An Litir Bheag 443
Bha mi ag innse dhuibh mun t-Sasannach, Sir Richard Bingham. Bha e na riaghladair aig Banrigh Ealasaid Shasainn ann an Connacht, ann an taobh an iar na h-Èireann. Bha e os cionn feachd ann an Èirinn nuair a chaidh sgrios a dhèanamh air armailt Albannach. Thachair an sgrios ann an Contae Mhaigh Eò anns a’ bhliadhna còig ceud deug, ochdad ’s a sia (1586).
Thàinig sluagh mòr Albannach gu tìr ann an ceann a tuath na h-Èireann. ’S e Gàidheil a bha annta. Bha iad ann an Èirinn airson taic a thoirt do na co-Ghàidheil aca ann an Connacht. Bha na Gàidheil an sin a’ strì an aghaidh nan Sasannach. Bha na Sasannaich ag iarraidh an dùthaich aca a ghabhail thairis.
’S e muinntir Chloinn Dòmhnaill a bha sa chuid mhòir de na h-Albannaich. Nam measg bha Dòmhnall Gorm, mac Sheumais nan Ruaig à Ìle.
Ghluais na h-Albannaich gu deas. Chuala na Sasannaich mun deidhinn. Chuir Richard Bingham luchd-brathaidh a-mach. Chùm iad sùil air na h-Albannaich. Bha fios aca cà’ robh iad.
Ràinig na Dòmhnallaich Àird na Riadh air Abhainn Muaidhe. Rinn iad campa an sin. An ath mhadainn thug na Sasannaich ionnsaigh orra, gan iomain air ais don abhainn. Bha mòran dhiubh air am bàthadh. Bha mòran eile air am marbhadh.
Sgrìobh Bingham nach d’ fhuair às lem beatha ach ceud duine. Mharbh na Sasannaich boireannaich agus clann, a bharrachd air fir. Tha e doirbh a bhith cinnteach cia mheud a chaill am beatha. Tha cuid de luchd-eachdraidh ag ràdh gum b’ e àireamh nam marbh dà mhìle is trì cheud. ’S dòcha gun robh e a cheart cho fuilteach ri Blàr Chùil Lodair.A bharrachd air Sir Richard Bingham fhèin, sgrìobh fear de na h-oifigearan aige mu dheidhinn a’ bhatail. B’ esan an Caiptean Tòmas Woodhouse. Sgrìobh e gun do lorgadh poca litrichean às dèidh a’ bhatail. Bha aon litir ann a sgrìobh tè de na mnathan. Dhearbh i gun deach mìle is sia ceud Albannach air tìr ann an Loch Feabhail. ’S e glè glè bheag dhiubh a chunnaic Alba a-rithist.
The Little Letter 443
I was telling you about the Englishman, Sir Richard Bingham. He was Queen Elizabeth of England’s governor in Connaught, in the west of Ireland. He was in charge of a force in Ireland when a Scottish army was destroyed. The destruction took place in County Mayo in the year 1586.
A large host of Scots landed in the north of Ireland. They were Gaels. They were in Ireland to assist their fellow Gaels in Connaught. The Gaels there were struggling against the English. The English were wanting to take over their country.
Most of the Scots belonged to Clan Donald. Among them was Donald Gorm, the son of Seumas nan Ruaig from Islay.
The Scots moved southwards. The English heard about them. Richard Bingham sent spies out. They kept an eye on the Scots. They knew where they were.
The MacDonalds reached Ardnarea on the Moy River. They made a camp there. Next morning the English attacked them, driving them back to the river. Many of them were drowned. Many others were killed.
Bingham wrote that only a hundred people escaped with their lives. The English killed women and children, in addition to men. It’s hard to be sure how many lost their lives. Some historians say that the dead numbered 2,300. Perhaps it was just as bloody as the Battle of Culloden.In addition to Sir Richard Bingham himself, one of his officers wrote about the battle. He was Captain Thomas Woodhouse. He wrote that a bag of letters was found after the battle. There was one letter written by one of the wives. It confirmed that 1,600 Scots had landed at Lough Foyle. Very few of them ever saw Scotland again.