The Holinshed Project

Holinshed Project Home

The Texts

Previous | Next

10.27. The description of Robert Fitzstephans. Chap. 27.

The description of Robert Fitzstephans. Chap. 27.

[...] Noble man, the onelie patterne of vertue, and the example of true industrie and la|bours: who hauing tried the variablenesse of fortune, had tasted more aduersitie than prosperitie! O worthie man, who both in Ireland and in Wales had traced the whole compasse of for|tunes wheele, and had endured whatsoeuer good for|tune or euill could giue! O Fitzstephans, the verie second an other (1) Marius, for if you doo consider his prosperitie, no man was more fortunate than he: and on the contrarie, if you marke his aduersitie, no man was or could be more miserable. He was of a large and full bodie, his countenance verie comelie: and in stature he was somewhat more meane: he was bountifull, liberall, and pleasant, but yet sometimes somewhat aboue modestie giuen to wine and women. The earle (as is aforesaid) marched with his armie towards Wexford, fast by Odrone, which was a place full of streicts, passes, and bogs, and verie hardlie to be passed through: but yet the whole power, force, and strength of all Lein|ster came thither, and met him and gaue him the battell, betwéene whom there was a great fight, and manie of the enimies slaine. But the earle with the losse of one onelie yoongman recouered himselfe in safetie to the plaines, and there amongst others, Meilerius shewed himselfe to be a right valiant man.

(1) This Marius was named Caius Marius, his father was borne in Arpinum, & from thence came to Rome, and there dwelt, being a poore artificer and handicrafts man, but much relieued by Metellus a noble Roman, in whose house, and vnder whom, both the father and the: sonne were seruants: but being EEBO page image 20 giuen altogither to martiall affaires, he became a verie valiant man, and did as good seruice to the citie of Rome as anie before or after him. Affrica he con|quered, and in his first triumph Iugurtha and his two sonnes were bound in chaines, and caried cap|tiues to Rome before his chariot. The Cambrians, Germans, and Tigurians wanting habitations, and thinking to settle themselues in Italie, trauelled thitherwards for the same purpose; but being denied by the Romans, they made most cruell warres vpon them, and slue of them at one time fourescore thou|sand souldiers, and thréescore thousand of others, wherewith the state of Rome and of all Italie was so broken, and ouerthrowne, that the Romans much bewailed themselues, & did thinke verelie that they should be vtterlie destroied. In this distresse Marius tooke the matter in hand, and méeting first with the Germans, gaue them the battell, slue their king Teutobochas, and two hundred thousand men, be|side fourescore thousand which were taken. After that he met with the Cambrians, and slue their king Beleus, and an hundred and fortie thousand with him, as also tooke fortie thousand prisoners. For which victorie he triumphed the second time in Rome, and was named then the third founder of Rome. Againe in the ciuill wars which grew by the means of Dru|sius, all Italie was then in armes, and the Romans in euerie place had the worse side (for all Italie be|gan to forsake them) and in this distresse Marius ha|uing gotten but a small power in respect of the eni|mies, giueth the onset vpon the Marsians, and at two times he slue fouretéene thousand of them: which so quailed the Italians, and incouraged the Romans, that the Romans recouered themselues and had the maistrie. As in the warres so otherwise was Marius verie fortunate: for being but of a base stocke, yet he maried Iulia, a noble woman of the familie of the Iulies, and aunt vnto Iulius Cesar: he passed tho|rough the most part of the offices in Rome: he was first Legatus àsenatu, then Praefectus equitum: after that Tribunus plebis, Praetor, Aedilis, and seuen times was he consull. And as fortune séemed to fauour and coun|tenance him aboue all other in Rome; so did she al|so checke him with great reproches, & burdened him with great miseries. For his pride was so excessiue, and his ambition so intollerable, that the best and most part of the Romans deadlie hated and enuied him: and therefore when he laboured to be Aedilis, Praetor, & Tribune, he was reiected; he was accused for ambition, and proclamed a traitor and an enimie to the common-wealth: he was inforced to forsake Rome and flie into Affrike. Also being at the seas, the mariners cast him on land among his enimies, and draue him to shift for himselfe. When he was pursued by his enimies, he was faine to hide him|selfe in a bog, and couered himselfe with dirt & mire because he would not be knowne. Neuerthelesse he was taken and deliuered to a slaue to be killed. Ma|nie other [...]ormes of aduersitie and miserie did he a|bide and indure, and therefore it was said of him, that in miserie no man was more miserable, and in felicitie none more fortunate and happie than he.

10.28. The description of the earle Strangbow. Chap. 28.

The description of the earle Strangbow. Chap. 28.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 THe earle was somewhat ruddie and of san|guine complexion and freckle faced, his eies greie, his face feminine, his voice small, and his necke little, but somewhat of a high stature: he was verie liberall, courteous and gen|tle: what he could not compasse and bring to passe in déed, he would win by good words and gentle spée|ches. In time of peace he was more readie to yeeld and obeie, than to rule and beare swaie. Out of the campe he was more like to a souldior companion than a capteine or ruler: but in the campe and in the warres he caried with him the state and counte|nance of a valiant capteine. Of himselfe he would not aduenture anie thing, but being aduised and set on, he refused no attempts: for of himselfe he would not rashlie aduenture, or presumptuouslie take anie thing in hand. In the fight and battell he was a most assured token and signe to the whole companie, ei|ther to stand valiantlie to the fight, or for policie to retire. In all chances of warre he was still one and the same maner of man, being neither dismaid with aduersitie, nor puffed vp with prosperitie.

10.29. The earle leauing Wexford vpon the newes that Fitzstephans was in hold, went to Waterford, and from thence sailed into England, & was reconciled to the king. Chap. 29.

The earle leauing Wexford vpon the newes that Fitzstephans was in hold, went to Waterford, and from thence sailed into England, & was reconciled to the king. Chap. 29.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 AS the earle was marching towards Guefford, and was come to the borders ther|of, certeine messengers met him, and shewed to him the mischance happened vnto Robert Fitzstephans, and of the setting on fire the towne of Wexford: adding moreouer, that the traitors were fullie determined if they trauelled anie further to|wards them, they would cut off all the heads of Fitz|stephans and his companie, and send them vnto him. Wherevpon with heauie cheare & sorrowfull hearts they change their minds, and turne towards Wa|terford. Where when they were come, they found Heruie now latelie returned from the king with a message and letters from him vnto the earle, persua|ding and requiring him to come ouer into Eng|land vnto him. Wherevpon the earle prepared and made himselfe readie, and as soone as wind and wea|ther serued he tooke shipping, and caried Heruie a|long with him. And being landed he rode towards the king, and met him at a towne called Newham néere vnto Glocester, where he was in redines with a great armie to saile ouer into Irland. Where after sundrie & manie altercations passed betweene them, at length by means of Heruie the kings displeasure was appeased, and it was agreed that the erle should sweare allegeance to the king, and yéeld and sur|render vnto him the citie of Dublin, with the can|treds thervnto adioining, as also all such towns and forts as were bordering vpon the sea side. And as for the residue he should haue and reteine to him and his heirs, holding the same of the king & of his heirs. These things thus concluded, the king with his ar|mie marched along by Seuerne side, & the sea coasts of (1) Westwales, vnto the towne (2) of Pen|broke, where he taried vntill he had assembled all his armie in (3) Milford hauen there to be shipped.

(1) Westwales in Latine is named Demetia, and is that which is now called Penbrokeshire. It rea|cheth from the seas on the north vnto the seas on the south. In the west part thereof is the bishops sée of Meneue named saint Dauids: and on the east side it bordereth vpon Southwales named Dehenbaxt. In this part were the Flemmings placed first.

(2) Penbroke is the chiefest towne of all Demetia, and lieth on the east side of Milford hauen, wherein was sometimes a verie strong castell bu [...]ided (as some write) by a noble man named Arnulph Mont|gomer.

EEBO page image 21 (3) Milford is a famous and a goodlie harborough lieng in Demetia, or Westwales, The Welshmen name it the mouth of two swords. It hath two bran|ches or armes, the one flowing hard to Hauerford west, and the other thorough the countrie named Rossia.

Previous | Next