Famous Letters No. 2. Anno domini 1691 Letter from Major Charles Byrne and his brother Peter Byrne to their father, James Byrne, of Ballinakill when King William landed in England. The Irish Brigade was commanded from Dublin over to England.
Dear Father, We are surprised with a sudden news of the Dutch invading England with 30,000 men. They have taken Hull and York. Our regiment with 3 regiments more of foot are sent for with an express. Dear father we are to take shipping tomorrow by noontide so that we are forced to crave your blessing and our dear mother's at a distance. Pray rejoice and be of comfort for I protest we are as joyful to go as if we were commanded to settle you in your estate being the only thing in the world that should make us rejoice. You may hear many lies and stories of us after our departure pray give credit unto none for we go on adjust cause for our king and country and the almighty is our protector and undoubtedly will send us home again. I hope that Brother Simon and Garret will be kinder unto you than they have been formerly. Pray recommend us kindly unto our brothers and sister and all the rest of friends and relatives So once more we crave yours and our dear mother's blessing. Desiring all your daily prayers for our good success we humbly take leave and ever remain, Sir your humble and obedient sons whilst we live. Charles and Peter Byrne. Send for Michael and send along with brother James to Maurice Roach School.
From An Leabhar Branach( the original Book of the O’Byrnes ) Michael O'Byrne, scribe of the B.M.S., was a Wicklowman and belonged to the branch of the O'Byrnes located at Ballinakill. He was the natural son of Cahir 0 Broin otherwise Major Charles O'Byrne who had seen service in England and who fell on the Irish side at the Battle of Aughrim 1691 Of Michael's life and literary connections little is recorded. He was apparently of school going age in 1688 and in that year his father advised his grandfather to send him to Maurice Roachs School which was in the neighbourhood of Ballinakill. In addition to the present manuscript he transcribed Sean O'Maolchonaries book of Genealogies in 1710 as well as the pedigrees of a few Leinster families during the period 1725-9. He is also known to have been in the possession of another Leinster manuscript - Egerton – 1782, which appears to have passed into the hands of the 0 'Byrnes about the end of the 16th Century.