Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Annals of the Four Masters (Author: [unknown])

Annal M1551


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1551. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred fifty-one.


The Archbishop of Cashel, Edmond Butler, the son of Pierce, Earl of Ormond, died.


Murrough, the son of Turlough, son of Teige, son of Turlough O'Brien, styled Earl of Thomond by the English and the King, but styled O'Brien, according to the custom of the Irish, a man valiant in making and puissant in sustaining an attack, influential, rich, and wealthy, the first of the race of Brian who was styled Earl, died; and the son of his brother, Donough, the son of Conor, was inaugurated in his place.



Caffer, the son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv, son of Hugh Roe O'Donnell; the son of O'Boyle, and the son of Mac Sweeny Banagh, together with the crew of a long ship, were slain by the Scots on the 16th of September, on Tory Island.


Grainne, the daughter of Manus, the son of Hugh, son of Hugh Roe O'Donnell, and wife of O'Rourke (Brian, the son of Owen), died on the 29th of April.


The Lord Justice, Anthony St. Leger, was called to England; and another was sent to Ireland in his stead, namely, James Crofts.


A hosting was made by the Lord Justice into Ulster in the beginning of Autumn; and he sent the crews of four ships to the island of Reachrainn, to seek for plunders. The sons of Mac Donnell of Scotland, James and Colla Maelduv, were upon the island to protect the district. A battle was fought between them, in which the English were defeated, so that not one of them escaped to relate their story, except their chief, a lieutenant, whom these Scots took prisoner, and kept in custody until they obtained in exchange for him their own brother, Sorley Boy, who had been imprisoned in Dublin by the English for the space of a year before, and another great ransom along with him.


A great court was held in Dublin after the arrival of the Lord Justice; and O'Neill (Con, the son of Con), Earl of Tyrone, was at that time taken prisoner, in consequence of the complaints and accusations of his own son, Ferdoragh, the Baron; and the young sons of O'Neill waged a great war with the English and the Baron, in revenge of the taking of their father. Many injuries were done between them.


A hosting was made by the English a second time into Ulster, to wreak their vengeance on the sons of Mac Donnell, the sons of O'Neill, and the son of Niall Oge, son of Niall, son of Con, son of Hugh Boy. The Ultonians and Scots were prepared to receive them. On coming together, a fierce and furious battle was fought between them, in which the English were defeated, and two


hundred of the English and Irish of their party were slain; and such of them as escaped returned back in disgrace and discomfiture from these two expeditions.


A great court was held at Athlone; and Mac Coghlan repaired to that court, and obtained his pardon, and a patent for his territory; and Dealbhna-Eathra became tributary to the King.


O'Conor Faly, i.e. Brian, continued in prison in England from the time that he was taken thither. He made an attempt to escape, but he was taken. His life was spared, but he was sentenced to be kept in constant confinement ever afterwards.


Donnell Mac Congail died.

Annal M1552


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1552. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred fifty-two.


Clonmacnoise was plundered and devastated by the English of Athlone; and the large bells were taken from the Cloigtheach. There was not left,


moreover, a bell, small or large, an image, or an altar, or a book, or a gem, or even glass in a window, from the wall of the church out, which was not carried off. Lamentable was this deed, the plundering of the city of Kieran, the holy patron.


Teige O'Rourke, Tanist of Breifny, was hanged by his own people. Some assert that Brian O'Rourke, his father's brother, had a part in causing this execution.


Mac Sweeny Fanad (Rory), Niall, his relative, and Brian, the son of Edmond, were treacherously slain in a monastery.


Mahon, the son of Brian, son of Teige, son of Turlough O'Brien, was slain by the people of Donough, son of Conor O'Brien.


The son of O'Brien of Thomond (Dermot, the son of Murrough, who was son of Turlough) died on the eve of the festival of St. Bridget, and was buried in the monastery of Ennis.


A great war broke out in this year between the English, on the one side, and the Ultonians (a few only excepted) and Scots, on the other, during which great injuries were committed hetween them.


A hosting was made by the Lord Justice again into Ulster, against the son of Niall Oge (i.e. Hugh O'Neill) and the Scots. A party of the English and Mac an tSabhaoisigh preceded them with a force, in quest of preys; but the son of Niall Oge met these at Belfast, and he rushed on and defeated them, and slew Mac an tSabhaoisigh, together with forty or sixty others. The other troops, however, went across the River Lagan, and proceeded to erect a castle at Belfast, but they gained no victory, and obtained no hostages or spoils; and their spirits were greatly damped on this occasion. The son of O'Neill (Ferdoragh, i.e. the Baron) went afterwards with a great army to assist the Lord Justice and the English ; but not being able on that night to come up with them, he pitched his camp in their vicinity. His kinsman, John Donghaileach O'Neill, pursued him with another army, and made a nocturnal attack upon the forces of the Baron in their camp; and he routed them before him, and slew


great numbers of them. On this occasion, William Brabazon, who had been for a long time the King's Treasurer in Ireland, and who had been Lord Justice for some time, and had erected a court at Athlone, died on the aforesaid expedition. His body was brought in a ship to Dublin; and his heart was afterwards sent to the King, in token of his loyalty and truth towards him.


O'Neill still remained in prison; in revenge of which his son, John Donnghaileach, and Hugh, the son of Niall Oge of Clannaboy, continued waging war with the Baron and the English.


Another hosting was made by the Lord Justice into Ulster, in Autumn, but effected nothing, except that he destroyed corn-fields. After having lost a great part of his people, he returned without submission or peace.


A great war broke out between O'Reilly and the English; and O'Reilly committed many depredations upon them.


O'Conor Faly remained in England, no one expecting his return.


The Baron of Delvin went to England, and returned home, after having transacted his business as well as he was able.


The Lord Justice, James Croftes, went to England; and Thomas Cusack, i.e. the Cusack of Baile-Cuisin, the Chancellor, became Lord Justice in his stead.


Annal M1553


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1553. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred fifty-three.


Queen Mary was made Queen in England on the 6th of July.


A nocturnal attack was made by Donnell and Turlough, sons of Conor O'Brien, upon their brother, Donough More Mac Conor, Lord of Thomond, at Cluain-Ramhfhoda; and they burned and plundered the town, and slew many persons. And O'Brien (Donough) went into a tower which was in the town, to protect himself against them. This happened in the very beginning of Lent. The cause of this dissension was, that Donough had obtained from the King the right of succession for his son, who had been styled Baron in preference to his seniors. In consequence of this the brothers became enraged, and made the aforesaid attack upon O'Brien. Some assert that it was no wonder that they should have acted thus. From this, disturbances arose in Thomond; but they did not continue long at strife with each other, for Donough More O'Brien, first Earl of Thomond, died on the Passion-Saturday ensuing; and Donnell took his place.


Joan, the daughter of Manus O'Donnell, and wife of O'Conor Sligo, died on the 16th of June.


Donough, the son of Turlough, son of Murrough O'Brien, died.


Niall, son of Felim O'Melaghlin, Tanist of Clann-Colman, a successful and warlike man, and the best of his tribe for his years, was treacherously slain by


O'Melaghlin (Teige Roe), at Bel-an-atha, as he was retiring from the court of Mullingar. In revenge of this killing of Niall, son of Felim, Magh-Corrain was plundered, and its castles, i.e. Cluain-Lonain and Newcastle, were taken, and O'Melaghlin was expelled by the Baron of Delvin and the English of Athlone.


A defeat was given to Mac William Burke, i.e. Richard-an-Iarainn, by the sons of Thomas Bacagh Burke and the people of Gallen, in which Richard himself was taken prisoner, and one hundred and fifty of his army were slain.


A hosting was made by O'Brien (Donnell) into Leinster; and he held a conference with the English at the fort in Leix, and he parted from them in peace. He took hostages from O'Carroll as pledges for keeping the peace.


The daughter of O'Conor Faly, Margaret, went to England, relying on the number of her friends and relatives there, and on her knowledge of the English language, to request Queen Mary to restore her father to her; and on her appealing to her mercy, she obtained her father, and brought him home to Ireland; and other hostages were given up to the Lord Justice and the Council in his stead, namely, Rury O'Conor, the eldest of his own sons, and other hostages along with him.


The sons of the Earl of Kildare, Garrett Oge and Edward, came to Ireland, after having been in exile for a period of sixteen years in Rome, Italy, and France, and obtained from the Queen the restoration of their patrimonial inheritances, and the Earldom. The son of the Earl of Ossory, James, the son of Pierce Butler, also returned, and succeeded as Earl in the place of his father. The heir of Mac Gillapatrick, Brian Oge, the son of Brian, came along with the sons of the Earl of Kildare and the Earl of Ossory. There was great rejoicing throughout the greater part of Leath-Mhogha because of their arrival; for it was thought that not one of the descendants of the Earls of Kildare, or of the O'Conors Faly, would ever come to Ireland.


A hosting was made by the Baron of Delvin into Delvin Eathra, at the instance of Cormac Caech and the descendants of Farrell Mac Coghlan, a fort-night


after Allhallowtide, and he remained for two nights encamped in that country; and he burned and plundered the territory from Bealach-an-fhothair to Tochar-cinn-mona; and this army caused great destruction, though they committed no remarkable depredations or slaughter.


After this a vindictive war arose between Mac Coghlan and the descendants of Farrell and O'Molloy, during which injuries not easily described were done between them. During this war an astonishing exploit was performed at Cluain-Nona, namely, a peasant of the people of the town acted treacherously towards the warders of the town, and slew three distinguished men of them with a chopping-axe, tied a woman who was within, and then took possession of the castle; and this was a bold achievement for one churl!


O'Brien (Donnell) drove the Earl of Clanrickard from the castle of Beann-mor, which he was laying siege to on John Burke.


Annal M1554


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1554. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred fifty-four.


Cahir, the son of Art, son of Dermot Lávderg Mac Murrough, a successful and warlike man, and worthy to have become Lord of Leinster, had it not been for the invasion of the English, died.


O'Carroll (Calvagh, i.e. the son of Donough) was slain by William Odhar, the descendants of Mulrony O'Carroll, and Connell Oge O'More, in requital of the treachery which he had practised towards Teige Caech some time before. For this treacherous conduct ample revenge was taken of O'Carroll, for, before the expiration of a year after the perpetration of his treacherous deed, he himself and Teige Mac Donough, his brother, were slain; and William O'Carroll was styled O'Carroll in his place.


Donnell O'Brien, Lord of Thomond, marched with an army to the castle of Dun-Michil against Conor Groibhleach, the son of Donough O'Brien, to take the castle from him; but the Earl of Ormond arrived with his force, to drive O'Brien from the castle.


A hosting was made the week after this by O'Brien into Clanrickard; and he committed a great depredation upon some people of that country. From thence he proceeded to Dun-Lathraigh in the county of Galway, to which the descendants of Richard Oge and the descendants of Meyler Burke repaired, and received fosterage and wages from him.


The battle of Ceann-salach, in Cloch-Chinnfhaelaidh, was fought by the Clann-Sweeny of the Tuathas, precisely on the day of Samhain 1st of November. In this engagement were, on the one side, Mac Sweeny (OwenOge, the son of Owen) and his brother, Turlough Carragh, and Niall, the son of Mulmurry; on the other side were the sons of Donough Mac Sweeny, namely, Hugh Boy, Edmond, Conor, and Donnell. On the one side were slain in it, Mac Sweeny and his brother, Turlough Carragh, and Niall, the son of Mulmurry; on the


other side, two of the sons of Donough, namely, Edmond and Conor. Numbers of other distinguished persons were also slain on each side, besides those already mentioned.


A great hosting was made by the Earl of Kildare, the Baron of Delvin, and a great number of the Irish, into Ulster, against Felim Roe, the son of Art, son of Hugh O'Neill, at the instance of John Donghaileach, the son of O'Neill. They committed a great depredation, and lost more than fifty of their people on that expedition. An army was mustered by O'Neill (Con, the son of Con). to march against the Clann-Hugh-Boy. Upon his arrival in the country, Hugh, the son of Niall Oge O'Neill, and the sons of Mac Donnell, assembled all the forces they had to meet him; and an engagement followed, in which O'Neill was defeated and his people slaughtered, for three hundred of his forces were slain.


A great fine in cows, namely, three hundred and forty cows, was apportioned upon and obtained from Delvin-Eathra by the Earl of Kildare, as an eric for his foster-brother, Robert Nugent, who had been slain by Art, the son of Cormac Mac Coghlan.


O'Conor Faly (Brian) was held in custody by the English.


Hugh, the son of Anmchadh O'Madden, Lord of Sil-Anmchadha, died; and John, the son of Breasal O'Madden, took his place.


Teige, the son of Hugh O'Coffey, Chief Precentor of Ireland and Scotland in poetry, died.


Cormac, the son of Ferdoragh Mac Coghlan, head of his own branch of that family, and heir to the lordship of Delvin-Eathra, died at Clonlonan.


Annal M1555


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1555. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred fifty-five.


Hugh, the son of Niall Oge, son of Niall, son of Con, son of Hugh Boy, son of Brian Ballagh O'Neill, Lord of Clannaboy, an influential, bountiful, generous, and truly hospitable man, a prince over chieftains, a mighty lord in defending, a man who had not yielded submission or obedience to any of the Irish, who had never given pledges or hostages for his territory, and who had received hostages himself, a man who had given many defeats to the English and Irish in the defence of his territory against them, was killed by the Scots, with the shot of a ball.


A new Lord Justice, namely, Thomas Sussex, came to Ireland; and Anthony St. Leger, the old Justice, was banished to England. A hosting was immediately made by this Lord Justice, at the instance of O'Neill, to expel the sons of Mac Donnell and the Scots, who were making conquests in the Route and Clannaboy. The Lord Justice remained for half a quarter of a year with his army, harassing the Scots; and he committed many depredations upon them. He slew one or two hundred of these Scots, and then returned with his army, without obtaining submission or hostages.


Brian, the son of Cahir Roe O'Conor Faly, was slain by Donough, the son of O'Conor (Brian).



The Lord Justice of Ireland mustered an army to march into Munster. O'Brien mustered another army to oppose him, and marched to Hy-Regan, to meet the Lord Justice. They however made peace with each other; the Irish, from the Barrow to the Shannon, on the part of O'Brien; and the English of Munster on the part of the Lord Justice.


The son of O'Donnell, i.e. Calvagh, went to Scotland, attended by a few select persons, and obtained auxiliary forces from Mac Calin (Gillaspick Don), under the command of Master Arsibel. He afterwards came back, with a great body of Scots, to desolate and ravage Tirconnell. It was on this occasion that he brought with him a gun called Gonna-Cam, by which Newcastle in Inishowen, and the castle of Eanach, were demolished. Upon his first arrival in the country, he took O'Donnell (Manus), his father, prisoner, at Rosracha, and retained this body of Scottish troops from the Allhallowtide, in which they arrived, until the festival of St. Brendan following. O'Donnell remained in captivity until his death.


Annal M1556


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1556. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred fifty-six.


Gilla-Columb O'Clabby, Coarb of St. Patrick at Uaran-Maighe-Aoi, head of the hospitality and affluence of the Coarbs of Connaught, general entertainer of the indigent and the mighty, died in Clanrickard, after having been banished from Uaran, and after his son, Dermot Roe O'Clabby, had been slain by the Clann-Conway.


O'More (Connell Oge) was taken prisoner by the Lord Justice.


The castle of Lis-cluaine, in Delvin, was finished by Melaghlin O'Dalachain, on the festival of St. Matthew the Evangelist.


O'Brien (Donnell) defeated Teige, the son of Murrough O'Brien, at the castle of Disert, where thirty persons or more were slain.


Donough, the son of O'Conor Faly (Brian), was taken prisoner by the Lord Justice, at Druim-dá-mhaighe, while he was under the safe protection and guarantee of the Earl of Kildare. The Lord Justice and the Earl sent each messenger to England to the Queen, to learn what should be done with those hostages whom they had; for the Lord Justice had O'Conor and Donough, as well as other hostages, in his custody. O'More and Donough O'Conor were afterwards set at liberty, on account of their guarantees, namely, the Earl of Kildare and the Earl of Ormond. This had not been expected.


O'Farrell Bane (Teige, son of Cormac) died at a venerable old age.


O'Madden (John, the son of Breasal), Lord of Sil-Anmchadha, was slain by Breasal Duv O'Madden ; and two lords were set up in Sil-Anmchadha, namely, Breasal Duv and Melaghlin Modhardha.


Owny, the son of William O'Coffey, the most learned in Ireland in poetry, was treacherously slain at night, at Baile-an-luig in Magh-bhachla, but it is not known by whom.


O'Doherty (Felim, the son of Conor Carragh) died on the 6th of December.


Annal M1557


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1557. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred fifty-seven.


Armagh was plundered twice in one month by Thomas Sussex.


Mac Murrough (Murrough, the son of Maurice Kavanagh) was killed at Leighlin by the English, because he had begun to exalt himself, and foment disturbances against them; whereupon they dealt treacherously by him in the house of the council.


The castle of Feadan in Delvin-Eathra was taken by a prisoner who was confined therein, and given up to Mac Coghlan; and the descendants of Farrell were banished, and their hostages hanged, on Shrove-Monday, being the first day of March.


The castle of Rachra was demolished by O'Melaghlin and the English of Athlone; after which a war broke out between Mac Coghlan and O'Melaghlin.


Offaly was ravaged, and the O'Conors were again banished from it, by the Lord Justice, and their hostages detained. These were the hostages: O'Conor Faly, and the son of his brother, i.e. Ross, son of Murrough, with many others along with them. All these hostages were put to death by the English, except O'Conor only.


O'More (Connell) was taken by the English, and put to death by them at Leighlin. It was grievous to the Irish that their free-born noble chieftains should be overtaken by such an evil destiny; but they could not afford them any assistance.


A hosting was made by the Lord Justice to banish the O'Conors of Offaly


from Meelick, after having heard that they were there; and he conveyed and carried great guns to Athlone, and from thence sent them in boats to Meelick, while he himself marched his army through Bealach-an-fhothair, and by Lurgan-Lusmhaighe. He afterwards took Meelick and Breac-chluain, and slew Donough, the son of Colla, together with others of the warders. The entire territory was plundered and ravaged on that occasion. The sons of Melaghlin Balbh were banished from the territory, together with the insurgents. The Lord Justice left an English constable at Meelick, i.e. Master Francis, and took hostages from the two O'Maddens, namely, from Melaghlin Modhardha and Breasal, and other hostages from Mac Coghlan, namely, his son and others: and thus was Siol-Anmchadha taken, and it is not easy to state or enumerate all that was destroyed on that expedition. Three weeks before Lammas that expedition was made.


O'Farrell Bane (Donnell) was slain by Fachtna, the son of Teige O'Farrell and Fachtna himself was banished for this deed by the English.


Donnell, son of Laoighseach O'More, Lord of Sliabh Mairge, was hanged by the English, namely, by Master Sili.


A hosting was made by the Lord Justice into Fircall, to expel the plunderers from it, for he had heard that they were in the woods of Fircall. He took Theobald O'Molloy and others prisoners, and proceeded from thence into Ely, where he took Leim-Ui-Bhanain; and it was the goodness of his steed alone that enabled O'Conor to escape from him. The Justice returned back, after having thrown the Irish of these parts into confusion. He afterwards went to England, and left the Treasurer in his place. Another hosting was made by the Treasurer into Fircall, to take vengeance upon O'Molloy (Art) for his protection of the wood kerns and other insurgents. On this occasion the whole


country, from the Wood of Coill mor eastwards, was ravaged; Baile-mhic-Abhainn and Lynally, both houses and churches, were burned; and Calvagh, son of O'Molloy, was killed at Bel-atha-glaisi, by the Treasurer and his army, on that occasion. He came a second time, and burned the territory, and cut down its woods, and gave neither peace nor rest to O'Molloy, but chased and banished him, and proclaimed him a traitor, and gave the lordship to Theobald O'Molloy, who delivered up to him his son as a hostage in his own place.


A great war between the English and all those Irish who had turned out against them, namely, the O'Conors Faly, O'Mores, O'Molloys, and O'Carrolls; so that it is impossible to enumerate the number of preys, slaughters, and plunders, which were committed by them, from the Shannon to Sliabh-ruadh, from Slieve Bloom to Cliodhna, and from the Eoir to the same Cliodhna.



O'Carroll (William Odhar) took the castle of Leim, after having found it unprotected.


Turlough, the son of Conor, son of Turlough, son of Teige-an-Chomaid O'Brien, died.


John O'Neill, i.e. the son of Con, son of Con, assembled and mustered a very numerous army to proceed into Tirconnell, namely, all the people of Oriel, and all the English and Irish from Tragh-Bhaile-mhic-Buain Dundalk to the River Fin. All these came to join his muster and army, and marched without halting until they had, in the first place, pitched their spacious and hero-thronged camp at Carraig Liath, between the two rivers, Finn and Mourne. The time was spent very happily in the camp of the son of O'Neill, for they carried on the buying and selling of mead, wine, rich clothing, and all other necessaries. News came to the son of O'Neill that the Kinel-Connell had sent off all their cows and herds into the wilds and fastnesses of the country for protection; but he declared that not one cow of them was inaccessible, for that, even though they should pass with their cattle into Leinster or Munster, he would pursue them until he should compel them to submit to his authority, so that there should be but one king in Ulster for the future. As for the Kinel-Connell, they were thus circumstanced: O'Donnell (Manus) was in bad health and infirmity, and had now been for two years incarcerated by his son Calvagh, who had assumed the government of the country. Moreover, his brother Hugh, with his adherents, was in opposition to him, and was at this time along with John O'Neill, his kinsman. When Calvagh heard that John O'Neill and


his forces were encamped on the frontiers of the territory, he pondered in his mind what he should do in this great danger which now threatened him; and he advised with his father, Manus, upon the military movement he ought to adopt in opposing his enemies, whensoever they should come into the territory. The advice which O'Donnell, his father, gave him was, as he had not an army equal to that of the son of O'Neill, not to go forth to meet him in battle, but to remain protecting his own people, until he O'Neill should come into the territory, and then, if he were able, to make an attack upon his camp, and throw them into confusion. He thought that victory could thus be gained, and they agreed upon adopting this movement. As for John O'Neill and his forces, they marched without halting from Carraig-liath, across the Finn, close to Raphoe, through the Lagan; and they halted, and encamped alongside of Baile-aighidh-chaoin, near the stream that flows from the well of Cabhartach, where the army constructed booths and tents. Calvagh and his son, Con, were on that day at a meeting on the summit of Beinnin with a small party, namely, only thirty horsemen, and two companys of gallowglasses of the Mac Sweenys of Fanad, i.e. of the descendants of Rory, under Walter, the son of Murrough, and the descendants of Donnell, under Donnell Gorm Mac Sweeny. And when Calvagh heard that John had arrived at that place with his army, he sent two of his trusty friends to reconnoitre the forces; their names were Donough Oge, the son of Donough Roe Maguire, and Maurice Mac Ailin. These two proceeded to the enemy's camp, and mingled with the troops, without being noticed;


for, in consequence of the numbers and variety of the troops who were there it was not easy for them to discriminate between one another, even if it were day, except by recognising their chieftains alone. The two persons aforesaid proceeded from one fire to another, until they came to the great central-fire, which was at the entrance of the son of O'Neill's tent; and a huge torch, thicker than a man's body, was constantly flaming at a short distance from the fire, and sixty grim and redoubtable gallowglasses, with sharp, keen axes, terrible and ready for action, and sixty stern and terrific Scots, with massive, broad, and heavy-striking swords in their hands, ready to strike and parry, were watching and guarding the son of O'Neill. When the time came for the troops to dine, and food was divided and distributed among them, the two spies whom we have mentioned stretched out their hands to the distributor, like the rest; and that which fell to their share was a ceinn-bheart filled with meal, and a suitable complement of butter. With this testimony of their adventure they returned to their own people; and, upon the exhibition of it, their entire narrative was believed. Calvagh commanded his people to arm directly, which they did without delay; the two battalions formed into one; and Con O'Donnell proceeded on foot, between Walter and Donnell, having given his horse to his father. They advanced towards the camp, and did not halt until they had


reached the central troops that were guarding the son of O'Neill. They made a furious and fierce attack upon the men in the camp, and both parties then proceeded to kill, destroy, slaughter, hack, mangle, and mutilate one another with their polished sharp axes, and with their well-tempered, keen-edged, hero-befitting swords; so that men were wounded, and warriors disabled, by this body of men who had come into the camp. When John O'Neill heard the noise of the heavy troops, and the clamour of the bands, he was convinced that they were enemies who had entered the camp, and he passed through the western end of his tent unobserved. The night was rainy, very heavy showers being followed by silent dripping, so that the rivers and streams of the country were flooded. At last the army of the Kinel-Owen were defeated, with dreadful havoc, by dint of conflict and fighting. As for John O'Neill, not one of his own party followed him, but two only of the people of Hugh, the son of Manus O'Donnell, with Donough, the son of Felim Finn O'Gallagher. He proceeded on by the shortest ways and the most lonesome passages, until he had crossed the Deel, the Finn, and the Derg; and it was by swimming that he, with his two companions, crossed these three rivers. Thence he proceeded to Tearmonn-Ui-Moain, where he purchased a horse that night from O'Moain, and at length arrived by break of day at Aireagal-da-Chiarog. Calvagh remained with his small army for the rest of the night in the camp in which O'Neill and his army had passed the beginning of the night in merriment and high spirits; and they remained until morning drinking the wines of the party whom they had defeated. On the following day they took with them, and displayed with pride, many


spoils, consisting of arms, dresses, coats of mail, and horses, so that Con, the son of Calvagh, had for his dividend of the booty eighty horses, besides the celebrated steed of O'Neill's son, called the Son of the Eagle. Scarcely had so much booty been obtained at the battle of Cnoc-Buidhbh-Derg, which was gained by O'Donnell (Hugh Oge, the son of Hugh Roe) over Neill, as the Kinel-Connell obtained on that occasion.


Annal M1558


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1558. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred fifty-eight.


The Earl of Desmond, James, the son of John, son of Thomas, son of James, son of Garrett the Earl, died. The loss of this good man was woful to his country, for there was no need to watch cattle, or close doors, from Dun-caoin, in Kerry, to the green-bordered meeting of the three waters, on the confines of the province of Eochaidh, the son of Luchta, and Leinster. And his son, Garrett, was installed in his place.



O'Brien of Thomond (Donnell, the son of Conor, son of Turlough, son of Teige, son of Brian Catha-an-aenaigh) was banished from his patrimony by the Lord Justice of Ireland; and he was stripped of his earldom by the same Lord Justice, i.e. Thomas Fitzwalter, and by the son of his brother, Conor, the son of Donough, son of Conor O'Brien. Clonroad, Bunratty, and Clár-mor, the chief towns of the country, and not only these, but the entire country, as well waste lands as inhabited lands, were placed in the hands of the son of Donough O'Brien by the English, who appointed him Earl over that country. He was the first Earl of the Race of Cas in title, but not the first by inauguration. In consequence of this deed, i.e. the expulsion of Donnell O'Brien, the Irish of noble Banba were seized with horror, dread, fear, and apprehension of danger; and the descendants of Con, and of Cathaoir, the descendants of Heremon and Heber, of Ir and Ith, were alarmed at this change.


The Baron O'Neill (Ferdoragh, the son of Con Bacagh, son of Con, son of Henry, son of Owen) was slain (a deed unbecoming in a kinsman) by the people


of his brother, John; and the cause of his killing was because he was appointed to the dignity of his father, if his father should die before him.


The son of O'Conor Faly, i.e. Donough, the son of Brian, son of Cahir, son of Con, son of Calvagh, was slain by O'Dempsey (Owny, the son of Hugh). This death left the Barrow in sorrow, the Hy-Faly feeble, and Leinster in grief. And that deed was perpetrated precisely on the festival of St. Patrick.


The Earl of Clanrickard gave a great defeat to the Scots. This Earl was Rickard, son of Ulick-na-gCeann, son of Rickard, son of Ulick of Cnoc-tuagh, son of Ulick Meodhanach, son of Ulick of the Wine; and the Scots who sustained that defeat were Donnell, the son of Dowell, son of Gillespick Mac Allen Campbell, and Dowell, the son of Donough, son of Gillespick Mac Allen, two brave young constables of gallowglasses, who had been a long time before hired into the service of the Ultonians, but more particularly in the service of Tirconnell. They had agreed among themselves, stimulated by extraordinary vigour and bravery, to leave those districts, and to proceed through Connaught, to render


their names famous. They first passed through the territory of Carbry, the son of Niall, through the lower part of Tirerrill, by the territory of Gaileang (where Cormac Gaileang, the son of Teige, son of Kian, son of Oilioll Olum, settled after having violated the guarantee of his father), and into the country of Awley of Fiachra Tirawley. In this last mentioned territory Mac William (Richard-an-iarrainn, the son of David, son of Edmond, son of Ulick) came to meet them; and he promised to support them for plundering his neighbours and harassing his enemies. When the Earl of Clanrickard heard that this foreign host had arrived in his neighbourhood, he collected the greatest number that he was able of mail-clad warriors and ordnance, and did not halt till he arrived at the place where those Scots were, by the Moy. He was the better of attacking them there, for he routed this foreign band of fiercely-rapacious warriors, who did not consider their distance from their native country and their kindred, for they suffered their enemies to slaughter them on the spot. Donnell and Dowell were slain there; but the victory would have been greater if they had been taken prisoners, instead of being slain, for an equivalent ransom in any kind of riches would have been received for them. The power of the Scots was enfeebled in Connaught for a considerable time after this attack.


A defeat was given to O'Carroll (William Odhar, the son of Ferganainm, son of Mulrony, son of John) by the English, on the plain of Ceann-Corcaighe, where youths were cut off, and warriors slain, and, among the rest, Murrough Geangcach, the son of Edmond, son of Murrough, son of Edmond Mac Sweeny, one of the constables of Dal-gCais, and of the family of Tir-Boghaine. O'Carroll himself escaped from that perilous conflict.



The Archdeacon of Killaloe died, i.e. Donough Oge, the son of Donough, son of Nicholas O'Grady. He was a lord in Church and State.


Queen Elizabeth was made sovereign over England on the 17th of November.

Annal M1559


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1559. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred fifty-nine.


O'Neill (Con Bacagh, the son of Henry, son of Owen) died, after having spent his age and time without blemish or reproach. His death would have been a cause of great grief to the Kinel-Owen but for his great age and infirmity, and that he left an heir worthy of him, i.e. John.



Edmond Butler, the son of Thomas, son of Edmond, son of Edmond, Lord of Trian-Chluana-Meala, and of Cathair-Duine-Iascaigh on the Suire, died. This beautiful, sweet-sounding trumpet, a whitesided, fair, ruddy-coloured youth, was cut off in the beginning of his life and career; and his father's brother, Pierce, the son of Edmond, took his place.


The Earl of Thomond (Conor, the son of Donough, son of Conor O'Brien) sat before Inchiquin, precisely in the month of June, to oppose the sons of Murrough O'Brien. And Donough, one of the sons of Murrough, was in the town; but Teige, the other son of Murrough, had been constantly in the company and society of the Earl of Desmond, since the expulsion of Donnell O'Brien up to that period. And Teige had complained of his distress to the Earl, and had said that he should be left without home or kinsmen, unless he obtained speedy assistance. The Earl took this complaint of Teige to heart, and he assembled his gallant troops, and mustered his tribes; he did not, however, wait to make a proper muster, but proceeded at once, with boldness and intrepidity, across the waters of the limpidly-rolling Shannon. When the Earl of Thomond heard that this army was marching upon him, he departed from Inchiquin, leaving the camp empty, and went to solicit the assistance of his trusty friend, the Earl of Clanrickard. He was the better of this solicitation, for the Earl did not wait to be asked a second time, but set out immediately, and did not halt until he reached the place where the Earl of Thomond was. As for the Earl of Thomond, he did not halt till he arrived on the green of Inchiquin; and he returned back the same night to Baile-Ui-Aille. The camps of the Earls were not far asunder on that night. On the morrow, at day-break, the Earl of Desmond arose, and marshalled his youthful warriors in battle-array and fighting order, for he thought that he should not part from the two nobles who were pursuing him without fighting. This was indeed true, for they proceeded


to fire at each other, and to skirmish from the places where they were encamped, till they arrived at the summit of Cnoc-Fuarchoilli, where it was the will of destiny and the decree of fate to bring them to the same place. The success of battle of the race of Cas changed on that day, for until then they had been accustomed to drive the Geraldines panic-stricken before their faces on every hill on which they had contended; and even on that day Teige, the son of Murrough O'Brien, was fighting along with Garrett. Garrett, the son of James, and Teige O'Brien, gained the onset of the battle, and the rising of the hill, upon the two noble and vigorous Earls, who had coveted to oppress him Teige, and who had attempted to subdue him; but they the Earls left their youths soldiers beneath the weapons of their adversaries, and at the mercy of their foes. Donough Gobha, the son of Brian, son of Turlough, son of Teige, son of Mahon, was left behind; a number of the chieftains of the Sil-Aedha were slain, as were also the Chief Constable of Clanrickard, i.e. Edmond, son of Rory More Mac Sweeny, and Colla, the son of Murrough, son of Rory More Mac Sweeny; also three sons of Murrough, the son of Donough, son of Donnell-na-madhmann Mac Sweeny, namely, Conor, Constable of Thomond, Owen, and Donough; and there also fell the sons of Edmond, son of Murrough, son of Edmond Mac Sweeny, namely, Mulmurry Boy and Edmond. I shall not enumerate them any longer. But the Earl of Desmond returned home after victory in triumph.


A captain's first expedition was made by O'Carroll (William Odhar, the son of Ferganainm, son of Mulrony, son of John), against Mac-I-Brien of Ara, i.e. Turlough, the son of Murtough, son of Donnell, son of Teige, son of Turlough, son of Murrough-na-Raithnighe. On this occasion O'Carroll at once devastated and totally ravaged the country from Bel-an-atha to Muilleann-Ui-Ogain. On the same day he slew Mac-I-Brien's brother, namely, Murrough,


the son of Murtough, a distinguished captain, by no means the worst of the youths of the descendants of Brian Roe. Mac-I-Brien afterwards made a muster of his friends, to go and avenge this dishonour upon O'Carroll; and as soon as his lordly bands had assembled around him, he marched forwards, resolved to ravage the territory of Hy-Cairin on that expedition. Destiny had so disposed affairs for O'Carroll, that he was on the summit of a hill in Hy-Cairin, listening to the country around him ; and it was from the foot of this hill on which O'Carroll was stationed that Mac-I-Brien sent forth a body of his scouts to plunder the districts. When his youths had sallied forth from him, he saw O'Carroll approaching him in battle array, and in fighting order; and not one of those who were there before him was able to withstand his strength, or escape by flight. Every man of Mac-I-Brien's people able to bear arms was slain; his constable, Heremon, the son of Gilla-Duv, son of Conor, son of Donough Mac Sweeny, was slain. Mac-I-Brien himself was taken prisoner; and there was profit in giving him quarter, for he was not set at liberty without a ransom.


Teige-an-tsuasain, the son of O'Donnell, son of Conor O'Brien, died in Fermanagh, in Maguire's country, while on a visit with his more remote friends, for he had been banished the preceding year from his patrimony, together with his father. He was the most distinguished of his age for agility, strength, martial feats, and horsemanship, of the race of Cormac Cas; and he was interred at Achadh-beithe Aghavea.


Calvagh O'Donnell was taken prisoner by O'Neill (John) on the 14th of May. This capture was effected thus: Caffar, the son of Manus, was at strife with Calvagh and his son, Con. Caffar had his abode at this time in the Crannog of Loch-Beathach; and Con, the son of Calvagh, assembled the forces of the country, and laid siege to the Crannog. Calvagh was at this time at Cill-O'dTomhrair with a few soldiers, besides women and poets; and some of the


Kinel-Connell informed O'Neill that Calvagh was thus situated, without guard or protection. O'Neill neglected not this opportunity, but proceeded with the number of forces he had in readiness, without notice or forewarning, so that they surrounded the apartment of the monastery in which Calvagh was ; and thus they made prisoners of himself and his wife, the daughter of Mac Gilleain, and carried them off into Tyrone. O'Neill detained Calvagh in close and cruel confinement, and, moreover, cohabited with his wife, the daughter of Mac Gilleain, so that she bore children unto him. Were it not for the advantage taken of the Kinel-Connell on the occasion, it would not have been an easy matter for the Gaels to carry off their chief from them at the time.

Annal M1560


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1560. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred sixty.


The daughter of Mac Carthy, i.e. Eveleen, daughter of Donnell, son of Cormac Ladhrach, the wife of the Earl of Desmond in her youth, namely, of James, the son of John, who was son of Thomas, and afterwards the wife of the Earl of Thomond, namely, of Conor, the son of Donough, son of Conor, a charitable, humane, friendly, and pious Countess, died, and was interred in the burial-place of her ancestors, namely, at Oirbhealach.


Mac Mahon, i.e. Art Mael, the son of Redmond, son of Glasny, was slain in O'Neill's army by the Scots, from want of being guarded, between two bands, in the route the territory of Mac Quillin. He who was there slain was the foremost spear in every battle, and the defender of his portion of the province against the men of Bregia and of Meath. His brother, Hugh, son of Brian-na-Moicheirghe, son of Redmond, son of Glasny, was installed in his place.


Teige and Owen, the two sons of O'Rourke (Brian Ballagh, the son of Owen), came by untimely deaths. Owen first met his death thus: he was held in captivity by his kinsman, Teige, in the town of Leitrim; and it came to pass that, having got an opportunity of the guard, he slew the person whom Teige


had appointed as his keeper, and ascending to the top of the castle, cried out that the castle was in his power, and that the country had no more right to side with Teige than with himself. When a soldier, one of the people of Teige, who was outside, heard this, he laid his cheek on his gun, and took direct aim at Owen, so that the ball entered at his navel, and bereft him of life. Teige the other son was drowned in the autumn of this year, as he was going across a lake to sleep in a low, retired crannog, in Muintir-Eolais. To attack them, if fighting on the same side, would have been as dangerous as to rob the nest of a serpent, to plunder the young of the griffin, or to attack a lion in his den.


Teige Boy, the son of Kian, son of Oilioll O'Hara, was slain by Cathal Oge, the son of Teige, son of Cathal Oge O'Conor. For a long time before there had not appeared in Connaught, of the race of Cormac Gaileang, a man more distinguished for horsemanship, or hospitality to strangers, than he.


A declaration of battle, and promise of conflict, between the Earl of Desmond (Garrett, the son of James, son of John) and the Earl of Ormond (Thomas, the son of James, son of Pierce Roe, son of James, son of Edmond). The cause of these hostilities was a dispute concerning the lands about the Suire and Eoghanacht Chaisil, the lawful patrimonial inheritances of the descendants of Owen More and Cormac Cas, which those Earls of foreign extraction were parcelling out among themselves; and as the nobles were not able to terminate their dispute, they themselves agreed to appoint a certain time for deciding the affair by a battle; and the place of battle which they selected was Bothar-mor, adjacent to Cnamhchoill and Tipperary. Thither crowded their respective English and Irish neighbours from the road of Conglas, the son of the hero, Donn-Desa, in the west of the two smooth-surfaced and beautiful provinces of Munster, to the white-flowery-banked River Barrow; and from the lake of Garman Glas, the son of Boma-lice, to the wide foamy harbour of Luimneach,


on the confines of Hy-Fidhgeinte and Deis-Beag with Caoill-an-Chosnamha. When however these great hosts had come front to front, and face to face, the great God sent the angel of peace to them, so that concord was established between the hosts, for, having reflected concerning the battle, they parted without coming to any engagement on that occasion.


Thomas and James, the two sons of Maurice Duv, son of John, son of Thomas, the son of the Earl, marched with an army into Carbery. The son of Mac Carthy Reagh (Donough, the son of Donnell, son of Fineen, son of Donnell) rose up, on hearing the shouts, to oppose them. He had with him at this time Turlough, son of Mulmurry, son of Donough, son of Turlough Mac Sweeny, of the descendants of Donough More from Tuatha-Toraighe, with a company of fine select gallowglasses; and they pursued the warlike bands of the Geraldines to the banks of the Banndan, where on the margin of the river, directly opposite Inis-Eoghanain, they defeated this band of adventurers. Two or three hundred of the fine troops of the Geraldines were slain and drowned; and though the men of Carbery were victorious, their loss was great from that battle, for Turlough Mac Sweeny lost a leg and an arm, so that he was supported only by a wooden leg from that time until his death.


The Earl of Thomond marched into West Connaught against Murrough-na-dtuath, the son of Teige, son of Murrough, son of Rory O'Flaherty. He


passed into the country of the Joyces, by Fuathach, by Bon-an-Bhonnain. The inhabitants of the town of Galway came to defend the ford of Tir-Oilein against him, but he crossed it with the good-will of some, and in despite of others, and marched through the plain of Clanrickard, both when going and returning.


Mahon, the son of Turlough, son of Teige, son of Donough, son of Donnell, son of Turlough Meith O'Brien, went into Desmond with the crew of a ship and boat, from the island of Aran. He took prisoners in the southern country, but some assert that the taking of them was of no advantage, and that they only accompanied him through friendship. On his return with his spoils, the wind became rough, and the sky angry; and the ship and boat were separated from each other; and when the ship was making for Aran in the beginning of the night, the sail was swept away from the hands of the men and warriors, and torn to rags off the ropes and tackles, and wafted into the regions of the firmament; and the ship afterwards struck upon a rock, which is at the mouth of Cuan-an-fhir-mhoir, in West Connaught, where she was lost, with her crew, except Mahon and three others. Upwards of one hundred were drowned in that harbour, among whom was Tuathal O'Malley, the best pilot of a fleet of long ships in his time.


Teige, the son of Murrough O'Brien, was taken prisoner at Limerick, by order of the Lord Justice, and sent from thence to Dublin, to be imprisoned; and all said that the Earl of Thomond had a hand in this capture.


O'Gallagher (Owen, the son of Edmond, who was son of John), by no means the worst son of a chieftain in Ulster, died.