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mainly directed to the administration of justice, and the
* Ballagheyntymore, where there was no Governor here“ tofore. There came to Cork McCarty More, who “ never submitted himself to the King, ne to any other “ his most noble progenitors, before.” Brown praises Croft above all other Deputies; especially for his sobriety, affability, and sincerity, still more for the efforts made by him to carry into effect the King's orders touching the Beformation. But the commendation he receives from Cusack is far more valuable than any testimony from Brown, for he was a man of much greater ability, more sound and impartial in his judgment—and evidently no enemy to Sentleger. “The gentleness,” he says, “that “ my Lord Deputy doth devise among the people, with “ wisdom and indifference, doth profit and make sure the “ former civility; so as Presidents in Munster, Con“ naught, and Ulster, by God’s grace, make all Ireland “ without great force to be obedient.” These qualities of prudence, conciliation, and gentleness, of which Sir James Croft possessed no small share,
* Carew Papers, I. p. 246. Of this document there is another copy in the State Paper Office ; and this, as well as that in the Carew Collection, is dated May 1553. If the date be correct, it might be objected that the words quoted in the text applied to Sentleger, not to Croft, who was recalled at the end of 1552. I am, however, of opinion, that though dated in 1553, the document was some time under preparation, and refers entirely to the events of the previous year. Mr. Hamilton does not scruple to place it in 1552.
were fortunately for himself assisted by favourable circumstances. Of the two great Irish chiefs, Kildare was an exile, and was not restored until 25th of May 1552.* The young heir of the Ormonds was still detained in England, there to be indoctrinated in English manners and sentiments, and taught to forget if possible his Irish origin. English law was administered without opposition in Limerick, Cork, Kerry, and the extreme west. “The lords and “ captains of those countries,” says Sir Thomas Cusack, in his admirable report of the state of Ireland, at the close of this reign, “ as the Earl of Desmond, the “ Wiscount Barry, the Lord Roche, the Lord FitzMorris, “ and divers others, which within few years would not “hear speak to obey the law, be now in commission with “ the justices of peace to hear and determine causes.” McCarthy More—then the most powerful Irishman in Ireland—had conformed. The Byrnes in Leinster had followed his example; and the Kavanaghs, restrained by the vigilance and example of their neighbours, were willing to purchase peace by apparent if not real submission. Tanistry had been put down in Thomond, and the Earldom erected by English patent took its place. The whole country between Limerick and Tipperary, which within a few years had been “all wild and not conformable to any good order,” was now in such peaceable condition that any man might “pass quietly throughout their countries “at pleasure without danger of robbing or other dis“ pleasure.”+ In fact south of the line drawn from Galway Bay to Dundalk, containing the larger moiety of Ireland, the Irish Lord Chancellor could report that respect for English law and order prevailed, not only to
* Morrin's Calendar, p. 263.
an extent it had never prevailed before, but to an extent which promised the most beneficial results to the peace, industry, and prosperity of the country. Passing over to Connaught. On the death of McWilliam Earl of Clanricard the succession had been hotly contested between his son Richard Bourke and Sir Ulick Bourke, the latter of whom had been elected according to Irish custom captain of his nation. The feud was followed by its usual disastrous consequences—cessation of agriculture, war, waste and devastation. Cusack had reduced the disputants to order. “Within one fortnight, having “ put certain gentlemen to execution for their offences,
‘ by terror thereof and by other means, or (before) that I “ left the country I placed the Earl quietly (in possession), “ and made every one of the country willing to “. . . . . obey him . . . ., and left two hundred * “ ploughs manuring the land, where at my going thither “ there was not past forty ploughs in all the country, but all “waste through war; which ploughing increaseth daily, “ thanks be to God! whereby the country is universally “ inhabited, and so brought to quiet that now the people “ leaveth their ploughs, irons, and cattle in the fields “ without fear of stealing.”f Sligo was held by O'Connor in spite of the King; but O'Connor Sligo, O'Connor Don, O'Connor Roo, and McDermott, of inferior account and of less considerable power than the chiefs already mentioned, had by incessant disputes among themselves ceased to be formidable. In Ulster alone no improvement could be reported. It still remained, and was destined to remain, the scourge
* This correction is supplied from a copy in the Record Office. In the Carew MS., the word hundred has been omitted. f Carew, p. 238.
and plague of the English government. Neither force, art, or conciliation could bring it into conformity, or lighten the cares it imposed upon every successive Deputy, whatever might be his character or his policy. On “the “side of the Banne,” says Cusack, “is Tyrone, where the “Earl of Tyrone hath the rule, the fairest and goodliest “ country in Ireland universal, and many gentlemen of “ the Neils dwelling therein. The same is at least sixty “ miles in length, and twenty miles in breadth. In the “ midst of the country standeth Armagh, pleasantly “ situated, and one of the fairest and best churches “ in Ireland, and round about the same the bishop's “lands. And through occasion of the Earl and Countess “his wife they [have] made all that goodly country “waste; for whereas that country for the most part “ within these three years was inhabited, it was within “ this twelvemonth made most part waste, through his “ making of preys upon his sons, and they upon him, so “ as there was no redress among them, but by robbing the “ poor and taking of their goods, whereby the country was ** all Wasted.”* As a last resource, when all other methods had failed, the Deputy had summoned Tyrone and his Countess to Dublin, where they were detained in a sort of honourable captivity.t
* Carew, p. 243. f There are various remonstrances from Tyrone in Vol. IV. of the Irish State Papers, complaining of his arrest, and of the injuries done him by Bagnall and others. He asserts that he was trained from place to place, and so at last to Dublin, where he was arrested. (See Mr. Hamilton's Calendar, pp. 122–128.) He adds, what seems a needless aggravation of cruelty, that his wife, who came to visit him, had been confined in the Marshalsea for the last six months, his tenants and his country being universally devastated. (Ibid. 54.) He complains bitterly in a letter to the Council, dated from Dublin, 10 April 1552, against the harsh proceedings of the Chancelior, Cusack. There is so much of native I will conclude my remarks on this subject with one more acute observation taken from the same able report,
force in his appeal, that I am tempted to place the following extracts from it before my readers:— “My duty remembered to your Honours.—It is not to you unknown, “ noble magistrates, that like as the ground is well tilled, so doth it bring “ forth fruit accordingly. And so as I, a man being from the beginning “ of rude education, in anywise could not temper myself after such sort, but that some spark of the old leaven must remain. Therefore, inasmuch as the Prince of most famous memory Henry the VIII., father “ to my Sovereign Lord the King that now is, ennobled me with the name “ of honour of Earl of Tyrone, and endowed me with all the lordships,
“manors, jurisdictions, and hereditaments within the limits and precincts o
of Tyrone during my life natural, as in the letters patents thereof at “large appeareth. And as before the time of my submission, for lack “ of knowledge, I used a certain kind of discipline with those under my jurisdiction, as when they disobeyed me in things reasonable, I took “ away their kine and cattle; so after, upon occasion, I omitted not the “ like. And this was because, after my said submission, no Deputy “ repaired into the confines of my said territory either to prescribe any “ order to those of my jurisdiction to do their duty towards me, or to “ limit to me how I should use them. “Nevertheless, now of late I am so scourged by means of my Lord “Chancellor here, that as a captive or prisoner I am kept at Dublin, not “ once able to go see my country, to my great impoverishment, wonderful “ discredit, and utter undoing of my tenants. And such is the example “ thereof, that I fear other potentates of this realm will sooner revolt “ than once come to the Deputy, taking their pattern by me. For first, “ after my submission, no man can prove that I misbehaved myself against “my Prince in any point, but the uttermost of my power served at the “ Deputy's commandment from time to time; yet have I the Baron of “ Dungannon so maintained against me ; I am detained, as is afore declared, “to my undoing ; my country in the meantime spoiled and made desolates “my tenants and followers killed, robbed, and spoiled, to the evil and “ pernicious example of other ; and this in respect of rewards given by “ the same Baron.” He then states that he had made several petitions for redress, which had not been attended to ; that in the disputes between O’Donnell and his son the Calloghe, the castle of Neffynne “was evulsed out” of O'Donnell's possession, and delivered to the Calloghe contrary to all equity ; “ not without suspicion of 400 kine to be delivered to the said Chancellor “ and others therefor, which is a piteous case. And the very cause why “I speak of O'Donnell's matter in this my letter is, that he being an old