CHAPTER X. THE CHURCH IN IRELAND DURING THE REIGN OF THE STUARTS (1604-1689)

Although the Earl of Tyrone had been restored to his estates and had been received graciously by the king (1603), he was both distrusted and feared by the government. Sir Arthur Chichester, who had come to act as Lord Mountjoy's deputy in 1605, and who was appointed Lord Lieutenant on the death of the latter (1607), was determined to get possession of Ulster either by driving O'Neill into rebellion or by bringing against him some charge of conspiracy. New and insulting demands were made upon O'Neill; the Protestant Archbishop of Armagh and the Protestant Bishop of Derry and Raphoe claimed large portions of his territories as belonging to their churches, and some of the minor chieftains were urged on to appeal against him to the English authorities. Having learned in 1607 that he stood in danger of arrest, he and Rory O'Donnell determined to leave Ireland. In September 1607 they sailed from Rathmullen, and on the 4th October they landed in France. After many wanderings they made their way to Rome, where they received a generous welcome from Paul V. O'Donnell died in 1608, and O'Neill, who had cherished till the last a hope of returning to Ireland, died in 1616.[19] Both chieftains were laid to rest in the Church of St. Pietro di Montorio. Although the flight of the Earls caused a great sensation both in England and Ireland, and although James I. was said to have been pained by their departure and even to have thought for a time of granting religious toleration, Chichester and his companions were delighted at the result of their work. The flight of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, the attempted rebellion of Sir Cahir O'Doherty, and the trumped-up charges brought against some of the other noblemen in the North opened up the prospect of a new and greater plantation than had ever been attempted before. Tyrone, Fermanagh, Donegal, Derry, Armagh, and Cavan were confiscated to the crown at one stroke, and preparations were made to carry out the plantation in a scientific manner. The greater portion of the territory was divided into lots of two thousand, one thousand five hundred, and one thousand acres. The Undertakers who were to get the largest grants were to be English or Scotch Protestants and were to have none but English or Scotch Protestant tenants, those who were to get the one thousand five hundred acres were to be Protestants themselves and were to have none but Protestant tenants, while the portions of one thousand acres each might be parcelled out amongst English, Scotch, or Irish, and from these Catholics were not excluded. Thousands of acres were appropriated for the support of the Protestant religion, for the maintenance of Protestant schools, and for the upkeep of Trinity College. A small portion was kept for a few of the old Catholic proprietors, and the remainder of the population were ordered to leave these districts before the 1st May 1609. Many of them remained, however, preferring to take small tracts of the mountain and bog land from the new proprietors than to trust themselves among strangers; but a great number of the able-bodied amongst them were caught and shipped to serve as soldiers in the army of Sweden.[20]