James I: March 1603

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Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, 1603-1606 . Originally published by Longman and Co, London, 1872.

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James I: March 1603

1. Proclamation by the Lord Mayor of London and Privy Council, declaring the undoubted right of Our Sovereign Lord King James to the Crown of the Realms of England and Ireland. 1603. [March 24.] Proclms. James I., No. 1.

[Proclms. Jac. I., No. 1.]

[The first Patent Roll of Chancery of James I., Ireland, No. 31, contains a memorandum, stating that, on the death of Queen Elizabeth, March 24th, 1602, Sir Henry Davers, Knt., "was sent from the Court and State of England to declare to the Lord Deputy and State here of Her Highness's departure, and landed in the haven of Dublin, the 5th April 1603. (fn. 1) And thereupon the Lord Deputy Mountjoy gave order forthwith that James the Sixth of that name, King of Scotland, should be proclaimed King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland; which was done the same day, according to the effect of a proclamation sent out from England for that purpose." (fn. 2) ]

2. Sir Chas. Wilmot and Sir Geo. Thornton, Commissioners, (fn. 3) to Sir Geo. Carew, President of Munster. [March 24.] S. P., Ireland, vol. 215, 1.

The Commissioners had written to him [Sir George Carew] at Dublin complaining of the insolency of the Mayor of Cork, but fear Carew departed thence before the letter arrived. As he had given direction for the speedy forwarding of the fort at Cork, the writers sent for Capt. Slingsbie's company, which for six months had been garrisoned in the remote western parts, where they had no relief except from the Queen's store. The government having been entrusted to the writers during Carew's absence by a joint commission, they issued a warrant to the Mayor, requiring him to lodge the company within the city. They enclose a copy of his answer. On receiving it. Wilmot, as commander of the forces, required him to receive them into the town; "but he, in a slight and contemptible fashion, led thereunto by the advice of John Meade, again refused." When the company came, with colours displayed, "they violently caused the ports to be shut against them, but they entering, partly by force, when they were within the town, were forced to lodge all night in the church." This corporation has also "used many other insolent misbehaviours; as in tearing down the proclamation set up upon their town court door touching the new standard, in shutting up of all their shops, and by a general agreement forbearing to sell any wares but secretly for English coin; and when they will utter anything for the new standard money, they will not sell that under 50s., which, with English money, may be bought for 6s.; and although the prices before were intolerable, yet since the publishing of this proclamation they are enhanced." The Commissioners have not resented these indignities, but temporise. Fear alone has hitherto smothered the malice of the corporation towards Carew and his government, and they are no longer able to contain themselves. The Commissioners appeal for such remedy as may redeem the government and their reputations from the scorn and scandal. They have this day received their powers and instructions from the clerk of the Council of this province, with Carew's notes. They will set forward on Monday next, to keep sessions at Limerick, "and so through the rest of the counties." The Act of Oblivion and the general pardon will produce good results. —Cork, 24 March 1602.

Orig. Pp. 2. Signed and sealed. Add. and endd. Encloses,

II. "Relation" of Captain George Flower. [S. P., Ireland, vol. 215, 1.

He was sent by Sir Charles Wilmott to the Mayor of Cork, to demand the reason why the Mayor would not place Capt. Slingsbye's company according to his warrant. The Mayor answered, "that he doubted whether the Commissioners had any authority to command the city or not, saying that never any governor before them ever did place any by any such warrant." Flower said the President had often done so. The Mayor replied, "that my Lord President did govern them more peremptorily than ever did any before him." He said he would say the same to my Lord, if ever he came again. The Mayor desired the soldiers should go to the suburbs, but he and the Recorder refused to intreat this from Sir Charles.

Copy. P. 1. Endd.

3. Sir Charles Wilmot to Sir Robert Cecil. [March 24.] S. P., Ireland, vol. 215, 2.

He reminds Cecil of his late petition that he would speak to the Lord Treasurer (Buckhurst) for the payment of 1,000l. For this sum "300l. land of his ancient inheritance" stands engaged, and, through non-payment last Michaelmas, "lieth now at the mercy of advantage." The sum is greater than he is worth, but necessity compelled him to borrow it from captains and others of the army. He has not grown rich by the wars, though he has laboured in them 15 years, during which he has not been 15 months in his own country; "and in that time to have compassed so poor a sum as half a thousand pounds, I think I could not have followed a more mean occupation." He has, in compliance with the Queen's edicts, "put into the bank the fifth part silver."—Cork, 24 March 1602.

Orig. P. 1. Signed and sealed. Add. Endd. by Cecil's clerk.

4. W. Lord of Slane to Sir Robert Cecil. [March 24.] S.P., Ireland, vol. 215, 3.

Since Her Majesty's last proclamation, has procured, with very great difficulty, a bill of exchange of four score and fifteen, of Mr. Treasurer of Ireland (Sir G. Cary), for the furnishing home of his eldest son, who has continued in England these two years past, for his better breeding and training up in such laudable qualities as that place affords. Protests that by reason of the new coin he is not able to be at farther charge there, but has been driven to call him home. Desires Cecil to forward the payment of the said sum, as he has "never before used this course of exchange."—Slane, 24 March 1602.

Orig. P. 1. Signed and sealed. Add. Endd: "Received, 14 April 1603."

5. Ro. Walshe, Mayor of Waterford, to Lord Mountjoy, Deputy, or the Privy Council in Ireland. [March 25.] S. P., Ireland, vol. 215, 4.

Sends the examinations of certain merchants of Waterford who have arrived from Gizion (fn. 4) [Gijon], in the Astures [Asturias], and from Bilbo, in Biscay.—Waterford, 25 March 1602.

Orig. P. 1. Signed. Add. Endd.: "Received, 30th." Encloses,

II. Examinations taken before Robert Walsh, Mayor of Waterford, 25 March 1603.

Robert Leonard and James Wodlock, merchants of Waterford, being sworn, say that they left Bilbo on 12 March. Heard that a fleet was preparing at Lisbon. "Bertendona was come to Bilbo with nine mules, laden with treasure, to build certain shipping for the King." Saw eight great ships and two small ships on the stocks. There were 200 Irishmen at Groyne (Corunna), (fn. 5) "attending there to be employed by the King in that service." The King was to come to Lisbon this summer. His Queen, about two months past, was brought to bed of a daughter, which died two days after. Cownde de Fontus (Conde de Fuentes?) had 20,000 men on the borders of Italy; they were to be sent to aid the Cardinal in the Low Countries.

John Graunt and George Wodlock, merchants of Waterford, depose that the fleet at Lisbon consisted of 10,000 foot and 500 horse. "There was an impress for mariners along the coast of Biscay, and a ship stayed at Bilbo for their transportation to Lisbon." Bertendona was to build 12 ships by Midsummer. "Subeo alias Siriago, (fn. 6) was sent for to the Court, who went thither, accompanied with 18 captains."

John Wise, of Waterford, merchant, departed from Gizion [Gijon] in theAstures on the 13th inst., and arrived here this day. Went to the Court about 20 Feb. to get a release for his ship and goods. Heard that an army of 10,000 men was in preparation to be sent to Lisbon, with the Duke of Alva as general. Was told, by Owen M'Shehe that the King was resolved to prosecute the Irish expedition, and that 200 Irish officers were entertained by him in anticipation of that event.

John Sherlock, merchant of Waterford, accompanied Wise from Gizion. A Frenchman told him there was a fleet at Lisbon of nine gallions and 42 ships, with 8,000 or 10,000 men. Whither they were bound he could not learn.

Signed by the deponents and by the Mayor. Pp. 3. Endd.

[These informations will be found reported more circumstantially in the depositions of Wise and Sherlock, infra, 8, II., pp. 7–9.]

6. Sir Charles Wilmot to Sir G. Carew, President of Munster. [March 26.] S. P., Ireland, vol. 215, 5.

He and Sir Geo. Thornton have received by Mr. Bayle a joint commission, for the government of Munster in Carew's absence. Professes himself Carew's creature. Fears to come to the government of a province where Carew rules, and has ruled, as President with such distinction and success. Has sent over his brother once more for the 1,000l., and is comforted by Carew's promise. Has written to Mr. Secretary (Cecil) and the Lord. Treasurer (Buckhurst), and sends the letters unsealed to Carew, with "some examinations lately come out of Spain." Has spoken with two [merchants] who saw Edneye in the Groyne, "and doth report of him to be stayed by the King's especial command; he lieth in the Groyne very well lodged with great respect, and hath 40 ducats by the month allowed him for his diet, but hath a guard attending upon him." The master and mariners of Edney's ship expected to be discharged every day. "Patrick Arthur is very close kept, but yet hath endured no torture. Blague is likewise held, but living."

Thanks Carew for getting him the custodiam of Dunboye, where he will make "a very brave plantation" if the Spaniards do not come this summer. "Will turn his brass into walls, and hopes a brazen wall will prove invincible. Already this year, boats and ships, above 100 sail, have promised to come to him; and he has gotten 50 or 60 householders, of English, to dwell there, and 20 merchants, each of them venturing 100l., to settle there . . . If Carew will join with him, doubts not but within a very little time to make it a place of as great trade as is in all Ireland." As the custodiam is but "during pleasure," desires Carew to procure letters out of England to the Lord Deputy, "for the assuring of it." Expects shortly to be a suitor to Carew "to make it a corporation, and to get some charter for them."

No rebels are now stirring in Munster, except those in the castle of Ballingarrye in Clanmorris, who are blockaded by Capt. Boys, with 800 foot by list. Within are M'Morris himself, Gerrott Roe Stacke, Donnell O'Swillivan More, Hussey the Scholar, (fn. 7) and other principal rebels. "The place is within a huge cliff in the sea, and no way to come in or out but by a bridge. The rock is 50 fathom down into the sea, so that no boat can relieve them. Besides, he has sent boats down from Limerick . . . Their water Captain Boys hath taken from them; and there are within above 100 persons." He sends Boys's letter, showing "how he did entrap him" (M'Morris). When these shall have been "taken to mercy, then was this province never so clear of malicious traitors."

Three months victuals arrived from England for the Queen's pinnace, but Capt. Fleminge was forced to go to Plymouth for apparel, and because he had many sick men. It was a pity "both for the Malies [O'Maylies], or if any bark should come out of Spain." (fn. 8) The Assizes are to be held at Limerick the last of this month. He and Sir George mean to be there. The Chief Justice will probably not accompany them. They purpose to ride the circuit, but do not see how they can be spared from the furthering of these forts, "for the Mayor is disobedient, and deserves sharp rebuke," as the enclosed letter will show.

Four pieces of ordnance and 40 of Carew's company shall be sent to Halbolin. A constable should be appointed there, as he would look after the works. It will be a fine place. "Thinks, now that Sir Edw. Wingefeilde is out of hope of it, Carew may bestow it, as a great gift, upon those he loves dearly." The Mayor of Cork must be terrified. Has withdrawn all the companies of Carberye, saving Captain Flower's and a part of Gowen (fn. 9) Harvey's at Castlehaven. Will withdraw the better part of the garrison of Kerry, "if God bless the service now in hand there." Purposes to lodge the greater part of the army at Limerick and Kilmallock, leaving some at Cork to help the forts. Protests that Carew may dispose of him as he pleases.—Cork, 26 March 1603.

Hol. Pp. 4. Add. wanting. Endd. by Cecil's clerk:— "To the Lord President," &c. Encloses.

II. "A note of the intelligence that John Grante and Geo. Woodlock, merchants, and Nicholas Quirck, shipmaster, hath learned or heard, being in Bilboa in the ship called the Grace of Waterford."—21 March 1602. (To the same effect as the deposition of Grante and Woodlock before the Mayor of Waterford.)

"The examination of Edmond Kerraghan, master of the Saviour of Dungarvan, taken at Cork, the 25th of March 1603, before the Commissioners and Council of Muster." Hears there are 10,000 foot and 500 horse at Lisbon. An Irish priest's boy, whom he met at Bilbo, told him they were bound for Ireland. Patrick Arthur was sent for to the Court to be examined and further dealt with. Capt. Edney is at the Groyne, and has liberty to go abroad with a keeper, and lives on the King's allowance. The bark and men that went with him are enlarged.

P. 1. Endd.

III. Capt. Tho. Boys to Sir Cha. Wilmotte, Chief Commissioner for Munster.

Has received Wilmot's letter of the 16th inst., and desires to do him service, hoping at the same time to raise himself. Encloses letters. Understanding by the Bishop that M'Morris, Donell O'Swillivan, Garrot Roe, Old Husse, John M'Jeames, the Knight of Kerry's lieutenant, and some 30 of his trustiest followers, were at Ballingary, although all his men but 40 were gone to Cargefoyle to fetch the clothes, blocked them up until the coming of some others, and at the first approach possessed himself of their water. Has so surprised the castle that they have not much water, and the inmates, little and great, are not under a hundred. He will turn out the poor. Not one creature that comes shall live, unless for intelligence. O'Swillivan Beare is come secretly with three men, to fetch 40 men that stayed behind. Has prevented him, and protected them. His (O'Swillivan's) wife is in Ballingary; so is Donell O'Swillivan's and his young son. Yesternight some horse of Capt. Boys took two of M'Morris his boys, bringing them to Capt. Boys; and order being given for their hanging, the one, to save his life, offered to draw Boys upon Morris M'Ruddery and seven men with him, which he presently put in execution. Sent Capt. Coote's ancient with 25 men, who lighted upon them, and have killed all but only one man, who ran away naked and hurt. As'an assurance that Morris is killed, has his jerkin, sword, target, and murion; and it is eight to one against him, with all the rest of their arms. Hopes shortly, if please God, to make Wilmot an acceptable present that shall be for his credit. There are in Ballingary 30 cows and six chief horse that must die for want of water. Has sent to the Dingell for a boat. Prays Wilmot to send to Lumbericke to command two boats' loading of fish and butter to be instantly sent hither. Knows M'Morris hopes to escape away into Thomond by sea. Prays Wilmot to send to Donell O'Brian; fears his boats. Want of victuals, though he is in a desperate estate, shall not make him leave so honorable an action. Will kill all his cows, and pawn all his credit for corn. Begs to be informed what he shall do with these creatures. Capt. Arrundell is not yet come. Intreats him, in regard the sub-sheriff is to take much pains, to allow him 12 men upon the country. For his [Wilmot's] 40 cows, as soon as possible, they shall be taken up.—Ballingary, 20 March 1602.

Hol. Pp. 3. Add. Endd.

7. David [Barry], Viscount Buttevant, to Sir R. Cecil. [March 29.] S.P., Ireland, vol. 215, 6.

Had intended to repair to England to see the Queen and Cecil, but has been prevented by the coming of the Lord President (Carew) to this province, "and occasions of daily services." As all is now quiet here, is advised by his physicians to go to the Bath for the cure of his sore leg, caused by a fall from his horse and by his "last journey a foot to Glanegarruffe in the west." The President has sent him a letter of licence from Dublin. Will attend the President back again hither. On sending thither his second son, and to discharge the credit of his eldest son, he lately paid 400l. to the paymaster of this province. The President has written to Mr. Treasurer (Cary) for bills of exchange, "which could not be obtained but for 200l." His sons will thus be in great want there; and he desires Cecil's letters to Mr. Treasurer for passing bills for the other 200l., "and also for some competent sum" towards his own expenses thither.—Castellions [Castle Lyons], 29 March 1603.

Orig. P. 1. Signed and sealed. Add. Endd. by Cecil's clerk.

8. The Commissioners in Munster to Lord Deputy Mountjoy. [March 30.] S.P., Ireland, vol. 215, 7.

Received on the 25th, from the clerk of the Council of this province, their commission for the government of Munster in the Lord President's absence. Thank the Lord Deputy for the honour, and desire his countenance and support. On their coming to Limerick to hold sessions, certain merchants of Waterford, newly arrived out of Spain, made their repair to them (the Commissioners). Send the depositions.—Limerick, 30 March 1603.

Signed: G. Thornton; Cha. Wilmot. Orig. P. 1. Add. Endd.: "Received, 8 April, &c." Encloses,

II. Examination and Confession of John Wise, of Waterford, merchant, at Limerick, 30 March 1603.

He, John Sherlock, and others, arrived in the Mary of Waterford at Gishone [Gijon] in Asture [Asturias] on 5 Jan. last. Their bark was seized, and their men imprisoned. Wise had licence to go to Valladolid, where he was a suitor to the King from 13 Jan. to 14 Feb. An army of 10,000 foot was commanded to be ready at Lisbon by the last of March. At the house of the Secretary at Wars, Stephen de Vare, "he saw about 40 brave Spanish captains (with chains and feathers) there entertained into the King's pay" The young Duke of Alva was to be general; "and as an Ulster friar, that departed this realm with O'Donell, Owen M'Shehie, and other Irishmen told him, the said army was presently bound for Ireland." Saw Father Archer at the court, "well regarded." Don John del'Aguila is restrained in his lodging, and four of the Spanish captains that returned thither from Kimsale are in prison. "All the Irish fugitives (fn. 10) that were about the Court had moneys imprested unto them, and were all commanded thence to Lisbon. Saw four or five of them when they departed from the Court thitherwards; and neither English nor Irish pensioners but were sent thither. After their departure from Court, certain other Irishmen, that came from Ostend, were supplied with moneys, and hastened after the first to Lisbon." Owen M'Shehy told him that the King's Council at Wars had advised the King to give up the "recovery" of Ireland, but the King was resolved to go forward therewith. Teag M'Donnell-ne-Countye "was very inquisitive of him to know in what present estate Cormock M'Dermod stood." Wise replied that he had become a subject, put in his sons for pledges, procured many chief lords to give bonds for his loyalty, and had sworn allegiance. Teag was grieved, and said, "A pocks of the knave! Why did he not stay a while longer for help?" Overheard some speeches between the said Ulster friar and an Irish chaplain of Tyrone's, that all the Irishmen in Spain were to be at Lisbon by 5 March, to be shipped into Ireland. "The young men of Waterford birth that are scholars in Spain" assured him that the preparations and forces were all for Ireland. Cnocher O'Driskoll (fn. 11) was at the Groyn. Patrick Arthur and James Blake were close prisoners. The King's Council at Wars had agreed to release Wise's bark and men, 15 days before the King would sign the warrant.

After the examination of the said John Wise, Justice Comerford, employing Mr. James Sherlock, a man altogether interested in Wise, to bolt out the secrecy of the said Wise's further knowledge, gathered by his (Wise's) second report, that it is the Marquis of Palma, and not the Duke of Alva, that is to come general; that their army now to be sent over is to be seconded with a large supply from thence about Midsummer next; that Archer was called in question in regard of two letters, which taxed him with some treachery, but he proved the letters to be counterfeited. Archer, conferring with the said John Wise, taking his own beard in his hand, did swear and said, "By this beard, I will look the Lord Deputy and the Lord President in the face shortly, unless they run away from me before I can come thither."

Examination of John Sherlock, of Waterford, merchant. —A ship of Rochell arrived at Gyshone from Lisbon, laden with salt. Conferred with the master, who was a Rocheller born, and learned there were 50 sail at Lisbon, whereof 9 were gallions. "All their sailors were fed and kept together a-shipboard; Don Diego de Brochiero and, Serriago being both there." There were 8,000 footmen in readiness. The master of the French ship guessed that this army was bound for Ireland. Don John del Aguila was in the King's disfavour, and four Spanish captains, that had been in Ireland, were prisoners at the Court.

Signed: Cha. Wilmot, G. Thornton. Orig. Pp. 3.


  • 1. See infra, p. 10, "The Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy Council," April 6, 1603.
  • 2. Erck's "Repertory of the Patent Rolls of Chancery in Ireland," Vol. I. Part I., p. 17.
  • 3. For Munster; appointed during the absence of Sir George Carew. See Calendar of Carew MSS., IV., p. 444.
  • 4. By an evident mistake of the clerk who copied the depositions, spelled, here and throughout the depositions, with S, instead of G.
  • 5. Sometimes, but erroneously, supposed to be Logroño. La Corunna, in the English of the Elizabethan period, was called The Groyne or Groine, sometimes Groyen, and occasionally Garonne. The Spanish armada is said in the account in Hakluyt's Voyages to have sailed from Lisbon "for the baie of Corunna, alias the Groine, in Gallicia," Voyages, I., 256. Folio, London, 1598.
  • 6. Sic; but properly "Sibiero, alias Seriago." See Pacata Hibernia, p. 325; also Calendar of Carew MSS., IV. 123. He was a vice-admiral of the Spanish navy. The name also called Zubiaur and Zubiare, Pacata Hibernia, p. 587.
  • 7. Called in the Pacata Hibernia "Oliver Hussie, a schoolmaster, a most pernicious member in this traiterous combination," p. 258.
  • 8. The allusion, although obscure, seems to be to an apprehended landing of the O'Mayleys and O'Flaherties on the Kerry coast. See Pacata Hibernia, p. 224, as also Carew MSS. III. 53. The absence of the pinnace left the coast open to this or to a Spanish invasion.
  • 9. Gawen Harvie, Pacata Hibernia, p. 74 and p. 89.
  • 10. A list of these exiles is given in the Calendar of Carew MSS. III. 200–2. It is also found in the Pacata Hibernia, 424–30. It is interesting to compare the names here given with the list.
  • 11. Called in the Carew MSS. "Conor O'Driscoyle," and in Pacata Hibernia "Conner Odristchall, eldest sonne to Sir Finnie Odrischall."