Examination of Captain Thomas Chambers

Citation: TCD, 1641 Depositions Project, online transcript January 1970
[http://1641.tcd.ie/deposition.php?depID?=836037r020] accessed Monday 25th of September 2017 10:45 AM

Dublin Core

Identifier: 836037r020


1641 Deposition Item Type Metadata

County: Armagh
Deposition Type: Commonwealth
Nature of Deposition: Arson, Captivity, Multiple Killing, Stripping, Words
Commissioners: Henry Jones
Deposition Transcription:

fol. 37r

The Examinacion off Capten Thomas Chambers off Lurgan in the County off Armagh taken
Who being duely sworne and examined vppon Oath, saith, that liueing att Blackwater in the County off Armagh, att the begining off the late and Horrid Rebellion in Ireland the 23th off October in the yeare 1641 being then Saturday Morning this Examinant had the Alaram brought him by six off the clock thatt day, thatt Sir Phelemie o Neill had seizd vppon the Castle of Charlemont, and therein had taken the then Lord Caulfeild, his Lady Mother, and all the rest off thatt ffamely Prisoners, and that att thatt time his confederatts had seizd vppon the Castle and Magazeene att the Newry, with all other places off strenght in Vlster. Whervppon this Examinant fled with his wife and sister only to Armagh, being the securest place in thatt County, for the safety off the Einglish Newer increasing and still growing worss and worss, this Examinant with seuerall other gents then Imployed in the County and in Armagh posted lettres to all the Brittish in or neere thatt Count{y} vppon Sunday Morning to quitt their Interests and to repeyre Unto vs to Armagh, with their Horses, Armes, and ffamelies, thatt there wee might make a Head for our best Aduantage and strenght, nott only to secure ourselues, butt in the best way to oppose the insurreccion, which lettr{es} weare accordingly caried into all parts, and noe satisfactorie answere euer returnd vnto vs, butt by Munday being all taken and striptt off all they had, seuerall then came vnto vs in that posture vnarmd to increase our Miseries within a day or two after Sir Phelimie O Neill with the number off 7 or 8000 Rogues off vlster came round aboutt the towne, And after his summon sent vs being in all nott aboue 120 men in the ope{n}

fol. 37v

Church off Armagh, and the next stone housses adioyning vnto itt wee went together to consult with ourselues off the best releiffe and safety for vs, in our Miserable condicion, and answered Sir Phelemie O Neill, thatt iff hee would send in Hostages, wee would doe the like to him, thatt wee might vnderstand the meaning off his proceeding which was Agreed vnto, and this Examinant was sentt by the soueraigne off Armagh, as a pledg vnto him And hee likewise sentt in two off his Captens And vppon farther debate off the Matter, wee rather choose to surrender thatt open towne, being all in Aparant Hazard off our Liues, then stand itt outt with soe small a Handfull, which being giuen him vp vppon Articles, part off which weare (to this Examinant best remembrance) his owne expression vnder his hand and seale as ffolloweth. That by the faith off a Christian, the reputacion off a Gent and as I hope for Saluacion before Almighty God, yow shall nott suffer to the vallew off one Penny butt whatt hath beene alreddy taken from yow shall bee restord againe, And this I will seale with my blood, or giue yow my only sonn as a pledge to performe the same, Notwithstanding all which promises within few daies after the surrender off the towne, One Bell with seuerall others vnder proteccion there in Armagh weare most Barbarously Murthered by Sir Phelemies Creatures who for ought knowne or hard by this Examinant weare neuer punisht for thatt or any such wicked offence
This Examinant ffarther saith, thatt Sir Phelemie O Neill tould them vppon the surrender off Armagh, thatt whatt hee did, was by Authoryty from the King, And thatt iff hee, with the rest off the Ireish had not then risen in Armes for their owne preservacion, the Puritaine ffaccion would haue rysen, and cutt all the Ireish off.

fol. 38r

This Examinant ffarther saith there weare aboute one hundred and fifty Einglish person taken and caryed into the Parish of Clanfearle in the Coun{ty} off Tyrone and there plait in small numbers in seuerall Ireish Creaghts within few daies after this Examinant went unto Tirlagh oge o Neill Sir Phelemies Brother to desier off him, why those men thatt had Sir Phelemies proteccion, should bee caryed away in such a Manner, who made answere thatt itt was don by him for their safety, and thatt same night order was giuen to each Creaght man, to kill such men as weare in their chardge which was accordingly done, saue two or three of them, which Mr Michaell Harysson gott into his custodie, and weare by him preserud, Many of them suffered in the church off Benborb, haueing their braines knoct out against the wale, whose blood remaind seuerall yeares after there, and much off this was related to this Examinant by the Country people This Examinant farther saith thatt about the 5th off May 1642, the day before Armagh was burnt, whole drifts off the Brittish weare caryed out off Armagh towards Charlemont Many of them being kild by the way, others being caryed through the very towne, amoungst which was one Mr Starkey, a graue ould gent off 80 yeares or thereabouts with his two daughters stript leading off him, who they most vnhumane{ly} drownd altogether neer Charlemont not any off the rest euer being hard off, nor noe punishm{ent} done to the Execucioners, And this was credibly reported vnto this Examinant by severall
This Examinant ffarther saith, thatt att the instant time Armagh was sett on fier the Rebell{s} murdering and killing all or most thatt weare left ther vppon Quarter This Examinant with his wife sister and some others weare caryed outt off the towne to one Mr. Robert Maxwells house, where

fol. 38v

where vppon sunday following, this Examinant saw tak{en} away from thence, by one Bryan oge oHugh the number off fiftie persons att least, And vnder pretence off carying off them to prison to Kinard, they weare all Murthered and drownd by the way, the cause off this Examinants knowledge is, thatt none off them weare euer seene or hard off since, & I he heard they were murdered as aforesaid.
Thatt day one Mrs Maxwell desiering to goe along with this Examinant to some off hir ffosterers in Clanawle neere Tynan, was taken away by the Rogues, and was drownd hir selfe and hir infant being in the Acte off Labour, as this Examinant was thatt night credibly informd by one Edmund oge o Donnell Mrs Maxwells ffosterer now liueing neer Lisnegaruie
This Examinant ffarther saith, thatt hee and his wife in this deplorable Estate haueing Sir Phelemie O Neills proteccion, went vnto him to intreatt his pass and safe conduct for himselfe and famely vnto Dundalke, according his former engadgment which was obtaind accordingly, butt with noe securytie off safety which was left vnto our owne hazard, whervppon this Examinant went vnto Tirlagh oge o Neill Sir Phelemis Brother, as being most powerfull in thatt County, to desier his leaue and assistance in his passadge for his better safety who after debate off the Matter had some private conference with this Examinant which was to this purpose as followeth. thatt hee was att thatt time very sensible off the present condicion off himselfe, and the rest off his Countrymen, and desierd to Act some service which might then render him accepteble for pardon for his faults, And to thatt purpose iff this Examinant would propound his desiers to the state att Dublin, hee would vndertake to send this Examinant with all his stript companions safe into Dundalke which this Examinant accordingly and willingly ingadgd ffor the substance off which was a followeth

fol. 39r

that iff hee might bee receaued into pardon, and restord to his former Estate, hee would vndertake to deliuer vpp the Castle of Charlemont, And his Brother Phelemie aliue or dead in itt. And to this purpose gaue this Examinant direccions to acquaint the then Lord Chancelor Bolton, and Sir Henry Tichburne with his proposalls, to assist the perfecting the same, who in pursuance theroff, Aduisd this Examinant to acquiant the then Lord Justices therwith, which being done the Matter was soe much slited or Neclected by them to putt in Execucion, thatt nothing Materiall was euer Acted in the busines, That by Gods prouidence, itt was the Aparant occasion off bringing off this Examinant his wife sister, Many Kinffolke and freinds to the number off fiftie or therabouts into the Garryson off Dundalke the 10th of May 1642
Tho: Chambers
Taken before me
Hen: Jones

fol. 39v

Captain Thomas Chambers

Deponent Fullname: Thomas Chambers
Deponent Gender: Male
Deponent Occupation: Captain
Deponent County of Residence: Armagh
Mentioned Non-Deponent Fullnames: Phelemie o Neill, Tirlagh oge o Neill, Bryan oge oHugh, * Caulfeild, Mr Starkey, Mrs Maxwell, Henry Tichburne, Lord Chancelor Bolton, Robert Maxwell, Edmund oge o Donnell
Mentioned Non-Deponent Roles: Rebel, Rebel, Rebel, Victim, Victim, Victim, Mentioned, Mentioned, Mentioned, Witness