Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Remonstrance of the Irish Chiefs to Pope John XXII (Author: Domhnall Ó Néill)

section 6

Likewise, where they were bound to implant virtues and root up the weeds of vice, they have cut out by the root the virtues already planted and of themselves have brought in vices.

Also of the same and the banquets of the English. For the English inhabiting our land, who call themselves of the middle nation, are so different in character from the English of England and from other nations that with the greatest propriety they may be called a nation not of middle medium, but of utmost, perfidy. For, from of old they have had this wicked unnatural custom, which even yet has not ceased among them but every day becomes stronger and more established, viz. when they invite noblemen of our nation to a banquet, during the very feast or in the time of sleep they mercilessly shed the blood of their unsuspicious guests, and in this way bring their horrible banquet to an end. When this has been thus done they have cut off the heads of the slain and sold them for money to their enemies, as did the baron Peter Brunechehame (Bermingham), a recognized and regular betrayer, in the case of his gossip Maurice de S.3 and his brother Caluache, men of high birth and great name among us. Inviting them to a banquet on Trinity Sunday, on that same day when the repast was finished, as soon as they had risen from the table he cruelly murdered them with twentyfour of their following and sold their heads dear to their enemies. And when he was afterwards accused to the king of England, the present king's father, of this crime, the king inflicted no punishment on so nefarious a traitor.

Likewise Sir Thomas de Clare, brother of the Earl of Gloucester, summoning to his house Brian Ruadh, prince of Thomond, his gossip, though as a token of closer confederacy and friendship he had communicated of the same host divided into two parts, at last by counsel of the aforesaid unspeakable nation he suddenly tore him from the table and the feast, had him dragged at horses' tails, and having cut off his head had the headless corpse hung by the feet from a beam.4

Likewise, Geoffrey de Pencoyt, of the same nation, after a feast which he had made for them in his house, on that same night, as they were sleeping in their beds, killed Maurice, king of Leinster, and Arthur, his father, men of very high nobility and authority.

Likewise, John fitzThomas, Earl of Kildare, three days after


the killing, had the head of an Irish nobleman, his gossip (accidentally slain not by him but by others), cut off in order to basely sell it. And likewise, the same Earl John, after the execrable death of the father as above narrated, thrust into a filthy prison John, son of the aforesaid most distinguished Caluache, a handsome youth who, from the time when he had been lifted from the baptismal font by the earl himself, had been reared continuously in his house; and after a few days he had the guiltless youth not guiltlessly put to death in the prison.

Let these few cases, notorious to everyone, out of the countless misdeeds of that nation suffice as instances, on this occasion.