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DESCRIPTION OF Co. TYRONE IN 1552
The following information is from the "History of the Presbyterian Church" written by James Seaton Reid Vol 1 published
1867. It is part of some info contained in the appendix No II. This was from a letter written by Lord-Chancellor Cusacke to
the Duke of Northumberland in the year 1552. The original MS is in the Trinity College Library (or was in1867), is quoted
by Leland in F.3, 16, No. 6, and is dated 8 May 1552. It gives a geographical and statistical account of CountyTyrone.
"The next countrye to that (O'Cahan's-Derry), on the other side of the Banne is Tyroon, where the Earle of Tyroon hath rule;
the fayrest and goodliest countrye in Irelande, universallie, and many gentlemen of the O'Neills dwellinge therin. The same
countrye is at least 1x myles in length, and xxiiii myles in breadeth. In the middest of the countrye standeth Ardnaght
(Armagh), pleasantlye situated, and one of the fayerest and best churches in Ireland; and rounde about the same is the
bishops landes; and thoroughe occasion of the earl and countess his wyffe, they made all that goodlie countrye wast. For
whereas the countrye, for the most parte within this iii years was inhabited, it was within this xii moneth, made wast, thoroughe his makeinge of prayes uppon his sonnes, and they uppon him, soe as there was noe redresse amongst them, but by
robbinge of the poore, and takeing of their goodes; whereby the countrye was all made wast.
Whereuppon my lord deputye appoynted a bande of men, being Englishe souldiers, to lye in Ardnaghe; and left the Baron of
Dongannon in commission with other to see for the defense of the countrye and quyett for the poore people, whereby the
countrye was kept from such raven as before was used; and the earle and countess brought to Dublyn, there to abide until
the countrye were brought in better staye. And they perceyveinge the same, that they could not retourn, they sent to the
Irishemen next to the Englishe pale and so they did to other Irishemen that they shoulde not truste to come unto my lord
deputye nor councell. This was reported by part of their own secret frindes.
By reason whereof O'Railye, O'Karrol, and divers others, which were onte to come in without feare, refused to come unto us;
Whereuppon I went to meete O'Railye to knowe his mynde what he meant. He declared he feared to be kepte under rest as the
earle was. And then I toulde him the cause of his retayner was for both the wastinge and destryenge of his countrye; and
for that he said, he would never care for the amendinge of the same for his tyme and yf there was but one ploughe goeinge
in the countyre he woulde spende upon the same, with many other undecent wordes for a captayne of a countrye to saye"
"And O'Railye hearinge the same, saide that he deserved to be kepte and soe did he, yf he had done the like. Soe saide
O'Karrol and other of his countrye. And then Shane O'Neill, the earle's youngest soune, came to Dongannon and took with him
of the earle's treasure viiic lbs in goulde and silver, besides plate and stuffe and retayneth the same as yett; whereby it
appeareth that he and she were content with the same. For it coulde not bee perceyved that they were greatlye offended for
the same. Shane, being at peace till Maye, hearinge of the arryvall of the Scotte, did send to them to give them
entertaynemente; and soe he sent to divers other Irishemen to joyne with him and promysed to devyde his goodes with them,
which they for the most parte, refused to doe; but some did. And I hearinge the same, one Maye daye, went to him with suche
a bande of horsemen and kerne of my frindes, to the number of ccc men, and did parlye with them and did perceyve nothinge
in him but pryde ,stubbornes, and all bent to doe what he coulde to destroye the poore countrye. And departing from me, beinge within iiii myles to Dongannon, he went and brent the earles house; and then percevyinge the ffyer, I went after as fast as
I coulde and sent light horsemen before to save the house from breakinge: and uppon my comeinge to the towne and findinge
that a small thinge woulde make the house wardeable, what I wanted I caused to be made upp and left the Baron's of
Dongannon's ward in the castle. And having espyed where parte of his cattle was, in the middest of his pastures, I tooke
from him vii c kyrnes, besides garranes: and they sessed in the countrye cc galloglas, and joyned all the gentlemen and
souldiers of the countrye with the baron; wherewith all they were contented and pleased and swore them all to the Kinges
majestie: soe as I trust in God, Tyron was not soe like to doe well as within a shorte tyme I trust it shal be; and doe
trust, yf a good presedent were there, to see good orders established amongst them, and to putt them in due execution, noe doubte but the countyre woulde prosper."
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