Picture of William Camden

William Camden

places mentioned

Ireland (3)

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I intimated even now that I would speake touching the O-Neales who carried themselves as Lords of Ulster, and I promised not long since a friend of mine that I would write of their rebellions raised in our age. And verily I will performe my promise unto his manes [ghost], whom whiles hee lived I observed with all respect, and being now in heaven I will not forget. Thus much onely will I promise by way of preface, that I have compendiously collected these matters ?out of my Annales , and heere conjoined them which are there severed and divided according to their severall times,? and withall that whatsoever I shal write is not upon uncertain rumors, but gathered summarily from out of their owne hand writings who managed those affaires and were present in the actions. And this will I doe with so sincere an affection to the truth, and so uncorrupt fidelity, that I doubt not but I shall have thankes at their hands who love the truth and desire to understand the late affaires of Ireland, and not incurre the blame of any, unlesse they be such as, having done ill, take it not well if themselves be accordingly censured.

2. To say nothing of that Great Neale who rules by force and armes in Ulster, and a great part of Ireland before the comming of Saint Patricke, nor of those in those in the midle times who were but of meane note and memoriall to speake of, this familie, after the arrivall of the English in Ireland, lay close and obscure in remote lurking corners, unlesse it were when Edward Brus brother to Robert King of Scotland named himselfe King of Ireland. For then in a troublesome time Dovenald O-Neale started and roused himselfe out of his lurking holes, and to his missives unto the Pope used this title in his stile, Dovenald O-Neal King of Ulster, and in right of inheritance the undoubted heire of all Ireland. But after these sturres and troubles were laid, this new King soone vanished away, and Dovenalds posterity pluckt in their homes and hid their heads untill that, whiles England was all in a combustion, kindled by the furious firebrands of civill warres betweene the houses of Yorke and Lancaster for the imperiall Crowne, those English that served and lived heere, abandoning Ulster and committing it to the keeping of the O-Neals, returned home to follow the factions. For then Henrie O-Neal, the son of Oen or Eugenius O-Neal, espoused the daughter of Thomas Earle of Kildare, and his sonne Con-More , that is, Con the Great , married the daughter of Girald Earle of Kildare his mothers brother. These, supported by the powerfull authority of the Earles of Kildare (who verily for many yeeres were Deputies of Ireland), carried their heads aloft, tyrannizing cruelly upon the people, and, transported with the insolent spirit of pride, disdained all the titles of Prince, Duke, Marquesse, and Earles, in comparison to the name of O-Neal. Con the sonne of Con, surnamed Bacco because he haled, succeeded his father in the dignity of O-Neale, who cursed all his posterity in case they either learned to speake English, or sowed wheat, or built houses, beeing sore affraied least by these inducements the English might bee allured to enter againe into their Lands and possessions, often saying that language bred conversation, and consequently their confusion, that wheat gave sustenance with like effect, and that by building they should doe but as the crowe doth, make her nest to be beaten out by the hawke. Whenas the greatnesse of this Con O-Neale became very much suspected of King Henry the Eight, and the kings power, having now troden under foot the families of Kildare, in whose rebellion O-Neale had engaged himselfe deepe, grew dreadfull to O-Neale also, into England he comes, and there, renouncing the name of O-Neale, put his whole estate into the Kings hands, which within a while after was granted againe by letters Patent under the great seale of England to hold as in fee, togither with the title of the Earle of Tir-Oen, to him and to Matthew his false reputed sonne, and to the heires of their bodies lawfully begotten. And Matthew at the same time was created Baron of Dunganon. This Matthew, beeing taken untill he was fifteene yeeres old for the sonne of a black smith in Dundalk, was by the said Smiths wife, whom Con had sometime kept as his concubine, tendred unto Con as his owne sonne, and hee accepted him for his owne sonne in deed, rejected John (Shan they call him) with the rest whom he had begotten on his owne lawfull wife. Hereupon Shan, seeing a bastard preferred before him, so much made of and highly honoured, sodainely set his heart wholy against his father, and withall burned in such hatred with most bitter malice against Mathew that hee murdered him out of the way, and so plagued and vexed his father with injurious indignities whiles he went about to deprive him of his Seignorie, disseized him of his dwelling house, and stript him out of all hee had, that the old man for very thought and griefe of heart pined away and died. Streightwaies Shan, being chosen, proclaimed and inaugured O-Neal ? by an old shoe cast over his head,? seized upon his fathers inheritance, and with all diligence sought after the sonnes of Mathew that hee might bee secured from them. But they were fled and gone. Howbeit Brian the eldest sonne not long after was slaine by Mac-Donel Totan, one of the O-Neals race, suborned, as some give out, by Shan to doe that feat. Hugh and Cormack by the meanes and helpe of the English escaped and yet remaine alive. Shane, having thus gotten all into his owne hands (as he was a man cruell and barbarous), beganne to exercise excessive cruelty over the great men of Ulster, and made this vaunt, that Mac-Gennys, Mac-Guyr, Mac-Mahon, O Reali, O-Hanlon, O Cahan, Mac-Brien, O Hagan, O Quin, Mac Canna, Mac-Cartan, and all the Mac Donels, the Gallowglasses [retainers], were his subjects and vassalles.

3. And whenas Sir Henry Sidney, Justice for the time being in the absence of the Earle of Sussex Lord Deputy, expostulated with him about these points, he answered that he, the undoubted and lawfull sonne and heire of Con O-Neal, as being borne of his lawfull wife, had entred upon his fathers inheritance; that Matthew was a Blacke-Smiths sonne of Dundalke and by the said Smith begotten, and borne after his mariage with Alison his wife, yet craftily obtruded upon Con as his sonne, thereby to intervert another way and to alienate the inheritance and honour of O-Neale, which, howsoever hee would endure, yet none besides of the Sept of O-Neals would ever beare and digest. As for the letters Patent of King Henry the Eight, they were of no validity, considering that Con had no right in that hee surrendered into the Kings hands longer than his owne life, neither could he surrender up the same without the consent of the Nobles and people of Ulster by whom he had beene elected O-Neale. Neither were such Patents of any force, unlesse there were an undoubted heire apparent of the familie authentically signified before by inquisition and the oth of twelve men, which in this matter was never certified. Also, that himselfe was by law both of God and man the true heire, as beeing the first begotten sonne of his father, lawfully borne in wedlocke; that with the generall assent and consent of Peeres and people he was chosen, declared, and proclaimed O-Neale according to the ancient law of Tanistry, whereby a man at his full yeeres is to be preferred before a Boy, and an Uncle before that Nephew whose grandfather survived the father. Nether had he arrogated unto himselfe any authority over the Peeres of Nobles of Ulster other than his ancestours (as hee was able to prove by plaine proofes produced) had exercised in times past out of minde most rightfullie.

Howbeit, soone after he outraged and overthrew O-Oaylie in the field, tooke Callogh O-Donell Lord of Tir-Conell prisoner, and cast him with his children into prison, carried away his wife, on whom hee begat children in adultery, seized upon his fortresses, lands, and goods, and bare himselfe as absolute King of all Ulster.

4. But so soone as Thomas Earle of Sussex the Lord Deputy came with a powre into the field for to abate this insolency of his, hee was strangely terrified, and by the perswasion of Girald Earle of Kildare, whom Queene Marie had restored to his former estate, came into England unto Queene Elizabeth, cast himself prostrate at her feet in al submissive and humble maner, and being received with al courtesie, after he had promised his allegiance returned home, and for a while in his feeding and apparell conformed himself to all kind of civility. He assailed the Scottish and drave them quite out of Ulster, slew James Mac Conell their leader, kept himselfe and al his people in good order, and the poorer sort he carefully protected from wrongs. Howbeit, he tyrannized most cruelly and insolently over the Nobility, who when they had craved aide of the Lord Deputy for to represse his intolerable violence, he thereupon growing more outrageous, in furious maner with fire and sword drave Mac-Guir Lord of Fermanagh (who underhand had accused him) out of house and home, set fire upon the Metropolitane Church of Armach and burnt it, yea and laied siege unto Dundalk on every side, but is enterprise was made frustrate through the valour of the soldiers there in garizon and William Sarfeild Major of Dublin, who went forth against him with the very floure of choise Citizens. Howbeit the neighbour Countries round about he harried and spoiled in all manner of hostility. Then Sir Henry Sidney the Deputy, to restreine and bridle the boldnesse of the man, came himselfe in person with an Armie into the field against him, and by politicke forecast sent before Edward Randolph, an old approved and renowned Coronell with seven ensignes of foote men and a cornet of horsemen by sea into the North side of Ireland: who encamped at Dirry by Logh Foil, that he might charge upon the backe of the Rebell. Which he fearing, came thither speedily with all the powre and forces that hee had to remoove him. But Randolph in a pitcht field gave him battaile, and therefore manfully fighting with honour lost his life in his Countries service, but gave him withall such an overthrow that never after he was able to make head againe, and beeing elsewhere in light skirmished foiles and by little and little forsaken of his owne followers, he was minded with an halter tied about his necke humbly to beseech the Lord Deputy his protection and mercy. But beeing by his Secretarie perswaded first to try the friendship of the Scottes, who under the conduct of Alexander Oge , that is, The Younger , held their standing summer campe in Claneboy, having sent before hand Surley Boy Alexanders brother, whom he had kept prisoner a long time, to prepare the waie; he came unto them with the wife of O-Donell whom he kept, was kindely welcomed and admitted with some few into a tent, where after they had beene in their cups, they brake out into a brawle about James Mac-Conell Alexanders brother, whom Shan had slaine, and also about the honestie of James his sister, whom Shan had married and cast off, by which time Alexander Oge and his brother Mac-Gillaspic, being hote set upon revenge, after a signall given, with their drawen swords set upon Shan, and with many a wound hacked and hewed him to death, whereby the Province recovered, after grievous oppressions and warre, the benefits of wished peace.

5. Within a while after, a Parliament was holden at Dublin, where by the authority of all the States of the Realme there asembled Shan was attainted, and all in the Seignories, lands and goods which hee and his followers had were invested in Queene Elizabeth, her heires and successours. And a law was enacted that from that day forward no man should assume unto him the name and title of O-Neale. And yet shortly after, Turlogh-Leingh, a brothers sonne of Con-Mor O-Neal aforesaid, tooke it upon him by a popular election, being a man farre stept in yeere, and therefore more calme and quiet, and so much the rather because hee stood in feare of Shan O-Neales sonnes and Hugh Baron of Dunganon, the sonne of Mathew, although he had given unto the said Hugh his daughter in marriage, whom hee notwithstanding quickly after did cast off and repudiat, taking another wife. This Turlogh, beeing most obsequious and dutifull unto the Queene of England, put the English to no trouble at all, but he molested O-Donell his neighbour and the Scots of the Islands, and in an encounter slew Alexander Oge, who had killed Shan O-Neal. Hugh the sonne of Mathew, commonly called Baron of Dunganon, who had lived a long time while concealed in his owne country, otherwhiles in England in the retinew of Noble men, began now to put himself forth and to raise himselfe out of that obscure condition, when Elizabeth had given him command of a company of horsemen in the war against the Earle of Desmond then in rebellion, and assigned to him a pension of a thousand Markes by the yeere. In that warre he acquited himselfe valiantly in all places against the Rebels, and at length exhibited a supplication in the Parliament house, that by vertue of letters patents granted unto his Grandfather by King Henry the Eight, he might be admitted to the title and place of the Earle of Tir-Oen, and settled in his ancestours inheritance. The title and place of Earle Tir-Oen was presently granted, but as touching the inheritance, considering that upon the forfaiture and attainture of Shan O-Neal the Kings of England were invested therein, the matter was referred unto Queene Elizabeth, who most bountifully granted the same unto him for his faithfull service performed and to be performed. Yet so as the country should be first surveied and laied out into severall divisions, one or two places fit for garizons reserved, and namely the fort at Blackwater, that good order might be taken for the maintenance of the sonnes of Shan and Turlogh, and that he should not be permitted to have any authority at al against the noblemen his neighbours without the County of Tir-Oen. These conditions he most willingly accepted, and rendred very great thanks, accordingly promising to perform whatsoever he was able with diligence, authority, study, and endeavor, in regard of so great benefits received, and verily hee failed not in his promise, nor omitted any duty that might be expected from a most loyall subject. A body hee had able to endure travaile, watching, and fasting; his industry was singular, his courage in warre great, and answerable to the most important affaires; good skill hee had in martiall feats, and a profound wit, and deepe reach to dissemble and carry his businesse closely, insomuch as even then some there were who have this prediction of him, that he was borne either to the exceeding good or as great hurt of Ireland. And such proofes he made of his valor and fidelity that Turlogh Leinigh at the Queenes intercession resigned up unto him his government upon certaine conditions. After whose decease, he usurped unto himselfe the title of O-Neal, which by law was a capitall crime, and promised solemnely to renounce it quite, yet laboured he most earnestly that he might not be urged thereunto by any oth.

6. Not long after, when that most puissant Armada of Spaine, which had in vaine given the attempt upon England, was put to flight, many ships in their returne homeward were cast away and lost in the Vergivian sea, and many of the Spaniards after shipwrack were cast onshore, some of whom Tir-Oen is reported to have enterteined and lodged, yea and to have consulted and complotted with them about entring into a secret confederacy with the King of Spaine. For which practise Hugh ne Gaveloc , that is to say, Hugh in the Fetters (surnamed so because he had beene kept so long in fetters), a base sonne of Shan O-Neal, informed against him, and that upon no light but pregnant presumptions, whom the Earle afterward intercepted and commanded to be strangled, but hardly could he finde any one that, for the reverent regard of the O-Neals bloud, would lay hands upon him. For which barbarous and inhumane murdering of his cousin german he was charged in England, but the Queene of her roiall clemency, and for the hope that shee had conceived of the Earle craving with repentance forgivenesse of this fault, and submitting himselfe to diverse good orders for his obedience, pardoned him to the great griefe of some good men. But this soone after more grieved him, yea pricked (as it were) and sore galled him, that the Deputy had suppressed the name of Mac Mahon in the country next adjoining unto him, and withall, to abate and weaken the powre of that mighty family, had divided the country among many. Hee I say hereupon conceived a feare lest the same would befal unto him and other Chieftanes of Ulster. At which very time there began some secret grudges and heart burnings to arise betweene the Earle and Sir Henry Bagnall the Marshall, whose sister the Earle had carried away and married. The Earle complained that whatsoever hee had with the losse of his bloud and paineful travaile reduced to the obedience of the Prince, the Marshall and not he reaped the fruit and gaine thereof; that the Marshall by suborning most base and vile persons as witnesses had falsely brought him into question for high treason; had incited Sir William Fitz-Williams then Lord Deputy, his deadly enemy, by corruptions and bribery to worke his destruction; and that he lay in waite to take away his life. And in very truth the Deputies information against the Earle found credit in the Court of England, untill the said Earle wrote his letters and offred judicially to be tried either in England or in Ireland. This is for certaine known, that much about this time he, together with the chiefery or greatest men of Ulster, by secret parlees combined in an association that they would defend the Romish religion (for Religion now a daies is made the mantle for all rebellion), that they would in no wise admit Sheriffes or garizon soldiors in their territories, and mutually maintain one anothers right, yea and withstand al wrongs offered by the English. The first champion thrust forward to sound the alarum was Mac-Gyr, a man of a turbulent spirit. He, by way of preying all before him, maketh a roade in to Conach, accompanied with Guarana Priest, who beeing ordeined by the Pope Primate of Ireland, commanded him in the name, and with the helpe, of God to try his fortune, and to fight the Lords battaile, assuring him of most happy successe. Yet it fell out otherwise, for Mac-Gwir through the valor of Sir Richard Bingham was discomfited and put to flight, and the Primate with others slaine. Soone after, Mac-Gwir brake out into open rebellion; whom the Earle himselfe (together with the Marshall) in a shew of dutifull attendance pursued, and in this service with great commendation of his forwardnesse was wounded in the thigh. Howbeit, wholy intentitive to provide for his owne security, he intercepteth the sons of Shan O-Neal and makes them sure for doing any harme; neither would he by any meanes (being requested thereto) set them at liberty, but, minding another matter, maketh most grievous complaints of the injuries offered unto him by the Deputy, the Marshall,and the garizon soldiers; which notwithstanding, within a while after he carried so covertly that, as if he had forgotten al quarels, he came under safe conduct unto the Deputy, submitted himselfe, and after hee had professed all manner of dutifull obedience, returned home with great commendation.

7. Whenas now Sir William Fitz-Williams the Lord Deputy was revoked [recalled] home out of Ireland, Sir William Russel succeeded in that office. Unto him repaired the Earle of his own accord, exhibited an humble submission upon his knees to the Lord Deputy, wherein he dolefully expressed his great griefe that the Queene had conceived indignation against him, as of one undutifull and disloial. Hee acknowledged that the late absenting himselfe from the state was disagreable to his obedience, albeit it was occasioned by some hard measures of the late Lord Deputies, as though hee and the Marshall had combined for his destruction. He acknowledged that the Queene advanced him to high title and great livings; that if she ever upheld him and enabled him that shee, who by grace had advanced him was able by her force to subvert him, and therefore if hee were voide of gratitude, yet he could not bee so voide of reason as to worke his owne ruine. Furthermore he made liberall promises that he would most willingly do whatsoever should be enjoyned him (which he also had promised in his letters sent unto the Lords of the Counsell in England), and earnestly besought that he might bee received into favour againe with the Queene as before time, which he had lost, not by any desert of his owne, but through the forged informations and suggestions of his adversaries. At the same time, Bagnal the Marshall was present in the place, who exhibited articles against the Earle and accused him that hee had underhand suborned and sent Mac Guir with the Primate above named into Conaght, that he had complotted secretly with Mac-guir, O-Donel and other conspirators, and had aided them by Cormac Mac-Baron the Earles brother, and Con the Earles base son and some of his servants in the wasting of Monaghan and besieging of Inis-Kellin, and by means drawn away the Captaines of Kilulto and Kilwarny from their loialty and obedience to the Queene. Hereupon it was seriously debated among the Counsellors of the kingdome whether the Earl should be staied to make his answere or no. The Deputy thought good that he should be deteined. But when it was put to question generally, the more part either upon a vaine feare, or forward inclination to favour the Earle, were instant to have him dismissed and the matter to be put off unto a further day of hearing, pretending certaine waighty considerations, and the Articles exhibited were without proofe or time. Thus the Deputie in a sort was forced to yeeld to the experience of the Councel, and the Earle was permitted to depart, and his accusers there present had no audience. Which troubled and disquieted the Queene not a little, considering that his wicked designements and acts were now apparent to every one, and the Queene her selfe had given warning aforehand that hee should bee deteined untill he had cleered himselfe of those imputations.

8. The Earle being now returned home, when he heard that a new supply of soldiors was comming out of England, and thirteene hundred besides of old servitors out of the Low-Countries, who had served in Little Britaine under Sir John Norris, and that the English entended now to possesse themselves of Balashanon and Belik, Castles upon the mouth of Logh-Earn, he, being privy to himselfe of his owne evill purposes and carrying a guilty conscience, on a sodaine assaileth the fort at Blackwater, by which the entry lay into Tir-Oen his owne country, and had it surrendred up unto him. And at the very same instant in maner (hee wavering in his mind), with one breath (as it were) by his letters offereth unto the Earle of Kildare his helpe against the wrongs done by the Deputy, and withall promiseth the Earle of Ormond and Sir Henry Wallop Treasurer of the kingdome to continue firme in his allegeance, yea and beseecheth in his letters Sir John Norris, appointed Lord General, that he might be more mildly dealt with, nor against his will be driven headlong upon the dangerous rockes of disloialty. But these letters unto Norris Bagnall the Marshall intercepted, and (as the Earle complained afterward) suppressed to his greatest prejudice and hurt. For immediatley he and his confederates were proclamed traitors both in Irish and English, and pardon offered to all such as had been seduced by false perswasions to take their parts and would now relinquish them and submit themselves to the Queene. At which time there were accounted to be with the Rebel in Ulster about a thousand horsemen and 6280 footmen, and in Conaght 2300, who were al at the Earles command, very many of them trained soldiours, as who had been exercised in armes ever since that Sir John Perot Lord Deputy had appointed to every Lord and Chieftain of Ulster a certaine number to be exercised in their weapons for to resist the Irish Scots of the Islands, or else had beene emploied in the warres of the Low Countries, whom hee in no provident policy for the future time had caused to bee transported thither. And verily the English forces were equivalent in numbers, which were commanded by Sir John Norris. ?For the Queene had selected him as a man of especiall trust and reputation to be used martially in such journeys as the Deputie himselfe in person could not undertake, in consideration that hee had performed diverse honorable services was now President of Mounster, and had formerly commanded the Britain companies which were to serve principally in this action.? Yet atchieved he no memorable exploite by reason of private misconstructions, suspicious surmises, and dislikes conceived betweene him and the Deputy. Onely the time was spent in preying, truce making, and frivolous parlies. And withall the Martiall men on both sides were well content to have the war drawne out in length, and the Earle fed himselfe with hope of succour out of Spaine.

9. But among all these parlies, that was most memorable which the two Commissioners Sir Henry Wallop Treasurer of that Realme and Sir Robert Gardener Chiefe Justice, most grave personages and of approved wisdome, had with the Earle of Tir-Oen and O-Donell, at which they and others of the Rebels both laied open their grievances and exhibited also their petitions. The Earle complained that Sir Henry Bagnal the Mareschal had cunningly withdrawen unto himselfe the fruit of his labours; that with lies and indirect meanes and subtle fetches he had thrust him out of the Queenes favour, and after a sort brought him into disgrace. That to his great hindrance and prejudice he had intercepted his letters written unto the Lord Deputy, unto Norris, and others, and still deteined and withheld from him his wives portion, and heerewith he protested that he never negotiated with forraigne Princes before he was proclaimed Traitour. Now he exhibited his petitions in most humble manner: that he and all his followers might be pardoned for their crimes; that they might be restored to their former estates; that they might exercise freely their owne religion (and yet that had been alwaies tollerated); that the Mareschall should pay unto him a thousand pounds of lawfull mony of England for the dowry of his wife now deceassed; that no Garizon souldiers, Sheriff, or other officer should be appointed within his County and Earledome; that the company of fifty horsemen which he had led, with the Queenes pay thereunto, might be restored unto him, and that those who had robbed and spoiled his people might be punished accordingly. O-Donnell for his part, when he had rehearsed his fathers and ancestours fidelity to the Kings of England, complained neverthelesse that Captain Boin was sent from Perot the Lord Deputy with a band of soldiours into his Province under a colour of teaching his people civility, who being kindely entertained by his father, and having certaine townes assigned unto him, offered all maner of injurious indignity and rigour unto his father, and advanced a certaine bastard to the dignity of O-Donell. Also that the said Deputy by sending a Barke secretly intercepted him, thrust him (innocent man) into prison, and there unjustly kept him in duresse untill that by the Almighties goodnesse he was delivered. Item, that the Deputy Fitz-Williams laid up fast in close prison for seven yeeres together Sir Owen O-Toole, the second man next to O Donell in this tract, notwithstanding he was giltlesse, and sent for upon promise of his safe conduct; and that he oppressed his neighbours in Fermanaugh with intollerable wrongs; neither could himselfe devise any other meanes for his owne safety and security then to releeve his next neighbours thus vexed and molested. He likewise made the same request that the Earle did, and moreover demanded certaine fortresses and lands in the county of Slego, which he challenged in right to be his inheritance. Shan Mac Brian Mac Phelim O-Neal laid downe his complaints: that Walter Earle of Essex had wrongfully taken from him the Isle of Magy, and Sir Henry Bagnall the Barony of Maughery-Mourn, both of them his ancient inheritance; that he was himselfe imprisoned, untill that by enforcement he had resigned his right unto Bagnall, beside other injuries infinite done unto him by the Garizon souldiers of Knoc-Fergus. Hugh Mac-Guir made a great matter of the insolent outrages committed by the Garizon souldiers next unto him, in driving away his cattell as booties, and withall that the Sheriff who was sent into his territories had cut off the head of his next kinsman and spurned it under foot. Brian Mac-Hugh-Oge, Mac Hanon and Ever Mac-Couley came in with these their complaints: that over and above other wrongs Sir William Fitz-Williams the Deputy for great gifts and presents had setled Hugh Roe in the dignity of Mac-Mahon, and soone after, for that with banner displaied after the maner of the country he demanded a mulct or fine which he had imposed, hanged him up, and granted his inheritance unto strangers, thereby to extinguish the name of Mac-Mahon. In a word, they were petitioners every one severally for the same things that I have above rehearsed. When some of their demaunds were thought reasonable, and others againe to be referred unto the Queenes consideration, the Commissioners also on the other side proposed certaine Articles unto the Rebells, ?that they should lay downe their armes, disperse their forces, acknowledge submissively their disloialties, admit Sheriffes in their governments, reedifie the Forts they had defaced, suffer the garrisons to live without disturbance, make restitution of spoiles taken, confesse upon their oath how farre they have dealt with forraine Princes, and renounce all forraine aide, &.? But these seemed so unreasonable to them in their conceit, being now growne insolent, that after agreement of a Cessation from armes for a short time, they departed on all hands, whereas the Queene, both then and afterwards, as well to spare the effusion of bloud as to save expense of money, was willing enough to condescend unto any conditions of peace that might have stood with the honor of her Majestie.

10. The time of Cessation once expired, Norris (unto whom alone by the Queenes commaundement the command of the militare forces was conferred in the Deputies absence) marched with his armie against the Earle, Howbeit the Deputie joined with him, and with so great a terrour to the rebels went forward as farre as Armach, so that the Earle, leaving the Fort and Blackwater, set fire upon the villages all round about and the towne of Dunganon, yea and plucked downe a great part of his owne house there, who bewailing now his owne estate as quite undone and past all recovery, he thought of nothing but how to hide his head, whenas they had marched so farre (they stayed there for default of victuals), and having proclaimed the Earle traitour within his owne territorie and placed a garizon in the Church of Armach, returned backe. In their returne, the Earle diligently attendeth and accosteth them afarre off (yet they strengthened the garison at Monaghan), and when they were come neere unto Dundalke, the Deputie according to the purport of her Majesties Commission rendred the prosequution of the warre unto Norris, and after many words passed to and fro betweene them with all the complements of kindnesse and courtesie that might be, he retireth to Dublin and providently looketh to the State of Leinster, Conaght, and Mounster.

11. Norris staied in Ulster, but atchieved no exploit answerable to the expectation raised of so worthy a Warriour, whether it were upon aemulation [rivalry] to the deputie, or that Fortune altered and went backward (as who in the end is wont to crosse great Commanders), or in favour of the Earle, unto whom he was as forward in kind affection as the Deputie was estranged from him. For Norris seemed to blame the Deputie in some measure for that, intertaining an hard opinion of the Earle, his resolution was to make no peace with him. For he in no wise would be otherwise perswaded but that he triffled out the time and made delaies for the nonce, expecting aide and succour still out of Spain, whereas Norris, in the mean while more favourable to him, and credulous withall, had conceived very good hope to bring the Earle to conditions of peace; which hope he, working underhand, so fed and fomented still in Norris as that he also presented unto him a feigned submission, subscribed with his owne hand and signed, yea and humbly upon his knees craved pardon. Yet for all of this, in the meane time he dealt by his spying agents and curreours earnestly and secretly with the King of Spaine, what with writing, and what with praying to have aide from him, so farre forth as that there were secretly sent one or two messengers from the Spaniard to the rebels, with whom it was agreed that, in case the King of Spaine sent at the time prefixed a competent armie able to vanquish the English, they would joine their owne forces, and if in the meane time he furnished them with munition and provision for warre, they would reject all conditions of peace whatsoever. To these covenants, O Rorke, Mac-William and others set to their hands, but not the Earle himselfe, being providently cautelous [cautious], and yet no man doubts but his consent was thereto. And the letters which the King of Spaine wrote backe full of great promises, hee in outward shew of dutifull service sent unto the Deputie, and withall relying himselfe upon assured hope of helpe from Spaine, starteth backe from that written submission aforesaid and faithfull promise made to Norris, for which Norris, through his owne credulity thus deluded and engaged, taketh him up in hote and bitter tearmes, as if hee had gulled him. But he, knoweing well enough how to temporize and serve the time, entreth againe into a parlie with Norris and Fenton the Secretary, and so by giving hostage a peace, such as it was (or rather covenants of agreement) was concluded: which soone after with the like levitie as before he brake, alleaging for his reason and excuse that he could not otherwise thinke but he was deceitfully dealt with, because the Deputie and Norris agreed so badly; because also the Deputie was discontent with them that in his behalfe travailed with him about peace, as though the Deputie desired nothing but warre, considering that the troupes of horsemen were supplied out of England, the King of Spaines letter abovesaid detained, and the Mareschall his most heavie enimie even then was returned with new commission out of England.

12. Heereupon therefore he falleth to harrie and wast the countries confining, to burne townes and villages, to rouse and drive away booties. But within a while, pricked with some remorse of conscience for such outrages committed, and hearing besids that there was a peace like to be treated betweene England and Spaine, hee sued once againe for a parlie and conditions of peace. It yrkes me to runne through all the cloakes of his dissimulation in particular. But to be short, when he was in any danger of the English, in semblance, and countenance, and words from teeth outward he so masked himselfe under the vizard of submission, and pretended such repentance for his former misdemeanors, that he shifted off and dallied with them still untill they had forslipt the opportunitie of pursuing him, and untill of necessity the forces were to be dissolved and withdrawen. Againe such was the slouthfull negligence of the Captaines in Ireland, the thrifty sparing of England, and inbred lenitie of the Queene, who wished that these flames of rebellion (for warre it was not to be called) might be quenched without bloud, that his faire words and pretenses were beleeved, yea and hope otherwhiles was offred to him of pardon, least his peevish pervicacity should be more and more enkindled.

13. In the yeere 1596, whenas by this time all Ulster throughout beyond Dundalke, except seven Castles with wards, namely, Newry, Knoc-Fergus, Carlingford, Greene Castle, Armach, Dondrum,and Olderflelt, yea, and in maner al Conaght, was revolted, Thomas Lord Burrough, a man full of courage and polliticke withall, was sent Lord Deputie into Ireland. ?And about that time Sir John Norris, distasting [disliking] himselfe and the new Deputie, ended his life.? At which time the Earle beseeched by his letters a Cessation of armes, and verily it seemed good pollicie to graunt it for a moneth. After the moneth expired, the Deputie brought his forces together, and, which was thought to stand with his profit and honor both at his first entry into government, araunged them in order of battaile against the Earle. And albeit hee was welcomed by the Earle with a doubtfull and dangerous peece of service within the space of the Moiry, yet made hee way through by his valour, and most valliantly wonne the Fort at Blackewater, repaired and reenforced by the rebells, by which the way lieth into the County of Tir-Oen, and which, besids woods and marishes, was the onely strength that the rebells had; and by this first attempt gave good proofe that, if the warre were well prosecuted, they might easily be vanquished. The very same day whereon this Fort was taken, whiles the Deputie together with his armie were giving thankes unto God for his victorie, suddenly an allarum was given, and the enemie shewed himselfe from an hill hard by: against whom Henrie Earle of Kildare presently marched with a cornet of horse and certaine of the better sort of Gentlemen voluntaries, and setting upon them, put them to flight. Yet were there slaine of the English part Francis Vaghan brother to the Lord Deputies wife, Richard Turner Serjeant Major, a doughty and approved servitour, two of the Earle of Kildares foster bretheren, whose death he tooke so heavily that himselfe within a few daies after for greefe of heart ended his life. For there is no love in the world comparable by many degrees to that of foster-brethren in Ireland. But many more were wounded, and amongst the rest Sir Thomas Waler, highly commended for his Martial forwardnesse. After that this Fort was with new munitions reenforced, no sooner had the Lord Deputy withdrawen his army from thence but the rebells, waving now betweene hope, feare, and shame, thought it their best and safest course streightly to besiege it. For the Earle supposed it was the most important place to offend and annoy them, as that both his honour and fortunes were forever at their downe-set if he might not recover it. With a strong power therefore he beleaguered it round about. Against whom the Deputy streightway setteth forward and marcheth without intermission; but alas, marching on thus in his full passe to victory, he was arrested by violence of sicknesse and cut off by untimely death, leaving a great misse of him to the State, and security to the ranging rebels. Certes, if he had lived longer, by the judgement of wisemen, he had abated their insolencies, and the State had not beene plunged into so great perils.

14. The Rebels, understanding of the Deputies death, became exceeding stout and bold, and so eft-soones with mighty outcries and furious violence assaulted the Fort, but repulsed alwaies they were with the greater losse. They that gave the Scallado [used ladders] were throwen downe headlong, and most of them by the Garizons soldiours sallying resolutely upon them borne down and troden under foot, insomuch as, distrusting now to maine force, they changed their copy and determined to protract the siege, being perswaded that they within had victuals but for few daies. And besides, they conceived good hope that the Garizon souldiours for very want would be wavering in their allegeance and turne traitours. But through the singular valour of Thomas Williams the Captaine, and of the band within, the place was manfully defended; who having suffered hunger, sharpe fights, and all extremeties, after they had eaten up their horses, were driven to plucke up the weeds growing among the stones for their food, and endured all the miseries that might be.

Now by this time the government was by authority from the Queene committed unto the Earle of Ormund under the title of Lieutenant Generall of the Armie, unto the Chancellor and Sir Robert Gardiner. They Tir-Oen recapitulateth in a long letter unto the said Lieutenant all his greivances afore specified, and leaving not out the least insolency either of souldiours or of Sherifs, coldly excuseth his breach of Covenants with Sir John Norris. But principally he complaines that Feogh-Mac-Hugh, a neere associate and kinsman of his, had beene persecuted and executed, and, in the end, that his letters unto the Queene were in England intercepted and suppressed; as also that those impositions and compositions laid both upon the Nobles and Gentry of Ireland would shortly be parted and shared among the Counsellors, Lawyers, Souldiors, and Notaries. And heerewith he closely sendeth succour unto the sonnes of Feogh Mac-Hugh, that they might kindle new coles in Leinster. So that now every man might see that this war was begun to no other end (whatsoever was pretended) but to extirpat the English quite out of Ireland.

15. All this while the Earle continued his siege about the Fort at Black-water. For the raising whereof, the Lieutenant Generall of the Army (for there was no Deputy as yet substituted) sent the most choise troupes, fourteene Ensignes under the conduct of Sir Henry Bagnall the Mareschall, and the bitterest adversary the Earle had: upon whom as he marched with divided troupes, the Earle eadged with fretfull malice assailed most furiously neere unto Armagh, and forthwith (the Mareschall against whom he had bent all this force, being slaine amongst the thickest of his enemies) as he obteined a most joyous triumph over his private adversary, so he want away with a glorious victory over the English. And verily, since the time that they set first footing in Ireland, they never had a greater overthrow, wherein thirteene valiant Captaines lost their lives and fifteene hundred of the common-souldiers, who, being rowted and put to shamefull flight, as they were disparkled [dispersed] all over the fields were cut in peeces, and such as remained alive laid the fault reprochfully, not upon their owne cowardize, but their chiefe leaders unskilfullnesse (a thing nowadaies ordinary). Immediately upon this followed the yeelding up of the Fort at Blackwater, whenas the Garizon souldiers, having held out with loyalty in heart and weapon in hand unto extreame famine, being now driven to exceeding great distresse, saw all hopeless of succour and reliefe. A notable victory this was, and of great consequence to the rebels, who furnished themselves heereby with armour and victuals. And now the Earle, renowned all Ireland over and magnified in every place as the founder of their freedome, above all measure swelled with hauty arrogancy, and sent into Mounster Ouny-Mac-Rory-Og-O-More and Tirel (who, although by his first original he were of English bloud, yet none so maliciously bent against the English name as he) with 4000 preaying rogues, against whom Sir Thomas Norris, President of that Province, advanced forward with a strong power as far as to Kilmalok, but before hee saw the enemy he dispersed his forces and retyred backe to Corck. Which when the Rebels understood, having a great rable of most leaud raskals flocking from all parts unto them, they fell to wast the Country, to drive booties before them, to ransake and burne where ever they went the Castles, houses, and farme places of the English, and most cruelly in all places to kill them. James Fitz-Thomas, one of the family of the Earles of Desmond, they set up as Earle of Desmond, yet so as he should hold as tenant in Fee of the O-Neall or Earle of Tir-Oen, and thus after a Month, when they had kindled this fire and set all in a flame in Mounster, they returned backe looden with rich booties. The Earle by this time in his letters to the King of Spaine faileth not to resound his owne victories with full mouth, and therewith beseecheth him not to give eare and beleeve (if happily he should heere any Englishmen report that he desireth peace): for why, he had hardned his heart against all conditions of peace, were they never so indifferent [fair], and would most firmely keepe his faithfull promise made unto the said King. Yet in this while wrought he meanes of intercession by letters and messengers eft-soones [often] sent unto the Earle of Ormond (but all colourably) about a submission, and his demands withall were most unreasonable.

16. In this desperate estate stood Ireland when Queene Elizabeth chose Robert Earle of Essex (then glorious for the winning of Cadis in Spaine) in regard of his approoved wisdome, fortitude, and fidelity, Lieutenant and Governour generall of Ireland, to repaire the detriments and losses there susteined, with most large and ample authority added in his Commission to make an end of the war, and that which by importunity, as it were, he wrested from her, to remit and pardon all crimes even of high treason, which alwaies in the Patents of every Lord Deputy were thus in these very words before time restreined, all Treasons and treacheries touching our owne person, our heires and successours excepted. And verily with good and provident forecast he obtained the authority to pardon crimes of this kind, considering that lawyers doe resolve and set downe that all Rebellions whatsoever touch the Princes person. There was committed to his charge as great an army as hee required, roially furnished and provided, and such as Ireland had never seene the like before, that is, sixteen thousand footmen and thirteene hundred horsemen, which number was made up after twenty thousand compleat. And he had speciall charge given him, without regard of all other Rebels whatsoever, to bend the whole puissance and force of the war upon the Arch-Rebell the Earle of Tir-Oen, as the head of the rest, and with all speed to presse hard upon him with Garizons planted at Lough-Foyle and Bala-Shanon, a thing that himselfe had alwaies thought most important, and in accusatory tearmes charged and challenged the former Deputies for their neglect in that behalfe. When upon his returne he understood that the Queene was displeased at this expedition of his so costly and yet damageable, and that shee urged still a journey into Ulster against the Earle and no other, in his missives under her Majesty he transferred all the fault from himselfe upon the Counsell of Ireland, unto whom for their manifold experience in the affaires of Ireland hee could not chuse but condescend, promising and protesting most faithfully to set forward with all speed into Ulster. Scarce were these letters delivered when he dispatcheth others after them wherein he signifieth that upon necessity he must turne his journey aside into Ophalie neere to Dublin against the O-Conors and the O-Moiles, who were there risen and in armes, whom he quickly and fortunately vanquished with light skirmishes.

17. Now returning, and having taken a review of his armie, he found it so weakened and imparied that by his letters subscribed with the hands of the Counsellers of Ireland, he craved a new supply of a thousand souldiers for his expedition into Ulster, which he promised to undertake speedily with solemne protestations.

18. Being fully resolved to turne the whole warre upon Ulster, he commaunded Sir Coigniers Clifford, governer of Conaght, to goe with certain bands lightly appointed toward Bellike, to the end that the Earles forces might be distracted one way, whiles himself set upon him another way. Clifford, forthwith putting himselfe on his journey with a powre of 1500, commanded his souldiers, out-toyled with travailing so farre and having but small store of gunpouder, to passe over the mountaines of Curlew. And when they had gotten over the most part of them, the Rebels under the leading of O Rorcke assailed them on the sudden. the English easily at the first caused them to recule [recoil], and marched on forward in their journey, but when the enemies perceived once that they were at a default already for gunpouder, they charged them afresh, and for that they were tyred with so long a march, and not able to make resistance, put them to flight, slew many of them, and among the rest Clifford himselfe, together with Sir Alexander Ratcliffe of Ordfall. Meanewhile, that supply which the Lord Lieutenant required was levied in England and transported. Some few daies after, he gave the Queene to understand by other letters that hee could for this yeere performe no more than with a thousand and three hundred footmen and three hundred horse go to the frontiers of Ulster. Thither came he about the thirteenth day of September, before whom the Earle with his forces two daies together from the hilles made a Bravado and shewed himselfe, and in the end, sending Hagan before, he requested the Lieutenant that they might parlie together: which he refused to doe, answering that, if the Earle would talke with him, he should find him the next morrow in the head of his troupes. On which day after a light skirmish made, a horsman from out of the Earles troupes with a lowd voice delivered as a message that the Earle was not willing to fight, but to parly with the Lord Lieutenant, yet in no wise at that instant. The day following, as the Lord Lieutenant was marching forward, Hagan meeteth him, who declareth that the Earle humbly desired to have the Queenes mercy and peace, and besought withal that he might have but audience for a while: which if he would grant, then would he with all reverence and observance expect him at the Fourd of the river hard by (Balla-Clinth they call it). This Fourd is not far from Louth, the head towne of the County, and neere unto the Castle of Gerald Fleming. Thither sent the Lord Lieutenant before some of purpose to discover the place. Who found the Earle at the said Fourd, and he told them that, although the river was risen, yet might a man be easily heard from one side to the other. Heereupon the Lord Lieutenant, having bestowed a troupe of horsmen in the next hill thereby, came downe alone. The Earle, riding his horse into the water up to the belly, in dutifull and reverent sort saluteth the Lieutenant, being on the banke side, and so with many words passing to and fro betweene them, without any witnesses by to heare them, they spent almost an houre. Then both of them retire unto their companies, and Con, a base sonne of the Earles, following hard after the Lord Lieutenant, besought him in his fathers name that certaine principall persons of his traine might be admitted to a conference. The Lord Lieutenant assented thereto, so they were not above six. Then forthwith the Earle, taking with him his brother Cormoc, Mac Genneys, Mac Guir, Ever Mac Cowley, Henry Ovington, and O-Quin, sheweth himselfe at the Fourd. Unto them the Lord Lieutenant came downe, accompanied with the Earle of Southampton, Sir George Bourchier, Sir Warrham St. Leger, Sir Henry Danvers, Sir Edward Wingfeld, and Sir William Constable Knights. The Earle saluteth them every one with great courtesie, and after some few words betweene them passed, thought good that certaine Commissioners should the next day following treate of peace: betweene whom it was agreed that there should be a truce from that very day for six weeks, and so forward from six weeks to six weeks, unto the first of May, yet so as it might be free for both sides, after fourteene daies warning given aforehand, to begin war afresh. And if that day any Confederate of the Earles would not yeeld his assent heereto, he left him unto the Lord Lieutenant to prosecute him at his pleasure.

19. Whiles these things were a-doing, those letters of the Lord Lieutenant which I spake of erewhile were delivered to the Queene by Henrie Cuffe (a man very learned but as unfortunate). Which when she had perused through, and understood thereby that her Lieutenant, with so great an armie, in so long time, and with the expense of so much money, had effected just nothing, nor would doe ought that yeere, she, being highly offended thereat, writeth backe againe to himselfe and to the Counsellers of Ireland in these tearmes. That his proceeding answered neither her direction nor the worlds expectation, that she could not but mervaile much why the Lieutenant by prolonging thus from time to time, and finding meanes still of further delay, had lost those excellent oppportunities which he had of prosecuting war upon that Arch-Rebell, considering that himselfe, whiles he was in England, advised nothing else but to prosecute the Earle himselfe and none but him; yea and in his letters otherwhiles seriously promised to doe the same. She expostulated, wherefore he had made those unprofitable journeys (even against his owne judgement when it was sound) into Mounster and Ophalte, whereof he had not certified [notified] her, nor given so much as any notice before they were undertaken? Which otherwise she would expressely have contremaunded. If his armie were now broken, weake, and much empaired, why undertooke he not the action upon the enemie whiles it was entire, strong and complete? If the spring had not been a fit season for to make war in Ulster, wherefore was the summer, wherefore was the Autumn neglected? What, was there no time of the yeere meet for that war? Well she now foresaw that her Kingdome of England must be impoverished beyond all measure by such expenses, her honour blemished among forrain Princes, and the Rebels incouraged by this unfortunate successe: yea they that shall pen the Story of this time will deliver unto posterity that she for her part was at great charge to hazard her Kingdome of Ireland, and that he had taken great paines and had left nothing undone to prepare for many purposes which perished without undertaking, if now at length he tooke not a course for the maine prosecution of the war. In tart tearmes, therefore, she admonisheth both him and the Counsellers of the Kingdome to looke more consideratly to the good of the State, and not from thence forward to be transported contrary waies by indirect counsaile, commanding them withall to write into what case they had brought the Kingdome of Ireland, and carefully to foresee that all inconveniences from thence forth might be diligently prevented.

20. The Lord Lieutenant, startled or rather galled with these letters, speedeth in al hast, and sooner than any man would have thought, into England, accompanied with some men of quality, and well and early in a morning comming upon the Queene at unawares, whiles she was most private and in her bed chamber, presents himselfe upon his knees unto her, who after she had welcomed him with a short speech (and not with that countenance as heeretofore), commanded him to withdraw himselfe unto his owne chamber and there to keepe. For the Queene was highly offended with him, both because he contrary to her commandement had left his charge so sodainly without her leave and before he had setled the State, and also had treated with the rebels to her dishonour privately and upon equall tearmes with condition of toleration of religion, and to her disservice whenas the Rebels made profit of all cessations, and moreover that he had agreed upon such a cessation as might every fourth-night be broken, whereas it was in his power by the authority he had to make a finall end with the Rebels, and to pardon their treason and rebellion. What befell him afterwards in England, and how it appeared by pregnant presumptions and some evidence that he aimed at other matters than war against rebels, whiles he could not find in his heart to remit private distases for the publike good, and relied too much upon popularity (which is alwaies momentany [momentary], and never fortunate), it is impertinant to this place, neither take I pleasure so much as to remember the same.

21. The said cessation was scarcely once or twice expired when the Earle of Tir-Oen drew his forces together and addresseth himselfe againe to war. Unto whom there was sent from the State Sir William Warren to know of him wherefore he brake the Cessation that was made. Unto whom in the swelling pride of his hart he haughtily answered that he had not broken the Cessation, considering he had given fourteene daies warning before that he ment to renew the war, and that he had just cause to war afresh. For why? He understood that the Lord Lieutenant, in whom he had reposed all his hope and whole estate, was committed [imprisoned] in England. Neither would he have anything to doe from thence forth with the Counsellors of the Kingdome that had dealt before time so craftily and deceitfully with him. And as for the Cessation, would he never so faine, he could not revoke it, because he had already entred another course and appointed O-Donel to goe into Conacht, and other of his confederates into other parts.

22. In this meane space, there ran among the Rebels rumours very rife (and the Earle of Tir-Oen questionles was the authour) that there should be within a while the greatest and strangest alteration that ever were in England, and lewd persons began daily to encrease both in number and courage. For they that were of the Irishry aspired now to their ancient freedom and Nobility; contrariwise good and honest men of the English bloud were much dejected and discouraged, seeing so great expenses of the Prince came to nothing: who also complained one unto another that they had beene of late excluded as meere strangers from bearing offices in the Common-Weale. But the Earle all in a glorious joylity giveth it out everywhere, and that with open mouth, that he would recover the liberty both of Religion and of his Country; he receiveth in every place busie and tumultuous persons into his protection; he sends them succour and aide, strengtheneth and comforteth the distrustfull, stoutly streineth and setteth to his helping hand to subvert the English government in Ireland, being drawen on and fed with hope with the King of Spaine by sending now and then munition, and some money made shew of, and the Pope by promises and indulgences maintained, as having sent unto him before the plume of a Phaenix, happily because Pope Urban the Third had sent in times past a little Coronet platted [woven] with peacocks fethers unto John King Henry the Second his son, when he was invested Lord of Ireland.

23. And now triumphantly glorying of his victories, to the end that he might make a goodly shew of his greatnesse in every place, and by is personal presence set that fire to burne out light which in his absence hee had kindled in Mounster, under a faire and religious pretence of visiting a little peece of wood of Christs Crosse (which is thought to be kept in the Monastery of the Holy Crosse in Tipperary), in Mid-winter thither hee goes a pilgremage, and sent out into the grounds of true and faithfull subjects a number of preying robbers under the conduct of Mac-Guir. He by chance hapned upon Sir Warrham Saint Leger, who runne him through with his lance, and was withall at the same instant himselfe runne through by him. Whose funeralls when the Earle had performed, hee hasteneth home sooner than all men looked for, as having heard that the Earle of Ormond, appointed Generall of the Armie, was raising a powre from al parts, and that Sir Charles Blunt, Baron Montjoy, the Lord Deputy, was comming. Unto whom the Queene before time had purposed in her minde this government, but Robert Earle of Essex (who for to pleasure militarie men and to deserve the better of them, into whose love he studiously insinuated himselfe, fought, though covertly, to compasse the same himselfe) wholly opposed against him, as if he, the said Lord Montjoy, had seene no service, nor beene experienced in the warres more than in the Netherlands, had no followers and dependants, nor much aforehand with the world, and overmuch bookish.

24. He arriveth in Ireland in the moneth of February, without any great noise and stir, accompanied with a small traine, and so entered upon the Government. Now he found the state of Ireland very distressed, or rather desperately sicke and past all hope of recovery, yea at the point, as it were, to give up the ghost. For every good and honest-meaning minde was dismaied to see such a confluence of calamities without all hope of remedie or any alleviation at all, but the worst sort, seeing all to goe well on their side and prosper still to their desire, rejoiced and applauded one the other, and the Earle himselfe without any resistance had passed through the whole length of the Island in triumphant manner, even from the utmost part of Ulster into Mounster. The Rebells moreover, to terrifie the Deputy now at his first comming, strucke up an alarme in the very Suburbes of Dublin. but hee, full of good courage, desired nothing more than to set upon the Earle himselfe, who, as hee had intelligence given him, was to returne out of Mounster. Mustering up therefore in all hast such a powre as he could (for the companies of choise souldiours were in Mounster alreadie with the Earle of Ormond), hee hastned to stop the Earles passage in Fearea, and there to give him battaile. But the Earle by celerity and quicke speed prevented him, beeing privily enformed of the Deputies designes. For certaine there were even of the Queenes counsell there who alwaies highly favoured and tendered his proceedings. The Deputy, beeing returned to Dublin, was wholy busied in mustering of the old souldiour that should bee sent by shipping to Logh-Foile and Bala-shanon nere unto the mouth of Logh-Earn, that by placing garizons there they might make sallies upon the Earle both on backe and sides; as also about sending aide unto the garizon soldiours in Lease and Ophaly, a matter, by reason of so many enemies round about, of great danger and difficulty. In the beginning of Maie, the Deputy put himselfe on his march toward Ulster, with this purpose, to divert the Earle another way whiles Sir Henry Docwra at Logh-Foile, and Sir Mathew Morgan at Balo-Shanon planted the garizons, which they with small adoe effected, for Sir Henry Docwra tooke Lough-Foile, and Sir John Bolle, who accompanied him, tooke Don-a-long and Lhiffer castles, suppressing the rebelles with diverse overthrowes. Whiles the Earle was every day kept occupied by the Deputy with light skirmishes, wherein hee evermore had so bad successe that he perceived now the fortune of warre was turned, and himselfe driven backe into his owne corners. The Lord Deputy, beeing returned in Mid-June, whenas the garizons aforesaid were placed accordingly, required out of England certaine companies of souldiours and victuals, for to bestow and plant a garizon also in these parts at Armagh, thereby to bring the Rebels within a streighter compasse. Meanwhile hee tooke a journey into Lease, which was the place of refuge and receit of all the rebells in Leinster, where hee slew Ony-Mac-Rory-Og the cheife of the O-Mores familie, a bloudy, bold, and most desperate young man, who of late had made so foule a sturre in Mounster; him I say hee slew with other most wicked and mischeivous rebells, and after hee had laid their fields wast, hee chased them into woods and forests so as that in those partes they were scarcely ever after seene. Whenas now new succours were come out of England, although hee wanted both corne and money, the Aequinox was past, and winter weather beganne already in that climate, yet marched he forward to the very entrance of Moyery, three miles beyond Dondalk. This passage is naturally the most cumbersom of all others well neere in Ireland: which the Rebells had fortified and blocked up with pallisadoes and fenses, with stakes pitched into the ground, with hurdles joyned together and stones in the midest, and turfes of earth betwixt the hilles, woods, and boghes, quite overthwart on both sides, with great sill and greater industry, yea and manned the place with a number of souldiours. Besides these difficulties in his way, the weather also was passing rigorous by reason of much raine that fell continually for certaine daies togither, whereby the rivers, swelling high and overflowing their bankes, were altogether unpassable. But when the waters were fallen, the English couragiously brake through those pallisadoes or fenses aforesaid, and, having beaten backe their enemies and overcome all difficulties, the Lord Deputy placed a garison eight miles from Armagh (for at Armagh the Rebells had eaten up and consumed all), which in memorie of Sir John Norris, under whom hee had his first rudiments in the profession of Armes, hee commanded to be called Mount Norris: over which he made Captain Edward Blany a stout and valiant Gentleman, who afterwards in this part, like as Sir Henry Docwra in the other, troubled the rebells sore, and withall kept them forcibly in awe. In his returne (that I may passe over with silence the skuffling skirmishes which happened every daie) the Rebells in the passe neere unto Carlingford, where they had stopped up the way, in a memorable overthrow were discomfited and put to fearefull flight.

25. Some few daies after, the Lord Deputy, because hee would loose no time, entred into the very midest of winter the Glinnes , that is, the vallies in Leinster, a secure receptacle of rebelles, where, having wasted the Country, he brought Donell Spanioh, Phelim Mac-Feogh, and that tumultuous and pernicious Sept of the O Tooles unto submission, and tooke hostages of them. Afterward he went as farre as Fereall, and drave Tirell, the most approved warrior of all the Rebelles, out of his owne holds, or as they call it, Fastnesses (a place full of Boghs, and beset thicke with bushes) into every place, as far as to the frontier of Ulster: which hee entred, and first having slaine the two sonnes of Ever Mac-Cowly, hee laied the territory of Fernes wast and sent out Sir Richard Morison to spoile the Fues. In Breany hee placed a garizon, by the conduct of Sir Oliver Lambard, and, turning downe to Tredagh, hee received into his protection and mercy such of the principall Rebels as submitted themselves, namely Turlogh Mac-Henry a great man and Potentate in Fues, Ever-Mac-Cowley, O-Hanlon, who glorieth in this, that by inheritance he is Standerdbearer to the Kings of Ulster, and many of the Mac-Mahons and O-Realies, who delivered up for hostages their dearest friends and kinsfolke. The spring now approaching, before all the force were assembled and come togither, the Lord Deputie marcheth to Moyery, where by cutting downe the woods he made the way passable, and there erected a fort. Out of Lecall he expelled the Mac-Genisses who usurped lands there, and reduced all the Rebels fortresses and holds about Armagh to his obedience. Armagh also he fortified with a garizon. And so farre went he forward that hee removed the Earle from Black-water (who had very artificially encamped himselfe there) and purposed somewhat lower to set up a fort. About which time many signified unto him by letters for certainty that which he had heard before bruited by a common rumor still more and more encreased, namely that the Spaniards were arrived in Mounster. So now he was of necessity to desist and give over this prosecution in Ulster, and Ireland was to be defended, not so much from inward rebellion as from foraine enimies. And yet, least what he had already recovered should be lost againe, after he had strengthened the garizons he speedily posted into Mounster, journeying continually with one or two companies of horse, commanding the Captaines of the footmen to follow hard after.

26. For whiles he was earnestly busied about the warre in Ulster, the Earle and his associates the Rebels of Mounster by their Agents, a certaine Spaniard elect Archbishop of Dublin by the Pope, the Bishop of Cloufort, the Bishop of Killaloe, and Archer a Jesuite, had obteined at length, with prying, intreating, and earnest beseeching at the King of Spaines hand, that succour should bee sent into Mounster to the Rebels, under the conduct of Don John D'Aquila, upon assured hope conceived that all Mounster would shortly revolt, and the Titulare Earle of Desmond and Florens Mac-Carty joyne great Aides unto them. But Sir George Carew, the Lord President of Munster, had providently before intercepted them and sent them over into England. Thus D'Aquila arrived at Kinsale in Mounster with two thousand Spaniards, old souldiors, and certaine Irish fugitives, the last day of October, and streightwaies having published a writing wherein he gloriously stileth himselfe with this title, Maister Generall and Capitaine of the Catholick King in the warre of God, for holding and keeping the Faith in Ireland , endeavoreth to make the world beleeve that Queene Elizabeth by the definitive sentences of the Popes was deprived of her kingdomes, and her subjects absolved and freed from their oth of allegeance, and that hee and his men were come to deliver them out of the devills chawes [jaws] and the English tyranny. And verily with this goodly pretense hee drew a number of lewd and wicked persons to band and side with him.

27. The Lord Deputie, having gathered togither all the Companies of souldiours that hee could, prepareth himselfe to the siege, and Sir Richard Levison the Vice-Admirall, sent out of England with one or two of the Queenes shippes to impeach all accesse, forecloseth the haven. The English, when they had now encamped themselves, beganne from land and sea to thunder with their ordinance upon the towne, and more streightly to beleaguer it round about: which siege notwithstanding was by and by not so forcibly urged, for that on the one side Levison with the sea souldiours was sent before against two thousand Spaniards newly landed at Bere-haven, Baltimor, and Castle Haven, of which shippes he sunke five; on the other side, the President of Mounster at the same time was dispatched with certaine troupes to gette the start of O-Donell, who now was approaching, that hee should not joyne with that new supplie of the Spaniards. But hee, whenas now all the Country was over frozen, had by speedie journeyes in the night through blinde by-wayes gotten to those Spaniards newly arrived, and was not so much as once seene. Some few daies after, the Earle of Tir-Oen also himselfe came with O-Rork, Raimund Burk, Mac-Mahon, Randall Mac-Surley, Tirell, the Baron of Lixnaw, and the most select and choise of all the Rebels: unto whom when Alphonso O Campo, the leader of the new-come Spaniards, had joyned his forces, they mustered themselves sixe thousand footemen and five hundred horse strong, in a confident hope of victory because they were more in number, fresh, and better furnished with all kinde of meanes whereas contrariwise the English were out-wearied with the inconveniences that follow a winter-siege, excluded from victuals, and their horses besides with travaile and hunger together altogether unserviceable. In these difficulties and distresses, the Deputy consulteth with the Captaines what was to be done. Some thought the best way was to breake up the siege, to retire into Corke, and not to hazard the whole realme upon the fortune of one battaile. Contrariwise, the Deputy adviseth and perswadeth to persist, and not to degenerate from the approved vertue of their ancestors, adding that valiant men could not have a more wished opportunity presented unto them than that which was now fallen into their laps, namely, either to spend their lives with glorie or to vanquish their enemies with honour. He urgeth therefore and plieth the siege with all the powre he had, with raising platformes and continual battering he plaied upon the towne, and withall fortifieth his campe with new trenches.

28. Upon the one and twenty day of December, the Earle of Tir-Oen sheweth himselfe with his horse upon an hill about a mile from the campe, and there encamping himselfe, maketh a bravado. Likewise the next day in the same place. The night following, both the Spaniards sallied forth of the towne, and the Irish also assaied to steale into the towne, but both were forced to retire. On the three and twentieth day, the English men discharge their greater peeces upon the towne, as if they had not cared for the Earle now so neere at hand, and the very same day were the letters of D' Aquila unto the Earle intercepted, wherein hee importuned Tir-Oen that the Spaniards newly arrived might be put into the towne, and that they might assaile the campe on both sides. When the moone was ready to set under the horizon, the Deputy commanded Sir Henry Poer to lead forth into the field eight ensignes of old souldiours, and to make a stand on the West side of the campe. Sir Henry Greame, who that night had the charge of the horsemen that watched, very earley in the morning advertised the Deputy that the enemies for certaine would advance forward, for that a great number of their matches were lighted. Hereupon the al' arme was given throughout the campe, and companies placed wheresoever there was any way to the towne. The Lord Deputy himselfe, with the President of Mounster and Sir Richard Wingfeld Marshall, marcheth toward the watch, and withall by the advise of Sir Olivar Lambart chooseth out a plot wherein hee might give battaile to the enemies. Thither were brought the Ensignes and Regiments of Sir Henry Folliot and Sir Olivar Saint John, with sixe hundered sea souldiours under the conduct of Sir Richard Levison. But the Earle of Tir-Oen, who resolved (as afterwards it was knowne) to have brought into Kinsale by darke night the new supplie of Spaniards and eight hundred Irishmen, when hee saw now the day to break, and beheld withall the Marshall and Sir Henry Danvers with the powre of horsemen, and Poer with the Companies of old souldiours at the foote of the hill, beeing disappointed of his hope, stood still, and soone after by his bagpipers sounded the retraite. No sooner was the Deputy certified of this retrait of his, so confused and disordered, but hee commanded the pursuit, and himselfe advanced before the vantgard to marke the manner of their retrait, and according to the present occasion to resolve what to doe. But so thicke a mist with a storme beside fell upon the earth that for a time they could not see before them. Within a while after, the weather cleering up againe, hee observed that they retired hastily for feare in three great battalions, and with the horsemen placed behind at their backes. He fully determined therefore to charge upon them, having sent back the President of Mounster with three companies of horsemen into the campe to restreine the Spaniards, if happily out of the towne they should sally and break out upon them. And the Lord Deputie himselfe followed after the Rebelles with such speed in their retraite that hee forced them to stand in the brinke of a boge, whereunto there was no accesse but at a fourd. But when those horsemen that kept the fourd were by the valour of the Marshall and the Earle of Clan-Ricard discomfited and put to rout the other, and couragiously gave the onset upon the maine troupes of the enemies horsemen. Which charge when Sir William Godophin, who had the leading of the Deputies horse, Sir Henry Danvers, Minshaw, Taff, Fleming, and Sir John Barkley Sergeant Major of the Campe, who joyned with them, redoubled with so great alacrity that the Rebels presently brake and fell in disorder. But it was not thought good to follow the chase, but, gathering their forces and power together, they charged upon the maine battaile [van] now in feare and wavering, which they also brake. Tirell with his company and the Spaniards all this while kept their standing and made their ground good: against whom the Deputy putteth forward his rereward, and that he might accomplish not onely the part of a leader in commanding, but also of a souldiour in fighting, with three companies of Oliver S. Johns, whereof Captaine Roe had the conduct, chargeth violently upon them, and so brake their arraies that in great disorder and confusion they reculed backe and betooke themselves to the Irish, by whom they were presently left unto the edge of the sword and routed by the troupe of the Deputies horsemen, whereof Sir William Godolphin had the leading. Then Tir-Oen, O-Donel and the rest on all sides put to flight, flung away their weapons and made what shift they could to save themselves. Alphonso O Campo was taken; prisoner with three other Captains of the Spaniards and six ensigne bearers. Slaine there were one thousand and two hundred, nine ensignes taken, whereof six were Spanish. Of the English part scarce two men lost their lives, many were wounded, and among them Sir Henry Danvers, Sir William Godolphin, and Croft. So little cost this so great a victory. The Lord Deputy, after he had sounded the retreated and rendred thankes unto almighty God for this victory among the dead bodies of the enemies lying thicke in heapes, gave the order of Knight-hood to the Earle of Clan-Ricard for his right valiant service in this battell, and thus with lucky acclamations returned victour into his campe, which he found safe and sound from all dangers. For the Spaniards within the towne, seeing all places every way made sure with guardes, and having experience before time that all salleis were to their losse, kept themselves at home in carefull expectation of the event.

29. A noble victory this was, and in many regards important, whereby Ireland, most miserably distressed and ready to revolt, was reteined, the Spaniards ejected, the Arch-rebell Tir-Oen repulsed into his starting holes in Ulster, O-Donell driven into Spaine, the rest of the rebellious rable scattered into sundry parts, the Princes regall authority by daunting the lawlesse insolency recovered, and within a while after a secure peace throughout the Iland firmely established.

The morrow after, the Lord Deputy commanded Captaine Bodley the Trench-master, who both in the fortifications and also in the battaile had manfully borne himselfe, to finish the Mount begun, and to raise bankes and rampires neerer unto the enemy: about which when there had beene six daies spent, D'Aquila in his letters sent by his Drum Major to the Deputy craved that some Gentleman of credit might be sent into the towne, with whom he might parly. For this purpose was Sir William Godolphin chosen. Unto whom D'Aquila signifieth that he had found the Lord Deputy, although he were his most aegre [bitter] enemy, yet an honorable person, the Irish of no valour, rude and uncivill, yea and (that which he sore feared) perfidious and false. That he was sent from the King of Spaine his Majestie to aide two Earles, and now he doubted whether there were any such in rerum natura , considering that one tempestuous puffe of warre had blowne the one of them into Spaine, the other into the North, so as they were no more to be seene. Willing therefore he was to treat about a peace that might be good for the English and not hurtfull to Spaniards, albeit he wanted nothing requisit to the holding out of a siege, and expected every day out of Spaine fresh supplies to finde the English worke and trouble enough. To be briefe, being as they were on both sides distressed and weary of siege, they grew to this agreement upon the second day of January, that the Spaniards should yeeld up Kinsale, the Forts and Castles at Baltimore, Berehaven, and Castle Haven unto the Lord Deputy, and so depart with life, with goods, and their Banners displaied; that the Englishmen should allow them shipping, paying the ful price therefore, wherein they might at two several passages saile over into Spaine. Also, if they hapned in their returne homeward to arrive at any Port in England, that they might be kindly entertained, and in the meane time whiles they remained in Ireland waiting for windes have all necessaries for sustenance ministred unto them, for their readie mony.

30. These things thus concluded, the Spaniards after certaine daies fitted with a good gale of winde, set saile from the cost of Ireland with dishonour, as having their companies much impaired and weake. Meanewhile the Earle of Tir-Oen in fearefull flight got him away, making as great journeis as possibly he could through unknowen by-waies, and recovered his lurking holes in Ulster, after he had lost most of his men, whom the rivers, risen and running violently by reason of Winter flouds, had swallowed up. And afterwards hee could not take his rest without care, no not so much as breath without feare, whiles carrying an evill and burdened conscience he dreaded the due reward of his deserts and distrusted every one, insomuch as he sought from day to day new blinde corners, and the same streightwaies he abandoned. The Deputy, to refresh his wearied soldiors, bestoweth them abroad in garisons, and after he had setled the State in Mounster, returneth to Dublin. And when the Winter season was past, he by a gentle and easie march (thereby to spread a greater terrour all abroad) returneth into Ulster with an armie well appointed, that he might with Forts and Garisons planted round about belay the Rebels on every side, as it were, within net and toile. When he was come as far as to Black-water, he transported his army upon floats, and, having found a Fourd unknowen before beneath the old fort he erected a Fort upon the very banke, which after his owne Christian name he called Charle-Mont. At which time the Earle of Tir-Oen, being affrighted, set fire to his owne house at Dunganon. Then marcheth the Deputy forward from thence to Dunganon, and after he had encamped himselfe, so soone as Sir Henry Docwra was come unto him from Logh-File with is company, he sent out his souldiers every way. Then might you have seene the corn-fields spoiled, the villages on every side and houses, so many as they could descrie, set on fire and burned, and booties out of all parts harried. The Forts in Logh-Crew, Logh-Reough, and Mogeher Lecowe (where Sir John Barkley a most valiant Martiall man was shot through with a bullet) were yeelded up, he planted a Garizon at Logh Eaugh or Logh Sidney, which after the title of his owne honour he named Mont-joy, and gave unto Sir Arthur Chichester (who by the demerite [merit] of his vertue is now Lord Deputy of Ireland) the charge and command thereof, another likewise at Monaghan, which he committed unto Sir Christopher S. Laurence: who, being leaders of great experience and greater courage, what with often salleis and what with traverse journeis made to and fro, so coursed and crossed the rebels that they, seeing themselves environed with Garizons planted round about them, and every day hemmed in and penned in more streightly, that now like wilde beasts of a raskal kinde they must seeke holes and lurke among the thickets in Forests and woods, most of them changed their copie and, as their fortune, so their fidelity altered, and every one of them began secretly to submit themselves to the Deputy, striving a-vie who should be first, muttering and complaining closely [secretly] of Tir-Oen, that he had engaged the ruine of the whole nation for his own private discontentments, that this war was only necessary to him, but most pernicious to them: nether was the Earle ignorant that both the force and fidelity also of his people and followers was now sore shaken. He determined therefore to prevent the worst, as being weary of miserie and calamity, and yet in some hope also of life, which sometimes overmatch the stoutest. By most submissive letters therefore sent now and then to the Queene, wherein with earnest praiers and teares he besought pardon for his fault, casting himselfe downe in humble and lowly wise, and she observed in him such tokens of true repentance that (as she was a most milde and merciful Prince) she gave authority unto the Lord Deputy to take him to mercy in favour, in case he earnestly craved it. And crave it he did (when he had heard so much from those that affected and loved him), continually by the most earnest mediation of Arth Mac Baron his brother and others, and, being often rejected, at length in the moneth of February, after he had promised absolutely and without any condition to submit his life and all that he had unto the Queene, the Deputy, who had some intelligence out of the Court in England from his inward friends that the Queene, now farre stept in yeeres, was dangerously sicke, condescended that the Earle might repaire unto Melifont. And thither forthwith came out of his lurking hooles in all speed, accompanied with one or two and no more. Being admitted into the chamber of presence (where the Lord Deputy with a number of martiall men about him was set in a chaire of estate, in the very entry of the place), he in poore and foule array, with a disjected countenance, bewraying [mourning] his forlorne estate, falleth downe upon his knees, and when he had so kneeled a while, the Lord Deputy signified unto him that hee should approch neerer. Whereupon he rose up, and after he had stepped in lowly maner some few paces forward, he kneeled downe againe and cast himselfe prostrate like a most humble suppliant. Hee acknowledgeth his sinne to God, and fault unto his most gracious Prince and soveraigne Ladie Queene Elizabeth, in whose royall clemencie and mercy lay the onely hope that he had now remaining, to whose pleasure he permitteth wholy and absolutely his life and whole estate. He most demisely [submissively] beseecheth that whose bountifull favour in times past, and mighty powre now of late, he had felt and found, he might now have experience of her merciful lenity, and that he might be for ever the example of her princely clemencie. For neither was his age as yet so unserviceable, nor his bodie so much disabled, ne yet his courage so daunted but that by his valiant and faithfull service in her behalfe he could expiate and make satisfaction for this most disloiall rebellion. And yet, to extenuate his crime, he beganne to say that through the malicious envie of some, hee had beene very hardly and unreasonably dealt with. As he was enforcing this point further, the Deputie interrupted him and cut of his speech, and after a few words delivered with great authority (which in a martiall man doth stand in steed of eloquence) to this effect, that there was no excuse to be made for so grievous and heinous a crime, with few other words he commanded him to withdrawe himselfe, and the next day carried him away with him toward Dublin, purposing to bring him from thence into England before Queene Elizabeth, that she might determine at her pleasure what to doe with him. But in this meane time that most excellent Princesse, a little after that she had intelligence (that nothing might be wanting to the accomplishment of her glory) how this rebellion was extinguished, what had not a little disquieted her, departed godly and peaceably out of this transitorie life into the eternall.

31. Thus the warre of Ireland, or the rebellion rather of the Earle of Tir-Oen, begun upon private grudges and quarrels intermedled with ambition, cherished at first by contempt and sparing of charges out of England, spred over all Ireland (under the coulorable pretense of restoring libertie and Romish religion), continued by untoward emulation [rivalry] of the English and covetousnesse of the old souldiers, protracted by the subtill wiles and feigned submissions of the Earle, by the most cumbrous and disadvantageous difficultie of the Countrie, and by a desperate kinde of people, saving themselves more by good footmanship than their valour, confirmed through the light credulitie of some and the secret favour of others that were in place of authoritie, hartned with one or two fortunate encounters, fed and fomented with Spanish money and Spanish supplies, in the eight yeere after it first brake out, under the happie direction of Queene Elizabeth of sacred memorie, and the fortunate conduct of the Lord Deputie Sir Charles Blunt Baron of Mont-joy (whom afterwards in regard heereof King James created Earle of Devonshire) was most happily dispatched, and firme peace, as we hope, for ever established.


THE place requireth now that I should adde somewhat of the maners of this people, and that verily will I doe, as touching their ancient behaviour out of ancient Historiographers, and concerning the later out of a moderne writer both learned and diligent, who hath set downe these matters most exactly.

As concerning the Irish of ancient times, whenas they were, as all other nations beside in this tract, barbarous and savage, thus much have old authors recorded.

Strabo in his fourth Booke, Of Ireland (saith he) I can deliver nothing for certeine but that the inhabitants thereof are more rude than the Britans: as who both feede upon mans flesh and also devour exceeding much meat, yea, and they thinke it a point of honesty to eate the bodies of their dead parents, and wantonly to have company not onely with other mens wives, but even with their owne mothers and sisters. Which things verily we relate so as having no witnesses heereof that be of sufficient credit. Certes the report goes that the maner is of the Scythians to eat mans flesh, and it is recorded of the Gaules, Spaniards, and many others besides that by occasion of urgent necessitie and extremities of siege they have done the same.

Pomponius Mela in his third Booke writeth thus: The inhabitants are uncivill, ignorant of all vertues, and utterly void of religion.

Solinus in the 24 chapter: When they have atchieved any victorie, the blood of those that are slaine they first drinke, and then besmeare their faces with it. Right and wrong is all one with them. A woman lying in childbed, if she have at any time brought foorth a man-childe, laieth the first meat she gives it upon her husbands sword, and with the very point thereof putteth it softly into the infants mouth, in hansell [down-payment] as it were of the nourishment it shall have heereafter, and with certeine heathenish vowes wisheth that it may die no otherwise than in warre and by the sword. They that endevour to be more handsome and civill than the rest make their sword handles with the teeth of great Whales and such sea monsters, for they be as white as ivory. And why? The men take a principall pride and glory in the keeping of their weapons faire and bright.

2. But these fashions savour of greater antiquity. Their conditions of the middle time Giraldus Cambrensis hath heere and there treated of, and out of him others. But now for their later demeanour, take them heere with you out of the foresaid Modern writer, a studious and painefull [painstaking] man, and that in his owne words, who, as I collect, was named John Good, brought up in Oxford, by profession and calling a Priest, and who about the yeere of our Lord 1566 taught the Schoole at Limirick. But first I will breifely premise [prefix], according to my promise made even now, somewhat as touching the maner of the Jurisdiction that is used among the Mere Irish out of others.

Their great men and Potentates, whose names have the fourth vowel [O] put before them as a marke of preeminence and excellency, as O-Neal, O-Rork, O-Donel &., and many of the rest to whose name Mac is prefixed, have peculier rights and priviledges of their owne, whereby they dominere and Lord it most proudly, and what with tributes, exactions, paiments, and impositions upon their subjects for their souldiours, Galloglasses [retainers], Kearnes and Horsemen, whom they are to finde and maintaine, they so prey upon their goods and estates, and oppresse them at their owne pleasure, that the condition of all those which live under them is most miserable, and so often as there be any civill wars risen among them, they sucke out of them their very marrow and hart bloud.

3. These Nobles or Potentates aforesaid have their Lawyers belonging unto them, whom they tearme Breahons , like as the Gothes named theirs Bellagines : who being in a sort of most unlearned men, upon certaine set daies, on the top of some exceeding high hill, sit to minister justice unto the neighbour inhabitants betweene such as are at variance and goe to law. Before which Judges the Plaintifes with a pitiful voice make moane and complain of the wrongs offered unto them; the defendants stand firmely upon their deniall. If any be convict evidently of theft, they give sentence either to make restitution of the same, or to recompense by a fine imposed upon them. These Potentates also have their Historians about them, who write downe their acts and deeds; they have their Phisitians also, and Rhymers, whom they call Bards, yea and their harpers, who have every one of them their several livelods [livelihoods] and lands set out for them; and of these there be in each territorie severall professours, and those liable to some certaine and severall families; that is to say, the Brehons be of one stocke and name, the Historians of another, and so of the rest: who instruct their owne children or kinsmen every one in their owne art, and have some of them alwaies to be their successors. Now, among these great Lords and Nobles there is no haereditarie right of succession observed, but whoseover of any principall house is of greater puissance in regard of strength, retinewes of followers, and boldnesse, he by a certaine faction or election of the people in that province usurpeth the Lordship and soverainty over the rest, quite excluding the sonnes, nephewes, and next in bloud of the party deceased, and so with certaine complements of barbarous ceremonies is enthronized in the open aire upon a litle hil for that purpose appointed upon a Stone for a chaire of estate. At which time also, by a certain law called Tanistry, there is sometimes nominated and declared a successour, who is termed tanist , I wote not whether by a word borrowed from the Danes, among whom, as among the Northren inhabitants of Britaine, Thane was a long time used for a noble man and the Kings especiall officer.

?But whereas I have incidentally happened of better observations concerning this Brehon law and Tanistry, diligently collected by Sir John Davis his Majesties Atturney generall in Ireland, I hope I may with his good leave impart some of them to publicke knowledge in his owne words.

The severall counties or territories possessed by the Irishry were in number 60 and upwards, and some being greater and some lesse did in extent and scope of land containe two parts of the Kingdome at least, in every one of these countries there was a chiefe Lord or Captaine, and under him a Tanist which was his successor apparent. Both these were elected of the country, who commonly made choise of such as were most active, and had most swordmen and followers depending upon him. The chiefe Lord had certaine lands in Demesne which were called his loghtii or mensall lands in Demense, where he placed his principal officers, namely his Brehon, his Marshall, his Cupbearer, his Phisitian, his Surgeon, his Chronicler, his Rimer, and others; which offices and professions were haereditarie and peculiar to certaine septs and families.

He had also small rents of money, and Cowes, and customarie duties of Oate-meale, Butter, and the like out of the lands in the Countrie, except the lands of the Church and such of his kinsmen and followers to whom hee granted a speciall discharge or freedome. Besides he had a generall tallage [tax] or cutting high or low at his pleasure upon all the inheritance, which hee tooke commonly when he made warre either with his neighbours or against the Crowne of England, or made a journey to the state, or gave any entertainment, so as the whole profits of the countrie were at his disposition when he listed, and soe made the inhabitants like the villaines of England, upon whom their Lords had power tailler haut and bas [to tax high and low], as the phrase of our law is, whereupon the English call this kind of exaction by the name of cutting. This chiefe Lord had his cosharies upon his tenants, and he and his would lie upon them until they had eate up all their provisions. He would likewise employ upon them his horsemen, his kerne [retinue], his horse boyes, his dogges boyes, and the like to be fed and maintained by them, which kept the poore people in continuall slaverie and beggery.

The Tanist had also a speciall portion of land and certaine Chiefrie proper to the Tanist, and within the limits of his portion he had also his cuttings and his coshiries, the rest of the land being distributed among severall septs, ever sept had a cheefe or canfinie, as they called him, with a tanist of that sept, but which were chosen by the chiefe Lord or Captaine of the countrie, and had likewise their severall portions and Chiefries. these Captainships or Cheifries were not partable [divisible], but were entirely enjoyed by such as were elected thereunto.

All the rest of the lands, except the portions of the Cheefes and Tanists, descended in course of Gavelkind [equal inheritance between sons], and were partable among the Males only; in which division the bastards had their portions as well as the Legitimate.

For offences and matters criminall, none was so heinous or of so high a nature as that it was capitall, for treason against the chiefe Lord and murder were fineable, the fine they called an ericke, which was assessed by the Lord and his Brehons.

In cast of treason the Lord had all the fine, in case of murder the Lord had one moietie [half], and the kindred of the partie slaine the other moietie, so as they never forfeited their possessions or their lands for any offence. Howbeit their lands were seised by the Lord for their fines, untill the same were levied thereupon and then restored. Rape was finable in like sort, but theft deserved praise and reward if the stealth were brought into the countrie, because the Lord had a share, and the countrie thereby became the richer.

But the theft committed in the countrie and carried out, if the thiefe were apprehended before his friend made offer of his fine, he was commonly punished with death. But the Lord in that case might take an ericke if he would.

Upon the stealth of any cattell, if the owner followed the tract [trace] (wherein the Irish are incredible cunning, insomuch as they will find the same by the bruising of a grasse in the summer time), if the party unto whose land the tract is brought cannot make it off to some other land, he is to answere the stealth to the owner. And this, being an Irish law or custome, is at this day observed both by the English and Irish, the same being ratefied by an act of Counsell in the Earle of Sussex his government, as fit and necessarie for that Kingdome.

The Brehons assisted by certaine Schollers who had learned many rules of the civill and Canon law rather by tradition than by reading, gave judgement in all causes and had the eleaventh part of the thing adjudged for their fee and the chiefe Lords Marshall did execution.

These are the principall rules and grounds of the Brehon law which the makers of the Statutes of Kilkenny did not without cause call a leaude custome, for it was the cause of much leaudnesse and barbarisme. It gave countenance and encouragement to theft, rape, and murder, it made all possessions uncertaine, whereby it came to passe that there was no building of houses and townes, nor education of children in learning or civility, no exercise of trades or handicrafts, no improvement or manuring of lands, no industry or vertue in use among them, but the people were bred in loosenesse and idlenes, which hath beene the true cause of all the mischiefes and miseries in that Kingdome. ?

4. Now forward, take with you the observations of the said Good, and thus much will I speake beforehand for the man, that in nothing hee shooteth at reproch, but aimeth all at truth, and speaketh onely of those uncivill and meere Irish that ly shrowded in the utmost coasts, and have not as yet suited themselves with civill qualities and conditions.

And to speake in generall of them all, this Nation is strong of bodie and passing noble, stout and haughty in heart, for wit quicke, martiall, prodigall, and carefull of their lives, enduring travail, cold, and hunger, given to fleshly lust, kind and curteous to strangers, constant in love, in enmitie implacable, light of beleefe, greedie of glory, impacient of abuse and injurie, and, as he said in old time, in affections most vehement and passionat: If they be bad, you shall no where meete with worse; if they be good, you can hardly find better.

5. Generally, they give unto their children when they come to holy baptisme profane names, adding alwaies somewhat to the name, taken either from some event, or an old wife, or else some colour, as red, white blacke, or else from a disease, scab, and peeldnesse [baldness], or from one vice or other, as Theefe, Proud &., and albeit they be of all men most impatient of reproch, yet these noblemen of theirs, even they that hath the letter O prefixed to their names, disdaine not those additions. The name of the Parent, or any of the same kinred then living, it is not lawfull to give unto children: for they are perswaded that their death is hastened thereby. But when the father is dead, then the sonne assumeth his name least the name should be lost, and if any Auncestour of that name were a redoubted warriours, the like proesse and valour is expected from him. This opinion is encreased by their Poets, Bardes, or Rymers, who keepe the exploits of those ancient Progenitours recorded in writing, which they peece out with many high praises and fables devised of their owne braine; whereby these Rymers or Bards grow rich. For new wedded brides and women in child-bed thinke themselves discredited if they bestow not upon one of these Praise-Praiers the best garments they have. Mothers, after six daies that they be brought abed, company with their husbands afresh, and put forth their young babes to nource. they that be of the more noble parentage shall have a number of nources repaire unto them streightwaies from farre, which make suit for the nourcing of the infant; and of these foster-children they make more account than of their owne which they beare. And although they are most intemperate, by reason of the distemperature of the aire and the moisture both of the ground and of their meats, in regard also that all law is exiled, and albeit they thinke it is a shame for themselves to give their owne children the brest, yet for this their nurcelings sake, both man and wife absteine from carnall company together. And if they doe otherwise, they entertaine another nource under the them at their owne charges. And nources there be among them as many well neere as there are young wenches for their servants, and to have the suckling of the little child, they count a suffient reward for being naught of their bodies. Now if this infant fortune to be sicke they fall to besprinckle it with the stalest urine they can get, and for a preservative against all misfortunes they hang about the childrens neckes not onely the beginning of Saint Johns Gospell, but also a crooked naile taken out of an horses shoe, or else a piece of a wolves skinne. And for that purpose as well nources as infants weare girdles platted of womens haire. To their lovers also, it is knowne, they send bracelets finely wrought of these haires. Whether their minde is herein of Venus girdle called Cestos, I wote not. The Foster fathers take much more paines, bestow more goods by farre, and shew greater love unto their foster children than they doe to their owne children. From these children not so much by due claime of right receive, as by force wrest, even with taking stresses and driving away booties, apparell, maintenance for their pleasures, money wherwith to buy them armour, yea and to spend in all kind of their leauwdnesse their dowries also and stockes of cattaile. All those that have beene nourced by the same women love one another more deerely, repose greater trust in them, than if they were their naturall whole brethren and sisters, insomuch as in comparison of these and for their sakes they even hate their naturall brethren and sisters. Be they reproved at any time by their owne parents. They fly to these their foster-fathers and, being hartened by them, breake out oftentimes even unto open warre against their said parents, taking instructions from them to all leawd and vilanous prankes, they become most ungracious and desperate. Sembably the nources traine up those maidens which they reare to all obscurity and filthinesse. If any of these foster children chance to fall sicke, a man would not beleeve how quickly their nources heere of it, yea though they dwell many a mile off, how pensively they attend and watch by the sicke body night and day. To conclude, the greatest corruptions of Ireland are thought to spring from these foster-fathers and nources, and from nought else.

6. That these Irish people are both of an hoter and moister nature than other nations we may well conjecture. And this we gather by their wonderfull soft skinne, which doubtlesse commeth as well by the nature of the soile as by certaine artificiall bathings and exercise that they use. By reason also of the same tendernesse of their muskles, they also excell in nimblenesse and flexibility of all parts of the body, as it is incredible. Given they are to idlenesse above all things: they reckon it the greatest riches to take no paine, and count it the most pleasure to enjoy liberty. Delighted they are above measure in musicke, but especially in the harpe with wire-strings, which they warble upon with their nimble fingers most melodiously. Doe any of them betake themselves to religion? A wonder it is to see how they mortifie and keepe their bodies under with a devout kind of austerity, watching, praying, and making themselves leane with much fasting, so that it is no mervaile which is written of their monkes in the age afore-going. Yea the very women and young maidens fast duly upon every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the whole yeere. Some of them also fast upon Saint Catharines festivall day, and this they faile not to doe upon Christmas day if it so fall out, even when they be most grievously sicke. Some make this to be the cause for maidens, that they may be sped with good husbands; for wives, that they may change for a better marriage, either by the death of their husbands or by forsaking them, or at least wise by alteration of their conditions. But they that have once given themselves over to leawdnesse are more leawd than leawdnesse it selfe.

Their garments they die with the barkes of trees that English men name Alders. They use also Elder-berries to colour their woole yellow. With the boughes, barke and leaves of the poplar tree bruised and stamped they staine their large wide shirts with a saffran colour, which now are almost out of use, and adding thereunto the rine [bark] of the wild Arbut tree, salt together with saffran. And whatsoever they die, they doe not so much boile it long over the fire as drench and steepe the same for certaine daies togither among other things in cold urine of man or woman, that the yellow colour may be more durable.

7. They account it no shame or infamy to commit robberies, which they practise everywhere with exceeding cruelty. When they goe to robbe they powre out their praiers to God that they may meete with a booty, and they suppose that a cheat or booty is sent unto them from God as His gift; neither are they perswaded that either violence, or rapine, or manslaughter displeaseth God, for in no wise would He present unto them this opportunitie if it were a sinne; nay, a sinne it were if they did not lay hold upon the said opportunitie. You shall heare these Cutthroats and Incendiaries come out with these words, God is mercifull, and would not suffer the price of His bloud to be of no effect in me. Moreover, they say that they walke in their fathers steps; that this maner of life was left unto them; also, that it were a disparigement of their nobility if they would get their living by handie labour, and forbeare committing such facts. As they are setting forth to a boot-haling [robbery], or to doe any other businesse, they marke whom they meet first in the morning: if they speed well, they lay for to meete with him oft; if otherwise, they heedfully avoid him. To sleepe and snore in a most stormie night, and not to dispatch a verie long way by night on foot, nor to adventure upon any daunger whatsoever in spoiling and robbing, they take to be tokens of a base and abject minde. Of late daies, they spare neither Churches nor hallowed places, but thence also they fil their hands with spoile, yea and somtimes they set them on fire and kill the men that there lie hidden. And the cause heereof is the most filthy life of their Priests, who of churches make profane houses, and keepe harlots who follow them whethersoever they goe; but when they are cast off, seeke cunning devises to doe mischiefe by poisons. The Priests Lemmans [mistresses] and their bastards abide within the circuit of a Church, drinke untill they be drunke, lie together, shed bloud, and keepe up their cattell there. Among those wild Irish there is neither divine service, nor any forme of Chappell but outwardly. No Altars at all, or else they be filthily polluted. The image of the Rood or Crosse defaced, if there be any at all. The sacred vestiments are so foule and nasty that they would make one to cast up his stomacke. The Altar portable without any crosses emprinted upon it, and by some abuse or other polluted. The Missal or Masse booke all torne, and bereft of the Canon; yet the same is tendred to all othes and perjuries. The Chalice of lead without a cover to it, the small vessells for wine made of a horne. The Priests minde nothing but gathering of goods and getting of children. The Persons [parsons] play the Vicar, and that of many Parishes together: they make a great shew of the Canon-Law, but have never a jot of learning. They have their children to succeed them in their Churches, for whose illegitimation they are dispensed with. These will not take the order of Priest-hood, but commit the charge to the Curates without any stipend, that they may live by the booke, that is, upon some small gift or oblation at the Baptisme, Inunction [christening], and Burial, where with God wote they live most bare and miserable.

8. These Priests sonnes that follow not their studies proove for the most part notorious theeves. For they that carry the name of Mac-Decan, Mac-Pherson, Mac Ospack, that is, The Deanes or Deacons son, the Persons son, and the Bishops son, are the strongest theeves that bee, and the more able by their parents liberality to raise a power of unrulie rebels, and the rather because, following their fathers steps, they maintaine Hospitality. As for the daughters of these Priests, if their fathers be living, they are set forth with good portions in case they wed. But if their fathers be dead, either they beg or prostitute their bodies.

At every third word it is ordinary with them to lash out an oth, namely by the Trinity, by God, by S. Patrick, by S. Brigid, by their Baptisme, by Faith, by the Church, by my God-fathers hand, and by thy hand. And albeit by these they sweare, with the sacred Bible or Missal laid most religiously upon their bare heads, yea and be forsworne, yet if one say they stand in danger of damnation for perjury, you shall heere them streightweies crie aloud, The Lord is mercifull, and will not suffer the price of His bloud shed for me to be of no effect in me. Never shall I goe to Hell, repent I or repent I not. But for the performance of promise and that a man may beleeve them, these three points with them be of greatest weight to binde them. First, if one sweare at the alter touching the booke lying open, and the same laid on the crowne of his hed. Second, if he take to record some Saint whose crooked staf or bell he toucheth and kisseth. Thirdly, if he sweare by the hand of an Earle, or of his owne Lord, or some mighty person. For then, if he be convict of perjury, by the two former he incurreth infamie, but in case he be forsworne by the third, the said mighty man will wring from him perforce a great summe of mony and a number of Cowes, as if by that perjury the greatest abuse and injury that might be were offered unto his name. For Cowes are their onely wealth and of greatest esteeme. Touching which cattaile, this seemeth not unworthy the observation. Most certaine it is (as he writeth) that Cowes in Ireland give no milke unlesse their owne Calfe be set by their side alive, or else the skin of the dead Calfe stuffed with straw, so as it may carry the resemblance of a live one, for in that skin they acknowledge the sent, as it were, of their owne wombe. If a Cowe go dry or hold up their milke, they send for a witch, who by herbes may cause her to cast her love upon another Cowes calfe, that so she may give downe her milke.

9. Towne-dwellers seldome make any contract of marriage with them of the Country, and these passe their promise not for present, but for the future time, or else give assent without any deliberation. Whence it is that for every light falling out they part asunder, the husband to another woman, the wife to another husband; neither is it ever knowen for certainty whether their contracts have beene true or false before they give up their last gaspe. Hence rise contentions about the possession of lands, hence grow robberies, depredations, manslaughters, and deadly hatred. Them women that are cast off goe to witches for counsell, who are thought verily to bring upon the former husband or his new married wife either barrainnesse or impotency in the act of generation, or else most dangerous diseases. for all of them are mervelously prone to incest, and nothing is there so common as divorces under pretence of conscience. The women as well as the men make very great account of the haire or glibbes [locks] of their heads, especially if they be of a golden colour and long withall. For they shew and lay them outplated [braided] to the full length in a bravery, and suffer them when they are finely and trimly curled to hange downe, when in the meane time they wrap in fouldes and rols about their heads many els [yards] of the finest linnen or sendal. This kinde of Coronet or head-tire they all weare that are able to get it, after their childbirth, whether it be in wedlocke or by playing the whores.

10. To these may be added a number of superstitions. I cannot tell whether the wilder sort of Irishry yeeld divine honour unto the Moone. For when they see her first after the change, commonly they bow the knee and say over the Lords praier, and; so soone as they have made an end they speake unto the Moone with a lowd voice in this manner: Leave us as whole and sound as thou hath found us. They take unto them Wolves to bee their Godsibs [God-brothers], whom they tearme Chari Christ, praying for them and wishing them well, and so they are not affraid to bee hurt by them. The shoulder blade bone of a sheepe, when the flesh is cleane taken from it, they use to looke through, and thereby foretell of some corse [corpse] shortly to bee carried out of that house, if they spie any darke and duskish spotte in it. They take her for a wicked woman and watch what ever shee bee, that commeth to fetch fire from them on May-day (neither will they give any fire then but unto a sicke body, and that with a curse), for because they thinke the same woman will the next summer steale awaie all their butter. If they finde an hare amongst their heards of cattaile on the said May daie, they kill her, for they suppose shee is some old trot that would filch away their butter. They are of opinion that there butter, if it bee stolen, will soone after bee restored againe, in case they take away some of the thatch that hangeth over the house of the doore, and cast it into the fire. And upon these Calends or first day of May, they fully beleeve that to set a greene bough of a tree before their houses will cause them to have great abundance of milke all summer long. In their townes, when any magistrate entreth first upon his office, the wives along the streets and the maidens out of windowes bestrew them and their followers with wheat and salt. And before they sow their seed in the corne field, the goodwife or Mistresse of the house sendeth salt to the said field, That the Kites may not swoupe away their chickens, they hange up in someplace of the house roufe the eg-shels out of which the said chickens were hatched. To rubbe their horse heeles, or to currie their bodies with a curry-combe, or to gather grasse to meate [feed] them with, it is not lawfull upon a Saturday, whereas they will not sticke to doe all this upon other daies, bee they never so high and festivall.

11. If they never give fire out of the house unto their neighbours, they are perswaded, their horses shall live the longer, and continue sound. If the owners of horses eat egges, they must looke unto it that they bee even in number, otherwise their horses will be in danger. Hors-breakers and horse keepers are forbidden to eat egges. A custome there is also among them that horsemen, after they have eaten egges, doe wash their hands. When an horse is dead, they hang up his feet and legges in the house, yea their verie houfes are esteemed as an hallowed and sacred relique. In no case must you praise an horse or any other beast untill you say God save him or unlesse you spit upon him. If any harme befall the horse within three daies after, they seeke him out that praised him, that he may mumble the Lords praier in his right eare. They thinke there bee some that bewitch their horses with looking upon them, and then they use the helpe of some old hagges, who, saying a few praiers with a lowde voice, make them well againe. There is a certaine small worme breeding in their horses feete which, creeping on still by little and little, breedeth a great many of the same kinde, and corrupteth the bodie: against this worme they send for a wise woman, who is brought to the horse on two severall Mon-daies and one Thurs-day. Shee breatheth upon the place where the worme lieth, and after shee hath rehersed a charme the horse recovereth. This charme they teach many for a peece of money, making them to sweare that they will not reveal it to anybody.

12. Against all maladies and mischeifs whatsoever the women have effectuall enchauntmentes or charmes, as they suppose, divided and parted amongst them, each one her severall enchantment, and the same of divers forces: unto whom every man according as his mischance requireth speedeth himselfe for helpe. They say alwaies both before and after their charmes a Pater Noster, and an Ave Maria. When any man hath caught a fall upon the ground, forthwith hee starteth uppe againe on his feete, and turneth himselfe round three times toward his right hand, with his sworde, skein, or knife he diggeth into the earth and fetcheth up a turfe, for that, they say, the earth doth yeelde a spirite; and if within some two or three daies he fell sicke, there is sent a woman skilfull in that kinde unto the said place, and there she saith on this wise: I call thee P. from the East and West, South and North, from the forests, woods, rivers, meeres, the wilde wood-fayries, white, redde, blacke &. And withall bolteth out certaine short prayers. Then returneth she home unto the sicke party, to try whither it bee the disease called Esane, which they are of opinion is sent by the Fairies, and whispereth a certain odde praier with a Pater Noster into his eare, putteth some coles into a pot ful of faire water, and so giveth more certaine judgement of the disease than many of our physicians can.

Their warrefaire consisteth of horsemen, of souldiors set in the rere gard, whom they terme Galloglasses, who fight with most keene hatchets, and of light armed footmen called Kernes, whose service is with dartes and skeanes [short-swords]. To give an acclamation and shout unto every footman or horseman as he goeth out of the gate is counted lucky and fortunate. Hee who hath no such applause is thought to have some mischeife portended unto him. In warre they use the bagpipe in steed of a trumpet. They cary about them Amulets, they recite certain praiers, and in joyning battaile they crie as loud as possible they can Pharroh (I suppose this to be that military Barritus which Ammianus speaketh of), with this perswasion, that he who crieth not as loud as the rest shal have this accident befall unto him, sodainlie to bee taken up from the ground and carried, as it were, flying in the aire (avoiding ever after the sight of men) into a certaine vaile in Kerry, as I have said before.

13. Such as visite and sit by one that lieth sicke in bed never speake word of God, nor of the salvation of his soule, ne yet of making his will, but all to put him in hope of his recovering. If any one call for the sacrament, him they count past hope and recovery. The wives passe [care] not for any will-making, because it is growne now to bee a common custome that a third part of the goods shall bee given unto them, and the rest to bee divided by even portions among the children, saving that when they come to enter upon the inheritance, he that is mightiest carieth away the best share. For he that is strongest, be he unkle or nephew, most times siezeth upon the inheritance and shutteth the children out of all. When one lieth ready to die, before hee is quite gone, certaine women hired of purpose to lament, standing in the meeting of crosse high-waies and holding their hands all abroad, call unto him with certaine out-cries fitted for the nonce, and goe about to stay his soule as it laboureth to get forth of the bodie, by reckoning up the commodities that hee enjoyeth of wordly goods, of wives, of beauty, fame, kinsfolke, friends, and horses, and demanding of him why hee will depart and whither, and to whom, Yea they expostulate with his soule, objecting that she is unthankefull. At length they piteously make moane and say that the soule, now readie to leave the bodie, is going away to these kinde of haggish women that appeere by night and in darkenesse. But after it is departed once out of the bodie, they keepe a-mourning and wailing for it, with loud howling and clapping of their hands together. Now they follow the corps when it goeth to buriall, with such peale of out-cries that a man would thinke the quicke as well as the dead past all recoverie. In these wailings and lamentations, the nources, daughters and concubines make the greatest adoe and are most vehement. Neither doe they mourne with lesse sorrow and heavinesse for those that are slaine in battaile than such as die of sicknesse, although they affirme that they have an easier death who loose their lives in fighting in the field, or in robbing. Yet notwithstanding, they raile upon their enemies with most spitefull words, and continue for a long time deadly hatred against all of that Sept and kinred. They suppose that the soules of such as are deceased goe into the company of certaine men famous in those places, touching whom they reteine still fables and songs, as of Giantes, Fin-Mac-Huyle, Osker Mac-Oshin, and they say that by illusion they often times doe see such.

14. As for their meates, they feed willingly upon herbs and watercresses especially, upon Mushromes, Shamroots and rootes, so that Strabo not without good cause said they were ........, i. e. Eaters of herbs , for which in some copies is falsely read ........., i.e. Great Eaters. They delight also in butter tempered with ote meale, in milke, whey, beefe-broth, and flesh oftentimes without any bread at all. As for the corne that they have, they lay it up for their horses provender, for whom verily they are especially carefull. When they be hunger-bitten in time of dearth, they disdaine not to devour raw flesh, after they have pressed out the bloud thereof, and for to concoct and digest it, they swill in and powre down the throat Uskebah [whiskey] draught after draught. They let their kine blood also, which when it is growne to a gelly and strewed over with butter, they eat with good appetite.

15. They goe for the most part bare headed, unlesse it be when they put on an headpeace. The haire of their head they weare long, and nothing set they greater store by than the glibbes or tresses of their haires, and to have the same plucked or twitched, they take it for a contumelious indignity. They use linnen shirts, and those verily exceeding large, with wide sleeves and hanging side downe to their very knees, which they were wont to steine with saffron. LIttle jackets they have of wollen, and those very short; breeches most plaine and close to their thighs. But they cast over these their mantells or shagge Rugges, which Isidore seemeth to cal heteromallae , with a deepe fringed purfle [border], and the same deintily set out with sundry collours: within which they lappe themselves in the night, and sweetly sleepe on the very ground. Such also doe the women cast over the side garment that they weare downe to the foote, and with elnes (as I said) of Sendall [fine linen] rolled up in wreathes, they rather load than adorne their heads, like as they doe their neckes with chaines and karkaneth, their armes also with bracelets. These are the manners of the wilde Irish, out of our author. In the rest, for the most part all that inhabite the English pale (as they terme it), there is no point of courtesie and civility wanting, for which they are beholden to the English conquest, and for much more might the whole Island be beholden unto it, in case [except] upon a certaine peevish and obstinate love they beare unto their owne country fashions, they had not stopped their eares and shut up their hearts against better governance. For the Irishry are so stifly settled in observing of the old rites of their country, that not only they cannot be with-drawn from them, but also are able easily to draw the English unto the same (so prone is mans nature to entertaine the worst) , that one would not beleeve in how short a time some English among them degenerate and grow out of kinde.


THUS far forward was the Printers presse a-going when the Honourable Lord William Howard of Naworth, for the love that he beareth unto the studies of antiquity, willingly imparted unto me the Manuscript Annales of Ireland from the yere of our Salvation MCLII unto the yere MCCCLXX. Which I thought good to publish, considering that after Giraldus Cambrensis there is nothing, to my knowledge, extant better in this kind; and because so noble and worthy a person, whose they were by right in private before, permitted so much. Unto whom the very same thankes in maner are dulie to be yeelded for bringing them to light, that were to be given unto the author himselfe who first recorded them in writing. And albeit they are penned in a style somewhat rude and barrain (as those times required), yet much matter is therein contained that may illustrate the Irish Historie, and would have given good light unto me if they had not come to my hands so late. Take them heere therefore truely and faithfully exemplified, even as I found them, with all their imperfections and faults; and if you have any better, impart them with semblable courtesie unto us. If not, make use of these with us, untill some one come forth and shew himselfe, that wil helpe us to a fuller Chronicle, and happilie continue the same in length even unto our daies with more elegancie of phrase, which verily would no painfull worke to be performed.

[The medieval monastic chronicle, published here by Camden, is omitted from the present edition. - D. F. S.]

Thus far forth were continued the Annales of Ireland which came to my hands, and upon which I have bestowed these few pages to gratifie them that may delight therein. As for the nice and deintie readers who would have all writings tried to the touch of Augustus his daies, I know they can yeeld no pleasing relish to them, in regard of the harsh words and the saplesse dry stile, familiar unto that age wherein they were penned. Neverthelesse, I would have those to remember that History both beareth, brooketh, and requireth the Authors of all ages; also, that they are to looke as well for reall and substantiall knowledge from some, as for the verball and literall learning from others.

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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