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as an effect, perchance, of this connexion with the powerful sept of Clan Carthy, when his nephew, the then Lord of Desmond, invaded the territory of their chief, he sided with the Irish enemy.' An engagement took place at Mourne, disastrous to the Geraldine peer:-18 'banners of galloglasses,' each standard being followed by about 80 men, and 24 banners of horse,' mustering from 20 to 50 horsemen to each pennon, were slain on his side; so that the loss amounted to some 2000 of the best men, without reckoning the light-armed 'skipping kernes.' The battle was fought in September 1520. The Lord-Lieutenant, the first Earl of Surrey (the hero of Flodden) writes to the King on this overthrow of the potentate of the southern Englishry :-'The most part of them that overthrew him be Irishmen, and I fear it will cause them to wax the prouder, and also shall cause other Irishmen to take pride therein, setting the less by Englishmen.' The historian of the Geraldines observes that this defeat was the first dimming of their glory. He afterwards gravely records, as a subject for gratulation' to the bald' knight-that 'two lords of Muskerry (one of whom was his wife's father) fell beneath his sword!' Warmth of blood varied in the thermometer of Irish relationship, for Sir Thomas's first act on succeeding to the earldom, in the year 1529, was to grant, in perpetuity, the country of the Decies to his reigning wife's father-Sir John Fitz-Gerald of Dromana. Having made a promise to Henry VIII. to send his grandson over to the court, (as was customary with the heirs of the nobility, partly to leave them as hostages, and partly for their education,) in a letter to the King, dated at Youghal, May 5, 1532, he excuses its non-performance, on the plea that he himself was 'well striken in age,' while his heir was of tender years that he had 'sondry mortall enemies,' beside the ancient foes of his house; and that his estates lay far asunder, 'so as,' he says, 'we bothe has moche adowe for to kipe owr oune.' A subsequent despatch mentions a report that the Emperor of Germany was about to enter into a treaty with him, Earl Thomas, for the invasion of Ireland, similar to that made with his predecessor, Earl James; who was sufficiently ambitious to have aspired to the hand of the Emperor's daughter. The treaty that illustrissimo Conde' made with Francis I. of France demonstrates the power which the Munster branch, alone, of the Geraldines possessed: and shows, moreover, that even the Anglo-Irish vassals of the Crown, Hibernis ipsis Hiberniores, sought the infectious intervention of foreign aid in their rebellious designs, in times before those when 'persecution on account of religion' might be pleaded. The Desmond engaged to make war in person, and at his own charge,



against Henry VIII. as soon as the French army should land; to bring 400 horse and 10,000 foot into the field; and, when need should require, to aid the French with 15,000 foot or more, and to furnish horses for the draft artillery; and Francis engaged to pay the wages of the troops.

Earl Thomas was celebrated in bardic song as 'the victorious' -in nine battles had he won the palm: and the abovementioned despatch, dated 1534, remarks, albeit his years requirith quietness and rest, yet entendeth he as much trouble as ever did any of his nation.' The veteran died the same year, at the age of 80, according to O'Daly-who observes that his grandson was at that time in the court of Henry VIII. The young heir had at last been sent over by his grandsire-whose letter shows how he feared to lose him by daunger of the sea and other myschaunces '--and was now one of the royal pages of honour. Returning home, on the news of the Earl's death, to take possession of his honours and patrimony-lo! he found all to have been seized by an old savage great-uncle, Sir John of Desmond, who disputed his legitimacy on the score of his parents' consanguinity! This usurper had instigated the assassination of his own eldest brother, in 1487. The rightful claimant the young gentylman wych chalenges to be the Yerle' is thus described:- he spekes very good Ynglyshe, and keepith his hair and cap after the Ynglyshe fashion, and wold be, as far as can be perceeivd, after the Ynglyshe fashion.' But he soon, to strengthen his faction, married an Irish wife, daughter of Sir Cormac oge MacCarty, and then-' daily made war' upon the usurper. A dangerous revolt of the Leinster Geraldines broke out while this dubious title shook the mad

dened land,' and a loyal Ormond writes:

'These pretended Erles of Desmond have great domynions under them, and bene of great power, if their owne discention were not the cause of their severance. They have such a cankerid malicious rebellion rootid in them, evyr sithens the putting to execution of one Thomas, Erle of Desmond, at Drogheda, that they ben as farr separated from the knowledge of any dutie of alegeaunce that a subject oght to owe his prince, as a Turke is to believe in Christianity. Thei blasfeme the king, and have their ears and eies open every day, gaping to have assistance in this high rebellion out of Spayne.'

A letter, dated at Waterford, in 1535, reports :-'this day came in Sir John of Desmond, and he is a very old man, and can speke very good Ynglysche'-an accomplishment displayed in his reply to the Lord Lieutenant's suggestion that he and the youthful claimant should go over to London to try their cause before the King, when he exclaimed, What should I do in England, to meet a boy there? But give me that Yrish horson Cormac oge, and

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I will go!' Dying, however, the next year, the deadly quarrel now lay between James, his (the usurper's) eldest son, and James, the court page-who repaired over to his royal master for redress. After an abode of three years in England he came back successful -being provided by the King with ships-the protection of a body-guard-and an order for his installation into the patrimonial honours and inheritance, which the viceroy put him in possession of, by accompanying him with an armed force. But his enjoyment of them was brief, for the Council report to the King in the following year, your Grace's servant, James Fitz-Maurice, who claymed to be Earl of Desmond, was cruelly slayne the Friday before Palm Sunday, by Maurice Fitz-John, brother to James, the usurpor of the earldom.' After this deed of treachery, the usurper regained possession, was afterwards received at Hampton Court as 15th peer, and transmitted the title to his son, the rebel Garrett. James Fitz-Maurice, the rebel seneschal-whose memory deserves to be held in execration as that of the first Irishman who raised a religious civil war, and realised the treason of bringing in foreigners to aid a revolt-was son of the assassin Maurice, antoithan (or the incendiary), and grandson of the murderer John. The Gaelic word fiongail was coined to signify murder aggravated by close relationship in blood; and the Inquisitor-General, the historian of the Desmonians, although a clansman, pronounces that their destruction was in Divine vengeance of that crime.

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So many earls of this race have been summoned up that we hardly like to stretch out the line to the crack of doom,' and introduce another, the last-save for the sake of an interview he seems to have enjoyed with her ancient ladyship. James, the heir of Garrett, was detained a prisoner in the Tower until the year 1600, when a formidable rebellion was raging in his native country. The leadership of the broken clan had been assumed by a Sugaun Iarla, or Earl of Straw, now become the most mightie and potent Geraldine of any of his line, having 8000 well-armed men' in the field. The young Lord was sent over, in the expectation that his father's followers would rally round him-a hope which was disappointed directly he attended a Protestant house of worship! On his landing at Youghal, however, he was received with acclamations, and, he writes, had like to be overthrown with the kisses of old calleaks' (hags). Among that throng of affectionate enthusiasts the active Dowager of Desmond, now verging on seven score, peradventure was foremost.

The proof of our heroine's espousal in England' is but slight. The descendants of the conquerors of Ireland had so far degenerated' by the beginning of the 16th century, as to have


adopted the Gaelic tongue, so that it was unusual to find even the nobility speaking English. As the latter was used by her husband and his brother, it may be inferred that they had been educated in England. Her own brother, Gerald, Lord of Decies, 'a very strong man in his country,' which he had probably never quitted, could not join in the wild Welshman's boast to Hotspur

'I can speak English, lord, as well as you,

For I was trained up in the English court.'

'Great was the credit of the Geraldines ever when the house of York prospered,' writes the chronicler, for which cause the Erle of Desmond (Thomas, 8th peer) remained manie yeres Deputie Lieutenant to George, Duke of Clarence.' False, fleeting, perjured Clarence, the second son of Richard of York, had been born in Dublin Castle, whilst his father was viceroy. This Earl's father was sponsor at Clarence's christening, and was thus bound to the prince in a tie of religious relationship considered sacred with the natives. Such was the zeal of the Geraldine lords for the white rose, that one of them, when chancellor, resigned office to lead the clansmen to the battle of Stoke, where they fought bravely enough for the impostor Simnel. But when Warbeck(whose impostorship is another theme for historic doubts)-appeared, the discomfiture of his predecessor had cooled the courage of Desmond and Kildare-at that time co-managers of the theatre on which masked princes entered, but who soon after, their vizards being taken off, were expulsed the stage.' The bald' knight's father (Thomas, 8th Earl) returned to Ireland, in 1464, ‘from the King of England's house,' say the simple annals, as LordLieutenant, and got many gifts from the King.' He was commended for his 'politique wit, rule, manhode, and wysdome,' in an address to the Crown, in which an humble Parliament 'prayed that his Highness would hold the lord deputie tenderlie in remembrance.' In this high post he continued for three years, when he was suddenly superseded and beheaded at Drogheda by Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester.

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The tragic fate of their great ancestor, that Ormonde alludes to as so rankling in the memory of the later Desmonians, arose (according to the legend) from the resentment of the Queen of Edward IV. The Earl, writes O'Daly, was beloved by Edward, for, during the sanguinary contest between the rival houses, he had fought in many battles abreast with the victor. He, however, had advised his sovereign not to marry the beautiful widow, the Lady Elizabeth Wydville. The King espoused her clandestinely, and the union was avowed about the time that Edward appointed his companion in arms to the govern


ment of Ireland. During some bitter altercation with his Queen, he afterwards significantly said, that had he hearkened to his cousin Desmond's advice her insolent spirit would have been humbled.' To this tradition a new feature is added by the Inquisitor ;—that the King, before dismissing his friend, entreated him to say whether he saw aught in his administration prejudicial to his people; the Earl candidly assured him that he knew of nothing, save the marriage recently contracted: wherefore,' he continued, 'I think you would do well in divorcing the present queen, and forming an alliance with some powerful foreign princess.' This version may be credited, agreeing well with the national usage of repudiation, and accounting better for the issue. Whatever was the advice, it was subsequently elicited by the Queen, the King deeming the Viceroy of Ireland safe from her anger: but, in the course of time, she obtained the removal of the obnoxious counsellor, and had Worcester substituted in his place; soon after whose arrival an act was passed attainting the Earls of Desmond and Kildare for 'alliance, fosterage, et alterage avecq les Irois ennemis du Roy, comme en donnant à eux chevaulx et harneis et armors, et supportant eux envers les foialx sujects du Roy.'

The gravamen of the charge is overlooked by the historians Leland and Moore, who defend the unfortunate viceroy, each more suo; the latter asserting that the Desmonds had hitherto been disposed to uphold the authority of the Crown in their remote province, and enabled to do so chiefly by the connexions they formed with Irish ladies! It is alleged that the Queen obtained the privy signet by stealth, and herself affixed the seal to the order for the Earl's decapitation: and that Worcester, who laid claim to some of his estates, instantly acted upon this warrant. Desmond's brother, his five sons (who were then but youths) and all his kindred, comprising the principal families of the south, instantly revolted, devastated the country about them, and marched with banners displayed upon the capital. Lord Kildare boldly repaired to the King, was so favourably heard that he received a pardon, and, the same obsequious parliament reversing his attainder, was appointed to supersede Tiptoft! When the latter, on his recall, produced the warrant, Edward IV. was so exasperated that the Queen was compelled to fly to an asylum for safety. Worcester afterwards suffered by the same sentence he had executed upon Desmond—a fact related with much satisfaction by the Celtic annalists, who record that 'the Earl of Warwick and the Duke of Clarence cut into quarters the wreck of the maledictions of the men of Ireland-the Saxon justiciary.' Walpole, in a memoir of that nobleman (the paragon in learning and patron of Caxton), states that he was accused of cruelty in his government, and especially


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