Catalogue description PROCEEDINGS of the EARL OF ESSEX.

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"A Journal of the Occurrences of the Camp from the 21st of May until the last of the same month, and thence continued till the 22nd of June 1599."


On Monday, 21 May, the Lord Lieutenant returned to the camp, attended on by the same troop of horse which before accompanied him to Kilkenny. On the 22nd he marched forwards towards Munster, and lodged at night in a small village called Claynbroghan. On the 23rd he removed to Clumell, on the Shoure (Suir), where the army rested that day and the next, to refresh themselves and to wait for the coming of cannon and munition from Waterford. His Lordship, with a troop of horse, went to meet the companies from Waterford, whose rendezvous he had assigned about two miles beneath the town, near a castle called Darrilayrie, belonging to the Lord of Cahir, but held by the rebels.


Upon the arrival of these forces his Lordship summoned the castle, which is seated on the Shoure and commands the passage by boat from Clumell to Waterford. The rebels surrendered, and were pardoned. A ward of 30 soldiers of Captain Clare's company was left there.


On the morrow (25th) his Lordship caused the vanguard and the battayle to march towards a fair green within a mile of the town. "Himself went to the Key, and used all possible diligence for hastening after the artillery, being one cannon and one culverin; howbeit, because the bridges, where of force it was to pass, were weak, and all things necessary for the quick repairing of them wholly wanted, he was constrained to leave it behind, with order for the guarding and conducting of it by the rearguard, with the help of some few horse; and, for the lack of draught-horses, it should be drawn by force of men's hands; which the day following was accordingly performed."


His Lordship overtook the vanguard, and caused them to stay one English mile short of the castle of Cahir, the chief house of Thomas Butler, Lord of Cahir, a place of greater strength than any in this kingdom, and of great consequence, "being a passage upon the river, a cover for the best part of the co. of Tipperary, and a near neighbour to the White Knight's country, to the Burckes' country (called Clanwilliam and Muskery), and to Arlo, the principal fastness which the rebels of Munster have." It is strong by nature, being seated on a main rock in an island in the river. "Southward it hath a great bawne, compassed with an high stone wall, which (besides those of the castle) hath two flankers in itself; and (after you have gained the bawne) another strong stone wall ere you come to the house. On the north side you have two great square towers, which flank both one another, and the curtain betwixt them, being all seated on the highest and most inaccessible part of the rock. On the west side run two deep streams, of force to be passed ere you come to the castle; a fauxmoore also at the foot of the rock; and withal the flanks of the castle and one of the bawne, which lie very commodiously to beat on any approaches that way. On the east side there lieth (besides the stream) a main rock, as on all sides else; the flank of the bawne and of the square towers of the castle within; another fauxmure, which covereth the port of the bawne; a great round tower that comes out of the body of the castle into the bawne as a bulwark; and a small low round tower at the foot of the rock and end of the fauxmoore, which flanketh both the castle and bawne, and standeth almost in the nature of a little casamatte."


The Lord Cahir should have yielded this castle upon the approach of this army, according to his submission and his word sundry times given to the Lord Lieutenant. He was charged by his Lordship at Clumell with having received strangers into his castle, who wished to make a party for the White Knight, and against the delivery of the place; but his brother, who was in it, sent word that none were in it but his own kinsmen and followers, and that it should be surrendered the next day. Thereupon the Lord Lieutenant sent him with Sir Henry Davers to draw forth his brother and the ward, and to admit the garrison appointed to hold it. But Davers returned with assurance that the castle would be obstinately defended, "adding that Cahir himself was insolently and disgracefully used by those who came out to parley."


The Lord Lieutenant called to Council the Earl of Ormond, the Marshal (Bingham), Sir George Bourchier, Sir Warham St. Leger, and the Sergeant-Major, to consider what means he had to force the place. Finding his means very scarce, he sent for more munitions from Waterford, and ordered victuals to be daily supplied by the towns thereabouts. He also sent letters to the lords of countries adjoining for beoves.


"Moreover, he called again for the Lord Cahir, and in presence of his brother-[in]-law, the Viscount Montgarrett, laid before him the greatness of his fault in falsifying his word, .... assuring him withal, that, howsoever he and his complices might hold the place invincible, yet his Lordship was resolved not to depart thence till he had reduced it, ... which so moved him that immediately he sued for licence to parley once again with the castle." Cahir's negotiation proved fruitless.


The whole of the army was lodged next day on the east side of the river, because, if it had been divided, the rebel force (about 5,000) might have attacked either part. At night the Lord Lieutenant went to view the castle. "A trench was that night cast up within 50 paces of the castle, and there a platform made for the cannon. Gabyons were also set up and filled, to cover the gunners. The culverin was placed somewhat further off, where it might see more of the flanks of the castle, and so beat down their sights. The next day, in the morning, the cannon and culverin began to play; but the cannon's carriage brake at the second shot, and could not be repaired in a day and a half. The culverin was for a while cloyed with a bullet, but, being cleared, it shot that day some 50 shot, so that the rebels scarcely durst keep in any tower, or fight on that side."


At evening the Lord Lieutenant, finding the rebels went in and out of the castle at their pleasures, sent 300 men under Captains Brett and Chamberlayne to take possession of its "orcheyearde;" Sir Thomas Gates to second them, and the Marshal to see them intrenched. This was effected with small loss, but Captain Brett was slain. Had the enemy resolutely defended this orchard, 40 men might easily have held out against 4,000, as it is intrenched by the river, and was strongly "plashed" within. As, however, the rebels next day sent in a succour of 40 or 50 men, and drew out some that were least serviceable, the Lord Lieutenant took possession of an island, and contrived to victual his men there by putting boats a little down the river, and thence carrying them on men's backs above the castle, and so putting them again down the stream. The culverin was then drawn down nearer, and next morning both it and the cannon played all the day long, and great breaches were made. The engineers were ordered to make ready ladders, scaffolds, and "sowes," that our men, in climbing up, might be protected from stones and whatever else might be cast down upon them; and the chief petarryer to make ready his petars to play upon the wall, where a sap was to be made. In case either attempt took effect, Sir Charles Percy with four old companies and two colonels were directed to make an assault. In the night the rebels attempted to save their lives by sally, but they were so well received by Sir Charles Percie and Sir Christopher St. Lawrence that very few escaped, and those only by swimming. The castle was immediately entered, the cannon and culverin drawn into it, and the breaches repaired. Captain George Carye, who had been wounded in the face, was left in command of it with his company of 100 foot.


On 31st May the army dislodged, and encamped that night near the abbey of Athashell. Being unable to pass the Shouer by reason of the great rain, his Lordship spent a day in repairing the bridge at Colan, over which the army passed, and that night lodged a mile from Tipperary.


We received a letter from Sir Thomas Norries, Lord President of Munster, showing that in his march from Buttivan he had killed 50 rebels of the sept of the Burghes, and forced others to fly to a bog; and that he was hurt in the head with a pike. "The next morning his Lordship, accompanied with 200 horse, went to see him at the hospital, seven miles from his own quarter, and the same night met again with the army at Cullin-Agony." On 4th June his Lordship reached Limerick, where the President came to him.


While in Limerick the Lord President was advertised of the distress of the castle of Askeyton, anciently the chief house of the Earl of Desmond, lying in the midst of the rebels in Conelo. He resolved in person to revictual it, as the pretended Earl of Desmond had solemnly vowed to impeach our passage. We departed on Friday, 8th June. His Lordship despatched the Governor of Connaught (Clifford) and the Earl of Clanricarde to their charges. The army marched that day to Adare, a town of the Earl of Kildare's, in the midst of woods and bogs. Here the pretended Desmond with his Connaught men and "bonaughts" presented themselves, betwixt 2,000 and 3,000 men, with five or six ensigns flying, but did not prevent us from crossing the bridge. Seven of our companies were lodged in an old abbey there. Next morning, being exactly informed of the way by the guides, we entered a pass a quarter of a mile long. "When the Lord Lieutenant, accompanied with the Marshal (Bingham) and the Earl of Thomond, who that day led the forlorn hope, entered the mouth of the pass, they (the rebels) discharged at him a volley of shot." After some skirmishing we got through the pass, and through the wood at the end of it. Our soldiers "went so coldly on" at first that his Lordship was forced to reproach their baseness. The rebels lost 100 of their Connaught men, while not above six of ours were slain, and some 20 hurt. We then marched to Cappaghe, two miles from Askeyton, upon the river Dyle.


"The next day, being Sabbath day, his Lordship gave order for divine service and sermons to be made in every quarter." After dinner he went to Askeiton, to see the entering of the victuals sent by boat from Lymbrick. The enemy, who had blocked up the river, dislodged upon the approach of our army. Returning to the camp he passed the Dyle, and lodged at Calloughe. He received advice that the bastard who now pretends to be McCarty Moore and the Lord McMorris were come with all their forces to James FitzThomas, who lay within two miles of our quarters, and that the next day they resolved to fight with the army.


The Lord Lieutenant consulted his guides about the way he was to pass, and next day, 11th June, marched forward. Lord Grey, who commanded the vanguard of horse, discovered the rebels, and advanced so far that Mr. Markeham was shot through the cheek. Then the rebels, out of a great wood, began to skirmish with our vanguard, and attempted to beat in our wings of shot. The Lord Lieutenant called off all his men, and thus drew the rebel from his strength. The rebels were then beaten back into the wood, with their ambuscades, and many of their men killed. Sir Henry Norries and Captain Jennyngs were shot. When Sir H. Norryes was hurt, the Earl of Southampton led on that troop of horse. The Marshal, the Sergeant-Major, Sir Thomas Jermyn, and Sir Alexander Radcliffe did good service. We then marched on without let; but "the enemy still breathed out great vaunts of wonders they would do, especially at another place of far more straightness and advantage to them, which within a mile we were to pass." This night we encamped by Crumme, "a principal castle of the Earls of Kildare, standing, as Adare, upon the May."


On 12th June the Lord Lieutenant left the army at the Broughe, and went to Killmalloughe with the Earl of Ormond, the Marshal, the Master of the Ordnance, and Sir Warram St. Leger. He there met the President of Munster (who had been left at Limerick), and consulted with him and the above-named councillor how the army might be provided with victual and munition, and where it would be fittest for him to divide his forces and part with the President of Munster. "The present difficulties of the army forced him to make these propositions; for he well knew that all the money which had been in the Vice-Treasurer's hands was already issued; that there was no magazine, no remnant of any kind of victual of her Majesty's store; that those few cows which were left would be eaten in two days;" that little help could be expected from Killmallough; and there was hardly enough munition for three days.


These points were answered thus. In returning, his Lordship might make choice of three ways, "either from Killmaloughe through the county of Tipperary, and so over the Souer at Colan bridge (lately repaired by his Lordship); or the White Knight's country, called Clangibbon, and thence to Calyyr and Clumell; or through part of the Lord Roche's country, and the country of Patrick Conder, and so to Coneigh, the pretended Earl's castle (a place which he had strongly guarded, as being his chief mansion house, and in the strength whereof he reposed especial trust), and so to Leixmore, whence he might either over the mountains pass to Clumell, or by Dungarvan go straight to Waterford. If the first, he was presently to part his forces at Killmalloughe. If the second, he must carry all through Clangibbon, and return the President by the fair champion way of Tipperary. If the third, he must divide his forces about Leixmore.


"The first was the shortest and easiest way for his Lordship, but for the President far the worst, the whole forces of the rebels being likely to fall upon him, and if the Lord Lieutenant should carry away any munition with himself, there being not sufficient to answer such services as the Munster companies were in all likelihood to be put unto, ere they could be supplied. Besides the victual fell out every way very short for both. The second was thought altogether fruitless, the White Knight holding no place in all his country; his chief castle of Ballibey being broken down by himself upon the first bruit of the winning of Cahir. As for his neighbours, ["Neights" in MS.] they were all driven into Arlo, a strong fastness, where our army, so pestered with carriages, could not possibly pursue them. The last seemed longest and subject to greatest difficulties; for to pass by Conney without forcing it might be reputed dishonorable, and to attempt it with so weak means no less dangerous, we being well assured that the rebel forces would wait on us all the way."


The Lord Lieutenant, however, resolved on the last, because the Lord President "confidently assumed to procure" beeves out of the Lord Barrie's country, Muskerry, and the Desses, and from Cork a convoy of munition could be sent to the Broad Water at Farmoy, or to Castle Lions, three miles from Conney. The Earl and the rest agreed to this.


On 13th June the army marched to Arnaskighe, three miles from Killmallocke, at the foot of the mountain, which the next morning we passed, and lodged at Glanmoure, a town of the Viscount Roch. The Lord Lieutenant with 100 horse went to Mallo, the Lord President's house, whence he despatched to Cork 30 horse and 40 harquebuziers on horseback, for munition. The day following he met the army at Fermoy, having at Mallo received the submission of John Delahide, a gentleman of the English Pale by birth, but now seated in Kerry, who, for the safety of his goods, had taken part with the rebels. Cormack McDermott attended his Lordship, and brought to him 100 cows and 200 kearne, all pickes and shot, saving some few horsemen. The Lord Barry met us with 60 horse, and was commanded to send out spies, and "to go for the assuring of the convoy."


On the 16th the army dislodged. They were lightly skirmished with in two passes, but the rebels were beaten. Sir H. Davers was shot in the face. His Lordship purposed to lodge that night half a mile short of Conney, and there to await his convoy; but finding the place burned and abandoned by the rebels, he lodged the army betwixt Conney and Mogheily, a castle which H. Pine holds of Sir Walter Rawleighe.


On Sunday, 17th June, a letter came from the Lord Barrie, that he had brought the convoy safe to Castle Lyons, but the rebels lay near the way with all their forces. His Lordship, deferring the sermons till the afternoon, with 1,000 foot and 200 horse, met the convoy and brought it to the camp.


Next day we marched to Affane on the Broad Water. We passed through a great pass by Lisfynnen, "where the rebels threatened to take their leaves of us, and to leave in our army some impression of their valour; but we saw not a man of them." We were well prepared for them; and the previous night his Lordship had secretly placed 400 chosen men in the bawne and outhouses of Lysfinnen. At Affane we had to pass a ford which is only passable within an hour before and after low water. That night one half only passed; the rest crossed on the morrow at break of day. We marched to a little village two miles from Dungarvan and five from Affane. "By the way his Lordship returned those 15 companies, which the President of Munster brought with him at their first meeting, to Youghall, taking the Lord President himself along with him."


That night the Council was assembled at the Lord Lieutenant's tent. His Lordship demanded of the President what forces he thought sufficient for pursuing the war in Munster. He answered that with 50 horse and 800 foot added to those he had already he would think himself strong enough. His Lordship thereupon assigned him his brother's company of horse, and 100 foot more than he demanded--all chosen companies commanded by able and gallant commanders.


They next considered the fittest places for garrisoning; "for by garrisons only the heart of the rebellious Irish is to be broken." Choice was made of some, and their commanders and numbers were appointed.


After the Council had broken up, his Lordship drew instructions for the Lord President, and signed them. The chief points were these:--what head he should make; what place[s] he should seek to make good in case the foreign enemy should invade the province; how he should carry himself to those who offer to submit. He was to burn and spoil all saving that which either the owners could defend or should bring under the defence and favour of the garrisons; for the province would thus be disabled from nourishing hirelings and strangers, and the rebels would be starved. To place a garrison in every walled town, especially in the ports; and to put himself with most of his forces into one special place, which the Lord Lieutenant had chosen to be the seat of the war. That in receiving men to mercy he should carefully look into their former behaviour, and command them to deliver their best pledges, to book all their followers and servants and undertake for them, and to bring all their substance under the command of one of the garrisons. The Lord President departed on 20th June.


His Lordship marched to Ballaonny in the Lord Poore's country, having himself in the morning gone somewhat out of the way to view the port and castle of Dungarvan. On the 21st the army was brought within three miles of Waterford, and his Lordship, with two companies of horse, lodged in the city.



Date: 22 June 1599
Held by: Lambeth Palace Library, not available at The National Archives
Former reference in its original department: MS 621, p. 126
Language: English
Physical description: 19 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 304.

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