« PreviousContinue »
necessary for his Lordship's sacleattes and provision was always ready at his gates to be delivered. His Lordship] commanded his officers that no man should depart from his gates without meat and drink, insomuch the poor and simple people thought he was the King's son, and all other thought his Lordship another Solomon among them. He also commanded that none of those whom he brought out of England in especial should not take more use of any in Ireland, no nother but as they would have been used themselves. And at his departing he made a proclamation at a day certain he would depart into England, if wind did serve, before which time his Lordship required asl men that he owed anything, or any other of his could be charged withal, he himself would have seen it paid; the which he did accordingly. By reason whereof all English and Irish men, women, and children in Ireland, that heard of this, upon their knees did pray devoutly that his generation should continue as long as any man in England or Ireland. A men. “His men was kept in great towns and within his Lordship's house, and also his horses; so that no man had cause to say nor think evil of his Lordship's doing. And often he would say that he came to Ireland to do the country good, and so was commanded by the King, and also would say that his conscience was grieved when he heard a poor man complained. This nobleman departed out of Ireland the last of May, after the Duke of Buckingham was beheaded, which was the year of our Lord 1520 [sic, for 1521], with as many prayers as blessings, both of poor and rich, as ever man that did depart out of Ireland; for in his time was corn, cattle, fish, health, and fair weather, that the like was not seen many years before. “He had such grace that there was neither poor, neither rich, but lamented his departure, as though all goodness were from them ravished. He was so careful for the poor, so upright amongst the higher powers, that he was rather to be alter Salmon called, than a private minister. He never sought no man's blood; he never coveted nothing of any that was other men’s; he was never malicious to any. To be short, without many frivolous words to multiply, it was thought by divers that he never offended within the compass of the seven deadly sins all the while he was in Ireland. What shall I say of his Lordship more ? My wit do not serve me to give him half his worthy commendation. Therefore to God I leave his Lordship and his generation in secula seculorum.”
(1522.) Surrey enjoyed a greater authority than was entrusted to any subsequent Deputy. To save expense the
King resolved to place the sword, with a more restricted power, in the hands of some nobleman of Irish extraction, and probably the influence of Surrey may be traced in the appointment of Sir Pierce Butler, called Earl of Ormond. But Sir Pierce had apparently little other conception of his duties than that of making his authority subservient to his own interests and the annoyance of the Geraldines. After a short rule, and numerous complaints from Kildare and his friends, Ormond was removed, and Kildare once more became Deputy on the 4th of August, 1524.”
Rildare had not been long settled in his office, when complaints were made against him, by Ormond, of partiality in his administration, and infringement of his indentures. His accusation was answered by Kildare, who retaliated upon Ormond by accusing him of fostering rebellion and discontent. It is impossible, at this distance of time, to determine the truth of these charges and countercharges. Ormond had a powerful advocate in his son, the Lord James Butler, a member of Wolsey's household. Nor was the government of Kildare likely to be popular with the Irish Council. He was sent for to England to be confronted with the titular Earl of Ormond, afterwards created Earl of Ossory, on 22nd February 1528.f
* During his stay in England he had married his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas, second Marquis of Dorset. Among his sureties for good behaviour are found the names of Cecily, the Dowager Marchioness of Dorset, Lord Leonard Grey, and others. (Carew Papers, I. 17.) His indenture as Deputy will be found at p. 27. I may observe in passing, that Thomas Cromwell had been a servant in the household of the Dowager Marchioness.
f See the account of the ceremonies of his creation in Carew Papers, I. 37. On this occasion Ossory was accompanied by Sir Thomas Bullen, lately created Viscount Rochford.
Of the precise period when Kildare was recalled it is impossible to speak with certainty. His examination at the Council table, and his bold reply to Wolsey on that occasion, are notable passages in all popular histories of Ireland, but the source from which they are derived is not entirely free from suspicion.*
During Kildare's absence in England, his substitute, the Lord Delvin, was attacked by O'Connor, taken prisoner, and many of his men slain, “to the great “ discomfort of all the King's subjects here, and en“couraging of his Grace's rebels.” f The malice, as Norfolk expressed it, between the Earls of Kildare and Ossory continued as bitterly as ever. The whole land was thrown into confusion by their ceaseless disputes. “I most humbly beseech your Grace,” the Duke writes
* It is not easy to determine the precise date of this event. Kildare was twice in England, and twice in disgrace. According to Lord Herbert, quoting from Campion, “Kildare was sent for to the Council table, 1527, “ where the Cardinal, his old enemy, declaimed against him. But he wittily and boldly defended himself, as our history, and especially Campion, hath it at large. Howbeit he was committed, and more accusations produced against him ; and particularly that the invasion his brethren had made upon the Earl of Ossory, now the King's Deputy, proceeded from him; whereof also being convict, he was condemned, and reprieved in the Tower. At which the Cardinal offended, sends the lieutenant a warrant for his execution. But the lieutenant, favouring Kildare, acquainted our King therewith ; who thereupon not only respited his death, but some while after pardoned and sent him home to his country; checking the Cardinal in the meantime not a little for his presumption.” (Complete History of England, II. 96.) If this statement be correct, Kildare's appearance at the Council table must be referred to the year 1522, for Ormond was not Deputy in 1527. If we adopt 1522 as the true year, it is very unlikely that Kildare would have been sent a second time to Ireland, after he had thus provoked the powerful Cardinal ;such a supposition is scarcely reconcilable with his subsequent professions of attachment to Wolsey. See especially his letter in the State Papers, II. 98.
f Council of Ireland to Wolsey, 15 May 1528.
to Wolsey, on the 3rd of July 1528, “as well for the “ honour of his Highness, your Grace, and of this realm, “ now in this time of great need, so to look upon the “ poor land of Ireland, that it take not more hurt “ this year than it hath done in any year sith the first “ conquest; which was never so likely to ensue as “ now, considering the great weakness as well of good “ captains of the Englishry, as lack of men of war, and “ also the great dissension between the greatest bloods “ of the land, and the Irishmen never so strong as
(1528.) In this perplexity the King proposed that the Earl of Ossory, or his son, Lord James Butler, should be appointed Deputy. Wolsey's thoughts at the time were fully occupied with the King's divorce. From July to the end of September in 1527 he had been in France, arranging a treaty with the French King against the Emperor, who had already become aware of Henry's intentions to separate from Catharine. He did not need the interminable difficulty of Ireland to be added to the rest of his troubles; and in his memorial addressed to the King by Vannes and Uvedale,” he complains that he was at that time “right unable and unmeet” to put in execution the King's wishes touching Ireland. He thought it scarcely advisable that James Butler should be appointed Deputy, as from his youth and inexperience he was as yet unmeet for so grave an employment. Ossory, the father, “his age, unwieldiness, and other passions considered,” was still less eligible. He therefore proposed “that none other Deputy should be made at this time.” By continuing of Kildare in his office, the Irish, in hope of his return, would remain quiet; for, “if by good wisdom, dexterity, and policy “ they be not contained by dulce and fair means, and “ some hope of the Earl of Kildare's return,” they would combine and destroy the whole Englishry. So precarious at that time was the tenure of English authority in Ireland (1529.) So, in conformity with the advice of Wolsey, Kildare was retained in office for the present; and by a clever stroke of policy the King contrived to extricate himself out of the difficulty in which he was placed. For on the 22nd June 1529 he appointed his natural son, the Duke of Richmond, as Lord Lieutenant, giving him for his Deputy Sir William Skeffington.” Skeffington reached Dublin in August 1529, attended by Kildare, who had made a faithful promise to the King “to “ employ and endeavour himself for the annoyance of “ the King's rebellious subjects of the wild Irishry.” + Skeffington took with him 200 horse ; but it was specified in his instructions that if Skeffington, who was at that time old and sickly and often incapable of action, should not fortune to be engaged in person on any expedition, he should, at the requisition of Kildare, allow him the use of the said horsemen. Kildare was to receive a moiety of the profits gained in their exploits. In fact the authority and emoluments of the place were divided between the two, and led to consequences which are sure to follow from such arrangement. The two could not long work harmoniously together. The enemies of the Deputy were not the enemies of Kildare; nor Kildare's friends the friends of the Deputy. Quarrels intervened. Kildare complained of Skeffington's inability
* See Carew Papers, I. 39.