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The comnming of William Fitzaldelme and others others into Ireland.

THESE things thus doone, the kings messengers vpon these new changes and chances were to take new aduises; and hauing throughlie debated the state of the countrie, and the necessitie of the time, they thought it best and did conclude that Reinond should tarie behind, and kéepe the countrie in good staie and order; )but they themselues to returne backe to the king. Who accordinglie prepared themselues, and at the next westerlie wind then following, they tooke shipping and passed ouer into England; and being landed, did in post and with all the hast they could, make their repaire vnto the king; vnto whom they declared the death of the earle, & all other things concerning the state of that land. The king then vpon aduise and deliberation had in this matter, sent ouer William Fitzaldelme, with twentie gentlemen of his houshold, to be his lieutenant, & ioined Iohn de Courcie in commission with him, who had attending vpon him ten men. Likewise Robert Fitzstephans and Miles Cogan, who had noblie serued him in his wars two yeeres, were also sent with them, hauing twentie men attending vpon them. These assoone as they were arriued, and come to land, and Reimond hauing vnderstanding of the same, assembleth his companie and soldiors, which was a companie well beséene, and marcheth towards Wexford, and there in the confines or marches of the same he met Fitzaldelme and the rest of his companie, whom he verie louinglie saluted and imbraced: and forthwith according to the kings pleasure, he yéelded and deliuered vp vnto Fitzaldelme, then the kings lieutenant, all the cities and townes, as also all such hostages as he had within that land.

Fitzaldelme when he saw and beheld so iolie and lustie a companie about Reimond, and well marking also Meilerius, and others the nephues of Reimond, about the number of thirtie persons, mounted vpon their horsses, verie lustie and braue, and well beséene in like armor, with their shields about their necks, and their staues in their hands; coursing vp & downe after their maner about the fields. He enuied thereat, and turning backe to his men, said secretlie vnto them; "I will shortlie cut off this pride, and quaile this brauerie." Which in the end it partlie so came to passe, for both he and all the rest which followed him in that office, did as it were by a secret conspiracie, enuie and maligne at Reimond, Meilerius, Fitzmaurice, sonnes to Fitzstephans, and all other of their race and kindred. For this was alwaies the lucke and fortune of this kindred and familie.

In all seruices of warres they were then the foremost, and had in best price, and in all martiall affaires they were the best and most valiant men: but when there was no such seruice in hand, and no néed of them, then were they contemned and no account was made of them; but by a secret malice they were abased, reiected and refused. And albeit great was their malice, yet was their nobilitie so honorable and great; that by no meanes, doo what they could, was the same to be extirpated or rooted out. For euen at this daie, such good successe hath their noble beginnings had, that their ofspring hath euer since (1) continued in that land, in much honor, force and power. And to saie the truth, who persed the force of the enimies in that land? Euen the Geraldines. Who did best kéepe & prefer the land in safetie? The Geraldines. Who made the enimies to go backe & be afraid? The Geraldines. Who be they which for their good deserts are most maligned and enuied at? The Geraldlines. Suerlie, if it had pleased the prince to haue considered of them, according to their deserts and worthinesse; no doubt the whole state of Ireland long yer this had béene quieted and established. But causelesse were they alwaies had in suspicion, & their worthinesse still had in gelousie: and they put in trust, as in whome was neither valiantnesse of seruice, nor assurednesse of trust. But yet ye worthie and noble men, who for to atteine to honor, haue not beene afraid of death; and for to obteine fame and renowme, haue not estéemed your selues; be not dismaid, though ye be vncourteouslie considered, and without your deserts disdained and maligned at: but go ye onwards, and procéed in your woonted steps of vertue. And if my pen can go according to worthinesse, I shall be happie, and receiue the guerdon of vertue & immortall fame; for vertue cannot faile nor die, but either in this life or in the life to come, or in both, shall haue his iust reward and desert. And albeit your valiant seruice and worthinesse, either by the slackenes of the king, or by meanes of other mens secret and enuious practises, haue not béene hitherto considered nor rewarded: yet shall not I faile, with my pen to publish, and in my writings to remember the same. And therefore shrinke not now, neither doo you giue ouer to labor and trauell from daie to daie to grow and increase in honor, fame and renowme. For the memoriall thereof (farre surpassing all the treasures in the world) for a time through malice maie be couered, but neuer suppressed nor extineted; but as fire long hid, shall in the end breake out into great flames, and for euer remaine in perpetuall memorie.

About this time was borne in Gwendelocke a monstrous man, begotten by a A monstrous man begotten vpon a cow. wicked man of that countrie vpon a cow, a vice then too common in that wicked nation. It had the bodie of a man, but all the extreame parts of an oxe, for from the ankles of the legs and the wrists of the armes, he had the hoofes of an oxe, his head was all bald, sauing a few small & thin heares héere and there: his eies great, round and blacke, like an oxe; nose he had none but onelie two holes, speake he could not but onelie bellowed like a cow. This monster did dailie resort vnto the house of Maurice Fitzgerald, about dinner times, and such meate as was giuen him he would take in his hoofes, and put to his mouth, and so feed himselfe, &c: but to returne to the matter. William Fitzaldelme, being now in high authoritie, and hauing the gouernement and charge of the land in his hands, marcheth along the sea coasts, and vieweth all the townes, forts and castels that waies: but for the inner countrie, the mounteines and hils vpon the maine land, andt bordering vpon the Irishrie, he neither cared nor passed for the same: but yet misliked not the welth and riches thereof. For being a verie greedie and a couetous man, and especiallie hungrie to haue gold and treasure, whereof was good store in that land, he gréedilie scraped and scratched togither whatsoeuer was to be gotten.

About this time, Maurice (2) Fitzgerald in the kalends of September died at Wexford, whose death was lamented, & his departure bewailed of all the countrie. For whie, he was a verie graue & a valiant man, & who for his constancie, truth, courtesie & loue left not his like behind. After his death, William Fitzaldelme sent for the sonnes of the said Maurice, and so dealt with them, that he neuer left them, vntill by one means or other he had craftilie gotten from them the castell of Guendoke. Howbeit afterwards he gaue them Fernes in exchangee: which albeit it were in the middle of their enimies, yet like lustie and couragious gentlemen, they builded there a strong castell, which they kept & inhabited maugre all their enimies. Walter Almane, so called in name, and not for that lie was ether in nature or stature an Almane, being nephue to William Fitzaldelme, was made seneschall of Wexford; who nothing degenerated from the maners & conditions of his vncle, but was one who was a corrupt man in all his actions & dooings, being couetous, proud, malicious and enuious. And suerlie it is commonlie séene, that there is none lightlie woorse, than when a beggerlie rascall from nothing, and from a base estate, is aduanced to wealth, credit and estimation. For such a one alwaies doubting and mistrusting all things, suppresseth all things, & thinking all things to be lawfull for him to doo, vseth all extremities at his will and pleasure. There cannot be (I saie) a woorse beast, than when a cruell rascall and proud begger is raised to estate, and made a ruler ouer his betters.

This Walter entered into acquaintance with Morogh prince of Kencile, and by him being corrupted with great bribes, did what he could to procure the vtter destruction of Reimond, and all his foresaid coosins and kinsmen. And to begin the execution of their practises, the foresaid William first tooke awaie from Reimond all his lands about Dublin, and about Wexford. And whereas he receiued letters of commandement from the king, to restore vnto Fitzstephans a cantred of land which he had in Ophelan, he being well bribed, detracted and lingered the execution thereof: but yet in the end appointed and assigned vnto them other places which were further off and remoted; and the same the more perillous, because they were in the middle of the enimies.

(1) It is verie true, that these Geraldines euen euer since haue continued in this land of Ireland, and did dailie grow and increase to much honour: there being at this instant two houses aduanced to the titles of earledorns, and sundrie to the estates of barons. And so long as they continued in the steps of their ancestors, they were not so honourable as terrible to the Irish nation: but when they leauing English gouernment, liked the loose life of that viperous nation, then they brought in coine and linerie, and a number of manie other Irish and diuelish impositions, which hath béene the ruine of their honour, the losse of their credit, & in the end will be the ouerthrow of all their houses and families.

(2) This Fitzgerald was buried, and yet lieth in a monasterie of Greie friers without the walles of the towne of Wextford, which house is now dissolued, and the monument of his buriall almost destroied: there wanting some good and woortrie man to restore the same againe. He deserued well of his prince and countrie: and therefore lamentable it is, that in so vnkind a countrie no one good man is to be found, that of so woorthie a knight will not restore so woorthie a monument.

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