Whereas the King, among other directions concerning the plantation of the escheated lands of Ulster, appointed that the concealed lands, casually omitted or not discovered in the great survey, should be disposed among the British undertakers and servitors, for an increase of rent, equal, with the rent of their lands, and not unto any other person; it is found upon a late inquiry by commission, as well of concealments as want of measure in general amongst the proportions, that in many places where there is no deficiency of measure there is more store of concealments either within or contiguous without their proportions, all of which they challenge by virtue of the said general instructions in their behalf. And, again, where most want of measure is, there is least store of concealed lands, for which cause they stand for an abatement of rents or other recompense, and expect that his Majesty should compound with their neighbours for other lands passed unto them by letters patent long before this plantation was intended. As, for instance, it falls out between Sir James Cunningham and others, who have deficient proportions, and Sir Ralph Bingley, who, purchased some abbey lands both in the King's time and before, upon a part whereof he built certain houses and two profitable mills, within four miles of the Derrie, and which are now adjoining Sir James Cunningham's proportion. Sir James has informed the King that Sir Ralph detains the lands which of right belong unto him and to his uncle James Cunningham. Whereupon the King, by letters of the 21st of April last, required me to send for the parties or their attornies, and upon examination to put the said Sir James Cunningham and the rest into peaceable possession of the lands in controversy, according to the tenor of their letters patent. But if the same should appear to be on Sir Ralph Bingley's side, then I am to endeavour to compound the matter equally between them.
I have examined Sir Ralph's title in presence of both parties, and find the same to be good in law, though not favoured in the inquisitions. Thereupon we dealt with him for a reasonable price on the King's behalf, and in the end offered him 500l. by way of proof, but he seriously affirmed that he would not part with the mills and land under 800l. sterling, or a book of feefarm of 100 marks a year, or the lease of the King's other concealed lands wheresoever within the realm to be found. To yield to either of these in this case is like to be of very ill consequence. But to avoid all this great charge to the King and trouble on every side, there are already sufficient concealments discovered among the escheated lands in Ulster to content all men.
To this effect I desire a new warrant from the King to dispose of all concealments in these escheated counties generally unto the undertakers and servitors, in such manner and form as we shall devise for the King's service. I intend to do it in this manner: If any of them having a full proportion shall have any concealments within the same I mean to put that parcel into his account, and so deduct as much more upon the border of his lands as shall supply the defects of his neighbours, if any be, and thus proceed in this continual manner of separation and addition until everyone shall be satisfied. The rest of the concealments may then be finally granted upon an increase of rents to those for whom they shall be most convenient.
Dated from Dublin.
Signed. Sealed. Addressed. Endorsed.