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mismanagement and neglect. The English Deputies and their Council, mainly interested in the narrow and immediate safety or prosperity of the English Pale, could not be expected to raise their eyes beyond their own exclusive province, or entertain broad and comprehensive views for the amelioration and improvement of Irish outcasts. For turbulence and crime, whatever might be the motive or the cause—idleness, hunger, or the commands of the Chief —these English governors had but one security, but one precaution—the power of the sword.” It may be urged in their defence, that gentler means and milder efforts would have been equally fruitless; that it was useless to offer opportunities of improvement to a people obstinately bent upon resisting them; or try to infuse habits of industry and order among those who found congenial occupation and delight in turbulence and idleness. But without here insisting on the fact, of which, indeed, we have repeated proofs in these papers, without urging the evidence of English writers, that whatever labour of any kind was done in Ireland, even for English settlers, was done by the native Irish; I regret to say that I cannot trace in the correspondence of the best and wisest of the Lord Deputies any scheme for the general improvement of the Irish people. I fail to find in their numerous projects for keeping Ireland in order any indications of a nobler aim or loftier purpose than that of retaining Ireland for the benefit of
* Hooker, well acquainted with Ireland, the adviser of the Carews and their faithful friend, speaks the sentiments of the times in the following quaint extract —“As the husbandman then prospereth best, when he “ fields and gardens are weeded and cleansed from thorns, brambles, and “briars, prepared for the fire; even so shall the magistrate enjoy the “quiet state of a commonwealth, when justice taketh place, and judgment “is executed; when the good are preserved and cherished [i.e., the English “settlers]; and the wicked [the Irish], prepared for the gallows, accord“ing to their deserts are punished 1" (Chronicles of Ireland, p. 141.)
England at the smallest possible cost and trouble. Forgetful of the truth that governors exist for the benefit of the governed, that only by fearless and unflinching recognition of this law can rulers count upon the obedience of their subjects, no more comprehensive view crossed the vision of English authorities in Ireland, so far as I can discover from these papers. Sometimes, indeed, projects are discussed for establishing schools, for improving and extending the influence of the clergy, for protecting husbandry, tilth, and cattle; but with these and similar designs the condition is invariably coupled that they, for whom these devices are intended, shall learn the English tongue, adopt the English dress and manners, promote in other words, English influence and interests under the guise of their own improvement. There is scarcely a single Lord Deputy—not now to mention inferior officers—to whom some grand and novel panacea does not present itself for the evils and disorders of Ireland; yet withal there is not one, so far as I have been able to ascertain, who ever attempts to emancipate himself from the notion that his highest, if not his exclusive, duty is to promote the ease, the welfare, and security of the English settlers; without this no panacea could prove efficacious. Not that in these respects native chiefs were much better than their conquerors. Little superior to the mass of their countrymen in education, manners, or civilization, they could do nothing substantially to improve the condition of their people. Irish antiquarians, more competent to speak of these matters than I am, may tell us what advances they had made in learning, arts, science, and civilization since the days of Henry II. They may be able to point out satisfactory evidences of progress in the native Irish nobility, if not in the people, from the day when the Saxon first planted his foot on the Irish strand. For it is hard to believe that any people should go backward—any people so witty, subtle, quick, and versatile, —whose cheerfulness centuries of famine, war, and misrule have never been able to extinguish, nor impair the strength and elasticity of their physical powers. But so far as I may judge from the evidence before me, in the Tudor times—let others determine the reasons, I am only concerned with the facts—Irish chiefs had not yet advanced to the elementary proficience of signing their names. Careless of art and literature, indifferent alike to the customs and luxuries of civilization, the O'Neals, O'Mores, and O'Connors—absit in ridia cerbostill lived in unglazed huts” and savage plenty, exercising their martial spirit in plundering their neighbours' beeves; whilst the squirearchy in England, not to mention its nobles, were gazing in their Tudor halls and stately mansions on the trophies of Creqy or of Agincourt, or learned the lessons of chivalry in the pages of Froissart or Sir John Malory. The great Shane O'Neal drank to excess. Tirlough Lenough, scarcely his inferior in rank and power, spent on one occasion 400l. “in tippling and carousing, in three days' time.”+ When Sir Edward Bellingham was Deputy in 1547, he paid an unexpected visit to the great Earl of Desmond in Munster, “whom “he found sitting by the fire, and there took him, and “carried him with him to Dublin.” “This Earl,” says Hooker, “was very rude both in gesture and in apparel, “ having for want of good nurture as much good man
* Speaking of the houses of the tenant farmer in Ireland, “rather swine styes than houses,”—Spenser remarks that this was “the chiefest “cause of his so beastly manner of life, and savage condition, lying and “living together with his beast in one house, in one room, in one bed, that “ is, clean straw, or rather a foul dunghill.” (State of Ireland, p. 529.) f Coxe, I. 351.
“ ners as his kerns and his followers could teach him.
The Deputy having him at Dublin, did so instruct, “ school, and inform him, that he made a new man of him, and reduced him to a conformity in manners, apparel, and behaviours appertaining to his estate and degree; as also to the knowledge of his duty and obedience to his sovereign and prince, and made him to kneel upon his knees, sometimes an hour together, “ before he knew his duty.” Easy, irregular, and indulgent as may have been the rule of their native chiefs, it was in no degree calculated to encourage Irish industry, or improve the condition of the people. In place of a fixed rent, Irish landlords oppressed their tenantry with irregular exactions, sometimes burdensome, generally mischievous. In the inquiries
* Chron. of Ireland, p. 109. And yet as a set-off to these accounts of the general rudeness and uncouthness of the Irish upper classes, the imagination of Spenser is finely touched, not merely by the gallantry, but the appearance of the mounted Irish soldier. No other seemed to bring back to the poet's mind so completely the ancient days of Arthurian knights, and what use he has made of it is evident to the readers of the “Faerie Queene.” Speaking of the quilted leathern jack then used by the Irish horsemen, and, with native English pride, claiming for it an English origin, Spenser remarks in his stately language -—“It was the proper “ weed of the horseman, as you may read in Chaucer, when he describeth Sir Thopas’ apparel and armour, as he went to fight against the giant in his robe of shecklaton, which is that kind of quilted leather with which they use to embroider their Irish jackets. And there likewise by all that description you may see the very fashion and manner of the Irish horseman most truly set forth, in his long hose, his riding shoes of costly cordewaine, his bacqueton and his haber“jeon, with all the rest thereunto belonging.
“ Eudorus. I scarcely thought that the manner had been Irish, for it is “far differing from that we have now, as also all the furniture of his “horse, his strong brass bit, his sliding reins, his shank pillion without “stirrups, his manner of mounting, his fashion of riding, his charging of “his spear aloft above his head, the form of his spear.” (State of Ireland, “ p. 525.)
made by English commissioners on this subject we find that Lady Catharine Poer required not only coyne and livery* for her own horses and boys, but also for all her guests, whether English or Irish;-mo slight demand, considering the profuse hospitality of the Irish nobility. From every ploughland and every three cottages Lord Kildare demanded a workman for a week in the year, for ditching and building fastnesses on the borders, and an axeman for one or two days to cut passages through the forests. When Lord Poer or Lord Ossory hunted, their dogs were supplied with bread and milk or butter. When the Deputy or any other great man visited Lady Poer, she levied from her tenantry a subsidy of meat, drink, and candles, at her pleasure. On one occasion she exacted a fine of five marks from one of her retainers whose horse or cattle had been stolen, through his want of due vigilance. Whenever she took a journey to Dublin, the charges were defrayed by her tenants. In other instances it was found that the lords insisted upon purchasing the produce of their tenants at a price fixed by themselves, and prohibited the sale of it without their
* “What livery is, we, by common use in England, know well enough; namely, that it is allowance of horse-meat, as they commonly use the word in stabling, as to keep horses at livery ; the which word, I guess, “ is derived of livering or delivering forth their nightly food. So in “great houses the livery is said to be served up for all night ; that is, “ their evening's allowance for drink, And livery is also called the “ upper weed, which a serving-man weareth, so called (as I suppose), “ for that it was delivered and taken from him at pleasure. So it is “apparent that by the word livery is meant horse-meat, like as by the word coigny is understood man's meat. . . . The which is a “ common use amongst landlords of the Irish, to have a common spending upon their tenants. For all their tenants being commonly but tenants at will, they used to take of them what victuals they list ; for of victuals they were wont to make small reckoning.” (Spenser's State of Ireland, p. 513. See also Carew Papers, II. 153.)