CELT document E580000-002

A Calendar of Manuscript Material relating to Ireland, 1580–1602


The following documents were published in 1867 by Daniel McCarthy (Glas) in Life and Letters of Florence Mac Carthy Reagh [...]. These letters and reports, collated here as a calendar of papers, are of value to the study of military history and the history of medicine. Examples include the accounts of Sir William Stanley's early career in the service of Elizabeth I; the Battle of the Yellow Ford and its impact in Whitehall; details of reinforcements and casualties sustained in armed conflict during the last quarter of the sixteenth century in Ireland; and medical records for James FitzGerald. 1

Benjamin Hazard


Edited by Daniel McCarthy (Glas) of Gleann-a-Chroim

A Calendar of Manuscript Material relating to Ireland, 1580–1602

1. Letter of Sir William Stanley, 31 August 1580.

[Of the Skirmish at Glenmalure] 2

Right Honourable I received your honour's letter dated the 12th day of August, which maketh me confess myself still further bound unto you. I am lothe to write at this time because I have no acceptable news to write, but such as I am lothe to remember; yet duty bindeth me, so often as I have any convenient messenger, to trouble your honor with my letters. I know your honor is certified of our unhappy exploit made into the Glen the 25th day of August. I am the bolder to write the discourse thereof unto your Honor, because I knew no man can say truly he saw more of it than myself. There was of us a Colonel, four captains, and one lieutenant, appointed to go through the aforesaid Glen with half our 3 company, Mr. George More, was our and our leader; with him in the vanward was Lieutenant Peter Carewe, Captain Audley, and the lieutenant of Captain Furr's. The leading of the rearward was committed to Mr. Harry Bagnall and myself; the place was such as the enemy had all the advantage that might be; when we entered the foresaid Glen we were forced to slide sometimes 3 or 4 fedoms or we could stay or feet; it was in depth where we entered, at the least a mile full of stones, rocks and bogs, and wood; in the bottom thereof a river full of loose stones, which we were driven to cross divers times; so long as our leaders kept the bottom, the odds of the skermish was on our side; but our colonel being a corpulent man, not able to endure travail, before we were half through the glen, which was 4 miles in length, led us up the hill that was a long mile in height; it was so steep that we were forced to use our hands, as well to climb, as our feet, and the vanward being gone up the hill we must of necessity folloue; and the enemy charged us very hotly; divers of them had served amongst English men under the leading of Captain Green that had served in Connaught, and was carried by one Garrett a Captain to the rebels. It was the hottest piece of service for the time, that ever I saw in any place. I was in the rearward, and with me 28 soldiers of mine, whereof were slaine 8, and hurt 10. I had with me my drum, whom I caused to sound many alarms, which was well answered by them that was in the rearwards, which staid them from pulling us down by the heels; but I lost divers of my dear friends. They were laid along the woods as we should pass behind their rocks, crags, bogs, and in covert; yet so long as we kept the bottom I lost never a man, till we were drawn up the hill by our leader, when we could observe no orders; we could have no sight of them, but were fain only to beat the place where we saw the smoke of their pieces; but the hazard of myself, and the loss of my company was the safeguard of many others. I know and confess that it was the hand of Almighty God that preserved me: the place was so very ill that were a man never so slightly hurt he was lost; because no man was able to help him up the hill. Some died being so out of breath that they were able to go no further, being not hurt at all. Thus having troubled your honor further than willingly I would, I do here most humbly take my leave, commending myself and my service to your honor.


Your Honor's most humbly to command,


The names of such as were lost.

Sir Peter Carewe.

Captain Audley and his Lieutenant.

Mr. Cosbie, Mr. George More.

George Staffard

My own Company.

Hastinges, Wise, John Shawe a nephew of Captain Rauf Salusbrie, that was born in Spain, my page, with 5 others.

There was not in all above 30 Englishmen slain.

2. Sir William Stanley to Sir Francis Walsingham, principal secretary to Elizabeth I, 28 September 1586.

There was not in the field (at the battle of Zutphen) of ours, of horse, in the whole ij c. whereof these Lords and gentlemen, with their followers, to the number of iij score at most, did all this feate, with the help onlie of Sir William Stanley, who had but 300 for their 3,000 foote, and he did most valiantlye himsealf, and his owen horsse receaued viij shott of the muskett, and yett himsealf not hurt. He and old Read are worth their weight in pearle, theie be ij of as rare captens as anie prince living hath.

3. 'The demaundes of Sir Owyn Hopton Knight Lavitenannt Of Her Majesties Tower Of London, for the Diette and other chardges of Prisonners in his custodie from the Nativitie of Our Saviour Christe Laste Paste 1588 Till Thannunciacion of Our Blessed Ladye The Virgyn, then nexte followinge, beeinge won quarter of a yeare, as heerafter is particulerly declared—25 December 1588.'

James Fitz Garalde

Imprimis For the Diette & other chardges of James Fitz
Garrolde from ye xxvth of December MDLxxxviij
till ye xxiv of March then nexte followinge beein xij
weeks at xx shillings the weeke for himselfe ... ... ... £xiij

Item For his Apparell at £xxx the yeare £vij x shillings.

Item For the dyet of his Scholemaster at £xx the yeare ... £v.

Item For the wadges of his Scholemaster at £xiij. vj shillings viij the yeare £iij. vj shillings. viij.

Item For the wadges of my servant attending on him at £v the Yeare ... ... ... xxv shillings.

Somma ... ... ... £xxx. 0. xx d.

4. James Fitzgerald to Sir Robert Cecil, Tower of London, 17 June 1593.

Honorable Sir,

Let it not be offensiue, I besech you, to be troubled with the lynes of an unknowne stranger, who though yong in years, yet being old in miserye, taught therby to apprehend any meanes of favour whersoever vertue may move compassion. My hard fortune and my faultelessness I hope ar nether unknowne unto you; howe only by being born the unfortunate sone of a faulty father, I have since my infancy never breathed out of prison,—the only hellish torment to a faithfull hart tobe houlden in suspect, when it never thought upon offence,—the favour and comfort which I have alwaise receyved from my especiall good Lord your father, hath, I verily thinke, ben the preserver of my sorowfull lyfe, which er this would els have pyned away with greef: And nowe in his Lordship's absence, I am therfore inbouldned to solicitt your Honor, as a worthy branch of soe true, noble, and vertuous a stocke; hoping to find the same favorable inclination towerds me which his Lord hath alwaise shewed. Lett me then humbly entreat and obtaine att your Honour's handes to further my humble request which I shall this day make unto your honorable assembly at the Counsell table, and soe fur as it shalbe thought resonable and convenient to lett it be comended to Her Majestie. If you shall afford me any favour heerin, soe furr as so unhappy a man shalbe able to doe you service, assure yourselfe to have made a purchase of a most faithfull and thankfull hart.

Thus praying for the preservation of yor health, and daily increase of Honor, I humbly take my leave.

Your Honor's ever to com and,
JAMES FITZGERALD. Frome the Towre,

5. Bill sent in by Sir Richard Barclay, Lieutenant of the Tower, 12 June 1596.

For physick furnished by Mr. Fethergill, for Mr. FitzGeralt, the 12th daye

of June, 1596.

Inprimis A pourgation with Syrop of Angoustome & other iiij shillings.

Syrops for vij morninges ... ... ... v shillings.

A Bolus of Cassia and Rubarb ... ... ... ... ... v shillings.

A laxative powlder for ij doses ... ... ... ... ... iiij shillings.

A Plaister for the Backe ... ... ... ... ... v shillings.

A Linyment for the syde, confice4 iiij oz ... ... ... ij shillings.

A Quilte for the hedd ... ... ... ... ... ... ... vj shillings. viij d.

A coolynge Oyntmente confice56 vij. oz ... ... ... ... ... xij d.

A coole Julep to take at all times ... ... ... ... ... v shillings.

Syrop of Vyletts & limons demild ... ... ... ... ... iiij shillings.

A Quilte for the backe ... ... ... ... ... ... ... v shillings.

Laxative cinrans compounded with Rubarb iiij ld ... ... v shillings.

For iij Cordyall Drinkes with bezar ... ... ... ... ... iiij shillings.

Cinnamon water one pynt ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... v shillings.

Aqua coelestis one pynt ... ... ... x shillings.

Consurve of barberys & others iij shillings iiij d.

Consurve of Roses ... ... ... ... ... iiij shillings.

The Julep as before .. . .. . ... ... .. . ... v shillings.

A Compound Syrop &c ... ... ... ... ... iiij shillings.

Acornes & barberys for a Stitch ... ... ... ... ... vjd.

A Compound Electuary to take at Morning Confice7 7 ld ... v shillings.

Soundry distilled Waters with Syrop of Vyletts and
limons contayninge a pottle ... ... .. . .. . v shillings iiijd.

Another pourgation with Rubarbe ... ... ... ... ... iiij shillings.

Sewger-Candye a Quarterne... ... .. . xd.

Mauor Christi iiij oz... ... ... ... ... iiijshillings.

The Julep agayne as before ... ... ... ... ... v shillings.

Another Coulde oyntmente Confice8 iiij oz ... ... ... ... ... ij shillings.

The Cordyall drinke agayne as before ... ... ... ... ... iiij shillings.

Syrop of Vyletts iiij oz ... ... ... ... ... ij shillings.

A box of perfume for theares ... ... ... ... ... vj shillings.

A bolus of Cassia & Rubarbe ... ... .. . ... iiij shillings.

An Aperitive Julep for the Lyver ... ... ... ... ... v shillings.

Bills for hedd and stomack for soundry tymes ... ... ... ... ... v shillings.

Diaphalma iiij. Drams  9... ... ... ... ... xvj d.

Syrop of Vyletts & lemons to take every morninge Confice10
viij oz ... ... ... ... ...iiij shillings.

Consurve of Waterlillyes, of vylets & of borax for soundry tymes contayninge Vj ouz... ... ... ... ... iiij shillings.

A Julep to drincke after the Consurve ... ... ... ... ... iiij shillings.

A fomentacion for the syde ... ... ... ... ... v shillings.

A compound oyntmente for the same ... ... ... ... ... iiij shillings.

A Bathe contayninge many ingredients ... ... ... ... ... x shillings.

An Aperitive to take yt all tymes ... ... ... ... ...v shillings.

Another box of perfume as before ... ... ... ... ... vj shillings.

A plaster for the Stomack... 11

A perfume for the hedd... 12

A Laxative drinck for Soundry tymes... 13

An electuary to take in the mornynge... 14

A Syrop to drinck after yt... 15

Rubarb to stepe in a drinck... 16

A drinck for the Rubarbe... 17

A Glister... 18

A Fomentacion for the Stomack... ... ... ... ...iiij shillings.

A confortable oyntmente for the Stomack ... ... ... iij shillings.

An Oyntment for the hedd ... ... ... ... ... ... ... iiij shillings.

A powder for the same ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... iij shillings vj d.

A lixisir for the same ... ... ... ... ... ... ij shillings.

An oyle for theares ... ... ... ... ... ... ij shillings.

A Quilte for the hedd v shillings.

A perfume to ayer the same ... ... ... ... ... iij shillings.

Another Glister v shillings.

Aperitive Syrops for v mornynges ... .. ... ... v shillings.

A pourgation with Rubarbe & manna v shillings.

Losangis for the hedd, stomack and backe j1d ... ... x shillings.

A confortable powder to be taken before meate v shillings.

A Julep to take at all tymes... ... ... v shillings.

... ... ... ... ... Summa totalis £xiiij. xvj shillings. vj d.

I receaved all theis things above written according unto the severall perticulars.

J. FITZGERALD. William Burghley, Buckehurst. Robert Cecyll.

6. Sir Geoffrey Fenton to Cecil, Dublin, 11 June 1598.

The last truce expired the 7th of this monneth, and within ii daies after, Tyrone made this devesion of his forces; one parte he sent before the Blackwater, which now he holdeth envyroned, swearing by his barbarous hand, that he will not departe till he carry the forte; another parte he thrust into the Brenny, and at this pule assalteth the castle of the Cavan then promising not to leave the place so long as he can gett a cow out of the English Pale to feed his companies.

7. The Lords Justices to the Privy Council, 17 June 1598.

Where in the forefronte of this he we made mencion of the forte of Blackwater, and how yt is blocked by the Traytor Tyrone, not mentioning then for how long tyme it was vittled, which is but tyll the last of this monneth at the furthest, and forasmuch neither the traytors force can be removed, nor the place releeved with vittles, but by the cuntenance of an army, yt standing so far in the mayne land, as there is no commodity to succor it by water, wee doubt, that thorow these extremities, yt may receave suche disaster as wee shalbe sorry for; and yet not hable to remedy yt.

8. Ormond to Cecil, Dublin, 18 June 1598.

You write that you of the counsell wear sensible of my lacks; I confess hit is no small hart grefe unto me to hold the place I do, and to want the meanes whearbye I shold be inhabled to perform that I most desier against the traytors. I protest to God the state of the scurvie fort of blackwater, which cannot be longe held, doth more toche my harte then all the spoyles that ever wear made by traytors on myne owne landes. This fort was always falling, and never victualed but ons (by my self) without an armye, to her Majesties exseding charges.

Your most assured and loving Friend,

9. Fenton to Cecil, Dublin, 7 July 1598.

Touching the Forte of Blackwater being the second place now holden for Her Majesty in Ulster, I dowte the nexte newse I write to your Honour thereof wilbe that that place wilbe forced by the Rebells, and either the garrison putt to the sword, or dryven to quitt the place upon suche conditions as they cann make for their owne saffety.

10. The Lords Justices to the Privy Council, 22 July 1598.

The Forte of Blackwater is yet helde with greate honour and resolution by that valyant Gentleman Capten Thomas Williams, whoe comanded it; and althoughe Tyrone have lately bent his whole forces to surprize it, and have lost many men still about yt, whoe have blocked them in on all sydes of that forte, yet that worthie Captain dothe still defende himselfe and the place; and as wee understande hathe latelie by some stratagem issued forthe, and besydes killing of 2 or 3 principall men of Tyrones hath gotten divers horses and mares of theires into the forte, which as we are enformed is victualled yet for a month; and we hope that upon the Lord Leeutenants coming hither his Lorship will have an honourable care for the reliefe and supplye of that servitor, and the risk of the soldiors in that forte (who have hitherto with suche honor and resolution preserved yt for Her Majestie from the many assaltes used by the rebell to gett yt) wherein wee will assist His Lordship with or best advise and furtheraunce.

11. Fenton to Cecil, 24 July 1598.

The Forte of Blackwater holdeth out still, notwithstandinge Tyrone hath lyen afore it above a moneth, and hath spent the most parte of that tyme in plashinge of passes, and digginge deepe hoales in the Rivers, the more to distresse the armye that should come to releeve yt. Captain Thomas Williams comamndethe in the forte, hath done many worthy services in defence of yt as well by soundly sallyes, wherein he repulsed the traytors and slew some of their best men, as by many rare stratagems by which he hath draiven into the forte many of their horses and garrans, which stande him and the garrison in good steade for foode: The Gentleman deserveth great commendacions, to whom if your Honour wolde procure a lettre from the Lords acknowledging his good services yt wolde comfort him muche and give others incoragement.

12. The Lords Justices to the Privy Council, 2 August 1598.

It may please your Lords to understand that uppon consideration had of the forte of Blackwater which yet holdeth out as we are informed, thoughe with great extremetie, and comparinge likewise the state of Leinster endaungered in every pte by the rebells of the same province and ayded by forces from Tyrone, as in or laste former letter wee have written, Sir Henry Bagnall the Marshall is now to drawe into Ulster with parte of the armye consisting upon 3500 foote by polle, and about 300 horse, to revittle the Blackwater; and with an other parte of the armye I, the Lord Lieftennant General with such fewe companies as remayne am to attend the prosecution in Leinster.

The daye appoynted for the Rendevoues for the Ulster armye is the 16th of this month; when all the companies are appoynted to assemble at Ardye, and from thence to marche to the Newrie, and so to the Blackwater; the successe and accydents of well Jorney shalbe advertised to your lordships as they shall fall out; which wee pray God to prosper to Her Majesties Honour, and the saffetie of the armye, onely we understand that Tyrone hath plashed the waies, and digged deepe holes with other trenches and fortificacions to ympeache the armye betweene Armagh and the Blackwater.

13. Fenton to Cecil, 4 August 1598.

[Sir Geoffrey Fenton, and the Greate Oke] 19

{}for the other greater matter mencioned in your Lors lettre, thoughe I know yt wilbe difficult to draw one dogg to byte of an other, and more desperat to fynde an ax to stryke downe at one blowe, a greate Oke that hath growen upp in many yeres, yet I will cause the forde to be sownded, to see yf theire may be founde a passage that waie. When your honour shall write to me of theis matters of seruice, or in any other cause that may concerne myne owne particuler, and that you do send those lettres in the generall packett; yt may please you to endorce the direction of the packett to me, so shall I take owt myne owne lettres, and delyer the rest to the Lord justices.

14. 'The Ill Newse Out Of Ireland', 14 August 1598. 20

The 12the of August thay cam from the Newry to Armaghe: The 14th of August theye sete forwardes towardes the Blackewater with 4000 footemen and 350 horses.

Captain Percy and Captain Cosbey led the firste regiment of foote, being 2000; Captain Percy was hurt: Cosbey slaine; and almoste all the regimente slayne.

Sir Henry Bagnall ledd the second regiment, being of 1000, he was shott into the hedd, slayne, and moste of the regimente.

Sir Calistianes Brooke ledd the horses, being 350, was shott into the belly, and thought to be slayne. Abought 2000 footmen slayne, and

Names ......
Captain CosbeyCaptain BankeCaptain Bourke
Captain EvansCaptain Petty...
Captain MorganCaptain Henserve...
Captain TurnerCaptain Bethel...
Captain LeigheCaptain Fortescu...
Captain StreeteCaptain Harvey...
Captain ElsdenCaptain Molmarey Orrely...

William Poule Commesarey a vollentarey, slayne

Jaymes Harrington, soone to Sir Henry Hamilton

Maximilaan Brooke taken or slayne,

Mr Counstable a vollintarey gentelman slayne.

15. The Lords Justices to the Privy Council, 16 August 1598.

It may please your Lordships at the Lord Lieftenants last being heare which was at the tyme of or last dispatch to your Lords of the 2d of this mouneth: uppon conferment had in counsell touching the distresse of the Blackwater, and the revitlinge thereof. The Marshall beinge also present at that consultation and sent for expressly by the Lord Lieutenant, som of us were of opinion that the hazard were too greate to adventure so many of Her Majesties forces as were thought requisitt to be employed in that expedicion; yelding this reason amongst others, that the forte being valued at the highest wos noe way comparable to the loss, yf tharmy shold receve any disaster in the attempt; But when wee saw his Lord and the Marshall stande so muche uppon the honor of the service, alledging how greatly yt concerned Her Majestie in Honour to have the forte releeved, we left to themselves the resolution, wishinge, by waye of advice after they had determyned yt shold be attempted, that the Lord Lieftenaut wold undertake the matter in person; alledging amongst many other respects, that in that case his Lord might drawe with him many of the nobilitye with their followers, which wold greatly strengthen the accion, and besides his presence in the field might move Tyrone, eyther for feare or for som other respectes, to give way to him, whereby the service might be performed with less daunger. And before this consultation havinge considered thorowly of the perills in this enterprize of the forte, and the difficulties to accomplishe the same, the Lord Lieutenant and ourselves jointly together wroate to the Marshall, lyinge then upon the borders, and with all sent our specyall lettres to bee conveyed by his meanes to the Captain of the Blackwater, advisinge him to consider ho we he might make his composicion with Tyrone in tyme, to the most honour he cold for Her Majesty, and best saffety for himselfe and the garrison their; but the Marshall stayinge these lettres in his owne hands, did not send them to the forte; but brought them back agayne with himselfe, affirminge how dishonorable it wold be to hold that course; and that he knew by good intellegences that the forte was yett incase to houldout; and that he had tryed by stratagem to send some vittles into them. In our advice which we gave to his Lord for undertaking the service in his owne person, wee putt him in mynd that the prosecucion of Leinster might bee commiytted to som other duringe his absence: But his Lordship and the Marshall agreeing afterwardes, his Lord tooke upon him the matters of Leinster, and left to the Marshall the action of the Blackwater; who accordingly came to Armagh the 13th of this mouneth, without any loss, other then the takinge of Capten Ratcliff prisoner, and some 4 or 5 others cutt off in the straight betweene Dondalk and the Newry, who stragled after the armye, and did not march under the saffety thereof: and the next day, beeinge the 14th of this presente, th army dislodginge from Armagh with purposs to pass further to revittle the Blackwater, the rebells of the North havinge way-laide them there, in places to our disadvantage roase owt with their mayne forces to stopp their passage; where after a sore tryall made by the army, stryvinge to put the rebells from the advantage of theire place, our forces were repulsed with a greevouse loss, both of the Marshall himselfe with sundry other particular Captains with their coollors, and also a great nomber of the souldiers; the resedue that remayned (except som of the Irish who rann to the rebells) retyred to Armagh as the next place of succor they cold gett, where they reinayne in the church there, awayting for soch comfort as men in so great a calamity may expect. These heavy newes were brought to us this day by Captain Charles Montague who having the second place of chardge of the horsemen in the service, and beeinge appoynted by the consent of the Captains (as he affirmethe) to adventure thorow thenemyes countrey to come to us, hath made declaration to us of this lamentable accident in this summary manner, which herewith we send to your Lords under his hand. A matter soe greevouse to us, in respect of soe greate a dyminucion of Her Majestys forces in so daungerous a tyme as this, and to have soe greate a parte of the armye (beeinge 1500 men, as Captain Montague reportethe) cooped by in the church of Armagh envyroned round aboute with the rebells, as we cannot but feare fair more daungerous sequells, even to the utter hazard of the kingdome, and that owt of hand, yf God and Her Majesty prevent them not: for we assure ourselves that upon this accident in the North the whole combination of the reste of the rebells in all partes of the Realm will grow mightely prowde, and will not spare to take the opportunitye of the tyme, and pursue this success at Armagh to their best advantage in Leinster, Connaught, and all other places of the realm. And they know as well as ourselves that we are not hable without presente succor owt of England to fetch off those poore distressed companies that are in Armagh, who (as Captain Montagu reportethe) hath vittles to serve them for 8 or 9 daies, and not further; within which tyme wee have no meanes to reskew them from thence by force, nor after that tyme to releeve them with vittles; which being a most lamentable distress to us, wee have now signified the same to the Lord Lieftenant Generall, who as we heare is at Kilkenny, praying his speedy repayre hither upon this heavy occasion. This encounter at Armagh was the 14th of this presente, and the report thereof brought to us this daye about 9 in the morninge; since when we have bin busie to send owt many dispatches into sundry partes of the realm to prevent daungers, and contayne the people as moche as in us lyeth; and have specyally written to the Lord Lieftenant General to haste hether with all speed to thende to consider with him of the presente daunger in all partes, and howe Her Majesty's forces, that are left, which are wholly under his chardge, may be employed to the moaste saffety of the realme, and preservacion of that which remayneth. But under your Lord's honorable reformation, and in all humble dischardg of or duties, wee wislie that Her Majesty were thorowly enformed of the daungerous estate of this realme, as well as for want of forces, by reason of this defeate as for lack of skillfull and experienced commanders; and particulerly this desaster of Armagh having taken awaye the Marshall, whose place is in Her Majesty's disposicion, wee humbly wishe that som well chosen person beeing of good understanding in the warrs may be sent from thence owt of hand, to supply that office, to thende that by thassistaunce of suche an officer Her Majesty's martiall services may bee carryed in that course wh is requisitt agaynst so many prowde rebells in sondry partes of the realm. And though the Lord Lieutenant bee now absent from hence wherebye wee cannot comunicate with him in this and other things as were meet, yett yf his Lordship were here, wee doubt not but he seeth reason to be of our opinyon that inasmuch as the distresses of this kingdom are devided into many partes, and every parte hathe his particuler daunger, that that necessity presseth to have a further assistaunce in the proceedings of the warr, and a subsistinge authority to be joined with his Lord unless Her Majestie wold be pleased to settle the whole government entyrely in one man's hands, whhich for our partes, wee wishe, for the avoydinge of many confusions, growinge in the mayne government, now that the aucthoritie is devided, which it is not unlyke wold be better redressed, yf the superior authority were reduced into one man's hand, as Her Majesty's deputy; the consideration whereof we humbly submytt to your Lord grave advice. Onely and lastly beseechinge your Lordships with all the dutye and carefulness we can, that tyll a Deputye may come a Marshall may be sent with suche other assistaunts for the warrs as your Lordships shall think requisitt, and that also a further force of men may be sent owt of hand, the certaine nomber whereof we cannot otherwaies lymitt then according the greatness of our daungers: and that such as shalbe sent may be trayned men, well weaponed, and consistinge of hable bodies, to be able to beare owt the toyles of this hard service. This choiss of a Deputye, or in the mean while some good assistaunts for the warrs, to be assigned and sent owt of hand with forces, the longer yt is deferred the more will it encrease the daungers of the realme, for that boath thennemyes will multiply, and insult, knowinge how weake wee are, as well in commanders as in men; and the subjects that yett stand will take yt for an occasion of discouragement when they see soe small means to defend them. Suche further advertisements as wee shall receave of the desaster of tharmy in the North, or of any other matter occurringe in any other partes shall be signified to your Lordships with the beste speed we can, being most greeved that this wicked land will not yett yeld better matter to advertise to your Lordships. And so beeing greatly fearfull that Tyrone in the pryde of this success will bend some daungerous attempts against the Newry, Dondalk, Knockfergus or other frontyer places of importaunce, wee most humbly take our leve

In great haste at Dublin 16th August, 1598,
Your Lordships most humbly at commandment,


Least Tyrone might use further
violence to those distressed companies
in Armagh we thought good to send a
Pursyvaunt to him with our lettre, the copy
whereof wee send to your Lordships herewith,
having directed the Pursyvaunt to
learne the true state of the soldiers,
with other instruccions which was our
chefe purpose in sending him to

16. The Lords Justices and the Irish Council to Hugh O'Neill, earl of Tyrone, 16 August 1598.

We have taken knowledge of the late accident hapned to parte of Her Majestes forces employed in Ulster, only for vitlinge of the Blackwater, and that many of them are retyred into Armagh, where they now remeyne: we thought good upon this occasion to sende to you on their behalfe; thoughe wee thinke that in your owne consideracion you will lett them departe without doinge them any further hurte: wee are to put you in minde howe farr you may incense Her Majesties indignacion towardes you if you shall doe any further distresse to those companies, beeinge as you know in cold bludd; and on the other side howe farr you may move Her Majestie to know a favorable conceite of you by usinge favor to these men; and besides your auncient adversarye the Marshall being now taken away wee hope you will ceasse all further revenge towardes the rest, against, whom you can ground no cause of stinge against yourself, being employed by Her Majesty in theis Her Highness' services. Thus much we thought good to sygnifye unto you, and by waye of cawtion to admonishe you, to avoyde to provoke so mighty a Prince upon such a matter as to distresse her servitors in cold bludd.—To this ende we have sent this bearer the pursyvant, by whom wee expect your answere.

At Dublin



To Therle of Tyrone.

17. The Lords Justices to the Privy Council, 17 August 1598.

It may please your most honourable Lords. Albeit we have now joined with the rest of this council in a lettre to your Lordships sygnifying the most wofull and greevous accydent of the Marshall's death, and defeating of that army, yet fearinge greatlie least that blame might bee ymputed unto us which we have not deserved, we have made most humbly boulde in our own dischardge to troble your Lordships with these fewe lynes in private from orselves: we hope your Lordships do well remember, howe absolutelie Her most excellent Majestie hath left the managing of all the marshall affaires in this realme to th'erle of Ormond Lord Lieutennant General; and wee lymitted onelie to the administration of civile justice; not havinge to deale with so muche as the distribution of the treasure sent. Nevertheless, as by all former dispatches your Lordships might perceave wee have not fayled to bend our whole studie in assisting his Lordship from tyme to tyme, and at all tymes with our best advise in any of his affayres concerning Her Majesty's services: And touching the victualling of the forte at Blackwater, yt is well knowen to all this table, uppon consultacion had thereof, howe muche agaynst our advise and myndes the same was undertaken. We alleadged the difficulties to perform yt, the chardge and exceeding troble that yt wold bee, both to the soldiers and miserable coutry, and lastlie the great peril and imynent daunger which yt wold bringe the whole realme into (yf yt were undertaken, and tharmy defeated) as now yt hath don. Yelding our opynion that yt were more conveuyent and far more salfe, rather to quitt that forte which might have bin don with good condicions, beeing of little worthe in respect of other places, and easy to be built agayne, with good convenyency, and thre or four daies stay of tharmy whensoever they should proceed northward—and therefore to defend the Pale beeing the hart, and in a manner all that is now left of the whole body, untill Her Majestys resolution had bin understood here for a full and throughe prosecucion of these warres, which hetherto had byn so exceedinge chardgeable unto Her Higness. This we urdged with suche vehemencye as was offensive to som, howbeit all the reasons and perswasions which we cold use would not drawe his Lordship and the Marshall from their intended purpose to victualle yt, which beeing so determyned by him who had the disposing of those causes absolutelie in his own hand, and no power in us to alter yt, we then wyshed, and urdged muche that his Lordship would himselfe undertake that service, beeing of so great ymportaunce, and then alleadged two reasons which did especiall move us so to advise his Lordship. The first was that wee knew yf his Lordship wold goe himself in person he shold bee accompanyed with the moast parte of the nobilitie, and their followers, with many other gentlemen voluntarie attendaunts, whereby he shold bee a farre better and greater armie then otherwise he cold sett out with the marshall: Thother was that yf yt came to that extremytie which now (alas!) yt hath don, wee thought the great Bebbell would have had more reverence and regard to his Lordships person place and calling then (we were sure) he wolde have to the Marshall, agaynst whom he bare a deadlie hatred. Yett his Lordship beeing either unwilling or unable to endure that troblesome jorney, answered us that himselfe could not be spared from the service in Leinster, which he wolde attend. And havinge so resolved, layed that other service upon the Marshall, who spedd unfortunatelie therein, to the losse of his owne lyfe, and a great parte of that Army, except the horsemen, whereof as wee understand, none perished, the distresse of the rest, now invyroned bythe Rebell at Aedmaghe, and apparent perill of this whole state. The Lord Lieutenant returning then to Kilkenny hathe there and thereabouts remayned ever since, as yett he dothe; the Leinster rebells beeing nevertheless exceedingly encreased, and daily burning preying and spoyling the contrye, having alredy possessed themselves of all the Queenes County called Leix, some three or four castles at the most excepted, which cannot long hold out. There they possesse the lands so dearly bought by Her Majesty and her predecessors, and doe even in peaceable manner enioye the goodes, and cutt downe and gather the cornes of thauncient English gentlemen of that country; to the great discomfort of all our nacion remayning in this wretched contry, (the lyke sturre have they already begotten in Offaly, called the King's county, and the lyke ende, in all lykelyhood, will they make there; the Rabbel of them being nowe by this disaster so encurraged and encreased as they doe even what they list without controlment.) A greate parte of the county of Kildare they have alredy spoyled and burned, and daylie advertisement we have of there entraunce into the county of Dublin, and of their purpose, even this day, as we understand, to make heade even towardes this citie; to which God knoweth they may make an easie approach, yett have wee, to encounter their comynge, sett out this present mornyng the nomber of six or seaven hundred of cittizens and others to ympeache their purposed approache. This (and worse than wee have saide) is the state of Leinster. For Connaght, howe muche this blowe hathe weakened yt, and strengthened the Rebbells of that Province, your Lords may conceave: and Mounster not free from infection, very lykely to brust out, and this is now the state of this poor and most miserable lande!

Thus muche in effect have wee in divers our former private lettres foretould, and sygnified to your Lords, and this doe wee now agayne in dischardge of our most bounden duties declare to your Lords. Wee have noe meanes left in us to help ourselves, and the remnant of Her Majesty's poore subiects here, onely this wee beseche Thalmighty God soe to styrr upp the hart of or gracious Soveraigne hir most sacred Majesty as yet at leingth (and allmoste to late) she will behold or miseries with the eyes of compassion: thinke uppon a present course touching the forme of this government; and speedily undertake a Loyal and stronge prosecution agaynst these vile ungratefull Rebells, otherwise shall not wee bee hable to render any other account to Her Highness then that her Realme is lost. We have in all hast by two several messingers acquainted the Lord Lieutenant with this callamytie, desyring his speedy repayre hither, with suche forces as hee may make, and convenyentlie spare, at whose comynge wee will use all our beste meanes for the bringing off the rest of tharmy now remayning in Ulster, which wee thinke wilbe very weake: and so with our prayers we comende your Lords to God's most blessed protection

From Dublin

Your Lords most humbly at comandment


For her Majesties Affayres
To the Honorable the Law Lords and others
of hir Majestis most Honorable Privie Councell
Haste, Haste, Haste, Haste, Haste.
Delivered to the sea: on Fryday at 10 of the clock
in the fornoone, the 18 of August


18. A book on the state of Ireland by Francis Cosbie, 20 August 1598. 21

After this mishapp His Honor seeing no possible means to accomplish his desier except he had been able to have had another convenient army to have landed at Loghfoyle, and soe to have sett uppon Therle Traytor on all sydes, victualled the Fort [of the Blackwater] placinge therein as Counstable a valyant gentillman named Captain Williams, with som CCC soldiers, and after brake up campe and retourned to the Newry, where making but small aboade, drewe towards the Cavan in Owreylies country, and there placed Sir Christopher St. Lawrence commander of certaine companies there laide in garrison, and then repayred to Dublin: and there not contynuinge long, for that he considered the proportion of victualls left with Captain Williams at the Forte was neerehand consumed, drew thetherwards again with as much expedicon as might be; and even the same day he cam to Aramagh Tiroane's forces had beleagered the forte, and in the ende the most valyantest men in his retynewe undertooke to wynne the same; for that they had perfect intelligence that the warde was not onely sick and unserviceable for the moste parte, but all their victualls consumed; and so advauncinge themselves upp upon their scaling ladders gave a most wonderfull and bould assault; contynuinge the same very long with greate resolucion, as well in their fighte, as contynuallye supplyinge of fresh men in the places of the slayne, hurte, and wyckened; and with great lyklehoode they had wonne the same at that instant if they had met with a cravynne, as they buckled with a man of worthe; for the worthie constable Captain Williams, when he saw the enemy first approaching to him with so great a resolucion, and assured of their intente, comforted his soldiers in the best manner he might, and tould them that now it was the tyme to shew themselves as beseemed men of their places fighting in the right of their Prince and country, which if it were their fortunes to withstande the enemies first assaulte, their natures and cowardyse was suche that either they would recule or fight in greater feare, to his and theire advantadge; not doubting of the victory, by the help of God, wherefore hee wished them in generall, as well the whoole yt was verry few, as the sick personnes that could stand up and but advaunce their weapons, and to do theire duties in that measure, as was fittinge for soldiers in theire case, the sight of which woulde be a terror to the enemy; and remembrynge lykewyse what reputacion they should get either lyvinge or dyinge like men: where on the contrary parte, no more was to be expected at thenemies hands, if they should prevaile against them, and shame and infamy for ever if either they shoulde yeld their bodies as prisoners, or by force to be taken by them lyke a sheepe going to the shambles, and therefore, said he, pull up your harts, for this hand of myne havinge a linstock therein, shall give fyer to this traigne, and bothe blowe youe and myself up into the skyes rather then those miscreants shall enioy this chardge of myne! Upon which every man that was able to stand and hould a weapon beinge anymated to doe their best, uppon those former speeches cryed out, We will dy with honor to the last man.

Then the Enemy being advaunced to the top of the wall as aforesaid, and covetinge by all means to enter, were in that manner receaved by the soldiers that the ditches were filled with their dead corpses; yet stood they to it right manfully, untill they sawe that the soldiers, contrary to their expectacions, purposed to fight it out to the last man, and for to make their payment sterlinge, the two feild peeces planted in very necessarie places within the forte, and charged with muscet shot paid them their hyer bothe cornynge, stayinge, and retournynge; and glad they were (although it is a custome among them to carrye away as many dead corpses and maymed men as they may), yet for all their cunninge they left xxxiiii behind them in the ditches, with all their ladders, and some furniture, for a witness they had come there; but I ensuer you there was a nomber slaigne and hurte that were conveyed away, and very few of the warde either slaigne or hurte. Upon the next day the Lord Deputy drewe towards the forte, and at his arryvail made an oracion to the constable and soldiers greatlie commendynge boath him and them for their good service; and after he had victualled the forte; and supplyed the same with fresh and able soldiers, he stayed there not long. 22

And now to drawe an ende of this my raw intelligence,' writes Francis Cosbie, 'Captain Williams, before rehearsed, lying longe in that unhappye forte without any reliefe but suche garrons and horses as he by pollicy could attayne unto for the suffycinge of himselfe and hungry ward, acquainted the estate with this their woeful misery; who, havinge as well regarde of theire distresses, as the saffety of that great bulwarke, sent for the Lord Lieftennant-General to Dublin; where, after debating what course was best to be held, in the ende concluded that Sir Henry Bagnall should have the general command of this expedicion.

19. Ormond to Cecil, 24 August 1598.

Sir—Although I know the jointe lettres written to the Lords there from th Lords Justices myself and the Councell here, of the late accident happened to the Marshall in the north will com to your hands: yett the losse of our syde being since delyvered to me by several men, as appeareth in the enclosed notes, I thought fytt to sende the same to you; whereby yt appeareth that our losse, God be thanked, is not all so greate in the slaughter of the men as was first reported; though to greate and shamefull as yt is! Our newe men sente over for supplies never offered to fight; but, as their leaders saye, ranne awaye most cowardlie: castinge from them their armour and weapon, as sone as the rebells chardged them. I finde by examyninge this matter that wante of goode direction was the cause of their overthrowe; for the armye were putt to sixe bodies, and marched so far asonder as thone of them could not come in tyme to seconde nor help thother; whereof I warned the Marshall to take speciall care, before he went hence. In the middest of this feight there were 2 or 3 barralls of powder putt a fyre in the Battayll, which blewe upp and hurte divers of our men; wherewith the traitors were encoraged, and our men dismayed. Hit is very necessarie, uppon the sendinge over of forces, to sende trayned men that have seene som service, consideringe that they conte to be presently ymployed, and can have no longe tyme to be dysciplined here. Fewe or none of the newe supplies brought backe their armes; soe as the proportion of munition to be sent hether hath nede to bee the greater. I wish the leaders of those that shall come were men of experience in service, whereof I doubt not you will have that consideration that is fytt. And so for this tyme I committ you to God's blessed protection.

Your veray loving
And assured Frend,


I do sende you here enclosed the copie of a lettre which presentelie I receaved from the constable of Her Majesty's house of Dongarvan.

20. The Lords Justices to the Privy Council, 4 September 1598.

It maye be that some dislyke may growe uppon a lettre wee thought to send to Tirone uppon the first reporte of the accident at Armagh. And though at that tyme wee had som reason to hould that course, yett uppon better deliberacion wee revoked the letter and wold not suffer yt to bee sent; having this device at the first that the letter shold bee but a coollor to send to see the state of the companies with direccion that yf there were anie possibilitie to fetch off those companies, the letter shold not be delivered; which was accordingly performed, and wee have at this presente the lettre in our handes, which is true upon our creditt


21. Queen Elizabeth to The Lords Justices, 12 September 1598.

Wherein 23 we knowe that you and our cousin of Ormond, our Lieutenant, will find great ease in every way. It beeing neither fitt nor possible that you shold spend your bodye in all services at all tymes, and yet we must pleynely tell you that we did much mislike (seeing this late accoion were undertaken) that you did not above all other things attend yt; therebye to have directed and countenanced the same; for yt were strange to us when allmost the whole force of our kingdome were drawn to hedd, and a mayne blow like to be stroken for our honor, agaynst the cappytall rebell, that youe whose person wold have better daunted the Traytor, and would have carryed with yt another manner of reputacion, and strengthe of the nobilitie of the kingdome shold employ yourself in an accion of less importance and leave this to soe meane a commander.

Wherein 24 we may not passe over this fowle error to our dishonor, when you of our counsell framed such a letter to the traytor after your defeate, as never were read the lyke either in forme or substance for baseness! beeing such as we persuade our self yf you shall peruse yt agayne when you are yourselves that you will be ashamed of your own absurdities, and gryeved that any feare or rayslmess shold ever make you auditors of an accion so much to your Soveraigns dishonor and to the increasing of the traytors insolency. For other things past wee have well observed, That all your Jyourneys and attemptes uppon the northe have had theise successes that not only our armyes have come backe with losse or doeing nothing, but in their absence other parts of our kingedome have ben left to be spoyled and wasted by the rebells; and thoughe the unyversallytie of the Rebellion may be used as a reason of the mischiefe, yet it is almost a miracle that witth the charges of an armye of eight or nine thousand men the provynciall rebells of Leinster and Wexeforde and other places should not be mastered.


Synce the wryting of this lettre we have understoode that your lettre which wee heard from you was sent to the Traytor by you hath synce ben stayed by accident, whereof for our owne honor wee are very gladd, thoughe for yourselves the former purpose still deserves the same imputacion.

At Greenwich the 12th of Septembre 1598.

22. Ormond to Cecil, 15 September 1598.

The Lords Justices might have written more advisedly then to say th hole army was overthrowne; truely hit might have been so, yf God had not letted hit; for there disorder was suche as the lyke hathe not bene amonge men of anye understanding, deviding tharmye into six bodies, marchinge so farr asonder as one of them could not second nor help thother till those in the vangard wear overthrowen. Suer the devill bewiched them! that none of them did prevent this grose error. Sir, for that I understand the Lords Justices wrote over to you after this disaster that hit was not there act to send the Marshall, but that it was a plott sett downe betweene him and me, I have thoght goode for profe of the contrary, to send you the inclosed notes which I pray you to make knowen to Her Majestye in my discharge; being lothe to troble you farther at this tyme I committ your guiding to God.

From Ratothe

Your fast assured loving frend,


The bearer was with the Marshall when
he was slayne, who can tell you how
ill owr companies were placed, not
beeing able to com to help one another
I pray you afford him your honourable favor.

23. 'A Conjectural Estimate of Her Majesty's Armie in Ireland', 20 September 1598.

In the end of April last the Armye in Ireland was certified to be in the heads— 25

Particulars Army numbers Combined force Total
Of English2,319......
Of Palesmen1,785......
Meere Irish2,478......
In July last there were sent out2,000......
which considering the dead pays and the deficiencies may be accounted...1,700...
More sent in August with Sir Samuel Bagnal, accounted 2,000, which in head may be...1,800...
At this time 100 horse were sent..........
Wherof by estimate there might be lost at the defeat of the Marshal, and Runaway...1,300...
And so remain about......8,782

How many of them English, or Irish, is uncertain: if all English, then so many the fewer remaining. Of those, English by estimate 5,319. Pale men, and Meer Irish 3,263.

It is to be remembered that since the certificate sent in, the end of April, many are like to be decayed, which will abate their total. In April aforesaid there were certified to be of Horse in Bands.

Particulars Horse Combined force Total
viz., Of English100......
Pale men292......
Mere Irish129......
And sent with Sir Samuel Bagnall100......
And with Sir Richard Bingham50......

Whereof English, 250.

24. Memorandum by Sir Robert Cecil, 1600.

A note of ye somes that have ben delyvered by me to the EARL OF DESMONDS use.

One £C. to Mr. Lieftenant when he was first dyscharged out of ye Tower, whereuppon himselfe and his followers lyved at Dr. Nowel's.

One other £C. delyvered to himselfe in ye presence of Captain Pryce at my house at ye Savoy for ye provyding of armor and apparell and necessaries for the sending away his nurse and syster.

Ten pounds delyvered him at ye Court.

One C. and iiijxxli delyvered to Capten Pryce for his charges.

For his charges into Ireland.

Twentye Pounds delyivered to Moryce Shehan for his use.

Ten pounds to ye Bishop of Cashell.

Thirty pounds to John Pore.

25. Cecil to Carew, 24 September 1600.

Nowe is the hour come that you shall receave the person of the Earle of Desmond, soe called here by courtesye alredie, and soe resolued by hir Majestie to bee, as maie appeare by the pattent you receave; onlye this is the dyfference, that her Majestie will see som imprest of other mens promises before she geve him plenary satisfaccion; wherein I proteste unto you noe one thinge hathe made hir more to sticke then the doubt which she hath that there wilbe noethinge don for him worthie of soe greate a favour. For the matter I must owne and speake to you my opinyon, yt you and I have made a greate aduenture to presse and importune for a thinge soe subiect to ill successe, in a tyme wnen most thinges are iudged by effect, and shall especially be applyed untoe us; because the mallice of som, and the ignoraunce of others have taught them this odd sentense to hinder any thinge (they wold not have, or understand not,) by saying, 'Yea butt he maie proove a rebell hearafter.' I praie you thearfor when you have him, take this counsayl of me; whensoever you fynd any cause toe doubt him, never feare toe laie holde of him; for therin we will never blame you, butt we will take yt for a thinge that was necessarie, quoniam ipse dixit.


26. Cecil to Carew, 28 September 1600.

You must knowe that notwithstandinge all the poore credytt I had I cold not disswade hir Majestie from deferrynge to signe Desmonds pattent, allthough I did laye before hir howe infinit advauntage and oportunitie wold be loste; but yt pleased hir to be stille fyxed that she wold see somthinge effected before she did absolutelie geve him the title; still layinge before me what a scorne she shold receave yf he shold effect nothinge; and then Tyrone might laughe att her doble, as he hath don alredy att the cominge in of Sir Arthur O'Neil, whome he called 'Queen Elizabeth's Earle that cannot comaund a hundred kern.'


27. Cecil to Carew, 1 October 1600.

{}I thinke Castlemang wold be a veray acceptable pleasure to the Queen, and an argument that myght be used to the world that the Queen getts somthinge by him good for herselfe, as well as for him. As for his expenses lett him knowe he must lyve frugallye, and within £500 yerlye, till hee bee seated, and lands given him. He maie alsoe be tolde that he shall com over when he hathe don anie good, and marrye in England, whither yt seems he longs to retorne; and I assuer you in my opynion, he will never muche lyke an Irish lyfe, for he is tender and sicklye; but tyme will she we.

I praie you Sir remember good pleadges uppon the White Knight whylst thinges are prosperyinge well; for yt is saide you wilbe cosened bye him at laste. You cannot please the Queen better then that som of the principal knaves of name be hanged—It is said that Cahir can delyver Dr. Craghe when he list: It wear well tryed to impress yt uppon him, not as the doer, but under hand; for he can doe yt with a wett finger, and it will make him irreconsylable. Lett Dermod's wyfe have som maintenance, and contente the Archbishop with good wordes; for he doeth speake veray well of you, whatsoever he thinkes, and in this matter of Desmond maiebe suerly trusted—God send yt well! and som act to purpose to followe, that maie visiblye stopp the mouths of thoes that here laughe att yt as our plott—I shall never ende but that my sleep surpriseth me, and therefor beare with this raphsodye.

At Courte

Your's al Solito

28. Cecil to the earl of Desmond, 1600. 26

1. Touchinge his dysposinge in marriage.

2. Touchinge his servantes and retinewe.

3. That he contayne himself moderate in matters of Religion &c.

4. That he at his first cominge do fashion himselfe in some convenient measure agreeable to the Irish nacion.

5. Several cawtyons for the frugall managinge of his estate.

6. Particuler admonitions tohold himselfe humble, gratefull and loyall towardes her Majestie.

7. Priuate instrucions for his present and future course of lyfe in generall, and in particuler for his correspondence, and his dependencye here, and in Ireland.

29. Desmond to Cecil, Moyallo, 21 October 1600.

My pen not daring to presume to approach the piercing and resplendent Majesty of my souueraynes eyes, I have imboldned my self to commend my humblest service and affection by you, under her royall person my best frend, to whome Right Honorable I am not to fill paper with those blandishments of ceremonies that I know is continwally sounded in the eares of such as your Honor is, but onely beseech you to moue her Majesty to looke into her selfe and foorthe of that to behold me, and then I doubt not, as she shall finde, that she hath doon much, so gathering all circumstances, and examining all objections, I am tied not to performe a little; and howsoeuer my performance of seruices may be great in common opinion, yet for myne owne parte, I shall hold them far short of that infinite obligation which I owe, and therefore with the still layinge of the ernest of my vowes and thankfulnesses, lett me advertise you of my progress since my departure from you. Uppon Mondaye the 13th of October wee sett sayle from Shirehampton for Corke, where wee, having so fair a passage as the honest gentleman this bearer can tell you, the Master and Saylers saied they neuer for this tyme of the yeare knew the lyke; wee held our course for the place appointed by your honors instructions; but I, that was so sea sicke as wildest I liue shall neuer loue that element, being two dayes and a night at sea, besought them to lande me any where; so being not able to reach Corke, a tuesday at night beeing the 14th of this month wee fell in at Yoghal, where, that your honor may know the trueth of my proceedings, I had like, comming new of the sea, and therefore somewhat weake, to be overthrowen with the kisses of old Calleaks, and was receiued with that ioy of the poore people as dyd well shew they ioyed in the exceeding mercy hir Sacred Majesty shewed towards me. From thence we went to Mr. John Fitz Edmonds house at Clone, where wee had a great deale of cheere, after the coutrey fashion, and shew of wellcome, from thence to Corke (where I humbly beseech your Honor to take notice of this I write) for that Towne, as Capten Price can wittnes, Coming thether three or fower howers before night, wee could not gett lodging in a long tyme, neither place to send my cooke to provide supper for us, untyll I was fayne (except I would goe supperless to bedd) to bidd my self to the Mayors house, a lawer, one Meagh, who if he haue no better insight in Littleton then in other observations of his place for hir Majesties seruice, maye be well called Lack Law, for it was much a doe that wee gott any thing for money, but that most of my people lay without lodging, and Capten Price had the hoggs for his neighbours. From that towne, which hath so great a charter, and I feare me so littell honesty, I cam to My Lord President to Moyallo, where by some of my well-willers I am put in very good hope that with My Lord President's fauour, and the helpe of her Majesties forces I shall gett Castellmayne, which if it so happen shalbe the ioy of my next advertisement. The people came many unto me uppon my landing, as the Lord of the Decis, and many else of the best quality, whome I tooke hand ouer head, and preached to them hir Highnes' clemencie towards one, of which there could be no truer exemple then my selfe—and besought them if they bare me any affection, to ioyne with me in shewing their thankfullnes with myne to do her Highness service, which they haue promised faythfully with their mouths, and I pray God tobe truely settled in their hearts; and my selfe harteles when I think the contrarie.

Thus your Honor hath heard the discourse of this my hitherto travayles, crauing, according to my deserving, the continuance of your fauour which hath brought me to the height of that which now I am. My best frend, next your Honor and my Lord President, the Lord Archbishop of Cashell 27 putteth me in very great hope, that wee shall shortly performe our greatest taske, I meane the killing, or taking of James McThomas, which once accomplished, and therein the warrs in this province ended, I shalbe very glad to attend upon your Honor, untyll which tyme I shall not be my self,—And for Mr Crosby I do find such good in his counsayle and readynes to advance her Highnes' employements, that I hold my selfe, amongst a number of bonds, so tied to your Honor for sending him with me, as I do assure my selfe all our businesses will succeede the better for his company. And so beeing all in very good health, I take my leaue.

Your Honour's in unfayned
Seruiccable affection
DESMOND. Moyallo

30. Patrick Crosby to Cecil, 21 October 1600.

It may please Your Honour, on Monday the xiij of this instant thEarle of Desmond with his retynue, and attendants were embarked at Bristoll; and arrived at Youghall the next day aboute vij of the clock at night. At whose entrey into the town there was so great and wonderfull allaccryty, and reioicyng of the people both men, women, and children, and so mightie crying and pressing about him, as there was not onlie muche a doe to folloue him, but also a great nomber ouerthrowne, and ouerrun in the streates in striving who should com first, unto him; the like wherof I neuer hearde or sawe before, nor woulde think it coulde euer be, except it were aboute or Prince. Indeed I haue often read that upon thelleccion of a kinge the people generallie he woulde crie Kinge H, King H, or otherwise, according to his name, so likewise (though unmeete to be don to a subiect) the harts of the people: Ye the very infants, hearing but this Desmond named, coulde not contayne them selves from shewing thaffeccion they beare to his house. I assure your Honour it was not like the crie made to Richard the third at Baynardes Castle.

The next daie there came flocking unto him from all parts of the contrey Lords Gentlemen and commons both to congratulat his commyng, and to offer their service, and attended him that night to Clone, Mr. Fitz Edmonde's house. The next daie to Cork, and so on Thursday to Mallow, to my Lord President, where he was entertayned, and a certen course taken for his estate, and whither all intelligences doe com, and the people doe resorte from all places.

The twoe plotts both for Castlemange and th usurping Eale are nowe in hand, and within theis twoe daies a jorney wilbe undertaken to see what good may be don both in them, and in other things; I hope, and I doubte not, but all will doe well, and that very shortlie untill the profe wrought may be had, My Lord President will not suffer me to departe, but must attend the successe of his jorney.

I knowe your Honour will looke to here of the yonge Earle's carriadg since his depture thence (my self being still with him) wherein I must say (as I love to tell your Honour truth) that of his owne nature and disposition he is both honest, faithfull, and dutifull, and very willing to doe her Majeste service; but I see so muche alreadie touching thexpences, and other things as I doe not think fitt that either him self, or any of his owne people shoulde holde the raynes of his bridle; but the same to be comytted to others, of whom there hath bene had good triall, both of their fidelitie to the state, their knowledg of the countrey, and sufficiencie to performe the acte, whose vigillant care and circumspeccion ouer him wilbe suche, as they will not onlie not suffer him to run any other then an even course (whereunto I must sweare him self is very well inclyned) nor permitt any badd resorte unto him, that may any way corrupt him, either in his religion or otherwise: but also by their councell and advice wilbe good assistants unto him for the managing of his causes, withoute whose helpes he cannot but erre; for neither his yers, his experience of the worlde, or knowledg of the countrey can warrant the sufficient dischardging of so waightie matters. Yet I am persuaded (in respect he is so tractable and towardlie) that it wilbe easy to carry him to all good courses. This I assure your Honour wilbe the way to make him to doe that which is expected, for which, as you are alreadie growen famous in this province and in most parte of the kingdom, and have purchased the prayers of a nomber of people, so I doubte not but her Majesty shall have great cause to gev you thanks for the same, as for one of the greatest services (considering thiniquity of the tyme) that euer was don her in this kingdom.

Touching this bearer Captain Price I say that although he be noe great doctor, nor any of these curious stately followers, yet I assure your Honour he is an honest plaine gentlemanand as discreete and carefull of his chardge as euer I saue any; I would he had the lik still about him to hold the helme so he could speak the lauguadge. The Archbushop is very good if he could still contynue with th Erle, but he cannot be alwayes with him. Thus muche for this tyme, hopeing tobe the next my self, or at least to send you better newes, and in the mean while, and for euer wilbe

readie to live and die in Your Service,
P. CROSBIE From Mallow

31. Miler Magrath, archbishop of Cashel, to Sir Robert Cecil, 22 October 1600.

{}But howe soeuer the successe shall proue, there is agret aparance of gladnes and good will shewed in every place wher the yonge Erlle of Desmond came, Corke only excepted, whosse magistrates seemed not to be glad of any tinge, that might induce mor streinght or possibiliti in the Englis government then to be as it is, nor so muche it shelfe {} but what shewe the comon sort ther, and euery sort, from the cheffest, to the loest, in other places, doe make uppon his cominge, I doe referr it to the honest berer his report, and the fruits thereof shall very seortly (God willinge) make the same manifest—the yonge Erlle was not 48 howres in the land when sure promisse was mad to hym of Castellmayn tobe delinked tohym; for which purpose his Lord and my selffe were suters tomy Lord President, to giue us a companei of horsmen to goo thether to make present triall of that promiss; but his Lordship ueisly consideringe hou warfuly traytor's promisses shulde be trusted, toght fitest tosend a trusti man from Desmond to make proffe of the promiss, then to go in person; wherupon John Pouer is sent, be whome we expecte good newes this night or the next. The next day afther John is departure others came to Desmond makinge sure promisses of 124 28 to be delivered (or at the least) discouered to hym within few dayes accordinge to the first plott.

32. Cecil to Carew, December 1600.

I praie you Sir privatlie fynde meanes toe discouer weare yt possible, yf yong Desmond can be so vayne as toehave anie purpose to marry the widowe Norreys; yf he have, and yt he will confesseyt, tell him freelie yt her Majestie will in no sorte allowe of yt; not in respect of anie unwoorthines in her, butt because hir Majestie looketh att his hands to fetche all light for his accions from hir, and not topresume for other respects, wherof she is not ignoraunt, nor anie waye allowethe him toe bynde himselfe. I praie you Sir, use this with secresye and discretion.

33. Desmond to Cecil, 18 December 1600.

Right honnorable

The dutye that I owe unto that Sacred Majestie that hath raysed me from nought tobe her creature (in which tytle I doe onely hold my selfe happie) maketh that the least defect, which might be a hindrance unto the aduancement of Hir Highness' Seruice, soe greuous unto me, that I come soe farr short, of intymatinge myne humble thanckefullnes, for soe exceedinge a mercy, as the greatest seruice which I might doe euen to the sacreefysinge of my lyfe, weare but tooe litle for her gratious fauour towards me. Not withstandinge, lest your Honour should hold your expectaton of my indeuours as altogeather frustrated, may it please youe tobe aduertised, sithence my last letter unto your honour, Thomas Oge, who was constable to James Fitz Thomas in Castlemayn, yelded the same unto me, whereof I tooke possession by my seruant John Power, the xiiijth of November, and kept it for som few dayes, untill it pleased my uerie good Lord, the Lord President to haue it yelded into his owne hands, to whome I commaunded it should be deliuered, and his Lordship is now possessed of it. When it was perfectly knowen in Ireland that I landed, James Fitz Thomas his company that remayned, dispersed them selves, and him selfe being sicke, kept him close in solitarie places, for which cause I sent my spialls to trackt him out, who brought intelligence yt he was kept in Arlough, untill the verie first night that I came to Kilmallocke, at Whhich tyme he was conueyed from Arlough by a few horsemen to one Morris Powers house, as they informed; but I hope by my spialls shortly to finde his trackt, if he be within Mounster; and the sooner to bringe him to an end, I, with the aduise of the Lord President, sent his Lords protection togeather with my letters for Dermot O'Connor, hopinge that he, with the assistance of my truest frends myght finde out the Sougan in his most secret den; and for Dermot's most safety in his trauell to come with a few company to this prouince the Lord President sent his letters in yt behalfe both to the Gouernor of Connagh, unto the Earlls of Clanrickard and Thomond, safely to conduct Dermot with some fyftie men through their Gouernment to this province; who after receauinge his protection, jorneyd hitherward as farr as Gortnishygory xxiiij myles from Lymbrick, and was there murdered by Theobold Bourke alias Tybot ne Longe accompanyed with 300 men. Some saith this murther was committed for that he tooke prisoner James Fitz Thomas (and I hold it the chefest cause, howsoeuer it may be disguised) whereby the Irishry were weakned, and feringe that he wold doe more seruises against them, as I doubt not, your Honour shall understand by My Lord Presidents letters, who is as much greued with this indignitie offered to the State, as I am, yet I finde my self the more greued for that his cominge hither was procured by my Lord President's protection and my letters; the reuenge whereof I referr to your hounorable consideration. Now I humbly beseech youe to consider my estate which is so dessperat in this kingedome that my person is not heere secured by these inhabitants great or litle, nor able to doe any seruice by reason I want meanes to execute it. I dooe desyre noe perpetuitie of hir Highnes charges towards me (but of hir fauor) neither doo I desyre tobe here (God is my wittness) for any respect except to doe hir Majestie true seruice. If I had knowledg of James Fitz Thomas where he were, I haue no commaund of force to take him, except I shold send to the garrisons to joyn with me; and what oportunitie is lost in that tyme, I referr to your Honours discression.

Let any man imagin himself in this state that I writte to youe I am in, and I will demand noe more then he wolde, in the lyke condition. I find my Honnorable good Lorde kinde unto me, but I am contemptible unto the contry, in regard that they see my meanes under my Lorde not soe much as a privatt captein's, to follow the rebelles, if there were present occasion of seruice, nor in their good carriage to geve soe much countenance as a farr mener man then a Earle; so as I do not at all, at least uerie litle, participate of the Italyan proverb Amor fa molto, argento fa tutto. I hope your Honour holds your resolution for James Fitz Thomas, Pyerce Lacy, and the Knight of the vallei's lands, that I shold haue it, for Mc Morris his land my honnorable good Lord hath an assured tytle to it, and he that with your Honor's fauor gott me to be intytled as I ame, I shall neuer be soe ungratefull as to possess any thinge of his, for it cannot be but his gifte, and the worhle can binde me no more then I am. I humbly beseech youe that these obstackles, that hinder the abilitie of my euer-willinge seruiceable testimonies, may not make youe expect those performances of my dutifull prosequtions that their suply might giue youe iust cause to expect, except youe send directions to inhable me, otherwise lett me haue leaue to come into England, which howsoeuer youe procure her Highnes to make me great here, I protest, if it be put to my choyce I shall allways hold tobe there best, and soe will I imbrace it. The latter end of your letter maketh sue to desyre the knowledg of that honnorable personage whome her Highnes hath thought of my unworthynes for, which with expectation of resolution of your Honour, in all these my expressions bythis bearer, myseruant, yelding many thanks for your infinett fauors, and halting noe offeringe of my loue to send youe but the Sugan's auncient (his standard) which this bearer shall present youe I rest

Your Honour's in all humble and faithfull affection
DESMOND. Moyallo

34. Desmond to Cecil, 21 December 1600.

Right Honourable Sithence the writting of my lettres, Thomas Oge hath brought unto me Piers Lacyes two sonnes. I do fynd him the trueste follower I haue, since my coming ouer. Whereof I beseeche your Honor to consider in behalf of his dylygence to do her Majestie service, and his affection to me.

And thus I humbly take leaue, and rest Your Honor's as I will and ever protest.
DESMOND. Kyllmallock

35. Lord Dunsany to Sir Robert Cecil, 10 February 1601.

{}In the meane I thoght yt my dutie to signifie this muche unto you, that in the seruice of cutting of a badd graff, which when I tooke my leaue of you I promysed to sett a worke, I haue assaied many waies. Butt whate for the difficultie and daunger of the attempt, and for the distrust of requitall in eny proporcion, of a seruice of that consequens, I fownd myne endeuor styll frustrat; butt howe to my greater comfort and hope, I procured (with all circumstance of secrecy and othes,) the mater to be broken to one of gretest nobilitie, spirit, and valure amongst them; promisynge unto him the place and honour for his reward whose ambition tooke the sooner, and faster hould thereof, because his birth dooth in a sort warant him to succeed, as beinge lineally descended from the cheefe house; and for as muche as yfthe matter take wished-effect, som others might labor for ye honor of the proiect, yt may please you to understand yt. Henry Oge Mc Henry McShane is ye man, beeinge linealy descended from Con O'Neyle. This my proceedinge I haue imparted to my Lord Deputie, which I hope in God will take effect!

36. Desmond to Cecil, 31 August 1601. 29

My Most Honored Sir. It is no smale greefe unto me that I cannot attend hir Majestie, nor so often accompanie your Honor as in all affection I would; for in both those courses only, under God, my hopes doth rest; but before I begin these fewe lines of my demongstrating necessities I knowe not whither to turn me, if into tyme past, I behold a long misery; if into the present, such a happines, in the comparison of that Hell, as maye be a stopp to anie incrochement. Yett pardon I beeseech you this my humble sute, who washinge with my self hir Majesties liberallyty unto me, and your honourable fauours towards me, that I maye not be distastinge to either in ouerpressinge receaued bounties. I haue here inclosed sent your honor a note of a sute whereof no disbursement shall growe foorthe of hir Highnes' purs, but an encrease of £20 yearly to hir cofers, whichby the aire of your breathe unto hir sacred Majestie, and the blessednes of hir graunt, maye supplye these my wants, which neuer hereafter shall importune you. If it be my misfortune not to haue it, soome other shall, and where can hir Highnes charity more perfectly shine uppon hir humble creature who hath receaued life from hir, and grace by you? wherein as you haue begun with me, so I may not herein find you wanting tome that submitts all his ends to your liking, and in all humblenes doth rest much assuredly bound toyou.

DESMOND. Greenwich


I do heere that your honor shalbe ernestly solicited for certaine lands in Ireland, espetially James Fitz Thomas' lands, I beseech your Honor not to procure anie graunt to anie boddy untill the land which shall stand at Hir Highnes fauour to bestowe uppon me be passed.

37. Sir Robert Cecil and Richard Combus, December 1602.

Answeares to certayne articles of Richard Combus: —

30To the first, wherein it is desyred that the enterprise (whereof you and I had conference) be keept from the Counsell of Ireland. You may be sure, that none shall know it but the Deputy himself, whom her Majesty hath putt in trust with her kingdome, and of whose secrecye and wisdome she hath approoued experience.

To the second. That the Governour of Carickefargus, be made party to it, it is all verie well liked, because he is a wise gentleman, and a commander of those places, which lye most convenient for retrayte after the enterprise. But because it may be uncertayne, to what place he shall first come for retrayt, he shall have a lettre dyrected to him, and others, her Majesty's comanders, captens and officers, whomsoever, to receaue the partye into their proteccion till advertisement be sent hether.

To the third. For her Majesty's lettre to be written to Mc Donnell before hand, she will in noe sort yeild to the same.

To the fowerth. For my writinge tohim, or assuraunce by bond to you, if you will send upp a draught of ether, I will signe them if I like their forme; if not, I will draw an other in such forme as I thinke convenient, whereuppon you may proceed if you like it.

Lastly (because we may each of us understand one and other, and that I may not discreditt my iudigment with the Queen, and my creditt with you that trust me,) I think it not amisse to toutch theise two poynts followinge:—

First, if your meaninge be, that Donnell Gorran must haue libertye to passe into Tyrone with any numbers, at which all those that know not the cause, will exclame and wonder, if then it should soe fall out, that he should not performe this, but that the least addition of strength or opinion of strength, should be conceaued to be added to the Traytor by this tolleration of his goinge ower to the Traytour (which but for this end should never be suffered) in such case untill the effect thereof shalbe shewed, itself, much advantage would be taken against my counsell all which beeinge in the hands of God, as it may lack success though he weare never soe well disposed, so will ye disgrace be much greater to me yt haue ben the adviser, if the Queen shold receaue yt scorn to let him go with any forces, and, he then tourn on thother sydes, or show yt he neuer went but to serve some other tourn. In which respect, because you did not perticuierly sett downe whether he meane to goe in, privately and do only desyre to have such an assuraunce, as if he shew it when he hath done, it may be sufficient to procure the proteccion of her Majesty's forces if he come for retrayct, or whether he meane to goe in with nombers (in shew, to serve the Traytor) thereby to amuse him, and yet because he feares her Majesty's forces, would troble him doth desire some lettre to her ministers to lett him passe with his nombers, I doe desyre to know his meaninge by your next certificate in this point. In these respects I think fitt to let you know that if he can goe in without her Majesty's dyrection to her Governours, for letting him passe (whereof there wilbe much varietye of censure, as I would not care though he went with neuer soe many.) But if he must needs carrye some, and cannot passe without her Majesty's tolleration, then had they need tobe verie feau he caries. As I shall therefore heare from you, you shall haue a lettre to the Gouvernour of Carickfargus, which beenige sent privately to him, by some trusty person, there may be some course taken, between them for his safetye, and yet noe shew made but that he doth come in agaynst his will. Thus much I thought good to lett you know, because the Governour must presently be acquaynted, with the reason, if he cannot passe without his tolleration. Where otherwise, noe man should need to know it in Ireland, till it had been done, and then he mought haue had about him such a lettre, as should haue been sufficient, to haue procured him a welcome, and a safe retrayct, when ye enterprise was past, and yet he should not haue doubted to be discouered, seeing no body cold tell it but myself. The other matter which I thinke fitt to lay before you, is this: that when the Proclamation was made, the Traytor was in his pryde, and then £3,000 had been well bestowed, to haue saued three hundred thousand; but now that his hart is broken, and he allmost a wood kerne, for me to ingage my word for more then was offered, weare lacke of discretion; for be you sure of this, that beeinge perswaded, as I am in my conscience, that it is not unlawfull to practise, the death of a declared, a proscribed Rebell, that whatsoever you shall receaue my hand for, I will see discharged, though I sould my shirt of my backe. And therefore, Sir, proceed in the matter, as you please; and for the Proclamation, doe not much buyld uppon it; for much tyme is past since it was divulged. But be you assured of this, that if by this draught, Tyrone be slayne or taken, there shalbe payed to your disposition 5,000 English Angells. 31 And this is the substance of all my answeares, who, as I am desirous to do my country service herein, by sauing ye effusion of much Christian blood, whereof he will be ye aucthor whilst his lyfe lasteth, so I am jelous of ingadging you, or any man, uppon any promises which I will not performe to you as I will do these by God's fauor really.

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Title statement

Title (uniform): A Calendar of Manuscript Material relating to Ireland, 1580–1602

Author: [Various]

Author: Sir William Stanley

Author: Sir Owen Hopton

Author: Sir Richard Barclay

Author: James Fethergill (apothecary)

Author: Sir Geoffrey Fenton

Author: The Lords Justices

Author: The Irish Council

Author: Sir George Bourchier

Author: Sir Anthony St Leger

Author: Sir Henry Wallop

Author: Chief Justice Sir Robert Gardener

Author: Lord Chancellor Adam Loftus

Author: Thomas Butler, tenth earl of Ormond

Author: Francis Cosbie

Author: Queen Elizabeth I

Author: Sir Robert Cecil

Author: James FitzGerald, fifteenth earl of Desmond

Author: Patrick Crosby

Author: Miler Magrath

Author: Lord Dunsany

Author: Richard Combus

Editor: Daniel McCarthy (Glas) of Gleann-a-Chroim

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled and proof-read by: Benjamin Hazard

Funded by: University College, Cork, via the HEA (PRTLI 4)

Edition statement

1. First draft

Extent: 19,915 words

Publication statement

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

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

Date: 2013

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

CELT document ID: E580000-002

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Notes statement

This electronic edition contains manuscript material from the time of the second Desmond rebellion (1579–1583) until the latter stages of the Nine Years War (1594–1603). The authors of this material are the following: Sir William Stanley, Sir Owen Hopton, Sir Richard Barclay, James Fethergill (apothecary), Sir Geoffrey Fenton, The Lords Justices, The Irish Council, Sir George Bourchier, Sir Anthony St Leger, Sir Henry Wallop, Chief Justice Sir Robert Gardener, Lord Chancellor Adam Loftus, Thomas Butler, tenth earl of Ormond, Francis Cosbie, Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Robert Cecil, James FitzGerald, fifteenth earl of Desmond, Patrick Crosby, Miler Magrath, Lord Dunsany, Richard Combus. This material was printed in the edition by Daniel McCarthy (Glas). He structured the primary source material in the main body of the text in lists and tables. The electronic edition presents the documents in their chronological sequence.

Source description

Primary sources, including those cited by Daniel McCarthy (Glas)

  1. Philip O'Sullivan Beare, Historiae Catholicae Iberniae compendium (Lisbon 1621; repr. Dublin 1850).
  2. Thomas Stafford, Pacata Hibernia: or, A history of the wars in Ireland during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, especially within the province of Munster under the government of Sir George Carew, and compiled by his direction and appointment (London 1633, repr. 2 vols; Dublin 1896).
  3. John O'Donovan (ed. and tr.), Annála Ríoghachta Éireann: Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters (7 vols, Dublin 1848–51; repr. 1990).
  4. Daniel McCarthy (Glas) (ed.), 'The 'Jorney' of the Blackwater: from the State Papers of Queen Elizabeth,' Journal of the Kilkenny and South East of Ireland Archaeological Society, ser. 2, 1/2, (1857) 256–282.
  5. John O'Donovan (ed.), 'Military proclamation in the Irish language issued by Hugh O'Neill, earl of Tyrone, in 1601,' Ulster Journal of Archaeology, ser. 1, 6 (1858) 57-65.
  6. John Maclean (ed.), Letters from Sir Robert Cecil to Sir George Carew (London 1864).
  7. Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Elizabeth, Jan. 1598–Feb. 1601, ed. Mary Anne Everett Green (London 1869).
  8. John T. Gilbert (ed.), Facsimiles of the National Manuscripts of Ireland (4 vols; Dublin 1874–84).
  9. Edmund Ignatius Hogan (ed.), Description of Ireland and the state thereof as it is at this present in anno 1598 (Dublin 1878).
  10. Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland, ed. H.C. Hamilton, E.G. Atkinson and R.P. Mahaffy (24 vols, London 1860–1912; repr. Nendeln, Liechtenstein: Kraus, 1974–79); Elizabeth, 1574–85 (London 1867); 1586–8 (London 1877); 1588-92 (London 1885); 1592–96 (London 1890); 1596–97 (London 1893); 1598–99 (London 1895); 1599–1600 (London 1899); 1600 (London 1903); 1600–01, with addenda for earlier years (London 1912); 1601–03, with addenda, 1565–1654 (London 1912).
  11. Geoffrey Keating, Foras Feasa ar Éirinn, ed. Comyn and Dinneen, Irish Texts Society 4, 8–9, 15 (4 vols, London 1902–15; repr. 1987).
  12. Nicholas Browne, 'Munster in A.D. 1597,' Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society, 12 (1906) 54–68.
  13. Hiram Morgan (ed.), 'The 1597 ceasefire documents,' Dúiche Néill, 11 (1997) 8–33.
  14. Margaret Clayton, The Council Book for the Province of Munster, c.1599–1649: British Library, Ms. Harleian 697 (Dublin 2008).

Further sources, including those cited by Daniel McCarthy (Glas)

  1. Richard Cox, Hibernia Anglicana, or, the history of Ireland from the conquest thereof by the English to the present time (2 vols, London 1689–90).
  2. C. P. Meehan (ed. and tr.), The Geraldines, their rise, increase and ruin. Translated from the Latin of Dominic O'Daly, O.P. (Dublin 1847).
  3. Daniel McCarthy (Glas), 'Notes on Irish dress and armour in the 16th century,' Journal of the Kilkenny and South East of Ireland Arch. Soc., ser. 2, 1/2 (1857) 364–370.
  4. Daniel McCarthy (Glas), 'State-craft in the 16th century, as illustrated by a series of documents from Her Majesty's State paper Office,' Journal of the Kilkenny and South East of Ireland Archaeological Society, ser. 2, 1/2 (1857) 398–420.
  5. Daniel McCarthy (Glas), 'The disaster of Wicklow, 1599,' Journal of the Kilkenny and South East of Ireland Archaeological Society, ser. 2/2 (1859) 428–440.
  6. Richard Sainthill, 'The Old Countess of Desmond. An inquiry: did she seek redress at the court of Queen Elizabeth as recorded in the journal of Robert Sydney, earl of Leycester and did she ever sit for her portrait?,' Proc. RIA, 7 (1857–61) 429–73.
  7. Denis Murphy, 'The Sugán earl of Desmond,' Irish Monthly, 5 (1877) 275–286; 489–500.
  8. William Hennessy, 'Desmond Inquisition of 1584,' Kerry Archaeological Magazine, 4 (1910) 213–26; 5 (1910) 263–79.
  9. J. B. Black, The reign of Elizabeth, 1558–1603, G.N. Clark (ed.), The Oxford History of England, vol. 8 (Oxford 1936).
  10. W. T. Walsh, Philip II (London 1938; repr. 1987).
  11. G. A. Hayes-McCoy, 'Strategy and tactics in Irish warfare, 1593–1601,' Irish Historical Studies, 2 (1941) 255–79.
  12. M. Ó Báille, 'The Buannadha: Irish professional soldiery of the sixteenth century,' Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, 22 (1946) 49–94.
  13. Seán Ó Domhnaill, 'Warfare in sixteenth-century Ireland,' Irish Historical Studies, 5 (1946) 29–54.
  14. Cyril Falls, Elizabeth's Irish wars (London 1950; repr. Syracuse 1997) 257–8, 282, 285, 287–9, 320.
  15. J. J. Silke, 'Spain and the invasion of Ireland, 1601–2,' Irish Historical Studies, 14 (1965) 295–312.
  16. R. D. Edwards and D.B. Quinn, 'Sixteenth-century Ireland, 1485-1603,' Irish Historical Studies, 16 (1968) 15–32.
  17. J. J. Silke, Kinsale: the Spanish intervention at the end of the Elizabethan wars (Liverpool 1970).
  18. John Bossy, 'The Counter Reformation and the people of Catholic Ireland, 1596–1641,' in Historical Studies 8 (1971) 155-169.
  19. Kenneth Nicholls, Gaelic and Gaelicised Ireland (Dublin 1972; repr. 2002).
  20. Kenneth Nicholls, Land, law and society in sixteenth-century Ireland (Dublin 1976).
  21. R. Dudley Edwards, Ireland in the age of the Tudors (London 1977).
  22. Anthony Sheehan, 'Political grievance and national revolt: Munster in the Nine Years War,' (Unpublished M.A. thesis, University College Dublin 1981).
  23. Nicholas Canny, 'The formation of the Irish mind: religion, politics, and Gaelic Irish literature, 1580–1750,' Past and Present, 95 (1982) 91–116.
  24. Anthony Sheehan, 'The population of the Plantation of Munster: Quinn reconsidered', Journal of the Cork Archaeological and Historical Society, 87 (1982) 107–117
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  38. Kenneth Nicholls, 'The development of lordship in County Cork 1300–1600' in Patrick O'Flanagan and Cornelius Buttimer (eds.), Cork: history and society (Dublin 1993) 157–212.
  39. Ciaran Brady, The chief governors: The rise and fall of reform government in Tudor Ireland, 1536–1588 (Cambridge 1994).
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  44. John McGurk, The Elizabethan conquest of Ireland: the 1590s crisis (Manchester 1997).
  45. John Nolan, Sir John Norreys and the Elizabethan military world (Exeter 1997).
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  47. Enrique García Hernán, Irlanda y el rey Prudente, 2 vols, (Madrid 1999–2003).
  48. Hiram Morgan (ed.), Political ideology in Ireland 1541–1641 (Dublin 1999).
  49. Hiram Morgan, ''Overmighty officers': the Irish lord deputyship in the early modern British state,' History Ireland, 7/4 (1999) 17–21.
  50. Anne Chambers, Eleanor Countess of Desmond, c.1545–1638 (Dublin 1986, repr. 2000).
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  52. Patrick Duffy, David Edwards and Elizabeth Fitzpatrick (eds.), Gaelic Ireland, c.1250–1650: land, lordship and settlement (Dublin 2001; repr. 2004).
  53. Hiram Morgan (ed.), Information, media and power through the ages: Historical Studies XXII: papers read before the 24th Irish Conference of Historians held at University College Cork, 20–22 May 1999 (Dublin 2001).
  54. Hiram Morgan, 'Spanish armadas and Ireland,' in Luc François and Ann Katherine Isaacs (eds.), The Sea in European history (Pisa 2001) 219–28.
  55. Patricia Palmer, Language and conquest in early-modern Ireland: English Renaissance literature and Elizabethan imperial expansion (Cambridge 2001).
  56. Nicholas Canny, Making Ireland British, 1580—1650. (Oxford 2001).
  57. Francis Edwards, Plots and plotters in the reign of Elizabeth I (Dublin 2002).
  58. Enrique García Hernán, Óscar Recio Morales et al. (eds.), Irlanda y la monarquía hispánica: Kinsale 1601–2001. Guerra, política, exilio y religión (Madrid 2002) 137–50.
  59. Óscar Recio Morales, El socorro de Irlanda en 1601 y la contribución del ejército a la integración social de los irlandeses en España (Madrid 2002).
  60. Nicholas Canny, 'Writing early-modern history: Ireland, Britain, and the wider world,' The Historical Journal 46 (2003) 723–47.
  61. David Edwards, The Ormond lordship in County Kilkenny, 1515–1642 (Dublin 2003).
  62. Ciaran O'Scea, 'The significance and legacy of Spanish intervention in west Munster during the battle of Kinsale', in Thomas O'Connor and Mary Ann Lyons (eds.), Irish migrants in Europe after Kinsale, 1602–1820 (Dublin 2003) 32–63.
  63. Raymond Gillespie, 'Planned migration to Ireland in the seventeenth century,' in Patrick Duffy and Gerard Moran (eds.), To and from Ireland: planned migration schemes c.1600—2000 (Dublin 2004) 39–56.
  64. B. A. Harrison, The Tower of London prisoner book: a complete chronology of the persons known to be detained at their Majesties' pleasure, 1100–1941 (Leeds 2004).
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  66. Enrique García Hernán, 'Philip II's forgotten Armada', in Hiram Morgan (ed.), The Battle of Kinsale (Dublin 2004) 45–58.
  67. Hiram Morgan (ed.), The Battle of Kinsale (Dublin 2004).
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  71. Hiram Morgan, 'Gaelic lordship and Tudor conquest: Tír Eoghain, 1541–1603,' History Ireland, 13/5 (2005) 38–43.
  72. June Schlueter, 'Michael van Meer's Album Amicorum, with illustrations of London, 1614–15,' Huntington Library Quarterly, 69/2 (2006) 301–14.
  73. Colin Breen, An archaeology of southwest Ireland, 1570–1670 (Dublin 2007).
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  75. John McGurk, 'The Flight of the Earls: escape or strategic regrouping?,' History Ireland, [The Flight of the Earls] 15 (2007) 16–21.
  76. Stephen Alford, Burghley: William Cecil at the court of Elizabeth I (New Haven CT 2008).
  77. Benjamin Hazard, 'Gaelic political scripture in the sixteenth century: Uí Mhaoil Chonaire scribes and the Book of Art Buide Mac Murchadha Caomhánach,' in Proceedings of the Twenty-third Annual Harvard Celtic Colloquium (Cambridge MA 2008) 149–64.
  78. Ruth Ahnert, 'Writing in the Tower of London during the Reformation, ca. 1530–1558', Huntington Library Quarterly, 72 (2009) 168–192.
  79. Benjamin Hazard, Faith and patronage: the political career of Flaithrí Ó Maolchonaire, c.1560–1629 (Dublin 2009; repr. 2010).
  80. Enrique García Hernán, Ireland and Spain in the reign of Philip II (Dublin 2009).
  81. Rory Rapple, Martial power and Elizabethan political culture: military men in England and Ireland, 1558-1594 (Cambridge 2009).
  82. Colin Rynne and James Lyttleton (eds.), Plantation Ireland: settlement and material culture, 1550—1700 (Dublin 2009).
  83. John McGurk, 'Irish prisoners in the Tower of London: pre-requisites for plantation,' in David Finnegan, Marie-Claire Harrigan and Éamonn Ó Ciardha (eds.), The Flight of the Earls: Imeacht na nIarlaí (Derry 2010) 237–46.
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  87. Enrique García Hernán (ed.), The Battle of Kinsale, 1601–1602: study and documents (Valencia 2013).
  88. Benjamin Hazard, ''Very necessarie instrumente in a compani': Irish medical personnel and Spanish military medicine, 1586–1672,' Ossory, Laois and Leinster, 5 (2012–2013) 115–145.
  89. Ruth Ahnert, The rise of prison literature in the sixteenth century (Cambridge 2013).
  90. Gerard O'Carroll, The earls of Desmond: The rise and fall of a Munster lordship (Tralee 2013).
  91. Hiram Morgan (ed.), 'The Deputy's defence: Sir William Fitzwilliam's Apology on the outbreak of the Nine Years War,' Proc. RIA, 114C (2014) 1–34.


  1. Daniel McCarthy (ed.), The Life and Letters of Florence Mac Carthy Reagh, Tanist of Carbery, Mac Carthy Mor, with some portion of 'The Histories of the Ancient Families of the South of Ireland,' compiled solely from unpublished documents in Her Majesty's State Papers Office (London & Dublin 1867).
  2. Daniel McCarthy (ed.), The Life and Letters of Florence Mac Carthy Reagh, Tanist of Carbery, Mac Carthy Mor, with some portion of 'The Histories of the Ancient Families of the South of Ireland,' compiled solely from unpublished documents in Her Majesty's State Papers Office (facsimile repr. Cork: Miros Press, 1975).

The edition used in the digital edition

Reagh, Florence Mac Carthy et al. (1867). The Life and Letters of Florence Mac Carthy Reagh, Tanist of Carbery, Mac Carthy Mor, with some portion of ’The Histories of the Ancient Families of the South of Ireland,’ compiled solely from unpublished documents in Her Majesty’s State Papers Office.‍ Ed. by Daniel McCarthy (Glas) of Gleann-a-Chroim. 1st ed. xii + 515 pp. London and Dublin;

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

  title 	 = {The Life and Letters of Florence Mac Carthy Reagh, Tanist of Carbery, Mac Carthy Mor, with some portion of 'The Histories of the Ancient Families of the South of Ireland,' compiled solely from unpublished documents in Her Majesty's State Papers Office.},
  author 	 = {Florence Mac Carthy Reagh and others},
  editor 	 = {Daniel McCarthy (Glas) of Gleann-a-Chroim},
  edition 	 = {1},
  note 	 = {xii + 515 pp.},
  publisher 	 = {Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer — Hodges and Smith},
  address 	 = {London and Dublin; },
  publisher 	 = {},
  date 	 = {1867}


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The present text represents primary source material from the printed volume edited by Daniel McCarthy (Glas) of Gleann-a-Chroim. This material deals with the period from the second Desmond rebellion (1579–1583) until the latter stages of the Nine Years War (1594–1603). The following letters and reports relate to Sir William Stanley who, among other things, served as sheriff of Cork before fighting in Flanders; the Battle of the Yellow Ford (August 1598); and the imprisonment of James FitzGerald, fifteenth earl of Desmond. The remaining material published by McCarthy Glas relevant to Florence Mac Carthy Reagh and his extended family during his lifetime is available in a separate file at CELT, www.ucc.ie/celt/published/E600000.

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Creation: Correspondence, official reports and manuscript extracts, compiled by Sir William Stanley; Sir Owen Hopton; Sir Richard Barclay; James Fethergill, apothecary; Sir Geoffrey Fenton; The Lords Justices; The Irish Council; Sir George Bourchier; Sir Anthony St Leger; Sir Henry Wallop; Chief Justice Sir Robert Gardener; Lord Chancellor Adam Loftus; Thomas Butler, tenth earl of Ormond; Francis Cosbie; Queen Elizabeth I; Sir Robert Cecil; James FitzGerald, fifteenth earl of Desmond; Patrick Crosby; Miler Magrath; Lord Dunsany; Richard Combus. 1580–1602

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  • The text is in English. (en)
  • Four phrases are in Latin. (la)
  • Two phrases are in Italian. (it)

Keywords: Sir William Stanley; Sir Owen Hopton; Sir Richard Barclay; James Fethergill (apothecary); Sir Geoffrey Fenton; The Lords Justices; The Irish Council; Sir George Bourchier; Sir Anthony St Leger; Sir Henry Wallop; Chief Justice Sir Robert Gardener; Lord Chancellor Adam Loftus; Thomas Butler, tenth earl of Ormond, and of Ossory; Francis Cosbie; Queen Elizabeth I; Sir Robert Cecil; James FitzGerald, fifteenth earl of Desmond; Patrick Crosby; Miler Magrath; Lord Dunsany; Richard Combus; histor; political; relation; contemporary affairs; prose; 16c; 17c

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  1. 2019-06-05: Changes made to div0 type. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  2. 2013-11-06: File parsed; header modified, XML and HTML files created. (ed. BF)
  3. 2013-10-04: Names of each author and recipient of correspondence encoded and regularized with the addition of markup to main text content; footnotes numbered. (ed. Benjamin Hazard)
  4. 2013-10-01: Name of each author identified within its own element in the header; bibliography updated. (ed. Benjamin Hazard)
  5. 2013-06-22: Minor modifications to header made; file parsed and validated. Preliminary SGML and HTML versions created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  6. 2013-06-13: Header created. Minor corrections made to text content; further structural and content markup added. (ed. Benjamin Hazard)
  7. 2013-06-07: Editorial note compiled, marked-up and inserted in file. (ed. Benjamin Hazard)
  8. 2013-05-30: Standard title format attributed to each document for source citations. (ed. Benjamin Hazard)
  9. 2013-05-13: Manuscript material selected for inclusion; document date ranges verified in comparison with original manuscripts. (ed. Hiram Morgan)
  10. 2013-05-11: Conversion program updated. (ed. Peter Flynn)
  11. 2013-02-28: Structural markup and bibliographical content updated. (ed. Benjamin Hazard)
  12. 2012-12-14: Initial proofing started and page-breaks added. (ed. Benjamin Hazard)
  13. 2012-12-08: Bibliographical details compiled. (ed. Benjamin Hazard)
  14. 2012-12-06: Text scanned. (Data capture Benjamin Hazard)

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  1. For more on these subjects, see the following two articles by Benjamin Hazard, ''New Troy': the Irish at Oostende in the first half of the seventeenth century,' in Pádraig Ó Macháin (ed.), The Book of the O Conor Don. Essays on an Irish manuscript (Dublin 2010) 166–190; [and also] ''Very necessarie instrumente in a compani': Irish medical personnel and Spanish military medicine, 1586–1672,' Ossory, Leinster and Laois, 5 (2012-2013) 115–145. 🢀

  2. From this account of the skirmish in the Glins, Stanley makes it clear that it was he who 'mainly contributed to the extrication of the few of his countrymen who survived.' Source: Daniel McCarthy, The Life and Letters, p. 252. 🢀

  3. Illegible. 🢀

  4. i.e. compound. With thanks to Dr Aoibheann Ní Dhonnchadha, Professor of Medical Manuscripts, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 🢀

  5. i.e. compound. With thanks to Dr Aoibheann Ní Dhonnchadha, Professor of Medical Manuscripts, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 🢀

  6. i.e. compound. With thanks to Dr Aoibheann Ní Dhonnchadha, Professor of Medical Manuscripts, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 🢀

  7. i.e. compound. With thanks to Dr Aoibheann Ní Dhonnchadha, Professor of Medical Manuscripts, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 🢀

  8. i.e. compound. With thanks to Dr Aoibheann Ní Dhonnchadha, Professor of Medical Manuscripts, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 🢀

  9. A dram is an apothecary's unit of fluid weight, equivalent to a teaspoon. 🢀

  10. i.e. compound. With thanks to Dr Aoibheann Ní Dhonnchadha, Professor of Medical Manuscripts, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. 🢀

  11. Price not visible owing to the folding, and fraying of the paper. 🢀

  12. Price not visible owing to the folding, and fraying of the paper. 🢀

  13. Price not visible owing to the folding, and fraying of the paper. 🢀

  14. Price not visible owing to the folding, and fraying of the paper. 🢀

  15. Price not visible owing to the folding, and fraying of the paper. 🢀

  16. Price not visible owing to the folding, and fraying of the paper. 🢀

  17. Price not visible owing to the folding, and fraying of the paper. 🢀

  18. Price not visible owing to the folding, and fraying of the paper. 🢀

  19. August 1598, the date of Sir Geoffery Fenton's letter, was precisely the period of the famous 'Jorney of the Blackwater'. Source: Daniel McCarthy (Glas), The Life and Letters, p. 462. 🢀

  20. 'Doubtless,' writes Camden, relative to the defeat of the English at Armagh, 'since the time they first set foot in Ireland, they never received a greater overthrow!' Source: Daniel McCarthy (Glas), The Life and Letters, p. 469. 🢀

  21. Daniel McCarthy (Glas), [The Life and Letters, p.472] identified this Francis Cosbie as 'the officer who commanded the garrison' in 1598. A namesake, Francis Cosby, was a soldier and planter who died in battle in Wicklow in 1580. His grandson, also Francis, was killed at Stradbally bridge on 19 May 1596. See Colm Lennon, 'Cosby, Francis (d.1580),' ODNB (Oxford 2004); Terry Clavin and Anthony McCormack, 'Cosby, Francis (1510–80),' DIB (Cambridge 2009). 🢀

  22. O'Neill attempted no more assaults, but vigorously set about digging trenches around the fort, and thus cut off from Captain Williams the hope of future sallies, and the capture of his enemy's mares. These trenches are described as works of amazing magnitude, such as had never yet been seen in Irish warfare; they were more than a mile in length, several feet deep, 'with a thorny hedge on the toppe,' and connected with vast tracts of bog; every approach to the unhappy garrison was 'plashed,' and rendered impassable for artillery, as the English afterwards found to their heavy cost; and the Irish forces so distributed, that a battle, under every disadvantage, must be fought by any army coming to relieve the Fort. O'Neill was too good a politician not to be informed of the exact state of the country, the resources of the Lords Justices, and the impossibility of their opposing in any effective manner at one time ore than one division of his forces. Camden informs us that 'the state of Ireland was at this time very much out of order, for all Ulster beyond Dundalk, except seven garrison castles—namely, Newry, Knockfergus, Carlingford, Green Castle, Armagh, Dondrom, and Olderfleet, and almost all Connaught, were revolted.' Even Ormond, 'Vir magnae strenuitatis et audaciae', who could perhaps have extricated the Government from its miserable plight, looked with dismay upon the unequal struggle before him. 'The times, 'he wrote, 'are more miserable than ever before.' 'If our wants be not speedily supplied, the whole kingdom will be overthrown.' 'The garrisons everywhere at this moment are ready to starve.' 'The soldiers run away daily, though I have hanged many of them in the maritime towns. Source: Daniel McCarthy, The Life and Letters, pp. 473-4. 🢀

  23. the arrival of Sir Richard Bingham 🢀

  24. in the matter of the Blackwater 🢀

  25. Ralf Lane wrote to Burghley, 'the army is filled with Connors, Moores, and bastard Geraldines.' The Queen was informed that 'her soldiers were more like prisoners, worn out with hard afflictions than soldiers,' that 'poverty and nakedness made the soldiers run to the rebels' and by Fenton that 'O'Neill had procured means to cess the three furies, penury, sickness and famine, on the Queen's troops.' It was too late now for the Minister to derive any benefit from the discovery of 'a strategem of O'Neill, who having had six companies under his command, at the Queen's pay, he altered and changed the men so often, that thereby his whole force became disciplined soldiers.' Source: Daniel McCarthy (Glas), The Life and Letters, pp. 176-177. 🢀

  26. Daniel McCarthy surmised that the contents of this list were probably Heads of Sermons to be preached by Miler McGrath, the state archbishop of Cashel. 🢀

  27. Miler McGrath 🢀

  28. That is: James McThomas 🢀

  29. In August 1601, Queen Elizabeth who, as Cox informs us, was but too often penny wise, and pounds otherwise, brought her mind to make a great, and costly effort to extinguish the Irish rebellion, 'which had almost reached that sum at which Her Majesty estimated the worth of the realm of Ireland' — the army had increased from 7 or 8 to 16 or 17 thousand foot; and from 2 or 3 hundred horse to as many thousands. With this force the Lord Deputy Mountjoy resolved to attack O'Neill in his great fastnesses, and to force the dreaded pass of the Moiry; thither he marched, and there was fought many a sanguinary skirmish; for O'Neill had, as usual, plashed the ways, and erected earthworks, and placed his best men to guard them. The weather was stormier than had been known for 20 years, and the English soldiers perished faster by exposure and want, than by the sword; but Mountjoy persevered; and having forced his way several miles within the pass, built forts to secure the ground he had won. O'Neill retreated, and the Deputy was enabled to lead his troops to the famous fortress of the Blackwater; the old castle was in ruins; he built a new one; and it is gratifying to know that the first constable to whom it was intrusted, was Captain Sir Thomas Williams. In the camp of Carrickban, on the 25th of July, he had received the honour of Knighthood from the sword of the Lord Deputy. It were well for the fame of Mountjoy if he had written nothing to Cecil but the journal of that arduous, and eventful campaign, the account of his visit to the scene of Bagnal's disaster, and the prowess of Sir Thomas Williams but from the camp of Carrickban went also the two following letters. Source: Daniel McCarthy (Glas), The Life and Letters, pp. 463-4. 🢀

  30. The words in italics are in Cecil's handwriting. 🢀

  31. This refers to a gold coin varying in value from about six shillings and eightpence to ten shillings—Robert Nares, James-Orchard Halliwell, Thomas Wright, A glossary; or collection of words, phrases, names and allusions to customs, proverbs which have been thought to require illustration in the works of English authors (London 1859) vol. 1, A–J, p. 24; Daniel McCarthy (Glas), The Life and Letters, p. 469. 🢀


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