Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Annals of the Four Masters (Author: [unknown])

Annal M1571


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1571. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred seventy-one.


Mac Namara (Teige, the son of Cumeadha, son of Cumara, who was son of John), supporter of his adherents and friends, and exterminator and destroyer of his enemies, died; and his son, John, took his place.



Cusack (Thomas, son of John), head of the counsel of the English of Ireland, who had been thrice Viceroy of Ireland, died.


Mac Gorman (Melaghlin, the son of Thomas, son of Melaghlin Duv), supporter of the indigent and of a house of hospitality, died.


James Mac Maurice took Kilmallock, not from a desire of obtaining its riches and various treasures, though its riches were immense, but because it had always been the rendezvous and sally-port of the English and Geraldines in their contests against him. Before sunrise in the morning those who had gone to sleep happily and comfortably were aroused from their slumber by a furious attack made by the warlike troops of the Clann-Sweeny and Clann-Sheehy, who were along with James Mac Maurice; and they proceeded to divide among themselves its gold, silver, various riches, and valuable jewels, which the father would not have acknowledged to his heir, or the mother to her daughter, on the day before. They were engaged for the space of three days and nights in carrying away the several kinds of riches and precious goods, as cups and ornamented goblets, upon their horses and steeds, to the woods and forests of Etharlach, and sending others of them privately to their friends and companions. They then set fire to the town, and raised a dense, heavy cloud, and a black, thick, and gloomy shroud of smoke about it, after they had torn down and demolished its houses of stone and wood; so that Kilmallock


became the receptacle and abode of wolves, in addition to all the other misfortunes up to that time.


In the spring of this year an English President, Sir John Perrott, was appointed over the two provinces of Munster. He had many ships and barques, companies and captains. The chiefs, noble rulers, lords, and dynasts of the country joined him at once; but the soldiers, insurgents, the mercenaries and retained troops of the country sided with James, though, of (all) his fortified residences, he retained Caislen-na-Mainge only. The President commanded the men of Munster to muster all their forces, and, providing their own provisions, to come to him on the ensuing festival of St. John, for the purpose of besieging Caislen-na-Mainge. They did so at his command, and continued besieging the castle from the festival of St. John to the middle of autumn; but their efforts proved fruitless, for they did not take the castle that year. The President (upon this) went to Cork, and the men of Munster departed for their respective homes.


On the festival of St. Patrick in this year, the President of the province of Connaught, Sir Edward Phiton, issued a proclamation for holding a court during eighteen days in the monastery of Ennis, to devise measures to set to rights and reduce the Dal-Cais and the inhabitants of Upper Connaught. The President, mindful of the perilous position in which he had been placed in the preceding year by the Dal-Cais, went attended by a strong body of cavalry and stout soldiers; and he was occupied for the eighteen days before mentioned in establishing laws and regulations, and abolishing injustice and lawlessness. The Earl of Thomond (Conor, the son of Donough O'Brien) gave up his country and his lordship to the President, as an atonement for the lawless act which he had formerly committed against him, and gave up to him Magh O'mBreacain, the only one of his (former) towns then in his possession; so that the towns of Magh O'mBreacain, Bunratty, Claremore, and Clonroad, were in the possession of the President, on his leaving the territory; and he carried hostages from every chieftain in Thomond along with him to Athlone.


It would not be easy to enumerate all the hundreds of kine that were given to the President during the two years that he remained in Thomond.


John, son of Gilla-Duv, son of Dermot, who had been the O'Shaughnessy from the time of the death of his father to this year, was deprived of that title, and also of Gort-Insi-Guaire, by his father's brother, Dermot Reagh, the son of Dermot, for he was the senior in reality.

Annal M1572


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1572. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred seventy-two.


The Archbishop of Tuam, Christopher Bodkin, died, and was interred at Galway.


The Bishop of Kilfenora (Iohn Oge, the son of John, son of Auliffe O'Niallain), teacher of the Word of God, died, and was interred in Kilfenora itself.


Margaret, daughter of Conor, the son of Turlough, son of Teige O'Brien, a woman full of hospitality, integrity, piety, purity, and chastity, died.


The Lord Desies, i.e. Maurice, son of Gerald, son of John, who was son of Garrett, who was son of James, who was son of Garrett the Earl, died; and his brother, James, was appointed to his place.


John; the son of Thomas, son of Richard Oge, son of Ulick Roe, son of Ulick of the Wine, was drowned in the River Suck.


Henry O'Craidhen, a rich and affluent merchant of Lower Connaught, died.


Owen Roe, the son of Farrell, son of Donnell Roe Mac Ward; Maurice Ballagh, the son of Cucogry, son of Dermot O'Clery; and the son of O'Moirin, were hanged by the Earl of Thomond (Conor, the son of Donough). The Maurice and Owen aforesaid were learned in history and poetry; and this treacherous act was the cause of satire and malediction to the Earl.


John, the son of Colla, son of Donnell, son of Owen Mac Donnell, died.


A proclamation was issued by the President of the province of Connaught, Sir Edward Phiton, about the festival of St. Patrick, respecting a court to be


held at Galway of all those who were under the authority of the Queen, from Limerick to Sligo. At this summons came the Earl of Clanrickard and his sons, Ulick and John, with the chiefs of their people; the descendants of Richard Oge Burke; the Lower Mac William, i.e. John Burke, the son of Oliver, son of John, together with the Lower Burkes; and the Dal-Cais, with their adherents. Upon their arrival before the President in Galway, the two sons of the Earl of Clanrickard, Ulick and John, heard some rumour, on account of which they dreaded the President, and privily fled from the town. When the President heard of this fact, he made prisoners of the chieftains of Clanrickard, and left them in durance in the town; and he himself, with the Earl (the father of the two already referred to, whom he had arrested), proceeded to Athlone, and from thence to Dublin, where he left the Earl, and (then) he himself returned again to Athlone. As soon as the sons of the Earl heard of that affair, they ordered the soldiers and mercenaries of the neighbouring territories to repair to them without delay. That summons was promptly responded to by the Clann-Sweeny of Upper and Lower Connaught, and by the Clann-Donnell Galloglagh (who had many hundreds of Scots along with them). Before however they had time to assemble together, the President took his forces and soldiers with him to Galway, and carried with him the ordnance and rising-out of that town to Achadh-na-n-iubhar, the castle of the sons of Donnell O'Flaherty; and it was Murrough-na-dtuagh, the son of Teige O'Flaherty, that induced him to go on this expedition. Two of the sons of Donnell O'Flaherty were left about i.e. in care of the castle. The President, after having half destroyed the castle, took complete possession of it, and left such part of it as remained undestroyed to Murrough-na-dtuagh O'Flaherty. He then returned to Galway, and passed through Clanrickard and Hy-Many to Athlone, without receiving battle or opposition.


After the aforesaid forces had gathered from all quarters to the sons of the Earl, they and Mac William Burke (John, the son of Oliver) entered into and confirmed a league with each other; and the first thing that they did after that was to set about demolishing the white-sided towers and the strong castles of


Clanrickard; so that they destroyed the towns of the territory, from the Shannon to Burren, except a few. Next, they plundered the district lying between the Rivers Suck and Shannon, and also the Feadha; and pillaged every person who was on friendly terms, or in league with the English, as far as the gates of Athlone. They afterwards proceeded eastwards, keeping the Shannon on the right, directly to Sliabh-Baghna-na-dTuath, crossed over to Caladh-na-h-Anghaile, and burned Athliag. They proceeded to burn, lay waste, plunder, and ravage every town, until they came to Westmeath. Among those was Mullingar, from whence they proceeded to the gate of Athlone, and burned that part of the town from the bridge outwards. Thence they proceeded to the other side of the Shannon, into Delvin-Mac-Coghlan, and back to Sil-Anmchadha ; and there was no chieftain of any district, from Slieve Echtge to Drobhaois, whom they did not induce to become their confederate of war. They destroyed the walls of the town of Athenry, and also its stone houses and its castle; and they so damaged the town that it was not easy to repair it for a long time after them. They passed twice into West Connaught, in despite of the people of Galway, and of the English soldiers left there by the President to assist in defending the town. And they slew the captain of these soldiers at the west gate of the town. And it was also against the will of the O'Flahertys that they went on these two occasions into the territory; and they had no road to pass through, when going or returning, excepting Ath-Tire-oilein; and on each occasion they committed great plunders and depredations upon Murrough O'Flaherty. The sons of the Earl continued from the end of spring to the middle of autumn thus injuring the merchants, and destroying whatever they were able upon the English, and upon all their English and Irish adherents. The Council of Dublin and the chiefs of the English at last resolved to set the Earl at liberty, on terms of peace and friendliness, over his territory and lands, on condition that he should pacify his sons. The Earl accordingly returned to his country in the autumn of this year, and pacified his sons, who dismissed their hired soldiers, after having paid them their stipend and wages. During these enterprises, James, the son of Maurice, son of the


Earl of Desmond, was along with the sons of the Earl of Clanrickard, awaiting to bring the Scots with him into the territory of the Geraldines; and it is impossible to relate all the perils and great dangers, for want of food and sleep, which this James encountered (he having but few troops and forces), from the English and Irish of the two provinces of Munster in this year.


The President of the two provinces of Munster laid siege to Caislen-na-Mainge in the summer of this year, having with him the forces of the two provinces of Munster, both English and Irish, and of the large towns, with their powder and lead. In this encampment were the muster of all the race of Eoghan-Mor, also Mac Maurice of Kerry, i.e. Thomas, the son of Edmond; also the Barrys and the Roches. This whole army continued besieging the castle for the space of three months, and finally took it, through the want of provisions, not at all for want of defence; and it was for the purpose of bringing Scottish auxiliaries to relieve the town that James was along with the sons of the Earl of Clanrickard, as we have before stated.


There was a great mortality of men and cattle in this year.

Annal M1573


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1573. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred seventy-three.


Shrove-Sunday and the festival of St. Bridget fell on the same day in this year. The day of the Annunciation occurred after Easter, and Ascension-day in the spring, which was a great wonder to all.


Mac Allen (Gilla-Easpuig, the son of Gilla-Easpuig), by no means the least distinguished of the Gaels of Scotland, died.


Magrath (William, the son of Aengus), Ollav of Dal-Cais in poetry, a learned man, distinguished for his knowledge of the sciences and agriculture, died.


Donough Reagh, the son of Teige O'Kelly, died.


An English Earl, the Earl of Essex by name, came to Ireland as President over the province of Ulster in the autumn of this year, and went to reside in


Carrickfergus and in Clannaboy. At this time Brian, the son of Felim Bacagh O'Neill, was chief of Trian-Chongail and Clannaboy; and many plundering attacks and conflicts took place between Brian and the Earl from this time to the festival of St. Patrick following


Murrough, the son of Dermot, son of Murrough O'Brien, was slain by Ulick Burke, the son of Rickard, who was son of Ulick-na-gCeann, and O'Shaughnessy, i.e. Dermot Reagh, the son of Dermot, who was son of William, son of John Boy. O'Shaughnessy was the man who laid hands on him. John Burke deprived O'Shaughnessy of Gort-insi-Guaire, in revenge of the killing of his kinsman.


James Mac Maurice continued warring and contending with the English in this year; but a peace was at last confirmed between him and the President of the province of Munster, precisely in the spring; and it happened, through the miracles of God and the exertions of James, that the Earl of Desmond (Garrett, the son of James, son of John) and his brother, John, who had been in captivity in London for six years, were set at liberty by consent of the English Council; and they arrived in the harbour of Dublin. The Earl was taken, and put under arrest in the town; and John was permitted to visit the wilds of fair Munster, and to visit his patrimony and the surviving remnant of his followers.


The President of the two provinces of Munster went to England in the commencement of the following autumn, after having reconciled and subdued the country, and having left such superintendents, counsellors, and captains of his own people to direct and govern it, as were pleasing to his own mind. The departure of the President was lamented by the poor, the widows, the feeble, and the unwarlike of the country.


The Earl of Desmond found an opportunity of making his escape on the festival of St. Patrick following, against the will of the Council, and without their kpowledge or notice; and he arrived, by three nights' walking (accompanied by a few), in the very midst of the Geraldines. The distinguished chief who had there arrived was made welcome; and he, who had arrived in the territory with only a few attendants, was soon surrounded by hundreds of troops.



In the course of one month afterwards he expelled the English hirelings and warders who had been stationed in the fortresses and towns of the men of Munster, for the President and his Englishmen had possession of Caenraighe, with its castles, Baile-na-Martra, and Caislen-na-Mainge Castlemaine. These castles, with their warders, were taken by the Earl, so that by the end of the month he had not left a proprietor of a single townland, from the Meeting of the Three Waters to Bealach-Chonglais, and from Bealach-Chonglais to Limerick, whom he did not subdue and bring under the control of his bonaghtmen and stewards. He ordained that the Church and the men of science should be restored to the possession of their privileges; and he re-established the religious orders in their own respective places, according to the law of the Pope, as was right.


A war broke out among the Dalcassians themselves. On the one side, in this war, were Donnell, the son of Conor O'Brien, and Teige, the son of Murrough O'Brien; on the other were the sons of Donough O'Brien, i.e. the Earl and Turlough; but the Earl himself was not in the country on that occasion. A contention arose between Teige, the son of Conor, and Teige, the son of Murrough, who had been till then united in assisting Donnell, the son of Conor, against the sons of Donough, so that they separated; and Teige, the son of Conor, who had given occasion to this quarrel, went over to the side of his enemies, namely, the sons of Donough O'Brien, in opposition to his own brother, Donnell, the son of Conor; Teige, the son of Murrough; and the inhabitants of the upper part of Thomond. After this, Teige, the son of Conor (to wreak his vengeance upon Teige, the son of Murrough), gathered the soldiers and disaffected gallowglasses of the Geraldines, and brought them with him across the Shannon, to assist the sons of Donough O'Brien; and these were joined by numbers of the Butlers and of the Mac Sweenys of the territory, namely, the descendants of Donnell, the son of John Mac Sweeny, and by the forces of the Earl, with his brother, Turlough, the son of Donough. All these forces


met together at a place called Ard-na-gcabog, where the River Forgas mingles with the sea. From thence they marched, to wreak their vengeance upon the inhabitants of the upper part of Thomond, through the eastern part of the territory of Hy-Cormaic, and the confines of Hy-Fearmaic; and the cries and shrieks of the unfortunate people whom they plundered gave warning of their march in every place through which they passed. They proceeded onwards over the stone road of Coradh Finne, by the gate of the castle of Inchiquin, and by Bothar-na-mac-Riogh ; and some of their people carried utensils and spoils out of the church of Cill-inghine-Baoith; but this profanation of the church of that saint boded no triumph or success to the Dal-Cais. They then proceeded north-west, by the confines of Corcomroe and Burren, and dispatched through the country marauding parties, who collected to one place all the spoils of the country before night. They afterwards pitched a camp, but it was not a place adapted for rest, on account of the crying and wailings of women and widows, who were bewailing their wrongs, after being plundered. When Donnell, the son of Conor O'Brien, and Teige, the son of Murrough, heard of the coming of this great army to oppose them, they immediately mustered all the forces they could, and met together at Carn-mic-Tail. These were they


who were along with them there: the sons of Edmond Mac Sheehy, with a select body of gallowglasses, who had, three nights before, come across the Shannon; and also youths of the descendants of Gilla-Duv, the son of Conor, son of Donough, son of Donnell-na-Madhmann Mac Sweeny. There also was Ulick, the son of Richard Saxonagh, son of Ulick, son of Richard Burke, who had come the day before to visit his kinsman, Teige, the son of Murrough O'Brien. These then resolved with one accord to pursue the army of the enemy; and Donnell, the son of Conor O'Brien, began to excite them to valour; and he spoke as follows: ‘Good people,’ said he, ‘I have heard from the old and the historians that it is not by the multitude of men or forces that a victory is gained, and that no person is a judge of the issue of a field of battle. These people have been guilty of wrongs and excesses towards us, for they have made an irruption into our own lawful territory, and plundered and pillaged our people. Their army however, though numerous, is only a medley of different people from different places, who care not whether they stand or fly, so they can but escape with their lives from the field whereon we shall meet.’ This exhortation from Donnell to his people produced its intended effect; and they promised that they would all unite in brotherly affection against their enemies; and thereupon they resolved to send out people to spy and reconnoitre the camp that night. Teige, the son of Conor O'Brien, and Turlough, the son of Donough O'Brien, and their forces, remained all that night, until daybreak the next morning, stationed by the side of their camp, vigilantly and warily. At sunrise they marched forwards by Sliabh-na-ngroigheadh, keeping Bel-atha-an-Ghobhann on the left hand; and the forces of the country were marching slowly along side of them, to come to an engagement; and they displayed on both sides their winged and broad-tailed standards, but marched with steady step by the Pass of Cill-Mainchin, directly towaIds Bel-an-chip. Teige, the son of Murrough, and the army in general, began to reproach Donnell O'Brien for the length of time they were without engaging


the other army; and the two armies had been moving opposite each other from Baile-atha-an-Ghobhann to that place. Teige, the son of Conor, and Turlough O'Brien arrived with their forces on the summit of the hill of Bel-an-Chip, and formed themselves into such array for fighting as they themselves considered proper. The other army and the inhabitants of the country were pursuing them up the steep and rugged side of the hill on which they were; but before they could come within shots of them, the constables of Teige and Turlough were seized with trepidation, horror, light-headedness, giddiness, and unsteadiness, so that they immediately took to flight. The others proceeded to mutilate, hack, and slaughter them by twenties and thirties, by twos and threes, in the route, from thence to Beann-Formala. It was not in the same direction these defeated troops passed, for the cavalry moved westwards, keeping the sea on their right, and their infantry passed on directly south-east. Both parties, however, were expertly pursued. They gave loose reins to their horses, and ran with all the speed they could exert; and Turlough O'Brien and twelve horsemen of his followers made their way, by force of bravery and the swiftness of their steeds, to Cathair-Ruis. Others of his people were wounded and taken prisoners; and among the rest were Teige, the son of Conor O'Brien, and his son, Turlough, for these had remained on the hill, expecting that the rest would remain along with them. Some of the Earl's faithful people were (also) taken prisoners, who, it was thought, would get no quarter; and many others of them were slain. Noisy were the ravens and carrion-crows, and other ravenous birds of the air, and the wolves of the forest, over the bodies of the nobles slain in the battle on that day. The upper part of Thomond was the better for some time afterwards of all the prisoners, horses, armour, and ordnance, and also of the number of their own herds and flocks, left to them on that day.



Maurice, the son of Gilla-Riagh O'Clery (i.e. the O'Clery), a man learned in history and literature, and a man of esteem and affluence, died in Muintir-Eolais, and was interred in Fenagh of Moy-Rein, in the church of St. Caillin.

Annal M1574


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1574. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred seventy-four.


Con, the son of Calvagh, son of Manus O'Donnell, was treacherously taken prisoner by the Earl of Essex, in the Earl's own camp, and sent to Dublin.


The Earl of Desmond was plundering and harassing his enemies in the spring of this year. He defeated Mac Carthy More (Donnell, the son of Donnell, son of Cormac Ladhrach). Mac Fineen (Donough, son of Donnell, son of Fineen) was slain by the Earl's people; and his death was a cause of great grief in Desmond. A young constable of the gentlemen of Clann-Sweeny, namely, one of the sons of Donough Bacagh, son of Mulmurry, son of Donough, son of Turlough, son of Owen, son of Mulmurry, son of Donough, and many other distinguished persons besides, were slain by them.


The son of the Earl of Desmond (John, the son of James) took by surprise a good and strong castle, called Doire-an-lair, and placed in it trustworthy warders of his own people to guard it. When the Lord Justice of Ireland (Sir William Fitzwilliam) and the Earl of Ormond (Thomas, the son of James, son of Pierce Roe) had heard of this castle, it renewed their recent and old animosity against the sons of the Earl of Desmond; and they summoned the men of Meath and Bregia, the Butlers, and all the inhabitants of the English Pale, to proceed to devastate Leath-Mhodha. The summons was obeyed, and they marched, without halting, until they had pitched their tents and pavilions around Doire-an-lair, which they finally took; and the Lord Justice beheaded all the


warders. His people and auxiliaries were so much abandoning the Earl of Desmond, that he resolved upon repairing to the Lord Justice, and making unconditional submission to him: this he did, and he was obliged to deliver up to the Lord Justice Castlemain, Dungarvan, and Kenry; and thereupon whatever wrongs had been committed on either side up to that time should be forgiven.


Peace, sociality, and friendship, were established between Brian, the son of Felim Bacagh O'Neill, and the Earl of Essex; and a feast was afterwards prepared by Brian, to which the Lord Justice and the chiefs of his people were invited; and they passed three nights and days together pleasantly and cheerfully. At the expiration of this time, however, as they were agreeably drinking and making merry, Brian, his brother, and his wife, were seized upon by the Earl, and all his people put unsparingly to the sword, men, women, youths, and maidens, in Brian's own presence. Brian was afterwards sent to Dublin, together with his wife and brother, where they were cut in quarters. Such was the end of their feast. This unexpected massacre, this wicked and treacherous murder of the lord of the race of Hugh Boy O'Neill, the head and the senior


of the race of Eoghan, son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, and of all the Gaels, a few only excepted, was a sufficient cause of hatred and disgust of the English to the Irish.


The sons of the Earl of Clanrickard, namely, William and John, violated their pledged word and brotherly friendship ; and John Burke took many Scotch and Irish mercenaries into his service. The Earl of Ormond afterwards obtained protection for him; and he delivered up hostages into the hands of the Earl, to be kept for the Queen.


On the calends of May this year a shower of hail fell, after a strange and wonderful manner, for some saw nothing in it but what belonged to such showers in general; while there were others whose good strong houses it swept away, and whose flocks and herds it smothered. The fields of green corn, which had been sown a quarter or half a year before, were left by this shower bare and barren plains, without corn or blade. The same shower left upon the shins of those on whom it fell lumps the exact size of one of the hail-stones.



The son of Teige, son of Teige O'Rourke, was slain by some of the inhabitants of Breifny, on the Green of Dromahaire.

Annal M1575


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1575. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred seventy-five.


Rury, the son of Hugh (i.e. the O'Donnell), son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv O'Donnell, was, while quelling a riot at Donegal, unintentionally slain by Cahir, the son of John, son of Tuathal O'Gallagher, a thing which he wished not to do.


Intense heat and extreme drought prevailed in the summer of this year; there was no rain for one hour, by night or day, from Bealtaine to Lammas. A loathsome disease and a dreadful malady arose from this heat, namely, the plague. This malady raged virulently among the Irish and English in Dublin, in Naas of Leinster, Ardee, Mullingar, and Athboy. Between those places many a castle was left without a guard, many a flock without a shepherd, and many a noble corpse without burial, in consequence of this distemper.


In the autumn of this year a new Lord Justice arrived in Ireland, namely, Sir Henry Sidney. He landed in Ulster, and found Ireland one scene of warfare and intestine commotion. He (however) established peace, friendship, and charity between the Kinel-Connell and the Kinel-Owen, and throughout every part of Ulster, the province in which he first landed; and this Lord Justice banished to England the Earl of Essex, who had invaded Ulster, and acted treacherously towards Con, the son of Calvagh O'Donnell, and Brian, the son of Felim Bacagh O'Neill. About the time that this Lord Justice arrived in Ireland, Con, the son of Calvagh O'Donnell, and Con, the son of Niall Oge O'Neill, who had been in prison in Dublin, made their escape; and Con O'Donnell remained concealed in the forests and wilds of his native territory, until the Lord Justice sent him his pardon. In the beginning of winter the Lord


Justice proceeded through Magh Breagh and Meath, and from thence through the Fortuatha of Leinster, and reconciled with each other the English and Irish of East Munster and Meath, as also the race of Rossa Failghe, and the descendants of Conall Cearnach. He afterwards, about Christmas, proceeded in a south-westerly direction, respectively visiting Waterford, Youghal, and Cork, and suppressed countless numbers of rebels, and beheaded great numbers of bad men in these districts, as he passed along.


A war broke out among the O'Briens in this year. On one side were the sons of Conor O'Brien, and the sons of Murrough O'Brien; on the other were the sons of Donough, namely, the Earl and Turlough; and Tuath-Ua-mBuile and Tuath-na-Fearna, including cattle, corn, and buildings, and both temporal and spiritual possessions, were burned (in one night's marauding) by the Earl.


In the spring of this year James, the son of Maurice, son of John, son of the Earl, went to France, with his wife and children, through fear of the English, with whom the Earl of Desmond and John had made peace.


Hugh, son of Boethius Mac Clancy, Professor of the Feineachas and of poetry, and a purchaser of wine, by no means the least distinguished of the lay Brehons of Ireland, died.

Annal M1576


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1576. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred seventy-six.


Mac Carthy Reagh (Donough, the son of Donnell, son of Fineen) died, a cause of lamentation to the chiefs, of sadness to the husbandmen, and of sorrow to the farmers of his own territory; a man who outshone his seniors, and who was not excelled by his juniors. He was interred in the burial-place of his father and grandfather, at Timoleague; and his brother, Owen Mac Carthy, was inaugurated as his successor.


Owny, the son of Hugh O'Dempsey, was treacherously slain in his own residence of Cluain-na-nGamhan.



Colla, son of Gilla-Duv, son of Conor, son of Donough, son of Donnell-na-Madhmann, son of Owen, son of John na Lathaighe Mac Sweeny, a man who had been successful in battle and conflict, who kept a house of hospitality, and who had been Constable to the Dal-Cais, died.


Boethius Oge, the son of Boethius, son of Murtough Mac Clancy, Ollav of Dal-Cais in judicature, and a man who kept a house of general hospitality, died.


William Oge Mac Ward, son of Cormac, Ollav to O'Donnell in poetry, president of schools, illustrious for his learning and knowledge, a patron and supporter of the learned and the teachers, died at Druim-mor, on the 22nd of February.


Turlough, the son of Tuathal Balbh O'Gallagher, an illustrious head of a clan, was slain by the Connacians, on the 16th of November.


The daughter of O'Boyle, Joan Oge, daughter of Turlough, who was son of Niall, was drowned on St. James's day, as she was learning to swim, in the river of Srath-buidhe.


John Modhardha, son of Mac Sweeny Banagh, died on Easter-Day. He was a hospitable youth, and the most regretted of his tribe at that time.


Conor Oge, son of Donough Maguire, and some of the gentlemen of Fir-Luirg, were slain in Triucha.


Donnell, the son of Dermot, son of Melaghlin Mac Gorman, died in the spring. He was a servant of trust, who, of all his tribe in his time, bore the best name and character for dexterity of hand and hospitality.


The great monastery of Cavan, and the town of Cavan itself, from the great castle downwards to the river, were burned by the daughter of Thomas, son of the Baron, through jealousy. There was not so much destroyed in any one town among the Irish as had been in that town.


Great depredations were committed by Brian O'Rourke this year in Annaly.


The Lord Justice already named, Sir Henry Sidney, a knight by title, nobleness, deed, and valour, proceeded, about the festival of St. Bridget, from Cork


to Limerick; and the chiefs of Munster, both English and Irish, and also the Dal-Cais, went along with him in his train. On this occasion he established peace in the two provinces of Munster, and abolished the taxes of Coigny, Kernetty, Bonaght-bun, and Bonaght-bar. He then took his leave of the Munstermen, and took the O'Briens along with him to Galway. Here the inhabitants of Upper Connaught came to meet him, namely, the Earl of Clanrickard, with his two sons, Ulick and John; Mac William Iochtair (John, the son of Oliver, son of John); Murrough of the Battle-axes, the son of Teige, son of Murrough, son of Rory O'Flaherty; and the O'Kellys, with their retinue. The result of this meeting at Galway was, that the Dal-Cais were detained as hostages for the keeping of their agreements, and making restitution to those who had sued them, except only Donnell O'Brien, whom the Lord Justice selected for his own service, and placed over the county of Clare, for the purpose of keeping it in subjection; and this Donnell did, for he hanged refractory rebels, bad men, and plunderers. While Donnell continued in office it was not found necessary to place watchmen over cattle, or even to close doors. The Lord Justice, after having established peace among all persons throughout every part of Ireland through which he had passed, proceeded to Dublin, taking the sons of the Earl of Clanrickard with him, as pledges for the reparation of all the destruction they had previously effected upon the Queen's people, while endeavouring to rescue their father. When the Lord Justice, however, arrived in Dublin with these hostages, his heart was suddenly melted into kindness, so that he permitted these hostages respectively, namely, the O'Briens and Burkes,as an alleviation to their minds, to go and visit their friends in the neighbouring territories, but upon the condition that they should not pass over the boundary into their own native territories until he should give them liberty to do so, at some future time. They promised to observe this condition, but when the sons of the Earl of Clanrickard had reached the confines of their territory, they did not keep their promise, for they passed into their native territory; and some say that they did so by the connivance of their father. In a very short time, however, this journey was a cause of sorrow to his country, for in


five nights afterwards the Lord Justice came in pursuit of them to Athlone; and their father, the Earl of Clanrickard, was obliged to give up to him the town of Loughrea, and all his territory, both lands and tenements, stone-houses and castles, and he himself was arrested, and declared the Queen's prisoner. The Earl was then conveyed to Dublin, and confined in a close prison, where he heard not the voice of friend or companion. The Lord Justice left a number of captains in Clanrickard, and these and the sons of the Earl who opposed them proceeded to plunder and totally ravage the country between them, so that the whole territory was one scene of pillagings and conflicts. Countless were the numbers of both English and Irish who were slain, and of herds and flocks of cattle that were destroyed, during their contests in the autumn and winter of this year. The wilds, the recesses, the rugged and rough-topped mountains, the hilly and intricate woods of their native territory, were the only parts of it possessed by the sons of the Earl at this time; while the English were masters of its chief fortresses, and its green-sided and delightful hills. Edmond Mac William Burke, of Castlebar, joined the sons of the Earl; and the consequence to him was, that the Lord Justice took Castlebar from him, and banished himself, with his wife and children, into Clanrickard.


The Earl of Essex, who had been expelled the year before by the Lord Justice, Sir Henry Sidney, came to Ireland, as Governor over the province of Ulster this year. He landed in Dublin, but died before the end of a fortnight, of a sudden fit of sickness. His shirt and his heart were sent to his friends, as tokens of his death.


A new President, William Drury by name, was appointed over the two provinces of Munster this year; and Thomond was separated from Connaught, and joined to Munster. The same President made a circuit of the great towns of Munster, to establish laws and regulations for the extirpation of thieves and rebels, and put the Barrott to death, and also two noble and valiant young constables of the descendants of Mulmurry, the son of Donough, son of Turlough Mac Sweeny, namely, the son of Murrough, son of Mulmurry, and the


son of Donough, son of Turlough. From thence i.e. from Barrott's country he proceeded to Limerick, where he hanged several of the gentlemen and common people of the O'Briens, and many others besides these.


James Mac Maurice was in France this year.


At this time Rury Oge, the son of Rury, son of Connell O'More, and Conor, the son of Cormac, son of Brian O'Conor, opposed the English with their wood-kerns; and they were joined by all that were living of the race of Rossa Failghe, and of Conall Cearnach. Shortly afterwards these people formed troops of many hundreds. They burned and desolated large portions of Leinster, Meath, and Fingall.

Annal M1577


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1577. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred seventy-seven.


Con, the son of Brien, son of Owen O'Rourke, a man young in years, but perfect in hospitality and prowess, died.



O'Kane (Aibhne, the son of Cumhaighe, son of Rory of the Route) was drowned in the Bann; and Rory, son of Manus, son of Donough, was inaugurated in his place.


Meave, the daughter of Hugh Roe O'Donnell, a woman who was first married to Mac Gilla-Eoain of Scotland, and afterwards to Donnell Cleireach O'Kane; a woman who had spent her life happily, prosperously, and affluently; who had obtained a great name, renown, and character, for her hospitality and demeanour; and who had passed a long time in piety at Donegal, died there in the eighty-seventh year of her age, after having performed many good actions.


Dubhaltach, the son of Niall Oge Mac Sweeny, one of the Clann-Sweeny of Tir-Boghaine, was slain at the Badhún-mael, by Donnell Oge, the son of Mulmurry. This Dubhaltach was a distinguished comely man, of good hand and hospitality.


Donnell, the son of Sorley Boy, son of Alexander, son of John Cahanagh Mac Donnell, was slain by O'Neill.


Honora, daughter of James, the son of Maurice, son of Thomas, son of the Earl of Desmond, and wife of Pierce Butler, the son of James, son of Edmond, son of Pierce, died.


The son of Brian Carragh, son of Cormac O'Neill, was slain by the army of O'Neill.


Turlough, son of the Abbot O'Dwyer, a virtuous and intelligent man, died; and (his death) was the cause of great lamentation in his own territory.


Mac Gorman (Thomas Oge, the son of Thomas, son of Melaghlin Duv) died; and his kinsman, Seoinin, was installed in his place.


Alexander, son of Calvagh, son of Turlough, son of John Carragh Mac Donnell, was slain in a combat by Theobald Boy Mac Seoinin, in the gateway of Galway; and there were not many sons of gallowglasses in Ireland at that time who were more wealthy, or who were more bountiful and munificent than he.



Teige, the son of Murrough, son of Turlough, son of Teige O'Brien, died, though it was not supposed that he would have died in his bed, on account of the many dangerous battles and perilous passes in which he had been. This heroic soldier was a champion in valour, and a bear in vigour and fierceness.


William, the son of Donough Reagh, son of Teige Duv O'Kelly, died in Dublin, while in company with Captain Maulby; and there came not into Hy-Many any one who was more lamented.


O'Callaghan (Donough, the son of Teige Roe, who was son of Owny, son of Cahir) died; and Callaghan, the son of Conor, son of Donough, was styled O'Callaghan.


A horrible and abominable act of treachery was committed by the English of Leinster and Meath upon that part of the people of Offally and Leix that remained in confederacy with them, and under their protection. It was effected thus: they were all summoned to shew themselves, with the greatest number they could be able to bring with them, at the great rath of Mullach-Maistean;


and on their arrival at that place they were surrounded on every side by four lines of soldiers and cavalry, who proceeded to shoot and slaughter them without mercy, so that not a single individual escaped, by flight or force.


John, the son of James, son of John, son of the Earl of Desmond, was taken prisoner at Cork by the President, William Drury, and sent to Dublin to be imprisoned, where Richard Burke, Earl of Clanrickard, was also imprisoned. What his crime was never was stated. The sons of the Earl of Clanrickard were at peace with the English, but at strife with Thomond.


The President before named went to Thomond a fortnight before the festival of St. John, with a great multitude of the English, and the chiefs of the two provinces of Munster; and he held a court for eight days at Ennis. The Dal-Cais having refused to become tributary to their sovereign, he left a marshal,


with a vigorous and merciless body of soldiers, to reduce them. The President then returned to Limerick, and proceeded to behead the chieftains and rebels of the districts adjacent to Limerick. Among these was Murrough, the son of Murtough, son of Mahon, son of Donough, son of Brian Duv O'Brien, the most renowned and noble of the heirs of Carraig O gCoinnell and Eather-lach.


The Earl of Thomond (Conor, the son of Donough, son of Conor O'Brien) went to England, to complain to the Queen of his distresses and oppression; and he obtained a charter of his territory and towns, and nearly all the Church livings of Thomond, and also a general pardon for his people; and he returned about Christmas, after having received great honour and respect from his sovereign; and he thought that thenceforward his territory would be free from the unjust jurisdiction of officers. But before the arrival of the Earl, the marshal had imposed a severe burden on his people, so that they were obliged to become tributary to the sovereign, namely, to pay ten pounds for every barony. This was the first tribute paid by the Dalcassians.


A war broke out between the Earl of Desmond (Garrett, the son of James, son of John) and Mac Maurice of Kerry (Thomas, the son of Edmond, son of Thomas); and the Earl took Baile-mhic-an-Chaim from Mac Maurice. The young Abbot of Odorney went over to the side of the Earl, and was slain by the shot of a ball in the doorway of the castle, of Lixnaw, which the Earl had besieged. Had no more mischief been done between them than the killing of this abbot, it would have been great enough; but, besides him, numbers of Mac Maurice's people were killed and drowned on the same day. They continued for some time thus at war with each other, until at last they made peace;


and Baile-mhic-an-Chaim was restored to Mac Maurice, as were also his hostages, and a countless number of herds of kine and horses.


Hugh Oge, the son of Hugh, son of John Boy Mac Mahon, made a predatory aggression upon the people of Mac Mahon; and Mac Mahon (Art, son of Brian na Moicheirghe, son of Redmond, son of Glasny) overtook him; and Hugh was slain by Mac Mahon and his people. Scarcely was there another of the race of the Collas who was so great a cause of lamentation on account of his own wealth; and his name and renown were not to be compared with those of the man by whom he was slain.


A wonderful star appeared in the south-east in the first month of winter: it had a curved bow-like tail, resembling bright lightning, the brilliancy of which illuminated the earth around, and the firmament above. This star was seen in every part of the west of Europe, and it was wondered at by all universally.


James, the son of Maurice, remained in France this year also.

Annal M1578


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1578. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred seventy-eight.


The son of O'Neill, i.e. Henry, son of Turlough Luineach, son of Niall Conallagh, son of Art, son of Con, marched an army into Tirconnell against the son of O'Gallagher (Maelcava, son of Cahir, son of Turlough Oge). After his forces had gone forth to collect spoils, and to plunder the town land, the son of O'Gallagher, happening at that time to be outside the town, attacked that youth, after being left with only a few of his forces, and did not spare him, but put him to the sword without mercy, and slaughtered him on the spot. It would have been better for the Kinel-Owen that they had not gone on this expedition.


Mac Clancy of Dartry (Cathal Duv, the son of Feradhach ) died; and his son, Cathal Oge, assumed his place.



O'Byrne (Teige Oge) died at an advanced age; and Dunlang, the son of Edmond O'Byrne, was styled O'Byrne.



O'Duigennan of Kilronan (Dolbh, son of Duffy), Ollav of Tirerrill, a learned historian, who kept a thronged house of general hospitality; a cheerful, eloquent, and affable man, died; and his son, Mulmurry, took his place.



Rury Oge, the son of Rury Caech, son of Connell O'More, fell by the hand of Brian Oge, son of Brian Mac Gillapatrick. This Rury was the head of the plunderers and insurgents of the men of Ireland in his time; and for a long time after his death no one was desirous to discharge one shot against the soldiers of the Crown.


Pierce Butler, son of James, son of Edmond, son of Pierce, died. He was one of the powerful chiefs of the English of Munster.


O'Callaghan, i.e. Callaghan, the son of Conor, son of Donough, son of Teige Roe, was drowned in the River Avonmore; and it was from a blemish of his revenge that he departed, before he had passed an entire year in the enjoyment of his patrimony, between the death of his grandfather and his own death by drowning. The son of the Prior O'Callaghan, i.e. Conor of the Rock, the son of Dermot, son of Teige Roe, son of Owny, son of Cahir, was installed in his place.


Slaine, the daughter of Turlough, son of Teige, son of Turlough, son of Brian Chatha-an-Aenaigh, and the wife of Brian, son of Donough Bacagh, son of Murrough Caech, son of Brian Mac Mahon, died. She was a woman who had spent her life without blemish until she died, at an advanced age.


Sida, the son of Maccon, son of Sida, son of Maccon, Tanist of the eastern part of Clann-Coilen, was slain on the mountain of Sliabh Echtghe, as he was pursuing a prey which the kerns of Clanrickard were carrying off.


O'Heyne (Rory of the Derry, son of Flan, son of Conor, son of Flan) died. From the beginning of his career until his death he was a man distinguished for hospitality and prowess. His brother's son, Owen Mantagh, son of Edmond, was installed in his place.


Meyler, the son of Walter, son of John, son of Meyler Burke, sheriff of the county of Mayo, was slain at Caislen-na h-Elle, in a nocturnal aggression, by


his kinsman, Edmond, the son of Thomas of the Plain, son of Meyler, in consequence of an angry word which occurred between them at a meeting the day before.


In the spring of this year Leitrim of Muintir-Eolais was taken from O'Rourke by an English captain, one of the people of Nicholas Malby; and O'Rourke (Brian, the son of Brian, son of Owen) demolished Dromahaire. Leitrim was afterwards left to the sons of Teige O'Rourke by the English; but in a short time afterwards the same town was taken by O'Rourke, with the permission of the English, but against the will of the sons of Teige.


The chief Justice of Ireland, Sir Henry Sidney, went to England about Allhallowtide, accompanied by Captain Malby; and William Drury, the President of the two provinces of Munster, took his place. The Lord Justice took with him the Earl of Clanrickard (Rickard, the son of Ulick, son of Rickard, son of Ulick) and his son, William Burke, that he might deliver them up to the English Council.


The Earl of Kildare, Garrett, son of Garrett (who had been under arrest in England for two or three years before), returned to Ireland at Christmas.


Thomas, the son of Patrick, son of Oliver Plunkett, Lord of Louth, was slain by Mac Mahon, namely, Art, son of Brian-na-Moicheirghe, son of Redmond, son of Glasny.


The Seneschal of the Contae Riabhach invited Fiagh, the son of Hugh, son of Redmond, son of John O'Byrne of Glenmalure, to a treacherous


conference; but Fiagh having received intelligence that the Seneschal had appointed this conference for a treacherous purpose, he laid another snare for him, and slew one hundred of the youths and chieftains of the Contae Riabhach on that occasion, besides several of the common sort of people.


Brian, the son of Cahir Ravanagh, son of Art, son of Dermot Lávderg, died.


John, son of Donnell, son of Thomas, son of Teige Mac Clancy, Chief Brehon to the Earl of Desmond, died. There was no son of a lay brehon in Ireland in his time who had better tillage or a better house than he.


The Earl of Clanrickard still continued in custody in London.

Annal M1579


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1379. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred seventy-nine.


Donnell, the son of Conor, son of Turlough, son of Teige, son of Turlough, son of Brian Chatha-an-Aenaigh O'Brien, died, in the sixty-fifth year of his age, after a lingering consumption, after laudable penance, and after having gained the victory over the world and men, and was interred with honour and reverence in the monastery of Ennis; and his son, Turlough, was installed in his place. In commemoration of his death these lines were composed:

  1. One thousand five hundred, accurate the account,

    Seven times ten, eight years and one,

    From the death of Donnell, free from fault,

    To the time that the Son of God assumed Humanity.



Honora, the daughter of Donough, son of Conor, son of Turlough, son of Teige O'Brien, died. She was much lamented in Leath Mhogha.


Sir Edward Phitun, the Treasurer, died.


Roland Eustace, the son of Thomas, son of Richard, died.


Hugh, the son of John, son of Redmond, son of John, son of Hugh, son of Donnell Glas O'Byrne, died. He was the senior of Gaval-Ranall, and lord of Glenmalure, the warlike opponent and plunderer of his English and Irish neighbours.


O'Shaughnessy (Dermot Reagh, the son of Dermot, son of William, son of John Boy) and his brother's son, William, the son of Gilla-Duv, son of Dermot, were slain by each other on a certain occasion, when O'Shaughnessy had laid a snare for William in the neighbourhood of Ard-Maeldubhain. William was first slain; and O'Shaughnessy, though he survived him, was so severely wounded that he died in less than an hour afterwards. John, the son of Gilla-Duv, was then styled O'Shaughnessy.


Turlough of the Wooden Leg, son of Mulmurry, son of Donough, son of Turlough, son of Rory Mac Sweeny, was slain by Brian Ballagh, the son of Mulmurry, son of Donough, son of Brian Mac Sweeny, in the gateway of the city of Cork.


Captain Malby returned to Ireland with great presents from the sovereign.


Brian-na-mBarrog, the son of Mulmurry, son of Donough Mac Sweeny, and brother of the aforenamed Turlough, died.


James, the son of Maurice Duv, son of John, son of Thomas, son of the Earl of Desmond, returned from France; and it was rumoured that he had come


with a greater number of ships than was really the case. He landed at Oilen-an-Oir, contiguous to Daingean-Ui-Chuis, in Kerry. At this time the Earl of Desmond was encamped at Cuilleann-O'gCuanach, where he had begun to erect a castle; and, having heard of the arrival of the fleet in Kerry, he went to see it. The chief marshal of the two provinces of Munster, Arthur Carter by name, Master David, and all the Queen's people in Munster, set out to meet the same fleet, as did also the kinsmen of the Earl of Desmond, namely, the two young sons of James, son of John, son of Thomas, namely, John and James Oge. These were in confederacy with James, son of Maurice; and they made an attack by night upon the Marshal and Master David, at Tralee, where they beheaded them while asleep in their beds and couches. They then brought James on shore, and both repaired to the woods of Claenglaise and Coill-mhor. James went forth from these woods on his first expedition after landing, with all his cavalry and infantry, through the middle of Hy-Connell-Gaura and Clann-William; and they proceeded to plunder the country as they passed along. The inhabitants of the country began to assemble to oppose them; and, first of all, the sons of William Burke, son of Edmond, namely, Theobald and Ulick; and Theobald dispatched messengers to Tuath-Aesa-Greine, summoning Mac-I


Brien Ara, to come and banish the traitor from the country. Mac-I-Brien sent a body of gallowglasses and soldiers to Theobald. These then went in pursuit of those heroic bands, and overtook James, who had halted in a dense and solitary wood to await their approach. A battle was fought between both forces, in which James was shot with a ball in the hollow of the chest, which afterwards caused his death. Notwithstanding this, however, he defeated his lordly pursuers. In this conflict a lamentable death took place, namely, that of Theobald Burke, a young warrior, who was a worthy heir to an earldom for his valour and military skill, and his knowledge of the English language and the law. James, the son of Maurice, had not passed far from the scene of this battle when the languor of death came over him; upon which, in a few words, he made his will, and ordered his trusty friends to cut off his head after his death, in order that his enemies might not discover him, so as to recognise or mangle him.


The Lord Justice of Ireland, Sir William Drury, was at this time at Cork, in Munster; and the Earl of Kildare and Sir Nicholas Malby were there along with him. These set out towards the county of Limerick, and pitched their camp in the neighbourhood of Kilmallock. Hither the Earl of Desmond came to meet them; and he endeavoured to impress it on their minds that he himself had no part in bringing over James, the son of Maurice, or in any of the crimes committed by his relatives; and he delivered up to the Lord Justice his only son and heir, as a hostage, to ensure his loyalty and fidelity to the crown of England. A promise was thereupon given to the Earl that his territory should not be plundered in future; but, although this promise was given, it was not kept, for his people and cattle were destroyed, and his corn and edifices burned.



The Lord Justice afterwards set out from the camp of Kilmallock, accompanied by three or four captains and four hundred English and Irish soldiers, to search the wood of Coill-mhor, and try whether they could discover any of their enemies. They fell in with the young sons of the Earl of Desmond, namely, John and James Oge, at Gort-na-Tiobrad; and here a furious engagement was fought between them, in which the people of the Lord Justice were defeated, and three of their captains slain, namely, Captain Herbert, Captain Eustace, and Captain Spris, together with three hundred of their men. Several made their escape to the camp by flight.


The Lord Justice then removed his camp to Bel-atha-na n-Deise, which is situated in the very centre of Clui-Mail-mhic-Ughaine, and here he took his death-sickness. He left Captain Malby to oppose the Geraldines; and he himself was conveyed in a chariot to Waterford, where he died; and the Lord Justice selected by the Council of Dublin was Sir William Pelham, a gentleman of the Queen's people, who had come from England that very week to protect the territory of Bregia, Meath, and Fingal, against the Hy-Niall and the Irish of Leath-Chuinn and Leinster, while the Lord Justice who died and Captain Malby should be engaged in reducing the Munstermen. In the same week the Earl of Ormond returned to Ireland, having been three years in England.


As for Captain Malby, he, after the death of the Lord Justice, proceeded to Limerick to recruit his army, and to procure provisions for his soldiers; and from thence he marched to Askeaton; and it was on the same day that the young sons of the Earl of Desmond came to look for fight or prey in the county of Limerick, when they and the Captain met face to face, although they could have shunned and avoided him. A battle was bravely fought between


them, in which the Irish army were so resolutely encountered and pressed by the Captain's forces, that they were finally routed, with the loss of Thomas, the son of John Oge, son of John, son of Thomas, son of the Earl of Desmond; and Owen, the son of Edmond Oge, son of Edmond, son of Turlough Mac Sheehy; and a great number of the constables of the Clann-Sheehy, with a great many of the people of the sons of the Earl. Great spoils, consisting of weapons and military attire, were left on this occasion to the Captain's people. This battle was fought at Aenach-beag. The Captain after this remained nearly a week at Askeaton, the Geraldines threatening every day to give him battle, though they did not do so. The Captain destroyed the monastery of that town, and then proceeded to Adare, where he remained, subjugating the people of that neighbourhood, until the new Lord Justice, William Pellham, the Earl of Kildare, and the Earl of Ormond, came to join him; and they all encamped together in Hy-Conillo. The Earl of Desmond did not come to meet them on this occasion, because his territory had been ravaged and his people destroyed, although it had been promised to him that these should not be molested. When the Earl had joined his relatives, the resolution which the English adopted was, to station their warders in his castles, viz. in Loch Gair, Rath-mor, Caislen Muirisin, Adare, and Kilmallock, and depart themselves for their homes. However, the whole country from Luachair-Deaghaidh to the Suir, and from Ceann-Feabhrad to the Shannon, was in a state of disturbance.



The sons of the Earl proceeded to destroy, demolish, burn, and completely consume every fortress, town, corn-field, and habitation between those places to which they came, lest the English might get possession of them, and dwell in them; and on the other hand, the English consigned to a like destruction every house and habitation, and every rick and stack of corn, to which they came, to injure the Geraldines, so that between them the country was left one levelled plain, without corn or edifices. The Earl of Desmond then, accompanied by his relatives and the greatest number of forces they were able to muster, proceeded to plunder and burn the possessions of the Roches and Barry, in the territories of Hy-Liathain and Hy-Macaille. They encamped before Youghal, and finally took that town, which at that time was full of riches and goods. The Geraldines seized upon all the riches they found in this town, excepting such gold and silver as the merchants and burgesses had sent away in ships before the town was taken. Many a poor, indigent person became rich and affluent by the spoils of this town. The Geraldines levelled the wall of the town, and broke down its courts and castles, and its buildings of stone and wood, so that it was not habitable for some time afterwards. This was done at Christmas.


A chieftain's first expedition was made in the same week by the Earl of Ormond, into the territory of the Geraldines, and proceeded as far as the Newcastle, whence he carried off all the flocks and herds of the country that he could seize upon; and he returned back without receiving battle or conflict, because at that time the Earl of Desmond and his relatives were in Kerry.


Connell Boy, the son of Gilla-Patrick, son of Pierce O'More, was slain at Birr, in the territory of Ely; and it was better that he was killed, for it was to plunder the town that he had come.



Oliver Roe, the son of John na Beinne, son of John Roe, who was son of John-na-bhfiacal Burke died.


The Earl of Clanrickard remained in England this year also.

Annal M1580


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1580. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred eighty.


Conor, son of Donough, son of Conor, son of Turlough O'Brien, Earl of Thomond, the first man of the descendants of Cormac Cas who had sat in his father's place over that portion of Munster possessed by the descendants of Lughaidh Meann, a junior branch of his family, who had wrested the government of his principality from the hands of his seniors, according to the laws, regulations, and ordinances of the sovereign of England, died in the very prime of his life, having spent forty-five and a half years from the time of his birth to his death, and twenty-two and a half of these in the enjoyment of the chieftainship of his tribe and the command of his people, as this verse proves:

  1. Twenty years was he
    And five half years complete
    Earl over the land of Adhar,
    Conor, like Conn, the sunbright.


This Conor was interred in the monastery of Ennis ; and his son, Donough was installed in his place.


Mac William Burke (John, son of Oliver, son of John), a munificent and very affluent man, who preferred peace to the most successful war, and who always aided the sovereign, died ; and Richard-an-Iarainn, the son of Ulick, installed himself in John's place, without the permission of the sovereign.


The son of O'Donnell (Caffar, the son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv, son of Hugh Roe), Tanist of Tirconnell, (a man) of a bounteous, munificent, and truly hospitable character, and the favourite of the distressed and the learned


of the north of Ireland, died in his own mansion seat of Sgarbhsholas, on the 15th of October, and was buried at Donegal.


O'Beirne (Teige Oge, the son of Teige, son of Carbry, son of Melaghlin), a learned student, very celebrated for his knowledge of the civil and the canon law, died, and was buried at Elphin; and his brother, Carbry, took his place.


The son of Mac Donough of Tirerrill (Mulrony, the son of Cathal, son of Owen), a sanguine and convivial huntsman, fierce to an enemy, and kind to a friend, died.


Teige Reagh, the son of Owen, son of Conor, son of Teige O'Dowda, died.


Donnell, the son of Teige, son of Conor O'Brien, died, and was buried in the monastery of Ennis.


Owen, the son of Tuathal Balbh O'Gallagher, Deacon of Raphoe, died on the 22nd of October.


The son of Mageoghegan (Rossa, the son of Conla, son of Conor, son of Laighne) was unfraternally killed by his brother Brian. It was wonderful how small the inheritance of the Kinel-Fiagha was at this time, for Rossa was only a private gentleman; he was, nevertheless, lamented by the greater number of the men of Ireland. The father of these sons was taken prisoner by the Lord Justice, because it was reported that he had participated in this fratricide.


James Oge, the son of James, son of John, son of Thomas the Earl of Desmond, set out in rebellion to seek a prey in Muskerry; but Cormac, the son of Teige, son of Cormac Oge, son of Cormac, son of Teige Mac Carthy, Lord of the country, had all his forces assembled to oppose him. Cormac, being informed that James had passed by him, proceeded to a certain place, through which he knew James would pass; and he soon perceived James


coming towards him with a prey, and he attacked him, and slew and destroyed the greater number of his people. James himself was taken, and sent to Cork to be imprisoned. He was confined nearly a month in this town, daily preparing himself for death, doing penance for his sins, and asking forgiveness for his misdeeds. At the end of that time a writ arrived from Dublin from the Lord Justice and the Council, ordering the mayor to put that noble youth to death, and cut him in quarters and little pieces. This was accordingly done.


James, the son of John Oge, son of John, son of Thomas the Earl of Desmond, was slain in the course of the same war by the Lord of Pobble-Brien and Carigogunnell, namely, by Brian Duv, the son of Mahon, son of Donough, son of Brian Duv O'Brien. This James was worthy to have inherited the principality of his ancestors.


James, the son of Maurice, son of Garrett, son of Thomas the Earl, was killed in the same war by the shot of a ball in the gateway of Youghal.


Edmond, the son of Mulmurry, son of Donough, son of Turlough Mac Sweeny, of Tuatha Toraighe, went to Glenflesk to take a prey from some of the insurgents; but O'Donohoe and a brother's son of Edmond himself, namely, Godfrey Carragh, the son of Donough Bacagh, overtook Edmond, and killed him, spitefully and unbecomingly; and there was not at that time in Ireland any son of a gallowglass chieftain who had purchased more wine or poetry than this Edmond.


Roland, the son of Redmond, son of Ulick Burke of Knocktua, Bishop of Clonfert, died; and the loss of this good man was the cause of great lamentation in his own country.


O'Sullivan More, i.e. Donnell, son of Donnell, died; and his son, Owen, was installed in his place.


Donough, the son of Melaghlin, son of Melaghlin Duv Mac Gorman, died.


The Lord Justice, Sir William Pellham, wrote to England after Christmas in this year, requesting that an admiral and the Queen's fleet, with a sufficient quantity of provisions and a great ordnance, should go to Ireland, for the purpose of taking from the Geraldines all the towns in their possession. These


were Askeaton, Baile-Ui-Gheileachain, and Carraic-an phuill. A great muster was made of the men of Meath, Fingal, and Leinster, and of all those who were subject to the laws of England, from the Boyne to the Meeting of the Three Waters, by the Lord Justice and the Earl of Ormond, about the festival of St. Bridget, for the purpose of marching into the territory of the Geraldines. The Earl of Ormond joined this muster with an immense host. He made no delay, but marched on to Cork. The Lord Justice proceeded with all his forces to Limerick; and although it was at that time cold Spring weather, he delayed in that town only a week, to furnish his soldiers with arms and provisions there. Thence he proceeded south-west, by Deis-beag, and along the salmon-full Maigue, and pitched his camp in Hy-Connello. He sent forth loose marauding parties into Coill-mor, into the woods of Claenglaise, and into the wilds of Delge. These, wheresoever they passed, shewed mercy neither to the strong nor the weak. It was not wonderful that they should kill men fit for action, but they killed blind and feeble men, women, boys, and girls, sick persons, idiots, and old people. They carried their cattle and other property to the Lord Justice's camp; but great numbers of the English were slain by the plundered parties, who followed in pursuit of the preys. The Lord Justice then resolved upon passing into Kerry; and he proceeded to Teamhair-Luachra, thence to Tralee, and along the base of the mountain of Mis, the daughter of Muireadha, the son of Caireadh. The Earl of Ormond also marched from Cork to Kerry, to join the Lord Justice. On this occasion they lost a countless


number of men and horses, without bloodshed or slaughter, by the length of their march and journey, and a scarcity of provisions.


It was at this time that the Queen's fleet reached the coast of Ireland; and they made no delay until they entered the harbour of the glassy-waved Shannon, and cast anchor in the sea, directly opposite Carraig-an-Phuill. The Lord Justice and the Earl of Ormond marched to the same castle by land, so that they pitched two camps, by sea and land, around it. Sir Nicholas Malby, with the chiefs of the province of Connaught, and a countless number of Englishmen, then set out for Thomond, that they might prevent any attack, either by sea or land, which it might be in contemplation to make on the Lord Justice, while storming the towns of the Geraldines. As for the Lord Justice, he ordered the great ordnance sent to him to be landed; and he placed five great guns opposite the Rock, to play upon it without mercy. It was said that the least of these guns was a demi-cannon. He then began to storm the castle; and there was not a solitude or wilderness, a declivity or woody vale, from the Carn of Breas, the son of Ealathan, son of Neid, in the south-west of the province of Clann-Deirgthine, to Cnoc-Meadha-Siuil in Connaught, in which the sound and roar of these unknown and wonderful cannon were not heard. The western side of Carraic-an-phuill was at length broken from the top to the foundations; and the warders were crushed to death by its fall. The Lord Justice then took the castle, and remained in it five days after he had taken it; and at the end of that time he went to Askeaton. When the warders of Baile-Ui-Gheileachain


and Askeaton heard the tremendous and terror-waking roars of those unknown guns, the like of which they had never heard before, they proceeded to demolish their castles, and succeeded in destroying Baile-Ui-Gheileachain; but as they were not able to destroy Askeaton, they left its gates wide open for the Lord Justice; upon which the castle was proclaimed the Queen's property. The Lord Justice then proceeded to Limerick, where he remained forty days, to recover from his fatigues and recruit himself; and his servants and horses were during this time quartered throughout Thomond. About the Whitsuntide following he returned to Askeaton, and he spent a considerable part of the summer in that town; and he never ceased by day or night from persecuting and extirpating the Geraldines. It was on this occasion that he put to death Faltach of Dun-Maoilin, i.e. Ulick, the son of Ulick, son of Ulick, a man who had been blind from his birth. He also killed Supple of Cill-Mochua, i.e. John, a man whom it was not becoming to have killed, for he was upwards of one hundred years of age. Countless and indescribable were the injuries mutually done upon each other by the English and the Geraldines during this time. The Lord Justice proceeded with his army to Kerry, making no delay, until he arrived at Daingean-Ui-Chuis, on which occasion he devastated and ravaged a great part of the territory of the Geraldines and of Kerry. He then passed by a transverse course, through the intervening territories, to Cork, and back to Askeaton and to Limerick. He had in his custody the chiefs of Munster (the Geraldines only excepted), as hostages on this occasion, namely, Barry More, the wife and son of Mac Carthy More, the two sons of Mac Maurice of Kerry, O'Sullivan Beare, Mac Donough, and the son of Mac Carthy Reagh.


The Council of England, in the first month of autumn, sent a new Lord Justice to Ireland, namely, Arthur Lord Gray. He was of a higher title and honours than Sir William Pellham, though there had never come to Ireland an


Englishman who, during the time he remained, was more energetic in his expeditions, more nobly triumphant, or who had been more successful in his services, than this William. He Sir William Pellham went to meet the new Lord Justice, who had arrived from England, and gave up the sword to him; and he then set sail for England, having been victorious over his enemies.


James Eustace, the son of Roland, son of Thomas, broke down his castles, after having embraced the Catholic faith and renounced his sovereign; so that war and disturbance arose on the arrival of Arthur Dord Gray in Ireland as Lord Justice. The Kavanaghs, Kinsellaghs, Byrnes, Tooles, Gaval-Rannall, and the surviving part of the inhabitants of Offaly and Leix, flocked to the assistance of James Eustace; so that the entire extent of country from the Slany to the Shannon, and from the Boyne to the meeting of the Three Waters, became one scene of strife and dissension. These plunderers pitched a camp on the confines of Slieveroe and Glenmalure.


A hosting was made by the Lord Justice and Captain Malby, to scatter and disperse these warlike plunderers. When the insurgents had heard of the approach of such an overwhelming force, they retreated into their fastnesses in the rough and rugged recesses of Glenmalure. The Lord Justice then selected the most trustworthy and best tried captains of his army, and despatched them, at the head of eight or nine companies of soldiers, to search and explore Glenmalure; but they were responded to without delay by the parties that guarded the valley, so that very few of these returned without being cut off and dreadfully slaughtered by the Irish party. On this occasion were slain Peter Carew,


Master Moor (John), and Master Frans, with many other gentlemen who had come from England in the retinue of the Lord Justice. When this news reached the Lord Justice, he left his camp.


An Italian fleet of the Pope's people landed in Kerry in the September of this year. Their name was greater than their importance, for their fame was at first so great that, had they come to Limerick, Galway, or Cork, these great towns would have been left wide open to them. The place where they landed was an island which James, the son of Maurice, had attempted to fortify the year before, namely, Dun-an-oir. This fleet was induced to come to Ireland


to assist the Geraldines when they had heard that the Geraldines were reduced to great extremities in defending the Catholic faith. The Earl of Ormond, i.e. Thomas, the son of James, son of Pierce Roe, mustered an army in behalf of himself and of his sovereign, to proceed to Dun-an-oir against the Italians ; and he did not halt until he arrived in Kerry. The fine army of the Geraldines were there to meet him, but neither party made any attack upon the other; however, the passage was left open for the Earl until he arrived on the hill over the fort, from which, having reconnoitred the deep trenches and impregnable ramparts which the Italians had constructed around the island, he considered in his mind that it would be useless for him to offer them battle in their present fortified position. He, therefore, returned by the same route, and in Hy-Connell-Gaura met the Lord Justice, who would not be dissuaded by the Earl from proceeding to see Dun-an-oir. He proceeded by regular marches through Clanmaurice and Kerry, until he arrived in the vicinity of the island. He did not, however, bring his camp near it. Chosen parties of his army went daily to reconnoitre the island. Many communications mutually took place on both sides; and a promise of protection was made to them. The Italian captains came to the Lord Justice as if they would be at peace with him;


but the people of the Lord Justice went over to the island, and proceeded to kill and destroy the Italians; so that of the seven hundred Italians, not one individual escaped, but all were slaughtered on the spot. The Lord Justice also seized upon much gold, wealth, and other things, which the Italians had along with them; and he destroyed the fortifications of the island, in order that it should not be a supporting rock or a strong retreat for any insurgent any longer. This was done in the month of November. The Lord Justice returned to Limerick, and thence to Fingal.


O'Rourke (Brian, the son of Brian, son of Owen) was disobedient to the English in the autumn of this year; and Sir Nicholas Malby mustered an army, and proceeded across the Shannon to oppose him. O'Rourke sent his women and people away over the summit of Sliabh-an-Iarainn, and demolished Leitrim, before the arrival of Sir Nicholas. The castle was rebuilt by Sir Nicholas, who, having placed provisions and warders in it, returned without committing any depredation, or performing any exploit worthy of note. O'Rourke laid siege to the castle, and did not suffer one of the warders to go in or out by the gates; so that Sir Nicholas was obliged to come to their relief, and take them away.


An incursion was made by O'Rourke, in the month of November, into the district between the Rivers Suck and Shannon; and he burned and plundered


the Feadha, and a great part of Hy-Many. He made another incursion into Hy-Many in the month of December, and expeditiously devastated the country; and he slew half a company of the soldiers of the people of Sir Nicholas Malby at Lis-da-lon. On this expedition O'Rourke was assisted by a party of the O'Conors.


The sons of the Earl of Clanrickard (Ulick and John) were at strife with each other; and both were at peace with the English. A party of the respectable inhabitants of Clanrickard were placed in severe confinement by the constable of Loughrea, Master Jones by name, who had had the command of the warders of the town since the capture of the Earl till that time. It was a great sickness of mind to John Burke that his town and hostages should remain thus long in the hands of the English; and he resolved in his mind to make a nocturnal attack upon the town of Loughrea. This he did, and took the town, killing every one able to bear arms within it, except the constable, to whom he gave pardon and protection; and he then released the prisoners. After John had accomplished this, he sent his Ollavs and faithful people to confer with his brother, Ulick, and to request him to abandon the English cause, and to state that he himself would be obedient to him, as a junior should be to a senior; and he promised that he would permit his Ulick's son, whom he had in his custody, to go home to him; and he also promised to give up to him, as an acknowledgment of seniority, Leitrim, the Island of Baile-an-locha, and the town of Loughrea. Ulick accepted of these grants; and he and his brother with one accord rose out against the English. The first thing they did was to destroy the white castles of Clanrickard. They first demolished the castle of Loughrea, the principal fortress of the territory; and they scarcely left a castle from Clonfert-Brendan, in the east of the territory of Sil-Anmchadha, to Kilmacduagh, in the north of Cinel-Aedha-na-hEchtge, and from Uaran to Cluain-da-damh, which they did not demolish. Donough, the son of Murrough, son


of Turlough, son of Teige O'Brien; and Mahon, the son of Turlough, son of Mahon, son of the Bishop O'Brien, joined in this war of the sons of the Earl; and it was Mahon that first rose up in this war, and that assembled all the insurgents of the neighbouring territories, and proceeded to harass and devastate the country from Burren to Limerick. In short, the greater part of the people of Connaught joined in this war, excepting the Earl of Thomond (Donough, the son of Conor, son of Donough), and Turlough, the son of Donnell, son of Conor O'Brien, who was at this time sheriff of the county of Clare.


O'Byrne died, i.e. Dunlang, the son of Edmond. His tribe were in insurrection,


plundering the English; and their country and inheritance were in the possession of the English, so that no person was installed in his place.


John, the son of the Earl of Desmond, was at this time a roving and wandering plunderer; and though John, the son of Con O'Neill, and James, the son of Maurice, son of the Earl of Desmond, were illustrious for their wars and conflicts with the English, this John was at this time a worthy heir to either of them. One day in the month of July, this John went to the woods of Aharlagh, attended by so small a body of troops as it was imprudent to go forth on a long journey, for the number of his foot soldiers was less than one hundred shields, and he had only thirteen horsemen. He marched in the evening by the limpid-waved Shannon, and by Magh-Ailbhe; and early next morning he seized on a prey in Duibh Feth Ua-Luighdheach, and proceeded with his prey directly eastwards, through Corca-Thene and Ikerrin. The forces of each territory through which he passed assembled to pursue him, namely, of Eile-Ui-Fhogartaigh, of Hy-Luighdheach, of Pobal-Droma, and of Pobal-Puirsealach. These tribes, thinking it very fortunate for them to find John thus attended by only a few troops, attacked him boldly and fiercely; but the pursuers were defeated, and eighteen of their gentlemen, heads of tribes and towns, were slain in the conflict; and John, after his victory, carried off his prey in triumph to the fast and solitary woods of Bealach-mor-Muighe-dala.


There he was joined by the sons of Mac Gillapatrick, the son of O'Carroll, and a great number of evil-doers and plunderers; and they all set out for Slieve Bloom, and thither all the men of Offaly and Leix, who were able to bear arms, came to join them. The manner in which John, the son of James, lived on this mountain, was worthy of a true plunderer; for he slept but upon couches of stone or earth; he drank but of the pure, cold streams, and that from the palms of his hands or his shoes; and his only cooking utensils were the long twigs of the forest, for dressing the flesh-meat carried away from his enemies. From this abode Slieve Bloom he proceeded to plunder the Butlers and Ossory. He afterwards went to Leix, and burned and plundered Abbey-Leix, upon the son of the Earl of Ormond, namely, upon Pierce, the son of James, son of Pierce Roe. He also plundered Port-Laoighise, after having slain some of the guards of the town. He carried away from them accoutrements, armour, horses, weapons, and various wealth. In short, he plundered seven castles in Leix in the course of that day. He then proceeded from one territory to another, until he reached Glenmalure, where James Eustace and the sons of Hugh, son of John O'Byrne, were stationed, where he was welcomed by these men; and here the Kavanaghs, Kinsellaghs, Byrnes, and Tooles, and the plunderers of the country in general, came to join him. It would be tedious to mention all the property they destroyed and injured upon the English of Leinster and Meath. John son of the Earl of Desmond, and James Eustace, set out about Michaelmas in the expectation of meeting the Italians, who had arrived in his John's country, for he expected to obtain relief and assistance from them. But it did not so happen to them, for they had all been cut off and destroyed by the Lord Justice upon the one spot, as we have already related, before he could reach them.