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How or by what manner the land of Ireland is throughlie to be conquered.

IT is an old saieng, that euerie man in his owne art is best of credit & most to be beléeued: & so in this matter they are speciallie to be credited, who haue béene the chiefest trauellers and seruitors in and about the first recouerie of this land, doo know and can best discouer the natures, manners, and conditions of these people and nation: for as the matter speciallie toucheth them, so none can doo it better than they. For whie, by reason of their continuall warres with them being their most mortall enimies, none can better saie than they how they are either to be conquered or vanquished. And here by the waie happie had Wales bin, I meane that Wales which the English people doo inhabit, if the king therof in gouerning the same or when he incountred with his enimies had vsed this deuise & policie. But to the matter. These Normans although they were verie good souldiers and well appointed, yet the manner of the warres in France far differeth from that which is vsed in Ireland and Wales; for the soile & countrie in France is
Great ods between the warres in France and Ireland or Wales. plaine, open, & champaine; but in these parts it is rough, rockie, full of hils, woods, & bogs. In France they weare complet harnesse, and are armed at all points, not onelie for their honor, but especiallie for their defense and safeties; but to these men the same are combersome & a great hinderance. In France they kéepe standing fields & trie the battels, but these men are light horssemen & range alwaies at large. In France they kéepe their prisoners and put them to ransomes, but these chop off their heads and put them to the sword. And therefore when the battell is to be waged in the plaine, open, & champaine countrie, it behoueth all men to be armed, some in complet harnesse, some in iackes, some in Almaine riuets, & some in brigandines & shirts of maile, according to their places of seruice. So on the contrarie, where the fight & triall is in narow streicts, rockie places, & where it is full of woods & bogs, & in which footmen are to serue and not horssemen, there light armor and slender harnesse will best serue. To fight therefore in such places and against such men, as be but naked and vnarmed men, and whome at the first push and aduenture, either the victorie must be had or lost, light and easie armor is best and conuenient. And againe these people are verie nimble & quicke of bodie, and light of foot, and for their safetie and aduantage they séeke waies through streicts and bogs, and therefore it is not for anie man laden with much armor to follow and pursue them. Moreouer, the Frenchmen and Normans most commonlie are horssemen, and doo serue on horssebacke, & these men haue their sadles so great and déepe, that they cannot at ease leape vp and downe; and being on foot by reason of their armor, they cannot serue nor trauell. And you shall further vnderstand, that in all the seruices and hostings, both in Ireland & in Wales, the Welsh seruitors, and especiallie such as doo dwell in the marches, by reason of their continuall wars, they are verie valiant, bold, and of great experiences, they can endure anie paines and trauels, they are vsed to watchings and wardings, they can abide hunger and thirst, and know how to take aduantage of their enimie; and their seruice by horse is such, that they are readie to take aduantage of the field, being quicke & readie to take and leape to the horsse, as also to leaue the same, & to folow the enimie at their best aduantage, whether it be on horsse or on foot. And such kind of seruitors and souldiers were they, which first gaue the aduenture and first preuailed in Ireland: and by such also in the end must the same be fullie conquered, that when the battell is to be fought & waged in the plaine and champaine countrie, and against such as be throughlie armed and appointed for the same, it is reason that the aduerse part be likewise armed and appointed. But when the matter is to be waged in stéepe places, rough fields, rockie hils, or in marish and boggie grounds, and against such as be quicke of foot, and doo séeke others to tops of hils, or to bogs, and woods: then men of the like exercise, and hauing light armour, are to be allowed. And in the Irish wars this one thing is to be considered, that you doo in euerie wing ioine your bowmen with your footmen and horssemen, that by them they may be defended from the Kerns, whose nature and conditions are to run in and out, and The Kernes vsage in battell. with their darts are woont shrewdlie to annoie their enimies, who by the bowmen are to be kept off. And moreouer, that the hither part of the land lieng on the east side, or part of the Shenin which diuideth the thrée other parts from this, and this being the fourth part must be well fortified with castels and forts: but as for Connagh & Thomond, which lie in the further side of the Shenin, and all those parties (sauing the citie of Limerike which must needs be recouered and kept in the English gouernement) must for a time be borne withall, and by little and little by fortifieng of the frontiers in méet places be gotten and recouered, and so by little and little to grow in vpon them as occasion shall serue.

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