Fineen (Florence) MacCarthy Reagh (Notes)

Eleanor Hull
Fineen (Florence) MacCarthy Reagh (Notes) | start of chapter

[1] Much information about Fineen (Florence) is collected in Daniel MacCarthy’s Life and Letters of Florence MacCarthy Reagh (1867).

[2] Magrath, the apostate Bishop of Cashel, appears to have been concerned in the plot to poison Fineen. Carew states darkly that he “is busily working; within a few days the stratagem will either take effect or fail.” Cecil professes horror at the idea, but he did not hesitate shortly afterward to approve the poisoning of Tyrone in the wine of the Sacrament—“through some poisoned hosts,” as the official report runs—by a man who passed as a Franciscan belonging to the same infamous bishop’s diocese. See Cecil to Carew, Letters, p. 49 (October 15, 1600) and p. 51 (November 8, 1600). Cecil is suspiciously anxious to have Anmies, his agent, hanged before he can accuse his masters of complicity.

[3] Cecil to Carew, Letters, pp. 11, 15, 18, 25, etc.

[4] Cecil to Carew, Letters, p. 45. The correspondence between Cecil and Carew about this poor lad should be read by any who wish to understand the tortuous windings of the minds of those who guided the destinies of England in Elizabethan days.

[5] Sir Thomas Stafford, Pacata Hibernia (ed. S. J. O’Grady, 1896), i. 199.

[6] Carew calls the search for him “the hunting, rousing and fall of a great stag.” It is only fair to the White Knight to add that he was sharply threatened both by the President and Sir G. Thornton if he let FitzThomas escape him, as he was believed to have done before. He well knew what his fate would be if this happened, and he decided to save himself, like others, by doing “acceptable service.”

[7] Cecil himself was accused by Essex at his trial of having dealings with Spain. He was certainly in receipt of a pension from the King of Spain, at least from the accession of James I to his death, and may have had it earlier. See Gardiner, History, i, 215.

[8] Letters, p. 60.