The Lords Temporall, as well English as Irish, which Inhabit the Countrie of Ireland.
The Sixt Chapter.
GERALD Fitzgerald, earle of Kildare. This house was of the nobilitie of Florence,
came from thense into Normandie, and so with the ancient earle Strangbow
his kinsman, whose armes he giueth, into Wales, néere of bloud to Rice ap Griffin,
prince of Wales by Nesta the moother of Maurice Fitzgerald & Robert Fitzstephans,
with the said earle Maurice Fitzgerald remooued into Ireland, in the yeare one
thousand one hundred sixtie and nine. The familie is verie properlie toucht in a
sonnet of Surreies, made vpon the earle of Kildares sister, now countesse of Lincolne.
From Tuscane came my ladies worthie race,
Faire Florence was sometime hir ancient seat:
The westerne Ile whose pleasant shore doth face
Wild Cambers cliffes, did giue hir liuelie heat,
Fostred she was with milke of Irish brest,
Hir sire an earle, hir dame of princes bloud,
From tender yeares in Britaine she dooth rest
With kings child, where she tasts costlie food.
Hunsdon did first present hir to mine eine,
Bright is hir hew, and Geraldine she hight,
Hampton me taught to wish hir first for mine:
And Windsor, alas, dooth chase me from hir sight,
Hir beautie of kind, hir vertues from aboue,
Happie is he, that can obteine hir loue.
The corrupt orthographic that diuerse vse in writing this name, dooth incorporat
it to houses thereto linked in no kinred, and consequentlie blemisheth diuerse
worthie exploits atchiued as well in England and Ireland, as in forren countries
and dominions. Some write Gerold, sundrie Gerald, diuerse verie corruptlie
Gerrot, others Gerard. But the true orthographie is Girald, as maie appeare both
by Giraldus Cambrensis, and the Italian authors that make mention of the familie.
As for Gerrot it differeth flat from Girald: yet there be some in Ireland, that
name and write themselues Gerrots, notwithstanding they be Giraldins, whereof
diuerse gentlemen are in Meeth. But there is a sept of the Gerrots in Ireland,
and they séeme forsooth by threatning kindnesse and kindred of the true Giraldins,
to fetch their petit degrees from their ancestors, but they are so néere of bloud one
to the other, that two bushels of beanes would scantlie count their degrées. An
other reason why diuerse estrange houses haue béene shuffled in among this familie,
was, for that sundrie gentlemen at the christening of their children, would haue
them named Giralds, and yet their surnames were of other houses, and if after it
happened that Girald had issue Thomas, Iohn, Robert, or such like, then would
they beare the surname of Girald, as Thomas Fitzgirald: and thus taking the
name of their ancestors for their surname, within two or thrée descents they shooue
themselues among the kindred of the Giraldins. This is a generall fault in Ireland
and Wales, and a great confusion and extinguishment of houses.
This noble and ancient familie of the Giraldins, haue in sundrie ages florished
Matth. Paris. in vita Iob. pag. 316. vers. 40.
in the most renowmed countries of Europe. Warring Fitzgirald was one in great
credit with King Iohn. I find an other Giraldine Archiepiscopus Burdegalensis,
flourished in king Henrie the third his time. There was an other Giraldine patriarch
of Ierusalem, in the yéere one thousand two hundred twentie and nine, as
witnesseth Matthæus Parisiensis. There was one Girald of Berneill an excellent
poet in the Italian toong: an other named Baptist Girald, was a famous citizen
of Ferrara, an expert physician, and an exquisit philosopher, being publike professor
of philosophie in the said citie, during the space of ten yeares. I haue
seene a worke of one Gregorius Giraldus Ferrariensis de digs gentium,
Hercules duke of Ferrara, a pithie booke and verie well penned. Also Syluester
Giraldus Cambrensis hath béene one of this familie, néere of kin to sir Maurice
Fitzgirald. This gentleman was borne in Wales, and thereof he is named Cambrensis,
of the word Cambria,
that in old time was adapted to that part of Britannia.
He was verie inward with Henrie the second, conqueror of Ireland, being
at that time the kings secretarie. And for that speciall affiance king Henrie reposed
in him, he was appointed to accompanie prince Iohn the kings sonne into Ireland,
as one of his chiefest and discréetest councellors.
This gentleman was verie well learned, a tolerable diuine, a commendable philosopher,
not rude in physike, skilfull in cosmographie, a singular good antiquarie,
an orator, in indeuor comparable to the best, in his stile not in those daies taken
for the woorst, rather eschewing the name of a rude writer, than purchasing the
fame of an eloquent chronicler. Among other his works, he wrote one booke of
Ioannes de loco frumenti part prima granarij.
the description of Ireland, other two of the conquest thereof. Iohn the abbat of
saint Albons saith, that this clerke was somewhat spare in words, and liberall in
sentences. What he meaneth by this verdict I know not, vnlesse he taketh the
man to be ouerlauish of his pen in frumping of his aduersaries with quipping
tawnts, which (as I gesse) flowed rather from a flanting ostentation of a roisting
kind of rhetorike, than from anie great malice he bare anie one. Howbeit, I maie
not gainesaie, but as he was kind where he tooke, so he was somewhat biting
where he disliked. But what his iudgement is of the Giraldins maie plainlie appeare
in his chronicle, out of which I haue culled this praiseworthie sentence insuing.
est huius generis omen & hæc conditio. Semper in armata militiachari, semper
Cambrensis lib. 2. conqu. Hib. rub. 17.
primi, semper rebus in Martijs ausu nobili præstantissimi. Cessante verò necessitatis
articulo, statim exosi, statim vltimi, statim ad imaliuore depressi. Veruntamen
tantæ generositatis syluam liuor ad plenum extirpare non potuit. Vnde & vsque in
hodiernum gens hæc nouis plantularum succrementis vires in insula non modicas habet.
Qui sunt, qui penetrant hostium penitralia? Giraldidæ. Qui sunt, qui patriam conseruant?
Giraldidæ. Qui sunt, quos hostes formidant? Giraldidæ. Qui sunt, quos liuor
detractat? Giraldidæ. Si principem tantæ strenuitatis merita dignè pensantem reperissent,
quàm tranquillum, quàm pacificum olim Hiberniæ statum reddidissent? Sed horum
sine causa semper est suspecta strenuitas." This hath béen continuallie, saith
Cambrensis, a destinie or fatall propertie annexed to this house. In warre and
martiall broiles they are dandaled, they are colled, they are lulled, who but they?
They rule the rost. But when these martiall garboiles are appeased, they are either
through false informations wrongfullie behated, or else by enuious carpers sinisterlie
suspected. Howbeit, enuie with all hir malicious drifts, could neuer wholie supplant
the fertill groue of this couragious & noble progenie. And maugre the
heads of all malicious promoters, this sept, yea euen at this daie beareth, with the
few slips there ingraffed, no small stroke in Ireland. Who are they that scale the
enimies fort? The Giraldines; Who are they that defend their countrie? the Giraldines.
Who are they that make the enimie quake in his skin? The Giraldines.
And who are they whome enuie backbiteth? The Giraldines. If it had stood with
the good fortune of the Giraldines, that the king with equall balance would poise
their valure, long yer this had all Ireland beene put in quiet and peaceable staie.
But their valiantnesse and power hath beene from time to time without sufficient
cause suspected. Hitherto Cambrensis.
And soothlie, as often as I call to mind the saieng of this historiographer, I
may not but muse how iumpe he hitteth the naile on the head. And who so will
conferre their continuall successe from the penning of this sentence (which was
written aboue 400 yeares and vpward) with this age of ours, shall soone perceiue,
that these words were rather prophesies of future mishap, than complaints of former
iniuries. At this daie let them behaue themselues valiantlie in warre, and
loiallie in peace; yet notwithstanding, such slanders are raised, such rumors
noised, such tales bruted, such fables twitled, such vntrue reports twatled, such
malicious inuentions forged, that such as are in authoritie cannot but of force suspect
them, vnlesse they were able, like gods, to prie in the bottome of each mans
conscience. But who so wisheth anie goodnesse to that miserable countrie, and
noble progenie, let him with all the veines of his heart beséech God, first that the
higher powers be slowe in beléeuing the despitefull reports of enuious backbiters.
Secondlie, that the Giraldines beare themselues in all their affaires so dutifullie,
that these curious inserchers be not able to depaint their feigned gloses with anie
probable colours. So shall suspicion be abandoned, so shall malicious slanders be
squatted, so shall that noble house be trusted, and consequentlie the battered
weale-publike of Ireland reedified. The familie is English, and it is well knowne
that the Irish rather feare their force, than loue their persons. And reason good
pardie. For the Irish bearing in mind, that the Giraldine being thereto deputed
by the prince, hath in all ages conquered their lands, abated their courages, discomfited
their men, vanquished their armies, daunted their power, suppressed
their force, and made them become true and tributarie subiects to the crowne of
England: they haue good cause to beare that sept but holow hearts, what shew so
euer they make in outward apperance. Thus much generallie of the Giraldines,
now I purpose particularlie to treat of the house of Kildare.
Maurice Fitzgirald, one of the earles progenitors, was lord iustice of Ireland in
the yeare 1242, at which time he builded the castell of Sligagh. This Maurice
was lord of Tireconille, and being entirelie seized of the whole countrie, he gaue
The castell of Sligagh.
Baron of Ophalie.
the one moietie thereof to Cormocke mac Dermot, mac Rorie. I read the Giraldine
baron of Ophalie, in the yeare 1270. I haue séene it registred, that there
died a Giraldine the fourth earle of Kildare, in the yeare 1287. But I take that
kalendar to beare a false date. Wherefore the truth & certeintie is, that Iohn
Fitzgirald, sonne to Thomas Fitzgirald, was the first earle of Kildare, and was
The first erle of Kildare.
created earle vpon this occasion.
In the yeare 1290, and in the eighteenth yeare of Edward the first, William
Vescie lord iustice.
Vescie was made lord iustice of Ireland. This man being either negligent or raw
in the gouernment of the countrie, emboldened the Irish enimie to indamage the
kings subiects more effsoones than they were accustomed to doo. These enormities
being for the space of foure yeares tolerated, the subiects misliking of the
slacknesse of their gouernour, gave out such sinister spéeches of the lord iustice,
as he was glad to the hart root. Soone after, as the nobles in open assemblie were
ripping vp by péecemele the seuerall harms their tenants suffered, the lord iustice
Vescie accuseth the lord Fitzgirald.
willing to disburden himselfe of the crime, began with mistie kind of speaches to
laie the whole fault on the lord Iohn Fitzgiralds shoulders, saieng in parable wise,
that he was a great occasion of these disorders, in that he bare himselfe in priuat
quarrels as fierce as a lion, but in these publike iniuries he was as méeke as a lambe.
The baron of Ophalie spelling and putting these syllables together, spake in this
"My lord, I am hartilie sorie that among all this noble assemblie, you make me
The lord Giralds answer.
your onelie marke whereat to shoot your bolt. And trulie were my deserts so heinous
as I suppose you would wish them to be, you would not labour to cloud your
talke with such darke ridles, as at this present you haue doone; but with plaine &
flat English, your lordship would not sticke to impeach of fellonie or treason. For
as mine ancestors with spending of their bloud in their souereignes quarell aspired
to this type of honour, in which at this daie (God and my king be thanked) I
stand: so your lordship taking the nigher waie to the wood, by charging me with
treason, would gladlie trip so roundlie on my top, that by shedding of my bloud,
and by catching my lands into your clouches, that butt so neere vpon your manors
of Kildare and Rathimgan, as I dare saie they are an eie-sore vnto you, you might
make my maister your sonne a proper gentleman."
"A gentleman?" quoth the lord iustice: "Thou bald baron, I tell thee the
The lord iustice replieth.
Vescies were gentlemen before the Giraldines were barons of Ophalie, yea and before
that Welsh bankrupt thine ancestour (he meant sir Maurice Fitzgirald) fethered
his nest in Leinster. And whereas thou takest the matter so farre in snuffe, I will
teach thée thy lyrripups after an other fashion than to be thus malepertlie cocking
and billing with me that am thy gouernour. Wherefore, albeit thy taunts are such
as they might force the patientest philosopher that is, to be chokt with choler:
yet I would haue thée ponder my spéeches, as though I deliuered them in my
most sober and quiet mood. I saie to the face of thée, and I will auow what I say
vnto thée, that thou art a supporter of theeues, a bolsterer of the kings enimies,
an vpholder of traitors, a murtherer of subiects, a firebrand of dissention, a ranke
théefe, an arrant traitor: and before I eate these words, I will make thée eate a
péece of my blade."
The baron brideling with might and maine his choler, bare himselfe as cold in
countenance, as the lord iustice was hot in words, and replied in this wise. "My
lord I am verie glad, that at length you vnwrapped your selfe out of that net,
wherein all this while you masked. As for mine ancestor, whome you terme a
bankerupt, how rich or how poore he was vpon his repaire to Ireland, I purpose not
at this time to debate. Yet thus much I may boldlie saie, that he came hither as a
bier, not as a begger. He bought the enimies land by spending his bloud: but
you lurking like a spider in his copweb to intrap flies, endeuor to beg subiects liuings
wrongfullie, by despoiling them of their innocent liues. And wheras you
charge me with malepertnes, in that I presume to chop logike with you being gouernour,
by answering your snappish Quid,
with a knappish Quo,
I wold wish you
to vnderstand, now, that you put me in mind of the distinction, that I as a subiect
honour your roiall authoritie, but as a noble man I despise your dunghill gentilitie.
Lastlie, whereas you charge me with the odious termes of traitor, murtherer,
and the like, and there withall you wish me to resolue my selfe that you
rest vpon reason, not vpon rage: if these words procéed from your lordship, as
from a magistrate, I am a subiect, to be tried by order of law, and am sorrie that
the gouernour, who ought by vertue of his publike authoritie to be my iudge, is
by reason of priuat malice become mine accuser.
"But if you vtter these spéeches as a priuat person, then I Iohn Fitzgirald, baron
of Ophalie, doo tell thée William Vescie, a single sole gentleman, that I am no
traitor, no felon; and that thou art the onelie buttresse, by which the kings enimies
are supported, the meane and instrument by which his maiesties subiects are
dailie spoiled. Therefore I as a loiall subiect saie traitor to thy téeth, and that shalt
thou well vnderstand when we both shall be brought to the rehersall of these mat
ters before our betters. Howbeit, during the time you beare office, I am resolued
to giue you the mastrie in words, and to suffer you like a bralling our to barke, but
when I sée my time I will be sure to bite."
These biting spéeches passing to and fro, great factions on both sides were raised,
The lord Girald posteth into England.
with high and mightie words, and deepe othes; till time either part appeased his
owne. The baron of Ophalie not sléeping nor slacking his matter, squdded with
all hast into England, where he was no sooner inshored, than Vescie, after he had
substituted William Haie in his roome, was imbarked, making as hot foot after the
baron as he could. The king and his councell vnderstanding the occasion of their
sudden arriuals, to the end the truth should be brought to light, appointed a set
daie for the deciding of their controuersie, and that each of them should speake
for himselfe what he could. Wherevpon Vescie being commanded to begin, spake
to this effect.
"My dread souereigne, as I must acknowledge my selfe somewhat agréeued, to
be intangled in so intricate a matter, so I am as glad as hart can thinke that so
weightie a controuersie is brought to the deciding of so vpright an vmpire. And
whereas it stood with your maiesties pleasure, with the aduise of this your honourable
councell, that I, as vnwoorthie, should haue the gouernment of your realme
of Ireland; and during my time, your maiesties subjects, haue béene, I may not
denie it, diuerslie annoied, for my discharge, as I said in Ireland: so I auow héere
in England, that he kneeleth heere before your highnesse (pointing to the baron of
Ophalie) that is the root and crop of all these enormities. For it is well knowne,
that he beareth that stroke with the Irish, as if he once but frowne at them, they
dare not be so hardie as once to peake out of their cabbins. And whereas his force
dooth greatlie amaze them, thinke you but his countenance dooth woonderfullie incourage
them? To the furtherance of which, it is apparantlie knowne, and it shall
be prooued, that he hath not onelie in hucker mucker, by sundrie messages imboldened
your maiesties enimies, to spoile your subiects, but also by his personall
presence, in secret méetings, he gaue them such courage, as neither the roialtie of
your highnesse, nor the authoritie of your deputie, neither the force of your
lawes, nor the strength of your puissant armie, was able to quench the flame of
these hurlie burlies, that through his traitorous driffs were inkindled. These and
the like enormities through his priuie packing with rebels being dailie committed,
to bring me your maiesties gouernour in the hatred of the people, his adherents
both secretlie muttered, and openlie exclamed against me and my gouernment, as
though the redresse of all these harmes had wholie lien in mine hands.
"Wherevpon being in conference with such as were the chiefteins of your realme
of Ireland, albeit I tooke it to be expedient, to point with my finger to the verie
sinke or headspring of all the treasons, that by secret conspiracies were pretended
and practised against your maiestie and your subiects, yet notwithstanding hauing
more regard to modestie, than to the deserts of the baron of Ophalie, I did but
glanse at his packing in such secret sort, as none or a verie few of the companie
could gesse, whome with my mistie speaches I did touch. And as commonlie the
gald horsse dooth soonest kicke, so this gentelman being prickt, as it should seeme
with the sting of his giltie conscience, brake out on a sudden, and forgetting his
allegiance to your highnesse, and his dutie to me your deputie, he tooke me vp so
roughlie, as though I had béene rather his vnderling than his gouernour. The
summe of which despitefull speaches I refer to the testimonie of the honorable audience
where they were deliuered. As for his manifold treasons, I am ashamed to
rehearse such things as he did not sticke to commit. And if it shall stand with
your maiesties pleasure, to adiourne the triall for a few daies, I will charge him with
such apparent Items, as were his face made of brasse, he shall not be able to denie
anie one article that shall be booked against him." When Vescie had ended, the
baron of Ophalie prest himselfe somewhat forward, and in this wise spake.
"Most puissant prince and my dread souereigne, were maister Vescie his mouth
The lord Giralds oration.
so iust a measure, as what he spake, should be holden for gospell, this had béene no
fit place for so arrant a traitor, as he with his feigned glosing would gladlie prooue
me to be. But sith it pleased your maiestie, with so indifferent balance to ponder
both our tales, I am throughlie persuaded, that my loiall innocencie shall be able,
to ouerpoise his forged treacherie. Your maiestie hath heard manie words to small
purpose. And as his complaint hitherto hath beene generallie hudled vp, so mine
answer thereto may not particularlie be framed. Whereas therefore he termeth me
a supporter of théeues, a packer with rebels, a conspirator with traitors, if I should
but with a bare word denie the premisses, all his gaie glose of glitring speaches
would suddenlie fade awaie. Yea, but he craueth respit for the booking of his
articles. Trulie so he hath need. For loitering and lingring is the onlie waie he
may deuise to cloke his feigning and forging. Wherin he sheweth himselfe as
craftie, as the philosopher was accounted wise that promised a tyrant vpon menacing
wordes, to schoole his asse in philosophie, so he had seuen yeares respit; bicause
that in that space he was persuaded, that either the tyrant, the asse, or he would
die. In likewise master Vescie, vpon respit granted him, would hang in hope, that
either the life of your maiestie (which God forbid) should be shortened; or that I,
in tract of time, would be disfauoured; or that he by one subtill pranke or other
should be of this heauie load disburdened.
"But if I haue béene as manie yeares a malefactor as he aduoucheth, how happeneth
it, that his toong was tied before this late dissention begun? Whie did he not
from time to time aduertise the councell of my treasons? Whereas now it may be
probablie coniectured, that he was egd to this seruice rather for the hatred he beareth
me, than for anie loue he oweth your roiall maiestie. Touching the words I
spake in Ireland, I purpose not, for ought I heard as yet, to eat them in England.
And when I shall be cald to testifie such speaches as I deliuered there, I will not be
found so raw in my matter, as to lose my errant in the carriage, as master Vescie
hath doone, or to craue further respit for the registring of his manifold treasons.
As for my secret méetings with Irish rebels, where I persuaded master Vescie, that
you were able to prooue them, I would be found willing to acknowledge them.
For if my conscience were so deepelie stoong, as you pretend, I would take it for
better policie, by acknowledging my trespasse, to appeale to my king his mercie,
than by denieng my faults, to stand to the rigor of his iustice.
"And as for méetings, I had neuer so manie in woods with rebels, as you master
Vescie, haue had in your chamber with cowes. For it hath beene manifestlie apparented,
that when the baron of Ophalie, and the best of the nobilitie of Ireland
haue béene imbard from entring your chamber, an Irish cow should haue at all times
accesse vnto you. No, master Vescie: a cow, an horsse, an hauke, and a siluer
cup haue beene the occasion of your slacknesse. When the subiects were preided,
you would be content to winke at their miserie, so that your mouth were stopt
with briberie. And when you had gathered your crums sufficientlie togither, you
held it for a pretie policie (and yet it was but a bare shift) to charge the nobilitie
with such packing, as you dailie did practise. But you must not thinke that we
are babes, or that with anie such stale deuise, or grosse iuggling tricke, you may
so easilie duske or dazell our eies. Can anie man that is but slenderlie witted, so far
be caried, as to beleeue, that master Vescie, being the kings deputie in Ireland,
hauing his maiesties treasure, hauing the nobilitie at his becke, the kings armie
at his commandement; but that, if he were disposed to besturre himselfe, he were
able to ferret out such barebréech brats as swarme in the English pale? If he said
he could not, we must smile at his simplicitie; if he could and would not, how may
he colour his disloialtie?
"Yea, but I beare such stroke with the Irish, as that vpon anie priuat quarrell I
am able to annoie them. What then? Bicause the baron of Ophalie can reuenge
his priuat iniuries without the assistance of the deputie; therefore the deputie may
not vanquish weake and naked rebels without the furtherance of the baron of
Ophalie: whereas the contrarie ought to be inferd, that if a priuat person can tame
the Irish, what may then the publike magistrat doo, that hath the princes paie?
But in déed it is hard to take hares with foxes. You must not thinke, master
Vescie, that you were sent gouernour into Ireland to dandle your truls, to pen your
selfe vp within a towne or citie to giue rebels the gaze, to pill the subiects, to
animat tratiors, to fill your coffers, to make your selfe by marring true men, to
gather the birds whilest other beat the bushes, and after to impeach the nobilitie
of such treasons, as you onelie haue committed.
"But for so much as our mutuall complaints stand vpon the one his yea, and the
other his naie, and that you would be taken for a champion, & I am knowne to be
no coward: let vs, in Gods name, leaue lieng for varlets, berding for ruffians,
facing for crakers, chatting for twatlers, scolding for callets, booking for scriueners,
pleading for lawyers; and let vs trie with the dint of sword, as become
martiall men to doo, our mutuall quarels. Wherefore to iustifie that I am a true
subiect, and that thou Vescie art an archtraitor to God & to my king, here in the
presence of his highnesse, and in the hearing of this honorable assemblie, I chalenge
The combat chalenged.
the combat." Whereat all the auditorie shouted.
Now in good faith, quoth Vescie, with a right good will. Wherevpon both the
parties being dismist vntill the kings pleasure were further knowne, it was agréed
at length by the councell, that the fittest triall should haue béene by battell.
Wherefore the parties being as well thereof aduertised, as the daie by the king
appointed, no small prouision was made for so eager a combat, as that was presupposed
to haue beene. But when the prefixed daie approched néere, Vescie turning
his great boast to small rost, began to crie creake, and secretlie sailed into France.
Vescie fled into France.
Kildare bestowed on the lord Girald.
King Edward thereof aduertised, bestowed Vescies lordships of Kildare and Rathingan
on the baron of Ophalie, saieng that albeit Vescie conueied his person into
France, yet he left his lands behind him in Ireland.
The baron returned to Ireland with the gratulation of all his friends, and was
The first erle of Kildare created.
created earle of Kildare, in the ninth yeare of Edward the second his reigne, the
foureteenth of Maie. He deceassed at Laraghbrine (a village néere to Mainooth) in
the yeare 1316, and was buried at Kildare, so that he was earle but one yeare. The
house of Kildare among diuerse gifts, wherewith God hath abundantlie indued it,
The numbers of the earles of Kildare.
is for one singular point greatlie to be admired, that notwithstanding the seuerall
assaults of diuerse enimies in sundrie ages, yet this earle that now liueth is the tenth
earle of Kildare, to whome from Iohn the first earle, there hath alwaies continued a
lineall descent from father to son: which trulie in mine opinion is a great blessing
of God. And for as much as this earle now liuing as his ancestors before him,
haue beene shrewdlie shooued at by his euill willers, saieng that he is able, but not
willing to profit his countrie: the posie that is framed for him, signifieng his
mind, runneth in this wise:
"Quid possim, iactan: quid vellem, scire recusant:
Vtraque Reginæ sint, rogo, nota meæ."
His eldest sonne is lord Girald, baron of Ophalie, for whom these two verses
following are made:
"Te pulchrum natura fecit, fortuna potentem,
Te faciat Christi norma, Giralde, bonum."
Sir Thomas Butler earle of Ormond and Osserie. The Butlers were ancient
Earle of Ormond.
The Butlers (as I am informed) are found by ancient records to haue béene earles of the Carrike.
English gentlemen, and worthie seruitors in all ages. Theobald Butler lord of
Carrike and Iohn Cogan were lord iustices of Ireland. This Butler died in the
castell of Arckelow, in the yeare 1285. This lord Theobald Butler the yoonger,
and son to the elder Theobald, was sent for by Edward the first, to serue against
the Scots. This noble man deceased at Turuie, and his bodie was conueighed to
Weneie, a towne in the countie of Limerike. Sir Edmund Butler a wise and valiant
noble man was dubbed knight at London by Edward the second.
This man being appointed lieutenant of Ireland, vpon the repaire of Iohn Wogan
(who before was lord iustice) to England, besieged the Obrenies in Glindalorie: and
were it not that they submitted themselues to the king and the lieutenants mercie,
they had not béene onelie for a season vanquished, but also vtterlie by him extirped.
This noble man was in his gouernement such an incourager and furtherer of
seruitors, as that he dubd on saint Michaell the archangels daie thirtie knights in
the castell of Dublin. He was a scourge vnto the Scots that inuaded Ireland, when
he was lieutenant. He discomfited Omourgh a notorious rebell, neare a towne
named Balie lethan. After diuerse victorious exploits by him atchiued, he sailed
into England, and so to Hispaine in pilgrimage to saint Iames. Vpon his returne
to England, he deceased at London, and his bodie being conueied into Ireland was
intoomed at Balligauran.
Iames Butler earle of Ormond was lord iustice of Ireland in the yeare 1359. The
lord Butler and vicount Thurles was dubd knight by Henrie the sixt in England,
in the yeare 1425, at which time sir Iames Butler, sir Iohn Butler, sir Rafe Butler,
were in like maner knighted. Iames Butler, who maried the earle of Herefords
The first earle of Ormond.
daughter, was preferred to the earledome of Ormond in the first yeare of Edward
the third, which fell vpon the heirs generall, lastlie vpon sir Thomas Butler earle of
Wilshire, after whome it reuersed to Pierce Butler, whome a little before king
Henrie the eight had created erle of Ossorie. I read Butler earle of Tipperarie in
the yeare 1300. The Latine historie calleth him Dominum de pincerna,
le Butler. Whereby it appeareth, he had some such honour about the prince. His
verie name is Becket, who was aduanced by Henrie the seconds eldest sonne, lord
Butler, in recompense of the death of Thomas of Canturburie their kinsman. His
eldest sonne is the lord Butler and vicount Thurles. For the earle now liuing these
two verses (in the remembrance of him) are made:
"Magnus auus, maiórq. pater, sed natus vtróq.
Corporis aut animi non bonitate minor."
Gerald fitz Gerald earle of Desmond. Maurice fitz Thomas a Geraldine, was
created earle of Desmond the same yeare, soone after that Butler became earle of
Ormond. His eldest sonne is lord fitz Gerald of Desmond. The erle now liuing,
"Euasi tandem, iactatus fluctibus alti,
Et precor in portu sit mea tuta ratis."
Sir Richard Bourke earle of Clenrickard, a branch of the English familie de
Burgo. The Bourkes haue beene ancient noble men before their comming to
Ireland: and in old time they haue beene earles of Vlster. His eldest sonne is lord
Bourke baron of Enikelline. His verse is this:
"Quam mihi maiorum fama bona gesta dederunt,
Hanc mihi natorum barbara facta negant."
Connogher Obren earle of Tomond: the name of earle giuen to Murragh Obren
for tearme of life, and after to Donogh Obren, in the fift yeare of the reigne of
Edward the sixt, now confirmed to the heires males, his eldest sonne is baron of
Ibracan. Vpon the erle now liuing this fantasie was deuised:
"Non decet externos, sine causa, quærere reges,
Cùm licet in tuta viuere pace domi."
Mac Cartie More earle of Clencare, created in the yeare 1565. Vicount Barrie.
Vicount Roch. Preston Vicount of Gormanstowne: whervnto is latelie annexed
the baronie of Lawnedresse. One of their ancestors sir Robert Preston, then chiefe
baron of the excheker, was dubbed knight in the field, by Lionell duke of Clarence.
This gentleman matched in wedlocke with Margaret Birmingham ladie of Carbrie,
who deceassed in the yeare 1361. After whose death sir Robert Preston was seized
of the said lordship in the right of his wife, and being molested by rebels, placed a
garison in the castell, whereby the subiects were greatlie eased, and the rebels
There hath béene another sir Robert Preston of this house, great grandfather to
the vicount now liuing. This gentleman was deputie to Richard, second son to
Edward the fourth, in the sixtéenth yeare of the reigne of his father: and after
likewise in the reigne of Henrie the seuenth, he was deputie to Iasper duke of
Bedford, erle of Penbroke, & lieutenant of Ireland: and at the same time was he
appointed by the king generall receiuer of his reuenue in Ireland. How wiselie this
noble man behaued himselfe in peace, and how valiantlie he bequit himselfe in
warre, sundrie of king Henrie the seuenth his letters to him being deputie, addressed,
doo manifestlie witnesse. There was a parlement holden before him at
Drogheda, which was repealed in the tenth yeare of Henrie the seuenth. Sir
Christopher Preston was dubbed knight in the field by Edmund earle of March,
lord deputie of Ireland. William Preston was lord iustice of Ireland in Henrie the
eight his reigne. The house is ancient, planted in Lancashire, and from thense
departed into Ireland, being to this daie seized of a manour in Lancashire, named
Preston came from Lancashire.
of the house Preston. The vicount now liuing speaketh in this wise, as it were
present in person, and saith:
"Si quantum vellem, tantum me posse putarem,
Nota esset patriæ mens mea firma meæ."
Powar, vicount of Baltinglasse, lord of Kilcullen to him and his
heires males, the foure and thirtith yeare of Henrie the eight. Their ancestor Robert
de Powar was sent into Ireland with commission, and his ofspring hath rested
there since the yeare 1175. Powar aliâs
Eustace is written baron of Domuile in the
yeare 1317. The vicounts poesie now liuing is this that followeth:
"Cùm bonus ipse manes, an non laus magna putatur,
Prudenter cuiuis posse placere viro?"
Sir Richard Butler vicount Mountgaret to him and his heires males in the fift
yeare of Edward the sixt. Vicount Déece. Lord Bermingham baron of Athenrie,
now degenerate and become méere Irish, against whome his ancestors serued
valiantlie in the yeare 1300. Iohn Bermingham was lord of Athenrie Anno 1316.
Iohn Bermingham baron of Ardigh, called in Latine de alrio Dei, in the yere 1318.
Mac Maurice, aliâs
Fitzgerald, baron of Kerie. L. Courcie, not verie Irish; the
ancient descent of the Courcies planted in Ireland with the conquest. Fleming
baron of Slane. Simon Fleming was baron of Slane, 1370. The L. now liuing
"Slanius inuictus princeps mihi nomen adaptat,
In bello clarum nomen & omen habens."
Plunket baron of Killine, his familie came in with the Danes, whereof they haue
as yet speciall monuments. Sir Christopher Plunket lord of Killine, was lord lieutenant
of Ireland, which title is to be seene at this day in Killine, grauen on his
toome. The baron that now liueth, thus frameth his poesie:
"Ornant viuentem maiorum gesta meorum,
Talia me nequeunt viua cadente mori."
Nugent baron of Deluen, an ancient house. Sir Gilbert de Nogent, or Nugent,
came into Ireland, with sir Hugh de Lacie, one of the first and valiant conquerors
of the countrie. This Gilbert matched with Rosa de Lacie, sister to Hugh de
Lacie. He had giuen him vpon the conquest the baronies of foure, and of Deluine
by the said sir Hugh, of whose brother Richard de Nogent, otherwise called
Richardus de Capella, the house of Deluin is descended. In a conueiance past
from sir Gilbert to his brother Richard, these words are inserted: "Dedi & concessi
fratri meo Richardo de Capella totum conquestum meum in Hibernia, & terram
quam dedit mihi dominus meus Hugo de Laci, qui vocatur Deluin, & totam terram
meam in Anglia." The baron now liuing & louing his countrie thus speaketh:
"In patria natus, patriæ prodesse laboro,
Viribus in castris, consilijsq. domi."
S. Laurence, baron of Howth, signifieng the disposition of his mind, he speaketh
in this wise:
"Si redamas, redamo, si spernis, sperno. Quid ergo?
Non licet absq. tuis viuere posse bonis?"
Plunket baron of Dunsanie. Vpon the baron now liuing, this deuise was framed
as you sée:
"Gratia quod dederat, si non fortuna negabit,
Dux tam præclaro stemmate dignus eris."
Barnewall baron of Trimlestowne. They came from litle Britain, where they are
at this day a great surname. Vpon their first arriuall, they wan great possessions at
Beirhauen, where at length by conspiracie of the Irish they were all slaine, except
one yoong man, who then studied the common lawes in England, who returning,
dwelt at Drunnagh besides Dublin, where his heires to this daie are setled. This
house as well for antiquitie, as for the number of worshipfull gentlemen that be of
the surname, beareth no small stroke in the English pale of Ireland: howbeit of
late it hath béene greatlie maimed thorough the decease of thrée woorthie and
famous Barnewals. The first was Robert Barnewall L. of Trimlestowne that last was,
a rare noble man, and indued with sundrie good gifts, who hauing wholie wedded
himselfe to the reformation of his miserable countrie, was resolued for the whetting
of his wit, which nathelesse was pregnant and quicke, by a short trade and method
he tooke in his studie, to haue sipt vp the verie sap of the common law, and vpon
this determination sailing into England, sickened shortlie after at a worshipfull
matrones house at Cornuberie, named Margaret Tiler, where he was to the great
gréefe of all his countrie pearsed with death, when the weale publike had most néed
of his life. The second Barnewall that deceased was M. Marcus Barnewall of
Donbroa, whose credit and authoritie had it béene correspondent to his valure and
abilitie, he would (I doubt not) haue béene accounted and knowne for as od a gentleman
(none dispraised) as anie in the English pale of IRELAND.
The third of the surname that departed this life, was sir Christopher Barnwall
Sir Christopher Barnwall knight.
knight, the lanterne and light as well of his house, as of that part of Ireland where
he dwelt: who being sufficientlie furnisht as well with the knowlege of the Latine
toong, as of the common lawes of England, was zealouslie bent to the reformation
of his countrie. A déepe and a wise gentleman, spare of spéech, and therewithall
pithie, wholie addicted to grauitie, being in anie pleasant conceipt rather giuen to
simper than smile, verie vpright in dealing, measuring all his affaires with the
safetie of conscience, as true as stéele, close and secret, fast to his friend, stout in
a good quarell, a great housholder, sparing without pinching, spending without
wasting, of nature mild, rather choosing to pleasure where he might harme, than
willing to harme where he might pleasure. He sickened the thrée and twentith of
Iulie of an hot burning ague, and ended his life at his house of Turuie the fift of
August, to the great losse as well of his friends as of his countrie, vpon whose death
a sonne in law of his framed this epitaph consisting of sixtéene verses.
"Læta tibi, sed mœsta tuis mors accidit ista,
Regna dat alta tibi, damna dat ampla tuis.
Lætus es in cœlis vllo sine fine triumphans,
Mœstus at in terris diues inópsque iacet.
Nam sapiente caret diues, qui parta gubernet,
Nec, qui det misero munera, pauper habet.
Te gener ipse caret, viduæ, te rustica turba,
Atque vrbana cohors, te (socer alme) caret.
Non est digna viro talis respublica tanto,
Nam sanctos sedes non nisi sancta decet.
Mira loquor, sed vera loquor, non ficta reuoluo,
Si maiora loquar, nil nisi vera loquar.
Mortuus es? Nobis hoc crimina nostra dederunt.
Mortuus es? Virtus hoc tibi sacra dedit.
Viuus es in cœlo, dedit hoc tibi gratia Christi,
Viuus vt in mundo sis, tibi fama dabit.
For the lord of Trimlestownell now liuing, desiring a name of fame after death,
this was deuised.
"Quod mihi vita dedit, fratri Mors sæua negauit,
Quod dederat fratri, det mihi fama precor."
Edward Butler baron of Donboin, giuen to Edmund Butler esquier, and his heires
males, in the thrée and thirtith yeare of king Henrie the eight. For the baron now
liuing, these verses are made.
"Dum sequitur natus summi vestigia patris,
Filius optato tramite cuncta geret."
Sir Barnabie Fitzpatrike baron of Vpper Osserie, giuen to Barnabie Mac Cullopatrike
and his heires males, in the three and thirtith yeare of Henrie the eight.
Donat Clonnagh Machgilpatrike was a péerelesse warriour in the yeare 1219. Sir
Barnabie Fitzpatrike, now lord of vpper Osserie, was knighted by the duke of
Norffolke at the siege of Leith in Scotland: in the begining of Q. Elizabeths
reigne, for whome these verses are made:
"Principis in gremio summi nutritus & altus,
Hausit ab illustri regia dona schola."
Plunket, baron of Louth, to sir Christopher Plunket and his heires males, in the
33 yeare of K. Henrie the eight. This baronie was an erldome perteining to the
Berminghams, in the yeare 1316, & sooner. For the baron now liuing, this was
"Nobilis, ingenuus, firmis quoque firmus amicis,
Nubila seu cœlum luxue serena regat."
Oneile, baron of Dungauon, to whom the earledome of Tiron was intailed by
gift of king Henrie the eight. Powar, baron of Curraghmore. Mac Surtan, lord
Desert, his ancestors were lords in the time of Lionell duke of Clarence, earle of
Vlster, in the yeare 1360: now verie wild Irish. Murragh Obrene, baron of Insirkoine,
to him and his heires males, in the fiue and thirtith yeare of king Henrie
the eitht. There are besides these noble men, certeine gentlemen of woorship, commonlie
called baronets, whom the ruder sort dooth register among the nobilitie, by
terming them corruptlie barons; whereas in verie déed they are to be named neither
barons, nor baronets, but banrets. He is properlie called a banret, whose father was
no carpet knight, but dubbed in the field vnder the banner or ensigne. And because
Banret what it signifieth.
it is not vsuall for anie to be a knight by birth, the eldest sonne of such a knight
with his heires, is named a bannerret, or a banret. Such are they that here insue.
Sentleger, banret of Flemarge, méere Irish. Den, banret of Pormanstowne, waxing
Irish. Fitzgirald, banret of Burnechurch. Welleslie, banret of Norragh, Huseie,
banret of Galtrim. Saint Mighell, banret of Scrine. And Nangle, banret of the
Nauan. English gentlemen of longest continuance in Ireland are those, which at
this day either in great pouertie or perill doo keepe their properties of their ancestors
lands in Vlster, being then companions to Courcie, the conqueror and earle of
that part. These are the Sauages, Iordans, Fitz Simons, Chamberleins, Russels,
Bensons, Audleies, Whites, Fitz Vrsulies, now degenerat and called in Irish Mac
Mahon, the Beares sonne.