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12.35. The praise and commendation as also the excuse of Robert Fitzstephans and the earle Strangbow. Chap. 35.

The praise and commendation as also the excuse of Robert Fitzstephans and the earle Strangbow. Chap. 35.

RObert Fitzstephans was the first who taught and shewed the waie to the earle, the earle to the king, and the king to his sonne. Great praise-worthie was he that gaue the first aduenture, and much was he to be commended who next followed and increased the same: but aboue all others he deserued best, who fulfilled, absolued, and ended the same. And here is to be noted, that albeit both Fitzstephans and the earle did helpe Dermon Mac Morogh to recouer his countrie of Leinster, as also defended and kept the same from robbers, théeues, & enimies: yet they did it in diuerse respects. The one in respect of his faith and promise, the other for loue of Eua, & of the (1) inheritance, which by hir should grow and come vnto him. But as concern|ing the intruding vpon Waterford, and the con|quests of sundrie territories as well in Desmond as in Meth, I can not excuse them. The earle, who in right of his wife was lord of Leinster, the fist part or portion of Ireland, surrendred and yéelded vp all his right and title there vnto the king himselfe, and tooke it againe to hold of him. The like also did all the princes of the land. Whereby as also by other old and ancient records it is apparant, that the English na|tion entred not into this land by wrong and iniurie, (as some men suppose and dreame) but vpon a good ground, right, and title.

(1) The course of this historie in the beginning dooth plainelie declare, how that Dermon after his departure from the king came to the citie of Bris|tow, and there hauing conference with Richard Strangbow erle of Chepstow, did offer vnto him his onelie daughter and heire in marriage, with the in|heritance of all Leinster: conditionallie that he would passe ouer into Ireland, and to helpe him to recouer his land, which conditions were accepted and afterwards performed. Afterwards he lieng at saint Dauids for passage, there he met with Robert Fitz|stephans, & did condition with him, that if he would passe ouer into Ireland to helpe him, he would giue him the towne of Wexford with certeine cantreds therevnto adioining, which conditions were then ac|cepted and afterwards performed. Thus it appeareth that the one for loue of the gentlewoman, and the o|ther in respect of his promise did passe ouer into that land and realme.

12.36. The causes of lets whie this con|quest could not nor had his full perfection. Chap. 36.

The causes of lets whie this con|quest could not nor had his full perfection. Chap. 36.

HAppie and for euer happie had Ireland béene, which being valiantlie conquered, well replenished with townes, and fortified with castels from sea to sea of the first (1) aduen|turers, who were then minded to haue established a good order and gouernment, had not they through the secret malice and treacherie of some men béene cal|led awaie and sent from home. Yea happie had it beene, if the first conquerors (being noble and valiant men) might according to their deserts haue had the charge of gouernment committed vnto them. For whie, a nation which at the first comming ouer of our men, when they were galled with our arrows, and a|fraid of our force, they were then easie to be recla|med. But partlie by meanes of trifling and delai|eng of time, which is alwaies dangerous, and partlie by reason that the best seruitors being called home from thense, new rulers tooke too much ease, and liued in too much securitie; nothing was doone to anie pur|pose: and therevpon the people of that countrie tooke hart of grace, and practised our manners in shooting and the vse of our weapons: and by little and little they became so well expert and skilfull therein, that whereas at the first they were easie to be ouercom|med, were now strong and hardie, and not onlie able to resist, but also readie to put vs in danger and ha|zard. And the causes herof whoso listeth to search, shall easilie find out the same: for if you will read ouer the bookes of the kings & prophets, examine the course of the old testament, and well consider the examples of these our latter daies; you shall find it most certeine and true, that no nation, no state, no citie, nor com|mon-wealth was euer ouerthrowne by the enimie, nor ouercome by the aduersarie but onelie for sinne Sin the cause of ouerthrows by the enimie. and wickednesse. And albeit the Irish people and nation for their sinfull and abhominable life did well deserue to be ouerthrowne and ouerrun by stran|gers; yet was it not Gods will and plesure that they should vtterlie be brought into subiection: neither was it his good will & pleasure that the Englishmen, though they had brought some of them into subiecti|on, EEBO page image 53 yet they should not therefore haue the whole em|pire and entire souereigntie ouer them: for both were sinfull people and merited not anie fauour at Gods hand, but deserued to be seuerelie punished, and ther|fore neither the one (albeit he were a conqueror, and had the ouer hand) could yet obteine a seat (2) in Pal|las castell, nor yet the other be fullie subdued & broght into perfect subiection. The Irish people are said to haue the foure men whome they account to be great prophets, and whome they haue in great veneration and credit (3) Merlin, Bracton, Patrike, and Co|lumkill, The foure Irish pro|phets. whose books and prophesies they haue among themselues in their owne language, and all they in|treating and speaking of the conquest of this land, doo affirme that the same shall be assailed with often warres, the strifes shall be continuall, and the slaugh|ters great. But yet they doo not assure nor warrant anie perfect or full conquest vnto the English nation (4) not much before dooms daie. And albeit the whole land of Ireland, from sea to sea, haue for the most part béene in the power of the Englishmen, and by them fortified and replenished with sundrie and ma|nie castels, though sometimes to their perilles and smarts: yet Bracton saith, that the king who shall make the absolute and finall conquest, shall come from out of the deserts and mounteins of saint Pa|trike, and vpon a sundaie at night shall with force breake into a castell builded in the fastnesse of Opha|lie: and vntill that time the English nation shall from time to time be in continuall troubles with the Irishrie, sauing that they shall hold and inioie the whole land bordering vpon the east coasts of the seas.

(1) The course of this historie dooth at full de|clare in particulars, how the first aduenturers were maligned, & as much as might be descredited. First Robert Fitzstephans, whose seruice was counted no|table, and his fidelitie to his prince and king trustie and assured: yet fell he into the kings displeasure, was cast into prison, and albeit deliuered out againe, yet the king conceiuing some gelousie of him, had him ouer into Normandie, where he serued two yeares in his warres: and although he were againe afterward sent ouer into Ireland, yet was he not in anie authoritie or office. The earle Strangbow although he came ouer with the king his speciall li|cence, yet his good successe was so enuied at, that the king made proclamation, that all his subiects be|ing in Ireland with the earle, should returne & come home; and that no vittels, no munition, nor anie re|léefe should be transported out of anie of his domini|ons into Ireland. And albeit the earle afterwards were reconciled to the king, yet was he faine to yéeld vnto him all his land and dominion of Leinster vn|to the kings deuotion, & to receiue the same againe to be holden of the king. Reimond who could not be charged, nor spotted with anie vntruth: yet the trea|cherous Heruie with his false informations so in|ueigled and falselie informed the king against him, that he was sent for home, and not trusted with anie gouernement. Hugh de Lacie, who (as the historie saith) was the first that made waie into Ulster, who fortified the prouince of Leinster and Meth with ma|nie strong holds & castels, and brought all the coun|trie to a peaceable state; he was suspected to haue meant the impropriation of the whole land to his owne vse, and was dismissed of his charge and go|uernement, and sent for home: and in place and lieu of these were sent ouer William Fitzaldelme, Phi|lip of Chester, and others, in whome was no value at all, but onelie to pill and poll the people, and to heape vp treasure and riches.

(2) Pallas was the daughter of Iupiter, who for hir excellent gift in inuention, is said and fained by the poets to be borne of the braine of Iupiter with|out anie moother, she inuented the order of warres, and deuised the maner of fightings, she maketh men to be bold, and giueth the victorie. And bicause Eng|glishmen could not obteine a full and a perfect victo|rie: therefore they were said not to sit in Pallas castell.

(2) There were two Merlins, and both were pro|phesiers: the one was named Merlinus Calidonius, or Syluestris, bicause his dwelling and habitation was néere or by a wood called Calidonia, he was borne in the marches of Scotland, but a man verie excellent|lie well learned in philosophie, and in knowledge of all naturall causes; and by diligent obseruations he would gesse maruellouslie at the euents of manie things. Wherevpon he was taken for a phrophesier, and reputed for a magician or a diuinor. He was in the time of king Arthur, about the yeare fiue hun|dred and thréescore, and of this Merlin it is spoken in this historie. The other Merlin was before this man and in the time of Uortiger: about the yeare of our Lord foure hundred and thréescore, and he was named Ambrosius Merlinus, who was also excellentlie well learned, both in philosophie and the art magike; but his sentences were so darkelie couched, that no|thing could be conceiued nor vnderstood by them be|fore the euent.

(4) Much adoo there hath béene, and manie books written, concerning the full conquest of this land: so manie heads, so manie reasons. But if men would haue the truth plainelie told, it is soone to be séene how the verie cause proceedeth and is continued for want of a generall reformation. But Pluto hath so blinded mens eies, that séeing they can not nor will not see: but hereof I shall more at large write in an other place.

12.37. A breefe repetition of certeine things done within the course of the historie that are omitted. Chap. 37.

A breefe repetition of certeine things done within the course of the historie that are omitted. Chap. 37.

HEre by the waie it were not amisse brief|lie to touch & declare of certeine things which happened, & which (for certeine causes) are not at full discoursed in this storie, as we wished that we might haue had the oportunitie so to haue doone. First therfore you shall vnderstand, that Iohn the kings sonne at his first comming ouer builded three castels, one at Tibrach, an other at Arche|phinan, and the third at Lisemore. Likewise three worthie gentlemen were lost and killed: namelie, Robert Barrie at Lisemore, Reimond Fitzhugh at Olithan, and Reimond Kantune at Ossorie. Also how Donald the prince of Limerike secretlie stole vpon the earles armie in Ossorie, as they were com|ming from Dublin towards Limerike, and slue foure hundred Ostomans, and foure noble gentle|men, which were their capteines; among whom was Ogranie an Irishman. And also Dermond Mac Artie prince of Desmond, being at parlee with cer|teine men of Corke not farre from the said towne, was there set vpon by the said Corkemen & (1) Theo|bald Fitzwalter, and there was he and the most part of his companie slaine. The like happened in Meth, where they of Kencole & their capteine made a rode, and being set vpon by one William the iustice of that countrie, they were all slaine and a hundred of their heads sent vnto Dublin. Moreouer Iohn de Courcie found the bodies of saint Patrike, saint Brigid, and saint Colome at Downe, and remooued them from thense. Hugh de Lacie builded his castell EEBO page image 54 at Deruach, was there traitorouslie slaine. Iohn de Courcie at his returne from out of Connagh lost sixtéene of his best gentlemen. Roger le Powre a va|liant, and a lustie yoong gentleman, was by treason taken and murthered in Ossorie, wherevpon the I|rishmen foorthwith brake out from their due obei|sance to the king of England, and rebelled against the Englishmen, destroied manie castels, and set the whole realme in a great sturre and vnquietnesse. O|ther sundrie things happened which were too long to recite: and therefore leauing the same, we will re|turne to our historie.

(1) This Theobald Fitzwalter, who by his nation was named Becket but by his office Butler, was the sonne of Walter the sonne of Gilbert: & was the first Butler that came into Ireland, who being a wise and an expert man, was first sent with Willi|am Fitzaldelme. Afterwards he was sent ouer by king Iohn to view and serch the countrie; and in the end he grew into such credit, that he was infeoffed with great liuings there, as also aduanced (and his posteritie after him) to great honors & promotions, which now are named earles of Ormond and Os|sorie.

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