Soldier’s experience

Examination in Westminster from an Irish soldier, 6 November 1621 (catalogue ref: SP 14/123f. 140).

This is the declaration of an Irish soldier, given at Whitehall in Westminster. It describes his experience of leaving to go to war in France, where religious wars raged. The text suggests that he may have returned and given this declaration because he was under suspicion of Roman Catholicism.


John Keating Irishman, said and declared that hearing of some service to be done for the King of Bohemia about a year and a half since he came out into England with a purpose to serve the King of Bohemia, and to that end, other petitions were delivered to his Majesty on his behalf, 2 by Mr George Digby and one by himself, and offered himself besides to Sir Horace Vane and to my Lord of Essex from whom he could get no employment but as a simple soldier. And thereupon he went into France and being thence he heard by two scholars, which were priests, that his goods were seized in Ireland for refusing to go into Bohemia as a common soldier, and that he could not go back again neither into Ireland nor England which information he now finds since he came into England to be false and untrue. And doth with all acknowledge that he was never in question for either in England or Ireland for his religion, nor hath at any time received any loss or prejudice either in his person or goods for that cause, John Kettinge [Keating]

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