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Seoirse Ó Luasa, An Caifé Liteartha, An Daingean, who donated a copy of the Annals of the Four Masters to the CELT Project.
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[The precise relationship between MSS (i)-(iv) is a matter of scholarly debate. Two views have been put forward, that of Walsh and Mooney (for bibliographical details of their publications, see below). According to Walsh, MSS (i) and (iv) are what remains of the set presented to the patron, Fearghal Ó Gadhra; MSS (ii) and (iii) are the copies forwarded to Louvain for possible printing. According to Mooney, MSS (i) and (iii) are the set presented to the patron, Fearghal Ó Gadhra; MSS (ii) and (iv) are what remains of the set forwarded to Louvain. It is more likely that Walsh's view is correct. For an excellent and fully documented discussion of the problem, see Nollaig Ó Muraíle, 'The autograph manuscripts of the Annals of the Four Masters', Celtica 19 (1987) 7595.]
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The present text represents pages 1875-2375 of the translation of volume 6, being the years A. D. 1589 to A. D. 1616, in the chronology of the compilers. That chronology deviates from the historical chronology, but it has not been corrected in this edition. All editorial introduction, translation, notes and indexes have been omitted. Editorial corrigenda are integrated into the electronic edition. Missing text supplied by the editor is tagged SUP.
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The editors of this digital edition reproduce O'Donovan's translation, with a few obvious corrections, in the full knowledge of its limitations. Its limitations are particularly evident in the translations of the embedded verse in Old and Middle Irish, many of which (given the stage of development of Irish studies in the mid-nineteenth century) are approximations or mistaken. Their correction cannot be undertaken in this digital edition and must await a new scholarly edition of the Annals as a whole. O'Donovan omits diacritics in the English translation, but quantities are marked in the digital edition of the Irish text, and this should be consulted on this point.
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Created: Translation by John O'Donovan (for source text see CELT file header of G100005F) Date range: c.1846-1850.
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THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1589. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred eighty-nine.
MAGUIRE (Cuconnaught, the son of Cuconnaught, namely, the Coarb, son of Cuconnaught, son of Brian, son of Philip, son of Thomas), died on the 17th of June. He was truly a lord in his munificence towards churches, ollaves, soldiers, and servants; and a learned and studious adept in Latin and Irish. After the death of Maguire (Cuconnaught), Conor Roe, the son of Conor Maguire, thought that the lordship of the country should be his, by reason of his seniority; while the other party thought that Hugh, son of the deceased Maguire, should be lord after his father; so that they were thus in opposition to each other. Hugh sent messengers to his relative, Donnell, the son of Hugh, son of Manus O'Donnell (although they had previously quarrelled), to request of him to come to his aid and assistance, as it had been usual with his ancestors to aid the descendants of Philip, the son of Thomas Maguire. There was not at this time any one of the Kinel-Connell from whom he Hugh expected more assistance than from this Donnell, for he was a mighty champion, and a general in battle; and it was never heard that he had at any time turned his back on his enemies. The words of the messengers were treated with indifference by Donnell, for he immediately mustered all the forces under his command, and
p.1877sent back his messengers to Hugh, to desire him to meet him precisely at Sciath-Ghabhra with all possible expedition. He then proceeded, without dallying or delaying, through the territory of Lurg, and along the margin of Lough Erne, until he arrived at the aforesaid place. Conor Roe and the chiefs of the upper part of Fermanagh had gone on the day before to the same place, and there left a token (namely, one slipper) that the name of lord should be conferred on him on the day following. Hugh arrived at that particular place appointed, and found Donnell O'Donnell there before him. When Donnell received intelligence that it was Conor that had left the token which we have before mentioned, he said that it should not profit him, for that Hugh should be installed in the place of his father; upon which Hugh was immediately nominated chief by Donnell O'Donnell and the chieftains of his country.
Mac Mahon (Rossa, the son of Art, son of Brian of the Early Rising, son of Redmond, son of Glasny) died; upon which Brian, the son of Hugh Oge, son of Hugh, son of John Boy, Lord of Dartry-Oriel, and Ever, son of Cu-Uladh,
p.1879Lord of Farney, and the brother of the deceased, i.e. Hugh Roe, were contending with each other about the lordship of the territory.
Elenora, the daughter of the Earl of Desmond (i.e. of James, the son of John, son of Thomas, son of James, son of Garrett), who had been the wife of O'Rourke, and afterwards of the son of the Earl of Desmond (i.e. of Edward, the son of James, son of Pierce Roe, son of James, son of Edmond), died.
The Countess of the county of Clare, Una, the daughter of Turlough, son of Murtough, son of Donnell, son of Teige, son of Turlough, son of Murrough na-Raithnighe, and wife of the Earl of Thomond, i.e. of Conor, son of Donough, son of Conor, son of Turlough, son of Teige O'Brien, died at Clare-more.
Donnell Mag Congail, Bishop of Raphoe, died on the 29th of September.
Turlough, the son of Teige, son of Conor, son of Turlough, son of Teige O'Brien of Bel-atha-an-chomraic, died; and his death was the cause of great lamentation.
Teige-an-Duna, the son of Donough, son of Murtough, son of Donough, son of Murtough, son of Ballagh, the senior of the Mac Mahons of Tuath-na-Fearna (i.e. of Corca-Bhaiscinn), and of Sliocht-an-Bhallaigh, died. There lived not in his neighbourhood in his time so brave a man.
Cormac, the son of Teige, son of Dermot, son of Cormac Mac Carthy of Magh-Laithimh, died.
Manus, the son of Con, son of Calvagh, son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv O'Donnell, was slain near the River Finn, on the 20th of September, by John, the son of Manus Oge, son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv O'Donnell.
Donnell, son of Owen of the Lake Mac Sweeny, Constable of Muskerry, died. The deceased was a man who had good tillage, and kept a house of hospitality, and was praiseworthy in the eyes of the English and Irish.
The Lower Burkes from Tirawly westwards, after having refused to remain under the jurisdiction of the Governor, Sir Richard Bingham, went on their defence. Master Brown proceeded, by order of the Governor, at the head of a large party of English and Irish soldiers, westwards over Bealach-an-Diothruibh against these Burkes. The Burkes made an attack upon them; and at the time that Master Brown came to a close fight, his soldiers were routed, and himself beheaded, as were also Donnell O'Daly, a gentleman who had the command of a party of the soldiers; and Redmond Oge, son of Redmond, son of John Burke of Ben, together with a great number of the soldiers. The vigour and fury of the Burkes were increased by this defeat; and they became more violent in their insurrection after it. The descendants of Oliver, the son of John Burke of Tirawley, went in alliance with them, as did the O'Dowdas of Tireragh of the Moy; all the Clann-Donnell Galloglagh; Murrough of the Battle-axes, the son of Teige, son of Murrough O'Flaherty, together with all the O'Flahertys and the Joyces; so that there was not one man worthy of note, from the western point of Erris to Traigh-Eothuile, to Machaire-Luighne, to Corran, and to Machaire-Chonnacht, who did not unite on this occasion
p.1883against the Governor. These plunderers continued to ravage the province of Connaught, by day and night, during the spring. It was at this time that two sons of Murrough of the Battle-axes O'Flaherty, Teige and Urun, and the son of Murrough's brother, i.e. Donnell, the son of Rory O'Flaherty, went upon a predatory excursion along the borders of Conmaicne and Machaire-Riabhach, precisely on Easter night. They had two or three hundred horse-boys on this excursion. They proceeded to take much booty and spoils throughout the country early in the morning of Easter Sunday. The people of the country came from every quarter in pursuit of them. On the night before a company or two of soldiers had come, privately and unperceived, to protect the country; and these, upon hearing the loud report of the ordnance, and the clamour of the armed troops on the following day, retired to a narrow pass, which could not be easily shunned or avoided, and there lay in ambush for the Irish host. They saw Teige O'Flaherty approaching in front of the host, and his people in close ranks about him. The soldiers discharged showers of balls at the van of the Irish host, and slew by this volley Teige O'Flaherty, Urun O'Flaherty, and Teige Oge, the son of Teige O'Flaherty, together with a great number of their followers who were about them, of the chiefs of Joyce's country, and the Clann-Donough. Such of the Irish host as were not killed by the first volley went away without panic or fear, and were not further pursued. Three days after the killing of Teige, Edmond, another son of Murrough of the Battle-axes O'Flaherty, who was in prison in Galway, was hanged; and, were it not that these sons of Murrough of the Battle-axes O'Flaherty fell in the act of plunder and insurrection against the Sovereign of England, their death after this manner would have been a great cause of lamentation.
Dermot Oge, the son of Dermot, son of Denis, son of Dermot, son of Conor, Bishop of Limerick, son of Murrough-an-Dana O'Dea, died, and was buried in his own town of Disert-Tola, in the cantred of Kinel-Fearmaic, in the upper part of Dal-Cais.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1590. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred ninety.
The Lower Burkes and the Clann-Donnell Galloglagh mustered and collected all the forces they were able to command in the summer and winter of the preceding year, as we have stated before; so that there was no one worthy of note, from the Curlieu mountains to the most western point of Erris and Umhall, who did not join them in that confederacy.
A hosting was made by the Governor, Sir Richard Bingham, and the Earl of Thomond, Donough, the son of Conor, son of Donough O'Brien; and they marched with all their forces against the Burkes in the first month of this year, i.e. January; and they pitched a camp of many troops of kerns at Cong; and the Burkes were encamped on the west side, opposite to them; and there were daily conferences held between them for a fortnight, but they could not agree on terms of peace during that time. At the expiration of this period, the Governor and the Earl proceeded, with ten or twelve companies, to go through the passes into Tirawley and Erris. The Burkes marched in a parallel line with them, and intended to attack them at Bearna-na-Gaoithe; but, however, they did not do so, but the pass was ceded to the Governor and the Earl. On this occasion the son of Mac William Burke lost his foot from the ankle out. The Governor returned to Cong, and he, the Burkes, and the Clann-Donnell, were reconciled to each other; and they delivered their hostages into the hands of the Governor. The Governor then went to Athlone, and the men of Connaught dispersed for their respective homes.
In the month of March a very great army was mustered by the Governor against O'Rourke. This army was no numerous, that he sent a vast number of his captains and battalions to Sliabh-Cairbre to oppose the inhabitants of
p.1887Muintir-Eolais; and another party of the chiefs of his army to the west of the Bridge of Sligo, to invade Breifny; and these troops proceeded to burn and devastate, kill and destroy, all before them in the country, until both met together again. By this excursion O'Rourke was banished from his territory; and he received neither shelter nor protection until he arrived in the Tuatha, to Mac Sweeny-na-dTuath (Owen Oge, the son of Owen, son of Owen Oge, son of Owen, son of Donnell); and with him he remained until the expiration of this year; and such of his people as did not go into exile came in and submitted to the Governor. Donnell, the son of Teige, son of Brian O'Rourke, and Hugh Oge, the son of Hugh Gallda, assisted the English in expelling and banishing O'Rourke. The whole territory, both waste and inhabited, was under the power of the Governor until the ensuing Michaelmas, when Tiernan Bane, the son of Brian, son of Owen O'Rourke, and Brian-na-Samhthach, i.e Brian Oge (the son of that O'Rourke who had been expelled), came into the territory. These and the tribes of Breifny, and of Muintir-Eolais, and of the other O'Rourkes who remained in the country, opposed the Governor, and continued spoiling every thing belonging to the English, to which they came, until the end of this year.
A great fort, the like of which had not been erected for a long time before, was made by the Governor between Lough Key and Lough Arrow.
The son of O'Neill, i.e. Hugh Geimhleach, son of John Donnghaileach, son of Con Bacagh, son of Con, son of Henry, son of Owen, was hanged by the
p.1889Earl of Tyrone, Hugh, son of Ferdorcha, son of Con Bacagh. There had not been for a long time among the race of Eoghan, the son of Niall, a man more generally lamented than this Hugh.
The son of O'Donnell, i.e. Donnell, the son of Hugh, son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv, son of Hugh Roe, son of Niall Garv, son of Turlough of the Wine
p.1891attempted to depose his father, after he had grown weak and feeble from age, and after his other son had been imprisoned in Dublin; so that Donnell brought under his power and jurisdiction that part of Tirconnell from the mountain westwards, i.e. from Bearnas to the River Drowes; and also the people of Boylagh and Tir-Boghaine. It was a cause of great anguish and sickness of mind to Ineenduv, the daughter of James Mac Donnell, that Donnell should make such an attempt, lest he might attain the chieftainship of Tirconnell in preference to her son, Hugh Roe, who was confined in Dublin, and who she hoped would become chief, whatever time God might permit him to return from his captivity; and she, therefore, assembled all the Kinel-Connell who were obedient to her husband, namely, O'Doherty, with his forces; Mac Sweeny-na-dTuath (Owen Oge), with his forces; and Mac Sweeny Fanad, with his forces; with a great number of Scots along with them. After Donnell O'Donnell had received intelligence that this muster had been made to oppose him, he assembled his forces to meet them. These were they who rose up to assist him on this occasion: Mac Sweeny Banagh (Donough, the son of Mulmurry); a party of the Clann-Sweeny of Munster, under the conduct of the three sons of Owen, the son of Mulmurry, son of Donough, son of Turlough, and their forces; and O'Boyle (Teige Oge, the son of Teige, son of Turlough), with all his forces, assembled. The place where the son of O'Donnell happened to be stationed along with these chieftains was Doire-leathan at the extremity of Tir-Boghaine, to the west of Gleann Choluim Cille. The other party did not halt until they came to them to that place; and a battle ensued between them, which was fiercely fought on both sides. The Scots discharged a shower of arrows from their elastic bows, by which they pierced and wounded great numbers, and, among the rest, the son of O'Donnell himself, who, being unable to display prowess or defend himself, was slain at Doire-leathan, on one side of the harbour of Telinn, on the 14th of September. Seldom before that time had his enemies triumphed over him; and the party by whom he was slain had not been by any means his enemies until they encountered on this occasion; and although this Donnell was not the rightful heir of his father, it would have
p.1893been no disgrace to Tirconnell to have elected him as its chief, had he been permitted to attain to that dignity. In this conflict were slain along with Donnell the three sons of Owen, son of Mulmurry, son of Donough above mentioned, together with two hundred others, around Donnell.
Walter Kittagh Burke, the son of John, son of Oliver, died, after having concluded a peace with the English.
Mac Coghlan (John, the son of Art, son of Cormac) died. There was not a man of his property, of the race of Cormac Cas, who had better furnished or more commodious courts, castles, and comfortable seats, than this John. His son, John Oge, was appointed in his place.
Mulrony, the son of Calvagh, son of Donough, son of John O'Carroll, died.
Mac Maurice of Kerry, i.e. Thomas, the son of Edmond, son of Thomas, son of Edmond, died. He was the best purchaser of wine, horses, and literary works, of any of his wealth and patrimony, in the greater part of Leath-Mogha at that time; and Patrickin, his heir, was at this time in captivity in Dublin.
O'Loughlin (Owny, the son of Melaghlin, son of Rury, son of Ana) died; and his son, Rossa, and his grandson, Owny, were contending with each other for his place.
Sorley Boy, the son of Alexander, son of John Cahanagh, died.
Owen Mac-an-Deaganaigh died.
Hugh Roe O'Donnell had now been in captivity in Dublin for the space of three years and three months. It was a cause of great distress of mind to
p.1897him to be thus imprisoned; yet it was not for his own sake that he grieved, but for the sake of his country, his land, his friends, and kinsmen, who were in bondage throughout Ireland. He was constantly revolving in his mind the manner in which he might make his escape. This was not an easy matter for him, for he was confined in a closely-secured apartment every night in the castle until sunrise the next day. This castle was surrounded by a wide and very deep ditch, full of water, across which was a wooden bridge, directly opposite the door of the fortress; and within and without the door were stationed a stern party of Englishmen, closely guarding it, so that none might pass in or out without examination. There is, however, no guard whose vigilance may not
p.1899some time or other be baffled. At the very end of winter, as Hugh and a party of his companions were together, in the beginning of the night, before they were put into the close cells in which they used to be every night, they took with them a very long rope to a window which was near them, and by means of the rope they let themselves down, and alighted upon the bridge that was outside the door of the fortress. There was a thick iron chain fastened to this door, by which one closed it when required; through this chain they drove a strong handful of a piece of timber, and thus fastened the door on the outside, so that they could not be immediately pursued from the fortress. There was a youth of Hugh's faithful people outside awaiting their escape, and he met them on coming out, with two well-tempered swords concealed under his garments; these he gave into the hand of Hugh, who presented one of them to a certain renowned warrior of Leinster, Art Kavanagh by name, who was a champion in battle, and a commander in conflict.
As for the guards, they did not perceive the escape for some time; but when they took notice of it they advanced immediateIy to the door of the castle, for they thought that they should instantly catch them. Upon coming to the gate, they could not open it; whereupon they called over to them those who happened to be in the houses on the other side of the street, opposite the door of the castle. When these came at the call, and took the piece of timber out of the chain, and threw open the door for the people in the castle, who then set out, with a great number of the citizens, in pursuit of the youths who had
p.1901escaped from them ; but this was fruitless, for they the fugitives had passed beyond the walls of the city before they were missed, for the gates of the regal city had been wide open at the time; and they pursued their way across the face of the mountain which lay before them, namely, Sliabh Ruadh, being afraid to venture at all upon the public road, and never halted in their course until after a fatiguing journey and travelling, until they had crossed the Red mountain aforesaid. When, weary and fatigued, they entered a thick wood which lay in their way, where they remained until morning. They then attempted to depart, for they did not deem it safe to remain in the wood, from fear of being pursued; but Hugh was not able to keep pace with his companions, for his white-skinned and thin feet had been pierced by the furze of the mountain, for his shoes had fallen off, their seams having been loosened by the wet, which they did not till then receive. It was great grief to his companions that they could not bring him any further; and so they bade him farewell, and left him their blessing.
He sent his servant to a certain gentleman of the noble tribes of the province of Leinster, who lived in a castle in the neighbourhood, to know whether he could afford them shelter or protection. His name was Felim O'Toole, and he was previously a friend to Hugh, as he thought, for he had gone to visit him
p.1903on one occasion in his prison in Dublin, when they formed a mutual friendship with each other. The messenger proceeded to the place where Felirn was, and stated to him the embassy on which he came. Felim was glad at his arrival, and promised that he would do all the good he could for Hugh; but his friends and kindred did not allow him to conceal him, from fear of the English government.
p.1905These learned that he was in the wood, as we have said, and they (i.e. the people who had heard that he was in the wood) went in search of him, and dispersed with their troops to track him. When it was clear to Felim that he Hugh would be discovered, he and his kinsmen resolved to seize upon him themselves, and bring him back to the Council in the city. This was accordingly done. When he Hugh arrived in Dublin, the Council were rejoiced at his return to them; for they made nothing or light of all the other prisoners and hostages that had escaped from them. He was again put into the same prison, and iron fetters were put upon him as tightly as possible; and they watched and guarded him as well as they could. His escape, thus attempted, and his recapture, became known throughout the land of Ireland, at which tidings a great gloom came over the Irish people.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1591. The Age of Christ, one thousand, five hundred ninety-one.
O'Rourke, i.e. Brian-na-Murtha, the son of Brian, son of Owen, was banished, as stated before, into the Tuatha in Tirconnell, where he remained upwards of a year with Mac Sweeny (Owen Oge). After that he passed into Scotland, in hopes of obtaining protection or assistance from the King of Scotland. A party of the Queen's people, however, took him prisoner, and carried him into England and into London, where he remained for some time in prison, i.e. until the ensuing November Term. The law was urged against him, and
p.1907he was condemned to death. He was afterwards hanged, beheaded, and quartered. The death of this Brian was one of the mournful stories of the Irish, for there had not been for a long time any one of his tribe who excelled him in bounty, in hospitality, in giving rewards for panegyrical poems, in sumptuousness, in numerous troops, in comeliness, in firmness, in maintaining the field of battle to defend his patrimony against foreign adventurers, for all which he was celebrated, until his death on this occasion.
Murrough, the son of Conor, son of Turlough, son of Teige, son of Turlough, son of Brian Chatha-an-Aenaigh O'Brien, died at Cathair-Mionain, on the 25th of February, and was interred at Kilfenora.
Margaret, the daughter of Donnell, son of Conor, son of Turlough, son of Teige, son of Turlough, son of Brian Chatha-an-Aenaigh O'Brien, and wife of Turlough, the son of Brian, son of Donough Mac Mahon, died at Cill-MicDubhain, and was interred in Inis-Catha; and her sister, Aine, the wife of Turlough Roe, son of Teige, son of Murrough, son of Teige Roe Mac Mahon, died.
Donough, the son of Murrough Roe, son of Brian, son of Teige, son of Turlough, son of Brian Chatha-an-Aenaigh, died on the 8th of February.
William Burke, the son of John, son of Oliver, son of John, was slain by a gentleman of his own followers, namely, by Alexander, the son of Hugh Boy Mac Donnell.
The son of Mac William Burke, namely, Walter of the Blows, the son of Rickard, son of John of the Termon, son of Myler, was slain, in an assault at night, by a party of his own tribe and kinsmen, and some of the Clann-Donnell.
O'Boyle (Turlough Roe, the son of Niall, son of Turlough), the most distinguished man that had come of his tribe for a long time, a sustaining pillar of the learned and the destitute, an exalter of sanctuaries, churches, and science, the Guaire of his tribe in generosity and hospitality, and the supporter of the poor and the feeble, died at his own fortress, about the festival of St. Bridget, and was interred with honour at Donegal, in the burial-place of his ancestors.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1592. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred ninety-two.
O'Conor Roe (Teige Oge, son of Teige Boy, son of Cathal Roe) was hanged at the session of Roscommon, in the month of January, for the crimes of his sons, who were engaged in plunder and insurrection against the crown of England; and he was at this time aged, feeble, and blind, though he suffered death in this manner.
Mac Dermot of Moylurg (Brian, the son of Rory, son of Teige, son of Dermot) died in the month of November; and the death of this man was the more to be lamented, because there was no other like him of the Clann-Mulrony to succeed him in the chieftainship.
Mac Namara Reagh, Lord of the western part of Clann-Cuilein, i.e. Donnell
p.1911Reagh, the son of Cumeadha, son of Donough, son of Rory, son of Maccon Ceannmhor, died on the 11th of February. He was a sumptuous, warlike, bountiful, and humane man.
In the same month a gentleman of the Sil-Aedha died, i.e. John-na-nGeimhleach, son of Cumara, son of Mahon, son of Hugh Mac Namara.
More, the daughter of Donough, son of John, son of Mulrony-na-Feasoige, son of Teige O'Carroll, and wife of Mac-I-Brien Ara, died. She had spent a good life, and departed this world without disgrace or reproach.
Catherine, the daughter of Donnell, son of Fineen, son of Dermot-an-Duna Mac Carthy, and wife of Teige, the son of Cormac Oge, son of Cormac, son of Teige Mac Carthy, a sensible, pious, charitable, and truly hospitable woman, died, after having gained the victory over the world, the Devil, and the people.
The son of O'Meagher (John of the Glen, the son of Thomas) died.
All the Burkes, of Mac William's country, with their followers, went on their defence; and when the Governor, Sir Richard Bingham, had received intelligence of this, he proceeded into the county of Mayo, and all the castles of the country, both perfect and broken, were in his power, namely, Dun-na-mona,
p.1913Cuil-na-gCaisiol, Gaoisideach, and Cluainin. The Burkes made an attack upon the Governor at Cuil-na-gGaisiol; but they were more harmed on their return than the Governor. After this the Governor dispatched heavy troops of English and Irish soldiers to search for the Burkes, who were in rebellion and engaged in plundering, on the rugged mountain-tops, and in the bushy dense and intricate woods. They the soldiers had not been long in this search, when they returned to the Governor with many preys and spoils, with prisoners, both women and men, and with many cows and horses. After this, all the Burkes, except the son of Deamhan-an-Chorrain, namely, Richard, the son of Rickard, came and submitted to the award of the Governor; upon which the Governor, by authority of the Sovereign, took the castles of the country into his own possession, and left John Bingham and companies of his own soldiers to guard them.
Hugh Roe, the son of Hugh, son of Manus O'Donnell, remained in Dublin, in prison and in chains, after his first escape, to the winter of this year. One evening he and his companions, Henry and Art, the sons of O'Neill (John), before they had been brought into the refection house, took an advantage of the keepers, and knocked off their fetters. They afterwards went to the privy-house, having with them a very long rope, by the loops of which they let themselves down through the privy-house, until they reached the deep trench that
p.1915was around the castle. They climbed the outer side, until they were on the margin of the trench. A certain faithful youth, who was in the habit of visiting them, and to whom they had communicated their secret, came to them at this
p.1917time, and guided them. They then proceeded through the streets of the city, mixing with the people; and no one took more notice of them than of any one else, for they did not delay at that time to become acquainted with the people of the town; and the gates of the city were wide open. They afterwards proceeded by every intricate and difficult place, until they arrived upon the surface of the Red Mountain over which Hugh had passed in his former escape. The darkness of the night, and the hurry of their flight (from dread of pursuit), separated the eldest of them from the rest, namely, Henry O'Neill. Hugh was the greenest of them with respect to years, but not with respect to prowess. They were grieved at the separation of Henry from them; but, however, they proceeded onwards, their servant guiding them along. That night was snowing, so that it was not easy for them to walk, for they were without sufficient clothes or coverings, having left their outer garments behind them in the privy-house, through which they had escaped. Art was more exhausted by this rapid journey than Hugh, for he had been a long time in captivity, and had become very corpulent from long confinement in the prison. It was not so with Hugh; he had not yet passed the age of boyhood, and had not yet done growing and increasing at this period, and his pace and motion were quick and rapid. When he perceived Art had become feeble, and that his step was becoming inactive and slow, he requested him to place one arm upon his own shoulder, and the other upon that of the servant. In this manner they proceeded on their way until they had crossed the Red Mountain, after which they were weary and fatigued, and unable to help Art on any further; and as they were not able to take him with them, they stopped to rest under the shelter of a high rocky precipice which lay before them. On halting here, they sent the servant to bring the news to Glenmalur, where dwelt Fiagh, the son of Hugh O'Byrne, who was then at war with the English. This is a secure and impregnable
p.1919valley; and many prisoners who escaped from Dublin were wont to resort to that valley, for they considered themselves secure there, until they could return to their own country. When the servant came into the presence of Fiagh, he delivered his message, and how he had left the youths who had escaped from the city, and stated that they would not be overtaken alive unless he sent them relief instantly. Fiagh immediately ordered some of his servants of trust (those in whom he had most confidence) to go to them, taking with them a man to carry food, and another to carry ale and beer. This was accordingly done, and they arrived at the place where the men were. Alas! unhappy and miserable was their condition on their arrival. Their bodies were covered over with white-bordered shrouds of hail-stones freezing around them on every side, and their light clothes and fine-threaded shirts too adhered to their skin; and their large shoes and leather thongs to their shins and feet; so that, covered as they were with the snow, it did not appear to the men who had arrived that they were human beings at all, for they found no life in their members, but just as if they were dead. They were raised by them from their bed, and they requested of them to take some of the meat and drink; but this they were not able to avail themselves of, for every drink they took they rejected again on the instant; so that Art at length died, and was buried in that place. As to Hugh, after some time, he retained the beer; and, after drinking it, his energies were restored, except the use of his two feet, for they were dead members, without feeling, swollen and blistered by the frost and snow. The men carried him to the valley which we have mentioned, and he was placed in a sequestered house, in a solitary part of a dense wood, where he remained under cure until a messenger came privately from his brother-in-law, the Earl O'Neill, to inquire after him. When the messenger arrived, he Hugh prepared to depart. It was difficult for him to undertake that journey, for his feet could
p.1921not have been healed within the time, so that another person had to raise him on his horse, and to lift him from his horse, whenever he wished to alight. Fiagh dispatched a troop of horse with him, who accompanied him until he crossed the River Liffey, to protect him against the snares which were laid for him; for the English of Dublin had heard that Hugh was at Glenmalure, and had therefore posted guards on the shallow fords of the river, to prevent him and the prisoners who had escaped along with him from passing into Ulster. The youths who were along with Hugh were obliged to cross a difficuIt deep ford on the River Liffey, near the city of Dublin; and they proceeded on their way until they came to the green of the fortress, unperceived by the English. The people by whom he had been abandoned some time before, after his first escape, namely, Felim O'Toole and his brother, were amongst the troop who escorted him to this place; and they made friendship and amity with each other. They bade him farewell, and having given him their blessing, departed from him.
As for Hugh O'Donnell, he had now no one along with him but the one young man who had been sent for him to the famous Glen Glenmalure; he was of the people of Hugh O'Neill, and spoke the language of foreign countries, and had always accompanied the Earl (i.e. Hugh O'Neill) when he went among the English; so that he was acquainted with and confident in every road by which they had to pass. They proceeded forwards on their noble, swift steeds, by the straight-lined roads of Meath, until they arrived before morning on the brink of the Boyne, a short distance to the west of Drogheda; and they were afraid of going to that town, so that what they did was this, to proceed along the brink of the river to a place where a poor little fisherman used to wait with a little boat, for ferrying people across the river. Hugh went into this little boat, and the ferryman conveyed him to the other bank, having received a full remuneration; and his servant returned with the horses through the city town, and brought them to Hugh on the other side of the river. They then mounted their steeds, and proceeded onwards until they were two miles from the river, when they observed a dense bushy grove, surrounded with a rampart, looking like an enclosed garden, at some distance on the way before them. On one side
p.1923of this grove stood a fine-mansion-house, belonging to a distinguished English youth, who was a particular friend of Hugh O'Neill. On reaching the enclosure, they unharnessed their steeds, and entered the grove which was inside the rampart, for Hugh's companion was well acquainted with the place. Having left Hugh there in the grove, he went into the fortress, where he was kindly received. He procured a private apartment for Hugh O'Donnell, and conveyed him thither, where he was attended and entertained to his satisfaction. Here they remained until the evening of the following day; their horses were got ready for them in the beginning of the night, and they proceeded across Sliabh Breagh, and through the territory of Machaire-Chonaill; and before morning they had arrived at Tragh-Bhaile-mhic-Buain. As the gates of the town were opened in the morning early, they resolved to pass through it on their horses. This they did, and advanced until they were at the other side; and they were cheerful and rejoiced for having escaped every danger which lay before them thus far. They then proceeded to the Fodh, where dwelt Turlough, the son of Henry, son of Felim Roe O'Neill, to recruit themselves. They were here secure, for Turlough was his friend and companion, and he and the Earl O'Neill had been born of the one mother. They remained here until the next day, and then proceeded across Sliabh Fuaid, and arrived at Armagh, where they remained in disguise for that night. On the following day they proceeded to Dungannon, where the Earl, Hugh O'Neill, was. He was rejoiced at their arrival, and they were conductedrecte,Hugh was conducted into a private apartment, without the knowledge of any, except a few of his faithful people who
p.1925attended him; and here Hugh remained for the space of four nights, to shake off the fatigue of his journey and anxiety. He then prepared to depart, and took his leave of the Earl, who sent a troop of horse with him till he arrived at Lough Erne.
The lord of this country, namely, Hugh Maguire, was his friend and kinsman, by the mother's side; for Nuala, daughter of Manus O'Donnell, was Maguire's mother. Maguire was rejoiced at his arrival. A boat was afterwards provided for him Hugh, into which he entered; and they rowed him thence until they arrived at the narrow neck of the lake, where they landed. Here a party of his faithful friends came to meet him, and they conveyed him to the castle of Ballyshannon, where the warders of O'Donnell, his father, were stationed. He remained here until all those in the neighbourhood came to him, to welcome him; and his faithful people were rejoiced at the return of the heir to the chieftainship; and though they owed him real affection on account of his family, they had an additional cause of joy at this period; for, until his return the country had been one scene of devastation between the English and the Irish. There were two famous captains, namely, Captain Willis and Captain Conwell, with two hundred soldiers (who had some time before come thither from the province of Connaught), who were plundering and ravaging the country in general, so that they had reduced in subjection to them the entire of Tirconnell from the mountain westwards, excepting the castle of Ballyshannon, and the castle of Donegal, in which O'Donnell was stationed with a few men. The English, however, were not able to do him any injury; nor was he on the other hand able to prevent them from plundering the country. The place where the English had taken up their abode and quarters was the monastery of Donegal, the friars and ecclesiastics having fled into the wilds and recesses of the territory to avoid them, from fear of being destroyed or persecuted. After having resided in the monastery for some time, with the
p.1927small number of forces which we have mentioned, a party of them went to Baile-Ui-Bhaoighill, a castle on the borders of the harbour, about two thousand paces west of Donegal, for they considered themselves secure there, as they had the hostages of the country in their power. These were wont to go forth, in companies of two and three, and carry off the flocks and herds, goods and treasures, of the neighbourhood with them into this castle. They were constantly inviting additional hosts and forces to proceed across Barnesmore, to persecute and plunder the country on the east side of the mountain, as they had already treated the western portion.
As for Hugh O'Donnell, after having summoned the country to him, he did not long wait for them (when he heard of the great oppression in which the Kinel-Connell were, and of the spoiling and profanation of the monastery), but proceeded to Donegal to meet the English face to face. The people of the country, such of them as loved him, did not neglect to come at his summons; they followed him in bands and in companies as expeditiously as they were able; he, thereupon, sent his messengers to the English, to tell them not to remain or abide any longer in the monastery destroying it; and, adding that he would not prevent them to depart in any direction they pleased, provided only they would leave behind all the prisoners and cattle of the territory they had with them. They were so terrified and dismayed that they did as they were ordered; and, being thankful that they escaped with their lives, they went back again into the province of Connaught. The friars then returned to the monastery.
Hugh O'Donnell returned to Ballyshannon, and sent for physicians to cure his feet; but they were not able to effect a cure until they had cut off both his great toes; and he was not perfectly well till the end of a year afterwards. He remained thus confined under cure of his feet from the festival of St. Bridget to April. When the cold of the spring season was over, he thought it too long he had been confined as an invalid; and he sent persons to assemble and muster all those who were obedient to his father to the east side of the celebrated mountain, i.e. Barnesmore, in Tirhugh; and he collected also all those
p.1929to the west of the same mountain, namely, O'Boyle, and Mac Sweeny of Tir-Boghaine. There came also to join him, his father, O'Donnell, i.e. Hugh, the son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv, with his wife, the daughter of James Mac Donnell, his Hugh Roe's mother. The place of meeting appointed by these chieftains was Kilmacrenan, where the O'Donnell was usually inaugurated Lord of the Kinel-Connell. He arrived with the same number at that place. To Hugh O'Donnell's levy on this occasion came also Mac Sweeny Fanad (Donnell, the son of Turlough, son of Rory), and Mac Sweeny-na-dTuath (Owen, Oge, the son of Owen Oge, son of Owen). There were many parties of the Kinel-Connell who did not come to this assembly. Of these was Hugh, the son of Hugh Duv, son of Hugh Roe O'Donnell; and the descendants of Calvagh, the son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv; O'Doherty; John Oge, the son of John, son of Felim, son of Conor Carragh, Chieftain of the Tricha-ched of Inishowen; and a party of the Clann-Sweeny, who had gone away from their own territory, and were dwelling at that time on the margin of Lough Foyle, and who had been leaders in battle to Calvagh O'Donnell, and his descendants after him. There was also a great number of the O'Gallaghers who did not come hither, through spite and malice, like the others.
O'Donnell (Hugh, the son of Manus) and these chiefs who came to meet him, then held a consultation; and the resolution which O'Donnell came to (as he felt his own feebleness and great age) was, to resign his lordship to his son, and to style him O'Donnell. This resolution was universally applauded by all, and accordingly adopted, for O'Firghil the Erenagh was sent for; and he inaugurated Hugh Roe chief of the country, by order and with the blessing of his father; and the ceremony of conferring the name was legally performed, and he styled him O'Donnell on the third day of May.
O'Donnell (Hugh Roe) did not permit those few troops he had then with
him to disperse, but marched them, both horse and foot, into the
neighbouring parts of the territory of the race of
Eoghan, the son of Niall. No notice or forewarning of
this movement had reached the others, for they did not think that
he had perfectly recovered from his confinement; yet they did not intend
p.1931to fly before the Kinel-Connell neither, indeed, had it been their wont to do so from a remote period. By this small army of the Kinel-Connell the neighbouring parts of Kinel-Owen were plundered and burned; every one fit to bear arms whom they caught was put to the sword and slaughtered. The army also seized upon many spoils, both herds and flocks, and then returned back to their own territory.
At this time the residence of O'Neill (Turlough Luineach) was at Strabane, where, before the time of this Turlough, the O'Neill had not usually held his residence. Great was his animosity to the Kinel-Connell, and to O'Donnell's brother-in-law, namely, the Earl O'Neill. O'Neill drew a party of the English of Dublin to strengthen him against the Kinel-Connell and the Earl O'Neill, namely, Captain Willis and Captain Fullart; and they had two hundred soldiers along with them. It was anguish of mind to the young O'Donnell that the English of Dublin should have come to the confines of his territory to spy his patrimony, and the province in general; wherefore, in a week's time he made a hosting into Tyrone. The people of the country fled on this second occasion before him, until they reached Cianachta-Glinne-Geimhin. He O'Donnell was informed that O'Neill and the English before mentioned were assembled with all their forces in the neighbourhood; and he ordered his troops to advance to the place where they were. This was accordingly done. He marched resolutely and fiercely against them in mid-day. When they perceived the Kinel-Connell approaching them, they did not wait for them, but fled, to avoid them, to a castle which was situated on the margin of a river called Roa. This was a strong, impregnable castle, and the mansion-seat of O'Kane. O'Donnell proceeded to lay siege to the castle. 0'Kane sent a messenger with a letter to him. What was stated in this letter was, that O'Donnell was his foster-son; that he O'Kane had ratified a friendship with him long since; that by reason of this friendship, it was now lawful for him O'Donnell to leave to him the property
p.1933which had come under his asylum and protection; and that he would never again admit such, should he O'Donnell be in pursuit of it. O'Donnell granted him this request, but, returning back, remained three days and nights in the territory whence the spoils to which he had given protection had been removed, plundering and totally devastating it. He then went back to his own country, and never halted until he had reached Donegal, where he remained two months under cure.
By this time he thought it too long that O'Neill and his English were left unattacked; wherefore, having assembled his forces, they proceeded through the gap of Barnesmore, and across the Rivers Finn and Mourne, on his way to Strabane, where O'Neill and his English were stationed; and they never halted until they came before them face to face. But O'Neill and his English did not come outside the donjon of the fortress to engage them; and when they were not responded to in battle, they set fires and flames to the four opposite quarters of the town, and did not depart until they had burned all the houses outside the walls; and when they could not excite the English to come forth to avenge the destruction, they returned home in triumph.
As for the Earl O'Neill, when he perceived the enmity that his own tribe bore to O'Donnell (Hugh Roe), what he did was, to proceed to the Lord Justice, William Fitzwilliam, to obtain a protection for O'Donnell to come before him, and confer with him, at Tragh-Bhaile-mic-Buain Dundalk. This he obtained at once, and went to Donegal to O'Donnell, and took him to Tragh-Bhaile-mhic-Buain, where both appeared before the Lord Justice, who was gracious to them, and he forgave O'Donnell the escape. They confirmed friendship and amity with each other as strongly as possible, and, having bid the Lord Justice farewell, and left him their blessing, they all returned to their respective homes.
When that party of the Kinel-Connell who were in opposition to O'Donnell heard that he had made peace with the Lord Justice, they all came to him in peace and amity. The most distinguished of these who came there were Hugh, the son of Hugh Duv, son of Hugh Roe; Niall Garv, the son of Con,
p.1935son of Calvagh, son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv, with his kinsmen; and O'Doherty, namely, John Oge, the son of John, son of Felim, son of Conor Carragh, after having been taken prisoner by him Hugh Roe.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1593. The Age of Christ, one thousand one hundred ninety-three.
O'Donnell (Hugh Roe) was during the month of January of this year at Lifford, his own lordly residence, confronting his enemy, Turlough Luineach, the son of Niall Conallagh. He proceeded to wreak his enmity and vengeance upon him, to expel him from his lordship, and weaken his power, in order that Hugh O'Neill might be inaugurated in his stead. He was the better of this precaution which he took, for the lordship came to Hugh O'Neill, and Turlough Luineach gave consent, and made his submission to him, in order that the dignity might be conferred on him. Hugh O'Neill, namely, the Earl, was then styled the O'Neill; and Turlough Luineach, after having made peace with O'Neill and O'Donnell, sent away the English whom he had with him. This was done in the month of May. The province of Conor Mac Nessa was then under the peaceable government of these two; and they had the hostages and pledges of the inhabitants in their power, so that they were subject to them.
The Clann-William, whom we mentioned as having submitted to the Governor at the Michaelmas of the preceding year, were so impoverished by the English, that before the May of this year they left them not the smallest portion of their former wealth or great riches; and such of their people as had not been executed or (otherwise) destroyed were scattered and dispersed throughout Ireland, to seek for a livelihood.
A warlike dissension arose in the month of May in this year between Sir George Bingham of Ballymote and Brian-na-Samhthach, i.e. Brian Oge, the son of Brian, son of Brian, son of Owen O'Rourke. The cause of this dissension was, that a part of the Queen's rent had not been received out of Breifny on that festival, Brian O'Rourke asserting that all the rents not paid were those demanded for lands that were waste, and that he Bingham ought not to
p.1937demand rent for waste lands until they should be inhabited. Sir George sent soldiers into Breifny to take a prey in lieu of the rent; and the soldiers seized on O'Rourkes own milch cows. Brian went to demand a restoration of them, but this he did not at all receive. He then returned home, and sent for mercenaries and hireling troops to Tyrone, Tirconnell, and Fermanagh; and after they had come to him, he set out, and he made no delay by day or by night until he arrived at Ballymote. On his arrival in the neighbourhood of the town, he dispersed marauding parties through the two cantreds of the Mac Donoughs, namely, Corann and Tirerrill; and there was not much of that country which he did not plunder on the excursion. He also burned on that day thirteen villages on every side of Ballymote; and he ravaged Ballymote itself more than he did any other town. Their losses were of little account, except the son of Coffey Roe Magauran, on the side of Brian; Gilbert Grayne, a gentleman of Sir George's people, who was slain on the other side. The son of O'Rourke then returned back to his own territory loaded with great preys and spoils. This was done in the first month of summer.
A hosting was made by Maguire (Hugh, the son of Cuconnaught), to emulate that excursion of Brian O'Rourke. He proceeded first through the eastern part of Breifny, keeping Lough Allen to the left; then through the upper part of Tirerrill, through Corran, and across the bridge at the monastery of Boyle, into Machaire Connacht. Early in the day he dispatched marauding parties through the country around. This night the Governor, Sir Richard Bingham, happened to be on a hill near the gate of Tulsk, in the barony of Roscommon, watching the surrounding country; and a party of his cavalry went forth to scour the hills around the hill on which he was stationed; but they noticed nothing, in consequence of a thick fog of the earIy morning, until they and Maguire's cavalry met face to face. The Governor's cavalry turned their backs to them, and they were hotly pursued by Maguire and his people, who continued to lash and strike them until they arrived at the camp and fortification where the Governor was. They again turned upon Maguire, and pursued him back by the same road, until he had reached the middle of his forces. When the Governor saw that he had not an equal number of men with them, he returned
p.1939back, he himself and all his people having escaped scathless from that conflict, except only William Clifford, a distinguished gentleman, and five or six horsemen, who were slain on that occasion. On the other side were slain, Edmond Magauran, Primate of Armagh, who happened accidentally to be along with Maguire on this occasion; the Abbot Maguire, (Cathal, son of the Abbot); Mac Caffry (Felim), and his brother's son. These were slain on the third day of July. Maguire was not pursued any more on that day; and, having carried away the preys and great spoils of that country, he proceeded steadily and slowly, from one encampment to another, to Fermanagh.
The Maguire and the Brian O'Rourke before mentioned confederated during the summer to war against and plunder the English. Brian, the son of Hugh Oge, son of Hugh, son of John Boy Mac Mahon, from Dartry-Oriel; the sons of Ever Mac Cooley, from Farney; and Richard, son of Ulick Burke, i.e. the son of Deamhon-an-Charrain, were also in insurrection and rebellion against
p.1941the English. These people of Oriel made an attack upon a company of soldiers who were stationed at Monaghan, and slew the greater part of them; wherefore a proclamation was issued to every town in Ireland, declaring the aforesaid persons and their confederates to be traitors.
In the autumn following, the Lord Chief Justice commanded a great hosting of the men of Meath, Leinster, and Leath-Mogha, to proceed into Ulster; and the Governor of the province of Connaught ordered a hosting of all those dwelling in the region extending from the Shannon to the Drowes, to meet them at Lough Erne. As for the Lord Justice, he gave his own place on this hosting to the Marshal of Newry and the Earl of Tyrone (Hugh, the son of Feardorcha). These numerous and very great forces marched from Carn-mor of Sliabh-Beatha to Easroe, keeping on the east side of Lough Erne. It was not pleasing to the Earl of Tyrone to go on this expedition; however, he had so much dread of the English that he was obliged to obey them.
When Hugh Maguire heard that this great hosting was approaching him, he sent all his property, both cows and flocks, into Tirconnell, to avoid them, while he himself remained at the west side of the lake, at Enniskillen, with a small army of the inhabitants of his own territory, and hired soldiers from other territories, to oppose the English, and to prevent them passing that place. The others marched with their left to the lake, as we have before stated, until they arrived at a celebrated ford on the Erne, namely, Ath-Culuain. While they were advancing to that place, Maguire and his forces kept pace with them at the other side of the lake, so that he arrived at the same ford on the opposite side. The English army then proceeded to cross the ford; and Maguire attempted to defend it as well as he was able. But the proverb, the many shall overcome the few, was verified in this instance, for Maguire was obliged to let the English pass the ford, and was defeated, with the loss of a considerable number of his people. The Earl of Tyrone was wounded on this occasion.
The Governor of the province of Connaught and the Earl of Thomond (Donough, the son of Conor, son of Donough O'Brien) came to meet them at
p.1945the other side of the Erne. They effected nothing worthy of note, except that the Governor returned with the rising-out of Connaught to the Abbey of Boyle, where he remained for some time, plundering Muintir-Eolais and the west of Fermanagh. The men of Connaught then dispersed for their homes. The Earl of Tyrone and the Marshal also returned to their houses, after destroying much in Fermanagh. They left companies of soldiers in the country to assist Conor Oge, the son of Conor Roe Maguire, who was at strife with the Maguire. Unhappy and disturbed was the state of the entire extent of country from Clogher Mac Daimhene in Tyrone to Rath-Croghan in Connaught, and from Traigh-Eothuile to Breifny O'Reilly, at this time.
Mac Carthy Reagh (Owen, the son of Donnell, son of Fineen), Lord of Carbery, died. He was a sensible, pious, truly hospitable, and noble-deeded man. Donnell, the son of Cormac-na-h-Aoine, took his place.
Mary, the daughter of Cormac Oge, son of Cormac, son of Teige Mac Carthy, and wife of O'Sullivan More, died.
Murtough, son of Conor, son of Turlough O'Brien, of Druim-Laighean, died,
p.1947and was interred in his own town of Druim-Laighean; and his son, Conor, took his place.
Murtough, the son of Donnell, son of Conor O'Brien of Tulach, died.
Teige, the son of William, son of Teige Duv O'Kelly of Caladh, in Hy-Many, died; and his death was among the mournful news of Hy-Many.
O'Dwyer of Coill-na-manach (Philip, son of Anthony) died; and his son, Dermott, took his place.
Margaret, daughter of O'Boyle (Turlough), died.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1594. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred ninety-four.
Mac Mahon, Lord of East Corca-Bhaiscinn, died, namely, Teige, the son of Murrough, son of Teige Roe, son of Turlough, son of Teige; and his son, Turlough Roe, took bis place.
O'Sullivan Beare (Owen, the son of Dermot, son of Donnell) died. He was not, however, the O'Sullivan Beare at that time, though he had once been; for in the year previous to his death, his brother's son, Donnell, the son of Donnell, son of Dermot, had, by the decision of the Council of England and the Council of Ireland, deprived him of Dunbaoi the castle of Dunboy and Beare; and Donnell himself was nominated the O'Sullivan Beare.
O'Dowda of Tireragh (Dathi, the son of Teige Reagh, son of Owen) was slain by one of the Queen's soldiers, in one of his own castles in Tireragh on the Moy.
O'Heyne (Hugh Boy, the son of Owen Mantagh, son of Edmond, son of Flan) died.
The daughter of Mac-I-Brien Ara, Honora, daughter of Turlough, son of Murtough, son of Donnell, son of Teige, and wife of Pierce, son of Edmond an-Chaladh, son of Pierce Roe Butler, died.
A great hosting was made by the Lord Justice; and he proceeded unperceived through the adjacent territories without any delay, until he arrived at Enniskillen; and he encamped around, and laid siege to the fortress; and the army proceeded to destroy its wall with the proper engines, and they never ceased until they finally took it. And the Lord Justice left warders in the castle, and then returned to his house.
When Maguire heard that the Lord Justice had returned back, he assembled the greatest number of forces that he was able, and beleaguered the same castle, and dispatched messengers to O'Donnell (Hugh Roe), requesting him to come to his assistance. This request was promptly responded to by him O'Donnell, for he went to join him with his forces; and they laid siege to the fortress from the beginning of June to the middle of August. During this time these forces plundered and laid waste all that that was under the jurisdiction
p.1951of the English in the territory of Oriel, and in Breifny O'Reilly; and they gave their cows and flocks as provision stores to their soldiers.
O'Donnell, as we have stated, was encamped, laying siege to Enniskillen, from the middle of June to the month of August, until the warders of the castle had consumed almost all their provisions. Messengers came to O'Donnell from the Scots, whom he had before invited over, to inform him that they had arrived at Derry. And those who had come thither were Donnell Gorm Mac Donnell, and Mac Leod of Ara. O'Donnell then set out with a small number of his forces to hire them; and he left another large party of them with Maguire to assist him, and he ordered them to remain blockading the castle.
When the Lord Justice, Sir William Fitzwilliam, had received intelligence that the warders of Enniskillen were in want of stores and provisions, he ordered a great number of the men of Meath, and of the gentlemen of the Reillys and the Binghams of Connaught, under the conduct of George Oge Bingham, to convey provisions to Enniskillen. These chieftains, having afterwards met together, went to Cavan, O'Reilly's town, for provisions; and they proceeded through Fermanagh, keeping Lough Erne on the right, until they arrived within about four miles of the town.
When Maguire (Hugh) received intelligence that these forces were marching towards the town with the aforesaid provisions, he set out with his own forces and the forces left him by O'Donnell, together with Cormac, the son of the Baron, i.e. the brother of the Earl O'Neill; and they halted at a certain narrow pass, to which they thought they the enemy would come to them. The ambuscade was successful, for they came on, without noticing any thing, until they fell in with Maguire's people at the mouth of a certain ford. A fierce and vehement conflict, and a spirited and hard-contested battle, was fought between both parties, till at length Maguire and his forces routed the others by dint of fighting, and a strages of heads was left to him; and the rout was followed up a great way from that place. A countless number of nobles and plebeians fell in this conflict. Many steeds, weapons, and other spoils, were left behind in that place by the defeated, besides the steeds and horses that were loaded with provisions, on their way to Enniskillen. A few fugitives of Meath and of
p.1953the Reillys escaped from this conflict, and never stopped until they arrived in Breifny O'Reilly. The route taken by George Oge Bingham and the few who escaped with him from the field was through the Largan, the territory of the Clann-Coffey Magauran, through Breifny O'Rourke, and from thence to Sligo. The name of the ford at which this great victory was gained was changed to Bel-atha-na-mBriosgadh, from the number of biscuits and small cakes left there to the victors on that day.
When the warders of the castle heard of the defeat of the army, they surrendered the castle to Maguire; and he gave them pardon and protection
A new Lord Justice came to Ireland in the month of July of this year. Sir William Russell was his name. He formed a resolution that provisions and stores should be put into every town in the Queen's possession in Ireland, in despite of all those who were opposed to him. He issued a proclamation to the inhabitants of Meath, Leinster, Munster, and Connaught, ordering them to meet him at Athlone, with all their forces assembled, on the 16th of September. The Lord Justice accordingly went to Athlone at that time, and proceeded from thence to Roscommon.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1595. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred ninety-five.
The Chief Justiciary of Ireland, Sir William Russell, marched to Baile-na-Cuirre in the month of January, against Fiagh, the son of Hugh O'Byrne, at
p.1957the instance of Fiagh's neighbours and acquaintances. Upon their arrival in the neighbourhood of the castle, but before they had passed through the gate of the rampart that surrounded it, the sound of a drum was accidentally heard from the soldiers who were going to the castle. Fiagh, with his people, took the alarm; and he rose up suddenly, and sent a party of his people to defend the gate; and he sent all his people, men, boys, and women, out through the postern-doors of the castle, and he himself followed them, and conveyed them all in safety to the wilds and recesses, where he considered them secure.
While Fiagh was thus avoiding his enemies, Walter Reagh, the son of Gerald, son of Thomas, one of the Geraldines of Kildare, came to join him. As for the Lord Justice, he remained for ten days at Ballinacor, after it had been deserted by Fiagh; and, having left one or two companies of soldiers to defend it, he himself returned to Dublin.
Fifteen days after this, Walter Reagh and some of the sons of Fiagh, the son of Hugh, set out upon a nocturnal excursion (in sleeping time) to Cruimghlinn, near the gate of Dublin. They burned and totally plundered that town bally, and took away as much as they were able to carry of the leaden roof of the church of the town; and though the blaze and flames of the burning town were plainly visible in the streets of Dublin, Walter escaped without wound or bloodshed.
In a month after this, Walter made an attack on a neighbouring castle, belonging to a gentleman of his enemies. But the gentleman was wary and vigilant, in readiness against any attack of his enemies. When Walter and his people attacked the castle, the gentleman came to a bold and fierce combat with Walter; and they struck at each other furiously and inimically, and Walter was wounded in the leg. His people carried him off to the nearest mountain, and they placed him under cure in a subterranean cave, with the situation of which no three persons were acquainted. They left with him only one young physician of his own faithful people, who was wont to go every second day to the nearest woods to gather herbs. A conversation privately occurred between this man and a party of Walter's enemies; and he, having leagued with them,
p.1959betrayed Walter, and led a party to where he was, who bound him. Walter was afterwards taken to Dublin, where he was hanged and quartered.
The entire province of Ulster rose up in one alliance and one union against the English this year.
An army was led by the O'Neills, in the month of February in this year, into the country of the Baron of Slane, and left no property after them in those districts, of corn, dwellings, flocks, or herds.
Another army was led by the O'Neills to Kells, and they spoiled and totally ravaged the whole country around.
An army was led by Maguire (Hugh, the son of Cuconnaught, son of Cuconnaught, son of Cuconnaught), and by Mac Mahon (Brian, the son of Hugh Oge, son of John Boy), into Breifny O'Reilly, and they quickly plundered and ravaged that country; and they left not a cabin in which two or three might be sheltered in all Cavan which they did not burn, except the monastery of Cavan, in which English soldiers were at that time.
Maccon, the son of Cucogry, son of Dermot, son of Teige Cam O'Clery, .Ollav to O'Donnell in history, an erudite and ingenious man, professed in history and poetry; a fluent orator, with the gift of elocution, address, and eloquence; a pious, devout, religious, and charitable man, died at Leitir-Maelain, in Thomond.
At the end of the month of February Sir John Norris, the Queen's general, came to Ireland with a force of eighteen hundred soldiers, to suppress the war in Ulster and Connaught.
A hosting was made by O'Donnell (Hugh Roe), to march into Connaught. He first crossed the Erne, on the third day of March, and moved on, keeping the lake of Melge, the son of Cobhthach, on his right, until he arrived at Ballaghmeehin, where he stopped that night. He then proceeded on through Breifny, until he came to Braid-Shliabh, where he stopped for one night. It was difficult for him at that time to get an advantage of or surprise the province of Olnegmacht, because the English held their abode and residence throughout the country in general, and especially in its chief towns and impregnable fortresses. In the first place, Sir Richard Bingham, the Governor of the province of Connaught, was stationed at Roscommon; another large party of the English was stationed in a monastery which is situated on the bank of the Boyle; another in Tulsk, in the very centre of Moy-Ai, to the north-east of Rathcroghan; another in the fort, a fortress erected by the English themselves between Lough Key and Lough Arrow; another at Ballymote; and a great party at Sligo. News having reached the Governor at Roscommon, that O'Donnell was on his march into the country, he made no delay until he arrived at the monastery of Boyle, and ordered all the English of the towns above mentioned to come to him at that place, for he thought that it should be by that way that O'Donnell would pass with his forces.
O'Donnell, on his way to Coillte-Chonchobhair, ordered his troops to halt, to be drawn out in array, and reviewed. This they accordingly did, and the number he had there was not great, being only four hundred men fit for valor
p.1963and action; for no other forces joined his muster besides the Kinel-Connell, except a few from the province of Olnegmacht, who acted as spies and guides in pointing out the way to him, under the conduct of Conor Oge Mac Dermot, and Con, the son of Dubhaltach, son of Tuathal O'Conor. This host, after having been reviewed, marched on until they arrived at the River Boyle, and crossed it at the bridge of Cnoc-an-Bhiocara early in the evening. From thence they proceeded through Moylurg and Moy-Nai, and next morning, by break of day, arrived at Rathcroghan. Here, as he O'Donnell had instructed them before they arrived at that place, marauding parties were detached and sent forth; far and wide did these heroic bands disperse from each other, for one party of them proceeded to the country of O'Conor Roe and O'Hanly, another to the bridge of Bel-atha-Mogha, on the River Suck, and a third party west-wards, beyond Caislen-riabhach. The dense cloud of vapour and smoke which spread in every place where these forces passed, all around Rathcroghan, was enough to conceal their numbers. The party that had gone to Ath-Mogha Ballimoe, and those who had gone to Airteach and Clann-Keherny, returned to Rathcroghan before mid-day, though it was difficult for them to return in regular order, by reason of the immensity of their preys and spoils; and they could have procured more, if they had been but able to carry or drive them. O'Donnell and these went on with their preys to Elphin, and remained there for some time, awaiting the party who had gone to the country of O'Conor Roe and O'Hanly. He afterwards proceeded on from Elphin, keeping Ath-slisean on the right, until he arrived in Hy-Briuin, where he remained that night, until all his people had come to him with their spoils. None of the Irish had for a long time before collected (by one day's plundering) so much booty as he had there.
On the next day O'Donnell ordered his people to convey their preys across the Shannon; and he sent his recruits, and all those unfit to wield arms, with
p.1965the preys and spoils, into Muintir-Eolais. When the rear of the army was crossing the ford, they were overtaken by the recruits and musketeers of the English; and a battle ensued, in which many were hurt and mortally wounded on both sides. The Kinel-Connell, however, crossed the river, and carried off their spoils, after triumph.
Another hosting was made by O'Donnell (Hugh Roe) into Connaught, on the eighteenth day of the month of April. He first crossed the Erne, and marched on, keeping Lough Melvin on the right, until he arrived at Ros-inbhir, where he stopped for that night. From thence he went to Cill-Fhearga, where he waited for the coming up of the rear of his army. Upon their arrival they proceeded through Breifny to Braid-Shliabh, and from thence into Machaire-Chonnacht; and such part of it as had escaped being plundered on the former expedition was plundered now; and they collected the preys together to him. After this he proceeded onward with these preys and spoils, and arrived the same night in Leitrim in Muintir-Eolais.
Now his enemies thought that he would return into Ulster; this, however, he did not do, but privately dispatched messengers to Maguire (Hugh), requesting that he would come to hin, in Annaly; and he sent spies before him through the country, and ordered them to meet him at a certain place. He himself then marched onwards, secretly and expeditiously, and arrived with his troops at the dawn of day in the two Annalys (these were the countries of the two O'Farrells, though the English had some time before obtained sway over them); and one of the English, Christopher Browne by name, was then dwelling in the chief mansion-seat of O'Farrell. The brave troops of O'Donnell and Maguire marched from Sliabh-Cairbre to the River Inny, and set every place to which they came in these districts in a blaze of fire, and wrapped it in a black, heavy cloud of smoke. They took the Longford, for they had set fire to every side and corner of it, so that it was only by the help of a rope that they conveyed Christopher Browne and his brother-in-law, and both their wives, out of it. Fifteen men of the hostages of that country (who had been in the custody of the aforesaid Christopher Browne) were burned to death, who could not be saved, in consequence of the fury and violence that prevailed.
Three other castles were also taken by O'Donnell on the same day; and on those occasions many persons were slain and destroyed, of whom one of the freeborn was Hubert, the son of Fergus, son of Brian O'Farrell, who was accidentally slain by Maguire. The son of the Prior O'Reilly was taken prisoner by others of the army. As much of the property of the country as they wished to have was collected and gathered, and brought to them from every quarter. They then proceeded with their preys and spoils, and pitched their camp that night in Teallach-Dunchadha. On the next day they sent marauding parties to the monastery of Cavan, to see whether they could get an advantage of the English who were quartered in it; but as they did not find any of the English about the town, they carried off every thing of value belonging to them to which they came. They marched that night to Teallach-Eachdhach, west of Bel-atha-Chonaill; and from thence they returned home, after the victory of expedition on that occasion.
When the English felt satisfied that the Earl O'Neill had risen up in alliance with O'Donnell in the war, the Lord Justice and Council sent a thousand warriors to Iubhar-Chinn-tragha, to make war on the Kinel-Owen; and the Lord Justice promised to follow them, and plunder and ravage the country.
O'Neill sent his messengers to O'Donnell, requesting him to come to his assistance against the overwhelming forces that had come to oppose him. O'Donnell did not listen inattentively to them, for he assembled his forces, and proceeded through Tyrone, to the place where O'Neill was; upon which both went to Fochard-Muirtheimhne. This was in the month of May. When the Lord Justice heard that they were both in readiness there to meet him, he remained in Dublin for that time.
George Oge Bingham, who was stationed at Sligo under Sir Richard Bingham, the Governor of Connaught, went with a ship and its crew north-eastwards,
p.1969to commit depredations in Tirconnell; and they sailed round, keeping Ireland to the right, until they put into the harbour of Swilly. They obtained an advantage of the country at this time, so that they plundered Mary's Abbey, which was situated on the brink of the Strand, and carried off the Mass vestments, chalices, and other valuable articles. They then sailed to Torach (an island consecrated by St. Columbkille, the holy patron), and preyed and plundered every thing they found on the island, and then returned back to Sligo.
O'Donnell having been informed of the spoliation of his territory, in his absence, by strangers, he returned from Tyrone to revenge it; but his stay had not been long in Tirconnell when O'Neill's messengers came to him to inform him that the Lord Justice had arrived with an army in Tyrone. He, thereupon, went back to the place where O'Neill was, who rejoiced at his arrival. The army brought by the Lord Justice (i.e. Sir William Russell) was very immense, for he had with him Sir John Norris, the Queen's general in Ireland, and the Earl of Thomond (Donough, son of Conor O'Brien), with all their forces. These never halted until they arrived at Newry, from whence they proceeded to Armagh. Here they resolved not to delay, until they should reach the Abhainn-mhor, in the very middle of Tyrone. On their march over the direct road from Armagh to this river, they beheld the fortified camp, and the strong battle-array of the Kinel-Owen and Kinel-Connell, under the Earl O'Neill and O'Donnell; and when the English army perceived this, they remained where they were until the next morning, when they returned back to Armagh. The Irish went in pursuit of them, and pitched their camp near them. They remained thus face to face for the space of fifteen days, without any attack from either side; for the Lord Justice and his army were within the fortifications of Armagh, engaged in erecting towers, and deepening the trenches around the town. At the expiration of this time the Lord Justice left three companies of soldiers to defend Armagh, and he himself returned to Newry; and the Irish went in pursuit to the gate of Newry. In a week afterwards the Lord Justice set out
p.1971with provisions, to victual Monaghan, and from thence he proceeded with his army to Dublin.
For some time after this the English did not dare to bring any army into Ulster, except one hosting which was made by Sir John Norris and his brother, Sir Thomas Norris, the President of the two provinces of Munster, with the forces of Munster and Meath, to proceed into Ulster. They marched to Newry, and passed from thence towards Armagh. When they had proceeded near halfway, they were met by the Irish, who proceeded to annoy, shoot, pierce, and spear them, so that they did not suffer them either to sleep or rest quietly for the space of twenty-four hours. They were not permitted to advance forward one foot further; and their chiefs were glad to escape with their lives to Newry, leaving behind them many men, horses, arms, and valuable things. The General, Sir John Norris, and his brother, Sir Thomas, were wounded on this occasion. It was no ordinary gap of danger for them to go into the province after this.
The aforesaid George Bingham returned to Sligo, after having plundered
p.1973the monastery of the Blessed Virgin at Rath-Maelain, and the church of St. Columbkille on Torach; but God did not permit him to remain for a long time without revenging them upon him, for there was in his company a gentleman of the Burkes, who had twelve warriors along with him, namely, Ulick Burke, the son of Redmond-na-Scuab. Upon one occasion he was offered insult and indignity by George and the English in general, at which he felt hurt and angry; and he resolved in his mind to revenge the insult on George, if he could, and afterwards to get into the friendship of O'Donnell, for he felt certain of being secure with him. He afterwards got an advantage of the aforesaid George, one day as he was in an apartment with few attendants; he went up to him, and upbraided him with his lawlessness and injustice towards him, and as he did not receive a satisfactory answer, he drew his sword, and struck at him till he severed his head from his neck. He then took the castle, and sent messengers to Ballyshannon, where O'Donnell's people then were; and these dispatched messengers to Tyrone, where O'Donnell himself was. They relate the news to him, and he then went to the Earl O'Neill; and both were much rejoiced at that killing. On the following day O'Donnell bade the Earl farewell, and, setting out with his army, did not halt, except by night, until he arrived at Sligo. He was welcomed; and Ulick Burke delivered up the town to him, which made him very happy in his mind. This happened in the month of June.
When intelligence of the death of George Bingham, and the taking of Sligo, came to the hearing of those of the province of Connaught who were in insurrection, namely, the Lower Burkes, the Clann-Donnell, the Sil-Conor, the Rourkes, and the Clann-Mulrony, and not these alone, but also those who had been proclaimed, and roving after having been expelled and banished into Ulster
p.1975and other places, by the Binghams, they came to O'Donnell to Sligo; and each of them went afterwards to his own patrimonial inheritance; and every inhabitant whom the English had established in their lands during the period of their proscription adhered to them as followers from that hour forth. In the course of one month the greater part of the inhabitants of the district, from the western point of Erris and Umhall to the Drowes, had unanimously confederated with O'Donnell; and there were not many castles or fortresses in those places, whether injured or perfect, that were not under his control.
O'Donnell then went to Donegal, and remained there till the middle of August. He was informed that a number of Scots had landed at Lough Foyle, with their chief, Mac Leod of Ara; he went thither to hire them. They were six hundred in number. After being hired by him, and after remaining some time to rest and recruit themselves, he assembled his forces and hirelings, and they marched across the Erne, the Drowes, the Duff, the Sligeach, and Easdara, across Sliabh-Gamh, into Leyny, and from thence into Costello. The English held at that time abode and residence in Castlemore-Mac-Costello. O'Donnell with his forces laid siege to this castle; and the warders were finally obliged to surrender it. He then proceeded to Dunmore-Mic-Feorais, and dispatched marauding parties into Conmaicne, Muintir-Murchadha, to the borders of Machaire-Riabhach, and to Tuam-da-ghualann. They took Turlach-Mochain, and a great number of the chiefs of the country, together with Richard, the son of Mac Feorais. They plundered and totally ravaged the country all around them, and carried off its flocks and herds, its wealth and riches, from all those they had met on their route, and then returned back.
When the Governor of the province of Connaught, namely, Sir Richard Bingham, heard that O'Donnell had passed by him westwards into Connaught, he assembled fifteen companies of soldiers, both horse and foot, and marched
p.1977to the top of the Coirrshliabh Curlieu hills, with the intention of making an attack upon O'Donnell, on his return from his expedition. When O'Donnell received intelligence of this, he soon returned back, with his preys and spoils, from one encampment to the other, through Costello, Leyny, the lower part of Tirerrill, and over the three bridges, namely, the bridge of Cul-maoile, the bridge of Ballysadere, and the bridge of Sligo. Through these passages the English went in pursuit of him as quickly as they could. O'Donnell detached a troop of cavalry, and ordered them to fall to the rear of his army, to prevent the van of the English army from coming into collision with the attendants or unarmed portion of his people. He afterwards moved on with his preys, till he reached the neighbourhood of Gleann-Dallain, without any opposition. The Governor followed in his track, and took up his quarters in the monastery of Sligo, to besiege O'Donnell's warders who were in the castle. On the next day O'Donnell sent a party of cavalry to reconnoitre the English, and learn the state of the fortress, and of the men who were in it; and they advanced to the banks of the river, to the hill which is called Rath-Dabhritog, from which they espied the English moving up and down throughout the town.
There was at this time along with Sir Richard his own sister's son, a proud and haughty youth, Captain Martin by name, who was the commander of his cavalry. He could not bear to see his enemies so near him without attacking them, and proceeded with his squadron across the bridge of Sligo. When O'Donnell's people perceived them advancing, they returned back as speedily as they were able, as they were not equal to them in number. The English pursued them; but not overtaking them, they returned back. O'Donnell's people then related how they had been pursued, and how they had escaped by means of the swiftness of their horses. When O'Donnell heard this story, the resolution he came to was, to lay a snare for the foreigners on the same passage.
p.1979He then selected one hundred of the best horsemen of his army, and three hundred infantry with their shooting implements, namely, bows with their arrow-quivers; he ordered them to lie in ambush within a mile of Sligo, and to send a small squadron of horse to the banks of the river, to decoy the English army; and should they the foreigners pursue them, not to wait for an engagement, until they should have come beyond the place where the ambuscade was laid. This was accordingly done. When Captain Martin perceived the small squadron of cavalry on the bank of the river, he advanced directly with a numerous body of cavalry, to wreak his vengeance upon them. The others at first moved slowly and leisurely before them, but these young heroes were soon obliged to incite their horses forward, the English having pursued them with such speed and vehemence. One of them, namely, Felim Reagh Mac Devit, was however compelled to remain behind, in consequence of the slowness of his horse; and, being unable to accompany his own people, he was obliged to disobey the orders of his lord, that is, to fight the English before he had passed the ambuscade. As he was certain of being immediately slain, he turned his face to the nearest of his pursuers, who was Captain Martin; and, as he Captain Martin raised his arm to strike his antagonist with his weapon, Felim placed his finger on the string of the javelin, which he had in readiness to discharge, so that he struck Captain Martin directly in the arm-pit, and pierced his heart in his breast. He was covered with mail, except in the spot where he was wounded. The English, seeing their champion and commander mortally wounded, returned back, carrying him, in his weakly condition, and in the agonies of death, in a recumbent posture, to the town, where he died on that night. When O'Donnell saw that the English had retreated, he was enraged, until the decoying party
p.1981bore testimony in behalf of Felim, that his horse was lame, which prevented him from keeping up with his party, and that there was nothing to have saved him from being slain by Captain Martin, excepting the one chance thrust; but his anger afterwards subsided when news reached him on the next day that the Captain had died.
As for the Governor, he was filled with anger and fury after the killing of his kinsman; and he ordered his army to construct engines for demolishing the castle, to see whether they could take it from O'Donnell's people who were in it. This they constructed of the crannchaingel, and of the bed-chambers of the Culdees, and of other implements which they found befitting for the purpose in the monastery. They covered these engines on the outside with the hides of cows and oxen, and wheels were put under them to remove them to the fortress. They were afterwards filled with heroes, warriors, and artisans for the purpose of razing the castle. This mighty train was drawn by them in the beginning of the night to the corner of the castle; and they immediately proceeded to destroy the wall. At this time some artisans who were within the castle began to pull down the opposite wall, in order that the youths within
p.1983might hurl the stones down on their enemies. Some of the warders also ascended to the battlements of the castle, and proceeded to cast down messy flags and ponderous, rough rocks, which broke and shattered to pieces every thing on which they fell. Others within the castle went to the windows and loopholes, and commenced discharging leaden bullets and showers of fire upon them; so that the soldiers who were in the wooden engines were bruised by that dropping of the stones, and by the incessant firing. The English did not remain to be wounded further; and, finding that they could effect nothing against the castle, they abandoned their wall-destroying domicile, and returned home, severely wounded, and glad to escape with their lives. It preyed upon the heart of the Governor, Sir Richard Bingham, that he was not able to wreak his vengeance upon the warders of the fortress, or on any of O'Donnell's people. He returned back homeward across the Curlieus, and over Moy-Nai, never halting until he arrived at Roscommon; and O'Donnell also returned homeward across the Erne, and discharged the Scots, having paid them their wages. He went back to Sligo, and demolished the castle, lest the English should inhabit it.
Theobald Burke, the son of Walter Kittagh, son of John, son of Oliver, son of John, laid siege to Bel-leice, a castle in the barony of Tirawley, in the county of Mayo, and it was then defended by the Governor's warders. When the Governor received intelligence of this, he ordered his brother, Captain John Bingham, Captain Foal, Captain Mensi, the son of William Boy Tuite, with many other gentlemen, to go to the relief of the castle with provisions and arms; but, before they could relieve the warders, Theobald had obtained possession of the castle. They then returned home in sorrow; and Theobald went in pursuit of them, piercing, surrounding, disturbing, and slaying them throughout that fair day, so that they lost many men, and much arms and armour. On this day he slew Captain Foal, Captain Mensi, and the son and heir of William Tuite, with many others, both of the gentlemen and common people, not enumerated;
p.1985and all who escaped did so by virtue of their prowess, valour, and superior knowledge.
O'Neill (Turlough Luineach, the son of Niall Conallagh, son of Art, son of Con, son of Henry, son of Owen) died. He had bestowed most wealth and riches upon the learned, the Ollavs, and all those who sought gifts of any of the lords of Ireland in his time; for he had often issued a proclamation throughout Ireland to all those who sought gifts, inviting them to come to him on the festivals of the nativity of our Lord; and when they came, not one departed dissatisfied, or without being supplied. He was a lord who had many soldiers in his service for pay and wages,a lord prosperous in peace, and powerful in war, until age and infirmity came upon him; and an heir had been appointed in his place, ten years before his death, at the parliament held in Dublin in the name of Queen Elizabeth, namely, Hugh (the son of Ferdorcha the Baron, son of Con, son of Con, son of Henry, son of Owen), who had been styled Earl at this parliament. O'Neill died at Strabane, and was interred at Ardstraw.
Magennis (Hugh, the son of Hugh, son of Donnell Oge), a man, of his patrimony, of greatest name and renown among the English and Irish of Ireland, died penitently.
Turlough, the son of Brian, son of Donough, son of Donough Bacagh Mac Mahon, Lord of West Corca-Bhaiscinn, a man of great fame and character throughout Ireland, considering his patrimony, for he had but one cantred, died; and his son, Teige Caech, took his place.
Redmond-na-Scuab, son of Ulick-na-gCeann, son of Rickard, son of Ulick Burke of Cnoc-Tuagh, died.
O'Gallagher (Sir John, the son of Tuathal), a man of great name and renown among the English and Irish of this time, died on the 25th of April.
The monastery of Monaghan in Oriel was this year in the possession of the English, and a company of soldiers constantly guarding it. A message from them reached Dublin that they were in want of provisions. When the Lord Justice, Sir William Russell, and Sir John Norris, heard this, they ordered that twenty-six bands of English and Irish soldiers, together with many gentlemen, should be sent with provisions and all other necessaries to Monaghan. And these marched onward to the town without being noticed or opposed; and, having remained that night in Monaghan, they prepared the next morning to set out for Newry. When, however, they had gone a short distance from Monaghan eastward, they were met by O'Neill's people; and ungentle and unfriendly was the salute they received there, for they O'Neill's people proceeded to shoot, strike, kill, and destroy them, and the engagement lasted from the fourth hour before noon until the dusk of the evening; so that it would not be easy to reckon or enumerate all those of the peopIe of the Lord Justice, both gentle and plebeian, who were lost, or the number of steeds, of coats of mail, of arms, of various weapons, of wares, of rich raiment, of horses, and hampers of provisions, that were left on every road over which they passed on that day. They i.e. the survivors pitched a camp near Newry, and companies of soldiers came for them the next morning; and deficient and broken were they in going to that town. Little had they thought, when leaving Dublin, that they should receive such an attack in Ulster. This conflict took place in the month of May.
Captain Felli, a gentleman of the Queen's people, who had the superintendence and care of the lands of the Governor of Connaught, was treacherously slain in the castle of Aircin by his own people.
In the month of December O'Donnell mustered an army to march into Connaught. The route he took was to Sligo, Traigh-Eothuile, Tireragh, and across
p.1989the Moy into Tirawley. The Clann-William Burke were at variance with each other concerning the lordship of the territory, each man of them i.e. of the candidates thinking that he himself was entitled to it. They all came at the summons of O'Donnell, on his arrival in the country; and he consulted with his advisers as to which of them he would nominate lord; he finally decided upon nominating as lord Theobald Burke, son of Walter Kittagh, son of John, son of Oliver, because he had been the first to come over to him after his expulsion from his country by the English; and he O'Donnell had promised to assist him, if in his power. Moreover, this Walter was in the bloom of youth, and able to endure the hardships and toils of the war in which they were engaged. His title of chief was conferred on him in the presence of the forces in general, although there were others of his tribe older and greater in point of dignity than he. Hostages and pledges were delivered into the hands of Theobald by the other Burkes who were in opposition, aFter his election. O'Donnell remained with Mac William in the barony of Cill Meadhoin, and at Brees in Clanmaurice, during the Christmas of this year.
At this time Sir William Russell, the Chief Justiciary of Ireland, was at Galway; and, on his leaving Galway, a peace of two months was proclaimed, but without pledges or hostages, between O'Donnell and the Connacians, on the one side, and the Lord Justice, on the other. There was not at this time any county in Connaught, excepting the county of Clare only, in which the inhabitants, or great numbers of them, had not joined and united with O'Donnell, from the Drowes to Conmaicne-mara, and from the Moy to the Shannon. Among them were the O'Kellys, excepting Conor, the son of Donough Reagh, son of Teige Duv O'Kelly; for he had (forcibly) taken the Callow from Ferdorcha, the son of Kellagh, son of Donnell, son of Hugh na gCailleach O'Kelly; upon which Ferdorcha, with all his number followers, went over to O'Donnell, who appointed him lord of Hy-Many. The O'Maddens rose up in the same war, except the O'Madden alone, namely, Donnell, the son of John, and his son,
p.1991Anmchadh. The sons of Redmond na-Scuab, son of Ulick Burke, and those we have mentioned, went and took and destroyed Meelick-I-Madden, Tir-athain, and all the castles of the country, except Longphort. They plundered and totally devastated Clonfert-Brendan, and took the bishop of that town prisoner. Among the rest, on this occasion, was Owen Duv, the son of Melaghlin Balbh O'Madden, from the district of Lusmagh. They afterwards proceeded across the Shannon, into Delvin and Fircall; and, upon their return to the banks of the Shannon, two companies of soldiers, who had been billeted in Meath, were drawn in pursuit of them. These soldiers advanced unnoticed, until they had surrounded the castle of Cloghan, in which the plunderers were, when they slew many of them, and, among the rest, Anmchadh, son of Melaghlin Moder, son of Melaghlin, son of Breasal O'Madden; and Coffagh Oge, the son of Coffagh O'Madden. The sons of Redmond Burke, with the greater part of their people along with them, escaped from conflict.
On this occasion thirteen of the castles of Connaught were broken down by O'Donnell. After crossing the Moy into Tireragh, he conferred the title of O'Dowda upon Teige, the son of Teige Reagh, son of Owen, the O'Dowda; in Leyny he nominated [...] the O'Hara Reagh; and he appointed Maurice Caech, the son of Teige-an-Triubhais, the Mac Donough of Tirerrill; Rory, the son of Hugh, the Mac Donough of Corran; and Conor, the son of Teige, the Mac Dermot of Moylurg. He took away hostages from every territory into which he had come, as a security for their fealty; and he then returned home across the Erne, having terminated his expedition.
The hostages of the greater part of the province of Connaught, who had been imprisoned in Galway by the Governor, Sir Richard Bingham, being intoxicated
p.1993and excited after drinking wine, plotted together in the month of August in this year to make their escape from the prison in which they were, by stratagem or force. This resolution being adopted by them, they knocked off their chains and fetters. This was in the early part of the night, while the gates of the town were still open; and it was the time at which all in general were dining, for it was the beginning of the night, when they passed out through the gate of the town westward. The bridge was gained upon them, so that they were obliged to face the rough river which lay before them; but, at the same time that they were leaving the river, the soldiers of the town, who had crossed the bridge, were ready to meet them. Some of them were slain on the spot, and others were turned back to the prison from which they had fled. When the news of this reached the Governor, he sent a writ to Galway, ordering that all those who had consented to escape on this occasion should be hanged without delay; and there were hanged by order of the Governor, namely, the son of Mac William Burke (Edmond, the son of Richard-an-Iarainn); the son of O'Conor Roe, i.e. [...]; the son of Teige Oge, son of Teige Boy, son of Cathal Roe; the son of Mac David (Hubert, the son of Hubert Boy, son of William, son of Thomas); Murrough Oge, the son of Murrough of the Battle-axes, son of Teige O'Flaherty; Donnell, the son of Rory, son of Teige O'Flaherty; and Myler, the son of Theobald, son of Walter Fada Burke.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1596. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred ninety-six.
Mac Carthy More died, namely, Donnell, the son of Donnell, son of Cormac Ladhrach, son of Teige; and although he was usually styled Mac Carthy More, he had been honourably created Earl by order of the Sovereign of England.
p.1995There was no male heir who could be installed in his place, or any heir except one daughter Ellen, who was the wife of the son of Mac Carthy Reagh, i.e. Fineen; and all thought that he was the heir of the deceased Mac Carthy, i.e. Donnell.
Mac Sweeny-na-dTuath (Owen Oge, the son of Owen Oge, son of Owen, son of Donnell), an influential and generous man, who had never incurred
p.1997reproach or censure from the time that he assumed the chieftainship of his territory to the day of his death; a sumptuous, warlike, humane, and bounteous man; puissant to sustain, and brave to make the attack; with the gift of good sense and counsel in peace and war; died on the 26th of January; and his brother's son, Mulmurry, the son of Murrough Mall, took his place.
O'Reilly, i e. John Roe, the son of Hugh Conallagh, son of Maelmora, son of John, died. And though, by a composition made some time anterior to this period, by the Queen's authority, it was ordained that each of the descendants of Maelmora O'Reilly should exclusively possess the lordship of his own territory, yet O'Neill (Hugh, the son of Ferdorcha) nominated Philip, son of Hugh, the O'Reilly over all Breifny; but he did not live long after being styled Lord, for he was accidentally slain by O'Neill's people (by whom he had been inaugurated); and then Edmond, the son of Maelmora, who was senior to the other two lords, was styled the O'Reilly.
The son of the Earl of Desmond died, namely, Thomas, the son of James, son of John, son of Thomas of Drogheda.
Theobald, the son of Pierce, son of Edmond Butler, Lord of Cathair-Duna-Iascaigh and Trian-Chluana-meala, died. He was a liberal and bounteous man, and had the largest collection of poetical compositions of almost all the old English of Ireland; and his son, Thomas, took his place.
Mageoghegan, i.e. Niall, the son of Rossa, son of Conla, died.
Redmond Fitzgerald, Lord of Tuath-Brothaill, was executed at Cork, for his crimes of insurrection against the English.
When the Lord Justice and the Council of Ireland saw the bravery and power of the Irish against them, and that all those who had previously been obedient to themselves were now joining the aforesaid Irish against them, they came to the resolution of sending ambassadors to O'Neill and O'Donnell, to request peace and tranquillity from them. The persons selected for negociating
p.1999between them were Thomas Butler, Earl of Ormond, and Mulmurry Magrath, Archbishop of Cashel. The Earl of Ormond repaired to Traigh-Bhaile Dundalk, and there halted; and he sent his messengers to O'Neill, to inform him of the purport of his coming; upon which O'Neill sent the same intelligence to O'Donnell; and O'Donnell came to the place where O'Neill was, with a body of cavalry, and both set out for Faughard-Muirtheimne. Here the Earl and the Archbishop came to meet them. They stated to the chiefs the object of their embassy, namely, to request a peace; and they stated the rewards promised by the Lord Justice, namely, the appropriation to them of the province of Conchobhar, except the tract of country extending from Dundalk to the River Boyne, in which the English had dwelt long before that time. They promised, moreover, that the English should not encroach upon them beyond the boundary, excepting those who were in Carrickfergus, Carlingford, and Newry, who were at all times permitted to deal and traffic; that no stewards or collectors of rents or tributes should be sent among them, but that the rents which had been some time before upon their ancestors should be forwarded by them to Dublin; that beyond this no hostages or pledges would be required; and that the Irish in the province of Connaught, who had risen up in alliance with O'Donnell, should have privileges similar to these. O'Neill, O'Donnell, and all the chiefs of the province who were then along with them, went into council upon those conditions which were brought to them; and, having reflected for a long time upon the many that had been ruined by the English, since their arrival in Ireland, by specious promises, which they had not performed, and the numbers of the Irish high-born princes, gentlemen, and chieftains, who came to premature deaths without any reason at all, except to rob them of their patrimonies, they feared very much that what was then promised would not be fulfilled to them;
p.2001so that they finally resolved upon rejecting the peace. They communicated their decision to the Earl, who proceeded to Dublin to the Lord Justice and the Council, and related to them his having been refused the peace, and the answer he had received from the Irish. The Lord Justice and Council sent messengers to England to the Queen, to tell her the news; so that she then sent a great number of men to Ireland, with the necessary arms. Their number was no less than twenty thousand; and they were composed of mercenaries and native soldiers. A great hosting was mustered by the Queen's general of war in Ireland, namely, Sir John Norris, to proceed into the province of Connaught, in order to reduce all those who had risen up in the confederation of the Irish in the war. The Earl of Clanrickard, i.e. Ulick, the son of Rickard Saxonagh, son of Ulick na gCeann, came to join his levy with all his forces. The Earl of Thomond, i.e. Donough, the son of Conor, son of Donough O'Brien, came likewise with his forces; and also many others besides them, not enumerated, came to join him. In short, some say that no army like this had for a long time before been mustered in that part of Ireland possessed by the Sovereign of England, in the numbers of the muster, the exotic and strange character of their equipment and appearance. When all these had come together at Athlone to meet the General, they then proceeded to Roscommon, and afterwards to the vicinity of the monastery of Boyle; but, not finding the Connacians there before them, as they had expected, they returned back, and marched towards the territory of Mac William, to Ceann-lacha, and to Maighin, and pitched a spacious camp on the brink of the River Robe.
When this great army was threatening to come to this place, Mac William Burke (Theobald) sent his messengers to O'Donnell, requesting of him to come to his relief. Not negligently did O'Donnell respond to this request, for he had been prepared to proceed into the province of Meave Connaught before the messengers arrived. He sent letters and writings to the Irish of the province of Olnegmacht Connaught, to request of them to meet him at a certain place on the road, leading to the camp of the General, Sir John Norris; and he himself set out on his journey with his army across the Erne and the Sligo,
p.2003keeping the stream of Sliabh-Gamh on the right, through Leyny and the territory of Gaileanga. The Irish of the province came at the summons to meet him; and, first of all, O'Rourke (Brian Oge, the son of Brian, son of Brian, son of Owen); thither came O'Conor Roe, O'Kelly, Mac Dermot of Moylurg; thither came the two Mac Donoughs, the two O'Haras, and O'Dowda. When these Irish came together at one place, they made no delay until they pitched their camp, confronting Sir John Norris, on the opposite side of the same River Robe.
There was a communication between them on both sides, as if through peace and friendship; but this, in truth, was not so, but to spy, circumvent, and decoy each other, if they could. Thus they remained, face to face, until the English had exhausted their provisions; and the resolution they came to was, to leave the camp in which they were, as they could not do any service upon the Irish. They accordingly did so; and the General proceeded to Galway, and from thence to Athlone; having left soldiers in Cong, Galway, Athenry, Mullaghmore-Hy-Many, Kilconnell, Ballinasloe, Roscommon, Tulsk, and the monastery of Boyle.
In the autumn of this year O'Conor Sligo returned to Ireland with a great number of Englishmen.
Sir Richard Bingham and his relatives were deprived of their power in the province of Connaught; and they were brought to Dublin, and sent off from thence to England; and a far better man than he was appointed in his place to the governorship of Connaught, by name Sir Conyers Clifford. He was a distributor of wealth and jewels upon the English and Irish; and there came not of the English into Ireland, in latter times, a better man than he. On his arrival in Dublin, he proceeded to muster men and arms, to proceed into Connaught. He afterwards marched, with the entire of his troops and forces, to Athlone, and distributed his companies in camps and fortresses among the towns of Hy-Many and Clanrickard, namely, Galway, Athenry, Mullaghmore, Cong, and Lehinch. A great number of the chiefs of the province of Connaught repaired to the Governor, and adhered to him, on account of his fame and high renown. Among these were O'Conor Roe, i.e. Hugh, the son of Turlough Roe, and Mac Dermot, i.e. Conor, who formed a league of friendship with him.
O'Conor Sligo, after his return from England, proceeded, on behalf of the English, to reduce Connaught; and he was joined by the Clann-Donough of Cul-muine, and he had also Ballymote in his power. The O'Harts also adhered to him, for they had always been faithful to the man who held his place; and they rejoiced at his arrival, and were filled with pride and arrogance, and began to defy and threaten the Kinel-Connell.
When O'Donnell heard this fact rumoured, and that these people had joined the English against him, he did not wait to muster an army, except his soldiers and mercenaries, and proceeded westward across the River Sligo, and plundered all those who paid obedience to O'Conor, wherever they were, even those in the wilds and fast recesses of the country; so that he did not leave a single head of cattle among them. He plundered but these only; and though he had often spared them on former occasions, on account of their littleness and insignificance, yet their own haughty words and animosity, which they were unable to repress, provoked O'Donnell to plunder them on this occasion.
Conor, the son of Teige, son of Conor O'Brien, of Bel-atha-an-chomhraic, went into insurrection, and began to plunder; for he, together with a party of the Clann-Sheehy, having been expelled from their patrimonies, were along with the Irish of the north. It came into their minds to return to their own territory; and they passed through Clanrickard, by Sliabh-Echtghe and the lower parting of Clann-Cuilein. They were pursued from territory to territory, until Conor was at last taken in the Wood of Coill-mhor, and brought before the President in the first month of autumn; and he was hanged at Cork in the ensuing November Term.
Teige, the son of Turlough, son of Donough, son of Conor O'Brien, after having been a long time engaged in plundering, was taken in the country of the Butlers, and executed by advice of the Earl of Ormond.
Owny, son of Rury Oge, son of Rury Caech, son of Connell O'More, was at this time a gentleman skilled in the arts of war; and Leix was totally ravaged by him, both its crops, corn, and dwellings, so that there was nothing in the territory outside the lock of a gate or a bawn which was not in his power. He slew a gentleman of the English, who was seated at Stradbally-Leix, who possessed a large portion of the territory by authority of the Sovereign, namely, Alexander Cosby, the son of Master Frauus.
The sons of Edmond of Caladh, son of James, son of Pierce Roe, son of James, son of Edmond, son of Richard Butler, also turned out to plunder, in consequence of their animosity towards the Earl of Ormond; and their father, Edmond of Caladh, was taken prisoner for their crimes.
Edmond, the son of Richard, son of Pierce Roe Butler, was also taken prisoner.
At this time Fiagh, the son of Hugh, son of John O'Byrne, from Glenmalure, was plundering Leinster and Meath.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1597. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred ninety-seven.
O'Donnell (Hugh Roe, the son of Hugh, son of Manus) encamped in Breifny of Connaught, to the east of Sliabh-da-en, after having plundered, as we have
p.2009said before, the faithful people of O'Conor. He was awaiting the arrival of his forces and muster from every quarter where they were; and when they had all assembled, which was at the end of the month of January, they marched into the territory of Tirerrill, from thence into Corran, through Machaire-Chonnacht, and into Clann-Conway and Hy-Many. Having reached the very centre of Hy-Many, he sent forth swift-moving marauding parties through the district of Caladh, and the upper part of the territory; and they carried off many herds of cows and other preys to O'Donnell, to the town of Athenry; and though the warders of the town attempted to defend it, the effort was of no avail to them, for O'Donnell's people applied fires and flames to the strongly-closed gates of the town, and carried to them great ladders, and, placing them against the walls, they recte, some of them ascended to the parapets of the wall. They then leaped from the parapets, and gained the streets of the town, and opened the gates for those who were outside. They all then proceeded to demolish the storehouses and the strong habitations; and they carried away all the goods and valuables that were in them. They remained that night in the town. It was not easy to enumerate or reckon the quantities of copper, iron, clothes, and habiliments, which they carried away from the town on the following day. From the same town he sent forth marauding parties to plunder Clanrickard, on both sides of the river; and these marauders totally plundered and ravaged the tract of country from Leathrath to Magh-Seanchomhladh. The remaining part of his army burned and ravaged the territory, from the town of Athenry and Rath-Goirrgin Westwards to Rinn-Mil and Meadhraige, and to the gates of Galway, and burned Teagh-Brighde, at the military gate of Galway. O'Donnell pitched his camp for that night between Uaran-mor and Galway,
p.2011precisely at Cloch-an-Lingsigh. On the following day O'Donnell proceeded to Mainistir-an-chnuic, at the gate of Galway, and communicated with the inhabitants of the town, requesting traffic and sale of their various wares and rich raiment for some of the preys. He then resolved upon returning back; and were it not for the burden of the collected preys, the multiplicity of the plunders, and the vastness of the spoil, it is certain that he would have not stopped on that route until he had gone to Gortinnsi-Guaire in Kinel-Aedha-na-hEchtge. O'Donnell, with his forces and their preys, returned by the same road, through the very middle of the province of Connaught, and never halted until he pitched his camp in Calry, to the east of Sligo; and he sent his calones and the unarmed part of his people to convey some of the preys northward, across the River Samhaoir.
As for O'Conor Sligo (Donough, the son of Cathal Oge), he mustered a numerous army of English and Irish troops, a short time after the festival of St. Bridget, to march to Sligo.
O'Donnell, as we have already mentioned, was in Calry, in readiness to meet them; and he made an attack upon the army of O'Conor before they could reach Sligo. None of O'Conor's army waited to resist him, excepting a few in the rear, who were overtaken at Traigh-Eothaile. These were wounded or drowned; and the son of Mac William Burke, namely, the son of Richard, son of Oliver, son of John, and many others not enumerated, were slain. O'Conor returned back; and he was not happy in his mind for having gone on that expedition. O'Donnell also returned home, and dismissed his tribes, that they might rest themselves after their long expedition; and he left his soldiers and hirelings in Connaught, under the command of Niall Garv, the son of Con, son of Calvagh O'Donnell, to carry on war against O'Conor and the English people who were along with him. These proceeded to plunder and destroy the Irish tribes who had risen up in confederacy with O'Conor and the English; so that they won over a great number of them to the Irish side again, and, among others, Mac Dermot (Conor), Chief of Moylurg, who was brought before O'Donnell, and formed a league of friendship with him a second time, and gave
p.2013him due submission. The chiefs of the territories bordering on the Curlieu Mountains did the same, and delivered up their hostages and securities to O'Donnell.
One hundred and forty-four barrels oF powder were sent by the Queen to Dublin, to her people, in the month of March. When the powder was landed, it was drawn to Wine-street, and placed on both sides of the street, and a spark of fire got into the powder; but from whence that spark proceeded, whether from the heavens or from the earth beneath, is not known; howbeit, the barrels burst into one blazing flame and rapid conflagration (on the 13th of March), which raised into the air, from their solid foundations and supporting posts, the stone mansions and wooden houses of the street, so that the long beam, the enormous stone, and the man in his corporal shape, were sent whirling into the air over the town by the explosion of this powerful powder; and it is impossible to enumerate, reckon, or describe the number of honourable persons, of tradesmen of every class, of women and maidens, and of the sons of gentlemen, who had come from all parts of Ireland to be educated in the city, that were destroyed. The quantity of gold, silver, or worldly property, that was destroyed, was no cause of lamentation, compared to the number of people who were injured and killed by that explosion. It was not Wine-street alone that was destroyed on this occasion, but the next quarter of the town to it.
O'Conor (Donough, the son of Cathal Oge) established friendship and concord between his brother-in-law (the son of Mac William Burke), i.e. Theobald-na-Long, the son of Richard-an-Iarainn, son of David, son of Edmond, and the Governor of the province of Connaught, i.e. Sir Conyers Clifford. After their reconciliation Theobald drew the Governor and the companies of the province of Connaught into Tirawley, and into Mac William's country, and expelled and banished Mac William (Theobald, the son of Walter Kittagh, son of John, son of Oliver) from his patrimony, to O'Donnell; they despoiled and totally plundered all those who remained in confederation and friendship with him in the territory. The country generally, on this occasion, adhered to Theobald-na-Long
p.2015and the Governor. The Governor then returned to Athlone, and the companies of soldiers were distributed among the garrisons. The preys and spoils taken from Mac William's people on this occasion were indescribable.
As for Mac William, when he went to O'Donnell to complain to him of his sufferings, he remained with him until the middle month of summer. O'Donnell then made a hosting into the province of Connaught to assist Mac William, and he crossed the Moy into Tirawley without meeting any danger; and the country was not able to oppose him, so that he seized their hostages and pledges; and he delivered up these hostages, and left the country in obedience to him and he left Rury O'Donnell, his own brother, Tanist of Tirconnell, with him, to strengthen him against his enemies, a great number of foot-soldiers, and other troops. O'Donnell then returned back to his own country.
When O'Donnell left the country, O'Conor and Theobald-na-Long mustered a great army of English and Irish, in order to wreak their vengeance on Mac William; and they banished him a second time, and Rury along with him, on that occasion, from the territory, for they had not a number of men equal to their's. The resolution then adopted by Rury and Mac William was to send all the property and cattle of the territory in their vicinity, together with the inhabitants and families, before them, across the Moy of Tirawley, and through Tireragh of the Moy, to come under the jurisdiction of O'Donnell. This they did, and they arrived before nightfall at Sliabh-Gamh, and during the whole night they continued crossing the mountain.
As for the Governor, as soon as he had sent O'Conor and Theobald-na Long to banish Mac William from the territory, he mustered all his forces, to meet Mac William and Rury on a road which they could not shun or avoid. The noblemen who attended the Governor on this expedition were these: Ulick, the son of Rickard Saxonagh, son of Ulick-na-gCeann, Earl of Clanrickard, with his son, Rickard, Baron of Dun-Coillin; Donough, the son of Conor, son of Donough O'Brien, Earl of Thomond; Murrough, the son of Murrough, son of Dermot, Baron of Inchiquin; and many other distinguished
p.2017men besides them. The Governor lay on the first night in the castle of Cul-Maoile Collooney, which is situated on the Abhainn-mhor, to the east of Sliabh Gamh, and to the west of Sliabh dá-én, having fifteen hundred select warriors along with him there. This place where he remained was a general passage, and it was not easy to avoid it. Rury O'Donnell and Mac William were informed that the Governor was before them upon a road by which they could not avoid passing. And when before morning they had arrived at a place very near the castle, they resolved on sending off their herds and flocks, their calones, and the unarmed portion of their forces, by a way at a great distance from the castle, and more secure than that by which they themselves intended to proceed, whilst they themselves should cross the river without being noticed, at a short distance from the castle, as they had not a force equal to that of the enemy. They crossed the river accordingly unnoticed and unheard, and landed in safety at the other side; and they thought that they had ensured the safety and protection of their cattle and attendants; but this was not the case, for the loud lowing of the herds of kine and irrational animals, and the shouts of their drivers, were heard early in the morning from the castle; and the Governor's cavalry set out in troops and squadrons in the direction of the lowing of the cattle, to see if they could take them. They seized upon a great number of cattle, but the greater part of them escaped from them. A great number of the servants and drivers were killed. It was on this occasion also that Mulmurry, the son of Cu-Uladh Mac Ward, a learned poet, and one of the most distinguished men of his own tribe, was killed. Their own people were not able to protect them, in consequence of the great numbers that were opposed to them. It was great annoyance to the Governor that they should have passed him by before he could lay hold of them. The Irish thus made their way northwards across the Erne. The Governor returned back and he was much dejected because his enemies had thus escaped from him.
Fiagh, son of Hugh, son of John O'Byrne from Glenmalure, was slain
p.2019in the first month of summer in this year, having been treacherously betrayed by his relative, at the bidding of the Chief Justiciary of Ireland, Sir William Russell.
A new Lord Justice, Lord Borough, Thomas by name, arrived in Ireland in the beginning of the month of June, with much arms and many soldiers. After receiving the sword from Sir William Russell, who had been Lord Justice for three years before, he deprived Sir John Norris of the office which he held from his Sovereign, namely, the generalship of the war, and took that office to himself. After this he issued a proclamation to the men of Leinster and Meath, and to all those who were obedient to the Queen, from the Meeting of the three Waters to Dundalk, to meet him with all their forces, fully mustered, at Drogheda, on the twentieth day of the month of July. These orders were responded to by the Earl of Kildare, and by the English of Meath and Leinster. The Lord Justice came to the same place with as many men as he had been able to muster. After these forces had met together, they marched to Tyrone, and arrived at Abhainn-mhor without opposition or delay; and, what was seldom
p.2023the case with O'Neill, an advantage was got of his vigilance, having, contrary to his wont, neglected to guard the pass, and the Lord Justice crossed the river without receiving battle or opposition, and landed safely at the other side of it. He then razed and demolished a watching-fort which O'Neill had on the bank of the river, and erected a new fort for himself on the opposite bank of the same river. But though this advantage was taken of O'Neill, through the guidance and instruction of Turlough, the son of Henry, son of Felim Roe O'Neill, neither the Lord Justice nor any of his forces dared to advance the distance of one mile further into Tyrone; for they were not allowed rest or ease, sleep or quiet, but a succession of skirmishes and firing was kept up on them, both by day and night. It would be impossible to calculate or describe the number of the Lord Justice's men who were killed and disabled, and the number of horses and other spoils that were taken from them, on this occasion.
On a certain day the Justice went upon a hill which was near the camp, to reconnoitre and survey the country around; but it would have been better for him that he had not gone thither, for a great number of his chief men
p.2025were slain by O'Neill and his people. Among these were the brother of the Lord Justice's wife, and the chief officer of his army, together with a great number of captains and other gentlemen besides. Some of the Earl of Kildare's people were also slain there; and had not the camp of the Lord Justice been so near at hand, the number that escaped would have survived this engagement. The Earl of Kildare (Henry, the son of Garret), in consequence either of a wound or a fever, was obliged to set out on his return home; but when he had gone as far as Drogheda he died in that town. His body was carried to Kildare, and interred with great honour and reverence in the burial-place of his ancestors. His brother, William, was installed in his place.
The Lord Justice, after having finished the new fort on the bank of the Abhainn-mhor, and having observed his loss of men, and that he was not permitted to penetrate further into the country, he placed provisions and warders in this fort, and then set out to return back. He went first to Newry, and from thence to Dublin, and his army dispersed for their several homes.
At the time that the Lord Justice was engaged in the foregoing expedition, he sent a written dispatch to the Governor of Connaught, ordering him to proceed, with all the forces he could possibly muster, to the western extremity of Ulster, against O'Donnell, while he himself should remain in Tyrone. This order was promptly responded to by the Governor; for he sent for the Earl of Thomond (Donough, the son of Conor), for the Baron of Inchiquin (Murrough, the son of Murrough), for the Earl of Clanrickard (Ulick, the son of Rickard Saxonagh), and his son, Rickard, Baron of Dunkellin; and also dispatched orders to the gentlemen of the counties of Mayo and Roscommon, requiring them to collect and muster their forces. He ordered all the chieftains to meet him at the monastery of Boyle, on the twenty-fourth day of the month of July, precisely when he himself, with all his bands of soldiers, would be at that place. They all accordingly came on that day to the aforesaid place. When assembled, they amounted to twenty-two standards of foot, and ten standards of cavalry. They marched from thence to Sligo, and from thence to the Erne, and pitched
p.2027their extensive camp on the banks of the limpid Samhaoir. The high spirit of this army was such, that they thought that all Ulster would be incapable of coping with them in battle.
On the following morning, by break of day, the Governor's army rose up to cross the river; but O'Donnell had posted guards upon all the fords of the Erne. However, they got an advantage at one difficult ford, namely, Ath-Cul-Uain, and to this they vigorously and resolutely advanced. The guards of the ford proceeded to shoot at them without mercy, and to defend the ford against them as well as they were able; but they were not able to defend it long against the numerous force and army opposed to them; so that the Governor and his army crossed it, and gained the other side. On this day, however, a lamentable death took place, namely, that of Murrough, the son of Murrough, son of Dermot, son of Murrough O'Brien, Baron of Inchiquin, as he was on horseback, in the depth of the river, outside the soldiers, saving them from drowning, and encouraging them to get across past him. But destiny permitted that he was aimed at by one of O'Donnell's people with a ball exactly in the arm-pit, in an opening of his plate armour, so that it passed through him, and out at the opposite arm-pit. No assistance could be given him; and he fell from his horse into the depth of the current, in which he was immediately drowned. The person who there perished was much lamented by the English and Irish, on account of the greatness of his wealth, and the nobility of his blood, though young as to age; and although it would have been meet that his body should have been taken up, and honourably interred, the army did not stop to do so, but proceeded directly to the monastery of Assaroe, which they reached the 31st of July, the day of the week being Saturday. They encamped around the monastery, and also within it, and thus remained from the forenoon of Saturday, when they crossed the Erne, until Monday morning. On the Sunday on which they were in the monastery the ships arrived which were promised to be sent after them from Galway, with ordnance and great guns, and other stores for their support, whilst they should
p.2029remain in this strange territory. This fleet put in at Inis-Saimer, close to Assaroe, and landed their stores on the island, leaving a sufficient number to guard them. On Monday the ordnance were landed and planted against the castle of Ballyshannon. The troops were then removed from the monastery to Mullach-Sithe-Aedha, opposite the fortress, and about the ordnance. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, they continued to fire on the castle, with heavy balls, emitted with loud report and flashing flames from the loud-sounding, red, shot-vomiting guns of that heavy and immense ordnance which they had planted opposite the fortress, so that their reports and loud thundering in the regions of the air were heard far and distant from them. They sent large parties of their choicest soldiers to the base of the castle with wall-razing engines, and with thick and strong iron armour about their bodies, and bright-shining helmets on their heads, and with a bright testudo of round, broad, hard iron shields around them, to protect them from the shots of their enemies. The resolute attack they made upon the fortress, however, was of no avail to them; and it had been better for them that they had not come upon this journey against it; for from the castle were poured down upon them showers of brilliant fire from well-planted, straight aimed guns, and from costly muskets, and some rough-headed rocks and massive solid stones, and beams and blocks of timber, which were kept on the battlements of the fortress, in readiness to be hurled down when occasion required; so that the coverings of the razing party were of no shelter or protection to them, and great numbers of them were destroyed, and others who were severely wounded became so exhausted that they delayed not to be further slaughtered, and, turning their backs to their enemies, they were routed to the camp. The people of the fortress kept up a constant fire on them, and killed an unascertained number of them.
A party of O'Donnell's cavalry made a routing attack upon the English cavalry; and there is no record or remembrance of the numbers that were mortally wounded between them; but, among the rest, O'Conor Sligo (Donough, the son of Cathal Oge) was severely wounded, for he and O'Conor Roe (Hugh, son of Turlough Roe) and Theobald-na-Long, with all their forces, were along with the Lord Justice at this time.
O'Donnell, however, had been in want of forces, and had only a small number on the Saturday on which the Lord Justice came into the country with this powerful force; but his people and forces were assembling and flocking to him from every direction, so that the most of them had reached him before the noon of Monday. On this occasion Maguire ( Hugh, the son of Cuconnaught, son of Cuconnaught) and O'Rourke (Brian Oge, the son of Brian, son of Brian Ballagh) came to join him, with their forces; and after these chiefs had assembled together, they allowed the Lord Justice and his army neither ease nor rest, for they carried on skirmishing and firing, conflict, assault, and onslaught, on the camp, every day during the three days that they continued battering the castle. O'Donnell's army frequently drove those who were on the outskirts of the Connaught camp into the very centre of it, and those who were in the centre to the outskirts; and they did not permit their horses or other cattle to go forth outside the boundary camp to graze, nor did they permit hay or corn to be carried in to them. The Governor and his army were thus reduced to great distress and extremities; for, though they should wish to depart, they could not approach any common ford on the Erne from Cael-Uisge to Ath-Seanaigh. The chiefs, though numerous were their forces, were much dispirited on finding themselves placed in such peril by their enemies. When, therefore, the Governor, the Earls, and the chiefs in general, had perceived the great danger in which they were, they held a consultation from the beginning of night on Tuesday, to the morning twilight of Wednesday, the 15th of August; and the resolution they finally came to at the day-break was, to advance forward at once from the place where they were at Sith-Aedha to the rough, turbulent, cold-streamed, rocky ford over the brink of Assaroe, called
p.2033Casan-na-gCuradh, and they advanced to that to them unknown and seldom-crossed trajectus, in troops and squadrons, without being noticed or heard by O'Donnell. In consequence of the strength of the current, and the debility of some of the army and the horses, from having been deprived of food, a countless number of their women, and men of their inferior, unwarlike people, of their steeds and horses, and of other things they had with them, were swept out westwards into the sea by the current of Assaroe. They left their ordnance and their vessels of meat and drink in the power of the Kinel-Connell on this occasion. The chiefs and gentlemen of the army, however, and such of them as were strong, crossed the Erne after great danger and peril. The warders of the castle continued firing on them as rapidly as they were able, and pursued them to the brink of the river, in order to exterminate their enemies; and intelligence of their movements reached O'Donnell and his army. When O'Donnell heard the report of the firing, he immediately rose up with his forces, and, having quickly accoutred themselves in their fighting habiliments, they advanced to the river as speedily as they could. When the Governor's army had cleared the opposite bank of the river they went into order and battle array. They placed their women, their calones, their unarmed people, their wounded men, and such of their horses of burden as they had, between them and the sea. They placed their warriors and fighting men behind them, and on the other side towards the country, for they were certain of receiving an attack by those forces who had pursued them. O'Donnell's people went in pursuit of them across the river without delay; and they were so eager to wreak their vengeance on the army that fled from them that they did not wait to put on their armour or outer garments. They began to surround them and sharpen the conflict against them, and both parties continued shooting and attacking each other from the Erne to Magh-gCedne in Carbury-Drumcliff. At this time there fell a shower of rain in such torrents that the
p.2035forces on either side could not use or wield their arms, so drenched with wet were their powder-pouches and the apparatus of their fine guns. These showers of rain did more injury to O'Donnell's people than to the Governor's army; for they the former had left their outer garments behind, as we have said before; but not so the others, they wore coverings over their battle dresses.
The Governor proceeded with his forces to Sligo that night; from thence on the next day to the abbey of Boyle, and on the third day to the district of Athleague. The chiefs of Connaught, then dispersed from their territories and houses, and the Governor went to Athlone.
The Irish of the province of Ulster were joyful and in high spirits after the Lord Justice had returned from Tyrone without receiving submission or respect, and the Governor of Connaught from Tirconnell, in the same month, as we have just mentioned.
When the Lord Justice had left Tyrone, as we have before stated, after having placed provisions and warders in the new fort, which he himself had erected on the bank of the River Abhainn-Mhor, he went to Dublin. As for O'Neill and his people, he rested neither day nor night, but watched every opportunity of taking this fort by stratagem or assault, or wreaking his vengeance on the garrison. On a certain day he attacked the fort; but thirty of his men were slain, and he effected nothing against the fort. When the Lord Justice received intelligence that his warders were harassed in this manner, and that they were in want of provisions, he mustered a numerous army to place provisions and all other necessaries in the fort. When the Lord Justice, with his army, had arrived at Armagh, he went with the cavalry of the army about him along the public road, some distance before his foot-soldiers and companies, with the expectation of meeting some of O'Neill's people in an unprotected position. When he came near the Abhainn-Mor he fell in with a troop of horse and a body of infantry of O'Neill's people. A fierce conflict and spiteful engagement ensued between them, and many men and horses were lost by the Lord Justice in that sharp battle. When the foot soldiers had come up with the Lord Justice, he advanced to the fort, and some say that he was never well
p.2037from that day forth. On the next day they left provisions and warders in the fort, and then prepared to return back, but went no further than Armagh that night. It was in a carriage or in a litter that his people (or his faithful friends and servants of trust) carried the Lord Justice on that day, without the knowledge of the greater part of his army. O'Neill kept up a constant fire and attack upon the Lord Justice's camp during the night, by which the chief leader of the army and several others besides were slain. From thence they proceeded to Newry, and he died of the wounds which he had received between Armagh and the new fort. The keeping of the sword of state was then intrusted to the Chancellor and the Chief Justice of the King's Queen's Bench, Sir Robert Gardiner, until a new Lord Justice should come from England.
O'Donnell was greatly chagrined that the Governor and the Earls should have escaped as they did. There was, however, no attack from either side until the end of Autumn. O'Donnell thought it too long that he had left unattacked the English of Connaught and those Irish who had risen in alliance with them, and who had previously made friendship with himself. Among these was O'Conor Roe (Hugh, the son of Turlough Roe); and he O'Donnell was meditating how he could plunder his territory. This was very difficult for him to do; because the position he occupied was secure and intricate, and he had near him a fastness into which he could send his cattle and other possessions, beyond the reach of his enemies, unless they should come upon him unawares; and O'Rourke had promised him that he would not permit O'Donnell to march towards him without sending him notice. O'Donnell assembled his forces, and proceeding into Connaught, halted south-west of Gleann-Dallain, where he pitched his camp. When he received intelligence that a friendship subsisted between O'Rourke and O'Conor, he deceived O'Rourke by sending messengers to him to invite him, to his camp where he was. O'Rourke promised to go to him on the following day; for he thought that O'Donnell would not leave the camp until he should arrive there; but O'Donnell did not act so; for, after he had sent his messengers to O'Rourke, he left the camp at noon, and, proceeding southwards across the Sligo, never stopped until he arrived at the Curlieu Mountain. Here he made a short stay while his troops were
p.2039taking some refreshments and resting themselves, because he did not at all wish to pass southwards over the mountain by daylight. When the beginning of night came on them they proceeded southwards over the mountain and across the River Boyle; and before morning they had passed through Magh-Luirg-an-Daghda, and the upper part of Machaire-Chonnacht. Early in the day they sent marauding parties into the wilds and recesses of the country in every direction; and these left not a single head of cattle from Ath-Slisean to Baghna, and they plundered and burned all that lay between these limits. They then returned back with their herds of kine and many other spoils. O'Rourke was ashamed that the country should have been plundered without his knowledge; and the Governor, Sir Conyers Clifford, was not less grieved that a country, which was under his rule and jurisdiction, should have been thus plundered and burned.
An army was led by Maguire (Hugh, the son of Cuconnaught, son of Cuconnaught), and Cormac, the son of Ferdorcha, son of Con Bacagh O'Neill, at the instance of the O'Farrells, to Mullingar, in Meath, and they preyed the country around them, and totally pillaged Mullingar itself, in which they did not leave in the town any property of gold, silver, copper, iron armour, or foreign wares, or any other thing that could be carried or driven from the town, which they did not take away with them. Upon their return back they set the town in a dark, red blaze and conflagration; and they afterwards returned safe to their homes.
Ellen Butler, the daughter of the Earl of Ormond (Pierce Roe, the son of James, son of Edmond, son of Richard), and wife of the second Earl of Thomond (Donough, the son of Conor, son of Turlough O'Brien), died.
Murtough Ultach Donlevy, the son of John, died at Druim-na-loiste, on the 10th of February, after having passed the eighty-ninth year of his age.
Sir John Norris, who had been the General of the Queen's army in France and Ireland, was deprived of his office by the new Lord Justice, who had last arrived in Ireland, and went to Munster, where he remained with his brother, Sir Thomas Norris, who had been previously President under him of Munster for the period of twelve years. John was seized with a disease and died suddenly
p.2041in the autumn of this year; and Sir Thomas was the heir to his property. Sir Thomas continued in the same office after the death of his brother.
Edmond (the son of Ulick-na-gCeann, son of Richard, son of Ulick of Cnoc-Tuagh), of Baile-Hilighi, died in the summer of this year.
Dubhaltach, the son of Tuathal O'Conor, died.
Con and Dermot, the two sons of this Dubhaltach, and the son of Mac Dermot of Moylurg (Mulrony, the son of Brian, was son of Rory, son of Teige), made an irruption into Glinske, the castle of Mac David, and took preys. On their return from the castle with their booty, the son of Mac David came up with them at a sinuous winding of the Suck, and defeated them, and slew Con O'Conor, by no means one of the least expert horsemen in Connaught, Mulrony Mac Dermot, already named, and many other gentlemen. The son of Mac David then returned home in triumph.
Mac William (Theobald, the son of Walter Kittagh) returned to his territory at Allhallowtide this year, and remained in the fastnesses of his country in despite of his enemies. During this time he plundered the Owles. His brother, Thomas, was slain in Clann-Muiris-na-mBrigh, on the same occasion.
John Oge, the son of Rickard, son of John of the Termon, was slain in a nocturnal assault by a party of the Clann-Donnell, on an island of Annies in Finnloch-Ceara.
At the time when the Baron of Inchiquin was lost in Tirconnell, as we have stated, he had in his possession, as his ancestors had before him, lands on the farther brink of the Shannon, called Port-croisi. When the Burkes of the Shannon side, the Clann-William of Aes-tri-Maighe, had heard of the death of the Baron, they resolved, on the authority of an old charter of their ancestors,
p.2043to prevent the Baron's family and their mother (i.e. Margaret, the daughter of Thomas Cusack) from working on those lands. A party of the people of Kinel-Fearmaic, the Baron's territory, went to aid and assist Margaret, and she set out with them to her reapers and people to Port-croisi. When the aforesaid Burkes, namely, Thomas, the son of Theobald, son of William, son of Edmond, and Ulick, the son of William, son of Edmond, had learned this, they assembled as large a number as they were able, and attacked Margaret and the Baron's people. A fierce battle was fought between them; and though the Baron's people were few in number, they proceeded valiantly to defend themselves. Several gentlemen were slain between them on both sides. On the side of the Burkes fell Ulick, the son of William, son of Edmond Burke, and three or four other gentlemen. On the other side also there fell Hugh O'Hogan, by no means the least distinguished son of a chieftain, for goodness and wealth, in the county of Clare, with another gentleman, namely, Murrough, the son of Donough, the son of Murrough Roe, son of Brian O'Brien, and the son of Cruise, namely, Thomas, the son of Christopher.
Captain Tyrrell, Captain Nugent, the Kavanaghs, the O'Conors Faly, the O'Mores, and the Gavall-Ranall, were making great war, plunder, and insurrection in Leinster, and in the country of the Butlers, from the festival of the Virgin Mary to the Christmas this year; and it would be tedious to write of all they plundered and destroyed in these territories during this period. On the 7th day of December they slew two bands of soldiers that were stationed in Port-Leix.
About Allhallowtide this year the Governor of Carrickfergus and three
p.2045companies of soldiers were slain in Clannaboy by James, the son of Sorley Boy Mac Donnell.
The Mac Sheehys, namely, Murrough Baclamhach, the son of Murrough Balbh, son of Manus Mac Sheehy, with his brother, Rory, and Edmond, the son of Murrough Bacagh, son of Edmond, son of Manus Mac Sheehy, were executed by the English for their war and insurrection.
After the Lord Justice, Thomas Lord Borough, had died of the effects of his wounds at Newry, and the keeping of the regal sword had been given to the Lord Chancellor and to Sir Robert Gardiner, Justice of the King's Queen's Bench, as we have stated, the person who was appointed to the generalship of war and peace in Ireland was the Earl of Ormond (Thomas, the son of James, son of Pierce Roe), and therefore an armistice was concluded between this Earl and the chiefs of the province of Ulster. Not long after this namely, in the month of December, and shortly before Christmas, this Earl of Ormond and the Earl of Thomond (Donough, the son of Conor), went into the province of Ulster, where they and O'Neill and O'Donnell passed three nights together at one place; and a treaty concerning a peace was carried on by those Earls, on behalf of the Queen, with the Irish of Leath-Chuinn; and the issue of their meeting was, that a peace was made between the English and the Irish, on the oath of these Earls, until the May following. The proposals and writings of the Irish aforesaid, and an account of the articles and conditions on which they would accept of peace for themselves and their confederates in the war, in every place where they were seated, were dispatched to the Queen to England by the Earl of Thomond; and whatever news should arrive from England in May should be acted upon here.
O'Conor Sligo (Donough, the son of Cathal Oge) went to England a short time before the Christmas of this year.
As for the Baron of Inchiquin, of whom we have already spoken as having been wounded and drowned when the Governor and the aforesaid Earls were crossing the Erne with their forces, his body was taken up by Cormac O'Clery, one of the monks of the monastery of Assaroe, and the body was buried by him, with due honour, in the monastery. In consequence of this a dispute and contention arose between the friars of Donegal and the monks of Assaroe; the friars maintaining that the body should be of right buried in their own monastery, because the ancestors of the Baron had been for a long period before that time buried in the Franciscan monastery in his own country, and the monks insisting that it should remain with themselves; so that the friars and the monks went before O'Donnell, and the two Bishops who were then in the country, namely, Redmond O'Gallagher, Bishop of Derry, and Niall 0'Boyle, Bishop of Raphoe, and these chiefs, decided upon having the Baron, Murrough. the son of Murrough O'Brien, buried in the monastery of St. Francis at Donegal. This was accordingly done, for the body was taken up at the end of three months after its interment in the monastery of Assaroe, and the friars reburied it in their own monastery with reverence and honour, as was meet.
O'Conor Don (Hugh, the son of Dermot, son of Carbry), who had been for a long time imprisoned by O'Donnell, was set at liberty by him on the 4th of December, after he O'Conor had given him his full demand; and he solemnly bound himself to be for ever obedient to O'Donnell, by guarantees and oaths of God and the Church; and he also delivered up to him, as hostages for the fulfilment of this, namely, his own two sons, the heir of O'Beirne, the eldest son of O'Hanly, and the heir of O'Flynn, &c.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1598. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred ninety-eight.
The Blind Abbot (i.e. William, the son of David, son of Edmond, son of Ulick Burke), who had styled himself Mac William after the death of the last lord, namely, Richard, the son of Oliver, son of John, did not happily enjoy his
p.2049title of lord, for he was expelled from his patrimony by Sir Richard Bingham; after which he went about wandering as an exile from territory to territory, until he died in Clann-Cuilein in Thomond, in the month of September; and he was buried in the abbey of Quin, in the burial-place of the Sil-Aedha. The Mac William who was lord at that time was Theobald (the son of Walter Kittagh, son of John, son of Oliver), whom O'Donnell had nominated Mac William, as we have written before.
O'Kane (Rory, the son of Manus, son of Donough, son of John, son of Aibhne) died on the fourteenth day of the month of April; and his son, Donnell Ballagh, was installed in his place.
Rickard, the son of John, son of Thomas, son of Rickard Oge Burke, from Doire-mic-Lachtna, died in the month of August.
Joan Cam, the daughter of the Earl of Desmond, namely, of James, the son of John, son of Thomas of Drogheda, died in the winter of this year, having spent many years in a state of widowhood, after the destruction of her tribe, and of the worthy men to whom she had been successively espoused.
Mac Donough of Tirerrill (Maurice Caech, the son of Teige-an-Triubhis) was slain in Breifny-O'Rourke, as he was carrying off a prey from thence; upon which Conor Oge, son of Melaghlin, from Baile-an-duin, was appointed the Mac Donough.
Ogan, the son of John, son of Melaghlin O'h-Ogain of Ard-Croine, died in the spring of this year.
Murtough Cam, the son of Conor, son of Mahon, son of Thomas Mac Mahon of Cnoc-an-lacha, in the territory of East Corca-Baiscinn, died in the month of March.
Boethius, the son of Hugh, son of Boethius, son of Murtough Mac Clancy, from Cnoc-Finn, in the county of Clare, died in the month of April. He was a man fluent in the Latin, Irish, and English languages.
Dermot, the son of Edmond, son of Rory O'Dea of Tully-O'Dee, was killed in the month of July by the insurgents of the county of Clare.
The Earl of Thomond went to England in the beginning of the month of January. The proposals and letters of the Irish in general were also sent to England; and Rickard, the son of Ulick, son of Rickard Saxonagh, son of Ulick-na-gCeann, Baron of Dunkellin, also went to England in the spring.
After the concluding of the peace which we have already mentioned, from Christmas to May, between the Irish of Leath-Chuinn and the General, the Earl of Ormond, the Irish of the North issued orders to all the insurgents of Leinster and Meath, namely, the Kavanaghs, O'Conors, O'Mores, the Gaval-Rannall, the Tooles, Tyrrells, and Nugents, to desist for a short time from their acts of plunder and rebellion; and they did so, at the bidding of their chiefs. The General, the Earl of Ormond, permitted them to frequent Leinster, Meath, and the east of Munster, and to eat and drink with the inhabitants, until news should come from England, in May, respecting peace or war. By this instruction they continued traversing and frequenting every territory around them, from Cill-Mantain, in the lower part of Leinster, to the Suir; and from Loch-Garman to the Shannon. It was not easy for the inhabitants of these territories to bear their inordinate demands during this period.
James (i.e. the brother of the Earl of Ormond), the son of Edward, son of James, son of Pierce Roe Butler, and the son of Mac Pierce, sheriff of the county of Tipperary, and many other gentlemen, proceeded precisely at Easter
p.2053on an incursion against Brian Reagh O'More, a gentleman of the Irish party, who was passing Easter in Ikerrin; but disaster and misfortune befell the assailants, for many of their gentlemen, of their followers, and of their soldiers, were slain; and James, the son of Edward Butler, was taken prisoner, but Brian Reagh delivered him up, in a week afterwards, to the Earl of Ormond, on account of the peace we have mentioned, and after it had been ascertained that it was not by the permission of the General (i.e. the Earl) this attack had been made.
O'Rourke (Brian Oge, the son of Brian, son of Brian Ballagh, son of Owen) was angry with O'Donnell (Hugh Roe, the son of Hugh, son of Manus), because of his having plundered O'Conor Roe against his wish, as we have written before; and, moreover, he was not at all on terms of peace with his own brother, i.e. Teige O'Rourke, the son of Brian, son of Brian Ballagh, in consequence of a disagreement about the partition of their territory and land. Wherefore, O'Rourke confederated and formed a league of friendshipb with the Governor, Sir Conyers Clifford. O'Donnell was not pleased at hearing this news, for the O'Rourkes had from a remote period been the friends of his tribe, and he the present O'Rourke was his own kinsman, and he did not wish to make an incursion against him, or plunder his territory, as he would treat all others in Connaught; but he felt certain that he must needs plunder him unless he should return to the confederacy of the Irish, for he O'Donnell was not at peace with any one who was under the tutelage of the English. For a certain time he privately solicited him to return, and at another time he menaced and threatened to plunder his territory unless he should come back. O'Rourke continued to listen to these messages from the beginning of spring to the May following, at which time he went to Athlone, and delivered up his hostages to the Governor; and they made mutual vows and promises to be faithful to each other; but though the engagement was sincere at the time, it was not long kept.
An answer arrived from England to the letters of O'Neill, O'Donnell, and the other Irish chiefs who were in alliance with them. The Queen and the Council did not consent to grant them the conditions they demanded; and,
p.2055because they did not, the Irish exchanged their peace for war, their quietness for turmoil, and their tranquillity for dissension; so that they rekindled the ancient flame of hatred in the beginning of the summer of this year.
After the Governor and O'Rourke had parted from each other in peace and friendship, in May, at the town of Athlone, and when O'Rourke saw that the English and Irish were not at peace with each other, and that the English were not at this time more powerful than the Irish, he was afraid that O'Donnell would plunder his territory; and therefore he came at the first summons of O'Donnell, and did whatever he requested him. This he O'Rourke did by advice of his people, for they felt it safer to have the Governor in opposition, than to be pursued by O'Donnell's vengeance for remaining under the protection of the Governor.
O'Rourke, after having confirmed his friendship with O'Donnell on this occasion, proceeded with his forces, at the instance of O'Farrell Bane (i.e. Ross, the son of William, son of Donnell), into Meath; and they plundered Mullingar, and the country from Mullingar to Ballymore-Lough Sewdy.
Another hosting was made by O'Rourke in the first month of autumn; and he did not halt until he arrived at Tyrrell's-Pass, and the Pass of Kilbride in Fertullagh. He seized a prey, and slew some persons at Tyrrell's-Pass, and (then) returned home to his country without wound or danger.
After the peace before mentioned had been set aside, Redmond Burke, the son of John of the Shamrocks, son of James, son of Rickard Saxonagh, son of Ulick-na-gCeann, with a party of his young kinsmen, all of the first distinction, came to O'Neill to complain to him of the answer he had received from his father's brother, namely, the Earl of Clanrickard, Ulick Burke: that if Redmond would be satisfied with one mantle's breadth of his inheritance or patrimony, from Sruthair to Abhainn-da-Loilgheach, he the Earl would
p.2057not give him so much, as a reward for war or peace. O'Neill hearkened to this complaint of Redmond, and promised to assist him, if in his power; and he gave him the command of some hundreds of soldiers, with permission to plunder and devastate any part of Ireland which had any connexion or alliance with the English. When Redmond Burke and his kinsmen left O'Neill, they went into the confederation of the Irish of Leinster, and remained with them during this summer.
Six hundred soldiers arrived from England in the south of Ireland, to assist in opposing the enemies of the Sovereign. On their arrival at Dungarvan, they resolved to proceed directly to join the General, i.e the Earl of Ormond; and as they passed along the borders of Leinster, a party of the Irish of that district met them; and a battle was fought between them, in which four hundred and ten of the soldiers were slain.
A hosting was made by the Earl of Ormond in the month of June, to proceed into Leix. His forces amounted to twenty-four companies of foot, and two hundred horse. In the evening he encamped on a high hill on the borders of the territory. The Earl was informed that night that there were only a few to guard the territory, and on the morning following he ordered his brother's son, i.e. James, the son of Edward, son of James Butler, to go with six or seven companies through the passes into the nearest part of the territory, to see whether he could perform any exploit or achievement; and although James was loth to go on that expedition early on Sunday morning, yet he set out at the command of the Earl. The first road he went by he found it cut down and deeply furrowed, Brian Reagh O'More having come with one hundred and fifty soldiers to defend it on the same day. Fierce and terrific was the salute which Brian and his forces here gave James and his soldiers. They were attacked in the front and in the rear, hemmed in and surrounded, speared and shot; so that in a short time bodies were left stretched mangled and pierced along the pass. A lamentable death occurred here, namely, James, the son of Edward, son of Pierce, son of Pierce, a man of whom greater expectations had
p.2059been formed than of any other of his age of the Butlers living at that time. And such of his people as had not been cut off at that place returned as broken-shielded fugitives to the Earl and the camp. Brian Reagh O'More himself was wounded; and it was not long after till he died of the virulence of the wounds which he received on this occasion. On this very day, after the battle aforesaid, Owny, the son of Rury Oge O'More; Redmond, the son of John of the Shamrocks Burke; and Captain Tyrrell, came and pitched their camp opposite the Earl's camp. Before the noon of the next day, Monday, when it was thought that the Earl would march into the territory, he returned to Kilkenny, and sent his soldiers into their garrisons.
The New Fort, of which we have before written an account, was defended during the time of peace and war by the Queen's people; but when the English and Irish did not make peace as had been expected in the beginning of summer, O'Neill laid siege to the fort, so that the warders were in want of provisions in the last month of summer. After this news arrived in Dublin, the
p.2061Council resolved to assemble together the most loyal and best tried in war of the Queen's soldiers in Ireland, who were those in the neighbourhood of Dublin and Athlone: and when these soldiers were assembled together, four thousand foot and six hundred horse were selected from among them, and these were sent to convey provisions to the New Fort. A sufficient supply of meat and drink, beef, lead, powder, and all other necessaries, were sent with them. They marched to Drogheda, from thence to Dundalk, from thence to Newry, and from thence to Armagh, where they remained at night. Sir Henry Beging, Marshal of Newry, was their General.
When O'Neill had received intelligence that this great army was approaching him, he sent his messengers to O'Donnell, requesting of him to come to his assistance against this overwhelming force of foreigners who were coming to his country. O'Donnell proceeded immediately, with all his warriors, both infantry and cavalry, and a strong body of forces from Connaught, to assist his ally against those who were marching upon him. The Irish of all the province of Ulster also joined the same army, so that they were all prepared to meet the English before they arrived at Armagh. They then dug deep trenches againct the English in the common road, by which they thought they the English would come to them.
As for the English, after remaining a night at Armagh, they rose next morning early; and the resolution they adopted was, to leave their victuals, drink, their women and young persons, their horses, baggage, servants, and rabble, in that town of Armagh. Orders were then given that every one able to bear arms, both horse and foot, should proceed wherever the Marshal and other officers of the army should order them to march against their enemies. They then formed into order and array, as well as they were able, and proceeded straightforward through each rood before them, in close and solid bodies, and in compact, impenetrable squadrons, till they came to the hill which overlooks the ford of Beal-an-atha-bhuidhe. After arriving there they perceived O'Neill
p.2063and O'Donnell, the Ui Eathach Uladh. and the Oirghialla, having, together with the chieftains, warriors, heroes, and champions of the North, drawn up one
p.2065terrible mass before them, placed and arranged on the particular passages where they thought the others would march on them.
When the chiefs of the North observed the very great danger that now threatened them, they began to harangue and incite their people to acts of
p.2069valour, saying that unless the victory was their's on that day, no prospect remained for them after it but that of being some killed and slaughtered without
p.2071mercy, and others cast into prisons and wrapped in chains, as the Irish had been often before, and that such as should escape from that battle would be expelled and banished into distant foreign countries: and they told them, moreover, that it was easier for them to defend their patrimony against this foreign people now than to take the patrimony of others by force, after having been expelled from their own native country. This exciting exhortation of the chiefs made the desired impression upon their people; and the soldiers declared that they were ready to suffer death sooner than submit to what they feared would happen to them.
As for the Marshal and his English forces, when they saw the Irish awaiting them, they did not shew any symptom whatever of fear, but advanced vigorously forwards, until they sallied across the first broad and deep trench that lay in their way; and some of them were killed in crossing it. The Irish army then poured upon them vehemently and boldly, furiously and impetuously, shouting in the rear and in the van, and on either side of them. The van was obliged to await the onset, bide the brunt of the conflict, and withstand the firing, so that their close lines were thinned, their gentlemen gapped, and their heroes subdued. But, to sum up in brief, the General, i.e. the Marshal of Newry, was slain; and as an army, deprived of its leader and adviser, does not usually maintain the battle-field, the General's people were finally routed, by dint of conflict and fighting, across the earthen pits, and broad, deep trenches, over which they had previously passed. They were being slaughtered, mangled, mutilated, and cut to pieces by those who pursued them bravely and vigorously.
At this time God allowed, and the Lord permitted, that one of the Queen's soldiers, who had exhausted all the powder he had about him, by the great number of shots he had discharged, should go to the nearest barrel of powder to quickly replenish his measure and his pouch; and when he began to fill it a spark fell from his match into the powder in the barrel, which exploded aloft overhead into the air, as did every barrel nearest, and also a great gun which they had with them. A great number of the men who were around the powder were blown up in like manner. The surrounding hilly ground was enveloped in a dense, black, gloomy mass of smoke for a considerable part of the day afterwards. That part of the Queen's army which escaped from being slaughtered by the Irish, or burned or destroyed by the explosion, went back to Armagh, and were eagerly pursued by the Irish, who continued to subdue, surround, slay, and slaughter them, by pairs, threes, scores, and thirties, until they passed inside the walls of Armagh.
The Irish then proceeded to besiege the town, and surrounded it on every side; and they of both parties continued to shoot and fire at each other for three days and three nights, at the expiration of which time the English ceased, and sent messengers to the Irish to tell them that they would surrender the fort at the Blackwater, if the warders who were stationed in it were suffered to come to them unmolested, to Armagh, and to add that, on arriving there, they would leave Armagh itself, if they should be granted quarter and protection, and escorted in safety out of that country into a secure territory. When these messages were communicated to the Irish, their chiefs held a council, to consider what they should do respecting this treaty. Some of them said that the English should not be permitted to come out of their straitened position until they should all be killed or starved together; but they finally agreed to give them liberty to pass out of the places in which they were, on condition, however, that they should not carry out of the fort meat or drink, armour, arms, or ordnance, powder or lead or, in fine, any thing, excepting only the captain's trunk and arms, which he was at liberty to take with him. They consented on both sides to abide by those conditions; and they sent some of their gentlemen of both sides to the fort, to converse with the warders; and when these were told how the case stood, they surrendered the fort to O'Neill, as they were ordered. The Captain and the warders came to Armagh, to join that part of his people who had survived. They were all then escorted from Armagh to Newry, and from thence to the English territory. After their departure from Tyrone, O'Neill gave orders to certain persons to reckon and bury the gentlemen and common people slain. After they had been reckoned, there were found to be two thousand five hundred slain, among whom was the General, with eighteen captains, and a great number of gentlemen whose names are not given.
The Queen's people were dispirited and depressed, and the Irish joyous and exulting, after this conflict. This battle of Athbuidhe was fought on the 10th day of August. The chiefs of Ulster returned to their respective homes in joyous triumph and exultation, although they had lost many men.
Ballymote, which had been in the possession of the Queen's people for the space of thirteen years before this time, was taken in the summer of this year
p.2077by its rightful inheritors, the Clann-Donough of Corran, namely, Tomaltagh and Cathal Duv. The Governor, Sir Conyers Clifford, and O'Donnell (Hugh Roe) were auctioning the castle against each other, in offering to purchase it from the Clann-Donough. The close of the bargain was, that the Clann-Donough gave up the castle to O'Donnell, for a purchase and contract, in the middle month of the autumn of this year. Four hundred pounds in money and three hundred cows was the price which O'Donnell gave the Clann Donough for the castle.
A great hosting was made by the Earl of Ormond, to place provisions in Port-Leix Maryborough. When they had advanced a certain distance on their way, they were met by Owny, the son of Rury Oge, son of Rury Caech O'More; by Redmond, the son of John, son of John of the Shamrocks, son of Rickard Saxonagh Burke; and by Captain Tyrrell, namely, Richard, the son of Thomas Oge Tyrrell. On this expedition the Earl of Ormond lost more than the value of the provisions in men, horses, and arms; and it was with difficulty the Earl himself escaped, after being wounded.
In the first month of the autumn of this year O'Neill sent letters to Leinster, requesting Redmond Burke, Owny O'More, and Captain Tyrrell, to intrust the guarding of Leinster to some of their allies in the war, and to proceed themselves to make conquests, and to bring some of the adverse territories over to their cause, by solicitation or force; and he particularly requested them to go into Munster, at the invitation of the sons of Thomas Roe, son of James, son of John, son of the Earl of Desmond. The gentlemen whom we have mentioned, after reading the letters, proceeded with the greatest force and arms they could command into Ossory. The people of that territory spontaneously came to join them, except Mac Gillapatrick (Fineen, the son of Brian, son of Fineen). They afterwards went to the northern extremity of Slieve Bloom, in order to induce the Irish of East Munster and Westmeath to join them, namely, O'Molloy, and Connell, the son of Cahir O'Molloy; Mac Coghlan (John Oge, the son of John, son of Art, son of Cormac), and O'Carroll (Calvagh, the son of William Odhar, son of Ferganainm, son of Mulrony). Although these chieftains had for some time stood by their sovereign, they were glad to obtain
p.2079terms of peace from those strange warriors, who were traversing every territory. After agreeing upon terms of peace with these, they turned their faces towards the two Ormonds; and from them they sought neither peace nor friendship, but proceeded to plunder them at once, on account of their enmity towards the Earl of Ormond. They took five of the castles of Ormond, one of which, Druim-Aidhneach, on the margin of the Shannon, Redmond Burke kept to himself, for waging and maintaining war on Clanrickard out of it. They remained for two or three weeks encamped in that country; and the spoils of the region bordering on the Suir, and those of Clann-William, were carried to their camp; and their Irish neighbours came to converse and join in the same confederation with them. Among those who joined them were O'Dwyer of Kilnamanagh, i.e. Dermot, the son of Owny, son of Philip; the sons of Mac Brian O'gCuanach, namely, the sons of Murtough, son of Turlough, son of Murtough; the Ryans about Conor-na-Mainge, the son of William Caech, son of Dermot O'Mulryan; and the race of Brian Oge of Duharra.
After these Irish septs had formed a confederacy and friendship with O'Neill's people, and after having induced the people of every territory into which they came to join them, they marched with the rising-out i.e. forces of these districts, at the instance of the sons of Thomas Roe, son of the Earl of Desmond, into the country of the Geraldines. They first went to the county of Limerick. The President, Sir Thomas Norris, was at this time at Kilmallock; and when he perceived that he was not able to contend with the Irish party, he went to Cork, to avoid meeting them. They the Irish then proceeded westwards, across the River Maigue, into Connello, and to the borders of Sliabh-Luachra and Gleann-Corbraighe. James, the son of Thomas Roe Fitzgerald, came to join them in Connello on this occasion; and James, the second son of Thomas Roe, was already along with them upon these expeditions, for he had come to draw them into the country. At this time they offered and sold at their camp a stripper, or cow in calf, for sixpence, a brood mare for threepence, and the best hog for a penny; and these bargains were offered and proclaimed in every camp in which they were.
When the Earl of Ormond heard of the progress of these warlike troops, he
p.2081set out with all his cavalry and infantry for the county of Limerick, to meet them, and sent a message to Cork, requesting the President to come to meet him at Kilmallock. When the Irish army, who were encamped in the west of Connello, heard of this, they marched eastwards towards Kilmallock, and shewed themselves to these two lords, who were in pursuit of them. Upon seeing them, the lords (i.e. the Earl and the President) agreed to avoid meeting them, and turned off towards Magh-Ealla. The Irish pursued them to the gate of Magh-Ealla, and proceeded to defy, provoke, and dare them to battle, saying that they could never wreak their vengeance upon them better than now, when they were all together in one place. Notwithstanding this, what the two great men determined upon was, that the President should repair to Cork, and that the Earl should return to the territory of the Butlers.
As the country was left in the power of the Irish on this occasion, they conferred the title of Earl of Desmond, by the authority of O'Neill, upon James, the son of Thomas Roe, son of James, son of John, son of the Earl; and in the course of seventeen days they left not within the length or breadth of the country of the Geraldines, extending from Dunqueen to the Suir, which the Saxons had well cultivated and filled with habitations and various wealth, a
p.2083single son of a Saxon whom they did not either kill or expel. Nor did they leave, within this time, a single head residence, castle, or one sod of Geraldine territory, which they did not put into the possession of the Earl of Desmond, excepting only Castlemaine, in the county of Kerry; Askeaton, in Hy-Connell-Gaura; and Magh-Ealla Mallow, in the county of Cork. When these agents of O'Neill had thus, in a short time, accomplished this great labour, they took their leave of and bade farewell to this Earl of Desmond, whom they themselves had appointed. Owny O'More, and such part of the forces as adhered to him, set out for Leix; Redmond Burke and that part of the same hosting which he had employed, and over which he had command, proceeded to Ormond; and the Ulster troops who were along with these gentlemen proceeded to their territories and homes, not without wealth or booty acquired on this expedition. Captain Tyrrell remained with the Earl of Desmond; and the Earl continued spending and subjugating Munster, and gaining more and more people over to his side, during the remaining two months of this year.
The Lord of Mountgarrett, namely, Edmond, the son of Richard, son of Pierce Butler, concluded a friendship with O'Neill in the autumn of this year.
The Lord of Clonmel-Third and Cahir, namely, Thomas, the son of Theobald, son of Pierce, son of Edmond, and the Baron of Luachmhagh, with many others of the young Butlers, joined in this war of the Irish.
In the autumn of this year O'Donnell (i.e. Hugh Roe) sent a body of forces from Tirconnell with Mac William (Theobald, the son of Walter Kittagh, son of John, son of Oliver) into Mac William's territory. He sent with him on this occasion O'Doherty (John Oge, the son of John, son of Felim, son of Conor Carragh) with a great force. They were scarcely noticed in any country by which they marched, or through which they passed, until they arrived in the Owles; and it was in these territories the greater part of the herds and flocks of cattle of all Mac William's country then were. They collected all the cattle that were on the main land outside the small islands; and though great was the gathering and collection of preys they made, they encountered no danger or difficulty on account of them, save only the trouble of removing and driving them off. And they returned safe to their territories, i.e. Mac William to Tirawly, and O'Doherty to Inishowen.
When O'Donnell had obtained possession of Ballymote, which was in the middle of autumn, as we have before mentioned, the Kinel-Connel sent their creaghts into the county of Sligo; and O'Donnell himself resided at Ballymote from the time it was given up to him until after Christmas. O'Donnell at this time caused his forces to be mustered in every place where they were: first, the Kinel-Connell, with all their forces, came to him; and next, Mac William Burke (Theobald, the son of Walter Kittagh), with all those who were under his jurisdiction: and when these had come together to O'Donnell, to Ballymote, which was precisely in the end of the month of December, the resolution he adopted was, to proceed into Clanrickard, although the inhabitants of that territory were on the alert and on their guard, such was their fear and dread of him. He marched silently and quietly with his forces, and arrived unnoticed and unobserved at the gate of Kilcolgan by break of day. He then sent marauding parties in every direction around him, through the level part of Clanrickard. One party went to the borders of Oireacht-Redmond, and another
p.2087to Dun-Guaire, in Coill-Ua-bhFiachrach. This part who went to Coill-Ua-bhFiachrach committed lamentable deeds, namely, they slew the two sons of Ross, the son of Owny, son of Melaghlin O'Loughlin, i.e. Turlough Boy and Brian. But a gentleman of the Clann-Donnell Galloglagh, who was along with Mac William on that expedition, namely, Hugh Boy Oge, the son of Hugh Boy, son of Mulmurry Mac Donnell, had been slain on this occasion by Turlough Boy, the son, before he himself fell. By another party of O'Donnell's people were slain the two sons of William, son of John Burke of Rinn-Mhil, and the son of Theobald, son of Dabuck, from Doire-Ui-Dhomhnaill, with his brother's son. Mac Hubert of Disert-Ceallaigh, namely, William, the son of Ulick Roe, son of Ulick Oge, was taken prisoner by O'Donnell's brother, Manus, son of Hugh, son of Manus. Although the Earl had great numbers of hired soldiers quartered in Clanrickard, O'Donnell happened to carry off out of the territory all the immense spoils, heavy herds, and other booty and property, which had been collected for him, without battle or conflict, until he arrived safe at Ballymote.
There existed strife and dissensions among some of the gentlemen of Thomond, concerning the division and joint-tenure of their territory lands, towns, and strong castles, which it would be tedious to write or describe.
When it was told to the Queen of England and the Council that the Irish had risen up against her in the manner already described, and the vast numbers of her people who had been slain in this year, the resolution adopted by the Sovereign and the Council was, to send over Sir Richard Bingham with eight thousand soldiers, to sustain and carry on the war here, until the Earl of Essex should be prepared to come, who was then ordered to go to Ireland after the festival of St. Bridget with attire and expense, and an army, such as had not been attempted to be sent to Ireland, since the English had first undertaken to invade it, till that time. This Richard aforesaid was an honourable knight of
p.2089the Queen's people, and was acquainted with Ireland; for he had been Govenor of the province of Connaught for some years before. The Earl of Essex, whom we have also mentioned, was one who was in favour, esteem, and honour with the Queen, and one who had made plunders and descents upon the provinces of the west of Europe for the same Queen. It was he who, a short time before, had taken a strong and well-fortified city in the kingdom of Spain, named Calis.
The Earl of Thomond remained in England the entire of this year, from one calend to the other.
The Earl of Kildare (William, the son of Garret, son of Garret), went to England in the spring.
O'Conor Sligo (Donough, the son of Cathal Oge) returned from England in the winter.
Among those gentlemen of Thomond, of whom we have spoken as being at strife with each other, was Teige, the son of Conor, son of Donough O'Brien, by whom the bridge of Portcroisi was taken; and although he was not the first who had attempted to take it by force from Margaret Cusack, it was to him it finally fell. He also took the castle of Cluain in Hy-Caisin, and the castle of Sgairbh, in the east of Hy-Bloid, from the attorney of the Bishop of Meath's son. Among these was also Conor, son of Donnell, son of Mahon, son of Brian O'Brien, who took Baile-an-chaislein, in Upper Clann-Cuilein, from Mac Namara Finn (John, the son of Teige, son of Cumeadha). Among them was Turlough, son of Mahon, from Coill O'Flannchadha, who took from
p.2091George Cusack Derryowen, at first the patrimony of the sons of Auliffe, the son of Cian O'Shaughnessy. Mahon, the son of Turlough Boy, obtained Coill O'Flannchadha. Among the same gentlemen was Turlough, the son of Murrough, son of Conor O'Brien, from Cathair Mionain, and his kinsman, Dermot Roe, who joined in the war of the Irish. Among them, moreover, was Teige Caech, the son of Turlough, son of Brian, son of Donough Mac Mahon, who, about Christmas in this year, captured an English ship that had been going astray for a long time before. It happened to put in at a harbour in Western Corca-Bhaiscinn, in the neighbourhood of Carraig-an-Chobhlaigh. Teige took away this ship from the crew, and all the valuable things it contained. It was not long after till Teige found the profit very trivial, and the punishment severe. The same Teige took Dunbeg, one of his own castles, from a Limerick merchant, who had it in his possession, in lieu of debt.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1599. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred ninety-nine.
The Earl of Kildare, whom we have spoken of in the last year as having gone to England, namely, William, the son of Garrett, son of Garrett, prepared to return to Ireland in the spring of this year. He went into a ship with eighteen of the chiefs of Meath and Fingall; and after they had sailed till out of sight at sea, none of them was alive ever since; and it was from other countries, in two months afterwards, that an account of the certainty of their deaths arrived in England and Ireland. He the Earl left neither son nor brother behind him to succeed to his title; but his kinsman, Garrett, the son of Edward, son of Garrett, son of Thomas, son of John Cam, was appointed by the Queen and Council of England. He had been only a captain over soldiers in the Queen's service, until God permitted this property to devolve to him, without battle or war, peril or danger.
O'Molloy (Connell, the son of Cahir) died in the spring of this year; and his son, Calvagh, took his place, being appointed by the Queen. Some of the gentlemen of his tribe vied and contended with him (according to the custom of the Irish) for that name.
Fergus, the son of Brian, son of Brian, son of Rury, son of Cathal O'Farrell, died in the month of March; and his death was the cause of lamentation in his own territory.
Donnell, the son of Niall Meirgeach, son of Mulmurry, son of Hugh, son of Niall Mac Sweeny, was slain by Mulmurry, the son of Brian Oge, and Hugh Boy, the son of Ferfheadha Mac Sweeny. Both of these i.e. the slayers were hanged and burned by O'Donnell (Hugh Roe), on Mullach-Sithe-Aedha, for this crime, and for violating his law.
James, the son of Turlough, son of Tuathal O'Gallagher, was hanged by O'Donnell on Mullach-na-Sithe, over Assaroe, on the fourth day of March, it having been proved against him that he was spying and betraying O'Donnell, and drawing the English into his country.
George Cusack, the son of Thomas, was slain in the month of July by Turlough, the son of Mahon, son of Turlough, son of Mahon, son of the Bishop O'Brien, on account of his father's territory. For Sir Richard Bingham, after he had put Mahon O'Brien to death, had given up his Mahon's territory to the aforesaid George; and he Turlough persevered in his endeavours to recover his patrimony, until he slew George on this occasion. And he George was buried in the monastery of Ennis.
The son of O'Conor Kerry (Donough Mael, the son of Conor, son of Conor, son of John), was slain in the month of August, by a party of the soldiers of the Earl of Desmond, namely, by the sons of Manus Oge, son of Manus, son of Edmond Mac Sheehy; and that slaying was deemed a great misfortune by the Earl; for O'Conor himself (John) was his ally in war, as was his brother, this Donough who was slain, and all who were in their terrritory.
John, the son of Gilla-Duv, son of James O'Kennedy, from Baile-an-Gharrdha-Chnuic-Sithe Una, in Ormond, was slain by Hugh, the son of Murrough O'Kennedy, from Ballyquirk.
The Prior of Lothra in Ormond (John, the son of John, son of Gillapatrick O'Hogan), was slain by a party of the O'Kennedys in the month of July.
More, the daughter of Donnell, son of Conor, son of Turlough O'Brien, died in the month of January. She was a woman praiseworthy in the ways of woman.
The Earl of Thomond (Donough, the son of Conor O'Brien), returned from England in the month of January, and remained for some time afterwards with the Earl of Ormond, in the country of the Butlers.
One of O'Neill's sons, namely, Con, the son of Hugh, son of Ferdorcha, son of Con Bacagh, went, in the month of January, on a visit among the friends and warlike confederates of his father in Leinster and Munster, to ascertain who they were that were firm in their friendship and promises to O'Neill and the Irish. He remained in those territories during the greater part of the Spring, obtaining provisions for his soldiers, and confirming them in the war
p.2097in which they were engaged. There was a communication and friendly correspondence carried on between this son of O'Neill and the son of the late Earl of Thomond (Teige, the son of Conor O'Brien), on both sides of the Shannon.
Turlough, the son of Donnell, son of Conor O'Brien, hired soldiers and mercenaries in the very beginning of this year, to assist the Queen against her enemies. The young brother of the Earl of Thomond, also Donnell, the son of Conor, son of Donough, had the leading command of the Earl of Thomond's people in assisting the Queen.
After the taking of the English ship, of which we have above treated, by Teige Caech, the son of Turlough Mac Mahon, an appearance of enmity and an indication of contention arose between him and this son of the Earl, i.e. Donnell. Teige repaired to the Earl of Desmond and made his friendship with him, like every other party who had ratified their treaty with him. After Teige had returned across the Shannon, he made a nocturnal assault upon young Donnell at Kilmurry-Ibrickane, on the seventeenth day of the month of February. He wounded and made a prisoner of Donnell, and slew many of his faithful people; and he conveyed him to Dunbeg to be confined, but he was only a week confined there, when he was set at liberty without securities or conditions.
O'Donnell Hugh: i.e. Roe, the son of Hugh, son of Manus, had resided at Ballymote, in the county of Sligo, from the gaining of the battle of Ath-Buidhe, in the beginning of August, to the festival of St. Bridget in this year. He felt it long to have remained during this time without going into some enemy's territory, but he knew not to what particular place he should go; for he had not left a quarter, limit, wilderness, or recess, in the whole province of Connaught the inhabitants of which he had not plundered, or from which he had not taken pledges and hostages, save Thomond alone wherefore, at the time aforesaid, he ordered an army to be mustered in order to proceed into Thomond. First of all assembled the Kinel-Connel, among whom were Hugh Oge, the son of Hugh Duv, son of Hugh Roe, son of Niall Garv O'Donnell; and Niall Garv, the son of Con, son of Calvagh, son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv; O'Doherty (John Oge, the son of Felim, son of Conor Carragh); O'Boyle (Teige Oge, the
p.2099son of Teige, son of Turlough, son of Niall); Mac Sweeny Fanad (Donnell, the son of Turlough, son of Mulmurry); and Mac Sweeny Banagh (Donough, the son of Mulmurry Meirgeach, son of Mulmurry, son of Niall): all these with their forces. Into the same rendezvous came Maguire (Hugh, the son of Cuconnaught, son of Cuconnaught, son of Cuconnaught, son of Brian, son of Philip, son of Thomas); the son of O'Rourke (Thomas, the son of Brian, son of Brian Ballagh, son of Owen); and the Mac William, whom O'Donnell himself had some time before nominated, namely, Theobald, son of Walter Kittagh, son of John, son of Oliver.
When all these chieftains had come with their forces to Ballymote, to O'Donnell, they formed so numerous and vast an army that he sent a force into the territory of Mac William, while he himself should be in Thomond; and the chieftains who were appointed leaders of this force were Mac William and Niall Garv, the son of Con O'Donnell. This force searched and mightily overran the country from the eastern extremity of Costello to Umhall of Clann-Gibbon, and during that excursion took the island of Leath Ardan, and slew eighteen of the chief men of the Clann-Gibbon, besides many other persons. They carried off great preys, plunders, and spoils, on their return from the territory.
As for O'Donnell and his forces, they marched forward to proceed into Thomond, and made no delay until they arrived, without being observed, inside the river in Clanrickard; and in the evening they pitched an extensive camp of armed heroes at Ruaidh-Bheitheach, between Kilcolgan and Ardrahin. Here they remained to consult with each other as to how they should attack the strange territory towards which they had come; and, having eaten some of their provisions, they all went to take a sleep, except the sentinels, before they should undertake their great journey and toil. Thus they remained until midnight, when O'Donnell commanded them to rise up without delay, to march into the neighbouring territory before the day should break upon them. They rose up forthwith, and proceeded straight onwards by each direct road, until,
p.2101by morning twilight, they arrived in the eastern extremity of Coill-O'bhFlannchadha, in the cantred of Kinel-Fearmaic, in Thomond. Here they formed marauding parties, and sent one of them northwards into Burren, under the command of Teige O'Rourke and Mac Sweeny Banagh; and another party southwards into Baile-Ui-Ogain of Coill-mhor, to Tully-O'Dea, and to the gate of Baile-Ui-Ghriobhtha. Maguire, with a strong body of his forces, went forth towards Inchiquin. O'Donnell himself proceeded, with the flower and main body of the army, through the middle of Coill-O'bhFlannchadha, Bealach-an-Fhiodhfail, and, before mid-day, arrived at Cill-Inghine-Bhaoith, in the upper part of Dal-gCais. Those who had gone to the south returned to the north by Druim-Finnghlaisi and Corofin, and joined O'Donnell at Cill-Inghine-Bhaoith. Thither the spoils of all Kinel-Fearmaic, from Diseart to Glencolumbkille, and to Tulach-Chumann, and from Cluain-Sailchearnaigh to Leim-an-eich, were brought to O'Donnell.
The son of O'Rourke and Mac Sweeny were not able to return to him on that night with the spoils of Burren; nor was Maguire able to return from the other direction, for they had pitched their camps wherever the night overtook them.
O'Donnell remained that night encamped at Cill-Inghine-Bhaoith, and left it before noon on the following day; and he then proceeded to Kilfenora, in
p.2103the cantred of Corcomroe. From thence he dispatched marauding parties southwards to Eidneach, to Brentir of the Fearmacaigh, to Cormacaigh, to the gate of Inis-Dimain,to Cill-Easbuig-Lonain,and to Baile-Phaidin, who returned to him to Kilfenora, in an easterly direction, loaded with spoils and booty. O'Donnell remained here until the following day, when his troops came up with him from every quarter in which they had been dispersed. The son of O'Rourke and Mac Sweeny Banagh came up with the spoils of Burren; and Maguire came up from another direction with much booty. When O'Donnell saw the surrounding hills covered and darkened with the herds and numerous cattle of the territories through which his troops had passed, he proceeded on his way homewards, over the chain of rugged-topped mountains of Burren; and, passing by Nuachongbhail, Turlach, the monastery of Corcomroe, and Carcair-na-gCleireach, arrived at Rubha, in the west of Hy-Fiachrach-Aidhne, where he stopped for the night. On the morrow he passed through the upper part of Clanrickard, and by the gate of Athenry. His adventures from this forward are not related, until he arrived at Ballymote, except that he was met by Mac William and Niall Garv O'Donnell at the frontiers of Hy-Many, with many preys, and spoils, and booty, which they had carried off from Mac William's country.
The learned historian and poet, Mac Brody (Maoilin Oge), represented that it was in revenge of the demolition of Grianan Oiligh, formerly, by Murtough
p.2105More, son of Turlough [son of Teige], son of Brian Boroimhe, that God, in consequence of the curse of Columbkille upon the O'Briens, had permitted Thomond to be totally plundered and devastated on this occasion by O'Donnell. This Maoilin Oge came to O'Donnell, to request of him the restoration of his cattle, which a party of the troops had carried off; and they were all given back to him; upon which Maoilin composed the following quatrain:
- It was destined that, in revenge of Oileach,
O Hugh Roe! the Prophet announced,
Thy troops should come to the land of Magh-Adhair;
From the North the aid of all is sought.
In the first week of March the Governor of the province of Connaught, Sir Conyers Clifford, went to Galway with a great army of distinguished gentlemen and soldiers. After having been nearly a week in Galway, he sent seven or eight companies of English and Irish soldiers to the county of Clare, to know who were loyal or disobedient to the Queen there. He appointed Theobald Dillon, Captain Lester, and Richard Scurlock, the sheriff of the county of Clare, as commanders over them, until they should arrive at the place where Turlough
p.2107O'Brien was, to whom authority over them was likewise given. On their arrival in the territory, they remained the first night at Cill-Caeidi, in the east of Hy-Fearmaic.
When the faithful friends of Teige, the son of Conor O'Brien, had heard of their arrival in this country, they lay in ambush, and, as the Queen's people were on the following day marching westwards from Cill-Caeidi, through Bealach-an-Fhiodhfail, Teige's people attacked them, and many persons were slain between them on both sides; but although there were more of the Queen's people slain, the death of no distinguished man of them is recorded. But on the side of the Irish was slain a gentleman of the O'Briens, namely, Dermot Roe, the son of Murrough, son of Conor. Besides what was done there, the pass was ceded to the Queen's people, who at the close of the day halted and rested at Cill-Inghine-Bhaoith Kilnaboy
The resolution which Teige, the son of Conor O'Brien, adopted after this was, to make peace with the Queen, and to dismiss his hirelings, and especially those who had made the aforesaid attack. He sent his messengers to Theobald Dillon, to Cill-Inghine-Bhaoith, and to the Governor, to Galway.
On the following day Theobald Dillon and the Queen's party left Cill-Inghine-Bhaoith, and proceeded to the residence of Turlough, the son of Donnell O'Brien, who was a sheltering fence and alighting hill to any of the Queen's people that wished to go to him. When they and Turlough met together, they laid siege to Cathair-Mionain, in the barony of Corcomroe, a castle which was then a den of robbers and a cover for plunderers, into which the plunder and spoil of the surrounding country were wont to be carried to Turlough, the son of Murrough, son of Conor O'Brien, a gentleman who was in alliance with the Irish at that time. The castle was obliged to be surrendered to the Queen's people.
Turlough and Theobald, with their people, then left Cathair-Mionain, and proceeded to West Corca-Bhaiscinn, to make their peace with Teige Caech Mac Mahon; but, as they could not come on terms of peace with him, they carried off many preys and spoils from the territory. Then, after this, they passed eastwards into East Corca-Bhaiscinn, and afterwards to Ennis, where
p.2109they held a session for fifteen days; and the gentlemen of the county in general attended them. At the end of this period Theobald Dillon and Captain Lester departed from the territory of Thomond, leaving in it four companies of soldiers, a sheriff, and a sub-sheriff, and after having received a promise that the Queen's rent should be paid in it.
About a week after this, the Earl of Thomond came into the country, after having been nearly a quarter of a year in the country of the Butlers. Upon arriving in Thomond, he proceeded, without sleeping two nights in any one town, until he went to take vengeance on Teige Caech Mac Mahon for the dishonour which he had shewn to his brother, and the attack which he had made against him. The greater part of the forces of the country collected to him, and, marching into West Corca-Bhaiscinn, encamped before Carraig-an-Chobhlaigh on the Monday before Easter, in the month of April. The property and cattle of the entire country, extending from Cnoc-Doire to Leim-Chonchulainn, were carried to him to that camp. In four days afterwards the Earl obtained possession of the town; and when the Easter holidays were over, he carried ordnance from Limerick for the purpose of assaulting Dunbeg; and when the ordnance was planted against the castle, the warders did not await the discharge of one shot, when they surrendered the castle to the Earl; and the protection they obtained lasted only while they were led to the gallows-tree, from which they were hanged in couples, face to face. In the same manner the Earl obtained possession of Dun-mor-mhic-an-Fhearmacaigh. After having taken these castles of Corca-Bhaiscinn, the Earl sent the great ordnance back to Limerick, and proceeded himself eastwards across the mountain to the plain of Thomond. He restored to the lawful inheritors every castle that had been
p.2111taken, to the dishonour of the Queen. Of these were Doire-Eoghain, the two castle-towns of Cluain and Lis-Aedha-finn.
The Earl of Essex (Robert) came to Ireland, as had been promised, about May this year, with much wealth, arms, munition, powder, lead, food, and drink; and the beholders said that so great an army had never till that time come to Ireland since the Earl Strongbow and Robert Fitz-Stephen came in former times with Dermot Mac Murrough, King of Leinster. When the Earl had arrived in Dublin he published many proclamations, among which the first was to the effect, that every one of the Irish, who was sorry for having opposed the Queen, should receive forgiveness and pardon in every crime they had till then committed. Among the same proclamations was this, that every one of the Irish who would assert and prove that they had been deprived by the Englishmen of their mansions or patrimonies, by force or violence, should be heard and attended to, and obtain a restoration of such property as he was unlawfully deprived of. Not many of the Irish, however, responded to these proclamations.
Garrisons of soldiers, with all necessaries, were sent by this Earl to Carrickfergus, to Newry, to Dundalk, to Drogheda, to Kilmantan Wicklow, to Naas of Leinster, and to other towns besides. He then selected seven thousand soldiers of the best of his army, and marched them from directly south westwards; for he had been informed that there were not of the plunderers of the Queen in Ireland a tribe that could be more easily invaded than the Geraldines, as they were then circumstanced. The Earl and his troops never halted until they arrived in the middle of the province of Leinster; and surely his approach to the Irish of Leinster was not the visit to friends from afar! These were Donnell Spaineach, the son of Donough, son of Cahir Carragh Kavanagh; Owny, the son of Rury Oge, son of Rury O'More; the
p.2113O'Conors Faly, the Gavall-Ranall and many other gentlemen not enumerated. These people made fierce and desperate assaults, and furious, irresistible onsets on him, in intricate ways and narrow passes, in which both parties came in collision with each other, so that great numbers of the Earl's people were cut off by them. The Earl, however, in despite of all the difficulties which he met, at last arrived in the country of the Butlers. The Earl of Ormond came to receive him with honour and respect; as did also the Lord of Mountgarrett
p.2115(Edmond, the son of Richard, son of Pierce Butler), who had been in alliance with O'Neill some time before. As soon as the Butlers had joined the Earl, they proceeded with all their forces to Trian-Chluana-Meala, and laid siege to Cathair-Duine-Iasgaigh. Thomas, the son of Theobald, son of Pierce Butler, was lord of that town; he was in alliance with O'Neill, and the Earl of Desmond, for a period previous to that time. The siege carried on by the Earl and his forces was of no avail to them until they drew great ordnance from Waterford to it, by which was thrown down the nearest side of the fortress, after which the fortress was forced to surrender to the Earl of Essex and the Queen.
In the days that the Earl of Essex was storming Cathair-Duine-Iasgaigh, the President of the two provinces of Munster, i.e. Sir Thomas Norris, came from Cork to Kilmallock to wait on the Earl before he should go to Limerick. He was nearly a fortnight residing in the town, awaiting the coming of the Earl across the Suir, and was in the practice of scouring the hills of the county of Limerick every other day, to see whether he could kill or capture any of the Queen's enemies. On a certain day that he went to the eastern extremity of the county he happened to fall in with Thomas Burke, the son of Theobald, son of William, son of Edmond of Castleconnell, neither being in search of the other. Thomas alone, of all his people, was on horseback; he had nearly one hundred Irish soldiers along with him. When the President saw him he made a determined and dexterous attack upon him, and about twenty of Thomas's people were cut off on the occasion; and more would have been slain, were it not that the President was so soon mortally wounded; for he received a violent and venomous thrust of a pike where the jaw-bone joins the upper part of the neck. When his people saw him thus wounded, they collected around him and carried him back to Kilmallock, where he remained
p.2117six weeks on his sick bed under the care of physicians, when he died in the month of July precisely.
When the Earl of Essex had taken Cathair-Duine-Iasgaigh, he and the Earl of Ormond, with the chiefs of the army, proceeded with their army to Limerick, and pitched his camp outside Limerick. To this town the Governor of the province of Connaught, i e. Sir Conyers, the Earl of Clanrickard, i.e. Ulick, son of Richard Saxonagh, and the Earl of Thomond (Donough, the son of Conor O'Brien), came to meet him. When these nobles had finished their consultation, the Governor and the Earl of Clanrickard returned back to Connaught; and the Earl of Essex, the Earl of Ormond, and the Earl of Thomond, proceeded into Munster, to see whether they could get an opportunity of invading the Geraldines.
On the first night after they had left Limerick, in the month of June, they encamped upon the banks of the river of Adare; and as they advanced westwards on the next day, Saturday, through the bog of Robhar, the soldiers and warriors of the Earl of Desmond and the Geraldine host shewed them their faces. Fierce and morose was the salute and welcome which they gave to the representative of their Sovereign on his first visit to them and to his army; for they discharged into their eyes the fire and smoke of their black powder, and showers of balls from straightly-aimed guns; and he heard the uproar, clamour, and exulting shouts of their champions and common soldiers, instead of the submission, honour that should have been shewn him, and of the mild and courteous words that should have been spoken to him. Howbeit, the result of this conflict was that great numbers of the Earl of Essex's men were cut off, and that he was not suffered to make any remarkable progress on that day; so that he pitched his camp a short distance to the east of Askeaton. On the next day, Sunday, he and the Earls of Ormond and Thomand resolved to send a body of cavalry to lay up ammunition in
p.2119Askeaton, and not to proceed any further westwards into Munster themselves on this occasion. On their return eastwards the next day, Monday, when they arrived near Baile-an-Eleteraigh, they received a stout and resolute conflict, and a furious and formidable battle, from the Geraldines; and many of the Earl of Essex's people were slain on that day, and, among the rest, a noble knight of great name and honour, i.e. Sir Henry Norris. The Earl of Essex then proceeded to Kilmallock; and, having remained three nights in that town, he directed his course southwards, towards Ceann-Feabhrat, a part of the mountain of Caoin, the son of Dearg-dualach, with the intention of passing into Roche's country; and, instead of proceeding to Cork, as it was thought he would have done, he directed his course across the ford at the monastery of Fermoy, and from thence he marched with his forces to Conachail, Magh-Ile, and Lismore-Mochuda. During all this time the Geraldines continued to follow, pursue, and press upon them, to shoot at, wound, and slaughter them. When the Earl had arrived in the Desies, the Geraldines returned in exultation and high spirits to their territories and houses. On the arrival of the same Earl in Dungarvan, the Earl of Thomond parted from him there, and proceeded along the seaside to Youghall, and from thence to Cork, and afterwards to Limerick. The Earl of Essex proceeded from Dungarvan to Waterford, thence into the country of the Butlers, and into Leinster. They marched not by a prosperous progress by the roads along which they passed from Waterford to Dublin, for the Irish of Leinster were following and pursuing, surrounding and environing them, so that they slew and slaughtered great numbers of them in every road and way by which they passed. The Gaels of Ireland were wont to say that it would have been better for him that he had not gone on this expedition from Dublin to Hy-Connell-Gaura, as he returned back after the first conflict that was maintained against him, without having received submission or respect
p.2121from the Geraldines, and without having achieved in his progress any exploit worth boasting of, excepting only the taking of Cathair-Duine-Iasgaigh.
O'Conor Sligo (Donough, the son of Cathal Oge) was along with the Earl of Essex on this hosting until their return from Munster, as we have related. It was on their return from Connello eastwards, through the county of Limerick, that O'Conor parted from them; and he then went to Connaught, to the Governor, Sir Conyers Clifford. O'Conor had none of all his castles in the county of Sligo in his possession at this time, except only one castle, belonging to the Clann-Donough of Tirerrill, which was situated on the banks of Abhainn-mhor; Culmaoile was its name. O'Conor, after remaining a short time with the Governor, proceeded onwards, both by day and night, until he reached this castle, which he did in the month of July. On O'Conor's arrival at Culmaoile, some of the cattle of O'Donnell's people that were then throughout the country were brought to him to the castle, without being noticed by their owners.
When O'Donnell was informed of this, he was glad that O'Conor had come into the country, and he was pleased at what he had done, that he might try if he could take vengeance on him for his former doings. O'Donnell then ordered his cavalry not to wait for his foot-soldiers, but to proceed to the castle before O'Conor could have time to leave it. This was done at his bidding, for his word durst not be disobeyed. The cavalry proceeded as quickly as they were able, until they arrived at the castle; the army followed them, and formed themselves into extensive circles around the fortress. This castle was an impregnable stronghold, and it was not easy to watch a person determined to leave it, for the place in which it was situated was close to impervious fastnesses. O'Donnell pitched his camp before a wood that lay on the other side of the river, in front of the castle. He appointed parties to reconnoitre and watch by day and night on every side of the fortress; and strong squadrons of his cavalry were mounted on their horses on guard from the dusk of the evening to day-break, in order that O'Conor might not escape from them. The news spread throughout Ireland that O'Conor Sligo was thus blockaded by O'Donnell at Culmaoile, and when the Earl of Essex heard it, he dispatched messengers
p.2123to the Governor of the province of Connaught, commanding him to come to meet him on a certain day in Fircall. The Governor encountered great toils and difficulties in passing through Fircall on his way to meet the Earl; for great numbers of his common soldiers and chieftains were slain, among whom was Richard, the son of William, son of Richard, son of Oliver Burke, a gentleman of the Burkes of Tirawly; and the Governor himself was in danger of being lost. Howbeit, he made his way to the Earl, and they remained for a period of two days and nights together in consultation. At the expiration of this time the Earl sent additional forces and soldiers with the Governor, and he ordered him, when he should reach Athlone, to command Theobald-na-Long, the son of Richard-an-Iarainn, son of Edmond, son of Ulick Burke, Murrough-na-Maer, son of Donnell-an-chogaidh, son of Gilla-Duv O'Flaherty, and the rising out of Galway, to convey in ships northwards around the headlands and harbours to the harbour of Sligo, the store of viands and drink, and the engines for constructing castles, which had arrived from England in Galway; while the Governor himself was to proceed by land, by the most direct roads, until he should arrive at Cul-Maoile, to relieve and release O'Conor Sligo from the constraint and jeopardy in which he was placed by O'Donnell. The Earl, moreover, ordered the Governor not to return back until he should have erected a strong, impregnable castle in Sligo, as a constant defence against the Ulstermen.
The Governor having undertaken to execute all these commands, he took his leave of the Earl, and proceeded to the town of Athlone; and he commanded Theobald-na-Long, Murrough-na-Maer, and the people of Galway, that they should proceed in ships along the coast of Ireland to Erris head, and then directly from the west to Sligo. These did not neglect his orders, for they got ready, without waiting or delaying, and sailed with their fleet, keeping the land on their right, until they put in at the harbour to the west of Sligo. Here they remained, as they had been ordered, until they should receive information concerning the army. The Governor himself repaired, in the mean time, to Roscommon, and assembled all those under his control, of the English and Irish who were obedient to the Queen in its neighbourhood.
p.2125Of these were the sons of the Earl of Clanrickard, namely, Rickard, Baron of Dunkellin, and Thomas; O'Conor Don, i.e. Hugh, the son of Dermot, son of Carbry; Theobald Dillon; and Mac Sweeny-na-dTuath (Mulmurry, the son of Murrough Mall, son of Owen Oge), who was this time plundering, and in revolt from O'Donnell, along with the Governor. They afterwards proceeded from Roscommon to Tulsk, and on leaving that town, which was precisely on the Sunday before Lammas, they had twenty-eight standards of soldiers. The Governor arrived with his army at the abbey of Boyle before the noon of that day; and he remained there to prepare for his final march.
As for O'Donnell, after having to his satisfaction succeeded in closing and strengthening the siege of the fortress in which O'Conor was, so as not to suffer any one to pass into or out of the castle, he left Niall Garv O'Donnell in command of the besiegers, instructing him in every-thing that was proper to be done, and proceeded himself with the main body of his army to Coirrshliabh-na-Seaghsa the Curlieu hills, and there pitched his camp to prevent the army of the strangers from passing that way unnoticed. For, from the first time he heard that the Governor was approaching him by order of the Earl of Essex, he was in wait and in readiness for him for a period of two months (until the 15th of August), at the extremity of Bealach-Buidhe, to the north of Coirrshliabh. At this time his forces were dispersed, and away from him in various places: one division of them besieging the castle upon O'Conor, another watching the motions of Theobald-na-Long and the fleet before mentioned, and others of them placed to guard the passes which are situated from Lough Key at the east of the mountain of Seaghais to Lough Techet to the west of Seaghais. The chief of his army and his advisers remarked to O'Donnell, that they had not battle engines fit to oppose the English and that they should not risk an engagement, because they had not their forces together. But he made little or no account of the words of those gentlemen,
p.2127and said that it was not by numbers of men that a battle is gained, but that whoever trusts in the power of the Lord, and is on the side of justice, is always triumphant, and gains the victory over his enemies.
Thus O'Donnell remained until the 15th day of August, as we have stated, which was the anniversary of the day on which the Virgin Mary yielded her spirit; and he observed the fast, in honour of the Blessed Virgin, as was his wont; and mass was celebrated for him and the army in general; and he received the body of Christ, after making his confession and doing rigid penance for his sins. And he ordered his forces to pray fervently to God, first for the health of their souls, and next to save them from the great peril which hung over them from the English.
While the Governor was at the abbey of Boyle, he was daily in the habit of menacing and threatening, reviling and reproaching, the northerns, and promising that he would pass northwards across the mountain in despite of them; and on this day i.e. the 15th of August he undertook to perform what he had promised.
When O'Donnell received intelligence of this, he ordered his forces to be assembled together, to be reviewed and marshalled; and after they had been reviewed, he then divided them into two parts. In one division he placed his swift and energetic youths, and his nimble and athletic men, and his shooting parties, with their high-sounding, straight-shooting guns, with their strong, smooth-surfaced bows, and with their bloody, venomous javelins, and other missile weapons. Over these soldiers he appointed a fight-directing leader, and a battle-sustaining champion, with command to press, urge, and close them to the battle, and to hew down and wound after them, when they should have their missile weapons ready. In the second division he placed his nobles, chiefs, and veteran soldiers, with strong, keen-edged swords, with polished, thin-edged battle-axes, and with large-headed lances, to maintain the fight and battle. He then converted his cavalry into pedestrians among his infantry, in consequence of the difficulty of the way that lay before them. When O'Donnell had thus arranged his people, he commanded his shooting party to advance before the other division, to meet and engage the foreign army before they
p.2129should pass the difficult part of the mountain, and he told them that he himself and the other division would come in contact with them at a place where he was sure of vanquishing them, for he knew that they could be more easily defeated in the end, should they be first wounded by them his first division.
O'Donnell had kept watchmen every successive day on the summit of the mountain, that the army of the foreigners might not cross it unnoticed. On this day the party of them who were there began to reconnoitre the monastery, and the troops that were in it. While they were thus reconnoitring, they perceived the army taking their weapons, raising their standards, and sounding their trumpet and other martial instruments. They sent the news speedily to O'Donnell. When he heard it, he commanded the troops whom he had appointed to take the van in the pass to march rapidly, to engage the English before they could pass the rugged parts of the flat mountain. They marched as they were commanded, each with the magnanimity and high spirit of a hero; and they quickly reached the summit of the mountain, before the English. O'Donnell set out after them, steadily and with a slow pace, with the steady troops and faithful heroes whom he had selected to accompany him; and they marched until they arrived at the place by which they were certain the English would pass; and there they awaited their coming up.
As for the advanced division, which was commanded to take the van, they proceeded on their way towards the battalions of the foreigners until they met them breast to breast. As they approached each other the Irish discharged at them the enemy terrible showers of beautiful ash-handled javelins, and swarms of sharp arrows, discharged from long and strong elastic bows, and volleys of red flashing flames, and of hot leaden balls, from perfectly straight and straight-shooting guns. These volleys were responded to by the soldiers of England, so that their reports, responses, and thundering noise were heard throughout the woods, the forests, the castles, and the stone buildings of the neighbouring territories. It was a great wonder that the timid and the servants did not run panic-stricken and mad by listening to the blasts of the martial music, the loud report of the mighty firing, and the responses of the echoes. Champions were wounded and heroes were hacked between them on the one side and the other. Their battle leaders and captains commanded O'Donnell's people not to stand fronting the foreigners, but to surround and encircle them round about. Upon which they closed around them on every side, as they were commanded, and they proceeded to fire on them vehemently, rapidly, and unsparingly; so that they drove the wings of their army into their centre by the pressure and vehemence of the conflict. Howbeit, the English at last turned their backs to the mighty men of the north, and the few routed the many! The English were furiously driven back to the fortified place from which they had set out; and such was the precipitateness of their flight, after they had once turned their backs to their enemies, that no one of them looked behind for relative or friend, and that they did not know whether any of those left behind were living or dead. Not one of the fugitives could have escaped, were it not that their pursuers and slayers were so few in number, for they were not able to cut down those in their power, so numerous and vast was the number of them who were flying before them. They did not, however,
p.2133desist from pursuing them until they the English got inside the walls of the monastery from which they had previously set out.
O'Rourke was at this time in a separate camp on the eastern side of Coirrshliabh. He had promised O'Donnell that he would be ready to attack the English like the rest, whenever it would be necessary; and when he heard the sound of the trumpets and tabors, and the loud and earth-shaking reports of the mighty firing, he rose up from his camp with his heroes, who put on their arms; and they made no delay, till they arrived at the place where O'Donnell's people were engaged in the conflict. They proceeded, like the others, to cut down champions with their swords, and fire on them with their guns, arrows, and javelins, until the soldiers left behind many heads and weapons. The governor, Sir Conyers Clifford, was slain, together with a countless number of English and Irish about him. He was left feebly stretched on the mountain, mortally wounded in the commencement of the conflict. It was not known to the soldiers who first wounded him (nothing was known about his death, except only that it was a ball that passed through him), and the soldiers did not recognise him, until O'Rourke at last came up to the place where he was, and recognised that it was the Governor that was there. He ordered him to be beheaded, which being done, his body was left a mutilated trunk. The death of the person here slain was much lamented. It was grievous that he came to this tragic end. The Irish of the province of Meave Connaught were not pleased at his death; for he had been a bestower of jewels and riches upon them; and he had never told them a falsehood. The Governor passed not in one direction from this battle; for his body was conveyed to be interred in the Island of the Blessed Trinity in Lough Key, in the barony of Moylurg, in the county of Roscommon, and his head was carried to Cul-Maoile, in the barony of Tirerrill, in the county of Sligo.
When the routed party had escaped into the monastery, O'Donnell's people returned back with the heads and arms of their enemies, and proceeded to their tents with great exultation and gladness; and they returned thanks to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary for their victory. The unanimous voice of the troops was, that it was not by force of arms they had defeated the English,
p.2135but through the miracles of the Lord, at the intercession of O'Donnell and his army, after having received the pure mystery of the body and blood of Christ in the morning, and after the fast which he had kept in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the day before.
As for the English, after O'Donnell's people had departed, they took to the road expeditiously, such of them as survived, and arrived at their homes in sorrow and disgrace.
O'Donnell's people remained that night in their tents, and interred all those that were slain of their people; and when they heard that the English had returned home, they proceeded to the castle of Cul-Maoile, in which they had left O'Conor blockaded. When O'Conor had heard of the victory of the Curlieus, gained over Sir Conyers Clifford, and of his fall there, he did not believe it until the Governor's head was exhibited to him. When he saw the head he gave up the hope of being released from the prison in which he was, and what he did was to come forth on the mercy of O'Donnell, and to make full submission to him. This was a good resolution for him; for O'Donnell placed him in the full power and chieftainship of his territory, and made him many presents of horses, cattle, and all other necessaries; so that O'Conor then settled in his territory.
When Theobald-na-Long was informed that the English had been defeated and the Governor slain, and that O'Conor had been let out of the castle, as we have related, the resolution he came to was, not to oppose O'Donnell any longer. He afterwards confirmed his friendship with him; and O'Donnell permitted the aforesaid fleet to go sail back again to Galway.
Some gentlemen of the Mac Mahons of Oriel, with one hundred soldiers, were hired by O'Carroll (Calvagh, the son of William Odhar, son of Ferganainm), in the spring of this year; and at the time that their wages should be given them, O'Carroll with his people went to them by night and slew them
p.2139on their beds, and in their lodging houses. He hanged some of them from the nearest trees. The party of one village, however, made their escape in despite of O'Carroll.
After the killing of the President of the two provinces of Munster, and of the Governor of Connaught, as we have related in their proper places, the Earl of Essex and O'Neill (Hugh, the son of Ferdorcha, son of Con Bacagh) came to a conference in the first days of the month of September, and the end of their conference was, that a peace was ratified between them till the end of two months, during which time each of them was to have his own part of the English and Irish. When the Earl of Essex had concluded a peace with O'Neill at this time, he proceeded to Dublin, and he remained not long there when he went to England, after having displayed a regal pomp the most splendid that any Englishman had ever exhibited in Ireland. He left Ireland without peace or tranquillity, without Lord Justice, Governor, or President,
p.2141excepting only that he delivered up the regal sword to the Lord Chancellor and to Sir Robert Gardiner. It was not known to any of the Irish at this time whether the Earl had gone to England to remain there or return back again.
Mac Sweeny Banagh, i.e. Donnell, the son of Niall Meirgeach, was slain by Mulmurry, the son of Brian Oge, and Hugh Boy, the son of Ferfeadha Mac Sweeny; and both these were hanged by O'Donnell, in the presence of all in general, on Mullach-Sithe-Aedha, for violating his law.
O'Kennedy Finn (Owny, the son of Donough Oge, son of Hugh, son of Auliffe), of Baile-Ui-Eachdhach, in Lower Ormond, in the county of Tipperary, died in the month of November, and Gilla-Duv O'Kennedy was then styled the O'Kennedy Finn.
Master O'Nialain (James, the son of Donnell, son of Auliffe, son of Donough O'Niallain), a man who kept an open house of hospitality, died in the month of October at Baile-Ui-Aille, in the barony of Quin, in the county of Clare.
About the 1st of November this year Castlemaine was taken by the Earl of Desmond from the Queen's people, in consequence of the warders wanting the necessary food.
Loch-Gair was also taken by the same Earl from the Queen's people.
O'Conor Sligo (Donough, the son of Cathal Oge) continued in friendship and amity with O'Donnell from the time that the Governor was slain to the end of this year. It was a change for the better, and a shelter for him, to come over to this friendship from the cold, slow, and unprofitable promises made him by the English from year to year. When O'Conor became obedient to O'Donnell, he gave O'Conor a countless deal of cows, horses, and every other description of herds and flocks, as also of corn and of other necessaries, to
p.2143replant and inhabit his territory, after it had been a wilderness, without habitation or abode, for a long time till then.
In the month of December O'Donnell went to make peace between the Mac Williams, i.e. between the Mac William (Theobald, the son of Walter Kittagh) and Theobald-na-Long, son of Richard-an-Iarainn. After having made peace between them, he set out to go into Clanrickard; but, however, he did not proceed beyond Oranmore on that occasion. He remained three nights encamped in the neighbourhood of Machaire-riabhach, and of Galway; and a prey was brought to him from the very gate of the great town; and although a fear and dread of him was spread from thence to Leim-Chonchulainn, he achieved nothing further on this occasion, but returned into Ulster.
In this year the province of Ulster was a still pool, a gentle spring, and a reposing wave, without the fear of battle or incursion, injury or attack, from any other part of Ireland; while every other territory was in awe of them (i.e. of the people of Ulster).
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1600. The Age of Christ, one thousand six hundred.
The Earl of Essex (i.e. Robert), of whom we have spoken in the preceding year as having arrived in Ireland in the month of May, and as having gone to England about the first of November, met with a repulsive, reproachful, sharp, and sullen reception from, the Council of England, when he appeared before them. It was objected to him that his service for the Queen, while in Ireland, had been feeble and dastardly, while he wanted nothing which he deemed necessary for war or battle. Another thing, objected to him was, his having come to England on that occasion without the permission of, or taking his leave of, the English or Irish Council. After these were stated to him, and many other accusations were laid to his charge, he was commanded to relinquish every dignity, title, and honour, which he held from the Queen; and the keepers of the hostages and pledges of the court were ordered to detain him in their custody until the Sovereign's anger against him should be appeased.
After this they came to the resolution of sending a different officer to Ireland, with an army, namely, Sir Charles Blunt; Lord Mountjoy, as Lord Justice (for there had not been a Lord Justice in it for two years before that time); and Sir George Cary Carew, as President over the two provinces of Munster. There was a fleet fitted out, in which there was sent a force of upwards of six thousand armed men,with befitting warlike engines,to accompany these officers to Ireland; and all these were to proceed by sea to the province of Ulster in particular. These resolutions were made by the English Council about Patrick's Day.
A gentleman of the house of O'Conor Don (Dermot, the son of Dubhaltach, son of Tuathal) was in command over a large party of Irish soldiers who were in the service of the Earl of Desmond, in Munster, during the last year. This Dermot went, towards the end of the same year, in the beginning of the month of December, on a visit to O'Neill, and received welcome from him. Having finished his visit to his satisfaction, he asked permission of O'Neill to return back in the beginning of January in this year, and proceeded into Munster. O'Neill desired him to mention it in the territories through which he should pass, that he O'Neill himself, with his forces, was marching after him to visit Meath, Leinster, Munster, and the southern side of Ireland, to know which of them were in friendship and which in opposition to him. When Dermot arrived with his force among the Irish confederates of the east of Munster, and told them that O'Neill was on his march to visit them, he proceeded by the shortest ways to go to the Earl of Desmond; and he directed his course by Uaithne and Clanwilliam, on the borders of the Shannon.
When the Baron of Castleconnell (Richard, the son of Theobald, son of William, son of Edmond Burke) heard of Dermot's arrival there, he and his
p.2147brother, Thomas, mustered all the forces they were able, both horse and foot, of his own and the Queen's people; and they continued to fire on Dermot and his people while they were passing from the monastery of Uaithne to the bridge of Bun-briste, in the county of Limerick; and many of his officers and common soldiers were slain during this time. As Dermot and his people were crossing the aforesaid bridge, these two sons of Theobald Burke, i.e. the Baron and Thomas, advanced with pride and boldness in front of their own forces, and towards the borders of Dermot's party. But they were not able to return back safe, for they were surrounded, prostrated, and unsparingly put to the sword by their enemies. What Dermot and his people committed on this occasion was the cause of lamentation, namely, the killing of the Baron and Thomas; for, though they were young in age, they were manly in renown and noble deeds.
A hosting was made by O'Neill (Hugh, the son of Ferdorcha, son of Con Bacagh) in the month of January in this year, and he proceeded to the south of Ireland, to confirm his friendship with his allies in the war, and to wreak his vengeance upon his enemies. When O'Neill left the province of Ulster, he passed along the borders of Meath and Breifny, and through Delvin-More, and did great injuries throughout the territory, and continued to waste it, until the Baron of Delvin (Christopher, the son of Richard, son of Christopher) came and submitted to O'Neill on his terms. He also totally spoiled Machaire-Cuircne, and all the possessions of Theobald Dillon. O'Neill afterwards marched to the gates of Athlone, and along the southern side of Clann-Colman, and through Kinel-Fiachach, into Fircall. In this country he remained encamped nine nights; and the people of Fircall, of Upper Leinster, and Westmeath, made full submission to him, and formed a league of friendship with him.
On leaving this country, O'Neill passed over the upper part of Slieve Bloom westwards, and sent forth three parties in one day to ravage Ely, because of the enmity he bore O'Carroll, Lord of Ely, i.e. Calvagh, the son of William Odhar, son of Ferganainm, and in revenge of the base murder and intolerable massacre which he had committed upon the gentlemen of the Mac Mahons of
p.2149Oriel, whom he had under his protection and in his service, as we have related, in the preceding year. The evil destiny deserved by that wicked deed befel the territory of Ely on this occasion, for all its moveable possessions, wealth, and riches were carried away, and nothing left in it but ashes instead of its corn, and embers in place of its mansions. Great numbers of their men, women, sons, and daughters were left in a dying and expiring state; and some gentlemen of his own tribe and kindred were left in opposition to O'Carroll in the territory.
After this O'Neill moved onwards to the borders of Bealach-mor-Muighe-dala, to Roscrea, to Ikerrin, and to Corco-Teineadh, from one encampment to another, until he arrived at the gate of the monastery of the Holy Cross. They had not been long here when the Holy Cross was brought out to shelter and to protect them; and the Irish presented great gifts, alms, and many offerings, to its keepers and the monks, in honour of the Lord of the Elements. They gave protection to the monastery and steward in respect to its houses and glebe-lands, and to all its inhabitants.
O'Neill remained for some time in the month of February on the borders of Southern Ely, also in the west of the country of the Butlers, in Cois-Siuire, and in Kilnamanagh.
The Earl of Ormond, i.e. Thomas, the son of James, son of Pierce Butler; the Earl of Kildare, i.e. Garret, the son of Edward, son of Garret; and the Baron of Delvin, i.e. Christopher, the son of Richard, son of Christopher, with all those who were in the service of, or in obedience to the Queen, from thence to Dublin, threatened every night to attack and assault O'Neill; but, though they meditated doing so, they did not accomplish it.
O'Neill afterwards proceeded to the gates of Cashel, and there came to him to that place the Earl of Desmond, who had been previously appointed by his own command, and on his authority, contrary to the statute of the Sovereign, James the son of Thomas Roe, son of James, son of John, and they were rejoiced to see each other. They afterwards proceeded westwards, across the
p.2151Suir, by the route of Cnamhchoill, Sliabh-Muice, by the east of Sliabh-Claire, and Bearna-dhearg, through Clann-Gibbon, through the country of the Roches, and through the territory of Barry More. O'Neill did not injure or waste any in these territories through which he passed, excepting those whom he found always opposed to him in inveterate enmity. He afterwards marched into the country of Barry More, who was always on the side of the Queen. The Barry at this time was David, the son of James, son of Richard, son of Thomas, son of Edmond; and, as he was loyal to the Queen, O'Neill remained in the territory until he traversed, plundered, and burned it, from one extremity to the other, both plain and wood, both level and rugged, so that no one hoped or expected that it could be inhabited for a long time afterwards. O'Neill then proceeded southward, across the River Lee, and pitched his camp between the Rivers Lee and Bandon, on the confines of Muskerry and Carbery. To this camp all the Mac Carthys, both southern and northern, came
p.2153into the house of O'Neill in this camp i.e. submitted to him. Thither repaired two who were at strife with each other concerning the Lordship of Desmond,
p.2155namely, the son of Mac Carthy Reagh, i.e. Fineen, the son of Donough, son of Donnell, son of Fineen, and Mac Carthy More, i.e. Donnell, son of Donnell,
p.2157son of Donnell, son of Cormac Ladhrach. Thither repaired the sons of the chiefs of Allow. Thither repaired the O'Donohoes, O'Donovans, and O'Mahonys,
p.2159and the greater number of the English and Irish of the two provinces of Munster (except those in the great towns), to submit and pay their homage
p.2161to O'Neill; and such of them as were not able to come to him sent him tokens of submission and presents, except Barry, before mentioned, and the Lord of Muskerry, i.e. Cormac, the son of Dermot Mac Carthy, and O'Sullivan Beare, i.e. Donnell, the son of Donnell, son of Dermot. O'Neill obtained eighteen hostages of the chieftains of Munster at that camp; and he remained twenty days examining the disputes and covenants of the men of Munster, and reconciling them to each other in their contentions.
Maguire, i.e. Hugh, the son of Cuconnaught, was along with O'Neill at this time. One day in the month of March of this year, a short time before the festival of St. Patrick, he sent out a troop of cavalry, and another of infantry, to scour the districts in the neighbourhood of the camp; and he did not halt till he arrived at the gates of Kinsale, and from thence he went to Rinn-Corrain, the castle of Barry Oge, in Cinel-Aedha. He afterwards returned back with preys and spoils, with a deal of accoutrements and flesh meat. As Maguire's people were fatigued at the end of the day, after a long journey, on account of the vastness of their plunders and spoils, they halted and encamped at the nearest convenient place, to protect their preys and spoils; but Maguire set out, resolved to make no stay or delay until he should arrive at O'Neill's camp. When Maguire had left the camp in the morning of that day, a message was sent to Cork to Sir Warham Salender, deputy of the Governor of the two provinces of Munster, acquainting him that Maguire had gone forth from the camp with a small force, as indeed he had, and mentioning the direction in which he had passed. Sir Warham did not neglect this thing, but immediately assembled a body of vigorous, well-armed, mail-clad horsemen, and marched with them from Cork to a narrow defile, by which he was sure Maguire would pass on his return back. He had not been long in this ambush when he saw
p.2163Maguire coming on with a small party of cavalry; and after perceiving each other, the person who had arrived thither did not retreat back, or exhibit a desire to shun, or an inclination to fly; but, rousing up his courage, as was his wont, he advanced forwards to kill his enemies, as he did on this occasion, for he and Sir Warham attacked each other fiercely and angrily, boldly and resolutely, and mutually wounded each other severely. But, however, Sir Warham was immediately slain by Maguire, and five of the horsemen who were along with Sir Warham were also slain by Maguire; but he was himself so deeply and severely wounded in that conflict, that he was not able to contend with an overwhelming force on that occasion, so that he passed through them without waiting for further contest; but he had not passed far from the scene of battle when he was overtaken by the languor of death, so that he was obliged to alight from his horse, and he expired immediately after. The death of Maguire
p.2165caused a giddiness of spirits, and depression of mind, in O'Neill and the Irish chiefs in general; and this was no wonder, for he was the bulwark of valour and prowess, the shield of protection and shelter, the tower of support and defence, and the pillar of the hospitality and achievements of the Oirghialla, and of almost all the Irish of his time.
Some assert that O'Neill would not have returned from Munster until the May following, had it not been for the death of Maguire. He proceeded to the south-east of Cork, and through the country of Barry More, Roche's country, and Clann-Gibbon. He then took his leave of the Munstermen, promising them that, if he could seize an opportunity during this war waged upon him by the English, he would return again to settle their disputes, confirm their covenants, and establish peace among them. He took with him to Tyrone some of their chieftains, as hostages and prisoners, and left others of them in the hands of the Earl of Desmond, and of Redmond, the son of John Burke. He transferred his own authority, and gave a warranty for the hiring of two thousand men, to Dermot O'Conor and the sons of John Burke, in the country of the Geraldines, in order that the Earl of Desmond might have their assistance. O'Neill then passed on through the direct roads by Cliadh-Mail-mhic-Ugaine, and by the Suir, keeping Cashel to the right; and although the Lord Justice and the President had a great army, by land and sea, having landed in Dublin in the first days of March, and the Earls of Thomond and Ormond were at Limerick, awaiting his return from the south, he passed by them on his return by the same roads through which he had gone to Munster, until he got back to Tyrone, without receiving battle, opposition, or attack, upon any road or pass, and without losing any person of note, except Maguire alone, as we have before stated.
The Earl of Ormond and the Earl of Thomond set out from Limerick along the Suir, in pursuit of O'Neill; but he having passed them without receiving battle or encounter, the Earl of Thomond burned corn and dwellings in Clann-Gibbon, the country of the White Knight. These two Earls then proceeded to the country of the Butlers, and to Kilkenny, where they passed Easter; and after the Easter holidays, they repaired to Dublin, to welcome and pay their respects to the new officers who had come to Ireland, namely, Lord Mountjoy,
p.2167as Lord Justice, and Sir George Carey, the President of the two provinces of Munster. After having paid this visit to Dublin, the Earls returned back without delay, accompanied by the President, until they arrived at Kilkenny.
It was not long after this when a day of meeting was appointed between the Earl of Ormond and Owny, the son of Rury Oge O'Moreach, to have an equal number of men in arms and armour, to hold a conference; and the Earl of Ormond brought the President and the Earl of Thomond to be present, at his own side, at that conference. When they arrived at the appointed place, which was in the neighbourhood of Bel-atha-Raghat, they began to state their mutual covenants, and to argue their claims on each other, until a gentleman
p.2169of Owny's people placed his hand on the reins of the bridle of the Earl of Ormond's horse, and finally determined to take him prisoner. When the President and the Earl of Thomond perceived this, they turned their horses back, and did not halt until they arrived at Kilkenny. The Earl of Thomond, however, was wounded in that encounter. Owny, the son of Rury, then took the Earl of Ormond with him into the fastnesses of his territory; and it was a wonderful news all over Ireland that the Earl of Ormond should be detained in that manner.
The week after the taking of the Earl, the President and the Earl of Thomond went from Kilkenny to Waterford, from thence to Youghal, and from Youghal to Cork. When the Earl of Desmond and Fineen, the son of Donough Mac Carthy, heard of their arrival at that place, they set out with all their forces; and, pitching an extensive camp of tents, they formed a wide circle on every side of Cork, north and south. Thus they remained for a whole fortnight, when Fineen Mac Carthy and the President concluded an armistice for a month. The armistice being agreed on, the Earl of Desmond went forth through the country to procure provisions for his retained soldiers. When the President and the Earl of Thomond learned that their adversaries had parted from each other, and that the road from Cork to Limerick was left open to them, they went forth with two or three hundred horsemen, and with one or two thousand soldiers, from Cork to Magh-Ealla, from thence to Kilmallock, and from thence
p.2171to Limerick. The Earl of Desmond then went into the Connelloes with numerous forces, to reconnoitre and watch the President and the Earl of Thomond.
At this time it was that a private interview had taken place between the President and the Earl of Thomond, on the one side, and Dermot, the son of Dubhaltach O'Conor, on the other. He was one who had been for a year before in the military service of the Earl of Desmond, for hire and wages, jewels and riches, and he had many hireling soldiers under his jurisdiction and command at this time. The resolution which his misfortune suggested to Dermot was, to deliver up the Earl of Desmond to the President and the Earl of Thomond, in consideration of receiving wealth and property, and the freedom and profits of an estate, for himself and every one who should adhere to him. He sent messengers
p.2173privately with these conditions to the President and the Earl, and they mutually ratified these covenants. Dermot did not neglect what he had taken in hand, for he took the Earl of Desmond prisoner, one day in the beginning of the January of this year, at a meeting of his own people, in the very middle of his own territory and land; for Dermot's power was great, and his men were numerous, in that territory. And, after having taken the Earl prisoner, he sent him to be incarcerated in one of the Earl's own castles, namely, in Caislen-an-Lisin, in the very heart of the country of the Fitzgeralds. He left a sufficient number of guards, consisting of Connaught kerns, to defend and guard the castle, along with the Earl, and to keep him there. He himself repaired to another part of the territory, and sent his messengers to the President and the Earl of Thomond, to tell them the news, and to demand what had been promised him for securing the Earl.
As soon as the Geraldines heard of the capture of the Earl, and the perilous position in which he was placed, the descendants of Maurice Fitzgerald collected from every quarter, on a certain day, to the neighbourhood of Caislen-an-Lisin. Thither repaired Mac Maurice of Kerry, i.e. Patrickin, the son of Thomas, son of Edmond; the Knight of Kerry, i.e. William, the son of John, son of William; the Knight of Glin, i.e. Edmond, the son of John, son of Thomas; the White Knight, i.e. Edmond, the son of John; and the brother of the Earl himself, i.e. John, the son of Thomas Roe; and a gentleman of the Burkes, whose name was William, the son of John of the Shamrocks, son of Richard Saxonagh, who had been retained in the service of the Earl since he had been appointed Earl until then. All these having met together, they were not long in consultation when they came to the resolution to divide themselves in four divisions for the four quarters of the castle, and proceed forthwith to attack it, and not to look to the love of body or precious life, until they should rescue the Earl by consent or violence. They then advanced straight forward until they arrived at the walls of the castle; and they felt not the resistance or opposition they received, and they made little account of the numbers of their men who were killed and destroyed, until at last they took the castle from the warders, and rescued the Earl out, in despite of them, without,
p.2175indeed, paying the price of his ransom, and he himself without being wounded or losing a drop of blood. They extended mercy and protection to the warders.
This capture of the Earl of Desmond had spread abroad to disrespect and dishonour of Dermot O'Conor; and when the Earl went among his people he gave warning to Dermot, and to every Connaughtman who was with him, and to their kerns, to quit the country. This they immediately did; and they carried with them from the country of the Geraldines much wealth, moveable property, and cattle; and it would be difficult to enumerate all the different kinds of spoils which the Connaughtmen carried off from the Geraldines before and after their contentions with each other on this occasion.
In the beginning of July following, the President and the Earl of Thomond set out from Limerick with a fine muster of soldiers, and marched westwards along the northern side of the Shannon, through the county of Clare, until they arrived at Baile-Mic-Colmain, in the cantred of East Corca-Bhaiscinn; and from this they ferried themselves across the Shannon to Cloch-Gleanna, a castle on the southern bank of the Shannon.
The castle at which this great host had gathered was one of the castles of the Knight of Glin; it is situated in Gleann-Corbraighe, from which it received the name of Cloch-Gleanna, and the Knight the appellation of Ridire-an-Ghleanna. Heavy ordnance were brought in vessels from Limerick to meet the Earl and the President here. Having sat before the castle, they reduced it in two days, and made a breach in it with the heavy ordnance. They then rushed into it from every side, and slew a score or two of gentlemen and plebeians of the Knight's people, who were guarding the castle, together with some women and children. Some of the President's and Earl's men were also slain by the warders; and it would not have been easy to take the castle were it not that the Earl of Desmond's people had previously dispersed from him.
As soon as O'Conor Kerry, i.e. John, the son of Conor, heard that the forces of the country had been thinned, and that the castle of Glin had been taken without difficulty or danger, he repaired to the President and the Earl, and promised thenceforward to be on the side of his Sovereign. He gave up his
p.2177castle, i.e. Carraic-an-phuill, upon certain covenants and conditions, to the President and the Earl.
As soon as it was generally heard through Kerry and Clanmaurice that the Queen's people had gained this triumph over their enemies, they the inhabitants proceeded to demolish their castles; and, leaving their mansions and residences wide open, they brought their women and families to the rear of their rough-headed hills, and their shady and solitary woods along the River Mang, and in the vicinity of Desmond.
When the President and the Earl (i.e. of Thomond) learned that the greater number of the inhabitants of the country, on each side of the Fial and the Casan, had fled from their habitations, they placed garrisons in the castle of Lixnaw, the residence of Mac Maurice, as also in Carraic-an-phuill, the Rock of Glin, Askeaton, Fianaind, Tralee, Ardfert, and Lis-Cathain, and throughout all the castles of Clanmaurice, excepting Lis-Tuathail. The President and the Earl of Thomond returned to Limerick, having gained the victory on that expedition; and the greater part of the inhabitants of Connello, in the county of Limerick, and of Kerry, came to them, having turned against the Earl of Desmond, and joined their Sovereign.
Mac Maurice of Kerry, i.e. Patrickin, the son of Thomas, son of Edmond, son of Thomas, died in the prime of his life, after having joined the Earl of Desmond in the aforesaid war. It was a cause of lamentation that a man of his personal form, blood, and hospitality, should thus die in his youth. His son, Thomas, assumed his place.
The Roche, i.e. Maurice, the son of David, son of Maurice, son of David, died in the month of June of this year. He was a mild and comely man, learned in the Latin, Irish, and English languages. His son, i.e. David, took his place.
O'Carroll, i.e. Calvagh, the son of William Odhar, son of Ferganainm, son of Mulrony, was killed, in the month of July, by some petty gentlemen of the O'Carrolls and O'Meaghers. This Calvagh was a fierce and protecting man, a strong arm against his English and Irish neighbours, and a knight in title and honour by authority of the Sovereign.
In this summer many conflicts, battles, sanguinary massacres, and bloodsheds, in which countless troops were cut off, took place between the English and Irish of Leinster.
Owny O'More set the Earl of Ormond at liberty in the month of June, having received in his place sixteen hostages, consisting of the eldest sons and heirs of the most honourable gentlemen who were subject to the Earl, as pledges for the fulfilment of every condition and article agreed upon for his liberation.
The same Owny, son of Rury Oge, son of Rury Caech O'More, who had been for some time an illustrious, renowned, and celebrated gentleman, was slain by the Queen's people in an overwhelming and fierce battle which was fought between them on the borders of Leix, in the month of August of this year. His death was a great check to the valour, prowess, and heroism of the Irish of Leinster and of all Ireland. He was, by right, the sole heir to his territory of Leix, and had wrested the government of his patrimony, by the prowess of his hand and the resoluteness of his heart, from the hands of foreigners and adventurers, who had its fee-simple possession passing into a prescribed right for some time before, and until he brought it under his own sway and jurisdiction, and under the government of his stewards and bonnaghts, according to the Irish usage; so that there was not one village, from one extremity of his patrimony to the other, which he had not in his possession, except Port-Leix Maryborough alone.
After his strange insurgents had dispersed from the Earl of Desmond, he repaired with his few remaining forces to Castlemaine. None of the Geraldine chieftains now sided with or assisted him, except the son of that Mac Maurice whose death we have recorded, namely, Thomas, the son of Patrickin, the Knight of Glin, and Pierce Oge De Lacy.
A letter came from England to Munster in the month of July recte October of this year, the purport of which was, that the young son of the Earl of Desmond, i.e. James, the son of Garrett, son of James, son of John, who was detained by the Queen as a hostage, in revenge of his father and father's brothers having rebelled against her, had been released from his captivity by the Queen, after he had gone under her mercy, and after he had been kept by her twenty-one years in captivity. It was, moreover, ordered in this letter that it should be proclaimed throughout the assemblies and great towns of Munster that this young, son, i.e. James, the son of Garrett, was going over as an honourable Earl, by the authority of the Sovereign; and that every one in his country who
p.2183was in rebellion would now, upon their return to the Sovereign and this young Earl, obtain a restoration of their blood and honours, and a pardon of their crimes. This young Earl arrived in Ireland, accompanied by a great force, in the month of October following. Upon his arrival in Cork, the President and the Earl of Thomond repaired thither to welcome him. They all afterwards came to Mallow, Kilmallock, and to Limerick. All the inhabitants of the country of the Geraldines, upon beholding the true representative of the family, came to this young Earl; and the people who had the keeping of Castlemaine for James, the son of Thomas, gave it up to the young Earl, i.e. to James, the son of Garrett; and the Earl gave the possession of it to the President. There was then no town in the possession of Mac Maurice, i.e. Thomas, except Listowel alone, as we have said; and even this was taken in the month of November by Sir Charles Volment, the Governor of Kerry.
The daughter of the Earl of Thomond, Honora, the daughter of Conor, son of Donough O'Brien, and wife of the Mac Maurice we have mentioned, died from the plundering and insurrection of her husband, and came to her native territory under the protection of the President and the Earl of Thomond, and afterwards died at Dangan-Mac-Mahon, and was buried in the monastery of Ennis.
The Chief Constable of the Geraldines, i.e. Rory, the son of Manus, son of Edmond Mac Sheehy, died.
Dermot, the son of Dubhaltach, son of Tuathal O'Conor, on leaving the Geraldines, after the Earl of Desmond (James, the son of Thomas), whom he had taken prisoner, had been forcibly rescued from him, proceeded to Cluainte, in the country of O'Conor Roe. He had obtained a protection from the Lord Justice (who was doing the Queen's service in Leinster and Ulster in the autumn of this year), until this young Earl of Desmond, i.e. James, the son of Garrett, of whom we have treated, had arrived in Ireland. On his arrival he sent for Dermot, for Dermot had married a sister of this Earl while on his military sojourn in the country of the Geraldines the year before; and it is said by some that it was through her the capture of James, the son of Thomas, was effected, in order that she might the more easily obtain her own brother, by delivering the other in his stead. As soon as the Earl's letter reached Dermot, he prepared to go, at his invitation, by the permission and protection of the Lord Justice and the President of the two provinces of Munster. But, as he was passing in a north-west direction through the province of Connaught, to cross the Shannon to Limerick, he was pursued by Theobald-na-Long, the son of Richard-an-Iarainn, and by David, the son of Ulick-na-Timchill, through enmity; and they overtook him in the vicinity of Gort-innse-Guaire, and, finding Dermot attended only by a small number of troops, they beheaded him. Though he was found in this condition, these people would not have dared to attack him thus a short time before, for he was a leader of fifteen hundred men, and he himself was a stout champion. But no man can escape death when his last day has arrived.
The Lord of Sliabh-Ardacha, i.e. James, the son of Pierce, son of James Butler, died in the winter of this year.
Redmond Burke, the son of John of the Shamrocks, son of James, son of Richard Saxonagh, was at this time an illustrious and celebrated gentleman, according to the usages of the Irish. He and his brothers, John Oge, William, and Thomas, remained in the two Ormonds, and in Ely, during the summer, autumn, and winter, of this year; and so great and numerous were the troops and forces of these sons of John Burke, that they ravaged and desolated all the adjacent territories and cantreds. They took many castles on this occasion in Ely and Ormond, among which were Suidhe-an-roin, Bel-atha-Dun-Gair, and Cuil-O'nDubhain, in Ely; and Port-a-Tolchain, in Ormond.
After the fall of Owny, the son of Rury Oge O'More, as we have related, Leix was seized by the English; and they proceeded to repair their mansions of lime and stone, and to settle in the old seats of the race of Conall Cearnach, to whom Leix was the hereditary principality, for there was no heir worthy of it like Owny, to defend it against them.
The O'Conors Faly, namely, the descendants of Brian, the son of Cahir, son of Con, son of Calvagh, were for three or four years in the Irish confederation, up to this time. During this period they took and destroyed the most of the castles of Offaly, and, indeed, all, except Dangan and a few others. About Lammas this year the Lord Justice came into their country with many harrows and pracas, with many scythes and sickles, and destroyed and reaped the ripe and unripe crops of the territory; and the consequence of this was, that the inhabitants fled, and remained in exile and banishment in Ulster and other territories until the end of this year.
Donnell Spaineach, the son of Donough; son of Cahir Carragh Kavanagh, made peace with the Lord Justice in autumn. The sons of Fiagh, son of Hugh, son of John O'Byrne, likewise made peace with him. The English fleet, which had been ordered by the Queen and Council of England to be sent, by Patrick's Day, against the province of Ulster, at the time that Lord Mountjoy was appointed Lord Justice over Ireland, as we have said, was being prepared and equipped, without delay or neglect, with all the necessary engines, in England; for it was a great annoyance of mind to the Queen and the Councils there and here that the Kinel-Owen, the Kinel-Connell, and Ulstermen in general, and those who were in alliance with them, had made so long a defence and stand against them; and they also called to mind, and it preyed like a latent disease upon their hearts, all of their people that had been slain and destroyed, and of their wealth that they had expended, in carrying on the Irish war till then, so that they resolved to send this fleet to Ireland; and it arrived in the harbour of Dublin in the month of April of this year. From thence they set out in the very beginning of summer (by advice of the
p.2191Earl of Clanrickard and of the Earl of Thomond); and they were ordered to put into the harbour of the Lake of Feabhal, son of Lodan. They then sailed,
p.2193keeping their left to Ireland, until they put into the harbour of that place, as they had been directed. After landing, they erected on both sides of the harbour three forts, with trenches sunk in the earth, as they had been ordered in England. One of these forts, i.e. Dun-na-long, was erected on O'Neill's part of the country, in the neighbourhood of Oireacht-Ui-Chathain; and two in O'Donnell's country, one at Cuil-mor, in O'Doherty's country, in the cantred of Inishowen, and the other to the south-west of that, at Derry-Columbkille. The English immediately commenced sinking ditches around themselves, and raising a strong mound of earth and a large rampart, so that they were in a state to hold out against enemies. These were stronger and more secure than courts of lime and stone, or stone forts, in the erection of which much time and great labour might be spent. After this they tore down the monastery and cathedral, and destroyed all the ecclesiastical edifices in the town, and erected houses and apartments of them. Henry Docwra was the name of the general who was over them. He was an illustrious Knight, of wisdom and prudence, a pillar of battle and conflict. Their number was six thousand men. When these arrived at Derry they made little account of Culmore or Dun-na-long. The English were a long time prevented, by fear and dread, from going outside the fortifications, except to a short distance; and a great number of them were on the watch every night, that they might not be attacked unawares; so that they were seized with distemper and disease, on account of the narrowness of the place in which they were, and the heat of the summer season. Great numbers of them died of this sickness.
As for O'Donnell, when he perceived that they were not in the habit of going outside their encampments, through fear and dread, he made no account of them, and assembled his forces, to proceed into the south of Connaught, to plunder the countries that lay on both sides of Sliabh-Echtge, and especially Thomond. He had good reason for this, indeed, for it was these Earls, namely, the Earl of Clanrickard and the Earl of Thomond, who had requested the Lord Justice and the Council to send over this great army, to keep him in his own
p.2195territory, away from them, for they deemed it too often that he had gone into their territories. Having adopted this resolution, he left O'Doherty, chieftain of Inishowen, i.e. John Oge, the son of John, son of Felim O'Doherty, to watch the foreigners, that they might not come to plunder his territory. He also left Niall Garv O'Donnell, and some of his army, encamped against them on the west side, between them and the cantred of Enda, son of Niall. He then mustered his forces, to proceed westwards across the River Erne. He took with him on this hosting, in the first place, all those who were under his jurisdiction in Ulster; and the Connacians, from the River Suck to the Drowes, and from the west of Tirawly to Breifny O'Reilly, were expecting and awaiting his arrival at Ballymote, whither they were gone at his summons. Among the Connaughtmen who awaited him there were O'Rourke (Brian Oge, the son of Brian, son of Brian Ballagh, son of Owen); O'Conor Sligo (Donough, the son of Cathal Oge, son of Teige, son of Cathal Oge), together with the people of the districts which lie from Coirrshliabh northwards to the sea; O'Conor Roe (Hugh, the son of Turlough Roe, son of Teige Boy, son of Cathal Roe), with all his muster; Mac Dermot of Moylurg, i.e. Conor, son of Teige, son of Owen, son of Teige, with his people; and Mac William Burke, i.e. Theobald, the son of Walter Kittagh, son of John, son of Oliver, with his muster.
When O'Donnell and his forces out of Ulster had joined these Connaughtmen at Ballymote, he marched through Corran, through the middle of Magh-Ai-an-Fhinnbheannaigh, through Clann-Conway, and through the territory of Maine, son of Eochaidh, and the level part of Clanrickard, without giving battle or skirmish, and without killing or losing a man; and he halted and pitched his camp in the west of Clanrickard, in the Oireacht-Redmond, on the evening of Saturday, the Tuesday following being the festival of St. John. On this occasion, notice of his approach was sent into Thomond before him by spies; and they thought that he would not move from the place where he was stopping on Saturday night till daylight on Monday morning. But this is not what he
p.2197did, but rose up at day-break on Sunday morning, and marched forward through Oireacht-Redmond, through Cinel-Aedha, through Cinel-Donghaile,and through Upper Clann-Cuilein, and before the middle of that day had passed westwards across the River Fergus, after having plundered the greater part of these districts. On that night O'Donnell pitched his camp on the banks of the Fergus, to the west of Clonroad, after having plundered the entire of Ennis, except the monastery. He sent forth marauding parties, to plunder the surrounding districts; and far and wide did these parties spread themselves about the country; for from that time of the day till night they traversed, burned, plundered, and ravaged the region extending from Craig-Ui-Chiardhubhain, in the lower part of the frontiers of the Cantred of the Islands, to Cathair-Murchadha in West recte East Corca-Bhaiscinn, to the gates of Kilmurry of Cathair-Ruis, and of Magh in Hy-Bracain to the gate of Baile-Eoin-Gabhann in Corcomroe, and of Both-Neill in Kinel-Fearmaic. Many a feast, fit for a goodly gentleman, or for the lord of a territory, was enjoyed throughout Thomond this night by parties of four or five men, under the shelter of a shrubbery, or at the side of a bush.
On the following morning, Monday, O'Donnell set out with his forces from their tents and pavilions, steadily and slowly, without pursuit or hurry; and they proceeded on their way diagonally across Thomond, exactly in a north-easterly direction, through the east of Hy-Cormaic and the level of Kinel-Fearmaic, and through Burren, and arrived before night, with their preys and spoils, at the monastery of Corcomroe, and at Carcair-na-gCleireach. The troops continued scouring and traversing the country around them while daylight
p.2199remained; so that they left no habitation or mansion worthy of note which they did not burn and totally destroy. All the country behind them, as far as they could see around on every side, was enveloped in one dark cloud of vapour and smoke; and, during the entire of that day, the vastness of the dark clouds of smoke that rose over them aloft in every place to which they directed their course, was enough to set them astray on their route.
On the following day, Tuesday, O'Donnell and his forces rose up and proceeded through the rocky passes of White Burren, and through the close and narrow road of Carcair, without receiving battle or skirmish, and without being followed or pursued, until they reached the mansions on the smooth plain of Meadhraighe. They remained that night on the hill of Cnoc-an-ghearrain-bhain, between Kilcolgan and Galway. On the following day they divided the spoils and booty among one another at that place; and each party of them were then guiding and closely driving their own lawful portions of the property along the roads of the fair province of Connaught. The journey which they performed on that day was not a long one, for they were weary and fatigued, not having been able to sleep on the night before, through fear of being attacked by the enemies whose country they had plundered. Having now altogether laid aside their apprehensions, they made an encampment for the night before they had gone far. Their servants and attendants proceeded to prepare their dinner, and, having taken food till they were satisfied, they retired to rest until morning, when the army, rising from their slumber, proceeded on their journey. O'Donnell permitted MacWilliam and those who had come from Iar-Connaught to return to their homes. He set out himself in a directly eastern direction, along the common roads, until he arrived, at the end of the day, in Conmaicne-Cuile-Tolaigh, in the very centre of the province, where he remained for that night.
On the next day O'Donnell ordered his people to send away all their cattle-spoils and plunders home to their houses, and to let their servants and the unarmed and wounded go along with them. Among those of their chiefs who were mortally wounded at this time were Teige Oge, the son of Niall, son of Niall Roe, son of Turlough Bearnach O'Boyle; and Duigin, the son of Maccon,
p.2201son of Cucogry O'Clery; who were both accidentally wounded by another party of O'Donnell's people, as they were attacking Clar-mor upon the Earl of Thomond. From this Clar the county of Clare is named. The two aforesaid died on the road, returning home; and they were both carried to their territories, and were buried at Donegal.
O'Donnell sent a large party of his warriors and soldiers with the preys and people aforesaid, to clear the way for them; and he advised O'Rourke and his people, and the other Connaughtmen in general, to return home. O'Donnell retained five hundred heroes of his choice soldiers, and sixty horsemen, of his own faithful people. They remained in the camp in which they had been the night before until after mid-day. They then proceeded through the province in a south-easterly direction, and arrived, by the twilight of the following morning, at Loughrea. This was the chief residence of the Earl of Clanrickard. They sent out marauding parties in every direction to plunder the country; and these collected all the cattle and herds in their neighbourhood in every direction, and brought them to one place. They came with their preys eastwards across the province, and on Sunday pitched their camp with them near the borders of the province, to the south of the Suck, where they remained until Monday morning. On this day (Monday) they proceeded across Athleague, and through the plain of Nai, son of Allgubha i.e. Machaire-Chonnacht, and in the evening arrived at Seaghais, where they encamped northwards of the river for that night. On the next day they crossed Coirrshliabh-na-Seaghsa, and proceeded through the territory of Corran to Ballymote. The forces then dispersed for their homes with spoils and riches.
The son of O'Neill, namely, Sir Art, the son of Turlough Luineach, son of Niall Conallagh, son of Art, son of Con, went over to assist the English, who were fortified at Dun-na-long, in order to wage war against O'Neill. This Art died among the English.
As for O'Donnell, he remained with his troops, without making any excursion out of Tirconnell, from the time that he returned from the aforesaid expedition in Thomond to the September following. After his soldiers and
p.2203hirelings had within this period rested themselves, he summoned them to him, to see whether he could get any advantage of the English. He was informed
p.2205that the horses of the English were sent out every day, under the charge of a party of English cavalry, to graze upon a grassy field that was opposite the
p.2207town, i.e. Derry; when he heard this, he began to meditate how he could make a descent upon those horses; and this is what he did: he took privately, in the darkness of the night, a large party of his soldiers, and a squadron of cavalry (amounting to no less than six hundred, between horse and foot), to the brink of a steep rocky valley, which was on the flat mountain to the north of Derry, from whence they could plainly see the people of the town, who could not easily see them. He placed a small party of his cavalry in ambush for the horses and their keepers, at concealed places not far from the town, so as to prevent them from returning to the town when they should wish to do so. They remained thus in ambush until the break of day, when they perceived the horses with their keepers coming across the bridge as usual. O'Donnell's cavalry set out after them, and attacked and slew some of the keepers; but others made their escape by means of the fleetness and swiftness of their horses. O'Donnell's people then commenced driving off as many of the English horses as had been left behind in their power. The main body of their own force coming up to assist them against the English, they sent the horses before them. O'Donnell ordered a party of his cavalry to go off with the horses to a secure place, and not to wait for himself at all until they should reach a secure place. This was accordingly done; and O'Donnell remained behind, with a body of his cavalry which he selected and with his foot soldiers.
When the English perceived that their horses had been taken away from them, they immediately arose, and, taking their arms, set out in pursuit of O'Donnell. The General, Sir Henry Docwra, with his horsemen mounted on their horses (i.e. such of them as retained their horses in secure places, and had not lost them on that occasion), joined in the pursuit as rapidly as they were able. When O'Donnell saw the cavalry of the English in full speed after him, he remained behind his infantry with his troop of cavalry, until the English
p.2209came up with him. They made a courageous attack upon O'Donnell for the recovery of their spoils, and of what was under their protection. O'Donnell sustained the onset valiantly and resolutely; and a fierce battle was fought them. One of O'Donnell's kinsmen, namely, Hugh, the son of Hugh Duv, son of Hugh Roe, made a well-aimed cast of a javelin at the General, Sir Henry Docwra, and, striking him directly in the forehead, wounded him very severely. When the General was thus pierced, he returned back; and the English, seeing their chief, their adviser, and their mighty man, wounded, returned home in sorrow and disgrace, and pursued their horses no further. O'Donnell's people proceeded to their tents, and, on reckoning the horses which they had carried off, they found them to exceed two hundred in number. O'Donnell afterwards divided the horses among his gentlemen, according to their deserts.
O'Donnell remained besieging the English, without moving from his territory, until the end of October, when he began to make preparations to go again into Thomond, to plunder it. After having come to this resolution, he assembled his forces, and made no delay until he came westwards across the Sligo, and to Ballymote. He left Niall Garv, the son of Con, son of Calvagh, son of Manus O'Donnell, behind him in the territory, to defend it against the English, and prevent them from plundering it.
The English now began privately to entreat and implore Niall Garv O'Donnell to join them, offering to confer the chieftainship of the territory upon him, should they prove victorious. They promised him, moreover, many rewards and much wealth, if he would come over to their alliance. He listened for a long time to their offers; and his misfortune at length permitted him to go over to them, by the evil counsel of envious and proud people who were along with him; but for this he was afterwards sorry. His three brothers, namely, Hugh Boy, Donnell, and Con, joined him in this revolt. The English were, no doubt, the better of their going over to them; for they were weary
p.2211and fatigued for want of sleep and rest every night, through fear of O'Donnell; and they were diseased and distempered in consequence of the narrowness of their situation, and the old victuals, the salt and bitter flesh-meat they used, and from the want of fresh meat, and other necessaries to which they had been accustomed. Niall O'Donnell provided them with every thing they stood in need of, and relieved them from the narrow prison in which they were confined. He took ten hundred warriors with him to Lifford, a town upon the banks of the same lough, and a celebrated residence of O'Donnell; but at this time the place was not fortified; for there had not been any strong fortress or castle of lime and stone there for a long time before (the one there last having been destroyed), or any thing but a small rampart of earth and sods, surrounded by a narrow, shallow ditch of water, as preparations for the erection of a fortress similar to the one which had been there before.
The guards, as soon as they perceived the English approaching, vacated this fort through dread and fear, because O'Donnell was not near to assist them. The English thereupon entered the fort and raised large mounds and ramparts of earth and stone to shelter them; so that they were sufficiently fortified to hold out against their enemies.
One of O'Donnell's faithful people followed after him with information concerning the state of the country, and told him what had happened in his absence. O'Donnell was much surprised and amazed that his kinsman and brother-in-law had thus turned against him, for Nuala, the sister of O'Donnell, was the wife of Niall. O'Donnell returned from the province of Connaught; for he had not passed westwards beyond Ballymote when the news overtook him, and his forces as quickly as they were able; but no part of his soldiers were able to keep pace with him, except a few of his cavalry, and he arrived in the neighbourhood of Lifford aforesaid. The English had not been able to make preys or depredations before O'Donnell returned back, but were employed strengthening their fortress, and erecting ramparts; and when they heard that O'Donnell had arrived, they were afraid to come out of their fort for anything they wanted.
O'Donnell remained at a place not far from the English, until some of his
p.2213foot-soldiers had come up with him. O'Donnell thought it too long the English remained without being attacked, and he did not wait for the coming up of the main body of his army, but exhibited before the English the small number he had, on the south side of Cruachan-Lighean, to the north of the river. When the English perceived him they marched out to meet him, with Niall Garv O'Donnell and his brothers in the van, as leaders of the battle. They skirmished with each other, but there was no obstinate conflict on that first day, though they continued in readiness for each other; for the English thought that O'Donnell was in want of forces, as he really was; and fearing that an ambush might be laid for them, so that they did not wish to go far from the town for that reason. It was the same case with O'Donnell's people. It would be unwise in them to come in collision with the enemy so near their fort, with the small force of which they consisted. They at length separated from each other, though not in peace or friendship. Some were wounded on both sides by the discharging of javelins, arrows, and leaden balls; but more of O'Donnell's people were wounded in this skirmish on account of the fewness of their number.
The English then proceeded to their houses, and O'Donnell and his people went to their tents; and it was with anger and indignation that O'Donnell returned thither; for it grieved him that his army had not come up with him on that day; for he was certain that, if he had had them with him at that time, the English would not have escaped from him as they had. O'Donnell afterwards, when his army had come up with him, laid a close siege to the English, and pitched his camp within two thousand paces of Lifford above-mentioned, in order to protect his husbandmen, so that they might save the corn crops in the neighbourhood of the English. He sent out spies and scouts every night to reconnoitre the town, and not to permit any one to pass in or out, unless they should pass southwards across the river; and he left no road or passage within one thousand paces of the town upon which he did not post guards and ambuscades, to watch and spy the English, and hinder them from passing out unnoticed, but especially the sons of Con O'Donnell and their people, for these he considered
p.2215were difficult to be watched, and it was on account of them that his sentinels and ambuscades were so numerous.
He remained here for the period of thirty days, during which time the people of the country were enabled to save their corn and carry it away in small baskets and sacks, on steeds and horses, into the fastnesses of the country beyond the reach of their enemies.
On one occasion O'Donnell, before he left this camp, went towards the English, to see if he could induce them to come outside the fortifications on the level plain. When O'Donnell's people had arrived opposite the town, the English began to reconnoitre them; but they did not sally out against them, for they perceived it was to offer defiance and challenge for battle they had come. O'Donnell's people then returned back when they did not obtain what they wanted, and they halted for some time on the brink of a river called Dael, a short distance to the north of the town. Large parties of them went to their tents, and about other business, for they did not think that the English would follow them on that day. When Niall Garv O'Donnell perceived O'Donnell's people scattered and unprepared for action, he told the English that they ought now to attack them. The English at his bidding armed themselves quietly and silently in the centre of their fortifications, in order that their enemies could not see them until they were armed and accoutred. When they were ready they sallied out from their fortifications in battle array, and then, with Niall and his brothers and people in the van, advanced against O'Donnell's people.
O'Donnell saw them advancing, and rejoiced at seeing them coming; and he placed his soldiers in their proper stations fronting them, with their warlike weapons; and he did not permit to shoot at them until they had arrived at the opposite bank of the river. They afterwards met together hand to hand, and a sharp and furious battle was fought between both parties. The two hosts of cavalry rushed to the charge, and began to fight with large spears and greenheaded lances. Niall O'Donnell gave Manus, brother of O'Donnell, a thrust of a sharp, long lance under the shoulder-blade, and, piercing the armour with which he was clad, he buried it in his body, and wounded his internal
p.2217parts. When Rury O'Donnell, Roydamna of Kinel-Connell, perceived his brother wounded, he made a brave attack upon Niall, and aimed a forcible and furious thrust of a large javelin at Niall's breast; but Niall raised up the front of the high-rearing foreign steed which he rode, so that the spear struck the steed in the forehead, and penetrated to his brain. Rury broke the socket of the javelin in drawing it back by the thong, and left the iron blade buried in the horse; so that he held but the handle of it in his hand. The steed finally died of this. Wo is me that these heroes of Kinel-Connell were not united in fight on one side against their enemies, and that they were not at peace; for, while they remained so, they were not banished or driven from their native territories, as they afterwards were!
As for the English, while the cavalry were battling with each other, they faced O'Donnell's infantry in a body, and drove them a short distance before them; but, however, only a few of them were wounded; for the English did not pursue them from the field of contest, because their leader had been wounded in the conflict; and they were obliged to return with him to Lifford, where he afterwards died. A great number of O'Donnell's people pursued them for a long distance, and continued to shoot at and cut them down with the sword, so that numbers of them were slain and wounded. The pursuers thought that they should have defeated them the enemy if the main host pursued them further; but fear did not permit those who had been repulsed in the beginning to pursue them again.
When the English went away O'Donnell returned to his tents. And dispirited and melancholy were they that night in the camp, on account of the son of their chief, and their Roydamna (if he should survive his brothers),
p.2219being in a dying state. As soon as O'Donnell arrived at the camp he ordered a litter of fair wattles to be made for Manus O'Donnell, on which to carry him over Barnis. This was according to orders. Many of his dear friends and faithful people accompanied him to Donegal, where a sick man's couch was prepared for him, and O'Donnell's physicians were brought to cure him; but they could effect no cure for him. They gave him up for death. There was a monastery in the neighbourhood of the fortress in which were sons of life of the order of St. Francis; and the wisest of these were wont to visit him, to hear his confession, to preach to him, and to confirm his friendship with the Lord. He made his confession without concealment, wept for his sins against God, repented his evil thoughts and pride during life, and forgave him who had wounded him, declaring that he himself was the cause, as he had made the first attack. Thus he remained for a week, prepared for death every day, and a select father of the aforesaid order constantly attending him, to fortify him against the snares of the devil. He received then the body of the Lord, and afterwards died on the 22nd of October, having gained the victory over the devil and the world. He was interred in the burial-place of his ancestors, in the aforenamed monastery.
His father, i.e. Hugh, the son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv, was at this time a very old man, living in a state of dotage near the monastery. He was informed of the death of his son; he was greatly affected; and he was in a decline for some time afterwards. His confessors were always instructing him respecting the welfare of his soul.
This Hugh, the son of Manus, son of Hugh Oge, son of Hugh Roe, son of Niall Garv, died on the 7th of December. He had been Lord of Tirconnell, Inishowen, and Lower Connaught, for twenty-six years, until he was weakened by the English, and bestowed his lordship, with his blessing, on his son, Hugh Roe, after he had escaped from the English. This Hugh, the son of Manus, had attained the lordship after the death of his brother Calvagh, without treachery or fratricide, war or disturbance. He was a valiant and warlike man, and victorious in his fights and battles before and during his chieftainship, and the preyer and plunderer of the territories far and near that were bound
p.2221to obey him, asserting the right of his tribe from them until he made them obedient to him; a man who had laid aside the cares and anxieties of the world after having given up his lordship to his son, and who was a good; earner in the sight of God, meriting rewards for his soul for a period of eight years until he died at this period. He was interred with due honour and veneration in the monastery of St. Francis at Donegal, in the burial-place of the lords who had successively preceded him. As for O'Donnell, at the expiration of the thirty days during which he continued besieging the English, he prepared to leave the place in which he had been during that period, and to go to another place not less secure, a little further from the English, on the west brink of the River Finn, between them and Barnis; for he was afraid of the effects of the cold, rough, wintry season on his soldiers, who were watching and guarding every night against the English; for it was then Allhallowtide; and he thought it time to bring his army to a place of rest after their great labour, for they had not slept at ease for a long time. The forces proceeded to the aforesaid place. They pitched a camp under the shelter of the wood that was in the vicinity of the river. They erected military tents and habitations, and proceeded to cut down the trees around them, and raised a strong rampart between themselves and their enemies, so that it was difficult to get across it to attack them. Here he passed the time until news reached him that two ships had arrived from Spain to the Irish who were engaged in the war, with money and arms, powder and lead. These ships put in at the harbour of Invermore in Connaught. He sent the same news to O'Neill, and went himself to Connaught in the month of December; leaving after him his brother, Rury O'Donnell, with the greater part of his forces, in the camp which we have mentioned, to defend the country. On his arrival in Tireragh of the Moy, he sent messengers to the above-mentioned ships, to request them to come into the harbour of Killybegs. He remained himself at Dun-Neill; for it was the festival of the Nativity of the Lord, and he solemnized the first days of the festival with due veneration. News came to him that O'Neill had come after him into the country; and he delayed no longer, but set out to meet O'Neill. They met soon after on the road, face to
p.2223face, and went forthwith to Donegal. Thither the chiefs of the North went to meet them.
The ships aforementioned put in at the harbour of Teilionn, near Killybegs. All the money and other necessaries that were in them which were sent to the Irish chiefs were brought to them to Donegal, and divided into two parts, of which O'Neill and his confederates in the war received one, and O'Donnell and his allies the other.
Joan, the daughter of Maguire (Cuconnaught, usually styled the Coarb, son of Cuconnaught, son of Brian, son of Philip, son of Thomas), and the wife of the Baron O'Neill, i.e. Ferdoragh, the son of Con, son of Con, son of Henry, son of Owen, died. She was the mother of O'Neill (Hugh), and of his brother, Cormac. After the killing of the Baron, she was married to Henry, the son of Felim Roe, son of Art, son of Hugh, son of Owen, son of Niall Oge O'Neill, for whom she bore a prosperous son, namely, Turlough; a woman who was the pillar of support and maintenance of the indigent and the mighty, of the poets and exiled, of widows and orphans, of the clergy and men of science, of the poor and the needy; a woman who was the head of counsel and advice to the gentlemen and chiefs of the province of Conor Mac Nessa; a demure, womanly, devout, charitable, meek, benignant woman, with pure piety, and the love of God and her neighbours. She died at Machaire-na-croise on the 22nd of June, and was interred in the monastery of Donegal, after receiving the body and blood of Christ, after unction and penance, after having made many donations to the orders of the Church of God, and more especially to the monastery of Donegal, that she might be prayed for there among the dead.
A hosting was made by the Lord Justice of Ireland, Lord of Mountjoy, in the month of September, to proceed into Tyrone. He marched first to Drogheda, thence to Dundalk and Bealach-an-mhaighre. O'Neill came to the other end of the pass. When the Lord Justice learned that O'Neill had arrived at that place, he pitched a camp at his own end of the pass; so that the pass was not travelled or frequented for a long time between them. The Lord
p.2225Justice, thinking it too long that the pass had been blocked up on him, he attemped to force it one day, in despite of O'Neill. When O'Neill perceived this thing, he sent forth from the tents and booths of the camp fierce and energetic bands of soldiers against him, like unto swarms of bees issuing from the hollows of bee-hives. They proceeded to wound, pierce, hew, and hack them, so that they were compelled to return back by the same road to the camp, after the killing of countless numbers of their gentlemen, officers, recruits, and attendants. They also left behind much booty of every description, as horses, steeds, accoutrements, arms, and armour, in this conflict.
Some time after this the Lord Justice got an advantage and opportunity of O'Neill's watch on this pass, and proceeded through it in the middle of October without battle or opposition. When O'Neill perceived this, he got before the Lord Justice on the way; and both remained encamped face to face until the end of the same month. The Lord Justice was not permitted to advance beyond this place into Tyrone on this occasion, but was compelled to return by a route east of Bealach-an-Mhaighre, along the borders of the Oriors. He afterwards proceeded in vessels from the harbour of Carlingford into Fingal, and from thence to Dublin. The Lord Justice did not attempt to go beyond Bealach-an-Mhaighre for some time after this.
Sir John Chamberlain, a colonel of the English of Derry, marched with a numerous force against O'Doherty, to plunder and prey him. O'Doherty, with a small party, met the English; and a fierce battle was fought between them, in which the English were defeated, and the colonel and others were slain by O'Doherty.
Niall Garv O'Donnell remained with his brothers, and with his English, at Lifford, as we have already stated; and they made a hosting into Oireacht-Ui-Chathain, in quest of prey and booty; and they did not halt until they arrived at the Dianait, where a great number of O'Neill's people met them. A battle was fought, in which many were slain on both sides, and O'Neill's people were
p.2227defeated. Niall, with his English, then returned to their houses in Lifford, with many spoils and in triumph.
On another occasion after this, Niall, with his brethren and with his English, went into Tyrone, and the entire of Gleann-Aichle was plundered by them.
They gave another defeat to the sons of Ferdorcha, the son of John, son of Donnell, at Cnoc-Buidhbh, near Strabane, where they slew many persons. Turlough Oge, O'Coinne, and some others, were taken prisoners; and they afterwards exacted sixty marks for his Turlough's ransom.
Baile-Nua in Tyrone, and Castlederg, were taken by Niall and the English; but they were recovered from them shortly afterwards.
Rury, the son of Egneaghan, son of Egneaghan, son of Naghtan, son of Turlough-an-Fhina O'Donnell, died.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1601. The Age of Christ, one thousand six hundred one.
The sons of John of the Shamrocks, the son of Rickard Saxonagh, of whom we have already treated, happened to be encamped during the first days of the month of January in O'Meagher's country, in Ikerrin. Spies and scouts came upon them in that place from the Butlers, after it had been reported by some of their gentlemen that an advantage and opportunity could be had by attacking them in the place where they then were. For this purpose Sir Walter, the son of John, son of James Butler, and Mac Pierce, i.e. James, the son of Edmond, son of James, with some of the gentlemen of the two countries, i.e. of the county of Tipperary and of the county of Kilkenny, came to a conference and meeting on a certain night, at an appointed place. The result of their conference, and the resolution to which they agreed, was, to attack the Connaught camp at day-break next morning.
An unusual accident and a sad fatality occurred to the camp of the Bourkes, namely, an advantage was taken of their want of watching, so that their enemies came into the midst of them. They left them lying mangled and slaughtered, pierced and blood-stained corpses, throughout their tents and booths.
p.2229On this occasion was slain O'Shaughnessy, i.e. John, the son of Gilla-Duv, son of Dermot, son of William, who had been banished from his patrimony, as indeed had been all those plunderers who were along with the sons of John Burke. John Oge, the son of John Burke, was taken prisoner, and conveyed to Kilkenny, to be confined. Redmond Burke, and William, together with a party of their people, escaped from this affray; and they went from thence into Ely, but they did not remain long in that territory, when they proceeded into Ulster, leaving the castles which until then they had possessed in East Munster under slender guard. On their arrival among the Irish of the North, namely, O'Neill and O'Donnell, Redmond proceeded to hire soldiers, to march into Clanrickard; and, as soon as he had mustered a sufficient number of these, he led them, during the first days of spring, across the Erne, and passed along the borders of Breifny O'Rourke, through the counties of Sligo and Roscommon, and across the River Suck, into Clann-Conway. He made a prisoner of the lord of this territory, namely, Mac David (Fiach, son of Hubert Boy, son of William, son of Thomas); and he afterwards proceeded to Tuath-an-Chalaidh, in the upper part of Hy-Many, in the county of Galway. When the Earl of Clanrickard, i.e. Ulick Burke, heard of this thing, he went to the eastern extremity of his country, to await and watch Redmond; but, notwithstanding all his vigilance, Redmond, on the thirteenth night of the month of March, without being heard or noticed by the Earl or his sentinels, passed by them into Clanrickard, until he arrived in the district of Kinel-Feichin, in the south of the barony of Leitrim, in the county of Galway. Towards the end of that night, and by the dawning of day, Redmond sent forth his maraurding parties through every town of that district, from Magh-glass to Crannog-Meg-Cnaimhin, and from Coill-bhreac to the mountain; and before the noon of that day Redmond
p.2231had in his power the greater part of the property, and all the moveable effects, of that territory. He afterwards went to take up his abode in the woods situated in the upper part of that district, and continued for four or five days moving about in this manner, plundering his neighbours, and strengthening the ramparts around himself, until the Earl of Clanrickard, accompanied by all the troops he had been able to muster in the district, arrived, and pitched his camp at the monastery of Kinel-Fheichin. Thus they remained for four or five days, during which time some persons not illustrious were slain between them, until Teige, the son of Brian-na-Murtha, son of Brian Ballagh, son of Owen O'Rourke, arrived with bold companies of sharp-armed soldiers to assist Redmond. When these two parties combined overtook the Earl, he left the camp in which he was, and proceeded through the passes into Clanrickard. The others pursued him to Loughrea; and, the Earl and his people escaping from them on this occasion,they traversed, plundered, and burned the country from Leitrim to Ard-Maeldubhain and as far as the gate of Feadán, in the west of Kinelea. At this time they lost a Munster lord of a territory, i.e. MacDonough, i.e. Donough, the son of Cormac Oge, son of Cormac. What brought him on this expedition was this, he had been carried off as a hostage by O'Neill in the spring of the preceding year, and had remained in Ulster until having regained his liberty he set out with those sons of John Burke, and so fell in this war of the Clann-William.
When Redmond arrived with his marauders on the confines of Thomond, they pitched a camp on the western side of Loch-Cutra. Here he was joined by a young gentleman of the Dal-Cais, namely, Teige, the son of Turlough, son of Donnell, son of Conor O'Brien, who had been induced to join him through the advice and solicitation of bad and foolish men, and without consulting or taking counsel of his father or the Earl of Clanrickard, to whom he was related
p.2233and friendly. When the sons of John Burke and Teige O'Brien had entered into a confederacy with each other, Teige requested, in three days afterwards, that he should get a company to go on an incursion into some angle of Thomond. He was not refused this request, for some of the gentlemen of the camp went along with him, with their kerns. Among these were William, the son of John Burke, and the son of Mac William Burke, i.e. Walter, the son of William, son of David, son of Edmond, son of Ulick. On leaving the camp, they passed along the borders of Kinelea, and Echtghe, and Kinel-Dunghaile. They sent off marauding parties along both banks of the Fergus, into the lower part of Hy-Fearmaic, and the upper part of Clann-Cuilein. Some of them proceeded to Baile-Ui-Aille, and near Clonroad; and they returned that night with their spoils to Cill-Reachtais, in Upper Clann-Cuilein. On their leaving this town, on the following morning, they were overtaken by the rising-out of the two Clann-Cuileins, with their gentlemen. They were also overtaken by the companies of the Earl of Thomond. These pursuing forces of Thomond proceeded to shoot at the insurgents, and killed many of their men, from thence to Miliuc-Ui-Ghrada, in the east of Cenel-Donghaile. The pursuers then returned, and the others carried off the prey to their camp, after having lost some of their gentlemen and common people. Among these was that son of Mac William whom we have already mentioned, namely, Walter, the son of William Burke. Teige, the son of Turlough O' Brien, was wounded the same day by the shot of a ball; so that on his arrival at the camp he was obliged, in despite of his unbending mind and his impetuous spirit, to betake himself to the bed of sickness, and go under the hands of physicians.
A great number of the Queen's people came from various places to assist the Earl of Clanrickard. Of these were eight or nine standards of soldiers, sent from the President of the two provinces of Munster. Thither came the Earl's own son, who had been for some time before along with the Lord Justice, with a band of foreign soldiers; thither also came the Deputy of the Governor of the province of Connaught, and there came also an auxiliary force from Galway.
p.2235When the sons of John Burke heard of this muster, they removed back eastwards, along the mountain, into the fastnesses of the district of Kinel-Fheichin, and remained in the ready huts in which they had been before. They had not been long here when the sons of the Earl, namely, the Baron of Dunkellin and Sir Thomas Burke, with every one of his sons that was capable af bearing arms, arrived in the district in pursuit of them, at the head of very numerous forces, and pitched a splendid and well-furnished camp in the very middle of the district. The Earl of Clanrickard himself was not in this camp, for he had been attacked by a fit of sickness, and a severe, sharp disease, the week before, so that he was not able to undertake an expedition at this time.
When the Deputy of the Governor of Connaught and the Baron of Dunkellin received intelligence that Teige O'Brien was lying severely wounded in that camp of Redmond Burke, they sent him a protection in behalf of the Queen, upon which he repaired to them. The Baron sent an escort with him to Leitrim, one of the Earl's castles. But he did not live long there, for he died shortly afterwards; and he was buried successively at Loughrea and Athenry in one week. Alas to the country that lost this young scion! He was expert at every warlike weapon and military engine used by the Irish on the field of battle. He was full of energy and animation, and distinguished for agility, expertness, miIdness, comeliness, renown, and hospitality.
As for the camps in the district of Kinel-Fheichin, they were front to front, guarding against each other daily, from the festival of St. Patrick to the end of the month of April, when the provisions and stores of flesh meat of the sons of John Burke began to grow scant and to fail; and they, therefore, proceeded to quit the territory; and after their departure they carried off a prey from O'Madden, i.e. Donnell, the son of John, son of Breasal, and then proceeded across the Suck. The sons of the Earl, in the mean time, continued to pursue them; and many persons were slain between them on this occasion. The sons of John Burke then went to Tirconnell, to O'Donnell; and the sons of the Earl returned to their own country and their houses. Upon their return to their patrimony, they found their father, i.e. Ulick, the son of Rickard, son of Ulick-na-gCeann, in his last moments, after making his wild, and bidding farewell to
p.2237his earthly friends, and settling his worldly affairs. The Earl died, in the month of May, in the town of Loughrea; and he was interred at Athenry with great solemnity. The person who died here was the subject of one of the mournful news of the time among the Irish. He was a sedate and justly-judging lord; of a mild, august, chief-becoming countenance; affable in conversation, gentle towards the people of his territory, fierce to his neighbours, and impartial in all his decisions; a man who had never been known to act a feeble or imbecile part on the field of danger, from the day he had first taken up arms to the day of his death. His son, Rickard, was appointed in his place. To commemorate the year of the Earl's death, the following was composed:
- 1] Sixteen hundred years and one besides,
2] From the time that Christ came into a body,
3] The advocate of our causes at every term,
4] To the death of the Earl Ulick.
O'Doherty (John Oge, the son of John, son of Felim, son of Conor Carragh) died on the 27th of January. He was Lord of the triocha-ched of Inishowen; and there was not among all the Irish of his time a lord of a triocha-ched of better hand or hospitality, or of firmer counsel, than he. O'Donnell nominated Felim Oge, i.e. the brother of the deceased John, the O'Doherty; but the Clann-Ailin and the Clann-Devitt took Cahir, the son of John Oge, to the English, to Derry; and the General, Sir Henry Docwra, styled him O'Doherty, to spite O'Donnell.
Redmond O'Gallagher, Bishop of Derry, was killed by the English in Oireacht-Ui-Chathain, on the 15th of March.
James, the son of Sorley Boy, son of Alexander, son of John Cahanagh,
p.2241the most distinguished of the Clann-Donnell, either in peace or war, died on Easter Monday.
Mac-I-Brien Ara, namely, Turlough, the son of Murtough,son of Donnell,son of Teige,died in the month of February.There was no other lord of a territory in Ireland so old as he on the night he died. He was an active, warlike man, who had led his followers in safety from every terrritory into which he had gone,and seldom had any troop who had entered his territory returned from him scathless; a man who had defended the rugged and hilly district which he had possessed until his death. He was interred in his own fortified residence of Baile-an-chaislen.
O'Reilly, i.e. Edmond, the son of Maelmora, son of John, son of Cathal, died
p.2243in the month of April. He was an aged, grey-headed, long-memoried man, and who had been quick and vivacious in his mind and intellect in his youth. He
p.2245was buried in the monastery of St. Francis at Cavan; and his brother's son, namely, Owen, the son of Hugh Conallagh, was elected in his place.
After the sons of John Burke had gone to O'Donnell, as we have already stated, they contiued, whithersoever they went, in company with O'Donnell, to harass and plunder the Queen's people; for which reason the Lord Justice of
p.2249Ireland ordered the Earl of Ormond to put to death their brother, John Oge Burke, whom we have mentioned as having been taken prisoner in the first week of this year, in O'Meagher's country of Ikerrin, by some of the gentlemen of the Butlers. This was accordingly done in the month of June.
Conor, the son of Murtough Garv, son of Brien, son of Teige O'Brian, died about May-day, at Craig-Chorcrain, and was buried in the monastery of Ennis.
Mary, daughter of Con O'Donnell, and wife of O'Boyle (Teige Oge, son of Teige, son of Turlough), died on the 6th of November, and was buried at Donegal.
O'Conor Sligo (Donough, the son of Cathal Oge) was taken prisoner by O'Donnell (Hugh Roe, the son of Hugh, son of Manus). The cause of this capture was this: O'Donnell had received intelligence that O'Conor was spying upon and betraying him to the Lord Justice and the English of Dublin; for the Lord Justice had promised some time before that he would obtain his own territory again for O'Conor from the Queen, and that the young Earl of Desmond (whose mother was the wife of O'Conor), namely, James, the son of Garrett, who was in custody in London, would be let home to his patrimony. When this fact was clear and certain to O'Donnell, he took O'Conor prisoner; and Ballymote, which he had previously given to O'Conor, and Cul-Maoile Collooney, were obliged to be again surrendered up to O'Donnell; and O'Conor was then sent into imprisonment in an island on Loch-Eascaigh in Tirconnell.
The young Earl of Clanrickard, whom we have mentioned as having been appointed in the place of his father, was ordered by the Lord Justice of Ireland, i.e. Lord Mountjoy, to march with all his host and forces to the monastery of Boyle, and from thence, if he could, to Sligo. At the command of the Lord Justice, countless numbers of the English, who were in garrison for the Queen in the towns of Munster, namely, in Limerick, Kilmallock, Askeaton, &c., came to join the Earl; and numbers of the soldiers of Galway and Athlone came to join the same hosting. When all these had collected together to the Earl,
p.2251they determined to march to the monastery of Boyle and to Sligo; and after having crossed the Suck they agreed to march directly eastwards along the straight roads of Machaire-Chonnacht until they arrived at Elphin of Moylurg, Hy-Briuin-na-Sinna, Clann-Chathail, and Magh-Aoi-an-Fhinnbheannaigh.
As soon as O'Donnell heard of the arrival of this numerous army at the place which we have before mentioned, he assembled his forces, and did not halt until he crossed the Curlieus, and the River Boyle, into Moylurg; and pitched his camp directly opposite them his enemies. They remained thus for some time face to face, spying and watching each other. Many were the conflicts, manslaughters, and affrays which took place between them while they remained thus in readiness for each other, until at length the English army became wearied, and returned in sorrow to their houses.
After this, news reached O'Donnell, that Niall Garv, the son of Con, son of Calvagh, with his O'Donnell's English and Irish, had come from the east of Tirconnell, across Bearnas, and encamped at Donegal, in the east of Tirhugh. When O'Donnell received the news that the English had arrived at that place he felt grieved for the misfortune of the monastery, and that the English should occupy and inhabit it instead of the Sons of Life and the Culdees, whose rightful property it was till then; and he could not forbear from going to try if he could relieve them. What he did was this: he left the farmers and betaghs of Tirconnell, with their herds and flocks throughout Lower Connaught, with some of his soldiers to protect them against invaders from the harbours, kerns, and foreign tribes, and he himself proceeded with the greater part of his army, across the rivers Sligo, Duff, Drowes, and Erne, northwards, and pitched his camp in strong position exactly at Carraig, which is upwards of two thousand paces from Donegal, where Niall Garv O'Donnell and his English were stationed. As for O'Donnell he ordered great numbers of his forces alternately to blockade the monastery by day and night, so as to prevent the English from coming outside its walls to destroy anything in the country. Neither of the armies did by any means pass their time happily or pleasantly, for killing and destroying, conflict and shooting, were carried on by each party against the other. The English were reduced to great straits and
p.2253distress by the long siege in which they were kept by O'Donnell's people; and some of them used to desert to O'Donnell's camp in twos and threes, in consequence of the distress and straits in which they were from the want of a proper ration of food. Thus they passed the time until the end of September, when God willed to take revenge and satisfaction of the English for the profanation and abuse which they had offered to the churches and apartments of the psalm-singing ecclesiastics, namely, of the monastery of Donegal, and the monastery of Machaire-beg, in which the English whom we have mentioned were quartered and encamped, and others of them who were in the castle of Donegal. The vengeance which God wreaked upon them was this, however it came to pass, viz., fire fell among the powder which they had in the monastery of Donegal for carrying on the war; so that the boarded apartments, and all the stone and wooden buildings of the entire monastery, were burned. As soon as the spies and sentinels, whom O'Donnell had posted to spy and watch the English, perceived the brown-red mass of flames, and the dense cloud of vapour and smoke that rose up over the monastery, they began to discharge their leaden bullets and their fiery flashes, in order that O'Donnell might hear them, and immediately come to them, to attack the English, for they thought it would occasion too long a delay to send him messengers. This signal was not slowly responded
p.2255to by O'Donnell and his army, for they vehemently and rapidly advanced with their utmost speed, in troops and squadrons, to where their people were at the monastery. Bloody and furious was the attack which they made upon the English and their own friends and kinsmen who were there. It was difficult and almost impossible for O'Donnell's people to withstand the fire of the soldiers who were in the monastery and the castle of Donegal, and in a ship which was in the harbour opposite them; yet, however, O'Donnell's people had the better of it, although many of them were cut off. Among the gentlemen who fell here on the side of O'Donnell was Teige, the son of Cathal Oge Mac Dermot, a distinguished captain of the Sil-Mulrony. On the other side fell Con Oge, the son of Con, the brother of Niall Garv O'Donnell, with three hundred others, in that slaughter.
As soon as Niall Garv O'Donnell perceived the great jeopardy in which his people and the English were, he passed unnoticed westwards, along the margin of the harbour, to Machaire-beg, where a great number of the English were stationed; and he took them with him to the relief of the other party of English, who were reduced to distress by O'Donnell and his people; and the crew of the ship proceeded to fight, and kept up a fire in defence of them, until they had passed inside the central walls of the monastery.
When O'Donnell observed the great strength of the place in which they were, and the great force that had come to the relief of the English, he ordered his soldiers to withdraw from the conflict and to return back; for he did not deem it meet that they should be cut off in an unequal contest. This was done at his bidding; and he removed his camp nearer to the monastery, and sent some of his people to Machaire-beg, where the English whom Niall Garv had brought with him to assist his people were stationed. The burning of the monastery, and this occurrence, happened precisely on Michaelmas-day.
O'Donnell remained thus blockading the English, and reducing them to great straits and exigencies, from the end of September to the end of October, without any deed of note being achieved between them during that time, until news at length reached them that a Spanish fleet had arrived in the south of Ireland, to assist the Irish who were at war.
A hosting was made by the Lord Justice of Ireland, Lord Mountjoy, in the month of June, to proceed into Ulster. Nothing is related of his progress until he arrived at Bealach-an-Mhaighre. This place was defended and watched by O'Neill's guards. Many men and troops of the English and Irish had been often lamentably slain and slaughtered about that pass between O'Neill and the English. But the Lord Justice got an opportunity and advantage of him O'Neill at this time, a thing which seldom had happened previously; so that the borders and very centre of the pass were in his power on this occasion. He then pitched his camp on the spot which he thought proper on that road, and erected a castle of lime and stone upon a certain part of that road. Having finished this castle in the course of a month, he left two hundred soldiers to guard it, and proceeded forward, with the remainder of his forces to Sliabh Fuaid, to Armagh, and across the Abhainn-mor, he went to Portmore, a fortress which had been built four years before by the Lord Justice Borogh, who, shortly after its erection, while attempting to lay up provisions in it, came to a premature death by O'Neill. Moreover, O'Neill had taken the same fort from the Queen's people (about a year after the death of the Lord Justice); having in taking it from them made a slaughter of their men and heroes; and the fort had remained in O'Neill's possession thenceforward until this time that this new Justice came to it. When he came near this fort, O'Neill's people left it wide open to their foes and enemies, a thing that was unusual with them till then.
On the first days after the Lord Justice had encamped in this fortress, he set out to view, reconnoitre, and explore the country around. On arriving at the borders of Benburb, he was encountered near one of the passes of the country by some of O'Neill's kerns, in a heroic and hostile manner, with fierce and grim visages, and a frightful fierce battle was fought between them, in which many were slain on both sides, at that place; but, however, there were more of the Lord Justice's slain than of O'Neill's soldiers.
The Lord Justice returned back to the camp, in despite of all the overwhelming
p.2259opposition which he met; but, during the period of about a month and a half that he remained in that fortress, not one of his forces advanced the distance of one mile beyond that place into Tyrone; so that he returned to Fingal and to Dublin in the month of August, having left garrisons at Portmore, Armagh, Machaire-na-Cranncha Magheracranagh, Bealach-an-Mhaighre, Carrickfergus, Newry, Carlingford, Dundalk, Drogheda, &c. It was an exaltation of the name and renown of the Lord Justice to have gone that length and distance into Tyrone on this occasion, such as his predecessors had not been able to do for the three or four years before.
The Earl of Essex, a brave, energetic, warlike, and victorious man, in the service of the Sovereign of England; a man who had been appointed chief leader of plundering and invasion by the men of England in other countries, and who had been in the name and place of the Sovereign in Ireland for half a year, as we have said before, began, in the first month of this year, to offer insult and indignity to the Sovereign, and to exert himself to transfer the crown. As soon as this treachery was perceived by the men of London, they quickly and actively rose up against the Earl, and chased and pursued him from one place to another, through the streets of the town, and also outside the town, so that he was compelled to go into Essex-house to defend himself. He had not been long there when he was summoned and compelled to deliver and surrender himself up an unarmed prisoner to the Queen's people. He was afterwards sent to be confined, as a traitor, to the Tower; and all those who had any share, counsel, participation, or alliance, in this act of treachery, were quartered, and their members placed on the gates and portals of the town. The Earl
p.2261was beheaded on the 18th of February. Captain Lee, a gentleman who had incited the Earl, and who was aiding and advising in him this traitorous act, was likewise executed in a similar manner for the aforesaid crime.
James, the son of Thomas Roe, son of James, son of John, son of the Earl (who had been styled Earl of Desmond by the Irish, as we have said before), having become weak and powerless in the cliath of war in which he was engaged against the English, he sent his brother, John, the son of Thomas Roe, and Mac Maurice of Kerry (Thomas, the son of Patrickin, son of Thomas, son of Edmond, son of Thomas), and Pierce De Lacy, to Ulster, to request aid and assistance from the Irish of the North, and remained himself with a small party; concealing and hiding himself among his true friends in sequestered huts and caverns underground. He remained thus for some time, until, upon a certain occasion, the White Knight (Edmond, the son of John) was informed that James was in a certain cave on the borders of his (the Knight's) country and he resolved to lay violent hands on his relative by kindred and pedigree and his lord in treason for some years before, for the small portion of land
p.2263which he then had; for he possessed not of Munster at that time but that cave in which he then was! For this cave he seized upon James, and made him a prisoner, and afterwards took him to Cork to the President, without asking pardon or protection for him. When James was delivered up into the hands of the President, he was carefully kept in confinement until the month of July. It was in the same month that Fineen, son of Donough Mac Carthy (who was at this time called Mac Carthy More), went before the President at Cork; but as soon as he had arrived in the town he was made a prisoner for the Queen; but Fineen began to declare aloud, and without reserve, that he had been taken against the word and protection. This was of no avail to him; for he and James, the son of Thomas, were sent to England in the month of August, precisely; and on their appearance before the English council, it was ordered that they be shewn the Tower as their house of eating and sleeping from that forward to the time of their deaths, or end of their lives, according to the will of God and of their Sovereign. The office of Governor in the county of Clare was held by the Earl of Thomond (Donough, the son of Conor O'Brien) from the day on which the Governor of the Province of Connanght, Sir Conyers Clifford, was slain by O'Donnell on Coirrshliabh. About the festival of St. Bridget of this year, he held a session for fifteen days, in the monastery of Ennis, and he hanged sixteen men at that session. The same Earl went to England in the month of March, accompanied by his brother Donnell; and Donnell returned home about the following Lammas, and the Earl still remained there after him.
The young Earl of Desmond, namely, James, the son of Garret, son of James, son of John, whom we have made mention of as having come from England as an Earl in the auturun of the past year, went over to England in the
p.2265spring of this year, and remained there until the first month of winter, when he died. Had it not been that his father fell in his war against the Queen, and that his people and faithful followers were cut off by the English, the two provinces of Munster would have been one scene of sorrow, lamentation, grief, and affliction after i.e. for the loss of this youth. He was the only living heir of the genuine stock; the last in a direct line of the remnant of that illustrious Grecian tribe, the Geraldines; and his death was the more to be lamented, because there was no heir of either son or brother of his own, or of his family, to be appointed in his place, except a few, and those few opposed to the law of the Sovereign.
Captain Tyrrell (Richard, the son of Thomas, son of Richard) had remained with O'Neill during the preceding part of this year. This captain came about the Lammas of this year, with some retained kerns which he obtained from O'Neill, into Leinster. It would be impossible to reckon, describe, or enumerate the preys he made, the deaths he caused, the castles he took, the men he made prisoners, or the plunders and spoils he obtained throughout the county of Carlow, in the county of Kildare, and in the county of Offaly and Tipperary, from Lammas to the first month of the following winter.
The Lower Burkes, namely, Mac William Burke (Theobald, the son of Walter Kittagh), who was confederated with O'Donnell, and who had been
p.2267styled Lord by him some time before, and Theobald-na-Long, the son of Richard-an-Iarainn, who had always acted on behalf of the Queen, remained peaceable and amicable towards each other from the time that O'Donnell established friendship and amity between them, to the first month of the spring of this year, when commotion of war and revival of animosity arose between them; and Theobald-na-Long was the cause of the resuscitation of the enmity, and the rekindling of the strife, and the revival of the hatred, that now arose between them. The descendants of Ulick Burke combined against Mac William (Theobald, the son of Walter), and expelled and banished him from his patrimony; so that he was compelled to go to O'Donnell. Another Mac William was appointed after him for the government of the territory by the descendants of Ulick and by Theobald-na-Long, namely, Richard, the son of Rickard, usually called the son of Deamhan-an-Chorrain.
When Mac William (Theobald, the son of Walter) came to O'Donnell, he complained to him of his sufferings and difficulties, and told him how he had been banished from his country. This circumstance was grievous to Donnell; but, however, he was not able to relieve him immediately; for he was engaged, with his troops and forces, watching and restraining the movements of the English, who had arrived in his territory; so that he was not able to move into any external territory to relieve friend or ally, by reason of the overwhelming force that oppressed him in his own territory. Mac William remained with him from the first month of spring to the Michaelmas following, at which time O'Donnell sent with him, to visit his patrimony in MacWilliam's country, as many men as he could spare. On his arrival with his muster in the very middle of the territory, he was met on the road through which he was marching by the other Mac William, who had been set up against him as his rival and opponent, by the descendants of Ulick Burke, and by Theobald, the son of Rickard-an-Iarainn; and a fierce battle was fought between them, in which they were mutually mindful of their ancient grudges and recent enmities, until at length Richard, son of Rickard Burke, was defeated, and he himself killed in the conflict, and thus came the end of this chieftainship.
A Spanish fleet arrived in the south of Ireland. Don Juan de Aguila was
p.2269the name of the chief who was general over them. The place at which they put in was the harbour of Kinsale, at the mouth of the green river of Bandon, on the confines of Courcy's country on the one side, and Kinalea, the country of Barry Oge, on the other. On their arrival at Kinsale they took to themselves the fortifications, shelter, defence, and maintenance of the town from the inhabitants who occupied them till then. They quartered their gentlemen,
p.2271captains, and auxiliaries, throughout the habitations of wood and stone which were in the town. They conveyed from their ships into the town their stores of viands and drink, their ordnance, powder, lead, and all the other necessaries which they had; and then they sent their ships back again to their own country. They planted their great guns, and their other projectile and defensive engines, at every point on which they thought the enemy would approach them. They also appointed guards and sentinels, who should be relieved at regular hours, as had been their constant custom before their arrival at that place for they were very sure that the Lord Justice would come attack them with the Queen's army, as soon as the news of their arrival should reach him.
There was another castle, on the east side of the harbour of Kinsale, called Rinn-Corrain, situate in Kinelea, the territory of Barry Oge; in this town the Spaniards placed a garrison of some of their distinguished men, to guard it in like manner.
When the Lord Justice of Ireland heard these news, he did not delay until he arrived at Kinsale, with all the forces he was able to muster of those who were obedient to the Queen in Ireland. Thither arrived the President of the two provinces of Munster, with the forces of Munster along with him. The Earl of Clanrickard, and every head of a host and troop that was obedient to the command of the Lord Justice in Connaught, together with their forces, arrived at the same place. Thither in manner aforesaid came the Leinstermen and Meathmen, as they had been commanded by the Lord Justice.
After they had come together at one place, they pitched and arranged a camp before Kinsale, and from this they faced Rinn-Corrain; and they allowed them the garrison there neither quiet, rest, sleep, nor repose, for a long time and they gave each other violent conflicts and manly onsets, until the warders after all the hardships they encountered, were forced to come out unarmed,
p.2273and surrender at the mercy of the Lord Justice, leaving their ordnance and their ammunition behind them. The Lord Justice billeted these throughout the towns of Munster, until he should see what would be the result of his contest with the other party who were at Kinsale. It was on this occasion that Carbry Oge, the son of Carbry Mac Egan, who was ensign to the son of the Earl of Ormond, was slain.
The Lord Justice, and his forces, and the Spaniards at Kinsale, continued to shoot and fire at each other during the first month of winter, until the Queen and Council advised the Earl of Thomond to go with many ships, and vessels, with men, good arms, and stores, to relieve and succour the Sovereign's people in Ireland. On the Earl's arrival with the fleet in the harbour of Kinsale, they landed on that side of the harbour at which the Lord Justice's people were. Four thousand men was the number under the Earl of Thomond's command, of this army. Some say that, were it not for the great spirit and courage taken by the Lord Justice at the arrival of the Earl of Thomond and this force, he would have left the camp void and empty, and afterwards would have distributed the English forces among the great towns of Munster. The Earl of Thomond pitched a camp apart to himself, at that angle of the Lord Justice's camp which was nearest to Kinsale.
At this time the Spaniards made an assault by night upon a quarter of the Lord Justice's camp, and slew many men; and they thrust stones and wedges
p.2275into a great gun of the Queen's ordnance, in order that they might prevent their enemies from firing on them out of it; and they would have slain more, were it not for the Earl of Clanrickard, for it was he and those around him that drove the Spaniards back to Kinsale. There was not one hour's cessation, by day or night, between these two camps, wihout blood heing shed between them, from the first day on which the Lord Justice sat before Kinsale until they ultimately separated, as shall be related in the sequel.
When O'Neill, O'Donnell, and the Irish of Leath-Chuinn in general, heard the news of the arrival of this Spanish fleet, the resolution they came to, with one mind and one intention (although their chieftains and gentlemen did not assemble together to hold their consultation or conclude their counsel), was, that each lord of a territory among them should leave a guard and protection over his territory and fair land, and proceed, without dallying or delaying, to aid and assist the Spaniards, who had come at their call and instance; for it was distress of heart and disturbance of mind to them that they should be in such strait and jeopardy as they were placed in by their enemies, without relieving them, if they could.
O'Donnell was the first who prepared to go on this expedition. Having left guards over his creaghts and all his people in the county of Sligo, he set out from Ballymote in the very beginning of winter. The following were some of the chiefs who were along with him: O'Rourke ( Brian Oge, the son of Brian); the sons of John Burke; Mac Dermot of Moylurg; the sept of O'Conor Roe; O'Kelly; and the chiefs who had been banished from Munster, and were with him during the preceding part of this year, namely, MacMaurice of Kerry (Thomas, the son of Patrickin); the Knight of Glin (Edmond, the son of Thomas);
p.2277Teige Caech, the son of Turlough Mac Mahon; and Dermot Mael, the son of Donough Mac Carthy. These forces marched through the county of Roscommon, through the east of the county of Galway, and through Sil-Anmchadha, and to the Shannon. They were ferried over the Shannon at Ath-Croch; and they proceeded from thence into Delvin-Mac-Coghlan, into Fircall, as far as the upper part of Slieve-Bloom, and into Ikerrin.
O'Donnell remained near twenty days on the hill of Druim-Saileach, in Ikerrin, awaiting O'Neill, who was marching slowly after him; and, while stationed at that place, O'Donnell's people continued plundering, burning, and ravaging the country around them, so that there was no want of anything necessary for an army in his camp, for any period, short or long.
As soon as the Lord Justice of Ireland heard that O'Donnell was marching towards him, he sent the President of the two provinces of Munster, namely, Sir George Carew, with four thousand soldiers, to meet him, in order to prevent him from making the journey on which his mind was bent, by blocking up the common road against him. When O'Donnell discovered that the President had arrived with his great host in the vicinity of Cashel, he proceeded with his
p.2279forces from Ikerrin westwards, through the upper part of Ormond, by the monastery of Owny, through Clanwilliam, on the borders of the Shannon, to the gates of Limerick, and south-westwards, without halting or delaying by day or night, until he crossed the Maigue, into Hy-Connell-Gaura. As soon as the President perceived that O'Donnell had passed him by into the fastnesses of the country, and that his intention was frustrated he returned back with his force to the Lord Justice. On this occasion Mac Maurice was permitted by O'Donnell to go with a part of the army to visit and see Clanmaurice. As they were traversing the country, they got an advantage of some of the castles of the territory, and took them. These were their names: Lixnaw, the Short-castle of Ardfert, and Ballykealy. In these they placed warders of their own. It was on the same occasion that O'Conor Kerry (John, the son of Conor) took his own castle, namely, Carraic-an-phuill, which had been upwards of a year before that time in the possession of the English, and that he himself, with the people of his castle, joined in alliance with O'Donnell.
O'Donnell remained nearly a week in these districts of Hy-Connell-Gaura, plundering, devastating, ravaging, and destroying the territories of every person in his neighbourhood who had any connexion or alliance with the English. After this O'Donnell proceeded over the upper part of Sliabh-Luachra, through Clann-Auliffe, through Muskerry, and to the Bandon in the Carberys. All the Irish of Munster came to him there, except Mac Carthy Reagh (Donnell, the son of Cormac-na-h-Aaoine) and Cormac, the son of Dermot, son of Teige, Lord of Muskerry. All these Irishmen promised to be in alliance and in unison with him from thenceforward.
As for O'Neill, i.e. Hugh, the son of Ferdorcha, son of Con Bacagh, he left Tyrone a week after Allhallowtide, to go to assist the aforesaid Spaniards. After he had crossed the Boyne he proceeded to plunder and burn the territories of Bregia and Meath. He afterwards marched through the west of Meath, and through the east of Munster, westwards across the Suir; but his adventures are not related until he arrived at the River Bandon, where O'Donnell was. John, son of Thomas Roe, son of the Earl of Desmond, was along with O'Neill on this expedition.
When the Irish chiefs and their forces met together at one place, they encamped a short distance to the north of the camp of the Lord Justice at Bel-Guala, in Kinelea. Many a host and troop, and lord of a territory, and chief of a cantred, were along with O'Neill and O'Donnell at this place. Great were the spirit, courage, prowess, and valour, of the people who were there. There was not a spot or quarter in the five provinces of Ireland where these, or some party of them, had not impressed a horror and hatred, awe and dread of themselves among the English and Irish who were in opposition to them, till that time. Frequent and numerous had been their battles, their exploits, their depredations, their conflicts, their deeds, their achievements over enemies in other territories, up to this very hour. They met no mighty man whom they did not subdue, and no force over which they did not prevail, so long as the Lord and fortune favoured, that is, so long as they did the will of their Lord God, and kept his commandments and his will. Efficient for giving the onset, and gaining the battle over their enemies, were the tribes who were in this camp (although some of them did not assist one another), had God permitted them to fight stoutly with one mind and one accord, in defence of their religion and their patrimony, in the strait difficulty in which they had the enemy on this occasion.
The Irish reduced the English to great straits, for they did not permit hay, corn, or water, straw or fuel, to be taken into the Lord Justice's camp. They remained thus for some time watching each other, until Don Juan, the General of the Spaniards, sent a letter privately to the Irish, requesting them to attack a part of the Lord Justice's camp on a certain night, and adding that he himself would attack the other part of it on the same night; for they the Spaniards were reduced to great straits by the English, as the English were distressed by the Irish.
The chiefs of the Kinel-Connell and Kinel-Owen began to deliberate in council on this suggestion; and they were for some time dissentient on adopting this resolution, for it was O'Neill's advice not to attack them immediately by
p.2283any means, but to keep them still in the strait in which they were, until they should perish of famine, and the want of all the necessaries of which they stood in need, as some of their men and horses had already perished. O'Donnell, however, was oppressed at heart and ashamed to hear the complaint and distress of the Spaniards without relieving them from the difficulty in which they were, even if his death or destruction, or the loss of his people, should result from it; so that the resolution they finally agreed to was, to attack the Lord Justice's camp, as they had been ordered.
When the particular night upon which it was agreed they should make this attack arrived, the Irish cheerfully and manfully put on their dresses of battle and conflict, and were prepared for marching. Their chiefs were at variance, each of them contending that he himself should go foremost in the night's attack; so that the manner in which they set out from the borders of their camp was in three strong battalions, three expensive and numerous hosts, shoulder to shoulder, and elbow to elbow. O'Neill, with the Kinel-Owen, and such of the people of Oriel and Iveagh-of-Uladh as adhered to him, were in a strong battalion apart; O'Donnell, with the Kinel-Connell, his sub-chieftains, and the Connaughtmen in general, formed the second battalion; and those gentlemen of Munster, Leinster, and Meath, with their forces, who had risen up in the confederacy of the Irish war, and who had been in banishment in Ulster during the preceding part of this year, were in the third battalion, and marched steadily and slowly, without mixing with any other host.
After they had marched outside their camp in this manner, the forces mistook their road and lost their way, in consequence of the great darkness of the night, so that their guides were not able to make their way to the appointed place, opposite the camp of the Lord Justice, until clear daylight next morning. Some assert that a certain Irishman had sent word and information to the Lord
p.2285Justice, that the Irish and Spaniards were to attack him that night, and that, therefore, the Lord Justice and the Queen's army stationed themselves in the gaps of danger, and certain other passes, to defend the camp against their enemies. When the darkness of the night had disappeared, and the light of the day was clear to all in general, it happened that O'Neill's people, without being aware of it, had advanced near the Lord Justice's people; but, as they were not prepared, they turned aside from them to be drawn up in battle array and order, and to wait for O'Donnell and the other party, who had lost their way, as we have before stated.
As soon as the Lord Justice perceived this thing, he sent forth vehement and vigorous troops to engage them, so that they fell upon O'Neill's people, and proceeded to kill, slaughter, subdue, and thin them, until five or six ensigns were taken from them, and many of their men were slain.
O'Donnell advanced to the side of O'Neill's people after they were discomfitted, and proceeded to call out to those who were flying, to stand their ground,
p.2289and to rouse his own people to battle and so continued, until his voice and speech were strained by the vehemence and loudness of the language in which he addressed all in general, requesting his nobles to stand by him to fight their enemies. He said to them, that this unusual thing which they were about to do, was a shame and a guile, namely: to turn their backs to their enemies, as was not the wont of their race ever till then. But, however, all he did was of no avail to him, for, as the first battalion was defeated, so were the others also in succession. But, although they were routed, the number slain was not very great, on account of the fewness of the pursuers, in comparison with those flying before them.
Manifest was the displeasure of God, and misfortune to the Irish of fine Fodhla, on this occasion; for, previous to this day, a small number of them had more frequently routed many hundreds of the English, than they had fled from them, in the field of battle, in the gap of danger (in every place they had encountered), up to this day. Immense and countless was the loss in that place, although the number slain was trifling; for the prowess and valour, prosperity and affluence, nobleness and chivalry, dignity and renown, hospitality and generosity, bravery and protection, devotion and pure religion, of the Island, were lost in this engagement.
The Irish forces returned that night, with O'Neill and O'Donnell, to Inis-Eoghanain. Alas! the condition in which they were that night was not as they had expected to return from that expedition, for there prevailed much reproach on reproach, moaning and dejection, melancholy and anguish, in every quarter throughout the camp. They slept not soundly, and scarcely did they take any refreshment. When they met together their counsel was hasty, unsteady, and precipitate, so that what they at length resolved upon was, that O'Neill and Rury, the brother of O'Donnell, with sub-chieftains, and the chiefs of Leath-Chuinn in general, should return back to their countries, to defend their territories and lands against foreign tribes; and that O'Donnell (Hugh
p.2291Roe), Redmond, the son of John Burke, and Captain Hugh Mus, the son of Robert, should go to Spain to complain of their distresses and difficulties to the King of Spain.
These chiefs left some of their neighbouring confederates in Munster, to plunder it in their absence, namely: Captain Tyrrell, the other sons of John Burke, and other gentlemen besides them. These high Irishmen, namely, O'Neill and O'Donnell, ordered that the chief command and leadership of these should be given to O'Sullevan Beare, i.e. Donnell, the son of Donnell, son of Dermot; for he was, at this time, the best commander among their allies in Munster, for wisdom and valour.
On the third day of the month of January 1602 this overthrow was given to the Irish.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1602. The Age of Christ, one thousand six hundred two.
After this defeat of Kinsale had been given by the English (as has been already written), on the third day of the month of January, to the Irish and the few Spaniards of the King of Spain's people who happened to be along with them at that time, O'Donnell (Hugh Roe) was seized with great fury, rage, and anxiety of mind; so that he did not sleep or rest soundly for the space of three days and three nights afterwards; so that he despaired of getting succour in Ireland. At the expiration of that time, the resolution he came to (by the advice of O'Neill, who, however, gave him this advice with reluctance), was, to leave Ireland, and go to Spain to King Philip III., to request more forces and succour from him; for he thought that the King of Spain was the person who could render him most relief, and who was the most willing to assist those who always fought in defence of the Roman Catholic religion; and, moreover, on account of his Philip's attachment to the Gaels, from their having first come out of Spain to invade Ireland, as is manifest from the Book of Invasions.
Having come to this resolution, the persons he selected to accompany him on this journey were: Redmond Burke, the son of John; Captain Hugh Mus Mustian, son of Robert; and Flaithri, the son of Fithil O'Mulconry, a
p.2293chosen father of the Franciscan order, who was his confessor; with others of his own faithful people besides them. When this resolution was heard by all in general, it was pitiful and mournful to hear the loud clapping of hands, the intense tearful moaning, and the loud-wailing lamentation, that prevailed throughout O'Donnell's camp at that time. They had reason for this, if they knew it at the time, for never afterwards did they behold, as ruler over them, him who was then their leader and earthly prince in the island of Erin.
On the sixth day of the month of January, O'Donnell, with his heroes, took shipping at Cuan-an-chaislein; and, the breath of the first wind that rose wafting them over the boisterous ocean, they landed on the 14th of the same month in the harbour near Corunna, a celebrated city in the kingdom of Gallicia in Spain. And it was here stood the tower of Breogan, usually called Braganza, which had been erected in ancient times by Breogan, the son of Bratha, and from which the sons of Milesius, of Spain, the son of Bile, son of Breogan, had set out in their first invasion of Ireland, against the Tuatha-De-Dananns. When O'Donnell landed at Corunna, he walked through the town, and went to view Breogan's Tower. He was rejoiced to have landed at that place, for he deemed it to be an omen of good success that he had arrived at the place from whence his ancestor had formerly obtained power and sway over Ireland. After having
p.2295rested himself for a short time at Corunna, he proceeded to the place where the King was, in the province of Castile, for it was there he happened to be at this time (after making a visitation of his kingdom), in the city which is called Samora. And as soon as O'Donnell arrived in the presence of the King, he knelt down before him; and he made submission and obeisance unto him, as was due to his dignity, and did not consent to rise until the King promised to grant him his three requests. The first of these was, to send an army with him to Ireland, with suitable engines and necessary arms, whatever time they should be prepared. The second, that, should the King's Majesty obtain power and sway over Ireland, he would never place any of the nobles of his blood in power or authority over him or his successors. The third request was, not to lessen or diminish on himself or his successors for ever the right of his ancestors, in any place where his ancestors had power and sway before that time in Ireland.
All these were promised him to be complied, with by the King; and he received respect from him; and it is not probable that any Gael ever received in latter times so great an honour from any other king.
When O'Donnell had thus finished his business with the King, he was desired by the King to return back to Corunna, and remain there until every thing should be in readiness for his return to Ireland. This he did; and he remained there until the month of August following. It was anguish of heart and sickness of mind to O'Donnell that the Irish should remain so long without being aided or relieved by him; and, deeming it too long that the army which had been promised him had been without coming together to one place, he prepared to go again before the King, to know what it was that caused the retarding or delay in the raising of the army which he had promised; and when he arrived at the town which is called Simancas, two leagues from Valladolid, the King's Court, God permitted, and the misfortune, ill fate, wretchedness, and curse attending the island of Heremon, and the Irish of fair Banba in general,
p.2297would have it, that O'Donnell should take the disease of his death and the sickness of his dissolution; and, after lying seventeen days on the bed, he died, on the 10th of September, in the house which the King of Spain himself had at that town (Simancas), after lamenting his crimes and transgressions, after a rigid penance for his sins and iniquities, after making his confession without reserve to his confessors, and receiving the body and blood of Christ, and after being duly anointed by the hands of his own confessors and ecclesiastical attendants: Father Flaithri O'Mulconry (then confessor and spiritual adviser to O'Donnell, and afterwards Archbishop of Tuam on that account), and Father Maurice Ultach Donlevy, the son of Donough, a poor friar of the order of St. Francis, from the convent of the monastery of the town of Donegal, which was one of O'Donnell's fortresses.
His body was conveyed to the King's palace at Valladolid in a four-wheeled hearse, surrounded by countless numbers of the King's state officers, Council, and guards, with luminous torches and bright flambeaux of beautiful wax-light burning on each side of him. He was afterwards interred in the monastery of St. Francis, in the Chapter precisely, with veneration and honour, and in the most solemn manner that any of the Gaels had been ever interred in before. Masses, and many hymns, chaunts, and melodious canticles, were celebrated for the welfare of his soul; and his requiem was sung with becoming solemnity.
Alas ! the early eclipse of him who died here was mournful to many; for he was the head of the conference and counsel, of advice and consultation, of the greater number of the Irish, as well in peace as in war. He was a mighty and bounteous lord, with the authority of a prince to enforce the law; a lion in strength and force, with determination and force of character in deed and word, so that he durst not at all be disobeyed, for whatever he ordered to be done should be immediately executed, accordingly as he directed by his words; a dove in meekness and gentleness towards the Nemeds, the clergy, and the literati, and towards every one who had not incurred his displeasure, and who submitted to his authority; a man who had impressed the dread and terror of himself upon all persons, far and near, and whom no man could terrify; a lord, the expeller of rebels, the destroyer of robbers, the exalter of the sons of life,
p.2299the executioner of the sons of death; a man who never suffered any injury or injustice, contempt or insult, offered him, to remain unrevenged or unatoned for, but took vengeance without delay; a determined, fierce, and bold invader of districts; a warlike, predatory, and pugnacious plunderer of distant territories; the vehement, vigorous, stern, and irresistible destroyer of his English and Irish opposers; one who never in his life neglected to do whatever was desirable for a prince; a sweet-sounding trumpet; endowed with the gift of eloquence and address, of sense and counsel, and with the look of amiability in his countenance, which captivated every one who beheld him; a promised and prophesied one, who had been truly predicted by prophets a long time before his birth, and particularly by the holy patron, Columbkille, the son of Felim, who said of him:
- 1] A noble, pure, exalted man shall come,
2] Who shall cause mournful weeping in every territory.
3] He will be the pious Don,
4] And will be ten years King.
Pitiable, indeed, was the state of the Gaels of Ireland after the death of O'Donnell; for their characteristics and dispositions were changed; for they exchanged their bravery for cowardice, their magnanimity for weakness, their pride for servility; their success, valour, prowess, heroism, exultation, and military glory, vanished after his death. They despaired of relief, so that the most of them were obliged to seek aid and refuge from enemies and strangers, while others were scattered and dispersed, not only throughout Ireland, but throughout foreign countries, as poor, indigent, helpless paupers; and others were offering themselves for hire as soldiers to foreigners; so that countless numbers of the freeborn nobles of Ireland were slain in distant foreign countries, and were buried in strange places and unhereditary churches, in consequence of the death of this one man who departed from them. In a word, it would be tedious and impossible to enumerate or describe the great evils which sprang and took permanent root at that time in Ireland from the death of Hugh Roe O'Donnell.
When the Irish had dispersed, after the defeat at Kinsale, as we have before mentioned, the Lord Justice, the President, the Earl of Thomond, and
p.2301the Earl of Clanrickard, with the chiefs of the English army in general, resolved to attack Kinsale, and to force their way through the fast gates, and through the shattered breaches which they had made by the great foreign ordnance which they had with them, firing and playing upon the town from the time they had pitched their camp before it to that day. As soon as Don Juan heard of this thing, and when he learned that the Irish, to whom he had come, and who, he thought, would have relieved him, were dispersed from him, and that he was left in the narrow place and blockaded prison in which he was, and that it was not in his power to return back to his friends or to go forth against his enemies, on account of their vastness and numerousness, and on account of the goodness of their defence and watching by day and night, the resolution he came to was, to send messengers to the Lord Justice, the President, and the Earl of Clanrickard, and the Earl of Thomond, and the other chiefs of the army, to state to them that he would surrender to the Lord Justice and these lords, if only they would allow his people to remain in the town until Patrick's Day following, and to give liberty to his people and to the people of the Queen
p.2303to pass in and out, and mingle with each other; and also liberty to exchange money and wares for anything they required; that if relief or assistance should in the mean time come to him from the King of Spain, the Lord Justice should be bound to let Don Juan at large among his people; that if no relief should arrive, that the Lord Justice and these lords should convey him and his people to Spain: Don Juan engaging to return back safe to Ireland the fleet that should be sent with him.
The proposals of the envoys were hearkened to by the Lord Justice and chiefs in general, and their requests were acceded to; and when their conditions were ratified and confirmed by both parties, Don Juan came to the Lord Justice, and was honourably received by him and the other chiefs who were along with him. The Lord Justice, the President, and Don Juan, went to Cork, and all aftewards dispersed for their respective homes.
As for the Earl of Thomond, he returned to his territory after having been a long time away from it in England and in the camp at Kinsale; and he was not long at rest after arriving in his patrimony when he attacked the gentlemen who had been plundering and destroying his territory since they had heard of the arrival of Don Juan till that hour. Among these were Turlough, the son of Mahon, son of Turlough, son of Mahon O'Brien, and Conor, the son of Donnell, son of Mahon, son of Brian O'Brien. These were compelled to deliver up the castles which they had in their possession, and into which they had carried to them the property of the inhabitants and helpless people of the territory, namely, Derryowen and Baile-an-Chaislein, into the custody of just men, who did not wish to plunder the country by means of them. A fortnight's parole and respite was given them by the Earl, that they might bid farewell to their friends and prepare to quit the country, to which they were not to return without the permission of the Lord Justice and the Council.
As for the gentlemen, before the expiration of their parole, they prepared
p.2305to quit the country, and proceeded through Clann-Cuilein until they arrived at Killaloe; from thence across the Shannon into Ara; and they prepared to make a stay for that night in Duhara. When the sons of Turlough Carragh, son of Turlough, son of Murtough, son of Donnell, son of Teige O'Brien, namely, Donough and Donnell, who were acting in behalf of the Queen, heard that they had arrived in that manner in the territory, after the expiration of the period of the word of the Earl, and not having the word of the Sovereign or any one else, they attacked them in every place where they were, and made prisoners of them all, except Turlough, the son of Mahon O'Brien, who, after he had taken his dinner, had betaken himself to the shady, solitary woods, and the rough-headed hills, to shelter himself from his enemies. These were the chieftains who were there taken: Conor, the son of Donnell, son of Mahon O'Brien, Brian Ballagh, the son of Mahon and Teige Ultagh, the son of Mahon O'Brien, with the number of forces that happened to be along with them. And when taken they were sent back in fetters to the Earl to Killaloe, and they were hanged in pairs, face to face, from the nearest trees.
After the dispersion and execution of these gentlemen and plunderers by the Earl, he went to Limerick, and from thence to Cork, to the Lord Justice. The Lord Justice ordered the Earl to proceed to Beare, with three thousand soldiers, to see if he could advantageously make an attack upon O'Sullivan Beare and the gentlemen who were with him, namely, a party of the Mac Carthys, Captain Tyrrell, Mac Maurice of Kerry, O'Conor Kerry, and the knight of Glin. The Earl did not neglect this order; and he passed forward, without halting or delaying, until he arrived at the monastery of Bantry, in the territory of the sons of Owen O'Sullivan. The sons of Owen were assisting the Earl against O'Sullivan, because the O'Sullivan had taken Dun-Baoi and Beare from their father by the decision of the Council beyond and here, and was accustomed to say that he should by right receive the rents of Bantry.
The place at which O'Sullivan and his forces were at this time stationed
p.2307was at Ceim-an-ghabhair, between the army on that side and the entrance into Beare. This place was the common pass into the territory, and it was intricate and narrow to be passed through by this large army of the Queen, even should there be no trees felled, or trenches sunk in the earth, or no men, ordnance, or army planted there against them, as indeed there was at that time to defend the pass against them. The Earl remained nearly a week in the monastery of Bantry, a conference being expected between him and O'Sullivan; but as they did not come near each other, because it was not easy for the Earl, or the army, to attack or force this narrow pass, he left a garrison of soldiers in Oilen-Faoit, to oppose O'Sullivan, and went back himself to Cork to the Lord Justice.
Teige Caech, the son of Turlough, son of Brian, son of Donough Mac Mahon, was accidentally killed with the shot of a ball by his own son, in Beare, in the month of May of this year. This death occurred in the following manner: the President, the Earl of Thomond, the Governor of Kerry, i.e. Sir Charles Wilmot, and such of the lords of Munster as were aiding the Sovereign, turned their faces against Beare and O'Sullivan. Before this time Teige Caech happened to have captured a merchant's ship at sea; and O'Sullivan asked him for a loan of that ship, to send it to Spain, to ask assistance from the
p.2309King of Spain before the Queen's army should advance upon him. Teige said that he would not give him the ship, because he had no means of protecting or defending himself but the ship; and, upon saying this, he sent his own son, together with other guards, to defend the ship. O'Sullivan went into a boat, to wrest the ship by force; and Teige happened to be along with him in the same boat. Teige called out to his son, Turlough, and the guards, to fire on O'Sullivan and his people. They did so; and, among the shots discharged between them, Turlough aimed Teige with the shot of a ball in the upper part of his breast; so that he died on the eighth day after that. This Teige had been Lord of West Corca-Bhaiscinn, until he was expelled or banished from his patrimony by the Earl of Thomond three years before that time when he was as we have stated. There was no triocha-chead barony in Ireland of which this Teige was not worthy to have been Lord, for dexterity of hand, for bounteousness, for purchase of wine, horses, and literary works; and if he had a territory or inheritance the person by whom he fell would have been the rightful heir to succeed him.
As for the Earl of Thomond, after he had gone to Cork to the Lord Justice, the resolution to which the Lord Justice came was, that the Earl should again return with forces to the island on which he had previously left a garrison, namely, Oilen-Faoit; and he sent a fleet with ordnance round by sea, which arrived in the vicinity of Dun-Baoi, and, having put to land, they took an island called Baoi-Bheirre, and slew its guards, together with their captain, Richard, the son of Ross, son of Conla Mageoghegan. The crews of the
p.2311fleet landed with arms and ordnance at Dun-baoi, where they formed a strong and impregnable ditch, and a stout and firm trench, from which to play upon
p.2313the castle with ordnance. They thus continued the firing until the castle was razed and levelled with the ground, and the warders were for the most part killed; and such of them as were not killed were hanged in pairs by the Earl of Thomond.
O'Sullivan, after being deprived of this castle, went with his cows, herds, and people, and all his moveables, behind his rugged-topped hills, into the wilds and recesses of his country. The Earl of Thomond and his army, and O'Sullivan and his forces, continued shooting and attacking each other until the Christmas times. The two armies were entrenched and encamped face to face in Gleann-garbh, which glen was one of O'Sullivan's most impregnable retreats. His people now began to separate from O'Sullivan secretly without asking his leave. First of all Captain Tyrrell went away from him, and he was obliged himself to depart in the Christmas holidays, without the knowledge of, and unperceived by the Earl. In the first day's march he went from Gleann-garbh to Baile-Muirne; on the second night he arrived on the borders of the territories of O'Keeffe and Mac Auliffe; on the third night he arrived at Ardpatrick; on the fourth night, at Sulchoid; on the fifth and
p.2315sixth nights he remained at Baile-na-Coille; on the seventh night at Leatharach; and on the eighth at Baile-Achaidh-caoin. He was not a day or night during this period without a battle, or being vehemently and vindictively pursued, all which he sustained and responded to with manliness and vigour. Having arrived on the ninth night at a wood called Coill-fhinne, where they remained for two nights, Donough, the son of Carbry Mac Egan, who lived in their vicinity, began boldly to attack and fire upon O'Sullivan and his people, so that at length he was obliged to be slain, as he would not desist from his attacks, by the advice of O'Sullivan. Not finding cots or boats in readiness, they killed their horses, in order to eat and carry with them their flesh, and to place their hides on frame-works of pliant and elastic osiers, to make curraghs for conveying themselves across the green-streamed Shannon, which they crossed at Ath-Coille-ruaidhe,
p.2317without loss or danger, and landed on the other side in Sil-Anmchadha. From thence they passed on, and on the eleventh night they arrived at Aughrim-Hy-Many. Upon their arrival there the inhabitants of the lands and the tribes in their vicinity collected behind and before them, and shouted in every direction around them. Among the gentlemen who came up with them on this occasion were the son of the Earl of Clanrickard (Thomas, the son of Ulick, son of Richard Saxonagh); Mac Coghlan (John Oge, the son of John, son of Art); O'Madden (Donnell, the son of John, son of Breasal), and his son, Anmchaidh; some active parties of the O'Kellys, and many others not enumerated, with all their forces along with them.
O'Sullivan, O'Conor Kerry, and William Burke, son of John-na-Seamar, with their small party (for the entire did not fully amount to three hundred), were obliged to remain at Aughrim-Hy-Many to engage, fight, and sustain a battle-field, and test their true valour against the many hundreds who were oppressing
p.2319and pursuing them. O'Sullivan, with rage, heroism, fury, and ferocity, rushed to the place where he saw the English, for it was against them that he cherished most animosity and hatred, and made no delay until he reached the spot where he saw their chief; so that he quickly and dexterously beheaded that noble Englishman, the son of Captain Malby. The forces there collected were then routed, and a countless number of them slain. It is scarcely credible that the like number of forces, fatigued from long marching, and coming into the very centre of their enemies, ever before achieved such a victory, in defence of life and renown, as they achieved on that day. They afterwards proceeded, in the midst of spies and betrayers, along the roads until they arrived in Ulster.
Mac Namara Fin (John, the son of Teige, son of Cu-Meadha) died on the 24th of February; and his son, Donnell, took his place.
Turlough, the son of Mahon, son of the Bishop O'Brien, was slain in Hy-Many, by John Burke (son of Richard, son of John), of Doire-mic-Lachtna.
Mac Brody (Maoilin Oge, the son of Maoilin, son of Conor) died on the last day of the month of December. There was not in Ireland, in the person of one individual, a better historian, poet, and rhymer, than he. It was he who composed these historical poems in Dán-Direacht:
- 1] I will lay an obligation on the descendants of Tál.
2] Give thy attention to me, O Inis-an-laoigh Ennis.
3] Know me, O Mac Coghlan!
4] Let us make this visitation among the descendants of Cas.
5] The descendants of Cathaoir are exiles here.
6] From four the Gadelians have sprung.
A hosting was made by Niall Garv O'Donnell, and the English and Irish along with him, from Fraechmhagh in Tyrone, by order of the Lord Justice, who
p.2323was at the same time laying siege to the island of Fraechmhagh. He plundered Cormac, the son of the Baron, who was brother of O'Neill; and also Boston, and the country westwards as far as Machaire-Stefanach, and carried many preys and spoils to Fraechmhagh, to the Lord Justice.
Another hosting of the English and Irish was made by Niall O'Donnell to Breifny O'Rourke; and he carried off a countless number of kine.
King James was proclaimed King in the place of the Queen, Elizabeth, on the 24th of March, 1602, according to the English computation; or in 1603, according to the Roman computation. He was the sixth James of the Kings of Scotland.
As for O'Neill and the Irish adherents who remained in Ireland after the defeat at Kinsale, what O'Donnell (Hugh Roe) had instructed and commanded them to do, before his departure for Spain, was, to exert their bravery in defending their patrimony against the English, until he should return with forces to their relief; and to remain in the camp in which they then were, because their loss was small, although they had been routed. He had observed to them also that it would not be easy for them to return safe to their country, if that were their wish, because their enemies and adversaries would pursue and attack them; and those who had been affectionate and kind towards them, on their coming into Munster, would be spiteful and malicious towards them on their return to their territories, and that they would attack and plunder them, and scoff at and mock them.
The chiefs of the Irish did not, however, take his advice, and did not attend to his request, because he himself was not among them; but they resolved on returning to their territories. They afterwards set out in separate hosts, without ceding the leadership to any one lord; but each lord and chieftain apart, with his own friends and faithful people following him. Alas ! how different were the spirit, courage, energy, hauteur, threatening, and defiance of the Irish, on their return back at this time, from those they had when they first set out on this expedition. The surmises of the Prince O'Donnell, and every thing which he predicted, were verified; for, not only did their constant enemies rise up before and after them to give them battle, but their former friends, confederates, and allies, rose up, and were attacking and shooting them on every narrow road through which they passed. It was not easy for the chiefs and
p.2327gentlemen, for the soldiers and warriors, to protect and defend their people, on account of the length of the way that lay before them, the number of their enemies, and the severity and inclemency of the boisterous winter season, for it was then the end of winter precisely. Howbeit, they reached their territories after great dangers, without any remarkable loss; and each lord of a territory began to defend his patrimony as well as he was able.
Rury O'Donnell, the son of Hugh, son of Manus, was he to whom O'Donnell had, on the night before his departure, left the government of his people and lands, and everything which was hereditary to him, until he should return back again; and he had commanded O'Neill and Rury to be friendly to each other, as themselves both had been. They promised him this thing.
The Kinel-Connell then thronged around the representative of their prince, though most of them deemed the separation from their former hero and leader as the separation of soul from body. O'Donnell's son, Rury, proceeded to lead his people with resoluteness and constant bravery through every difficult and intricate passage, and through every danger and peril which they had to encounter since they left Kinsale until they arrived, in the very beginning of spring, in Lower Connaught, where the cows, farmers, property, and cattle of the Kinel-Connell were dispersed throughout the country, in Corran, in Leyny, and in Tireragh of the Moy. God was the herdsman and shepherd who had come to them thither; for although O'Donnell, at his departure, had left his people much of the cattle of the neighbouring territories, Rury did not suffer them to be forcibly recovered from him by any territory from which they had been taken; for he distributed and stationed his soldiers and warriors upon the gaps of danger and the undefended passes of the country, so that none would attempt to come through them to plunder or persecute any of his people.
O'Gallagher (Owen, the son of John), had been keeping the castle of Ballymote for O'Donnell, since he set out for Munster, until this time; but as soon as Rury returned he gave the castle up to him, so that it was under his command.
The castle of Ballyshannon, in which guards had been placed by O'Donnell, was taken by Niall Garv O'Donnell and the English, after they had broken and greatly battered it by a great gun which they had carried to it; and the warders, seeing that there was no assistance or relief at hand, escaped from it by night. This castle was taken in spring.
Inis-Saimer at Ballyshannon and Inis-mic-Conaill were taken by Hugh Boy, the son of Con O'Donnell; and Cormac, the son of Donough Oge Maguire, was also taken prisoner by him.
Niall Garv, with his brothers, and the English, went in boats on Lough Erne, and took and destroyed Enniskillen. They also took the monasteries of Devenish and Lisgoole, and left warders in them.
Mac Sweeny Banagh (Donough, the son of Mulmurry) came over to Niall O'Donnell and the English. Niall and Mac Sweeny fought a battle with a party of the Maguires and Mac Cabes, in which many were slain; and Brian, the son of Dowell Mac Cabe, was taken prisoner by them.
The island of Cill-Tighearnaigh, in Fermanagh, was taken by Donnell, the son of Con O'Donnell; and he carried off many spoils from it.
Hugh Boy, the son of Con O'Donnell, took a prey from Tuathal, son of Felim Duff O'Neill, in the country of the Sliocht-Airt O'Neill.
Sir Oliver Lambert came in the summer to Sligo with a numerous army of English and Irish, and there encamped against Rury O'Donnell, who was to
p.2331the south of them, and against the inhabitants of Lower Connaught in general, to try whether they could seize on any of their property. Caffar, the son of Hugh Duv O'Donnell, went and ratified his peace and friendship with Sir Oliver. The place at which Caffar had his residence and fortress at this time was Dun-Aille, to the west of Sligo; and Sir Oliver and Caffar prepared to go with their forces into Fermanagh, in search of preys and spoils.
As soon as Rury O'Donnell heard of this expedition, it grieved him that his allies and friends should be plundered, without coming to their relief, if he could; and he repaired to O'Rourke (Brian Oge), to request of him to join his forces, that they might engage the English at a pass where he expected to get an advantage of them. He also requested him to assist him in the war until O'Donnell should return to relieve the Irish, and to give him one of his strong, impregnable castles, as a resting-place for his wounded, disabled, feeble, and sick people; and, moreover, that he would allow his people to remove with their property and cattle into his territory. O'Rourke refused the son of O'Donnell everything he requested of him, and the other was grieved and insulted at his refusal; but, seeing that he was not strong enough to cope with the English, he remained to protect his own people.
As for Sir Oliver, he and Caffar went, with their muster, and plundered the neighbouring parts of Fermanagh; and, after carrying off many spoils, they returned to their houses.
Sir Oliver was informed of the proceedings of Rury O'Donnell, and how he had requested of O'Rourke to join him, to obstruct him Sir Oliver in the expedition which we have before mentioned, and his animosity against him grew greater on account of it; and he, therefore, sent for additional forces to Athlone, to wreak his vengeance upon Rury. As soon as Rury heard that the English of Athlone were approaching him from the south side, and the English of Sligo from the other side, he collected his property, his cattle, flocks, and herds, and moved with them across Coirrshliabh-na-Seaghsa into Moylurg, from thence across the Shannon into Muintir-Eolais, and to Sliabh-an-Iarainn, in Conmaicne-Rein; so that the English seized no portion of them; and the English of Athlone returned to their homes without gaining any victory on that
p.2333occasion, The people of the son of O'Donnell then returned back again with their cattle to the places from which they had set out, namely, to Corran, Leyny, and Tireragh.
Rury himself then set out with all his forces, and arrived at the island of Loch-Iasgach, to the east side of Donegal, where O'Donnell's warders were, and where O'Conor Sligo was left in custody, since he had been taken by O'Donnell until the end of that summer. When he came to this castle, his people there were much rejoiced at his arrival. O'Conor promised to be entirely submissive to O'Donnell's son; and after they had entered into a treaty of friendship with each other, he released O'Conor from captivity; and they afterwards returned back to Connaught.
At this time, that is, in autumn, the English of Roscommon and Upper Connaught mustered a numerous army, to march against Rury O'Donnell again; and they did not delay until they arrived at the monastery of Boyle. Rury and O'Conor mustered another army to meet them; and they marched across Coirrshliabh, and pitched their camp before the town at the other side. They took their people, with their property and cattle, along with them, from Moy-O'Gara in Cuil-O-bh-Fhinn to the eastern extremity of the Coirrshliabh; for they were afraid that the English of Sligo would plunder them in their absence, were they far distant from them. Thus they remained for some time, face to face, in readiness for each other; and many persons were disabled and wounded between them, while in the monastery. The English deemed it too long they had been in that situation; and they resolved to face Bealach-Buidhe, and pass it in despite of Rury and O'Conor. They were met and responded to by the Irish; and a fierce battle was fought between them, in which many of the English were slain; so that they the survivors were compelled to return back, after being much disheartened. They afterwards left the monastery, and returned to Roscommon.
Rury and O'Conor proceeded across Coirrshliabh, and pitched their camp at Ballysadare, to wage war with the English of Sligo. One day they overtook a party of the English aforementioned, who were cutting down the corn and green
p.2335crops of the country, because they were not rich in provisions, and they were annihilated by them at once. They i.e. the English of Sligo, and Rury O'Donnell and his party afterwards made a month's truce with each other.
Thus they passed the time until the beginning of winter, when the Lord Lieutenant and General of the war of Ireland (namely, Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy) sent messengers and letters to Rury O'Donnell, requesting him to come upon terms of peace and tranquillity. The import of these letters was, that it was meet for him to come upon terms of peace and friendship, and that, if he would not, he should be sorry for it, for that news had reached him that O'Donnell, Rury's brother, had died in Spain, and that the war was at an end by his death, and that it would be a great want of wisdom, and self delusion, in him, if he did not make peace with him Mountjoy immediately.
As soon as he had read the letters, Rury called his advisers to him, to consider what he should do; and he began to deliberate with them in council. Some of them said that the report of O'Donnell's death was not true, but that the story had been fabricated, and sent him to allure and deceive him Rury, and to bind him by law. Another party asserted that the rumour was true, that it was good advice to accept of the peace, when it was requested of them; so that what they finally agreed upon was, that he and O'Conor Sligo should go to Athlone, to ratify their peace with the General. They afterwards went, and were welcomed by the General; and he shewed great honour and respect to the son of O'Donnell, and made peace with him on behalf of the King, and confirmed his friendship with him in particular. He then recommended him to return, if he thought proper, to his patrimony.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1603. The Age of Christ, one thousand six hundred three.
O'Neill ( Hugh, the son of Ferdorcha) and most of the Irish of Leath-Chuinn, except O'Rourke, came in under peace; for a proclamation for a general peace,
p.2337and a restoration of his blood and territory to every one that wished for it, had been issued by His Majesty King James, after he had been appointed in the place of the Queen as King over England, France, and Ireland.
Mac Sweeny Fanad (Donnell) came under the law, to join Niall O'Donnell.
Mac Sweeny-na-dTuath (Mulmurry, the son of Murrough), and Caffar Oge, the son of Caffar, son of Manus O'Donnell, went to Tirconnell, with their people and cattle, to wage war with Niall Garv and the English. They made no delay until they arrived at the Rosses and the Islands. They had not been long here when they were plundered by Niall and his kinsmen; and Caffar Oge was taken prisoner, and detained in custody.
The people of Rury O'Donnell repaired to Tirconnell with all their property, cattle, and various effects, in the first month of spring. But Rury himself, with his gathering and muster of Irish and English, with Captain Guest, went (before his people had removed from the west) to revenge and get satisfaction of O'Rourke (Brian Oge), for the insult and dishonour he had some time before offered him (as he had in contemplation some time before); so that they plundered and ravaged Breifny, both its crops and corn, and all the cattle they could seize upon, for the greater part of them had been driven into the wilds and recesses of the territory. A few persons were slain between them, among whom were Owen, the son of Ferdorcha O'Gallagher, and Turlough, the son of Mac Loughlin, who fell by each other on that occasion. A party of the English were left in garrison at Dromahaire, for the purpose of plundering the country
p.2343around them. O'Rourke was thenceforward obliged to remain with a few troops in the woods or precipitous valleys, or on the islands in the lakes of his territory.
As for Niall Garv O'Donnell, a letter arrived from Dublin to him, requesting of him to come before the Lord Justice and the Council, to receive a patent for Tirconnell, as a reward for his services and his assistance to the Crown. He
p.2345neglected this thing; and what he did was, to go to Kilmacrenan, and send for O'Firghil, the Coarb of ColumbLille; and he was styled O'Donnell, without consulting the King's representative or the Council. After the Lord Justice and the Council had heard of this, they became incensed against Niall, and even the General, Sir Henry Docwra, did not well like him, although he had been faithful to him, and had rendered him much service before that time.
Rury O'Donnell happened to be in Dublin at this time; and he was cited to appear before the Lord Justice and the Council. Letters and writings were sent with him to Sir Henry Docwra, ordering him to take Niall Garv prisoner. Some captains were sent in company with him; and when Rury arrived at Derry, the Governor sent a party of the officers and captains of Derry [...] Tuathal, the son of the Dean O'Gallagher; Hugh Boy, the son of John Oge; and Felim, the son of John Oge, with others besides them, were taken prisoners on that occasion. Niall Garv made his escape shortly afterwards, and proceeded himself, with his kinsmen and people, into the woods of Ceann-Maghair.
At this time Manus Oge O'Sruthein was killed by Donnell, the son of Con O'Donnell, in revenge of his brother, Calvagh, son of Con, whom he Manus had slain some time before. It would have been better for him that he had not done this deed, for many evils redounded to them his family on account of it; for orders were given to Rury O'Donnell and all the Irish that were with him, to the captains who had come with him into the territory, and to Captain Guest, who had been in his company in Connaught, to pursue Niall, his brothers and people, and to plunder and prey them. He Rury did as he was ordered, so that not a single head of cattle was left with Niall's people, the others having carried off with them several thousand heads of cattle; so that vast numbers of those who were plundered died of cold and famine. Rury divided the preys, and gave their due proportions of them to the gentlemen who came in his army. Hugh Boy, the son of Con, was wounded in the ankle; and he was sent to Crannog-na-nDuini in Ros-Guill, in the Tuathas, to be healed. The same Hugh was taken prisoner by the English, and conveyed to Derry, to be confined; and the Governor declared that he would not liberate him until the person who committed the slaying (Donnell, son of Con) should come in his ransom. Niall and Donnell afterwards repaired to the Governor on parole of honour; and Hugh Boy was set at liberty, and Donnell detained.
Niall O'Donnell afterwards went to England, to solicit pardon for his offences, and to obtain the reward for his service and aid to the Crown of England from King James. Rury O'DonneIl also went to England from the same motives, although the services of both to the Crown were very different indeed. Each of them exhibited his right to Tirconnell. The King and Council then ordered that Rury O'Donnell should be Earl over Tirconnell, and that Niall should possess his own patrimonial inheritance, namely, that tract of country extending from Leachta-Siubháine, westwards, to Seascann-Lubanach, lying on both
p.2349sides of the River Finn. Both then returned to Ireland in peace and amity, matters having been thus settled between them.
Niall Garv, the son of Rury, son of Egneghan, son of Egneghan, son of Naghtan, son of Turlough-an-Fhiona O'Donnell, died.
Conor, the son of Donough, son of Murrough, son of Turlough O'Brien, died in the month of December.
An intolerable famine prevailed all over Ireland.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1604. The Age of Christ, one thousand six hundred four.
O'Rourke (Brian Oge, the son of Brian-na-Murtha, son of Brian Ballagh, son of Owen) died at Galway on the 28th of January, and was buried in the monastery of Ross-Iriala, with the Franciscan Friars. The death of the person who departed here was a great loss, for he was the supporting pillar and the battle-prop of the race of Aedh-Finn, the tower of battle for prowess, the star of the valour and chivalry of the Hy-Briuin; a brave and protecting man, who had
p.2351not suffered Breifny to be molested in his time; a sedate and heroic man, kind to friends, fierce to foes; and the most illustrious that had come for some time of his family for clemency, hospitality, nobleness, firmness, and steadiness.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1605. The Age of Christ, one thousand six hundred five.
Sir Arthur Chichester, Lord Justice of Ireland, and the Earl of Tyrone (Hugh, the son of Ferdorcha), went to Strabane. O'Neill claimed a portion of the territory which Niall O'Donnell had obtained from the King, namely, Moentacht. Niall produced before the Lord Justice the proofs that he had of his right to Moentacht, in succession from his ancestors; and, among the rest, he produced the charters which Manus O'Donnell had obtained from O'Neill (Con Bacagh) for setting at liberty Henry, the son of John, whom O'Donnell (Manus ) had had in his custody. The Lord Justice, Sir Arthur, having understood their stories on both sides, he adjudged Moentacht to Niall, and said that O'Neill could not by right claim the lands, inasmuch as his title, having been more than sixty years in abeyance, had become obsolete. Both were obliged to abide by this decision.
O'Rourke (Teige, son of Brian, son of Brian, son of Owen), Lord of Breifny, a man who had experienced many hardships and difficulties while defending his patrimony against his brother, Brian Oge; a man who was not expected to die on his bed, but by the spear or sword; a man who had fought many difficult battles, and encountered many dangers, while struggling for his patrimony and the dignity of his father, until God at length permitted him to obtain the lordship, died, and was interred with due honour in the Franciscan Monastery at Carrickpatrick.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1606. The Age of Christ, one thousand six hundred six.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1607. The Age of Christ, one thousand six hundred seven.
O'Boyle (Teige Oge, the son of Teige, son of Turlough) died at Druim-arc, near Baile-Ui-Bhaoighill, on the 3rd day of May, and was interred at Donegal.
Maguire (Cuconnaught) and Donough, the son of Mahon, son of the Bishop O'Brien, brought a ship with them to Ireland, and put in at the harbour of Swilly. They took with them from Ireland the Earl O'Neill (Hugh, the son of Ferdorcha), and the Earl O'Donnell (Rury, the son of Hugh, son of Manus),
p.2355with a great number of the chieftains of the province of Ulster. These were they who went with O'Neill, namely, the Countess Catherina, the daughter of
p.2357Magennis, and her three sons, Hugh the Baron, John, and Brian; Art Oge, the son of Cormac, son of the Baron; Ferdorcha, son of Con, son of O'Neill;
p.2359Hugh Oge, the son of Brian, son of Art O'Neill; and many others of his faithful friends. These were they who went with the Earl O'Donnell: Caffar, his brother, and his sister, Nuala; Hugh, the Earl's son, wanting three weeks of being one year old; Rose, the daughter of O'Doherty, and wife of Caffar, with her son, Hugh, aged two years and three months; the son of his brother, Donnell Oge, the son of Donnell; Naghtan, the son of Calvagh, son of Donough Cairbreach O'Donnell; together with many others of his faithful friends. They entered the ship on the festival of the Holy Cross, in autumn.
This was a distinguished crew for one ship; for it is indeed certain that the sea had not supported, and the winds had not wafted from Ireland, in modern times, a party of one ship who would have been more illustrious or noble, in point of genealogy, or more renowned for deeds, valour, prowess, or high achievements, than they, if God had permitted them to remain in their patrimonies until their children should have reached the age of manhood. Woe to the heart that meditated, woe to the mind that conceived, woe to the council that decided on, the project of their setting out on this voyage, without knowing whether they should ever return to their native principalities or patrimonies to the end of the world.
THE AGE OF GHRIST, 1608. The Age of Christ, one thousand six hundred eight.
Great dissensions and strife arose between the Governor of Derry, Sir George Pawlett, and O'Doherty (Cahir, the son of John Oge). The Governor
p.2361not only offered him insult and abuse by word, but also inflicted chastisement on his body; so that he would rather have suffered death than live to brook such insult and dishonour, or defer or delay to take revenge for it; and he was filled with anger and fury, so that he nearly ran to distraction and madness. What he did was, to consult with his friends how he should take revenge for the insult which was inflicted upon him. What they first unanimously resolved, on the 3rd of May, was to invite to him Captain Hart, who was at Cuil-mor (a
p.2363fort on the margin of Lough Foyle, below the Derry we have mentioned), and to take him prisoner. This was done, and he obtained the fort in his release. He repaired immediately at daybreak to Derry, and awoke the soldiers of that town with the sword. The Governor was slain by Owen, the son of Niall, son of Gerald O'Doherty, and Lieutenant Corbie by John, the son of Hugh, son of Hugh Duv O'Donnell. Many others were also slain besides these. Captain Henry Vaughan and the wife of the bishop of the town were taken prisoners. They afterwards plundered and burned the town, and carried away immense spoils from thence.
Alas! although it was no wonder that this noble chieftain should have avenged his dishonour, innumerable and indescribable were the evils that sprang up and pullulated in the entire province of Ulster through this warlike rising, which he undertook against the King's law; for from it resulted his own death, on the 18th of July following, by the Chief Marshal of Ireland, Robert Wingfield, and Sir Oliver Lambert. He was cut into quarters between Derry and Cuil-mor, and his head was sent to Dublin, to be exhibited; and many of the gentlemen and chieftains of the province, too numerous to be particularized, were also put to death. It was indeed from it, and from the departure of the Earls we have mentioned, it came to pass that their principalities, their territories, their estates, their lands, their forts, their fortresses, their fruitful harbours, and their fishful bays, were taken from the Irish of the province of Ulster, and given in their presence to foreign tribes; and they were expelled and banished into other countries, where most of them died.
Niall Garv O'Donnell, with his brothers Hugh Boy and Donnell, and his son, Naghtan, were taken prisoners about the festival of St. John in this year, after being accused of having been in confederacy with O'Doherty. They were afterwards sent to Dublin, from whence Niall and Naghtan were sent to London, and committed to the Tower, Niall having been freed from death by the decision of the law; and they Niall and Naghtan remained confined in the Tower to the end of their lives. Hugh and Donnell were liberated from their captivity afterwards, i.e. in the year following.
The Earl of Tirconnell (Rury, son of Hugh, son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv, son of Hugh Roe O'Donnell) died at Rome, on the 28th of July, and was interred in the Franciscan monastery situate on the hill on which St. Peter the Apostle was crucified, after lamenting his faults and crimes, after confession, exemplary penance for his sins and transgressions, and after receiving the body and blood of Christ from the hands of the psalm-singing clergy of the Church of Rome. Sorrowful it is to consider the short life and early eclipse of him who was there deceased, for he was a brave, protecting, valiant, puissant, and warlike man, and had often been in the gap of danger along with his brother, Hugh Roe (before he himself had assumed the lordship of Tirconnell), in defence of his religion and his patrimony. He was a generous, bounteous, munificent, and truly hospitable lord, to whom the patrimony of his ancestors did not seem anything for his spending and feasting parties; and a man who did not place his mind or affections upon worldly wealth and jewels, but distributed
p.2367and circulated them among all those who stood in need of them, whether the mighty or the feeble.
Maguire (Cuconnaught Oge, the son of Cuconnaught, son of Cuconnaught, son of Brian, son of Philip, son of Thomas), Lord of Fermanagh, who had attained the lordship without fraud, deceit, treachery, or fratricide; but had been elected in the place of his brother, Hugh, in the presence of the men of Ulster; who was an intelligent, comely, courageous, magnanimous, rapid-marching, adventurous man, endowed with wisdom and personal beauty, and all the other good qualifications, died at Genoa, in Italy, on the 12th of August.
James, the son of Ever, son of Cu-Uladh Cooley Mac Mahon, died on the same day, and was interred at the aforenamed place.
Caffar, son of Hugh, son of Manus O'Donnell, a lord's son, who had borne a greater name, renown, and celebrity, for entertainment of guests and hospitality, than all who were in the Isle of Heremon; a second Cuanna-mac-Cailchinni, and a second Guaire-mac-Colmain for bounty and hospitality; and a man from the presence of whom no one had ever turned away with a refusal of his request; died at Rome on the 17th of September, and was buried with his brother, the Earl.
Hugh O'Neill, the son of Hugh, son of Ferdorcha, Baron of Dungannon, and the heir of the Earl O'Neill, the only expectation of the Kinel-Owen to succeed his father, if he had survived him, died, and was buried in the same place with his mother's brothers, the Earl O'Donnell and Caffar.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1609. The Age of Christ, one thousand six hundred nine.
Caffar Oge, the son of Caffar, son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv O'Donnell, was put to death at Dublin, by the English, on the 18th of July. It would have been no disgrace to the tribe of Conall, son of Niall, to elect this good man as their chief, if he had been permitted to go home to take the leadership of them, by reason of the nobleness of his blood and the greatness of his mind, and for his vigour, magnanimity, prudence, prowess, and puissance, in maintaining a battle against his opponents.
Brian-na-Samhthach, son of Art, son of Brian-na-mucheirghe O'Rourke, was slain by the English.
Mac Ward (Owen, the son of Godfrey, son of Owen, son of Godfrey), Ollav to O'Donnell in poetry, an intelligent, ingenious man, who kept an open house of general hospitality, died at an advanced age, after the victory of penance.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1610. The Age of Christ, one thousand six hundred ten.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1611. The Age of Christ, one thousand six hundred eleven.
Conor O'Duibheannaigh O'Devany, Bishop of Down and Conor, who had been at first a friar of the order of St. Francis, of the convent of Donegal, but who was afterwards, for his good qualifications, elected to the episcopal dignity, was taken prisoner by the English; and he was detained by them a long time in bondage and punishment; and they offered him riches and many rewards, if he would turn over to their heresy, but he refused to accept of them, for he despised transitory riches for an everlasting kingdom. God released him from the English on that occasion; but he was taken again. Sir Arthur Chichester being at this time Lord Justice of Ireland, he was put to death. He was first beheaded, and then his members were cut in quarters, and his flesh mangled at Dublin, on the first of February.
There was not a Christian in the land of Ireland whose heart did not shudder within him at the horror of the martyrdom which this chaste, wise, divine, and the perfect and truly meek, righteous man, suffered for the reward of his soul. The Christians who were then in Dublin contended with each other, to see which of them should have one of his limbs; and not only his limbs, but they had fine linen in readiness, to prevent his blood from falling to the ground; for they were convinced that he was one of the holy martyrs of the Lord.
Gilla-Patrick O'Loughrane, a distinguished priest, was with the Bishop at this time. When the English had decided that both these should be put to death, the Bishop felt afraid that he the priest might be seized with horror and dismay at the sight of the tortures about to be inflicted upon his own body in his presence; so that he, therefore, requested of the executioner to put the priest to death before himself. The priest said that he need not be in dread on his account, and that he would follow him without fear, and remarked that it was not meet an honourable bishop should be without a priest to attend him. This he fulfilled, for he consented and suffered the like torture to be inflicted on him with fortitude, for the sake of obtaining the kingdom of heaven for his soul.
Niall O'Boyle, Bishop of Raphoe, died at Gleann-Eidhnighe, on the 6th of February, and was interred at Inis-Caoil.
THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1616. The Age of Christ, one thousand six hundred sixteen.
O'Neill (Hugh, son of Ferdorcha, son of Con Bacagh, son of Con, son of Henry, son of Owen), who had been Baron from the death of his father to the year when the celebrated Parliament was held in Dublin, 1584 recte 1585, and who was styled Earl of Tyrone at that Parliament, and who was afterwards styled O'Neill, died at an advanced age, after having passed his life in prosperity and happiness, in valiant and illustrious achievements, in honour and nobleness. The place at which he died was Rome, and his death occurred on the 20th of July, after exemplary penance for his sins, and gaining the victory over the world and the Devil. Although he died far from Armagh, the burial-place of his ancestors, it was a token that God was pleased with his life that the Lord permitted him a no worse burial-place, namely, Rome, the head city of the Christians. The person who here died was a powerful, mighty lord, endowed
p.2375with wisdom, subtlety, and profundity of mind and intellect; a warlike, valorous, predatory, enterprising lord, in defending his religion and his patrimony against his enemies; a pious and charitable lord, mild and gentle with his friends, fierce and stern towards his enemies, until he had brought them to submission and obedience to his authority, a lord who had not coveted to possess himself of the illegal or excessive property of any other, except such as had been hereditary in his ancestors from a remote period; a lord with the authority and praiseworthy characteristics of a prince, who had not suffered theft or robbery, abduction or rape, spite or animosity, to prevail during his reign; but had kept all under the authority of the law, as was meet for a prince.