James I: April 1604

Pages 156-164

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

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James I: April 1604

229. Earl of Ormond to Cecil. [April 2.] S.P., Ireland, vol. 216, 12.

The great favour done by Cecil to him and his son-in-law, the Lord Viscount Butler, as well in furthering their late suits there as also for the letters in which he joined with the Lord Lieutenant in signifying His Majesty's pleasure that none of his entailed possessions should be passed to any other upon any general warrant, fills him with gratitude to Cecil and to His Majesty. And now that the purposes of some to prevent him are stayed by his gracious and royal care, he has determined to make suit, that His Highness will enlarge his interest in those possessions which he holds, and to consider of such other his requests as the bearer, Mr. Robert Roth, shall exhibit on his behalf. Prays Cecil to give his best furtherance to the effecting of this suit.—Carrick, 2 April 1604.

P. 1. Signed. Endd. by Cecil's clerk. Add.

230. Viscount Butler to Cecil. [April 6.] S.P., Ireland, vol. 216, 13.

Thanks Cecil for the manifold favours which he has showed towards him at all opportunities, and trusts that his wonted favours will in all hereafter continue, as he has had experience of them in the past.—Carrick, 6 April 1604.

Pp. 1. Signed. Endd. by Cecil's clerk. Add.

231. The King to Sir Geo. Carey, Lord Deputy. [April 11.] Docquet Book, April 11.

Letter to the Lord Deputy in favour of Sir Garret Moore, for a lease in reversion for 60 years of all such lands as already he holdeth of His Majesty in Ireland.

[The letter is given in full, under date April 12, by Erck, Calendar, p. 173.]

232. Warrant to remit to the Countess Dowager of Kildare, widow of Henry Brooks, Lord Cobham lately attainted, in lieu of her assurance for life of 1,500l. yearly out of the possessions of the Lord Cobham escheated, a fee-farm charge of 20l. 13s. 4d. and an annuity of 43l. 6s. 8d.; and to grant to her, or persons to be named in her behalf, in immediate possession, lands to the value of 1,001l. 8s. 3¾d., together with certain woods pertaining thereto. [April 13.] S.P., Ireland, Add. Papers, 6.

Pp. 2. Copy, not signed or sealed. Endd.: "Countess of Kildare, xiii April 1604."

233. Ambrose Forth to Cecil. [April 13.] S.P., Ireland, vol. 216, 14.

Is advertised that his long suit begun to the late Sovereign, revised to His Majesty, and referred to the allowance of the right honourable the Lords of the Council, is staid upon some imputation of wealth. Most humbly thanks God for his estate, which far exceedeth his deserts, (albeit being near beggary), and wishes that His Majesty had the wealth of many of his dutiful subjects redoubled. Thereby Ireland might be enabled to bear the charge of that government, without daily exhausting His Majesty treasure, and without breeding up for want of means a beggarly brood of rebels, which increase of ability within that realm might suppress.

Touching himself, he may justly affirm that, having there served these 32 years, hitherto he has neither been burthensome to the Crown nor chargeable to the country, making his faculty his revenue, his frugality his thrift, running his whole course without top or top-gallant; and if further he shall be enabled by Cecil's honourable furtherance, receiving it as a matriculation into his undeserved favour, his duty thereby shall be spurred forward, not alone to His Majesty's service (whereunto they all stand bound), but to some private acknowledgment towards Cecil, whom may the Almighty increase with many graces.—" Dated at my poor farmhouse of the Cabragh, near Dublin, this 13th day of April 1604."

Hol. P. 1. Endd. by Cecil's clerk. Add.: "To the right honorable the Lord Cecil."

234. The King to the Lord Deputy. [April 14.] Docquet Book, April 14.

Letter to the Lord Deputy, to accept surrender of letters patents granted to Sir Randal M'Donel, Knight, of the countries of the Route and Glyns in Ulster, and other lands there, and to re-grant the same to him and his heirs in fee-farm, inserting the island of Rathlyns, omitted in the former grant.

[This letter is printed by Erck, Calendar, p. 166. The original grant herein referred to is given at p. 8 of the same volume.]

235. Petition of Lewis Rogers, principal chirurgeon of the army in Ireland, to the Lords of Her Majesty's Privy Council. [April 15.] S.P., Ireland, Add. Papers, 7.

Has served for 13 years as principal chirurgeon of the army in Ireland, and arrears of his entertainment have grown to 1,014l., besides 200l. for the keeping of carriage horses, and 17 or 18 horses lost and killed in following the army.

Prays that the King may be pleased that he shall have this amount in lands, money, or pension.

[To the petition is appended an order],—

At the Court at Whitehall the 15 of April 1604.

"Whether this petitioner's demands be just and whether so much debt be due, must appear upon better examination and certificate. But inasmuch as he is much commended for skill in surgery and special service, we think him very meet to be preferred to His Majesty's service, and (so as he do wholie acquit and discharge the said 1,000l.) that he may have, if H. M. be graciously pleased, a pension of fyfty pounds a year."

Signed: Devonshire. Ro. Cecyll. P. 1.

236. Sir J. Davyes to Cecil. [April 19.] S.P., Ireland, vol. 216, 15.

Is not certain that his letters come to his Lordship's hands, yet presumes they do, and therefore continues this duty, yet hopes that his Lordship may receive these letters in an instant of good leisure, for otherwise they cannot but be tedious and troublesome.

This Lent the Chief Baron and himself have had a circuit or progress over the greatest part of Leinster, as justices of assize and gaol delivery, which has given him a better light and overture of the state of things than he should have had, had he rested in one place. They had sessions in seven several shires, and in every of them they found many civil and substantial gentlemen and freeholders, who understood and dispatched their business in every way as well as justices of peace or jurors do in England. The prisons were not very full, and yet the crimes whereof the prisoners stood accused were for the most part but petty thefts; but as for robberies by the highway, burglaries, or murders, it bred in them both wonder and comfort to see the country so clear of these offences. In a word, they found the public peace well established within the Pale and counties adjoining, especially in Lease [Leix] and Offaly, which, being the seat of the Moores and Connors, they expected to find most subject to disorder; but they being well-nigh destroyed and rooted out by the late war, the English families that are planted there begin to govern the country, and such of the Irishry as remain, such as M'Coghlan, O'Molloy, O'Doyn [O'Dunne], O'Dempsie, they seem to conform themselves to a civil life, and gave their attendance very dutifully.

Marry, when they came to the county of Caterlough, the greatest part whereof is possessed by the sect of the Kavanaghs, whereof Donell Spaniagh regards himself as chief, and borders upon the Birne's country, whereof the sons of Feagh M'Hugh are principal Lords, they understood that a great part of that shire and of the county of Wexford was spoiled and preyed upon by 80 or 100 armed kern, commanded by one Edward M'Brian, of the sect of Birnes, and one James M'James Butler. The Lord Deputy has sent a company or two of soldiers to surprise them, but they will as soon take them as a hare with a tabor, for they have already scattered themselves, and are fled into the Butler's country and into Mounster; but the soldiers shall be no sooner retired than they will return with a greater number in the same place.

But if Donald Spaniagh would deserve his pension that he hath of the King, or if the sons of Feagh M'Hugh would do a service for their several pardons which they have had, the gentlemen that are honest subjects of that country declared that they could bring in their heads or their bodies at their pleasure, for in their towns these vagabonds are relieved; there they divide the spoils, and their country is the only mustering place or rendezvous of all the discontented and loose persons in the kingdom. And certainly the insolency of those mountain kernes has ever bred in the Irishry a scorn and contempt of the English Government; for they think it an easy matter to make a head in the north, or in Connaught, or in Munster, when they perceive that, under the eye or nose of the State, a rabble of rude churls continually affront and contemn the public justice; and though they have been often fired out of their fastness, yet they presently thereupon obtain their pardons, as if the State feared them and would be glad to pacify them upon any terms. There are not many weeks past since the Earl of Tyrone, the Viscount Mountgarrett, Phelim M'Feaugh, Redmond M'Feaugh, and, as it would seem, Donel Spaniagh too, met all together at Carlow, and in their riot and drinking swords were drawn, and mischief was like to be done. And yet of themselves they grew friends again, and had conference together, though to what end he (Davies) knows not; only this he dares affirm, that it was not to this end, that religion and peace might be established in this kingdom.

The Earl of Tyrone is now at Dredagh (Drogheda), settled with his family; and, although he is poorer than ever he was, and though he and all his followers are not able to manure the 20th part of his own country, yet he takes leases of other men intermixed with the lands of Terlogh M'Henry [O'Neil], his kinsman, who is now exempted from his signiory and command, to the end, as Davies hears, he may make a quarrel and controversy with Tirlogh. Again, he seeks to secure that, by order from the State, all the tenants who formerly dwelt in his country, but are now fled into the Pale and other places to avoid his extreme cutting and extortion, should be returned unto him by compulsion; albeit those tenants had rather be strangled than returned unto him, for he will be master both of their bodies and goods, and exercise a greater tyranny now than he would have done if they had never departed. And yet it is certain that these tenants are not his bondmen or villeins, but the King's free subjects; for he himself confesseth that, if they had given him a quarter or six months warning they might have departed lawfully, which, if they were bondmen or villeins, they could not do.

Knows that this demand of his is not agreeable with the law of England, which is in force here, neither standeth it (under reformation) with reason of state or policy that he should have such interests in the bodies of the King's subjects; for it was this usurpation upon the bodies and persons of men that made him able to make war against the State of England, and made his barbarous followers think they had no other King than Tyrone, because their lives and their goods depended upon his will. And certainly such tenants at will enabled the Earl of Warwick, in the time of Henry VI., and the great Lords in the times of the barons' wars, to raise so great a multitude of men; whereas at this day if any of the great Lords of England should have a mind to stand upon their guard, well may they have some of their household servants or retainers, or some few light-brained factious gentlemen to follow them; but as for their tenants who have good leases for years, or being but copyholders, seeing that by the law at this day they may bring an action of trespass against their Lords, if they dispossess them without care of forfeiture;— those fellows will not hazard the losing of their sheep, their oxen, and their corn, and the undoing of themselves, their wives and children, for the love of the best landlord that is in England. Hopes in this next Parliament to see an Act passed in this land, that shall enjoin every great Lord to make such certain and durable estates to his tenants, which would be good for themselves, good for their tenants, and good for the commonwealth. Speaks not this as if he thought the Earl durst ever return to action of rebellion; for he knows that he is old and poor, and his country extremely depopulated, and that he is hateful to every man in other parts of the kingdom, which felt the misery of the late war, insomuch that when he passed through the Pale the last day some gentlemen of the better sort refused to lodge him, yet thinks that he covets exceedingly to hold his greatness in his old barbarous manner. Else why should he desire so much to have the garrisons removed out of his country, or why should he repine to have a sheriff appointed in the county of Tyrone? Indeed he understands there is no sheriff appointed for this year in that county, but in the other shires of Ulster sheriffs are nominated; though God knows they have not much exercise of their office, for the form of English justice had not been seen there these many years, until the Chief Baron, about nine months since, visited some parts of that province; but if God will, within these few weeks, Mr. Chief Baron and himself will take their journey northwards, to hear and determine matters among that rude people. They were exceedingly delighted with the Chief Baron's coming thither the last summer; and truly that province doth need a visitation of justice, for in Tirconnell Neal Garve O'Donnell, taking opportunity of the Earl of Tirconnell's absence, hath gotten many followers, hath possessed himself of the tenants and herds of cattle, and has grown so strong that the Earl seems to hold it not safe to return thither, but lies here within the Pale, very meanly followed.

In Fermanagh, which is M'Guire's country, Coconaght, the brother of Hugh M'Guire, who was slain in rebellion, and O'Connor Roe M'Guire, whose service the Lord Lieutenant used against them both, in a manner make war one against the other, and have had several encounters and men slain on both sides, because young Coconaght dislikes the division of the country which the State made betwixt them, albeit he did once assent thereunto. In Down and Antrim, there is a wild kern, who they say is a Scottish Irish; they call him Gillasfech (Gillaspie) M'Alexander, who, with threescore or fourscore men at his heels, spoils and wastes the country. But it is expected shortly that Sir Arthur Chichester, who is lately returned towards Knockfergus, will scatter and suppress them.

This is the state of Ulster; for Munster and Conaught, he does not hear but those provinces are quiet, and understands that in Conaught my Lord of Clanricard hath disarmed all the kern and horsemen. Doubts not but that, if the like were done elsewhere, in a short time so secure a peace would follow, that the King shall need to nourish but a small army here. Many things want reformation, which he doubts not had been redressed ere this, if the sickness had not scattered the Council of State and interrupted the course of public justice; but if a Parliament were soon holden, the churches re-edified, a learned ministry planted, more judges sitting in the courts of justice, and the laws roundly executed but for one year, he verily believes this nation would be in some measure happy, would have a taste and a feeling of that happiness, and would be as willing to be ruled as the people of England.

And as for the matter of religion, he will not but believe that, if the churches were built again (for they are all ruined in every place that he has seen), and divine service said in them, the great part of the common people would presently and voluntarily come to church; for though the apostacy of the gentlemen and merchants be great, yet it is not so general of all the commons as they talk of; but it is the religion and ignorance of their own (Protestant) clergy here that hath caused this disposition, more than the insinuation and diligence of the priests and Jesuits, who were not sent thither only to plant their religion here, but to withdraw the subject from his allegiance, and so serve the turn of Tyrone and the King of Spain. And as this cause has now ceased, they would with all their hearts leave this miserable country, and would be glad to hear of a proclamation of banishment, that they might have a good excuse to depart. FitzSimons, the priest, now prisoner in the castle, as his Lordship knows, made suit to be banished; and he (Davyes) assures himself the rest would be well pleased to be gone with him; for they that go up and down the Cross of Tipperary get nothing but bacon and oatmeal, the people are so poor.

Thus far has he presumed to interrupt his Lordship's great business.—Dublin, 19 April 1604.

Hol.? Pp. 6. Sealed. Endd. by Cecil's clerk. Add.: "Solicitor of Ireland to Cecil."

237. The King to Lord Deputy Carey. [April 19.] Docquet Book, April 19.

Letter to the Lord Deputy Carey, to authorize him, being Treasurer, to send over into England his book of accounts.

[A letter of similar purport for the accounts of the previous year to Sir George Carey, is printed by Erck, under date 9 August 1603, Calendar, p. 23.]

238. Warrant for 50l. Annuity to Lewis Rogers. [April 23.] Docquet Book, April 23.

An annuity of 50l. granted to Lewis Rogers, in satisfaction of a debt of 1,014l. sterling, due to him for his entertainment as Principal Chirurgion of the army in Ireland by the late Queen.

239. Sir Edw. Fysher to Sir Thos. Lake, Principal Secretary of the Signet. [April 23.] Add. Papers, Ireland.

Prays him to have corrected a defect in the King's letter, whereof my Lord Deputy maketh scruple, by having the word "sterling" inserted after the sum therein named. Cannot pass his accounts till this shall have been done.—Dublin, 24 April 1604.

Hol. P. ½. Add.: "To my honorable friend Sir Thomas Lake, Knight, His Mties principale clarke of the Signett."

240. Sir George Carey to Cecil. [April 26.] S.P., Ireland, vol. 216, 16.

The sickness still continuing in Dublin, he has adjourned this Easter term, and has provided that Midsummer term may be kept at Tredaughe [Drogheda], Purposes that at that time those jurors who acquitted Mead, the recorder of Cork, be called into the Castle Chamber and receive some exemplary punishment for their corrupt verdict. In this business it is very necessary that Sir Richard Boyle be present, for he is a principal witness of those proceedings, and necessary to deliver his knowledge viva, voce.

Sends those examinations, that he may see that though the King may be very temperant, His Highness's father was not made of pewter vessel or of dead flesh; but because he finds the matter of no moment, he has given order for her (fn. 1) [their] enlargement upon bail.

Being desirous to dispatch some business, he and Mr. Fran. Richard purpose to lie at Leeslippe [Leixlip], seven miles from Dublin.

Beseeches that the sheriff, justice, and the Master of the Rolls may be speedily sent hither, both for keeping their circuits, and exercising their places, so that the people may begin to taste of justice. The King is at charge and his services are not doing. Prays Cecil to procure him leave of His Majesty to come over, if it be but for three or four months, for the dispatch of his business.—Dublin, 26 April 1604.

Hol. P. 1. Sealed. Endd. Add.: "Carey to Cecil."

241. The King to the Earl of Devonshire, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and to Sir George Carey, the King's Deputy there. [April 27.] Philad. P., vol. 1, p. 37.

By order of the Queen, the King's sister deceased, made during the late rebellion in Ireland, the children of those who should be slain in the wars should bear their wardships to their own use. And whereas Elizabeth Norreis, daughter to Sir Thomas Norreis, Knight, late President of Munster, being the King's ward, has been obtained from him, the Deputy, as the King understands, by a pretence made by Sir Francis Kingsmill of procuring it to the child's own use, and now is by him offered again to sale and converted wholly to his own benefit; the Deputy is to call Sir Francis Kingsmill before him, and if the information be true, he is to require him to assign the benefit of that wardship to such friends as the Lord Norreis and the Lady Norreis, widow of the said Sir Thomas and mother of the child, shall nominate. Sir Francis Kingsmill is also to give up the jointure lands of Lady Norreis, and allow her quietly to enjoy them. And the King having formerly discharged all arrears of rent due to him upon the lands held by said Elizabeth Norreis, in regard of the waste done upon them during the late rebellion, and it being supposed that Ballehagg may be forfeited for such arrears, the Lord Deputy is to make a new lease to Sir Daniel Norton of Tysteed, in the county of Southampton, for so many years as are unexpired of the former lease at same rent and conditions.—Westminster, 27 April 1604.

P. 1. Orig. Add. Endd.

[Printed in Erck's Calendar, p. 34, but there addressed only to the Earl of Devonshire, Lord Lieutenant.]

242. Auditor Ware's information against Auditor Peyton, for the Accounts of Ireland. [April 28.] S.P. Ireland, vol. 216, 17.

Understands that Mr. Peyton has exhibited a petition against him in England. The only object is to prevent his [Ware's] complaint against him, that he has left 17 several accounts behind for these five years last past to be taken by him; which Ware forwards for Cecil's view. Peyton has only taken two foreign accounts within that time, though he has by patent 50l. per annum for those accounts, and has had also 13s. 4d. per diem extra for a time, besides 100l. per annum for the revenue accounts. Seems to conceive himself to be injured, by the King's appointing an assistant at His Majesty's own charge of 10s. per diem to perform that labour which Mr. Peyton himself ought to have done. The loss is great, but the accountants excuse themselves that they were ready to have yielded account, if they had been called. Ja. Ware.—Dublin, 28 April 1604.

Hol. P. 1. Sealed. Add. Endd.: "Jas. Ware to Cecil."

243. The King to the Lord Deputy. [April 30.] Docquet Book, April 30.

Letter to the Lord Deputy, for a pension of 4s. Irish, by the day, to be granted to Captain Walter Edney for life.

[Erck's Calendar, p. 166.]

244. Lords of the Council to Sir George Carey, Lord Deputy and Treasurer at Wars. [April 30.] Philad. P., vol. 3, p. 15.

At the suit of Sir Arthur Chichester, Governor of Carrickfergus, for 500l. sterling, arrear of 700l. due to him from His Majesty, and in regard of the said gentleman's merit and good services to the State, the Lord Deputy is required to pay the said sum out of the revenue due or to grow due to His Majesty from time to time within the government of Carrickfergus.—Court at Whitehall, 30 April 1604.

P. 1. Certified copy. Endd. in Sir Arthur Chichester's hand: "A coppie of the LL. letters to the L. Deputie & Treasorer of Ireland for payment of my debt of five hundred pounds."

245. War Accounts. [April [ ].] Add. Papers, Ireland.

Licence to the Lord Deputy of Ireland to transport his ledger book of accounts for the wars for one year and a half, ending the last of September 1603, with all the warrants, concordatums, imprest bills, &c. from Ireland to England.— Whitehall, [ ] April 1604.

P. 1. Endd.: "To the L. Deptie, to send over his ledger book of accounts, 16 April 1604."


  • 1. Sic in original.