CELT document E570001-001

A Letter sent by I. B. Gentleman vnto his very frende Mayster R. C. Esquire


A Letter sent by I.B. gentleman was a promotional tract for the plantation scheme in the Ards Peninsula in County Down projected by Sir Thomas Smith, Secretary of State in Elizabeth's Privy Council, and his son, also called Thomas Smith. It was published in 1572 without official permission and was widely distributed reaching Paris as well as the Irish in Ulster whom it forewarned of the colonisers' intentions. The Letter provided an argument for the colonial scheme, was accompanied by a separate map of the territory being targetted and included at the end a document called “The Offer and Order” explaining what each investor was obliged to contribute and what they were to receive if successful. This latter document had already been circulated as a broadside; the copy with the Letter carried a shortened version of its final paragraph urging prompt payment by each adventurer. In spite of the novelty of using the press for propaganda purposes, Smith's colonial venture failed with his only son dying in the attempt.

This edition has been created from the frequently-cited MacDonnells of Antrim version checked against an original copy in the Huntington Library.

Sir Thomas Smith/Thomas Smith junior

Whole text


Tract by sir Thomas Smith on the Colonisation of Ards in County of Down. (See p. 152, supra.)

A Letter sent by I. B. Gentleman vnto his very frende Mayster R. C. Esquire, wherin is conteined a large discourse of the peopling and inhabiting the Cuntrie called the Ardes, and other adiacent in the North of Ireland, and taken in hand by Sir Thomas Smith, one of the Queens Maisties priuie counsel, and Thomas Smith Esquire, his sonne.

Suche doubtes and exceptions frende R. C. as I haue heard alleged and put forthe to unhable that enterprise of peopling & replenishing with the English nation the North of Ireland, which, with the assistance of Sir Thomas Smith, one of her Maisties Counsell, Mayster Thomas Smith his sonne, hath undertook to bring to passe, maketh mee that I can not holde from you my so singuler freende those arguments wherewith through conference had with him upon his sayde attempt by reason of our greate familiaritie hee hath fully persuaded and satisfied mee. Cheefly because I woulde confirme you in that whiche he hathe a little broke unto you, and partly because I would not have you wauer in your promise, thorow the vaine allegations of some, which eyther are ignorant altogither of his purpose or whose understanding can not stretche to a matter of so greate aduice, or of suche who are of base and cowardly courages in the executions of matters of great importance, or els of enuious disposition; partely also bicause I would not haue his most commendable enterprise in his absence defaced for the greate affection I beare him, whom I know most sufficient to answer every point, article, and objection, can bee layd ageinst him in this behalf, although I have nothing but that which through muche conference, I haue drawen from him.

And firste by the way holde this for a maxime, that there hath bene at no time any notable attempt taken in hand without enuy, doubt, and defacing. The reason is, that bicause they are actions apperteyning to the increase or furtheraunce of a whole gouernement, they are also muche noted, wherein every man will haue his verdit. Some as is aforesayd not knowing halfe, wil answere at the first as they are affectionate to the partie or countrie. Others that have bet their braines a little to vnderstand the whiche their conceit wil not stretche vnto, take it vnpossible. The third, that ground the lengthening of their liues terme by home dwelling, and their cuntrie seruice performed, if as a cipher in A gram they fil the roume of a man, preserue their own, althogh many times they conceiue the likelyhode, and commend the thing, yet they neuer are inwardlye resolued of their doubtes superstitiously afrayd to enter into any vnvsual dooings, but the last greeued to see honest woorkes attempted, & likely to be brought to passe (while they liue idle) to hide their neglegence, enuiouslye slaunder and deface all good purposes, suche is the nature of man, but I wil now to the matter.

Ireland is a large Cuntrie, commended wonderfully for fertilenesse and commodious site therof, wherin the Kings of England haue had footing and continuall gouernement these foure hundred yeeres and more. But so as the barbarous Nation at no time fully subdued, throgh their often rebellion, haue bene rather an anoy and charge to this Realme of England than otherwise, whiche some men have imputed to the impossibilitie therof, or to the euil gouernment of Deputies, which eyther haue bene neglygent or corrupt. But Maister Smith, to see and knowe the truthe, trauayled thither in the companie of Sir William Fitzwilliams, now Lord Justice there, minding after serche heerin made (for now beganne the desire of this attempt to root in his hart) to declare his opinion, if hee thought it myght be accepted, and hath founde that the decay of the gouernment there hath not chaunced bicause that the planting at the firste of the Englishe Nation (so muche as it was) was not for the time substancially done, nor by the negligence and corruptnesse of the gouernours there, wherof within our remembraunce hath bene a successive order of noble, iust, wise, and sufficient persons, But hathe growne by the necessetie which hath constrayned the gouernours to give protections & pardons vnto moste heynous rebels and outlawes, after they haue spoyled, murthred, & made hauocke of the good subiects for lack of sufficient forces wherewith to attache and execute the sayde malefactours by reason of the  p.406 spare supplye at all times made to them by the Prince, who at the firste inhabyting thereof mynding more the Kyngdome of Fraunce, and thinking all to little for that purposed conquest, neglected Ireland as a matter of small importance, then worst looked to, when England itselfe was a prise or rewarde to them that best could besturre themselues of the houses of Yorke and Lancaster. And if you wil marke the Stories, you shal finde great reasons that have moved the Prince too bee spare of charges in that cuntrie, and a consequence of decay in that government.

About the time of the first entrie of the Englishe in Ireland made that they began to settle, arose y Barons warre in England, that weakened and decayed all at home, Fraunce was chargeable too bee mainteyned with many garrisons, a great waster bothe of men and money, yet a thing whereto the Princes were more bent than to Irelande. In that we may easly perceive and iudge, that the Irishe whiche yet remayned vnsubdued, taking adauntage of the time, whiles the cheef that had authoritie there, were called over to upholde their factions here, possessed againe their land and expelled the new inhabitants; found without hed and scarce yet wel settled which could not be recouered againe so soone, because suche as were come ouer after they had wasted themselues in Ciuile warres, and had in the meane time lost their landes in Ireland, lost also their credite with such as at the first adventured vnder them, by reason they had forsaken, and lefte them open to the spoile, nor the Princes being eaten out also with ciuile discord & with the charges of France vnto which they were more addicted, had the treasure to spare for the reformation thereof. Only King Richard the second, in hys owne person, attemptyng the same, was ouertaken with Ciuile discension and deposed, whiche hath ever since discouraged his Successours personally to attempt the like. Thus home warres still increasing, with the Armies in Fraunce (a deuouring graue of this Nation), and lastly the losse therof, so weakened and impouerished the Crown of England, that both people and money wanted therein, much good land lying waste for lacke of inhabitaunts, that it was more time to recover by rest that which was wanting at home than to send abrode that could not be spared. And the Princes contented themelues if they myght onely preserue a footyng or entrye into Ireland wyth some small charge, whereby the gouernours were comstreyned for wante of supply by protections and pardons to appease every rebellion, which otherwise to represse and punish they were not sufficiently furnished. This perceived of the Irish, made them that uppon euery light occasion they will flie out, and satisfied with bloud and burning, will not without protection and pardon, be brought in. The Englishe race overrunne and daily spoiled, seeing no punishment of malefactors did buy their owne peace, alied and fostred themselves with the Irishe, and the race so nourished in the bosome of the Irishe, perceiving their immunitie from law and punishmente degenerated, choosing rather to maintain themselves in the Irish mans beastly liberty, than to submit themselues and to liue there alone, and not the Irish in the godly awe of the lawes of England. This degenerating and daily decay of the English manners by little and little in the countrey, discorageth those that have not perfectly wayed all that is aforesaid, to attempt any new enterprise. The Prince seeing no manne forwarde therein, is weryed with the continuaunce of the yerely great charge which hir maiestie liberall aboue hir predecessoures hath borne more willingly, and to this the first entring of the English, their first inhabiting, the order and manner thereof, is almost worne out of memorie and forgotten, their decay and wasting daily to be seene.

All these things when my frend being then in Ireland, had informed him selfe of, by diligent inquisition he fell to consider what way were fittest for oure time to reforme the same, and if it were reformed, I meane the whole countrey replenished with Englishe men, what profite that coulde be to the estate of Englande, hath sithens his returne tolde me divers times, that he thought Irelande once inhabited with Englishe men, and polliced with Englishe lawes, would be as great commoditie to the Prince as the realme of England, the yerely rent and charges saved, that is now laide out to maintaine a garrison therein, for there cannot be (sayeth he) a more fertile soile thorowe out the worlde for that climate than it is, a more pleasant, healthful, full of springs, rivers, great fresh lakes, fishe, and foule, and of moste commodious herbers. England giveth nothing save fine woolle, that will not be had also moste abundantly there, it lacketh only inhabitants, manurance, and pollicie.

As for the meanes how to subdue and replenishe the same (sayeth he), they were easie to be deuised, if the Queenes maiestie wold once take it upon hir, with army maintained at hir charges; but sith hir highnesse is not bent thereto, what other meanes is to be followed; he hath heeretofore in his first offer to the Queenes maisties Counsell declared; which is that which he nowe followeth, and so many that have not in them selves the will or grace to do so well, do impugne, which I will heere defende and persuade you in as a thing moste reasonable, faisable, and commendable.

He hathe taken in hande withoute hir Maiesties pay to win and replenish with Englishe inhabitantes the countrey called the Ardes in the Northe of Irelande, and some partes thereto adioyning. Is there any think you, that heare only thus much of the enterprise, and will not commend the manifest good disposition of his towardes his countrey and his Princes service. Yes, and if he finde meanes to bring it to passe withoute the Queenes pay, his invention is the more  p.407 to be commended, But upon this doe they grounde all their argumentes, that either are not capable of the meanes, or else had rather speake againste it, than learne the likelihoode.

What (say they), it is not possible to win or inhabite any parte of Irelande, without the Queenes pay, hir forces and expences. And yet the first entry with the Englishe men made into Irelande, was in Henrie the secondes time, with his licence, by Strangbowe, Earle of Chepstow, at his owne charges, and the charges of his adherentes, at what time the Countrey was replenished with inhabitants, and devided only into five kingdomes; who with a small number entred into the same, and subdued the Kingdom, which is nowe called Leinster, which he possessed and held quietly, plantyngit with Englyshe inhabytants, and placing Englishe Lawes, until the King envying his proceedings, and fearing to haue so great a Subject, enforced him to surrender his right, whiche he did, and this was the first foting of Englishe men in that Land, not by the King's power, without which as I have sayd, diuers hold an opinion no good can be ther done. Some I say, that have bene Capitaines there, wil persuade you in ye same, whom if you will aske what good service they have done, wil answer you, with xl footmen to have kept a Castle, and reaped the commoditie of the Lande adjacent in the middes of the enemies territory, yea, and with a hundred footmen and a fewe Horse, to have kepte whole Countries of the Irishe in awe and obeysance, and yet auerre, that without the Princes pay, it is not possible to inhabite in any Cuntrie there; as though there were more vertue in a quantitie of the Princes money, than in so muche of other mennes, or that the like to their deeds have not bene donne in Ireland before them, and dayly since, that it were a greater matter for too bring too passe now in that which is least Irishe, and devided into an hundred factions, and hauing not the meanes to holde themselves together ten dayes if they should assemble, than it was in Strangbowes tyme, when the whole was devyded into five partes onely, in the prime of their forces and government, But how frivolous their sayings bene, you may by this easily coniecture.

Muche more than that whiche Strangbowe wonne remayneth not at this day ciuile in Irelande; but many parcels have bene wonne by the English men therin, without the kings forces, whiche eyther by the occasions afore rehersed wer lost, or els for lack of inward policy degenerated, as great cuntries in Munster, by the Geraldines and Butlers; In Connalt, by the Burges, In Meth, by Nogent, n Vlster sometimes by Lacy Earl of Lincolne, after him by Mortimer, yea a great part of the Arde was and is possessed by the Sauages, in whose offspring which at this time holde it, saue the name remayneth nothing English, with diuers other parcelles which for shortnesse sake, I let passe. But the cause why they loste it againe, or els degenerated, is declared before.

Let thus in my examples suffize to shew that the enterpryse is possyble, and hath often bene done. If they wil, not yet let reason serue, that if a hundred or two of footmen, and fiftie or a hundred Horse, hauing the Queenes pay to mainteine, can keepe and defend the Arde, then so many horsemen and footemen, as wel payed and mainteyned, can also and as sufficientlye keepe and defend the Arde; and thus by proportion, a greater number a greater Cuntrie, except there be other mistery in the Queenes pay than I can hear or perceive, where many times foure score and ten,and those not allwayes complete, make a good hundred.

Wel (wil you say), I graunt that three hundred are sufficient to defend the Arde. But when every man is retired to dwel upon his own, then wil the enemy (which wayteth hys tyme on every side) in the winter nights, spoyle this time one & the next time another, so that you shal never have rest nor profite of the soyle, nor liue wthout fear, as it happeneth many times uppon the frontier of the Englyshe pale for all the Queens Maiesties garryson. To this, as neere as I can, I will repeate his words, who, at the time I alleged it to him, smiled and sayed, I have not yet forgotte all mine Accidence by this text “Foelix qucm facint aliena pericula cautum,” which was wont to make mee take heede to do that in schoole for whiche I saw another beaten, I stand, as it were, in a three want way, whereof one parte leadeth right, and I haue seen two take seuerall ways, and both lose their labours bicause they were out of the right way. What letteth nowe, that I perfectly instructed and warned by other mennes errors, should not boldly proceede the third way, and not go awry.

Moste of those that haue taken in hand before this to winne and inhabite in Ireland, have, after the place once possessed, deuided themselves eche to dwell uppon his owne land, & to fortifie himselfe thereon, trusting with his owne strength, if any invasion were made, to preserve himself therein. But this made not the enemy afrayed, who lay continually under his nose, and all alongst vppon the border, watching the time to serue his turne, sometimes stealing and praying Cattel, other times laying wait to intrap and murther the Maister himselfe, sometimes setting fire on his Reekes or Townes, whereby they that lay next the Frontier were forced eyther to forsake their owne, or els compound & foster with the Irish. So they degenerated as is aforesayd, and in time all was frustrate. Yet the Countrie of Ophally vsing that order, lyeth at this day so safe, that they put forthe their Cattel in the night with out fear of stealing, but I iudge that brought to passe rather by Cowley's singuler good government, otherwise than by that only p.408 order, for the inhabitaunce of the Countrie of Lease which was deuided in the same order, are not altogether so assured.

Others whom the Queenes forces doo defende, when the enemies growe strong upon them and begin to spoyle them, haue of the garrison sent down to defend them, so flyeth the enemy to trouble an other quarter, or els forbeares for the time till the garrison bee called away to a place of more need, or that the husbandmen eaten out with cesse, when he is wery, by petition hath obteyned too be eased of them, who he no sooner gone but the enemie returneth to wast him ageine. Thus every way goeth it backwards with them.

The third way is that wee must take, first to chose a place so neere as wee can that is naturallye strong. Then, after it is wonne, not to suffer the Souldiour too be dispersed, wel to let the owner repaire to his portion, but so as a souldiour in his steede be alwayes on the frontier, least of all to truste to be dayly defended by the Queenes garrison for diuers inconeniencies, And heerein sith wee have leasure inough, I will open to you somewhat of my design, and the reasons that have persuaded me therto.

The Arde, which is my demaund, and the neerest part of all Ireland to Lancashire, and the Easte parte of England, I take to be a peece of ground as easie to be wonne, inhabited, safely kepte, and defended as any platte within the Realme of Ireland, being a reache of land (as if it were of purpose bayed out from the mayne into the sea, to wall in so muche of it as woulde make so faire and commodious a lake and harber as the haven of Strangford is) fasshioned like an Arme bente in the Elbowe, annexed no where to the mayne, but at the one ende as the Arme to the shoulder. The bredth of which entrie is aboute fiue Miles, as by the platte heereonto annexed may be more plainlye seene. That straight once kept and defended, all the reste of the countrie muste of necessitie become quiet and safe, and thus shall it be defended.

Upon the sayed entrie shall be raysed strengths where all the souldiors, which are mainteyned by the Cuntrie, shall lie in garrison for diuers good consideratons, keping there continuall scoute watche, & warde so narrowly, that one single person vndiscried shal not be able to enter or flie out of the Countrie. By this meanes the Cuntrie is not onely safely preserued, the border as wel as the middest, but the Irish will alway keepe themselues aloofe, for fear of Scarbrough warning, if they should harbour themselues any thing neere a garrison that lyeth ready to take every aduauntnge vpon them. And to the ende the Souldiours should be the more vigilant, I am minded to lay all the very frontie Lande diuided by proportion, to the strengths where the garrisons lie, so that every Souldiour that put in his share towards the sowing and manuring thereof, and receive his parte of the Corne and other profite that is too bee gathered thereon, whiche shall come to him besides his maintenance from the Cuntrie. This for his own gain sake which lyeth in most daunger of all, will make him haue better eye to his charge, and be the more ielous of the enemie.

As for haueing the Queenes ayde and garrison, I haue good hope it shal not need for sith that euery Souldiour is made Mayster and owner of his land, to him and to his heires for ever, will he not think you looke as well and as carefully to that as hee would if hee had sixe pence sterling a day of the Queenes Maiestie, whereof he should be sure not past for a yeer or there about, and then to go whither he would. Now, if he keepe and defend this, hee is a Gentleman, a man of lieulyhode & of inheritaunce, and who hath and shall haue his ground ploughed and eared for him without his paines, for that we haue prouided for, if hee lose it, he loseth his own inheritaunce, and hindreth his posteritie. And if by his own charges and costes he doo obteine it, and bring it to ciuilitie and good obedience to his Prince, how muche more favour, grace, and renown dooth hee deserue at her Maiesties hand, and as without her highnes charge this he shal do, so as reason is, he hath it the better cheape, the larger estate in it, and the less incumbered.

What difference, I pray you, is there in the ende between the charges without the Queenes aydes to go to win the sayde Country and inhabite it, or else to goe dwell, being sette in by the Prince, in a countrey which her maiestie hath wonne and left vnto the inhabiters to defende, nothing but the charges of the first winning which is one yeares charge or two, for which charges to haue in recompence a larger estate, and to paie an easier rent. In faith, I iudge you nowe sufficiently informed, and that you do take this a better, more reasonable, and surer way than to couet heerein, at the firste getting the Princes aide, which if you shal haue done it were reason we should both pay bigger rente and haue worse estates, as they haue alreadie in other places of Irelande, on that forte lately wonne.

Nowe, you see I haue not only answered you to your question and resolved you of your dout, but haue opened to you a secrete of mine enterprise, which maketh many that know not so much condemne me for taking it inhands.


There resteth yet, master Smith, said I, one poynt to be alleaged heerein, which is this; that there are not many can beare this first charge, and be willing to doe it also. With that he paused a while, and there replied again as foloweth. If there be any thing that may hinder in dede this enterprise or make it vaine, it is that that you haue spoken of, namely, good councel slowly folowed; but you shal heare what likelihoodes and hope I have to the contrarie.

I am sure you are persuaded that all enterprises are very much either furthered or hindered by the times in which they are taken in hand. For if Amintas, grandfather to the great Alexander (the estate of the Macedonians being then small and weake), had taken in hande the overthrowing of the Persian Empire, he had neur done it; nor Philip, which prepared the Macedonians to such an enterprise, whome by sundry conquestes uppon his neighbours, he had fleshed to the warre, and by continual exercise had made them almost perfect souldiours, for now desired they nothing but worke and the spoile of some riche Kingdome. Which, when Alexander perceiued, he toke the advantage of the time, and had good successe; so, you may see, the time and inclination of the Macedonians was in deede of more effect to bring the enterprise to passe than Alexanders onely disposition coulde have bene, who was but a yong man, and not much experienced at that time. More examples I will not vse, but declare onto you that my greatest hope is the time wherein I am, which I consider on this sorte.

England was neuer that can be heard of, fuller of people than it is at this day, and the dissolution of Abbayes hath done two things of importance heerin. It hath doubled the number of gentlemen and marriages, whereby commeth daily more increase of people, and suche younger brothers as were wonte to be thruste into Abbayes, there to liue (an idle life), sith that is taken from them must nowe seeke some other place to liue in. By thys meanes there are many lacke abode, and few dwellings emptie.

With that our lawe, which gieuth all to the elder brother, furthereth much my purpose. And the excessive expence, both in diet and apparell, maketh that men which haue but small portions, can not maintaine them selves in the emulation of this world with like countenance as the grounded riche can do; thus stand we at home.

Then went I to examine the estate of Countreis abrode, and found that all the Countries adiacent rounde aboute, were as wel peopled or better than we be, or else more barren, so that, except we might master and expel the inhabitants, it wold not auaile. But therefore, or for any other cause, to fall in variance with Fraunce or Spaine, were but as the rubbing of one boughe against an other with the winde, where bothe fret neither increaseth. Scotland besides that is barren, is ruled by a frend King, and peopled sufficiently, Ireland is the Queenes inheritaunce, many countreis there, as that which I demaund, giuen to hir by acte of Parliament of the same realme; others hirs by dissente, the which lye almoste desolate. To inhabite & reforme so barbarous a nation as that is, and to bring them to the knowledge and law, were bothe a godly and commendable deede, and a sufficient worke for our age.

All these things happening togither in my time, when I had considered, I iudged surely, that God did make apte and prepare this nation for such a purpose .There resteth only to persuade the multitude alreadie destined therto, with will and desire to take the matter in hande.

Let us, therefore, vse the persuasions which Moses vsed to Israel, they will serve fitly in this place, & tell them that they shall goe to possesse a lande that floweth with milke and hony, a fertile soile truly if there be any in Europe,whether it be manured to corne or left to grasse. There is Timber, stone, plaister, & slate commodious for building everywhere aboundant, a countrey full of springs, rieuers and lakes bothe small and greate, full of excellent fishe and foule, no part of the countrey distant above viij. miles from a most plentifull sea, or land water able to beare lode.

You say wel, (sayed I then) but men are more moued by peculiar gaine, than of respecte they haue to common profite. Mary answereth he; they shall haue their peculiar portions in that frutefull soile, being but as a bootie to be deuided amongs them.

And this shall be the quantitie which a foote man shall haue, videlicet, a plowe lande, which containeth a c. and xx. Acres Irishe, but you will vnderstande it better by English measure. A plowland shall containe c.c. & lv. acres of earable grounde. Then can there not lie in any country almost, (especially so full of bottomes as that soile is) so muche earable lande together, but there will lie also entermingled therewith sloppes, slips, and bottomes fitte for pasture and meading and commodious to be annexed to the same plowlande, so that the whole may amount to ccc. acres at the leaste, I pray you tell me if you had so much good ground in Essex, would you not take it for a pretie farme, and yet a horsse man shall have double, videlicet, six C. Acres of ground one with an other at the least, whereof there is v.CCCCC.x. acres earable, the rest medow & pasture, I beleeve you would call that in Essex a good manor, and yet these are the least deuisions, I purpose to make, sauing a ploweland or two in every parish, that I thinke good to diuide to laborers and artificers, but I am not of the manner thereof yet fully resolved.


This is good sayde I, if a man mighte haue it as easely rented, judge you, I pray you, saith he. They shall pay for euery acre of eareable lande one penie starling, as for the pasture and medowe, they shall haue it as reasonable as the eareable in some places better cheape, according to the goodnesse of the ground. But this is the greatest rent; I must haue vpon euery such plowland one able English footeman, or vppon his two plowlandes, one horsse man maintained to be ready at all times for the defence of the whole coumtry, abiding eyther upon the same plowland, or else vppon the frontier, which may be peradventure x. or xv. miles distant at the vttermoste, moste commonly nearer.

I intend not that this lying in the frontier shall be continuall, but one shall relieue an other by quarters, some in garrison, and some resting them selues at home in the country, and it may be (which I hope in my time to see) all Ireland reformed, and no need of garrison in al the countrey, when the service shall cease also.

This portion, sayde I, that you speak of, me thinke if it be in fee, so easily rented should make your enterprise a fit matche for youger brothers, such as haue but annuities,stipendes, and deade stockes to liue on. For by this meanes should they be provided of an house, and prettie lande belonging vnto it, sufficiente to yeelde wherewith to make a friend drinke, and many such farmes make a man rich. But I feare me it can be onely profitable to suche as dwell vppon the same as it is in some places of England, where the Gentlemen have vpon their wide Lordships, greatprouision of corne and cattel, wherein most of their rente is payde, but that is so cheape there that a greate deale to be solde yeldeth but a little money, whereby they may giue meat and drinke to a number, but paye wages to a fewe, so that he that shoulde not dwell there him selfe, after the souldioure were found and the rent paide, should either have little or nothing for his own share; besides if the owner him selfe be not ther, to manure or to see the same manured, howe shoulde he gather profite thereof, or who woulde farme it for him, or yeelde him rente for his land. This is a doubte in deede that wil make many stay I tel you, who wold otherwyse aduenture, nay in good soothe is it not (sayd he) as you shall hereafter perceiue.

So soone as wee shall ariue in Ireland and have proclaymed that all such of the Irishe as will liue quyetly and manure the ground vnder vs shal be welcome, defended from the enemie, and haue no coine, liverie nor cesse layd vppon them, but whatsoever bargain they make, that iustly performed. There is no doubt but ther will great numbers of the Husbandmen which they call Churles, come and offer to liue vnder vs, and to ferme our grounds; both such as are of the Cuntry birth, and others, both out of the Wilde Irish and the Englyshe pale. For the Churle of Ireland is a very simple and toylesome man, desiring nothing but that he may not bee eaten out with ceasse, coyne, nor liuerie.

Coyne and lieurie is this, There will come a Kerne or Galliglas which be the Irishe souldiours to lie in the Churles house; whiles he is there, hee wil be maister of the house, hee will not onely haue meate, but money also allowed him, and at his departure the beste things he shall see in the Churles house, be it linen cloth, a shirte, mantil, or such like. Thus is the Churle eaten vp, so that if Dearth fall in the Cuntry where he dwelleth, he should be the first starued, not beeing maister of his owne. From which exactions that he might be free, there is no part of the cuntrie but he would seeke to, and geue for Lande wonderfull rents, paying them in such commoditie as the ground will yeeld, be it Corne, Butter, or Cattel. You may haue farmers out of the Ile of Man and other poore men out of England, so they may be ayded at the firste with some stock of Come and Cattel. It is but a little care at the begynning after the land is deuided, I for my part wil indeuer myself to persuade the one freendly to depart his commoditie with an other, but I feare the sweetnesse whiche the owners shall find in the Irish Churle giving excessively, wil hinder the countrie muche in the peopling of it with the English Nation, makyng men negligent to prouide Englishe Farmours, but thereof there is one prouiso in our instructions from her Maisties Counsel.

Now wil I tel you what rent the owner may reap of his Land, videlicet, Mony, Corne, Butter, Yarne, Cattel and such like, my counsell shalbe that every man, sith their land is deliuered, suche as is errable, should continue the same vnder tillage, and receive his rent in Corn, which tilling of their Land that it be so done, is also provided for in the sayd instructions, because it settleth the occupier and what with tending his fallowe, reaptyde, seede time, and thrashing, it bindeth always the occupier to the Lande, and is a continuall occupaton of a great number of persons, a helper and a mainteyner of Ciuilitie in my opinion. As for the rent, I would haue one rate therof thorow all the Cuntry, of every plowland a like. I think two pecks Irishe doo conteine foure Englishe Bushels, of an Irish Acre, which is two English Acres and a half quarter, were reasonable betweene the Lord and the Tenant, so that the Tenant should pay onely that rent for the errable grounde, having the Medowe and Pasture into the bargaine for maintenaunce of his Teame. Of this rent by my counsell the one parte should beare Wheate, and the other parte Otes and Barly. By which meanes one plowlande may yeelde yeerely to the owners thirtie quarters of Wheate, and asmuche Otes and Barlie, towards the finding of his Souldiour, and the payment of his rent. As for the victualing of his footman souldiour, I purpose to vndertake for v. quarters of Wheat and five quarters of Barley, sufficiently to finde every suche footeman, and for ten quarters of Wheat and ten of Barley & Otes to find every horseman and his horse in continual garrison, for one whole yeere. The footemans wages and the rente will be discharged for ten quarters more, the horsemans wages and rent  p.411 for twentie, Peradventure you wil say I allowe with the most, and that lesse will serue, yet hath the owner of one plowland forty quarters of Corne de claro at the yeers end, and the owner of two plowland foure score.

But what shal he do with that Corne, will you say, mary sell it, for ordinaryly Corne beareth the same price there that it beareth in England, & saue of very late yeers, it hath bene accustomed to bee alwayes deerer. And yet there is another way more advantagious than the sale of Corne in Ireland that wil be acloyd therwith, if at the beginning before our parte bee thorowly peopled, wee fall to turning all the Lande as afore is sayd to Tilling not been able to spende it, therefore is it necessary, and I am fully persuaded, that the Queenes Majestie furthering the inhabeting & ciuilitie of the North (whiche encreaseth more by keeping men occupyed in Tyllage, than by idle followyng of heards,as the Tartarians, Arabians, and Irishe men doo) will give ful libertie for the transportation of Corn out of ye sayd Cuntries into England, Fraunce, Spaine, or other places, whereas the market shall serve best, and thereupon will lay a reasonable custome. For this cause shal there be one Hauen with common Granyers made upon the key, sufficient for the receipt of the Corne of the Cuntry and one Porte Town builded, so soon as we may begin to be any thing settled, more of the order herein I wil tell you another time, but comforte your selfe with this in the meane tyme, that Corn in Spaine is alwayes good marchandize, and bringeth alway ready money. The cut between the Cuntries, shorte, streight, & not fives dayes jorney. How say you now, have I not set forth to you another Eutopia? But I looked when you would bid me stay and declare first how to get it before al these be done, sith you will not aske mee, of my owne proper motion I wil tel you.

If these declarations of mine in so fit a time and Countrie, where God hath prepared the Nation to such enterprise, may allure any number to take it in hand, were they but sixe or seaven hundred, which I take to be but a small number to be got in all this Realme. What should let that in a cuntrie almost desolate (except but of suche of ye Englysh race as wil bee glad of this enterprize), wee might not inhabite and dwel in safetie. It may be sayd that at the first, the Irishe wil assemble and put us backe, Alas, sixe thousande of them dare not set uppon seaven hundred Englishe men, having the advantage of a trench scarce in the plaines. But if wee will keepe our selves close for a while, they must of necessitie for lacke of victuall disperse themselves, and give us libertie, with the advantage over them to breake forth and proceede with our enterprize, & who is there now of the Lords in the north can make two thousand men, Onell though he joyned with him all the Lords of the Easte side of Ulster, and the Scottes is not able to make three thousand fighting men. As for O'donnel, Mon Guyer, O'Raly, and the Barons sonnes, whiche be the greatest of the North, I take it certein, that they will not hazard their Cuntries with any new Rebellion, but had rather live contented with peace, favouring and finding ayd at the Englyshe mens handes, as they have been accustomed to do: And yet I hope wel of the rest, bicause I wil not (so neer as I can) doo them any iniury.

If you will have examples of defending Countries with fewer men, take Lease & Ophally, the Cuntrie of Lecale our nexte neighbours, sometimes kept by Bruton with a hundred horse, the Kerry by Sir Warham Sentleger, till his comming awaye, with less than a hundred horse, and the Ards it self, where Goodrich, Capteine Barrowes Lieutenant, with fourteen men kept and defended the Castle called Castle Reau, in the entrie thereof, and went dayly one quarter of a mile for to fetche his water, against five hundred that lay dayly upon him, with many others: But if you will have example of winning it, and the valure of our Nation in comparison of them, see the overthrowe given to the Butlers, no lesse than three hundred horse, in the last generall rebellion, the appeasing and winning ageine as it were of all Munster, at that time rebelled, by Sir Humfry Gilbart, with lesse than v. hundred English men. The overthrowe of a thousand Skottes in Connaught, the last yeer by Captain Colyer and his foot band. The overthrowe given vnto Shan Oneil with three thousand Irishe, by Captaine Randall and three hundred English men onely, The driving of Shan Oneil out of Dundak after hee had taken it, when hee was in his greatest forces, by two bands of Englishe men, with infinite other examples, as the taking of thirtie of their Castels in one day by two Englishe foot bands. Wherefore sith their Castels can not preserve them nor themselves in the fight prevaile, uppon the plaine nor other where, all men may easely iudge that the winning or defending of any Cuntrie is easie inough in Ireland, if, therefore, there be anye competent number of Englyshe Souldyers together: And I will in these comfort you somewhat, that the Arde, and the Cuntrie adjacent is a plaine Cuntrie wherein are very few Castels to be won, if it should chaunce the Irishe would defende them. I thinke not above foure, if there bee so manye. What resteth nowe sith I have prooved by examples that it is faisable and that without danger almost, excepte we shoulde more dispaire of oure selves, than smaller companies have heeretofore done, sithe I have shewed you by reason that it is profitable, but that I knit vp our talke, bicause it is late, with declaring unto you with howe small charge it may be taken in hande, and howe that it may be rather a sauing to some, than expence.

There be many that not considering what facillitie it is by good order and willing menes to bring great things to  p.412 passe, but wondring rather at the greatnesse of the summe which must furnish so many soldioures, cary them ouer and maintaine them there for a yeare or there aboutes (that must of necessitie be supplied from Englande), are of the opinion, that it can not be done without the Princes pay, But I will informe you an easie way, to bring this without her maiesties expences to passe.

All that Lande of the Arde and other places which her maiestie hath given unto my father and me, we are purposed to deuide vnto suche as shall be contented either to accompanie me, or be at the charges of a Souldioure, be he foote man or horse man in this iourney, reserving some small thing of a ploweland to our selves, as a cheife rent, contenting our selves rather to be accompted the motioners and ring leaders of so many Englishe families, to be planted for ever in the Ardes, &c, than forcing of any gain. Which, while some in the like matches have groped to narrowly after, they haue marde the whole enterprize. Mary he that wil looke to haue the saide landes at the rent and rates, which I haue alreadie tolde you, must be at the charges of finding him self, or some other in his roume, for the winning and defence of the countrey, first to come furnished of all things necessarie, he be footeman or horsseman. Thus when all my companie shall come furnished, with armour and weapon, as souldioures ought to be, what is there then lacking to this voyage? Mary, shipping for transportation: when we are there, corne and other victuall for the first yeare, ships and boates to fishe for our better victualing, corne to put in the ground against the next yeare, plowes and all things necessary thereto. For I minde to have that done also of common charges, that if it be possible we may haue no more, or else very little leuying of money for the nexte yeres victuaile: but that the common stocke may serve, this I assure you am I purposed to doe, and to play the good husbande with the compannies stocke, that it may reache far, and yet are there many moe things to be prouided, as powder, some furniture of Armour in store, Iron peeces and of all munition belonging to the warres, yea, and yet more, as all manner of things belonging to building and fortification, with the Carpenters, Masons, Smithes, &c, who will loke for wages. Item that belong to the bandes, as Cookes, Bakers, Surgeons, &c, that will also like for wages. And bicause all these prouisions might be orderly done, and nothing in time of neede be to seeke, I have taken it in hande, therfore, to leuie of every man, according to the rate of lande he looketh for, videlicet ten pounde of one foote man, and twentie pounde of a horsse man, so to see all necessaries abundantly prouided, If lesse wold suffis, I would take lesse, for I meane at the yeares ende, that the Treasorer shall yelde accompte, and what is not spente shall serue the second yeare, and the less leuied of the companie towardes the prouision of the sayde necessaries. After which time there is no manner dout but the Countrey will yeld to serue our turne sufficiently, withoute any more leuying, and as for them that will deliuer corne or any other thing necessary to the rate of the saide summes, it shall be accepted in lieu of money. And this is the charge and aduenture of a foote man, videlicet, tenne pounde for his victaile, sixe pounde thirtene shillings and foure pence, the rest of his furniture for one whole yere, and for that money will I vndertake to finde a foote man, arme him, giue him his leery, paie him three pounde sixe shillings and eight pence wages, and victaile him one yeare, to serue in roume of him that neytner goeth him selfe, nor sendeth an other furnished.

Nowe lette vs gather and make one summe of al the collection of one yeare, and see whether it may be iudged sufficient or not: of seuen hundred, graunte three hundred horse men, which pay twentie pound a peece, that is sixe thousand pounde, And foure hundreth footemen after ten pound a peece, whiche amounteth to foure thousand pound, the whole x. thousand pound. Looke you nowe, every man putting in a share, that is not muche, what a summe ryseth it, or which I hope with good vsing will not only be sufficient to victuall the seauen hundred souldiours, but all other Artificers and Labourers, and to pay them their wages, with all other store of munition, shipping, and necessaryes for one whole yeer at the least. Two yeeres charges is the vttermoste can passe without gaine, wherefore, let vs compare the charges and yeerely profite (to bee looked for) togither, and see what euill bargaine this can be.

Two yeeres charges of a footeman is three-and-thirtie pound sixe shillings and eight pence, for as for rente there is none to be payed till the fourth yeere, the commoditie to be looked for is fortie quarters at the least de claro per annum, But the horsemans gaine and charge is double, & this is the worst bargaine. For he that goeth in his owne person, as younger brothers and such like, do rather saue than lose, for with lesse expences if he haue no Horse in England, can he not liue for his dyet than ten pound; if he be a horsemean, his Horse and hee vnder twentie pound; yet liue he must whither he spend the time in England or Ireland, and this I am sure of, that whatsoeur hee may saue of his dyet in a yeer heere in England by lying in his friends house, he shal spend in apparaile, for that Countrie of Ireland requireth rather lasting & warm clothes than gorgeous and deere garmentes. Besides this, in consideration of leading his life in Ireland, hee is to enioy a good and commodious peece of Land, yielding three-score quarters of graine yeerely towards his maintenaunce, beeing a footeman, or a hundred and twentie if  p.413 he be a horsman, and so, by proportion. Shall I tel you my conscience heerin? I can not see how Fathers that haue many sonnes, or landed men that haue many younger brothers, can do better for their punees than to prefer them, and set them forthe in this Iorney with me, who seeke to persuade nothing but that I wil go in person to execute not a whit the more fearful, bicause I am the only sonne of Sir Thomas Smith. And nowe that I haue resolued you of your doubte as I hope, and performed my promise in the ende, I will leaue for this time.

Thus much Mayster, R. C. was in our conference at that time, which, so neere as I could remember, I haue repeated worde by worde, but to diuers other objections, his answers which I have learned at sundry meetings, wil I now declare.

Many say that they shal go into a place where they shal want meate, housing, and all things necessarye, for that no Prince yet hath bene able to victuale his Army, ther sufficiently in their iorneys, besides, that the souldiour is alwayes constrayned to march thorow the Bogges and riuers, and in the nighte to lodge uppon the Grasse without meat and Fire, This in deede is great miserie, but they that threaten this in his iorney are altogether ignorant of his proceedings, nor consider not the difference, that is between the Deputies iorneys (who seeketh still to apprehend the Rebelles bodies, following them thorowe Bogge, thorowe plaine, and wood, hoping, with persewerance and long iorneys, to wery them and bring them in) and his enterprise, who desireth the Land only, not any revenge vpon the Irish, and who purposeth not to spend him selfe with long iorneys, but to procede slowely, inhabite, builde, and fortifle him selfe as he goeth, contenting himselfe too obtein his portion of a Land wel defended in safetie, and not coueting otherwise with losse and discommoditie of his menne, to seeke to anoy the Irishe as afore is sayd proceeding on this sortie.

He dothe minde at his first landing to fortifie him selfe vppon the sea shore and frontier of his countrey, and builde there his store house and houses of prouision, which he will carefully and speedely see brought thither to be readie before it be wanting, a place for Artificers to lie safely in, and in the meane time that it is building and raising, to lodge all his men in campe, under canuas tents and hales, wherein he hath promised to take order with his associates, that will, peradventure, be one three monthes worke. Then after the store house and key of his countrey built, and left sufficiently garded, he will remoue v. vj. more or lesse miles, as the countrey shall serue,and there erecte uppon the liste an other fortresse, able to receiue and stowe a sufficiente crewe of souldiours, to be ready always in defence of the frontier, incamping and lodging his men there as before, til that forte also be done and furnished. Thus will he proceede in his iourney all the Sommer, till the entrie of his countrey be sufficiently fortified. Towards the winter season, deuiding his souldioures into the said strengthes, there to lie in garrison upon the enimie, for the more safetie of the countrie, as at the beginning I haue alreadie tolde you.

What miserie (I pray you nowe) can this bring the soldiour, in what scant and scarcitie of victaile shall they be at any time constrained to, by reason it can not be brought to them, if otherwise it be wanting, which I am sure shal not be, it is by his faulte and slacknesse, not by the discomoditie of the carriage, or howe euill neede the souldiour be lodged. This his proceedings are others than hathe bene heretofore vsed, and other mennes errors haue taught him to take this order, to marke and consider them well is the onely way to perfectnesse, (sayth he) and nothing hath bene so well done, but if it were to do againe might be better done; for time is it that in the moste aduised gouernementes discouereth faults which while we patch and mende by little and little, the first order is altered, and become another thing, the very vanitie of the world.

And as for the present necessitie and lack of many commodities of the Countrey which are in England euery where, if you marke that hath bene heretofore said in describing it, you cannot say but the only default thereof is the unciuilitie of the inhabitants, and lacke of good orders, which as soone as he shal haue amended by bringing this his attempt to good ende, and that it may be replenished with building ciuill inhabitantes, and traffigue with lawe, iustice, and good order, what shal let, that it be not also as pleasant and profitable as any parte of England, especially when it shall be furnished with a companie of Gentlemen, and others that will liue frendly in felowship togither, reioysing in the frute & commoditie of their former trauaile, which (throughe noble courage) for estimation sake, and the loue of their owne countrey the first enterprised, deseruing if I may speake it, that am resolued one of the same companie, to be crowned, with garlands of honoure and euerlasting fame. But what doe I degresse? Is there any moe doubts yet from yee? Yes, this.

There be some that like well inough of this takyng the Arde in hand, bicause it is both defensible with a few men and those freeholders that yet remaine therein beeing of Englishe race, haue allwayes defended them selues from praying by the Irishe, but more they say, hee shall neuer bee able to compasse nor defende, to whom I will repeate this shorte answere. He that hathe but a little Cuntrie can mainteine therewith but a few men, and is constreyned gladly to except  p.414 such conditions of peace as hee can get at the enemies hands, but he that hath a large countrey may maintaine a greate number of men, and at pleasure command whether to make peace or warre with his enimie. As for master Smith, he will proceede and holde so muche onely as his forces will stretche vnto, for the olde Proverbe sake that sayeth: He that too muche gripeth fastneth on little.

Be of good courage, therefore, & resolue your selfe to be a partaker with him in person, The enterprise is commendable, and not only to the encrease of his nation and honor of his countrey, but very profitable to them that are doers therein, if it be brought to good passe, which is assured, if reason may serue, or the like at any time (as before hath often bene seene) hath taken effect, and the aduenture is small, not to the tenthe parte of the gaine, He is prouided alreadie I know, of singulare good Captaines, and the promisse of an hundred Gentlemen alredy at the leaste, hauing not yet opened the matter but to his frends. As for him selfe you shal finde him vigilant and carefull, coueting more the well doing hereof, and the safetie of his companie, than the glory of victorie in any rash attempt, more desiring to please and profit euery man, than loking for ceremonious curtesie and reuerence. To conclude, I knowe him to be suche as disdaineth no man, or that seeketh to feede the world with fine language, faire speaches, and promise, but a man that is open, plaine, more affable than he seemeth, such a one in faith, towards whom your loue and liking wil increase stil with acquaintance and familliaritie, to be then moste when you shall knowe him best, I speake this by experience and long proofe that I haue had of him.

Graunt it (wil you say) that hee for his part be suche an one, but all those whom he shall haue assembled out of euery part of this Realme, shall not bee of so good a Nature, as peraduenture hee is of, some be disdainful, proud, and insolent, some couetous, and other of quarellous disposition, a few of these are inough to disturbe the whole companie. Quarels begunne of small trifles, and by partes taking, come in the end greate matters, besides in the particion, one wil be angry because he was not preferred to that commodyous seat or this goode dwelling, and because hee hath not so muche Land as an other, but of this hope I also to satisfie you, for master Smith mindeth first to giue vnto euery man so much at the least as he promiseth by the order he proposeth to giue out, and for whiche the Souldiour was willing to aduenture his parte, then can he not finde faulte with the quantitie. Notwithstanding to him that deserueth well in this jorney, he will I am sure be more liberall, for I knowe he giueth willingly. The place where their Lande shall lie must fall to them by lot, as it shall be their chaunce firste or laste to be serued, from a place appointed to beginne at before the lottes so drawne, so can he not mislike of his chaunce nor be angry for the place which fell not to him by any mannes appointing. And to take away al occasion of Quarels, Mutineries, or other disorder, that might otherwise ensue, he hath promised to cause one book of orders or Discipline to be drawen, by the aduise of the best Captaines, and shall be reade vnto the whole companie. Whiche after it is allowed and agreed to by them, shalbe kept safely as the Statutes of this iorney, and according to the letter of that Booke, shall all misdemeanours of the Campe be punished. For euery person abyding in the same shalbe solemnly sworne, to obserue euery Article and ordinaunce conteyned therein, and to his power assist and ayd to see them duely punished, that they shall offend contrarye too the Tenor of the forsayde Booke.

Aduenture therefore boldely with him, as for your portion of Lande, I knowe that his Father and he are bounde to her Maiestie by a Couenant, in her highnes graunt expressed, in no lesse bonde than in the forfeyture of the whole, that they shall distrybute to all ayders heerein according to the rate before mentioned.

Besides I knowe he is liberall and will deale franckly with his frende or any other whom he shall haue a good lyking to.

And the Tequet or Bil signed, eyther with his fathers hand, or his, or with the hands of any Treasurer appoynted hys Deputie therein, testifying the quantitie of the aduenture, shalbe sufficient to charge them in this behalfe. Your assurance shalbe made by deed signed, sealed, and delieuered so soone as possibly it can be dispatched, after the sayd Land shalbe assigned by lot and layde, and if it so chaunce that any die in this voyage, before the partition be made, his part shal notwithstandyng bee reserued and performed too his next heire or any of his kinred (that shall haue presently woorde sent to him thereof). If within three monthes after the saide worde giuen, they either personally repaire or sende their deputies thither to receive the same. To the ende no mannes aduenture and hope so willingly taken in hand through his owne mischaunce shuld be lost from his posteritie, nor vntimely death be preiudiciall to his deserued inheritance.

Heer wil I end, hoping that I have fully satisfied you of all doubtes, that might haue dissuaded you heerin. And this is the effect of all, that I haue with thus many Argumentes gone about to persuade you that you shuld employ two or three yeeres of your youth in that most honorable seruice that can bee in our times done for England, therefor to receiue thanks, estimation, and a profitable inheritance, besides the contentation of minde in your possibilitie, to be the patron & first founder of a familie in that cuntrie, which in time to come with Gods fauor, may spring vp to great authoritie, fare you wel.

Sith the wryting heereof he hath sent me worde as to a freende partaker of his ioy, that his booke is by the  p.415 Queenes Maistie fauourably signed, and already vnder the gveate Seale, and that he myndeth to proceede to the gathering of men, leuying of money, and making his prouision necessarye for this iorney with all speede, and therewithall hath sent mee a coppie of the order, or rather offer, to be giuen forthe for the dispatching heereof, whiche is this that I send you heerewith nothing differing, I warrante you, from that I hadde wrote to you before in this discourse.

The offer and order given forthe by Sir Thomas Smyth, Knighte, and Thomas Smyth, his sonne, vnto suche as be willing to accompanie the sayd Thomas Smyth, the sonne, in his voyage for the inhabiting some partes of the North of Irelande.

“The Queenes Maiesties graunt made to Sir Thomas Smith, Knighte, & Thomas Smyth, his sonne, in Ireland is all that is her Maiesties by enheritance, or other right in the countrey called the Ardes, and part of other countreys adiacent in the Erledom of Vlster, so that they can possesse and replenishe them with Englishe men. The which thing that it mighte the more surely be done, the saide Sir Thomas & Thomas his sonne haue bounden themselues to hir highnesse to distribute all the said land within the saide countreys, whiche they shalbe able to obtaine and possesse to suche as shall take paines to helpe them to possesse the same, to haue and holde to them and to their heires for ever.”

That is to say, to eche man who wil serue as a soldier on foote, one plowland containing a hundredth and twentie acres Irishe of earable lande, for which the saide Sir Thomas and Thomas must pay to the Queenes maiesty two pence Irish for an Irish acre, after four and twentie foote to the pole. In consideration of which rent bi them to be paide vnto her Maiestie, the Souldier shall pay for the saide plowlande vnto Syr Thomas Smyth and Thomas, and their heirs, one penie sterling for every English acre of the said plowland, after the measure of sixtene foote and an half to the pole, and no more. The first paiment to begin foure yeres hence, videlicet, 1576.

To each man who will serue on horseback two plowlands, videlicet, two hundreth and fortie acres Irishe, which is at the leaste fiue hundreth acres and more English, paying for every acre English as the footeman dothe.

And the earable lande being deuided, eche foote man and horseman shall haue also allotted vnto him pasture, meadowe, and such like necessary as the country wil serue, as reasonably as they haue arable grounde, so that they may therwith be contented.

The charges that is required of a footeman at the first settyng forth, if he be furnished of sufficient Armour, for a Pike, Halberd or Caliuer, with a conuenient Liuery Cloke of red colour, or Carnation with black facing, is tenne poundes for his vitayling for one whole yeere after his arrival and his transportation; after which yeere there is hope to finde prouisyons inough in the Cuntrie, which they shall obteine with good guidance.

The charges of a Horseman, wel horsed and armed for a light horseman, with a staffe and a case of Dagges, is twentie poundes for vittayle of him and his Horse for one whole yeere, and for his transportation. His liuery had neede be of the colour aforesayd, and of the fashyon of the ryding Dutch Clokes now used.

And to avoyde the Fluxe & suche dangerous diseases as doth many times chaunce to Souldiours by reason of lying vpon the ground and vncouered, and lykewyse to Horses for lacke of Hales. If any souldiour footman wil giue before hand ten Shillings and the Horseman twentye Shyllyngs, they shalbe lodged vnder Canuas, and vppon Beddes, vntil houses may be prouided.

And if any will beare the charges of a Souldyour that cannot go himselfe, nor sende another in his roume, he shall haue his part of Land alotted to him as wel as though he went himselfe; but then for a footman he must pay in ready money xvj. pound xiii.s. iiij.d. This is one parte. And if any wil haue two parts or more then, according to this rate to paye the money. The Coronell to finde the sayde footman or men in al points for the first yere according as the money is received.

And to the intente that no man willing to aduenture in this most honorable and profitable voyage may doubt hereof, if it please him to resort into Pauls churchyard to the signe of the Sun, there he shall see bothe the Letters Patent and the Indentures of Covenantes betwixt the Queenes Maiestie and the said Sir Thomas Smith & Thomas Smith, and pay suche money as he is disposed to aduenture, and receyue hys assuraunce from Thomas Smith, his sonne, who taketh the aduenture and voyage vppon him to go in person, or if the sayde Thomas bee not there, one of the receyuers of this voyage remayning there, shall do herein as apperteyneth, whom he hath made his Deputie in this behalfe.

Note that all suche kindes of prouision as bee necessary in this iourney, the Treasourer may receive in lieu of money accordyng as he shall haue neede of such prouision, be already furnished therewyth, and accordyng to the place where the sayd prouision shal lie, for the commodious transportation thereof.

We request all our partakers to make so speedie payment of their adventures, as possible they may, that nothing be wanting, at the tyme of our foorthe settyng, whiche they shall learne of the Treasurer, or Receyuer, where they pay the money, with the place & day of our general meeting and imbarking. Imprinted at London, by Henry Binneman, for Anthonhson. dwelling in Paules Churchyard, at the signe of the Sunne.

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Title statement

Title (uniform): A Letter sent by I. B. Gentleman vnto his very frende Mayster R. C. Esquire

Author: Sir Thomas Smith/Thomas Smith junior

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Electronic edition compiled by: Beatrix Färber

Proof corrections and Preamble by: Hiram Morgan

Introduction by : Hiram Morgan

Funded by: University College, Cork, School of History

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1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent: 12070 words

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Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of the History Department, University College Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland — http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2019

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: E570001-001

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  1. Tract by Sir Thomas Smith on the colonisation of Ards in County of Down, appendix V, in George Hill, An historical account of the MacDonnells of Antrim: including notices of some other septs, Irish and Scottish (Belfast, 1873) 405–415. (Online at archive.org https://archive.org/details/historicalaccoun00hill/page/404) Errors in this edition have been corrected using source no. 2.
  2. Henry Huntington Library, San Marino, California, A letter sent by I.B. Gentleman vnto his very frende Mayster R.C. Esquire wherin is conteined a large discourse of the peopling & inhabiting the cuntrie called the Ardes, and other adiacent in the north of Ireland, and taken in hand by Sir Thomas Smith one of the Queenes Maiesties priuie Counsel, and Thomas Smith Esquire, his sonne. [Imprinted at London: By Henry Binneman for Anthonhson [i.e. Anthony Kitson], dwelling in Paules Churc [sic] yard at the signe of the Sunne, [1572].


  1. Robert Dunlop, 'Sixteenth-Century Schemes for the Plantation of Ulster', Scottish Historical Review 22 (1925) 199–212.
  2. D.B Quinn, 'Sir Thomas Smith and the beginning of English colonial theory', Proceedings of the American Philological Society LXXXIX (1945) 54–60.
  3. Mary Dewar, Sir Thomas Smith: a tudor intellectual in office (London 1964).
  4. Nicholas Canny, The Elizabethan conquest of Ireland: a pattern established 1565–76 (London 1976).
  5. Hiram Morgan, 'The colonial venture of Sir Thomas Smith in Ulster, 1571–75', Historical Journal, 28/2 (June 1985) 261–278.
  6. Lisa Jardine, 'Encountering Ireland: Gabriel Harvey, Edmund Spenser, and English Colonial Ventures', in Brendan Bradshaw et al. (eds.), Representing Ireland: literature and the origins of conflict, 1534–1660 (Cambridge 1993) 60–70.
  7. Mark Thompson, Before Hamilton and Montgomery: Sir Thomas Smith's forgotten English Colony of 1572 (Newtownards, 2010), see online at http://www.ulster-scots.com/uploads/15561912473172.pdf.
  8. David Heffernan, Walter Devereux, first earl of Essex, and the colonization of north-east Ulster, c.1573–6 (Dublin 2018).
  9. Christopher McMillan, 'A Letter from I.B. Gentleman: Sir Thomas Smith's Ulster scheme and its Scottish context', Prose Studies, 39/2–3 (January 2018) 83–98.

The edition used in the digital edition

‘Tract by Sir Thomas Smith on the colonisation of Ards in County of Down, appendix V’ (1873). In: An historical account of the MacDonnells of Antrim: including notices of some other septs, Irish and Scottish‍. Ed. by George Hill. Belfast: Archer, pp. 405–415.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  editor 	 = {George Hill},
  title 	 = {Tract by Sir Thomas Smith on the colonisation of Ards in County of Down, appendix V},
  booktitle 	 = {An historical account of the MacDonnells of Antrim: including notices of some other septs, Irish and Scottish},
  address 	 = {Belfast},
  publisher 	 = {Archer},
  date 	 = {1873},
  pages 	 = {405–415}


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Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

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The present text covers pages 405–415 of the volume.

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Correction: Text has been proof-read twice, corrected and parsed.

Normalization: The electronic text represents the edited text, corrected from a second source. Words and phrases in languages other than English are tagged.

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Creation: by Sir Thomas Smith/Thomas Smith junior

Date: 1572

Language usage

  • The text is in sixteenth-century English. (en)
  • Some phrases and citations are in Latin. (la)

Keywords: histor; English settlement; English colonisation; tract; Ards Peninsula; Ireland; 16c; plantation

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(Most recent first)

  1. 2019-06-05: TEI header created. File parsed; new SGML and HTML files created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2019-06-05: Text file proofed (2) and typos in edition corrected. Preamble written; bibliographical details supplied. (ed. Hiram Morgan)
  3. 2019-05-29: File proofed (1); basic markup added. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 2019-05-19: Text captured using text file provided by Archive.org. (text capture Beatrix Färber)

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