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Pacata Hibernia. Ireland appeased and reduced· Or, an historie of the late warres… especially within the province of Mounster, 

London, Printed by A[ugustine] M[athewes]., 1633


FIRST EDITION, first issue. Folio pp. [xvi], 391, [i] text within box rule. Roman letter, some Italic. Full page engraved portrait of Sir George Carew by Voerst within oval, skull and crossbones at head, fine ½ page engraved portrait of Queen Elisabeth within oval, dedicatory poem by George Wither, and imprint beneath, letterpress title with woodcut printer’s device, seventeen large, mostly double page or larger, engraved maps and views in very good impression, large ornate woodcut head pieces, floriated initials in various sizes, typographical ornaments. Light age yellowing, occasional marginal thumb-mark, small closed tears at folds of the folding map of Mounster, a little browned, plate of the Castle of Limmerick just trimmed at outer margins. A very good, well margined copy, crisp and clean, in slightly later English calf, covers bordered with double blind rule, contemp. monogram ‘DC’ (Devonshire, Cavendish) gilt stamped at centres within finally worked gilt border with large gilt corner pieces, spine with raised bands rebacked to match , title gilt, endpapers renewed, corners restored a.e.r.

Rare first edition of the Pacata Hibernia, unusually complete with the large folding map of Mounster which is often missing, one of the most interesting and important monuments of Anglo-Irish history, detailing the events in the Province of Munster from 1600-1603, superbly illustrated with seventeen maps and plans of the events described. Sir Thomas Stafford may have been a natural son of Sir George Carew, earl of Totnes; he served under Carew, when president of Munster, as captain in the wars in Ireland during Elizabeth’s reign. Stafford was a common name in the south-east of Ireland, and Sir Thomas may have been an Irishman. It is as an Irishman rather than as an Englishman that he speaks of Irishmen and Englishmen in his preface to this work. Stafford appears to have accompanied Carew to England shortly before the death of Elizabeth, and afterwards to have lived with him in the capacity of secretary. Carew bequeathed to Stafford his vast collection of manuscripts relating to Ireland, the greater part of which, consisting of thirty-nine volumes, is preserved in the library at Lambeth. Among the manuscripts bequeathed to Stafford was the original of the ‘Pacata Hibernia,’ written, we are given by him to understand, by Carew himself, but ‘out of his retyred Modestie, the rather by him held backe from the Stage of Publication’ which was left to Stafford. The ‘Pacata Hibernia’ deals with a period of less than three years and is concerned with events occurring in a single province, that of Munster, but sheds much light on Irish History as a whole. It commences with the joint entrance of Lord Mountjoy upon the Viceroyalty of Ireland and Sir George Carew upon the presidency of Munster in 1600, and ends with the suppression in 1603 of the Munster insurrection, caused by the landing of the Spaniards at Kinsale. It is a highly important account of that period but also as the narrative, from a particular point of view, of a man who witnessed the events. As Standish O’Grady put it in his preface to the 1896 reprint; “We are in the presence of actualities, face to face with real and actual men, can almost hear them speak, and feel around us the working of ideas and purposes so characteristic of that age. … The book deals with the stormy conclusion of a stormy century, the lurid sunset of one of the wildest epochs in our history.  ..It is the work of a soldier, not a civilian; of one to whom war was a trade, and who treats of it with a soldier’s downrightness and grim hard emphasis. Also, it was written shortly after the events….The battle-smoke clings still to the pages”. The work’s publication coincides with appointment of Stafford as Lord deputy of Ireland, and was possibly intended to signal a return to the policies of that period. The maps themselves form a highly important record of the period, particularly the maps of towns, such as of Cork and Limerick. A very good copy of a most important work with the maps in clean and dark impressions.

The monogram is extremely close to others of the Cavendish family who became successively Earls and Dukes of Devonshire during the 17th century. 

ESTC S117453. STC 23132a. Lowndes II 2488.“the map of Mounster…. is frequently missing”.