Page images

in that realm for the trial, if I prove not directly all that ever I have declared, let me lose your gracious favour for ever:

A great part of that unquietness of O'Donnel's country, came by Sir William Fitz-Williams his placing of one Willis there to be sheriff, who had with him three hundred of the very rascals and scum of that kingdom, which did rob and spoil that people, ravish their wives and daughters, and made havock of all; which bred such a discontentment, as that the whole country was up in arms against them, so as if the Earl of Tyrone had not rescued and delivered him and them out of the country, they had been all put to the sword.

Concerning Tyrone, as your majesty hath bestowed it upon the earl, so for the better furtherance of the aforesaid services, it may please your highness to accept of his own offers, which were, that all Tyrone might be but one country; which granted, he would (upon his own charge) build a gaol and a session house, and receive a sheriff into his country, whereby your laws might be observed there.

And where the earl's adversaries have, in times past, incensed your majesty against him, for the hanging and cutting off one Hugh Gavelock, a notable traitor, and son to Shane O'Neale, informing your majesty, that the said Hugh was your majesty's subject, it shall be well proved, that he was ever a traitor against your majesty, a daily practiser with foreigners (as the Scots and others) for the disturbances of that kingdom, and one who sought by all means to overthrow the earl, who by martial law (which he then had) did cut him off for his offences. For the doing whereof, he did incur your highness's displeasure ; and the said martial law, which kept that whole country in awe, was taken from him ; the want whereof has made his country people grow insolent against him, and careless of observing any humanity or duty, which hath bred the outrages now in practice, so that, in my poor opinion) it were requisite to restore the same authority unto him, provided it should not extend to the cutting off of any, but such malefactors, as shall be of his own country, his tenants, and followers; and I dare say, he may every year hang 500 false knaves,' and yet reserve a great stock to himself; he cannot hang amiss there, so he hangs somebody.

For the performances of the services in those aforesaid countries, it is not O'Donnel, Maguire, Brian Oge Mac Mahon, nor Brian Oge O’Roirke, nor any of those four, who must be dealt withal, for they are all traitors and villains, and most obstinate against your majesty ; but the foundation must be laid upon the Earl of Tyrone, to draw him by any reasonable conditions' unto your majesty, that you may have conference with him, and as he is made by your majesty a great man there, so may he be also a

special good member in that commonwealth, to redress and remedy many great disorders, which no doubt he would faithfully do, if he might be trusted ; for what maketh a man honest but trust?

And whereas some affirm, that he standeth upon a pardon for himself and his followers, I think not so; for he and they hold themselves in less safety thereby, than they were before, because they have seen pardons serve (in their conceit) rather for traps to catch others in, than for true and just remission and acceptance into the free benefit of subjects, which maketh him fear the like practice towards himself.

For whom, although I have undertaken at my first coming, that he should have performed as much as I then delivered on his behalf to your majesty, how I dare engage my credit so far from him, because it is long since I saw him.

But if it please your majesty to send me unto him, with encouragement and protection immediately from your majesty, that he shall come to your lord deputy there, and to your highness here in safety, to come and go without impediment or stay of his person, I doubt not but to bring him and his son (whom I would wish to be detained, but as himself shall like of) and whatsoever he undertaketh to the lord deputy, coming in after this manner, there is no doubt of his performance: I know his adversaries, who never were such friends as they might have been to the common weal of that kingdom, will be earnest with your majesty against this, and that it is a great dishonour to you to grant it; but it will be proved, by their testimony, who live there, how greatly it shall advance your majesty's service in this dealing with him, who hath heretofore served faithfully and valiantly, and hath therefore well merited, and shall save the lives of your highness's subjects, and the expence of much of your treasure.

They who will be against this, have those many years suffered notorious traitors, namely, Feagh M'Hugh, and the bastard Geraldines, mightily to dishonour your majesty, in the very view of your state ; and with that base rebel and his adherents they will deal, as it were by way of intreaty, to accept of protections, which is as much dishonour to a prince of your excellency and greatness as may be, so to condition with such beggarly objects, as have neither power nor wealth, and yet are noted here to be great and dangerous men to your state there.

If there go not some speedy contentment to the earl, to stay all this expected fury, which is like to happen, but that there must be present wars made upon him and his adherents, your majesty shall take them in hand at a very unfit time, when they are thoroughly provided to do great mischief, and your majesty not so provided to defend your poor subjects from their sudden force and fury.


Your majesty, since you were queen, never had so great cause to bethink you of the service of that place, as now you have. Your highness shall not get so great honour in cutting off him, and thousands of those bare people that follow him, as you shall to win him, and them to be good and loyal subjects, and to live and serve your highness for good offices. As the case now standeth with the earl, he hath small encouragements to be otherwise than he now is.

For where it was your majesty's pleasure he should have great encouragement given him, by thanks for his last good service against Maguire, it was held from him, and instead of that, they devised all means and policies to aggravate matters against him to your majesty, which is credibly made known unto him; and more, that upon what security soever he shall come in, your majesty's pleasure is to have him detained. How he hath these advertisements from hence, I know not; but your majesty is, or shall be informed, that he and his lady are Papists, and foster seminaries, &c.

True it is, he is affected that way, but less hurtfully and dangerously than some of the greatest in the English pale; for when he is with the state, he will accompany the lord deputy to the church and home again, and will stay and hear service and sermon; they, as soon as they have brought the lord deputy to the church door, depart, as if they were wild cats, and are obstinate; but he, (in my conscience) with good conference, would be reformed; for he hath only one little cub of an English priest, by whom he is seduced, for want of his friends access unto him, who might otherwise uphold him.

There hath been an old dunsical demand in taking pledges of such, as are held dangerous men to your majesty's state there. I make bold to give that term, because there is no one, who hath known your service of Ireland longest, who can set down and prove,

that ever Irishman was held in obedience by his pledge ; if any can let me lose my credit for ever. I am able to set down of my own knowledge, almost by twenty years experience, in which time I have seen many pledges taken for the Irishry, for retaining them in obedience, the father for the son, the son for the father, the brother for the brother, and many other of the like nature ; when they have taken their times, nevertheless, without any regard of pledge, to play the traitors against your majesty at their pleasure. For when they neither fear God, nor be careful of their duty towards your majesty, nor fear your force to reform them, your majesty may be assured, it is not their pledges, that can hold them in obedience. Your majesty, therefore, may (in my opinion) do well to let no such demand be made of them, but when they shall give cause of offence, let them be throughly followed with your forces, and plagued in such sort, as may make them afraid to offend you. For the less your majesty shall esteem them, the more obedient you shall have them; and by this course your majesty shall save a great deal of charge for the diet of such as they put in for pledge.

And when there was credible report made, that the Earl of Tyrone came in to the lord deputy, without pardon or protection ; I assure myself, your majesty shall find he came in upon the credit of your state, although in policy he might be willed to give out otherwise, and no doubt, but such as have often mistaken his actions, and intents, would make an open demand of him, how? And he perhaps answer them, without protection ; and upon this his answer they might be very importunate with the lord and the council, that he might be detained for great matters of treason, wherewith they had to charge him, which demand of theirs being refused, it is not unlike but they would either write to your majesty, or to their friends here, to inform your majesty how provident they were to have him safe kept, and yet their cares and offers were neglected.

Let those devices of theirs take effect, or otherwise, to have him cut off, your majesty's whole kingdom there would moan it most pitifully, for there was never man bred in those parts, who hath done your majesty greater service than he, with often loss of his blood upon notable enemies of your majesty's; yea, more often than all the other nobles of Ireland. And what quietness your majesty had these many years past in the northern parts of that kingdom, its neither your forces there placed, (which have been but small) nor their great service, who commanded them, but only the honest disposition and carriage of the earl hath made them obedient in those parts to your majesty. And what pity it is, that a man of his worth and worthiness shall be thus dealt withal by his adversaries, (who are men who have had great places of command) and neither they, nor their friends for them, are able to set down, they ever did your majesty one good day's service, I humbly leave to your majesty.

If he were so bad, as they would fain enforce, (as many as know him and the strength of his country, will witness thus much with me) he might very easily cut off many of your majesty's forces, which are laid in garrisons in small troops, in divers parts bordering upon this country; yea, and over-run all your English pale, to the utter ruin thereof; yea, and camp as long as should please him, even under the walls of Dublin, for any strength your majesty yet hath in that kingdom to remove him.

These things being considered, and how unwilling he is (upon my knowledge) to be otherwise towards your majesty than he ought, let him (if it may please your highness) be somewhat hearkened unto, and recovered (if it may be) to come in unto your majesty to impart his own griefs, which no doubt he will do, if he will like his security. And then, I am persuaded, he will simply acknowledge to your majesty, how far he hath offended you ; and besides (notwithstanding his protection) he will, if it so stand with your majesty's pleasure, offer himself to the marshal (who hath been the chiefest instrument against him) to prove with his sword, that he hath most wrongfully accused him. And because it is no conquest for him to overthrow a man ever held in the world to be of most cowardly behaviour, he will, in defence of his innocency, allow his adversary to come armed against him naked, to encourage him rather to accept of his challenge.

I am bold to say thus much for the earl, because I know his valour, and am persuaded he will perform it; and what I have spoken of him, over and above this, these reasons have led me to it.

Being often his bedfellow, he hath divers times bemoaned himself, with tears in his eyes, saying, if he knew any way in the world to behave himself (otherwise than he hath done) to procure your majesty's assured good opinion of him, he would not spare, (if it pleased you to command him) to offer himself to serve your highness in any part of the world against your enemies, though he were sure to lose his life.

And as he hath in private thus bemoaned himself unto me, so are there many eye witnesses here in your highness's court, who have seen him do no less openly; which tears have neither proceeded from dissimulation, nor of childish disposition, (for all who know him will acquit him thereof) but of mere zeal unto your highness, and grief and fear to lose your favour, whom he desireth with life, and all he hath, most dutifully and loyally to serve.

Whereas I have taken upon me to nominate gentlemen as fittest to be employed in the above mentioned services in those remote places, I know there will be great exceptions against them, because they are thought to be too near friends to the earl. But I will prove, that none can ever do your majesty such good service there, as they who have been always trained up in those parts in service, and are best acquainted with the earl and the other lords of the countries, And I am of opinion, if it were demanded of the earl and the rest, they had rather have strangers placed in those parts, than those gentlemen of their acquaintance; because these, in any outrages in these countries, dare trust the earl with themselves and their small troops, to be aided by him, whereof they should not fail ; when strangers would be loth and fear so to do; for their trust will procure the earl and his followers, to undertake and perform with them, whatsoever they shall require for your majesty's service.

« PreviousContinue »