The Holinshed Project

Holinshed Project Home

The Texts

Previous | Next

12.41. How the Irish people being vanqui|shed are to be gouerned. Chap. 41.

How the Irish people being vanqui|shed are to be gouerned. Chap. 41.

AS there be means and policies to be v|sed in conquering this people, who are now more light in their bodies than inconstant in mind: so when they are vanquished, they must in an order be ruled and gouerned. First and princi|pallie therefore it is to be considered, that whosoeuer shall be gouernor ouer them, that he be wise, con|stant, discreet, and a staied man; that in time of peace, and when they are contented to liue vnder law and in obedience, they maie be gouerned by law, directed by right, and ruled by iustice; as also to be stout and va|liant, readie and able with force seuerelie to punish all such as (contrarie to their dutie and allegiance) shall either rebell and breake out, or otherwise liue in disordered maner. Moreouer, when anie haue doone amisse, and contrarie to dutie haue rebelled, and doo yet afterwards knowledge their fostie, and yeelding themselues haue obteined pardon; that in no wise you doo afterwards euill intreat them, neither yet laie their former faults to their charges, neither cast them in the teeth of their follies: but hauing taken such assurance of them as you maie, to intreat them with all courtesies and gentlenesse, that by such good means they maie the better be induced and incoura|ged to kéepe themselues within their dutie, for loue of their good gouernement which they sée: and yet be afraid to doo euill for feare of punishment, which they are to receiue for their euill and lewd dooings. And if they will not thus order and gouerne them, but confound their dooings, being flacke to punish the e|uill, and quicke to oppresse the good and obedient, to flatter them in their rebellions and outrages, and to spoile them in peace; to fauor them in their treasons and treacheries, and to oppresse them when they liue in loialtie, as we haue seene manie so to haue doone: surelie these men so disorderedlie confounding all things, they in the end shall be confounded them|selues. And bicause harms foreséene do least annoie & hurt, let them which be wise looke well, that in time of peace they doo prepare for the warres. For after the Al [...]ion daies and calme seas doo follow stormes and tempests: and therefore, when they haue vacant times and leisure, let them build and fortifie castels, cut downe and open the passes, and doo all such other things as the nature of warres requireth to be pre|uented. For this people being vncerteine, crastie, and subtill, vnder colour of peace, are woont alwaies to be [...]dieng and deuising of [...]. And also bi|cause EEBO page image 59 it is good to be wise by another mans harme, & warie by other mens examples. For nothing dooth better teach a man than examples, and the paterns of things doone afore time. Let not them forget what [...]o better [...]ers than [...]ples. became of these woorthie men, Miles of Cogan, Rafe Fitzstephans, Hugh de Lacie, Roger Powre, and others, who when they thought of least danger they were in most perill: and when they thought themselues in most safetie, they were intrapped and destroied. For as we haue said in our Topographie; this people is a craftie and a subtile people, and more to be feared when it is peace, than when it is open warres: for their peace indéed is but enimitie, their policies but craft, their friendships but coloured, and therefore the more to be doubted and feared. And by experience the same in some part hath béene prooued: and therfore, as Euodius saith, Let the fall and ruine of things past be forewarnings of things to come.

And bicause herein a man can not be too wise nor warie, it were good that an order were taken (as it is in Sicilia) that none of them should weare anie weapon at all, no not so much as a staffe in their hands to walke by. For euen with that weapon, though it be but slender, they will (if they can) take the aduantage, and bewreake their malice and can| [...]ered stomachs. Finallie, forsomuch as the kings of England haue a iust title, and a full right to the land of Ireland in sundrie and diuerse respects; and con|sidering also that the same is chieflie mainteined by the intercourse and traffike of merchandizes out of England; and without the same cannot releeue and helpe it selfe; it were verie expedient that for the ac|knowledging of the one, and for the inioieng of the other, as also for the supporting of the continuall charges of the king of England there yearelie be|stowed: that there he a yearelie tribute paied and an|swered vnto the kings of England, either in monie, or in such commodities as that land breedeth, aswell for the continuance of the title in memorie, as also for the auoiding of manie inconueniences. And be|cause time weareth awaie, and men doo dailie perish and die, that this order for the perpetuall honour of the king and of his realme, and the memoriall of this conquest, the same be ingrossed and registred in a publike instrument to indure for euer. And thus ha|uing spoken what we know, and witnessed what we haue séene, we doo here end this historie, leauing vn|to others of better knowledge and learning, to con|tinue the same as to them shall be thought most néed|full and conuenient.

Thus farre Giraldus Cambrensis.

The processe of Irish affaires (beginning where Giraldus did end) vntill this present age, being a wit|nesse of sundrie things as yet fresh in memorie: which processe from henseforward is intituled the Chronicles of Ireland.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 _LEauing at the conquest of Ireland penned by Giraldus Cambrensis, we are now to pro|ceed in that which followeth: wherin our authour (as he himselfe writeth) vsed such notes as were written by one Philip Flats|burie, out of a certeine namelesse author, from this place vnto the yeare 1370: and we hauing none other helpe besides (ex|cept onelie Henrie of Marleborow) do set downe that which we find in our oft mentioned authour, and in the same Marleborow in all the whole discourse that followeth, except in some cer|teine particular places, where we shew from whense we haue drawne that which we write as occasion serueth.

EEBO page image 60

THE CHRONICLES of Ireland, &c.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 2 _HUgh de Lacie (of whom such me|morable mention is made hertofore) the rather to méet with such hurlie burlies as were like to put the state of the Irish coun|trie in danger, if the same were not the sooner brought to quiet, erected and built a number of castels and forts in places conuenientlie seated, well and sufficientlie garni|shed with men, munitions, and vittels, as one at A castell built at Derwath. Derwath, where diuerse of the Irish praied to be set on worke for wages. Lacie came sundrie times thither to further the woorke, full glad to sée them fall in vre with anie such exercise, wherein might they once begin to haue a delight, and [...]ast the swéetnesse of a true mans life, he thought it no small token of reformation: for which cause he visited them the off|ner, and merilie would command his gentlemen to giue the laborers example to take their tooles in hand, and to woorke a season, whilest the poore soules looking on might rest them. But this pastime grew to a tragicall end. For on a time, as each man was busilie occupied, some lading, some heauing, some plastering, some grauing, the generall also himselfe digging with a pickare: a desperat viliaine among them, whose toole the noble man vsed, espieng both his hands occupied, and his bodie inclining down|wards, still as he stroke watched when he so stooped, and with an are cleft his head in sunder, little estee|ming 1186 Lacie is trai|torouslie slaine. the torments that for this traitorous act insued. This Lacie was reputed to be the conqueror of Meth, for that he was the first that brought it to a|nie due order of obedience vnto the English power. His bodie the two archbishops, Iohn of Dublin, and Matthew of Cashill buried in the monasterie of Bectie, and his head in saint Thomas abbeie at Dublin.

Previous | Next