RED HUGH O´DONNELL´s TESTAMENT. Valladolid (Spain) September the 10th, 1602

Provenance: General Archive of Simancas, signature: AGS, GYM, LEG, 596, 471

Acknowledgment for the Transcription into Spanish: General Archive of Simancas and its Director Julia Rodríguez; as well as Carlos Carrascal. English translation: Claire McDonald

In the name of God, amen

To know how many will see this testament, my last and posterior will , like me, Count O’Donnell, Irish, lying in bed sick in body, of an illness that God our Lord has given me and I am healthy in my judgment and natural mind , just as to God Our Lord I am pleased to give, fearing the death that is natural to every living creature, believing as I believe, as a faithful and Christian Catholic in everything that the Holy Mother Church of Rome has and believes, I grant and I know that I make and order this, my testament, to the praise and glory of God Our Lord and of the glorious Virgin Mary, his mother, whom I take and have as Our Lady and advocate in all my deeds and I ask and beg her to plead for my soul, which I entrust, and I make my will in the following way:

First of all I offer my soul to my God and Lord Jesus Christ who bought and redeemed it with his precious and blessed blood, who wants to forgive me and take me to his holy glory when he sees it good. Amen.

Furthermore,  I offer my body to the land from which it was formed, which I want and command to be buried in the church of San Francisco and in its monastery in the city of Valladolid.

Furthermore, I say and declare, now at the point of death, without having any hope of returning to the world, that I take God for a witness that I am not saying anything here that is contrary to the truth. I leave and name my brother Don Rodrigo O’Donnell as my heir to inherit all my states, lands, lordships and vassals, that I want there to be and inherit, have and enjoy for now and forever and ever in that way and form that he has the right of place to, that this is my will.

Clause: I also leave Don Rodrigo, my brother, and Don Carlos, my younger brother, along with all my inheritance, to His Majesty to protect them and have  mercy on them.

Clause:I also state that I take God as a witness that he did not have the King Our Lord in Ireland and, I think, he will not have such a loyal and diligent servant as I nor one that has more often  ventured his person in the service of His Majesty as I have.

Likewise  I declare that the province of Conasia, which is in my county, at the beginning of this war has been subject to the Queen until I have devastated and conquered it, without the help of any person who I enlisted from the province. The other services I carried out for His Majesty in all parts of Ireland will be too long to recount here.

Clause: I declare for the knowledge of His Majesty that there were  united agreements and peace between the Irish and the Queen of England and that I undid everything to serve God and His Majesty  so that I and my heirs could become vassals of His Majesty.

Clause: I declare that  if Earl O’Neill, as I think and understand that he will not, would like to transfer the agreements that have been accorded and made between me and Earl O’Neill and our heirs, I entrust  His Majesty to maintain my brother in his service and in his right.

Clause: I declare that, among the other parts of our agreements, this is one: that all the help, assistance and mercy that His Majesty gave or sent to Earl O’Neill and to me that it would be divided into two equal parts and the same would be among our heirs, mindful that there would be no pre-eminence one over the other, that whoever was the oldest when walking together, walked on the right hand side. I ask and beg your Majesty to keep my brother in accordance with the aforesaid agreements and, so that his Majesty may have his allegiance, entrust him with some task and, if it seems acceptable to you, help him with some distraction.

Clause:  I declare and say that Don Remundo of  Burgo, Baron de Letrin, who has come here in my company, is an honored knight and has carried out remarkable services and for his courage and for knowing that he will be of great importance in the service of the King, commending him to His Majesty giving him to understand that he is worthy of much mercy and that he can be trusted.

Likewise, I entrust to his Majesty,  Father Friar Florencio Conrrio, my confessor, and I beg you to provide him with a bishopric in Ireland, even if it does not please the Father. Taking on this office will result in the service of God and His Majesty and the common good of the land for being such a holy man and of having such importance and experience in things over there. I entrust and implore His Majesty to give his opinion on the things of Ireland, and I say that it will matter a great deal in the service of His Majesty to send the aforementioned Father very promptly to Ireland for being well seen by all those masters and they hold his advice very much in high esteem and they will recover spirit and encouragement with his arrival there.

Likewise, I entrust Matheo de Tulio, my secretary, who has served me with great loyalty, work and diligence. I commend him to his Majesty so that he may please you, and I beg you to understand mercifully the worth of my requests to His Majesty. He deserves it no matter how great the mercy. I assure you that he is loyal to His Majesty’s service and deals truthfully and knows and has  lots of news and experience in the things of Ireland and that is why I beg His Majesty to hear his opinion on things there and I can assure that His Majesty will not be deceived about this.

Likewise I beg His Majesty to be willing to send money and some people to Ireland to Earl O’Neill and my brother before the news of my death arrives there because otherwise they will be lost because, on arriving my news there beforehand, everyone will go quickly to make peace with the English because they had all their hope in the help that I had to bring them and so that they would be encouraged by His Majesty’s letters and if the money arrived before my death.

Likewise I declare that a boy named Don Telasio is my nephew who is with me and the gentle men and servants of mine who are in La Coruña, I beg His Majesty to see fit to maintain them until they find a boat to go to where my brother is.

Likewise, I ask and beg His Majesty to see fit to pay the small debt that I owe in Spain: one hundred ducats to General Pedro de Zubiaurre, another one hundred ducats to an Irish merchant named Nicolás Linch, who is in the city of La Coruña and eighty ducats to Duarte Ustasse, an Irish gentleman, who is also in La Coruña.

Likewise I beg His Majesty and I ask you to have mercy since I do not have any silver coins  to pay for some masses for my soul, after God Our Lord has taken me from this world to the other, may His Majesty order that I be buried in the said monastery of San Francisco in the city of Valladolid and that they bury me according to the quality of my person and that masses will be said for me, as ordered by His Majesty to whom I beg as a good Christian King and Lord, that I leave what must be done in his royal hands .

And I revoke and annul and do not accept any other will or testaments that had been made beforehand in writing or by word and I state that they are not viable and are not to be considered neither in a legal court nor outside of one , except for this will that at present I make and order, the one which I want to be fulfilled and which is valid in a legal court and outside of it. And if it is not valid as my will, may it be valid for my codicil and, if it is not valid as my codicil, may it be valid for my last and posterior wishes or in that way and form which gives rise to entitlement.

In testimony of which I grant, this said testament, before Domingo de Albiz, scribe of Our King and Lord, and of the witnesses of these writings in the town of SIMANCAS on the seventh day of the month of September of the year one thousand six hundred and two, being present as witnesses: Doctor Juan Nirran, an Irish doctor and Matheo de Tulio and Mauricio Ultaj and father Mauricio Ultano and Francisco de Aguilar, all Irish, who knew its language  and said to be natives of there, being present in this aforementioned village, who before the present clerk legitimately swore to know the stated Count O’Donnell and that it is the same person of the same name that is written here and signed by the Count in the registration of his name.

And because I, the aforementioned scribe, do not understand or know the Irish language which is the one the grantor himself speaks, I have read and granted this testament,  interpreted in Spanish by Fray Florencio Conrrio, who related to the grantor everything contained in the will and by his interpretation, the will  was also written and ordered. And the  witnesses who likewise know the above-named language, declared under oath that the  interpreter translated and declared everything the  grantor had said, which is the same as the aforesaid testament contains.And likewise there were also other witnesses: the lawyer Juan de Albiz and Juan Fernández de Cámara, servants of his Majesty, and Pedro de Montalbo, a dweller of the town, who all saw the grantor sign before the  interpreter countersigned, for fear of later not being able to sign due to his illness.

Witness, Fray Florencio Conrrio. Before me, Domingo de Albiz. I, the aforementioned Domingo de Albiz, scribe of our King and Lord and the citizens in all his kingdoms and his lordships and inhabitants of the town of Simancas,  I was present with the above witnesses and grantor and interpreter in the granting of this testament and in faith I signed it and gave my seal  as a true testimony1. (Signed) Domingo de Albiz.