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justices, mayors, temporal officers, and every other person that hath the queen's wages, to take the oath of supremacy
“ Sec. VIII. Penalty for refusing the oath, forfeiture of office, and of promotion during life.
“ Sec. XVII. Commissioners to exercise spiritual jurisdiction shall not adjudge any thing heresy, but what is so judged by the canonical Scriptures, or the first four general councils, or any other general council, or by Parliament."
All bishops and archbishops, “in the name of God," were called on to aid in enforcing the same. And, lest the old bishops should fail of their part, even so conjured, a set of queen's bishops were duly inducted. One Sheyn was entitled Bishop of Cloyne and Ross, and commenced his career at Cork by burning the image of St. Dominic; a successor to Dr. Bale was set down in Ossory, and forty principal citizens of Kilkenny gave heavy bonds to attend his ministrations; one Brady was made queen's bishop of Meath, and Adam Loftus, fellow of Cambridge, aged twenty-eight years, whose “comely person and good address pleased the queen," was made Archbishop of Armagh, over which he watched solicitously from the safe distance of Dublin Castle. The “recusant” bishops (this was the English synonyme for the faithful) were obliged to throw themselves on the native princes for protection, and with them in Munster and Ulster, they found safety yet a while. The Earl of Desmond, O'Brien, and O'Neil were the champions of the persecuted churchmen. O'Neil, especially, distinguished himself in the first years of Elizabeth. A troop of horse, under one Randolph, having landed at Derry, stabled their horses in St. Columbcille's church. Roused by this profanation, O'Neil besieged them ; Randolph was defeated and slain, and Derry taken. In like manner he drove another sacrilegious garrison from Armagh, leaving the
queen no fortress north of Dundalk. In 1564, despairing of his subjugation, the deputy employed Piers, a spy, to assassinate him. Under pretence of peace, the assassin met him at McDonnell's, of Antrim, procured a
quarrel, stabbed him, and brought his head, “pickled, in a pipkin,” to Dublin Castle. For this service Piers had " a thousand marks," from the queen.
Thurlogh was the next O'Neil. In 1587, Hugh, grandson to Con, was duly elected, the last and perhaps the ablest of his able family, who bore the title of “ Prince of Ulster."
Desmond was guilty of three offences against the queen's majesty – his immense estate, his marriage of a daughter of O'Brien, and his hospitality to Leverus, the “recusant” Bishop of Kildare. To complete his guilt, he refused to take the oaths. The Earl of Ormond and Sir William Drury were, in turn, commanders of a southern army sent to chastise him. By the former the earl was defeated and taken prisoner at Affane, in 1564, sent to London, and imprisoned in the Tower. Exchanged to Dublin ten years afterwards, to use his influence over his brothers then in arms, he effected his escape, during a hunting party, the following year, and, once back amid his people, he prepared for open war.
With this view he strengthened himself by marriage with the daughter of McCarthy, (his first wife being dead,) made alliance with other powerful neighbors, and despatched his gallant brother, James, (to whose fraternal care he owed his liberty,) to the pope and the King of Spain. After the election of the English dynasty, this was the first successful effort at an offensive alliance with a foreign power.
In Madrid, James of Desmond was cordially received by King Philip and by the legate, Cardinal Granville. His two sons were placed at the University of Alcala, and himself lodged in the king's house. At this time, the Netherlands were in arms against Spain, Elizabeth privately abetting them. Philip retaliated by alliance with the Desmonds. If he had before conceived the expedition of “the Armada," he now hastened his resolution; and soon after that memorable fleet began to grow beneath the hands of his skilful shipwrights at Cadiz and Seville.
From Madrid, in 1580, James proceeded to Rome, where, on the 13th of May, Gregory XIII. issued his bull, granting to all who would take up arms under him “ the same indulgence granted to those who fought against the Turks for the recovery of the Holy Land,” the indulgence to extend " during the lifetime of James and his brother John.”* At Rome, under the name of Stukely, was an Irish refugee, supposed to be a chief of the Kavanagh or McMurrogh family. Created by Greg. ory, Marquis of Ross and Duke of Leinster, he had command of two thousand Romans for an invasion of Ireland. Desmond was to precede him, after a rapid visit to France and Spain; and accordingly we soon find the successful emissary on the coast of Kerry. With such troops as he had, he marched towards Connaught to form a junction with the Burkes, was intercepted, and mortally wounded. Calling to him Dr. Allan, afterwards cardinal,his then chaplain, he confessed his sins, received extreme unction, and expired.
The Romans, under Stukely, had put into the Tagus just as Don Sebastian was departing on his Moorish expedition. Allured probably by some promises of future aid, he accompanied the Portuguese hero to the African shore, and fell on the bloody field of Alcaquivir, in that ferocious mêlée where Don Sebastian and his rival, Muley Moloc, both perished.
John, brother of the late James, and of the earl, now took the lead, and continued the war. At Monow, in Limerick, he routed the English, under the Duke of York, so badly, that the Earl of Ormond from England, and Lord Deputy Grey from Dublin, were ordered to Munster with reinforcements. As a set-off, eight hundred Italian and Spanish veterans, under Stephen San Joseph, arrived from Spain, on the coast of Kerry. Hearing of the approach of a powerful army, they fortified themselves in an island called Oillan na Oro, calling their works " Fort Del Oro.” The position was a vital one, since by it Spain could command a harbor and landing-place in Ireland for future operations, and San Joseph seems to have made a very resolute defence.
The grand inquisitor of Portugal, O'Daly, a native of the district, and contemporary of the event, thus records the siege of Del Oro :
* O'Daly's History of the Geraldines; where several bulls in relation to the Catholic wars of Ireland are given.
“ After the viceroy had invested the Golden Fort by sea and land, and kept up a continual fire on it for “ about forty days, the English began to be weary of " their fruitless attempts, and to dread the rigors of the
coming winter. They knew, moreover, that they could “ not take up their winter quarters in the open
field " against a garrison'so well furnished with guns and “ provisions. And, having maturely weighed all these “ matters, they resolved to seize by fraud that which 66 their arms could not achieve.
“ Having sent the Spaniards a flag of truce, they de“ manded a parley. In the Spanish garrison there was " at that moment an Irish cavalier, named Plunket, who “ protested against any overture, and vainly sought to “ dissuade San Joseph from visiting the English com“ mander's camp; but he was not listened to, and San “ Joseph at once proceeded to the viceroy's quarters, “ bringing Plunket with him to act as interpreter. They
were received with the greatest blandness and courtesy " by Grey, who promised the Spanish commandant the 6 most honorable terms if he would surrender the for66 tress.
Now, Plunket interpreted all the viceroy ad“vanced as the very opposite of what he really said — “ namely, that the garrison had no chance of escaping " destruction if they did not throw themselves altogether " on the mercy of the English, and beg terms of him. “ Greatly did Šan Joseph marvel at this insolence, which “ denied him and his honorable terms; as he then held a
place which, in the opinion of all, was deemed one “ of the strongest in Ireland, and amply provisioned to “ hold out many months' siege. Whereon Plunket in“ terpreted that the commander had made up his mind “ never to surrender the garrison; and, consequently, that “ it was only sacrificing his men if the viceroy sat any " longer before it. But the expression of Plunket's “ features, and the fiery indignation of the Spaniard, “ caused Grey to suspect that his words had not been
“ fairly interpreted; and then Plunket was bound, hand " and foot, and committed to prison, another interpreter having been procured to supply his place.
“ San Joseph, having returned to the fort, reported to “ his men that he had obtained the most unexception" able terms, and that, seeing the defence of the fortress
utterly impracticable, he had resolved to consult the
safety of his soldiers. But even in his chains did “ Plunket cry out, Treason! treason! Mind you, that
on the holding of the fortress all the hopes of the Catho“ lics depend. The very inclemency of the season must “ compel the viceroy to quit the field ere long. The “ Geraldines, continudd he, are hastening to aid you “ with men and supplies. Abandon your position, and “ the hopes of the Catholics are forever lost!' Of “ Plunket's opinion were Hercules Pisano and the Duke " of Biscay; but the soldiers gave willing ear to their “ commander, who, preferring life to glory, forfeited both; “ for the place being surrendered in the month of De“cember, the entire garrison was put to the sword, with " the exception of the Spanish commander, who was “ contemptuously driven out of the kingdom. Plunket, " too, was reserved for a more painful death. A short “ time after the rendition, he had all his bones broken by “ strokes of a hammer, and thus gave up the ghost. “ Ever after did · Grey's faith' become an adage among " the people, whenever they would speak of consum“ mate perfidy. Behold what value these English at* tached to treaties, oaths, and honor, which amongst savage nations are esteemed inviolable.”
Sir Walter Raleigh, then in his thirty-fifth year, and already favored by his queen, won his first laurels and several thousands of Desmond's acres, by superintending the details of the massacre after the surrender of the fort. This date is November 9, 1587.
In the same year, John of Desmond was surprised and slain near Imokilly, and soon after Elizabeth published an amnesty to all who were in arms, except the brotherless earl and two of his allies. The outlawed Desmond, defeated in his attempts to raise another insurrection,