Sir George Carew

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter XXVII

Sir George Carew was sent over as President of Munster. He has left an account of his exploits in the Pacata Hibernia, which are not very much to the credit of his humanity, but which he was pleased to consider refined strokes of policy. The English Government not only countenanced his acts, but gave the example of a similar line of conduct. James, son of Gerald, Earl of Desmond, who had long been imprisoned in London, was now sent to Ireland, and a patent, restoring his title and estates, was forwarded to Carew, with private instructions that it should be used or not, as might be found expedient. The people flocked with joy to meet the heir of the ancient house, but their enthusiasm was soon turned into contempt. He arrived on a Saturday, and on Sunday went to the Protestant service, for he had been educated in the new religion in London. His people were amazed; they fell on their knees, and implored him not to desert the faith of his fathers; but he was ignorant of their language as well as of their creed. Once this was understood, they showed how much dearer that was to them than even the old ties of kindred, so revered in their island; and his return from prayers was hailed by groans and revilings. The hapless youth was found to be useless to his employers; he was therefore taken back to London, where he died soon after of a broken heart.