Picture of William Camden

William Camden

places mentioned

Ireland (1)

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NOW have I rather passed over than thoroughly surveied all Britaine, namely those two most flourishing Kingdomes England and Scotland. And whereas I am now to crosse the seas for Ireland and the rest of the Isles, if I praemise some few lines touching the British sea, I hope it shall not seeme a crooked course or an extravagant digression.

2. Britaine is incompassed round about with the vast and open maine Ocean, which ebbeth and floweth so violently with maine tides that, as Pytheas of Marsiles hath reported, it swelleth 80 cubits about Britaine, and Saint Basile hath tearmed it mare magnum &. , that is, The great Sea and dreadfull to Sailers , yea and Saint Ambrose wrote thus of it: The great Sea not adventured on by sailers, nor attempted by mariners, is that which with a roaring and surging current environeth Britaine, and reacheth into farre remote parts and so hidden out of sight as that the very fables have not yet come thither. Certes, this sea sometimes overfloweth the fields adjoining, otherwhiles again it retireth and leaveth all bare, and, that I may use the words of Plinie, by reason of this open largenesse it feeleth more effectually the force and influence of the Moone, exercising her powre thereupon without impeachment. And it floweth alwaies up within the land with such violence that it doth not onely drive backe the streames of rivers, but also either overtaketh and surpriseth beasts of the land, or else leaveth behind it those of the sea. For there have bin seene in every age, to the great astonishment of the beholders, so many and so huge Sea-monsters left on drie land upon our shore that Horace sang this note not without good cause:

The Ocean, of Sea-monster fraight with store,
Upon the Britans farre remote doth rore.

And Juvenall in the like tune:

As much as Whales full huge, that use to breede
In British Sea, the Dolphins doe exceede.

And so great an adventure and exploit it was thought but to crosse onely this our Sea that Libanus the Graecian Sophister, in a Paneyricall oration unto Constantine Chlorus, cried out in these words, οὐ χείρονα τροπαίου τοῦ μεγίστου φανεῖσθαι τὸν πλοῦν, that is, This voiage into Britaine seemed comparable to the greatest triumph. And Julius Firmicus, not that famous Astrologer, but another that was a Christian, in a little Treatise Of the Errour of Profane Religions written unto the Emperours Constans and Constantius, brake out into this exclamation: In Winter time (a thing that never was done before nor ever will be done againe) yee trampled under your oares the swelling and raging bellowes of the British Ocean. The waves of the sea, unknowen, in a manner, before time unto us, then trembled and quaked, and the Britans were terrified at the sudden presence of the Emperour. What will yee more? The very elements yeelded themselves as conquered unto your valerous vertues.

3. The famous learned man Julius Scaliger in his Poeticalls affirmeth that Caurus the Northwest wind ariseth and bloweth from out of this British sea, and that against the opinion of Lucan, who wrote thus:

From Ocean called Atlanticke, Caur, thou first
Thy head dost shew, making seas fell and curst.

Certes in Ireland he keepes foule worke and playes the tyrant, and Caesar writeth that a great part of the yeere he stands in this coast.

But whereas some write that in this our Sea ships were first devised and used, I am not disposed to beleeve them. But Plinie witnesseth that the Britans used small wicker vessels covered over with hides (which at this day they tearme Corraghs), and with Plinie accordeth Lucane, who versifieth in this wise:

At first, wet twigges of willow grey, that long in soake had laine,
And covered over close with hide of Oxe or Bullocke slaine
(But wrought before unto the forme of litle barke or boat)
Used to carry passengers, the swelling streames afloat.
Thus over Po, that river large, sailes the Venetian,
And thus the Britan maketh way upon the spatious Ocean.

Sembably Solinus Polyhistor: In the sea betweene Britaine and Ireland they saile in wicker bothoms, which they cover round about with Ox hides. And how long soever as the course holdeth, so long the sailers forebeare food.

4. As for the commodities which this sea affordeth, the warmth whereby it comforteth and cherisheth the earth, the vapors wherewith it nourisheth the aire and bedeweth the fields, touching also the great varietie of fishes that it breedeth, as Salmons (which Bede calleth isicios , as Plinie esox ), Plaice, Pungers, Cods, Hadockes, Whitings, Herrings, Base Maccarell, Mullets Turbits, Seales or sea Calves, Rochets, Soles, Pilchardes, Raifish or Scale, Thornbacke, Oysters, Lobsters, Crabfish, and an infinite number of others, whereof it maintaineth and feedeth innumerable skuls and beds, it is not materiall to speake, they are so well knowne. Yet the Pearles are not to be overpassed in silence, which King Jubas reporteth to be shaped round, and to swimme in the British sea by flocks or swarmes in maner of bees following their Captaine and leader. And Marcellinus, when he had spoken of the Persian and Indian perles, which kind of gemme (saith he) we are not ignorant to be engendred and gathred in the Creekes of the British sea, although they be not of that beauty and worth. Which, although they be accounted by Plinie small ones and ill coloured, yet Suetonius writeth that Caesar made his voiage into Britaine in hope of them, and that they were of such bignesse as he tooke the peise [weight] of some of them by hand, and dedicated a brestplate made of them unto Venus Genetrix, which hee also witnessed by a subscription. Origine likewise as touching these Pearles writeth thus: Sea pearles, such as bee most notable, are found among the indians, but the best are bred in the Red-sea. In the next place are those pearles which are taken in the British Ocean, but of a third sort, and inferior in goodnesse not to those first only, but also to these of the second degree, are they that be found in Bosphorus neere Scythia. And after a few lines: But that kind which they say is gotten in Britaine, for the superficiall colour verily somewhat resembleth a golden hew, but cloudy it is and troubled, and for the lustre with the dimmest. Furthermore, our Venerable Bede, writing of the shelfishes of this our Sea: Among them (saith he) be there Muscles, wherein they find enclosed oftentimes the best pearle of all colours, of purple, violet, and greene, but especially of bright white. There be cochles also in exceeding great abundance wherewith they die a scarlat colour. The most beautifull red hew whereof no heate of Sunne nor injurie of raine is ever able to make pale, but the older it is, the fairer it sheweth. And Tertullian, reproving the lavish excesse and superfluity in his time, If ambitious pride saith he) may be maintained from the British or Indian seas, there is a kind of shelfish more pleasant in tast, I say not than the purple fish or oister, but than the very Scallop it selfe.

5. This sea, which is generally called mare Britannicum and oceanus Caledonius , according to the diverse situation of places hath sundry and distinct names. Eastward, where it hath Germanie opposite unto it, they call it the German sea. Northward, it is tearmed the Hyperborean sea, which ancient writers reported untruly to be dead, dull, and heavy for the oare, and in that respect not raised with winds , and Tacitus beleeved it was so, belike, because, as he writeth, the Lands and Mountaines be rare, which minister cause and matter of tempests, and for that a deepe masse of continuat sea is more slowly stirred to worke and rage. On the West side it is named the oceanus Deucaledonius and Vergivius , both South and West from Ireland. But all the way that it runneth betweene Britaine and Ireland the Hibernicus , that is, Irish sea, and by Sea-men at this day, S. Georges Chanel. And ancient writers have recorded that it rageth all the yeare long with surging billowes and counter seas, and never is at rest, nor navigable unlesse it be in some few Summer daies. But Southward where it inter-floweth France and Britain, it is properly called the British sea, and by the common mariners The Chanel, by English sailers, The Sleeve, and in the same sense Le Manche in French, because it groweth narrow in maner of a sleeve. And this name of the British Sea extended as farre as to Spaine, as writeth Pomponius Mela, being himselfe also a Spaniard, where hee reporteth that the Pyrene Mountaine runneth forth into the British Ocean.

6. Moreover there be certaine Ilands which, as it were for a shew, Nature hath besprinkled along these seas: fewer toward the East and South parts, but Westward and Northward more in number. For there, by their thicke standing together, they doe after a sort garnish the sea, yea and depaint it, as it were, with their colours in most pleasant sort. But forasmuch as Ireland farre excelleth all the rest in regard of the greatnesse thereof and frequencie of resort thereto, it requireth by due right that it should first be treated of.


IN the Vergivian sea, which name is derived not a vergendo , that is, of bending towards , as some are of opinion, but of Mor-weridth , for this name the Britans give it, or else of Farigi , by which name the Irish men call it, the most famous Iland Hibernia, that is to say, Ireland, encloseth the West side of Britaine; an Iland which in times past challenged the third place amongst all the Isle of the then known world. For thus, as touching Ilands, writeth the ancient Geographer: τῶν νήσων πρωτεύει ἡ ᾿Ινδικὴ Ταπροβάνη μεγέθει καὶ δόξ., μεθ' .ν ἡ Βρεττανικὴ, τρίτη ἑτέρα Βρεττανῶν ἡ ᾿Ιουερνία, that is, Of all Ilands, for greatnesse, the IndianTaprobane is prime and principall; next after it Britaine; and in a third degree, another British Iland, named Hibernia , that is, Ireland; and thereupon Ptolemee called it Little Britaine. This Isle by Orphaeus, Aristotle, and Claudian is named Ierna; by Juvenall and Mela Iuverna; by Diodorus Siculus Iris; By Martian of Heraclea .ουερνία; by Eustathius Overnia and Bernia, by the native inhabitants Erin , by the Britans Yverdon , and of Englishmen Ireland.

2. Whence these names have had their originall, sundry and divers opinions have been conceived from time to time as in a doubtfull matter. Some derive Hibernia from hiberno tempore , that is, from the Winter season; others from Hiberus a Spaniard; and some againe from the river Iberus; the author of the booke entituled Eulogium from Duke Irnalph; Postellus, a fancifull man, when he read Pomponius Mela publickely in Paris, because he would seeme to have a reach beyond other men, fetcheth the originall thereof from the Hebrews, so that Irin should be as much as Iurin , that is, the Jewes land. The Jewes , forsooth saith he, being most wise Sages and learned Philosophers, knowing by their learning that the Empire of the world should be setled in the strongest Angle, which lieth West, seazed upon those parts, and Ireland with the first. The Syrians also and Tyrians, to lay the foundation of their future Empire, endevoured all they could to inhabit those Regions. Pardon me, I pray you, if I dare not subscribe heereto, no nor give my consent to that opinion most received, as touching the Winter season aforesaid, although I have read that in this Iland the aire upon every winde is colde and Winterlike. As for Hibernia, Iuverna, and Overnia, they came doubtless from Ierna, spoken of by Orphaeus and Aristotle. And the same Ierna, as also Iris, Yverdhon and Ireland , from Erin , the terme that the inhabitants use. From this Erin therefore, a word proper unto the Nation, the originall must be deduced. Heere I, with those great philosophers, ἐπέχω, that is, I hold off and suspend my judgement. Neither know I what to divine and ground my conjecture upon, unless, peradventure, that name ma come from here , an Irish word which with them signifieth the West , or a Western coast , whence Erin may seeme to be derived, as one would say A Western countrey. Of this opinion have I been a good while since, induced thereto with my owne conceit and flattering conjecture, both because it lieth furthest Westward of any region in all Europe (as being no more than twelve degrees distant from the utmost West point), as also for that the river, running in the most remote West part of this Iland, is in Ptolemee called Ierunus, like as the promontory of cape bearing out farthest West in Spaine (from whence our Irishmen came) is named by Strabo Ierne, and as the next river unto it, which also is most West of all the rivers in Spaine, is called by Mela Ierna. Moreover, by reason of the Western situation, Spaine is named Hesperia, and that West Cape in Africk Hesperium cornu , yea and even in Germanie, these countries, Westrich, Westphalen &. have their denomination from that position and site, so that there is no marvell if Ireland were termed Erin of the Western situation. Besides these names of Ireland which I have spoken of, the Irish Bards or Poets have usually taken up in their ballads these terms, Turuolas, Totidanan , and Banno , as the most ancient names of this Iland, but upon what reason I wot not, unlesse Banno were that Bannomanna which Plinie mentioneth out of Timaeus, whiles his pen coasteth along the outmost sides and skirts of Europe and the shore of the Northren Ocean on the left hand from Scythia, even as farre as Cadis in Spaine. For what country that same Bannomanna should be, the Geographers have not yet found out. But biaun in Irish signifieth Sacred or Holy , and verily Festus Avienus calleth Ireland Sacram Insulam , that is, The holy Iland , in that little booke entituled Orae Maritimae , that is, The Sea coasts , which he compiled out of most ancient Geographers, namely Hecataeus of Miletum [sic], Hellanicus of Lesbos, Philaeus of Athens, Caryandaeus, Pausymachus of Samos, Damastus, Euctemon, and others. But I will write downe his verses, for when he had spoken of the Ilands Ostrymides, thus he versifieth:

But to the Sacred Isle (for so
They us'd to call it long ago),
From hence a course who so desires,
Just two dayes sailing it requires.
Much turfe it casts the waves among,
And Irish dwell therein along.
Now very neere to it againe,
The Albions isle is kenned plaine.

3. If that Ogygia which Plutarch placed on the West side of our Britaine were not .ναρ but ὕπαρ, not a vaine dreame but a matter of truth, he may seeme by that name plainely to point at Ireland, although the reports that he so sadly telleth of it be meere poeticall fictions and Milesian toies. Neither can any man redily tell why they called it Ogygia, unless haply of the antiquity. For the Grecians termed nothing by the name of Ogygia but that which was very ancient. And Robert Constantine seemeth to have shot wide all the world over when he affirmeth that Cerne mentioned in Lycophron was our Ireland, for Lycophron himselfe, and Tzetzes that commenteth upon him, doe place Cerne toward the sun rising, and all the best learned men thinke it to be Madagascar, situated as it were in another world, right under the Tropique of Capricorne, right over against Aethiopia. Thus much touching the names of Ireland, yet so as we remember withall to take this by the way, that in these later times it was called also Scotia, that is, Scotland, by Isidor and Bede, of the Scots who inhabited it, and that thence the name of Scotland, together with the Scots themselves, came into Britaine. But of this we have spoken already once before, and therefore have no cause to repeat here.

4. This Iland is stretched out from South to North, not broader than it is long, as Strabo hath recorded, but shaped in forme of a lentile or an egge, nor of twentie dayes sailing, as Philemon in Ptolomee hath set it downe, but according to the later writers it taketh up three hundred miles and no more in length, and is scarcely one hundred and twentie miles broad. On the East side it hath England severed from it with a troublous and tempestuous sea, which is called the Irish sea, on the West the huge main Western Ocean, on the North the Daucaledonian sea, and on the South the Vergivian sea worketh upon it.

5. The Country , if you would heare Giraldus Cambrensis to speake, is uneven, full of hils softe, waterish and boggy, wilde and overgrowne with woods, lying open to the Winds, and so full of Meeres or Loghs that a man may see ponds and standing waters even upon the mountaines. The aire (as Mela saith) is nothing good and favourable for ripening of corne, but the ground is so ranke of grasse, and the same not onely fresh and long, but sweete also withall, that the cattaile may fill their bellies in a small peece of the day, and unlesse they bee kept from grazing and not suffered to feed long together, their bellies will burst. Hence it is that they have such an infinite number of cattails, as beeing indeed the chiefe and principall wealth of the Inhabitants, and many goodly flockes of sheepe, which they sheare twice a yeere, and make of their course wool rugges or shaggie mantles, Caddowes [blankets] also or Coverlets, which are vented [distributed] into foraine countries. They have likewise excellent good horses (we terme them Hobies) which have not the same pace that other horses in their course, but a soft and round amble seting one legge before another very finely. Their haukes also are right commendable, but these, as all other living creatures (besides men, women, and Greyhounds) are smaller here than in England. Now, as well as the aire as the ground is excessive moist, whence it is that very many there be sore troubled with loosenesse and rhewmes, but strangers especially: yet for the staying of the same they have an aqua vitae of the best, which inflameth a great deale lesse, and drieth much more than ours. Whereas Giraldus writeth that those which are borne heere sicken never of any of the three kinds of fevers , it is daily found by experience to be false. As for the land it selfe (that I may use the testimony here of the said Giraldus), it is of all countries most temperate. Neither doth any frying heat of Cancer drive folke to seeke shade, nor chilling cold of Capricorne call them in to the fire, but all times in maner, by reason of the pleasantnesse and temperat disposition of the aire, have a gentle kinde of warmth. Of Bees there are such numbers that they be found not onely in hives, but also within the bodies of trees and holes of the earth. Likewise it hath vines, but more for shade than for any fruit they yeeld. For no sooner is the sunne passed out of Leo but cold blasts heere in this our climat are wont presently to follow, and in Autumne the after-noone heats are lesse effectuall and shorter, both heere and in our Britaine, than to give the full and kinde ripening unto Grapes. Besides this, there is no snake in the country, nor any venemous thing whatsoever. Howbeit much noisance they have everywhere by Wolves, and that I may speake all at a word, whether a man respect the fertility of the soile, or the commodiousnesse of sea and havens, or the inhabitants themselves, who are stout, hardy, warlike, witty, proper men of bodie and goodly feature, of a wonderous soft skinne, by reason also of the tendernesse of muskles passing nimble, the Iland aboundeth in so many blessings that Giraldus said, not without just cause, that Nature had cast into this Western Kingdome of Zephyrus a more gratious eie than ordinary. Now in that otherwhiles there goeth of it an ill name, it is for that the inhabitants are in some places wilde and very uncivill, who, in a mervailous contrariety of nature, both love idlenesse and withall hate quietnes; who also are immoderately given to fleshly lust, and that over-soone. For among the wilder sort, they bestow their maidens in marriage, as ripe and ready for husbands, when they be once ten or twelve yeeres of age. Neither will they by any meanes stay for a competent maturity of yeeres, a thing observed in all other countries.

6. But as touching the manners and qualities of the Irish nation, I will discourse more at large in the end of this booke. And now, if it please you, give Ireland the hearing, whiles she speaketh of her selfe and her commodities in these verses of that most learned man Hadrianus Junius:

I am that frozen Isle which Greekes once did Ierne call,
Well knowne to Argo Jasons ship and to her sailers all.
Which, subject unto Caurus curst, have sunne more nere in sight,
When in Tartessus floud he sets and seemes to drench his light.
Whom God and better Nature hath secured from this feare
(A gift imparted eke to Crete, which Jupiter did reare),
That snakes of grim Medusaes bloud so filthy that were bred
Should dare in these my coasts to hisse, and hurtful venome spred.
And say that some by chance there were brought hither of that brood,
Throtled anone they loose at once their life with poison'd bloud.
Lo here with regall scepter I present most martiall mindes,
And dreadfull shapes (I fable not) of men who harts and hinds,
So swift of foote in running, can out-strip and leave behind.
With fishfull lakes besides and fennes, where foules of every kind
Their eiries have and harbours save. Moreover, Delfs
[mines] of tin,
Rich mines likewise of silver pure, which wondrous farre within
The earth hath kept, whose bowels now digg'd up for men to prie,
As if she ment even Hell to see, she shews them to the eye.

7. If that be true which the Irish Historiographers record, this Island was not without cause by Plutarch termed Ogygia, that is, very ancient. For they fetch the beginning of their histories from the most profound and remote records of antiquity, so that in comparison of them the Antientnesse of all other nations is but novelty, and, as it were, a matter of yesterday. They write that one Caesarea Noah his Neice inhabited it before Noahs floud. Then, that Bartholanus a Scythian came hither about three hundred yeres after the said Noahs Floud, and fought right doughty battailes with Giants. That many years after Nemethus a Scythian arrived heere, and forthwith was cast out by the Giants. After this, that Dela with certaine Grecians seized upon this Island, and soone after, that Gaothel with Scota his wife, daughter to Pharao King of Aegypt, landed here and nominated after his wives name the Island Scotia, and according to his owne name the language, Gaothela , and that about the time of the Israelits departure out of Aegypt. And the British historie reporteth how some few ages after Hiberus and Hermion (Ever and Erimon the Irish writers terme them), the sonnes of Milesius King of Spaine, by the sufferance of Gurguntius King of the Britans, planted colonies in this country, after it had beene dispeopled by a pestilence. My purpose is not either to averre these reports for true, nor yet to refute them. In such things as these let Antiquity bee pardonable and enjoie a prerogative.

8. Surely, as I doubt not but that this Island became inhabited even of old time, whenas man-kinde was spred over all quarters of the world, so it is evident that the first inhabitantes thereof passed thither out of our Britaine. For (to say nothing of an infinit number of British words in the Irish tongue, together with the ancient names which savour of a British originall), The Natures of the people and their fashions , as Tacitus saith, differ not much from Britaine . Of all ancient writers it is called a British Island. Diodorus Siculus termed Irin a part of Britaine, and Ptolomee named the same Britannia Parva , that is, Little Britaine, as you may see if you list to compare his Geographicks with his booke of Great Construction. And the Epitome of Strabo calleth the Inhabitants in plaine words Britans. The old geographers also named it The British Island, yea and Festus Avienus sheweth this out of Dionysius After, when he treateth of the British Islands in these verses:

Here other Islands nere unto the chilling North-winds blast
The waves of sea surmount aloofe, and shew their mountaines vast,
In number twaine: their soile is fat, their ground both large and wide,
What way the Westrne Rhene his gulfe and waters depe doth hide.
These Lands feirce Britan-troupes mainteines, and thereon they abide.

9. Neither is there any other country out of which by reason of the vicinity they might passe over more commodiously into Ireland than out of our Britaine, from whence there is the like passage thether, in respect of the space of sea betweene, as is out of France into britaine. But afterwards, when the Romans had enlarged their Empire every way, many there were, no doubt, who out of Spaine, Gaule, and Britane withdrew them selves hither, that they might shake of that intollerable yoke of the Romans slavery. Neither doe some otherwise understand these words of Tacitus: Ireland beeing situate in the middest betweene Spaine and Britainie, [sic] lying also very fitly for the French sea, would aptly have united to the great use and advantage of the one and the other, the strongest members of the Empire together: the landing places and ports whereof, by entercourse of traffick, were better knowne than those of Britane. And albeit Julius Agricola also kept with him a pety King or Prince of Ireland who was driven thence by occasion of civill dissention, that hee might have the more advantageous opportunity thereby to invade the Island, which hee thought would be subdued and held with legion and a smal powre of Aid-forces, and was perswaded withall that the same would availe much for the affaires of Britaine, in case the Roman forces were planted everywhere and liberty banished, as it were, farre out of sight, yet wee reade not that the Romans gave any attempt that way. Notwithstanding some are verily perswaded that they assaied the conquest of it, and do gather the same hardly out of this place in Juvenal:

Why warred we past Irish coast, and the Orkneis lately wonne,
Beyond the Britans eke, that have least night and longest sunne?

Yet the Panegyricall oration pronounced before Constantius the Emperor implieth that Ireland was under his government: Britaine (saith hee) is so recovered that even those nations also which joine upon the coasts of the same Island are become subject and obedient unto your command. Also we find written in the Chronicles of later historians that Ireland, together with Britaine and Thule, at the division of the Empire fell unto Constantine the sonne of Constantine the Great. And that very fond fable of Caesarea Noachs neice carrieth before it the name of Caesars, so as that therein may seeme covertly couched the comming of some Caesar into Ireland. Howbeit I can hardly perswade my selfe to beleeve that this Country at any time became subject to the Romans. But a blessed and happy turne had it beene for Ireland, if it had at any time beene under their subjection. Surely it had then beene reduced from barbarisme to civility. For wheresoever the Romans were victours, they brought them whom they conquered to civility; neither verily in any place else throughout Europe was there any civility, learning, and elegance, but where they ruled. And very inconsideratly also they may seeme to have neglected this Island. For from hence (to the plague and spoile of Britaine) brake out most dangerous enemies, which Augustus seemeth to have foreseene when he tooke so small care of Britaine for the danger which hee presaged to hover and approch from the nations round about adjoining. But when the Roman Empire beganne now to decay, the nation of the Scots or Scythians (for in times past , as Strabo writeth, al people Westward were termed Celto-Scythae ) grew mighty in Ireland and beganne to bee renowned. Furthermore under the Emperors Honorius and Arcadius it was inhabited by the Scotish nations, as Orosius hath written. Whereupon Claudian, living in the same age, wrote thus:

Yce-frozen Ireland wept amaine
To see the Scots on heapes lie slaine

And in another place :

What time as Scots did make
All Ireland armes to take.

10. For from hence it was that the Scots made their forcible invasions into Britaine, and hither they were otherwhiles with great losses and overthrowes repulsed. But whence they came into Ireland, Ninnius a disciple of Elvodugus, an author of good antiquity, shall enforme you by his owne words. Who lived, as himselfe witnesseth, in the yeere 830 under Anaraught King of Anglesey and Guineth or North Wales. For after he had related that in the third age of the world the Britans came into Britaine, in the fourth age the Scythians or Scots into Ireland, hee proceedeth thus: Last of all came the Scots from the parts of Spaine into Ireland. But the first that arrived there was Partholanus with a thousand men and women togither, and they grew after to be foure thousand, and there fell a mortality among them, so that in one weeke they all died, and there remained of them not so much as one alive. the second that landed in Ireland was one Nemeth, the sonne of Aguomenes, who, by report, sailed upon the sea one yeere and an halfe, and afterward when he had suffered shipwrack fell with an haven in Ireland, and he returned into Spaine. And after that came three sonnes of a Spanish knight, with thirty Ciules [ships] with them, and in every Ciule thirty wives, and they continued therefor the space of one yeere. Last of all came Elam-Hoctor, and dwelt there with all his progenie and generation even to this day. With this Ninnius accordeth Henry of Huntingdon. The Britans (saith he) in the third age of the World came into Britaine, and the Scots in the Fourth into Ireland. And how ever these reports be not most certaine, yet sure it is that they came out of Spaine into Ireland, and part of them, departing thence, came and added a third nation unto the Britains and Picts in Britaine. The received opinion of the Irish is agreable hereunto, for they most willingly acknowledge themselves to be an offspring of the Spaniards. Neither verily can it bee a marvaile that a number of them withdrew themselves into Ireland out of the North part of Spaine, which, as Strabo writeth, is most baraine, and wherein men live most miserably. Out of those words of Ninnius a man may see that those entries made of Bartholanus and Nemethus, which fabulously they fetch so farre off out of most profound and remote antiquity, are to bee drawne back unto later times. Neither is it needefull for mee to note againe that this Island was of the Scotish inhabitance called Scotia.

11. Not many yeeres after, these Scots in Ireland beganne to professe Christianity, although they would needs appropriate unto themselves that history out of Rufinus concerning the conversion of the Hibernians in Asia, and Caelestin Pope of Rome sent unto these Scots Palladius the Bishop. Whereupon Prosper Aquitanus writeth in this maner against Collator: Caelestin delivered the Britans from the Pelagians heresie when he secluded certaine enemies of grace who held their owne native country, even from that unknowne part of the Ocean; and having ordained a Bishop among the Scots, whiles he laboured to keepe an Iland of the Romans in the Catholicke faith, he brought also a barbarous nation to be Christian. Yet Ninnius writeth that Palladius, being taken away by untimely death in Britaine, effected nothing: who also reporteth out of the Irish writers that Christian religion was published and preached throughout Ireland by Saint Patricke. For he, being a Britan borne, and that, as some will, in Cluidsdale, allied also to Saint Martin of Tourain and a Disciple of Saint German, was appointed successour by Pope Caelestin to Palladius deceased, who with so good successe taught and sowed the seede of Christian religion over all Ireland, that hee converted the greatest part by farre thereof unto Christ, and deserved the name of the Apostle of the Irish Nation. Touching whom, an ancient writer Henricus Antisiodorensis in his booke of Saint Germans miracles: Forasmuch as (saith he) the glory of a Father appeareth bright in the governance of his owne sonnes, among many sonnes whom we beleeve Saint German had in Christ, and Disciples in religion, it shall suffice by way of compendious brevity to insert heere the mention of one onely, and the same of all others most famous, namely Patricke, as the whole course of his acts declareth, the peculiar Apostle of the Irish nation, wholly addicted for 18 yeeres unto his most holy discipline, out of the veine of so worthy a fountain drew no meane knowledge and learning in the heavenly scriptures. Whom also that most divine and godly Bishop, considering to be in religion magnanimous, in vertues excellent, and in learning powerfull, and deeming it mere folly that so strong and able an husbandman should live idle in the tillage and ordering of the Lords Corn-field, directed him unto holy Celestine Pope of Rome, by Segetus a Priest of his, who should give testimonie unto the Apostolicall See of Ecclesiasticall honesty in the behalfe of that right excellent man. Being therefore approved with the judgement, supported with the authority, and lastly strengthened with the blessing of him, he made a voiage into Ireland, and being peculiarly appointed an Apostle of that nation, as he then lightned them with his Doctrine and miracles, so now also and for ever adorneth them with wonderfull priviledges of his Apostleship. The Irish scholars of Patricke profited so notably in Christianitie that in the age next following Ireland was tearmed sanctorum patria , that is, the native country of Saints , and the Scotish monkes in Ireland and Britaine highly excelled for their holinesse and learning, yea and sent out whole flockes of most devout men into all parts of Europe: who were the first founders of Luxeul Abbay in Burgundie, of Bobie Abbay in Italie, of Wirtzburge Abbay in Francland, of Saint Gallus in Sweitzerland, of Malmesbury, Lindisfarn, and of many other Monasteries in Britaine. For out of Ireland came Saelius Sedulius a Priest, Columba, Columbane, Colman, Aidan, Gallus, Kithan, Maidulph, Brendan, and many other celebrated for their holy life and learning. Of these Monkes is that Hieric above named of Auxerre to be understood when he writeth thus to the Emperour Charles the Bald: What should I speake of Ireland, which, setting light by the dangers of sea, flitteth all of it well neere with whole flocks of Philosophers unto our shores? Of whom so many as are more skilfull and learned than the rest do voluntarily banish themselves, to attend dutifully upon the most wise Salomon, and be at his commande.

12. This Monasticall profession, although but then newly come up, was far different in those daies from that of our time. They desired to be that indeed which they were named to be; they were far from colourable dealing or dissembling. Erred they in any thing? It was through simplicity, not through lewdnesse, much lesse of willful obstinacy. As for welth and these worldly things, they so highly contemned them that they did not only not seek after, but also refused the same, though they were offred unto them descended. For a notable Apophthegme was that of Columbane (a monke of Ireland) who, as the Abbat Walafride writeth, when Sigebert King of the Franckners delt very earnestly with him, and that by way of many faire and large promises, that he should not depart out of his Kingdome, answered him after the same sort as Eusebius hath reported of Thaddeus, namely, that it became not them to embrace other mens riches, who for Christs sake had forsaken their owne. And the Bishops of Britaine seeme no lesse to have despised riches, seeing they were so poore that they had nothing of their owne. For, as we read in Sulpitius Severus, Three Bishops of Britain, in the Councel holden at Rimie, for want of their own, lived of the publicke charges. The English Saxons also in that age conflowed and resorted from all parts into Ireland, as it were, to the mart of good learning, and hence it is that we read so often in our writers concerning Holy men thus: Such a one was sent over into Ireland for to be trained up in learning , and in the life of Sulgen, who flourished 600 yeeres agoe:

The fathers old he following, for love to read good workes,
Went unto Irish men who were (o wonder) famous Clarkes.

And from thence it may seeme our forefathers the ancient English learned the maner of framing their letters and of writing, considering that they used the selfe same character which the Irish commonly use at this day.

13. And no cause have we to mervaile that Ireland, which now for the most part is rude, halfe-barbarous, and altogether voide of any polite and exquisite literature, was full of so devout godly and good wits in that age, wherein good letters throughout all Christendome lay neglected and half buried; seeing that the Divine providence of that most gratious and almighty ruler of the world soweth the seeds and bringeth forth the plantes of Sanctity and good arts, one-whiles in one nation, and other whiles in another, as it were in garden beds and borders, and that in sundry ages: which, being removed and translated hither and thither, may by a new grouth come up one under another, prosper, and be preserved to his owne glory and the good of mankind.

14. But the outrage of warres by little and little quenched these hote affections and studies of holinesse and good literature. For in the yeere 644 after Christs nativitie, Egfrid King of Northumberland with fire and sword made spoile and havocke of Ireland, a nation most friendly unto England. for which cause Bede chargeth him after a sort in most grave and important termes. Afterward, the Norwegians, under the leading of Turgese their Captaine, spoiled and wasted the country in most lamentable maner for the space of 30 yeeres. But when he was once slaine by a traine and ambush laid for him, the inhabitants fell upon the Norwegians and made such a bloudy massacre of them that scarce any one survived to be a messenger of so great a slaughter. These Norwegians were doubt those Normans who, as Rhegino saith, in the time of Charles the Great, setting upon Ireland, an Isle of the Scots, were by the Scots put to flight. After this, the Oustmans , as one would say Easterlings or Eastmen , came out of the sea coasts of Germanie into Ireland: who having entred into certaine Cities under the pretence of great trafficke, in a short space raised a most dangerous warre. About the very same time in maner, Eadgar, that most puissant King of England, conquered also a great part of Ireland. For thus we read in a certaine Charter of his: Unto whom God of His gracious favour hath granted together with the Empire of England dominion over all the Kingdomes of the Isles lying in the Ocean, with the most stout and fierce Kings even as farre as to Norway, yea and to subdue under the English Empire the greatest part of Ireland with her most noble City Dublin.

15. After these tempesteous foraine warres were allaied, there followed a most greivous storme of civill dissention at home, which made way for the English to conquere Ireland. For Henrie the Second King of England, taking occasion and opportunity by the privie dislikes, heart burnings, and malicious emulations among the Irish Princes, grew into a serious deliberation with the Nobles of Negland in the yeere of Salvation 1144 about the conquest of Ireland, for the behoofe of his brother William of Anjou. But through the counsell of his mother Mawde the Empresse, this project was rejected unto another time. Howbeit, now many yeeres betweene, Dermicius, the sonne of Murchard (Dermot Mac Morrog they call him), who reigned over the East part of Ireland, which in Latin is called Lagenia and commonly Leinster, being for his tyrannie and lustfull leawdnesse thrust out of his Kingdome (for he had ravished the wife of O Rorke, a pety King of Meth) obtained aide and forces of Henrie the Second King of England to be restored into his Kingdome againe, and made a covenant with Richard Earle of Pembroch, surnamed Strongbowe, of the house of Clare, that hee would assure unto the Earle together with his daughter Eva the said Kingdome in succession after him. Heereupon the said Earle, having forthwith mustered up and raised an arme of Welsh and English together, and joigned unto him to accompany him in the warres, the Fitz-Giralds, Fitz-Stephans and other gentlemen out of England and Wales restored his father in law Dermot into his former Kingdome againe, and within few yeeres gat by conquest so great a part of Ireland into his owne hands that his powre became now suspected to the King of England: who by proclamation, and that with greevous menaces, recalled home the said Earle and his followers out of Ireland, and unlesse they obeied without delay, pronounced them traytors and their goods confiscate. Whereupon the Earle granted unto the King by covenant and writing whatsoever he either inherited in right of his wife or won with his sword, and as his tenant in vassailage received from him the Earldomes of Weisford, Ossorie, Caterlogh and Kildare with certaine Castles. Then King Henrie the Second, having gathered a powre together in the yeere of Christ 1172, sailed over into Ireland and obtained the Princely title of soveraigne rule of the Iland. For the States of Ireland passed over unto him all their rule and powre, namely, Rothericke O Conor Dun , that is The Browne , Monarch of Ireland, Dermot Mac Carti King of Corke, Donald O Bren King of Limiricke, O Carell King of Uriel, Macshaglin King of Ophalie, O Rorke King of Meth, O Neal King of Ulster, with the rest of the Nobles and their people, and the same under their Charters subscribed, signed, delivered and transmitted to Rome. Which was ratified and confirmed moreover by a Patent of Pope Hadrian, by a ring delivered unto him in token of his investure, and also by the authority of certaine provincial Synods. This King Henrie afterward delivered up the Seignory of Ireland into the hands of his sonne John, which conveience Pope Urban confirmed by his Bull, and in testimonie of his confirmation sent him a Coronet of Peacokes feathers broidered and embrodred with gold. Whom, after he was once established in his Kingdome, divers authors affirme to have granted by his Charter or Patent Ireland and England both unto the Church of Rome to be held of it ever after in fee, and to have received it againe from the Church as a Feudatorie; also to have bound his successours to pay three hundred markes unto the Bishop Rome. But that most worthy and famous Sir Thomas Moore, who tooke the Popes part even unto death, affirmeth this to bee false. For he writeth that the Romanists can shew no such grant; that they never demaunded the foresaid monie; and that the Kings of England never acknowledged it. But by his leave, as great a man as he was, the case stood otherwise, as evidently appeereth by the Parliament Records, the credite whereof cannot be impugned. For in an assembly of all the States of the Realme, in the reigne of Edward the Third, the Lord Chancellour of England proposed and related that the Pope would judicially sue the King of England as wel for the Homage as the tribute which was to be yeelded for England and Ireland, to the performance whereof King John in times past had obliged himselfe and his successors, and of this point, which hee put to question, required their opinion. The Bishops desired to have a day by themselves for to consult about this matter, the Noble likewise and the people or Communalty. The day after, they all met, and with one generall accord ordaIned and enacted, that forasmuch as neither King John nor any other King whatsoever could impose such servitude upon the Kingdome but with the common consent and assent of a Parliament, which was not done, and whatsoever he had passed was against his oth at his coronation by him in expresse words religiously taken before God, therefore, in case the Pope would urge this matter, they were most ready to the uttermost of their power to resist him resolutely with their bodies and goods. They also who are skilfull in scanning and sifting every pricke and tittle of the Lawes cry out with one voice, That the said grant or Charter of King John was voide in Law by that clause and reservation in the end thereof, Saving unto us and our heires all our Rights, Liberties and Regalities. But this may seeme beside my text.

16. Ever since King Johns time, the Kings of England were stiled Lords of Ireland, untill that King Henry the Eighth in the memory of our fathers was in a Parliament of Ireland by the States thereof declared King of Ireland, because the name of Lord seemed, in the judgement of certain seditious persons, nothing so sacred and ful of majestie as the name of King. This name and title of the Kingdome of Ireland were by the Popes Authoritie (what time as Queene Mary in the yeere 1555 had by her Embassadours in the name of the Kingdome of England tendred obedience unto the Pope, Paul the Fourth) confirmed in these words: To the laud and glory of almighty God and His most glorious mother the Virgin Mary, to the honour also of the whole court of heaven and the exaltation of the Catholike faith, at the humble request and suite made unto us by King Philip and Queene Mary about this matter, wee with the advise of our brethren and of plenary powre Apostolicall, by our Apostolicall authority erect for ever Ireland to be a Kingdome and endow, dignifie, and exalt with the title, dignity, honor, faculties, rights, ensignes, prerogatives, preferments, preeminencies royal, and such as other Realmes of Christians have, use, and enjoy, and may have, use, and enjoy, for the times to come.

17. And seeing that I have hapned upon those Noblemens names, who first of all English gave the attempt upon Ireland and most valiantly subdued it under the imperial crowne of England, lest I might seeme upon envie to deprive both them and their posterity of this due and deserved glory, I will set them downe heere out of the Chauncerie of Ireland, according as the title doth purport.


Richard Strongbow Earle of Pembroch, who by Eve the daughter of Morrog the Irish petie King aforesaid had one only daughter, and shee brought unto William Mareschall the title of the Earledome of Pembroch with faire lands in Ireland and a goodly issue, five sonnes, who succeeded one another in a row, all childlesse, and as many daughters, which enriched their husbands, Hugh Bigod Earle of Norfolke, Guarin Mont-chensey, Gilbert Clare Earle of Glocester, William Ferrars Earle of Derby, and William Breose, with children, honors and possessions

Robert Fitz-Stephen
Harvey de Mont-marish
Maurice Prendergest
Robert Barr
Meiler Meilerine
Maurice Fitz-Gerald
Redmund nephew of Fitz-Stephan
William Fererand
Miles de Cogan
Richard de Cogan
Gualter de Ridensford
Gualter and Alexander, sonnes of Maurice Fitz-Girald
William Notte
Robert Fitz-Bernard
Hugh Lacie
William Fitz-Aldelm
William Macarell
Humfrey Bohun
Hugh de Gundevill
Philip de Hasting
Hugh Tirell
David Walsh
Robert Power
Osbert le Herloter
William de Bendenges
Adam de Gernez
Philip de Breos
Griffin nephew of Fitz-Stephen
Raulfe Fitz-Stephen
Walter de Barry
Philip Walsh
Adam de Hereford

To whom may be added out of Giraldus Cambrensis:

John Curcy
Hugh Contilon
Redmund Cantimore
Redmund Fitz-Hugh
Miles of S. Davids, and others


EVER since that Ireland became subject unto England, the Kings of England have sent over thither to manage the state of the Realme their Regents or Vicegerents, whom they termed in those writings or letters Patents of theirs (whereby authoritie and jurisdiction is committed unto them), first, Keepers of Ireland, then afterwards, according as it pleased them, Justices of Ireland, Lieutenants, and Deputies. Which authoritie and jurisdiction of theirs is very large, ample, and royall, whereby they have power to make warre, to conclude peace, to bestow all Magistracies and offices, except a very few, to pardon all crimes, unlesse they be some of high treason, to dub Knights, &. These letters Patents, when any one entreth upon this honorable place of government, are publikely read, and after a solemne oth taken in a set forme of words before the Chauncelour, the sword is delivered into his hands, which is to be borne before him, he is placed in a chaire of estate, having standing by him the Chauncellour of the Realme, those of the privie Counsell, the Peeres and Nobles of the kingdome, with a King of Armes, a Serjeant of Armes, and other officers of State. And verily there is not (looke throughout all Christendome againe) any other Vice-Roy that commeth neerer unto the majestie of a King, whether you regard his jurisdiction and authoritie of his traine, furniture, and provision. There be assistant unto him in Counsell the Lord Chauncellour of the Realme, the Treasurer of the kingdome, and others of the Earles, Bishops, Barons and Judges, which are of the privie Counsell. For Ireland hath the very same degrees of States that England hath, namely, Earles, Barons, Knights, Esquiers, &.


THE supreme Court of the Kingdome of Ireland is the Parliament, which at the pleasure of the Kings of England is usually called by the Deputie, and by him dissolved, although in the reigne of King Edward the Second a Law was enacted That every yere there should be Parliaments holden in Ireland , which seemeth yet not to have beene effected. There be likewise foure Tearmes kept, as in England, yeerely, and there are five Courts of Justice, the Star-chamber, the Chauncery, the Kings Bench, the Common Pleas, and the Exchequer. There are also Justices of Assises, of Nisi Prius , and of Oyer et Determiner , according as in England, yea and Justices of Peace in every county for the keeping of peace. Moreover, the King hath his Serjeant at law, his Attournay Generall, his Sollicitour, &.

Over and besides in the more remote Provinces there be governours to minster Justice, as a principall Commissioner in Connaught and a President in Mounster, who have to assist them in commission certaine Gentlemen and Lawyers, and yet every of them are directed by the Kings Lieutenant Deputy.

2. As for the common lawes, Ireland is governed by the same that England hath. For we read in the Recordes of the Kingdome thus: King Henry the Third in the 12 yeere of his raigne gave commandement to his Justice of Ireland, that, calling together the Archbishops, Bishops, Barons, and Knights, he should cause there before them to be red the Charter of King John, which he caused to be red accordingly, and the Nobles of Ireland to be sworne as touching the observation of the lawes and customes of England, and that they should hold and keepe the same. Neverthelesse the meere Irish did not admit them, but reteined their owne Brehon lawes and leud customes. And the Kings of England used a connivence therein upon some deepe consideration, not vouchsafing to communicate the benefit of the English lawes but upon especiall grace to especiall families or sects, namely the O Neales, O Conors, O Brien, O Maloghlins, and Mac Murough, which were reputed of the bloud Royall among them. The Parlamentary or Statute Lawes also of England, being transmitted, were usually in force in Ireland unto the time of King Henry the Seventh. For in the tenth yeere of his reigne, those were ratified and confirmed by authority of Parlament in Ireland in the time of Sir Edward Poinings government, but ever since they have had their Statutes enacted in their owne Parlaments.

3. Besides these civill Magistrates, they have also one military Officer named the Mareschal, who standeth heere in great steed to restraine as well the insolency of soldiours as of rebels, who otherwhiles commit many and great insolencies. This office the Barons de Morley of England bare in times past by inheritance, as appeereth by Record, for King John gave it to bee held by right of inheritance in these very expresse words: We have given and granted unto John Mareschal for his homage and service our Mareshalship of Ireland with all appertenances,. We have given also unto him for his homagy and service the Cantred [hundred] in which standeth the towne of Kilbunny, to have and to hold unto him and his heires of us and our heires. From whom it descended in the right line to the Barons of Morley. This Mareshall hath under him his Provost Marshall, and sometime more than one, according to the occasions and troubles of the time, who exercise their authority by limitation under the great seale of Ireland with Instructions. But these and such like matters I will leave to the curious diligence of others. Touching the order of Justice and Government among those more uncivill and wild Irish, I will write somewhat in place convenient, when I shall treat of their maners.


IRELAND according to the manners of the inhabitants is divided into two parts. For they that refuse to be under lawes and doe live without civility are tearmed The Irishry, and commonly The Wilde Irish, but such as, being more civill, do reverence the authority of laws and are willing to appeere in court and judicially to be tried, are named English-Irish, and their country goeth under the tearme of The English Pale, because the first Englishmen that came thither did empale for themselves certaine limits in the East part of the Iland, and that which was most fruitfull. Within which there be even a this day those also that live uncivilly enough, and are not very obedient unto the lawes, like as others without the pale are as courteous and civill as a man would desire. But if we looke into higher times according to the situation of the country, or the number rather of governours in old time, it containeth five portions (for it was sometimes a Pentarchie), namely Mounster Southward, Leinster Eastward, Cannacht in the West, Ulster in the North, and Meth well neere in the very middest.

2. In Munster are these Counties

Tiperary with the County
of Holy Crosse in Tiperary

In Leinster be these Counties:

Queenes County
Kings County

In Meth are these Counties:

East Meath
West Meath

In Connacht are these Counties:


In Ulster be these Counties:

Tyr-Conell or Donegall

3. The Ecclesiasticall State of Ireland was ordered anciently by Bishops, whom either the Archbishop of Canterburie consecrated, or they themselves one another. But in the yeere 1152, as we read in Philip Flatesbury, Christianus Bishop of Lismore, Legate of all Ireland, held a most frequent [crowded] and honourable councell at Mell, whereat were present the Bishops, Abbats, Kings, Captaines, and Elders of Ireland. In which, by authority Apostolicall and by the counsell of Cardinals, with the consent of Bishops, Abbats, and others, there in Consistorie he ordeined foure Archbishopricks in Ireland, Armach, Dublin, Cassile, and Tuem or Toam.

The Bishopricks, which were Diocessans under these, seeing that now some of them are by the covetous iniquitie of the times abolished, others confounded and conjoined, others againe translated another way, I am disposed here to put downe (according as they were in olde time) out of an ancient Roman Provinciall, faithfully exemplified out of the originall. Under the Archbishop of Armach, Primate of all Ireland, are the Bishops of:

Meath or Elnamirand
Dune, alias Dundalethglas
Clochor, otherwise Lugundun
Dearrih or Derry

To the Archbishop of Dublin are subject the Bishops of:

Osserie, alias De canic
Kil-dare, alias Dare

Under the Archbishop of Cassile are the Bishops of:

Laonie or de Kendalnan
The IsleGathay
Melite or ofEmileth
Rossi, alias Roscree
Waterford, alias De Baltifordian
Clon, alias De Cluanan
Corcage, that is, Cork
De Rosalither

Unto the Archbishop of Tuam or Toam are subject the Bishops of:

Duac, alias Killmacduoc
De Cellaiar
De Rosconmon
Lade, alias Killaleth
De Conany
De Killmunduach


MOMONIA, in Irish Mown , and in ordinary construction of speech Wown , in English Mounster, lieth Southward open to the Vergivian sea, separated in some place from Cannaght by the river Siney or Shanon, and elswhere from Lemster by the river Neor. In times past it was divided into many parts, as Towoun , that is, North-Mounster , Des-woun , that is, South Mounster , Heirwoun , that is, West-Mounster, Mean-woun, that is, Middle-Mounster , and Urwoun , that is, The Front of Mounster. But at this day into two parts, that is, into West-Mounster and South-Mounster. In the West-Mounster there dwelt in old time the Luceni, the Velabri, and Uterini; in the South, the Oudiae or Vodiae and the Coriondi. But at this day it is distinguished into seven Counties, Kerry, Desmond, Cork, Limiric, Tipperary, Holy Crosse, and Waterford.

2. Where Ireland lieth out most Westward, and treanding toward the Cantabrian Ocean looketh afarre off Southwest, with a large inter-space to Gallitia in Spaine, there inhabited in old time the Velabri and Luceni, as Orosius writeth. The Luceni of Ireland (who may seeme to have had their name and beginning from the Lucensii of Gallitia in the opposite coast of Spaine, and of whose name some reliques still remain in the Baronie of Lyxnaw) were seated, as I suppose, in the Countie of Kerry, and in Conoglogh hard by upon the banke of the river Shanon.


THE County of Kerry, neere unto the mouth of Shanon, runneth forth like a little tongue into the sea, beaten on with barking billowes on both sides: a country mounting aloft with woody, wild, and solitary mountaines, betweene which there lie many vallies, in some places garnished with corn-fields, in others beset also thicke with woods. This is reputed a County Palatine, and the Earles of Desmond had in it the dignitie and priviledges of a Count-Palatine, and that by the bountifull gift of King Edward the Third, who granted unto them all Regall liberties, except foure Pleas, namely, of Burning, Rape, Forstall, and Treasure Trove, with the Profit growing de croccis reserved for the Kings of England. But through the licentious iniquitie of the men, who neither would nor knew how to use this libertie, it became of late a very sinke of mischiefes, and a common receptacle for rebels. In the entrance into this country there is a territorie called Clan-Morys, of one Moris descended from the stocke of Raimund le Grosse, whose heires successively were called the Barons of Lixnaw. A little river now namelesse (which the situation in some sort implieth to be Dur in Ptolomee) cutting through the mids of this, running by Traley, a small towne laid now in maner desolate (where the Earles of Desmond had an house). Hard by standeth Ardart, where the Bishop called of Aredefort, a poore one God wot, hath his poore See. In the farthest point well neere of this, were it maketh a promontorie, there sheweth it selfe on the one side Dingle, a commodious port, on the other side Smerwic Sound, a road for ships, for so they terme it short in steed of S. Mary-wic: at which, of late, when Girald Earle of Desmond, a man notorious for deepe treacherie to his Prince and country, wickedly wasted Mounster with continuall harrying and raising booties out of the fields, there arrived certaine companies of Italians and Spaniards, sent underhand to aid him from Pope Gregory the Thirteenth and the King of Spaine: who heere fortifying a place which they called Fort del Ore , made their bragging bravadoes and thundred out many a terrible threat. But the most noble and martiall Baron Arthur Lord Grey, Lord Deputie, with his very comming and first onset that he made upon them, decided the matter and ended the quarrell. For immediately they yeelded themselves, and the most part of them were put to the sword, which was in pollicie thought the wisest and safest course, considering in what ticklish termes the state of this Realme then stood, and how the rebels in every place were up in armes. And the Earle of Desmond himselfe at length in his fearefull flight, being forced to take the woods hard by for his refuge, was soone after in a poore cotage by a souldiour or two rushing in upon him, first wounded, and afterwards being knowen, cut shorter by the head, and so paid woorthily for his perfidious treason and the wasting of his country.

2. Heere some man happly would thinke it not correspondent to the gravitie of this worke if I should but relate what a ridiculous opinion hath fully possessed the minds of a number of the Irishry, yea and perswaded them verily to beleeve that he who in that barbarous Pharoh [hubbub] and outcry of the Souldiers which with great straining of their voice they use to set up when they joine battaile, doth not cry and shout as the rest doe, is suddainly caught up from the ground and carried, as it were, flying in the aire into these desert vallies out of any country of Ireland whatsoever: where he eateth grasse, lappeth water, knoweth not in what state he is, good or bad, hath some use of reason but not of speech, but shalbe caught at length with the helpe of houndes and the hunters, and brought home to their owne homes.


BENEATH those ancient Luceni lieth Desmond, stretched out farre and wide toward the South, called in Irish Deswown , in Latin Desmonia , inhabited in ancient times by the Vellabri and Iberni, which in some copies are written Uterini. Was for these Velabri, they may seeme so named of aber , that is, salt water washes , for that they dwelt upon such Friths, divided one from another by many and those notable armes of the sea running betweene: whence also the Artabri and Cantabri in Spain had their denomination. Among these armes of the sea three promontories, beside Kerry aforesaid, with crooked and winding shoares runne out into the Southwest, and those the inhabitants termed in old time Hierwoun , that is, West-Mounster. the first of them, between Dingle Bay and the river Mair, is named Clan-Car and hath a castle built at Dunkeran by the Carews of England. In this dwelt Donel Mac Carty More, Lord of the Irish bloud, who in the yeere 1566 reseigned up unto Queene Elizabeths hands his possessions and lands, and tooke them againe of her to hold the same after the English manner by fee, doing homage and fealtie. And at the same time he was created Baron of Valentia (an Island adjoyning) and Earle of Clan-Car. A man in this tract of great name and power, a most deadly foe in times past of the Fitz-Giralds, who disseized [deprived] his ancestours, kings (as he stifly avoucheth) of Desmond, of their ancient seat and habitation. But long enjoied not he this honour, and having but one onely daughter legitimate, he matched her in marriage with Florence Mac Carty, and departed out of this life an aged man.

The second promontorie enclosed within two baies, Maire and Bantre, is named Beare, standing for the most part upon hungrie gravell and a leane stony soile. In which live O Swillivant Beare and O Swillivant Bantre, descended both of one and the same stocke, men of great nobilitie in their country.

2. The third is called Eraugh, lying betweene Baintre and Balatimore or Baltimore, a Bay or Creeke passing well knowne by reason of the abundance of Herings taken there, whereunto resorteth every yeere a great fleet of Spaniards and Portugals, even in the mids of winter, to fish for Cods. In this the O Mahons by the beneficiall gift of Matthew Carew received faire lands and Lordships. This is it that Ptolomee calleth Notium, that is, the South-Promontorie : at this day named Missen-head, under which (as we may read in him ) the river Iernus is disgorged into the Ocean. But what name the said river now hath, in so great obscuritie I hardly dare divine, unlesse it be that which they call Maire, and runneth hard under Kunk-eran aforesaide. Neither wot I how to guesse at those people whom the same Ptolomee placeth upon these promontories, seeing that according to the varietie of copies they have sundry names, as Iberni, Outerni, Iberi and Iverni, unlesse peradventure, like as their neighbours the Luceni and Concani did, they flitted hither from among the Iberi of Spaine. Well, this name of Desmond in the foregoing ages stretched farre and wide in this tract, even from the sea unto the river Shanon, and was called also South-Monster. The Fitz-Geralds, descended out of the house of Kildare, having subdued the Irish, became Lords heere of very large and goodly possessions, and of them Mauric Fitz-Thomas (unto whom Tomas Carew, heire unto the Signorie of Desmond, had before passed away his right of Desmond) was in the third yeere of King Edward the Third created the first Earle of Desmond. Among whose posterity many there were, great men for their valour and wealth, whose credit also and reputation reached farre. But a badde name there went and still doth of James, who, having excluded his nephew from the inheritance, entred himselfe by force upon it, and imposed upon the people those most grievous tributes of Coyne, Livery, Cocherings, Bonaghty, &. for the maintenance of Galloglasses [retainers] and souldiers to spoile and harry the country. Which when his sonne Thomas exacted and gathered of the poore people, he was by the commandement of John Tiptoft Deputie Lieutenant beheaded in the yeere 1467, and so suffered due punishment for his owne and his fathers wickednesse. Howbeit, when his children were restored againe, in their ofspring this honor continued, and descended in right of inheritance unto Girald that Rebell whom erewhile I named, who wilfully overthrew a most noble and potent family. And when he was attained by Parlamentarie authority, Desmond was adjudged and annexed to the Crowne land, reduced into the ranke of Counties, and a Sheriffe was ordained to governe it from yeere to yeere. Neverthelesse in the last rebellion the rebels erected a titularie Earle, and against him Queene Elizabeth granted the title of Earle of Desmond unto James Fitz-Gerald, sonne to the foresaid rebell, who shortly after died issuelesse in the yeere 1601. They that heerein beare the greatest name and most puissance are of the race of the Giralidides or Fitz-giralds, although they have for sundry respects assumed unto themselves divers surnames.


AFTER the Iberi there dwelt far in the country the Οὔδιαι, who are tearmed also Vodiae and Udiae, the footing [vestige] of which name doth most expressely shew it selfe in Idou and Idouth, two small territories, like as the name of the Corondi in the County of Corke bordering upon them. These nations in habited the Counties of Corcke, Tipperary, Limiricke, and Waterford.

commonly called

THE County of Corcke, which in old time was reputed a Kingdome, comprised the whole tract along the sea from Lismore unto Saint Brend, where it affronteth Desmond Westward; hath in the midland parts thereof Muskeray, a wild and woody country, wherein Cormac Mac-Teg is of great name, and toward the sea coast Carbray, in which the Mac-Carties beare the most sway. By the sea side, the first place that we meet with is Rosse, a road and port in times past well frequented, but now lesse resorted unto by reason of a bar of sand. From thence with a narrow neck runneth out a biland, called the Old head of Kinsale , neere unto which the family of the Curcies flourished in ancient times, famous for their wealth, descended from a brother of John Circy the English man that subdued Ulster, and out of which there remaineth heere still Curcie Baron of Ringrom, but at this day (this is the world) of weake and meane estate. After it, at the mouth of the river Bany, in a fertile soile and well wooded, standeth Kinsale, a very commodious port and a towne fortified with old walles: under which in the yere 1601 the Kingdome of Ireland lay a-bleeding, and put it was upon the hazard, as it were, of one cast of a die, whether it should be subject to England or Spaine, what time as the Iland was endangered both with foraine and domesticall warre, and eight thousand old trained souldiers under the conduct of Don John D'Aquila had of a sudden surprised and fortified it, confident upon the censures and excommunications of Pius the Fifth, Gregorie the Thirteene, and Clement the Eight Popes of Rome, discharged like thunderbolts upon Queene Elizabeth, and presuming confidently upon the aids of rebels who had sent for them, under a goodly shew of restoring religion (which in this age and variance about religion is everywhere pretended for to maske and cloke most ungracious and wicked designes). But Sir Charles Blunt Baron Montjoy, Lord Deputy, presently belaied it round about both by sea and land, albeit his souldiers were tired, toiled out, and the season of the yeere most incommodious, as being midwinter; and withall, made head also against a rable of rebels whom the Earle of Tir-Oen, O Donel, Mac-Gwyre, and Mac-Mahound had raised and gotten thither, and with such valor and fortitude so fortunately daunted and repressed their malapert boldnesse that with one victorie hee both had the towne with the Spaniards in it yeelded unto him, and also wrested, as it were, out of the hands of all Ireland throughout, now at the point of revolt (for they that deliberate are revolted already) both sword and fire. On the other side of the river from Kinsale lieth Kerry-Wherry, a little territorie of late belonging to the Earles of Desmond. Just before which runneth the river that Ptolemee calleth Daurona, Giraldus Cambrensis, by changing only one latter, Sauranus and Saverenus , which, issuing out of Muskerey mountaines, passeth along by that principall Citie of the Countie graced with an Episcopall dignity (whereunto is annexed the Bishops See of Clon) which Giraldus nameth Corragia , Englishmen Corcke, and the naturall inhabitants of the country Corcach , enclosed within a circuit of walles in forme of an egge, with the river flowing round about it and running betweene, not passable through but by bridges, lying out in length, as it were, in one direct broad street and the same having a bridge over it. Howebeit, a prety towne of merchandise it is, well peopled and much resorted unto, but so beset on every side with rebels neighbouring upon it that they are faine to keepe alwaies a set watch and ward, as if they had continuall siege laid unto their Citie, and dare not marrie their daughters forth into the country, but make marriages one with another among themselves, whereby all the Citizens are linked together in some degree or other of kinred and affinity. The report goeth that Brioc that most devout and holy man (who in that fruitfull age of Saints flourished among the Gauls, and from whom the Dioecese of Sanbrioch in Britaine Amorica commonly called S. Brieu tooke the name) was borne and breed heere.

2. Beneach Corcke the river, parting in twaine, environeth a large and very pleasant Iland, over against the principall dwelling house of that most ancient and noble family of the Barries, which thereupon is called Barry Court. For that family is derived from Robert de Barry an Englishman, a personage of great worth and renowned, who notwithstanding chose rather among the first to be chiefe indeed, than to seeme chiefe: who in the winning of Ireland receaved wounds and hurt, and the first man he was in Ireland that manned [tamed] and brought the Hawke to hand. His posterity by their long approved loialty and martiall proesse deserved to receive of the Kings of England first the title of Baron Barry, afterwards of Vicount Butiphant, and for their great lands and wealth gat among the people the surname Barry more , that is, Barry the Great. Below Barry-Court the river Saveren, hard by Imokelly a faire possession long since of the Earle of Desmond, looseth it selfe in the Ocean, affording at the very mouth commodious harbours and havens.

3. As Saveren watereth the neigher part of this Country, so Broodwater, called in times past Aven more , that is, The Great River , moisteneth the upper: upon which inhabiteth the Noble familie of Roch, which being transplanted out of England hath growne up and prospered very well and now enjoieth the title of Vicount Fermoy. Certaine it is that in the reigne of Edward the Second they were entituled with the honour of Parliament-Barons, considering that George Roch was fined in two hundered markes because, upon summons given, hee came not to the Parliament a Dublin. Where Broodwater (which for a good while runneth as a bound betweene this County and the County of Waterford), entring into the sea, maketh an haven, standeth Yoghall, no great towne, but walled round about, built in fashion somewhat long and divided into two partes. The upper, which is the greater part, stretching out Northward, hath a Church in it, and without the wall a little Abbay, which they call North Abbay; the nether part, reaching Southward, called the Base-towne, had also an Abbay, called South Abbay, and the commodiousnesse of the haven, which hath a well fensed Kay belonging unto it, and the fruitfulnesse withall of the Country adjoining, draweth merchants unto it, so as it is well frequented and inhabited, yea and hath a Major for the head magistrate. Thus farre in these daies reacheth the County of Corke, which in times past, as I said even now, was counted a Kingdome and went farther, was which conteined within it Desmond also. This kingdome King Henry the Second gave and granted unto Sir Robert Fitz-Stephen and to Sir Miles de Cogan in these words: Know yee that I have granted the whole Kingdome of Corck, excepting the City and Cantred [hundred] of the Oustmans, to hold, for them and their heires of me and John my son by the service of 60 knights. And the Carewes of England were heires to that Fitz-Stephen from whom Sir George Carew, now Baron Carew of Clopton, lineally and directly deriveth his descent, who not long since was the Lord President of Mounster, and in some of these obscure Irish matters (which I willingly acknowledge) hath directed mee by the light of his knowledge.


ON the East coast of Ireland the County of Waterford extendeth it selfe between the rivers Broodwater West, Shour East, the Ocean, from the South, and the County of Tiperary Northward: a goodly county, as well for pleasant sight as fertile soile. Upon Broodwater, so soone as it hath left Corck-county behind it, Lismor sheweth it selfe, well knowne for an Episcopall See in it, where Christian sat, sometime the Bishop and Legat of Ireland about the yeere 1148, a Prelate that deserved passing well of the Irish Church, trained in his youth at Clarevall in the same cloisture with Saint Bernard and Pope Eugenius. But now, since that the possessions in manner all have beene alienated, it is united unto the Bishoprick of Waterford. But neere unto the mouth of the said river standeth Ardmor a little towne, so called because it standeth nere the sea, of which and of this river Necham long since versified thus:

The river named Aven-Mor through Lismor towne doth runne,
Ardmor him sees, and there apace to sea he speeds anon

The little territory adjoyning unto it is called Dessee, the Lord whereof, one of the family of Desmond, received in our remembrance the honourable title of Vicount Dessee, but for that hee had no issue male, it vanished with him in a short time. Not farre from hence standeth Dungarvan upon the sea, a towne well fortified with a castle, and as commodious by reason of the roade for ships: which togither with the Baronie of Dungarvan King Henry the Sixth bountifully granted unto John Talbot Earle of Shrewsbury; but afterward, seeing it stood handsomely to that part of Mounster which was to be brought under and reduced to order, it was by authority of Parliament annexed to the Emperiall Crowne of the Kings of England for ever. Nere unto it flourished the Poers of ancient nobility (from the very first time that Ireland was conquered by the English), and afterward advanced to the honorable title of the Barons of Curraghmore. But upon the banke of the river Shour Waterford, the chiefe and principal City of this County, maketh a goodly shew. Concerning which, old Necham writeth in this wise:

The river Shour
Hath great desire faire Waterford rich to make.
For in this place he hies apace
His course with sea to take.

2. This City, which the Irish and Britans cal Porthlargy, the English Waterford, was built by certaine Pirats of Norway; and although it standeth in an aire somewhat grosse, and upon a soile not very fruitfull, and the streets therein bee with the narrowest thrust close and pent together, yet such is the convenience and commodiousnesse of the haven that for wealth, fresh trading, and frequent resort, it is the second City in all Ireland, and hath alwaies shewed a singular loialty, fidelity, and obedience to the Imperiall crowne of England. For ever since that Richard Earle of Pembrok wanne it, it hath continued so faithfull and quietly disposed that it performed at all times safe and secure peace unto the English on their backes, whiles they went on in the conquering of Ireland. Whence it is that the Kings of England have granted unto it very many, and those right large, Franchises, which King Henry the Seventh augmented and conformed because the citizens had demeaned themselves most manfully and wisely against that Mock-Prince Perkin Warbeck, who, being a young man of base condition, by hoising [raising] up the full sailes of impudence went about to mount up aloft unto the Imperiall diadem, whiles hee, a meere suborned counterfeite, tooke upon him to bee Richard Duke of Yorke, the second sonne of King Edward the Fourth.

3. This Countie of Waterford, together with the citie, King Henry the Sixth gave unto John Talbot Earle of Shrewsbury aforesaid, by the words which because they testifie the valerous vertue of that most martiall knight, to the end that vertue might have the due honour thereto belonging, I thinke it woorth my labour, and haply any man would deeme no lesse, to put downe out of the Record, which may be Englished thus; We therefore , saith the King (after other eloquent termes penned by the Secretaries of that age, when there was but simple Latin) weighing with due consideration the valiant prowesse of our most deere and faithfull cousin John Earle of Shrewsbury and of Weisford, Lord Talbot, Furnivall, and Le Strange, sufficiently tried and approved even unto his old age in the warres aforesaid, upon his body no lesse bedeawed with sweat many a time than embrued with bloud, and considering in what sort our Countie and Citie of Waterford in our land of Ireland, the Castle, Seignorie, Honour, Land, and Baronie of Dungarvan, and all the Lordships, Lands, Honours and Baronies with the pertinences within the same County, which by forfaiture of Rebels, by reversion or decease of any person or persons, by Escheat or any other title of law, ought to come into our hands or our progenitours, or in the same to be: by reason of the hostile invasions of our enemies and Rebels in those parts, are become so desolate, and lie so much exposed to the spoiles of warre, wholly as it were wasted, that they turne us to no profit but have and doe redound oftentimes to our detriment; in this regard also, that by the same our Cousin our foresaid Land of Ireland may the more valiantly be defended in those partes against such attempts and invasions of our enemies and rebells, doe ordeine, promote and create him Earle of Waterford; yea and the foresaid City, with the fee ferme [income] of the same, the Castles, Lordships, Honours, Lands, and Baronies with the pertinences within the Country, from the towne of Yoghall unto Waterford City aforesaid. To have and to hold the foresaid County of Waterford, the stile, title, name and honor of Earle of Waterford, and the City Waterford aforesaid, the Castle, Seignory, Honour, Land and Barony of Dungarvan, and all other Lordships, Honours, Lands and Baronies within the said County, as also all and every the foresaid manours, Hundreds &. unto the above named Earle and the heires males issuing out of his body (to have I say and to hold) of us and our heires by homage, fealty, and the service of beeing and to bee our Seneschall or Steward, and that his heires bee the Seneschals of Ireland to us and our heires throughout our whole land of Ireland, to doe, and that hee doe, and ought himselfe to doe in the same his office, that which his praedecessours, Seneschalls of England were wont to doe hitherto in that office, for ever. In witnesse whereof &.

4. But whenas (whiles the Kings of England and the Nobles who had large and goodly possessions in Ireland were much busied and troubled a long time, first with the warres of France, and afterward with civill warres at home), Ireland lay in manner neglected, and the State of English there, falling still to decay, was now in manner come to nothing, but the Irishry, by occasion of the others absence grew exceeding mighty, for to recover these losses and to abate the powre of the Irish, it was ordeined and enacted by the States of the Realme in Parliament that the Earle of Shrewsbury for his absence and carelesness in mainteining of his owne, should surrender into the hands of the King and his successours the Earldome and towne of Waterford. The Duke of Norfolke likewise, the Baron Barkley, the heires generall of the Earle of Ormond, and all the Abbats, Priors &. of England who had any Lands should surrender up all their possessions unto the King and his successors for the same absence and neglect.


HITHERTO have wee gone over the Maritime Counties of Mounster: two there remaine yet behind that be in-lands, Limerick and Tipperary, which wee are now to goe unto. The county of Limerick lieth behind that of Corke Northward, betweene Kerry, the river Shanon and the county of Tipperary. A fertile country, and well peopled, but able to shew very few places of any good account and importance. The most Western part of it is called Conilagh. Wherein among the hils Knock-Patric , that is, Patricks hill , mounteth up a mighty height, and yeelding a pleasant prospect into the sea, beholdeth afarre off the river Shanon, falling with a wide and wast mouth into the Vergivian or Ocean. Under which hill a sept of Fitz-Giralds or Giraldines lived honourably a long time, untill that Thomas called the Knight of the Valley or Of the Glen, when his gracelesse sonne that wicked firebrand suffered death (for to set villages and houses afire is by the lawes of Ireland high treason) because himselfe advised his sonne and set him on to enter into these lewde actions, by authority of the Parliament was disseized of his goodly and large possessions. The head-City of this County is Limerick, which Shanon a most famous river, by parting his chanell, compasseth round about. The Irish call it Loumeagh, and the English Limirek. A Bishops See this is, and a very famous mart towne of Mounster, first forcibly wonne by Reimundo the Grosse an Englishman, the sonne of William Girald, afterwards burnt by Dunenald an Irish pety King of Thuetmond, and then in processe of time Philip Breos an Englishman was enfeoffed in it, and King John fortified it with a castle. At this daie it is counted two townes. The upper (for so they call it), wherein stand the Cathedrall Church and the castle, hath two gates opening into it, and each of them a faire bridge unto it of stone, with bulwarkes and little draw bridges, the one leading into the West, the other into the East, unto which the nether towne joyneth, fensed with a wall, with a castle also thereto, and a foregate at the entrance into it. More into the east standeth Clan-William, so named of the Sept or kinred of William who came out of the familie de Burgo (the Irish call it Burke), which dwelleth therein, and out of which house Queene Elizabeth conferred upon William, who slew James Fitz-Moris that tempestuous troubler of his country, the title and honour of Baron of Castel-Conel (where Richard the Red Earle of Ulster had strengthned a castle) together with a yeerly pension as a reward of his valour, and to his comfort and meede [recompense] for the losse of his sonnes slaine in that encounter. In the South part of this county is Kil-Mallo, the second towne next to Limirick, both for wealth and for number of inhabitants; enclosed also with a wall about it. Likewise Adare, a little towne in old time fortified, standing upon the same river, which streightwaies emptieth it selfe into Shanon. Hard unto which lieth Clan-Gibbon, the Lord whereof John Fitz-Girald, called John Oge Fitz-John Fitz-Gibbon, and for the grey haires of his head The White Knight, was attainted by Parliament for his wicked acts, but his sonne through the clemency of Queene Elizabeth was restored to his full estate. Of great note and name above the rest in this tract, besides those Bourks, Giraldines and Fitz-Giralds, are the Laceys, Browns, Hurleys, Chaceys, Sapells, and Pourcells, all of the English race; also the Mac-Shees, Mac-Brien, O-Brian &. of Irish breede.


THE County Tipperary Westward is bounded with Limerick-shire aforesaid and the river Shanon, Eastward with the county of Kilkenny, toward the South with the Counties of Corck and Waterford, and North with the territorie of the O Carolls. The South part is an exceeding fertile country, and yeeldeth corne abundantly, fournished also sufficiently with good and frequent buildings. The West part of it the river Glason passeth through, and watereth with a long course: not farre from the banke whereof standeth Emely or Awn, a Bishops See, which hath beene in times past, by report, a City very populous and of great resort. Through the midest of it runneth the Noble river Shower or Swire, which streaming out of Bladin Hill, speeding through the lower Osserie (which by the bountifull favour of King Henry the Eighth entituleth the Butlers Earles of Osseie), and through Thurles, which honoureth them with the dignity of Vicounts, first goeth unto Holy Crosse, a right famous Abbay in times past (whence the Country also adjoyning is commonly termed the County of the Holy Crosse of Tipperary) and enjoieth certaine peculiar freedomes granted in honour of a peece of Christs Crosse there sometimes preserved. The whole world (saith Saint Cyrill) is full of peeces of his wood, and yet by a continuall miracle (as Paulinus saith) it hath never beene impaired. Thus were Christians perswaded in ancient times. And incredible it is what a confluence there is even yet of people continually upon devotion hither, as unto an holy place. So firmely doth this nation persevere in the old religion of their forefathers, which the carelesse negligence of their prelates and ignorance together hath beyond al measure encreased, whenas there be none to instruct and teach them otherwise.

2. Then Shour passeth beyond Cassile, beautified with an Archiepiscopal dignity by Eugenius the Third, Bishop of Rome, which had under it in times past many Bishops as Suffraganes. From thence runneth the river downe, sprinkling Islands here and there in the way, and fetcheth a compasse about Cahir Castle: which out of the familie of the Butlers hath a Baron advanced to that dignity by Queene Elizabeth. But his sonne stained himselfe with perfidious disloialty and suffered for it, whenas the Castle was by the Earle of Essex taken in the yeere 1599 and him selfe cast into prison. Then, holding on his course by Clomell a mercate towne well frequented and fensed, as also by Carick Mac-Griffin, situate upon a rocke, whereof also it tooke name (the habitation of the Earles of Ormund, which together with the honor of Earle of Carick King Edward the Second granted unto Edmund Boteler or Butler), it leaveth Tipperary behind it, and serveth insteed of a limite to confine the Counties of Waterford and Kilkenny.

3. Thus much of the places in the South side of this County. As for that which lieth Northward, leane it is and very barraine, peaking up with high tops of mountaines, and twelve above the rest, as it were, hudled up together, with they terme Phelem-ge-Modona. This part in Latin is called Ormondia , in Irish Orwowon , that is, the Front of Mounster , in English Ormond, and most men name it very corruptly Wormewood. All the name and glorie whereof ariseth from the Earles, of whom there hath beene a number since James Butler, upon whom and his heires King Edward the Third conferred this title of honour for terme of life, With the Royalty also and other liberties with Knights Fees in the County of Tipperary, the which his posterity through the favour of the Kings of England still enjoy, whence this County is reputed Palatine, and hee of some was stiled Earle of Tipperary. The ancestours of this James were in old time the Butlers (an honorable office) of Ireland, and from thence came this surname Le Boteler or Butler imposed upon them, and certaine it is that they were linked in most neere alliance unto Saint Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterburie (as who derive their descent from his sister), and that after he was murdered they were by King Henrie the Second removed into Ireland, who supposed that he should disburden himselfe of the worlds hatred for the fact, in case he advanced the Kinsfolke and Allies of the said Thomas to rich revenewes and high honors.

4. The first Earle of Ormond in this family was James sonne to Edmund Earle of Caricke, who wedded the daughter of Humfrie Bohun Earle of Hereford, whom hee had by a daughter of King Edward the First. And heere was his first step unto this honor. Heereupon James, his sonne by this marriage, came to be commonly named among the people The Noble Earle. The fifth Earle of these, named James (that I may not stand particularly upon every one) received at the hands of King Henrie the Sixth the title and honor of Earle of Wiltshire to him and to the heires of his body: who being Lord Deputy of Ireland, as divers others of this race, and Lord Treasurer of England, standing attainted by King Edward the Fourth was streightwaies apprehended and beheaded, but his brethren John and Thomas, likewise proclaimed traytors, kept themselves close out of the way. John died at Jerusalem without issue. Thomas, through the speciall favour of King Henrie the Seventh, was in the end restored to his bloud: who departed this life in the yeere 1515, leaving behind him two daughters, Anne maried to Sir James de Sancto Leodegano, called commonly Sellenger, and Margaret, unto Sir William Bollein: who bare unto him Sir Thomas Bollein, whom King Henrie the Eighth created first Vicount Rochfort, afterwards Earle of Wiltshire and of Ormond, and afterward tooke Anne Bollein his daughter to wife; who brought forth for England Queene Elizabeth, a Prince of most happy memorie and with all thankfulnesse to bee alwaies remembred by the English and Irish. When Thomas Bollein was dead leaving no male issue, Sir Pierce Butler, a man of great powre in Ireland descended of the Earles race, whom Henrie the Eighth had beforetime created Earle of Osserie, attained also to the title of Ormund, and left the same unto his sonne James, who had issue by the daughter and heire of James Earle of Desmond a sonne named Thomas Earle of Ormund, now living, whose faith and loyalty hath beene passing well tried and approved in many troubles and dangerous affaires: who also hath joined in marriage his onely daughter unto Theobald Butler his brothers sonne, whom King James hath advaunced lately to the title of Vicount Tullo.

5. Whereas some of the Irish, and such as would be thought worthy of credit, doe affirme that certaine men in this tract are yeerely turned into Wolves, surely I suppose it to be a meere fable, unless happly through that malicious humour of predominant unkind Melancholie they be possessed with the malady that the Phisitians call λυκανθρωπία, which raiseth and engendreth suchlike phantasies as that they imagine themselves to be transformed into Wolves. Neither dare I otherwise affirme of those metamorphised Lycaones in Liveland [Livonia], concerning whom many writers deliver many and mervailous reports.

Thus farre as touching the Province of Mounster, for the government were of Queene Elizabeth, when shee bethought herselfe most wisely, politickly, and princely which way she might procure the good and wealth of Ireland, ordained a Lord President to be the reformer and punisher of inconsiderate rashnesse, the directour also and moderator of dutie, together with one Assistant, two learned Lawyers, and a Secreatary, and the first President that she made was Sir Warham S. Leger Knight, a man of great experience in Irish affaires.


THE second part of Ireland, which the inhabitants call Leighnigh , the Britains Lein , the English Leinster, and Latin writers Lagenia , and in the ancient lives of the Saints, Lagen , lieth all of it on the Seaside Eastward, bounded toward Mounster with the river Neor (which notwithstanding in many places it passeth beyond), on Connaght side for a good space with Shanon and toward Meath, with the peculiar knowne limits. The Country is fertile and fruitfull, the aire most mild and temperat, and the people there inhabiting come neerest of all other to the gentle disposition and civill conversation of England their neighbour Iland, from whence they are for the most part descended. In Ptolomees daies therein were seated the Brigantes, Menapii, Cauci, and Blani, and peradventure from these Blani are derived and contracted these later and moderne names Lein, Leinigh, and Leinster. But now it is devided into the Counties of Kilkenny, Caterlogy, Queenes County, Kings County, Kildare, Weisford, and Dublin, to say nothing of Wicklo and Fernes, which either be already, or else are to be laid thereto


THE Brigantes seeme to have planted themselves betweene the mouth of the river and the confuents of Neor and Barrow, which in Ptolemee is called Brigus. Now because there was an ancient Citie of the Brigantes in Spaine named Brigantia, Florianus del Campo laboureth tooth and nail to fetch these Brigantes out of his own country Spain. But if such a conjecture may take place, others might with as great probability derive them from the Brigantes of Britaine, a nation both nere and also exceeding populous. But if that be true which I find in certaine Copies, that this people were called Birgantes, both hee and the other have missed the marke. for that these tooke their denomination of the river Burgus, about which they doe inhabite, the very name is almost sufficient to perswade us. These Brigantes or Brigantes, whether you will, dwelt in the Counties of Kilkenny, Osserie and Caterlogh, watered all with the river Birgus.


THE County of Kilkenny is bounded West with the County of Tipperary, East with the counties of Weisford and Caterlogy, South with the County of Waterford, North with Queenes County, and Northwest with Upper Osserie. A country that with townes and castles on every side maketh a very goodly shew, and for plenty of all things surpasseth the rest. Neere unto Osserie the mighty and huge mountaines Sleiew Bloemy, which Giraldus calleth Bladinae montes , with their rising tops mount up to a wonderfull height, out of the bowels whereof, as from their mothers wombe, issue the rivers Shour aforenamed, Neor, and Barrow: which running downe in several chanels, before they enter the Ocean, joine hand in hand together, whereupon they in old time tearmed them the Three Sisters.

2. The Neor, commonly called also Neure, runneth in manner through the mids of Kilkenny County, and when it is passed with a forward course by the Upper Osserie (the first Baron whereof was Barnabas Fitz-Patricke, promoted to that honor by King Edward the Sixth) and hath watered many fortresses on both sides, floweth beside Kilkenny, which as much as to say as the Cell or Church of Canic , who for the sanctimonie of his solitarie life in this country was highly renowned. A proper, faire, and wealthy Burrough towne this is, and farre excelling all other midland Boroughes in this Iland, divided into the Irish towne and the English towne. the Irish towne is, as it were, the Suburbs, and hath in it the said Canickes Church, which both gave name unto it, and now also affourdeth a See unto the Bishop of Osterie. But the English towne is nothing so ancient, built, as I have red, by Ranulph the third, Earle of Chester, and fortified with a wall on the West side by Robert Talbot a Nobleman, and with a castle, by the Butlers. And sure it is that in the division of Lands betweene the daughters of William Mareschal Earle of Penbroch, it fell unto the Third daughter, whom Gilbert Clare Earle of Glocester married. Somewhat beneath the same Neore standeth a little walled towne named in English Thomas Towne, in Irish, Bala-Mac-Andan , that is, The towne of Antonies sonne. For it tooke both names of the Founder Thomas Fitz-Anthonie, an English man who flourished under King Henry the Third, whose heires are yet acknowledged the Lords thereof. Beneath this towne the river Callan voideth his streame into Neore, upon which standeth the third Burrough or Incorporate town of this County, bearing the same name Callan. Like as Inise-Teog, which is the fourth.

3. The familie of Butlers hath spred and branched farre and wide throughout this County, men that with much honour bare a great port, and for their worth and vertues were adourned with the titles of Earles of Carick Ormund, Wilshire in England, and of Osserie, as is before said. And at this day there remaine of their line, beside the Earle of Ormund, Vicount Thurles and Knight of the Order of Saint George, Vicount Montgarret, Vicount Tullo, the Barrons of Dunboyn and of Cahyr, a goodly race also and progenie of Noble Gentlemen. The rest of the Gentry in this Tract that are of better birth and parentage bee likewise of English descent, as the Graces, Walshes, Lovells, Foresters, Shortels, Blanch-felds or Blanchevelstons, Drilands, Comerfords &.


THE County of Caterlogh, by contraction Carlogh, toward the Sunne rising adjoineth to the County of Kilkenny, wholly, in manner, situate betweene the rivers Barrow and Slane, of a fertile soile and shaded well with woods, hath two townes in it of better note and importance than the rest, both standing upon the West banke of Barrow, namely Caterlogh, which Leonel Duke of Clarence beganne to wall, and Bellingham a most renowned Lord Deputie fortified with a castle; also Leighlin, called in Latine Lechlinia , where there was an Episcopall Chaire, now united to the See of Fernes. These townes have both of them their wards or garizons, and Constables over them. And whereas the greatest part of this County belonged in right of Inheritance unto the Howards Dukes of Norfolke (who by the Earles of Warren drew their descent from the eldest daughter of William Mareschall Earle of Penbroch), King Henry the Eight by a generall consent of the States of the Realme tooke unto himselfe both from them and also from other Noblemen, yea and from Monasteries in England, all their lands and possessions in Ireland, for that the Lords thereof by neglecting in their absence their owne private estates carelesly, brought therewith the publicke state into danger, as is already shewed.

From hence Barrow passeth through the baronie Ydron, which by right belonged to the Carews. For Sir John Carew an English knight died seised [dispossessed] thereof the time of King Edward the Third, and which Peter Carew within our memorie recovered ‡as it were by a write of remitter, after it had beene unlawfully usurped, an a long time in the occupation of unjust deteiners [holders].‡

2. Upon the river Slane appeereth Tullo, memorable in this regard, that King James hath lately honoured Theobald Butler, the Earle of Ormunds brothers sonne, with the title of Vicount Tullo. The Cavanaghs dwell a great many of them every way heereabouts, who being descended from Dovenald a younger sonne, as they say, the Bastard of Dermot the last King of Leinster, are spread and branched out into a very great sept or linage, a Warlicke generation renowned for their good horsmanship, and who as yet, through they bee exceeding poore, beare themselves in spirite answerable to their ancient Nobility. But being at deadly feud amongst themselves for I wote not what manslaughters which many yeeres ago they committed one upon another, they daily worke their owne mischiefe by mutual wrongs and hurts. Whenas the English had set some of these to oversee and manage the possessions they had in this part of Ireland, about King Edward the Seconds time, they by little and little usurped the whole country to themselves and assumed the name of O Mores, and taking into their society the Toles and Brenes, by little and little disseized the English of all the territorie betweene Caterlogh and the Irish sea. Among these is the confluence of Neore and Barrow, which after they have travailed in a joint streame some few miles from hence in one chanell, present both their name and their waters unto their eldest sister the Shour, which streightwaies is swallowed up at a mouth full of rockes within the gulfe of the Ocean, where on the left hand their shooteth out a little promontory with a narrow necke, that sheweth a prety high towre unto the sailers, erected by the merchants of Rosse what time they were in their prosperity, for their direction and safer arrivall at the rivers mouth.


ABOVE Caterlogh toward the Northwest there spreadeth out a little country full of woods and bogges, named in Irish Lease , and Queenes County in English, which Queene Mary ordeined to be a County by commission given unto Thomas Ratcliff Earle of Sussex then Lord Deputy, who reduce it into the termes of civill order and government. Whence it is that the chiefe towne thereof is called Mary-Burgh, where certaine garizon souldiors with their Seneschall keepe ward, and have much adoe to defend themselves against the O Mores (who beare themselves as the ancient Lords thereof), against Mac-Gilpatric, the O Dempsies and others: mischievous and tumultuous kind of people, who daily practise and plot all they can to annoy the English, and to shake off the yoke of Lawes. For to subdue this wilde and hostile part of the country, at the first entry of the English thither Meilere was sent. For whom Hugh Lacy, governour of Ireland, erected one Castle at Tahmelio, like as a second at Obowy, a third likewise upon the river Barrow, and a fourth at Norrach. But amongst the rest hee fortified Donemaws, an ancient Castle standing in the most plentifull part of the territory, which came hereditarily unto the Breoses Lords of Brecknocke by Eva the younger daughter of William Mareschall Earle of Penbroch, and what way as Barrow, which, rising out of Slew Blomey hilles Westward, runneth solitarie alone amongst the woods, hee visiteth that ancient Rheba mentioned by Ptolomee, which keeping the name full entire is called at this day Rheban, but in steed of a city it is altogether, as one saith, πόλις ἄπολις, that is, A City Citylesse or The remaines of that which was a City , even a few little cotages with a fortresse. Notwithstanding, it giveth the title of a Baronet unto that Nobleman Nicholas of Saint Michael, the Lord thereof, who is commonly called The Baronet of Rheban.


LIKE as the Queenes county aforesaid was so named in honor of Queene Mary, so the territory bordering next unto it Northward, divided with Barrow running betweene, and called in times past Offaly, was in honor of Philip King of Spaine her husband termed Kings County, and the principall towne in it Philips towne, where is placed a Seneschall with a ward, and diverse Gentlemen of English bloud are heere planted, namely the Warrens, Herberts, Colbeis, Mores, and Leicesters, amongst the Irish septs of O Conor, unto whom a great part hereof in old time belonged; Mac Coghlan, O Maily, Fox, and others stand stoutly in defence of the lands wonne by their ancestours and left unto them. Now these naturall Irish inhabitants grumble and complaine that their livings and patrimonies have beene taken from them, and no other lands assigned and set out for them to live in. Hence it is that, taking hold of every occasion to make uprores, they put the English dwelling among them to much trouble ever and anon; yea and oftentimes in revengefull minds festered and poisoned with hostile hated, they breake out furiously into open and actuall rebellions.



OVER against these, all along Eastward, affronteth the County of Kildar, a most rich and plentifull country, concerning the pastures whereof Giraldus Cambrensis useth these verses of Virgill:

And looke how much when daies are long the beasts by grazing eate,
So much cold dewes make good againe by night when 'tis not great

The chiefe and head towne of this shire is Kildar, much honored and graced in the first infancie of the Irish Church by reason of Saint Brigid, a Virgine right venerable and highly esteemed of for her devotion and virginity (I meane not that Brigid which about 240 yeeres agoe erected that order of the sisters or Nunnes of Saint Brigid: namely that within one monasterie both Monkes and maidens should live, divided asunder by walles, and suffered onely one to see another), but another Brigid of greater antiquity by farre, as who was a Disciple of Saint Patricke, of great fame and renowne throughout Ireland, England, and Scotland. Whose miracles and fire never going out, but kept by Nunnes, as it were, in that secret Sanctuary of Vesta, and of the ashes that never encrease, are mentioned by writers. This Kildar is adorned with an Episcopall See, named in the Popes letters in old time episcopatus Darensis. After the entrance of the English into Ireland, it was the habitation of Richard Earle of Penbroch, then of William Mareschall his sonne in law that married his daughter, Earle of Penbroch likewise: by whose fourth daughter Sibyll it came to William Ferrars Earle of Derby, and by his daughter likewise begotten of her, unto William Lord Vescy. Whose sonne William Vescy, Lord chiefe Justice of Ireland, standing in tearmes of disfavour and disgrace with King Edward the First for certaine quarrels arising betweene him and John the sonne of Thomas Fitz-Girald, and being bereft of his onely sonne lawfully begotten, granted and surrendred Kildare and other his lands in Ireland unto the King, so that he might enfeoffe his base sonne surnamed De Kildare in his other lands in England. And a little while after, the said John, sonne of Thomas Fitz-Girald, whose ancestours (descended from Girald Windesor, Castellan of Penbroch) had with passing great valour performed most paineful service in the conquest of this Iland, was by Edward the Second King of England endowed with the Castle and Towne of Kildar, togither with the title and name of Earle of Kildare. These Fitz-Giralds, or as they now tearme them the Giraldines, are a right noble family, and for their exploits highly renowned; by whose valour, as one said, The Englishmen both kept the sea coasts of Wales, and also forced and wonne the walles of Ireland. And verily this house of Kildare flourished a long time without taint of honor and name (as which never bare armes against their Prince) untill that Thomas Fitz-Girald the sonne of Girald Fitz-Girald Earle of Kildare and Lord Deputie of ireland under King Henrie the Eighth, hearing that his father, sent for into England and accused for misgoverning Ireland, was put to death, upon this light and false rumour, unadvisedly and rashly carried away with the heat of youth, put himselfe into armes against Prince and Country, sollicited the Emperour Charles the Fifth to enter and seize upon Ireland, wasted the land farre and neere with fire and sword, laid siege to Dublin, and killed the Archbishop thereof. For which outrages, shortly after he with five of his unkles were hanged, when his father for very sorrow was dead before. Howbeit Queene Marie restored the family unto their bloud and full estate, when she advanced Girald, brother unto the aforesaid Thomas to be Earle of Kildare and Baron of Offalie. ‡He ended this life about the yeere 1585 . His eldest son Girald died before his father, leaving one only daughter maried to Sir Robert Digby. Henrie his second sonne succeeded, who when had by his wife, Lady Francis daughter to Charles Earl of Nottingham, only two daughters, William the third son succeeded in the Earledome, who was drowned in passing into Ireland in the yeere 1599 having no issue. And then the title of Earle of Kildare came to Girlald Fitz-Gerald sonne to Edward their Unckle, who was restored to his bloud in linage to make title by descent lineall or collaterall from his father and brother and all his ancestours, any attaindour or corruption of bloud to the contrary notwithstanding.‡

2. There be also in this County these places of better note than the rest: Naas a mercate towne; Athie upon the river Barrow; Mainoth a Castle belonging to the Earls of Kildare, and a towne unto which King Edward the First, in favour of Girald Fitz-Moris, granted a mercate and Faire; Castle Martin, the chiefe seat of the family of Fitz-Eustace, which descending from the Poers in the County of Waterford for their valour received the honor of a Parliament-Barons, bestowed upon Rowland Fitz-Eustace by King Edward the Fourth, together with the Manour of Port-lester and the title of Vicount Baltinglas at the hands of King Henrie the Eighth. Which dignities with a faire patrimonie Rowland Fitz-Eustace, seduced by the religious praetext into rebellion and flying his country, lost by attaindour under Queene Elizabeth. The families heere remaining, besides the Giraldines, that be of higher birth above others fetch their descent also out of England, namely the Ougans, De-la-Hides, Ailmers, Walshes, Boisels, Whites, Suttons &. As for the Giants daunce, which they talke of that Merlin by art magicke translated out of this territorie unto Salisbury plaine, as also of that most bloudy battaile which shall be one day betweene the English and the Irish at Molleaghmast, I willingly leave unto the credulous lovers of fabulous antiquity and the vaine beleevers of prophesies. For my purpose is not to give fond tales the telling. These be the midland Counties of Leinster, now are we to goe unto those by the Sea side.


BENEATH that mouth at which Barrow, Neore, and Shoure, the sister-like rivers, having embraced one another and joined hands, are laid up in the Ocean, there sheweth it selfe Eastward in a promontorie where the shore stretcheth a compasse round, the County of Weisford or Wexford. In Irish, County Reogh , where Ptolomee in times past placed the Menapii. That these Menapians came hither from the Menapii, a nation in low Germanie that dwelt by the Sea coasts, the name doth after a sort implie. But whether that Carausius were of this or that nation, who taking upon him the imperiall purple robe seized upon Britaine against the Emperour Dioclesian, I leave to others. For Aurelius Victor calleth him a Citizen of Manapia, and the Citie Menapia is placed by the Geographers not in those Low-countries of Germanie but in Ireland. In this County, upon the river Barrow, there flourished sometimes Rosse, a great Citie, well traded by merchants and peopled with inhabitants, fensed with a wall of great compasse by Isabell daughter to the Earle Richard Strongbow, and that is the only monument which now it sheweth. For by reason of discord and home broiles betweene the Citizens and the religious orders, it is a good while since brought in maner to nothing.

2. More East, Duncannon, a Castle with a garison, standeth over the river, so as that it is able to command the river that no ships should passe either to Waterford or to Rosse, and therefore it was thought good pollicie to fortifie this place when the Spaniards hovered and gaped for Ireland in the yeere 1588. From thence, at the very mouth of the river, there runneth out a narrow necke of land, which presenteth unto the sailers an high Turret erected by the Citizens of Rosse when they were in flourishing estate, that they might more safely enter into the rivers mouth. A little from hence standeth Tintern upon the shore, with many winding creekes, where William Mareschal Earle of Penbroch founded a notable Abbay and called it De Voto for that he had vowed to God to erect an Abbay when he was tossed in a sore and dangerous tempest, and being after shipwracke cast up aland in this place, performed it heere according to his vow.

This very Promontorie Ptolemee calleth Hieron , that is, Holy , and in the same signification I would make no doubt but the inhabitants also called it. For the utmost towne thereof, at which the English men landed and set first foote in the Iland, they named in their native language Banna , which soundeth all one with Holy.

3. From this Holypoint, the shore, turning full upon the East, runneth forth along Northward, over against which there lie flats and shallowes in the sea that indanger many a ship, which the Mariners call The grounds. In this place Ptolemee setteth the river Modona, and at the mouth thereof the Citie Menapia, which are so stript out of their names that I am out of all hope in so great darknesse to discover any twy-light of the truth. But seeing that there is one onely river that voideth it selfe in this place, which cutteth this Country as it were just in the mids, and is now called Slane, seeing also that at the very mouth thereof, where it maketh a Poole, there is a towne by a Germane name called Weisford, the Head place of the whole County, I may the more boldly conjecture that Slane was that Modona, and Weisford Menapia, and so much the rather, because this name is of a later date, to wit a meere [pure] German, and given unto it by those Germans whom the Irish tearme Oustmans. This towne is for bignesse inferiour to many, but as memorable as any, because it was the first in all Ireland that, when Fitz-Stephan a most valiant Captaine assaulted it, yeelded it selfe unto the protection of the English and became a Colonie of the English. Whence this whole territorie is passing well peopled with English, who to this very day use the ancient Englishmens apparell and their language, yet so as that they have a certaine kind of mungrell speech betweene English and Irish, Dermot, who first drew the Englishmen over into Ireland, granted this and the territorie lying to it, unto Fitz-Stephan for ever, who beganne a Burgh hard by at Carricke, and albeit the place was strong by naturall situation, yet he helped it by art. But whenas the said Fitz-Stephan had surrendred up his right into the hands of King Henrie the Second, he made it over to Richard Earle of Penbroch, that he should hold it in Fee from him and the Kings of England as superiour Lords. From whom by the Earles Mareschals, the Valences of the Lusignian line in France, and the Hastings, it descended to the Greies Lords of Ruthin, who commonly in ancient Charters are named Lords of Weisford, although in the reigne of King Henrie the Sixth John Talbot is once called in the Records Earle of Shrewsburie and of Weisford. Touching this river, take with you this verse, such an one as it is, of Nechams making:

The river which is called Slane enricheth Eniscort,
And this said river Weisford sees, gladly with him to sort.

4. For Eniscort, a Borrough or Incorporate-towne, is seated upon it. More inward by the same rivers side yee have Fernes, knowen onely for the dignity of an Episcopal See in it, which in old time the Giraldines fortified with a Castle. Hard by, but beyond the river Slane, dwell the Cavenaghes, Donels, Montaghs, and O Moores, Irishmen of a stirring and tumultuous spirit, and among them the Sinottes, Roches, and Peppards, Englishmen. On this side Slane the men of greatest name be the Vicounts Mont-Garret, of whom the first was Edmund Butler a younger sonne of Pierce Earle of Ormund, adorned with that title by Edward the Sixth, and many more of the same surname, the Devereuxes, Staffords, Chevers, Whites, Forlongs, Fitz-Harris, Browns, Hores, Haies, Cods, Maylers, all of the English race and bloud, like as be most of the common people.


THE Cauci, who were likewise a people inhabiting the Sea coast of Germany, seated themselves next unto the Menapii, but not so farre distant asunder as those in Germany. Their country, lying upon the sea, was that which the O Tooles and O Birns, families of Irishry, dwell in, men fed and maintained by wickednesse and bloudshed, impatient of rest and quietnesse, and who, presuming upon the strength of their holds and fastnesses, carry an obstinate minde against all lawes, and implacable hatred to English. For the repressing of whose audacious outrage, and to strengthen the authority of lawes, there hath beene serious consultation had by most prudent and politike persons in the yeere 1578 that these small territories should be reduced into the forme of a County, and set out they were into six Baronies within certane appointed limits, which should make the County of Wicklo or Arklo. For a place this is of greatest name, and the Earles of Ormonds Castle, who write themselves among other honorable titles in their stile Lords of Arklo: under which Castle that river which Ptolomee calleth Ouoca falleth into the sea, making a creeke, and, as Giraldus Cambrensis writeth, The nature of this river is such that as well when the sea floweth as when it ebbeth in this Creeke it retaineth still the tast of the naturall freshnesse, saving his owne water entier and void of all brackishnesse, even as farre as to the maine sea.


BENEATH the Cauci inhabited the Eblani, where now lieth the County of Dublin or Divelin, which on the East side is wholly washed with the Irish Sea, on the West bounded with the county of Kildare, on the South joyning to the little territories of the O Tooles and O Birns and those which they tearme the Glinnes, and limited Northward with the County of Meath and Nanny, a little river. The soile thereof bringeth forth corne abundantly, and yeeldeth grasse and fodder right plenteously, besides it is well stored with all sorts of living creatures that are gotten by hunting and hauking for the table, but so destitute, for the greatest part, of woods that in most places they use a clammy kinde of fat turfe, or Sea-cole out of England, for their fewell. In the South part thereof, which is lesse inhabited and more uncivill, and riseth up heere and there with an hilly ridge, full enough of woods, and under which lie hollow vallies shaded with trees, which they call Glynnes, every place is sore annoied with the two pernicious Septs or Kinreds of the O Tooles and the O Birnes. Among these Glynnes appeareth the Bishopricke of Glandilaw, but utterly desolate ever since it was annexed to the Archbishoprike of Divelin. All this country besides is passing well replenished with inhabitants and townes, and for welthy port, and a certaine peculier finenesse and neatnesse that they use, surpasseth all other parts of Ireland, and is divided into five distinct Baronies, namely Rathdown, New castle, Castle-Knoc, Cowloc, and Bal-rodry, which notwithstanding I am not able to goe through as I would, for that their bounds are unknowen to mee. First therefore will I runne along the sea coast only, and from thence, as the courses of the rivers lead me, survey the more in-land places. For there is no part of this Country twenty miles from the shore. To beginne then at the South side, the first place that sheweth it selfe upon this coast is Wicklo, where there standeth over the narrow haven a rocke enclosed within a strong wall in steed of a castle, over which, as divers other Castles besides of this kingdome, there can none by authority of Parliament bee set as Constable but an Englishman borne, because to the hurt of the State the Irish men that were Constables had both defended the same badly, and also by a certaine connivency suffered the prisoners to make escapes. As touching this haven, harken what Giraldus saith, who termeth it Winchiligillo: There is an haven at Winchiliggilo, on that side of Ireland where it lieth neerer unto Wales, that ordinarily and usually at every ebbe of the sea receiveth waters flowing into it, and againe at every returne of tide dischargeth and voideth the said water which it enterteined, and whenas the sea in the ebbe hath now by the going away of the tide forsaken the Creeke, yet the river that runneth in by every chinke and winding cranke becommeth bitter and salt, with continuall brackishnesse.

2. Then, from the top of an hill, New-castle looketh into the sea and seeth the shelves of sand, which they call The Grounds, lying opposite a great way in length. Howbeit, betweene them and the shore it is reported to bee seven fathom deepe of water. A little higher, where the riveret Bray commeth into the sea, appeareth Old-Court the possessions of the Walshes of Caryckmain, who as they are of ancient stocke and gentry, so their familie hath shot forth many branches in this tract. Next unto it is Powers or Poers-Court, belonging in times past, as appeereth by the name, unto the Poers, a large and great castle untill that Tirlaugh O Toole, after hee had revolted and rebelled, undermined and overthrew it. From Braymouth the shore, for to let in a creeke, bendeth and windeth it selfe inward, and at the very bent of the elbow lieth a little Island called Saint Benets belonging to the Archbishop of Develin. This Creeke or Bay is called Dublin Haven, into which Liffy, the noblest river of this county, out-powreth his streame: who, albeit his spring head were hee riseth bee but fifteene miles from his mouth, yet with so many winding crankes hee fetcheth such a compasse that first hee turneth into the South by Saint Patrickes land, then Westward, afterwards North, watering the county of Kildare, and at length into the East by Castle-Knoc, the Baronie in times past of the Tirills, whose inheritance by the femals was devolved upon other, about the yeere 1370, and so by Kilmainam, an house in old time of Saint Johns Knights of Jerusalem now converted to a retyring place of the Lords Deputies. This Liffy doubtlesse is mentioned by Ptolomee, but through carelesnesse of the transcribers banished out of his owne due place. For the river Libnius is set downe in the Copies of Ptolomee at the very same latitude or elevation of the Pole, in the other part of the Iland, where there is no such rover at all. But let him if it please you by a write of recovery returne out of exile now to his owne city Eblana, from whence unjustly hee hath been for a time alienated, and take withall, if you think good, these verses of Necham as touching this river:

To see and visite Castle-Knock Liffi doth not disdeine.
At Dublin ready is the sea this streame to enterteine.

3. For seated it is seven miles from his mouth, which alone Fame may celebrate for all the cities of Ireland. This is that very city which Ptolomee called Eblana, wee Divelin, the Latine writers Dublinium and Dublinia , the Welsh Britans Dinas Dulin , the English Saxons in times past Duplin , and the Irish Bala-cleigh , that is, The towne upon hurdles , for men say when it was built the foundation was laied upon Hurdles, the place is so fennish and moorish, like as Hispalis or Sivill in Spaine, which Isidore reporteth to have beene so named because it stood on a marish ground upon piles and stakes deeply pitched into the earth. For the antiquity of Dublin I finde no certainty, but that very ancient it is the authority of Ptolomee perswadeth me to thinke. Saxo Grammaticus writeth how it was pitifully rent and dismembred in the Danish warres. Afterwards it came under the subjection of Eadgar King of England, which his Charter before mentioned confirmeth wherein he calleth it the most Noble City of Ireland. Then the Norwegians possessed themselves of it. Whence in the life of Gryffith Ap Cynan Prince of Wales we read that Harold of Norway, when he had subdued the greatest part of Ireland, built Devlin. This may seeme to be that Harald Harfager, that is With the faire lockes or tresses , who was the first King of Norway, whose line of descent goeth thus in the life of Gryffith: Harold begat a sonne named Auloed. Auloed begat another Auloed, he had a sonne named Sitric King of Develin. Sitric he begat Auloed, whose daughter Racwella was mother to Gryffith Ap Cynan borne at Dublin, whiles Tirlough reigned in Ireland. But this is extravagant. Develin at length, when the English first arrived in Ireland, yeelded unto their valour, and by them was manfully defended when Ausculph Prince of the Dublinians, and afterwards Gottred King of the Isles fiercely on every side assaulted it. Within a while a Colony of Bristow-men was deduced [led] hither, unto whom King Henry the second granted this City (happily at that time dispeopled) for to inhabite, with all the Franchises and free Customes which the men of Bristow have, and that by those very words which I have alleaged. Since which time it hath flourished every day more and more, and in many tumultuous times and hard streights given notable proofe of most faithfull loyalty to the Crowne of England.

4. This is the roiall City and seat of Ireland, a famous towne for Merchandize, the chiefe Court of Justice, in munition strong, in buildings gorgeous, in Citizens populous. An old writer calleth it a City in regard of the people noble, of the site most pleasant, by reason of the sea and river meeting together, rich and plentifull in fish. For trafficke famous, for the greene plaine delightfull and lovely; beset with woods of mast-bearing trees, environed about with Parkes harbouring Deere. And William of Newborrow of it writeth thus: Devilin, a maritime citie, is the mother city of all Ireland, having to it a haven passing wel frequented, for trafficke and entercourse of Merchants matchable with our London. Seated it is in a right delectable and holesome place, for to the South yee have hils mounting up aloft, Westward an open champion ground, and on the East the sea at hand and in sight. The River Liffy, running downe at North-East, affordeth a safe roade and harbour for ships. By the river side are certaine Wharfes or Kaies, as we tearme them, whereby the violent force of the water might be restrained. For this verb caiare in old writers signified to Keepe in, to restrain and represse , which that most learned Scaliger hath well noted. A very strong wall of rough building stone reacheth hence along by the sides of it (and the same toward the south fortified also with rampires), which openeth at six gates, from whence there run forth Suburbs of a great length. Toward the East is Dammes gate, and hard by standeth the Kings castle on high, most strongly fensed with ditches, towers, and an Armorie or Store-house built by Henry Loundres the Archbishop about the yeere 1220. In the East Suburbs neere unto Saint Andrew the Apostles Church, Henry the Second King of England, as Hoveden reporteth, caused a roiall Pallace (or rather a Banqueting house) to be erected for himselfe, framed with wonderfull workmanship most artificially of smoothed watles after the manner of this country, wherein himselfe with the Kings and Princes of Ireland kept a solemne fest upon Christmas day.

5. From hence is to be seene just over against it a beautifull Colledge (in which place there stood in old time the Monastery of All-Hallowes) consecrated unto the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity, which for the exercise and polishing of good wits with good literature, Queene Elizabeth of most happy memory endowed with the priviledges of an University; and, being furnished of late with a notable Library, giveth no small hope that both religion and all the exquisit and liberall sciences wil returne eft-sones after their long exile to Ireland, as to their ancient home (unto which, as unto a Mart of Arts and good learning, strangers sometime used to flocke and repaire). And verily in the reigne of Edward the Second Alexander Bicknor Archbishop of Divelin began to recall the profession of learning hither, having obtained from the Pope the priviledges of an University, and erected also publike Lectures, but the troublesome times that presently ensued interrupted the laudable enterprise of that good man.

6. The North gate openeth at the bridge built with arched worke of new hewen stone by King John, and this joineth Oustmantowne to the City. For heere the Oustmans, who came over, as Giraldus writeth, out of Norway and the parts of the Northren Islands, planted themselves, as the Annals beare record, about the yeere of salvation 1050. In this Suburbe stood in times past the goodly Church of Saint Maries of Oustmanby (for so in a Charter of King John it is called), an house also founded for Preaching Friers, called of them Black Freers, unto which of late daies have beene translated the Judiciall Courts of the kingdome. In the South quarter of the City stand two gates, Ormundsgate and Newgate (which is their common house of correction). These leade into the longest Suburbe of all, called Saint Thomas streete, and a magnificent Abbay of the same name called Thomas Court, founded and endowed in times past with very ample revenewes by King Henry the Second for the expiation of the murther of Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury. Into the South openeth Paules gate, and that which taketh the name of Saint Nicholas, making way into Saint Patricks Suburbe, wherein standeth the Archbishops Palace, knowne by the name of Saint Sepulchres, and a most stately Church dedicated unto Saint Patrick, right goodly to bee seene, with faire embowed workes, stone pavements, an arched roofe overhead of stone worke, and a very high towre steeple. What time this Church was first built it is, to say truth, uncertaine. That Gregorie King of the Scots came unto it about the yeere 890 the Scotish historie doth record. The same, afterward being much enlarged by King John of England, was ordeined first to bee a Church of Prebends by John Comyn Archbishop of Dublin in the yeere 1191, and Pope Celestine the Third confirmed the same. Then after him, Henry Loundres his successour in the Arch-Bishoprick augmented it with dignities of Personages (for I may be bold to use here the founders words) and framed it conformable to the immunities, orders, and approved customes of the Church of Salisbury. but in our daies it mainteineth a Deane, a Chaunter, a Chauncellour, a Treasurer, two Arch-Deacons and two and twenty Praebendaries, The onely light and lampe (that I may not conceale the most ample testimony which the Parliament of the kingdome giveth unto it) of all Godly and Ecclesiasticall discipline and order in Ireland. There is another Cathedrall Church also standing in the very heart of the Citie, which, being consecrat unto the Holy Trinity, is commonly called Christs Church. Touching the building thereof, thus we read in the ancient Records of the same Church: Sitric King of Dublin, the sonne of Ableb Earle of Dublin, gave unto the blessed Trinity and to Donatus the first Bishop of Dublin a place to found a Church in, unto the Holy Trinity, and not onely so, but gold and silver also hee bestowed sufficiently for the building of the Church and the whole Close. This was done in the yeere 1012, in which, as Lancarvanensis avoucheth, Sitric the son of Abloic (for so he calleth him) lived and flourished in great name. The worke begunne by Donatus, Laurence Archbishop of Dublin, Richard Strongbow Earle of Penbroch, commonly called Earle of Strigulia (whose tomb is here to be seene, repaired by Sir Henry Sidney Lord Deputy), Robert Fitz-Stephan, and Reimund Fitz-Girald finished. Hard by at the South side of this Church there standeth a stately Towne-hall built of foure square stone and called the Tolstale, where causes are tried before the Major of the Citie, and where the Citizens used to hold their Sessions and publicke assemblies, for it enjoieth many immunities. In times past this Citie had for the chiefe Magistrate a Provost. But in the yeere of our redemption 1409 King Henry the Fourth granted them licence to chuse every yeere a Major and two Bailifs: also that the Major should have a guilt sword carried before him for ever. But afterwards, King Edward the Sixth changed the Baliffes into Sherifs. Neither wanteth any thing heere which a man can wish for in a most flourishing City, save only that an heape of sand which the ebbing and flowing of the sea casteth up into the mouth of Liffy doth so dam up and bar the haven that it is not able to bring up any great vessels but at high water. Thus much of Dublin, for the most part of which I acknowledge my selfe beholden unto the the diligence and learning of James Usher Chancellor of S. Patrickes Church, whose variety of knowledge and judgement are far above his yeeres.

7. As touching Robert Vere Earle of Oxford, whom King Richard the Second, a Prince too too lavish in giving honourable Titles, made Marquesse of Dublin and afterwards Duke of Ireland, I have spoken already, and reason have I none to repeate the same here. ‡Yet I will note thus much which I have since happened upon in the Recordes. whenas King Richard aforesaid had advanced that Robert Vere Earle of Oxford to bee Marquesse of Dublin, and had given to him the Signorie of Ireland during his life, hee, desirous to augment his honour by more enoblishing him with honourable Armes, granted also that as long as hee should live and hold the said Signiory, he should beare these Armes, Azure 3 Crownes Or in a Bordur , in his Standards, Pennons, Coate-armours, and other things wherein Armes are to be shewed in all Marshall matters, and elsewhere at his pleasure. But this grant was sonne after recalled and those Armes abolished.

Where the River Liffy lodgeth himselfe in the Ocean, Houth standeth, compassed in manner round about with the sea: of which, the Noblemen surnamed Saint Laurence and dwelling there become named Barons of Houth; men of rare felicity, for that in so long a descent of their line (for they are able to derive their pedigree from the time of King Henry the Second) there hath of them, by report, none beene attainted of high treason, none left ward in his minority. And within a little of this place is Malehide or Molachid, ennobled by the Lords thereof, the Talbots, English by their first originall.

More within the country Northward, there adjoyneth hard to the country of Dublin Fingall , that is, if you interpret it out of the Irish language, a nation of forrainers (for they use to nominate the English Gall , as one would say, strangers , and Saissons , as it were, Saxons ), a little country but very good and passing well husbanded, even the garner and barn of this kingdome, so great store of corne it yeeldeth every yeere. And heere the soile striveth after a sort with the painfull labour of the husbandmen, which in other places throughout this Iland lying neglected, without tillage and manuring, seemeth to make a very grievous complaint of the inhabitants sloth and lazinesse. There are planted every where throughout this County right worshipfull families nobly descended of English bloud, and namely besides those which I have already mentioned, the Plunkets, Barnwells, Russells, Talbots, Dillons, Nettervills, Holywoods, Lutterells, Burnells, Fitz-Williams, Gouldings, Ushers, Cadleys, Finglases, Sarfelds, Blackneys, Cruceys, Baths &.

8. Thus farre forth summarily of Leinster, which in old time reacheth no farther. Now I wote not whether it bee worth the laughing at, or the relating, that Thomas Stukeley, when hee had in England and Ireland both made shipwracke of his good name, credite, and fortunes, having wound himselfe out of the daunger of the lawes, curried such favour with Pope Gregorie the Thirteenth, what with making many faire promises, and what with bragging of great matters, that hee received at his hands these titles: Marquesse of Leinster, Earle of Weisford and Caterlogh, Vicount Murrough, and Baron of Rosse and Ydron. With which titles he being puffed up in pride, whiles hee thought to conquere Ireland, went aside into Africk and there with the three Kings that were slaine in one battaile made up the interlude of his life with an honest close and Catastrophe.

William Camden, Britain, or, a Chorographicall Description of the most flourishing Kingdomes, England, Scotland, and Ireland (London: George Bishop and John Norton, 1610) Copyright 2004 by Dana F. Sutton. This text was transcribed by Professor Sutton, of the University of California, Irvine, from Philemon Holland's 1610 translation [British Library Short Title Catalogue 4509, Early English Books reel 911:1]. For a full critical edition presenting Camden's original Latin text in parallel with Holland's translation, visit Professor Sutton's site at:


Placename mark-up by Humphrey Southall.

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