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Beatrix Färber (ed.)
Beatrix Färber (ed.)
Benjamin Hazard (ed.)
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My good, and right deare ffrinde,2 Althoughe I doe not accustome my selfe, to describe, or Blason the Actions and servyces of the state, (knoweing well that in giveinge suche as deserve it, their dewe Comendations, I shalbe offensive to others, emulateinge the same, or in detracteinge any parte therof ffrom those vnto whome it is dewe, I shall rightlye displeas them,) yett the manye ffavoures and ffrindshipp I haue receyved at your handes, and the good opinyon I stande Assured yow houlde of myne Affection towardes yow, doe presse me to deliver it; (seeinge you have soe often and earnestly requested me therevnto.) This discourse of the late servyces Luckelye exployted in Connaught by Sir Richard Byngham, Knight, governor ffor hir Majestie there, that is, the servyce against the Bourcks within the Countie of Mayo, uppon their Revolte, and the servyce agaynst the Scotts of the out Ilandes, uppon their Invasion of the said Provynce; which Discourse, ffor the Better vnderstandinge of it effectuallye, must needes take Beginninge at the Cawse and ffoundacion of the said Troubles. And althoughe I doubte not, but you houlde a good opinyon of my playne and vnpartiall Penn, in like matters, yett ffor the Better Creditt of the truthe therof, I send you this Discourse Conffirmed vnder the handes, and Testimonyes of diverse Captaynes and gentlemen which were imployed in the said services. This Discourse (in as much as the Toyle, and Travayle therof [whereof it treatheth] was exceedinge
p.190paynefull, the Contynuance of the Journye Longe without intermission, the successe therof ffortunate, the Victorye Atchieved without the Losse of any of our parte, the overthrowe given to the Enemye soe greate, as the Like hath seldome or never bene harde of in Ireland before) Contayneth an Acrion, altogether Heroicall, and worthie to be Comytted to Memorye, in this, or such other Like manner ensueinge.
In the Moneth of September, in the yeare of our Lorde 1585, at a Sessions houlden at Doonnemonie,3 in the Countie of Mayo, within the Provynce of Connaught, by Sir Richard Byngham, Knight, cheiffe Commissioner, and Governor of the said Provynce, (Sir Nicholas White, Master of the Rolls, then beinge, present, and imployed with him, ffor the perffectinge of the last Composition,4 made within the said Provynce) the Countye of Mayo, and the whole Countrye stoode then in generallitye, thoroughe the good, and polleticque govermnente, and the iust, and upright dealinge of the said Sir Richard Byngham, on peaceable and quiett Tearmes, without any fface of Alteration; and the most parte of the gentlemen, and ffreehoulders, of that Countrye, resorted to the said Sessions before, nevertheles when nowe by means of this Composition and Agreemente Betwene hir Majestie and them, they perceyved that the names, Tytles, and superioretyes of their Cheiffe Lordes, and especiallye of Mac William, the Cheiffest of the Septs of that Countrye, should Cease, extinguishe, and ffor ever after be determyned, it did not a Little greive them; Althoughe somme of them not longe before, had expostulated the Like refformation. The Plott of this Composition was devised by Sir Richard of purpose to take awaye the greatnes of the Irishe Lordes, with their names, macks and Oes;5 that the infferyor Subjecte
p.191might be ffreed ffrom their Irishe Customes, Cuttings, and unreasonable exactions, and (by knoweinge what was theire owne) be drawne to depende ever after vppon the State, and not on those Irishe Lordes, or gentlemen; which alsoe might not onlye muche Avayle hir Majestie in tyme of any stirres, or Revolts, by draweinge the Common People, ffrom (following the greate Cheiffe Lordes, But alsoe bringe a more Certayner, yearlie Rent, or revenewe, into hir Highnes Coffers then fformerlye was accustommed, when the People perceyued theise their oulde Custommes, and Vseages like to take ende, they devised with themselves, ffor the Preventinge therof, and accordinge to their oulde accustomed manner, ever by them vsed in all their discontments, they tooke upp their weapons, Armed them against the State, thinckinge by stirres, and Broyles to wynne the Revocation of their setled, and determyned resolution, and soe to be left agayne in the oulde Custommes, and useages.
This their purpose Appeared in one Thomas Roe Bourke, a Cheiffe gentleman of that Sept, whoe at this verye instannte dureinge the said Sessions at Doonnemonie kept himselfe, within a stronge Castell of his standinge in an Ilande on Loghe Maske, euen within the sight of the Governor and the other Commissioners reffuseing to come at them, Albeit they had severall tymes sent ffor him; Sir Richard Byngham perceyveing that the Coales of Troubles were nowe Layde together, and woulde shortlye after kindle, and becomme an Angrye ffyer, yf the same were not polleticquelie, and warelye prevented, (dissemblinge the matter, as yf it were of noe Momente,) he bethought him of the best and safest remedye, to meete with this inconveniencye; And knoweinge well that those Bourks, had ever bene verye badd, and Loose People, suche as verye hardlye Contynued themselves Two yeares together within a dewe Course, or Compasse of obedyence, He sawe that the onlye waye to stoppe this gappe, was eyther to cutt of, or
p.192Apprehende, or Laye vpp in duraunce, as Pleadges, Two or three of the best of that septe; suche as were most daungerous ffor the inscyteinge of stirres, and the draweinge of others into Action. And therffore vppon his retourne out of that Countye to Roscoman, he dealte with the sherriffe of the Countie of Mayo, ffor the Apprehension of the said Thomas Roe. The sherriffe not longe after sent his Subsherriffe to putt the matter in execution; whoe beinge resisted and Hurte by the said Thomas Roe, and not Able otherwise to Apprehend him, wounded him in such sorte, as he therof dyed. This Thomas Roe being thus slayne, was not much Lamented, noe not even of his owne Kindred, ffor he was an oppressor of them, and, doubtlesse, it was thought by wyse men, that the death of this man, and the Hangeinge of the others of that surname at Roscoman, (which had devised ffor the draweinge of Scotts into the Provynce) had prevented the stirres, and Troubles, that after ensued, and at that tyme seemed to have a Begininge, had not somme men depended on the state, (throughe envye and Mallyce to Sir Richard Byngham, and his good, and happie govermente) Perswaded divers others of that Sept of the Bourkes, to have a Care of themselves, to be vppon their Keepinge, and to trust noe offycer, nor to comme to any suche, tyll their Pardonns shoulde be by them procuered ffrom the Lord Deputye. Theise men's names I fforbeare to remember, because they have since that tyme made it Knowne before the Lorde Deputye, and Councell of the Realme, that in giveinge suche Caveatts, to the Bourks, they meante nothinge lesse, then to harten them into Rebellyon against the State, (And to Attempte suche badde Actions, as afterwardes they did; Of this Counsayle, the Bourks (which of themselves were sedicious enoughe, in whose myndes did still sticke the Abolisheinge, and takeinge awaye their Mac William, with their oulde Irishe Custommes and Cuttings,) tooke houlde, and converted the same to an Apte and Comodious occasion offered them ffor their Better Assemblinge together into a Convenyent number, And the more effectuallye to wynne the Hartes of manye men to followe this their entended enterpryse, they made the Clanndonnells6 the Joyes,7 and most of the Countrye Beleive,
p.193that Sir Richarde Byngham haveinge allreadye taken ffrom these men their Auncyent Custommes and Libertyes, woulde alsoe deliver the like measure to them, and take from them, alsoe their Lyves, yf they did not well Looke vnto themselves. By this meanes they drewe manye vnto them, perswadeing themselves, that they might saffelye Assemble together in Companyes, without ffeare of interruption; ffor by the ffrindshipp of their fforesaid Councellors, which weare in Dublyn, their Assemblyes shoulde there be thought as a thinge by them donne ffor their deffence and saffetye. They alsoe knewe that Sir Richard Byngham, beinge restrayned ffrom ffollowinge them, in this, or other their Actions, without direction ffrom Dublyn, coulde not stopp, or prevent them in their ffirst begininge, by reason whereof they woulde in shorte tyme, drawe together, and Joyne to them, the greatest parte of the Countrye, whereof somme shoulde be drawne to Assist them in open Hostilletye and some others in secrett and vnderhande dealinge, of which sorte the latter shoulde still seeme subjects, and lyve (as neere as they coulde) in the Bosomme of the State; And to make themselves the stronger, and drawe the whole Province into Action with them, they gave it fforth, that their Case, was every man's Case, within the same; And that as their Auncyent Custommes and Libertyes were inffringed, and their Lyves sought to be taken awaye, soe shoulde it alsoe ffeare with the rest of the said Provynce; And here ffor an entraunce, into this Rebellyon, The sonnes of Edmond Bourke of Castell Barrye,8 beinge manye (which Edmond, was an oulde man, and of the Competitors of the Mac Williamshippe, and a most badd affected member to the State, and his wyfe as Badd as himselfe, together with Edmond Kerraghe Bourke, Ryccard Bourke, the Divell's Hook's sonne,9 Moyler Oge Bourke, Walter Mac Davie Bane; Cahir Mac
p.194Connell,10 and divers others associeatinge vnto them, manye Idle Persons, entred into a Castell in Loghe Maske, called Castell Necallye,11 and manned the same, together with Thomas Roe's Castell, after Thomas Roe's death, was now in the possession of his brother Riccard Bourke, called the Pall of Irelande;12 which Castells they kept in Rebellyous manner against the State, reffuseinge to comme [in] at [the command of] any of hir Majestie's offycers.
Aboute this tyme Sir Richard Byngham, laye at the seidge of Clannowenn13 in Thowmond, a stronge Pyle, Manned and kept against, hir Majestie by Mahowne Obryan, a most daungerous enemye to the State, A cheiffe Champion of the Popes, and a greate practyzer with fforraigne Powers, ffor the Invasion of this Realme of Ireland; Att this seidge Sir Richard Byngham, had but one Hundred Englishe Souldiers, and somme ffewe Kearne of the Countrye, by reason wherof, he was dryuen to noe small payne in skyrmishinge, Watchinge, and Wardinge, with soe ffewe men; nevertheless within seaven dayes he wanne the Castell, and slewe the said Mahowne Obryan, and the warde within, and Razed the said Castell, without the ffurtheraunce of any greate Ordynaunce. After that Sir Richard Marched ffrom this Castell, to Castell Necallye, within the which, the Traytors were, and enclosed themselves. Att his ffirst Commeinge thether he parlyed with them, advyceinge them to Remember the obedyence which they owed to hir Majestie, and to yeilde themselves to hir Majestie's Mercye, Assureinge them that in soe doeinge, they shoulde ffinde that ffavoure in all respects, that other hir Highnes Subjects did, but they, (myndeing nothinge lesse then to submitt themselves, on any suche conditions) saide they woulde not doe any Hurte, but keep themselves there in saffetye, ffor that they were fiearffull to
p.195trust any Englishe man, Alleadginge manye ffrivelous and impertynent Causes, moveinge them to stande vpon their guarde; Herevppon Sir Rychard proceeded to Beseige them in the said Castell, which was a stronge round ffortresse, errected farre within the Loghe,14 vppon a small Compasse of grounde soe scanted by the Wall, that scarce a standinge place was left vnto it; The seidge was all by water, in Boats, and coulde not otherwyse, bee Attempted, Insoemuche as Sir Richarde goinge aboute to Bourne a Boate, or two of theirs, that they had docked, and layde upp vnder the Castell wall, to the ende they might not escape awaye, and that alsoe he might Watche and Warde them, with ffewe men (havveinge but a small Companye there; and those alsoe soore wearyed, Bruised with stones, and galled with shott, at the Seidge of Clanowen) was fforced by the suddayne ryseinge of Contrarye weather, which muche ffavoured the enemye, to Leaue the Attempt with the losse of one of his Boats, and Two or three of his souldiers, himselfe, and others beinge in the said Boate, hardlye escaped, by the Healpe of other Boats, which other Boates came not in tyme to his succoure, thoroughe the negligence of suche as he had put in Truste with them, and Appoynted to come, and Ioyne with him; The Boate which he soe Lost, the enemyes gatt, in which and in another Boate of their owne, before Sir Richard coulde retourne to chardge them with a ffreshe supplye ffrom his Campe, Lyeinge on the shoare; they Shipped themselves, and with greate sceleritye, escaped into the woodes, ffearinge that at the next chardge Sir Richard woulde have wonne the Castell.
Captain Mordante, and others, had the Chase of them by water; Theise Traytors beinge thus escaped, to the woodes and Mountaynes, out of Castell Ne Callye, their accomplishes alsoe ffledd out of the other Castell, both which and one stronge Pyle of ffarroghe Mac Donnells, Sir Richard Razed to the grounde, ffor that they were not fitt, or stoode serviceable to be kept to the Englishe, and were verye daungerous to be in the possession of the Irisherye; Riccard Bourke, alias the pall of Irelande, a man of noe small accompte amonge his septe, and all the illaffected Irisherye repayred to Sir Richard, at his ffirst commeinge to
p.196Castell Ne Callye; beinge indeede the Cheiffe of their Conffederacye; This man under Cullor of dutyefull Subiection, intended to haue Betrayed Sir Richard, and all his Companye, but (intelligence herof beinge given, and manye Apparaunte prooffes had of his Trayterous intentions, and devyses) this pall of Irelande was soone executed, by Martiall Lawe,15 This man was assuredlye the most daungerous member in all the Countye of Mayo, especiallye ffor the draweing in of Scotts, a thinge, which Sir Richard ever doubted, and which the Bourks, ondoubtedlye entended.
After this the Governor Sir Richard Bingham tooke order ffor the ffollowinge of those Bourks to the Woodes, and Mountaynes, which weare nowe growne to somme iiij.xx swordes, he Levyed somme fforces on the Countrye, and with them, and his owne Companye of a Hundred Souldiers, he soe haunted them ffrom Bushe to Bushe, and Hill to Hill, that in shorte tyme, noe newes was to be heard, where anye of them were.
After this the gentlemen of the Countrye (which had not Combyned with them, seeinge the Rebells to be dryven to their hooles, and ffastnesses, in Hideinge manner, by meanes wherof the Souldiers coulde doe nothinge vppon them, offerred to Sir Richard, that yf he woulde
p.197drawe his fforces out of the Countrye, they would vndertake the servyce, against the Rebells and eyther kyll them, or Banishe them at their owne Cost, and Chardges without Abateing any pennye of the Composition Rents, dewe to hir Majestie by them, in Leiwe therof; Heervnto Sir Richard Assented, and ffindeinge it a good Pollecye to sett one of them, against another: But heere (haveinge these bad Bourks, at a greate advauntage, and in a harde distresssed Case) when they were thus, at the lowest ebb; Sir Richard receyved especyall Chardge, and straight Commaundemente ffrom the Lorde Deputye to Protecte them, and he receyved alsoe a Protection readye signed, by the Lorde Deputye to Protecte them, which thinge thoughe the matter and manner muche greived him, he handled it in the best sorte he Coulde to save the Creditt of the State, and wrought devyses to dryve them to seeke their Protections, which when they did he graunted, it vnder his owne hande, and the Seale of the Provynce, as fformerlye was accustommed, and in suche Cases, ought to be done. But althoughe this was Closelye handled by the Governor Sir Richard Byngham, yett the Bourks had intelligence that the Lorde Deputye had Protected them; and Comaunded the Governor to perfforme it; which, as is to be gathered, they had learned from some well willers of theirs out of Dublyn; This made the gentlemen verye Highe, and Haughtie mynded, and was to them a Soveraigne Preparatyve, ffor to vnderstate newe, and greate stirres, and Broyles, then before they had begonne, ffor the Peace beinge suche, as the State offered it; and they sought it not, Contynued but a smale tyme; Althoughe they had given in a simple Pleadge, ffor the perfformaunce therof, After the Bourks were thus Protected, Sir Richard Byngham repayred to his dwellinge Howse, and ffrom thence (vppon occasions) to Dublyn, where he had not longe stayed, when the Bourks revolted agayne now the seconde tyme, Joyneinge vnto them, the Clangibbons,16 the Clandonnells; and the Joyes, in ffar greater number then before, which said Joyes, the more to manifesto their Badde, and Trayterous intentions, and the better to Assuer their Complyces, of their ffast dealinge in this Combynation,
p.198Murthered Certayne of the Officers of Yerconnaught17 and their men, to the number of xvten or xviten. Aboute this tyme order came ffrom the Lorde deputy ffor the leauinge of men within this Provynce, ffor the servyce in the Lowe Countryes, the Bruyte wherof, and the repayer hether of Ffrancis Barckelye, sent by the Lorde Deputye ffor the Leavyeinge of the said men, Caused manye Idle men, whoe had noe zeale, to serve beyonnde the Seas, to Joyne withemselves, with the said Bourks, then in Action against hir Majestie, Add thus these Bourkes (haveinge had an interim of Peace, and a Pawseinge tyme to gather Heade agayne, and encrease their fforces, stoode on verye Loftie tearmes, and saide they woulde have a Mac William or els they woulde goe into Spayne ffor one; Alsoe they woulde have noe Sherriffe within that Countie, nor be subiect to Aunsweare, in Appearaunce, at any Assize or Sessions. Theise Poynts, and Tearmes, they stoode on, and Articled the same accordinglye, with many other vnreasonable demaundes, which they woulde haue to be graunted, or otherwyse they woulde in noe wyse yeilde to have Peace with the State. Att the begininge of this second Revolte, ffor that the Governor was willinge to have drawne them to Peace, (yf by any reasonable meanes he might have done the same without any indignetye to the State) he sent vnto them Commissioners, vizt. the Lorde Archbishopp of Tuam, the Lord Bremingham, Barron of Athenrye, Thomas Dillon, Esq. Justice of the Province, Gerralde Commerfforde, Esq. Attournye of the same, and others, to Parlye with them, And to examyne the cause of those their insolent Attempts; vnto whome they Aunsweared in effect as afforesaid, deliveringe them the said Articles in wryteinge, And even dureinge the tyme of the Commissioners Aboade in the Countrye, they did not fforbeare to Bourne, and spoyle the same. All which notwithstandinge a tyme of Peace was graunted, vppon Conditions in a sorte to their likeinge ffor viijth dayes by the said Commissioners, that in the meane tyme, the Lorde Deputye's pleasure might be signeffyed, to the Governor, howe he woulde have them to be Proceeded withall; and direction sent accordinglye. But, (after this alsoe was graunted them) the Commissioners were noe sooner departed
p.199out of those Parts, then they begann to Breake downe divers Casttles, and to Bourne manye Townes in the Playne, and Champion Barronyes, And the more to make knowne their Trayterous, and wicked Purposes, they Proceeded, agaynst hir Majestie in most odious, and vndutiefull speeches; sayeinge, what have we to doe with that CALIAGHE;18 howe vnwyse are we, beinge soe mightie a nation, to have binn soe longe Subiecte to a woeman; The Pope and the Kinge of Spayne, shall have the rule of vs, and none other. Sir Richard (not withstandinge all this) did fforbeare to rayse fforces, and to serve vppon them, (greatlye to his disadvauntage) ffor that he had receyved manye, and earnest Cawtions, ffrom the Lord Deputye, to fforbeare the Begininge of any warre against them, But in the meane tyme the Rebells grewe to bee verye stronge, And were nowe increased to the number of vij. or viij. hundred men; and had alsoe sent Edmond Kerraghe Bourke, and John Itcleave,19 Brother to Walter Kittaghe20 Bourke, to Practyce with the Scotts, and to drawe them into the Provynce, to their succour and Ayde, Advertyseinge the Scotts, by the said Messengers, that the tyme was then to subdewe Connaught, ffor the Queene had ffewe or noe Souldiers in the Realme, they weare all imployed into the Lowe Countryes, This ffyer kindled, and fflamed in suche soarte, that nowe it was Highe tyme to take in hand the quencheinge therof. Nevertheles Sir Richard of himselfe durst doe nothinge against them, ffor that he was Advised, and willed by the Lorde Deputye, to doe nothinge in that Case without his Lordshipp's Advyce, and direction, which (when he had Longe looked ffor it,) at length he receyved, althoughe sommewhat Late, the effect wherof was, that the said Lorde Deputye and the Councell, Concurred in opinyon with Sir Richard, that the Conditions which the Bourks requyred were soe vnreasonable, as neyther subiecte ought to demaund them, ne yett the State (without greate indignetye) coulde yeilde vnto them; and therffore resolued, and willed Sir Richard to Prosecute them with suche fforces, as he had, or could Leavye, excepte he coulde ffynde them to stande on more dewtifull Tearmes then affore is saide, Herevppon, the Governor Leavyed suche fforces, as
p.200he thought, might suffyce to Aunsweare the servyce, both effectuallye, and speedelye, ffor he ffounde, and sawe, that Lingringe servyce could not but greatlye Chardge hir Majestie, and muche encourage the enemye, A softe, kind of warre, that hath bin to, to longe vsed in this Realme.
Ffirst haveinge taken Order, ffor the Assuraunce of the Countrye behinde him, He Marched towardes the Countie of Mayo, the xii of Julye, 1586, with his owne Garryson fforces, which were a: C: ffootemen, and ffiftye Horsemen; and camme to Ballinroba; the xiiijth daye of the said Moneth; Heere he spent, vi: or vijen: dayes, as well in Parlyeinge with the said Bourks, as alsoe in gatheringe of his whole fforces, togeather, Hether camme to him, the Earle of Clanrickarde, with xxxtie: Horsemen, and: C: Kearne, alsoe manye gentlemen of the Countrye camme hether, namelye, the Lorde Bremingham, Lorde Barron of Athenrye; Sir Hubbert Mac Dauie, Knight21 Teig O'Kellye,22 and divers others. Hether camme in the supplye alsoe of fforces which he had Leavyed within the Provynce, viz. C: ffootemen of Captain Mordants, A: C. ffootemen vnder Captain Merryeman, and a C. ffootemen vnder Captain Mostean; Besides divers Companyes of Lighte Kearne, to the number of vi. or vii. C, and there haveinge employed the Earle of Clanrickarde, the Archebishopp of Tuam, the Bishopp of Killmore, the Lord Bremingham, Thomas Dillon Justice of the Provynce, and others, in Parlyeinge with the Bourks one daye, and ffindeinge that noe reasons nor perswasions, might wynne them to Peace, He executed certayne of their Pleadges, which they before had put in ffor their Loyaltie, and good behaviour; (ffor it Appeared to this Polleticque, and wyse gentleman, Sir Richard Bingham, that the spareinge of Rebells Pleadges heretofore, have done noe small hurte in this Realme, by encourageinge them to yll Actions, trustinge vppon the accustommed mercye, showed to the like Pleadges.) And then he
p.201Marched to the Abbye of Ballentubber,23 the xxijth of Julye, and ffrom thence, he sent his fforces of ffootemen, and Kearne into the Mountaynes, and Woodes, to seeke the Rebells in their ffastnes, which afforesaid fforces, was Leade by Captain John Byngham, whoe had the Chardge of the garryson Bande, which behaved himselfe soe well therin, that within the space, of vj: or vijen: weekes, they all submitted themselves to the State; himselfe with the Earle of Clanrickarde and their Horsemen kepte the Champion and Playne Countrye; as well ffor the deffence of hir Majestie's good Subiects in those partes, as alsoe to keepe the enemye ffrom escapeinge awaye ffrom the fforces, sent into their ffastnes; Aboute this tyme, there camme an espyall out of Mounster, beinge sent, yf it were as he saide, as a Messenger ffrom those parts to Ffrancis Barckely, Provost Marshall of Connaught; This espyall the more to encourage the Traytors, and to Annymate others to Joyne with them, gave it fforth that the Earle of Leceister was slayne in the Lowe Countryes, And the most of the Englishe, fforces overthrowne there; That there weare Twoe greate Armyes of Spanyardes landed in England, and that there was a greate Navye of Spanishe Shippes in Baltimore;24 That the Kinge of Scotts, was in Armes against hir Majestie, and that hir Highnes was sicke and in greate daunger of death; vppon which vntrue seditious Rumoure, and reporte, Sir Richard Caused the Author, and Messenger therof, beinge a badd Runnegate, [renegade] to be executed by Martiall Lawe.
And nowe the fiootemen within the Mountaynes, and himselfe in the Champion, soe hunted the Bourks and their Accomplyces, ffrom place to place, that within the space of three weeks, they begann to be Tame, and they had taken ffrom them in that tyme, the number of iiijer: or v. Ct. Hearde of Cattle, whereof Sir Richard Byngham reserved towardes the defrayeinge of the extraordinarye Chardges of the Journye, the number of One Thowsand; All the rest were bestowed on the Captaines and their Companyes, and the offycers of the ffeilde, as Bootye, accordinge the Custome in this Countrye services, or els given to the Kearne, and light ffootemen, as a Consideration of their
p.202entertaynements, which thervppon were dischardged, and dismissed from that service; Besides the depriveinge theise Rebells of their Cattle, as afforesaid, there were slayne of them aboute the number of v. or vjxx: of all sortes. The rest in shorte tyme after divided themselves, fflyeinge ffrom Caue to Caue, and ffrom one grove of Woode to another, where they might best Hide themselves, sendinge in Messengers to the Governor to Beseeche him of Mercye, and Pardon, and offeringe to submitt themselves with all Humblenes; Heerevppon it was, when they were thus broken, that the Governor discharged the Kearne he had as afforesaid; together with all Irishe Horsemen, of severall Partes of the Province, Contentinge all of them, eyther with some Portion of the Prayes, and Bootyes, gotten, or els with his owne Monye; His owne Horsemen, and ffootmen, and the Three Bandes of supplyes afforesaid, he stayed from the service, ffor a space, as well to reffreshe them as alsoe to give tyme and Leave to the Enemyes to come in ffreelye without ffeare, which otherwise woulde have possessed them, had the fforces bin still vpp, and downe, in the woodes. Theis beinge done, they submitted themselves one after another in sorte ffollowinge, vizt. Ewster Mac Donnell Cheiffe of the Galloglasses came in, submitted himselfe, put in his sonne Pleadge ffor himselfe, and his septe. The next Edmond Bourke Mac Richarde Enerrine, one of the strongest amongst them, sonne to the last Mac William saue one, came in and submitted himselfe, giveinge in his sonne as Pleadge; After whome William Bourke, alias the Blynde Abbott, the Cheiffe of that Sirname; Edmond Burke of Castle Barrye beinge dead, which Claymed to be Mac William, submitted himselfe verye Humblye, offerringe one of his sonnes as Pleadge; But ffor that Sir Richard liked not the sonne that he offerred, But demaunded his eldest sonne, whome he knew to be a good Pleadge) he departed agayne; yett within Twoe dayes after when he sawe the Governor woulde have sent in his fforces amongst them agayne, He camme to him, submitted himselfe, and brought his eldest sonne ffor a Pleadge.
Moyler Oge Bourke submitted himselfe; the Joyes did in like manner submitte themselves, and alsoe Riccard Bourke, alias the Divell's Hook's sonne, all theise gave in good Pleadges; ffor the observation of the Peace.
p.203These men vppon their submission were soe Pyned awaye ffor want of ffoode, and soe ghasted with ffeare within, vijen or viijth weeks, by reason, they were soe roundlye ffollowed, without any interim of rest, that they looked rayther like to ghosts then men; Edmonde Bourk's sonne of Castell Barrye, persisted still, in the Action; Their ffather was the man, whome they sought to have made Mac William till he was executed, by Course of the Common Lawe; This man was very oulde; yett was he put to death, ffor theis Causes ensewinge: He was a noteable Traytor, and the encourager of his sonnes to this Action, dureinge whose lyfe, both they and he, had a hope he should be Mac William. To the ende therffore they shoulde be Carryed awaye noe longer with the deceiptfull wings of this vayne hope, and soe the sooner drawne to submission, He was indicted, Arraigned, Condempned, and executed, as in like Causes is accustomed: The Governor might have hanged him by Martiall Lawe, but rayther made Choyce to have it orderlye donne as afforesaid, to the ende hir Majestie might have his Landes, by Escheate vppon his Attaynder, (ffor he had a good quantetye, of Lande; After this the said sonnes of Edmond Bourke; (seeinge their ffather, and in him all their hope dead) offerred to submitte themselves, soe as they might have enioyned their ffather's Landes; But herein the Governor refferred them, to the resolution of the Lorde Deputye and Councell to be further Heard, in that poynte, which they some what Lyked of, and when they offered, the eldest Brother's sonne as Pleadge, But the Governor reffused to take any Childe, or other Pleadge, saveinge one of those Brethren, which were in number vi or vijen. But that they vtterlye denyed to doe, wherby it was well perceyved, they carryed verye badd intentions.
At this tyme, whilest these men stoode thus vppon the pinche of submittinge them, newes came to the Governor that Twoe thowsand Scotts came over the Ryver of Earne towards Sligo, with Edmond Kirraghe25 Burke, and John Itcleave, whoe were sent by the Bourks their kinsmen, as yow have hearde before, to drawe in those Scotts ffor the better deffence of their quarrell; which Scotts were promised by the Burcks, that they shoulde inhabitt the Countrye; soe as they
p.204woulde Banishe out the Englishemen, and deffende the said Traytors; Theise newes hindered a thoroughe Paciffication within the Countye of Mayo; neverthelesse this Provident and Circumspecte Governor, Sir Richard Bingham; haveinge alreadye reduced, and brought things there, to soe good a state, as before is said,) dispatched the Earle of Clanrickarde with xxxtie or xltie Horsemen, and Two Bandes of ffootemen, sendinge alsoe presentlye after them another Bande of ffootemen, All which Joined with George Bingham, Esq. Brother to the said Sir Richard; whoe was then Sherriffe of the Countie of Sligoe, and Leavyed there some shott, and Horsemen, before the comeinge of the said fforces; Theise Companyes beinge thus vnyted; stoode vppon guarde, and deffence of the Borders, of the Provynce, which caused the Scotts, not to make soe muche, and soe greate hast to come fforwardes, as othenvyse they woulde have done. Sir Richard stayed in the Countie of Mayo; a small tyme after the sendinge awaye of his saide Companyes, of Purpose to order things there more effectuallye, ffor the deffence of the Countie, and ffor the Prosecution of those ffew badd Bourks, which yett contynued in Action against hir Majestie; which beinge done in suche good sorte, as the daunger and necessitye of that tyme coulde afforde; he then sett fforwardes towardes Sligo, with a C. ffootemen, and xxv. Horsemen, that were remayneinge with him; But vppon his settinge fforth, he had newes brought him, that the Scotts were drawne thoroughe O'Rowerks Countrye into the Mawgherry or Playnes, by Roscomman, to Praye, and spoyle the same; By meanes wherof he Roade a greate daye's Journye, and came that night neere to Roscomman; and Laye that night iiijer Myles wyde ffrom it; ffrom whence vnderstandinge contrarye that the Scotts were betwene Sligo, and Bundroues,26 He roade the next day to the Towne of Sligo, beinge well nighe vjxx English Myles, But the ffootemen he left to marche awaye after him with as much convenyent speede as they might; his Highe waye was to pass by the Abbye of Boyle, where he ffounde Sir Thomas Le Strange, and others, the Ryseings out of the Countrye, whome he had Appoynted to Lye there, ffor the deffence of the Countie of Roscoman; he left
p.205them there ffor that tyme, and soe came to Sligo, the xxviiith of August. At his commeinge thether he was given to vnderstand, that the Scotts laye still encamped at the Earne, some on the one syde, and some on the other syde, to the number of soe manye as he was before advertysed, with some increase of Horsemen, and ffootemen; ffor Sir Arthur Oneele,27 and Hughe Mac Gwyer, had Ayded them, with some fforcees, so as their forces was aboute Two thowsand of Able men; Besides woemen, Boyes, and Churles, wherof they had greate stoore, I take it neere as manye more with greate stoore of Carriadges. The comeinge of Sir Richard soe soone to Sligo, And the newes of the Paciffication, within the Countie of Mayo, made them staye Longe aboute the Earne, and Boundroies, eyther to expecte more fforces, to come and Joyne with them, or some newe Broyles to be raysed, in the Countrye, behinde the Gouernor by their Conffederats, which might cause him to devide his fforces, which were then CCCC. Englishe and Irishe, and aboute vixx Horsemen, Besides the Ryseings out of the Countrye, which weare aboute a C. Horsemen, and Two Hundred Kearne; A fforce ffarr to weake to have encountred with the Scotts, excepte they might have bin gotten in A Champion grounde, To which likeplace of disadvauntage they had noe intention to come, ffor of the vii C. the Governor had CCC. which weare Irishe, And ffor the most parte men but newlye Trayned; He wrote to the Lorde Deputye to sende him Two other Bandes of ffiftye Horsemen, ffor that there was noe Trust in the Irishe Horsemen, which Horsemen, and ffootemen (yf they had come sooner then they did) had eyther Cleane discouraged or sufficientlye withstoode the Scotts, ffrom Comeinge into the Province at all; Sir Richard laye at Sligo; and the ffoote of the Curlewes,28 with his said fforces, ffrontinge the Scotts, and withstandinge their entrye into the Countrye; (expectinge still a supplye, ffrom the Lorde Deputye) the space of xiiiith Days. The Scotts draweinge on by Little and Little thoroughe O'Rowrks Countrye, vppon Mountaynes,
p.206Woodes, and Boggs, Towards the Curlewes, with intention, to passe that wayes into Mayo, encamped euer in suche ffastnes, as he coulde not by any meanes come at them, without greate disanvauntage; Att the Length, althoughe Sir Richard kept the Passage straightlye vppon them, (ffor the watchinge of which he was dryven to devide his Companies into Sundrye places ffarre distante, ffrom the other,) yett in an exceedinge ffowle Tempesteuous, and darcke night, they deceyved him; ffor after he had Watched and waighted ffor their comeinge till Tenn of the Clocke at night (hearinge before night, that they had removed their Campe, and weare eyther goeinge backe agayne, in Comeinge towards him. He left to watche Abroade, anye Longer, and Bestowed himselfe, and his Companyes in places of succoure, which he did supposeinge that, (by reason of the Aboundaunce of Raigne which ffell that eveninge, their Longe Absence tyll that tyme of the night, and the wordes of Occonnor Sligo, which assured him that the said Scotts had encamped themselves agayne ffor that night. But shortlye after this, when the Scotts, by reason of some espyalls of their owne, or some Trayterous intelligence, out of the Governors Campe, had vnderstandinge that Sir Richard, and his Companye had reposed themselves to rest; stale, Towards the Bridge of Kilnowney,29 neare to which at a Castell, not ffar of Sir Richard ffor the deffence thereof, had placed his ffootemen and ffiftye Irishe Horsemen, and soe beinge come Privelye to the bridge Three or iiiier Hundred of them gate over the same, beffore the Englishe ffootemen came at them, whoe as sone as they came in, Beate the Scotts, and wanne the Bridge; But here the Irishe Horsemen did noe servyce at all, when the Allarum was, Sir Richard himselfe was at a place called Knockmilleyn,30 about a Myle ffrom the Bridge, beinge alsoe another Passadge, where it was thought the Scotts woulde sooner have passed over then at the Bridge: Att this place, the Bridge weare the onlye straight and Passadge that Sir Richard knewe the Scottes coulde ffinde to passe over into the Countrye by; but they contrarelye waded over at a ffourde, not ffarr
p.207ffrom the Bridge, never before knowne by any of the Countrye, that had or woulde conffesse the same to the Englishe, Sir Richard, and the Horsemen vppon the Allarum hasted with greate speede to the Bridge, and roade over the same without daunger, both of the enemye, and his owne Companye (ffor the night was exceedinge darcke, and the Bulletts, and Arrowes fflew to and ffroe, without regarde of any man, that might Marche, or ryde betwixt them; yett he Chardged the Scotts, and kylled, and drowned aboute xltie or ltie of them; The most parte of his Horsemen heere ffayled him; some because they were farre off; and the saide Irishe fforces, He removed with his owne ordinarye Companyes into the Barronye of Tyreraghe, which he Cheifflye did, ffor to save the praye of that Countrye, which was greate. He left the greate Mountaines of Slewgawe31 on the left hande, which were before on his Right, and Marched downe viii Myles into the said Baronie, Consisteinge of playne grounde, with some Bogge in it of xxtie Myles in Length, Lyeinge all Alonge by the Sea; In the same he came to a Towne or Village, called Ardglass32 where he Camped the second night, and haveinge intelligence by espyalls, that the enemye laye on the other syde of the Mountaynes, not ffarr ffrom an Abbye called Banned,33 in a Mervaylous ffast and stronge grounde; He tooke with him good gwardsh guideshipp: he passed the said Mountaynes, with his fforces, and encamped that night, at Oconroy, a Towne of the Bishopp of Ohartes.34 Att his beinge heere he gave it fforth in Pollecye,
p.208that the enemye was Marcheinge vpp through Gallwaye, towarde the Inner, and Civill Countryes, as the Lorde Bremingham's Countrye, and the Countie of Roscomman, And thervppon he Hasted, by a greate daye's Marche to a Castell called Moygarie;35 which stoode in a straight, and in a ffitt, and Apte place to Aunswere the servyce vppon them; yf they had passed into the said Countryes; Sir Richard did this, to drawe the Scotts, into an Assured Beleiffe, of their owne securettye to wynne suche advauntage of grounde of them, as afterwardes was gotten; ffor uppon the newes of Sir Richarde's retourninge backe they grewe somewhat Careless, and perswaded themselues (as alsoe they were enfformed) that he was retourned home to Roscomman; and durst not by reason of his small fforces, encounter with them; as after shall Appeare. Well, lyeinge at Moygarie, the Moundaye, at vi. of the Clocke in the Afternoone, newes was brought him, ffrom his Brother George Byngham, that a Hundred ffootemen of Mr. Vice-presidents vnder the Conducte of Leivetennaunte Hunte, had passed the Curlewes; wherevppon the Governor dispatched Messengers vnto them, whervppon they came vnto him the same night; The Morrowe after beinge Tuesdaye, he removed to a Castle called Castlemore,36 in Baronye of Castelloghe v Myles ffrom Moygarye, and a place as commodious to Aunsweare the servyce as the other was; Heere came into him C. ffootemen of Sir William Stanlyes, vnder the leadinge of Leivtennante Jaques; and ffiftye of Sir George Bowchers ffootemen, vnder the Conducte of Leivetennaunte Dare, with xxvtie Horsemen of Sir Henrye Harringtons, and xvten of Mr. Wingfeilde's; These men were brought in by Captain Grenn Omoley, whome he had sent fforth ffor that purpose vi or viien dayes before. Lyeinge heere, Sir Richarde and his Companye were in some distresse ffor wante of Victualls, But he was supplyed by Captain Woodhowse, whoe brought him some Beiffs out of the Playne, and Champion Countryes; Att this place,
p.209Sir Richard Byngham, with his Companyes Laye Tuesdaye and Wednesdaye till noone, ffor it was longe before, the Beiffe was killed, and made readye to sustayne them; By that tyme the espyalls which were before sent fforth to discover the Enemye, retourned, Bringinge newes, that their Last remove ffrom Clancarrie,37 they tooke their waye towardes Ardnarye,38 A Castle neare to Tyrawlie, and standinge on the Ryver of Moyne,39 thinckinge to passe that waye into the Barronye of Tyrawlie. This being knowne, Sir Richard dealte with his guyde, to bringe him the nearest waye he coulde thether. Att. xii. of the Clocke at noone, vppon Wednesday afforesaid, he removed ffrom Castellmore, and Marched towardes the Abbye of Banned, all vnder the Heigh Woodes, and Mountaynes, thoroughe a Passe called the Litter,40 in the Barronie of Costelloghe; and came to the said Abbye ii[ordm ] Howers within night. This Abbye standeth two Myles ffrom the woodes, in a Playne and open place, Heere the guyde, whose name was Edmond Mac Costelloghe,41 ffound out a Prist, which had, that daye, broken ffrom the Scotts with whome he had bene Prysoner. The Preist the said Edmond brought to the Governor of whome he learned most Assuredlye, that the Scotts were all incamped at Ardnarye, and had there Proclaymed that all the Countrye was theirs, that Sir Richard was retourned to Roscomman, and that all his fforces had fforsaken him, and therffore whoesoever woulde willinglye come unto them, should be ffriendlye receyued to their ffavour, and have noe hurte; Sir Richard dealte with this Preist to be his guyde, to bringe him where the Scottes were, But the Preist durst not vndertake it; except a Coople of Horsemen of the Oharies42 which he named might be sent with him. The
p.210Governor willed him to ffetch those ii[ordm ]. Gentlemen of the Oharies, which he did, and retourned to him agayne, an hower after midnight. Theise two gentlemen sent awaye Two espyalls to discouer the Scotts more certainlye, and aboute ii. of the Clocke in the Morninge, when the Moone gave Light, Sir Richard Arose, and Addressinge himselfe and his Companye, Marched towardes Belcleare,43 iiiier. Myles ffrom the Abbye, in the Highe waye towardes the enemye. Here one of the espyalls came in, bringinge newes that the Scotts Laye still encamped at Ardnarye, which was xiie. Myles ffrom the fforesaid Abbye of Banneda, and viii. Myles ffrom the Abbye of Belclare.44 Att his Marcheinge ffrom hence the night fforsooke him, And his Companye, and they fforsooke the Highe waye, And Marched oner the Mountaynes, both Horsemen and ffootemen, with all their Carryadges, Carryeinge themselves in a Hearce, altogether keepeinge the Bottoms, and Lowe Places by Circumfferent wayes, with as greate scylence as was possible; This Mountayne was in Breadeth iiiier. or v. Myles, which Sir Richard with his fforces past about nyne of the Clocke; And after he had Marched A Myle into the Harde Countrye, and were not above ii[ordm ]. Myles ffrom the Enemye, He made Alte [halt]; to drawe all his fforces together, and there gave order, and direction ffor the ffight, ffrom whence himselfe, with his Horsemen, rydde, towardes the Enemye, and left the ffootemen to come after with a speedie Marche; Sir Richard with his Horsemen beinge nowe come within haulfe a Myle of the Scotts' Campe, sent oute Halfe a dozen Horsemen as Scowtes afforesaid, to discover them, and the manner of their Campe, which Horsemen came even amongst their Cabbens, and gave them a suddayne and ffearefull Allarum, and soe retyred to Sir Richard, whoe at that tyme came to the Topp of the Hill neere to them, where he might take viewe of all the grounde betwixt him and the Castle, where the Scotts Laye. Nowe he sent awaye, Post after Post, ffor the Battayle, and the Loose shotte to come in to him; ffor the Enemye
p.211was rysen and Arrayed in Battayle, and made Heade towardes him, in their greatest braverye; Sir Richard entertayned them with skirmisheinge to wynne tyme, and drawe them vpp hyer to the harde grounde, till the ffootemen might come in; whoe Approached with suche scylence, that the Scotts never suspected any suche Companies to be at hande; But when the shott beganne to Approache them. Sir Richard chardged them Rufflye, and thoroughlye with his Horsemen, beate Backe their Loose wings to their Battayle, drove them to a Little Bogue, and killed manye of them; After which he retyred, and Caused some of his shott on Horsebacke to Alight ffrom their Horses, and therwith entertayned them with a second Chardge, aboute which tyme his Loose shott, and the whole Battayle of ffootemen came in, and then the ffootemen Chardged them in the fforwarde, And himselfe with his Horsemen in the fflancke, in such sorte, that they soon discomffoeted and overthrewe their whole fforce, and drave them to the Ryver side, where he and his Companye slewe and drowned them all, saveinge iiiixx. or therabouts which stripped themselves, and by swymminge over the Ryver of Moyne [Moy] into Tyrawlie, saved themselves, Leaveinge their weapons, and Apparayle behinde them. There were noe more saued of all their fforces, and of all sortes of them, but these, and a Hundred and odde, that went the daye before into Tyrawlie ffor a Praye, with some of the Bourks, But suche as swamme over the Ryver as afforesaid, were afterwardes killed in their Retourne, and fflyeinge towardes the North in the Countie of Sligoe, by George Bingham, Esq. Brother to the Governor, beinge then Sherriffe of the Countie of Sligoe; together with the helpe of the Gentlemen of the Countrye, divers alsoe of them which were absent, ffor this said Praye, whilest the Battayle was ffought, And certayne of their Horsemen, which were then also fforageinge Abroade ffor Horsemeate, were afterwardes slayne in their retourne, and fflyeinge homewardes, euen by some suche, as when they came ffirst fforwarde, and were stronge, were their greate ffrindes.
The number of ffightinge men slayne, and drowned, as hath bene well knowne, and tryed out, weare xiiii. or xvc. Besides Horse, and ffoote, boyes, Woemen, Churles, and Children, were as manye more, soe as in the whole there dyed of them that daye and the daye after
p.212in their fflyeinge homewardes Three Thousand Persons, and of the Englishe Companies, were not slayne past Two Persons,45 and those alsoe thoroughe their owne ffollye, in beinge to fforwardes ffor the spoyle, But manye men, and Horses, were Hurte, and galled.
This daye the Cheiffest Leaders of them, James Mac Connells [Mac Donnell's] sonnes vizt. Donnell Gorum, and Allexander Carroghe, were slayne together, with all the rest of their Leaders, And the cheiffest Bourke, which drewe them into the Province. In this servyce was employed vnder Sir Richard, John Bingham, Captain of a C. ffootemen, Nicholas Mordant, Captain of the Like number, Captain Meryman, of the like Companye; William Mostean, Captain of the like number, Besides the Leiuetennants afforerehersed, sent ffrom the Lorde Deputye, and Certayne Leaders of Horsemen, And besides Captain Woodehowse, Captain Grenn, which had noe Chardge, and Mr. Newton, And Captain Betaghe, which held Chardge of some Horsemen. The whole Companye were in name about vjc. ffootemen, and by Poole aboute vc. besides vijxx. and Ten Horsemen, wherof ltie. were of the garryson of the Provynce, and the other xltie were sent by the Lord Deputye.
This overthrowe was greate, and the Paynes and Pollecyes therin taken, and vsed, greate, but the services in Mayo; the watchinge, and Travells at the streights, before the Scotts came into the Countrye, was muche more greater; But the wonderfull Care and industrye of Sir Richard in those services which contynueth out in it xiiiten. or xiiiiten. weekes together, not once Commeing home to his Howse, in that tyme, and ffeareinge hardlye, and Lyeinge on the grounde, and on strawe, a greate parte of the said tyme (was to be noted, and in him Highelye Commended, yea, over and above all this, Althoughe he errected three severall Companyes of ffootemen, each of them consisteinge, of a C. men, with their offycers, and Certayne Horsemen, which contynued in Paye, dureinge all the saide Tearme, Besides, v. or vic. Kearne, which alsoe had paide over and above hir Majestie's Allowaunce, yett he soe handled the matter, that with the goodes of Rebells, which by stronge hande he gatt ffrom them, And with iii. or
p.213iiiic li. of his monye, he deffrayed, the extraordinarye expences of the said servyces, not chardginge hir Majestie with any one groate therof, or any of the Subiects of the Countrie, eyther ffor Victualls, or any other thinge, other then some small matter, which the Ryseings out brought, or which souldiers in Comminge to him, or goeing ffrom him eate, where they came ffor a night in a Place, yea Hee Chardged himselfe in this Case, that beinge scanted of Powder ffrom hir Majestie's stoare in Dublyn, he was dryven to ffurnishe himselfe therof, ffor his readye monye in Gallowaye.
Lastlye his servyce46 was suche as drowned, and Cutt of, all the oulde Beaten Scotts, which vsed to haunte Irelande, in soe muche, that nowe it is said there are not xltie. suche to Beare vpp Heade in all the Realme of Irelande, to the greate Behooffe, and Comfforte of the same, to the greate ease, and Beneffitt of hir Majestie and to the eternall Commendations of this worthie Gentleman Sir Richard Bingham, ffor ever.
Mr. Hardiman in his Edition of O'Flaherty's C[h]orographical Description of West Connaught, writes, (p. 394, note c,) that Sir Richard Bingham was universally detested by the native Irish, who considered him as a sanguinary monster, and full dearly did he make them pay for the imputation, and he adds an account of his proceedings, (and there are abundant materials for it,) would form a most interesting piece of Irish history.
Sir Richard Bingham was the second son of Robert Bingham, Esq. of Bingham's-Melcomb in Dorsetshire, by Alice, daughter of Thomas Croker, Esq. He was renowned for his military achievements in various parts of Europe before his arrival in Ireland, and his character is thus blazoned by Camden in his Annals of the Reign of Elizabeth, A.D. 1598:
Vir genere claro et antique in agro Dorsettensi, sed veteranae militiae gloria clarior. Ad S. Quintini enim conquestum in Armorica, ad Leitham in Hebridibus Scotia, Creta insula, ad Chrium contra Turcas, in Gallia et Belgio militavit, et quae dixi in Hibernia gessit.
Camden, Annals of the Reign of Elizabeth
He makes his first appearance in Irish history as one of the bloody actors under the Lord Deputy Grey at Dan-an-oir, near Smerwick in Kerry, A.D. 1580, where seven hundred Italians were butcherd in cold blood after the Lord Grey had guaranteed their lives and liberties. There is preserved in the British Museum, Titus B. p. 115, an original letter from him to the Earl of Leicester, dated Smerwick road, 3rd November, 1580, conveying intelligence of the arrival of a ship with men pressed, and p. 116, another letter, dated llth November, from Smerwick, same to same. His Cenotaph in Westminster Abbey, beginning To the glory of the Lord of Hosts states that he served at Smerwick in Ireland.
On the 21st of June, 1584, he arrived in Ireland with Sir John Perrot, and was appointed governor of the province of Connacht. On the 13th
p.215day of December, 1585, the lords and chieftains of the county of Mayo signed a Composition in which they acknowledge the manifold benefits and easements they find in possessing of their lands and goods since the peaceable government of the lord Deputie, and the just dealings of Sir Richard Binghame Knight, and graunt to the Queene's most excellent Majesty, her heires and successors for ever, one yearlie rent-chardge of tenn shillings, good and lawful current money of England goinge out of everie quarter, which in the whole amounteth yearly to the some of £600 sterling, and for lacke of money the thresurer or general receiver to receive kyne to the value of the said rente.
In January, 1586, he held a session (assizes) at the town of Galway, on which occasion seventy persons, including men and women, were executed, among whom were Domhnall, son of Muircheartach Garbh O'Briain of Cathair-Corcrain and Rath, in the Co. of Clare, and Brian, the son of O'h-Eaghra Buidhe of Leyny in the Co. of Sligo. On the first of March in the same year he laid siege to Cluain Dubhain, or Cloonoan, in Clare, then considered one of the strongest Castles in Ireland, then in the possession of Mathghamhain or Mahon O'Briain. He continued the siege for seven days, according to Docwra, or three weeks, as the Four Masters have it: Mahon, who fought bravely from the battlements of his Castle, having been shot through the head, the warders surrendered the Castle at discretion, but were all put to the sword without mercy. Shortly after the taking of this Castle, Sir Richard Bingham proceeded against the Bourkes of the County of Mayo, whom he treated with great severity. His doings in this County are thus described by the Four Masters:
A.D. 1586. The Governor afterwards (i.e. after the siege of Cluain Dubhain, in the County of Clare) proceeded to attack Caislean-na-Caillighe (the Hag's Castle) in Lough Mask, which was the stronghold of the province of Connacht. These were they who guarded it at the time: Rickard Burke, who was called Deamhan-an-Chorrain, the son of Rickard, son of Rickard, son of William, son of Edmond,
p.216son of Rickard O'Cuairsci; and Walter, son of Edmond, son of Ulick, son of Edmond, son of Rickard O'Cuairsci. They had gone to this Castle that they might not be obliged to attend a session, and to protect their persons. The Governor proceeded to lay siege to the castle; and he sent the crews of four or five boats of the choicest men in the camp to attack the castle in the middle of the day. But their efforts were fruitless, for a number of their men was slain, and they left behind one of their boats, and the rest returned, in danger of being drowned, for the camp. After their departure the Burkes resolved that they would not in future defend any castle against the Sovereign of England, and they went in two boats, with their wives and children, to the other side of the lake opposite the camp. The Governor destroyed the castle after their departure.
p.217or eight companies of soldiers through West Connacht in search of the insurgents; and these soldiers not having caught the plunderers preyed on the people of Murchadh-na-Duath, and the race of Eoghan O'Flaithbheartaigh, who were, as they thought themselves, under the protection of the law [of England] at the time. The soldiers killed women, boys, peasants, and decrepid persons, and they hanged Theobald O'Tuathail, [of Omey island], supporter of the destitute, and the keeper of a house of hospitality. They also made a prisoner of Domhnall-an-Chogaidh, son of Gilla-dubh, son of Murchadh, son of Eoghan O'Flaithbheartaigh and put him to death. They then returned to the Governor with many preys and spoils.
AFM, entry 1586.3
The next great achievement of Sir Richard Bingham was the total defeat and annihilation of the Highlanders who came to the assistance of the Burkes of the County of Mayo. It is given as follows in the Annals of the Four Masters:
A.D. 1586. A Scottish fleet landed in Inis-Eoghain O'Dochartaigh's country in the north-eastern part of Tir Conaill. These were the gentlemen and chief Constables of that fleet: Domhnall Gorm and Alexander, two sons of James, son of Alexander, son of John Cathanach Mac Domhnaill; Gilla-espuig, son of Dubhgall, son of Donchadh Cam, son of Gilla-espuig Mac Ailin, [Campbell] and many other gentlemen besides. Their name and fame were greater than their appearance. They pitched their camp in that part of the country where they landed where they had abundance of flesh-meat. The haughty plunderers, the perpetrators of treacherous deeds, and the opponents of goodness of the neighbouring territories flocked to join them there; so that there was nothing of value in Inis-Eoghain [Inishowen] whether corn or cattle which they did not carry off on this occasion. They afterwards passed along by the river Finn and the Modharn [Mourn] to Tearmann-Magrath, to the territory of Lurg, and to Midhbholg, until they arrived at the borders of the Eirne. When the Burkes who were engaged in plundering and insurrection, as before stated, namely, Rickard Burke, the son of Deamhan-an Chorrain, the sons of Edmond Burke, and the Clann-Domhnaill Galloglach had heard of the arrival of these Scots, they expeditiously sent messengers inviting them to their assistance, and stating that they would obtain many spoils, and a territory worthy of
p.218them in the province of Connacht, should they themselves succeed in defending it against the people of the Sovereign. The Scots, upon receipt of these messages proceeded across the Eirne and by the first day's march arrived in the district lying between the rivers Dubh and Drobhaeis; and they proceeded to plunder Dartraighe and Cairbre, where they were met by Rickard and the sons of Edmond. The Governor set out for Sligo to oppose them, upon which the Scots departed from that district, and passed southwards through Dartraighe, and by the side of Beanna-bo in Breifne. They remained three nights at Druim-da-ethiar [Dromahaire] from whence they proceeded to Braidshliabh, [Braalieue,] and never halted until they arrived at Cill-Ronain [Kilronan] where they stopped on the confines of Breifne, Magh-Luirg and Tir-Oililla [Tirerrill]. The Governor went from the west to Beal-an-atha-fada in Tir-Oililla; and both parties remained [for some time] at those places without coming in contact with each other. The Scots at length began to move from that place in the beginning of a wet and very dark night, and they proceeded north-westwards through Tir-Oililla with the intention of crossing the bridge of Cul-Maeile [Collooney]; but three companies of the Governor's people were guarding the bridge on that night. The Scots advanced to them, and a fierce conflict was fought between them. The Scots were obliged to abandon the bridge, and to cross the ford on the westside of it. After this they went on the same night as far as Sliabh Gamh, and on the following day to Ard-na-riagh. The Governor set out from Beal-an-atha-fada on the following day, as though he had no intention of pursuing them, and he went through Connacht for fifteen days, collecting such forces as he could; and during that time he had people employed to spy and reconnoitre the Scots. When he had the requisite number ready, he marched from the monastery of Beannada in Luighne [Banada in Leyny] in Connacht, in the beginning of a very dark night in autumn, and stopped neither by day nor night until he arrived at Ard-na-riagh, about the noon of the day following without giving any warning to the Scots. The way the Scots were on his arrival was, sleeping on their couches without fear or guard, just as though that strange country into which they had come was their own without opposition. They were first aroused from their
p.219profound slumbers by the shrieks of their calones, whom the Governor's people were slaughtering throughout the town.
At the time of the Spanish Armada Sir Richard Bingham was one of Queen Elizabeth's Military Council, and in 1588 we find him in conjunction with the Lord Justice of Ireland, Sir William Fitzwilliam and Sir Thomas Norris, Governor of Munster, on a great hosting against O'Ruairc and Mac Suibhne na d-Tuath who attempted to relieve a party of Spaniards who were under the command of Antonio de Leva. On this expedition they destroyed all the property of the disaffected Irish from the river Suca to the Drobhaeis and from thence to the river Finn in Tir-Conaill, but did not succeed in apprehending or molesting O'Ruairc or Mac Suibhne; but they made prisoners of O'Dochartaigh and Sir John O'Galchobhair.
In 1589 the Burkes of Mayo refused to submit to the government of Sir Richard Bingham and took up arms to defend themselves, and were joined by the Clann Domhnaill Galloglach, the O'Dubhdas of Tirfhiacrach, the O'Flaithbheartaighs and Joyces of West Connacht, and they continued to harrass and plunder all those who were obedient to the Governor during the Summer and Autumn of that year; but in the month of January 1590 Sir Richard and the Earl of Thomond marched with a considerable force against them, and pitched their camp at Cong. The Burkes were encamped at the west side of Cong, and both parties thus remained face to face for a fortnight, during which time they held daily conferences, but could not agree on terms of peace. At length the Governor and the Earl set out from their camp with twelve companies of soldiers to make their way into Tirawley and Erris. The Burkes marched in a parallel line with them intending to attack them at the gap of Bearna-na-gaeithe. They did not do so, however, being discouraged by an accident which happened to their chief leader, the son of Mac William, who lost his foot from the ankle out. The Governor soon after returned to Cong, and the Burkes submitted to him and delivered him hostages.
Sir Richard then proceeded to Athlone where he remained till the month of March, when he mustered another force to march against O Ruairc. His forces on this occasion were so numerous that he was enabled to send a numerous force to Sliabh Chairbre at the south extremity of O'Ruairc's country of Breifne, and another to the west of the Bridge of Sligo to invade it from the north. The two divisions marched through the heart of Breifne destroying the country and the people with fire and sword as they passed along, until both met together. On this occasion O'Ruairc was driven from Breifne, and he received neither shelter nor protection until he arrived in the Tuathas in the north west of Tir-Conaill where he remained with Mac Suibhne till the end of that year; and such of his people as did not go into exile came in and submitted to the governor. The whole of Breifne remained obedient to the Governor from this time till the following Michaelmas, when Tighearnan Ban O'Ruairc and Brian-na-Samhthach O'Ruairc returned, and being joined by the tribes of Breifne and Muintir-Eolais, opposed the Governor and continued spoiling every thing belonging to the English until the end of the year.
In the same year Sir Richard Bingham erected a great fort between Loch Ce and Loch Arbhach to check the O'Ruaircs.
In 1592 the Burkes of the county of Mayo were again in insurrection and went on their keeping. When Sir Richard heard of their insurrection he marched against them and took possession of all their castles, whether perfect or broken, as Dun-na-mona48 Cuil-na-g-Caisil49 Gaeisideach50 and Cluainin51. The Burkes attacked him at Cuil-na-g-Caisil, but they were more harmed than the Governor. After this the Governor dispatched heavy troops of English and Irish soldiers in search of the insurgents, who had retired to the dense woods, rugged mountain tops, and other fastnesses of their country, and these soldiers soon returned to him with many prisoners both men and women and with many cows and horses. After this all the Burkes, except Rickard, the son of Deamhan-an-Chorrain, came in and submitted to the award of the Governor. Upon which the Governor took the castles of the country into his own possession and left John Bingham and companies of his own soldiers to guard them.
On the first of May, 1593, George Bingham of Baile-an-Mhota, the brother of Sir Richard, sent soldiers into Breifne to distrain for non-payment of the Queen's rent, and they seized the milch cows of Brian-na-samhthach O'Ruairc's eldest son, and then his locum-tenens. Brian, asserted that all the rents remaining unpaid were those unjustly demanded for lands that were waste, and that George Bingham ought not to demand rents for those lands until they should be inhabited. Accordingly he went to demand the restitution of his cows, but got no satisfaction. On his return home he sent for mercenaries and hireling soldiers into Tirone, Tirconnell and Fermanagh, and a considerable number flocked to his standard, with whom he marched without delay
p.222in the first month of summer, to Ballymote, and plundered the baronies of Corran and Tirerrill, and burned thirteen villages lying round Ballymote, and ransacked and totally plundered Ballymote itself, the head quarters of George Bingham, slaying Captain Gilbert Grayne, a gentleman of Bingham's party. Brian O'Ruairc then returned home loaded with rich spoils.
Encouraged by the success of O'Ruairc's son, Maguire mustered his forces, and marched into the plain of Connacht where Sir Richard Bingham was then stationed, and early in the morning dispatched marauding parties through the plain. At this very time Sir Richard happened to be encamped on a hill near the gate of Tulsk in the barony of Roscommon, watching the surrounding country, and he sent forth early in the morning a party of his cavalry to scour the hills around that on which he was stationed, but this party perceived nothing, in consequence of a thick fog, until they met Maguire and a strong body of cavalry face to face. On perceiving the strength of Maguires cavalry they took to flight, and were hotly pursued by Maguire and his party to the Governor's camp. Here, Maguire perceiving that he was not able to oppose Bingham's whole force with his cavalry judiciously retreated towards the main body of his forces, and was in his turn pursued by the Governor until Maguire had come up with his forces, but when the Governor saw that he had not a sufficient number of men to risk a battle, he retreated without losing more than six horsemen and one gentleman, William Clifford, by name. On the other side, Maguire lost Edmond Mag Samhradhain, primate of Armagh, and then returned in triumph to Fermanagh loaded with spoils.
Rickard Burke the son of Deamhan-an-Chorrain still continued an obdurate rebel and joined Maguire, and the disaffection spread into Oirghialla. The Lord Deputy made a hosting of the men of Meath and the south half of Ireland, and the Governor of Connacht mustered the forces of his province to reduce them. The great Earl of Tyrone was at this time one of the most powerful suppressors of the rebellion, and lent his powerful aid to crush Maguire and his confederates, but this was the last action in which he fought on the side of the English, The Governor of the province of Connacht returned homewards and remained for some time at the Abbey of Boyle, plundering Muintir-Eolais and the western part of Fermanagh.
In 1594 the Lord Justice, William Fitzwilliam, took the castle of Enniskillen, and placed warders of his own to defend it; but Maguire and O'Domhnaill beleaguered them, and continued to invest the fortress from the beginning of June to the middle of August, by which time the warders had consumed all their provisions. When the Lord Justice heard that the warders of Enniskillen were in want of provisions, he commanded the men of Meath, the O'Raghallaighs of Cavan, and the Binghams of Connacht, to convey provisions to Enniskillen. These parties met at Cavan, O'Raghallaigh's town, where they obtained the provisions, and set out for Enniskillen, till they arrived at a ford on the river Arney, about five miles to the south of Enniskillen. Here Maguire had set an ambuscade for them. He encountered and defeated them at the ford, and deprived them of many steeds, weapons and other spoils, and of all the provisions which they were carrying to the relief of Enniskillen. George Bingham escaped, and returned home through the Largan, and the northern part of Breifne-Ui-Ruairc to Sligo.
In 1595, George Bingham, Governor of Sligo under Sir Richard Bingham, sailed with the crew of a ship around Tir-Conaill, and put into Cuan Suilighe, [Lough Swilly] and, the inhabitants not being prepared to resist them, plundered Mary's Abbey, situate on the brink of the strand, and carried off the vestments, chalices, and other valuable articles of the abbey. They then sailed to Torach, and plundered every thing they found on the island, and then sailed back to Sligo. But shortly after (in the month of June, 1595,) this George was killed by Ensign Ulick Burke (the son of Redmond na Scuab) who took possession of the castle of Sligo, which he delivered up to O'Domhnaill. When intelligence of the death of George Bingham and the taking of Sligo came to the hearing of those of the province of Connacht who were in insurrection, namely, the Burkes of Mayo, the Clann-Domhnaill, the O'Conchobhair Sligo, the O'Ruaircaigh, the Clann-Maelruanoigh, and all those who had been proclaimed and were roving in the province of Ulster and other places, having been banished from Connacht by the Binghams, they came to O'Domhnaill to Sligo, and each of them afterward went home to his own patrimonial inheritance; and every inhabitant whom the Binghams had settled on their lands during the period of their
p.224proscription adhered to them as followers; and in the course of one month the most of the inhabitants of the district, from the western points of Erris and Umhall to the river Drobhaeis, had unanimously confederated with O'Domhnaill, and there were not many castles or fortresses in the same district, whether injured or perfect, that were not under his control.
The hostages of Connacht, who were imprisoned in Galway by Sir Richard Bingham, having drank wine until they were intoxicated, plotted together in the month of August this year to make their escape from prison by stratagem or force. They accordingly knocked off their chains and gyves in the early part of the night, while the gates of the town were still open, and while all the town's people were at dinner, and passed out by the west gate, the bridge having been occupied by the soldiers of the town to intercept their flight, they plunged into the river to cross it by swimming, but by the time they gained the opposite bank the soldiers, who had left the bridge, were ready to meet them. The result was that some of them were slain on the spot and others were conducted back to the prison. When the Governor heard of their attempt to escape, he sent a writ to Galway ordering that all those who had consented to escape should be hanged without delay. The following were then hanged; Edmond, the son of Mac William Burke; two of the O'Conchobhair Ruadh; the son of Mac David Burke; Murchadh Og, the son of Sir Murchadh na d-Tuagh O'Flaithbheartaigh; Domhnall the son of Ruaidhri O'Flaithbheartaigh; and Myler, son of Theobald Burke.
Towards the end of August this year, O'Domhnaill made an irruption into Connacht, and laid seige to Castlemore-Costello, then defended by Bingham's people, who were finally obliged to surrender it. He then proceeded to Dunmore and dispatched plundering parties into the territories of Conmhaicne of Dunmore, Muintir-Murchadha, Machaire Riabhach, and to Tuam: and they totally plundered these districts, took the castle of Turloch Mochain, and made a prisoner of Richard, the son of the Lord Bermingham, and returned to O'Domhnaill loaded with rich spoils.
When Sir Richard Bingham had heard that O'Domhnaill had passed by him westwards into Connacht, he assembled fifteen companies of soldiers, both horse and foot, and marched to the top of Coirrshliabh
p.225[near Boyle] with the intention of attacking O'Domhnaill on his return. When O'Domhnaill heard this he returned home with forced marches through Costello, Leyny and Tirerrill, crossing the three bridges namely, those of Cul-Maeile, Baile-Easa-dara, and Sligo, and was pursued by the English with all expedition. O'Domhnaill detached a troop of horsemen and ordered them to fall to the rear of his army to prevent the van of the English army from coming in collision with the attendants or unarmed portion of his force; and he then moved on with his preys till he reached the neighbourhood of Gleann-Dallam, without meeting any opposition. Sir Richard Bingham followed in his track, and took up his quarters in the monastery of Sligo to besiege O'Domhnaill's warders in the castle. On the next day O'Domhnaill sent a party of horsemen to reconnoitre the English and learn the state of the castle, and of the men who were in it, and they then advanced to the banks of the river, and ascended the hill of Rath-Dabhriotog from which they espied the English moving up and down throughout the town. There was at this time along with Sir Richard his own sister's son, a proud and haughty youth, Captain Martin by name, who was the commander of his cavalry. He could not bear to see the enemy so near him without attacking them, and he proceeded with a squadron of horsemen across the bridge of Sligo. When O'Domhnaill's people perceived them advancing, they returned as speedily as they were able, as they were not equal to them in number. The English pursued them, but not overtaking them they returned to the town. O'Domhnail's party then related how they had been pursued, and how they had escaped by means of the swiftness of their horses. O'Domhnaill, on hearing their story, was resolved to lay a snare for these foreigners on the same passage; and selecting one hundred of the best horsemen of his army and three hundred infantry, he ordered them to lie in ambush within a mile of Sligo, and to send a small party of horse to the bank of the river to decoy the English army, and should they pursue them, not to wait for an engagement until they should have come beyond the place where the ambuscade was laid. This was accordingly done. When Captain Martin perceived the small squadron of cavalry on the bank of the river he advanced directly with a large body of cavalry to wreak his vengeance upon them. The others at first moved slowly
p.226and leisurely before them, but these soldiers were soon obliged to incite their horses forward, the English having pursued them with speed and vehemence. One of them, however, namely, Felim Reagh Mac Devitt, was compelled to remain behind, in consequence of the slowness of his horse, and being unable to keep up with his own people, he was obliged to disobey the orders of his lord, that is, to fight the English before he had passed the ambuscade. As he was certain of being immediately slain he turned his face to the nearest of his pursuers, who was Captain Martin, who, as he raised his arm to strike Felim, received a violent thrust of the latter's spear directly in the armpit, which pierced him through the heart. He was covered with mail except in this spot. The English, seeing their champion and commander mortally wounded, returned to Sligo, carrying him in the agonies of death, to the town, where he died that night.
The Governor's fury was now at its height. He ordered engines, called sows, to be constructed for demolishing the castle. These they constructed of the timber and furniture of the monastery, and they covered them on the outside with cow-hides, and they were early in the night filled with soldiers and artizans, and moved on wheels to the base of the castle, for the purpose of undermining it. At the same time some artizans, who Were within the castle, commenced pulling down the upper part of the walls, in order that the soldiers within might hurl the stones down on their enemies. Some of the warders also ascended the battlements of the castle, and proceeded to cast down heavy stones which shattered every thing on which they fell. Others went to the windows and loop holes, and commenced firing with muskets, so that the soldiers in the sows were bruised by stones and wounded by the musket balls. The Governor, finding that they could not take the castle, ordered the work to be abandoned, and his men emerged from the war sows severely bruised and wounded. He marched back to Roscommon sick at heart, because he was not able to take the castle, or wreak his vengeance on O'Domhnaill's people. O'Domhnaill soon after demolished the castle lest the English should get possession of it.
At the same time Theobald Burke, son of Walter Kittagh, laid siege to the castle of Belleek on the river Moy, in Tirawley, which
p.227was defended by Sir Richard Bingham's warders. Sir Richard sent his brother Captain John Bingham, Captain Foal, Captain Minche, and the son of William Tuite, with many other gentlemen, to the relief of the castle with provisions and arms; but before they could relieve the warders, Theobald had obtained possession of the castle. They then returned and were pursued by Theobald, who slew two of their captains and many of their men, and deprived them of much arms and armour. In the month of December this year (1595) O'Domhnaill marched with his forces into Connacht, and nominated this Theobald Burke as the Mac William in preference to others of the family, who were older and greater in point of dignity, because he was in the bloom of youth and able to endure the hardships and toils of the war in which they were engaged. He was inaugurated in presence of all the forces of O'Domhnaill, and hostages and pledges were delivered into his hands by the other Burkes after his election. O'Domhnaill remained with him during the Christmas holidays at Kilmaine and Brees in Clanmorris.
At this period O'Domhnaill broke down thirteen castles in Connacht, and set up chieftains of his own selection, and returned carrying off hostages from every territory into which he had come as a security for their fealty.
In 1596, when the Lord Justice and Council of Ireland saw the bravery and power of the Irish against them, they sent the Earl of Ormond and Myler Magrath, archbishop of Cashel, to Faughard to request O'Neill and O'Domhnaill to come to terms of peace, but these terms were rejected by the Irish. Queen Elizabeth, who was at this time principally attentive to the affairs of France and the progress of the Spanish arms in that country, was pleased at any prospect at composing the vexatious broils of Ireland, and hearing that Sir Richard Bingham had hanged too many of the nobility of the province of Connacht, she and her council, understanding that it was impossible to reconcile the Irish to him, contrived to have him removed as if to please the Irish. The Irish of Connacht had delivered to the Lord Deputy in 1595 forty-three articles of complaint against Sir Richard, one of which was the hanging of Richard Og Burke, commonly called Fal fo Eirinn, without any just cause. His very able answers to all
p.228these charges are preserved in the Cotton Library in the British Museum, Titus B. xiii. p. 451. He was succeeded in his office by a far more humane character, Sir Conyers Clifford, who attempted to reconcile the Irish by acts of kindness. When Sir Richard Bingham arrived in London he was imprisoned, but when the Queen heard of the defeat of her field Marshal, Sir Henry Bagnal, by the Irish of Ulster, she was persuaded that Bingham had acted with that severity due to obdurate rebels, and he was accordingly set at liberty and appointed to succeed Marshal Bagnal. But death soon quenched his thirst for Irish blood. Verum statim atque appulit Dubliniae diem obiit. Camden. A.D. 1598.
Sir Richard left no male issue, and the representation of the family devolved on the eldest son of his brother George.
p.229in parliament of the County of Mayo.52 He married Anne, daughter of Agmondesham Vesey, Esq. grand-niece of the celebrated Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan. He was an officer of rank on the side of King James in the battle of Aughrim, and contributed to the success of William, by deserting his colors in the brunt of the battle. He died in 1749, and was succeeded by his eldest son