Catalogue description PROCEEDINGS of the EARL OF ESSEX.

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"A Journal of the Lord Lieutenant's Proceedings from the 22nd of June to the 1st of July 1599."


"The 22nd of June the army was brought from Stonny-bridge to the Passage (a village so named because it is on the side of the passage or ferry from the co. of Waterford into the co. of Wexford), whither the Lord Lieutenant commanded all the boats of Waterford, Rosse, and the Caricke to be gathered together the next morning by break of the day. But the ferry being broad, the boats not great, and the carriages of our army far greater than ever heretofore in this country followed so few fighting men, his Lordship, coming from Waterford (where he had carefully reviewed her Majesty's magazines of victual and munition) the morrow after Midsummer Day, found most of his horse unpassed. In regard whereof, having lodged all his foot within half a mile from Ballihacke, he went with two companies of horse to Tynterne, a house of Sir Thomas Cockleye's, there expecting the passage of the rest of the horsemen, and leaving behind him the Marshal (Bingham) to hasten them with all speed, which the next morning was performed; and in the afternoon by his Lordship's directions they marched three or four miles over against Tynterne, but more towards the heart of the country.


"His Lordship in the meantime, being desirous to view all the coast betwixt Waterford and Wexford, held his course by the sea-side, and lodged that night at Ballinegarre, a house belonging to Sir James Devreux, meeting the army the next day at Ballibrenen, where (whence ?) the day following we marched to a ford, which is betwixt Eniscorthy and Fernes. His Lordship employed the forenoon in viewing the state and strength of Enyscorthie, and of the troops there in garrison; the afternoon in seeing the skirt of the Duffry, the chief fastness of Donnell Spaniaghe, who now pretends of (sic) the Cavenaghs, and McMurragh, which in the Irish account is no less than to be King of Leynister. His Lordship also went [to] a ground lying betwixt Eniscorty and this fastness, where the garrison not long before had skirmished with Donnell Spaniaghe, and upon the place examined the captains of the circumstances, and how they had carried themselves in that skirmish.


"Since our departure from Waterford till this day we saw not one rebel. Being come to the Duffry side, in the very edge of the wood, some of them showed themselves, ... without giving us so much as one alarm, though that night we lodged within a quarter of a mile of them, and on the same side of the ford.


"At Eniscorty and at this encamping his Lordship conferred with the Council at war, what course from thence he should take, and whether he should carry the garrison of Eniscorty along with him or not. For the first, it was resolved we should go to Fernes, and thence to Arcloughe, in regard the ways through the Duffrey were all plashed, and the forces in a manner of all the Leynister rebels there assembled, against all which we could not have opposed above 1,200 foot (the hurt and sick men being excepted), who if they had been alone, the difficulty had been far less. But they were clogged with at least thrice as many churls, horse-boys, and other like unserviceable people, which of necessity were to be guarded by our troops. Besides, .... in all those quarters there lay no castle or fort of importance to be taken in, nor prey to be gotten (their cattle being all in Phellim McFeagh's country)...... At Arcloe it was thought fitter to leave sick men and part of our carriages, and with a light running camp to attempt somewhat upon the rebels, if we were not fought withal at our passage.


"The 29th day we marched to a place called Cooleshell. In passing, his Lordship view[ed] the castle of Fernes, which he conceived to be a fitter place for a garrison than Eniscorty, were it not that the want of a navigable river .... did countervail the nearness of it to the rebels' fastness. The same day ..... his Lordship was advertised that the rebels the day following purposed to fight with us, the rather because they had two or three places where they might with advantage attempt either on our vanguard or rearguard of foot, and where the horse could not serve them. Wherefore the next morning we marched in the strongest order we could, and, to whet the rebels' choler and courage, we being to pass through a country called the Kinsoles (which yieldeth maintenance to many of the rebels' hired men), his Lordship all the day long burned both in his way and on each side.


"The first ... resistance was at a village on our right hand, seated on the skirt of a great wood, and flanked on two sides with two groves of underwood..... The village was burnt without loss of a man. ....


"Four miles short of Arcloe we saw their forces drawn down to a river's side, which for half a mile together ran within a musket shot of our highway, and over which there was a ford near to the sea, through which our guides directed our carriages and footmen to pass. ... Some of our old Irish soldiers, finding the rebels to give way, unadvisedly passed over the river; ... which the Lord Lieutenant perceiving, he passed a deep ford with 100 English horse, and sent to the Earl of Ormond (who with his horse was passed at the further ford near the sea-side) to second those, and to draw nearer the foot that were so disorderly engaged. .... Captain Esmond, captain of 100 foot, was shot. ....


"All our army was drawn over the ford towards the sea-side; which way, being heavy and deep, was refused by the Lord Lieutenant, and another chosen, which for one mile had some small passes in it, where the rebels offered skirmish to our troops, but to little purpose, for they kept so far off, that his Lordship commanded our men to spare their powder. Near the last pass the Lord Lieutenant placed an ambush of 30 horse, commanding the army to march on, and himself staying upon a hill a musket shot off, with the rearward of horse; on which hill he made show of as many coloured coats as they had seen before, and as many horses, for with boys upon spare led horses and hackneys the number was supplied. But the rebels, fearing to come upon champion ground, coasted still along on our left hand.


"From this place for two miles we had a fair champion, at the end whereof was a great ascent, and yet, at the top of this ascent, two high hills on either hand." His Lordship hastened to the top of one of these hills, and discerned the vanguard, with the Earl of Ormond and the Marshal, already advanced as far as Arcloe, and the rebels' forces (800 foot and 40 horse) marching to cut off our carriages and a wing of 50 or 60 footmen. This was the fault of the guides, who carried Ormond and the Marshal hard by the sea-side, where they could not see the country nor be seen by their own wings.


The Lord Lieutenant sent to the Sergeant-Major, then leading the rearward, for 300 of the lightest foot, and all the horse, and in the meantime went with the Earl of Southampton to rescue our men, who were about to be cut in pieces. The rebels stood on a bog, behind which was a shrubby wood, which joined the sand hills. The Lord Lieutenant sent all the gentlemen on horseback (Sir Edward Wyngefyeld only excepted) with the Earl of Southampton to the plain on the right hand, while he drew down to the wings. When the rebels perceived the small number of horse and foot, they came on with a louder cry and more speed than before. "In this coming on, Captain Roach, an Irishman by birth, who had long served the French King, with a shot had his leg shivered, and was straightways carried off. But immediately the Earl of Southampton with the horse gave a charge so resolute and so home, that he entered the wood so far as any way the bog would suffer him; Mr. Robert Vernon, Captain Constable, and Mr. Coxe being all bogged, and forced to quit their horse." Mr. Coxe had received his death's wound; Captain Constable had two wounds; and Mr. Vernon, who had killed a leader, lay under his horse till Mr. Bellington quitted his own horse to help him up. Lord Morleye's son, heir to the Baron of Mountegle, Mr. George Manners, Mr. Thomas Weste, Sir Thomas Jermyn, Sir Alexander Radcliffe, Sir Thomas Egerton, Captain Poolye, Mr. Carewe Reynolds, and Mr. Heydon served bravely.


On the other side his Lordship sent down Lieutenant Bushell to lead a wing of shot at the same instant when my Lord of Southampton charged; and to succour these he sent Ensign Constable. He was then attacked by the rebels, but by that time he "had gotten the foot to stand firm, to keep order, to forbear noises and speeches of fear and amazement; for a poorer company there could not have been lighted on in all the army." The rebels, staying for their gross to come up, gave our horsemen from the rearward leisure to approach. Thirty of the horse were sent to the Earl of Southampton. Captain William Norryes, corporal, was ordered to charge with 15 horse, who were supported by 15 others under a corporal of Sir H. Davers's company. Twenty musketeers flanked the going on and coming off of the horse. The rebels were put back, and, being discouraged, they made head the other way through the bog and wood against the Earl of Southampton, who repulsed them. Then came the Marshal with some more horse, Sir H. Poore with 300 foot from the vanguard, and Captain Chamberlaine with 200 from the rearguard. The rebels then endeavoured to secure possession of the wood and bog; but on the Sergeant-Major coming up with Sir H. Docwray and all the ensigns of the rearguard, the rebels were forced to turn their backs in disorder, "many throwing away their arms, and some so amazed that they stuck in the bog, and were overtaken and killed by our men, though being otherwise far slower and heavier than they." His Lordship gave direction for following the chase; and then we marched away to Arcloe.


The rebels' forces consisted of the Cavenaghes, the traitors of co. Wexford and Low Lyniester, the Burnes, the Tooles, the O'Moores of Leix, and all their bonnaghtes. Their leaders were Donnell Spaniagh, Phelim McFeagh, and McRowry. Our loss was not above one or two common soldiers, besides Mr. Coxe.


"The pursuit being ended, Phelim McFeaghe called to an Irishman, and desired him to tell the Lord Lieutenant that he humbly craved leave to come to speak with him, with condition that he might have his Lordship's word for his safe return; and prayed the messenger to get him an answer. His Lordship's answer was that if he sent to Arcloe for a passport only to come as a repentant rebel, to tender his absolute submission to her Majesty's servant and minister, authorised by her royal commission, he should have such a safeconduct; but if he sent in any other form, or to any other purpose, he would execute the messenger; for he would never suffer his commission to be dishonoured by treating or parleying with rebels.


"Our quarter that night was at Arcloe. And the day following ["1st July" in the margin.] we marched towards Wyckeloe, and encamped three miles short of it, right against the place where Sir H. Harrington was overthrown. Thence we hold [Sic.] our direct course towards Dublin."



Date: 1 July 1599
Held by: Lambeth Palace Library, not available at The National Archives
Former reference in its original department: MS 621, p. 136
Language: English
Physical description: 10 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. III, document 305.

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