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Of the ouerthrow giuen in Ossorie, and of the submission of the king thereof.

THESE things thus doone and ended as they would themselues, they increase their armie with the tow nesmen of Wexford, and being then about thrée thousand men, they marih towards (1) Ossorie, whereof Donald was then the prince, & who of all the rebels was the most mortall enimie which Mac Morogh had. For on a time he hauing the said Dermons eldest son in his ward and handfast, was in gealousie of him, and mistrusted him with his wife: wherevpon he did not onlie shut him vp in a closer prison; but also to be auenged thereof, and of other supposed iniuries, putteth out both of his (2) eies. First then Dermon and his companie enter into Ossorie, but they durst not march or aduenture anie further than to the midst of the countrie, because the whole countrie else was full of woods, streicts, passes, and bogs, and no waie at all for men to trauell. But when they met and incountered with the Ossorians, they found nor cowards nor dastards, but valiant men, and who stood well to the cefense of their countrie, and manfuihe resisted their enimies. For they trusted so much to their woonted good fortune and successe in such like affaires, that they shroonke not a whit from them, but draue them perforce out of the bogs and woods, and followed them into the champaine countrie.

Robert Fitzstephans being in the plaine and open fields with his horsemen, and seeing that the Ossorians being there he had the aduantage of them, giueth most fiercelie the onset vpon them, and slue a great number of them; and such as straied and were scattered abrode, they either slue them or ouerthrew them: and such as were ouerthrowne, the footmen with their Galloglasses axes did cut off their heads. And thus hauing gotten the victorie, they gathered vp and brought before Dermon Mac Morogh three hundred of their enimies heads, which they laid & put at his féet; who turning suerie of them one by one to know them, did then for ioy hold vp both his hands, and with a lowd voice thanked God most highlie. Among these there was the head of one, whom especiallie and aboue all the rest he mortallie hated. And he taking vp that by the heare and eares, with his teeth most horriblie and cruellie bit awaie his nose and lips.

After this, they made a rode through the whole countrie, & marched almost to the vttermost parts, and still as they passed they murthered the people, spoiled, burned, and wasted the whole countrie. And therevpon the prince of Ossorie by the aduise of his friends, maketh sute and intreateth for peace: which obteined (aithough in verie déed it was but a coloured and a dissembled peace on both sides) they put in their hostages, made fealtie, and were sworne to bee faithfull and true to Mac Morogh, as vnto their lawfull and true lord. In these seruices, as in all other, Robert of Barrie, and Meilerius had the pricke and praise, and shewed themselues of all others the most valiant. Both these yoong gentlemen were nephues to Fitzstephans (4) the one being his brothers sonne, and the other his sisters sonne. They both were of like valiantnesse, but of sundrie dispositions and natures. For Meilerius being ambitious and desirous of honour, referred all his dooings to that end; and whatsoeuer he attempted, was to aduafice his fame and credit, making more account to be reported and haue the name of a valiant man, than to be so in déed. The other being of a certeine naturall disposition both noble and valiant, was neither a gréedie séeker of laud and praise, nor an ambitious crauer of fame and honour; but being alwaies among the best, did rather séeke and trauell to the best, than to be onelie counted the best.

Besides, he was naturallie indued with such a maidenlie shamefastnesse, and no bragger nor boaster, would neither glorifie his dooings, nor yet like well of anie others which would so doo of him. By means whereof it came to passe, that the lesse ambitious and desirous he was of honour, the more the same followed him: for glorie and honour follow alwaies vertue, as the shadow the bodie, shunning them who doo most séeke for hir, & following them who do lest regard hir, And manie men are the more liked of manie, bicause they séeme not to like of anie: and praise, fame, and honour most commonlie, the lesse it is estéemed, the more sooner it is had & gotten. It fortuned on a time that the armie thus being in Ossorie, they did on a night incampe themselues about an old castell. These two gentlemen as they were euer woont, laie togither, and suddenlie there was a great noise, as it were of an infinit number of men, which séemed to breake in and rush in among them, with great force and a rage, destroieng all that euer was, and making a great noise with clashing of their harnesse, and striking of their bils togither, and therewithall such a noise and a showt, as though heauen and earth would haue come togither.

These kind of phantasmes and illusions doo oftentimes happen in Ireland, especiallie when there be anie hostings. With this noise the more part of the armie was so afraid and dismaid, that for the most part they all fled, some into the woods, and some into the bogs, euerie one séeking a place where to hide and succour himselfe. But these two onelie tarieng behind, raught to their weapons, and foorthwith full boldlie ran to Fitzstephans tents, and called againe togither all such as were thus scattered, and incouraged them to take their weapons, and to stand to defense. Robert of Barrie in all his hurlie burlie, standing alone by himselfe musing, except a man or two of his owne men about him, did aboue all others not without anie great admiration of manie, and to the great gréefe of such as enuied him, best acquit himselfe. For among other good gifts which were in him, this was speciallie reported of him; that no feare, or force, no sudden mishap or misaduenture whatsoeuer, could at anie time make him afraid or discomforted, and to flie awaie. For howsoeuer things fell out and happened, he was alwaies at hand, and in a dines with his weapons to fight. And such a one as is alwaies readie to abide whatsoeuer shall happen, and to preuent what mischeefs maie insue, is by all mens iudgements counted the best and valiantest man. This man was he, who in this Irish warres was the first who either was striken or hurt. As concerning the foresaid phantasme, this one thing is much noted of it; that in the morning following, when all things were pacified and quieted, the grasse and weeds which the night before stood there vpright and of a great height, did now in the morrow lie downe flat vpon the ground, as though the same had bin troden with great multitude of people, and yet was it most certeine that none had béene there at all.

(1) There be two Ossories, the one named the vpper Ossorie, which is of the aucient inheritance of the Macguilfathrikes, and who are the barous therof; and this lieth in the diocesse of Leighling: the other lieth on the north of Ormond, and is vnder the iurisdiction of the earle of Ormond, who is also the earle thereof, being named earle of Ormond and Ossorie. It is a diocesse of it selfe, and the bishop thereof is named the bishop of Ossorie, whose sée and house is at Kilkennie. It is parcell of the prouince of Leinster and vnder the obeisance then of Dermon Mac Morogh.

(2) This was a courteous kind of punishing, for comonlie such is the reuenging nature of the méere Irishman, that albeit he can or doo laie neuer so manie plagues and punishments vpon his enimie: yet is he neuer satisfied, vnlesse he haue also his life, yea and manie not therewith contented, but will vtter their wicked nature euen vpon the dead carcase, as dooth appeare in this chapter of the same Mac Morogh, who finding one of his enimies heads, was not satisfied, vntill in most cruell maner he did with his téeth bite awaie his nose and his lips.

(3) There are in Ireland thrée sorts or degrées of soldiers: the first is the horsseman, who commonlie is a gentleman borne, and he is armed with such armor as the seruice of that countrie requireth: the second degree is the Kernaugh, & he also is a gentleman or a fréeholder borne, but not of that abilitie to mainteine a horsse with his furniture, and therefore he is a light souldier on foot; his armor is both light and slender, being a skull, a left gantlet or a target, a sword and skeine, and thrée or foure darts: the third degree is the Galloglasse, who was first brought in to this land by the Englishmen, and thereof taketh his name. For Galloglas is to saie, an English yeoman or seruant; his armor is a skull, a iacke, an habergeon or shirt of male, a sword and a sparre, otherwise named a Galloglasse ax or halbert, & this man is counted the best souldier on foot, and the strength of the battell. These in all hostings haue attending vpon them a number of boies and kernes, and who doo spoile and kill all such as be ouerthrowne and hurt in the fields.

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