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XLIV.

1599.

CHAP, discontented Irish. The old opposition of manners,

laws, and interest, was now inflamed by religious antipathy; and the subduing and civilizing of that country seemed to become every day more difficult and more impracticable.

The animosity against the English was carried so far by the Irish, that, in an insurrection raised by two sons of the earl of Clanricarde, they put to the sword all the inhabitants of the town of Athenry, though Irish, because they began to conform themselves to English customs, and had embraced a more civilized form of life than had been practised by their ancestors.

The usual revenue of Ireland amounted only to six thousand pounds a-year: The queen, though with much repining, commonly added twenty thousand more, which she remitted from England: And with this small revenue a body of a thousand men was supported, which on extraordinary emergencies was augmented to two thousand." No wonder that a force so disproportioned to the object, instead of subduing a mutinous kingdom, served rather to provoke the natives, and to excite those frequent insurrections, which still farther inflamed the animosity between the two nations, and increased the disorders to which the Irish were naturally subject.

IN 1500, Shan O'Neale, or the great O'Neale, as the Irish called him, because head of that potent clan, raised a rebellion in Ulster ; but after some skirmishes he was received into favour, upon his submission, and his promise of a more dutiful behaviour for the future. This impunity tempted him to undertake a new insurrection in 1567; but, being

pushed C Camden, p. 457. f Memoirs of the Sidneys, vol. 1.

8 Cox, p. 342. Sidney, vol. i. p. 85. 200. h Camden, 542. Sidney, vol. i. p. 65. 109. 183, 181. Camden, p. 385. 391.

P. 86.

XLIV.

1599.

pushed by sir Henry Sidney, lord deputy, he re-C HA P. treated into Clandeboy, and rather than submit to the English, he put himself into the hands of some Scottish islanders, who commonly infested those parts by their incursions. The Scots, who retained a quarrel against him on account of former injuries, violated the laws of hospitality, and murdered him at a festival to which they had invited him. He was a man equally noted for his pride, his violence, his debaucheries, and his hatred to the English nation. He is said to have put some of his followers to death because they endeavoured to introduce the use of bread after the English fashion. Though so violent an enemy to luxury, he was extremely addicted to riot ; and was accustomed, after his intemperance had thrown him into a sever, to plunge his body into mire, that he might allay the flame which he had raised by former excesses. Such was the life led by this haughty barbarian, who scorned the title of the earl of Tyrone, which Elizabeth intended to have restored to him, and who assumed the rank and appellation of king of Ulster. He used also to say, that, though the queen was his sovereign lady, he never made peace with her but at her seeking.

Sir Henry Sidney was one of the wisest and most active governors that Ireland had enjoyed for several reigns;" and he possessed his authority eleven years, during which he struggled with culties, and made some progress in repressing those disorders which had become inveterate among the people. The earl of Desmond, in 1569, gave him disturbance, from the hereditary animosity which prevailed between that nobleman and the earl of Ormond, descended from the only family established in Ireland, that had steadily maintained its loyalty

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k Camden, p. 409. m Ibid. p. 321.

1 Ibid. p. 409. Cox, p. 321. n Cox, p. 350.

XLIV.

1599.

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CHA P. to the English crown. The earl of Thomond, în

1570, attempted a rebellion in Connaught, but
was obliged to fly into France before his designs
were ripe for execution. Stukely, another fugitive,
found such credit with the pope, Gregory the XIIIth,
that he lattered that pontiff with the prospect of
making his nephew, Buon Compagno, king of
Ireland ; and, as if this project had already taken
effect, he accepted the title of marquis of Leicester
from the new sovereign.' He passed next into
Spain ; and after having received much encourage-
ment and great rewards from Philip, who intended
to employ him as an instrument in disturbing Eli-
zabeth, he was found to possess too little interest for
executing those high promises which he had made
to that monarch. He retired into Portugal; and,
following the fortunes of don Sebastian, he

perished
with that gallant prince in his bold but unfortunate
expedition against the Moors.

LORD Gray, after some interval, succeeded to the government of Ireland; and in 1579 suppressed a new rebellion of the earl of Desmond, though supported by a body of Spaniards and Italians. The rebellion of the Bourks followed a few years after; occasioned by the strict and equitable administration of sir Richard Bingham, governor of Connaught, who endeavoured to repress the tyranny of the chieftains over their vassals. The queen, finding Ireland so burthensome to her, tried several expedients for reducing it to a state of greater order and submission. She encouraged the earl of Essex, father to that nobleman who was afterwards her favourite, to attempt the subduing and planting of Clandeboy, Ferny, and other territories, part of some late forfeitures: But that enterprise proved unfortunate; and Essex died of a distemper occasioned, as is supposed, by the

vexation • Camden, p. 424. p Ibid. p. 430. Cox, p. 351. 9 Stowe, p. 720.

1599.

vexation which he had conceived from his disap-CHAP. pointments. An university was founded in Dublin with a view of introducing arts and learning into that kingdom, and civilizing the uncultivated manners of the inhabitants." But the most unhappy expedient employed in the government of Ireland, was that made use of in 1585 by sir John Perrot, at that time lord deputy: He put arms into the hands of the Irish inhabitants of Ulster, in order to enable them, without the assistance of the government, to repress the incursions of the Scottish islanders, by which these parts were much infested. At the same time, the invitations of Philip, joined to their zeal for the catholic religion, engaged many of the gentry to serve in the Low Country wars ; and thus Ireland, being provided with officers and soldiers, with discipline and arms, became formidable to the English, and was thenceforth able to maintain a more regular war against her ancient masters.

Hugh O'Neale, nephew to Shan O'Neale, had Tyrone's been raised by the queen to the dignity of earl of rebellion, Tyrone ; but, having murdered his cousin, son of that rebel, and being acknowledged head of his clan, he preferred the pride of barbarous licence and dominion to the pleasures of opulence and tranquillity, and he fomented all those disorders by which he hoped to weaken or overturn the English government. He was noted for the vices of perfidy and cruelty, so common among uncultivated nations; and was also eminent for courage, a virtue which their disorderly course of life requires, and which, notwithstanding, being less supported by the principle of honour, is commonly more precarious among them, than among a civilized people. Tyrone, actuated by this spirit, secretly fomented the

discontents Camden, p. 566. Nanton's Fragmenta Regalia, p. 203.

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XLIV.

1599.

CHA P. discontents of the Maguires, O'Donnels, O'Rourks,

Macmahons, and other rebels; yet, trusting to the influence of his deceitful oaths and professions, he put himself into the hands of sir William Russel, who, in the year 1594, was sent over deputy to Ireland. Contrary to the advice and protestation of sir Henry Bagnal, marshal of the army, he was dismissed ; and, returning to his own country, he embraced the resolution of raising an open rebellion, and of relying no longer on the lenity or inexperience of the English government. He entered into a correspondence with Spain: He procured thence a supply of arms and ammunition; and, having united all the Irish chieftains in a dependence upon himself, he began to be regarded as a formidable enemy.

The native Irish were so poor that their country afforded few other commodities than cattle and oatmeal, which were easily concealed or driven away on the approach of the enemy; and as Elizabeth was averse to the expence requisite for supporting her armies, the English found much difficulty in pushing their advantages, and in pursuing the rebels into the bogs, woods, and other fastnesses, to which they retreated. These motives rendered sir John Norris, who commanded the English army, the more willing to hearken to any proposals of truce or accommodation made him by Tyrone ; and after the war was spun out by these artifices for some years, that gallant Englishman, finding that he had been deceived by treacherous promises, and that he had performed nothing worthy of his ancient reputation, was seized with a languishing distemper, and died of vexation and discontent. Sir Henry Bagnal, who succeeded himn in the command, was still more unfortunate. As he advanced to relieve the fort of Black-water, besieged by the rebels, he was surrounded in disadvantageous ground; his soldiers, discouraged by part of their powder's accidentally 4

taking

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