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Leinster. The death of his father, James 15th Earl, known in pedigrees as the traitor, occurred in 1558. The earldom extended over 110 miles, and contained more than half a million acres, with many strong castles and walled towns; its revenues were computed by a Baron of the Exchequer, anno 1515, at 10,000/., and, in Garrett's own time, at 40,000 gold pieces. In Kerry he exercised royal authority as Count Palatine;-he boasted higher privileges and immunities than any other peer in Ireland, and his ancestors having for centuries assumed the rude sway of a Celtic dynasty over many inferior lords-domineered with the combined powers of feudality and chieftainry, the ruling systems of the Norman and Celtic races. On raising his banner he was at once leader of 600 horse and 2000 foot-but this force he could readily double by an unlimited custom of quartering mercenary auxiliaries upon his vassals. The extensive forests and mountain fastnesses of his remote principality inspired a confidence that he might not only revenge an hereditary quarrel, but even defy the hostility of the Crown. Such dominion proved fatal to a man of haughty and intractable character, at a time when the growing authority of monarchy and law was opposed to the barbarous rule of clanship and he became the ingens rebellibus exemplar of Irish history. The black Earl of Ormond-between whose house and the Geraldines there was ancient and deadly feud-laid claim to the Desmond estates in right of his mother, who was the heiress of a deceased Palatine-(viz. James 11th Earl of Desmond, ob. 1529)—and moreover was the first wife of this Garrett;-and there is reason to believe that the vindictive enmity of that great nobleman to his stepfather-together with the unrelenting policy pursued towards Earl Garrett-(whose vast possessions were an inducement to make, or proclaim, him a rebel)-were the actual causes of the sixteenth Desmond's destruction—and that, to use his own expressive phrase, he was wrung into undutifulness.' His life was one of contradiction and vicissitude. Born a younger son, the bequest of his traitor father (who had divorced a former wife on pretence of consanguinity) was his weak title to peerage and estates-until confirmed by the Queen, on condition of his furthering the Protestant interest: yet, in after times, his power was employed in advancing Romanism. When at the head of 5000 men, confronting a superior force under Ormond, he was only restrained from falling upon him by the entreaties of his own wife -the mother of his enemy; and, one short month after her death, was attacked by that same Ormond-when attended only by his usual retinue, some nine score men, and carried off in a wounded condition. At one time, he feasted the chiefs of a province in the great hall of Askeaton; at another, starved with a few wretched kerne'

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kerne' in a hollow tree: and gave chase to the red deer and the wolf on his own wild mountains; or was immured for many years in Leeds Castle, Kent, or in the Tower of London.

During Earl Garrett's incarceration, James Fitz-Maurice, a near relative,* acted as seneschal, or lieutenant, over his estates. The patrimony of this man, a fertile barony south of the city of Cork, called Kerrycurrihy, had passed by mortgage to a Kentish knight, who had the custody of the Earl's person. The captive secretly sent an intimation to his seneschal to assume the leadership of the clan; on this hint FitzMaurice raised, with some difficulty, a sanguinary insurrection -ravaged the lost paradise of Kerrycurrihy-aroused, for the first time, the war-cry of religion-and carried on for several years a guerilla warfare, only to be appeased by the liberation of his politic chief. In reward of this exploit, the Palatine of Desmond granted him the manor of Carrickfoyle; but, on the Countess remonstrating at such an alienation of the domains of the earldom, the gift was revoked. The enraged desperado fled to the continent, ostensibly in quest of 'aid for the persecuted Catholics; but intent on recovering his paternal estate, and, perhaps, supplanting his chief, whose title he assumed when abroad. At Madrid he fell in with a ruined Sassenach adventurer, Tom Stukely, and the congenial pair proceeded to Rome, where they were 'prince-like entertained,' and succeeded in imposing upon Gregory XIII. with a plan for invading the Green Isle. The infatuated pontiff had promised to confer all the British dominions upon Philip II., provided that monarch could conquer them!-but, on Stukely's representing to his holiness that he could with facility raise his own nephew,' Giacomo Buoncompagno, to the Irish throne, Gregory embraced the suggestion-assembled an army of 800 banditti, culled from the jails and galleys of the Ecclesiastical States-appointed Stukely to be vice-admiral of the fleet, and created him Baron of Idrone, Earl of Wexford and Carlow, and Marquis of Leinster. The career of this lord of lavish and spurious titles was brief and inglorious. On his invasive voyage he landed at Lisbon, where he was persuaded by Sebastian of Portugal to engage himself and


Fitz-Maurice was apparently adopted very generally as a surname among the wide-spread descendants of Maurice Fitzgerald, first Earl of Desmond. Another great branch of the Geraldines, that of which the Marquis of Lansdowne is chief, seems also to have favoured the same patronymic, which is still retained, in memory of an earlier Maurice, common ancestor of all the Irish lines. We need hardly observe that the use of surnames, in our sense of that term, was extremely lax and irregular among the Anglo-Irish, long after it had been pretty well settled in England. Many Geraldines, it is plain, were designated merely as Fitz-John or Fitz-William, according to the baptismal name of their own immediate progenitors.

his troops in his service, and, sailing with that prince on his fatal expedition to Barbary, fell with him at the battle of Alcazar.

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The end of the Hibernian conspirator was less distinguished. The Pope, indeed, gave him the high-sounding title of generalissimo, and, in the same bull, confirmed his claim to the coveted patrimony by styling him Lord of Kerrycurrihy.' FitzMaurice, thus ennobled-sanguinely sailed for Ireland with three ships and 100 men-and startled the isle from its propriety by landing at Dingle on the 18th July, 1579-following-in solemn procession-three zealous divines, the celebrated Dr. Sanders, as Papal Nuncio, the Jesuit Alen, and O'Mulrian, titular Bishop of Killaloe, in full canonicals, with crozier and mitre: before which trio two friars bore the Pope's standard'—an especially consecrated banner. Signal fires blazed on the mountains, and scouts despatched to every disaffected chief exaggerated the numbers of the invading friends of freedom, and spread rumours of coming reinforcements of Spanish argosies, laden with veterans, arms, and Indian gold. Some five hundred Italians and Spaniards indeedthe precursors of the Armada-landed a year afterwards, and were slain without mercy by Arthur Lord Grey and Sir Walter Raleigh-the Arthegal and Talus of the Faery Queen. Tall ships were reported off the coast! Of the Earl of Desmond's force of twelve hundred men, all but a few joined the rebel camp, where the holy banner-picturing the crucifixion-was displayed daily to increasing numbers, and hailed with the new slogan of Papa-aboo! The viceroy sent for men, arms, and money from England-he could only borrow two hundred pounds in Dublin on the security of the state!—and, promising that he himself would visit the guests with adventure of his life,' admonished Burleigh to stand stoutly to the helm, for a great storm was at hand!' The gathering tempest, though differing in nature from that which scattered the Armada, was not less retributive. James, the Lord of Kerrycurrihy,' soon fell in a miserable brawl, and his body became a target for the soldiery: the Jesuit was slain in battle: and the Nuncio died at last of hunger in a wood, where his remains were found half devoured by wolves. The command of the insurgents was assumed by a younger brother of the Desmond, who remained personally inactive-but proofs of whose collusion were found on the corpse of the Jesuit. Presently, therefore, when the Palatine-who claimed a privilege of 'not coming to the governor of Ireland unless he listed—failed to attend the repeated summons of a commander of the Queen's forces, an attack was made on his castle of Askeaton, the tombs of his ancestors in the adjoining abbey were destroyed, the country ravaged with fire and sword-and he himself finally proclaimed

a traitor

a traitor by sound of trumpet. The haughty Geraldine, goaded on every side, then threw off the mask, and rushed 'frantically' into open rebellion.

His fate is related with not unaffecting simplicity by Sir Richard Baker, the oracle of Coverley Hall :


Desmond possessed whole counties, together with the palatinate of Kerry, and had of his own name and race at least five hundred gentlemen at his command; all of whom, and his own life also, he lost within the space of three years, very few of the house being left alive.' We must, however, pause for a brief retrospect of some particulars. The reigning Countess (our Sligo lady) had frequently been a me diatrix between her 'mad-brained' consort and the English satraps. As Palatine he administered justice but indifferently in the kingdom of Kerry,' as that district, in which the king's writ, if it ran, ran away, is still called. Beside its own supply of lawless men— an especially formidable band of whom were known, in Gaelic, as the Old Evil Children of the Wood-the rebels, outlaws, and cattle-lifters of other counties sheltered themselves within the sanctuary which this palatinate liberty afforded. Sir William Drury-recently in command on the Scottish frontier, where he had daunted the thieves of the borders and made the rush-bush keep the cow'-was appointed to the newly-created presidency of Munster; and, without caring for musty patents, announced his intention of executing justice' within the privileged rule of the Geraldine principality. The Lord Palatine was furious-but, dissembling his passion, sent hospitable offers to Sir William, desiring that he and his retinue, when passing through Kerry, would visit his house at Tralee. The President, having held sessions at different towns, rode over accordingly- but attended by a guard of only 120 soldiers. The Irish Earl had, in the mean while, assembled some 800 chosen followers, intending-if the chronicler Hooker is to be believed-to surprise his unsuspecting guest, and, instead of a bien venu into the country, to have cut him off from ever coming there again.' The courageous Englishman-met by this apparently hostile array-ordered his men to charge; but, continues the chronicle, the Palatine and his company, though well armed and seven to one, being as it were astonished, forsook the fields and dispersed themselves into the woods.' On riding up to the house to learn the meaning of this strange affair, Drury was met by the Countess, who fell on her knees, held up her hands, and with trilling tears praied his patience and pardon, excusing, as well as she could, her husband's follie; she declared that the company, so precipitate in flight, had been assembled as a great hunting-party to welcome him as Lord President, and had merely advanced on seeing

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his lordship approach. And herein she so wiselie and modestlie did behave hirselfe,' that Drury was satisfied, and the untoward occurrence overlooked. Now-by our faith in St. Hubert! --the Earl, however sore, was not yet mad, and only meant to gratify his guest with the spectacle of one of those grand chases for which the Highlands of Scotland and the sylvan regions of Ireland were celebrated; and his lady might have pointed, like Edith in the 'Talisman,' to the headless lances of the horsemen ! Sir James Ware alludes to the martial games of the Irish cavalry, performed with darts not headed with iron, and to their hunting of the stagg, a recreation much resembling the affairs of war. When Ormond, Clanricarde, or Kildare sounded their bugles'A thousand vassals mustered round,

With horse, and hawk, and horn, and hound.'

The cavalcade the Earl had assembled included, in all likelihood, many of the best born of the Desmonians, and some hot chiefs of Celtic race-men who would hardly have fled, with odds so much in their favour, had human bloodshed been intended. Our rural grandee wished to honour the representative of Majesty with a chivalrous compliment; but the President was distrustful, and lost a day of magnificent sport.

In 1579, after Desmond had committed himself by acts of undisguised violence, his Countess brought their only son to the English camp, as a hostage, and entreated for mercy. Though not aware of the displeasure which Elizabeth had shown at the proceedings against her husband, her first impulse was to hasten over to plead his cause at the foot of the throne; and she wrote to Ormond to obtain the permission of the Viceroy, Sir William Pelham, adding that she meant to sell her kine to provide the means of travelling.' Her request was forwarded:- I have considered,' answered Pelham, my ladie of Desmond's letter, and truly I take it for a dream: for if my ladie can be a traitor and a true woman at her pleasure, and enjoy her husband's goods and lands, and her own libertie, as if no offence had been committed, she hath the best hap of any ladie living; therefore I pray your lordship stay your hand from this her vain petition till our meeting, and answer her letter with silence, for it deserveth none other. Lady Desmond continued to share all the misery of her lord's proscribed state. In the following year (1580) Pelham writes to the Queen-dating his despatch from our Palatine's ancestral castle at Askeaton-the Earl, without rest anywhere, flieth from place to place, and maketh mediation for peace by the Countess, who yesterday I licensed to have speech with me here, whose abondance of tears bewrayed sufficientlie the miserable state both of herself, her husband,

*MS., State Paper Office, and Pelham's Journal, Carew MS. 597.


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