Sir Henry Wallop Ponders Irish Obstinacy
In a report dated June 10, 1582, Sir Henry Wallop (then Queen Elizabeth I’s Lord Justice of Ireland and soon to become a prominent figure in the Plantation of Munster) writes to William Cecil expressing frustration at the insubordination of the Irish and their refusal to conform to the Protestant religion:
The causes of rebellion, my good Lord, as I conceive them are these: — The great affection they generally bear to the Popish Religion, which agreeth with their humour, that having committed murder, incest, thefts, with other execrable offences, by hearing a mass, confessing themselves to a priest, or obtaining the Pope’s pardon, they persuade themselves they are forgiven. And hearing mass on Sunday or Holyday, they think all the week after they may do what heinous offence soever and it is dispensed withal.
They also hate our nation, partly through general mislike and disdain one nation hath to be governed by another, partly that we are contrary to them in religion, and lastly they seek to have the government among themselves.
The governours, for fear to stir them to rebellion, dare not, or have not power, to punish any outrage by any of the Irish Lords.