1596 - Fenton, Geoffrey - To William Cecil

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Date 14 Feb. 1596
Author Fenton, Geoffrey
Title Letter from Sir Geoffrey Fenton to Sir William Cecil
Mentions Feagh M'Hugh must not be allowed still to live as Robin Hood

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-01. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-07.


[...] If Feagh M'Hugh might now be taken in, with any honourable provisions, it would do much to appease the general storm of the realm, or at least to make suspicious to the Spaniards, the hopes and promises that have been made to them by Ulster and Connaught. It might easily have been done, before the present prosecution of Feagh began. Doubts not that it will be objected, that it is not honourable for Her Majesty to have him taken in. In respect of himself, Feagh is worthy of no favour, but, inasmuch as the iniquity of the time straineth the State [in Ireland] to do unworthy things, the indignity of this point is avoided. By his taking in, the safety of Ireland is assured, and, contrariwise, if he be suffered still to live as a Robin Hood, he will be a ground of a great desolation in the English Pale, if not the whole ruin thereof. The staying of Feagh will break the combinations of the north.—Dublin, 1596, September 30.[1]

Source notes

MS ref.: Vol. CXCIII, No. 49. The cited text is a calendar summary or paraphrase of the original.

IRHB comments

The writer of the letter, Sir Geoffrey Fenton (c.1539-1608) was an English author, Privy Councillor, and Principal Secretary of State in Ireland. His letter is addressed to Lord Burghley, i.e. William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley (1520-1598), Lord High Treasurer (Jul. 1572-4 Aug. 1598), Lord Privy Seal (1590-1598), Secretary of State (22 Nov.1558-13 Jul. 1572). The allusion has not been noted in previous lists or studies.



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