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How Hugh de Lacie builded castels, and fortified in Leinster and Meth.

WHILEST these things were thus a dooing in Desmond, Hugh de Lacie a good and a wise man buildeth sundrie castels both in Leinster and Meth, and fortifieth the same verie stronglie: and among others he builded one at (1) Leighlin vpon the riuer of (2) Barrow besids Ossorie, a place naturallie of it selfe verie strong, which place Robert Powre by the kings commandement had the charge of, vntill he gaue the same ouer and forsooke it. O what worthie champions ahd fit marchmen were this Powre & Fitzaldelme, to be sent to dwell and rule in a nation, which is destituted and wanteth noble and valiant men! But a man male sée the course of fortune, who when she is disposed to smile, how she aduanceth and raiseth vp men from base estate to high degrées: for why, these two had more pleasure in chambering and plaieng the wantons with yoong girls, and to plaie vpon a harpe than to beare a shield or staffe, or to weare armour. And trulie it was to be maruelled, that so noble a prince could send such cowards to beare rule, and haue authoritie in places of seruice. But to the matter. Hugh de Lacie being a verie wise man, all his care was to bring all things to a peace and quietnesse: and therefore such as were oppressed or driuen out of their lands and territories, he restored them, and with such courteous behauiour and gentle spéeches he dealt with all men, that in a verie short time he dreaw vnto him the hearts of the people, who desirous to dwell vnder his gouernment, manured the grounds; which being then wast and vntilled, was in short space full stored and fraughted both with corne and cattell. And then for the safetie of the people and defense of the countrie, he builded townes and erected castels in euerie place, made orders & established lawes for the gouerment of the people. And by this it came to passe, that ech man inioied the labours of his owne hands, and euerie man lined in peace one with the other, and euerie bodie loued him, and he assured of all men. But hauing thus by his wisedomt, policie, and good gouernement recouered that nation to good conformitie and obedience, behold enuie (which alwaies maligneth vertue) he was had in a gealousie and suspicion, that his drift and policie was to appropriat the whole land to himselfe, and as the lawfull king and monarch would crowne himselfe king of Ireland. Which opinion was so receiued & false rumour so spred, that it was in a short time caried into England; which when it came to the kings cares, you maie not thinke that he at all liked thereof or could brooke the same.

(1) This Leighlin standeth full vpon the riuer of Barrow, and it is a verie old & ancient castell called by the name of the Blake castell, a fort in those daies verie strong: it standeth in the baronie of Odrone, which is the ancient inheritance of the Carews, who being barons of Carew in Wales, one of them maried the daughter and heire of the baron of this Odrone, & so the Carews became & were for the course of sundrie yeares, vntill in the troublesome times, in king Richard the seconds time they were expelled, as all others or the most part of the English were. But being dwelling there, some one of them builded a religious house of Greie friers neere adioining to the said castell, which being since dissolued in king Henrie the eights time, the same fell into the kings hands, who made thereof a fort, and kept there a perpetuall garison, and thus was it disseuered froml the baronie. There is also one other Leighlin distant from this about an English mile, where is the cathedrall church of that diocesse, and whereof the bishop taketh his name being called the bishop of Leighlin; but ftr difference sake the same is called old Leighlin, and this other Leighlin bridge, by reason of a bridge builded of stone ouer the riuer at that place, and whereof the one end butteth vpon the foresaid Blake castell.

(2) The Barrow is a goodlie and a notable riuer, hauing his head orspring in the hill called Mons Blandina or Slogh Blome, in which also are the heads or springs of the two other notable riuers Sure and the other Eoire. This Barrow kéepeth & hath his course through the countie of Lex, and passeth by the market towne of Athie vnto Carlow, and from thense vnto Leighlin, and so to Rosse, a little aboue which towne it méeteth and ioineth with the Eoire, and they togither kéepe their course about six miles, vntill they méet with the Sure, which is neere vnto the late abbeie of Dunbradrie: and as they all doo spring and rise out of one mounteine, so after they haue taken their seuerall courses, they meet togither and take one waie into the seas. They are all nauigable, and all a like replenished with sundrie sorts and kinds of fishes.

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