turlough, addressed himself to them, and by his offices Garve was also won over, because of a difference with O'Donnell as to the town of Lifford which O'Donnell had appropriated to himself although it had been given to Garve by his father, O'Donnell giving Garve, Castlefinn. The latter was also in hopes that if the English conquered he would be made O'Donnell and chief of his nation, as the English already began to style him and offered him other great inducements. And so when O'Donnell again set off into Thomond, Garve thinking it a good opportunity, went over to the English (on which he was deserted by his wife Nuala, sister of O'Donnell) and gave them up Lifford which had been entrusted to his charge. The English placed a garrison of ten companies here. When O'Donnell heard this he abandoned his incursion into Thomond and pitched his tents not far from Lifford. Garve was a man of great spirit and daring, skilled in military matters and had many of the men of Tyrconnell on his side, fortified by whose aid and valour he did not decline a fight with the Catholics in the open. However he always retained the Catholic faith and kept aloof from heretical rites as did Art who soon died. There was frequent and sharp fighting between the royalists and the Catholics round Derry and Lifford. We may mention a cavalry fight in which the royalists being routed, Manus, a brother of O'Donnell's, would have run through with his spear Garve as he retired, had not the blow been parried by Owen O'Gallagher, surnamed Oge, a comrade of Manus, but actuated by his devotion and affection for Niall's family who were their lords. Cornelius O'Gallagher was differently disposed to this family, and is said to have persuaded Garve to go over to the English, and who wounded Manus at Monin, near Lifford, where a cavalry fight was suddenly sprung on both parties and Manus charging into five Irish royalists was struck in the right side by a spear thrust from Garve and being surrounded was struck by Cornelius under the shoulder. However the points of the spears did not penetrate the cuirass but nevertheless reached the body of Manus. Roderic coming to his brother's rescue aimed his spear at Garve's breast. Garve tightening the reins raised his horse's head which received Roderic's blow by which the horse fell dead under Garve; but he, lifted up by his men, returned to Lifford when O'Donnell was coming up with the foot. Manus died of his wounds within fifteen days and shortly after Cornelius was captured by O'Donnell and hanged.

On another day Roderick accompanied by two horsemen fell in with eight English foot soldiers who came out of Derry to gather wood, and attacking them, slew six, releasing one whom he captured but who said he was a Briton. The eighth who was sergeant of a company, held out with great valour, being often struck by Roderick's spear and thrown down but again quickly getting up unwounded, as he was protected by a jerkin of oxhide, he attacked Roderick with drawn sword and got in sixteen thrusts on Roderick's right arm, which was, however, protected by the sleeves of the cuirass. When Roderic was unable to hurt his enemy with his spear, and he seemed likely to escape, the former attacked with his sword but this also was unable to penetrate the hide, whether owing to the toughness of the leather or to some spell, I do not know. Finally the sergeant tried to cross the nearest stream but as he was crossing Roderick struck him with his spear in the back and kept him down under the water until he was drowned.

Ships carrying provisions from Derry to Lifford were pursuing the even tenor of their way over the lough, when, near Lifford, where the lough narrows, they were attacked by the Catholics showering missiles on the boats from the banks. The garrison of Lifford coming out to the fight were driven back to the town and the boats, provisions and clothes were captured. Many of the royalists perished on this day. Roderic was slightly wounded in the thigh by a bullet.

About this time O'Connor, Chief of Sligo, being suspected by some persons of plotting mischief against O'Donnell, was imprisoned by the latter. O'Doherty ended his days (a great blow to O'Donnell) leaving his son, Cahir, a child, unable to manage affairs, so that O'Donnell inaugurated Felim O'Doherty chief of Innishowen. Hugh, foster-father of Cahir, took offence at this, and he and his party deserted O'Donnell and gave up Castle Birt, the capital of Innishowen, to the English.

O'Donnell was now in great straits, having lost Derry, Lifford and Innishowen, and deprived of the aid of O'Connor, whom he kept in prison. Moreover the Connaughtmen whom he had hired became disaffected and mutinous. However he invaded Innishowen where Cahir's party had a great quantity of arms stored in Birt which was strongly defended by its natural position and by ancient fortifications. O'Donnell determined to assail this and the Cahirites decided to defend it. The Connaughtmen would not form the first line as ordered by O'Donnell. A company of Tyrconnellians placed in the van broke into the fortress but were not supported by the Connacians, and therefore this company, which was very inferior in number to the Cahirites, was overwhelmed with showers of bullets and being partly destroyed, escaped with difficulty from another portion of the fort. Meantime Garve, burning with a great desire for the Chieftaincy of Tyrconnell, was by no means idle. A man of bold spirit, and particularly well acquainted with the roads, he secretly conducted Irishmen of his faction and Englishmen over land and water from Lifford and surprised the monastery of Friars Minors called Donegal, and occupied it, and fortified and placed a garrison in the dismantled castle which stood an arrow-flight off, and in another monastery of Franciscans of the Third Order which is called Maherabeg, half a mile away, from which the monks fled and which up to that day had ever been regarded as sacred and inviolable sanctuaries. By this move O'Donnell was forced to send his moveables and baggage into Sligo while himself and his army surrounding Donegal disputed with Garve during nearly three months the monastery and castle, now advancing mantlets to the walls, now setting up against them sows10 and breastworks. But the royalists suffered for their violation of the monastery, for one night the powder, either by means of some one detailed by O'Donnell, or by accident, or providentially fired, suddenly burned up the monastery and partly blew it into the air. The defenders were partly consumed by the fire, and partly crushed by the falling roof and walls. O'Donnell thinking this a good opportunity, made an attack on the monastery. Garve, encouraging his men, forced some of them to take arms, others he could not get to overcome their terror, and they fled to Lifford in boats. The Catholics were slow to enter the monastery on account of the darkness of a very dark night, and fearing the fire which was not yet quenched might harm them if they were in the monastery, and being resisted by a few got together and encouraged by Garve. Meanwhile, Garve knowing that he had not enough of men to defend the walls of the burnt monastery by day and not losing his presence of mind, getting out alone by a secret passage, brought half a company from Maherabeg monastery into the burnt monastery now almost ungarrisoned. On this night about 1,000 royalists perished by sword, fire, water and falling debris, amongst whom was found Con O'Donnell, brother of Garve, buried under fallen stones. Of the Catholics only five or six were lost. O'Donnell continued the siege in the former fashion.

On the other side, Earl Clanrickarde by command of the Queen, made an incursion against O'Donnell and led the royalist forces against Elphin, an episcopal town. O'Donnell advanced to meet him. For some days there were cavalry and musketeer skirmishes and the Earl then returned without having effected anything.
The Emissaries sent by O'Neill and O'Donnell into Munster return. On Earl Clanrickarde and Dermot the Bishop.

WHILE O'Neill and O'Donnell were in these straits, they nevertheless sent over 1,000 men under Donough MacCarthy, claimant to the chieftaincy of Duhallow, Thady O'Rourke, and Raymond, Baron of Leitrim, to renew the war in Munster and assist Earl Desmond, whose forces were now shattered. However, while on the march, Donough was unfortunately killed by a leaden bullet fired by one of two musketeers who fired from ambush two shots, at the army as it passed, and it was rumoured that Desmond had been captured. Hereupon Thady and the Baron abandoned the journey to Munster. Earl Clanrickarde, to prevent their return, followed them closely with his forces, but they wheeled about and defeated him in the open plain and he died within fifteen days after. As to his death two reports went out, some saying that he had died of a wound received in this battle, others asserting that he succumbed to disease. His son succeeded him. The Catholics lost in these days, Thady O'Brien, son of Turlough, a youth of the highest nobility who fell fighting bravely for the Catholic faith.

Amongst the Catholics' misfortunes at this time must be accounted the death of a most upright and illustrious man, Dermot MacCarthy, Bishop of Cork and Cloyne, who had for more than 20 years laboured with great pains to preserve the faith in this Island and had displayed much zeal and energy during this war in animating the Catholics to take up arms for Christian piety. By his death the resources of Irishmen were not a little weakened. For his services to the Church of God and realm of Ireland, his head was long vainly sought for by the English, who offered a large sum of money to whoever would slay or arrest him. With such insatiable hatred did they pursue him that they did not hesitate to destroy his kinsmen. Amongst these they seized Thomas MacCarthy, the Bishop's nephew by his brother, Thomas, and endeavoured by threats and bribes to make him desert the Catholic faith. Disappointed in this attempt they beheaded this man of noble and Catholic spirit. But since we have alluded to the bishop, we must not omit mentioning this great and peculiar trait of his, that although he wrote with the greatest difficulty, and no one ever saw him write even one letter otherwise, nevertheless he turned out so accomplished and learned that he was advanced to Doctor in utroque jure, and publicly taught Sacred Theology at Louvain for some years, for such was his intellectual keenness and so strong his memory that even as a pupil he had no occasion to take notes. He left to posterity a work on Christian doctrine written in Irish, whose precepts the youth still study in that Island.
Arrival of Don Juan de Aquila in Ireland.

WHILST these events were taking place in Ireland, his Catholic Majesty, Philip III, solicitous to assist the Irish, raised such an efficient army as O'Neill and O'Donnell
had asked for. At the time when it was expected this army would have been transported to Ireland, the King's fleet was sent to the Azores to meet the English fleet said to be there, and to protect the ships bringing gold and silver from India. By this delay the army destined for Ireland was in greater part broken up, the soldiers dying or deserting. The remainder set out under command of Juan Aquila, a Spanish gentleman, of military skill, who, in Armoric Gaul had displayed great valour against the French and English.

Having returned from the Azores, Diego Brochero, a noble Spanish gentleman, of the Order of St. John, and distinguished in the art of war on land and sea, took Aquila on board the King's fleet, which he commanded, and sailed for Ireland.

When he got out to sea a storm arose, and divided his fleet into two portions. One portion, consisting of seven ships, followed the vessel of Peter Zubiaur, the second in command, and after drifting about some time on the ocean, was driven by the winds into Corunna, a town of Gallicia. The other division, which was larger, followed the Admiral's flag, and in the month of September, 1601, reached Kinsale, a town of Munster, which overhangs a large and excellent harbour facing to the south. Also overhanging the harbour are two forts, one on either side, and if these were fortified with cannon, access to the harbour could not easily be gained in opposition to them. On one side rises a hill, artillery planted on which might easily either assail or defend the town. The river washing it on the west afforded a landing-place for the auxiliary force.

The townsmen, expelling the English garrison, conducted the Spanish general and his army (2,500 foot) into the town with great enthusiasm and open arms (as they say). Aquila, thinking he would not be long here, placed a single company as a garrison in Ringcurran, one of the two forts which commanded the harbour. He took from the ships only one piece of artillery, as he had embarked the artillery assigned him in the ships under Zubiaur's command. Jealousies and disputes arose between him and his captains, and Matthew Oviedo, Archbishop of Dublin. Daniel O'Sullivan, chieftain of Bear and Bantry, sent a messenger to Aquila to say he and his friends had 1,000 armed men and as many unarmed men enlisted, and that if Aquila would only supply arms for them they would block the Viceroy's road and prevent a siege until O'Neill and O'Donnell came to his assistance. Aquila replied (as O'Sullivan told me) that he had no supply of arms which were being brought by Zubiaur, and, moreover, he had no notion of enlisting more Munster men, pending advice from O'Neill and O'Donnell.

Blount, Viceroy of Ireland, was at this time in Athlone, where he had mobilised his forces, not ignorant that the Spaniards would make a descent on Ireland, as English spies had advised. Now making for Kinsale, with the Earl of Clanrickarde, the Anglo-Irish, the Irish Privy Council, and all the Queen's forces—amounting to 7,000 men—he surrounded and besieged Aquila, and stormed Ringcurran without much difficulty. Placing cannon on the hill, he vigorously attacked Kinsale. The Earl of Thomond, who was at this time in England, was sent to Blount's assistance with 8,000 English recruits. The Queen's fleet occupying the harbour, battered the town on the other side with their cannon. The Spaniards, no way discouraged, bestirred themselves to defend the town with the cannon they had taken from their fleet and two others which were in the town. On one side they drove off the English ships from the attack, and on the other side attacked the enemy's camp and destroyed their tents. By day they fought stoutly and bravely on the walls, and by night made frequent sallies, slew the watches and sentinels and spiked the cannon. In this way more English than Spanish were killed, because the Spaniards are famous for the steadiness with which their infantry maintain their ranks. Charles MacCarthy, captain of an Irish company which had come from Spain, fell fighting bravely against the English, having first slain two English captains and spiked a cannon. At the commencement of the siege O'Sullivan, chieftain of Bear, had refused to answer the Viceroy's summons, alleging that he had to look after himself at home, to defend his country from neighbouring enemies, and he began a mock war which he got up with some of his followers.
Zubiaur lands in Ireland and successfully encounters the Queen's Fleet.

ZUBIAUR, with the seven ships laden with ammunition and supplies, soon followed Aquila, and was in some danger, drifting near the rocks of Castlehaven (Cuan an Caishlean, for fort and port have the same name in Ireland.) At that time this place was in the possession of the brothers Donagh, Dermot, Cornelius, and Darius Dairine? O'Driscoll, who pointed out the entrance to Zubiaur, and delivered to him the port, and Dermot, a shrewd man, not unskilled in Latin, gave him an account of the state of the kingdom. In a short time, the Queen's fleet, excellently equipped and superior in number of men, entered the harbour, and with impunity battered with their cannon the fort, which had no artillery, and also Zubiaur's ships, which were not adequately equipped for fight, but, were transports, somewhat tried by the voyage and now drawn up on shore. The English seemed actually about to land themselves, but Zubiaur, being uncommonly well-informed of existing circumstances, and foreseeing the danger that threatened him, acted differently to Aquila, and sending letters to O'Sullivan, Chieftain of Bear, besought his assistance in the name of his Catholic Majesty. Within 24 hours after receipt of Zubiaur's letters, O'Sullivan and Dermot, my father, who were then at Bantry, five leagues distant from Castlehaven, arrived on the spot with 500 foot and a few horse of picked young men, at the very moment when the English were taking to the small boats in order to overwhelm the few Spaniards in a land battle. Thither also came O'Driscoll More, with his son, Cornelius and others, O'Donovan and gentlemen of the MacCarthy's.

At their arrival the English were daunted and remained in their ships, and Zubiaur, elated and emboldened, took his cannon from the vessels and for two days right vigorously bombarded the English fleet. Finally, the balls rendered red hot by the rapid firing, pierced the English ships which they struck from stem to stern, hurling men and planks into the sea. The admiral's ship especially, riddled with numerous cannon shots, was destroyed. Zubiaur's first shot into this ship killed 60 men, who, were seated at table, and under the succeeding shots, soldiers and sailors fell right and left. Upon this, soldiers flocked to its assistance from the other ships. At last this ship being nearly destroyed, the others, in confusion, cut their cables, abandoned their anchors, and took to flight when a favourable and light breeze arose, having, indeed, waited so long only because they had been forced to do so by contrary winds.

In this battle 575 English fell. Of the Catholics, one Spaniard, a kinsman of Zubiaur's, was killed, and two were wounded–one a Spaniard, the other an Irishman.
After this Dermot O'Sullivan, my father, conducted Vasco Sahavedra, a Spanish captain and his company to Dunboy, supplying them with provisions and beasts of burthen, and by O'Sullivan's order delivered to them the principal castle and the harbour of the Chieftaincy of Bear, and provided him with about two month's victuals. Thither also he caused to be transported in boats, which he sent therefore to Castlehaven, artillery, brazen balls, powder, lead, tow-match, and other ammunition, so that he might keep open for the Spanish fleet access to that harbour, which is a safe and much frequented one, and keep out the enemy therefrom. O'Driscoll also admitted a Spanish garrison into his harbour and fort for the good of the cause.
The Catholics unfortunate at Kinsale.

O'DONNELL and his allies, O'Rourke, M'Dermot, MacSweeny Tuath, O'Kelly, Baron Raymond Burke, his brothers Roderick and Caffrey O'Donnell Daniel, brother of O'Connor Sligo, and William Burke, brother of Baron Raymond, marched 3,000 men, of whom 400 were horse, to Aquila's assistance. Carew, the English President of the Munsters, hastened to meet them, leading 4,500 foot and 500 horse from the Viceroy's camp into Ormond's country, where he blocked up the passes and narrow roads. O'Donnell having lit large fires to present the appearance of a camp, led his army safely past Carew by night, and in different places for forty days awaited O'Neill's arrival. Carew, completely foiled in his object, marched his forces back to the Viceroy's camp before Kinsale.

O'Neill, finding an opportunity, invaded Meath, where he ravaged the English and Anglo-Irish far and wide, and returned home laden with booty, having slain Darcy of Platten, who had followed provoking a battle. Thence he made for Kinsale in mid-winter. Accompanying him were M'Mahon, Cuconnacht, brother of Maguire, who had been killed in Cork, Ranald M'Donnell, chief of The Glens, Fitzmaurice, Baron of Lixnaw, Richard Tyrrell, and others of his retainers, amounting in all to 2,600 foot and 400 light armed horse. With these O'Neill joined O'Donnell in Orriria Barria Barry Oge's country?, and both then pitched their camp in that part of Carbery which

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is called Kinalmeaky. Thither came O'Sullivan Bear bringing the forces of his own he had at Castlehaven, and 300 Spaniards he had got from Zubiaur, and which were commanded by Alphonso Ocampo. Accompanying O'Sullivan were O'Connor Kerry, Daniel, son of O'Sullivan More; Magnus Manus? and Daniel MacSweeny, and other gentlemen. Thence all advanced to Coolcarron Wood, and pitching their camp a mile from the enemy, they fenced it round with a ditch. Here, they kept the English in great straits, hemmed in between themselves and the Spaniards in Kinsale preventing corn and provisions from being supplied to them from the towns and villages, or any quarter, and cutting off such as came out of the camp to forage. The English therefore, became more cautious and timid in foraging, and did not venture to go far, so that they might, when pressed, have a cover close at hand, and when they met a slight rebuff or saw an enemy in the distance they threw down their burthens and fled. After this they lay still by day and foraged by night, but eventually they did not venture to leave the camp for foraging at all, and whatever provisions they had previously got were now nearly all consumed. And so first want, then hunger, and at last pestilence broke out amongst them. The Irish army had plenty of provisions. The Spaniards also had many days' supply of victuals which they had themselves brought from Spain or the town supplied, and they were safe from the enemy's attacks in their own valour and the fortifications they had made. The Munster magnates, who had so far favoured neither side, now promised adherence to the Catholic cause and defence of their country, and that they would come to the rescue as quickly as possible. The Irish regular soldiers and auxiliaries, backed by whose valour the English were holding their ground, promised O'Donnell through intermediaries, that they would go over to him within three days, and they had commenced to fulfil their promise, deserting the English in twos, threes and tens. Now, if the desertion of all had been waited for, it would have been all up with the English, for out of 15,000 men, whom they had at the beginning of the siege, 8,000 had perished by the sword, hunger, cold, and disease, and of those remaining the greatest part were raw recruits lately sent from England, and unequal to trials and difficulties. Of the remainder, scarcely 2,000 were English, the others being Irish and Anglo-Irish. The Viceroy, alarmed at this danger, determined to raise the siege, and retreat to Cork, and at

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least defend the walls. In this manner the Catholics might have obtained a victory without a struggle or any loss but our sins stood in the way of this consummation.

In the first place, Aquila sent many letters again and again, urgently pressing O'Neill to form a junction with him. O'Neill, O'Sullivan, and others thought this risk ought not to be run, but that they should rather await the coming over of the Irish and the flight of the enemy. O'Donnell and several others were of a different opinion, and so the majority in numbers overruled the more prudent. A day was appointed, on dawn of which O'Neill was to draw up near the enemy's camp, so that Aquila, making a sortie from the other side, should unite with him. Aquila's letters to O'Neill on this arrangement were intercepted by the viceroy. O'Neill, with his forces arranged in three columns, set out for the place agreed on. The English, who were well aware of the Catholics' plan, went by night to the spot whither O'Neill was to proceed, and feigned a battle with beat of drum and sound of trumpet and report of musketry. Aquila's scouts are said to have informed him that this was a mock fight. O'Donnell with his column wandered about all night owing to his guides' ignorance of the route, and was far off. The columns of O'Neill and O'Sullivan, hearing the sound of fighting, and thinking Aquila had advanced to the appointed spot, quickened their pace, and arrived there at night. Thereupon the enemy retired behind their fortifications, and when the camp was seen perfectly quiet and silent, the Irish perceived the stratagem, and after waiting a little under arms, and it being now daybreak, they advanced a little beyond the appointed place, and the front of O'Sullivan's column, which was in the van, halted not far from the trenches, although not seen by the enemy, as a low hill cut off their range of vision.

When it was quite lightsome, O'Neill, wondering why Aquila did not come out, nor give the signal for battle, went up to the top of the hill with O'Sullivan, the Spanish captains and a few others, and closely examined the enemy's camp. It was very strongly fortified with a trench, ditch, towers and cannon; the soldiers were under arms, and the horses were bridled. Moreover, they were superior in numbers to the Irish, many of whom, especially Munstermen, were absent, having on the previous day left the colours to forage and get corn. O'Donnell with the third column had not arrived. In this state of things O'Neill, according to the captains' advice, putting off the enterprise

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to another time, ordered the divisions to retreat. These, having retreated half a mile, met O'Donnell, and at the same instant the Viceroy's cavalry turned up. O'Donnell with his cavalry attacked these after they had crossed the ford of the adjacent stream, and drove them back over the same ford. The Viceroy's cavalry returning, again tried to cross the ford. O'Donnell, thinking he could easily destroy them between himself and the ford, gave ground a little, in doing which some of his own horse, turning about either by accident or somebody's contriving and treachery, bore down on O'Donnell's own division, and forced the foot to open their ranks. The disordered foot took to flight. O'Neill's division did the same, and likewise O'Sullivan's, although the enemy were not pressing, and the chiefs vainly recalling them.

Thus all were panic-stricken, or, rather, scattered by Divine vengeance. The royalist cavalry did not venture to pursue the fugitives, fearing they might be drawn into a snare. Many Irish gentlemen who had adhered to the English, vainly reassured the Catholics, coaxing them to return to the fight, and promising themselves to help them. O'Neill and O'Donnell could not recall their men to the fight. O'Sullivan, Tyrrell, the Spanish captains, and a few who returned in part, withstood the enemy's attack. On this day, of O'Neill's army, 200 foot perished. Of the English, three noblemen fell. The Earl of Clanrickarde was for his valour dubbed a knight by the Viceroy.
O'Neill returns to Ulster: O'Donnell sails for Spain: Aquila follows.

O'NEILL, who, after the loss he had sustained, was no weaker, wished to continue the war against the enemy in the old way, but he was wholly unable to get his followers to agree to this. For O'Rorke returned to defend his country against his brother, Thady O'Rorke, whom he had left in Breiffny, and whom he had heard was now disposed to possess himself of the chieftaincy. Ranald followed suit, and others were influenced by their example, and forced O'Neill also to retire, much against his will. O'Donnell, delegating his authority to his brother Roderick, set out

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for Spain with Raymond the Baron, and a few others, to seek assistance.

O'Sullivan, collecting his own Munstermen and the Spaniards received from Zubiaur, and taking into his pay Richard Tyrrell and William Burke, resolved to cut off the English supplies, and force them to raise the siege, and abandon their camp. He wrote to Aquila not to lose courage or be dispirited, and not to surrender the town, but Aquila struck a bargain with the enemy, whereby he and his army and all their effects were at liberty to return to Spain, and the town was not to be surrendered until the Viceroy had provided ships and sailors, and Aquila had sailed, giving pledges for return of the ships. And so Aquila returned, having lost in this expedition 500 foot, and the English in the whole siege of Kinsale having lost more than 8,000, who perished by the sword, hunger, cold and pestilence. O'Neill and Roderick, brother of O'Donnell, having left the Munsters, parted from each other on the road, and O'Neill arrived in Tyrone.
Roderick O'Donnell reconciled to the Queen.

AS Roderic was passing by Lough Sewdy, a town in Meath the town artisans and English mechanics, and Anglo-Irish garrison, thought they would do a brave feat and prove their loyalty by pursuing him and so they rashly engaged in battle armed, some with staves, some with swords, some with spears, but at the first onset of Roderic's cavalry they quickly turned tail. The garrison endeavoured to rally the fugitives, but being surrounded by the cavalry, about 200 of them were cut off, scarcely enough to tell the tale escaping the slaughter. Roderick, having returned home, suffered for some months from dysentery. Meanwhile the royalists made expeditions by land and water from Donegal, and without opposition besieged and battered with cannon Ballyshannon fort. Tuathal O'Gallagher, who held the fort with 56 Irish and 4 Spaniards, made a brave and protracted defence to maintain the walls and when these were broken down fled with his men by night, leaving only one sick man, Owen O'Dwyer, who on the following day, as the royalists entered, killed one of them with a gunshot and brandished his spear until promised quarter, but

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the enemy treated him with the faith of the English religion, and having taken his arms from him put him to death with the women and boys, in number 300. Oliver Lambert, an English knight and Governor of Connaught, set out to establish a garrison in Sligo. Roderick, who was now well again, routed him in a battle in the Curlew mountains, and slew many in the pursuit to Boyle, whither they retired, and as they proceeded thence to Roscommon with the cavalry and musketeers, one behind each horseman, Roderick overtook and cut off many of them. Oliver was again prevented marching to Sligo by Roderick and O'Connor Sligo whom Roderick had set at liberty, and who successfully fought Lambert not far from Boyle. However although unable to reach Sligo by land, the English occupied it by sea. Seven companies of Englishmen under Leonard Guest, a knight, unexpectedly landed there, and quickly fortified the place. Roderick ordered the adjoining crops to be cut down. The English sallied out to prevent this and Roderick came to support the reapers. A battle ensued in which 300 English were laid low and the rest fled to their fortifications.

Although the English abhorred the titles and names of Irish chiefs and had often issued proclamations to abolish them, nevertheless they were sometimes content to create chiefs in order that they might ruin one another. Thus Richard Burke, the son of Deamhan-an-chorrain, was made The MacWilliam by the royalists, and cut off in battle by Roderick. Meantime an army was being assembled in Spain to be sent into Ireland with O'Donnell, but he most unfortunately died, and on hearing of his death Roderic's comrades were filled with grief and despair of any aid from Spain. MacSweeny Banagh joined Garve. Tuath took his own course. Roderic, exhausted of powder and other ammunition, made peace with the Queen, and so did O'Connor Sligo and others. Garve had himself inaugurated O'Donnell by O'Ferrall, and for so doing was imprisoned in Derry by the English, who hate the Irish titles and wished to abolish such inaugurations. Garve escaped to a thick wood where he assembled his forces and party. Roderic and Dowcra, joining their forces, stripped him of his goods and shattered his resources. Hence it came to pass that of his party 4,000 men, women and children died of famine, and himself reduced to poverty fled into England less valued now by the English than Roderic.

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O'Neill accepts terms of peace.

AFTER the return of the Spaniards, Blount recruited the remains of his army during the winter and sent Samuel Bagnal to provision the garrison of Armagh. O'Neill with 1,000 men attacked him and his 15 companies and 3 troop of horse at Mullaghcros. First the cavalry, then the musketeers, and finally the pike-men of both sides rushed into the fight. Samuel came to the rescue, but he lost 700 men and O'Neill about 70.

In the following spring Blount moved his forces, increased by Anglo-Irish auxiliaries, into Tyrone. He began to rebuild the fort of Portmore, calling it Charlemount after his own name. O'Neill, by some successful skirmishes, prevented him advancing further. However, O'Neill learning of O'Donnell's death, and now deserted by his own clansmen, was reduced to want and despair. Accompanied, therefore, by only 400 men, he concealed himself in the thickly wooded valley of Glenconkeine, and there endeavoured to defend himself. The enemy burned his towns and cut down his crops. Con and Henry O'Neill, sons of the Chieftain Shane, assisted the English and acted as guides for them and many of the Tyrone men followed suit. The powder and ammunition placed in a strong fort and entrusted for safe keeping to Patrick O'Donnelly, was put upon pack-horses and carried off to the English. At this time—it being now the year 1603—Elizabeth, Queen of England, died.

On her death bed the English Council had obtained authority to make a treaty with O'Neill, and he, although he had by two successful skirmishes prevented the English entering the valley, nevertheless being exhausted of his resources; his ammunition gone; and himself surrounded on all sides, without any hope of aid; and ignorant of the Queen's death, accepted terms of peace. O'Rourke still preserved his country and stood out against the English and was joined by Mac William. Con Maguire was set up as The Maguire against his kinsman Maguire, by the royalists, and was called by the Irish the English Maguire. He seduced Maguire's followers and mercenaries, so that the royalists got possession of Fermanagh and Maguire was driven to O'Rourke. MacGeoghegan also held out.

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WE have seen nearly the last of the affairs of Ulster, Leinster, and Connaught. Now the extremely bitter and vigorous struggle in the Munsters under O'Sullivan, Chief of Bear, challenge our attention as strange and astonishing, both in the vicissitudes and hardships of the toils of war.
O'Sullivan's associates and resources, and what he did in the beginning of winter.

AFTER Aquila's treaty, O'Sullivan sent into Spain, to beg speedy assistance, Dermot O'Driscoll, a man of tried fidelity and prudence, and his eldest son, Daniel as a pledge of and hostage for, his father's fidelity. With these went other noble youths and myself, then a boy, and we were most graciously received by Count Carazena, Governor of Gallicia, a distinguished man of ancient and noble lineage, and very much attached to the Irish people. There I learned grammar and humanities and skill in Latin from Patrick Synott (Patric oig Sinot), one of my own countrymen; Philosophy from Roderic Vendanna, a Spaniard of keenest intellect; and other subjects from other masters.

Meantime, O'Sullivan thought by every plan and device to defend himself against the enemy's attack until assistance would come to him from Spain. To his aid came Daniel MacCarthy, son of the Chief of Clancarthy; Daniel, son

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of O'Sullivan More; Cornelius and Dermot, sons of O'Driscoll More; Dermot O'Sullivan, my father; Dermot, the two Donoghs, and Florence, of the MacCarthy Reaghs; gentlemen of the MacSweenys; and Donogh O'Driscoll, with his brothers.

To him fled O'Connor Kerry; Fitzmaurice, Baron of Lixnaw; the Knight of Kerry; the Knight of Glin; and John FitzGerald, brother of the Earl of Desmond, and James Butler, brother of the Baron Cahir, both of whom in the previous war had been dispossessed of their belongings. O'Sullivan having also enlisted William Burke, Richard Tyrrell, and other mercenaries for pay, had, with his allies, about 2,000 picked young men. With these in this winter he possessed himself of Carriganass Castle (Carraig an neasaig), which was the only castle in Bantry held by Owen O'Sullivan, who had always adhered to the Queen's side, reducing it partly by raising a rampart, partly by towers, mantlets, sows and gabions, and partly battering it with brass cannon. He ravaged the countries of O'Donovan who had gone over to the English, and other helpers of the English. He drove the Queen's Munster forces, terror-stricken, into fortified towns and castles.
Preparations and strength of the Royalists—Carew's first Expedition—death of MacCarthy.

THE English were much distressed and uneasy at these achievements and determined to direct against O'Sullivan the greatest force they could command.

George Carew, president of the Munsters, summoned the Royalist forces to Cork and called up the Irish auxiliaries. He had with him some Anglo-Irish, the levies of Ormond's county, auxiliaries sent by various persons, and the following Munster magnates without whom he could have done little to hurt O'Sullivan—namely, Donogh O'Brien, formerly chief of Limerick and Earl of Thomond; MacCarthy Reagh, chief of Carbery; Charles MacCarthy, chief of Muskerry; Barry More, Viscount Buttevant; O'Donovan; the White Knight; Owen O'Sullivan, who, although a kinsman of O'Sullivan's, was his bitterest enemy; Dermot, brother of O'Sullivan More; Donogh and Florence, brothers of MacCarthy, and who had deserted O'Sullivan. The whole

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army contained more than 4,000 men, of whom scarcely 500 were English.

The rest were Irish and Anglo-Irish who in the existing desperate circumstances, thought it would be very unsafe and dangerous for them to disown the Queen.

With these forces, Carew, setting out from Cork in the month of March, 1602, unexpectedly arrived in Bantry; threw a garrison of eight companies into Whiddy Island, by means of ships and boats which he had sent round beforehand; and quickly returned again to Cork. In Whiddy the Royalists fortified themselves behind a ditch and trench. O'Sullivan getting together shipping, resolved to attack this garrison. Meantime, the Royalists having remained two months in the island, cut off from assistance by O'Sullivan, and filled with alarm, abandoned the island, and under the guidance of Owen O'Sullivan, took the road to Cork.


O'Sullivan pursued and captured the baggage, but killed only a few, because the fugitives were met near Bantry by Carew and his whole army coming to their rescue. Dermot MacCarthy was ravaging the lands of the English abettors in Carbery, when, as he was driving off the prey, he met his kinsman, MacCarthy Reagh, accompanied by a few men, and having embraced one another in all friendliness they parted. Reagh having assembled a larger band of soldiers again sought out Dermot, and fired on him at a distance. Dermot, a man unsullied by crime, restraining both parties from fighting, and calling on Reagh by name, was shot by a dastardly trooper, leaving to O'Sullivan a sad loss.

Carew's second expedition—destruction of Dunboy and Dursey Island—martyrdom of Dominick O'Callan Collins.

CAREW, having increased his forces to over 5,000 men, again resolved to crush all O'Sullivan's resources, and, entering Bantry, encamped in the open plain at Gurteenroe, purposing to penetrate from thence to Bear and attack Dunboy fort and other castles of O'Sullivan's. O'Sullivan, occupying the road, pitched his tents half a mile from the enemy. He was very inferior in point of numbers, but, backed by valour and the favourable nature of the ground, he warded off the enemy's advances, and cut off supplies. Carew, fortifying himself with a ditch and trench, kept his men for two months within the bounds of their camp, until there arrived off the adjoining coast eighteen ships of war and transports, and other small vessels sent from Waterford, Cork, and England, in which he embarked his army and landed it near Dunboy to besiege the castle. This was now held by 120 foot, placed there by O'Sullivan, under command of Richard MacGeoghegan, an illustrious hero. This garrison, sallying out, fought valiantly against the enemy before the walls, and, for a long time, prevented an assault on the castle, and when they were driven behind the fortifications, they stoutly defended themselves from the battlements, windows, and towers. Carew attempted to carry the castle by main force with his cannon, but was worsted in this by the besieged making sorties and hurling missiles from the fortifications. Thereupon, he drew a ditch two cubits higher than a man round the castle, and ran a transverse rampart in the teeth of sharp opposition from the besieged, who kept interrupting the work. Into the trenches, when not exposed to the towers of the fort, he brought five cannon, which he placed on the transverse ditch, and therewith incontinently battered the castle. Meantime, the besieged made frequent sallies, endeavouring to drive off the enemy from the assault, engaging in hand to hand skirmishes, and at longer range, firing from the fortifications red-hot balls from muskets and cannons. But, now, from the continuous cannonading, the walls were shaken, and the fabric of the castle was collapsing. A large part fell in and another portion following, tumbled down. The royalist army made an assault on the castle through the breach, and, after great slaughter on both sides, the besieged withstood the attack. The royalists again set themselves to destroy the castle at long range with their cannon and with their muskets to drive the defenders from the walls and towers. An immense piece of the works tumbled in ruins, carrying with it the men, and burying the soldiers under the falling stones. The royalists rushed in through the breach; the besieged overwhelmed them with shot and stones, ran them through with pikes, slew them with swords, advanced barriers, rolled up stones, and drove them headlong out again through the breach and repelled all attack. Hitherto, the royalists had cannonaded the fortifications from a distance, but now they safely advanced their artillery, the works being sufficiently ruined, and the besieged, falling on all sides, could not defend the breach. The assailants rushed through it and into the great hall, up to which the fort was destroyed, and occupied half of it with three companies. There the besieged rallying, a bloody conflict ensued. Many wounds having been inflicted on both sides, and many lives having been lost, the royalists were forced to turn tail and quit the hall and every part of the ruin. The enemy, carrying off their wounded, again made an attack, in which fresh and active men engaged the wearied and wounded, and large numbers attacked few. The breach was first contested. The defenders being beaten from this, seven companies carried their colours into the hall, which was not large enough for them, as they could not deploy in it. The fight was long protracted there; many fell under wounds on both sides. There lay a great heap of bodies and arms, the whole hall ran streams of blood. Far the greatest part of the defenders fell, especially the Captain, Richard, whose high spirit was defending the chieftaincy with the valour of his race. Fighting with the utmost vigour, he fell amongst the corpses, covered with many deadly wounds and half dead. Of the rest none were unwounded. The survivors, abandoning the hall, were forced to be take themselves to the basements. There they fought strenuously, as well in valour as in despair, which is oftentimes a great incitement to die bravely. They prevailed so far as to deprive the enemy first of the hall and then of the whole castle. Thereupon night put an end to the struggle. On the next day the Royalists sought to finish the business by treaty. The defenders, seeing the greater part of the castle tumbled and destroyed, their leader lost, themselves exhausted with wounds, and wearied with various trials, stipulating that they be dismissed in safety, surrendered the fort in the month of September on the fifteenth day of the siege.

After the Royalists had entered the fort, Richard, who was still alive, when he heard the voice of the English, recalled his fading spirit, and tried to set fire to the gunpowder, of which, there was no mean store in the fort, and undoubtedly he would have blown up the enemy were it not that before he accomplished his object life failed him. The treaty and compact was kept with English scrupulosity, for men and women were hanged. All are not agreed as to the numbers of the assailants who perished some say 600; some say less, others more.
During the days on which the castle of Dunboy was being attacked, Owen O'Sullivan and John Bostock, an Englishman, sailed over to the Island of Dursey, in which was a monastery, built by Bonaventura, a Spanish Bishop, but dismantled by pirates; a church dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel, and a fort built by my father, Dermot, which was garrisoned by a few of Cornelius O'Driscoll's men. The inhabitants were terrified by the sudden arrival of the enemy; some sought the protection of the altars, some ran to hide, some betook themselves to the fort, which the few armed men surrendered on the enemy's promise of safety, as it had no cannon or fortifications. The English, after their wonted manner, committed a crime far more notable for its cruelty than their honour. Having dismantled the fort and fired the church and houses, they shot down, hacked with swords, or ran through with spears the now disarmed garrison and others, old men, women, and children, whom they had driven into one heap. Some ran their swords up to the hilt through the babe and mother, who was carrying it on her breast, others paraded before their comrades little children, writhing and convulsed, on their spears, and, finally, binding all the survivors, they threw them into the sea over jagged and sharp rocks, showering on them shots and stones. In this way perished about 300 Catholics, the greater part of whom were mercenaries of my father, Dermot.

Having accomplished these feats, the Royalists sailed from Bear and returned to Cork, carrying off Dominick O'Colan Collins, a lay brother of the holy Society of Jesus, who had been sent by the garrison of Dunboy as a messenger to those in the island. He was in vain tempted by the Protestant clergy with cunning arguments, and offers of great rewards, especially ecclesiastical dignities, to desert Christ's religion and profess the Anglican doctrines. Spurning these, he was dragged at the tails of horses, hanged with a halter, and, his breast being cut open with sharp knives, he rendered his soul to God in the year 1602, on the last day of October.

In his youth he had served as a cavalier in campaigns in France under King Henry IV. Converted to a better use of life, he dedicated himself in religion. He was born of citizens of the town of Youghal in Ireland.
Dermot O'Driscoll returns from Spain—Cornelius is sent thither.—O'Sullivan captures some of the Royalists' Castles.

DURING the days in which these disasters befell O'Sullivan, Dermot O'Driscoll returned from Spain and brought O'Sullivan from his Catholic Majesty 20,000 gold pieces to pay his soldiers, and letters promising assistance and ammunition. But after the loss of the castle, O'Sullivan sent Cornelius O'Driscoll, son of O'Driscoll More, to Spain to press for speedier succour. Meantime, he himself, no way dispirited, led into Muskerry, towards Cork City, 1,000 men, and reduced into his power two forts, Carrignacurra and Dundareirke, setting up against them gabions and sows. He forced the inhabitants who surrendered to join him in rebellion, and compelled O'Donoghue of the Glens, whom he had captured, to surrender the castle of Macroom and join the confederacy. Whilst he tarried at Macroom, south of the river Lee, Charles Wilmot and Samuel Bagnal, with 2,000 men, crossing this river from the north to the same side as O'Sullivan, halted at Carrigadrohid, not further than one league from the fort. On these days a great storm suddenly arose, and so unusually swollen were the waters that they carried away the bridges, so that it seemed improbable the royalists would venture to recross the river.

O'Sullivan seized this opportunity, and, leaving a garrison at Macroom, swam across the river with his forces and wading the River Laney (?), whose waters came over the men's shoulders, he ravaged Cork country far and wide, and drove off a great booty to Bear. After his return the royalists advanced from Carrigadrohid to Macroom, and besieged the castle. The garrison fired the buildings round the fort lest they should afford a vantage point to the besiegers. The fire spread from these buildings to the fort, so that it could not be in any way saved. From the fort itself, thirty soldiers who garrisoned it, fled (as usually happens in misfortune) from fire to sword, and, bursting through the midst of the serried ranks of the enemy, happily escaped wholly unhurt through the clouds of smoke, their agility, the nearness of the wood, and their own valour.
Perilous flight of the Chief of Muskerry; O'Sullivan storms a fortified castle; and other matters.

AT this time Donogh and Florence, brother of MacCarthy, shifted their dislike from O'Sullivan to the English. The sons of Thady MacCarthy likewise went over to him, but these having got some of the Spanish money, again went over to the English, denouncing Charles MacCarthy, Chief of Muskerry, as secretly friendly to and treating with O'Sullivan. Whereupon Charles was imprisoned in Cork and in danger of his life.

Owen MacSweeny, a youth in years, but in courage more than manly, and six other followers, resolved to rescue him, and for their master's sake to peril themselves. Owen, getting into Charles's cell by night, as if on some other business, cut with a file the leg fetters and freed the feet from one another, and enabled him to escape through the window.

Holding out before the gates a lighted lamp, Owen gave his six comrades the signal to approach and catch Charles as he jumped down. But as Charles was long hesitating and afraid to throw himself from so high a window, Owen threw him out and himself escaped safely another way. The six confederates caught Charles unhurt in the air, and before he touched ground in a cloak spread out for the purpose, and stealthily made for the town walls. The fugitive's fetters, striking some stones roused the guards, who pursued with a mob of the neighbours, and now there was uproar throughout the whole city and calls to arms. Lamps and torches flared up in the streets and windows of the houses. Meantime, two of Charles's six men halted, and, with drawn swords, for a short time withstood the attack of the pursuers. Of the other four, two jumping down from the wall, caught Charles, let down by the other two, and the remaining four, leaping from the high walls, and all six carrying Charles over the fords of the river Lee, surrounding the town, escaped partly by swimming and partly by wading. Charles mounting a horse which had been in readiness on the bank of the river, fled to O'Sullivan.

O'Sullivan, learning of this event from general flying rumours, hastened with half of his army to meet the fugitive in Muskerry. There Charles, striking a bargain with O'Sullivan, promised that his affection and assistance would henceforth be given him. On his way, O'Sullivan thought to try whether Carrigaphooca, which was held by Thady MacCarthy's sons, could be reduced and injuries inflicted by them avenged. The fort was strong in its natural situation and difficult to storm. In the first place, there was no passage for cannon, situated as it was, amongst the mountains and woods, nor could it be undermined, as it was built on a rather cut-away and steep rock, and surrounded by a double stone wall, one near the base, two cubits higher than a man, the other higher still, near the top, and from the lower to the higher wall, the ascent was by a narrow and steep path. However, 500 marksmen, posted by O'Sullivan showering bullets on the windows, towers and battlements of the castle drove back the defenders and rendered them powerless. Things went hard against the terrified besieged, and a great panic seized all hearts. Some burst their muskets when firing, others accidentally burnt themselves with the powder. Meantime, pikemen sent by O'Sullivan having burnt the gates of the first wall, unexpectedly climbed the rock to the second wall, and partly burnt and partly burst in the doors. And now the fort began to totter when the besieged terror-stricken surrendered, and, being disarmed, were sent away as agreed, the castle being dismantled. Herein were found the Spanish gold which Thady's sons had got from O'Sullivan, and various other treasures, deposited for safe-keeping by the neighbours.

This and the other two forts of Carrignacurra and Dundareirke, which were in the chieftaincy of Muskerry O'Sullivan handed over to Charles to be garrisoned by him. O'Sullivan himself ravaged the Cork Country to the town's suburbs and, distributing his soldiers in winter quarters amongst the villages and killing the Protestant officers of justice, he returned to Bear laden with booty. At this time, Charles Wilmot held Dunkerron Castle with a garrison of 1,000 men, and three captains, and other English and Anglo-Irish of birth and considerable military rank coming to him from Askeaton were intercepted and annihilated by Daniel, son of O'Sullivan More.

O'Sullivan deserted by his own is driven from Bear

IN the heat of this war word of O'Donnell's death was brought to Ireland, whereupon those who were following O'Sullivan lost hope of Spanish aid and became dispirited. First of all Charles MacCarthy deserted, with the three castles which he had received from O'Sullivan and the rest of the chieftaincy of Muskerry. Daniel MacCarthy the Knight of Kerry, Daniel O'Sullivan, and others sought favour from the English. Tyrrell with his troops, of which he was commander, betook himself to Connaught. By these defections the English were emboldened, and, assembling the Munster magnates, the Anglo-Irish, and all the royalist forces, they got together about 5,000 men of whom scarcely 500 were English. Charles Wilmot an Englishman, was made governor of Bear, and marched this army to Glengariff, where O'Sullivan then was, and pitched his camp at Gortnakilly, and issued a proclamation in which pardon was promised in the Queen's name to all deserting O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan reduced to a few armed men, fought with the enemy continuously for four days, in which time he was being daily more and more deserted by his followers, so that he had left few more than 300, of whom by far the greatest number were Connaught men. And now the Connaught-men with one accord quitted the camp and watches at night, and took themselves off to Connaught. O'Sullivan, O'Connor, Dermot O'Sullivan (my father), William Burke, and other nobles followed them, accompanied by a few men, and with them fled more than 200, whom they could not prevent as they preferred flight to falling unprotected into the hands of the enemy. Thus O'Sullivan was driven out of Glengariff with the loss of scarcely fifteen men, whilst in these four days 300 of the enemy perished by the sword, cold, or sickness. The royalists laid waste all Bear, replete as it was with various riches, and received the surrender of the castles of Ardee and Carriganass. O'Sullivan's wife, Johanna Sweeny, my mother, and other gentlewomen concealed themselves in the gorges and the tops of the mountains.
The men of Carbery and the Royalists encounter with loss on both sides; Two priests killed; Fitzmaurice recovers his Country.

AT this time the two Donoghs and Florence MacCarthy; Dermot, son of O'Driscoll; Thady, son of O'Mahony, Carbery; Maur, and other gentlemen of the MacSweenys were in Carbery, and against them came towards Cork, Maurice FitzGerald, the White Knight, Taaffe, an Anglo-Irish Captain of a troop of horse, the infantry of Muskerry and Fermoy, and some English, in all about 400. The former were inferior in point of numbers. They encountered at Clodagh wood, with little success on either side. On the first day, Thady, charging the Muskerry infantry, killed 14, and put the rest to flight. On the next day also, MacCarthy's foot, Dermot and the MacSweenys, attacking a crowd of the enemy's infantry, slew about forty of them. At the same time the others of MacCarthy's foot, scattered about, were surrounded by the royalist cavalry, and twenty of them cut off, and the rest routed. The White Knight pressed eagerly on the rear of the fugitives, and, having followed Thady O'Crowley, surnamed Furiosus (?), into ground unsuitable for horse, he dismounted, and, attacking with his sword, was deprived by Furiosus (?) of two fingers of his left hand, his signet ring, ear, and horse. During this confusion, Owen MacEgan, a priest of most spotless and innocent life, who had lately returned from Rome, honoured with the degree of Doctor in Sacred Theology, and appointed by the Pope, Bishop of Ross, was struck down with a sword blow, and mortally wounded by the Royalists, even clad as he was, in his holy vestments, and carrying in his hands his spiritual weapons—the Breviary in one hand, the Rosary in the other. To those friends who murmured and mourned him as slain by the royalists, he said: ‘To me these unhappy people have brought life; for themselves they have earned death.’ When he breathed forth his soul, a bright halo is said to have appeared over his mouth and face. Dermot MacCarthy, surnamed Roe, a priest and son of Conald, was captured and carried off to Cork by the royalists, as, prompted by piety, he went around absolving from their sins in their
last moment the soldiers of both parties lying wounded on the battle field. There, after he had spurned the Protestant bribes, he was dragged through the streets at horses' tails, hung with a halter, cut down half alive and his intestines torn out, which were exposed by the English in public places, a sad spectacle to the Catholics.

After this encounter the MacCarthys and their comrades, as soon as they heard that O'Sullivan was driven off, owned allegiance to the Queen, except Thady O'Mahony, who, being captured by treachery, was put to death. Fitzmaurice, accompanied by a few comrades, fled from the pursuing royalists through Slieve Lougher, and, inflicting loss on the English, with some difficulty obtained pardon and restoration of his barony. And thus the war in Munster was ended.
O'Sullivan's various actions and almost daily battles during the first seven days of his Flight.

NOW let us see the fortunes and perils and trials which O'Sullivan suffered in his flight from the hands of the enemy. He had to accomplish a long journey of about 100 leagues; the winter weather was most unsuitable therefore. His soldiers little exceeded 400 in number, of whom thirteen were cavalry, the others infantry, pikemen, musketeers, and a few targets. He had a large crowd of women and sutlers. All the roads were beset with enemies, and a large sum of money was promised to whoever would slay him. Hence it came to pass that he endured almost incredible toils and faced tremendous risks. I will briefly relate these circumstances in their order.

On the 31st December, in the year of our Redeemer's birth, 1602, O'Sullivan set out from Glengariff, and at night pitched his tents twenty-six miles away in Muskerry country, at a place which the natives call Augeris.

On the next day, the 1st of January, 1603, starting off in the early morning, he reached, before midday, the populous village of Ballyvourney, dedicated to Saint Gobnata.

There the soldiers paid such vows as each one list, gave vent to unaccustomed prayers, and made offerings, beseeching the saint for a happy journey. Advancing thence they were pursued by the sons of Thady MacCarthy with a band of natives, harassing their rear ranks with missiles, and again and again returning to the skirmish after being driven off by O'Sullivan's wings of marksmen. Four hours were spent in continual fighting of this kind, and some on both sides were wounded. At last O'Sullivan, by making an attack with his whole column and killing some, put the enemy to flight. Covering twenty-four miles in that day, he pitched his tents at nightfall in O'Keeffe's country. Sentinels being posted, the soldiers abandoned their way-worn limbs to rest, but the natives annoyed them throughout the whole night rather by yelling than hurting. Hunger also greatly weakened them, because they had had no food the whole day, the provisions which they had taken with them for only one day having been all consumed. On the following dawn O'Sullivan marched his men by the base of Slieve Lougher towards Limerick City. Not far from this road was an English garrison under Cuffe, who, with Viscount Barry's nephew, and a band of his dependents, occupied the ford of a river O'Sullivan had to cross. The ford was contested with red hot balls from both sides for about an hour, until Cuffe was forced to abandon the place. In this fight four of the Catholics fell; the royalists lost more, many were wounded, and perhaps more would have perished, although they were superior in numbers, were it not that the Catholics, through want and weariness, were unable to pursue them. The Catholics having buried their dead and in turns carrying the wounded in military litters, accomplished a march of thirty miles that day, and on a stormy night pitched their camp in a desert place and vast solitude, near the woods of Aherlow, the guards being scarce able to keep awake through hunger, weariness, and fatigue. On the following day they refreshed themselves with cresses and water and hastened along in a direct route before sunrise.

The inhabitants in the usual way pursued. The Gibbons, mercenaries of the White Knight, natives of Limerick City, and a few English superior in numbers, but very undisciplined, attacked, not in column, but in a mob. However, they charged boldly and fiercely in front, rear, and baggage, which was carried in the middle, attacking all at once. Both sides fought with guns. Such heavy showers of bullets rained on all sides that O'Sullivan could not, as usual, bury his dead or carry off his wounded. Such a cloud of smoke from gunpowder darkened the air that one party was often unable to see the other. After the contest had continued in this way for eight hours, O'Sullivan, reached at night Kilnamanagh, where fires were lit, for as soon as the fighting was over the cold of a very severe winter pinched. The soldiers, in whom want had produced starvation, fed on plants and roots and leaves of trees. As they proceeded on the following day, their rear ranks were engaged with the enemy's musketeers until they had reached Donohill fort, which the soldiers stormed for the sake of getting food. Whatever prepared food was there, the first who entered devoured right off. The rest set themselves to feed on meal, beans, and barley grains, like cattle. Carrying their packs, they covered about twenty miles, and halted in the village of Solloghod.

At this time Dermot, second son of O'Sullivan, aged two, was left in charge in unhappy Bear, where he was secretly nursed for two years by some gentleman of rank, and afterwards sent into Spain. From thence, at break of day, they took the route to Slievefelim, where far larger forces sent by Ormond blocked the way. On learning this the Catholics were filled with terror, but as things were come to such a pass that the enemy could force them to fight against their wills, they resolved to attack the enemy first. When the enemy saw this they were stricken with greater fear and quitted the ground.

Hunger pinching them bitterly, Thomas Burke and Daniel O'Malley, by O'Sullivan's order, made a slight detour, with sixty men to look for booty and food.

These were suddenly attacked by the enemy, Daniel and twenty men killed, Thomas captured, and the rest routed, but saved by O'Sullivan coming to the rescue, and immediately he rescued Thomas flying from the enemy after having broken his bonds, his helmet on, but stripped of his sword, pike, and dagger. He halted in the village of Latteragh, and threw his men into a rather small church and its enclosure. There was in this village a fort from which he was annoyed the whole night with firing and by sallies of the garrison. He withstood the attack from the fort and momentarily awaited with drawn sword, prepared muskets and couched pikes a larger crowd of the enemy assembled not far from the camp; the men going on sentry and to sleep in turns.

It was now the 6th of January, when at dawn, a storm of red-hot balls blazed on O'Sullivan as he advanced. This was, indeed, a daily salutation with which the enemy
honoured him; a farewell as they drew off at night; a greeting as they turned up in the morning.

Throughout the whole day his rear column was continually engaged in fight and some fell on both sides, nor was O'Sullivan's only disadvantage that with a few he had to meet many, but, in addition, he had to oppose, with wearied and wounded, fresh and staid enemies. The fighting was usually with missiles. Whenever O'Sullivan halted the enemy fled, when he advanced they quickly pursued. Night putting an end to the contest, O'Sullivan reached the village of Brosna.
O'Sullivan landed in a tight corner, from which he was delivered by an admirable device of Dermot's.

O'SULLIVAN seemed to be landed here in a very tight corner, as he could not cross the broad and navigable river Shannon since the enemy had removed all boats and ships, and warned every ferryman under the severest penalties not to carry him over. Moreover, the soldiers were nerveless from want. Every heart was hereupon filled with giant despair. In this critical state of things, my father, Dermot O'Sullivan, announced that he would in a short time make a ship and put an end to the soldiers' hunger.

On the following day, which was the 7th of January, they, by Dermot's advice, concealed themselves in the thick and secure wood of Brosna, and having cut down trees, arranged them like a ditch and surrounded themselves with a small trench. In two days they built two ships of osiers and trees, covered with the skins of twelve horses, which they killed, and on whose flesh they all fed except O'Sullivan, Dermot, and Dermot O'Houlaghan. The ship planned by Dermot was made in this way: —

Two rows of osiers were planted opposite each other, the thickest end being stuck in the ground, and the other ends bent in to meet each other's vis-a-vis, to which they were fastened with cords, and so formed the frame of the ship turned upside down. To this frame the solid planks were fixed, and seats and cross beams were fitted inside. Outside it was covered with the skins of eleven horses, and oars and dowels were fitted on. The keel was flat, both on account of the material used and in order
to avoid rocks and stones. It was twenty-six feet long, six feet broad, and five feet deep, but the prow was a little higher in order to stem the tide. The other ship, which was built under direction of the O'Malleys, was made of osiers without joinings, having a circular bottom like a shield, and sides much higher than the bottom suited. It was covered with the skin of one horse drawn over the bottom. These ships were carried by night on the men's shoulders to the bank of the Shannon called Portland, and O'Sullivan began stealthily to ferry his men across in them. Ten of the O'Malleys got into his ship, but it perished in the midst of the river with its men, being too small and imperfectly built to bear the weight. Dermot's ship, which carried thirty armed men at a time, brought the others across safely, drawing after them the horses swimming and tied to the poop.

At daybreak, after the soldiers had been got over, Donogh MacEgan, who held the adjoining port of Kiltaroe, surrounded the baggage with an armed band and began to destroy the packs, to sprinkle the earth with the blood of the sutlers and drive the terror-stricken women into the river. Thomas Burke, with about twenty pikes and as many marksmen, had been placed on guard and in ambush by O'Sullivan to protect the others until they were brought over the river, and now rousing his men, he unexpectedly attacked Donogh, whom, with fifteen of his comrades, he slew, and routed the rest, nearly all wounded. The natives, attracted by the report of the guns, flocked down to both banks of the river. Hereupon Thomas, with his guards, women, and sutlers in a great panic, tumultuously pouring into, sank the ship, but so near the shore that no one perished, and the ship being again floated carried over the guards. Some of the sutlers swam across the river; others, not being able to get over on account of the natives coming up, dispersed in different directions and hid themselves. O'Sullivan ordered the ship to be broken up lest it should prove useful to the enemy.
O'Sullivan, in a wonderful manner, routs Royalist Forces far superior in numbers.

AS O'Sullivan advanced from the banks of the river he was not given one single moment's rest from the attacks of the enemy. O'Madden assembling a crowd of natives, fired on him, but O'Sullivan, no whit daunted, divided his famished troops into two parts when he had reached Magheranearla, before mid-day, and each part in turn withstood the enemies' assaults. Entering the houses, they gathered up sacks of wheat, beans, and barley, and refreshed themselves on the grains, and by drinking malt or beer. This kind of food and drink seemed, to their parched palates and hungry stomachs, regular nectar and delicacies. Whatever other kind of food had been in the village the natives had removed. Advancing thence, O'Sullivan sent eighty armed men in front, the baggage followed immediately after, and he himself, with 200 men (for he now had no more), brought up the rear. Here he was obliged by the pursuers' fire to leave behind some worn out beasts of burthen, and to abandon some men exhausted by the march, or weakened by wounds. When he had reached a place called Aughrim, Henry Malby, an Englishman, Thomas Burke, brother of the Earl of Clanrickarde, and Richard Burke, with five companies of foot and two troops of horse, and a band of natives, came against him. The neighing of their horses, the sheen of their brilliant armour, the braying of their trumpets, the sound of their pipes, the beat of their drums, all joyously and proudly anticipating victory, unnerved the small band of Catholics and struck terror into their souls. The eighty men who were in advance to protect the baggage, abandoned it and fled at first sight of the enemy. O'Sullivan thus addressed the others: —

‘Since on this day our desperate circumstances and unhappy fate have left us neither wealth, nor country, nor children, nor wives to fight for, but, as on this instant the struggle with our enemies is for the life that alone remains to us, which of you, I ask in God's eternal name, will not rather fall fighting gloriously in battle and avenging your blood, than like cattle, which have no sense of honour, perish unavenged in cowardly flight? Surely our ancestors, heroes famed for their high spirits, would never seek by a shameful flight to shun an honourable death even when they could fly. For us it will be proper to follow in their footsteps, especially as flight offers no salvation. See the plain stretching far and wide without hindrance of bog, without thick woods, without any hiding-places to which we could fly for concealment. The neighbouring people are no protection for us. There is none to come to our aid. The enemy block the roads and passes, and

we, wearied with our long journey, are unable to run. Whatever chance we have is only in our own courage and strength of our own arms. Up, then, and on them, whom you excel in spirit, courage, achievements past, and holy faith. Let us remember this day that enemies who have everywhere attacked us have heretofore been routed by the Divine mercy. Above all let us believe that the victory is the gift of God. Let us think that Christ our Lord will be with His servants in their utmost need, and that for His name and holy faith we join issue with heretics and their abettors. Fear not the worthless mob of enemies who are not as used to fight as we are, much less as famous. Wherefore, I do hope they will turn tail when they shall see us heartily resist, even as I expect you will show forth your faith and courage.’

O'Sullivan had scarcely concluded this speech when the royalist cavalry were down full tilt upon him, endeavouring to run the foot through with their spears, to trample them under the horses' hoofs, and throw their ranks into confusion. O'Sullivan, avoiding the shock of the enemy's cavalry, marched his column through an adjacent swampy and boggy ground to a thin low copsewood not far off. The royalist cavalry dismounted and joined their pikemen, and both, running through the bog, tried to get before O'Sullivan, and seize the copse, whilst his column was not fully arranged and his ranks were open. The royalist musketeers sharply pressed O'Sullivan's rear. O'Sullivan sent William Burke with forty gunmen against these musketeers, but he was driven back to O'Sullivan by the enemy's numbers with the loss of fourteen marksmen. At this instant O'Sullivan suddenly turned round his division on the enemy's column, which was within a dart's throw, and was followed by the chieftains and the brave though abandoned by cowards and dastards. This sudden and unexpected volte face struck terror in to the royalists, and when ordered to fall into line some fled to the rear ranks and, one following another, they wheeled round in a circle. Some fled.

The chief and bravest, however, held their ground against O'Sullivan. Shortly before he came within a spear's length of them, twenty marksmen, whom O'Sullivan had posted flanking his front ranks, shot down eleven royalists. Forthwith, the advance lines of both parties fell to with drawn swords and couched spears. First of all, Captain Maurice O'Sullivan closed with Richard Burke, but before he had got firm ground he was struck on the chest and knocked down by Richard, who was standing on firm ground. He was, however, not wounded, being protected by his coat of mail. Donogh O'Hinguerdel (?) with a blow of a sword cut off Richard's right hand as he was making a second thrust with his pike, and Maurice quickly getting up again ran him through with his spear, and Hugh O'Flynn finished him off with his sword as he fell half dead. Dermot O'Houlaghan and Cornelius O'Morogh killed Malby. Then the fight became general, each attacking his foe as he met him. The fight going against the royalists, Thomas Burke, who was heavily armoured, was got on his horse by his servants and rode off. And now a heap was formed of bodies and arms and the rest not slowly, but pell-mell, made for the adjoining fort of Aughrim.

O'Connor, a peer of the bravest in the fight, shouted victory! The conquerors hung on the rear of the enemy. And now those who had not dared to charge with O'Sullivan against the opposing foe, were quick enough to fall on the routed enemy, arrogating to themselves with great blusterings the glory of the victory obtained by others, and anxious by a show of spirit to wipe out the abject disgrace of their ill-timed cowardice.

However, the routed were not pursued far. O'Sullivan ordered a recall to be sounded, having seen John Bostock with some companies coming to the rescue of the fugitives, and who, with the others, betook himself to Aughrim fort. Whilst this was taking place, Malby's musketeers and a crowd of those who, following the Catholics' division, had been annoying them all day with throwing javelins, were engaged in plundering O'Sullivan's baggage, and when the royalist column was routed they also sought safety in flight.

In the battle about 100 royalists fell, the flower of their forces, their general. Malby, Richard Burke, three standard bearers, as many adjutants, more sergeants, and the rest were Irish, Anglo-Irish, and English gentlemen. The conquerors lost the fourteen whom I have mentioned. O'Sullivan, collecting the enemy's arms and colours, fled that evening and following night through a host of surrounding enemies through O'Kelly's country with such haste that he left some soldiers worn out on the road, and overcome with sleep.

Struggles of the following couple of days recounted.

AT dawn of the following day O'Sullivan crossed Slieve Murry, and, as he came near the villages, beat the drums and displayed the standards captured from the English at Aughrim, pretending that his men were Royalists and English, so that the food might not be hidden by the inhabitants. However, this device did not avail him, for the flocks and herds were removed, food and drink hidden, or carried into the fort, and MacDavid, the lord of the village, assembling a large, though for the most part unarmed, crowd of men, attacked him from a distance with missiles, and followed annoying, throughout the whole day, and cutting him off from food. At nightfall O'Sullivan concealed himself in the thick woods of Slieve O'Flynn. There, having lit fires, the soldiers, exhausted by the continuous watchings of the previous night and their great toils, had scarcely begun to yield their wearied limbs to rest when a man came to them to announce that the natives had decided and arranged to surround and destroy them at daybreak. Thereupon they kindled larger fires, as if all were encamped there, and quickly moved off, enduring with patience tremendous sufferings of an unseasonable march and time. The rain so poured on them that they were scarcely able to bear the weight of their soaked clothes. Quite tired out, they sank into deep snow as if into pits, and, when lifting one another out, were rather dragged down by their comrades than the latter pulled out. Nor was darkness the least of their trials, for, if any stars did shine, the boughs of the trees, interwoven with one another, formed an unbroken screen and shut out their light, so that they wandered about as if blind, following only the sound of familiar voices. And, moreover, the winds rustling the branches made a louder noise than mere whistling, and made hearing difficult. However, through the skill of their guides, they got through the wood, having covered four miles. When at daybreak the natives, under MacDavid, surrounded the quarters deserted by O'Sullivan, and found nothing but fires, they followed the track of the fugitive, and having come up with him about nine o'clock, attacked with missiles until he reached the top of a high hill. There some of O'Sullivan's men, whose

strength was failing from weariness and hunger, swore they would rather hazard the worst in fighting the enemy than quit this spot before they had taken food and sleep, and the rest chimed in with the same vow. O'Sullivan was not unequal to the emergency, exhorting them to put all their trust in valour. And, indeed, martial ardour and courage are not to be despised in soldiers, however few (there were in sooth not more than 60 capable of fighting) or worn with toils. Quickly drawing up, they offered fight to the enemy, thinking that those who show fight with great confidence of success, or, hating a burdensome life, seek an honourable death, are more likely to perish well avenged or return safe to their wives, than peril their safety. O'Sullivan's men killed two horses, and, after all but the three who had previously declined horseflesh had eaten their fill, they took at night about six hours' long and peaceful sleep. They made brogues of the horses' hides, for they had worn out their boots, and made tracks for the wood which is called Diamhbhrach Bracklieve?, that is, 'Solitude.' When they had entered this wood sleep again overcame them, and, scattered about without any order, bodies were stretched here and there, heedless of danger, each one resting until daylight wherever he chanced to settle down. O'Sullivan perceiving this, and having with himself but 12 companions, ordered a fire to be kindled, thinking, as in fact happened, that the stragglers when they awoke would gather round the blaze.

Toils of three days related.

WHEN day broke, the natives, coming to investigate the strange fire in such a wilderness, spent a long time talking with O'Sullivan, and then brought him a present of food, reporting to Oliver Lambert, President of Connaught, that the fire had been lit by labourers. Here some of the Catholics grew foot-sore from the hard weather and long march. O'Connor suffered intensely. On account of this, O'Sullivan tarried in the wood the following day till night. A night march was necessary for all, but O'Connor was so bad that he could not mount his horse. The highways and horsepaths were here and there blocked by enemies, and therefore the route was through narrow passes and obstructed valleys, so that they could not have struggled through were it not for one often helping the other. And so, O'Connor, lying stretched on the ground, thus addressed his feet:—‘Have you not gone through the most difficult trials these last three nights? Why do you now shrink from the toils of one night? Are not my head and the safety of my whole body more precious to you, my most delicate feet? What doth it avail to have fled so far if through your sloth we now fall into the hands of the enemy? I will assuredly make you shake off this sluggishness.’ Forthwith, with the utmost effort and weight of his armour he struck his feet against the ground, and squeezing out the matter, pus, and blood, he got up and began to march with the rest. Now, however, a guide was wanted, and him God supplied. For a man clad in a linen garment, his feet bare, his temples bound with a white wreath, carrying in his hand a long wand tipped with an iron point, and presenting an appearance well calculated to inspire awe, appeared and greeted O'Sullivan and the rest, and being saluted by them in turn, thus spoke:

‘I know that you are Catholics tried by various misfortunes, fleeing from the tyranny of heretics, that at Aughrim hill you routed the royalist forces, and are going to O'Rourke, who is 15 miles off, but you want a guide. Therefore a desire has seized me to conduct you thither.’

O'Sullivan long pondered whether he could confide in this man, and ordered 200 gold pieces to be given to him. These he took. ‘This gift,’ said he, ‘I accept not as a reward, but in token of my good will towards you, as I have resolved of my own good will to do you this service.’ The darkness of night, the unknown country, the suspected guide, multiplied the fears of those groping along. The feet slipping over loose stones, the snow heaped up by the wind, exhaustion, swollen feet, all tried the unhappy fugitives. O'Connor suffered more than anyone, the causes of his pain increasing. The greater part of his feet and legs was inflamed. Lividness supervened, and in turn gave place to blisters, and these were succeeded by ulcers. He was terribly afflicted and only able to bear up because he suffered for Christ Jesus. In the dead of night they reached the little village called Knockvicar, where they refreshed themselves with fire and purchased food. When they decided to move on, O'Connor, whose ulcers had been crustated by the fire, was not able to stand, much less walk. Four of his comrades carried him on their shoulders until in the twilight they found a stray beast, lank and worn with age, on which they placed him without bridle or saddle, the sharp bone of the lean back pricking the rider. Some led the blind beast, others whacked him along. Having got over the Curlew hills, they reached a plain, when O'Connor began to walk. After daybreak, the guide showed O'Sullivan O'Rourke's castle in the distance, and bid the rest farewell, assuring them all danger was now past. They reached Leitrim fort about eleven o'clock, being then reduced to 35, of whom 18 were armed, 16 were sutlers, and one was a woman. The others, who were over 1,000 leaving Bear, had either perished or had deserted their leader, or lingered on the road through weariness or wounds. Some followed in twos and threes. I am astonished that Dermot O'Sullivan, my father, an old man near 70, and the woman of delicate sex, were able to go through these toils, which youths in the flower of age and height of their strength were unable to endure. O'Rourke received O'Sullivan with most honourable hospitality, giving directions to have his sick cured, and all necessaries to be supplied just as he had afforded comfort to MacWilliam and Maguire, who had been driven to him. And he would have succoured O'Sullivan had he delayed longer here.
WE have shown how the resources of the chief leaders in this war were shattered. We shall in this volume relate some memorable struggles: How on the death of the Queen of England, the King of Scotland obtained Ireland; and shall discuss the justness of the Irish war.
O'Sullivan and Maguire successfully encounter the Royalists, and the latter recovers his country.

AFTER O'Sullivan had stayed some days with O'Rourke and refreshed the few soldiers, survivors of his flight, he and Maguire, accompanied by Richard Tyrrell and 300 armed men and several sutlers and unarmed people, undertaking a difficult journey, set off to treat with O'Neill as to renewing the war. Now O'Neill was more than 100 miles off; three rivers, flowing into the famous Lough Erne, and which, it now being winter, could not be forded, had to be crossed. Besides, other places of the intervening country, the whole lough and its islands and Maguire's country round it, was held by a royalist garrison under Cornelius Maguire, surnamed Roe, Maguire's kinsman, who adhered to the English and had been by his own faction elected The Maguire, but by others was called the English Maguire. He had brought over to the Queen's side many Irish, especially mercenaries and followers of Maguire's people, although at the same time he shrank as much as the others from the false religion of the English. O'Sullivan and Maguire

crossed the rivers in pontoons brought down for the purpose. Not knowing this fact, the English Maguire, O'Malachy, and Lawrence Esmond, with 500 armed men from their encampments, sailed over the lough in boats and ships and uselessly blocked the ford at the end of the river called Belturbet, with intent to meet O'Sullivan and Maguire.

O'Sullivan and Maguire encamped that night six miles beyond the ford. When on the next day they learned that the enemy were away in ambush at the ford, they attacked and captured their camp, which was six miles further away. They stayed there that day and night, hung fifty of the defenders, and got together a great prey of flocks and herds. On the next day Maguire, thinking it a good opportunity whilst the enemy were at the ford 12 miles off, went out of the camp with 200 light armed soldiers to raid the friends and abettors of the English. O'Sullivan, who was left only 100 armed men, fearing lest in Maguire's absence he should be overborne by the rush of a numerous enemy, whose arrival he dreaded, dismantled the camp, burnt the tents, and he took himself with the spoils to the dense wood of Alfarcan. In a very short time the enemy having heard of the storming of the camp and capture of the prey, returned in their ships and disembarked not far off. When they came in sight of O'Sullivan they arranged their column with intent to take vengeance. O'Sullivan placed his armed men in front, the sutlers at the rear, the boys and women, holding long staves for spears, he placed as if in reserve, so as to frighten the enemy by a show of numbers.

The royalists, wondering how confident of success O'Sullivan appeared, and considering his numbers, which rumour magnified, and being ignorant that Maguire with 200 men was absent, spent a great time in doubt as to whether they ought to give battle. Meantime, towards evening, Maguire returned safe with an immense booty. The royalists, cursing their lot that, deceived by O'Sullivan's device, they had let victory escape their hands, retreated to their ships, seeing the camp destroyed and booty lost, and resolved merely to preserve the garrisons which they had in the islands on the lough, until larger forces were sent to their assistance. There was on the route to the ships a deserted old fortress built of small stones, and surrounded by a trench and lofty trees planted on the sides. It was called O'Neill's Fort by the natives because he used to inaugurate Maguire there. The royalists were seen by the Catholic scouts to enter this fort at night, as they could not reach the ships before dark. Thence on the following dawn they started for their ships, which they reached about four hours after sunrise, and, after Esmond with a few men had been ferried over; the rest were, at a sudden signal for battle, surrounded by a division of the Catholics, who had silently followed.

Panic-stricken by this sudden and unexpected attack, some jumped into the boats in such haste and confusion that some were sunk; others loaded the nearest ships with such a crowd that they went down with them; others, throwing themselves into the lough, were drawn down by the weight of their armour; others were killed by the Irish. There was one ship a little larger than the rest, which, when filled inside with fugitives, was also surrounded outside with frightened people hanging from the thowels and trying to climb into the ship, and this, being kept where it was by the rope tied to the bank, was deluged with a shower of bullets. However, the rope being cut, it got off, and most of those hanging on were either pierced with javelins or drowned in the lough. The English Maguire, with his two sons and three men, fled for safety in a small boat. O'Melachlin and 40 men perished by sword and water. The Catholics thence sailed to the islands in the lough, took seven garrisons, hanged the defenders, and having put to flight the English Maguire and Esmond, Maguire was restored almost completely.

Maguire and others received into English favour. O'Connor goes for Scotland. O'Sullivan returns to O'Rourke. Others make peace.

O'SULLIVAN and Maguire forthwith passed the English garrison, and after a three days' march reached Glenconkeine. There they found that O'Neill was gone for Dublin, having accepted terms of peace as already shown. Maguire accordingly returned home and was received into English favour, like other Ulstermen, on the terms granted to O'Neill. O'Sullivan returned to O'Rourke. O'Connor Kerry, going for Scotland with a single comrade, was most honourably received by King James, and being invited into England, was reinstated in his country. Tyrrell, William Burke, and others went over to the English, stipulating for pardon and reward. In Leinster, Raymond O'Moore, reduced to poverty and deserted by his own, sought safety in making his peace.

p.177
O'Rourke is stripped of his possessions and dies. Macwilliam dies in Spain.

MEANTIME, the Munster rising being quelled after O'Sullivan's expulsion, the English assembled an army against O'Rourke out of those troops which had been enlisted against O'Sullivan and of the survivors of the Aughrim slaughter, and got together 3000 Irish and Anglo-Irish under command of Oliver Lambert, Governor of Connaught. In the month of March, 1603, Lambert marched his forces to the south side of the Shannon, not far from Leitrim Castle. Here he was for twelve days foiled in his attempts to cross a ford by O'Rourke, who had assembled a small band of soldiers. On the thirteenth night John Bostock secretly brought over in boats and pontoons seven companies to Gleann-na-mochart, and quickly fortified himself in its chapel with a ditch and rampart. From this post Bostock could easily raid and waste O'Rourke's country, and when he had perceived this on the sixth day after his arrival, he sallied out with 300 men and drove off a prey. O'Rourke came up with him and endeavoured to rescue the booty. A battle ensued and the English were defeated. Some, including Bostock, their captain, were slain; some returned terror-stricken to their entrenchments, bearing tidings of the loss of their captain and spoils. The victors lost only two. Hereupon the English began to regret having crossed so large a river and undoubtedly would have been more sorry had not Fortune, never weary of injuring the Irish, at this time absolutely raged against them. For Thady, brother of O'Rourke by a different mother, and who now adhered to the English party because he was disputing with O'Rourke about his inheritance and patrimony, attacked him on the other side and detaching many followers and mercenaries from his brother, occupied the greater part of the country of Breifny. O'Rourke himself caught a bad fever and died, deserted by those to whom he had entrusted his government, and who made peace. O'Sullivan, with some difficulty, procured a safe conduct for a few days. In this state of things Philip III., King of Spain, sent Martin Cerdo with two ship-loads of powder and other ammunition and 30,000 pieces of gold to O'Neill and Roderic, and no doubt had they received this aid sooner they would not have laid down their arms, but having done so, they would not accept the King's money or ammunition. MacWilliam accompanied Cerdo to Spain and there died shortly after. At this time Cornelius O'Driscoll, whom we have seen had been sent to Spain by O'Sullivan, got from his Catholic Majesty 2000 pieces of gold and put into Munster. Not finding O'Sullivan here, he returned to Spain, taking his wife and other women with him.

Rising of the Munster Cities.

AFTER the pacification of Ireland, the death of Elizabeth, Queen of England, who a few days previously had passed away in delirium and great pain, became known. Immediately on receipt of this news, Waterford, Cork and Limerick, cities of Munster, and also intervening towns, not knowing what Prince to obey, took counsel together and hastened to publicly celebrate Mass and carry out the ancient ecclesiastical rites. If they had done this before, when the Irish chiefs and entire Catholic party were flourishing, the English would have been driven out of the whole realm. Now, however, there were none to help or defend them and by themselves they did not seem capable of withstanding the power of the heretics, and this, indeed, turned out to be the case. The English Privy Council with the utmost despatch called James Stuart, King of Scotland, to be their king also. This assuredly, on account of the ancient enmity between the English and Scotch they would never have done, had they not known that England, the home of error, would be maintained in its madness, and had they not been aware that if the Irish, who could never he detached from the Catholic faith nor be brought over to English views, and the Scots, who seemed to claim the sceptre of England as their King's hereditary right, were joined in attacking England, it would go hard with the English between two such warlike races, which in ancient times had conquered and made England subject to them. James having got the sceptre, Charles Blount with the royalist army arrived at Waterford from Dublin. John White, a priest and Doctor of Theology came into his camp with a deputation from Waterford, carrying and displaying the Crucifix, and assured the Viceroy that the people of Waterford would never willingly yield allegiance to any prince who would attack and persecute the Catholic religion. To the same effect spoke brother Edmond O'Callaghan of the Order of St. Dominic, a man renowned for his holiness and learning, and Brother Candidus of the Order of St. Bernard, assuredly candid not only in name but also in learning, piety, and manners. Blount, on account of the difficulties of the times, and the anxieties which perplexed him, dissembled, treated the monks and doctor with civility, and speaking them fair, received the surrender of Waterford and other lesser towns. The Corkonians suffered more severely in this inter-regnum, for having expelled the English garrison they fought daily battles for two months, with Charles Wilmot, Vice-President of Munster, at long range and close quarters; from the fortifications and before the walls; in the harbour and docks; on land and sea. In these skirmishes Charles lost more than the Corkmen, but a few fell on each side. When Blount arrived the Corkmen submitted to him, being now advised of the new king. As soon as Blount entered the city he ordered three persons to be publicly hanged:—Christopher Muriach Murray?, a man well skilled in military matters and who had inflicted no small damage on Wilmot's troops; Eugene, a teacher of Latin, because when our Lord Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist was being carried through the streets of the city, with great pomp and incredible joy of the whole town, he, looking up to heaven with outstretched arms, had prayed God never to permit Cork to want power to preserve so happy, holy, and divine a custom: and William Buler, because he had stayed the cruelty of Dominic Sarsfield, a judge of notoriously truculent and wicked disposition, who used to condemn to death priests and other holy and innocent men. Then he sought out the movers of these disturbances, and would have treated most honourable citizens with the greatest harshness and cruelty, were it not for the magnanimity of one William Meach Meade?. This man preferring that he alone should die for all the citizens, than that all should perish with him, avowed himself the sole instigator and leader of the rebellion and prime mover therein. He was imprisoned and put in chains on this confession and now it appeared that if he were acquitted the others must also go scathless, but if he were condemned then all who had taken part in his schemes must suffer the like punishment. This matter, according to the English law, was to be submitted to the verdict of twelve men, who were to pronounce whether he were guilty or not of the crime, and if found guilty the punishment was meted out by the judge in manner heretofore described by us at length. William, distrusting the virtue of his own fellow-citizens, chose, to try him on the capital charge, twelve Irish gentlemen, some of whom had served under O'Sullivan in the Catholic Party. It must, however, be remembered that if the twelve men acquitted against the direction of the English judge, they were at least fined and often put to death. Lest the twelve men should, through dread of this penalty, be afraid to acquit William, the Corkmen, who knew that their own safety depended upon William's acquittal, promised the twelve to pay the fine for them. These gentlemen, at the peril not only of a fine, but even at the risk of their lives, boldly and bravely acquitted. They were heavily fined, and the Corkmen failing to pay up, some of the jury were reduced to poverty by the enormousness of the fine, and some who could not pay, had to quit the country. William, being released from prison, also went for Spain, where he was granted 40 gold pieces a month by his Catholic Majesty, and where he died.

O'Neill and other belligerents go to England to the King.

AT this time O'Neill, Roderick, O'Sullivan, Garve, and other Irish chiefs betook themselves into England to congratulate the new king and treat of their own affairs. O'Sullivan could not by any means get pardon or restitution of his country. By the Catholic King, however, to whom he fled, he was granted 300 gold pieces a month and made a Count, and decorated with the Cross of the Equestrian Order of St. James, which was also bestowed on his sons Daniel, who shortly after died from an accidental wound in the head, and Dermot. My father, Dermot, was allowed fifty gold pieces a month, and many others received other grants.

O'Neill was allowed by King James to retain his possessions and directed to be satisfied with the title of Earl of Tyrone. Roderick was left O'Donnell's country, and given the title of Earl of Tirconnell. Garve was awarded only those possessions which he had had before he joined the English and was offered the title of Baron. Filled with vexation, he refused to accept this title, and after his return to Ireland, appeared before the Council in Dublin and railed bitterly against the Councillors and English people, asserting that the Catholics had been defeated and conquered and Ireland preserved to the English crown, not by the English, but by him, and that the Council and the English had treated him unjustly and faithlessly, and had not kept their promises. Then he heaped terrible curses on himself for having ever kept faith with the English or helped them. And so as Garve was garve,11 so he wound up his speech with great asperity.

What was the Condition of Ireland after the War?

THUS the war was finished. Ireland was almost entirely laid waste and destroyed, and terrible want and famine oppressed all, so that many were forced to eat dogs and whelps: many not having even these, died. And not only men but even beasts were hungry. The wolves, coming out of the woods and mountains, attacked and tore to pieces, men weak from want. The dogs rooted from the graves rotten carcases partly decomposed. And so there was nought but abundance of misery and a faithful picture of ruined Troy as given by Virgil, Book II., Aeneid: —

1. That night of slaughter and of gloom
What pen can paint or tears atone?
An ancient city meets its doom:
Its rule of ages is undone.
The streets are strewn with silent dead,
E'en homes, aye God's abodes, are graves.
Not only Trojan's blood is shed;
The foeman's gore the streets belaves,
And Trojan valour smites the Greeks.
Around the cruel anguish spreads,
And all with death and terror reeks.

As a result of this almost total destruction of Ireland, many Irishmen scattered themselves amongst foreign nations. A great number passed into France, and a far larger number into Spain. The Exiles were kindly and generously received by Catholics on account of their faith. So great was the affection of the King of Spain for them, and such his kindness and generosity that one could scarcely find words to express, or mind to conceive, all they owed him. Receiving all, to begin with, most honourably, he heaped presents on them. To the Chiefs he allowed monthly sums of money according to their rank, and to others he gave appointments in the army. He had a legion embodied out of them in Belgium, which, under the command of Henry, and after his death, of John, sons of The O'Neill, fought faithfully and bravely against the Batavians. In the royal fleet in the ocean, he had also employed some companies who exhibited great valour. After his Catholic Majesty the most illustrious of the Patrons of the Irish were the Duke of Brigantia, a Lusitanian; Cardinal Surdi, Archbishop of Burdigal, a Frenchman; The Marquess of Caracena, a Spaniard; and Fabius O'Neill, a rich citizen of the city of Valladolid.

.
Theire forces consist of thre sortes, Horsemen, Gallowglass and Kerne.

The horsemen are armed with headpecces, shirtes of mayle or jackes, a sworde, a skayne, and a speare. They ryde vyon paddes or pillowes without styrvps, and in this differ from ours: that in joyninge with the enemy, they beare not their staves or launces vnder arme, and so put it to the reste, but taking yt by the midle, beare yt aboue arme, and soe encounter.

Every Horseman hath two or thre horses, and to euery horse a knave: his horse of service is allwaies led spare, and his knave, which caryeth his harness and speare, rydeth upon the other, or els upon a hackeney.

The Gallowglass ar pycked and scelected men of great and mightie bodies, crewell without compassion. The greatest force of the battell consisteth in them, chosing rather to dye than to yeelde, so that when yt cometh to handy blowes they are quickly slayne or win the fielde. They are armed with a shert of maile, a skull, and a skeine: the weapon they most vse is a batle axe, or halbert, six foote longe, the blade whereof is somewhat like a shomaker's knyfe, and without pyke; the stroake whereof is deadly where yt lighteth. And beinge thus armed, reckoninge to him a man for his harnesse bearer, and a boye to carry his provision, he is named a spare of his weapon so called, 80 of which spares make a battell of Gallowglass.

The kerne is a kinde of footeman, sleightly armed with a sworde, a targett of woode, or a bow and a sheafe of arrows with barbed heades, or els 3 dartes, which they cast with a wonderfull facility and nearnes, a weapon more noysom to the enemy, especially horsemen, then yt is deadly; within theise few years they have practized the muskett and callyver, and are growne good and ready shott. Some will have the Dalonyes or horseboys to be a fourth sorte for that they take them into the fight; they are the very skumme and outcaste of the countrye, and not less serviceable in the campe for meatinge and dressinge of horses, then hurtfull to the enemy with their dartes.

Appended to Dymmok's Treatice, is an interesting old State paper of 17th November, 1568, on the wages and entreteynment of every sparre of her Majesties Gallowglasses oughte to be. Here every sparre or speare (Hastatus in O'Sullivan) is reckoned two men. The number of men in a battalion or 'battell' varied. This old paper gives the numbers and pay of the Gallowglasses cessed on the different 'countries.'

The skeine was, according to Walker, a dagger (p. 119); sgian is now a common word for a knife.

The poet Spenser gives a short description of Irish arms, in his View of the State of Ireland (Thom's Tracts, I., 479-80), and O'Clery, one of the Four Masters, in his life of Hugh Roe O'Donnell, incidentally gives us an insight into the weapons, etc., then in use. (See Father Murphy's translation, pp. 65, 73, 99, 101, 143, 153, 211-7). See also Pacata Hibernia, pp. 150, 237, 345.

The Irish often flung their skeines ( Pac. Hib., 45), and had thongs attached to their javelins, whereby they might recover them after casting ( Miscel. Celtic Soc. 303). Don Juan remarked that the Irish horses were small ( Pac. Hib., 345), but Derrick, writing in 1578, praises the ‘gallant stouryng steede’ (p. 39).

The following passage relating to an Irish army in 1598, taken from the Life of O'Donnell, (pp. 167-9), may, I think, be added to Dymmok's account: —

‘The weapons and dress of these were different, for the Irish did not wear armour like them (i.e., the English), except a few, and they were unarmed in comparison with the English, but yet they had plenty of broad-shouldered darts, and broad, green spears, with strong handles of good ash. They had straight keen swords and light shining axes for defeating the champions, but their were neither rings nor chains on them as there were on the axes of the English. The implements for shooting which they had were darts, made of wood, and elastic bows, with sharp-pointed arrows, and lock-guns, as was usual with the English.’

And here is a description of a battle in 1599; ‘When they came near each other the Irish discharged against them terrible showers of beautiful ash-handled javelins and swarms of sharp-pointed, whizzing arrows from their long, elastic bows, and volleys of blood-red spherical balls and leaden bullets from their straight-shooting, sharp-sighted guns. They were responded to by the English soldiers in the same way exactly with sharp-wounding leaden balls from their iron-lock guns, and their far-sounding muskets,’ etc., etc. ( Life of O'Donnell, p. 217).

The Kernes have not been without their Fenimore Cooper, and Mr. Small has, in recent years (1883), republished A Discouerie of Woodkarne by John Derricke, 1581, with all the original plates and quaint versified legends.

The first plate shows a horseman, his knave, boy and steed;

1. Wherein is bravely paynted forth, a nat'rall Irish grace,
Whose like in eu'ry poynt to vewe hath seldome stept in place.

Amongst the military engines used in attacking fortified places, one of the most usual at this period was that known as the sow. The following quaint description of a 'sow' is taken from Maurice Cuffe's account of his gallant defence of Ballyally Castle in 1641, published by Crofton Croker in Narratives Illustrative of the Contests in Ireland in 1641 and 1690, amongst Camden Society's publications (Lon. 1841, p. 17). It reads refreshingly like Caesar's description of Testudo:— ‘The great sow was 35 foote long and 9 foote broade; it was made upon 4 wheeles mad of whole timbar, bound aboutt with hoopes of iron, there axell trees where one she was run was great round bars of iron, the beames she was bult upon being of timbar. Thaie had cros beames within to worck with there levars, to forse har along as thaie pleased to gide har. The hindar part of the sow was left open for there men to goe in and outt at. The fore part of the sow had 4 dowres, 2 in the ruffe and 2 one the lower parte, which did hang upon great iron huckes, but were not to open tell thaye came close to the wale of the castell, where thaie intended to worck through the castell with there tooles thaie had provided. The ruffe of the sow was built lick the ruffe of a howse, with a very sharp ridge; the lower part as the wales of a howse. She was dubell plancked with manie thik oken planckes, and driven very thik with 5 stroke nailes, which nailes cost 5 li, being intended for a howse of correction which should have bin bult at Inish. This sow was lickwaies covard ovar with two rowes of hides and 2 rowes of sheepe skinnes, soe that noe musket bullet or steele arow could pearse it, of which triell was often made.’

Mr. Croker thought it necessary to gild this gem with a note (p. 114.) The engine called a sow was at this time well known in Munster and in constant use. ( Pacata Hib., Dub., 1820, p. 124).

For illustrations and descriptions of Gabions, see Lieut. General Sir Charles W. Pasley's Rules for Operations of a Siege 3 Ed. London, 1857. See also Pacata Hibernia, pp. 116, 563, etc., and plan of Glin Castle, where several gabions (wicker-work pillars) are representing flanking cannon.

Fynes Moryson, the secretary of Lord Mountjoy, and who has written an exhaustive account of his master's Irish campaigne, says of the Irish soldiers:—‘The Irish kerne were at the first rude soldiers, so as two or three of them were imployed to discharge one Pieece, and hitherto they have subsisted especially by trecherous tenders of submission, but now they were growne ready in managing their Peeces, and bold to skirmish in bogges and wooddy passages, yea, this yeere and the next following, became so disasterous to the English, and successful in action to the Irish, as they shaked the English Government in this Kingdome, till it tottered, and wanted little of fatall ruine.’ (I. i., 24.)

Writing to the Queen on the 25th June, 1599, Mountjoy himself says:—‘These Rebels are more in number than your Majesties Army, and have (though I doe unwillingly confess it) better bodies, and perfecter use of their Armes, then those men which your Majestie sends over.’ (I. i., 36.)

On the 5th June, 1602, Lord Mountjoy wrote to the English privy Council:—‘At my first arrival, I found the rebels more in number than at any time they had bin since the conquest, and those so farre from being naked people, as before times, that they were generally better armed then we, knew better the use of their weapons then our men, and even exceeded us in that discipline, which was fittest for the advantage of the naturall strength of the country, for that they being very many, and expert shot, and excelling in footmanship all other nations. In regard whereof I presumed that man's wit could hardly find out any other course to overcome them, but by famine.’ (Id. III., i., 2 11.) Mountjoy also speaks of their ‘good art and admirable industry,’ in raising fortifications. (Id. III, i., 213.)

Spencer had advised that famine was the only way to reduce the Irish, and Mountjoy adopted this as his policy. He cut down all the corn and burnt and devastated the country, a terribly graphic account of which and of its awful results is given by Fynes Moryson from what he himself saw, and the reports of the captaines.

On the 11th September, 1602, Mountjoy reported to the English Privy Council, ‘wee found everie where men dead of famine, in so much that O'Hagan protested unto us, that betweene Tullogh Oge and Toome there lay unburied a thousand dead, and that since our first drawinge this yeere to Blackwater, there were above three thousand starved in Tyrone.’ III, i., 237-8. See also Fynes Moryson's account, III, i., 271. 258 et alibi.

Nine Years War

Nine Years War (1594-1603) the defining moment in English attempts to conquer Ireland for the first time. And yet for much of the conflict such an outcome was far from apparent. Indeed the war is just as remarkable for being littered by a series of English military embarrassments such as the defeat at the eponymous battle of the Biscuits (1594) where an English supply column was routed. Rebel Irish forces led by Hugh O’Neill, earl of Tyrone and Red Hugh O’Donnell had further successes such as those at the battles of Clontibret (1595) and the Curlew Mountains (1599). The earl of Essex, despite commanding a massive army, never managed to engage the rebels in a major battle, leading to Essex’s downfall.


The Earl of Essex

The most dramatic rebel victory occurred at the battle of the Yellow Ford 1598, when a royal army over 4000 strong was annihilated, being reduced to a complement of 1500 men. For a time, English control in Ireland, such as it was, teetered on the brink of extinction. Unable to press home his military advantage due to a lack of siege skills to reduce the walled towns, the prospects of an ultimate victory for the rebel forces led by O’Neill took a decided upturn with the arrival in 1601 of experienced Spanish troops at Kinsale. Previous rebel military victories had relied to a large extent, though not exclusively, on ambuscade, hit and run tactics. At Kinsale, O’Neill’s army was forced to attempt an entirely conventional military battle, with the decided disadvantage of having undergone a prolonged march along the entire length of Ireland in winter conditions. As it turned out, O’Neill’s disastrous defeat at Kinsale frustrated his aspirations of defeating the royal forces outright. Despite this, he managed to hold out against the determined onslaught of crown forces for a further sixteen months. During this time a series of royal garrisons were planted in Ulster whilst a lethal campaign of starvation and extermination was unleashed against the population in rebel held territories, leading to the reported deaths of tens of thousands. In the end, the English army was unable to defeat O’Neill outright either. The war had cost crown coffers a staggering £2 million while the imminent death of Elizabeth I in 1603 changed the political complexion of the war. Senior English military and official figures, fearing that the ascension of James I to the throne would offer O’Neill a window of opportunity to seek a rapprochement with the English crown, concluded the war by agreeing to the treaty of Mellifont in 1603.



An English naval flotilla in action on Lough Neagh (top right-hand corner). During the war, marines, under Sir Arthur Chichester, outflanked the natural defence of the river Blackwater, engaging in highly controversial depredations, including the mass slaughter of women and children.



A personal vendetta pursued by Sir Arthur Chichester towards the earl of Tyrone fuelled the controversial circumstances preceding the Flight of the Earls. The earl of Tyrone's forces had killed Chichester's brother during the Nine Years War, Sir Arthur Chichester vowing to wreak personal revenge by beheading Tyrone. While the war ended in 1603, the bitter rivalry between Tyrone and Chichester was rekindled when Sir Arthur Chichester was appointed lord deputy of Ireland in 1605.



Perhaps the most important aspect of the Flight of the Earls for people of Irish descent, and for countries that the Irish migrated to, is that the Flight effectively inaugurated the Irish diaspora. The early seventeenth century witnessed Irish men and women dispersed as far afield as the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Newfoundland, even the Amazon (O'Briens). As a direct result of the Flight, Irish soldiers, the original ‘wild geese’, saw service in Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Russia.

Overall, the story of the Flight of the Earls is a tale of epic proportions, an enthralling and momentous episode in the history of Ireland and the wider world that has lost none of its drama and appeal in the passage of time.

A selection of Historical Documents associated with the Flight of the Earls gives the flavour of the romantic, dramatic, often contentious events that both preceded and proceeded from the earls’ departure. Of the longer term issues contributing to the Flight, the earl of Tyrone’s elopement and subsequent marriage in 1591 to Mabel Bagenal, sister of Tyrone’s arch enemy, Marshal (Henry) Bagenal, was to prove an important juncture.

Sir Henry Bagenal to my Lord Treasurer, 13th August 1591

My very good lord.

I must crave pardon of your Lordship if my present discontentment shall carry me further (in the declaration of a late accident happened here to my unspeakable grief) than reason or terms of modesty do require. My old father having left only one daughter to mine and other of her careful friends disposing, my Lord of Tyrone became suitor unto her, and after some conference had with myself and other of her friends in whom he perceived no great good towards him to answer his expectation, began in most dishonourable sort, contrary to his assured promise passed unto me, by secret allurements and drift of some dishonest person who meant to make merchandize of her undoing to procure the good liking of the girl and having taken advantage of her years and ignorance of his barbarous estate and course of living so enticed the unfortunate girl by nursing in her through the report of some corrupted persons an opinion of his behaviour and greatness, that being at a sister’s house of mine seven miles from Dublin, she was contented to steal away with one William Warren, whom the same earl used as a principal instrument to the compassing of this his detestable purpose.



I can but accurse myself that my blood which is in my father and myself has often been spilled in repressing this rebellious race should now be mingled with so traiterous a stock and kindred. And withal detest some my countrymen contented to participate in this villany especially the Bishop of Meath, who being ready in the house of Warren six miles distant from the place she ran away at four o’clock in the afternoon, married them contrary to the consent of friends and public, pregnant and most apparent by the law of God not unknown and to himself inpediment to the contrary.

By this and such like examples in men of his sort God’s Word is greatly slandered, and many men in this kingdom whom I think would otherwise willingly embrace the truth brought into detestation of the Gospel. But in this and all other my griefs, I must humbly submit myself to your lordships grave censure and upon the knees of my heart, do most submissively implore both in this and all accidents concerning me, your honourable indifference and accustomed consideration protesting I had rather forsake my place and patrimony, which my Father by his own virtue and the princes liberality hath acquired. And which both he and myself to our great toil and pain have reduced from barbarism to that which now it is and plunge into ruin than upon this accident or any other, slack one iota in the zeal of Highnesse’s service.



Had not the Lord Deputy upon some especial causes of service at this present stayed me. I would have waited upon your Lordship there to have manifested my inexplicable grief by word of mouth which now I am forced to do on paper. Wherein I swear by the presence of Almighty God and the duty I bear her sacred Majesty my sovereign that I will hold a more vigilant eye on that earl’s actions and proceedings than ever hertofore I did, and I would rather abandon this kingdom than by any entreaty grow to atonement with him, or join with him in ought if it be not at some instant times occasion shall be given for the furtherence of her Majesty’s service. And so craving pardon of the present cause if my grief has carrried me further than doth stand with your honour’s good liking, I most humbly leave you to God.



From the Newry this 13th of August, 1591

Your Lordship’s most humbly bounden,



H. Bagenal


This sensational event was a key moment in a series of tumultuous events that culminated with the Flight. News of the ‘late accident’, as the elopement was termed, was broken gingerly to the London government by the Lord Deputy and Council in Ireland. Sir Henry Bagenal, for his part, could not contain his outrage. Referring to his ‘unspeakable grief’, Bagenal vowed to ‘hold a more vigilant eye on that earl’s actions and proceedings’, thereby fuelling a vendetta towards the earl. Tyrone later claimed that Bagenal was the ‘only man’ that provoked him into rebelling against the crown during the Nine Years War, 1594-1603. Considered something of a scandal in royal circles, the protestant Bishop of Meath, who had performed the nuptials with some reluctance, justified his actions ‘chiefly in regard of the danger wherein the gentlewoman’s credit and chastity stood’. The whole affair has been considered so serious by some that Mabel has been labelled the ‘Helen of Troy’ of the Irish wars.

When war eventually broke out, 1594-1603, Tyrone and Bagenal were involved in two major battles, Clontibret, 1595, where Bagenal’s army suffered a bloody nose and the Yellow Ford, 1598, where Bagenal and a large part of his army lost their lives. But the war did not stop, indicating that Tyrone had wider reasons for resorting to arms. 'Articles intended to be stood upon by Tyrone', dating from 1599, included a demand that would have facilitated a well-armed Irish navy, illustrating Tyrone’s uncanny grasp of military affairs as well as a realization that victory against the English required a unified ‘Irish’ effort. Despite inflicting a series of military reverses on the English, the rebellion eventually petered out following the disastrous defeat at Kinsale in 1601. The Treaty of Mellifont, 1603, offered Tyrone and his allies a temporary respite.

Following the appointment of Sir Arthur Chichester as lord deputy in 1605, the royal authorities in Dublin embarked on provocative policies. The earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, for their part, having negotiated a ‘treasonable contract’ with the Spanish, promising to renew rebellion in the event of a break-down in the Anglo-Spanish peace in return for a substantial pension, were compromised by the emergence of a well-placed informer.

The flight of the earls, 1607

The 'flight of the earls' is considered one of the most intriguing events in Irish history. Traditionally, historians explaining this event have been divided into two schools of thought. Some have depicted the earls as offended innocents, forced into exile by unwarrantable pressure from Lord Deputy Chichester's administration.1

Others have accepted the conspiracy theory, agreeing with the Dublin government's contemporary view that the earls fled because they feared that their treasonable machinations had been uncovered.2 Since 1971, however, historical interpretation of the affair has been dominated by an article written by Nicholas Canny.3

Departing from the previous lines of explanation, Canny focused on the intentions of the earl of Tyrconnell and Cúchonnacht Maguire to leave Ireland in 1607 as the key to understanding the flight. Anxious to leave the country because they were in acute financial difficulties, they were determined to seek profitable service with Archduke Albert, governor of the Spanish Netherlands. The 'premature' arrival of the ship that was sent to encompass Tyrconnell's passage discomfited Tyrone, then preparing to go to court, causing him to 'panic' and take flight.

Newly available evidence from continental archives, however, undermines Canny's account in a number of major respects. In the first instance, it shows that Tyrconnell had no need to travel to the continent to benefit from Spanish largesse. It is now known that in the early stages of 1607 he was granted an annuity worth 4,000 ducats to support him while he remained in Ireland - more, in fact, than the 300 ducats per month he received after the flight.4 Secondly, it is also clear that Tyrone was not caught unawares by the arrival of the ship at Lough Swilly. Not only was the ship sent to procure his passage to the continent as well, but he had perhaps as much as a month's forewarning of its arrival.5

In publishing the material from continental archives in 1986, Micheline Kerney Walsh argued that 'the so-called "Flight of the Earls" was neither a panic

_______________________________________________________________________________



1 C. P. Meehan, The fate and fortunes of Hugh 0' Neill, earl of Tyrone, and Rory 0' Donnell, earl of Tyrconnell, their flight from Ireland and their death in exile (3rd ed., Dublin, 1886), p. 43; T. M. Healy, Stolen waters: a page in the conquest of Ulster (London, 1913), p. 42; Sean O'Faolain, The Great O'Neill (Dublin, 1942), pp 272-3.

2 Killen, Ecc. Hist. Ire., i, 480; Gardiner, Eng., i, 413-16; Cyril Falls, The birth of Ulster

(London, 1936), pp 131-2.

3 N. p, Canny, 'The flight of the earls, 1607' in I.H.S., xvii, no. 67 (Mar. 1971), pp 380-99.

4 Micheline Kerney Walsh, Destruction by peace: Hugh O'Neill after Kinsale

(Monaghan, 1986), documents 11, 30, 35, 36, 52, 58.

5 Ibid., documents 43a, 56b. For the length of the warning see Examination of Thomas

Fitzgerald, 30ct. 1607 (PRO., SP 63/222/150a).













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decision nor a journey into voluntary exile, but a planned, tactical retreat and an attempt by O'Neill to secure military aid by presenting his case in person to King Philip'.6 This thesis has not proved convincing. Aidan Clarke observed that Kerney Walsh's conclusion needed to be 'reconciled with Spanish coolness' towards the approaches of the earls. Significantly, however, Clarke further asserted that 'the new material certainly suggests that there may have been more to the allegations of conspiracy than the presently received version of the episode allows'. 7

It is the view of the present writer that the new evidence shows that before leaving Ireland the earls had been engaged in conspiratorial machinations on two levels, international and domestic. In the first instance, they had concluded a treasonable contract with the Spanish authorities shortly after the conclusion of the Nine Years War in 1603.8 Negotiations to this end began as early as 1604 when Tyrconnell met the Spanish ambassador in London.9

At first the Spanish were reluctant to give Tyrone and Tyrconnell any gratuity whatever, in case its discovery precipitated renewed hostilities with England. Eventually the Spanish authorities were persuaded secretly to grant both men a substantial retainer of 4,000 ducats, the initial payment being advanced in the spring of 1607.10 In return, the earls were prepared to renew revolt in Ireland at the behest of the Spanish if required.11 Evidently this commitment on the part of the earls proved decisive for the Spanish authorities. On granting these annuities, it was acknowledged that 'should war break out again they [the earls] could be of great use' .12

Other testimony from the recently published continental material demonstrates that the earls had been forging conspiratorial links within Ireland in the period before the flight. It can now be confirmed, by Tyrone's own admission, that he sanctioned Tyrconnell's 'secret dealings' with members of the Old English community in the period before the flight, aimed at fomenting a revolt, as Chichester suspected at the time.13 Tyrone's employment of a 'proxy' in such conspiratorial matters was typical, having utilised this expedient with considerable dexterity during the early stages of the Nine Years War.14

In the light of the new evidence, then, the conspiracy theorists were on the right lines when they suggested that the earls had been involved in treasonable machinations and that these played a major part in the causation of the flight.

_______________________________________________________________________________



6 Kerney Walsh, Destruction, p. 143.

7 Aidan Clarke, 'Bibliographical supplement: introduction' in T. W. Moody, F. X. Martin and F. J. Byrne (eds), A new history of Ireland, iii: Early modern Ireland, 1534-1691 (2nd

ed., Oxford, 1989), p. 707.

8 Kerney Walsh, Destruction, documents 11, 30, 35, 36.

9 Ibid., document 11.

10 Ibid.,documents 11, 12, 22, 22a, 22b, 22c, 22d, 30, 33, 35, 36.

11 Ibid., documents 11, 43a, 1O2a.

12 Ibid., document 30. The conde de Punonrostro, the Protector of the Irish in Spain, made clear the contractual basis of the agreement with the earls when he recommended the granting of the annuities 'so that they [the earls] may continue to serve Your Majesty and be under obligation to do so at all times'.

13 Ibid., documents 43a, 56b, 72a; Chichester to privy council, 22 Jan. 1607 (P; R.O., SP

63/221/12).

14 Hiram Morgan, Tyrone's rebellion: the outbreak of the Nine Years War in Tudor Ireland

(Woodbridge, Suffolk. 1993), ch. 7.


MCCAVITT - The flight of the earls, 1607



161



Nevertheless, key issues remain to be addressed. Why, for example, was there such a proliferation of rumours in Ireland by the summer of 1607 that rebellion was imminent, when Anglo-Spanish relations, while at times precarious, were on a relatively even keel?15 In other words, the Spanish authorities had no reason for fostering rebellion in Ireland by 1607. Tyrone's claim that a pan-Catholic league was formulated soon after the end of the war in 1603 appears just as problematic. What grounds had he for expecting the Old English Catholics to throw in their lot with him? After all, during his recent rebellion they had generally remained aloof from the Catholic cause which he had then been championing.

The present article will not only reappraise the conspiracy theory in the light of the newly published evidence, but will also analyse hitherto unconsidered circumstances concerning the flight. This entails an assessment of the influence of Lord Deputy Chichester's confrontational Protestantisation policy, the 'Mandates' campaign, on the events which unfolded. The government's aggressive religious policy greatly antagonised the Old English recusants during 1605-7, nurtured Tyrone's hopes of organising a pan-Catholic 'league' against the Protestant English, and played a major role in precipitating the flight.



The flight of the earls occurred against a background of increasing indications that Tyrone and Tyrconnell, in alliance with the Old English, were fomenting a Catholic revolt in Ireland. The original allegations that a plot was afoot surfaced in the summer of 1606.16 Then, in February 1607, George St Lawrence, from the Pale, was also arrested on treason charges. 17 In the Same month the Irish secretary of state, Sir Geoffrey Fenton, noted other reports that Henry O'Neill, Tyrone's son, and Sir Christopher St Lawrence, serving with the Irish regiment in Flanders, were ready to 'answer' an invasion of Ireland.18

By the late spring of 1607 Ireland was awash with rumours of intrigue. On 27 May 1607 Chichester wrote to the earl of Salisbury concerning an anonymous letter which had been found at the door of the Irish council chamber. It too alleged that treason was being planned by Old English recusants and the Gaelic Irish of the 'north' and 'west'.19 Just before this the London authorities had privately informed Chichester that the aforementioned Sir Christopher St Lawrence, soon to become Lord Howth and cryptically known in government correspondence at the time as 'A.B.', had confessed in England to his involvement in just such a

_______________________________________________________________________________



15 Occasionally there was considerable friction, particularly over mercantile issues. It suited neither power at the time, however, to resort to war (Gardiner, Eng., i, 349; Maurice Lee, James I and Henry IV: an essay in English foreign policy, 1603-10 (Urbana, 1970), pp 42-5).

16 Chichester to Salisbury, 12 Sept. 1606 (P.R.O., SP 63/219/105).

17 Confession of George St Lawrence, 14 Feb. 1607 (Cal. S.P.lre., 1606--8, pp 108-9).

18 Fenton to Salisbury, 12 Feb. 1607 (PRO., SP 63/221/19).

19 Chichester to Salisbury, 27 May 1607 (ibid., SP 63/221/57); - to Sir William Ussher, in Meehan, Fate & fortunes, pp 65-6. According to the informant, the plotters were motivated by 'the general dislike of unchristian proceedings against them' and they aimed to secure ‘tolerance in religion’.


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conspiracy. Howth incriminated the earl of Tyrconnell and implied that Tyrone was a party to the plot, although he could not personally vouch for this.20 The fact that while abroad Howth was reputed to have had a particularly close relationship with Henry O'Neill, Tyrone's son, probably added weight to his testimony.21

Why was there such a plethora of rumours that rebellion was imminent at this time? As is suggested above, the Spanish had no reason for instigating revolt at this juncture. The key point is that circumstances in Ireland had changed greatly since the end of the Nine Years War in 1603. Government informers indicated that the treasonable machinations in Ireland originated at the time of the Gunpowder Plot in November 1605 and that religious grievance was a primary motivating factor.22 This, significantly, coincided With the implementation of the 'Mandates' policy in Dublin, a campaign of persecution which aimed to Protestantise Ireland.23 The interplay between events in the 'Mandates' campaign, the development of a conspiracy and the timing of the flight were much more than coincidental.

Other factors contributed to the generation of the conspiratorial ambience which pervaded the years 1605-7. On one level, for instance, it is possible that discontented elements in Old English society, aggrieved by the 'Mandates', disseminated rumours of an impending pan-Catholic revolt purely as a device to put pressure on the government to abandon its religious policy. What is more, among the prominent conspirators, against whom concrete evidence of involvement can be adduced, a variety of additional personal motivations clearly fortified their convictions. The baron of Delvin, for example, was deeply aggrieved as a result of the government's attitude to his proprietorial dispute with the 0'Ferralls.24

As for Tyrone, he was resentful of the partiality which the Dublin authorities displayed in his celebrated proprietorial dispute with O'Cahan. The earl was under pressure in other spheres as well. Not only was he irked by attempts to deprive him of rights to the Bann fishery, but the expansive claims of Protestant bishops to lands in Ulster were also a source of consternation. In addition, he was confronted with a campaign inspired by the Dublin government to create independent freeholders on his lands.25 A proposal to create an Ulster presidency was a further source of concern, while there was the reality of assize judges becoming increasingly active in Ulster.26 It was a measure of Tyrone's considerable irritation with this state of affairs that when his dispute with O'Cahan was considered at

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20 Chichester to Salisbury, 27 May 1607 (P.R.O., SP 63/221/57); Brief collections drawn

from A.B. between 29 June and 25 Aug. 1607 (ibid., SP 63/222/128i).

21 A spy reported that 'Sir Henry O'Neale and Sir Christopher St Lawrence were very familiar and inward friends, and were often times bedfellows' (Report of D.M., son to R.M. of C., 22 July 1607 (Cal. S.P.lre. 1606-8, pp 227-8).

22 Chichester to privy council, 22 Jan. 1607 (P.R.O., SP 63/221/12); Brief collections

drawn from A.B. between 29 June and 25 Aug. 1607 (ibid., SP 63/222/128i).

23 John McCavitt, 'Lord Deputy Chichester and the English government's "Mandates

policy" in Ireland, 1605-7' in Recusant History, xx, no. 3 (May 1991), pp 320-35.

24 The baron of Delvin's confession, 6 Nov. 1607 (P.R.O., SP 63/222/174).

25 H. S. Pawlisch, Sir John Davies and the conquest of Ireland: a study in legal

imperialism (Cambridge, 1985), chs 4-5.

26 N. P. Canny, 'The government reorganisation of Ulster, 1603-7' (unpublished M.A. thesis, University College, Galway, 1967), p. 148; John McCavitt, "'Good planets in their several spheares": the establishment of the assize circuits in early seventeenth-century Ireland' in Ir. Jurist. n.s., xxiv (1989), pp 248-78.




the Irish council table in 1607, he intemperately tore up O'Cahan's petition in front of the lord deputy.27

In stressing the religious motivation for the plot, therefore, it is possible that Tyrone was concealing manifold personal reasons for his participation. Naturally, he could not have afforded to emphasise these if he was to entertain any prospect of securing support among the Old English. Yet his position was not so inauspicious regarding any of these matters at the time the plot was hatched, at the end of 1605, for this to account for his involvement.28 Moreover, experience was to prove that shortly before the flight he was not only successfully frustrating the government's freeholder plans in his patrimony, but the proposal to establish an Ulster presidency was peremptorily rejected by the king as a direct result of his protestations.29 In fact, as this article will show, evidence of the king's favourable disposition towards Tyrone exists as late as June 1607. Having acknowledged that other factors contributed to the discontent of the various conspirators, however, it is the view of the present writer that the plot materialised mainly in response to the government's campaign of persecution.

Chichester's 'Mandates' campaign, directed initially against the Old English, was certainly coercive. Heavy fines and terms of imprisonment were meted out to many leading Old English recusants, while there were allegations of heavy­handedness by troops engaged in enforcing the policy. Not surprisingly, Chichester's 'Mandates' policy proved a great source of antagonism for Old English recusants. After the campaign was first implemented in November 1605, Sir Patrick Barnewall, a leading Old English recusant spokesman, signalled his fear that it could well precipitate revolt. As it happened, the 'Mandates' campaign proved to be a running sore between the Old English recusants and the Dublin government, festering right up until the summer of 1607. Relations were particularly poisoned during the initial proceedings in Dublin, at the time of Chichester's sojourn in Drogheda in the early part of 1607, while Sir Henry Brouncker's activities in Munster throughout much of this time also gave rise to considerable resentment.30

Against the background of the initial proceedings in the 'Mandates' campaign in late 1605, an uncorroborated report circulating in England at the time assumes a particular significance in relation to the flight and its origins. It alleged that the

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27 Pawlisch, Davies, p. 73.

28 There is some conflict in the sources about the timing of the original plot. Howth

confessed it occurred at Christmas 1605 and that Delvin was involved at that stage, whereas Delvin confessed his involvement began in late 1606. Howth's time-scale seems the more reliable, as Chichester had already learned from other sources, before either of these confessions were made, that the plot originated in late 1605. See Brief collections drawn from A.B. between 29 June and 25 Aug. 1607 (P.R.O., SP 63/222/128i); Delvin's confession, 6 Nov. 1607 (ibid., SP 63/222/174); Chichester to privy council, 22 Jan. 1607 (ibid., SP 63/221/12).

29 Pawlisch, Davies, p. 68; Tyrone to king, 17 June 1606 (Ca/. S.P. Ire., 1603-6, p. 549); privy council to Chichester, 2 Sept. 1606 (ibid, pp 548-9).

30 See note 23. General references in this article to the 'Old English' are used circumspectly, as they were only evolving as a cohesive group in the early seventeenth century. The 'Mandates' era, however, played a key role in this process. See Aidan Clarke, 'Colonial identity in early seventeenth-century Ireland' in T. W. Moody (ed.), Nationality and the pursuit of national independence: Historical Studies XI (Belfast. 1978), p. 60.





earl of Tyrone, who had been in Dublin when the first group of leading recusants was sentenced in Castle Chamber, remonstrated with the lord deputy about his religious policy. The earl, it is claimed, would have been arrested but for the fact that he had been forewarned and departed from Dublin without the deputy's leave.31 Whether this incident happened or not, the degree to which the 'Mandates' policy offended Tyrone's newly acquired religious susceptibilities, as the self-proclaimed champion of Catholicism in Ireland, should not be underestimated.

The publication of an anti-Catholic proclamation in Dungannon before the flight took place provoked in the earl 'great resentment and anger', as he considered it part of a 'general persecution throughout the kingdom' .32 While it may be averred that Tyrone initially championed the Catholic cause in the 1590s for pragmatic reasons, the work of Hiram Morgan has shown that he subsequently demonstrated increasingly genuine commitment to Counter-Reformation Catholicism.33

The newly available continental evidence adds substance to the argument that the advent of the' Mandates' campaign was a critical juncture in events leading up to the flight of the earls. Thereafter Tyrone claimed that it was this aggressive Protestantisation policy which inspired his drive to organise a pan-Catholic 'league' in Ireland. This 'persecution', he maintained, proved to be the breaking­-point for the Old English recusants, who, for fear of losing their lands, had not assisted him during his rebellion. At that time a change of sovereign was imminent, and they were confident that lames I would grant toleration. Disenchanted that this had not materialised, and that in fact a campaign of persecution had been unleashed against them instead, they proved amenable to his overtures about organising a 'league'. Tyrone alleged that the conspirators hoped to throw off the yoke of Protestant English control with the assistance of the Spanish. By the time of the flight, however, according to the earl, revolt was not imminent (despite what government informers were indicating at the time). The conspirators were awaiting a favourable response, and material assistance, from Spain before making a move.34

Tyrone was obviously convinced that the Spanish would not tolerate Irish Catholics being persecuted. What the earl was not to know then about the likely Spanish response to such appeals, had he remained in Ireland, he was to learn from all too painful experience during his years in exile. Regardless of any persecution of Irish Catholics, or the precariousness of his own position, the Spanish would not break the peace with England unless it coincided with their own interests.35

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31 Thomas Phillips to Hugh Owen, Dec. 1605 (P.R.O., SP 14/17/62). That Tyrone was in Dublin at this key period can be verified (see Tyrone to Salisbury, 6 Dec. 1605 (ibid., SP 63/217/88).

32 Kerney Walsh, Destruction, document 43a; see also Margaret MacCurtain, 'The flight

of the earls' in Liam de Paor (ed.), Milestones in Irish history (Dublin, 1986), p. 57.

33 Hiram Morgan, 'The end of Gaelic Ulster: a thematic interpretation of events between

1534 and 1610' in I.H.S., xxvi, no. 101 (May 1988), p. 28.

34 Kerney Walsh, Destruction, documents 43a, 72a, 1O2a. Tyrone's analysis of Old English attitudes to the religious issue at the time of the Nine Years War accords with the conclusions of modem historians. See J. J. Silke, Ireland and Europe, 1559-1607 (Dundalk, 1966), p. 21; Hiram Morgan, 'Hugh O'Neill and the Nine Years War in Tudor Ireland' in Hist. Jn., xxxvi, no. I (1993),

p. 28.

35 Kerney Walsh, Destruction, documents 52, 55, 75, 82, 85, 185. The Spanish exploited Tyrone's presence in Rome. It was considered that 'to the English, he is a bridle. Their fear of him gnaws at their entrails.'


Tyrone's claims that the Old English plotted with him to establish a 'league' in Ireland during the years 1605-7 make extraordinary reading, To what extent was this a sober assessment of the situation in Ireland before the flight, or an hallucinogenic recollection of events induced by an over-indulgence in Italian wine and sunshine? Certainly the latter suggestion would be in keeping with O'Faolain's depiction of the earl in exile.36 It appears that Tyrone's remarks had at least some basis in reality. Kerney Walsh has argued, for example, that the idea of offering the crown of Ireland to Spain had become 'acceptable' to many of the Old English as a result of 'King James I of England's intolerance of the Catholic religion' .37 However, corroborative evidence for the involvement of the Old English in the conspiracy outlined by Tyrone is limited. This may well be due to the fact that widespread support simply:' did not exist. Alternatively, it may not be all that surprising given that those involved were unlikely to commit their treasonable intentions to paper. Nevertheless, in the light of such evidence as exists, it would clearly be unwise to rule out Tyrone's claims that support existed among elements of the Old English for a 'league' during the years 1605-7.

In the first instance, Barnewall's minatory remarks following the launch of the 'Mandates' campaign in late November 1605 cannot be dismissed as empty rhetoric. Coming so soon after the recusant revolt of 1603, his threat that the Old English might join a rebellion as a result of the 'Mandates' was by no means an implausible prospect. It is worth emphasising that in 1603 recusants in Munster and Leinster were prepared to take an armed stand in support of toleration.38 Now in 1605 they were faced with the prospect of persecution, and the motivation to resort to arms must have been considerable. Certainly Chichester anticipated that there would be a violent response to his 'Mandates' campaign. He set in train contingency military precautions to deal with it.39

There is also more tangible evidence that some Old English were prepared to plot with the Gaelic Irish lords of Ulster in the period 1605-7. Mooney has shown, for instance, that among those who took flight with the earls were 'members of the Anglo-Irish families of Bath, Preston, Plunkett, Moore and Weston from north Leinster'.40 Besides, George St Lawrence was convicted of attempting to overthrow the Dublin government in the spring of 1607. Among his alleged co­conspirators were a MacMahon and an O'Reilly.41 Then Lord Howth (Sir Christopher St. Lawrence) made his dramatic confession in the summer of the same year.42 Finally, having been compromised by Howth, the baron of Delvin

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36 O'Faolain, The Great O'Neill, pp 266-81.

37 Kerney Walsh, Destruction, p. 4.

38 A. J. Sheehan, 'The recusancy revolt of 1603: a reinterpretation' in Archiv. Hib., xxxviii

(1983), pp 3-13.

39 McCavitt, 'Mandates', p. 323.

40 Canice Mooney, 'A noble shipload' in Ir. Sword, ii (1954-6), p. 196. John Bath and Richard Weston signed the Pale petition protesting against the 'Mandates' (A petition to the lord deputy, Dec. 1605 (Cal. S.P.Ire., 1603---6, pp 362-5).

41 Confession of George St Lawrence, 14 Feb. 1607 (Cal. S.P.Ire., 1606-8, pp 108-9): Chichester to Salisbury, 27 May 1607 (P.R.O., SP 63/221/57).

42 Brief collections drawn from A.B between 29 June and 25 Aug. 1607 (P.R.O., SF 63/222/128i). That Howth was a Protestant does little to undermine the essentially Catholic nature of the conspiracy. He was, in any case, very much a maverick figure, and his unstable nature was reflected in his attitude to religion. Before his departure
confessed his complicity in treasonable machinations as an accomplice of the earl of Tyrconnell later in 1607.43

Tyrone's claims, therefore, that the Old English were seriously contemplating entering an alliance with him before his flight had at least some basis in reality. Just as importantly, the corollary of his candid acknowledgement that he had been engaged in treasonable machinations is that the English authorities were justified in investigating his activities before the flight. Chichester, as a result, was not chasing conspiratorial spectres conjured up by his own macabre imagination.44 The lord deputy, however, did not have the benefit of Tyrone's post-flight admissions. Against this background, the explanation for the flight is to be found in an analysis of the efforts made by the English authorities to fathom the extent to which Tyrone and Tyrconnell were engaged in treasonable activities. Events were to prove that it was not that sufficient evidence had been amassed to proceed against the earls on a charge of treason which caused them to become uneasy and take flight. Rather, it was the apprehension that such a case had been compiled that proved decisive.



II



Until the late spring of 1607 the English privy council treated allegations that the earls had been involved in treason with a large measure of scepticism.45 Lord Deputy Chichester was less dismissive, although he had yet to be convinced of the exact details of the treason.46 Disturbed by his discoveries, he determined to remain alert to the possible dangers. It was not long before his worst fears about a Catholic revolt seemed about to be realised.

In the meantime, at an Irish council meeting held at the end of June 1607, important decisions were taken regarding the controversial Tyrone-O'Cahan proprietorial dispute. It was on this occasion that Tyrone and O'Cahan sought permission to present their respective cases in person to the king. The earl was particularly enthusiastic about the idea. As it turned out, the litigants' requests were rejected, rather disingenuously, by the Dublin government in order 'to spare his

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Albert he was reported to have attended mass (see Chichester to Salisbury, 26 Jan. 1607 (ibid., SP 63/221/11). His father signed a letter sent by noblemen of the Pale protesting about the 'Mandates' (Noblemen of the Pale to Salisbury, 8 Dec. 1605 (Cal. S.P.lre., 1603-6 pp 365-6).

43 Delvin's confession, 6 Nov. 1607 (P.R.O., SP 63/222/174). Delvin signed the Pale petition protesting about the 'Mandates' (Petition to the Lord Deputy, Dec. 1605 (Cal. S.P. Ire., 1603-6, pp 362-5).

44 Among those who alleged that there was no substance to the allegations against the

earls was Sean O'Faolain. He claimed that 'felon-settlers, agents provocateurs, spies, petty

officials of every kind dogged them like shadows. Failing to get any evidence to support the

story of a plot, Chichester egged on his men to badger his victims into some indiscretion

that would justify him in proclaiming them traitors' (O'Faolain, The Great 0’Neill, pp 272-3:

45 Privy council to Chichester, 19 Nov. 1606 (P.R.O., 31/8/199, ff 168-71). This missive

clearly implied that the English privy council believed that Chichester was over-reacting to the allegations that the northern earls were involved in a new treasonable conspiracy.

46 Chichester to privy council, 22 Jan. 1607 (ibid., SP 63/221/12); Chichester to Salisbury,

27 May 1607 (ibid., SP 63/221/57).




167

Majesty's trouble by their importunities, and to prevent the misorders that might happily break out in their countries in their absence' .47

The fact was that by the end of June 1607 Chichester's administration had every reason to be apprehensive about Tyrone's proposed trip to England. At this time it appeared that the king and privy council in England were far from convinced that he was deeply involved in treason and remained willing to treat his petitions with favour. Since the conclusion of the Nine Years War, indeed, the king had pursued a policy of appeasement towards the ear1.48 It has already been shown that a proposal to establish an Ulster presidency was scotched following his protestations. Overall, the king's policy towards the earl was encapsulated in remarks made in August 1606, when it was stated that while

he would not maintain Tyrone in any encroaching upon his subjects as were not fit, so he would wish all occasion to be taken from him of just complaint, considering what a dependency the Irish have on him and how ticklish their disposition is towards the state, and he an instrument apt to make innovation.



It was a further manifestation of the king's sensitive approach towards the earl that issues affecting him at this time were to be decided in London and that he was not to be subject to the 'decision of the law merely'.49 Evidence dating from as late as June 1607 suggests that James intended to persist with his assuagement strategy. Even at that stage Tyrone was to be 'assured that all his Majesty's goodness has been already begun unto him, so he may not doubt that the same shall be continued'.50 Consequently, Chichester and the Irish authorities probably feared that James would decide in the earl's favour in his dispute with O'Cahan and that he would emerge once again from a visit to the court of King James as the 'real victor'.51 ­

Against this background, the manner in which King James suddenly adopted an uncharacteristically hostile attitude towards Tyrone in the middle of July 1607 is all the more remarkable. Writing to Chichester at that time, the king communicated his decision, quite unexpectedly to all concerned, and despite the misgivings of the lord deputy and council, to summon Tyrone and O'Cahan to England for the beginning of the Michaelmas term. It did not bode well for Tyrone's case, however, when the king also determined that Sir John Davies, who had played such a prominent role in supporting O'Cahan's case against the earl, should also come to England 'to guide our judgement'. Overall, the tenor of this royal missive was decidedly unsympathetic, even menacing, towards the earl of Tyrone. The king remarked, for instance, that

if Tyrone means to encroach upon other subjects of little less condition than himself, and to draw them to such a dependency upon him as is inconsistent with the security of the state, I cannot forget what the authority is which God has committed unto me.52

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47 Lord deputy and council to privy council, 26 June 1607 (ibid., SP 63/221/88).

48 Apprehensive about the possibility of renewed conflict in Ireland, this policy was

probably inspired in large measure by the king's absolute aversion to war. A contemporary remarked of the king that he was 'the most cowardly man that ever I knew'. See Conrad Russell, The crisis of parliaments: English history, 1509-1660 (Oxford, 1971), p. 258.

49 Lake to Salisbury, 27 Aug. 1606 (H.M.C., Salisbury, xviii, pp 254-6).

50 Sir Thomas Windebank to Salisbury, 10 June 1607 (ibid., xix, pp 15O-51).

51 N. P. Canny, 'The treaty of Mellifont and the reorganisation of Ulster, 1603' in Ir. Sword, ix (1969), p. 261.

52 King to Chichester, 16 July 1607 (P.R.O.. 31/8/201, ff 242-7).


168



Irish Historical Studies



The reason given as to why Tyrone was summoned to court is also significant:

We conceive that we shall sooner and with more authority confirm the earl to our determination in these differences, if the same shall be not according to his desire, as it is likely in some respects to fall out.53



Tyrone, therefore, faced the possibility of defeat on the O'Cahan and other related issues. More importantly, the general attitude of the king towards O'Neill had changed markedly in little over a month, the tone of conciliation having been abruptly abandoned.

How, then, does one account for the king's volte-face? A perusal of corre­spondence between London and Dublin later in July 1607 provides the explanation. It is clear from this testimony that, as far as the London authorities were concerned, a fusion was rapidly taking place between their treatment of the investigations into Tyrone's allegedly treasonable conduct and their attitude to the protracted controversies, mainly proprietorial, involving the earl. Hitherto they had considered them separately, according Tyrone the benefit of the doubt as far as questions about his loyalty were concerned and responding favourably to the various petitions which the earl presented from time to time. Two factors dovetailed in June 1607 to dictate a change of tack - the belated realisation in London government circles of the impact of the 'Mandates' campaign, and the disturbing nature of Lord Howth's testimony.

Having advised the Dublin authorities to moderate their activities following the uproar at the time the 'Mandates' policy was launched, it was only by the summer of 1607 that the king and his advisers in England became aware that the policy was still causing immense discontent in Old English Catholic areas of Ireland. As a result, they feared that the recusants were seriously contemplating revolt.54 It was against this background that Howth, who had just returned from service with the Irish regiment in Flanders, confessed that a major plot was afoot in Ireland, with Gaelic Irish and Old English backing, to overthrow the government. A prime motivating factor of the conspiracy was asserted to be religious discontent - undoubtedly a reference to the 'Mandates' policy.55

The king and his officials in England now had reason for fearing that a confederation of Irish Catholics was planning a revolt, and a well-placed informer had emerged to lend support to this suspicion. While it was these factors which induced the king and his London advisers to adopt a much tougher approach towards the earl of Tyrone, it was felt that a prosecution for treason could not be instituted against him. The reasons for this were twofold. In the first instance, Howth's unstable character gave rise to considerable doubts. He was variously described in government correspondence at the time as behaving in his 'accustomed half-wild' fashion and as being 'neither wise nor honest' .56 Besides, having made such serious allegations, he steadfastly refused to indict his fellow conspirators in open court, vowing that 'he would rather die'.57

Chichester also regarded Howth's evidence with some scepticism, a view shared by the English privy councillors, who remarked that 'as you do note uncertainty in his word and gestures, so it was here observed'. In their opinion, it was more likely that Howth had been the instigator of the conspiracy in question in the first place. The London councillors too were unconvinced about the veracity of some of the information which he had provided. Recalling how long it had taken the Spanish to send forces to assist Tyrone during his rebellion, they were extremely doubtful about Howth's report that ships were being built at Dunkirk for the transport of the Irish regiment and' seconding' forces for an invasion of Ireland.58 Howth's capriciousness was plain. What is more, his version of the conspiracy was evidently inflated.59 Yet could the authorities afford to dismiss his testimony entirely given the circumstances in Ireland?

Ostensibly the English privy council's reservations, especially about the international aspect of the plot, made it doubt whether Howth's story had much substance. None the less, the London authorities conceded that the situation in Ireland was volatile and admitted that there was evidence of disaffection among wide sections of the populace. The Old English recusant townsmen were included in this evaluation. They were considered to be disillusioned with English government on religious grounds - again an obvious reference to the impact of the 'Mandates'. In spite of Howth's allegations and this acknowledgement of widespread discontent in Irish society, it was not considered 'worthy to draw on the king any sudden action'.60

All the same, the London government decided to take precautions. These illustrate that despite its superficial dismissal of Howth's testimony, a deep feeling of unease persisted. Chichester was instructed to assuage 'the strong discontent of the towns and others now boiling in their hearts by reason of the President's [Sir Henry Brouncker, lord president of Munster] over-sudden courses' in religious matters. This was recommended in order that 'the less would be their [the townsmen's] jealousy if there were any just occasion to lay hold of any persons of mark'.61 It was this directive which led to the termination of the 'Mandates' policy.62

While the currency of rumours about a planned pan-Catholic rebellion benefited the Old English recusants, in so far as the 'Mandates' policy was aborted as a result, their prevalence accentuated the London administration's concern about Tyrone's loyalty. Rumours about his suspected involvement in a conspiracy with Old English Catholics had suddenly been given increased credibility. The prospect of a pan-Catholic alliance no longer seemed a mere empty threat.

The link between developments in the 'Mandates' controversy and the government investigations into alleged treasonable activities in Ireland can be further reinforced. The same letter from the privy council which ordered Chichester to abandon his 'Mandates' campaign also contained important instructions regarding Howth and, implicitly, the earl of Tyrone. The deputy was to encourage Howth to travel to England at Michaelmas 1607 to give an account of his activities over the previous twelve months:

and if this could be, or that Tyrone and O'Cahan likewise come over, as we have desired, it might be of even greater advantage, whatsoever his [Howth's] advertisement may prove. For which purpose, if any other principal gentleman whom your lordship suspects should be desirous to come over, you would do well to further such intentions.63



This synchronisation of Howth's visit to court with Tyrone's is important. It provides supportive evidence for the argument advanced by various historians that a conspiracy was afoot either to imprison the earl or to have him executed on his arrival in London.64 Yet it by no means proves that such a course of action was being planned. After all, the London administration was manifestly dubious about aspects of Howth's information, while he had insisted that he would not under any circumstances testify in public.

By the end of July 1607, therefore, Tyrone was still being accorded the benefit of the doubt in London, despite being viewed with ever-growing suspicion. It would seem that at this juncture the authorities there were content to resolve once and for all the legal wrangles involving the earl, unless concrete evidence emerged which would have enabled them to indict him for treason. Writing to Chichester on 31 July 1607, the privy council referred to the petitions made by Shane MacBrien and others concerning land disputes with the earl of Tyrone. The deputy was instructed to inform them that they should travel to England at the same time as Tyrone and O'Cahan in order that their differences might also be resolved. The avowed objective of this measure was 'to the end the differences of that kind may be ended altogether. . . that his Majesty nor we be troubled therewith all' .65

If it is true that by the end of July 1607 the English authorities both in London and Dublin did not believe that sufficient evidence had been unearthed to warrant action being taken against the earls, it is equally apparent that the search for such testimony, far from being abandoned, was intensified. This was manifested by Chichester's unheralded trip northwards in August 1607.66 While at Slane, the deputy reflected following the flight, he not only dealt with 'ordinary business', but carefully analysed all the evidence then available which corroborated Howth's story and concluded that his investigations were ready for' a present and effectual resolution'. The deputy believed that the only way to determine for sure whether or not Tyrone was guilty of treason was to obtain a confession from a confidant, such as Henry

0'Hagan or the earl of Tyrconnell. He claimed that he was on the point of having Tyrconnell arrested when news arrived that the earls had fled.67

August 1607 also proved a decisive month for the earl of Tyrone.1t was during this time that he heard, via a rather circuitous route, that Chichester and the London authorities were treating allegations that he had been involved in treasonable activities very seriously. According to the testimony of a Franciscan friar, Archduke Albert had received information from England that the earl of Tyrone would not be allowed to return to Ireland following his proposed trip to court at Michaelmas 1607. The archduke had also been told (correctly) that Tyrconnell was to be arrested and incarcerated in Ireland. Having received this information, the archduke dispatched an envoy from Flanders to alert the earls to the situation about one month before the flight occurred. The courier was instructed to acquaint the earls with this intelligence and to advise them to 'be in readiness for the coming of a ship, which would soon be sent for them'.68 Many aspects of the friar's version of events, in particular the timing of the earls' receipt of the message from the Low Countries and the fact that such a warning existed, can be verified by other sources.69

While there may be no doubt now that Tyrone received advance warning of the arrival of a ship to carry him to the continent, the accuracy of the information passed on to him about the London government's intentions is open to serious question. Kerney Walsh has used her analysis of continental archives tentatively to ascribe the provenance of this warning to the pro-Catholic earl of Northampton, a senior figure on the English privy council.70 What is questionable, however, is the accuracy of Northampton's knowledge of the true state of the investigations into Tyrone's alleged treasonable conduct. If he had been thoroughly apprised of the situation, he would have realised that while Tyrone was being assiduously investigated, a concrete case had not been formulated against him by the summer of 1607. Northampton's uncertain grasp of these affairs is readily explicable. The highly sensitive inquiries conducted into Tyrone's affairs were mainly carried out between the earl of Salisbury and Chichester.71 In fact Salisbury personally supervised Irish affairs to such an extent following Lord Lieutenant Devonshire's death in 1606 that other members of the English privy council were often unaware of his decisions regarding them.72 Northampton, as a result, may only have been in a position to know that Tyrone was under suspicion without being aware of the progress of the government's inquiries.

At any rate, no sooner had Tyrone been informed of the king's request for him to travel to England than information arrived with the utmost urgency from the continent that it was the intention of the English to imprison and possibly to execute him following his arrival in London. According to Tyrone, in view of such a warning, he had only two choices: either raise a revolt or flee for safety. Tyrone rejected the rebellion option on the grounds that he did not want 'to stir the kingdom to rebellion without first being assured of the help and assistance of Your Majesty [the Spanish king]'.73 What he did not acknowledge, but which can be inferred, was that he was powerless to launch an effective, independent military campaign.

It is worth emphasising the pressing circumstances in which Tyrone considered his options. On receipt of the message from Flanders, he had only a relatively short period to contemplate his position. Moreover, in so doing, he was decisively influenced by an intense fear, bordering on paranoia, of Chichester, who he realised would be only too anxious to exploit any opportunity to effect his discomfiture.74 By his participation in various treasonable practices since the end of the war in 1603, the earl had good reason to be sensitive to the possibility that he had been compromised. Brian O'Rourke's execution in London in 1591 may even have crossed his mind, an event which, Hiram Morgan argues, 'horrified' other Ulster lords.75 Given his acute predicament, as he perceived it, in August 1607, and perhaps acting somewhat irrationally as a result, it is understandable that Tyrone decided to seek sanctuary abroad. As it happened, he plumped for the wrong option - a fact readily recognised by Chichester. Howth's evidence was all that he had to rely on regarding the earls and their friends, and it had only explicitly incriminated Tyrconnell and the baron of Delvin, and Howth had refused to testify even against them. As for anyone else, 'he [Howth] hath not spoken but by hearsay '.76

A conjunction of three developments in the early summer of 1607 accounts, therefore, for the decision of the earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell and their associates to flee to the continent in September 1607. First, there was the emergence in June 1607 of a well-placed, if somewhat unstable, government informer, Lord Howth, who warned that a pan-Catholic conspiracy was afoot in Ireland. The importance of his evidence as a major contributory factor to the flight is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that while before it he was a highly popular figure in Irish society, following it he was widely shunned for having compromised the earls.77 He was even in danger of being assassinated.78 His betrayal of the earls had become such common knowledge that by the end of 1608 he rashly decided to avow publicly that 'he is the discoverer of the treason and that the king has given him reward for the same'.79

The second major factor which contributed to the flight concerns the manner in which developments in the 'Mandates' controversy during the early summer of 1607 accentuated the London government's concern about Tyrone's loyalty, precipitating a volte-face in policy. Almost simultaneously with Howth's re­emergence on the Irish scene as a government agent in June 1607, King James and the London authorities finally became aware of the intense discontent caused by the Irish government's sustained campaign of persecution against the Old English recusants and had become alarmed as a result.

This sudden realisation of the serious impact of the' Mandates' campaign, against the background of proliferating rumours of a pan-Catholic revolt, culminating with Howth's confession, impelled the London authorities radically to alter their position regarding Tyrone. Not only did they abandon their long-standing policy of appeasement towards him personally, but they also seemed ready to take action against him and his associates should it be necessary. However, Tyrone's arrest was far from inevitable.80 It was a miscalculation of the implications of this sudden change of mood in London which percolated to Tyrone in the form of the ominous message which he received from Archduke Albert in August 1607. Tyrone's receipt of this missive, warning of the mortal danger awaiting him in England, therefore, was the third important factor influencing the flight.

In conclusion, Tyrone in the period 1603-7 was by no means a despondent figure resigned to ending his life in oblivion.81 In deciding to take flight, he made a serious, if understandable, misjudgement. The flight need never have occurred. That he had been forced into fleeing by circumstances, rather than voluntarily abandoning his people, explains his anxiety to return to Ireland virtually until the day he died.82 Certainly he did not consider his journey to the continent in 1607 to be a one-way trip. It was for this reason that even in exile he continued to exercise an enormous influence in Irish affairs.

Fearing for their liberty and lives, they departed for the continent in September 1607. The manner of Tyrone’s flight was the subject of a lengthy letter penned by his inveterate enemy, Sir John Davies, the Irish Attorney General. Departing Mellifont in tears, Tyrone began his fateful journey to Rathmullan and ultimately the continent, forced to leave behind his young son, Con, such was the hasty manner of the departure. Just as galling for the earl of Tyrconnell was the fact that he escaped to exile without his pregnant young wife.

Davies’ account of the Earl of Tyrone’s journey from Mellifont to Rathmullan is complemented by Tadhg O Cianain’s eyewitness account of the earls’ journey from Lough Swilly to the mouth of the Seine in France, offering a vivid picture of the actual departure of the earls for the continent in September 1607. In the first instance, the unseemly pitched battle with local Mac Suibhnes on the shores of Lough Swilly, as the earls departed their native land, undermines Thomas Ryan’s famous portrait of the Flight of the Earls as a source of great regret to the onlookers on the shores of the lough. O Cianain proceeds to document the perilous journey to the continent that was bedevilled by a series of storms as some of the distinguished crew were in danger at times of being swept overboard while the vessel itself came perilously close to being ship-wrecked on several occasions, not least at the Channel Islands where the earls would have fallen into the hands of English ‘inimical merciless heretics’.

Eventually the earls arrived in France, the ship’s complement comprising 99 in total. For many centuries, historians have attempted to name the illustrious 99, none having succeeded. A document printed in the Calendar of State Papers suggests why. Entitled ‘The Fugitives with the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell’, only 37 people are listed as ‘fugitives’. When added to the 60 soldiers and sailors who had travelled from France in the first place, the answer to the puzzle seems to have been found. This does not detract from the contemporary assertion by The Four Masters, however, that this was ‘a distinguished crew for one ship’. Captain John Rath who captained the ship that transported the earls to safety was acclaimed for his intrepid actions, though he was later to experience hardship on the continent pursuing a career as a soldier of fortune.


Pulpit of The Four Masters - St. Eunan's Cathedral, Letterkenny

The unscheduled arrival of the earls in France, without passports, unleashed a vicious diplomatic storm on the continent. The earl of Salisbury, English Secretary of State, vented his fury on the fugitive party and their supposed allies, particularly the Spanish. Describing the earls as ‘poor worms upon earth…base, insulting’, Salisbury proceeded to threaten the Spanish with dire consequences should they provide military assistance for the earls to return to Ireland. Indeed, the English launched an all-out diplomatic offensive to undermine support for the earls on the continent. This was to be typified by the ‘Proclamation touching the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell’ published by the government of King James I in London and sent to continental powers which derided the earls as a ‘packe of Rebels’ who had no justification for fleeing their native lands. The earls, it perhaps come as no surprise, took a different view. They published a detailed list of their grievances – grievances which give lie to the suggestion that the earls ‘abandoned’ their people for selfish reasons. The earl of Tyrconnell catalogued a host of outrages and provocation, including how he had narrowly escaped assassination. The Earl of Tyrone’s articles, it is worth highlighting, begin with allegations that he had been persecuted on religious grounds, a proclamation forbidding him and his followers from hearing mass being publicly pronounced in his home town of Dungannon.

Following the earls’ departure, the royal authorities in Dublin issued a proclamation designed to calm fears in Ulster that the crown would resort to punitive policies, reassuring the Ulstermen ‘that they will not be disturbed in the peaceable possession of their lands so long as they demean themselves as dutiful subjects’. As it turned out, the proclamation proved to be an empty promise. Sir George Paulet, English governor of Derry, provoked a rebellion by Sir Cahir O'Doherty, chieftain of Inishowen. When Oghy Óg O'Hanlon, O'Doherty's brother-in-law - and nephew of the earl of Tyrone - came to his kinsman's aid the rebellion menaced English control of Ulster for a time. O'Doherty's death during a skirmish in Co.Donegal effectively ended the revolt, remaining rebel elements dispersing throughout the province. Ultimately, the English authorities resorted to a policy of transporting troublesome 'swordsmen' to Sweden, even sparing Oghy Óg the hangman's noose in an endeavour to persuade as many as possible to depart with him from southern Ulster on a ship that left from Carlingford. As it turned out, O'Doherty's rebellion had a major impact on the Plantation of Ulster when native Ulstermen received less than a quarter of the lands. Thus, hankering after the return of the exiles, far from dissipating, increased. To his immense frustration, the earl of Tyrone was prevented from capitalising on this burning resentment, finding himself marooned in Rome, a virtual captive of the Spanish. The frustrations of this experience have been memorably immortalised in the poem, ‘O’Neill in Rome’.

DAVIES to SALISBURY.

Though his Lordship has received advertisement at large from the Deputy and Council of the departure of the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, conceives he will accept in good part divers relations thereof, and sundry men's notes and observations thereupon; and troubles him at this time, because this flight of the earls crosses his coming over this next term, by interrupting the business he should have been employed in.

For the accident, doubtless, it is true that they are embarked and gone with the most part of that company of men, women, and children, who are named in the proclamation; it is true they took shipping the 14th of this present September; that the Saturday before the Earl of Tyrone was with my Lord Deputy at Slane, where he had speech with his Lordship of his journey into England; told him he would be there about the beginning of Michaelmas term, according to His Majesty's directions; that he took his leave of the Lord Deputy in a more sad and passionate manner than he used at other times; that from thence he went to Mellifont, Sir Garret Moore's house, where he wept abundantly when he took his leave, giving a solemn farewell to every child and every servant in the house, which made them all marvel, because it was not his manner to use such compliments.

From thence, on Sunday, he went to Dundalk; on Monday he went to Dungannon, where he rested two whole days; on Wednesday night, they say, he travelled all night with his impediments, that is, his women and children; and it is like-wise reported that the Countess, his wife, being exceedingly weary, slipped down from her horse, and, weeping, said she could go no farther; whereupon the Earl drew his sword, and swore a great oath that he would kill her in the place, if she would not pass on with him, and put on a more cheerful countenance withal.

Yet, the next day, when he came near Lough Foyle, his passage that way was not so secret but the governor there had notice thereof, and invited him and his son to dinner; but their haste was such that they accepted not that courtesy, but they went on, and came that Thursday night to Rathmullan, a town on the west side of Lough Swilly, where the Earl of Tyrconnel and his company met him. There they took some beeves from one Francis Whyte, an Englishman, and killed them for their provision. There the Earl of Tyrconnel sent for the foster-father of his brother Caffar O'Donel's son, willing him to bring the child with him. He presently repaired with the child towards the place where the Earls lodged, but being met by the way by the Baron of Dungannon and Caffar O'Donel himself, they took the infant violently from him, which terrified the foster-father, so that he escaped by the swiftness of his horse, their horses being tired with travelling. Of this child they have a blind and superstitious prophecy, because he was born with six toes upon one foot; for they affirm that one of their saints of Tyrconnel hath prophesied that when such a one, being of the sept of O'Donel, shall be born, he shall drive all the Englishmen out of Ireland.

But now the great question is, whither those travelers have directed their course. The common voice and opinion is that they are gone into Spain. The reasons and presumptions are these:- First, Sir Cormac M'Baron O'Neill, the Earl of Tyrone's brother, brought the first news of their departure, and reported that the Earl his brother sent one O'Hagan unto him, who persuaded him to accompany his brother into Spain, but he would not be moved by his persuasion, but presently made his repair to the State, to acquaint the Lord Deputy with this accident; howbeit it was noted that Sir Cormac had his private end in this, for withal he was an earnest suitor to have the custodiam of his brother's country, which, perhaps, might be to his brother's use by agreement betwixt them; and, therefore, for this and other causes of suspicion, the constable of the Castle of Dublin has the custodian of him. Next it is said, that McQuire, who hath been lately in Spain, came in the ship wherein they are embarked, disguised like a mariner; and that Florence O'Mulconnor, the Pope's titulary Bishop of Tuam, and a pensioner of Spain, came also in that ship from the coast of Flanders. If this be true, it is to be presumed that these men brought some message out of Spain, whereby the Earls are invited to come thither.

Again, the Earl of Tyrconnel hath no license nor other pretence to go into Scotland or to England, but hath been noted of late for his extreme discontentment, and suspected for some treasonable practices, so that lie hath no place to direct his course into but Spain, which receives all the discontented persons of this kingdom. Again, it is certain that Tyrone, in his heart, repines at the English Government in his country, where, until his last submission, as well before his rebellion as in the time of his rebellion, he ever lived like a free prince, or rather like an absolute tyrant there. But now the law of England, and the ministers thereof, were shackles and handlocks unto him, and the garrisons planted in his country were as pricks in his side; besides, to evict any part of that land from him, which he has heretofore held after the Irish manner, making all the tenants thereof his villeins-though the truth be, that for one

moiety of his country, at least, he was either a disseisor of the Bishops of Armagh and Clogher, or an intruder upon the King's possession; for the Irish Lords, in all ages, have preyed more upon laud than upon cows, and were praedones terrarum,, as the poet speaks of Alexander the Great - this was as grievous unto him as to pinch away the quick flesh from his body.

Those things, doubtless, have bred discontentment in him; and now his age and his burthened conscience, which no absolution can make altogether clear, have of late much increased his melancholy, so that he was grown very pensive and passionate; and the friars and priests perceiving it, have wrought nightly upon his passion. Therefore it may be he has hearkened unto some project of treason, which he fears is discovered) and that fear has transported into Spain. For it has been told my Lord Deputy, that as he now passed

through his country, he said to some of his followers, that if he went into England he should either be perpetual prisoner in the Tower, or else lose his head and his members, meaning, as it seems, he should have the judgment of a traitor; but he (Sir John) thinks the primary and highest cause of his departure to be the divine justice, which will not suffer to go down to his grave in peace one who has been the cause of so much trouble and bloodshed in this kingdom.

These are the arguments of their departure into Spain. On the other side, others have been of opinion that they are gone into Scotland, for which they make this reason:- It has been confidently reported all this summer that Sir Randal M'Sorley, who has married the Earl of Tyrone's daughter, and has good alliance and acquaintance in Scotland, has, for the space of four or five months past, been treating with the Earl of Argyle for a marriage between the Baron of Dungannon and the Earl of Argyle's daughter; that they descended to articles of agreement, which were transmitted to the Earl of Tyrone, and he liked well thereof. It was likewise said that the Earl of Tyrone intended this summer to see the consummation of the marriage. There is not any Irishman in the north that has not heard of this intended match, for the common news amongst them was, that Mac O'Neale should marry the daughter of M'Kallym [MacCallum], for so the Scottish-Irish call the Earl ofArgyle. In the meantime the Earl of Tyrone is sent for into England to receive order in the cause between him and O'Cahan, or rather betwixt him and the King's Majesty, touching the title of 0'Ca.han's Country; and he is directed by the King's letters to attend at court about the beginning of Michaelmas term. The Lord Deputy gives him notice of His Majesty's pleasure, and wills him to prepare himself for that journey. Accordingly he levies moneys among his tenants to defray his charges in England; repairs to the Lord Deputy, takes his leave solemnly, and returns into Tyrone. From thence, say they, it is likely he resolved to pass into England through Scotland, and to conclude the marriage by the way because he wrote an express letter to his son, which letter is since come to the hands of the Lord Deputy, willing him to prepare and furnish himself with apparel fit for that occasion. He takes in his company the Earl of Tyrconnel and his brother, both uncles to the Baron of Dungannon, and Sir Nial Garve O'Donel's wife, his aunt; for O'Donel's sister was mother to the baron. These, with the Countess of Tyrone, and the Earl of Tyrone's principal followers, are likely persons to be present at the marriage.

Upon all this matter some have collected a probable presumption that he is gone into Scotland. Again, they make arguments concluding negatively that he is not gone into Spain. First, because he has reported often since he was received to grace, that during his late rebellion, the King of Spain made plain demonstration that he held but a contemptible opinion of him. " For," said he, " when we expected a royal aid from him) and great store of crowns to supply our wants, the priests and friars that came unto us brought hallowed beads and poor counterfeit jewels, as if we had been petty Indian kings that would be pleased with threepenny knives

and chains of glass, and the like beggarly presents." Again, he has ever been noted to be subtle, fox-like, and craftily wise in his kind ; and, therefore, it were strange that he should quit an earldom and so large and beneficial a territory, for smoke and castles in the air, and that, being possessed of a country quietly, he should leave the possession to try if lie could win it again by force. Lastly, he has carried with him a train of barbarous men, women, and children to the number of 50 or 60 persons. If he means to make them appear like persons of good quality, they will presently spend all his Allhallowtide rent, which he hath taken up by way of anticipation; but if he shall carry them through the country in the fashion and habit wherein now they are, doubtless they will be taken for accompany of gipsies, and be exceedingly scorned and despised by that proud nation. As for himself, minuet praesentia famam, when the formal Spanish courtier shall note his heavy aspect and blunt behaviour, so that they will hardly believe he is the same O'Neill who maintained so long a war against the crown of England. Therefore, if he be gone into Spain the first news of him will be either that he is a shorn monk or dead with extreme grief and melancholy. As for the Earl of Tyrconnel, he will appear to be so vain a person that they will scarce give him means to live, if the Earl of Tyrone do not countenance and maintain him.

As for them that are here, they are glad to see the day wherein the countenance and majesty of the law and civil government hath banished Tyrone out of Ireland, which the best army in Europe and the expense of two millions of sterling pounds did not bring to pass. And they hope His Majesty's happy government will work a greater miracle in this kingdom than ever St. Patrick did, for St. Patrick only banished the poisonous worms, but suffered the men full of poison to inhabit the land still; but His Majesty's blessed genius will banish all those generations of vipers out of it, and make it, ere it be long, a right fortunate island. This is his (Sir John's) poor and weak conjecture touching this accident which he humbly submits to his Lordship's judgment.



P.S.-The sudden departure of Sir Oliver Lambert prevented the transmitting of these letters, but he will not fail to be quicker in his next advertisements. Since his departure, Sir Thomas Bourke, the Earl of Clanricard's brother, is committed to the castle of Dublin. The cause of his restraint being a matter of state his Lordship will understand from the State otherwise. There is no alteration of the course of things in the kingdom. They have (God be blessed) peace and quiet everywhere, and in the north itself they hear that the Earl's tenants and neighbours seem to be glad of their departure, and hope henceforth to be free from their oppression and tyranny. Since the date of these letters, he was commanded by the Lord Deputy and Council to draw an instrument of association to be subscribed and sworn unto by the noblemen and gentlemen of this kingdom. It is drawn in such a form that he can dare affirm confidently no man would have refused to swear and subscribe unto it ; but some doubt being conceived by some of the council that it might be refused in respect of the novelty, the Lord Deputy hath thought fit first to transmit to his Lordship, and therefore forbears to trouble him with a copy thereof.



Dublin, 12 Sept. 1607.

The Fugitives with the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell



The Earl of Tyrone The Earl of Tyrconnell

Baron of Dungannon Caffer O’Donnell, his

brother

McGuire Shane Groom, his steward

Father Florence, the friar Captain John Connor

Cormac O’Neill’s son Donnagh O’Brien

Ever McConnell’s two sons Edmund Brannaugh

Wiston of Dundalk His Secretary

Henry O’Hagan Henry O’Kelly

Shane ne Bonty, rent gatherer 4 serving men

James Bath A page

Plunkett, gentleman of his horse 3 lackies

A page

2 lackies


Women

The Countess of Tyrone Tyrconnell’s brother’s wife

Tyrconnell’s sister 3 waiting women



(Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, 1606-8, pp 435-6)


Spanish letters concerning Captain John Rath

10th October 1609

Dear Sir,
Captain John Rath, an Irishman says that he has been serving Your Majesty for two years in the states of Holland in the Irish regiment with a company of infantry soldiers. The regiment was recently reformed and as a consequence of this his salary has been reduced and he finds himself in need. I ask Your Majesty to send an order to cover his bills and I will remain indebted to you for this.

26th October 1610

Sir,
In the Council we have seen a memorandum from Captain John Rath in which we he refers to the fact that through an order of this Council he has brought together in this Court the Irish people that are here in Court. There are 70 Irish. He is prepared and ready to bring them to Flanders and given the fact that he is ready and he wants to leave, I ask Your Lordship this so that John Rath can do it. Your Lordship should send him some money to cover his costs and the costs of the soldiers he is bringing with him to help them on their way.

And the council having seen the situation, we think that in order that this captain can help and transport these people with some degree of comfort he should be given 200 ducats as a one-off payment to help with costs incurred.

Your Lordship will send what has been decided.

In Madrid 26th October 1610

On behalf of The Council Of State 26th October 1610

For "Captain Don Juan Rath" (Irishman)


A PROCLAMATION touching the EARLS of TYRONE and TYRCONNELL

Seeing it is common and natural in all persons of what condition soever, to speak and judge variably of all new and sudden accidents, and that the flight of the Earles of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, with some other of their fellowes out of the North parts of our Realme of Ireland, may haply prove a subject of like discourse : Wee have thought it not amisse to deliver some such matter in publique, as may better cleare mens judgements concerning the same; not in respect of any worth or value in these mens persons, being base and rude in their original; but to take away all such inconveniences as may blemish the reputation of that friendship which ought to be mutually observed between us and other Princes. For although it is not unlikely, that the report of their Titles and dignities, may draw from Princes and States some such courtesies at their first coming abroad, as are incident to men of extraordinary ranke and qualitie : Yet when wee have taken the best meanes wee can to lay them open in every condition, Wee shall then expect from our friends and neighbours all such just and noble Proceedings, as stand with the rules of Honour and friendship, and from our Subjects at home and abroad, that duety and obedience (in their carriage toward them) which they owe to us by unseparable bonds and obligations of Nature and Loyaltie, whereof we intend to take streight accompt. For which purpose we do hereby declare that these persons above mentioned, had not their creations or possessions in regard of any lineall or lawfull descent from Ancestors of Blood or Vertue, but were onely preferred by the late Queene our sister of famous memory, and by ourselves for some reason of State before others, who for their quality and birth (in those Provinces where they dwell) might better have challenged those Honours which were conferred upon them. Secondly we do professe, That it is both knowen to us and our Counsell here, and to our Deputie and State there, and so shall it appeare to the World (as cleare as the Sunne) by evident proofes, That the onely ground and motive of this high contempt in these mens departure, bath bene the private knowledge and terrour of their owne guiltinesse : Whereof because we heare that they doe seeke to take away and infaime by divulging that they have with-drawn themselves for matter of Religion (a cloake that serves too much in these dayes to cover many evill intentions) adding also thereunto some other vaine pretexts of receiving injusticie, when their rights and claimes have come in question betweene them and us, or any of our subjects and them, wee thinke it not impertinent to say somewhat thereof.



And therefore, though we judge it needlesse to seeke for many arguments to confirme whatsoever shall be said of these mens corruption and falshood, (whose hainous offences remaine so fresh in memorie since they declared themselves so very monsters in nature, as they did not only withdraw themselves from their personall obedience to their Sovreigne, but were content to sell over their Native Countrey to those that stood at that time in highest termes of hostilitie with the two Grownes of England and Ireland) yet to make the absurditie and ingratitude of the allegations above mentioned, so much the more cleare to all men of equall judgment, we do hereby professe in the word of a King, that there was never so much as any shadowe of molestation, nor purpose of proceeding in any degree against them for matter concerning Religion : Such being their condition and profession, to thinke murder no fault, mariage of no use, nor any man worthy to bee esteemed valiant that did not glorie in Rapine and Oppression, as we should have thought it an unreasonable thing to trouble them for any different point in Religion, before any man could perceive by their conversation that they made truely conscience of any Religion. So do we also for the second part of their excuse affirme, that (notwithstanding all they can claime, must be acknowledged to proceed from meere grace upon their submission after their greater and unnatural Treasons) there hath never come any question concerning their Rights or Possessions, wherein we have not bene more inclinable to doe them favour, than to any of their Competitours, except in those cases wherein wee have plainely discerned that their onely end was to have made themselves by degrees more able than now they are to resist all lawfull authoritie (when they should returne to their vomit againe) by usurping a power over other good subjects of ours, that dwell among them better borne than they, and utterly disclaiming from any dependencie upon them.



Having now delivered this much concerning these mens estates and their proceedings, wee will onely end with this conclusion, That they shall not be able to denie, whenever they should dare to present themselves before the Seate of Justice, that they have (before their running out of our Kingdom) not onely entered into combination for stirring sedition and intestine Rebellion, but have directed divers instruments, as well Priests as others, to make offer to forreine States and Princes (if they had beene as ready to receive them) of their readinesse and resolution to adhere to them whensoever they should seeke to invade that Kingdom, wherein amongst other things, this is not to be forgotten, that under the condition of being made free from English government, they resolved also to comprehend the utter extirpation of all those subjects that are nowe remayning alive within that Kingdome formerly descended from the English race. In which practices and propositions, followed and fomented by Priestes and Jesuites (of whose function in these times the practise and perswasion of subjects to rebel) against their Soueraignes, is one speciale and essentiall part and

portion) as they have found no such incouragement as they expected and have boasted of: so we doe assure our selves, that when this declaration shall bee seene and duely weighed with all due circumstances, it will bee of force sufficient to disperse and to discredit all such untrueths, as these contemptible creatures so full of infidelity and ingratitude, shall disgorge against Us, and our just and moderate proceeding, and shall procure unto them no better usage then they would wish should be afforded to any such packe of Rebels borne their subjects, and bound unto them in so many and so great, obligations.



Given at our Palace of Westminster the fifteenth day of November, in the fifth yeere of our reigne of Great Britain, France and Ireland.



God Save the King.

Imprinted at London by Robert Barker,

Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.

Anno Dom. 1607


The EARL OF TYRCONNELL to the KING (1607)



A Note or brief Collection of the several Exactions, Wrongs, and Grievances, as well spiritual as temporal, wherewith the Earl of Tyrconnell particularly doth find himself grieved and abused by the King's Law Ministers in Ireland,, from the first Year of His Majesty's Reign until this present year of 1607: to be presented unto the King's Most Excellent Majesty.



1. In primis.-All the priests and religious persons dwelling within the said Earl's territories were daily pursued and persecuted by His Majesty's officers.



2. Item.-Sir Arthur Chichester, now Lord Deputy of Ireland, told the Earl, sitting at the said Lord Deputy's table in the presence of divers noblemen and gentlemen, that the said Earl must resolve to go to church, or else he should he forced to go thereto; which menacing speech, proceeding in open audience from the Governor of the Realm, contrary to the former toleration that the said Earl and his household until then enjoyed, wrought that impression in the Earl's heart, that, fur this only respect of not going to church, be resolved rather to abandon lands and living, yea, all the kingdoms of the earth, with the loss of his life, than to be forced utterly against his conscience and the utter ruin of his soul to any such practice.



3. Item.-The first year after the Lord Lieutenant's going into England, Sir George Carey being then Lord Deputy, the commanders of the King's forces at Lifford, namely, Captain Nicholas Pinner and Captain Basil Brook, who were under Sir Henry Docwra's command, seized from the Earl's tenants there the number of 150 cows, besides as many sheep and swine as they pleased ; wherewith they were not satisfied, but most tyrannically stripped a hundred persons of all their apparel, all of which the said Earl showed in humble wise to the Lord Deputy, and as yet could have no remedy.



4. Item.-The same year, after the Earl's going into England, the garrisons of Lough Foyle and Ballyshannon seized 400 cows for the victualling of the soldiers from the Earl's tenants; concerning the satisfaction whereof there were letters written to the said Lord Deputy, in the Earl's behalf, by the council of England, requiring him to give the Earl payment in English money for the same, the which he could not have.



5. Item.-At the Earl's arrival before the King, expecting of His Majesty a patent of all such lands and hereditaments as his ancestors had held, according to the promise passed unto him by His Majesty's said lieutenant of all these lands following, together with the homages, rents, and duties accustomed to be paid to the Earl's predecessors in the several territories and countries of Sligo, Tirawly, Moylurig, Dartry, in Fermanagh, and Sir Cahir O'Doherty's Country, and all Sir Neill O'Donel's lands;-yet were they excepted and kept from him, together with the Castle of Ballyshannon, and one thousand acres of land, and the whole salmon fishing of the river of Erno, which is found to be worth £800 a year, the same castle being one of the Earl's chiefest mansion houses.



6. Item.-Notwithstanding that Lifford was so evidently not in any sort excepted out of the said patent, that the Council of England, by their letters, dated in the years 1605 and 1607, finding no just title or cause to the contrary, required the Lord Deputy to remove all the garrisons in Tyrconnell, and specially the garrison of Lifford, and to deliver possession thereof unto the Earl; yet, in consideration of the said letter, the Earl's urgent necessity of some dwelling-house, and the former things excepted, they adjoined 4,000 acres of the best land unto the garrison, and kept it for His Highness' use, and withal a house in Derry, with all ancient duties thereunto belonging, which was never excepted in the said patent.



7. Item.-The next Michaelmas after the King's coronation, when the Earl arrived in Ireland with the King's letter to have his patent passed, the said Lord Deputy would not take notice thereof, but kept him thirteen weeks in Dublin, until an office of survey should be taken of all the Earl's lands, rights, and duties; which office being found reasonable for the Earl, was not received in by the Lord Deputy, who presently passed the Earl a patent as he pleased; whereupon the Earl procured the Council of England's letters to have the full benefit of the said office, but as yet received no benefit thereof.



8. Item.-The same year there were 11 bishops and seven sheriffs sent to Tyrconnel, by every of which there was taken out of every cow and plough-horse four pence, and as much out of every colt and calf, twice a year, and half a crown a quarter of every shoemaker, carpenter, smith, and weaver, in the whole country, and 8d. a year for every married couple.



9. Item.-When Sir Neill O'Donell, for usurping the title of O'Donell, and taking of the Earl's creaghts and tenants, was committed to prison, whereout he broke, and killed some of His Majesty's subjects, the Earl by special warrant from the Lord Deputy, prosecuted him with forces, and took all his own creaghts from Sir Neill again, who, having made complaint before the Earl of Devonshire, in England, and my Lord of Salisbury, was dismissed, and returned into Ireland; and, notwithstanding, the said Carey, in malice towards the Earl, gave warrants to Captain Pinner, Basil Brook, and Ralph Bingley, to levy and take satisfaction for the said prey from the Earl's tenants, for Sir Neill's use : whereupon they, with nine-score of Sir Neill's men, and three English companies, took 500 cows, 60 mares and plough-horses, 13 horses) besides meat and drink for six weeks for ail the said companies) and used many other extortions, the country being then extremely poor after the wars; whereupon the Earl procured order for the restoration of the said spoils again, which was no sooner granted than countermanded by the said Carey, at Sir Neill's request, whereby there were seven-score ploughs of the Earl's tenants hindered from ploughing that season.



10. Item.-The Earl can justify by good witnesses, whose names he may not tell without danger, that when Sir Neill and Sir Ralph Bingley pretended to kill or murther the Earl, they made the said Carey privy thereunto, he seeming to uphold, patronise, and countenance them in that bloody enterprise.



11. Item.-The Earl will justify that this Carey, in the presence of Sir Arthur Chichester, now Lord Deputy, Sir George Bourchier, and the Earl's own man, Matthew Tully, said that he would force the Earl to go into action; whereof the Earl complained into England, and could not have remedy or punishment inflicted upon the said Carey, by reason that the Earl durst not show the same unto His Majesty, the said Carey having many friends of the Privy Council.



12. Item.-A horseboy, named Kelly, for killing of one Cusack, being to be hanged, was, by a man sent privately by the said Carey, promised his life, so that he would accuse the Earl to be the author that set him on to kill the said Cusack; which the boy confessed) not knowing that it served to no purpose for him so to do but to accelerate his hanging; and then he, being brought to the gallows, and seeing no hope of his life, openly took upon his oath and hope of salvation that be never saw the Earl, and that the causers of his former false confession were the persons sentby the said Carey to promise him his life upon a confession similar to the former ; which confession he swore to be false in the presence of 400 persons and the sheriff of the county and portreeve of the town of Trim, wherein the execution was made. And afterwards for the same, the said Carey sent soldiers to apprehend an Englishman, whom the Earl brought out of England to be his gardener, unto the Earl's lodging, the Earl himself being within it; and there he was taken out and kept close prisoner, without meat, drink, or light, until he died, to see whether he would accuse the Earl of the said fact that Kelly had done. All such, with many other of said Carey's cruel and tyrannical proceedings, the Earl showed to the Council in England, which promised to give the Earl satisfaction by punishing of the said Carey; whereas he, at his arrival in England, rather obtained greater favours, than any reprehension or check for his doings; so that the Earl was constrained to take patience for a full satisfaction of his wrongs.



13. Item.-The said Carey gave warrant to levy £100 towards the building of a church at Derry; which being levied by horsemen and footmen that Sir Henry Docwra sent into the country, was disposed to Sir Henry's use, and not for the matter pretended.



14. Item.-This Carey kept Sir Henry Docwra's and Sir Henry Folliot's horsemen and footmen, and Sir Ralph Constable's, Sir Thomas Roper's, Captain Doddington's, and Captain Horum's companies, for the space of three months upon the country's charges; where they committed many rapes and used many extortions; which the Earl showed, but could neither get payment for their victuals, nor obtain that the neither get payment for their victuals, nor obtain that the should be punished for their sundry rapes and extortions.



15. Item.-There was never a garrison in Tyrconnell that did not send at their pleasure private soldiers into the country to fetch, now three beeves, now four, and when the liked, which they practised until they had taken all; and when the Earl complained, the said Carey seemed rather to flout him, than any way to right him.



16. Item.-By Sir Henry Folliot's company there were taken from the Earl's tenants 38 plough-horses for carriage which were never restored, nor any recompense made for them; and at another time one and twenty, and again 14, all in the same nature as the former, and never restored; they being taken in the spring of the year whereby the tenants being taken in the spring of the year, whereby the tenants were hindered of ploughing as before.



17. Item.-For the said Sir Henry's house, every month there were six beeves and six muttons taken up by his own officers within the barony of Tirhue [Tirhugh]; which was used continually for a year without any manner of payment for the same.



18. Item.-There were taken by Captain Doddington, at one time 12 beeves and 12 muttons, without giving any payment for the same.



19. Item.-There were taken by Captain William Cole 12 beeves and as many muttons, paying nothing therefor.



20. Item.-All these former injuries the Earl in very humble manner showed unto the said Carey, and could never be heard, but rather was dismissed by him still in scoffing manner; who also threatened a lawyer that pleaded some cases at the bar for the Earl, " that he and his posterity " should smart for his doings, until the seventh generation;" so that all the Earl's business was ever since left at random, and no lawyer dared plead in his cause.



21. Item.-The Earl, prosecuting some rebels that were in the country, killed some of them, and took their chieftain prisoner, whom the Earl's men carried to Sir Henry Folliot to be executed ; for which service the Earl had this reward, that his adversaries proffered to the imprisoned person to save his life, if he could accuse the Earl of any crime that might work his overthrow; which the prisoner could not do, whereupon he was hanged.



22. Item.-The said Carey directed a general warrant to Sir Ralph Bingley, vice-governor of Lough Foyle, and to Captain Coale, vice-governor of Ballyshannon, to compel all such tenants as Sir Neill demanded, to return to him with their goods and chattels; by virtue whereof the said vice-governors may motion of an examination which was to be taken of 12 of the Earl's men and as many of Sir Neill's; and the men being come thereunto, the Earl's men were not examined, but locked up in a room, and the vice-governors, upon the false deposition of Sir Neill's men, directed warrants and sent soldiers to the number of 300 to bring all the Earl's tenants, against their wills, unto Sir Neill, to the number of 340 persons; who paid half a crown a-piece, and 12d. for every cow and garron, as fee to the captains, whereby they lost their ploughing for the space of 28 days, the soldiers being in the country all the while.



23. Afterwards the Earl, finding no other respect at the said Carey's hands, went into England, where he made complaint and procured letters of sundry articles in answer of demands unto Sir Arthur Chichester, then and now Deputy; who, upon receipt of them, seemed very respectfully to give the Earl contentment in his said demands, withal consented and gave warrant for the establishing the Earl in the possession of Lifford; which, however, he called, the next day, and still deferred the matter until his going a progress into the north; where he, being come, and having taken a view of the town, called to council Sir Henry Docwra, to know his opinion concerning the necessity of the place for His Majesty's service; and he, more for his own profit than for His Majesty's service, as by the sequel hereof may appear, judged it to be a place most requisite for His Majesty's use, but afterwards, at the Lord Deputy's being at Sir Henry's house, Sir Henry's wife begged a lease of the said town with the market thereof for one-and-twenty years, whereby he detected his project in the delivery of his so unjust and wrongful an opinion concerning the said place; all which the said Lord Deputy will not deny to be true.

24. Item.- After the Earl was in possession of Castle Doe, by Sir George Carey's warrant, one Neal McSwyne, pretending a title to it, forcibly entered with others into the said castle, the Earl being in England, and dispossessed the Earl's constable out of it, and kept it by virtue of an order afterwards granted by the Council against the Earl. And atthe Earl's return out of England, he made humble suit unto the Lord Deputy to be again restored into the possession whereof he was so treacherously despoiled, until a course of law were taken between the said Neill and him; which he could not obtain, but the possession was maintained for his adversary against him until the said Neill went into rebellion, by means whereof the Earl lost the rent of sixty quarters of land for the space of one year and a half, paying the King's rents yearly for the same; and afterwards the Earl besieged the castle and won it at his own charges ; in recompense of which service the Lord Deputy appointed to Captain Brook to dwell there, and constrained the Earl to accept of such rents as he had given order to the said captain to pay, and to pass to the said captain a lease thereof, and four quarters of the best lands thereunto annexed, for one and twenty years.

25. Item.-One Captain Henry Vaughan, being sheriff the year 1605, got a warrant towards the charge of a sessions house to levy £150 upon the country, which house was only builded of timber and wattles; and notwithstanding that the said captain promised to make it substantial and durable, yet it was not worth £lO, it having fallen within one month after the building thereof; but nevertheless he sent soldiers, upon the country's charges also, to levy every penny of the said money, and afterwards the country was forced by the Lord Deputy's appointment and order to defray the charges of another sessions house for the next year ensuing.

26. Item.-At the same sessions, 1605, the Lord Deputy being at Lifford, there was one Owen MacSwyne to be executed ; unto whom, by the appointment of Sir Oliver Lambarde [Lambert], who gave a caveat unto Sir Henry Folliot from time to time as often as there should be any persons to be executed, to assure them of their lives if they informed of any matters to overthrow or prejudice the Earl, Sir Henry sent privately, promising him his life and large rewards if he would charge the Earl with some detestable crime.

27. Also, at the same sessions, the Earl was called to the bar for hanging of some woodkerne during the Lord Lieutenant's [Mountjoy] time, he having then authority to execute martial law, insomuch that he was fain to plead a particular pardon which he had, for otherwise the general pardon would not avail him or stand him in any stead, as the judges alleged.

28. Item.-Within a short time afterwards, by the said Lord Deputy's orders. Sir Henry Docwra's and Sir Henry Folliot's horsemen and footmen were cessed upon the country, where they remained for four months, and paid nothing for their charges of horse meat or man's meat.

29. Item.-The Earl having purchased sixteen hundred pounds' worth of his own inheritance from Sir Ralph Bingley, who entered into bonds of the staple of three thousand pounds for the maintaining of the Earl in possession of all the lands and hereditaments that he had passed unto the Earl, against all persons pretending title unto the whole or any part or parcel thereof; yet did the Council give warrant unto one that was Sir Ralph's tenant, before the passing over of the said land to the Earl, to enter into possession of all such lands as he formerly held by virtue of a writing that was between him and Sir Ralph, mentioning no certain rent, but what Sir Ralph pleased to demand ; and so he continued, by their order, in the said possession, and paid no rent unto the Earl. And into another part of the said lands the Bishop of Derry entered, pretending the same as his right; and afterwards Sir Ralph having arrived in Ireland, the Earl made suit unto the Lord Deputy to have him apprehended until he should perform covenant according unto the said bond which the Lord Deputy would not do, but bade him to deal with the mayor of Dublin, and have him arrested; and when the mayor's officer was brought to execute the arrest, with as full authority as might be, Sir Ralph showed the Lord Deputy's warrant of protection, whereby the Earl lost both the lands and money aforesaid.



30. Item.-At the said Lord Deputy's coming into Fermanagh, in 1606, the Earl having gone thither to meet him, he sent privately to apprehend one Teige O'Corcoran, servant McGouire (sic), and brought him secretly into the tent where he slept, where he was bound and tortured with bed cord to the end he might charge the Earl with something tending to the Earl's overthrow and ruin, where he continued for the space of five days ; within which time the said Lord Deputy came to Ballyshannon, where he, being at supper, demanded of the Earl what right he had to the former things he claimed in the several territories before specified; whereunto the Earl answered that his ancestors were in possession of the several territories before specified for one thousand three hundred years, and that the said duties, rents, and homages were duly observed and paid during the said time; whereunto he replied that the Earl was unworthy to have them, and that he should never enjoy them, and that the State was sorry that he had so much left him as he had then in possession, and withal wished him " to take heed of himself, or else he would make his pate ache." All which he said in the presence of the Lord Chief Justice, others of the Council, and divers gentlemen that sat at the table.



31. Item.-At the same time there were sundry old challenges of tenants, preys, and spoils, between the Earl and Sir Nial, which controversies the Earl, for his part, at the Lord Deputy's entreaty, referred to his Lordship's censure, delivering up all the papers, he promising first to the Earl to order and award to the Earl at leastwise all the said spoils taken by virtue of Sir George Carey's warrant; and notwithstanding the said promise, there were three hundred pounds ordered against the Earl, and all his challenges frustrated, and his papers burned. And afterwards Sir Nial's papers were privately given back again to himself, by reason whereof the Earl was forced at the last sessions to give to Sir Nial the benefit of all the said papers again, he having nothing to show to the contrary.



32. Item.-At the said Lord Deputy's return again into Fermanagh he sent for Magouire, and wished him to accuse the Earl, who protested and swore that he could not charge him with anything ; to whom the Lord Deputy replied again; with an oath, that he should never part with him until he had confessed as much as Teige O'Gorcoran, above mentioned, had declared, it being in verity nothing at all; and yet the said Teige was charged by them as having confessed matters against the Earl.



33. Item.-One Ferighe O'Kelly, being condemned to be hanged at Athlone for some delict, was proffered his life by a man sent secretly to him by the said Lord Deputy, which messenger arrived and came to the said Ferighe just as he was to be hanged, and delivered to him his errand, which was a proffer to him not only of his life, but also of large rewards, if he would charge the Earl with treason ; which he promised to perform, and thereupon was taken back again, and was privately examined; but they, finding his examination to halt, as no wonder it should, being forged at the same instant, sent him to prison, there to remain until he had justified somewhat of what he had promised; and if he could not do it, that then he should be hanged. But there he continued until the Earl's departure this last time out of Ireland.



34. Also a gentleman named Donagh O'Brian, who had some time followed the Earl, was committed to prison in Athlone, out of which he made an escape; and afterwards Sir Oliver Lambarde sent a protection to him, and he being come before the Lord Deputy and the said Sir Oliver into a private chamber. Sir Oliver told him that he should not only have his pardon but also large rewards if he would charge the Earl with treason; but the gentleman, who neither could nor would charge the Earl with anything, rather made choice to abandon his native country, than to stay therein to feel the effects of their merciless mercy.



35. Furthermore, one Owen Gany M'Cormack, natural of Moylurig, within the county of Roscommon, was taken prisoner, and brought before the Earl of Clanricard and the Council of Connaught, by the Lord Deputy's order, to accuse the Earl with somewhat as before; and being examined, he swore, in the presence of them all, that he could not charge the Earl with anything at all; whereupon be was enlarged.



36. Item.-One Ferighe O'Kelly was to be executed in Galway, whose life was offered unto him if he would accuse the Earl, and, because he could not charge him with any crime, he was hanged.



37. Furthermore, the said Earl can justify, by good proofs, that of twenty and seven persons that were hanged in Connaught and Tyrconnell, there was not one but had the former, promises upon the like conditions made unto them.



38. Item.-One Captain Ellis ravished a young maiden of the age of eleven years, in the Earl's country; which matter was presented by a jury to the sheriff in his term court; whereof the Earl understanding, informed the Lord Deputy, and withal prayed his Lordship to proceed against the said Ellis according to his delicts; but he refused to do it, and directed the Earl to claim for the verdict of the said jury at the next sessions to be holden within the country, promising withal never to grant a pardon to the said Ellis, in the presence of many nobles and gentlemen. But the matter being moved at the next sessions, and afterwards referred again to the jury, they presented the said Ellis guilty; whereupon he being absent, a writ of outlawry was directed, which the Earl has to show, under the clerk of the crown's hand; and yet the Lord Deputy, notwithstanding his former promise, granted the said Ellis his pardon.



39. Also the said Ellis told an Englishman, that afterwards of himself acquainted the Earl therewithal, that he would come with soldiers and raise an alarm and cry near the Earl's house, and that, when the Earl should come forth, he would kill him, making no question of obtaining his pardon notwithstanding; which words of his the Earl showed to the Lord Deputy in the presence of many, adding herewithal an oath how he stood not assured of his life, if the said Ellis were not restrained or bound to the peace; neither of which so just demands could the Earl obtain.



40. Item.-The duties of the fishing of Kelbegge [Killybegs] being the Earl's, as a thing that was found by the survey to have been in his ancestors' possession for 1,300 years before, was taken away from him by Sir Henry Folliot and the Bishop of Derry, it being worth £500 for that season; which wrong the Earl showed to the Lord Deputy, and could get no other redress than that the Deputy addressed a warrant to the Bishop of Derry, to maintain him in the possession thereof against the Earl, both for that season and all times ensuing.



41. Item.-The said Sir Henry having occasion to use carriage horses, took away those that served the Earl's house with fuel and wood for fire ; and the soldiers, scorning to feed the horses themselves, went into the Earl's house and forcibly took out one of the Earl's boys to lead them, and ran another in the thigh with a pike for refusing to go with them; whereof the Earl likewise complained, but could have no satisfaction.



42. Item.-The three McSwynes and O'Boyle, who always held their lands from O'Donell, paying what rent he pleased to impose upon them, and who consequently ought to hold from the Earl on the same terms, as was also found by the above-mentioned survey, seeing that they all and either of them had made over all their estates and rights unto the Earl by their deeds of feoffment, and suffered a recovery to be passed in form of law, and taken their said lands again from the Earl by lease of years, for certain rents; yet, notwithstanding, the said Lord Deputy gave several warrants to every one of them that demanded it, to pay no rents to the Earl; and, if he should demand any other of them than that they themselves pleased to pay, in such a case the Governor of Derry was required to raise the country from time to time, and resist and hinder the Earl from taking up his rents.



43. The Earl, upon this, made a journey into the Pale, to know the reason why he was debarred from his rents; and lodged, on a certain night, in the abbey of Boyle, where scarce was he arrived, when the constable of the town, accompanied by 20 soldiers and their ensign, and all the churls of the town, environed and fired the house wherein the Earl lay, he having no other company within it than his page and two others of his serving-men. But it befel, through the singular providence of Almighty God, whose fatherly care he has ever found vigilant over him, that he defended himself and his house against them all the whole night long; they using on the other side all their industry and might to fire it, and throwing in stones and staves in the Earl's face, and running their pikes and swords at him, until they had wounded him in six places, besides his other bruisings with stones and staves; they menacing to kill him, affirming that he was a traitor to the King, and that it was the best service that could be done to His Majesty to kill him. And that all this is true, Sir Donogh O'Connor, who was taken prisoner by the same men, because he would not assist them in their facinorous and wicked design of killing the Ear), will justify; but in the morning the Earl was rescued by the country folk, who conveyed him safely out of the town. And when the Earl complained and showed his wounds to the Lord Deputy, he promised to hang the constable and ensign; but afterwards did not once deign so much as to examine the matter, or call the delinquents to account; by reason whereof the Earl verily persuades himself - which surmise was afterwards confirmed in time by the credible report of many - that some of the State were sorry for his escape, but specially Sir Oliver Lambarde, who had purposely drawn the plot of the Earl's ruin, and set the ensign on to execute it, as the Earl will also justify.



44. Finally, the said Lord Deputy having written to the Earl for some hawks this last summer, the Earl, desirous to continue his accustomed annual benevolence and amity towards him, of bestowing some hawks on him, sent him a caste, he himself remaining only with two caste more to bestow on his other good friends; all this, notwithstanding, the Sheriff of Tyrconnel caused one Donell Gorme McSwyne, being one of those before deputed by warrant to detain the Earl's rent, to take up the hawks from the Earl's man, and sent them to the Lord Deputy, whereof the Earl understood, he being then at Dublin, and made the Lord Deputy a challenge for his hawks, yet could not recover them; whereat grieved, he said that he found himself more grieved at their loss in that nature than at all the injuries he had before received; whereunto the Deputy replied, that he " cared not a rush for him or his bragging words," warning him withal to look well to himself, in the same threatening manner that he had done before at Ballyshannon.


The EARL OF TYRCONNELL to the KING (1607)

A Note or brief Collection of the several Exactions, Wrongs, and Grievances, as well spiritual as temporal, wherewith the Earl of Tyrconnell particularly doth find himself grieved and abused by the King's Law Ministers in Ireland,, from the first Year of His Majesty's Reign until this present year of 1607: to be presented unto the King's Most Excellent Majesty.



1. In primis.-All the priests and religious persons dwelling within the said Earl's territories were daily pursued and persecuted by His Majesty's officers.



2. Item.-Sir Arthur Chichester, now Lord Deputy of Ireland, told the Earl, sitting at the said Lord Deputy's table in the presence of divers noblemen and gentlemen, that the said Earl must resolve to go to church, or else he should he forced to go thereto; which menacing speech, proceeding in open audience from the Governor of the Realm, contrary to the former toleration that the said Earl and his household until then enjoyed, wrought that impression in the Earl's heart, that, fur this only respect of not going to church, be resolved rather to abandon lands and living, yea, all the kingdoms of the earth, with the loss of his life, than to be forced utterly against his conscience and the utter ruin of his soul to any such practice.



3. Item.-The first year after the Lord Lieutenant's going into England, Sir George Carey being then Lord Deputy, the commanders of the King's forces at Lifford, namely, Captain Nicholas Pinner and Captain Basil Brook, who were under Sir Henry Docwra's command, seized from the Earl's tenants there the number of 150 cows, besides as many sheep and swine as they pleased ; wherewith they were not satisfied, but most tyrannically stripped a hundred persons of all their apparel, all of which the said Earl showed in humble wise to the Lord Deputy, and as yet could have no remedy.



4. Item.-The same year, after the Earl's going into England, the garrisons of Lough Foyle and Ballyshannon seized 400 cows for the victualling of the soldiers from the Earl's tenants; concerning the satisfaction whereof there were letters written to the said Lord Deputy, in the Earl's behalf, by the council of England, requiring him to give the Earl payment in English money for the same, the which he could not have.



5. Item.-At the Earl's arrival before the King, expecting of His Majesty a patent of all such lands and hereditaments as his ancestors had held, according to the promise passed unto him by His Majesty's said lieutenant of all these lands following, together with the homages, rents, and duties accustomed to be paid to the Earl's predecessors in the several territories and countries of Sligo, Tirawly, Moylurig, Dartry, in Fermanagh, and Sir Cahir O'Doherty's Country, and all Sir Neill O'Donel's lands;-yet were they excepted and kept from him, together with the Castle of Ballyshannon, and one thousand acres of land, and the whole salmon fishing of the river of Erno, which is found to be worth £800 a year, the same castle being one of the Earl's chiefest mansion houses.



6. Item.-Notwithstanding that Lifford was so evidently not in any sort excepted out of the said patent, that the Council of England, by their letters, dated in the years 1605 and 1607, finding no just title or cause to the contrary, required the Lord Deputy to remove all the garrisons in Tyrconnell, and specially the garrison of Lifford, and to deliver possession thereof unto the Earl; yet, in consideration of the said letter, the Earl's urgent necessity of some dwelling-house, and the former things excepted, they adjoined 4,000 acres of the best land unto the garrison, and kept it for His Highness' use, and withal a house in Derry, with all ancient duties thereunto belonging, which was never excepted in the said patent.



7. Item.-The next Michaelmas after the King's coronation, when the Earl arrived in Ireland with the King's letter to have his patent passed, the said Lord Deputy would not take notice thereof, but kept him thirteen weeks in Dublin, until an office of survey should be taken of all the Earl's lands, rights, and duties; which office being found reasonable for the Earl, was not received in by the Lord Deputy, who presently passed the Earl a patent as he pleased; whereupon the Earl procured the Council of England's letters to have the full benefit of the said office, but as yet received no benefit thereof.



8. Item.-The same year there were 11 bishops and seven sheriffs sent to Tyrconnel, by every of which there was taken out of every cow and plough-horse four pence, and as much out of every colt and calf, twice a year, and half a crown a quarter of every shoemaker, carpenter, smith, and weaver, in the whole country, and 8d. a year for every married couple.



9. Item.-When Sir Neill O'Donell, for usurping the title of O'Donell, and taking of the Earl's creaghts and tenants, was committed to prison, whereout he broke, and killed some of His Majesty's subjects, the Earl by special warrant from the Lord Deputy, prosecuted him with forces, and took all his own creaghts from Sir Neill again, who, having made complaint before the Earl of Devonshire, in England, and my Lord of Salisbury, was dismissed, and returned into Ireland; and, notwithstanding, the said Carey, in malice towards the Earl, gave warrants to Captain Pinner, Basil Brook, and Ralph Bingley, to levy and take satisfaction for the said prey from the Earl's tenants, for Sir Neill's use : whereupon they, with nine-score of Sir Neill's men, and three English companies, took 500 cows, 60 mares and plough-horses, 13 horses) besides meat and drink for six weeks for ail the said companies) and used many other extortions, the country being then extremely poor after the wars; whereupon the Earl procured order for the restoration of the said spoils again, which was no sooner granted than countermanded by the said Carey, at Sir Neill's request, whereby there were seven-score ploughs of the Earl's tenants hindered from ploughing that season.



10. Item.-The Earl can justify by good witnesses, whose names he may not tell without danger, that when Sir Neill and Sir Ralph Bingley pretended to kill or murther the Earl, they made the said Carey privy thereunto, he seeming to uphold, patronise, and countenance them in that bloody enterprise.



11. Item.-The Earl will justify that this Carey, in the presence of Sir Arthur Chichester, now Lord Deputy, Sir George Bourchier, and the Earl's own man, Matthew Tully, said that he would force the Earl to go into action; whereof the Earl complained into England, and could not have remedy or punishment inflicted upon the said Carey, by reason that the Earl durst not show the same unto His Majesty, the said Carey having many friends of the Privy Council.



12. Item.-A horseboy, named Kelly, for killing of one Cusack, being to be hanged, was, by a man sent privately by the said Carey, promised his life, so that he would accuse the Earl to be the author that set him on to kill the said Cusack; which the boy confessed) not knowing that it served to no purpose for him so to do but to accelerate his hanging; and then he, being brought to the gallows, and seeing no hope of his life, openly took upon his oath and hope of salvation that be never saw the Earl, and that the causers of his former false confession were the persons sentby the said Carey to promise him his life upon a confession similar to the former ; which confession he swore to be false in the presence of 400 persons and the sheriff of the county and portreeve of the town of Trim, wherein the execution was made. And afterwards for the same, the said Carey sent soldiers to apprehend an Englishman, whom the Earl brought out of England to be his gardener, unto the Earl's lodging, the Earl himself being within it; and there he was taken out and kept close prisoner, without meat, drink, or light, until he died, to see whether he would accuse the Earl of the said fact that Kelly had done. All such, with many other of said Carey's cruel and tyrannical proceedings, the Earl showed to the Council in England, which promised to give the Earl satisfaction by punishing of the said Carey; whereas he, at his arrival in England, rather obtained greater favours, than any reprehension or check for his doings; so that the Earl was constrained to take patience for a full satisfaction of his wrongs.



13. Item.-The said Carey gave warrant to levy £100 towards the building of a church at Derry; which being levied by horsemen and footmen that Sir Henry Docwra sent into the country, was disposed to Sir Henry's use, and not for the matter pretended.



14. Item.-This Carey kept Sir Henry Docwra's and Sir Henry Folliot's horsemen and footmen, and Sir Ralph Constable's, Sir Thomas Roper's, Captain Doddington's, and Captain Horum's companies, for the space of three months upon the country's charges; where they committed many rapes and used many extortions; which the Earl showed, but could neither get payment for their victuals, nor obtain that the neither get payment for their victuals, nor obtain that the should be punished for their sundry rapes and extortions.



15. Item.-There was never a garrison in Tyrconnell that did not send at their pleasure private soldiers into the country to fetch, now three beeves, now four, and when the liked, which they practised until they had taken all; and when the Earl complained, the said Carey seemed rather to flout him, than any way to right him.



16. Item.-By Sir Henry Folliot's company there were taken from the Earl's tenants 38 plough-horses for carriage which were never restored, nor any recompense made for them; and at another time one and twenty, and again 14, all in the same nature as the former, and never restored; they being taken in the spring of the year whereby the tenants being taken in the spring of the year, whereby the tenants were hindered of ploughing as before.



17. Item.-For the said Sir Henry's house, every month there were six beeves and six muttons taken up by his own officers within the barony of Tirhue [Tirhugh]; which was used continually for a year without any manner of payment for the same.



18. Item.-There were taken by Captain Doddington, at one time 12 beeves and 12 muttons, without giving any payment for the same.



19. Item.-There were taken by Captain William Cole 12 beeves and as many muttons, paying nothing therefor.



20. Item.-All these former injuries the Earl in very humble manner showed unto the said Carey, and could never be heard, but rather was dismissed by him still in scoffing manner; who also threatened a lawyer that pleaded some cases at the bar for the Earl, " that he and his posterity " should smart for his doings, until the seventh generation;" so that all the Earl's business was ever since left at random, and no lawyer dared plead in his cause.



21. Item.-The Earl, prosecuting some rebels that were in the country, killed some of them, and took their chieftain prisoner, whom the Earl's men carried to Sir Henry Folliot to be executed ; for which service the Earl had this reward, that his adversaries proffered to the imprisoned person to save his life, if he could accuse the Earl of any crime that might work his overthrow; which the prisoner could not do, whereupon he was hanged.



22. Item.-The said Carey directed a general warrant to Sir Ralph Bingley, vice-governor of Lough Foyle, and to Captain Coale, vice-governor of Ballyshannon, to compel all such tenants as Sir Neill demanded, to return to him with their goods and chattels; by virtue whereof the said vice-governors may motion of an examination which was to be taken of 12 of the Earl's men and as many of Sir Neill's; and the men being come thereunto, the Earl's men were not examined, but locked up in a room, and the vice-governors, upon the false deposition of Sir Neill's men, directed warrants and sent soldiers to the number of 300 to bring all the Earl's tenants, against their wills, unto Sir Neill, to the number of 340 persons; who paid half a crown a-piece, and 12d. for every cow and garron, as fee to the captains, whereby they lost their ploughing for the space of 28 days, the soldiers being in the country all the while.



23. Afterwards the Earl, finding no other respect at the said Carey's hands, went into England, where he made complaint and procured letters of sundry articles in answer of demands unto Sir Arthur Chichester, then and now Deputy; who, upon receipt of them, seemed very respectfully to give the Earl contentment in his said demands, withal consented and gave warrant for the establishing the Earl in the possession of Lifford; which, however, he called, the next day, and still deferred the matter until his going a progress into the north; where he, being come, and having taken a view of the town, called to council Sir Henry Docwra, to know his opinion concerning the necessity of the place for His Majesty's service; and he, more for his own profit than for His Majesty's service, as by the sequel hereof may appear, judged it to be a place most requisite for His Majesty's use, but afterwards, at the Lord Deputy's being at Sir Henry's house, Sir Henry's wife begged a lease of the said town with the market thereof for one-and-twenty years, whereby he detected his project in the delivery of his so unjust and wrongful an opinion concerning the said place; all which the said Lord Deputy will not deny to be true.



24. Item.- After the Earl was in possession of Castle Doe, by Sir George Carey's warrant, one Neal McSwyne, pretending a title to it, forcibly entered with others into the said castle, the Earl being in England, and dispossessed the Earl's constable out of it, and kept it by virtue of an order afterwards granted by the Council against the Earl. And atthe Earl's return out of England, he made humble suit unto the Lord Deputy to be again restored into the possession whereof he was so treacherously despoiled, until a course of law were taken between the said Neill and him; which he could not obtain, but the possession was maintained for his adversary against him until the said Neill went into rebellion, by means whereof the Earl lost the rent of sixty quarters of land for the space of one year and a half, paying the King's rents yearly for the same; and afterwards the Earl besieged the castle and won it at his own charges ; in recompense of which service the Lord Deputy appointed to Captain Brook to dwell there, and constrained the Earl to accept of such rents as he had given order to the said captain to pay, and to pass to the said captain a lease thereof, and four quarters of the best lands thereunto annexed, for one and twenty years.



25. Item.-One Captain Henry Vaughan, being sheriff the year 1605, got a warrant towards the charge of a sessions house to levy £150 upon the country, which house was only builded of timber and wattles; and notwithstanding that the said captain promised to make it substantial and durable, yet it was not worth £lO, it having fallen within one month after the building thereof; but nevertheless he sent soldiers, upon the country's charges also, to levy every penny of the said money, and afterwards the country was forced by the Lord Deputy's appointment and order to defray the charges of another sessions house for the next year ensuing.



26. Item.-At the same sessions, 1605, the Lord Deputy being at Lifford, there was one Owen MacSwyne to be executed ; unto whom, by the appointment of Sir Oliver Lambarde [Lambert], who gave a caveat unto Sir Henry Folliot from time to time as often as there should be any persons to be executed, to assure them of their lives if they informed of any matters to overthrow or prejudice the Earl, Sir Henry sent privately, promising him his life and large rewards if he would charge the Earl with some detestable crime.



27. Also, at the same sessions, the Earl was called to the bar for hanging of some woodkerne during the Lord Lieutenant's [Mountjoy] time, he having then authority to execute martial law, insomuch that he was fain to plead a particular pardon which he had, for otherwise the general pardon would not avail him or stand him in any stead, as the judges alleged.



28. Item.-Within a short time afterwards, by the said Lord Deputy's orders. Sir Henry Docwra's and Sir Henry Folliot's horsemen and footmen were cessed upon the country, where they remained for four months, and paid nothing for their charges of horse meat or man's meat.



29. Item.-The Earl having purchased sixteen hundred pounds' worth of his own inheritance from Sir Ralph Bingley, who entered into bonds of the staple of three thousand pounds for the maintaining of the Earl in possession of all the lands and hereditaments that he had passed unto the Earl, against all persons pretending title unto the whole or any part or parcel thereof; yet did the Council give warrant unto one that was Sir Ralph's tenant, before the passing over of the said land to the Earl, to enter into possession of all such lands as he formerly held by virtue of a writing that was between him and Sir Ralph, mentioning no certain rent, but what Sir Ralph pleased to demand ; and so he continued, by their order, in the said possession, and paid no rent unto the Earl. And into another part of the said lands the Bishop of Derry entered, pretending the same as his right; and afterwards Sir Ralph having arrived in Ireland, the Earl made suit unto the Lord Deputy to have him apprehended until he should perform covenant according unto the said bond which the Lord Deputy would not do, but bade him to deal with the mayor of Dublin, and have him arrested; and when the mayor's officer was brought to execute the arrest, with as full authority as might be, Sir Ralph showed the Lord Deputy's warrant of protection, whereby the Earl lost both the lands and money aforesaid.



30. Item.-At the said Lord Deputy's coming into Fermanagh, in 1606, the Earl having gone thither to meet him, he sent privately to apprehend one Teige O'Corcoran, servant McGouire (sic), and brought him secretly into the tent where he slept, where he was bound and tortured with bed cord to the end he might charge the Earl with something tending to the Earl's overthrow and ruin, where he continued for the space of five days ; within which time the said Lord Deputy came to Ballyshannon, where he, being at supper, demanded of the Earl what right he had to the former things he claimed in the several territories before specified; whereunto the Earl answered that his ancestors were in possession of the several territories before specified for one thousand three hundred years, and that the said duties, rents, and homages were duly observed and paid during the said time; whereunto he replied that the Earl was unworthy to have them, and that he should never enjoy them, and that the State was sorry that he had so much left him as he had then in possession, and withal wished him " to take heed of himself, or else he would make his pate ache." All which he said in the presence of the Lord Chief Justice, others of the Council, and divers gentlemen that sat at the table.



31. Item.-At the same time there were sundry old challenges of tenants, preys, and spoils, between the Earl and Sir Nial, which controversies the Earl, for his part, at the Lord Deputy's entreaty, referred to his Lordship's censure, delivering up all the papers, he promising first to the Earl to order and award to the Earl at leastwise all the said spoils taken by virtue of Sir George Carey's warrant; and notwithstanding the said promise, there were three hundred pounds ordered against the Earl, and all his challenges frustrated, and his papers burned. And afterwards Sir Nial's papers were privately given back again to himself, by reason whereof the Earl was forced at the last sessions to give to Sir Nial the benefit of all the said papers again, he having nothing to show to the contrary.



32. Item.-At the said Lord Deputy's return again into Fermanagh he sent for Magouire, and wished him to accuse the Earl, who protested and swore that he could not charge him with anything ; to whom the Lord Deputy replied again; with an oath, that he should never part with him until he had confessed as much as Teige O'Gorcoran, above mentioned, had declared, it being in verity nothing at all; and yet the said Teige was charged by them as having confessed matters against the Earl.



33. Item.-One Ferighe O'Kelly, being condemned to be hanged at Athlone for some delict, was proffered his life by a man sent secretly to him by the said Lord Deputy, which messenger arrived and came to the said Ferighe just as he was to be hanged, and delivered to him his errand, which was a proffer to him not only of his life, but also of large rewards, if he would charge the Earl with treason ; which he promised to perform, and thereupon was taken back again, and was privately examined; but they, finding his examination to halt, as no wonder it should, being forged at the same instant, sent him to prison, there to remain until he had justified somewhat of what he had promised; and if he could not do it, that then he should be hanged. But there he continued until the Earl's departure this last time out of Ireland.



34. Also a gentleman named Donagh O'Brian, who had some time followed the Earl, was committed to prison in Athlone, out of which he made an escape; and afterwards Sir Oliver Lambarde sent a protection to him, and he being come before the Lord Deputy and the said Sir Oliver into a private chamber. Sir Oliver told him that he should not only have his pardon but also large rewards if he would charge the Earl with treason; but the gentleman, who neither could nor would charge the Earl with anything, rather made choice to abandon his native country, than to stay therein to feel the effects of their merciless mercy.



35. Furthermore, one Owen Gany M'Cormack, natural of Moylurig, within the county of Roscommon, was taken prisoner, and brought before the Earl of Clanricard and the Council of Connaught, by the Lord Deputy's order, to accuse the Earl with somewhat as before; and being examined, he swore, in the presence of them all, that he could not charge the Earl with anything at all; whereupon be was enlarged.



36. Item.-One Ferighe O'Kelly was to be executed in Galway, whose life was offered unto him if he would accuse the Earl, and, because he could not charge him with any crime, he was hanged.



37. Furthermore, the said Earl can justify, by good proofs, that of twenty and seven persons that were hanged in Connaught and Tyrconnell, there was not one but had the former, promises upon the like conditions made unto them.



38. Item.-One Captain Ellis ravished a young maiden of the age of eleven years, in the Earl's country; which matter was presented by a jury to the sheriff in his term court; whereof the Earl understanding, informed the Lord Deputy, and withal prayed his Lordship to proceed against the said Ellis according to his delicts; but he refused to do it, and directed the Earl to claim for the verdict of the said jury at the next sessions to be holden within the country, promising withal never to grant a pardon to the said Ellis, in the presence of many nobles and gentlemen. But the matter being moved at the next sessions, and afterwards referred again to the jury, they presented the said Ellis guilty; whereupon he being absent, a writ of outlawry was directed, which the Earl has to show, under the clerk of the crown's hand; and yet the Lord Deputy, notwithstanding his former promise, granted the said Ellis his pardon.



39. Also the said Ellis told an Englishman, that afterwards of himself acquainted the Earl therewithal, that he would come with soldiers and raise an alarm and cry near the Earl's house, and that, when the Earl should come forth, he would kill him, making no question of obtaining his pardon notwithstanding; which words of his the Earl showed to the Lord Deputy in the presence of many, adding herewithal an oath how he stood not assured of his life, if the said Ellis were not restrained or bound to the peace; neither of which so just demands could the Earl obtain.



40. Item.-The duties of the fishing of Kelbegge [Killybegs] being the Earl's, as a thing that was found by the survey to have been in his ancestors' possession for 1,300 years before, was taken away from him by Sir Henry Folliot and the Bishop of Derry, it being worth £500 for that season; which wrong the Earl showed to the Lord Deputy, and could get no other redress than that the Deputy addressed a warrant to the Bishop of Derry, to maintain him in the possession thereof against the Earl, both for that season and all times ensuing.



41. Item.-The said Sir Henry having occasion to use carriage horses, took away those that served the Earl's house with fuel and wood for fire ; and the soldiers, scorning to feed the horses themselves, went into the Earl's house and forcibly took out one of the Earl's boys to lead them, and ran another in the thigh with a pike for refusing to go with them; whereof the Earl likewise complained, but could have no satisfaction.



42. Item.-The three McSwynes and O'Boyle, who always held their lands from O'Donell, paying what rent he pleased to impose upon them, and who consequently ought to hold from the Earl on the same terms, as was also found by the above-mentioned survey, seeing that they all and either of them had made over all their estates and rights unto the Earl by their deeds of feoffment, and suffered a recovery to be passed in form of law, and taken their said lands again from the Earl by lease of years, for certain rents; yet, notwithstanding, the said Lord Deputy gave several warrants to every one of them that demanded it, to pay no rents to the Earl; and, if he should demand any other of them than that they themselves pleased to pay, in such a case the Governor of Derry was required to raise the country from time to time, and resist and hinder the Earl from taking up his rents.



43. The Earl, upon this, made a journey into the Pale, to know the reason why he was debarred from his rents; and lodged, on a certain night, in the abbey of Boyle, where scarce was he arrived, when the constable of the town, accompanied by 20 soldiers and their ensign, and all the churls of the town, environed and fired the house wherein the Earl lay, he having no other company within it than his page and two others of his serving-men. But it befel, through the singular providence of Almighty God, whose fatherly care he has ever found vigilant over him, that he defended himself and his house against them all the whole night long; they using on the other side all their industry and might to fire it, and throwing in stones and staves in the Earl's face, and running their pikes and swords at him, until they had wounded him in six places, besides his other bruisings with stones and staves; they menacing to kill him, affirming that he was a traitor to the King, and that it was the best service that could be done to His Majesty to kill him. And that all this is true, Sir Donogh O'Connor, who was taken prisoner by the same men, because he would not assist them in their facinorous and wicked design of killing the Ear), will justify; but in the morning the Earl was rescued by the country folk, who conveyed him safely out of the town. And when the Earl complained and showed his wounds to the Lord Deputy, he promised to hang the constable and ensign; but afterwards did not once deign so much as to examine the matter, or call the delinquents to account; by reason whereof the Earl verily persuades himself - which surmise was afterwards confirmed in time by the credible report of many - that some of the State were sorry for his escape, but specially Sir Oliver Lambarde, who had purposely drawn the plot of the Earl's ruin, and set the ensign on to execute it, as the Earl will also justify.



44. Finally, the said Lord Deputy having written to the Earl for some hawks this last summer, the Earl, desirous to continue his accustomed annual benevolence and amity towards him, of bestowing some hawks on him, sent him a caste, he himself remaining only with two caste more to bestow on his other good friends; all this, notwithstanding, the Sheriff of Tyrconnel caused one Donell Gorme McSwyne, being one of those before deputed by warrant to detain the Earl's rent, to take up the hawks from the Earl's man, and sent them to the Lord Deputy, whereof the Earl understood, he being then at Dublin, and made the Lord Deputy a challenge for his hawks, yet could not recover them; whereat grieved, he said that he found himself more grieved at their loss in that nature than at all the injuries he had before received; whereunto the Deputy replied, that he " cared not a rush for him or his bragging words," warning him withal to look well to himself, in the same threatening manner that he had done before at Ballyshannon.



Pp. 13. Endd.: "To the King of England, His most

Excellent Majesty. For the Earl of Tirconnell."




The EARL OF TYRONE'S ARTICLES.



Articles exhibited by the Earl of Tyrone to the King's Most
Excellent Majesty, declaring certain Causes of Discontent

offered him, by which he took Occasion to depart his Country.



1. First.-That it was by public authority proclaimed in his manor of Dungannon that none should hear mass upon pain of losing his goods and imprisonment; that no curate or ecclesiastical person should enjoy any cure or dignity without swearing the oath of supremacy, and entering to the chapters or congregations of those that professed the contrary religion; and that those that refused so to do were actually deprived of their benefices and dignities, as may appear by the Lord Deputy's answer given upon a petition exhibited by the Earl in that behalf, as also by the Lord Primate of Ireland, who daily put the same in execution in the Earl's country.



2. Item.-By the procurement of the Earl of Devonshire, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, there were taken from the Earl two parcels of his land, formerly held and enjoyed by himself and his ancestors time out of mind, called the Fues (sic), and Sir Henry Oge's country which were passed to Sir Tirlagh M'Henry and the said Sir Henry Oge O'Neill, knights.



3. Item.-There were threescore cows taken from him that he and his ancestors had yearly of ancient rent out of Sir Cahir O'Dogherty's country) called Innisowen, never brought to any question before His Majesty's reign.



4. Item.-The said Lord Lieutenant took from him all the fishings of the Bann) in like manner enjoyed and possessed by the Earl and his ancestors) which the Earl, to avoid the trouble of the law, was forced to purchase again, as though he had never before any title thereunto.



5. Item.-Certain other parcels also of the Earl's land have been taken from him by false offices, without the Earl's privity, (under colour of church lands) a thing never in any man's memory heard of before ; and the same lands have been passed to Sir George Carey, Knight, the Queen's Majesty's Vice-Chamberlain, and by him again to Sir Henry Docwra, Knight, and by the said Sir Henry to Sir John Sidney, Knight, and to one Captain Henry Vaughan, together with certain other parcels of the Earl's lands; and his fishing of Lough Foyle was in like manner compassed by him, and the Earl was forced to purchase it in the new, rather than be at continual suits of law, where he saw he could have no indifferency of justice.



6. Item.-One Robert Leicester, an attorney in the chancery, got by some such practice certain other parcels of the Earl's land, and the same were passed over to Captain Edmond Leigh. So that any captain or clerk that wanted means, and had no other means or device to live, might bring the Earl in trouble for some part or parcel of his living, falsely inventing the same to be concealed or church land; and so, under colour of serving the King's Majesty by such offices, they daily troubled and molested His Highness' subjects, and are thereunto maintained by the State as his ministers; and yet they are commonly found in the end by these courses to do all for their own private profit and personal commodity.



7. Item.-The Archbishop of Armagh and the Bishop of Derry and Clogher pretended to take from the Earl the best part of his whole living, claiming the same as appertaining to their bishoprics;-a claim never moved by any of their predecessors, other than that they had some chiefry due to them in most part of all his living; but they would now have the whole land to themselves as their demesne lands, and will not be content with the benefit of their ancient registers, which the Earl always offered and was willing to give without further question.



8. Item.-O'Cahan, one of the chiefest and principalest of the Earl's tenants, was set on by certain of His Majesty's Privy Council, as also by His Highness' counsel-at-law, to withdraw himself and the lands called Iraght-I-Cahan from the Earl, being a great substance of his living, and the part thereof that he and his ancestors always held as their most special property. Now, notwithstanding that the said O'Cahan, at his own house, before the Lord Deputy and Council, being by them in that case deeply examined, renounced to have any

title or right to the said land, or any part thereof, other than by the Earl and his ancestors, and without any further trial or colour of right that ever he could show for himself, other than that he and his predecessors from time to time held the same from the Earl and his ancestors as tenants-at-will, yielding and paying to them yearly all such rents, dues, and reservations as others of their tenants did ; yet the Earl was quite dispossessed, by order from the Council-table, of the two parts of the said land; and a warrant was given to O'Cahan to take his charges in following the suit against the Earl from his tenants of the other third part left to the Earl. Whereat the Earl, being somewhat aggrieved, read his complaint thereof to the Lord Deputy and Council, who, after long debate, perceiving the wrong, their Lordships referred the re-examination of the cause to Sir Thomas Phillips and Sir George Paulet, Knights; and they, finding O'Cahan's former suggestion to be false, proceeded to order the matter according to justice ; where, upon full hearing of the cause and examining of witnesses of both sides, they found O'Cahan to be in the wrong, and therefore decided that he should not only cease farther to demand anything of the Earl's said tenants of that third part, but that he should also restore unto them what he had already taken from them, and that the sheriff should put the same in execution; whereof the Earl could have no benefit, after he had been at infinite charges in getting witnesses and following the same suit. Thereupon he again appealed to the Lord Deputy, and showed him the same order of the knights and the Council's warrant to undertake the matter. Yet all that notwithstanding, he could prevail nothing, and had no answer from the Deputy but that he knew no means else that O'Cahan had, either to pay the Treasurer who lent him money in Dublin to follow his suit against the Earl, or to bring him to England, there also to trouble him, but by that or some such means. So that, after all the Earl's labour, travail, and charges, O'Cahan had his order fully executed, and the Earl no benefit of his.

And further, the Earl perceived by Sir John Davys, His Majesty's attorney's speech before the Council-table, that it was fully intended and resolved amongst them that he should lose the other third part; when he said, in plain terms, " he would never serve the King if I had not lost all that land of Iraght-I-Cahan, and much more of that I hold and thought myself most assured of."

And to maintain his word in that behalf the said Sir John Davys and the rest of His Majesty's counsel-at-law likewise made claim in His Majesty's behalf to four other parcels of the Earl's lands, called Glankonkeine, Killitragh, Slieveshiose, and Slughtairta, being the only substance of all that was left the Earl, and began their suit for the same in the Exchequer the last Trinity term ; so that, in fine, he could not perceive how he might assure himself of anything by the Letters Patent that he had from His Majesty. Thereupon, understanding that His Highness granted a commission for receiving surrenders, together with authority to amend all faults and intricate defects in any former patents, he exhibited petition to the Lord Deputy, and the rest joined with him for the purpose, humbly proffering a surrender of his old patent, and craving a new one, with amendment of all defects in the former; whereof, although the same was a general favour granted by His Majesty to all his subjects of the whole realm, the Earl could have no answer.



9. Item.-The Earl brought a suit against Sir Henry Oge O'Neill, Knight, in the King's Bench, for a parcel of land called Tohrannie, which His Majesty's grant to the said Sir Henry did not bear; which suit came to an issue the last Trinity term, that the same should be, with the consent of both parties, tried by due Nisi Prius, and thereupon an order drawn, and writs of distringas and venire fucias issued; and that the Earl paid all charges and fees thereunto belonging, according to the common course of the court : that, notwithstanding, the Lord Deputy and Chancellor, contrary to the due course of law, commanded that the same should be again stayed :-by which means the Earl's proceedings were letted (sic), and he abridged of the benefit of His Majesty's laws, and hindered of the possession of his lands. And yet in any suit against him, any man, of what degree soever, obtained the extremity of the law with favour.



10. Item.-Although it pleased His Majesty to allow the Earl to be lieutenant of his country, yet had he no more command there than his boy, since the worst man that belonged to the sheriff could command more than he, and that as well within the earl's own house, as abroad in the country; for, if any one that they had had anything to say unto were within the Earl's house, they would not attend his coming out, but even burst open the doors of his house to bring him out; and never would do the Earl so much honour in any respect as once to acquaint him therewith, or send to himself for the party, though he had been within the house when they attempted these things. And if any of the Earl's officers would, by his direction, order or execute any matter betwixt his own tenants with their own mutual consents, they would be driven not only to restore the same again, but also be first amerced by the sheriff, and afterwards indicted as felons, and so brought to their trial for their lives for the same; so that the Earl, in the end, could scarce get any of his servants that would undertake to levy his rents.



11. Item.-Whereas there is a statute by the laws of Ireland that none should be sheriffs of any county but such as should be dwellers within the same county and of good worth by yearly revenue therein, and withal should be elected by the nobility and chief gentlemen of the same county, yet, notwithstanding, the Lord Deputy appointed gentlemen of other counties, and not elected as aforesaid, sheriffs of the counties of Tyrone and Armagh;-as Captain Edmond Leigh, being not elected, and one Marmaduke Whittchurch, dwelling in the county of Louth;-both withal being retainers and very dear friends to the late knight-marshal [Bagenal], who was the only man that urged the Earl to his last troubles; and, no doubt, any that ever belonged to him, will be ready to do the Earl all the mischief they can devise by all practices possible, as they in their offices daily showed to the Earl and his tenants, both by word and deed; whereof the Earl eftsoons complained to the Lord Deputy, and could get no redress, but rather fared the worse for his complaints, in respect they were so little regarded.



12. Item.-The Earl, understanding that there had been earnest suit made to His Majesty for the presidentship of Ulster, made bold to write to His Majesty, humbly beseeching that His Highness would be pleased not to grant any such office to any over himself, suspecting it should be his overthrow, as by plain experience he knew the like office to be the utter overthrow of others of his rank in other provinces within the realm of Ireland in his own knowledge; and, in like manner, wrote to his friends of His Highness' Council in England, to make means that his suit might be accepted in that behalf, and, among the rest, to his very good lord the Earl of Salisbury, that he would vouchsafe to assist him in that proceeding; who replied, as may appear by his letters, that " the Earl was not to tie His Majesty to place or displace officers at his [the Earl's] pleasure in any of His [Majesty's] kingdoms," which was never the Earl's meaning. Yet did he plainly perceive by that his Lordship's letter, that his suit in that case was merely vain, as it fell out indeed; for that office is passed already to Sir Arthur Chichester, knight, now Lord Deputy of Ireland, as the Earl credibly understood by Captain Edmond Leigh and others of the Lord Deputy's gentlemen that he met at Slane, the 8th of September last, the Deputy being there; which the Earl knew right well to be the Earl of Salisbury's doings, and did in very deed much fear that it should grow to his destruction without His Majesty's privity. Therefore, and rather than live under the like yoke, perceiving himself so envied by those that should be his protectors, and considering the misery he saw sustained by others through the oppression of the like government, would sooner pass all to himself than abide it; yet all that notwithstanding, as well because he fears further to incur any their displeasures, as because he could receive no answer of any former complaints which he preferred to His Majesty, he never durst acquaint His Highness with any of his griefs.



13. Item.-Whereas the Earl's nephew, Brian Mac Art, was at Sir Tirlagh MacHenry's house, having two men in his company, and being in some merry humour, there happened some speech betwixt him and a kinsman of his own, who, on the speech, gave the Earl's nephew a blow of a club on the head, and tumbled him to the ground ; whereupon one of his men standing by, and seeing his master down, stept up with the fellow, and gave him some three or four stabs of a knife, having no other weapon, and the master himself, as it was said, gave him another, through which means the man came to his death ; and thereupon the Earl's nephew and his two men were taken, and kept in prison till the next sessions holden in the county of Armagh, where his men were tried by a jury, chosen for that purpose, of four innocent and mere ignorant people, having little or no substance to take unto, most of them being bare soldiers, and not fit, as well by the institution of the law in matters of that kind, as also through their own insufficiency, to be permitted or elected to the like charge, and the rest, fester-brethren, followers, and very dear friends to the party slain, that would not spare to spend their lives and goods to revenge his death. Yet, all that notwithstanding, they were allowed, and the trial of those two gentlemen was committed to them; through which means, and the rigorous threatening and earnest enticements of the judges, (being so charged by a letter from the Lord Deputy, as the Earl credibly understands), they were most shamefully condemned to die, and the jury was in a manner forced to find the matter murder in each of them. And this not so much for their own offences, as thinking to make it an evidence against the master when he should come to his trial, who was in prison in the castle of Dublin, attending to be tried the last Michaelmas term, whose death, were it right or wrong, was much desired by the Lord Deputy.



14. Item.-The Earl gave his daughter in marriage to O'Cahan, without any kind of exception or interruption of any, and gave a portion of goods with her ; and they lived so together without any question for the space of eight years, till the said O'Cahan was set on to withdraw himself from the Earl ; at which time he also, by the procurement of his setters on, turned the Earl's daughter away, and kept the goods to himself, and took another to Ids wife; whereof the Earl complained to the Lord Deputy in his daughter's behalf; whereunto he replied that he knew no way O'Cahan had to pay her. Whereupon the Earl exhibited petition to the lords justices of assize at Dungannon in her behalf, to whom he esteemed the same to be proper; but when the matter came to hearing, O'Cahan showed a warrant from the Lord Deputy, that they should not determine that matter, but that it should be decided by the lord bishop of the Derry, who was himself the chief author of her putting away, and therefore, in all men's judgments, no indifferent judge in that case. Through which means the Earl's suit in that cause was frustrated, and he could get no manner of justice therein, no more than he obtained in many other weighty matters that concerned him, too tedious to be rehearsed at the present.



15. Item.-The Lord Deputy, farther to trouble the Earl, procured one Henry Oge O'Neill, M'Henry MacFelymye, and others his confederates, to go out as a woodkern, only to rob and spoil the Earl and his nephew, Brian Mac Art, and their tenants; as the said Henry eftsoons certified to the Earl by messages affirming that he would never do the Earl nor any that belonged to him any hurt, but that the Deputy enticed him thereunto; who committed many murders, burnings, and other mischievous acts against the Earl's tenants, and were always maintained and manifestly relieved amongst the Deputy's tenants and others their friends in Claneboye, and openly sold the spoils that they took from the Earl's tenants amongst them. And yet the Earl never could get any justice of them nor of those that so relieved them ; and they continued so for the space of two years, doing many outrageous facts against the Earl's tenants, till, at length, they happened to murder one of the Deputy's own tenants; whereupon they were fain to forego that country, as the Deputy then took some care to see them prosecuted for that fact:-through which means, and their being put from that their refuge, the Earl, within one quarter of a year after, cut them all off. Yet the Lord Deputy, not being thereat satisfied, further to have his will of the Earl's tenants, sought to bring them within the compass of the law ; and thereby, seeing that he could not by these sinister means prevail against them, fairly sought to cut them off; and to that end protected one of the said rebels, a poor rascally knave, and brought him to Dublin, where he persuaded him to accuse above threescore of the Earl's tenants of having relieved the said rebels with meat; which, God knows, they little minded, if they had not taken it from them perforce, as they did indeed from divers of them that were not able to make any resistance against them, and withal killed their cattle in the fields, and left them dead there, being not of power to carry them away, burnt their houses, took what they could of their household stuff, killed and mangled themselves. And yet were they, upon the report of that poor knave, who was himself foremost in doing these mischiefs, all taken and brought to their trial by law, where they were, through their innocency in. the matters laid to their charge, acquitted, but at their no small cost. So that betwixt the professed enemy and the private envy of our governors, seeking thereby to advance themselves, there was no way left for 'the poor subject to live.



16. Item.-The said woodkerne met one Joise Everard, a Dutchman that belonged to the Deputy, by the way, coming from Carrickfergus to Tome [Toome], in the county of Antrim, whom they took prisoner, and kept till he compounded to have given them £3O ransom; for which £30 the Deputy cessed threescore upon the county, and appointed the one half thereof to be taken, from the Earl's tenants, though of another county, and at least 12 miles distant from the place where he was taken and kept, and though they themselves were daily killed and spoiled by the said woodkerne, and never had redress from those that were well known to have relieved them from time to time. And a warrant was directed for levying the same to Sir Thomas Phillips, who sent his soldiers upon the Earl's tenants to take it, and without any further reasoning of the matter or showing any authority, took and distressed for the whole £30 in one place, and from two men, and marched away therewith. The poor people, thinking it had been the woodkerne that gave the alarm, eftsoons followed and raised the hue and cry; whereupon certain men that the Earl had entertained, by warrant from the Deputy, to prosecute the said rebels, hearing the cry in the country, took their stand upon a streight (sic) that the rebels were accustomed to pass, and met the soldiers there coming with the distress; and perceiving them to be soldiers, drew near and began to reason with them, and learn why they took the distress, and asked a sight of their warrant; whereupon the soldiers, scorning to show them their warrant, gave them a volley of shot, and killed one of them, and went away with the distress and a prisoner, and kept him till he was forced to give them £5. Whereof the Earl complained to the Lord Deputy, and could find no redress, but that the Lord Deputy persuaded him by fair speeches to forego the matter to Sir Thomas Phillips; whereunto the Earl, seeing he could not otherwise amend himself, assented, and so lost his man and money, and the money itself is still with one Captain Claterworthey, and not restored.



17. Item.-Certain of the soldiers of the Derry, in the time of Sir George Carey's government, passing through the country, went to a village of the Earl's that was near the way, where they met a kinsman of the Earl's, and presently, without any speech, one of the soldiers shot him through, and killed him dead ; whereof the Earl could never have redress, not so much as to punish the soldier.



18. Item.-The said soldiers of Derry went another time in pursuit of a prisoner that made an escape out of the city, and went that night to a farm of the Earl's, where they had the best entertainment that the poor people had; and the next morning, upon their going away, one of them shot at one of the townsmen with poell shot and broke his arm, and hurt him in sundry parts of his body, so that he fell to the ground; and his neighbours, supposing he had been dead, pursued the soldier to have taken him, he being a good way behind his company, but the soldier, to make the better shift, left his arms, which the poor men took, and let him go, and went personally to the high constable of the shire, and delivered him the arms, and went, themselves and the hurt man, to the Derry, to complain of the soldiers to the governor, where they were all taken and put in a pair of stocks all night, under frost and snow, which was like to cost them their lives, and specially the hurt man, who was never dressed of his wounds. And this only for taking the piece of the soldier that did the fact, after that he had cast it away himself, and never a word spoken to them for killing the King's subject.



19. Item.-Sir Henry Foliarde [Folliot], Knight, Governor of the Ernie, came upon some of the Earl's tenants with force and arms, the second year of His Majesty's reign, and forcibly took from them above 200 cows, and killed a good gentleman, besides many other poor men, women, and children; and besides that, there died above 100 persons of them with very famine, for want of their goods. Whereof the Earl never had redress, although the said Sir Henry could show no reasonable cause for doing the same.



20. Item.-The Earl farther perceived the Lord Deputy very desirous and earnest to aggravate and search out matters against him, touching the staining of his honour and dignity, and specially very distinctly examined M'Gouire, and used many persuasions to him, to signify if he might lay any matters to his charge. All which were fetches, thinking, as he first obtained to be Lord President of Ulster, then, secondly, to come upon the Earl with some forged treason, and thereby to bereave him both of his life and living. And the better to compass his pretence therein, he placed that whispering companion, Captain Leigh, as sheriff in the country, not so much for doing His Majesty's service, as to be lurking after the Earl, to spy if he might have any hole in his coat, which the Earl little feared had he been assured of any indifferent judge. But seeing that the Lord Deputy (who ought to be indifferent, not only to him but to the whole realm, having the rod in his own power,) sought his destruction, lie esteemed it a strife against the stream for him to seek to live secure in that kingdom. And, therefore, of both the evils he chose the least, and thought better, rather to forego his country and lands, till he had further known His Majesty's pleasure, upon perusal of the causes of his griefs, (which he little durst, while he lived within the compass of the said Governor's jurisdiction, once move to His Highness,) and to make an honourable escape, with his life and liberty only; than by staying, with dishonour and indignation, to lose both life, liberty, living, and country, which in very deed he much feared.



In conclusion, besides all the insolencies, wrongs, personal injuries, injustices, severe persecution practised, and severer intended, in matters of religion, which are specified in the above articles, he omits many others done to him by under officers, of which he durst not complain during his being in Ireland:-as of Sir John Davys, His Majesty's Attorney-General, a man more fit to be a stage-player than a counsel to His Highness - who gave the Earl very irreverent speech before the Council table;-which being permitted by the Council, the Earl said that he would appeal to His Majesty; whereunto he replied, that he was right glad thereof, and that he thereby expected to achieve to honour. And in like manner, one Mr, Jacob, His Highness' solicitor, one not much inferior to the other in blabbeling, no less preferred very hard and dishonourable speech to the Earl, which also he showed to the Lord Deputy, and could have no kind of redress thereof. Nor that only, but there have been many other abuses offered him by other inferior officers, and others of His Majesty's ministers, tending to the deprivation of his honour and authority, that might be sufficient causes to drive any human creature not only to forego a country were it ever so dear unto him, but also the whole world, in order to eschew the like government; which he thinks too tedious at the present to trouble His Majesty withal, and which he also omits, not doubting but these shall suffice to satisfy His Highness. And so referring himself and the due consideration of these and all other his causes, to the most royal and princely censure of His Majesty, as his only protector and defender against all his adversaries, he most humbly takes his leave, and will always, as is his bounden duty, pray.



Pp. 5. Add. '. " To the King of England's most excellent

Majesty."

PROCLAMATION of LORD DEPUTY AND COUNCIL

To assure the inhabitants of Tyrone and Tyrconnell that they will not be disturbed in the peaceable possession of their lands so long as they demean, themselves as dutiful subjects, notwithstanding the sudden departure of the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, who, with Hugh Baron of Dungannon, Caffor Oge O'Donnel, brother to the Earl of Tyrconnell, and Arte Oge O'Neale, nephew to the Earl of Tyrone, having taken with them the Countess of Tyrone and two of the youngest sons of the Earl of Tyrone and the son and heir apparent of the Earl of Tyrconnell, being an infant of the age of one year or thereabouts, with their servants and followers, have lately embarked at Lough Swilly, and are secretly departed out of the realm without licence. And that the King has appointed commissioners, as well English as Irish, residing in the several countries, to protect them, as being now under his immediate protection, and to administer justice, instead of the said Earls, to whom he had formerly committed the government thereof.



Rathfarnham,

7 September 1607.

Signed: Thomas Dublin, Canc., George Derrien, Thomas

Ridgeway, Jas. Ley, H. Winch, Anth. Sentleger, Oliver

St. John, Henry Harrington, Oliver Lambert, Geoffrey Fenton,

Rich. Cooke.



O’Neill's Gravestone in Rome



I

Where yellow Tiber’s waters flow,

Within the seven-hilled city’s bound

An aged chief, with footsteps slow,

Moves sadly o’er the storied ground;

Or, from his palace window-panes,

Looks out upon the matchless dome,

The ruins grand, the glorious fanes,

That stud the soil of holy Rome,

But oh! for Ireland far away –

For Ireland in the western sea!

The chieftain’s heart is there to-day,

And there, in truth, he fain would be.



II

On every side the sweet bells ring,

And faithful people bend in pray’r;

Sweet hymns, that angel choirs might sing,

And loud hosannas fill the air,

His place is with the princely crowd,

Amidst the noblest and the best;

His large white head is lowly bowed,

His hands are clasped before his breast,

But oh! for Ireland far away –

For Ireland dear, with all her ills –

For Mass in fair Tyrone to-day,

Amid the circling Irish hills!



III

Kind friends are round him, pious freres,

And pastors of Christ’s mystic fold;

The holy Pope, ‘mid many cares,

For him has blessings, honours gold.

Grave fathers, speaking words of balm,

Bid him forget the by-gone strife,

And spend resigned, in holy calm,

The years that close a noble life.

But oh! for Ireland! there again

The grand old chieftain fain would be,

‘Midst glittering spears, on hill or plain,

To charge for Faith and Liberty!



IV

His fellow-exiles, men who bore

With him the brunt of many a fight,

Talk past and future chances o’er,

Around his table grouped at night.

While speeds each tale of grief or glee,

With tears their furrowed cheeks are wet,

And oft they rise and vow to see

A glorious day in Ireland yet.

And oh! for Ireland o’er the main –

For Ireland, where they yet shall be,

Since Irish braves in France and Spain

Have steel and gold to set her free!



V

He sits, abstracted, by the board –

Old scenes are pictured in his brain –

Benburb, Armagh, the Yellow-Ford,

He fights and wins them o’er again.

Again he sees fierce Bagenal fall,

Sees craven Essex basely yield,

Meets armoured Segrave, gaunt and tall,

And leaves him lifeless on the field.

But oh! for Ireland, there once more,

To rouse the true men of the land,

And proudly bear from shore to shore

The banner of the Blood-red Hand!



VI

And when the wine within plays,

Bold, hopeful words the chief will speak;

He draws his shining sword, and says,

“The King of England deems me weak –

Ah! would the Englishman were nigh

That hates me most, my deadliest foe,

To cross his blade with mine, and try

If this right arm be weak or no!

But oh for Ireland! where good swords

And forceful arms are needed most,

To fall on England’s cruel hordes,

And sweep them from the Irish coast.



VII

Years come and go, but while they roll,

His limbs grow weak, his eyes grow dim;

The hopes die out that buoyed his soul –

War’s mighty game is closed for him.

Before him from the earth have passed

Friends, kinsmen, comrades true and brave,

And well he knows he nears at last

His place of rest – a foreign grave.

But oh! for Ireland far away,

For Irish love and holy zeal –

Oh! for a grave in Irish clay

To wrap the heart of Hugh O’Neill!



By T.D. Sullivan, printed in C.P.Meehan,




LORD DEPUTY CHICHESTER AND THE ENGLISH GOVERNMENT'S 'MANDATES POLICY' IN IRELAND, 1605-1607

by JOHN McCAVITT



ONE of the liveliest debates in recent early modern Irish historiogra­phy has concerned the 'failure' of the Reformation in Ireland and when this occurred. Originally Professor Canny took issue with Dr. Brendan Bradshaw on this topic. Canny rejected Bradshaw's thesis that the Reformation had failed in Ireland by 1558 and argued that counter-reformation catholicism only triumphed in the nineteenth cen­tury.1 Other contributions were then made to the debate by Dr. Alan Ford and later Karl Bottigheimer.2 Ford considered the 1590-1641 period as crucial, while Bottigheimer favoured the early seventeenth century as the key era. In the light of the work of Ford and Bottigheimer, Canny reconsidered the issue in an article published in 1986. He rejected what he believed to be Ford's overly-pessimistic assessment that the Church of Ireland clergy soon despaired of the Reformation's success in the seventeenth century. Instead, it is contended, Protestant clergy and laymen alike were optimistic that penal prosecution might still pave the way for considerable advances at this time. Moreover, Canny further argued that Ford was 'mistaken in treating the clergy as an autonomous group and mistaken also in allowing excessive influence to ideology as the determinant of policy'. In particular, he discounted the suggestion that the Church of Ireland clergy adhered to the doctrine of predesti­nation as justification for failing to pursue a campaign of evangelisation. Contrary to Ford, Canny argued 'the reality was that the lay leaders in the Irish Protestant community always asserted themselves as the formulators of policy'. Finally, Canny absolved the seventeenth century' Irish Protestant community from any imputation that 'they were not sincere in their professed concern to bring the Protestant faith to the Irish population at the point when their political dominance in the country was assured'. Lack of progress should be explained 'in terms of political interference from England or by historical accident rather than by lack of commitment on the part of their ministers'.3

In analysing the 'Mandates' policy of Lord Deputy Chichester's government during 1605-7, it is not proposed to offer any pronunciation about when precisely the Reformation ultimately failed in Ireland. Rather, in a more limited context, some remarks will he offered about






THE 'MANDATES' POLICY, 1605-7



321



whether or not the Reformation could be considered to have been a lost cause in Ireland by the first decade of the seventeenth century.4

In the history of the Reformation in Ireland the conclusion of the Tyrone rebellion in 1603 was a crucial juncture. For the first time the English authorities in Ireland could 'begin to think in terms of thorough­-going reform backed by the full authority of the State'.5 On being appointed Lord Deputy in October 1604, Sir Arthur Chichester received a series of instructions from James I. One of the key issues he was enjoined to address was the advancement of the Reformation in Ireland.6 Taking the King at his word, Chichester and other Irish Government officials formulated a comprehensive reform package. They produced a bifurcated religious policy. Chichester's strategy, in brief, was to use prerogative powers to underpin a campaign of 'coercion', while simultaneously embarking on a programme of 'persuasive' measures. This policy was, therefore, very much in the mould of the 'sword and word' strategy employed earlier by Cromwell in England, a ploy which sixteenth century reformers in Ireland did not utilise.7





'PERSUASIVE' MEASURES



Chichester realised that forcing Catholics into conforming was but the first step towards securing genuine conversion. It was for this reason that concurrent 'persuasive' measures were planned, and to some extent implemented, in the course of the 'Mandates' campaign. By their very nature, these 'persuasive' measures depended on a much longer time span for their successful realisation than their 'coercive' counterparts. As it happened, Chichester was forced to abandon his 'Mandates' policy in the summer of 1607. Therefore these 'persuasive' measures had little time to take effect and perhaps this is one reason why historians have failed to detect the seriousness with which Chichester treated them.

Bradshaw has identified three key techniques which advocates of 'persuasion' emphasized in the sixteenth century, 'evangelization', 'for­mal education' and 'vernacularization'.8 Evidence shows that Chichester and his colleagues in the Irish administration had a commitment to all three during the 'Mandates' era, 1605-7. Concurrently with the' coerc­ive' tactics, efforts were made to revamp the Church of Ireland, in both human and physical terms, in order to pave the way for the evangelization drive. Comprehensive measures were proposed, for instance, to establish a 'learned ministry', while at an early stage Chichester identified short-comings in the performance of Protestant bishops as a key source of concern.9

Of course, one should not be naive 'in accepting that stated intentions are always identical with a willingness or capacity to perform'.1O In practice, however, Chichester's administration clearly endeavoured to




322



RECUSANT HISTORY



implement its proposals. A royal commission issued in July 1605 was designed to undertake inquisitions into church property with a view to making provision for the 'planting' of 'learned' ministers.11 A large number of such inquisitions were undertaken throughout the country during the summer and autumn of 1606.12

As far as the 'vernacularization' and 'formal education' proposals were concerned, recommendations were also made to facilitate these. It was suggested, for example, that various religious texts and prayers should be printed in Irish, while there was also a proposal to establish schools throughout the country.13 Again evidence shows that efforts were made to implement these measures. Chichester, for instance, provided finance for the printing of important religious texts in Irish.14 As for schooling, he supervised arrangements for the establishing of a 'free school' in Monaghan in 1606.15

On the whole, there is little doubt that Chichester's administration treated its 'persuasive' measures seriously.16 The success or failure of the 'Mandates' policy however, depended on Chichester's ability to employ 'coercive' measures against the recusants. His whole strategy was based on their success. As it turned out, the controversy surrounding these matters ultimately dictated the fate of the entire campaign.



'COERCIVE' MEASURES-THE CAMPAIGN IN DUBLIN



In practice, the 'coercive' aspects of the 'Mandates' policy were first implemented in Dublin in the autumn of 1605. The capital city was chosen for initial action because it was 'the lantern of this whole kingdom and in this matter the only place whereon the eyes and expectation of all the rest are earnestly foreseen'.17 Chichester also made it clear at the outset that he was determined to act against those 'by whose example the rest of the people are most led'.18 A proclamation banishing Catholic priests and ordering the laity to attend Protestant services was published in October 1605.19 It was also soon made clear that the Deputy would use his prerogative powers to back up the proclamation. Chichester considered the one shilling fine provision of Statute 2 Elizabeth grossly inadequate for enforcing attendance at Protestant services by leading recusants.20 Yet the prospect of much severer punishments did not frighten the recusants into attending such services. Eventually, 'Mandates', or letters, were sent out to sixteen wealthy individuals, who had been carefully singled out as influential recusants in the capital city, ordering them to attend Protestant services. Again, the 'Mandates' were also disregarded. In consequence, fines of up to £100 were imposed on the recusants in the prerogative court of Castle Chamber in November 1605. The defendants were also impri­soned 'till they have conformed themselves'.21 Before long, proceedings were taken against hundreds of Dublin citizens under the one shilling fine provision of Statute 2 Elizabeth.22




THE 'MANDATES' POLICY, 1605-7



323



A co-ordinated recusant response to the Dublin Government's policy rapidly manifested itself. A petition signed by most of the nobility and gentry of the five Pale counties was addressed to Chichester in November 1605. It remonstrated against the Government's religious policy in Dublin.23 The Lord Deputy and the Irish administration, however, took grave offence at the manner of this protest, considering it 'dishonourable for the State to be in this manner confronted with a multitude of hands, especially in a matter so contrary to his Highness's Proclamation'. It was decided, therefore, to punish the instigators of the petition. As a result, a number of them, including Viscount Gormanston and Sir Patrick Barnewall, were imprisoned in Dublin castle. Others were confined to their homes.24

The struggle had now been joined in earnest between the recusants of Dublin and the Pale, and Lord Deputy Chichester and the Irish administration. The formidable nature of the recusant opposition did not come as a shock to the Government. It was anticipated that the recusants would not only loudly protest but that they would appeal to the London authorities for redress of their grievances. Chichester and his colleagues were keenly aware that previous recusant appeals against prosecution on religious grounds had been successful. They therefore implored the London administration to support their actions on this occasion.25

Certainly, the Dublin Government's determination to pursue its policy in the early stages of 1606 was unmistakable. Other recusants faced 'Mandates' proceedings in January 1606, before the London Govern­ment responded to the initial events in Castle Chamber which had occurred in November 1605.26 It was also in the important interval between the implementation of the 'Mandates' policy in the latter period of 1605, and when the attitude of the London administration towards it became known in Dublin in late February 1606, that Chichester illustrated the extent to which he was prepared to go to ensure success. It was during these intervening months that he acknowledged that his religious proceedings could well precipitate violent reaction, but that he had laid careful martial plans to subdue any such opposition.27 The confrontational nature of his religious policy was thereby made manifest.

If Chichester and his colleagues thought they could count on full support in London for their stance, especially, perhaps, in the aftermath of the Gunpowder Plot in November 1605, they were to be mistaken. The Privy Council's response in January 1606 proved a major disap­pointment. Essentially, the Irish Government was ordered to tone down its religious policy. The London Government was concerned about the dangerous repercussions which might ensue from the prosecution of such a rigorous anti-recusant campaign.28 The last thing it wanted was trouble in Ireland and Chichester's hints that this was a distinct possibility were thus alarming.




324



RECUSANT HISTORY



The London Government was convinced 'that a main alteration is not to be obtained by forcing against the current, but gaining little by little'. Consequently, Chichester was advised to release all those who had been incarcerated for their involvement in the Palesmen's petition, with the exception of Sir Patrick Barnewall. He was summoned to England. The aldermen and others imprisoned under the 'Mandates' were to be released on payment of their fines, while searches for priests were to cease immediately. A total rejection of the Irish administration's strategy was studiously avoided. Permission was granted to make examples of notorious recusant offenders so that 'the rest may be kept in awe'.29 What had happened, in fact, was that Chichester had embarked on his religious policy without the prior approval of the King and the Privy Council for the specific methods employed. Had they been informed beforehand there is little doubt that the 'Mandates' device would not have received approbation.30 As it was, however, the die had been cast and the London authorities were anxious not to undermine the newly appointed Lord Deputy.

The London Government's attitude, however, clearly came as a shock and a source of great disappointment to the Lord Deputy. At one stage, in protest, Chichester appealed to be relieved of his post over the issue.31 As it turned out, the Deputy remained in his position and the policy continued to be applied, if in an ostensibly more circumspect manner. The Deputy was thereafter careful to present his campaign in a much less 'coercive' light and assurances were given that moderation had been employed.32 In reality, however, Government records indicate that intense pressure was maintained on the recusants. Those imprisoned under the initial 'Mandates' proceedings remained incarcerated until the summer of 1606,33 while more people were brought before Castle Chamber. They too were heavily fined and imprisoned.34

To get the full story perhaps of what was happening, Government records have to be balanced against contemporary Catholic accounts, as the latter paint a very lurid picture. According to Catholic sources, priests were 'a prey to a savage soldiery' and they were in 'imminent danger of death at every moment'.35 Moreover, it was alleged that sharp practices were used in the collection of fines which had been imposed on recusants:-36

No doors, no enclosures, no wall can stop them in their course; they are unmoved by the shrieks of the females and by the weeping of the children. Everything is torn open, and whatever is of any value is set aside to be taken away, whatever is worthless is thrown in the streets, and devoted to the flames. Silver cups are called chalices, and gems are designated Agnus Deis, and are all, therefore, carried away. Whatever is for profane uses, they profess to regard as sacred, and bear it off, and whatever is sacred they seize on to desecrate.37

THE 'MANDATES' POLICY, 1605-7


Whatever can be said about the respective reliability of the Government or Catholic accounts, one thing is indisputable - both concur that recusants were placed under very considerable pressure by the Govern­ment's actions.

It seems that the permission which had been granted to Chichester and the Dublin Government to make examples of selected individuals was crucial. It offered the escape clause they manifestly wanted and, as a result, the 'Mandates' campaign continued. What is more, the 'Mandates' mechanism was subsequently applied in many more instances than the Privy Council might ideally have liked. Not only, indeed, was the 'Mandates' policy persisted with in Dublin, but it was also employed much more widely in the spring of 1606. Proceedings were not only undertaken in Galway but in Munster too where Sir Henry Brouncker, the Lord President, zealously embraced the policy.38

The evidence suggests that the Government's vigorous Reformation campaign made substantial progress at this time and not just as a result of its 'coercive' measures. A Catholic priest, Eugene Bernard, recorded his alarm at the state of affairs when he arrived in Galway in 1606. He discovered that 'three infernal wolves' (i.e. Protestant ministers) had made substantial progress there as a result of energetic evangelical work.39 This evidence of Protestant success in Galway, even if it was only transitory, provides a striking parallel with the situation there in the 1580s and 1590s. Then, too, Protestantism made progress for a time in this area.40

In the spring of 1606 the main focus of the 'Mandates' affair crystallised around Sir Patrick Barnewall's summons to England. He had originally incurred the displeasure of the London Government on account of a letter which he had sent to Sir Robert Cecil in the winter of 1605 in which he warned that the 'Mandates' could precipitate armed recusant resistance.41 He then gave additional offence by his disrespectful behaviour before the Lord Deputy and Council when he lambasted the 'Mandates' policy. Apparently, Barnewall 'struck the cushion before the Deputy sitting in Council and held his hand there on till he was reproved for it.'42 In fact, he had become the leader of recusant resistance to the Reformation campaign. For this reason, the Dublin Government considered it imperative that he be appropriately punished because it would 'daunt others who for their contempt are yet restrained and cannot frame themselves to submission, or other resolution until they understand what will be done and determined upon his coming

thither.'43

The London authorities were placed in a difficult position as a result of Barnewall's prominence in the 'Mandates' affair. As a gesture of solidarity with the Dublin Government, it was determined to punish him. It had no intention, however, of coercing him into apostatising. In the end, it was decided to confine him to the Tower. As for the 'Mandates', the Privy Council requested the Irish administration to forward the legal precedents justifying their use in religious matters.44 As a result of this Chichester decided during the summer of 1606 to




326



RECUSANT HISTORY



suspend 'Mandates' proceedings in Castle Chamber until the London authorities pronounced on the legality of the 'Mandates' technique.45 At this point, the main thrust of the 'Mandates' campaign switched to Munster where the Lord President, Sir Henry Brouncker, continued it apace.



BROUNCKER'S ACTIVITIES IN MUNSTER



Chichester sent Brouncker an 'exemplification' of Statute 2 Elizabeth at the end of November 1605. In accordance with the Deputy's instruc­tions the Lord President summoned the leading citizens of Cork before him and implored them to conform themselves to the act. On their refusal, he issued 'Mandates' to selected individuals and proceeded to fine and imprison them at the end of February 1606.46 Subsequent action was taken in other parts of the province in the spring of 1606.47 By September, Brouncker had taken the religious policy one stage further. Utilising a royal commission issued to him for taking the oath of supremacy from all the municipal officers in Munster, he deposed the mayors and sovereigns of almost every town in the province.48 In Waterford five mayors were deposed in rapid succession.49

The 'coercive' methods of Brouncker, it is worth noting, were underpinned by 'persuasive' measures. The Bishop of Cork employed the services of twenty two ministers for preaching, while 'readers' were provided for the Gaelic Irish.5O As a result of this vigorous campaign Brouncker reported that many of the Munster towns were almost 'wholly reclaimed' to the State Church by the Winter of 1606,51 claims that were hotly denied by Catholic priests working in the area at the

time.52

Government and Catholic sources concur, however, that Brouncker employed particularly severe measures. Heavy fines, for instance, total­ling almost £7000, were meted out.53 Not surprisingly, the Munster Catholics bitterly resented the President's actions. Reflecting on Brouncker's tenure of office as Munster President, the Catholic Arch­bishop of Cashel at the time concluded that 'he lived among us like another emissary of Antichrist, for three years and a half, and it was his boast that his health improved the more the maledictions of the Catholics were heaped upon him'.54



THE 'MANDATES' POLICY IS REACTIVATED IN CASTLE CHAMBER



News of Brouncker's 'successes' inspired the Dublin Government to renewed vigour in defence of their own proceedings. Chichester claimed in December 1606 that Brouncker had only been able to achieve such remarkable results because of the 'deaf ear' which had been given to




THE 'MANDATES' POLICY, 1605-7



327



the Munster recusants who came to Dublin to complain about him.55 There is more than a hint in the Deputy's correspondence in December 1606, indeed, that a 'deaf ear' should also be given by the London Government to the recusant complaints which had been chanelled through Barnewall. By this time, in fact, the Irish Government had decided that it would be preferable if Barnewall was transmitted back to Dublin for sentencing and the punishment which he would then receive 'will be a better example to the nation in general'.56 This request was clearly a token of the Lord Deputy and Council's dissatisfaction with the degree of support emanating from England. After all, it had been originally believed in Dublin that Barnewall had been brought to England to receive exemplary punishment.

Further testimony of the Lord Deputy and Council's frustration with the hesitating response of the London Government is provided by the fact that the 'Mandates' policy was reactivated in Castle Chamber in December 1606 and a number of people subsequently fined and imprisoned.57 This was before any pronouncement by the English judicial authorities on the legality of the 'Mandates' had been received in Dublin.58 Chichester, in reporting these actions to the London Government, made his personal disgruntlement with the whole situation abundantly clear when he indicated that 'unless I be further animated from thence, I could gladly leave the managing of the business to the clergy and the penal laws'.59

Evidently stirred by this barely concealed criticism, the London administration soon responded by signifying that the 'Mandates' had been declared legal by the judicial authorities in England. What is more, they announced that Barnewall, contrary to being permitted to act as an agent for toleration, had been in the Tower since his arrival in England. Indeed, although he had been released by the date of this missive, the end of December 1606, it was only on the grounds that he had acknowledged his offences and that he had been put 'upon bond' to make a similar submission to Chichester and the Irish Council within four days of his arrival back in Ireland.60

Chichester was obviously delighted with this outcome of events and he travelled to Drogheda in early 1607 to supervise penal proceedings. Once more Government and Catholic sources clash about what hap­pened, the latter alleging, for example, that Chichester personally resorted to exceptionally intimidatory tactics and even violence in his endeavour to force the Catholics into attending state services.61 If there is some dispute about the methods Government officials employed, there is none about their impact. A Catholic priest writing at the time admitted that 'the inhabitants of Drogheda, a populous town, and hitherto so tenacious to the faith, all went to the Protestant churches last lent-hardly a dozen of them remained away'.62




328



RECUSANT HISTORY



THE END OF THE 'MANDATES'



The euphoria in the ranks of the Irish administration on receiving news of Sir Patrick Barnewall's 'submission' in London, and the elation attendant on their apparent successes, once the legality of the 'Mandates' had been confirmed, soon dissipated. Before long, the London auth­orities not only moved once again to reduce the impact of the 'Mandates' campaign, particularly in Munster, but the policy itself was aborted.

The beginning of this process was heralded by the stern advice delivered to Chichester and Brouncker in April 1607 concerning the latter's activities in the southern province. All along, the Privy Council had been convinced that Brouncker had been pursuing a 'moderate course of severity'.63 It then learned, to its dismay, from a petition presented by the recusants of Cork, that 'extraordinary courses' had been employed by the Munster President.64 So seriously did the London administration take these complaints that it signified its belief that it was extremely fortunate that the Munster towns had not revolted.65 As a result, Brouncker was instructed to release the imprisoned Munster recusants on bonds. Somewhat equivocally, however, the London auth­orities confirmed that they would still countenance the employment of severe measures against those guilty of 'notorious disobedience' or 'public affront'.66 Again, as with the January 1606 instructions, this was sufficient for Chichester. He was determined to continue with his activities.67 It is possible indeed, that the 'Mandates' policy would have been sustained for a much longer period but for developments in Gaelic Ulster.

By the summer of 1607, investigations had been continuing for some time into an apparent conspiracy by the Earl of Tyrone to raise a new revolt in Ireland with the assistance of foreign troops. The plot, it was alleged by Government informers, had substantial support in the Old English recusant towns. Until the end of June 1607, however, the English Privy Council had not taken these reports very seriously. Then Lord Howth returned to Ireland from the Low Countries and related to Chichester that Tyrone's plans for rebellion were at an advanced stage. Although uncertain how far to trust the testimony of Howth, his story greatly alarmed the English Privy Council. As a result, it was not prepared to take chances. Chichester was ordered to arrest Tyrone if he believed sufficient evidence had been unearthed to convict him of treason.68

It was in this volatile context that Old English religious grievances assumed great importance. The London Government was concerned that Old English recusant discontent might fuse with Gaelic Irish anger in the event of action being taken against Tyrone. Consequently, Chichester was ordered in no uncertain terms in July 1607 to bring the 'Mandates' policy to a conclusion and this he reluctantly conceded to do.69 It was this complex intertwining of events which resulted in the




THE 'MANDATES' POLICY, 1605-7



Mandates' policy being brought to a discreet conclusion in the summer of 1607.

But how much truth was there in the intelligence reports that the Old English Catholics were preparing to rebel and even throw in their lot with the Earl of Tyrone? Certainly, it is worth recalling Sir Patrick Barnewall's warning at the outset of the 'Mandates' that should Chichester persist with his policy then a recusant revolt would result. Of course, the recusants proved to be intensely aggrieved by the Government's penal proceedings and the atmosphere in Old English recusant areas must have been very tense. One Munster Catholic, John Burke, did resort to arms in defence of a priest who was staying in his castle and was executed as a result.70 The evidence is not conclusive, however, that Old English recusants really were on the verge of resorting en masse to armed resistance, or allying with Tyrone.

Consider, then, a second scenario. It is more than a distinct possibility that elements in the Old English recusant community may have deliber­ately fomented rumours of imminent rebellion and an alliance with the Gaelic Irish as a device designed to exert maximum pressure on the Government. What is not in doubt, of course, is that the currency of these rumours persuaded the London Government to order the cessation of the 'Mandates'. Ironically, whilst such hearsay may have saved the day for the Old English Catholics it was arguably at the expense of their Gaelic Irish co-religionists.

Convinced by the plethora of intelligence reports about imminent rebellion in Ireland, the London authorities not only ended the 'Mandates' policy but they also suddenly took a much less favourable viewpoint of the Earl of Tyrone's alleged activities by the summer of 1607. Accordingly, they summoned him to England. As it turned out, Tyrone's anxiety that the English authorities were on the verge of charging him with treason played a key role in his decision to flee abroad.71 Thus, whilst Chichester had to abort the 'Mandates' campaign by the summer of 1607 the circumstances in which this happened led directly to the Flight of the Earls, an event which in turn, gave birth to the Plantation of Ulster. The ramifications of the 'Mandates' policy, therefore, were arguably enormous.

So far as Lord Deputy Chichester was concerned, the religious question was the key issue of his tenure of office. He could be described, in fact, as a missionary Lord Deputy.72 He identified a symbiotic relationship between faithfulness to the 'true' religion and fidelity to the Crown.73 The history of the 'Mandates' campaign testifies to his determination to resolve the religious question. Not only did he set the draconian trend of the ‘Mandates’ campaign by his initial actions in Castle Chamber, but he later travelled to Drogheda to undertake 'Mandates' proceedings there-actions which earned him the reputation of a Nero among recusants.74 Moreover, it was Chichester, as we have seen, who asked to be relieved of his position as Lord Deputy in the spring of 1606 because the London authorities had not given him their full backing. In addition, he probably risked losing his job later the same year by the manner in which he criticised the London authorities for their failure to support his stand, implicitly accusing them of pusillanimous conduct. The question remains, however, did he jeopard­ise his job for nothing?

On a practical level, for instance, shortage of trained Protestant clergy, the dilapidated infrastructure of the Church of Ireland and the reluctance of King James and the London Government to sanction tough measures are factors which militated against the success of the 'Mandates' campaign.75 Moreover, counter-reformation Catholicism was making major advances at this time. Could Chichester have made substantial progress in the face of such formidable obstacles?

Considering the counter-reformation Catholic Church in Ireland first, evidence shows that it too suffered from 'inadequate' numbers of clergy to cater for the whole country in the early seventeenth century.76 Clearly, these problems would have been greatly exacerbated if the 'Mandates' policy had been pursued on a long term basis. As for the delapidation of the Protestant churches, the visitations carried out in the various dioceses in the early seventeenth century are often cited as proof of widespread ruination. Yet, in some areas they also illustrate that churches had been, or were being, repaired.77 Again, one can only wonder how much further progress might have been made if Chichester's religious programme had been maintained.

The restraints placed on Chichester's government by the London authorities should also not be over-emphasised. In the first place, the 'Mandates' era demonstrates that the Irish Government was capable of exercising a considerable degree of 'latitude' in interpreting the London Government's instructions.78 For almost two years, indeed, it sustained its 'Mandates' policy without the wholehearted backing of London. What is more, subsequent experience during the rest of Chichester's term of office undermines the theory that King James could not be won round to a tough anti-recusant line.79 After all, the King sanctioned the executions of Bishop O'Devanna and a priest called Patrick Lough­ran in 1612, while he also approved a package of strong anti-recusant measures proposed by the Lord Deputy in June 1614.80

It remains true, none the less, that while James and the London authorities were prepared to go much further in permitting tougher anti-recusant measures than may hitherto have been suspected, they still fell short of the degree of coercion which Chichester felt necessary for a truly effective, confrontational, anti-recusant policy. The Deputy realised, following his 'Mandates' experience, that he was unlikely to
be permitted to employ the necessary measures to resolve the religious issue once and for all. Consequently, he never approached the anti­-recusant activities of the later stages of his deputyship with the same degree of enthusiasm or expectation that he had earlier attached to the 'Mandates' campaign.81 He had made a mistake in taking the King at his word and during the remainder of his term of office he was careful not to treat the King's expostulations on religious matters at face value.82

On the whole, the 'Mandates' campaign represented a dynamic attempt to transmute radically the religious configuration of Ireland. The Reformation flag had finally been struck only to be rather hastily hauled down as a result of the nervousness of the King and London administration. Nevertheless, it proved an important, if not the key phase, in the battle between Reformation and Counter-Reformation in Ireland. The English had fought to control Ireland militarily in the late sixteenth century and finally won in 1603. The 'Mandates' campaign represented the English (in this case, Dublin) authorities' whole-hearted attempt to capitalise on this favourable situation. .

As it turned out, the 'conquest' had drained the resources of the English crown to such an extent that it was considered unthinkable in London that efforts to protestantize Ireland should risk further hos­tilities.83 The testimony of the 1605-7 period, however, suggests that further financial sacrifice, had it been necessary, might have reaped rich dividends and that the abandonment of the 'Mandates' campaign therefore represented a lost opportunity. Shortage of trained Protestant clergy, of course, would undoubtedly have circumscribed the success of the campaign. If the 'Mandates' policy had been sustained, however, it could well have broken down recusant resistance to a considerable extent and achieved substantial long term results in urban, English-­speaking areas at least. Certainly, there were European parallels to the Irish experience in the early modern period in which forceful conversion had worked-backed up, of course, by 'persuasive' measure.84

Short-comings in Catholic church organisation in Ireland in the early seventeenth century and the evidence of transitory Protestant success in Galway on the basis of a determined evangelical drive, reinforce the suspicion that the success of the Counter Reformation was not a foregone conclusion in Ireland by this time. As it was, sporadic campaigns such as those at the time of the 'Mandates', and later when Bishop O'Devanna was executed in 1612, not only served to generate growing Old English political disenchantment with the Dublin adminis­tration but to bolster the Counter-Reformation cause in Ireland.85 One wonders how much different the story might have been had the London authorities really invested in the 'Mandates' campaign.
NOTES

1 Cann., passim.

2 Ford, Bottig, passim.

3 Nicholas Canny, 'Protestants, Planters and Apartheid in Early Modern Ireland', Irish Historical Studies, 25, no. 98, (Nov. 1986), pp. 105-15.

4 Much of the specific analysis of the 'Mandates' policy, it will be clear, supports some of the general conclusions offered by Canny in his reconsidered overview of the early seventeenth century. The present writer, however, would emphasise the leading role played by the secular authorities in this campaign even more. He would argue, indeed, that during the 'Mandates' era some Protestant clergy may have been resentful of the leading role assumed by the secular authorities in this campaign, displeased at the manner in which Chichester criticised its bishops and angered by the way in which church affairs were pried into by laymen.

5 Ford, p. 42.

6 King to Chichester, 16 Oct. 1604 (P .R.O., 31/81203 f. 27).

7 Brendan Bradshaw, 'Sword, Word and Strategy in the Reformation in Ireland', Historical Journal,

21, (1978), pp. 475-502.

8 Ibidem.

9 Memorials for Reformation of the Clergy and Establishing of a Learned Ministry, P.R.O., 31/8/ 199 ff. 12-5); Chichester to Salisbury, 2 Nov. 1605 (P.R.O., S.P.631217/80). The exact dating of the 'memorials' is not certain. Historical context strongly suggests that these 'memorials' were the product of the animated discussions which took place within the Irish administration after Chichester assumed the deputyship in February 1605.

10 Cann. p. 429.

11 Commission for Making of Shires and Divers Other Matters, 19 July 1605 in J. C. Erck, Repertory of the Inrolments on the Patent Rolls of Chancery in Ireland Commencing with the Reign of James I, (Dublin, 1846), pp. 182-4; Davies, pp. 217-1. Chichester persisted with this policy in spite of opposition from the ecclesiastical lobby on the Irish Council who disliked such lay interference in internal church affairs.

12 Davies, pp. 217-71; Davies to Salisbury, 12 Nov. 1606 (P.R.O., S.P.631219/132).

13 Memorials for Reformation of the Clergy and Establishing a Learned Ministry in Ireland, (P.R.O.,

31/8/199 ff. 12-5). See note 9 about the dating of this document.

14 James Perrot, The Chronicle of Ireland, 1584-1608, ed. by Herbert Wood, p. 184. William Daniells dedicated his translation of the book of Common Prayer to Chichester, see C. L. Falkiner (ed.) 'William Farmer's Chronicles of Ireland' in English Historical Review, no. 85, (1907), p. 535.

15 Davies, pp. 217-71.

16 For further details concerning the practical 'persuasive' measures which the Irish government undertook at this time see McCav. chapter seven.

17 Lord Deputy and Council to Privy Council, 5 Dec. 1605 (P.R.O., S.P.631217/95).

18 Chichester to Devonshire, 29 Oct. 1605 (P.R.O., S.P.631217/79). In a very interesting recent study of the 'Mandates' policy as it affected Dublin, Lennon argues that 'it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the aldermen and their fellow-merchants were targets of political and economic resentment as much as of religious restriction', (Lenn. p. 171). Although not ruling out that such considerations played a part, it could be argued that the policy of targeting the wealthy was a tactical measure motivated primarily by religious considerations.

19 Lenn. p. 178. Note that the 'Mandates' policy probably would have begun in the summer of 1605 but for an outbreak of plague affecting Dublin, see Chichester to Devonshire, 29 Oct. 1605 (P.R.O., S.P .63/217/79).

20 Chichester to Devonshire, 29 Oct. 1605 (P.R.O., S.P.63/217/79).

21 Lord Deputy and Council to Privy Council, 5 Dec. 1605 (P.R.O., S.P.63/217/95).

22 Hans Pawlisch, Sir John Davies and the Conquest of Ireland; a Study in Legal Imperialism, (Cambridge, 1985), chapter six.

23 Chichester to Salisbury, 7 Dec. 1605 (P.R.O., S.P.63/217/89).

24 Lord Deputy and Council to Privy Council, 5 Dec. 1605 (P.R.O., S.P.63/217/95).

25 Ibidem. This recusant tactic had a long-standing tradition as a 'conservative' defence strategy of the Did English community, see Ciaran Brady, 'Conservative Subversives: the Community of the Pale and the Dublin Administration, 1556-86', in P. J. Corish (ed.) 'Radicals, Rebels and Establishments', Historical Studies, 15 (Belfast, 1985), pp. 11-32.

26 The English Privy Council's response was not received until 21 Feb. 1606, see Privy Council to Chichester, 24 Jan. 1606 (P.R.O., 31/8/199 ff. 62-5). Nevertheless, further 'Mandates' proceedings were carried out in Castle Chamber in Jan. 1606, see Decree of Castle Chamber, 29 Jan. 1606 (Calendar State Papers Ireland, 1603-6); H.M.C., Egmont, 1, pt. 1, p. 31.

27 See, for example, Chichester to Devonshire, 2 Jan. 1606 (P.R.O., S.P.63/218/1) in which Chichester revealed that he had spies 'in all quarters' and troops at the ready 'to take any opportunity if it be offered' .

28 Privy Council to Chichester, 24 Jan. 1606 (P.R.O., 31/8/199 ff. 62-5). Note that the refusal to countenance an all-out anti-recusant drive in Ireland in the wake of the Gunpowder Plot accorded with the 'moderate' response to the plot in England. See John J. LaRocca, "'Who Can't Pray With Me, Can't Love Me"; Toleration and the Early Jacobean Recusant Policy', J.B.S., 23, no. 2, (1984), p.30.

29 Privy Council to Chichester, 24 Jan. 1606 (P.R.O., S.P.31/8/199 ff. 62-5).

30 The sequence of events in Dublin in October and November 1605 suggests that while the Deputy was preparing to use prerogative power to underpin his religious policy, the actual 'Mandates' device was hit upon almost at the last minute, leaving no time for consultation with London.

31 Chichester to Salisbury, 27 Apr. 1606 (P.R.O., S.P.63/218/49).

32 Lord Deputy and Council to Privy Council, 7 Mar. 1606 (P.R.O., S.P.63/218/23).

33 Chichester to Salisbury, 4 July 1606 (P.R.D., S.P.63/219/76).

34 H.M.C., Egmont, 1, pt. 1, pp. 31-2.

35 Fitz., Words, pp. 133-5.

36 Declaration of James Duff and Nicholas Humfrey, 11 Mar. 1606, (P .R.O., S.P .63/218/33); I.E.R., 10, (1984), p. 180; Moran, p. 232.

37 Moran, p. 232. This source indicates that the authorities made a determined bid to raise the fines imposed. Lennon argues, by contrast, that 'only a fraction' of the fines worth £1580 meted out in Castle Chamber was paid, (Lenn. p. 171). An examination of financial records reveals, however, that £1145 of the fines levied at this time in Castle Chamber were actually paid, see B. L. Lansdowne MS 156, f. 233. The figure provided by the Lansdowne MS is stated to represent Castle Chamber fines realised on recusants for the financial year ending Michaelmas 1605. The dating, of course, is clearly erroneous and should have stated 1606 as the anti-recusant drive only started in the winter of 1605.

38 Hans Pawlisch, Sir John Davies and the Conquest of Ireland, A study of Legal Imperialism, (Cambridge, 1985) chapter six.

39 I.E.R., 10, (1874), pp. 459-60.

40 Cann. pp. 444-5; Bottig. p. 206.

41 Barnewall to Salisbury, 16 Dec. 1606 (P.R.O., S.P.63/217/96).

42 Lord Deputy and Council to Privy Council, 23 Apr. 1606 (P.R.O., S.P.63/218/43).

43 Chichester to Devonshire, 23 Apr. 1606 (P.R.O., S.P.63/218/45).

44 Privy Council to Lord Deputy and Council, 3 July 1606 (P.R.O., 31/8/199 ff. 91-2).

45 Davies to Salisbury, 5 Dec. 1606 (P.R.O., S.P.63/219/148).

46 Fitz. pp. 137-9.

47 Sir John Davies, 4 May 1606 (P.R.O., S.P.63/218/53).

48 Sir Henry Brouncker, ]2 Sept. 1606 (P.R.O., S.P.631219/1O3a).

49 Archives of Waterford, H.M.C., Tenth Report, App. 5., p. 77.

50 Brouncker to Privy Council, 18 Nov. 1606 (P.R.O., S.P.63/219/134).

51 Ibidem.

52 Fitz. passim.

53 Morrison to Salisbury, 25 June 1607 (P.R.O., S.P.63/221/87).

54 Moran, p. 235.

55 Chichester to Salisbury, 1 Dec. 1606 (P.R.O., S.P.63/219/147).

56 Ibidem.

57 Calendar of Patent Rolls, Ireland, James I, pp. 98-100; H.M.C., Egmont, 1, pt. 1, p. 32.

"This communication was not received in Ireland until 25 Feb., 1607, see Privy Council to Lord Deputy and Council, 31 Dec. 1606 (P.R.O., 31/8/199 ff. 195-9).

59 Chichester to Salisbury, 20 Feb. 1607 (P.R.O., S.P.63/221/21).

60 Privy Council to Lord Deputy and Council. 31 Dec. 1606 (P.R.O.. 31/8/199 ff. 195-9).

61 Reginald Walsh, 'Persecution of Catholics in Drogheda in 1606, 1607 and 1611', in A.H., 6 (1917), pp. 64-8); I.E.R., 10, (1874), pp. 519-21 and p. 523; Fitz. pp. 162-3.

62 Fitz. pp. 64-6.

63 Privy Council to Brouncker, 23 Dec. 1606 (P.R.O., 31/8/199 ff. 189-90). The death of Devonshire, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in April 1606 was an important juncture in the 'Mandates' campaign. He was an avowed opponent of any form of coercion. Had he lived the 'Mandates' campaign may well have had to be aborted at an even earlier stage than eventually proved the case.

64 Privy Council to Brouncker, 11 Apr. 1607 (P.R.O., 31/8/199 ff. 217-20).

65 Privy Council to Chichester and Lord Chancellor, 12 Apr. 1607 (P.R.O., 31/8/199 ff. 221-3).

66 See note 64.

67 Lord Deputy and Lord Chancellor to Privy Council, 1 May 1607 (P.R.O., S.P.63/221/42).

68 McCav. chapter eight.

69 Privy Council to Chichester, 22 July 1607 (P.R.O., 31/8/199 ff. 236-9); Chichester to Privy Council, 4 Aug. 1607 (P.R.O., S.P.63/222/112).

70 Fitz. pp. 147-9; Brouncker to Privy Council, 10 Feb. 1607 (P.R.O., S.P.63/221/15).

71 McCav. chapter eight.

72 In February 1609 Chichester evaluated the relative importance of the religious and civil reforms which were required and concluded, of his religious objective, that it was 'of great weight and consequence, wherein if there be no reformation, all the buildings and labour are in vain, and this needs no further argument or desertation', see Chichester to Privy Council, 5 Feb. 1609 (P .R.O.,

S.P.63/226/21).

73 Protestantization was described as 'the only sure ground of faithful obedience and good government', see Lord Deputy and Council to Privy Council, 5 Dec. 1605 (P.R.O., S.P.63/21795).

74 Fitz. pp. 162-3.

75 Ford, passim; Aidan Clarke, Plantation and the Catholic Question, 1603-23', in New History of Ireland, 3, (Oxford, 1976), pp. 190-1.

76 Bottig., p. 198.

77 M. A. Murphy, 'Royal Visitation of Cashel and Emly 1615', in A.H., I, (1912); M. A. Murphy, 'The Royal Visitation of Cork, Cloyne and Ross and the College of Youghall', A.H., 2 (1913), pp. 173-215; M. A. Murphy, 'The Royal Visitation, 1615, Diocese of Killaloe', in A.H., 3 (1914), pp. 210-26; M. A. Murphy, 'The Royal Visitation, 1615, Dioceses of Ardfert and Aghaloe', A.H., 4, (1915), pp. 178-98; M. V. Ronan, 'Royal Visitation of Dublin, 1615', in A.H., 8, (1941), pp. I-55. At the time of the 1613-15 Parliament complaints were made by recusants that they were forced to pay for the refurbishment of Protestant churches. Chichester confirmed that this had been the case, see John Lodge (ed.) Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica, 1, (Dublin, 1872), pp. 239-252.

78 Ford, p. 43.

79 Recent studies of King James I's religious policies in England illustrate that while he was ideologically opposed to 'persecution', he was willing to take action against anyone who threatened his regal position. Chichester, of course, portrayed Catholicism as posing a particularly serious threat to crown interests in Ireland. See J. J. LaRocca "'Who Can't Pray With Me, Can't Love Me", Toleration and the Early Jacobean Recusant Policy', in J.B.S., 23, no. 2 (1984), pp. 22-36; Jenny Wormald, 'Gunpowder, Treason and Scots', in J.B.S., 24 (1985) pp. 141-168; Kenneth Fincham and Peter Lake, 'The Ecclesiastical Policy of King James 1', in J.B.S., 24, (1985), pp. 169-207. John J. LaRocca, 'James I and his Catholic Subjects, 1606-1612; Some Financial Implications', Recusant History, 18, (1986-7), pp. 251-262.

80 John McCavitt, 'The Execution of Bishop O'Devanna, 1612', to be published in the 1991 edition of Seanchas Dhroim Mor (Proceedings of the Dromore Historical Society). James countenanced these executions on the basis that the defendants were accused of treason. It is clear, however, that both the Irish recusants and Chichester considered them as part of a policy to stifle recusant opposition to the Government's religious policy.

81 Ibidem.

82 King James's attitude to the Catholic religion was at times a source of confusion during his reign. Chichester was not the only person to be disappointed by treating the King's rhetoric on the issue at face value; see Kenneth Fincham and Peter Lake, 'The Ecclesiastical Policy of King James I' in J.B.S.,

24 (1985), p. 184.

83 Dread of incurring massive expenditure as a result of renewed hostilities in Ireland after 1603, for whatever reason, was something which haunted the London authorities which had been so sorely pressed to meet the huge demands presented by the prolonged rebellion of Hugh O'Neill that had just ended. This fear was undoubtedly a major factor reinforcing any ideological opposition which the King and his London advisers entertained towards an all-out campaign of 'persecution' in Ireland.

84 Cann. pp. 446-7; Nicholas Canny, 'Protestants, Planters and Apartheid in Early Modern Ireland', in Irish Historical Studies, 25, no. 98 (Nov. 1986), pp. 105-115). Professor Canny considers the Bohemian example particularly relevant in this respect; see R. J. W. Evans, The Making of the Habsburg Monarchy, 1550-1700, (Oxford, 1979).

85 Lennon summed up the impact of the 'Mandates' campaign on the recusants of Dublin by remarking that 'compulsion helped to foment more ingrained opposition to the forms of the established religion'. (Lenn., p.184). Also there is a growing body of opinion that Bishop O'Devanna's execution provec to be a crucial juncture in securing the success of the Counter-Reformation in Ireland. See Benignes Millet, 'Who wrote the Martyrium . . . Cornelli Dovenii, Cologne, 1614?', in Recusant History, 17. (1984-5), pp. 358-61; P. J. Corish, The Irish Catholic Experience, an Historical survey, (Dublin. 1985), p. 98; J. J. Silke, 'Bp O'Devanney, OFM, c1533-1612', in Seanchas Ard Mhacha (Proceedings of the Armagh Historical Society), (1988), pp. 9-32.


Reformation and Protestant Ascendancy 1536-1801
Early Modern Ireland 1536-1691
Freemasonry from AD 1600 to the Grand Lodge era:
A sketch of the transition period


There is such an abundance of evidence in proof of the continuity of Freemasonry during the period selected, that it is only necessary to study the special records of the old Lodges, happily still preserved, the Rolls of the "Old Charges", and especially the extant minutes of the Masons' Company of London, to be assured that the Freemasons of the present day are the lineal descendants of the operative builders, who in the 17th century, and earlier, admitted speculative or non-professional members.

The 17th century operative Masons were most favourable to the speculative element in their midst, and encouraged their admission to such an extent, that sometimes the Lodges consisted almost exclusively of brethren in no way connected with building. Several examples of this remarkable feature may be cited, such as the Lodge at Warrington in which Ashmole was initiated in 1646. An extraordinary instance of the preponderance of gentlemen in an operative Lodge, is met with at Aberdeen in 1670, for of forty-nine members registered in the "Mark Book" with their marks attached, not a dozen were operatives; the Master was a Tutor at Airth and Collector of the King's Customs, while several of his companions were noblemen or of the educated class.

The oldest Masonic minutes known are those of the senior Lodge in the world, viz., No 1 Edinburgh. They begin in the year 1599, the Lodge having continued at work, as the records testify, from then to now, thus overlapping the transition period and the final predominance of the speculative branch, by the formation of modern Grand Lodges. The monopoly of the operatives gradually disappeared, and Masonry itself became as free practically as Freemasonry is at the present time. A silent revolution was going on in the Craft throughout the 17th century, and what with the changes in Society generally, and the failure of the Companies to enforce regulation, which had become obsolete and unsuitable to the times, Masonry, as with other trades, had to alter its laws and customs accordingly.

The Lodge of Edinburgh and others in Scotland were legally governed during the period in question by the statutes of 1598-9, promulgated by William Schaw "Maister of wark, Wairden of ye Masons," of Royal appointment. There were three "Head Lodges" in the kingdom, as recognised in the code of 1599, which were described as Edinburgh "the first and principall ludge," Kinwinning "the second ludge", and Stirling "the third ludge". This trio still exists, and the Lodges are now on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland as Nos. 1, 0 and 30 respectively.

Naturally several of the clauses in the above-named statutes relate to matters common to all the crafts, but others are of a distinctive character and most suggestive. The Lodge of Edinburgh was a kind of Metropolitan Grand Lodge, having control of the local, but before the 17th century ended, its rights were often violated or ignored, and Lodges were formed in its vicinity or jurisdiction, that it was powerless to prevent, although issuing fulminations that were still-born. The "Canongate Kilwinning" Lodge No. 2, was formed in 1677, as an offshoot from "Mother Lodge Kilwinning", and in 1688, a secession from the Lodge of Edinburgh resulted in the establishment of the "Canongate and Leith, Leith and Canongate" Lodge, now No. 5, and notwithstanding all the means used by the Mother Lodge, only one of the seceders was induced to return to the fold. Then, again, early in the 18th century, the journeymen were not satisfied with the masters' regulation and control; they seceded and started a Lodge on their own account, and what is more gained a victory over their powerful opponents, though Master Masons, by persisting in giving the "Mason Word" to neophytes, the prerogative previously of their superiors. Two of their number were imprisoned for contumacy, but an appeal to the Court ended in their being allowed, as per the "Decreet Arbitral" of 1715, to assemble as a separate organisation, and esoterically -- i.e., to communicate the "word" -- as well as generally, to conduct their own Lodge, then and since known as the "Journeymen", now No. 8 on the roll. The Masters were fined a hundred pounds for their high-handed conduct, which fine has not yet been paid.

The attendance of Apprentices at the Lodge during the making of Fellow-crafts is confirmed by the minutes of 1601, 1606 and 1637, while the "Schaw Ordinances" provided for the presence of six Masters and two Apprentices, in like manner, on the making of Masters, a privilege subsequently assumed by the Incorporation. Operative Essays were obligatory in relation to both classes, Essay Masters being appointed, and also "intenders for instruction;" represented in Modern Lodges by the questions preparatory to promotion, and the proposers and seconders of candidates respectively.

The first minute of the Lodge of Edinburgh containing an entry concerning speculative membership is dated 8th June, 1600, and is the oldest of the kind known in Great Britain and Ireland. The Brother was John Boswell, Esq., the laird of Auchinleck, who attended as a member, and whose name and mark attested the minutes, along with twelve operatives who likewise agreed to the business transacted, and acquiesced in the same manner. When he joined we cannot tell.

The head of the Lodge was generally styled "Deacon," while the "Warden" was the medium of communication with the "Warden General", who was a kind of Grand Master, the prototype of our modern Grand Lodge Rulers. William Schaw was styled "Chief Maister of Maissonis" in the 16th century and later.

In the 17th century, it was quite a common occurrence for noblemen and gentlemen to occupy the Chairs of Lodges, even if only Apprentices, as with the Earl of Cassillis, who in 1672 was Deacon of "Mother Lodge Kilwinning", being followed by Sir Alexander Cunninghame and the Earl of Eglintoune, also an Apprentice. Harry Elphington, Tutor of Airth and Collector of the King';s Customs, was Master of the Lodge of Aberdeen - now No. 1 tris - in 1670, the members of which were mostly speculatives, though an operative Lodge. Lord Strathallan was the Master or President of the Lodge of Dundee, -- known as the "Lady Luge of Dundee" in 1536. Other instances could also be cited.

The old Lodge of Kilwinning ewxercised jurisdiction even as far as Glasgow, according to the Code of 1599, and was to all intents and purposes a Provincial Grand Lodge, thus foreshadowing the present arrangement, whereby its R.W.M. for the time being occupies the honourable position of Provincial Grand Master of Ayrshire.

Then, again, the protectorate of the Craft in Scotland was hereditary in the St. Clair family, the Lairds of Roslin, being secured by charters of 1600 and 1628 circa, which led to the claim being made that they were Grand Masters, which the documents in no way countenance. The Lairds of Roslin were simply Patrons and Protectors of the "Maissones and Hammermen" with other crafts, but that obsolete and purely honorary distinction was sufficient to secure trhe election in 1736, on sentimental grounds, of one of the family, as the first Grand Master of Scotland.

Other local magnates were appointed to the oversight of the Craftsmen in cerrtain districts, such as Patrick Coipland of Udaucht as Warden of the "airt and craft of Maisonrie" over three sheriffdomes in Scotland in 1590. These were clearly the precursors of the general and local Craft bodies which sprang up during the 18th century in Great Britain and Ireland. But time will not permit any reference to such just now. This much, however, may be noted, that excepting the arrangement of separate Masonic degrees and ceremonies peculiar to the post Grand Lodge period, it is not easy to discover many important features of the Craft in the eighteenth century, which are not represented in the regulations and customs of the Scottish Craft in the present century.

Until the precise character of the Records of the Masons’ Company of London was made known -- quite recently -- it was believed that the admission of Quarter Master General Moray, of the Scottish Army, at Newcastle on Tyne in 1641, by membres of the Lodge of Edinburgh, was the earliest instance of the initiation of a “speculative” in England. Now, however, that the invaluable transactions of the before-mentioned Company are accessible, it is found that there was a speculative Lodge at work, under the wing of that body, the existing accounts of which go as far back as 1620. The meetings were termed “the Acception,” and the candidates were received as “Accepted Masons;” the Company being then known as Free masons, though the prefix was dropped during the latter half of the 17th century. The dual character of the Company is established by reference to the accounts, for the actual minutes are missing prior to 1670. Beside those who obtained the “freedom of the Company” by patrimony or servitude, there were others who were admitted by redemption, and it is quite possible that being “accepted” by the Lodge, though not connected with the building trade, strengthened their application for the “freedom of the Company.” it appears to have been optional for the “accepted” brethren to join the Company, or for the members of the latter to enter the “Acception,” but both financially and generally there was a most intimate connection between the two, as the Company received the balance, if any, after each “Acception” had been held.

This Lodge became so influential and important, that in the Inventory of 1663, and also in later ones, the names of the “Accepted Masons” are delared to be exhibited “in a faire enclosed frame with a lock and key.” In the same Inventory was also “One book of the constitutions which Mr. Flood gave,” and which was described in a subsequent list of 1676 as “the constitutions of the Accepted masons,” as distinct from “One book of the Ancient Constitutions and Orders” of the Company. The Inventory of 1722 is still more explicit, the Constitutions of the Company being entered as of the year 1481, and the other “A Book wrote on parchment and bound or stitched in parchment containing an account of the Antiquity Rise and Progress of the Art and Mistery of Masonry.” This latter was doubtless a MS. of the “Old Charges” but unfortunately it has not been heard of since the year 1839, when it is said to have contained “113 annals of the antiquity &c. of Masonry.” The “Phillipps MSS” Nos 1 and 2 would answer to this description, and the first-noted has the name of Mr. Richard Bankes, a Member of the Masons’ company, on the cover; the date of its caligraphy, however, does not answer, being of about the middle of the 17th century, therefore not old enough. Though not the original, which was doubtless much older, and used in the reception of the “Accepted Masons,” it may be an exact transcript. The “G.W. Bain MS” has also an equal claim to be considered a representative of the missing book, having a similar text and qualifications. there are also other MSS with a different text from the “Phillipps,” which may be copies of the original document, having the “New Articles,” such as the “Grand Lodge MS No. 2,” and the “Harleian No. 1942.” These later regulations are quite suggestive of the rules in force for the “Accepted Masons,” the term “Acception” is mentioned, and neophytes are termed “Accepted Free-Masons,” while Certificates were provided just as in later times.

It is quite likely that the Company dropping the prefix “Free,” and the speculative branch becoming independent, led to the union of the two prefixes as Free and Accepted Masons.

This is the Lodge that was visited by Elias Ashmole in 1682, for which he received a Summons, and which assembled in the Maosns’ Hall, London, when six gentlemen were admitted into the Fellowship, four of whom were members of the Company. Nine of the “Acception” or Lodge attended, besides Ashmole, who says he was “the Senior Fellow among them.” No particulars whatever of the ceremony are afforded, but subsequently they all dined “at the charge of the new-accepted Masons.” All the nine Fellows were members of the Company, including the Master and the two Wardens.

It will thus be seen, that not a few customs of later days were anticipated in the 17th century, such as the use of Maosnic Certificates to aid in visitation, the issue of Lodge Summonses, masons’ marks used after the signatures, Essays and Intenders, as well as the promotion of good-fellowship.

The “General Regulations” of the premier Grand Lodge of England, printed in the year 1723, were for the use of “the Lodges in and about London and Westminster,” being thus originally a Metropolitan organisation. At the time they were printed, there was a Provincial authority at work in the City of York, as a “time immemorial” Lodge, whose preserved records date from 1712, but the Lodge was a very old one at that time.

In Ireland, in like manner, there was a Grand Lodge holding its meetings in the Metropolis of that Country from 1725, and no doubt earlier; also a District or Grand Lodge, quite distinct, though not essentially different, assembling at Cork, for the Province of Munster, and having subordinate Lodges. these surely were anticipated in the 17th century by the Metropolitan Lodge of Scotland, which Masonically in olden time, governed the City, and “Mother Lodge Kilwinning,” which was in charge of quite a large district, and authorised dependent Lodges, one of which is the “Canongate Kilwinning” of 1677.

I claim that Edinburgh and Kilwinning were thus, in not a few important respects, the Masonic prototypes of the London and York organisations, as well as of the Dublin and Cork Grand Lodges.

As the Masonic bodies in ireland adopted the usage of Deacons long before those in England, which officers, nominally at least if not precisely as to duties, had been familiar to Scotland for centuries, it is just possible that Ireland was more indebted to North Britain for its Masonic laws and customs that has hitherto been recognised or acknowledged, and thus proportionately less to England accordingly.

whilst it is true that the Craft records in England are not so numerous and valuable as those of Scotland, some of the existing minutes and other indications of Masonic activity are of great importance, as already indicated, and though we do not know when and by whom these 17th century Lodges were originally started or constituted, they assuredly had much in common. Judging from the fact that Dr. Desaguliers, Past Grand Master of England, visited the “Lodge of Edinburgh” in 1721, and having been found to be “duly qualified in all points of Masonry, was received as a Brother,” there seems no reason to suppose that Freemasonry of the 17th century in England, as regards essentials, differed from that of Scotland.

Esoterically there is much to be said as to the Lodges in England and Scotland, but that must be reserved to another time. I may note, however, in passing, that the “Mason Word” was acknowledged to be given in Scotland, and dues paid therefor, as late as 1715, and whilst a gratifying reticence is generally observed, an incomplete minute of 1702 at Haughfoot requires very careful consideration. It reads “of entrie as the apprentice did. Leaving out (the common juudge - Probably an operative “test”-) -- they then whisper the word as before, and the Master Mason grips his hand in the ordinary way.”

It does not appear to me that this entry calls for any remark just now, as it tells its own tale consistently with other records, in relation to the simplicity of the Masonic ceremonial at that time.

The Presbytery of Kelso in 1652 sustained the action of the Rev. James Ainslie in becoming a Freemason, declaring that “there is neither sinne nor scandale in that word” -- i.e., the “Mason Word”.

Along with the “Harleian MS” (No. 2054, British Museum), is a scrap of paper, which cites, “sevrall words and signes of a free Mason” as a portion of an obligation. this MS of the “Old Charges” is in the handwriting of Randle Holme (born 1627), the author of the “Academy of Armory”, printed in 1688, wherein he says, “I Cannot but Honor the Felloship of the Masons because of its Antiquity; and the more as being a Member of that Society, called Free-Masons.”

The Oath that was taken by the Brethren during this period, as given in various copies of the “Old Charges” &c., is not indicative of the separate degrees of the post Grand Lodge era.

A remarkable Register of gentlemen and others, with the MS just referred to -- Harleian No. 2054 -- states what each “giue for to be a free Mason.” This is also in the handwriting of the same Randle Holme, and apparently belonged to a speculative Lodge at Chester.

The references to the Craft in Plot’s “Natural History of Staffordshire,” published in 1686, are of a most important character, and should be carefully studied, as they concern admissions into the Fraternity, the reading of the “Old Charges”, with prominent portions of their text, and the early history of the Society.

There are many ways of proving the existence of the Craft during the seventeenth century, but the foregoing must suffice for the present, the evidence being so plentiful, that is is quite embarrassing to make a selection. It cannot, in my opinion, be questioned, that modern Grand Lodges are the direct representatives of the old Lodges previously existing, many of which still continue working.

the records of one Scottish family offer eloquent testimony, to the continuous working of the Craft for centuries, as enshrined in the valuable Perth Charter, and in the “Lodge of Edinburgh” records. From these documents the following facts are gleaned. John Mylne came to Perth from the “North Countrie” and became the King’s Master Mason and Master of the “Lodge at Scone” -- now No. 3 Scotland. He was succeeded by his son, whose name is mentioned in the remarkable “Contract” of 1658, who by His Majesty’s desire entered “King James the sixt as ffreeman, measone and fellow craft.” His third son John was a member of the “Lodge of Edinburgh,” and Master Mason to Charles I., 1631-6; John Mylne the younger, his eldest son, succeeding, became in 1633 a Fellow Craft in No. 1, and was Deacon eleven times within thirty years. Alexander Mylne was entered an apprentice to his uncle in 1653, and was made a fellow-craft in 1660, becoming Warden in 1663-4, and Deacon several times later on. then William Mylne was entered an apprentice in 1721, and was Master in 1735, representing the Lodge at the formation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland the following year, and holding the office of Grand Treasurer from 1737 to 1755. Another William was elected and initiated in the same Lodge in 1750, and a Robert Mylne became a member in 1754, receiving the three degrees in that year. He died in 1811 and “was buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral, having been surveyor to that edifice for fifty years.” With his decease, terminated the family’s connection with the “Lodge of Edinburgh”, which had extended through five successive generations, and for a still longer period as craftsmen.

There are two Lodges of the pre Grand Lodge era, which also overlap that important period, which really require whole Papers to themselves, to do their proceedings anything like justice. A few words about each of these will fitly conclude my Address.

the records of the old Alnwick Lodge were brought to the notice of the Craft by me in 1871, and are of special value, not only because of their antiquity, but also in relation to their text. As with so many of these venerable Lodges, its origin is unknown, but it may be accepted as of the 17th century. A copy of the “Old Charges” precedes the “Orders to be observed by the company and Fellowship of Free Masons, att A Lodge held att Alnwick Septr 29 1701 being the Genrl head meeting day.” Apprentices had to be entered and be given their “Charge” within “one whole Year after” admission, and on the expiry of their term of seven years were “Admitted or Accepted butt uon the ffeast of St. Michaell the Archangell.” The Master and Wardens were elected by the members, and the frequent entries “made free”, “made free Masons” or “made free brothers” are very suggestive and important. On 20th January, 1708, it was ordered that no member “should appear at the Lodge to be kept on St. John’s Day in Christmas without his appron & Common Square fixt in the Belt,” and to be similarly attired on attending Church on that day, when a special sermon was to be preached. Although the Lodge was active far on in the 18th century, it never, so far as is known, joined the Grand Lodge of England, although a Warrant issued by that Body in 1779 for Alnwick may have been applied for by some of its Brethren. It is of special interest to remember that on Christmas Day in 1755, Mr. “George Henderson of Alnwick. visiting Bro from Canongate Kilwinning Lodge” is duly noted in the minutes; he was initiated in the northern Lodge in 1751, receiving the two higher degrees on Nov 20th 1754. There is no mention of separate Masonic ceremonies in the minutes, -- 1703 to 1756, -- and the Lodge was operative from first to last, the proceedings of the modern Grand Lodge and its subordinate Lodges being entirely ignored.

The old operative Lodge at Swalwell, in its early records, had much in common with its senior of Alnwick, its “Orders of Antiquity” and its “Apprentice and General Orders” being virtually reproductions of still earlier “Old Charges.” the three “ffraternal signs” are mentioned, and the minutes generally from the third decade of the 18th century are of considerable value and interest. the members accepted a Charter from the Grand Lodge of England in 1735, being now, and for a long time past, known as the :Lodge of Industry,” No. 48 Gateshead. It was thus another link in the union between the Grand Lodge and its operative ancestors.

It is the fashion of some to raise objections to our claim as being “ancient”, as well as “free and accepted” Masons, but I trust that the facts herein submitted, will “at once and for ever” prove, that our beloved Society is fully entitled to the antiquity so long assumed by the Fraternity.

Wm. James Hughan
“Dunscore”
Torquay,
Jan 19th, 1904

[Plantations of Ireland]

[borgfind answer:]
'''Plantations''' in 16th and 17th century Ireland were the seizure of land owned by the native Irish and granting of it to colonists ('''"planters"''') from Britain. This process began under the reign of Henry VIII and continued under Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I. Whereas the early Plantations tended to be small "exemplary" colonies, the later ones such as the Munster and Ulster Plantations were mass confiscations of land from rebel Irish landowners and the importation of large numbers of settlers from England, Scotland and Wales. The final official Plantations took place under Oliver Cromwell’s English Commonwealth – which settled thousands of Parliamentarian soldiers in Ireland. However, outside of the state sponsered plantations, significant migration into Ireland continued well into the 18th century, from both Britain and continental Europe. The Plantations substantially altered the demography of Ireland, creating large communities of people who had a British and Protestant identity, in contrast to the earlier Irish and Roman Catholic inhabitants. They also affected the politics of the country, creating a British Protestant ruling class and strengthening the control of the London government over Ireland. The Plantations also substantially changed the physical and economic nature of Irish society - opening up what had been a subsistence economy to intensive commercial agriculture and trade.
Early Plantations
The early Plantations of Ireland occurred in the context of the Tudor re-conquest of Ireland. This hoped to pacify and Anglicise Ireland under English rule, incorporating Ireland’s native ruling classes into the English aristocracy. By this means, it was hoped that Ireland would become a peaceful and reliable possession and would no longer be a source of rebellions and base for foreign invasions. "Plantations" or colonisation, played a major part in this policy. They took two forms in the first half of the 16th century. The first was "exemplary plantations", where small colonies of English settlers were installed to provide model farming communities that the Irish could emulate. One such colony was planted at Kerrycurihy, near Cork city. The second category of plantation and One which would set the trend for future English policy in Ireland, was punitive plantations, in other words confiscation of lands for rebellion and granting them to English settlers. The first such scheme was the Plantation of Leix (now Laois) and Offally in 1556. The O’Moore and O’Connor clans, which occupied the area had traditionally raided the English ruled Pale around Dublin. The Lord Deputy of Ireland, the Earl of Sussex, ordered that they be dispossessed and replaced with an English settlement. He also renamed the counties as King's County and Queen's County respectively. However, the plantation was not a great success. The O’Moores and O’Connors retreated to the hills and bogs and fought a local war against the settlement for much of the following 40 years. In 1578, the English finally subdued the displaced O’Moore clan by massacring most of their fine (or ruling families) at Mullaghmast in Laois, having invited them there for peace talks. Rory Óg Ó Moore, the leader of rebellion in the area, was also hunted down and killed later that year. The ongoing violence meant that the authorities had difficulty in attracting people to settle in their new plantation. Another failed plantation occurred in east Ulster in the 1570s. The east of the province (occupied by the MacDonnells and Clandeboye O’Neills) was to be colonised with English planters to put a barrier between the Gaels of Ireland and Scotland and to stop the flow of mercenaries into Ireland. The conquest of east Ulster was contracted out to the Earl of Essex and Sir Thomas Smith. The O’Neill chieftain, Turlough Luineach O'Neill, fearing an English bridgehead in Ulster, helped his O’Neill kinsmen of Clandeboye. The MacDonnells in Antrim, led by Sorley Boy MacDonnell were also able to call on reinforcements from their kinsmen in the Western Isles and Highlands of Scotland. The plantation eventually degenerated into a series of atrocities against the local civilian population before finally being abandoned. Brian MacPhelim O’Neill of Clandeboye, his wife and 200 clansmen were murdered at a feast organised by Essex in 1574. In 1575, Francis Drake (later victor over the Spanish Armada, then in the pay of the Earl of Essex) massacred 600 MacDonnell clans-people in a surprise raid on Rathlin Island. The following year, Elizabeth I, disturbed by the killing of civilians, called a halt.
The Munster Plantation
The Munster Plantation of the 1580s was the first mass plantation in Ireland . It was instituted as punishment for the Desmond Rebellions, when the Geraldine Earl of Desmond had rebelled against English interference in Munster. The Desmond dynasty was annihilated in the aftermath of the rebellions and their estates confiscated. This gave the English authorities the opportunity to settle the province with colonists from England and Wales, who, it was hoped, would be a bulwark against further rebellions. In 1584, a commission surveyed Munster, to allocate confiscated lands to English Undertakers. Undertakers were wealthy colonists who "undertook" to import tenants from England to work their new lands. The Undertakers were also supposed to build new towns and provide for the defense of planted districts from attack. As well as the former Geraldine estates (spread through the modern counties Limerick, Cork, Kerry and Tipperary) the survey took in the lands belonging to other families and clans that had supported the rebellions in south-west Cork and Kerry. However, the settlement here was rather piecemeal because the ruling clan &8211; the MacCarthy Mór line -argued that the rebel landowners were their subordinates and therefore the land really belonged to them. Lands were therefore granted to some Undertakers and then taken away again when native lords like the MacCarthys appealed the dispossession of their dependents .Other sectors of the plantation were equally chaotic. Popham, the Attorney General for Ireland, imported 70 tenants from Somerset, only to find that that the land had already been settled by another undertaker and he was obliged to return them home. Nevertheless, 500,000 acres (2,000 km²) were planted with English colonists. It was hoped that the settlement would attract in the region of 15,000 colonists, but a report made out in 1589 showed that the Undertakers had imported only in the region of 700 English tenants between them. It has been suggested that each tenant was the head of a household, and that he therefore represents 4-5 other people . This would put the English population in Munster at nearer 3-4000, but it was still substantially below the projected figure. The Munster Plantation was supposed to produce compact defensible settlements, but in fact, the English settlers were spread in pockets across the province, wherever land had been confiscated. Initally the Undertakers were given detachments of English soldiers to protect them, but these were abolished in the 1590s. As a result, when the Nine Years War &8211; an Irish rebellion against English rule &8211; came to Munster in 1598, most of the settlers were chased off their lands without a fight. They took refuge in the province&8217;s walled towns or fled back to England. However when the rebellion was put down in 1601-03, the Plantation was re-constituted by the Governor of Munster, George Carew.

The Ulster Plantation

Main article Plantation of Ulster Prior to the its conquest in the Nine Years War of the 1590s, Ulster was the most Gaelic part of Ireland and the only province that was completely outside English control. The war, of 1594-1603, ended with the surrender of the O’Neill and O’Donnell lords to the English crown, but was also a hugely costly and humiliating episode for the English government in Ireland. Moreover, in the short term it had been a failure, since the surrender terms given to the rebels were very generous, re-granting them their former lands under English law. However, when Hugh O'Neill and the other rebel Earls left Ireland in 1607 (the so called Flight of the Earls) to seek Spanish help for a new rebellion, the Lord Deputy, Arthur Chichester, seized the opportunity to colonise the province and declared the lands of O’Neill, O’Donnell and their followers forfeit. Initially, Chichester planned a fairly modest plantation, including large grants to native Irish lords who had sided with the English during the war. However, this plan was interrupted by the rebellion of Cahir O’Doherty of Donegal in 1608, a former ally of the English, who felt that he had not been fairly rewarded for his role in the war. The rebellion was swiftly put down and O’Doherty hanged but it gave Chichester the justification for expropriating all native landowners in the province. James VI of Scotland had become King of England in 1603, uniting the those two crowns –also of course gaining possession of the Kingdom of Ireland – an English possession. The Plantation of Ulster was sold to him as a joint "British", i.e. English and Scottish, venture to pacify and civilise Ulster. So at least half of the settlers would be Scots. Six counties were involved in the official plantation – Armagh, Fermanagh, Cavan, Londonderry, Donegal and Tyrone. The plan for the plantation was determined by two factors, One was the wish to make sure the settlement could not be destroyed by rebellion as the first Munster plantation had been. This meant that, rather then settling the Planters in isolated pockets of land confiscated from convicted rebels, all of the land would be confiscated and then redistributed to create concentrations of British settlers around new towns and garrisons. What was more, the new landowners were explicitly banned from taking Irish tenants and had to import them from England and Scotland. The remaining Irish landowners were to be granted One quarter of the land in Ulster and the ordinary Irish population was supposed to be relocated to live near garrisons and Protestant churches. Moreover, the Planters were also barred from selling their lands to any Irishman. The second major influence on the Plantation was the negotiation between various interest groups on the British side. The principal landowners were to be Undertakers, wealthy men from England and Scotland who undertook to import tenants from their own estates. They were granted around 3000 acres (12 km²) each, on condition that they settle a minimum of 48 adult males (including at least 20 families) who had to be English speaking and Protestant. However, veterans of the war in Ireland (known as Servitors) and led by Arthur Chichester, successfully lobbied that they should be rewarded with land grants of their own. Since these former officers did not have enough private capital to fund the colonisation, their involvement was subsidised by the City of London (the financial sector in London), who were also granted their own town (Derry, now named Londonderry) and lands. The final major recipient of lands was the Protestant Church of Ireland, which was granted all the churches and lands previously owned by the Roman Catholic church. It was intended that clerics from England and the Pale would convert the native population to Protestantism. The plantation was a mixed success. By the 1630s, there were 20,000 adult male British settlers in Ulster, which meant that the total settler population could have been as high as 80,000. The formed local majorities of the population in the Finn and Foyle valleys (around modern Derry and east Donegal) in north Armagh and east Tyrone. Moreover, there had also been substantial settlement on officially unplanted lands in south Antrim and north Down, sponsored by Scottish landowner, James Hamilton. What was more, the settler population grew rapidly as just under half of the planters were women – a very high ratio compared to contemporary Spanish settlement in Latin America or English settlement in Virginia and New England. However, the Irish population was neither removed nor Anglicised. In practise, the settlers did not stay on bad land, but clustered around towns and the best land. This meant that many British landowners had to take Irish tenants, contrary to the terms of the plantation. In 1609, Chichester had deported 1300 former Irish soldiers from Ulster to serve in the Swedish Army, but the province remained plagued with Irish bandits known as "wood-kerne" who attacked vulnerable settlers. The attempted conversion of the Irish to Protestantism also had little effect, if only because the clerics imported were all English speakers, Whereas the native population were usually monoglot Irish Gaelic speakers.
Plantations under the Stuart Kings 1610-1641
In addition to the Ulster plantation, several other small Plantations occurred under the reign of the Stuart Kings –James I and Charles I – in the early 17th century. The first of these took placed in north county Wexford in 1610, where lands were confiscated from the MacMurrough-Kavanagh clan. Since most land-owning families in Ireland had taken their estates by force in the previous four hundred years, very few of them, with the exception of the New English arrivals, had proper legal titles for them. As a result, in order to obtain such titles, they were forced to forfeit a quarter of their lands. This policy was used against the Kavanaghs in Wexford and subsequently to break up Irish Catholic estates ( particularly Gaelic Irish ones) around the country. Following the precedent set in Wexford, there were other small Plantations in Laois and Offaly, Longford, Leitrim and north Tipperary. In Laois and Offally, the Tudor plantation had consisted of a chain of military garrisons, but in the new, more peaceful climate of the 17th century, it attracted large numbers of landowners, tenants and labourers. Prominent planters in Leinster in this period include Charles Coote, Adam Loftus and William Parsons. In Munster, the peaceful first half of the 17th century saw thousands more English and Welsh settlers arrived in Munster. There weremany small Plantations in Munster in this period, as Irish lords wererequired to forfeit up to One third of their estates in order to get their deeds to the remainder recognised by the English authorities.The settlers became concentrated in towns along the south coast &8211; especially Youghal Bandon, Kinsale and Cork city. Famous English Undertakers of the Munster Plantation include Walter Raleigh, Edmund Spenser, and Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork. The latter especially made huge fortune out of amassing Irish lands and developing them for industry and agriculture The Irish Catholic upper classes were unable to stop the continued Plantations in Ireland because they had been barred from public office because of their religion and had become a minority in the Irish Parliament by 1615, as a result of the creation of "pocket boroughs" in planted areas. However, they managed to temporarily halt land confiscations in 1625, by agreeing to pay for England’s war with France and Spain. In addition to the plantations, thousands of free-lance settlers arrived in Ireland in the early 1600s, from the Netherlands and France as well as Britain. Many of them became chief tenants of Irish land-owners, others established themselves in the towns (especially Dublin) –notably as bankers and financiers. By 1641, there were calculated to be up to 125,000 Protestant settlers in Ireland, though they were still outnumbered by native Catholics by around 15-1. Plantations stayed off the political agenda until the accession of Thomas Wentworth, a close advisor of Charles I, to the position of Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1632. Wentworth’s job was raise revenue for Charles and to cement Royal control over Ireland – which meant , among other things, more plantations, both to raise money and to break the political power of the Irish Catholic gentry. Wentworth confiscated land in Wicklow and planned a full scale Plantation of Connacht – where all Catholic landowners would lose between a half and a quarter of their estates. The local juries were intimidated into accepting Wentworth’s settlement and when a group of Connacht landowners complained to Charles I, he had them imprisoned. However, settlement only went ahead in Sligo and Roscommon. Next, Wentworth surveyed the major Catholic landowners in Leinster for similar treatment, including members of the powerful Butler dynasty. Wentworth’s plans were interrupted by the outbreak of the Bishops Wars in Scotland, which eventually led to Wentworth’s execution by the English Parliament and to civil war in England and Ireland. His constant questioning of Catholic land titles was One of the major causes of the 1641 Rebellion and the principle reason why it was joined by Ireland’s wealthiest and most powerful Catholic families.
The 1641 Rebellion and the Plantations
See also Irish Rebellion of 1641 and Irish Confederate Wars In 1641, after a bad harvest and in a threatening political climate, the resentment of the native Irish in Ulster boiled over into indiscriminate attacks on the settler population in the Irish Rebellion of 1641. Irish Catholics attacked the Plantations all around the country, but especially in Ulster. It has been estimated that 4000 settlers were killed directly and up to 12,000 may have perished from disease or privation after being expelled from their homes. English writers put the figure at around 30,000. The Irish Catholics formed their own government, Confederate Ireland, to fight the subsequent wars, negotiating with Charles I, for, among other things, an end to the Plantations and a partial reversal of the existing ones The following ten years saw murderous fighting between the rival ethnic and religious blocks throughout Ireland until the Irish Catholics were finally crushed and the country occupied by the New Model Army in 1653. Ulster was worst hit by the wars, with massive loss of civilian life and mass displacement of people. The atrocities committed by both sides further poisoned the relationship between the settler and native communitiesin the province. Although peace was eventually restored to Ulster, the wounds opened in the plantation and civil war years were very slow to heal and arguably still fester in Northern Ireland today. In the 1641 Rebellion, the Munster Plantation was temporarily destroyed, just as it had been during the Nine Years War. Munster saw ten years of warfare between the planters and their descendants and the native Irish Catholics. However, the ethnic/religious divisions were less stark in Munster than in Ulster. Some of the earlier English Planters in Munster had been Roman Catholics and their descendants largely sided with the Irish in the 1640s. Conversley, some Irish noblemen who had converted to Protestantism - notably Earl Inchiquinn, sided with the settler community.
The Cromwellian Plantation
See also Cromwellian conquest of Ireland The Irish Confederates had pinned their hopes on a Royalist victory in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, so thath they could cite their loyalty to Charles I and force him into accepting their demands - including toleration for Catholicism, Irish self government and an end to the Plantation policy. However, Charles’ Royalists were defeated in the English Civil War by the Parliamentarians under Oliver Cromwell, who committed themselves to re-conquering Ireland and punishing those responsible for the massacres of 1641. In 1649, Cromwell landed in Ireland with the New Model Army and by 1652, the conquest was all but complete. The English Parliament then published punitive terms of surrender for Catholics and Royalists in Ireland that included the mass confiscation of all Catholic owned land. Cromwell held all Irish Catholics responsible for the rebellion of 1641 and said he would deal with them according to their "respective de-merits"- meaning sanctions varying from execution in worst cases, to partial land confiscation even for those who had taken no part in the wars. The Long Parliament had been committed to mass confiscation of land in Ireland since 1642, when it signed the Adventurers Act, which stated that the Parliament’s financial creditors could reclaim their loans in confiscated land in Ireland. The Act of Settlement 1652 stated that anyone who had held arms against the Parliament would forfeit their lands and that even those who had not would lose three quarters of their lands – being compensated in with some other lands in Connacht. In practice, those Protestants who had fought for the Royalists avoided confiscation by paying fines to the commonwealth, but the Irish Catholic land-owning class was utterly destroyed. In some respects, what Cromwell had achieved was the logical conclusion of the plantation process. Over 12,000 veterans of the New Model Army were given land in Ireland in place of their wages, which the Commonwealth was unable to pay. Many of these sold their land grants to other Protestants rather than settle in war ravaged Ireland, but 7500 soldiers did remain in the country. They were required to keep their weapons to Act as a reserve militia in case of future rebellions. Taken together with the Merchant Adventurers, probably over 10,000 Parliamentarians settled in Ireland after the civil wars. Most of these were single men however and many of them married Irish women (although banned by law from doing so). Some of the Cromwellian soldiers therefore became integrated into Irish Catholic society. In addition to the Parliamentarians, thousands of Scottish Covenanter soldiers, who had been stationed in Ulster during the war settled there permanently after its end. Some Parliamentarians had argued that all the Irish should be deported to west of the Shannon and replaced with English settlers. However, since the hundreds of thousands of settlers willing to come to Ireland this would require just did not exist, what actually happened was that a land-owning class of British Protestants was created, ruling over Irish Catholic tenants. A minority of the "Cromwellian" landowners were actually Parliamentarian soldiers or creditors. Most of them were pre-war Protestant settlers, who took the opportunity to attain confiscated lands. Before the wars, Catholics had owned 60% of the land in Ireland. During the Commonwealth period it fell to 8-9% and after the Restoration Act of Settlement 1662, it rose to 20% again. In Ulster, the Cormwellian period eliminated those native landowners who had survived the Ulster plantation. In Munster and Leinster, the mass confiscation of Catholic owned land after the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, meant that English Protestants acquired almost all of the land holdings for the first time. Recent research has shown that although the native Irish land-owning class was subordinated in this period, it never totally disappeared, many of its members finding niches for themselves in trade or as chief tenants on their families&8217; ancestral lands.
Subsequent Settlement
For the remainder of the 17th century, Irish Catholics tried to get the Cromwellian Act of Settlement reversed. They briefly achieved this under James II during the Williamite war in Ireland, but the Jacobite defeat their led to another round of land confiscations. The 1680s and 90s saw another major wave of settlement in Ireland (though not another plantation). The new settlers were principally composed of Scots, tens of thousands of whom fled a famine in the lowlands and border regions of Scotland to come to Ulster. It was at this point that Protestants and people of Scottish descent (who were mainly Presbyterians) became an absolute majority of the population in Ulster. Another group established in Ireland at this time were French Huguenots, who had been expelled from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Many of the Frenchmen were former soldiers, who had fought on the Williamite side in the Williamite war in Ireland. This community established themselves mainly in Dublin, where their communal graveyard can still be seen off St Stephen's Green.
Long term results
The Plantations had a profound impact on Ireland in several ways. The first was the destruction of the native ruling classes and their replacement wit h the so-called Protestant Ascendancy, of British (mostly English) Protestant landowners. Their position was buttressed by the Penal Laws, which denied political and land-owning rights to Catholics and to some extent to Presbyterians. The dominance of this class in Irish life persisted until the late 19th century and cemented the British control over the country. The present day partition of Ireland in to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland is largely as a result of the settlement patterns of the Plantations of the 17th century. The descendants of the British Protestant settlers largely favoured a continued link with Britain, Whereas the descendants of the native Irish Catholics wanted Irish independence. The Six north-eastern counties of Ulster were, due to the Ulster Plantation the only areas where Unionists were in the majority. In 1922 when th rest of Ireland received independence, these counties remained in the United Kingdom and formed Northern Ireland. However, the new state contained a sizable Catholic minority (descendants of those dispossessed in the Plantations). The Troubles in Northern Ireland are therefore in some respects a continuation of the conflicts of the 17th century. The Plantations also had a major cultural impact. Gaelic Irish culture was sidelined and English replaced Irish as the language of power and business. Although, by 1700, Irish still remained the majority language in Ireland, for the Parliament, the courts and trade, English was completely dominant. I n the Next two centuries it was to advance westwards across the country until Irish suddenly collapsed after the Great Famine of the 1840s. Finally, the Plantations also radically altered Ireland’s ecology and physical appearance. In 1600, most of Ireland was heavily wooded and covered with bogs. Most of the population lived in small townlands, many migrating seasonally to fresh pastures for their cattle. By 1700, Ireland’s native woodland had been decimated, having been intensively exploited by the new settlers for commercial ventures such as ship-building. Several native species such as the wolf had been hunted to extinction and much of the bog land was drained for agriculture. Most of the population now lived in permanent towns or villages, although the Irish peasantry continued their traditional practises in isolated areas. Moreover, almost all of Ireland was now integrated into a market economy - although many of the poorer classes would not have had access to money, still paying their rents in kind or in service.
Sources

* Canny, Nicholas P, Making Ireland British 1580-1650, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2001
* Lennon, Colm, Sixteenth Century Ireland – The Incomplete Conquest, Gill & Macmillan, Dublin 1994.
* Lenihan, Padraig, Confederate Catholics at War, Cork Universtiy Press, Cork, 2000.
* McCarthy, Daniel, The Life and Letter book of Florence McCarthy Reagh, Tanist of Carberry, Dublin 1867.
* MacCarthy-Morrogh, Michael, The Munster Plantation – English migration to Southern Ireland 1583-1641, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1986.
* Scot-Wheeler, James, Cromwell in Ireland, New York 1999.


The Reformation, during which, in 1536, Henry VIII broke with Papal authority, fundamentally changed Ireland. While Henry VIII broke English Catholicism from Rome, his son Edward VI of England moved further, breaking with Papal doctrine completely. While the English, the Welsh and, later, the Scots accepted Protestantism, the Irish remained Catholic. This fact determined their relationship with the British state for the next four hundred years, as the Reformation coincided with a determined effort on behalf of the English state to re-conquer and colonise Ireland. The religious schism meant that the native Irish and the (Roman Catholic) Old English were excluded from power in the new settlement.

Re-conquest and rebellion
See also Tudor re-conquest of Ireland.
There is some debate about why Henry VIII decided to re-conquer Ireland. However the most immediate reason was that the Fitzgerald dynasty of Kildare, who had become the effective rulers of Ireland in the 15th century, had become very unreliable allies of the Tudor monarchs. Most seriously, they had invited Burgundian troops into Dublin to crown the Yorkist pretender, Lambert Simnel as King of England in 1497. The final straw for the Tudor monarchs came in 1536, when Silken Thomas Fitzgerald went into open rebellion against the crown. Having put down this rebellion, Henry VIII resolved that pacifying Ireland and bringing it all under English government control was necessary if the island was not to become a base for foreign invasions of England (a concern that was to be repeated for another 400+ years).
Ireland was upgraded from a lordship to a full kingdom under Henry VIII. From the period of the original lordship in the twelfth century onwards, Ireland had retained its own bicameral Parliament of Ireland, consisting of a House of Commons and a House of Lords. It was restricted for most of its existence in terms both of membership — Gaelic Irishmen were barred from membership — and of powers, notably by Poynings Law of 1494, which said that no bill could be introduced into the Irish Parliament without the approval of the English Privy Council. After 1541, Henry VIII admitted native Irish lords into the Parliament and recognised their land titles in return for their submission to him as King of Ireland. With the institutions of government in place, the next step was to extend the control of the English Kingdom of Ireland over all of its claimed territory. Henry VIII's officials were tasked with extending the rule of this new Kingdom throughout Ireland, in the process either negotiating or fighting with the independent Irish Kings and lords. This took nearly a century to achieve. This re-conquest was accompanied by a great deal of bloodshed, as it meant annexing lordships that had been effectively independent for several hundred years.
In the Elizabethan era, the English completed the re-conquest of Ireland, after several bloody conflicts. The Desmond Rebellions (1569-1573 and 1579-1583 took place in the southern province of Munster, when the Fitzgerald Earl of Desmond dynasty resisted the imposition of an English governor into the province. The second of these rebellions was put down by means of a forced famine, which may have killed up to a third of Munster's population. The most serious threat to English rule in Ireland came during the Nine Years War 1594-1603, when Hugh O'Neill, the most powerful chieftain in the northern province of Ulster rebelled against English government. This war developed into a nation-wide revolt and O'Neill successfully obtained military aid from Spain. A Spanish expeditionary force was defeated by English forces at the battle of Kinsale in 1601. O'Neill and his allies eventually surrendered in 1603. After this point, the English authorities in Dublin established real control over all of Ireland for the first time and successfully disarmed the Irish and Old English lordships.
However, the English were not successful in converting the Irish to Protestantism, alienating much of the native population. In addition, the brutal methods used to pacify the country heightened resentment of English rule. In the 16th and early seventeenth century, English governments instituted a policy of colonisation known as Plantations. Scottish and English Protestants were sent as colonists to the provinces of Munster, Ulster and the counties of Laois and Offaly (see also Plantations of Ireland). These settlers, who had a British and Protestant identity, would form the ruling class of future British government in Ireland. A series of Penal Laws discriminated against all Christian faiths other than the established (Anglican) Church of Ireland. The principal victims of these laws were Roman Catholics and from the late 17th century on, adherents of Presbyterianism. From 1607, Catholics were barred from public office and from serving in the army. In 1615, the constituencies of the Irish Parliament were altered so that Protestants would be a majority in it.
Civil Wars and Penal Laws


Oliver Cromwell, who re-conquered Ireland in 1649-1651 after Irish Catholic rebellion and civil war, on behalf of the English Commonwealth. Under his government, landownership in Ireland passed overwhelmingly to Protestant colonists.
In the mid-seventeenth century, Ireland was convulsed by eleven years of warfare, beginning with the Rebellion of 1641, when Irish Catholics rebelled against English and Protestant domination. The rebellion was marked by the massacre of Protestant settlers, an event which scarred communal relations in Ireland for centuries afterwards. As a result of the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642, no English troops were available to put down the uprising and the rebels were left in control of most of Ireland. The Catholic majority briefly ruled the country as Confederate Ireland (1642-1649) during the subsequent Wars of the Three Kingdoms in Britain and Ireland. The Confederate regime allied themselves with Charles I and the English Royalists and had they won the English Civil War, the result could have been an autonomous Catholic ruled Ireland. However, the Royalists were defeated by the Parliamentarians, Charles I was executed and Oliver Cromwell re-conquered Ireland in 1649-1653 on behalf of the English Commonwealth. As punishment for the rebellion of 1641, almost all lands owned by Irish Catholics were confiscated and given to British settlers. In addition, Catholics were barred from the Irish Parliament altogether, forbidden to live in towns and from marrying Protestants (although not all of these laws were strictly enforced). It has been calculated that up to a third of Ireland's population (4-600,000 people) died in these wars, either in fighting, or in the accompanying famine and plague. The Cromwellian conquest therefore left bitter memories in Irish popular culture. An uneasy peace returned with the Restoration of the monarchy in England and Charles II made some efforts to conciliate Irish Catholics with compensation and land grants. (See also Act of Settlement 1662).



A

AN IRISH TRILOGY

The wars of the seventeenth century and the colonisation of Ulster John McCavitt, Rostrevor



A frequent observation about the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland today is that they have more in common with the seventeenth rather than the twentieth century world. Certainly the ramifications of events which occurred three centuries ago continue to loom large. Seven­teenth century Ireland witnessed three serious conflicts, three major confiscations of land and concluded with "the war of the three kings". In other words, throughout much of that period, Ireland, and the northern province of Ulster in particular, were in the throes of major up­heavals; social, economic, political and, of course, religious. Therefore, while many observers affect bemusement at the apparent intractability of the "Northern Ireland problem" today, they rarely appreciate the complex developments of the seventeenth century which gave rise in no small measure to the difficulties which are presently being experienced. This essay will focus on the three large-scale wars of the seventeenth century, an Irish trilogy, and the confis­cations which occurred thereafter, as the key to explaining why events from three centuries past have had such an abiding relevance.

Before embarking on this survey, it is worth emphasising that the "catholic" and "protes­tant" communities of seventeenth century Ireland were far from being homogeneous religio-­political groupings. Ironically, religion at times actually served to accentuate divisions within them. Thus the majority of the Old English, a term used to describe the descendants of the original Anglo-Norman settlers of the twelfth century, and almost all the native or Gaelic Irish, were Roman Catholics. But, the fact that the Old English catholics embraced with greater alacrity the Tridentine reforms differentiated them from the native Irish who tended to cling to pre-Tridentine religious practices. Irish catholicism, often under attack during the century from the English authorities, also witnessed bitter internal struggles, not least among its clergy. Added to this were political divisions between the Old English and native Irish ca­tholics; the former being more concerned to accommodate themselves with the English crown than the latter.

So far as protestant society was concerned it consisted of various, at times competing, sec­tional interest groupings. At the start of the century it mainly comprised New English, al­though there were also some Old English protestants. The New English were adherents of the established Church of Ireland, and their descendants, who came to Ireland during the six­teenth century. Increasingly, they dominated the central administration of the country. By the early years of the seventeenth century, they had been supplemented by a new wave of protes­tants, consisting mainly of former Elizabethan soldiers, known as "servitors". They remained in Ireland following the "Nine Years War", 1594-1603, determined to seek preferment and lands. When lands became available, however, at the time of the plantation of Ulster in 1610, they had to compete with prospective "planters" from England, Scotland and Wales.

While some of the planters conformed to the established Church of Ireland, the Scots among them introduced a presbyterian element to Irish protestant society. At a later stage too, following the Cromwellian reconquest of the country, 1649-52, protestant society had to as­similate yet another wave of settlers including Quakers, Baptists and members of other protes­tant sects. In these circumstances, it is hardly surprising that tensions existed within Irish protestant society as various groups strove to acquire and maintain position. So far as political and religious differences were concerned, these were most acerbic during the conflicts of the 1640s. Royalist, parliamentarian and Scots Covenanter causes in Great Britain all elicited support from Irish protestants.

The century began with the country embroiled in the Nine Years War, 1594-1603. It was the first of the three great conflicts which it endured in less than one hundred years. The ending of the war was coterminous with the demise of the Tudor dynasty in 1603. Far from closing a chapter on a bygone era, the ramifications of the conflict for Irish history were pro­found.

The Nine Years War was a rebellion against English domination. It mainly involved Ulster lords and their followers and was led by Hugh O'Neill, earl of Tyrone. His base, in the heartland of Ulster, proved the launching pad for major successes against English forces. The most notable victory occurred at the Yellow Ford, 1598, when an English army suffered some 2,000 casualties.l It was precisely because of the magnitude of the threat which this rebellion posed, menacing "the very survival of English rule in Ireland",2 that its consequences proved so enduring.

Gaelic-style hit and run tactics often predominated in the war, but Tyrone was also capable of more sophisticated military strategy. This was manifested by his successful employment of trench warfare at the Yellow Ford in 1598 and later at the Moyry Pass in 1600. A further tes­timony that Tyrone's forces were formidable adversaries was provided by the failure of a se­ries of Elizabethan generals to quell the rebellion. Even the flamboyant earl of Essex, victor against the Spanish at Cadiz, made little or no progress, despite the fact that he commanded a large, well-equipped army. Lord Mount joy, who finally brought Tyrone to terms, came close to personal disaster on numerous occasions.3

The climax of the Nine Years War occurred in 1601 at the battle of Kinsale. Four thousand Spanish troops had landed to bolster Tyrone's war effort. This seemed to be the decisive in­tervention which the earl had long been expecting. The Ulster lord marched south to link up with the Spaniards who had been besieged by the army of Lord Mount joy. In the ensuing battle Tyrone suffered a sensational reverse. Failing to link up with the Spaniards as planned, his army was routed. With the defeat at Kinsale, Tyrone's chances of outright victory over the English evaporated. The Spanish at Kinsale sued for terms and returned home.4 Yet, Kinsale was not the death-knell of Gaelic Ireland as has sometimes been suggested.

Lord Mount joy could not bring his adversaries to terms by conventional military means, despite his major battlefield success. A scorched earth policy had to be employed which af­fected large parts of Ulster. Tyrone later claimed that 60,000 people perished as a result of this policy.5 Certainly, large numbers, both combatants and non-combatants, died as a result of famine. Yet, Tyrone was not forced to make an unconditional surrender even though his po­sition was dire. Instead, as a result of the treaty of Mellifont in 1603, he received extraordinar­ily favourable terms from the English.

Tyrone's treatment at Mellifont owed much to the vagaries of British dynastic politics; Queen Elizabeth 1's imminent death was decisive.6 She was to be succeeded by the Scottish



1 Nicholas Canny, From Reformation to Restoration: Ireland 1534-1660, Dublin 1987, p.143.

2 Nicholas Canny, Early Modern Ireland, c.1500-1700 in R. F. Foster (ed.), The Oxford illustrated history of Ireland, Oxford 1991, p.130.

3 Grenfell Morton, Elizabethan Ireland, London 1971, pp 134-5.

4 The battle of Kinsale has been analysed in depth in J. J. Silke, Kinsale: the Spanish intervention in Ireland at the end of the Elizabethan wars Liverpool 1970.

5 Micheline Kerney-Walsh, Destruction by peace: Hugh O'Neill after Kinsale, Armagh 1986, p.205.

6 Nicholas Canny, ,The treaty of Mellifont and the re-organisation of Ulster, 1603' in THE IRISH SWORD, IX, (1969), pp 249-62.

King, James VI, who had long been suspected by the English of clandestinely aiding and abet­ting the Irish during the Nine Years War. Consequently, it was feared that without a treaty Tyrone would be in a position to obtain more propitious terms from the new monarch. Be­sides, there was also a pressing financial consideration. The Irish revolt had cost the English exchequer some £2 million, a very substantial amount at the time.7 Therefore, Mellifont re­leased the English government from what was proving to be a financial millstone round its neck.

All in all, the treaty of Mellifont proved a most unsatisfactory conclusion to the war for the English. It was a classic case of defeat being snatched from the jaws of victory. Previous Irish rebel leaders, particularly as the sixteenth century wore on, were punished by execution and confiscation of family lands. Yet, the "Grand Traitor", Tyrone, escaped unpunished. It was to be a decision that the English authorities lived to regret as it spawned enormous problems for the future.

In the aftermath of the treaty Tyrone's position was paradoxically powerful. The night­mare experience of the Nine Years War had petrified the London government, temporarily paralysing its resolution. For several years thereafter it pursued a policy of appeasement to­wards him which greatly angered its representatives in Dublin. That financial embarrassment inspired the London government's kid glove policy was exemplified by the fact that within three years of the treaty the number of English infantry in Ireland had been reduced to a skeleton force of less than 900.8 This was a remarkably small insurance against the risk of re­newed revolt, particularly as the earl's ambitions had not been quenched.

Tyrone was neither defeatist nor disillusioned following Kinsale and the subjugation of his rebellion. His flight to the continent in 1607 was by no means a foregone conclusion.9 Rather, from the very first, he endeavoured to rebuild his powerbase. His determination to do so was manifested by his successful negotiations, begun as early as 1604, to obtain a Spanish pen­sion.10 What is more, his readiness to rejoin the fight against the protestant English was dem­onstrated by the fact that as early as 1605 he was fomenting a new "catholic" revolt in Ireland. This time he had grounds for believing that he could secure substantial support among the catholic Old English who had largely remained aloof from his previous rebellion. Tyrone's flight to the continent was not the product of defeatism. Quite the contrary, it was precipi­tated by the fact that he had re-engaged in conspiratorial machinations.11

The Old English catholics were descendants of the Anglo-Norman settlers in Ireland. The native Irish had been their traditional enemies. This state of affairs persisted for some time even after the Reformation when the English crown passed into the protestant fold.12 Throughout much of the sixteenth, and particularly the seventeenth, centuries the Old Eng­lish catholics engaged in a complex high wire act, seeking to balance their loyalty to the Eng­lish crown in temporal matters with their spiritual allegiance to the pope. In James I, (1603-25) they anticipated a sovereign who would stabilise their position and grant them religious tol­eration. Instead, much to their chagrin, his reign heralded an unprecedented degree of perse­cution. The new king, as it turned out, was but the first of the Stuarts to dash Irish catholic aspirations.



7 F.C.Dietz, English Public Finance, 1558-1641, New York 1932, pp 432-3.

8 John McCavitt, The lord deputyship of Sir Arthur Chichester in Ireland, 1605-16, unpublished Ph.D thesis (Queen's University Belfast, 1988), p.60.

9 See note 6.

10 Kerney-Walsh, op. cit., pp 152-80.

11 Ibid, documents 43A, 56B, 72A.

12 The English crown temporarily reverted to catholicism during the reigns of Mary I, 1553-8 and James II, 1685-9.



James I philosophically favoured toleration but realised that he had to placate the more militant protestant tendencies of his English subjects. Thus, when Lord Deputy Chichester began a strident anti-catholic policy in Ireland in 1605, James found his room for manoeuvre restricted. Chichester believed that the long-term security of English hegemony in Ireland de­pended upon its population being converted to protestantism. While he acknowledged that "persuasive" measures were required to complete this task, coercion was employed in the short term to force the Old English catholics, who had been initially targeted, to become pro­testants. Heavy fines were meted out and spells of imprisonment imposed on a number of leading citizens while thousands of others were subjected to the one shilling fine provisions of Statute 2 Elizabeth for failure to attend protestant service on the sabbath.13

The earl of Tyrone sought to tap resultant indignation among the catholic Old English in an endeavour to form a "league" to eject the protestant English from Ireland. To this end, during the period 1605-7, he set about orchestrating a revolt. Fearing that he had been com­promised by an informer, however, Tyrone and many of his leading followers departed Ire­land in September 1607 in what has come to be known as "the flight of the earls".

The "flight", followed by Sir Cahir O'Doherty's small-scale revolt in Ulster in April 1608, led to the Plantation of Ulster. As a result of these events, large areas of the province were confiscated by the crown and mostly redistributed to protestant settlers, "deserving" Irish re­taining between one quarter and one fifth of the lands in question.14 In Dublin government circles the plantation was considered as a long overdue settling of accounts with Tyrone and his allies for their involvement in the Nine Years War.

Paranoia motivated this radical attempt to solve the Ulster problem. Inspired by the mem­ory of the Nine Years War, an acute apprehension had persisted for some time in London about the dangers of renewed revolt in Ulster and the expenses that this might entail. The flight of the earls and O'Doherty's rebellion fuelled these fears. As a result, the London gov­ernment resorted to radical measures to extirpate the menace of a northern revolt.

The Ulster plantation was considered by its sponsors to be a refined version of the previous plantation strategies practiced in Ireland. Indeed there was a certain symmetry to the govern­ment's plans. Estates of 2,000, 1,500 and 1,000 acres were made available while an almost equal proportion of land was allotted to English and Scots landlords who were officially described as "undertakers". They were thus known because they undertook to fulfil certain conditions which the government stipulated. These included requirements to reside on their property for five years, introduce a quota of twenty-four able bodied males per thousand acres and to provide arms and at least a bawn (a fortified enclosure) for defence of their property. The under­takers were given a three year period to fulfil their building and settlement conditions.
Tenants were obliged to build houses near the bawn not only for security purposes but to further the government's aim of sponsoring the development of towns. Urbanisation was considered a key component of the crown's aim to create a market economy in Ulster. To this end also, there was to be a greater emphasis on tillage rather than traditional Gaelic pastoral­ism. Moreover, by seeking to eliminate the Gaelic tradition of transhumance the authorities hoped to deprive malcontents of opportunities to practice more nefarious activities.

Some of the particularly notable aspects of the Ulster plantation are worthy of more de­tailed consideration. A striking one was the principle of "segregation" which informed it.

13 John McCavitt, ,Lord Deputy Chichester and the English government's Mandates policy in Ireland, 1605-1607' in: RECUSANT HISTORY, XX no.3, (1991), p 320-35.

14 Aidan Clarke, ,The Plantations of Ulster' in: Liam De Paor (ed.), Milestones in Irish history, Dublin 1986, pp 65-6.

15 Philip Robinson, The Plantation of Ulster: British settlement in an Irish landscape, 1600-1670, Dublin 1984, passim. 16 Ibid.

English and Scottish undertakers, for security reasons, were forbidden to allow native Irish to reside on their estates.17 Segregation often proved impractical in the short term as the native Irish remained in numbers on the estates of English and Scottish undertakers. Later, as the flow of protestant migrants increased, the principle became increasingly effectual. As a result, it goes some way to explaining the peculiar modern-day geo-political configuration of the province of Ulster in which there are districts where descendants of either the native Irish or settler populations predominate.

That Scots were given such prominence in the plantation is also worth elaborating. They benefited from the settlement because their king, lames VI, was the heir to the English throne left vacant by the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. As a Scotsman, lames I (of England) fostered the interests of his fellow countrymen in the exercise of crown policy in England. Thus, when the Ulster lands were confiscated following the flight of the earls in 1607, he determined to grant prominent Scotsmen a substantial proportion.

The involvement of so many Scots in the Ulster project particularly upset the servitors who felt that they had been cheated of their rightful rewards as conquerors. Although they re­ceived a limited allocation of lands, they were incensed because it had been the English who had borne such a huge cost in manpower and money to subdue Tyrone's rebellion. As histori­ans agree, however, the success of the plantation derived from the fact that so many Scots were prepared to migrate to the contiguous settlement in Ulster. Before long, indeed, the crown authorities had reason to be pleased with the relatively high degree of Scottish migra­tion at a time when getting protestants to Ulster was considered the over-riding priority. In the early stages of the settlement, "in the frontier ethos of Irish protestantism", it did not mat­ter that many of these Scots were of a calvinist persuasion. By contrast, during the 1630s, when the royal authorities were insisting on conformity to the established Church of Ireland, the non-conformist Scots in Ulster eventually became considered a hindrance rather than a help to crown policy.By the end of the decade, as a result of government pressure on the re­ligious front, considerable numbers of Scots returned to their homeland.

Although the official scheme was known as the plantation of Ulster only six of its nine counties (Armagh, Cavan, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Donegal and Coleraine) were affected. County Coleraine became the focus of special attention. Anxious to secure substantial private funding to ensure that the settlement was a success, most of the county was offered to various London companies such as the Haberdashers and Vintners. As a result of this unique connec­tion, Co. Coleraine was renamed Co. Londonderry and the name of the city of Derry was also changed to Londonderry. Of the three Ulster counties not included in the official Ul­ster plantation Co.Monaghan had been the subject of a settlement in the 1590s which was re­constituted in the early seventeenth century. As for counties Antrim and Down, substantial progress had already been made there in attracting protestant settlers in the early seventeenth century as a result of private enterprise. Two Scotsmen, lames Hamilton and Hugh Mont­gomery, played leading roles in this respect.

The official Ulster plantation, in its early stages, did not live up to government expecta­tions. Too many undertakers failed to abide by their conditions. In particular, the building programme proceeded slowly while the native Irish often remained on the estates of the Eng­lish and Scottish undertakers. What is more, there was a slow rate of migration by British set­tlers until 1614. Between 1614 and 1619 there was a more rapid increase, followed by stabili­sation and to some extent decline until 1630. Overall, before the 1630s, there was not a large-scale British migration to Ulster. Then, from the mid-1630s, large numbers of Scots, escaping unfavourable economic conditions in their homeland, began to arrive.

The government's allocation of three years for the undertakers to fulfil their building and settlement conditions proved to be pitifully inadequate. On the whole, as Dr Robinson has pointed out, the plantation did not develop "in response to political decisions taken in the early seventeenth century". Instead he has emphasised how "environmental factors were to prove more important than governmental controls in shaping the new settlement pattern".

Life for the British settlers who migrated to Ulster was particularly perilous during the first

decade of the plantation. The attacks, or the threat of attack, by discontented Irish more than likely retarded the development of the settlement. Certainly, the initial steps in the plantation process encountered a passive response from the indigenous inhabitants. Before long, however, this gave way to sporadic violence. The so-called Ulster conspiracy of 1615 indicated that a feeling of intense grievance permeated sections of the Ulster Irish populace. It also demon­strated, of course, that a full-scale attack against the settlers was not feasible, not least because the Ulster Irish were poorly armed.

Despite the ignominious failure of the 1615 conspiracy, it remains true that violence damaged the plantation process. If the discontented were unable at that stage to muster a concerted attempt to overthrow the plantation it is equally clear that the sporadic attacks which oc­curred were sufficient to generate great alarm among the settlers. The years 1616-19, most strikingly, witnessed some 300 woodkerne (outlaws) being killed or executed for attacking protestant settlers in Ireland. Counties Londonderry, Tyrone and Wexford suffered most in this respect. Therefore, the contemporary protestant depiction of the Ulster settlers work­ing "as it were wth the Sworde in one hande and the Axe in the thother" had substantial basis in reality in the early stages of the plantation. By 1624, however, the high level of violence had temporarily subsided. Lord Deputy Falkland remarked in that year, cautiously it must be admitted, "since Ireland was Ireland, there never was such universal tranquility as at this in­stant".
As many as 100,000 people from Britain settled in Ireland during the first 40 years of the seventeenth century. They did not all go to Ulster. The revitalised Munster plantation, for instance, attracted a considerable number. Of the Ulster undertakers Dr Robinson has noted that those of English origin largely came from East Anglia and the Midlands. They were mostly of "moderate means". As for the Scottish undertakers, most of whom were "middle­-ranking Scottish lairds", the vast majority came from the central lowland belt. In all, by the mid 1630s some 34,000 British people had migrated to Ulster. This was a substantial number given that the total population of Ireland may have been as low as 750,000 at the beginning of the seventeenth century.33 How, then, did the plantation affect Ulster society?

In some respects, profound changes soon occurred. Most obviously the demographic com­plexion of the province was transformed by the arrival of English and Scottish settlers. In other ways too the difference was marked.

"The social norms of Gaelic Ireland, already changing slowly in the sixteenth century, were rapidly dismantled and replaced with English standards of social order. Terms such as "leaseholder" and "freeholder" became the normal description of a man's place in the social order rather than the older vocabulary of Gaelic Ireland."34

In the legal sphere, the extension of the English common law system, already underway prior to the plantation, was also institutionalised before long. Regular bi-annual visits by judges of assize played a key role in underpinning this process.35 Government surveys of the plantation's progress make it clear that at least some undertakers fashioned their estates ac­cording to the official plantation mould. To some extent too Ulster was transformed into a market economy as an embryonic urban structure developed.36

In other respects, by contrast, native Irish culture pervaded Ulster society for some time. The majority of tenants, whether Irish or British, resided in modified versions of "primitive" thatched cottages. Of this development Professor Canny has concluded that "for the over­whelming majority of British settlers in Ireland during the first half of the seventeenth century it was a question of accommodating themselves to Irish-style residences rather than the reverse process that had been intended". In the economic sphere, also, change was slow. The tradi­tional Gaelic emphasis on pastoralism, as opposed to British tillage, prevailed for some time. Once more, at least temporarily, the protestant settlers became more acculturated to native Irish practice than vice versa.

Overall, the plantation wrought considerable changes in Ulster society in the short term. Yet, they were not as radical as intended. This probably explains in part why a substantial section of the Ulster Irish eventually reconciled themselves with the settlement, at least for a time. Other factors encouraged this process. Dr Gillespie has argued, for example, that the "deserving" Irish proprietors, who were allocated estates in the plantation settlement, had a stake which they felt was worth preserving. What is more, the plantation opened up new opportunities for large numbers of Ulster Irish to negotiate favourable terms as tenants on the plantation estates of British landlords, owing to the early shortfall in available protestant man­power.

With time, however, many of those Irish proprietors and tenants who had reason to be satisfied with their stake in the Ulster plantation became disillusioned. So far as the proprie­tors were concerned financial pressures, contingent on their efforts to acculturate to an angli­cised way of life, led many into financial difficulty as a result of heavy mortgaging of prop­erty. So too, the Ulster natives who had benefited by the gains they had made as tenants on the estates of British undertakers later became dissatisfied. As the flow of protestant settlers increased the services of Irish tenants were jettisoned. All in all, from an economic point of view, a fund of discontent gradually built up. In combination with the fact that there were those who had harboured serious grievances about the plantation from the start, a partial ex­planation is provided for the catholic rising which took place in Ulster in 1641. Indeed, as Professor Clarke has remarked, "what was originally intended was precisely what the pre­conditions would suggest, the overthrow of the plantation settlements". To fully understand why this rising enveloped Ulster, and, before long, the rest of catholic Ireland, one must con­sider that the 1641 rising resulted from a plot that "changed fundamentally in character be­tween conception and executiort".41

The 1641 "rebellion" resulted from a complex set of long and short term factors that in­cluded, respectively, grievances with the Ulster plantation as well as concern for the plight of the king by 1641 and the ramifications of this for catholics in Ireland. The Ulster rising, as fi­nally enacted, was depicted by its participants as a pre-emptive strike in support of the king against the supporters of his parliamentary adversaries among the English settlers in Ulster. Thus the conspirators, who did not consider themselves rebels, determined to leave the Scots settlers unmolested. By gaining a position of military strength, to be achieved in part by the seizure of Dublin castle, they hoped to improve their position by supporting the King against the parliamentarians. An ascendant puritan parliament, it was feared, would pursue policies acutely inimical to Irish catholics. By justifying their actions as "fighting to preserve the King's power in order to protect the liberties, religion, estates and persons of Catholics in Ire­land" the rising was able to spread outside Ulster, gaining the support of the Old English catholics.

The nature of the rising actually owed much to the machinations of King Charles I in Ire­land. During the Spring of 1640 the Irish lord lieutenant, the earl of Strafford, began raising a predominantly catholic Irish army of 9,000 which could be used in support of the king. It was planned but in the end not employed against the Scots in their dispute with King Charles over religious issues during the summer of that year. This was due to the fact that the Scots had managed to coerce Charles into accepting their terms before his Irish army was ready for ac­tion. The prospect remained that the new army could be used in Charles's struggle with the English parliamentarians. Realising this, the king's opponents in England successfully lobbied to have it disbanded. Nevertheless in Ireland a group of Old English colonels, who had been linked with the new Irish army, and acting it seems with the king's approval, laid plans in 1641 to seize Dublin castle. The Ulster conspirators, led by Sir Phelim O'Neill, who eventu­ally launched the rising in October 1641, liaised at one stage with the colonels before the latter abandoned their plans in September owing to the "apparent success" of Charles's overtures to the Scots. The Ulster Irish, by contrast, pressed ahead, "presuming upon the King's partly revealed wishes and mimicking the colonels' plot, without his or their privity [...] counting on the King's new alliance to ensure that the Scots would remain neutral in Ulster if they were not meddled with".

Whatever the reasons for the rising, the Ulster conspirators and their allies among the Old English undoubtedly realised that they would pay dearly should King Charles I lose his struggle with the parliamentarians. This apprehension would have been greatly accentuated as a result of the "massacres" which had occurred in Ulster after the outbreak of hostilities.

Stories soon spread that there had been a large-scale slaughter of protestants in the northern province. Instead of being a carefully orchestrated campaign with relatively conservative aims the military action in Ulster soon degenerated into a sectarian bloodbath. Professor Canny has attributed this development to the "popular" aspect of the rising which resulted in its leaders soon losing contro1.42 Inspired, variously, by envy, greed or deep resentment of their plight as a result of the plantation, the Ulster natives availed of the opportunity to strike at those who had profited at their expense. Thus, there was a marked economic element to the popular dis­turbances as land and valuables were seized. This also explains the ritualistic stripping of pro­testant settlers, "seemingly to symbolize that they were being forced to depart in the same penniless state in which they arrived".
Although many catholics soon suffered reprisals, it was the initial slaughter of several thou­sand protestants that has etched the deepest mark on Irish history, precisely because it carved an ineradicable imprint on the Irish protestant psyche. This was due in part to the fact that myths were propagated at the time, and perpetuated for several centuries thereafter, by protes­tant propagandists that hundreds of thousands of protestants had been massacred. In reality, the propagandists had little reason to exaggerate. Modern research has shown that their repre­sentation of the rising as attempted genocide is only partially invalidated. The total protestant population of Ulster was somewhere in the region of 40,000 by 1641. Of these, some 12,000 died in the initial stages of the rising as a result of massacre, military combat or privation.

The combined effects of protestant propaganda and the fact that very large numbers of pro­testants had perished in the initial stages of the 1641 rising explain why the massacres have had such an enduring importance. Inspired by the memory of 1641, protestant apprehension about the prospect of a renewed catholic onslaught, or a "siege mentality", has often been a promi­nent feature in subsequent Irish history.

The so-called 1641 rebellion actually lasted until 1652. Two major factors account for this. In the first instance there was the arrival from the continent of talented military commanders such as the Gaelic Irishman Owen Roe O'Neill and Thomas Preston of Old English extrac­tion. O'Neill, in particular, earned himself lasting fame for greatly boosting the military effort of the Ulster Irish. What is more, the outbreak of the English civil war in 1642 proved deci­sive in crippling the capability of the English to bring the "rebels" to heel. Instead, throughout much of the 1640s the catholic confederacy in Ireland was faced by representatives of the crown who vacillated between rejecting their demands and wooing them, depending on the king's fortunes in the English civil war. The earl of Ormond played a key role on the king's behalf in these matters. More staunch opposition to the catholics, by contrast, was provided by a Scots covenanter army, led by General Monro. It arrived in 1642 to protect the Scots set­tlers in Ulster.

In the early stages of the rising, the catholic alliance of native Irish and Old English achieved control over large areas of Ulster as well as the rest of Ireland and retained it until the onslaught of the English parliamentary army led by Oliver Cromwell in 1649. At only one juncture in the intervening period did the catholics have a real chance of dominating the entire country, following Owen Roe O'Neill's major victory at Benburb in 1646. That oppor­tunity soon vanished as a result of indecision.
Why the catholics did not manage to secure outright success following the outbreak of the conflict in 1641 owed much to the fissures within the catholic alliance along the traditional native Irish/Old English fault lines. Although they formed a "Confederacy" in Kilkenny in 1642 the appearance of catholic unity belied the reality that they were deeply divided. This disunity was thrown into even sharper relief following the arrival of Archbishop Rinuccini as papal nuncio in 1645. He was determined in any negotiations with the crown authorities to insist on formal guarantees for the catholic religion, bitterly opposing those elements in Old English society who were prepared to compromise on this matter. Before long, he became in­creasingly identified with the native Irish in the disputes which wracked the Confederacy.

Throughout the 1640s constant efforts were made to effect a rapprochement between the catholic confederates and the crown. Following the outbreak of the rising the king, in whose name the conspirators claimed they were acting, disavowed the action. At various stages dur­ing the 1640s, however, the royal authorities made overtures to secure Irish catholic military support in the English civil war. Until 1648 nothing came of this. When, too late, news ar­rived in Ireland at the end of the year that Charles was to be put on trial for his life the royal­ist authorities finally agreed to the "Ormond peace" which was concluded in 1649. As a result, large sections of the catholic community in Ireland, in particular the Old English, were offi­cially accepted into the fold of the royalist cause. When the rising ended many of the Old English catholic leaders joined Charles II in exile.

It was a further measure of the complexity of Irish politics in the late 1640s that the Ulster Scots presbyterians, outraged by the execution of Charles I, also agreed to put themselves at the disposal of Ormond, the Lord Lieutenant. This appearance of a unified front against the parliamentarians, led by Oliver Cromwell, ill-concealed the reality that the royalists in Ireland were hopelessly fragmented. This was illustrated by the fact that they were unable to under­take a serious battlefield engagement, preferring to rely on a policy of defending fortified towns. This resulted in a number of incidents which earned Cromwell an immortal place in Irish history. As a result of the slaughter of the inhabitants of Drogheda and Waterford he has been accorded a demonic reputation in Irish nationalist historiography. Yet, by the contem­porary rules of war, Cromwell had the right to refuse quarter to such towns carried by storm after rejecting a call to surrender. None the less, it was largely because of these actions that it has been remarked of him that he "Trod on Irish soil for only nine months, but few men's footprints have been so deeply imprinted on Irish history".
Overall, the concluding years of the conflict (1649-52) consisted of a series of attacks on towns which occasionally resulted in heavy Cromwellian casualties. In the end, unlike in 1603, when the war concluded "no general terms of surrender had been negotiated, and with few exceptions nothing had been guaranteed in the surrenders except freedom from immediate pillage".54 Having reconquered Ireland, what did the Cromwellians do with it?

Before analysing what happened, it is worth emphasising that the protestant state in Ireland had taken on a new complexion. During what has come to be known as the Commonwealth era, the episcopalian Church of Ireland was discarded, as was its mother church in England. Instead minority protestant sects, including anabaptists and quakers, thrived in Ireland.55 So far as catholics were concerned, the Commonwealth heralded a period of acute religious re­pression. The Cromwellians were convinced that their predecessors had not tackled the prob­lems posed by Ireland with sufficient vigour, a mistake they intended not to repeat. Hardly surprisingly, therefore, under the Commonwealth the catholic church in Ireland came under serious pressure as dozens of priests were executed and hundreds more exiled. Greater relig­ious repression was only part of the price that catholics paid for the 1641 rising. Of equal, if not greater concern, was the extent to which their lands were expropriated. That the catholic share of land in Ireland fell from three fifths in 1641 to 10 per cent by 1660 illustrates just how severely they were penalised. "For the Old Irish it was the last of a series of blows: the Old English lost almost everything in one catastrophe". Nor were Irish catholics the only ones to be expropriated at that time. Protestant royalists, including the exiled Ormond, also had their lands confiscated.

The Commonwealth land settlement in Ireland owed its origins to the Adventurers' act of 1642. Despite the widely reported massacre of Irish protestants in 1641 the response of their English brethren at the time has been described as "thoroughly Lilliputian". Enthusiasm to sponsor a relieving army in England was muted. This was due to the fact that the rising origi­nated in Ulster where so much land had already been confiscated from the indigenous popu­lation. That there would be only lean pickings to reward any would-be avengers proved cru­cial. It was only when the Old English catholics of the Pale joined the rebellion, awakening "dreams of new riches", that the English were spurred into passing the Adventurers' act. It was hoped £1 million would be raised from private individuals to finance the repression of the rising on the basis of a security of 2.5 million acres of "profitable" Irish land being made avail­able to repay the subscribers.
As indicated previously, an early English effort to reclaim Ireland was largely frustrated by the outbreak of the English civil war. When, finally, elements of the victorious Cromwellian army were transferred to Ireland, control of the country was regained. By the time the war was brought to a conclusion in 1652, though, there were many more than the Adventurers who were expecting a pay-off in Irish land. In addition, 35,000 Cromwellian soldiers received land grams.

Typically of the new regime, the land settlement enshrined several novel features. Most no­tably, property in all four Irish provinces was simultaneously confiscated for the first time. The scheme also contained a radical provision to transplant all catholics to Connacht in the west. Owing to the "hard economic consideration" that catholic tenants were required to work the land of the new colonists, it was eventually decided that only catholic landlords and their immediate dependants should be transplanted.
While the Cromwellians aspired to much more vigorous policies concerning the catholic Irish, experience once again proved that theoretical solutions were impractical in reality. An early indication that things were not going as planned was provided by the fact that Crom­wellian soldiers intermarried with the catholic Irish. What is more, too many Cromwellian soldiers sold out for short term gain to render the settlement any realistic chance of success. Even the transplantation to Connacht did not transpire as planned. Before long, the "punitive policies which aimed less at converting the Irish than at bludgeoning them into submission and leaving them too weak to rise again" were mitigated somewhat.66 In an era of diminished population, low rents and high wages, ordinary catholic tenants and labourers ac­tually profited during the 1650s.67 More substantive relief for the catholic landholding class, however, only occurred when the Stuarts were restored to the throne.

When Charles II, the so-called "Merry Monarch" ascended the throne in 1660, Irish cathol­ics in general felt that the dark era of persecution and expropriation had passed and that they were on the path to liberty of conscience and a general restitution of their position. This was due in no small measure to the fact that the "Ormond peace" of 1649, had offered them relig­ious toleration and security of property.68 Catholic hopes were again high that a Stuart mon­arch would foster their interests - aspirations which were to be far from fulfilled. This was be­cause the new king's inheritance was an onerous one, as he sought to reconsolidate the posi­tion of the Stuart dynasty. Nowhere was his legacy more complex than in Ireland. Central to Charles II's problems there was his obligation to repay the Stuart debt to catholics in Ireland, particularly the Old English, for their earlier support. In seeking to do so he had to tread care­fully. Such a policy encountered the danger of alienating Irish protestants, particularly as they now included many former Cromwellian soldiers.

As was the case under his predecessors, Charles II's catholic policy was "always dependent on the tidal flows of English politics". In the early days of his reign, the English people, who had welcomed him to the throne, were prepared to permit him some degree of indulgence in honouring old Stuart debts. Thus, the "Restoration" settlement in Ireland duly returned lands to some of those who had been expropriated by Cromwell, including protestant royalists such as Ormond and catholics as well. To the considerable disappointment of the Irish catholics, however, their share of land rose only to 20 per cent.70 This was because Charles's policy pro­voked a furious outcry from Irish protestants, especially the beneficiaries of the Common­wealth settlement.

Protestant anger was such that a major plot was hatched to seize control of Dublin Castle in May 1663. In view of such intense discontent the king was obliged to curtail the amount of land returned to catholics. At times, too, during Charles II's reign, political circumstances resulted in Irish catholics suffering persecution. Following the discovery of a "Popish Plot" in England in 1678, for example, when anti-popery was once more rampant, catholics in Ireland also bore the brunt of militant protestant wrath. This was epitomised in the case of Oliver Plunkett who was executed in 1681 on a fabricated charge of treason related to the plot.
Overall, Charles II's reign proved unsatisfactory for both protestants and catholics in Ire­land. The protestants experienced a great sense of insecurity, particularly at the beginning and end of his reign. At its outset, the Restoration Settlement undermined their position and made them realise that the plantations were not immutable. This factor loomed into even greater prominence in 1685 with the prospect of the succession of the catholic James II to the throne.
So far as Irish catholics were concerned, while Charles II had gone some way to improving their lot they were dissatisfied, feeling that they had been short-changed by yet another Stuart king in whom they had reposed their confidence. Yet James II’s succession to the throne again excited their optimism. For the fourth time during the seventeenth century, catholics in Ire­land awaited with anticipation the beginning of a new Stuart reign. This time they were not to be disappointed - not at first at any rate.

Almost as soon as James II ascended the throne in February 1685 developments occurred which set the new catholic monarch on a collision course with his protestant subjects in Eng­land and Ireland. Previous Stuart kings had realised that it was impolitic to be overtly pro-­catholic. James II, however, did not pursue such a cautious approach, at least not in Ireland. Soon, the island had been transformed from "protestant dominated stability to a dangerously rumour-ridden condition in which protestants universally were scared and catholics at all so­cial levels touched by euphoric expectation and political excitement".
A "Catholicization" policy was implemented in Ireland by the King's confident, Richard Talbot, later earl of Tyrconnell. Before long, catholics dominated the Irish army, eventually comprising 90 per cent of its complement. They also gained major posts in the civil admini­stration of the country at" the expense of protestants. More importantly, legislation was con­sidered in a parliament convened in 1689 which would at least partly reverse some of the ear­lier plantation schemes, again, particularly in favour of the Old English.76 Naturally, these de­velopments greatly alarmed Irish protestants. But they were by no means the only ones dis­turbed by James II’s policies. England, after all, was a predominantly protestant country and many resented the catholic succession to the throne. For a time, they could content them­selves with the fact that the monarchy would revert to a protestant when James's daughter, Mary, wife of Prince William of Orange, succeeded to the throne. This situation dramatically altered in 1688 when a son was born to the King, a catholic male heir. Before long, Prince William's intervention was sought by James II’s protestant opponents to dethrone him. Wil­liam was subsequently declared king of England.

When a mainly Dutch force of 14,000 men arrived in Devon in November 1688, James, lacking substantial support in England, fled to exile in France. Encouraged by the French king and supplied with French help, James looked to the catholics of Ireland for support in defeat­ing William. What followed were "the largest formal military operations ever to occur on Irish soil". Recent historiography has supplanted the traditional depiction of the war in Ire­land as a bi-partisan conflict between King James and King William with a tripartite explana­tion instead. The war in Ireland is now firmly set in its European context as "the war of the three kings" involving King William, Louis XIV of France and his client, James II. The central theatre of the war was in Europe where William and Louis XIV had long been engaged in a bitter struggle. The conflict in Ireland, 1689-91, was but a side-show to the main event. The European dimension to the war was manifested by the fact that William's army in Ireland in­cluded Huguenots, Danes, English, Germans, Dutch, Scots as well as Irish protestants, while the Jacobite forces, supporters of James, comprised contingents of French, Germans, Walloons and Irish.
The protestant settlers of Ulster hesitated at first about which side to join. James II, after all, was their lawful king.79 The mental scar etched on the protestant psyche by the 1641 massacres, recollected annually by commemorations of the event, proved the determining factor in their decision. The presence of Jacobite forces outside the city of Londonderry in April 1689 provoked fears of another massacre by "papists". Consequently, the gates of the city were closed and the siege of "Derry" began. In denying the Jacobite forces access to the city, the Ul­ster protestant settlers committed themselves to the Williamite cause. By their successes at the sieges of Derry and Enniskillen they prevented the Jacobites consolidating their grip on Ire­land and provided King William with a foothold in the country. Therefore, while contingents of European troops undoubtedly played the key roles in the set piece battles of the war in Ireland, Ulster protestants consider their own contribution to King William's victory to have been substantial. It is for this reason that the annual siege of Derry commemorations continue to be celebrated by protestants with great enthusiasm.

The Boyne (1690) is the most famous Irish battle of "the war of the three kings". It was not, militarily, the most significant, that distinction rests with the much more bloody and decisive battle of Aughrim fought a year later. It was, however, the most symbolic. After all, both William and James II were present at the Boyne. King James's ignominious flight from the battlefield and Ireland shortly afterwards has been considered ever since as a striking manifes­tation of protestant triumph over catholic Ireland. Yet, something more tangible underlies the symbolic importance attached to this particular protestant victory. The Irish catholics, as David Dickson points out, were comprehensively defeated by Cromwell earlier in the cen­tury. But, "for the next half a century a question mark remained against that victory because of the uncertainties of British dynastic politics".80

Protestant victory at the Boyne and in the war led to a resolution of this problem. By the Act of Settlement, 1701, it was legislated that all future English monarchs must be members of the Church of England. In other words, there was to be a protestant king for a protestant people.

Yet, King William's triumph proved less complete than Irish protestants would have liked. This was because catholic resistance did not crumble after the Boyne. Inspired by talented commanders such as the Irishman, Patrick Sarsfield and the French general, St.Ruth, the Ja­cobites remained a formidable force. At the battle of Aughrim in 1691, they came close to inflicting a serious defeat on the Williamites before succumbing to an ultimately heavy defeat. Even, then, the Jacobites remained a force to be reckoned with. As with the situation earlier in the century, when the treaty of Mellifont was concluded (1603), catholics were once again able to end a war on terms.

King William's pressing commitments in continental Europe impelled him to agree to the Treaty of Limerick in 1691. As a result, catholic landowners were able to retain some 14 per cent of Irish land, a marginal improvement on the situation during the Commonwealth, but a neglible amount compared to the situation which pertained at the start of the century. The treaty, catholics maintained, also made provision for the toleration of their religion. This claim has provoked one of the "great controversies" in Ireland's history.

Irish protestants were disgusted with the treaty of Limerick. "Most of all there was the rec­ognition that the Catholic interest had not after all been crushed for ever, but could wait an opportunity to resume the attack".84 Thus, they challenged the catholic interpretation of the treaty, especially its religious articles. In the end, King William's victory did not bequeath re­ligious liberty in Ireland but a solidification of Church of Ireland protestantism instead.

Gradually a "penal code" was instituted whereby liberty of worship was denied to catholics and other nonconformists such as presbyterians. Additional measures were introduced which further infringed catholic liberties, including restrictions on their rights to bear arms or join the army.
What had happened, in fact, was that there had been a marked shift from the penal meas­ures which had been applied intermittently since the sixteenth century, when the proselytisa­tion of catholics was at least the professed aim, to a situation in which the "security" of the protestant colony had become the uppermost consideration. In other respects, the introduc­tion of the "penal code" was not the novel departure it may seem. To a considerable extent, it only enshrined in legislative form penal practices which had previously been enforced by proclamation, on the basis of royal prerogative.

In conclusion, R.F.Foster has recently observed of the Stuart era that "the uniqueness of Irish development from that time to this owes everything to the fundamental and protracted revolution of the seventeenth century". Irish protestants were bequeathed a legacy of ascen­dancy, marred by chronic insecurity. "The speed with which the Catholics had been rein­stated in power between 1685 and 1689 could not be forgotten; nor, further back, could the events of 1641, which were built into the Irish iconography of betrayal, siege and deliver­ance". For Irish catholics, the "breaking" of the treaty of Limerick epitomised for them what had been a disastrous century. Their position had become so eroded that subsequent ef­forts to ameliorate their position, or "catholic revanchism", was inevitable. How that was to be achieved, and at what expense to Irish protestants, has been at the focal point of Irish his­tory ever since


The Merchant Guilds of London colectively Puchased the Northern Irish Lands from the King

The year 1680 saw the end of the Company's interests in the Irish lands, for they were then sold to the Clothworkers' Company for £40, and a Deed of Release was executed. It is a matter of interest to trace the history of these Irish lands.

In the year 1609, the reigning monarch, James I, who was perplexed at the continual disturbances in the territories of Northern Ireland, which had been escheated by the Crown, suggested that the City Companies should acquire these lands for a consideration and develop them. After considerable negotiation the City Companies collectively agreed to subscribe a sum of £20,000, in consideration for which they were to be given control of the lands in the districts of Coleraine and Derry, with a view to colonising these lands with English Protestants and quelling the rebellions, which were so frequently troubling the Government. Of the £220,000 subscribed, £15,000 was to be used for building and improving the lands, and £5,000 for buying out the private interests. The money was duly subscribed to the Companies on the basis of their relative wealth, and a company was formed for the purpose of holding the lands. This company is what is now known as the Irish Society. The lands were duly conveyed to the Society, but the task of controlling and settling the land with English settlers proved much more expensive than was at first thought, and the City livery companies ultimately subscribed further sums in the neighbourhood of £60,000 for this purpose. The Upholders' proportion of the original sum of £20,000 is not shown in the records, but they contributed, between 1613 and 1615, a sum of £65 in response to demands. The real effect of the arrangement was that the escheated lands were made over to the Society and the City Companies undertook the task of developing these lands, and installing English and Scottish protestant settlers, mainly from the various crafts of the City. The lands in due course proved more or less self supporting, and in 1832 the question was raised by the City companies, led by the Skinners' Company, as to whether or not the Irish Society held the lands in trust for the public in general, or as trustee for the City Livery Companies. The case went to the House of Lords, and the upshot was that the Irish Society was deemed to be trustee of the lands for the public at large, but after satisfying the needs of the public, any surplus was divisible amongst the City Livery Companies. Inasmuch as the lands did not produce sufficient to finance the schemes which were necessary for the betterment of the people in North Ireland, there was no surplus, and the Livery Companies received no visible dividends whatever after this date, but continued to receive rents and payments from their investments in Ireland. Further difficulty arose in 1891 through an action by the Attorney General of Ireland, who issued a writ against the Irish Society and the City Livery Companies jointly, including the Upholders' Company for the purpose of determining the status of the people and their rights in connection with the land. It was then discovered that the Deed of Release was executed in 1680 whereby the Upholders' Company had released all its rights in the Irish Lands to the Clothworkers' Company for the sum of £40. However, it seems that Dr. Freshfield was instructed to protect the interests of the Company, but there is no further record relating to the matter, and one can only assume that the Upholders' Company were able to establish that they had in fact maintained their interest in the land.

In 1679 the Company paid £50 for procuring the approval of the Lord Chancellor to the Company's Bye-Laws, whilst in 1685 it was forced to meet further heavy expenses. It seems that this Company, in common with other City companies, incurred the displeasure of James II, and was forced to surrender its rights and privileges under the Charter and petition for a new one. This new one was duly granted by James II on the 9th June, 1687, but was annulled by Act of Parliament in the following reign (2 William and Mary), and the old Charter of Charles I was again revived.

All this cost the Company a considerable sum of money though, and there are sundry payments of £30 and £20 recorded. The normal income of the Company was insufficient to provide these funds, and in 1686 the Company mortgaged its land to one Giles Denny for £100 at 6 per cent., and part of the Company's plate was sold. In 1687 various loans were called in and the mortgage was redeemed. The net result of this trouble over the Charter seems to be that the "chest" was depleted, and the major part of the silver sold, and numerous loans were called in, so that the Company had to commence afresh in about 1687 to 1690. Its principal funds then comprised the various gifts which were lent out, and the Company's land which yielded £32 per annum. The income and expenditure for some years remained fairly steady, and there was little balance in hand at the end of each year. Sometimes one finds a credit balance, but this was more often than not wiped out in the following year by an excess of expenditure over the income.

The activities of the Company in protecting the interests of the trade are reflected in the entry in October, 1689, to the effect that £25 was paid to one Ward, towards the cost of obtaining an Act of Parliament for prohibiting the making of cane chairs.

In 1697 there is a Minute ordering that the "loan money" which, until that time, was apparently kept in the "chest," should be paid into the Bank of England at interest until some young man petitioned for a loan. If this money was in fact paid into the Bank then there is no record of it in the account books, and the implication is that no record was kept of these sums until they finally came into the Company's hands as part of the general funds. This makes it the more difficult to estimate the extent of the Company's resources at that time.

Ireland During the Reign of James VII and II

Irish Catholics, known as Jacobites fought for James in 1698-91, but failed to restore him to the throne of Ireland, England and Scotland
However, within a generation, Ireland was at war again. Ireland became the main battleground in the Glorious Revolution of 1689, when the Catholic James II was deposed by the English Parliament and replaced by William of Orange. Irish Catholics backed James to try to reverse the Penal Laws and land confiscations, whereas Irish British Protestants, and the Merchant Guilds of London supported William to preserve their dominance and interests in the country that they had purchased. James and William fought for the English, Scottish and Irish thrones in the Williamite War, most famously at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, where James's forces were ultimately defeated. Jacobite resistance was finally ended after the Ba
ttle of Aughrim in July 1691. The Penal laws (which had been allowed to lapse somewhat after the English Restoration) were re-applied with great harshness after this war, as the Protestant elite wanted to ensure that the Irish Catholic landed classes would not be in a position to repeat their rebellions of the 17th century. In addition, as of 1704, Presbyterians were also barred from holding public office, bearing arms and entering certain professions. This was in part due to the distrust the mostly English Anglican and London Guild establishment had for the mostly Scottish Presbyterian community, which by now had been created as a majority in Ulster to control the returns to the Guilds of London.

The Coventry Letter, 1686, on Acts of Settlement and Explanation"
To Richard Talbot, earl of Tyrconnell, viceroy of Ireland, from sir Richard Nagle, attorney-general. Coventry, October 26, 1686.

My lord—I have reflected upon a discourse my lord Sunderland had with me concerning the affairs of Ireland, and particularly concerning a proclamation, to issue on the change of the governors, in order to settle the minds of the people, that should intimate that the king had no intention to touch the acts of settlement of Ireland, but would confirm them.

I confess I cannot comprehend the necessity of such a declaration, notwithstanding the reasons insisted upon for the support of such a project. Your lordship may well remember what a numberless number of proclamations issued in the late king's time, that had no other operation upon the minds of the people than to put them in mind that the prince was in fear of them, which made many often to appear the more violent to cross his designs.

It is said that fears and jealousies will occasion the country to be dispeopled if this be not done. I would gladly know what ground can be that any man should desert the country the more or less for having or having not this proclamation. The persons that have no real estates are not concerned. And it is manifest that those that have estates in lands, and who think themselves secure by law, and who live where they have a present being would be unwilling to go to another where they have none. It is said that many there will sell their estates and betake themselves to some other country. This is so unlikely that I do not find that any estated person there has offered any great bargain of his estate and interest that would encourage the buying of it; and, therefore, I am satisfied that no man will leave the kingdom for want of this proclamation but he that otherwise would go.

But it is said this will encourage trade; how can this be? The church Protestant dealers are men that have no real estates, and how this proclamation can influence them I cannot well apprehend it. But it is certain that the granting of it will much discourage and dishearten the Catholics, when they foresee the Catholic proprietors by this means put out of all hopes of getting any part of their ancient patrimonies. It will dishearten the Irish merchants abroad, who are considerable, from coming home to improve their stocks in their own country. It will discourage the Catholic merchants at home, who carry on the most considerable part of the trade, from being too forward in their own adventures and dealing; for they must foresee that nothing can support Catholic religion in that kingdom, but to make Catholics there considerable in their fortunes as they are considerable in their number, for this must be the only inducement that can prevail upon a Protestant successor to allow them a toleration as to their religion, and a protection as to their estates. If this point fail, then the Protestants will be most considerable in fortune, and in that degree that the meanest sort of Catholics will be obliged to adhere to them, considering the dependencies they are like to have of them in their holdings, and upon that account the Protestant successor, as a matter suitable to his principles and inclinations, will think it fit for his advantage to espouse the Protestant interest, and the Catholics will be so far from being protected by him, that they will be in great hazard to be exposed to great hardship and rigour more than ever they were, and their religion to be wholly abolished in that kingdom.

For to say they have all employments, and that this will make them considerable, cannot prevent this danger—first, they have no employments in the civil part of the government but the places of their judges, and, as I am informed, but a third part of the military offices. But suppose they had the greatest part of these offices, they all determine with our sovereign's life, and how far this will contribute to support a Catholic religion I leave any indifferent man to judge of, and whether rather the granting of such a proclamation will not rather tend to the dispeopling of the country, to the discouragement of trade, and to the disheartening of the Catholics of that country, who are the greatest part of that kingdom, and the only body of people of that persuasion that the king had in his three kingdoms. Next, either the king will grant this proclamation, reserving a latitude to himself to have a considerable tax or imposition for confirming them, and then it will not answer the ends for which it was granted, or it will be granted without any reservation, and then the king will be obliged by his royal word to confirm them, whether they give him money or no; or at least it will be a ground or occasion to stop them from giving him much money, for by this proclamation they will think themselves pretty secure in one king's time, and they do not doubt of the favour of his successor. This way of issuing proclamations without any reservation I conceive would be no great policy, when it is certain the new estated men would freely part with great sums and considerable part of their lands to have a confirmation.

When the king will seriously reflect upon the transactions of Ireland, he will very well consider before he grants this expected confirmation, and, indeed, it is a very great point and of very high consequence; it is to confirm large possessions on Protestants that never before had any ancient pretensions to the same, and to bar the Catholic proprietors from their ancient right as to the public part of it. He that had a resolution to establish Catholic religion cannot imagine that the way of doing the same is to confirm the most considerable interest there in the hands of the Protestants, and to take away all the hope of Catholic proprietors. That is to make enemies of our religion considerable, and to weaken and dishearten the professors of that religion. I cannot imagine that a Catholic prince will ever confirm the pretensions of one part, against which there are great complaints, and bar the pretensions of another, before he hears the party to be confirmed, and the party that apprehends himself injured; if there was injustice in granting to one and taking it away from the other, there must be injustice also in the confirmation. In short, whoever confirms these evils, he takes upon himself all the guilt of what was already transacted which a prince of great piety, and who already ventured the loss of three kingdoms for his religion, will hardly be prevailed upon to do, if he will but consider all the circumstances of what he is about to do, which in conscience he is obliged to consider before he gives this last blow of confirmation. Will any man tell me that our king, a prince of his zeal, fervour, and piety, will give his helping hand that all innocents that never were heard shall be condemned, and their estates taken away from them contrary to the great charter of Magna Charta, confirmed by thirty parliaments in Catholic times? Will he ever order matters so that those who spilt their blood in his brother's service against the late usurper, and in his own and brother's service abroad and at home, to whom his brother promised their estates, that they and their heirs should for ever be barred of their ancient rights, and that the latter shall be confirmed to those who served the usurpers? Will he order things so that those shall be barred who had all assurances to have their estates by the late king's word and public faith expressed in his declaration and in the first act of settlement, whereof afterwards they were disappointed by the contrivance of those who intended to weaken the Catholic party in Ireland and extinguish their religion? Shall he ratify that some innocents, declared so by the late commissioners, shall never have a perch; that all constructions upon those acts shall be made in favour of the Protestants. And yet all this his majesty must do if he confirms those acts, which in themselves are defective, besides contributing to confirm all the other oppressions and hardships put by those acts upon many poor widows and orphans, and infants, and other Catholics.

In short, all those miscarriages our Catholic pious prince will take upon himself by confirming those acts. He is too great, too virtuous, and too pious to involve the state of his conscience in a point of high consequence, both as to religion and justice, without mature deliberation. I dare boldly say no honest divine in England will advise him to it; there is certainly a greater obligation upon him to do justice than
to confirm injustice, especially injustice carried on by the persons concerned, who were both judges and parties, that proceeded against justice to be given in point of interest, and thereby to weaken, if not absolutely destroy, Catholic religion.

But all expedient to help all those matters is that which being most difficult I only offer this in short, that his majesty may be pleased sometime in his discourse to insist that those acts are defective and not complied with (as in truth they are), so many being provided for to have their estates which are disappointed, and to have some severer clauses therein rectified, and particularly the clause against innocents not heard.

I do not doubt but the adverse party may fall to such a condescension, that matters may be so adjusted at the next sitting of parliament, that all matters may be reconciled in some measure to the satisfaction of all innocents:

At our last meeting I did not think it fit to give his majesty the trouble of all this matter, but having leisure upon the road this long winter's night, I thought to inform your lordship of my present sense of this affair, and that you may be pleased to give a hint of these to his majesty when he is most at leisure, that thereby he may be the better informed of matters in Ireland in order to settle a sure foundation for the establishment of religion.

I have that confidence in the great piety and unparalleled virtue and devotion of our sacred queen, that if you inform her majesty of those matters she will give her helping hand to so good a work.

My lord, I have troubled you too much, for which I must beg your pardon.
I am, my lord, your lordship's faithful humble servant, —Richard Nagle.
Observations upon the king's declaration, the acts of settlement and explanation.

By the king's declaration the adventurers are to be settled in their estates, and where they are deficient they are to be reprised. And yet it is owned by the same declaration that the king was not obliged to confirm them, having pursued the methods prescribed by the acts in England in Charles the first's time, and in effect most of their money was brought up when the king and parliament was divided, and most of the money was employed by the parliament against the king and his army in England; and this was the reason that the usurper was so much concerned to see them provided for.

The soldiers that were of the army when the late king was restored were to be settled in their possessions, so that those who were formerly of the army, and were not then members of the same, were not by the king's declaration to be confirmed, but by the act of settlement that confirmed the declaration those that were formerly of the army were provided for, and these were many in number, and had great possessions, and the same much obstructed the execution of the king's declaration.

These soldiers so provided for were those that fought against the king's army in Ireland, upon whose account the Irish (who, since the peace in 1648, fought under the king's commands) were dispossessed, and their lands given to those for their service to the usurper; and it is to be considered how reasonable it is that the king's army should be dispossessed by an usurper, and that the usurper should give their estates to his own soldiers, and that the king, upon his declaration, should confirm those possessions.

By this declaration Coote, Orrery, Mountrath, and other leading men in the usurper's army are confirmed in their possessions, given to them by the usurper for their service under him.

The earl of Anglesey is confirmed in the purchases he made from those who had lands given them by the usurper; this can extend but to such purchases as he made before the declaration, and which were made for his own use. It is credibly supposed that many of those purchases were made in trust for others, and that accordingly he did, in performance of the said trust, make long leases and conveyances to those persons at small rents, and by this means he passed in patent vast possessions, and preferred the interest of Wallis, Sankey, Phaire, Morley and several others, considerable persons of the usurper's party, who, for being very notorious, despaired to be confirmed in their
acquisitions, and so sheltered themselves under the earl of Anglesey's proviso.

The 1649 officers are provided for, and to those the walled towns and large plantations are given, yet many of these sometimes served under the parliament, sometimes under the king, and sometimes were for the king and parliament, and many that were 1649 officers, before 1649, betrayed several of the king's towns to the usurpers, and yet those 1649 officers, who could not expect to be in a better condition than the officers of the king's army in England, have got for their satisfaction a vast interest in Ireland, and had very considerable power and conditions of redemption of great value allowed to them for a small matter.

By this declaration innocents are to be restored; but by the act of settlement such qualifications are put upon them, that it was providence that any of them were ever declared innocent, and several of those were qualifications which could not make a man criminal by the law of the land. This act ordered it so that those should suffice to make one innocent. In the trial of innocence there were great oppositions made that took up much time, and yet in all there were not six months allowed to trial of the innocents of Ireland, so that one thousand widows, infants and other persons that could be declared innocent, were precluded for want of being heard.

And, to amend the matter, there is an express clause in the act of explanation that no man, upon account of innocency, that was not already declared so, can pretend to any estate in Ireland, —contrary to reason, natural equity and justice.

Innocents restored are made liable to quit-rent, a year's value excluded from all mean profit due before the restoration; innocents quoad hoc, that is, restored to part, are barred from other part of their estates, —though they had the best right in the world to the same.

Innocents that had lands in Connaught and Clare, where their lands were set out to transplantors, —never to be put into possession till the transplantor be reprised, —which was never done or can be done as the matters do stand.

Several are indicted and outlawed wrongfully, and though they offered to traverse these outlawries, and to be tried, they were refused and this outlawry enough to criminate them.

Several heirs in tail are declared innocent, yet barred of their estates because their fathers were not declared innocents, though never indicted nor outlawed.

Innocents not to be restored to their estates in corporations with the king's letter, —whereby many were excluded.

By the king's declaration, all ensign men that served abroad, all those that submitted to the peace of 1648, without apostasy, and had no lands in Connaught, and several other persons there named, are to be restored to their ancient estates for reprisals. These are to this day unrestored for want of reprisals, and though the king, by his declaration, declared that he thought himself bound to provide for these persons, and to make good the peace of , being grounded upon public faith, yet by the act of explanation 'tis enacted that no man shall have the benefit of the articles of peace. The acts of settlement and explanation were past in a parliament when most of the persons that were members thereof were concerned, and it may he doubted whether the parliament was legal, most of the knights being neither freeholders nor chosen by freeholders, they being, for the most part, new interest men, who could have no freeholds, the acts themselves vesting those estates in the king since 1641, and because those estates were vested in the king by the acts of 17 and 18 and 16 and 17. Also the burgesses are supposed not to be legal burgesses, they being persons that intruded into those corporations in the usurper's time without legal election. Besides that, the proceedings of the commissioners for executing the acts were by witness when it should be by juries.

By the act of explanation, all letterees that by the king's letters were restored to all their estates were confined to two thousand acres, and that only where they were in possession in 1663. The nominees, who for the most part were to be restored by the first act, are confined to two thousand acres, and most of these kept out for want of reprisals. By these acts, all forfeited impropriations are given to the church, great
augmentations given to bishops, great possessions given the college of Dublin, and great estates confirmed to several persons by the act of settlement and explanation that were not provided for by the king's declaration, which was done by those that contrived the ruin of this nation, as well to engage them to stand by the settlement as to exhaust the stock of lands in Ireland, to the end that those who are designed by the king to be restored by his declaration may never be restored for want of reprisals; by this means the innocents not heard are barred.

Innocents in Connaught and Clare are barred, though declared innocents. Ensign men, letterees not in possession in 1663, nominees, natives of Cork, Youghal and Kinsale, that stuck to the king's interest, until expelled by the king's party, are barred.

The inhabitants in several towns in Ireland who, with the loss of their lives for lands and estates, defended the said towns against the usurpers and their heirs, are barred.

So that the act of settlement of one hand confirms the king's declaration, by which many persons are provided for to be restored, and of the other hand gives away all the lands that should reprise those that had the estates, by which the act becomes contradictory, repugnant, and unpractical

The Beginnings of Freemasonry and Guild Actions in Ireland
Proven History: Pre 1700

Regius Manuscriopt extract from British MuseumSo much for legend, what about the facts? It is acknowledged that the Regius Manuscript held in the British Museum is the oldest genuine record of Masonic relevance and was written in @ 1390. Its author was probably a priest and this MS takes the form of an historical and instructional poem. Interestingly, the phrase “So Mote it be” is first quoted from this text. Next, it is important to consider the Cooke Manuscript (also in the British Museum) written by a Speculative mason in 1450. This is an important document because many current Masonic usages (eg the Constitutions written by Anderson in 1723) have obviously borrowed heavily from its content, which includes reference to the seven Liberal Arts and Sciences and the building of Solomons Temple. There are approximately 100 manuscripts, collectively known as the Old Charges, grouped together in four families held by various museums worldwide.

Next, we know that the London Company of Freemasons were granted Arms in 1473 and their coat included three castles and compasses and wer incorporated within Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London’s arms upon inauguration in 2003.

Kilwinning Chapter HouseIn 1583, a William Schaw was appointed by King James VI (later James I of England) as Master of the Work and Warden General. In 1598 he issued the first of the now famous Schaw Statutes which set out the duties its members owed to their Lodge. It also imposed penalties for unsatisfactory work and prohibited work with unqualified masons. More importantly for Freemasons today, Schaw drew up a second Statute in 1599. The importance of this document lies in the fact that it makes the first veiled reference to the existence of esoteric knowledge within the craft of stone masonry. It also reveals that The Mother Lodge of Scotland, Lodge Kilwinning No. 0 existed at that time. His regulations required all lodges to keep written records, meet at specific times and test members in the Art of Memory. As a consequence he is regarded by some as the founder of modern Freemasonry as we know it today. On the right is a photo of the ruins of the Chapter House, the site of Kilwinnings first Lodge meetings.



The earliest known record of a Masonic initiation anywhere is that of John Boswell, Laird of Auchenleck, who was initiated in the Lodge of Edinburgh according to the lodge minutes of 8 June 1600. That lodge was Operative and Boswell appears to be an example of one of the earliest Speculative initiations and adds weight to a case for the Transition Theory of Freemasonry, at least in Scotland. The earliest records of an initiation in England include Sir Robert Moray in 1641 and Elias Ashmole in 1646. Abroad, the first native-born American to be made a Mason was probably Jonathan Belcher, in 1704, who was then the Governor of Massachusetts.
Ashmole was a renowned author and scholar and knew contemporary Great Thinkers of the day including Robert Boyle, Sir Robert Moray, Christopher Wren, Isaac Newton and Dr John Wilkins – all early members of the Royal Society, which began its life as the Invisible College, an organization at one time led by Francis Bacon, before securing a Royal Charter from Charles II in 1662. It is understood the Invisible College often met in the early years in the Compton Room at Canonbury Tower in North London, a room embellished with wood panel carvings of Masonic significance commissioned by Bacon like the one below.
Wood carving with masonic signification commisioned by Francis BaconOne can imagine the level of secrecy that must have surrounded the Invisible College in its early days and in the notoriously treacherous years before and after the Reformation – the consequences of taking the wrong sides or inviting criticism of any kind in those days was often fatal and is commented on frequently enough by Pepys in his famous diary. To get a flavour of the times in mid Seventeenth Century England, bear in mind that slavery was still universal and the gunpowder plot was in recent memory. Galileo was in deep trouble with the Catholic Church by insisting that the earth revolved around the sun, Bacon’s works were banned by Rome and The Inquisition and the Courts, at least in Scotland, were still burning witches and heretics. These were still times of fear, state control and comparative intolerance. Personal safety therefore probably demanded that discussion of anything with an esoteric, moral or scientific flavour take place underground.

CompendiumSo why would Thinkers and educated classes quietly develop or promote the concept of Freemasonry? Might it be possible that those opposed to intellectual and political suppression went underground and retained their anonymity and safety by clothing themselves with the appearance of an operative organization afforded by an early masonic lodge structure? It is then easy to see that embellishment of that structure by the adoption of old stonemasons Manuscripts and a perceived pedigree dating back to King Solomon would have given their membership a certain degree of authenticity and appeal.

Given that non stone-masons (Speculatives) were clearly being initiated from this time in England, some historians believe that Freemasonry was in transition at this point from pure Operative Masonry to Non Operative or Speculative Freemasonry. Equally, it could be argued that around this time, England copied the Scottish Masonic structure and set up an entirely Speculative form of Freemasonry which merely bore allegorical likeness to much earlier Scottish Operative lodges. This opinion has value when one considers that a disproportionate number of early Premier Grand Masters were Scottish and that the Constitutions were written by a Scotsman, Anderson.



Goose and gridiron, St Pauls churchyard - held the inaugural festive board of the Premier Grand Lodge of England.

Proven History: Post 1700

Little is known of Masonic activity for seventy years after Ashmole’s initiation in 1646 except that general London Club life became very popular. In 1717, four London lodges (the Apple Tree Tavern in Charles Street, the Goose & Gridiron Ale-house in St. Pauls Churchyard (pictured opposite), Crown Ale House near Drury Street and the Rummer & Grapes Tavern in Channel Row, Westminster) formed The Premier Grand Lodge of England. The date was St John The Baptists Day, 24 June 1717. The Inaugural Festive Board was held at the Goose and Gridiron, St Pauls (right).

The Laird of Auchinleck, John Boswell is registered to the Lodge in Edinburgh. In 1643, there were other names added to this list. They include Lord Alexander, Sir Anthony Alexander and Sir Alexander Strachan. In 1640, General Robert Moray is entered on the roster and in 1641 General Alexander Hamilton is added. Elias Ashmole and Randle Holme were both added in 1646 and the Earl of Cassillis was registered in 1672. According to the Phililethes Society, the first native born American to be made a Mason was Jonathan Belcher, in 1704, who was then the governor of Massachusetts.

Anthony Sayer, First Grand MasterAnthony Sayer (left) presided over this feast as Grand Master and Premier Grand Lodge took on the Coat of Arms first granted to the London Company of Freemasons in 1473. Interestingly, those founding lodges had a very small membership of 15 Freemasons each except for “Rummer & Grapes which had 70 members. In 1723 the Constitutions were written by Anderson whose father was PM of a lodge in Aberdeen. Clearly, our Scottish brethren had a lot to contribute towards the initial development of English Freemasonry.

THE "RISING OF '98," and THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS

by John Edward "Ed" Murphy

On 22 August 1798 a French force of about 1000 under General Jean Humbert landed in Killala Bay in County Mayo Ireland, and provided military assistance to the Irish rebels in the "Rising of '98" --- Sometimes referred to as "Bliadhan na bhFrancach" or "The Year of the French." About five days later Humbert's force surprised and routed a British force at Castlebar. This encounter is often referred to as the "Castlebar races." Nevertheless the 1798 Rising was ultimately suppressed, and Humbert surrendered to British General Cornwallis (of Yorktown fame) at Ballinamuck, County Longford, in early September. Humbert was repatriated to France later in 1798. Now let's turn to the New Orleans connection.......

Humbert ultimately emigrated to New Orleans and participated with Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans --- the last engagement of the (Anglo - American) War of 1812. The Battle of New Orleans was fought on 8 January 1815. Humbert directed the mounted scouts and was commended by Jackson in General Orders of 21 January 1815, for having "continually exposed himself to the greatest dangers with characteristic bravery."

Humbert spent his remaining years in New Orleans. He died in New Orleans on 2 January 1823 --- almost eight years after the Battle of New Orleans. New Orleans gave him a hero's funeral. The corps d'elite of The Louisiana Legion formed a guard of honor and a huge concourse of citizens came out spontaneously to pay him a final tribute. Humbert's remains were interred in Saint Louis Parochial Cemetery No. 1 on 3 January 1823. The exact burial site within the cemetery is unknown. But the cemetery is near the Saint Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square near the French Quarter. I last visited in New Orleans in December of 2000. I found a (very) brief reference to Humbert in a book at Chalmette National Park (the site of the battle). I doubt that the smoke stack was there in 1815. But the cannon and fortifications are real enough. Big irony, the Treaty of Ghent (Belgium) ending the War was signed on 24 December 1814 --- about two weeks EARLIER. Communications in the early 19th century weren't what we have today. So the battle ensued... ENTRY ON GENERAL JEAN JOSEPH AMABLE HUMBERT from DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY, UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE AMERICAN COUNCIL OF LEARNED SOCIETIES

EDITED BY: DUMAS MALONE, CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS; NEW YORK; 1932

HUMBERT, JEAN JOSEPH AMABLE

(Nov. 25, 1755 - Jan. 2, 1823), French general, resident of New Orleans who served under Jackson, was a typical son of the French Revolution. Born in Rouvray (Meuse) of humble parentage and orphaned at an early age, he earned his livelihood as best he could until 1792 when he organized a company of volunteers to help protect invaded France. Within two years he became general of brigade taking an active part in Jacobin circles in Paris. Sent into Vendee, he soon took a leading role in the merciless pacification of that revolted province. In 1798 he was in Ireland hoping to join Irish revolutionists against the English. The English overwhelmed his little French army, but Humbert was exchanged and was soon on his way to join Massena under whom he was wounded near Zurich in 1799. His next activity was with Le Clerc in the expedition to Santo Domingo which captured the leader of black revolt, Toussaint L'Ouverture. ' By winning the affection of Le Clerc's widow, Pauline Bonaparte, whom Napoleon had destined to marry a Borghese, Humbert incurred Napoleon's displeasure. Exiled in Brittany, he fled to the United States, apparently arriving in New Orleans in I814. He took an active part in the battle of New Orleans, delighted at the opportunity to fight the English. He directed the mounted scouts and was commended by Jackson in General Orders of Jan. 21, 1815, for having "continually exposed himself to the greatest dangers with characteristic bravery" (Fortier, post, III, 189). The following year Humbert joined a filibustering expedition to Mexico, hoping to take part in the Mexican war of liberation, but he arrived too late. Returning to New Orleans, he taught school, ending his years in dissipation, and dying of dysentery after a long illness. The French Restauration paid him a pension for a short while. The records of the Saint Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, show that he was buried in the parochial cemetery on Jan. 3, 1823. He was accorded a military burial and his funeral was well attended.

Humbert was a product of the French Revolution; as cruel as he was brave, he did the work assigned regardless of humanity; a martinet in discipline, trained in European warfare, he was a true soldier of the Napoleonic era. Louisiana tradition paints him as tall, possessor of a pleasant personality and good manners. He is the hero of Ponsard's drama Le Lion amoureux (1866).

The Year of the French ("Rising of 1798")


Colonial Ireland
Ireland 1691-1801

Subsequent Irish antagonism towards England was aggravated by the economic situation of Ireland in the eighteenth century. Throughout the century English trade with Ireland was the most important branch of English overseas trade2. The Protestant Anglo-Irish absentee landlords drew off some £800,000 in the early part of the century, rising to £1 million, in an economy that had a GDP of about £4 million. Completely deforested of timber for exports (usually to the Royal Navy) and for a temporary iron industry in the course of the seventeenth century, Irish estates turned to the export of salt beef, pork, butter, and hard cheese through the slaughterhouse and port city of Cork, which supplied England, the British navy and the sugar islands of the West Indies. The bishop of Cloyne wondered "how a foreigner could possibly conceive that half the inhabitants are dying of hunger in a country so abundant in foodstuffs?"3. In the 1740s, these economic inequalities led directly to the Great Irish Famine (1740-1741), which killed about 400,000 people. In the 1780's, due to increased competition from salted-meat exporters in the Baltic and North America, the Anglo-Irish landowners rapidly switched to growing grain for export, while the Irish themselves ate potatoes and groats.
By the late eighteenth century, many of the Irish Protestant elite had come to see Ireland as their native country. A Parliamentary faction led by Henry Grattan agitated for a more favourable trading relationship with England and for legislative independence for the Parliament of Ireland. Many of their demands were met, in part through a campaign led by Grattan, amongst others. However, reform in Ireland stalled over the proposals of some radicals to enfranchise Irish Catholics. When this failed, some in Ireland were attracted to the more militant example of the French revolution of 1789. They formed the Society of the United Irishmen to overthrow British rule and found a non-sectarian republic. Republicanism was particularly attractive to the Ulster Presbyterian community, who were discriminated against for their religion, and who had strong links with Scots-Irish American emigrants who had fought against Britain in the American Revolution. Their activity culminated in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, which was bloodily suppressed. Partly in response to this rebellion, Irish self-government was abolished altogether by the Act of Union on January 1, 1801.






Union with Great Britain (1801-1922)
: History of Ireland (1801-1922)
In 1800, after the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the British and the Irish parliaments (the latter controversially, as massive bribery was involved) enacted the Act of Union, which merged Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain (itself a union of England and Scotland, created almost 100 years earlier), to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Part of the deal for the union was that Catholic Emancipation would be conceded to remove discrimination against Catholics, Presbyterians and others. However King George III controversially blocked any change.
In 1823, an enterprising Catholic lawyer, Daniel O'Connell, "the Great Emancipator" began a successful campaign to achieve emancipation, which was finally conceded in 1829. He later led an unsuccessful campaign for "Repeal" (i.e., the repeal of the Act of Union).
The second of Ireland's "Great Famines", An Gorta Mór struck the country severely in the period 1845-1849, with potato blight leading to mass starvation and emigration. (See Irish Potato Famine (1845-1849).) The impact of emigration in Ireland was severe; the population dropped from over 8 million before the Famine to 4.4 million in 1911.

Fall in Irish population (1841-1851)

The Irish language, once the spoken language of the entire island, declined in use sharply in the nineteenth century as a result of the Famine and the creation of the National School education system, as well as hostility to the language from leading Irish politicians of the time; it was largely replaced by English. The form of English used in Ireland differs somewhat from British English and its variants. Blurring linguistic structures from older forms of English (notably Elizabethan English) and the Irish language, it is known as Hiberno-English and was in the twentieth century strongly associated with writers like J.M. Synge, George Bernard Shaw, Sean O'Casey, and had resonances in the English of Dublin-born Oscar Wilde.
In the 1870s the issue of Irish self-government again became a major focus of debate under Protestant landowner, Charles Stewart Parnell and the Home Rule League. British prime minister William Ewart Gladstone made two unsuccessful attempts to introduce Home Rule in 1886 and 1893. Parnell's controversial leadership eventually ended when he was implicated in a divorce scandal, when it was revealed that he had been living with the wife of a fellow Irish MP, Katherine O'Shea, and was the father of some of her children. However, with the introduction of the First Home Rule Bill of 1886 to the British House of Commons, Parnell was known throughout the country as the Uncrowned King of Ireland.
The debate over Home Rule led to tensions between Irish nationalists and Irish unionists (those who favoured maintenance of the union). Most of the island was predominantly nationalist, Catholic and agrarian. The northeast, however, was predominantly unionist, Protestant and industrialised. Unionists feared a loss of political power and economic wealth in a predominantly rural, nationalist, Catholic home rule state. Nationalists believed that they would remain economically and politically second class citizens without self-government.
Outside mainstream nationalism, a series of violent rebellions by Irish republicans took place in 1803, under Robert Emmet; in 1848, by the Young Irelanders, most prominent among them, Thomas Francis Meagher; and in 1868, by the Irish Republican Brotherhood. All failed, but physical force nationalism remained an undercurrent in the nineteenth century.
The late nineteenth century also witnessed major land reform, spearheaded by the Land League under Michael Davitt. From 1870 various British governments introduced a series of Land Acts that broke up large estates and gradually gave rural landholders and tenants what became known as the 3 Fs; Fair rent, free sale, fixity of tenure."
Dublin, however, remained a city marked by extremes of poverty and wealth, possessing some of the worst slums anywhere in the British Empire. It also possessed one of the world's biggest "red light districts" known as Monto (after its focal point, Mountgomery Street, on the northside of the city). Monto was to feature in many novels set in Dublin, most notably in the writings of James Joyce.
From 1801 to 1922 the whole island of Ireland formed a constituent part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (UK). For almost all of this period Ireland was ruled directly by the UK Parliament in London.
The nineteenth century saw considerable economic difficulties for Ireland, including the Great Famine of the 1840s. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw a vigorous but unsuccessful campaign for Irish home rule, followed by the eclipse of moderate nationalism by militant separatism.
In 1922, following the War of Independence, twenty-six southern and western counties of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom as the Irish Free State. Six counties in the northeast, which became Northern Ireland remained within the United Kingdom.

Flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, adopted in 1801. Unlike the earlier Union Flag, it incorporated Saint Patrick's cross (a red saltire on a white field), to represent the inclusion of Ireland in the Union.

Act of Union

In 1800 the Irish Parliament and the Parliament of Great Britain passed the Act of Union which, in 1801, abolished the Irish legislature, and merged the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. After one failed attempt, the passage of the act in the Irish parliament was finally achieved, albeit with the mass bribery of members of both houses, who were awarded British and United Kingdom peerages and other "encouragements".
Part of the Union's attraction for many Irish Catholics was the promised abolition of the remaining Penal Laws then in force (which discriminated against Roman Catholics), and the granting of Catholic Emancipation. However King George III blocked emancipation, arguing that to grant it would break his coronation oath to defend the Anglican church. A campaign under lawyer and politician Daniel O'Connell led to the conceding of Catholic emancipation in 1829, thus allowing Catholics to sit in parliament. O'Connell then mounted an unsuccessful campaign for the repeal of the Act of Union and the restoration of Irish self-government.
Economic problems in the 19th century, The Famine
Ireland underwent major highs and lows economically during the nineteenth century; from economic booms during the Napoleonic Wars and in the late nineteenth century (when it experienced a surge in economic growth unmatched until the 'Celtic Tiger' boom of the 1990s), to severe economic downturns and a series of famines, the latest threatening in 1879. The worst of these was the Great Famine of 1846-1848, in which about one million people died and another million were forced to emigrate.
Ireland's economic problems were in part the result of the small size of Irish landholdings. In particular, both the law and social tradition provided for subdivision of land, with all sons inheriting equal shares in a farm, meaning that farms became so small that only one crop, potatoes, could be grown in sufficient amounts to feed a family. Furthermore many estates, from whom the small farmers rented, were poorly run by absentee landlords and in many cases heavily mortgaged.
When potato blight hit the island in 1846, much of the rural population was left without food. Unfortunately at this time British politicians such as the Prime Minister Robert Peel were wedded to a strict laissez-faire economic policy, which argued against state intervention of any sort. While enormous sums were raised by private individuals and charities (Native Americans sent supplies, while Queen Victoria personally gave the equivalent in modern money of €70,000) British government inaction (or at least inadequate action) led to a problem becoming a catastrophe; the class of cottiers or farm labourers was virtually wiped out.


Irish settlement in Britain 1851


The famine spawned the first mass wave of Irish emigration to the United States. There was also a large amount of emigration to England, Scotland, Canada, and Australia. This had the long term consequence of creating a large and influential Irish diaspora, particularly in the United States, whose members supported and financed the Irish independence movement. In 1858, the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB, also known as the Fenians) was founded as a secret society dedicated to armed rebellion against the British. The organisation was formed simultaneously in New York and was known as Clan na Gael, which several times invaded the British colony of Canada. However support for Irish republicanism, in the face of harsh laws against sedition, was minimal in Ireland in the period; as late as the 1860s, mass meetings of constitutional nationalists ended with the singing of "God Save the Queen" while royal visits often drew cheering crowds.
Land Agitation

In the wake of the famine, many thousands of Irish peasant farmers and labourers either died or left the country. Those who remained waged a long campaign for better rights for tenant farmers and ultimately for land re-distribution. This period, known as the "land war" in Ireland, had a nationalist as well as a social element. The reason for this was that the land-owning class in Ireland had, since the 17th century Plantations of Ireland been composed of Protestant settlers, originally from England, who had a British identity. The Irish (Roman Catholic) population widely believed that the land had been unjustly taken from their ancestors and given to this Protestant Ascendancy during the English conquest of the country.
The Irish Land League, was formed to defend the interests of tenant farmers, at first demanding the "Three F's" - Fair rent, Free sale and Fixity of tenure. Members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, such as Michael Davitt, were prominent among the leadership of this movement. When they saw its potential for popular mobilisation, nationalist leaders such as Charles Stuart Parnell also became involved.
The most effective tactic of the land league was the boycott (the word originates in Ireland in this period), where unpopular landlords were ostracised by the local community. Grassroots Land League members used violence against landlords and their property; attempted evictions of tenant farmers regularly turned into armed confrontations. Under the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Ireland was put under coercion- a form of martial law - to contain the violence. Parnell, Davitt and the other leaders of the Land League were temporarily imprisoned - being held responsible for the violence.
Ultimately, the land question was settled through successive Irish Land Acts by British governments – beginning with that of William Gladstone, which first gave extensive rights to tenant farmers and later purchased the tenant's plots of land from their landlords for them. This created a very large class of small property owners in the Irish countryside, and dissipated the power of the old Anglo-Irish landed class. However it did not end support for Irish nationalism, as British governments had hoped. See also Irish Land Commission.
Home rule movement

Charles Stewart Parnell, the "uncrowned King of Ireland"

Until the 1870s most Irish people elected as their Members of Parliament (MPs) Liberals and Conservatives who belonged to the main British political parties, with the Conservatives, for example, winning a majority in the 1859 general election in Ireland. A significant minority also elected Unionists, who resisted fiercely any dilution of the Act of Union. In the 1870s a former Conservative barrister and Orangeman turned nationalist campaigner, Isaac Butt, established a new moderate nationalist movement, the Home Rule League. After his death, William Shaw and in particular a radical young Protestant landowner, Charles Stewart Parnell, turned the home rule movement, or the Irish Parliamentary Party as it became known, into a major political force. It came to dominate Irish politics, to the exclusion of the previous Liberal, Conservative and Unionist parties that had existed there. The party's growing electoral strength was first shown in the 1880 general election in Ireland, when it won 63 seats (2 MPs later defected to the Liberals). By the 1885 general election in Ireland it had captured 86 seats (including one in the heavily Irish-populated English city of Liverpool). Parnell's movement proved to be a broad one, from conservative landowners to the Land League.
Parnell's movement also campaigned for the right of Ireland to govern herself as a region within the United Kingdom, in contrast to O'Connell who had wanted a complete repeal of the Act of Union. Two home rule bills (in 1886 and 1893) were introduced by Liberal Prime Minister William Gladstone, but neither became law. The issue divided Ireland: a significant minority of Unionists (largely though by no means exclusively based in Ulster), opposed home rule, fearing that a Dublin parliament dominated by Catholics and nationalists would discriminate against them and would impose tariffs on trade with Britain. (Whilst most of Ireland was primarily agricultural, north-east Ulster was the location of almost all the island's heavy industry and would have been affected by any tariff barriers imposed).
In 1892, the Parnell divorce scandal split the movement, when it became public that Parnell, popularly acclaimed as the 'Uncrowned King of Ireland', had for many years been living with the wife of one of his fellow MPs, Mrs. Kitty O'Shea. When the scandal broke, religious non-conformists in Britain, who were the backbone of the pro-Home Rule Liberal Party, forced its leader W. E. Gladstone to abandon support for the Irish cause as long as Parnell remained leader of the IPP. Parnell was subsequently disposed and died in 1891. But the Party and the country remained split between pro- and anti-Parnellites, who fought each other in elections, until reunited under John Redmond in 1899.
In 1912, with the Irish Parliamentary Party at its zenith, a new third Home Rule Bill was introduced, passing its first reading in the House of Commons but again being defeated in the House of Lords (as with the bill of 1893). However, by this time, the House of Lords had lost its power to veto legislation and could only delay the bill for two years. During these two years the threat of civil war hung over the island of Ireland, with the creation of the Unionist Ulster Volunteer Force to resist Home Rule and of their nationalist counterparts the Irish Volunteers to support Home Rule. These two groups armed themselves by importing thousands of rifles and rounds of ammunition from Imperial Germany and often drilled openly.
In 1914 the Imperial House of Commons finally passed the Third Home Rule Act 1914 but, on the sudden outbreak of the First World War in August, the Act was suspended with a view to being implemented in 1915, at the end of what was expected to be a short war. The UVF and most of the National Volunteers joined their respective Divisions of the British army, the 36th (Ulster) Division, the 10th (Irish) Division and the 16th (Irish) Division in their thousands and suffered crippling losses in the trenches. Each side believed that, after the war, Britain would favour their respective goals of remaining fully part of the United Kingdom or becoming a self-governing Ireland within a looser union under the Crown.
Until 1918, the Irish Parliamentary Party remained the dominant Irish party. But from the early 1900s, a radical fringe among Home Rulers became associated with militant republicanism, particularly Irish-American republicanism.

Culture

The Culture of Ireland went under a massive change in the course of the 19th century. After the Famine, the Irish Language went into steep decline. This process was started in the 1820s, when the first National Schools were set up in country. These had the advantage of encouraging literacy, but classes were provided only in English and the speaking of Irish was firmly discouraged. However, before the 1840s, Irish was still the majority language in the country and numerically (given the rise in population) may have had more speakers than ever before. The Famine devastated the Irish speaking areas of the country, which tended also to be rural and poor. As well as causing the deaths of thousands of Irish speakers, the famine also led to sustained and widespread emigration from the Irish-speaking south and west of the country. By 1900, for the first time in perhaps two millennia, Irish was no longer the majority language in Ireland and in fact continued to decline in importance. By the time of Irish independence, the Gaeltachts had shrunk to small areas along the western seaboard.
In reaction, to this, Irish nationalists began a "Gaelic revival" in the late 19th century, hoping to revive the Irish language and Irish literature and sports. While social organisations such as the Gaelic League and the Gaelic Athletic Association were very successful in attracting members, most of their activists were English speakers and the movement did not halt the decline of the Irish language.




Militant separatism
The West Cork Flying Column
during the War of Independence.


The flag of the Irish Republic now on display in the National Museum of Ireland in Kildare Street. The flag of E Company, a green, white and orange tricolour, which was flown over the General Post Office by E Company alongside this flag, was wrongly thought of as the Republic's flag in 1916.
In 1916, a small band of republican rebels staged an attempted rebellion, called the "Easter Rising", under Padraig Pearse and James Connolly. Initially their acts were widely condemned in nationalist Ireland, much of which had sons fighting in the British army at the urging of Irish Parliamentary leadership. Indeed major newspapers such as the Irish Independent and local authorities openly called for the execution of Pearse and the Rising's leadership. However the government's handling of the aftermath, and the execution of rebels and others in stages, ultimately led to widespread public sympathy for the rebels.
The government and the Irish media wrongly blamed Sinn Féin, then a small monarchist political party with little popular support, for the rebellion, even though in reality it had not been involved. Nonetheless Rising survivors, notably Eamon de Valera, returning from imprisonment in Britain joined the party in great numbers, radicalised its programme and took control of its leadership.
Until 1917, Sinn Féin, under its founder Arthur Griffith, had campaigned for a form of government championed first by O'Connell, namely that Ireland would become independent as a dual monarchy with Britain, under a shared king. Such a system operated under Austria-Hungary, where the same monarch, King Charles IV reigned separately in both Austria and Hungary. Indeed Griffith in his book, The Resurrection of Hungary, modelled his ideas on the manner in which Hungary had forced Austria to create a dual monarchy linking both states.
Faced with an impending split between its monarchists and republicans, a compromise was brokered at the 1917 Ard Fheis (party conference) whereby the party would campaign to create a republic, then let the people decide if they wanted a monarchy or republic, subject to the proviso that if they wanted a king, they could not choose someone from Britain's Royal Family (during the Rising, Pearse had suggested having Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany's youngest son, Prince Joachim as King of Ireland).
Throughout 1917 and 1918, Sinn Féin and the Irish Parliamentary Party fought a bitter and rather inconclusive electoral battle; each won some by-elections and lost others. The scales were finally tipped Sinn Féin's way when the government, which ironically had received vast number of soldiers from Ireland, tried to impose conscription on the island. An infuriated public turned against Britain over the Conscription Crisis. Even the Irish Parliamentary Party was forced to withdraw its MPs from the British Parliament in Westminster.
In the December 1918 general election, Sinn Féin won 73 out of 105 seats, many of which were uncontested. Sinn Féin's new MPs refused to sit in the British House of Commons. Instead they assembled as 'TDs' in the Mansion House in Dublin and established Dáil Éireann (a revolutionary Irish parliament). They proclaimed an Irish Republic and attempted to establish a system of government.
War of Independence (1919-1921)
Irish War of Independence
For three years, from 1919 to 1921, the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the army of the Irish Republic, engaged in guerrilla warfare against the British army and paramilitary police units known as the Black and Tans and the Auxiliary Division. Both sides engaged in brutal acts; the Black and Tans deliberately burned entire towns and tortured civilians. The IRA killed many civilians it believed to be aiding or giving information to the British (Munster was particularly violent), as well as burning historic homes in retaliation for the government policy (similar to present-day Israel's) of destroying the homes of republicans, suspected or actual. This clash came to be known as the War of Independence or the Anglo-Irish War.
In the background, Britain remained committed to implementing self-government for Ireland in accordance with the (temporarily suspended) Home Rule Act 1914. The British Cabinet drew up a committee to deal with this, the Long Committee. This largely followed Unionist MP recommendations, since Dáil MPs boycotting Westminster had no say or input. These deliberations resulted in a new Fourth Home Rule Act (known as the Government of Ireland Act 1920) being enacted primarily in the interest of Ulster Unionists. The Act granted (separate) Home Rule to the northeastern-most six counties of Ulster within the United Kingdom and partitioned Ireland according to their wishes into two semi-autonomous regions: Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, co-ordinated by a Council of Ireland. Upon Royal Assent, the Northern Ireland parliament came into being. The institutions of Southern Ireland, however, were boycotted by nationalists and so never became functional.
In July 1921, a cease-fire was agreed and negotiations between delegations of the Irish and British sides produced the Anglo-Irish Treaty. Under the treaty, southern and western Ireland was to be given a form of dominion status, modelled on the Dominion of Canada. This in excess of what was initially offered to Parnell, and somewhat more than that which the Irish Parliamentary Party's constitutional 'step by step' towards full freedom approach, had already achieved. Northern Ireland was given the right, immediately availed of, to opt out of the new Irish Free State and an Irish Boundary Commission was to be established to work out the final details of the border. Initially, Northern Ireland comprised the north-east six counties of Ulster, while the remaining twenty-six formed the Free State: the Boundary Commission declined to make any change to this arrangement.

Civil War (1922-1923)
Irish Civil War

The Four Courts under bombardment by Free State Troops in 1922
The Dáil narrowly passed the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921. Under the leadership of Michael Collins and W.T. Cosgrave, it set about establishing the Irish Free State, with the IRA becoming a national, fully re-organised army and a new police force, the Civic Guard (quickly renamed as the Garda Síochána) replacing one of Ireland's two police forces, the Royal Irish Constabulary. The second, the Dublin Metropolitan Police merged some years later with the Gardaí.
However a minority led by Éamon de Valera opposed the treaty, on the grounds that it did not create a fully independent republic, that it imposed the controversial Dominion Oath of Allegiance (to the Irish Free State) and Fidelity (to the King) on Irish parliamentarians and that it accepted the partition of the island. De Valera led his supporters out of the Dáil and, after a lapse of six months in which the IRA also split, a bloody civil war between pro and anti-treaty sides followed, only coming to an end in 1923. The civil war cost more lives than the Anglo-Irish War that preceded it and left divisions that are still felt strongly in Irish politics today.

Population changes (1801-1921)

year population
1801 5.2
1811 6.0
1821 6.8
1831 7.8
1841 8.2
1851 6.9
1861 5.8
1871 5.4
1881 5.2
1891 4.7
1901 4.5
1911 4.4
1921 4.4
(Figures are from Tacitus.nu)

War of Independence (1916-1922) and "Home Rule"

The division of the island into "Northern" and "Republic" is a relatively recent development, brought about by the Fourth Government of Ireland Act 1920 which, amid much acrimony, (and the fact that the Island of Ireland was uncompromisingly divided within itself), separated the island into what the British government termed Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. A bi-lateral Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1922 formalised independence for the twenty-six county Irish Free State, (which in 1949 became the Republic of Ireland), while the six county Northern Ireland, gaining Home Rule for itself, remained part of the United Kingdom.


The Easter Proclamation

It was issued by the Leaders of the Easter Rising.
In September 1914, just as the First World War broke out, the UK Parliament finally passed the Third Home Rule Act to establish self-government for Ireland, but was suspended for the duration of what was expected to be a very short war. Before it ended, Britain made two concerted efforts to implement the Act, one in May 1916 and again during 1917-1918, but the Irish sides (Nationalist, Unionist) were unable to agree terms for the temporary or permanent exclusion of Ulster from its provisions.
A failed attempt was made to gain separate independence for Ireland with the 1916 Easter Rising, an insurrection largely confined to Dublin. Though support for the insurgents was small, the violence used in its suppression (being considered by the British to be a serious treason in time of war) led to a swing in support of the rebels. In addition, the unprecedented threat of Irishmen being conscripted to the British Army in 1918 (for service in France) accelerated this change. In the December 1918 elections most voters voted for Sinn Féin, the party of the rebels. Having won three-quarters of all the seats in Ireland, its MPs assembled in Dublin on 21 January 1919, to form a thirty-two county Irish Republic parliament, Dáil Éireann unilaterally, asserting sovereignty over the entire island.

Irish parliaments

Parliament House in College Green, Dublin, during the Kingdom of Ireland.

House of Lords of the Kingdom of Ireland. (abolished 1800)

House of Commons of the Kingdom of Ireland.(Abolished 1800)

First Dáil meeting in the Mansion House, Dublin (1919)

Leinster House, home of the Republic's parliament since 1922.

Seanad Chamber in the Republic of Ireland.

Dáil Chamber in the Republic of Ireland.

Stormont Parliament buildings in Northern Ireland. (opened 1932)



The Northern Ireland Assembly of 1998.

Unwilling to negotiate any understanding with Britain (by international law Ireland was still part of the United Kingdom), a War of Independence (or Anglo-Irish War) was waged from 1919 to 1921. In mid-1921, the Irish and British governments signed a truce that halted the war. In December 1921, an Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed between representatives of both governments. The Irish delegation was led by Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins. This abolished the Irish Republic and created the self-governing Irish Free State, a Dominion of the British Empire. Under the Treaty, Northern Ireland could opt out of the Free State and stay within the United Kingdom and promptly did so. For most of the next 75 years, each territory was strongly aligned to either Catholic or Protestant ideologies, although this was more marked in the six counties of Northern Ireland.

Free State/Republic (1922-present)
History of the Republic of Ireland; Irish Free State, Republic of Ireland; Names of the Irish state

After the treaty to sever the Union was ratified, the republican movement divided into pro-treaty and anti-treaty supporters. Between 1922 and 1923 both sides fought the bloody Irish Civil War. This division among Nationalists still colours Irish politics today, specifically between the two leading Irish political parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael The new Irish Free State (1922–37) existed against the backdrop of the growth of dictatorships in Europe and a major world economic downturn in 1929. In contrast with many contemporary European states it remained a democracy, in which the losing faction in the Irish civil war, Eamon de Valera's Fianna Fáil, was able to take power by winning the 1932 general election. In contrast to many other states in the period, the Free State remained financially solvent. However, unemployment and emigration were high. The Catholic Church had a powerful influence over the state for much of its history.
In 1937, a new Constitution of Ireland proclaimed the state of Éire (or Ireland). The state remained neutral throughout World War II (see Irish neutrality) and this saved it from much of the horrors of the war, although tens of thousands volunteered to serve in the British forces. Ireland was also hit badly by rationing of food, and coal in particular (peat production became a priority during this time). Though nominally neutral, recent studies have suggested a far greater level involvement by the South with the Allies than was realised, with D Day's date set on the basis of secret weather information on Atlantic storms supplied by the Republic. For more detail on 1939–45, see main article The Emergency.
In 1949 the state was formally declared the Republic of Ireland and it left the British Commonwealth.
In the 1960s, Ireland underwent a major economic change under reforming Taoiseach (prime minister) Seán Lemass and radical senior civil servant T.K. Whitaker, who produced a series of economic plans. Free second-level education was introduced by Brian Lenihan as Minister for Education in 1968. From the early 1960s, the Republic sought admission to the European Economic Community but, because of its economy's dependence on the United Kingdom's market, it could not do so until the UK did, in 1973.
Economic downturn in the 1970s, augmented by a set of misjudged economic policies followed by Taoiseach Jack Lynch, caused the Irish economy to stagnate. However, economic reforms in the late 1980s and considerable investment from the European Community led to the emergence of one of the world's highest economic growth rates, with mass immigration (particularly of people from Asia and Eastern Europe) as a feature of the late 1990s. This period came to be known as the Celtic Tiger and was focused on as a model for economic development in the former Eastern Bloc states, which entered the European Union in the early 2000s.
Irish society also adopted relatively liberal social policies during this period. Divorce was legalised, homosexuality decriminalised, while a right to abortion in limited cases was granted by the Irish Supreme Court in the X Case legal judgement. Major scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, both sexual and financial, coincided with a widespread decline in religious practice, with weekly attendance at Roman Catholic Mass halving in twenty years.

Northern Ireland
"A Protestant State" (1921-1971)
: History of Northern Ireland

From 1921 to 1971, Northern Ireland was governed by the Ulster Unionist Party government, based at Stormont in East Belfast. The founding Prime Minister, James Craig, proudly declared that it would be "a Protestant State for a Protestant People" (in contrast to the anticipated "Papist" state to the south). Discrimination against the minority nationalist community in jobs and housing, and their total exclusion from political power due to the majoritarian electoral system, led to the emergence of a civil rights campaign in the late 1960s, inspired by Martin Luther King's civil rights movement in the United States of America. A violent counter-reaction from right-wing unionists and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) led to civil disorder. To restore order, British troops were deployed to the streets of Northern Ireland at this time.
Tensions came to a head with the events of Bloody Sunday and Bloody Friday, and the worst years (early 1970s) of what became known as The Troubles resulted. The Stormont government was prorogued in 1971 and abolished totally in 1972. Paramilitary private armies such as the Provisional IRA, the Official IRA, the INLA, the Ulster Defence Association and the Ulster Volunteer Force fought each other and the British army and the (largely Unionist) RUC, resulting in the deaths of well over three thousand men, women and children, civilians and military. Most of the violence took place in Northern Ireland, but some also spread to England and across the Irish border.

Irish Police forces

Royal Irish Constabulary. (All Ireland police force 1822—1922)


Dublin Metropolitan Police (1836-1925).


Irish Republican Police (Police force of Dáil Éireann (1920—1922)


An Garda Síochána (Republic of Ireland 1922—present)


Royal Ulster Constabulary (Northern Ireland 1922—2001)


Police Service of Northern Ireland (2001—present)

Direct Rule (1971-1998)

For the next 27 years, Northern Ireland was under "direct rule" with a Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in the British Cabinet responsible for the departments of the Northern Ireland executive/government. Principal acts were passed by the United Kingdom Parliament in the same way as for much of the rest of the UK, but many smaller measures were dealt with by Order in Council with minimal parliamentary scrutiny. Throughout this time the aim was to restore devolution but three attempts - the power-sharing executive established by the Northern Ireland Constitution Act and the Sunningdale Agreement, the 1975 Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention and Jim Prior's 1982 assembly all failed to either reach consensus or operate in the longer term.
During the 1970s British policy concentrated on defeating the IRA by military means including the policy of Ulsterisation (requiring the RUC and (British Army reserve) Ulster Defence Regiment to be at the forefront of combating the IRA). Although IRA violence decreased it was obvious that no military victory was on hand in either short or medium terms. Even Catholics that generally rejected the IRA were unwilling to offer support to a state that seemed to remain mired in sectarian discrimination and the Unionists plainly were not interested in Catholic participation in running the state in any case. In the 1980s the IRA attempted to secure a decisive military victory based on massive arms shipments from Libya. When this failed - probably because of MI5's penetration of the IRA's senior commands - senior republican figures began to look to broaden the struggle from purely military means. In time this began a move towards military cessation. In 1986 the British and Irish governments signed the Anglo Irish Agreement signaling a formal partnership in seeking a political solution. Socially and economically Northern Ireland suffered the worst levels of unemployment in the UK and although high levels of public spending ensured a slow modernisation of public services and moves towards equality, progress was slow in the 70s and 80s, only in the 1990s when progress towards peace became tangible, did the economic situation brighten. By then, too, the demographics of Northern Ireland had undergone significant change, and more than 40% of the population are Catholics.

Devolution and Direct Rule (1998-present)

More recently, the Belfast Agreement ("Good Friday Agreement") of April 10, 1998 brought a degree of power sharing to Northern Ireland, giving both unionists and nationalists control of limited areas of government. However, both the power-sharing Executive and the elected Assembly have been suspended since October 2002 following a breakdown in trust between the political parties. Efforts to resolve outstanding issues, including "decommissioning" of paramilitary weapons, policing reform and the removal of British army bases are continuing. Recent elections have not helped towards compromise, with the moderate Ulster Unionist and (nationalist) Social Democrat and Labour parties being substantially displaced by the hard-line Democratic Unionist and (nationalist) Sinn Féin parties.

Ireland is in your hands, in your power. If you do not save her, she cannot save herself. I solemnly call upon you to recollect that I predict with the sincerest conviction that a quarter of her population will perish unless you come to her relief.
Daniel O'Connell to the British House of Commons, 1847.

The Famine

Introduction
Beginning in 1845 and lasting for six years, the potato famine killed over a million men, women and children in Ireland and caused another million to flee the country.
Ireland in the mid-1800s was an agricultural nation, populated by eight million persons who were among the poorest people in the Western World. Only about a quarter of the population could read and write. Life expectancy was short, just 40 years for men. The Irish married quite young, girls at 16, boys at 17 or 18, and tended to have large families, although infant mortality was also quite high.
A British survey in 1835 found half of the rural families in Ireland living in single-room, windowless mud cabins that didn't have chimneys. The people lived in small communal clusters, known as clachans, spread out among the beautiful countryside. Up to a dozen persons lived inside a cabin, sleeping in straw on the bare ground, sharing the place with the family's pig and chickens. In some cases, mud cabin occupants were actually the dispossessed descendants of Irish estate owners. It was not uncommon for a beggar in Ireland to mention that he was in fact the descendant of an ancient Irish king.
Most of the Irish countryside was owned by an English and Anglo-Irish hereditary ruling class. Many were absentee landlords that set foot on their properties once or twice a year, if at all. Mainly Protestant, they held titles to enormous tracts of land long ago confiscated from native Irish Catholics by British conquerors such as Oliver Cromwell. The landlords often utilized local agents to actually manage their estates while living lavishly in London or in Europe off the rents paid by Catholics for land their ancestors had once owned.
Throughout Ireland, Protestants known as middlemen rented large amounts of land on the various estates then sub-divided the land into smaller holdings which they rented to poor Catholic farmers. The middleman system began in the 1700s and became a major source of misery as they kept sub-dividing estates into smaller and smaller parcels while increasing the rent every year in a practice known as rack-renting.
The average tenant farmer lived at a subsistence level on less than ten acres. These Catholic farmers were usually considered tenants-at-will and could be evicted on short notice at the whim of the landlord, his agent, or middleman. By law, any improvements they made, such as building a stone house, became the property of the landlord. Thus there was never any incentive to upgrade their living conditions.
The tenant farmers often allowed landless laborers, known as cottiers, to live on their farms. The cottiers performed daily chores and helped bring in the annual harvest as payment of rent. In return, they were allowed to build a small cabin and keep their own potato garden to feed their families. Other landless laborers rented small fertilized potato plots from farmers as conacre, with a portion of their potato harvest given up as payment of rent. Poor Irish laborers, more than anyone, became totally dependent on the potato for their existence. They also lived in a state of permanent insecurity with the possibility always looming they might be thrown off their plot.
The most fertile farmland was found in the north and east of Ireland. The more heavily populated south and west featured large wet areas (bog) and rocky soil. Mountains and bogs cover about a third of Ireland. By the mid-1800s, the density of Irish living on cultivated land was about 700 people per square mile, among the highest rate in Europe.
Potatoes are not native to Ireland but likely originated in the Andes Mountains of Peru, South America. In the early 1500s, Spanish conquerors found the Incas growing the vegetable, which the Spanish called patata. They were taken back to Europe and eventually reached England where the name changed to potato. About 1590, potatoes were introduced to Ireland where farmers quickly discovered they thrived in their country's cool moist soil with very little labor. An acre of fertilized potato field could yield up to 12 tons of potatoes, enough to feed a family of six for a year with leftovers going to the family's animals.
By the 1800s, the potato had become the staple crop in the poorest regions. More than three million Irish peasants subsisted solely on the vegetable which is rich in protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin and Vitamin C. It is possible to stay healthy on a diet of potatoes alone. The Irish often drank a little buttermilk with their meal and sometimes used salt, cabbage, and fish as seasoning. Irish peasants were actually healthier than peasants in England or Europe where bread, far less nutritious, was the staple food.
Irish farmers utilized an ancient 'lazy bed' planting technique. Using a simple spade, they first marked long parallel lines in the soil about four feet apart throughout the entire plot. In between the lines, they piled a mixture of manure and crushed seashells then turned over the surrounding sod onto this, leaving the grass turned upside down. Seed potatoes were inserted in-between the overturned grass and the layer of fertilizer then buried with dirt dug-up along the marked lines. The potato bed was thus raised about a foot off the surrounding ground, with good drainage provided via the newly dug parallel trenches.
Planting occurred in the spring beginning around St. Patrick's Day. Most of the poor Irish grew a variety known as Lumpers, a high yielding, but less nutritious potato that didn't mature until September or October. Every year for the poor, July and August were the hungry months as the previous year's crop became inedible and the current crop wasn't quite ready for harvest. This was the yearly 'summer hunger,' also called 'meal months,' referring to oat or barley meal bought from price gauging dealers out of necessity. During the summer hunger, women and children from the poorest families resorted to begging along the roadside while the men sought temporary work in the harvest fields of England.
By autumn, the potatoes were ready to be harvested, carefully stored in pits, and eaten during the long winter into the spring and early summer. The Irish consumed an estimated seven million tons in this way each year. The system worked year after year and the people were sustained as long as the potato crop didn't fail.


The Great Famine
1845 - 1849 in Co Mayo, Ireland

County Mayo was one of the counties to suffer most and in commemoration the following article was included in a report from Mayo County Council.

The first reports of blight appeared in September 1845. For one third of the country's population, the potato was the sole article of diet. In County Mayo it was estimated that nine tenths of the population depended on it. Any other crops or farm animals a smallholder had, went to pay rent. A potato famine was a great calamity. However, the damage to the crop in 1845 was only partial and most had enough to get through that winter. Government relief measures and local charity also helped. 1846 brought disaster. Most of the crop was destroyed by the blight, particularly in the west. In August, The Telegraph newspaper in Castlebar reported:

'The dreadful reality is beyond yea or nay in this county. From one end to the other the weal has gone forth that the rot is increasing with fearful rapidity. We regret to say no description of potatoes have escaped. One thing is certain, the staple food of the people is gone: and the Government cannot too soon exert themselves to make provision to provide against certain famine'.

As the death toll mounted, the countryside was seized with panic and despair. There were mass gatherings throughout the county where lamentations went out to landlord and government. One such public demonstration was held in Westport in August 1846. The Telegraph reported:

'About mid-day some thousands of the rural population marched into town to have an interview with the Most Noble the Marquis of Sligo: he talked with them: deplored the visitation with which God had afflicted the land: told them he would instantly state their condition to the Government, in order to obtain them relief; and that as to himself, he would go as far as any landlord in the country to redress the grievances of his tenantry. The Noble Marquis assured them that no exertions of his should be spared to obtain for them, from Her Majesty's Government immediate employment'.

As a relief measure, the government imported large quantities of maize from America which became known as 'Peel's brimstone' because of the ill effects it had on the digestive system. Local relief committees were established. Under the Poor Law Act of 1838, Mayo was divided into five areas or unions which administered relief: Ballina, Ballinrobe, Castlebar, Swinford and Westport. Each union was required to maintain a workhouse where local paupers could be fed and housed.

Workhouses soon became overwhelmed by numbers seeking admittance and many starving people were turned away. Relief schemes introduced in 1846 included giving employment on public works such as road making, breaking stones, drainage works, pier and bridge building. The Corrib to Mask canal was one such scheme. Men were paid 8 to 10 pennies a day, while women and children got 6 pennies. Some unscrupulous overseers favoured relatives in granting employment, often at the expense of the most needy. Gaining employment did not guarantee security. In February 1847 the Tyrawly Herald reported an inquest at Coolcran:

'The deceased was employed at the public works, and on Saturday morning he went to the hill of Gurteens to meet the pay clerk where, in company of other labourers, he remained until night, but no clerk making his appearance, the others went off and he remained behind. Having got quite weak, he requested a girl who was passing to tell his wife to come and meet him, and upon the wife's arriving at the place, she found him dead. A verdict of "death from starvation" was returned'.

Such reports were common. Great work in helping the poor came from many organisations and individuals at home and abroad. Clergy of all denominations were prominent in relief measures. The Society of Friends (Quakers) opened soup kitchens in many areas, distributed seed and also clothing, as many people were in rags, having pawned whatever clothing they had. At Christmas in 1846, the rector of Crossmolina received a donation with the following note:

Rev. Sir - We the children belonging to the Moulton National School, in the Parish of Davenharm, (Cheshire) having heard from our beloved patroness, Mrs Harper, of the distress that is so prevalent in our sister Island, have given up our annual treat to the relief of our suffering sisters in Ireland; We humbly trust that our offering, (small as it may appear) will be accepted by those who have kindly undertaken to alleviate the sufferings of our brethren.

In the spring of 1847, The Mayo Constitution reported:

The preparations for the tillage of the Iand has been completely overlooked. There has not been 100 acres prepared for seed in this county by 'the poor farmers'.





After two successive years of blight, many people chose to eat whatever seed they had rather than risk planting. Ironically in 1847, there was no blight, but there was no crop either. 'Black 47' saw the advent of fevers such as typhus which rapidly spread through the weakened population. Workhouses were crammed with fever patients. Auxilary workhouses were opened and fever sheds erected. Dr Daly reported from Newport in May 1847:

'Fever, dysentery and diarrhoea are greatly on the increase, beginning with vomiting, pains, headache very intense; coming to a cnsis in about seven days, relapsing again once or twice, from which death occurred through mere debility or diarrhoea, caused and kept up by bad food, principally Indian meal, supplied to them in small quanitities, and which they invariably swallow after only a few minutes boiling and sometimes cold and raw. The greatest mortality is among the labourers, men and women, on public roads, in cold, wet, boggy hills'.

In March 1847, a large body of starving people gathered in Louisburgh seeking assistance from the relieving officer. He informed them that they would have to apply to the Board of Guardians who were to meet next day at Delphi Lodge, ten miles away. Having spent the night in the open, they proceeded on foot to Delphi. When they reached Delphi, the Board were at lunch and could not be disturbed. When they finally did meet with them, assistance was refused. That day it rained and snowed and there was piercing wind. On the return journey to Lousiburgh, many perished.

In June, 1847, The Mayo Constitution reported that fever and dysentery were committing ravages in Ballindine, Ballinrobe, Claremorris, Hollymount, Ballina, Westport and Belmullet.

Many who cared for the sick and hungry caught fever themselves. In April 1847, The Telegraph reported the death of Rev Patrick Pounden in Westport of fever, caught in the discharge of his sacred duties, and rendered fatal by the exhaustion of mind and body in the course of his unremitting labours for the relief of the poor and needy - the famishing and the dying - in his extensive district'. In September Dr Lavelle of Shrule died of fever.

The starving sick crowded into towns in the hope of securing help. The Telegraph reported the situation in Westport in September.

'From the town to the Quay, on the Workhouse line, the people are lying along the road, in temporary sheds, constructed of weeds, potato tops . . . . on the road to Rosbeg, similar sheds are to be met with, with poor creatures lying beneath them. On the Newport line, the same sickening scenes are to be encountered'.

In the area around Shrule, the Reverend Phew described how

'about three or four hundred of the most destitute have crawled to Ballinrobe every Friday for the last month, seeking admission to the workhouse or outdoor relief and though they remained each day until night, standing in wet and cold at the workhouse door, craving for admission, they have got no relief'.










People weakened by hunger and fever were unable to give proper burials to dead neighbours and relatives. The Tyrawly Herald described the situation at Leigue Cemetery in Ballina:

'in some places the graves are so shallow that portions of the coffins are visible above ground'.

Often coffinless bodies were carried through streets for burial. Workhouse dead were buried in mass graves. Some dead were buried where they died, in fields, on the side of the road. Often to avoid contracting fever, neighbours simply tumbled a victims cabin around the body.

The Landords

At the beginning of the famine in 1845 and 1846 many landlords reacted with compassion, some reducing rents. Even Lord Lucan involved himself in relief measures but by 1848, he was enforcing wholesale evictions of tenants unable to pay rents on his lands around Castlebar and Ballinrobe. Equally infamous was Sir Roger Palmer who owned 90,000 acres in Mayo. In July 1848, The Telegraph reported how

at Islandeady his 'crowbar invincibles', pulled down several houses, and drove forth the unfortunate inmates to sleep in the adjoining fields. On Thursday we witnessed the wretched creatures endeavouring to root out the timber of the houses, with the intention of constructing some sort of sheds to screen their children from the heavy rain falling at the time. The pitiless pelting storm has continued ever since, and if they have survived its severity, they must be more than human beings'.



The Earl of Lucan 'Wholesale Evictions'.

In contrast, other landlords like George Henry Moore, were more caring. In June 1849, Fr James Browne, PP of Ballintubber and Burriscarra wrote:

'I never heard of a single tenant being evicted, either by himself or his agent; he sent over from London at an early stage of the famine, a sum of £1,000 for the poor on his estates, as a free gift, besides orders to his steward to give a milch cow to every widow on his property'.

The potato failed again in 1848 and there was partial failure in 1849. For many, emigration had become a means of escape. By 1851, it is estimated that one million Irish people had died and another million had emigrated, many leaving from Mayo ports for England, America and Australia. The 'Elizabeth and Sarah' sailed from Killala in July 1846 for Quebec with 276 passengers. By the end of the voyage, 8 weeks later, 42 persons had died due to overcrowding, lack of food and water and insanitary conditions. Such voyages were common.

Over the period 1841-1851, the population of County Mayo fell by 29% from 388,887 to 274,499. Emigration became a long term legacy of the famine with each successive census showing a steady decline in the population of County Mayo to a low of 109,525 in 1971.

Swinford District Hospital, the former Union Workhouse for Swinford. When the Swinford Union was formed in 1840 the assistant commissioner Joseph Bourke acquired six acres of land for £18.00 annual rent from William Brabazon. The workhouse was officially opened in 1846 and was in use up to 1926. It was opened at the height of the Great Famine in 1847 when hundreds flocked here for relief and shelter. During these years disease was rampant, people were dying so fast from starvation and fever, that the grave was left open to receive corpses. The site of the Swinford Workhouse Mass Grave, which is one of the best preserved in the country is at the rear of the present day District Hospital. A plaque was erected in the 1960's, when the Mass Grave was restored to the memory of the 564 victims of the Great Famine buried here.

Before the Famine

In 1798, inspired by the American and French revolutions, the Irish staged a major rebellion against British rule. Widespread hangings and floggings soon followed as the rebellion was brutally squashed. The English Army in Ireland was also increased to nearly 100,000 men.
Two years later, the British Act of Union made Ireland a part of the United Kingdom. The Act abolished the 500-year-old independent Irish Parliament in Dublin and placed the country under the jurisdiction of Britain's Imperial Parliament at Westminster, England. Although Ireland was to be represented there by 100 members, Catholics were excluded.
Anti-Catholic prohibitions dated back to 1695 when the British began imposing a series of Penal Laws designed to punish the Irish for supporting the Catholic Stuart King, James II, in his battle to ascend the British throne in place of the Protestant, William of Orange. With an Irish Catholic army at his side, James II had been defeated at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690. The resulting Penal Laws stripped Irish Catholics of their rights including; the ability to serve as an officer in the British Army or Navy, hold any government office, vote, buy land, practice law, attend school, serve an apprenticeship, possess weapons, and practice their religion. The Catholic Church was outlawed. The Gaelic language was banned. Export trade was forbidden as Irish commerce and industry were deliberately destroyed.
With 80 percent of Ireland being Catholic, the Penal Laws were intended to degrade the Irish so severely that they would never again be in a position to seriously threaten Protestant rule. In 1600, Protestants had owned just 10 percent of Ireland's land. By 1778, Protestants owned 95 percent of the land. When a Catholic landowner died, the estate was divide up equally among all of his sons, diluting the value. However, if any son renounced Catholicism and became a Protestant, he automatically inherited all of his father's property.
Various Penal Laws remained in effect for 140 years until Catholic Emancipation occurred in 1829, largely through the efforts of Daniel O'Connell, a brilliant Catholic lawyer from County Kerry. But by the time of Emancipation, Ireland had become a nation laid low.
The French sociologist, Gustave de Beaumont, visited Ireland in 1835 and wrote: "I have seen the Indian in his forests, and the Negro in his chains, and thought, as I contemplated their pitiable condition, that I saw the very extreme of human wretchedness; but I did not then know the condition of unfortunate Ireland...In all countries, more or less, paupers may be discovered; but an entire nation of paupers is what was never seen until it was shown in Ireland."
By the mid-1800s, many high-minded English politicians and social reformers began to think that Ireland was a nation in need of transformation, that its people now needed to be yanked into the modern world by tossing out the old Gaelic traditions. To the industrious, ambitious British, their rural Irish neighbors seemed to be an alien, rebellious, backward people, stuck in an ancient agrarian past. English reformers hoped to remake the Irish in their own image, thus ending Ireland's cycle of poverty and misfortune in an era when poverty was thought to be caused by bad moral character. The laid-back, communal lifestyle of Irish peasants with their long periods of idleness was also an affront to influential Protestants in England who believed idleness was the devil's work. They professed the virtues of hard work, thrift and self-reliance and regarded the Irish as totally lacking in these qualities, a point of view also shared by many British officials and politicians.
English reformers watched in dismay as Ireland's 'surplus' population doubled to over 8 million before the Famine. Bountiful harvests meant the people were generally well fed but there were very few employment opportunities. The Act of Union had resulted in Ireland's economy being absorbed by Britain. Although free trade now existed between the two countries, England generally used Ireland as a dumping ground for its surplus goods. Rapid industrialization in Britain also brought the collapse of the Irish linen and woolen industries in the countryside with their less efficient handlooms. The British 'Poor Enquiry' survey conducted in 1835, revealed that 75 percent of Irish laborers were without any regular work and that begging was very common.
The British government, under pressure from English reformers to relieve the situation, enacted the Poor Law Act of 1838, modeled on the English workhouse system. Under this relief plan, Ireland was divided into 130 separate administrative areas, called unions, since they united several church parishes together. Each union had its own workhouse and a local Board of Guardians elected by taxpaying landowners and farmers. The chairman of the Board was usually the biggest proprietor or landlord in the area. Each Board was responsible for setting local tax rates and for collecting the funds necessary to maintain the workhouse. Inside each workhouse lived a resident Master and Matron, who were also supervised by the Board. The entire system was supervised by a Poor Law Commissioner stationed in Dublin.
Upon arrival at a workhouse, the head of a pauper family would be harshly questioned to prove his family had no other way of surviving. Once admitted, families were immediately split up, had their old clothes removed, were washed down, then given workhouse uniforms. Men and women, boys and girls had their own living quarters and were permanently segregated. Workhouse residents were forbidden to leave the building. The ten-hour workday involved breaking of stones for men and knitting for the women. Little children were drilled in their daily school lessons while older children received factory-style industrial training. A bell tolled throughout the day signaling the start or end of various activities. Strict rules included no use of bad language, no disobedience, no laziness, no talking during mealtime and prohibited any family reunions, except during Sunday church.
The 130 pre-famine workhouses throughout Ireland could hold a total of about 100,000 persons. Everyone knew that entering a workhouse meant the complete loss of dignity and freedom, thus poor people avoided them. Before the Famine, workhouses generally remained three-quarters empty despite the fact there were an estimated 2.4 million Irish living in a state of poverty.

Early Emigrants

Many adventurous, unemployed young Irishmen sought their fortunes in America and boarded ships heading for Boston, New York and Philadelphia. Emigrants during the 1700s were mostly Presbyterians from the north of Ireland, the so-called "Scotch-Irish." Some agreed to work as indentured servants without pay up to five years in return for free passage. By 1776, nearly 250,000 Irish Protestants had emigrated to North America.
Between 1815 and 1845, nearly a million Irish, including a large number of unemployed Catholics, came to the United States. The men went to work providing the backbreaking labor needed to build canals, roads and railways in the rapidly expanding country. Irish pick-and-shovel workers proved to be very hard-working and were in great demand. American contractors often placed advertisements in newspapers in Dublin, Cork and Belfast before beginning big construction projects. The massive Erie Canal project, for example, was built by scores of Irishmen working from dawn till dusk for a dollar-a-day, hand-digging their way westward through the rugged wilderness of upstate New York. The 363 mile-long canal became the main east-west commerce route and spurred America's early economic growth by drastically lowering the costs of getting goods to market.
Back home in Ireland, on the eve of the Famine, the spirit of rebellion had once again arisen. Led by the brilliant orator, Daniel O'Connell, growing numbers of Irish were demanding self-government for Ireland through repeal of the Act of Union. The Repeal Movement featured mass rallies filled with O'Connell's fiery oratory. At one such rally in County Meath, nearly 750,000 persons came together on the Hill of Tara, a former place of Irish kings.
The movement peaked in October 1843 as O'Connell and half-a-million supporters attempted to gather near Dublin for another 'monster' rally, but this time encountered British cannons, warships and troops ready for a violent confrontation. To avoid a potential massacre, O'Connell ordered his people to disperse. The British then arrested the 68-year-old O'Connell. While in prison his health broke and his Repeal Movement faded. He died just a few years later, leaving Ireland leaderless and without a charismatic voice during its darkest period.

The Blight Begins

The Famine began quite mysteriously in September 1845 as leaves on potato plants suddenly turned black and curled, then rotted, seemingly the result of a fog that had wafted across the fields of Ireland. The cause was actually an airborne fungus (phytophthora infestans) originally transported in the holds of ships traveling from North America to England.
Winds from southern England carried the fungus to the countryside around Dublin. The blight spread throughout the fields as fungal spores settled on the leaves of healthy potato plants, multiplied and were carried in the millions by cool breezes to surrounding plants. Under ideal moist conditions, a single infected potato plant could infect thousands more in just a few days.
The attacked plants fermented while providing the nourishment the fungus needed to live, emitting a nauseous stench as they blackened and withered in front of the disbelieving eyes of Irish peasants. There had been crop failures in the past due to weather and other diseases, but this strange new failure was unlike anything ever seen. Potatoes dug out of the ground at first looked edible, but shriveled and rotted within days. The potatoes had been attacked by the same fungus that had destroyed the plant leaves above ground.
By October 1845, news of the blight had reached London. British Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, quickly established a Scientific Commission to examine the problem. After briefly studying the situation, the Commission issued a gloomy report that over half of Ireland's potato crop might perish due to 'wet rot.'
Meanwhile, the people of Ireland formulated their own unscientific theories on the cause of the blight. Perhaps, it was thought, static electricity in the air resulting from the newly arrived locomotive trains caused it. Others reasoned that 'mortiferous vapors' from volcanoes emanating from the center of the earth might have done it. Some Catholics viewed the crisis in religious terms as Divine punishment for the "sins of the people" while others saw it as Judgment against abusive landlords and middlemen.
In England, religious-minded social reformers viewed the blight as a heaven-sent 'blessing' that would finally provide an opportunity to transform Ireland, ending the cycle of poverty resulting from the people's mistaken dependence on the potato.
With the threat of starvation looming, Prime Minister Peel made a courageous political decision to advocate repeal of England's long-standing Corn Laws. The protectionist laws had been enacted in 1815 to artificially keep up the price of British-grown grain by imposing heavy tariffs on all imported grain. Under the Corn Laws, the large amounts of cheap foreign grain now needed for Ireland would be prohibitively expensive. However, English gentry and politicians reacted with outrage at the mere prospect of losing their long-cherished price protections. The political furor in Britain surrounding Peel's decision quickly overshadowed any concern for the consequences of the crop failure in Ireland.
Ireland's potato crop failures in the past had always been regional and short-lived with modest loss of life. Between 1800 and 1845, sixteen food shortages had occurred in various parts of Ireland. However, during the Famine the crop failure became national for the first time, affecting the entire country at once. British officials believed the 1845 food shortage would likely end with next year's harvest. Thus they reacted to the current food shortage as they had in the past by enacting temporary relief measures.
A Relief Commission was established in Dublin to set up local relief committees throughout Ireland composed of landowners, their agents, magistrates, clergy and notable residents. The local committees were supposed to help organize employment projects and distribute food to the poor while raising money from landowners to cover part of the cost. The British government would then contribute a matching amount.
However, in remote rural areas, many of the relief committees were taken over by poorly educated farmers who conducted disorganized, rowdy meetings. Local landowners, upon seeing who was on the committees, balked at donating any money. There were also a high number of absentee landlords in the remote western areas with little first-hand knowledge of what was occurring on their property. They also failed to donate.

Trevelyan Takes Over

The shaky Irish relief effort soon came under the control of a 38-year-old English civil servant named Charles Edward Trevelyan, Assistant Secretary of the British Treasury. Trevelyan was appointed by Prime Minister Peel to oversee relief operations in Ireland and would become the single most important British administrator during the Famine years. He was a brilliant young man of unimpeachable integrity but was also stubborn, self-righteous, overly bureaucratic, and not given to a favorable opinion of the Irish.
Unwilling to delegate any authority in his day-to-day duties, he managed every detail, no matter how small. All communications arriving from his administrators in Ireland were handed directly to him, unseen by anyone else. Important decisions were thus delayed as his workload steadily increased. He often remained at his office until 3 a.m. and demanded the same kind of round-the-clock commitment from his subordinates.
Trevelyan would visit Ireland just once during all of the Famine years, venturing only as far as Dublin, far from the hard-hit west of Ireland. Remoteness from the suffering, he once stated, kept his judgment more acute than that of his administrators actually working among the people affected.
In the spring of 1846, under his control, the British attempted to implement a large-scale public works program for Ireland's unemployed. Similar temporary programs had been successfully used in the past. But this time, Trevelyan complicated the process via new bureaucratic procedures that were supposed to be administered by a Board of Works located in Dublin. The understaffed Board was quickly swamped with work requests from landowners. At the same time, local relief committees were besieged by masses of unemployed men. The result was confusion and anger. British troops had to be called in to quell several disturbances.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Peel came up with his own solution to the food problem. Without informing his own Conservative (Tory) government, he secretly purchased two shipments of inexpensive Indian corn (maize) directly from America to be distributed to the Irish. But problems arose as soon as the maize arrived in Ireland. It needed to be ground into digestible corn meal and there weren't enough mills available amid a nation of potato farmers. Mills that did process the maize discovered the pebble-like grain had to be ground twice.
To distribute the corn meal, a practical, business-like plan was developed in which the Relief Commission sold the meal at cost to local relief committees which in turn sold it at cost to the Irish at just one penny per pound. But peasants soon ran out of money and most landowners failed to contribute any money to maintain the relief effort.
The corn meal itself also caused problems. Normally, the Irish ate enormous meals of boiled potatoes three times a day. A working man might eat up to fourteen pounds each day. They found Indian corn to be an unsatisfying substitute. Peasants nicknamed the bright yellow substance 'Peel's brimstone.' It was difficult to cook, hard to digest and caused diarrhea. Most of all, it lacked the belly-filling bulk of the potato. It also lacked Vitamin C and resulted in scurvy, a condition previously unknown in Ireland due to the normal consumption of potatoes rich in Vitamin C.
Out of necessity, the Irish grew accustomed to the corn meal. But by June 1846 supplies were exhausted. The Relief Commission estimated that four million Irish would need to be fed during the spring and summer of 1846, since nearly £3 million worth of potatoes had been lost in the first year of the Famine. But Peel had imported only about £100,000 worth of Indian corn from America and Trevelyan made no effort to replenish the limited supply.

Laissez-Faire

In deciding their course of action during the Famine, British government officials and administrators rigidly adhered to the popular theory of the day, known as laissez-faire (meaning let it be), which advocated a hands-off policy in the belief that all problems would eventually be solved on their own through 'natural means.'
Great efforts were thus made to sidestep social problems and avoid any interference with private enterprise or the rights of property owners. Throughout the entire Famine period, the British government would never provide massive food aid to Ireland under the assumption that English landowners and private businesses would have been unfairly harmed by resulting food price fluctuations.
In adhering to laissez-faire, the British government also did not interfere with the English-controlled export business in Irish-grown grains. Throughout the Famine years, large quantities of native-grown wheat, barley, oats and oatmeal sailed out of places such as Limerick and Waterford for England, even though local Irish were dying of starvation. Irish farmers, desperate for cash, routinely sold the grain to the British in order to pay the rent on their farms and thus avoid eviction.
In the first year of the Famine, deaths from starvation were kept down due to the imports of Indian corn and survival of about half the original potato crop. Poor Irish survived the first year by selling off their livestock and pawning their meager possessions whenever necessary to buy food. Some borrowed money at high interest from petty money-lenders, known as gombeen men. They also fell behind on their rents.
The potato crop in Ireland had never failed for two consecutive years. Everyone was counting on the next harvest to be blight-free. But the blight was here to stay and three of the following four years would be potato crop disasters, with catastrophic consequences for Ireland.

The Great Hunger

On June 29, 1846, the resignation of British Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel was announced. Peel's Conservative government had fallen over political fallout from repeal of the Corn Laws which he had forced through Parliament. His departure paved the way for Charles Trevelyan to take full control of Famine policy under the new Liberal government. The Liberals, known as Whigs in those days, were led by Lord John Russell, and were big believers in the principle of laissez-faire.
Once he had firmly taken control, Trevelyan ordered the closing of the food depots in Ireland that had been selling Peel's Indian corn. He also rejected another boatload of Indian corn already headed for Ireland. His reasoning, as he explained in a letter, was to prevent the Irish from becoming "habitually dependent" on the British government. His openly stated desire was to make "Irish property support Irish poverty."
As a devout advocate of laissez-faire, Trevelyan also claimed that aiding the Irish brought "the risk of paralyzing all private enterprise." Thus he ruled out providing any more government food, despite early reports the potato blight had already been spotted amid the next harvest in the west of Ireland. Trevelyan believed Peel's policy of providing cheap Indian corn meal to the Irish had been a mistake because it undercut market prices and had discouraged private food dealers from importing the needed food. This year, the British government would do nothing. The food depots would be closed on schedule and the Irish fed via the free market, reducing their dependence on the government while at the same time maintaining the rights of private enterprise.
Throughout the summer of 1846, the people of Ireland had high hopes for a good potato harvest. But the cool moist summer weather had been ideal for the spread of blight. Diseased potatoes from the previous harvest had also been used as planters and sprouted diseased shoots. At first, the crop appeared healthy. But by harvest time the blight struck ferociously, spreading fifty miles per week across the countryside, destroying nearly every potato in Ireland.
A Catholic priest named Father Matthew wrote to Trevelyan: "In many places the wretched people were seated on the fences of their decaying gardens, wringing their hands and wailing bitterly the destruction that had left them foodless."
There were only enough potatoes to feed the Irish population for a single month. Panic swept the country. Local relief committees were once again besieged by mobs of unemployed demanding jobs on public works projects. The Irish Board of Works was once again swamped with work proposals from landlords.
Trevelyan's free market relief plan depended on private merchants supplying food to peasants who were earning wages through public works employment financed mainly by the Irish themselves through local taxes. But the problems with this plan were numerous. Tax revues were insufficient. Wages had been set too low. Paydays were irregular and those who did get work could not afford to both pay their rent and buy food. Ireland also lacked adequate transportation for efficient food distribution. There were only 70 miles of railroad track in the whole country and no usable commercial shipping docks in the western districts.
By September, starvation struck in the west and southwest where the people had been entirely dependent on the potato. British Coastguard Inspector-General, Sir James Dombrain, upon encountering starving paupers, ordered his subordinates to give free food handouts. For his efforts, Dombrain was publicly rebuked by Trevelyan. The proper procedure, he was informed, would have been to encourage the Irish to form a local relief committee so that Irish funds could have been raised to provide the food.
"There was no one within many miles who could have contributed one shilling...The people were actually dying," Dombrain responded.
Many of the rural Irish had little knowledge of money, preferring to live by the old barter system, trading goods and labor for whatever they needed. Any relief plan requiring them to purchase food was bound to fail. In areas where people actually had a little money, they couldn't find a single loaf of bread or ounce of corn meal for sale. Food supplies in 1846 were very tight throughout all of Europe, severely reducing imports into England and Ireland. European countries such as France and Belgium outbid Britain for food from the Mediterranean and even for Indian corn from America.
Meanwhile, the Irish watched with increasing anger as boatloads of home-grown oats and grain departed on schedule from their shores for shipment to England. Food riots erupted in ports such as Youghal near Cork where peasants tried unsuccessfully to confiscate a boatload of oats. At Dungarvan in County Waterford, British troops were pelted with stones and fired 26 shots into the crowd, killing two peasants and wounding several others. British naval escorts were then provided for the riverboats as they passed before the starving eyes of peasants watching on shore.
As the Famine worsened, the British continually sent in more troops. "Would to God the Government would send us food instead of soldiers," a starving inhabitant of County Mayo lamented.
The Irish in the countryside began to live off wild blackberries, ate nettles, turnips, old cabbage leaves, edible seaweed, shellfish, roots, roadside weeds and even green grass. They sold their livestock and pawned everything they owned including their clothing to pay the rent to avoid certain eviction and then bought what little food they could find with any leftover money. As food prices steadily rose, parents were forced to listen to the endless crying of malnourished children.
Fish, although plentiful along the West Coast of Ireland, remained out of reach in water too deep and dangerous for the little cowhide-covered Irish fishing boats, known as currachs. Starving fishermen also pawned their nets and tackle to buy food for their families.
Making matters worse, the winter of 1846-47 became the worst in living memory as one blizzard after another buried homes in snow up to their roofs. The Irish climate is normally mild and entire winters often pass without snow. But this year, an abrupt change in the prevailing winds from southwest into the northeast brought bitter cold gales of snow, sleet and hail.

Black Forty-Seven

Amid the bleak winter, hundreds of thousands of desperate Irish sought work on public works relief projects. By late December 1846, 500,000 men, women and children were at work building stone roads. Paid by piece-work, the men broke apart large stones with hammers then placed the fragments in baskets carried by the women to the road site where they were dumped and fit into place. They built roads that went from nowhere to nowhere in remote rural areas that had no need of such roads in the first place. Many of the workers, poorly clothed, malnourished and weakened by fever, fainted or even dropped dead on the spot.
The men were unable to earn enough money to adequately feed themselves let alone their families as food prices continued to climb. Corn meal now sold for three pennies a pound, three times what it had been a year earlier. As a result, children sometimes went unfed so that parents could stay healthy enough to keep working for the desperately needed cash.
A first-hand investigation of the overall situation was conducted by William Forster, a member of the Quaker community in England. He was acting on behalf of the recently formed Central Relief Committee of the Society of Friends, with branches in Dublin and London. The children, Forster observed, had become "like skeletons, their features sharpened with hunger and their limbs wasted, so that little was left but bones, their hands and arms, in particular, being much emaciated, and the happy expression of infancy gone from their faces, leaving behind the anxious look of premature old age."
Nicholas Cummins, the magistrate of Cork, visited the hard-hit coastal district of Skibbereen. "I entered some of the hovels," he wrote, "and the scenes which presented themselves were such as no tongue or pen can convey the slightest idea of. In the first, six famished and ghastly skeletons, to all appearances dead, were huddled in a corner on some filthy straw, their sole covering what seemed a ragged horsecloth, their wretched legs hanging about, naked above the knees. I approached with horror, and found by a low moaning they were alive -- they were in fever, four children, a woman and what had once been a man. It is impossible to go through the detail. Suffice it to say, that in a few minutes I was surrounded by at least 200 such phantoms, such frightful spectres as no words can describe, [suffering] either from famine or from fever. Their demoniac yells are still ringing in my ears, and their horrible images are fixed upon my brain."
The dead were buried without coffins just a few inches below the soil, to be gnawed at by rats and dogs. In some cabins, the dead remained for days or weeks among the living who were too weak to move the bodies outside. In other places, unmarked hillside graves came into use as big trenches were dug and bodies dumped in, then covered with quicklime.
Most died not from hunger but from associated diseases such as typhus, dysentery, relapsing fever, and famine dropsy, in an era when doctors were unable to provide any cure. Highly contagious 'Black Fever,' as typhus was nicknamed since it blackened the skin, is spread by body lice and was carried from town to town by beggars and homeless paupers. Numerous doctors, priests, nuns, and kind-hearted persons who attended to the sick in their lice-infested dwellings also succumbed. Rural Irish, known for their hospitality and kindness to strangers, never refused to let a beggar or homeless family spend the night and often unknowingly contracted typhus. At times, entire homeless families, ravaged by fever, simply laid down along the roadside and died, succumbing to 'Road Fever.'

Soup Kitchens

Trevelyan's public works relief plan for Ireland had failed. At its peak, in February and March of 1847, some 700,000 Irish toiled about in useless projects while never earning enough money to halt starvation.
Now, in Cork harbor, the long-awaited private enterprise shipments of Indian corn and other food supplies had finally begun arriving. Food prices dropped by half and later dropped to a third of what they had been, but the penniless Irish still could not afford to eat. As a result, food accumulated in warehouses within sight of people walking about the streets starving.
Between March and June of 1847, the British government gradually shut down all of the public works projects throughout Ireland. The government, under the direction of Prime Minister Russell, had decided on an abrupt change of policy "to keep the people alive." The starving Irish were now to be fed for free through soup kitchens sponsored by local relief committees and by groups such as the Quakers and the British Relief Association, a private charity funded by prosperous English merchants.
The Soup Kitchen Act of 1847 called for the food to be provided through taxes collected by local relief committees from Irish landowners and merchants. But little money was ever forthcoming. Ireland was slowly going bankrupt. Landlords, many of whom were already heavily in debt with big mortgages and unpaid loans, were not receiving rents from their cash-strapped tenants. Merchants also went broke, closed up their shops, then joined the ranks of the dispossessed, begging on the streets.
Daily soup demand quickly exceeded the limited supply available. In Killarney, there was just one soup kitchen for 10,000 persons. Cheap soup recipes were improvised containing stomach-turning combinations of old meat, vegetables, and Indian corn all boiled together in water. To a people already suffering from dysentery, the watery stew could be a serious health risk. Many refused to eat the "vile" soup after just one serving, complaining of severe bowel problems. Another dislike was the requirement for every man woman and child to stand in line while holding a small pot or bowl to receive their daily serving, an affront to their pride.
By the spring, Government-sponsored soup kitchens were established throughout the countryside and began dispensing 'stirabout,' a more substantial porridge made from two-thirds Indian corn meal and one-third rice, cooked with water. By the summer, three million Irish were being kept alive on a pound of stirabout and a four-ounce slice of bread each day. But the meager rations were not enough to prevent malnutrition. Many adults slowly starved on this diet.
In the fall of 1847, the third potato harvest during the Famine brought in a blight-free crop but not enough potatoes had been planted back in the spring to sustain the people. The yield was only a quarter of the normal amount. Seed potatoes, many having been eaten, had been in short supply. Planters had either been involved in the public works projects or had been too ill to dig. Others were simply discouraged, knowing that whatever they grew would be seized by landowners, agents or middlemen as back payment for rent. The rough winter had also continued to wreak havoc into March and April with sleet, snow, and heavy winds, further delaying planting. Seed for alternative crops such as cabbage, peas and beans, had been too expensive for small farmers and laborers to buy.
Many landlords, desperate for cash income, now wanted to grow wheat or graze cattle and sheep on their estates. But they were prevented from doing so by the scores of tiny potato plots and dilapidated huts belonging to penniless tenants who had not paid rent for months, if not years. To save their estates from ruin, the paupers would simply have to go.


Coffin Ships

During the Famine period, an estimated half-million Irish were evicted from their cottages. Unscrupulous landlords used two methods to remove their penniless tenants. The first involved applying for a legal judgment against the male head of a family owing back-rent. After the local barrister pronounced judgment, the man would be thrown in jail and his wife and children dumped out on the streets. A 'notice to appear' was usually enough to cause most pauper families to flee and they were handed out by the hundreds.
The second method was for the landlord to simply pay to send pauper families overseas to British North America. Landlords would first make phony promises of money, food and clothing, then pack the half-naked people in overcrowded British sailing ships, poorly built and often unseaworthy, that became known as coffin ships.
The first coffin ships headed for Quebec, Canada. The three thousand mile journey, depending on winds and the captain's skill, could take from 40 days to three months. Upon arrival in the Saint Lawrence River, the ships were supposed to be inspected for disease and any sick passengers removed to quarantine facilities on Grosse Isle, a small island thirty miles downstream from Quebec City.
But in the spring of 1847, shipload after shipload of fevered Irish arrived, quickly overwhelming the small medical inspection facility, which only had 150 beds. By June, 40 vessels containing 14,000 Irish immigrants waited in a line extending two miles down the St. Lawrence. It took up to five days to see a doctor, many of whom were becoming ill from contact with the typhus-infected passengers. By the summer, the line of ships had grown several miles long. A fifteen-day general quarantine was then imposed for all of the waiting ships. Many healthy Irish thus succumbed to typhus as they were forced to remain in their lice-infested holds. With so many dead on board the waiting ships, hundreds of bodies were simply dumped overboard into the St. Lawrence.
Others, half-alive, were placed in small boats and then deposited on the beach at Grosse Isle, left to crawl to the hospital on their hands and knees if they could manage. Thousands of Irish, ill with typhus and dysentery, eventually wound up in hastily constructed wooden fever sheds. These makeshift hospitals, badly understaffed and unsanitary, simply became places to die, with corpses piled "like cordwood" in nearby mass graves. Those who couldn't get into the hospital died along the roadsides. In one case, an orphaned Irish boy walking along the road with other boys sat down for a moment under a tree to rest and promptly died on the spot.
The quarantine efforts were soon abandoned and the Irish were sent on to their next destination without any medical inspection or treatment. From Grosse Isle, the Irish were given free passage up the St. Lawrence to Montreal and cities such as Kingston and Toronto. The crowded open-aired river barges used to transport them exposed the fair-skinned Irish to all-day-long summer sun causing many bad sunburns. At night, they laid down close to each other to ward off the chilly air, spreading more lice and fever.
Many pauper families had been told by their landlords that once they arrived in Canada, an agent would meet them and pay out between two and five pounds depending on the size of the family. But no agents were ever found. Promises of money, food and clothing had been utterly false. Landlords knew that once the paupers arrived in Canada there was virtually no way for them to ever return to Ireland and make a claim. Thus they had promised them anything just to get them out of the country.
Montreal received the biggest influx of Irish during this time. Many of those arriving were quite ill from typhus and long-term malnutrition. Montreal's limited medical facilities at Point St. Charles were quickly overwhelmed. Homeless Irish wandered the countryside begging for help as temperatures dropped and the frosty Canadian winter set in. But they were shunned everywhere by Canadians afraid of contracting fever.
Of the 100,000 Irish that sailed to British North America in 1847, an estimated one out of five died from disease and malnutrition, including over five thousand at Grosse Isle.
Up to half of the men that survived the journey to Canada walked across the border to begin their new lives in America. They had no desire to live under the Union Jack flag in sparsely populated British North America. They viewed the United States with its anti-British tradition and its bustling young cities as the true land of opportunity. Many left their families behind in Canada until they had a chance to establish themselves in the U.S.
Americans, unfortunately, not only had an anti-British tradition dating back to the Revolutionary era, but also had an anti-Catholic tradition dating back to the Puritan era. America in the 1840s was a nation of about 23 million inhabitants, mainly Protestant. Many of the Puritan descendants now viewed the growing influx of Roman Catholic Irish with increasing dismay.
One way to limit immigration was to make it more expensive to get to America. Ports along the eastern seaboard of the U.S. required a bond to be posted by the captain of a ship guaranteeing that his passengers would not become wards of the city. Passenger fares to the U.S. in 1847 were up to three times higher than fares to Canada. The British government intentionally kept fares to Quebec low to encourage the Irish to populate Canada and also to discourage them from emigrating to England.
Passenger Acts
American ships were held to higher standards than British ships by the U.S. Passenger Acts, a set of laws passed by Congress regulating the number of passengers ships coming to America could carry as well as their minimal accommodations. Congress reacted to the surge of Irish immigration by tightening the laws, reducing the number of passengers allowed per ship, thereby increasing fares. America, congressmen had complained, was becoming Europe's "poor house."
British shipping laws, by contrast, were lax. Ships of every shape and size sailed from Liverpool and other ports crammed full of people up to double each ship's capacity. In one case, an unseaworthy ship full of Irish sailed out of port then sank within sight of those on land who had just said farewell to the emigrants.
During the trans-Atlantic voyage, British ships were only required to supply 7 lbs. of food per week per passenger. Most passengers, it was assumed, would bring along their own food for the journey. But most of the poor Irish boarded ships with no food, depending entirely on the pound-a-day handout which amounted to starvation rations. Food on board was also haphazardly cooked in makeshift brick fireplaces and was often undercooked, causing upset stomachs and diarrhea.
Many of the passengers were already ill with typhus as they boarded the ships. Before boarding, they had been given the once-over by doctors on shore who usually rejected no one for the trip, even those seemingly on the verge of death. British ships were not required to carry doctors. Anyone that died during the sea voyage was simply dumped overboard, without any religious rites.
Belowdecks, hundreds of men, women and children huddled together in the dark on bare wooden floors with no ventilation, breathing a stench of vomit and the effects of diarrhea amid no sanitary facilities. On ships that actually had sleeping berths, there were no mattresses and the berths were never cleaned. Many sick persons remained in bare wooden bunks lying in their own filth for the entire voyage, too ill to get up.
Another big problem was the lack of good drinking water. Sometimes the water was stored in leaky old wooden casks, or in casks that previously stored wine, vinegar or chemicals which contaminated the water and caused dysentery. Many ships ran out of water long before reaching North America, making life especially miserable for fevered passengers suffering from burning thirsts. Some unscrupulous captains profited by selling large amounts of alcohol to the passengers, resulting in "totally depraved and corrupted" behavior among them.

Refuge in Britain

The poorest of the poor never made it to North America. They fled Irish estates out of fear of imprisonment then begged all the way to Dublin or other seaports on the East Coast of Ireland. Once there, they boarded steamers and crossed the Irish Sea to Liverpool, Glasgow, and South Wales. It was a short trip, just two or three hours and cost only a few shillings. Pauper families sometimes traveled for free as human ballast on empty coal ships. Others were given fare money by landlords hoping to get rid of them cheaply. Relief funds intended for the purchase of food were sometimes diverted to pay for the fares.

For many Irishmen, crossing the sea to England was a familiar journey since they regularly worked in the harvest fields of England as seasonal laborers. But for their wives and children, it was a jarring experience. Crewmen scorned and herded them like animals onto crammed decks until the boat was dangerously overloaded. In one case, a crowded steamer heading for Liverpool arrived with 72 dead aboard. The captain had ordered the hatches battened down during a storm at sea and they had all suffocated.
Despite the dangers, the Irish knew that once they landed on Britain's shores they would not starve to death. Unlike Ireland, food handouts were freely available throughout the country. The quality of the food was also superior to the meager rations handed out in Ireland's soup kitchens and workhouses.
The Irish first headed for Liverpool, a city with a pre-famine population of about 250,000, many of whom were unskilled laborers. During the first wave of famine emigration, from January to June of 1847, an estimated 300,000 destitute Irish arrived in Liverpool, overwhelming the city. The financial burden of feeding the Irish every day soon brought the city to the brink of ruin. Sections of the city featuring cheap lodging houses became jammed. Overflow crowds moved into musty cellars, condemned and abandoned buildings, or anywhere they could just lie down. Amid these densely packed, unsanitary conditions, typhus once again reared its ugly head and an epidemic followed, accompanied by an outbreak of dysentery.
The cheap lodging houses were also used by scores of Irish waiting to embark on ships heading for North America. Three out of four Irish sailing for North America departed from the seaport at Liverpool. Normally they had to sleep over for a night or two until their ship was ready to sail. Many of these emigrants contracted typhus in the rundown, lice-infested lodging houses, then boarded ships, only to spend weeks suffering from burning fever out at sea.
On June 21, 1847, the British government, intending to aid besieged Liverpool, passed a tough new law allowing local authorities to deport homeless Irish back to Ireland. Within days, the first boatloads of paupers were being returned to Dublin and Cork, then abandoned on the docks. Orders for removal were issued by the hundreds. About 15,000 Irish were dragged out of filthy cellars and lodging houses and sent home even if they were ill with fever.
By the fall of 1847, the numbers of Irish entering Liverpool had slowed considerably and the housing crisis abated. Glasgow, the second major port of entry, also resorted to deporting the Irish due to similar overcrowding and fever outbreaks. The Irish then headed into the Lowlands and Edinburgh where yet another fever outbreak occurred. Everyone feared fever and thus shunned the Irish no matter how much they pleaded for help. Working men also viewed them as rivals for unskilled jobs.
To avoid deportation, the Irish moved further into the interior of England, Scotland and Wales. But wherever they went they were unwelcome. For the unfortunate Irish deported back home, the worst was yet to come.

Financial Ruin

The sight of tens of thousands of emaciated, diseased, half-naked Irish roaming the British countryside had infuriated members of the British Parliament. Someone had to take the blame for this incredible misfortune that had now crossed the Irish Sea and come upon the shores of Britain.
The obvious choice was the landlords of Ireland. Many British politicians and officials, including Charles Trevelyan, had long held the view that landlords were to blame for Ireland's chronic misery due to their failure to manage their estates efficiently and unwillingness to provide responsible leadership. Parliament thus enacted the Irish Poor Law Extension Act, a measure that became law on June 8, 1847, and dumped the entire cost and responsibility of Famine relief directly upon Ireland's property owners.
The British now intended to wash their hands of the 'Irish problem' no matter what lay ahead. Trevelyan supported this measure in the belief that enforced financial self-sufficiency was the only hope for ever improving Ireland. But in reality, many of Ireland's estate owners were deeply in debt with little or no cash income and were teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. However, the new Poor Law would require them to raise an estimated £10 million in tax revenue to support Ireland's paupers, an impossible task.
By now there was a plentiful supply of food in Ireland available for purchase in local markets but no one had any money. There was no employment of any kind. Trevelyan's public works projects had been shut down. Factories and industry were sparse. Local agriculture had been utterly disrupted.
Now, as the summer of 1847 ended, soup kitchens were also being shut down according to schedule. The Soup Kitchen Act had only been a temporary measure, designed to maintain the Irish until the autumn harvest. But the harvest of 1847 was just a quarter of the normal size due to insufficient planting back in the spring. The three million Irish who had come to depend on soup for survival would now have to fend for themselves, with no food handouts, no money, no employment, owing back-rent, and weakened by long-term malnutrition and disease.

British Financial Troubles

Ireland was not the only country with serious money problems. In the fall of 1847, Great Britain experienced a crash due to bad investments by English speculators and the resulting impact on London's banks. Wheat and corn prices had skyrocketed in 1846 throughout Europe only to tumble by the middle of 1847 when supply far exceeded demand. British investors that speculated took huge losses.
At the same time, investors speculating in the topsy-turvy British railway industry were ruined as railway shares collapsed. Money became very tight as British banks refused further credit. Eleven banks failed outright. Over a hundred established business firms went bankrupt. Stock prices and commodities tumbled.
The British financial crisis meant there would be no money available to help Ireland during its greatest time of need. British officials, greatly preoccupied with their own domestic troubles, would now pay little attention to Ireland. However, there was one exception. Charles Trevelyan remained deeply interested in relief operations in Ireland and quite determined to enforce the Poor Law Extension Act.
The British wanted to make the idea of getting a free handout as unattractive as possible to able-bodied Irishmen, fearing they would overwhelm the inadequate relief system, especially in the hard-pressed areas of southwest Ireland. The new Poor Law thus designated workhouses as the only places where able-bodied men could obtain relief, but only after surrendering all other means of support.
Anyone holding over a quarter-acre of land was required to forfeit their land before seeking relief. As a result, countless farm families with small holdings were forced into a life-and-death decision over whether to stay on their land and possibly starve or to give up their farm, surrender their dignity, and head for the workhouse as destitute paupers.
Workhouses were sparse in remote areas of Ireland and those that existed there were already occupied by widows, children, and the elderly. Trevelyan's idea was for these people to be ejected from the workhouses to make way for the men. But many local officials in Ireland were unwilling to do this.
To organize relief in Ireland, the British had divided the country into 130 separate areas (unions) with several parishes combined together to form a union. Each union was run by a Board of Guardians consisting of Irishmen responsible for setting local tax rates and collecting the revenue needed to provide aid to the people living within the union. But the plan encountered problems from the start due to the sheer size of most of the unions (100,000 or more acres) combined with the ever-increasing shortage of property owners financially able to pay taxes, especially in the hardest hit rural districts.
Wherever they were most needed, workhouses quickly slid into debt, ran short of supplies and turned people away in droves. Families in desolate areas resorted to living in small hovels cut out of the bog or dirt holes dug along the hillside. In Donegal Union, ten thousand persons were found living "in a state of degradation and filth which it is difficult to believe the most barbarous nations ever exceeded," according to the Quaker, William Forster. His organization, the Society of Friends, had refused to work in cooperation with the new Poor Law.

Ireland Turned Upside Down

By late 1847, most of the unions were heavily in debt with only a handful managing to collect the funds necessary to continue feeding local paupers. But rather than recognize the inherent problems with the new Poor Law, the British Government chose instead to exert maximum pressure on the Boards of Guardians in Ireland to collect their taxes "...by every available legal means and power of recovery..."
"Arrest, remand, do anything you can," Charles Wood, Chancellor of the Exchequer, instructed Lord Lieutenant Clarendon, the ranking British official in Ireland.
"Send horse, foot and dragoons, all the world will applaud you, and I should not be at all squeamish as to what I did, to the verge of the law and a little beyond."
Ireland was to be turned upside down to shake every last penny out of the pockets of property owners and former tax payers still listed on the rolls. Rate collectors seized livestock, furniture, or anything else of value including the clothes and tools of former tax payers who had become homeless paupers. By the end of the year, just under £1 million had been extracted from the Irish by such methods.
"The principle of the Poor Law," Trevelyan declared, "is that rate after rate should be levied, for the purpose of preserving life, until the landlord and the farmer either enable the people to support themselves by honest industry, or dispose of their estates to those who can perform this indispensable duty."
The new Poor Law also made landlords responsible for the taxes on small holdings on their estates occupied by peasant families and small farmers. To relieve themselves of this tax burden they evicted those tenants and broke up their little farms and villages, sometimes hiring local thugs who delighted in throwing out the people then smashing their cottages to bits with crowbars. British troops were also used when necessary, although many of the soldiers were reluctant to get involved in family evictions.
As winter approached, increasing numbers of evicted Irish families wandered the countryside in tattered rags with nowhere to sleep. Workhouses were already jammed. In the west of Ireland, people were now showing up by the hundreds at workhouse gates only to be turned away. As a temporary emergency measure, auxiliary workhouses were set up in unused warehouses, empty stores and other old buildings to provide shelter for an additional 150,000 persons. But they had no heat or sanitary facilities.
And soon they had no food. In strict adherence with the new Poor Law, unions that failed to raise the necessary taxes for food purchases were not helped by the British government as a matter of policy. Both inside and outside the workhouses of western Ireland, people began to starve on a scale approaching the previous ruinous winter. Anger and resentment grew in the countryside over the prospect that it was all going to happen again. The result was intense hatred for British authority, leading to unrest and anti-landlord violence.
Six landlords were shot and killed along with ten others involved in land management. Among those murdered was Denis Mahon of County Roscommon. He held the rank of major in a British cavalry regiment and had inherited the property of Strokestown shortly before the Famine. The property measured 9,000 acres and contained 28 little villages. After the failure of the potato, he had been one of the landlords paying to send unwanted tenants to Quebec. Over eight hundred tenants had thus vacated his estate. But there were still over three thousand paupers remaining in the villages and he proceeded to evict them all including 84 widows. For his actions, he was ambushed along the road by two Irishmen and shot dead. The people celebrated news of his death by lighting bonfires on the hills around his estate.
British officials were appalled. Fearful the violence might spread, they sent an additional fifteen thousand soldiers to Ireland and passed the Crime and Outrage Bill curtailing certain liberties in Ireland such as the carrying of firearms. The law also required Irishmen to assist in capturing suspected murderers. But despite these measures, many Anglo-Irish landowners and gentry fled the country, now fearing for their lives. Those who remained behind utilized heavy police protection.
Early in 1848, a group of Irish nationalists known as 'Young Ireland' decided the time was right for an armed uprising against the British. Members of Young Ireland had been greatly encouraged by recent political events in Europe. Popular uprisings in Paris, Sicily, Vienna, Milan and Venice, had resulted in long-despised governments falling and the flight of royalty. They hoped the same thing might now occur in Ireland.
But the British, with spies everywhere, quickly became aware of this and reacted by bringing in even more troops and by enacting yet another law curtailing liberty. The Treason Felony Act made speaking against the Crown or Parliament a crime punishable by transportation (to Botany Bay, Australia) for fourteen years or for life.
Throughout the spring into summer all kinds of wild rumors swept Ireland, mostly exaggerating the strength of the coming rebellion, but making the British increasingly nervous. More troops arrived and troublesome areas such as Dublin, Cork, and Waterford were placed under semi-martial law. Lord Lieutenant Clarendon, his nerves frayed, asked for and received permission in July to suspend the right of Habeas Corpus in Ireland lasting through March 1849. This meant anyone could be arrested and imprisoned indefinitely without formal charges or a trial.
But in reality the rebellion of 1848 never posed a serious threat. The Young Irelanders were not good planners or organizers. They failed to secure any firearms and most importantly could not provide food to the starving men of Ireland they were counting on to oppose the most powerful army in the world, presently encamped on their soil. Without weapons, food, or adequate planning, the movement to violently oust the British fizzled and by autumn had disintegrated entirely.


The Long Night of Sorrow

Though it might seem hard to imagine, things now got much worse for the Irish. In the fall of 1848, the blight returned in full and once again destroyed the entire potato crop. Weather conditions, cool and moist, had been ideal for the spread of fungus.
Massive amounts of potatoes had been planted all over Ireland. The people had sold off any remaining possessions or borrowed money to buy seed potatoes. Little attempt was made to grow any other crops. Everyone gambled that it would be a good potato harvest and that the old way of life would soon return. The blight had vanished in 1847 and there was just no reason to believe the harvest of 1848 wouldn't also be healthy.
But all over Ireland, the people watched in horror as their potato plants blackened and withered. Potatoes dug out of the ground rotted and stank until not a single good potato was left.
Now more than ever, the Irish would need to depend on the British for their very survival. But British officials were in no mood to help. The British were utterly flabbergasted the Irish had chosen once again to depend entirely on the potato after all that had happened. They also had deep anger over the failed insurrection and growing resentment toward a people they increasingly perceived as ungrateful.
For the Irish, the winter of 1848-49 would be the long night of sorrow as Trevelyan and the British Parliament enacted one harsh measure after another amid all of the suffering.
Landlords and gentry, now deeper in debt than ever, forcibly ejected remaining tenants then pulled down their houses to save on taxes. Eviction in winter usually meant death. The people, clothed in filthy rags, wandered aimlessly or headed in the general direction of the workhouse, often collapsing from fever and exposure long before getting there.
Reports of the conditions reached London, but there was little compassion for the Irish left in Britain. "In no other country," railed The Times of London, "have men talked treason until they are hoarse, and then gone about begging sympathy from their oppressors...and in none have they repeated more humble and piteous [requests for help] to those whom they have previously repaid with monstrous ingratitude."
An exasperated Prime Minister Russell now declared: "We have subscribed, worked, visited, clothed, for the Irish, millions of money, years of debate, etc., etc., etc. The only return is rebellion and calumny. Let us not grant, lend, clothe, etc., any more, and see what that will do..."
The Irish would continue to pay for their own relief without any help from the British treasury. Farmers and landlords, Trevelyan decided, would now be taxed at an increased rate to provide minimal relief to starving paupers. But the alarming news that there would be yet another tax increase, impossible for most to pay, simply ignited the desire among any remaining mid-sized farmers and proprietors to quit Ireland entirely and head for America.
By the beginning of 1849, the Irish were suffering on a scale similar to the worst months of 1846-47. Michael Shaughnessy, a barrister in Ireland, described children he encountered while traveling on his circuit as "almost naked, hair standing on end, eyes sunken, lips pallid, protruding bones of little joints visible." In another district, there was a report of a woman who had gone insane from hunger and eaten the flesh of her own dead children. In other places, people killed and ate dogs which themselves had been feeding off dead bodies.
Men and boys who had never been in trouble in their lives now deliberately committed crimes in order to be arrested and transported to Australia. "Even if I had chains on my legs, I would still have something to eat," said an Irish teenager after his arrest.
Of the 130 unions in Ireland, up to seventy were now on the verge of financial ruin due to insufficient tax revenues. Responding to this, Trevelyan decided that prosperous unions should be forced to provide funds to the distressed unions. This meant there would be a drain of money from the few remaining stable areas into ruined areas, breaking all of Ireland financially.
For the British, this served several purposes. It was a continuation of the punitive mentality toward the Irish; left Ireland entirely dependent upon itself for relief; and perhaps most importantly, a financially ruined Ireland would be compelled "to abandon the treacherous potato" once and for all. The long-awaited opportunity to reform Ireland had finally arrived.
But the plan also had the potential for catastrophic consequences, recognized by some of the British officials who spoke out, including Poor Law Commissioner Edward Twisleton who resigned his post in Ireland stating: "The destitution here is so horrible and the indifference of the House of Commons to it so manifest..."
Lord Lieutenant Clarendon also criticized the lack of government funds: "...it is enough to drive one mad, day after day, to read the appeals that are made and to meet them all with a negative...I don't think there is another legislature in Europe that would disregard such suffering as now exists in the west of Ireland..."
Fears began to surface within the British government of the Irish suddenly dropping dead by the tens of thousands and the possible impact such scenes might have upon world opinion of the Crown. In spite of this, nothing further was done, even after an outbreak of cholera ravaged the overflowing workhouses.
The Irish, for their part, were not about to simply sit still and die. The whole population of the starving country began to move about. Cities, villages and entire districts were abandoned. Western Ireland was nearly depleted of its population. Among country folk, the centuries-old communal way of life with its traditional emphasis on neighborly sharing, now collapsed. It was replaced by a survival mentality in which every family, every person fended for themselves. Family bonds also disintegrated as starving parents deserted their children and children likewise deserted their parents.
The potato disaster of 1848 had sparked a new exodus to America. By the tens of thousands, the Irish boarded ships and departed their beloved homeland, heading to Boston, New York, Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans, arriving there in tattered clothes, sick from the voyage, disoriented, afraid, perhaps even terrified, but with a glimmer of hope.

Gone to America

Throughout the Famine years, nearly a million Irish arrived in the United States. Famine immigrants were the first big wave of poor refugees ever to arrive in the U.S. and Americans were simply overwhelmed. Upon arrival in America, the Irish found the going to be quite tough. With no one to help them, they immediately settled into the lowest rung of society and waged a daily battle for survival.
The roughest welcome of all would be in Boston, Massachusetts, an Anglo-Saxon city with a population of about 115,000. It was a place run by descendants of English Puritans, men who could proudly recite their lineage back to 1620 and the Mayflower ship. Now, some two hundred thirty years later, their city was undergoing nothing short of an unwanted "social revolution" as described by Ephraim Peabody, member of an old Yankee family. In 1847, the first big year of Famine emigration, the city was swamped with 37,000 Irish Catholics arriving by sea and land.
Proper Bostonians pointed and laughed at the first Irish immigrants stepping off ships wearing clothes twenty years out of fashion. They watched as the newly arrived Irishmen settled with their families into enclaves that became exclusively Irish near the Boston waterfront along Batterymarch and Broad Streets, then in the North End section and in East Boston. Irishmen took any unskilled jobs they could find such as cleaning yards and stables, unloading ships, and pushing carts.
And once again, they fell victim to unscrupulous landlords. This time it was Boston landlords who sub-divided former Yankee dwellings into cheap housing, charging Irish families up to $1.50 a week to live in a single nine-by-eleven foot room with no water, sanitation, ventilation or daylight.
In Boston, as well as other American cities in the mid-1800s, there was no enforcement of sanitary regulations and no building or fire safety codes. Landlords could do as they pleased. A single family three-story house along the waterfront that once belonged to a prosperous Yankee merchant could be divided-up room by room into housing for a hundred Irish, bringing a nice profit.
The overflow Irish would settle into the gardens, back yards and alleys surrounding the house, living in wooden shacks. Demand for housing of any quality was extraordinary. People lived in musty cellars with low ceilings that partially flooded with every tide. Old warehouses and other buildings within the Irish enclave were hastily converted into rooming houses using flimsy wooden partitions that provided no privacy.
A Boston Committee of Internal Health studying the situation described the resulting Irish slum as "a perfect hive of human beings, without comforts and mostly without common necessaries; in many cases huddled together like brutes, without regard to age or sex or sense of decency. Under such circumstances self-respect, forethought, all the high and noble virtues soon die out, and sullen indifference and despair or disorder, intemperance and utter degradation reign supreme."
The unsanitary conditions were breeding grounds for disease, particularly cholera. Sixty percent of the Irish children born in Boston during this period didn't live to see their sixth birthday. Adult Irish lived on average just six years after stepping off the boat onto American soil.
Those who were not ill were driven to despair. Rowdy behavior fueled by alcohol and boredom spilled out into the streets of Boston and the city witnessed a staggering increase in crime, up to 400 percent for such crimes as aggravated assault. Men and boys cooped up in tiny rooms and without employment or schooling got into serious trouble. An estimated 1500 children roamed the streets every day begging and making mischief.
There were only a limited number of unskilled jobs available. Intense rivalry quickly developed between the Irish and working class Bostonians over these jobs. In Ireland, a working man might earn eight cents a day. In America, he could earn up to a dollar a day, a tremendous improvement. Bostonians feared being undercut by hungry Irish willing to work for less than the going rate. Their resentment, combined with growing anti-Irish and anti-Catholic sentiment among all classes in Boston led to 'No Irish Need Apply' signs being posted in shop windows, factory gates and workshop doors throughout the city.

Irish in New York

New York, three times the size of Boston, was better able to absorb its incoming Irish. Throughout the Famine years, 75 percent of the Irish coming to America landed in New York. In 1847, about 52,000 Irish arrived in the city which had a total population of 372,000. The Irish were not the only big group of immigrants arriving. A substantial German population totaling over 53,000 also arrived in 1847.
In New York, the Irish did not face the degree of prejudice found in Boston. Instead, they were confronted by shifty characters and con artists. Confused Irish, fresh off the farm and suffering from culture shock, were taken advantage of the moment they set foot on shore.
Immediately upon arrival in New York harbor, they were met by Irishmen known as 'runners' speaking in Gaelic and promising to 'help' their fellow countrymen. Many of the new arrivals, quite frightened at the mere prospect of America, gladly accepted. Those who hesitated were usually bullied into submission. The runner's first con was to suggest a good place to stay in New York; a boarding house operated by a friend, supposedly with good meals and comfortable rooms at very affordable rates, including free storage of any luggage.
The boarding houses were actually filthy hell-holes in lower Manhattan. Instead of comfortable rooms, the confused arrivals were shoved into vermin-infested hovels with eight or ten other unfortunate souls, at prices three or four times higher than what they had been told. They remained as 'boarders' until their money ran out at which time their luggage was confiscated for back-rent and they were tossed out into the streets, homeless and penniless.
During the entire Famine period, about 650,000 Irish arrived in New York harbor. All incoming passenger ships to New York had to stop for medical inspection. Anyone with fever was removed to the quarantine station on Staten Island and the ship itself was quarantined for 30 days. But Staten Island was just five miles from Manhattan. Runners were so aggressive in pursuit of the Irish that they even rowed out to quarantined ships and sneaked into the hospitals on Staten Island despite the risk of contracting typhus.
Another way to take advantage of the Irish was to sell them phony railroad and boat tickets. Runners working with 'forwarding agents' sold bogus tickets that had pictures of trains or boats the illiterate immigrants wished to board to leave Manhattan for other U.S. cities. The tickets were either worthless, or if they were valid, had been sold at double the actual price or higher. On the boats, the immigrant were shoved into jam-packed steerage sections, although they thought they had paid for better accommodations. Sometimes, halfway to their destination, they were told to pay more or risk being thrown overboard.
The penniless Irish who remained in Manhattan stayed crowded together close to the docks where they sought work as unskilled dock workers. They found cheap housing wherever they could, with many families living in musty cellars. Abandoned houses near the waterfront that once belonged to wealthy merchants were converted into crowded tenements. Shoddy wooded tenements also sprang up overnight in yards and back alleys to be rented out room by room at high prices. Similar to Boston, New York experienced a high rate of infant mortality and a dramatic rise in crime as men and boys cooped-up in squalid shanties let off steam by drinking and getting in fights.
Anti-Irish Sentiment
U.S. immigration records indicate that by 1850, the Irish made up 43 percent of the foreign-born population. Up to ninety percent of the Irish arriving in America remained in cities. New York now had more Irish-born citizens than Dublin. Those who did not stay in New York or Boston traveled to places such as Albany, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and out west to Butte, Montana, and San Francisco. Upon arrival, the Irishman and his family would usually go straight to the 'Irish quarter,' locate people from County Mayo, County Cork, or wherever they had come from, and settle in among them.
Unlike other nationalities that came to America seeking wide open spaces, the Irish chose to huddle in the cities partly because they were the poorest of all the immigrants arriving and partly out of a desire to recreate the close-knit communities they had cherished back in Ireland. Above all, the Irish loved each other's company, enjoying a daily dose of gossip, conversation, poetry and story telling, music and singing, and the ever-present jokes and puns.
But the daily pressures of living in America at the bottom rung of society also brought out the worst in them. Back home, the Irish were known for their honesty, law-abiding manners, and chastity. In America, old social norms disintegrated and many of the Irish, both men and women, behaved wildly. In the hopeless slums of New York, prostitution flourished and drunkenness occurred even among children.
Wherever they settled, the Irish kept to themselves to the exclusion of everyone else, and thus were slow to assimilate. Americans were thus slow to accept the Irish as equals, preferring instead to judge them by the cartoon stereotypes of drunken, brawling Irishmen published in newspapers of the day. Irish immigrants were also derided in the press as 'aliens' who were mindlessly loyal to their Catholic leaders in place of any allegiance to America.
The sheer numbers of Irish pouring into the U.S. meant that Catholicism was on the verge of becoming the single largest Christian denomination in America. Many American Protestants held the simplistic view that if the numbers of Roman Catholics were increasing then the power and influence of the Papacy in America was also increasing, threatening America's political independence. Fear of the Papacy thus became fear of the Irish and resulted in outright violence.
In Boston, a mob of Protestant workmen burned down a Catholic convent. Protestant mobs in Philadelphia rioted against Irish Catholics in 1844. The Irish in Philadelphia promptly gathered into mobs of their own and fought back, with the violence lasting over three days. Two Catholic churches were burned down along with hundreds of Irish homes and a dozen immigrants killed. In New York, Archbishop John Hughes, on hearing of the Philadelphia attacks, deployed armed Irishmen to protect his own churches. Then he paid a visit to New York's mayor and warned him that if just one Catholic church was touched, the Irish would burn all of Manhattan to the ground. Other cities that experienced anti-Catholic violence included; Baltimore, St. Louis, New Orleans and Louisville, Kentucky.
Militant anti-Catholics formed a third political party nicknamed the 'Know-Nothings' seeking to curtail Irish immigration and keep them from becoming naturalized Americans in order to prevent them from ever gaining any political power. The movement was most successful in Massachusetts which elected Know-Nothing candidates to every statewide office in 1854, including governor. Throughout America, anti-Irish sentiment was becoming fashionable. Newspaper advertisements for jobs and housing in Boston, New York and other places now routinely ended with "Positively No Irish Need Apply."
But American concerns over Irish immigration soon took a back seat to the tremendous issue of slavery which was about to rip the young nation apart. For Irish Americans, the turning point of their early years in the U.S. would be the American Civil War. Over 140,000 enlisted in the Union army while others in the South enrolled in the Confederate ranks. Irish units, including the all-Irish 69th New York Regiment, participated in the monumental battles at Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg, earning a reputation for dependability and bravery. At Fredericksburg, the 'Fighting 69th' repeatedly charged a well-entrenched Confederate position on Marye's Heights to the astonishment of all who observed.
However, during the Civil War, Irish civilians were heavily involved in the notorious New York draft riots in which African Americans were singled out for violence. Relations between Irish immigrants and African Americans in New York had never been good. From their earliest arrival in the U.S. the Irish had competed with freed slaves for the most menial jobs and cheapest housing. Decades of frustration and pent-up emotions finally erupted on the streets over three hot summer days in July 1863 resulting in numerous beatings and 18 blacks murdered. Federal troops from Gettysburg had to be called in to quell the violence. Hundreds of buildings, including a black orphanage, were destroyed along with $5 million in property damage.

Rise of the Irish

Following the Civil War, Irish laborers once again provided the backbreaking work needed for the enormous expansion of rapidly industrializing America. They ran factories, built railroads in the West, and worked in the mines of Pennsylvania, Virginia and Montana. They were carpenter's assistants, boat-builders, dock-hands, bartenders and waiters. In an era when there were virtually no governmental constraints on American capitalism, the Irish organized the first trade unions and conducted strikes when necessary for higher wages, shorter hours, and safer working conditions.
Single Irish women found work as cooks and maids in houses belonging to wealthy families on Beacon Hill in Boston and along Fifth Avenue in New York, and in most other big cities. Many lived inside the homes in the servants' quarters and enjoyed a standard of living luxurious by comparison to the life they had known in Ireland or in the tenements. These women were cheerful, kind-hearted, hard working and thrifty, always managing to save a little money out of their salary for those back in Ireland. From 1850 to 1900 an estimated $260 million poured into Ireland from America, bringing over more family members and helping out those remaining behind.
The women also donated generously to their local Catholic parishes for new parochial schools and the construction of stained-glass churches with marble statues and altars. The beautiful cathedral-like buildings became great sources of pride among the Irish, making the statement that Catholics had 'arrived' in America. Catholic parishes became the center of family life, providing free education, hospitals, sports and numerous social activities, recreating to some degree the close-knit villages the Irish had loved back home while at the same time protecting them from unfriendly Americans.
Catholics in Ireland had endured centuries of discrimination at the hands of a dominant culture ruled by English and Anglo-Irish Protestants. They arrived in America only to find they were once again facing religious discrimination by the dominant culture; this time American Protestants. Eventually the Irish discovered the path to changing things in their new home lay in the local ballot box.
The large numbers of Irishmen now eligible to vote in cities such as New York and Boston meant they could no longer be politically ignored. The sons and grandsons of Famine immigrants joined the Democratic Party in droves, organized themselves by every ward and precinct into political 'machines' then became candidates for office, first getting elected to city councils, later to the mayor's office itself.
In Boston, newly elected Mayor James Michael Curley boldly announced in 1914: "The day of the Puritan has passed; the Anglo-Saxon is a joke; a new and better America is here." Curley dominated Boston politics for nearly forty years. He freely used patronage as a way to reward loyalty and get Irish votes, filling various city departments with his supporters. The Irish delighted in taking civil service jobs with their steady paychecks and long-term security. In cities with big Irish populations, police and fire departments often became staffed by Famine descendants.
In New York, the political machine was known as Tammany Hall, a powerful but corrupt organization that traded favors and jobs for votes and money. Out of Manhattan's fourth ward emerged Al Smith, the grandson of Irish immigrants, who rose from the tenements of the Lower East Side to seek the American presidency. As governor of New York in the 1920s, Smith originated ground-breaking social reform programs that later became the model for Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. But as the Democratic candidate for president in 1928, Smith was relentlessly bashed by anti-Catholic activists and was resoundingly defeated, losing to incumbent President Herbert Hoover.
The most extraordinary Famine descendant was John Fitzgerald Kennedy, great-grandson of Patrick Kennedy, a farmer from County Wexford who had left Ireland in 1849. Although other Presidents, including Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson had Irish roots, John Kennedy became the first Roman Catholic. To millions of Irish Catholic Americans, Kennedy's election in 1960 as the 35th President of the United States signaled an end to the century-long struggle for full acceptance in the U.S.
By the time of Kennedy's victory, descendants of the Famine immigrants were steadily leaving the old Irish working-class neighborhoods of Boston, New York and other cities and settling into the new suburbs sprouting across America. Irish Americans, three or four generations removed from their Famine forebears, now preferred a more generic middle-class American lifestyle complete with manicured lawns and backyard barbecues. Some of them even converted to Republicanism and wound up voting for another 'Irishman' named Ronald Reagan for president.
The Irish, the first big group of poor refugees ever to come to the United States, had born the brunt of American resentment and prevailed. They could now count on the fact that their children might be educated at Harvard University or perhaps rise to a top position in any corporation or business, based on their talent and ability. And they had paved the way for the waves of immigrants from Europe and other places that followed in their footsteps.
Hard work and sheer determination had allowed the Irish in America to overcome countless obstacles and find success and happiness. But their country of origin remained a very sad place in the decades following the Famine.

After the Famine
Hunger continued to be a problem for Ireland in the years after the Famine. The poor still lived as tenants-at-will, subject to the whim of the landlord. Any improvements they made to the land still became the property of the landlord upon eviction.
Making matters worse, the Encumbered Estates Act of 1849 allowed estates in severe debt to be auctioned off upon petition of creditors or even at the request of bankrupt landlords. Land values tumbled as hundreds of estates with huge debts were auctioned off at bargain prices to British speculators interested solely in making a future profit. These new owners took a harsh view toward the penniless Irish tenant farmers still living on the land. They immediately raised rents and also conducted mass evictions to clear out the estates in order to create large cattle-grazing farms. Between 1849 and 1854 nearly 50,000 families were evicted.
In 1879, the blight returned in force bringing the possibility of renewed starvation and further evictions in the west of Ireland. But by this time, farmers and laborers throughout Ireland had become politically organized. They were now represented by a national alliance known as the Land League, led by Charles Stewart Parnell. The League, funded by donations from America, organized boycotts against notorious landlords, encouraged the defiant burning of leases, and had its members physically block evictions.
Parnell's "Land War" agitations brought the beginning of British political reforms helping Ireland's small farmers and tenants. The Land Act of 1881 granted official rent reductions and recognized the "interest" of tenants in their leased farms. The following year, Parnell agreed to end the Land War in return for the government's elimination of old unpaid rents.
The Wyndham Act of 1903 allowed most Irish tenants to actually purchase their holdings from their landlords with British government assistance. Landlords received a generous price set by the government while tenants repaid the government purchase over time. As a result, the centuries-old landlord system in Ireland, which had resulted in exploitation of the people and much suffering, was finally ended.

Road to the Republic

After the failure of the 1848 rebellion, leaders of the Young Ireland movement fled to America. The elite nationalist group was mainly composed of Irish Catholic lawyers and journalists. In New York City, free from British constraints, they began to agitate anti-British sentiment among Irish immigrants who now blamed the British government for everything, including their current misery in the slums of lower Manhattan.
Skilled propagandists such as John Mitchel inflamed the passions of downtrodden Irish Americans by summing up their Famine experience: "The English indeed, call that famine a dispensation of Providence; and ascribe it entirely to the blight of the potatoes. But potatoes failed in like manner all over Europe, yet there was no famine save in Ireland. The British account of the matter, then, is, first a fraud; second a blasphemy. The Almighty, indeed, sent the potato blight, but the English created the famine."
Another escaped Young Irelander, James Stephens, founded a secret new organization, known as the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), dedicated to ousting the British from Ireland. The American branch of this became known as the Fenian Brotherhood, popularly referred to as the Fenians.
Meanwhile, back in Ireland, Queen Victoria chose to pay a State Visit during the summer of 1849 in an effort to boost morale and stabilize the political situation. Despite the enormous suffering the Irish had endured, the people greeted the Queen with "the utmost enthusiasm" at Cork, Dublin and Belfast. "Our entrance into Dublin was really a magnificent thing," the Queen noted in her diary. The extraordinary kindness of the Irish and the complete lack of any incidents of hostility left a deep impression on the Queen. However, such good feelings would not last.
In America, the movement to free Ireland from Britain's grasp continued to germinate. The Fenians successfully recruited battle-hardened Irish veterans of the U.S. Civil War and by 1867 felt confident enough to stage an armed rebellion back in Ireland. But like the Young Irelanders of 1848, the Fenians suffered from poor organization, a lack of weapons, and constant British spying. Their activities in Ireland became so well known that they were even mentioned in the local newspapers.
Despite this, a nationwide insurrection was launched on the night of March 6, 1867. But it soon fell apart, mainly due to poor communications, and was swiftly crushed. After the failed rebellion, Irish revolutionaries chose a more independent path with less Irish American involvement. Money from America would gladly be accepted but the movement to free Ireland would become a home-grown affair. In the U.S., however, Irish Americans remained fiercely loyal to the "Old Sod" and even revived faded traditions such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians and vigorously celebrated St. Patrick's Day.
The struggle for Ireland's independence continued well into the 1900s. On Easter Monday in April of 1916, two thousand men calling themselves the Irish Volunteers along with a Citizen Army of 200 staged an armed rebellion in Dublin and proclaimed a republic. After a week of fighting, which included the destruction of downtown Dublin, 400 rebels, civilians and British soldiers were dead. The rebels surrendered and fifteen leaders of the Easter Rising were taken into custody by the British. Fallout from their subsequent executions resulted in a surge of Irish support for the struggling independence movement.
In December 1918, general elections were held in Ireland. Most of the Irish seats in the British Parliament were won by members of the Irish revolutionary party Sinn Fein (meaning Ourselves Alone) which had already vowed not to take their elected seats in England. Instead, Sinn Fein set up its own parliament in Dublin, known as the Dail Eireann (Assembly of Ireland). The Dail promptly ratified the original Proclamation of the Republic from the Easter Rising.
As a result, violence erupted between British forces in Ireland and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) which became the Irish Volunteers new name. Hundreds were killed, including 23 civilians and soldiers on Bloody Sunday, November 21, 1920.
Guerrilla warfare escalated and raged on until July 1921 when a truce occurred. In December, an Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed by representatives of the Dail and the British government recognizing 26 counties in southern and western Ireland as the Irish Free State, which would become a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. But violence once again erupted, this time among the Irish themselves, between those demanding full independence from Britain and those willing to accept inclusion in the Commonwealth (dominion status). Hundreds were killed in the 'Irish Civil War' between pro-Treaty and anti-Treaty forces.
Amid the conflict, the British-approved Irish Free State constitution went into effect. The Free State had a political status similar to that of Canada, also a member of the Commonwealth. An oath of allegiance to the British Crown had to be taken and the British could on occasion nullify Acts passed by its parliament.
By the 1930s, the Free State, under the leadership of Eamon De Valera, sought to end British influence in Ireland's internal affairs. The oath of allegiance to the Crown was abolished. Measures were also enacted to give Ireland a self-sufficient economy. In 1937, the second Irish constitution went into effect abolishing the Free State and restoring the name Ireland (Erie) as the title of the new independent democratic state, featuring a president as head of state, a prime minister leading the government, and a two-house legislature.
On Easter Monday, April 18, 1949, seven hundred years of British rule in Ireland was ended as the Republic of Ireland was finally proclaimed and all allegiance to the British Crown abolished. The British, however, retained sovereignty over six counties in Northern Ireland where antagonism between the Irish Catholic minority (33 percent) and British-backed Irish Protestants played out for decades in acts of violence and terrorism. By the late 1990s, more than 3400 lives had been lost in Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic and Britain, including many innocent children who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Famine Deaths Unknown

British Census Commissioners in 1841 had declared the population of Ireland to be 8,175,124. During the Famine years, 1845-50, Ireland's population declined in the millions due to deaths from starvation and disease and from mass emigration to North America and England. However, nobody was keeping count of the actual number of people involved. Famine victims often died unseen in mud huts or along the roadside only to be quickly buried in shallow unmarked graves or in mass graves. The British government operated on the basis of general estimates made by officials and military personnel stationed in Ireland during the Famine years.
By 1851, it is known the population of Ireland had dropped to 6,552,385. In the absence of famine, likely population growth would have resulted in just over nine million inhabitants. Based on this assumption, about 2,500,000 persons were lost during the Famine, with an estimated million having emigrated and the resulting 1,500,000 having died from the effects of the famine. Deaths were highest among children under five years of age and among the elderly.
The rural far western portion of Ireland had the highest mortality rate with the worst occurring in County Mayo and County Sligo, which each averaged up to 60,000 deaths per year; followed by Roscommon, Galway, Leitrim, Cavan, and Clare Counties, each averaging up to 50,000 per year. Counties in the east and north of Ireland experienced far fewer deaths, including Dublin, Kildare, Carlow, Wexford, Louth, Down and Londonderry Counties which averaged up to 10,000 per year.
Total British monetary expenditure in Ireland from 1845-50 was about £7 million, less than one half of one percent of the gross national product for the period. Irish famine expenditures from local taxes and landlord borrowing was £8.5 million.
After the Famine, Ireland's slow economic progress resulted in a continued drain of talented, hard-working young people. Between 1851 and 1921, an estimated 4.5 million Irish left home and headed mainly to the United States.
Continued emigration combined with a lowered birth rate resulted in a steady decline of Ireland's population until the 1960s when it leveled off at about four million. Ireland since then has experienced a renewal of its economy due to the successful changeover from an agricultural to an industrial base, with 60 percent of the people now settled in urban areas. In the mid-1980s, however, another surge of emigration to America occurred after a severe downturn in the economy caused widespread unemployment. In all, over the past three centuries, an estimated seven million Irish are believed to have left Ireland for America.
Ireland today has a robust economy, equal with Britain, due in part to the arrival of high-tech companies from around the world seeking to make use of the country's hard working and conscientious work force. About 850 foreign companies, including 300 from the United States, now have operations in Ireland. In addition, tourism remains one of the most important sources of income, employing 15 percent of the entire workforce. Many of the visitors come from America, a nation with more than 40 million citizens who claim Irish ancestry.
World Hunger Today

In the 20th Century, conditions existed in many of the world's poorest countries similar to Ireland during its famine years including: reliance by the poor on a single staple crop for survival; economic dependence on the export of cash crops to the world's richest countries to pay off debts; foreign ownership of the land by rich individuals or corporations; use of the best farm land for profitable export crops such as cotton and coffee that do not feed local populations; governmental reluctance to pay for aid to the poor; widespread incurable disease; and reoccurring natural disasters such as floods and drought.
In the 150 years since the Great Hunger in Ireland, famines have continued to wreak havoc in the world. Countries that have suffered man-made or natural famine disasters since 1850 include: India, China, the former Soviet Union, Rwanda, Nigeria, Biafra, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Somalia, Cambodia, North Korea, and The Sahel (eastern and southern Africa).
Man-made famines resulted from warfare, genocide, and misguided economic reforms. Natural famine disasters occurred in places such as Bangladesh, where poor people living on small holdings in the swampy delta islands experienced floods that ruined their rice crops.
In 1996, a World Food Summit was held in Rome, organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Among the findings discussed -- Throughout the world today one person in five lives in hunger, totaling some 800 million persons, including 200 million children under five years of age who suffer from chronic malnutrition and food deficiencies. Eighty-eight countries, almost half of which are situated in sub-Saharan Africa, are faced with repeated threats of famine. Half of humanity has a daily income of under three U.S. dollars. An estimated 10 million persons are reported to die every year from hunger or hunger-related causes.

Lord Lucan and the Irish potato famine

In January [1846] Parliament in London repealed the duties on the importation of foreign corn, the 'corn laws', and an attempt was made to replace the potato by supplies of Indian corn, unknown as a food in the United Kingdom. A start was made too towards establishing a system of public works to provide the people with money with which food might be purchased, since wages in Ireland were almost unknown. It was at this juncture that the Duke of Norfolk suggested that the Irish should substitute curry powder for the potato and nourish themselves on curry powder mixed with water.
Nevertheless, hope ran high in 1846: the Irish had a tradition that when the potato crop failed next year's crop was exceptionally abundant. The growing of crops other than potatoes was not attempted, because the people had no implements, no seeds and no knowledge of how to cultivate anything else. Once again almost all Ireland became a potato-field.
The plants came up strong and sturdy. May and June gave every promise of a bountiful harvest, and through the first weeks of July the plants bloomed richly, and the weather was good. Then disaster struck.
Father Mathew, the famous Temperance reformer, travelling from Cork to Dublin on July 27th, saw the 'plant blooming in all the luxuriance of an abundant harvest'. Five days later he travelled back to find 'one wide waste of putrefying vegetation'. At the edge of their decaying patches the people sat weeping and wringing their hands.
In Clare, Captain Mann, R.N., Senior Coastguard officer 'passed over thirty-two miles, thickly studded with potato fields in full bloom'. A day later 'the whole face of the country was changed; the stalk remained bright green, but the leaves were all scorched black. It was the work of a night'.
The disease appeared first in the form of a small brown spot on the leaf, the spots spread, the foliage withered, and the stem snapped off. In two or three days all was over, and the fields were covered with blackened plants, giving off a sickening smell of decay. The potato tubers, if lifted, were hard, withered and the size of walnuts.
In England, too, the potato crop failed partially, and potatoes became a luxury. In France, Belgium, Holland and Italy both potato and rye crops entirely failed. Prices rose steeply, freight charges more than doubled and such supplies of grain and other foods as were available instead of being sent to relieve Ireland were diverted to the Continent.
Famine began in earnest. The magnitude of the disaster was almost inconceivable. The people of Ireland had no food, no money, were in any case entirely unaccustomed to buying food; in the west of Ireland no organisation existed, no corn-factor, miller, baker or provision dealer, through which to bring food to them. The evils of subletting and subdividing now disclosed themselves with frightful effect. Captain Mann quotes a typical case of a landlord, occasionally resident, who let his land to a middleman at ten shillings an acre. The middleman also re-let it. It was again and again re-let, until the price received for a quarter of an acre was £1 10s. In 1846 the landlord, by no means a hard-hearted man, applied to the Society of Friends for food for his starving tenants. He calculated that he had about sixty to provide for, and was ' terrified' to receive over 600 applications. He had never inspected his farms.
All over Ireland famished multitudes, whose existence was utterly unsuspected and unknown, rose like spectres, from the ground, demanding food.
The Government of Great Britain regarded the starving multitudes with the utmost apprehension. Distress and starvation in Ireland -- the very words, woefully familiar, evoked hopelessness. Was the Government to tie the frightful burden of responsibility for the support of eight million people round the neck of the British tax-payer? It was decided to proceed with great caution. Extravagant action, large Government purchases of food from abroad, for instance, would inevitably upset the normal course of English trade. To preserve the normal course of English trade became the first object. No orders for supplies of food would be sent by the Government to foreign countries, they would rely on private enterprise to find food for the starving multitudes. No Government depots for the sale of food were to be established, except in the West of Ireland, where dealers were unknown. Wages were to be earned through the relief works, and new roads were to be made; but works for the improvement of the land were not to be undertaken, through a fear of favouritism and corruption.
The winter of 1846 was exceptionally severe. Wages paid by the relief works, eightpence to tenpence a day, were insufficient, and women wept as their men brought home insufficient money to buy food. The Irish peasant was accustomed to spend the cold, wet winter crouching over his turf fire, and the half-starved multitudes caught cold and died. An officer of the Board of Trade said he was ashamed to require men in such an emaciated condition to work. In any case works were slow in starting, and many districts had no relief. By December, 1846, cholera had appeared. On December 17th a Mr. O'Brien wrote a letter to the Duke of Wellington describing a visit to Skibbereen. He found the village apparently deserted, but on entering one of the cabins he discovered
... six famished and ghastly skeletons, to all appearance dead, huddled in a corner, their sole covering what seemed to be a ragged horse cloth, and their wretched legs hanging about, naked above the knees. I approached in horror and found by a low moaning that they were alive, they were in fever -- four children, a woman and what had once been a man... In a few minutes I was surrounded by at least 200 of such phantoms, such frightful spectres as no words can describe. By far the greater number were delirious either from famine or fever... Within 500 yards of the Cavalry Station at Skibbereen, the dispensary doctor found seven wretches lying, unable to move, under the same cloak -- one had been dead many hours, but the others were unable to move, either themselves or the corpse.
Josephine Butler, as a young girl, was in Ireland during the famine years.
I can recollect [she writes] being awakened in the early morning by a strange noise, like the croaking or chattering of many birds. Some of the voices were hoarse and almost extinguished by the faintness of famine; and on looking out of the window I recollect seeing the garden and the field in front of the house completely darkened by a population of men women and children, squatting in rags; uncovered skeleton limbs protruding everywhere from their wretched clothing, and clamorous though faint voices uplifted for food and in pathetic remonstrance against the inevitable delay in providing what was given them from the house every morning. I recollect too, when walking through the lanes and villages, the strange morbid famine smell in the air, the sign of approaching death, even in those who were still dragging out a wretched existence
In poverty-stricken and backward Mayo the famine was at its most severe. Starving and dying, the people came into Castlebar and roamed the streets, begging for food. William Forster, the Quaker, who made his headquarters at Castlebar, particularly remembered the children, with 'their death-like faces and drum-stick arms that seemed ready to snap'. It was a common occurrence, when the front door of a house was opened in the morning, to find leaning against it the corpse of some victim who had sunk to rest on the doorstep and died during the night. Dead bodies lay by the side of the roads leading into Castlebar, men and women who had fallen by the wayside were seen struggling in vain to rise until, with a low moan, they collapsed in death, while in remote hamlets, unknown to the outside world, every soul was found to have perished -- the people had become too weak to fly from death.
To the Earl of Lucan famine horrors were so many convincing demonstrations of the urgent necessity of clearing the land. The land could not support the people, could never support the people; so the people must go. He did not consider it was his responsibility, any more than the English Government considered it was their responsibility, to arrange how the people should go and where. He was getting nothing from his estates, all his rents and a great deal more were being put back into the land, and on one farm alone he spent £8,000; he was doing his share, and more than his share. To bolster up a hopelessly false economy, to pour out money, badly needed to improve the land, on paupers who could never be anything but paupers, was criminal sentimentality. A large part of the population of Ireland must disappear.
Evictions became wholesale on the Earl of Lucan's estates. Ten thousand people were ejected from the neighbourhood of Ballinrobe, and 15,000 acres cleared and put in charge of Scotsmen. A relieving officer told Sir Francis Head, an English observer, that the destitution caused by Lord Lucan was ' immense'. Pointing to an eminence enclosed by a capital wall and in a good state of cultivation, he said, 'That was a densely populated hill called Staball. All the houses were thrown down'. Several populous villages in the neighbourhood of Castlebar completely disappeared, farms being established on the sites. Behind Castlebar House the Earl of Lucan established a large dairy farm; the yard and buildings of this farm, which covered three acres, were cleared in the town of Castlebar itself -- whole streets were demolished and the stones from the walls used to build barns and boundary walls.
Terror seized Mayo. The people, ignorant, starving and terrified, clung desperately to the land. They could not be got rid of -- turned out of their cabins they took refuge with neighbours, or crept back in the night and hid in ditches. It was necessary to forbid any tenant to receive the evicted, on pain of being evicted himself; it was necessary to drive them out of the ditches; finally it was necessary to organise gangs, known as 'crow-bar brigades', to pull down cabins over the heads of people who refused to leave them. The Bishop of Meath saw a cabin being pulled down over the heads of people dying of cholera: a winnowing sheet was placed over their bodies as they lay on the ground, and the cabin was demolished over their heads. He administered the Sacrament for the dying in the open air, and since it was during the equinoctial gales, in torrents of rain.
Sick and aged, little children, and women with child were alike thrust forth into the cold snows of winter, [writes Josephine Butler], for the winters of 1846 and 1847 were exceptionally severe and to prevent their return their cabins were levelled to the ground ... the few remaining tenants were forbidden to receive the outcasts ... The majority rendered penniless by the years of famine, wandered aimlessly about the roads and bogs till they found refuge in the workhouse or the grave.
In addition to the crowbar brigade, a 'machine of ropes and pulleys' was devised for the destruction of more solid houses. It consisted of massive iron levers, hooks and a chain to which horses were yoked.
By fixing the hooks and levers at proper points, at one crack of the whip and pull of the horses the roof was brought in. By similar gripping of the coign stone the house walls were torn to pieces. It was found that two of these machines enabled a sheriff to evict as many families in a day as could be got through by a crowbar brigade of fifty men. It was not an unusual occurrence to see forty or fifty houses levelled in one day, and orders given that no tenant or occupier should give them even a night's shelter.
Imprecations and curses were hurled at the Earl of Lucan as village after village was blotted out. He was called the 'Exterminator'. It was said that he regarded his tenants as vermin to be cleared off his land. But he held relentlessly to his view. There was only one solution for Ireland -- a large part of the population must disappear.
Meanwhile, in London the Government became seriously disturbed. The number of persons on relief was increasing with terrifying speed: by January, 1847, half a million men were employed on relief work on the roads, and more than two million were receiving food; and each day added fresh tens of thousands. There was apparently no end to the helpless starving multitudes of Ireland. Moreover, the relief works were unsatisfactory, for a variety of reasons persons not entitled to relief were receiving it, the attraction of wages was so strong that the fields were being deserted for the roads, and the construction work was so badly done that the new roads were useless.
Parliament turned angrily on the Irish landlords. How had they ever allowed this state of things to come about? What had they done to prevent or to remedy the disaster? The Irish landlords had come forward with no plan, they had provided the Government with no information, they had assumed no responsibility, the miserable hordes perishing on their very doorsteps had been callously ignored. All they had done was to 'sit down and howl for English money'.
On February 15th, 1847, Lord Brougham attacked the Earl of Lucan in the House of Lords. In Mayo 6,000 processes had been served, 4,000 of which were for rent.
The landlord in Mayo had thought it necessary to serve his tenants with notice to quit in the midst of one of the most severe winters that had ever been known, in the midst of the pestilence too which followed, as it generally did, in the train of famine. He had turned out these wretched creatures when there was no food in the country and no money to buy it.
Six thousand evictions might involve more than 40,000 people, as the average Irish family consisted of seven persons. What, asked Lord Brougham, was the result of this wholesale clearance? A great flood of Irish paupers had begun to pour across the Irish Channel into Liverpool and Glasgow. At Liverpool in the last five days 5,200 paupers were landed, without possessions of any kind, in an advanced state of starvation, and with the cholera among them. They did not come to emigrate, because they had no money and the emigration season did not begin until the end of March or the beginning of April. They came to be fed. Large numbers of these people had come from Mayo.
Lord Lucan's defence was irritable. Anyone who knew anything about Ireland knew that processes were not evictions. The trouble at the present moment was that people made themselves heard who knew nothing about Ireland. Processes were actions for recovery of rent brought usually by middlemen, and he challenged the figure of 6,000.
Lord Brougham informed the House that the figure was an official return quoted in the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It appeared that a new system of clearing land was being adopted in Mayo and that the processes now before the courts were novel in Ireland. There had previously been a right of levying a distress on goods and chattels for rent, but this year in Mayo there were no goods and chattels left, so the person of the debtor was to be attached -- that is, he was to be imprisoned. The husband and father was to be removed, and the wife and children were to be left to fend for themselves. It was usual in Ireland to allow three months' grace for payment of rent, but this year in Mayo no such period was allowed. The landlords had calculated that these processes would have all the efficiency of evictions, and they had been proved right. The people were distracted by the loss of their potato crop, feared th