« PreviousContinue »
selves, to do your highness service; because I know (and so do all the rest) that its not your majesty's pleasure to have them so discouraged, but the fault is in them, who have been thither sent as deputies, who have preferred their own gain before your highness's honour and service, or the just reward of such as have most truly and painfully served, and for that would please such cowardly captains, as were their instruments to bring them in cows, to convert into angels, to cram their greedy purses; whom I have a better will particularly to name, than thus generally to write of, if I were persuaded, your highness would thereupon discard them: and I know they would not challenge me, because I do them no wrong.
To encourage, therefore, your majesty's soldiers, and to fur. nish the lord deputy against all accidents that may happen, if it may please your majesty, that all the treasure, which is sent over into that realm at sundry times, may be entirely sent at one time, with commandment, that your majesty's whole garrison may
be fully paid every month, your majesty should be most honourably served, and the soldiers well contented, and the subjects not occasioned to exclaim for want of payment for the soldier's diet, when both captains and soldiers should have in their purses to satisfy that, and to furnish themselves with all other necessaries.
For notwithstanding your highness's garrison hath been so slenderly paid these many years, your majesty hath not saved any thing thereby, but it hath enriched a sort of base clerks, and beggarly merchants, who will not credit a captain now for a groat upon his bill; but all the commodity goeth to the lord deputy, the clerks, and the merchant; so as the captain, to furnish his company, can get no money unless he will give 400 for 200, or 200 for 100, and after the like rate ; and in this prowling manner your soldiers are paid.
Forasmuch as your majesty doth pay all in the end, you may (if it be your highness's pleasure, as well benefit your captains, and soldiers, as other men's clerks, by sending an overplus of treasure to the lord deputy, to pay the old debt due only to captains and soldiers, which few thousands will discharge ; except it be to one man, unto whom your majesty oweth five or six thousand pounds, which (if it be your highness's pleasure) may with safe conscience, be detained in your hands, because he hath so ill deserved, through the dishonouring your majesty in the place wherein he serveth.
And now, (most gracious sovereign) for that (as I have heard) it hath been credibly reported to your majesty, that the last Desmond's wars did cost but 40,000 pounds, thereby the rather to induce your highness to make wars upon the north, I have thought it my duty (under your majesty's protection) to set down the truth thereof, whereby it may the more easily be judged what the charge of these expected troubles may stand your highness in, by com'paring the said Desmond's wars and these together.
The charge of those wars to your majesty was high, notwithstanding the great supplies then had of your subjects, and the great succour and assistance of sundry castles and good towns, which held firm and faithful to your majesty to receive and aid your soldiers upon all extremes, which towns and castles stood in most commodious places, not only to annoy, but utterly, in a manner, to overthrow the traitor, and all his co-partners. And where it cost your majesty then one pound, it cost your subjects three, during all the time of those wars, which charge of your subjects I can well make out; for the chief lord of one small village, who had but eight pounds yearly rent for the same village, paid for one year's cost to your higness's soldiers thirty-eight pounds sterling, whereof I was also an eye-witness. These wars, I say, did stand your majesty in fourscore thousand pounds at the least, for the monthly charge was seven thousand pounds, besides the victualling by sea. And yet after all this, your majesty afforded pardon to the basest rebel, who then took arms against you, who yet liveth in view of your state.
The cause of those Desmond's wars, was even like to this in the north, through the great mistaking of the Desmond's adversaries; and that it cost your majesty no less than I do here set down, Sir Henry Wallop can well testify.
Moreover, there are no helps to be hoped for in the north, either of castles or towns, within to garrison, or once lodge your majesty's soldiers, for the following and suppressing of those trai. tors; for those parts are merely void of such refuge. Again, all the friends to your highness in those countries are but two, O'Han. lon and Maginnis, and they uncertain, as your majesty may thus judge ; for O'Hanlon is married to the earl of Tyrone's sister, and merely enriched by the earl ; Maginnis, his eldest son, is to marry the earl's daughter. And this affinity, in the manner of the Irish, is always to the party they see strongest; and when your majesty (as there is no doubt) shall prevail, they will then seek favour, and make offer of much service, but seldom or never perform any, whereof myself have been too often a witness. These things considered, it may please your majesty, and honourable council, to be rightly and throughly advertised, before there be wars made in the north parts, whatsoever by sinister informations may be suggested to the contrary.
For it is not the north only your majesty shall now have to deal withal, but your highness's whole province of Conaught shall be in great peril of losing, except Sir Richard Bingham be more strongly enabled or assisted than he now is, trusting to only one band of 100 foot and fifty horse, wherewith I confess he hath donc great service. Knockfergus and the Clanboys, which are now garrisoned with only 100 foot and 25 horse, (who have done your majesty no service by reason of such bad commanders, as have been appointed over them,) cannot but be lost without a very great garrison, and exceeding great charge, so that your highness's realm of Ireland being now (as it were) divided into four parts, viz. Leinster, Munster, Conaught, and Ulster, will be in very great danger to be half lost; for Ulster is the earl's already, and in Conaught there are divers, who have been traitors not long since (and yet scarce good subjects,) who watch but such an opportunity. And in Leinster there are many, who now stir not, who will then rise in arms, namely, the Birns, the Tools, the Moors, the Connors, and the Cavenaughs, and many other false traitors as those, who (if they once perceive troubles to increase in the north) will seek to molest and offend the English pale, as they have done in
And one special matter more is to be thought upon, where your majesty in all the wars of Shane O'Neale, had Tyrconnel faithful and ready to do your highness service, and to assist your soldiers, giving the traitors many overthrows (being then an utter enemy to all the Neales ;) now it is not so, for O'Donnel is married to the earl of Tyrone's daughter, and is thereby so linked to him, that no place of succour is left to your majesty's forces in all the north ; for Sir John O'Dogherty (who was well affected to your majesty's service) is now in hold under O'Donnel, so as no aid is to be expected from him. This poor gentleman hath been hardly used on both sides; first, by Sir William Fitzwilliam, who imprisoned him, in hope to have had of him some Spanish gold; and now by O'Donnel, because he shall not in these trou. bles annoy him.
To write of all other particulars belonging to the north, would be over tedious. To conclude therefore (with your majesty's pardon) there are but two ways, either to accept of their own offers of submission and contribution, for defraying of the charge, in this discourse especially before mentioned, and so to place your majesty's garrisons in their countries, thereby to hold them in continual obedience to your highness's profit, or else to make royal war upon them, and so.utterly to overthrow and root them up, through all the whole north of that kingdom, and plant others in their room or places. I may in no wise omit humbly to acquaint your majesty, what great hindrance unto your present service the stay of Sir Robert Gardiner his coming over is like to be, because that he can best truly report to your highness the state of Ireland, who (as he was specially chosen by your majesty to be a chief in. strument for the good of that peor kingdom, where he ever did, and doth minister such upright justice, as is void of bribery, affection, intreaty of friends, or fear of authority to over-rule him to do any thing unfit for a man of his place) can very hardly be spared from thence ; yet, the necessity of this time importeth, it were (under pardon) most meet he were sent for with all speed; for that (as he can) so well, without fear of any, inform your majesty truly how the state of that your kingdom now standeth, and shew good means how to stay this expected present fury, that is like to happen, to the utter ruin and cutting off many of your majesty's subjects, and the exceeding expence of your highness's treasure. There will be (no doubt) many reasons alleged to your majesty to stay him there, but I humbly beseech your highness not to hearken to them, for the authors of these troubles are afraid of his coming thither. But his instant repair over will more avail him than his stay there, although it is well known he doth (as far as his authority extendeth) afford the people justice, without begging it or buying it, which hath been too often bought and sold there. And your majesty may at pleasure return him hither again, when he hath done exceeding good service there: although I fear he will be loath (if either his own credit or friends may prevail) to go back thither any more, because he seeth he is not able to do your majesty such good service, as he would and might, if he were more strongly assisted; moreover zood deserts there, procure scarce good opinion, or friends here.
What I mean to say thus much, when it is not to be amended, nay what pity it is, that so gracious a prince, as is your majesty, cannot help it. For these many years past your poor subjects have been crying out for justice, and could never get it ; besides it's grown to such gain by corruption, that unless your majesty vouchsafe to take upon yourself, or make special choice of some of your honourable council here to look into it, it will not be holden; for if it be referred (as it hath been) there will be such shufiling, and so much time spent, as to save the credit of some one, that thousands of your majesty's good subjects shall perish the while. And the rather because advice is chiefly required of him, who is causer of all these troubles; and that your majesty may the better judge what good can follow by his directions, let him set down what service he did you, when he had the whole authority in his own hands, whereby your highness may discern the rest.
I know (and thereon dare pawn my life) he cannot prove any one honourable or profitable service he did your majesty therein, at the time of his government. Opinion is likewise required of some other counsellors now here, who can say as little of those northern parts, as he who was never there.
This being most true, let not (I humbly beseech your majesty) your poor realm of Ireland be trusting to the advice of such blind advisers; but vouchsafe your highness to be advised by those, who know your service there, by their own experience, and eye-witness of that, whereof they shall yield their opinion; and no one (of a counsellor) can do it better than Sir Robert Gardiner, because his circuit is northward, whereby he doth hear the griefs and discontentments of those people.
Moreover, I must beseech your majesty to be no longer abused by lip-labour, and paper and ink; which have these many years, gone for current payment, instead of good service, and in show of discovering great and weighty causes, when in truth they seldom tend to any such purpose ; but seeing your majesty doth pay them so well, it may please you to require better service at their hands, whom your highness doth there put in trust.
If I have in this my plain and simple discourses offended your majesty any way, I most humbly ask pardon for the same.
As the physician cannot cure the disease of his patient, until he both know and take away the cause thereof, so neither are the calamities of your majesty's kingdom of Ireland to be remedied, until your majesty be both rightly advertised of the same, and put in practice the redress of the great abuses there, which cannot be better done (in my simple skill) than by making an example of some one, who has served your majesty corruptly in that place; and the greater the personage is, the greater the justice, and the more your honour in making a precedent of such a one : for your inferior officers can punish small offenders, but it is in your majesty only to correct the mighty transgressors.
There is no well-advised captain will make offer of service, but he hopeth to perform or lose his life ; and especially when he shall not gain thereby; for his soldiers must be paid, or else they will not serve; besides he must keep them, or else he cannot effect the service undertaken, so that his only hope of gain resteth in repytation, reward, and preferment from your majesty, as he shall deserve, and not in polling and pilling the soldiers and your majes. ty's subjects.
These good services then being accepted, and the abuses reformed, there is no doubt but your majesty's kingdom of Ireland shall quickly flourish in true subjection and due obedience to your majesty's honour and comfort; which I beseech the Almighty to grant and continue.
The considerations (most gracious sovereign) of my own es. tate, who have engaged myself and my friends very far, for means to live, and do your majesty service, hath many times in the penning of this discourse) sought to withhold me from discovering to your highness these causes of discontentments of your poor people in that kingdom, and the bad managing of your majesty's affairs there, with the means of quieting them, of advanc