King Diarmait Mac Murchada of Leinster sends for Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare, earl of Pembroke ('Strongbow') (from the History of Ireland)

Holinshed 1577, Vol. I: The Historie of Ireland, 24-5

Nowe was Dermote growen into some fauor and liking of his people, insomuche that hee began to fancie a further conquest, hauing already recouered his whole kingdome of Leynister. And because he knewe it shoulde be to small purpose to attempt any such thing, without the help of his English confederates, hee consulted with the two brethren Fitzstephans, and Fitzgerald, about the inuading of Connagh, for hee meante to giue a push for the obteining of that countrey, with the whole monarchie of Ireland, Dermucius sendeth to the Earle of Penbroke.and for as much as hee founde them ready to further him in that enterprise, he wrote ouer into England unto ye Erle of Penbroke, requiring his assista(n)ce, in renuing ye former couenants passed betwixt the(m).

This Earles ancestors came into this Realme of Engla(n)d with Wullam Conqueror, but now eyther through riotous prodigalitie, or disfauor of the Kings, they were runne farre behinde hand with the world, and therefore this man gaue the more willing eare vnto Dermots letters, & thereupon passed ouer to the King, beseeching him eyther to restore him to such landes as he withhelde of his, or else lice(n)ce him in forraigne parts to seke his fortune. The King as one yt spake in skorne, bade him go forward in the name of God so farre as his frete woulde beare him...

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Holinshed 1587, Vol. II: Sylvuester Giraldus Cambrensis, his vaticinall historie of the Conquest of Ireland, 11-12

Dermon Mac Morogh sendeth for the earle Richard, who foorthwith maketh great preparation for his comming.

Chap. 12

Mac Morogh, being by meanes of his good successe well quieted and satisfied bethinketh himselfe now of greater matters, and deuiseth how and by what means he might recouer his old and ancient rights; as also purchase all Connagh to his subiection. And herein he used a secret conference with Fitzstephans and Fitzgerald, vnto whome he vttereth and discouereth all his whole mind and intent: who forthwith gaue his answer that his deuise was verie easilie to be compassed, if he could get a greater supplie and aid of Englishmen. Whereupon he made most earnest requests vnto them, both for the procuring of their kinsmen and countriemen, as also for the furthering to effect his purpose and deuise. And that he might the better persuade them hereunto, he offereth to either one of them his daughter and heire in mariage with the inheritance of his kingdome: but they both being alreadie married, refused the offer. And at length after much talke they thus concluded, that he should with all speed send his messengers vnto the earle Richard, of whome we spake before, and vnto whome he the said MacMorogh at his being at or about Bristow,Mac Moroghs letter to earle Richard. had promised his daughter to wife, which letters were as followeth. "Dermon Mac Morogh prince of Leinster, to Richard earle of Chepstone, and son of Gilbert the earle sendeth greeting. If you doo well consider and marke the time as we doo which are in distresse, then we doo not complaine without cause nor out of time: for we haue alreadie seen the (1) storkes and swallows, as also the summer birds are come, and with the westerlie winds are gone againe; we haue long looked and wished for your comming, and albeit the winds haue beene at east and easterlie, yet hitherto you are not come unto vs: wherefore now linger no longer, but hasten your selfe hither with speed, that it may thereby appeare not want of good will, nor forgetfulnesse of promise, but the iniurie of time hath beene hitherto the cause of your long staie. All Leinster is alreadie wholie yeelded unto us and if you will speedilie come away with some strong companie and force, we doubt not but that the other foure portions will be recouered and adioined to this the fift portion. Your comming therefore the more speedie it is, the more gratefull; the more hastie, the more ioifull: and the sooner, the better welcome: and then our mislike of your long lingering shall be recompensed by youre soone comming, for freendship & good will is recouered and nourished by mutuall offices, and by benefits it groweth to a more assurednesse." When earle Richard had read these letters, he taketh aduice with his freends, and taking some comfort and stomach of the good successe of Fitzstephans, whereof he was at the first both fearefull and doubtfull, fullie determined to bend his whole force and power to follow this seruice and hostings. This earle was a man of a verie noble parentage and descended of verie honorable ancestors; but yet more famous in name than rich in pursse; more noble in blood, than endowed with wit; and greater in hope of succession, than rich in possessions. Well, he thought long yet he could wend himselfe ouer into Ireland, and therefore to compasse the same to good effect, maketh his repaire to king Henrie the second, and most humblie praieth and beseecheth him that he will either restore him to such possessions, as by inheritance did apperteine unto him; or else to grant him the libertie to trie and seeke fortune in some other forren countrie and nation.

(1) The storke and the swallow are named Aues semestres, or the halfe yeares birds; for they come at the spring, and depart againe awaie at the autumne or fall of the leafe, for in the winter they are not seene. And by this Mac Morogh alludeth and meaneth that he hath awaited that whole halfe yeare for the earles comming: whose promise was, that in the spring of the yeare past he would have come.

Of the arrival of Reimond le grosse into Ireland, and of the fight which he had against the Waterford men at Dundorogh.

Chap. 13

The king hauing heard the earles requests, bethought himselfe a while thereof: but in the end he alowed not of the one, nor granted the other, but fed him still with good speeches, and nourished him with faire words, commending his noble mind, that he would aduenture so honorable an enterprise. And in word the king seemed to giue him leaue to follow his deuise, but to saie the truth, it was rather in game than in earnest, for the king minded nothing lesse...

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