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our total subversion. Write me effectually your lordship’s mind, and what resolution you purpose to follow, whereby I may proceed accordingly. This armie is but very slender, for they are but sixe hundred foot, and eightie horse. Wee expect your lordship’s assistance, which we heartily desire, and not any further to deferre us with letters, as you respect us and the service: and, whereas you write, you have no force, your own presence, and the fruite of your comming, will much further the service, and dismay the enemy, &c.—20 September, 1600.
“ Your loving Cousen,
“ JAMES DESMOND.”
But the situation of the Sugan earl was too replete with danger to admit of open assistance from one so cautious as M‘Carthy who satisfied his affection to the cause, with temporizing messages, and perhaps vague intentions. The earl, closely pressed by Wilmot, was driven out of Kerry. His allies and associates began to perceive the ruin which was coming so fast upon his cause; yet reluctant to desert him, strongly urged his flight from the south, promising to support him when he should return with an army sufficient to make resistance practicable. So strongly, indeed, was the necessity of submission beginning to be felt, and so fiercely at the same time did the fire of rebellion burn under its embers, that the chiefs sent an embassador to Rome to purchase absolution for their feigned submission to the queen,* and a dispensation for their further continuance in a course so inconsistent with their profession of faith.f.
The Sugan earl, having left Kerry, was on his way to the fortress of Arlogh, when the report of his approach reached Kilmallock; several companies stationed in this place hastened out to meet him: and unfortunately for the earl, his troops were seen and intercepted before they were able to gain the covert of a wood, near which they were marching. They were instantly charged by captain Graeme's company, who obtained possession of their baggage, and killed all those who guarded it. A spirited rally was made by the Irish for the recovery of their baggage; but a few more charges threw them into confusion. Flight and slaughter began to fill the plain: 120 of the earl's men were killed, and 80 wounded. Among other things, three hundred horses laden with baggage, with a large prey of cattle, were secured by the English party. In this battle captain Graeme had sixteen of his men slain, and a few horses wounded.
From this moment the fortunes of the Sugan earl became hopeless. His friends departed to their homes_his followers deserted—and he could no longer collect a hundred men. With his brother John, the knight of the Glyn, and two other gentlemen, he left the county of Cork, and made the best of his way into Tipperary and Ormonde: from whence his companions retired from a field of enterprise which now presented no hope of retrieve, and took refuge in Ulster; where under the earl of Tyrone's command, the cause of insurrection still held its precarious existence. The rebellion in Ireland had not in fact, at any time, assumed its most formidable aspect in the south; it was rather a perplexed tissue of intrigues, murders, and tumults, than * Pac. Hiber.
a contest of military operations. Sir George Carew has been condemned by some of our historians, for the means which he sometimes adopted to obtain his ends; were it worth while, and could we allow ourselves space, it would be easy to show that he had no better means than to avail himself of the character of the allies and the enemies with whom he had to deal: their moral code was not of the strictest, and their laws of war included every crime within the broad latitude of human nature. The age itself was but doubtfully advanced in civilization: the contest was carried on with an enemy which had little idea of war without murder, robbery, breach of faith, and treachery; then there was no strict rule, either express or understood, to debar Sir George Carew from taking the occasional advantages afforded by the tactics of an enemy who, it must be recollected, stood upon the low ground of treason and rebellion in the estimate of the English government. Amongst those shocking and revolting incidents to which this monstrous state of things gave occasion, we could enumerate many. It was at the time at which we are now arrived, that Honor O'Brien, sister to the earl of Thomond, and wife to lord Kerry, invited a person of the name of Stack to dine with her, and caused him to be murdered; his brother, who was a prisoner in the castle, was next day hanged by order of lord Kerry. Such was the summary justice of Irish chiefs in that age: it was evidently the maxim that every one had the right, now only recognised in fields of battle, to kill his enemy as he might; and every one whose death became in any way desirable, was an enemy.
The unfortunate earl of Desmond found little prospect of relief or aid in Ormonde; he had perhaps come thither for the purpose of escaping the attention of Carew, and with a design to return when he safely might. In October, the president obtained intelligence that he had stolen back and was lurking with a few followers about the woods of Arlogh.
In the month of October, in the same year, the queen put into execution her plan for drawing away the affections of the county of Kerry from the Sugan earl by sending over the son of the 16th earl, attainted 1582. This youth had in his infancy been detained in England, where he had been born, and kept prisoner in the Tower. He was now sent over with the title of the earl of Desmond, to the care of the lord president. For his maintenance, a captain and his company were to be dismissed, and their pay allotted to this purpose. The patent for his title was to be retained by the lord-president, until he might be enabled to judge of the success of the plan. From the reception of the young lord by the people this was soon decided.
To bring this matter to the test, the president gave the young lord permission to travel into Limerick, under the care of the archbishop of Cashel and Master Boyle, clerk of the council, (afterwards first earl of Cork.) On a Saturday evening the party entered Kilmallock. The report of their coming had reached this town before them; and the effect was such as might seem to warrant the most sanguine expectations. The streets were thronged to the utmost with the people from the surrounding country-every window was full of carnest and eager faces—the roofs were alive with a shouting and cheering rabble—and every “ projecting buttress and coigne of vantage” bore its share of acclamation and loyalty to the heir of the old earl. He was invited to dine at Sir George Thornton's, and so dense was the crowd, that it was half-an-hour before a lane of soldiers could enable him to reach his mansion. After supper the same press retarded his return to his own lodging
All this enthusiasm was easily dispelled. If the young lord had drawn favourable hopes, or high notions of the loyalty of the Limerick people to the house of his fathers, a few hours more were to enlighten him on this head. The next day was Sunday, and he was, as was his wont, proceeding to church, when he was surrounded by a multitude, whose language he did not understand, but who, by their tones and gestures, were evidently endeavouring to dissuade him from entering the church. The young earl went on and entered. On coming out after service he was met with abuse and execration: and from that moment no one came near him. It was also quickly ascertained, that the numerous persons who had possession of the Desmond estates under the crown, looked with natural apprehension on the chance so detrimental to their interests, of the restoration which would transfer them from the lax management of the English plantations, to the gripe of the exacting and despotic earl of Desmond.
This unfortunate youth, the rightful heritor of the house of Desmond, having been thus painfully held for a few days in a position of high and flattering expectation, was restored to an obscurity rendered doubly painful by disappointment. If his long state of depression had not eradicated in his breast all the spirit of his race, his misfortune, to which education and the habits of life must have reconciled him, was aggravated, and the penalty of his father's crimes, revived to be inflicted afresh on him. What had been a privation hardly felt, was thus become an insult and a wrong. And such we should infer from his brief remaining history was the manner in which this reckless act of despotism affected its unhappy object. Having been found of no use in Ireland; and after having exerted himself to the utmost to meet the wishes of the queen, he was brought back to England, where he died in a few months, and with him the honours of the house of Desmond.
The Sugan earl was become a fugitive, and with two or three persons led a life of fear and hardship, skulking from forest to forest, and from desert to desert among the savage glens and defiles of Arlogh, in Drumfinnin, and in the county of Tipperary. In the latter place
safety was become a principal object, and no place could long be safe for a fugitive, from the vigilance and activity of lord president Carew. Of his allies some had been more successful; Lacy had got together a small body of men and awaited the return of John of Desmond, who went to Ulster to apply to the earl of Tyrone for aid. Tyrone had, however, to mind his own defence, which, against the skilful and efficient conduct of the able and spirited Mountjoy, more than tasked his whole means and force.
In the month of November, most of the few remaining castles which were held against the queen were taken. The strong castle of Connilogh was surprised— Castlemagne was surrendered from regard to the young earl of Desmond-Listowel was taken after a short but desperate siege. Of this latter the incidents have too much interest to be omitted here.
The castle of Listowel belonged to Fitz-Maurice, lord of Lixnaw, who was one of the most inveterate opponents of the president's government. Being the only one of his castles which had not been taken, Sir C. Wilmot was determined to seize it. On the fifth of November he besieged it, and ordered the wall to be undermined. After nearly a week's hard work, his men had opened a deep mine under the foundation, but they had hardly finished the chamber in which the powder was to be lodged, when a spring gushed out upon the cavity and entirely frustrated the attempt. The labour was therefore renewed on another part of the foundation; and the miners were successful in reaching far under the middle of the cellar. An application was at this period made by the garrison for leave to depart from the castle; but as they had first done all the mischief in their power-nine of the besiegers having fallen, and had now no longer a choice-Sir Charles did not think it fit or expedient to grant such terms, They were therefore compelled to surrender at discretion; and the women and children were suffered to depart. Among the latter was the eldest son of the lord of Lixnaw: the people of the castle, aware, that if recognised, its seizure must ensue, disguised it by changing its attire, and having smeared it with mud, placed it over the back of an old woman who bore it away without being questioned. It was not long before Sir Charles became aware of the circumstance; and a pursuit was immediately commanded. All was vain, until he thought of questioning a priest, who had been taken among the prisoners. The following is the account given by Sir G. Carew himself of the conversation between Sir C. Wilmot and Mac Brodie the priest:-MacBrodie admitted “that he could best resolve him, for that he himselfe had given direction to the woman where shee should bestow the child till shee might deliver him to his father. "Why then,' saith Sir Charles, will you not conduct me to him? Know you not that it is in my power to hang you or to save you? Yes; and I assure you if you will not guide me to the place where he lieth hidden, I will cause you to be instantly hanged. The priest answered, That it was all one to him whether he died this day or to-morrow; but yet, if he might have his word, for the sparing of his owne life and the childes, hee might reveale his knowledge; otherwayes the governor might do his pleasure. Sir Charles, though very unwilling to grant the priest his life, yet the earnest desire hee had to gett the child into his hands, caused him to agree thereto. The priest, being put into a hand-locke, is sent with a captaine and a good guard of souldiers about this businesse, who guided them to a wood, sixe miles from the castle, by reason of thicke bryers and thorns, almost unpassable, in the middest whereof there is a hollow cave within the ground, not much unlike by description, to
they found that old woman and this young childe, whom they brought to the governor, and the priest and childe were shortly after sent to the president."*
• Pacata Hib.
While the lord-president was at Clonmel, whither he had gone to confer with the earl of Ormonde, he received information that the fugitive lords were lurking in the vicinity, where they had already committed many extensive depredations. He therefore undertook a strict search. While he was thus engaged, a youth was brought before him, who had been in the Sugan earl's service; and, on being questioned, undertook to conduct a party to where his master lay. For some time there had been a close pursuit, of which we regret not being able to present the reader with any authorized details, but which can easily be followed up by his imagination, into the variety of romantic escapes and emergencies, of which every day must have had its share. The deep and rugged glens and mountain hollows, the marshy vales, and the broad wildernesses of dark forest and tangled thicket, were now all explored by human fear and misfortune, and traced through their recesses and leafy mazes, by the stern activity of military pursuit. Enmity guided by treachery, dogged the fallen earl from den to den, and from hut to hut, nor could he in this forlorn condition reckon on the fidelity of any one of those whose aid, guidance, or hospitality, his utter necessity required. The actual proof that this description is something more than imaginary, may be found in the brief statement of Sir George Carew, who mentions that they frequently reached the place of his concealment just a little after he had escaped from it. The earl of Thomond, Sir G. Thornton, and other officers, were now sent with their companies, along with this guide, who conducted them to the woods of Drumfinnan; but as they approached the border of the woods a cry was raised, and a tumult ran through the forest depth, as from persons in flight, while the soldiers, dashing aside the thick boughs, rushed in to give chase. The Sugan earl made his escape; he ran without waiting to put on his shoes. His companion, (a Romish priest,) was overtaken by the soldiers; but his “simple mantle,” and “ torn trowsers” deceived them--seeing but a poor old man, unable to bear a weapon, they left him unmolested. Thus were the Sugan earl and his companions reduced to the condition of hunted beasts, in daily alarm for their lives, without the commonest necessaries, and compelled mostly to conceal themselves in places selected for their very discomfort. The province was, however, reduced to order and peaceful subjection. No castle was in the hands of an enemy to the queen's government. No hostile army levied contributions, seized or plundered, or kept the country in terror; but every one was enabled securely to leave his cattle in the fields. And the lord-president, having dismissed five hundred men, was enabled to offer to send a thousand to serve in Leinster.
On the 13th of January, 1601, the lord-president was enabled to give intelligence to the English council of the approaching invasion of the Spaniards. His information was avouched by a variety of documents, which left little doubt on the subject, and confirmed strongly by the appearance in the country of numerous foreign ecclesiastics, of the accuracy of this intelligence. Enough has been already seen in our notice of O'Donell, and will presently be more fully confirmed by the history of the earl of Tyrone's rebellion, which may be said to have comprized as the acts of a drama, all these lesser parts.