Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Flight of the Earls (Author: Tadhg Ó Cianáin)

section 4

About midday on Tuesday they saw three very large ships approaching from the south as if coming from Spain. Although they feared that squadron, and though they thought they belonged to the King of England's armament and were in pursuit of them, they considered that it was better for themselves to make for them and imperil their success if they were enemies, or, if they were Catholics, make inquiries and seek direction, than to be in the great danger in which they were in regard to going astray and mistaking the direction and scarcity of drink. They and the squadron came near one another at the end of day. A terrible storm arose at that time so that they and the squadron could not for a time come within speaking distance of one another. Afterwards, however, they spoke with the crews of the ships. They made enquiries


of them. They told them that they were natives of Lochlainn, and that they were returning from Spain to their own country. They said that it was in the Flemish sea in particular they were. As that sea was near the coast of England, these princes would scarcely have liked to fall there by chance at that moment. Besides, they had no pilot who knew the way or had experience of that sea. They went after the squadron aforementioned until the darkness of the night took it out of their sight.