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two months’ pay if a common soldier, and if an officer he shall lose his place. “Every private soldier, upon pain “ of imprisonment, shall keep silence when the army is to “take lodging, or when it is marching or imbattling, so as “ the officers may be heard.” The best comment on these orders will be found in a description of the state of the army a few months before, sent by Sir John Dowdall to Secretary Cecil.” The whole paper is remarkable for the clear insight it affords into the disorders of Ireland and their causes, but I am only now concerned with that portion of it which relates to the state of the soldiery. The writer puts the question, “Why are the forces so weak and poor?” and his answer is, that one of the main causes is to be attributed to the electing of captains rather by favour than desert; for many are inclined to dicing, wenching, and the like, and do not regard the wants of their soldiers. Another cause, he adds, is that the soldiers do rather “meditate,” that is, follow the fashions of the disarmed companies that came out of Brittany and Picardy, “desiring a scald rapier before a good sword, a pike without carettes or burgennett, a hagbutteer without a morion.” Then follows the dilatory and inefficient supply of provisions and clothes. The victuals he asserts are many times corrupted; the suit of clothes valued at 40s. is not worth half. Most part of the army seem “beggarly ghosts,” fitter for their graves than to fight a prince's battle; the report of which so works in men's minds “that they had as lief go to the gallows as to the Irish wars.” He recommends that the old heavy musket should be replaced by “calivers ” of a musket length and of less weight. The
* Vol. III. p. 353.
musket, with its necessary complement of powder and lead, “doth clog and weary the bearer.” Then, turning to the Irish and their successful resistance of the Queen's authority, he examines the reasons why they are “so strong, so well armed, apparelled, victualled, and moneyed.” The Irish soldier endures no wants; he makes his booty in all parts of the kingdom. He sells and resells the same plunder four times in half a year. The army pays for what it takes; the Irish rebel does not; and so long as there is a plough going, or cattle to be stolen, he will be able to maintain himself, and keep the war afoot. Finally he explains what must seem a riddle to most men, how the Irish, without much trade, and with less commerce, were able to provide themselves with arms and ammunition. This evil arose, like the rest, from the inefficient pay and provision of the regular soldier. Some “Gray merchant” or townsman was always at hand to buy his weapons. The sword, which he was ready to sell for 10s. or 12s., fetched among the rebels 3l. or 4l. A graven morion brought the same sum. The powder at 12d. a pound was resold for 3s. So the war fed itself, and England taught the Irish to fight, and supplied them with the means. a Carew adds to these another and a stronger reason, old as the nation itself-inwoven with the fibres of its growth, inexplicable to him as it is to most English minds. “The “ priests,” he says, “have in their devilish doctrine so “ much prevailed amongst the people as for fear of ex“ communication very few dare serve against the rebels.” And again, “If the Spaniards do come hither, I know no “ part of the kingdom that will hold for the Queen. “ For it is incredible to see how our nation and religion “ is maligned, and the awful obedience that all the whole “kingdom stands in unto the Romish priests, whose ex“ communications are of greater terror unto them than “any earthly horror whatsoever.” They were the real governors of Ireland. It rested with them whether it should be rebellious or obedient. The temporal sword was a weapon of straw against the spiritual; the visible has no terror compared with the invisible. Whatever else it may have taught men, that is the lesson Ireland has taught. So Mountjoy felt; so felt all his contemporaries. But I must bring these remarks to a close. It was well for Elizabeth that two men placed in such a critical position as Mountjoy and Carew could respect and appreciate each other. Carew, though nominally inferior in rank and authority, was in fact the superior, by the favour of Cecil, and the suspicions of Elizabeth. And of this Mountjoy was well aware. At times there was danger of a collision between them, the excessive fondness of Cecil for Carew leading him on more than one occasion to show a regard to the wishes and designs of his favourite which was denied to Mountjoy. The power of the Secretary over both was great; the greater as his influence over his aged mistress increased every day. Mountjoy, soon weary of his post, like most of his predecessors, was anxious to return, but this did not suit the purposes or predilections of Cecil. This volume contains numerous letters of the intrigues set on foot by him to ensure the return of Carew, without awakening the jealousy of Mountjoy. Nay more, to make it appear, if possible, to the Queen, that Mountjoy himself desired it.” How he succeeded, how Elizabeth, worn with years, grew weary of the Irish war, how at the very last she was willing to make terms with Tyrone (p. 417),
how the rebels fed themselves with fond hopes of her decease, and help from Spain, must be told on a future occasion. But I must not take leave of this volume without pointing out to my readers some of the miscellaneous subjects touched upon among its varied contents. These relate to the siege of Kinsale (p. 179); the introduction of a new coinage for Ireland (p. 67, 418), and the prejudices with which it was regarded (p. 71); the employment of Irish companies among the English troops (p. 91); their desire of foreign service (p. 50); the manners of Elizabeth's court (p. 13, 20); the discontents among her courtiers (p. 221); the use of tobacco (p. 16); proceedings against a band of false coiners in London (p. 146); the execution of Biron in France (p. 321); and the valorous death of Owen M'Egan, the Papal nuncio, who rushed upon his enemies with a drawn sword in one hand and his breviary and beads in the other (p. 406).
In the above remarks I have endeavoured to adhere as strictly as possible to the order put forth by the Master of the Rolls. If these remarks appear somewhat disconnected and desultory, my readers will know how difficult it is to avoid such a fault when my observations are necessarily confined to a set of papers which are only subsidiary, and occasional at best.*
1870. J. S. BREWER.
* As Dr. Maziere Brady has preferred a formal complaint against me for going out of my way to attack certain works of his in my last preface, I think it due to myself as well as to Dr. Brady to say that I am wholly innocent of the charge. I have not, to my knowledge, seen, much less read, anything he has written.
1601. Jan. 1. Vol. 615, p. 31.
“I do not write unto you as often (I confess) as either my affection or perchance some occasions require, yet I perceive that what I write unto you doth often miscarry, and at this time I desire to give you a full account of the estate and success of the affairs of our parts, but that I came hither unprovided of such memorials as I have of our proceedings past, and have at this time little leisure to make you large relation of the present. But upon my arrival at Monastereven, which, God willing, shall be shortly, I will send you a full declaration of all things. . . I never fought but I have beaten these rebels, and as I think given a deep blow into this rebellion; . . but my task in these parts is the harder because, Sir, they were the sink of the rebellion, and it is fit for me rather utterly to break them than to go about to bow them, which course will be more long though In Ore Sure. “I hope this good reformation, which began with you, will go on till it end in Ulster; and I think after nothing more than to leave these parts in some good terms, that I may freely bend myself to beat that false traitor out of his country. I do verily believe that it is impossible for him to send many men out of Ulster, for, . . . after our great fights in the Moyry, although his occasion were never greater, yet I could not discern him to be able to draw many men together. “If he send any, I may well both spare you such forces as you send me and more ; if he do not, I desire to be as strong as I may here in Leinster till I have made an end of this work, which I hope shall not be long. Your men shall still remain upon your list, and if there be occasion I will spare you more from hence. “The sending of a thousand hither will be an occasion to keep them in your list the longer; for, as I hear, my Lords, hearing of the quiet of Munster, were resolved to have cast