In the † Last Age.
⌈By Mr. Camden.⌉
TO say nothing of O-Neal the Great, who before the arrival of St. Patrick tyranniz’d in Ulster and a great part of Ireland; nor of those after him, who were too obscure for History: This family has been of no eminence since the English set foot in that Kingdom, save only during the space in which Edward Brus the Scot assum’d the title of King of Ireland. In those troublesome times Dovenald O-Neal began to exert himself, and in his Letter to the PopeScoto-Chronicon l.12. c.26. us’d this stile, Dovenald O-Neal, King of Ulster and right heir by descent of all Ireland. Yet this new King soon vanish’d, upon the ceasing of those troubles, and his posterity continu’d in obscurity till the wars between the houses of York and Lancaster embroil’d the Kingdom of England, and the English then in Ulster were oblig’d to return home to support their respective parties, and commit the Province to the charge of the O-Neals. At that time, Henry O-Neal, the son of Oen or Eugenius O-Neal, marry’d the daughter of Thomas Earl of Kildare; and his son Con More, or Con the Great, marry’d the daughter of Girald Earl of Kildare, his mother’s Neice. Being thus supported with the power and interest of the Earls of Kildare, who had administer’d the affairs of Ireland for many years, they began to lord it with great tyranny over the people, under no other title than the bare name of O-Neal; insolently slighting those of Prince, Duke, Marquiss, Earl, &c. as mean, and inferiour to it. Con, the son of this Con, sirnamed Bacco, i.e. lame, succeeded his father in this dignity of O-Neal; who denounced a curse upon such of his posterity, as should learn to speak English, or sow corn, or build houses; fearing that these would tempt the English to invade them. King Henry VIII. had already humbled the Family of Kildare, and began to be jealous of the O-Neals; who had been aiding to the former in their rebellions; which terrify’d him so much, that he came into England voluntarily, and renounc’d the title of O-Neal, and surrender’d all he had into the King’s hands: who, by his Letters-Patents under the great Seal, restor’d them, with the title of Earl of Tir-Oen, to have and to hold,The first Earl of Tir-Oen. to him and his son Matthew (falsy so call’d) and to the Heirs of their bodies lawfully begotten. Matthew at the same time was created Baron of Dunganon; who, till the fifteenth year of his age, pass’d for the son of a Black-smith in Dundalk, whose wife had been a concubine of this Con’s, and then presented the lad to him as his son. Accordingly he receiv’d him as such, and set aside his own son John, or Shan,Shan or John O-Neal. as they call him, with the rest of the children which he had had by his lawful wife. Shan, seeing a Bastard preferr’d before him and advanc’d to this dignity, took fire immediately, and became an utter enemy to his father; with such violent hatred and enmity against Matthew, that he murther’d him; and so plaug’d the old man with affronts and indignities (attempting to dispossess him of his estate and honours) that he dy’d of grief.
Shan was presently chosen and proclaim’d O-Neal, after which he enter’d upon the Estate; and, to secure himself in the enjoyment of it, made diligent search after the sons of Matthew; but they had made their escape. Yet Brian, the eldest, was slain not long after by Mac-Donel Totan, of the family of O-Neal, and upon Shan’s instigation, as was reported. Hugh and Cormack made their escape by the assistance of the English, and are living † † Ann. 1607.at this day. Shan, being possess’d of the Government, and being also of a barbarous cruel temper, began to tyrannize among the Gentry of Ulster after an intolerable manner; boasting that he had the Mac-Gennys, Mac-Guir, Mac-Mahon, O-Realy, O-Hanlon, O-Cahan, Mac-Brien, O-Hagan, O-Quin, Mac-Canna, Mac-Cartan, and the Mac-Donells, the Galloglasses, his Subjects.
Being called to account for these things by H. Sidney, who governed in the absence of the Earl of Sussex Lord Deputy; he answer’d, That, as the undoubted and legitimate son and heir of Con, born by his lawful wife, he had enter’d upon his father’s estate; that Matthew was the son of a Black-smith of Dundalk, born of his wife Alison, who had cunningly obtruded him upon his father Con as his son, to deprive him of the estate and dignity of the O-Neals; and that, supposing he had been so tame as to bear this injury, not another of the family of O-Neal would have endur’d it: That as for the Letters Patents of Henry VIII, they were null and void, forasmuch as Con had no right in any of those things which he surrender’d to the King, but for his own life; and that he had not the disposal of them, without the consent of the Nobility and People who elected him O-Neale: neither were Patents of this nature of any force, but where the true heir of the family was first certify’d upon the oath of twelve men; which was omitted in this case: Lastly, that he was right heir, both by the Laws of God and man, being the eldest son of his father, born in wedlock, and elected O-Neal by the unanimous consent of the Nobility and People, according to the Law of Tanestry, whereby a man at his full age is to be preferr’d before a boy, and an unkle before a nephew whose Grandfather surviv’d the Father; neither had he assum’d any greater authority over the Nobility of Ulster, than his Ancestors had ever done; as he could sufficiently prove from the Records.
Not long after, he fought O-Rayly, and defeated him; took Callogh O-Donell, put him in prison with all his children, ravish’d his wife and had issue by the adultery, seiz’d all his castles, lands and moveables, and made himself Monarch of Ulster.
But hearing, that Thomas Earl of Sussex, the Lord Deputy, was upon his march to chastise his insolence; he was so terrified, that upon the perswasion of his Kinsman Girald Earl of Kildare (who had been restor’d to his estate by Queen Mary) he went into England, and threw himself on the mercy of Queen Elizabeth, who receiv’d him graciously; and so having promised allegiance for the future, he return’d home, where for some time he went on in a civiliz’d way both in diet and apparel, and drove the Scots out of Ulster (having slain James Mac-Conell their Captain) kept himself and his people in good order, and protected the weak, but continued insolent and cruel to the Nobility; insomuch that they petition’d the Lord Deputy for protection and relief. Whereupon, he grew more outragious, dispossess’d Mac-Guir, Lord of Fermanagh (who had secretly inform’d against him) with fire and sword, burnt the Metropolitan Church of Armagh, and besieged Dundalk; but this last prov’d ineffectual, partly by the valour of the Garrison, and partly by the apprehension of being surpriz’d by William Sarfield, the Mayor of Dublin, who was on his march towards him with the flower of the City. However, he made cruel ravages in the adjacent Country. To put a stop to these bold and outragious proceedings, Henry Sidney Lord Deputy, 1565.Sidney the Lord Deputy set out himself, and was advanced at the head of an Army against him; but wisely detach’d seven companies of foot and a * * Ala.troop of horse to go before-hand, under the conduct of Edward Randolph a famous old soldier, by sea, into the North parts of Ireland; where they encamp’d at Derry upon Loghfoil, to be upon the rear of the enemy. Shan fearing this, immediately march’d thither, and with all his force endeavour’d to remove them: upon this attack, Randolph gave him battel; and though he valiantly lost his own life in the engagement, yet he gave the enemy such a defeat, that from that time forward they were never able to keep the field. So that Shan, finding himself weaken’d by slight skirmishes, and deserted by his soldiers, was once resolv’d to go and throw himself with a halter about his neck, at the mercy of the Lord Deputy: But his Secretary perswading him in the first place to solicit the friendship of the Scots, who under the conduct of Alexander Oge, i.e. the younger, were now encamp’d in Claneboy; he sent Surley boy, Alexander’s brother, whom he had detain’d prisoner a long time, to prepare the way, and soon after follow’d with the wife of O-Donell, whom he had ravish’d. The Scots received him kindly, and with a few of his adherents he was admitted into a tent, where, after some cups, they began to resent the fate of James Mac-Conell, the brother of Alexander, whom Shan had kill’d,Shan murder’d. and the dishonour done to James’s sister, whom Shan had marry’d and then put away; whereupon Alexander Oge and his brother Mac-Gillaspic, took fire, and giving the signal for revenge, all fell upon Shan with their drawn swords, and run him through and through: by whose death, peace was restored to that Province in the year 1567.
A little after this, a Parliament was held at Dublin, wherein an Act passed for the Attainder of Shan, and for annexing most of the Counties and Seignories of Ulster to the person of the Queen and her Successors; and it was also enacted,The title of O-Neal abolished. that none should hereafter assume the stile and title of O-Neal. Notwithstanding, it was soon after assum’d by Turlogh Leinigh, Brother’s son to the Con More O-Neal, already spoken of; who was now towards the decline of his age, and therefore more calm and wary; and the rather, because he lay under apprehensions from Shan’s sons, and Hugh Baron of Dungannon his son, though he had marry’d his daughter to him; whom he put away soon after, and married another. This Turlogh, being very obsequious and dutiful to the Queen of England, gave no disturbance to the English, but prov’d a very troublesom neighbour to O-Donell and the Island-Scots, and in a skirmish cut off Alexander Oge, who had kill’d Shan O-Neal. Hugh, the son of Matthew, called Baron of Dungannon, who for a long while had liv’d, sometimes obscurely in his own country, and sometimes in England in the service of some of our Nobility; began to rise from this mean condition, to some degree of eminence. The Queen made him Captain of a troop of horse in the war against the Earl of Desmond, and allow’d him a yearly pension of a thousand marks: whereupon, he behaved himself gallantly against the rebels in all encounters, and at length exhibited a Petition in Parliament, That by virtue of a Grant made to his Grandfather, an Act might be pass’d for his restitution to the title and dignity of Earl of Tir-Oen, and the estate of his Ancestors.
As for the title and dignity of Earl of Tir-Oen,Hugh, son of Matthew, made Earl of Tiroen. it was granted without difficulty; but the estate of his Ancestors being annex’d to the Crown by the Attainder of Shan O-Neal, it was wholly referr’d to the Queen, who graciously gave it him in consideration of his services already done her, and those she expected hereafter. Yet, first, she provided that the Province should be survey’d and laid out into proper districts, and that one or two places should be reserv’d in her own hands for garrisons, particularIy the Fort at Black-water; that provision should be made for the maintenance of the sons of Shan and Turlogh; and that he should pretend to no authority over any neighbouring Seignories beyond the County of Tir-Oen. Having willingly embrac’d these conditions, he return’d his most humble thanks to her Majesty, with great expressions of the reality of his Intentions and of his sincere resolution to be wanting in nothing which Application could effect: And indeed it must be said, that he performed his promise, and that the Queen could expect no more from the most faithful subject she had, than he did for her. He had a body made to endure labour, watching, and want; his industry was great, his mind warlike and capable of the highest employments: he had great knowledge in the affairs of war, and was so profound a dissembler, that some foretold at that time, He would either prove the greatest good, or the greatest hurt, to Ireland. He gave such testimonies of his valour and loyalty, that the Queen herself interceded with Turlogh Leinigh for his Seignory, and got him to surrender it upon conditions. After Leinigh’s death, he usurp’d the title of O-Neal, notwithstanding it was made capital by Act of Parliament; excusing it, as done to anticipate others who were ready to assume it, and promising to relinquish it; but beg’d earnestly1588. that no oath might be press’d upon him for performance.
About this time,Earl of Tir-Oen suspected of corresponding with the Spaniards. the Spanish Armada, which had in vain attempted to invade England, was dispersed and destroy’d; many of them in their return were shipwreck’d in the Irish Sea, and great numbers of the Spaniards thrown upon the coast of Ireland. The Earl of Tir-Oen was said to have receiv’d some of them with great kindness, and to have treated with them about making a private league between him and the King of Spain. Upon this account, he was accus’d before the Queen (and no slight evidence brought against him) by Hugh Ne-Gaveloc, i.e. in Fetters, a natural son of Shan, and so call’d from his being kept in Fetters for a long time; which so enraged the Earl, that, afterwards, he had him apprehended, and commanded him to be strangled, but had much ado to find an Executioner, the people had so great a veneration for the blood of the O-Neals. Queen Elizabeth had still such hopes of the Earl, that out of her Royal clemency, upon his Repentance and suit for mercy, she pardon’d this barbarous and inhuman Parricide; notwithstanding the dissuasions of some good men about her. There was also another thing that gall’d him at this time: the Lord Deputy had extinguish’d the name of Mac-Mahon in the next County, and, to suppress the power of that great family, had divided the County among several; whereupon the Earl was apprehensive he would go on, and serve him and the other Lords of Ulster after the same manner. Dissensions between the Earl and Henry Bagnall, Marshal of Ireland, broke out likewise at this time; for the Earl had marry’d Bagnall’s Sister, by force. The Earl complain’d that whatever he had reduc’d in Ulster to the subjection of the Queen, at the expence of his own blood and labour, was no way advantageous to him, but to the Marshal; that the Marshal, having suborn’d certain profligate fellows to witness against him, had impeach’d him of high treason; that by his arts and instigation he had made William Fitz-Williams, the Lord Deputy, his bitter enemy; and that he had lain in ambush for his life. This is certain, that all that the Lord Deputy had writ upon that subject, was believ’d in the Court of England, till the Earl, to clear himself, writ into England, that he would stand his trial either there or in Ireland.
New Rebellion in Ulster. And it is also plain, that he and the other Lords of Ulster enter’d into a secret combination about this time, That they would defend the Roman-Catholick Religion (for rebellion is never set afoot now, but under pretence and colour of religion;) That they would suffer no Sheriffs nor Garrisons to be within the compass of their territories; and, That they would stand by one another in maintaining their rights, and jointly resist all Invasions of the English. The first that gave the alarm, was Mac-Gwire, a man of a turbulent spirit, who ravag’d the country about him, and enter’d Conaght, accompanied with one Gauran a Priest, whom the Pope had made Primate of Ireland, and who exhorted him to depend upon God and try his fortune, and assur’d him that the Event would answer his expectation. Yet it happen’d quite otherwise; for Mac-Gwire was routed by Richard Bingham, and the Primate himself was cut off, with many others. Soon after, Mac-Guire broke out into open Rebellion, and was pursu’d by the Marshal, and by the Earl himself under pretence of loyalty; who receiv’d a wound in the thigh, and great applause for his valour. Yet at the same time he was so intent upon his own safety, that he intercepted the sons of Shan O-Neal, to prevent the mischief they might do him; and though the restitution of them was demanded, he answer’d nothing to the purpose, but made heavy complaints of the injuries done him by the Lord Deputy, the Marshal, and the Garrisons; which notwithstanding he dissembled so well, that he came afterwards to the Deputy as if he had forgot all, submitted himself, and, promising loyalty and entire obedience, return’d home.
1594. William Fitz-Williams being recall’d out of Ireland,Russel Lord Deputy. William Russel was made Lord Deputy in his place. The Earl voluntarily went to him, promising a perfect obedience to his Lordship’s commands in everything, and sent letters to some of her Majesty’s Council to the same effect; entreating earnestly that he might be receiv’d again into the Queen’s favour, which he had lost by no demerit or disloyalty of his own, but purely by the false suggestions of Enemies. Articles against the Earl of Tir-Oen. Bagnal the Marshal at the same time exhibited articles of accusation against him; That the Earl himself had sent Mac-Gwire, with the Primate, into Conaght; that he was in the combination of Mac-Gwire, O-Donell, and other Conspirators; that he had assisted them in wasting Monaghan, and in the siege of Inis-Kellin, by his brother Cormac Mac-Baron and his bastard son Con; and had by his threatnings drawn the Governours of Kilulto and Kilwarny from their allegiance to the Queen. Upon this, it was warmly debated in Council, whether or no the Earl should be apprehended, to answer to this Information. The Lord Deputy was for apprehending him, but most of the Council, out of fear or favour to the Earl, were for dismissing him at present, and deferring the tryal to another time. Whereupon the Lord Deputy, in respect to the majority, and their great experience in the affairs of that Kingdom, desisted, though much against his own inclination; and the Earl was dismissed; but his accusers not so much as heard. The Queen was extremely concern’d at this oversight (for his dangerous designs and actions began now to appear plain to every body;) and the more, because she had warn’d the Lord Deputy to detain the Earl in custody, till he should answer to the crimes charg’d upon him.
The Earl takes Black-water. As soon as the Earl got home, and heard of a reinforcement coming from England, and that 1300 veterans, who had serv’d under the command of John Norris in Bretagne, were now also transporting thither from Holland; as also that the English had a design upon Ballishannon and Belyk, two castles at the end of Lough Ern; and being conscious of what he had done; he surpriz’d the Fort upon Black-water, which open’d a passage into his County of Ter-Oen, and forc’d it to surrender. His resolutions however were so various, and uncertain, that he wrote to the Earl of Kildare, to offer his assistance against the Injuries of the Lord Deputy; as also to the Earl of Ormond, and Henry Wallop, * * Proquæstori.proquaestoriVice-Treasurer of the Kingdom, assuring them of his intention to continue loyal; and to John Norris the General, desiring that he would not proceed roughly against him, and push him into rebellion against his will. This letter to Norris was intercepted by Bagnall the Marshal, and (as the Earl afterwards complain’d) suppressed, to his great damage. 1595.
June 12. For he was, presently after, publickly declar’d an enemy and traitor to his Country. By this time, the Rebels in Ulster amounted to 1000 horse or thereabouts, and 6280 foot; and in Conaught, to 2300; all at the entire disposal of the Earl, and many of them tolerably disciplin’d, ever since J. Perrot, the Lord Deputy, had commanded every Lord of Ulster to raise and exercise a certain number of men, to withstand the inroads of the Island Scots; or else being such as had serv’d in the wars of the Low-Countries, and were unadvisedly transported hither, by his means. The number of the English army, under the command of J. Norris (so eminent in the wars of Flanders) was not inferior. Yet nothing memorable was done by him; by reason of a misunderstanding between the General and the Deputy; so that the Campaign was spent in ravages, cessations, and parleys. Without doubt, both (being men of arms) were for prolonging the war; and as for the Earl, he daily expected a reinforcement out of Spain.
Treaties with the Earl. Of these parleys, the most memorable was that between Henry Wallop, Vice-Treasurer of the Kingdom, and Robert Gardner, Chief Justice, persons of great gravity and approv’d wisdom (who were appointed Commissioners,) and the Earl of Tir-Oen, and O-Donell; wherein these, and others of the Rebels, summ’d up their grievances and demands. The Earl’s Grievances. The Earl complain’d that Bagnall, the Marshal, had reap’d the fruits of his labours; that by his false suggestions and artifices he had wrought him out of the Queen’s favour, and almost out of his honour; that, to his great prejudice, he had intercepted the letters he writ to the Lord-Deputy, Norris, and some others, and detain’d his wife’s portion from him: Protesting, that he had never enter’d into any Treaty with foreign Princes, till he was proclaim’d a Rebel; and humbly entreating, that his own Crimes and those of his adherents might be pardon’d; that they might be restored to their estates, and enjoy the free exercise of their Religion (which, by the bye, was ever allow’d them;) that the Marshal might pay him 1000 l. sterling, in consideration of his wife’s portion now deceas’d; that no Garrison, Sheriff, nor any Officer whatsoever, might be plac’d within his County; that his Troop of Horse which the Queen had formerly given him, might be restor’d; and that those who had pillaged his people, might be punished.
O-Donell’s Grievances. O-Donell, after he had enlarg’d upon the loyalty of his Forefathers to the Kings of England, complain’d that one Boin, a Captain, was sent by Perrot the Lord Deputy into his Province with Soldiers, under pretence of civilizing his people; and that after his father had received him kindly, and assign’d him quarters, he treated him barbarously, and preferr’d a Bastard to the dignity of O-Donell: That the same Lord Deputy had intercepted this very Man at Sea, clap’d him in prison notwithstanding his innocence, and there unjustly detained him, till Providence set him at liberty: That, moreover, the Lord Deputy Fitz-Williams had kept Owen O-Toole, the greatest man in these parts next O-Donell, a close prisoner seven years together, notwithstanding he went to him upon Parol, and was indeed innocent: That he was intolerably oppressive to his poor neighbours in Fermanaugh; and, That himself had no better way to lay a foundation for his own Safety; but the assisting his neighbours in their necessity. He likewise requir’d, what the Earl did; and demanded certain Castles and Possessions in the County of Slego, as of right belonging to him. Other Grievances. Shan Mac-Brian Mac-Phelim O-Neal complain’d, that the Earl of Essex had taken the Isle of Magie from him, and that Henry Bagnall had depriv’d him of the Barony of Maughery-Mourn, both which had been enjoy’d by his Ancestors; that he was kept in chains till he surrender’d his right to Bagnall; besides injuries without number which he had receiv’d from the Garrison of Knoc-Fergus. Hugh Mac-Guir shew’d them likewise what he had suffer’d by the insolence of the neighbouring Garrison, who made booty of his Cattle; and that the Sheriff, who was sent into his territories, had cut off the head of his nearest Relation, and trod it under-foot with scorn. Brian Mac-Hugh Oge, Mac-Mahon, and Ever Mac-Couley, exhibited, That besides other wrongs, the Lord Deputy Fitz-Williams, whose goodness and honesty always gave place to money, was induc’d by corruption and bribery to establish Hugh Roe in the dignity of Mac-Mahon, and after that, hang’d him, for raising a fine by force of arms, according to the custom of the country; and divided his Estate among strangers, to extinguish the very name of Mac-Mahon. In one word, every man was a Petitioner for every thing we have nam’d. On the other side, the Commissioners having allow’d some of their demands, and referr’d others to the Queen, propos’d certain articles to the rebels. But they were grown so insolent by this time, that they thought them unreasonable, and so broke off the short suspension of arms which they had agreed to. Whereas, the Queen, both then and afterwards, would have condescended to any terms consistent with her honour; to prevent the effusion of Christian blood, and the consumption of her Treasures.
Norris marches against the Earl. The time of the Truce being now expir’d, Norris (who, by the Queen’s order had the sole command of the Army conferr’d upon him by the Lord Deputy during his absence) advanc’d with his Army towards the Earl. However, the Lord Deputy joyn’d him, and so, they marched as far as Armagh to the great terror of the Enemy; insomuch that the Earl was oblig’d to quit the fort of Black-water, and burn all the villages round about, and the town of Dungannon; nay, to demolish a great part of his own house there, and, in this desperate condition, to consider where he might abscond. But our Army could proceed no farther for want of Provision; and so return’d, after they had proclaim’d the Earl a Traitor, in his own territories, and put a Garrison into the Church of Armagh. The Earl took care to watch them diligently in their return; notwithstanding which, they reinforc’d the Garrison at Monaghan. When they had march’d almost as far as Dundalk, the Lord Deputy, according to the Queen’s orders, left the war to the conduct of Norris; and after leave taken, with many kind expressions on both sides, return’d to Dublin, where he had a strict eye upon the Affairs of Leinster, Conaght, and Munster.
Norris remain’d in Ulster; but whether out of envy to the Lord Deputy, or that fortune had now left him, as she often does great Generals, or whether out of favour to the Earl, to whom he was certainly as kind as the Lord Deputy was averse; he atchiev’d nothing answerable to his great Character. For Norris had under-hand accused the Lord Deputy, that out of ill will to the Earl he had resolv’d to make no peace with him. The Deputy would not be perswaded but that the Earl’s design was to gain time, till his recruits from Spain might arrive; whereas Norris was more easy and credulous, and did not doubt but the Earl would be brought to reasonable terms: which opinion the Earl cherish’d so artificially, that he offer’d him a submission under his hand and seal, and fell upon his knees before him for mercy and pardon. Yet, at the same time, was he plying the King of Spain, by letters and agents, for assistance; so that one or two messengers were sent from Spain to the Rebels, who agreed and concluded with them, that if the King of Spain their master should send such an Army by a set day, as could face the English, they would join it; and in case he supply’d them with ammunition in the mean time, they would not treat with the English upon any terms whatsoever.
A Treaty of Rebels with Spain. This treaty was subscrib’d by O-Rorck, Mac-William, and others; but the Earl was too cautious to sign it, though it is not doubted but he gave his consent. And, to disguise his designs, he sent to the Lord Deputy the King of Spain’s answer to the Rebels (which was full of promises and assurances,) as if he detested it; yet, relying upon the hopes of those Spanish recruits, he recanted the submission and promise he had made to Norris but a little before. Norris finding himself thus deluded by his own credulity, attack’d him with angry and sharp expostulations for imposing upon him in this base manner. But the Earl, knowing well how to temporize for his advantage, enter’d into another Parley with Norris, and Fenton his Secretary; and having given Hostages, concluded another Peace, or rather a bargain, which he soon after broke with the same levity; pretending, That he could not but think he was deceitfully dealt with, while the Lord Deputy and General vary’d with one another in their proceedings; That the Lord Deputy had treated those he had sent to him about Peace, very unworthily; That it appear’d he was wholly for the War, and had reinforc’d his horse from England, and detain’d the King of Spain’s letter; and, That the Marshal, his bitter Enemy, was now return’d with a new Commission from England.
Upon this, he began immediately to waste the adjacent country, burning the villages, and driving away the cattle; but being conscious of what he had done, and hearing that a peace was concluding between England and Spain, he sent again to desire a parley, and that reasonable terms might be allow’d him. It would be tedious to unfold all the Arts and Intricacies of this man; but in short, whenever he found himself in danger from the English, he acted Submission and Repentance so well, in carriage, countenance, and address, that he still deluded them, till they lost their opportunity of pursuing the war, and were oblig’d to withdraw their forces. Again, such was the supineness of the Commanders in Ireland, and the frugality of the Council in England, and the innate clemency of the Queen, who was willing to hope that these Robberies in Ireland (for it could not be call’d a War) might be suppress’d without blood; that he was always believ’d, and hopes of pardon were given, to keep him from being desperate.
Baron Burough Lord Deputy. In the year 1597 (by which time all Ulster beyond Dundalk, except the seven Garrison-Towns, viz. Newry, Knoc-Fergus, Carlingford, Green-castle, Armagh, Dondrom, and Olderfleet, as also the greatest part of Conaght, had revolted from the Queen;) Thomas Lord Burough, a person of great courage and conduct, was sent Lord Deputy into Ireland. The Earl, by letter, desir’d a cessation of arms;1597. and his Lordship thought it his Interest at that time to allow it for one month. The month being expir’d, the Lord Deputy drew his forces together (which he thought would be for his advantage and honour at his entrance upon the office,) and engag’d the Earl with some disadvantage in a narrow passage; but he made his way through by his valour, and took the Fort at Black-water,Black-water retaken. which had been repair’d by the Rebels, and which open’d a passage into the County of Tir-Oen, and was the only fence the Rebels had (besides their woods and marshes) to secure them. This one action sufficiently shew’d, that if the war was well follow’d, it could not continue long. The very day that the Fort was taken, as the Lord Deputy and his Army were giving God thanks for their success, an allarm was given on the sudden, that the enemy appear’d upon the hills hard by; so, Henry Earl of Kildare, with a troop of horse, and some volunteers of the Nobility, was detach’d against them, who fell upon the Enemy, and put them to flight. Yet we lost of the English, Francis Vaughan, brother to the Lord Deputy’s Lady, R. Turner † † Tribunus Major.Serjeant Major, an experienc’d Soldier, and two foster-brothers of the Earl of Kildare; which so exceedingly troubled him, that he dy’d of grief some few days after: for there is no love so strong in any degree of relation, as between foster-brothers in Ireland. Many more of the English were wounded; and among the rest, Thomas Waller, who was particularly eminent for his great valour. As soon as the Lord Deputy had strengthen’d the Fort with new works, and drawn off his Army; the Rebels, between hope, fear, and shame, thought it most advisable to lay siege to it. The Earl was sensible how conveniently it was plac’d to annoy them, and that his fame and fortune would dwindle into nothing, unless he recover’d it. Accordingly, he invested the Fort with a strong army. The Lord Deputy, upon the news hereof, march’d against him with all speed: but in his full career towards victory, sickness and death arrested him, to the grief of all good men, and the joy of the Rebels. For it was the opinion of very wise men, that if he had liv’d, he would certainly have reduc’d the enemy, and the State had not been plung’d into so great danger.
Black-water attack’d, upon the Lord Deputy’s death. As soon as the Lord Deputy’s death was known to the enemy, they attack’d the Fort with great clamour and violence, but were ever repelled with greater loss: those who scal’d the walls were push’d back headlong by the garrison, and many of them trod to pieces; so that, despairing of success by force, they resolv’d to starve them; believing that their provisions could not last many days, and that hunger would quickly shake their Loyalty and Courage. But the Fort was gallantly defended by the valour of Thomas Williams the Governor and his garrison, who liv’d on herbs growing on the rocks, after they had eat their horses, and held it in spight of famine, and the Enemy, and extremities of all kinds.
Earl of Ormond, Lieutenant. By this time, the Government was committed by the Queen to the Earl of Ormond, under the title of Lieutenant General of the army, together with the Chancellor, and Robert Gardiner. The Earl presently gave the Lieutenant General a long account by Letter of the grievances before-mention’d; not omitting the least miscarriage of any soldier, or Sheriff; and coldly excusing his breach of covenant with Norris, but more especially urging that Feogh Mac-Hugh, one of his relations, had been taken and executed; and lastly, that his letters to the Queen had been intercepted and concealed, and that the imposts and taxes were grown intolerable both to the Gentry and common people; adding, That he saw very well, that all the possessions of the nobility and gentry of Ireland, would be shortly parcell’d among Counsellers, Lawyers, Soldiers, and Secretaries. At the same time he sent supplies to the sons of Feogh Mac-Hugh, that they might embroil the Province of Leinster. So that now every body saw plainly, that the Earl’s design from the very beginning was to extirpate the English in Ireland; notwithstanding all his pretences in order to disguise it.
1598. The Earl in the mean time carry’d on the siege at Black-water. The Lieutenant GeneralThe Earl’s victory over the Marshal. therefore (for a Lord Deputy was not yet appointed) had detach’d fourteen choice * * Vexillationes.Troops, under the conduct of Henry Bagnall the Marshal, a bitter enemy of the Earl’s, to relieve it. The Earl, spurr’d on with an inveterate hatred of the man, fell upon him with great fury near Armach: the Marshal himself, at whom he principally aim’d, was soon cut off in the midst of the Battle; whereby the Earl had the double satisfaction, to triumph over an enemy, and to gain a considerable victory over the English. For this was the greatest defeat they had ever had in Ireland; no less than thirteen brave Captains, and fifteen hundred common soldiers cut off, either in the engagement, or after they were broken and dispers’d. Those who escap’d, imputed the loss, not to cowardise in the soldiers, but to the ill conduct of the General; as is common in all such cases. The Fort of Black-water presently surrender’d: they had held out, with great loyalty and valour, against all the Extremities of famine, and saw there was now no relief to be expected. This was indeed a famous victory, and of great importance to the Rebels, who got both arms and provisions by it. The Earl being applauded throughout the Country, as the glorious restorer of their liberty, grew intolerably cruel and insolent, and sent Ouny Mac-Rory-Og-O-More, and one Tirel (of English Extraction, but now an implacable enemy) with four thousand Rapparies into Munster. Thomas Norris, President of the Province, march’d against them with a good body, as far as Kilmalock; but separated his forces without facing the enemy, and retir’d to Cork. The Rebels, joyn’d by great numbers of the profligate sort, as soon as they understood this, began to waste the Country, and drive away the Cattle, and plunder and burn all castles, houses, and whatever else was in the possession of the English; putting the men themselves to the most cruel deaths. They made James Fitz-Thomas, one of the family of the Earls of Desmond, Earl of Desmond; yet so, that he should hold it of O-Neal, that is to say, of the Earl; and, having thus embroil’d Munster for a month, they march’d home with large booty. The Earl forthwith sent a letter into Spain, with a long account of these victories; desiring no credit might be given to the English, in case they pretended he was desiring a Peace with them; that he had firmly resolv’d against accepting any terms, though never so advantagious; and that he would religiously observe his Engagements to the King of Spain. And yet at the same time he pretended to intercede, both by letters and messages, with the Earl of Ormond, for leave to submit, upon such and such unreasonable terms.
Robert Earl of Essex, Lord Deputy. This was the deplorable state of Ireland, when Queen Elizabeth made Robert Earl of Essex (eminent for his taking of Cadis1599. from the Spaniards, and for his great prudence, as well as valor and loyalty) Lord Deputy there; to repair the losses which we had sustain’d, and with full commission to put an end to the war, and (which he gain’d with great importunity) a power to pardon even high treason; for this us’d to be excepted in all the Patents of former Lords Deputies in express words (All treasons touching our own person, or the persons of our heirs and successors, excepted.) And without doubt, it was great wisdom in him to obtain authority for that, considering that the Lawyers hold, that all rebellions do touch the person of the Prince. He was also allow’d as great an army as he pleas’d, such a one as had never been seen before in Ireland; namely sixteen thousand foot, and thirteen hundred horse, which was augmented afterwards to twenty thousand compleat. He had particular instructions to turn his chief strength against the Earl of Tir-Oen (as the heart and soul of this rebellion) without much regard to any other; and to straiten him with garrisons at Lough-Foil and Bala-Shannon: a thing, that he always reckon’d of great consequence, and charg’d as an oversight in the former Deputies.
Thus the Earl, accompany’d with the flower of the Nobility, and the acclamations of the common people, and with a clap of thunder in a clear sun-shine day; set out from London towards the end of March, and after a dangerous voyage, arriv’d in Ireland. Having received the sword according to custom, he march’d (upon the perswasion of some of the Council, who had too much regard to their own private interests)He marches not against the Earl. against some petty Rebels in Munster, without regarding the Earl; which was directly contrary to his instructions: and having taken Cahir (a Castle of Edward Butler, Baron of Cahir, which was encompass’d by the River Swire, and possess’d by the Rebels) and driven off vast numbers of Cattle, he made himself terrible to the whole Country; so that the Rebels dispers’d into the woods and forests. In the mean time, he receiv’d no small loss by the cowardise of some soldiers under H. Harrington; for which he punish’d them with great severity. He return’d towards the end of July, with an army most sadly harrass’d, and sick; and also incredibly diminish’d.
The Queen displeas’d at it. Finding the Queen much displeas’d at this expensive and unfortunate expedition, and that she was above all things for their marching directly into Ulster against the Earl; he writ an excuse to her Majesty, laying the blame upon her Council in Ireland, who had advis’d him, and with whom he could not but comply, in respect of their experience in the affairs of that Kingdom; promising that he would now forthwith march into Ulster. He had scarce deliver’d these letters out of his hands, when he was forc’d to send another dispatch, that now he was diverted, and oblig’d to march into Ophaly near Dublin against the O-Conors and the O-Moils, who had broken out into rebellion; but he soon suppress’d them by some few skirmishes. Upon a review of his army after this expedition, he found himself so much weaken’d, that he wrote to the Queen, and got the hands of the Privy-Council to his letter, that it was necessary to reinforce his army with a thousand men before he went into Ulster.
Clifford, and the Deputy, march against Ulster. Being now resolv’d to employ his whole power against that Province, he order’d Coigniers Clifford, Governor of Conaught, to march towards Belik with a body of light horse, that the Earl’s forces might be divided, while he should attack him on the other side. Clifford set out accordingly with 1500 men, and notwithstanding the toil of a long march, and scarcity of powder, would not halt till he had pass’d the Curlew-mountains. When most of his men had pass’d, the Rebels fell upon them by surprise, under the conduct of O-Rork. Being easily repell’d, ours still continu’d their march; but the enemy perceiving the want of powder among them, renew’d the charge, and put them quickly to flight (being extremely fatigu’d with their journey;) killing Clifford himself, and Sir Henry Radcliff of Ordsall, Knight. In the mean while, the supply which the Lord Deputy had desir’d, was rais’d in England, and transported. But in a few days after, he acquainted the Queen by Letter, that he could do no more this year, than march to the frontiers of Ulster with 1300 foot and 300 horse, where he arriv’d the thirteenth of September. The Earl shew’d himself from the hills at a great distance for two days together; and at length sent Hagan to the Lord Deputy for a parley. His Lordship refus’d it, answering, That if the Earl had any thing to say to him, he might find him next morning at the head of his army. The next morning, after some light skirmishes, a * * Eques.trooper of the Earl’s army told them with a loud voice, that the Earl did not intend to engage, but to parley with the Lord Lieutenant; but by no means now, between the armies in battalia. As the Lord Deputy was advancing the next day, Hagan came up to him, declaring that the Earl desir’d the Queen’s pardon and peace, and withal, that he might have audience of his Lordship; and if this favour was granted him, he would attend him at the ford of a river hard by, called Balla Clinch. This ford is not far from Louth, the head town of the County, and near the Castle of Gerard Fleming. The Lord Deputy sent Spies before-hand to observe the place, who found the Earl there according to appointment; and he told them, that tho’ the river was swell’d, a man might be very easily heard from one side of the ford to the other. Lord Deputy’s Conferences with the Earl. Whereupon, his Lordship having posted a troop of horse upon the next hill, went down to him alone. The Earl riding his horse to the belly in the ford, saluted him with great respect, and, after about an hour’s discourse between themselves, they withdrew to their respective armies. Con, a bastard son of the Earl’s, was sent to the Lord Deputy, to desire another conference before a select number on both sides. The Lord Deputy granted this likewise, provided the number did not exceed six. The Earl, taking with him his brother Cormac, Mac Gennys, Mac Guir, Ever Mac Cowley, Henry Ovington, and O-Quin, return’d to the Ford; and the Lord Deputy came down to him, accompany’d with the Earl of Southampton, and Sir George Bourgchier, Sir Warham S. Leger, Sir Henry Danvers, Sir Edward Wingfeld, and Sir William Constable, Knights. The Earl saluted them singly with great respect; and, after some few words, it was concluded that Commissioners should be appointed the day following to treat of a Peace, who agreed upon a cessation from that day,8 Sept. 1599. for six weeks to six weeks, till the first of May; yet so that it should be lawful for both sides to renew the war after fourteen days warning; and that if any Confederate of the Earl’s did not agree to it, the Earl should leave him to be treated as an Enemy, at the discretion of the Lord Deputy.
The Queen much dissatisfy’d with the Delays. In the mean while, the foremention’d letter of the Lord Deputy was deliver’d to the Queen by Henry Cuff, an excellent Scholar, but an unfortunate man. As soon as she found that the Deputy had done nothing in so long a time, with so great an army, and so much expence, nor was like to do any thing that year; she was extremely offended, and wrote back to him and the Council, That she could not but wonder what the Lord Deputy meant, by prolonging the war, and letting slip those excellent opportunities he had, of marching against the Earl himself; considering, that this was his constant advice in England; and he had often promised by his Letters, that he would take that course. She ask’d him, why he had made those chargeable expeditions into Munster and Ophaly, against his own judgment, and without giving her the least notice before-hand; that so she might (as she certainly would) have countermanded them. And if his army was now broken and weak, how it came to pass that he did not pursue the enemy, while it was entire, strong, and compleat? If the spring was not a fit season for the war in Ulster, why was the summer, why autumn, thus neglected? was there no part of the year fit for it? She told him, she saw that her Kingdom would be impoverished to a great degree by the charge of the war, and her honour blemish’d among foreign Princes by this ill success; and that whoever should give posterity an account of these times, would testify, that she had omitted nothing that could conduce to the preservation of Ireland, and that he had done every thing that was like to lose it; unless he resolv’d at last to take another course. In conclusion, she admonish’d him and the Council, with some sharpness, to be more cautious in their resolutions, and from thence forward not to suffer themselves to be misled by ill advice; commanding them withal, to give her a true account of the condition into which they had brought the Kingdom, and to be very careful to prevent any future mischief.
The Lord Deputy goes for England.
28 Sept. 1599. This letter startl’d, or rather gall’d, the Lord Deputy: upon which, he took post, and arriv’d in England sooner than could possibly be expected, and early in the morning presented himself to the Queen upon his knees, as she was in her Bedchamber and did not in the least expect him. After she had talk’d awhile to him (but not with the good countenance she us’d to do) she order’d him to withdraw to his own Lodgings, and not to stir thence. For the Queen was angry, that he had left Ireland so suddenly, against her orders, and without leave; and also that he had agreed to a cessation which might end every fourteen days; when he had authority to make an end of the war, and pardon the Rebels. What became of him afterwards, and how it appear’d by very good testimonies that he had higher matters in his mind than the war against the Rebels (while he could not sacrifice his own private resentments to the publick good, but rely’d too much upon popular Applause, which is ever a fickle and a very short support;) all this is foreign to my design: and as I have no pleasure in the thoughts of it, so I leave it to those who are composing the History of that age.
The Earl breaks the Cessation of Arms. The Cessation had hardly expir’d above once or twice, when the Earl of Tir-Oen drew his forces together, in order to renew the war. Sir William Warren was sent by the Council, to know why he broke the Cessation. He answer’d with an air of Insolence, that he did not, for he had given fourteen days warning of his design; and that he had good reason to break it, since he understood the Lord Deputy, upon whom alone he could rely for life and safety, was taken into custody in England; and said, he would have no more to do with any of the Council, who had already dealt perfidiously with him; and, as for the cessation, he could not continue it now, if he would, because he had sent O-Donell into Conaught, and others, his Confederates, into other parts, upon action.
New Insurrections in Ireland. In the mean time, a rumor was spread among the rebels by the Earl of Tir-Oen, not without some grounds, that the Kingdom of England would suddenly be imbroil’d; and so the Rebels increas’d daily, both in numbers and resolution. They who were originally Irish, began to flatter themselves with the hopes of their ancient freedom and nobility; and the English who stood true in their inclinations, grew dejected, when they saw all these preparations and expences vanish, without effect; complaining withal of their ill usage of late, in being excluded, as meer strangers, from all publick offices. On the other side, the Earl was sanguine; boasted every where that he would restore religion and liberty to his Country, receiv’d all seditious persons into protection, sent recruits where they were needful, confirm’d the wavering, and took all imaginable care to subvert the English Government in Ireland. To this he was encourag’d, by the supplies of stores and money which the King of Spain sent him from time to time; and by the promises and indulgences of the Pope, who had also sent him the plume of a Phoenix; in imitation perhaps of Pope Urban the third, who sent a little Coronet platted with Peacocks feathers, to John, Son of King Henry the second, when he was created Lord of Ireland.
Thus flush’d with victory, the Earl went in pilgrimage, in the depth of winter, to a piece of Christ’s Cross which was thought to be preserv’d in the Abbey of Holy Cross in Tipperary; for Religion, as he pretended; but really to show his greatness, and to blow up those flames by his own presence, which he had before kindled in Munster. And he sent out some of his Rapparies, to ravage the Country belonging to the Queen’s subjects; under the conduct of Mac-Guir, who happen’d to fall upon Sir * * S. Leodegarius.Warham Sentleger, who run him through with his spear, and was run through by Mac-Guir, at the same time. As soon as the Earl had bury’d him, he march’d homewards, and return’d sooner than could be expected. For he had heard, that the Earl of Ormond was appointed General of the Army, and was drawing his forces together from all parts; and that Charles Blunt, Baron Montjoy, the new Lord Deputy, was coming. 1600. The Queen, indeed, had design’d him this office before; but Robert Earl of Essex aiming at it himself (to the end he might be capable of establishing an interest in the military men, whom he always study’d to oblige,) had oppos’d him; alledging, that the Lord Montjoy had no more experience in war than what he had pick’d up in the Low-Countrys; that he had no dependants, nor estate answerable; and that he was too bookish.
Lord Mountjoy, Lord Deputy. In February, the Lord Montjoy arriv’d in Ireland, without much noise or retinue; and enter’d upon the Government. He found the state of affairs very ill, or rather desperate and beyond recovery: All honest men dejected and in despair; the enemy flush’d with continual success; and the Earl himself marching from the furthest part of Ulster into the Province of Munster, which was the whole length of the Island, in a kind of triumph. Nay, to daunt his Lordship, the rebels welcom’d him with an alarm, in the very Suburbs of Dublin. This gall’d him; yet he resolv’d to march directly against the Earl himself, who, he heard, was about to return from Munster; and so, with such forces as he could readily get together (for the best troops were in Munster already, under the command of the Earl of Ormond) he set forward, to stop the Earl in Fereal, and to give him battle. But the Earl prevented him by his speedy march, having information of the design; for it is certain, that some of the Queen’s Council were well-wishers to the Earl and his proceedings. As soon as the Lord Deputy return’d to Dublin, he employ’d himself wholly in reviewing his troops, and drawing out a detachment of Veterans to be transported by sea to Logh-Foil and Bala-Shannon, near the mouth of Lough Erne, that a garrison being plac’d there, he might annoy the enemy both in the flank and the rear, and also to reinforce his garrisons in Lease and Ophaly; a matter of no small danger and difficulty, when the enemy was on all sides. In the beginning of May, the Lord Deputy took his march towards Ulster, to divert the enemy on that side, while Henry Docwra planted a garrison at Logh-Foil, and Morgan another at Bala-Shannon. The Earl was so well diverted by the Lord Deputy with successful skirmishes, that Docwra and the other easily compass’d their design, and the Earl himself grew sensible of a change of fortune, and that he was now beaten back to his old Corners. The Lord Deputy having planted these garrisons, return’d about the middle of June, and sent into England for a supply of men and † † Commeatus.provisions, that he might plant another garrison at Armach, on this side, to straiten the Rebels yet more. In the mean time, he march’d into Lease, which was the refuge of all the rebels in Leinster; and there cut off Ony-Mac-Rory-Og, chief of the family of O-More (a bloody and desperate young fellow, who had lately raised those commotions in Munster) with many others of the same profligate spirit; and, having wasted the Country, drove them into the woods and boggs in such consternation, that they never made head again in those parts.
The Deputy marches against the Rebels. The supplies from England being now arrived, though his Lordship wanted both money and provision, and though the Equinox was now past, and winter already begun in this climate, yet he march’d to the Pass of Moyery, three miles beyond Dundalk. This Pass is, by nature, the most difficult in Ireland; and besides, the Rebels had with great art and industry obstructed it by Fences, stakes, hurdles, stones, and clods of earth, as it lies between the hills, woods, and boggs on both sides; and had also lin’d it with soldiers. Moreover, the weather was very bad, and the great rains which had fallen for some days together, had made the rivers overflow, and to be impassable. As soon as the waters fell, the English open’d their way through this passage and the fences, with great courage; and, notwithstanding all the difficulties they had to encounter, they beat back the enemy, and marched towards Armach: but Armagh it self was eaten up by the Rebels; so that the Lord Deputy planted his Garrison eight miles from the town, and in memory of John Norris (under whom his Lordship had learn’d the rudiments of war) call’d the place Mount Norris; committing it to the charge of E. Blany, a person of great diligence and valour, who sufficiently gall’d the enemy on this side, as Henry Docwra did on the other; and kept them in great awe. Not to mention the skirmishes in his return; in the Pass near Carlingford, which the Rebels had block’d up, he gave them a memorable defeat.
Lord Deputy marches into Leinster. Some few days after (though it was now the middle of winter) the Lord Deputy, to make the most of his time, march’d into the Glynnes, or the vallies of Leinster, which continu’d hitherto undisturb’d; and having wasted the Country, he forc’d Donel Spaniah, Phelim Mac Feogh, and the seditious race of the O-Tools, to give hostages, and submit. After this, he enter’d Fereal, and drove Tirell, the best commander among the Rebels, out of his strong hold, such as they call a Fastness (being a boggy place, beset with thick bushes) into Ulster, whither he pursu’d the Enemy with a victorious army, by a winding-march. In the first place, he laid waste the Country of Ferney (having slain the two sons of Evar Mac Cowly;) and did the like to Fues, by a detachment under the command of Richard Morison. At the same time, he sent Oliver Lambard to plant a garrison in Breany, and then turn’d towards Drogheda, where he received such of the principal Rebels into his protection, as submitted themselves, namely, Turlogh Mac Henry, Governour in Fues, Ever Mac Cowly O-Hanlon, who ¦ ¦ Claims, C.claim’d the honour of hereditary Standard-bearer to the Kings of Ulster, and many of the Mac Mahons and O-Realies; who gave up their nearest friends and relations as hostages. As soon as the spring came on, the Lord Deputy, before all the forces were got together, march’d again to Moyery, and cut down the woods to make the way passable, and there erected a Fort. In this expedition, he drove the Mac Genisses out of Lecal, which they had seiz’d; and reduc’d all the castles of the enemy as far as Armagh, in which he also planted a garrison. Nay, he advanc’d so far, that the Earl, who was strongly encamp’d at Blackwater, was oblig’d to retire; and the Deputy design’d to erect a fort somewhat lower, but receiv’d certain advice that the Spaniards were landed in Munster; as he had heard by flying reports before. Upon this, he was forc’d to stop; for he was not now to deliver Ireland from a civil war, but from a foreign invasion. However, to secure what he had gain’d, he reinforc’d his garrisons, and march’d with great speed at the head of two * * Ala.troops of horse for Munster; commanding the foot to follow.
Spaniard invited by the Earl. For while the Lord Deputy was imploy’d in Ulster, the Earl and those of his party in Munster, had, by their agents, (viz. a certain Spaniard who was made Archbishop of Dublin by the Pope, the Bishop of Clonfort, the Bishop of Killalo, and one Archer a Jesuit,) prevail’d with the King of Spain, after great Solicitation, to send a reinforcement to the Rebels in Munster, under the conduct of John de D’Aquila, in hopes that the whole Province would presently revolt, and that the titular Earl of Desmond, as also Florens Mac-Carty, would joyn them with a strong Body. But the President George Carew, had taken care to seise these two, and transport them into England. D’Aquila landed at Kingsale in Munster, with two thousand veteran Spaniards and some Irish Deserters, on the last of October; and forthwith publish’d a Manifesto, wherein he stil’d himself Master-General, and Captain, of His Catholick Majesty, in the war of God, for preserving the Faith in Ireland; and endeavour’d to perswade them, that Q. Elizabeth was depriv’d of her Kingdom by the sentences of several Popes, and her subjects absolv’d from their allegiance, and that he and his army had undertaken this expedition to deliver them from the jaws of the Devil, and the English Tyranny; and, by these pretences he drew great numbers to him.
Lord Deputy besieges Kinsale. The Lord Deputy, with all the forces he could raise, prepar’d to besiege the town; and Richard Levison, Vice-Admiral, was sent out of England with two men of war to block up the harbour; which he did. The English invested the town, and began the siege briskly, battering it both by sea and land; but afterwards it was carry’d on more slowly, because Levison on the one side, with his Seamen, was sent against two thousand Spaniards, who had landed at Bere-haven, Baltimore, and Castle-haven, and sunk five of their ships; and, at the same time, the President of Munster was sent with a detachment to intercept O-Donell, who was upon his march to joyn the supplies from Spain. And the frost being very hard, he got to the Spaniards safe and undiscover’d, by the shortest ways, in the night. Some few days after, the Earl of Tir-Oen, together with O-Rork, Reimund Burk, Mac-Mahon, Randall Mac-Surley, Tirell, and the Baron of Lixnaw, advanc’d with the choicest Troops of the Rebels, who, after Alphonsus O-Campo had joyn’d them with the fresh supply of Spaniards under his command, amounted to 6000 foot and 600 horse; all big with hopes of victory, which they thought was their own, as superior in numbers, and fresher and better provided in all kinds, than the English, who were harass’d with the fatigues of a winter-siege; themselves straiten’d in provisions, and their horses worn out with hard service and want of forage. The Lord Deputy call’d a Council of war, for their advice in these circumstances: Some thought it best to raise the siege, and retire to Cork, and not to venture the whole Kingdom upon a single Battle. On the other side, his Lordship advis’d them to persist in the design, and not degenerate from the known resolution and bravery of their Ancestors; saying, that a better opportunity could not be had by men of valour, than was now put into their hands, to dye with glory, or conquer with honour. So, he continu’d the siege with the utmost vigor, playing perpetually upon the walls, and fortifying his camp with new works.
On the twenty-first of December, the Earl of Tir-Oen appear’d with his army, from a hill, about a mile from our trenches, and there encamp’d; the next day he appear’d again in the same place, and the night following the Spaniards made a sally, and the Irish attempted to throw themselves into the town; but both were repulsed. On the twenty-third the English began to play their heavy Cannon against the town, to show how little they regarded the Earl, tho’ at their backs; and the same day intercepted D’Aquila’s letters to the Earl, desiring him to throw the Spaniards, lately arriv’d, into the town, and to attack the enemy’s camp on both sides. That night, as the moon was setting, the Lord Deputy commanded Henry Poer, with eight companies of Veterans, to post himself on the west side of the Camp. Henry Gream, who that night commanded the Horse Guards, gave the Deputy notice betimes in the morning, that he foresaw the Enemy would attack them, from the great number of matches which they had lighted. Whereupon, all were order’d to their arms, and the passes to the town were well guarded. The Lord Deputy himself, attended by the President of Munster, and Richard Wingfield, Marshall, † † Versus procubitores tendit.went out, and, with the advice of Oliver Lambard, pitch’d upon a place to receive the Enemy; commanding the * * Vexillationes.Regiments of Henry Folliot and Oliver S. John, and six hundred marines under the command of Richard Levison, to post themselves there. But the Earl of Tir-Oen (who had resolved, as it appear’d afterwards, to throw the new recruits of Spaniards and 800 Irish into the town, by the benefit of the night,) as soon as day began to break, and he found the Marshal and Henry Danvers with the horse, and Poer with a body of Veterans, drawn up to receive him at the foot of the hill, despair’d of success, and sounded a retreat by his bagpipers.
Tir-Oen and the Spaniards defeated. As soon as the Deputy had intelligence of this disorderly retreat, he gave direction to pursue them, and march’d in the van himself to observe their retreat, that he might take his measures accordingly; but the fogg was so thick, and the rains so violent, that they could scarce see before them, for some time. As soon as it cleared up, and he found the enemy retir’d hastily in three bodies with the horse in the rear, he resolv’d to attack them; but first commanded the President of Munster to return to the Camp with three troops of horse, to make that good in case the Spaniards should sally out of the Town. The Lord Deputy himself pursu’d the rebels; and with such speed, that they were oblig’d to turn and face him on the brink of a deep bog, which was unaccessible, but by one ford. As soon as the Marshal and the Earl of Clan-Ricard had routed the party of horse that defended this pass, they fell upon the whole body of the Enemy’s cavalry; and were so well seconded by William Godolphin (who led up the Deputy’s ¦ ¦ Alam.Horse) and Henry Danvers, Minshaw, Taff, and Fleming, and by J. Barkley * * Camporum Præfectus.Serjeant-major, who join’d them; that the rebels were put to flight. Yet it was not thought advisable to pursue them, but rather to unite again, and charge the Body of the enemy, which was in great consternation. The charge was accordingly given, and the enemy broken. Tirell with his men, and the Spaniards, kept their ground; whereupon, the Lord Deputy commanded his rear to advance against them; and, to perform the duty of a soldier as well as the office of a General, he put himself at the head of three * * Vexillationibus.companies of Oliver S. John’s (which were commanded by Roe,) and attack’d them with such vigour, that they fled in disorder to shelter themselves among the Irish, who soon left them to the mercy of the enemy, and so they were defeated with great slaughter by the Lord Deputy’s troop of Guards under the conduct of William Godolphin. Tir-Oen, O-Donell, and the rest, upon this flung away their weapons, and betook themselves to their heels. Alphonsus O-Campo was taken Prisoner, with three Spanish Captains, and six Ensigns; 1200 of the enemy were slain, and nine Colours taken, whereof six were Spanish. The English had not above two or three kill’d, but many wounded: and among the rest Henry Danvers, William Godolphin, and Croft: so little did this great victory cost us. As soon as the Lord Deputy had sounded a retreat, and given God thanks for his victory among the heaps of dead bodies, he Knighted the Earl of Clan-Ricard for his valour and bravery in this battle; and so return’d with acclamations into his camp, which he found safe as he had left it. For the Spaniards, seeing all strongly guarded, and having found by experience that Sallies were always to their own loss, kept close within the town, expecting the issue of the battle.
This was a noble victory, and of mighty consequence in many respects: Ireland wavering and ready to revolt, was hereby retained in Obedience, and the Spaniards ejected, and the Arch-Rebel Tir-Oen driven to his holes in Ulster; O-Donel frighted into Spain, the rest of the rebels dispersed, the authority of the Queen (then at a very low ebb) recover’d, the dejected Loyalists confirm’d, and soon after, a firm and lasting peace established throughout the Island.
Kinsale surrender’d. Next day, the Lord Deputy order’d Bodley, the † † Vallorium Præfectus.Camp-Master General, who both in the Siege and the Battle had behav’d himself valiantly, to finish the mount, and carry the banks and rampires nearer to the enemy. After six days spent in that work, D’Aquila sent a Trumpeter with a letter to the Lord Deputy, that some person of honour and credit might be sent into the town to treat with him. Sir William Godolphin was accordingly sent. D’Aquila told him, that though the Lord Deputy was a terrible Enemy, he must own him to be also an honourable one; That the Irish were cowardly, and undisciplin’d, and he fear’d treacherous too: That he was sent thither by the King of Spain his Master to the assistance of two Earls, but now he question’d whether there was one such in being; this storm having blown one of them into Spain, and the other into the north, and both were vanish’d: That he was willing, for this reason, to conclude such a peace, as might be for the interest of England on one side, and no prejudice to Spain on the other; but yet that he wanted nothing for a defence, and daily expected more supplies from Spain to give the English further trouble. In short, both sides being fatigued and weary of the siege, they came to this conclusion on the second of January: That the Spaniards should yield up Kingsale, and the forts and castles of Baltimore, Berehaven, and Castle-Haven to the Lord Deputy, and go out with baggage, and colours flying; That the English should find shipping, but be paid for it, to transport them at two voyages into Spain; and if they happen’d to put in at any port in England, they should be kindly entertained; and, That during their stay in Ireland for a fair wind, they should be allow’d all necessary accommodations for their money.
The Spaniards return home. After some few days, the wind stood fair, and the Spaniards embark’d, with great loss and dishonour, for their own Country. The Earl of Tir-Oen in the mean while fled in great haste and consternation thro’ by-ways, to recover his holes in Ulster; missing abundance of his men, who were many of them drown’d in passing the rivers then swell’d with the winter-floods. From hence-forward the Earl was without rest and without hopes; under continual apprehensions of punishment for those crimes of which he was conscious, and so fearful of every body, that he was daily shifting from one hole to another. The Lord Deputy plac’d his army in winter-quarters to refresh them; and having settled the affairs of Munster, return’d to Dublin.
Lord Deputy quite subdues Ulster. As soon as the rigour of the season was a little abated, he return’d at the head of his victorious army into Ulster (with short marches, to strike a terrour in the Country;) intending to perfect his first design of penning up the rebels with forts and garrisons on all sides. When he came to Blackwater, he pass’d over his army in floats, and having found a ford (till that time unknown) below the old fort, he built a new fort upon the bank, and call’d it from his own Christian-name, Charlemont. The Earl of Tir-Oen, out of fear, burnt his own house at Dungannon about this time. The Lord Deputy march’d from hence beyond Dungannon, and encamp’d, till Henry Docwra could come from Logh-Foil to join him. After that, he made incursions on all sides, spoil’d the corn, burnt all the houses and villages that could be found, made booty of the cattle, and had the forts of Logh Crew, Logh Reogh, and Mogherlecow, surrender’d to him; but at this last place, we lost Sir John Barkley, a valiant man, who was shot through with a bullet. After this he planted a garrison at Logh Eaugh, or Logh Sidney, and call’d it Montjoy from his own title, committing the charge of it to Sir Arthur Chicester, whose great deserts * * Have raised him at this time, C.raised him afterwards to the honour of Lord Deputy of Ireland; and another at Monaghan, of which he made Christopher S. Lawrence, Governour; men of great experience and greater courage; who by their continual sallies and excursions did so gall the rebels, that these, finding themselves pent-in with garrisons, and streighten’d more and more every day, and that they must live hereafter like wild beasts, sculking up and down among woods and desarts, did, most of them, begin to make their Allegiance bend to their fortune, and tender’d submissions privately to the Lord Deputy; murmuring, that the Earl had brought the whole Kingdom to ruin, to serve his own ends; and saying, that the war was necessary for him only, and had prov’d the destruction of the rest.
The Earl offers submission. The Earl was sensible, that the fidelity, as well as the strength, of his party, was exceedingly shaken, and resolv’d to be as much beforehand with danger as he could; being now tir’d out with his misfortunes, and also tender of his own life, which will generally be regarded in spite of all resolutions. Accordingly, he wrote several letters to the Queen with great submission, addressing himself with prayers and tears for mercy; which the Queen observ’d to be so sincere in all appearance, that (being also in her own temper very merciful) she gave the Lord Deputy Authority to pardon him, and receive him into favour, in case he desir’d it at his hands. As soon as he had this news from some of his friends, he sent a petition to that purpose; pressing the Lord Deputy continually by his brother Arth. Mac Baron, and others: and, in February (after many refusals, and a promise to surrender his life and fortune to the Queen’s discretion,) the Lord Deputy, upon advice from the Court of England, that the Queen who was now of a great age, was dangerously ill, gave the Earl leave to repair to Mellifont, which he immediately did, attended with one or two Followers. Being admitted into the presence-chamber, where the Lord Deputy sat in ¦ ¦ Solio.a chair of state, with many Officers about him; he fell down upon his knees at the very entrance, with a dejected look, and a mean habit. And after he had continu’d a while in this posture, the Lord Deputy signify’d that he might approach nearer; so he arose, and after some few steps fell upon his knees again, Acknowledging his offences against God, and his most gracious Soveraign Queen Elizabeth; upon whose royal mercy and goodness he now wholly relied, and to whose discretion he submitted his life and fortune; beseeching in the most humble manner, that as he felt her mercy heretofore, and her power at this time, so he might once more taste her clemency, and be an example of it to future ages: Adding, That neither his age was so great, nor his body so weak, nor his mind so much broken, but he might expiate this rebellion by his future loyalty and service. He was beginning to plead, in extenuation of his crime, that through the malice and envy of some persons, he had been hardly dealt with; but the Lord Deputy interrupted him, saying with an air of Authority (the most graceful eloquence in a soldier,) that he would suffer no excuse for a crime so hainous; and so, in few words, order’d him to withdraw, and the day following took him to Dublin, designing to carry him from thence into England, that the Queen might take what course with him she thought fit. But this excellent Princess, a little after she had receiv’d Advice that a rebellion, which had so long disturb’d her reign, was now extinguish’d (the only thing wanting to compleat her glory) left her earthly kingdom, with great calmness and piety, for a heavenly one.
Thus the Irish war, or rather the Rebellion of the Earl of Tir-Oen (sprung from private resentment and ambition, suffered to grow up by the disregard and frugality of the English Court, diffused over all Ireland under pretence of restoring religion and liberty, and continu’d by a base emulation among the English, the avarice of the veterans, the artifice and feign’d submissions of the Earl, the * * Impeditissima locorum difficultas.difficult situation of the Country, and the nature of the people, who depend more upon their heels than their arms; as also by the credulity of some ministers, and the corruption of others, the encouragement of one or two successful Engagements on the side of the Rebels, and the supplies of men and money sent them from Spain,) this War (I say) in the eighth year from its first breaking out, was happily extinguish’d under the Administration of Queen Elizabeth of blessed memory, and the conduct of Charles Blunt, Baron of Montjoy, Lord Deputy (created upon that account Earl of Devonshire by King James ⌈the first⌉) which † † So said, ann. 1607.we hope will be the foundation of a lasting Peace in that Kingdom.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:06