all the army was drawn to arms upon notice, given us
by the scout, that the rebels were discovered.
^ It may interest the reader to be reminded that in the plate of
the Battle of Kinsale, MacCarty Reagh, captain of all these Carties, is
represented as with his forces besieging the Spaniards on the west
side. Sir Owen, like all the rest, was now of opinion that it was all
up with the Queen's cause, that he had best stick to the winning side,
and make hay while the sun shono.
* See a plate of this fine castle.
A brief report of the good service done by Sir Richard Levison upon
the Spanish fleet at Castlehaven â€” A letter from Don Juan de
Aquila to Tyrone and O'Donnell â€” A letter from Don Jnan to
Captain Juan de Abornoz y Andrada â€” A letter from Donnell
O'Sulevan Beare to the King of Spain.
This niglit late, Sir Richard Levison returned to the
harbour of Kinsale, and the next day came to the
Lord Deputy, to whom he imparted that the sixth
day, with the Warspite, the Defiance, the Swiftsure, the
Marlin, one merchantman, and a caraval, he arrived
at Castlehaven about ten o'clock in the forenoon.
Before four o'clock the same day one ship of the
enemy vras sunk, the Spanish Admiral with nine feet
of water in the hold drove ashore upon the rocks ;
the Vice-Admiral with two others drove likewise
aground, most of the Spaniards quitting their ships.
The seventh of December, the wind being extremely
at south-east, he rode still at Castlehaven ; the night
following, the wind at west-south-west, he warped out
with the ships ; the eighth, at night, he returned as
Since, we are informed by the Lord Courcy, that
they are all sunk but one ship, and great harm was
done both to their provisions and men.
' P. O'Sullivan says, that Levison lost 501 men in the engagement
â– with Don Zubiaur : sixty knocked down by one shot as they sat at
table. From the text one would suppose that Levison was brilliantly
successful in this fight. We know now how much credence generally
to attach to the narrative of the miles gloriosus. ( Vide note to p. 40.)
44 PaCATA Hi BERN ia.
The Spaniards, after their coniing to Castleliaven,
understanding the Queen's fleet was at Kinsale, ex-
pecting their coming thither, to make themselves as
strong as they could, landed five pieces of ordnance,
which they planted close by the water-side for secur-
ing the harbour ; but Sir Richard Levison so plied
the shipping that he sank and drove ashore as is re-
lated, and, having effected as much as might be done
by sea, was willing to have left the harbour and re-
turn to Kinsale ; but, the wind being contrary, he
was not able to get forth, but was forced to ride four
and twenty hours within the play of those five pieces
of ordnance, and received in that time above three
hundred shot through hulk, mast, and tackle ; being
by no industry able to avoid it until some calmer
weather came, when by the help of some warps laid
forth by their boats, not without great danger and
some loss, he came to set sail and returned to Kinsale.
All the shot were made particularly at his ship,
except some few at a pinnace of the Queen's, whereof
Captain Fleming was commander.
All the time spent upon the ninth, tenth, and
eleventh, was in erecting the two forts formerly re-
solved upon, also in casting up trenches between the
Earl of Thomond's quarter and the said forts, being
more than thirty score in length, and making trenches
near the Lord Deputy's camp. The Spaniards, as well
to interrupt as to view our works, made certain light
sallies, but they were easily beaten back without any
hurt ou our side.
The twelfth, the enemy sallied again, but altogether
The thirteenth, the weather fell out to be extremely
foul and stormy ; and because of Tyrone's drawing near
Pacata Hibernia. 45
with all his forces it was thought meet not to attempt
anything of great moment more than the removing of
some pieces of ordnance to a new platform, made on
the west side of the town close to it, to play upon the
castles which might most hinder our works when we
should resolve to make a breach.
The fourteenth, foul weather, wherein nothing was
The fifteenth, our artillery on the west side of the
town much annoyed the enemy in breaking down the
houses, wherein many were slain.
The sixteenth, the ordnance played into the town, as
the day before.
The seventeenth, foul and stormy weather : never-
theless at night the enemy sallied and broke down the
new platform which we had made.
The eighteenth, the cannon, as in former days, played
into the town and annoyed the enemy very much.
And the same day a letter was intercepted, written
from Don John to Tyrone and O'Donnell, which is here
inserted ; and also a letter to Captain Juan de Abor-
noz y Andrada, both which were thus translated : â€”
A Letter prom Don Juan de Aquila to Tyrone
I was confident your Excellencies would have come
upon Don Ricardo's going to you, because he had
order from you to say that upon the Spaniards joining
with you (from Castlehaven) you would do me that
favour. I beseech you so to do with as much celerity
and^'as well furnished as you possibly may ; for I do
assure you the enemy are wearied, and but few, and
they cannot furnish with guards the third part of their
trenches, which shall little avail them ; their first fury
46 Pacata Hibernia.
resisted all is ended. In wliat manner your Ex-
cellencies will come on is better known to you tliere
than to me here. I will give them enough to do this
way, being ever attending to give the blow in all that
I can, and with some good resolution that, your Ex-
cellencies fighting as you are accustomed, I hope in
God the victory shall be ours, for that the cause is His.
I do as much desire the victory for the interest which
your Excellencies have in it as for my own. There
is nothing now to be done but that you would bring
up your troops ; come well appointed and in close
order, and being once mingled with the enemy, their
forts will do them as much harm as us. I salute Don
Ricardo ; the Lord preserve your Excellencies. From
Kinsale the 28th of December, 1601.
Though you are not well prepared, yet I beseech
your Excellencies to hasten towards the enemy, for it
imports much. I think it needful to be all at once
on horseback ; the greater haste you make so much
the better. Don Juan de Aquila.
A Letter from Don Juan to Captain Juan de
Albornoz t Andeada.
I was extremely glad of your letter and of the
health of your person. "When Don Ricardo went, he
brought for resolution that when the Earls had met
with the Spaniards they would come. The ill passage
for messengers is the cause that you have had no
letters from me. Hasten their coming ; they know
there, better than we do, the ways and the news.
I am ever in readiness; the enemy are few and
wearied, and by good resolution from thence their
trenches shall not avail them, nor can they maintain
Pacata Hibernia. 47
BO mucn ground as tliey lodge in. I will give them
their handsful from the town, and their first fury
resisted all is ended. Commend me to Don Ricardo
and to Captain Rius de Velasco, to whom I write
not because the messenger should not carry too great
a packet. I have written to the Earls to hasten
hither before the enemy have bettered their quarter ;
it would profit much, and we being once mingled
with them their forts will do them as much hurt as
us. From Kinsale the eight-and-twentieth of Decem-
ber, 1601. Don Juan de Aquila.
The nineteenth, by reason of stormy and foul
weather, nothing on either side was performed; but
the same day Donnell O'Sulevan Beare, in thankful-
ness to the King of Spain, and to endear himself the
more into his favour, wrote to him this ensuins^ letter.
The original was in Irish, and thus translated ; but
the reader may understand that it was long after-
wards before it came to the Lord President's hands,
yet here inserted in regard of the date thereof : â€”
A Letter from Donnell O'Sulevan Beare to the
King of Spain.^
It hath been ever, most mighty and renowned
Prince, and most gracious Cathohc King, from time
to time manifestly proved by daily experience among
us the Irish that there is nothing worketh more for-
cibly in our hearts to win and to draw our love and
affection than natural inclination to our progeny and
offspring, and the memorial of the friendship which
sticketh still in our minds; chiefly the same being
^ In this letter O'Sullivan Bere recalls the Milesian legend of the
Spanish origin of the Irish-Celtic race, i.e. the invasion of Ireland
by the sons of Milesius, King of Spain.
48 Pacata Hibernia.
renewed, cTierislied, and kept in use by mutual affec-
tion, and by showing like friendsliip to us also. We,
the mere Irish, long since deriving our root and
original from the famous and most noble race of
the Spaniards, viz., from Milesius,^ son to Bile, son to
Breogwin, and from Lwighe, son to Lythy,^ son to
Breogwin, by the testimony of our old ancient books
of antiquities, our pedigrees, our histories, and our
chronicles. Though there were no other matter we
came not as natural branches of the famous tree
"whereof we grew, but bear a hearty love, a natural
affection, and an entire inclination of our hearts and
minds to our ancient most loving kinsfolk and the
most noble race whereof we descended. Besides
this, my Sovereign, such is the abundance of your
goodness and the bounty or greatness of your
liberality, now every way undeserved of our parts,
as tokens of love and affection by your Majesty
showed to us, that it is not fit nor seemly for us
but to bestow our persons, our men, and our goods
in the service of a Prince that dealeth so graciously
with us, that sendeth forces of men, great treasure,
victuals, and munition for our aid against our enemies
that seek to overwhelm and extinguish the Catholic
faith diabolically, put to death our chieftains tyranni-
cally, coveting our lands and livings unlawfully. For
the aforesaid considerations, and for many other
commendable causes me moving, I bequeath and offer
in humbleness of mind, and with all my heart, my
own person with all my forces, perpetually to serve
' Milesius, a mythical king of North Spain. Ilis sons and kinsmen
led the fanjed '^ Milesian invasion " of Ireland.
* Rede Ith. Ith led a still earlier but unsuccessful invasion, and
was slain in Ireland. The O'DriscoUs, once dominaut iu the- south,
claimed descent from him.
Pacata Hibernia. 49
your Majesty, not only in Ireland, but in any other
place where it shall please your Highness. I com-
mit also my wife, my children, my manors, towns,
country, and lands, and my haven of Dunboy, called
Beare Haven, next under God, to the protection,
keeping, and defence, or commerce of your Majesty, to
be and remain in your hands and at your disposition.
Also at your pleasure be it, my liege Lord, to send
defence and strong keeping of the haven of Dunboy,
first for yourself, my Sovereign, to receive your ships ;
and for me also as your loving servant, so that the
Queen of England's ships may not possess the same
before you, while I follow the wars in your Highness' s
behalf. I pray Almighty God to give your Majesty
a long life, health of body and soul, with increase of
grace and prosperity. So I betake you to the keeping
of God. From the camp near Kinsale the nine-and-
twentieth of December, 1601, Stilo Novo.
Your most dutiful loving servant,
DONNELL O'SULEVAN BeAEE.
This morning being fair, the ordnance played
of tener and broke down a good part of the wall ; and
to the end we might proceed the more roundly (if
Tyrone's force came not the sooner upon us) another
great trench was made beneath the platform, to
hinder which the enemy made very many shot, but
all would not serve ; for by the next morning that
work was brought to good perfection, though the
night fell out stormy, with great abundance of thunder
and lightning, to the wonder of all men, considering
the season of the year. This night came certain
inteUigence that Tyrone would be the next night
within a mile and a half of us.
VOL. II. B
Tyrone with his army approached within view of our camp, hut
could not be provoked to tight â€” The enemy sallied out of the
to\vn â€” The Irish army as before present themselves â€” The
enemy from the town make another sally â€” Intelligence of the
enemy's designs brought to Captain Taflfe.
TowAEDS night Tyrone showed himself with the
most part of his horse and foot upon a hill between
our camp and Cork, about a mile from us, and on
the other side of the hill encamped that night, where
he had a fastness of wood and water.
Two regiments of our foot and some horse being
drawn out of our camp made towards them; and,
when they saw our men resolved to go forward, they
fell back towards the place where they encamped.
This night the Spaniards sallied again, and gave
upon a new trench made a little beneath our camp,
but were the sooner repelled, because that night we
kept very strong guards, and every man was in
readiness to be in arms by reason of Tyrone's being
BO near to us.
Tyrone's horse and foot kept still in sight in the
place where they showed themselves the day before,
and many intelligences affirmed to us that they had
a purpose to force our camps. That night some of
their horse and five hundred of their foot were
discovered searching out a good way to the town.
PaCATA HiBERNIA. t;i
whicli was not made known to us until the next day.
The Spaniards sallied this night hotlj, and gave
upon a trench, so that a sergeant, who had the
guard thereof, quitted it. But Sir Christopher Saint-
Laurence,^ coming to his second, beat them back
before they did any great hurt.
Our artillery still played upon the town, as it had
done all that while, that they might see we went on
with our business as if we cared not for Tyrone's
coming ; but it was withal carried on in such a
fashion that we had no meaning to make a breach,
because we thought it not fit to offer to enter, and so
put all in a hazard, until we might better discover
what Tyrone meant to do, whose strength was assured
to be very great ; and we found by letters of Don
John's, which we had newly intercepted, that he had
advised Tyrone to set upon our camps, telling him
that it could not be chosen, but our men were much
decayed by the winter's siege, so that we could hardly
be able to maintain so much ground as we had taken
when our strength was greater if we were well put
too, on the one side by them and on the other side
by him, which he would not fail for his part to do
Tyrone, accompanied by O'Donnell, O'Rwrke, Mac-
Guire, MacMaghon, Randell MacSorly, Eedmond
Burke,^ O'Connor Sligo's brothers, and Captain
^ An Irish officer, brother of the Lord of Howth. It was he who
made the revelation which afterwards led to " the flight of the Earls."
^ Redmund Burke, Baron of Leitrim. "We have met him several
times before. The reader may remember him holding commerce
with Carew. Redmund had certainly been badly used by his uncle.
Reaching man's estate, he asked the said uncle, Ulick, father of our
Earl, for his patrimony. The Earl replied that, " if he were to ask
for only as much land as his cloak would cover, he would not get it.''
So Redmund came into Tyrone's league.
52 Pacata Hibernia.
Tirrell, wifh the choice force, and, in effect, all tho
rebels of Ireland, being drawn into Munster and
joined with the Spaniards that landed at Castlehaven,
who brought to Tyrone's camp six ensigns of
Spaniards and the greatest part of the Irish of Mun-
ster, who, being revolted, were joined with them, and
entertained into the King's pay in several companies,
and, under their own lords, resolved to relieve the
town of Kinsale, and to that purpose lay, the one-
and-twentieth of December, a mile and a half from
the town, between the English camp and Cork, and,
on that side of the army, kept from them all passages
and means for forage ; ^ the other side, over the River
' The Queen's army, while besieging the Spaniards, were now
themselves in a manner besieged. Few in numbers, for sickness and
desertion had almost abolished the English portion of the army, they
were beleaguered by a host of some 10,000 insurgent Irish. Their
forage was cut off, which meant that in a short time their cavalry
would be useless, and they could now only get supplies by sea landed
at Oyster Haven, and conveyed thence to the camp with great difficulty
and danger. Meantime, the Spaniards in Kinsale had food enough to
last a long time, while the confederate host had the whole of the open
country at their disposal. Of the Queen's people, P. O'Sullivan writes :
*'/^o COS primum inedia, mox fames, tandem pestilentia invasit."
Under these circumstances Tyrone was for playing a waiting game,
but the headlong Hugh Roe overbore Ids authority. Don Juan, too,
believed that by a simultaneous attack delivered by himself and the
confederates, the Queen's army could be crushed with ease. He did not
realize of what ill-assorted materials this great tumultuary Irisli
army was composed. It was an army of armies, each of its com-
ponent parts commanded by a man who called himself king.
A greater danger threatened, though Carew seems to have been un-
aware of it. The fighting strcngtli of the Queen's army consisted in
the waged Irish soldiers, and the Irish lords of countries with their
" risings-out." From many of these the confederates received promises
that tliey would desert in a few days. O'Sullivan says that the
promise was one to desert en masse within three days. I confess,
however, I find a difficulty in believing that the senders of those
promises were sincere. In the ensuing battle the Queen's Irish fought
well, and were true to their salt if false to their promises. Possibly
some of their chief men were hedging â€” wished to stand well with
the insurgent lords and the Spaniards in the event of the Queen's
of Ownyboy, being wholly at their disposition, by
reason of the general revolt of those parts. It
seemed they were drawn so far by the importunity of
Don Juan de Aquila, as we perceived by some of his
letters intercepted, wherein he intimated his own
necessity, their promise to succour him, and the
facility of the enterprise ; our army being weak in
numbers, and tired (as he termed us), with assurance
from himself that whensoever he should advance to
our quarter he would give the blow soundly from the
town. During the abode of the rebels in that place
we had continual intelligence of their purpose to give
alarms from their party and sallies from the town, but
to httle other effect than to weary our men by keep-
ing them continually in arms, the weather being
extremely tempestuous, cold, and wet. On the three-
and- twentieth of December, late in the night, Captain
Taffe informed the Lord Deputy that one of the
rebels sent him word (and confirmed it by a solemn
oath) to the bearer that the resolution of the rebels
was either that night, or between that and the next,
to enterprise their uttermost for the relief of the
town, with some particulars in what sort they intended
to give upon our camp. The intelligence which
Captain Taffe had was upon this occasion.
The mears -whereby Captain Taffe had his intellif^ence â€” The Battle
of Kinsale, wherein the rebels were overthrown â€” The Lord
President directed by the Lord Deputy to guard the camp
against any attempt to be made by the Spaniards â€” A glorious
victory â€” An old Irish prophecy proved true â€” Two sallies made
by the Spaniards.
Tuesday, the two-and-twentieth of December, Brian
MacHugh Oge MacMaghon,^ a principal commander
in the Irish army, whose eldest son, Brian, had many
years before been a page in England with the Lord
^ Lord of all Monaghan. The reader will probably bo amazed at
this act of duplicity and treachery on the part of such a high lord';
but I can assure him he would cease to be surprised if he were to
read even one volume of the Calendar of State Papers for this period.
Treachery was rile, because the insurgents were bound together by no
principle in which they believed ; and where there is no principle con-
cerned, men who come together animated mainly by personal motives
will not bo true to each other, let their mutual oaths be what they may.
Let me try to diagnose MacMahon's state of mind when he sent
this message. The beginning of the war found him a private gentle-
man and subject, but one who constantly said to himself, " If 1 had
my rights I would be lord of all Monaghan and high chief of the
MacMahon nation." Then came Tyrone's message, " Join me and I
will make you the MacMahon." Brian Mac Hugh Ogue rose at once
for Tyrone, cleared the county, and was nominated MacMahon.
Such was Tyrone's policy. He aimed in the first instance at reviving
all the lapsed seignories, and employing the new dynasts to support
him against the Crown, he being the author of their being and their
champion. But difficulties soon arose.
Brian was now the MacMahon. So far good, but as MacMahon
he was also feudatory and vassal to O'Neill. In the commencement
Tyrone treated all such men as Brian with scrupulous respect, spoke
of them and used them only as his allies and confederates. Bat
with the growth of his power all the old inherent regalities of his
O'Neillship revived, with a certain inevitability, and Brian Mac Hugh
Ogue began to feel himself pressed upon and tyrannized over. It was
Pacata Hibernia. 55
President, sent a boy to Captain William Taffe, pray-
ing him to speak to the Lord President to bestow
upon him a bottle of Aquavitse, which the President,
for old aquaintance, sent to him. The next night,
being the three-and-twentieth, by the same messenger
he sent him a letter praying him to recommend his
love to the President, thanks for his Aquavitse, and
to wish him the next night following to stand well
upon his guard, for himself was at the Council
wherein it was resolved that on the night aforesaid,
towards the break of day, the Lord Deputy's camp
would be assaulted both by Tyrone's army, which
lay at their backs, and by the Spaniards from the
town, who upon the first alarm would be in readiness
to sally. Whereupon the Lord Deputy gave order
to strengthen the ordinary guards, to put the rest of
the army in readiness, but not into arms, that about
a great thing indeed to be chief of the MacMahons, but a vile thing
to be servant to O'Neill, ordered about by O'Neills, and subjected to
tributes and requisitions. Brian liked being lord of Monaghan^ but
disliked extremely being subject to O'Neill, especially as the later
MacMahons, owing to the weakness of the O'Neills and the growth
of royal power, were practically liberated from that overlordship.
He wished to rule Monaghan â€” and to be ruled over by no man.
When, as now, it seemed that the Queen's power was about to end,
Brian looked forward to a state of hopeless subjection to O'Neill, and
possibly did desire to see O'Neill and his party defeated in this battle,
hoping afterwards to make such terms with the State that he could
continue to be the MacMahon. Upon an Irish lord still tolerated by
the State, the Queen's yoke did not press heavily, and assumed only
the form of rent, about which she was very anxious. Yet the Queen's
rent was light : at the utmost only \d. an acre, or lOs. per plowland.
Again MacMahon, like so many others, may have been only hedging.
What I wish to convey is that the high lord who sold his party for,
apparently, a bottle of whiskey, was thinking at the time of more
serious things, and that his treachery Avas anything but unique. His
long name of course means only Brian son of Hugh (junior)
MacMahon. I recall a passage in one of Burleigh's letters concern-
ing Brian, written before his rebellion, and which seems to have
a certain prophetic flavour : " Her Highness saith that Brian Mac
Hugh Ogue is a had limb,''
56 Pacata Hibernia.
the falling of the moon, the regiment volant, com-
manded by Sir Henry Power, and appointed only to
answer the first occasion, without doing any other
duties, should draw out beyond the west part of the
camp, and there stand in arms, not far from the main
guard of horse. A little before the break of day the
Lord President went to the Lord Deputy's house,
and as they two and the Marshal were in council,
one of the Lord President's horsemen came to the
door, and calling upon him, said, " My Lord, it is