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Kerry and Limerick; Fane Beecher, Hugh Worth, Arthur Hyde, and Henry Billingsley, who each received 12,000 acres in Cork and Limerick ; Sir William Courtenay, Sir Edward Fitton, and Sir Christopher Hatton, who obtained 10,500 acres in Limerick and Waterford. Amongst others, Ormonde got 3000 acres in Tipperary, and Sir Wareham St. Leger and Edmund Spenser 6000 acres and 3000 acres respectively in County Cork.*
The land accordingly passed into the hands of new landlords ; but the scheme of colonization was a failure. The farmers, the artisans, and the labourers did not come over in sufficient numbers; many of those who came returned to England on finding themselves harassed and spoiled by the dispossessed native Irish, who formed secret societies for the destruction of the settlers, and were known by the name of “Robin Hoods." The new demesne lords, in violation of their covenants, were fain to take on the natives as tenants at will, in order that the lands might be cultivated; the result was a change of ownership of the freehold, but not a change of the population. The Irish gentry had been rooted out, but what was left of the Irish peasantry remained on the soil. The intruded English were a mere handful of strangers amongst a hostile people, and the native Irish were exasperated without being exterminated. The only result of the ten years' desolation was the enriching of a few adventurers and a knot of Elizabeth's courtiers.
* For a list of the undertakers of Munster, see Appendix II.
SOWING THE WIND.
AFTER the suppression of the rebellion in Munster there was an interval of comparative peace in Ireland, which might have been prolonged until the tendency towards improvement which was growing in the country had borne satisfactory fruit, had not the blind folly of the English Government precipitated a fresh quarrel.
The south had been “pacified” by fire and sword; so had Connaught, by the merciless sternness of the president, Sir Richard Bingham. There had been no concerted rising in Connaught; the great Earls of Thomond and Clanricarde had been steadily loyal to the Crown; but there had been much smouldering disaffection among the cadets of the house of Bourke, which from time to time burst out into open insurrection, and which had equally from time to time been suppressed by massacre.
The lord-deputy, Sir John Perrot, had succeeded in inducing the landowners of Connaught to agree to pay the Crown a fixed land-tax, in lieu of the irregular cess which was exacted for the support of the army; sheriffs were appointed to each county; and the west, like the south, was beginning to settle down.
In Ulster the chiefs were loyal, and both trusted and respected Perrot, who, though sternly severe with those whom he considered traitors, was animated by a strong spirit of justice. He even persuaded them, as he had persuaded the lords of Connaught, to agree to the payment of an annual tax for the support of 1100 men in Ulster; and he projected the division of the northern province into the counties of Armagh, Monaghan, Tyrone, Coleraine (Derry), Donegal, Cavan, and Fermanagh, in addition to the old ones of Antrim and Down. But this division existed on paper only for the present; the chiefs having the greatest dread and jealousy of the intrusion of the English sheriff, which was the first consequence of a country being made into "shireland."
Sir John Perrot had many enemies. He was a man of hasty temper, who quarrelled with his subordinates. He had sent a challenge to Bingham, who detested him for endeavouring to curb his severities in Connaught; he had knocked down Sir Henry Bagnal at the council board, who differed in opinion with him upon matters of state; he made an enemy of Adam Loftus, the archbishop, by proposing to endow a university in Dublin out of the revenues of the cathedral of St. Patrick, which had fallen to Loftus and his kinsmen as their share in the spoil of the monasteries. These and others were ever ready to whisper slanders of the lord-deputy to the queen. It was always the fate of Irish deputies to have the
ground cut from under them by the intrigues of the Irish council; but Elizabeth knew this, and paid no attention to the libels on Perrot, until it was told to her that he had refused to punish O'Rourke of Brefny, who, it was said, had dragged an effigy of her majesty at the tail of a horse. This absurd suggestion of indifference to her personal dignity roused her suspicious nature; and Perrot was recalled to eat his heart out and die in the Tower.
Perrot was succeeded by Sir William Fitzwilliam, who had filled the same position sixteen years previously, during an interval in Sidney's viceroyalty. Perrot's policy of conciliation was thrown to the winds, and every opportunity was recklessly taken by the incompetent new viceroy to exasperate the natives. Fitzwilliam was hasty and injudicious; he was also a victim to the vice of avarice, and the first thing he did was to start on a wild-goose chase in search of gold, which report said had been secreted by the survivors of the Spanish Armada, many ships from which had been cast away on the north and west and southern coasts of the island. As the gold was not forthcoming, he seized the persons of Sir Owen McToole and Sir John O'Dogherty, two of the most loyal subjects in Ulster, upon the pretence that they had concealed the much-coveted treasure, and, having incarcerated them in Dublin Castle, demanded a large sum for their enlargement.
This arbitrary proceeding created great irritation and apprehension among the native chiefs ; but a still more gross piece of iniquity was to follow. Rossa McMahon, chieftain of Monaghan, had surrendered his territory to the Crown and received a re-grant of it to himself and the heirs male of his body, and in default of such heirs to his brother Hugh. Rossa died without issue, and Hugh claimed the inheritance. Fitzwilliam demanded a large bribe of six hundred cows before seizin should be given him. Hugh came to Dublin, and complied with the deputy's requirements, and the latter set out with him to Monaghan to formally put him in possession. Fitzwilliam then trumped up against him a tale that he had two years previously recovered by force of arms some rent which was due to him in the barony of Farney, which constituted the offence of treason in “shireland” according to English law, but was not an offence in Monaghan, which was not in the English jurisdiction. Hugh was promptly tried by court-martial and executed. The Church lands in his territory were given to Sir Henry Bagnal, Captain Willis, Captain Henslowe, and certain Dublin lawyers, the Crown reserving thereout a quit-rent of £70. The residue, except the large tract already granted to the Essexes, was given to seven of the McMahon family, who were made to pay a round sum to the deputy, and an annual quit-rent of £259 to the queen.
There was yet another outrage, which had happened at a rather earlier date, for which Sir John Perrot was responsible, and which had a still greater influence on the temper of the native po ulation. Sir Hugh O'Donnel, the Lord of Tyrconnel, had refused to receive a sheriff into his country, and in order to get hostages for his good behaviour, the lord-deputy conceived and executed