Gardiner’s Companie will be gathering for a Yule celebration at a banqueting hall in Southwark (Abingdon, MD), on the 25th of January. Alas our festivities come with a shadow from the past.
Mistress Carlyle has received a letter and a box of things from her dead husband’s Scottish relatives that has her quite puzzled. The box contains her husband’s personal effects from when he was in Ireland. A letter was found in the box that doesn’t make any sense and the family is wondering what it means. At Yule we hope to puzzle out the mystery of Marcus Carlyle (Mistress Carlyle’s late husband) and what exactly happened to him in Ireland.
If you would like to attend and help us solve the mystery, reach out to your Gardiner’s Company friends.
Some Background on The Battle of Smeewick (Smerwick, Smewick…), or also known as the Second Desmond Rebellion
Situation in Ireland leading to the Battle of Smeewick: English settlers confiscated Irish land; English Military Governors; outlawed Irish speech, dress, customs etc.; forced the reformation; remembered atrocities during the earlier rebellion; limited the Earl of Desmond’s powers to raise and maintain troops. In 1580 John of Desmond fought vicious skirmishes against the English. The English, specifically the Earl of Ormonde, in return laid waste to the territory of Desmond. A survivor of the first rebellion solicited gaid from Pope Gregory XIII (who had proclaimed Elizabeth a heretic in 1570) who agreed to finance and supply an invasion of Ireland.
The Pope and King Philip of Spain did send reinforcements in the summer of 1580 at Smerwick, bringing arms and money. The English, however, had knowledge of the Spanish and raced to lay siege to Smeewick also establishing an English naval blockade. The Papal force was caught in a trap hemmed in by the English, the sea and Mount Bandon. The Papal forces numbered about 700 men while the English had a force of around 4,000, including Gardiners Companie.
The siege lasted three days. The Papal commander sought terms. The English may have offered clemency but many say that they did and then betrayed the promise. End result, the entire Papal force, foreign and Irish, men and women, were slaughtered and beheaded. Their heads were thrown into a field and the bodies were tossed into the sea.
Marcus Carlyle was the only casualty on the English side.