The Holinshed Project

Holinshed Project Home

The Texts

Previous | Next

12.23. How Hugh de Lacie builded castels, and fortified in Leinster and Meth. Chap. 23.

How Hugh de Lacie builded castels, and fortified in Leinster and Meth. Chap. 23.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 WHilest these things were thus a dooing in Desmond, Hugh de Lacie a good and a wise man buildeth sundrie castels both in Leinster and Meth, and fortifieth the same verie stronglie: and among others he builded one at (1) Leighlin vpon the riuer of (2) Barrow besids Os|sorie, a place naturallie of it selfe verie strong, which place Robert Powre by the kings commandement had the charge of, vntill he gaue the same ouer and forsooke it. O what worthie champions and fit march|men were this Powre & Fitzaldelme, to be sent to dwell and rule in a nation, which is destituted and wanteth noble and valiant men! But a man maie sée the course of fortune, who when she is disposed to smile, how she aduanceth and raiseth vp men from base estate to high degrées: for why, these two had more pleasure in chambering and plaieng the wan|tons with yoong girls, and to plaie vpon a harpe than to beare a shield or staffe, or to weare armour. And trulie it was to be maruelled, that so noble a prince could send such cowards to beare rule, and haue au|thoritie in places of seruice. But to the matter. Hugh de Lacie being a verie wise man, all his care was to bring all things to a peace and quietnesse: and there|fore such as were oppressed or driuen out of their lands and territories, he restored them, and with such courteous behauiour and gentle spéeches he dealt with all men, that in a verie short time he drew vn|to him the hearts of the people, who desirous to dwell vnder his gouernment, manured the grounds; which being then wast and vntilled, was in short spacefull stored and fraughted both with corne and cattell. And then for the safetie of the people and defense of the countrie, he builded townes and erected castels in euerie place, made orders & established lawes for the gouernment of the people. And by this it came to passe, that ech man inioied the labours of his owne hands, and euerie man liued in peace one with the o|ther, and euerie bodie loued him, and he assured of all men. But hauing thus by his wisedome, policie, and good gouernement recouered that nation to good conformitie and obedience, behold enuie (which al|waies maligneth vertue) he was had in a gealousie and suspicion, that his drift and policie was to appro|priat the whole land to himselfe, and as the lawfull king and monarch would crowne himselfe king of Ireland. Which opinion was so receiued & false ru|mour so spred, that it was in a short time caried into England; which when it came to the kings eares, you maie not thinke that he at all liked thereof, or could brooke the same.

(1) This Leighlin standeth full vpon the riuer of Barrow, and it is a verie old & ancient castell called by the name of the Blake castell, a fort in those daies verie strong: it standeth in the baronie of Odrone, which is the ancient inheritance of the Carews, who being barons of Carew in Wales, one of them ma|ried the daughter and heire of the baron of this O|drone, & so the Carews became & were for the course of sundrie yeares, vntill in the troublesome times, in king Richard the seconds time they were expelled, as all others or the most part of the English were. But being dwelling there, some one of them builded a religious house of Greie friers neere adioining to the said castell, which being since dissolued in king Henrie the eights time, the same fell into the kings hands, who made thereof a fort, and kept there a per|petuall garison, and thus was it disseuered from the baronie. There is also one other Leighlin distant from this about an English mile, where is the cathe|drall church of that diocesse, and whereof the bishop taketh his name bring called the bishop of Leighlin; but for difference sake the same is called old Leigh|lin, and this other Leighlin bridge, by reason of a bridge builded of stone ouer the riuer at that place, and whereof the one end butteth vpon the foresaid Blake castell.

(2) The Barrow is a goodlie and a notable riuer, hauing his head or spring in the hill called Mons Blandina or Slogh Blome, in which also are the heads or springs of the two other notable riuers Sure and the other Eoire. This Barrow kéepeth & hath his course through the countie of Lex, and pas|seth by the market towne of Athie vnto Carlow, and from thense vnto Leighlin, and so to Rosse, a lit|tle aboue which towne it méeteth and ioineth with the Eoire, and they togither kéepe their course about six miles, vntill they méet with the Sure, which is neere vnto the late abbeie of Dunbradrie: and as they all doo spring and rise out of one mounteine, so after they haue taken their seuerall courses, they meet togither and take one waie into the seas. They are all naui|gable, and all a like replenished with sundrie sorts and kinds of fishes.

12.24. The description of Hugh de Lacie. Chap. 24.

EEBO page image 47

The description of Hugh de Lacie. Chap. 24.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 2 IF you will know what manner of man Hugh de Lacie was, you shall vnderstand his eies were blacke and déepe, and his nose some|what flat, and the right side of his face from the chin vpwards by a mischance was shrewdlie skalled: his necke was short, and his bodie hairie, as also not fleshie but sinewish and strong compact; his stature was but small, and his proportion deformed, but in conditions he was verie sober, trustie, and modest. He was verie carefull in his owne priuat matters, but in causes of gouernment and in all pu|blike affaires he was most vigilant and carefull. And albeit he were a verie good souldier, and one of great experience in martiall affaires; yet in his sun|drie aduentures wherin he was sometimes rash and verie hastie, he sped not alwaies best nor had the best successe. After the death of his wife he was somewhat lose of life, being much giuen to women, of whom he made no great choise: he was verie gréedie and co|uetous of wealth and possessions, but ouermuch am|bitions of honour and reputation. At this time in Leinster florished Robert Fitzhenrie brother vnto (1) Meilerius, who in his youthfull yeares was verie lustie like the flower of the garden, which when the winter draweth and is cold, dooth vade and wither a|waie. Likewise (2) Alexander and Giraldus the two sonnes of Maurice. And albeit Girald were a man but of meane stature, yet verie wise, sober, and ho|nest. Also Roger le Powre conestable of Leighlin, Hugh de Lacie, and William le Powre seneschall of Waterford, Robert Barrie the yoonger sonne of Philip Barrie, and both the Reimonds were of best fame and credit in these daies. About this time befell and happened the two strange woonders at Fother in Meth, whereof we haue spoken in our topogra|phie; namelie, of the woman violentlie and perforce abused in a mill by a souldier, and of the otes there stolen and caried awaie.

(1) Nesta the daughter of the great Rhesus had thrée husbands, by the first named Henrie she had a sonne, who being named after his name, was na|med Fitzhenrie, who was father to Henrie, Robert, and this Meilerius.

(2) This same Nesta had to hir third husband one Gerald of Windsore, and by him had issue hir fourth son named Maurice, who was father to William Gerald and this Alexander. This Gerald was a va|liant and a noble gentleman, and who had wars a|gainst [...]hesus the father of this Nesta, and kept the towne and castell of Penbroke against him and all his force: but in the end after a peace concluded be|twéene them, he maried this ladie, and had worthie issue by hir.

12.25. How Hugh de Lacie vpon a vaine sus|picion was sent for into England, and of his returne againe from thense. Chap. 25.

How Hugh de Lacie vpon a vaine sus|picion was sent for into England, and of his returne againe from thense. Chap. 25.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 2 3 THe suspicion conceiued of Hugh de La|cie dailie increased more & more, and as is before said came to the kings eares, who as princes in such causes was verie gelous, and could not like thereof, and therefore foorthwith [...]nt for Hugh de Lacie by Iohn co [...]estable of Che|ster and Richard Pet, whome he appointed to tarrie and serus in his place, & to be the gouernors or lords iustices of the land. But before he should depart and go awaie, it was agréed by a common consent, that there should diuerse castels and sundrie forts be buil|ded in Leinster: for Meth was alredie méetlie well and indifferentlie fortified & incastelled. First there|fore they builded two castels in Fotheret of Ono|lan, the one for (1) Reimond, and the other for Grif|fith his brother: the third was at (2) Tresseldermont néere to Moroghs countrie for Walter of Ridens|ford: the fourth for Iohn (3) Clauill vpon the riuer of Barrow not far from Leighlin: the fist at Collach for Iohn Herford. And as for Kildare, which with the countrie adioining was before by the earle in his life time giuen to Meilerius, was taken from him; & in exchange the countrie of (4) Ler was giuen to him, which was a wild and sauage countrie, full of woods, passes, and bogs, and in the middle of the eni|mies, as also from anie succour or rescue: howbeit not vnfit for this such a champion of Mars and so worthie a souldier.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 These things being thus doone in the summer time, Hugh de Lacie tooke his passage ouer to England, and made his spéedie repaire to the kings presence, where he so wiselie and dutifullie behaued himselfe, that the king not onelie was resolued of his truth and fidelitie, but also putting especiall confidence in him, he sent him backe againe. And calling home the foresaid Iohn de conestable and Richard Pet, made him his generall and deputie of the land, and tooke assurance of him for his truth in this behalfe: how|beit he ioined in commission with him one Robert of Salisburie, who should in the kings behalfe be a councellor and a trustie assistant vnto him in all his dooings. Now Hugh de Lacie being returned backe againe into Ireland, and there settled and placed, thinketh vpon his first deuises, how to fortifie the countrie and to kéepe it in good order. And the more castels he builded, and the more Englishmen he did bestow and place therein, the sooner and better did he thinke to bring the same to passe and effect. Among manie castels therfore which he builded, he made one at Tachmeho in Ler, which he gaue to Meilerius, as also gaue him his néece to wife; also one castell néere to Abowie which he gaue to Robert Bigaret, and not farre from thense an other castell which he deliue|red to Thomas Fleming. And not farre from thense he builded one other castell at the Norach on the ri|uer of the Barrow, which Robert Fitzrichard had: besides in Meth he builded the castels of Dunach and of Kilaire, as also Adam Fuceport and Gilbert Migents castels, and manie others, which were now too long to be particularlie repeted and recited.

And about this time was that strange talke and communication in a wood in Meth, betwéene a [...]arke be|twéene a priest and a wool [...]. préest and a woolfe, whereof we haue spoken in our topographie: which thing though it may séeme verie strange & most incredible, yet the same is not to be discredited. For as S. Ierome saith, you shall find in scripture manie strange things, & which to a mans iudgement shall séeme to be nothing true at all: and yet neuertheles they are most true. For nature can|not preuaile nor doo anie thing against the Lord of nature: neither ought anie creature to contemne or scorne, but rather with great reuerence and honour to consider the workes of God his creator. Not long after this king Henrie the yoonger, the son of king Henrie the elder, being sedu [...]ed & caried (the more was the pitie) by le [...] and naughtie counsels, rebel|led the second time aga [...] [...] father, and had got|ten vnto him the most part of t [...] best noble men in all Poitiers, & the lus [...]est gentlemen in all France: besides his brother. Geffre [...] the earle of Britainie the chiefe author and cause of this rebellion, and ma|nie others of his confe [...]ates. But in the end, by EEBO page image 48 Gods iust iudgement and vengeance for his vnna|turall ingratitude against his father, who though he were a verie valiant and a lustie gentleman, yet a|gainst death nothing can helpe, and so died about Iune at Marels to the great sorrow of manie. And verie shortlie after also the foresaid Geffreie, a noble and a valiant gentleman, & who for his worthinesse and prowesse might haue béene the sonne of Ulysses or Achilles, who now reuolting the third time from his father, and rebelling against him, was by Gods iust iudgement about the kalends of August taken out of his life, and so died.

(1) Nesta the daughter of the great Rhesus prince of Wales had thrée husbands, the third of them was Gerald of Windsore, and these had to their first sonne William Fitzgerald the father vn|to this Reimond, and Griffith.

(2) Tresseldermont is a castell about a fiue miles from Catherlough, & somtimes a verie faire towne and walled round about, and bordering néere to the baronie of Odrone. The English writers doo saie that this castell was not builded in this Tresselder|mont, but at Kilken, a castell about thrée miles from this, and both now belonging to the earle of Kildare. But the Latine bookes, which are of eldest writing and credit, and whom I doo herein follow, doo write it by expresse words, Tresseldermont.

(3) This castell of Clauill not far from Leighlin, is supposed to be that which is now called Carlough or Catherlough: howbeit the common fame of the countrie dooth attribute this castell of Carlough to [...]ua the earls wife, and the ladie and heire of Lein|ster, and that she should build the same. But there ap|peereth no such things of hir doings, for by the course of the historie it is plaine, that the castels builded in Leinster were doone by the Englishmen onelie, and for their defense and safetie.

(4) The countrie of Lex is parcell of Leinster, & lieth in the marches and extreame confines of the same by the west: it is verie strong and fast, being full of woods and bogs, and therefore a safe tecepta|cle for rebels and outlawes. It is within the diocesse of Leighlin, and before now of late no shire ground, but inhabited by the Mores, who were alwaies re|bels and traitors. But in hope to reforme the same it was made a countie of it selfe, by an act of parle|ment in the third and fourth yeares of Philip and Marie, and named the Queenes countie.

Previous | Next