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were growing fewer and fewer in number. The people would not betray him ; but they dared not assist him. His two brothers, John and James, had both been captured and put to death ; and Dr. Sanders had died of exposure in the winter. Hunted from valley to valley, with a price upon his head, he was at length driven into the Slievemish mountains, beyond Tralee, where a party of English soldiers surprised him in the early morning in a cabin in which he was harbouring, and slew him and cut off his head.



A.D. 1586.

THE last remnant of the Desmond rebellion had now flickered out. It had been crushed down by a system of ferocity as appalling as that with which Alva had been scourging Philip of Spain's subjects in the Netherlands. The results were apparent in the conversion of a fertile province into a desolate waste. “Whoever did travel," says Holinshed, “ from one end of Munster

” to the other, would not meet any man, woman, or child, saving in towns or cities; and would not see any beast.” The harvests had been burnt year after

year, and famine cleared the land of those who escaped the sword. Here is the testimony of Edmund Spenser the poet, who shared in the campaign and participated in the spoil : "For notwithstanding that Munster was a most rich and plentiful country, full of corn and cattle, yet after one year and one half, they were brought to such wretchedness, as that any stony heart would rue the same; out of every corner of the woods and glens they came, creeping forth upon their hands, for their legs could not bear them. They looked like anatomies of death; they spoke like ghosts crying out of the graves. They did eat the dead carrions, where they did find them, yea, and one another soon after, in as much as the very carcases they spared not to scrape out of their graves ; and if they found a plot of watercresses or shamrocks, there they thronged as to a feast for the time, yet not able to continue there with-all ; that in short space there were none almost left; and a most populous and plentiful country left void of man and beast." And the evidence of Sir William Pelham himself as to the mode of conducting the war : “Touching my manner of proceeding, it is thus : I give the rebels no breath to relieve themselves ; but by one of your garrisons or the other they be continually hunted. I keep them from their harvest, and have taken great preys of cattle from them, by which it seemcth the poor people that lived only upon labour, and fed by their milch cows, are so distressed as they follow their goods and offer themselves with their wives and children, rather to be slain by the army than to suffer the famine that now beginneth to pinch them."

This clearance was the necessary preliminary to the new plantation. By Desmond's treason his vast estates, which included those of some hundred and forty of his adherents who had taken up arms in his cause, were forfeited to the Crown, to the extent of 574,628 Irish acres of good and profitable land, besides seigniorial rights over the four counties of Cork, Kerry, Limerick, and Waterford. The escheated lands of the Eustaces in Kildare and Dublin numbered 7800 acres. Sir John Perrot, who had had some experience in Munster, succeeded Lord Gray as deputy; and to him the Government entrusted the conduct of the colonization scheme.

* He was writing to the Queen.

His first step was to summon a Parliament for the passing of acts of attainder against Desmond and Baltinglass and other rebels. This was the first Parliament which had met since Sidney's mutilated but unmanageable assembly in 1569. It was attended by a strong muster of peers of both races, twenty bishops and four archbishops, and representatives from all the then existing shires and some thirty boroughs. Many of the counties sent up Irish chiefs as knights of the shire, who were persuaded to adopt the English dress for the occasion. Two acts of attainder were passed, * specifically mentioning 140 knights and gentlemen of both English and Irish blood, under which the whole of their real and personal estate vested in the Crown.

The plan for the colonization of the confiscated land was to divide it up into large tracts or seigniories of from 4000 to 12,000 acres, to be held in fee of the Crown at a quit-rent of threepence per acre in Limerick and Kerry, and twopence per acre in Cork and Waterford. No rent was to be payable till A.D. 1590, and for three years after that only half-rent; for ten years the "undertakers” were to export their produce duty free. Younger sons and brothers were invited to come over from England to take up the land ; and large tracts were given to those who had been engaged in the war.

* 28 Eliz., cc. 7, 9.


The conditions of the grants were: that no native Irish should be taken as tenants ; that the owner of every three hundred acres should provide one horseman and one infantry soldier ; that farmers, hop-planters, gardeners, wheelwrights, smiths, masons, carpenters, thatchers, tilers, tailors, shoemakers, and butchers, should be procured from England by the undertakers, and settled on the land ; that each grantee of 12,000 acres should plant on portions of his estate 86 different families, of which twenty were to be freeholders, forty copyholders, and the rest small tenants of the labouring class, and should retain 1600 acres for his own demesne lands. Every precaution was taken to keep the colonists from amalgamating with the remnant of the native population, who were to be cleared out of the plains into the upland country. The colony was to be planted on the profitable land only.

The scheme being fairly launched, the distribution followed. About half the escheated land was restored to some of the old owners who had sufficient interest to secure pardons, as in the case of the White Knight, Patrick Condon, and some of the Geraldines. Of the other half, grants were made to about forty Englishmen, some receiving more than one scigniory, like Sir Walter Raleigh, who obtained 42,000 acres in Cork and Waterford. The rent of the whole reserved to the Crown amounted to about £23,000 a year. Those who received some of the largest grants were Arthur Robins, who obtained 18,000 acres in County Cork ; Sir William Herbert and Sir George Bouchier, who received 13,000 acres in

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