In the year after that (1563) Sussex began to interfere with Shane, and to make mischief between him and Elizabeth. Shane’s old enemies, the Tir-Conaill men and the Scots of Antrim, assisted Sussex, and the latter went north to Ulster in the April of 1563; but if he did go Shane made a football of himself and his army, and Sussex was very thankful that he was able to fly with his life. Elizabeth wrote to Sussex to make peace with Shane, for it was no use for him to be attacking him.
Sussex did as Elizabeth bade him, and at the same time he sent a gift of peace to Shane — a cargo of wine mixed with poison. Shane and his household drank some of the wine, and he was like to have become a corpse. He was fighting with death for two days, and when he recovered it was not surprising that he was in a red flame of rage, and that he prepared his troop for war. Elizabeth pretended that she was furious about this act of treachery, and she promised that she would give him satisfaction if he would only keep quiet. She recalled Sussex. She pretended it was to satisfy Shane, but the cause of complaint that she had against Sussex was that lie had failed. She tied the bonds of (pretended) peace and friendship with Shane again, and he was really King over Ulster now, and they let him alone. But for all that his hatred of the stranger was as keen as ever. As a sign of it he built a castle on the shore of Lough Neagh. He was a wittily-spoken man, and he thought that the English would not enjoy the sight of that castle, and he christened it “The Hate of the Strangers.” It is said that he thought at that time of taking to himself the kingdom of Ireland, and of clearing the English out of it. But the Irish did not help him. He wrote to the King of France to ask help from him.
“If you lend me six thousand men,” he said, “I will drive the English out of this country into the sea.”
He could have got ten times as many as that in Ireland itself if they had been willing to rise with him, but they did not stir a foot.