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

Annal M1561


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1561. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred sixty-one.


Art, the son of Felim Fin O'Gallagher, Bishop of Raphoe, died at Ceann-Maghair (Kinaweer), on the 13th of August. He was much lamented in Tirconnell.


Mary, the daughter of Calvagh, son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv O'Donnell, and wife of O'Neill (John), died of horror, loathing, grief, and deep anguish, in consequence of the severity of the imprisonment inflicted on her father, Calvagh, by O'Neill, in her presence.


O'Beirne (Teige, the son of Carbry, son of Melaghlin), a learned man, well skilled in Latin and Irish, and in the two laws, namely, civil and canon, died; and his young son was installed in his place.


Owny, the son of Ferganainm, son of Mulrony, son of John O'Carroll, was slain at Baile-Ui-Chuirc, in Ormond. Those who surrounded him were not worthy to have wounded or taken him. The territory of Ely was an orphan after him, for they felt the loss of their help and protection after the death of Owny.


Naghtan, son of Calvagh, son of Manus O'Donnell, was designedly killed by the cast of a javelin, which he himself had first thrown, and which was cast back at himself again.


The Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, Thomas Fitz-Walter, proceeded into Tyrone, to avenge the capture of Calvagh O'Donnell, and on account of his own enmity against that country. He pitched his camp of numerous hosts at Armagh; and he erected strong raths and impregnable ramparts around the great church of Armagh, in order that he might leave warders constantly guarding that place. When O'Neill (John) received intelligence of this, he sent some of his own faithful friends, and his servants of trust, to guard and keep Calvagh O'Donnell out of the way of the Lord Justice, from one island and islet to another, in the wilds and recesses of Tyrone, until the Lord Justice should leave the


country. The Lord Justice sent out from the camp at Armagh a company of captains, with one thousand men, both horse and foot, to take preys and spoils in Oriel. And O'Neill received information and notice of the advance of these great troops into Oriel; and he marched silently and stealthily to meet them, and came up with them, after they had collected their preys. A battle was fought between them, in which countless numbers were slain on both sides. The spoils were finally left to their own rightful owners.


At this time O'Neill was harassing and plundering the territories of Bregia and Meath. Tirconnell was also subjugated and surrounded by him, after having already made a prisoner of Calvagh, and O'Donnell being sick and infirm, so that there was no one ruling Kinel-Connell at this time. O'Neill (John) then assumed the sovereign command of all Ulster, from Drogheda to the Erne, so that at this time he might have been called with propriety the provincial King of Ulster, were it not for the opposition of the English to him.


Calvach O'Donnell was released from his captivity by O'Neill, after he had been ransomed by the Kinel-Connell.


The same Lord Justice, at the instance of Calvagh O'Donnell, assembled a numerous army, to march a second time into Tyrone, in the Autumn of this year. The five earls who were then in Ireland joined his army, namely, Garrett, the son of Garrett, son of Garrett, son of James, son of John, son of Thomas, Earl of Kildare; Thomas, the son of James, son of Pierce Roe, Earl of Ormond; Garrett, the son of James, son of John, son of Thomas, Earl of Desmond; Conor, the son of Donough, son of Conor, son of Turlough O'Brien, Earl of Thomond; and Rickard, the son of Ulick-na-gceann, son of Rickard, son of Ulick of Cnoc-Tuagh, Earl of Clanrickard. The Lord Justice and the Earls proceeded with their forces through Tyrone, until they arrived at Loch Feabhail, without opposition or battle. When the Lord Justice was returning, the resolution he adopted was, to make peace with O'Neill, and to grant him pardon, and take away his own warders from Armagh. He afterwards proceeded with his forces into Tir-Chonaill-Gulban, and left the command of the fortresses


and castles of that country with Calvagh O'Donnell. He then proceeded across the Erne, into the territory of Carbury, to lay siege to the castle of Sligo. Calvagh, noticing this, bethought him of a stratagem namely, he sent his own standard to the town, and displayed it on the battlements of the tower, so that it was visible to all. The Lord Justice asked whose standard it was that he saw. Calvagh made answer, and said, that it was his own standard; and that the town was his own, and had belonged to his ancestors from a remote period; upon which the Lord Justice delivered up the keys of the town to Calvagh.


O'Neill went to England about Allhallowtide, to the Queen; and he received


great honour and respect from her. He returned to Ireland in the May following.


Owen, the son of Hugh Boy, son of Hugh Duv O'Donnell, a man of high and noble descent, learned and skilled in various arts, died.


Teige, the son of Turlough, son of Niall, son of Turlough O'Boyle, was slain at Termon-Magrath, by Mac Allister Gallda.

Annal M1562


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1562. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred sixty-two.


O'Rourke (Brian Ballagh, son of Owen), the senior of Sil-Feargna, and of the race of Aedh Finn, a man whose supporters, fosterers, adherents, and tributaries, extended from Caladh, in the territory of Hy-Many, to the fertile, salmon-full Drowes, the boundary of the far-famed province of Ulster; and from Granard in Teffia to the strand of Eothuile, the Artificer, in Tireragh of the Moy,—who had the best collection of poems, and who, of all his tribe, had bestowed the greatest number of presents for poetical eulogies, died in consequence of a fall; and his son, Hugh Gallda, was installed in his place.


The Earl of Thomond went upon a chieftain's expedition into the territory of O'Conor, and into Gleann-Corbraighe, on which occasion there was slain


on his side, by one shot from Cloch-Gleanna, the son of O'Loughlin, namely, Melaghlin, the son of Owny, son of Melaghlin, son of Rury, son of Ana, who was son of Donough-an-chuil, son of Ana Bacagh. The same Earl proceeded with a host upon a chieftain's expedition into Caenraighe, about the same time, and on that occasion lost Dowell, the son of Gilla-Duv, son of Conor Mac Sweeny.


Mac Gilla-Riabhaigh died, namely, Rickard, the son of Donn, son of Conor, son of Thomas, son of Donnell. It was said that he was the best servant of trust that the Earl of Thomond had had in his time. Conor, son of Conor, who was son of Rickard, took his place.


Donnell (the son of Conor, son of Turlough, son of Teige) O'Brien, who had been Earl of Thomond before Conor, the son of Donough, and whom the Irish used to style O'Brien, returned from Ulster, to his own patrimony, after his expulsion, exile, and banishment; and in the same week Teige, the son of Murrough, son of Turlough, made his escape from Dublin; and, upon their arrival together in their native territory, they united in opposition to the Earl of Thomond. The Earl raised many encampments against them. The first contest between these kinsmen was a nocturnal assault, made by the two sons of Murrough O'Brien, upon the encampment at Baile-Meg-Riagain, on which occasion they slew several persons, and obtained spoils; but the inhabitants of that country went in pursuit of them. The day dawned upon both these heroic bands at Cathair-Meg-Gormain, in the centre of the territory of Hy-Fearmaic, in the upper part of Dal-Cais. The two sons of Murrough O'Brien, Teige and


Donough, shamefully suffered themselves to be all along beaten, until they reached Cnoc-an-scamhail, over Rath-Blathmaic, where they turned round on their pursuers, and the Earl's people were defeated, numbers of their chieftains and plebeians were slain, and Teige Oge, the son of Teige, son of Gilla-Duv, son of Turlough O'Brien, was taken prisoner, as was also Brian Duv, son of Donough, son of Conor na-Srona O'Brien; and he Brian was not set at liberty until Selga had been given to Teige, the son of Murrough O'Brien, for his ransom.


Donough, the son of Cuconnaught, son of Cuconnaught, son of Brian, son of Philip, son of Thomas Maguire, died; a man by no means the least famous of the Irish of his age, and who was not expected to die as he did die, in his bed.


Hugh, the son of Niall Oge Mac Sweeny from Tir-Boghaine, died of the galar-breac.


Magrath, of Termon-Daveog, died.


Mac Mahon (Hugh, son of Brian-na-Moicheirghe, son of Redmond, son of Glasny) was slain by the men of Farney.

Annal M1563


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1563. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred sixty-three.


O'Donnell (Manus, the son of Hugh Duv, son of Hugh Roe, son of Niall Garv, son of Turlough of the Wine), Lord of Tirconnell, Inishowen, Kinel-Moen, Fermanagh, and Lower Connaught; a man who never suffered the chiefs who were in his neighbourhood and vicinity to encroach upon any of his superabundant possessions, even to the time of his disease and infirmity; a fierce, obdurate, wrathful, and combative man towards his enemies and opponents, until he had made them obedient to his jurisdiction; and a mild, friendly, benign, amicable, bountiful, and hospitable man towards the learned, the destitute,


the poets, and the ollaves, towards the religious orders and the church, as is evident from the accounts of old people and historians; a learned man, skilled in many arts, gifted with a profound intellect, and the knowledge of every science, died on the 9th of February, at his own mansion-seat at Lifford, a castle which he had erected in despite of O'Neill and the Kinel-Owen, and was interred in the burial place of his predecessors, and ancestors at Donegal, in the monastery of St. Francis, with great honour and veneration, after having vanquished the Devil and the world.


O'Sullivan Beare (Donnell, the son of Dermot, son of Donnell, son of Donnell, son of Dermot Balbh) was slain by a bad man, namely, Mac Gillycuddy; and if his father, Dermot, was a man of great renown, this Donnell was a worthy heir of him. His kinsman, Owen O'Sullivan, took his place.


Margaret, the daughter of James, son of John, son of Thomas, the son of the Earl of Desmond, and wife of Mac Maurice, died; and she i.e. her death was a cause of lamentation.


Thomas, the son of Maurice Duv, son of John, the son of the Earl, died.


Thomond was one scene of warfare and contention, from the one Calends to the other, this year.


Baile-Ui-Ghalaigh, the residence of the sons of Murrough O'Brien, was taken and demolished by the Earl, who had brought ordnance and forces from Limerick for that purpose.


Baile-Ui-Charthaigh was likewise taken by the Earl.


Mac Brody, Ollav of Hy-Bracain and Hy-Fearmaic, died, i.e. Dermot, son of Conor, son of Dermot, son of John; and his brother, Maoilin, took his place.

Annal M1564


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1564. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred sixty-four.


O'Rourke (Hugh Gallda, son of Brian Ballagh, son of Owen) was maliciously and malignantly slain by his own people, at Leitrim, in Muintir-Eolais;


after which the whole country closed round Brian, the son of Brian O'Rourke; and it was rumoured that it was for him this treacherous misdeed was committed, though he had no personal share in perpetrating it. Hugh Boy, the son of Brian, son of Owen O'Rourke, another brother, who was younger than Hugh, but older than Brian, called himself O'Rourke by the influence of O'Neill.


O'Donnell (Calvagh) and O'Boyle (Turlough) repaired to Dublin to the Lord Justice, to confer with him. O'Donnell received great honour and respect from him. O'Donnell returned for home, and came into Fermanagh, where he stopped for some time; and O'Boyle proceeded directly to his own residence, where Con, the son of Calvagh, had come to meet him. O'Boyle had not been long at home when Con requested him to go with him to Donegal, to see if he could take it from Hugh, the son of Hugh Oge, son of Hugh Roe, who was in it at that time. Hugh at that time held his residence in the new tower; and he had sent Egneghan and Con, the two sons of Hugh Boy, son of Hugh Duv, his brother's sons, into the old castle; and these were the two who were betraying the castle to Con. Con and O'Boyle came to the town by night; and the sons of Hugh Boy admitted Con at once, but they said that they would not permit O'Boyle to come into them with his people; and O'Boyle's people said that they would not suffer their lord to go from them alone. O'Boyle, thereupon, went to the monastery of the friars to make them a visit. Con O'Donnell and the sons of Hugh Boy proceeded to demolish the tower in which Hugh, the son of Hugh Duv, was; and they took no notice of anything until very numerous hosts had poured into the town and around it in every direction. These are they who were there: O'Neill (John), and Hugh, the son of Manus O'Donnell, with their forces, which were very great and numerous who had come thither, after having heard that O'Donnell was on his way from Dublin, and that these other relatives were at strife with each other. Con, the son of Calvagh, was taken prisoner here on the 14th of May; and marauding parties of O'Neill's army went forth through Tir-Boghaine, and slew the son


of Mac Sweeny, i.e. Mulmurry Meirgeach, the son of Mulmurry, son of Niall, in Gleann-Eidhnighe, and Hugh Meirgeach, the son of John Modardha Mac Sweeny, and many others along with them.


The O'Briens were at strife with one another in this year. Donnell and Teige, the sons of Conor, son of Turlough O'Brien, and Teige and Donough, the sons of Murrough, set out upon a predatory excursion alongside Abhainn O'gCearnaigh, in Clann-Coilen. The Earl happened to be at this time at Ross-ruadh; and they burned and plundered that town more that they did any other. The inhabitants of the country from all quarters, from Sliabh-Oidheadha-an-Righ to Luchat, and from Rinn-Eanaigh to Scairbh, overtook them. They took an advantage of the soldiers of the Earl, and slew near a hundred of them on that occasion, but dared not approach them again until night. These O'Briens of the upper part of Thomond made their escape across the fair fields of the Forgus with their preys and acquisitions, without receiving a wound or injury. They afterwards brought from beyond the Shannon numerous bonnaghtmen and mercenaries of the Clann-Sweeny and Clann-Sheehy; and they had the ranging of the country, and its preys and property in their power, until the expiration of the term of their bonnaght. There remained not, however, of cattle with the inhabitants of the country, the value of what was permitted to be taken out of it by those soldiers for their services.


Corcomroe, with its rents and customary services, and acquirements in land in the territories of Thomond, and its church livings, were given to Donnell


O'Brien, as a compensation for the lordship of Thomond, and for his observance of peace in the winter of this year.


Maurice Duv, the son of John, son of the Earl of Desmond, went upon a predatory excursion into Muskerry. The sons of Teige, son of Cormac Oge, son of Cormac, son of Teige Mac Carthy, namely, Dermot and Cormac, overtook him, and beheaded him, though the profit of sparing him would have been better than the victory gained by his death. He who was there slain was the firm steel of the Geraldines in the field of danger, the plunderer of his enemies, and the destroyer of his opponents.

Annal M1565


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1565. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred sixty-five.


Joan, the daughter of James, son of Maurice, son of Maurice, died. Her death was among the sorrowful news of Leath-Mhogha, on account of her charity and humanity.


On one occasion as the Earl of Desmond (Garrett, the son of James, son of John) went on a visitation into the Desies of Munster, the Lord of the Desies (Maurice Fitzgerald, the son of John son of Garrett) treacherously drew the Earl of Ormond (Thomas, the son of James, son of Pierce Roe) into the country, unknown to the Earl of Desmond. The Earl of Desmond arrived in the country, and received no notice of their designs until he was surrounded on every side, at a place called Ath-meadhain, where he was overpowered by numbers, so that he was wounded and taken prisoner, and many of his people were slain and taken prisoners along with him. The Butlers were elated and in high spirits on that day, by reason of the great number of their prisoners


and spoils. The result of this capture was, that the two Earls went (i.e. were obliged to go) to England, at the summons of the Queen; and having remained for some time in London, they returned, under the appearances of peace and friendship.


Mahon, the son of Turlough Mantagh, son of Donough, son of Donnell, son of Turlough Meith, was treacherously slain in his own town of Aircin, in Aran, by his own associates and relations. When the chief men of Galway heard of this, they set out to revenge this misdeed upon the treacherous perpetrators, so that they compelled them to fly from their houses; and they the fugitives went into a boat, and put to sea; and where they landed was in the harbour of Ross, in West Corca-Bhaiscinn. Donnell, the son of Conor O'Brien, having heard of this, he hastened to meet them with all the speed that he could exert; and he made prisoners of the greater number of them, and carried them in close fetters to Magh Glae, in the upper part of Corcomroe, in order that their sorrow and anguish might be the greater for being in viev of the place where they had perpetrated the crime; he hanged some of them, and burned others, according as their evil practices deserved.


A great defeat was given by O'Neill (John, the son of Con, son of Con, son of Henry) to the sons of Mac Donnell of Scotland, namely, James, Aengus, and Sorley. Aengus was slain, and James was wounded and taken prisoner, and he died of the virulence of his wounds at the end of a year. The death of this gentleman was generally bewailed; he was a paragon of hospitality and prowess, a festive man of many troops, and a bountiful and munificent man. And his peer was not to be found at that time among the Clann-Donnell in Ireland or in Scotland; and his own people would not have deemed it too much


to give his weight in gold for his ransom, if he could have been ransomed. Many others not enumerated were slain in this defeat of Gleann-taisi.


Murrough, the son of Donnell, son of Rory O'Flaherty, was drowned.


O'Clery (Teige Cam, the son of Tuathal), Ollav to O'Donnell in history,—a man learned in poetry and chronology, a prop (i.e. a supporter), who kept a house of hospitality for the learned, the exiled, and the literary men of the neighbouring territories, died, on the 20th of October, at a venerable old age, after having gained the victory over the Devil and the world; and was buried with great respect and honour in the monastery of St. Francis, at Donegal.

Annal M1566


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1566. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred sixty-six.


O'Donnell (Calvagh, the son of Manus, son of Hugh Duv, son of Hugh Roe, son of Niall Garv, son of Turlough of the Wine) fell dead from his horse, in the beginning of Winter, i.e. on the 26th of October, on the public road, between Baile-aghaidh-chaoin and the church of Rath, in the midst of his cavalry, without the slightest starting, stumbling, shying, or prancing of his horse, after his return from England, where he had been that same year. This Calvagh was a lord in understanding and personal shape, a hero in valour and prowess, stern and fierce towards his enemies, kind and benign towards his friends; he was so celebrated for his goodness, that any good act of his, be it ever so great, was never a matter of wonder or surprise ; a man who was not expected to meet his death in this manner, but who was expected to live until he should have avenged the wrongs of his tribe. His brother, Hugh, the son of Manus O'Donnell, was inaugurated in his place.


Mary, the daughter of Manus, son of Hugh Duv, son of Hugh Roe O'Donnell, and wife of Magennis, died on the 8th of October.



Rose, the daughter of Maguire (Cuconnaught, the Coarb), and wife of Hugh Boy, the son of Hugh Duv, died on the 22nd of July.


Maguire (John, the son of Cuconnaught, son of Cuconnaught, son of Brian, son of Philip, son of Thomas) died on the 29th of September, in the army of the Lord Justice, after having been banished from his country by O'Neill. He was an intelligent, virtuous, and bounteous lord; he was worthy of any chieftainship he could obtain, by reason of the great number of learned men and exiles supported by him, and the vastness of his premiums and goodly gifts. His brother, Cuconnaught, was inaugurated in his place.


O'Rourke (Hugh Boy, the son of Brian Ballagh) was slain by the Kinel-Connell, at Baile-an-tochair, in order that the son of the daughter of Manus O'Donnell, namely, Brian, the son of Brian, son of Owen (O'Rourke), might enjoy the lordship of Breifny.


Mac Carthy Reagh (Fineen, the son of Donnell, son of Fineen, son of Donnell) died. He was a man who had not placed his affections on this world, and who had no knowledge of his possessions, or how much he had laid up.


O'Madden (Melaghlin Modardha, the son of Melaghlin, son of Breasal) died. He was, as a reader of Latin and Irish, by no means the least distinguished of the gentlemen of Ireland in his time. He was the defender of his lands and his territory against his neighbours, a supporting pillar of women, of the poor, and of the weak and unwarlike; and Donnell, the son of John O'Madden, took his place.


Pierce Butler, the son of Edmond, Lord of Trian-Chluana-Meala, died. He was a person who had obtained the wealth and inheritance of his territory without battle or war, a man who did not possess or procure the value of a single penny of the property of the Church of God by right of Pope or prince. And his son, Theobald, succeeded in his place.


A shower of fish in Tirconnell this year.



A hosting was made by O'Donnell (Hugh, the son of Manus) into Tyrone, in the winter of this year; and he committed many depredations. He returned safe to his house.

Annal M1567


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1567. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred sixty-seven.


A hosting was made by O'Donnell (Hugh) precisely in the spring of this year; and, having crossed Lough Foyle, he proceeded to Sliabh gCarbatach, and plundered and totally ravaged the whole neighhourhood, and he returned in safety to his house.


O'Neill (John, son of Con, who was son of Henry, who was son of Owen) mustered a very numerous army, to march into Tirconnell against O'Donnell (Hugh, the son of Manus, son of Hugh Oge, son of Hugh Roe), to plunder and ravage the country, as he had done some time before, when O'Donnell (Manus) was not able to govern or defend his principality or country, in consequence of his own infirmity and ill health, and the strife and contention of his sons. The place where O'Donnell happened to be with a few forces at this time, with Hugh Oge, the son of Hugh Roe, and with others of his relations, was Ard-an-ghaire, on the north side of the estuary which is called Suileach; and, hearing that O'Neill had arrived with his forces in the country, he dispatched messengers to summon such of his chieftains as were in his neighbourhood, and he himself awaited them there at Ard-an-ghaire; they did not, however, come fully assembled at his summons. As they were here waiting, they received no notice of any thing, until, at break of day, they perceived, just within sight, on the other side of Fearsad-Suilighe, a powerful body of forces rapidly advancing towards them, in hosts and squadrons ; and they stopped not in their course, without halting or delaying, until, without halting or delaying, they had crossed the Fearsad, for the tide was out at the time. When O'Donnell perceived this,


he instantly drew up his little army in order and array, and dispatched a troop of cavalry, under the command of the son of O'Donnell (Hugh, the son of Hugh), to engage the van of the enemy, in order that he might bring all his infantry across the level fields into a secure position, where his enemies could not encompass or surround them. In the engagement which followed between O'Donnell's cavalry and the van of the cavalry of O'Neill, fell, by O'Neill's army, Niall, the son of Donough Cairbreach, son of Hugh Oge, son of Hugh Roe O'Donnell; Donnell Ultagh, son of the Doctor, Ollav to O'Donnell in physic; and Magroarty, who had the custody of the Cathach of St. Columbkille. Some, however, assert that Niall O'Donnell was slain by his own people. On the side of the Kinel-Owen fell the son of Mac Mahon, and many others. When the son of O'Donnell (Hugh, the son of Hugh) perceived the numbers who were opposed to him, and that his lord had retired to a place of security, he followed him, in order to await the arrival of relief from his people. Nor was he long in a depressed state of mind, when he perceived numbers of his faithful people advancing towards him, and rejoiced was he at their arrival. Thither came, in the first place, Mac Sweeny-na-dTuath (Murrough Mall, the son of Owen Oge, son of Owen); the sons of Mac Sweeny Fanad, Turlough Oge and Hugh Boy; and Mac Sweeny Banagh (Mulmurry, the son of Hugh, son of Niall). And when all had arrived at one place, they formed no very great force, for they were only four hundred in number. To these chiefs O'Donnell complained of his distress and injuries; and he protested to them that he would deem it more pleasing and becoming to fall and to die in the field, than to endure the contempt and dishonour with which he himself, his tribe, and his relations, had been treated by the Kinel-Owen, such as his ancestors had never suffered or endured before; but more especially the insult and indignity they had offered him on this occasion, by violently expelling and banishing him from his fortress. All the chieftains assented to the speech of their prince, and said that all the remarks and sentiments he had expressed were true, so that they resolved to attack O'Neill and his army. The resolution here adopted, of facing the great danger and peril which awaited them, was bold, daring, obdurate, and irrational;


but the love of their protegees and inheritances prevailed in their hearts over the love of body and life, and they marched back with unanimous courage, in a regularly arrayed small body, and in a venomous phalanx, towards the camp, of O'Neill. When O'Neill perceived them moving directly towards him, he became disturbed in spirit, and he said: ‘It is very wonderful and amazing to me that those people should not find it easier to make full concessions to us, and submit to our awards, than thus come forward to us to be immediately slaughtered and destroyed.’ While he was saying these words the troops of the Kinel-Connell rushed vehemently and boldly upon the army of O'Neill; nor did O'Neill's soldiers refuse to sustain their onset, for when they the Kinel-Connell had come within sight of them, they began to accoutre themselves with all possible speed. Fierce and desperate were the grim and terrible looks that each cast at the other from their starlike eyes; they raised the battle cry aloud, and their united shouting, when rushing together, was sufficient to strike with dismay and turn to flight the feeble and the unwarlike. They proceeded and continued to strike, mangle, slaughter, and cut down one another for a long time, so that men were soon laid low, heroes wounded, youths slain, and robust heroes mangled in the slaughter. But, however, the Kinel-Owen were at length defeated by dint of slaughtering and fighting, and forced to abandon the field of battle, and retreat by the same road they had come by, though it was not easy for them to pass it at this time, for the sea the tide had flowed into the Fearsad, which they had crossed in the morning, so that to cross it would have been impracticable, were it not that the vehemence of the pursuit, the fierceness, bravery, and resoluteness of the people who were in pursuit of them, to be revenged on them for their previous insults, enmity, and animosity, compelled them to face it. They eagerly plunged into the swollen sea, and no one would wait for a brother or a relation, although it was no escape from danger or peril for them to have reached the dark, deep ocean estuary which was before them. This was not an approach to warmth after cold, or to protection after violence, for a countless number of them was drowned in the deep full tide, though it would be happy for them all, as they


thought, to be permitted to approach it. Great numbers of O'Neill's army were lost here, both by slaying and drowning; the most distinguished of whom were: Brian, the son of Henry, son of John O'Neill, and his brother; Mac Donnell Galloglagh, constable of O'Neill, with many of the Clann-Donnell besides; Dubhaltach O'Donnelly, O'Neill's own foster-brother, and the person most faithful and dear to him in existence, with a great number of his tribe; also great numbers of Muintir-Coinne and Muintir-Again. In short, the total number of O'Neill's army that were slain and drowned in that battle was thirteen hundred; some books however state that O'Neill's loss in this battle was upwards of three thousand men. As for O'Neill, he escaped from this battle; but he would rather that he had not, for his reason and senses became deranged after it. He passed privately, unperceived by any one of his enemies upwards along the river side towards its source, until he crossed Ath-thairsi, a ford which is in the vicinity of Sgairbh-sholais, under the guidance of a party of the O'Gallaghers, some of O'Donnell's own subjects and people; and he travelled on by retired and solitary ways until he arrived in Tyrone. There were not many houses or families, from Cairlinn to the River Finn and to the Foyle, who had not reason for weeping, and cause for lamentation. Great and innumerable were the spoils, comprising horses, arms, and armour, that were left behind to the Kinel-Connell on this occasion. This defeat of Fersad Swilly was given on the 8th day of May.


After O'Neill had arrived in Tyrone, as we have already stated, he did not take ease, nor did he enjoy sleep, until he had sent messengers to Scotland, to invite James, the son of Alexander, son of John Cahanagh Mac Donnell to come to his assistance. It was an omen of destruction of life, and the cause of his death, that he should invite to his assistance the sons of the man who had fallen by himself some time before. They came hastily with a great marine fleet, and landed at Bun-abhann-Duine, in Ulster, where they pitched their


rich, many-tented camp. As soon as O'Neill heard of the arrival of that great host, he did not consider his enmity towards them; he went under the protection of that fierce and vindictive host without surety or security, in order that by their assistance he might be able to wreak his vengeance upon the Kinel-Connell. And the reception he got from them, after having been for some time in their company (after having shewn the causes of their enmity and animosity towards him), was to mangle him nimbly, and put him unsparingly to the sword, and bereave him of life. Grievous to the race of Owen, son of


Niall, was the death of him who was there slain, for that O'Neill, i.e. John, had been their Conchobhar in provincial dignity, their Lugh Longhanded in heroism, and their champion in time of danger and prowess. The following quatrain was composed to commemorate his death:
  1. Seven years, seventy, five hundred,
    And a thousand years, it is no falsehood,
    To the death of John, grandson of Con,
    From the coming of Christ into a body.



After the murder of John, Turlough Luineach, the son of Niall Conallagh, was styled O'Neill.


The Earl of Desmond was taken prisoner at Kilmallock, by the Lord Justice, who conveyed him from thence to Limerick, and from thence to Galway, to Athlone, and afterwards to Dublin. This capture was made a short time after the festival of St. Patrick. And his kinsman, John, the son of James, went to the English to visit the Earl the ensuing Allhallowtide, and he was immediately taken prisoner. Both were afterwards sent to England.


Mac Pierce died, i.e. Edmond, the son of James, son of Edmond. He was a man of general hospitality, who kept a free house of guests, a man learned in tongues and languages; and his son, James, was elected in his place.


John Burke, son of John, who was son of John-na-bhfiacal, son of Ulick Roe, was killed by some peasants and spiteful labourers belonging to the Earl of Clanrickard.


The son of O'Brien of Thomond, i.e. Teige, the son of Donough, son of Conor, son of Turlough; the son of the Earl of Ormond, i.e. James Oge, the


son of James, son of Pierce Roe; and the son of Mac Carthy, i.e. Owen, son of Cormac Oge, son of Cormac, son of Teige, died in this year.


Manus, the son of Edmond, son of Manus Mac Sheehy, was slain by Mac Maurice (Fitzmaurice) of Kerry, i.e. by Thomas, the son of Edmond, son of Thomas. And there was not of his tribe a man of his years more distinguished for prowess and hospitality than he.


The bridge of Athlone was built by the Lord Justice of Ireland, i.e. Sir Henry Sidney.

Annal M1568


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1568. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred sixty-eight.


The Countess of Clanrickard, i.e. Margaret, daughter of Donough, son of Conor, son of Turlough, the most famous woman in Ireland, and the supporter of her friends and relations, died.


Mac Mahon, Lord of East Corca-Bhaiscinn, i.e. Brian Oge, the son of Brian, son of Turlough, son of Teige, died; and Teige, the son of Murrough, son of Teige Roe, son of Turlough, son of Teige, took his place.


Mac Sweeny Fanad (Donnell Gorm, the son of Donnell Oge) was treacherously slain by a party of his own people, i.e. by Muintir-Sruithen.


Catherine, the daughter of Maguire (Cuconnaught), and wife of O'Boyle (Turlough, the son of Niall, son of Turlough), the best chieftain's wife in Ulster, died on the 5th of January.


A hosting was made by James, the son of Maurice, son of John, son of the Earl, about Lammas, against Mac Maurice of Kerry, i.e. against Thomas, the son of Edmond. This James was commander of the Geraldines in the stead of the sons of James, son of John, who had been kept in captivity in London for a year previous to that time. The country was soon plundered, devastated, burned, and totally ravaged by James and his forces. The greater part of the inhabitants of the country fled, carrying with them to Lec-Snamha as much


of their cattle as they were able. James had so numerous an army that he pitched two very extensive camps on both sides of this town. He placed O'Conor Kerry and the Clann-Sheehy, with their battalions, and a proportionate number of the gentlemen and chiefs of the army along with them, at the eastern side of the town; and he himself went, with that portion of the army which he wished to accompany him, to the west side of the town, so that Mac Maurice and his people were in great jeopardy between them. Intense heat of the air, sultriness and parching drought, also prevailed (as was natural at that season), so that their people and cattle were obliged to drink the brackish water of the river, in consequence of the intensity of their drought and the oppressiveness of their thirst. Edmond, the son of Gilla-Duv, son of Conor, son of Donough, son of Donnell-na-madhman Mac Sweeny, was constable to Mac Maurice at this time; and he had with him only a small party of gallowglasses of his followers, scarcely fifty men, the time of their service being expired. However, they did not think it honourable to depart from Mac Maurice, as this danger had overtaken him. There happened also to be in the town at this time one John-na-Seoltadh, son of Donnell O'Malley, with the crew of a long ship, who, being friends to the fleet of Mac Maurice, had come to visit him without visitation or engagement, and did not think it becoming to desert him on that occasion. Mac Maurice consulted with those chieftains, to know what he should do. They answered and said unto him with one accord:‘ In our present situation our life is next to death, and it is not relief we shall receive by the consent of those who are opposed to us, and who are besieging us; and, as it is not thy wish to give hostages to the son of Maurice, the son of the Earl, what thou shouldst do is, to resign thy luck and prosperity to fate and fortune this day, and take for thy portion of Ireland till night what shall be under the feet of thine enemies, and let us attack the Clann-Sheehy, for against them our enmity and indignation are greatest.’ This resolution being agreed to, they rose up quickly with one accord, and Mac Maurice placed in order and array of battle the small body of friendly forces that he had with him, and the Clann-Sweeny were placed in the van to make


the onset. No wealth or principality was, they thought, more agreeable to the Clann-Sheehy, and all those who were about them, than to see them approach in this order, for they had rather subdue them on the spot as they thought they could, than to remain awaiting them any longer, eating, as they had been, the green grain from the blade of corn, and drinking cold water. As for Mac Maurice and his people, they deviated not from the common road until they came up with the Clann-Sheehy ; and then it was that both parties made trial of the temper of their sharp spears, the strength of their battle-axes, the keenness of their swords, and the hardness of their helmets; and after having thus fought for some time, the fine army of the Geraldines were worsted, and took to flight, and turned their backs from maintaining the field of battle. They were vehemently and swiftly pursued by the people of Mac Maurice of Kerry, who proceeded to wound and slaughter them; so that it would not be easy to reckon or enumerate all of the Geraldines and of the Clann-Sheehy that fell in this defeat. There was one in particular slain there whose fall was a cause of great grief, namely, O'Conor Kerry (Conor, the son of Conor); his death was one of the mournful losses of the Clanna-Rury at this time; the lively brand of his tribe and race; a junior, to whom devolved the chieftainship of his native territory, in preference to his seniors; a sustaining prop of the learned, the distressed, and the professors of the arts; a pillar of support in war and contest against his neighbours and against foreigners. There also fell Edmond Oge, the son of Edmond Mac Sheehy, chief constable to the Geraldines, a wealthy and affluent man, famed for his dexterity of hand and house of hospitality; also Murrough Balbh, the son of Manus Mac Sheehy; Teige Roe O'Callaghan; the son of O'Dwyer; the son of the White Knight; Faltach of Dun-Maoilin; and John, the son of Garrett Fitzgerald, heir to Lec-Beibhionn. There Rory, son of Manus Mac Sheehy, was taken prisoner; and many others besides these were slain or taken prisoners.


Annal M1569


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1569. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred sixty-nine.


The Bishop of Killaloe, i.e. Turlough, the son of Mahon, son of Turlough O'Brien, died.


O'Shaughnessy (Gilla-Duv), the son of Dermot, son of William, son of John Boy, the alighting hill to all the English and Irish who came to him; a man who, though not skilled in Latin or English, was held in much respect and esteem by the English, died. His son, John, took his place.


Slaine, the daughter of Murrough, son of Teige, son of Teige, son of Turlough O'Brien, died.


More Phecagh, daughter of Brian, the son of Teige, son of Turlough, son of Brian Catha-an-aenaigh O'Brien, and wife of O'Shaughnessy, i.e. Dermot, the son of William, son of John Boy, a woman distinguished for her beauty and munificence, died.


James, the son of Maurice, son of the Earl, was a warlike man of many troops this year; and the English and Irish of Munster, from the Barrow to Carn-Ui-Neid, entered into a unanimous and firm confederacy with him against the Queen's Parliament. The Earl of Ormond, i.e. Thomas, the son of James, son of Pierce, son of James, son of Edmond, being at this time in England, his two brothers, Edmond of Caladh and Edward, had confederated with James, the son of Maurice. These two sons of the Earl went to the fair of Inis-corr on Great Lady-Day; and it would be difficult to enumerate or describe all the steeds, horses, gold, silver, and foreign wares, they seized upon at that fair. The Earl returned to Ireland the same year, and his brothers were reconciled to the State.



A great hosting was made by the Lord Justice of Ireland, Sir Henry Sidney, in the autumn of this year, to proceed against the Munstermen, after the peace and league which they had made; and the route he took was south-west, through Leinster; and he did not halt until he arrived in Ui-Mac Caile, in Munster, and there he pitched a commodious camp of vigorous hosts around Baile-na-martra, and he remained for a week besieging the town, the Munstermen threatening every day of that week to give battle to the Lord Justice and his army, but they did not put this threat into execution. The town was finally taken by the Lord Justice, and he left warders in it to guard it for the Queen. He passed from thence through Barry's country, and through Gleann-Maghair, to proceed to Cork. Here there was a rising out of Munstermen in readiness to give him battle; but the pass was nevertheless ceded to the Lord Justice. The Lord Justice abode some time in Cork, during which time his military confederates were separating from James, and coming in under protection and pardon. From thence the Lord Justice went on to Limerick, and he demolished some of the towns of Munster between Cork and Limerick. On this expedition Cluain-Dubhain and Baile-Ui-Bheachain in Thomond, were taken by the Lord Justice, and he afterwards proceeded to Galway. In that town he remained some time, reducing the Dal-Cais, the Clann-William, and the inhabitants of West Connaught, to subjection. On his departure from Galway he took Dunmore-Mic-Feorais and Roscommon, (and) he left a president in Athlone to govern and reduce to obedience all the province of Connaught from Drobhaois to Limerick. This was the first president ever appointed in that country: his name was Sir Edward Phitun. The Lord Justice returned at the close of that autumn into Fine-Ghall and


to Dublin, after victory and triumph; and no deputy of the King of Ireland had ever before made a more successful expedition, with a like number of forces, than that journey performed by him.


Annal M1570


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1570. The Age of Christ, one thousand five hundred seventy.


Mac Sweeny Fanad (Turlough Oge, the son of Turlough, son of Mulmurry), the brother of Hugh Boy Roe and Mac Sweeny-na-dtuath (Murrough Mall, the son of Owen Oge) were treacherously slain at Dun-na-long in the presence of O'Neill (Turlough Luineach), by the Clann-Donnell Galloglagh. The fall of these three was a great blow to the hospitality and prowess, to the power and pomp, to the protection and support of the north of lreland, but the death of one of them was more particularly a cause of great lamentation, though the other two were truly good, namely, Murrough Mall, who was renowned above heroes, a burning brand without extinction, the champion of the valour of the Gaels, the star of the conflict of the men of Ulster against the men of Ireland, a mighty champion at forcing his way through the Pass of Danger, the distributor of the jewels and noble wealth of the Clann-Sweeny. His kinsman, Owen Oge, took his Murrough's place; and his kinsman, Donnell, was elected in the place of Mac Sweeny Fanad.


Egneghan, the son of Hugh Boy O'Donnell, was treacherously slain, on his return from O'Donnell's army, by Ferdoragh, the son of O'Gallagher, and his people, and by others of the descendants of Donough O'Gallagher.


Mac Namara (John, the son of Sida, son of Maccon, son of Sida, son of Teige, son of Loughlin), Lord of the eastern part of Clann-Coilen, died. He


was a noble and majestic man, the favourite of women and damsels, on account of his mirthfulness and pleasantry. And Donnell Reagh, the son of Cumeadha, son of Donough, took his place.


A proclamation for holding a court in the monastery of Ennis, in Thomond, was issued by the President of the province of Connaught, to the O'Briens and the inhabitants of Upper Connaught. Teige, the son of Murrough O'Brien, who was at this time sheriff in the territory (and he was the first sheriff of Thomond), placed a quantity of food and liquors in the monastery of Ennis for the use of the President. The President arrived in the town about the festival of St. Bridget. The Earl of Thomond (Conor, the son of Donough, son of Conor O'Brien) was at this time at Clare, and the President on the third day dispatched a party of his guards, consisting of the chiefs of his people and his cavalry, to summon the Earl. It was at the same hour of the day that these and Donnell, the son of Conor O'Brien, who was also coming to the Earl, arrived at the gate of the town. The Earl came to the resolution of making prisoners of Donnell and all those who were withinside the chain of the gate, and killing some of those who were outside. This he did. The rest of them perceiving his intention escaped, by swiftness of foot and the fleetness of their horses, to the President, to Ennis. On the following day the President departed, and the sons of Murrough, son of Turlough O'Brien, i.e. Teige and Donough, conducted him out of the country, and guided him through the narrow passes and the wild and intricate ways. The Earl followed in pursuit of them, and continued skirmishing with them until they arrived at Gort-innsi-Guaire on that night. When this news reached the Lord Justice, he was filled with wrath and indignation; and he and the Council agreed to order the Earl of Ormond (Thomas, the son of James, son of Pierce Roe), in the Queen's name, to go to chastise the Earl of Thomond for that very arrogant deed which he had committed, for there was a close relationship and friendship between them. The Earl of Ormond accordingly immediately proceeded into Thomond with his forces; and the Earl, Conor O'Brien, came to a conference with him, and promised that he would do his bidding


and the bidding of the Council. He gave up his towns, namely, Clonroad, Clar-mor, and Bunratty, into the hands of the Earl of Ormond; and Donnell O'Brien and the other chieftains of Thomond, whom the Earl had as prisoners, were set at liberty, and likewise the President's prisoners. The Earl was afterwards seized with sorrow and regret for having given up his towns and prisoners, for he now retained only one of all his fortresses, namely, Magh O-mBracain; and in this he left ever faithful warders; and he resolved that he never would submit himself to the law, or the mercy of the Council of Ireland, choosing rather to be a wanderer and an outlaw, and even to abandon his estates and goodly patrimony, than to go among them. He afterwards remained for some time concealed in Clanmaurice, from whence he passed, about the festival of St. John, into France, where he stopped for some time. He afterwards went to England, and received favour, pardon, and honour, from the Queen of England, who sent by him letters to the Council of Ireland, commanding them to honour the Earl; and he returned to Ireland in the winter of the same year.


The same President and the Earl of Clanrickard (Rickard, son of Ulick-na-gCeann, son of Rickard, son of Ulick of Cnoc-Tuagh) laid siege to Sruthair in the summer of this year 21st June. On this expedition, along with the President, were most of the chieftains and mighty champions of valour and prowess of Upper Connaught, from Magh-Aoi to Echtge, and from Galway to Athlone. There were also in the President's camp a great number of captains, with their soldiers along with them, and two or three battalions of Irish hireling soldiers. There were in it also Calvagh, the son of Turlough, son of John Carragh, son of Mac Donnell, and his two sons, with their forces; also


a party of the descendants of Donnell, the son of John, son of Owen-na-Lathaighe Mac Sweeny, namely, Hugh, the son of Owen, son of Donnell Oge;


and Donnell, the son of Murrough, son of Rory More, with five chosen battalions of gallowglasses, and also a battalion of gallowglasses of the Clann-Dowell; the ordnance and forces of Galway. There were also a troop of vigorous cavalry, to the number of three hundred, in armour and coats of mail.


When Mac William Burke (John, the son of Oliver, son of John) heard that the President and the Earl had this great army assembled around Sruthair, it grieved his heart and disturbed his mind; and he called forthwith to his assistance the Lower Burkes and the descendants of Meyler Burke, also the Clann-Donnell Galloglagh, and Murrough of the Battle-axes, the son of Teige, son of Murrough, son of Rory O'Flaherty. These came, attended by as many as they had been able to procure of Scots and Irish, hired soldiers and youths; and they never halted until they reached a hill which was nigh to the camp of the President and the Earl; and here they held consultation, to consider in what way they could disperse or scatter those choice and irresistible forces, who had invaded them for their territory and patrimony. They resolved first to convert their cavalry into infantry, and having done so they formed into order and array; and they promised one another that they would not disperse or depart from that order, whether they should route the enemy or be routed by them. They all resolved that if the son or kinsman of one of them should be slain in his the survivor's presence, they would not stop with him but pass over him at once, as though they were enemies and strangers. In such state they advanced towards the other army. As for the President and the Earl, they placed their ordnance, their soldiers gunners, their halberdiers, and their men in armour on foot, in the perilous narrow defiles through which they supposed that the other party would advance upon them, and placed by their side the Clann-Sweeny, the Clann-Donnell, the Clann-Dowell, and all the other infantry of their army; while they themselves, and the body of vigorous cavalry they had with them, stood on one side in reserve, to support the fight


at the proper time. It was grappling with difficulty, and facing impossibility, for the youths of West and Lower Connaught to attack this well-defended position; nevertheless, they marched onward, but they had not advanced far before their sides were pierced, and their bodies wounded, by the first volley of fiery shot discharged at them from the guns, and of arrows from the beautiful elastic bows. It was not, however, terror or fear, cowardliness or dastardliness, that these wounding volleys produced in them, but a magnanimous determination to advance directly forward; so that they tried the force of their lances, the temper of their swords, and the heaviness of their battle-axes, on the skulls and crests of their antagonists. Their opponents did not long withstand these vigorous onslaughts, before a numerous body of them gave way, and retreated precipitately; upon which the powerful party who came up took their places and position, and then proceeded to exterminate those who stood before them, and, following up the route, they pressed closely and vehemently after the flying troops for the distance of two miles from the camp, during which pursuit they cut down and lacerated great numbers. When the people of Mac William Burke, in following up the pursuit, had passed by the cavalry, they were attacked in the rear by that numerous body which had been kept on one side in reserve, and numbers of their troops were slain by them ; and a greater number would have been cut off, but for the closeness and firmness of the battle-array and order which they had formed that morning. They afterwards returned home in triumph, after having defeated their enemies. They had, however, committed one great mistake: when they had cleared the field of battle, by putting their enemies to flight, not to have remained that night in the camp; for, had they done so, there could not have been any dispute as to their having the name and renown of having gained the victory. As for the President and the Earl of Clanrickard, they and the descendants of Donnell Mac Sweeny (who had not fled from their enemies on that day), with a party of their soldiers, remained in the camp that night. They afterwards stopped to search for and inter their slain relatives and friends, and to relieve the wounded throughout the field of slaughter. Little Patrick Cusack was slain in this battle on the side of the English, and his death was generally lamented;


and also Calvagh, the son of Turlough, son of John Carragh, and many others not enumerated. On the side of the Irish were slain Walter, the son of John, son of Meyler Burke, who was called Cluas le-doininn, and Randal, the son of Mac Donnell Galloglagh; also the two sons of John Ereanagh, two constables of the Clann-Donnell of Scotland. There were also left slain here countless numbers of Irish and Scots of the Clann-Donnell, the Clann-Sweeny, and of the adherents of the Burkes. The Lower northern army, who had routed such of the forces as had given way, but who had not maintained the field, believed that in this rencounter the victory was theirs; while those lords who remained during the night in the camp considered that they alone were entitled to the fame of that victory.


A hosting was made in the autumn of this year by the Earl of Ormond, i.e. Thomas, the son of James, son of Pierce Roe, and he marched westwards across the Suir, by Cliu-Máil-mhic-Ugaine, into Hy-Connell-Gaura, and to Kerry Luachra; (and) he never halted until he took and demolished Dun-Loich, on the River Leamhain, in the south of the province of Curoi, the son of Daire. On this expedition he obtained hostages and spoils; and he returned home by the same road without receiving battle or opposition. The reason that he received none was, that the sons of the Earl of Desmond were then in prison in London; and James Mac Maurice, the only person of his tribe who was opposed to the English and to the Geraldines, was himself opposed by the whole country. Another reason why the Earl met no resistance was, that he had the assistance of the Queen's army on this expedition.