MEANTIME, the Munster rising being quelled after O'Sullivan's expulsion, the English assembled an army against O'Rourke out of those troops which had been enlisted against O'Sullivan and of the survivors of the Aughrim slaughter, and got together 3000 Irish and Anglo-Irish under command of Oliver Lambert, Governor of Connaught. In the month of March, 1603, Lambert marched his forces to the south side of the Shannon, not far from Leitrim Castle. Here he was for twelve days foiled in his attempts to cross a ford by O'Rourke, who had assembled a small band of soldiers. On the thirteenth night John Bostock secretly brought over in boats and pontoons seven companies to Gleann-na-mochart, and quickly fortified himself in its chapel with a ditch and rampart. From this post Bostock could easily raid and waste O'Rourke's country, and when he had perceived this on the sixth day after his arrival, he sallied out with 300 men and drove off a prey. O'Rourke came up with him and endeavoured to rescue the booty. A battle ensued and the English were defeated. Some, including Bostock, their captain, were slain; some returned terror-stricken to their entrenchments, bearing tidings of the loss of their captain and spoils. The victors lost only two. Hereupon the English began to regret having crossed so large a river and undoubtedly would have been more sorry had not Fortune, never weary of injuring the Irish, at this time absolutely raged against them. For Thady, brother of O'Rourke by a different mother, and who now adhered to the English party because he was disputing with O'Rourke about his inheritance and patrimony, attacked him on the other side and detaching many followers and mercenaries from his brother, occupied the greater part of the country of Breifny. O'Rourke himself caught a bad fever and died, deserted by those to whom he had entrusted his government, and who made peace. O'Sullivan, with some difficulty, procured a safe conduct for a few days. In this state of things Philip III., King of Spain, sent Martin Cerdo with two ship-loads of powder and other ammunition and 30,000 pieces of gold
p.178to O'Neill and Roderic, and no doubt had they received this aid sooner they would not have laid down their arms, but having done so, they would not accept the King's money or ammunition. MacWilliam accompanied Cerdo to Spain and there died shortly after. At this time Cornelius O'Driscoll, whom we have seen had been sent to Spain by O'Sullivan, got from his Catholic Majesty 2000 pieces of gold and put into Munster. Not finding O'Sullivan here, he returned to Spain, taking his wife and other women with him.