Sir Thomas Smith assassinated

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter XXVI

Strype wrote a life of Sir Thomas Smith, Bart., Oxford, 1620. He mentions this attempt at colonizing Ulster, having this good design therein: "that those half-barbarous people might be taught some civility." He speaks of "the hopeful gentleman," Sir Thomas Smith's son, and concludes with stating how the expedition terminated: "But when matters went on thus fairly, Mr. Smith was intercepted and slain by a wild Irishman."

Before his assassination Smith had written an account of his proceedings to his father, in which he says that "envy had hindered him more than the enemy," and that he had been ill-handled by some of his own soldiers, ten of whom he had punished. He also expresses some fear of the native Irish, whom he had tried to drive out of their lands, as he says they sometimes "lay wait to intrap and murther the maister himself."

I have given details of this attempted plantation in Ulster, because it illustrates the subject; and each plantation which will be recorded afterwards, was carried out on the same plan. The object of the Englishman was to obtain a home and a fortune; to do this he was obliged to drive the natives out of their homes, and to deprive them of their wealth, whether greater or less. The object of the Irishman was to keep out the intruder; and, if he could not be kept out, to get rid of him by fair means or foul.