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of the order of the garter, and sent back as lord deputy. After four months' stay in England, he landed in Ireland, June, 1544, and was received with every mark of the public regard which had been conciliated by the justice of his administration. It had been throughout his principle to support the weak against the injustice of the strong; and whenever the case admitted, he usually took occasion to dissolve every ancient convention which gave a pretext for tyranny: of this may be mentioned as an instance, his decision between O'Niall and O'Donell, by which he set O'Donell free from his oppressive subjection to O’Niall, substituting a moderate and defined annual rent.
Sir Anthony, in common with every other lord deputy, had to bear the vexatious consequences of the jealousy of the greater proprietors. Of these the earl of Ormonde was then at the head. The depression of the Geraldine faction, and especially of the house of Kildare, had given a great preponderance to the Butlers whose hereditary prudence had preserved them from the incitements by which other chiefs had been tempted into many a fatal step. Sir Anthony, feeling strongly the great want of means which limited and defeated his best efforts, seems to have determined to increase the revenue by tributes to be levied upon the country. The allowance from England * was quite inadequate, and the Irish revenue was insufficient to supply the deficiency. The means adopted by St Leger were, however, unpopular, and gave a handle to the factious hostility of the earl of Ormonde. This earl, after offering all the resistance in his power, at last accused the deputy of treason: the deputy retorted the accusation, and both parties were summoned over to England, and their accusations investigated by the privy council. But they were found to be vexatious, and both parties were dismissed.
Sir Anthony returned and resumed his government, which was continued to him at the accession of king Edward VI. In the following year his activity was employed by the restlessness of the Irish chiefs These petty insurrections are in few cases worth detail. O'Conor Faly and O'More received a sanguinary overthrow from his arms, while they were plundering the county of Kildare; the O'Byrnes were attacked and dispersed. And some time after, receiving a reinforcement from England, of 600 foot and 400 horse, under captain general Bellingham, he invaded Leix and Offaly, and proclaimed O'Conor and O'More traitors. Their followers were routed and dispersed; and being left defenceless, these two powerful chiefs were reduced to the necessity of coming in with their submission. Sir Anthony took them with him to England, where, by his desire, they were pardoned, taken into favour, and had handsome pensions. The high sense entertained of these services of Sir Anthony, was shown by large English grants: he received a grant of the manor house of Wingham Barton, Bersted, an appendant to the manor of Leeds Castle, with the fee of one of the parks of Leeds Castle, with two manors, Eastfarbon and Bentley, in the county of Kent, where his own property lay.
In the mean time, Edward Bellingham, who had already distinguished himself in Ireland, was sent as lord justice; and St Leger
* £5000 per annum.
remained in England till 1550: he then returned to Ireland with instructions to call a parliament. On this occasion, the annalists mention one of those incidents which were at this time becoming more frequent, and which must impress the reader with a sense of the growing improvement of the condition of the settlement. Charles Kavenagh Mac Art came before this parliament with his submission, consenting not only to renounce the title of Macmurrough, but giving up large tracts of land, and submitting to the limitation of his powers as chief or 6 captain of his nation.”
On the 6th of February, an order for the reading of the liturgy of the church of England came over, in the name of Edward VI. On which the lord deputy convened an assembly of the Irish ecclesiastics of every order, to which he intimated the king's pleasure. To this announcement, Dowdal, the archbishop of Armagh, offered the most resolute opposition. The deputy, nevertheless, determined to carry the point: he was supported by Browne, archbishop of Dublin, and the other prelates; and on the following Easter Sunday, the English liturgy was publicly read in Christ Church. Dowdal was deprived, and withdrew from the kingdom, and the primacy was annexed to the see of Dublin.
Soon after, Archbishop Browne having some discontent against the deputy, had recourse to the common complaint of treason, which was then resorted to on the most frivolous grounds as the most efficient instrument of party hostility, and strongly indicates the weakness of government, and the low civilization of the aristocracy and prelacy of the time. St Leger was recalled to clear himself. And as he was again sent over by queen Mary, it is to be inferred that the charges of the archbishop were merely vexatious. He was not, however, allowed to hold the government long. Queen Mary, with a feeble intellect and a tender conscience, influenced by her own superstition and the craft of others, soon displayed that inflamed spirit of persecution which for a time filled the kingdom with horrors till then and since unknown: and a change of policy beginning in England, where it was opposed to the spirit of the nation, was quickly extended to Ireland where it was congenial. The Irish nation, the last to adopt the errors of the church of Rome, were as slow to turn from them at the dictate of a prince. And it is not likely that under the new government, a deputy, who, like St Leger, had mainly contributed to effect the changes of the last two reigns, could be acceptable to either queen or people. He had seized the abbey lands for Henry-carried into effect important regulations of church preferment-persuaded the Irish chiefs to renounce the church of Rome, and enforced the English liturgy. And such merits could not fail to be unfavourably recollected. His high reputation as a governor made it, however, inexpedient to remove him without some shadow of complaint. A complaint in keeping with the spirit of his accusers was found. It was represented that in the former reign he had aimed to ingratiate himself with the government by ridiculing the sacred mystery of transubstantiation. On this ground he was recalled in 1556. He defended himself so well, from various charges which his enemies brought against him, that his friends in Ireland looked for his return. But he adopted a wiser course. Having obtained a discharge from all future service in Ireland, he retired to Ulcomb in Kent, the seat of his ancestors, where he died in 1559.
We concur with Lodge in reckoning this nobleman the eleventh earl of Kildare. The reason is sufficiently conclusive. The attainder which for a time extinguished the title and honours of this illustrious branch of the Geraldines, was not passed for a year and a half after the death of the ninth earl; during which time the young lord, his eldest son, though in rebellion, was not yet attainted, or by any legal act deprived of his rights.
Gerald was yet but ten (Cox says thirteen) years of age at the time of the execution of his half-brother, the lord Thomas. As the rage of Henry VIII. blazed with indiscriminate fury against the family of Kildare, there could be no doubt that the capture of the youth would at the least be attended with serious danger. The oblivion and secret miseries of a dungeon was the least to be expected from a king who had butchered his five uncles, of whom three were notoriously innocent of the crime alleged. Gerald was, fortunately for him, at the habitation of his nurse at Donoure, in the county of Kildare, and lying ill of the small-pox. The nurse, apprized of his danger, committed him to the zeal of Thomas Leverous, * foster-brother to his father, who carefully conveyed him in a basket into Offaly to lady Mary O'Conor, his sister. There he remained until his recovery. The search after him had, hoyever, begun, and his continuance there might be dangerous to his protectors; concealment was rendered difficult by the system of espial and tale-bearing which characterized the intriguing chiefs of the time. The child was removed upon his recovery to Thomond, then least accessible to the English, and from thence to Kilbritton, in the county of Cork, to his aunt, Eleanor Fitz-Gerald, who had married Macarthy Reagh, and was at the time a widow. To ensure protection for her nephew, this lady consented to marry O'Donell, chief of Tyrconel, in 1537, who was himself a widower, and had that year succeeded his father Odo in the chieftainship. With this chief the aunt of Gerald stipulated for the protection of her nephew. But O'Donell was not to be trusted: his lady soon discovered that he was fickle in his politics, destitute of affections, and that he was engaged in secret negotiations with the English government. It is probable that she was enabled to discover some proof of an actual design to betray her nephew; but it is certain that there was enough of ground for such suspicions, to satisfy her that it was no longer safe to continue in his power. She therefore sent Gerald away privately into France, having given him 140 pieces of gold, for his travelling charges. Having thus secured his safety, she had no longer any reason to remain with the unworthy husband she had married solely for Gerald's sake, and
* Afterwards bishop of Kildare.
consulted her indignation and contempt by leaving him: O'Donell never saw her more. Her nephew was long and anxiously sought for, though after the first burst of king Henry's fury, it is unlikely that any harm would have happened him. On this point, the following extract is at least worth notice. It is taken from a paper written by St Leger and the other commissioners joined with him in 1537, and we should think speaks from authority:
“ Item, whereas young Fitz-Gerald, second sonne to the late earl of Kildare, hath withdrawn himself from the king's majesty without ground or cause, his grace nothing minding, to the said Gerald FitzGerald, but honour and wealth, and to have cherished him as his kinsman, in like sort as his other brother is cherished with his mother in the realm of England: we require the said lord James of Desmond to write unto the said Gerald Fitz-Gerald, advising him in like sorts, as his uncle the lord deputie hath done, to submit himself to the king his sovereign lord. And if he will not do so at this gentle monicion, then to proceed against him and his accomplices as against the king's
the monicion of the said lord James of Desmond, submit himself and come to the said lord James of Desmond, upon certificate thereof to the said commissioners made, we the said commissioners concede, that the said Gerald Fitz-Gerald shall have the king's most gracious pardon for his said absenting, and for all other offences done to our said sovereign lord, and to be from thenceforth taken as the king's true
From this document it should be inferred, that the course most obvious, safe, and beneficial for young Gerald, then about fifteen years of age, would be a surrender of his person. The first fury of the king's resentment had, in the course of two intervening years, been cooled; and a youth who could have as yet incurred no personal hostility, might have reckoned with certainty on the just indulgence thus held out in a formal and public pledge. But he was in the hands of advisers and protectors who saw the whole matter in a different light, and who had other views for him. His situation made him the subject of political intrigues, and his own friends were also strongly actuated by religious feeling in refusing to submit him to the tuition of Henry.
Fitz-Gerald arrived safely at St Maloes, and was from thence sent to the king of France. There had lately been a peace concluded, and it was probably according to some of the articles of a treaty that Sir John Wallop, the English ambassador, demanded that he should be delivered up. The king of France, unwilling to comply with this demand, temporized with the ambassador, and suffered Gerald to escape towards Flanders. The ambassador received some immediate intimation of this, and lost no time in having him pursued. He was overtaken by Sherlock, the person thus employed, at Valenciennes : but the governor of the town, made aware of the king's favourable intent, and probably acting upon instructions, arrested Sherlock. Gerald thus escaped to Brussels. Here, too, he was pursued, and claimed by
the messengers of the same ambassador; he was therefore compelled to make his escape to Liege. At Liege he was befriended by the emperor, who granted a hundred crowns a-month for his expenses, and recommended him to the bishop's protection.
At Liege he remained safely for half-a-year, at the end of which time he had the good fortune to be placed in security from all further attempts on his freedom. Cardinal Pole, his kinsman, and the enemy of Henry VIII., sent for him and had him conveyed to Rome, where he took every means to have him educated according to his rank and future expectations. It is mentioned, that he placed him under the care of the bishop of Verona, the cardinal of Mantua, and the duke of Mantua, in succession, and gave him an allowance of three hundred crowns a-year, to which the duke of Mantua made the like addition. At about the age of seventeen, he was removed by his friendly protector to his own immediate superintendence, and had apartments in his palace in Rome, “ The cardinal,” writes Hooker,“ greatly rejoiced in his kinsman, had him carefully trained up in his house, interlacing, with such discretion, his learning and studies, with exercises of activity, as he should not be after accounted of the learned for an ignorant idiot, nor taken of active gentlemen for a dead and dumpish meacocke. If he had committed any fault, the cardinal would secretly command his tutors to correct him; and all that, notwithstanding he would in presence dandle the boy, as if he were not privy to his punishment. And upon complaint made, he used to check Fitz-Gerald his master openly, for chastising so severely his pretty darling."* Here, his education being completed, when he was twenty years of age he was allowed to enter the service of the knights of Malta, in which he quickly obtained military distinction. The knights of Malta were engaged in continual war against the Turks, and were in the habit of making frequent descents on their coasts, from which they often carried away plunder to a considerable amount: in this service young Gerald not only won great distinction, but also much wealth. The cardinal rejoiced in his success; made a large addition to his allowance, and recommended him to the service of Cosmo, the duke of Florence, by whom he was appointed master of the horse. His conduct and character recommended him to the great duke of Tuscany, by whom he was appointed master of the horseman office which he held for the following three years.
Holinshed mentions, that while he was in this service, he met with an accident which harmonizes well with the vicissitudes of his life. Having made a visit to Rome for his amusement, he was hunting in company with the cardinal Farneze, when his horse came suddenly upon a concealed pit, twenty fathoms deep, and, with his rider, plunged headlong down and fell to the bottom. Fortunately for young Gerald, he was light, alert, and self-possessed. After going down to a great depth, the fall of the horse was slightly impeded by some bushes or roots, or perhaps creepers, which had, during the lapse of ages, grown down to that depth: he had the thought to grasp at them. The horse reached the bottom with full force, and was killed instantaneously by the
* Sup. to Holinshed's Chron. vol. vi.