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Lt. John Downing, etc.

Siege of Dunboy

 

PACATA HIBERNTA

OR

A HISTORY OF THE WARS IN IRELAND DURING THE REIGN OF (Queen Elizabeth) ESPECIALLY WITHIN THE PROVINCE OF MUNSTER UNDER THE GOVERNMENT OF SIR GEORGE CAREW AND COMPILED BY HIS DIRECTION AND APPOINTMENT.

EDITED AND WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTESBYSTANDISH O’GRADY

1896, Downey and Co. London. pp.190 Vol. II

The twelfth of the same, understanding that the enemy had fortified the Island of the Dorseys, and carried thitlier three pieces of Spanish ordnance,and placed a strong ward of forty choice men in the same, reserving that as their last and surest refuge, the Lord President made special choice of Captain John Bostock, and sent him with Owen O'Sulevan and Lieutenant Downings 1 (officer to Sir Francis Barkley), and gave them (as also to Captain Thomas Fleming, who had command of Her Majesty's pinnace) secretly in charge that, now, whilst their army was occupied in besieging Donboy and making their trenches and approaches, and the enemy secure from any suspicion that we would give any attempt elsewhere, they should presently take Her Majesty's pinnace and four boats, and put into them one hundred and sixty foot men and set sail for tlie Island of the Dorseys, which charge they effected accordingly, and arrived there with the forces early the next morning, and being on land drew to the north point of the island, where they found the walls of a ruined chapel.2 Captain Bostock, under the safety thereof, lodged Lieutenant Downings and a party of men, and then returned onboard the Queen's pinnace to give direction what he would have done, and thence took the boat of the pinnace and rowed about the island to discover a fit landing place for himself and the rest of his soldiers ; then, coming back to the pinnace, so soon as the tide served he caused the pinnace to warp up nearer the place, and appointed thirty soldiers and a Serjeant to attend her, and sent to Lieutenant Downings, on shore, advising him that, at the very instant that he should land in the eastern part of the fort, he should give an attempt on the north   

1 The name of Downing is still common in Berehaven.

2 A Bonaventura Ilispano Episcopo oxtribctum. P. O'Sullivan.

side. Then he divided his men into three boats, and the pinnace beating upon the fort with her ordnance, he and Lieutenant Downings (at the other two places first agreed upon) assailed the outermost fort, which, after a good defence made, their resolution and valour carried, and there they possessed themselves of three iron pieces of the Spanish ordnance, and forced the rebels into their second fort, where they entertained a good fight for the space of two hours. But our men, being encouraged with their first good fortune, gave on them so eagerly that the enemy, amazed, rendered themselves, and presently all the weaponed men came forth and delivered him possession of the fort, which was a place of exceeding great strength; and in the same, at the yielding up thereof, was the wife of Owen O'Sulevan, who since February last had been held prisoner by O'Sulevan Beare. There were found within the fort seven barrels of powder, with a small proportion of lead, and above threescore shot for their great ordnance, as also a quantity of wheat, oil and vinegar. In the island there were taken five hundred milch cows. Of the rebels, four were killed and two hurt, who with all the rest were brought into the camp and afterwards executed.3 The fort, for that it was conceived to be an unnecessary charge, and unmeet to be held, the Lord President caused Lieutenant Downings to ruin and lay it even with the ground.  

3 Philip O'Sullivan relates that they here slew old men, women, and children. Drove them first together into a crowd and then shot and stabbed them all to the number of three hundred, " most of them tenants of my father," writes Philip.

PACATA HIBERNTA

OR

A HISTORY OF THE WARS IN IRELAND DURING THE REIGN OF (Queen Elizabeth) ESPECIALLY WITHIN THE PROVINCE OF MUNSTER UNDER THE GOVERNMENT OF SIR GEORGE CAREW AND COMPILED BY HIS DIRECTION AND APPOINTMENT.

 EDITED AND WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTESBYSTANDISH O’GRADY 

1896, Downey and Co. London. pp.194-96 Vol. II

 

April 11 1606: Proceedings against John Downing. Proceedings at the assizes at Limerick against John Downing, indicted for high treason.

Calendar Volume Title: Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland, of the reign of James I, 1603-[1625] preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, and elsewhere.Vol. 1: 1603-1606.

Reign: James I Entry Number: 695 Page Number: 445 Document Ref.: SP 63/218 f.123 Date: April 11 1606

April 16 1606. The Earl of Thomond to the Earl of SalisburyS.P., Ireland, vol.218, 42.
Has thought good to inform Salisbury that John Downing, lieutenant to Sir Francis Barckley, a very bloody murderer and unrespective man, meeting upon the Sunday with an innocent poor man of his (Thomond's) in the way going to his sister's, and having his pass, hanged him. Wrote of this to the Deputy and Council, certifying the whole of the fact. His Lordship willed him to prosecute the matter at the sessions, which he did accordingly, and procured the Lord Justices of Assize's warrant to apprehend him (Downing), to be brought before them ; but he came with much ado, and upon his coming a bill was preferred to the grand jury, which they found “ billa vera;” whereat the Lord President stormed very much, and in choleric manner said to my Lord Wellsh, that he had rather give 1,000l. than the matter should be found. Upon the finding of the bill, he (Thomond) went with the judges to his Lordship's chamber, and offered to give him the best contentment he might, making no doubt but that, if he would hear him examine the truth of the matter, be would in honour and conscience prosecute it as far as he did, if not farther; but his Lordship called all his kindness compliments, and would not once confer with him about it.
Proceeding farther to a jury of trial, who were of the best gentlemen of the country, they were for the most part by the prisoner rejected, whom the Lord President at the Bench publicly instructed and countenanced, as far as he could, to answer to all objections. A second jury of trial being empanelled, which with much ado, were gotten, the prisoner was found guilty of murder, the most of the jury being English. This urged the Lord President to further choler, whereby he used such speeches as beseemed not a judge sitting in his place, for which he refers to the report of my Lord Welsh, Sir John Davys, Sir Richard Boyll, Sir Dominick Sarsefield, and all the rest that sat at the Bench ; but he (Thomond) respecting his duty, and the place he held, answered nothing which might discontent him. Has, as near as he could, sent to his Lordship a breviat of the words which he most distemperately uttered at the Bench. The prisoner being found guilty, no judgment was given, the judges seeing him in that choler, though he (Thomond) demanded the same. In treats that direction may be sent to the Deputy and Council, that the matter may be effectually examined, in order that justice may go forward. Desires permission to spend two months in England. —Limerick, 16 April 1606.
Pp. 2. Signed. Sealed. Add. Endd.: “ The Earl of Thomond to Salisbury.” Encloses, Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland, of the reign of James I, 1603-[1625] preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, and elsewhere. Ed. C. W. Russell and John P. Prendergast Vol. 1: 1603-1606. London: Longman & Co, Truebner & Co, Parker & Co, Macmillan and Co, A&C Black, A. Thom, 1872. 
 
 
Observations made by Sir John Davys, Attorney of Ireland, after a journey made by him in Munster. 
Calendar Volume Title: Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland, of the reign of James I, 1603-[1625] preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, and elsewhere.Vol. 1: 1603-1606. Reign: James I Entry Number: 719 Page Number: 463 Document Ref.: SP 63/218 f.154 Date: May 4 1606.
We chose the most indifferen jury we could to try the prisoner, who was found guilty upon some evidence that was given that he knew the idiot, and knew him to belong to my Loid of Thomond. Upon the giving up the verdict some few words of passion and heat passed between my Lord President and the Earl; but they were not so bitter, but that I hope this term at Dublin, where they purpose both to be present, an atonement will be made betwixt them, when they have somewhat expostulated the matter before my Lord Deputy. But in the meantime, we for our parts, though the fact was foul, and though our provost marshals are oftentimes too nimble and too rash in executing their commissions, so that it were not amiss that one or other of them did smart for it, and were made an example to all the rest, yet, because we would not utterly discountenance the martial law, which at that time and that place perhaps had been necessary, and because Downing had been a tall soldier, and performed good services in the late wars, we thought good to reprieve him, to the end my Lord Deputy may grant him His Majesty's pardon, if it so please his Lordship. The gaol being cleared, we began to consider how we could cut off two notorious thieves, or, as they term them, rebels, who, with two or three kern at their heels, did infest the whole country.  
Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland, of the reign of James I, 1603-[1625] preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, and elsewhere. Ed. C. W. Russell and John P. Prendergast Vol. 1: 1603-1606. London: Longman & Co, Truebner & Co, Parker & Co, Macmillan and Co, A&C Black, A. Thom, 1872.

A List Of The Captains And Officers Discharged.
Calendar Volume Title: Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland, of the reign of James I, 1603-[1625] preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, and elsewhere.Vol. 4: 1611-1614. Reign: James I Entry Number: 282 Page Number: 151 Document Ref.: SP 63/231 f.243 Date: [Oct. 13.] 1611 [Oct. 13.]. In all to 28 lieutenants,at 2s. the piece per diem, 56s. [S.P., Ireland, vol.231, 79 A]. 
Lieutenants. Christopher Aplegate. John St. Barbe. Adrian Fitz Symons. John Downing. Walter Harrison.  Rice Griffith. Roger Tompson. Daniel Leigh. Thomas Newcomen. George Shelden. Bartholomew Owen. Nicholas Goodall. Luke Hamon. John Baker. Hugh Jones. Roger Jones. George Curteis. Capt. Cooche's lieut. William Powell. Sir Thomas Williams' lieut. Hercules Langford. Capt. Atherton's lieut. Hugh Culme. Capt.Trevor's lieut. Herbert Thomas. Capt. Tirrell's lieut. 
In all to captains and officers discharged per diem 10l. 6s., and so per annum 3,759l.10s. If His Majesty will be pleased to give to every captain by concordatum 100 marks, and to every lieutenant 33l. 6s. 8d., and every ensign 27l. which in the whole is 3,572l. 13s. 4d. this charge may be clearly taken off, and for ever hereafter saved to His Majesty.
Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland, of the reign of James I, 1603-[1625] preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office, and elsewhere. Ed. C. W. Russell and John P. Prendergast Vol. 4: 1611-1614. London: Longman & Co, Truebner & Co, Parker & Co, Macmillan and Co, A&C Black, A. Thom, 1877.

Futher information on the following:

John Downeinge Leftenant & Major Thomas Downing (see overleaf),

@ Trinity College Library Dublin

1641 DEPOSITIONS

  • Deposition of John Downeinge Leftenant: Reference: MS 821, fols 146r-146v County: Tipperary Date: 3/6/1642 Type: Bisse Nature of Deposition: Multiple Killing, Robbery, Words, Lost by Debts fol. 146r

  • Deposition of Major Thomas Downing: Reference: MS 820, fols 324r-325v County: Waterford Date: 24/11/1652 Type: Commonwealth Nature of Deposition: Killing, Robbery fol. 324r; The Examination of Major Thomas Downing of Lismore in the Co: of waterford taken Nov 24 1652
  • Deposition of Major Thomas Downing: Reference: MS 820, fols 320r-322v County: Waterford Date: 24/11/1652 Type: Commonwealth Nature of Deposition: Assault, Military Action, Multiple Killing fol. 320r; The Examination of Major Thomas Downing of Lismore in the Co: of waterford taken Nov 24 1652

Lft. John Downeinge, etc.

S.P. Ireland 306., [745]. [Undated] 1661. Copy of Petition to the King of John Downing, Showing that:— 

Petitioner's father lost an estate in Ireland through his loyalty, and raised a regiment with the remainder of his fortune in England. He was killed at the siege of Plymouth, leaving a wife and five children “ most of whose estate was personal.” Petitioner and his brothers were loyal to the King “and because your petitioner and his brothers desire to return to their native country, the province of Munster, where they have found divers lands escheated to your Majesty by families extinct in the late wars and divers English there hold lands from your Majesty without any title, and others hold possession by mere orders from the late usurper, and many adventurers twice satisfied as well as soldiers twice paid their arrears, there being divers rents payable to your Majesty which at present lie concealed, your Majesty's composition sent through the whole province being likewise detained.” He prays for a commission to discover defective titles in Munster, leaving the reward thereof to his Majesty's consideration. P.½. S.P. Ireland 306, 122.

Reign: Charles II Entry Number: S.P. Ireland 306., [745] Page Number: 269 Document Ref.: SP 63/306 f.217 Date: [Undated] 1661. Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland [of the reign of Charles II], 1660-[1670], preserved in the Public Record Office. Ed. Robert Pentland Mahaffy Vol. 1: 1660-1662. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1905.