The extirpation of the Munster Geraldines, in the right line, according to the theory of the ‘Undertakers’ and the law of England in general, vested in the queen the 570,000 acres belonging to the late earl. Proclamation was accordingly made throughout England, inviting ‘younger brothers of good families’ to undertake the plantation of Desmond—each planter to obtain a certain scope of land, on condition of settling thereupon so many families—’none of the native Irish to be admitted’ Under these conditions, Sir Christopher Hatton took up 10,000 acres in Waterford; Sir Walter Raleigh 12,000 acres, partly in Waterford and partly in Cork; Sir William Harbart, or Herbert, 13,000 acres in Kerry; Sir Edward Denny 6,000 in the same county; Sir Warren St. Leger, and Sir Thomas Norris, 6,000 acres each in Cork; Sir William Courtney 10,000 acres in Limerick; Sir Edward Fitton 11,500 acres in Tipperary and Waterford, and Edmund Spenser 3,000 acres in Cork, on the beautiful Blackwater. The other notable Undertakers were the Hides, Butchers, Wirths, Berkleys, Trenchards, Thorntons, Bourchers, Billingsleys, &c. Some of these grants, especially Raleigh’s, fell in the next reign to Richard Boyle, the so-called ’great Earl of Cork ’—probably the most pious hypocrite to be found in the long roll of the ‘Munster Undertakers.’
AN IRISH CRUSADE.
In 1602, the Lord Deputy Mountjoy, in obedience to instructions from the Government in London, marched to the borders of Ulster with a considerable force, to effect, if he could, the arrest of Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, or to bring him to terms. Since the defeat of the Irish and Spanish confederacy at Kinsale, O’Neill comforted himself with the assurance that Philip III. would send another expedition to Ireland to retrieve the honour of his flag, and avenge the humiliation it had sustained, owing to the incompetency or treachery of Don Juan d’Aquila. That the king was inclined to aid the Irish there can be no question; ’for Clement VIII., then reigning in the Vatican, pressed it upon him as a sacred duty, which he owed to his co-religionists in Ireland, whose efforts to free themselves from Elizabeth’s tyranny, the pontiff pronounced to be a crusade against the most implacable heretic of the day.’
[Footnote 1: Fate and Fortunes of the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell. By the Rev. P.C. Meehan, M.R.I.A.]
If Mr. Meehan’s authorities may be relied upon, Queen Elizabeth was, in intention at least, a murderer as well as a heretic. He states that while she was gasping on her cushions at Richmond, gazing on the haggard features of death, and vainly striving to penetrate the opaque veil of the future, she commanded Secretary Cecil to charge Mountjoy to entrap Tyrone into a submission, on diminished rank as Baron of Dungannon, and with lessened territory; or if possible, to have his head, before engaging the royal word.