IN this state of things, the garrison of Enniskillen castle, surrounded by O'Donnell, was pinched with hunger, so
p.79much so that the Sow's son, the betrayer of the castle, and who had been left in it by the English, and was now like a ravenous pig labouring under the pangs of an empty stomach, was sent in a boat with five comrades over the lake, because he knew the district and roads, to tell in what straits the castle was. But, being intercepted by the Catholics, was, together with his comrades, slain with many wounds. Nevertheless, the English being well aware of the castle's difficulties hastened to throw in supplies; corned meat, cheese and a large supply of biscuits were got ready. Soldiers were drawn out of the garrisons; a hosting of Irish made; 2,500 men, of whom 400 were cavalry, were got together out of the recent Irish levies and English garrison. Henry Duke, an English knight, and Governor of Offaly, was appointed commander, and Fool Fuller, also an Englishman, was marshal. O'Donnell being informed of their designs sent messengers to Tyrone, to inform him that the Protestants were coming to relieve Enniskillen; that he would resist this to the death, to point out the critical situation of affairs, and that he must consider Tyrone his enemy, unless he came to his aid in such a pinch. On receipt of this message, Tyrone was perplexed with conflicting anxieties, thinking in his own mind that O'Donnell had started this war in an uncertain hope of aid from Spain, and before seeing the Spanish colours in Ireland, and thus put the fate of the Catholics in great peril, even should O'Neill himself come to the rescue. On the other hand, if he did not assist the Catholics, although he was already suspected by the Protestants, he would be regarded as an enemy by both parties. However, when the Queen's army was coming up, Cormac O'Neill, brother of Tyrone, arrived in O'Donnell's camp with 100 horse and 300 light armed musketeers, but whether sent by Tyrone, or on his own motion, is not generally agreed on. Maguire and Cormac with a thousand foot, advanced from O'Donnell's camp to meet the enemy, and obstruct their advance, and by keeping them from sleep and rest render them less vigorous when encountering O'Donnell himself later on. Meantime, Duke halted, about nightfall, not more than three miles from a ford on the river Farney. Here, as soon as it was dark, gunmen sent by Maguire and Cormac, suddenly poured in upon him a close and heavy fire of leaden bullets. Duke sent his musketeers against these gunmen, and, so both sides fought throughout the whole night at long range, and the royalists were rendered sleepless by reason
p.80of the danger and the noise of the guns. On the next day, after dawn, Duke drew up his entire army in three divisions, supported by wings of cavalry and gunmen. He had a large quantity of baggage, and beasts of burthen carrying supplies, asses, attendants, and hangers-on, which he divided into two parts, placing one portion between the first and second division, and the other between this and the rear column. Having arranged his troops in this position he moved them, half asleep with the vigil of the previous night, out of his camp, and as he advanced was continuously attacked by the Catholics, hurling darts and compelling him to halt frequently, while he in turn drove them back. At 11 o'clock he came within gunshot of the ford on the Farney. Here he ordered the cavalry to dismount because the ground was unsuitable for a cavalry fight. Maguire and Cormac with 1,000 foot now attacked in full force. Their musketeers resisted the first division rather stoutly, and not only their musketeers but also their pikemen pressed the rear division. The first division cleared the way with the sword, and driving the Catholics back gained the ford. Meanwhile the Catholic musketeers, who were attacking the rear division, drove the wings of Protestant gunmen in on the column and staggered it with an incessant fire of leaden bullets. The ranks being now disordered, the Catholic pikemen, charging through, put them into confusion and drove them into the second part of the baggage, and finally back on the second division. Thereupon the middle division was involved in a double struggleto rally the rear division, and to resist the Catholics. But the Catholics, pressing on, routed both, and driving them through the other division of baggage, threw them into the first division. Thus the whole army, in a confused and disordered crowd, crossed the ford abandoning the provisions and all the baggage, saving only those horses which were especially required by the cavalry. Thereupon, Duke held a council of war as to what was to be done. George Oge Bingham thought they should retreat, lest having lost their provisions all should perish from want, and share the fate of the defenders of Enniskillen, whom they could not assist. On the other hand, Marshal Fool Fuller ?, whose name signifies stupid, foolishly protested, and maintained that they should relieve the Queen's Castle. The place where the Protestants had halted was marshy, and their horses sinking in this bog could not be brought into action, so that they were shot down by the Catholics with impunity. Fool, therefore, advanced his wing
p.81of gunmen against the Catholics to drive them back, whilst he re-organised the ranks of the army. However, he soon gave up this attempt, being pierced by a javelin and killed. The entire Protestant army was thereby panic-stricken and abandoning, even the horses fell back without any order or discipline upon the ford, which it had a short time previously crossed. It was obstructed in this by the Catholic sharp-shooters, some of whom rifled the baggage whilst others defended the ford. Doubtful what was best to be done, the army rushed to another more difficult ford, which it perceived an arrow shot higher up the river, and plunged in before the Catholics occupied it. However, such was the haste and panic, and the depth of the ford, that about 100 soldiers were lost, over whose bodies the rest crossed. A few of the Irish followed the Protestants, who, despising their numbers, halted for a moment, whilst Duke, the General of the English army, and other captains, threw away their arms and clothes except their shirts, but even when so stripped, he was not sufficiently light nor able to run without being supported between four of his Irish soldiers. The Catholics intent on rifling the baggage, allowed the flying and terror-stricken enemy to slip through their hands. The few Catholics who had pursued beyond the ford returned immediately. In this way, little over four hundred of the English Protestants and Irish Catholic mercenaries in their service perished in the river and by the sword. The horses, a huge pile of arms, the provisions and all the baggage were captured, amongst these, an immense quantity of biscuits scattered in the very ford gave this place the new name of Beal antha nambrisgi. On hearing of the royalist army being routed and put to flight, the castle of Enniskillen, blockaded by O'Donnell, was surrendered, the defenders being dismissed as agreed, and Maguire was completely restored. Shortly after this surrender of the CastleMacSweeny Tuath, one of the prime movers of this war and who was present at the siege, paid the debt of naturea sad loss to the Catholics. He was succeeded by Maelmurray MacSweeny, the son of Murrough Mall (Mac Muracha M bhuill), whose constancy was not at all equal to that of his predecessors, as will appear later on. The siege being over, O'Donnell remembering the cruelty with which the English had thrown women, old men and infants, from the bridge of Enniskillen, with all his forces invaded Connaught, which Richard Bingham held ground down under heretical tyranny. In his raids extending far and wide he destroyed the English
p.82colonists and settlers, put them to flight, and slew them, sparing no male between 15 and 60 years who did not know how to speak the Irish language. He burnt the village of Longford in Annaly, which Browne, an English heretic, had wrested from O'Farrell and now occupied. He returned to Tyrconnell laden with the spoils of the Protestants. After this incursion into Connaught, not a single farmer, settler, or Englishman, remained except those who were safely inside the walls of the castles and fortified towns, for those who had not been destroyed by fire and sword, being stripped of their goods, retired to England, railing with bitter curses against those who had brought them into Ireland.