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who was styled Earl,—" a man valiant in making and puissant in sustaining an attack, influential, rich and wealthy,"1 Donough O'Brien succeeded him; he had a contest with his uncle Daniel, who claimed the Estate by Tanistry; by the mediation of the Lord Deputy they came to an agreement, when an Indenture Tripartite was made between the Deputy, the Earl, and Daniel O'Brien: the Indenture bears date, May 7th, 1552a. It had but a temporary effect; the Earl of Thomond and his uncles Donald and Turlogh were again in arms; they took Clonroad; the earl defended the castle for a time; but not long after he was murdered by Donald, his uncle, and the annalists add, that Dermot O'Brien died on the eve of St. Bridget and was buried in the monastery of Ennis.
If Edward VI. did no good to Limerick, he endeavoured to show his partiality for it by granting a charter to the city.
LIMERICK UNDER QUEEN MARY AND ELIZABETH. THE WARS OF THE
DESMONDS.—THE BUTLERS AND THE O'BRIENS.—CONFISCATIONS, ETC.
The news of the accession of Queen Mary to the throne of England was received with joy by the citizens of Limerick, who hoped that they might participate in the full fruition of their civil and religious rights and immunities.* Casey,4 who had been the first Protestant Bishop of the see, now fled beyond the seas, imitating, in this respect, the conduct of Bale, Bishop of Ossory. Hugh Lacy, or Lees, was constituted by the Pope, Bishop of Limerick, and an immediate change in the aspect of affairs was apparent. A Parliament was held in Dublin, commencing on the 19th of June, 1557, and on the 2nd of July was adjourned to 10th of November to Limerick, and from Limerick, to the 1st of March in the following year, to Drogheda. The statutes of this Parliament enacted that all heresies should be punished, that all acts against the Pope made since 20th Henry 8th, should be repealed, &c. Sullivan (Catholic History, p. 81) gives every credit to Mary for propagating and supporting the old faith; but he adds that although the Queen was zealous, her ministers did not forbear to injure and abuse the Irish.1
1 Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, p. 292.
* Sullivan mentions a curious fact which U quoted by Cox, in continuation of the wars between Daniel O'Brien and the Earl of Thomond in reference to the estates. He states that the Lord President Fitton got Daniel O'Brien into Limerick upon his oath that he would give him free and easy egress out of the gates; but the sophistical Englishman turned him out of the wrong gate (" so that there was the river Shenin between him and his army ,which was encamped in Thomond" and immediately sent the young earl to take possession of the country, which he did; and Daniel, who was so brave a man that many of the old and new Irish courted him to be king of Ireland) was forced to lie that tempestuous night in a cabbin; but when, according to the Irish fashion, he thought to lead his horse to stable in the same house with himself, the proud beast scorned to stoop, until the footboy whispered the horse in the ear and told him that his master O'Bryan would lodge that night in that cabin, and desired that he would lower his crest and his crupper, and creep into the house to keep his master company; and the horse being well bred did comply in matter of ceremony; but when he came to supper he was at a loss, for he was used to wheat, and could not conform to country entertainment, until the footboy whispered him once more that his master O'Bryan, who fed on oaten cake, did command Rosinante to be content with the same fare, and then he fell to it.
> Arthur MSS.
'The Right Hon. Wm. Monsell, M.P., is a descendant of Bishop Casey, as is also Sir Vere de Vere, Bart.—Cotton's Fasti. Cotton adds that the Duke of Buckingham is also one of Bishop Casey's descendants.
Towards the close of her Majesty's reign, the Lord Deputy, Sussex, arrived to suppress a revolt of some inferior branches of the O'Brien family against their chief. Sussex mustered an army to march into Munster, and O'Brien another to oppose him; they, however, made peace; and on this occasion, Connor O'Brien, the earl and the freeholders of Thomond, after service in the cathedral church of St. Mary, swore fealty to the crown of England: "the Irish, from the Barrow to the Shannon, on the part of O'Brien, and the English of Munster on the part of the Lord Justice."2 Sussex brought over with him five hundred soldiers and an order to coin brass money, and to make it current by proclamation, which was done.3 On the 14th of June, he came to Limerick, and advanced afterwards to Thomond. scattering his foes, he took the castle of Bunratty and Clare, and restored the country to the Earl of Thomond, who, together with the freeholders, swore, on Sunday the 10th of July, on the sacrament, and by all the relics in the church—book, bell, and candle light, to continue loyal to the Queen and to perform their agreements with the Lord Deputy.4 The progress of Sussex was not confined to this triumph—the Earl of Desmond made his submission on the 21st of June, and to strengthen the bonds of fealty and friendship, the Deputy, on the 26th, became godfather to the Earl's son, whom he named James Sussex, and gave the child a chain of gold, and gave another chain and pair of gilt spurs to Dermot McCarthy of Muskerry.8 In this year, Turlough O'Brien, son of Turlough, son of Teigh-an-Chomaid,G died.
Queen Mary died in the following year, and was succeeded by Queen Elizabeth, during whose eventful reign some of the most startling events in our local annals occurred, and first among them the lamented death of James, Earl of Desmond, of whom it is said "the loss of this good man was woeful to his country, for there was no need to watch cattle or close doors, from Dunquin, west of Coventry, in Kerry, to the green-bordered meeting of the three waters,7 on the confines of the province of Eochaidh, the son of Lucia and Leinster."1 He died at Askeaton on the 14th of October in this year,1 and was succeeded by his son Garret.
1 Qua tamaiti Catliolicam religionem tueri et amplificare conata est, ejus tamen prafecti et Concillarii injuria* Hybernis inferi rum desisterunt.
Sullivan speaks with great truth when he refers to the conduct of Mary's ministers and councillors in Ireland; they were as fierce and implacable against the old Irish race as any of their predecessors; and the annals are full of the misdeeds of Sussex against many of the ancient possessors of the land, whom he treated with unexampled oppression and cruelty.
* O'Donoran's Annals of the Four Masters, cir an 1555.
3 Sussex's advent in Ireland is stated by the native annalists to have been followed by the most fearful disasters. He polluted the temples of God throughout Ireland; he uprooted and overturned the altars wherever he met them; he expelled the orthodox bishops and the clergy, and all members of religious houses; he drove out the nuns from their sanctified retreats, and introduced the Lutheran religion, the Lutheran liturgy, and the heterodox faith, wherever he could.—Arthur MSS.
* These are the words of the herald's certificate. 5 Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, p. 307.
° Coad, a townland containing the ruins of a small church near Corofin, Co. Clare. 7 Annals of the Four Masters. v
In this year also, Donnall O'Brien of Thomond was banished from his patrimony by the Lord Justice. The chief towns of Thomond and not only these, but the entire country as well waste lands as inhabited lands, were placed by the English in the hands of the son of Donough O'Brien who was appointed Earl—and he was the first of the race of Cas who was popularly called Earl.3
Terrible was the commotion in consequence; for nothing went more to the hearts of the people than an indignity of this kind.4 In 1559, Conor, Earl of Thomond, sat before Inchiquin, to oppose the sons of Murrogh O'Brien. Donough, one of the sons of Murrogh was in the town, but Teigh, the other son of Murrough had been constantly in the company of the Earl of Desmond, since the expulsion of Donald O'Brien up to that period. Teigh made a sad complaint of his condition to the Earl of Desmond who assembled his troops and crossed the Shannon. The Earl of Thomond, leaving the camp at Inchiquin empty, proceeded to ask assistance from his trusty friend the Earl of Clanrickarde, which being granted, he did not halt until he arrived at the green of Inchiquin, and he returned back the same night to Ballyally. The camps of the Earls were not far asunder on that night. On the morrow, Desmond rose early, and marshalled his youthful warriors. They skirmished and fired on each other until they reached the top of KnockFurchaiUswherefatebroughtthemtogether,and victory afterafearfulfight declared in favor of Desmond. Contemporaneously with this event O'Carroll, in accordance with the custom that every Irish chieftain thought it a duty to perform a predatory excursion as soon after his inauguration as possible, made his Captain's first expedition against Turlough Mac I Brien of Arra, on which occasion, he totally devastated and ravaged the country from Ballina, near Killaloe, to O'Hogan's mill, near Ardcroney.6 On the same day he slew Morrough Maclbrien, a distinguished Captain. In revenge the Maclbrien proceeded soon afterwards to ravage Ikerrin, in Tipperary; but in this expedition he was overthrown; O'Carroll approached in battle order, dispersed the guards of the Maclbriens, not one of whom escaped by flight, took Maclbrien prisoner, who was not set at liberty until he had paid ransom.' The rebellion of Gerald, the 16th Earl of Desmond, which brought him and his family to ruin, not content with his peaceable settlement in the Earldom, began about this time. His first disturbances were (in 1564) against the Earl of Ormond.8 These Earls were ordered to England, and bound by recognizances in chancery of twenty thousand pounds to stand by the queen's award.1
1 The Suire, Barrow, and Nore, below the city of Waterford. 2 Smith's History of Kerry, p. 253.
• Though Murrogh O'Brien was created earl for life, in 1513, he was never called early by the people.
< Annals of the Four Masters. * Spancil-hDl, Co. Clare.
'Annuls of the Four Masters.
7 One of the castles of the Mac I Brien, or the ruins of it, may yet be seen at Ballina.
8 Sir John Davis says, the first occasion of his rebellion grew from his attempt to charge the Decies in the county of Waterford with coign and lirery, black rentt and coshtrits, after the Irish manner, when he was resisted by the said earl, who fought him a pitched battle at Affane* in that county, on the 15th of February, 1561, when he was taken prisoner and lost a considerable number of his followers.—Smith's History of Kerry, p. 251.
* Affane.—This place was granted, together with other places, to Sir Walter Raleigh. It was here that he grew the first cherries, as it was in Youghal that he grew the first potatoes.
By the dissensions between the Earls of Ormond and Desmond, Munster was almost ruined, especially Tipperary and Kerry. The barony of Ormond was overrun by Pierce Grace; and Thomond was as bad as the rest by the wars between Sir Daniel O'Brien and the Earl of Thomond.2 Hooker states that there was now no religion; he means of course amongst those who, in the name of religion, perpetrated unheard-of iniquities. A great battle was to be fought between the Earls of Desmond and Ormond, concerning certain lands in dispute about the Suir and Cashel. The place selected was Bohermore, near Tipperary town; immense numbers of their respective English and Irish neighbours crowded together from Cork to the Barrow, and from Logh Garman,3 "to the wide, foamy harbour" of Limerick.4 But "When the hosts came front to front and face to face, the Great God sent the angel of peace to them, so that concord was established between the hosts; for, having reflected on the dreadful consequences of the battle, they parted without coming to any engagement on that occasion.'" Soon after this event, Teige, the son of Murrough O'Brien, was taken prisoner at Limerick, by order of the Lord Justice, and sent to Dublin to be imprisoned, and it was universally said at the time that the Earl of Thomond had a hand in his capture.6 Teige escaped from his bondage two years afterwards, when meeting Donald O'Brien, who had exerted himself to set aside the Earldom of Thomond before Connor's accession, united in opposition to the Earl, who raised many encampments against them; but the result of the fighting was that the Earl's people were defeated, many of them slain, and Brien, who was taken, was not given up until Shallee, in the barony of Inchiquin, was given to Teige by way of ransom. Ballycarr, the residence of the sons of Murrough, was afterwards taken and demolished by the Earl, who had brought ordnance and forces from Limerick for that purpose.7
It was in this year that the magnificent abbey and abbey lands of Corcomroe, with their rents and customary services, and acquirements of land in the territories of Thomond, and its church livings, were given to Donnell O'Brien, as a compensation for the lordship of Thomond, to which he would have succeeded by Tanistry.8
The citizens of Limerick, now aided the Lord Deputy, Sir Henry Sidney; to the number of three hundred of them joined his forces in apprehending the Earl of Desmond at Kilmalloch, where for a short time the Earl was imprisoned, and thence conveyed into Limerick, where he was indicted for levying war against the Queen. His brother John was knighted, and made Seneschal of Desmond.9 This was the first occasion on which Sidney visited Limerick—he had been some time previous occupied elsewhere in his endeavours to suppress the Desmond Rebellion. Queen Elizabeth wrote' an obscure letter to him, all in her own hand, in reference to the disputes of the Desmonds and Ormonds, and this letter is printed in Smith's History of Kerry, pp. 256-7.
On the 24th of September in the next year (1565) Arnold, Justiciary of Ireland, by consent of the Secretary of the Council, commanded the Mayor, Bailiffs, and citizens of Limerick, that they should observe the solemn injunctions of Sussex, lately Viceroy of Ireland, recently given to them by his letters, by which he cautions them that they should not dare, even in the slightest particular, to sell any one of the ancient commonage lands, but that they should preserve them entire to beexpended in thepublicservice and requirements.1
1 Cox's Hibernia Anglicans, p. 320. • Ibid. * The Irish name of Wexford.
* Annals of the Four Masters. 5 Ibid. * Ibid. 'Ibid, ad an. 1564.
'The English, to pacify him, bestowed these gifts upon him, as also such lands as descended t» himself by gavelkind, and such as he had possession of in any other way.—Annals of Four Masters.
* Cox's Hibernia Anglicans, p. 326.
At this period a very remarkable man lived in Limerick, and taught school. This was John Goode, a Catholic Priest, of the order of Jesus, some time educated at Oxford. He was a man of extraordinary erudition, and gave great aid to Camden in that portion of his Britannia which treats of Ireland. ""Pis strange" (says Nicholson) that a writer so much honoured by this great British antiquary, who gives a high character of this gentleman's modesty and learning, should be overlooked by Sir James Ware and the Oxford antiquarians.'a
Gerald,, the Earl of Desmond, was removed from Limerick to London by the intrigues of Ormonde, and imprisoned in the tower, where were also confined at the time, the Baron of Dungannon, O'Connor Sligo, O'Carrol, and other Irish chiefs, most of whom made submission to the Queen in 1568, when they were enlarged. Sidney visited Limerick a second time in 1569, where he established Sir John Perrot in the office of President of Minister. In Collins' State Papers it is said that the city was in a wasted condition at this time, and that the Deputy recommended the building of a bridge here—most likely it was in consequence of his recommendation that Thomond Bridge underwent some repairs.3 Sidney's anxiety respecting bridge-building did not rest with recommendations—he built the bridge of Athlone in 1568.*
1 Arthur MSS. * Nicholson's Irish Historical Library.
* A highly curious inquisition was taken at this time in Limerick touching the marriage of the Earl of Clanrickarde with Grany O'Karwell, or O'Carroll. It is thus stated in Morrin's Calendary of the Patent and Close Rolls of Chancery :—
1566—9th Elizabeth. Depositions of -witnesses taken before the King's Deputy and the Conncil at Limerick, 5th October, 36th Henry VIII., touching the marriage of the Earl of Clanrickarci with Grany O'Karwell:—Hugh MacDonnell MacEgan, Brehon of Cloughketinge, in Ormond, saith "he heard Molrone O'Karwell say, when the late Earl of Clanrickard, then called Ulick Bourke, came to marry Grany, the O'Karwell's daughter, for that he thought he would give up the said Grany, before he should marry her in the face of the church, he would himself see the marriage solemnised between; and at the same time, deponent being at Modergime (Modereeny ?) saw them go to church to be married, and saw them likewise come from the church; and further, heard those that were in the church say that the marriage was performed and done accordingly, howbeit he saw it not done himself." Teige Oge M'Gilyfoyle deposed "that he was present at . the mass, and saw solemnly married, in the face of the Church, and kneeling before the high altar, saw the Earl Kiss the Priest and then the said Grany; and being in the church when the mass time, saw them go out together, and the next day they departed thence." Shanet McDononoghe MacDermot Mycke Gilyfoile agrees in all things with the second deponent, mutatis mutandis. Sir Adam Oge O'Hyran, priest, saith, " that at the solemnization of the marriage he was chaplain to the O'Karwell, and that it was he that said the mass, and coupled them together by the laws of Holy Church, being there divers other priests, gentlemen and horsemen, during the solemnization."—Oct. 5 MP Henry VIII. (Morrin's Calendary of the Patent and Close Rolls, Chancery, Ireland, p. 504.)
*'The old bridge, which was surmounted by the ancient" Qiteens Arms," had a compartmented stone facade, containing, amongst other inscriptions, one commemmorating the building of this bridge by Sidney, and the beheading of the " arch traytor Shane O'Neill," as the sculptor designated the haughty and unbending Shane na Dinis. This stone is now in the IMA., to which it was presented by Mr. John Long, C.E., when building the new bridge at Athlone. William Englebert, a famous Engineer, who was born at Sherborne, got from Queen Elizabeth for his services, 1588, a pension of 100 marks per annum. King James would not permit him to serve any foreign prince. He died in 1634 at Westminster.* It is not improbable that this engineer built, or gave the designs for the bridges on the Shannon at Limerick and Athlone, for Sir Henry Sydney, then Lord Justice of Ireland. The annals give the building of Athlone Bridge nnder date 1568, as follows:—" The Bridge of Athlone was built by the Lord Justice of Ireland, i.e.. Sir Henry Sydney." Bridges over so large a river were at that time regarded as works of great magnitude, and doubtless the best engineering skill then available was secured to advise on the erection of these bridges across the Shannon.
* Fuller « Wurthiw, val. 2, p. 366.