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verbatim with his patent letter, only he accused him of assisting " the rebell Thomas Fitzgerald which much offended the Kynge and his commonwell in Ireland." His Majesty wrote a letter in Latin, of which language he was an accomplished master, in which he speaks in the highest terms of Edmond Sexton, and states " that Edmond Sexton, his dearly beloved, will tell him (Sir John of Desmond) more fully his minde on the affairs respecting which he writes." This letter is dated from his Royal Palace near London, the 17th of January, 1534. Before Sexten's impeachment a report was sent to the King, as to how " Edmund Sexten, your grate servant," being then Maier of your Cyttie of Lymerike in the journey to O'Bryen's Bridge did not only right diligently endeavour hym to serve your Majestye, but also in all other your grate affayrs as in practising with O'Bryne and James of Desmonde and all other your disobeydyent subjects to allure them to his power to your grate obedyency, and lykewise in his present with the cytenzens of Lymerick did forwardly, diligently and hardly effectual service in every imploye of that journey to his grate charge, labours and paynes, &c." This "petytion" is signed by Leonard Gray, John Barnwall, your grate Chancellor; George Dublin, James Bawson, Pryor of Kilmaynam; William Brabazon, Gerald Aylmer, Justice; Thomas Lutterell, Justice; Patryke Einglass, Baron;
Thomas ■ Justice; Patryke Whyte, Baron.
O'Brien writes the following to the king, in which he admits all that Sexton had done in his Majesty's favor:—
O'Brien to King Henry VIII.
Hoste noble, excellent, high, and mighty Prince, and my most redoubted Soveraigne High Lord, in the humblest manner that I can or may, I recomend me unto your Majestic; I Cononghure O'Bryen, called Prince of Thomcnd in your land of Ireland. Advertysing, that I received your most dread letters by your servant, Edmond Sexten, now Mayor of your Citty of Lymericke, the 20th day of September, in your most noble Keigne the 26th, dated at your Mannor of Langlee, where I perceived partly your minde, in especiall, that I should give nrme evidence to your said servant. This is to advertise your Majesty of trouth that I was credible enformed, that the said letters were counterfeit, by my Lord of Ossery, and by my Lord hia Bonne, and by your said servant; which was the principall cause, that I did not receive such rewards as your said servant profered me and my brother, and that I did not write to your highness according to my duty; and that was the cause that I did not follow the councell of your said servant in your behalfe, till thys tyme: humbly beseeching your Majesty to pardon me of my negligence in that behalfe.
And as for the receiving of Thomas Fitzgerald into my countrey; I insure you that I never sent for him, privy nor apperte, into my countrey; but I could not, for very shame, refuse him of meat and drinke, and such little goods as we have. And as well I insure your grace that I never went, nor one of mine, to aid the said Thomas against your grace is subjects, and if I would have helpen him with my power, I assure your highnesse he would not have come in Th toilmcnt, at the least.
And as for to certifie you of the goeing of James Delahide towards the Emperour, I insure your grace that it was never by my will; and to prove the truth of the same, I insure your grace, that ever he come, with power or without power, I shall take or banish him to the uttermost of my power: also beseech your grace to pardon me of my negligence in that behalfe.
Furthermore advertising your grace, that I have received your most dread letters, dated at your Mannor of VVestmeeter, the 10th day of September, in your Keigne the 27lh year, by the hands of your servant, Edmond Sexton, wherein I perceive your grace is jealous and displeased with me, and as well your grace will be me to give ferme credence to your said servant, I insure your grace, that if I had the consaill of your servant, and of our Master Doughtoure Neyellane, Thomas Young, and John Arthur FitzNicholas, alderman of your said citty, at the first time, aa I am informed by them now of your grace, and of your power and bountie, I had never done nothing prejudicial to your grace is pleasure; but I was counselled by light people, whereof now I am right sorrie. But now, seeing that all thinges is done and passed for lacke of experience, I humbly beseech your grace to take me to your mercy. And your grace has good cause sore to take me, for I insure that all mine ancestors, and I myself, hath done right good service to your grace's deputies in this land of Ireland. Therefore I humbly beseech your grace, as lowly aa any subject can or may, to pardon me, of all the premisses, and . and all that I have in the world, is and shall be at your commandment.
In 1540 the Lord Deputy and Council write to Henry VIII. and speak of the determined attitude of the Desmonde (the pretended Earl) O'Neill, O'Donnell, O'Brien, O'Molloy, O'Connor, young Gerald, fcc, and their resolution to raise the Geraldine sect and uphold the "usurped" supremacy "of the Bishop of Rome." The letter states that the land of Ireland is "by estimacions and descriptions as large as Englande"—and proceeds :—
"But to enterprise the hole extirpation and totall destruction of all the Irishmen of the lande, it wold be a marvailous sumptious charge, and great difficultie s considering both the lacke of inhabitors, and the great hardness and mysery these Irishmen can endure, both of hongre, colde, thurst, and evQl lodging, more then thinhabitantes of any other lande. And by president of the conquest of this lande, we have not hard or redde in any cronycle, that at such conquests the hole inhabitantes of the lande have bene utterly extirped and bannisshed. Wherefore we think the easiest way and least charge were, to take such as have not heynously offended to a reasonable submission, and to prosecute the principalles with all rygor and extremytie." It is recommended in another of these state papers that garrisons should be formed in several cities. That at Limerick 1000 soldiers whereof horseman 300, gunners 200, archers 400, and billmen 100, should be raised. This letter is dated from Dublin, 18th January, 31st year of the king's "most victorious reigne."
In 1542, the Council repaired to the city of Limerick, on the 15th of February, and held a Parliament which they continued to the 10th of March. This Parliament stood prorogued to the 7 th of November, and was further prorogued to the 22nd of December, when it met at Dublin, and adjourned again to Limerick. According to the Statute Book it sat only to the 7th of March, three days less than the term mentioned in the despatch from the Deputy and Council to the king. In the same despatch O'Brien is lauded as a very sober man, and likely to continue "a treue subject." A subsidy of 20 marks yearly is ordered out of the county of Limerick, and 60 marks out of the county Tipperary. Upon the Irishmen of certain quarters mentioned—first upon Mac I Brien 60 golglas for a month—and 6d. sterling out of every plowland in his country—upon Tulagh Mac Brien, Captain of Ycownagh, £5 rent sterling yearly, upon O'Kennedy and M'Egg (Egan), £10 yearly, Irish—O^Mulryan £40 15s. yearly rent, and 60 galoglas a month—O'Dwyre 8d. sterling out of every plowland in his countrey, and 40 gallowglas for a month, yearly. "They complain of the great lacke that will be here of learned men and other ministers to reside about Lymerick, daily to see justice ministered there, laying farre from Dublin, where your highness lawes be executed, and no man there learned to stay or order anything among them."
And as if it would please your grace to be some good and gracious to this poore land, and to use your poor subjects, as to send some nobleman to govern us; and in especial!, if it would please your highness to send your sonne, the Duke of Richmond, to this poor contrary, I insure your grace that I and my brother, and all my kinsmen, with all my friends, shall doe him as lowly service, and as trew, as any man living ; and I, my kinsmen, and all my friends, shall right gladly receive him to our foster Sonne, after the custom of Ireland, and shall live and dye in his right and service for ever, and binde us to the same, after your pleasure known, by writing to us by your servant Edmund Sexten, to whom we remit alTthe rest of our mimics to your grace. As the Holy Trinitie knoweth, who have our Majesty in his must tender tuycion, to your harte's desire. Written at my Mannor of Clone Rawde [Clonroad, Ennis], the 13th. day of October.
Conohuyr CfBrym, Prince of Twomont.
The despatch is dated from the castle of Catherlaghe (Carlow), the last day of March, in the 38rd of the reign of Henry VIII.
In the expedition to O'Brien's Bridge, so often referred to, Sexten was desired in the following letter which appears in the Arthur MSS.1 to give his assistance :—
To our trustie and well beloved, the Maior, Baylives, Aldermen, and Cityzens of the cittye of Lymerick.
Trustie and right well beloved we grete you well, and desire and praye you also neverthelesse in the kyng's name charge according, our former writing of haster night, you with your companie in all haste, repayre unto us with your pikeaxes, speades, shovels, matokes, axes, and other such engines for the breaking of O'Bryen's Bridge. Yee knoo well wee have but 3 dayes victualls, and cannot sett forth conveniently, till your comying, wherefor make speede with all haste possible, and lett victualls be brought by water. Yee knowe the king's honor one and all your wealths lyeth uppon this our proceedings at this instant tyme, fayle yee not hereof, as ye intend ever our good will, and for the contrary will answer at your pril to the king. From the Campe this morning, Leonard Gray,
To the Mair of Lymirke, in hast post haste.
1 A summary of the achievements of Edmond Sexten from the Arthur MSS. is of some interest:
"Edmond Sexten was employed by the king in the commission with the Earl of Desmond, the Bishop of Emlaye, and Mr. Agard, for the suppression of all the religious houses in Mounster, in which journey he spent £9 sterling. He was a mayne help with the cittizens of Limmerick to take in the castle of Deryknockane from the rebells, and Lord Leonard Grey left the keeping thereof to Sexten's own care for the six years, which cost him in all £39 18s. sterling. He was employed by the Kyng to the traitor Thomas Fitzgerald, in hope to reduce him to subjection, whereof he fayled, but certified his Majestie of the refractoriness of the said Fitzgerald.
After that he was three several! tymes employed by the King to the Earl of Desmond and other Lords in Munster, to keepe them in their loyaltic, and from adhering to the said Thomas and his complices. The then Lord Deputie and Councell oftentymes employed him to that effect to the said lords and to O'Bryen, to John of Desmond, and to his son James, and to Donough O'Bryen and others.
He served at his own cost at the taking of Knockgraffon, Dungarvan, Carrigogunnel, the first and second time; Ballinconnell Castle in Thomoud and Clare, and Clononkrnie, in the countie of Lymrick. He toke Donnell O'Bryen's galley, which did much prejudice the King's subjects in the river of Shehan. He sent his men, who slew the rebell called Slico (O'Connor Sligo), which did offend the cittizens much, and threatened to burn Lyraerick. He caused Edmond Bourke and his sonne to pay £16 to such of the cittizens as they have robbed thereof. He caused William Fitzjames Geraldine to bestow the prey which he toke from some of the cittizens. His men brought home the cattle which were taken away the night before by some of the rebells. He apprehended one Macloghlen Baukaks sonn, and another rebell, whome he caused to pay £24 for their ransome, which he gave to such of the cittizens as the said Macloghlcn's sonn formerly caused to pay him ransome of £16. He with a small companie burned the tonne and castle in the Island called Ellanrogane, and faught with many of the rebells there, of whom they killed many, and burnt others, and brought his men with their goods home salfe. He toke a galley and a half galley from Mourough O'Bryan, which he carried by land a myle and a half, and then lanced them to the water, and brought them to Lymricke. He issued at midnight out of Lymricke towards the Bishop of Killalowe and his two sonnes, but they narrowly escaped him, quitting their horses and baggage, whereon they seized. He burned Kilcordane and Clonemoniayne, in O'Bryen's countrie. He allured James of Desmond to come into the Lord Deputie's camp and laye in his tent and wayte on him to Limerick, and in his progress through Thomond within two miles of Gal way, where they tooke leave and came to Lymrick, and the Lord Deputie went to Galway. He payed £40 in part payment of 11)00 DuckatU, which be promised to Donough O'Bryan for betraying and delivering up into his hands the rebell Thomas Fitzgerald, being then with O'Rrien in Thomond, as he undertook to doe, but fayled in performance thereof."
A very large mass of correspondence contains among the rest, several letters written by the king to his Deputy Lord Leonard Grey, in which he strongly reminded our trusty and well beloved Edmond Sexten, one of the gentlemen of our chamber and may be of that our city of Lymerick to doo untn us faithful and acceptable service—and tells Gray "in all your proceedings in our affairs concerning the reduction of the
In a letter from the Council of Ireland to Cromwell, dated from Cashel, August 24th, an account is given of the recapture of the castle of Carrigogunnel, by Donogh O'Brien, Ossory, and the Lord De Cray; in the assault ordnance and arrows were used, and thirteen of those who were within the castle were slain with ordnance, and four with arrows. There were 40 of Ossory's party also killed. The keeping of the castle was then given to Ossory.
inhabitants thereaboutts to our obeysance and dne reformation or lis the state shall require in prosecuting of the same, the obeyance and indurate mynde so requiring, ye doo tak unto you our said Sexton, and but begin consult whereby the said inhabitants may perceyre our estimaycion and favour born unto hym, by whych means he shall now the better allure them to our obeysance, and consequently by his experience and polyte the rather obtain the desired purposes in our affairs in those quarters." We have also the letters of Henry to Sexton, and of Sexton to Henry. Henry writes a special and lengthy letter commencing "Henry by the Kinge—Trustie and well beloved we grete you well"—returning thanks for the series of services performed, adding " taking you to noit (note) that being advertised how like goode, true, and faithful subjects ye have resisted the malicious enterprises of Thomas Fitzgerald that faulse Traytor and Retell and other his accomplices there, we have thought goode not onleye to give unto you our hearty thanks for the same, but also to signifye unto you that we shall not faile for to remember your integritie declared therein, as shall be to your benefits, wealths and commoditie hereafter. Ye shall also understande that whereas the fee farm of that our cittie remaineth for sundrie yeares behind and unpaid, sythens (since) our subject Richard Ffox was first maier thereof, we have authorised and appointed our trustie and well beloved servant Edmond Sexton, sewer of our Chamber, to receyve of you to our use the said arrearages soe behind, so unpayed, whose acquitance in that behalf shal be your sufficient discharge as from yi. re to yere from henceforth to tak and receyeve into his hands our said fee farm being ten pundes by the yere till ye shall further know of our pleasure.'' The letter goes on at further length, as "given under our signet, at our Manor of Langley, the 21st day of September, the * * * yeare of our reigne"—and is addressed "to the Righte Trustie and well beloved, the Maier, BaylDffes, Aldermenne and Cittizzens of the Citie of Lymerick." Not content with these expressions of favor to the Mayor, Corporation and citizens, Henry wrote to the Council and Corporation of the city as follows:—
Henry Rex. By the King.
Trustie and right well beloved, we grete you well, and perceyving by your letters and credence sent unto us in the person of our trustie and well beloved servant, Edmond Sexten, Mayor of that our cittie, your desire concerning the confirmation of your charter and libertyes, with certain additions in the specialities whereof, ye further instructed the same our servant concerning your faithfull loyal herts towards us, with your dilligent service to our good contentation and pleasure, like as for the same wc give unto you our right harty and condign thankes. We be right favorable willing and inclyneable not only to yor said pursuits, but also shall be the setnblable in all other your reasonable petitions. And for this tymc, in token of our favor towards you, we have written unto our deputie there that at his next repayre unto our prce, he shall leave one of our great pieces of ordinaunces, with shott and pouder necessary, in your custodye within that our cyttie, there to remayne, and be alwayes in a readyness for the advancement of all enterprosscs in those ptes, to be attempted and sett forwardes by your said servant and his coadjutor, our trustie and well beloved John Arthur FitzNicholas, one of your brethern of that your cittye. Hyde unto them at all seasons, consellying, favouring, aveding and assisting to the best of yeur power, as our speciall trust in you. Given under our signet at our Manor of Westmr, the last day of May.
To the Counsell and Corporation of our cittie of Lymericke.
In addition to his other qualifications, Edmond Sexton was an author. He wrote a book by the King's commandment " for the reformation of those parts," and among his papers were found the names of the castles, lands, rivers, creeks, important places, territories, lordships, with their lords, on each side of the Shannon to Loop Head. He states that in the Island of Inniscattery, the merchants of Limerick dwelt, and had castles and store houses of their own inheritance —that there was an image of St. Senan in the island, which was regarded with the utmost devotion by the people, and a great old church, wherein woman never went since the time of St. Senan, with a provost as warden, who singly disbursed a hundred marks yearly. He recommends that a future church be built on the island. Moore wrote, or rather translated from the Latin, the beautiful and well-known verses " St. Senanus and the Lady."
SUCCESSES OF THE ENGLISH FRUITS OF THE REFORMATION.
The events summarised in the last chapter occupy a period of between seven and eight years.1 We need not refer to the extraordinary changes which took place in consequence of these successes of the English in a country where they had heretofore had little if any footing except within the walls of the city where they had been endeavouring to establish themselves for some centuries before. In 1537, the Earl of Kildare, whose rebellion had caused sore annoyance to the government, and who is styled by the annalists "the best man of the English in Ireland of his time," and his father's five brothers, namely, James, Oliver, John, "Walter, and Richard, were put to death in London; all the Geraldines of Leinster were either exiled or put to the sword; the Earldom of Kildare was vested in the King, and every one of Ihe family who was apprehended, whether lay or ecclesiastic, was put to death. It appears from a letter written by Lord Thomas, to Rothe,2 that during his confinement he was treated with the greatest indignity —he was not permitted to enjoy the merest necessaries of life; for his clothes, which were tattered, he was indebted to the charity of others, his fellow
Jmsoncrs, who took pity on him. He wrote a letter to Rothe, in which the ollowing passage appears :—" I never had any mony sins I came into pryson, but a nobull, nor have I had neither hosyn, doublet, nor shoys, nor shyrt, but on [one] nor any other garment, but a synggle fryse gowne ; for a velve fyrryd wythe bowge, and so I have gone wolword and barefore, and bareleggd, diverse times (when ytt hath not ben very warme); and so I shall have done styll, and now, but that pore prysoners, of their gentylnes, hath sumtyme geven me old hosyn, and shoys and old shyrtes." The grief and misery which prevailed throughout Ireland for the fall and extermination of the illustrious Geraldines of Leinster, were expressed in the loudest and most unmistakeable manner; and to add to the sorrow with which the heart of the nation was stricken, it was just at this time that the "Reformation" in England and in Ireland began to manifest the existence of its bitter fruits. The possessions of monks, canons, nuns, brethren of the cross—i.e., the crossed or crouched friars—and the four poor orders—i.e, the orders of Minors, Preachers, Carmelites, and Augustinians—were suppressed, and their properties vested in the King.* The monasteries were broken down; the
'In the year 1535 M'Auliff of Duhallow, the ruins of whose castle may still be seen near Newmarket in the county Cork, gained a great battle, in which were slain the Lord of Claingais, or Clulish, a wild district in the Barony of Upper Connelloe in the South West of the county Limerick, with a large battalion of the Clan Sheehy, i.e. Mac Sheehy, who were of Scottish origin (see O'Donovan's Annals nf the Four Masters, ad. an. 1535) and hereditary gallowglassea of Ireland. In this battle was slain Marl Murry, son of Brien M'Sweeny.
• Lord Thomas Fitzgerald to Rothe—State Papers.
1 The number of abbies which Henry VIII. possessed himself of in England was 645, which were levelled to the ground, and their lands and riches seized—there were 2,347 chapels and chantries in like manner destroyed, and their temporalities confiscated ; 110 hospitals, and about 100 colleges, together with their revenues, were also appropriated to the king's use. Such abbots as did not resign their abbies were cruelly put to death—viz. the abbots of Glastonbury, of Reading, of Gloucester, of Whately, of Gerveaux, of Sawley, and the Priors of Woburn and Burlington. With the spoils of St. Thomas of Canterbury's church alone there were twenty-six waggons, laden with the richest ornaments, plate, jewels, &c. There is no computing the enormous wealth which was thus taken possession of by the king to satiate his own brutal lust for plunder. In Ireland the abbies, convents, and priories, were in like manner handed over to the king, and in 1541 these resignations were ratified and confirmed by the Irish Parliament. To appease the gentry of the nation, "lumping bargains" were given to them by the Crown of Church lands, and thus interest quelled their complaints; so that they beheld the ruins of the noble monasteries and convents founded by their forefathers for the service of God without remorse.