1598 - Privy Council of Ireland - To Privy Council of England
|Date||4 Sep. 1598|
|Author||Privy Council of Ireland|
|Title||Letter from Privy Council of Ireland to Privy Council of England|
|Mentions||Irish soldiers apt to run to any Robin Hood that will entertain them|
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-01. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-10-30.
Lastly, if we should have suffered these broken bands to be made up with Irish, it would little or nothing have strengthened the army, for that so many of the Irish as should by this means have been entertained in Her Majesty's pay, would have diminished so much of the strength of the country, for that by their ordinary tenures they are bound to the defence thereof, which they cannot answer as they ought, being otherwise employed under Captains in Her Majesty's 'solde'; and so by this means the ordinary forces of the country would be much weakened, and Her Majesty's army greatly endangered, by such a multitude of Irish, rather doubtful than to be trusted. And yet in the end, when they shall come to be discharged out of pay, they will be apt instruments to run to any Robin Hood that will entertain them, to make new stirs and alterations in the kingdom. We have acquainted the Lord Lieutenant General with this order, and the reasons whereupon we grounded it, who we hope will yield thereunto, though we found him inclined to raise up these broken bands with Irish, and had already appointed some Captains of this country birth for the same; humbly praying your Lordships to vouchsafe to countenance our doings in this point, if any opposition shall be made; the rather because that we have done was to stop apparent inconveniencies, and prevent future dangers.
MS ref.: Vol. CCII, pt. 3. Dated Sep. 4, 1598. The cited text is a calendar summary or paraphrase of the original.
This missive was written by (or on behalf of) the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Adam Loftus (c.1533-1605), the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, Robert Gardiner (1540-1619), and the Privy Council of Ireland. The "broken bands" referred to were the remnants of the crown forces that were defeated at the Battle of the Yellow Ford in County Armagh on August 13, 1598. The allusion has not been noted in previous studies or lists.
- Not included in Dobson, R.B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), pp. 315-19.
- Not included in Sussex, Lucy, compil. 'References to Robin Hood up to 1600', in: Knight, Stephen. Robin Hood: A Complete Study of the English Outlaw (Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1994), pp. 262-88.
- Atkinson, Ernest George, ed. Calendar of the State Papers, relating to Ireland, of the Reign of Elizabeth, 1598, January — 1599, March (London, 1895), p. 255.