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.