Hardiman's History of Galway

Chapter 5: From 1641 to the restoration of Charles II in 1660

Grateful acknowledgements of Charles II

Chapter 5

From 1641 to the restoration of Charles II in 1660

Return to table of contents
Old map of Galway

The melancholy news of the king's violent death soon after reached the town, and was received with every manifestation of sorrow. His successor, Charles II., was immediately proclaimed with the greatest solemnity. The mayor had afterwards the satisfaction of receiving the following letter from his majesty.

"Charles R.

"Trusty and well-beloved, we greete you well. Wee have been duly informed of the loyalltye and good affection that you and the cittie of Galway have expressed to us at all tymes, but especiallye of late, when others have soe shamefully betrayed the trust we reposed in them, by resigning themselves into the hands and power of the rebells: wee do Ibte not but you will constantly continue the same loyalltie to us, with due care for the preservation of our just authority amongst you; and for your encouragement therein, wee assure you that wee are not only truly sensible of what you have alreadye done for our service, but as that cittie of Galway is one of the principal citties that hath eminently continued their loyalltye and devotion to us, soe shall we in due time conferre such priviledges and favour upon you as may be lasting monuments of your deserving above others, and of our particular grace and acceptation thereof, and soe wee bid you farewell.-Given at our court in Jersey, the 4th day of Februarye, 1649, in the second year of our raigne.[s]

"To our trusty and well beloved the mayor and aldermen of our cittie of Gallwaye."

The day this communication was received in Galway was one of the last days of its greatness and prosperity. For upwards of a century after this period, war, pestilence and persecution, succeeding each other in rapid and melancholy succession, afflicted its devoted community, and reduced this once opulent, populous and respectable town to the most unenviable situation. Since the commencement of the civil commotions, a degree of insubordination and licentiousness had prevailed amongst the inhabitants, which it was not in the power of the magistracy either to suppress or control; and vices, before unheard of and unknown, and indeed incompatible with the integrity and simplicity of former manners, were now become prevalent and familiar. [t]

Next: Dreadful plague in the town

Online edition of Hardiman's History of Galway, © 1995-2001 World Wide Web Marketing Ltd. This is still a work in progress.