A Continuation of the Chronicles of Ireland,
Comprising the Reigne of King Henrie the Eight.
GIRALD Fitzgirald earle of Kildare, son to Thomas Fitzgirald, of whō mention
hath béene made in the latter end of the former storie, a mightie man of stature,
full of honor & courage, who had béene deputie & lord iustice of Ireland first & last
33 yéeres, deceased at Kildare the third of September, & lieth intoomed in the queere
of Christes church at Dublin, in a chappell by him founded. Betwéene him & Iames
Butler earle of Ormond (their owne gelousies fed with enuie & ambition, kindled with
certeine lewd factious abettors of either side) as generallie to all noblemen, so especiallie
to both these houses verie incident, euer since the ninth yeare of Henrie the
The occasion of the dissention betweene Kildare and Ormond.
seuenth, bred some trouble in Ireland. The plot of which mutuall grudge was grounded
vpon the factious dissention, that was raised in England betweene the houses of Yorke
& Lancaster, Kildare cleauing to Yorke, and Ormond relieng to Lancaster. To
the vpholding of which discord, both these noble men laboured with tooth and naile
to ouercrow, and consequentlie to ouerthrow one the other. And for somuch as
they were in honour peeres, they wrought by hooke and by crooke to be in authoritie
superiours. The gouernement therfore in the reigne of Henrie the seuenth, being
cast on the house of Kildare; Iames earle of Ormond a deepe and a farre reaching man,
giuing backe like a butting ram to strike the harder push, deuised to inueigle his aduersarie
by submission & courtesie, being not then able to ouermatch him with stoutnesse
or preheminence. Wherevpon Ormond addressed his letters to the deputie
specifieng a slander raised on him and his, that he purposed to deface his gouernement,
and to withstand his authoritie. And for the cleering of himselfe and of his
adherents, so it stood with the deputie his pleasure, he would make his spéedie repaire
to Dublin, & there in an open audience would purge himselfe of all such odious
crimes, of which he was wrongfullie suspected.
To this reasonable request had the lord deputie no sooner condescended, than Ormond
Ormond marcheth to Dublin.
with a puissant armie marched towards Dublin, incamping in an abbeie in the
suburbs of the citie, named saint Thomas court. The approching of so great an armie
of the citizens suspected, and also of Kildares councellors greatlie disliked, lastlie
the extortion that the lawlesse souldiers vsed in the pale by seucrall complaints detected:
these three points, with diuerse other suspicious circumstances laid and pu
togither, did minister occasion rather of further discord, than of anie present agree
ment. Ormond persisting still in his humble sute, sent his messenger to the lord
deputie, declaring that he was prest and readie to accomplish the tenour of his letters, and
there did attend (as became him) his lordship his pleasure. And as for the companie,
he brought with him from Mounster, albeit suspicious braines did rather of a malicious
craftinesse surmise the worst, than of charitable wisedome did iudge the best;
yet notwithstanding, vpon conference had with his lordship, he would not doubt to
satisfie him at full in all points, wherewith he could be with anie colour charged, and so
to stop vp the spring, from whense all the enuious suspicions gushed. Kildare with
this mild message intreated, appointed the méeting to be at saint Patrike his church:
where they were ripping vp one to another their mutuall quarrels, rather recounting
the damages they susteined, than acknowledging the iniuries they offered: the citizens
The citie in an vprore.
and Ormond his armie fell at some iar, for the oppression and exaction with which
the souldiers surcharged them. With whom as part of the citizens bickered, so a
round knot of archers rushed into the church, meaning to haue murthered Ormond,
as the capteine and belwedder of all these lawlesse rabble. The earle of Ormond suspecting
that he had béene betraied, fled to the chapiter house, put to the doore, sparring
it with might and maine. The citizens in their rage, imagining that euerie
post in the church had beene one of the souldiers, shot hab or nab at randon vp to
the roodloft and to the chancell, leauing some of their arrowes sticking in the
Kildare pursuing Ormond to the chapiter house doore, vndertooke on his honor
that he should receiue no villanie. Whervpon the recluse crauing his lordships hand
to assure him his life, there was a clift in the chapiter house doore, pearsed at a trise,
to the end both the earles should haue shaken hands and be reconciled. But Ormond
surmising that this drift was intended for some further treacherie, that if he would
stretch out his hand, it had béene percase chopt off, refused that proffer; vntill Kildare
The earles reconciled.
stretcht in his hand to him, and so the doore was opened, they both imbraced,
the storme appeased, and all their quarrels for that present rather discontinued than
ended. In this garboile, one of the citizens, surnamed Blanchfield was slaine. This
latter quarrell being like a greene wound, rather bungerlie botcht than soundlie cured,
in that Kildare suspected that so great an armie (which the other alledged to be
brought for the gard of his person) to haue béene of purpose assembled, to outface
him & his power in his owne countrie. And Ormond mistrusted, that this treacherous
practise of the Dublinians was by Kildare deuised. These and the like surmises
lightlie by both the noble men misdéemed, and by the continuall twatling of fliring
clawbacks in their eares whispered, bred and fostered a malice betwixt them and
their posteritie, manie yeeres incurable, which caused much stur and vnquietnesse in
the realme, vntill the confusion of the one house and the nonage of the other ended
and buried their mutuall quarrels.
Ormond was nothing inferiour to the other in stomach, and in reach of policie far
The description of Ormond.
The description of Kildare.
beyond him. Kildare was in gouernement mild, to his enimies sterne, to the
Irish such a scourge, that rather for despite of him than for fauor of anie part, they
relied for a time to Ormond, came vnder his protection, serued at his call, performed
by starts (as their manner is) the dutie of good subiects. Ormond was secret and of
great forecast, verie staied in spéech, dangerous of euerie trifle that touched his reputation.
Kildare was open and plaine, hardlie able to rule himselfe when he were
moued to anger, not so sharpe as short, being easilie displeased and sooner appeased.
Being in a rage with certeine of his seruants for faults they committed,
one of his horssemen offered master Boice (a gentleman that reteined to him) an Irish
hobbie, on condition, that he would plucke an haire from the earle his beard. Boice
taking the proffer at rebound, stept to the earle (with whose good nature he was
throughlie acquainted) parching in the heat of his choler, and said: "So it is, and
if it like your good lordship, one of your horssemen promised me a choise horsse, if I
snip one haire from your beard." "Well" quoth the earle, "I agree thereto, but if
htou plucke anie more than one, I promise thée to bring my fist from thine
The branch of this good nature hath beene deriued from him to an earle of his
posteritie, who being in a chafe for the wrong sawcing of a patridge, arose suddenlie
from the table, meaning to haue reasoned the matter with his cooke. Hauing entred
the kitchen, drowning in obliuion his chalenge, he began to commend the building
of the roome, wherein he was at no time before, & so leauing the cooke vncontrold,
he returned to his ghests merilie. This old earle being (as is aforesaid) soone
hot and soone cold, was of the English well beloued, a good iusticier, a suppressor of
the rebels, a warriour incomparable, towards the nobles that he fansied not somewhat
headlong and vnrulie. Being charged before Henrie the seuenth, for burning
the church of Cashell, and manie witnesses prepared to aduouch against him the
truth of that article, he suddenlie confessed the fact, to the great woondering and
detestation of the councell. When it was looked how he wold iustifie the matter;
"By Jesus (quoth he) I would neuer haue doone it, had it not béene told me that the
archbishop was within." And bicause the same archbishop was one of his busiest
accusers there present, the king merilie laughed at the plainnesse of the
noble man, to see him alledge that thing for excuse, which most of all did aggrauate
The last article against him they conceiued in these tearmes; Finallie all Ireland
can not rule this earle. "No?" quoth the king: "then in good faith shall this earle
rule all Ireland." Thus was that accusation turned to a ieast. The earle returned to
Kildare returneth lord deputie.
his countrie lord deputie, who (notwithstanding his simplicitie in peace) was of that
valour and policie in war, as his name bred a greater terror to the Irish, than other
mens armies. In his warres he vsed for policie a retchlesse kind of diligence, or a
Kildares policie in war.
headie carelesnesse, to the end his souldiors should not faint in their attempts, were
th'enimie of neuer so great power. Being generall in the field of Knocktow, where
in effect all the Irish rebels of Ireland were gathered against the English pale, one of
the earle his capteins presented him a band of kerns, euen as they were readie to
ioine battell, and withall demanded of the erle in what seruice he would haue
them imploied? "Marie (quoth he) let them stand by and giue vs the gaze." Such
was his courage, that notwithstanding his enemies were two to one: yet would he set
so good a face on the matter, as his souldiors should not once suspect, that he either
néeded, or longed for anie further helpe.
Hauing triumphantlie vanquished the Irish in that conflict, he was shortlie after,
as well for that, as other his valiant exploits, made knight of the garter: and in the
fift yeare of Hénrie the eight in that renowme & honour he died, wherein for the
space of manie yeares he liued. No maruell if this successe were a corsie to the aduerse
part, which the longer it held aloofe, and bit the bridle, the more egerlie it
followed the course, hauing once got scope and roome at will, as shall be hereafter
at full declared. Ormond bearing in mind the treacherie of the Dublinians, procured
The Dublinians accused.
such as were the grauest prelats of his clergie, to intimate to the court of Rome the
heathenish riot of the citizens of Dublin, in rushing into the church armed, polluting
with slaughter the consecrated place, defacing the images, prostrating the relicks,
rasing downe altars, with barbarous outeries, more like miscreant Saracens, than
A legat sent from Rome.
christian catholikes. Wherevpon a legat was posted to Ireland, bending his course to
Dublin, where soone after hee was solemnelie receiued by Walter Fitzsimons, archbishop
of Dublin, a graue prelat, for his lerning and wisedome chosen to be one of
king Henrie the seuenth his chapleins, in which vocation he continued twelue yeares,
and after was aduanced to be archbishop of Dublin.
The legat vpon his arriuall indicted the citie for his execrable offense: but at
length, by the procurement as well of the archbishop as of all the cleargie, he was
weighed to giue the citizens absolution with this caueat, that in detestation of so
Penanceinioined to the citizens of Dublin.
horrible a fact, and Ad perpetuam rei memoriam,
the maior of Dublin should go barefooted
thoroughout the citie in open procession before the sacrament, on Corpus
Christi daie: which penitent satisfaction was after in euerie such procession dulie accomplished.
Girald Fitzgirald, sonne and heire to the aforesaid erle of Kildare,
was shortlie after his fathers decease constituted lord deputie of Ireland, before
The earle of Kildare lord deputie.
A parlement holden at Dublin.
whome in the seuenth yeare of Henrie the eight, there was a parlement holden at
Dublin, wherein it was established, that all such as bring out of England the
kings letters of priuat seale, for particular causes against anie of the king his subiects
in Ireland, should find sufficient suerties in the king his chancerie in Ireland; to bée
bound by recognisance, that the plaintife shall satisfie the defendant, that purgeth or
acquiteth himselfe of the matter to him alledged, for his costs and damages susteined
by such wrongfull vexation. This noble man being valiant and well spoken, was nothing
inferior to his father in martiall prowesse, chasing in the time of his gouernment
the familie of the Tooles, battering Ocarrell his castles, and bringing in awe all
the Irish of the land.
This earle of good meaning, to vnite the houses in friendship, matched his sister
Piers Butler and Margaret Fitzgirald espoused.
Margaret Fitzgirald with Piers Butler earle of Ossorie, whome he also helped to recouer
the earldome of Ormond, into the which, after the decease of the earle Iames,
a bastard Butler had by abatement intruded. Great and manifold were the miseries
the ladie Margaret susteined, hir husband Piers Butler being so egerlie pursued by
the vsurper, as he durst not beare vp hed, but was forced to houer and lurke in woods
and forrests. The noble woman being great with child, and vpon necessitie
constreined to vse a spare diet (for hir onelie sustenance was milke) she longed sore
for wine, and calling hir lord, and a trustie seruant of his, Iames White vnto hir, she
requested them both to helpe hir to some wine, for she was not able anie longer to indure
so strict a life. "Trulie Margaret," quoth the earle of Ossorie, "thou shalt haue
store of wine within this foure and twentie houres, or else thou shalt féed alone on
milke for me."
The next daie following, Piers hauing intelligence that his enimie the base Butler
would haue trauelled from Donmore to Kilkennie, notwithstanding he were accompanied
with six horssemen: yet Piers hauing none but his lackie, did forestall him in
the waie, and with a couragious charge gored the bastard through with his speare.
The bastard Butler slaine.
This prosperous calme succéeding the former boisterous storme, the ladie Margaret
began to take heart, hir naturall stoutnesse floted, as well by the remembrance of hir
noble birth, as by the intelligence of hir honorable match. Kildare all this while
kept in authoritie, notwithstanding the pushes giuen against him by secret heauers
that enuied his fortune, and sought to nourish the old grudge, was at length by
their priuie packing fetched vp to the court of England by commission, and caused
Kildare sent for into England.
him to be examined vpon diuerse interrogatories touching the affaires of Ireland.
left in his roome Maurice Fitzthomas of Lackragh lord iustice: and shortlie
Maurice Fitzthomas lord iustice.
Surrie lord lieutenant of Ireland.
after came ouer lord lieutenant Thomas Howard earle of Surreie, who was after duke
of Norffolke, grandfather to the last duke, accompanied with two hundred yeomen
of the crowne: before whome, shortlie after his repaire thither, there was a parlement
holden at Dublin, in which there past an act, that all wilfull burning of corne, as
A parlement holden at Dublin.
well in réekes in the fields, as also in villages and townes, should be high treason.
Item, an act against loding of woolles & flox, vpon paine of forfeiture of the
double value of the same, the one halfe to the king, and the other halfe to him that
will sue therefore. Item, that anie person seized of lands, rents, or renements
in possession or in vse, vnto the yearelie value of ten markes aboue the charges, in
fee simple, fée taile, or for terme of life, copie hold, or ancient demeane, shall passe
in euerie atteint. While the lord lieutenant sat at dinner in the castell, of Dublin,
The Moores in rebellion.
he heard news that the Moors with a maine armie were euen at the entrie ofthe
borders, readie to invade the English pale. Immediatlie men were leuied by Iohn
Fitzsimons then maior of Dublin, and the next morrow ioining them vnto his band,
thelieutenant marched towards the frontiers of Leix.
The Moores vpon the lieutenant his approch, seuered themselues into sundrie companies,
and vnderstanding that the cariage was dragging after the armie, and slenderlie
manned, certeine of them charged the lieutenat his seruants, and such of the
citizens as were appointed to gard the cariage. Patrike Fitzsimons, a strong sturdie
yoonker, kept the enemies such tacke, as he chased part of them awaie, rescued the
cariage, slue two of the rebels, and brought the heads with him to maister maior
his tent. The next morning, two of the lieutenant his men, that slunke awaie from
Fitzsimons, thinking that the cariage had béene lost, aduertised their lord that Fitzsimons
fled awaie; and the Moores were so manie in companie, as it had béene but
follie for two to bicker with so great a number. The lieutenant posted in a rage
to the maior his pauillion, telling him that his man Fitzsimons was a cowardlie traitor
in running awaie, when he should haue defended the cariage.
"What am I, my lord" (quoth Patrike Fitzsimons) skipping in his shirt out of the
tent, with both the heads in his hand? "My lord, I am no coward, I stood to my
tacklings when your men gaue me the slip, I rescued the cariage, and haue here sufficient
tokens of my manhood," tumbling downe both the heads. "Saist thou so
Fitzsimons?" quoth the lieutenant, "I crie thée mercie, and by this George, I would
A valiant wish.
to God it had beene my good hap to haue béene in thy companie in that skirmish."
So drinking to Fitzsimons in a boll of wine, and honourablie rewarding him for his
good seruice, he returned to his pauillion, where hauing knowledge of Omore his
recule, hepursued him with a troope of horsmen. The lieutenant thus passing forwards,
The earle of Surreie in danger to haue béene slaine.
was espied a gunner of Omors, who lodged close in a wood side, and watching his
time, he discharged his péece at the verie face of the lieutenant, strake the visor off
his helmet, and pearsed no further, as God would.
This did he (retchlesse in maner what became of himselfe, so he might amaze
the armie for a time) and surelie hereby he brake the swiftnesse of their following,
& aduantaged the flight of his capteine, which thing he wan with the price of his
owne bloud. For the souldiors would no further, till they had ransacked all the
nookes of this wood, verelie suspecting some ambush thereabout, and in seuerall
knots ferretted out this gunner, whome Fitzwilliams and Bedlow of the Roch were
Surreie sent for home.
faine to mangle and to hew in péeces, because the wretch would neuer yéeld. In the
meane while, defiance was proclamed with France and Scotland both at once, which
mooued the king to call home Sutreie out of Ireland, that he might imploie him in
those wars. His prowesse, integritie, good nature, and course of gouernment, the
countrie much commended. Piers Butler earle of Ossorie was appointed lord deputie.
Piers Butler earle of Ossorie lord deputie.
In the meane time, Kildare attending the king his pleasure for his dispatch, recouered
fauour through the instance of the marques Dorset, whose daughter dame Elizabeth
Greic he espoused, and so departed home. Now was partaker of all the deputies
counsell one Robert Talbot of Belgard, whome the Giraldines deadlie hated: him
Robert Talbot of Belgard.
they procured to kéepe a kalendar of all their dooings, who incensed brother against
brother. In which rage, Iames Fitzgirald méeting the said gentleman beside Ballimore,
slue him euen then vpon his iourneie toward the deputie to kéepe his Christmas
With this despitefull murther both sides brake out into open enimitie, and especiallie
the countesse of Ossorie, Kildare his sister, a rare woman, and able for wisedome
Margaret countesse of Ossorie.
to rule a realme, had not hir stomach ouerruled hir knowledge. Here began
informations of new treasons, passing to and fro, with complaints and replies.
But the marques Dorset had wrought so for his sonne in law, that he was suffered
to rest at home, and onelie commissioners directed into Ireland, with authoritie to
examine the root of their griefes: wherein if they found Kildare anie thing at all
purged, their instructions were to depose the plaintiffe, and to sweare the other lord
deputie. Commissioners were these, sir Rafe Egerton, a knight of Cheshire, Anthonie
Commissioners sent to Ireland.
Fitzherbert, second iustice of the common plées, and Iames Denton, deane of
Litchfield; who hauing examined these accusations, suddenlie tooke the sword from
Kildare sworne lord deputie.
the earle of Ossorie, sware Kildare lord deputie, before whome Con Oneale bare the
sword that daie.
Concerning the murtherer whom they might haue hanged, they brought him prisoner
Cardinall Woolseie enimie to the Giraldines.
into England, presented him to the cardinall Woolseie, who was said to hate
Kildare his bloud: and the cardinall intending to haue put him to execution, with
more reproch and dishonor to the name, caused him to be led about the streets of
London haltered, and hauing a taper in his hand: which asked so long time, that
the deane of Lichfield stepped to the king, and begged his pardon. The cardinall
was sore inflamed herewith, & the [malice not hitherto so ranke, was throughlie
ripened, and therfore henseforward Ossorie brought foorth diuerse proofes of the
deputie his disorder, for that (as he alledged) the deputie should winke at the earle of
Desmond, whome by vertue of the king his letters he ought to haue attached. Also,
that he sought for acquaintance and affinitie with meere Irish enimies, that he had
armed them against him, then being the king his deputie; he hanged and headed
good subiects, whome he mistrusted to leane to the Butlers friendship. Kildare was
therfore presentlie commanded to appeare, which he did, leauing in his roome his
brother Fitzgirald of Lexlip, whom they shortlie deposed, and chose the baron of
Fitzgirald lord iustice.
Deluin, whome Oconor tooke prisoner, & then the earle of Ossorie (to shew his abilitie
of seruice) brought to Dublin an armie of Irishmen, hauing capteins ouer them
The earle of Ossorie chosen lord deputie.
Oconor, Omore, and Ocarroll, & at S. Marie abbeie was chosen deputie by the kings
In which office, being himselfe (saue onelie in feats of armes) a simple gentleman,
he bare out his honor, and the charge of gouernement verie worthilie, through the
singular wisedome of his countesse, a ladie of such a port, that all estates of the realme
The Countesse of Ossorie.
crouched vnto hir; so politike, that nothing was thought substantiallie debated without
hir aduise: manlike and tall of stature, verie liberall and bountifull, a sure
friend, a bitter enimie, hardlie disliking where she fansied, not easilie fansieng where
she disliked: the onelie meane at those daies whereby hir husband his countrie was reclamed
from sluttishnesse and slouenrie, to cleane bedding and ciuilitie. But to
these vertues was linked such a selfe liking, such an ouerwéening, and such a maiestie
aboue the tenure of a subiect, that for assurance thereof, she sticked not to abuse hir
husbands honor against hir brothers follie. Notwithstanding, I learne not that shée
practised his vndooing (which insued, and was to hir vndoubtedlie great heauinesse,
as vpon whome both the blemish thereof, and the substance of the greater part of
that familie depended after) but that she by indirect meanes lifted hir brother
out of credit to aduance hir husband, the common voice, and the thing it selfe speaketh.
All this while abode the earle of Kildare at the court, and with much adoo found
shift to be called before the lords to answer suddenlie. They sat vpon him diuerslie
Kildare conuented before the councell.
affected, and namelie the cardinall lord chancellor misliking the earle his cause, comforted
his accusers, and inforced the articles obiected, in these words.
At these girds the councell would haue smiled, if they durst: but ech man bit
his lip, & held his countenance, for howsoeuer some of them leaned to the erle of
The cardinall not beloued.
Ossorie, they all hated the cardinall, who perceiuing that Kildare was no babe, rose
in a fume from the councell table, committed the erle, & deferred the matter till
The duke of Norffolke bound for Kildare.
more direct probations came out of Ireland. The duke of Norffolke, who was late
lieutenant in Ireland, perceining the cardinall to be sore bent against the nobleman,
rather for the deadlie hatred he bare his house, than for anie great matter he had
wherewith to charge his person, stept to the king, and craued Kildare to be his prisoner,
offering to be bound for his foorth comming, ouer and aboue all his lands,
bodie for bodie. Wherevpon, to the cardinall his great griefe, the prisoner was
bailed, and honorablie by the duke interteined. During his abode in the duke his
house, Oneale and Oconor, and all their fréends and alies, watching their time to
The Irish in rebellion.
annoie the pale, made open insurrection against the earle of Ossorie then lord deputie
of Ireland, insomuch that the noble man mistrusting the ficklenesse of Desmond on
the one side, & the force of these new start vp rebels on the other side, stood
halfe amazed, as it were betwéene fire & water. For remedie whereof, letters
thicke and thréefold were addressed to the councell of England, purporting that
all these late hurlie burlies were of purpose raised by the meanes of Kildare, to
Kildare afresh impeached.
the blemishing and staining of his brother Ossorie his gouernment. And to put
the matter out of doubt, it was further added, that Kildare commandéd his daughter
Elice Fitzgirald, wife to the baron of Slane, to excite in his name the aforesaid traitors
to this open rebellion.
The cardinall herevpon caused Kildare to be examined before the councell, where
he pressed him so déepelie with this late disloialtie, that the presumption being (as
the cardinall did force it) vehement, the treason odious, the king suspicious, the
enimie eger, the fréends faint (which were sufficient grounds to ouerthrow an innocent
The earle of Kildare committed.
person) the earle was repriued to the tower. The nobleman betooke himselfe to God
& the king, he was hartilie beloued of the lieutenant, pitied in all the court, and
standing in so hard a case, altered little of his accustomed hue, comforted other
noble men prisoners with him, dissembling his owne sorrow. On a night when the
lieutenant and he for their disport were plaieng at slidegrote or shoofleboord, suddenlie
A mandatum to execute Kildare.
commeth from the cardinall a mandatum to execute Kildare on the morrow. The earle
marking the lieutenants deepe sigh: "By saint Bride lieutenant (quoth he) there is
some mad game in that scroll; but fall how it will, this throw is for an huddle." When
the woorst was told him: "Now I praie thee (quoth he) doo no more but learne assuredlie
from the king his owne mouth, whether his highnesse be witting thereto or
not?" Sore doubted the lieutenant to displease the cardinall: yet of verie pure loue
to his fieend, he posteth to the king at midnight, and deliuered his errand: for at all
houres of the night the lieutenant hath accesse to the prince vpon occasions. The
king controlling the saucinesse of the priest (for those were his termes) deliuered to
The cardinall his presumptuousness blamed of the king.
the lieutenant his signet in token of countermand, which when the cardinall had seene,
he began to breath out vnseasoned language, which the lieutenant was loth to heare,
& so left him pattring & chanting the diuell his Pater noster.
Thus brake vp the
storme for that time, & the next yeare Woolseie was cast out of fauour, and within few
Sir William Skeffington deputie of Ireland.
yeares sir William Skeffington was sent ouer lord deputie, and brought with him the
erle pardoned and rid from all his troubles.
When it was bruted, that Skeffington, the earle of Kildare, and Edward Staples bishop of
Edward Staples bishop of Meth.
Methlanded néere Dublin, the maior and citizens met him with a solemne procession on
saint Maire abbeis gréene, where maister Thomas Fitzsimons recorder of Dublin made
a pithie oration to congratulate the gouernor and the earle his prosperous arriuall, to
whome Skeffington shaped an answere in this wise: "Maister maior and maister recorder,
Skeffington his answere.
you haue at length this noble man here present, for whom you sore longed,
whilest he was absent. And after manie stormes by him susteined, he hath now to
the comfort of his fréends, to the confusion of his foes, subdued violence with patience,
iniuries with sufferance, and malice with obedience: and such butchers as of
He glanseth at the cardinall who was taken to be a butcher his sonne.
hatred thirsted after his bloud, are now taken for outcast mastiues, littered in currish
bloud. How well my master the king hath beene of his gratious inclination affected to
the earle of Kildare (his backe fréend, being by his iust desert from his malestie
wéeded) the credit wherein this noble man at this present abideth, manifestlie declareth.
Wherefore it resteth, that you thanke God and the king for his safe arriuall.
As for his welcome, maister recorder his courteous discourse, your great assemblies,
your chéerefull countenances, your willing meetings, your solemne processions doo so
far shew it, as you minister me occasion on his lordship his behalfe, rather to thanke
you for your courtesie, than to exhort you to anie further ceremonie."
Hauing ended his oration, they rode all into the citie, where shortlie after
the earle of Ossorie surrendred the sword to sir William Skeffington. During the
time that Kildare was in England, the sept of the Tooles making his absence their
Kildare inuadeth the Tooles.
haruest, ceased not to molest and spoile his tenants, and therefore the erle
meaning not to wrap vp so lightlie their manifold iniuries, was determined presenthe
vpou his erriuall to crie them quittance: to the spéedinesse of which seruice
he requested the aid of the citizens of Dublin: & expecting in Christs church
their answere touching this motion, the maior & his brethren promised to assist him
with two hundred archers. The late come bishop of Meth being then present, mooued
question, whether the citizens were pardoned for crowning Lambert contrarie to
Meth his question.
their dutie of allegiance; and if they were not pardoned, he thought they might
aduantage the king thereby. Whereat one of their sagest and expertest aldermen,
Iohn Fitzsimons answereth Meth.
named Iohn Fitzsimons, stept foorth and said: "My lord of Meth, may I be so bold
as to craue what countrieman you are?" "Marie sir (quoth the bishop) I would you
should know it, I am a gentleman and an Englishman." "My lord (quoth Fitzsimons)
my meaning is to learne, in what shire of England you were borne?" "In
Lincolnshire good sir" (quoth Staples.) "Whie then my lord (quoth Fitzsimons)
we are no traitors, because it was the earle of Lincolne and the lord Louell that
crowned him: and therefore if you be a gentleman of Lincolnshire, sée that you be
pardoned, for God and our king be thanked we haue néed of none." At this answer
Meth was set, and such as were present were forced to smile, to sée what a
round fall he caught in his owne turne.
In the second yeare of Skeffington his gouernement, it happened that one Henrie
Henrie White raised an vprore in Dublin.
White, seruant to Benet a merchant of Dublin, was pitching of a cart of haie in the
high street; and hauing offered boies plaie to passengers that walked to and fro,
he let a bottle of his haie fall on a souldiors bonet, as he passed by his cart. The souldior
taking this knauish knacke in dudgeon, hurled his dagger at him, and hauing narrowlie
mist the princocks, he sticked it in a post not farre off. White leapt downe from the
cart, and thrust the souldior through the shoulder with his pike. Wherevpon there
was a great vprore in the citie betwéene the souldiors and the apprentises, insomuch
as Thomas Barbie being the maior, hauing the king his sword drawne, was hardlie
Thomas Barbie maior.
able to appease the fraie, in which diuerse were wounded, and none slaine. The lord
deputie issued out of the castell, and came as farre as the pillorie, to whome the maior
posted thorough the prease with the sword naked vnder his arme, & presented White
that was the brewer of all this garboile to his lordship, whome the gouernour pardoned,
as well for his courage in bickering as for his retchlesse simplicitie and pleasantnesse
in telling the whole discourse. Whereby a man maie sée how manie
bloudie quarels a bralling swashbuckler maie picke out of a bottle of haie, namelie
when his braines are forebitten with a bottle of nappie ale.
About this time there was a great sturre raised in England, about the king his diuorse,
who thinking it expedient in so fickle a world to haue a sure post in
Ireland, made Kildare lord deputie, Cromer the primat of Armagh lord chancellor,
Kildare lord deputie.
Skeffington offended with Kildare.
and sir Iames Butler lord treasuror. Skeffington, supposing that he was put beside
the cushin by the secret canuassing of Kildare his friends, conceiued therof a great
gelousie, being therein the deeper drenched, bicause that Kildare hauing receiued
the sword, would permit Skeffington, who was late gouernour, now like a meane
priuat person, to danse attendance among other suters in his house at Dublin, named
the Carbrie. Skeffington plaieng thus on the bit, shortlie after sailed into England,
He saileth into England.
A parlement summoned at Dublin.
Vriell inuaded by Oneale.
vpon whose departure the lord deputie summoned a parlement at Dublin, where there
past an act against leasers of corne: also for the vniting and appropriation of the
parsonage of Galtrim to the priorie of saint Peters by Trim. In the parlement
time, Oneale on a sudden inuaded the countrie of Vriell, rifling and spoiling the
king his subiects, at which time also was the earle of Ossorie greatlie vexed by the
Giraldins, by reason of the old quarrels of either side afresh reuiued.
The next yeare, the lord deputie going against Ocarroll, was pitifullie hurt in
the side with a gun, at the castell of Birre; so that he neuer after inioied his lims,
nor deliuered his words in good plight, otherwise like inough to haue béene longer
forborne in consideration of his manie noble qualities, great good seruices, and the
state of those times. Straightwais complaints were addressed to the king of these
enormities, and that in most heinous maner that could be deuised, boulting out his dooings
as it were to the last brake of sinister surmises, turning euerie priuat iniurie to be
the king his quarrell, & making euerie puddings pricke as huge in shew as Samson his
piller. Wherevpon Kildare was commanded by sharpe letters to repaire into Enland,
He is sent for to England.
leaning such a person for the furniture of that realme, and the gouernance of
the land in his absence, for whose dooings he would answer. Being vpon the sight
of this letter prepared to saile into England, he sat in councell at Dublin, and hauing
sent for his sonne & heire the lord Thomas Fitzgirald (a yoong strippling of one and
twentie yeares of age, borne in England, sonne to the lord Zouch his daughter, the
earle of Kildare his first wife) in the hearing of the whole boord thus he spake.
But although with his graue exhortation the frosen hearts of his aduersaries for a
His oration misconstrued.
short spirt thawed, yet notwithstanding they turned soone after all this gaie Gloria
vnto a further fetch; saieng that this was nothing else but to dazell their eies
with some iugling knacke, to the end they should aduertise the king of his loiall
spéeches: adding further, that he was too too euill that could not speake well.
And to force the prepensed treasons they laied to his charge, with further surmises
He is accused for taking the king his artillerie.
they certified the councell of England, that the earle before his departure furnished
his owne piles and forts with the king his artillerie and munition taken foorth of the
castell of Dublin. The earle being examined vpon that article before the councell,
although he answered that the few potguns and chambers he tooke from thense, were
placed in his castell to strengthen the borders against the inrodes of the Irish enimie;
and that if he intended anie treason, he was not so foolish, as to fortifie walles and
stones, and to commit his naked bones into their hands: yet notwithstanding he
deliuered his spéeches by reason of his palseie, in such staggering and mafling wise,
that such of the councell as were not his friends, persuading the rest that he had
sunke in his owne tale, by imputing his lisping and dragging answer rather to the
gilt of conscience, than to the infirmitie of his late maime, had him committed, vntill
the king his pleasure were further knowne.
But before we wade anie further in this matter, for the better opening of the
whole ground, it would be noted, that the earle of Kildare, among diuerse hidden aduersaries,
had in these his later troubles foure principall enimies that were the
Kildare his chiefe enimies.
chiefe means & causes of his ouerthrow, as in those daies it was commonlie bruted.
The first was Iohn Alen archhishop of Dublin, a gentleman of a good house, chapleine
Iohn Alen archbishop of Dublin.
to cardinall Wolseie, & after by the cardinall his means constituted archbishop of
Dublin, a learned prelat, a good housholder, of the people indifferentlie beloued,
and more would haue béene, had he not ouerbusied himselfe in supplanting the
house of Kildare. And although it were knowne, that his first grudge towards the
Giraldins procéeded from the great affection he bare his lord and master the cardinall,
insomuch as he would not sticke, were he able, for the pleasuring of the one
to vndoo the other; yet such occasions of greater hatred after insued (namelie for
that he was displaced from being lord chancellor, & Cromer the primat of Armagh
by Kildare his drifts setled in the office) as notwithstanding the cardinall his
combe was cut in England, yet did he persist in pursuing his woonted malice toward
The second that was linked to this confederacie, was sir Iohn Alen knight, first
Sir Iohn Alen knight.
secretarie to this archbishop, after became maister of the rolles, lastlie lord chancellor.
And although sir Iohn Alen were not of kin to the archbishop, but onelie of the
name; yet notwithstanding the archbishop made so great reckoning of him, as
well for his forecast in matters of weight, as for his faithfulnesse in affaires of trust,
as whatsoeuer exploit were executed by the one, was foorthwith déemed to haue béene
deuised by the other. The third of this crew was Thomas Canon, secretarie to Skeffington,
who thinking to be reuenged on Kildare for putting his lord and master
beside the cushin, as he surmised, was verie willing to haue an ore in that bote. The
fourth that was suspected to make the muster, was Robert Cowlie, first bailiffe in
Dublin, after seruant to the ladie Margaret Fitzgirald, countesse of Ormond
and Ossorie, lastlie master of the rolles in Ireland, and finallie he deceased at
This gentleman for his wisdome and policie was well estéemed of the ladie Margaret
countesse of Ossorie, as one by whose aduise she was in all hir affaires directed.
Wherevpon some suspicious persons were persuaded and brought in mind, that he
was the sower of all the discord that rested betwéene the two brethren Kildare and
Ossorie: as though he could not be rooted in the fauour of the one, but that he must
haue professed open hatred vnto the other. These foure, as birds of one feather,
were supposed to be open enimies to the house of Kildare, bearing that swaie in the
commonwealth, as they were not occasioned (as they thought) either to craue fréendship
of the Giraldines, or greatlie to feare their hatred and enimitie. There were
beside them diuerse other secret vnderminers, who wrought so cunninglie vnder the
thumbe, by holding with the hare, and running with the hound, as if Kildare had
prospered, they were assured, their malice would not haue béene in manner suspected:
but if he had béene in his affaires stabled, then their fine deuises for their further
credit should haue beene apparented. Wherefore the heauing of his backe fréends not
onelie surmised, but also manifested by Kildare, the lord Thomas being iustice or
The lord Thomas inkindleth the Alens against him.
vicedeputie in his fathers absence, fetcht both the Alens so roundlie ouer the hips, as
well by secret drifts as open taunts, as they were the more egerlie spurd to compasse
his confusion. For the lord iustice and the councell, with diuerse of the nobilitie,
at a solemne banket discoursing of the anciencie of houses, and of their armes, sir
Iohn Alen spake to the lord iustice these words.
"My lord, your house giueth the marmoset, whose propertie is to eat his owne
The propertie of the marmoset.
taile." Meaning thereby (as the lord Thomas supposed) that Kildare did vse to pill
and poll his fréends, tenants & reteiners. These words were no sooner spoken, than
the lord Thomas striking the ball to Alen againe, answered, as one that was somewhat
slipper toonged, in this wise."You saie truth sir, indéed I heard some saie,
that the marmoset eateth his owne taile. But although you haue béene fed by your
taile, yet I would aduise you to beware, that your taile eat not you." Shortlie after
this quipping gamegall, the lord iustice and the councell rode to Drogheda, where
hauiug for the space of three or foure daies soiourned, it happened that the councellors
awaited in the councell chamber the gouernour his comming, vntill it was
hard vpon the stroke of twelue. The archbishop of Dublin rawlie digesting the vicedeputie
his long absence, said: "My lords, is it not a prettie matter, that all we shall
The archbishop his taunt.
staie thus long for a boie?" As he vttered these speeches, the lord iustice vnluckilie
was comming vp the staires, and at his entrie taking the words hot from the bishop
his mouth, and iterating them verie coldlie, he said: "My lords, I am heartilie sorie,
that you staied thus long for a boie." Whereat the prelat was appalled, to see how
vnhappilie he was gald with his owne caltrop. These & the like cutting spéeches
inkindled such coles in both their stomachs, as the flame could not anie longer
The enimies conspire the ouerthrow of the Giraldins.
The occasion of-Thomas Fitzgirald his rebellion.
be smouldered, but at one clift or other must haue fumed. The enimies therefore
hauing welnigh knedded the dough that should haue béene baked for the Giraldines
bane, deuised that secret rumors should sprinkle to and fro, that the earle of Kildare
his execution was intended in England; and that vpon his death the lord Thomas and
all his bloud should haue beene apprehended in Ireland. As this false muttering
flue abroad, it was holpen forward by Thomas Canon, and others of Skeffington his
seruants, who sticked not to write to certeine of their fréends, as it were, verie secret
letters, how that the earle of Kildare their maister his secret enimie (so they tooke
him, bicause he got the gouernement ouer his head) was alreadie cut shorter, as his
issue presentlie should be: and now they trusted to sée their maister in his gouernment,
after which they sore longed, as for a preferment that would in short space
aduantage them. Such a letter came vnto the hands of a simple priest, no perfect
Englishmen, who for hast hurled it amongest other papers in the chimnies end of his
chamber, meaning to peruse it better at more leisure. The same verie night, a
gentleman reteining to the lord Thomas, the lord iustice or vicedeputie, as is before
specified, tooke vp his lodging with the priest, and sought in the morning when he
rose for some paper, to draw on his strait stockings; and as the deuill would, he hit
vpon the letter, bare it awaie in the heele of his stocke, no earthlie thing misdéen:ing.
At night againe he found the paper vnfretted, and musing thereat he began to
pore on the writing, which notified the earle his death, and the apprehension of the
lord Thomas. To horsse goeth he in all hast, brought the letter to Iames de la
Iames de la Hide.
Hide, who was principall councellor to the lord Thomas in all his dooings. De la
Hide hauing scantlie ouerread the letter, making more hast than good spéed, posted
to the lord Thomas, imparted him that letter, and withall putting fire to flax, before
he diued to the bottome of this trecherie, he was contented to swim on the skum
and froth thereof, as well by soothing vp the tenor of the letter, as by inciting the
lord Thomas to open rebellion, cloking the odious name of treason with the zealous
reuengement of his fathers wrongfull execution, and with the warie defense of his
The lord Thomas being youthfull, rash, and headlong, and assuring himselfe
that the knot of all the force of Ireland was twisted vnder his girdle, was by de la
Hide his counsell so far caried, as he was resolued to east all on six and seauen.
Wherefore hauing confedered with Oneale, Oconor, and other Irish potentats,
he rode on saint Barnabies daie, accompanied with seauen score horssemen in
their shirts of maile, through the citie of Dublin, to the Dam his gate, crost oner
the water to saint Marie abbeie, where the councell according to appointment
waited his comming, not being priuie to his intent: onelie Cromer the lord chancellour
excepted, who was secretlie aduertised of his reuolt, and therefore was verie
well prouided for him, as héereafter shall be declared. This Cromer was a graue
Cromer lord chancellor.
prelat, and a learned, well spoken, mild of nature, nothing wedded to factions,
yet a welwiller of the Giraldines, as those by whose means he was aduanced to
dignitie. When the lord Thomas was set in councell, his horssemen and seruants
rusht into the councell chamber armed and weaponed, turning their secret conference
to an open parlée. The councell hereat amazed, and silence with securitie commanded,
the lord Thomas in this wise spake.
Hauing added to this shamefull oration manie other slanderous and foule tearmes,
which for diuerse respects I spare to pen, he would haue surrendered the sword to
the lord chancellor, who (as I said before) being armed for the lord Thomas his
comming, and also being loath that his slacknesse should séeme disloiall in refusing
the sword, or his frowardnesse ouer cruell in snatching it vpon the first proffer,
tooke the lord Thomas by the wrist of the hand, and requested him for the
loue of God, the teares trilling downe his cheékes, to giue him for two or thrée words
the hearing, which granted, the reuerend father spake as insueth.
Hauing ended his oration, which he set foorth with such a lamentable action, as
his chéekes were all beblubbered with feares, the horssemen, namelie such as vnder
stood not English, began to diuine what the lord chancellor ment with all this long
circumstance; some of them reporting that be was preaching a sermon, others said
that he stood making of some heroicall poetrie in the praise of the lord Thomas. And
thus as euerie idiot shot his foolish bolt at the wise chancellor his discourse, who in
effect did nought else but drop pretious stones before hogs, one Bard de Nelan, an
Bard de Nelan.
Irish rithmour, and a rotten shéepe able to infect an whole flocke, was chatting of
Irish verses, as though his toong had run on pattens, in commendation of the lord
Thomas, inuesting him with the title of Silken Thomas, bicause his horssemens
iacks were gorgeouslie imbrodered with silke: and in the end he told him that he
lingred there ouerlong. Whereat the lord Thomas being quickned, did cast his eie
towards the lord chancellor, & said thus.
The conncell sent secretlie vpon his departue to master maior and his brethren,
to apprehend (if they conuenientlie might) Thomas Fitzgirald and his confederats.
But the warning was so Skarborrow, the enimie so strong, the citie (by reason
of the plage that ranged in towne and in countrie) so dispeopled, as their attempt
therein would seeme but vaine and friuolous. Ouer this, the weaker part of the rebels
would not pen vp themselues within the citie wals, but stood houering aloofe
off toward Ostmantowne gréene, on the top of the hill where the gallowes stood (a
fit centre for such a circle) till time they were aduertised of their capteine Thomas
his returne. This open rebellion in this wise denounced; part of the councell,
namelie Alen archbishop of Dublin & Finglasse chiefe baron hied with bag and baggage
to the castell of Dublin, whereof Iohn White was constable, who after was
dubbed knight by the king in England, for his worthie seruice doone in that
Thomas & his crew, supposing that in ouerruning the whole land, they should
find no blocke to stumble at sauing the earle of Ossorie, agreed to trie if by anie
allurements he could be traind to their confederacie. And forsomuch as the lord
Iames Butler was linked with Thomas Fitzgirald in great amitie and friendship, it was
thought best to giue him the onset, who if he were woon to swaie with them, they
would not weigh two chips the force of his father the earle of Ossorie. Thomas foorthwith
sent his messengers and letters to his cousine the lord Butler, couenanting to
diuide with him halfe the kingdome, would he associat him in this enterprise.
Wherevpon the lord Butler returned Thomas his brokers with this letter.
Thomas Fitzgirald netled with this round answer, was determined to inuade the
countrie of Kilkennie, first forcing an oth vpon the gentlemen of the pale: and such
as would not agree thereto he tooke prisoners. Fingall, which was not before acquainted
with the recourse of the Irish enimie, was left open to be preided and
spoiled by the Tooles, who were therein assisted by Iohn Burnell of Balgriffin, a
Iohn Burnel of Belgriffin.
gentléman of a faire liuing, setled in a good battle soile of Fingall, taken for one not
deuoid of wit, were it not that he was ouertaken with this treason. The Dublinians
hauing notice that the enimie made hauocke of their neighbors of Fingall, issued
out of the citie, meaning to haue intercepted them at the bridge of Kilmainan. And
hauing incountered with the Irish néere the wood Salcocke, what for the number
of the rebels, and the lacke of an expert capteine to lead the armie of Dublin in
The Dublinians discomfited.
battell raie, there were fourescore of the citizens slaine, and the preide not rescued.
In this conflict, Patrike Fitzsimons, with diuerse other good housholders,
Patrike Fitzsimons slaine.
This victorie bred so great an insolencie in Thomas Fitzgirald, as he sent his messengers
Messengers sent from Thomas to Dublin.
to the citie, declaring that albeit they offred him that iniurie, as that he
could not haue frée passage with his companie to & fro in the pale, & therefore
would he vse the benefit of his late skirmish, or be answerable in iust reuenge to
their due desert, he might by law of armes put their citie to fire and sword: yet this
notwithstanding, if they would but permit his men to laie siege to the castell of Dublin,
he would enter in league with them, and would vndertake to backe them in such
fauourable wise, as the stoutest champion in his armie should not be so hardie, as to
offer the basest in their citie so much as a fillip. The citizens considering that the
towne by reason of the sickenesse was weakened, and by this late ouerthrow greatlie
discouraged, were forced to make a vertue of necessitle, by lighting a candle before the
diuell, till time the kings pleasure were knowne; to whom with letters they posted one
of their aldermen named Francis Herbert, whom shortlie after, the king for his seruice
Francis Herbert sent into England.
Eustace of Balicutlan.
dubbed knight, infeoffing him with part of Christopher Eustace of Balicutlau
his lands, who had vnaduisedlie a foot in this rebellion. But before the citizens
would returne answer to Thomas as touching this message, they secretlie
eduertised maister Iohn White conestable of the castell of this vnlawfull demand.
conestable weighing the securitie of the citie, little regarding the force of
the emiuie, agreed willinglie therto, so that he might be sufficientlie stored with
men and vittels. Iohn Alen archbishop of Dublin, fearing that all would haue gone
The archbishop of Dublin meaneth to saile into England.
to wracke in Ireland, being then in the castell, brake his mind touching his sailing
into England, to one of his seruants named Bartholomew Fitzgirald, whom notwithstanding
he were a Giraldine, he held for his trustiest and inwardest councellor
Bartholomew vndertaking to be the archbishop his pilot, vntill hée were past the
barre, incouraged his maister to imbarke himselfe hard by the Dams gate. And as they
were hulling in the channell that euening, they were not warie, vntill the barke strake
on the sands néere Clontarfe.
The archbishop with his man stale secretlie to Tartaine, there meaning to lurke
vntill the wind had serued to saile into England, where he searselie six houres
soiourned, when Thomas Fitzgirald knew of his arriuall, and accompanied with
Iames de la Hide, sir Iohn Fitzgirald, Oliuer Fitzgirald his vncles, timelie in the
morning, being the eight and twentith of Iulie, he posted to Tartaine, beset the
house, commanded Iohn Teling and Nicholas Waffer to apprehend the archbishop,
whome they haled out of his bed, brought him naked in his shirt, barefooted, and
bareheaded, to their capteine. Whom when the archbishop espied, incontinentlie
he knéeled and with a pitifull countenance & lamentable voice, he besought him
for the loue of God not to remember former iniuries, but to weigh his present
calamitie, and what malice soeuer he bare his person, yet to respect his calling
and vocation, in that his enimie was a christian, and he amongst christians an
As he spake thus, bequeathing his soule to God, his bodie to the enimies mercie,
Thomas being stricken with some compassion, & withall inflamed with desire of
reuenge, turned his horsse aside, saieng in Irish (Bir wem è boddeagh
) which is as
much to saie in English, as Away with the churle, or Take the churle from me:
which doubtles he spake, as after he declared, meaning the archbishop should be
deteined as prisoner. But the caitifs that were present, rather of malice than of ignorance,
misconstruing his words, murthered the archbishop without further delaie,
Alen archbishop of Dublin murthered at Tartaine.
brained and hacked him in gobbets, his bloud with Abell crieng to God for reuenge,
which after befell to all such as were principals in this horrible murther. The placeis euer
since hedged and imbaied on euerie side, ouergrowne and vnfrequented for detestation
of the fact. This Alen (as before is declared) was in seruice with cardinall
Woolseie, of deepe iugement in the law canon, the onelie match of Stephan Gardiner,
an other of Woolseies chaapleins, for anoiding of which enmlation he was preferred in
Ireland, rough and rigorous in iustice, deadlie bated of the Giraldines for his maisters
sake & his owne, as that he crossed them diuerse times, and much brideled both
father and son in their gouernements, not vnlike to haue promoted their accusations,
and to haue béene a forger of the letter before mentioned, which turned to his finall
The rebels hauing in this execrable wise imbrued their hands in the archbishop
his bloud, they rode to Houth, tooke sir Christopher lord of Houth prisoner, & vpon
The lord of Houth taken prisoner.
Iustice Luttrell taken.
their returne from thense, they apprehended maister Luttrell chiefe iustice of the common
plées, conucieng him with them as their prisoner. The Dublinians during
this space, hauing respit to pause sent into the castell by night sufficient store of
vittels, at which time, Iohn Fitzsimons, one of their aldermen, sent to master conestable
twentie tun of wine, foure & twentie tun of béere, two thousand drie ling,
sixtéene hogsheads of poudered beefe, and twentie chambers, with an iron chaine
for the draw bridge of the castell that was newlie forged in his owne house for the
auoiding of all suspicion. The castell being with men, munition, and vittels abundantlie
The castell of Dublin besieged.
furnished, answer was returned to Thomas Fitzgirald, purporting a consent
for the receiuing of his souldiors. Which granted, he sent Iames Field of Luske,
Nicholas Waffer, Iohn Teling, Edward Rouks (who was likewise a pirat scowring the
coast, and greatlie annoieng all passengers) Broad and Pursell, with an hundred souldiors
attendant on them, as on their capteins. These valiant Rutterkins planted
néere Preston his innes, right ouer against the castell gate two or three falcons,
hauing with such strong rampiers intrenched their companie, as they litle weighed
the shot of the castle. And to withdraw the conestable from diseharging the ordinance,
they threatened to take the youth of the citie, and place them on the
top of their trenches for maister conestable to shoot at, as at a marke he would be
loth to hit.
The English pale in this wise weakened, the citizens appeased, and the castell besieged,
Thomas Fitzgirald and his confederats were resolued to trie if the lord Butler
Thomas Fitzgirald inuadeth the countrie of Kilkennie.
would stand to his doughtie letter; and sith he would not by faire means be allured,
hée should be (maugre his head) by foule means compelled to assist them in this
their generall attempt. Thomas vpon this determination, being accompanied with
Oneale, diuerse Scots, Iames de la Hide, his principall councellour, Iohn de la Hide,
Edward Fitzgirald his vncle, sir Richard Walsh parson of Loughsewdie, Iohn Burnell
of Balgriffin, Iames Gernon, Walter Walsh, Robert Walsh, Maurice Walsh,
with a maine armie, inuaded the erle of Ossorie and the lord Butler his lands, burnt
and wasted the countrie of Kilkennie to Thomas towne, the poore inhabitants being
constreined to shunne his force, rather than to withstand his power.
Fitzgirald his approch towards these confines bruted, the earle of Ossorie, and his
son the lord Butler, with all the gentlemen of the countrie of Kilkennie, assembled
néere Ieripon, to determine what order they might take, in withstanding the inuasion of
the rebels. And as they were thus in parlee, a gentleman of the Butlers accompanied
with sixtéene horsmen, departed secretlie from the folkemote, & made towards Thomas
Fitzgirald and his armie, who was then readie to incampe himselfe at Thomas
towne. When the chalenger was escried, and the certeine number knowne, sixtéene
of Fitzgirald his horssemen did charge him, and presentlie followed them seuen score
horssemen, with two or three banners displaied, pursuing them vntill they came to
the hill where all the gentlemen were assembled, who being so suddenlie taken, could
not stand to bicker; but some fled this waie, some that waie, the earle was scattered
The earle of Ossorie fiueth.
The lord Butler wounded.
from his companie, and the lord Butler vnwares was hurt: whom when such of the
rebels knew as fauoured him, they parsued him but coldlie, and let him escape on
horssebacke, taking his waie to Downemore (neére Kilkennie) where he laie at
During the time that Thomas with his armie was ransacking the erie of Ossorie his
Francis Herebert returneth from England.
lands, Francis Herebert returned from England to Dublin with the king and councels
letters to maister Shillingforth then maior, and his brethren, with letters likewise
to maister White the constable, to withstand (as their dutie of allegiance bound them)
the traitorous practises of Thomas and his complices, and that with all spéed they
should be succored vpon the sight of these letters. Maister Thomas Fitzshmons recorder
of the citie, a gentleman that shewed himselfe a politike and a comfortable
councellor in these troubles, paraphrasing the king his gratious letters, with diuerse
good and sound constructions, imboldened the citizens to breake their new made
No league to be kept with traitors.
The Dublinians breake with Thomas Fitzgirald.
league, which with no traitor was to be kept. The aldermen and communaltie, with
this pithie persuasion easilie weighed, gaue forthwith order, that the gates should be
shut, their percullices dismounted, the traitors that besieged the castell apprehended,
flags of defiance vpon their wals placed, and an open breach of truce
Field and his companies (who did not all this while batter aught of the castell, but
onelie one hole that was bored through the gate with a pellet, which lighted in
the mouth of a demie canon, planted within the castell) vnderstanding that they were
betraied, began to shrinke their heads, trusting more to their heeles than to their
weapons: some ran one way, some another, diuerse thought to haue béene housed
and so to lurke in Lorels den, who were thrust out by the head and shoulders: few of
Field and his companie taken.
them swam ouer the Liffie, the greater number taken and imprisoned. Forthwith
post vpon post rode to Thomas Fitzgirald, who then was rifling the countrie of Kilkennie,
certifieng him that all was mard, the fat was in the fire, he brought an old
house about his owne eares, the Paltocks of Dublin kept not touch with him, the
English armie was readie to be shipt, Herebert with the king his letters returned; now
it stood him vpon to shew himselfe a man or a mouse. Thomas with these tidings
amazed, made spéedie repaire to Dublin, sending his purseuants before him, to command
the gentlemen of the English pale to méete him with all their power néere Dublin.
And in his waie towards the citie, his companie tooke diuerse children of the
The youth of Dublin taken prisoners.
Dublinians, that kept in the countrie (by reason of the contagion that then was in the
towne) namelie Michaell Fitzsimons, Patrike Fitzsimons, William Fitzsimons, all
sons to Walter Fitzsimons late maior, at which time was also taken Iames Stanihurst,
with diuerse other yoonglings of the citie.
Hauing marched néere Dublin, he sent doctor Trauerse, Peter Lince of the
Messengers sent to Dublin.
Knoke, and Oliuer Grace, as messengers (for I maie not rightlie tearme them ambassadors)
to the citizens, who crossing the Liffie from the blacke friers to the keie,
explaned to the maior and aldermen their errand, the effect whereof was, either to
stand to their former promise, or else to restore to their capteine his men, whom they
wrongfullie deteined in goale. The first and last point of this request flatlie by the
citizens denied, the messengers returned, declaring what cold interteinment they
had in Dublin. Thomas herewith frieng in his grease, caused part of his armie
to burne the barke wherin Herebert sailed from England: which doone without resistance,
the vessell road at anchor néere saint Marie abbeie, they indeuored to stop
all the springs that flowed vnto the towne, and to cut the pipes of the conduits, whereby
they should be destitute of fresh water. Shortlie after, they laid siege to the
castell in the Shipstréet, from whense they were hastilie by the ordinance feazed, and
The shipstreet fired.
all the thatcht houses of the stréet were burnt with wild fire, which maister White
deuised, because the enimie should not be there rescued.
When no butter could sticke on their bread, in that part of the citie, the greater
number of the rebels assembled to Thomas his court, and marched to saint Thomas
his street, rasing downe the partitions of the row of houses before them on both
sides of the street, finding none to withstand them: for the inhabitants fled into
the citie, so that they made a long lane on both the sides like a gallerie, couered all
ouer head, to shield as well their horssemen as their footmen from gunshot. This doone
they burnt the new street, planted a falcon right against the new gate, and it discharged,
pearsed the gate, and kild an apprentise of Thomas Stephens alderman, as
he went to bring a bason of water from the high pipe, which by reason the springs were
damd vp, was at that time drie. Richard Stanton, commonlie called Dicke Stanton,
then gailor of the new gate, a good seruitor, an excellent markeman, as his valiant
seruice that time did approue. For besides that he gald diners of the rebels as they
would skip from house to house, by causing some of them with his peece to carrie
their errands in their buttocks; so he perceiued one of the enimies, leueling at the
window or spike at which he stood: but whether it were, that the rebell his pouder
failed him, or some gimboll or other was out of frame, Stanton tooke him so truelie for
his marke, as he strake him with his bullet full in the forehead vnder the brim of his
scull, and withall turned vp his héeles.
Stanton not satisfied with his death, issued out at the wicket, stript the varlot mothernaked,
and brought in his péece and his attire. The desperatnesse of this fact disliked
of the citizens, and greatlie stomached by the rebels, before Stanton returned to his
standing, the enimies brought faggots & fiers to the new gate, and incontinentlie
Faggots laid vnto the new gate.
fired them. The townesmen perceiuing that if the gate were burnt, the enimies
would be incouraged vpon hope of the spoile, to venter more fiercelie, than if they
were incountred without the wals, thought it expedient presentlie to charge them.
To this exploit they were the more egerlie mooued, because that notwithstanding
Thomas his souldiors were manie in number; yet they knew that the better part of
his companie bare but hollow hearts to the quarrell: for the number of the wise gentlemen
of the pale did little or nothing incline to his purpose. And therefore when he
besieged the citie, the most part of those arrowes, which were shot ouer the walles,
were vnheaded, and nothing annoied them: some shot in letters, and foretold them
of all the treacherous stratagems that were in hammering.
That espied the citizens, and gathering the faintnesse of his souldiors thereby,
blazed abroad vpon the walles triumphant newes, that the king his armie was arriued:
and as it had béene so in déed, suddenlie to the number of foure hundred rushed out
The citizens bicker with the rebels.
at the new gate, through flame and fire vpon the rebels, who (at the first sight of
armed men) wéening no lesse but the truth was so, otherwise assured, that the citie
would neuer dare to reincounter them, gaue ground, forsooke their capteins, dispersed
and scattered into diuerse corners, their falcon taken, an hundred of their stoutest
Galloglasses slaine. Thomas Fitzgirald fled to the graie friers in S. Francis his
Thomas Fitzgirald fléeth.
stréet, there coucht that night, vnknowen to the citie, vntill the next morning he stale prinilie
to his armie not far off, who stood in woonderful feare that he was apprehended.
Thomas his courage by this late ouerthrow somewhat cooled, and also being assuredlie
told, that a fleete was espied a farre off bearing full saile towards the coast of Ireland, he
was soone intreated, hauing so manie irons in the fire, to take egs for his monie: &
withall, hauing no forren succor, either from Paulus Tertius,
or Charles the fift, which
dailie he expected, he was sore quailed, being of himselfe, though strong in number
of souldiors, yet vnfurnished of sufficient munition and artillerie, to stand & withstand
the king his armie in a pitcht field, or a maine battell. Vpon this & other considerations,
to make as faire weather as he could, he sent Iames de la Hide, Lime of the
De la Hide Lime.
Knocke, William Bath of Dollarstowne, doctor Trauerse, Thomas Field of Painstowne,
as messengers to the citizens, to treat with them of a truce, who being let in
at the new gate, repaired to William Kellie his house, where maister maior and
his brethren were assembled. The articles propounded by them to the citizens,
The articles propounded to the citizens.
- That Thomas Fitzgirald his men, who were deteined in prison, should be redeliuered.
- Item, that the citizens should incontinentlie deliuer him at one paiment, a thousand
pounds in monie.
- Item, that they should deliuer him fiue hundred pounds in wares.
- Item, to furnish him with munition and artillerie.
- Item, to addresse their fauorable letters to the king for their capteine his pardon,
and all his confederats.
The maior and aldermen, hauing ripelie debated the tenour of these articles,
The citizens answer these articles.
agréed, that maister Fitzsimons their recorder should answer vnto the first, that they
would not sticke to set his seruants at libertie, so he would redeliuer them the youth
of the citie, which was nothing else in effect, but tit for tat. As for the second and
the third demand, they were so greatlie by his warres impouerished, as they might
hardlie spare monie or wares. And as touching implements for warre, they were neuer
such fond niddicockes, as to offer anie man a rod to beat their owne tailes, or to betake
their mastiues vnto the custodie of the woolues, maruelling much that their capteine
would so farre ouershoot himselfe, as to be taken with such apparent repugnancie.
For if he intended to submit himselfe to the king his mercie, and to make them humble
meanes to his highnesse for the obteining of his pardon, he ought rather to make sute
for some good vellam parchment for the ingrossing thereof, than for munition and
artillerie to withstand his prince. Wherfore, that thrée vnlawful demands reiected,
they would willinglie condescend to the first and last: as well requesting him to deliuer
them the youth of the citie, as to submit himselfe and his companie to the king
his mercie: promising not onelie with their fauourable letters, but also with their
personall presences to further, as far as in them laie, his humble sute to the king and
As they parled thus to and fro, William Bath of Dollarstowne a student of the
common lawes spake: “My maisters, what néedeth all this long circumstance? Let
vs all drinke of one cup.” Which words were shortlie after vpon Skeffington his arriuall
so crookedlie glosed, as by drinking of a sowre cup he lost the best ioint of
his bodie. For albeit vpon his triall he construed his words to import an vniforme
consent towards the obteining of Fitzgirald his pardon; yet all this could not colour
his matter in such wise, but that he and Eustace of Balicutlan were executed at the
Eustace of Balicutlan.
castell of Dublin. The messengers knowing their capteine to be at a low eb, were
agréed to take the offers of the first & last conditions, and that to the accomplishing
of these articles hostages should be giuen of either part. The messengers deliuered
Hostages taken Doctor Trauerse.
to the citizens doctor Trauers & others, the citizens deliuered them Richard
Talbot, Aldreman, Rochford, & Rerrie. These were committed to the custodie of
Dauid Sutton of Rabride, who redeliuered them to the citizens immediatlie after
vpon the certeine rumor of Skeffington his repaire.
Thomas growne to this point with the Dublinians raised his siege, caused his artillerie
to be conueied to Houth, marching after with his armie, to the end he might
as well bulch the English ships if they durst anerre the coast, as to bicker with the
soldiors vpon their arriuall. But before he tooke his iorneie vnto Houth, he rode
to Mainoth, to see that the castell should be of all sides fortified, where being doone
to vnderstand, that a companie of white cotes with red crosses landed at Dublin
The white cotes landed at Dublin.
secretlie in the dead of the night, and also that another band arriued
at Houth, and were readie to march towards Dublin, he posted incontinentlie
with two hundred horssemen towards the water side, incountred néere Clontarfe,
the Hamertons, two valiant and couragious gentlemen, hauing in their companie
The Hamertons slaine.
foure score souldiors, where they fought so valiantlie for their liues, as so few
footmen could haue doone against so great a troope of horssemen: for they did
not onlie mangle and hacke diuerse of the rebels, but also one of the Hamertons
wounded Thomas Fitzgirald in the forehead. Some report that one of the
Thomas Fitzgirald wounded.
Musgraues, who was of kin to Fitzgirald, was slaine in this conflict, whose death
he is said to haue taken greatlie to hart. The rebelles fleshed with the slaughter
of the English, hied with all spéed to Houth, shot at the ships that rode at
anchor, caused them to flée from thense, & to make towards Skerrish, where
landed both the Eglebées, and the Dacres, with their horssemen. Rouks,
English geldings taken.
Fitzgerald his pirat, was sent to scowre the coast, who tooke an English barke laden
with verie faire geldings, and sent them to his capteine. After that Thomas had
returned with this bootie, and the spoile of such as were slaine to Mainoth, sir
William Brereton knight, with his sonne Iohn Brereton, was inshored at Houth
Sir William Brereton.
with two hundred & fiftie soldiors verie well appointed, and maister Salisburie with
two hundred archers.
Lastlie landed at the slip, neare the bridge of Dublin, sir William Skeffington
Sir William Skeffington lord deputie landeth.
knight lord deputie, whome the Irish call the gunner, because he was preferred
from that office of the king his maister gunner to gouerne them, and that they
can euill brooke to be ruled of anie that is but meanlie borne. The maior and
aldermen receiued the gouernor with shot, and great solemnitie, who yéelding them
hartie thanks for their true and loiall seruice, deliuered them the king and councell
Letters of thanks from the king to the Dublinians.
The lord of Trimlestowne surrendreth the sword.
his letters, purporting the same effect in writing that he before expressed in words.
Barnwell lord of Trimlestowne, who had the custodie of the sword, did surrender
it to sir William Skeffington, according to the meaning of the king his letters
patents on that behalfe.
Thomas Fitzgirald hauing intelligence that the whole armie was arriued, warded
the castell of Mainoth so stronglie, as he tooke it to be impregnable. And to the
Thomas Fitzgirald goeth toward Connagh.
end he might giue the gouernor battell, he rode towards Connagh, to lenie all such
power of the Irish, as either for wages, or for goodwill he could win to assist him.
The lord deputie forewarned of his drift, marched with the English armie, and the
The castell of Mainoth besieged.
Sir William Brereton summoneth the castell.
power of the pale to Mainoth, and laid siege to the castell on the north side towards
the parke. But before anie péece was discharged, sir William Brereton, by the
deputie his appointment, did summon the castell, offering such as kept it to depart
with bag and baggage, and besides their pardon to be liberallie rewarded for their
good and loiall seruice. But such as warded the castell, scornefullie scoffing the
knight his offer, gaue him hartie thanks for his kindnesse which they said procéeded
rather of his gentlenesse than of their deseruing, wishing him to kéepe vp in store
such liberall offers for a deere yeare, and to write his commendations home to his
fréends, and withall, to kéepe his head warme, for at their hands he was like to
haue but a cold sute. Finallie not to take such kéepe of their safetie, in that they
were assured, that he and his fellowes should be sooner from the siege raised, than
they from the hold remooued.
Vpon this round answere the ordinances were planted on the north side of the
castell, which made no great batterie for the space of a fortnight: yet the castell
so warilie on ech side inuironed, as the rebelles were imbard from all egresse and
regresse. Christopher Parese fosterbrother to Thomas Fitzgirald, to whome of
Christopher Parese betraieth the castell of Mainoth.
Profered seruice stinketh.
speciall trust the charge of the castell was chieflie committed, profering his
voluntarie seruice (which for the more part is so thanklesse and vnsauorie as it
stinketh) determined to go an ase beyond his fellows, in betraieng the castell to
the gouernor. In this resolution he shot a letter indorsed to the lord deputie, the
effect whereof was, that he would deuise means the castell should be taken, so that
he might haue a summe of monie for his paines, and a competent staie during his
life. This motion by letters to and fro agréed vpon, Parese caused such as kept
the ward, to swill and boll so much, as they snorted all the night like grunting
hogs, litle misdéeming that whilest they slept, anie ludas had beene waking within
The occasion of this extraordinarie exceéeding was colored, for snatching into the
castell a field péece the daie before from the armie, for which they kept such potreuels,
and triumphant carousing, as none of them could discerne his beds head from
the beds feet: Parese, taking his tide and time, made signe to the armie, betwéene
the twilight and dawning of the daie, who hauing scaling ladders in a readinesse,
would not ouerslip the oportunitie offered. Holland, petit capteine to Salisburie,
Holland petit capteine to Salisburie.
The castell taken.
was one of the forwardest in this exploit, who leaping downe from the wall, fell by
mishap into a pipe of feathers, where he was vp to the arme pits, so stiffelie sticking
therein, and also vnwealdie in his armor, as there could not helpe himselfe neither in
nor out. Sir William Brereton and his band hauing scaled the wals cried on a
Brereton scaleth the wals.
sudden, "Saint George, saint George." Thrée drunken swads that kept the castell
thought that this showt was nought else but a dreame, till time they espied the walles
full of armed men, and one of them withall perceiuing Holland thus intangled in the
pipe, bestowed an arrow vpon him, which by good hap did misse him. Holland
foorthwith rescued by his fellows, shot at the other, and strake him so full vnder the
skull, as he left him spralling. The resistance was faint, when the souldiors entered,
some yeelding themselues, others that withstood them slaine. Sir William Brereton
Brereton aduanceth his standard.
ran vp to the highest turret of the castell, & aduanced his standard on the top
thereof, notifieng to the deputie, that the fort was woone. Great and rich was the
spoile, such store of beds, so manie goodlie hangings, so rich a wardrobe, such
braue furniture, as trulie it was accounted (for houshold stuffe and vtensiles) one
of the richest earle his houses vnder the crowne of England. The lord deputie
entred the castell in the after noone, vpon whose repaire, Iames de la Hide, and
The lord deputie entereth the castell.
Iames de la Hide.
Haiward, two singing men of the earle his chappell, that were taken prisoners,
prostrated themselues on the ground, pitifullie warbling a soong, named Dvlcis
The gouernor rauished with the sweet and delicat voices, at the instance of
Girald Ailmer chiefe iustice, and others of the councell pardoned them. Christopher
Parese not misdoubting but that he should haue beene dubd knight for his
Parese commeth before the gouernor.
seruice doone that daie, presented himselfe before the gouernour, with a cheerefull
and familiar countenance: as who should saie, Here is he that did the déed. The
deputie verie coldlie & halfe sternelie casting an eie towards him said: "Parese, I am
to thanke thee on my master the king his behalfe, for this thy proffered seruice
which I must acknowledge to haue beene a sparing of great charges, and a sauing
of manie valiant soldiors liues to his highnesse: and when his maiestie shall be
thereof aduertised, I dare be bold to saie that he will not sée thée lacke during thy
life. And bicause I maie be the better instructed how to reward thée during my
gouernement, I would gladlie learne, what thy lord and master bestowed on thee."
Parese set a gog with these mild spéeches, and supposing the more he recited, the
better he should be rewarded, left not vntold the meanest good turne that euer he
receiued at his lords hands. "Why Parese (quoth the deputie) couldest thou find
in thine heart to betraie his castell, that hath beene so good lord to thée? Trulie,
thou that art so hollow to him, wilt neuer be true to vs." And therewithall, turning
his talke to his officers, he gaue them commandement to deliuer Parese the summe
of monie that was promised him vpon the surrender of the castell, and after to chop
off his head. Parese at this cold salutation of "Farewell & be hanged, "turning his
A notable iudgement.
simpering to winpering said: "My lord, had I wist that you would haue dealt so
streictlie with me, your lordship should not haue woone this fort with so little
bloudshed as you did."
Whereat master Boise, a gentleman of worship, and one that reteined to that old
earle of Kildare, standing in the preasse, said in Irish, Antragh,
which is as much in
English as Too late, wherof grew the Irish prouerbe, to this daie in the language
vsed, Too late quoth Boise, as we saie, Beware of had I wist, or After meat mustard,
The prouerbe Too late quoth Boise.
or You come a daie after the faire, or Better doone than said. The deputie asked
them that stood by what was that he spake? Master Boise willing to expound his
owne words, stept foorth and answered; "My lord, I said nothing, but that Parese
is seized of a towne néere the water side named Baltra, and I would gladlie know
how he will dispose it before he be executed." The gouernour not mistrusting that
master Boise had glosed (for if he vnderstood the true signification of the terme, it
was verie like that too late had not beene so sharpe to Parese, but too soone had
beene as sowre to him) willed the monie to be told to Parese, and presentlie caused
him to be cut shorter by the head: declaring thereby, that although for the time
he imbraced the benefit of the treason, yet after he could not digest the treacherie
of the traitor.
The deputie hauing left a garrison in the castell, returned with the armie
The deputie returneth to Dublin.
Thomas Fitzgirald marcheth towards Mainoth.
triumphantlie to Dublin. Thomas Fitzgirald not misdoubting but such as he left
in the castell were able to stand to their tackle, leuied a huge armie in Oconhur his
countrie, and in Connagh, to the number of seuen thousand, marching with them
towards Mainoth, minding to haue remooued the king his armie from the siege:
but being certified, that Parese his fosterbrother yéelded vp the castell to the
deputie, the better part of his companie gaue him the slip. All this notwithstanding
he made with such as would sticke to him to Clane. The lord deputie
Brereton left to defend Dublin.
Galloglasses taken and slaine.
hauing intelligence of his approch, left sir William Brereton at Dublin to defend
the citie & marched with the armie to the Naas, where he tooke seuen score of
Thomas his Galloglasses, and lead them all vnarmed toward Iohnstowne. The
scout watch espieng Thomas to march néere, imparted it to the gouernour, who
presentlie commanded each man to kill his prisoner before the charge, which was
dispatcht; only Edmund Oleine escaping mother-naked by flight to Thomas his
Edmund Oleine escapeth.
companie, leauing his shirt in his kéepers hands. Both the armies aduanced themselues
one against the other, but the horssemen of either side could not charge, by
reason of a marish or quakemire that parted them. Wherfore the deputie caused
two or thrée field péeces to be discharged, which scattered Thomas and his rablement,
Thomas and his companie fleeth.
insomuch as he neuer in such open wise durst after beare vp head in the
English pale, but rather by starts and sudden stratagems would now and then gall
Fitzgirald his stratagems.
the English. As when the castell of Rathimgan was woone, which was soone after
the surrender of Mainoth, he caused a droue of cattell to appeare timelie in the
morning hard by the towne. Such as kept the fort, suspecting it to be a bootie,
were trained for the more part out of the castell, who were surprized by Thomas,
that laie hard by in ambush, and the greater number of them slaine.
Another time he fired a village hard by Trim, and deuised such of his horssemen
that could speake English, being clad and horssed like northerne men, to ride
to Trim, where a garrison laie with hue and crie, saieng that they were capteine
Salisburie his souldiors, and that the traitor Thomas Fitzgirald was burning a
village hard by. The souldiors suspecting no cousinage issued out of the towne,
who were by his men charged, & a great number of them slaine, some chased to
the towne, and forced to take sanctuarie in the churchyard, which in those daies
was highlie reuerenced. These and the like knacks vsed Thomas, being for his
owne person so well garded, and for defect of a maine armie so naked, as neither
he was occasioned to feare the English, nor the English forced to weigh him.
During this time, there arriued with a fresh supplie of horssemen & archers, sir
William Sentlo knight & his son, sir Rice Manswell knight, sir Edward Griffith
knight, who were dispersed to sundrie parts of the pale to defend the countrie
from the enimies inuasion. When the heat of this rebellion was in this wise
asswaged, the lord deputie finding out no deuise to apprehend the capteine, imploied
his industrie to intrap his confederats. Burnell of Balgriffin perceiuing all go to
Burnell of Balgriffin taken and executed, Trauers executed.
wracke fled to Mounster, where he was taken by the lord Butler viscount Thurles,
and being conueied to England was executed at Tiburne. Doctor Trauers, who
was left as hostage with the citizens, was by them deliuered to the lord deputie,
and after with Rouks the pirat executed at the gallows on Ostmantowne gréene.
Sir Walter de la Hide knight and his wife the ladie Geunet Eustace were apprehended,
Walter de la Hide and his ladie Gennet Eustace apprehended.
& brought as prisoners by master Brabson vicetreasuror from their towne of
Moiclare to the castell of Dublin, bicause their sonne and heire Iames de la Hide
was the onelie bruer of all this rebellion: who as the gouernor suspected, was set on
by his parents, & namelie by his moother. The knight & his wife, lieng in duresse
for the space of twelue moneths, were at seuerall times examined & notwithstanding
all presumptions and surmises that could be gathered, they were in the end
found giltlesse of their sonne his follie. But the ladie was had in examination
apart, and intised by meanes to charge hir husband with hir sonne his rebellion,
who being not woone thereto with all the meanes that could be wrought, was menaced
to be put to death, or to be rackt; and so with extremitie to be compelled,
whereas with gentlenesse she could not be allured to acknowledge these apparent
treasons, that neither hir husband nor she could without great shew of impudencie
The gentlewoman with these continuall storms heartbroken, deceased in the
Gennet Eustace dieth.
castell: from thense hir bodie was remooued vnto the greie friers with the
deputie his commandement, that it should not be interred, vntill his plesure were
further knowne; adding withall, that the carcase of one who was the moother of so
arrant an archtraitor, ought rather to be cast out on a dunghill to be carrion for
rauens and dogs to gnaw vpon, than to be laid in anie christian graue. The corps
lieng foure or fiue daies in this plight, at the request of the ladie Gennet Golding,
wife to sir Iohn White knight, the gouernor, licenced that it should be buried. Sir
William Skeffington a seueare and vpright gouernour died shortlie after at Kilmainan;
Leonard Greie lord deputie.
Brereton skirmisheth with Fitzgirald.
to whome succeeded lord deputie the lord Leonard Greie, who immediatlie vpon the
taking of his oth marched with his power towards the confines of Mounster, where
Thomas Fitzgirald at that time remained. With Fitzgirald sir William Brereton
skirmished so fiercelie, as both the sides were rather for the great slaughter disaduantaged,
than either part by anie great victorie furthered. Master Brereton
therefore perceiuing that rough nets were not the fittest to take such peart birds,
gaue his aduise to the lord deputie to grow with Fitzgirald by faire means to some
reasonable composition. The deputie liking of the motion, craued a parlée,
sending certeine of the English as hostages to Thomas his campe with a protection
directed vnto him, to come and go at will and pleasure. Being vpon this securitie
Thomas Fitzgirald submitteth himselfe to the deputie.
in conference with the lord Greie, he was persuaded to submit himselfe to the king
his mercie, with the gouernours faithfull and vndoubted promise that he should be
pardoned vpon his repaire into England. And to the end that no trecherie might
haue beene misdéemed of either side, they both receiued the sacrament openlie in
The sacrament receiued.
the campe, as an infallible seale of the couenants and conditions of either part
Héerevpon Thomas Fitzgirald sore against the willes of his councellors, dismist
his armie, & rode with the deputie to Dublin, where he made short abode when he
Thomas saileth into England.
sailed to England with the fauourable letters of the gouernour and the councell.
And as he would haue taken his iourneie to Windsore, where the court laie, he was
intercepted contrarie to his expectation in London waie, and conueied with hast to
He is committed to the tower.
the tower. And before his imprisonment was bruted, letters were posted into
Ireland, streictlie commanding the deputie vpon sight of them, to apprehend
Thomas Fitzgirald his vncles, and to sée them with all speed conuenient shipt into
England. Which the lord deputie did not slacke. For hauing feasted thrée of the
gentlemen at Kilmainan, immediatlie after their banket (as it is now and then séen,
that swéet meat will haue sowre sauce) he caused them to be manacled, and led as
Thomas his vncles taken.
prisoners to the castell of Dublin: and the other two were so roundlie snatcht vp
in villages hard by, as they sooner felt their owne captiuitie, than they had notice
of their brethrens calamitie. The next wind that serued into England, these fiue
brethren were imbarked, to wit Iames Fitzgirald, Walter Fitzgirald, Oliuer Fitzgirald,
Iohn Fitzgirald, and Richard Fitzgirald. Thrée of these gentlemen, Iames,
Walter, and Richard, were knowne to haue crossed their nephue Thomas to their
power in his rebellion, and therfore were not occasioned to misdoubt anie danger.
But such as in those daies were enimies to the house, incensed the king so sore
against it, persuading him, that he should neuer conquer Ireland, as long as anie
Giraldine breathed in the countrie: as for making the pathwaie smooth, he was
resolued to lop off as well the good and sound grapes, as the wild and fruitlesse
beries. Whereby appeareth how dangerous it is to be a rub, when a king is disposed
to swéepe an alleie.
Thus were the fiue brethren sailing into England, among whom Richard Fitzgirald
being more bookish than the rest of his brethren, & one that was much giuen
to the studies of antiquitie, wailing his inward griefe, with outward mirth comforted
them with chéerefulnesse of countenance, as well persuading them that offended to
repose affiance in God, and the king his mercie, and such as were not of that conspiracie,
to relie to their innocencie, which they should hold for a more safe and
Innocencie a strong fort.
strong barbican, than anie rampire or castell of brasse. Thus solacing the sillie
mourners sometime with smiling, sometime with singing, sometime with graue and
pithie apophthegmes, he craned of the owner the name of the barke; who hauing
answered, that it was called the Cow, the gentleman sore appalled thereat, said:
"Now good brethren I am in vtter despaire of our returne to Ireland, for I beare
in mind an old prophesie, that fiue earles brethren should be caried in a Cowes
bellie to England, and from thense neuer to returne."
Whereat the rest began afresh to howle and lament, which doubtlesse was pitifull,
to behold fiue valiant gentlemen, that durst méet in the field fiue as sturdie
champions as could be picked out in a realme, to be so suddenlie terrified with the
bare name of a woodden cow, or to feare like lions a sillie cocke his combe, being
mooned (as commonlie the whole countrie is) with a vaine and fabulous old wiues
dreame. But what blind prophesie soeuer he read, or heard of anie superstitious
beldame touching a cow his bellie, that which he foretold them was found true.
For Thomas Fitzgirald the third of Februarie, and these fiue brethren his vncles, were
Thomas Fitzgirald & his vncles executed.
drawne, hanged, and quartered at Tiburne, which was incontinentlie bruted as well
in England and Ireland, as in foren soiles. For Dominicke Powre, that was sent
from Thomas to Charles the fift, to craue his aid towards the conquest of Ireland
(like as Chale in Grauill, otherwise called Charles Reinold, was directed to Paulus
) presenting the emperour with twelue great hankes and fourteene faire
hobbies, was aduertised by his maiestie that he came too late, for his lord and
master and fiue of his vncles were executed at London the third of Februarie:
howbeit the emperour procured king Henrie to pardon Dominicke Powre. Which
notwithstanding he obteined, yet would he not returne to Ireland, but continued
in Portingale, hauing a ducket a daie of the emperour during his life, which he ended
Iames de la Hide the chiefe councellor of Thomas Fitzgirald, fled into Scotland
Iames de la Hide.
and there deceased. To this miserable end grew this lewd rebellion, which turned to
the vtter vndooing of diuers ancient gentlemen, who trained with faire words into a
fooles paradise, were not onelie dispossessed of their lands, but also depriued of their
lines, or else forced to forsake their countries. As for Thomas Fitzgirald, who (as
Thomas Fitzgirald was not earle of Kildare.
I wrote before) was executed at Tiburne, I would wish the carefull reader to vnderstand
that he was neuer earle of Kildare, although some writers, rather of errour
than of malice, terme him by that name. For it is knowne that his father liued in
1. St. pag. 434.
the tower, when he was in open rebellion, where for thought of the yoong man his
follie he died; and therefore Thomas was attainted in a parlement holden at Dublin,
as one that was déemed, reputed, and taken for a traitour before his fathers decease,
by the bare name of Thomas Fitzgirald. For this hath béene obserued by the Irish
historiographers euer since the conquest, that notwithstanding all the presumptions
No earle of Kildare bare armour at anie time against his prince.
of treason, wherewith anie earle of Kildare could either faintlie be suspected or
vehementlie charged; yet there was neuer anie erle of that house read or heard of,
that bare armour in the field against his prince. Which I write not as a barrister
hired to plead their cause, but as a chronicler moued to declare the truth.
This Thomas Fitzgirald (as before is specified) was borne in England, vpon whom
The description of Thomas Fitzgirald.
nature powred beautie, and fortune by birth bestowed nobilitie: which had it beene
well emploied, & were it not that his rare gifts had béene blemished by his later
euill qualities, he would haue proued an impe worthie to be ingrafted in so honorable
a stocke. He was of stature tall and personable, in countenance amiable, a
white face, and withall somewhat ruddie, delicatlie in each lim featured, a rolling
toong & a rich vtterance, of nature flexible and kind, verie soone caried where he
fansied, easilie with submission appeased, hardlie with stubbornnesse weied, in
matters of importance an headlong hotspur: yet neuerthelesse taken for a yoong
man not deuoid of wit, were it not (as it fell out in the end) that a foole had the
But to returne to the course of the historie. When Thomas and his vncles were
The aduentures of the yoong Fitzgirald son to the ladie Grey countesse of Kildare.
taken, his second brother on the father his side, named Girald Fitzgirald (who was
after in the reigne of quéene Marie restored to the earledome of Kildare, in which
honour as yet he liueth) being at that time somewhat past twelue, and not full
thirteene yeares of age, laie sicke of the small pocks in the countie of Kildare, at a
towne named Donoare, then in the occupation of Girald Fitzgirald. Thomas
Leurouse, who was the child his schoolemaster, and after became bishop of
Kildare, mistrusting vpon the apprehension of Thomas & his vncles, that all went
not currant, wrapt the yoong patient as tenderlie as he could, and had him conueied
in a cléefe with all spéed to Ophalie, where soiourning for a short space with his
sister the ladie Marie Fitzgirald, vntill he had recouered his perfect health, his
schoolemaster caried him to Odon his countrie, where making his aboad for a
quarter of a yeare, he trauelled to Obren his countrie in Mounster, and hauing
there remained for halfe a yeare, he repaired to his aunt the ladie Elenor Fitzgirald,
who then kept in Mac Cartie Reagh hir late husband his territories.
This noble woman was at that time a widow, alwaies knowne and accounted of
each man, that was acquainted with hir conuersation of life, for a paragon of
liberalitie and kindnesse, in all hir actions vertuous and godlie, and also in a good
quarell rather stout than stiffe. To hir was Odoneil an importunate suiter. And
although at sundrie times before she seemed to shake him off, yet considering the
distresse of hir yoong innocent nephue, how he was forced to wander in pilgrimwise
from house to house, eschuing the punishment that others deserued, smarted
in his tender yeares with aduersitie, before he was of discretion to inioie anie
prosperitie, she began to incline to hir wooer his request, to the end hir nephue
should haue béene the better by his countenance shouldered, and in fine indented
to espouse him; with this caueat or prouiso, that he should safelie shield and protect
the said yoong gentleman in this calamitie. This condition agréed vpon, she rode
with hir nephue to Odoneil his countrie, and there had him safelie kept for the
space of a yeare.
But shortlie after the gentlewoman either by some secret friend informed, or of
wisedome gathering that hir late maried husband intended some treacherie, had hir
The ladie Elenors liberalitie.
nephue disguised, storing him like a liberall and bountifull aunt with seuen score
porteguses, not onelie in valour, but also in the selfe same coine, incontinentlie
shipped him secretlie in a Britons vessell of saint Malouse, betaking him to God, and
Fitzgirald saileth to France.
to their charge that accompanied him, to wit, master Leurouse, and Robert Walsh
sometime seruant to his father the earle. The ladie Elenor hauing thus to hir
contentation bestowed hir nephue, she expostulated verie sharpelie with Odoneil as
touching his villanie, protesting that the onlie cause of hir match with him procéeded
of an especiall care to haue hir nephue countenanced: and now that he was out of
his lash that minded to haue betraied him, he should well vnderstand, that as the
feare of his danger mooned hir to annere to such a clownish curmudgen: so the
assurance of his safetie should cause hir to sequester hirselfe from so butcherlie a
cutthrote, that would be like a pelting mercenarie patch hired, to sell or betraie the
innocent bloud of his nephue by affinitie, and hirs by consanguinitie. And in this
wise trussing vp bag and baggage, he forsooke Odoneil and returned to hir countrie.
The passengers with a prosperous gale arriued at saint Malouse, which notified to
the gouernour of Britaine, named monsieur de Chasteau Brian, he sent for the yoong
Fitzgirald, gaue him verie hartie interteinement during one moneths space. In
the meane season the gouernour posted a messenger to the court of France, aduertising
the king of the arriuall of this gentleman, who presentlie caused him to be sent
for, and had him put to the Dolphin named Henrie, who after became king of France.
Sir Iohn Wallop (who was then the English ambassadour) vnderstanding the cause of
the Irish fugitiue his repaire to France, demanded him of the French king, according
Sir Iohn Wallop demandeth Fitzgirald.
to the new made league betweene both the princes: which was, that none should
kéepe the other his subiect within his dominion, contrarie to either of their willes;
adding further, that the hoie was brother to one, who of late notorious for his
rebellion in Ireland was executed at London.
To this answered the king, first that the ambassador had no commission from his
The king denieth him.
Prince to demand him, & vpon his maiestie his letter he should know more of his
mind: secondlie that he did not deteine him, but the Dolphin staied him: lastlie,
that how grieuouslie soeuer his brother offended, he was well assured, that the sillie
boy neither was nor could be a traitor, and therefore there rested no cause whie the
ambassador should in such wise crane him; not doubting that although he were
deliuered to his king, yet he would not so far swarue from the extreame rigor of
iustice, as to imbrue his hands in the innocent his bloud, for the offense that his
brother had perpetrated. Maister Wallop herevpon addressed his letters to England,
specifieng vnto the councell the French kings answer. And in the meane time the
Fitzgirald fléeth to Flanders.
yoong Fitzgirald hauing an inkling of the ambassador his motion, fled secretlie to
Flanders, scantlie reaching to Valencie, when Iames Sherelocke, one of maister
Iames Sherelocke pursueth Fitzgirald.
Wallop his men, did not onelie pursue him, but also did ouertake him as he soiourned
in the said towne.
Wherevpon maister Leurouse, and such as accompanied the child, stept to the
gouernor of Valencie, complaining that one Sherelocke a sneaking spie, like a
pikethanke promoting varlet, did dog their master from place to place, and presentlie
pursued him to the towne: and therefore they be sought the gouernour, not to leaue
such apparant villanie vnpunished, in that he was willing to betraie not onelie a
guiltlesse child, but also his owne countriman, who rather ought for his innocencie
to be pitied, than for the desert of others so egerlie to be pursued. The gouernor
vpon this complaint sore incensed, sent in all hast for Sherelocke, had him suddenlie
examined, and finding him vnable to color his lewd practise with anie warrantable
defense, he laid him vp by the héeles, rewarding his hot pursute with cold interteinment,
and so remained in gaole, vntill the yoong Fitzgirald requiting the
prisoner his vnnaturall crueltie with vndeserued courtes, humblie besought the
Crueltie requited with courtesie.
gouernor to set him at libertie. This brunt escaped, Fitzgirald trauelled to
Bruxels, where the emperour kept his court.
Doctor Pates being ambassador in the low countries, demanded Fitzgirald of the
emperour on his maister the king of Englands behalfe. The emperor hauing
answered that he had not to deale with the boy, and for ought that he knew
was not minded to make anie great abode in that countrie, sent him to the
The emperor bestoweth a pension on Fitzgirald.
bishop of Liege, allowing him for his pension an hundred crownes monethlie. The
bishop interteined him verie honorablie, had him placed in an abbeie of moonks, &
was so careful of his safetie, that if anie person suspected had trauelled within the
circuit of his gléebe, he should be streictlie examined whither he would, or from
whense he came, or vpon what occasion he trauelled that waie. Hauing in this wise
remained at Liege for halfe a yere, the cardinall Poole (Fitzgirald his kinsman) sent
Cardinall Poole sendeth for Fitzgirald.
for him to Rome. Whervpon the gentleman as well with the emperor his licence,
as with surrendring his pension, trauelled to Italie, where the cardinall would not
admit him to his companie, vntill he had atteined to some knowledge in the
Italian toong. Wherfore allowing him an annuitie of thrée hundred crownes, he
placed him with the bishop of Verona, and the cardinall of Mantua, and after with
the duke of Mantua. Leurouse in the meane while was admitted through the
Leurouse placed in the English hospitall.
cardinall Poole his procurement, to be one of the English house in Rome, called
saint Thomas his hospitall.
Robert Walsh, vpon his maisters repaire to Italie, returned to Ireland. Fitzgirald
Robert Walsh returneth to Ireland.
hauing continued with the cardinall, and the duke of Mantua, a yeare and an
halfe, was sent for by the cardinall Poole to Rome, at which time the duke of
Mantua gaue him for an annuall pension 300 crownes. The cardinall greatlie
Cardinall Poole his order in training yoong Fitzgirald.
reioised in his kinsman, had him carefullie trained vp in his house, interlacing with
such discretion his learning and studies with exercises of actiuitie, as he should not
be after accounted of the learned for an ignorant idiot, nor taken of actiue gentlemen
for a dead and dumpish meacocke. If he had committed anie fault, the
cardinall would secretlie command his tutors to correct him, and all that notwithstanding,
he would in presence dandle the boie, as though he were not priuie to his
punishment; & vpon his complaint made, he vsed to checke Fitzgirald his maister
openlie for chastising so seuerelie his pretie darling.
In this wise he rested thrée yeares togither in the cardinall his house, and by that
time hauing stept so far in yéers (for he was pricking fast vpon ninetéene) as he
began to know himselfe, the cardinall put him to his choise, either to continue his
learning, or by trauelling to seeke his aduentures abrode. The yoong stripling (as
vsuallie kind dooth créepe) rather of nature addicted to valiantnes, than wedded to
bookishnesse, choosed to be a traueller: and presentlie with the cardinall his licence
repaired to Naples: where falling in acquaintance with knights of the Rhodes, he
Fitzgirald trauelleth to Naples.
accompanied them to Malta, from thense he sailed to Tripolie (a fort apperteining to
the aforesaid order, coasting vpon Barbarie) and there he abode six weekes with
Mounbrison, a commander of the Rhodes, who had the charge of that hold.
At that time the knights serued valiantlie against the Turks and miscreants,
spoiled and sacked their villages and townes that laie neere the water side, tooke
diuerse of them prisoners, and after sold them to the christians for bondslaues. The
yoong Fitzgirald returned with a rich bootie to Malta, from thense to Rome, hauing
Fitzgirald returneth to Rome.
spent in this voiage not fullie one yeare. Proud was the cardinall to heare of
his prosperous exploits: and for his further aduancement he inhansed his pension of
The cardinall inhanseth Fitzgiralds pension.
thée hundred crownes, to three hundred pounds, ouer and aboue thrée hundred
crownes that the duke of Mantua allowed him. Shortlie after he preferred him to
the seruice of the duke of Florence, named Cosmo, with whom he continued
maister of his horsse thrée yeares, hauing also of the duke thrée hundred duckets
He is master of the horsse to the duke of Florence.
for a yearelie pension during life, or vntill he were restored; in like maner as the
cardinall Poole and the duke of Mantua in their annuities had granted him.
During the time that he was in seruice with the duke of Florence, he trauelled
to Rome a shrouing, of set purpose to be merrie: and as he rode on hunting with
cardinall Ferneise the pope his nephue, it happened that in chasing the bucke he
fell into a pit nine and twentie fatham déepe, and in the fall forsaking his horsse
He falleth into a déepe pit.
within two fathams of the bottom, he tooke hold by two or three roots, griping
them fast, vntill his armes were so wearie, as he could hang no longer in that paine.
Wherefore betaking himselfe to God, he let go his gripe by little and little, and
fell softlie on his horsse, that in the bottom of the pit laie starke dead, and there
he stood vp to the ancles in water for the space of thrée houres. When the chase
was ended, an exceeding good greihound of his named Grifhound, not finding his
His greihound findeth him out.
maister in the companie, followed his tract vntill he came to the pit, and from
thense would not depart, but stood at the brim incessantlie howling. The cardinall
Ferneise and his traine missing Fitzgirald, made towards the dog, and surueieng
the place, they were verelie persuaded that the gentleman was squised to
Hauing therefore posted his seruants in hast to a village hard by Rome (named
Trecappan) for ropes and other necessaries, he caused one of the companie to glide
in a basket downe to the bottome of the hole. Fitzgirald reuiued with his presence,
and willing to be remooued from so darkesome a dongeon to the open aire, besought
the other to lend him his roome, wherevpon he was haled vp in the basket: as well
to the generall admiration of the whole companie, as to the singular gratulation of
the cardinall and all his friends, rendering most hartie thankes vuto God his diuine
maiestie, for protecting the gentleman with his gratious guerdon. And thus surceassing
to treat anie further of his aduentures, vntill the date of time traine my
pen to a longer discourse, I will returne to the inhabitants of the English pale,
who after the death of Thomas Fitzgirald, through rigor of iustice and the due
execution of lawes were greatlie molested. For ouer this, that such as were knowne
for open and apparant traitors in the commotion, were for the more part executed,
or with round sums fined, or from the realme exiled: certeine gentlemen of wor
ship were sent from England, with commission to examine each person suspected
Commissioners sent to Ireland.
with Thomas his treason, and so according to their discretion, either with equitie
to execute, or with clemencie to pardon all such as they could proue to haue furthered
him in his disloiall commotion. Commissioners were these: sir Anthonie
Sentleger knight, sir George Paulet knight, maister Moile, and maister Barnes.
Much about this time was there a parlement holden at Dublin before the lord Leonard
Greie lord deputie, beginning the first of Maie, in the eight and twentith
yeare of the reigne of king Henrie the eight.
In this parlement there past these acts following.
- For the attaindor of the earle of Kildare, and Thomas Fitzgirald, with others.
- For the succession of the king & queene Anne.
- Of absenties, wherein was granted to the king the inheritance of such lands in Ireland, wherof the duke of Norffolke & George Talbot earle of Waterford & Salop were seized, with the inheritances of diuerse other corporations and couents demurrant in England.
- For the repeale of Poinings act.
- Authorising the king his heirs and successors to be supreame head of the church of Ireland.
- That no subiects or resiants of Ireland shall pursue or commense, vse or execute anie maner of prouocations, appeales or other processe from the see of Rome, vpon paine of incurring the premunire.
- Against such as slander the king, or his heires apparant.
- For the first fruits.
- Of sir Walter de la Hide knight his lands in Carbeire granted to the king.
- How persons robbed shall be restored to their goods.
- Restreining tributs to be granted to Irishmen.
- Against proctors to be any member of the parlement.
- Against marieng or fostering with or to Irishmen.
- Against the authoritie of the see of Rome.
- For the twentith part.
- For the English order, habit, and language.
- For the suppressing of abbeis.
- For the lading of wooll & flockes.
- For the proofe of testaments.
- Of faculties.
- Declaring th'effect of Poinings act.
- Of penall statutes.
- For the weres vpon Barou, and other waters in the countrie of Kilkennie.
- For the personage of Dongaran.
- For leasers of corne.
As for the old earle of Kildare, who in this parlement was atteinted for diuerse
presumptions, in the preamble of the said act rehearsed, certeine it is, that the
The old earle of Kildare his wish before his death.
reoult of his sonne Thomas Fitzgirald smot him so déepelie to the heart, as vpon
the report thereof he deceased in the tower, wishing in his death-bed that either he
had died before he had heard of the rebellion, or that his brainelesse boy had neuer
liued to raise the like commotion. This earle, of such as did not stomach his procéedings,
was taken for one that bare himselfe in all his affaires verie honorablie, a
wise, deepe, and far reaching man: in war valiant without rashnesse, and politike
without treacherie. Such a suppressor of rebels in his gouernement, as they durst
not beare armor to the annoiance of anie subiect, whereby he heaped no small reuenues
to the crowne, inriched the king his treasure, garded with securitie the pale,
continued the honor of his house, and purchased enuie to his person. His great
hospitalitie is to this daie rather of each man commended, than of anie one follow
His hospitalitie and deuotion.
ed. He was so religiouslie addicted vnto the seruing of God, as what time soeue.
he trauelled to anie part of the countrie, such as were of his chappell should be sure
to accompanie him. Among other rare gifts, he was with one singular qualitie
indued, which were it put in practise by such as are of his calling, might minister
great occasion as well to the abandoning of flattering carrie tales, as to the staied
quietnesse of noble potentates.
For if anie whispered, vnder Benedicite,
a sinister report or secret practise, that
tended to the distaining of his honor, or to the perill of his person, he would strictlie
examine the informer, whether the matter he reported were past, or to come. If it
were said or doone, he was accustomed to laie sore to his charge, where, and of
whome he heard it, or how he could instifie it. If he found him to halt in the proofe,
he would punish him as a pikethanke makebate, for being so maliciouslie caried,
as for currieng fauour to himselfe, he would labor to purchase hatred to another.
But if the practise were future, and hereafter to be put in execution, then would he
suspend the credit, vsing withall such warie secrecie, as vntill the matter came to
the pinch, the aduersarie should thinke that he was most ignorant, when he was
best prouided. As being in Dublin forewarned, that Iohn Olurkan with certeine
The old earle of Kildare his policie when his death was conspired.
desperate varlets conspired his destruction, & that they were determined to assault
him vpon his returne to Mainoth, he had one of his seruants named Iames Grant,
that was much of his pitch, and at a blush did somewhat resemble him, attired in
his riding apparell, and namelie in a scarlet cloake, wherewith he vsed to be clad.
Grant in this wise masking in his lords attire, rode as he was commanded in the beaten
high waie towards Mainoth, with six of the earle his seruants attending vpon him.
The conspirators awaiting towards Lucan the comming of the earle, incountered the
disguised lord, and not doubting but it had béene Kildare, they began to charge
him: but the other amazed therewith, cried that they tooke their marke amisse;
for the earle rode to Mainoth on the further side of Liffie. Wherewith the murtherers
appalled, fled awaie, but incontinentlie were by the earle apprehended, susteining
the punishment that such caitifes deserued.
This noble man was so well affected to his wife the ladie Greie, as he would not at
anie time buy a sute of apparell for himselfe, but he would sute hir with the same
stuffe. Which gentlenesse she recompensed with equall kindnesse. For after that
he deceased in the tower, she did not onelie euer after liue as a chast and honorable
The ladie Greies kindnesse to hir husband.
widow; but also nightlie before she went to bed, she would resort to his picture, &
there with a solemne congée she would bid hir lord goodnight. Whereby may be
gathered with how great loue she affected his person, that had in such price his bare
picture. An other act that did passe in this parlement touching absenties, procéeded
of this occasion. Maister Girald Ailmer, who first was chiefe baron of the
excheker, after chiefe iustice of the common plees, was occasioned, for certeine his
affaires, to repaire vnto the court of England. Where being for his good seruice
greatlie countenanced by such as were in those daies taken for the pillers of the weale
publike, namelie of the lord Cromwell; it happeued that through his lordship his
earnest meanes, the king made maister Ailemer chiete iustice of his bench in Ire
land. This aduancement disliked by certeine of Waterford and Weisford, that
were not friended to the gentleman, they debased him in such despitefull wise, as
the earle of Shrewesburie, who then was likewise earle of Waterford, was by their
lewd reports caried to chalenge the king, so far as with his dutie of allegiance
he durst, for bestowing so weightie an office vpon so light a person, being such a
simple Iohn at Stile as he tearmed him, no wiser than Patch the late lord cardinall
The king herevpon expostulated with the lord Cromwell, who being throughlie
acquainted with the gentleman his rare wisedome, answered: that if it would
stand with his maiesties pleasure to enter into conference with him, he should be
sure to find him no babe, notwithstanding the wrong informations of such as labored
to thwart or crosse him. Whereto the king vpon further leasure agréed, and shortlie
after (according to his promise) bestowed two or thrée houres with maister Ailmer:
who vpon the lord Cromwell his forewarning, was so well armed for his highnesse,
as he shewed himselfe in his discourse, by answering Adomnia quare,
to be a man
woorthie to supplie an office of so great credit. In this conference the king demanded
him, what he tooke to be the chiefe occasion of disorder in Ireland, and
how he thought it might best be reformed? "Trulie and it like your maiestic quoth
Ailmer) among sundrie reasons that might be probablie alleged for the decaie of that
your kingdome, one chiefe occasion is, that certeine of your nobilitie of this your
realme of England are seized of the better part of your dominion in Ireland, whereof
they haue so little kéepe, as for lacke of their presence, they suffer the said lands to
be ouerrun by rebels and traitors. Wherefore if your highnesse would prouide by act
of parlement, that all such lands, which by reason of their absence may not be defended,
should be to your highnesse by the consent of the nobilitie and communaltie
granted, you might thereby inrich your crowne, represse rebels, and defend
your subiects from all traitorous inuasion."
The king tickled with this plausible deuise, yéelded maister Ailmer hartie thanks
for his good counsell, and in this parlement had the tenure thereof put in effect.
Which redounded chéeffie to the lord of Shrewesburie his disaduantage, as one that
was possessed of diuerse ancient lordships and manors in that countrie. Soone
after this parlement, Oneale imagining that he was able to make his partie good
against the English pale, conspired with Odoneale Maggadnesh, Ocaghan, Mac
Kwilen, Ohanlan, and other Irish lords, and on a sudden inuaded the pale, came to
the Nauan, burnt all the townes of ech side confining, after marched to Taragh,
mustering with great pride his armie vpon the top of the hill: and hauing gathered
togither the spoile of the pale without resistance, he began to recule northwards,
making his full account to haue gone his waie scotfrée.
The lord Leonard Greie being then lord deputie, forecasting the worst, certified
the king & councell of Oneale his rebellion, and withall humblie besought a fresh
supplie of souldiors to assist the pale in resisting the enimie, and that sir William
Brereton (who was discharged & returned to England) should be sent into Ireland,
Sir William Brereton sent for into Ireland.
as one that for his late seruice was highlie commended of the countrie. The king
and councell condescending to the deputie his request, appointed sir William Brereton
Sir William Brereton sent into Ireland.
to hie thither with speed, hauing the charge of two hundred and fiftie souldiors
of Cheshiremen. In which seruice the gentleman was found so prest and
readie, that notwithstanding in mustering his band he fell by his mishap off his
horsse, and therewithall brake his thigh in two places, yet rather than he would retire
homewards, he appointed the mariuers to hale him vp to their barke by pullies,
and in such impotent wise arriued in Ireland, suppressing the féeblenesse of his
bodie with the contagious valor of his mind.
The lord deputie in the meane while marched with the force of the pale, the
maior & the citizens of Dublin to Drogheda: from thense likewise accompanied
with the maior & townesmen, he marched northward to Bellahoa, where Oneale &
The foord of Bellahoa.
his companie on the further side of the water laie incamped with the spoile of the
pale. The deputie by spies and secret messengers hereof certified, caused the armie
to trauell the better part of the night, insomuch as by the dawning of the daie they
were neere to the riuers side: where hauing escried the enimies, namlie Maggadnesh,
and the Galloglasses that were placed there to kéepe the streicts (for Oneale
with a maine armie lurked not farre off) they began to set themselues in battell
arraie, as men that were resolued with all hast and good speed to supprise the enimie
with a sudden charge.
At which time Iames Fleming baron of Slane (commonlie called Blacke Iames)
Iames Fleming baron of Slane.
garded with a round companie, as well of horssemen as of footmen, humblie besought
the deputie to grant him that daie the honor of the onset. Whereto when
the lord Greie had agréed, the baron of Slane with chéerefull countenance imparted
the obteining of his sute, as plesant tidings to Robert Halfepennie, who with his
ancestors was standardbcarer to the house of Slane. But Halfepennie séeing the
further side of the water so beset with armed Galloglasses as he tooke it, as likelie
an attempt to rase down the strongest fort in Ireland with a fillip, as to rush through
such quicke iron walles, flatlie answered the baron, that he would rather disclame
in his office, than there to giue the onset where there rested no hope of life, but
an assured certeintie of death. And therefore he was not as yet so wearie of the
world, as like an headlong hotspur, voluntarilie to run to his vtter and vndoubted
destruction. Wherefore he besought his lordship to set his heart at rest, and not
to impute his deniall to basenesse of corage, but to warinesse of safetie, although
he knew none of staied mind, but would sooner choose to sléepe in an whole shéepe
his pelt, than to walke in a torne lion his skin, namelie when all hope of life was
abandoned, and the certeintie of death assuredlie promised.
The baron with this answer at his wits end rode to Robert Betoa of Downore,
brake with him as touching Halfepennie his determination, & withall requested
him (as he did tender his honor) now at a pinch to supplie the roome of that dastardlie
coward, as he did terme him. Betoa to this answered, that though it stood
with good reason, that such as hertofore tasted the sweet in peace, should now be
contented to sip of the sowre in war: yet notwithstanding, rather than the matter
should to his honor lie in the dust, he promised to breake through them, or else to
lie in the water; & withall being surpassinglie mounted (for the baron gaue him a
choise horsse) he tooke the standard, & with a sudden showt, hauing with him in
the foreranke Mabe of Mabestowne (who at the first brunt was slaine) he floong
Mabe of Mabestowne slaine.
into the water, and charged the Irish that stood on the further shore. After followed
the gentlemen and yeomen of the pale, that with as great manhood charged
the enimies, as the enimies with corage resisted their assault. To this stoutnesse
were the enimies more boldlie pricked, in that they had the aduantage of the shore,
and the gentlemen of the pale were constreined to bicker in the water.
But the longer the Irish continued, the more they were disaduantaged; by reason
that the English were so assisted with fresh supplies, as their enimies could not
anie longer withstand them, but were compelled to beare backe, to forsake the banke,
and to giue the armie free passage. The English taking hart vpon their famtnesse,
brake through the Galloglassses, slue Maggadnesh their capteine, pursued Oneale
The Irish discomfited.
Oneale put to flight.
with the remnant of his lords, leauing behind them for lacke of safe carriage the
spoile of the pale, scantlie able to escape with his owne life, being egerlie pursued by
the armie vntill it was sunne set. In this hot conflict Marthew King, Patrike Barne
wall of Kilmallocke, sir Edward Basnet priest, who after became deane of saint
Patriks in Dublin, and was sworne one of the priuie councell, and Thomas Fitzsimons
of Curduffe, were reported to haue serued verie valiantlie. Moreouer, Iames Fitzsimons
maior of Dublin, Michaell Curseie maior of Drogheda, Girald Ailmer cheefe
The maiors of Dublin and Drogheda dubbed knights.
The valiantnesse of the lord Greie.
iustice, and Thomas Talbot of Malahide, were dubbed knights in the field.
But of all others, the lord Greie then lord deputie, as he was in authoritic superior
to them all, so in courage and manlinesse he was inferior to none. He was noted by
the armie to haue indured great toile and paine before the skirmish, by posting bareheaded
from one band to an other, debasing the enimies, inhansing the power of the
pale, depressing the reuolt of rebellious traitors, extolling the good quarell of
loiall subiects, offring large rewards, which with as great constancie he performed,
as with liberalitie he promised. Ouer this, he bare himselfe so affable to his souldiors,
in vsing them like fréends and fellows, and terming them with courteous names,
and moouing laughter with pleasant conceipts, as they were incensed as well for the
loue of the person, as for the hatred of the enimie, with resolute minds to bicker
with the Irish. In which conflict the deputie was as forward as the most, and bequit
himselfe as valiant a seruitor as the best.
The gouernor, turning the oportunitie of this skirmish to his aduantage, shortlie
after rode to the north, preiding & spoiling Oneale with his confederats, who by
reason of the late ouerthrow were able to make but little resistance. In this iornie
he rased saint Patrike his church in Downe, an old ancient citie of Vlster, and burnt
the monuments of Patrike, Brigide, and Colme, who are said to haue beene there intoomed,
as before is expressed in the description of Ireland. This fact lost him
sundrie harts in that countrie, alwaies after detesting and abhorring his prophane
The lord Greie accused.
tyrannie, as they did name it. Wherevpon conspiring with such of Mounster as
were enimies to his gouernment, they booked vp diuerse complaints against him,
which they did exhibit to the king and councell. The articles of greatest importance
laid to his charge were these.
- Inprimis, that notwithstanding he were strictlie commanded by the king his
The articles that were laid to his charge.
maiestie, to apprehend his kinsman the yong Fitzgirald, yet did he not onlie disobeie
the kings letters as touching that point by plaieng bopéepe, but also had priuie
conference with the said Fitzgirald, and laie with him two or three seuerall
nights before he departed into France.
- Item, that the cheefe cause that mooued him to inuegle Thomas Fitzgirald
with such faire promises, procéeded of set purpose to haue him cut off, to the end
there should be a gap set open for the yoong Fitzgirald to aspire to the earledome
- Item, that he was so greedilie addicted to the pilling and polling of the king
his subiects, namelie of such as were resiant in Mounster, as the beds he laie in,
the cups he dranke in, the plate with which he was serued in anie gentlemans house,
were by his seruants against right and reason packt vp, and carried with great extortion
- Item, that without anie warrant from the king or councell, he prophaned the
church of saint Patrikes in Downe, turning it to a stable, after plucked it downe,
and ship tthe notable ring of bels that did hang in the steeple, meaning to haue
sent them to England: had not God of his iustice preuented his iniquitie, by sinking
the vessell and passengers wherein the said belles should haue béene conueied.
These and the like articles were with such odious presumptions coloured by his
accusers, as the king and councell remembring his late faults, and forgetting his
former seruices (for commonlie all men are of so hard hap, that they shall be sooner
for one trespasse condemned, than for a thousand good deserts commended) gaue
commandement that the lord Greie should not onelie be remooued from the gouernment
of the countrie, but also had him beheaded on the tower hill the eight
The lord Greie beheaded.
The lord Greie guildesse of the first article.
and twentith of Iune. But as touching the first article, that brought him most of
all out of conceipt with the king, I mooued question to the erle of Kildare, whether
the tenor therof were true or false? His lordship thereto answered Bona fide,
that he neuer spake with the lord Greie, neuer sent messenger to him, nor receined
message or letter from him. Whereby maie be gathered, with how manie dangers
The oansers that happen to gouernors of prouinces.
they are inwrapped that gouerne prouinces, wherein diligence is twhackt with hatred,
negligence is loden with tawnts, seueritie with perils menaced, liberalitie with
thanklesse vnkindnesse contemned, conference to vndermining framed, flatterie to
destruction forged, each in countenance smiling, diuerse in heart pouting, open
fawning, secret grudging, gaping for such as shall succéed in gouernment, honouring
magistrates with cap and knee as long as they are present, and carping them with
toong and pen as soone as they are absent.
The lord Leonard Greie (as is aforesaid) discharged, sir William Brereton was constituted
Sir William Brereton lord iustice.
lord iustice, whose short gouernement was intangled with no little trouble.
For albeit he and Oneale fell to a reasonable composition, yet other of the Irish
lordings, namelie Oconhur and his adherents, that are content to liue as subiects,
as long as they are not able to hold out as rebels, conspired togither, and determined
to assemble their power at the hill of Fowre in west Meth, and so on a sudden
to ransacke the pale. The lord iustice foorthwith accompanied with the armie,
and with two thousand of the pale, of which no small number were ecclesiasticall
persons, made towards the rebels, who vpon the approch of so great an armie gaue
ground, and dispersed themselues in woods and marishes. The lord iustice this
notwithstanding inuaded Oconhur his countrie, burnt his tenements, & made all
his trenches with the multitude of pioners so passable, as foure hundred carts, beside
light carriage, were led without let thorough the countrie. Oconhur soone after
Oconhur submitteth himselfe to the lord iustice.
submitted himselfe, & sent his sonne Cormach to the lord iustice as hostage for his
future obedience and loialtie to the king his highnesse. After this iournie was
Sir Anthonie Sentleger lord deputie.
Sir William Brereton lord high marshall.
ended, sir Anthonie Sentleger knight of the order was constituted lord deputie,
and sir William Brereton lord high marshall, who within one halfe yeare after he was
preferred to be marshall, trauelling by the lord deputie his appointment to Limerike,
to bring in Iames earle of Desmond, who stood vpon certeine tickle points with
the gouernor, ended his life in that iournie, and lieth intoomed at Kilkennie in the
quier of saint Kennie his church. In the thrée and thirtith yeare of the reigne of
Henrie the eight, there was a parlement holden at Dublin before sir Anthonie Sentleger,
in which there passed these statutes following; namelie.
- That the king and his successors to be kings of Ireland.
- For graie merchants.
- That the plantife maie abridge his plaint in assise.
- That consanguinitie or affinitie being not within the fift degree, shall be no principall chalenge.
- That maketh it felonie to anie man to run awaie with his master his casket.
- For the adnihilating of precontracts in marriage.
- For all lords to distreine vpon the lands of them holden, & to make their auowrie, not naming the tenant, but their land.
- For capacities.
- For seruants wages.
- For ioint-tenants.
- For recouerie in auoiding leases.
- For tithes.
- For atturnements.
This parlement was proroged vntill the fiftéenth of Februarie, and after was continued
at Limerike before the said deputie, at which time there passed
- For the adiournment of the parlement, and the place to hold the same, and what persons shall be chosen knights and burgeses.
- For the election of the lord iustice.
- Touching mispleding and ieoyfailes.
- For lands giuen by the king.
- For the suppression of Kilmainan and other religious houses.
This parlement was likewise proroged, and after was continued and holden before
the said gouernour at Dublin, the sixt daie of Nouember, in the foure and thirtith
yeare of the reigne of king Henrie the eight, wherein there passed these acts;
- For the diuision of Meth into two shires.
- For persons standing bound in any court for their appeerance, and being in seruice, to be discharged by writ.
This parlement was further proroged vntill the seuentéenth of Aprill, and at
that time before the said gouernor it was holden and ended, in which there passed
an act touching the manour and castell of Dongaruan to be vnited and annexed to
the crowne for euer. To this parlement resorted diuerse of the Irish lords, who
submitting themselues to the deputie his mercie, returned peaceablie to their countries.
But Iames earle of Desmond sailed into England, and before the king and
Iames earle of Desmond.
councell purged himselfe of all such articles of treason as were falselie laid to his
charge: whose cleare purgation and humble submission the king accepted verie
gratefullie. Shortlie after Desmond his returne homeward, the great Oneale was
Oneale earle of Tiron.
created earle of Tiron, and his base sonne Matthew Oneale baron of Dongaruan.
For in those daies Iohn Oneale, commonlie called Shane Oneale, the onelie sonne
lawfullie of his bodie begotten, was little or nothing estéemed.
Oneale hauing returned to Ireland with this honour, and the king his fauor,
Obren with certeine other Irish lords sailed into England, submitting their liues
and lands to the king his mercie. This Obren was at that time created earle of
Obren created earle of Clenclare.
Clencare, in which honour his posteritie hitherto resteth. Shortlie after the returne
of these lords to their countrie, king Henrie being fullie resolued to besiege Bullongne,
gaue commandement to sir Anthonie Sentleger deputie, to leuie an armie
The Irish sent for to the siege of Bullongne.
of Irishmen, and with all expedition to send them to England. To these were appointed
capteins the lord Powre, who after was dubd knight, Surlocke & Finglasse,
with diuerse others. They mustered in saint Iames his parke seuen hundred. In
the siege of Bullongne they stood the armie in verie good sted. For they were not
onelie contented to burne and spoile all the villages thereto adioining; but also they
would range twentie or thirtie miles into the maine land: and hauing taken a bull,
Their policie in purueieng for the armie.
they vsed to tie him to a stake, and scorching him with faggots, they would force
him to rore, so as all the cattell in the countrie would make towards the bull, all
which they would lightlie lead awaie, and furnish the campe with store of béefe.
If they tooke anie Frenchman prisoner, lest they should be accounted couetous,
in snatching with them his entier bodie, his onelie ransome should bée no more but
his head. The French with this strange kind of warfaring astonished, sent an ambassador
to king Henrie, to learne whether he brought men with him or diuels, that
could neither be woone with rewards, nor pacified by pitie: which when the king
had turned to a ieast, the Frenchmen euer after, if they could take anie of the
Irish scatering from the companie, vsed first to cut off their genitals, and after to
torment them with as great and as lingering paine as they could deuise.
After that Bullongne was surrendred to the king, there incamped on the west side
of the towne beyond the hauen an armie of Frenchmen, amongst whome there was
a Thrasonicall Galias that departed from the armie, and came to the brinke of the
A French chalenger vanquished.
hauen, and there in tting and daring wise chalenged anie one of the English armie
that durst be so hardie, as to bicker with him hand to hand. And albeit the distance
of the place, the depth of the hauen, the neernesse of his companie imboldened
him to this chalenge, more than anie great valour or pith that rested in him
to indure a combat; yet all this notwithstanding, an Irishman named Nicholl
Welsh, who after reteined to the earle of Kildare, loathing and disdaining his proud
brags, flung into the water, and swam ouer the riuer, fought with the chalenger,
strake him for dead, and returned backe to Bullongne with the Frenchman his head
in his mouth, before the armie could ouertake him. For which exploit, as he was
of all his companie highlie commended, so by the lieutenant he was bountifullie rewarded.
about this time the earle of Lennox, verie wrongfullie inquieted in Scotland,
The earle of Lennox assisted by king Henrie.
and forced to forsake his countrie, became humble petitioner to king Henrie,
as well to reléeue him in his distressed calamitie, as to compasse the means how he
might be restored to his lands & liuing. The king his highnesse mooued with compassion,
posted the earle ouer to Ireland, with letters of especiall trust, commanding
sir Anthonie Sentleger then deputie, to assist and further the Scotish outcast, with
as puissant an armie as to his contentation should séeme good. The deputie, vpon the
receipt of these letters, sent for Iames Butler earle of Ormond and Osserie, a noble
Iames Butler earle of Ormond.
man, no lesse politike in peace, than valiant in warres, made him priuie to the king
his pleasure; and withall in his maiesties name did cast the charge hereof vpon the
said earle, as one that for his tried loialtie was willing, and for his honour and valour
able to attempt and atchiue so rare and famous an exploit. The lord of Ormond as
willing to obeie, as the gouernour was to command, leuied of his tenants and reteineis
six hundred Gallowglasses, foure hundred Kearnes, three score horssemen,
and foure hundred and fortie shot: so in the whole he mustered on Osmantowne
greene néere Dublin, fiftéene hundred souldiours.
The lord deputie yéelding his honour such thanks in words, as he deserued indéed,
leuied in the pale fifteene hundred souldiours more, to be annexed to the earle
his companie. Ouer them he constituted sir Iohn Trauers capteine, but the erle of
Sir Iohn Trauer knight.
Ormond was made generall of the whole armie. When the souldiours were with
munition and victuals aboundantlie furnished, the earle of Ormond and the earle
of Lennox tooke shipping at Sherise, hauing in their companie twentie and eight
ships well rigged, sufficientlie manned, and stronglie appointed. From thense they
sailed northwards, and rode at anchor without the hauen of Oldfléet beyond Karregfergus.
Where hauing remained hulling without the mouth of the hauen, contrarie
The earle of Ormond and the earle of Lennox in danger to be drowned.
to the aduise of the masters of their ships (who prognosticated the spéedie
approch of a storme, and therefore did wish them to take a good harbrough) it
hapned that the said night there arose so boisterous a tempest, that the whole fleet
was like to haue béene ouerwhelmed. The mariners betaking their passengers and
themselues to the mercie of God, did cut their maine masts, let slip their anchors,
and were weather driuen to the hauen of Dunbritaine in Scotland, whereas they were
like to run their ships on ground, and consequentlie they all should either haue béene
plunged in the water, or else haue béene slaine on the land by a great number of
Scots that awaited their approach. God with his gratious clemencie preuenting
their imminent calamitie, sent them not onelie a wished calme, but also a prosperous
gale of wind, that blew them backe in safetie to the Irish coast, from whense they
The earle of Lennox aduertised by certeine of his fréends that met with him on
the sea, that the Scots (contrarie to their promise) dealt verie doublie with him (for
although they gaue their word to surrender vp to him the cast" of Dunbritaine,
yet they did not onelie fortifie that hold, but also were readie to incounter with his
souldiors vpon their arriuals) he concluded to returne to Ireland. The earle of
Ormond verie loath that so great an attempt should take so little effect, dealt with
him verie earnestlie, notwithstanding his counsell were bewraied to inuade his enimies,
and his lordship should be sure to find the armie so forward in assisting him in
so famous an enterprise, as they would shew themselues more willing to bicker with
his foes in Scotland, than without skirmishing to returne to Ireland. For the earle
The earle of Ormond his propertie.
of Ormond was of this nature, that as he would not begin anie martiall broile rashlie
or vnaduisedlie, so he would not séeme to put it vp lightlie or easilie.
Further, whereas the earle of Lennox stood in hope, that the lord of the out Iles
would aid him, it was thought by Ormond not to be amisse, to expect his comming;
and so ioining his companie to the armie, there rested no doubt, but that the Scotish
enimies would be forced to plucke in their hornes, although at the first blush
they séeme to set a good face on the matter. Lennox somewhat with this persuasion
The lord of the out Iles saileth to the earle of Lennox.
carried, gaue his consent to expect the lord of the out Iles determination, who notwithstanding
all the fetch of the enterprise were descried, would not slip from his
word, but personallie sailed to the Irish fléet, with thrée gallies well appointed. The
noble man with such martiall triumphs was receiued, as warlike souldiors could on
the sea afoord him. But of all others, both the earls gaue him heartie interteinment
for his true & honorable dealing, that to be as good as his word, would not séeme to
shrinke from his fréend in this his aduersitie. And shortlie after as they craued his
aduise what were best to be doone, either to land in Scotland, or else to returne homeward,
his flat resolution was at that time to retire, bicause their drift was detected,
their feined friends fainted, the castels were fortified, and the shoares on all parts
with swarms of Scots peopled. Wherefore he thought it better policie to giue out
in open rumors, that they meant not at anie hand to inuade Scotland, but to retire
to their countrie.
And after that the Scotish souldiors should be dismist, which would be incontinent
vpon their returne, by reason of the excessiue charges: then might the earle
of Lennox with lesse preparation, and more secrecie giue a fresh onset, that the enimies
should sooner féele his force, than heare of his arriuall. Ormond and Lennox
Ormond and Lennox land.
vpon this determination landed with the greater part of the armie, and appointed
the ships to bend their course to Dublin. The lord of the out Iles and his three
gallies sailed with the fléet, for he was not able by reason of the féeblenesse of his
bodie to trauell by land, or scantlie further to prolong his life, which he ended at
The lord of the out Iles dieth.
Houth presentlie vpon his arriuall, and was with great solemnitie buried in saint
Patrike his church at Dublin, vpon whose death this epitaph following was
Vique manúque mea patriæ dum redditur exsul,
Exsul in externa cogor & ipse mori.
Both the earles marched with the armie on foot to Carregfergus, where they
brake companie. For Lennox and sir Iohn Trauers taking as he thought the shorter
but not the safer waie, trauelled through the Ardes with the number of fiue
hundred souldiers, where the Irish inhabitants skirmished with them, and put them
The Irish skirmish with the earle of Lennox.
to such streict plunges (for they would gladlie haue seene what a clocke it was in
their budgets) as they wished they had not parted from the rest of the armie. The
earle of Ormond with his souldiers (which were a thousand fiue hundred, as before
is expressed) marched on foot to Belefast, which is an arme of the sea, a quarter of
a mile broad or little lesse. And albeit their wether were bitter and ouernipping,
and no small parcell of the water were congeled with frost, yet the earle and his
The earle of Ormond his toilsome trauell.
armie waded ouer on foot, to the great danger as well of his person, as of the whole
companie, which doubtlesse was a valiant enterprise of so honorable a personage.
From thense he passed to Strangford, and through Lecale to Dondalke, where he
discharged his souldiers, and hauing presented himselfe to the gouernour at Dublin,
he rode homewards to the countie of Kilkennie.
Shortlie after sir Anthonie Sentleger lord deputie and the earle of Ormond fell
The deputie and Ormond at debate.
at debate, insomuch as either of them laid articles of treason one to the others
charge. The chiefe occasion of their mutuall grudge procéeded of certeine new
and extraordinarie impositions, wherewith the deputie would haue charged the subiects.
Whereat the earle of Ormond as a zelous defendor of his countrie began to
kicke, & in no sort could be woone to agree to anie such vnreasonable demand.
Herevpon Ormond, perceiuing that the gouernour persisted in his purpose, addressed
letters of complaint to such as were of the priuie councell in England: which
letters were by one of sir Anthonie his friends intercepted at sea, and presented to
Ormond his letters intercepted.
him to be perused. Sir Anthonie hauing ouer read the writings, sent master Basnet
in post hast with the packet to Kilkennie, where the earle of Ormond kept his
Christmasse, requesting his lordship to take in good part the opening of his letters.
Which was doone rather to learne the effect of his complaint, than in anie sort to
imbar his writings from comming to the councels hands.
The earle answered that his quarell was so good, his dealing so open, as he little
weighed who tooke a view of his letters. And for his part what he wrote he meant
not to vnwrite; but in such sort as they came from the gouernour, they should be
sent to the councell: and if their honours would allow anie subiect to be so hardie,
as to intercept and open letters that were to them indorsed, he could not but digest
anie such iniurie that they would seeme to beare. With this answer Basnet returned,
and the earle performed his promise. Wherevpon the gouernour and he were commanded
The lord deputie and Ormond sent for to England.
to appeare before the priuie councell in England, where they were sundrie
times examined, and their accusations ripelie debated. In fine, the councell equallie
to both parts in their complaints affected, and weighing withall rather the due desert
of both their loiall seruices, than the vaine presumption of their mutuall accusations,
wrapped vp their quarels & made them both fréends, with such indifferencie,
They are made fréends.
as neither part should be either with anie conquest exalted, or with anie foile
And for so much as sir Iohn Alen knight then lord chancellor of Ireland, was
Sir Iohn Alen lord chancellor committed to the Fleet.
found to limpe in this controuersie, by plaieng (as it was supposed) more craftilie
than wiselie, with both the hands, in that he séemed to be rather a fosterer of their
malice, than an appeaser of their quarels, he was likewise sent for into England;
and being tript by the councell in his tale, was committed to the Fleet, wherin he
remained a long time. In this trouble the earle of Ormond was greatlie aided by
sir William Wise knight a worshipfull gentleman, borne in the citie of Waterford,
Sir William Wise knight.
who deseruing in déed the praise of that vertue, whereof he bare the name, grew
to be of great credit in the court, and stood highlie in king Henrie his grace,
which he wholie vsed to the furtherance of his friends, and neuer abused to the
annoiance of his foes. This gentleman was verie well spoken, mild of nature, with
discretion stout, as one that in an vpright quarell would beare no coles, seldome in
an intricate matter grauelled, being found at all assaies to be of a pleasant and present
wit. Hauing lent the king his signet to seale a letter, who hauing powdred
erimites ingrailed in the seale; "Why how now Wise (quoth the king) what, hast
thou lice here?" "And if it like your maiestie," quoth sir William, "a louse is a rich
for by giuing the louse, I part armes with the French king, in that he giueth the
floure de lice." Whereat the king hartilie laughed, to heare how pretilie so biting a
taunt (namelie procéeding from a prince) was suddenlie turned to so pleasant
Anon after the agreement made betwéene Ormond and Sentleger, the earle his
seruants (which he kept at that time in his liuerie to the number of fiftie) besought
his lordship to take at the Limehouse his part of a supper, which they prouided for
him. The noble man with honour accepting their dutifull offer, supped at their request,
but not to their contentation at the place appointed. For whether it were
that one caitife or other did poison the meat, or that some other false measures were
vsed (the certeintie with the reuenge whereof to God is to be referred) the noble
man with thirtie and fiue of his seruants presentlie that night sickened: one Iames
White the earle his steward, with sixteene of his fellowes died, the remnant of the
seruants recouered. But their lord, whose health was chieflie to be wished, in the
floure of his age deceased of that sicknesse at Elie house in Holborne, much about
The earle of Ormond deceaseth.
the eight and twentith of October, and was buried in saint Thomas of Acres his
church, whose death bred sorrow to his friends, little comfort to his aduersaries,
great losse to his countrie, and no small griefe to all good men.
This earle was a goodlie and personable noble man, full of honour, which was not
onelie lodged inwardlie in his mind, but also he bare it outwardlie in countenance:
as franke & as liberall as his calling required, a deepe and a farre reaching head.
In a good quarell rather stout than stubborne, bearing himselfe with no lesse courage
when he resisted, than with honorable discretion where he yéelded. A fauourer
of peace, no furtherer of warre, as one that procured vnlawfull quietnesse before
vpright troubles, being notwithstanding of as great wisedome in the one, as of valour
in the other. An earnest and a zealous vpholder of his countrie, in all attempts
rather respecting the publike weale than his priuat gaine. Whereby he bound his
countrie so greatlie vnto him, that Ireland might with good cause wish, that either
he had neuer beene borne, or else that he had neuer deceased; so it were lawfull to
craue him to be immortall, that by course of nature was framed mortall. And to
giue sufficient proofe of the entire affection he bare his countrie, and of the zealous
care he did cast thereon, he betooke in his death-bed his soule to God, his carcase to
christian buriall, and his hart to his countrie; declaring therby, that where his mind
was setled in his life, his hart should be there intoomed after his death. Which
was according to his will accomplished. For his hart was conueied to Ireland, and
lieth ingraued in the quéere of the cathedrall church in Kilkennie, where his ancestors
for the more part are buried. Vpon which kind & louing legacie this epitaph
following was deuised:
Cor patriæ fixum viuens, iam redditur illi
Post mortem, patriæ quæ peracerba venit.
Non sine corde valet mortalis viuere quisquam,
Vix tua gens vita permanet absque tua.
Quæ licèt infœlix extincto corde fruatur,
Attamen optato viuere corde nequit.
Ergò quid hæc faciat? Quem re non possit amorem
Cordi vt tam charo reddere corde velit?
The effect of which said epitaph is thus Englished:
"The liuing hart where laie ingrauen
the care of countrie deere,
To countrie liuelesse is restord
and lies ingrauen here.
None hartlesse liues, his countrie then
alas what ioie is left,
Whose hope, whose hap, whose hart he was
till death his life bereft.
And though the soile here shrowds the hart,
which most it wisht t'enioie,
Yet of the change from nobler seat,
the cause dooth it annoie.
What honour then is due to him,
for him what worthie rite?
But that ech hart with hartiest loue,
his worthiest hart may quite?"
This earle was of so noble a disposition, as he would sooner countenance and support
The kindnes of Iames erle of Ormond to his friends.
his poore well willer in his aduersitie, than he would make or fawne vpon his
wealthie friend in prosperitie. Hauing bid at London (not long before his death)
the ladie Greie countess of Kildare to dinner, it happened that a souldier, surnamed
Powre, who latelie returned fresh from the emperour his warres, came to take his
repast with the earle before the messenger. When the earle and the countesse were
set, this roisting Rutterkin wholie then standing on the soldado hoigh, placed himselfe
right ouer against the countesse of Kildare, hard at the earle of Ormond his
elbow, as though he were haile fellow well met. The noble man appalled at the impudent
saucinesse of the malapert soldier (who notwithstanding might be borne
withall, bicause an vnbidden ghest knoweth not where to sit) besought him courteouslie
to giue place. The earle, when the other arose, taking vpon him the office
of a gentleman vsher, placed in Powre his seat, his cousine Edward Fitzgirald, now
lieutenant of hir maiesties pensioners, who at that time being a yoong stripling, attended
vpon his mother the countesse, and so in order he set euerie gentleman in his
degrée, to the number of fifteene or sixteene: and last of all the companie, he
licenced Powre, if he would, to sit at the lower end of the table, where he had
scantlie elbow roome.
The countesse of Kildare, perceiuing the noble man greatlie to stomach the
souldior his presumptuous boldnesse, nipt him at the elbow, and whispering softlie,
besought his lordship not to take the matter so hot, bicause the gentleman (she
ment Powre) knew that the house of Kildare was of late atteinted, and that hir
children were not in this their calamitie in such wise to be regarded. "No ladie
(quoth the earle with a lowd voice, and the tears trilling downe his léeres), saie not
so, I trust to sée the daie, when my yoong cousin Edward, and the remnant of
your children (as little reckoning as he maketh of them) shall disdaine the companie
of any such skipiacke." Which prophesie fell out as trulie as he foretold it, onelie
sauing that it stood with God his pleasure to call him to his mercie before he could
see that daie after which doubtlesse he longed and looked, I meane the restitution of
the house of Kildare.
After this noble earle his vntimelie decease, sir Anthonie Sentleger was returned
Sir Anthonie Sentleger returneth lord deputie.
to Ireland lord deputie, who was a wise and a warie gentleman, a valiant seruitor in
war, and a good iusticer in peace, properlie learned, a good maker in the English,
hauing grauitie so interlaced with pleasantnesse, as with an excéeding good grace
he would atteine the one without pouting dumpishnesse, and exercise the other without
loathsome lightnesse. There fell in his time a fat benefice, of which he as
lord deputie had the presentation. When diuerse made suit to him for the benefice,
and offered with dishonestie to buie that which with safetie of conscience he could not
sell, he answered merilie, that he was resolued not to commit simonie: yet notwithstanding
he had a nag in his stable that was worth fortie shillings, and he that would
giue him fortie pounds for the nag, should be preferred to the benefice. Which he
Sentleger his simonie.
rather of pleasure vttered, than of anie vnconscionable meaning purposed to haue
His gouernement had beene of the countrie verie well liked, were it not that in his
time he began to assesse the pale with certeine new impositions, not so profitable (as
it was thought) to the gouernors, as it was noisome to the subiects. The debating of
which I purpose to referre to them, who are discoursers of publike estaies, and the
reformers of the commonwealth, praieng to God, that he with his grace direct them
so faithfullie to accomplish the duties of good magistrates, that they gouerne that
poore battered Iland to his diuine honour, to hir maiesties contentation, to the suppressing
of rebels, to the vpholding of subiects, and rather to the publike weale
of the whole countrie, than to the priuat gaine of a few persons, which oftentimes
falleth out in proofe to the ruine and vndooing of the séeker.
Thus farre (gentle reader) as mine instructions directed me, and my leasure serued me,
haue I continued a parcell of the Irish historie, and haue stretched it to the reigne of
Edward the sixt. Wherevpon I am forced to craue at thine hands pardon and tollerance:
pardon for anie error I shall be found to haue commited, which vpon frienalie admonition
I am readie to reforme: tollerance, for that part of the historie which is not continued,
till time I be so furnished and fraught with matter, as that I maie emploie my trauell to
serue thy contentation.