The 1597 Ceasefire Documents

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Hiram Morgan
Dúiche Néill: Journal of the O¹Neill country historical society, 1997.
This paper presents the principal documents relating to the ceasefire arranged between Hugh O’Neill and the crown at Dundalk shortly before Christmas 1597. These documents show the earl of Tyrone’s negotiating stance and his more general political development as the revolt, which had began in Ulster four years before, assumed nationwide proportions.
In July 1597 the newly-appointed Lord Deputy, Thomas Lord Burgh, had re-established an English garrison on the Blackwater in the heart of O’Neill country. Burgh died suddenly at the Newry on 13 October and with him the already diminishing hopes for a regalvanised English war-effort. The isolation of Blackwater fort was intensified by O’Neill and Irish victories were won by James MacSorley MacDonnell near Carrickfergus on 4 November and by Richard Tyrrell and Onie O’More near Daingean on 5 December. Meanwhile the Queen had appointed Archbishop Adam Loftus and Lord Chief Justice Robert Gardiner to head the administration as Lords Justice and had confirmed the emergency appointment of ‘Black Tom’ Butler, earl of Ormond, as Lord Lieutenant-General of her army.1 The crown, with the Blackwater garrison cut off and its military position rapidly deteriorating in Leinster, had no option but to treat with O’Neill.
These talks were facilitated by an offers of a submission by O’Neill and of a ceasefire by Ormond. The state agreed to consider O’Neill’s submission despite of his former evasions, his desire to represent the interests of others confederated with him and his dating of letters by the Pope’s computation. O’Neill agreed to the truce claiming to know that Ormond had ‘authority to deal concerning all matters of war and peace’.2 Ormond met O’Neill on 8 December in open country outside Dundalk and again the following day. O’Neill asked for time for himself, Hugh Roe O’Donnell and other confederates to draw up their grievances to which Ormond promised to listen and if necessary draw to the Queen’s attention.3 After this preliminary meeting, a second more formal set of negotiations took place a mile from Dundalk over four days (20-23 December 1597). For this occasion, Ormond had called upon the assistance of Sir Geoffrey Fenton, Secretary of the Irish Council and Thomas Jones, Bishop of Meath. Jones’s letter to England dated 28 December provides the main account of the parley.4
1 Cyril Falls, Elizabeth’s Irish Wars, (London, 1950), pp.205-9. 2 Cal. S.P. Ire., 1596-7, pp.456-9. 3 Ibid, pp.467-9. 4 S.P.63/201, no.122. This account is summarised extensively in Cal. S. P. Ire., 1596-7, 483-90.

Donough O’Brien, earl of Thomond, and Miler Magrath, Archbishop of Cashel, also formed part of the state’s negotiating team. O’Donnell was due to attend the talks together with O’Neill but never turned up. At the end of the second day of talks, as the government side returned to Dundalk, one of O’Neill’s men overtook them and read a letter from O’Donnell which Miler Magrath interpreted. Red Hugh disliked the peace talks now in progress and was threatening to break with any agreement but nevertheless promised to attend. O’Neill’s constantly repeated statements about his ally’s imminent appearance were used to draw out the negotiations and to ensure that he got all his complaints across in person. However this also meant that Connacht, which was O’Donnell’s sphere of activity, was not treated in any detail. Most of all it seemed to bear out Fenton’s a priori fear that some of the confederates would deliberately absent themselves from the Dundalk meeting ‘to be Robin Hoods to the end to keep things still in garboil’.5
The main documents produced by these negotiations are enclosed with this article. The first pre-requisite for the normalisation of relations between O’Neill and the state was a condign submission on the part of the Ulsterman. On 21 December the crown negotiators showed O’Neill the submission they wanted him to make. The document composed by Fenton only acknowedged O’Neill’s offence without any qualification about how he had been provoked. He refused to sign. The document (enclosure 1) which he eventually signed at the end of the following day was remarkable as far as submissions go. Not only was O’Neill allowed to claim provocation for his heinous actions of the past, he was also permitted to do so on behalf of his confederates. Most extraordinarily, in what purported to be a submission, this mere subject proceeded to discuss the ceasefire which he was entering into with his sovereign. This submission reveals the weakness of the state’s position. O’Neill also quibbled with the terms of the ceasefire (enclosure 2) which the state prescribed to him at the same time and again he refused to sign at first asking. The following day O’Neill produced a list of modifications (enclosure 3) to these articles ‘which answers of his’ wrote Jones, ‘were so crooked and untoward, as we were forced to enter into a particular debating of every article, and of his answer thereunto, and by reasoning we procured him to alter some of his answers in some few points; but notwithstanding such correction, as we procured from him of those answers, they still remain very unseemly and undutiful to proceed from a subject’6. O’Neill further enraged the government side when in the afternoon of 22 December he submitted a ‘humble petition’ (enclosure 4) containing general demands. Fenton said that O’Neill’s petition contained things of such arrogance that it was ‘neither meet for a rebel to prefer to his Prince nor fit for any good servitor to receive’.7 Ormond told O’Neill that not only would the Queen not countenance his article touching religion but that it also was very dangerous for him to make any such demand. Ormond refused to take the demands. Eventually O’Neill pressed Jones to take them to look over them that night. Significantly it was only when Jones had agreed to do this that O’Neill finally put
5 Ibid, 1596-7, p.474. 6 S.P.63/201, no.122. 7 Cal. S.P. Ire., 1596-7, p.478.

his hand to the submission and ceasefire articles. On the last day Ormond sent Jones to O’Neill to return ‘his unseemly demands for religion.’ O’Neill insisted on an answer and in person brought them back to the Lord Lieutenant-General who swore to throw them into the first fire he came to on his way back into Dundalk. Finally O’Neill submitted a book of grievances (enclosure 5). He was required to do this under the terms of the ceasefire though ‘not to pester his book of complaint with matters frivolous or unnecessary but to insert such causes as are meet for a Prince’s view and such as he can substantially prove’. In doing so the earl claimed that he had submitted such lists before but that they had been suppressed and not shown to the Queen.8
The tension at these December negotiations, as at earlier encounters, was heightened by O’Neill’s alleged fears of government treachery leading to his arrest, imprisonment and execution. On no grounds would he negotiate in a potentially confined space such as inside Dundalk. The preliminary meeting on 8 December was only agreed after Black Tom had given his word assuring the safety of O’Neill and his party. Even then O’Neill at first stood off from Ormond and only after further encouragement did he dismount and come forward in person to speak to Ormond across a small river. O’Neill immediately complained about Marshal Sir Henry Bagenal and other enemies who had sought his life.9 At start of the substantive talks O’Neill rehearsed his complaints against Bagenal and his allegations about directions sent out of England which had caused him to fear for his life and to take an undutiful course against the state. The negotiators tried their best to assauge these fears but O’Neill refused to be convinced.10 In his book of grievances he was more explicit claiming that at proceedings in Dundalk in June 1593 Lord Deputy Fitzwilliam, bribed by Bagenal, have tried to get him condemned to death like Hugh Roe MacMahon and that Burghley, the Lord Treasurer of England, a great friend of both his enemies, had wanted him ‘cut off’.11 Amongst the same grievances, O’Neill also highlighted the recent persecution and death of Feagh MacHugh O’Byrne (May 1597) ‘which breach of promise hath bred a wonderful fear and discontentment in all the Irishry’. On 21 December O’Neill was ‘more ticklish and fearful than he was on the first day’ alleging an attack on the Magennises during the truce as the reason (detailed in the grievances as twenty-four killed by Bagenal’s men whilst they were asleep). At first he only wanted to negotiate in Irish through intermediaries. After some toing and froing he was once more persuaded into face to face talks.12
8 S.P. 63.201,no.122 9 Cal. S.P. Ire., 1596-7, pp.467-9. The calendar of fiants (appendix to PROI Deputy Keeper’s reports, 16-17, no.6187) shows that before Ormond left Dublin on 3 December he had a protection made out to O’Neill and any others in Ulster not exceeding fifty in all. However this only covered those coming to Ormond at Drogheda, Dundalk or elsewhere to make their submissions. It did not specify any other purpose such as negotiation. 10 S.P.63/201, no.122. 11 See Hiram Morgan, Tyrone’s rebellion (Woodbridge, 1993), ch. 7. 12 S.P.63/201, no.122

For their part the state’s negotiators had to maintain the Queen’s honour and their own official dignity. Ideally they would have liked to have seen O’Neill making a public submission at the market cross in Dundalk. They did get a submission of sorts and they did avoid, or at least their communications did not mention, the type of civilities towards the rebel which had landed Commissioners Wallop and Gardiner in the Queen’s bad books in early 1596.13 Instead they recorded themselves frequently upbraiding O’Neill and reminding him of his duty. For instance when at the preliminary meeting O’Neill complained about threats to his life, Ormond retorted that, whatever the cause, there were no grounds for rebelling against a natural sovereign who had shown him so much favour.14 Most importantly the government side had gone to great trouble to avoid receiving, or to be seen not to receive, O’Neill’s demands about religion.
O’Neill would have liked Ormond to have had plenipotenary power. The great southern earl was a former political associate who would have probably benefited from a settlement in O’Neill’s favour and he was a firm favourite of the Queen’s who might have possessed leverage which former negotiators lacked15. When at the end of November O’Neill claimed to know that Ormond had such authorisation, he doubtless knew otherwise and was rather expressing the hope that he would be afforded such plenipotenary power. At the time the state made no attempt to gainsay O’Neill’s statement fearing a delay in establishing an initial ceasefire. However O’Neill’s expressed desire was sufficient to cause both Ormond and Fenton to write into England that the lack of such authority on the part of the Lord Lieutenant-General was likely to impede negotiations.16 On 21 December Tyrone demanded whether Ormond had authority to conclude a firm peace. He said that he had been previously been close to a conclusion with Lord General Norris only to see it altered by the arrival of Burgh as Lord Deputy. He would been disappointed but not wholly surprised when the state’s negotiators anwsered that they were sent to ascertain his terms and the extent of his loyalty which they were to report back to the Queen. In his book of grievances O’Neill reiterated the belief that he expected ‘a measure of justice’ from the fully-empowered Ormond as well as his doubt that any new settlement could be thwarted by the current Lords Justice. Why should O’Neill continue to maintain a belief in Ormond’s authority when he had already been told the contrary on the 21st. Perhaps the bulk of this book, handed in on 23rd, was written before the 21st and left unaltered or more likely O’Neill deliberately continued to misconstrue Ormond’s position so as to facilitate possible future claims of government treachery.
The state for its part wanted hostages known as ‘pledges’ as security for any agreement which might be reached. On the first day of substantive talks O’Neill told the
13 Morgan, p.201. 14 Cal. S.P. Ire., 1596-7, 467-9. 15 Morgan, pp.51,97, 172 16 Ibid, pp.461-3; 473-4.

government negotiators that they already had his pledges from the time of Sir John Norris. If you care to look at enclosure 5, you will see that O’Neill subsequently gave details about these earlier arrangements. He had handed over pledges when he had first agreed a truce with Norris who were exchanged every three months. When a more formal conclusion was reached in 1596 he had handed over his brothers’ sons as pledges. However not only were the earlier pledges withheld but no further three monthly exchanges had taken place. Norris’s subsequent promise to return the pledges had not been performed for which breach O’Neill blamed Russell, Burgh’s predecessor as Lord Deputy. When on 20 December the earl was told that these old pledges were now deemed insufficient, he replied that under no condition would he hand over any of his sons. He said that he would rather see them dead than held hostage and even if his sons had been so held for his good behavior he would still have entered into action against the crown. He asserted ‘My country will never esteem them, if they be absent; and if they be not here, they will even be dealt with, as I myself was handled by Sir Henry Sidney when my father died’. The negotiators reminded him of the Queen’s protection and advancement of his interests in the 1560s, 1570s and 1580s. ‘Hereunto he answered most ungratefully, that Her Majesty had given him nothing but what belonged unto him, and he ascribed the things which he had gotten to his own scratching in the world than Her Majesty’s goodness’.17 This discussion with the government negotiators rings somewhat hollow in hindsight because in 1600 O’Neill was prepared to send his eldest son Henry to Spain as a pledge.18 In ‘his humble petition’ of the 22nd (enclosure 4) O’Neill demanded the resumption of normal pledge arrangements - the return of his original hostages and the exchange of his nephews for others. When he eventually signed the ceasefire, he delivered over temporarily a pledge (unnamed by Jones’ account and so presumably of little consequence) to assure the state that the Blackwater would be safely re-supplied. As for the general security of a ceasefire he would only offer his word and oath.
There were a number of important issues relating to the ceasefire itself. O’Neill requested a cessation for a long a time as Ormond would grant. He was hoping in terms of years thereby dissipating the strength of the queen’s forces on the one hand but keeping the possibility of Spanish intervention open on the other. In the end Ormond would offer only two months - long enough to obtain the queen’s response to the preChristmas talks and long enough to revictual the Blackwater fort. The crown’s main priority was the Blackwater fort. It could not put adequate forces into the field to relieve it militarily.19 On 9 December O’Neill had agreed to the resupply of the fort and had promised to send in forty head of cattle for the soldiers immediate needs. It was only after reiterating this promise at the formal talks that he actually sent the garrison soldiers thirty beeves but they only accepted seventeen of them ‘the rest being carrion’. Captain Lister, who filed this report on Christmas Day, said that the 140 men inside the broken
17 Ibid, pp.483-4. 18 J.J. Silke, Kinsale (Liverpool, 1970), pp.69, 75. 19 Cal. S.P. Ire., 1598-9, p.8.

down fortifications had now rations to last another month.20 At the talks O’Neill had refused the state the loan of pack-horses for the transport of supplies to the fort and had quibbled over the soldiers cutting wood in vicinity. The earl eventually signed up for the two-months even though it permitted the crown to the resupply of the fort without recourse to arms and prevented himself and his confederates from taking advantage of the long winter nights.21
O’Neill was doubtless pleased that he had been allowed to agree the ceasefire on behalf of his confederates as well as himself. This was a concession by the state and O’Neill forced a qualification (see enclosure 4) by demanding that the state refrain from detaching any of his allies by separate deals during the cessation. O’Neill had on 9 December agreed to withdraw Captains Tyrrell, Nugent and the Ulstermen who had gone to fight in Leinster and gave Ormond a copy of the letter he wrote to them. On 21st December he agreed to send a messenger with the same order.22 However when it came to signing the second article of the ceasefire he entered a caveat requesting that any who chose to remain might do so on the peace of his local confederates. O’Neill got amendments made to the complaints and restitution proceedings attendant uopn infractions of the ceasefire because it is plain from the book of grievances that his requests for restitution had been ignored in past cessations. During the ceasefire O’Neill also agreed to make no further contacts with foreign rulers and to hand over incoming communications - this was intended to put a brake on not only his dealings with Philip of Spain but also James IV of Scotland.23
Overall the pre-Christmas talks gave O’Neill the opportunity to reiterate the grievances which had originally brought him into action against the state. These included not only the alleged threats to his life but also the ways in which Marshall Bagenal especially had benefitted from government policy in which O’Neill claimed to have been the main activist. The humble petition (enclosure 4) also included his preferred proposals for righting the situation. As well as wanting the Queen’s pardon, O’Neill was also demanding his proclaimation as traitor overturned by act of parliament. The calling of such a parliament was highly unlikely. Neither would the crown have been willing to make such public concessions to O’Neill nor would it have tolerated the general airing of grievances which such an assembly might have thrown up. A request was also made for the county of Tyrone to be afforded palatinate status. The earl had made such a proposal before - thereby he would have gained control of the local judicial process, keeping out those he insisted were ‘bad officers’ by having sheriffs of his own appointing. This was not a revolutionary suggestion because Ormond himself already enjoyed such rights in Tipperary. He demanded the removal of garrisons from Tyrone (i.e. the Blackwater fort) and other Irish parts as they were terrorizing the population.
20 Ibid, 1596-7, pp. 476-7. 21 Ibid, 486. 22 Ibid, 467, 485, 494 23 Ibid, 446-7.

Throughout the talks and in his various submissions to the state negotiators, O’Neill also demanded the right to speak for those who had by oath confederated with him. This had benefit of creating a national platform and putting pressure on the crown and its supporters all round Ireland whilst at the same time strengthening O’Neill’s own grip over allies and the course of events. On their part, the state wanted to deal with rebels one by one and by so isolating them, make fewer concessions with a view to destroying them individually later on. On 20 December Tyrone demanded consideration of his new allies O’Mores and O’Connors whose ancestral lands he had promised to get back. His secretary Henry Hovenden demanded that the planters’ patents in Laois and Offaly should be reversed as indeed should those recently made in Monaghan. The earl said that McWilliam Bourke of Mayo, Feagh MacHugh’s sons in Wicklow as well as Redmond Burke of Galway should be on his peace and have lands. The crown negotiators replied that O’Neill had no rights in these areas and that if patents were to be challenged why not his own of Tyrone and furthermore he had made no such demands for them when he had formerly negotiated with Norris. As for young Burke they poured scorn on his claims to be Lord Leitrim alleging that he ‘was, by definite sentence, proved a bastard’.When, at the close of the second day’s talks, O’Neill renewed his demands on behalf of his confederates, Ormond asked him ‘I pray you if my two traitorous nephews24 were alive, would you look to have them upon your peace’. Tyrone answered in the affirmative. On day three the state negotiators heard complaints from some of O’Neill’s Ulster confederates including the Magennises and O’Reillys. 25
In his humble petition (enclosure 4) O’Neill insisted that he would make no agreement without the righting of his confederates’ grievances, especially as regards their ancestral lands. In particular he reiterated his request for the O’Mores and O’Connors. He wanted a reasonable proportion of their predeccessors’ lands alloted to them by himself, Ormond and Jones. The approach adopted in O’Neill’s book of grievances (enclosure 5) was intended to strengthen this line of argument. Since going to war he claimed ‘to have seen into and have heard off others the indirect dealings used against the Irish of Ireland’. On these grounds he claimed good cause to fear for his life and, on a simple reading, the catalogue of treacherous acts, confiscations and judicial murders which he proceeded to give would seem to justify such a claim. He went far beyond merely listing the recent actions which were the backdrop to the Nine Years War such as the unwarranted attack on Maguire, the execution of Hugh MacMahon and the kidknapping of Red Hugh O’Donnell. He listed abuses committed against lords from all parts of Ireland stretching back to the division of Leinster amongst planters in the 1550. He cited the treacherous killing of Sir Brian MacPhelim O’Neill in 1574 and the massacre of the O’Mores and O’Connors at Mullaghmast in 1577. Furthermore he included cases of lords who were not of Gaelic stock such as Desmond and Baltinglass who had been forced into revolt in 1579-80 and had suffered confiscation as a consequence. He even
24 James and Pierce FitzEdmond Butler of Cloghgrenan. Executed by Ormond in 1597 after going out in 1596. I owe this information to my colleague David Edwards. 25 Cal. S.P. Ire., 1596-7, pp.483-7.

included the Palesmen tyrannically executed by Lord Gray. This signalled an intention to extend his confederation ethnically as well geographically throughout all Ireland. The negotiators were taken aback - Secretary Fenton said that O’Neill had dragged up ‘these old sores of the kingdom, to draw a popularity to himself and to give him scope to be the head of all dangerous factions in the realm, and to bind and loose at his pleasure’.26 O’Neill ended by claiming that the country was being destroyed, unbeknowst to Queen Elizabeth, by the rapacious activities of soldiers and captains and was in process of being divided up by officials, lawyers and court clerks. He and the confederates, joined in action for ‘care of our lives’, wanted a speedy remedy to ‘our just and lawful requests’.
O’Neill had already caused consternation by demanding liberty of conscience. When it was read out, the Lord Lieutenant-General said ‘My lord, what have you and I to meddle in matters of religion’. Asked why he dared to prefer such articles, O’Neill said that he made the motion not on behalf of himself and O’Donnell ‘but for all the Catholics of the land’. Here O’Neill was reiterating at greater length a demand he had first made in January 1596 negotiations - it was a transparent attempt to link himself up with the Catholic cause at home and abroad.27 Asked if the motion emanated from the Pale, O’Neill answered that no gentleman of the Pale had requested the motion but that in fact some of their priests had pressed him to make the petition. And he insisted on submitting his petition because he had heard news from England about a new persecution of Catholics there. The negotiators dismissed this a mere rumour conjured up by the priests to make him and other distrust the Queen’s government.28 In fact because of the war the Dublin government had eased back on the persecution of Catholics to avoid giving the inhabitants of the Pale and port towns any reason to make common cause with the confederates. Nevertheless it is interesting that one copy of O’Neill’s petition is marked ‘suppressed’. The threat of O’Neill playing the religious card was cause enough to make the government jittery. Jones concluded that the demand ‘showeth his drift to become popular amongst this idolatrous people’29.
The state’s negotiators seem to have come away with a unanimous opinion on the proceedings. Fenton said that they had found O’Neill more insolent and proud than at previous parleys and ‘so it was the opinion of us all, that in these alterations he could have no sound meaning, and consequently, that he pretended to do further mischeif, when he shall be further fitted for the same’.30 Jones fulminated against O’Neill. ‘He is a most dangerous, cunning and crafty traitor, and therefore to be subdued with all possible means; for the longer he is borne with, in hope of amendment, the further assuredly will he gripe, and the greater dependency will he draw unto himself, to the hazard of this kingdom’ He then listed nineteen reasons for this opinion ‘grounded upon Tyrone’s insolent behaviour and carriage in this parley before so honourable a personage as the
26 Ibid, p.478. 27 See Morgan, p.198. 28 Cal. S.P. Ire., 1596-7, 487-8 29 Ibid, p.490. 30 Ibid, pp.477-8.

lord lieutenant is (who used all things will great honour and gravity) and before us being councillors to her maiesty of this state’31.
However Lord Lieutenant-General Ormond, the Lords Justice and the Irish Council came to a different conclusion when they assessed the situation in Dublin at the beginning of January. It was now asserted that, if Ormond had been invested with sufficient authority to offer a longer cessation, O’Neill might have been more amenable. Furthermore Thomond had visited O’Donnell over Christmas and found him more constructive than had been assumed from his communications. The Council, clearly favouring a pacification, wanted to know the Queens’ decision for peace or war because ‘the state of the realm is like to grow to further dangerous terms, to the hazard of altering things to an Irish Government, which they have long aimed at, and now are very near to prevail, if God and Her Majesty prevent them not the sooner’. The army was in a lamentable state - diminished in numbers, ill-fed, half-clothed, prone to desertion and close to mutiny. Promised supplies, money and reinforcments had not arrived. There were persistent rumours of Spanish preparations to invade Ireland. Jones toed the Council line and Fenton changed his tune counselling a two or three year peace to win the confidence of the confederates and to stablise the government.32 Basically a volteface was made by the Irish administration having considered the overall situation in the cold light of day.
Thomond proceeded to London with these assessments as well as the details of the December ceasefire talks. The Queen was shown all O’Neill’s demands including the demand for liberty of conscience. It were not suppressed from her. She spurned it of course as an infringement of her prerogative. She was willing to offer some concessions and O’Neill his pardon. ‘Her Majesty is moved in compassion of the miseries of that realm to extend her mercy and favour in a larger sort than otherwise the offences of her rebels by any kind of submission can deserve’33 However the treaty talks in March and April failed. The result was a return to war and Marshal Bagenal’s disastrous attempt to relieve to relieve Blackwater fort in August 1598.
31 S.P.63/201, no.122. 32 Cal. S.P. Ire., 1597-8, pp.1-7. 33 Ibid, pp.43-4.

SP63/201, no.117(i)
The most humble and penitent submission of me hugh Erle of Tyrone presented in myne owne person to the right honourable therle of Ormond and Ossory, Lord Leftenaunt generall of all her maiesties forces and armyes in Ireland hauing for his assistaunce in this accion the lord bushop of Meath and Sir Geffery Fenton knight ii of her maiesties priuie counsell within this Realme.
Where I hugh Erle of Tyrone upon my former submissions made to her maiesties commissioners before, haue thereupon receaued her maiesties most gracious and free pardon to myself and all thinhabitaunts of Tyrone wherein I confess her maiesty bestowed asmuch grace and mercy on me as a Prince cold do upon a subiect that had so highly offended her highnes, notwithstanding having of late estsoones fallen into the lyke crymes of disobedience and disloyalty against her sacred maiesty, and thereby haue justly provoked her maiesties uttermost displeasure and indignacion against me: now in your lords presence I do here acknowledge upon the knees of my hart that I am most sorry for this my late relapse and defeccion and do most humbly from the bottome of my hart repent me of the same: beseeching your lord and the rest to be a meane to her maiesty, that I may be once againe receaued to her maiesties mercy and pardon, to contynue in the duty of a faithfull and true subiect so long as I shall liue. And I most humbly besech your lord and the rest, that you wilbe lykewaies a meane to make knowen to her majesty my seuerall greevances, soch as haue bin don to me and myne by some of her maiesties ministers which though yt ought to be no cause to haue drawen me to breake my obedience and duty to hir maiesty yet yt may please her sacred maiesty to see thereby the sondry haynous prouocacions I had and according to her rare and Princely wisedome to vouchsaffe in some measure to quallefie the haynousenes of my faults with the consideracion of the wrongs and hard dealings that many waies were used to me: And tyll these be booked and sent to her maiesty, and her maiesties gracious pleasure retorned for me I humbly craue a tyme of forbearing of armes for two months next following from the day of the date hereof, which for my parte, I do hereby undre my handwritinge and upon my creditt and honore promise your lord and the rest, to performe faithfully without breach not onely for myself and inhabitaunts of Tyrone but also for all the rest that haue taken parte with me in my disloyalty humbly praying your lord to geue order to all her maiesties garrisons and forces to do the lyke duringe the saide tyme of ii monethes: And for that her maiesty may see, that this proceedeth unfaynedly from my hart, I do also promise to your lord and the rest upon my honour and creditt, that touching the revittling of her maiesties forte of Blackwater there shalbe no impediment geven therein by me or any of myne but that your lord may send into that forte all soche supplies of vittles and municions, as yt shall please you during the saide tyme without raisinge her maiesties army for the same: And for a poore token of my duty and goodwill therein, I will presentely deliuer into the saide forte xl beoues of myne owne, and suffer the soldiers there, at any tyme during the tyme of the truice to fetch in

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The 1597 Ceasefire Documents