Submission Strategies

The Irish Submissions to Richard II, 1395

Notarial Instrument 15

The Submission of Gerald O'Byrne et al

Submission text (English, translated by Edmund Curtis)

Notarial Instrument XV records that: ‘on the 16th day of February, 1394-5, in a field commonly called Balygory, near the town of Carlow, in the parts of Slieve Margy in Leighlin diocese, in the presence of me, public notary, and other witnesses: Lord Thomas, Earl of Nottingham, with certain of his following, in the hearing of Gerald O’Byrne and Donal O’Nolan, captain of his nation, and many other Irishmen, coming to the Earl from a woody place distant about two furlongs, where there were many armed Irishmen congregated together, caused certain letters patent of the King, which had been sealed with the Great Seal which is used in his Chancery of Ireland, to be read aloud with a clear and intelligible voice, by John Melton, clerk, of Lincoln diocese, the tenor of which was as follows:

‘”Richard by the grace of God King, &c., to all to whom these present letters shall come. Know that we, intimately confiding in the fidelity and circumspection of our beloved and faithful cousin, Thomas, Earl of Nottingham, Marshal of England, do commit and grant by the tenor of these presents, to the said Earl, full power to receive in our stead and name the liege homages of certain Irishmen born in Leinster, of whatever status, rank, or condition they be, both of Art MacMurrough and of those who shall have returned to our faith and obedience as our lieges, as of those who shall wish in future to return to the same faith and obedience, and to distribute lands and habitations to captains and leaders of fighting [166] men quitting and leaving the land of Leinster, even as it shall seem best to the said Earl to distribute at his discretion. We also firmly enjoin upon our beloved and faithful the Earls of Ormond and Desmond, as upon other our faithful lieges and subjects of all that country, that they be intendent, advising, aiding, and obeying to the same Thomas, Earl, and his deputies in these parts even as they shall have in command through him on our behalf.

‘”In witness whereof we have had these letters patent made. Witness myself at Dublin on the 12th day of February in the 18th year of our reign.”

‘Which things having been so read and rendered in English by Brother Edmund Vale, Master of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in Ireland, one skilled in the Irish language and sworn on the holy Gospels to treat faithfully between the said Earl on the part of the said our Lord the King and certain Irishmen wishing to come to him and to report the same without altering the truth, he had the above letters translated into the Irish language.

‘Whereupon Gerald O’Byrne, removing his girdle, sword, and cap, &c. [as in Instrument I], took these words in Irish even as I, the notary, gathered them from the statement of the said interpreter and others standing by, well understanding Irish, viz.:

“I, Gerald O’Byrne, become liegeman”, &c. [as in Instrument I].

‘For the observing of which allegiances, &c., and for faithfully keeping all and singular conventions contained in a certain indenture made between the said lord the King and certain other Irishmen of Leinster and the said Gerald, the latter took corporal oath on the holy Gospels and bound himself [as in Instrument VI] in the sum of 20,000 marks of lawful English money. Whereupon the said Earl admitted Gerald to the kiss of peace as liege of our Lord the King. Then came Donal O’Nolan, captain of his nation, and did homage to the said Earl under the same form and bound himself in 10,000 pounds sterling of English money if he did not keep the conventions contained in the indenture. Then came Malachy O’More, captain of his nation, and did liege homage under the same form and bound himself in 10,000 marks. Then came Lowyoge [? Lughaidh Og], and Shane, son of Maurice Booy [Murchadh Buidhe] of Slieve Margy, and did homage as above and each bound himself in L1000. Then Arthur MacMourgh [Art Og MacMurrough], captain of his nation, in a ditch near Balygory, seated on a black horse, did liege homage under the same form even as the aforenamed personally had done, and, if he did not keep all the conventions concluded between him and the said Earl, he bound himself to pay to the Papal Camera 20,000 marks of sterling English money.

‘Then Murch O Conghyr de Faly [Murchadh O’Conor Faly of Offaly], captain of his nation, in the said place of Balygory, did liege homage under the same form as Gerald O’Byrne and others had done, and bound himself as above in L1000 sterling.

‘Then on the next morning, namely the 17th day of February, in a room within the castle of Carlow, [168] in presence of the notary and the Earl of Nottingham, Brother Edmund Vale swore faithfully on the holy Gospels to render into English the words of the Irishmen doing homage.

‘Then approached David Murgh [Mor] MacManus and E. Macgerold [? MacGerailt] of Hy Kinsella and did liege homage as the aforesaid had done, and each bound himself as above in L1000 sterling. Then came Geoffrey O’Brenan, Fennan MacGillapatrick, Henry Talon, an Englishman and a rebel, Thomas Carragh, and Shane, son of O’Nolan. They did not do liege homage, but swore to submit to the royal will and ordinance, and for the fulfilment thereof each bound himself as above in L1000 sterling.

‘Then on the morrow, the 18th day of February, in the church of Friars Minors, near the town of Tristeldermot [Castledermot], in the presence of the Earl Marshal, &c., Guy Lenfaunt swore faithfully to render into the English language the oaths of homage of the Irishmen.

‘Thereupon came Leynagh Fersson O’Conor of the nation of Hyrth, and O’Toole, who, kneeling singly before the Earl, did liege homage as did the aforesaid, and each of them bound himself in L1000 sterling.

‘That day finished, on the morrow, viz. the 19th day of February, in a room in Dublin castle, in the presence of King Richard, &c., John Malachy, clerk of Dublin diocese, well skilled in the Irish language, swore faithfully to render the words of Donatus [Donnchadh] O’Byrne without any alteration. Thereupon Donatus O’Byrne, kneeling before the King, swore on the holy Gospels to observe all the afore- [169] said conventions agreed upon, and bound himself in L1000 sterling should he not observe the following conventions, of which this is a true copy in public form:

‘”This indenture, made on Thursday the 7th day of January, in the 18th year of King Richard, in a field between Tullow and Newcastle, between the noble lord Thomas, Earl of Nottingham and Marshal of England, &c., on one part, and Art MacMurrough, born liege Irishman of our said lord the King, for himself and his men on the other, witnesses: that at the instance and supplication of the said Art our Lord the King received the said Art to his grace and peace under the form which follows, viz. that the said Art has sworn by the holy Cross and on the holy Gospels, touched by him, to keep fealty for ever to our Lord the King, his heirs, and successors, being kings of England, and that he will deliver to our Lord the King, or any of his deputies, or any whom he shall depute, full possession of all lands, tenements, castles, fortresses, woods, and pastures with all their appurtenances, which have been of late occupied by the said Art or his allies, men, or adherents within the land of Leinster, without any reservation to himself made or to be made in any manner and without fraud or guile; and that the said Art has sworn an promised as for himself and all his, that all his subjects and tenants of any condition whatsoever in the lands and places aforesaid shall likewise swear to keep fealty for ever to the Lord King and his successors and deputies, or those whom he shall depute, as above, and that they will stand to and obey the laws, commands, and [170] ordinances of the King and his successors; and that the said Art has likewise sworn that by the first Sunday of Lent next [28 February], he will leave the whole country of Leinster to the true obedience, use, and disposition of the King, his heirs, and successors, as above, saving and excepting always to him [Art] all his movable goods, and that for greater security of observance of the above fealty the said Art shall deliver to the said Lord our King and to his deputies or those who he shall depute the son of Thomas Carragh Kavanagh his brother, as a true hostage within the next fortnight following after the date of these presents and sooner, if he can, without fraud or guile, and that, the said hostage thus received, our Lord the King shall of special grace kindly treat the said Art as his true liege, and that he will grant to the said Art to go and return well and peacefully in security; and that the Lord our King after these things are done shall generously make provision for the said Art and will grant to him and his heirs eighty marks yearly for ever, together with the heritage of the said Art’s wife in the barony of Norragh with its appurtenances; and that all the armed men, warriors, or fighting men of the following, household, or nation of the said Art shall quit the whole land of Leinster aforesaid and shall go with him and shall have fitting wages from the King, for the time being, to go and conquer other parts occupied by rebels of the said Lord King, and that Art and all his men aforesaid shall have all lands which they may thus acquire and hold them of the said Lord King, his heirs, and successors as above, and as his true lieges and obedient and subject to [171] his laws, by liege homage and befitting duty done therefor as above to the King, his heirs, and successors, and that they shall enjoy them in perpetuity and by hereditary descent. Also subsequently by the above indenture it was understood and agreed between the Earl Marshal on one hand and O’Byrne, O’More, O’Nolan, O’Morchoe, MacEochaidh [Keogh], O’Dunn, Mackerelt, David More MacManus, and all those of Hy Kinsella on the other, that all the aforesaid O’Byrne, &c., and all of Hy Kinsella have sworn by the holy Cross and on the holy Gospels that they and all their armed men, warriors, and fighting men shall deliver all their possessions in Leinster to the said Lord King, his heirs, and successors, his deputies and those whom he may depute, and quit that country, saving however their movable goods always to themselves. And that when that is done the Lord King shall maintain those captains at expense of his Household at good and fitting wages, fees, or salaries, payable yearly from the King’s Treasury to all and sundry these captains for the term of their lives, and that the Lord King will give to them and their fighting men aforesaid fitting wages to go, attack, and conquer other parts occupied by rebels of the King. And he will give to them all lands which they shall so acquire an they shall hold them of our Lord the King, his heirs and successors, by liege homage and befitting duty, as his true lieges, obedient and subject to his laws. And that they shall deliver hostages to the said King, his deputies and those whom he shall depute, for the fulfilment on their part of all the above as they have sworn it. And that the peace of all the aforesaid shall be [172] publicly proclaimed in the said field by the said Earl in the name of the King, and that likewise it is understood that all the aforesaid Irishmen, so sworn, shall abide in peace in their places even to the first Sunday of Lent above-named, nor shall they permit any rebels of our Lord the King or evil-doers to be received in their localities, but shall expel them to the best of their power from their borders. And in case, which God forbid, that any mischance shall happen between the date of these presents and the first Sunday of Lent aforesaid against these conventions through any of the aforesaid parties or their adherents, the peace shall not on account of that be broken, but within a fortnight after due notice made it shall be amended and fittingly restored without guile or fraud. And that the said Art has sworn and promised that if any of the aforesaid who have thus sworn shall rashly presume to go against the said conventions, he will make war on them according to his power as his deadly and capital enemies. And so that all these conventions shall be faithfully observed by the aforesaid parties, the said Earl Marshal of England swore by the holy Cross on the holy Gospels and likewise the said Art and all the others for their part swore by the holy Cross and on the holy Gospels.”

‘In witness whereof for his part of the indenture the said Earl affixed his seal in presence of the said Art MacMurrough, and for their part of the indenture the said Art and O’Byrne affixed their seals, in presence of the said Earl Marshal.

‘Witnesses: John Griffin, bishop of Leighlin, John Golafre, Lawrence Verkerell, lord of Coytyf, John [173] Greyly of Gascony, &c., Brother Edmund Vale, Master of the Hospital of Kyllergy, and many others.’

Which indenture, sealed with two seals in red wax, the notary saw, read, and has faithfully turned into a public deed. Whereupon the said Irishmen requested him to make them public instruments.

Witnesses: John Golafre and other knights.

Submission text (Latin, transcribed by Edmund Curtis)