The Holinshed Project

Holinshed Project Home

The Texts

Previous | Next

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 After this, the king of Englands Commiſſio|ners perceyuing what eſtimation and opinion the ſouldiers & men of warre had conceyued of Rey|monde,Reymond cõ| [...]ituted the kings lieute|nat. they authoriſed him lieutenaunt, tyll the kings pleaſure therein might be further knowne: and herewith they returned into Englande to in|forme him of the chaunge of things in Irelande by the Earles death. The king throughly infor|med how things ſtoode, ſent William Fitz Al|delme,

W [...]lliam Fitz Aldelme lieu|tenant of Ire|lande.

Iohn Curcy. Williã Cogan

one of his truſtie ſeruants as his lieutenãt into Ireland with .xx. knights, ioyning with him in commiſſion Iohn de Curey, with other tenne knights, alſo Fitz Stephans & Miles Cogã, with xx. knights, which two laſt remembred captaines had ſerued the king right valiauntly in thoſe late ciuil warres, which his ſonnes had reyſed againſt him. Reymond vnderſtãding that they were ar|riued, met them with a braue number of knights, in the borders of Wexford, deliuering all the Ci|ties, townes, & caſtels togither with ſuch hoſtages as he had into Aldelmes hands as the kings lieu|tenant of that kingdome. Fitz Aldelme moued with enuie, to ſee Reymond furniſhed with ſuch a traine of luſtie youthes, he threatned to abate ſuch pride, and to make a ſcatter of thoſe ſhieldes. Frõ that time forth, aſwell he as other lieutenãts of Irelãd that ſucceeded him, ceaſed not (as it had bene by ſome purpoſed conſpiracie) to hinder the good fortune of Reymond,The kinred of Reymond en| [...]yed. Meiller, Fitz Morice, Fitz Gerald, Fitz Stephans, & all that whole ge|neration, although no cankred enuy was able to roote out the plants of ſo plentifull an ofſpring.

Now foraſmuch as we haue to make ſo often mention of Reymond, Meiller, Heruie, Fitz Al|delme, & Fitz Stephans, being chiefe doers in the reducing of Irelãd vnder the Engliſh ſubiection, we haue thought it not impertinent to ſhew what maner of men in perſonages and qualities they were, as Giraldus Cambrenſis doth deſcribe thẽ.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 Reymond therefore was of a large & mightie ſtature,The diſcrip|tion of Rey|mond. with yellow heares a little curling, great eies, gray and round, his noſe ſomewhat in height rayſed, well coloured of viſage, with a pleaſant & me [...]rie countenance. And although he was verie corpulent, yet with a liuelineſſe of ſpirit he recom|penced the vnweldineſſe of his fleſhe, and ſo ouer|matched the groſſenes of his bodie with the ver|tue of his mind. He would paſſe the nights with|out ſleep, to ſee to the ſafetie of his army, and as a ſurueyer of the watch, he would go vp and down about the campe with marueylous care and dili|gence, ſo that ſuche bandes as were vnder hys charge, ſeldome or neuer attempted anye thing raſhly, or through negligẽce came to hinderance, neither delicate in his feeding, nor fine in his ap|parell. He would endure both heate and cold alike, yeelding to neither of them both, able to brydle wrath, & to abide al maner of painful trauails. He ſeemed rather to profite than to rule ouer thẽ that were vnder his gouernment, rather as a ſeruant than a maiſter: and to conclude, he was boun|tifull, curteous, and wiſe. And although he was right vertuous, and readie to bidde battaill, yet he excelled moſte in prudent policie and prouident foreſight, ſo as he iuſtly deſerued to be cõmended, both for a valiant ſouldiour, and a circumſpect Captaine. Thus much for Reymond.

Previous | Next

12.16. The comming of William Fitzaldelme and others ouer into Ireland. Chap. 16.

The comming of William Fitzaldelme and others ouer into Ireland. Chap. 16.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 THese things thus doone, the kings mes|sengers vpon these new changes and chan|ces were to take new aduises; and hauing throughlie debated the state of the countrie, and the necessitie of the time, they thought it best and did conclude that Reimond should tarie behind, and kéepe the countrie in good staie and order; but they themselues to returne backe to the king. Who accor|dinglie prepared themselues, and at the next wester|lie wind then following, they tooke shipping and pas|sed ouer into England; and being landed, did in post and with all the hast they could, make their repaire vnto the king; vnto whom they declared the death of the earle, & all other things concerning the state of that land. The king then vpon aduise and delibe|ration had in this matter, sent ouer William Fitz|aldelme, with twentie gentlemen of his houshold, to be his lieutenant, & ioined Iohn de Courcie in com|mission with him, who had attending vpon him ten men. Likewise Robert Fitzstephans and Miles Cogan, who had noblie serued him in his wars two yeeres, were also sent with them, hauing twentie men attending vpon them. These assoone as they were arriued, and come to land, and Reimond ha|uing vnderstanding of the same, assembleth his companie and soldiors, which was a companie well beséene, and marcheth towards Wexford, and there in the confines or marches of the same he met Fitz|aldelme and the rest of his companie, whom he verie louinglie saluted and imbraced: and forthwith accor|ding to the kings pleasure, he yéelded and deliuered vp vnto Fitzaldelme, then the kings lieutenant, all the cities and townes, as also all such hostages as he had within that land.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 Fitzaldelme when he saw and beheld so iolie and EEBO page image 41 lustie a companie about Reimond, and well mar|king also Meilerius, and others the nephues of Rei|mond, about the number of thirtie persons, moun|ted vpon their horsses, verie lustie and braue, and well beséene in like armor, with their shields about their necks, and their staues in their hands; coursing vp & downe after their maner about the fields. He enuied there at, and turning backe to his men, said secretlie vnto them; I will shortlie cut off this pride, and quaile this brauerie. Which in the end it partlie so came to passe, for both he and all the rest which followed him in that office, did as it were by a secret conspiracie, enuie and maligne at Reimond, Mei|lerius, Fitzmaurice, sonnes to Fitzstephans, and all other of their race and kindred. For this was al|waies the lucke and fortune of this kindred and fa|milie.

In all seruices of warres they were then the fore|most, and had in best price, and in all martiall af|faires they were the best and most valiant men: but when there was no such seruice in hand, and no néed of them, then were they contemned and no ac|count was made of them; but by a secret malice they were abased, reiected and refused. And albeit great was their malice, yet was their nobilitie so honorable and great; that by no meanes, doo what they could, was the same to be extirpated or rooted out. For euen at this date, such good successe hath their noble beginnings had, that their ofspring hath euer since (1) continued in that land, in much ho|nor, force and power. And to saie the truth, who per|sed the force of the enimies in that land? Euen the Geraldines. Who did best kéepe & prefer the land in safetie? The Geraldines. Who made the enimies to go backe & be afraid? The Geraldines. Who be they which for their good deserts are most maligned and enuied at? The Geraldines. Suerlie, if it had plea|sed the prince to haue considered of them, according to their deserts and worthinesse; no doubt the whole state of Ireland long yer this had béene quieted and established. But causelesse were they alwaies had in suspicion, & their worthinesse still had in gelousie: and they put in trust, as in whome was neither va|liantnesse of seruice, nor assurednesse of trust. But yet ye worthie and noble men, who for to atteine to honor, haue not béene afraid of death; and for to ob|teine fame and renowme, haue not estéemed your selues; be not dismaid, though ye be vncourteousli [...] considered, and without your deserts disdained and maligned at: but go ye onwards, and procéed in your woonted steps of vertue. And if my pen can go according to worthinesse, I shall be happie, and receiue the guerdon of vertue & immortall fame: for vertue cannot faile nor die, but either in this life or in the life to come, or in both, shall haue his iust reward and desert. And albeit your valiant seruice and worthinesse, either by the slackenes of the king, or by meanes of other mens secret and enuious practises, haue not béene hitherto considered nor rewarded: yet shall not I faile, with my pen to publish, and in my writings to remember the same. And therefore shrinke not now, neither [...]oo you giue ouer to labor and trauell from daie to daie to grow and increase in honor, fame and renowme. For the memoriall thereof (farre surpassing all the treasures in the world) for a time through malice maie be co|uered, but neuer suppressed nor extincted: but as fire long hid, shall in the end breake out into great flames, and for euer remaine in perpetuall me|morie.

About this time was borne in Gwendelocke a A monstrous man begotten vpon a cow. monstrous man, begotten by a wicked man of that countrie vpon a cow, a vice then too common in that wicked nation. It had the bodie of a man, but all the extreame parts of an oxe, for from the ankles of the legs and the wrists of the armes, he had the hoofes of an oxe, his head was all bald, sauing a few small & thin heares héere and there: his eies great, round and blacke, like an oxe; nose he had none but onelie two holes, speake he could not but onelie bel|lowed like a cow. This monster did dailie resort vn|to the house of Maurice Fitzgerald, about dinner times, and such meate as was giuen him he would take in his hoofes, and put to his mouth, and so feed himselfe, &c: but to returne to the matter. William Fitzaldelme, being now in high authoritie, and ha|uing the gouernement and charge of the land in his hands, marcheth along the sea coasts, and vieweth all the townes, forts and castels that waies: but for the inner countrie, the mounteines and hils vpon the maine land, and bordering vpon the Irishrie, he neither cared nor passed for the same: but yet misli|ked not the welth and riches thereof. For being a ve|rie greedie and a couetous man, and especiallie hun|grie to haue gold and treasure, whereof was good store in that land, he gréedilie scraped and scratched togither whatsoeuer was to be gotten.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 2 3 About this time, Maurice (2) Fitzgerald in the ka|lends of September died at Werford, whose death was lamented, & his departure be wailed of all the countrie. For whie, he was a verie graue & a valiant man, & who for his constancie, truth, courtesie & loue left not his like behind. After his death, William Fitzaldelme sent for the sonnes of the said Maurice, and so dealt with them, that he neuer left them, vntill by one means or other he had craftilie gotten from them the castell of Guendoke. Howbeit afterwards he gaue them Fernes in exchange: which albeit it were in the middle of their enimies, yet like lustie and couragious gentlemen, they builded there a strong castell, which they kept & inhabited maugre all their enimies. Walter Almane, so called in name, and not for that he was ether in nature or stature an Almane, being nephue to William Fitzaldelme, was made seneschall of Wexford; who nothing de|generated from the maners & conditions of his vn|cle, but was one who was a corrupt man in all his actions & dooings, being couetous, proud, malicious and enuious. And suerlie it is commonlie seene, that there is none lightlie woorse, than when a beggerlie rascall from nothing, and from a base estate, is ad|uanced to wealth, credit and estimation. For such a one alwaies doubting and mistrusting all things, suppresseth all things, & thinking all things to be law|full for him to doo, vseth all extremities at his will and pleasure. There cannot be (I saie) a woorse beast, than when a cruell rascall and proud begger is raised to estate, and made a ruler ouer his betters.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 This Walter entered into acquaintance with Morogh prince of Kencile, and by him being corrup|ted with great bribes, did what he could to procure the vtter destruction of Reimond, and all his fore|said coosins and kinsmen. And to begin the execution of their practises, the foresaid William first tooke a|waie from Reimond all his lands about Dublin, and about Wexford. And whereas he receiued letters of commandement from the king, to restore vnto Fitzstephans a cantred of land which he had in Ophe|lan, he being well bribed, detracted and lingered the erecution thereof: but yet in the end appointed and assigned vnto them other places which were further off and remoted; and the same the more perillous, be|cause they were in the middle of the enimies.

(1) It is verie true, that these Geraldines euen euer since haue continued in this land of Ireland, and did dailie grow and increase to much honour: there being at this instant two houses aduanced to EEBO page image 42 the titles of earledoms, and sundrie to the estates of barons. And so long as they continued in the steps of their ancestors, they were not so honourable as ter|rible to the Irish nation: but when they leauing English gouernment, liked the loose life of that vipe|rous nation, then they brought in coine and liuerie, and a number of manie other Irish and diuelish im|positions, which hath béene the ruine of their honour, the losse of their credit, & in the end will be the ouer|throw of all their houses and families.

(2) This Fitzgerald was buried, and yet lieth in a monasterie of Greie friers without the walles of the towne of Wexford, which house is now dissolued, and the monument of his buriall almost destroied: there wanting some good and woorthie man to restore the same againe. He deserued well of his prince and countrie: and therefore lamentable it is, that in so unkind a countrie no one good man is to be found, that of so woorthie a knight will not restore so woor|thie a monument.

12.17. The description of William Fitzaldelme. Chap. 17.

The description of William Fitzaldelme. Chap. 17.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 THis Fitzaldelme was a grosse and cor|pulent man, as well in stature as in pro|portion, but of a reasonable height; he was verie liberall and courtlike. And albeit he were of great courtesie, and would giue to anie man much honour and reuerence, yet was the same alto|gither with wiles and guiles: for vnder honie he gaue venem, and his sugred words were mingled with poison. And as a venemous serpent couered with gréene leaues, he with an outward shew of courtesse couered his mindfull trecherie. For to the outward shew he was liberall and courteous, but in|wardlie full of rancor and malice. In countenance pleasant, but in a stinking breast was hid a stinking vapor: outwardlie as méeke as a lambe, but within as wilie as a fox: carieng vnder swéet honie most bitter venem. His words as smooth as oile, and yet indeed they were deadlie strokes: whome he honou|red and reuerenced this daie, he would either spoile or destroie the next daie. A cruell enimie against the weake and feeble, and a flatterer vnto the rebell and mightie: gentle to the wild and sauage, and courte|ous to the enimie; but extreame to the good subiect, and cruell to the humble; and by that means he was not fearefull to the one, nor trustie to the other. A man full of flatterie, and yet altogither craftie and deceitfull. He was also much giuen vnto wine and to women. He was a gréedie couetous man, and an ambitious flatterer, being altogither bent to the one and the other.

(1) This William was the sonne of Aldelme fa|ther to Burke erle of Kent (as some saie) and his son Richard was sent into Ireland, and there greatlie aduanced: and of him (being lord of Connagh) des|cended the burgesses called Clanuicards, who were the best blood of the foresaid Richard, and these doo yet remaine in Connagh, of whom is the earle of Clan|rike now liuing.

12.18. How Iohn de Courcie inuadeth Vlster. Chap. 18.

How Iohn de Courcie inuadeth Vlster. Chap. 18.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 IOhn Courcie, who (as is before said) was ioined in commission with William Fitzaldelme, when he saw the course and maner of his dealings, who as he was co|uetous, and did nothing but for monie; so was he ti|merous, and did all things in craft and deceit: as also that the enimie feared him not, and the good subiect loued him not. And considering also that the souldi|ers and garrison at Dublin, by means of their cap|teins couetousnesse were vnpaid of their wages, and by reason of his slouth and sluggishnesse the vittels wared scant, & none went & scouted anie more abrode as they were woont to get anie booties or preies, he secretlie dealeth with some of them, and by his wife conference, and wittie persuasions, allureth and i [...]|seth vnto him euen such as were the valiantest, ho|nestest, and chosen men of them all: who were con|tent and verie glad to accompanie and follow him. And hauing so gotten into his companie two and twentie gentlemen, and about three hundred others, he boldlie entreth and inuadeth into the prouince of Ulster, a countrie which hitherto had not tried the force and strength of the English nation. And then was fulfilled the prophesie of Merlin Celodine (as is A prophesie of Merlin fulfilled. said, howbeit I will not so affirme it) A white knight sitting vpon a white horse, bearing birds in his shield, shall be the first which with force of armes shall enter and inuade [...]ster.

This Iohn Courcie was somewhat of a browne colour, but therewith somewhat whitish, and at that time he rode vpon a white horsse, as also did beare in his shield [...]ree painted (1) birds. After that he had passed three daies iourneie through the countrie of Uriell, he came the fourth daie (being the kalends of Februarie) to the citie of (2) Downe, without anie resistance of the inhabitants thereof: he being an e|nimie and a ghest vnlooked for. And (3) Odonell then the ruler of that countrie, being astonied and a|mazed at their so sudden comming, fled awaie. The souldiers which before their comming from Dublin were halfe pined with famine, and hunger starued, hauing now recouered great booties and preies of neat and cattels, were full and well refreshed.

At this verie present time, there was come thi|ther out of Scotland a legat from Rome named Uiuianus, & he tooke great pains to intreat & make a peace betwéene Odonell & Iohn de Courcie, vsing all the persuasions that he could, affirming that if he would depart and go awaie, there should be a yeare|lie tribute paid to the king of England: but all his words auailed nothing. Odonell séeing that words could little auaile, assembleth all the forces of the countrie: and within eight daies hauing gotten a|bout ten thousand souldiors, with force inuadeth, & with great courage commeth to enter & breake in|to the citie of Downe. For in Ireland, as it is com|monlie also in all other lands, they which inhabit in the north, are more warlike and cruell than anie o|thers in other parts. Iohn Courcie séeing the course and bent of the enimies, who not onelie vpon a hope and confidence of their great multitude against so few enimies; but also their valiant and couragious minds, who were fullie determined to inuade the ci|tie: thought it better with his small companie (which though they were but few in respect of their aduersa|ries, yet they were souldiors valiant, coragious, and of good seruice) to issue out and aduenture the fight with them, than to be pinned & shut vp in a begger|lie ward made with turffes in a corner of the citie, and there for want of vittels to be famished. Where|fore he issued out and ioined the battell with them, where the fight was hot, the bowes a farre off on the one side, and the darts on the other side: then lance against lance, and the bill against the spar, and the sword against the skeine: who buckled so lustilie the one against the other, that manie a man fell that daie to the dust. And in this terrible fight and buck|ling, he that had séene how valiantlie each man EEBO page image 43 shewed himselfe, and speciallie how Iohn Courcie most valiantlie with the stroke of his sword mang|led manie a man, killing some, but wounded and maimed manie, would and must néeds haue com|mended him for a right woorthie, noble, and right valiant warrior.

(1) He giueth thrée birds as this author saith, which by heralds are thus blasoned. Argent thrée griphs or geires gules crowned gold: this griph or geire is a kind of an eagle, but such as is rauenous, and fee|deth more vpon carren than vpon anie foule of his owne preieng: & for his cowardnesse carieth neither the name nor praise apperteining to the true eagle.

(2) Downe is a towne lieng in the Ards, which is in Ulster, a profitable and a fertile soile: it is the sée of the bishop of that diocesse, who beareth his name of the sad towne, being called the bishop of Downe.

(3) The Latine word is Dunlenus, which I doo find to be Englished Odonell, which is the name of a great familie or nation in the prouince of Ulster; but whether this Latine be trulie so interpreted, I re|fer it to the reader, or such as be expert in such Irish names.