May 1597


Institute of Historical Research



Martin A. S. Hume (editor)

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'Simancas: May 1597', Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 4: 1587-1603 (1899), pp. 644-645. URL: Date accessed: 19 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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May 1597

1597. 9 May.
Latin. Estado, 839.
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 requested.)
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 is conceded.
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.


1 Thomas Lalloy, or Lawley, who afterwards stayed in Spain as one of Tyrone's agents.