« PreviousContinue »
I went into Munster. I found McWilliam very sensible, though wanting the English tongue, yet understanding the Latin. He desired to suppress Irish extortion, and to expulse the Scots. He bound himself, by oath and indenture, to hold his lands of her Majesty, to pay yearly 250 marks sterling, and to find 200 soldiers, horsemen and footmen, for two months by the year. In one of his petitions he “besought (doubting that I would have taken away the bonaght from the Clandonnells which they held of him and his country) that they might (withdrawing it from him) hold it of the Queen.” They accepted this overture. “He received his country at my hands by way of seneschalship, which he thankfully accepted, the order of knighthood I bestowed upon him, whereof he seemed very joyous, and some other little trifles I gave him, as tokens between him and me.” He was desirous I should send thither an English sheriff; I sent one with him. He is a great man; his land lies along the west north-west coast of this realm, wherein he has many goodly havens. His territory is three times as large as the Earl of Clanricarde’s. “He brought with him all his brethren, McPhilipin, who in surname is a Burke, as he is,” and others. O’Mayle came likewise with him, who is an original Irishman, strong in galleys and seamen. He earnestly sued to hold of the Queen. At that instant were also with me McPhaten, of English surname Barrett, McIvilye, of English surname Stanton, McJordan, of the like, Dexter, McCoshtelo, of the like, Nangle, McMaurice, of English surname Prendergast; and these five show matter of some record and credit, that they have not only been English, which every man confesseth, but also Lords and Barons in Parliament,” but now they have not three hackneys to carry them and their train home. There were with me many more of lower degree, as the chief of the Clan Andrews and McThomin, Barrett's], Cusakes, Linches, and sundry English surnames now degenerate, and all lamenting their devastation, and crying for justice and English government. Touching the county of Galway; first, I find the town of Galway much decayed, both in number of expert sage men of years and in young men of war, through the horrible spoil done upon them by the sons of the Earl of Clanricard. 50 householders of that town inhabit under McWilliam Eughter. They had almost forgotten that they had received any corporation from the crown, but I trust they are now revived. The Earl of Clanrickard continually attended on me, and so did the Earl of Thomond, the Archbishop of Tweom, the Bishop of Clonfert and Killmakogh, and the Baron of Athenry, by surname Birmingham (a poor baron, though the ancientest in this land), O'Flaherty, O'Kelly, and many of their surnames, which are very great, O'Madden, and all of any account of that surname, O’Naughton, and many other petty lords and captains of countries, craving to hold their lands immediately
from her Highness. “These are the principal of this country,
saving such as be of my Lord of Clanricard's surname, as
O'Heyne, original Irish, and in old time very great, now
mean ; McOwge, McHubbert, McDavy, McEdmund, McRed-
mond, all these Burghes and many more, but all holding of
the Earl of Clanricard (by due service as he saith), but through
oppression say they.” Many other there were who durst not
show their faces, for that they had been partakers with the
Earl's sons in their rebellion.
These two hopeless sons came into the church of Galway
on a Sunday at public service, and there craved their pardon.
I committed them to my marshal, and have them here prisoners
in this castle of Dublin.
I departed from Galway the 22nd of March and passed
through Athenry, which was totally burned—college, parish
church, and all that was there—by the Earl's sons; yet the
mother of one of them was buried in that church. “I took
order for the re-edifying of the town, and I have taxed (for
the satisfying of the old inhabitants) indifferently upon that
country, weighing the ability of each person, and the quality,
of the faults, as I thought most reasonable; and the sum of
this taxation amounteth unto 2,000l., which shall be confirmed
and ratified by order of commissioners authorized under the
Great Seal, according to the meaning of her Majesty's letter
granted to them; and I doubt not to levy it, and the rather
for that the Earl is entered into band of 5,000l., to see as well
this performed, as the first order taken at Limericke against
his sons in my predecessor's time. I have cut the town almost
into equal parts, it being before full as big, with a fair high
wall, as the town of Calais. I took from the Earl (the better
to answer the expectation of the people) two principal castles
and keys of strength, the one called the castle of Ballinesloe,
which standeth betwixt Galway and Athenry, and the other
called Clare, and seated betwixt Galway and McWilliam
Eughter's country.” I went from Athenry with the Earl of
Clanricard, and was very honourably entertained with him.
The next night I lodged in the O'Kellies' country, and the night
following in the castle of Roscommon. The county is in-
differently manured, by reason of the Earl of Clanricard's
force, whose friends and followers fare well, the rest go to
wreck. The Bishop of Meath came to me to Galway.
I staid at Roscommon but one night, both for that I had
appointed provision at Athlone, as also that I found nothing
there laid in, to furnish me withal. During my abode at
Roscommon, O'Connor Dun came to me, whose ancestor (they
say) was sometimes called King of Connaught. The castle of
Roscommon I took from him in my former government. Under
his rule there are O'Birne and O'Flin. O'Connor Ro came
not at ine, for fear I would compel him to make recompence
for his hurts done in the rebellion time. Under him is
O'Flanagan. “McDermond was with me, and one under him
called McManus. These people and some more petty lords
inhabit the plains of Connaught, and are all destroyed by the
Scots chiefly. The country is large and of excellent soil, the
best, and all the rest beggars, desirous to be delivered from
the tyranny of their stronger neighbours. They all crave to
be subjected to the English government.”
At Athlone I remained nine days, in which time was exe-
cuted a notable rebel of the Burkes.
I daily look for O'Connor Sligo, O'Rwrke, O'Donnell, and
Con O'Donnell, his nephew, and doubt not but so to agree
with them as the Scots shall be soon banished out of Con-
naught. As to the Annalye or O'Ferrall's country, and East
Brenye or O'Reilie's country, they all attended upon me during
my abode in the counties of Roscommon and West Meath.
At my being at Athlone I sent commissioners thither to hold
sessions. This country was made shire ground by me, by the
name of the county of Longford, and the chief lords are bound
to pay 400 marks by the year of increase of revenue, whereof
albeit they were in arrear for four or five years, yet imme-
diately upon my demand they paid part, and took short days
for payment of the rest.
From the East Brenye, or the O'Reillies' country, I received
all dutiful offices. The captain of the country is a very honest
man, but old, very impotent and bedrid. His death may
breed great trouble. The competitors for his place will
hazard the destruction of the country. I mean to dissipate
it into more captainries than one, if I can.
I left in Connaught Thomas Lestrange and Thomas Dillon,
learned in the laws, as commissioners, to determine contro-
versies, and Robert Damport, provost marshal, to apprehend
and execute the thieves and destroyers of the country. They
of Connaught are willing to bear men of war for the sup-
pression of rebels and outlaws. “The Queen's revenue revived,
and that, with casual revenues, will go near to bear the charge
of civil magistracy.” Connaught may be made to bear its
own charges within one year and a half, so as a President
and Council be sent thither to reside amongst them.
I am advertised that my Lord of Essex is minded to come
again into this realm. He is held of the people of this country
both in honourable and dreadful terms. If he be placed as
President with a Council in Connaught, it will imprint in their
minds the Queen's resolution to reform them. “I will so im-
part with him, as, without her Majesty's further charge than
presently she is contented to be at, he shall be able to live
honorably there.” While his Lordship and Sir William Druerye
join together in the south and west, I will deal with the east
and north. If I may not have the Earl of Essex, let me have
I departed from Athlone the 2nd of April, and lodged by
the way at Mr. Lestrange's, Mollingarre, my Lord of Delvin's,
my Lord Bishop of Meath's, and Lawrence Delahide's. On the
July 13. Vol. 628, p. 295.
14th I arrived in Dublin, being the first entry I made into it
since I landed last in Ireland, which was the 12th of Sep-
tember last. By the way as I went, sessions were held in the
counties of West Meath, Louth, Longford, Meath, and Kildare.
I could not have wished for better service to be done in my
absence, and in especial by my Lord Bishop of Meath,” and
such as I joined with him in commission for guarding of the
borders of the Pale.
“I write not the names of each particular varlet that hath
died since I arrived, as well by the ordinary course of the
law, the martial law, as flat fighting with them, when they
would take food without the good will of the giver.” The
number of them is great, and some of the best ; and the rest
tremble. “They fight for their dinner, and many of them
lose their heads before they be served with their suppers.”
I beseech you to mark these few heads following.
(1.) The church must be reformed, being deformed and
overthrown by the ruin of the temples, the dissipation
and embezzling of the patrimony, and most of all for want of
sufficient ministers. The means to amend it are easy, whereof
I have written to the Queen.
(2) An army must still be maintained. A garrison of 300
horsemen and 700 footmen may continually be kept here,
without any great charge to England. “This charge now
must be reared by the new rents of the Irishry, and by an
alteration of the old burthen of the English Pale.”
(3.) “I heartily wish that it might please her Majesty to
send hither four personages, whereof one well acquainted with
the course of that grave and wise Council, as it might be Mr.
Tremayne ; two stout and well learned lawyers, as two of these
three ; viz., the Master of the Rolls, the Attorney General,
and Mr. Bell; some one discreet gentleman, as Sir Edward
Mountecute, that were able to argue what might be reaped
out of a good soil peaceably possessed.”
(4) That it would please her Majesty to send hither three
lawyers, to be Chief Justices of three principal and common
benches, and one to be Attorney General of this realm. There
is none here so meet for those places as is to be wished, Sir
Lucas Dillon excepted, who is Chief Baron.
Castle of Dublin, 27 April 1576.
Copy. Pp. 17.
39. The PRIvy Council, to the LoRD DEPUTY (SYDNEY).
It seems you conceive that small care is had of your letters sent. If you thoroughly mark the letters which we sent you in January last, you shall find that yourself have not fully answered us ; “namely, touching Sarleboy, the disposition of Clandeboy, nor to what conclusion you are grown
with Tirlough Lenough upon those articles and postilles sent
unto you ; no, nor yet of McGennes, in such sort as it is to
pass for work of such a warrant as we required to be drawn by
the learned counsel there and sent hither. And if your L.
had sent over those warrants for the grants to be made from
her Majesty to Tirlough Lenough, McGennes, O’Hanlon, and
others, it might ere now have been granted and perfected ;
and that thereupon such of them might have been created
into degree of honour as your L. moved, the which afore
that time we thought not meet to be done.”
You complain of time lost and service hindered by the long
stay of the Chancellor" and the President of Munster.f The
same has not grown in her Majesty's or our default, for
the President had his full dispatch here many months before
he departed, and the Chancellor after his coming hither
tarried not many days for anything belonging to his dispatch.
“The stay of the treasure proceeded of the death of [John]
Gifford ; the same being paid unto him at the day limited
by your composition.”
“Touching the revocation which you required to be made
for the grants passed to Malbie and Chatterton of those Irish
countries, we caused Malbie to be dealt withal, who seemed
contented to yield to anything that should be thought
In your letter of the 27th of April you gather certain
principal heads requisite for the reformation and good
government of that realm. For your better assistance you
seem to desire to have certain chosen persons sent over by the
midst of September; but it has been thought meeter by her
Majesty and us that you should first consult there upon those
matters, and send over your opinions by some well instructed
persons, such as Sir Lucas Dillon and Mr. Agard (being of
each nation one), if they two may be spared from thence.
The sending thither of lawyers is a matter most requisite,
but such opinion is conceived of the barbarism there, and so
small are the gains and entertainment there, as at all times
when any have been chosen to be sent thither, they do ever
make some means to her Majesty whereby they may be stayed.
“The grant of entertainment for the ward of Athlone
passed to Sir Edward Fitton as a matter alleged heretofore
to have been from time to time appertaining to such as used
the office of Treasurer at Wars in that realm, and hath his
grant so long as he shall enjoy the office of Treasurer, and not
during her Majesty's pleasure as you take it.”
In another letter you declare the inconvenience of putting
in execution letters of reprisal against them of St. Maloes.
Some composition should be male, for the satisfaction of our
merchants that have been damnified.
The captains' bills required by you for the perfecting of
the account remain with the Auditor here, as his warrant,