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tions were directed against himself in particular. He saw that the plan of Elizabeth's council was, to insulate the north from the rest of the kingdom, by a chain of forts connecting the great lakes, which were to be defended by garrisons, and ships of war stationed on the lakes. That thus circumvented by sea and land, by the forces of England, the tribes would be gradually awed, or bribed into, submission. Seeing that without striking some prompt and decisive blow, before the English reinforcements arrived, the defection of his tributaries and allies was too likely, in which case he could neither make war effectually, nor expect by submission, safety or honorable terms, he besieged the fort of Blackwater, whose garrison, like the rest, were injurious neighbours. Still wishing to avert the calamities of war, provided any endureable terms could be obtained, he wrote to the deputy, imputing his rising to necessity and self-defence. He in particular requested the lord general to entertain a favourable opinion of him, and not force him to war against his interest and inclination. But his implacable enemy, Bagnal, by intercepting his letters, and destroying his messengers, deprived him of his hopes from a pacific correspondence, and forced him to continue bostilities. The castle of Monaghan was besieged, and the attempt of Norris to relieve it produced a skirmish, in which the danger and address of Tyrone were remarkable. One Sedgrave, an English officer, observing where he had taken his station, and was issuing his orders, assaulted
and unhorsed him. The earl, in falling, contrived to seize bis antagonist, and dragged him to the ground. The Englishman, who still had the-advantage, prepared to dispatch him; but O'Neil, encumbered as he was, contrived to prevent the blow, by plunging a dagger deeply into the body of Sedgrave.
“These petty hostilities were soon suspended by the weak and temporizing policy of the queen, impatient to disengage herself, by any means, from the disorders of Ireland. A commission arrived, whereby Wallop, the treasurer at war, and Gardiner, the chief justice, were empowered to treat with Tyrone and his associates, to hear their complaints, and to receive their overtures, in order to an effectual accommodation. The northern Irish obeyed the invitation, but peremptorily refused to meet the commissioners at Dundalk. The conference was held in open field, not as a submission of rebellious subjects, but a parley between contending leaders. Tyrone first explained bis grievances; complained of the injustice of Bagnal, in usurping a jurisdiction in Ulster inconsistent with his just rights; of his unreasonable and implacable resentment in attempting to separate him from his wife, and with-holding her portion; of his perfidy in secreting his letters to the state, and by a series of injuries forcing him to take arms, and to apply to the queen's enemies for protection. He required a full pardon for himself and followers; that they should be allowed the full and free exercise of their religion; that Bagnal should be compelled to pay his sister's portion, who had now suok under the affliction occasioned by his cruelty; that bis country should be freed from English garrisons and sheriffs ; that his troop of horse should be restored to him; and that all those who had ravaged his territory should be obliged to due restitution. O'Donnell next proceeded to expatiate on the treachery of Sir John Perrot, and the injuries he had received in a cruel and unmerited captivity. The severities of Fitz-William to O'Toole, Mac-Mahon, and O’Dogherty, were not forgotten. Every inferior chieftain had his grievances to urge; and all concurred in the same general demands of a free exercise of religion, and an exemption from garrisons and sheriffs. They were heard with temper: some of their allegations were confessed to be just; and some indulgence acknowledged to be reasonable. In the essential articles, they were informed, that no decision could be made, until the royal pleasure should first be signified. In the mean time some points were propounded on the queen’s part, tending to suspend their hostilities, till an equitable accommodation should be finished. It was demanded, that the insurgents should lay down their arms, admit sheriffs into their country, repair the forts they had demolished, leave the English garrisons unmolested, restore what they had unjustly seized, discover upon oath their transactions with foreign princes, and, begging pardon for their present rebellion, solemnly promise for the future to enter into no engagements against their sovereign. But these haughty lords, who in the condescensions of government discerned its fears and weakness, rejected such overtures with disdain; and broke up the congress, consenting only to a truće of a few days."*
This account is pretty near the truth, saving that an English bias in the writer is prevalent. This war is called petty, because every thing Irish must be either petty, barbarous, or even savage. The negotiation with the northerns was, the effect of a weak temporizing policy, for the same reason; because the impertinent fellows ought to be crushed at once: and because a learned book-bred gentleman, two centuries after the scene, claims deference to his own superior judgment, in censuring the policy of Elizabeth and her counsellors, such statesmen as Bacon, Cecil and Walsingham. They did not consider the war petty, but very serious and formidable, as it really proved in the result. Elizabeth was mortified at the disgrace and expence that accompanied her arins in Ireland, while she reaped glory and emolument from her wars in France and the Netherlands. The offer of peace only proves the wisdom of the English cabinet, and the temporary superiority of the northern Irish in arms. Their demands, and the influence of their example on the rest of Ireland, concur with the pacific offers to prove their success, though we have no exact detail of the military operations of the campaign of 1595. A cessation of arms was every thing to the English, whose resources were at some distance from the scene of action, and whose intrigues might profit of the interval, to detach some members from the sand-rope confederacy of Irish chieftains. It was, on the part of the Irish, weak and temporizing policy, to grant a truce, as long as they remained masters of the field, until they obtained substantial pledges for the fulfilment of articles, agreed to by their adversaries only to gain time and opportunity for infringing them.
* Leland, Vol. II. Book IV. c. iv. p. 334.
The oppressions, spoliations and cruelties, practised in Leinster, Munster and Connaught, had considerably broken and disheartened the .inbabitants, but left a sore spirit of discontent rankling in their bosoms, ready to burst into flame, whensoever any prospect of revenge or redress appeared. The success and solicitations of the northerns stirred up partizans in these provinces, who might make useful diversions. They had a common cause, as well as a common country to defend. The free exercise of their religion, security for their lives, and the remnant of their properties, hitherto denied them, was a natural and just claim, though qualified insolence by party writers. The justice of their quarrel is partly confessed even by Leland, on the authority of Morryson, an hostile writer, who quotes Gen. Norris, commander-in-chief of the queen's forces.
“ Norris had judgment and equity to discern, that the hostilities of the Irish had been provoked by several instances of wanton insolence and oppression; and as the deputy declared for a ri