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Petition of the Lord FitzWilliam Bourke to Sir Anthony Sentleger, Lord Deputy, and the Council.


To have the King's pardon. To have the feefarm of the King's town of Galway, which his ancestors have possessed time out of mind, reserving to the King the gift of all the benefices within the same town. To have the towns of Leghreghe, Claer, Cloncastell, Balleforver, and Leytrom, which he and his ancestors have built; they are the principal manors in his possession. To have Roscoman, "which is of the King's Majesty's own gift, being now with O'Connor by usurpation;" and all such rents as are due to the said McWilliam, called "rents of defence." To have in feefarm the cockets of Sligo, Porterade, and Leighborne, with all other creeks and havens, which his ancestors have had, and whereof the King has never had profit, as they are kept from his Highness by usurpation; the cockets of Sligo, however, to remain in suspense till O'Donell be written to, and show his title for the same. To be made grand captain of his country, as the Earls of Thomond and Desmond are in their confines, by letters patent; to renounce the name of McWilliam, and to have some name of honour. He will forsake all Brehon law, and from henceforth execute the King's laws everywhere under his power and rule. As to all such benefices and other spiritual promotions (bishoprics only excepted) as are of the King's gift within the said McWilliam's country, "he to name an able clerk to the Lord Deputy, and to be presented by his Lordship." He will nominate no unlearned person to take place. Of first fruits the King to have two parts and he the third; "provided that all archbishops and bishops within the said McWilliam's country, benefices and collations to their bishoprics appertaining reserved." "To have commissioners sent down with him to Galway and other parts thereabout, and to take with them such articles as shall be thought meet by the Lord Deputy and Council to be observed, the which the said McWilliam will see shall be put in execution accordingly; and those that will not follow and obey the same to forfeit such penalties as shall be devised by the said Council, the one half to the King's Majesty and the other moiety unto him.


The Lord Deputy and Council grant the premises to the said Lord FitzWilliam Bourke, according to his request, till the King's pleasure be further known.


His demand for Sligo to be in suspense. As to his demand for the possession of two castles called Milegh and Bengher, to send for O'Madden, who has the custody of them, to see what answer he will make thereto. As for the castle of Tecoyn in O'Kelly's country, and by him detained, to send for O'Kelly to see what title he can show; "and if the said O'Kelly do not submit himself to the King's obedience between this and Midsummer or Lammas next, the said McWilliam to have it; and in case he do submit him, then he to enjoy it accordingly." To send for O'Flarty to make answer for the castle of Moycullen, demanded by McWilliam. His demand for the rent of Clanwilliam to be in suspense.


McWilliam has condescended to hold the premises and all other his lands of the King, as the Earls of Ormond and Desmond and other nobles of this realm do, and to pay in yearly rent 10l. sterling, and more hereafter, when they are reduced to better civility. If the above-named parties come not to show their titles before Midsummer or Lammas next, FitzWilliam shall have the premises. For this agreement he has put into the Lord Deputy's hands, as pledge, his son Richard Bourke.


Contemp. copy.


II. Order of the Lord Deputy and Council, at Limerick, for the captainship, superiority, and rule of the country of Clanricard, 9 Oct., 36 Henry VIII.


Memorandum that the King, by his letters patent, granted to Ulick Burke, otherwise called FitzWilliam de Burgh, the captainship and rule of Clanricard, and all his lands within that country, with various religious houses then suppressed and dissolved in Clanrycard, and their lands, and gave the title of Earl of Clanricard to him and his heirs male. After the decease of the said Earl it came in doubt to us, which of his sons was heir male of his body lawfully begotten, or whether any one of them ought of right to be his heir male. The Earl was first married to Grany, daughter of Mulrone O'Karwell, which marriage was solemnized in the face of the church, as was proved before us by sufficient witnesses, whose examinations were subscribed by our hands; and they had issue Richard Burke. While that marriage remained in force the Earl married Honora, sister of Ulick de Burgh who now is, also in the face of the church. Subsequently the said Honora was divorced from him; but we know not whether that divorce was lawfully effected or not. Afterwards the Earl, in the face of the church, married Mary Linche, by whom he had issue John Burke. The aforesaid Mary Linche and Honora repudiated the marriage between the Earl and Grany, alleging that a long time before that marriage was solemnized the said Grany had been lawfully married to O'Mollaghlen.


We have therefore assigned a day to the said Honora and Mary to prove the marriage between O'Mollaghlen and Grany Ny Karwell before the Purification next, and have caused a public proclamation to be made, that whoever wishes to produce witnesses before us at Dublin in proof of the premises will be accepted and ratified. ["Quicunque" ...... "acceptabitur et ratificabitur."]


Considering the said country to be destitute of a governor, all the gentlemen and other free tenants thereof assembled, and chose the said Ulick for their principal Governor and Captain by the name of McWilliam, according to ancient Irish custom, contrary to the King's ordinances and statutes. We therefore directed our letters to the said Ulick, commanding him to appear before us at Limerick to answer in the premises; and the said Ulick appeared before us, submitted himself to our order and decree, renounced his name and the government of the same country, gave himself up to his Majesty, and on bended knees publicly declared that what he had done he did at the special request of the said gentlemen and free tenants, for the government of the country until his Majesty's pleasure should be signified. We have therefore ordained as follows.


(1.) The said Ulick to have the rule of Clanrycard during the minority of the heir or heirs male of the said Earl, if any such shall be proved, with the dues and profits belonging to the said captainship, in as ample manner as the said Earl enjoyed the same, excepting the rents, lands, and tenements which the Earl had of the dissolved houses, and in the royal town of Galway, or by any other collateral right of inheritance or ancient custom in the said country, and also the lands and tenements belonging to the said captainship.


(2.) If the said Ulick, during his government, should exact from the poor men of the said country more than to the captainship pertains, or permit them to be spoiled or invaded without his defence or assistance, or if he should take rents from the lands previously excepted, or from any lands which shall come to the hands of the King, he shall forfeit the said rule and government. When the office of Governor becomes vacant, either by such causes as above-mentioned or by the death of the said Ulick, then Thomas Burke, his second brother, shall have the same, and after him the [other] brothers of the said Ulick in succession. In case it should be found that the said Earl has no heir male, then the said Ulick and his brothers shall successively possess the said captainship until the King's pleasure be known.


(3.) Also, in consideration of the said concession, the said Ulick and his brothers successively shall permit all such receivers as shall be appointed to collect the rents and profits of the lands above excepted.


(4.) [If] he that shall be proved to be the heir male of the said Earl be 23 years of age, then, after notification of the same, the said Ulick will immediately surrender the said captainship to the said heir as the Earl of Clanricard, according to the letters patent granted to the said [late] Earl.


(5.) The said Ulick is to pay annually 10l. sterling to the King for the captainship, at Easter and Michaelmas.


(6.) He is to deliver to the Lord Deputy such hostage or hostages as shall be required of him and the said Thomas, and of other gentlemen and free tenants of the said country, as by a schedule signed by our hands, containing their names, will appear.


(7.) As John Burke, otherwise called Shane Oge Burke of Cloghroge, has well and faithfully executed the office of sheriff in that country of Clanricard since the said Earl's death, he shall peaceably hold that office during the King's pleasure, or until it shall be by us otherwise determined. He shall receive such profits of the office as by the Archbishop of Tuam, the Bishop of Clonfert, the Mayor of the town of Galway, McOge, McHobbert, and Thomas Burke, brother of the said Ulick, shall be reasonably limited. And for that divers complaints were made before us, by the said John Burke, the sheriff, and the inhabitants of the same country, that since the death of the late Earl they have been spoiled of their goods, we order and arbitrate that the said Ulick, the Archbishop of Tuam, the Bishop of Clonfert, the Mayor of Galway, [and] John Wackley and Giles Ovynden, captains of one hundred horse, (whom we now send with the said Ulick to receive the hostages above mentioned, and to assist and defend the same Ulick,) or three of them, of whom the said Ulick to be always one, shall have full power to hear and determine all complaints. If any complaint be made against the said Ulick, its determination is referred to the determination of the other three (sic).


(8.) A complaint is exhibited to us as well by the said reverend fathers as by other ecclesiastical persons of the country of Clanricard, that they cannot be permitted (permitti poterint) to collect the revenues of their benefices, seeing that the profits of the same are usurped and altogether detained as well by horsemen as by other lay persons. We order that the said Commissioners shall call before them all persons who interrupt or impede any spiritual persons in their spiritual stipends, and require and compel them to permit such ecclesiastical persons to receive the revenues and profits of their benefices; and that they shall also cause spiritual persons to reside upon their benefices, as by law they are bound to do.


(9.) Whereas a controversy between the Earl of Ormond and the said Ulick is referred by the consent of each of them to the determination of the wives of the said Ulick and of John Grace, gentleman; nevertheless, in case those arbitrators cannot agree, the final judgment shall remain to the Lord Deputy and Council.


In witness whereof we, the aforesaid Lord Deputy and Council, have set our hands to these presents.


Contemp. copy.

Date: 9 Oct 1544
Held by: Lambeth Palace Library, not available at The National Archives
Former reference in its original department: MS 603, p. 18
Language: Latin
Physical description: 3 pages + 7 pages.
Unpublished finding aids:

Calendar of the Carew Manuscripts preserved in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth, ed. J. S. Brewer & W. Bullen (6 vols., 1867-73), vol. I, document 185.

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