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The Land-War In Ireland (1870) A History For The Times online

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little favour as the other had. _It was all done in rain and frost
and storm_, journeys in such weather bringing them the sooner to
submission. They are humble enough now, and will yield to any terms we
like to offer them.'

And so Malby and his soldiers enjoyed a merry Christmas; and when
Walsingham read his letters, giving an account of his civilising
progress, to the Queen, she, too, must have enjoyed a fresh sensation,
a new pleasure amidst the festivities and gallantries of her brilliant
court. Mr. Froude has rendered a timely service in this Christmas
time to the Coercionists, the Martial Law men, and the Habeas Corpus
Suspension men of our own day. He has shown them their principles at
work and carried out with a vengeance, and with what results! He has
admirably sketched the progress of English rule in Ireland up to
that time - a rule unchanged in principle to the present hour, though
restrained in its operation by the spirit of the age. Mr. Froude says:
'When the people were quiet, there was the rope for the malefactors,
and death by the natural law for those whom the law written could not
touch. When they broke out, there was the blazing homestead, and death
by the sword for all, not for the armed kerne only, but for the aged
and infirm, the nursing mother and the baby at her breast. These, with
ruined churches, and Irish rogues for ministers, - these, and so far
_only_ these were the symbols of the advance of English rule; yet even
Sidney could not order more and more severity, and the president of
Munster was lost in wonder at the detestation with which the English
name was everywhere regarded. Clanrickard was sent to Dublin, and the
deputy wished to hang him, but he dared not execute an earl without
consulting his mistress, and Elizabeth's leniency in Ireland, as well
as England, was alive and active towards the great, although it was
dead towards the poor. She could hear without emotion of the massacres
at Rathlin or Slievh Broughty; but the blood of the nobles, who had
betrayed their wretched followers into the rebellion for which they
suffered, was for ever precious in her sight. She forbade Sidney to
touch him.'[1]

[Footnote 1: Vol. xi, p.197.]

Next came the great Desmond Rebellion, by which Munster was desolated.
The Pope had encouraged an expedition against the heretics in Ireland,
and some Spanish forces joined in the enterprise. It was organised by
an English ecclesiastic, named Sanders, and an exiled Geraldine,
named Fitzmaurice of Kerry, both able and energetic men. The Spaniards
landed at Dingle in 1579. In a few days all Kerry and Limerick were
up, and the woods between Mallow and the Shannon 'were swarming
with howling kerne.' 'The rebellion,' wrote Waterhouse, 'is the most
perilous that ever began in Ireland. Nothing is to be looked for but a
general revolt.' Malby took the command against them, joined by one of
the Burkes, Theobald, who when he saw Fitzmaurice struck by a ball
and staggering in his saddle, rode at him and cut him down. The Papal
standard was unfolded in this battle. Malby then burnt the Desmonds'
country, killing all the human beings he met, up to the walls of
Askeaton. When opportunity offered, Desmond retaliated by sacking and
burning Youghal. For two days the Geraldines revelled in plunder; they
violated the women and murdered all who could not escape. At length
Elizabeth was roused to the greatness of the danger, her parsimony
was overcome. A larger force was drawn into Ireland than had ever
been assembled there for a century. Ormond, the hereditary enemy of
Desmond, was appointed commander-in-chief; and Burghley, writing to
him in the name of the queen, concluded thus: 'So now I will merely
say, Butler aboo, against all that cry in the new language - Papa aboo,
and God send your hearts' desire to banish and vanquish those cankered
Desmonds!' The war now raged, and, as usual, the innocent people, the
cultivators of the soil, were the first victims. 'We passed through
the rebel countries,' wrote Pelham, 'in two companies, burning with
fire _all habitations, and executing the people_ wherever we found
them.' Mr. Froude says: '_Alone_ of all the English commanders he
expressed remorse at the work.' Well, if the creatures they destroyed
were horses, dogs, or cats, we should expect a man of ordinary human
feelings to be shocked at the wholesale butchery. But the beings
slaughtered were men and women and children - Christians found unarmed
and defenceless in their dwellings. Let the English imagine such a
war carried on in Kent or Yorkshire, by Irish invaders, killing in
the name of the Pope. The Irish Annalists say that Pelham and Ormond
killed the blind and the aged, women and children, sick and idiots,
sparing none.

The English, as usual, had help from an Irish chief in the work of
destruction. Ormond had in his train M'Carthymore, 'who, believing
Desmond's day to be done, hoped, by making himself useful, to secure
a share of the plunder.' Dividing their forces, Pelham marched on to
Dingle, 'destroying as he went, with Ormond parallel to him on the
opposite side of the bay, the two parties watching each other's course
at night across the water by the flames of the burning cottages!'

The fleet was waiting at Dingle. There was a merry meeting of the
officers. 'Here,' says Sir Nicholas White, 'my lord justice and I
gathered cockles for our supper.'[1] The several hunting parties
compared notes in the evening. Sometimes the sport was bad. On one
occasion Pelham reported that his party had hanged a priest in the
Spanish dress. 'Otherwise,' he says, 'we took small prey, and
killed less people, though we reached many places in our travel!' At
Killarney they found the lakes full of salmon. In one of the islands
there was an abbey, in another a parish church, in another a castle,
'out of which there came to them a fair lady, the rejected wife of
Lord Fitzmaurice.' Even the soldiers were struck with the singular
loveliness of the scene. 'A fairer land,' one of them said, 'the
sun did never shine upon - pity to see it lying waste in the hands of
traitors.' Mr. Froude, who deals more justly by the Irish in his last
volumes, replies: 'Yet it was by those traitors that the woods whose
beauty they so admired had been planted and fostered. Irish hands,
unaided by English art or English wealth, had built Muckross and
Innisfallen and Aghadoe, and had raised the castles on whose walls the
modern poet watched the splendour of the sunset.'

[Footnote 1: Carew Papers; Froude, vol. xi. p.225.]

Ormond was the arch-destroyer of his countrymen. In a report of his
services he stated that in this one year 1580, he had put to the
sword 'forty-six captains and leaders, with 800 notorious traitors
and malefactors, _and above_ 4,000 other people.'[1] In that year
the great Desmond wrote to Philip of Spain that he was a homeless
wanderer. 'Every town, castle, village, farm-house belonging to him or
his people had been destroyed. There was no longer a roof standing in
Munster to shelter him.' Hunted like a wolf through the mountains,
he was at last found sleeping in a hut and killed. In vain his wife
pleaded with Ormond, and threw herself on his protection. Even she was
not spared. Mr. Froude gives an interesting account of Desmond's last
hours. He was hunted down into the mountains between Tralee and the
Atlantic. M'Sweeny had sheltered him and fed him through the summer,
though a large price was set on his head; and when M'Sweeny was gone,
killed by an Irish dagger, the earl's turn could not be distant.
Donell M'Donell Moriarty had been received to grace by Ormond, and
had promised to deserve his pardon. This man came to the captain
of Castlemayne, gave information of the hiding-place, a band was
sent - half-a-dozen English soldiers and a few Irish kerne, who stole
in the darkness along the path which followed the stream - the door was
dashed in, and the last Earl of Desmond was killed in his bed.

[Footnote 1: Carew Papers; Froude, vol. xi. p.225.]

Ormond had recourse to a horrible device to extinguish the embers of
the rebellion. It was carrying out to a diabolical extent the policy
of setting one Irishman against another. If the terror-stricken
wretches hoped for pardon, they must deserve it, by murdering their
relations. Accordingly sacks full of the heads of reputed rebels were
brought in daily. Yet concerning him Mr. Froude makes this singular
remark: 'To Ormond the Irish were human beings with human rights. To
the English they were _vermin, to be cleared from off the earth_ by
any means that offered.'

Consequently, when it was proposed to make Ormond viceroy, the Pale
was in a ferment. How could any man be fit to represent English power
in Dublin Castle, who regarded the Irish as human beings! Not less
curious is the testimony which the historian bears to the character of
the English exterminators. He says, 'They were honourable, high-minded
men, full of natural tenderness and gentleness, to every one with whom
they were placed in _human relations_. The Irish, unfortunately, they
looked upon as savages who had refused peace and protection when it
was offered to them, and were now therefore to be _rooted out and
destroyed_.' A reformer in 1583, however, suggested a milder policy.
He recommended that 'all Brehons, carraghs, bards, rhymers, friars,
monks, jesuits, pardoners, nuns, and such-like should be executed by
martial law, and that with this clean sweep the work of death might
end, and a new era be ushered in with universities and schools, a
fixed police, and agriculture, and good government.'

When the English had destroyed all the houses and churches, burnt all
the corn, and driven away all the cattle, they were disgusted at the
savage state in which the remnant of the peasantry lived. A gentleman
named Andrew Trollope gave expression to this feeling thus: 'The
common people ate flesh if they could steal it, if not they lived on
shamrock and carrion. They never served God or went to church; they
had no religion and no manners, but were in all things more barbarous
and beast-like than any other people. No governor shall do good here,'
he said, 'except he show himself a Tamerlane. If hell were open and
all the evil spirits abroad, they could never be worse than these
Irish rogues - rather dogs, and worse than dogs, for dogs do but after
their kind, and they degenerate from all humanity.'[1]

[Footnote 1: Froude, vol. xi. p.246.]

The population of Ireland was then by slaughter and famine reduced to
about 600,000, one-eighth of the population of England; but far too
many, in the estimation of their English rulers. Brabason succeeded
Malby in Connaught, and surpassed him in cruelty. The Four Masters
say: 'Neither the sanctuary of the saint, neither the wood nor the
forest valley, the town nor the lawn, was a shelter from this captain
and his people, till the whole territory was destroyed by him.' In the
spring of 1582 St. Leger wrote from Cork: 'This country is so ruined
as it is well near unpeopled by the murders and spoils done by the
traitors on the one side, and by the killing and spoil done by the
soldiers on the other side, together with the great mortality in town
and country, which is such as the like hath never been seen. There has
died by famine only not so few as 30,000 in this province in less than
half a year, besides others that are hanged and killed.'

At length the world began to cry shame on England; and Lord Burghley
was obliged to admit that the English in Ireland had outdone the
Spaniards in ferocious and blood-thirsty persecution. Remonstrating
with Sir H. Wallop, ancestor of Lord Portsmouth, he said that the
'Flemings had not such cause to rebel against the oppression of
the Spaniards, as the Irish against the tyranny of England.' Wallop
defended the Government; the causes of the rebellion were not to
be laid at the door of England at all. They were these, 'the great
affection they generally bear to the Popish religion, which agreeth
with their humour, that having committed murder, incest, thefts, with
all other execrable offences, by hearing a mass, confessing themselves
to a priest, or obtaining the Pope's pardon, they persuade themselves
that they are forgiven, and, hearing mass on Sunday or holyday, they
think all the week after they may do what heinous offence soever and
it is dispensed withal.' Trollope said they had no religion. Wallop
said they had too much religion. But their nationality was worse than
their creed. Wallop adds, 'They also much hate our nation, partly
through the general mislike or disdain one nation hath to be governed
by another; partly that we are contrary to them in religion; and
lastly, they seek to have the government among themselves.'

The last was the worst of all. Elizabeth wished to heal the wounds of
the Irish nation by appointing Ormond lord deputy. He was a nobleman
of Norman descent. His family had been true to England for centuries.
He had commanded her armies during this exterminating war, and, being
a native of the country, he would be best fitted to carry on the work
of conciliation after so much slaughter. But, says Mr. Froude, 'from
every English officer serving in the country, every English settler,
every bishop of the Anglo-Irish Church, there rose one chorus of
remonstrance and indignation; to them it appeared as a proposal now
would appear in Calcutta to make the Nizam Viceroy of India.'[1]
Wallop wrote that if he were appointed, there would be 'no dwelling in
the country for any Englishman.'

[Footnote 1: Ibid. p.202.]

The fear that a merciful policy might be adopted towards Ireland
sorely troubled Wallop and Archbishop Loftus; but they were comforted
by a great prize - an archbishop fell into their hands. Dr. Hurley
refused to give information against others. Walsingham suggested that
he should be put to the torture. To him Archbishop Loftus wrote with
unction. 'Not finding that easy method of examination do any good, we
made command to Mr. Waterhouse and Mr. Secretary Fenton to put him to
the torture, such as your honour advised us, which was to _toast his
feet_ against the fire with hot boots.' He confessed something. They
asked permission to execute him by martial law. The queen took a month
to consider. She recommended an ordinary trial for high treason, and
if the jury did not do its duty, they might take the shorter way.
She wished for no more torture, but 'for what was past her majesty
accepted in good part their careful travail, and greatly commended
their doings.' The Irish judges had repeatedly decided that there was
no case against Archbishop Hurley; but on June 19, 1584, Loftus and
Wallop wrote to Walsingham, 'We gave warrant to the knight-marshal to
do execution upon him, which accordingly was performed, and thereby
the realm rid of a most pestilent member.'[1]

[Footnote 1: Froude, vol. xi. p.264.]

This was the last act of these two lords justices. Sir John Perrot,
the new viceroy, made a speech which sent a ray of hope athwart the
national gloom. It was simply that the people might thenceforth
expect a little justice and protection. He told the natives that 'as
natural-born subjects of her majesty she loved them as her own people.
He wished to be suppressed and universally abolished throughout the
realm the name of a churle and the crushing of a churle; affirming
that, however the former barbarous times had desired it and nourished
it, yet he held it tyrannous both in name and manner, and therefore
would extirpate it, and use in place of it the titles used in England,
namely, husbandmen, franklins or yeomen.' 'This was so plausible,'
wrote Sir G. Fenton, 'that it was carried throughout the whole realm,
in less time than might be thought credible, if expressed.'

The extirpation of the Munster Geraldines, in the right line,
according to the theory of the 'Undertakers' and the law of England in
general, vested in the queen the 570,000 acres belonging to the late
earl. Proclamation was accordingly made throughout England, inviting
'younger brothers of good families' to undertake the plantation of
Desmond - each planter to obtain a certain scope of land, on condition
of settling thereupon so many families - 'none of the native Irish to
be admitted' Under these conditions, Sir Christopher Hatton took up
10,000 acres in Waterford; Sir Walter Raleigh 12,000 acres, partly in
Waterford and partly in Cork; Sir William Harbart, or Herbert, 13,000
acres in Kerry; Sir Edward Denny 6,000 in the same county; Sir Warren
St. Leger, and Sir Thomas Norris, 6,000 acres each in Cork; Sir
William Courtney 10,000 acres in Limerick; Sir Edward Fitton 11,500
acres in Tipperary and Waterford, and Edmund Spenser 3,000 acres in
Cork, on the beautiful Blackwater. The other notable Undertakers
were the Hides, Butchers, Wirths, Berkleys, Trenchards, Thorntons,
Bourchers, Billingsleys, &c. Some of these grants, especially
Raleigh's, fell in the next reign to Richard Boyle, the so-called
'_great_ Earl of Cork ' - probably the most pious hypocrite to be found
in the long roll of the 'Munster Undertakers.'




CHAPTER V.

AN IRISH CRUSADE.


In 1602, the Lord Deputy Mountjoy, in obedience to instructions from
the Government in London, marched to the borders of Ulster with
a considerable force, to effect, if he could, the arrest of Hugh
O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, or to bring him to terms. Since the defeat
of the Irish and Spanish confederacy at Kinsale, O'Neill comforted
himself with the assurance that Philip III. would send another
expedition to Ireland to retrieve the honour of his flag, and avenge
the humiliation it had sustained, owing to the incompetency or
treachery of Don Juan d'Aquila. That the king was inclined to aid the
Irish there can be no question; 'for Clement VIII., then reigning in
the Vatican, pressed it upon him as a sacred duty, which he owed to
his co-religionists in Ireland, whose efforts to free themselves from
Elizabeth's tyranny, the pontiff pronounced to be a _crusade_ against
the most implacable heretic of the day.'[1]

[Footnote 1: Fate and Fortunes of the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell.
By the Rev. P.C. Meehan, M.R.I.A.]

If Mr. Meehan's authorities may be relied upon, Queen Elizabeth was,
in intention at least, a murderer as well as a heretic. He states
that while she was gasping on her cushions at Richmond, gazing on the
haggard features of death, and vainly striving to penetrate the opaque
veil of the future, she commanded Secretary Cecil to charge Mountjoy
to entrap Tyrone into a submission, on diminished rank as Baron of
Dungannon, and with lessened territory; or if possible, to have his
head, before engaging the royal word. It was to accomplish either of
these objects, that Mountjoy marched to the frontier of the north.
'Among those employed to murder O'Neill in cold blood, were Sir
Geoffry Fenton, Lord Dunsany, and _Henry Oge O'Neill._ Mountjoy bribed
one Walker, an Englishman, and a ruffian calling himself Richard
Combus, to make the attempt, but they all failed.'[1] Finding it
impossible to procure the assassination of 'the sacred person of
O'Neill, who had so many eyes of jealousy about him,' he wrote to
Cecil from Drogheda, that nothing prevented Tyrone from making his
submission but mistrust of his personal safety and guarantee
for maintenance commensurate to his princely rank. The lords of
Elizabeth's privy council empowered Mountjoy to treat with O'Neill on
these terms, and to give him the required securities. Sir Garret Moore
and Sir William Godolphin were entrusted with a commission to effect
this object. But while the lord deputy, with a brilliant retinue,
was feasting at Mellifont, a monastery bestowed by Henry VIII. on an
ancestor of Sir Garret Moore, by whom it was transformed into a 'fair
mansion,' half palace, half fortress, a courier arrived from England,
announcing the death of the queen. Nevertheless the negotiations
were pressed on in her name, the fact of her decease being carefully
concealed from the Irish. Tyrone had already sent his secretary, Henry
O'Hagan, to announce to the lord deputy that he was about to come to
his presence. Accordingly on March 29, he surrendered himself to the
two commissioners at Tougher, within five miles of Dungannon. On the
following evening he reached Mellifont, when, being admitted to the
lord deputy's presence, 'he knelt, as was usual on such occasions;'
and made penitent submission to her majesty. Then, being invited to
come nearer to the deputy, he repeated the ceremony, if we may credit
Fynes Moryson, in the same humiliating attitude, thus: -

'I, Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, do absolutely submit myself to the
queen's mercy, imploring her gracious commiseration, imploring her
majesty to mitigate her just indignation against me. I do avow that
the first motives of my rebellion were neither malice nor ambition;
but that I was induced by fear of my life, to stand upon my guard. I
do therefore most humbly sue her majesty, that she will vouchsafe
to restore to me my former dignity and living. In which state of
a subject, I vow to continue for ever hereafter loyal, in all true
obedience to her royal person, crown, and prerogatives, and to be
in all things as dutifully conformable thereunto as I or any other
nobleman of this realm is bound by the duty of a subject to his
sovereign, utterly renouncing the name and title of O'Neill, or any
other claim which hath not been granted to me by her majesty. I abjure
all foreign power, and all dependency upon any other potentate but her
majesty. I renounce all manner of dependency upon the King of Spain,
or treaty with him or any of his confederates, and shall be ready to
serve her majesty against him or any of his forces or confederates.
I do renounce all challenge or intermeddling with the Uriaghts, or
fostering with them or other neighbour lords or gentlemen outside my
country, or exacting black-rents of any Uriaghts or bordering lords.
I resign all claim and title to any lands but such as shall now be
granted to me by her majesty's letters patent. Lastly, I will be
content to be advised by her majesty's magistrates here, and will
assist them in anything that may tend to the advancement of her
service, and the peaceable government of this kingdom, the abolishing
of barbarous customs, the clearing of difficult passes, wherein I will
employ the labours of the people of my country in such places as I
shall be directed by her majesty, or the lord deputy in her name; and
I will endeavour for myself and the people of my country, to erect
civil habitations such as shall be of greater effect to preserve us
against thieves, and any force but the power of the state.'

[Footnote 1: See Life and Letters of Florence M'Carthy. By D.
M'Carthy, Esq.]

To this act of submission Tyrone affixed his sign manual, and handed
it to the deputy, who told him he must write to Philip III. of Spain,
to send home his son Henry, who had gone with Father M'Cawell to
complete his studies in Salamanca. The deputy also insisted that he
should reveal all his negotiations with the Spanish court, or any
other foreign sovereign with whom he maintained correspondence; and
when the earl assured him that all these requirements should be duly
discharged, the lord deputy in the queen's name promised him her
majesty's pardon to himself and followers, to himself the restoration
of his earldom and blood with new letters patent of all his lands,
excepting the country possessed by Henry Oge O'Neill, and the Fews
belonging to Tirlough Mac Henry O'Neill, both of whom had recently
taken grants of their lands, to be holden immediately from the queen.
It was further covenanted that Tyrone should give 300 acres of his
land to the fort of Charlmont, and 300 more to that of Mountjoy, as
long as it pleased her majesty to garrison said forts. Tyrone assented
to all these conditions, and then received the accolade from the lord
deputy, who, a few months before, had written to Queen Elizabeth, that
he hoped to be able to send her that ghastliest of all trophies - her
great rebel's head!

On April 4, the lord deputy returned to Dublin accompanied by the
great vassal whom he fancied he had bound in inviolable loyalty to the
English throne. To make assurance doubly sure, the day after James was
proclaimed, Tyrone repeated the absolute submission made at Mellifont,
the name of the sovereign only being changed. He also despatched a
letter to the King of Spain stating that he had held out as long as
he could, in the vain hope of being succoured by him, and finally when
deserted by his nearest kinsmen and followers, he was enforced as in



Online LibraryJames GodkinThe Land-War In Ireland (1870) A History For The Times → online text (page 8 of 37)