Mountjoy, who arrived in
The central fastness of
Moryson, Mountjoy's secretary, mentions these garrisons as an
important factor in the campaign, as the insurgents could not leave
their own territory to help each other in case the garrisons would despoil
it. He mentions also the scorched earth
policy suggested by
A third factor of great importance in this campaign was the use of important Irish figures in their own districts who were discontented. Sir Neill Garve O'Donnell was promised the lordship of Donegal, while Sir Arthur O'Neill was promised the earldom of Tyrone. Other Irishmen were recruited to serve against their own kinsmen and were despised alike by those whom they had deserted and those whom they had joined. Fynes Moryson remarked on one occasion when these Irish troops had 'borne the brunt of the fighting and suffered the heaviest losses, that "the death of
those unpeaceful swordsmen, though falling on our side, yet was rather gain than loss to the commonwealth." Finally, some of the Irish served as spies, and the information thus gathered was used to determine the tactics to be employed. Mountjoy, on the other hand, reduced discussion of his plans to a minimum and guarded against indiscretions in his entourage. He was aware, particularly since he was using Irish troops, that any careless talk of his intentions could go very quickly to Hugh O'Neill.
The clear strategic plan which
had been conceived was put into operation in the spring of 1600. A fleet was despatched from
Docwra himself has described the landing in his narration of the campaign: ". . . it was the 14th [May] before wee could putt in to the mouth of the Bay at Loughfoyle and noe sooner were wee entred, but wee fell on ground and soe stucke till the next day, than at a full tide, wee waighted our Anchors, sayled a little way and rune on ground againe.
"On the 16th in the morning wee gott loose and about ten of the Clocke (100 men lying on shoare and giving us a volie of shott and so retyring) wee landed at Culmore and with the first of our horse and foote that wee could unshipp made up towards a troupe of horse and foote that wee sawe standing before us on the topp of a hill, but by ignorance of the wayes our horses were presentlie boggt and so at that day wee made none other use, but onlie to land our men. The next day, the place seaming to my Judgement fitt to build wee beganne about the Butt end of the old broken castle to caste up a forte such as might be capable to lodge 200 men in."
Six days were spent on this work, and a
garrison planted here at Culmore. Docwra's eye was upon another position for his
main strong point,
The Annalists also record the landing of the Lough Foyle
force, and the construction of three forts, at Dunnalong in O'Neill's part of the country in the
neighbourhood of O'Cahan's territory, at Culmore and
With the choice of
At first Docwra stood on the defensive, probably fearing
to be caught in the open by the superior forces of O'Neill. The Four Masters say that the
English were so much afraid and in dread that for a long time they
did not come outside the ramparts except a short distance,
while a great number of them were on guard every night. On account of the confinement of their
position they were subject to sickness, and this reduced their effectiveness
a great deal. Men died by the score,
and hundreds more were unfit for active duty. However, the position at
Winter past, O'Cahan approached Docwra, indicating that he was willing to surrender his lands, and to hold them from the Queen. These approaches were evidently made on numerous occasions, but flatly rejected by Docwra. This was official policy, as put into practice by Mountjoy. Fynes Moryson says on this issue: "For protection and pardons (the easy obtaining whereof had formerly encouraged the rebels, as well to enter into rebellion as to break their faith after submissions, in hope to be again received to mercy) although it was necessary for the State in this general rebellion, like a mother, to open her bosom to her children, lest, being driven to despair, they should plunge themselves into all mischiefs, yet he never received any to mercy, but such as had so drawn blood on their fellow-rebels, and were themselves made so poor, as there was small danger of their relapse.”
Sir John Bolles, writing to Cecil on March 7th, puts the official point of view in this way. The first method is to allow the people to come in through the persuasion of their priests, so allowing them to retain their strength and ability to resist. The second method is to force them to submit because the country is so ravaged that resistance is no longer possible. According to Bolles the perfect cure was to keep the people from ploughing by dispersed garrisons, and to force them to live on their stocks so that they would starve in the following year. This was no doubt attractive from the military point of view: ‘less consideration seems to have been given to the long-term effects of such a ruthless policy upon those whom it was hoped to govern peaceably.’
In the same letter Bolles relates the story of one of the first major raids that were to occupy this second year. On this raid he says:
“We got about 80 lean cows and burned many more in the houses, besides sheep, goats and corn and slew betwixt 80 and 100 persons. This was in O’Cahan’s country, and his people being gathered in small numbers together fought with us the marching of 5 miles, but so coldly that in all that time they killed but one of our men and hurt 5.”
This opened a series of raids upon
O’Cahan’s lands in a determined effort to subdue one who was called an obstinate,
proud and powerful rebel, and the greatest aid and succour to O’Neill. At this time Docwra and his men seem to have
realised the great advantages they had. They were secure in a strong point
which the Irish clans had not the artillery to force; they were well supplied
with boats and ships, and they could choose their point of attack while being
sure of an easy and safe retreat. Men of experience, looking at the easy
landing places along the lough, wondered why better use had not been made of
On the 25th of March another raid was made, and some soldiers
captured 300 cows and attempted to bring them over to
Soon the pattern of raids was becoming stereotyped and defensive measures were being taken. The garrison was closely watched from O’Cahan’s side of the river, and any movement promptly reported. Sir Arthur O’Neill advised that a raid be made by boat from farther up in O’Doherty’s country. Docwra took the advice and sent out Sir John Chamberlain with 700 men. These men marched all night, crossed from Greencastle, and at daybreak on the 10th of June descended upon extensive herds of cattle, which they seized and drove to the Waterside; 100 cows were put aboard the boats, some were brought away killed, and the rest of the unfortunate cattle were “hacked and mangled.”
By June the way was clear for a further step in the campaign, the
seizure of O’Cahan’s castle at Enagh Lough. Docwra gives an account of this action in a letter
to the Privy Council dated
In these summer months the supply position of the
Next day Rory returned to the Waterside with 300 men and, keeping the river between them, sent word to Docwra that he was no longer prepared to serve against his own brother. He offered any reasonable number of cows that might 'be asked as ransom for the hostages, and threatened that if their lives were taken he would spare no Englishman who came within his power. Docwra refused any terms and immediately set up a gibbet on which he hanged the hostages in the sight of their leader. Apparently Docwra was of the opinion that Rory was sent in to gain the confidence of the garrison, and then to lead a large company of the soldiers into an ambush set by Hugh O'Neill.
It will be noticed that the
In August and September the English effort was recoiling
under setbacks, while the Irish had opportunities of striking decisive blows but
failed to press home their advantage. Mountjoy had marched north into
Docwra made a very
important attempt to carry out this plan towards the close of
the year; it is mentioned in a letter of
Docwra and his force advanced to the Cammon wood, which stretched
up towards Loughermore and barred the entry to the
passage through the wood, Docwra rounded it on the lough side, and
so came into the inner district of the
major object of the exercise failed. The
sailors, who were to meet Docwra at Coleraine, missed the place. Docwra waited one night at Coleraine, and when the ship failed to appear marched
southwards up the
A hard winter
followed, and with the Spanish forces having evacuated
Whether the talks were successful or not, Docwra intended to make a second attempt to place a garrison at Coleraine. The stores for this attempt were put on hoard ship, and with a fair gale of wind the sea-borne party had been sent off with instructions to meet the land forces at the mouth of the Bann. Spies had also been sent out both into Tyrone and into O'Cahan's camp to find out what forces O'Cahan had available, and whether he was likely to receive assistance from O'Neill. Some of these returned before the land forces had left Enagh, others met these forces when they advanced four miles from Enagh to within two miles of O'Cahan's camp. The English commander asked O'Cahan for a definite answer to his proposals. O'Cahan asked for a truce for three months and offered Docwra a bribe to secure this. Meanwhile the chief remained encamped at the mouth of a pass through the woods with 600 foot and 60 horse.
At this stage the captains of the English forces were asked for their views as to whether they should proceed to force the pass and carry out the long-delayed plan of garrisoning Coleraine. The captains believed they could have forced the pass through the Cammon, but recited the other factors that would have to be taken into account, the loss of ammunition, the casualties, the necessity of leaving a garrison of 100 men at the Bann, and the likelihood of reinforcements reaching O'Cahan. As their safe return might have been placed in jeopardy, it was resolved not to make the attempt but to await a more convenient time. So this time the land forces failed to make the rendezvous. Docwra must have realised that he was leaving himself open to serious criticism for not pressing his advantages, for he enclosed a memorandum by the
captains giving the reasons for their decisions not to implement the plan.
Docwra refused O'Cahan's offered bribe, and writes: "To be revenged for this trick I sent out Captain Badby and Captain Windsor in succession one on each of the two following nights, who went into his country and took preys. Badby went up 16 miles, took 160 cows and killed 30 people; and Windsor went up 20 miles, slew 100 of them, including 3 chief men of account, many kerne, the rest churls, women and Children (for he spared none) and brought away only some 20 cows.' This is all that hath been done in these parts since my last despatch; but the country is brought to such famine by our raids that the misery of the poor is indescribable, and the rich are so reduced that were they not buoyed up by hopes of Spanish succours already landed and of further forces coming, they would soon submit, or at the worst be compelled to do so by a couple of months' campaign against them. The wood kerne and other offenders are so numerous, however, and so favoured by the nature of the country, that it will hardly or never be freed in any competent measure."
ruthless nature of the campaign is seen clearly in this extract. The kearne were the lighly armed soldiers, the
churls were the workers on the farmlands. Neither kearne nor churls, women or children
were spared. Nevertheless, there were
those who were still not satisfied with the degree of destitution to
which a settled and industrious populace had been reduced. Captain Thomas Phillips had just been to
Carrickfergus to meet
The following month saw an important breach in the
solidarity of the O'Cahan resistance. Docwra recounts that "On the 20th of Aprill,
I made an agreement with Cane Ballogh MacRichard a chiefe Gentleman
in O'Caine's countrie who delivered mee the Castle of Dongevin, situate neere
upon the Glinnes and about 18 miles wide from the Derrey; the warres ended
I gave my word that it should 'be restored again." The
English commander realised the importance of Dungiven, commanding the
from the first landing of the force at
Reporting progress on 29th July, 1602, Mountjoy wrote to the Privy Council as follows: "Tyrone [O'Neill] is already beating out of his Countrie and lies in a part of Ocanes, a place of incredible fastness where though it be impossible to doe him any great hurt, soe long as he shall bee able to keepe any force about him, the waies to him, being inaccessible with an Army, yet by lying about him as we mean to doe, we shall in short time put him to his uttermost extremity, and if not light upon his person, yet force him to flee the Kingdome. In the meantime we can assure your lordships this much, that from Ocane's Countrie where he now lieth which is to the Northward of his own County of Tyrone, we have left none to give us opposition, nor of late have seene any but dead carcases, merely starved for want of meat, of which kind we found many in divers places as wee passed."
These were the circumstances in which a few weeks
previously the O'Cahan chief had written to
or garrisons. He said that his position between O'Neill, O'Donnell and the Scots of Antrim was such that he had no other option but be on their side. He concluded by saying that when he passed his word, it would be between himself and God if he broke it. In a private message by word of mouth he offered her Majesty loyal service, rent and military help when called on. He asked for a quick answer, lest he lost the favour of O'Neill, and then found his offer of surrender refused.
On 14th July Docwra wrote that he had by special direction entered into negotiations with O'Cahan. The negotiations were successful, and articles of agreement were signed. The main provisions of this important agreement were as follows. O'Cahan and his people were to be pardoned for all former offences. Coyne Ballagh O'Cahan was to remain in quiet enjoyment of all that rand about Dungiven which he or his brethren had at any time possessed, holding this land of the Queen, and not being dependent on O'Cahan. It was noted that there was a garrison here, and if this was to be continued, Coyne Ballagh should have some other consideration, for he was an honest man. (Coyne Ballagh or Cowy Ballagh McRichard O'Cahan was a grandson of Donnell the Cleric, and a second cousin of Rory, the father of the present chief, Donnell Ballagh.) All the land between the Faughan and Lough Foyle, and between Ban Gibbon (a tributary of the Faughan) and Lough Foyle were to be surrendered to her Majesty, as was all the church land. The land about Enagh, and a ballyboe at Coleraine for the garrison there, were also reserved. The fishing of the Bann and the Faughan were also reserved to the Queen. Dennis O'Mullan, the spy and guide, was to have a scope of land as agreed upon between O'Cahan and Docwra. O'Cahan was then to have patents (or proper title from the Queen) for the remainder of his lands. Pledges were to be given for the observance of these conditions by O'Cahan, not only for himself, but also for the gentlemen of his country.
O'Cahan fulfilled his part of the agreement, and then
sent two persons to
Daniel O'Cahan, gent, chief of his name;
Rosa O'Neale, his wife;
Rowrie O'Cahan, his son;
Grany O'Cahan, his daughter, and all other children of said Donald;
Manus and John O'Cahan, brothers of said Donald; Manus O'Cahane McQuynevallie, gent; Quyneballagh McRichard O'Cahan; Rich. O'Cahan McAvenye; Donogh O'Cahan McAvenie; Avenye O'Cahan McBrien moddera and his (brothers; Couy McGorry O'Cahan and his brothers; Owen O'Hanlon, Fardoragh O'Hanlon, Arthur O'Hanlon,gentlemen, living in O'Cahan's country; Fardorogh O'Molan, gent, chief of his name; Tomelin, Donnell and James O'Molane, brothers of said Fardorogh; John O'Molane, ecclesiastic; Gilleduff O'Molane, with others of the name of O'Molane living in the said country;
Magilleghan, and others of that name in said country;
Donough McRedie, priest or chaplain of said Donald
O'Cahan, the dean of
and all inhabitants, and all attendants and tenants of
said Donald O'Cahan.
Fardorogh O'Molan mentioned is probably the same as the Ferdorough
O'Maylan who was pledge for the chief Rory O'Cahan in 1589. He
escaped in January that year from
One serious concern of O'Cahan was that he should be freed of any connection with O'Neill, and should hold his land directly from the Queen. Not only did he obtain a pledge from Docwra and Mountjoy concerning this, but he also asked Docwra to write to O'Neill and secure a similar assurance from him. O'Neill replied that he did not know if a surrender from him would be accepted, but if he were accepted O'Cahan should be free and exempt from any dependence upon him.
To go back a little, at the close of the previous August, Mountjoy had advanced northward again to devastate the land and destroy the harvest in Tyrone. At Tullyhog he destroyed the stone Chair used for the inauguration of the O'Neills. Everywhere there were corpses of those who had died of famine through the official policy pursued by Mountjoy. Mountjoy stated later in his letters that O'Hagan had protested to him that between Tullyhog and Toome alone there lay unburied 1,000 dead. The military success of the official policy was soon to be proved, its long-term political effects were less easily measured.
In November, Rory O'Donnell, now head of his house, surrendered. Mountjoy advocated to the Queen and Council that Donegal should be divided between Rory and Neill Garve O'Donnell. The latter had long before been promised the lordship of the whole of Donegal, and his help had been invaluable to the Lough Foyle force. The pledges given were now treated as a scrap of paper to be torn up at will, and this was a foretaste of things to come.
In March O'Neill himself surrendered to Mountjoy. The Lord Deputy promised him pardon in the Queen's name, restoration of his earldom of Tyrone, and letters patent for all his lands excepting districts possessed by two kinsmen, and 300 acres each for the forts of Mountnorris and Charlemont. By this time Queen Elizabeth had died, and King James the First granted to O'Neill the lands that had belonged to his grandfather Con, which O'Neill interpreted to include O'Cahan's country. Rory O'Donnell was created Earl of Tyrconnell, and Neill Garve had to be content with his original possessions.
At this point it is worth quoting in full a long interview which Docwra had with Mountjoy after O'Neill's surrender. "Then touching O'Caine I tould him [Lord Mountjoy] how the Earl of Tyrone had sent men to be cessed upon him and how he refused them; Sir Henry Docwra sayeth hee; My lord of Tyrone is taken in with promise to be restored, as well to all his lands, as his honnor of Dignitie, and O'Caine's country is his and must be obedient to his command. My lord, said I, this is strange and beyond all expectation, for I ame sure your lordship cannot be unmindful, first of the agreement I made with him, wherein he was promised to be free and to hould his lands from the Crowne, and then your lordship ratified and approved the same unto him under your hand, have iterated it again divers and divers times both by word of Mouth and writing, how shall I looke this man in the face when I shall knowe myself guilty directlie to have falsified my word with him; Hee is but a drunken ffellowe, saith hee, and soe base, that I doe not thinke but in the secreete of his hearte, it will better Content him to be soe than otherwise, besides he is able neither to doe good nor hurte, and wee must have a care to the Publique good, and give contentment to my lord of Tyrone upon which depends the Peace and securitie of the whole Kingdom. My Lord, said I for his drunkenness and disabillitie to doe good or hurte, they are not heere to come into consideration, and as for his inward affections, what they are I know not, But sure I ame hee makes outward shewe, that this will be very displeasing unto him, and the manifest and manifould benefits he shall receive more by the one than the other are to my understanding sufficient arguments to make mee thinke hee doth seriouslie inclyne to his owne good, and with your favour, what good can ensue to the Publique by a direct breach of Promise whereof there is soe plaine and undeniable evidence extant under our hands it passeth my understanding to conceive. Well, sayeth he again, that I have done was not without the advice of this kingdome, it was liked and approved of by the lords in England, by the Queene that is now deade and by the King's Majestie that is now living and I am persuaded not without good and sufficient reason; It may not be infringed, but if you can thinke upon any course to Compase it in some good fashion that I be troubled no more about it, I shall take it as an acceptable kindness; But howsoever, by God, sayeth hee, O'Cane must and shall be under my Lord Tyrone."
This passage needs no comment.
At this point Docwra ceased to press the
matter, and eventually went home to
position now was that O'Cahan had not received clear title to his
lands from the Crown, and was left to deal as best he could with
O'Neill, who was determined to treat O'Cahan simply as a tenant at
will at whatever rent O'Neill chose to levy. According to O'Cahan's later
petition O'Neill wanted a rent of 160 cows, then 200, and made a levy
on the lands called Maughery, lying between the Bann and
the mountains east of the
As time proceeded O'Cahan found himself in ever-deepening difficulties. The Bishop of Derry, George Montgomery, was endeavouring to obtain lands within his district which he claimed belonged to the bishopric. O'Cahan was being urged to take back his former wife (then Lady O'Rourke) on the ground that he had never been legally separated from her. If O'Cahan did this, he feared that O'Neill would raid his country to obtain the dowry that had come with O'Cahan's present wife, O'Neill's daughter. Matters came to a head in October, 1606, when O'Neill in a violent manner lifted great numbers of cattle from O'Cahan.
of the way in which he had been let down, O'Cahan pursued his case by
the legal means which were open to him. In
May, 1607, he petitioned the Lord Deputy, setting out his original status
and his grievances. On 1st June
case was heard by the Irish Privy Council, but although it was
favourably received, nothing was done. On
circumstances O'Cahan and his claims, however well-founded and morally
justified, became a stumbling block to the wider plans that
were on foot. The Bishop of Derry, who
shortly before had been telling
Similarly Sir George
Paulet, who had succeeded Docwra as governor of
By the end
of December it was stated that Sir Donnell O'Cahan was in his country near
clear that O'Cahan's land was wanted, and those in authority were
determined to get it. In April
Chichester wrote again to the Privy Council wishing to know whether to
charge O'Cahan and bring him to trial, or simply to continue him in prison.
Apparently the countryside
had not yet recovered from the terrible devastation of earlier years, for
Chichester said O'Cahan was so poor and his country so disordered that he had no money
to maintain himself and would get none from
his servants while in prison unless distrained by the sheriff.
prison, there was always some excuse for keeping Sir Donnell there. In the spring of 1608 his brother, Shane
Carragh, who had made accusations against him, took part in a
rising. Other accusations were made against him by
his brother Manus, by Gilduff O'Mullan and
by Dennis O'Mullan. Six points of treason
were mentioned, the chief ones being that he intended to go with O'Neill and that he was implicated in
Shane Carragh's rising. It was clear
that no Irish jury would convict him on the evidence offered, and no case was ever brought. In June, 1608,
By this time, however, wider schemes were on foot.
episode cleared the way for the
A window into conditions early in 1609 is given in a
letter by Sir Robert Jacob to Salisbury which states that they
"crossed the river of the Banne, and went into the county of
Coleraine, called O'Cane's country, where they held their sessions at
Lemyvaddy, O'Cane's principal house, being an ill-favoured ruinous
castle, but good
land round about it. The people of that
country are yet in peace, altho they had
many inducements to make them think, they would revolt as soon as opportunity should be offered. There are divers persons that live upon the spoil betwixt the
In July of this year, Sir Donnell O'Cahan was sent over
to the Tower. The same summer a
commission was set up to enquire into the King's title to forfeited lands in the six Ulster
The jury, which is discussed at length by Dr. O'Kelly, can be divided into families as follows:
Manus McEvally O'Cahan;
Richard McOwen O'Cahan;
Owne Grome McGillegane;
Gilleduffe McHerenagh McCloskie;
Patrick oge McEtegert;
John O Heney;
inquisition was being carried on, there arrived at Limavady four agents
from the City of
At the close of the year these viewers reported in
derry took its shape,
with the liberties of Coleraine and
1610, Sir Donnell O'Cahan wrote to
"Brother Manus, I commend me unto you, and let you
understand that, if I had friends to follow my business since I came thither my
imprisonment would be shorter by the half. For my innocency hath (God be
praised) been known and heard. Wherefore, if ever you look, or rather desire
my release, which you both should, and I think, do, or if you be not as
deep in false accusing me as others have been liars in the matter,
and therefore wish rather my death than my relief; if these things, I say
hinder you not, then perform a brotherly part to gain yourself a loving
brother, and gather
both from yourself and from others your best help, that either yourself or some others might come with my wife hither to sue for my liberty, if by that time I have it not.
Nor let covetous hope of lands debar
you from this, for look on Torloagh McArt Oge, who had a patent for the
whole land, and whose company slew Sir Cahir
O'Dogherty, with what hath he to any purpose? Or what hath Cuconnaght McGuire's son, Brian, I mean? Less, I say no more, than ever I offered you. But if
villainous (which is not to be feared in any human creature) or dunghill
cogitations should (by the devil's motion)
hinder you from this good office, then I contest and call to witness God, his holy angels, the whole world, and that country especially, that Manus O'Cahan
hath served Donall Ballagh so. Nor
blame me for being thus earnest otherwise. This in haste I bid you farewell,
resting always your assured loving brother—Tower,
Manus did not hasten
to bring help. Instead, he handed over his brother's letter to
considering that desire for land might sway his brother's actions, Sir Donnell
was not far astray. On
Captain Manus O'Cahan, 2,000 acres;
Lady O'Cahan with her sons, Rory and Donnell Oge, 1,000 acres;
Cowy Ballagh McRichard O'Cahan, 1,000 acres;
Manus McCowy Ballagh O'Cahan, 1,000 acres;
Tomlyn and Owen Keogh O'Mullan, 500 acres.
Captain Manus was
given extensive lands in the parishes of Faughanvale and
The other eight freeholds were those of the following:
Owen McCowell, Bovidie in the barony of Coleraine; Rich. McAneny McAveny—Ballyvaddian, barony ofColeraine; Gorry McGillglass O'Cahan—Goussidone, parish of Cumber;Gorry McShane O'Cahan—Knockan, parish of Banagher; Brian Bane McGilligan—Ballycarton, parish of Aghanloo; Gilduffe McBrien O'Cahan—Garavughue, parish of
Errigal; Manus McGilreagh O'Mullan—Cloghan, parish of
Balteagh; Gillduffe Oge O'Mullan—Ballyness, parish of Dungiven.
addition to these freeholds it should be mentioned that James McGorry
McHenry O'Cahan obtained the
In August, 1611, Carew surveyed the districts to be
planted by the Londonders, who had made slow progress in the task. On the other hand, Sir Thomas Phillips, who
had surrendered his interest around Coleraine, was proceeding with energy
and enthusiasm in the Limavady area. He had built a water-mill for which he had drawn the
water in a sluice a mile long; this is the Roe mill which was to
remain the manor mill where tenants were required to grind their corn
in succeeding generations. He had made
progress in building an inn for the convenience of travellers, two
storeys high, 46 feet long and 17 feet broad. Timber was being felled and squared in
the woods of Glenconkeyne and transported at heavy expense over 12 to 14
miles of bogs and mountains for the repair of Sir Donnell
O'Cahan's former home, the
At Dungiven, Captain Edward Doddington had been equally enterprising. Some of the walls of the old O'Cahan Castle at Dungiven had still been standing, and Doddington reconstructed it into a castle four storeys high, 22 feet wide, well-finished and slated. Adjoining the castle he had reconstructed a house 43 feet long and 18 feet broad, also slated. He had repaired the stone and lime bawn which formed an enclosure for defence. All this had cost him £300 of his own in addition to £200 received from the Crown for the repair to the castle and bawn.
of earth and sods, six feet high and 12 to 14 feet thick, had been thrown up
around Coleraine, with bulwarks of the same height. This was not
a satisfactory type of fortification. A few years afterwards
Pynnar found in the survey (1618-1619) that the walls and ramparts
had begun to decay, and the bulwarks were so small that artillery could not be placed
At the close of 1612 Sir Thomas Phillips received as a
grant from the Crown, at the annual rent of sixpence, one of the richest
agricultural districts of
While these freeholds were being created and these
changes proceeding, what of the clans and their chief? The purpose of the
It has to be remembered that in
conception the plantation of
In 1613 we get some insight
into these happenings. In July of that
year the Council in London wrote to Chichester saying that the wife of Sir Donnell O'Cahan and the sister of
Sir Neill O'Donnell had been for a
long period in London, that they were returning
to Ireland, and asked for some means to carry them over as they had given out all their means in the
nature of "commins," to
certain tenants of theirs who refused to repay them.
autumn Sir Donnell O'Cahan wrote to
The letter runs as follows:
"Right Hon. - My humble duty always remembered. First, most humbly thanking your honourable good lordship for your honourable care to recover my commins of such tenants of mine as I gave any such unto, for the behoof of my wife and children. And,
as I commit my said wife and children to your Lordship's protection for righting them, both of my tenants and all others, so I beseech your Lordship to give your warrant that this gentleman, Mr. William Lusher, may speedily recover this small parcel of my said commins, amounting to forty pounds or cows, of such as I have appointed, being with much more, fairly due unto me by them. And hereunto I must presume the more importunately to beg your favour, for that the gentleman has most courteously (even upon so small an acquaintance) furnished my present extreme want. As for the rest of my commins, I hereby make them over to my sons Roger (Rorie) and Donnell, saving such small portions as I myself must (from time to time) use for mine own wants, and so make over unto such as (like this gentleman) here furnish me. And thus most humbly taking my leave.
Donell O'Cahan. Gervase Helwysse. Tower, this 9th of October, 1613".14
It is evident from this correspondence that both Sir Donnell O'Cahan and his wife were in circumstances that were extremely straitened. The 40 cows mentioned were to pay the debt Sir Donnell had contracted: the major part of his cattle he makes over to his sons, Rory and Donnell, provided of course that they can obtain them. Gervase Helwysse was the lieutenant of the Tower.
The list of tenants' names from which cows were to be recovered to pay the debt was enclosed:
Fardoragh McBrien O'Moilan—5 cows;
Tomylin McBrien O'Moilan—5 cows;
James McBrien O'Moilan—5 cows;
Shan buy O'Moilan and Gillaglass O'Moilan and hissons—3 cows;
Manus McGillareinagh O'Moilan—5 cows; Gilladuff Oge OMoilan—5 cows; Dermod Oge O'Donell and his brethern—5 cows; Knogher O'Lenicke and his sons, Patrick McCrula O'Moilan and his brethern, Knogher McGillymana and his sons—5 cows; Torrilagh Balue O'Cuicke and his brethern—2 cows.
Fardoragh was the recognised head of the O'Mullans, and Tomylin and James were his brothers. Manus McGilreagh O'Mullan and Gillduff Oge got two of the smaller freeholds. The Quiggs were gallowglasses of the O'Cahans.
Four years afterwards a letter is extant in which it is mentioned that Sir Donnell O'Cahan had appointed a Carmocke O'Mullan to look after the property of Lady O'Cahan and her son Donnell (Rory then being dead). The letter says that Carmocke is to be given possession until the receiver has spoken with Lady O'Cahan and found out that she is satisfied that Carmocke should be put in charge of her land. If she dislikes the choice of Carmocke she is to name some other man of sufficient standing, and the land will be assured to him. This is probably the Cormich O'Mullane mentioned in Neale King's petition as having returned to Ireland from England round about this period.
The list of the Haberdashers' tenants shows the considerable amount of land in possession of Tomlin, Brian, Edmund Grome, Donnell, and James and Brian McShane Boy; all these were O'Mullans. The lands in the Haberdashers' estate are easily recognisable, running from Ballymaglin, Ballyhanna, Tircorran and Ballycastle through Stradreagh and Largantea to Gortcorbies and Leek on the face of the Keady, then to Lislane, Gortnarney and Drumsurn to the west of Donald's Hill, and finally to Gortgarn, Derryork and Camnish not far from Benbradagh. The Haberdashers estate had its centre in the northern portion, where the castle was built at Ballycastle and occupied by Sir Robert McClelland. The village was at Artikelly.
the Roe in the direction of
The lands of the
Vintners, Drapers and Salters lay in
The last O'Cahan chief, Sir Donnell, died in the Tower
in 1628, after enduring some 20 years of imprisonment. What he might have become if the pledges
made to him had been kept, it is impossible to say. In his own time
His bard composed an elegy during his captivity, bemoaning the loss of his jovial chief, of the martial frame, curling hair and cerulean glance. And although bards may err on the side of flattery, it is fitting to close Sir Donnell's account with some verses from this tribute.
"A chief far famed for liberal affluence,
For wise discretion and conducting sense,
Whom sages honour and the learned commend,
The ministrels' patron, and the clergy's friend.
In his sad bower the damsel bands are pale
And weep -their chieftain with unwearied wail,
With lamentation oft renewed they mourn,
And know no joy, but hope for his return.
And who should mourn if these sad eyes were dry
Which proudly saw thy satin banner fly
Round green Knock Nualan's defiles and grassy way,
When the rich spoil of herds became thy prey.
Again at Bearnas-gap - or where
Quailed to behold thy armed warriors stalk,
In fiery conflict with Sir Christopher.
Or when the fierce O'Neill
And fire and slaughter tracked his furious path,
When Betagh's country flamed with DonalPs brands
And Delvin's baron mourned his blazing lands.
When Croghan's late in battle's fearful scale
Hung trembling yet and her fair dames looked pale,
His arm rolled back the battle from afar
Chief of the valiant—
Athboy beheld him on that well-known day
Rout the Queen's host in carnage and dismay,
With many a feat of valour, witnesses well
The stay of battle, as both hosts can tell.
He met the foe on Bun-na-Tibrat's plain
O'Neill to rescue from the hostile plain,
At Mullabrick like lightning's cloud he stood
And bolts of vengeance ploughed the field of blood.
At Lifford too, the foe's beleagured camp
Quaked like a sheepfold at his lion tramp.
Or when the captains of the host he fought
And in the church the work of war fields wrought
Or when the English without boat or barge
Plunged in the torrent from his fatal charge.
Against bold Randal when his sword was drawn
Renowned in armes—renowned in peaceful weed
For bold achievement or for generous deed.
At Portnacarrick when conquering—mercy shed
Her beams of triumph on his laurelled head,
And pleased looked down to see the warrior then
Feast those he ransomed, priests and learned men.
O'Kane in song for ever proudly named
The wine consuming, splendid, popular, famed,
Whose gorgeous halls surprised the wondering sense
With jewelled wealth and gay magnificence,
Whose bounteous tables heaped with princely hand
Diffused a grateful odour o'er the land,
There met the brave, there came the poor distrest,
And there the minstrel was an honoured guest.
O'Kane the brave, the generous to dispose
Wealth to his friends—destruction to his foes,
Sword, fire and plunder followed where he trod,
And peace and mercy vanished at his nod.
A fast-observing, mass-attending man
Was great O'Kane the father of his clan,
From no mean source his high-famed course began
A high-born hero and his father's son
Of Rory, the renowned, brave offspring he
From mighty Magnus in the next degree.
In Magnus two renowned descents combine,
Sprung from O'Donnell in the female line,
O'Donnell Oge of Dalach's ancient strain
Thus swells the noble lineage of O'Kane.
So Con, the hero of a hundred fights
So warlike Mortogh his fierce blood unites.
No lying history his long line bespeaks
Next, far descended from the warlike Greeks,
And names renowned in days of old romance
O Thou who did for mortals send relief
To Donall, courteous, royal, prosperous chief
Our only boast, without his presence, base
A poor, proud, thriftless, persecuted race
By mirth abandoned and its laughing train
The gallant game, gay banquet - tuneful strain."