Hardiman's History of Galway

Chapter 4: From 1484 to the commencement of the Irish Rebellion in 1641

The earl of Sussex arrives in Galway

Chapter 4

From 1484 to the commencement of the Irish Rebellion in 1641

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Old map of Galway

These revolutions in religion, however they might have affected the morals of the people, did not damp their ardor for improvement. In 1557, the east end of the tholsel was raised at the public expense, under the direction of the mayor, James Oge Lynch. The year following, which was towards the close of the reign of Queen Mary, the earl of Sussex, lord deputy, marched to Galway,y where he was splendidly received, having been previously met in procession by the archbishop of Tuam, the bishops of Clonfert, Clonmacnoise, and the clergy, who all testified their allegiance to the queen. The west gate and tower of defence, at the end of the bridge, were then built by Thomas Martin;z and, about the same time, several other public works and private buildings were erected. After these improvements were made, the annals relate, that an Italian traveller, induced by its fame in foreign parts. visited the town, and that he carefully remarked and noted its situation and extent, the style of its buildings, the manners and customs of the inhabitants, and every other particular worthy of attention. They further state, that being at mass in a private house, (its celebration in public having been in that year, 1568, first prohibited) he saw, at one view, the blessed sacrament in the hands of the priest, boats passing up and down the river, a ship entering the port in full sail, a salmon killed with a spear, and hunters and hounds pursuing a deer; upon which he observed, that although he had travelled the greater part of Europe, he had never before witnessed a sight which combined so much variety and beauty. At that time the town was described by Campion, in his history, as a "proper neat city at the sea side."

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