663. James Kelly to Philip II.
Although it may appear presumptuous for him to write, he is
forced by his conscience to do so, as he has not been less sturdy
than others in the war. He has been on the English border, where
his Majesty's ambassadors have sometimes been. All can testify
to the trouble he has incurred, and the suffering of all his country.
He will still shed his blood gladly for the Catholic faith and his
Majesty. No person knows better than the bearer, his son-in-law,
Thomas Lalio, (fn. 1) the state of the country. Lalio has fought bravely
against the English many a time. Bespeaks credence for him.—
Aghrim, 9th May 1597.
Attached to the above and other credences delivered by Thomas
Lalio, there are four Latin documents, signed by Lalio himself,
setting forth the object of his mission. The contents have been
summarised in another paper by Idiaquez for the King's consideration,
and marginal notes are made, apparently at Philip's dictation,
of the answers to be given. The following is the summary :—
Summary of the four documents delivered by Thomas Lalio.
1st. He has been sent by the principal men in Ireland to treat
with his Majesty on the following subjects.
They (i.e., the Catholic chiefs) are looking anxiously for succour
from his Majesty, as the English, not satisfied with the fortresses
in the cities they hold, are trying to occupy others, and forces are
being concentrated against them (the Catholics) from all parts. If
after all their suffering and trials the common people see no succour
arrive, they will waver and become desperate.
Macwilliam Burke petitions that the lands he possesses, and those
which he may acquire by his Majesty's permission, shall be secured
to him in fee ; and when the forces arrive in Ireland his soldiers
should be received into his Majesty's service, and be treated and paid
in the same way as Spanish soldiers. As he is the chief man in
Connaught, he asks that he should be made president of the province
by his Majesty.
He asked that the Irish merchant ships (in Spain) that do not follow
the Catholics should be confiscated, and handed over to Thomas Lalio
here, to be used in the war in Ireland.
(Marginal Note.—As they are enemies' ships, this may be allowed
if it can be done.)
The second paper.—They ask that if the city of Galway surrenders
to the Catholic party, it should be secured in all its privileges and
immunities granted by the kings of England. There is a great
family that promises to deliver the city on good conditions.
Thomas Lalio himself petitions his Majesty for the wherewithal
to live, as the English have made him great offers, which have now
come to nothing. He has also paid many soldiers on the frontiers
of Ireland. His castles have been cast down, and finally on his
way hither he was robbed in Brittany, and was obliged to leave his
brother and another gentleman with the duke of Mcrcœur. He
also asks to be admitted with his people into the force to be sent
Ireland, and that he should be granted some of the lands of
English heretics in the province where his own possessions were.
(Marginal Note.—Three hundred crowns are now given to him
for himself and the others ; the lands my be granted to him as
Third paper.—James Kelly asks that not only he and his people,
but also his noble neighbours, should be secured in all their privileges
and immunities when the Spaniards arrive. (Marginal Note.—This
That some of the English prisoners in Spain should be sent to
him as ransom for a son of his named Malachi, and a few others
that the English have taken.
(Marginal Note.—Let him have half a dozen of such of the King's
prisoners as he likes.)
Fourth paper.—Refers to the rewards offered to him (Lalio) and
his companions, how they have refused them, and have persevered
so bravely. They are in great need, both those who have arrived
here and those who remain in Brittany, and they beg for prompt
aid and reward.