The praise and commendation as also the excuse of Robert Fitzstephans and the earle Strangbow.
ROBERT Fitzstephans was the first who taught and shewed the waie to the
earle, the earle to the king, and the king to his sonne. Great praise-worthie was he
that gaue the first aduenture, and much was he to be commended who next followed
and increased the same: but aboue all others he deserued best, who fulfilled,
absolued, and ended the same. And here is to be noted, that albeit both Fitzstephans
and the earle did helpe Dermon Mac Morogh to recouer his countrie of Leinster,
as also defended and kept the same from robbers, théeues, & enimies: yet they did
it in diuerse respects. The one in respect of his faith and promise, the other for loue
of Eua, & of the (1) inheritance, which by hir should grow and come vnto him.
But as concerning the intruding vpon Waterford, and the conquests of sundrie
territories as well in Desmond as in Meth, I can not excuse them. The earle, who
in right of his wife was lord of Leinster, the fift part or portion of Ireland, surrendred
and yéelded vp all his right and title there vnto the king himselfe, and
tooke it againe to hold of him. The like also did all the princes of the land.
Whereby as also by other old and ancient records it is apparant, that the English
nation entred not into this land by wrong and iniurie, (as some men suppose and
dreame) but vpon a good ground, right, and title.
(1) The course of this historie in the beginning dooth plainelie declare, how that
Dermon after his departure from the king came to the citie of Bristow, and there hauing
conference with Richard Strangbow erle of Chepstow, did offer vnto him his onelie
daughter and heire in marriage, with the inheritance of all Leinster: conditionallie
that he would passe ouer into Ireland, and to helpe him to recouer his land, which
conditions were accepted and afterwards performed. Afterwards he lieng at saint
Dauids for passage, there he met with Robert Fitzstephans, & did condition with
him, that if he would passe ouer into Ireland to helpe him, he would giue him the
towne of Wexford with certeine cantreds therevnto adioining, which conditions
were then accepted and afterwards performed. Thus it appeareth that the one for
loue of the gentlewoman, and the other in respect of his promise did passe ouer into
that land and realme.