History of England, Part II From the Accession of Henry VIII to the Revolution of 1689

Tout, T. F. --Powell, F. York


CHAPTER VIII. Wales and Ireland under the Tudors.


The Tudor Kings were not satisfied to establish their rule merely over England. Like Edgar or ., they aspired to reduce the whole of the British [1]  Islands under their sway. We have seen how .'s plan to unite England and had been made futile by the brutality of his methods, though under the Reformation first really bound the two countries together, and rendered possible the union of the two realms under .'s great-great-grandson after her death. We must now see how . joined and other great franchises with his English kingdom, and how, after nearly a century of struggle, the last days of witnessed the completion of the effective English conquest of .

2. Since the suppression of the revolt of Owen Glendower, and the March of had been the scene of no very striking events. Harsh penal laws, [2]  passed when the fear of Owen and his Welshmen was still a living force, had imposed on the Welsh all sorts of disabilities. The English towns and castles were kept apart as a garrison, and intermarriage between the two races was sternly forbidden. Yet the arm of the English King was far too weak to enforce such cruel statutes, and in reality the Welsh lived a disorderly and independent life, caring very little for any sort of law. The old distinction between the Principality and


the March was still kept up. In the Principality, the eldest son of the English King ruled as . ., the conqueror of the Principality, had divided his land into the five shires of Anglesey, Carnarvon, Merioneth, Cardigan, and Carmarthen, and had set up a rude imitation of the English system of local institutions. Very similar was the state of things in the County Palatine of Chester, of which the county of Flint was a sort of dependency. It was, like the Principality, ruled by the King's eldest son, but under his title of , and was as distinct as itself from the general English system, being a little feudal state, standing by itself ever since Norman times. Exactly the same was the condition of the many petty feudal lordships that jointly formed the March of , and still remained as relics of the first Norman conquest of southern and eastern in the reigns of William II. and Henry I. Each lordship marcher was governed on its own system, bound to the English crown by the homage done by its lord, but having no relations with the Principality. The enormous number of petty jurisdictions made the March even more lawless than the Principality. It was easy for robbers and murderers by crossing the next boundary to withdraw themselves into a separate state, where a different justice was administered by another set of officers. As time went on, the various lordships marcher fell into the possession of the great baronial families of England, and, still later, many of them escheated to the crown, especially in when the marcher lordships of the Dukes of , and in I46i when the Mortimer marcher district, including all central , was united to the crown by . Thus, before the accession of the Tudors, the king or his heir were direct lords of nearly all , either as , Earl of Chester, or lord of the various marcher lordships. Yet no attempt was made to weld the different districts together in a single system.

3. Both Yorkists and Tudors were specially connected with ; the Yorkists as heirs of the Mortimers, and the [4]  Tudors, because on the male side they were .of pure Welsh descent, the laws against the intermarriage of Welsh and English not preventing Owen Tudor, the Anglesey squire, from marrying the widow of Henry V., and their son Edmund from wedding the heiress of the Beauforts, who, after the slaughter of the Wars of the Roses, handed on to her son . the representation


of the House of . . started the beginnings of a better system when he sent down a council to Ludlow, the old home of the Mortimers, to act as advisers and assistants of his little son, the who perished in the Tower. Henry V II. continued the Council, and by naming his heir Arthur showed that he was not unmindful of his father's ancestry. ., when he
had no son to be , made the Lady Mary Princess of and kept on the Council in her name. Gradually the Council changed its character, and from being the personal council of prince or princess, it grew into a body specially entrusted with the administration both of the Principality and the March, being called the Council of and sitting permanently at Ludlow, which thus


became the capital of sixteenth century ; while the President of the Council, generally a political bishop or a great nobleman, became in practice its governor. The Council at Ludlow quite changed the character of the district under its charge, putting down with a strong hand the constant family feuds, robbery, and bloodshed that had put the whole land permanently at the mercy of a swarm of petty local tyrants, and making as peaceful as any part of Henry's dominions.

4. In . carried a series of laws [6]  through Parliament which entirely changed the legal position of both the Principality and Marches. Hitherto they had belonged to the English kings, but had been no part of England, but rather a dependency of it. Henceforth, so far as law could make two nations one, complete equality was established between them. The petty lordships marcher were practically abolished. Henceforth the marcher had no more authority over his property than the lord of any English manor. All was made "shire ground," a phrase that in Tudor times meant the bringing in of the whole English system of local government. The old shires of the Principality were reorganised, and in some cases enlarged. New shires were built up out of the lordships marcher, the greatest of which became the centres round which the new counties were grouped. The ancient palatine earldom of Pembroke and lordship of Glamorgan were made the nucleus of the modern Pembrokeshire and Glamorganshire. The new shires of Montgomery, Radnor, Brecon, and Monmouth were established. Other marcher lordships were annexed to the English counties of Shropshire, Hereford, and Gloucester, which thus first attained their modern dimensions. The thirteen counties, old and new, into which and its March were now divided, each received precisely the same organisation as an English shire, with sheriffs, justices, sessions, coroners, and the rest. Moreover, they were called upon to return members to the English Parliament, one knight for every shire (two for Monmouth), and one burgess from their grouped boroughs. Cheshire was also allowed to return members for the first time. The only thing that was now peculiar to was the continuance of a special judicial system with special judges for and, which went on till the reign of . But under ., Monmouthshire was included in an English circuit, and so cut


off from the remaining counties. Henceforth enjoyed the same law and privilege as England. The union of the two countries was complete.

5. .'s reforming measures had little effect in altering public feeling in . The people accepted the abolition of the Papacy and the monasteries, [7]  but went on with their old beliefs, just as if nothing had happened, thus almost realising the king's ideal of religion. Under Mary, the Welsh returned without difficulty to the old faith. So few were the Protestants that the whole land only supplied three martyrs to the Marian persecution, one of whom was the English bishop of St. Davids, Ferrar, while the other two were humble sufferers from the English towns of Cardiff and Haverfordwest. Under the real reformation in began, being set on foot by a few zealous Welshmen, who had learnt Protestantism under . or at Geneva. They saw that the new gospel could only reach the people if taught in their native Welsh; accordingly they set to work to translate religious books into the vernacular. The two chief Welsh reformers were the laymen William Salisbury of Llanrwst and Richard Davies, also a Carnarvonshire man, who had been an exile at Geneva under Mary, and was after 's accession made bishop, first of St. Asaph and then of St. Davids, and became chief adviser of Cecil and Parker on Welsh affairs. By their care the first Welsh New Testament and the Welsh version of the Prayer Book were published in . Unluckily, the two friends now quarrelled. The result was that it was not until , a few months after the defeat of the Armada, that the single-handed zeal of William Morgan, afterwards Bishop of St. Asaph, enabled a Welsh Translation of the whole Bible to be printed. It was now possible to preach with effect in Welsh; and before the end of 's reign the Welsh were quite won over from Rome, though it was a harder matter to preach them out of those ancient customs, that to Puritans, like Davies, seemed mere relics of Popery. Puritanism, however, hardly existed in , save in the English-speaking districts of the south and east, which were in closer touch with Puritan England. John Penry, the only famous Welsh Puritan of the time, [see page 82] drew a most gloomy picture of the religious condition of , and urged on Parliament to take further action for spreading Protestant ideas, for, said he, "unless the magistrate doth uphold Christ's honour


against Satan, it will fall to the ground." His account, however, is that of a morose fanatic. In reality, though much of Welsh life was still rude and coarse, the country was in a condition of rapid progress. It had for the first time enjoyed peace and sound law, and the beginnings of the Reformation in led to a strong national revival that made its influence felt on every side for good. Schools were set up; a Welsh college founded at Oxford; Welsh grammars, dictionaries, histories were written; Welsh literature again flourished; many Welshmen rose to eminence in the service of their Church, both in and England. Agriculture prospered now peace was secure and markets accessible. As Churchyard, the Welsh poet, sang in describing the worthiness of :-

" Markets are good, and victuals nothing dear, Each place is filled with plenty all the year; The ground manured, the grain so doth increase That thousands live in wealth and blessed peace."

The coal mines of Flintshire and Glamorganshire were developed. The Society for the Mines Royal, set up in , opened up the lead mines of Cardiganshire. The extinction of piracy made the coasts safe for trade. Many Welshmen emigrated into England and won good positions in camp, court, and mart. Everywhere the policy of the Welsh line of English kings had proved abundantly successful.

6. English rule in had fallen to its lowest ebb during the Wars of the Roses. Only in one corner of was any pretence of English government kept up. This was the English Pale, a region that ran along the east coast from Dundalk to Dublin and the Wicklow hills beyond, while on the land side a steep dyke marked its [9]  boundary in long straight lines. Within this little district, the commands of the Lord Deputy and his Council were fairly well obeyed; and a system, based on English law, was kept up. The Irish Parliaments now represented little save the Pale and a few scattered boroughs. Outside the Pale, lands that had once been shire-ground had become split up into a considerable number of petty states, practically independent, always quarrelling with each other, and seldom troubling themselves even to make a formal acknowledgment of the power of the English crown. They were governed in two ways, the one as lawless as


the other. Some were small feudal states, turbulent and anarchic as feudal lordships ever were, which were ruled by the heads of the great Anglo-Norman houses, settled in ever since the reign of Henry II. The others were the Irish tribal communities,governed after a disorderly and patriarchal fashion by elective chieftains, chosen by their tribesmen from the ruling family of the sept or clan. Down to the sixteenth century, the account which Gerald of gave of the Irish of Henry II.'s time still held good of their descendants [see Part I. pages 103-104].

During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the hard-and-fast line that once separated the native Irish from the Anglo-Norman colony had gradually broken down. The Norman lords wore the Irish dress, used the Irish language, put out their children to foster with Irish nurses, and adopted all the lawless and picturesque traditions of their native land, becoming, as was said, "lHibernicis Hiberniores," more Irish than the Irish themselves. In Ulster and Connaught, the Normans had so thoroughly fallen in with Irish ways, that they dropped their ancient family names for names of the Irish fashion. In Leinster and Munster some difference was still kept up, and here the chief Norman houses bore sway. The greatest Norman house, that of the Geraldines or Fitzeralds, was divided into two branches. The elder stock was most powerful in the Pale and in Leinster, and its head bore the title of Earl of Kildare. The younger branch was planted in South Munster or Desmond, and had at its head the Earls of Desmond. These two divisions of the Fitzgerald family were separated from each other by the lands of the rival Norman house of the Butlers, Earls of Ormonde, or East Munster. They still held the best of the plain country, while the Irish septs lurked in the hills, whence they perpetually ravaged the farms of the lowlands. Among these septs the O'Tooles and the O'Byrnes, who lived in the Wicklow hills, commanded the country to within a few miles of Dublin. In Ulster, Norman influence was as good as forgotten, and great clan chieftains ruled over the O'Nleills of middle and eastern Ulster, and the O'Donnells of the wild west or Donegal, the two fiercest, strongest, most warlike, and most thoroughly Celtic of all the Irish septs. In Connaught, degenerate Normans, like the Buzrkes (De Burghs) of Clanricarde, shared with Irish tribes, like the O'Connors, the sovereignty of the poorest part of . The various feudal houses and native tribes were constantly


at war with each other. The Irish law made murder atonable by a money payment, and neither law nor tradition did anything to bring about a better state of things. It was no wonder that, when the two most disorderly forms of government known thus struggled for mastery, disorder should be chronic. The English king's dep ties, not strong enough to set up firm rule, did something to make matters worse by preventing any house or tribe that seemed likely to overtop the others pushing to its fulness a power that might have helped to stay the tide of anarchy.

7. . was so weak at home that he left to itself, appointing the Earl of Kildare his Deputy in [11]  Dublin, because he was the strongest of the Irish nobles, and would be sure to rebel if he did not have all his own way. "All ," he was once told, "could not rule the Earl of Kildare." He answered, "Then let the Earl of Kildare rule over all ," hoping thus best to conceal his weakness. The system did not work. Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck both found a ready welcome from the Irish, with the Earl of Kildare at their head. To avoid further danger, Henry broke with Fitzgerald, and sent an English soldier, Sir John Poynings, as [12]  Deputy to . In , Poynings held a famous Parliament at Droh/eda, which passed an Act of Attainder against his predecessor Kildare, and also the Act called Poynings'Law, which forbad the Irish Parliament to pass any statute that the English Council did not approve of, and so definitely made dependent on the English Government. It was the first step towards the real conquest of by the Tudors; but for the moment it bore little fruit The former Deputy, Gerald Fitzgerald, eighth Earl of Kildare, was pardoned in and restored as Deputy, the old system proving the cheaper and easier.

8. In the first part of .'s reign no fresh steps were taken to secure the English supremacy. When [13]  Kildare died in , his son, Gerald Fitzgerald, the ninth earl, succeeded to the Deputyship almost as a matter of course, and, with a few short breaks, remained Deputy for the next twenty years, though he unscrupulously used his authority to avenge himself on his private enemies, and aimed at building up the Fitzgerald influence without any care for the general welfare of . Twice Henry superseded him, but the king's first experiment of sending the Earl of


Surrey (afterwards Duke of Norfolk) as Deputy broke down, because it was too costly to rule after the English fashion, and his second attempt at setting up Anne Boleyn's kinsman, the head of the Butlers, against him failed, because the Butlers were no match for the Fitzgeralds, who surrounded them on both sides, cut them off from access to Dublin, and turned the whole Pale against them. At last, in , the cup of Kildare's iniquities was filled, and he was angrily summoned to England and thrown into the Tower, where an early death saved him from Henry's vengeance. But he had left his son Thomas as his substitute in , and, as soon as the news of the father's [14]  imprisonment was known, the son raised all the Geraldines in revolt against the king. This young Fitzgerald, called Silken Thomas, from the silk fringes which his followers wore on their helmets, was a "headlong Hotspur" of the utmost recklessness and daring, but he failed hopelessly in winning over Dublin to his side, and all his energy was required to ward off the attacks of the Butlers, who upheld the royal cause. In Henry VIII. sent Sir William Skeffington with a force of English troops, who, after a five days siege, took by storm the great Geraldine castle of M-taynooth, and forced the rebel leader to surrender under vague promises of mercy. His five uncles were treacherously arrested, though some of them were quite guiltless. In all six were hanged at Tyburn. The Kildare country was ruthlessly devastated, and the Kildare family only saved from extinction by the escape of the boy Earl Gerald to.

The easy suppression of the Geraldine revolt showed that Henry, if he chose to exercise his power, was stronger than any noble house in . In the aged Skeffington died, and was succeeded by Lord Leonard Grey, brother of the Marquis of Dorset, who, having married a Fitzgerald, was likely to deal gently with the cowed clan. The rule of Grey and his [15]  successor, Sir Anthony St. Leger, was marked by another great advance of English influence . The Irish Parliament abolished the papal power, recognised Henry as head of the Irish Church, and suppressed the monasteries . Neither Norman nor Irish lords raised any resistance, gladly accepting the monastery lands as their share of the spoils, and being further conciliated by a lavish


creation of new titles. For Henry gave earldoms and baronies to many of the great clan chieftains, the head of the O'Neills becoming Earl of Tyrone, the chief of the O'Briens of Thomond becoming Earl of Thomond [north Munster], and the descendant of the Burghs Earl of Clanricarde. In I54I a Parliament was held, which the new peers attended, and in which they gladly recognised their benefactor Henry as King of . Former English kings had only styled themselves Lords of ".

. meant to try to rule effectively by conciliating the Irish lords, both Norman and native; while he sought to induce them to accept English law and English ways along with their new titles. The experiment soon proved an almost utter failure. Henry could only rule by force, and he was not able or willing to pay the cost of an Irish army. The new earls and barons used the spoils of the monasteries to strengthen themselves against the king and each other, and the old feuds broke out again with all their old rancour. Lord Leonard Grey leant to his wife's kindred and played the game of the Fitzgeralds as openly as the Earls of Kildare had done, till he was recalled to England and beheaded by his implacable master in I54I. His successor, St. Leger, limited his efforts to reducing the septs that bordered on the Pale. His abandonment of the distant parts of was a practical confession that Henry had grasped at more than he could hold.

9. Under . efforts were made to extend Protestantism to as well as England, but they met with little success. There were no Protestants in , even among the chieftains who had renounced the Pope in order to get monastic lands. In remote districts [17] . popular piety had even prevented the suppression of the monasteries, and the Franciscan friars continued the chief religious teachers of the native Irish, finding a better response from their unruly flocks now that Protestantism began to be identified with English influence. The Protestant teachers sent over from England were not of the best sort. The most conspicuous among them was the learned scholar and hot controversialist, John Bale, who, being made Bishop of Ossory, strove to instruct his diocese by having his own [18]  plays, written to teach Protestantism, acted at the market-cross at Kilkenny on Sunday afternoons. Yet even Bale was only sent to because


he was too foul-tongued and intemperate to win preferment in England. Under Mary the Pope and the Mass were restored, but the queen's deputy, Thomas [19]  Radclizfe, afterwards Earl of Sussex, went to war vigorously against the Irish septs, and his victories increased the racial hatred of English and Irish at the moment when religious causes of difference were, for the last time, absent. Sussex conquered the districts and Leix of Offaly, and made them shire-ground; the advance of English law being marked in as in by the growth of new counties or by the revival of old ones. Sussex called his two new shires Queen's County and King's [20]  County, after Mary and her husband Philip, with the new fortresses of Maryborough and Philipstown as their capitals. Such Irish, as were still allowed to live there, were compelled to dress and order their lives after the English fashion. Many, however, were driven out and replaced by English settlers. This was a further step forward in the conquest of , and one which, in subsequent generations, was to prove most important. The English colonists brought in a higher civilisation and a greater energy, but they treated the Irish as savages possessing no rights, and butchered and cheated them without scruple. The Irish retaliated to the utmost of their power, and the establishment of Mary's colonists in Leinster was but the beginning of a savage war of races, which made more difficult the future solution of the Irish problem.

10. Sussex remained Deputy of after 's succession, and the religious changes which had been carried out in England were duly extended to by the local Parliament. The queen had her hands so full at home that she was anxious to keep at peace, and fell back on her father's policy of ruling [21]  through her friendship with the local chieftains. The course of events in Ulster 'made it very difficult to pursue this line of conduct. Con O'Neill, first Earl of Tyrone, had procured from Henry VI II. the reversion of the title and the barony of Dungannon for his illegitimate son Matthew, whose mother was a smith's wife at Dundalk. The earl was now growing old and his eldest legitimate son, Shane [John] O'Neill, indignant at the preference shown to his half-brother, waged war against his father and the baron of Dungannon, and finally murdered the latter and drove the former to take refuge within the English Pale, where he died. Shane now procured his


election as The O'Neill, or chief of the clan, and set to work to establish his power on a firm basis in Ulster. Sussex did his best to make head against him, and planted a garrison on the Cathedral Hill of Armagh, which was a perpetual thorn in his side. But he had neither men nor money sufficient to conquer Shane, and even failed in a plot which he had formed for his assassination. It was a great triumph for Shane when he went, in , to London to plead his cause before in person. The handsome chief and his following of gallowglasses, with their long curls, bare heads, wide-sleeved saffron shirts, shaggy coats of frieze and broad axes, created a great sensation in London. Brought before , Shane fell on his knees, and "confessed his rebellion with howling." "For lack of education and civility," he declared in Irish, " I have offended." He won the queen's graces by asking to be allowed to attend on the Lord Robert Dudley, "that I may learn to ride after the English fashion, and run at the tilt, to hawk, to shoot, and use such other good exercises as I perceive my said good lord to be meet unto." Yet at the very moment when Shane was learning "civility" under 's suitor, his emissaries were clearing the way for him in Ulster by murdering his nephew, the young Baron of Dungannon, his brother Matthew's son. Despite this, sent Shane home with many marks of favour. During the next few years he made himself absolute master of Ulster. He put down his rival among his own clan, he defeated the hostile septs of the O'Donnells, the Maguires, and the O'Rileys, and utterly defeated the Scots of the Macdonnell clan, who had recently settled in Clandeboye or Antrim. In Sussex was replaced by Sir Henry Sidney, who tried in vain to reduce Shane's power. "Lucifer," he wrote, "was never so puffed up with pride and ambition as O'Neill." Shane gloried in his rebellion, declaring that, " If it were to do again, I could do it, for my ancestors were kings of Ulster and Ulster was theirs, and Ulster is mine and shall be mine." " He continually," wrote Sidney, "keepeth six hundred armed men, as it were his janissaries, about him. He is able to bring five thousand soldiers to the field: he is the only strong man in . His country was never so rich or so inhabited. He armeth all the peasants, the first Irishman who ever did so." He intrigued with the Scots, the French, the King of , and the Pope. Never had Irish chieftain been so powerful for many a generation.


Feeling that Shane's power must be extirpated at any cost, Sidney in proclaimed him a rebel, and invaded Ulster. On the approach of the Deputy's army, the O'Donnells and other conquered clans threw off Shane's yoke, and joined heartily with the English. Shane dared not risk a battle, and was soon so hard-pressed that
he fled for refuge to his old enemies, the Macdonnells of Antrim, who hacked him to pieces, and threw his body into a pit. Shane was the ablest of Irish clan chieftains, and his failure showed how impossible it was for the lord ot a sept to make himself supreme beyond the tribal


limits. He was no national Irish hero, and outside his clan, all men rejoiced at his fall. He was a man of the worst character, cruel, tyrannical, licentious, gluttonous, and drunken. He spoke no tongue but Irish, and could not write his own name. Yet he was one of the greatest soldiers and diplomatists of his time, and for nearly ten years set at defiance.

11. Ulster remained quiet for some years after Shane's fall; nominally it was made shire-ground, and in , an attempt was made to extend to it the policy of [24]  colonisation, already attempted in Mary's time further south. JWalterDevereux, Earlof , the father of the favourite of 's old age, and a brave soldier and earnest Protestant, volunteered to colonise Ulster, and bring it under English control. The queen made over to him Clandeboye or Antrim, and agreed to share with him the cost of raising troops and building forts. But his rashness and want of foresight soon made his position intolerable. He embroiled himself both with the O'Neills and the Scottish MacDonnells, and did not scruple to employ hideous treachery and ruthless slaughter, to encompass his ends. The murder of MacPhelim O'Neill at a banquet, to which he had been invited by , and the massacre of the Scots in Rathlin island, turned all parties against him. He quarrelled with Fitzwilliam the Deputy, who gave him no help. His English followers found that there was no prospect of peaceful settlement or of comfortable livelihood, and went home in disgust, or died of famine, disease, or in battle. At last gave up in despair, and died in . His attempt at colonisation had proved an utter failure.

12. Sir Henry Sidney was reappointed governor in , and held office till . He had long been President of the [25]  Council of , and turned his Welsh experience to good account in his more difficult Irish charge. He was the strongest of 's Deputies, showed extraordinary activity, and was full of plans for the extension of the royal authority His constant journeys to the remotest parts of Connaught and Munster made the Dublin government something more of a reality than it had been, and his institution of provincial governments under presidents in those provinces made the pressure of the central authority better felt. He was influential with the queen, having married Leicester's sister,


the Lady Mary Dudley, and their young son, Philip Sidney, was already looked up to as the most brilliant and attractive of the young gentlemen that surrounded . But disliked Sir Henry's activity, because it was too expensive, and in , he cheerfully went back to Ludlow to resume the more grateful task of the government of . With his departure new troubles soon began to afflict .

13. Up to this time, had been a world by itself, and the struggle of tribe against tribe, or of the native Celts against the English government, had [26]  had little relation to the general current of European movements. The constant trouble that gave to , now tempted the queen's enemies to back up the Irish resistance, and use the Norman lords and Celtic septs, as instruments of the Counter-Reformation, and of Spanish aggression. Pope Gregory XIII., seeing the failure of the attack on England, prepared an expedition to invade , and, despite a first failure, sent in to Kerry James Fitzmaurice, a member of the Desmond branch of the Geraldines, who had been driven into exile for earlier rebellions. [27]  Fitzmaurice landed in Kerry with a small force of Spanish and Italian troops, despatched without Philip's nominal sanction, and accompanied by a refugee English priest, Dr. Aicholas Sanders, famous as a controversalist, who had been appointed papal nuncio to . Fitzmaurice soon perished obscurely, but the smooth tongue of Sanders persuaded his great kinsman, Gerald Fiitzerald, iftioenlh Earl of Desmond, to rise in revolt against . All Munster thus fell away, and the new Deputy, Lord Grey de Wilton, who now came to , with the poet Edmund Spenser as his secretary, had hard work to deal with the rebellion. [28]  But as the O'Donnells had helped Sidney against the O'Neills, so now the Butlers helped Grey against the Fitzgeralds, and , thoroughly alarmed at the prospect of going over to or the Pope, made greater efforts than she had been wont to do in putting down Irish disaffection. Among the young Englishmen that now went over to , eager for booty and adventure, was Walter Raleigh, the captain of a company of one hundred soldiers.

The Geraldines were unable to hold the field against a regular force, and the rebellion was gradually stamped out


in detail, with cold-blooded cruelty. The Spanish garrison, which had gallantly defended itself at Smerzwick, was forced to surrender in I58o, and was put to the sword without scruple, having no better right to be there than the English seamen on the Spanish Main. Desmond and Sanders took to the hills, where Sanders perished miserably of disease or starvation, while Desmond was betrayed to the Butlers and stabbed in his bed. The ill-paid soldiers of the queen took out their wages by plundering and maltreating the Irish. All Munster was made a desert, and thousands of homeless peasants perished of the famine and pestilence that came in the train of war. The wretched survivors lived on dead carrion, and the herbs of the fields.

14. More than half a million acres in Munster were now adjudged forfeited to the crown, and redivided into shires. [30]  A systematic attempt was made to replace the Irish inhabitants by English settlers; and Sir John Perrot, formerly President of Munster, was made Deputy in I 584, to superintend the carrying out of the plantation. The forfeited estates were granted out in great plots to English gentlemen undertaker6, who were to reserve some of the land as their own demesne, and parcel out the rest among English farmers. But the Plantation of 4unster was never fully carried out, and so far as it was attempted it soon broke down. The undertakers were either adventurers, eager to make money, or English officials who took little trouble about their cheaply won Irish estates. English farmers of the right sort were not forthcoming in sufficient numbers, and those who came found that the undertakers exacted such extortionate rents, that they could hardly make a living, though exposed to ceaseless dangers and hardships. Before long they were crowded out by the Irish who, anxious to get back to their old haunts, offered much higher rents, and were actually preferred as tenants by the greedy adventurers. A few poor English gentlemen strove to make their home in , as, for example, Spenser the poet, who settled down at Kilcolman, a ruined castle of the Desmonds, where he collected the materials for his famous View of the State of , which gives such a powerful picture of the unhappy condition of the of his days, and urges strongly an English conquest more systematic and thoroughgoing than 's economy would ever allow. Much suffering would have been spared to , had Spenser's stern but wise advice been followed. Subsequent rebellion made short work of the


scattered English settlers, and almost the only permanent result of the Plantation of Munster was the establishment of a large number of English landlords in the estates once ruled by the Geraldines.

15. Despite the Munster Plantation, was as unsettled as ever, though something was done to promote the spread of Protestantism, and the establishment of Dublin University in was evidence that the queen's government was not altogether unmindful of scholarship and learning. Yet such a measure did not touch the native Irish, while the steady and oppressive development of the English power, and the growing enthusiasm of the Irish for the Catholic cause, were beginning to weld together the divided septs and races of into something resembling a nation. In the last years of 's reign, a third series of Irish revolts broke out with more fury than ever. The beginning of them was in Ulster,where, some years after Shane O'Neill's death, his nephew, Hugh O'Neill, younger brother of the Baron of Dungannon murdered in , was, after being educated in England, sent home to build up an English party among the O'Neill clan. For many years Hugh struggled against [31]  Tirlogh Lenogh, chosen The O'Neill after Shane's death, and, failing to get the better of his rival, was so friendly to the government, that he fought against Desmond in Ulster, and was rewarded by the revival of the earldom of Tyrone in his favour. However after Tirlogh Lenogh's death, Hugh was chosen The O'Neill by the tribe, and soon forgot his English "civility" and put himself at the head of the Irish Celtic party. He was less able, but more far-seeing and cautious, than his uncle Shane. He did not aspire to conquer the rival septs of Ulster, but rather to induce them to follow him against the common enemy. Besides thus building up an Ulster party, he professed himself a staunch Catholic, and soon received promises of help from Philip II.

Tyrone's relations with the English now became very threatening. More than once he was at open war with the Deputy, but peace was somehow patched up, [32]  and at last, in June , he received a pardon in return for a submission on terms that would have almost destroyed his power. He took advantage of the lull to attack a fort on the Blackwater, and in August cut to pieces the army sent to its relief, under Sir Henry Bagenal, at the battle of the Yellow Ford. This unexpected victory spread


consternation in Dublin, and delight over all native . Tyrone now appeared, not simply, like Shane, the would-be conqueror of Ulster, but the representative of the Irish race and of Catholicism, against the foreign and heretic conqueror; but he himself was the last to realise his great position. After a time, however, he sent a force to Munster, and "the very day it set foot within the province, Munster to a man was in arms before noon." James Fitzgerald, [34]  nephew of the last Earl of Desmond, put himself at the head of the rebels, and assumed the title of Earl of Desmond, though the queen's friends called him in scorn the Sugan or "'straw-rope" earl. Amidst dire atrocities the few remaining relics of the Munster Plantation were destroyed. The planters had not force or courage even to resist, and, as many as could fled in a panic to the towns. Among them was Edmund Spenser, who, luckier than many of his fellows, escaped with his life, though one of his children perished in the flames of his burning house at Kilcolman. "In the course of seventeen days," boasted the Irish annalists, "the Irish left not within the length and breadth of the country of the Geraldines a single son of a Saxon, whom they did not kill or expel." It was the first act in the long war of races and religions, that makes up so much of the modern history of .

In abject fear lest the Spaniards should combine with the rebels, sent, in , her former favourite Robert Deverezix, , with whom she had just been reconciled, to put down the Irish revolt. He was given extraordinary powers as lord-lieutenant, and was promised an army of nearly twenty thousand men. But he mismanaged matters very badly, and his troops, who showed rank cowardice under his unsteady direction, [35]  melted rapidly away. After utterly failing in Munster, rashly went against Tyrone with less than three thousand men, and was compelled to accept a humiliating truce. Without leave to quit his post, he hurried back to England, where he soon met his fate.

In Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy, succeeded Mountjoy ends in . He was a strong, shrewd, the Rebellion, unscrupulous man, whose private life was . notorious from an intrigue with 's sister, Penelope Rich, whom he afterwards married. Mountjoy was a good soldier, and, after three years of hard struggle,


he completed successfully the work in which his predecessor had so signally failed. He began his task in Munster and soon pressed the rebels hard. In I6oI four thousand Spaniards came to their assistance, but were soon besieged by him in Kinsale. O'Neill marched to the relief of Kinsale with a strong force drawn from all parts of , but, on 24th December, Mountjoy won a decisive victory over him. Soon after the Spaniards surrendered, and open war in Munster was at an end. The Sugan Earl was captured in , hiding in a cave, and, with unwonted mercy, sent to the Tower of London, where he remained a prisoner until his death. Mountjoy planted forts and garrisons in Munster, which effectively suppressed the embers of the revolt and kept the people down for the future. He then turned against Hugh O'Neill, who still held most of Ulster against the queen, though his former associates Hugh O'Donnell now fled to and Hugh's brother Rory submitted to Mountjoy, and was made Earl of Tyrconnel. The combat was thus narrowed to a struggle between Mountjoy and the O'Neills. Tyrone soon found that he could not match the disciplined troops of the deputy, and on 3rd April he gave in and made terms, abjuring the title of The O'Neill and all foreign alliances. News had not yet reached that had died on March 24th. Thus the Irish revolt ended with the queen's life. was at last conquered, but the cruelty of the long process, the result largely of the queen's overthriftiness and hesitation, left ineffaceable memories behind. Law and order were secured, but they were dearly purchased at the price paid for them.

16. Mountjoy had facilitated the conquest by the easy terms he had granted to some at least of the vanquished chieftains. His successor, Sir Arthir Chichester, [36]  who ruled from, had no policy for keeping permanently at peace save by wholly destroying the Irish or making them Englishmen by main force. He forced the dependents of the great chieftains to hold their lands directly of the crown, strove to create a class of small freeholders, and attempted to enforce recusancy fines for non-attendance at church, after the English fashion. The pardoned Tyrone bitterly resented these attacks on his tribal independence, and in fled from for ever, fearing a plot against him. With him went Rory O'Donnell the new-made Earl of Tyrconnel. Chichester and the king


refused to recognise the Irish law and custom, by which the land belonged not to the chief but to the clan, and, though they had been previously trying to get the tribesmen on their side against the chief, they profited by the flight of the chieftains to upset the whole tribal system. The withdrawal of the two earls was deemed evidence of their guilt. The land over which they had ruled in the patriarchal fashion, including a great part of Ulster, was treated as private property and confiscated for their treason. In these districts Chichester (not deterred by 's failure in Antrim and Perrot's in Munster) successfully carried out the policy of colonisation recommended by Bacon.

The forfeited country was divided between English and Scottish colonists, a few estates being granted as a favour to such of the native Irish as had remained [38]  loyal. The dispossessednatives were driven from their homes to the barren west; and theplantation was so energetically carried through, that north-eastern , the rudest region and the one most hostile to , became a new Protestant and Puritan , peopled by peaceable English farmers and tradesmen, who turned the wilderness into good farming country, and made it prosperous, but who kept down with stern severity and treated as their inferiors the native Irish, who still lingered as cotters among them. The Ulster plantation brought with it new difficulties, but it ended many of the old ones, and made permanent the English conquest of , by establishing in it a strong and vigorous colony, whose interests and very lives depended upon the keeping up of the English and Protestant connection. Before their influence the old tribal slowly melted away. But the Irish remained, and with the disappearance of their old anarchic institutions, the old tribal hatreds that had kept them asunder began to die away also. United by its new-found zeal for Catholicism, no less than by the oppression that bound its tribes down in a common servitude, Celtic sullenly bided its time for revenge.


[1] The Tudors and the British Islands.

[2] The Principality,the March, and Cheshire before1536

[3] [1485--1536.]

[4] The Council ofWales at Ludlow

[5] [1536--1603.]

[6] The Union of England and Wales, 1536

[7] The Reformation in Wales and NationalRevival under Elizabeth.

[8] [1485--1494.]

[9] State ofIreland at the end ofthe fifteenthcentury.

[10] [1494--1541.]

[11] Ireland and Henry VI.

[12] The Parliamentof Drogheda andPoynings' Law 1494

[13] Henry VIII. and Ireland

[14] The Geraldine Revolt of 1534-5.

[15] The RoyalSupremacy,theconciliation ofthe native chieftains and therecognition ofHenry as Kingof Ireland.

[16] [1541--1562.]

[17] Ireland and Edward VI

[18] The Reformation.

[19] Ireland and Mary.

[20] King's and Queen's Counties.

[21] Elizabeth and Shane O'Neil 1558-1567.

[22] [1562--1567.]

[23] [1573--1579.]

[24] Walter Earl ofEssex, fails to colonise Clandeboye 1573- 1576.

[25] Sir Henry Sidney's government, 1575-1578.

[26] Ireland and the Counter-Reformation.

[27] Fitzmaurice and Sanders, 1579.

[28] The DesmondRebellion,1579 -1583-

[29] [1580--1598.]

[30] The Plantation of Munster, 1584.

[31] HughO'Neill,Earl of Tyrone.

[32] The Revolt ofo'Neill, 1598.

[33] [1598--1607.]

[34] The Munster Revolt under the Suan Earl of Desmond, 1598.

[35] Robert Earl ofEssex's failure,1599.

[36] Rule ofChichester, 1604-1614.

[37] [1614.

[38] The Plantation of Ulster, 1610.