THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1602. The Age of Christ, one thousand six hundred two.
After this defeat of Kinsale had been given by the English (as has been already written), on the third day of the month of January, to the Irish and the few Spaniards of the King of Spain's people who happened to be along with them at that time, O'Donnell (Hugh Roe) was seized with great fury, rage, and anxiety of mind; so that he did not sleep or rest soundly for the space of three days and three nights afterwards; so that he despaired of getting succour in Ireland. At the expiration of that time, the resolution he came to (by the advice of O'Neill, who, however, gave him this advice with reluctance), was, to leave Ireland, and go to Spain to King Philip III., to request more forces and succour from him; for he thought that the King of Spain was the person who could render him most relief, and who was the most willing to assist those who always fought in defence of the Roman Catholic religion; and, moreover, on account of his Philip's attachment to the Gaels, from their having first come out of Spain to invade Ireland, as is manifest from the Book of Invasions.
Having come to this resolution, the persons he selected to accompany him on this journey were: Redmond Burke, the son of John; Captain Hugh Mus Mustian, son of Robert; and Flaithri, the son of Fithil O'Mulconry, a
p.2293chosen father of the Franciscan order, who was his confessor; with others of his own faithful people besides them. When this resolution was heard by all in general, it was pitiful and mournful to hear the loud clapping of hands, the intense tearful moaning, and the loud-wailing lamentation, that prevailed throughout O'Donnell's camp at that time. They had reason for this, if they knew it at the time, for never afterwards did they behold, as ruler over them, him who was then their leader and earthly prince in the island of Erin.
On the sixth day of the month of January, O'Donnell, with his heroes, took shipping at Cuan-an-chaislein; and, the breath of the first wind that rose wafting them over the boisterous ocean, they landed on the 14th of the same month in the harbour near Corunna, a celebrated city in the kingdom of Gallicia in Spain. And it was here stood the tower of Breogan, usually called Braganza, which had been erected in ancient times by Breogan, the son of Bratha, and from which the sons of Milesius, of Spain, the son of Bile, son of Breogan, had set out in their first invasion of Ireland, against the Tuatha-De-Dananns. When O'Donnell landed at Corunna, he walked through the town, and went to view Breogan's Tower. He was rejoiced to have landed at that place, for he deemed it to be an omen of good success that he had arrived at the place from whence his ancestor had formerly obtained power and sway over Ireland. After having
p.2295rested himself for a short time at Corunna, he proceeded to the place where the King was, in the province of Castile, for it was there he happened to be at this time (after making a visitation of his kingdom), in the city which is called Samora. And as soon as O'Donnell arrived in the presence of the King, he knelt down before him; and he made submission and obeisance unto him, as was due to his dignity, and did not consent to rise until the King promised to grant him his three requests. The first of these was, to send an army with him to Ireland, with suitable engines and necessary arms, whatever time they should be prepared. The second, that, should the King's Majesty obtain power and sway over Ireland, he would never place any of the nobles of his blood in power or authority over him or his successors. The third request was, not to lessen or diminish on himself or his successors for ever the right of his ancestors, in any place where his ancestors had power and sway before that time in Ireland.
All these were promised him to be complied, with by the King; and he received respect from him; and it is not probable that any Gael ever received in latter times so great an honour from any other king.
When O'Donnell had thus finished his business with the King, he was desired by the King to return back to Corunna, and remain there until every thing should be in readiness for his return to Ireland. This he did; and he remained there until the month of August following. It was anguish of heart and sickness of mind to O'Donnell that the Irish should remain so long without being aided or relieved by him; and, deeming it too long that the army which had been promised him had been without coming together to one place, he prepared to go again before the King, to know what it was that caused the retarding or delay in the raising of the army which he had promised; and when he arrived at the town which is called Simancas, two leagues from Valladolid, the King's Court, God permitted, and the misfortune, ill fate, wretchedness, and curse attending the island of Heremon, and the Irish of fair Banba in general,
p.2297would have it, that O'Donnell should take the disease of his death and the sickness of his dissolution; and, after lying seventeen days on the bed, he died, on the 10th of September, in the house which the King of Spain himself had at that town (Simancas), after lamenting his crimes and transgressions, after a rigid penance for his sins and iniquities, after making his confession without reserve to his confessors, and receiving the body and blood of Christ, and after being duly anointed by the hands of his own confessors and ecclesiastical attendants: Father Flaithri O'Mulconry (then confessor and spiritual adviser to O'Donnell, and afterwards Archbishop of Tuam on that account), and Father Maurice Ultach Donlevy, the son of Donough, a poor friar of the order of St. Francis, from the convent of the monastery of the town of Donegal, which was one of O'Donnell's fortresses.
His body was conveyed to the King's palace at Valladolid in a four-wheeled hearse, surrounded by countless numbers of the King's state officers, Council, and guards, with luminous torches and bright flambeaux of beautiful wax-light burning on each side of him. He was afterwards interred in the monastery of St. Francis, in the Chapter precisely, with veneration and honour, and in the most solemn manner that any of the Gaels had been ever interred in before. Masses, and many hymns, chaunts, and melodious canticles, were celebrated for the welfare of his soul; and his requiem was sung with becoming solemnity.
Alas ! the early eclipse of him who died here was mournful to many; for he was the head of the conference and counsel, of advice and consultation, of the greater number of the Irish, as well in peace as in war. He was a mighty and bounteous lord, with the authority of a prince to enforce the law; a lion in strength and force, with determination and force of character in deed and word, so that he durst not at all be disobeyed, for whatever he ordered to be done should be immediately executed, accordingly as he directed by his words; a dove in meekness and gentleness towards the Nemeds, the clergy, and the literati, and towards every one who had not incurred his displeasure, and who submitted to his authority; a man who had impressed the dread and terror of himself upon all persons, far and near, and whom no man could terrify; a lord, the expeller of rebels, the destroyer of robbers, the exalter of the sons of life,
p.2299the executioner of the sons of death; a man who never suffered any injury or injustice, contempt or insult, offered him, to remain unrevenged or unatoned for, but took vengeance without delay; a determined, fierce, and bold invader of districts; a warlike, predatory, and pugnacious plunderer of distant territories; the vehement, vigorous, stern, and irresistible destroyer of his English and Irish opposers; one who never in his life neglected to do whatever was desirable for a prince; a sweet-sounding trumpet; endowed with the gift of eloquence and address, of sense and counsel, and with the look of amiability in his countenance, which captivated every one who beheld him; a promised and prophesied one, who had been truly predicted by prophets a long time before his birth, and particularly by the holy patron, Columbkille, the son of Felim, who said of him:
- 1] A noble, pure, exalted man shall come,
2] Who shall cause mournful weeping in every territory.
3] He will be the pious Don,
4] And will be ten years King.
Pitiable, indeed, was the state of the Gaels of Ireland after the death of O'Donnell; for their characteristics and dispositions were changed; for they exchanged their bravery for cowardice, their magnanimity for weakness, their pride for servility; their success, valour, prowess, heroism, exultation, and military glory, vanished after his death. They despaired of relief, so that the most of them were obliged to seek aid and refuge from enemies and strangers, while others were scattered and dispersed, not only throughout Ireland, but throughout foreign countries, as poor, indigent, helpless paupers; and others were offering themselves for hire as soldiers to foreigners; so that countless numbers of the freeborn nobles of Ireland were slain in distant foreign countries, and were buried in strange places and unhereditary churches, in consequence of the death of this one man who departed from them. In a word, it would be tedious and impossible to enumerate or describe the great evils which sprang and took permanent root at that time in Ireland from the death of Hugh Roe O'Donnell.
When the Irish had dispersed, after the defeat at Kinsale, as we have before mentioned, the Lord Justice, the President, the Earl of Thomond, and
p.2301the Earl of Clanrickard, with the chiefs of the English army in general, resolved to attack Kinsale, and to force their way through the fast gates, and through the shattered breaches which they had made by the great foreign ordnance which they had with them, firing and playing upon the town from the time they had pitched their camp before it to that day. As soon as Don Juan heard of this thing, and when he learned that the Irish, to whom he had come, and who, he thought, would have relieved him, were dispersed from him, and that he was left in the narrow place and blockaded prison in which he was, and that it was not in his power to return back to his friends or to go forth against his enemies, on account of their vastness and numerousness, and on account of the goodness of their defence and watching by day and night, the resolution he came to was, to send messengers to the Lord Justice, the President, and the Earl of Clanrickard, and the Earl of Thomond, and the other chiefs of the army, to state to them that he would surrender to the Lord Justice and these lords, if only they would allow his people to remain in the town until Patrick's Day following, and to give liberty to his people and to the people of the Queen
p.2303to pass in and out, and mingle with each other; and also liberty to exchange money and wares for anything they required; that if relief or assistance should in the mean time come to him from the King of Spain, the Lord Justice should be bound to let Don Juan at large among his people; that if no relief should arrive, that the Lord Justice and these lords should convey him and his people to Spain: Don Juan engaging to return back safe to Ireland the fleet that should be sent with him.
The proposals of the envoys were hearkened to by the Lord Justice and chiefs in general, and their requests were acceded to; and when their conditions were ratified and confirmed by both parties, Don Juan came to the Lord Justice, and was honourably received by him and the other chiefs who were along with him. The Lord Justice, the President, and Don Juan, went to Cork, and all aftewards dispersed for their respective homes.
As for the Earl of Thomond, he returned to his territory after having been a long time away from it in England and in the camp at Kinsale; and he was not long at rest after arriving in his patrimony when he attacked the gentlemen who had been plundering and destroying his territory since they had heard of the arrival of Don Juan till that hour. Among these were Turlough, the son of Mahon, son of Turlough, son of Mahon O'Brien, and Conor, the son of Donnell, son of Mahon, son of Brian O'Brien. These were compelled to deliver up the castles which they had in their possession, and into which they had carried to them the property of the inhabitants and helpless people of the territory, namely, Derryowen and Baile-an-Chaislein, into the custody of just men, who did not wish to plunder the country by means of them. A fortnight's parole and respite was given them by the Earl, that they might bid farewell to their friends and prepare to quit the country, to which they were not to return without the permission of the Lord Justice and the Council.
As for the gentlemen, before the expiration of their parole, they prepared
p.2305to quit the country, and proceeded through Clann-Cuilein until they arrived at Killaloe; from thence across the Shannon into Ara; and they prepared to make a stay for that night in Duhara. When the sons of Turlough Carragh, son of Turlough, son of Murtough, son of Donnell, son of Teige O'Brien, namely, Donough and Donnell, who were acting in behalf of the Queen, heard that they had arrived in that manner in the territory, after the expiration of the period of the word of the Earl, and not having the word of the Sovereign or any one else, they attacked them in every place where they were, and made prisoners of them all, except Turlough, the son of Mahon O'Brien, who, after he had taken his dinner, had betaken himself to the shady, solitary woods, and the rough-headed hills, to shelter himself from his enemies. These were the chieftains who were there taken: Conor, the son of Donnell, son of Mahon O'Brien, Brian Ballagh, the son of Mahon and Teige Ultagh, the son of Mahon O'Brien, with the number of forces that happened to be along with them. And when taken they were sent back in fetters to the Earl to Killaloe, and they were hanged in pairs, face to face, from the nearest trees.
After the dispersion and execution of these gentlemen and plunderers by the Earl, he went to Limerick, and from thence to Cork, to the Lord Justice. The Lord Justice ordered the Earl to proceed to Beare, with three thousand soldiers, to see if he could advantageously make an attack upon O'Sullivan Beare and the gentlemen who were with him, namely, a party of the Mac Carthys, Captain Tyrrell, Mac Maurice of Kerry, O'Conor Kerry, and the knight of Glin. The Earl did not neglect this order; and he passed forward, without halting or delaying, until he arrived at the monastery of Bantry, in the territory of the sons of Owen O'Sullivan. The sons of Owen were assisting the Earl against O'Sullivan, because the O'Sullivan had taken Dun-Baoi and Beare from their father by the decision of the Council beyond and here, and was accustomed to say that he should by right receive the rents of Bantry.
The place at which O'Sullivan and his forces were at this time stationed
p.2307was at Ceim-an-ghabhair, between the army on that side and the entrance into Beare. This place was the common pass into the territory, and it was intricate and narrow to be passed through by this large army of the Queen, even should there be no trees felled, or trenches sunk in the earth, or no men, ordnance, or army planted there against them, as indeed there was at that time to defend the pass against them. The Earl remained nearly a week in the monastery of Bantry, a conference being expected between him and O'Sullivan; but as they did not come near each other, because it was not easy for the Earl, or the army, to attack or force this narrow pass, he left a garrison of soldiers in Oilen-Faoit, to oppose O'Sullivan, and went back himself to Cork to the Lord Justice.
Teige Caech, the son of Turlough, son of Brian, son of Donough Mac Mahon, was accidentally killed with the shot of a ball by his own son, in Beare, in the month of May of this year. This death occurred in the following manner: the President, the Earl of Thomond, the Governor of Kerry, i.e. Sir Charles Wilmot, and such of the lords of Munster as were aiding the Sovereign, turned their faces against Beare and O'Sullivan. Before this time Teige Caech happened to have captured a merchant's ship at sea; and O'Sullivan asked him for a loan of that ship, to send it to Spain, to ask assistance from the
p.2309King of Spain before the Queen's army should advance upon him. Teige said that he would not give him the ship, because he had no means of protecting or defending himself but the ship; and, upon saying this, he sent his own son, together with other guards, to defend the ship. O'Sullivan went into a boat, to wrest the ship by force; and Teige happened to be along with him in the same boat. Teige called out to his son, Turlough, and the guards, to fire on O'Sullivan and his people. They did so; and, among the shots discharged between them, Turlough aimed Teige with the shot of a ball in the upper part of his breast; so that he died on the eighth day after that. This Teige had been Lord of West Corca-Bhaiscinn, until he was expelled or banished from his patrimony by the Earl of Thomond three years before that time when he was as we have stated. There was no triocha-chead barony in Ireland of which this Teige was not worthy to have been Lord, for dexterity of hand, for bounteousness, for purchase of wine, horses, and literary works; and if he had a territory or inheritance the person by whom he fell would have been the rightful heir to succeed him.
As for the Earl of Thomond, after he had gone to Cork to the Lord Justice, the resolution to which the Lord Justice came was, that the Earl should again return with forces to the island on which he had previously left a garrison, namely, Oilen-Faoit; and he sent a fleet with ordnance round by sea, which arrived in the vicinity of Dun-Baoi, and, having put to land, they took an island called Baoi-Bheirre, and slew its guards, together with their captain, Richard, the son of Ross, son of Conla Mageoghegan. The crews of the
p.2311fleet landed with arms and ordnance at Dun-baoi, where they formed a strong and impregnable ditch, and a stout and firm trench, from which to play upon
p.2313the castle with ordnance. They thus continued the firing until the castle was razed and levelled with the ground, and the warders were for the most part killed; and such of them as were not killed were hanged in pairs by the Earl of Thomond.
O'Sullivan, after being deprived of this castle, went with his cows, herds, and people, and all his moveables, behind his rugged-topped hills, into the wilds and recesses of his country. The Earl of Thomond and his army, and O'Sullivan and his forces, continued shooting and attacking each other until the Christmas times. The two armies were entrenched and encamped face to face in Gleann-garbh, which glen was one of O'Sullivan's most impregnable retreats. His people now began to separate from O'Sullivan secretly without asking his leave. First of all Captain Tyrrell went away from him, and he was obliged himself to depart in the Christmas holidays, without the knowledge of, and unperceived by the Earl. In the first day's march he went from Gleann-garbh to Baile-Muirne; on the second night he arrived on the borders of the territories of O'Keeffe and Mac Auliffe; on the third night he arrived at Ardpatrick; on the fourth night, at Sulchoid; on the fifth and
p.2315sixth nights he remained at Baile-na-Coille; on the seventh night at Leatharach; and on the eighth at Baile-Achaidh-caoin. He was not a day or night during this period without a battle, or being vehemently and vindictively pursued, all which he sustained and responded to with manliness and vigour. Having arrived on the ninth night at a wood called Coill-fhinne, where they remained for two nights, Donough, the son of Carbry Mac Egan, who lived in their vicinity, began boldly to attack and fire upon O'Sullivan and his people, so that at length he was obliged to be slain, as he would not desist from his attacks, by the advice of O'Sullivan. Not finding cots or boats in readiness, they killed their horses, in order to eat and carry with them their flesh, and to place their hides on frame-works of pliant and elastic osiers, to make curraghs for conveying themselves across the green-streamed Shannon, which they crossed at Ath-Coille-ruaidhe,
p.2317without loss or danger, and landed on the other side in Sil-Anmchadha. From thence they passed on, and on the eleventh night they arrived at Aughrim-Hy-Many. Upon their arrival there the inhabitants of the lands and the tribes in their vicinity collected behind and before them, and shouted in every direction around them. Among the gentlemen who came up with them on this occasion were the son of the Earl of Clanrickard (Thomas, the son of Ulick, son of Richard Saxonagh); Mac Coghlan (John Oge, the son of John, son of Art); O'Madden (Donnell, the son of John, son of Breasal), and his son, Anmchaidh; some active parties of the O'Kellys, and many others not enumerated, with all their forces along with them.
O'Sullivan, O'Conor Kerry, and William Burke, son of John-na-Seamar, with their small party (for the entire did not fully amount to three hundred), were obliged to remain at Aughrim-Hy-Many to engage, fight, and sustain a battle-field, and test their true valour against the many hundreds who were oppressing
p.2319and pursuing them. O'Sullivan, with rage, heroism, fury, and ferocity, rushed to the place where he saw the English, for it was against them that he cherished most animosity and hatred, and made no delay until he reached the spot where he saw their chief; so that he quickly and dexterously beheaded that noble Englishman, the son of Captain Malby. The forces there collected were then routed, and a countless number of them slain. It is scarcely credible that the like number of forces, fatigued from long marching, and coming into the very centre of their enemies, ever before achieved such a victory, in defence of life and renown, as they achieved on that day. They afterwards proceeded, in the midst of spies and betrayers, along the roads until they arrived in Ulster.
Mac Namara Fin (John, the son of Teige, son of Cu-Meadha) died on the 24th of February; and his son, Donnell, took his place.
Turlough, the son of Mahon, son of the Bishop O'Brien, was slain in Hy-Many, by John Burke (son of Richard, son of John), of Doire-mic-Lachtna.
Mac Brody (Maoilin Oge, the son of Maoilin, son of Conor) died on the last day of the month of December. There was not in Ireland, in the person of one individual, a better historian, poet, and rhymer, than he. It was he who composed these historical poems in Dán-Direacht:
- 1] I will lay an obligation on the descendants of Tál.
2] Give thy attention to me, O Inis-an-laoigh Ennis.
3] Know me, O Mac Coghlan!
4] Let us make this visitation among the descendants of Cas.
5] The descendants of Cathaoir are exiles here.
6] From four the Gadelians have sprung.
A hosting was made by Niall Garv O'Donnell, and the English and Irish along with him, from Fraechmhagh in Tyrone, by order of the Lord Justice, who
p.2323was at the same time laying siege to the island of Fraechmhagh. He plundered Cormac, the son of the Baron, who was brother of O'Neill; and also Boston, and the country westwards as far as Machaire-Stefanach, and carried many preys and spoils to Fraechmhagh, to the Lord Justice.
Another hosting of the English and Irish was made by Niall O'Donnell to Breifny O'Rourke; and he carried off a countless number of kine.
King James was proclaimed King in the place of the Queen, Elizabeth, on the 24th of March, 1602, according to the English computation; or in 1603, according to the Roman computation. He was the sixth James of the Kings of Scotland.
As for O'Neill and the Irish adherents who remained in Ireland after the defeat at Kinsale, what O'Donnell (Hugh Roe) had instructed and commanded them to do, before his departure for Spain, was, to exert their bravery in defending their patrimony against the English, until he should return with forces to their relief; and to remain in the camp in which they then were, because their loss was small, although they had been routed. He had observed to them also that it would not be easy for them to return safe to their country, if that were their wish, because their enemies and adversaries would pursue and attack them; and those who had been affectionate and kind towards them, on their coming into Munster, would be spiteful and malicious towards them on their return to their territories, and that they would attack and plunder them, and scoff at and mock them.
The chiefs of the Irish did not, however, take his advice, and did not attend to his request, because he himself was not among them; but they resolved on returning to their territories. They afterwards set out in separate hosts, without ceding the leadership to any one lord; but each lord and chieftain apart, with his own friends and faithful people following him. Alas ! how different were the spirit, courage, energy, hauteur, threatening, and defiance of the Irish, on their return back at this time, from those they had when they first set out on this expedition. The surmises of the Prince O'Donnell, and every thing which he predicted, were verified; for, not only did their constant enemies rise up before and after them to give them battle, but their former friends, confederates, and allies, rose up, and were attacking and shooting them on every narrow road through which they passed. It was not easy for the chiefs and
p.2327gentlemen, for the soldiers and warriors, to protect and defend their people, on account of the length of the way that lay before them, the number of their enemies, and the severity and inclemency of the boisterous winter season, for it was then the end of winter precisely. Howbeit, they reached their territories after great dangers, without any remarkable loss; and each lord of a territory began to defend his patrimony as well as he was able.
Rury O'Donnell, the son of Hugh, son of Manus, was he to whom O'Donnell had, on the night before his departure, left the government of his people and lands, and everything which was hereditary to him, until he should return back again; and he had commanded O'Neill and Rury to be friendly to each other, as themselves both had been. They promised him this thing.
The Kinel-Connell then thronged around the representative of their prince, though most of them deemed the separation from their former hero and leader as the separation of soul from body. O'Donnell's son, Rury, proceeded to lead his people with resoluteness and constant bravery through every difficult and intricate passage, and through every danger and peril which they had to encounter since they left Kinsale until they arrived, in the very beginning of spring, in Lower Connaught, where the cows, farmers, property, and cattle of the Kinel-Connell were dispersed throughout the country, in Corran, in Leyny, and in Tireragh of the Moy. God was the herdsman and shepherd who had come to them thither; for although O'Donnell, at his departure, had left his people much of the cattle of the neighbouring territories, Rury did not suffer them to be forcibly recovered from him by any territory from which they had been taken; for he distributed and stationed his soldiers and warriors upon the gaps of danger and the undefended passes of the country, so that none would attempt to come through them to plunder or persecute any of his people.
O'Gallagher (Owen, the son of John), had been keeping the castle of Ballymote for O'Donnell, since he set out for Munster, until this time; but as soon as Rury returned he gave the castle up to him, so that it was under his command.
The castle of Ballyshannon, in which guards had been placed by O'Donnell, was taken by Niall Garv O'Donnell and the English, after they had broken and greatly battered it by a great gun which they had carried to it; and the warders, seeing that there was no assistance or relief at hand, escaped from it by night. This castle was taken in spring.
Inis-Saimer at Ballyshannon and Inis-mic-Conaill were taken by Hugh Boy, the son of Con O'Donnell; and Cormac, the son of Donough Oge Maguire, was also taken prisoner by him.
Niall Garv, with his brothers, and the English, went in boats on Lough Erne, and took and destroyed Enniskillen. They also took the monasteries of Devenish and Lisgoole, and left warders in them.
Mac Sweeny Banagh (Donough, the son of Mulmurry) came over to Niall O'Donnell and the English. Niall and Mac Sweeny fought a battle with a party of the Maguires and Mac Cabes, in which many were slain; and Brian, the son of Dowell Mac Cabe, was taken prisoner by them.
The island of Cill-Tighearnaigh, in Fermanagh, was taken by Donnell, the son of Con O'Donnell; and he carried off many spoils from it.
Hugh Boy, the son of Con O'Donnell, took a prey from Tuathal, son of Felim Duff O'Neill, in the country of the Sliocht-Airt O'Neill.
Sir Oliver Lambert came in the summer to Sligo with a numerous army of English and Irish, and there encamped against Rury O'Donnell, who was to
p.2331the south of them, and against the inhabitants of Lower Connaught in general, to try whether they could seize on any of their property. Caffar, the son of Hugh Duv O'Donnell, went and ratified his peace and friendship with Sir Oliver. The place at which Caffar had his residence and fortress at this time was Dun-Aille, to the west of Sligo; and Sir Oliver and Caffar prepared to go with their forces into Fermanagh, in search of preys and spoils.
As soon as Rury O'Donnell heard of this expedition, it grieved him that his allies and friends should be plundered, without coming to their relief, if he could; and he repaired to O'Rourke (Brian Oge), to request of him to join his forces, that they might engage the English at a pass where he expected to get an advantage of them. He also requested him to assist him in the war until O'Donnell should return to relieve the Irish, and to give him one of his strong, impregnable castles, as a resting-place for his wounded, disabled, feeble, and sick people; and, moreover, that he would allow his people to remove with their property and cattle into his territory. O'Rourke refused the son of O'Donnell everything he requested of him, and the other was grieved and insulted at his refusal; but, seeing that he was not strong enough to cope with the English, he remained to protect his own people.
As for Sir Oliver, he and Caffar went, with their muster, and plundered the neighbouring parts of Fermanagh; and, after carrying off many spoils, they returned to their houses.
Sir Oliver was informed of the proceedings of Rury O'Donnell, and how he had requested of O'Rourke to join him, to obstruct him Sir Oliver in the expedition which we have before mentioned, and his animosity against him grew greater on account of it; and he, therefore, sent for additional forces to Athlone, to wreak his vengeance upon Rury. As soon as Rury heard that the English of Athlone were approaching him from the south side, and the English of Sligo from the other side, he collected his property, his cattle, flocks, and herds, and moved with them across Coirrshliabh-na-Seaghsa into Moylurg, from thence across the Shannon into Muintir-Eolais, and to Sliabh-an-Iarainn, in Conmaicne-Rein; so that the English seized no portion of them; and the English of Athlone returned to their homes without gaining any victory on that
p.2333occasion, The people of the son of O'Donnell then returned back again with their cattle to the places from which they had set out, namely, to Corran, Leyny, and Tireragh.
Rury himself then set out with all his forces, and arrived at the island of Loch-Iasgach, to the east side of Donegal, where O'Donnell's warders were, and where O'Conor Sligo was left in custody, since he had been taken by O'Donnell until the end of that summer. When he came to this castle, his people there were much rejoiced at his arrival. O'Conor promised to be entirely submissive to O'Donnell's son; and after they had entered into a treaty of friendship with each other, he released O'Conor from captivity; and they afterwards returned back to Connaught.
At this time, that is, in autumn, the English of Roscommon and Upper Connaught mustered a numerous army, to march against Rury O'Donnell again; and they did not delay until they arrived at the monastery of Boyle. Rury and O'Conor mustered another army to meet them; and they marched across Coirrshliabh, and pitched their camp before the town at the other side. They took their people, with their property and cattle, along with them, from Moy-O'Gara in Cuil-O-bh-Fhinn to the eastern extremity of the Coirrshliabh; for they were afraid that the English of Sligo would plunder them in their absence, were they far distant from them. Thus they remained for some time, face to face, in readiness for each other; and many persons were disabled and wounded between them, while in the monastery. The English deemed it too long they had been in that situation; and they resolved to face Bealach-Buidhe, and pass it in despite of Rury and O'Conor. They were met and responded to by the Irish; and a fierce battle was fought between them, in which many of the English were slain; so that they the survivors were compelled to return back, after being much disheartened. They afterwards left the monastery, and returned to Roscommon.
Rury and O'Conor proceeded across Coirrshliabh, and pitched their camp at Ballysadare, to wage war with the English of Sligo. One day they overtook a party of the English aforementioned, who were cutting down the corn and green
p.2335crops of the country, because they were not rich in provisions, and they were annihilated by them at once. They i.e. the English of Sligo, and Rury O'Donnell and his party afterwards made a month's truce with each other.
Thus they passed the time until the beginning of winter, when the Lord Lieutenant and General of the war of Ireland (namely, Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy) sent messengers and letters to Rury O'Donnell, requesting him to come upon terms of peace and tranquillity. The import of these letters was, that it was meet for him to come upon terms of peace and friendship, and that, if he would not, he should be sorry for it, for that news had reached him that O'Donnell, Rury's brother, had died in Spain, and that the war was at an end by his death, and that it would be a great want of wisdom, and self delusion, in him, if he did not make peace with him Mountjoy immediately.
As soon as he had read the letters, Rury called his advisers to him, to consider what he should do; and he began to deliberate with them in council. Some of them said that the report of O'Donnell's death was not true, but that the story had been fabricated, and sent him to allure and deceive him Rury, and to bind him by law. Another party asserted that the rumour was true, that it was good advice to accept of the peace, when it was requested of them; so that what they finally agreed upon was, that he and O'Conor Sligo should go to Athlone, to ratify their peace with the General. They afterwards went, and were welcomed by the General; and he shewed great honour and respect to the son of O'Donnell, and made peace with him on behalf of the King, and confirmed his friendship with him in particular. He then recommended him to return, if he thought proper, to his patrimony.