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The death of the earle Strangbow.

WHILEST these things were thus adooing in Desmond, there came a messenger in all hast from Dublin, with letters to Reimond from his wife Basilia, the effect whereof the messenger knew not. These letters Reimond foorthwith deliuered to a familiar fréend of his to read them vnto him secretlie, and apart from all others, the tenure of them was as followeth. "To Reimond hir most louing lord and
The ladie Basilias letter to hir husband Reimond. husband, his owne Basilia wisheth health as to hir selfe. Know yee my déere lord that my great cheeketooth, which was woont to ake so much, is now fallen out; wherefore if yée haue anie care or regard of me, or of your selfe, come awaie with all spéed." Reimond hauing considered of this letter, did by the falling of the tooth fullie coniecture the death of the earle, for he laie verie sicke at Dublin before his comming awaie from thense. But he being thus deceased, which was about the kalends of Iune, they at Dublin did what they could to kéepe the same secret, for feare and in doubt of the Irishmen, vntill that Reimond were come with his band of souldiers vnto them. Reimond himselfe foorthwith returned vnto Limerike: and notwithstanding he were verie sorrie and much gréeued with this nowes, yet dissembling the same, and bearing it out with a good countenance, would not nor did vtter or disclose it to anie bodie, sauing to a few wise and discréet men of his familiars and trustie councellors. And then vpon good aduise and deliberation had among them, it was concluded and agréed vpon, that forsomuch as the earle was dead, and that Reimond also was to depart awaie ouer into England; that tlhe citie of Limerike which was so farre remoted and in the midlle of manie enimies, should for the time be left, and the garrison to be conducted and brought from thense into Leinster, for the defense and safe keeping of the townes and forts vpon the sea coasts. There Reimond full much against his will yéelded to this their aduise and counsell, being much gréeued that hauing taken paines to recouer the citie of Limerike, he was now neither able to kéepe it himselfe, nor yet had any to leue behind him, who would take charge vpon him. But at length he sent for Donald prince of Thomoud, being the kings baron & sworne subiect, and vnto him he committed the custodie and charge of the citie: who foorthwith pretending all truth and fidelitie was contented therewith; and did not onelie put in hostages, but also tooke a corporall oth, and was solemnlie sworne for the safe keeping and the restitution ot the same at the kings will and pleasure, as also in the meane time to kéepe the peace.

Then Reimond and all his companie departed and went awaie: but they had not so soone passed ouer the one end of the bridge, but that the other end was forthwith broken downe, euen at their heeles; and the citie which was well walled, defended and vittelled, was set on fire in foure sundrie parts, which they saw and beheld with no small greefe of mind. The false traitor then openlie shewing and teaching what credit was to be giuen thenseforth to the Irish nation, who so wickedlie, impudentlie, and perfidiouslie did periure themselues. The king of England not long after, being aduertised héereof, is said to haue thus said: "Noble was the enterprise in the giuing of the first aduenture vpon the citie, but greater was the rescuing and recouering thereof againe: but it was onelie wisedome, when they left and fotsooke it." Reimond then returned vnto Dublin with his whole garrison in safetie, and then the erle, whose corps by his commandement was reserued vntill Reimonds comming, was buried in the church of the Trinitie at Dublin, before the rood there, by the appointment of Laurence the archbishop, who did execute all the funerall seruices and obsequies.

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