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offer, he was in hopes before two days were spent, to have his head set upon a stake."
On the following day, the president ordered his battery to be opened, but the cannon on which their dependance was placed, was found to be 80 clogged at the touch-hole, that it could not be freed. The lordpresident, by a curious expedient, which he records for the instruction of posterity, contrived to remedy this obstruction. He ordered the gun to be raised on its carriage, as nearly as possible into a vertical position; then she willed the gunner to give her a full charge of powder, and roule a shot after it, whereby the touch-hole was presently cleared, to the great rejoicings of the armie.”+ The president then ordered the knight of the valley's child to be placed on one of the gabions, and sent word to the castle, that “they should have a fair mark to bestow their small shot upon.” The constable, in terms not sufficiently decorous to be repeated, answered that the knight of the valley might have more sons, and that they should not spare their fire on account of the child. On this the president ordered the child to be removed and the cannon to be discharged against the walls. A fire commenced on both sides, and before long a breach was made into a cellar under the great hall of the castle.
Into this breach a party, led by captain Flower, entered, and forced their way into the hall, driving the garrison before them into a neighbouring tower which opened from it. Here four of the English were slain by shots from a spike-hole. Captain Flower then led his men up the narrow spiral stairs, which led to two turrets, on the top of the castle; these they gained with the loss of an inferior officer, and planted the English ensigns upon them.
By the time the last-mentioned service was effected, it had grown quite dark, and as it was impossible to make any further progress, captain Slingsby was ordered to maintain the position already won till morning. During the night, there was some firing on both sides within the castle, each party being kept in apprehension of the other. The constable, seeing that he was unlikely to save himself by any other means, thought to escape during the darkness under cover of a sally. The English guard was too alert; his party was repulsed and himself slain. In the morning, it was found that the Irish had retired into the tower of the castle. The stone stairs, which were the only ascent, were so narrow that one only could mount at a time: this difficult ascent was guarded by a strong wooden door, to which the assailants set fire. By this means the narrow way became so filled with smoke, that a considerable time elapsed before any further step could be taken; when the smoke was cleared away, several English officers, followed by their men, ascended in single file; they met no resistance; the Irish had made their way out on the castle wall. An offer to surrender, on condition of their lives being spared, met with no answer, and they then resolved to sell them dearly. The English, led by captains Flower and Slingsby, rushed out through the door which led to the battlements, and a rough and desperate but short struggle took place in the gutters, between the battlements and the
roof of the castle: here many fell on both sides-mercy was unthought of, and the narrow gutters ran with blood; eleven English soldiers were killed and 21 wounded. Of the Irish, fell 80 in all; some were slain on the battlements; some who hoped to escape by leaping over into the water below, were killed by the English who surrounded the castle.*
The earl of Desmond had not resolution to offer any interruption to the taking of this castle, the importance of which was very considerable. It had served the Irish as a secure factory, from whence, by means of a Limerick merchant, all their wants had been supplied,
The Sugan earl in the meantime, seemed to be content with the show of war. With a force in general nearly triple that of the English, he was content to hang at a safe distance on their march and observe their movements, or seize occasion to show hostility by some smal] depredations or assaults on straggling parties. The president pursued his operations, very much as if there was no hostile force in the field.
The county of Kerry had until recently, been untouched by these military operations, and abounded with men and provisions. In the heart of this district lay the strong castle of Lisaghan, an object of the utmost importance, and presenting no small obstacles to any hope of successful attack. The enterprise was however undertaken by Maurice Stack, a gentleman in attendance upon the lord president, and highly reputed for his conduct and valour. He was probably favoured by the tranquil and isolated position of the place, for he contrived to take the castle by surprise. The loss was felt by the rebel chiefs to be a serious blow, and all means for its recovery were put in motion; force and fraud were tried in turn and failed. The siege was repelled, and the rebel army compelled to retire with some disgrace from before the walls. A little after, while the brave Stack was away, and the command entrusted to Walter Talbot, Florence M'Carthy, whose conduct seems to have been curiously temporizing, and ordered very much with a view to avoid committing himself, came to Talbot, and endeavoured to cajole him into a surrender. Such efforts were little likely to succeed; but when reported to the lord president, he thought it prudent to visit him, and accordingly took with him 1000 foot, and 75 horse, and in five days came to Kilrush; when by the aid of the earl of Thomond, he had his troops ferried across the river.
In the meantime these movements were not unobserved. A letter was written by the Sugan earl to Florence M-Carthy, which was, we presume, intercepted by the lord president, on whose authority it is
Letter from James Fitz-Thomas to Florence M-Carthy.
“Yesterday I came over the mountaine, and brought with mee the Bonnaghs of Conelloe, the residue and force of the countery I have left to keepe their Crets. I understand since my comming, that Sir Charles Wilmott, with six hundred foot, and fiftie horse, are come
* Pacata Ibidi
to Clavimamia md Huis nighie pretend use at Tralee. I we want to the ktaigha md al he mannery presently to meet meg fl-herriw. to pasist their detemination, aut ur in veter tinence ani acamOlishment of our detan. Dan ta antipat purus inuishin. as Wur paruti your um quiet and exaltation at se service to make what haste wir May and meeting to yeaht 118 yow helping assistance, tir wich. viil. past thankful and most partie ta angvere pun lavrisinin x war deert: and hue aferving the considevation lievent to you loetship. I commit you to Corto Prino Angusti. 100 « Vou lourtship's very loning isen.
*JAWES D OND
Tansit was the wave of destruction polled into think thithertio inmolaster district. Om maching Carrigsfoglie the president obtained information that the Irish had come to a determination to destroy their castles in Kerry; on which he sent Sir Charles Wilanot to prevent Thema úr Charles made a rapid march and came by sumpre on several castles_Lixhaw, which had been undermined by its lord who afterwards is said to have died of grief, for this work of his own bolly: Tralee the house of Sir Edward Denny, which 150 soldiers of the Sugan earl were in the very act of destroying; while these were yet busy in the completion of this exploit the noise they made in the Vaults which they endeavoured to undermine, prevented them from hearing the approach of Sir Charles and his troop of fifty horse, who killed 32 of them, and seized the arms of a hundred men.
We have already mentioned the very peculiar position which Florence M'Carthy was all this time endeavouring to maintain; in which it seems obviously bis object was to keep fair with either party, and finally to attach himself to the stronger. The league which was at the time in the course of progress against the English, was such as to raise strong hopes of their entire subversion; when the concentrated forces of the northern and southern chiefs, strengthened by the men, money, and arms of Spain, should be brought to bear upon them. But the vast superiority of the English force, in point of efficiency in the field, was still such as to cast a strong doubt on the success of any numerical superiority which could be brought against them. The best indication for the Irish, was the caution they had learned; they now evinced a strong sense that their only safe tactics consisted in vigilant observation for the moment of advantage. Hence it may be observed by the reader, that such was the conduct of Desmond's army; with all his numerical superiority, he was contented with such a course that while the utmost activity was maintained on either side, the English appear, by all statements, to have moved in a perfectly unobstructed course to the execution of their objects. Such was the state of things at a juncture, which actually constitutes the turning point of the fortunes of the pale. And which may without great rashness be taken as the cause, which suggested so much doubt, and caused such continual wavering among the native chiefs. It was a question, whether they were to embrace safety or irreversible ruin, and the grounds of decision presented as yet no very decisive aspect, to the subtile yet circumscribed bservation of these barbarous leaders.
Of these, the most curious instance of conduct rendered perplexed and vacillating from indecision of character, together with embarrassment of position, was that of Florence M‘Carthy. This chief, sincere to neither party, and keeping on doubtful terms with both, presents us with that species of general illustration which is sometimes to be found in an extreme case: steady only in availing himself of all circumstances, which could for the moment render him important to either partyor gain an object, or divert a suspicion. Still, though an anxiety for his own safety was uppermost in his wavering counsels, he undoubtedly preferred the rebel cause. It was at the period of his arrival at Kerry, that the lord-president, hearing that this chief was near, and having strong reasons to suspect him, sent to desire his presence at Carrigofoyle. M-Carthy sent excuses joined with oaths of fidelity. Another message was dispatched with a safe-conduct, but all was of no avail. This confirmed the suspicions of Carew, who a little before had received information, that Florence M.Carthy, was engaged in the negotiation of a marriage between Desmond and the sister of Cormac M‘Carthy of Muskerry. As this alliance, was if possible, to be prevented, the lord-president resolved to exert himself for the purpose. With this in view, he committed the military operations in Cork to Sir Charles Wilmot, and repaired to Kerry to counteract the subtile underplotting of M‘Carthy, of whom, he was accustomed to say, that he saw him, “like a dark cloud over his head, threatening a storm to hinder and disturb his proceedings."* The apprehended marriage was prevented by a negotiation with M‘Carthy of Muskerry, who by dint of threats and promises, was induced to undertake for his sister's appearance on the summons of the lord president or the council.
While this point was in course of attainment, many incidents of less moment marked the slow progress of the war in Munster. A detachment, commanded by captain Harvey, was passing through a village belonging to the white knight. One of the houses was unthinkingly set fire to by a few of his men, who mistook their position, and by a very pardonable error thought themselves in an enemy's country. The outrage was instantly arrested in its commencement; but a party of 160 foot and 18 horse was drawn together by John Fitz-Gibbon, the knight's younger son. Captain Harvey explained the error of his men, and promised satisfaction. But the inexperienced youth, relying on the numerical superiority of his force, conceived the unlucky notion that the English were in his power, and only saw the tempting occasion to perform an exploit of arms: giving no answer to captain Harvey, he ordered a charge upon the English. His party came rapidly up to the charge, but stopped short when close to the enemy's line, and stood surprised at the tranquil aspect with which their rush was awaited. Seeing that they hesitated, Harvey ordered his men to charge. Fitz-Gibbon's troop gave way at once, and left nearly half their number dead or wounded on the field. The white knight, on being informed of this affair, condemned the rashness of his son; and the guide, who, on enquiry, was discovered to have set on the English
* Pacata Ilib.
soldiers from a malicious motive, was, by order of the president, hanged.
The president, aware of the enthusiasm of the Kerrymen for the Desmond family, caused a person in the livery of the young earl of Desmond to be shown in several places, and a report spread, that the earl himself was soon to make his appearance in the country-an expedient at this time actually entertained, and soon after tried. The Sugan earl had with him five hundred mercenaries, together with such forces as the chiefs of his party could draw together. But the activity of Sir Charles Wilmot, to whom in the interval the main operations, consisting chiefly of detachments, had been committed, brought over the minds of many, and among these of Fitz-Gerald the knight of Kerry—so that he not only professed his desire to become a British subject; but on Desmond's coming to Dingle, refused to give him entrance to his castle. In return, the Sugan earl destroyed as much as he could, and went on to Castlemagne. Not long after the knight made his submission, and was accepted in form; and the Sugan earl, with Pierce Lacy, entering his country with a view to plunder, he gave them battle, and routed them with a loss of sixteen of their men and two officers of mercenaries.
The affairs of the Sugan earl were gradually drawing to a point. The lord president, unable to carry matters by a decisive action, had contrived to make the most judicious arrangements, securing the country every where as he advanced his line of operation. He carried the war into the disaffected parts, and placed his garrison in the most commanding positions in the countries of his chief opponents. Above all, he had at an early period of the year, occupied Askeaton and Kil. mallock with strong garrisons, which were productive of more decisive advantages as the rebellion approached nearer to its crisis.
The garrison of Kerry at the present period, (the beginning of September, 1600,) distressed the Sugan earl so much, that he found it difficult to maintain his force. In this juncture he wrote the following letter to Florence M‘Carthy:
“MY LORD, “ Your letter I have received, and the present time of service is now at hand, which by letters, nor any excuse so ineffectual ought to be delayed; and whereas you write, that you intend to confer with the president and the earl of Thomond, I marvel that one of your lordship's acquaintance with their proceedings, doeth not yet know their enticing bayts and humours to entrap us all within the nets of their policies; your vow to God and this action for the maintenance of the church and defence of our own right, should not for any respect be unregarded: you know that of long time your lordship hath been suitor to the queen and council, and could not at any time prevail nor get any likliehood of your settlement. And now, being duly placed by the assent of the church, and us the nobilitie of this action, your lordship should work all means possible for to maintain the same. You know the ancient and general malice that heretofore they bare to all Irish birth, and much more they rave at the present, so as it is very bootless for any of us all to seek their favours or countenance, which were but a mean to work