SIR OLIVER ST. JOHN, Lord Deputy of Ireland, to SIR G. CAREW, concerning the Island of Rathlin in Ulster. [Headed by Carew.] MS 613, p. 15 30 May 1618
MS 613, p. 15
Calendar of the Carew Manuscripts preserved in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth, ed. J. S. Brewer & W. Bullen (6 vols., 1867-73), vol. V, document 196.
Acknowleges his Majesty's acceptance of a present of marble and his noticing several courtesies done to Sir Randall McDonell and Conor Brady.
Of Sir Walter Rawleigh's return to this coast, I suppose you hear already. He came upon the harbour of Kinsale the 24th of March, and found three of his disbanded ships in the same harbour with Sir John Fernes, Pennington and Kinge in them. Upon the first news I sent to my Lord of Thomond to inform himself of all things before going away, and, if he could, to send those captains, mutineers, or carry them with him and secure their ships, for they may do mischief upon these coasts. I hear Sir Walter Rawleigh will draw to the harbour of Yoghall. I am extremely sorry for his ill success, by the failing and mutinying of those that ought rather to have died with him than left him, and I wish them no favour at all. Concerning the island of Rathlyn, what the records here could discover Sir Randall carried with him. The bishop's records are utterly lost by the mutiny of former times. I found his registrar here who has executed the office under the four last bishops. He affirms that the people of the island of Rathlyn always with readiness appeared upon summons in the bishops court of Connor, underwent their censures, paid their portion according to the statute towards the maintenance of the schoolmaster, and neither the people nor anyone else ever heard so much as of a claim made by the Bishop of the Isles. The Justices of Assize and of the peace always call them to their assemblies without gainsaying, and they have ever felt the hand of justice both by the civil magistrate and martial, and it is close joined to the land of Ireland; and therefore our possession is ancient, continual, and without interruption, unless other proof be made to the contrary, which I can hardly believe can be. Besides, there is one Donell O'Murey yet living that was Bishop of Connor in time of Popery, and he affirms that in those times he ever recovered 12s. yearly for procuration due unto him out of the island of Rathlyn.