IRELAND TO THE SETTLEMENT OF ULSTER.
By R. DUNLOP, M.A.
Ireland at the beginning of the sixteenth century . 579
Irish legislation of Henry VII. Poynings' law. The Church of Rome in Ireland . 580
Influence of the House of Kildare . 581
Title of King of Ireland conferred on Henry VIII . 582
Henry VIll's view of the Irish problem . 583
General submission of the Irish . 584
Review of Henry VIII's Irish policy. Pope Paul III and Con O'Neill . 585
Progress of the Reformation in Ireland . 586
Rebellion of the O'Mores and O'Conors . '. 587
Plantation of Leix and Offaly . ' 588
Rise of Shane O'Neill. .'.'.'.' 589
His submission to Elizabeth, 1562, and his triumph over her government, 1563 . 590
Political aims of Shane O'Neill.-.!!. 591
His death. Beginnings of the Counter-Reformation in Ireland. Mission of Wolfe . 592
Munster politics . 594
Rebellion of James Fitzmaurice .'."'' 595
Progress of the Counter-Reformation.'.'.'.'' 596
Papal intervention. Invasion and death of Fitzmaurice. Rebellion of the Earl of Desmond . 597
His death, 1583 . 598
Plantation of Munster, 158G-9 . 599
Ulster after the death of Shane O'Neill . 601
Struggle for power in the north . 602
Tyrone allies himself with O'Donnell . 603
Connaught and Ulster . 604
Tyrone in Dublin. He is proclaimed a traitor. His intrigues with Spain . 605
Tyrone and the government . 606
His victory near Armagh. Essex in Ireland, 1599 . 607
The Spaniards at Kinsale, 1601 . 608
Submission of Tyrone. General amnesty . 609
Cess. Elizabeth's two Irish Parliaments . 610
Tyrone's dispute with O'Cahan . 611
Flight of Tyrone and Tyrconnell . 612
Rebellion of Sir Cahir O'Dogherty . 613
The plantation of Ulster, 1608-11 . 614
Character of the plantation . 616
IRELAND, TO THE SETTLEMENT OF ULSTER.
CUT off by its position, but even more by the relapse of the greater part of its inhabitants into a state of semi-barbarism, from the general currents of European development, Ireland, which despite its insularity had done so much in the past for European civilisation, was to most Englishmen at the beginning of the sixteenth century a mere terra incognita. Quite recently it had, it is true, acquired a certain notoriety by its espousal of the claims of Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck; French wines found their way into the country through Cork and Waterford ; the long-established commercial relations between Dublin and Bristol still subsisted; Spanish traders landed their wares on Galway quay; the fame of St Patrick's purgatory attracted an occasional pilgrim from foreign lands ; and of one Irish chieftain it was placed on record that he had accomplished the hazardous journey to Rome and back. But of those larger influences which were transforming the face of Europe politically, intellectually, and morally, Ireland knew nothing. The wave of the Renaissance expended its force without touching her shores.
Vast woods and impenetrable thickets-the lair of the wild boar and the wolf-interspersed with pathless bogs, covered the island, rendering communication with the interior dangerous and difficult, and preventing that political development which trade and intercourse with other nations can alone promote.
Of the three-quarters of a million of inhabitants, which by a rough estimate then composed the population of Ireland, two-thirds at least led a wild and half-nomadic existence. Possessing no sense of national unity beyond the narrow limits of the several clans to which they belonged, acknowledging no law outside the customs of their tribe, subsisting almost entirely on the produce of their herds and the spoils of the chase, and finding in their large frieze mantles a sufficient protection against the inclemency of the weather and one relieving them from the necessity of building houses for themselves, they had little in their general mode of life to distinguish them from their Celtic ancestors.
To preserve this last vestige of its dominion had been, in so far as it concerned itself with Ireland at all, the one object of the English Crown from the days of Richard II down to those of Henry VII. Acts of the most stringent description had been passed to prevent the assimilation of the two races ; threats of confiscation had been hurled against the degenerate English nobles unless they abandoned their pestiferous customs of coyne and livery; the aid of Rome had been solicited, and the Church had thundered her anathema against the rebellious Irish. But all to no effect. Year by year the position of the Palemen became more precarious. Worse off in many respects than the wild Irish, from whose inroads they were compelled to purchase an uncertain immunity by the payment of heavy black rents, they seemed to exist on sufferance only because it suited the policy of the dominant house of Kildare to make use of the royal authority in its feuds with the Butlers and O'Neills. In order to remedy this condition of things, Henry VII had authorised his deputy Sir Edward Poynings in 1494 to consent to a law restraining the freedom of the Irish Parliament and subjecting its legislation to the sanction of the Privy Council. But the remedy hardly touched the disease. Before long affairs drifted back into their old channel ; and how long Ireland might have continued an object of more or less indifference to England it is impossible to say, had not the political consequences of Henry VIII's divorce rendered active intervention there necessary.
Perhaps in no domain had the antagonism between the two races been attended with more peculiar results than in that of the Church. Despite the efforts of the Synod of Cashel to secure conformity in doctrine and ritual, the Irish had never entirely abandoned their own primitive form of Church government. And this for two reasons. First, because, being ot indigenous origin, it had grafted itself permanently on the clan system; and secondly, because the Church of Rome by associating herself closely with the policy of the invaders had failed to gain the sympathy of the natives. Of course, as the power of the Crown in Ireland grew, so also grew the influence of the Roman Church. But though pushed
The proceedings connected with Henry's divorce from Queen Katherine had hardly entered on their last and critical stage when signs of political complications likely to follow from an open breach with the Emperor Charles V began to show themselves in Ireland. James Fitzjohn Fitzgerald, eleventh Earl of Desmond, who, in order to strengthen his position in Munster against the MacCarthies on the one side and the Butlers on the other, had lately been coquetting with Francis I, had seized the opportunity to open negotiations with the Emperor, promising in return for assistance to transfer his allegiance from the English to the Imperial Crown. This would have attracted little attention, had it not been that Charles, in the hope of creating embarrassments for Henry, had shown a willingness to entertain Desmond's proposals. And, though his death nipped the scheme before it had time to take any practical shape, his example had not been lost on others, and more than one Irish chieftain showed a readiness to follow in his footsteps. Thus the necessity of vigorous intervention in the affairs of Ireland was brought forcibly home to Henry. The Viceroy, Gerald, ninth Earl of Kildare, was accordingly summoned to London, and immediately on his arrival there clapped in the Tower. A report of his death, premature as it proved, was instantly followed by the rebellion of his son Thomas, Lord Offaly. Troops were despatched to Ireland; and on February 3, 1537, Earl Thomas and his five uncles, having been previously attainted, were hanged at Tyburn. The downfall of the House
Incidentally Henry's breach with Rome had the effect of attracting special attention to the so-called donation of Ireland to Henry II by Pope Adrian IV. The discussion to which the subject gave rise was not of a purely academic character. What one Pope had the power to grant, another Pope, it was argued, had the power to recall, and a disposition manifested itself in papal circles to give practical expression to this view of the question. To obviate this danger and to place the Crown's claims on an indisputable basis a Bill was prepared, conferring on Henry and his heirs the title of King of Ireland, and submitted to a parliament which met at Dublin on June 13, 1541. The Bill readily passed both Houses, and, having been read again " in playne Parliamente," received the royal assent on Saturday, June 18. This Act, though of comparatively little importance in itself, is useful as serving to mark the beginning of a new epoch in the history of Ireland. With it the long period of inaction came to a close, and a period of active intervention, leading to a final conquest and settlement of the country, began. It was the first step towards what was called the " recovery " of Ireland. Starting at this point, it will be the object of the present chapter to sketch in broad outlines the history of this " recovery " down to the eve of the great rebellion, and to show how a policy in its inception essentially conciliatory gradually and, to all appearance, inevitably developed into one of a directly opposite tendency.
On being informed that parliament had conferred on him the title of King of Ireland, Henry remarked with much shrewdness that it
Such then were the lines on which Henry proposed to effect the recovery of Ireland and the reduction of the country to good order and civility ; of transplantation and extirpation there was as yet not one word spoken or implied. " Sober ways, politic drifts, and amiable persuasions"-these were to be the means by which Irishmen were to be induced to abandon their barbarous life and to conform to the laws of England. Immediate success seemed likely to crown Henry's policy. One by one the Irish chieftains, from the Earl of Desmond in the south
The problem seemed to have been solved. Ireland, so long the scene of bloodshed and anarchy, appeared at last to have found rest and to be on the point of entering upon an era of peace and prosperity. "If only this same may be continued but two descents, then is this land for ever reformed," ejaculated St Leger. "Thanks be to God," wrote Sir Thomas Cusack, " this land was never by our remembrance in so good case-no, nothing like, for honest obedience ; and after that cometh the profit to the King's Majesty, if they continue in this quietness they be in at this instant." " We confess," testified the Earls of Desmond, Thomond, and Tyrone, and divers other Irish lords, who had come to Dublin to witness St Leger's departure, " there lives not any in Ireland, were he of the age of Nestor, who has seen this country in a more peaceful state." Knowing, as we do, how fallacious these hopes were to prove, and how far Ireland was from being actually won, it is worth while to enquire into the causes of the failure of Henry's policy.
In tracing the history of the relations between England and Ireland, and in endeavouring to account for that deeply-rooted antipathy on the part of the latter to the former, which has constantly frustrated every effort at conciliation, historians have naturally laid special emphasis on the fatal consequences of the wars of religion and extirpation waged by Elizabeth and her successors. But, though both circumstances have undoubtedly served to complicate the problem, and indeed to alter its entire complexion, they can hardly be regarded as adequate to explain the
Henry's activity in Ireland had not failed to attract the attention of the astute politician who occupied the chair of St Peter, Paul III. We have already seen how the construction placed by the Papacy on the so-called Donation of Adrian had been a main cause in bringing about the alteration of the royal title. But a new power had recently sprung into existence of which Paul did not fail to perceive the significance and which he proceeded to turn to instant account. The foundation of the Society of Jesus by Ignatius Loyola and its part in the movement known as the Counter-Reformation have already been discussed in a previous chapter of this work. Here it is sufficient to note that the foundation of the new Order was exactly contemporaneous with the viceroyalty of St Leger. In a letter addressed to Con O'Neill on April 24,1541, Paul, after referring to the pitch of impiety to which Henry's contempt of God's honour had brought Ireland, announced his intention of taking that land under his own fatherly protection. To this end he had appointed John Codure and Alphonso Salmeron, the latter one of the earliest of Loyola's recruits and afterwards prominent
As Henry's conversion to Protestantism had been the result rather of political causes than of any such religious grievances as had brought about the religious revolt in Germany, so it was hardly to be expected that his innovations in religion should have borne any other character than that of a mere State transaction. A number of Acts were passed conferring on him the title of Supreme Head of the Church, diverting certain sources of revenue from the papal into the royal treasury, and sanctioning the suppression of religious houses. Beyond this nothing was attempted in Ireland. No doubt even so much was not accomplished without opposition ; but the opposition was of a purely formal nature, entailing neither persecution nor martyrdom for conscience' sake. A few images were knocked down in some churches, and their places supplied by English translations of the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments ; a new form of confession was promulgated, in which the power of the Pope to grant absolution for sin was directly impugned ; but the Mass still continued to be set forth in the Latin tongue, invocations to be addressed to the Virgin, and prayers to be offered up for the dead. Between the Archbishop of
Dublin, George Browne, who represented the extreme wing of the reforming party, and George Cromer, Archbishop of Armagh, who headed the opposition, probably the only essential article of difference was that of the Royal Supremacy. And even in this respect Cromer was prudent enough not to offer anything more than a sort of passive resistance. For the people generally the question of the spiritual supremacy was a matter of absolute indifference. O'Donnell, GTNeill, O'Brien, and the rest of the Irish chiefs had, as we have seen, made no scruple about renouncing allegiance to the Pope, or of accepting grants of conventual property. Their clansmen, even if they heard anything of the matter, neither cared nor understood anything at all about it. A reformation implies something to be reformed. But outside the Pale there was nothing worthy of being called a Church. To say that the Irish had relapsed into a state of heathenism is perhaps going too far. The tradition of a Christian belief still survived ; but it was a lifeless, useless thing. What the Irish needed was not reformation or conversion, but, if we may employ modern phraseology, a religious revival. We shall have occasion to notice how this need was met, not by the properly constituted authorities of the State Church, but by the missionary enterprise of the priests. Perhaps in no other country in the world were the efforts of the Counter-Reformation productive of more important or lasting consequences than in Ireland.
As the reign of Henry VIII drew to a close, the little cloud of rebellion that had been gathering over the western borders of the Pale showed signs of bursting; and the son of Jane Seymour had hardly mounted his father's throne when Brian O'Conor and Gilapatrick O'More, the chiefs of two important clans occupying the eastern parts of what was subsequently known as the King's and Queen's counties, rose in arms. It is not always easy to offer a plausible reason for Irish insurrection-probably because a plausible reason does not always exist. But in this case sympathy with the exiled head of the House of Kildare and the disappointed ambition of Brian O'Conor, who had vainly hoped for terms as favourable as those accorded to O'Neill and O'Brien, evidently cooperated with a feeling of insecurity on O'Conor's part owing to the intrigues of his brother Cahir and of general dissatisfaction at the recent proceedings of government. The rebellion was speedily suppressed. Leix and Offaly were laid waste with fire and sword, and a settlement of the two countries was taken in hand. But the project adopted in 1551 of granting leases for twenty-one years to a number of gentlemen of the Pale and loyal natives proved a complete failure. The inducements offered the former were inadequate to tempt more than a very few to risk the hardships and dangers of what could only be regarded as the occupation of hostile territory. A proposal was made to convert the leaseholders into copyholders. But no definite progress was made till after the passing of an Act in Queen Mary's
The plantation struck root; but more than half-a-century passed away before the settlers could be said to be in tranquil possession of their lands. Eighteen several times during that period did the O'Mores and O'Conors try by force of arms to recover their independence, each attempt in turn being repressed with great loss of life and fresh confiscation of property. Of those estated by Sussex hardly any remained at the close of the sixteenth century. In 1609 both clans were so reduced that Lord Deputy Chichester proposed to remove them bodily into a corner of county Kerry. The transplantation was effected only with difficulty ; and a year or two later it was found that a number of the clansmen had returned to their old haunts, living as ploughmen and labourers on lands they had once called their own. But their power was broken ; and though one of them, Rory O'More, was destined to play a prominent part in the rebellion of 1641, they had long ceased to cause anxiety either to the government or the settlers. In 1622 a Commission appointed to enquire into the state of the plantation reported that " as it was well begun, so it hath prosperously continued, and is for the most part well built and peopled by the English, and a great strength to the country and ready for your Majesty's service and their own defence."
In no instance was the failure of Henry's Irish policy more apparent than in his dealings with the O'Neills of Tyrone. The O'Neills have always been one of the most powerful clans in Ireland. Apart from the territory directly occupied by them, comprising the modern counties of Armagh, Tyrone, and the greater part of Londonderry, they exercised an undefined supremacy over the MacMahons in Monaghan, the Maguires in Fermanagh, and the O'Cahans in the north of London-
Shortly after Henry's death the discontent which Con's action had created came to a point, the malcontents finding an able and determined leader in the person of Con's eldest legitimate son, Shane O'Neill. At the time when the agreement was signed Shane was a mere boy of fourteen ; whence probably the preference shown for Matthew by government, which can hardly have been unaware of his illegitimacy. Shane had now attained to manhood, and he speedily let it be seen that he was determined by every means in his power to assert his position as first favourite of the clan. In 1551 the struggle between the rival parties attained such dimensions that government was obliged to intervene. But despite the assistance rendered to the Baron of Dungannon, Shane not merely managed to hold his own, but in 1557 had grown strong enough to expel his father and brother, who were obliged to seek safety in the Pale. His success inspired him with the hope of establishing his supremacy over the whole of Ulster ; and, taking advantage of a tribal dispute that had arisen among his neighbours, the O'Donnells, he invaded Tyrconnell. But at Carriglea, near Strabane, he was surprised by Calvagh O'Donnell and his army routed. Con O'Neill was in consequence restored ; but the clansmen remained firm to the chief of their choice, and the Earl was once more compelled to retire into the Pale, where he shortly afterwards died. Chance about the same time placed the Baron of Dungannon in Shane's power, and whether he was murdered or killed in combat is immaterial. Shane's hands were free.
Such was the position of affairs in Ulster shortly after Elizabeth ascended the throne. The question for her to decide was whether in the interests of peace and economy she would consent to recognise Shane as his father's legal successor, or whether, feeling herself bound in honour to uphold the agreement with Con, she would support the claims of Brian, the late Baron of Dungannon's eldest son. Considerations of economy triumphed. But Shane was no roi fainéant* and his determination not to surrender one iota of the power exercised by his predecessors over his urraghs or subordinate chiefs soon led to a breach between him and Elizabeth. In August, 1560, the Queen
Shortly afterwards Calvagh O'Donnell, whose powers of endurance had been broken by three years of fearful imprisonment, offered to surrender Lifford, to renounce his claims to the over-lordship of Inishowen and to pay a heavy ransom; whereupon he was set at liberty. It soon appeared that he had promised more than he was able, or perhaps intended, to perform. Shane, however, managed to storm Lifford and about the same time to capture Calvagh's son Con. Having thus attained his object in the west he soon afterwards directed his forces against the MacDonnells of the Isles, who had recently effected a settlement along the coasts of county Antrim. On May 2,1565, he inflicted a crushing defeat on the Scots near Ballycastle, taking among other prisoners James MacDonnell and his brother Sorley Boy. This victory placed Ulster practically at his feet. Still Elizabeth hesitated to act with decision, though Sir Henry Sidney, who had succeeded Sussex as Lord Deputy, emphatically endorsed his predecessor's opinion that nothing but force would suffice to lower Shane's pride ; nor was it until she had satisfied herself through Sir Francis Knollys as to the situation being really critical that she reluctantly consented to draw the sword.
Meanwhile Shane, whose ambition had taken a higher flight in proportion to his success, was busily forming schemes of fresh aggrandisement. That he aimed at making himself master of the whole of Ireland it is impossible to assert with confidence. But it must be remembered that he was only thirty-six years of age, and that his success had hitherto been phenomenal. He was known to be intriguing with Mary Queen of Scots and the Earl of Argyll; and letters had been intercepted from him to Charles IX and the Cardinal of Lorraine, calling on them to assist him in expelling the English and promising for himself and his successors to become the humble subjects of the Crown of France. On August 3, 1566, he was proclaimed a traitor; and a month later a small English force under the command of Colonel Randolph effected a landing on the shores of Lough Foyle, where afterwards the city of Derry was built, with the object of cooperating from the rear with Sidney, who forthwith invaded Tyrone. Shane's country was laid waste with fire and sword, and his enemy Calvagh O'Donnell restored; but so far as material damage was concerned the expedition proved a failure. In fact, no sooner had Sidney withdrawn, than Shane began to concentrate his forces on the border of Tyrconnell. He was defeated by Randolph; but the death of the English commander and the subsequent withdrawal of the garrison at Derry again set his hands free. In May, 1567, he once more invaded Tyrconnell, but this time he was defeated and his army almost annihilated by the O'Donnells in the neighbourhood of Letterkenny. Riding for dear life, he succeeded in reaching his own country. For a moment he thought of appealing to Sidney for mercy with a rope round his neck ; but finally he decided on trying to come to terms with the MacDonnells. Taking
Still more serious were the troubles impending in the south and south-west. One day towards the latter end of January, 1561, there arrived at Cork, on a vessel coming from Bordeaux, a man of unpretentious appearance. Beyond the clothes in which he stood he apparently possessed nothing. His name, he would have told anyone who might have thought it worth while to ask, was David Wolfe, a native of the town of Limerick. Yet this same unpretentious-looking person, whom no one knew, was the bearer of a commission which entitled him to take precedence of every Bishop and Archbishop of the Church of Rome in Ireland. Nearly twenty years had passed away since Alphonso Salmeron and his two companions, despairing of converting the natives of Ulster, had abandoned the task committed to them by Paul III of saving Ireland to the Holy See. In the meantime, neither the occupant of St Peter's chair nor the Supreme Head of the Church as by law appointed had displayed much interest in the spiritual welfare of the Irish. There had, indeed, been considerable shuffling of the cards among the rulers of the land. Catholic had succeeded Protestant, and Protestant Catholic, both in Church and State; but to most Irishmen it was a matter of perfect indifference whether Edward VI, or Mary, or Elizabeth sat on the throne, or whether Greorge Browne, or George Dowdal, or Hugh Curwen claimed the right to direct their consciences. How indeed could it be otherwise, when more than half the country lay outside the control of the Crown; when two-thirds of the population could understand no other language but Irish ; and when no attempt was made to translate the English service into the vernacular ?
In 1560 the new Pope, Pius IV, in view of the fact that Elizabeth was beginning "to bear herself openly as a heretic," conceived the project of trying to use Ireland as a stepping-stone towards the recovery of England. To this end he selected as his confidential emissary David Wolfe, a member of the Society of Jesus and an Irishman. His intention was to create Wolfe a Bishop and invest him with the dignity of papal Nuncio ; but he yielded to the advice of Laynez, who had succeeded Loyola as General of the Order, and, with the view of reducing the dangers of his task, confined himself to conferring on him powers equal to those of Nuncio. The instructions given to Wolfe bade him use his influence with the Irish chiefs in forming a league for the defence of the Catholic faith, to make a careful survey of the Church and clergy in each diocese, and to take what measures he thought
Quitting Rome on August 11,1560, Wolfe, after being arrested at Nantes as a Lutheran and losing all his baggage at sea, reached Cork, as we have seen, in safety on January 20, 1561. Having caused his arrival and the object of his mission to be announced with as little noise as possible, he was surprised in how short a time and from what remote parts the natives flocked to him in their anxiety to confess their sins and to obtain absolution for their irregular manner of life-"super incestis matrimoniis.'1'' On undertaking a tour through the provinces of Munster and Connaught he was grieved to find everything relating to religion in the utmost state of disorder. Many of the Bishops had conformed and taken the oath of allegiance ; the churches for the most part were merely heaps of ruins or devoted to secular purposes ; and the clergy were more familiar with the use of temporal than with that of spiritual weapons. The cathedral of Tuam, which for three hundred years had served as a fortress for the Burkes, had recently been recovered by force of arms by Christopher Bodkin, the Archbishop, at great risk to his own life; but he, though a good man as the ways of the world went, had conformed. The cathedral church of Athenry was still used as a fortress by the gentry of the neighbourhood. Wolfe apparently at first made no attempt to visit Ulster, having probably little confidence in Shane O'Neill, whom he describes as "crudele ed impio heretico."" Leinster also, owing to the vigilance of government, was closed to him ; and he was obliged to appoint one Thady Newman his deputy in that province.
But, though he was compelled to work in secret, the success of his mission was none the less assured. Before long fresh missionaries arrived, and if religion was perforce shorn of its splendour, the foundations of the Catholic faith were being none the less firmly laid in the devotion of the rising generation. The movement was warmly supported by Pius IV. In May, 1564, he issued a Bull-Dum exquisita-authorising the erection of Catholic colleges with the privileges of a university in Ireland. The idea betrayed considerable ignorance of the real state of affairs in that country. For, ,as Richard Creagh, the newly-consecrated Archbishop of Armagh (to whom with Wolfe the execution of the scheme was entrusted), pointed out, the English government, if unable to counteract the new propaganda, was perfectly capable of resisting any open attack on its authority such as was implied in the creation of a university. Meanwhile Salamanca, Douai, and Louvain, sufficed to meet the lack of a national training college. Each year, as it came, witnessed the
One of the earliest and most influential of Father Wolfe's adherents was James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald, cousin-german of Gerald, fifteenth and, since 1558, reigning Earl of Desmond. James' father, Maurice "of the burnings" as he was called, had rendered excellent service to his brother, Gerald's father, the fourteenth Earl, by "removing" out of his way his rival James, the thirteenth Earl. He had been rewarded by a grant of the district of Kerrykurrihy. But the friendly relations thus established between the two branches of the family had come to an end with the accession of Gerald, who evidently regarded his uncle as quite capable of playing the same trick on him as he had done on James ; and it was soon noted that they were at " hot wars " with one another. Their quarrel did not, however, prevent Gerald, who had already acquired the reputation of being a person of turbulent disposition, from pursuing the traditional policy of his house towards his neighbours, the Butlers. In 1560 a dispute arose between him and Thomas Butler, tenth Earl of Ormonde, as to the duty on wines unshipped at Youghal and Kinsale, and as to certain debateable lands on the river Suir, into which Desmond swore that Ormonde had entered by force. The dispute conducted in the usual Irish fashion, terminated for the time being in the defeat and capture of Desmond by Ormonde at the ford of Affane in February, 1565. Both Earls were summoned to England ; and, after with difficulty being brought to enter into recognizances of ,£20,000 each to abide by Elizabeth's decision in the matter, they were allowed to return home in January, 1566.
Early in the following year Sir Henry Sidney, being then Lord Deputy, visited Munster and delivered judgment in favour of Ormonde ; " whereat the Earl of Desmond did not a little stir and fell into some disallowable heats and passions." Fearing he would rebel, Sidney arrested him, and in the meanwhile, till the Queen's pleasure was known, appointed his brother, Sir John, Captain of Desmond. Shortly afterwards Sidney left Ireland. During his absence the Lords Justices, Weston and Fitzwilliam, acting on instructions from England, inveigled Sir John to Dublin, and, having got him in their hands, shipped him and his brother the Earl off to England, where they were promptly placed in the Tower. The arrest of Sir John was, as Sidney remarked, a fatal mistake, inasmuch as it made James Fitzmaurice practically master of the situation in Munster. That the latter was already cooperating with the Jesuits there can be hardly any doubt; but it was not until he heard that Sidney had returned to Ireland in
September, 1568, without bringing with him either the Earl or his brother, that he openly assumed the position of leader of the Munster Geraldines.
The blessing of the Church rested upon him. In February, 1569, Maurice MacGibbon, titular Archbishop of Cashel, escorted with solemn pomp by Fitzmaurice from Cashel to the sea, sailed from Ireland as the accredited agent of the southern confederates to the Court of Spain and the Vatican. They had charged him with the commission of imploring his Holiness to take their afflicted island under his special protection and of offering to acknowledge as their legitimate sovereign any Catholic Prince of the royal House of Spain or Burgundy whom Philip might appoint for that purpose.
A few months after his departure Fitzmaurice raised the standard of rebellion. It is unreasonable to question his sincerity in giving a religious colouring to the war, though there was perhaps some truth in the Countess of Desmond's assertion that he had rebelled in order to bring her husband into further displeasure, and to usurp all his inheritance "by the example of his father." Probably both motives cooperated. His policy evidently was to build up a strong anti-English and Catholic party, and by constituting himself its head, to render an alliance with him an object of importance to the Catholic Powers of Europe. The adhesion of Sir Edmund and Sir Edward Butler, brothers of the Earl of Ormonde, who had their own grievances, greatly strengthened him. In June he invaded Kerrykurrihy, and having stormed the castle-abbey of Tracton, sat down before Cork, promising the mayor and corporation never to depart until they agreed to "abolish out of that city that old heresy newly raised and invented.'1 By the time Sidney could take the field against him, towards the latter end of July, the flame of the rebellion had spread as far eastward as Kilkenny. But it soon appeared of what unstable material the confederacy was composed.
By the exertions of the Earl of Ormonde, the Butlers were detached from the alliance. Their example was followed by Sir Thomas of Desmond, the Earl's half-brother, and Fitzmaurice, driven to depend upon his own resources, was ere long forced to seek shelter in the forest of Aharlow. Months passed away without any sign of assistance coming from abroad. Months lengthened into years, and still Fitzmaurice managed to evade every effort to capture him. Fearing he might escape to the Continent, Sir John Perrot at last consented to hold out an offer of pardon to him, and accordingly, on February 23, 1573, Fitzmaurice, " taking the point of the Lord President's sword next his heart, in token that he had received his life at the Queen's hands," submitted himself unto her mercy, swearing solemnly "to be and continue a true subject unto the Queen and Crown of England." So well did he act his part that Perrot almost believed he was likely to prove "a second St Paul."
The situation was indeed critical. Catholicism was making the most alarming progress. Every year the natives were becoming more enthusiastic in the cause, and it was not without good reason that the English officials in Munster expressed their belief that a foreign invasion would be followed by a general insurrection. " The proud and undutiful in-habiters of this town," wrote Sir William Drury from Waterford in April, 1577, "are so cankered in Popery, undutiful to her Majesty, slandering the Gospel publicly as well this side the sea as beyond in England, that they fear not God nor man....Masses infinite they have in their several churches every morning, without any fear. I have spied
The conquest of Ireland by Fitzmaurice was to be the grand consummation of all this preparation. Ireland won, was to be the stepping-stone to the recovery of England. Meanwhile Fitzmaurice himself, after failing to persuade either Catharine de' Medici or Philip II to intervene actively in Irish affairs, had gained the sympathy of Gregory XIII. The crown of Ireland, which had been declined for Henry III and Don John of Austria, was accepted by the Pope for his nephew, Giacomo Buoncampagni. A plan for the invasion of Ireland was soon on foot, the execution of which was entrusted to that notorious adventurer, Sir Thomas Stukeley. Early in 1578 Stukeley sailed from Civita Vecchia with 800 men ; but, putting in at Lisbon for repairs, he was persuaded to join his forces with those of Sebastian of Portugal against Abdulmelek, Emperor of Morocco, and a few months later met his death on the fatal field of Alcazar. Undeterred by this disaster and encouraged by the presence and advice of Dr Nicholas Sanders, the author of that once famous book, De origine et progressa Schismatis AngVtcatù, who had thrown himself heart and soul into the enterprise and accompanied him as papal Legate, Fitzmaurice, having collected together with much difficulty a motley crew of Spaniards, Italians, Portuguese, Flemings, refugee Irish, and renegade English, set sail from Ferrol in Galicia on June 17, 1579. A month later he landed on the coast of Kerry, and at once began to entrench himself in Smerwick harbour, pending the arrival of reinforcements. His first business was to publish a proclamation justifying his expedition and calling upon the Irish to rise in defence of their religious liberties. He then proceeded on a pilgrimage to Holy Cross Abbey in Tipperary. On his way thither he was killed in a petty skirmish with the Burkes of Castleconnell.
His death threatened the collapse of the whole enterprise. But, whether moved by Fitzmaurice's death or by the eloquence of Sanders, the Earl of Desmond, after some hesitation, now assumed the position which circumstances and his own ambition marked out for him of head of the rebellion. He was proclaimed a traitor on November 2; and, finding himself irretrievably committed, he attacked and sacked Youghal. The end of the month was near before Sir William Pelham and the Earl of Ormonde could take the field against him. But their vengeance was swift and terrible. During the winter castle after castle belonging to
The flame of the rebellion seemed to be expiring, when the unexpected rising of James Eustace, Viscount Baltinglas, added fresh fuel to the fire. Did Baltinglas stand alone, or was his rising to be taken as a sign that the nobility of the Pale, Catholics almost to a man and not without grievances of their own, were beginning to move? Sanders and Sir John of Desmond flew to join him. On August 12, 1530 the new Deputy, Arthur Lord Grey de Wilton, landed at Dublin. A fortnight later he attacked Baltinglas and his ally, Fiagh MacHugh O'Byrne, at Glenmalure in county Wicklow, but was repulsed with heavy loss.
The effect of his defeat was tremendous. For a moment it seemed as if a general rebellion was imminent. In the midst of the excitement came the news that the long-expected Spaniards had succeeded in effecting a landing on the coast of Kerry, where they had been instantly joined by the Earl, his brother John, Sanders, and Baltinglas. It was an anxious time for every English official, especially for Grey, whose foolhardiness had been chiefly responsible for the crisis. But the feeling of consternation passed away, when it was found that Ormonde was quite capable of holding his own in Munster, and that the northern chieftains showed no sign of using the opportunity to strike a blow for themselves. Towards the end of October Grey marched to Ormonde's assistance. The invaders had entrenched themselves on a narrow slip of land jutting out into the bay of Smerwick ; before them lay the English army, behind them the English fleet, cutting off their retreat by sea. On November 8, Grey opened his batteries : two days later the fort surrendered, and 600 men composing the garrison were put to the sword. The back of the rebellion was broken. Early in the following year, 1581, Dr Sanders died at Clonlish, worn out with disappointment and disease. A few months later Baltinglas escaped to the Continent. His ally, Fiagh MacHugh, having submitted, was pardoned. Before the year was out, the body of Sir John of Desmond was dangling over the gates of Cork. Only the Earl of Desmond remained, and for him there was no hope. At last, after many hairbreadth escapes, he too was captured and put to death on November 11, 1583, exactly three years after the tragedy at Fort del Ore. But long before that time the war had lost the character given to it by Fitzmaurice and Sanders, and had become one of extirpation pure and simple.
The death of the Earl of Desmond, his subsequent attainder, and that of his principal adherents placed at the disposal of the English
At last, however, on June 27, 1586, the Queen's consent having been obtained for the amended plot, a beginning was made with the plantation. According to the scheme as finally approved the land was to be allotted into parcels, known as seignories, of 12,000, 8000, 6000, and 4000 acres. In the case of a seignory of 12,000 acres every "gentleman undertaker" was to establish six farmers with 400 acres each, six freeholders with 300 acres each, forty-two copyholders with 100 acres each, and finally thirty-six families holding at least 1500 acres for mesne terms ; and so proportionately for the smaller seignories. The allotments were to be held in free socage at a yearly rent, commencing from Michaelmas, 1590, of £33. 6s. 8d. in Cork, Tipperary, and Waterford; .£"62. 10#. in Limerick; £75 in Connello ; and ,£100 in Kerry and Desmond for every entire seignory of 12,000 acres. Bogs and waste lands were not to be reckoned as part of the rented grounds ; and, for the convenience of the undertakers they were to be allowed to plant in companies, so that the ties formed in England might not be severed in Ireland. No restrictions were made in point of religion, it being evidently assumed that none but Protestants would be admitted as undertakers ; but it was stipulated that no undertaker should make alienation of his estate to the mere Irish, that the heads of every family planted should be of English birth, and that heirs female
Among those who volunteered and were accepted as undertakers were some illustrious names-Ralegh, Norris, Hatton, Grenville, Spenser, Herbert, Bourchier. A number of would-be colonists came over in August, but finding no prospect of a speedy settlement returned to England. The situation was, indeed, very discouraging. Everybody knew that large quantities of land had escheated to the Crown ; but where these lands precisely lay, what their exact scope was, how much of them was arable, how much waste, and how far they were encumbered with legal obligations of one sort or another, was largely a matter of guesswork. By the end of December, only 63,000 acres had been measured and "drawn into plots." The undertakers began to grow impatient, for at this rate it was evident another year would elapse before they could be put in possession. In consequence of their remonstrances orders were issued in February, 1587, " to cause the said survey to be prosecuted out of hand in a more speedy and superficial sort"; which it was found might "be done without hindrance either to her Majesty or the undertakers ; for that the chief est of them have already by mutual accord between themselves agreed what special seignories or smaller parcels shall be allotted to each of them."
Encouraged by the prospect of at last getting to work, several undertakers arrived in the spring of the same year, bringing with them a number of colonists, to whom they had promised to assign lands as farmers or freeholders. Everything was, however, left to individual enterprise; and so it happened that while a few undertakers, like Sir William Herbert, set about energetically planting their estates, others, like Sir Walter Ralegh, after inspecting their properties left the management of them to agents, or, like Sir Christopher Hatton, did not take the trouble to visit the country at all. The apathy of some naturally crippled the exertions of the more industrious undertakers. Nor was this the only danger that threatened the plantation. Owing to defective delimitation of their seignories, dissensions broke out among the undertakers themselves, of which the Irish were not slow to take advantage, by "pretending titles" to lands already in the possession of the Crown. Until these titles were disposed of and the limits of their seignories accurately defined, it was impossible for the undertakers to pass their patents or to estate their farmers and freeholders. Meanwhile, in order to recoup themselves for their losses, they were only too glad to accept as their tenants at rack-rents those
So far as the general situation of affairs in Ulster was concerned the death of Shane O'Neill failed to produce the effect which was confidently expected from it. His cousin Turlough, who as tanist, naturally succeeded him, wrote apologising for his "thoughtless" behaviour in accepting the dignity of O'Neill ; but, as he displayed no intention of renouncing the honour, which according to his own account had been thrust upon him, it was not to be wondered at if little confidence was placed in his professions of loyalty. In another respect, however, Shane's death was not without important results. For hardly had Turlough succeeded to the chieftainship, when he at once reversed Shane's policy of aggression by opening negotiations for a reconciliation with his neighbours, the O'Donnells on the one side and the MacDonnells on the other. It seemed as if he was trying to do in the north what Fitzmaurice was doing in the south.
To meet this danger, the late Baron of Dungannon's younger son, Hugh, was in 1568 brought over from England, whither he had been taken in order to save him from the fate that had befallen his elder brother, Brian, and was installed as chief of that part of Tyrone which corresponds to the modern county of Armagh. The policy of creating a rival to Turlough promised to answer its purpose ; and for several years the young Baron of Uungannon, as he was styled, loyally and at considerable risk to himself enacted the part of " buffer " between the Pale and Turlough. But, after the failure of Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex, to oust the Hebridean Scots from their settlements in Antrim by establishing an English colony in those parts, Dungannon, feeling himself unequally matched, inclined to accept Turlough's offer of a reconciliation by marrying one of the latter's daughters. The strong remonstrances of Sir William Drury, however, coupled with the belief that he would not have long to wait till Turlough's death made him undisputed master of Tyrone, prevented him from carrying out this
Dungannon's loyalty was not left unrewarded. He was given a troop of horse, with which he served in Munster against the Irish. At his own request he was admitted Earl of Tyrone, and sat as such in the Parliament which passed the Act for the attainder of the Earl of Desmond and his relatives. Further, in consequence of an arrangement arrived at between Sir John Perrot and Turlough, he was put in possession of that part of Tyrone which lies between the Blackwater and Mullaghcarn Mountain, on condition of paying an annual rent to Turlough of one thousand marks. Nevertheless, there can be little doubt that his loyalty was more a matter of policy than of good feeling; and the opinion was openly expressed that the State was raising up for itself in him a formidable enemy. On the other hand it is questionable if his ambition at this time extended further than supplanting Turlough as chief of the O'Neills. He had indeed succeeded in getting himself acknowledged as tanist or heir-apparent to the chieftainship ; but the danger of a friendly understanding between him and Turlough had been obviated by Perrot's policy of rewarding his loyalty at the expense of his rival. For it was not to be expected that, having once been put in possession of Tyrone as far north as Mullaghcarn, he would ever consent to relax his hold of that territory. Ere long Turlough himself recognised the fact, and tried hard to withdraw from his bargain. Disputes arose as to aggressions on the one side and non-payment of rent on the other, which being conducted in the usual fashion terminated in the defeat of Tyrone at Carriglea on May 1,1588, by the combined forces of Turlough and the O'Donnells.
The result was regarded with satisfaction by the government. "Nothing," remarked Perrot, "had done so much good in the north these nine years." Nevertheless, it was evident that despite his defeat Tyrone was gradually winning the upper hand. Most of the principal men in the north were known to be of his party. His only formidable enemies, Turlough's only trusty allies, were the O'Donnells. A domestic revolution in Tyrconnell about this time not only rendered Tyrone paramount in his own country, but gave a new direction to his ambition.
For some time past the O'Donnells of Tyrronnell had been split into two parties, forming what might be called an English and an anti-English faction. Calvagh, Shane's old enemy, had belonged to the English faction. Shortly before his death in 1566 he had called his clansmen round him and adjured them to remain steadfast in their loyalty to Elizabeth. Unfortunately, at the time of his death his eldest legitimate son, Con, was a prisoner in Shane's hands. The consequence was that Calvagh's half-brother, Sir Hugh, was elected chief. His election was
This was in 1587; the defeat of Tyrone six months later at Carriglea appeared to have restored affairs completely to the status quo ante. Early in 1591, however, Hugh Roe managed to escape from Dublin Castle, and after several hairbreadth escapes succeeded with the help of his brother-in-law, the Earl of Tyrone, in reaching Donegal in safety. His chief rival, Hugh MacDiaganach, having died a violent death in the meanwhile, Hugh Roe became a few months afterwards, through the resignation of his father, undisputed chief of the O'Donnells. He was then only about twenty years of age, but had already given evidence of possessing superior ability and great personal courage. Added to this he was, like Fitzmaurice, a man of genuine religious feeling and an active ally of the Jesuits in the work of the Counter-Reformation. It was not long before his influence began to make itself felt in Ulster politics. In May, 1593, Turlough Luineach, finding himself in danger of being crushed between him and Tyrone, consented to come to terms, and on being assured a life-interest in the Strabane district voluntarily surrendered the chieftainship to the latter.
Tyrone's election as O'Neill and his alliance with O'Donnell led to serious consequences, and constitute the principal factor in the history of Ireland during the last decade of Elizabeth's reign. The characters of the two men presented a remarkable contrast to each other- O'Donnell, bold, enterprising, rash, always acting on the offensive, disdainful of every weapon save the sword, and withal a sincere Roman Catholic ; Tyrone, sly, cautious, timid, fertile in excuses, a past master in all the arts of diplomacy, and utterly indifferent to religion except in so far as it served to promote his political aims. One thing only they possessed in common-ambition to extend their power to its utmost limits. Of patriotism in the larger sense of the word it is doubtful whether they ever realised the meaning. Neither aspired to become the leader of a united Ireland; neither would have submitted to the other becoming such. For Tyrone, as for O'Donnell, the goal of his ambition would probably have been reached, could he have obtained the absolute control of his urraghs, or subordinate chiefs, and the liberty to do as he liked in his own country. But if the claim of Tyrone to exercise dominion over MacMahon, Maguire, O'Reilly, and the rest was deemed impermissible, how much more so was that of O'Donnell to
Hitherto, curiously enough, Connaught had enjoyed a quite exceptional degree of tranquillity. True, there had hardly been a year during which absolute peace reigned within its borders. The unruly sons of the Earl of Clanricarde, and latterly Sir Brian O'Rourke, chief of Leitrim, provided for that. But from constant warfare, such as had turned Munster into a howling desert, Connaught had been happily free.
This result was attributable, partly to the absence of any one dominant family like the O'Neills in Ulster ; to the loyalty of the two Earls of Clanricarde and Thomond, and to the composition effected with the natives by Sir John Perrot in 1585 ; but principally to the rigorous government of the two very able presidents of Connaught, Sir Nicholas Malby and Sir Richard Bingham. The execution of Sir Brian O'Rourke in 1591 seemed to have destroyed the last elements of discord. "The estate of this realm," wrote the Lord Deputy, Sir William Fitzwilliam, towards the close of 1592, " is quiet, without any stir or known trouble in any part thereof."
Appearances, however, proved deceptive. Before long it was remarked that the Jesuits were carrying on a very active propaganda in Ulster, and that Brian Oge O'Rourke was beginning to walk in the footsteps of his father. There was little doubt in Bingham's mind that Tyrone and O'Donnell had a secret finger in the mischief. Only a month after the former had assumed the dignity of O'Neill, Hugh Maguire, chief of Fermanagh, inflicted a sharp defeat on Bingham at Tulsk in county Roscommon. The movement had been dictated by O'Donnell. But, in ignorance of the fact, the government could think of nothing better than setting Tyrone to " recover " Maguire. Tyrone of course readily undertook the task, with the result that may be imagined. Thereupon, recognising the necessity of more active intervention, Sir Henry Bagenal, in September, invaded Fermanagh from the east. At Enniskillen he was joined by Tyrone with 200 horse and 600 foot, and on October 10 gained a "splendid victory" over Maguire at Belleek. There is not the slightest doubt that Tyrone had taken part most unwillingly in the fight, but he was able to point to a slight wound in his leg as an unequivocal sign of his loyalty. O'Donnell was more indifferent to appearances. For, having been ordered to close the fords of the Erne, he not only did nothing of the kind, but furnished Maguire and his cattle a safe retreat into Tyrconnell. The danger of the situation was apparent, the more so as O'Donnell began actively to intervene on Maguire's side. Unable, however, to act on the offensive, Fitzwilliam was driven to the feeble expedient of sending commissioners down to Dundalk to treat with Tyrone in March, 1594. But beyond eliciting from him a statement of his grievances and a promise to keep the peace until her Majesty's pleasure was known, the commissioners effected nothing.
Affairs were in this uncertain condition, when Fitzwilliam surrendered the sword of State to Sir William Russell on August 11. A day or two later Tyrone, to the astonishment of everybody, appeared of his own free will before the Council in Dublin. It was a magnificent and most successful coup de theatre. But Russell had shortly to regret his folly in not seizing the opportunity to lay the performer by the heels. As the year drew to a close, disquieting rumours reached him that Spanish gold was circulating freely in Ulster. Reinforcements under Sir John Norris were advised as being on their way ; but Tyrone had information of the fact, and struck the first blow by invading Cavan and Louth, which he burned up to the very walls of Drogheda, while O'Donnell took the same course in Connaught, sparing, it is said, "no one over fifteen years of age who could not speak Irish." When Norris landed at Waterford on May 4, 1595, the fort at the Black water had fallen, Longford Castle had been captured by O'Donnell, and Enniskillen recovered by Maguire. Before he could take the field, the capture of Sligo Castle had placed Connaught at the mercy of O'Donnell, who immediately availed himself of his advantage to set up an O'Conor Sligo, a MacWilliam, and a Mac-Dermot of his own. On June 24 Tyrone was proclaimed a traitor ; and a day or two afterwards the English army under Russell and Norris invaded his country. There was much fighting, but every effort to bring the rebel to an engagement failed ; and, under pretext that her Majesty, before proceeding to extremities, "would be content to see what was in the traitor's heart and what he would offer,'" a suspension of hostilities was consented to, and commissioners were appointed to settle the terms of a pacification. In April, 1596, Maguire, O'Reilly, and several others went through the farce of submitting and receiving their pardons on their knees in the market-place of Dundalk. But Tyrone, O'Donnell, and O'Rourke were more difficult to come at. They refused absolutely to treat anywhere except in the open fields ; and their demands for "free liberty of conscience" and local autonomy were rejected as impossible. Nevertheless, the pacification was signed on April 24.
The explanation of the comedy is not far to seek. For, while the negotiations were still in progress, a letter reached Tyrone from Philip II, congratulating him on his victories over the English, and promising to render him any assistance he might require. This letter Tyrone, with sublime impudence, submitted to the inspection of the Lord Deputy as a token of his bana fldes, adding that in their reply to Philip he and O'Donnell had declined his proffered assistance on the ground that they had been again received into the favour of their own sovereign. The statement was a gross falsehood, as the letter actually sent by them and still preserved in the archives at Simancas proves; but it served its purpose of throwing dust in the eyes of the government and spinning out the time. Towards the end of August information reached Tyrone and O'Donnell that Spanish help might shortly be expected. The promised
Meanwhile, through the treachery of Tyrone's secretary, the government had come to a knowledge of his intrigues with Spain, and in January, 1597, Norris moved down with the army to Dundalk. Contrary to the advice of O'Donnell, who seized the opportunity to plunder Connaught to the very walls of Galway, Tyrone once more tried to win his way by diplomacy, going so far as to disavow all connexion with O'Donnell at the very time he was urging him to strengthen himself in Connaught. But even Norris, though consenting to Tyrone's request for a parley at a somewhat distant date, was not entirely convinced by his protestations of loyalty. Whatever doubts he had were removed when Tyrone, instead of keeping his appointment, applied for an extension of time. His application was granted, and April 16 appointed as the last day on which his submission would be received. Again he failed to keep his engagement, and preparations were made to reduce him by force.
On May 22,1597, Russell was superseded by Thomas, Lord Burgh, and Norris was removed from the command of the army. The reunion of the civil and military authority in one person and the appointment of Sir Conyers CliiFord as Governor of Connaught gave promise of a more vigorous administration. A general hosting was proclaimed for July 6. Already a good beginning had been made by Clifford in Connaught ; and, though not strong enough either to penetrate into Tyrconnell, or even to wrest Ballyshannon out of O'Donnell's hands, he had obliged O'Donnell's protege, Tibbot Burke, called the MacWilliam, to take to his heels. On July 14, Tyrone's fort on the Blackwater was stormed and regarrisoned with English soldiers. At the first approach of danger Tyrone had ensconced himself in his woods, where every attempt to reach him proved futile. The summer passed away in frequent skirmishes, but without any decisive battle. Early, however, in October Tyrone and O'Donnell made a combined attack on the fort at the Blackwater. Burgh at once hastened to its relief ; but on his way thither he was sti-icken down by an attack of " Irish ague," of which he died a week later at Newry. Contrary to the general expectation that Tyrone would seize the opportunity to overrun the Pale, he at once opened up negotiations for a pacification. His demands were higher than ever, including not only liberty of conscience, the control of his urraghs, and the claims of O'Donnell, but also a sort of protectorate over the Irish generally. They were pronounced inadmissible. But he effected his purpose of prolonging the truce till the beginning of June,
The effect of the victory was tremendous ; and there can be little doubt that, had Tyrone acted promptly, he could have marched unopposed on Dublin. But he displayed no ability to profit by his unexpected success. After wasting nearly two months, he indeed directed a small force into Munster. Within a fortnight afterwards the whole province was in a state of rebellion. A nephew of the late Earl caused himself to be proclaimed Earl of Desmond, and a MacCarthy, subservient to Tyrone, was elected MacCarthy Mor. The English undertakers, panic-stricken at the first approach of danger, abandoned their castles and fled for safety to Cork, Limerick and Askeaton, often without striking a blow in their own defence. The plantation on which such store had been set vanished like the unsubstantial fabric of a vision. In Thomond a new O'Brien presented himself in the person of the Earl's brother, Teig. In Connaught the rebels again set up Tib bot Burke as Mac William, while O'Donnell improved the occasion by robbing O'Conor Sligo of eight thousand head of cattle. But it was in the midland districts, where the O'Mores and O'Conors had found a welcome ally in the nephew of the Earl of Ormonde, Viscount Mountgarret, that the flame of the rebellion burnt fiercest. The effects of the victory were felt even in Spain, where an embargo was laid on all ships coming out of Ireland without Tyrone's pass.
When Essex landed at Dublin on April 15, 1599, the situation was as critical as it well could be. The task of restoring order was certainly not a light one ; but it can hardly be said for Essex that his management of the campaign in any way realised the extravagant notions formed of his military capacity, or even achieved that degree of success which might reasonably have been expected from the very considerable force placed at his disposal. After wasting the summer and frittering away his strength in a useless expedition into Munster, he reluctantly yielded to Elizabeth's remonstrances to make a direct attack on Tyrone, and marched northwards from Dublin on August 28. Whatever hesitation he might have felt was dissipated by the news of Clifford's defeat by O'Rourke in Connaught, and of the subsequent defection of O'Conor Sligo. But he was no longer in a position to act vigorously on the offensive ; and, finding Tyrone as usual more ready to treat than to fight, he concluded a truce with him until the terms of a pacification
Feeling himself master of the situation, Tyrone determined to do what he should have done before, and early in January, 1600, directed his march into Munster for the purpose, as he put it, of learning the intentions of the gentlemen of that province with regard to the great question of the nation's liberty and religion. From a military point of view the expedition proved a failure. His henchman, Hugh Maguire, was slain in a skirmish with Sir Warham St Léger on March 1; and Tyrone, hearing that Sir George Carew was on his way to Cork, returned by forced marches to Ulster, thereby evading Lord Mountjoy, the newly appointed Deputy, who was preparing to intercept him in West-meath. His courage was revived by the arrival shortly afterwards of a Spanish vessel at Killybegs having on board Matthew de Oviedo, titular Archbishop of Dublin, with letters from Philip III and considerable supplies of money and ammunition to be divided between him and O'Donnell, together with a "phoenix feather" from Clement VIII for himself, and indulgences for all who should rise in defence of the faith- " as usually granted to those setting out to the war against the Turks for the recovery of the Holy Land."
It was high time that help should have arrived. In May Sir Henry Docwra succeeded in establishing himself on the shores of Lough Foyle, where, being afterwards joined by Turlough's eldest son, Sir Art O'Neill, and O'Donnell's cousin and rival, Niall Garv, he defied the efforts of Tyrone and O'Donnell to dislodge him. As the summer drew to a close, Mountjoy, having restored order in the central districts, moved' to Dundalk, where he established his camp. His intention was, by creating a line of forts, to hem Tyrone in and expose him to the dangers of a winter campaign. Lack of forage compelled him to forego his purpose ; but with the first approach of spring he was again in the field, and was gradually closing in on Tyrone from all sides, when the news of the landing at Kinsale of a Spanish force under Don Juan del Aguila in September, 1601, compelled him to withdraw the army into Munster.
That his work had not been done in vain was seen from the fact that neither Tyrone nor O'Donnell was in a position to take immediate advantage of the assistance that had been sent them. November had drawn to a close before they united their forces at Bandon. Hemmed in on all sides, the Spanish general, never very enthusiastic in the cause, and disgusted at the apathy shown by the natives, urged a combined attack on the English lines. His importunity prevailed over wiser counsels, and the attack was arranged to take place on Christmas Eve. The plan was betrayed to Mountjoy, and the Irish, after losing 1200 men,
A general amnesty followed Tyrone's submission. The war was at an end, and Ireland was conquered as she had never been conquered before. The work had cost England dear. Year after year for nearly fifty years the drain in treasure and life-blood had been going on with hardly any interruption. During the last four years and a half alone it was computed that the war had cost England about £1,200,000. What the loss in human life was it is impossible to calculate. But one thing is certain : great as was the number of those who fell by the sword, it bore only a slight proportion to those who perished from starvation and disease. No service in the world was so unpopular as that in Ireland. The grave, as it came to be regarded, of great reputations made elsewhere, it proved the grave, in a more literal sense, of nearly every soldier who was compelled to serve there. For this result Elizabeth's excessive parsimony was no doubt chiefly responsible. But the mischief did not stop here. A discontented soldiery is proverbially a disorderly one, and it is no wonder that the English army in Ireland was more an object of terror to the inhabitants of the Pale than it was to the Irish enemy.
The grounds of complaint were numerous ; but the chief grievance complained of was that of the cess. "Cess," explained Sir Henry Sidney, is "nothing else but a prerogative of the Prince and an agreement and consent by the nobility and council, to impose upon the country a certain proportion of victual of all kinds, to be delivered and issued at a reasonable rate, and, as it is commonly termed, the Queen's price; so that the rising and falling of the prices of victuals, and articles, and the seasonableness of the times-dear or cheap-makes the matter easier or heavier to the subject." Granting the theory, it was urged on behalf of the gentry of the Pale that, in consequence of the general rise in the price of commodities since Elizabeth's accession, the " Queen's price " was a hundred, sometimes a hundred and fifty, per cent, below the market price,
The question of cess possesses for Irish constitutional history almost the same significance as that which ship-money does for English. The principle involved in both was identical. What the constitutional party in Ireland demanded was not merely the control of the purse but all that the control of the purse implied, viz. constitutional government and the freedom of parliament. The agitation against cess was essentially a protest against the arbitrary principles on which the government of Ireland was being conducted and the assertion of that right of remonstrance which was denied them in parliament. And this agitation, the ultimate issue of which was the Confederation of Kilkenny, had, it should be borne in mind, nothing to do in the first instance with religion, though the gentry of the Pale were Roman Catholics almost to a man. It has ever been the misfortune of Ireland that opposition to government has been construed into rebellion. The reason for this is to be found in the fact that government in Ireland has always meant the interests of England, and not the welfare of its inhabitants, whether of English or of native descent. When Strafford asserted that Ireland was a conquered nation and to be governed as the King pleased, he merely spoke the settled conviction of every Englishman of Elizabeth's time, and what no Englishman of Charles11 time would ever have denied-had it not suited the interests of a political party to substitute for "King" the words "English Parliament." But the gentry of the Pale could never be brought to assent .to the theory. Time after time, whenever the occasion offered, they protested against it. But the occasion was seldom given them.
Setting aside the parliament which met on January 12, 1560, and was dissolved three weeks later, Elizabeth only summoned two parliaments in Ireland during the whole course of her reign, viz. in 1569-70 and in 1585-6, Both were called for the express purpose of confirming the Crown in the possession of large stretches of land forfeited by the rebellions of Shane O'Neill and the Earl of Desmond. In both instances the opposition, composed of the gentry of the Pale, made determined
To return to Ulster. Tyrone, on learning that he had made his submission in ignorance of Elizabeth's death, is said to have burst into tears. But even his somewhat equivocal relations with James could hardly have led him to expect better terms than those he obtained. Whatever his feelings, he displayed no intention of receding from his bargain. On the contrary, he not only renewed his submission before the Lord Deputy and Council in Dublin, but a few weeks later repaired to England in company with Rory O'Donnell, chief of Tyrconnell, since the death of his brother Hugh in Spain in 1602. His reception by James at Hampton Court was a bitter disappointment to the hungry band of courtiers, who were already speculating on raising their fortunes upon his ruin. " I have lived," exclaimed Sir John Harington, " to see that damnable rebel Tyrone brought to England, honoured and well-liked....How I did labour after that knave's destruction...who now smileth in peace at those who did hazard their lives to destroy him." Perhaps the very friendliness of his reception had the effect of reviving his hopes of recovering that control over his urraghs which he had been compelled by the conditions of his submission to surrender; or, as is more likely, it may have been that accepting his earldom as equivalent for his chieftainship he was determined to make the boundaries of it coterminous with the extreme limits of the clan. Anyhow, shortly after his return to Ireland, he became involved in a dispute with his former vassal, Sir Donnell O'Cahan, whose possession of Iraghticahan, comprising the modern county of Derry, he declared to be incompatible with the terms of his patent.
The dispute, conducted in the usual style, was carefully fomented by George Montgomery, the newly appointed Bishop of Derry, Raphoe, and Clogher-an adventurer of the worst type-who, having his own scheme to serve in ferreting out ecclesiastical lands in Tyrone, had found a useful tool in O'Cahan. In April, 1607, Tyrone and O'Cahan
The situation thus created took the government of Ireland completely by surprise. It was, of course, presumed that the fugitives would return and, with the help of foreign assistance, try to recover their lands by force. To guard against this danger Chichester proposed that the King should, "during their absence, assume their countries into his possession, divide the lands amongst the inhabitants-to every man of note or good desert so much as he can conveniently stock and manure by himself and his tenants and followers, and so much more as by conjecture he shall be able to stock and manure for five years to come ; and will bestow the rest upon servitors and men of worth here, and withal bring in colonies of civil people of England and Scotland at his Majesty's pleasure, with condition to build castles or storehouses upon their lands." In which case Chichester assured himself that, " besides the yearly benefit that will redound to his Majesty's coffers, which will be nothing inferior to the revenues of Munster or Connaught, the country will ever after be happily settled." The scheme was approved by James in general terms ; but, before any steps had been taken to put it in execution, events occurred in the north which led to the postponement and unforeseen development of the original plan.
Hardly had the one set of actors quitted the stage when another appeared in the persons of Sir Cormac O'Neill, younger brother of the Earl of Tyrone, Sir Cahir O'Dogherty, lord of Inishowen, Sir Niall Garv O'Donnell, claimant to the lordship of Tyrconnell, and Sir Donnell O'Cahan, lord of Iraghticahan. All of them believed they possessed claims on the government: all were anxious for the satisfaction of their claims. It is needless to say that these expectations were all disappointed. The case of Cormac O'Neill was speedily disposed
When the news of the rising reached Dublin, Chichester determined to make war " thick and short " against him, and at once despatched a strong force into the north under Marshal Wingfield. For some time CTDogherty avoided an engagement; but on July 5 he was overtaken near Kilmacrenan by a party of soldiers under Sir Francis Rushe and shot through the brain at the first encounter. His friend and adviser, Sir Niall Garv, after instigating him to rebel, had shamefully abandoned him. But his motives were suspected by the government, and having been arrested he was sent to end his days in the Tower, where he was shortly afterwards joined by Sir Donnell O'Cahan. The news of O'Dogherty's death reached Chichester at Dundalk on his way northwards to make a survey of the lands lately escheated to the Crown in accordance with a commission recently issued to him and others. The results of his investigations, which lasted the whole of the summer, confirmed him in his opinion that, if a permanent settlement of the province was to be effected, it could only be by recognising the claims of the principal natives to be created freeholders, and by distributing the rest of the lands among well-chosen undertakers and persons who had served the State in a military capacity in Ireland. If the first consideration was carefully attended to, he anticipated no difficulty in the case of the inferior natives, " who were by nature inclined rather to be
According to the scheme the lands in each of the six counties of Donegal, Coleraine, Tyrone, Armagh, Fermanagh, and Cavan, setting aside those reserved for ecclesiastical and other purposes, were to be divided into four parts, of which two were to consist of proportions of 1000 acres, one of 1500 acres, and one of 2000 acres. Estates of 2000 acres were to be held by knight's service in capite; those of 1500 acres by knight's service as of the Castle of Dublin ; those of 1000 in common socage. The undertakers or planters were to be of three sorts : (1) English or Scottish, as well " servitors " (military or civil officials of the government) as others, who were to plant their portions with English or inland Scottish inhabitants; (2) servitors in Ireland, who might take mere Irish, English, or inland Scottish tenants at their choice ; (3) natives of Ireland who were to be made freeholders. Each undertaker of a large proportion was required to build thereon a castle, with a strong court or bawn about it, within two years after the date of his letters-patent ; each undertaker of a middle portion a stone or brick house with a strong court about it within the same time ; and each undertaker of a small proportion a strong court or bawn at the least. No English or Scottish undertaker could be admitted unless he took the oath of supremacy, and he was not to alienate or demise his lands to any of the mere Irish or to such as would not take the oath. In consideration of the expense involved in transporting themselves to Ireland, English and Scottish undertakers were to pay an annual rent to the Crown of only £5. 6s. 8d. for every thousand acres ; servitors £8 for the same proportion; payment to begin in both cases after the expiration of the second year; whereas the Irish freeholders were to pay a rent of ,£10. 13*. 4J., beginning after the expiration of the first year. The division of land was to be by lot in order to avoid emulation ; and, as a guarantee of peaceable possession, it was promised that the unruly native element or swordsmen should be removed.
The scheme failed to satisfy either undertakers, servitors, or natives. Chichester, when it was forwarded to him for publication, could not conceal his vexation at the narrow and pedantic spirit in which it had been drawn up. It had never, he declared, been his intention to suggest an "arithmetical division" of the lands, but that each person should receive in proportion to his merits and quality ; apportionment by lot would have the effect of preventing persons who wished to plant together from undertaking at all ; tenure in capite and of the Castle of Dublin was regarded as a grievance when anybody could obtain land elsewhere in common socage; so also the clause respecting building which took no account of the facility or difficulty of obtaining material for the
The publication of the scheme of plantation had, as may be supposed, elicited numerous offers to undertake from persons in England and Scotland who were either ignorant of the difficulties of the enterprise or were anxious to raise their fortunes by speculating in land. But these were not the sort of undertakers that the government wished to attract. Desirable individuals possessing the necessary capital held aloof from the enterprise, finding, as Chichester predicted, better investment for their money elsewhere. Worse than all, the servitors, who were to form the backbone of the undertaking, began to withdraw their offers. In this dilemma the government, foreseeing the possible collapse of the scheme, caused a special offer to be made to the City of London in July, 1609, inviting it to undertake for the whole county of Coleraine. The invitation was at first declined ; but, on being pressed to accept and granted more favourable terms, the City, after sending agents to spy out the land, signed an agreement on January 28, 1610, to undertake. Lists of approved undertakers and servitors were about the same time transmitted to Chichester, and the month of May was fixed for the beginning of the actual work of plantation. But July was drawing to a close before the commissioners for allotting lands could get to work. A beginning was made in county Cavan, where the inhabitants were partly cajoled, partly forced, into consenting to submit to the distribution proposed, and to remove into the districts assigned to them. From Cavan the commissioners proceeded to Fermanagh, taking each county in turn, and finding unexpectedly most resistance in Tyrone and Armagh.
Sir John Davis was jubilant at the result. "Fervet opus," he wrote, quoting Virgil's description of the building of Carthage. But Chichester was not so entirely satisfied. The appearance of such of the undertakers as had arrived disappointed him, those from England being for the most part " plain country gentlemen, who may promise much, but give small assurance or hopes of performing what appertains to a work of such moment." The Scots, if they came with less money in their purses, were better attended; and he noticed that contrary to the orders of the plantation they were speedily in treaty with the natives, promising to get license that they might remain as tenants, " which is so pleasing to
The beginning of the next year, 1611, saw numerous fresh arrivals. But the rate of progress was not satisfactory, and on April 13 a proclamation was issued ordering all British undertakers to repair to Ireland before the beginning of May, by which time all natives were required to transplant on to the lands assigned them, either as landlords or tenants. The proposal to remove the natives raised an immediate outcry on the part of those undertakers who were already planting. The crisis predicted by Chichester had arrived. At his suggestion the Lords of the Privy Council published an order on July 13 threatening the undertakers with the forfeiture of their bonds unless they complied strictly with the rules of the plantation, but allowing them to retain the services of the natives for another year. The scheme for their removal had in fact broken down. At the same time, in order to obtain precise information as to the actual state of affairs, instructions were given to Lord Carew to make a personal survey of the plantation. His report was not encouraging. Many of the undertakers had never come over ; many after visiting their lands had returned home and were trying to sell them ; the natives were still in their old quarters, and showed no sign of removing ; while the servitors, on being expostulated with for having done so little, laid the blame on the undertakers who deprived them of the services of the natives.
Nevertheless, thanks to the energy of a few servitors and above all to the industry of the Scots, the plantation struck its roots deep into the soil of Ulster. That it should have borne permanently the stamp of a Scottish settlement is not without interest, considering the character of the early settlers. For if they were hardly, as they have been described, the scum of the nation, they were certainly not drawn from the best classes of the community. Indeed, the enterprise was not at all favourably regarded in Scotland, insomuch that "going for Ireland" was looked on as a miserable mark of a deplorable person. It was even turned into a proverb ; and one of the worst expressions of disdain that could be invented was to tell a man that "Ireland would be his hinder end." Fortunately, though quite unintentionally, what was wanting to the settlers in moral solidity was speedily supplied by James1 ecclesiastical policy in Scotland. Presbyterian ministers whose consciences rebelled against the restoration of episcopacy sought a refuge and a new sphere of labour in the north of Ireland. Their ministrations were abundantly blessed, not only amongst their countrymen, but amongst the English settlers to whom Calvinism in its Puritan form was not unacceptable. The character thus impressed on the plantation it never lost : hence the significance of Ulster for the subsequent history of Ireland.