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me Cahall roe O'Connor (before mentioned) deposed him for one half yeare who being killed as before is declared, Ffelym succeeded for another half yeare, untill he was slaine at Atlienrye aforesaid." See also the Annals of the Four Masters at A. D. 1316.

For more than two centuries after this decisive engagement, Athenry continued to increase in wealth and population; but about the middle of the sixteenth century it began to decline. The causes of its decay are well described in the following extract of a letter from Sir Henry Sydney, Lord Deputy of Ireland, to Queen Elizabeth, 20"" Aprill, A. D. 1567, which appears in voL i. p. 90, of " Letters and Memorials of State," published by Arthur Collins, Lond. Fo. 1747: "From thence I went to your Highnes towne of Galowaye, the state whereof I found rather to resemble a Towne of Warre, fronteringe upon an Enemye, then a civill Towne in a Countrie under one Soveraigne. They watche their Walls nightelie, and gard their Gates daielie with armed Men. They complayned much of the Warres of Mac William Ewter and Oflartye againste the Erie of Clanrycardes two Sonnes which he hath by two Wives and both alive, and theis two yonge Boyes in the Lief of ther Father, yet likelie long to live, doe strive who shalbe their Father's Heire, and, in the same Strife comitte no small spoiles and damage to the Countrie. From thense I travelled thoroughe a greate and an aunciente Towne in

Connoghte called Anrye. {Athenry) The Towne is large and well walled, and it ap

perith by Matter of Record there hath be in it tltree hundred good Householders, and, since I knewe this Land there was twentie, and now I finde hutfoieer, and they poor, and as I write readie to leave the Place. The Crye and Lamentation of the poor People was greate and pityefull, and nothinge but thus, Succor, Succor, Succor. The Erie of Clanricarde could not denye but that he helde a hevie Hande over them. For which I ordered him to make them some Recompence, and bounde him not to exacte upon them hereafter."

This "pityefull" appeal does not appear to have had any effect, for the "greate and auncient Towne" of Athenry still continued to decay. Sir Henry Sydney, after a lapse of nine years, again visited the place; and, in a dispatch to the lords of the Council in England, dated 28th April, 1576, contained, vol. 1., p. 102, of the "Letters and Memorials of State" before referred to, he writes as follows: "After I had remayned in Galway three whole Weeks, I departed from thence the xxii'h of Marche, and passed thorough Athenrie, the most wo/all Spectacle that ever I looked on in anyqftlie Queen's Dominions, totally burned, Colledge, Parishe Churche, and all that was there, by the Earles Sonnes; yet the Mother of one of theim was buried in the Churche. I toke Order for the Reedifinge of the Towne, and the Woorke is begonne; and I have taxed for the Satisfienge of the old Inhabitants indifferently upon that Countrie, weyenge the Abilities of eche Person, and the Qualitie of their Fawlte, as I thought most reasonable; sonable; which shalbe confirmed and ratified by Order of Commissioners authorized under the greate Seale, accordinge to the Meaninge of her Majesties Lettre graunted to theim of Athenrie, and the Somme of this Taxation amounteth to twoe Thowsand Pounde: and I doubt not to levye it, and the rather, for that the Earle is entred into band of v. M. L. [£5000] to see as well this performed, as the first Order taken at Lymericke agaynst his Sonnes in my Predicessors Tynie. I have cut the TWne almost into two equal Partes, it beivge before full as bigge, with a faier high Wall, as the Totene of Callyce. I tooke from the Earle, the better to answere the Expectation of the People, twoe principall Castells and Keys of strength; the one called the Castle of Bettaneslowe, which standeth betwixt Galicay and Athenrie; the other called Clare, and seated betwixt Galteay and Mac William Ewghters Countrie; and by this Kind of Proceedinge, having greatlye satisfied the old Inhabitaunts of Athenrie."

The works directed by the Lord Deputy "for the reedifinge of the towne," had scarcely commenced, before it was again attacked by the "Earle's Sonnes." "They took and sacked it, destroyed the few houses wch were lately built there, set the new gates on fire, dispersed the masons and labourers who were working, and broke down and defaced the queen's arms."—Hist. Galway, p. 87. See also the same work, p. 94, for further proceedings taken in A. D. 1584, "to rebuild and improve" Athenry. But this ill-fated town was yet to experience further vicissitudes. In A. D. 1596, the celebrated Irish chieftain of Tirconnell, Hugh Euadh (or the Red) O'Donnell, made a predatory incursion into Connaught, where he committed much devastation, and in his progress took and destroyed Athenry. The following translated extract from the "Life" of that extraordinary man, preserved in MS. in the library of the Royal Irish Academy, details the particulars of that transaction:

"A.D. 1596. "O Donel appointed Mac William Burke (Theobald*) to meet him at Atfienry, and he came accordingly. That town lies a short distance to the East of Ath-cliath Mea(fhruidheb. It was a powerful fortress and difficult of attack. On that occasion the (Irish) soldiers assaulted the fort, and cast fire and firebrands at the gates on all sides, and burned all the wooden defences of that strong fortress on the outside. They then took scaling ladders, and, placing them against the walls and battlements of the fort, ascended to the top of the high, thick, strong, fortress. Some of them leaped from the battlements down on the streets, and maintained their ground, though many of


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their best heroes were wounded in a sharp conflict. The gates were instantly forced open by the host, who pressed forward to the centre of the castle; and proceeded to break open the stores, the well-guarded apartments, and strongly secured bed-chambers. They remained in the castle until they stripped it of all the riches and treasures which it contained. They destroyed the entire fortress; but the people of the Queen made great havoc of those who attacked that royal castle. Numerous and invaluable were the spoils of every kind taken in that fortress, of riches and treasures of brass and iron, of armour and cloathing, and of every thing necessary and useful to the people therein, which they had previously collected. O'Donel and his host remained in the town that night, and evacuated it in the morning, after stripping it of every thing valuable. And they then sent their scouts and scouring parties to prey Clanrickard, on both sides of the river." See also the Annals of the Four Masters at the same year.

The day after O'Donnel had thus stormed and plundered Athenry, the Earl of Clanricarde dispatched the following report to the Lord Deputy:

"Lough Beogk, Jan'. 16" 1596. "My Very Good Lord,

"May it please your lordship to be advertised, that this 15th of January Hugh Roe O'Donnell, Tibbott Bourke M° Walter Kyttagh, with many others of their adherents of Ulster, and of this province, came into this countrie of Clanricard, with 3000 foot and 200 horse, and burned and spoyled thone half of the country, and assaulted divers castles therein, but wone none of any account as yet, and divers of their men were killed and hurt about the castles ; they have entered Athenree, where they encamped the last night, whether they got the castle or not, is more than I yet heard. They report that they will remain in Clanricard until after shrafetyde, which they may well perform if forces be not sent presently by your lordship to resist their violence. The poor country is so ruinated and brought to such desolation that they no not how to live for want of releife. The enemy's do bragge that they will laie seidge to my owne howses, which I hope shal be to little effect; although I doubt divers other holds in the country maie be lost for want of reliefe. Doubtless they will not leave any corn or cottage unburnt in three days within the whole country, the which we beare, and God willing will most contentedly, in respect that we sustain the same for our daily service and due obedience to our natural and most gracious prince's, from whom we will never swerve, for any losses or afflictions whatsoever. I have sent to my Lord Thomond for his ayde, whose coming I expect daily, although not yet come; but God knoweth our forces both are nothing in respect to theirs, but God willing our best endeavours shall not want, and still as occasion shall be ministered your lordship shall be advertised thereof; within the meane time I leave to your lordship

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ship careful and most honourable consideration; and humbly take leave from Lough Reogh the xvi.1* of January, 1596.

"Your Lordship's most humble

at command,


[From tfte original in the British Museum, Cotton. Lib. Titus B. xiii.] The Mayor of Galway also made the following communication: "My most humble duty remembered, may it please your lordship, Hugh Roe O'Donell, and other the rebells of Tyrconell, coming of late to this province of Connaght, assembleth with them, Tibbott McWalter Kittagh Bourke, whom he made Me.William, with all the rebells and renagates of Connaght, wasted, burned, and destroyed this last week, almost this whole countie of Galway; wherein, on Saturday last, they sallied Athanrie, burnt the gates thereof, and having entered the same, after continuing there one night, in the morning sallying the castle there, and being withstood, took all the wall-towers, and as manie of the inhabitants as waited them they withhould prisoners, and put to ashes all the rest of the towne, besides the said castell that resisted them, and the bodies of the abbey and churche; and thence afterwards upon Sunday last at twilight, came to our subburbs, and sent a priest and another layman to our gates, then being shut, offering that they would do no harm, if we will relieve them with wine and other necessaries, to which we answered for that night, that we mistrusted, O'Donnell himself was so nigh, and if so was, our auncient custome hath been not to open our gates at night for any affairs, with which the messengers departed. The next morrowe O'Donnell sent a line under his own hand, praying to send him victuals and other necessaries for his money, except powder and ammunition, otherwise he should annoy us the best he could: whome wee aunsweareth he did pick a quarrell for himself and the rest of his associates, breaking their allegiance to their natural prince, destroying townes, contrie and goods, of her mat1" loyall subjects; that unless they would revert to goodness, to God, their prince, and neighbours, we could not afford them no relief. Upon return of which answer he staid our messanger till he caused divers houses of our subjects to be fired; and the wind being at east north-east, right against that side of our town, hindered us much in not discovering the enemies till the flame was up, and then O'Donell, Tibott Bourke Mc William, M'Dermoud, and all the chieftaines that were with them, being in the Abbey-hill, began to retire, and sent some loose shott to play upon our town, and being confronted with like loose shott, as the inimies thronged on this side of the hill, a greate piece of ordinance was by us discharged, which scattered them, and clustering again another greater peece was let flie, which utterly daunted them, that they retired so farr that


our loose shott gained the hight of the ridg of the hill, and saved the houses that were not burnt, and we heare the rebells had then wounded and killed some vi. persons, and that night camping in the farther part of our franchises, sent some hands to fire the houses that before were rescued from them; but before that afternoon we discovered them, so that saving one house, lying beyond the greene, they missed of their purpose, and the day following they burnt every vilage down to the county of

Mayo, and very well even to the poole of Loghcoirbe to leave nothing undes

turbed, amongst which about twenty villages appertaining to us were not pretermitted. Their speeches, as wee understand, are very blasphemous against us and all the rest of her majesties constant subjects, threatening they shall shortly be worse used by the Spaniards, then the poor inhabitants of Athenry hath been used by them, whom they left mother naked without anie whitt in the world to live on. And thus, &c. Galway the xixlh of Januarie. Your L. most humble at command,

"Oliver Oge French, Maior."

[From the original in the British Museum, ut supra.']

Athenry never recovered from the effects of these repeated outrages. After this time it was that the "blind prophesie" noticed by our author, p. 84, ante, was applied to it. In A. D. 1634, the following petition (now first printed from the original draft in the Editor's possession) was presented to the Parliament then sitting in Dublin.

"To the honorable the Knights, Cittizens and Burgesses in Parliament assembled. "The humble petition of the Portriffe, Burgesses and Comonaltie of Athenry. "Shewinge, that wheras the Towne of Athenry, being scituated in themidest of the countie of Galway, was built and fortified for defence in the very beginning of the conquest of this kingdome, by the first plantators of the said county, and continued in greate wealth and power, untill that in ye tyme of the late Rebellion, ye same was by the Rebells taken by suddayne assalte, and was then burned and sacked, and soon after was infested with the contagious sicknes of the Plague which then visited most partes of this Kingdome, since wch tyme the said Towne decayed in trade and was dispeopled, untill y' by direction of y* state and by the consent of all y* inhabit antes of the sd county, both for the convenience of the scituation, for the ease of the people, and for the restoringe of that Towne to its former state and condicion, it was appoynted that the comon Gaole of the shire should bee built and kept there; and that the Assizes, Quarter Sessions and County courts should be alsoe houlden and kept there, which accordingely for awhile continued therein, in w'b tyme though very short that Towne recovered soe much of its former beauty y' without doubt it would by this have


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