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.