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12.38. The causes why England could not make the full and finall conquest of Ireland. Chap. 38.

The causes why England could not make the full and finall conquest of Ireland. Chap. 38.

IT wère not amisse, that we now did consider the causes, and declare the impedi|ments, why the kings sonne had not the best successe in this his so honourable a iournie, and wherefore his so famous attempt tooke not effect: that albeit the same can not reuoke and remedie that which is past and doone, yet that it maie be a fore|warning to that which maie follow and insue. The principall and chiefe cause I suppose and thinke to be, bicause that whereas the patriarch of Ierusalem named Heraclius came in an ambassage vnto him, in the name and behalfe of all the whole land of Pa|lestine called the holie land, requesting that he would take vpon him to be their helpe, and defending the same against the Saladine then king of Egypt and of Damasco: who hauing bent his whole force a|gainst them, was like within two yeares following vtterlie to be ouerrun, the said holie land, vnlesse some rescue in the meane time and with expedition were prouided: he vtterlie denied and refused the same. And being further vrged to send one of his sonnes, although it were the yoongest: he denied that also: making no account neither of the cause it selfe, which was Christ; nor of the people, which were chri|stians: neither yet of the person, which was a reue|rend and honourable personage.

And yet neuerthelesse he sent foorth his yoonger sonne in a iournie or hosting, more sumptuous than are néedfull or profitable? And whither I praie you? Was it into the east and against the Saracens and miscreants? No, no, it was into the west, & against his euen christian, nothing séeking the aduancing of Gods glorie, nor promoting of his cause, but onelie for his owne priuat lucre and singular commoditie. An other cause was this. At the first landing and en|trie of the kings sonne at Waterford, a great ma|nie of the chiefest of the Irishmen in those parties, and who since their first submission to king Henrie had continued faithfull and true, they being aduerti|sed of this his arriuall, did come and resort vnto him in peaceable maner, and after their best order to salute him, and congratulate his comming. But our new men [...] Normans, who had not before béene in those parties, making small account of them, did not onelie mocke them, and laugh them to scorne for the manner of their apparell, as also for their long beards and great glibs, which they did then weare and vse according to the vsage of their countrie: but also they did hardlie deale and ill intreat manie of them. These men nothing liking such interteinment shifted themselues out of the towne, & with all hast sped themselues home: euerie one into his owne house; & from thense they with their wiues, children, and houshold, departed and went some to the prince of Limerike, some to the prince of Corke, some to Rothorike prince of Connagh, and some to one lord, and some to an other: and to these they declared or|derlie how they had béene at Waterford, and what they had séene there, and how they were intreated; and how that a yoong man was come thither garded with yoong men, and guided by the counsels of yoong men: in whom there was no staie, no sobrietie, no stedfastnesse, no assurednesse, whereby they and their countrie might be assured of anie safetie.

These princes and namelie they thrée of Connagh, Corke, and Limerike, who were the chéefest, and who were then preparing themselues in a readinesse to haue come and saluted the kings sonne, and to haue yéelded vnto him the dutifull obeisance of faithfull subiects: when they heard these newes, they began streightwaies to imagine, that of such euill begin|nings woorse endings would insue: and reasoning the matter among themselues, did conclude, that if they thus at the first did deale so discourteouslie with the humble, quiet, and peaceable men: what would they doo to such as were mightie and stout, and who would be loth to receiue such discourtesies at their hands? Wherefore with one consent they concluded to stand and ioine togither against the English nati|on, and to their vttermost to aduenture their liues, and to stand to the defense of their countrie and li|bertie. And for the performance thereof, they enter into a new league among themselues, and swore each one to the other, and by that means enimies be|fore are now made fréends and reconciled. This we know to be true, and therefore we speake it, and that which we saw we doo boldlie witnesse. And for so much as we thus fondlie and in our pride did abuse them, who in humblenesse came vnto vs: therefore did we well deserue by Gods iust iudgement (who hateth the proud and high minded) to lose the others, for by this example they were vtterlie discouraged to like of vs. And this people and nation though it be barbarous and rude, not knowing what apperteineth vnto honour: yet most and aboue all others doo they desire to be exalted and honoured. And although they be not ashamed to be found false of their word, and vniust in their dealings: yet will they greatlie dis|commendlieng and commend truth, louing that in others, which is not to be found in themselues. But to the matter. What great euils and inconuenien|ces doo grow by such follies and insolencies, a wise man may soone learne by the example of Rehoboam the sonne of Salomon, & so by an other mans harm [...] learne to beware of his owne. (2) For he being lead and carried by yoong mens councels, gaue a yoong mans answer vnto his people, saieng vnto them; My finger is greater than was my fathers loins, and whereas he beat you with rods, I will scourge you with scorpions, by reason whereof ten tribes for|sooke him for euer, and followed after Ieroboam. Another cause is this, when Robert Fitzstephans came first ouer, and also the earle; there were cer|teine Irishmen which tooke part with them, and faith|fullie serued vnder them: and these were rewarded and had giuen vnto them for recompense certeine EEBO page image 55 lands, which they quietlie held and inioied, vntill this time of the comming ouer of the king his senne: for now the same were taken from them, and giuen to such as were new come ouer, contrarie to the pro|mise & grant to them before made. Wherevpon they forsooke vs and fled to our enimies, and became not onelie spies vpon vs, but were also guiders and con|ductors of them against vs: they being so much the more able to hurt and anitoie vs, bicause they were before our familiars, and knew all our orders and secrets. Besides this, the cities and townes vpon and néere the seacoasts, with all such lands, reuenues, tributes, and commodities as to the same did belong and apperteine, and which before was imploied and spent for the defense of the commonwealth & coun|trie, and in the seruice against the enimies, were now all assigned and bestowed vpon such as were giuen to pilling and polling, and who laie still with|in the townes, spending their whole time, and all that they had in drunkennesse and surfetting, to the losse and damage of the good citizens and inhabitants, and not to the annoiance of the enimies. And besides sundrie other commodities, this was one, and a spe|ciall one; that at the verie first entrie of the king his sonne into this vnrulie and rebellious land, the peo|ple being barbarous, and not knowing what it was to be a subiect, nor what apperteineth to gouernment, The inconue|niences fol|lowing euill gouernment. such men were appointed to haue the charge, rule and gouernement, as who were more méet to talke in a parlor than to fight in the fields, better skill to be clad in a warme gowne than to be shrowded in armor, and who knew better how to pill and poll the good subiects than to resist and incounter the enimie: yea for their valiantnesse and prowesse they might well be resembled vnto William Fitzaldelme, vn|der whose gouernement both Ireland and Wales were almost vtterlie destroied & lost. For whie, they were neither faithfull to their owne people nor dread|full to their enimies; yea they were vtterlie void of that affect, which is naturallie ingraffed in man, which is to be pittifull to the humble and prostrate, and to resist the proud and obstinat; but rather of the contrarie, they spoiled their owne citizens, and winked at their enimies: for to resist and withstand them nothing was doone, no castels nor fortresses builded, no passes for safetie made, no waies for ser|uice opened, but althings went to ruine, and the com|mon state to wracke. Moreouer, the seruingmen and the soldiers which were in garrison, they liking well of their capteins and masters maners and loose life, gaue themselues to the like, spending their whole time in rioting, banketing, whoredome, and all other dissolute and wanton orders, tarrieng still within the townes and places far off from the enimies. For as for the marches (so called bicause the same bordered vpon their enimies; or rather of Mars, bicause in those places martiall affaires were and are woont to be most exercised) they would not come néere the sight thereof, and by that means the people there dwelling and seated, the soiles there manured, the castels there builded, were altogether destroied, wa|sted, spoiled, and burned. And thus the prowesse of the old capteins, the good seruices of the veterans & well experimented soldiers by the insolent, distem|perat, and lewd life of these new comes was discre|dited: whereof was nothing else to be awaited for but after such calmes must néeds insue stormes and tempests. And albeit they thus lieng in the townes in securitie and at rest, wallowing in lose and wan|ton life, euerie daie being a holie daie to Bacchus and Uenus: yet the state of the land at large was most miserable and lamentable. For euerie where was howling and wéeping, the manured fields be|came waste, the castels destroied, and the people murthered, and no newes but that the vtter destruc|tion of the whole land was at hand. And in this di|stresse and necessitie it had béene verie requisit and néedfull that the souldiers should haue taken vp their weapons, serued against the en [...]mie, and haue defen|ded the common state: but it was farre otherwise, for there was such lawing & vexation in the towns, one dailie suing and troubling another, that the ve|terane was more troubled with lawing within the Lawing woorse than warring. towne, than he was in perill at large with the eni|mie. And thus our men, giuen ouer to this trade and kind of life, became faintharted, and afraid to looke vpon the enimie: and on the contrarie the enimie most strong, stout, and bold. Thus was the land then gouerned, and thus the same posted towards the destruction of the English nation and gouern|ment, which had doubtlesse verie shortlie follow|ed and insued, had not the king prouided a speedie re|medie for the same. For the king being aduertised how disorderlie things framed, and considering with himselfe in what perill the state of his realme and people stood, he with all spéed sendeth for all these new come souldiors, in whome (other than the name of a souldior was nothing of anie value and com|mendation) and commandeth them to repaire and come home, and sendeth ouer in their places these old beaten and well tried soldiors, by whose seruice the land before had beene conquered and kept among whome one and the cheefest was Iohn de Courcie, who was made lord deputie, and had the gouerne|ment of the land committed vnto him: who, accor|ding to his office and dutie, setteth in hand the refor|mation of all things méet and requisit to be redres|sed: who the more valiant and forward he was in his said affaires and seruices, the more the land grew to good order, and inioied peace & quietnesse. For whie, he would not be idle himselfe, neither would he suffer his souldiers to lie idle like loiterers and sluggards: but was alwaies labouring and trauelling abroad, and marching still towards the enimies, whome he followed and pursued euen through the whole land, to the vttermost parts thereof, as well in Corke, Tho|mond, Connagh, and elsewhere; and if by any means he could haue anie aduantage of them, he would suerlie giue the onset and aduenture vpon them: which for the most part was to their ouerthrowe, though he and his sometimes were galled, and felt the smart. And would to God he had beene as pru|dent a capteine as he was a valiant souldior; and as prouident in the one as skilfull and hardie in the o|ther! But to my former purpose. Among the manie and sundrie inconueniences happened by euill go|uernment of these new officers (as is before said) there was none greater, nor more to be lamented than was this: that notwithstanding God of his [...] Giral|dus! could you sée that curssed fault and abuse. goodnesse did giue the victorie, and send the happie successe in this noble conquest: yet was there nei|ther due thanks attributed vnto God, nor anie re|membrance giuen vnto his church; but to increase a further ingratitude, they tooke and spoiled awaie from the same their lands and possessions, as also minded to abridge them of their old and ancient pri|uileges & liberties. Too great a note of ingratitude, and an argument of too much vnthankfulnes: wher|of what vnquietnesse and troubles did insue, the se|quele therof (for the course of sundrie years) did shew and declare.

So manie outrages & disorders, which did créepe in by the disordred gouernement vnder the king his sonne, were not so much to be imputed to his yoong and tender yeares, as vnto the euill counsels and di|rections of such as were about him, and had the spe|ciall charge thereof: for such a sauage, rude, and bar|barous nation was by good counsels, discréet dire|ctions EEBO page image 55 and prudent gouernement to haue béene go|uerned and reduced to good order and conformitie. For whie, if a realme which by wise and prudent go|uernement is brought and reduced to a perfect state, yet being committed to the gouernement of a child is cursed and brought to manifold distresses, trou|bles and miseries (5) how much more then is it to be so thought of that land, which of it selfe being rude and barbarous, is committed to the gouernement of such as be not onelie rude and barbarous, but also lewd and euill disposed. And that this did so happen and come to passe in Ireland, all wisemen doo know it, and the elder sort doo confesse it to be true; although yoong men to couer their folies, would reiect it to some other causes [...] impediments. For whie, such of them as had procured vnto themselues great li|uings, lordships and territories, they pretended at the first that they would be readie to serue the king his sonne, to defend the countrie, to resist the enimie, and that they would doo this and that with manie good morowes. But when they had gotten what they would, and had that they sought for, then it manifest|lie appeared that it was singular gaine & priuat pro|fit which they shot at: for hauing obteined that, they neuer remembred their oth to their lord, nor cared for the common state, nor passed for the safetie and defense of the countrie, which in dutie they ought chiefelie to haue considered.

(1) The Irish nation and people euen from the beginning haue béene alwaies of a hard bringing vp, & are not onelie rude in apparell but also rough & ouglie in their bodies: their beards and heads they neuer wash, clense, nor cut, especiallie their heads; the haire whereof they suffer to grow, sauing that some doo vse to round it: and by reason the same is neuer [...]embed, it groweth fast togither, and in pro|cesse of time it matteth so thicke and fast togither, that it is in stéed of a hat, and kéepeth the head verie warme, & also will beare off a great blow or stroke, and this head of haire they call a glibe, and therein they haue a great pleasure.

(2) The historie is written in the first booke of the kings the twelfe chapter, and in the second of the chronicles the tenth chapter: the effect therof is, that after the death of Salomon the people of Israell re|quested Rehoboam his sonne, to ease them of the grieuous burdens and heauie yoke which his father laied vpon them, who leauing the counsell of the old counsellors, gaue them answer by the aduise of yoong heads, as in this place is recited.

(3) What these Irishmen were, there are diuerse opinions. Some thinke that they were such as did inhabit about Wexford, some thinke that they were they of Kenceio, for they faithfullie serued the Eng|lishmen vnder their capteine named Morogh at Li|merike, when the earle of Reimond recouered the same. But I find it to be noted of the Orians, who are now dwelling within the baronie of Odron, and had a seat there by the gift of the Kauenaughs, but since resisting against them and denieng to paie their accustomable cheuerie, yéelded themselues vn|to the earle of Ormond, paieng vnto him a certeine blacke rent to be their defendor against the said Ke|uenaughs, but in right they are tenants to the ba|rons of Odron.

(4) This is meant of that which is before spoken in the twentie chapter in the description of this Iohn de Curcie, where his too much rashnes is no|ted to be a great fault in him.

(5) It is written by the preacher, or Eccle [...]es; Wo be vnto thee O thou land whose king is but a child. Which is not ment absolutelie of a child, but of such a one who (as a child) hath an euill affection, and is void of that grauitie, wisedome, and maiestie as is required in a prince and gouernour. For Iosias when he was crowned king of Iehuda, was but eight yeares of age; and yet bicause he did that which was right in the sight of God, and ruled the land godlie and vprightlie, he is commended in the scrip|tures for the same.

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