Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 47.djvu/146

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come intelligence that Elizabeth was prepared to proceed energetically against Shane O'Neill. A hosting was accordingly proclaimed to start from Dundalk on 3 April, and on 6 April the army encamped in the neighbourhood of Armagh. On the 8th Sussex moved to Newry. Shane declined an engagement, and Sussex crossed the Blackwater into Henry MacShane's country, where two hundred head of cattle were captured. Returning once more to Armagh, he set his men to intrench and fortify the cathedral; but his provisions being exhausted, he was enforced to return to Dundalk, where he disbanded his army on the 25th. Preparations were immediately begun for a fresh expedition, and Sussex a month later again took the field. Leaving Armagh on 1 June, he marched directly by Dungannon to Tullaghoge, where Shane was discovered to have concentrated his forces in a strong natural fastness. He was instantly attacked, and, after three or four hours' skirmishing, put to flight. Next day a small herd of his cattle was captured on the edge of Lough Neagh and several of his men killed, after which Sussex returned to Armagh. But his failure to subdue Shane, coupled with his ill-health, at last induced Elizabeth to listen to his request to be relieved of his office. On 20 Oct. a commission was issued to Sir Nicholas Arnold and Sir Thomas Worth (Cal. Carew MSS. i. 359-62), with secret instructions to inquire into his administration before accepting his resignation. Though greatly irritated by the appointment of Arnold and Worth, Sussex did not obstruct their inquiries, but he declared that the attempt to investigate all the charges and vacancies that had occurred in his own company was impossible and monstrous, never having before been required of any deputy. Worth, who seems to have felt for him, wrote on 16 April 1564 to Cecil, using the words of entreaty to Henry VIII for Latimer on his behalf. 'Consider, sire,' said he, 'what a singular man he is, and cast not that awaie in one owre which nature and arte hath been so manye yeres in breeding and perfectinge.' In May he received the welcome intelligence that the queen had yielded to his entreaties, and on the 25th he sailed for England.

It is easy to disparage Sussex's efforts to reduce Ireland. But, considering the inadequate resources at his command, the general indifference of those who might have been expected to co-operate with him, the intrigues, more or less proven, of his enemies at the council table, and the total ignorance of Elizabeth and her ministers of the difficulties to be coped with in dealing with a terra incognita such as Ireland then was, and with such an enemy as Shane O'Neill, it is rather to be wondered that he accomplished anything at all. That his general view of the situation and the means to be taken to reduce Ireland to the crown were in the main sound no reader of his despatches can for a moment doubt. Despite his dastardly attempts to assassinate Shane, he left behind him a reputation for statesmanship which grew rather than diminished with succeeding years.

Sussex accompanied the queen to Cambridge in August, and was created M.A. In October he officiated as principal mourner at the funeral service at St. Paul's in honour of the Emperor Ferdinand. On 5 March 1565 he took part in an entertainment given by the Earl of Leicester to the queen; but the relations between the two earls had already become strained in consequence of certain insinuations dropped by the former in regard to Sussex's conduct in Ireland. Their retainers took up the cause of their respective masters, and from words speedily came to blows. The queen's injunction to keep the peace had little result. At a meeting of the council in the summer of 1566 Leicester accused Sussex of responsibility for Shane O'Neill's rebellion, to which Sussex replied by stating that Leicester had frequently written letters of encouragement to Shane with his own hand (Cal. Venetian MSS. iv. , 382). Sussex, who accompanied the queen to Oxford in September, resisted with especial vehemence the proposal that Leicester should become Elizabeth's husband, and warmly advocated, on political as well as on personal grounds, an alliance with the imperial house in the person of the Archduke Charles. Negotiations with the archduke had begun in 1565. By the middle of November 1566 matters had advanced so far that Sussex was ordered to hold himself in readiness to proceed to Vienna. During the winter the queen's ardour cooled, but revived in the spring, and in April 1567 Sussex was again ordered to prepare for his journey. But the earl, who had seen enough of Elizabeth's vacillation to doubt her real intention, insisted first of all on having an explicit decision in regard to the religious difficulty between Elizabeth and the archduke. After successfully claiming that he should exercise full discretion apparently in reference to the religious difficulty, he embarked at Gravesend with Roger, lord North [q. v.], on 26 June, and reached Vienna on 5 Aug. Three days later he had an hour's interview with the Emperor Maximilian. The archduke, though manifesting a natural reluc-