Hugh O'Neill's Letter of Submission
I Hugh O'Neill, by the Queen of England, France, and Ireland her most gracious favour created Earl of Tyrone, do with all true and humble penitency prostate myself at her royal feet, and absolutely submit myself unto her mercy, most sorrowfully imploring her gracious commiseration and appealing only to her princely clemency without presuming to justify my unloyal proceedings against her sacred Majesty. Only most sorrowfully and earnestly desiring that it may please her Majesty rather in some measure to mitigate her just indignation against me, in that I do religiously vow that the first motives of my unnatural rebellion were neither practice, malice, nor ambition; but that I was induced first by fear of my life (which I conceived was sought by my enemies' practice) to stand on my guard, and after most unhappily led to make good that fault with more heinous offenses, the which in themselves I do acknowledge deserve no forgiveness and that it is impossible for me, in respect of the greatness, in any proportion, even with my life, to make satisfaction; I do most humbly desire her Majesty to pardon them, that as I have been already a sufficient argument of her royal power, having little left but my life to preserve itself, so it may now please her Majesty to make me an example of princely clemency, the chiefest ornament of her high dignity. And, that I may be the better able hereafter with the utmost service of my life to redeem the foulness of my faults, I do most humbly sue unto her Majesty that she will vouchsafe to restore to me my former dignity of living, in which estate of a subject I do religiously vow to continue forever hereafter loyal, in all true obedience to her royal person, crown, prerogative and laws, and to be in all things as far and as dutifully conformable thereunto, as I or any other nobleman of this realm is bound by the duty of a subject to a sovereign, or by the laws of this realm, utterly denouncing and abjuring the name and title of O'Neill, or any other authority or claim which hath not been granted or confirmed unto me by her Majesty, and that otherwise by the laws of this realm I may not pretend just interest unto: and I do religiously swear to perform so much as is above mentioned and the rest of these articles subscribed by my own hand, as far as shall any way lie in my power, and to deliver such pledges for the performance thereof as shall be nominated unto me by the Lord Deputy.
I do renounce and abjure all foreign power whatsoever and all kind of dependency upon any other potentate but her Majesty the Queen of England, France, and Ireland, and do vow to serve her faithfully against any foreign power invading her Kingdoms, and to discover truly any practices that I do or shall know against her royal person or crowns; and, namely and especially, I do abjure and renounce all manner of dependency upon the King or Estate of Spain or treaty with him or any of his confederates, and shall be ready with the uttermost of my ability to serve her Majesty against him, or any of his forces or confederates.
I do absolutely renounce all challenge or intermeddling with the Uriaghts, or fostering with them or other neighbor lords, or gentlemen out of my country, or exacting any black rents of any Uriaghts (or bordering lords).
I do resign all claim and title to any lands but such as shall be now granted unto me by her Majesties Letters Patent.
Lastly, as the only being a subject doth include all the duties of a subject, so will I be content to be informed and advised by her Magistrates here, and will be conformable and assisting unto them in anything that may tend to the advancement of her service and the peaceful government of this Kingdom, as namely for the abolishing of all barbarous customs contrary to the laws, and for the clearing of all difficult passages and places, which are the nurseries of rebellion, wherein I will employ the labors of the people of my country in such sort and in such places as I shall be directed by her Majesty, or the Lord Deputy and Council in her name; and will endeavor for myself and the people of my country to erect civil habitations and such as shall be of greater effect to preserve us against thieves and any force but the power of the state, by which we must rest assured to be preserved as long as we continue in our duties.