By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: A Popular History of Ireland : from the Earliest Period to the Emancipation of the Catholics - Volume 2
Author: McGee, Thomas D'Arcy
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Popular History of Ireland : from the Earliest Period to the Emancipation of the Catholics - Volume 2" ***

A Popular History of Ireland: from the Earliest
Period to the Emancipation of the Catholics

by Thomas D'Arcy McGee

In Two Volumes

Volume II


(Continued from Volume I)

CHAPTER   IV.--Sir Henry Sidney's Deputyship--Parliament
               of 1569--The Second "Geraldine League"--
               Sir James Fitzmaurice

CHAPTER    V.--The "Undertakers" in Ulster and Leinster--
               Defeat and Death of Sir James Fitzmaurice

CHAPTER   VI.--Sequel of the Second Geraldine League--
               Plantation of Munster--Early Career of
               Hugh O'Neil, Earl of Tyrone--Parliament
               of 1585

CHAPTER  VII.--Battle of Glenmalure--Sir John Perrott's
               Administration--The Spanish Armada--
               Lord Deputy Fitzwilliam--Escape of Hugh
               Roe O'Donnell from Dublin Castle--
               The Ulster Confederacy formed

CHAPTER VIII.--The Ulster Confederacy--Feagh Mac Hugh
               O'Byrne--Campaign of 1595--Negotiations,
               English and Spanish--Battle of the Yellow
               Ford--Its Consequences

CHAPTER   IX.--Essex's Campaign of 1599--Battle of the
               Curlieu Mountains--O'Neil's Negotiations
               with Spain--Mountjoy Lord Deputy

CHAPTER    X.--Mountjoy's Administration--Operations in
               Ulster and Munster--Carew's "Wit and
               Cunning"--Landing of Spaniards in the
               South--Battle of Kinsale--Death of O'Donnell
               in Spain

CHAPTER   XI.--The Conquest of Munster--Death of Elizabeth,
               and Submission of O'Neil--"The Articles
               of Mellifont"

CHAPTER  XII.--State of Religion and Learning during the
               Reign of Elizabeth


CHAPTER    I.--James I.--Flight of the Earls--Confiscation
               of Ulster--Penal Laws--Parliamentary Opposition

CHAPTER   II.--Last years of James--Confiscation of the
               Midland Counties--Accession of Charles I.--
               Grievances and "Graces"--Administration of
               Lord Strafford

CHAPTER  III.--Lord Stafford's Impeachment and Execution--
               Parliament of 1639-'41--The Insurrection of
               1641--The Irish Abroad

CHAPTER   IV.--The Insurrection of 1641

CHAPTER    V.--The Catholic Confederation--Its Civil
               Government and Military Establishment

CHAPTER   VI.--The Confederate War--Campaign of 1643--
               The Cessation

CHAPTER  VII.--The Cessation and its Consequences

CHAPTER VIII.--Glamorgan's Treaty--The New Nuncio Rinuccini--
               O'Neil's Position--The Battle of Benburb

CHAPTER   IX.--From the Battle of Benburb till the Landing
               of Cromwell at Dublin

CHAPTER    X.--Cromwell's Campaign--1649-1650

CHAPTER   XI.--Close of the Confederate War

CHAPTER  XII.--Ireland under the Protectorate--
               Administration of Henry Cromwell--
               Death of Oliver


CHAPTER    I.--Reign of Charles II.

CHAPTER   II.--Reign of Charles II. (Concluded)

CHAPTER  III.--The State of Religion and Learning in
               Ireland during the Seventeenth Century

CHAPTER   IV.--Accession of James II.--Tyrconnell's

CHAPTER    V.--King James to Ireland--Irish Parliament
               of 1689

CHAPTER   VI.--The Revolutionary War--Campaign of 1639--
               Sieges of Derry and Enniskillen

CHAPTER  VII.--The Revolutionary War--Campaign of 1690--
               Battle of the Boyne--Its Consequences--
               the Sieges of Athlone and Limerick

CHAPTER VIII.--The Winter of 1690-91

CHAPTER   IX.--The Revolutionary War--Campaign of 1691--
               Battle of Aughrim--Capitulation of Limerick

CHAPTER    X.--Reign of King William

CHAPTER   XI.--Reign of Queen Anne

CHAPTER  XII.--The Irish Soldiers Abroad, during the Reigns
               of William and Anne


CHAPTER    I.--Accession of George I.--Swift's Leadership

CHAPTER   II.--Reign of George II.--Growth of Public
               Spirit--The "Patriot" Party--Lord
               Chesterfield's Administration

CHAPTER  III.--The Last Jacobite Movement--The Irish
               Soldiers Abroad--French Expedition under
               Thurot, or O'Farrell

CHAPTER   IV.--Reign of George II. (Concluded)--
               Malone's Leadership

CHAPTER    V.--Accession of George III.--Flood's
               Leadership--Octennial Parliaments

CHAPTER   VI.--Flood's Leadership--State of the Country
               between 1760 and 1776

CHAPTER  VII.--Grattan's Leadership--"Free Trade" and
               the Volunteers

CHAPTER VIII.--Grattan's Leadership--Legislative and
               Judicial Independence Established

CHAPTER   IX.--The Era of Independence--First Period

CHAPTER    X.--The Era of Independence--Second Period

CHAPTER   XI.--The Era of Independence--Third Period--
               Catholic Relief Bill of 1793

CHAPTER  XII.--The Era of Independence--Effects of the
               French Revolution in Ireland--Secession of
               Grattan, Curran, and their Friends, from
               Parliament, in 1797

CHAPTER XIII.--The United Irishmen

CHAPTER  XIV.--Negotiations with France and Holland--
               The Three Expeditions Negotiated by Tone
               and Lewines

CHAPTER   XV.--The Insurrection of 1798

CHAPTER  XVI.--The Insurrection of 1798--The Wexford

CHAPTER XVII.--The Insurrection elsewhere--Fate of the
               Leading United Irishmen

CHAPTER XVIII.--Administration of Lord Cornwallis--
               Before the Union

CHAPTER  XIX.--Last Session of the Irish Parliament--
               The Legislative Union of Great Britain
               and Ireland


CHAPTER    I.--After the Union--Death of Lord Clare--
               Robert Emmet's Emeute

CHAPTER   II.--Administration of Lord Hardwick (1801 to
               1806), and of the Duke of Bedford (1806
               to 1808)

CHAPTER  III.--Administration of the Duke of Richmond
               (1807 to 1813)

CHAPTER   IV.--O'Connell's Leadership--1813 to 1821

CHAPTER    V.--Retrospect of the State of Religion and
               Learning during the Reign of George III

CHAPTER   VI.--The Irish Abroad, during the Reign of
               George III

CHAPTER  VII.--O'Connell's Leadership--The Catholic
               Association--1821 to 1825

CHAPTER VIII.--O'Connell's Leadership--The Clare Election--
               Emancipation of the Catholics



(Continued from Volume I)



Sir Henry Sidney, in writing to his court, had always
reported John O'Neil as "the only strong man in Ireland."
Before his rout at Lough Swilly, he could commonly call
into the field 4,000 foot and 1,000 horse; and his two
years' revolt cost Elizabeth, in money, about 150,000
pounds sterling "over and above the cess laid on the
country"--besides "3,500 of her Majesty's soldiers" slain
in battle. The removal of such a leader in the very prime
of life was therefore a cause of much congratulation to
Sidney and his royal mistress, and as no other "strong
man" was likely soon to arise, the Deputy now turned with
renewed ardour to the task of establishing the Queen's
supremacy, in things spiritual as well as temporal. With
this view he urged that separate governments, with large
though subordinate military as well as civil powers,
should be created for Munster and Connaught--with competent
Presidents, who should reside in the former Province at
Limerick, and in the latter, at Athlone. In accordance
with this scheme--which continued to be acted upon for
nearly a century--Sir Edward Fitton was appointed first
President of Connaught, and Sir John Perrott, the Queen's
illegitimate brother, President of Munster. Leinster and
Ulster were reserved as the special charge of the Lord

About the time of O'Neil's death Sidney made an official
progress through the South and West, which he describes
as wofully wasted by war, both town and country. The
earldom of the loyal Ormond was far from being well
ordered; and the other great nobles were even less
favourably reported; the Earl of Desmond could neither
rule nor be ruled; the Earl of Clancarty "wanted force
and credit;" the Earl of Thomond had neither wit to govern
"nor grace to learn of others;" the Earl of Clanrickarde
was well intentioned, but controlled wholly by his wife.
Many districts had but "one-twentieth" of their ancient
population; Galway was in a state of perpetual defence.
Athenry had but four respectable householders left, and
these presented him with the rusty keys of their once
famous town, which they confessed themselves unable to
defend, impoverished as they were by the extortions of
their lords. All this to the eye of the able Englishman
had been the result of that "cowardly policy, or lack of
policy," whose sole maxims had been to play off the great
lords against each other and to retard the growth of
population, least "through their quiet might follow"
future dangers to the English interest. His own policy
was based on very different principles. He proposed to
make the highest heads bow to the supremacy of the royal
sword--to punish with exemplary rigour every sign of
insubordination, especially in the great--and, at the
same time, to encourage with ample rewards, adventurers,
and enterprises of all kinds. He proposed to himself
precisely the part Lord Stafford acted sixty years later,
and he entered on it with a will which would have won
the admiration of that unbending despot. He prided himself
on the number of military executions which marked his
progress. "Down they go in every corner," he writes, "and
down they shall go, God willing!" He seized the Earl of
Desmond in his own town of Kilmallock; he took the sons
of Clanrickarde, in Connaught, and carried them prisoners
to Dublin. Elizabeth became alarmed at these extreme
measures, and Sidney obtained leave to explain his new
policy in person to her Majesty. Accordingly in October
he sailed for England, taking with him the Earl and his
brother John of Desmond, who had been invited to Dublin,
and were detained as prisoners of State; Hugh O'Neil, as
yet known by no other title than Baron of Dungannon; the
O'Conor Sligo, and other chiefs and noblemen. He seems
to have carried his policy triumphantly with the Queen,
and from henceforth for many a long year "the dulce ways"
and "politic drifts" recommended by the great Cardinal
Statesman of Henry VIII. were to give way to that
remorseless struggle in which the only alternative offered
to the Irish was--uniformity or extermination. Of this
policy, Sir Henry Sidney may, it seems to me, be fairly
considered the author; Stafford, and even Cromwell were
but finishers of his work. One cannot repress a sigh that
so ferocious a design as the extermination of a whole
people should be associated in any degree with the
illustrious name of Sidney.

The triumphant Deputy arrived at Carrickfergus in September,
1568, from England. Here he received the "submission,"
as it is called, of Tirlogh, the new O'Neil, and turned
his steps southwards in full assurance that this chief
of Tyrone was not another "strong man" like the last. A
new Privy Council was sworn in on his arrival at Dublin,
with royal instructions "to concur with" the Deputy, and
20,000 pounds a year in addition to the whole of the cess
levied in the country were guaranteed to enable him to
carry out his great scheme of the "reduction." A Parliament
was next summoned for the 17th of January, 1569, the
first assembly of that nature which had been convened
since Lord Sussex's rupture with _his_ Parliament nine
years before.

The acts of this Parliament, of the 11th of Elizabeth,
are much more voluminous than those of the 2nd of the
same reign. The constitution of the houses is also of
interest, as the earlier records of every form of government
must always be. Three sessions were held in the first
year, one in 1570, and one in 1571. After its dissolution,
no Parliament sat in Ireland for fourteen years--so
unstable was the system at that time, and so dependent
upon accidental causes for its exercise. The first
sittings of Sidney's Parliament were as stormy as those
of Sussex. It was found that many members presented
themselves pretending to represent towns not incorporated,
and others, officers of election, had returned themselves.
Others, again, were non-resident Englishmen, dependent
on the Deputy who had never seen the places for which
they claimed to sit. The disputed elections of all
classes being referred to the judges, they decided that
non-residence did not disqualify the latter class; but
that those who had returned themselves, and those chosen
for non-corporate towns, were inadmissible. This double
decision did not give the new House of Commons quite the
desired complexion, though Stanihurst, Recorder of Dublin,
the Court candidate, was chosen Speaker. The opposition
was led by Sir Christopher Barnewall, an able and intrepid
man, to whose firmness it was mainly due that a more
sweeping proscription was not enacted, under form of law,
at this period. The native Englishmen in the House were
extremely unpopular out of doors, and Hooker, one of
their number, who sat for the deserted borough of Athenry,
had to be escorted to his lodgings by a strong guard,
for fear of the Dublin mob. The chief acts of the first
session were a subsidy, for ten years, of 13 shillings
4 pence for every ploughland granted to the Queen; an
act suspending Poyning's act for the continuance of
_that_ Parliament; an act for the attainder of John
O'Neil; an act appropriating to her Majesty the lands of
the Knight of the Valley; an act authorizing the Lord
Deputy to present to vacant benefices in Munster and
Connaught for ten years; an act abolishing the title of
"Captain," or _ruler_ of counties or districts, unless
by special warrant under the great seal; an act for
reversing the attainder of the Earl of Kildare. In the
sittings of 1570 and '71, the chief acts were for the
erection of free schools, for the preservation of the
public records, for establishing an uniform measure in
the sale of corn, and for the attainder of the White
Knight, deceased. Though undoubtedly most of these statutes
strengthened Sidney's hands and favoured his policy, they
did not go the lengths which in his official correspondence
he advocated. For the last seven years of his connection
with Irish affairs, he was accordingly disposed to dispense
with the unmanageable machinery of a Parliament. Orders
in council were much more easily procured than acts of
legislation, even when every care had been taken to pack
the House of Commons with the dependents of the executive.

The meeting of Parliament in 1569 was nearly coincident
with the formal excommunication of Elizabeth by Pope
Pius V. Though pretending to despise the bull, the Queen
was weak enough to seek its revocation, through the
interposition of the Emperor Maximilian. The high tone
of the enthusiastic Pontiff irritated her deeply, and
perhaps the additional severities which she now directed
against her Catholic subjects, may be, in part, traced
to the effects of the excommunication. In Ireland, the
work of reformation, by means of civil disabilities and
executive patronage, was continued with earnestness. In
1564, all Popish priests and friars were prohibited from
meeting in Dublin, or even coming within the city gates.
Two years later, _The Book of Articles_, copied from the
English Articles, was published, by order of "the
Commissioners for Causes Ecclesiastical." The articles
are twelve in number:--1. The Trinity in Unity; 2. The
Sufficiency of the Scriptures to Salvation; 3. The
Orthodoxy of Particular Churches; 4. The Necessity of
Holy Orders; 5. The Queen's Supremacy; 6. Denial of the
Pope's authority "to be more than other Bishops have;"
7. The Conformity of the Book of Common Prayer to the
Scriptures; 8. The Ministration of Baptism does not depend
on the Ceremonial; 9. Condemns "Private Masses," and
denies that the Mass can be a propitiatory Sacrifice for
the Dead; 10. Asserts the Propriety of Communion in Both
Kinds; 11. Utterly disallows Images, Relics and Pilgrimages;
12. Requires a General Subscription to the foregoing
Articles. With this creed, the Irish Establishment started
into existence, at the command and, of course, with all
the aid of the civil power. The Bishops of Meath and
Kildare, the nearest to Dublin, for resisting it were
banished their sees; the former to die an exile in Spain,
the latter to find refuge and protection with the Earl
of Desmond. Several Prelates were tolerated in their
sees, on condition of observing a species of neutrality;
but all vacancies, if within the reach of the English
power, were filled as they occurred by nominees of the
crown. Those who actively and energetically resisted the
new doctrines were marked out for vengeance, and we shall
see in the next decade how Ireland's martyr age began.

The honour and danger of organizing resistance to the
progress of the new religion now devolved upon the noble
family of the Geraldines of Munster, of whose principal
members we must, therefore, give some account. The
fifteenth Earl, who had concurred in the act of Henry's
election, died in the year of Elizabeth's accession
(1558), leaving three sons, Gerald the sixteenth Earl,
John, and James. He had also an elder son by a first
wife, from whom he had been divorced on the ground of
consanguinity. This son disputed the succession
unsuccessfully, retired to Spain, and there died. Earl
Gerald, though one of the Peers who sat in the Parliament
of the second year of Elizabeth, was one of those who
strenuously opposed the policy of Sussex, and still more
strenuously, as may be supposed, the more extreme policy
of Sidney. His reputation, however, as a leader, suffered
severely by the combat of Affane, in which he was taken
prisoner by Thomas, the tenth Earl of Ormond, with whom
he was at feud on a question of boundaries. By order of
the Queen, the Lord Deputy was appointed arbitrator in
this case, and though the decision was in favour of
Ormond, Desmond submitted, came to Dublin, and was
reconciled with his enemy in the chapter house of St.
Patrick's. A year or two later, Gerald turned his arms
against the ancient rivals of his house--the McCarthys
of Muskerry and Duhallow--but was again taken prisoner,
and after six months' detention, held to ransom by the
Lord of Muskerry. After his release, the old feud with
Ormond broke out anew--a most impolitic quarrel, as that
Earl was not only personally a favourite with the Queen,
but was also nearly connected with her in blood through
the Boleyns. In 1567, as before related, Desmond was
seized by surprise in his town of Kilmallock by Sidney's
order, and the following autumn conveyed to London on a
charge of treason and lodged in the Tower. This was the
third prison he had lodged in within three years, and by
far the most hopeless of the three. His brother, Sir John
of Desmond, through the representations of Ormond, was
the same year arrested and consigned to the same ominous
dungeon, from which suspected noblemen seldom emerged,
except when the hurdle waited for them at the gate.

This double capture aroused the indignation of all the
tribes of Desmond, and led to the formidable combination
which, in reference to the previous confederacy in the
reign of Henry, may be called "the second Geraldine
League." The Earl of Clancarty, and such of the O'Briens,
McCarthys, and Butlers, as had resolved to resist the
complete revolution in property, religion, and law, which
Sidney meditated, united together to avenge the wrongs
of those noblemen, their neighbours, so treacherously
arrested and so cruelly confined. Sir James, son of Sir
Maurice Fitzgerald of Kerry, commonly called James
Fitz-Maurice, cousin-germain to the imprisoned noblemen,
was chosen leader of the insurrection. He was, according
to the testimony of an enemy, Hooker, member for Athenry,
"a deep dissembler, passing subtile, and able to compass
any matter he took in hand; courteous, valiant, expert
in martial affairs." To this we may add that he had
already reached a mature age; was deeply and sincerely
devoted to his religion; and, according to the eulogist
of the rival house of Ormond, one whom nothing could
deject or bow down, a scorner of luxury and ease, insensible
to danger, impervious to the elements, preferring, after
a hard day's fighting, the bare earth to a luxurious

One of the first steps of the League was to despatch an
embassy for assistance to the King of Spain and the Pope.
The Archbishop of Cashel, the Bishop of Emly, and James,
the youngest brother of Desmond, were appointed on this
mission, of which Sidney was no sooner apprised than he
proclaimed the confederates traitors, and at once prepared
for A campaign in Munster. The first blow was struck by
the taking of Clogrennan Castle, which belonged to Sir
Edmond Butler, one of the adherents of the League. The
attack was led by Sir Peter Carew, an English adventurer,
who had lately appeared at Dublin to claim the original
grant made to Robert Fitzstephen of the moiety of the
kingdom of Cork, and who at present commanded the garrison
of Kilkenny. The accomplished soldier of fortune anticipated
the Deputy's movements by this blow at the confederated
Butlers, who retaliated by an abortive attack on Kilkenny,
and a successful foray into Wexford, in which they took
the Castle of Enniscorthy. Sidney, taking the field in
person, marched through Waterford and Dungarvan against
Desmond's strongholds in the vicinity of Youghal. After
a week's siege he took Castlemartyr, and continued his
route through Barrymore to Cork, where he established
his head-quarters. From Cork, upon receiving the submission
of some timid members of the League, he continued his
route to Limerick, where Sir Edmond Butler and his brothers
were induced to come in by their chief the Earl of Ormond.
From Limerick he penetrated Clare, took the Castles of
Clonoon and Ballyvaughan; he next halted some time at
Galway, and returned to Dublin by Athlone. Overawed by
the activity of the Deputy, many others of the confederates
followed the example of the Butlers. The Earl of Clancarty
sued for pardon and delivered up his eldest son as a
hostage for his good faith; the Earl of Thomond--more
suspected than compromised--yielded all his castles,
with the sole exception of Ibrackan. But the next year,
mortified at the insignificance to which he had reduced
himself, he sought refuge in France, from which he only
returned when the intercession of the English ambassador,
Norris, had obtained him full indemnity for the past.
Sir James Fitzmaurice, thus deserted by his confederates,
had need of all that unyielding firmness of character
for which he had obtained credit. Castle after castle
belonging to his cousins and himself was taken by the
powerful siege trains of President Perrott; Castlemaine,
the last stronghold which commanded an outlet by sea,
surrendered after a three months' siege, gallantly
maintained. The unyielding leader had now, therefore, no
alternative but to retire into the impregnable passes of
the Galtees, where he established his head-quarters. This
mountain range, towering from two to three thousand feet
over the plain of Ormond, stretches from north-west to
south-east, some twenty miles, descending with many a
gentle undulation towards the Funcheon and the Blackwater
in the earldom of Desmond. Of all its valleys Aharlow
was the fairest and most secluded. Well wooded, and well
watered, with outlets and intricacies known only to the
native population, it seemed as if designed for a nursery
of insurrection. It now became to the patriots of the
South what the valley of Glenmalure had long been for
those of Leinster--a fortress dedicated by Nature to the
defence of freedom. In this fastness Fitzmaurice continued
to maintain himself, until a prospect of new combinations
opened to him in the West.

The sons of the Earl of Clanrickarde, though released
from the custody of Sidney, receiving intimation that
they were to be arrested at a court which Fitton, President
of Connaught, had summoned at Galway, flew to arms and
opened negotiations with Fitzmaurice. The latter,
withdrawing from Aharlow, promptly joined them in Galway,
and during the campaign which followed, aided them with
his iron energy and sagacious counsel. They took and
demolished the works of Athenry, and, in part, those of
the Court of Athlone. Their successes induced the Deputy
to liberate Clanrickarde himself, who had been detained
a prisoner in Dublin, from the outbreak of his sons. On
his return--their main object being attained--they
submitted as promptly as they had revolted, and this hope
also being quenched, Fitzmaurice found his way back again,
with a handful of Scottish retainers, to the shelter of
Aharlow. Sir John Perrott, having by this time no further
sieges to prosecute, drew his toils closer and closer
round the Geraldine's retreat. For a whole year, the
fidelity of his adherents and the natural strength of
the place enabled him to baffle all the President's
efforts. But his faithful Scottish guards being at length
surprised and cut off almost to a man, Fitzmaurice, with
his son, his kinsman, the Seneschal of Imokilly, and the
son of Richard Burke, surrendered to the President at
Kilmallock, suing on his knees for the Queen's pardon,
which was, from motives of policy, granted.

On this conclusion of the contest in Munster, the Earl
of Desmond and his brother, Sir John, were released from
the Tower, and transferred to Dublin, where they were
treated as prisoners on parole. The Mayor of the city,
who was answerable for their custody, having taken them
upon a hunting party in the open country, the brothers
put spurs to their horses and escaped into Munster (1574).
They were stigmatized as having broken their parole, but
they asserted that it was intended on that party to waylay
and murder them, and that their only safety was in flight.
Large rewards were offered for their capture, alive or
dead, but the necessities of both parties compelled a
truce during the remainder of Sidney's official career--
which terminated in his resignation--about four years
after the escape of the Desmonds from Dublin. Thus were
new elements of combination, at the moment least expected,
thrown, into the hands of the Munster Catholics.



Queen Elizabeth, when writing to Lord Sussex of a rumoured
rising by O'Neil, desired him to assure her lieges at
Dublin, that if O'Neil did rise, "it would be for their
advantage; for there will be estates for them who want."
The Sidney policy of treating Ireland as a discovered
country, whose inhabitants had no right to the soil,
except such as the discoverers graciously conceded to
them--begat a new order of men, unknown to the history
of other civilized states, which order we must now be at
some pains to introduce to the reader.

These "Undertakers," as they were called, differed widely
from the Norman invaders of a former age. The Norman
generally espoused the cause of some native chief, and
took his pay in land; what he got by the sword he held
by the sword. But the Undertaker was usually a man of
peace--a courtier like Sir Christopher Hatton--a politician
like Sir Walter Raleigh--a poet like Edmund Spencer, or
a spy and forger like Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork.
He came, in the wake of war, with his elastic "letters
patent," or, if he served in the field, it was mainly
with a view to the subsequent confiscations. He was adroit
at finding flaws in ancient titles, skilled in all the
feudal quibbles of fine and recovery, and ready to employ
the secret dagger where hard swearing and fabricated
documents might fail to make good his title. Sometimes
men of higher mark and more generous dispositions, allured
by the temptations of the social revolution, would enter
on the same pursuits, but they generally miscarried from
want of what was then cleverly called "subtlety," but
which plain people could not easily distinguish from
lying and perjury. What greatly assisted them in then:
designs was the fact that feudal tenures had never been
general in Ireland, so that by an easy process of reasoning
they could prove nineteen-twentieths of all existing
titles "defective," according to their notions of the
laws of property.

Sir Peter Carew, already mentioned, was one of the earliest
of the Undertakers. He had been bred up as page to the
Prince of Orange, and had visited the Courts of France,
Germany, and Constantinople. He claimed, by virtue of
his descent from Robert Fitzstephen, the barony of Idrone,
in Carlow, and one half the kingdom of Desmond. Sir Henry
Sidney had admitted these pretensions, partly as a menace
against the Kavanaghs and Geraldines, and Sir Peter
established himself at Leighlin, where he kept great
house, with one hundred servants, over one hundred kerne,
forty horse, a stall in his stable, a seat at his board
for all comers. He took an active part in all military
operations, and fell fighting gallantly on a memorable
day to be hereafter mentioned.

After the attainder of John the Proud in 1569, Sir Thomas
Smith, Secretary to the Queen, obtained a grant of the
district of the Ards of Down, for his illegitimate son,
who accordingly entered on the task of its plantation.
But the O'Neils of Clandeboy, the owners of the soil,
attacked the young Undertaker, who met a grave where he
had come to found a lordship. A higher name was equally
unfortunate in the same field of adventure. Walter
Devereux, Earl of Essex (father of the Essex still more
unfortunate), obtained in 1573 a grant of one moiety of
Farney and Clandeboy, and having mortgaged his English
estates to the Queen for 10,000 pounds, associated with
himself many other adventurers. On the 16th of August,
he set sail from Liverpool, accompanied by the Lords
Dacre and Rich, Sir Henry Knollys, the three sons of Lord
Norris, and a multitude of the common people. But as he
had left one powerful enemy at court in Leicester--so he
found a second at Dublin, in the acting deputy, Fitzwilliam.
Though gratified with the title of President of Ulster
and afterwards that of Marshal of Ireland, he found his
schemes constantly counteracted by orders from Dublin or
from England. He was frequently ordered off from his
head-quarters at Newry, on expeditions into Munster,
until those who had followed his banner became disheartened
and mutinous. The O'Neils and the Antrim Scots harassed
his colony and increased his troubles. He attempted by
treachery to retrieve his fortunes. Having invited the
alliance of Con O'Donnell, he seized that chief and sent
him prisoner to Dublin. Subsequently his chief opponent,
Brian, lord of Clandeboy, paid him an amicable visit,
accompanied by his wife, brother, and household. As they
were seated at table on the fourth day of then--stay,
the soldiers of Essex burst into the banquet hall, put
them all, "women, youths and maidens," to the sword.
Brian and his wife were saved from the slaughter only to
undergo at Dublin the death and mutilation inflicted upon
traitors. Yet the ambitious schemes of Walter of Essex
did not prosper the more of all these crimes. He died at
Dublin, two years afterwards (1576), in the 36th year of
his age, as was generally believed from poison administered
by the orders of the arch-poisoner, Leicester, who
immediately upon his death married his widow.

It is apparent that the interest of the Undertakers could
not be to establish peace in Ireland so long as war might
be profitably waged. The new "English interest" thus
created was often hostile to the soundest rules of policy
and always opposed to the dictates of right and justice;
but the double desire to conquer and to convert--to
anglicize and Protestantize--blinded many to the lawless
means by which they were worked out. The massacre of 400
persons of the chief families of Leix and Offally, which
took place at Mullaghmast in 1577, is an evidence of how
the royal troops were used to promote the ends of the
Undertakers. To Mullaghmast, one of the ancient raths of
Leinster, situated about five miles from Athy in Kildare,
the O'Moores, O'Kellys, Lalors, and other Irish tribes
were invited by the local commander of the Queen's troops,
Francis Cosby. The Bowens, Hartpoles, Pigotts, Hovendons,
and other adventurers who had grants or designs upon the
neighbouring territory were invited to meet them. One
of the Lalors, perceiving that none of those who entered
the rath before him emerged again, caused his friends to
fall back while he himself advanced alone. At the very
entrance he beheld the dead bodies of some of his
slaughtered kinsmen; drawing his sword, he fought his
way back to his friends, who barely escaped with their
lives to Dysart. Four hundred victims, including 180 of
the name of O'Moore, are said to have fallen in this
deliberate butchery. Rory O'Moore, the chief of his name,
avenged this massacre by many a daring deed. In rapid
succession he surprised Naas, Athy, and Leighlin. From
the rapidity with which his blows were struck in Kildare,
Carlow, and Kilkenny, he appeared to be ubiquitous. He
was the true type of a guerilla leader, yet merciful as
brave. While Naas was burning, he sat coolly at the
market cross enjoying the spectacle, but he suffered no
lives to be taken. Having captured Cosby, he did not,
as might be expected, put him to death. His confidence
in his own prowess and resources amounted to rashness,
and finally caused his death. Coming forth from a wood
to parley with a party of the Queen's troops led by his
neighbour, the Lord of Ossory, a common soldier ran him
through the body with a sword. This was on the last day
of June, 1578--a day mournful through all the midland
districts for the loss of their best and bravest captain.

While these events occupied the minds and tongues of men
in the North and East, a brief respite from the horrors
of war was permitted to the province of Munster. The Earl
of Desmond, only too happy to be tolerated in the possession
of his 570,000 acres, was eager enough to testify his
allegiance by any sort of service. His brothers, though
less compliant, followed his example for the moment, and
no danger was to be apprehended in that quarter, except
from the indomitable James Fitzmaurice, self-exiled on
the continent. No higher tribute could be paid to the
character of that heroic man than the closeness with
which all his movements were watched by English spies,
specially set upon his track. They followed him to the
French court, to St. Malo's (where he resided for some
time with his family), to Madrid, whence he sent his two
sons to the famous University of Alcala, and from Madrid
to Rome. The honourable reception he received at the
hands of the French and Spanish Sovereigns was duly
reported; yet both being at peace with England, his plans
elicited no open encouragement from either. At Rome,
however, he obtained some material and much moral support.
Here he found many zealous advocates among the English
and Irish refugees--among them the celebrated Saunders,
Alien, sometimes called Cardinal Alien, and O'Mulrian,
Bishop of Killaloe. A force of about 1,000 men was enlisted
at the expense of Pope Gregory XIII., in the Papal States,
and placed under an experienced captain, Hercules Pisano.
They were shipped at Civita Vecchia by a squadron under
the command of Thomas Stukely, an English adventurer,
who had served both for and against the Irish Catholics,
but had joined Fitzmaurice in Spain and accompanied him
to Rome. On the strength of some remote or pretended
relationship to the McMurroghs, Stukely obtained from
the Pope the titles of Marquis of Leinster and Baron of
Idrone and Ross; at Fitzmaurice's urgent request--so it
is stated--he was named Vice-Admiral of the fleet. The
whole expedition was fitted out at the expense of the
Pope, but it was secretly agreed that it should be
supported, after landing in Ireland, at the charge of
Philip II. Fitzmaurice, travelling overland to Spain,
was to unite there with another party of adventurers,
and to form a junction with Stukely and Pisano on the
coast of Kerry. So with the Papal benediction gladdening
his heart, and a most earnest exhortation from the Holy
Father to the Catholics of Ireland to follow his banner,
this noblest of all the Catholic Geraldines departed from
Rome, to try again the hazard of war in his own country.

This was in the spring of the year 1579. Sir Henry Sidney,
after many years' direction of the government, had been
recalled at his own request; Sir William Drury was acting
as Lord Justice; and Sir Nicholas Malby as President of
Munster. Expectation of the return of Fitzmaurice, at
the head of a liberating expedition, began to be rife
throughout the south and west, and the coasts were watched
with the utmost vigilance. In the month of June, three
persons having landed in disguise from a Spanish ship,
at Dingle, were seized by government spies, and carried
before the Earl of Desmond. On examination, one of them
proved to be O'Haly, Bishop of Mayo, and another a friar
named O'Rourke; the third is not named. By the timid,
temporizing Desmond, they were forwarded to Kilmallock
to Drury, who put them to every conceivable torture, in
order to extract intelligence of Fitzmaurice's movements.
After their thighs had been broken with hammers, they
were hanged on a tree, and their bodies used as targets
by the brutal soldiery. Fitzmaurice, with his friends,
having survived shipwreck on the coast of Galicia, entered
the same harbour (Dingle) on the 17th of July. But no
tidings had yet reached Munster of Stukely and Pisano;
and his cousin, the Earl, sent him neither sign of
friendship nor promise of co-operation. He therefore
brought his vessels round to the small harbour of Smerwick,
and commenced fortifying the almost isolated rock of
_Oilen-an-oir_--or golden island, so called from the
shipwreck at that point of one of Martin Forbisher's
vessels, laden with golden quartz, some years before.
Here he was joined by John and James of Desmond, and by
a band of 200 of the O'Flaherties of Galway, the only
allies who presented themselves. These latter, on finding
the expected Munster rising already dead, and the
much-talked-of Spanish auxiliary force so mere a handful,
soon withdrew in their own galleys, upon which an English
ship and pinnace, sweeping round from Kinsale, carried
off the Spanish vessels in sight of the powerless little
fort. These desperate circumstances inspired desperate
councils, and it was decided by the cousins to endeavour
to gain the great wood of Kilmore, near Charleville--in
the neighbourhood of Sir James' old retreat among the
Galtee Mountains. In this march they were closely pursued
by the Earl of Desmond, either in earnest or in sham,
and were obliged to separate into three small bands, the
brothers of the Earl retiring respectively to the fastnesses
of Lymnamore and Glenfesk, while Fitzmaurice, with "a
dozen horsemen and a few kerne," made a desperate push
to reach the western side of the Shannon, where he hoped,
perhaps, for better opportunity and a warmer reception.
This proved for him a fatal adventure. Jaded after a long
day's ride he was compelled to seize some horses from
the plough, in the barony of Clanwilliam, in order to
remount his men. These horses were the property of his
relative, Sir William Burke, who, with his neighbour,
Mac-I-Brien of Ara, pursued the fugitives to within six
miles of Limerick, where Fitzmaurice, having turned to
remonstrate with his pursuers, was fired at and mortally
wounded. He did not instantly fall. Dashing into the
midst of his assailants he cleft down the two sons of
Burke, whose followers immediately turned and fled. Then
alighting from his saddle, the wounded chief received
the last solemn rites of religion from the hands of Dr.
Allen. His body was decapitated by one of his followers,
that the noble head might not be subjected to indignity;
but the trunk being but hastily buried was soon afterwards
discovered, carried to Kilmallock, and there hung up for
a target and a show. This tragical occurrence took place
near the present site of "Barrington's bridge," on the
little river Mulkern, county of Limerick, on the 18th
day of August, 1579. In honour of his part in the
transaction William Burke was created Baron of
Castleconnell, awarded a pension of 100 marks per annum,
and received from Elizabeth an autograph letter of
condolence on the loss of his sons: it is added by some
writers that he died of joy on the receipt of so many
favours. Such was the fate of the glorious hopes of Sir
James Fitzmaurice. So ended in a squabble with churls
about cattle, on the banks of an insignificant stream,
a career which had drawn the attention of Europe, and
had inspired with apprehension the lion-hearted Queen.

As to the expedition under Stukely, its end was even more
romantic. His squadron having put into the Tagus, he
found the King of Portugal, Don Sebastian, on the eve of
sailing against the Moors, and from some promise of after
aid was induced to accompany that chivalrous Prince. On
the fatal field of Alcacar, Stukely, Pisano, and the
Italians under their command shared the fate of the
Portuguese monarch and army. Neither Italy nor Ireland
heard of them more.

Gregory XIII. did not abandon the cause. On the receipt
of all these ill-tidings he issued another Bull, highly
laudatory of the virtues of James Fitzmaurice "of happy
memory," and granting the same indulgence to those who
would fight under John or James of Desmond, "as that
which was imparted to those who fought against the Turks
for the recovery of the Holy Land." This remarkable
document is dated from Rome, the 13th of May, 1580.



We must continue to read the history of Ireland by the
light of foreign affairs, and our chief light at this
period is derived from Spain. The death of Don Sebastian
concentrated the thoughts of Philip II. on Portugal,
which he forcibly annexed to the Spanish crown. The
progress of the insurrection in the Netherlands also
occupied so large a place in his attention, that his
projects against Elizabeth were postponed, year after
year, to the bitter disappointment of the Irish leaders.
It may seem far-fetched to assert, but it is not the less
certainly true, that the fate of Catholic Munster was
intimately involved in the change of masters in Portugal,
and the fluctuations of war in the Netherlands,

The "Undertakers," who had set their hearts on having
the Desmond estates, determined that the Earl and his
brothers should not live long in peace, however peaceably
they might be disposed. The old trick of forging letters,
already alluded to, grew into a common and familiar
practice during this and the following reign. Such a
letter, purporting to be written by the Earl of Desmond
--at that period only too anxious to be allowed to live
in peace--was made public at Dublin and London. It was
addressed to Sir William Pelham, the temporary Lord
Justice, and among other passages contained this patent
invention--that he (the Earl and his brethren) "had taken
this matter in hand with great authority, both from the
Pope's holiness and King Philip, who do undertake to
further us in our affairs, as we shall need." It is
utterly incredible that any man in Desmond's position
could have written such a letter--could have placed in
the hands of his enemies a document which must for ever
debar him from entering into terms with Elizabeth or her
representatives in Ireland. We have no hesitation,
therefore, in classing this pretended letter to Pelham
with those admitted forgeries which drove the unfortunate
Lord Thomas Fitzgerald into premature revolt, in the
reign of Henry VIII.

Sir John of Desmond had been nominated by the gallant
Fitzmaurice in his last moments as the fittest person to
rally the remaining defenders of religion and property
in Munster. The Papal standard and benediction were
almost all he could bequeath his successor, but the energy
of John, aided by some favourable local occurrences,
assembled a larger force for the campaign of 1579 than
had lately taken the field. Without the open aid of the
Earl, he contrived to get together at one time as many
as 2,000 men, amongst whom not the least active officer
was his younger brother, Sir James, hardly yet of man's
age. Drs. Saunders and Allen, with several Spanish
officers, accompanied this devoted but undisciplined
multitude, sharing all the hardships of the men, and the
counsels of the chiefs. Their first camp, and, so to
speak, the nursery of their army, was among the inaccessible
mountains of Slievelogher in Kerry, where the rudiments
of discipline were daily inculcated. When they considered
the time ripe for action, they removed their camp to the
great wood of Kilmore, near Charleville, from which they
might safely assail the line of communication between
Cork and Limerick, the main depots of Elizabeth's southern
army. Nearly half-way between these cities, and within
a few miles of their new encampment, stood the strong
town of Kilmallock on the little river Lubach. This famous
old Geraldine borough, the focus of several roads, was
the habitual stopping place of the Deputies in their
progress, as well as of English soldiers on their march.
The ancient fortifications, almost obliterated by
Fitzmaurice eleven years before, had been replaced by
strong walls, lined with earthworks, and crowned by
towers. Here Sir William Drury fixed his head-quarters
in the spring of 1579, summoning to his aid all the
Queen's lieges in Munster. With a force of not less than
1,000 English regulars under his own command, and perhaps
twice that number under the banner of the Munster
"Undertakers" and others, who obeyed the summons, he made
an unsuccessful attempt to beat up the Geraldine quarters
at Kilmore. One division of his force, consisting of
300 men by the Irish, and 200 by the English account,
was cut to pieces, with their captains, Herbert, Price,
and Eustace. The remainder retreated in disorder to their
camp at Athneasy, a ford on the Morning Star River, four
miles east of Kilmallock. For nine weeks Drury continued
in the field, without gaining any advantage, yet so
harassed day and night by his assailants that his health
gave way under his anxieties. Despairing of recovery, he
was removed by slow stages to Waterford--which would seem
to indicate that his communications both with Cork and
Limerick were impracticable--but died before reaching
the first mentioned city. The chief command in Munster
now devolved upon Sir Nicholas Malby, an officer who had
seen much foreign service, while the temporary vacancy
in the government was filled by the Council at Dublin,
whose choice fell on Sir William Pelham, another
distinguished military man, lately arrived from England.

Throughout the summer and autumn months the war was
maintained, with varying fortune on either side. In the
combats of Gortnatibrid and Enagbeg, in Limerick, the
final success, according to Irish accounts, was with the
Geraldines, though they had the misfortune to lose Cardinal
Allen, Sir Thomas Fitzgerald and Sir Thomas Browne.
Retiring into winter quarters at Aharlow, they had a
third engagement with the garrison of Kilmallock, which
attempted, without success, to intercept their march.
The campaign of 1580 was, however, destined to be decisive.
Sir John of Desmond, being invited to an amicable conference
by the Lord Barry, was entrapped by an English force
under Captain Zouch, in the woods surrounding Castle
Lyons, and put to death on the spot. The young Sir James
had previously been captured on a foray into Muskerry,
and executed at Cork, so that of the brothers there now
remained but Earl Gerald, the next victim of the
machinations which had already proved so fatal to his
family. Perceiving at length the true designs cherished
against him, the Earl took the field in the spring of
1580, and obtained two considerable advantages, one at
Pea-field, against the English under Roberts, and a second
at Knockgraffon against the Anglo-Irish, under the brothers
of the Earl of Ormond, the recusant members of the original
league. Both these actions were fought in Tipperary, and
raised anew the hopes of the Munster Catholics. An
unsuccessful attempt on Adare was the only other military
event in which the Earl bore a part; he wintered in
Aharlow, where his Christmas was rather that of an outlaw
than of the Lord Palatine of Desmond. In Aharlow he had
the misfortune to lose the gifted and heroic Nuncio, Dr.
Saunders, whose great services, at that period, taken
together with those of Cardinal Allen, long endeared the
faithful English to the faithful Irish Catholics.

The sequel of the second Geraldine League may be rapidly
narrated. In September, 1580, the fort at Smerwick, where
Fitzmaurice had landed from Galicia, received a garrison
of 800 men, chiefly Spaniards and Italians, under Don
Stephen San Joseph. The place was instantly invested by
sea and land, under the joint command of the new Lieutenant,
Lord Grey de Wilton, and the Earl of Ormond. Among the
officers of the besieging force were three especially
notable men--Sir Walter Raleigh, the poet Spenser, and
Hugh O'Neil, afterwards Earl of Tyrone, but at this time
commanding a squadron of cavalry for her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth. San Joseph surrendered the place on conditions;
that savage outrage ensued, which is known in Irish
history as "the massacre of Smerwick." Raleigh and
Wingfield appear to have directed the operations by which
800 prisoners of war were cruelly butchered and flung
over the rocks. The sea upon that coast is deep and the
tides swift; but it has not proved deep enough to hide
that horrid crime, or to wash the stains of such wanton
bloodshed from the memory of its authors!

For four years longer the Geraldine League flickered in
the South. Proclamations offering pardon to all concerned,
except Earl Gerald and a few of his most devoted adherents,
had their effect. Deserted at home, and cut off from
foreign assistance, the condition of Desmond grew more
and more intolerable. On one occasion he narrowly escaped
capture by rushing with his Countess into a river, and
remaining concealed up to the chin in water. His dangers
can hardly be paralleled by those of Bruce after the
battle of Falkirk, or by the more familiar adventures of
Charles Edward. At length, on the night of the 11th of
November, 1584, he was surprised with only two followers
in a lonesome valley about five miles distant from Tralee,
among the mountains of Kerry. The spot is still remembered,
and the name of "the Earl's road" transports the fancy
of the traveller to that tragical scene. Cowering over
the embers of a half-extinct fire in a miserable hovel,
the lord of a country, which in time of peace had yielded
an annual rental of "40,000 golden pieces," was despatched
by the hands of common soldiers, without pity, or time,
or hesitation. A few followers watching their _creaghts_
or herds, farther up the valley, found his bleeding trunk
flung out upon the highway; the head was transported over
seas, to rot upon the spikes of London Tower.

The extirpation of the Munster Geraldines, in the right
line, according to the theory of the "Undertakers" and
the Court of England in general, vested in the Queen the
570,000 acres belonging to the late Earl. Proclamation
was accordingly made throughout England, inviting "younger
brothers of good families" to undertake the plantation
of Desmond--each planter to obtain a certain scope of
land, on condition of settling thereupon so many
families--"none of the native Irish to be admitted."
Under these conditions, Sir Christopher Hatton took up
10,000 acres in Waterford; Sir Walter Raleigh 12,000
acres, partly in Waterford and partly in Cork; Sir William
Harbart, or Herbert, 13,000 acres in Kerry; Sir Edward
Denny 6,000 in the same county; Sir Warham, St. Leger,
and Sir Thomas Norris, 6,000 acres each in Cork; Sir
William Courtney 10,000 acres in Limerick; Sir Edward
Fitton 11,500 acres in Tipperary and Waterford, and Edmund
Spenser a modest 3,000 acres in Cork, on the beautiful
Blackwater. The other notable Undertakers were the Hides,
Butchers, Wirths, Berklys, Trenchards, Thorntons, Bourchers,
Billingsleys, &c., &c. Some of these grants, especially
Raleigh's, fell in the next reign into the ravening maw
of Richard Boyle, the so-called "_great_ Earl of
Cork"--probably the most pious hypocrite to be found in
the long roll of the "Munster Undertakers."

Before closing the present chapter, we must present to
the reader, in a formal manner, the personage whose career
is to occupy the chief remaining part of the present
Book--Hugh O'Neil, best known by the title of Earl of
Tyrone. We have seen him in the camp of the enemies of
his country, learning the art of war on the shores of
Dingle Bay--a witness to the horrors perpetrated at
Smerwick. We may find him later in the same war--in
1584--serving under Perrott and Norris, along the Foyle
and the Bann, for the expulsion of the Antrim Scots. The
following year, for these and other good services, he
received the patent of the Earldom originally conferred
on his grandfather, Con O'Neil, but suffered to sink into
abeyance by the less politic "John the Proud," in the
days when he made his peace with the Queen. The next year
he obtained from his clansmen the still higher title of
O'Neil, and thus he contrived to combine, in his own
person, every principle of authority likely to ensure
him following and obedience, whether among the clansmen
of Tyrone, or the townsmen upon its borders.

O'Neil's last official act of co-operation with the Dublin
government may be considered his participation in the
Parliament convoked by Sir John Perrott in 1585, and
prorogued till the following year. It is remarkable of
this Parliament, the third and last of Elizabeth's long
reign, that it was utterly barren of ecclesiastical
legislation, if we except "an act against sorcery and
witchcraft" from that category. The attainder of the late
Earl of Desmond, and the living Viscount of Baltinglass,
in arms with the O'Byrnes in Glenmalure, are the only
measures of consequence to be found among the Irish
statutes of the 27th and 28th of Elizabeth. But though
not remarkable for its legislation, the Parliament of
1585 is conspicuously so for its composition. Within its
walls with the peers, knights, and burgesses of the
anglicized counties, sat almost all the native chiefs of
Ulster, Connaught, and Munster. The Leinster chiefs
recently in arms, in alliance with the Earl of Desmond,
generally absented themselves, with the exception of
Feagh, son of Hugh, the senior of the O'Byrnes, and one
of the noblest spirits of his race and age. He appears
not to have had a seat in either House; but attended, on
his own business, under the protection of his powerful
friends and sureties.



In pursuing to its close the war in Munster, we were
obliged to omit the mention of an affair of considerable
importance, which somewhat consoled the Catholics for
the massacre at Smerwick and the defeat of the Desmonds.
We have already observed that what Aharlow was to the
southern insurgents, the deep, secluded valley of Glenmalure
was to the oppressed of Leinster. It afforded, at this
period, refuge to a nobleman whose memory has been most
improperly allowed to fall into oblivion. This was James
Eustace, Viscount Baltinglass, who had suffered imprisonment
in the Castle for refusing to pay an illegal tax of a
few pounds, who was afterwards made the object of a
special, vindictive enactment, known as "the Statute of
Baltinglass," and was in the summer of 1580, on his
keeping, surrounded by armed friends and retainers. His
friend, Sir Walter Fitzgerald, son-in-law to the chief
of Glenmalure, and many of the clansmen of Leix, Offally
and Idrone, repaired to him at Slieveroe, near the modern
village of Blessington, from which they proceeded to form
a junction with the followers of the dauntless Feagh
McHugh O'Byrne of Ballincor. Lord Grey, of Wilton, on
reaching Dublin in August of that year, obtained information
of this gathering, and determined to strike a decisive
blow in Wicklow, before proceeding to the South. All the
chief captains in the Queen's service--the Malbys, Dudleys,
Cosbys, Carews, Moors--had repaired to meet him at Dublin,
and now marched, under his command, into the neighbouring
highlands. The Catholics, they knew, were concentrated
in the valley, on one of the slopes of which Lord Grey
constructed a strong camp, and then, having selected the
fittest troops for the service, gave orders to attack
the Irish camp. Sir William Stanley, one of the officers
in command, well describes the upshot, in a letter to
Secretary Walshingham: "When we entered the glen," he
writes, "we were forced to slide, sometimes three or four
fathoms, ere we could stay our feet; it was in depth,
where we entered, at least a mile, full of stones, rocks,
logs and wood; in the bottom thereof a river full of
loose stones, which we were driven to Cross divers times
* * * before we were half through the glen, which is
four miles in length, the enemy charged us very hotly
* * * it was the hottest piece of service that ever I
saw, for the time, in any place." As might have been
expected, the assailants were repulsed with heavy loss;
among the slain were Sir Peter Carew, Colonel Francis
Cosby of Mullaghmast memory, Colonel Moor, and other
distinguished officers. The full extent of the defeat
was concealed from Elizabeth, as well as it could be, in
the official despatches; but before the end of August
private letters, such as we have quoted, conveyed the
painful intelligence to the court. The action was fought
on the 25th day of August.

Lord Grey's deputyship, though it lasted only two years,
included the three decisive campaigns in the South,
already described. At the period of his recall--or leave
of absence--the summer of 1582, that "most populous and
plentiful country," to use the forcible language of his
eloquent Secretary, Edmund Spenser, was reduced to "a
heap of carcasses and ashes." The war had been truly a
war of extermination; nor did Munster recover her due
proportion of the population of the island for nearly
two centuries afterwards.

The appointment of Sir John Perrott dates from 1583,
though he did not enter on the duties of Lord Deputy till
the following year. Like most of the public men of that
age, he was both soldier and statesman. In temper he
resembled his reputed father, Henry VIII.; for he was
impatient of contradiction and control; fond of expense
and magnificence, with a high opinion of his own abilities
for diplomacy and legislation. The Parliament of 1585-6,
as it was attended by almost every notable man in the
kingdom, was one of his boasts, though no one seems to
have benefited by it much, except Hugh O'Neil, whose
title of Earl of Tyrone was then formally recognized.
Subordinate to Perrott, the office of Governor of Connaught
was held by Sir Richard Bingham--founder of the fortunes
of the present Earls of Lucan--and that of President of
Munster, by Sir Thomas Norris, one of four brothers, all
employed in the Queen's service, and all destined to lose
their lives in that employment.

The most important events which marked the four years'
administration of Perrott were the pacification of Thomond
and Connaught, the capture of Hugh Roe O'Donnell, and
the wreck of a large part of the Spanish Armada, on the
northern and western coasts. The royal commission issued
for the first-mentioned purpose exemplifies, in a striking
manner, the exigencies of Elizabeth's policy at that
moment. The persons entrusted with its execution were
Sir Richard Bingham, the Earls of Thomond and Clanrickarde;
Sir Turlogh O'Brien, Sir Richard Bourke (the McWilliam),
O'Conor Sligo, Sir Brian O'Ruarc, and Sir Murrogh
O'Flaherty. The chief duties of this singular commission
were, to fix a money rental for all lands, free and
unfree, in Clare and Connaught; to assess the taxation
fairly due to the crown also in money; and to substitute
generally the English law of succession for the ancient
customs of Tanistry and gavelkind. In Clare, from fortuitous
causes, the settlement they arrived at was never wholly
reversed; in Connaught, the inhuman severity of Bingham
rendered it odious from the first, and the successes of
Hugh Roe O'Donnell, a few years later, were hailed by
the people of that province as a heaven-sent deliverance.

The treacherous capture of this youthful chieftain was
one of the skilful devices on which Sir John Perrott most
prided himself. Although a mere lad, the mysterious
language of ancient prophecy, which seemed to point him
out for greatness, give him consequence in the eyes of
both friends and foes. Through his heroic mother, a
daughter of the Lord of the Isles, he would naturally
find allies in that warlike race. His precocious prowess
and talents began to be noised abroad, and stimulated
Perrott to the employment of an elaborate artifice, which,
however, proved quite successful. A ship, commanded by
one Bermingham, was sent round to Donegal, under pretence
of being direct from Spain. She carried some casks of
Spanish wine, and had a crew of 50 armed men. This ship
dropped anchor off Rathmullen Castle on Lough Swilly, in
which neighbourhood the young O'Donnell--then barely
fifteen--was staying with his foster-father, McSweeny,
and several companions of his own age. The unsuspecting
youths were courteously invited on board the pretended
Spanish ship, where, while they were being entertained
in the cabin, the hatches were fastened down, the cable
slipped, the sails spread to the wind, and the vessel
put to sea. The threats and promises of the astonished
clansmen as they gathered to the shore were answered by
the mockery of the crew, who safely delivered their prize
in Dublin, to the great delight of the Lord Deputy and
his Council. Five weary years of fetters and privation
the young captives were doomed to pass in the dungeons
of the Castle before they breathed again the air of their
native North.

But now every ship that reached the English or Irish
ports brought tidings more and more positive of the
immense armada which King Philip was preparing to launch
from the Tagus against England. The piratical exploits
of Hawkins and Drake against the Spanish settlements in
America, the barbarous execution of Mary, Queen of Scots,
and the open alliance of Elizabeth with the Dutch
insurgents, all acted as stimulants to the habitual
slowness of the Spanish sovereign. Another event, though
of minor importance, added intensity to the national
quarrel. Sir William Stanley, whose account of the battle
of Glenmalure we lately quoted, went over to Philip with
1,300 English troops, whom he commanded as Governor of
Daventer, and was taken into the counsels of the Spanish
sovereign. The fleet for the invasion of England was on
a scale commensurate with the design. One hundred and
thirty-five vessels of war, manned by 8,000 sailors, and
carrying 19,000 soldiers, sailed from the Tagus, and
after encountering a severe storm off Cape Finesterre,
re-assembled at Corunna. The flower of Spanish bravery
embarked in this fleet, named somewhat presumptuously
"the invincible armada." The sons of Sir James Fitzmaurice,
educated at Alcala, Thomas, son of Sir John of Desmond,
with several other Irish exiles, laymen, and ecclesiastics,
were also on board. The fate of the expedition is well
known. A series of disasters befell it on the coasts of
France and Belgium, and finally, towards the middle of
August, a terrific storm swept the Spaniards northward
through the British channel, scattering ships and men
helpless and lifeless on the coasts of Scotland, and even
as far north as Norway. On the Irish shore nineteen
great vessels were sunk or stranded. In Lough Foyle,
one galleon, manned by 1,100 men, came ashore, and some
of the survivors, it is alleged, were given up by O'Donnell
to the Lord Deputy, in the vain hope of obtaining in
return the liberation of his son. Sir John O'Doherty in
Innishowen, Sir Brian O'Ruarc at Dromahaire, and Hugh
O'Neil at Dungannon, hospitably entertained and protected
several hundreds who had escaped with their lives. On
the iron-bound coast of Connaught, over 2,000 men perished.
In Galway harbour, 70 prisoners were taken by the Queen's
garrison, and executed on St. Augustine's hill. In the
Shannon, the crew of a disabled vessel set her on fire,
and escaped to another in the offing. On the coasts of
Cork and Kerry nearly one thousand men were lost or cast
away. In all, according to a state paper of the time,
above 6,000 of the Spaniards were either drowned, killed,
or captured, on the north, west, and southern coasts. A
more calamitous reverse could not have befallen Spain or
Ireland in the era of the Reformation.

It is worthy of remark that at the very moment the fear
of the armada was most intensely felt in England--the
beginning of July--Sir John Perrott was recalled from
the government. His high and imperious temper, not less
than his reliance on the native chiefs, rather than on
the courtiers of Dublin Castle, had made him many enemies.
He was succeeded by a Lord Deputy of a different
character--Sir William Fitzwilliam--who had filled the
same office, for a short period, seventeen years before.
The administration of this nobleman was protracted till
the year 1594, and is chiefly memorable in connection
with the formation of the Ulster Confederacy, under the
leadership of O'Neil and O'Donnell.

Fitzwilliam, whose master passion was avarice, had no
sooner been sworn into the government than he issued a
commission to search for treasure, which the shipwrecked
Spaniards were supposed to have saved. "In hopes to finger
some of it," he at once marched into the territory of
O'Ruarc and O'Doherty; O'Ruarc fled to Scotland, was
given up by order of James VI., and subsequently executed
at London; O'Doherty and Sir John O'Gallagher, "two of
the most loyal subjects in Ulster," were seized and
confined in the Castle. An outrage of a still more
monstrous kind was perpetrated soon after on the newly
elected chieftain of Oriel, Hugh McMahon. Though he had
engaged Fitzwilliam by a bribe of 600 cows to recognize
his succession, he was seized by order of the Deputy,
tried by a jury of common soldiers, on a trumped up charge
of "treason," and executed at his own door. Sir Harry
Bagnal who, as Marshal of Ireland, had his head-quarters
at Newry, next to Fitzwilliam himself, profited most by
the consequent partition and settlement of McMahon's vast
estates. Emboldened by the impunity which attended such
high-handed proceedings, and instigated by the Marshal,
Fitzwilliam began to practise, against the ablest as well
as the most powerful of all the Northern chiefs, who had
hitherto been known only as a courtier and soldier of
the Queen. This was Hugh O'Neil, Earl of Tyrone, another
of Sir Henry Sidney's "strong men," with the additional
advantage of being familiar from his youth with the
character of the men he was now to encounter.

O'Neil, in the full prime of life, really desired to live
in peace with Elizabeth, provided he might be allowed to
govern Ulster with all the authority attached to his
name. Bred up in England, he well knew the immense
resources of that kingdom, and the indomitable character
of its queen. A patriot of Ulster rather than of Ireland,
he had served against the Desmonds, and had been a looker
on at Smerwick. To suppress rivals of his own clan, to
check O'Donnell's encroachments, and to preserve an
interest at the English Court, were the objects of his
earlier ambition. In pursuing these objects he did not
hesitate to employ English troops in Ulster, nor to
accompany the Queen and her Deputy to the service of the
Church of England. If, however, he really believed that
he could long continue to play the Celtic Prince north
of the Boyne, and the English Earl at Dublin or London,
he was soon undeceived when the fear of the Spanish Armada
ceased to weigh on the Councils of Elizabeth.

A natural son of John the Proud, called from the
circumstances of his birth "Hugh of the fetters,"
communicated to Fitzwilliam the fact of Tyrone having
sheltered the shipwrecked Spaniards, and employed them
in opening up a correspondence with King Philip. This so
exasperated the Earl, that, having seized the unfortunate
Hugh of the fetters, he caused him to be hanged as a
common felon--a high-handed proceeding which his enemies
were expert in turning to account. To protect himself
from the consequent danger, he went to England in May,
1590, without obtaining the license of the Lord Deputy,
as by law required. On arriving in London he was imprisoned,
but, in the course of a month, obtained his liberty,
after signing articles, in which he agreed to drop the
Celtic title of O'Neil; to allow the erection of gaols
in his country; that he should execute no man without a
commission from the Lord Deputy, except in cases of
martial law; that he should keep his troop of horsemen
in the Queen's pay, ready for the Queen's service, and
that Tyrone should be regularly reduced to shire-ground.
For the performance of these articles, which he confirmed
on reaching Dublin, he was to place sureties in the hands
of certain merchants of that city, or gentlemen of the
Pale, enjoying the confidence of the Crown. On such hard
conditions his earldom was confirmed to him, and he was
apparently taken into all his former favour. But we may
date the conception of his latter and more national policy
from the period of this journey, and the brief imprisonment
he had undergone in London.

The "profound dissembling mind" which English historians,
his cotemporaries, attribute to O'Neil, was now brought
into daily exercise. When he discovered money to be the
master passion of the Lord Deputy, he procured his
connivance at the escape of Hugh Roe O'Donnell from Dublin
Castle. On a dark night in the depth of winter the youthful
chief, with several of his companions, succeeded in
escaping to the hills in the neighbourhood of Powerscourt;
but, exhausted and bewildered, they were again taken,
and returned to their dungeons. Two years later, the heir
of Tyrconnell was more fortunate. In Christmas week,
1592, he again escaped, through a sewer of the Castle,
with Henry and Art O'Neil, sons of John the Proud. In
the street they found O'Hagan, the confidential agent of
Tyrone, waiting to guide them to the fastness of Glenmalure.
Through the deep snows of the Dublin and Wicklow highlands
the prisoners and their guide plodded their way. After
a weary tramp they at length sunk down overwhelmed with
fatigue. In this condition they were found insensible
by a party despatched by Feagh O'Byrne; Art O'Neil, on
being raised up, fell backward and expired; O'Donnell
was so severely frost-bitten that he did not recover for
many months the free use of his limbs. With his remaining
companion he was nursed in the recesses of Glenmalure,
until he became able to sit a horse, when he set out for
home. Although the utmost vigilance was exercised by all
the warders of the Pale, he crossed the Liffey and the
Boyne undiscovered, rode boldly through the streets of
Dundalk, and found an enthusiastic welcome, first from
Tyrone in Dungannon, and soon after from the aged chief,
his father, in the Castle of Ballyshannon. Early in the
following year, the elder O'Donnell resigned the chieftaincy
in favour of his popular son, who was, on the 3rd of May,
duly proclaimed the O'Donnell, from the ancient mound of

The Ulster Confederacy, of which, for ten years, O'Neil
and O'Donnell were the joint and inseparable leaders,
was now imminent. Tyrone, by carrying off, the year
previous to O'Donnell's escape, the beautiful sister of
Marshal Bagnal, whom he married, had still further inflamed
the hatred borne to him by that officer. Bagnal complained
bitterly of the abduction to the Queen, charging, among
other things, that O'Neil had a divorced wife still alive.
A challenge was in consequence sent him by his new
brother-in-law, but the cartel was not accepted. Every
day's events were hastening a general alliance between
the secondary chieftains of the Province and the two
leading spirits. The O'Ruarc and Maguire were attacked
by Bingham, and successfully defended themselves until
the Lord Deputy and the Marshal also marched against
them, summoning O'Neil to their aid. The latter, feeling
that the time was not yet ripe, temporized with Fitzwilliam
during the campaign of 1593, and though in the field at
the head of his horsemen, nominally for the Queen, he
seems to have rather employed his opportunities to promote
that Northern Union which he had so much at heart.



In the summer of 1594 the cruel and mercenary Fitzwilliam
was succeeded by Sir William Russell, who had served the
Queen, both in Ireland "and in divers other places beyond
sea, in martial affairs." In lieu of the arbitrary exaction
of county cess--so grossly abused by his predecessor--the
shires of the Pale were to pay for the future into the
Treasury of Dublin a composition of 2,100 pounds per
annum, out of which the fixed sum of 1,000 pounds was
allowed as the Deputy's wages. Russell's administration
lasted till May, 1597. In that month he was succeeded by
Thomas, Lord Borough, who died in August following of
the wounds received in an expedition against Tyrone;
after which the administration remained in the hands of
the Justices till the appointment of the Earl of Essex.

On the arrival of Russell, Tyrone for the last time
ventured to appear within the walls of Dublin. His
influence in the city, and even at the Council table,
must have been considerable to enable him to enter the
gates of the Castle with so much confidence. He came to
explain his wrongs against the previous Deputy, to defend
himself against Bagnal's charges, and to discover, if
possible, the instructions of Russell. If in one respect
he was gratified by a personal triumph over his
brother-in-law, in another he had cause for serious alarm,
on learning that Sir John Norris, brother of the President
of Munster, a commander of the highest reputation, was
to be sent over under the title of Lord General, with
2,000 veterans who served in Brittany, and 1,000 of a
new levy. He further learned that his own arrest had been
discussed at the Council, and, leaving Dublin precipitately,
he hastened to his home at Dungannon. All men's minds
were now naturally filled with wars and rumours of wars.

The first blow was struck at "the firebrand of the
mountains," as he was called at Court, Feagh Mac Hugh
O'Byrne. The truce made with him expired in 1594, and
his application for his renewal was not honoured with an
answer. On the contrary, his sureties at Dublin, Geoffrey,
son of Hugh, and his own son, James, were committed to
close custody in the Castle. His son-in-law, Sir Walter
Fitzgerald, had been driven by ill-usage, and his friendship
for Lord Baltinglass, to the shelter of Glenmalure, and
this was, of course, made a ground of charge against its
chief. During the last months of 1594, Mynce, Sheriff of
Carlow, informed the Lord Deputy of warlike preparations
in the Glen, and that Brian Oge O'Rourke had actually
passed to and fro through Dublin city and county, as
confidential agent between Feagh Mac Hugh and Tyrone. In
January following, under cover of a hunting party among
the hills, the Deputy, by a night march on Glenmalure,
succeeded in surprising O'Byrne's house at Ballincor,
and had almost taken the aged chieftain prisoner. In the
flight, Rose O'Toole, his wife, was wounded in the breast,
and a priest detected hiding in a thicket was shot dead.
Feagh retired to Dromceat, or the Cat's-back Mountain
--one of the best positions in the Glen--while a strong
force was quartered in his former mansion to observe his
movements. In April, his son-in-law, Fitzgerald, was
taken prisoner, near Baltinglass, in a retreat where he
was laid up severely wounded; in May, a party under the
Deputy's command scoured the mountains and seized the
Lady Rose, who was attainted of treason, and, like
Fitzgerald, barbarously given up to the halter and the
quartering knife. Two foster-brothers of the chief were,
at the same time and in the same manner, put to death,
and a large reward was offered for his own apprehension,
alive or dead.

Hugh O'Neil announced his resort to arms by a vigorous
protest against the onslaught made on his friend O'Byrne.
Without waiting for, or expecting any answer, he surprised
the fort erected on the Blackwater which commanded the
highway into his own territory. This fort, which was
situated between Armagh and Dungannon, about five miles
distant from either, served, before the fortification of
Charlemont, as the main English stronghold in that part
of Ulster. The river Blackwater on which it stood, from
its source on the borders of Monaghan to its outlet in
Lough Neagh, watered a fertile valley, which now became
the principal theatre of war; for Hugh O'Neil, and
afterwards for his celebrated nephew, it proved to be a
theatre of victory. General Norris, on reaching Ireland,
at once marched northward to recover the fort lately
taken. O'Neil, having demolished the works, retreated
before him; considering Dungannon also unfit to stand a
regular siege, he dismantled the town, burnt his own
castle to the ground, having first secured every portable
article of value. Norris contented himself with
reconnoitring the Earl's entrenched camp at some distance
from Dungannon, and returned to Newry, where he established
his head-quarters.

The campaign in another quarter was attended with even
better success for the Confederates. Hugh Roe O'Donnell,
no longer withheld by the more politic O'Neil, displayed
in action all the fiery energy of his nature. Under his
banner he united almost all the tribes of Ulster not
enlisted with O'Neil; while six hundred Scots, led by
MacLeod of Ara, obeyed his commands. He first descended
on the plains of Annally-O'Farrell (the present county
of Longford), driving the English settlers before him:
he next visited the undertaker's tenants in Connaught,
ejecting them from Boyle and Ballymoate, and pursuing
them to the gates of Tuam. On his return, the important
town and castle of Sligo, the property of O'Conor, then
in England, submitted to him. Sir Richard Bingham
endeavoured to recover it, but was beaten off with loss.
O'Donnell, finding it cheaper to demolish than defend
it, broke down the castle and returned in triumph across
the Erne.

General Norris, having arranged his plan of campaign at
Newry, attempted to victual Armagh, besieged by O'Neil,
but was repulsed by that leader after a severe struggle.
He, however, succeeded in throwing supplies into Monaghan,
where a strong garrison was quartered, and to which O'Neil
and O'Donnell proceeded to lay siege. While lying before
Monaghan they received overtures of peace from the Lord
Deputy, who continually disagreed with Sir John Norris
as to the conduct of the war, and lost no opportunity of
thwarting his plans. He did not now blush to address, as
Earl of Tyrone, the man he had lately proclaimed a traitor
at Dublin, by the title of the son of a blacksmith. The
Irish leaders at the outset refused to meet the
Commissioners--Chief Justice Gardiner and Sir Henry
Wallop, Treasurer-at-War--in Dundalk, so the latter were
compelled to wait on them in the camp before Monaghan.
The terms demanded by O'Neil and O'Donnell, including
entire freedom of religious worship, were reserved by
the Commissioners for the consideration of the Council,
with whose sanction, a few weeks afterwards, all the
Ulster chiefs, except "the Queen's O'Reilly," were formally
tried before a jury at Dublin, and condemned as traitors.

Monaghan was thrice taken and retaken in this campaign.
It was on the second return of General Norris from that
town he found himself unexpectedly in presence of O'Neil's
army, advantageously posted on the left bank of the little
stream which waters the village of Clontibret. Norris
made two attempts to force the passage, but without
success. Sir Thomas Norris, and the general himself, were
wounded; Seagrave, a gigantic Meathian cavalry officer,
was slain in a hand to hand encounter with O'Neil; the
English retreated hastily on Newry, and Monaghan was
again surrendered to the Irish. This brilliant combat at
Clontibret closed the campaign of 1595. General Norris,
who, like Sir John Moore, two centuries later, commanded
the respect, and frankly acknowledged the wrongs of the
people against whom he fought, employed the winter months
in endeavouring to effect a reconciliation between O'Neil
and the Queen's Government. He had conceived a warm and
chivalrous regard for his opponent; for he could not deny
that he had been driven to take up arms in self-defence.
At his instance a royal commission to treat with the Earl
was issued, and the latter cheerfully gave them a meeting
in an open field without the walls of Dundalk. The same
terms which he had proposed before Monaghan were repeated
in his _ultimatum_, and the Commissioners agreed to give
him a positive answer by the 2nd day of April. On that
day they attended at Dundalk, but O'Neil did not appear.
The Commissioners delayed an entire fortnight, addressing
him in the interim an urgent remonstrance to come in and
conclude their negotiation. On the 17th of the month they
received his reasons for breaking off the treaty--the
principal of which was, that the truce had been repeatedly
broken through by the English garrisons--and so the
campaign of 1596 was to be fought with renewed animosity
on both sides.

Early in May the Lord Deputy made another descent on
Ballincor, which Feagh Mac Hugh had recovered in the
autumn to lose again in the spring. Though worn with
years and infirm of body, the Wicklow chieftain held his
devoted bands well together, and kept the garrison of
Dublin constantly on the defensive. In the new chieftain
of the O'Moores he found at this moment a young and active
coadjutor. In an affair at Stradbally Bridge, O'Moore
obtained a considerable victory, leaving among the slain
Alexander and Francis Cosby, grandsons of the commander
in the massacre at Mullaghmast.

The arrival of three Spanish frigates with arms and
ammunition in Donegal Bay was welcome news to the Northern
Catholics. They were delivered to O'Donnell, who was
incessantly in the field, while O'Neil was again undergoing
the forms of diplomacy with a new royal commission at
Dundalk. He himself disclaimed any correspondence with
the King of Spain, but did not deny that such negotiations
might be maintained by others. It is alleged that, while
many of the chiefs had signed a formal invitation to the
Spanish King to assume their crown, O'Neil had not gone
beyond verbal assurances of co-operation with them.
However this may be, he resolved that the entire season
should not be wasted in words, so he attacked the strong
garrison left in Armagh, and recovered the primatial
city. According to the Irish practice, he dismantled the
fortress, which, however, was again reconstructed by the
English before the end of the war. Some other skirmishes,
of which we have no very clear account, and which we may
set down as of no decisive character, terminated the

In May, 1597, Lord Borough, who had distinguished himself
in the Netherlands, replaced Russell as Lord Deputy, and
assumed the command-in-chief, in place of Sir John Norris.
Simultaneously with his arrival Feagh Mac Hugh O'Byrne,
was surprised in Glenmalure by a detachment from Dublin,
and slain; he died as he had lived, a hero and a free
man. O'Neil, who was warmly attached to the Wicklow chief,
immediately despatched such succour as he could spare to
Feagh's sons, and promised to continue to them the
friendship he had always entertained for their father.
Against Tyrone the new Lord Deputy now endeavoured to
combine all the military resources at his disposal.
Towards the end of July, Sir Conyers Clifford was ordered
to muster the available force of Connaught at Boyle, and
to march into Sligo and Donegal. A thousand men of the
Anglo-Irish were assembled at Mullingar, under the command
of young Barnewell of Trimbleston, who was instructed to
effect a junction with the main force upon the borders
of Ulster. The Lord Deputy, marching in force from
Drogheda, penetrated, unopposed, the valley of the
Blackwater, and entered Armagh. From Armagh he moved to
the relief of the Blackwater fort, besieged by O'Neil.
At a place called Drumfliuch, where Battleford Bridge
now stands, Tyrone contrived to draw his enemies into an
engagement on very disadvantageous ground. The result
was a severe defeat to the new Deputy, who, a few days
afterwards, died of his wounds at Newry, as his second
in command, the Earl of Kildare, did at Drogheda. Sir
Francis Vaughan, Sir Thomas Waller, and other distinguished
officers, fell in the same action, but the fort, the main
prize of the combatants, remained in English hands till
the following year. O'Donnell, with equal success, held
Ballyshannon, compelled Sir Conyers Clifford to raise
the siege with the loss of the Earl of Thomond, and a
large part of his following. Simultaneously, Captain
Richard Tyrrell of West-Meath--one of O'Neil's favourite
officers--having laid an ambuscade for young Barnewell
at the pass in West-Meath which now bears his name, the
Meathian regiment were sabred to a man. Mullingar and
Maryborough were taken and sacked, and in the North, Sir
John Chichester, Governor of Carrickfergus, was cut off
with his troop by MacDonald of the Glens.

These successes synchronize exactly with the expectation
of a second Spanish Armada, which filled Elizabeth with
her old apprehensions. Philip was persuaded again to
tempt the fortune of the seas, and towards the end of
October his fleet, under the Adelantado of Castille,
appeared off the Scilly Islands, with a view to secure
the Isle of Wight, or some other station, from which to
operate an invasion the ensuing spring. Extraordinary
means were taken for defence; the English troops in France
were recalled, new levies raised, and the Queen's favourite,
the young Earl of Essex, appointed to command the fleet,
with Raleigh and Lord Thomas Howard as Vice-Admirals.
But the elements again fought for the northern island;
a storm, which swept the channel for weeks, drove the
English ships into their ports, but scattered those of
Spain over the Bay of Biscay. In this second expedition
sailed Florence Conroy, and other Irish exiles, who had
maintained for years a close correspondence with the
Catholic leaders. Their presence in the fleet, the
existence of the correspondence, and the progress of the
revolt itself, will sufficiently account for the apparent
vacillations of English policy in Ulster in the last
months of 1597. Shortly before Christmas, Ormond, now
Lord Lieutenant, accompanied by the Earl of Thomond,
attended only by their personal followers, visited
Dungannon, and remained three days in conference with
O'Neil and O'Donnell. The Irish chiefs reiterated their
old demands: freedom of worship, and the retention of
the substantial power attached to their ancient rank.
They would admit Sheriffs, if they were chosen from among
natives of their counties, but they declined to give
hostages out of their own families. These terms were
referred to the Queen's consideration, who, after much
protocoling to and fro, finally ratified them the following
April, and affixed the great seal to O'Neil's pardon.
But Tyrone, guided by intelligence received from Spain
or England, or both, evaded the royal messenger charged
to deliver him that instrument, and as the late truce
expired the first week of June, devoted himself anew to
military preparations.

In the month of June, 1598, the Council at Dublin were
in a state of fearful perplexity. O'Neil, two days after
the expiration of the truce, invested the fort on the
Blackwater, and seemed resolved to reduce it, if not by
force, by famine. O'Donnell, as usual, was operating on
the side of Connaught, where he had brought back O'Ruarc,
O'Conor Sligo, and McDermot, to the Confederacy, from
which they had been for a season estranged. Tyrrell and
O'Moore, leading spirits in the midland counties were
ravaging Ormond's palatinate of Tipperary almost without
opposition. An English reinforcement, debarked at Dungarvan,
was attacked on its march towards Dublin, and lost 400
men. In this emergency, before which even the iron nerve
of Ormond quailed, the Council took the resolution of
ordering one moiety of the Queen's troops under Ormond
to march south against Tyrrell and O'Moore; the other
under Marshal Bagnal, to proceed northward to the relief
of the Blackwater fort. Ormond's campaign was brief and
inglorious. After suffering a severe check in Leix, he
shut himself up in Kilkenny, where he heard of the
disastrous fate of Bagnal's expedition.

On Sunday, the 13th of August, the Marshal reached Newry
with some trifling loss from skirmishes on the route. He
had with him, by the best accounts, six regiments of
infantry, numbering in all about 4,000 men and 350 horse.
After resting a day, his whole force marched out of the
city in three divisions; the first under the command of
the Marshal and Colonel Percy, the cavalry under Sir
Calisthenes Brooke and Captains Montague and Fleming;
the rear guard under Sir Thomas Wingfield and Colonel
Cosby. The Irish, whose numbers, both mounted and afoot,
somewhat exceeded the Marshal's force, but who were not
so well armed, had taken up a strong position at Ballinaboy
("the Yellow ford"), about two miles north of Armagh.
With O'Neil were O'Donnell, Maguire, and McDonnell of
Antrim--all approved leaders beloved by their men. O'Neil
had neglected no auxiliary means of strengthening the
position. In front of his lines he dug deep trenches,
covered over with green sods, supported by twigs and
branches. The pass leading into this plain was lined by
500 kerne, whose Parthian warfare was proverbial. He had
reckoned on the headlong and boastful disposition of his
opponent, and the result showed his accurate knowledge
of character. Bagnal's first division, veterans from
Brittany and Flanders, including 600 curassiers in complete
armour, armed with lances nine feet long, dashed into
the pass before the second and third divisions had time
to come up. The kerne poured in their rapid volleys; many
of the English fell; the pass was yielded, and the whole
power of Bagnal debouched into the plain. His artillery
now thundered upon O'Neil's trenches, and the cavalry,
with the plain before them, were ordered to charge; but
they soon came upon the concealed pitfalls, horses fell,
riders were thrown, and confusion spread among the
squadron. Then it was O'Neil in turn gave the signal to
charge; himself led on the centre, O'Donnell the left,
and Maguire, famous for horsemanship, the Irish horse.
The overthrow of the English was complete, and the victory
most eventful. The Marshal, 23 superior officers, with
about 1,700 of the rank and file fell on the field, while
all the artillery baggage and 12 stand of colours were
taken: the Irish loss in killed and wounded did not
exceed 800 men. "It was a glorious victory for the
rebels," says the cotemporary English historian, Camden,
"and of special advantage: for hereby they got arms and
provisions, and Tyrone's name was cried up all over
Ireland as the author of their liberty." It may also be
added that it attracted renewed attention to the Irish
war at Paris, Madrid, and Rome, where the names of O'Neil
and O'Donnell were spoken of by all zealous Catholics
with enthusiastic admiration.

The battle was over by noon of the 15th of August; and
the only effort to arrest the flight of the survivors
was made by "the Queen's O'Reilly," who was slain in the
attempt. By one o'clock the remnant of the cavalry under
Montague were in full career for Dundalk, closely pressed
by the mounted men of O'Hanlon. During the ensuing week
the Blackwater fort capitulated; the Protestant garrison
of Armagh surrendered; and were allowed to march south,
leaving their arms and ammunition behind. The panic spread
far and wide; the citizens of Dublin were enrolled to
defend their walls; Lord Ormond continued shut up in
Kilkenny; O'Moore and Tyrrell, who entered Munster by
O'Neil's order, to kindle the elements of resistance,
compelled the Lord President to retire from Kilmallock
to Cork. O'Donnell established his head-quarters at
Ballymoate, a dozen miles south of Sligo, which he had
purchased from the chieftain of Corran for 400 pounds
and 300 cows. The castle had served for thirteen years
as an English stronghold, and was found staunch enough
fifty years later to withstand the siege trains of Coote
and Ludlow. From this point the Donegal chieftain was
enabled to stretch his arm in every direction over lower
Connaught. The result was, that before the end of the
year 1598, nearly all the inhabitants of Clanrickarde
and the surrounding districts were induced, either from
policy or conviction, to give in their adhesion to the
Northern Confederacy.



The last favourite of the many who enjoyed the foolish,
if not guilty, favours of Elizabeth was Robert Devereux,
Earl of Essex, son of that unfortunate nobleman spoken
of in a previous chapter as the "undertaker" of Farney
and Clandeboy. Born in 1567, the Earl had barely reached
the age of manhood when he won the heart of his royal
mistress, already verging on threescore. Gifted by nature
with a handsome person, undoubted courage, and many
generous qualities, he exhibited, in the most important
transactions of life, the recklessness of a madman and
the levity of a spoiled child; it was apparent to the
world that nothing short of the personal fascination
which he exercised over the Queen could so long have
preserved him from the consequences of his continual
caprices and quarrels. Such was the character of the
young nobleman, who, as was afterwards said, at the
instigation of his enemies, was sent over to restore the
ascendancy of the English arms in the revolted provinces.
His appointment was to last during the Queen's pleasure;
he was provided with an army of 20,000 foot and 2,000
horse; three-fourths of the ordinary annual revenue of
England (340,000 pounds out of 450,000 pounds) was placed
at his disposal, and the largest administrative powers,
civil and military, were conferred on him. A new plan of
campaign in Ulster was decided upon at the royal council
table, and Sir Samuel Bagnal, brother of the late Marshal,
and other experienced officers, were to precede or
accompany him to carry it into execution. The main feature
of this plan was to get possession by sea and strongly
fortify Ballyshannon, Donegal, Derry, and the entrance
to the Foyle, so as to operate at once in the rear of
the northern chiefs, as well as along the old familiar
base of Newry, Monaghan, and Armagh.

Essex, on being sworn into office at Dublin, on the 15th
of April, 1599, immediately issued a proclamation offering
pardon and restoration of property to such of the Irish
as would lay down their arms by a given day, but very
few persons responded to this invitation. He next despatched
reinforcements to the garrisons of Wicklow and Naas,
menaced by the O'Moores and O'Byrnes, and to those of
Drogheda, Dundalk, Newry, and Carrickfergus, the only
northern strongholds remaining in possession of the Queen.
The principal operations, it had been agreed before he
left England, were to be directed against Ulster, but
with the waywardness which always accompanied him, he
disregarded that arrangement, and set forth, at the head
of 7,000 men, for the opposite quarter. He was accompanied
in this march by the Earls of Clanrickarde and Thomond,
Sir Conyers Clifford, Governor of Connaught, and O'Conor
of Sligo, the only native chief who remained in the
English ranks. In Ormond he received the submission of
Lord Mountgarrett, son-in-law to Tyrone, and took the
strong castle of Cahir from another of the insurgent
Butlers. After a halt at Limerick, he set out against
the Geraldines, who the previous year had joined the
Northern league, at the instance of Tyrrell and O'Moore.
Although the only heir of the Earl of Desmond was a
prisoner, or ward of Elizabeth in England, James Fitzgerald,
son of Thomas Roe, son of the fifteenth Earl by that
marriage which had been pronounced invalid, assumed the
title at the suggestion of O'Neil, and was recognized as
the Desmond by the greater portion of the relatives of
that family. Fitzmaurice, Lord of Lixnaw, the Knight of
Glynn, the White Knight, the Lord Roche, Pierce Lacy of
Buree and Bruff, the last descendant of Hugh de Lacy and
the daughter of Roderick O'Conor, with the McCarthys,
O'Donohoes, O'Sullivans, Condons, and other powerful
tribes, were all astir to the number, as Carew supposes,
of 8,000 men, all emulous of their compatriots in the
North. Issuing from Limerick, Essex marched southward to
strengthen the stronghold of Askeaton, into which he
succeeded, after a severe skirmish by the way, in throwing
supplies. Proceeding to victual Adare, he experienced
a similar check, losing among others Sir Henry Norris,
the third of those brave brothers who had fallen a victim
to these Irish wars. In returning to Dublin, by way of
Waterford and Kildare, he was assailed by O'Moore at a
difficult defile, which, to this day, is known in Irish
as "the pass of the plumes" or feathers. The Earl forced
a passage with the loss of 500 lives, and so returned
with little glory to Dublin.

The next military incident of the year transpired in the
West. We have spoken of O'Conor Sligo as the only native
chief who followed Essex to the South. He had been lately
at the English Court, where he was treated with the
highest distinction, in order that he might be used to
impede O'Donnell's growing power in lower Connaught. On
returning home he was promptly besieged by the Donegal
chief in his remaining castle at Colooney, within five
miles of Sligo. Essex, on learning this fact, ordered
Sir Conyers Clifford to march to the relief of O'Conor
with all the power he could muster. Clifford despatched
from Galway, by sea, stores and materials for the
refortification of Sligo town, and set out himself at
the head of 2,100 men, drafted from both sides of the
Shannon, under twenty-five ensigns. He had under him Sir
Alexander Radcliffe, Sir Griffin Markham, and other
experienced officers. Their rendezvous, as usual, was
the old monastic town of Boyle, about a day's march to
the south of Sligo. From Boyle, the highway led into the
Curlieu mountains, which divide Sligo on the south-east
from Roscommon. Here, in the strong pass of Ballaghboy,
O'Donnell with the main body of his followers awaited
their approach. He had left the remainder, under his
cousin and brother-in-law, Nial Garve (or the _rough_),
to maintain the siege of Colooney Castle. O'Ruarc and
the men of Breffni joined him during the battle, but
their entire force is nowhere stated. It was the eve of
the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, and the first
anniversary of the great victory of the Yellow Ford. The
night was spent by the Irish in fasting and prayer, the
early morning in hearing Mass, and receiving the Holy
Communion. The day was far advanced when the head of
Clifford's column appeared in the defile, driving in a
barricade erected at its entrance. The defenders, according
to orders, discharged their javelins and muskets, and
fell back farther into the gorge. The English advanced
twelve abreast, through a piece of woodland, after which
the road crossed a patch of bog. Here the thick of the
battle was fought. Sir Alexander Radcliffe, who led the
vanguard, fell early in the action, and his division
falling back on the centre threw them all into confusion.
O'Ruarc arriving with his men at the critical moment
completed the rout, and pursued the fugitives to the
gates of Boyle. The gallant Clifford, scorning to fly,
was found among the slain, and honourably interred by
his generous enemies in the monastery of Lough Key. On
his head being shown to O'Conor at Colooney, he at once
surrendered to O'Donnell, and entered into the Northern
Confederacy. Theobald Burke, the commander of the vessels
sent round from Galway to fortify Sligo, also submitted
to O'Donnell, and was permitted to return to the port
from which he had lately sailed, with very different

Essex, whose mind was a prey to apprehension from his
enemies in England had demanded reinforcements before he
could undertake anything against Ulster. It seems hardly
credible that the 15,000 regular troops in the country
at his coming should be mostly taken up with garrison
duty, yet we cannot otherwise account for their
disappearance from the field. He asked for 2,000 fresh
troops, and while awaiting their arrival, sent a detachment
of 600 men into Wicklow, who were repulsed with loss by
Phelim, son of Feagh, the new Chief of the O'Byrnes.
Essex was thrown into transports of rage at this new
loss. The officers who retreated were tried by
court-martial, and, contrary to his usually generous
temper, the surviving men were inhumanly decimated.

Early in September, the reinforcement he had asked for
arrived with a bitterly reproachful letter from the Queen.
He now hastened to make a demonstration against Tyrone,
although, from some cause unexplained, he does not seem
to have drawn out the whole force at his disposal. From
Newry he proceeded northward towards Carrickfergus, with
only 1,300 foot and 300 horse. On the high ground to the
north of the river Lagan, overlooking Anaghclart Bridge,
he found the host of O'Neil encamped, and received a
courteous message from their leader, soliciting a personal
interview. Essex at first declined, but afterwards accepted
the invitation, and at an appointed hour the two commanders
rode down to the opposite banks of the river, wholly
unattended, the advanced guard of each looking curiously
on from the uplands. O'Neil spurred his horse into the
stream up to the saddle girth, and thus for an hour,
exposed to the generous but impulsive Englishman, the
grievances of himself and his compatriots. With all the
art, for which he was distinguished, he played upon his
knowledge of the Earl's character: he named those enemies
of his own whom he also knew to be hostile to Essex, he
showed his provocations in the strongest light, and
declared his readiness to submit to her Majesty, on
condition of obtaining complete liberty of conscience,
an act of indemnity to include his allies in all the four
Provinces; that the principal officers of state, the
judges, and one half the army should in future be Irish
by birth. This was, in effect, a demand for national
independence, though the Lord Lieutenant may not have
seen it in that light. He promised, however, to transmit
the propositions to England, and within presence of six
principal officers of each side, agreed to a truce till
the 1st of May following. Another upbraiding letter from
Elizabeth, which awaited him on his return to Dublin,
drove Essex to the desperate resolution of presenting
himself before her, without permission. The short remainder
of his troubled career, his execution in the Tower in
February, 1601, and Elizabeth's frantic lamentations,
are familiar to readers of English history.

In presenting so comprehensive an ultimatum to Essex,
O'Neil was emboldened by the latest intelligence received
from Spain. Philip II., the life-long friend of the
Catholics, had, indeed, died the previous September, but
one of the first acts of his successor, Philip III., was
to send envoys into Ireland, assuring its chiefs that he
would continue to them the friendship and alliance of
his father. Shortly before the conference at Anaghclart,
a third Armada, under the Adelantado of Castile, was
awaiting orders in the port of Corunna, and England, for
the third time in ten years, was placed in a posture of
defence. The Spaniards sailed, but soon divided into
two squadrons, one of which passed down the British
Channel unobserved, and anchored in the waters of the
Sluys, while the other sailed for the Canaries to intercept
the Hollanders. At the same time, however, most positive
assurances were renewed that an auxiliary force might
shortly be expected to land in Ireland in aid of the
Catholics. The non-arrival of this force during the
fortunate campaign of 1599 was not much felt by the
Catholics; and was satisfactorily explained by Philip's
envoys--but the mere fact of the existence of the Spanish
alliance gave additional confidence and influence to the
confederates. That fact was placed beyond all question
by the arrival of two Spanish ships laden with stores
for O'Neil, immediately after the interview with Essex.
In the summer or autumn ensuing, Mathew of Oviedo, a
Spaniard, consecrated at Rome, Archbishop of Dublin,
brought over 22,000 crowns towards the pay of the Irish
troops, and a year afterwards, Don Martin de la Cerda
was sent to reside as envoy with Tyrone.

The year 1600 was employed by Hugh O'Neil, after the
manner of his ancestors, who were candidates for the
Kingship of Tara, in a visitation of the Provinces. Having
first planted strong garrisons on the southern passes
leading into Ulster, he marched at the head of 3,000 men
into West-Meath, where he obliged Lord Delvin and Sir
Theobald Dillon to join the Confederation. From Meath he
marched to Ely, whose chief he punished for a late act
of treachery to some Ulster soldiers invited to his
assistance. From Ely he turned aside to venerate the
relic of the Holy Cross, at Thurles, and being there he
granted his protection to the great Monastery built by
Donald More O'Brien. At Cashel he was joined by the
Geraldine, whom he caused to be recognized as Earl of
Desmond. Desmond and his supporters accompanied him
through Limerick into Cork, quartering their retainers
on the lands of their enemies, but sparing their friends;
the Earl of Ormond with a corps of observation moving on
a parallel line of march, but carefully avoiding a
collision. In the beginning of March the Catholic army
halted at Inniscarra, upon the river Lee, about five
miles west of Cork. Here O'Neil remained three weeks in
camp consolidating the Catholic party in South Munster.
During that time he was visited by the chiefs of the
ancient Eugenian clans--O'Donohoe, O'Donovan, and O'Mahoney:
thither also came two of the most remarkable men of the
southern Province, Florence McCarthy, Lord of Carberry,
and Donald O'Sullivan, Lord of Bearehaven. McCarthy "like
Saul, higher by the head and shoulders than any of his
house," had brain in proportion to his brawn; O'Sullivan,
as was afterwards shown, was possessed of military virtues
of a high order. Florence was inaugurated with O'Neil's
sanction as McCarthy More, and although the rival house
of Muskerry fiercely resisted his claim to superiority
at first, a wiser choice could not have been made had
the times tended to confirm it.

While at Inniscarra, O'Neil lost in single combat one of
his most accomplished officers, the chief of Fermanagh.
Maguire, accompanied only by a Priest and two horsemen,
was making observations nearer to the city than the camp,
when Sir Warham St. Leger, Marshal of Munster, issued
out of Cork with a company of soldiers, probably on a
similar mission. Both were in advance of their attendants
when they came unexpectedly face to face. Both were famous
as horsemen and for the use of their weapons, and neither
would retrace his steps. The Irish chief, poising his
spear, dashed forward against his opponent, but received
a pistol shot which proved mortal the same day. He,
however, had strength enough left to drive his spear
through the neck of St. Leger, and to effect his escape
from the English cavalry. Saint Leger was carried back
to Cork where he expired; Maguire, on reaching the camp,
had barely time left to make his last confession, when
he breathed his last. This untoward event, the necessity
of preventing possible dissensions in Fermanagh, and
still more, the menacing movements of the new Deputy,
lately sworn in at Dublin, obliged O'Neil to return home
earlier than he intended. Soon after reaching Dungannon
he had the gratification of receiving a most gracious
letter from Pope Clement VIII., together with a crown of
phoenix feathers, symbolical of the consideration with
which he was regarded by the Sovereign Pontiff.

A new Deputy had landed at Howth on the 24th of February,
1600, and was sworn in at Dublin the day following. This
was Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy, afterwards Earl of
Devonshire, a nobleman now in his 37th year. He had been
the rival, the enemy, and the devoted friend of the
unfortunate Essex, whom he equalled in personal gifts,
in courage, and in gallantry, but far exceeded in judgment,
firmness, and foresight. He was one of a class of
soldier-statesmen, peculiar to the second half of
Elizabeth's reign, who affected authorship and the
patronage of letters as a necessary complement to the
manners of a courtier and commander. On the 2nd of April,
Mountjoy, still at Dublin, wrote to her Majesty that the
army had taken heart since his arrival, that he had no
fear of the loss of the country, but was more anxious
for Connaught than any other Province. He deplored the
capture of Lord Ormond by the O'Moores, but hoped, if
God prospered her arms during the summer, either "to bow
or to break the crooked humours of these people." The
three succeeding years of peace granted to England--
interrupted only by the mad _emeute_ of Essex, and the
silly intrigues of the King of Scotland--enabled Elizabeth
to direct all the energies of the State, which had so
immensely increased in wealth during her reign, for the
subjugation of the Irish revolt.

The capture of Ormond by the O'Moores took place in the
month of April, at a place called Corroneduff, in an
interview between the Earl, the President of Munster,
and Lord Thomond, on the one part, and the Leinster Chief
on the other. Ormond, who stood out from his party, had
asked to see the famous Jesuit, Father Archer, then with
O'Moore. The Priest advanced leaning on his staff, which,
in the heat of a discussion that arose, he raised once
or twice in the air. The clansmen, suspecting danger to
the Jesuit, rushed forward and dragged the Earl from his
horse. Lord Thomond and the President, taking the alarm,
plied their spurs, and were but too glad to escape. Ormond
remained a prisoner from April to June, during which
interval he was received by Archer into the Church, to
which he firmly adhered till the day of his death. On
his liberation he entered into bonds for 3,000 pounds
not to make reprisals, but Mountjoy took vengeance for
him. The fair, well-fenced, and well-cultivated land of
Leix was cruelly ravaged immediately after Ormond's
release--the common soldiers cut down with their swords
"corn to the value of 10,000 pounds and upwards," and
the brave chief, Owny, son of Rory, having incautiously
exposed himself in an attack on Maryborough, was, on the
17th of August, killed by a musket shot.



The twofold operations against Ulster, neglected by Essex,
were vigorously pressed forward by the energetic Mountjoy.
On the 16th of May, a fleet arrived in Lough Foyle, having
on board 4,000 foot and 200 horse, under the command of
Sir Henry Dowcra, with abundance of stores, building
materials, and ordnance. At the same moment, the Deputy
forced the Moira pass, and made a feigned demonstration
against Armagh, to draw attention from the fleet in the
Foyle. This feint served its purpose; Dowcra was enabled
to land and throw up defensive works at Derry, which he
made his head-quarters, to fortify Culmore at the entrance
to the harbour, where he placed 600 men, under the command
of Captain Atford, and to seize the ancient fort of
Aileach, at the head of Lough Swilly, where Captain Ellis
Flood was stationed with 150 men. The attempt against
Ballyshannon was, on a nearer view, found impracticable,
and deferred; the Deputy, satisfied that the lodgment
had been made upon Lough Foyle, retired to Dublin, after
increasing the garrisons at Newry, Carlingford, and
Dundalk. The Catholic chieftains immediately turned
their attention to the new fort at Deny, appeared suddenly
before it with 5,000 men, but failing to draw out its
defenders, and being wholly unprovided with a siege train
and implements--as they appear to have been throughout--
they withdrew the second day, O'Donnell leaving a party
in hopes to starve out the foreigners. This party were
under the command of O'Doherty, of Innishowen, and Nial
Garve O'Donnell, the most distinguished soldier of his
name, after his illustrious cousin and chief. On the 28th
of June, a party of the besieged, headed by Sir John
Chamberlaine, made a sally from the works, but were driven
in with loss, and Chamberlaine killed. On the 29th of
July, O'Donnell, who had returned from his annual incursion
into Connaught and Thomond, seized the English cavalry
horses, and defeated the main force of the besieged, who
had issued out to their rescue. From this affair Dowcra
was carried back wounded into Deny.

But treason was busy in the Irish camp and country among
the discontented members of the neighbouring clans. The
election of chiefs for life, always a fruitful source of
bickering and envy, supplied the very material upon which
"the princely policie" of division, recommended by Bacon
to Essex, might be exercised. Dowcra succeeded in the
summer in winning over Art O'Neil, son of Turlogh, the
early adversary of the great Hugh; before the year was
over, by bribes and promises, he seduced Nial Garve, in
the absence of his chief in Connaught, and Nial, having
once entered on the career of treason, pursued it with
all the dogged courage of Ms disposition. Though his
wife, sister to Red Hugh, forsook him, though his name
was execrated throughout the Province, except by his
blindly devoted personal followers, he served the English
during the remainder of the war with a zeal and ability
to which they acknowledged themselves deeply indebted.
By a rapid march, at the head of 1,000 men, supplied by
Dowcra, he surprised the town of Lifford, which his new
allies promptly fortified with walls of stone, and
entrusted to him to defend. Red Hugh, on learning this
alarming incident, hastened from the West to invest the
place. After sitting before it an entire month, with no
other advantage than a sally repulsed, he concluded to
go into winter quarters. Arthur O'Neil and Nial Garve
had the dignity of knighthood conferred upon them, and
were, besides, recognized for the day by the English
officials as the future O'Neil and O'Donnell. In like
manner, "a Queen's Maguire" had been raised up in Fermanagh,
"a Queen's O'Reilly" in Cavan, and other chiefs of smaller
districts were provided with occupation enough at their
own doors by the "princely policie" of Lord Bacon.

The English interest in Munster during the first year of
Mountjoy's administration had recovered much of its lost
predominance. The new President, Sir George Carew,
afterwards Earl of Totness, was brother to that knightly
"undertaker" who claimed the moiety of Desmond, and met
his death at Glenmalure. He was a soldier of the new
school, who prided himself especially on his "wit and
cunning," in the composition of "sham and counterfeit
letters." He had an early experience in the Irish wars,
first as Governor of Askeaton Castle, and afterwards as
Lieutenant General of the Ordnance. Subsequently he was
employed in putting England in a state of defence against
the Spaniards, and had just returned from an embassy to
Poland, when he was ordered to join Mountjoy with the
rank of Lord President. He has left us a memoir of his
administration, civil and military, edited by his natural
son and Secretary, Thomas Stafford--exceedingly interesting
to read both as to matter and manner, but the documents
embodied in which are about as reliable as the speeches
which are read in Livy. Some of them are admitted forgeries;
others are at least of doubtful authenticity. After
escaping with Lord Thomond from the scene of Ormond's
capture, his first act on reaching Cork was to conclude
a month's truce with Florence McCarthy. This he did, in
order to gain time to perfect a plot for the destruction
of O'Neil's other friend, called in derision, by the
Anglo-Irish of Munster, the _sugane_ (or straw-rope) Earl
of Desmond.

This plot, so characteristic of Carew and of the turn
which English history was about to take in the next reign,
deserves to be particularly mentioned. There was, in the
service of the Earl, one Dermid O'Conor, captain of 1,400
hired troops, who was married to lady Margaret Fitzgerald,
daughter to the late, and niece to the new-made Earl of
Desmond. This lady, naturally interested in the restoration
of her young brother, then the Queen's ward or prisoner
at London, to the title and estates, was easily drawn
into the scheme of seducing her husband from his patron.
To justify and cloak the treachery a letter was written
by Carew to the _sugane_ Earl reminding him of _his_
engagement to deliver up O'Conor; this _letter_, as
pre-arranged, was intercepted by the latter, who, watching
his opportunity, rushed with it open into the Earl's
presence, and arrested him, in the name of O'Neil, as a
traitor to the Catholic cause! Anxious to finger his
reward--1,000 pounds and a royal commission for himself
--before giving up his capture, O'Conor imprisoned the
Earl in the keep of Castle-Ishin, but the White Knight,
the Knight of Glynn, Fitzmaurice of Kerry, and Pierce
Lacy, levying rapidly 2,000 men, speedily delivered him
from confinement, while his baffled betrayer, crest-fallen
and dishonoured, was compelled to quit the Province. The
year following he was attacked while marching through
Galway, and remorselessly put to death by Theobald Burke,
usually called Theobald of the ships.

Another device employed to destroy the influence of
O'Neil's Desmond was the liberation of the young son of
the late Earl from the Tower and placing him at the
disposal of Carew. The young nobleman, attended by a
Captain Price, who was to watch all his movements, landed
at Youghal, where he was received by the Lord President,
the Clerk of the Council, Mr. Boyle, afterwards Earl of
Cork, and Miler Magrath, an apostate ecclesiastic, who
had been the Queen's Archbishop of Cashel. By his influence
with the warders, Castlemaine, in Kerry, surrendered to
the President. On reaching Kilmallock, he was received
with such enthusiasm that it required the effort of a
guard of soldiers to make way for him through the crowd.
According to their custom the people showered down upon
him from the windows handfuls of wheat and salt--emblems
of plenty and of safety--but the next day, being Sunday,
turned all this joy into mourning, not unmingled with
anger and shame. The young lord, who had been bred up a
Protestant by his keepers, directed his steps to the
English Church, to the consternation of the devoted
adherents of his house. They clung round him in the street
and endeavoured to dissuade him from proceeding, but he
continued his course, and on his return was met with
hootings and reproaches by those who had hailed him with
acclamations the day before. Deserted by the people, and
no longer useful to the President, he was recalled to
London, where he resumed his quarters in the Tower, and
shortly afterwards died. The capture of the strong castle
of Glynn from the knight of that name, and the surrender
of Carrigafoyle by O'Conor of Kerry, were the other
English successes which marked the campaign of 1600 in
Munster. On the other hand, O'Donnell had twice exercised
his severe supremacy over southern Connaught, burning
the Earl of Thomond's new town of Ennis, and sweeping
the vales and plains of Clare, and of Clanrickarde, of
the animal wealth of their recreant Earls, now actively
enlisted against the national confederacy.

The eventful campaign of 1601 was fought out in almost
every quarter of the kingdom. To hold the coast line,
and prevent the advantages being obtained, which the
possession of Derry, and other harbours on Lough Foyle
gave them, were the tasks of O'Donnell; while to defend
the southern frontier was the peculiar charge of O'Neil.
They thus fought, as it were, back to back against the
opposite lines of attack. The death of O'Doherty, early
in this year, threw the succession to Innishowen into
confusion, and while O'Donnell was personally endeavouring
to settle conflicting claims, Nial Garve seized on the
famous Franciscan monastery which stood at the head of
the bay, within sight of the towers of Donegal Castle.
Hugh Roe immediately invested the place, which his relative
as stoutly defended. Three months, from the end of June
till the end of September, the siege was strictly
maintained, the garrison being regularly supplied with
stores and ammunition from sea. On the night of the 29th
of September an explosion of gunpowder occurred, and soon
the monastery was wrapped in flames. This was the moment
chosen for the final attack. The glare of the burning
Abbey reflected over the beautiful bay, the darkness of
night all round, the shouts of the assailants, and the
shrieks of the fugitives driven by the flames upon the
spears of their enemies, must have formed a scene of
horrors such as even war rarely combines. Hundreds of
the besieged were slain, but Nial Garve himself, with
the remainder, covered by the fire of an English ship in
the harbour, escaped along the strand to the neighbouring
monastery of Magherabeg, which he quickly put into a
state of defence. All that was left to O'Donnell of that
monastery, the burial place of his ancestors, and the
chief school of his kinsmen, was a skeleton of stone,
standing amid rubbish and ashes. It was never re-inhabited
by the Franciscans. A group of huts upon the shore served
them for shelter, and the ruined chapel for a place of
worship, while they were still left in the land.

While Hugh Roe was investing Donegal Abbey the war had
not paused on the southern frontier. We have said that
Mountjoy had made a second and a third demonstration
against Armagh the previous year; in one of these journeys
he raised a strong fort at the northern outlet of the
Moira pass, which he called Mount Norris, in honour of
his late master in the art of war. This work, strongly
built and manned, gave him the free _entree_ of the field
of battle whenever he chose to take it. In June of this
year he was in the valley of the Blackwater, menaced
O'Neil's castle of Benburb, and left Sir Charles Danvers
with 750 foot and 100 horse in possession of Armagh. He
further proclaimed a reward of 2,000 pounds for the
capture of Tyrone alive, or 1,000 pounds for his head.
But no Irishman was found to entertain the thought of
that bribe. An English assassin was furnished with
passports by Danvers, and actually drew his sword on the
Earl in his own tent, but he was seized, disarmed, and
on the ground of insanity was permitted to escape. Later
in the summer Mountjoy was again on the Blackwater, where
he laid the foundation of Charlemont, called after himself,
and placed 350 men in the works under the command of
Captain Williams, the brave defender of the old fort in
the same neighbourhood. There were thus quartered in
Ulster at this period the 4,000 foot and 400 horse under
Dowcra, chiefly on the Foyle, with whatever companies of
Kerne adhered to Arthur O'Neil and Nial Garve; with
Chichester in Carrickfergus there were 850 foot and 150
horse; with Danvers in Armagh, 750 foot and 100 horse;
in Mount Norris, under Sir Samuel Bagnal, 600 foot and
50 horse; in and about Downpatrick, lately taken by the
Deputy, under Moryson, 300 foot; in Newry, under Stafford,
400 foot and 50 horse; in Charlemont, with Williams, 300
foot and 50 horse; or, in all, of English regulars in
Ulster alone, 7,000 foot and 800 horse. The position of
the garrisons on the map will show how firm a grasp
Mountjoy had taken of the Northern Province.

The last scene of this great struggle was now about to
shift to the opposite quarter of the kingdom. The
long-looked for Spanish fleet was known to have left the
Tagus--had been seen off the Scilly Islands. On the 23rd
of September the Council, presided over by Mountjoy, was
assembled in Kilkenny Castle: there were present Carew,
Ormond, Sir Richard Wingfield, Marshal of the Queen's
troops, uncle to Carew, and founder of the family of
Powerscourt; also Chief Justice Gardiner, and other
members less known. While they were still sitting a
message arrived from Cork that the Spanish fleet was off
that harbour, and soon another that they had anchored in
Kinsale, and taken possession of the town without
opposition. The course of the Council was promptly taken.
Couriers were at once despatched to call in the garrisons
far and near which could possibly be dispensed with for
service in Munster. Letters were despatched to England
for reinforcements, and a winter campaign in the South
was decided on.

The Spanish auxiliary force, when it sailed from the
Tagus, consisted originally of 6,000 men in fifteen armed
vessels and thirty transports. When they reached Kinsale,
after suffering severely at sea, and parting company with
several of their comrades, the soldiers were reduced to
3,400 men--a number inferior to Dowcra's force on the
Foyle. The General, Don Jaun del Aguila, was a brave,
but testy, passionate and suspicious officer. He has been
severely censured by some Irish writers for landing in
the extreme South, within fourteen miles of the English
arsenal and head-quarters at Cork, and for his general
conduct as a commander. However vulnerable he may be on
the general charge, he does not seem fairly to blame for
the choice of the point of debarkation. He landed in the
old Geraldine country, unaware, of course, of the events
of the last few weeks, in which the _sugane_ Earl, and
Florence McCarthy, had been entrapped by Carew's "wit
and cunning," and shipped for London, from which they
never returned. Even the northern chiefs, up to this
period, evidently thought their cause much stronger in
the South, and Munster much farther restored to vigour
and courage than it really was. To the bitter disappointment
and disgust of the Spaniards, only O'Sullivan Beare,
O'Driscoll, and O'Conor of Kerry, declared openly for
them; while they could hear daily of chiefs they had been
taught to count as friends, either as prisoners or allies
of the English. On the 17th of October--three weeks from
their first arrival--they were arrested in Kinsale by
a mixed army of English and Anglo-Irish, 15,000 strong,
under the command of the Deputy and President, of whom
above 5,000 had freshly arrived at Cork from England.
With Mountjoy were the Earls of Thomond and Clanrickarde,
more zealous than the English themselves for the triumph
of England. The harbour was blockaded by ten ships of
war, under Sir Richard Leviston, and the forts at the
entrance, Rincorran and Castlenepark, being taken by
cannonade, the investment on all sides was complete. Don
Juan's messengers found O'Neil and O'Donnell busily
engaged on their own frontiers, but both instantly resolved
to muster all their strength for a winter campaign in
Munster. O'Donnell _rendezvoused_ at Ballymote, from
which he set out, at the head of 2,500 men, of Tyrconnell
and Connaught, on the 2nd day of November. O'Neil, with
McDonnell of Antrim, McGennis of Down, McMahon of Monaghan,
and others, his suffragans, marched at the head of between
3,000 and 4,000 men, through West-Meath towards Ormond.
Holy Cross was their appointed place of meeting, where
they expected to be joined by such of the neighbouring
Catholics as were eager to strike a blow for liberty of
worship. O'Donnell reached the neighbourhood first, and
encamped in a strongly defensible position, "plashed on
every quarter" for greater security. Mountjoy, anxious
to engage him before O'Neil should come up, detached a
numerically superior force, under Carew, for that purpose:
but O'Donnell, evacuating his quarters by night, marched
over the mountain of Slieve Felim, casting away much of
his heavy baggage, and before calling halt was 32 _Irish_
miles distant from his late encampment. After this
extraordinary mountain march, equal to 40 of our present
miles, he made a detour to the westward, descended on
Castlehaven, in Cork, and formed a junction with 700
Spaniards, who had just arrived to join Del Aguila. A
portion of these veterans were detailed to the forts of
Castlehaven, Baltimore, and Dunboy, commanding three of
the best havens in Munster; the remainder joined O'Donnell's

During the whole of November the siege of Kinsale was
pressed with the utmost vigour by Mountjoy. The place
mounted but three or four effective guns, while 20 great
pieces of ordnance were continually playing on the walls.
On the 1st of December a breach was found practicable,
and an assault made by a party of 2,000 English was
bravely repulsed by the Spaniards. The English fleet,
ordered round to Castlehaven on the 3rd, were becalmed,
and suffered some damage from a battery, manned by Spanish
gunners, on the shore. The lines were advanced closer
towards the town, and the bombardment became more effective.
But the English ranks were considerably thinned by disease
and desertion, so that on the last day of December, when
the united Irish force took up their position at Belgoley,
a mile to the north of their lines, the Lord Deputy's
effective force did not, it is thought, exceed 10,000
men. The Catholic army has generally been estimated at
6,000 native foot and 500 horse; to these are to be added
300 Spaniards, under Don Alphonso Ocampo, who joined
O'Donnell at Castlehaven.

The prospect for the besiegers was becoming exceedingly
critical, but the Spaniards in Kinsale were far from
being satisfied with their position. They had been fully
three months within walls, in a region wholly unknown to
them before their allies appeared. They neither understood
nor made allowance for the immense difficulties of a
winter campaign in a country trenched with innumerable
swollen streams, thick with woods, which, at that season,
gave no shelter, and where camping out at nights was
enough to chill the hottest blood. They only felt their
own inconveniences: they were cut off from escape by
sea by a powerful English fleet, and Carew was already
practising indirectly on their commander his "wit and
cunning," in the fabrication of rumours, and the forging
of letters. Don Juan wrote urgent appeals to the northern
chiefs to attack the English lines without another day's
delay, and a council of war, the third day after their
arrival at Belgoley, decided that the attack should be
made on the morrow. This decision was come to on the
motion of O'Donnell, contrary to the judgment of the more
circumspect and far-seeing O'Neil. Overruled, the latter
acquiesced in the decision, and cheerfully prepared to
discharge his duty.

A story is told by Carew that information was obtained
of the intended attack from McMahon, in return for a
bottle of _aquavitae_ presented to him by the President.
This tale is wholly unworthy of belief, told of a chief
of the first rank, encamped in the midst of a friendly
country. It is also said--and it seems credible enough
--that an intercepted letter of Don Juan's gave the
English in good time this valuable piece of information.
On the night of the 2nd of January, new style (24th of
December, O.S.--in use among the English), the Irish army
left their camp in three divisions, the vanguard led by
Tyrrell, the centre by O'Neil, and the rear by O'Donnell.
The night was stormy and dark, with continuous peals and
flashes of thunder and lightning. The guides lost their
way, and the march, which, even by the most circuitous
route, ought not to have exceeded four or five miles,
was protracted through the entire night. At dawn of day,
O'Neil, with whom were O'Sullivan and Ocampo, came in
sight of the English lines, and, to his infinite surprise,
found the men under arms, the cavalry in troop posted in
advance of their quarters. O'Donnell's division was
still to come up, and the veteran Earl now found himself
in the same dilemma into which Bagnal had fallen at the
Yellow Ford. His embarrassment was perceived from the
English camp; the cavalry were at once ordered to advance.
For an hour O'Neil maintained his ground alone; at the
end of that time he was forced to retire. Of Ocampo's
300 Spaniards, 40 survivors were, with their gallant
leader, taken prisoners; O'Donnell at length arrived,
and drove back a wing of the English cavalry; Tyrrell's
horsemen also held their ground tenaciously. But the rout
of the centre proved irremediable. Fully 1,200 of the
Irish were left dead on the field, and every prisoner
taken was instantly executed. On the English side fell
Sir Richard Graeme; Captains Danvers and Godolphin, with
several others, were wounded; their total loss they stated
at 200, and the Anglo-Irish, of whom they seldom made
count in their reports, must have lost in proportion.
The Earls of Thomond and Clanrickarde were actively
engaged with their followers, and their loss could hardly
have been less than that of the English regulars. On the
night following their defeat, the Irish leaders held
council together at Innishanon, on the river Bandon,
where it was agreed that O'Donnell should instantly take
shipping for Spain to lay the true state of the contest
before Philip III.; that O'Sullivan should endeavour to
hold the Castle of Dunboy, as commanding a most important
harbour; that Rory O'Donnell, second brother of Hugh Roe,
should act as Chieftain of Tyrconnell, and that O'Neil
should return into Ulster to make the best defence in
his power. The loss in men was not irreparable; the loss
in arms, colours, and reputation, was more painful to
bear, and far more difficult to retrieve.

On the 12th of January, nine days after the battle, Don
Juan surrendered the town, and agreed to give up at the
same time Dunboy, Baltimore, and Castlehaven. He had lost
1,000 men out of his 3,000 during a ten weeks' siege,
and was heartily sick of Irish warfare. On his return to
Spain he was degraded from his rank, for his too great
intimacy with Carew, and confined a prisoner in his own
house. He is said to have died of a broken heart occasioned
by these indignities.

O'Donnell sailed from Castlehaven in a Spanish ship, on
the 6th of January, three clays after the battle, and
arrived at Corunna on the 14th. He was received with all
the honours due to a crown prince by the Conde de Caracena,
Governor of Galicia. Among other objects, he visited the
remains of the tower of Betanzos, from which, according
to Bardic legends, the sons of Milesius had sailed to
seek for the Isle of Destiny among the waves of the west.
On the 27th he set out for the Court, accompanied as far
as Santa Lucia by the governor, who presented him with
1,000 ducats towards his expenses. At Compostella the
Archbishop offered him his own palace, which O'Donnell
respectfully declined: he afterwards celebrated a Solemn
High Mass for the Irish chief's intention, entertained
him magnificently at dinner, and presented him, as the
governor had done, with 1,000 ducats. At Zamora he received
from Philip III. a most cordial reception, and was assured
that in a very short time a more powerful armament than
Don Juan's should sail with him from Corunna. He returned
to that port, from which he could every day look out
across the western waves that lay between him and home,
and where he could be kept constantly informed of what
was passing in Ireland. Spring was over and gone, and
summer, too, had passed away, but still the exigencies
of Spanish policy delayed the promised expedition. At
length O'Donnell set out on a second visit to the Spanish
Court, then at Valladolid, but he reached no further than
Simancas, when, fevered in mind and body, he expired on
the 10th of September, 1602, in the 29th year of his age.
He was attended in his last moments by two Franciscan
Fathers who accompanied him, Florence, afterwards Archbishop
of Tuam, and Maurice Donlevy, of his own Abbey of Donegal.
His body was interred with regal honours in the Cathedral
of Valladolid, where a monument was erected to his memory
by the King of Spain.

Thus closed the career of one of the brightest and
purest characters in any history. His youth, his early
captivity, his princely generosity, his daring courage,
his sincere piety won the hearts of all who came in
contact with him. He was the sword as O'Neil was the
brain of the Ulster Confederacy; the Ulysses and Achilles
of the war, they fought side by side, without jealousy
or envy, for almost as long a period as their prototypes
had spent in besieging Troy.



The days of Queen Elizabeth were now literally numbered.
The death of Essex, the intrigues of the King of Scotland,
and the successes of Tyrone, preyed upon her spirits.
The Irish chief was seldom out of her mind, and, as she
often predicted, she was not to live to receive his
submission. She was accustomed to send for her godson,
Harrington, who had served in Ireland, to ask him questions
concerning Tyrone; the French ambassador considered
Tyrone's war one of the causes that totally destroyed
her peace of mind in her latter days. She received the
news of the victory of Kinsale with pleasure, but, even
then, she was not destined to receive the submission of

The events of the year, so inauspiciously begun for the
Irish arms, continued of the same disastrous character.
Castlehaven was surrendered by its Spanish guard, according
to Del Aguila's agreement. Baltimore, after a momentary
resistance, was also given up, but O'Sullivan, who
considered the Spanish capitulation nothing short of
treason, threw a body of native troops, probably drawn
from Tyrrell's men, into Dunboy, under Captain Richard
Mageoghegan, and Taylor, an Englishman, connected by
marriage with Tyrrell. Another party of the same troops
took possession of Clear Island, but were obliged to
abandon it as untenable. The entire strength of the Dunboy
garrison amounted to 143 men; towards the end of April
--the last of the Spaniards having sailed in March--
Carew left Cork at the head of 3,000 men to besiege
Dunboy. Sir Charles Wilmot moved on the same point from
Kerry, with a force of 1,000 men, to join Carew. In the
pass near Mangerton Wilmot was encountered by Donald
O'Sullivan and Tyrrell, at the head of then remaining
followers, but forced a passage and united with his
superior on the shores of Berehaven. On the 1st of June
the English landed on Bear Island, and on the 6th opened
their cannonade. They were 4,000 men, with every military
equipment necessary, against 143. After eleven days'
bombardment the place was shattered to pieces; the garrison
offered to surrender, if allowed to retain their arms,
but their messenger was hanged, and an instant assault
ordered. Over fifty of this band of Christian Spartans
had fallen in the defence, thirty attempted to escape in
boats, or by swimming, but were killed to a man while in
the water. The remainder retreated with Mageoghegan,
who was severely wounded, to a cellar approached by a
narrow stair, where the command was assumed by Taylor.
All day the assault had been carried on till night closed
upon the scene of carnage. Placing a strong guard on the
approach to the crypt, Carew returned to the charge with
the returning light. Cannon were first discharged into
the narrow chamber which held the last defenders of
Dunboy, and then a body of the assailants rushing in,
despatched the wounded Mageoghegan with their swords,
having found him, candle in hand, dragging himself towards
the gunpowder. Taylor and fifty-seven others were led
out to execution; of all the heroic band, not a soul
escaped alive.

The remaining fragments of Dunboy were blown into the
air by Carew on the 22nd of June. Dursey Castle, another
island fortress of O'Sullivan's, had fallen even earlier;
so that no roof remained to the lord of Berehaven. Still
he held his men well together in the glens of Kerry,
during the months of Summer, but the ill-news from Spain
in September threw a gloom over those mountains deeper
than was ever cast by equinoctial storm. Tyrrell was
obliged to separate from him in the Autumn, probably from
the difficulty of providing for so many mouths, and
O'Sullivan himself prepared to bid a sad farewell to the
land of his inheritance. On the last day of December he
left Glengariffe, with 400 fighting men, and 600 women,
children, and servants, to seek a refuge in the distant
north. After a retreat almost unparalleled, the survivors
of this exodus succeeded in reaching the friendly roof
of O'Ruarc, at Dromahaire, not far from Sligo. Their
entire march, from the extreme south to the almost extreme
north-west of the island, a distance, as they travelled
it, of not less than 200 miles, was one scene of warfare
and suffering. They were compelled to kill their horses,
on reaching the Shannon, in order to make boats of the
hides, to ferry them to the western bank. At Aughrim they
were attacked by a superior force under Lord Clanrickarde's
brother, and Captain Henry Malby, but they fought with
the courage of despair, routed the enemy, slaving Malby,
and other officers. Of the ten hundred who left the shores
of Glengariffe, but 35 souls reached the Leitrim chieftain's
mansion. Among these were the chief himself, with Dermid,
father of the historian, who at the date of this march
had reached the age of seventy. The conquest of Munster,
at least, was now complete. In the ensuing January, Owen
McEgan, Bishop of Ross, was slain in the midst of a
guerilla party, in the mountains of Carberry, and Ms
chaplain, being taken, was hanged with the other prisoners.
The policy of extermination recommended by Carew was
zealously carried out by strong detachments under Wilmot,
Harvey, and Flower; Mr. Boyle and the other "Undertakers"
zealously assisting as volunteers.

Mountjoy, after transacting some civil business at Dublin,
proceeded in person to the north, while Dowcra, marching
out of Derry, pressed O'Neil from the north and north-east.
In June, Mountjoy was at Charlemont, which he placed
under the custody of Captain Toby Caufield, the founder
of an illustrious title taken from that fort. He advanced
on Dungannon, but discovered it from the distance, as
Norris had once before done, in flames, kindled by the
hand of its straitened proprietor. On Lough Neagh he
erected a new fort called Mountjoy, so that his
communications on the south now stretched from that great
lake round to Omagh, while those of Dowcra, at Augher,
Donegal, and Lifford, nearly completed the circle. Almost
the only outlet from this chain of posts was into the
mountains of O'Cane's country, the north-east angle of
the present county of Derry. The extensive tract so
enclosed and guarded had still some natural advantages
for carrying on a defensive war. The primitive woods were
standing in masses at no great distance from each other;
the nearly parallel vales of Faughan, Moyala, and the
river Roe, with the intermediate leagues of moor and
mountain, were favourable to the movements of native
forces familiar with every ford and footpath. There was
also, while this central tract was held, a possibility
of communication with other unbroken tribes, such as
those of Clandeboy and the Antrim glens on the east, and
Breffni O'Ruarc on the west. Never did the genius of Hugh
O'Neil shine out brighter than in these last defensive
operations. In July, Mountjoy writes apologetically to
the Council, that "notwithstanding her Majesty's great
forces, O'Neil doth still live." He bitterly complains
of his consummate caution, his "pestilent judgment to
spread and to nourish his own infection," and of the
reverence entertained for his person by the native
population. Early in August, Mountjoy had arranged what
he hoped might prove the finishing stroke in the struggle.
Dowcra from Derry, Chichester from Carrickfergus, Danvers
from Armagh, and all who could be spared from Mountjoy,
Charlemont, and Mount Norris, were gathered under his
command, to the number of 8,000 men, for a foray into
the interior of Tyrone. Inisloghlin, on the borders of
Down and Antrim, which contained a great quantity of
valuables, belonging to O'Neil, was captured. Magherlowney
and Tulloghoge were next taken. At the latter place stood
the ancient stone chair on which the O'Neils were
inaugurated time out of mind; it was now broken into
atoms by Mountjoy's orders. But the most effective warfare
was made on the growing crops. The 8,000 men spread
themselves over the fertile fields along the valleys of
the Bann and the Roe, destroying the standing grain with
fire, where it would burn, or with the _praca_, a peculiar
kind of harrow, tearing it up by the roots. The horsemen
trampled crops into the earth which had generously
nourished them; the infantry shore them down with their
sabres, and the sword, though in a very different sense
from that of Holy Scripture, was, indeed, converted into
a sickle. The harvest month never shone upon such fields
in any Christian land. In September, Mountjoy reported
to Cecil, "that between Tulloghoge and Toome there lay
unburied a thousand dead," and that since his arrival on
the Blackwater--a period of a couple of months--"there
were about 3,000 starved in Tyrone." In O'Cane's country,
the misery of his clansmen drove the chief to surrender
to Dowcra, and the news of Hugh Roe's death having reached
Donegal, his brother repaired to Athlone, and made his
submission to Mountjoy, early in December. O'Neil, unable
to maintain himself on the river, Roe, retired with 600
foot and 60 horse, to Glencancean, near Lough Neagh, the
most secure of his fastnesses. His brother Cormac McMahon,
and Art O'Neil, of Clandeboy, shared with him the wintry
hardships of that last asylum, while Tyrone, Clandeboy,
and Monaghan, were given up to horrors, surpassing any
that had been known or dreamt of in former wars. Moryson,
secretary to Mountjoy, in his account of this campaign,
observes, "that no spectacle was more frequent in the
ditches of towns, and especially in wasted countries,
than to see multitudes of these poor people dead, with
their mouths all coloured green, by eating nettles, docks,
and all things they could rend above ground."

The new year, opening without hope, it began to be rumoured
that O'Neil was disposed to surrender on honourable terms.
Mountjoy and the English Council long urged the aged
Queen to grant such terms, but without effect. Her pride
as a sovereign had been too deeply wounded by the revolted
Earl to allow her easily to forgive or forget his offences.
Her advisers urged that Spain had followed her own course
towards the Netherlands, in Ireland; that the war consumed
three-fourths of her annual revenue, and had obliged her
to keep up an Irish army of 20,000 men for several years
past. At length she yielded her reluctant consent, and
Mountjoy was authorized to treat with the arch-rebel upon
honourable terms. The agents employed by the Lord Deputy
in this negotiation were Sir William Godolphin and Sir
Garrett Moore, of Mellifont, ancestor of the Marquis of
Drogheda--the latter, a warm personal friend, though no
partizan of O'Neil's. They found him in his retreat near
Lough Neagh early in March, and obtained his promise to
give the Deputy an early meeting at Mellifont. Elizabeth's
serious illness, concealed from O'Neil, though well known
to Mountjoy, hastened the negotiations. On the 27th of
March he had intelligence of her decease at London on
the 24th, but carefully concealed it till the 5th of
April following. On the 31st of March, he received
Tyrone's submission at Moore's residence, the ancient
Cistercian Abbey, and not until a week later did O'Neil
learn that he had made his peace with a dead sovereign.

The honourable terms on which this memorable religious
war was concluded were these: O'Neil abjured all foreign
allegiance, especially that of the King of Spain; renounced
the title of O'Neil; agreed to give up his correspondence
with the Spaniards, and to recall his son, Henry, who
was a page at the Spanish Court, and to live in peace
with the sons of John the Proud. Mountjoy granted him an
amnesty for himself and his allies; agreed that he should
be restored to his estates as he had held them before
the war, and that the Catholics should have the free
exercise of their religion. That the restoration of his
ordinary chieftain rights, which did not conflict with
the royal prerogative, was also included, we have the
best possible evidence: Sir Henry Dowcra having complained
to Lord Mountjoy that O'Neil quartered men on O'Cane,
who had surrendered to himself, Mountjoy made answer--"My
Lord of Tyrone is taken in with promise to be restored,
as well to all his lands as to his honour and dignity,
and O'Cane's country is his, and must be obedient to his
commands." That the article concerning religion was
understood by the Catholics to concede full freedom of
worship, is evident from subsequent events. In Dublin,
sixteen of the principal citizens suffered fine and
imprisonment for refusing to comply with the act of
uniformity; in Kilkenny the Catholics took possession of
the Black Abbey, which had been converted into a lay fee;
in Waterford they did the same by St. Patrick's Church,
where a Dominican preacher was reported to have said,
among other imprudent things, that "Jesabel was dead"--
alluding to the late Queen. In Cork, Limerick, and Cashel,
the cross was carried publicly in procession, the old
Churches restored to their ancient rites, and enthusiastic
proclamation made of the public restoration of religion.
These events having obliged the Lord Deputy to make a
progress through the towns and cities, he was met at
Waterford by a vast procession, headed by religious in
the habits of their order, who boldly declared to him
"that the citizens of Waterford could not, in conscience,
obey any prince that persecuted the Catholic religion."
When such was the spirit of the town populations, we are
not surprised to learn that, in the rural districts,
almost exclusively Catholic, the people entered upon the
use of many of their old Churches, and repaired several
Abbeys--among the number, Buttevant, Kilcrea, and Timoleague
in Cork; Quin Abbey in Clare; Kilconnell in Galway;
Rosnariell in Mayo, and Multifarnham in West-Meath. So
confident were they that the days of persecution were
past, that King James prefaces his proclamation of July,
1605, with the statement--"Whereas we have been informed
that our subjects in the kingdom of Ireland, since the
death of our beloved sister, have been deceived by a
false rumour, to wit, that we would allow them liberty
of conscience," and so forth. How cruelly they were then
undeceived belongs to the history of the next reign; here
we need only remark that the Articles of Limerick were
not more shamefully violated by the statute 6th and 7th,
William III., than the Articles of Mellifont were violated
by this Proclamation of the third year of James I.



During the greater part of the reign of Elizabeth, the
means relied upon for the propagation of the reformed
doctrines were more exclusively those of force and coercion
than even in the time of Edward VI. Thus, when Sir William
Drury was Deputy, in 1578, he bound several citizens of
Kilkenny, under a penalty of 40 pounds each, to attend
the English Church service, and authorized the Anglican
Bishop "to make a rate for the repair of the Church, and
to distrain for the payment of it"--the first mention of
Church rates we remember to have met with. Drury's method
of proceeding may be further inferred from the fact, that
of the thirty-six executions ordered by him in the same
city, "one was a blackamoor and two were witches, who
were condemned by the law of nature, for there was no
positive law against witchcraft [in Ireland] in those
days." That defect was soon supplied, however, by the
statute 27th of Elizabeth, "against witchcraft and
sorcery." Sir John Perrott, successor to Drury, trod in
the same path, as we judge from the charge of severity
against recusants, upon which, among other articles, he
was recalled from the government. Towards the end of the
sixteenth century, however, it began to be discovered by
the wisest observers that violent methods were worse than
useless with the Irish. Edmund Spenser urged that "religion
should not be forcibly impressed into them with terror
and sharp penalties, as now is the manner, but rather
delivered and intimated with mildness and gentleness."
Lord Bacon, in his "Considerations touching the Queen's
Service in Ireland," addressed to Secretary Cecil,
recommends "the recovery of the hearts of the people,"
as the first step towards their conversion. With this
view he suggested "a toleration of religion (for a time
not definite), except it be in some principal towns and
cities," as a measure "warrantable in religion, and in
policy of absolute necessity." The philosophic Chancellor
farther suggested, as a means to this desired end, the
preparation of "versions of Bibles and Catechisms, and
other works of instruction in the Irish language." In
accordance with these views of conversion, the University
of Trinity College was established by a royal charter,
in the month of January, 1593. The Mayor and Corporation
of Dublin had granted the ancient monastery of All Hallows
as a site for the buildings; some contributions were
received from the Protestant gentry, large grants of
confiscated Abbey and other lands, which afterwards
yielded a princely revenue, were bestowed upon it, and
the Lord Treasurer Burleigh graciously accepted the office
of its Chancellor. The first Provost was Archbishop Loftus,
and of the first three students entered, one was the
afterwards illustrious James Usher. The commanders and
officers engaged at Kinsale presented it with the sum of
1,800 pounds for the purchase of a library; and at the
subsequent confiscations in Munster and Ulster, the
College came in for a large portion of the forfeited lands.

Although the Council in England generally recommended
the adoption of persuasive arts and a limited toleration,
those who bore the sword usually took care that they
should not bear it in vain. A High Commission Court,
armed with ample powers to enforce the Act of Uniformity,
had been established at Dublin in 1593; but its members
were ordered to proceed cautiously after the Ulster
Confederacy became formidable, and their powers lay
dormant in the last two or three years of the century.
Essex and Mountjoy were both fully convinced of the wisdom
of Bacon's views; the former showed a partial toleration,
connived at the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice, even
in the capital, and liberated some priests from prison.
Mountjoy, in answer to the command of the English Council
"to deal moderately in the great matter of religion,"
replied by letter that he had already advised "such as
dealt in it for a time to hold a restrained hand therein."
"The other course," he adds, "might have overthrown the
means of our own end of a reformation of religion." This
conditional toleration--such as it was--excited the
indignation of the more zealous Reformers, whose favourite
preacher, the youthful Usher, did not hesitate to denounce
it from the pulpit of Christ Church, as an unhallowed
compromise with antichrist. In 1601, Usher, then but 21
years of age, preached his well-known sermon from the
text of the forty days, in which Ezekiel "was to bear
the iniquity of the house of Judah--a day for a year."
"From this year," cried the youthful zealot, "will I
reckon the sin of Ireland, that those whom you now embrace
shall be your ruin, and you shall bear their iniquity."
When the northern insurrection of 1641 took place, this
rhetorical menace was exalted, after the fact, into the
dignity of a prophecy fulfilled. After the victory of
Kinsale, however, the Ultra Protestant party had less
cause to complain of the temporizing of the civil power;
the pecuniary mulct of twelve pence for each absence from
the English service was again enforced at least in Dublin,
and several priests, then in prison, were, on various
pretences, put to death. Among those who suffered in the
capital was the learned Jesuit, Henry Fitzsimons, son of
a Mayor of the city, the author of _Brittanomachia_, with
whom, while in the Castle, Usher commenced a controversy,
which was never finished. But the terms agreed upon at
Mellifont, between Mountjoy and Tyrone, again suspended
for a short interval the sword of persecution.

Notwithstanding its manifold losses by exile and the
scaffold, the ancient Church was enabled, through the
abundance of vocations, and the zeal of the ordained, to
keep up a still powerful organization. Philip O'Sullivan
states, under the next reign that the government had
ascertained through its spies, the names of 1,160 priests,
secular and regular, still in the country. There must
have been between 300 and 400 others detained abroad,
either as Professors in the Irish Colleges in Spain,
France, and Flanders, or as ecclesiastics, awaiting major
orders. Of the regulars at home, 120 were Franciscans,
and about 50 Jesuits. There are said to have been but
four Fathers of the Order of St. Dominick remaining at
the time of Elizabeth's death. The reproach of Cambrensis
had long been taken away, since every Diocese might now
point to its martyrs. Of these we recall among the
Hierarchy the names of O'Hely, Bishop of Killala, executed
at Kilmallock hi 1578; O'Hurley, Archbishop of Cashel,
burned at the stake in Dublin in 1582; Creagh, Archbishop
of Armagh, who died a prisoner in the Tower in 1585;
Archbishop McGauran, his successor, slain in the act of
ministering to the wounded in the engagement at Tulsk,
in Roscommon, in 1593; McEgan, Bishop of Ross, who met
his death under precisely similar circumstances in Carberry
in 1603. Yet through all these losses the episcopal
succession was maintained unbroken. In the early part of
the next reign O'Sullivan gives the names of the four
Archbishops, Peter Lombard of Armagh, Edward McGauran of
Dublin, David O'Carny of Cashel, and Florence Conroy of
Tuam. On the other hand, the last trying half century
had furnished, so far as we can learn, no instance of
apostacy among the Bishops, and but half a dozen at most
from all orders of the clergy. We read that Owen O'Conor,
an apostate, was advanced by letters patent to Killala
in 1591; that Maurice O'Brien of Ara was, in 1570, by
the same authority, elevated to the See of Killaloe,
which he resigned in 1612; that Miler Magrath, in early
life a Franciscan friar, was promoted by the Queen to
the Sees of Clogher, Killala, Anchory and Lismore
successively. He finally settled in the See of Cashel,
in which he died, having secretly returned to the religion
of his ancestors. For the rest, "the Queen's Bishops"
were chiefly chosen out of England, though some few
natives of the Pale, or of the walled towns, educated at
Oxford, may be found in the list.

Of the state of learning in those troubled times the
brief story is easily told. The Bardic Order still
flourished and was held in honour by all ranks of the
native population. The national adversity brought out in
them, as in others, many noble traits of character. The
Harper, O'Dugan, was the last companion that clung to
the last of the Desmonds; the Bard of Tyrconnell, Owen
Ward, accompanied the Ulster chiefs in their exile, and
poured out his Gaelic dirge above their Roman graves.
Although the Bardic compositions continued to be chiefly
personal, relating to the inauguration, journeys, exploits,
or death of some favourite chief, a large number of
devotional poems on the passion of our Lord and the glories
of the Blessed Virgin are known to be of this age. The
first forerunners of what was destined to be a numerous
progeny, the controversial ode or ballad, appeared in
Elizabeth's reign, in the form of comparisons between
the old and new religions, lamentations over the ruin of
religious houses, and the apostacy of such persons as
Miler Magrath and the son of the Earl of Desmond. The
talents of many of the authors are admitted by Spenser,
a competent judge, but the tendency of their writings,
he complains, was to foster the love of lawlessness and
rebellion rather than of virtue and loyalty. He recommended
them for correction to the mercies of the Provost Marshal,
whom he would have "to walk the country with half a
dozen or half a score of horsemen," in quest of the
treasonable poets.

As this was the age of the general diffusion of printing,
we may observe that the casting of Irish type for the
use of Trinity College, by order of Queen Elizabeth, is
commonly dated from the year 1591; but as the College
was not opened for two years later, the true date must
be anticipated. John Kearney, Treasurer of St. Patrick's
Church, who died about the year 1600, published a Protestant
Catechism from the College Press, which, says O'Reilly,
"was the first book ever printed in Irish types." In the
year 1593, Florence Conroy translated from the Spanish
into Irish a catechism entitled "Christian Instruction,"
which, he states in the preface, he had no opportunity
of sending into Ireland "until the year of the age of
our Lord 1598." Whether it was then printed we are not
informed, but there does not seem to have been any Irish
type in Catholic hands before the foundation of the Irish
College at Louvain in 1616.

The merit of first giving to the press, in the native
language of the country, a version of the Sacred Scriptures,
belongs clearly to Trinity College. Nicholas Walsh, Bishop
of Ossory, who died in 1585, had commenced, with the
assistance of John Kearney, to translate the Greek
Testament into Gaelic. He had also the assistance of Dr.
Nehemiah Donnellan, and Dr. William Daniel, or O'Daniel,
both of whom subsequently filled the See of Tuam. This
translation, dedicated to King James, and published by
O'Daniel in 1603, is still reprinted by the Bible Societies.
The first Protestant translation of the Old Testament,
made under Bishop Bedel's eye, and with such revision of
particular passages as his imperfect knowledge of the
language enabled him to suggest, though completed in the
reign of Charles I., was not published before the year
1680. It was Bedel, also, who caused the English liturgy
to be recited in Irish, in his Cathedral, as early as 1630.

Ireland and her affairs naturally attracted, during
Elizabeth's reign, the attention of English writers. Of
these it is enough to mention the Poet Spenser, Secretary
to Lord Grey de Wilton, Fynes Moryson, Secretary to Lord
Mountjoy, and the Jesuit Father, Campian. Campian, early
distinguished at Oxford, was employed as Cambrensis had
been four centuries earlier, and as Plowden was two
centuries later, to write down everything Irish. He
crossed the Channel in 1570, and composed two books
rapidly, without accurate or full information as to the
condition or history of the country. The nearer view of
Catholic suffering and Catholic constancy exercised a
powerful influence on this accomplished scholar; he became
a convert and a Jesuit. For members of that order there
was but one exit out of life, under the law of England:
he suffered death at Tyburn in 1581. Richard Stanihurst,
son of the Recorder of Dublin, and uncle of Archbishop
Usher, went through precisely the same experiences as
his friend Campian, except that he died, a quarter of a
century later, Chaplain to the Archdukes at Brussels,
instead of expiring at the stake. His English hexameters
are among the curiosities of literature, but his
contributions to the history of his country, especially
his allusions to events and characters in and about his
own time, are not without their use. Stanihurst wrote
his historical tracts, as did Lombard the Catholic and
Usher the Protestant Primate, O'Sullivan, White, O'Meara,
and almost all the Irish writers of that age, without
exception, in the Latin language. The first Latin book
printed in Ireland is thought to be O'Meara's poem in
praise of Thomas, Earl of Ormond and Ossory, published
in 1615. The earliest English books printed in Ireland
are unknown to me; the collection of Anglo-Irish statutes,
ordered to be published while Sir Henry Sidney was Deputy,
was the most important undertaking of that class in the
reign of Elizabeth.

As to institutions of learning, if we except Trinity
College, which increased rapidly in numbers and reputation
under the patronage of the Crown, and the College of
Saint Nicholas, at Galway--protected by its remote
situation on the brink of the Atlantic--there was no
famous seat of learning left in the island. In the next
reign 1,300 scholars are stated to have attended that
western "school of humanity," when the Ecclesiastical
Commissioners despotically ordered it to be closed,
because the learned Principal, John Lynch, "would not
confirm to the religion established." But the greater
number of the children of Catholics, who still retained
property enough to educate them, were sent beyond seas,
a fact with which King James, soon after his accession,
reproached the deputation of that body. A proclamation
issued by Lord Deputy Chichester, in 1610, alludes to
the same custom, and commands all noblemen, merchants,
and others, whose children are abroad for educational
purposes, to recall them within one year from the date
thereof; and in case they refuse to return, all parents,
friends, &c., sending them money, directly or indirectly,
will be punished as severely as the law permits. It was
mainly to guard against this danger that "the School of
Wards" was established by Elizabeth, and enlarged by
James I., in which the great Duke of Ormond, Sir Phelim
O'Neil, Murrogh, Lord Inchiquin, and other sons of noble
families, were educated for the next generation. Early
in the reign of James there were not less than 300 of
these Irish children in the Tower, or at the Lambeth
School,--and it is humiliating to find the great name of
Sir Edward Coke among those who gloried in the success
of this unnatural substitution of the State for the Parent
in the work of education.





James the Sixth of Scotland was in his 37th year when he
ascended the throne under the title of "James the First,
King of Great Britain and Ireland." His accession naturally
excited the most hopeful expectations of good government
in the breasts of the Irish Catholics. He was son of Mary
Queen of Scots, whom they looked upon as a martyr to her
religion, and grandson of that gallant King James who
styled himself "Defender of the Faith," and "_Dominus
Hiberniae_" in introducing the first Jesuits to the Ulster
Princes. His ancestors had always been in alliance with
the Irish, and the antiquaries of that nation loved to
trace their descent from the Scoto-Irish chiefs who first
colonized Argyle, and were for ages crowned at Scone. He
himself was known to have assisted the late Catholic
struggle as effectually, though less openly than the King
of Spain, and it is certain that he had employed Catholic
agents, like Lord Home and Sir James Lindsay, to excite
an interest in his succession among the Catholics, both
in the British Islands and on the Continent.

The first acts of the new sovereign were calculated to
confirm the expectations of Catholic liberty thus
entertained. He was anxious to make an immediate and
lasting peace with Spain; refused to receive a special
embassy from the Hollanders; his ambassador at Paris was
known to be on terms of intimacy with the Pope's Nuncio;
and although personally he assumed the tone of an Anglican
Churchman, on crossing the border he had invited leading
Catholics to his Court, and conferred the honour of
Knighthood on some of their number. The imprudent
demonstrations in the Irish towns were easily quieted,
and no immediate notice was taken of their leaders. In
May, 1603, Mountjoy, on whom James had conferred the
higher rank of Lord Lieutenant, leaving Carew as Lord
Deputy, proceeded to England, accompanied by O'Neil,
Roderick O'Donnell, Maguire, and other Irish gentlemen.
The veteran Tyrone, now past threescore, though hooted
by the London rabble, was graciously received in that
court, with which he had been familiar forty years before.
He was at once confirmed in his title, the Earldom of
Tyrconnell was created for O'Donnell, and the Lordship
of Enniskillen for Maguire. Mountjoy, created Earl of
Devonshire, retained the title of Lord Lieutenant, with
permission to reside in England, and was rewarded by the
appointment of Master of the Ordnance and Warden of the
New Forest, with an ample pension from the Crown to him
and his heirs for ever, the grant of the county of Lecale
(Down), and the estate of Kingston Hall, in Dorsetshire,
He survived but three short years to enjoy all these
riches and honours; at the age of 44, wasted with
dissipation and domestic troubles, he passed to his final

The necessity of conciliating the Catholic party in
England, of maintaining peace in Ireland, and prosecuting
the Spanish negotiations, not less, perhaps, than his
own original bias, led James to deal favourably with the
Catholics at first. But having attempted to enforce the
new Anglican Canons, adopted in 1604, against the Puritans,
that party retaliated by raising against him the cry of
favouring the Papists. This cry alarmed the King, who
had always before his eyes the fear of Presbyterianism,
and he accordingly made a speech in the Star Chamber,
declaring his utter detestation of Popery, and published
a proclamation banishing all Catholic missionaries from
the country. All magistrates were instructed to enforce
the penal laws with rigour, and an elaborate spy system
for the discovery of concealed recusants was set on foot.
This reign of treachery and terror drove a few desperate
men into the gunpowder plot of the following year, and
rendered it difficult, if not impossible, for the King
to return to the policy of toleration, with which, to do
him justice, he seems to have set out from Scotland.

Carew, President of Munster during the late war, became
Deputy to Mountjoy on his departure for England. He was
succeeded in October, 1604, by Sir Arthur Chichester,
who, with the exception of occasional absences at Court,
continued in office for a period of eleven years. This
nobleman, a native of England, furnishes, in many points,
a parallel to his cotemporary and friend, Robert Boyle,
Earl of Cork. The object of his life was to found and to
endow the Donegal peerage out of the spoils of Ulster,
as richly as Boyle endowed his earldom out of the
confiscation of Munster. Both were Puritans rather than
Churchmen, in their religious opinions; Chichester, a
pupil of the celebrated Cartwright, and a favourer all
his life of the congregational clergy in Ulster. But they
carried their repugnance to the interference of the civil
magistrate in matters of conscience so discreetly as to
satisfy the high church notions both of James and Elizabeth.
For the violence they were thus compelled to exercise
against themselves, they seem to have found relief in
bitter and continuous persecution of others. Boyle, as
the leading spirit in the government of Munster, as Lord
Treasurer, and occasionally as Lord Justice, had ample
opportunities, during his long career of forty years, to
indulge at once his avarice and his bigotry; and no
situation was ever more favourable than Chichester's for
a proconsul, eager to enrich himself at the expense of
a subjugated Province.

In the projected work of the reduction of the whole
country to the laws and customs of England, it is
instructive to observe that a Parliament was not called
in the first place. The reformers proceeded by
proclamations, letters patent, and orders in council,
not by legislation. The whole island was divided into 32
counties and 6 judicial circuits, all of which were
visited by Justices in the second or third year of this
reign, and afterwards semi-annually. On the Northern
Circuit Sir Edward Pelham and Sir John Davis were
accompanied by the Deputy in person, with a numerous
retinue. In some places the towns were so wasted by the
late war, pestilence, and famine, that the Viceregal
party were obliged to camp out in the fields, and to
carry with them their own provisions. The Courts were
held in ruined castles and deserted monasteries; Irish
interpreters were at every step found necessary; sheriffs
were installed in Tyrone and Tyrconnell for the first
time; all lawyers appearing in court and all justices of
the peace were tendered the oath of supremacy--the refusal
of which necessarily excluded Catholics both from the
bench and the bar. An enormous amount of litigation as
to the law of real property was created by a judgment of
the Court of King's Bench at Dublin, in 1605, by which
the ancient Irish customs, of tanistry and gavelkind,
were declared null and void, and the entire Feudal system,
with its rights of primogeniture, hereditary succession,
entail, and vassalage, was held to exist in as full force
in England. Very evidently this decision was not less a
violation of the articles of Mellifont than was the King's
proclamation against freedom of conscience issued about
the same tune.

Sir John Davis, who has left us two very interesting
tracts on Irish affairs, speaking of the new legal
regulations of which he was one of the principal
superintendents, observes that the old-fashioned allowances
to be found so often in the Pipe-Rolls, _pro guidagio et
spiagio_, into the interior, may well be spared thereafter,
since "the under sheriffs and bailiffs errant are better
guides and spies in time of peace than they were found
in tune of war." He adds, what we may very well believe,
that the Earl of Tyrone complained he had so many eyes
upon him, that he could not drink a cup of sack without
the government being advertised of it within a few hours
afterwards. This system of social _espionage_, so
repugnant to all the habits of the Celtic family, was
not the only mode of annoyance resorted to against the
veteran chief. Every former dependent who could be induced
to dispute his claims as a landlord, under the new
relations established by the late decision, was sure of
a judgment in his favour. Disputes about boundaries with
O'Cane, about the commutation of chieftain-rents into
tenantry, about church lands claimed by Montgomery,
Protestant Bishop of Derry, were almost invariably decided
against him. Harassed by these proceedings, and all
uncertain of the future, O'Neil listened willingly to
the treacherous suggestion of St. Lawrence and Lord Howth,
that the leading Catholics of the Pale, and those of
Ulster, should endeavour to form another confederation.
The execution of Father Garnet, Provincial of the Jesuits
in England, the heavy fines inflicted on Lords Stourton,
Mordaunt, and Montague, and the new oath of allegiance,
framed by Archbishop Abbott, and sanctioned by the English
Parliament--all events of the year 1606--were calculated
to inspire the Irish Catholics with desperate councils.
A dutiful remonstrance against the Act of Uniformity the
previous year had been signed by the principal Anglo-Irish
Catholics for transmission to the King, but their delegates
were seized and imprisoned in the Castle, while their
principal agent, Sir Patrick Barnwell, was sent to London
and confined in the Tower. A meeting, at Lord Howth's
suggestion, was held about Christmas, 1606, at the Castle
of Maynooth, then in possession of the dowager Countess
of Kildare, one of whose daughters was married to
Christopher Nugent, Baron of Delvin, and her granddaughter
to Rory, Earl of Tyrconnell. There were present O'Neil,
O'Donnell, and O'Cane, on the one part, and Lords Delvin
and Howth on the other. The precise result of this
conference, disguised under the pretext of a Christmas
party, was never made known, but the fact that it had
been held, and that the parties present had entertained
the project of another confederacy for the defence of
the Catholic religion, was mysteriously communicated in
an anonymous letter, directed to Sir William Usher, Clerk
of the Council, which was dropped in the Council Chamber
of Dublin Castle, in March, 1607. This letter, it is
now generally believed, was written by Lord Howth, who
was thought to have been employed by Secretary Cecil, to
entrap the northern Earls, in order to betray them. In
May, O'Neil and O'Donnell were cited to attend the Lord
Deputy in Dublin, but the charges were for the time kept
in abeyance, and they were ordered to appear in London
before the feast of Michaelmas. Early in September O'Neil
was with Chichester at Slane, in Meath, when he received
a letter from Maguire, who had been out of the country,
conveying information on which he immediately acted.
Taking leave of the Lord Deputy as if to prepare for his
journey to London, he made some stay with his old friend,
Sir Garrett Moore, at Mellifont, on parting from whose
family he tenderly bade farewell to the children and even
the servants, and was observed to shed tears. At Dungannon
he remained two days, and on the shore of Lough Swilly
he joined O'Donnell and others of his connexions. The
French ship, in which Maguire had returned, awaited them
off Rathmullen, and there they took shipping for France.
With O'Neil, in that sorrowful company, were his last
countess, Catherine, daughter of Magenniss, his three
sons, Hugh, John, and Brian; his nephew, Art, son of
Cormac, Rory O'Donnell, Caffar, his brother, Nuala, his
sister, who had forsaken her husband Nial _Garve_, when
he forsook his country; the lady Rose O'Doherty, wife of
Caffar, and afterwards of Owen Roe O'Neil; Maguire, Owen
MacWard, chief bard of Tyrconnell, and several others.
"Woe to the heart that meditated, woe to the mind that
conceived, woe to the council that decided on the project
of that voyage!" exclaimed the Annalists of Donegal, in
the next age. Evidently it was the judgment of their
immediate successors that the flight of the Earls was a
rash and irremediable step for them; but the information
on which they acted, if not long since destroyed, has,
as yet, never been made public. We can pronounce no
judgment as to the wisdom of their conduct, from the
incomplete statements at present in our possession.

There remained now few barriers to the wholesale
confiscation of Ulster, so long sought by "the Undertakers,"
and these were rapidly removed. Sir Cahir O'Doherty,
chief of Innishowen, although he had earned his Knighthood
while a mere lad, fighting by the side of Dowcra, in an
altercation with Sir George Paulett, Governor of Derry,
was taunted with conniving at the escape of the Earls,
and Paulett in his passion struck him in the face. The
youthful chief--he was scarcely one and twenty--was driven
almost to madness by this outrage. On the night of the
3rd of May, by a successful stratagem, he got possession
of Culmore fort, at the month of Lough Foyle, and before
morning dawned had surprised Derry; Paulett, his insulter,
he slew with his own hand, most of the garrison were
slaughtered, and the town reduced to ashes. Nial _Garve_
O'Donnell, who had been cast off by his old protectors,
was charged with sending him supplies and men, and for
three months he kept the field, hoping that every gale
might bring him assistance from abroad. But those same
summer months and foreign climes had already proved fatal
to many of the exiles, whose co-operation he invoked. In
July, Rory O'Donnell expired at Rome, in August, Maguire
died at Genoa, on his way to Spain, and in September,
Caffar O'Donnell was laid in the same grave with his
brother, on St. Peter's hill. O'Neil survived his comrades,
as he had done his fortunes, and like another Belisarius,
blind and old, and a pensioner on the bounty of strangers,
he lived on, eight weary years, in Rome. O'Doherty,
enclosed in his native peninsula, between the forces of
the Marshal Wingfield and Sir Oliver Lambert, Governor
of Connaught, fell by a chance shot, at the rock of Doon,
in Kilmacrenan. The superfluous traitor, Nial Garve,
was, with his sons, sent to London, and imprisoned in
the Tower for life. In those dungeons, Cormac, brother
of Hugh O'Neil, and O'Cane also languished out their
days, victims to the careless or vindictive temper of
King James. Sir Arthur Chichester received, soon after
these events, a grant of the entire barony of Innishowen,
and subsequently a grant of the borough of Dungannon,
with 1,300 acres adjoining; Wingfield obtained the district
of Fercullan near Dublin, with the title of Viscount
Powerscourt; Lambert was soon after made Earl of Cavan,
and enriched with the lands of Carig, and other estates
in that county.

To justify at once the measures he proposed, as well as
to divert from the exiles the sympathies of Europe, King
James issued a proclamation bearing date the 5th of
November, 1608, giving to the world the English version
of the flight of the Earls. The whole of Ulster was then
surveyed in a cursory manner by a staff over which presided
Sir William Parsons as Surveyor-General. The surveys
being completed early in 1609, a royal commission was
issued to Chichester, Lambert, St. John, Ridgeway, Moore,
Davis, and Parsons, with the Archbishop of Armagh, and
the Bishop of Derry, to inquire into the portions forfeited.
Before these Commissioners Juries were sworn on each
particular case, and these Juries duly found that, in
consequence of "the rebellion" of O'Neil, O'Donnell, and
O'Doherty, the entire six counties of Ulster, enumerated
by baronies and parishes, were forfeited to the Crown.
By direction from England the Irish Privy Council submitted
a scheme for planting these counties "with colonies of
civil men well affected in religion," which scheme, with
several modifications suggested by the English Privy
Council, was finally promulgated by the royal legislator
under the title of "Orders and Conditions for the Planters."
According to the division thus ordered, upwards of 43,000
acres were claimed and conceded to the Primate and the
Protestant Bishops of Ulster; in Tyrone, Derry, and
Armagh, Trinity College got 30,000 acres, with six
advowsons in each county. The various trading guilds of
the city of London--such as the drapers, vintners,
cordwainers, drysalters--obtained in the gross 209,800
acres, including the city of Derry, which they rebuilt
and fortified, adding _London_ to its ancient name. The
grants to individuals were divided into three classes--
2,000, 1,500, and 1,000 acres each. Among the conditions
on which these grants were given was this--"that they
should not suffer any labourer, that would not take the
oath of supremacy," to dwell upon their lands. But this
despotic condition--equivalent to sentence of death on
tens of thousands of the native peasantry--was fortunately
found impracticable in the execution. Land was little
worth without hands to till it; labourers enough could
not be obtained from England and Scotland, and the
Hamiltons, Stewarts, Folliots, Chichesters, and Lamberts,
having, from sheer necessity, to choose between Irish
cultivators and letting their new estates lie waste and
unprofitable, it is needless to say what choice they made.

The spirit of religious persecution was exhibited not
only in the means taken to exterminate the peasantry, to
destroy the northern chiefs, and to intimidate the
Catholics of "the Pale" by abuse of law, but by many
cruel executions. The Prior of the famous retreat of
Lough Derg was one of the victims of this persecution;
a Priest named O'Loughrane, who had accidentally sailed
in the same ship with the Earls to France, was taken
prisoner on his return, hanged and quartered. Conor
O'Devany, Bishop of Down and Conor, an octogenarian,
suffered martyrdom with heroic constancy at Dublin, in
1611. Two years before, John, Lord Burke of Brittas,
was executed in like manner on a charge of having
participated in the Catholic demonstrations which took
place at Limerick on the accession of King James. The
edict of 1610 in relation to Catholic children educated
abroad has been quoted in a previous chapter, _apropos_
of education, but the scheme submitted by Knox, Bishop
of Raphoe, to Chichester in 1611 went even beyond that
edict. In this project it was proposed that whoever should
be found to harbour a Priest should forfeit all his
possessions to the Crown--that quarterly returns should
be made out by counties of all who refused to take the
oath of supremacy, or to attend the English Church
service--that no Papist should be permitted to exercise
the function of a schoolmaster; and, moreover, that all
churches injured during the late war should be repaired
at the expense of the Papist inhabitants for the use of
the Anglican congregation.

Very unexpectedly to the nation at large, after a lapse
of 27 years, during which no Parliament had been held,
writs were issued for the attendance of both Houses, at
Dublin, on the 18th of May, 1613. The work of confiscation
and plantation had gone on for several years without the
sanction of the legislature, and men were at a loss to
conceive for what purpose elections were now ordered,
unless to invent new penal laws, or to impose fresh
burdens on the country. With all the efforts which had
been made to introduce civil men, well affected in
religion, it was certain that the Catholics would return
a large majority of the House of Commons, not only in
the chief towns, but from the fifteen old, and seventeen
new counties, lately created. To counterbalance this
majority, over forty boroughs, returning two members
each, were created, by royal charter, in places thinly
or not at all inhabited, or where towns were merely
projected on the estates of leading "Undertakers." Against
the issue of writs returnable by these fictitious
corporations, the Lords Gormanstown, Slane, Killeen,
Trimbleston, Dunsany, and Howth, signed an humble
remonstrance to the King, concluding with a prayer for
the relaxation of the penal laws affecting religion. The
King, whose notions of prerogative were extravagantly
high, was highly incensed at this petition of the Catholic
peers of Leinster, and Chichester proceeded with his full
approbation to pack the Parliament. At the elections,
however, many "recusant lawyers" and other Catholic
candidates were returned, so that when the day of meeting
arrived, 101 Catholic representatives assembled at Dublin,
some accompanied by bands of from 100 to 200 armed
followers. The supporters of the government claimed 125
votes, and six were found to be absent, making the whole
number of the House of Commons 232. The Upper House
consisted of 50 Peers, of whom there were 25 Protestant
Bishops, so that the Deputy was certain of a majority in
that chamber, on all points of ecclesiastical legislation,
at least. Although, with the facts before us, we cannot
agree with Sir John Davis that King James I. gave Ireland
her "first free Parliament," it is impossible not to
entertain a high sense of admiration for the constitutional
firmness of the recusant or Catholic party in that
assembly. At the very outset they successfully resisted
the proposition to meet in the Castle, surrounded by the
Deputy's guards, as a silent menace. They next contended
that before proceeding to the election of Speaker the
Council should submit to the Judges the decision of the
alleged invalid elections. A tumultous and protracted
debate was had on this point. The Castle party argued
that they should first elect a Speaker and then proceed
to try the elections; the Catholics contended that there
were persons present whose votes would determine the
Speakership, but who had no more title in law than the
horseboys at the door. This was the preliminary trial
of strength. The candidate of the Castle for the Speakership
was Sir John Davis; of the Catholics, Sir John Everard,
who had resigned his seat on the bench rather than take
the oath of supremacy framed by Archbishop Abbott. The
Castle party having gone into the lobby to be counted,
the Catholics placed Sir John Everard in the Chair. On
their return the government supporters placed Sir John
Davis in Everard's lap, and a scene of violent disorder
ensued. The House broke up in confusion; the recusants
in a body declared their intention not to be present at
its deliberations, and the Lord Deputy, finding them
resolute, suddenly prorogued the session. Both parties
sent deputies to England to lay their complaints at the
foot of the throne. The Catholic spokesmen, Talbot and
Lutrell, were received with a storm of reproaches, and
committed, the former to the Tower, the other to the
Fleet Prison. They were, however, released after a brief
confinement, and a Commission was issued to inquire into
the alleged electoral frauds. By the advice of Everard
and others of their leaders, a compromise was effected
with the Castle party; members returned for boroughs
incorporated after the writs were issued were declared
excluded, the contestation of seats on other grounds of
irregularity were withdrawn, and the House accordingly
proceeded to the business for which they were called
together. The chief acts of the sessions of 1614, '15,
and '16, beside the grant of four entire subsidies to
the Crown, were an act joyfully recognizing the King's
title; acts repealing statutes of Elizabeth and Henry VIII.,
as to distinctions of race; an act repealing the 3 and 4
of Philip and Mary, against "bringing Scots into Ireland,"
and the acts of attainder against O'Neil, O'Donnell, and
O'Doherty. The recusant minority have been heavily censured
by our recent historians for consenting to these attainders.
Though the censure may be in part deserved, it is,
nevertheless, clear that they had not the power to prevent
their passage, even if they had been unanimous in their
opposition; but they had influence enough, fortunately, to
oblige the government to withdraw a sweeping penal law
which it was intended to propose. An Act of oblivion and
amnesty was also passed, which was of some advantage. On
the whole, both for the constitutional principles which
they upheld, and the religious proscription which they
resisted, the recusant minority in the Irish Parliament of
James I. deserve to be held in honour by all who value
religious and civil liberty.



From the dissolution of James's only Irish Parliament in
October, 1615, until the tenth of Charles I.--an interval
of twenty years--the government of the country was again
exclusively regulated by arbitrary proclamations and
orders in Council. Chichester, after the unusually long
term of eleven years, had leave to retire in 1816; he
was succeeded by the Lord Grandison, who held the office
of Lord Deputy for six years, and he, in turn, by Henry
Carey, Viscount Falkland, who governed from 1622 till
1629--seven years. Nothing could well be more fluctuating
than the policy pursued at different periods by these
Viceroys and their advisers; violent attempts at coercion
alternated with the meanest devices to extort money from
the oppressed; general declarations against recusants
were repeated with increased vehemence, while particular
treaties for a local and conditional toleration were
notoriously progressing; in a word, the administration
of affairs exhibited all the worst vices and weaknesses
of a despotism, without any of the steadiness or magnanimity
of a really paternal government. Some of the edicts issued
deserve particular notice, as characterizing the
administrations of Grandison and Falkland.

The municipal authorities of Waterford, having invariably
refused to take the oath of supremacy, were, by an order
in Council, deprived of their ancient charter, which was
withheld from them for nine years. The ten shilling tax
on recusants for non-attendance at the Anglican service
was rigorously enforced in other cities, and was almost
invariably levied with costs, which not seldom swelled
the ten shillings to ten pounds. A new instrument of
oppression was also, in Lord Grandison's time,
invented--"the Commission for the Discovery of Defective
Titles." At the head of this Commission was placed Sir
William Parsons, the Surveyor-General, who had come into
the kingdom in a menial situation, and had, through a
long half century of guile and cruelty, contributed as
much to the destruction of its inhabitants, by the
perversion of law, as any armed conqueror could have done
by the edge of the sword. Ulster being already applotted,
and Munster undergoing the manipulation of the new Earl
of Cork, there remained as a field for the Parsons
Commission only the Midland Counties and Connaught. Of
these they made the most in the shortest space of time.
A horde of clerkly spies were employed under the name of
"Discoverers," to ransack old Irish tenures in the archives
of Dublin and London, with such good success, that in a
very short time 66,000 acres in Wicklow, and 385,000
acres in Leitrim, Longford, the Meaths, and King's and
Queen's Counties, were "found by inquisition to be vested
in the Crown." The means employed by the Commissioners,
in some cases, to elicit such evidence as they required,
were of the most revolting description. In the Wicklow
case, courts-martial were held, before which unwilling
witnesses were tried on the charge of treason, and some
actually put to death. Archer, one of the number, had
his flesh burned with red hot iron, and was placed on a
gridiron over a charcoal fire, till he offered to testify
anything that was necessary. Yet on evidence so obtained
whole baronies and counties were declared forfeited to
the Crown.

The recusants, though suffering under every sort of
injustice, and kept in a state of continual apprehension
--a condition worse even than the actual horrors they
endured--counted many educated and wealthy persons in
their ranks, besides mustering fully ninety per cent, of
the whole population. They were, therefore, far from
being politically powerless. The recall of Lord Grandison
from the government was attributed to their direct or
indirect influence upon the King. When James Usher, then
Bishop of Meath, preached before his successor from the
text "He beareth not the sword in vain," they were
sufficiently formidable to compel him publicly to apologise
for his violent allusions to their body. Perhaps, however,
we should mainly see in the comparative toleration,
extended by Lord Falkland, an effect of the diplomacy
then going on, for the marriage of Prince Charles to the
Infanta of Spain. When, in 1623, Pope Gregory XV. granted
a dispensation for this marriage, James solemnly swore
to, a private article of the marriage treaty, by which
he bound himself to suspend the execution of the Penal
laws, to procure their repeal in Parliament, and to grant
a toleration of Catholic worship in private houses. But
the Spanish match was unexpectedly broken off, immediately
after his decease (June, 1625), whereupon Charles married
Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henry IV. of France.

The new monarch inherited from his father three kingdoms
heaving in the throes of disaffection and rebellion. In
England the most formidable of the malcontents were the
Puritans, who reckoned many of the first nobility, and
the ablest members of the House of Commons among their
chiefs; the restoration of episcopacy, and the declaration
by the subservient Parliament of Scotland, that no General
Assembly should be called without the King's sanction,
had laid the sure foundations of a religious insurrection
in the North; while the events, which we have already
described, filled the minds of all orders of men in
Ireland with agitation and alarm. The marriage of Charles
with Henrietta Maria gave a ray of assurance to the
co-religionists of the young Queen, for they had not then
discovered that it was ever the habit of the Stuarts "to
sacrifice their friends to the fear of their enemies."
While he was yet celebrating his nuptials at Whitehall,
surrounded by Catholic guests, the House of Commons
presented Charles "a pious petition," praying him to put
into force the laws against recusants; a prayer which he
was compelled by motives of policy to answer in the
affirmative. The magistrates of England received orders
accordingly, and when the King of France remonstrated
against this flagrant breach of one of the articles of
the marriage treaty (the same included in the terms of
the Spanish match), Charles answered that he had never
looked on the promised toleration as anything but an
artifice to secure the Papal dispensation. But the King's
compliance failed to satisfy the Puritan party in the
House of Commons, and that same year began their contest
with the Crown, which ended only on the scaffold before
Whitehall in 1648. Of their twenty-three years' struggle,
except in so far as it enters directly into our narrative,
we shall have little to say, beyond reminding the reader,
from time to time, that though it occasionally lulled
down it was never wholly allayed on either side.

Irish affairs, in the long continued suspension of the
functions of Parliament, were administered in general by
the Privy Council, and in detail by three special courts,
all established in defiance of ancient constitutional
usage. These were the Court of Castle Chamber, modelled
on the English Star Chamber, and the Ecclesiastical High
Commissioners Court, both dating from 1563; and the Court
of Wards and Liveries, originally founded by Henry VIII.,
but lately remodelled by James. The Castle Chamber was
composed of certain selected members of the Privy Council
acting in secret with absolute power; the High Commission
Court was constituted under James and Charles, of the
principal Archbishops and Bishops, with the Lord Deputy,
Chancellor, Chief Justice, Master of the Rolls, Master
of the Wards, and some others, laymen and jurists. They
were armed with unlimited power "to visit, reform, redress,
order, correct and amend, all such errors, heresies,
schisms, abuses, offences, contempts and enormities," as
came under the head of spiritual or ecclesiastical
jurisdiction. They were, in effect, the Castle Chamber,
acting as a spiritual tribunal of last resort; and were
provided with their own officers, Registers and Receivers
of Fines, Pursuivants, Criers and Gaolers. The Court of
Wards exercised a jurisdiction, if possible, more repugnant
to our first notions of liberty than that of the High
Commission Court. It retained its original power "to
bargain and sell the custody, wardship and marriage," of
all the heirs of such persons of condition as died in
the King's homage; but their powers, by royal letters
patent of the year 1617, were to be exercised by a Master
of Wards, with an Attorney and Surveyor, all nominated
by the Crown. The Court was entitled to farm all the
property of its Wards during nonage, for the benefit of
the Crown, "taking one year's rent from heirs male, and
two from heirs female," for charges of stewardship. The
first master, Sir William Parsons, was appointed in 1622,
and confirmed at the beginning of the next reign, with
a salary of 300 pounds per annum, and the right to rank
next to the Chief Justice of the King's Bench at the
Privy Council. By this appointment the minor heirs of
all the Catholic proprietors were placed, both as to
person and property, at the absolute disposal of one of
the most intense anti-Catholic bigots that ever appeared
on the scene of Irish affairs.

In addition to these civil grievances an order had lately
been issued to increase the army in Ireland by 5,000 men,
and means of subsistence had to be found for that additional
force, within the kingdom. In reply to the murmurs of
the inhabitants, they were assured by Lord Falkland that
the King was their friend, and that any just and temperate
representation of their grievances would secure his
careful and instant attention. So encouraged, the leading
Catholics convoked a General Assembly of their nobility
and gentry, "with several Protestants of rank," at Dublin,
in the year 1628, in order to present a dutiful statement
of their complaints to the King. The minutes of this
important Assembly, it is to be feared, are for ever lost
to us. We only know that it included a large number of
landed proprietors, of whom the Catholics were still a
very numerous section. "The entire proceedings of this
Assembly," says Dr. Taylor, "were marked by wisdom and
moderation. They drew up a number of articles, in the
nature of a Bill of Rights, to which they humbly solicited
the royal assent, and promised that, on their being
granted, they would raise a voluntary assessment of
100,000 pounds for the use of the Crown. The principal
articles in these 'graces,' as they were called, were
provisions for the security of property, the due
administration of justice, the prevention of military
exactions, the freedom of trade, the better regulation
of the clergy, and the restraining of the tyranny of the
ecclesiastical courts. Finally, they provided that the
Scots, who had been planted in Ulster, should be seemed
in their possessions, and a general pardon granted for
all offences." Agents were chosen to repair to England
with this petition, and the Assembly, hoping for the best
results, adjourned. But the ultra Protestant party had
taken the alarm, and convoked a Synod at Dublin to
counteract the General Assembly. This Synod vehemently
protested against selling truth "as a slave," and
"establishing for a price idolatry in its stead." They
laid it down as a dogma of _their_ faith that "to grant
Papists a toleration, or to consent that they may freely
exercise their religion and profess their faith and
doctrines, was a grievous sin;" wherefore they prayed
God "to make those in authority zealous, resolute, and
courageous against all Popery, superstition, and idolatry."
This declaration of the extreme Protestants, including
not only Usher, and the principal Bishops, but Chichester,
Boyle, Parsons, and the most successful "Undertakers,"
all deeply imbued with Puritan notions, naturally found
among their English brethren advocates and defenders.
The King, who had lately, for the third time, renewed
with France the articles of his marriage treaty, was
placed in a most difficult position. He desired to save
his own honour, he sorely needed the money of the Catholics,
but he trembled before the compact, well organized
fanaticism of the Puritans. In his distress he had recourse
to a councillor, who, since the assassination of Buckingham,
his first favourite, divided with Laud the royal confidence.
This was Thomas, Lord Wentworth, better known by his
subsequent title of Earl of Strafford, a statesman born
to be the wonder and the bane of three kingdoms. Strafford
(for such for clearness we must call him) boldly advised
the King to grant "the graces" as his own personal act,
to pocket the proposed subsidy, but to contrive that the
promised concessions he was to make should never go into
effect. This infamous deception was effected in this
wise: the King signed, with his own hand, a schedule of
fifty-one "graces," and received from the Irish agents
in London bonds for 120,000 pounds, (equal to ten times
the amount at present), to be paid in three annual
instalments of 40,000 pounds. He also agreed that Parliament
should be immediately called in Ireland, to confirm these
concessions, while at the same time he secretly instructed
Lord Falkland to see that the writs of election were
informally prepared, so that no Parliament could be held.
This was accordingly done; the agents of the General
Assembly paid their first instalment; the subscribers
held the King's autograph; the writs were issued, but on
being returned, were found to be technically incorrect,
and so the legal confirmation of the graces was indefinitely
postponed, under one pretext or another. As evidence of
the national demands at this period, we should add, that
beside the redress of minor grievances, the articles
signed by the King provided that the recusants should be
allowed to practise in the courts of law; to sue the
livery of their lands out of the Court of Wards, on taking
an oath of civil allegiance in lieu of the oath of
supremacy; that the claims of the Crown to the forfeiture
of estates, under the plea of defects of title, should
not be held to extend beyond sixty years anterior to
1628; that the "Undertakers" should have time allowed
them to fulfil the conditions of their leases; that the
proprietors of Connaught should be allowed to make a new
enrollment of their estates, and that a Parliament should
be held. A royal proclamation announced these concessions,
as existing in the royal intention, but, as we have
already related, such promises proved to be worth no more
than the paper on which they were written.

In 1629 Lord Falkland, to disarm the Puritan outcry
against him, had leave to withdraw, and for four years
--an unusually long interregnum--the government was left
in the hands of Robert Boyle, now Earl of Cork, and Adam
Loftus, Viscount Ely, one of the well dowered offspring
of Queen Elizabeth's Archbishop of Dublin. Ely held the
office of Lord Chancellor, and Cork that of Lord High
Treasurer; as Justices, they now combined in their own
persons almost all the power and patronage of the kingdom.
Both affected a Puritan austerity and enthusiasm, which
barely cloaked a rapacity and bigotry unequalled in any
former administration. In Dublin, on Saint Stephen's Day,
1629, the Protestant Archbishop, Bulkley, and the Mayor
of the city, entered the Carmelite Chapel, at the head
of a file of soldiers, dispersed the congregation,
desecrated the altar, and arrested the officiating friars.
The persecution was then taken up and repeated wherever
the executive power was strong enough to defy the popular
indignation. A Catholic seminary lately established in
the capital was confiscated, and turned over to Trinity
College as a training school. Fifteen religious houses,
chiefly belonging to the Franciscan Order, which had
hitherto escaped from the remoteness of their situation,
were, by an order of the English Council, confiscated to
the Crown, and their novices compelled to emigrate in
order to complete their studies abroad. A reprimand from
the King somewhat stayed the fury of the Justices, whose
supreme power ended with Stafford's appointment in 1633.

The advent of Stafford was characteristic of his whole
course. The King sent over another letter concerning
recusants, declaring that the laws against them, at the
suggestion of the Lords Justices, should be put strictly
in force. The Justices proved unwilling to enter this
letter on the Council book, and it was accordingly withheld
till Stafford's arrival, but the threat had the desired
effect of drawing "a voluntary contribution" of 20,000
pounds out of the alarmed Catholics. Equipped partly
with this money Stafford arrived in Dublin in July, 1633,
and entered at once on the policy, which he himself
designated by the one emphatic word--"THOROUGH." He took
up his abode in the Castle, surrounded by a Body Guard,
a force hitherto unknown at the Irish Court; he summoned
only a select number of the Privy Council, and, having
kept them waiting for hours, condescended to address them
in a speech full of arrogance and menace. He declared
his intention of maintaining and augmenting the army;
advised them to amend their grants forthwith; told them
frankly he had called them to Council, more out of courtesy
than necessity, and ended by requiring from them a year's
subsidy in advance. As this last request was accompanied
by a positive promise to obtain the King's consent to
the assembling of Parliament, it was at once granted;
and soon after writs were issued for the meeting of both
Houses in July following.

When this long-prayed-for Parliament at last met, the
Lord Deputy took good care that it should be little else
than a tribunal to register his edicts. A great many
officers of the army had been chosen as Burgesses, while
the Sheriffs of counties were employed to secure the
election of members favourable to the demands of the
Crown. In the Parliament of 1613 the recusants were,
admitting all the returns to be correct, nearly one-half;
but in that of 1634 they could not have exceeded one-third.
The Lord Deputy nominated their Speaker, whom they did
not dare to reject, and treated them invariably with the
supreme contempt which no one knows so well how to exhibit
towards a popular assembly as an apostate liberal.
"Surely," he said in his speech from the throne, "so
great a meanness cannot enter your hearts, as once to
suspect his Majesty's gracious regard of you, and
performance with you, once you affix yourselves upon his
grace." His object in this appeal was the sordid and
commonplace one--to obtain more money without rendering
value for it. He accordingly carried through four whole
subsidies of 50,000 pounds sterling each in the session
of 1634; and two additional subsidies of the same amount
at the opening of the next session. The Parliament, having
thus answered his purpose, was summarily dissolved in
April, 1635, and for four years more no other was called.
During both sessions he had contrived, according to his
agreement with the King, to postpone indefinitely the
act which was to have confirmed "the graces," guaranteed
in 1628. He even contrived to get a report of a Committee
of the House of Commons, and the opinions of some of the
Judges, against legislating on the subject at all, which
report gave King Charles "a great deal of contentment."

With sufficient funds in hand for the ordinary expenses
of the government, Strafford applied himself earnestly
to the self-elected task of making his royal master "as
absolute as any King in Christendom" on the Irish side
of the channel. The plantation of Connaught, delayed by
the late King's death, and abandoned among the new King's
graces, was resumed as a main engine of obtaining more
money. The proprietary of that Province had, in the
thirteenth year of the late reign, paid 3,000 pounds into
the Record Office at Dublin, for the registration of
their deeds, but the entries not being made by the clerk
employed, the title to every estate in the five western
counties was now called in question. The "Commissioners
to Inquire into Defective Titles" were let loose upon
the devoted Province, with Sir William Parsons at their
head, and the King's title to the whole of Mayo, Sligo
and Roscommon, was found by packed, bribed, or intimidated
juries; the grand jury of Galway having refused to find
a similar verdict, were summoned to the Court of Castle
Chamber, sentenced to pay a fine of 4,000 pounds each to
the Crown, and the Sheriff that empanelled them, a fine
of 1,000 pounds. The lawyers who pleaded for the actual
proprietors were stripped of their gowns, the sheriff
died in prison, and the work of spoliation proceeded.
The young Earl of Ormond was glad to compound for a
portion of his estates; the Earl of Kildare was committed
to prison for refusing a similar composition; the Earl
of Cork was compelled to pay a heavy fine for his intrusion
into lands originally granted to the Church; the O'Byrnes
of Wicklow commuted for 15,000 pounds, and the London
Companies, for their Derry estates, paid no less than
70,000 pounds: a forced contribution for which those
frugal citizens never forgave the thorough-going Deputy. By
these means, and others less violent, such as bounties to
the linen trade, he raised the annual revenue of the kingdom
to 80,000 pounds a year, and was enabled to embody for
the King's service an army of 10,000 foot and 1,000 horse.

These arbitrary measures were entirely in consonance with
the wishes of Charles. In a visit to England in 1636,
the King assured Strafford personally of his cordial
approbation of all he had done, encouraged him to proceed
fearlessly in the same course, and conferred on him the
higher rank of Lord Lieutenant. Three years later, on
the first rumour of a Scottish invasion of England,
Strafford was enabled to remit his master 30,000 pounds
from the Irish Treasury, and to tender the services of
the Anglo-Irish army, as he thought they could be safely
dispensed with by the country in which they had been thus
far recruited and maintained.



The tragic end of the despot, whose administration we
have sketched, was now rapidly approaching. When he
deserted the popular ranks in the English House of Commons
for a Peerage and the government of Ireland, the fearless
Pym prophetically remarked, "Though you have left us, I
will not leave you while your head is on your shoulders."
Yet, although conscious of having left able and vigilant
enemies behind him in England, Strafford proceeded in
his Irish administration as if he scorned to conciliate
the feelings or interests of any order of men. By the
highest nobility, as well as the humblest of the mechanic
class, his will was to be received as law; so that neither
in Church, nor in State, might any man express even the
most guarded doubt as to its infallibility. Lord
Mountnorris, for example, having dropped a casual, and
altogether innocent remark at the Chancellor's table on
the private habits of the Deputy, was brought to trial
by court martial on a charge of mutiny, and sentenced to
military execution. Though he was not actually put to
death, he underwent a long and rigorous imprisonment,
and at length was liberated without apology or satisfaction.
If they were not so fully authenticated, the particulars
of this outrageous case would hardly be credible.

The examples of resistance to arbitrary power, which for
some years had been shown by both England and Scotland,
were not thrown away upon the still worse used Irish.
During the seven years of Strafford's iron rule, Hampden
had resisted the collection of ship money, Cromwell had
begun to figure in the House of Commons, the Solemn League
and Covenant was established in Scotland, and the Scots
had twice entered England in arms to seal with their
blood, if need were, their opposition to an episcopal
establishment of religion. It was in 1640, upon the
occasion of their second invasion, that Strafford was
recalled from Ireland to assume command of the royal
forces in the North of England. After a single indecisive
campaign, the King entertained the overtures of the
Covenanters, and the memorable Long Parliament having
met in November, one of its first acts was the impeachment
of Strafford for high crimes and misdemeanors. The chief
articles against him related to his administration of
Irish affairs, and were sustained by delegates from the
Irish House of Commons, sent over for that purpose: the
whole of the trial deserves to be closely examined by
every one interested in the constitutional history of
England and Ireland.

A third Parliament, known as the 14th, 15th and 16th
Charles I., met at Dublin on the 20th March, 1639, was
prorogued till June, and adjourned till October. Yielding
the point so successfully resisted in 1613, its sittings
were held in the Castle, surrounded by the viceregal
guard. With one exception, the acts passed in its first
session were of little importance, relating only to the
allotment of glebe lands and the payment of twentieths.
The exception, which followed the voting of four entire
subsidies to the King, was an Act ordaining "that this
Parliament shall not determine by his Majesty's assent
to this and other Bills." A similar statute had been
passed in 1635, but was wholly disregarded by Strafford,
who no doubt meant to take precisely the same course in
the present instance. The members of this Assembly have
been severely condemned by modern writers for passing a
high eulogium upon Strafford in their first session and
reversing it after his fall. But this censure is not well
founded. The eulogium was introduced by the Castle party
in the Lords, as part of the preamble to the Supply Bill,
which, on being returned to the Commons, could only be
rejected _in toto_, not amended--a proceeding in the last
degree revolutionary. But those who dissented from that
ingenious device, at the next session of the House, took
care to have their protest entered on the journals and
a copy of it despatched to the King. This second proceeding
took place in February, 1640, and as the Lord Lieutenant
was not arraigned till the month of November following,
the usual denunciations of the Irish members are altogether
undeserved. At no period of his fortune was the Earl more
formidable as an enemy than at the very moment the Protest
against "his manner of government" was ordered "to be
entered among the Ordinances" of the Commons of Ireland.
Nor did this Parliament confine itself to mere protestations
against the abuses of executive power. At the very
opening of the second session, on the 20th of January,
they appointed a committee to wait on the King in England,
with instructions to solicit a bill in explanation of
Poyning's law, another enabling them to originate bills
in Committee of their own House, a right taken away by
that law, and to ask the King's consent to the regulation
of the courts of law, the collecting of the revenue, and
the quartering of soldiers by statute instead of by Orders
in Council. On the 16th of February the House submitted
a set of queries to the Judges, the nature of which may
be inferred from the first question, viz.: "Whether the
subjects of this Kingdom be a free people, and to be
governed only by the common law of England, and statutes
passed in this Kingdom ?" When the answers received were
deemed insufficient, the House itself, turning the queries
into the form of resolutions, proceeded to vote on them,
one by one, affirming in every point the rights, the
liberties, and the privileges of their constituents.

The impeachment and attainder of Strafford occupied the
great part of March and April, 1641, and throughout those
months the delegates from Ireland assisted at the pleadings
in Westminster Hall and the debates in the English
Parliament. The Houses at Dublin were themselves occupied
in a similar manner. Towards the end of February articles
of impeachment were drawn up against the Lord Chancellor,
Bolton, Dr. Bramhall, Bishop of Derry, Chief-Justice
Lowther, and Sir George Radcliffe, for conspiring with
Strafford to subvert the constitution, and laws, and to
introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical government. In
March, the King's letter for the continuance of Parliament
was laid before the Commons, and on the 3rd of April,
his further letter, declaring that all his Majesty's
subjects of Ireland "shall, from henceforth, enjoy the
benefit of the said graces [of 1628] according to the
true intent thereof." By the end of May the Judges, not
under impeachment, sent in their answers to the Queries
of the Commons, which answers were voted insufficient,
and Mr. Patrick Darcy, Member for Navan, was appointed
to serve as Proculator at a Conference with the Lords,
held on the 9th of June, "in the dining-room of the
Castle," in order to set forth the insufficiency of such
replies. The learned and elaborate argument of Darcy was
ordered to be printed by the House; and on the 26th day
of July, previous to their prorogation, they resolved
unanimously, that the subjects of Ireland "were a free
people, to be governed only by the common law of England,
and statutes made and established in the kingdom of
Ireland, and according to the lawful custom used in the
same." This was the last act of this memorable session;
the great northern insurrection in October having, of
course, prevented subsequent sessions from being held.
Constitutional agitators in modern times have been apt
to select their examples of a wise and patriotic
parliamentary conduct from the opposition to the Act of
Union and the famous struggles of the last century; but
whoever has looked into such records as remain to us of
the 15th and 16th of Charles First, and the debates on
the impeachment of Lord Chancellor Bolton, will, in my
opinion, be prepared to admit, that at no period whatever
was constitutional law more ably expounded in Ireland
than in the sessions of 1640 and 1641; and that not only
the principles of Swift and of Molyneux had a triumph in
1782, but the older doctrines also of Sir Ralph Kelly,
Audley Mervin, and Patrick Darcy.

Strafford's Deputy, Sir Christopher Wandesford, having
died before the close of 1640, the King appointed Robert,
Lord Dillon, a liberal Protestant, and Sir William Parsons,
Lords Justices. But the pressure of Puritan influence in
England compelled him in a short time to remove Dillon
and substitute Sir John Borlace, Master of the Ordnance
--a mere soldier--in point of fanaticism a fitting
colleague for Parsons. The prorogation of Parliament soon
gave these administrators opportunities to exhibit the
spirit in which they proposed to carry on the government.
When at a public entertainment in the capital, Parsons
openly declared that in twelve months more no Catholics
should be seen in Ireland, it was naturally inferred that
the Lord Justice spoke not merely for himself but for
the growing party of the English Puritans and Scottish
Covenanters. The latter had repeatedly avowed that they
never would lay down their arms until they had wrought
the extirpation of Popery, and Mr. Pym, the Puritan leader
in England, had openly declared that his party intended
not to leave a priest in Ireland. The infatuation of
the unfortunate Charles in entrusting at such a moment
the supreme power, civil and military, to two of the
devoted partizans of his deadliest enemies, could not
fail to arouse the fears of all who felt themselves
obnoxious to the fanatical party, either by race or by

The aspirations of the chief men among the old Irish for
entire freedom of worship, their hopes of recovering at
least a portion of their estates, the example of the
Scots, who had successfully upheld both their Church and
nation against all attempts at English supremacy, the
dangers that pressed, and the fears that overhung them,
drove many of the very first abilities and noblest
characters into the conspiracy which exploded with such
terrific energy on the 23rd of October, 1641. The project,
though matured on Irish soil, was first conceived among
the exiled Catholics, who were to be found at that day
in all the schools and camps of Spain, Italy, France and
the Netherlands. Philip III. had an Irish legion, under
the command of Henry O'Neil, son of Tyrone, which, after
his death was transferred to his brother John. In this
legion, Owen Roe O'Neil, nephew of Tyrone, learned the
art of war, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
The number of Irish serving abroad had steadily increased
after 1628, when a license of enlistment was granted by
King James. An English emissary, evidently well-informed,
was enabled to report, about the year 1630, that there
were in the service of the Archduchess Isabella, in the
Spanish Netherlands alone, "100 Irish officers able to
command companies, and 20 fit to be colonels." The names
of many others are given as men of noted courage, good
engineers, and "well-beloved" captains, both Milesians
and Anglo-Irish, residing at Lisbon, Florence, Milan and
Naples. The emissary adds that they had long been
providing arms for an attempt upon Ireland, "and had in
readiness 5,000 or 6,000 arms laid up in Antwerp for that
purpose, _bought out of the deduction of their monthly
pay_." After the death of the Archduchess, in 1633, an
attempt was made by the Franco-Dutch, under Prince Maurice
and Marshal Chatillon, to separate the Belgian Provinces
from Spain. In the sanguinary battle at Avien victory
declared for the French, and on their junction with Prince
Maurice, town after town surrendered to their arms. The
first successful stand against them was made at Louvain,
defended by 4,000 Belgians, Walloons, Spaniards and Irish;
the Irish, 1,000 strong, under the command of Colonel
Preston, of the Gormanstown family, greatly distinguished
themselves. The siege was raised on the 4th of July,
1635, and Belgium was saved for that time to Philip IV.
At the capture of Breda, in 1637, the Irish were again
honourably conspicuous, and yet more so in the successful
defence of Arras, the capital of Artois, three years
later. Not yet strengthened by the citadel of Vauban,
this ancient Burgundian city, famous for its cathedral
and its manufactures, dear to the Spaniards as one of
the conquests of Charles V., was a vital point in the
campaign of 1640. Besieged by the French, under Marshal
Millerie, it held out for several weeks under the command
of Colonel Owen Roe O'Neil. The King of France lying at
Amiens, within convenient distance, took care that the
besiegers wanted for nothing; while the Prince-Cardinal,
Ferdinand, the successor of the Archduchess in the
government, marched to its relief at the head of his main
force with the Imperialists, under Launboy, and the troops
of the Duke of Lorrain, commanded by that Prince in
person. In an attack on the French lines the Allies were
beaten off with loss, and the brave commander was left
again unsuccoured in the face of his powerful assailant.
Subsequently Don Philip de Silva, General of the Horse
to the Prince Cardinal, was despatched to its relief,
but failed to effect anything; a failure for which he
was court-martialed, but acquitted. The defenders, after
exhausting every resource, finally surrendered the place
on honourable terms, and marched out covered with glory.
These stirring events, chronicled in prose and verse at
home, rekindled the martial ardour which had slumbered
since the disastrous day of Kinsale.

In the ecclesiastics who shared their banishment, the
military exiles had a voluntary diplomatic _corps_ who
lost no opportunity of advancing the common cause. At
Rome, their chief agent was Father Luke Wadding, founder
of Saint Isidore's, one of the most eminent theologians
and scholars of his age. Through the friendship of
Gregory XV. and Urban VIII., many Catholic princes became
deeply interested in the religious wars which the Irish
of the previous ages had so bravely waged, and which
their descendants were now so anxious to renew. Cardinal
Richelieu--who wielded a power greater than that of
Kings--had favourably entertained a project of invasion
submitted to him by the son of Hugh O'Neil, a chief who,
while living, was naturally regarded by the exiles as
their future leader.

To prepare the country for such an invasion (if the return
of men to their own country can be called by that name),
it was necessary to find an agent with talents for
organization, and an undoubted title to credibility and
confidence. This agent was fortunately found in the person
of Rory or Roger O'Moore, the representative of the
ancient chiefs of Leix, who had grown up at the Spanish
Court as the friend and companion of the O'Neils. O'Moore
was then in the prime of life, of handsome person, and
most seductive manners; his knowledge of character was
profound; his zeal for the Catholic cause, intense; his
personal probity, honour, and courage, undoubted. The
precise date of O'Moore's arrival in Ireland is not given
in any of the cotemporary accounts, but he seems to have
been resident in the country some time previous to his
appearance in public life, as he is familiarly spoken of
by his English cotemporaries as "Mr. Roger Moore of
Ballynagh." During the Parliamentary session of 1640, he
took lodgings in Dublin, where he succeeded in enlisting
in his plans Conor Maguire, Lord Enniskillen, Philip
O'Reilly, one of the members for the county of Cavan,
Costelloe McMahon, and Thorlogh O'Neil, all persons of
great influence in Ulster. During the ensuing assizes in
the Northern Province he visited several country towns,
where in the crowd of suitors and defendants he could,
without attracting special notice, meet and converse with
those he desired to gain over. On this tour he received
the important accession of Sir Phelim O'Neil of Kinnaird,
in Tyrone, Sir Con Magennis of Down, Colonel Hugh McMahon
of Monaghan, and Dr. Heber McMahon, Administrator of
Clogher. Sir Phelim O'Neil, the most considerable man of
his name tolerated in Ulster, was looked upon as the
greatest acquisition, and at his castle of Kinnaird his
associates from the neighbouring counties, under a variety
of pretexts, contrived frequently to meet. From Ulster,
the indefatigable O'Moore carried the threads of the
conspiracy into Connaught with equal success, finding
both among the nobility and clergy many adherents. In
Leinster, among the Anglo-Irish, he experienced the
greatest timidity and indifference, but an unforeseen
circumstance threw into his hands a powerful lever, to
move that province. This was the permission granted by
the King to the native regiments, embodied by Strafford,
to enter into the Spanish service, if they so desired.
His English Parliament made no demur to the arrangement,
which would rid the island of some thousands of disciplined
Catholics, but several of their officers, under the
inspiration of O'Moore, kept their companies together,
delaying their departure from month to month. Among these
were Sir James Dillon, Colonel Plunkett, Colonel Byrne,
and Captain Fox, who, with O'Moore, formed the first
directing body of the Confederates in Leinster.

In May, 1641, Captain Neil O'Neil arrived from the
Netherlands with an urgent request from John, Earl of
Tyrone, to all his clansmen to prepare for a general
insurrection. He also brought them the cheering news that
Cardinal Richelieu--then at the summit of his greatness
--had promised the exiles arms, money, and means of
transport. He was sent back, almost immediately, with
the reply of Sir Phelim, O'Moore and their friends, that
they would be prepared to take the field a few days before
or after the festival of All Hallows--the 1st of November.
The death of Earl John, the last surviving son of the
illustrious Tyrone, shortly afterwards, though it grieved
the Confederates, wrought no change in their plans. In
his cousin-germain, the distinguished defender of Arras,
they reposed equal confidence, and their confidence could
not have been more worthily bestowed.



The plan agreed upon by the Confederates included four
main features. I. A rising after the harvest was gathered
in, and a campaign during the winter months, when supplies
from England were most difficult to be obtained by their
enemies. II. A simultaneous attack on one and the same
day or night on all the fortresses within reach of their
friends. III. To surprise the Castle of Dublin, which
was said to contain arms for 12,000 men. IV. Aid in
officers, munitions, and money from abroad. All the
details of this project were carried successfully into
effect, except the seizure of Dublin Castle--the most
difficult as it would have been the most decisive blow
to strike.

Towards the end of August, a meeting of those who could
most conveniently attend was held in Dublin. There were
present O'Moore and Maguire, of the civilians, and Colonels
Plunkett, Byrne, and McMahon of the army. At this meeting
the last week of October, or first of November, was fixed
upon as the time to rise; subsequently Saturday, the 23rd
of the first named month, a market day in the capital
was selected. The northern movements were to be arranged
with Sir Phelim O'Neil, while McMahon, Plunkett, and
Byrne, with 200 picked men, were to surprise the Castle
guard--consisting of only a few pensioners and 40
halbediers--turn the guns upon the city to intimidate
the Puritan party, and thus make sure of Dublin; O'Moore,
Lord Maguire, and other civilians, were to be in town,
in order to direct the next steps to be taken. As the
day approached, the arrangements went on with perfect
secrecy but with perfect success. On the 22nd of October
half the chosen band were in waiting, and the remainder
were expected in during the night. Some hundreds of
persons, in and about Dublin, and many thousands throughout
the country, must have been in possession of that momentous
secret, yet it was by the mere accident of trusting a
drunken dependent out of sight, that the first knowledge
of the plot was conveyed to the Lords Justices on the
very eve of its execution.

Owen O'Connolly, the informant on this occasion, was one
of those ruffling squires or henchmen, who accompanied
gentlemen of fortune in that age, to take part in their
quarrels, and carry their confidential messages. That he
was not an ordinary domestic servant, we may learn from
the fact of his carrying a sword, after the custom of
the class to which we have assigned him. At this period
he was in the service of Sir John Clotworthy, one of the
most violent of the Puritan Undertakers, and had conformed
to the established religion. Through what recklessness,
or ignorance of his true character, he came to be invited
by Colonel Hugh McMahon to his lodgings, and there, on
the evening of the 22nd, entrusted with a knowledge of
next day's plans, we have now no means of deciding.
O'Connolly's information, as tendered to the Justices,
states that on hearing of the proposed attack on the
Castle, he pretended an occasion to withdraw, leaving
his sword in McMahon's room to avoid suspicion, and that
after jumping over fences and palings, he made his way
from the north side of the city to Sir William Parsons
at the Castle. Parsons at first discredited the tale,
which O'Connolly (who was in liquor) told in a confused
and rambling manner, but he finally decided to consult
his colleague, Borlase, by whom some of the Council were
summoned, the witness's deposition taken down, orders
issued to double the guard, and officers despatched, who
arrested McMahon at his lodgings. When McMahon came to
be examined before the Council, it was already the morning
of the 23rd; he boldly avowed his own part in the plot,
and declared that what was that day to be done was now
beyond the power of man to prevent. He was committed
close prisoner to the Castle where he had hoped to command,
and search was made for the other leaders in town. Maguire
was captured the next morning, and shared McMahon's
captivity; but O'Moore, Plunkett, and Byrne succeeded in
escaping out of the city. O'Connolly was amply rewarded
in lands and money; and we hear of him once afterwards,
with the title of Colonel, in the Parliamentary army.

As McMahon had declared to the Justices, the rising was
now beyond the power of man to prevent. In Ulster, by
stratagem, surprise, or force, the forts of Charlemont
and Mountjoy, and the town of Dungannon, were seized on
the night of the 22nd by Sir Phelim O'Neil or his
lieutenants; on the next day Sir Conor Magennis took the
town of Newry, the McMahons possessed themselves of
Carrickmacross and Castleblaney, the O'Hanlons Tandragee,
while Philip O'Reilly and Roger Maguire razed Cavan and
Fermanagh. A proclamation of the northern leaders appeared
the same day, dated from Dungannon, setting forth their
"true intent and meaning" to be, not hostility to his
Majesty the King, "nor to any of his subjects, neither
English nor Scotch; but only for the defence and liberty
of ourselves and the Irish natives of this kingdom." A
more elaborate manifesto appeared shortly afterwards from
the pen of Rory O'Moore, in which the oppressions of the
Catholics for conscience' sake were detailed, the King's
intended "graces" acknowledged, and their frustration by
the malice of the Puritan party exhibited: it also
endeavoured to show that a common danger threatened the
Protestants of the Episcopal Church with Roman Catholics,
and asserted in the strongest terms the devotion of the
Catholics to the Crown. In the same politic and tolerant
spirit, Sir Conor Magennis wrote from Newry on the 25th
to the officers commanding at Down. "We are," he wrote,
"for our lives and liberties. We desire no blood to be
shed, but if you mean to shed our blood, be sure we shall
be as ready as you for that purpose." This threat of
retaliation, so customary in all wars, was made on the
third day of the rising, and refers wholly to future
contingencies; the monstrous fictions which were afterwards
circulated of a wholesale massacre committed on the 23rd
were not as yet invented, nor does any public document
or private letter, written in Ireland in the last week
of October, or during the first days of November, so much
as allude to those tales of blood and horror, afterwards
so industriously circulated, and so greedily swallowed.

Fully aroused from their lethargy by McMahon's declaration,
the Lords Justices acted with considerable vigour. Dublin
was declared to be in a state of siege; courts martial
were established; arms were distributed to the Protestant
citizens, and some Catholics; and all strangers were
ordered to quit the city under pain of death. Sir Francis
Willoughby, Governor of Galway, who arrived on the night
of the 22nd, was entrusted with the command of the Castle,
Sir Charles Coote was appointed Military Governor of the
city, and the Earl, afterwards Duke of Ormond, was summoned
from Carrick-on-Suir to take command of the army. As
Coote played a very conspicuous part in the opening scenes
of this war, and Ormond till its close, it may be well
to describe them both, more particularly, to the reader.

Sir Charles Coote, one of the first Baronets of Ireland,
like Parsons, Boyle, Chichester, and other Englishmen,
had come over to Ireland during the war against Tyrone,
in quest of fortune. His first employments were in
Connaught, where he filled the offices of Provost-Marshal
and Vice-Governor in the reign of James I. His success
as an Undertaker entitles him to rank with the fortunate
adventurers we have mentioned; in Roscommon, Sligo,
Leitrim, Queen's, and other counties, his possessions
and privileges raised him to the rank of the richest
subjects of his time. In 1640 he was a colonel of foot,
with the estates of a Prince and the habits of a
Provost-Marshal. His reputation for ferocious cruelty
has survived the remembrance even of his successful
plunder of other people's property; before the campaigns
of Cromwell there was no better synonym for wanton cruelty
than the name of Sir Charles Coote.

James Butler, Earl, Marquis, and Duke of Ormond deservedly
ranks amongst the principal statesmen of his time. During
a public career of more than half a century his conduct
in many eminent offices of trust was distinguished by
supreme ability, life-long firmness and consistency. As
a courtier of the House of Stuart, it was impossible that
he should have served and satisfied both Charleses without
participating in many indefensible acts of government,
and originating some of them. Yet judged, not from the
Irish but the Imperial point of view, not by an abstract
standard but by the public morality of his age, he will
be found fairly deserving of the title of "the great
Duke" bestowed on him during his lifetime. When summoned
by the Lords Justices to their assistance in 1641, he
was in the thirty-first year of his age, and had so far
only distinguished himself in political life as the friend
of the late Lord Strafford. He had, however, the good
fortune to restore in his own person the estates of his
family, notwithstanding that they were granted in great
part to others by King James; his attachment to the cause
of King Charles was very naturally augmented by the fact
that the partiality of that Prince and his ill-fated
favourite had enabled him to retrieve both the hereditary
wealth and the high political influence which formerly
belonged to the Ormond Butlers. Such an ally was
indispensable to the Lords Justices in the first panic
of the insurrection; but it was evident to near observers
that Ormond, a loyalist and a churchman, could not long
act in concert with such devoted Puritans as Parsons,
Borlase, and Coote.

The military position of the several parties--there were
at least three--when Ormond arrived at Dublin, in the
first week of November, may be thus stated: I. In Munster
and Connaught there was but a single troop of royal horse,
each, left as a guard with the respective Presidents,
St. Leger and Willoughby; in Kilkenny, Dublin, and other
of the midland counties, the gentry, Protestant and
Catholic, were relied on to raise volunteers for their
own defence; in Dublin there had been got together 1,500
old troops; six new regiments of foot were embodied;
and thirteen volunteer companies of 100 each. In the
Castle were arms and ammunition for 12,000 men, with
a fine train of field artillery, provided by Stafford
for his campaign in the north of England. Ormond, as
Lieutenant-General, had thus at his disposal, in one
fortnight after the insurrection broke out, from 8,000
to 10,000 well appointed men; his advice was to take the
field at once against the northern leaders before the
other Provinces became equally inflamed. But his judgment
was overruled by the Justices, who would only consent,
while awaiting their cue from the Long Parliament, to
throw reinforcements into Drogheda, which thus became
their outpost towards the north. II. In Ulster there
still remained in the possession of "the Undertakers"
Enniskillen, Deny, the Castles of Killeagh and Crohan
in Cavan, Lisburn, Belfast, and the stronghold of
Carrickfergus, garrisoned by the regiments of Colonel
Chichester and Lord Conway. King Charles, who was at
Edinburgh endeavouring to conciliate the Scottish Parliament
when news of the Irish rising reached him, procured the
instant despatch of 1,500 men to Ulster, and authorized
Lords Chichester, Ardes and Clandeboy, to raise new
regiments from among their own tenants. The force thus
embodied--which may be called from its prevailing element
the _Scottish_ army--cannot have numbered less than 5,000
foot, and the proportionate number of horse. III. The
Irish in the field by the first of November are stated
in round numbers at 30,000 men in the northern counties
alone; but the whole number supplied with arms and
ammunition could not have reached one-third of that
nominal total. Before the surprise of Charlemont and
Mountjoy forts, Sir Phelim O'Neil had but a barrel or
two of gunpowder; the stores of those forts, with 70
barrels taken at Newry by Magennis, and all the arms
captured in the simultaneous attack, which at the outside
could not well exceed 4,000 or 5,000 stand--constituted
their entire equipment. One of Ormond's chief reasons
for an immediate campaign in the North was to prevent
them having time to get "pikes made"--which shows their
deficiency even in that weapon. Besides this defect there
was one, if possible, still more serious. Sir Phelim was
a civilian, bred to the profession of the law; Rory
O'Moore, also, had never seen service; and although
Colonel Owen O'Neil and others had promised to join them
"at fourteen days' notice," a variety of accidents
prevented the arrival of any officer of distinction during
the brief remainder of that year. Sir Phelim, however,
boldly assumed the title of "Lord General of the Catholic
Army in Ulster," and the still more popular title with
the Gaelic speaking population of "The O'Neil."

The projected winter campaign, after the first week's
successes, did not turn out favourably for the northern
Insurgents. The beginning of November was marked by the
barbarous slaughter committed by the Scottish garrison
of Carrickfergus in the Island Magee. Three thousand
persons are said to have been driven into the fathomless
north sea, over the cliffs of that island, or to have
perished by the sword. The ordinary inhabitants could
not have exceeded one-tenth as many, but the presence of
so large a number may be accounted for by the supposition
that they had fled from the mainland across the peninsula,
which is left dry at low water, and were pursued to their
last refuge by the infuriated Covenanters. From this date
forward until the accession of Owen Roe O'Neil to the
command, the northern war assumed a ferocity of character
foreign to the nature of O'Moore, O'Reilly and Magennis.
That Sir Phelim permitted, if he did not sometimes in
his gusts of stormy passion instigate, those acts of
cruelty, which have stained his otherwise honourable
conduct, is too true; but he stood alone among his
confederates in that crime, and that crime stands alone
in his character. Brave to rashness and disinterested to
excess, few rebel chiefs ever made a more heroic end out
of a more deplorable beginning.

The Irish Parliament, which was to have met on the 16th
of November, was indefinitely prorogued by the Lords
Justices, who preferred to act only with their chosen
quorum of Privy Counsellors. The Catholic Lords of the
Pale, who at first had arms granted for their retainers
out of the public stores, were now summoned to surrender
them by a given day; an insult not to be forgiven. Lords
Dillon and Taafe, then deputies to the King, were seized
at Ware by the English Puritans, their papers taken from
them, and themselves imprisoned. O'Moore, whose clansmen
had recovered Dunamase and other strongholds in his
ancient patrimony, was still indefatigable in his propaganda
among the Anglo-Irish. By his advice Sir Phelim marched
to besiege Drogheda, at the head of his tumultuous bands.
On the way southward he made an unsuccessful attack upon
Lisburn, where he lost heavily; on the 24th of November
he took possession of Mellifont Abbey, from whose gate
the aged Tyrone had departed in tears, twenty-five years
before. From Mellifont he proceeded to invest Drogheda;
Colonel Plunkett, with the title of General, being the
sole experienced officer as yet engaged in his ranks. A
strongly walled town as Drogheda was, well manned, and
easily accessible from the sea, cannot be carried without
guns and engineers by any amount of physical courage.
Whenever the Catholics were fairly matched in the open
field, they were generally successful, as at Julianstown,
during this siege, where one of their detachments cut
off five out of six companies marching from Dublin to
reinforce the town; but though the investment was complete,
the vigilant governor, Sir Henry Tichburne, successfully
repulsed the assailants. O'Moore, who lay between Ardee
and Dundalk with a reserve of 2,000 men, found time during
the siege to continue his natural career, that of a
diplomatist. The Puritan party, from the Lord Justice
downwards, were, indeed, every day hastening that union
of Catholics of all origins which the founder of the
Confederacy so ardently desired to bring about. Their
avowed maxim was that the more men rebelled, the more
estates there would be to confiscate. In Munster, their
chief instruments were the aged Earl of Cork, still
insatiable as ever for other men's possessions, and the
President St. Leger; in Leinster, Sir Charles Coote. Lord
Cork prepared 1,100 indictments against men of property
in his Province, which he sent to the Speaker of the Long
Parliament, with an urgent request that they might be
returned to him, with authority to proceed against the
parties named, as outlaws. In Leinster, 4,000 similar
indictments were found in the course of two days by the
free use of the rack with witnesses. Sir John Read, an
officer of the King's Bedchamber, and Mr. Barnwall, of
Kilbrue, a gentleman of threescore and six, were among
those who underwent the torture. When these were the
proceedings of the tribunals in peaceable cities, we may
imagine what must have been the excesses of the soldiery
in the open county. In the South, Sir William St. Leger
directed a series of murderous raids upon the peasantry
of Cork, which at length produced their natural effect.
Lord Muskerry and other leading recusants, who had offered
their services to maintain the peace of the Province,
were driven by an insulting refusal to combine for their
own protection. The 1,100 indictments of Lord Cork soon
swelled their ranks, and the capture of the ancient city
of Cashel by Philip O'Dwyer announced the insurrection
of the South. Waterford soon after opened its gates to
Colonel Edmund Butler; Wexford declared for the Catholic
cause, and Kilkenny surrendered to Lord Mountgarret. In
Wicklow, Coote's troopers committed murders such as had
not been equalled since the days of the Pagan Northmen.
Little children were carried aloft writhing on the pikes
of these barbarians, whose worthy commander confessed
that "he liked such frolics." Neither age nor sex was
spared, and an ecclesiastic was especially certain of
instant death. Fathers Higgins and White of Naas, in
Kildare, were given up by Coote to these "lambs," though
each had been granted a safe conduct by his superior
officer, Lord Ormond. And these murders were taking place
at the very tune when the Franciscans and Jesuits of
Cashel were protecting Dr. Pullen, the Protestant Chancellor
of that Cathedral and other Protestant prisoners; while
also the Castle of Cloughouter, in Cavan, the residence
of Bishop Bedell, was crowded with Protestant fugitives,
all of whom were carefully guarded by the chivalrous
Philip O'Reilly.

At length the Catholic Lords of the Pale began to feel
the general glow of an outraged people, too long submissive
under every species of provocation. The Lords Justices
having summoned them to attend in Dublin on the 8th of
December, they met at Swords, at the safe distance of
seven miles, and sent by letter their reasons for not
trusting themselves in the capital. To the allegations
in this letter the Justices replied by proclamation,
denying most of them, and repeating their summons to
Lords Fingal, Gormanstown, Slane, Dunsany, Netterville,
Louth, and Trimleston, to attend in Dublin on the 17th.
But before the 17th came, as if to ensure the defeat of
then own summons, Coote was let loose upon the flourishing
villages of Fingal, and the flames kindled by his men
might easily be discovered from the round tower of Swords.
On the 17th, the summoned Lords, with several of the
neighbouring gentry, met by appointment on the hill of
Crofty, in the neighbouring county of Meath; while they
were engaged in discussing the best course to be taken,
a party of armed men on horseback, accompanied by a guard
of musketeers, was seen approaching. They proved to be
O'Moore, O'Reilly, Costelloe McMahon, brother of the
prisoner, Colonel Byrne, and Captain Fox. Lord Gormanstown,
advancing in front of his friends, demanded of the
new-comers "why they came armed into the Pale?" To which
O'Moore made answer "that the ground of their coming
thither was for the freedom and liberty of their
consciences, the maintenance of his Majesty's prerogative,
in which they understood he was abridged, and the making
the subjects of this kingdom as free as those of England."
Lord Gormanstown, after consulting a few moments with
his friends, replied: "Seeing these be your true ends,
we will likewise join with you." The leaders then embraced,
amid the acclamations of their followers, and the general
conditions of then: union having been unanimously agreed
upon, a warrant was drawn out authorizing the Sheriff of
Meath to summon the gentry of the county to a final
meeting at the Hill of Tara on the 24th of December.



How a tumultuous insurrection grew into a national
organization, with a senate, executive, treasury, army,
ships, and diplomacy, we are now to describe. It may,
however, be assumed throughout the narrative, that the
success of the new Confederacy was quite as much to be
attributed to the perverse policy of its enemies as to
the counsels of its best leaders. The rising in the
midland and Munster counties, and the formal adhesion of
the Lords of the Pale, were two of the principal steps
towards the end. A third was taken by the Bishops of the
Province of Armagh, assembled in Provincial Synod at
Kells, on the 22nd of March, 1642, where, with the
exception of Dease of Meath, they unanimously pronounced
"the war just and lawful." After solemnly condemning all
acts of private vengeance, and all those who usurped
other men's estates, this provincial meeting invited a
national synod to meet at Kilkenny on the 10th day of
May following. On that day accordingly, all the Prelates
then in the country, with the exception of Bishop Dease,
met at Kilkenny. There were present O'Reilly, Archbishop
of Armagh; Butler, Archbishop of Cashel; O'Kealy, Archbishop
of Tuam; David Rothe, the venerable Bishop of Ossory;
the Bishops of Clonfert, Elphin, Waterford, Lismore,
Kildare, and Down and Conor; the proctors of Dublin,
Limerick, and Killaloe, with sixteen other dignitaries
and heads of religious orders--in all, twenty-nine prelates
and superiors, or their representatives. The most remarkable
attendants were, considering the circumstances of their
Province, the prelates of Connaught. Strafford's reign
of terror was still painfully remembered west of the
Shannon, and the immense family influence of Ulick Burke,
then Earl, and afterwards Marquis of Clanrickarde, was
exerted to prevent the adhesion of the western population
to the Confederacy. But the zeal of the Archbishop of
Tuam, and the violence of the Governor of Galway, Sir
Francis Willoughby, proved more than a counterpoise for
the authority of Clanrickarde and the recollection of
Strafford: Connaught, though the last to come into the
Confederation, was also the last to abandon it.

The Synod of Kilkenny proceeded with the utmost solemnity
and anxiety to consider the circumstances of their own
and the neighbouring kingdoms. No equal number of men
could have been found in Ireland, at that day, with an
equal amount of knowledge of foreign and domestic politics.
Many of them had spent years upon the Continent, while
the French Huguenots held their one hundred "cautionary
towns," and "leagues" and "associations" were the ordinary
instruments of popular resistance in the Netherlands and
Germany. Nor were the events transpiring in the neighbouring
island unknown or unweighed by that grave assembly. The
true meaning and intent of the Scottish and English
insurrections were by this time apparent to every one.
The previous months had been especially fertile in events,
calculated to rouse their most serious apprehensions. In
March, the King fled from London to York; in April, the
gates of Hull were shut in his face by Hotham, its
governor; and in May, the Long Parliament voted a levy
of 16,000 without the royal authority. The Earl of Warwick
had been appointed the Parliamentary commander of the
fleet, and the Earl of Essex, their Lord General, with
Cromwell as one of his captains. From that hour it was
evident the sword alone could decide between Charles and
his subjects. In Scotland, too, events were occurring in
which Irish Catholics were vitally interested. The contest
for the leadership of the Scottish royalists between the
Marquises of Hamilton and Montrose had occupied the early
months of the year, and given their enemies of the Kirk
and the Assembly full time to carry on their correspondence
with the English Puritans. In April, all parties in
Scotland agreed in despatching a force of 2,500 men, under
"the memorable Major Monroe," for the protection of the
Scottish settlers in Ulster. On the 15th of that month
this officer landed at Carrickfergus, which was "given
up to him by agreement," with the royalist Colonel
Chichester; the fortress, which was by much the strongest
in that quarter, continued for six years the head-quarters
of the Scottish general, with whom we shall have occasion
to meet again.

The state of Anglo-Irish affairs was for some months one
of disorganization and confusion. In January and February
the King had been frequently induced to denounce by
proclamation his "Irish rebels." He had offered the
Parliament to lead their reinforcements in person, had
urged the sending of arms and men, and had repeatedly
declared that he would never consent to tolerate Popery
in that country. He had failed to satisfy his enemies,
by these profuse professions had dishonoured himself,
and disgusted many who were far from being hostile to
his person or family. Parsons and Borlase were still
continued in the government, and Coote was entrusted by
them, on all possible occasions, with a command distinct
from that of Ormond. Having proclaimed the Lords of the
Pale rebels for refusing to trust their persons within
the walls of Dublin, Coote was employed during January
to destroy Swords, their place of rendezvous, and to
ravage the estates of their adherents in that neighbourhood.
In the same month 1,100 veterans arrived at Dublin under
Sir Simon Harcourt; early in February arrived Sir Richard
Grenville with 400 horse, and soon after Lieutenant-Colonel
George Monk, afterwards Duke of Albemarle, with Lord
Leicester's regiment, 1,500 strong. Up to this period
Ormond had been restrained by the Justices, who were as
timid as they were cruel, to operations within an easy
march of Dublin. He had driven the O'Moores and their
Allies out of Naas; had reinforced some garrisons in
Kildare; he had broken up, though not without much loss,
an entrenched camp of the O'Byrnes at Kilsalgen wood, on
the borders of Dublin; at last the Justices felt secure
enough, at the beginning of March, to allow him to march
to the relief of Drogheda. Sir Phelim O'Neil had invested
the place for more than three months, had been twice
repulsed from its walls, made a last desperate attempt,
towards the end of February, but with no better success.
After many lives were lost the impetuous lawyer-soldier
was obliged to retire, and on the 8th of March, hearing
of Ormond's approach at the head of 4,000 fresh troops,
he hastily retreated northward. On receiving this report,
the Justices recalled Ormond to the capital; Sir Henry
Tichburne and Lord Moore were despatched with a strong
force, on the rear of the Ulster forces, and drove them
out of Ardee and Dundalk--the latter after a sharp action.
The march of Ormond into Meath had, however, been productive
of offers of submission from many of the gentry of the
Pale, who attended the meetings at Crofty and Tara. Lord
Dunsany and Sir John Netterville actually surrendered on
the Earl's guarantee, and were sent to Dublin; Lords
Gormanstown, Netterville, and Slane, offered by letter
to follow their example; but the two former were, on
reaching the city, thrust into the dungeons of the Castle,
by order of the Justices; and the proposals of the latter
were rejected with contumely. About the same time the
Long Parliament passed an act declaring 2,500,000 acres
of the property of Irish recusants forfeited to the State,
and guaranteeing to all English "adventurers" contributing
to the expenses of the war, and all soldiers serving in
it, grants of land in proportion to their service and
contribution. This act, and a letter from Lord Essex,
the Parliamentarian Commander-in-Chief, recommending the
transportation of captured recusants to the West Indian
Colonies, effectually put a stop to these negotiations.
In Ulster, by the end of April, there were 19,000 troops,
regulars and volunteers, in the garrison or in the field.
Newry was taken by Monroe and Chichester, where 80 men
and women and 2 priests were put to death. Magennis was
obliged to abandon Down, and McMahon Monaghan; Sir Philem
was driven to burn Armagh and Dungannon, and to take his
last stand at Charlemont. In a severe action with Sir
Robert and Sir William Stewart, he had displayed his
usual courage with better than his usual fortune, which,
perhaps, we may attribute to the presence with him of
Sir Alexander McDonnell, brother to Lord Antrim, the
famous _Colkitto_ of the Irish and Scottish wars. But
the severest defeat which the Confederates had was in
the heart of Leinster, at the hamlet of Kilrush, within
four miles of Athy. Lord Ormond, returning from a second
reinforcement of Naas and other Kildare forts, at the
head, by English account, of 4,000 men, found on the 13th
of April the Catholics of the midland counties, under
Lords Mountgarrett, Ikerrin, and Dunboyne, Sir Morgan
Cavenagh, Rory O'Moore, and Hugh O'Byrne, drawn up, by
his report, 8,000 strong, to dispute his passage. With
Ormond were the Lord Dillon, Lord Brabazon, Sir Richard
Grenville, Sir Charles Coote, and Sir T. Lucas. The combat
was short but murderous. The Confederates left 700 men,
including Sir Morgan Cavenagh, and some other officers,
dead on the field; the remainder retreated in disorder,
and Ormond, with an inconsiderable diminution of numbers,
returned in triumph to Dublin. For this victory the Long
Parliament, in a moment of enthusiasm, voted the
Lieutenant-General a jewel worth 500 pounds. If any
satisfaction could be derived from such an incident, the
violent death of their most ruthless enemy, Sir Charles
Coote, might have afforded the Catholics some consolation.
That merciless saberer, after the combat at Kilrush, had
been employed in reinforcing Birr, and relieving the
Castle of Geashill, which the Lady Letitia of Offally
held against the neighbouring tribe of O'Dempsey. On his
return from this service he made a foray against a Catholic
force, which had mustered in the neighbourhood of Trim;
here, on the night of the 7th of May, heading a sally of
his troop, he fell by a musket shot--not without suspicion
of being fired from his own ranks. His son and namesake,
who imitated him in all things, was ennobled at the
restoration by the title of the Earl of Mountrath. In
Munster the President St. Leger, though lately reinforced
by 1,000 men from England, did not consider himself strong
enough for other than occasional forays into the
neighbouring county, and little was effected in that

Such was the condition of affairs at home and abroad when
the National Synod assembled at Kilkenny. As the most
popular tribunal invested with the highest moral power
in the kingdom, it was their arduous task to establish
order and authority among the chaotic elements of the
revolution. By the admission of those most opposed to
them they conducted their deliberations for nearly three
weeks with equal prudence and energy. They first, on the
motion of the venerable Bishop Rothe, framed an oath of
association to be publicly taken by all their adherents,
by the first part of which they were bound to bear "true
faith and allegiance" to King Charles and his lawful
successors, "to maintain the fundamental laws of Ireland,
the free exercise of the Roman Catholic faith and religion."
By the second part of this oath all Confederate Catholics
--for so they were to be called--as solemnly bound
themselves never to accept or submit to any peace "without
the consent and approbation of the general assembly of
the said Confederate Catholics." They then proceeded to
make certain constitutions, declaring the war just and
lawful; condemning emulations and distinctions founded
on distinctions of race, such as "new" and "old Irish;"
ordaining an elective council for each Province; and a
Supreme or National Council for the whole kingdom;
condemning as excommunicate all who should, having taken
the oath, violate it, or who should be guilty of murder,
violence to persons, or plunder under pretence of the
war. Although the attendance of the lay leaders of the
movement at Kilkenny was far from general, the exigencies
of the case compelled them, to nominate, with the
concurrence of the Bishops, the first Supreme Council of
which Lord Mountgarrett was chosen President, and Mr.
Richard Belling, an accomplished writer and lawyer,
Secretary. By this body a General Assembly of the entire
Nation was summoned to meet at the same city, on the 23rd
of October following--the anniversary of the Ulster
rising, commonly called by the English party "Lord
Maguire's day." The choice of such an occasion by men of
Mountgarrett's and Selling's moderation and judgment,
six months after the date of the alleged "massacre,"
would form another proof, if any were now needed, that
none of the alleged atrocities were yet associated with
the memory of that particular day.

The events of the five months, which intervened between
the adjournment of the National Synod at the end of May,
and the meeting of the General Assembly on the 23rd of
October, may best be summed up under the head of the
respective provinces. I. The oath of Confederation was
taken with enthusiasm in Munster, a Provincial Council
elected, and General Barry chosen Commander-in-Chief.
Barry made an attempt upon Cork, which was repulsed, but
a few days later the not less important city of Limerick
opened its gates to the Confederates, and on the 21st of
June the citadel was breached and surrendered by Courtenay,
the Governor. On the 2nd of July St. Leger died at Cork
(it was said of vexation for the loss of Limerick), and
the command devolved on his son-in-law, Lord Inchiquin,
a pupil of the school of Wards, and a soldier of the
school of Sir Charles Coote. With Inchiquin was associated
the Earl of Barrymore for the civil administration, but
on Barrymore's death in September both powers remained
for twelve months in the hands of the survivor. The gain
of Limerick was followed by the taking of Loughgar and
Askeaton, but was counterbalanced by the defeat of
Liscarroll, when the Irish loss was 800 men, with several
colours; Inchiquin reported only 20 killed, including
the young lord Kinalmeaky, one of the five sons whom the
Earl of Cork gave to this war. II. In Connaught, Lord
Clanrickarde was still enabled to avert a general outbreak.
In vain the western Prelates besought him in a pathetic
remonstrance to place himself at the head of its injured
inhabitants, and take the command of the Province. He
continued to play a middle part between the President,
Lord Ranelagh, Sir Charles Coote the younger, and
Willoughby, Governor of Galway, until the popular
impatience burst all control. The chief of the O'Flahertys
seized Clanrickarde's castle, of Aughrenure, and the
young men of Galway, with a skill and decision quite
equal to that of the Derry apprentices of an after day,
seized an English ship containing arms and supplies,
lying in the bay, marched to the Church of Saint Nicholas,
took the Confederate oath, and shut Willoughby up in the
citadel. Clanrickarde hastened to extinguish this spark
of resistance, and induced the townsmen to capitulate on
his personal guarantee. But Willoughby, on the arrival
of reinforcements, under the fanatical Lord Forbes, at
once set the truce made by Clanrickarde at defiance,
burned the suburbs, sacked the Churches, and during August
and September, exercised a reign of terror in the town.
About the same time local risings took place in Sligo,
Mayo, and Roscommon, at first with such success that the
President of the Province, Lord Ranelagh, shut himself
up in the castle of Athlone, where he was closely besieged.
III. In Leinster, no military movement of much importance
was made, in consequence of the jealousy the Justices
entertained of Ormond, and the emptiness of the treasury.
In June, the Long Parliament remitted over the paltry
sum of 11,500 pounds to the Justices, and 2,000 of the
troops, which had all but mutinied for their pay, were
despatched under Ormond to the relief of Athlone.
Commissioners arrived during the summer, appointed by
the Parliament to report on the affairs of Ireland, to
whom the Justices submitted a penal code worthy of the
brain of Draco or Domitian; Ormond was raised to the rank
of Marquis, by the King; while the army he commanded grew
more and more divided, by intrigues emanating from the
castle and beyond the channel. Before the month of October,
James Touchet, Earl of Castlehaven, an adventurous
nobleman, possessed of large estates both in Ireland and
England, effected his escape from Dublin Castle, where
he had been imprisoned on suspicion by Parsons and Borlase,
and joined the Confederation at Kilkenny. In September,
Colonel Thomas Preston, the brave defender of Louvain,
uncle to Lord Gormanstown, landed at Wexford, with three
frigates and several transports, containing a few siege
guns, field pieces, and other stores, 500 officers, and
a number of engineers. IV. In Ulster, where the first
blow was struck, and the first hopes were excited, the
prospect had become suddenly overclouded. Monroe took
Dunluce from Lord Antrim by the same stratagem by which
Sir Phelim took Charlemont--inviting himself as a guest,
and arresting his host at his own table. A want of cordial
co-operation between the Scotch commander and "the
Undertakers" alone prevented them extinguishing, in one
vigorous campaign, the northern insurrection. So weak
and disorganized were now the thousands who had risen at
a bound one short year before, that the garrisons of
Enniskillen, Deny, Newry, and Drogheda, scoured almost
unopposed the neighbouring counties. The troops of Cole,
Hamilton, the Stewarts, Chichesters, and Conways, found
little opposition, and gave no quarter. Sir William Cole,
among his claims of service rendered to the State,
enumerated "7,000 of the rebels famished to death," within
a circuit of a few miles from Enniskillen. The disheartened
and disorganized natives were seriously deliberating a
wholesale emigration to the Scottish highlands, when a
word of magic effect was whispered from the sea coast to
the interior. On the 6th of July, Colonel Owen Roe O'Neil
arrived off Donegal with a single ship, a single company
of veterans, 100 officers, and a considerable quantity
of ammunition. He landed at Doe Castle, and was escorted
by his kinsman, Sir Phelim, to the fort of Charlemont.
A general meeting of the northern clans was quickly called
at Clones, in Monaghan, and there, on an early day after
his arrival, Owen O'Neil was elected "General-in-Chief
of the Catholic Army" of the North, Sir Phelim resigning
in his favour, and taking instead the barren title of
"President of Ulster." At the same moment Lord Lieven
arrived from Scotland with the remainder of the 10,000
voted by the Parliament of that kingdom. He had known
O'Neil abroad, had a high opinion of his abilities, and
wrote to express his surprise "that a man of his reputation
should be engaged in so bad a cause;" to which O'Neil
replied that "he had a better right to come to the relief
of his own country than his lordship had to march into
England against his lawful King." Lieven, before returning
home, urged Monroe to act with promptitude, for that he
might expect a severe lesson if the new commander once
succeeded in collecting an army. But Monroe proved deaf
to this advice, and while the Scottish and English forces
in the Province would have amounted, if united, to 20,000
foot and 1,000 horse, they gave O'Neil time enough to
embody, officer, drill, and arm (at least provisionally),
a force not to be despised by even twice their numbers.



The city of Kilkenny, which had become the capital of
the Confederacy, was favourably placed for the direction
of the war in Leinster and Munster. Nearly equidistant
from Dublin, Cork, and Limerick, a meeting place for most
of the southern and south-western roads, important in
itself both as a place of trade, and as the residence of
the Duke of Ormond and the Bishop of Ossory, a better
choice could not, perhaps, have been made, so far as
regarded the ancient southern "Half-Kingdom." But it
seems rather surprising that the difficulty of directing
the war in the North and North-West, from a point so far
south, did not occur to the statesmen of the Confederacy.
In the defective communications of those days, especially
during a war, partaking even partially of the character
of civil strife, it was hard, if not impossible to expect,
that a supervision could be exercised over a general or
an army on the Erne or the Bann, which might be quite
possible and proper on the Suir or the Shannon. A similar
necessity in England necessitated the creation of the
Presidency of the North, with its council and head-quarters
in the city of York; nor need we be surprised to find
that, from the first, the Confederate movements combined
themselves into two groups--the northern and the southern--
those which revolved round the centre of Kilkenny, and
those which took their law from the head-quarters of Owen
O'Neil, at Belturbet, or wherever else his camp happened
to be situated.

The General Assembly met, according to agreement, on the
23rd of October, 1642, at Kilkenny. Eleven-bishops and
fourteen lay lords represented the Irish peerage; two
hundred and twenty-six commoners, the large majority of
the constituencies. Both bodies sat in the same chamber,
divided only by a raised dais. The celebrated lawyer,
Patrick Darcy, a member of the Commons' House, was chosen
as chancellor, and everything was conducted with the
gravity and deliberation befitting so venerable an
Assembly, and so great an occasion. The business most
pressing, and most delicate, was felt to be the
consideration of a form of supreme executive government.
The committee on this subject, who reported after the
interval of a week, was composed of Lords Gormanstown
and Castlehaven, Sir Phelim O'Neil, Sir Richard Belling,
and Mr. Darcy. A "Supreme Council" of six members for
each province was recommended, approved, and elected.
The Archbishops of Armagh, Dublin, and Tuam, the Bishops
of Down and of Clonfert, the Lords Gormanstown,
Mountgarrett, Roche, and Mayo, with fifteen of the most
eminent commoners, composed this council. It was provided
that the vote of two-thirds should be necessary to any
act affecting the basis of the Confederacy, but a quorum
of nine was sufficient for the transaction of ordinary
business. A guard of honour of 500 foot and 200 horse
was allowed for their greater security. The venerable
Mountgarrett, the head of the Catholic Butlers, (son-in-law
of the illustrious Tyrone, who, in the last years of
Elizabeth, had devoted his youthful sword to the same
good cause,) was elected president of this, council; and
Sir Richard Belling, a lawyer, and a man of letters, the
continuator of Sir Philip Sydney's _Arcadia_, was appointed

The first act of this Supreme Council was to appoint
General O'Neil as Commander-in-Chief in Ulster; General
Preston, in Leinster; General Barry, in Munster; and Sir
John Burke as Lieutenant-General in Connaught; the supreme
command in the West being held over for Clanrickarde,
who, it was still hoped, might be led or driven into the
Confederacy. We shall endeavour to indicate in turn the
operations of these commanders, thus chosen or confirmed;
leaving the civil and diplomatic business transacted by
the General Assembly, or delegated to the Supreme Council,
for future mention.

Contrary to the custom of that age, the Confederate troops
were not withdrawn into winter quarters. In November,
General Preston, at the head of 6,000 foot and 600 horse,
encountered Monk at Tymahoe and Ballinakil, with some
loss; but before the close of December he had reduced
Birr, Banagher, Burris, and Fort Falkland, and found
himself master of King's county, from the Shannon to the
Barrow. In February, however, he sustained a serious
check at Rathconnell, in endeavouring to intercept the
retreat of the English troops from Connaught, under the
command of Lord Ranelagh, and the younger Coote; and in
March, equal ill success attended his attempt to intercept
Ormond, in his retreat from the unsuccessful siege of
the town of Ross. Lord Castlehaven, who was Preston's
second in command, attributes both these reverses to the
impetuosity of the general, whose imprudence seems to
have been almost as great as his activity was conspicuous.
In April and May, Preston and Castlehaven took several
strongholds in Carlow, Kildare, and West-Meath, and the
General Assembly, which met for its second session, on
the 20th of May, 1643, at Kilkenny, had, on the whole,
good grounds to be satisfied with the success of the war
in Leinster.

In the Southern Province, considerable military successes
might also be claimed by the Confederates. The Munster
troops, under Purcell, the second in command, a capable
soldier, who had learned the art of war in the armies of
the German Empire, relieved Ross, when besieged by Ormond;
General Barry had successfully repulsed an attack on his
head-quarters, the famous old Desmond town of Killmallock.
In June, Barry, Purcell, and Castlehaven drove the enemy
before them across the Funcheon, and at Kilworth brought
their main body, under Sir Charles Vavasour, to action.
Vavasour's force was badly beaten, himself captured, with
his cannon and colours, and many of his officers and men.
Inchiquin, who had endeavoured to form a junction with
Vavasour, escaped to one of the few remaining garrisons
open to him--probably Youghal.

In Connaught, the surrender of Galway, on the 20th of
June, eclipsed all the previous successes, and they were
not a few, of Lieutenant-General Burke. From the day Lord
Ranelagh and the younger Coote deserted the Western
province, the Confederate cause had rapidly advanced.
The surrender of "the second fort in the Kingdom"--a
sea-port in that age, not unworthy to be ranked with
Cadiz and Bristol, for its commercial wealth and
reputation--was a military event of the first importance.
An English fleet appeared three days after the surrender
of Willoughby, in Galway harbour; but nine long years
elapsed before the Confederate colours were lowered from
the towers of the Connaught citadel.

In the North, O'Neil, who, without injustice to any of
his contemporaries, may certainly be said to have made,
during his seven years' command, the highest European
reputation among the Confederate generals, gathered his
recruits into a rugged district, which forms a sort of
natural camp in the north-west corner of the island. The
mountain plateau of Leitrim, which sends its spurs
downwards to the Atlantic, towards Lough Erne, and into
Longford, accessible only by four or five lines of road,
leading over narrow bridges and through deep defiles,
was the nursery selected by this cautious leader, in
which to collect and organize his forces. In the beginning
of May--seven months after the date of his commission,
and ten from his solitary landing at Doe Castle--we find
him a long march from his mountain fortress in Leitrim,
at Charlemont, which he had strengthened and garrisoned,
and now saved from a surprise attempted by Monroe, from
Carrickfergus. Having effected that immediate object, he
again retired towards the Leitrim highlands, fighting by
the way a smart cavalry action at Clonish, with a superior
force, under Colonels Stewart, Balfour, and Mervyn. In
this affair O'Neil was only too happy to have carried
off his troop with credit; but a fortnight brought him
consolation for Clonish in the brilliant affair of
Portlester. He had descended in force from his hills and
taken possession of the greater part of the ancient Meath.
General Monk and Lord Moore were despatched against him,
but reinforced by a considerable body of Meathian
Confederates, under Sir James Dillon, he resolved to risk
his first regular engagement in the field. Taking advantage
of the situation of the ground, about five miles from
Trim, he threw up some field works, placed sixty men in
Portlester mill, and patiently awaited the advance of
the enemy. Their assault was overconfident, their rout
complete. Lord Moore, and a large portion of the assailants
were slain, and Monk fled back to Dublin. O'Neil, gathering
fresh strength from these movements, abandoned his mountain
stronghold, and established his head-quarters on the
river Erne between Lough Oughter (memorable in his life
and death) and the upper waters of Lough Erne. At this
point stood the town of Belturbet, which, in "the
Plantation" of James I., had been turned over exclusively
to British settlers, whose "cagework" houses, and four
acres of garden ground each, had elicited the approval
of the surveyor Pynnar, twenty years before. The surrounding
country was covered with the fortified castles and
loop-holed lawns of the chief _Undertakers_--but few were
found of sufficient strength to resist the arms of O'Neil.
At Belturbet, he was within a few days' march of the
vital points of four other counties, and in case of the
worst, within the same distance of his protective fastness.
Here, towards the end of September, busied with present
duties and future projects, he heard, for the first time,
with astonishment and grief, that the requisite majority
of "the Supreme Council" had concluded, on the 13th of
that month, a twelve-months' truce with Ormond, thus
putting in peril all the advantages already acquired by
the bravery of the Confederate troops, and the skill of
their generals.

The war had lasted nearly two years, and this was the
first time the Catholics had consented to negotiate. The
moment chosen was a critical one for all the three
Kingdoms, and the interests involved were complicated in
the extreme. The Anglo-Irish, who formed the majority of
the Supreme Council, connected by blood and language with
England, had entered into the war, purely as one of
religious liberty. Nationally, they had, apart from the
civil disabilities imposed on religious grounds, no
antipathy, no interest, hostile to the general body of
English loyalists, represented in Ireland by the King's
lieutenant, Ormond. On his side, that nobleman gave all
his thoughts to, and governed all his actions by the
exigencies of the royal cause, throughout the three
Kingdoms. When Charles seemed strong in England, Ormond
rated the Catholics at a low figure; but when reverses
increased he estimated their alliance more highly. After
the drawn battle of Edgehill, fought on the very day of
the first meeting of the General Assembly at Kilkenny,
the King had established his head-quarters at Oxford, in
the heart of four or five of the most loyal counties in
England. Here he at first negotiated with the Parliament,
but finally the sword was again invoked, and while the
King proclaimed the Parliament rebels, "the solemn league
and covenant" was entered into, at first separately, and
afterwards jointly, by the Puritans of England and
Presbyterians of Scotland. The military events during
that year, and in the first half of the next, were upon
the whole not unfavourable to the royal cause. The great
battle of Marston Moor, (July 2nd, 1644,) which
"extinguished the hopes of the Royalists in the Northern
counties," was the first Parliamentary victory of national
importance. It was won mainly by the energy and obstinacy
of Lieutenant-General Cromwell, from that day forth the
foremost English figure in the Civil War. From his court
at Oxford, where he had seen the utter failure of
endeavouring to conciliate his English and Scottish
enemies, the King had instructed Ormond--lately created
a Marquis--to treat with the Irish Catholics, and to
obtain from them men and money. The overtures thus made
were brought to maturity in September; the Cessation was
to last twelve months; each party was to remain in
possession of its own quarters, as they were held at the
date of the treaty; the forces of each were to unite to
punish any infraction of the terms agreed on; the agents
of the Confederates, during the cessation, were to have
free access and safe conduct to the King; and for these
advantages, the Supreme Council were to present his
Majesty immediately with 15,000 pounds in money, and
provisions to the value of 15,000 pounds more.

Such was "the truce of Castlemartin," condemned by O'Neil,
by the Papal Nuncio, Scarampi, and by the great majority
of the old Irish, lay and clerical; still more violently
denounced by the Puritan Parliament as favouring Popery,
and negotiated by Popish agents; beneficial to Ormond
and the Undertakers, as relieving Dublin, freeing the
channel from Irish privateers, and securing them in the
garrisons throughout the Kingdom which they still held;
in one sense advantageous to Charles, from the immediate
supplies it afforded, and the favourable impression it
created of his liberality, at the courts of his Catholic
allies; but on the other hand disadvantageous to him in
England and Scotland, from the pretexts it furnished his
enemies, of renewing the cry of his connivance with
Popery, a cry neither easily answered, nor, of itself,
liable quickly to wear out.



While the Confederate delegates, reverently uncovered,
and Ormond, in hat and plume, as representing royalty,
were signing "the cessation" at Castlemartin, the memorable
Monroe, with all his men, were taking the covenant, on
their knees, in the church of Carrickfergus, at the hands
of the informer O'Connolly, now a colonel in the
Parliamentary army, and high in the confidence of its
chiefs. Soon after this ceremony, Monroe, appointed by
the English Parliament Commander-in-Chief of all their
forces in Ulster, united under his immediate leadership,
of Scots, English, and Undertakers, not less than 10,000
men. With this force he marched southward as far as Newry,
which he found an easy prey, and where he put to the
sword, after surrender, sixty men, eighteen women, and
two ecclesiastics. In vain the Confederates entreated
Ormond to lead them against the common enemy in the North;
pursuing always a line of policy of his own, in which
their interest had a very slender part, that astute
politician neither took the field, nor consented that
they should do so of themselves. But the Supreme Council,
roused by the remonstrances of the clergy, ordered Lord
Castlehaven, with the title of Commander-in-Chief, to
march against Monroe. This was virtually superseding
O'Neil in his own province, and that it was so felt, even
by its authors, is plain from their giving him
simultaneously the command in Connaught. O'Neil, never
greater than in acts of self-denial and self-sacrifice,
stifled his profound chagrin, and cheerfully offered to
serve under the English Earl, placed over his head. But
the northern movements were, for many months, languid
and uneventful; both parties seemed uncertain of their
true policy; both, from day to day, awaited breathlessly
for tidings from Kilkenny, Dublin, London, Oxford, or
Edinburgh, to learn what new forms the general contest
was to take, in order to guide their own conduct by the
shifting phases of that intricate diplomacy.

Among the first consequences of the cessation were the
debarkation at Mostyn, in Scotland, of 3,000 well provided
Irish troops, under _Colkitto_ (the left-handed,) Alexander
McDonnell, brother of Lord Antrim. Following the banner
of Montrose, these regiments performed great things at
Saint Johnstown, at Aberdeen, at Inverlochy, all which
have been eloquently recorded by the historians of that
period. "Their reputation," says a cautious writer, "more
than their number, unnerved the prowess of their enemies.
No force ventured to oppose them in the field; and as
they advanced, every fort was abandoned or surrendered."
A less agreeable result of "the cessation," for the court
at Oxford, was the retirement from the royal army of the
Earl of Newcastle, and most of his officers, on learning
that such favourable conditions had been made with Irish
Papists. To others of his supporters--as the Earl of
Shrewsbury--Charles was forced to assume a tone of apology
for that truce, pleading the hard necessities which
compelled him: the truth seems to be, that there were
not a few then at Oxford, who, like Lord Spencer, would
gladly have been on the other side--or at all events in
a position of neutrality--provided they could have found
"a salve for their honour," as gentlemen and cavaliers.

The year 1644 opened for the Irish with two events of
great significance--the appointment of Ormond as Viceroy,
in January, and the execution at Tyburn, by order of the
English Parliament, of Lord Maguire, a prisoner in the
Tower since October, 1641. Maguire died with a courage
and composure worthy of his illustrious name, and his
profoundly religious character. His long absence had not
effaced his memory from the hearts of his devoted clansmen
of Fermanagh, and many a prayer was breathed, and many
a vow of vengeance muttered among them, for what they
must naturally have regarded as the cold-blooded judicial
murder of their chief.

Two Irish deputations--one Catholic, the other Protestant
--proceeded this year to the King, at Oxford, with the
approval of Ormond, who took care to be represented by
confidential agents of his own. The Catholics found a
zealous auxiliary in the queen, Henrietta Maria, who, as
a co-religionist, felt with them, and, as a Frenchwoman,
was free from insular prejudices against them. The Irish
Protestants found a scarcely less influential advocate
in the venerable Archbishop Usher, whose presence and
countenance, as the most puritanical of his prelates,
was most essential to the policy of Charles. The King
heard both parties graciously--censured some of the
demands of both as extravagant, and beyond his power to
concede--admitted others to be reasonable and worthy of
consideration--refused to confirm the churches they had
seized to the Catholics--but was willing to allow them
their "seminaries of education"--would not consent to
enforce the penal laws on the demand of the Protestants
--but declared that neither should the Undertakers be
disturbed in their possessions or offices. In short, he
pathetically exhorted both parties to consider his case
as well as their own; promised them to call together the
Irish Parliament at the earliest possible period; and so
got rid of both deputations, leaving Ormond master of
the position for some time longer.

The agents and friends of the Irish Catholics on the
Continent were greatly embarrassed, and not a little
disheartened by the cessation. At Paris, at Brussels, at
Madrid, but above all at Rome, it was regretted, blamed,
or denounced, according to the temper or the insight of
the discontented. His Catholic Majesty had some time
before remitted a contribution of 20,000 dollars to the
Confederate Treasury; one of Richelieu's last acts was
to invite Con, son of Hugh O'Neil, to the French Court,
and to permit the shipment of some pieces of ordnance to
Ireland; from Rome, the celebrated Franciscan, Father
Luke Wadding, had remitted 26,000 dollars, and the Nuncio
Scarampi had brought further donations. The facility,
therefore, with which the cessation had been agreed upon,
against the views of the agents of the Catholic powers
at Kilkenny, without any apparently sufficient cause,
had certainly a tendency to check and chill the enthusiasm
of those Catholic Princes who had been taught to look on
the insurrection of the Irish as a species of Crusade.
Remonstrances, warm, eloquent, and passionate, were poured
in upon the most influential members of the Supreme
Council, from those who had either by delegation, or from
their own free will, befriended them abroad. These
remonstrances reached that powerful body at Waterford,
at Limerick, or at Galway, whither they had gone on an
official visitation, to hear complaints, settle
controversies, and provide for the better collection of
the assessments imposed on each Province.

An incident which occurred in Ulster, soon startled the
Supreme Council from their pacific occupations. General
Monroe, having proclaimed that all Protestants within
his command should take "the solemn league and covenant,"
three thousand of that religion, still loyalists, met at
Belfast, to deliberate on their answer. Monroe, however,
apprised of their intentions, marched rapidly from
Carrickfergus, entered the town under cover of night,
and drove out the loyal Protestants at the point of the
sword. The fugitives threw themselves into Lisburn, and
Monroe appointed Colonel Hume as Governor of Belfast,
for the Parliaments of Scotland and England. Castlehaven,
with O'Neil still second in command, was now despatched
northward against the army of the Covenant. Monroe, who
had advanced to the borders of Meath as if to meet them,
contented himself with gathering in great herds of cattle;
as they advanced, he slowly fell back before them through
Louth and Armagh, to his original head-quarters; Castlehaven
then returned with the main body of the Confederate troops
to Kilkenny, and O'Neil, depressed, but not dismayed,
carried his contingent to their former position at

In Munster, a new Parliamentary party had time to form
its combinations under the shelter of the cessation. The
Earl of Inchiquin, who had lately failed to obtain the
Presidency of Munster from the King at Oxford, and the
Lord Broghill, son of the great Southern Undertaker--the
first Earl of Cork,--were at the head of this movement.
Under pretence that the quarters allotted them by the
cessation had been violated, they contrived to seize upon
Cork, Youghal, and Kinsale. At Cork, they publicly executed
Father Mathews, a Friar, and proceeding from violence to
violence, they drove from the three places all the Catholic
inhabitants. They then forwarded a petition to the King,
beseeching him to declare the Catholics "rebels," and
declaring their own determination to "die a thousand
deaths sooner than condescend to any peace with them."
At the same time they entered into or avowed their
correspondence with the English Parliament, which naturally
enough encouraged and assisted them. The Supreme Council
met these demonstrations with more stringent instructions
to General Purcell, now their chief in command, (Barry
having retired on account of advanced age,) to observe
the cessation, and to punish severely every infraction
of it. At the same time they permitted or directed Purcell
to enter into a trace with Inchiquin till the following
April; and then they rested on their arms, in religious
fidelity to the engagements they had signed at Castlemartin.

The twelve-months' truce was fast drawing to a close,
when the battle of Marston Moor stimulated Ormond to
effect a renewal of the treaty. Accordingly, at his
request, Lord Muskerry, and five other commissioners,
left Kilkenny on the last day of August for Dublin.
Between them and the Viceroy, the cessation was prolonged
till the first of December following; and when that day
came, it was further protracted, as would appear, for
three months, by which time, (March, 1645,) Ormond informed
them that he had powers from the King to treat for a
permanent settlement.

During the six months that the original cessation was
thus protracted by the policy of Ormond, the Supreme
Council sent abroad new agents, "to know what they had
to trust to, and what succours they might really depend
on from abroad." Father Hugh Bourke was sent to Spain,
and Sir Richard Belling to Rome, where Innocent X, had
recently succeeded to that generous friend of the Catholic
Irish. Urban VIII. The voyage of these agents was not
free from hazard, for, whereas, before the cessation,
the privateers commissioned by the Council, sheltered
and supplied in the Irish harbours, had kept the southern
coast clear of hostile shipping, now that they had been
withdrawn under the truce, the parliamentary cruisers
had the channel all to themselves. Waterford and
Wexford--the two chief Catholic ports in that quarter--
instead of seeing their waters crowded with prizes, now
began to tremble for their own safety. The strong fort
of Duncannon, on the Wexford side of Waterford harbour,
was corruptly surrendered by Lord Esmond, to Inchiquin
and the Puritans. After a ten-weeks' siege, however, and
the expenditure of 19,000 pounds of powder, the Confederates
retook the fort, in spite of all the efforts made for
its relief. Esmond, old and blind, escaped by a timely
death the penalty due to his treason. Following up this
success, Castlehaven rapidly invested other southern
strongholds in possession of the same party, Cappoquin,
Lismore, Mallow, Mitchelstown, Doneraile and Liscarroll
surrendered on articles; Rostellan, commanded by Inchiquin's
brother, was stormed and taken; Boghill was closely
besieged in Youghal, but, being relieved from sea,
successfully defended himself. In another quarter, the
Parliament was equally active. To compensate for the loss
of Galway, they had instructed the younger Coote, on whom
they had conferred the Presidency of Connaught, to withdraw
the regiment of Sir Frederick Hamilton, and 400 other
troops, from the command of Monroe, and with these, Sir
Robert Stewart's forces, and such others as he could
himself raise, to invest Sligo. Against the force thus
collected, Sligo could not hope to contend, and soon,
from that town, as from a rallying and resting place,
2,000 horsemen were daily launched upon the adjoining
country. Lord Clanrickarde, the royal president of the
province, as unpopular as trimmers usually are in times
of crisis, was unable to make head against this new
danger. But the Confederates, under Sir James Dillon,
and Dr. O'Kelly, the heroic Archbishop of Tuam, moved by
the pitiful appeals of the Sligo people, boldly endeavoured
to recover the town. They succeeded in entering the walls,
but were subsequently repulsed and routed. The Archbishop
was captured and tortured to death; some of the noblest
families of the province and of Meath had also to mourn
their chiefs; and several valuable papers, found or
pretended to be found in the Archbishop's carriage, were
eagerly given to the press of London by the Parliament
of England. This tragedy at Sligo occurred on Sunday,
October 26th, 1645.



Ormond had amused the Confederates with negotiations for
a permanent peace and settlement, from spring till
midsummer, when Charles, dissatisfied with these endless
delays, despatched to Ireland a more hopeful ambassador.
This was Herbert, Earl of Glamorgan, one of the few
Catholics remaining among the English nobility; son and
heir to the Marquis of Worcester, and son-in-law to Henry
O'Brien, Earl of Thomond. Of a family devoutly attached
to the royal cause, to which it is said they had contributed
not less than 200,000 pounds, Glamorgan's religion, his
rank, his Irish connections, the intimate confidence of
the King which he was known to possess, all marked out
his embassy as one of the utmost importance.

The story of this mission has been perplexed and darkened
by many controversies. But the general verdict of historians
seems now to be, that Charles I., whose many good qualities
as a man and a ruler are cheerfully admitted on all hands,
was yet utterly deficient in downright good faith; that
duplicity was his besetting sin; and that Glamorgan's
embassy is one, but only one, of the strongest evidences
of that ingrained duplicity.

It may help to the clearer understanding of the negotiations
conducted by Glamorgan in Ireland, if we give in the
first place the exact dates of the first transactions.
The Earl arrived at Dublin about the 1st of August, and,
after an interview with Ormond, proceeded to Kilkenny.
On the 28th of that month, preliminary articles were
agreed to and signed by the Earl on behalf of the King,
and by Lords Mountgarrett and Muskerry on behalf of the
Confederates. It was necessary, it seems, to get the
concurrence of the Viceroy to these terms, and accordingly
the negotiators on both sides repaired to Dublin. Here,
Ormond contrived to detain them ten long weeks in
discussions on the articles relating to religion; it was
the 12th of November when they returned to Kilkenny, with
a much modified treaty. On the next day, the 13th, the
new Papal Nuncio, a prelate who, by his rank, his eloquence,
and his imprudence, was destined to exercise a powerful
influence on the Catholic councils, made his public entry
into that city.

This personage was John Baptist Rinuccini, Archbishop of
Fermo, in the Marches of Ancona, which see he had preferred
to the more exalted dignity of Florence. By birth a
Tuscan, the new Nuncio had distinguished himself from
boyhood by his passionate attachment to his studies. At
Bologna, at Perugia, and at Rome, his intense application
brought him early honours, and early physical debility.
His health, partially restored in the seclusion of his
native valley of the Arno, enabled him to return again
to Rome. Enjoying the confidence of Gregory XV. and
Uban VIII., he was named successively, Clerk of the
Chamber, Secretary of the Congregation of Rites, and
Archbishop of Fermo. This was the prelate chosen by the
new Pope, Innocent X., for the nunciature in Ireland: a
man of noble birth, in the fifty-third year of his age,
of uncertain bodily health, of great learning, especially
as a canonist, of a fiery Italian temperament,--"regular
and even austere in his life, and far from any taint of
avarice or corruption,"--such was the admission of his

Leaving Italy in May, accompanied by the Dean of Fermo,
who has left us a valuable record of the embassy, his
other household officers, several Italian noblemen, and
Sir Richard Belling, the special agent at Rome, the
Nuncio, by way of Genoa and Marseilles, reached Paris.
In France he was detained nearly five months, in a
fruitless attempt to come to some definite arrangement
as to the conduct of the Catholic war, through Queen
Henrietta Maria, then resident with the young Prince of
Wales--afterwards Charles II.--at the French court. The
Queen, like most persons of her rank, overwhelmed with
adversity, was often unreasonably suspicious and exacting.
Her sharp woman's tongue did not spare those on whom her
anger fell, and there were not wanting those, who,
apprehensive of the effect in England of her negotiating
directly with a papal minister, did their utmost to delay
or to break off their correspondence. A nice point of
court etiquette further embarrassed the business. The
Nuncio could not uncover his head before the Queen, and
Henrietta would not receive him otherwise than uncovered.
After three months lost in Paris, he was obliged to
proceed on his journey, contenting himself with an exchange
of complimentary messages with the Queen, whom even the
crushing blow of Naseby could not induce to waive a point
of etiquette with a Priest.

On reaching Rochelle, where he intended to take shipping,
a further delay of six weeks took place, as was supposed
by the machinations of Cardinal Mazarin. Finally, the
Nuncio succeeded in purchasing a frigate of 26 guns, the
_San Pietro_, on which he embarked with all his Italian
suite, Sir Richard Belling, and several Franco-Irish
officers. He had also on board a considerable sum in
Spanish gold, (including another contribution of 36,000
dollars from Father Wadding,) 2,000 muskets, 2,000 cartouch
belts, 4,000 swords, 2,000 pike heads, 400 brace of
pistols, 20,000 pounds of powder, with match, shot, and
other stores. Weighing from St. Martin's in the Isle of
Rhe, the _San Pietro_ doubled the Land's End, and stood
over towards the Irish coast. The third day out they
were chased for several hours by two Parliamentary
cruisers, but escaped under cover of the night; on the
fourth morning, being the 21st of October, they found
themselves safely embayed in the waters of Kenmare, on
the coast of Kerry.

The first intelligence which reached the Nuncio on landing,
was the negotiation of Glamorgan, of which he had already
heard, while waiting a ship at Rochelle. The next was
the surrender by the Earl of Thomond, of his noble old
castle of Bunratty, commanding the Shannon within six
miles of Limerick, to the Puritans. This surrender had,
however, determined the resolution of the city of Limerick,
which hitherto had taken no part in the war, to open its
gates to the Confederates. The loss of Bunratty was more
than compensated by the gaining of one of the finest and
strongest towns in Munster, and to Limerick accordingly
the Nuncio paid the compliment of his first visit. Here
he received the mitre of the diocese in dutiful submission
from the hands of the Bishop, on entering the Cathedral;
and here he celebrated a solemn requiem mass for the
repose of the soul of the Archbishop of Tuam, lately
slain before Sligo. Prom Limerick, borne along on his
litter, such was the feebleness of his health, he advanced
by slow stages to Kilkenny, escorted by a guard of honour,
despatched on that duty, by the Supreme Council.

The pomp and splendour of his public entry into the
Catholic capital was a striking spectacle. The previous
night he slept at a village three miles from the city,
for which he set out early on the morning of the 13th of
November, escorted by his guard, and a vast multitude of
the people. Five delegates from the Supreme Council
accompanied him. A band of fifty students mounted on
horseback met him on the way, and their leader, crowned
with laurel, recited some congratulatory Latin verses.
At the city gate he left the litter and mounted a horse
richly housed; here the procession of the clergy and the
city guilds awaited him; at the Market Cross, a Latin
oration was delivered in his honour, to which he graciously
replied in the same language. From the Cross he was
escorted to the Cathedral, at the door of which he was
received by the aged Bishop, Dr. David Rothe. At the
high altar he intonated the _Te Deum_, and gave the
multitude the apostolic benediction. Then he was conducted
to his lodgings, where he was soon waited upon by Lord
Muskerry and General Preston, who brought him to Kilkenny
Castle, where, in the great gallery, which elicited even
a Florentine's admiration, he was received in stately
formality by the President of the Council--Lord
Mountgarrett. Another Latin oration on the nature of his
embassy was delivered by the Nuncio, responded to by Heber,
Bishop of Clogher, and so the ceremony of reception ended.

The Nuncio brought from Paris a new subject of difficulty,
in the form of a memorial from the English Catholics at
Rome, praying that they might be included in the terms
of any peace which might be made by their Irish
co-religionists with the King. Nothing could be more
natural than that the members of the same persecuted
church should make common cause, but nothing could be
more impolitic than some of the demands made in the
English memorial. They wished it to be stipulated with
Charles, that he would allow a distinct military
organization to the English and Irish Catholics in his
service, under Catholic general officers, subject only
to the King's commands, meaning thereby, if they meant
what they said, independence of all parliamentary and
ministerial control. Yet several of the stipulations of
this memorial were, after many modifications and
discussions, adopted by Glamorgan into his original
articles, and under the treaty thus ratified, the
Confederates bound themselves to despatch 10,000 men,
fully armed and equipped, to the relief of Chester and
the general succour of the King in England. Towards the
close of December, the English Earl, with two Commissioners
from the Supreme Council, set forth for Dublin, to obtain
the Viceroy's sanction to the amended treaty. But in
Dublin a singular counterplot in this perplexed drama
awaited them. On St. Stephen's day, while at dinner,
Glamorgan was arrested by Ormond, on a charge of having
exceeded his instructions, and confined a close prisoner
in the castle. The gates of the city were closed, and
every means taken to give _eclat_ to this extraordinary
proceeding. The Confederate Commissioners were carried
to the castle, and told they might congratulate themselves
on not sharing the cell prepared for Glamorgan. "Go back,"
they were told, "to Kilkenny and tell the President of
the Council, that the Protestants of England would fling
the King's person out at his window, _if they believed
it possible_ that he lent himself to such an undertaking."
The Commissioners accordingly went back and delivered
their errand, with a full account of all the circumstances.
Fortunately, the General Assembly had been called for an
early day in January, 1646, at Kilkenny. When, therefore,
they met, their first resolution was to despatch Sir
Robert Talbot to the Viceroy, with a letter suspending
all negotiations till the Earl of Glamorgan was set at
liberty. By the end of January, on the joint bail, for
40,000 pounds, of the Earls of Clanrickarde and Kildare,
the English envoy was enlarged, and, to the still further
amazement of the simple-minded Catholics, on his arrival
at Kilkenny, he justified rather than censured the action
of Ormond. To most observers it appeared that these
noblemen understood each other only too well.

From January till June, Kilkenny was delivered over to
cabals, intrigues, and recriminations. There was an "old
Irish party," to which the Nuncio inclined, and an
"Anglo-Irish party," headed by Mountgarrett and the
majority of the Council. The former stigmatized the latter
as Ormondists, and the latter retorted on them with the
name of the Nuncio's party. In February came news of a
foreign treaty made at Rome between Sir Kenelm Digby and
the Pope's Ministers, most favourable to the English and
Irish Catholics. On the 28th of March, a final modification
of Glamorgan's articles, reduced to thirty in number,
was signed by Ormond for the King, and Lord Muskerry and
the other Commissioners for the Confederates. These
thirty articles conceded, in fact, all the most essential
claims of the Irish; they secured them equal rights as
to property, in the Army, in the Universities, and at
the Bar; they gave them seats in both Houses and on the
Bench; they authorized a special commission of Oyer and
Terminer, composed wholly of Confederates; they declared
that "the independency of the Parliament of Ireland on
that of England," should be decided by declaration of
both Houses "agreeably to the laws of the Kingdom of
Ireland." In short, this final form of Glamorgan's treaty
gave the Irish Catholics, in 1646, all that was subsequently
obtained either for the church or the country, in 1782,
1793, or 1829. Though some conditions were omitted, to
which Rinuccini and a majority of the Prelates attached
importance, Glamorgan's treaty was, upon the whole, a
charter upon which a free church and a free people might
well have stood, as the fundamental law of their religious
and civil liberties.

The treaty, thus concluded at the end of March, was to
lie as an _escroll_ in the hands of the Marquis of
Clanrickarde till the 1st of May, awaiting Sir Kenelm
Digby with the Roman protocol. And then, not withstanding
the dissuasions of Rinuccini to the contrary, it was to
be kept secret from the world, though some of its
obligations were expected to be at once fulfilled, on
their side, by the Catholics. The Supreme Council, ever
eager to exhibit their loyalty, gathered together 6,000
troops for the relief of Chester and the service of the
King in England, so soon as both treaties--the Irish and
the Roman--should be signed by Charles. While so waiting,
they besieged and took Bunratty castle--already referred
to--but Sir Kenelm Digby did not arrive with May, and
they now learned, to their renewed amazement, that
Glamorgan's whole negotiation was disclaimed by the King
in England. In the same interval Chester fell, and the
King was obliged to throw himself into the hands of the
Scottish Parliament, who surrendered him for a price to
their English coadjutors. These tidings reached Ireland
during May, and, varied with the capture of an occasional
fortress, lost or won, occupied all men's minds. But the
first days of June were destined to bring with them a
victory of national--of European importance--won by Owen
O'Neil, in the immediate vicinity of his grand-uncle's
famous battle-field of the Yellow Ford.

During these three years of intrigue and negotiation,
the position of General O'Neil was hazardous and difficult
in the extreme. One campaign he had served under a
stranger, as second on his own soil. In the other two he
was fettered by the terms of "cessation" to his own
quarters; and to add to his embarrassments, his impetuous
kinsman Sir Phelim, brave, rash, and ambitious, recently
married to a daughter of his ungenerous rival, General
Preston, was incited to thwart and obstruct him amongst
their mutual clansmen and connections. The only recompense
which seems to have been awarded to him, was the confidence
of the Nuncio, who, either from that knowledge of character
in which the Italians excel, or from bias received from
some other source, at once singled him out as the man of
his people. What portion of the Nuncio's supplies reached
the Northern General we know not, but in the beginning
of June, he felt himself in a position to bring on an
engagement with Monroe, who, lately reinforced by both
Parliaments, had marched out of Carrickfergus into Tyrone,
with a view of penetrating as far south as Kilkenny. On
the 4th day of June, the two armies encountered at Benburb,
on the little river Blackwater, about six miles north of
Armagh, and the most signal victory of the war came to
recompense the long-enduring patience of O'Neil.

The battle of Benburb has been often and well described.
In a naturally strong position--with this leader the
choice of ground seems to have been a first consideration
--the Irish, for four hours, received and repulsed the
various charges of the Puritan horse. Then as the sun
began to descend, pouring its rays upon the opposing
force, O'Neil led his whole force--five thousand men
against eight--to the attack. One terrible onset swept
away every trace of resistance. There were counted on
the field, 3,243 of the Covenanters, and of the Catholics,
but 70 killed and 100 wounded. Lord Ardes, and 21 Scottish
officers, 32 standards, 1,500 draught horses, and all
the guns and tents, were captured. Monroe fled in panic
to Lisburn, and thence to Carrickfergus, where he shut
himself up, till he could obtain reinforcements. O'Neil
forwarded the captured colours to the Nuncio, at Limerick,
by whom they were solemnly placed in the choir of St.
Mary's Cathedral, and afterwards, at the request of Pope
Innocent, sent to Rome. _Te Deum_ was chanted in the
Confederate Capital; penitential psalms were sung in the
Northern fortress. "The Lord of Hosts," wrote Monroe,
"had rubbed shame on our faces, till once we are humbled;"
O'Neil emblazoned the cross and keys on his banner with
the Red Hand of Ulster, and openly resumed the title
originally chosen by his adherents at Clones, "the
Catholic Army."



The Nuncio, elated by the great victory of O'Neil, to
which he felt he had personally contributed by his
seasonable supplies, provoked and irritated by Ormond's
intrigues and the King's insincerity, rushed with all
the ardour of his character into making the war an
uncompromising Catholic crusade. In this line of conduct,
he was supported by the Archbishops of Dublin and Cashel,
by ten of the Bishops, including the eminent Prelates of
Limerick, Killalla, Ferns, and Clogher; the Procurator
of Armagh; nine Vicars-general, and the Superiors of the
Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, and Augustinians. The
peace party, on the other hand, were not without clerical
adherents, but they were inconsiderable, as to influence
and numbers. They were now become as anxious to publish
the Thirty Articles agreed upon at the end of March, as
they then were to keep them secret. Accordingly, with
Ormond's consent, copies of the treaty were sent early
in August to the sheriffs of counties, mayors of cities,
and other leading persons, with instructions to proclaim
it publicly in due form; upon hearing which, the Nuncio
and his supporters of the clergy, secular and regular,
assembled in council at Waterford, on the 12th of August,
solemnly declared that they gave no consent, and would
not, "to any peace," that did not grant "further, surer,
and safer considerations for their religion, king, and
country," according to the original oath of the Confederacy.

The rupture between the clergy and the laymen of the
Council was now complete. The prelates who signed the
decree of Waterford, of course, thereby withdrew from
the body whose action they condemned. In vain the learned
Darcy and the eloquent Plunkett went to and fro between
the two bodies: concord and confidence were at an end.
The synod decided to address Lord Mountgarrett in future
as President of "the _late_ Supreme Council." The heralds
who attempted to publish the Thirty Articles in Clonmel
and Waterford were hooted or stoned; while in Limerick
the mayor, endeavouring to protect them, shared this
rough usage. Ormond, who was at Kilkenny at the critical
moment of the breach, did his utmost to sustain the
resolution of those who were stigmatized by his name;
while the Nuncio, suspicious of Preston, wrote urgently
to O'Neil to lead his army into Leinster, and remove the
remnant of the late council from Kilkenny. All that those
who held a middle course between the extremes could do,
was to advocate an early meeting of the General Assembly;
but various exigencies delayed this much-desired meeting,
till the 10th day of January, 1647.

The five intervening months were months of triumph for
Rinuccini. Lord Digby appeared at Dublin as a special
agent from the King, to declare his consent to Glamorgan's
original terms; but Ormond still insisted that he had no
authority to go beyond the Thirty Articles. Charles
himself wrote privately to Rinuccini, promising to confirm
everything which Glamorgan had proposed, as soon as he
should come into "the Nuncio's hands." Ormond, after a
fruitless attempt to convert O'Neil to his views, had
marched southward with a guard of 1,500 foot, and 500
horse, to endeavour to conciliate the towns, and to win
over the Earl of Inchiquin. In both these objects he
failed. He found O'Neil before him in his county palatinate
of Tipperary, and the Mayor of Cashel informed him that
he dared not allow him into that city, for fear of
displeasing the northern general. Finding himself thus
unexpectedly within a few miles of "the Catholic Army,"
10,000 strong, the Viceroy retreated precipitately through
Kilkenny, Carlow, and Kildare, to Dublin. Lord Digby,
who had accompanied him, after an unsuccessful attempt
to cajole the Synod of Waterford, made the best of his
way back to France; the Marquis of Clanrickarde, who had
also been of the expedition, shared the flight of Ormond.
Towards the middle of September, O'Neil's army, after
capturing Roscrea Castle, marched to Kilkenny, and encamped
near that city. His forces had now augmented to 12,000
foot, and 1,500 horse; on the 18th of the month, he
escorted the Nuncio in triumph into Kilkenny, where the
Ormondist members of the old council were committed to
close custody in the castle. A new council, of four
bishops and eight laymen, was established on the 26th,
with the Nuncio as president; Glamorgan succeeded
Castlehaven, who had gone over to Ormond, as commander
in Munster; while O'Neil and Preston were ordered to
unite their forces for the siege of Dublin. The sanguine
Italian dreamt of nothing less, for the moment, than the
creation of Viceroys, the deliverance of the King, and
the complete restoration of the ancient religion.

O'Neil and Preston, by different routes, on which they
were delayed in taking several garrisoned posts, united
at Lucan in the valley of the Liffey, seven miles west
of Dublin, on the 9th of November. Their joint forces
are represented at 16,000 foot, and 1,600 horse--of which
Preston had about one-third, and O'Neil the remainder.
Preston's head-quarters were fixed at Leixlip, and O'Neil's
at Newcastle--points equi-distant, and each within two
hours' march of the capital. Within the walls of that
city there reigned the utmost consternation. Many of the
inhabitants fled beyond seas, terrified by the fancied
cruelty of the Ulstermen. But Ormond retained all his
presence of mind, and readiness of resources. He entered,
at first covertly, into arrangements with the
Parliamentarians, who sent him a supply of powder; he
wrote urgently to Monroe to make a diversion in his
favour; he demolished the mills and suburbs which might
cover the approaches of the enemy; he employed soldiers,
civilians, and even women, upon the fortifications,--
Lady Ormond setting an example to her sex, in rendering
her feeble assistance. Clanrickarde, in Preston's tent,
was doing the work of stimulating the old antipathy of
that general towards O'Neil, which led to conflicting
advices in Council, and some irritating personal
altercations. To add to the Confederate embarrassment,
the winter was the most severe known for many years; from
twenty to thirty sentinels being frozen at night at their
posts. On the 13th of November, while the plan of the
Confederate attack was still undecided, commissioners of
the Parliament arrived, with ample stores, in Dublin Bay.
On the next day they landed at Ringsend, and entered into
negotiations with Ormond; on the 16th the siege was
raised, and on the 23rd Ormond broke off the treaty,
having unconsciously saved Dublin from the Confederates,
by the incorrect reports of supplies being received,
which were finally carried northward to Monroe.

The month of January brought the meeting of the General
Assembly. The attendance in the great gallery of Ormond
Castle was as large, and the circumstances upon the whole
as auspicious as could be desired, in the seventh year
of such a struggle. The members of the old council,
liberated from arrest, were in their places. O'Neil and
Preston, publicly reconciled, had signed a solemn engagement
to assist and sustain each other. The Nuncio, the Primate
of Ireland, and eleven bishops took their seats; the
peers of oldest title in the kingdom were present; two
hundred and twenty-four members represented the Commons
of Ireland, and among the spectators sat the ambassadors
of France and Spain, and of King Charles. The main subject
of discussion was the sufficiency of the Thirty Articles,
and the propriety of the ecclesiastical censure promulgated
against those who had signed them. The debate embraced
all that may be said on the question of clerical
interference in political affairs, on conditional and
unconditional allegiance, on the power of the Pontiff
speaking _ex cathedra_, and the prerogatives of the
temporal sovereign. It was protracted through an entire
month, and ended with a compromise, which declared that
the Commissioners had acted in good faith in signing the
articles, while it justified the Synod of Waterford for
having, as judges of the nature and intent of the oath
of Confederation, declared them insufficient and
unacceptable. A new oath of Confederacy, solemnly binding
the associates not to lay down their arms till they had
established the free and public exercise of religion as
it had existed in the reign of Henry VII., was framed
and taken by the entire General Assembly; the Thirty
Articles were declared insufficient and unacceptable by
all but a minority of twelve votes; a new Supreme Council
of twenty-four was chosen, in whom there were not known
to be above four or five partisans of Ormond's policy.
The church plate throughout the kingdom was ordered to
be coined into money, and a formal proposal to co-operate
with the Viceroy on the basis of the new oath was made,
but instantly rejected; among other grounds, on this,
that the Marquis had, at that moment, his son and and
other sureties with the Puritans who, in the last resort,
he infinitely preferred to the Roman Catholics.

The military events of the year 1647 were much more
decisive than its politics. Glamorgan still commanded in
Munster, Preston in Leinster, and O'Neil in both Ulster
and Connaught. The first was confronted by Inchiquin,
at the head of a corps of 5,000 foot and 1,500 horse,
equipped and supplied by the English Puritans; the second
saw the garrisons of Dundalk, Drogheda, and Dublin,
reinforced by fresh regiments of Covenanters, and fed by
Parliamentary supplies from the sea; the latter was in
the heart of Connaught, organizing and recruiting and
attempting all things within his reach, but hampered for
money, clothing and ammunition. In Connaught, O'Neil was
soon joined by the Nuncio, who, as difficulties thickened,
began to lean more and more on the strong arm of the
victor of Benburb; in Munster, the army refused to follow
the lead of Glamorgan, and clamoured for their old chief,
Lord Muskerry; finally, that division of the national
troops was committed by the Council to Lord Taafe, a
politician of the school of Ormond and Clanrickarde,
wholly destitute of military experience. The vigorous
Inchiquin had little difficulty in dealing with such an
antagonist; Cashel was taken without a blow in its defence,
and a slaughter unparalleled till the days of Drogheda
and Wexford, deluged its streets and churches. At Knocknos,
later in the autumn (Nov. 12th), Taafe was utterly routed;
the gallant _Colkitto_, serving under him, lamentably
sacrificed after surrendering his sword; and Inchiquin
enabled to dictate a cessation covering Munster--far less
favourable to Catholics than the truce of Castlemartin
--to the Supreme Council. This truce was signed at
Dungarvan, on the 20th of May, 1648, and on the 27th the
Nuncio published his solemn decree of excommunication
against all its aiders and abettors, and himself made
the best of his way from Kilkenny to Maryboro', where
O'Neil then lay.

The military and political situation of O'Neil, during
the latter months of 1647 and the whole of 1648, was one
of the most extraordinary in which any general had ever
been placed. His late sworn colleague, Preston, was now
combined with Inchiquin against him; the royalist
Clanrickarde, in the western counties, pressed upon his
rear, and captured his garrison in Athlone; the
Parliamentary general, Michael Jones, to whom Ormond had
finally surrendered Dublin, observed rather than impeded
his movements in Leinster; the lay majority of the Supreme
Council proclaimed him a traitor--a compliment which he
fully returned; the Nuncio threw himself wholly into his
hands; finally, at the close of '48, Ormond, returning
from France to Ireland, concluded, on the 17th of January,
a formal alliance with the lay members, under the title
of "Commissioners of Trust," for the King and Kingdom;
and Rinuccini, despairing, perhaps, of a cause so
distracted, sailed in his own frigate, from Galway, on
the 23rd of February. Thus did the actors change their
parts, alternately triumphing and fleeing for safety.
The verdict of history may condemn the Nuncio, of whom
we have now seen the last, for his imperious self-will,
and his too ready recourse to ecclesiastical censures;
but of his zeal, his probity, and his disinterestedness,
there can be, we think, no second opinion.

Under the treaty of 1649--which conceded full civil and
religious equality to the Roman Catholics--Ormond was
once more placed at the head of the government and in
command of the royal troops. A few days after the signing
of that treaty, news of the execution of Charles I. having
reached Ireland, the Viceroy proclaimed the Prince of
Wales by the title of Charles II., at Cork and Youghal.
Prince Rupert, whose fleet had entered Kinsale, caused
the same ceremony to be gone through in that ancient
borough. With Ormond were now cordially united Preston,
Inchiquin, Clanrickarde, and Muskerry, on whom the lead
of the Supreme Council devolved, in consequence of the
advanced age of Lord Mountgarrett, and the remainder of
the twelve Commissioners of Trust. The cause of the young
Prince, an exile, the son of that Catholic queen from
whom they had expected so much, was far from unpopular
in the southern half of the island. The Anglican interest
was strong and widely diffused through both Leinster and
Munster; and, except a resolute prelate, like Dr. French,
Bishop of Ferns, or a brave band of townsmen like those
of Waterford, Limerick, and Galway, or some remnant of
mountain tribes, in Wicklow and Tipperary, the national,
or "old Irish policy," had decidedly lost ground from
the hour of the Nuncio's departure.

Owen O'Neil and the Bishops still adhered to that national
policy. The former made a three-months' truce with General
Monck, who had succeeded Monroe in the command of all
the Parliamentary troops in his province. The singular
spectacle was even exhibited of Monck forwarding supplies
to O'Neil, to be used against Inchiquin and Ormond, and
O'Neil coining to the rescue of Coote, and raising for
him the siege of Londonderry. Inchiquin, in rapid
succession, took Drogheda, Trim, Dundalk, Newry, and then
rapidly countermarched to join Ormond in besieging Dublin.
At Rathmines, near the city, both generals were surprised
and defeated by the Parliamentarians under Michael Jones.
Between desertions, and killed and wounded, they lost,
by their own account, nearly 3,000, and by the Puritan
accounts, above 5,000 men. This action was the virtual
close of Ormond's military career; he never after made
head against the Parliamentary forces in open field.
The Catholic cities of Limerick and Galway refused to
admit his garrisons; a synod of the Bishops, assembled
at Jamestown (in Roscommon), strongly recommended his
withdrawal from the kingdom; and Cromwell had arrived,
resolved to finish the war in a single campaign. Ormond
sailed again for France, before the end of 1649, to return
no more until the restoration of the monarchy, on the
death of the great Protector.



An actor was now to descend upon the scene, whose character
has excited more controversy than that of any other personage
of those times. Honoured as a saint, or reprobated as a
hypocrite, worshipped for his extraordinary successes, or
anathematized for the unworthy artifices by which he
rose--who shall deal out, with equal hand, praise and blame
to Oliver Cromwell'? Not for the popular writer of Irish
history, is that difficult judicial task. Not for us to
re-echo cries of hatred which convince not the indifferent,
nor correct the errors of the educated or cultivated: the
simple, and, as far as possible, the unimpassioned narrative
of facts, will constitute the whole of our duty towards
the Protector's campaign in Ireland.

Cromwell left London in great state, early in July, "in
a coach drawn by six gallant Flanders mares," and made
a sort of royal procession across the country to Bristol.
From that famous port, where Strongbow confederated with
Dermid McMurrogh, and from which Dublin drew its first
Anglo-Norman colony, he went on to Milford Haven, at
which he embarked, arriving in Dublin on the 15th of
August. He entered the city in procession, and addressed
the townsfolk from "a convenient place." He had with him
two hundred thousand pounds in money, eight regiments of
foot, six of horse, and some troops of dragoons; besides
the divisions of Jones and Monck, already in the country,
and subject to his command. Among the officers were
names of memorable interest--Henry Cromwell, second son
of the Protector, and future Lord Deputy; Monck, Blake,
Jones, Ireton, Ludlow, Hardress Waller, Sankey, and others
equally prominent in accomplishing the King's death, or
in raising up the English commonwealth.

Cromwell's command in Ireland extends from the middle of
August, 1649, to the end of May, 1650, about nine months
in all, and is remarkable for the number of sieges of
walled towns crowded into that brief period. There was,
during the whole time, no great action in the field, like
Marston Moor, or Benburb, or Dunbar; it was a campaign
of seventeenth century cannon against mediaeval masonry;
what else was done, was the supplemental work of mutual
bravery on both sides. Drogheda, Dundalk, Newry, and
Carlingford fell in September; Arklow, Enniscorthy, and
Wexford in October; Ross, one of the first seaports in
point of commerce, surrendered the same month; Waterford
was attempted and abandoned in November; Dungarvan,
Kinsale, Bandon, and Cork were won over by Lord Broghill
in December; Fethard, Callan, and Cashel in January and
February; Carrick and Kilkenny in March; and Clonmel,
early in May. Immediately after this last capitulation,
Cromwell was recalled to lead the armies of the Parliament
into Scotland: during the nine months he had commanded
in Ireland, he had captured five or six county capitals,
and a great number of less considerable places. The terror
of his siege-trains and Ironsides was spread over the
greater part of three Provinces, and his well-reported
successes had proved so many steps to the assumption of
that sovereign power at which he already aimed.

Of the spirit in which these several sieges were conducted,
it is impossible to speak without a shudder. It was, in
truth, a spirit of hatred and fanaticism, altogether
beyond the control of the revolutionary leader. At
Drogheda, the work of slaughter occupied five entire
days. Of the brave garrison of 3,000 men, not thirty were
spared, and these, "were in hands for the Barbadoes;"
old men, women, children and priests, were unsparingly
put to the sword. Wexford was basely betrayed by Captain
James Stafford, commander of the castle, whose midnight
interview with Cromwell, at a petty rivulet without the
walls, tradition still recounts with horror and detestation.
This port was particularly obnoxious to the Parliament,
as from its advantageous position on the Bristol channel,
its cruisers greatly annoyed and embarrassed their
commerce. "There are," Cromwell writes to Speaker
Lenthall, "great quantities of iron, hides, tallow, salt,
pipe and barrel staves, which are under commissioners'
hands to be secured. We believe there are near a hundred
cannon in the fort and elsewhere in and about the town.
Here is likewise some very good shipping; here are three
vessels, one of them of thirty-four guns, which a week's
time would fit for sea; there is another of about twenty
guns, very nearly ready likewise." He also reports two
other frigates, one on the stocks, which "for her
handsomeness' sake" he intended to have finished for the
Parliament, and another "most excellent vessel for
sailing," taken within the fort, at the harbour's mouth.
By the treachery of Captain Stafford, this strong and
wealthy town was at the mercy of those "soldiers of the
Lord and of Gideon," who had followed Oliver to his Irish
wars. The consequences were the same as at Drogheda--
merciless execution on the garrison and the inhabitants.

In the third month of Cromwell's campaign, the report of
Owen O'Neil's death went abroad, palsying the Catholic
arms. By common consent of friend and foe, he was
considered the ablest civil and military leader that had
appeared in Ireland during the reigns of the Stuart kings.
Whether in native ability he was capable of coping with
Cromwell, was for a long time a subject of discussion;
but the consciousness of irreparable national loss,
perhaps, never struck deeper than amid the crash of that
irresistible cannonade of the walled towns and cities of
Leinster and Munster. O'Neil had lately, despairing of
binding the Scots or the English, distrustful alike of
Coote and of Monck, been reconciled to Ormond, and was
marching southward to his aid at the head of 6,000 chosen
men. Lord Chancellor Clarendon assures us that Ormond
had the highest hopes from this junction, and the utmost
confidence in O'Neil's abilities. But at a ball at Derry,
towards the end of August, he received his death, it is
said, in a pair of poisoned russet leather slippers
presented to him by one Plunkett; marching southward,
borne in a litter, he expired at Clough Oughter Castle,
near his old Belturbet camp, on the 6th of November,
1649. His last act was to order one of his nephews--Hugh
O'Neil--to form a junction with Ormond in Munster without
delay. In the chancel of the Franciscan Abbey of Cavan,
now grass-grown and trodden by the hoofs of cattle, his
body was interred; his nephew and successor did honour
to his memory at Clonmel and Limerick. It was now
remembered, even by his enemies, with astonishment and
admiration, how for seven long years he had subsisted
and kept together an army, the creature of his genius;
without a government at his back, without regular supplies,
enforcing obedience, establishing discipline, winning
great victories, maintaining, even at the worst, a native
power in the heart of the kingdom. When the archives of
those years are recovered (if they ever are), no name
more illustrious for the combination of great qualities
will be found preserved there than the name of this last
national leader of the illustrious lineage of O'Neil.

The unexpected death of the Ulster general favoured still
farther Cromwell's southern movements. The gallant, but
impetuous Bishop of Clogher, Heber McMahon, was the only
northern leader who could command confidence enough to
keep O'Neil's force together, and on him, therefore, the
command devolved. O'Ferrall, one of Owen's favourite
officers, was despatched to Waterford, and mainly
contributed to Cromwell's repulse before that city; Hugh
O'Neil covered himself with glory at Clonmel and Limerick;
Daniel O'Neil, another nephew of Owen, remained attached
to Ormond, and accompanied him to France; but within six
months from the loss of their Fabian chief, who knew as
well when to strike as to delay, the brave Bishop of
Clogher sacrificed the remnant of "the Catholic Army" at
the pass of Scariffhollis, in Donegal, and, two days
after, his own life by a martyr's death, at Omagh. At
the date of Cromwell's departure--when Ireton took command
of the southern army--there remained to the Confederates
only some remote glens and highlands of the North and
West, the cities of Limerick and Galway, with the county
of Clare, and some detached districts of the province of

The last act of Cromwell's proper campaign was the siege
of Clonmel, where he met the stoutest resistance he had
anywhere encountered. The Puritans, after effecting a
breach, made an attempt to enter, chanting one of their
scriptural battle-songs. They were, by their own account,
"obliged to give back a while," and finally night settled
down upon the scene. The following day, finding the place
no longer tenable, the garrison silently withdrew to
Waterford, and subsequently to Limerick. The inhabitants
demanded a parley, which was granted; and Cromwell takes
credit, and deserves it, when we consider the men he had
to humour, for having kept conditions with them.

From before Clonmel he returned at once to England, where
he was received with royal honours. All London turned
out to meet the Conqueror who had wiped out the humiliation
of Benburb, and humbled the pride of the detested Papists.
He was lodged in the palace of the king, and chosen
"Captain-general of all the forces raised, or to be
raised, by the authority of the Parliament of England."



The tenth year of the contest of which we have endeavoured
to follow the most important events, opened upon the
remaining Catholic leaders, greatly reduced in numbers
and resources, but firm and undismayed. Two chief seaports,
and some of the western counties still remained to them;
and accordingly we find meetings of the Bishops and other
notables during this year (1650), at Limerick, at Loughrea,
and finally at Jamestown, in the neighbourhood of Owen
O'Neil's nursery of the first "Catholic Army."

The Puritan commander was now Henry Ireton, son-in-law
of Cromwell, by a marriage contracted about two years
before. The completion of the Protector's policy could
have devolved upon few persons more capable of
understanding, or more fearless in executing it; and in
two eventful campaigns he proved himself the able successor
of the Protector. In August following Cromwell's departure,
Waterford and Duncannon were taken by Ireton; and there
only remained to the Confederates the fortresses of Sligo,
Athlone, Limerick, and Galway, with the country included
within the irregular quadrangle they describe. The younger
Coote making a feint against Sligo, which Clanrickarde
hastened to defend, turned suddenly on his steps, and
surprised Athlone. Sligo, naturally a place of no great
strength after the invention of artillery, soon after
fell, so that Galway and Limerick alone were left, at
the beginning of 1651, to bear all the brunt of Puritan

Political events of great interest happened during the
two short years of Ireton's command. The Assembly, which
met at Jamestown in August, and again at Loughrea in
November, 1650, made the retirement of Ormond from the
Government a condition of all future efforts in the royal
cause, and that nobleman, deeply wounded by this condition,
had finally sailed from Galway, in December, leaving to
Clanrickarde the title of Lord Deputy, and to Castlehaven
the command of the forces which still kept the field.
The news from Scotland of the young king's subscription
to the covenant, and denunciation of all terms with Irish
Papists, came to aid the councils of those, who, like
the eloquent French, Bishop of Ferns, demanded a national
policy, irrespective of the exigencies of the Stuart
family. An embassy was accordingly despatched to Brussels,
to offer the title of King-Protector to the Duke of
Lorraine, or failing with him, to treat with any "other
Catholic prince, state, republic, or person, as they
might deem expedient for the preservation of the Catholic
religion and nation." A wide latitude, dictated by
desperate circumstances. The ambassadors were Bishop
French and Hugh Rochfort; the embassy one of the most
curious and instructive in our annals.

The Duke expressed himself willing to undertake an
expedition to Ireland--to supply arms and money to the
Confederates--on the condition of receiving Athlone,
Limerick, Athenry and Galway into his custody, with the
title of Protector. A considerable sum of money (20,000
pounds) was forwarded at once; four Belgian frigates
laden with stores were made ready for sea; the Canon De
Henin was sent as envoy to the Confederates, and this
last venture looked most promising of success, had not
Clanrickarde in Galway, and Charles and Ormond in Paris,
taking alarm at the new dignity conferred upon the Duke,
countermined the Bishop of Ferns and Mr. Rochfort, and
defeated by intrigue and correspondence their hopeful

The decisive battle of Worcester, fought on the 3rd of
September, 1651, drove Charles II. into that nine years'
exile, from which he only returned on the death of
Cromwell. It may be considered the last military event
of importance in the English civil war. In Ireland the
contest was destined to drag out another campaign, before
the walls of the two gallant cities, Galway and Limerick.

Limerick was the first object of attack. Ireton, leaving
Sankey to administer martial law in Tipperary, struck
the Shannon opposite Killaloe, driving Castlehaven before
him. Joined by Coote and Reynolds, fresh from the sieges
of Athenry and Athlone, he moved upon Limerick by the
Connaught bank of the river, while Castlehaven fled to
Clanrickarde in Galway, with a guard of forty horse, all
that remained intact of the 4,000 men bequeathed him by
Ormond. From the side of Munster, Lord Muskerry attempted
a diversion in favour of Limerick, but was repulsed at
Castleishen, by "the flying camp" of Lord Broghill. The
besiegers were thus not only delivered of a danger, but
reinforced by native troops--if the "Undertakers" could
be properly called so--which made them the most formidable
army that had ever surrounded an Irish city. From early
summer till the last week of October, the main force of
the English and Anglo-Irish, supplied with every species
of arm then invented, assailed the walls of Limerick.
The plague, which during these months swept with such
fearful mortality over the whole kingdom, struck down
its defenders, and filled all its streets with desolation
and grief. The heroic bishops, O'Brien of Emly, and
O'Dwyer of Limerick, exerted themselves to uphold, by
religious exhortations, the confidence of the besieged;
while Hugh O'Neil and General Purcell maintained the
courage of their men. Clanrickarde had offered to charge
himself with the command, but the citizens preferred to
trust in the skill and determination of the defender of
Clonmel, whose very name was a talisman among them. The
municipal government, however, composed of the men of
property in the city, men whose trade was not war, whose
religion was not enthusiastic, formed a third party,--a
party in favour of peace at any price. With the Mayor at
their head, they openly encouraged the surrender of one
of the outworks to the besiegers, and this betrayal, on
the 27th of October, compelled the surrender of the entire
works. Thus Limerick fell, divided within itself by
military, clerical, and municipal factions; thus glory
and misfortune combined to consecrate its name in the
national veneration, and the general memory of mankind.
The Bishop of Emly and General Purcell were executed as
traitors; the Bishop of Limerick escaped in the disguise
of a common soldier, and died at Brussels; O'Neil's life
was saved by a single vote; Sir Geoffrey Gabney, Aldermen
Stritch and Fanning, and other leading Confederates,
expiated their devotion upon the scaffold.

On the 12th of May following--seven months after the
capture of Limerick, Galway fell. Ireton, who survived
the former siege but a few days, was succeeded by Ludlow,
a sincere republican of the school of Pym and Hampden--if
that school can be called, in our modern sense, republican.
It was the sad privilege of General Preston, whose name
is associated with so many of the darkest, and with some
of the brightest incidents of this war, to order the
surrender of Galway, as he had two years previously given
up Waterford. Thus the last open port, the last considerable
town held by the Confederates, yielded to the overwhelming
power of numbers and munitions, in the twelfth year of
that illustrious war which Ireland waged for her religious
and civil liberties, against the forces of the two
adjoining kingdoms, sometimes estranged from one another,
but always hostile alike to the religious belief and the
political independence of the Irish people.

With the fall of Galway, the Confederate war drew rapidly
to a close. Colonels Fitzpatrick, O'Dwyer, Grace, and
Thorlogh O'Neil, surrendered their posts; Lords Enniskillen
and West-Meath followed their example; Lord Muskerry
yielded Ross Castle, on Killarney, in June; Clanrickarde
laid down his arms at Carrick, in October. The usual
terms granted were liberty to transport themselves and
followers to the service of any foreign state or prince
at peace with the commonwealth; a favoured few were
permitted to live and die in peace on their own estates,
under the watchful eye of some neighbouring garrison.

The chief actors in the Confederate war not already
accounted for, terminated their days under many different
circumstances. Mountgarrett and Bishop Rothe died before
Galway fell, and were buried in the capital of the
Confederacy; Bishop McMahon of Clogher, surrendered to
Sir Charles Coote, and was executed like a felon by one
he had saved from destruction a year before at Derry;
Coote, after the Restoration, became Earl of Mountrath,
and Broghill, Earl of Orrery; Clanrickarde died unnoticed
on his English estate, under the Protectorate; Inchiquin,
after many adventures in foreign lands, turned Catholic
in his old age, and this burner of churches bequeathed
an annual alms for masses for his soul; Jones, Corbet,
Cook, and the fanatical preacher, Hugh Peters, perished
on the scaffold with the other regicides executed by
order of the English Parliament; Ormond having shared
the evils of exile with the King, shared also the splendour
of his restoration, became a Duke, and took his place,
as if by common consent, at the head of the peerage of
the empire; his Irish rental, which before the war was
but 7,000 pounds a year, swelled suddenly on the Restoration
to 80,000 pounds; Nicholas French, after some sojourn in
Spain, where he was coadjutor to the Archbishop of Saint
James, returned to Louvain, where he made his first
studies, and there spent the evening of his days in the
composition of those powerful pamphlets which kept alive
the Irish cause at home and on the continent; a Roman
patrician did the honours of sepulture to Luke Wadding,
and Cromwell interred James Usher in Westminster Abbey;
the heroic defender of Clonmel and Limerick, and the
gallant, though vacillating Preston, were cordially
received in France; while the consistent republican,
Ludlow, took refuge as a fugitive in Switzerland.

Sir Phelim O'Neil, the first author of the war, was among
the last to suffer the penalties of defeat. For a moment,
towards the end, he renewed his sway over the remnant of
Owen's soldiers, took Ballyshannon, and two or three
other places. Compelled at last to surrender, he was
carried to Dublin, and tried on a charge of treason, a
committee closeted behind the bench dictating the
interrogatories to his judges, and receiving his answers
in reply. Condemned to death, as was expected, he was
offered his life by the Puritan colonel, Hewson, on the
very steps of the scaffold, if he would inculpate the
late King Charles in the rising of 1641. This he "stoutly
refused to do," and the execution proceeded with all its
atrocious details. Whatever may have been the excesses
committed under his command by a plundered people, at
their first insurrection--and we know that they have
been exaggerated beyond all bounds--it must be admitted
he died the death of a Christian, a soldier, and a



The English republic rose from the scaffold of the King,
in 1649; its first government was a "Council of State"
of forty-one members; under this council, Cromwell held
at first the title of Lord General; but, on the 16th
December, 1653, he was solemnly installed, in Westminster
Hall, as "Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England,
Scotland, and Ireland." He was then in his fifty-fourth
year; his reign--if such it may be called--lasted less
than five years.

The policy of the Protector towards Ireland is even less
defensible than his military severities. For the barbarities
of war there may be some apology, the poor one at least
that such outrages are inseparable from war itself; but
for the cold-blooded, deliberate atrocities of peace, no
such defence can be permitted before the tribunal of a
free posterity.

The Long Parliament, still dragging out its date, under
the shadow of Cromwell's great name, declared in its
session of 1652, the rebellion in Ireland "subdued and
ended," and proceeded to legislate for that kingdom as
a conquered country. On the 12th of August, they passed
their Act of Settlement, the authorship of which was
attributed to Lord Orrery, in this respect the worthy
son of the first Earl of Cork. Under this Act, there were
four chief descriptions of persons whose status was thus
settled: 1st. All ecclesiastics and royalist proprietors
were exempted from pardon of life or estate. 2nd. All
royalist commissioned officers were condemned to banishment,
and the forfeit of two-thirds of their property, one-third
being retained for the support of their wives and children.
3rd. Those who had not been in arms, but could be shown,
by a Parliamentary commission, to have manifested "a
constant, good affection" to the war, were to forfeit
one-third of their estates, and receive "an equivalent"
for the remaining two-thirds west of the Shannon. 4th.
All husbandmen and others of the inferior sort, "not
possessed of lands or goods exceeding the value of 10
pounds," were to have a free pardon, on condition also
of transporting themselves across the Shannon.

This last condition of the Cromwellian settlement
distinguished it, in our annals, from every other
proscription of the native population formerly attempted.
The great river of Ireland, rising in the mountains of
Leitrim, nearly severs the five western counties from
the rest of the kingdom. The province thus set apart,
though one of the largest in superficial extent, had also
the largest proportion of waste and water, mountain and
moorland. The new inhabitants were there to congregate
from all the other provinces before the 1st day of May,
1654, under penalty of outlawry and all its consequences;
and when there, they were not to appear within two miles
of the Shannon or four miles of the sea. A rigorous
passport system, to evade which was death without form
of trial, completed this settlement, the design of which
was to shut up the remaining Catholic inhabitants from
all intercourse with mankind, and all communion with the
other inhabitants of their own country.

A new survey of the whole kingdom was also ordered, under
the direction of Dr. William Petty, the fortunate economist,
who founded the house of Lansdowne. By him the surface
of the kingdom was estimated at ten millions and a half
plantation acres, three of which were deducted for waste
and water. Of the remainder, above 5,000,000 were in
Catholic hands in 1641; 300,000 were church and college
lands; and 2,000,000 were in possession of the Protestant
settlers of the reigns of James and Elizabeth. Under the
Protectorate, 5,000,000 acres were confiscate; this
enormous spoil, two-thirds of the whole island, went to
the soldiers and adventurers who had served against the
Irish, or had contributed to the military chest, since
1641--except 700,000 acres given in "exchange" to the
banished in Clare and Connaught; and 1,200,000 confirmed
to "innocent Papists." Such was the complete uprooting
of the ancient tenantry or clansmen, from their original
holdings, that during the survey, orders of Parliament
were issued to bring back individuals from Connaught to
point out the boundaries of parishes in Munster. It cannot
be imputed among the sins so freely laid to the historical
account of the native legislature, that an Irish parliament
had any share in sanctioning this universal spoliation.
Cromwell anticipated the union of the kingdoms by a
hundred and fifty years, when he summoned, in 1653, that
assembly over which "Praise-God Barebones" presided;
members for Ireland and Scotland sat on the same benches
with the commons of England. Oliver's first deputy in
the government of Ireland was his son-in-law, Fleetwood,
who had married the widow of Ireton; but his real
representative was his fourth son, Henry Cromwell,
Commander-in-Chief of the army. In 1657, the title of
Lord Deputy was transferred from Fleetwood to Henry, who
united the supreme civil and military authority in his
own person, until the eve of the restoration, of which
he became an active partisan. We may thus properly embrace
the five years of the Protectorate as the period of Henry
Cromwell's administration.

In the absence of a Parliament, the government of Ireland
was vested in the Deputy, the Commander-in-Chief, and
four commissioners, Ludlow, Corbett, Jones, and Weaver.
There was, moreover, a High Court of Justice, which
perambulated the kingdom, and exercised an absolute
authority over life and property, greater than even
Strafford's Court of Castle Chamber had pretended to.
Over this court presided Lord Lowther, assisted by Mr.
Justice Donnellan, by Cooke, solicitor to the Parliament
on the trial of King Charles, and the regicide, Reynolds.
By this court, Sir Phelim O'Neil, Viscount Mayo, and
Colonels O'Toole and Bagnall, were condemned and executed;
by them the mother of Colonel Fitzpatrick was burnt at
the stake; and Lords Muskerry and Clanmaliere set at
liberty, through some secret influence. The commissioners
were not behind the High Court of Justice in executive
offices of severity. Children under age, of both sexes,
were captured by thousands, and sold as slaves to the
tobacco planters of Virginia and the West Indies. Secretary
Thurloe informs Henry Cromwell that "the Committee of
the Council have authorized 1,000 girls and as many
youths, to be taken up for that purpose." Sir William
Petty mentions 6,000 Irish boys and girls shipped to the
West Indies. Some cotemporary accounts make the total
number of children and adults so transported 100,000
souls. To this decimation, we may add 34,000 men of
fighting age, who had permission to enter the armies of
foreign powers, at peace with the commonwealth. The chief
commissioners, sitting at Dublin, had their deputies in
a commission of delinquencies, sitting at Athlone, and
another of transportation, sitting at Loughrea. Under
their superintendence, the distribution made of the soil
among the Puritans "was nearly as complete as that of
Canaan by the Israelites." Whenever native labourers were
found absolutely necessary for the cultivation of the
estates of their new masters, they were barely tolerated
"as the Gibeonites had been by Joshua." Such Irish
gentlemen as had obtained pardons, were obliged to wear
a distinctive mark on their dress under pain of death;
those of inferior rank were obliged to wear a round black
spot on the right cheek under pain of the branding iron
and the gallows; if a Puritan lost his life in any district
inhabited by Catholics, the whole population were held
subject to military execution. For the rest, whenever
"Tory" or recusant fell into the hands of these military
colonists, or the garrisons which knitted them together,
they were assailed with the war cry of the Jews--"That
thy feet may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies,
and that the tongues of thy dogs may be red with the
same." Thus penned in between "the mile line" of the
Shannon, and "the four mile-line" of the sea, the remnant
of the Irish nation passed seven years of a bondage
unequalled in severity by anything which can be found in
the annals of Christendom.

The conquest was not only a military but a religious
subjugation. The 27th of Elizabeth--the old act of
uniformity--was rigorously enforced. The Catholic lawyers
were disbarred and silenced; the Catholic schoolmasters
were forbidden to teach, under pain of felony. Recusants,
surrounded in glens and caves, offering up the holy
sacrifice through the ministry of some daring priest,
were shot down or smoked out like vermin. The ecclesiastics
never, in any instance, were allowed to escape. Among
those who suffered death during the short space of the
Protectorate, are counted "three bishops and three hundred
ecclesiastics." The surviving prelates were in exile,
except the bedridden Bishop of Kilmore, who for years
had been unable to officiate. So that, now, that ancient
hierarchy which in the worst Danish wars had still
recruited its ranks as fast as they were broken, seemed
on the very eve of extinction. Throughout all the island
no episcopal hand remained to bless altars, to ordain
priests, or to confirm the faithful. The Irish church as
well as the Irish state, touched its lowest point of
suffering and endurance in the decade which intervened
between the death of Charles I. and the death of Cromwell.

The new population imposed upon the kingdom, soon split
up into a multitude of sects. Some of them became Quakers:
many adhered to the Anabaptists; others, after the
Restoration, conformed to the established church. That
deeper tincture of Puritanism which may be traced in the
Irish, as compared with the English establishment, took
its origin even more from the Cromwellian settlement than
from the Calvinistic teachings of Archbishop Usher.

Oliver died in 1658, on his "fortunate day," the 3rd of
September, leaving England to experience twenty months
of republican intrigue and anarchy. Richard Cromwell--
Lambert--Ludlow--Monck--each played his part in this
stormy interval, till, the time being ripe for a
restoration, Charles II. landed at Dover on the 23rd of
May, 1660 and was carried in triumph to London.





Hope is dear to the heart of man, and of all her votaries
none have been more constant than the Irish. Half a
century of the Stuarts had not extinguished their blind
partiality for the descendants of the old Scoto-Irish
kings. The restoration of that royal house was, therefore,
an event which penetrated to the remotest wilds of
Connaught, lighting up with cheering expectation the most
desolate hovels of the proscribed. To the Puritans settled
in Ireland, most of whom, from the mean condition of
menial servants, common soldiers and subaltern officers,
had become rich proprietors, the same tidings brought
apprehension and alarm. But their leaders, the Protestant
gentry of an earlier date, wealthy, astute and energetic,
uniting all their influence for the common protection,
turned this event, which seemed at one time to threaten
their ruin, to their advantage and greater security. The
chief of these greater leaders was the accomplished Lord
Broghill, whom we are to know during this reign under
his more famous title of Earl of Orrery.

The position of the Irish as compared with the English
Puritans, was essentially different in the eyes of Ormond,
Clarendon, and the other counsellors of the king. Though
the former represented dissent as against the church,
they also represented the English as against the Irish
interest, in Ireland. As dissenters they were disliked
and ridiculed, but as colonists they could not be disturbed.
When national antipathy was placed in one scale and
religious animosity in the other, the intensely national
feeling of England for the Cromwellians, as Englishmen
settled in a hostile country, prevailed over every other
consideration. In this, as in all other conjunctures, it
has been the singular infelicity of the one island to be
subjected to a policy directly opposite to that pursued
in the other. While in England it was considered wise
and just to break down the Puritans as a party--through
the court, the pulpit, and the press; to drive the violent
into exile, and to win the lukewarm to conformity; in
Ireland it was decided to confirm them in their possessions,
to leave the government of the kingdom in their hands,
and to strengthen their position by the Acts of Settlement
and Explanation. These acts were hailed as "the Magna
Charta of Irish Protestantism," but so far as the vast
majority of the people were concerned, they were as
cruelly unjust as the revocation of the Edict of Nantes,
or the edicts which banished the Moors and Jews from the
Spanish peninsula.

The struggle for possession of the soil inaugurated by
the confiscations of Elizabeth and James was continued
against great odds by the Catholic Irish throughout this
reign. Though the royal declaration of Breda, which
preceded the restoration, had not mentioned them expressly,
they still claimed under it not only the "liberty to
tender consciences," but that "just satisfaction" to
those unfairly deprived of their estates, promised in
that declaration. Accordingly, several of the old gentry
returned from Connaught, or places abroad, took possession
of their old homes, or made their way at once to Dublin
or London, to urge their claims to their former estates.
To their dismay, they found in Dublin, Coote and Broghill
established as Lords Justices, and the new Parliament--the
first that sat for twenty years--composed of an overwhelming
majority of Undertakers, adventurers, and Puritan
representatives of boroughs, from which all the Catholic
electors had been long excluded. The Protestant interest,
or "ascendancy party," as it now began to be commonly
called, counted in the Commons 198 members to 64 Catholics;
in the House of Lords, 72 Protestant to 21 Catholic peers.
The former elected Sir Audley Mervyn their Speaker, and
the able but curiously intricate and quaint discourses
of the ancient colleague of Kelly and Darcy in the
assertion of Irish legislative independence, shows how
different was the spirit of Irish Protestantism in 1661
as compared with 1641. The Lords chose Bramhall, the
long-exiled Bishop of Derry, now Archbishop of Armagh,
as their Speaker, and attempted to compel their members
"to take the sacrament" according to the Anglican ritual.
The majority of both Houses, to secure the good-will of
Ormond, voted him the sum of 30,000 pounds, and then
proceeded to consider "the Bill of Settlement," in relation
to landed property. The Catholic bar, which had been
apparently restored to its freedom, presented a striking
array of talent, from which their co-religionists selected
those by whom they desired to be heard at the bar of the
House. The venerable Darcy and the accomplished Belling
were no longer their oracles of the law; but they had
the services of Sir Nicholas Plunkett, an old confederate,
of Sir Richard Nagle, author of the famous "Coventry
Letter," of Nugent, afterwards Lord Riverston, and other
able men. In the House of Lords they had an intrepid
ally in the Earl of Kildare, and in England an agent
equally intrepid, in Colonel Richard Talbot, afterwards
Earl of Tyrconnell. The diplomatic and parliamentary
struggle between the two interests, the disinherited and
the new proprietory, was too protracted, and the details
are too involved for elucidation in every part; but the
result tells its own story. In 1675--in the fifteenth
year of the restoration--the new settlers possessed above
4,500,000 acres, to about 2,250,000 still retained by
the old owners. These relative proportions were exactly
the reverse of those existing before the Cromwellian
settlement; a single generation had seen this great
revolution accomplished in landed property.

The Irish Parliament having sent over to England the
heads of their bill, according to the constitutional rule
established by Poyning's Act, the Irish Catholics sent
over Sir Nicholas Plunkett to obtain modifications of
its provisions. But Plunkett was met in England with such
an outcry from the mob and the press as to the alleged
atrocities of the Confederate war, and his own former
negotiations on the continent, that he was unable to
effect anything; while Colonel Talbot, for his too warm
expostulations with Ormond, was sent to the Tower. An
order of Council, forbidding Plunkett the presence, and
declaring that "no petition or further address be made
from the Roman Catholics of Ireland, as to the Bill of
Settlement," closed the controversy, and the Act soon
after received the royal assent.

Under this act, a court was established at Dublin, to
try the claims of "nocent" and "innocent." Notwithstanding
every influence which could be brought to bear on them,
the judges, who were Englishmen, declared in their first
session, one hundred and sixty-eight innocent to nineteen
nocent. Proceeding in this spirit "to the great loss and
dissatisfaction of the Protestants," the latter, greatly
alarmed, procured the interference of Ormond, now Lord
Lieutenant (1662), in effecting a modification of the
commission, appointing the court, by which its duration
was limited to an early day. The consequence was, that
while less than 800 claims were decided on when the fatal
day arrived, over 3,000 were left unheard, at least a
third of whom were admitted even by their enemies to be
innocent. About 500 others had been restored by name in
the Act of Settlement itself; but, by the Act of Explanation
(1665), "no Papist who had not been adjudged innocent"
under the former act could be so adjudged thereafter,
"or entitled to claim any lands or settlements." Thus,
even the inheritance of hope, and the reversion of
expectation, were extinguished for ever for the sons and
daughters of the ancient gentry of the kingdom.

The religious liberties of this people, so crippled in
property and political power, were equally at the mercy
of the mob and of the monarch. To combat the war of
calumny waged against them by the Puritan press and
pulpit, the leading Catholics resolved to join in an
official and authentic declaration of their true principles,
as to the spiritual power of the Pope, their allegiance
to the prince, and their relations to their fellow subjects
of other denominations. With this intention a meeting
was held at the house of the Marquis of Clanrickarde, in
Dublin, at which Lords Clancarty, Carlingford, Fingal,
Castlehaven, and Inchiquin, and the leading commoners of
their faith, were present. At this meeting, Father Peter
Walsh, a Franciscan, and an old courtier of Ormond's, as
"Procurator of all the Clergy of Ireland," secular and
regular, produced credentials signed by the surviving
bishops or their vicars--including the Primate O'Reilly,
the Bishops of Meath, Ardagh, Kilmore, and Ferns. Richard
Belling, the secretary to the first Confederate Council,
and Envoy to Rome, submitted the celebrated document
known as "The Remonstrance," deeply imbued with the spirit
of the Gallican church of that day. It was signed by
about seventy Catholic peers and commoners, by the Bishop
of Kilmore, by Procurator Walsh, and by the townsmen of
Wexford--almost the only urban community of Catholics
remaining in the country. But the propositions it contained
as to the total independency of the temporal on the
spiritual power, and the ecclesiastical patronage of
princes, were condemned at the Sorbonne, at Louvain, and
at Rome. The regular orders, by their several superiors,
utterly rejected it; the exiled bishops withdrew their
proxies from Father Walsh, and disclaimed his conduct;
the Internuncio at Brussels, charged with the affairs of
the British Isles, denounced it as contrary to the canons;
and the elated Procurator found himself involved in a
controversy from which he never afterwards escaped, and
with which his memory is still angrily associated.

The conduct of Ormond in relation to this whole business
of the Remonstrance, was the least creditable part of
his administration. Writhing under the eloquent pamphlets
of the exiled Bishop of Ferns, keenly remembering his
own personal wrongs against the former generation of
bishops, of whom but three or four were yet living, he
resolved "to work that division among the Romish clergy,"
which he had long meditated. With this view, he connived
at a meeting of the surviving prelates and the superiors
of regular orders, at Dublin, in 1666. To this synod safe
conduct was permitted to the Primate O'Reilly, banished
to Belgium nine years before; to Peter Talbot, Archbishop
of Dublin, John Burke, Archbishop of Tuam, Patrick
Plunkett, Bishop of Ardagh, the vicars-general of other
prelates, and the superiors of the regulars. This venerable
body deliberated anxiously for an entire week, Father
Walsh acting as ambassador between them and the Viceroy;
at length, in spite of all politic considerations, they
unanimously rejected the servile doctrine of the
"Remonstrance," substituting instead a declaration of
their own dictation. Ormond now cast off all affectation
of liberality; Primate O'Reilly was sent back to his
banishment, the other prelates and clergy were driven
back to their hiding-places, or into exile abroad, and
the wise, experienced, high-spirited duke, did not hesitate
to avail himself of "the Popish plot" mania, which soon
after broke out, to avenge himself upon an order of men
whom he could neither break nor bend to his purposes! Of
1,100 secular priests, and 750 regulars, still left, only
sixty-nine had signed the Clanrickarde House Remonstrance.

An incident of this same year--1666--illustrates more
forcibly than description could do, the malignant feeling
which had been excited in England against everything
Irish. The importation of Irish cattle had long been
considered an English grievance, it was now declared by
law "a nuisance." The occasion taken to pass this statute
was as ungracious as the act itself was despicable. In
consequence of "the great fire," which still glows for
us in the immortal verse of Dryden, the Irish had sent
over to the distressed, a contribution of 15,000 bullocks.
This was considered by the generous recipients a mere
pretence to preserve the trade in cattle between the two
kingdoms, and accordingly both Houses, after some sharp
resistance in the Lords', gravely enacted that the
importation of Irish beef into England was "a nuisance,"
to be abated. From this period most probably dates the
famous English sarcasm against Irish bulls.

The act prohibiting the export of cattle from Ireland,
and the equally exclusive and unjust Navigation Act--
originally devised by Cromwell--so paralyzed every Irish
industry, that the Puritan party became almost as
dissatisfied as the Catholics. They maintained a close
correspondence with their brethren in England, and began
to speculate on the possibilities of another revolution.
Ormond, to satisfy their demands, distributed 20,000
stand of arms among them, and reviewed the Leinster
Militia, on the Curragh, in 1667. The next year he was
recalled, and Lords Robarts, Berkely, and Essex,
successively appointed to the government. The first, a
Puritan, and almost a regicide, held office but a few
months; the second, a cavalier and a friend of toleration,
for two years; while Essex, one of those fair-minded but
yielding characters, known in the next reign as "Trimmers,"
petitioned for his own recall and Ormond's restoration,
in 1676. The only events which marked these last nine
years--from Ormond's removal till his reappointment--
were the surprise of Carrickfergus by a party of unpaid
soldiers, and their desperate defence of that ancient
stronghold; the embassies to and from the Irish Catholics
and the court, of Colonel Richard Talbot; and the
establishment of extensive woollen manufactories at
Thomastown, Callan, and Kilkenny, under the patronage of



For the third time, the aged Ormond, now arrived at the
period usually allotted to the life of man, returned to
Ireland, with the rank of Viceroy. During the ensuing
seven years, he clung to power with all the tenacity of
his youth, and all the policy of his prime; they were
seven years of extraordinary sectarian panic and
excitement--the years of the Cabal, the Popish plot, and
the Exclusion Bill, in England--and of fanatical
conspiracies and explosions almost as dangerous in Ireland.

The Popish plot mania held possession of the English
people much longer than any other moral epidemic of equal
virulence. In the month of October, 1678, its alleged
existence in Ireland was communicated to Ormond; in July,
1681, its most illustrious victim, Archbishop Plunkett,
perished on the scaffold at Tyburn. Within these two
points of time what a chronicle of madness, folly, perjury,
and cruelty, might be written?

Ormond, too old in statecraft to believe in the existence
of these incredible plots, was also too well aware of
the dangerous element of fanaticism represented by Titus
Oates, and his imitators, to subject himself to suspicion.
On the first intelligence of the plot, he instantly issued
his proclamation for the arrest of Archbishop Talbot, of
Dublin, who had been permitted to return from exile under
the rule of Lord Berkely, and had since resided with his
brother, Colonel Talbot, at Cartown, near Maynooth. This
prelate was of Ormond's own age, and of a family as
ancient; while his learning, courage, and morality, made
him an ornament to his order. He was seized in his sick
bed at Cartown, carried to Dublin in a chair, and confined
a close prisoner in the castle, where he died two years
later. He was the last distinguished captive destined to
end his days in that celebrated state prison, which has
since been generally dedicated to the peaceful purposes
of reflected royalty.

Colonel Talbot was at the same time arrested, but allowed
to retire beyond seas; Lord Mountgarrett, an octogenarian,
and in his dotage, was seized, but nothing could be made
out against him; a Colonel Peppard was also denounced
from England, but no such person was found to exist. So
far the first year of the plot had passed over, and proved
nothing against the Catholic Irish. But the example of
successful villainy in England, of Oates idolized,
pensioned, and all-powerful, extended to the sister
kingdom, and brought an illustrious victim to the scaffold.
This was Oliver Plunkett, a scion of the noble family of
Fingal, who had been Archbishop of Armagh, since the
death of Dr. O'Reilly, in exile, in 1669. Such had been
the prudence and circumspection of Dr. Plunkett, during
his perilous administration, that the agents of Lord
Shaftesbury, sent over to concoct evidence for the
occasion, were afraid to bring him to trial in the vicinage
of his arrest, or in his own country. Accordingly, they
caused him to be removed from Dublin to London, contrary
to the laws and customs of both Kingdoms, which had first
been violated towards state prisoners in the case of Lord
Maguire, forty years before.

Dr. Plunkett, after ten months' confinement without trial
in Ireland, was removed, 1680, and arraigned at London,
on the 8th of June, 1681, without having had permission
to communicate with his friends or to send for witnesses.
The prosecution was conducted by Maynard and Jeffries,
in violation of every form of law, and every consideration
of justice. A "crown agent," whose name is given as
Gorman, was introduced by "a stranger" in court, and
volunteered testimony in his favour. The Earl of Essex
interceded with the King on his behalf, but Charles
answered, almost in the words of Pilate--"I cannot pardon
him, because I dare not. His blood be upon your conscience;
you could have saved him if you pleased." The Jury, after
a quarter of an hour's deliberation, brought in their
verdict of guilty, and the brutal Chief-Justice condemned
him to be hung, emboweled, and quartered on the 1st day
of July, 1681. The venerable martyr, for such he may well
be called, bowed his head to the bench, and exclaimed:
_Deo gratias!_ Eight years from the very day of his
execution, on the banks of that river beside which he
had been seized and dragged from his retreat, the last
of the Stuart kings was stricken from his throne, and
his dynasty stricken from history! Does not the blood of
the innocent cry to Heaven for vengeance?

The charges against Dr. Plunkett were, that he maintained
treasonable correspondence with France and Rome, and the
Irish on the continent; that he had organised an
insurrection in Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, and Armagh; that
he made preparations for the landing of a French force
at Carlingford; and that he had held several meetings to
raise men for these purposes. Utterly absurd and false
as these charges were, they still indicate the troubled
apprehensions which filled the dreams of the ascendency
party. The fear of French invasion, of new insurrections,
of the resumption of estates, haunted them by night and
day. Every sign was to them significant of danger, and
every rumour of conspiracy was taken for fact. The report
of a strange fleet off the Southern coast, which turned
out to be English, threw them all into panic; and the
Corpus Christi crosses which the peasantry affixed to
their doors, were nothing but signs for the Papist
destroyer to pass by, and to spare his fellows in the
general massacre of Protestants.

Under the pressure of these panics, real or pretended,
proclamation after proclamation issued from the Castle.
By one of these instruments, Ormond prohibited Catholics
from entering the Castle of Dublin, or any other fortress;
from holding fairs or markets within the walls of corporate
towns, and from carrying arms to such resorts. By another,
he declared all relatives of known _Tories_--a Gaelic
term for a driver of prey--to be arrested, and banished
the kingdom, within fourteen days, unless such Tories
were killed, or surrendered, within that time. Where
this device failed to reach the destined victims--as in
the celebrated case of Count Redmond O'Hanlon--it is to
be feared that he did not hesitate to whet the dagger of
the assassin, which was still sometimes employed, even
in the British Islands, to remove a dangerous antagonist.
Count O'Hanlon, a gentleman of ancient lineage, as
accomplished as Orrery, or Ossory, was indeed an outlaw
to the code then in force; but the stain of his cowardly
assassination must for ever blot and rot the princely
escutcheon of James, Duke of Ormond.

The violence of religious and social persecution began to
subside during the last two or three years of Charles II.
Monmouth's banishment, Shaftesbury's imprisonment, the
execution of Russell and Sidney on the scaffold, marked
the return of the English public mind to political pursuits
and objects. Early in 1685, the king was taken mortally
ill. In his last moments he received the rites of the
Catholic church, from the hands of Father Huddleston,
who was said to have saved his life at the battle of
Worcester, and who was now even more anxious to save
his soul.

This event took place on the 16th of February. King James
was immediately proclaimed successor to his brother. One
of his first acts was to recall Ormond from Ireland and
to appoint in his place the Earl of Clarendon, son of
the historian and statesman of the Restoration. Ormond
obeyed, not without regret; he survived his fall about
three years. He was interred in Westminster in 1688,
three months before the landing of William, and the second
banishment of the Stuarts.



Before plunging into the troubled torrent of the revolution
of 1688, let us cast a glance back on the century, and
consider the state of learning and religion during those
three generations.

If we divide the Irish literature of this century by
subjects, we shall find extant a respectable body, both
in quantity and quality, of theology, history, law,
politics, and poetry. If we divide it by the languages
in which that literature was written, we may consider it
as Latin, Gaelic, and English.

I. Latin continued throughout Europe, even till this late
day, the language of the learned, but especially of
theologians, jurists, and historians. In Latin, the great
tomes of O'Sullivan, Usher, Colgan, Wadding, and White,
were written--volumes which remain as so many monuments
of the learning and industry of that age. The chief
objects of these illustrious writers were, to restore
the ancient ecclesiastical history of Ireland, to rescue
the memory of her saints and doctors from oblivion, and
to introduce the native annals of the kingdom to the
attention of Europe. Though Usher differed in religion,
and in his theory of the early connection of the Irish
with the Roman Church, from all the rest, yet he stands
pre-eminent among them for labour and research. The
Waterford Franciscan, Wadding, can only be named with
him for inexhaustible patience, various learning, and
untiring zeal. Both were honoured of princes and
parliaments. The Confederates would have made Wadding a
cardinal; King James made Usher an archbishop; one
instructed the Westminster Assembly; the other was sent
by the King of Spain to maintain the thesis of the
Immaculate Conception at Rome, and subsequently was
entrusted by the Pope to report upon the propositions of
Jansenius. O'Sullivan, Conde de Berehaven, in Spain,
and Peter White, have left us each two or three Latin
volumes on the history of the country, highly prized by
all subsequent writers. But the most indispensable of
the legacies left us in this tongue, are Colgan's "Acta
Sanctorum"--from January to March--and Dr. John Lynch's
"Cambrensis Eversus." Many other works and authors might
be mentioned, but these are the great Latinists to whom
we are indebted for the most important services rendered
to our national history.

II. In the Gaelic literature of the country we count
Geoffrey Keating, Duald McFirbis, and "the Four Masters"
of Donegal. Few writers have been more rashly judged
than Keating. A poet, as well as a historian, he gave a
prominence in the early chapters of his history to bardic
tales, which English critics have seized upon to damage
his reputation for truthfulness and good sense. But these
tales he gives as tales--as curious and illustrative--rather
than as credible and unquestionable. The purity of his
style is greatly extolled by Gaelic critics; and the
interest of his narrative, even in a translation, is
undoubted. McFirbis, an annalist and genealogist by
inheritance, is known to us not only for his profound
native lore, and tragic death, but also for the assistance
he rendered Sir James Ware, Dr. Lynch, and Roderick
O'Flaherty. The master-piece, however, of our Gaelic
literature of this age, is the work now called "The Annals
of the Four Masters." In the reign of James I., a few
Franciscan friars, living partly in Donegal Abbey and
partly in St. Anthony's College, at Louvain, undertook
to collect and collate all the manuscript remains of
Irish antiquity they could gather or borrow, or be allowed
to copy. Father Hugh Ward was the head of this group,
and by him the lay brother Michael O'Clery, one of the
greatest benefactors his country ever saw, was sent from
Belgium to Ireland. From 1620 to 1630, O'Clery travelled
through the kingdom, buying or transcribing everything
he could find relating to the lives of the Irish saints,
which he sent to Louvain, where Ward and Colgan undertook
to edit and illustrate them. Father Ward died in the
early part of the undertaking, but Father Colgan spent
twenty years in prosecuting the original design, so far
as concerned our ecclesiastical biography.

After collecting these materials, Father O'Clery waited,
as he tells us, on "the noble Fergall O'Gara," one of
the two knights elected to represent the county of Sligo
in the Parliament of 1634, and perceiving the anxiety of
O'Gara, "from the cloud which at present hangs over our
ancient Milesian race," he proposed to collect the civil
and military annals of Erin into one large digest. O'Gara,
struck with this proposal, freely supplied the means,
and O'Clery and his coadjutors set to work in the Franciscan
Convent of Donegal, which still stood, not more than half
in ruins.

On the 22nd of January, 1632, they commenced this digest,
and on the 10th of August, 1636, it was finished--having
occupied them four years, seven months and nineteen days.
The MS., dedicated to O'Gara, is authenticated by the
superiors of the convent; from that original two editions
have recently been printed in both languages.

These annals extend to the year 1616, the time of the
compilers. Originally they bore the title of "Annals of
the Kingdom of Ireland," but Colgan having quoted them
as "The Annals of the Four Masters," that name remains
ever since. The "Four Masters" were Brother Michael
O'Clery, Conary and Peregrine O'Clery, his brothers, both
laymen and natives of Donegal, and Florence Conroy of
Roscommon, another hereditary antiquary.

The first edition of the New Testament, in the Gaelic
tongue, so far as we are aware, appeared at Dublin, in
1603, in quarto. The translation was the work of a native
scholar, O'Cionga (Anglicized King). It was made at the
expense and under the supervision of Dr. William O'Donnell,
one of the first fellows of Trinity, and published at
the cost of the people of Connaught. Dr. O'Donnell, an
amiable man, and an enemy of persecution, became
subsequently Archbishop of Tuam, in which dignity he
died, in 1628. A translation of the Book of Common Prayer,
by O'Donnell, appeared early in the century, and towards
its close (1685), a translation of the Old Testament,
made for Bishop Bedell by the Gaelic scholars of Meath
and Cavan, was published at the expense of the famous
Robert Boyle. Bedell had also caused to be published
Gaelic translations of certain homilies of Saint Leo and
Saint John Chrysostom, on the importance of studying the
holy Scriptures. The only other Gaelic publications of
this period were issued from the Irish colleges at Louvain
and Rome. Thence issued the devotional tracts of Conroy,
of Gernon, and O'Molloy, and the Irish grammars of O'Clery
and Stapleton. The devotional tracts, with their fanciful
titles, of "Lamps," and "Mirrors," were smuggled across
from Ostend and Dunkirk with other articles of contraband,
and did much to keep alive the flame of faith and hope
in the hearts of the Gaelic-speaking population.

The bardic order also, though shorn of much of their
ancient splendour, and under the Puritan _regime_ persecuted
as vagrants, still flourished as an estate of the realm.
The national tendency to poetic writing was not confined
to the hereditary verse-makers, but was illustrated by
such men as the martyred Plunkett, and the Bishops of
Meath and Kerry--Dr. Thomas Dease, and Dr. John O'Connell.
But the great body of Gaelic verse of the first half of
this century is known under the name of "The Contentions
of the Bards," the subject being the relative dignity,
power, and prowess of the North and South. The gauntlet
in this poetic warfare, was thrown down by McDaire, the
Bard of Donogh O'Brien, fourth Earl of Thomond, and taken
up on the part of Ulster by Lewy O'Clery. Reply led to
rejoinder, and one epistle to another, until all the
chief bards of the four provinces had taken sides. Half
a dozen writers, _pro_ and _con_, were particularly
distinguished; McDaire himself, Turlogh O'Brien, and Art
Oge O'Keefe on behalf of the Southerners; O'Clery,
O'Donnell, the two McEgans, and Robert McArthur on the
side of the North.

An immense mass of devotional Gaelic poetry may be traced
to this period. The religious wars, the calamities of
the church and of the people, inspired many a priest and
layman to seize the harp of David, and pour forth his
hopes and griefs in sacred song. The lament of Mac Ward
over the Ulster princes buried at Rome, the odes of Dermod
Conroy and Flan McNamee, in honour of our Blessed Lady,
are of this class. Thus it happened that the bardic order,
which in ancient times was the formidable enemy of
Christianity, became, through adversity and affliction,
its greatest supporter.

III. Our Hiberno-English literature is almost entirely
the creation of this century. Except some few remarkable
state papers, we have no English writings of any reputation
of an earlier period. Now, however, when the language of
the empire, formed and enriched by the great minds of
Elizabeth's era, began to extend its influence at home
and abroad, a school of Hiberno-English writers appeared,
both numerous and distinguished. This school was as yet
composed mainly of two classes--the dramatic poets, and
the pamphleteers. Of the latter were Bishop French, Sir
Richard Nagle, Sir Richard Belling, Lord Orrery, Father
Peter Walsh, and William Molyneux; of the former, Ludowick
Barry, Sir John Denham, the Earl of Roscommon, and Richard
Flecknoe,--the Mac Flecknoe of Dryden. It is true there
appeared as yet no supreme name like Swift's; but as
indicating the gradual extension of the English language
into Ireland, the popular pamphlets and pieces written
for the stage, are illustrations of our mental life not
to be overlooked.

Of the ancient schools of the island, after the final
suppression of the college at Galway in 1652, not one
remained. A diocesan college at Kilkenny, and the Dublin
University, were alone open to the youth of the country.
But the University remained exclusively in possession of
the Protestant interest, nor did it give to the world
during the century, except Usher, Ware and Orrery, any
graduate of national, not to say, European reputation.
In the bye-ways of the South and West, in the Irish
colleges on the continent of Europe--at Paris, Louvain,
Lisle, Salamanca, Lisbon, or Rome--the children of the
proscribed majority could alone acquire a degree in
learning, human or divine. It was as impossible two
centuries ago, to speak of Trinity College with respect,
as it is in our time, remembering all it has since done,
to speak of it without veneration.

Though the Established Church had now completed its
century and a half of existence, it was as far from the
hearts of the Irish as ever. Though the amiable Bedell
and the learned O'Donnell had caused the sacred Scriptures
to be translated into the Gaelic tongue, few converts
had been made from the Catholic ranks, while the spirit
of animosity was inflamed by a sense of the cruel and
undeserved disabilities inflicted in the name of religion.
The manifold sects introduced under Cromwell gave a keener
edge to Catholic contempt for the doctrines of the
reformation; and although the restoration of the monarchy
threw the extreme sectaries into the shade, it added
nothing to the influence of the church, except the fatal
gift of political patronage. For the first time, the high
dignity of Archbishop of Armagh began to be regarded as
the inheritance of the leader of the House of Lords; then
Brahmall and Boyle laid the foundation of that primatial
power which Boulter and Stone upheld under another dynasty,
but which vanished before the first dawn of Parliamentary

In the quarter of a century which elapsed from the
restoration to the revolution, the condition of the
Catholic clergy and laity was such as we have already
described. In 1662, an historian of the Jesuit missionaries
in Ireland described the sufferings of ecclesiastics as
deplorable; they were forced to fly to the herds of cattle
in remote places, to seek a refuge in barns and stables,
or to sleep at night in the porticoes of temples, lest
they should endanger the safety of the laity. In that
same year, Orrery advised Ormond to purge the walled
towns of Papists, who were still "three to one Protestant;"
in 1672, Sir William Petty computed them at "eight to
one" of the entire population.

   "So captive Israel multiplied in chains."

The martyrdom of the Archbishop of Dublin, in 1680, and
of the Archbishop of Armagh in 1681, were, however, the
last of a series of executions for conscience' sake, from
the relation of which the historian might well have been
excused, if it was not necessary to remind our emancipated
posterity at what a price they have been purchased.



From the accession of King James till his final flight
from Ireland, in July, 1690, there elapsed an interval
of five years and five months; a period fraught with
consequences of the highest interest to this history.
The new King was, on his accession, in his fifty-second
year; he had served, as Duke of York, with credit both
by land and sea, was an avowed Catholic, and married to
a Catholic princess, the beautiful and unfortunate Mary
of Modena.

Within a month from the proclamation of the King, Ormond
quitted the government for the last time, leaving Primate
Boyle, and Lord Granard, as Justices. In January, 1686,
Lord Clarendon, son of the historian, assumed the
government, in which he continued, till the 16th of March,
1687. The day following the national anniversary, Colonel
Richard Talbot, Earl of Tyrconnell, a Catholic, and the
former agent for the Catholics, was installed as Lord
Deputy. Other events, connecting these with each other,
had filled with astonishment and apprehension the
ascendancy party.

James proceeded openly with what he hoped to make a
counter-reformation of England, and to accomplish which
he relied on France on the one hand, and Ireland on the
other. In both cases he alarmed the fears and wounded
the pride of England; but when he proceeded from one
illegality to another, when he began to exercise a
dispensing power above the laws--to instruct the judges,
to menace the parliament, and imprison the bishops--the
nobility, the commons, and the army gradually combined
against him, and at last invited over the Prince of
Orange, as the most capable vindicator of their outraged

The headlong King had a representative equally rash, in
Tyrconnell. He was a man old enough to remember well
the uprising of 1641, had lived in intimacy with James
as Duke of York, was personally brave, well skilled in
intrigue, but vain, loud-spoken, confident, and incapable
of a high command in military affairs. The colonelcy of
an Irish regiment, the earldom of Tyrconnell, and a seat
in the secret council or cabinet of the King, were honours
conferred on him during the year of James's accession.
When Clarendon was named Lord-Lieutenant at the beginning
of 1686, Tyrconnell was sent over with him as
Lieutenant-General of the army. At his instigation, a
proclamation was issued, that "all classes" of his
Majesty's subjects might be allowed to serve in the army;
and another, that all arms hitherto given out should be
deposited, for greater security, at one of the King's
stores provided for the purpose in each town or county.
Thus that exclusively Protestant militia, which for twenty
years had executed the Act of Settlement and the Act of
Uniformity in every quarter of the kingdom, found themselves
suddenly disarmed, and a new Catholic army rising on
their ruins. The numbers disbanded are nowhere stated;
they probably amounted to 10,000 or 15,000 men and very
naturally they became warm partisans of the Williamite
revolution. The recriminations which arose between the
new and the old militia were not confined to the nicknames,
Whig and Tory, or to the bandying of sarcasms on each
others' origin; swords were not unfrequently drawn, and
muskets discharged, even in the streets of Dublin, under
the very walls of the Castle.

Through Tyrconnell's influence, a similar revolution had
been wrought in the exclusive character of the courts of
justice, and the corporations of towns, to that which
remodelled the militia. Rice, Daly, and Nugent, were
elevated to the bench during Lord Clarendon's time; the
Corporation of Dublin having refused to surrender their
exclusive charter, were summarily rejected by a _quo
warranto_, issued in the exchequer; other towns were
similarly treated, or induced to make surrender, and a
new series of charters at once granted by James, entitling
Catholics to the freedom of the boroughs, and the highest
municipal offices. And now, for the first time in that
generation, Catholic mayors and sheriffs, escorted by
Catholic troops as guards of honour, were seen marching
in open day to their own places of worship, to the dismay
and astonishment of the ascendancy party. Not that all
Protestants were excluded either from town councils, the
militia, or the bench, but those only were elected or
appointed who concurred in the new arrangements, and
were, therefore, pretty certain to forfeit the confidence
of their co-religionists in proportion as they deserved
that of the Deputy. Topham and Coghill, Masters in
Chancery, were deprived of their offices, and the Protestant
Chancellor was arbitrarily removed to make way for Baron
Rice, a Catholic. The exclusive character of Trinity
College was next assailed, and though James did not
venture to revoke the charter of Elizabeth, establishing
communion with the Church of England as the test of
fellowship, the internal administration was in several
particulars interfered with, its plate was seized in the
King's name under plea of being public property, and the
annual parliamentary grant of 388 pounds was discontinued.
These arbitrary acts filled the more judicious Catholics
with apprehension, but gained the loud applause of the
unreasoning multitude. Dr. Macguire, the successor of
the martyred Plunkett, who felt in Ulster the rising tide
of resistance, was among the signers of a memorial to
the King, dutifully remonstrating against the violent
proceedings of his Deputy. From Rome also, disapprobation
was more than once expressed, but all without avail;
neither James nor Talbot could be brought to reason. The
Protestants of the eastern and southern towns and counties
who could contrive to quit their homes, did so; hundreds
fled to Holland to return in the ranks of the Prince of
Orange; thousands fled to England, bringing with them
their tale of oppression, embellished with all the bitter
exaggeration of exiles; ten thousand removed from Leinster
into Ulster, soon to recross the Boyne, under very
different auspices. Very soon a close correspondence
was established between the fugitives in Holland, England,
and Ulster, and a powerful lever was thus placed in the
hands of the Prince of Orange, to work the downfall of
his uncle and father-in-law. But the best allies of
William were, after all, the folly and fatuity of James.
The importation of Irish troops, by entire battalions,
gave the last and sorest wound to the national pride of
England, and still further exasperated the hatred and
contempt which his majesty's English regiments had begun
to feel for their royal master.

Tyrconnell, during the eventful summer months when the
revolution was ripening both in Holland and England, had
taken, unknown even to James, a step of the gravest
importance. To him the first intelligence of the
preparations of William were carried by a ship from
Amsterdam, and by him they were communicated to the
infatuated King, who had laughed at them as too absurd
for serious consideration. But the Irish ruler, fully
believing his informants, and never deficient in audacity,
had at once entered into a secret treaty with Louis XIV.
to put Ireland under the protection of France, in the
event of the Prince of Orange succeeding to the British
throne. No proposition could more entirely suit the
exigencies of Louis, of whom William was by far the ablest
and most relentless enemy. The correspondence which has
come to light in recent times, shows the importance which
he attached to Tyrconnell's proposition--an importance
still further enhanced by the direct but unsuccessful
overture made to the earl by William himself, on landing
in England, and before embarking in the actual invasion
of Ireland.

William Henry, Prince of Orange, now about to enter on
the scene, was in 1688 in the thirty-seventh year of his
age. Fearless of danger, patient, silent, impervious to
his enemies, rather a soldier than a statesman, indifferent
in religion, and personally adverse to persecution for
conscience' sake, his great and almost his only public
passion was the humiliation of France through the
instrumentality of a European coalition. As an
anti-Gallican, as the representative of the most illustrious
Protestant family in Europe, as allied by blood and
marriage to their kings, he was a very fit and proper
chief for the English revolutionists; but for the two
former of these reasons he was just as naturally
antipathetic to the Catholic and Celtic majority of the
Irish. His designs had been long gradually maturing, when
James's incredible imprudence hastened his movements.
Twenty-four ships of war were assembled at Helvoetsluys;
7,000 sailors were put on board; all the veterans of the
Netherlands were encamped at Nimeguen, where 6,000 recruits
were added to their numbers. On the 5th of November, the
anniversary of the gunpowder plot, "the Deliverer," as
he was fondly called in England, landed at Torbay; on
the 25th of December, James, deserted by his nobles, his
army, and even his own unnatural children, arrived, a
fugitive and a suppliant, at the court of France.

A few Irish incidents of this critical moment deserve
mention. The mania against everything Irish took in
England forms the most ludicrous and absurd. Wharton's
doggerel refrain of Lillibullero, was heard in every
circle outside the court; all London, lighted with torches,
and marshalled under arms, awaited during the memorable
"Irish night" the advent of the terrible and detested
regiments brought over by Tyrconnell; some companies of
these troops quartered in the country were fallen upon
by ten times their numbers, and cut to pieces. Others,
fighting and inquiring their way, forced a passage to
Chester or Bristol, and obtained a passage home. They
passed at sea, or encountered on the landing-places,
multitudes of the Protestant Irish, men, women and
children, flying in exactly the opposite direction.
Tyrconnell was known to meditate the repeal of the Act
of Settlement; the general rumour of a Protestant massacre
fixed for the 9th of December, originated no one knew
how, was spread about no one knew by whom. In vain the
Lord Deputy tried to stay the panic--his assurance of
protection, and the still better evidence of their own
experience, which proved the Irish Catholics incapable
of such a project, could not allay their terrors. They
rushed into England by every port, and inflamed still
more the hostility which already prevailed against
King James.

In Ulster, David Cairnes of Knockmany, the Rev. John
Kelso of Enniskillen, a Presbyterian, and Rev. George
Walker of Donaghmore, an Anglican minister, were active
instruments of the Prince of Orange. On the 7th of December
the gates of Derry were shut by "the youthhood" against
the Earl of Antrim and his Highlanders. Enniskillen was
seized by a similar impulse of the popular will, and an
association was quickly formed throughout Ulster in
imitation of the English association which had invited
over William, under the auspices of Lord Blaney, Sir
Arthur Rawdon, Sir Clotworthy Skeffington, and others,
"for the maintenance of the Protestant religion and the
dependency of Ireland upon England." By these associates,
Sligo, Coleraine, and the fort of Culmore, at the mouth
of the Foyle, were seized for King William; while the
Town Council of Derry, in order to gain time, despatched
one ambassador with one set of instructions to Tyrconnell,
and another, with a very different set, to "the Committee
for Irish Affairs," which sat at Whitehall, under the
presidency of the Earl of Shrewsbury.



A few days after his arrival in France, James despatched
a messenger to Tyrconnell, with instructions expressing
great anxiety as to the state of affairs in Ireland. "I
am sure," wrote the fugitive monarch, "you will hold out
to the utmost of your power, and I hope this king will
so press the Hollanders, that the Prince of Orange will
not have men to spare to attack you." All the aid he
could obtain from Louis at the moment was 7,000 or 8,000
muskets, which were sent accordingly.

Events succeeded each other during the first half of the
year 1689 with revolutionary rapidity. The conventions
of England and Scotland, though far from being unanimous,
declared by immense majorities, that James had abdicated,
and that William and Mary should be offered the crowns
of both kingdoms. In February, they were proclaimed as
king and queen of "England, France, and Ireland," and in
May, the Scottish commissioners brought them the tender
of the crown of Scotland. The double heritage of the
Stuart kings was thus, after nearly a century of possession,
transferred by election to a kindred prince, to the
exclusion of the direct descendants of the great champion
of "the right divine," who first united under his sceptre
the three kingdoms.

James, at the Court of France, was duly informed of all
that passed at London and Edinburgh. He knew that he had
powerful partizans in both conventions. The first fever
of popular excitement once allayed, he marked with
exultation the symptoms of reaction. There was much in
the circumstances attending his flight to awaken popular
sympathy, and to cast a veil over his errors. The pathetic
picture drawn of parental suffering by the great dramatist
in the character of King _Lear_, seemed realized to the
life in the person of King James. Message followed message
from the three kingdoms, urging him to return and place
himself at the head of his faithful subjects in a war
against the usurper. The French king approved of these
recommendations, for in fighting James's battle he was
fighting his own, and a squadron was prepared at Brest
to carry the fugitive back to his dominions. Accompanied
by his natural sons, the Duke of Berwick and the Grand
Prior Fitzjames, by Lieutenant-Generals de Rosen and de
Maumont, Majors-General de Pusignan and de Lery (or
Geraldine), about a hundred officers of all ranks, and
1,200 veterans, James sailed from Brest, with a fleet of
33 vessels, and landed at Kinsale on the 12th day of
March (_old style_). His reception by the Southern
population was enthusiastic in the extreme. From Kinsale
to Cork, from Cork to Dublin, his progress was accompanied
by Gaelic songs and dances, by Latin orations, loyal
addresses, and all the decorations with which a popular
favourite can be welcomed. Nothing was remembered by that
easily pacified people but his great misfortunes and his
steady fidelity to his and their religion. Fifteen
chaplains, nearly all Irish, accompanied him, and added
to the delight of the populace; while many a long-absent
soldier, now came back in the following of the king, to
bless the sight of some aged parent or faithful lover.
The royal entry into Dublin was the crowning pageant of
this delusive restoration. With the tact and taste for
such demonstrations hereditary in the citizens, the trades
and arts were marshalled before him. Two venerable harpers
played on their national instruments near the gate by
which he entered; a number of religious in their robes,
with a huge cross at their head, chanted as they went;
forty young girls, dressed in white, danced the ancient
_Rinka_, scattering flowers as they danced. The Earl of
Tyrconnell, lately raised to a dukedom, the judges, the
mayor and corporation, completed the procession, which
marched over newly sanded streets, beneath arches of
evergreens and windows hung with "tapestry and cloth of
Arras." Arrived at the castle the sword of state was
presented to him by the deputy, and the keys of the city
by the recorder. At the inner entrance, the primate, Dr.
Dominick Macguire, waited in his robes to conduct him to
the chapel, lately erected by Tyrconnell, where _Te Deum_
was solemnly sung. But of all the incidents of that
striking ceremonial, nothing more powerfully impressed
the popular imagination than the green flag floating from
the main tower of the castle, bearing the significant
inscription--"_Now or Never--Now and Forever_."

A fortnight was devoted by James in Dublin to daily and
nightly councils and receptions. The chief advisers who
formed his court were the Count d'Avaux, Ambassador of
France, the Earl of Melfort, principal Secretary of State,
the Duke of Tyrconnell, Lieutenant-General Lord Mountcashel,
Chief Justice Nugent, and the superior officers of the
army, French and Irish. One of the first things resolved
upon at Dublin was the appointment of the gallant Viscount
Dundee as Lieutenant-General in Scotland--and the despatch
to his assistance of an Irish auxiliary force, which
served under that renowned chief with as much honour as
their predecessors had served under Montrose.
Communications were also opened through the Bishop of
Chester with the west of England Jacobites, always numerous
in Cheshire, Shropshire, and other counties nearest to
Ireland. Certain changes were then made in the Privy
Council; Chief Justice Keating's attendance was dispensed
with as one opposed to the new policy, but his judicial
functions were left untouched. Dr. Cartwright, Bishop of
Chester, and the French Ambassador were sworn in, and
writs were issued convoking the Irish Parliament for the
7th day of May following.

Intermitting, for the present, the military events which
marked the early months of the year, we will follow the
acts and deliberations of King James's Parliament of
1689. The Houses met, according to summons, at the
appointed time, in the building known as "the Inns of
Court," within a stone's throw of the castle. There were
present 228 Commoners, and 46 members of the Upper House.
In the Lords several Protestant noblemen and prelates
took their seats, and some Catholic peers of ancient
date, whose attainders had been reversed, were seen for
the first time in that generation in the front rank of
their order. In the Lower House the University and a few
other constituencies were represented by Protestants,
but the overwhelming majority were Catholics, either of
Norman or Milesian origin. The King made a judicious
opening speech, declaring his intention to uphold the
rights of property, and to establish liberty of conscience
alike for Protestant and Catholic. He referred to the
distressed state of trade and manufactures, and recommended
to the attention of the Houses, those who had been unjustly
deprived of their estates under the "Act of Settlement."

Three measures passed by this Parliament entitle its
members to be enrolled among the chief assertors of civil
and religious liberty. One was the "Act for establishing
Liberty of Conscience," followed by the supplemental act
that all persons should pay tithes only to the clergy of
their own communion. An act abolishing writs of error
and appeal into England, established the judicial
independence of Ireland; but a still more necessary
measure repealing Poyning's Law, was defeated through
the personal hostility of the King. An act repealing the
Act of Settlement was also passed, under protest from
the Protestant Lords, and received the royal sanction.
A bill to establish Inns of Court, for the education of
Irish law students, was, however, rejected by the King,
and lost; an "Act of Attainder," against persons in arms
against the Sovereign, whose estates lay in Ireland, was
adopted. Whatever may be the bias of historians, it cannot
be denied that this Parliament showed a spirit worthy of
the representatives of a free people. "Though Papists,"
says Mr. Grattan, our highest parliamentary authority,
"they were not slaves; they wrung a constitution from
King James before they accompanied him to the field."

The King, unfortunately, had not abandoned the arbitrary
principles of his family, even in his worst adversity.
His interference with the discussions on Poyning's Law,
and the Inns of Court bill, had shocked some of his most
devoted adherents. But he proceeded from obstructive to
active despotism. He doubled, by his mere proclamation,
the enormous subsidy of 20,000 pounds monthly voted him
by the Houses. He established, by the same authority, a
bank, and decreed in his own name a bank restriction act.
He debased the coinage, and established a fixed scale of
prices to be observed by all merchants and traders. In
one respect--but in one only--he grossly violated his
own professed purpose of establishing liberty of conscience,
by endeavouring to force fellows and scholars on the
University of Dublin contrary to its statutes. He even
went so far as to appoint a provost and librarian without
consent of the senate. However we may condemn the
exclusiveness of the College, this was not the way to
correct it; bigotry on the one hand, will not justify
despotism on the other.

More justifiable was the interference of the King for
the restoration of rural schools and churches, and the
decent maintenance of the clergy and bishops. His
appointments to the bench were also, with one or two
exceptions, men of the very highest character. "The
administration of justice during this brief period," says
Dr. Cooke Taylor, "deserves the highest praise. With the
exception of Nugent and Fritton, the Irish judges would
have been an honour to any bench."



When Tyrconnell met the King at Cork, he gave his Majesty
a plain account of the posture of military affairs. In
Ulster, Lieutenant-General Richard Hamilton, at the head
of 2,500 regular troops, was holding the rebels in check,
from Charlemont to Coleraine; in Munster, Lieutenant-General
Justin McCarthy, Lord Mountcashel, had taken Bandon and
Castlemartyr; throughout the four provinces, the Catholics,
to the number of fifty regiments (probably 30,000 men),
had volunteered their services; but for all these volunteers
he had only 20,000 old arms of all kinds, not over 1,000
of which were found really valuable. There were besides
these, regiments of horse, Tyrconnell's, Russell's, and
Galmony's, and one of dragoons, eight small pieces of
artillery, but neither stores in the magazines, nor cash
in the chest. While at Cork, Tyrconnell, in return for
his great exertions, was created a Duke, and
General-in-Chief, with De Rosen as second in command.

A week before James reached Dublin, Hamilton had beaten
the rebels at Dromore, and driven them in on Coleraine,
from before which he wrote urgently for reinforcements.
On receipt of this communication, the Council exhibited,
for the first time, those radical differences of opinion,
amounting almost to factious opposition, which crippled
all King James's movements at this period. One party
strenuously urged that the King himself should march
northward with such troops as could be spared; that his
personal appearance before Derry, would immediately
occasion the surrender of that city, and that he might
in a few weeks, finish in person the campaign of Ulster.
Another, at whose head was Tyrconnell, endeavoured to
dissuade his Majesty from this course, but he at length
decided in favour of the plan of Melfort and his friends.
Accordingly, he marched out of Dublin, amid torrents of
April rain, on the eighth of that month, intending to
form a junction with Hamilton, at Strabane, and thence
to advance to Derry. The march was a weary one through
a country stripped bare of every sign of life, and desolate
beyond description. A week was spent between Dublin and
Omagh; at Omagh news of an English fleet on the Foyle
caused the King to retrace his steps hastily to Charlemont.
At Charlemont, however, intelligence of fresh successes
gained by Hamilton and De Rosen, at Cladyford and Strabane,
came to restore his confidence; he instantly set forward,
despite the tempestuous weather, and the almost impassable
roads, and on the eighteenth reached the Irish camp at
Johnstown, within four or five miles of Derry.

It was now four months since "the youthhood" of Derry
had shut the Watergate against Lord Antrim's regiment,
and established within their walls a strange sort of
government, including eighteen clergymen and the town
democracy. The military command remained with
Lieutenant-Colonel Lundy, of Mountjoy's regiment, but
the actual government of the town was vested, first, in
"Governor" Baker, and afterwards in the Reverend George
Walker, rector of Donaghmore, best known to us as _Governor_
Walker. The Town Council had despatched Mr. Cairnes, and
subsequently Captain Hamilton, founder of the Abercorn
peerage, to England for succour, and had openly proclaimed
William and Mary as King and Queen. Defensive works were
added, where necessary, and on the very day of the affair
of Cladyford, 480 barrels of gunpowder were landed from
English ships and conveyed within the walls.

As the Royalist forces concentrated towards Derry, the
chiefs of the Protestant Association fell back before
them, each bringing to its garrison the contribution of
his own followers. From the valley of the Bann, over
the rugged summits of Carntogher, from the glens of
Donegal, and the western sea coast round to Mayo, troops
of the fugitives hurried to the strong town of the London
traders, as to a city of refuge. Enniskillen alone,
resolute in its insular situation, and in a courage akin
to that which actuated the defenders of Derry, stood as
an outpost of the main object of attack, and delayed the
junction of the Royalists under Mountcashel with those
under Hamilton and De Rosen. Coleraine was abandoned.
Captain Murray, the commander of Culmore, forced his way
at the head of 1,500 men into Derry, contrary to the
wishes of the vacillating and suspected Lundy, and, from
the moment of his arrival, infused his own determined
spirit into all ranks of the inhabitants.

Those who had advised King James to present himself in
person before the Protestant stronghold, had not acted
altogether, upon presumption. It is certain that there
were Jacobites, even in Derry. Lundy, the governor, either
despairing of its defence, or undecided in his allegiance
between James and William, had opened a correspondence
with Hamilton and De Rosen. But the true answer of the
brave townsmen, when the King advanced too near their
walls, was a cannon shot which killed one of his staff,
and the cry of "No Surrender" thundered from the walls.
James, awakened from his self-complacent dream by this
unexpected reception, returned to Dublin, to open his
Parliament, leaving General Hamilton to continue the
siege. Colonel Lundy, distrusted, overruled, and menaced,
escaped over the walls by night, disguised as a common
labourer, and the party of Murray, Baker, Walker, and
Cairnes, reigned supreme.

The story of the siege of Derry--of the heroic constancy
of its defenders--of the atrocities of De Rosen and
Galmoy--the clemency of Maumont--the forbearance of
Hamilton--the struggles for supremacy among its
magnates--the turbulence of the townsfolk--the joyful
raising of the siege--all these have worthily employed
some of the most eloquent pens in our language. The relief
came by the breaking of the boom across the harbour's
mouth on the last day of July; the bombardment had
commenced on the 21st of April; the gates had been shut
on the 7th of December. The actual siege had lasted above
three months, and the blockade about three weeks. The
destruction of life on both sides has never been definitely
stated. The besieged admit a loss of 4,000 men; the
besiegers of 6,000. The want of siege guns in the Jacobite
camp is admitted by both parties, but, nevertheless, the
defence of the place well deserves to be celebrated, as
it has been by an imperial historian, "as the most
memorable in British annals."

Scarcely inferior in interest and importance to the siege
of Derry, was the spirited defence of Enniskillen. That
fine old town, once the seat of the noble family of
Maguire, is naturally dyked and moated round about, by
the waters of Lough Erne. In December, '88, it had closed
its gates, and barricaded its causeways to keep out a
Jacobite garrison. In March, on Lord Galmoy's approach,
all the outlying garrisons, in Fermanagh and Cavan, had
destroyed their posts, and gathered into Enniskillen.
The cruel and faithless Galmoy, instead of inspiring
terror into the united garrison, only increased their
determination to die in the breach. So strong in position
and numbers did they find themselves, with the absolute
command of the lower Lough Erne to bring in their supplies,
that in April they sent off a detachment to the relief
of Derry, and in the months of May and June, made several
successful forays to Ballincarrig, Omagh, and Belturbet.
In July, provided with a fresh supply of ammunition from
the fleet intended for the relief of Derry, they beat up
the Duke of Berwick's quarters at Trellick, but were
repulsed with some loss. The Duke being soon after recalled
to join De Rosen, the siege of Enniskillen was committed
to Lord Mountcashel, under whom, as commander of the
cavalry, served Count Anthony Hamilton, author of the
witty but licentious "Memoirs of Grammont," and other
distinguished officers. Mountcashel's whole force consisted
of three regiments of foot, two of dragoons, and some
horse; but he expected to be joined by Colonel Sarsfield
from Sligo, and Berwick from Derry. The besieged had
drawn four regiments of foot from Cavan alone, and were
probably twice that number in all; and they had, in
Colonels Wolseley and Berry, able and energetic officers.
The Enniskilleners did not await the attack within their
fortress. At Lisnaskea, under Berry, they repulsed the
advanced guard of the Jacobites under Anthony Hamilton;
and the same day--the day of the relief of Derry--their
whole force were brought into action with Mountcashel's
at Newtown-Butler. To the cry of "No Popery," Wolseley
led them into an action, the most considerable yet fought.
The raw southern levies on the Royalist side, were routed
by the hardy Enniskilleners long familiar with the use
of arms, and well acquainted with every inch of the
ground; 2,000 of them were left on the field; 400 prisoners
were taken, among them dangerously, but not mortally
wounded, was the Lieutenant-General himself.

The month of August was a month of general rejoicing for
the Williamites of Ulster, De Rosen and Berwick had
retreated from Deny; Sarsfield, on his way to join
Mountcashel, fell back to Sligo on hearing of his defeat
at Newtown-Butler; Culmore, Coleraine, and Ballyshannon,
were retaken and well supplied; fugitives returned
triumphantly to their homes, in Cavan, Fermanagh, Tyrone,
and Armagh. A panic created by false reports spread among
his troops at Sligo, compelled Sarsfield to fall still
further back to Athlone. Six months after his arrival,
with the exception of the forts of Charlemont and
Carrickfergus, King James no longer possessed a garrison
in that province, which had been bestowed by his grandfather
upon the ancestors of those who now unanimously rejected
and resisted him.

The fall of the gallant Dundee in the battle of
Killicrankie, five days before the relief of Derry, freed
King William from immediate anxiety on the side of
Scotland, and enabled him to concentrate his whole
disposable force on Ireland. On the 13th of August, an
army of eighteen regiments of foot, and four or five of
horse, under the Marshal Duke de Schomberg, with Count
Solmes as second in command, sailed into Belfast Lough,
and took possession of the town. On the 20th, the Marshal
opened a fierce cannonade on Carrickfergus, defended by
Colonels McCarthy More and Cormac O'Neil, while the fleet
bombarded it from sea. After eight days' incessant
cannonade, the garrison surrendered on honourable terms,
and Schomberg faced southward towards Dublin. Brave, and
long experienced, the aged Duke moved according to the
cautious maxims of the military school in which he had
been educated. Had he advanced rapidly on the capital,
James must have fallen back, as De Rosen advised, on the
line of the Shannon; but O'Regan, at Charlemont, and
Berwick, at Newry, seemed to him obstacles so serious,
that nearly a month was wasted in advancing from Belfast
to Dundalk, where he entrenched himself in September,
and went into whiter quarters. Here a terrible dysentery
broke out among his troops, said to have been introduced
by some soldiers from Derry, and so destructive were its
ravages, that there were hardly left healthy men enough
to bury the dead. Several of the French Catholics under
his command, also, deserted to James, who, from his
head-quarters at Drogheda, offered every inducement to
the deserters. Others discovered in the attempt were
tried and hanged, and others, still suspected of similar
designs, were marched down to Carlingford, and shipped
for England. In November, James returned from Drogheda
to Dublin, much elated that Duke Schomberg, whose fatal
camp at Dundalk he had in vain attempted to raise, had
shrunk from meeting him in the field.



The armies now destined to combat for two kings on Irish
soil were strongly marked by those distinctions of race
and religion which add bitterness to struggles for power,
while they present striking contrasts to the eye of the
painter of military life and manners. King James's troops
were chiefly Celtic and Catholic. There were four
regiments commanded by O'Neils, two by O'Briens, two by
O'Kellys, one each by McCarthy More, Maguire, O'More,
O'Donnell, McMahon, and Magennis, principally recruited
among their own clansmen. There were also the regiments
of Sarsfield, Nugent, De Courcy, Fitzgerald, Grace, and
Burke, chiefly Celts, in the rank and file. On the other
hand, Schomberg led into the field the famous blue Dutch
and white Dutch regiments; the Huguenot regiments of
Schomberg, La Millinier, Du Cambon, and La Callimotte;
the English regiments of Lords Devonshire, Delamere,
Lovelace, Sir John Lanier, Colonels Langston, Villiers,
and others; the Anglo-Irish regiments of Lords Meath,
Roscommon, Kingston, and Drogheda; with the Ulstermen,
under Brigadier Wolseley, Colonels Gustavus Hamilton,
Mitchelburne, Loyd, White, St. Johns, and Tiffany. Some
important changes had taken place on both sides during
the winter months. D'Avaux and De Rosen had been recalled
at James's request; Mountcashel, at the head of the first
Franco-Irish brigade, had been exchanged for 6,000 French,
under De Lauzan, who arrived the following March in the
double character of general and ambassador. The report
that William was to command in person in the next campaign,
was, of itself, an indication pregnant with other changes
to the minds of his adherents.

Their abundant supplies of military stores from England,
wafted from every port upon the channel, where James had
not a keel afloat, enabled the Williamite army to take
the initiative in the campaign of 1690. At Cavan, Brigadier
Wolseley repulsed the Duke of Berwick, with the loss of
200 men and some valuable officers. But the chief incident
preceding William's arrival was the siege of Charlemont.
This siege, which commenced apparently in the previous
autumn, had continued during several months, till the
garrison were literally starved out, in May. The famished
survivors were kindly treated, by order of Schomberg,
and their gallant and eccentric chief, O'Regan, was
knighted by the King, for his persistent resistance. A
month from the day on which Charlemont fell, (June 14th),
William landed at Carrickfergus, accompanied by Prince
George of Denmark, the Duke of Wurtemburg, the Prince of
Hesse-Darmstadt, the second and last Duke of Ormond,
Major-General Mackay, the Earls of Oxford, Portland,
Scarborough, and Manchester, General Douglas, and other
distinguished British and foreign officers. At Belfast,
his first head-quarters, he ascertained the forces at
his disposal to be upwards of 40,000 men, composed of "a
strange medley of all nations"--Scandinavians, Swiss,
Dutch, Prussians, Huguenot-French, English, Scotch,
"Scotch-Irish," and Anglo-Irish. Perhaps the most
extraordinary element in that strange medley was the
Danish contingent of horse and foot. Irish tradition and
Irish prophecy still teemed with tales of terror and
predictions of evil at the hands of the Danes, while
these hardy mercenaries observed, with grim satisfaction,
that the memory of their fierce ancestors had not become
extinct after the lapse of twenty generations. At the
Boyne, and at Limerick, they could not conceal their
exultation as they encamped on some of the very earthworks
raised by men of their race seven centuries before, and
it must be admitted they vindicated their descent, both
by their courage and their cruelty.

On the 16th of June, James, informed of William's arrival,
marched northward at the head of 20,000 men, French and
Irish, to meet him. On the 22nd, James was at Dundalk
and William at Newry; as the latter advanced, the Jacobites
retired, and finally chose their ground at the Boyne,
resolved to hazard a battle, for the preservation of
Dublin, and the safety of the province of Leinster.

On the last day of June, the hostile forces confronted
each other at the Boyne. The gentle, legendary river,
wreathed in all the glory of its abundant foliage, was
startled with the cannonade from the northern bank, which
continued through the long summer's evening, and woke
the early echoes of the morrow. William, strong in his
veteran ranks, welcomed the battle; James, strong in his
defensive position, and the goodness of his cause, awaited
it with confidence. On the northern bank near to the ford
of Oldbridge, William, with his chief officers, breakfasting
on the turf, nearly lost his life from a sudden discharge
of cannon; but he was quickly in the saddle, at all points
reviewing his army. James, on the hill of Donore, looked
down on his devoted defenders, through whose ranks rode
Tyrconnell, lame and ill, the youthful Berwick, the
adventurous Lauzan, and the beloved Sarsfield--everywhere
received with cordial acclamations. The battle commenced
at the ford of Oldbridge, between Sir Neil O'Neil, and
the younger Schomberg; O'Neil fell mortally wounded, and
the ford was forced. By this ford, William ordered his
centre to advance under the elder Schomberg, as the hour
of noon approached, while he himself moved with the left
across the river, nearer to Drogheda. Lauzan, with
Sarsfield's horse, dreading to be outflanked, had galloped
to guard the bridge of Slane, five miles higher up the
stream, where alone a flank movement was possible. The
battle was now transferred from the gunners to the
swordsmen and pikemen--from the banks to the fords and
borders of the river, William, on the extreme left, swam
his horse across, in imminent danger; Schomberg and
Callimotte fell in the centre, mortally wounded. News
was brought to William, that Dr. Walker--recently
appointed to the See of Derry--had also fallen, "What
brought him there?" was the natural comment of the
soldier-prince. After seven hours' fighting the Irish
fell back on Duleek, in good order. The assailants admitted
five hundred killed, and as many wounded; the defenders
were said to have lost from one thousand to fifteen
hundred men--less than at Newtown-Butler. The carnage,
compared with some great battles of that age, was
inconsiderable, but the political consequences were
momentous. The next day, the garrison of Drogheda, one
thousand three hundred strong, surrendered; in another
week, William was in Dublin, and James, terrified by the
reports which had reached him, was _en route_ for France.
It is hardly an exaggeration to say, that the fate of
Europe was decided by the result of the battle of the
Boyne. At Paris, at the Hague, at Vienna, at Rome, at
Madrid, nothing was talked of but the great victory of
the Prince of Orange over Louis and James. It is one of
the strangest complications of history that the vanquished
Irish Catholics seem to have been never once thought of
by Spain, Austria, or the Pope. In the greater issues of
the European coalition against France, their interests,
and their very existence, were for the moment forgotten.

The defeat at the Boyne, and the surrender of Dublin,
uncovered the entire province of Leinster, Kilkenny,
Wexford, Waterford, Duncannon, Clonmel, and other places
of less importance, surrendered within six weeks. The
line of the Shannon was fallen back upon by the Irish,
and the points of attack and defence were now shifted to
Athlone and Limerick. What Enniskillen and Derry had
been, in the previous year, to the Williamite party in
the north, cities of refuge, and strongholds of hope,
these two towns upon the Shannon had now become, by the
fortune of war, to King James's adherents.

On the 17th of July, General Douglas appeared before
Athlone, and summoned it to surrender. The veteran
commandant, Colonel Richard Grace, a Confederate of 1641,
having destroyed the bridge, and the suburbs on the
Leinster side of the Shannon, replied by discharging his
pistol over the head of the drummer who delivered the
message. Douglas attempted to cross the river at
Lanesborough, but found the ford strongly guarded by one
of Grace's outposts; after a week's ineffectual bombardment,
he withdrew from before Athlone, and proceeded to Limerick,
ravaging and slaying as he went.

Limerick had at first been abandoned by the French under
Lauzan, as utterly indefensible. That gay intriguer
desired nothing so much as to follow the King to Prance,
while Tyrconnell, broken down with physical suffering
and mental anxiety, feebly concurred in his opinion. They
accordingly departed for Galway, leaving the city to its
fate, and, happily for the national reputation, to bolder
counsels than their own. De Boisseleau did not underrate
the character of the Irish levies, who had retreated
before twice their numbers at the Boyne; he declared
himself willing to remain, and, sustained by Sarsfield,
he was chosen as commandant. More than ten thousand foot
had gathered "as if by instinct" to that city, and on
the Clare side Sarsfield still kept together his cavalry,
at whose head he rode to Galway and brought back.
Tyrconnell. On the 9th of August, William, confident of
an easy victory, appeared before the town, but more than
twelve months were to elapse before all his power could
reduce those mouldering walls, which the fugitive French
ambassador had declared "might be taken with roasted

An exploit, planned and executed by Sarsfield the day
succeeding William's arrival, saved the city for another
year, and raised that officer to the highest pitch of
popularity. Along the Clare side of the Shannon, under
cover of the night, he galloped as fast as horse could
carry him, at the head of his dragoons, and crossed the
river at Killaloe. One Manus O'Brien, a Protestant of
Clare, who had encountered the flying horsemen, and
learned enough to suspect their design, hastened to
William's camp with the news, but he was at first laughed
at for his pains. William, however, never despising any
precaution in war, despatched Sir John Lanier with 500
horse to protect his siege-train, then seven miles in
the rear, on the road between Limerick and Cashel.
Sarsfield, however, was too quick for Sir John. The day
after he had crossed at Killaloe he kept his men _perdu_
in the hilly country, and the next night swooped down
upon the convoy in charge of the siege-train, who were
quietly sleeping round the ruined church of Ballanedy.
The sentinels were sabred at their posts, the guards,
half-dressed, fled in terror or were speedily killed.
The gun-carriages were quickly yoked, and drawn together
to a convenient place, where, planted in pits with
ammunition, they were, with two exceptions, successfully
blown to atoms. Lanier arrived within view of the terrific
scene in time to feel its stunning effects. The ground
for miles round shook as from an earthquake; the glare
and roar of the explosion were felt in William's camp,
and through the beleaguered city. On the morrow, all was
known. Sarsfield was safely back in his old encampment,
without the loss of a single man; Limerick was in an
uproar of delight, while William's army, to the lowest
rank, felt the depression of so unexpected a blow. A week
later, however, the provident prince had a new siege-train
of thirty-six guns and four mortars brought up from
Waterford, pouring red-hot shot on the devoted city.
Another week--on the 27th of August--a gap having been
made in the walls near Saint John's gate, a storming
party of the English guards, the Anglo-Irish, Prussians,
and Danes, was launched into the breach. After an action
of uncommon fierceness and determination on both sides,
the besiegers retired with the loss of 30 officers, and
800 men killed, and 1,200 wounded. The besieged admitted
400 killed--their wounded were not counted. Four days
later, William abandoned the siege, retreated to Waterford,
and embarked for England, with Prince George of Denmark,
the Dukes of Wurtemburg and Ormond, and others of his
principal adherents. Tyrconnell, labouring with the
illness of which he soon after died, took advantage of
the honourable pause thus obtained, to proceed on his
interrupted voyage to Prance, accompanied by the ambassador.
Before leaving, however, the young Duke of Berwick was
named in his stead as Commander-in-Chief; Fitton, Nagle,
and Plowden, as Lords Justices; sixteen "senators" were
to form a sort of Cabinet, and Sarsfield to be second in
military command. His enemies declared that Tyrconnell
retired from the contest because his early spirit and
courage had failed him; he himself asserted that his
object was to procure sufficient succours from King Louis,
to give a decisive issue to the war. His subsequent
negotiations at Paris proved that though his bodily health
might be wretched, his ingenuity and readiness of resource
had not deserted him. He justified himself both with
James and Louis, outwitted Lauzan, propitiated Louvois,
disarmed the prejudices of the English Jacobites, and,
in short, placed the military relations of France and
Ireland on a footing they had never hitherto sustained.
The expedition of the following spring, under command of
Marshal Saint Ruth, was mainly procured by his able
diplomacy, and though he returned to Ireland to survive
but a few weeks the disastrous day of Aughrim, it is
impossible from the Irish point of view, not to recall
with admiration, mixed indeed with alloy, but still with
largely prevailing admiration, the extraordinary energy,
buoyancy and talents of Richard, Duke of Tyrconnell.


THE WINTER OF 1690-91,

The Jacobite party in England were not slow to exaggerate
the extent of William's losses before Athlone and Limerick.
The national susceptibility was consoled by the ready
reflection, that if the beaten troops were partly English,
the commanders were mainly foreigners. A native hero was
needed, and was found in the person of Marlborough, a
captain, whose name was destined to eclipse every other
English reputation of that age. At his suggestion an
expedition was fitted out against Cork, Kinsale, and
other ports of the south of Ireland, and the command,
though not without some secret unwillingness on William's
part, committed to him. On the 23rd of September, at the
head of 8,000 fresh troops, amply supplied with all
necessary munitions, Marlborough assaulted Cork. After
five days' bombardment, in which the Duke of Grafton,
and other officers and men were slain, the Governor,
McEligot, capitulated on conditions, which, in spite of
all Marlborough's exertions, were flagrantly violated.
The old town of Kinsale was at once abandoned as untenable
the same day, and the new fort, at the entrance to the
harbour, was surrendered after a fortnight's cannonade.
Covered with glory from a five weeks' campaign, Marlborough
returned to England to receive the acclamations of the
people and the most gracious compliments of the prince.

Berwick and Sarsfield on the one side and Ginkle and
Lanier on the other, kept up the winter campaign till an
advanced period, on both banks of the Shannon. About the
middle of September, the former made a dash over the
bridge of Banagher, against Birr, or Parsonstown, the
family borough of the famous _Undertaker_. The English,
in great force, under Lanier, Kirke, and Douglas, hastened
to its relief, and the Irish fell back to Banagher. To
destroy "that convenient pass" became now the object of
one party, to protect it, of the other. After some
skirmishing and manoeuvring on both sides, the disputed
bridge was left in Irish possession, and the English fell
back to the borough and castle of Sir Lawrence Parsons.
During the siege of the new fort at Kinsale, Berwick and
Sarsfield advanced as far as Kilmallock to its relief,
but finding themselves so inferior in numbers to
Marlborough, they were unwillingly compelled to leave
its brave defenders to their fate,

Although the Duke of Berwick was the nominal
Commander-in-Chief, his youth, and the distractions
incident to youth, left the more mature and popular
Sarsfield the possession of real power, both civil and
military. Every fortunate accident had combined to elevate
that gallant cavalry officer into the position of national

He was the son of a member of the Irish Commons, proscribed
for his patriotism and religion in 1641, by Anna O'Moore,
daughter of the organizer of the Catholic Confederation.
He was a Catholic in religion, spoke Gaelic as easily as
English, was brave, impulsive; handsome, and generous to
a fault, like the men he led. In Tyrconnell's absence
every sincere lover of the country came to him with
intelligence, and looked to him for direction. Early in
November he learned through his patriotic spies the
intention of the Williamites to force the passage of the
Shannon in the depth of winter. On the last day of
December, accordingly, they marched in great force under
Kirke and Lanier to Jonesboro', and under Douglas to
Jamestown. At both points they found the indefatigable
Sarsfield fully prepared for them, and after a fortnight's
intense suffering from exposure to the weather, were glad
to get back again to their snug quarters at Parsonstown.

Early in February Tyrconnell landed at Limerick with a
French fleet, escorted by three vessels of war, and laden
with provisions, but bringing few arms and no
reinforcements. He had brought over, however, 14,000
golden louis, which were found of the utmost service in
re-clothing the army, besides 10,000 more which he had
deposited at Brest to purchase oatmeal for subsequent
shipment. He also brought promises of military assistance
on a scale far beyond anything France had yet afforded.
It is almost needless to say he was received at Galway
and Limerick with an enthusiasm which silenced, if it
did not confute, his political enemies, both in Ireland
and France.

During his absence intrigues and factions had been rifer
than ever in the Jacobite ranks. Sarsfield had discovered
that the English movement on the Shannon in December was
partly hastened by foolish or treacherous correspondence
among his own associates. Lord Riverston and his brother
were removed from the Senate, or Council of Sixteen--four
from each province--and Judge Daly, ancestor of the
Dunsandle family, was placed under arrest at Galway. The
youthful Berwick sometimes complained that he was tutored
and overruled by Sarsfield; but though the impetuous
soldier may occasionally have forgotten the lessons
learned in courts, his activity seems to have been the
greatest, his information the best, his advice the most
disinterested, and his fortitude the highest of any member
of the council. By the time of Tyrconnell's return he
had grown to a height of popularity and power, which
could not well brook a superior either in the cabinet
or the camp.

On the arrival of the Lord Lieutenant, who was also
Commander-in-Chief, the ambition of Sarsfield was gratified
by the rank of Earl of Lucan, a title drawn from that
pleasant hamlet, in the valley of the Liffey, where he
had learned to lisp the catechism of a patriot at the
knee of Anna O'Moore. But his real power was much
diminished. Tyrconnell, Berwick, Sir Richard Nagle, who
had succeeded the Earl of Melfort as chief secretary for
King James, all ranked before him at the board, and when
Saint Ruth arrived to take command-in-chief, he might
fairly have complained that he was deprived of the chief
reward to which he had looked forward.

The weary winter and the drenching spring months wore
away, and the Williamite troops, sorely afflicted by
disease, hugged their tents and huts. Some relief was
sent by sea to the Jacobite garrison of Sligo, commanded
by the stout old Sir Teague O'Regan, the former defender
of Charlemont. Athlone, too, received some succours, and
the line of the Shannon was still unbroken from
Slieve-an-iron to the sea. But still the promised French
assistance was delayed. Men were beginning to doubt both
King Louis and King James, when, at length at the beginning
of May, the French ships were signalled from the cliffs
of Kerry. On the 8th, the Sieur de Saint Ruth, with
Generals D'Usson and De Tesse, landed at Limerick, and
assisted at a solemn _Te Deum_ in St. Mary's Cathedral.
They brought considerable supplies of clothes, provisions,
and ammunitions, but neither veterans to swell the ranks,
nor money to replenish the chest. Saint Ruth entered
eagerly upon the discharge of his duties as generalissimo,
while Sarsfield continued the nominal second in command.



Saint Ruth, with absolute powers, found himself placed
at the head of from 20,000 to 25,000 men, in the field
or in garrison, regular or irregular, but all, with hardly
an exception, Irish. His and Tyrconnell's recent supplies
had sufficed to renew the clothing and equipment of the
greater part of the number, but the whole contents of
the army chest, the golden hinge on which war moves, was
estimated in the beginning of May to afford to each
soldier only "a penny a day for three weeks." He had
under him some of the best officers that France could
spare, or Ireland produce, and he had with him the hearts
of nine-tenths of the natives of the country.

A singular illustration of the popular feeling occurred
the previous August. The Milesian Irish had cherished
the belief ever since the disastrous day of Kinsale, that
an O'Donnell from Spain, having on his shoulder a red
mark (_ball derg_), would return to free them from the
English yoke, in a great battle near Limerick. Accordingly,
when a representative of the Spanish O'Donnells actually
appeared at Limerick, bearing as we know many of his
family have done, even to our day, the unmistakable red
mark of the ancient Tyrconnell line, immense numbers of
the country people who had held aloof from the Jacobite
cause, obeyed the voice of prophecy, and flocked round
the Celtic deliverer. From 7,000 to 8,000 recruits were
soon at his disposal, and it was not without bitter
indignation that the chief, so enthusiastically received,
saw regiment after regiment drafted from among his
followers, and transferred to other commanders. Bred up
a Spanish subject--the third in descent from an Irish
prince--it is not to be wondered at that he regarded the
_Irish_ cause as all in all, and the interests of King
James as entirely secondary. He could hardly consider
himself as bound in allegiance to that king; he was in
no way indebted to him or his family, and if we learn
that when the war grew desperate, but before it was ended,
he had entered into a separate treaty for himself and
his adherents, with William's generals, we must remember,
before we condemn him, that we are speaking of an
Hiberno-Spaniard, to whom the house of Stuart was no more
sacred than the house of Orange.

The Williamite army rendezvoused at Mullingar towards
the end of May, under Generals De Ginkle, Talmash and
Mackay. On the 7th of June, they moved in the direction
of Athlone, 18,000 strong, "the ranks one blaze of scarlet,
and the artillery such as had never before been seen in
Ireland." The capture of Ballymore Castle, in West-Meath,
detained them ten days; on the 19th, joined by the Duke
of Wurtemburg, the Prince of Hesse and the Count of
Nassau, with 7,000 foreign mercenaries, the whole sat
down before the English town of Athlone, which Saint
Ruth, contrary to his Irish advisers, resolved to defend.
In twenty-four hours those exposed outworks abandoned by
the veteran Grace the previous year, fell, and the
bombardment of the Irish town on the opposite or Connaught
bank, commenced. For ten days--from the 20th to the 30th
of June--that fearful cannonade continued. Storey, the
Williamite chaplain, to whom we are indebted for many
valuable particulars of this war, states that the besiegers
fired above 12,000 cannon shot, 600 shells and many tons
of stone, into the place. Fifty tons of powder were burned
in the bombardment. The castle, an imposing but lofty
and antique structure, windowed as much for a residence
as a fortress, tumbled into ruins; the bridge was broken
down and impassable; the town a heap of rubbish, where
two men could no longer walk abreast. But the Shannon
had diminished in volume as the summer advanced, and
three Danes employed for that purpose found a ford above
the bridge, and at six o'clock on the evening of the last
day of June, 2,000 picked men, headed by Gustavus Hamilton's
grenadiers, dashed into the ford at the stroke of a bell.
At the same instant all the English batteries on the
Leinster side opened on the Irish town, wrapping the
river in smoke, and distracting the attention of the
besiegers. Saint Ruth was, at this critical moment, at
his camp two miles off, and D'Usson, the commandant, was
also absent from his post. In half an hour the Williamites
were masters of the heap of rubbish which had once been
Athlone, with a loss of less than fifty men killed and
wounded. For this bold and successful movement De Ginkle
was created Earl of Athlone, and his chief officers were
justly ennobled. Saint Ruth, over-confident, in a strange
country, withdrew to Ballinasloe, behind the river Suck,
and prepared to risk everything on the hazard of a pitched

De Ginkle moved slowly from Athlone in pursuit of his
enemy. On the morning of the 11th of July, as the early
haze lifted itself in wreaths from the landscape, he
found himself within range of the Irish, drawn up, north
and south, on the upland of Kilcommodan hill, with a
morass on either flank, through which ran two narrow
causeways--on the right, "the pass of Urrachree," on the
left, the causeway leading to the little village of
Aughrim. Saint Ruth's force must have numbered from 15,000
to 20,000 men, with nine field-pieces; De Ginkle commanded
from 25,000 to 30,000, with four batteries--two of which
mounted six guns each. During the entire day, attack
after attack, in the direction of Urrachree or of Aughrim
was repulsed, and the assailants were about to retire in
despair. As the sun sank low, a last desperate attempt
was made with equal ill success. "Now, my children,"
cried the elated Saint Ruth, "the day is ours! Now I
shall drive them back to the walls of Dublin!" At that
moment he fell by a cannon shot to the earth, and stayed
the advancing tide of victory. The enemy marked the
check, halted, rallied and returned. Sarsfield, who had
not been entrusted with his leader's plan of action, was
unable to remedy the mischief which ensued. Victory
arrested was converted into defeat. The sun went down on
Aughrim, and the last great Irish battle between the
Reformed and Roman religions. Four thousand of the
Catholics were killed and wounded, and three thousand of
the Protestants littered the field. Above five hundred
prisoners, with thirty-two pairs of colours, eleven
standards, and a large quantity of small arms, fell into
the hands of the victors. One portion of the fugitive
survivors fled to Galway, the larger part, including all
the cavalry, to Limerick.

This double blow at Athlone and Aughrim shook to pieces
the remaining Catholic power in Connaught. Galway
surrendered ten days after the battle; Balldearg O'Donnell,
after a vain attempt to throw himself into it in time,
made terms with De Ginkle, and carried his two regiments
into Flanders to fight on the side Spain and Rome had
chosen to take in the European coalition. Sligo, the last
western garrison, succumbed, and the brave Sir Teague
O'Regan marched his 600 men, survivors, southward to

Thus once more all eyes and all hearts in the British
Islands were turned towards the well-known city of the
lower Shannon. There, on the 14th of August, Tyrconnell
expired, stricken down by apoplexy. On the 25th, De
Ginkle, reinforced by all the troops he could gather in
with safety, had invested the place on three sides. Sixty
guns, none of less than 12 pounds calibre, opened their
deadly fire against it. An English fleet ascended the
river, hurling its missiles right and left. On the 9th
of September the garrison made an unsuccessful sally,
with heavy loss; on the 10th, a breach, forty yards wide,
was made in the wall overhanging the river; on the night
of the 15th, through the treachery or negligence of
Brigadier Clifford, on guard at the Clare side of the
river, a pontoon bridge was laid, and a strong English
division crossed over in utter silence. The Irish horse,
which had hitherto kept open communications with the
country on that side, fell back to Six Mile Bridge. On
the 24th, a truce of three days was agreed upon, and on
the 3rd of October the memorable "Treaty of Limerick"
was signed by the Williamite and Jacobite commissioners.

The _civil_ articles of Limerick will be mentioned farther
on; the _military_ articles, twenty-nine in number,
provided that all persons willing to expatriate themselves,
as well officers and soldiers as rapparees and volunteers,
should have free liberty to do so, to any place beyond
seas, except England and Scotland; that they might depart
in whole bodies, companies, or parties; that if plundered
by the way, William's government should make good their
loss; that fifty ships of 200 tons each should be provided
for their transportation, besides two men-of-war for the
principal officers; that the garrison of Limerick might
march out with all their arms, guns and baggage, "colours
flying, drums beating, and matches lighting!" It was also
agreed, that those who so wished might enter the service
of William, retaining their rank and pay; but though De
Ginkle was most eager to secure for his master some of
those stalwart battalions, only 1,000 out of the 13,000
that marched out of Limerick filed to the left at King's
Island, Two thousand others accepted passes and protections;
4,500 sailed with Sarsfield from Cork, 4,700 with D'Usson
and De Tesse, embarked in the Shannon on board a French
fleet which arrived a week too late to prevent the
capitulation; in English ships, 3,000 embarked with
General Wauchop; all which, added to Mountcashel's brigade,
over 5,000 strong, gave an Irish army of from 20,000 to
25,000 men to the service of King Louis.

As the ships from Ireland reached Brest and the ports of
Brittany, James himself came down from Saint Germain to
receive them. They were at once granted the rights of
French citizenship without undergoing the forms of
naturalization. Many of them rose to eminent positions
in war and in diplomacy, became founders of distinguished
families, or dying childless, left their hard-won gold
to endow free bourses at Douay and Louvain, for poor
Irish scholars destined for the service of the church,
for which they had fought the good fight, in another
sense, on the Shannon and the Boyne. The migration of
ecclesiastics was almost as extensive as that of the
military. They were shipped by dozens and by scores,
from Dublin, Cork, and Galway. In seven years from the
treaty, there remained but 400 secular and 800 regular
clergy in the country. Nearly double that number, deported
by threats or violence, were scattered over Europe,
pensioners on the princes and bishops of their faith, or
the institutions of their order. In Rome, 72,000 francs
annually were allotted for the maintenance of the fugitive
Irish clergy, and during the first three months of 1699,
three remittances from the Holy Father, amounting to
90,000 livres, were placed in the hands of the Nuncio at
Paris, for the temporary relief of the fugitives in France
and Flanders. It may also be added here, that till the
end of the eighteenth century, an annual charge of 1,000
Roman crowns was borne by the Papal treasury for the
encouragement of Catholic Poor-schools in Ireland.

The revolutionary war, thus closed, had cost King William,
or rather the people of England, at least 10,000,000 of
pounds sterling, and with the other wars of that reign,
laid the foundation of the English national debt. As to
the loss of life, the Williamite chaplain, Storey, places
it "at 100,000, young and old, besides treble the number
that are ruined and undone." The chief consolation of
the vanquished in that struggle was, that they had wrung
even from their adversaries the reputation of being "one
of the most warlike of nations"--that they "buried the
synagogue with honour."



From the date of the treaty of Limerick, William was
acknowledged by all but the extreme Jacobites, at least
_de facto_--King of Ireland. The prevailing party in
Ulster had long recognized him, and the only expression
of the national will then possible accepted his title,
in the treaty signed at Limerick on the 3rd of October,
1691. For three years Ireland had resisted his power,
for twelve years longer she was to bear the yoke of
his government.

Though the history of William's twelve years' reign in
Ireland is a history of proscription, the King himself
is answerable only as a consenting party to such
proscription. He was neither by temper nor policy a
persecutor; his allies were Spain, Austria and Rome; he
had thousands of Catholics in his own army, and he gave
his confidence as freely to brave and capable men of one
creed as of another. But the oligarchy, calling itself
the "Protestant Ascendancy," which had grown so powerful
under Cromwell and Charles II., backed as they once again
were by all the religious intolerance of England, proved
too strong for William's good intentions. He was, moreover,
pre-occupied with the grand plans of the European coalition,
in which Ireland, without an army, was no longer an
element of calculation. He abandoned, therefore, not
without an occasional grumbling protest, the vanquished
Catholics to the mercy of that oligarchy, whose history,
during the eighteenth century, forms so prominent a
feature of the history of the kingdom.

The civil articles of Limerick, which Sarsfield vainly
hoped might prove the _Magna Charta_ of his co-religionists,
were thirteen in number. Art. I. guaranteed to members
of that denomination, remaining in the kingdom, "such
privileges in the exercise of their religion as are
consistent with the law of Ireland, or as they enjoyed
in the reign of King Charles II.;" this article further
provided, that "their majesties, as soon as their affairs
will permit them to summon a Parliament in this kingdom,
will endeavour to procure the said Roman Catholics such
further security in that particular as may preserve them
from any disturbance on account of their said religion."
Art. II. guaranteed pardon and protection to all who
had served King James, on taking the oath of allegiance
prescribed in Art. IX., as follows:

"I, A. B., do solemnly promise and swear that I will be
faithful and bear true allegiance to their majesties,
King William and Queen Mary; so help me God."

Arts. III., IV., V. and VI. extended the provisions of
Arts. I. and II. to merchants and other classes of men.
Art. VII. permits "every nobleman and gentleman compromised
in the said articles" to carry side arms and keep "a gun
in their houses." Art. VIII. gives the right of removing
goods and chattels without search. Art. IX. is as follows:

"The oath to be administered to such Roman Catholics as
submit to their majesties' government _shall be the oath
aforesaid, and no other_."

Art. X. guarantees that "no person or persons who shall
at any time hereafter break these articles, or any of
them, shall thereby make or cause any other person or
persons to _forfeit or lose the benefit of them_."
Arts. XI. and XII. relate to the ratification of the
articles "within eight months or sooner." Art. XIII.
refers to the debts of "Colonel John Brown, commissary
of the Irish army, to several Protestants," and arranges
for their satisfaction.

These articles were signed before Limerick, at the well
known "Treaty Stone," on the Clare side of the Shannon,
by Lord Scravenmore, Generals Mackay, Talmash, and De
Ginkle, and the Lords Justices Porter and Coningsby, for
King William, and by Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, Viscount
Galmoy, Sir Toby Butler, and Colonels Purcell, Cusack,
Dillon, and Brown, for the Irish. On the 24th of February
following, royal letters patent confirmatory of the treaty
were issued from Westminster, in the name of the King
and Queen, whereby they declared, that "we do for us,
our heirs, and successors, as far as in us lies, ratify
and confirm the same and every clause, matter, and thing
therein contained. And as to such parts thereof, for
which an act of Parliament shall be found to be necessary,
we shall recommend the same to be made good by Parliament,
and shall give our royal assent to any bill or bills that
shall be passed by our two Houses of Parliament to that
purpose. And whereas it appears unto us, that it was
agreed between the parties to the said articles, that
after the words Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Mayo, or
any of them, in the second of the said articles; which
words having been casually omitted by the writer of the
articles, the words following, viz.: 'And all such as
are under their protection in the said counties' should
be inserted, and be part of the said omission, was not
discovered till after the said articles were signed, but
was taken notice of before the second town was surrendered,
and that our said justices and generals, or one of them,
did promise that the said clause should be made good, it
being within the intention of the capitulation, and
inserted in the foul draft thereof: Our further will and
pleasure is, and we do hereby ratify and confirm the said
omitted words, viz., 'And all such as are under their
protection in the said counties,' hereby for us, our
heirs and successors, ordaining and declaring that all
and every person and persons therein concerned shall and
may have, receive, and enjoy the benefit thereof, in such
and the same manner as if the said words had been inserted
in their proper place in the said second article, any
omission, defect, or mistake in the said second article
in any wise notwithstanding. Provided always, and our
will and pleasure is, that these our letters patent shall
be enrolled in our Court of Chancery, in our said kingdom
of Ireland, within the space of one year next ensuing."

But the Ascendancy party were not to be restrained by
the faith of treaties, or the obligations of the Sovereign.
The Sunday following the return of the Lords Justices
from Limerick, Dopping, Bishop of Meath, preached before
them at Christ's church, on the crime of keeping faith
with Papists. The grand jury of Cork, urged on by Cox,
the Recorder of Kinsale, one of the historians of those
times, returned in their inquest that the restoration of
the Earl of Clancarty's estates "would be dangerous to
the Protestant interest." Though both William and
George I., interested themselves warmly for that noble
family, the hatred of the new oligarchy proved too strong
for the clemency of kings, and the broad acres of the
disinherited McCarthys, remained to enrich an alien and
bigoted aristocracy.

In 1692, when the Irish Parliament met, a few Catholic
peers, and a very few Catholic commoners took their seats.
One of the first acts of the victorious majority was to
frame an oath in direct contravention to the oath prescribed
by the ninth civil article of the treaty, to be taken by
members of both Houses. This oath solemnly and explicitly
denied "that in the sacrament of the Lord's supper there
is any transubstantiation of the elements;" and as solemnly
affirmed, "that the invocation or adoration of the Virgin
Mary, or any other saint, and the sacrifice of the mass,
as they are now used in the church of Rome, are damnable
and idolatrous." As a matter of course, the Catholic
peers and commoners retired from both Houses, rather than
take any such oath, and thus the Irish Parliament assumed,
in 1692, that exclusively Protestant character which it
continued to maintain, till its extinction in 1800. The
Lord Justice Sydney, acting in the spirit of his original
instructions, made some show of resistance to the
proscriptive spirit thus exhibited. But to teach him how
they regarded his interference, a very small supply was
voted, and the assertion of the absolute control of the
Commons over all supplies--a sound doctrine when rightly
interpreted--was vehemently asserted. Sydney had the
satisfaction of proroguing and lecturing the House, but
they had the satisfaction soon after of seeing him recalled
through their influence in England, and a more congenial
Viceroy in the person of Lord Capel sent over.

About the same time, that ancient engine of oppression,
a Commission to inquire into estates forfeited, was
established, and, in a short time, decreed that 1,060,792
acres were escheated to the crown. This was almost the
last fragment of the patrimony of the Catholic inhabitants.
When King William died, there did not remain in Catholic
hands "one-sixth part" of what their grandfathers held,
even after the passage of the Act of Settlement.

In 1695, Lord Capel opened the second Irish Parliament,
summoned by King William, in a speech in which he assured
his delighted auditors that the King was intent upon a
firm settlement of Ireland upon a Protestant interest.
Large supplies were at once voted to his majesty, and
the House of Commons then proceeded to the appointment
of a committee to consider what penal laws were already
in force against the Catholics, not for the purpose of
repealing them, but in order to add to their number. The
principal penal laws then in existence were:

1. An act, subjecting all who upheld the jurisdiction of
the See of Rome, to the penalties of a _premunire_; and
ordering the oath of supremacy to be a qualification for
office of every kind, for holy orders, and for a degree
in the university.

2. An act for the uniformity of Common Prayer, imposing
a fine of a shilling on all who should absent themselves
from places of worship of the Established Church on

3. An act, allowing the Chancellor to name a guardian to
the child of a Catholic.

4. An act to prevent Catholics from becoming private
tutors in families, without license from the ordinaries
of their several parishes, and taking the oath of supremacy.

To these, the new Parliament added, 1. An act to deprive
Catholics of the means of educating their children at
home or abroad, and to render them incapable of being
guardians of their own or any other person's children;
2. An act to disarm the Catholics; and, 3. Another to
banish all the Catholic priests and prelates. Having thus
violated the treaty, they gravely brought in a bill "to
confirm the Articles of Limerick." "The very title of
the bill," says Dr. Cooke Taylor, "contains evidence of
its injustice." It is styled "A Bill for the Confirmation
of Articles (not _the_ articles) made at the Surrender
of Limerick." And the preamble shows that the little word
_the_ was not accidentally omitted. It runs thus:--"That
the said articles, or _so much of them as may consist
with the safety and welfare of your majesty's subjects
in these kingdoms_, may be confirmed," &c. The parts that
appeared to these legislators inconsistent with "the
safety and welfare of his majesty's subjects," were the
first article, which provided for the security of the
Catholics from all disturbances on account of their
religion; those parts of the second article which confirmed
the Catholic gentry of Limerick, Clare, Cork, Kerry, and
Mayo, in the possession of their estates, and allowed
all Catholics to exercise their trades and professions
without obstruction; the fourth article, which extended
the benefit of the peace to certain Irish officers then
abroad; the seventh article, which allowed the Catholic
gentry to ride armed; the ninth article, which provides
that the oath of allegiance shall be the only oath required
from Catholics; and one or two others of minor importance.
All of these are omitted in the bill for "The confirmation
of Articles made at the Surrender of Limerick."

The Commons passed the bill without much difficulty. The
House of Lords, however, contained some few of the ancient
nobility, and some prelates, who refused to acknowledge
the dogma, "that no faith should be kept with Papists,"
as an article of their creed. The bill was strenuously
resisted, and when it was at length carried, a strong
protest against it was signed by Lords Londonderry,
Tyrone, and Duncannon, the Barons of Ossory, Limerick,
Killaloe, Kerry, Howth, Kingston, and Strabane, and, to
their eternal honour be it said, the Protestant bishops
of Kildare, Elphin, Derry, Clonfert, and Killala!

The only other political incidents of this reign, important
to Ireland, were the speech from the throne in answer to
an address of the English Houses, in which William promised
to discourage the woollen and encourage the linen
manufacture in Ireland, and the publication of the famous
argument for legislative independence, "The Case of
Ireland Stated." The author of this tract, the bright
precursor of the glorious succession of men, who, often
defeated or abandoned by their colleagues, finally
triumphed in 1782, was William Molyneux, member for the
University of Dublin. Molyneux's book appeared in 1698,
with a short, respectful, but manly dedication to King
William. Speaking of his own motives in writing it, he
says, "I am not at all concerned in wool or the wool
trade. I am no ways interested in forfeitures or grants.
I am not at all concerned whether the bishop or the
society of Derry recover the lands they contest about."
Such were the domestic politics of Ireland at that day;
but Molyneux raised other and nobler issues when he
advanced these six propositions, which lie supported with
incontestible ability.

"1. How Ireland became a kingdom _annexed_ to the crown
of England. And here we shall at large give a faithful
narrative of the first expedition of the Britons into
this country, and King Henry II.'s arrival here, such as
our best historians give us.

"2. We shall inquire whether this expedition and the
English settlement that afterwards followed thereon, can
properly be called a _conquest_; or whether any victories
obtained by the English in any succeeding ages in this
kingdom, upon any rebellion, may be called a _conquest_

"3. Granting that it were a _conquest_, we shall inquire
what _title_ a conquest gives.

"4. We shall inquire what _concessions_ have been from
time to time made to Ireland, to take off what even the
most rigorous asserters of a conqueror's title do pretend
to. And herein we shall show by what degrees the English
form of government, and the English statute laws, came
to be received among us; and this shall appear to be
wholly by the _consent_ of the people and the Parliament
of Ireland.

"5. We shall inquire into the precedents and opinions of
the learned in the laws relating to this matter, with
observations thereon.

"6. We shall consider the reasons and arguments that may
be further offered on one side and t'other; and we shall
draw some general conclusions from the whole."

The English Parliament took alarm at these bold doctrines,
seldom heard across the channel since the days of Patrick
Darcy and the Catholic Confederacy. They ordered the book
to be burned by the hands of the common hangman, as of
"dangerous tendency to the crown and people of England,
by denying the power of the King and Parliament of England
to bind the kingdom and people of Ireland, and the
subordination and dependence that Ireland had, and ought
to have, upon England, as being united and annexed to
the imperial crown of England." They voted an address to
the King in the same tone, and received an answer from
his majesty, assuring them that he would enforce the laws
securing the dependence of Ireland on the imperial crown
of Great Britain.

But William's days were already numbered. On the 8th of
March, 1702, when little more than fifty years of age,
he died from the effects of a fall from his horse. His
reign over Ireland is synonymous to the minds of that
people of disaster, proscription and spoliation; of
violated faith and broken compacts; but these wrongs were
done in his name rather than by his orders; often without
his knowledge, and sometimes against his will. Rigid as
that will was, it was forced to bend to the anti-Popery
storm which swept over the British Islands after the
abdication of King James; but the vices and follies of
his times ought no more be laid to the personal account
of William than of James or Louis, against whom he fought.



The reign of Queen Anne occupies twelve years (1702 to
1714. The new sovereign, daughter of James by his first
marriage, inherited the legacy of William's wars, arising
out of the European coalition. Her diplomatists, and her
troops, under the leadership of Marlborough, continued
throughout her reign to combat against France, in Spain,
Germany, and the Netherlands; the treaty of Utrecht being
signed only the year before her majesty's decease. In
domestic politics, the main occurrences were the struggle
of the Whigs and Tories, immortalized for us in the pages
of Swift, Steele, Addison, and Bolingbroke; the limitation
of the succession to the descendants of the Electress
Sophia, in the line of Hanover; and the abortive Jacobite
movement on the Queen's death which drove Ormond and
Atterbury into exile.

In Ireland, this is the reign, _par excellence_, of the
penal code. From the very beginning of the Queen's reign,
an insatiate spirit of proscription dictated the councils
of the Irish oligarchy. On the arrival of the second
and last Duke of Ormond, in 1703, as Lord-Lieutenant,
the Commons waited on him in a body, with a bill "for
discouraging the further growth of Popery," to which the
duke having signified his entire concurrence, it was
accordingly introduced, and became law. The following
are among the most remarkable clauses of this act: The
third clause provides, that if the son of an estated
Papist shall conform to the established religion, the
father shall be incapacitated from selling or mortgaging
his estate, or disposing of any portion of it by will.
The fourth clause prohibits a Papist from being the
guardian of his own child; and orders, that if at any
time the child, though ever so young, pretends to be a
Protestant, it shall be taken from its own father, and
placed under the guardianship of the nearest Protestant
relation. The sixth clause renders Papists incapable of
purchasing any manors, tenements, hereditaments, or any
rents or profits arising out of the same, or of holding
any lease of lives, or other lease whatever, for any term
exceeding thirty-one years. And with respect even to such
limited leases, it further enacts, that if a Papist should
hold a farm producing a profit greater than one-third of
the amount of the rent, his right to such should immediately
cease, and pass over entirely to the first Protestant
who should discover the rate of profit. The seventh clause
prohibits Papists from succeeding to the properties or
estates of their Protestant relations. By the tenth
clause, the estate of a Papist, not having a Protestant
heir, is ordered to be gavelled, or divided in equal
shares between all his children. The sixteenth and
twenty-fourth clauses impose the oath of abjuration, and
the sacramental test, as a qualification for office, and
for voting at elections. The twenty-third clause deprives
the Catholics of Limerick and Galway of the protection
secured to them by the articles of the treaty of Limerick.
The twenty-fifth clause vests in her majesty all advowsons
possessed by Papists.

Certain Catholic barristers, living under protection,
not yet excluded from the practice of their profession,
petitioned to be heard at the bar of the House of Commons.
Accordingly, Mr. Malone, the ancestor of three generations
of scholars and orators, Sir Stephen Rice, one of the
most spotless characters of the age, formerly chief-justice
under King James, and Sir Theobald Butler, were heard
against the bill. The argument of Butler, who stood at
the very head of his profession, remains to us almost in
its entirety, and commands our admiration by its solidity
and dignity. Never was national cause more worthily
pleaded; never was the folly of religious persecution
more forcibly exhibited. Alluding to the monstrous fourth
clause of the bill, the great advocate exclaimed:--

"It is natural for the father to love the child; but we
all know that children are but too apt and subject,
without any such liberty as this bill gives, to slight
and neglect their duty to their parents; and surely such
an act as this will not be an instrument of restraint,
but rather encourage them more to it.

"It is but too common with the son, who has a prospect
of an estate, when once he arrives at the age of one and
twenty, to think the old father too long in the way
between him and it; and how much more will he be subject
to it, when, by this act, he shall have liberty, before
he comes to that age, to compel and force my estate from
me, without asking my leave, or being liable to account
with me for it, or out of his share thereof, to a moiety
of the debts, portions, or other encumbrances, with which
the estate might have been charged before the passing of
this act!

"Is not this against the laws of God and man? Against
the rules of reason and justice, by which all men ought
to be governed? Is not this the only way in the world to
make children become undutiful? and to bring the grey
head of the parent to the grave with grief and tears?

"It would be hard from any man; but from a son, a child,
the fruit of my body, whom I have nursed in my bosom,
and tendered more dearly than my own life, to become my
plunderer, to rob me of my estate, to cut my throat, and
to take away my bread, is much more grievous than from
any other, and enough to make the most flinty hearts to
bleed to think on it. And yet this will be the case if
this bill pass into a law; which I hope this honourable
assembly will not think of, when they shall more seriously
consider, and have weighed these matters.

"For God's sake, gentlemen, will you consider whether
this is according to the golden rule, to do as you would
be done unto? And if not, surely you will not, nay, you
cannot, without being liable to be charged with the most
manifest injustice imaginable, take from us our birthrights,
and invest them in others, before our faces."

When Butler and Malone had closed, Sir Stephen Rice was
heard, not in his character of council, but as one of
the petitioners affected by the act. But neither the
affecting position of that great jurist, who, from the
rank of chief baron had descended to the outer bar, nor
the purity of his life, nor the strength of his argument,
had any effect upon the oligarchy who heard him. He was
answered by quibbles and cavils, unworthy of record, and
was finally informed that any rights which Papists
"pretended to be taken from them by the Bill, was in
their own power to remedy, by conforming, which in prudence
they ought to do; and that they had none to blame but
themselves." Next day the bill passed into law.

The remnant of the clergy were next attacked. On the 17th
of March, 1705, the Irish Commons resolved, that "informing
against Papists was an honourable service to the
government," and that all magistrates and others who
failed to put the penal laws into execution, "were
betrayers of the liberties of the kingdom." But even
these resolutions, rewards, and inducements were
insufficient to satisfy the spirit of persecution.

A further act was passed, in 1709, imposing additional
penalties. The first clause declares, that no Papist
shall be capable of holding an annuity for life. The
third provides, that the child of a Papist, on conforming,
shall at once receive an annuity from his father; and
that the Chancellor shall compel the father to discover,
upon oath, the full value of his estate, real and personal,
and thereupon make an order for the support of such
conforming child or children, and for securing such a
share of the property, after the father's death, as the
court shall think fit. The fourteenth and fifteenth
clauses secure jointures to Popish wives who shall conform.
The sixteenth prohibits a Papist from teaching, even as
assistant to a Protestant master. The eighteenth gives
a salary of 30 pounds per annum to Popish priests who
shall conform. The twentieth provides rewards for the
discovery of Popish prelates, priests, and teachers,
according to the following whimsical scale:--For discovering
an archbishop, bishop, vicar-general, or other person,
exercising any foreign ecclesiastical jurisdiction, 50
pounds; for discovering each regular clergyman, and each
secular clergyman, not registered, 20 pounds; and for
discovering each Popish schoolmaster or usher, 10 pounds.
The twenty-first clause empowers two justices to summon
before them any Papist over eighteen years of age, and
interrogate him when and where he last heard mass said,
and the names of the persons present, and likewise touching
the residence of any Popish priest or schoolmaster; and
if he refuse to give testimony, subjects him to a fine
of 20 pounds, or imprisonment for twelve months.

Several other penal laws were enacted by the same
Parliament, of which we can only notice one; it excluded
Catholics from the office of sheriff, and from grand
juries, and enacts, that, in trials upon any statute for
strengthening the Protestant interest, the plaintiff
might challenge a juror for being a Papist, which challenge
the judge was to allow.

By a royal proclamation of the same year, "all registered
priests" were to take "the oath of abjuration before the
25th of March, 1710," under penalty of _premunire_. Under
this proclamation and the tariff of rewards just cited,
there grew up a class of men, infamous and detestable,
known by the nickname of "priest hunters." One of the
most successful of these traffickers in blood was a
Portuguese Jew, named Garcia, settled at Dublin. He was
very skilful at disguises. "He sometimes put on the mien
of a priest, for he affected to be one, and thus worming
himself into the good graces of some confiding Catholic
got a clue to the whereabouts of the clergy." In 1718,
Garcia succeeded in arresting seven unregistered priests,
for whose detection he had a sum equal to two or three
thousand dollars of American money. To such an excess
was this trade carried, that a reaction set in, and a
Catholic bishop of Ossory, who lived at the time these
acts were still in force, records that "the priest-catchers'
occupation became exceedingly odious both to Protestants
and Catholics," and that himself had seen "ruffians of
this calling assailed with a shower of stones, flung by
both Catholics and Protestants." But this creditable
reaction only became general under George II., twenty
years after the passage of the act of Queen Anne.

We shall have to mention some monstrous additions made
to the code during the first George's reign, and some
attempts to repair and perfect its diabolical machinery,
even so late as George III.; but the great body of the
penal law received its chief accessions from the
oligarchical Irish Parliament, under Queen Anne. Hitherto,
we have often had to point out, how with all its
constitutional defects--with the law of Poynings, obliging
heads of bills to be first sent to England--fettering
its freedom of initiative;--how, notwithstanding all
defects, the Irish Parliament had asserted, at many
critical periods, its own and the people's rights, with
an energy worthy of admiration. But the collective bigots
of this reign were wholly unworthy of the name of a
parliament. They permitted the woollen trade to be
sacrificed without a struggle,--they allowed the bold
propositions of Molyneux, one of their own number, to be
condemned and reprobated without a protest. The knotted
lash of Jonathan Swift was never more worthily applied,
than to "the Legion Club," which he has consigned to such
an unenviable immortality. Swift's inspiration may have
been mingled with bitter disappointment and personal
revenge; but, whatever motives animated him, his fearless
use of his great abilities must always make him the first
political, as he was certainly the first literary character
of Ireland at that day. In a country so bare and naked
as he found it; with a bigotry so rampant and united
before him; it needed no ordinary courage and capacity
to evoke anything like public opinion or public spirit.
Let us be just to that most unhappy man of genius; let
us proclaim that Irish nationality, bleeding at every
pore, and in danger of perishing by the wayside, found
shelter on the breast of Swift, and took new heart from
the example of that bold churchman, before whom the
Parliament, the bench of Bishops, and the Viceroy,



The close of the second reign from the siege of Limerick
imposes the duty of casting our eyes over the map of
Europe, in quest of those gallant exiles whom we have
seen, in tens of thousands, submitting to the hard
necessity of expatriation.

Many of the Meath and Leinster Irish, under their native
commanders, the Kavanaghs and Nugents, carried their
swords into the service of William's ally, the Emperor
of Austria, and distinguished themselves in all the
campaigns of Prince Eugene. Spain attracted to her
standard the Irish of the north-west, the O'Donnells,
the O'Reillys, and O'Garas, whose regiments, during more
than one reign, continued to be known by flames of Ulster
origin. In 1707, the great battle of Almanza, which
decided the Spanish succession, was determined by O'Mahony's
foot and Fitzjames's Irish horse. The next year Spain
had five Irish regiments in her regular army, three of
foot and two of dragoons, under the command of Lacy,
Lawless, Wogan, O'Reilly, and O'Gara. But it was in France
that the Irish served in the greatest number, and made
the most impressive history for themselves and their

The recruiting agents of France had long been in the
habit of crossing the narrow seas, and bringing back the
stalwart sons of the western Island to serve their
ambitious kings, in every corner of the continent. An
Irish troop of horse served, in 1652, under Turenne,
against the great Conde. In the campaigns of 1673, 1674
and 1675, under Turenne, two or three Irish regiments
were in every engagement along the Rhine. At Altenheim,
their commander, Count Hamilton, was created a major-general
of France. In 1690, these old regiments, with the six
new ones sent over by James, were formed into a brigade,
and from 1690 to 1693, they went through the campaigns
of Savoy and Italy, under Marshal Catinat, against Prince
Eugene. Justin McCarthy, Lord Mountcashel, who commanded
them, died at Bareges of wounds received at Staffardo.
At Marsiglia, they routed, in 1693, the allies, killing
Duke Schomberg, son to the Huguenot general who fell at
the Boyne.

The "New" or Sarsfield's brigade was employed under
Luxembourg, against King William, in Flanders, in 1692
and 1693. At Namur and Enghien, they were greatly
distinguished, and William more than once sustained heavy
loss at their hands. Sarsfield, their brigadier, for
these services, was made mareschal-de-camp. At Landen,
on the 29th of July, '93, France again triumphed to the
cry, "Remember Limerick!" Sarsfield, leading on the fierce
pursuers, fell, mortally wounded. Pressing his hand upon
the wound, he took it away dripping with blood, and only
said, "Oh, that this was for Ireland!"

In the war of the Spanish succession, the remnants of
both brigades, consolidated into one, served under their
favourite leader, the Marshal Duke of Berwick, through
nearly all his campaigns in Belgium, Spain and Germany.
The third Lord Clare, afterwards Field-Marshal Count
Thomond, was by the Duke's side at Phillipsburg, in 1733,
when he received his death-wound from the explosion of
a mine. These exiled Clare O'Briens commanded for three
generations their famous family regiment of dragoons.
The first who followed King James abroad died of wounds
received at the battle of Ramillies; the third, with
better fortune, outlived for nearly thirty years the
glorious day of Fontenoy. The Irish cavalry regiments in
the service of France were Sheldon's, Galmoy's, Clare's,
and Killmallock's; the infantry were known as the regiments
of Dublin, Charlemont, Limerick, and Athlone. There were
two other infantry regiments, known as Luttrel's and
Dorrington's--and a regiment of Irish marines, of which
the Grand Prior, Fitzjames, was colonel. During the latter
years of Louis XIV., there could not have been less, at
any one time, than from 20,000 to 30,000 Irish in his
armies, and during the succeeding century, authentic
documents exist to prove that 450,000 natives of Ireland
died in the military service of France.

In the dreary reigns of William, Anne, and the two first
Georges, the pride and courage of the disarmed and
disinherited population abiding at home, drew new life
and vigour from the exploits of their exiled brethren.
The channel smuggler and the vagrant ballad-singer kept
alive their fame for the lower class of the population,
while the memoirs of Marlborough and Eugene, issuing from
the Dublin press, communicated authentic accounts of
their actions, to the more prejudiced, or better educated.
The blows they struck at Landen, at Cremona, and at
Almanza, were sensibly felt by every British statesman;
when, in the bitterness of defeat, an English King cursed
"the laws that deprived him of such subjects," the doom
of the penal code was pronounced.

The high character of the famous captains of these brigades
was not confined to the field of battle. At Paris, Vienna,
and Madrid, their wit and courtesy raised them to the
favour of princes, over the jealousy of all their rivals.
Important civil and diplomatic offices were entrusted to
them--embassies of peace and war--the government of
provinces, and the highest administrative offices of the
state. While their kinsmen in Ireland were declared
incapable of filling the humblest public employments, or
of exercising the commonest franchise, they met British
ambassadors abroad as equals, and checked or countermined
the imperial policy of Great Britain. It was impossible
that such a contrast of situations should not attract
the attention of all thinking men! It was impossible that
such reputations should shine before all Europe without
reacting powerfully on the fallen fortunes of Ireland!





The last years of Queen Anne had been years of intrigue
and preparation with the Jacobite leaders throughout the
three kingdoms. At their head stood Ormond, the second
and last _Duke_ of his name, and with him were associated
at one stage or another of his design, Bolingbroke,
Orrery, Bishop Atterbury, and other influential persons.
It was thought that had this party acted promptly on the
death of the Queen, and proclaimed James III. (or "the
Pretender," as he was called by the partisans of the new
dynasty), the Act of Succession might have remained a
dead letter, and the Stuarts recovered their ancient
sovereignty. But the partisans of the elector were the
first in the field, and King George was accordingly
proclaimed, on the 1st of August, at London, and on the
6th of August, at Dublin.

In Dublin, where serious apprehensions of a Jacobite
rising were entertained, the proclamation was made by
the glare of torches at the extraordinary hour of midnight.
Two or three arrests of insignificant persons were made,
and letters to Swift being found on one of them, the Dean
was thought by his friends to be in some danger. But it
was not correct to say, as many writers have done, that
he found it necessary to retire from Dublin. The only
inconvenience he suffered was from the hootings and
revilings of the Protestant rabble in the street, and a
brutal threat of personal violence from a young nobleman,
upon whom he revenged himself in a characteristic petition
to the House of Lords "for protection against the said
lord." Pretending not to be quite sure of his assailant,
he proceeds to explain: "Your petitioner is informed that
the person who spoke the words above mentioned is of your
Lordships' House, under the style and title of Lord
Blaney; whom your petitioner remembers to have introduced
to Mr. Secretary Addison, in the Earl of Wharton's
government, and to have done him other good offices at
that time, because he was represented as a young man of
some hopes and a broken fortune." The entire document is
a curious picture of the insolence of the ascendancy
party of that day, even towards dignitaries of their own
church who refused to go all lengths in the only politics
they permitted or tolerated.

It was while smarting under these public indignities,
and excluded from the society of the highest class in
his own country, with two or three exceptions, that
Swift laid the foundations of his own and his country's
patriotism, among the educated middle class of the Irish
capital. From the college and the clergy he drew Dr.
Sheridan--ancestor of six generations of men and women
of genius! Doctors Delaney, Jackson, Helsham, Walmsley,
Stopford (afterwards Bishop of Cloyne), and the three
reverend brothers Grattan. In the city he selected as
his friends and companions four other Grattans, one of
whom was Lord-Mayor, another physician to the castle,
one a schoolmaster, the other a merchant. "Do you know
the Grattans?" he wrote to the Lord-Lieutenant, Lord
Carteret; "then pray obtain their acquaintance. The
Grattans, my lord, can raise 10,000 men." Among the class
represented by this admirable family of seven brothers,
and in that of the tradesmen immediately below them, of
which we may take his printers, Waters and Faulkner for
types, Swift's haughty and indignant denunciations of
the oligarchy of the hour produced striking effects.
The humblest of the community began to raise their heads,
and to fix their eyes steadily on public affairs and
public characters. Questions of currency, of trade, of
the administration of justice and of patronage, were
earnestly discussed in the press and in society, and thus
by slow but gradually ascending steps, a spirit of
independence was promoted where hitherto only servility
had reigned.

The obligations of his cotemporaries to Swift are not to
be counted simply by what he was able to originate or to
advocate in their behalf--for not much could be done in
that way, in such times, and in such a position as his
--but rather in regard to the enemies and maligners of
that people, whom he exposed and punished. To understand
the value of his example and inspiration, we must read
over again his castigations of Wharton, of Burnet, of
Boulter, of Whitshed, of Allan, and all the leaders of
the oligarchy, in the Irish Parliament. When we have done
so, we shall see at once how his imperial reputation,
his personal position, and every faculty of his powerful
mind were employed alike to combat injustice and
proscription, to promote freedom of opinion and of trade,
to punish the abuses of judicial power, and to cultivate
and foster a spirit of self reliance and economy among
all classes--especially the humblest. In his times, and
in his position, with a cassock "entangling his course,"
what more could have been expected of him?

The Irish Parliament met in 1715--elected, according to
the then usage, for the lifetime of the King--commenced
its career by an act of attainder against the Pretender,
accompanied by a reward of 50,000 pounds for his
apprehension. The Lords-Justices, the Duke of Grafton
and the Earl of Galway, recommended in their speech to
the Houses, that they should cultivate such unanimity
among themselves as "at once to put an end to all other
distinctions in Ireland, but that of Protestant and
Papist." In the same speech, and in all the debates of
that reign, the Catholics were spoken of as "the common
enemy," and all who sympathized with them, as "enemies
of the constitution." But far as this Parliament was from
all our ideas of what a national legislature ought to
be, it was precisely at this period, when the administration
could not be worse, that the foundation was laid of the
great contest for legislative independence, which was to
continue through three generations, and to constitute
the main staple of the Irish history of this century.

In the year 1717, the English House of Lords entertained
and decided, as a court of last resort, an appeal from
the Irish courts, already passed on by the Irish Lords,
in the famous real-estate case of Annesley _versus_
Sherlock. The proceeding was novel, and was protested
against in the English House at the time by the Duke of
Leeds, and in the Irish, by the majority of the whole
House. But the British Parliament, not content with
claiming the power, proceeded to establish the principle,
by the declaratory act--6th George I.--for securing the
dependence of Ireland on the crown of Great Britain. This
statute, even more objectionable than the law of Poynings,
continued unrepealed till 1782, notwithstanding all the
arguments and all the protests of the Irish patriot party.
The Lords of Ireland, unsupported by the bigoted and
unprincipled oligarchy in the Commons, were shorn of
their appellate jurisdiction, and their journals for many
years contain few entries of business done, beyond servile
addresses to successive Viceroys, and motions of

In their session of 1723, the ascendancy party in the
Commons proceeded to their last extreme of violence
against the prostrate Catholics. An act was introduced
founded on eight resolutions, "further to prevent the
growth of Popery." One of these resolutions, regularly
transmitted to England by the Viceroy-proposed that every
priest, arrested within the realm, should suffer the
penalty of _castration_! For the first time, a penal law
was rejected with horror and indignation by the English
Privy Council, and the whole elaborate edifice, overweighted
with these last propositions, trembled to its base. But
though badly shaken, it was yet far from coming down.

"Do not the corruptions and villainies of men," said
Swift to his friend Delaney, "eat your flesh and exhaust
your spirits?" They certainly gnawed at the heart of the
courageous Dean, but at the same time, they excited rather
than exhausted his spirits. In 1720 he resumed his pen,
as a political writer, in his famous proposal "for the
universal use of Irish manufactures." Waters, the printer
of this piece, was indicted for a seditious libel, before
Chief-Justice Whitshed, the immortal "_coram nobis_" of
the Dean's political ballads. The jury were detained
eleven hours, and sent out nine times, to compel them to
agree on a verdict. They at length finally declared they
could not agree, and a _nol. pros_. was soon after
entered by the crown. This trial of Swift's printer in
1720, is the first of a long series of duels with the
crown lawyers, which the Irish press has since maintained
with as much firmness and self-sacrifice as any press
ever exhibited. And it may be said that never, not even
under martial law, was a conspicuous example of civic
courage more necessary, or more dangerous. Browne, Bishop
of Cork, had been in danger of deprivation for preaching
a sermon against the well-known toast to the memory of
King William; Swift was threatened, as we see, a few
years earlier, with personal violence by a Whig lord,
and pelted by a Protestant rabble, for his supposed
Jacobitism; his friend, Dr. Sheridan, lost his Munster
living for having accidentally chosen as his text, on
the anniversary of King George's coronation, "sufficient
for the day is the evil thereof." Such was the intolerance
of the oligarchy towards their own clergy. What must it
have been to others!

The attempt to establish a National Bank, and the
introduction of a debased copper coinage, for which a
patent had been, granted to one William Wood, next employed
the untiring pen of Swift. The halfpenny controversy,
was not, as is often said, a small matter; it was nearly
as important as the bank project itself. Of the 100,000
pounds worth coined, the intrinsic value was shown to be
not more than 6,000 pounds. Such was the storm excited
against the patentee, that his Dublin agents were obliged
to resign their connection with him, and the royal
letters-patent were unwillingly cancelled. The bank
project was also rejected by Parliament, adding another
to the triumphs of the invincible Dean.

During the last years of this reign, Swift was the most
powerful and popular person in Ireland, and perhaps in
the empire. The freedom with which he advised Carteret
the Viceroy, and remonstrated with Walpole, the Premier,
on the misrule of his country, was worthy of the ascendancy
of his genius. No man of letters, no churchman, no
statesman of any country in any age, ever showed himself
more thoroughly independent, in his intercourse with men
of office, than Swift. The vice of Ireland was exactly
the other way, so that in this respect also, the patriot
was the liberator.

Rising with the rise of public spirit, the great churchman,
in his fourth letter, in the assumed character of _M. B.
Drapier_, confronted the question of legislative
independence. Alluding to the pamphlet of Molyneux,
published thirty years before, he pronounced its arguments
invincible, and the contrary system "the very definition
of slavery." "The remedy," he concludes, addressing the
Irish people, "is wholly in your own hands, and therefore
I have digressed a little, in order to refresh and continue
that spirit so seasonably raised among you, and to let
you see, that, by the laws of God, of nature, of nations,
and of your country, _you are, and ought to be, as free
a people as your brethren in England_." For this letter
also, the printer, Harding, was indicted, but the Dublin
grand jury, infected with the spirit of the times,
unanimously ignored the bill. A reward of 300 pounds was
then issued from the castle for the discovery of the
author, but no informer could be found base enough to
betray him. For a time, however, to escape the ovations
he despised, and the excitement which tried his health,
Swift retired to his friend Sheridan's cottage on the
banks of Lough Ramor, in Cavan, and there recreated
himself with long rides about the country, and the
composition of the Travels of the immortal Gulliver.

Sir Robert Walpole, alarmed at the exhibition of popular
intelligence and determination evoked by Swift, committed
the government of Ireland to his rival, Lord Carteret--whom
he was besides not sorry to remove to a distance--and
appointed to the See of Armagh, which fell vacant about
the time of the currency dispute, Dr. Hugh Boulter, Bishop
of Bristol, one of his own creatures. This prelate, a
politician by taste and inclination, modelled his policy
on his patron's, as far as his more contracted sphere
and inferior talents permitted. To buy members in market
overt, with peerages, or secret service money, was his
chief means of securing a Parliamentary majority. An
Englishman by birth and education; the head of the
Protestant establishment in Ireland, it was inevitable
that his policy should be English and Protestant, in
every particular. To resist, depress, disunite, and
defeat the believers in the dangerous doctrines of Swift
and Molyneux, was the sole rule of his nearly twenty
years' political supremacy in Irish affairs. (1724-1742.)
The master of a princely income, endowed with strong
passions, unlimited patronage, and great activity, he
may be said to have reigned rather than led, even when
the nominal viceroyalty was in the hands of such able
and accomplished men as Lords Carteret, Dorset and
Devonshire. His failure in his first state trial, against
Harding the printer, nothing discouraged him; he had come
into Ireland to secure the English interest, by uprooting
the last vestiges of Popery and independence, and he
devoted himself to those objects with persevering
determination. In 1727--the year of George the First's
decease--he obtained the disfranchisement of Catholic
electors by a clause quietly inserted without notice in
a Bill regulating elections; and soon after he laid the
foundations of those nurseries of proselytism, "the
Charter Schools."



The accession of King George II. in 1727, led to no
considerable changes, either in England or Ireland. Sir
Robert Walpole continued supreme in the one country, and
Primate Boulter in the other. The Jacobites, disheartened
by their ill success in 1715, and repelled rather than
attracted by the austere character of him they called
King James III., made no sign. The new King's first act
was to make public the declaration he had addressed to
the Privy Council, of his firm resolution to uphold the
existing constitution "in church and state."

The Catholic population, beginning once more to raise
their heads, thought this a suitable occasion to present
a humble and loyal address of congratulation to the Lords
Justices, in the absence of the Viceroy. Lord Delvin and
several of their number accordingly appeared at the
Castle, and delivered their address, which they begged
might be forwarded to the foot of the throne. No notice
whatever was taken of this document, either at Dublin or
London, nor were the class who signed it permitted by
law to "testify their allegiance" to the sovereign, for
fifty years later--down to 1778.

The Duke of Dorset, who succeeded Lord Carteret as Viceroy
in 1731, unlike his immediate predecessor, refrained from
suggesting additional severities against the Catholics.
His first term of office--two years--was almost entirely
occupied with the fiercest controversy which had ever
waged in Ireland between the Established Church and the
Protestant Dissenters. The ground of the dispute was
the sacramental test, imposed by law upon the members of
both Houses, and all burgesses and councillors of corporate
towns. By the operations of this law, when rigidly
enforced, Presbyterians and other dissenters were as
effectually excluded from political and municipal offices
as Catholics themselves. Against this exclusion it was
natural that a body so numerous, and possessed of so much
property, especially in Ulster, should make a vigorous
resistance. Relying on the great share they had in the
revolution, they endeavoured, though ineffectually, to
obtain under King William the repeal of the Test Act of
King Charles II. Under Queen Anne they were equally
unsuccessful, as we may still read with interest in the
pages of Swift, De Foe, Tennison, Boyse, and King. Swift,
especially, brought to the controversy not only the zeal
of a churchman, but the prejudices of an Anglo-Irishman,
against the new-comers in the north. He upbraids them in
1708, as glad to leave then--barren hills of Lochaber
for the fruitful vales of Down and Antrim, for their
parsimony and their clannishness. He denied to them,
with bitter scorn, the title they had assumed of "Brother
Protestants," and as to the Papists, whom they affected
to despise, they were, in his opinion, as much superior
to the Dissenters, as a lion, though chained and clipped
of its claws, is a stronger and nobler animal than an
angry cat, at liberty to fly at the throats of true
churchmen. The language of the Presbyterian champions
was equally bold, denunciatory, and explicit. They broadly
intimated, in a memorial to Parliament, that under the
operation of the test, they would be unable to take up
arms again, as they had done in 1688, for the maintenance
of the Protestant succession; a covert menace of
insurrection, which Swift and their other opponents did
not fail to make the most of. Still farther to embarrass
them, Swift got up a paper making out a much stronger
case in favour of the Catholics than of "their brethren,
the Dissenters," and the controversy closed, for that
age, in the complete triumph of the established clergy.

This iniquitous deprivation of equal civil rights,
accompanied with the onerous burthen of tithes falling
heaviest on the cultivators of the soil, produced the
first great Irish exodus to the North American colonies.
The tithe of agistment or pasturage, lately abolished,
had made the tithe of tillage more unjust and unequal.
Outraged in their dearest civil and religious rights,
thousands of the Scoto-Irish of Ulster, and the Milesian
and Anglo-Irish of the other provinces, preferred to
encounter the perils of an Atlantic flitting rather than
abide under the yoke and lash of such an oligarchy. In
the year 1729, five thousand six hundred Irish landed at
the single port of Philadelphia; in the next ten years
they furnished to the Carolinas and Georgia the majority
of their immigrants; before the end of this reign, several
thousands of heads of families, all bred and married in
Ireland, were rearing up a free posterity along the slopes
of the Blue Ridge in Virginia and Maryland, and even as
far north as the valleys of the Hudson and the Merrimac.
In the ranks of the thirteen United Colonies, the
descendants of those Nonconformists were to repeat, for
the benefit of George III., the lesson and example their
ancestors had taught to James II. at Enniskillen and
at Derry.

Swift, with all his services to his own order, disliked,
and was disliked by them. Of the bishops he has recorded
his utter contempt in some of the most cutting couplets
that even he ever wrote. Boulter he detested; Narcissus
Marsh he despised; with Dr. King of Dublin, Dr. Bolton
of Cashel, and Dr. Horte of Tuam, he barely kept up
appearances. Except Sterne, Bishop of Clogher, Berkely,
Bishop of Cloyne, and Stopford, his successor, he
entertained neither friendship nor respect for one of
that order. And on their part, the right reverend prelates
cordially reciprocated his antipathy. They resisted his
being made a member of the Linen Board, a Justice of the
Peace, or a Visitor of Trinity College. Had he appeared
amongst them in Parliament as their peer, they would have
been compelled to accept him as a master, or combine
against him as an enemy. No wonder, then, that successive
Viceroys shrank from nominating him to any of the mitres
which death had emptied; "the original sin of his birth"
was aggravated in their eyes by the actual sin of his
patriotism. No wonder the sheets of paper that littered
his desk, before he sunk into his last sad scene of
dotage, were found scribbled all over with his favourite

   "Better we all were in our graves,
    Than live in slavery to slaves."

But the seeds of manly thought he had so broadly sown,
though for a season hidden even from the sight of the
sower, were not dead, nor undergoing decay. With something
of the prudence of the founder, "the Patriot party," as
the opposition to the Castle party began to be called,
occupied themselves at first with questions of taxation
and expenditure. In 1729, the Castle attempted to make
it appear that there was a deficit--that in short "the
country owed the government"--the large sum of 274,000
pounds! The Patriots met this claim, by a motion for
reducing the cost of all public establishments. This was
the chosen ground of both parties, and a more popularly
intelligible ground could not be taken. Between retrenchment
and extravagance, between high taxes and low, even the
least educated of the people could easily decide; and
thenceforward for upwards of twenty years, no session
was held without a spirited debate on the supplies, and
the whole subject of the public expenditure.

The Duke of Devonshire, who succeeded the Duke of Dorset
as Viceroy in 1737, contributed by his private munificence
and lavish hospitalities to throw a factitious popularity
round his administration. No Dublin tradesman could find
it in his heart to vote against the nominee of so liberal
a nobleman, and the public opinion of Dublin was as yet
the public opinion of Ireland. But the Patriot party,
though unable to stem successfully the tide of corruption
and seduction thus let loose, held their difficult position
in the legislature with great gallantry and ability.
New men had arisen during the dotage of Swift, who revered
his maxims, and imitated his prudence. Henry Boyle,
speaker of the House of Commons, afterwards Earl of
Shannon; Anthony Malone--son of the _confrere_ of Sir
Toby Butler, and afterwards Chancellor of the Exchequer,
Sir Edward O'Brien, member for Clare, and his son, Sir
Lucius, member for Ennis, were the pillars of the party.
Out of doors, the most active spirit among the Patriots
was Charles Lucas, a native of Clare, who, from his
apothecary's shop in Dublin, attempted, not without both
talents, zeal and energy, to play the part of Swift, at
the press and among the people. His public writings,
commenced in 1741, brought him at first persecution and
exile, but they afterwards conducted him to the
representation of the capital, and an honourable niche
in his country's history.

The great event which may be said to divide into two
epochs the reign of George II. was the daring invasion
of Scotland in 1745, by "the young Pretender"--Charles
Edward. This brave and unfortunate Prince, whose adventures
will live for ever in Scottish song and romance, was
accompanied from France by Sir Thomas Sheridan, Colonel
O'Sullivan, and other Irish refugees, still fondly attached
to the house of Stuart. It is not to be supposed that
these gentlemen would be without correspondents in Ireland,
nor that the state of that country could be a matter of
indifference to the astute advisers of King George. In
reality, Ireland was almost as much their difficulty as
Scotland, and their choice of a Viceroy, at this critical
moment, showed at once their estimate of the importance
of the position, and the talents of the man.

Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, a great
name in the world of fashion, in letters, and in diplomacy,
is especially memorable to us for his eight months'
viceroyalty over Ireland. That office had been long the
object of his ambition, and he could hardly have attained
it at a time better calculated to draw out his eminent
administrative abilities. By temper and conviction opposed
to persecution, he connived at Catholic worship under
the very walls of the Castle. The sour and jaundiced
bigotry of the local oligarchy he encountered with _bon
mots_ and raillery. The only "dangerous Papist" he had
seen in Ireland, he declared to the King on his return,
was a celebrated beauty of that religion--Miss Palmer.
Relying on the magical effect of doing justice to all
classes, and seeing justice done, he was enabled to spare
four regiments of troops for the war in Scotland, instead
of demanding additions to the Irish garrisons. But
whether to diminish the influence which his brilliant
administration had created in England, or through the
machinations of the oligarchy, still powerful at Dublin,
within ten days from the decisive battle of Culloden, he
was recalled. The fruits of his policy might be already
observed, as he walked on foot, his countess on his arm,
to the place of embarkation, amid the acclamations of
all ranks and classes of the people, and their affectionate
prayers for his speedy return.



The mention of the Scottish insurrection of 1745 brings
naturally with it another reference to the history of
the Irish soldiers in the military service of France.
This year was in truth the most eventful in the annals
of that celebrated legion, for while it was the year of
Fontenoy and victory on the one hand, it was on the other
the year of Culloden and defeat.

The decisive battle of Fontenoy, in which the Franco-Irish
troops bore so decisive a part, was fought on the 11th
of May, 1745. The French army, commanded by Saxe, and
accompanied by King Louis, leaving 18,000 men to besiege
Namur, and 6,000 to guard the Scheldt, took a position
between that river and the allies, having their centre
at the village of Fontenoy. The British and Dutch, under
the King's favourite son, the Duke of Cumberland, were
55,000 strong; the French 45,000. After a hard day's
fighting, victory seemed to declare so clearly against
France, that King Louis, who was present, prepared for
flight. At this moment Marshal Saxe ordered a final charge
by the seven Irish regiments under Counts Dillon and
Thomond. The tide was turned, beyond expectation, to the
cry of "Remember Limerick!" France was delivered, England
checked, and Holland reduced from a first to a second-rate
power upon that memorable day. But the victory was dearly
bought. One-fourth of all the Irish officers, including
Count Dillon, were killed, and one-third of all the men.
The whole number slain on the side of France was set down
at 7,000 by English accounts, while they admitted for
themselves alone, 4,000 British and 3,300 Hanoverians
and Dutch. "Foremost of all," says the just-minded Lord
Mahon, "were the gallant brigade of Irish exiles." It
was this defeat of his favourite son which wrung from
King George II. the oft-quoted malediction on the laws
which deprived him of such subjects.

The expedition of Prince Charles Edward was undertaken
and conducted by Irish aid, quite as much as by French
or Scottish. The chief parties to it, besides the old
Marquis of Tullibardine and the young Duke of Perth, were
the Waterses, father and son, Irish bankers at Paris,
who advanced one hundred and eighty thousand livres
between them; Walsh, an Irish merchant at Nantz, who put
a privateer of eighteen guns into the venture; Sir Thomas
Geraldine, the Pretender's agent at Paris; Sir Thomas
Sheridan, the prince's preceptor, who, with Colonels
O'Sullivan and Lynch, Captain O'Neil, and other officers
of the brigade, formed the staff, on which Sir John
McDonald, a Scottish officer in the Spanish service, was
also placed. Fathers Kelly and O'Brien volunteered in
the expedition. On the 22nd of June, 1745, with seven
friends, the prince embarked in Walsh's vessel, the
Doutelle, at St. Nazaire, on the Loire, and on the 19th
of July, landed on the northern coast of Scotland, near
Moidart. The Scottish chiefs, little consulted or considered
beforehand, came slowly and dubiously to the landing-place.
Under their patriarchal control there were still in the
kingdom about a hundred thousand men, and about one-twelfth
of the Scottish population. Clanronald, Cameron of Lochiel,
the Laird of McLeod, and a few others, having arrived,
the royal standard was unfurled on the 19th of August at
Glenfinin, where that evening twelve hundred men--the
entire army so far--were formed into camp, under the
orders of O'Sullivan. From that day until the day of
Culloden, O'Sullivan seems to have manoeuvred the prince's
forces. At Perth, at Edinburgh, at Preston, at Manchester,
at Culloden, he took command in the field, or in garrison;
and even after the sad result, he adhered to his sovereign's
son with an honourable fidelity which defied despair.

Charles, on his part, placed full confidence in his Irish
officers. In his proclamation after the battle of Preston,
he declared it was not his intention to enforce on the
people of England, Scotland, or Ireland, "a religion they
disliked." In a subsequent paper, he asks, "Have you
found reason to love and cherish your governors as the
fathers of the people of Great Britain and Ireland? Has
a family upon whom a faction unlawfully bestowed the
diadem of a rightful prince, retained a due sense of so
great a trust and favour?" These and his other proclamations
betrayed an Irish pen; probably Sir Thomas Sheridan's.
One of Charles's English adherents, Lord Elcho, who kept
a journal of the campaign, notes, complainingly, the
Irish influence under which he acted. "The prince and
his old governor, Sir Thomas Sheridan," are especially
objected to, and the "Irish favourites" are censured in
a body. While at Edinburgh, a French ship, containing
some arms, supplies, and "Irish officers," arrived; at
the same time efforts were made to recruit for the prince
in Ireland; but the agents being taken in some cases,
the channel narrowly watched, and the people not very
eager to join the service, few recruits were obtained.

The Irish in France, as if to cover the inaction of their
countrymen at home, strained every nerve. The Waterses
and O'Brien of Paris were liberal bankers to the expedition.
Into their hands James "exhausted his treasury" to support
his gallant son. At Fontainebleau, on the 23rd of October,
Colonel O'Brien, on the part of the prince, and the
Marquis D'Argeusson for Louis XV., formed a treaty of
"friendship and alliance," one of the clauses of which
was, that certain Irish regiments, and other French
troops, should be sent to sustain the expedition. Under
Lord John Drummond a thousand men were shipped from
Dunkirk, and arrived at Montrose in the Highlands about
the time Charles had penetrated as far south as Manchester.
The officers, with the prince, here refused to advance
on London with so small a force; a retreat was decided
on; the sturdy defence of Carlisle, and victory of Falkirk,
checked the pursuit; but the overwhelming force of the
Duke of Cumberland compelled them to evacuate Edinburgh,
Perth, and Glasgow--operations which consumed February,
March, and the first half of April, 1746.

The next plan of operations seems to have been to
concentrate in the western Highlands, with Inverness for
head-quarters. The town Charles easily got, but
Fort-George, a powerful fortress, built upon the site of
the castle where Macbeth was said to have murdered Duncan,
commanded the Loch. Stapleton and his Irish, captured
it, however, as well as the neighbouring Fort-Augustus.
Joined by some Highlanders, they next attempted
Fort-William, the last fortress of King George in the
north, but on the 3rd of April were recalled to the
main body.

To cover Inverness, his head-quarters, Charles resolved
to give battle. The ground chosen, flanked by the river
Nairn, was spotted with marsh and very irregular; it was
called Culloden, and was selected by O'Sullivan. Brigadier
Stapleton and Colonel Kerr reported against it as a field
of battle; but Charles adopted O'Sullivan's opinion of
its fitness for Highland warfare. When the preparations
for battle began, "many voices exclaimed, 'We'll give
Cumberland another Fontenoy!'" The Jacobites were placed
in position by O'Sullivan, "at once their adjutant and
quarter-master-general," and, as the burghers of Preston
thought, "a very likely fellow." He formed two lines,
the great clans being in the first, the Ogilvies, Gordons,
and Murrays; the French and Irish in the second. Four
pieces of cannon flanked each wing, and four occupied
the centre. Lord George Murray commanded the right wing,
Lord John Drummond the left, and Brigadier Stapleton the
reserve. They mustered in all less than five thousand
men. The British formed in three lines, ten thousand
strong, with two guns between every second regiment of
the first and second line. The action commenced about
noon of April 16th, and before evening half the troops
of Prince Charles lay dead on the field, and the rest
were hopelessly broken. The retreat was pell-mell, except
where "a troop of the Irish pickets, by a spirited fire,
checked the pursuit, which a body of dragoons commenced
after the Macdonalds, and Lord Lewis Gordon's regiments
did similar service." Stapleton conducted the French and
Irish remnant to Inverness, and obtained for them by
capitulation "fair quarter and honourable treatment."

The unhappy prince remained on the field almost to the
last. "It required," says Mr. Chambers, "all the
eloquence, and, indeed, all the active exertion, of
O'Sullivan to make Charles quit the field. A cornet in
his service, when questioned on this subject at the point
of death, declared he saw O'Sullivan, after using entreaties
in vain, turn the head of the prince's horse and drag
him away."

From that night forth, O'Sullivan, O'Neil, and a poor
sedan carrier of Edinburgh, called Burke, accompanied
him in all his wanderings and adventures among the Scottish
islands. At Long Island they were obliged to part company,
the prince proceeding alone with Miss Flora McDonald. He
had not long left, when a French cutter hove in sight
and took off O'Sullivan, intending to touch at another
point, and take in the prince and O'Neil. The same night
she was blown off the coast, and the prince, after many
other adventures, was finally taken off at Badenoch, on
the 15th of September, 1746, by the L'Heureux, a French
armed vessel, in which Captain Sheridan (son of Sir
Thomas), Mr. O'Beirne, a lieutenant in the French army,
"and two other gentlemen," had adventured in search of
him. Poor O'Neil, in seeking to rejoin his master, was
taken prisoner, carried to London, and is lost from the
record. O'Sullivan reached France safely, where, with
Stapleton, Lynch, and the Irish and Scotch officers, he
was welcomed and honoured of all brave men.

Such was the last struggle of the Stuarts. For years
after, the popular imagination in both countries clung
fondly to Prince Charles. But the cause was dead. As if
to bury it for ever, Charles, in despair, grew dissipated
and desponding. In 1755, "the British Jacobites" sent
Colonel McNamara, as their agent, to induce him to put
away his mistress, Miss Walsingham, a demand with which
he haughtily refused to comply. In 1766, when James III.
died at Avignon, the French king and the Pope refused to
acknowledge the prince by the title of Charles III. When
the latter died, in 1788, at Rome, Cardinal York contented
himself with having a medal struck, with the inscription
"Henricus IX., Anglae Rex." He was the last of the Stuarts.

Notwithstanding the utter defeat of the Scottish expedition,
and the scatterment of the surviving companies of the
brigade on all sorts of service from Canada to India,
there were many of the exiled Irish in France, who did
not yet despair of a national insurrection against the
house of Hanover. In the year 1759, an imposing expedition
was fitted out at Brest under Admiral Conflaus, and
another at Dunkirk, under Commodore Thurot, whose real
name was O'Farrell. The former, soon after putting to
sea, was encountered at Quiberon by the English under
Hawke, and completely defeated; but the latter entered
the British channel unopposed, and proceeded to the
appointed _rendezvous_. While cruising in search of
Conflaus, the autumnal equinox drove the intrepid Thurot
into the Northern ocean, and compelled him to winter
among the frozen friths of Norway and the Orkneys. One
of his five frigates returned to France, another was
never heard of, but with the remaining three he emerged
from the Scottish Islands, and entered Lough Foyle early
in 1760. He did not, however, attempt a landing at Derry,
but appeared suddenly before Carrickfergus, on the 21st
of February, and demanded its surrender. Placing himself
at the head of his marines and sailors, he attacked the
town, which, after a brave resistance by the commandant,
Colonel Jennings, he took by assault. Here, for the first
time, this earlier Paul Jones heard of the defeat of his
admiral; after levying contributions on the rich burgesses
and proprietors of Carrickfergus and Belfast, he again
put to sea. His ships, battered by the wintry storms
which they had undergone in northern latitudes, fell in
near the Isle of Man with three English frigates, just
out of port, under Commodore Elliott. A gallant action
ensued, in which Thurot, or O'Farrell, and three hundred
of his men were killed. The survivors struck to the
victors, and the French ships were towed in a sinking
state, into the port of Ramsey.

The life thus lost in the joint service of France and
Ireland, was a life illustrative of the Irish refugee
class among whom he became a leader. Left an orphan in
childhood, O'Farrell, though of a good family, had been
bred in France in so menial a condition that he first
visited England as a domestic servant. From that condition
he rose to be a dexterous and successful captain in the
contraband trade, so extensive in those times. In this
capacity he visited almost every port of either channel,
acquiring that accurate knowledge which, added to his
admitted bravery and capacity, placed him at length at
the head of a French squadron. "Throughout the expedition,"
says Lord Mahon, "the honour and humanity of this brave
adventurer are warmly acknowledged by his enemies." "He
fought his ship," according to the same author, "until
the hold was almost filled with water, and the deck
covered with dead bodies."



The Earl of Harrington, afterwards Duke of Devonshire,
succeeded Lord Chesterfield in the government, in 1746.
He was provided with a prime minister in the person of
the new Archbishop of Armagh, Dr. George Stone, whose
character, if he was not exceedingly calumniated by his
cotemporaries, might be compared to that of the worst
politicians of the worst ages of Europe. Originally, the
son of the jailer of Winchester, he had risen by dint of
talents, and audacity, to receive from the hands of his
sovereign, the illustrious dignity of Primate of Ireland.
But even in this exalted office, the abominable vices of
his youth accompanied him. His house at Leixlip, was at
once a tavern and a brothel, and crimes, which are
nameless, were said to be habitual under his roof. "May
the importation of Ganymedes into Ireland, be soon
discontinued," was the public toast, which disguised
under the transparent gauze of a mythological allusion,
the infamies of which he was believed to be the patron.
The prurient page of Churchill was not quite so scrupulous,
and the readers of the satire entitled "The Times," will
need no further key to the horrible charges commonly
received on both sides of the channel, against Primate

The viceroyalty of Ireland, which had become an object
of ambition to the first men in the empire, was warmly
contested by the Earl of Harrington and the Duke of
Dorset. The former, through his Stanhope influence and
connections, prevailed over his rival, and arrived in
Ireland, warmly recommended by the popular Chesterfield.
During his administration, Primate Stone, proceeding from
one extreme to another, first put forward the dangerous
theory, that all surplus revenue belonged of right to
the crown, and might be paid over by the Vice-Treasurers,
to his majesty's order, without authority of Parliament.
At this period, notwithstanding the vicious system of
her land tenures, and her recent losses by emigration,
Ireland found herself in possession of a considerable
surplus revenue.

Like wounds and bruises in a healthy body, the sufferings
and deprivations of the population rapidly disappeared
under the appearance even of improvement in the government.
The observant Chesterfield, who continued through life
warmly attached to the country in which his name was
remembered with so much affection, expresses to his
friend, Chevenix, Bishop of Waterford, in 1751, his
satisfaction at hearing "that Ireland improves daily,
and that a spirit of industry spreads itself, to the
great increase of trade and manufactures." This new-born
prosperity the Primate and politicians of his school
would have met by an annual depletion of the treasury,
instead of assisting its march by the reduction of taxes,
and the promotion of necessary public works. The surplus
was naturally regarded, by the Patriot party, in the
light of so much national capital; they looked upon it
as an improvement fund, for the construction of canals,
highways, and breakwaters, for the encouragement of the
linen and other manufactures, and for the adornment of
the capital with edifices worthy of the chief city of a
flourishing kingdom.

The leader of the Patriot party, Anthony Malone, was
compared at this period, by an excellent authority, to
"a great sea in a calm." He was considered, even by the
fastidious Lord Shelburne, the equal, in oratory, of
Chatham and Mansfield. He seems to have at all times,
however, sunk the mere orator in the statesman, and to
have used his great powers of argument even more in
Council than in the arena. His position at the bar, as
Prime Sergeant, by which he took precedence even of the
Attorney-General, gave great weight to his opinions on
all questions of constitutional law. The roystering
country gentlemen, who troubled their heads but little
with anything besides dogs and horses, pistols and claret,
felt secure in their new-fledged patriotism, under the
broad aegis of the law extended over them by the most
eminent lawyer of his age. The Speaker of the Commons,
Henry Boyle, aided and assisted Malone, and when left
free to combat on the floor, his high spirit and great
fortune gave additional force to his example and confidence
to his followers. Both were men too cautious to allow
their adversaries any parliamentary advantage over them,
but not so their intrepid coadjutor out of doors, Apothecary
Lucas. He, like Swift, rising from local and municipal
grievances to questions affecting the constitution of
Parliament itself, was in 1749, against all the efforts
of his friends in the House of Commons, declared by the
majority of that House to be "an enemy to his country,"
and a reward was accordingly issued for his apprehension.
For a time he was compelled to retire to England; but he
returned, to celebrate in his Freeman's Journal the
humiliation of the primate, and the defeat of the policy
both of Lord Harrington, and his successor, the Duke of

This nobleman, resolved to cast his predecessor into the
shade by the brilliancy of his success, proceeded to take
vigorous measures against the patriots. In his first
speech to Parliament in 1751, he informed them his Majesty
"consented" to the appropriation of the surplus revenue,
by the House of Commons, and a clause was added to the
annual supply bill in the English Council, containing
the same obnoxious word, "consent." On this occasion,
not feeling themselves strong enough to throw out the
bill, and there being no alternative but rejection or
acceptance, the Patriots permitted it to pass under
protest. But the next session, when a similar addition
was made, the Commons rejected the supply bill altogether,
by a majority of 122 to 117. This was a measure of almost
revolutionary consequence, since it left every branch of
the public service unprovided for, for the ensuing twelve

Both the advisers of the King in England, and the Viceroy
in Ireland, seemed by their insane conduct as if they
desired to provoke such a collision. Malone's patent of
precedence as Prime Sergeant was cancelled; the speaker
was dismissed from the Privy Council, and the surplus
revenue was withdrawn from the Vice-Treasurer, by a King's
letter. The indignation of the Dubliners at these outrages
rose to the utmost pitch. Stone, Healy, Hutchinson, and
others of the Castle party, were waylaid and menaced in
the streets, and the Viceroy himself hooted wherever he
appeared. Had the popular leaders been men less cautious,
or less influential, the year 1753 might have witnessed
a violent revolutionary movement. But they planted
themselves on the authority of the constitution, they
united boldness with prudence, and they triumphed. The
Primate and his creatures raised against them in vain
the cuckoo cry of disloyalty, both in Dublin and London.
The English Whigs, long engaged themselves in a similar
struggle with the overgrown power of the crown, sympathized
with the Irish opposition, and defended their motives
both in society and in Parliament. The enemies of the
Dorset family as naturally took their part, and the duke
himself was obliged to go over to protect his interest
at court, leaving the odious Primate as one of the
Lords-Justices. At his departure his guards were hardly
able to protect him from the fury of the populace, to
that waterside to which Chesterfield had walked on foot,
seven years before, amid the benedictions of the same

The Patriots had at this crisis a great addition to their
strength, in the accession of James, the twentieth Earl
of Kildare, successively Marquis and Duke of Leinster.
This nobleman, in the prime of life, married to the
beautiful Emily Lennox, daughter of the Duke of Richmond,
followed Dorset to England, and presented to the King,
with his own hand, one of the boldest memorials ever
addressed to a sovereign by a subject. After reciting
the past services of his family in maintaining the imperial
connection, he declared himself the organ of several
thousands of his Majesty's liege subjects, "as well the
nobles as the clergy, the gentry, and the commonalty of
the kingdom." He dwells on the peculation and extravagance
of the administration, under "the Duumvirate" of the
Viceroy and the Primate, which he compares with the league
of Strafford and Laud. He denounces more especially Lord
George Sackville, son to Dorset, for his intermeddling
in every branch of administration. He speaks of Dr. Stone
as "a greedy churchman, who affects to be a second Wolsey
in the senate." This high-toned memorial struck with
astonishment the English ministers, who did not hesitate
to hint, that, in a reign less merciful, it would not
have passed with impunity. In Ireland it raised the hardy
earl to the pinnacle of popular favour. A medal was struck
in his honour, representing him guarding a heap of treasure
with a drawn sword, and the motto--"Touch not, says
Kildare." At the opening of the next Parliament, he was
a full hour making his way among the enthusiastic crowd,
from his house in Kildare street to College Green. In
little more than a year, the Duke of Dorset, whom English
ministers had in vain endeavoured to sustain, was removed,
and the Primate, by his Majesty's orders, was struck
from the list of privy counsellors.

Lord Harrington, now Duke of Devonshire, replaced the
disgraced and defeated Dorset, and at once surrounded
himself with advisers from the ranks of the opposition.
The Earl of Kildare was his personal and political friend,
and his first visit, on arriving, was paid at Carton.
The Speaker, Mr. Boyle, the Earl of Bessborough, head of
the popular family of the Ponsonbys, and Mr. Malone, were
called to the Privy Council. Lucas, exalted rather than
injured by years of exile, was elected one of the members
for the city of Dublin, and the whole face of affairs
promised a complete and salutary change of administration.

After a year in office, Devonshire returned to England
in ill-health, leaving Lord Kildare as one of the Justices,
an office which he continued to fill, till the arrival
in September, 1756, of John, fourth Duke of Bedford, as
Lord-Lieutenant, with Mr. Rigby, "a good four bottle
man," as chief secretary.

The instructions of the Duke of Bedford, dictated by the
genius and wisdom of Chatham, were, to employ "all
softening and healing arts of government." His own desire,
as a Whig, at the head of the Whig families of England,
was to unite and consolidate the same party in Ireland,
so as to make them a powerful auxiliary force to the
English Whigs. Consistently with this design, lie wished
well to the country he was sent to rule, and was sincerely
desirous of promoting measures of toleration. But he
found the Patriots distracted by success, and disorganized
by the possession of power. The Speaker, who had struggled
so successfully against his predecessors, was in the
Upper House as Earl of Shannon, and the chair of the
Commons was filled by John Ponsonby, of the Bessborough
family. The Ponsonby following, and the Earl of Kildare's
friends were at this period almost as much divided from
each other in their views of public policy, as either
were from the party of the Primate. The Ponsonby party,
still directed by Malone, wished to follow up the recent
victory on the money bills, by a measure of Catholic
relief, a tax upon absentees, and a reduction of the
pension list, shamelessly burthened beyond all former
proportion. Lord Kildare and his friends were not then
prepared to go such lengths, though that high spirited
nobleman afterwards came into most of these measures.
After endeavouring in vain to unite, these two interests,
the Duke of Bedford found, or fancied himself compelled,
in order to secure a parliamentary majority, to listen
to the overtures of the, obsequious Primate, to restore
him to the Council, and to leave him, together with his
old enemy, Lord Shannon, in the situation of joint
administrators, during his journey to England, in 1758.
The Earl of Kildare, it should be remarked, firmly refused
to be associated with Stone, on any terms, or for any
time, long or short.

The closing of this important reign is notable for the
first Catholic meeting held since the reign of Queen
Anne. In the spring of 1757, four hundred respectable
gentlemen attended by mutual agreement, at Dublin, among
whom were Lords Devlin, Taafe, and Fingal, the antiquary,
Charles O'Conor, of Balanagar, the historian of the _Civil
Wars_, Dr. Curry, and Mr. Wyse, a merchant of Waterford,
the ancestor of a still better known labourer in the same
cause. The then recent persecution of Mr. Saul, a Dublin
merchant, of their faith, for having harboured a young
lady whose friends wished to coerce her into a change of
religion, gave particular significance to this assembly.
It is true the proceedings were characterized by caution
amounting almost to timidity, but the unanimous declaration
of their loyal attachment to the throne, at a moment when
French invasion was imminent, produced the best effect,
and greatly strengthened the hands of the Clanbrassils,
Ponsonbys, Malones, Dalys, and other advocates of an
enlarged toleration in both Houses. It is true no immediate
legislation followed, but the way was prepared for future
ameliorations by the discretion and tact of the Catholic
delegates of 1757. They were thenceforth allowed at least
the right of meeting and petitioning, of which they had
long been deprived, and the restoration of which marks
the first step in their gradual recovery of their civil

In 1759 a rumour broke out in Dublin that a legislative
union was in contemplation by the Primate and his faction.
On the 3rd of December, the citizens rose _en masse_,
and surrounded the Houses of Parliament. They stopped
the carriages of members, and obliged them to swear
opposition to such a measure. Some of the Protestant
bishops, and the Lord Chancellor were roughly handled;
a privy counsellor was thrown into the river; the Attorney
General was wounded and obliged to take refuge in the
college; Lord Inchiquin was abused till he said his name
was O'Brien, when the rage of the people "was turned into
acclamations." The Speaker, Mr. Ponsonby, and the Chief
Secretary, Mr. Rigby, had to appear in the porch of the
House of Commons, solemnly to assure the citizens that
no union was dreamed of, and if it was proposed, that
they would be the first to resist it. Public spirit had
evidently grown bold and confident, and we can well
believe Secretary Rigby when he writes to the elder Pitt,
that "the mob" declared, "since they have no chance of
numbers in the House, they must have recourse to numbers
out of doors."



George III., grandson of the late king, commenced, in
October, 1760, at the age of two and twenty, the longest
reign in British history. Including the period of the
regency, he reigned over his empire nearly sixty years
--an extraordinary term of royal power, and quite as
extraordinary for its events as for its extreme length.

The great movement of the Irish mind, at the beginning
of this reign, was the limitation of the duration of
Parliament, hitherto elected for the King's life. This
reform, long advocated out of doors, and by the more
progressive members within the House, was reserved for
the new Parliament under the new reign. To this Parliament
were returned several men of great promise, men of a new
generation, nurtured in the school of Swift and Malone,
but going even beyond their masters in their determination
to liberate the legislature of their country from the
undue influence of the crown and the castle. Among those
new members were three destined to national celebrity,
Dr. Lucas, Mr. Hussey Burgh, and Mr. Dennis Bowes Daly;
and one destined to universal reputation--Henry Flood.
This gentleman, the son of a former Chief Justice,
intermarried into the powerful oligarchical family of
the Beresfords, was only in his 28th year when first
elected member for Kilkenny; but, in point of genius and
acquirements, he was even then the first man in Ireland,
and one of the first in the empire. For a session or two
he silently observed the forms of the House, preparing
himself for the great contest to come; but when at last
he obtained the ear of his party he was heard to some
purpose. Though far from advocating extreme measures,
he had abundant boldness; he was not open to the objection
levelled against the leader of the past generation, Mr.
Malone, of whom Grattan said, "he was a colony-bred man,
and he feared to bring down England upon Ireland."

The Duke of Bedford vacated the viceroyalty in 1761, and
Lord Halifax took his place. In the first parliamentary
session, Dr. Lucas introduced his resolutions limiting
the duration of Parliament to seven years, a project
which Flood afterwards adopted and mainly contributed to
carry. The heads of the bill embodying these resolutions
were transmitted to London by the Lord-Lieutenant, but
never returned. In 1763, under the government of the
Marquis of Hertford, similar resolutions were introduced
and carried, but a similar fate awaited them. Again they
were passed, and again rejected, the popular dissatisfaction
rising higher and higher with every delay of the reform.
At length, in the session of 1767, "the Septennial Bill,"
as it was called, was returned from England, changed to
octennial, and with this alteration it passed into law,
in February, 1768. A new Parliament the same year was
elected under the new act, to which all the friends of
the measure were triumphantly returned. The faithful
Lucas, however, survived his success little better than
two years; he died amid the very sincere regrets of all
men who were not enemies of their country. At his funeral
the pall was borne by the Marquis of Kildare, Lord
Charlemont, Mr. Flood, Mr. Hussey Burgh, Sir Lucius
O'Brien, and Mr. Ponsonby.

Lord Halifax, and his chief secretary, Mr. Hamilton (known
to us as "the single-speech Hamilton," of literary
history), received very graciously the loyal addresses
presented by the Catholics, soon after his Majesty's
accession. In a speech from the throne, the Viceroy
proposed, but was obliged to abandon the proposition, to
raise six regiments of Catholics, under their own officers,
to be taken into the service of Portugal, the ally of
Great Britain. His administration was otherwise remarkable
neither for its length nor its importance; nor is there
anything else of consequence to be mentioned of his
lordship, except that his nephew, and chief secretary,
had the honour to have Edmund Burke for his private
secretary, and the misfortune to offend him.

During the government of the Marquis of Hertford, and
his successor, Lord Townsend (appointed in 1768), the
Patriot party contended on the ground of rendering the
judges independent, diminishing the pension list, and
modifying the law of Poynings, requiring heads of bills
to be sent into England, and certified by both Privy
Councils, before they could be passed upon by the
legislature. The question of supply, and that of the
duration of Parliament, being settled, these reforms were
the next objects of exertion. When we know that the late
King's mistresses, the Queen Dowager of Prussia, Prince
Ferdinand, and other connections of the royal family,
equally alien to the country, were pensioners to the
amount of thousands of pounds annually on the Irish
establishment, we can understand more clearly the bitterness
of the battle Mr. Flood and his colleagues were called
upon to fight in assailing the old system. But they fought
it resolutely and perseveringly. Death had removed their
most unscrupulous enemy, Primate Stone, during the Hertford
administration, and the improved tone and temper of public
opinion would not tolerate any attempt to raise up a
successor of similar character. Lord Townsend, an old
campaigner and _bon vivant_, was expressly chosen as most
capable of restoring the old system of government by
closeting and corruption, but he found the Ireland of
his day very materially altered from the defenceless
province, which Stone and Dorset had attempted to cajole
or to coerce, twenty years before.

The Parliament of 1769--the first limited Parliament
which Ireland had seen since the revolution--proved, in
most respects, worthy of the expectations formed of it.
John Ponsonby was chosen Speaker, and Flood regarded,
around him, well-filled benches and cheering countenances.
The usual supply bill was passed and sent up to the
castle, but on its return from England was found to be
altered--15,000 men, among other changes, being charged
to the Irish military establishment, instead of 12,000,
as formerly. The Commons, resolute to assert their rights,
threw out the bill, as had been done in 1753, and the
Lord Lieutenant, protesting in the House of Lords against
their conduct, ordered them to be prorogued. Prorogation
followed prorogation, till February, 1771, the interval
being occupied in closeting and coquetting with members
of the opposition, in the creation of new places, and
the disposal of them to the relatives of those capable
of being bought. No one was surprised, when the Houses
reassembled, to find that a bare majority of the Commons
voted a fulsome address of confidence to the Lord
Lieutenant. But this address, Speaker Ponsonby indignantly
refused to present. He preferred resignation to disgrace,
and great was the amazement and indignation when his
friend, Mr. Perry, elected by a bare majority, consented
to take the post--no longer a post of honour. In justice
to Mr, Perry, however, it must be added, that in the
chair as on the floor of Parliament, he still continued
the patriot--that if he advanced his own fortunes, it
was not at the expense of the country--that some of the
best measures passed by this and the subsequent Parliament,
owed their final success, if not their first suggestion,
to his far-seeing sagacity.

The methods taken by Lord Townsend to effect his ends,
not less than those ends themselves, aroused the spirit
and combined the ranks of the Irish opposition. The press
of Dublin teemed with philippics and satires, upon his
creatures and himself. The wit, the scholarship, the
elegant fancy, the irresistible torrent of eloquence, as
well as the popular enthusiasm, were against him, and in
1772, borne down by these combined forces, he confessed
his failure by resigning the sword of state into the
hands of Lord Harcourt.

The new Viceroy, according to custom, began his reign by
taking an exactly opposite course to his predecessor,
and ended it by falling into nearly the same errors and
abuses. He suggested an Absentee-tax, which was introduced
by Flood, but rejected through the preponderating influence
of the landed aristocracy. In preparing the tables of
expenditure, he had caused arrears amounting to 265,000
pounds, and an annual increase of 100,000 pounds, to be
added to the estimates. Moreover, his supply bill was
discovered, at the second reading, to extend over _two
years_ instead of one--a discovery which occasioned the
greatest indignation. Flood raised his powerful voice in
warning, not unmingled with menace; Burgh declared, that
if any member should again bring in such a bill, he would
himself move his expulsion from the House; while George
Ogle, member for Wexford, proposed that the bill itself
should be burned before the porch, by the common hangman.
He was reminded that the instrument bore the great seal;
to which he boldly answered, that the seal would help to
make it burn the better. It was not thought politic to
take notice of this revolutionary retort.


1760 AND 1776.

England was engaged in two great wars during the period
of Flood's supremacy in the Irish Parliament--the seven
years' war, concluded by the peace of Paris in 1763, and
the American war, concluded by the treaty of Versailles,
in 1783. To each of these wars Ireland was the second
largest contributor both as to men and money; and by both
she was the severest sufferer, in her manufactures, her
provision trade, and her general prosperity. While army
contracts, and all sorts of military and naval expenditure
in a variety of ways returned to the people of England
the produce of their taxes, the Irish had no such
compensation for the burdens imposed on their more limited
resources. The natural result was, that that incipient
prosperity which Chesterfield hailed with pleasure in
1751, was arrested in its growth, and fears began to be
seriously entertained that the country would be driven
back to the lamentable condition from which it had slowly
and laboriously emerged during the reign of George II.

The absence of employment in the towns threw the labouring
classes more and more upon the soil for sustenance, while
the landlord legislation of the period threw them as
helplessly back upon other pursuits than agriculture.
Agrarian injustice was encountered by conspiracy, and
for the first time in these pages, we have to record the
introduction of the diabolical machinery of secret
oath-bound associations among the Irish peasantry. Of
the first of these combinations in the southern counties,
a cotemporary writer gives the following account: "Some
landlords in Munster," he says, "have let their lands to
cotters far above their value, and, to lighten their
burden, allowed commonange to their tenants by way of
recompense: afterwards, in despite of all equity, contrary
to all compacts, the landlords enclosed these commons,
and precluded their unhappy tenants from the only means
of making their bargains tolerable." The peasantry of
Waterford, Cork, and other southern counties met in
tumultuous crowds, and demolished the new enclosures.
The oligarchical majority took their usual cue on such
occasions: they pronounced, at once, that the cause of
the riots was "treason against the state;" they even
obtained a select committee to "inquire into the cause
and progress of the Popish insurrection in Munster."
Although the London Gazette, on the authority of royal
commissioners, declared that the rioters "consisted
indiscriminately of persons of different persuasions,"
the Castle party would have it "another Popish plot."
Even Dr. Lucas was carried away by the passions of the
hour, and declaimed against all lenity, as cowardly and

A large military force, under the Marquis of Drogheda,
was accordingly despatched to the south. The Marquis
fixed his head-quarters at Clogheen, in Tipperary, the
parish priest of which was the Rev. Nicholas Sheehy. The
magistracy of the county, especially Sir Thomas Maude,
William Bagnel, John Bagwell, Daniel Toler, and Parson
Hewitson, were among the chief maintainers of the existence
of a Popish plot, to bring in the French and the Pretender.
Father Sheehy had long been fixed upon as their victim:
largely connected with the minor gentry, educated in
France, young, popular, eloquent and energetic, a stern
denouncer of the licentious lives of the squires, and of
the exacting tithes of the parsons, he was particularly
obnoxious. In 1763 he was arrested on a charge of high
treason, for drilling and enrolling Whiteboys, but was
acquitted. Towards the close of that year, Bridge, one
of the late witnesses against him, suddenly disappeared.
A charge of murder was then laid against the priest of
Clogheen, and a prostitute named Dunlea, a vagrant lad
named Lonergan, and a convicted horse stealer called
Toohey, were produced in evidence against him, after he
had lain nearly a year in prison, heavily fettered. On
the 12th of March, 1765, he was tried at Clonmel, on this
evidence; and notwithstanding an _alibi_ was proved, he
was condemned, and beheaded on the third day afterwards.
Beside the old ruined church of Shandraghan, his well-worn
tomb remains till this day. He died in his thirty-eighth
year. Two months later, Edward Sheehy, his cousin, and
two respectable young farmers, named Buxton and Farrell,
were executed under a similar charge, and upon the same
testimony. All died with religious firmness and composure.
The fate of their enemies is notorious; with a single
exception, they met deaths violent, loathsome, and
terrible. Maude died insane, Bagwell in idiocy, one of
the jury committed suicide, another was found dead in a
privy, a third was killed by his horse, a fourth was
drowned, a fifth shot, and so through the entire list.
Toohey was hanged for felony, the prostitute Dunlea fell
into a cellar and was killed, and the lad Lonergan, after
enlisting as a soldier, died of a loathsome disease in
a Dublin infirmary.

In 1767, an attempt to revive the plot was made by the
Munster oligarchy, without success. Dr. McKenna, Bishop
of Cloyne, was arrested but enlarged; Mr. Nagle, of
Garnavilla (a relative of Edmund Burke), Mr. Robert
Keating, and several respectable Catholic gentlemen, were
also arrested. It appears that Edmund Burke was charged
by the ascendancy party with having "sent his brother
Richard, recorder of Bristol, and Mr. Nagle, a relation,
on a mission to Munster, to levy money on the Popish body
for the use of the Whiteboys, who were exclusively
Papists." The fact was, that Burke did originate a
subscription for the defence of the second batch of
victims, who, through his and other exertions, were
fortunately saved from the fate of their predecessors.

Contemporaneous with the Whiteboys were the northern
agrarians, called "Hearts of Steel," formed among the
absentee Lord Downshire's tenants, in 1762; the "Oak
Boys," so called from wearing oak leaves in their hats;
and the "Peep o' Day Boys," the precursors of the Orange
Association. The infection of conspiracy ran through all
Ireland, and the disorder was neither short-lived nor
trivial. Right-boys, Defenders, and a dozen other
denominations descended from the same evil genius, whoever
he was, that first introduced the system of signs, and
passwords, and midnight meetings, among the peasantry of
Ireland. The celebrated society of United Irishmen was
the highest form which that principle, in our politics,
ever reached. In its origin, it was mainly a Protestant

From the first, the Catholic bishops and clergy strenuously
opposed these secret societies. The Bishop of Cloyne
issued a reprobatory pastoral; Father Arthur O'Leary
employed his facile pen against them; the Bishop of Ossory
anathematized them in his diocese. Priests in Kildare,
Kilkenny, and Munster, were often in personal danger from
these midnight legislators; their chapels had been
frequently nailed up, and their bishops had been often
obliged to remove them from one neighbourhood to another
to prevent worse consequences. The infatuation was not
to be stayed; the evil was engrafted on society, and many
a long year, and woeful scene, and blighted life, and
broken heart, was to signalize the perpetuation of secret
societies among the population.

These startling symptoms of insubordination and lawlessness,
while they furnished plausible pretexts to the advocates
of repression, still further confirmed the Patriot party
in their belief, that, nothing short of a free trade in
exports and imports, and a thorough system of retrenchment
in every branch of the public service, could save the
nation from bankruptcy and ruin. This was Flood's opinion,
and he had been long recognized as the leading spirit of
the party. The aged Malone, true to his principles of
conciliation and constitutionalism to the last, passed
away from the scene, in the midst of the exciting events
of 1776. For some years before his death, his former
place had been filled by the younger and more vigorous
member for Kilkenny, who, however, did not fail to consult
him with all the deference due to his age, his services,
and his wisdom. One of his last official acts was
presiding over the committee of the whole House, which
voted the American contingent, but rejected the admission
of German troops to supply their place.



The revolt of the American colonies against the oppressive
legislation of the British Parliament, was the next
circumstance that deeply affected the constitutional
struggle, in which the Irish Parliament had so long been
engaged. The similarity in the grievances of Ireland and
the colonies, the close ties of kindred established
between them, the extent of colonial commerce involved
in the result, contributed to give the American Declaration
of Independence more importance in men's eyes at Dublin,
than anywhere else out of the colonies, except, perhaps,

The first mention made of American affairs to the Irish
legislature, was in Lord Townsend's message in 1775,
calling for the despatch of 4,000 men from the Irish
establishment, to America, and offering to supply their
place by as many foreign Protestant (German) troops. The
demand was warmly debated. The proposition to receive
the proffered foreign troops was rejected by a majority
of thirty-eight, and the contingent for America passed
on a division, upon Flood's plea that they would go out
merely as "4,000 armed negotiators." This expression of
the great parliamentary leader was often afterwards quoted
to his prejudice, but we must remember, that, at the time
it was employed, no one on either side of the contest
had abandoned all hopes of accommodation, and that the
significance of the phrase was rather pointed against
Lord North than against the colonies. The 4,000 men went
out, among them Lord Rawdon (afterwards Lord Moira), Lord
Edward Fitzgerald, and many others, both officers and
men, who were certainly no enemies of liberty, or the

Some slight relaxation of the commercial restrictions
which operated so severely against Irish industry were
made during the same year, but these were more than
counterbalanced by the embargo on the export of provisions
to America, imposed in February, 1776. This arbitrary
measure--imposed by order in Council--was so near being
censured by the Parliament then sitting, that the House
was dissolved a month afterwards, and a new election
ordered. To meet the new Parliament it was thought
advisable to send over a new Viceroy, and accordingly
Lord Buckinghamshire entered into office, with Sir Richard
Heron as chief secretary.

In the last session of the late Parliament, a young
_protege_ of Lord Charlemont--he was only in his
twenty-ninth year--had taken his seat for the borough of
Charlemont. This was Henry Grattan, son of the Recorder
of Dublin, and grandson of one of those Grattans who,
according to Dean Swift, "could raise 10,000 men." The
youth of Grattan had been neither joyous nor robust; in
early manhood he had offended his father's conservatism;
the profession of the law, to which he was bred, he found
irksome and unsuited to his tastes; society, as then
constituted, was repulsive to his over-sensitive spirit
and high Spartan ideal of manly duty; no letters are
sadder to read than the early correspondence of Grattan,
till he had fairly found his inspiration in listening
enraptured to the eloquent utterances of Chatham, or
comparing political opinions with such a friend as Flood.
At length he found a seat in the House of Commons, where,
during his first session, he spoke on three or four
occasions, briefly, modestly, and with good effect; there
had been no sitting during 1776, nor before October of
the following year; it was, therefore, in the sessions
from '78 to '82 inclusive, that this young member raised
himself to the head of the most eloquent men, in one of
the most eloquent assemblies the world has ever seen.

The fact of Mr. Flood, after fourteen years of opposition,
having accepted office under Lord Harcourt's administration,
and defended the American expedition and the embargo,
had greatly lessened the popularity of that eminent man.
There was indeed, no lack of ability still left in the
ranks of the opposition--for Burgh, Daly, and Yelverton
were there; but for a supreme spirit like Grattan--whose
burning tongue was ever fed from his heart of fire--there
is always room in a free senate, how many soever able
and accomplished men may surround him.

The fall of 1777 brought vital intelligence from America.
General Burgoyne had surrendered at Saratoga, and France
had decided to ally herself with the Americans. The effect
in England and in Ireland was immense. When the Irish
Houses met, Mr. Grattan moved an address to the King in
favour of retrenchment, and against the pension list,
and Mr. Daly moved and carried an address deploring the
continuance of the American war, with a governmental
amendment assuring his Majesty that he might still rely
on the services of his faithful Commons. The second
Catholic relief bill, authorizing Papists to loan money
on mortgage, to lease lands for any period not exceeding
999 years--to inherit and bequeath real property, so
limited, passed, not without some difficulty, into law.
The debate had been protracted, by adjournment after
adjournment, over the greatest part of three months; the
main motion had been further complicated by an amendment
repealing the Test Act in favour of Dissenters, which
was, fortunately, engrafted on the measure. The vote in
the Commons, in favour of the bill so amended, was 127
_yeas_ to 89 _nays_, and in the Lords, 44 _Contents_ to
28 _Noncontents_.

In the English House of Commons, Lord Nugent moved, in
April, a series of resolutions raising the embargo on
the Irish provision trade; abolishing, so far as Ireland
was concerned, the most restrictive clauses of the
Navigation Act, both as to exports and imports, with the
exception of the article of tobacco. Upon this the
manufacturing and shipping interest of England, taking
the alarm, raised such a storm in the towns and cities
that the ministry of the day were compelled to resist
the proposed changes, with a few trifling exceptions.
But Grattan had caught up, in the other island, the cry
of "free trade," and the people echoed it after their
orator, until the whole empire shook with the popular

But what gave pith and power to the Irish demands was
the enrolment and arming of a numerous volunteer force,
rendered absolutely necessary by the defenceless state
of the kingdom. Mr. Flood had long before proposed a
national militia, but being in opposition and in the
minority, he had failed. To him and to Mr. Perry, as much
as to Lord Charlemont and Mr. Grattan, the militia bill
of 1778, and the noble army of volunteers equipped under
its provisions, owed their origin. Whether this force
was to be a regular militia, subject to martial law, or
composed of independent companies, was for some months
a subject of great anxiety at the castle; but necessity
at length precipitated a decision in favour of volunteer
companies, to be supplied with arms by the state, but
drilled and clothed at their own expense, with power to
elect their own officers. The official announcement of
this decision once made, the organization spread rapidly
over the whole kingdom. The Ulster corps, first organized,
chose as their commander the Earl of Charlemont, while
those of Leinster elected the Duke of Leinster.
Simultaneously, resolutions against the purchase of
English goods and wares were passed at public meetings,
and by several of the corporate bodies. Lists of the
importers of such goods were obtained at the custom
houses, and printed in handbills, to the alarm of the
importers. Swift's sardonic maxim, "to burn everything
coming from England, _except the coals_," began to
circulate as a toast in all societies, and the consternation
of the Castle, at this resurrection of the redoubtable
Dean, was almost equal to the apprehension entertained
of him while living.

While the Castle was temporizing with both the military
and the manufacture movement, in a vague expectation to
defeat both, the press, as is usual in such national
crises, teemed with publications of great fervour and
ability. Dr. Jebb, Mr. (afterwards Judge) Johnson, Mr.
Pollock, Mr. Charles Sheridan, Father Arthur O'Leary,
and Mr. Dobbs, M.P., were the chief workers in this
department of patriotic duty. Cheered, instructed,
restrained within due bounds by these writings and the
reported debates of Parliament, the independent companies
proceeded with their organization. In July, 1779, after
all the resources of prevarication had been exhausted,
arms were issued to the several recognized corps, and
the Irish volunteers became in reality a national army
for domestic protection and defence.

When this point was reached, Mr. Grattan and his friends
took anxious council as to their future movements.
Parliament was to meet on the 12th of October, and in
that sweet autumnal month, Grattan, Burgh, and Daly, met
upon the sea-shore, near Bray, in view of one of the
loveliest landscapes on earth, to form their plan for
the session. They agreed on an amendment to the address
in answer to the royal speech, demanding in explicit
terms "free export and import" for Irish commerce. When
Parliament met, and the address and amendment were moved,
it was found that Flood, Burgh, Hutchinson, and Gardiner,
though all holding offices of honour and emolument under
government, would vote for it. Flood suggested to substitute
the simple term "free trade," and with this and one other
verbal alteration suggested by Burgh, the amendment passed
with a single dissenting voice.

The next day the Speaker, Mr. Perry, who was all along
in the confidence of the movers of the amendment, Daly,
Grattan, Burgh, Flood, Hutchinson, Ponsonby, Gardiner,
and the whole House, went up with the amended address to
the castle. The streets were lined with volunteers,
commanded in person by the Duke of Leinster, who presented
arms to the patriotic Commons as they passed. Most of
the leading members wore the uniform of one or other of
the national companies, and the people saw themselves at
the same moment under the protection of a patriotic
majority in the legislature, and a patriotic force in
the field. No wonder their enthusiastic cheers rang
through the corridors of the castle with a strangely
jubilant and defiant emphasis. It was not simply the
spectacle of a nation recovering its spirit, but recovering
it with all military _eclat_ and pageantry. It was the
disarmed armed and triumphant--a revolution not only in
national feeling, but in the external manifestation of
that feeling. A change so profound stirred sentiments
and purposes even deeper than itself, and suggested to
the ardent imagination of Grattan the establishment of
entire national independence, saving always the rights
of the crown.

The next day, the Houses, not to be outdone in courtesy,
voted their thanks to the volunteers for "their just and
necessary exertions in defence of their country!"



The task which Mr. Grattan felt called upon to undertake,
was not _revolutionary_, in the usually accepted sense
of the term. He was a Monarchist and a Whig in general
politics; but he was an Irishman, proud and fond of his
country, and a sincere lover of the largest religious
liberty. With the independence of the judiciary and the
legislature, with freedom of commerce and of conscience,
he would be well content to stand by the British connection.
"The sea," he said, in his lofty figurative language,
"protests against union--the ocean against separation."
But still, within certain legal limits, his task _was_
revolutionary, and was undertaken under all the
discouragements incident to the early stages of great
constitutional reforms.

Without awaiting the action of the English Parliament,
in relation to free trade, a public-spirited citizen of
Dublin, Alderman James Horan, demanded an entry at the
custom house, for some parcels of Irish woollens, which
he proposed exporting to Rotterdam, contrary to the
prohibitory enactment, the 10th and 11th of William III.
The commissioners of customs applied for instructions to
the Castle, and the Castle to the Secretary of State,
Franklin's friend, Lord Hillsborough. For the moment a
collision similar to that which had taken place at Boston,
on a not dissimilar issue, seemed imminent. A frigate
was stationed off Howth, with instructions, it was said,
to intercept the prohibited woollens, but Alderman Horan,
by the advice of his friends, allowed his application to
remain on the custom house files. It had served its
purpose of bringing home practically to the people, the
value of the principle involved in the demand for freedom
of exports and imports. At the same time that this
practical argument was discussed in every circle, Mr.
Grattan moved in the House of Commons, in amendment to
the supply bill, that, "At this time it is inexpedient
to grant new taxes." The government divided the House,
but to their mortification found only 47 supporters; for
Grattan's amendment there were 170. A subsequent amendment
against granting duties for the support of the loan fund,
was also carried by 138 to 100.

These adverse votes were communicated with great
trepidation, by the Lord Lieutenant, to the British
administration. At length Lord North thought it essential
to make some concessions, and with this view he brought
in resolutions, declaring the trade with the British
colonies in America and Africa, and the free export of
glass and woollens, open to the Irish merchant. A week
later, similar resolutions were passed in the Irish
Commons, and in February, 1780, "a free trade" in the
sense in which it had been demanded, was established by
law, placing Ireland in most respects, as to foreign and
colonial commerce, on an equality with England.

In February, the Viceroy again alarmed the British
administration, with the reported movement for the repeal
of "Poyning's law,"--the statute which required heads of
bills to be transmitted to, and approved in England,
before they could be legislated upon. He received in
reply, the royal commands to resist by every means in
his power, any attempted "change in the constitution,"
and he succeeded in eliciting from the House of Lords,
an address, strongly condemnatory of "the misguided men,"
who sought to raise such "groundless jealousies," between
the two kingdoms. But the Patriot Commoners were not to
be so deterred. They declared the repeal of Poyning's
act, and the 6th of George I., to be their ultimatum,
and notices of motion to that effect were immediately
placed on the journals of the House of Commons.

In the early days of April, Grattan, who, more than any
of our orators, except perhaps Burke, was sensitive to
the aspects of external nature, and imbued with the poetry
of her works, retired from the city, to his uncle Dean
Marlay's house, Cellbridge Abbey, formerly the residence
of Swift's ill-fated Vannessa. "Along the banks of that
river," he said, many years afterwards, "amid the groves
and bowers of Swift and Vannessa, I grew convinced that
I was right; arguments, unanswerable, came to my mind,
and what I then presaged, confirmed me in my determination
to persevere." With an enthusiasm intensified and
restrained--but wonderful in the fire and grandeur of
its utterance--he rose in his place, on the 19th of the
month, to move that "the King, Lords, and Commons of
Ireland, are the only power competent to enact laws to
bind Ireland." He was supported by Hussey Burgh, Yelverton,
and Forbes; Flood favoured postponement, and laid the
foundation of his future estrangement from Grattan; Daly
was also for delay; Fitzgibbon, afterwards Lord Clare,
Provost Hutchinson, and John Foster, afterwards Lord
Oriel, resisted the motion. The Castle party moved in
amendment that "there being an equivalent resolution
already on the journals of the House"--alluding to one
of the resolutions against Stafford's tyranny in 1641--a
new resolution was unnecessary. This amendment was carried
by 136 to 79, thus affirming the formula of independence
adopted in 1641, but depriving Grattan of the honour of
putting it, in his own words, on the record. The substantial
result, however, was the same; the 19th of April was
truly what Grattan described it, "a great day for Ireland."
"It is with the utmost concern," writes the Viceroy next
day to Lord Hillsborough, "I must acquaint your Lordship
that although so many gentlemen expressed their concern
that the subject had been introduced, the sense of the
House _against_ the obligation of _any statutes_ of the
Parliament of Great Britain, within this kingdom, is
represented to me to have been almost unanimous."

Ten days later, a motion of Mr. Yelverton's to repeal
Poyning's law, as far as related to the Irish privy
council's supervision of heads of bills, was negatived
by 130 to 105.

During the remainder of the session the battle of
independence was fought on the Mutiny Bill. The Viceroy
and the Chief Secretary, playing the game of power, were
resolved that the influence of the crown should not be
diminished, so far as the military establishments were
concerned. Two justices of the peace in Sligo and Mayo,
having issued writs of _habeas corpus_ in favour of
deserters from the army, on the ground that neither the
British Mutiny Act, nor any other British statute, was
binding on Ireland, unless confirmed by an act of its
own legislature, brought up anew the whole question. Lord
North, who, with all his proverbial tact and good humour,
in the House of Commons, always pursued the most arbitrary
policy throughout the empire, proposed a perpetual Mutiny
Bill for Ireland, instead of the Annual Bill, in force
in England. It was introduced in the Irish House of
Commons by Mr. Gervase Parker Bushe, and, by a vote of
two to one, postponed for a fortnight. During the interval,
the British authorities remained obdurate to argument
and remonstrance. In vain, the majority of the Irish
privy counsellors advised concession; in vain, Flood,
who was consulted, pointed out the futility of attempting
to force such a measure; it was forced, and, under the
cry of loyalty, a draft bill was carried through both
Houses, and remitted to England in June. Early in August
it was returned; on the 12th it was read a first time;
on the 16th, a second; and it was carried through Committee
by 114 to 62. It was at this emergency the Volunteers
performed the second act of their great drama of Ireland's
liberation. A series of reviews were held, and significant
addresses presented to Lord Camden (then on a visit to
the country), Lord Charlemont, Mr. Flood, and Mr. Grattan.
On the re-assembling of Parliament in August, when the
bill was referred to, Mr. Grattan declared that he would
resist it to the last; that if passed into law, he and
his friends would _secede_, and would appeal to the people
in "a formal instrument." A new series of corporation
and county meetings was convened by the Patriot party,
which warmly condemned the Perpetual Mutiny Act, and as
warmly approved the repeal of Poyning's Act, and the 6th
of George I.: questions which were all conceived to be
intermixed together, and to flow from the assertion of
a common principle. Parliament being prorogued in September,
only threw the whole controversy back again into the
furnace of popular agitation. The British Government
tried a lavish distribution of titles and a change of
Viceroys,--Lord Carlisle being substituted in December
for Lord Buckingham--but the spirit abroad was too general
and too earnest, to be quelled by the desertion of
individuals, however numerous or influential. With Lord
Carlisle, came, as Chief Secretary, Mr. Eden, afterwards
Lord Auckland; he had been, with his chief, a peace
commissioner to America, two years before, and had failed;
he was an intriguing and accomplished man, but he proved
himself as unequal as Heron or Rigby to combat the movement
for Irish independence.

Parliament was not again called together till the month
of October, 1781; the interval being busily occupied on
both sides with endeavours to create and sustain a party.
Soon after the meeting, Mr. Grattan, seconded by Mr.
Flood, moved for a limitation of the Mutiny Bill, which
was lost; a little later, Mr. Flood himself introduced
a somewhat similar motion, which was also outvoted two
to one; and again, during the session, Mr. Yelverton,
having abandoned his promised motion against Poyning's
law, on news of Lord Cornwallis's surrender reaching
Dublin, Flood took it up, moved it, and was defeated. A
further measure of relief for Roman Catholics, introduced
by Mr. Gardiner, author of the act of 1778, and warmly
supported by Grattan, was resisted by Flood in the one
House, and Lord Charlemont in the other. It miscarried,
and left another deposit of disagreement between the
actual and the former leader of the Patriot party.

Still no open rupture had taken place between the two
Patriot orators. When the convention of the volunteers
was called at Dungannon for the 15th of February, 1782,
they consulted at Charlemont House as to the resolutions
to be passed. They were agreed on the constitutional
question; Grattan, of his own generous free will, added
the resolution in favour of emancipation. Two hundred
and forty-two delegates, representing 143 corps, unanimously
adopted the resolutions so drafted, as their own, and,
from the old head-quarters of Hugh O'Neil, sent forth
anew an unequivocal demand for civil and religious liberty.
The example of Ulster soon spread through Ireland. A
meeting of the Leinster volunteers, Mr. Flood in the
chair, echoed it from Dublin; the Munster corps endorsed
it unanimously at Cork; Lord Clanrickarde summoned together
those of the western counties at Portumna--an historic
spot, suggestive of striking associations. Strengthened
by these demonstrations of public opinion, Mr. Grattan
brought forward, on the 22nd of February, his motion
declaratory of the rights of Ireland. An amendment in
favour of a six months' postponement of the question was
carried; but on the 16th of April, just two years from
his first effort on the subject (the administration of
Lord North having fallen in the meantime), the orator
had the satisfaction of carrying his address declaratory
of Irish legislative independence. It was on this occasion
that he exclaimed: "I found Ireland on her knees; I
watched over her with a paternal solicitude; I have traced
her progress from injury to arms, and from arms to liberty.
Spirit of Swift! Spirit of Molyneux! your genius has
prevailed! Ireland is now a nation! in that new character
I hail her! and bowing to her august presence, I say,
_Esto perpetua!_"

Never was a new nation more nobly heralded into existence!
Never was an old nation more reverently and tenderly
lifted up and restored! The Houses adjourned to give
England time to consider Ireland's _ultimatum_. Within
a month it was accepted by the new British administration,
and on the 27th of May, the new Whig Viceroy, the Duke
of Portland, was authorized to announce from the throne
the establishment of the judicial and legislative
independence of Ireland.



The accession of the Rockingham administration to power,
in 1782, was followed by the recall of Lord Carlisle,
and the substitution, as Viceroy, of one of the leading
Lords of the Whig party. The nobleman selected to this
office was William Henry, third Duke of Portland, afterwards
twice prime minister; then in the prime of life, possessed
of a very ample fortune, and uniting in his own person
the two great Whig families of Bentinck and Cavendish.
The policy he was sent to represent at Dublin was
undoubtedly an imperial policy; a policy which looked as
anxiously to the integrity of the empire as any Tory
cabinet could have desired; but it was, in most other
respects, a policy of conciliation and concession, dictated
by the enlarged wisdom of Burke, and adopted by the
magnanimous candour of Fox. Yet by a generous people,
who always find it more difficult to resist a liberal
than an illiberal administration, it was, in reality, a
policy more to be feared than welcomed; for its almost
certain effects were to divide their ranks into two
sections--a moderate and an extreme party--between whom
the national cause, only half established, might run
great danger of being lost, almost as soon as it was won.

With the Duke of Portland was associated, as Chief
Secretary, Colonel Fitzpatrick, of the old Ossory family,
one of those Irish wits and men of fashion, who form so
striking a group in the middle and later years of King
George III. As the personal and political friend of Flood,
Charlemont, and Grattan, and the first Irish secretary
for several administrations, he shared the brilliant
ovation with which the Duke of Portland was received, on
his arrival at Dublin; but for the reason already mentioned,
the imperial, in so far as opposed to the national policy,
found an additional advantage in the social successes
and great personal popularity of the new secretary.

The critical months which decided the contest for
independence--April and May--passed over fortunately for
Ireland. The firmness of the leaders in both Houses,
the energy especially of Grattan, whose cry was "No time,
no time!" and the imposing attitude of the volunteers,
carried the question. Lord Rockingham and Mr. Fox by
letter, the new Viceroy and Secretary in person, had
urged every argument for adjournment and delay, but
Grattan's _ultimatum_ was sent over to England, and
finally and formally accepted. The demands were _five_.
I. The repeal of the 6th of George I. II. The repeal of
the Perpetual Mutiny Act. III. An Act to abolish the
alteration or suppression of Bills. IV. An Act to establish
the final jurisdiction of the Irish Courts and the Irish
House of Lords. V. The repeal of Poyning's Law. This
was the constitutional charter of 1782, which restored
Ireland, for the first time in that century, to the rank
and dignity of a free nation.

Concession once determined on, the necessary bills were
introduced in both Parliaments simultaneously, and carried
promptly into law. On the 27th of May, the Irish Houses
were enabled to congratulate the Viceroy that "no
constitutional question any longer existed between the
two countries." In England it was proclaimed no less
explicitly by Fox and his friends, that the independency
of the two legislatures "was fixed and ascertained for
ever." But there was, unfortunately, one ground for
dispute still left, and on that ground Henry Flood and
Henry Grattan parted, never to be reconciled.

The elder Patriot, whose conduct from the moment of his
retirement from office, in consequence of his Free Trade
vote and speech in '79, had been, with occasional
exceptions, arising mostly from bodily infirmity, as
energetic and consistent as that of Grattan himself, saw
no sufficient constitutional guarantee in mere acts of
Parliament repealing other acts. He demanded "express
renunciation" of legislative supremacy on the part of
England; while Grattan maintained the sufficiency of
"simple repeal." It is possible even in such noble natures
as these men had--so strangely are we constituted--that
there was a latent sense of personal rivalry, which
prompted them to grasp, each, at the larger share of
patriotic honour. It is possible that there were other,
and inferior men, who exasperated this latent personal
rivalry. Flood had once reigned supreme, until Grattan
eclipsed him in the sudden splendour of his career. In
scholarship and in genius the elder Patriot was, taken
all in all, the full peer of his successor; but Grattan
had the national temperament, and he found his way more
readily into the core of the national heart; he was the
man of the later, the bolder, and the more liberal school;
and such was the rapidity of his movements, that even
Flood, from '79 to '82, seemed to be his follower, rather
than his coadjutor. In the hopeful crisis of the struggle,
the slower and more experienced statesman was for the
moment lost sight of. The leading motions were all placed
or left in the hands of Grattan by the consent of their
leading friends; the bills repealing the Mutiny Act, the
6th George I., and Poyning's law, were entrusted to Burgh,
Yelverton, and Forbes; the thanks of the House were voted
to Grattan alone after the victory, with the substantial
addition of 50,000 pounds to purchase for him an estate,
which should become an enduring monument of the national

The open rupture between the two great orators followed
fast on the triumph of their common efforts. It was still
the first month--the very honeymoon of independence. On
the 13th of June, Mr. Grattan took occasion to notice in
his place, that a late British act relating to the
importation of sugars, was so generally worded as apparently
to include Ireland; but this was explained to be a mere
error of the clerk, the result of haste, and one which
would be promptly corrected. Upon this Mr. Flood first
took occasion to moot the insufficiency of "simple repeal,"
and the necessity of "express renunciation," on the part
of England. On the 19th, he moved a formal resolution on
the subject, which was superseded by the order of the
day; but on the 19th of July, he again moved, at great
length, and with great power of logical and historical
argument, for leave to bring in an Irish Bill of Rights,
declaring "the sole and exclusive right of the Irish
Parliament to make laws in all cases whatsoever, _external
and internal_." He was supported by Sir Simon Bradstreet,
Mr. English, and Mr. Walshe, and opposed by Grattan, who,
in one of his finest efforts, proposed a counter resolution,
"that the legislature of Ireland is independent; and that
any person who shall, by writing or otherwise, maintain
that a right in any other country, to make laws for
Ireland, _internally_ or _externally_, exists or can be
revived, _is inimical to the peace of both kingdoms_."
This extreme proposition--pointing out all who differed
from himself as public enemies--the mover, however,
withdrew, and substituted in its stead the milder formula,
that leave was refused to bring in the bill, because the
sole and exclusive right of legislation in the Irish
Parliament in all cases, whether externally or internally,
hath been already asserted by Ireland, and fully, finally,
and irrevocably acknowledged by the British Parliament.
Upon this motion Flood did not think it advisable to
divide the House, so it passed without a division.

But the moot point thus voted down in Parliament disquieted
and alarmed the minds of many out of doors. The volunteers
as generally sided with Flood as the Parliament had sided
with Grattan. The lawyer corps of the city of Dublin,
containing all the great names of the legal profession,
endorsed the constitutional law of the member for Kilkenny;
the Belfast volunteers did likewise; and Grattan's own
corps, in a respectful address, urged him to give his
adherence to the views of "the best informed body of men
in the kingdom,"--the lawyers' corps. Just at that moment
Lord Abingdon, in the English House of Lords, gave notice
of a mischievous motion to assert the external supremacy
of the English Parliament; and Lord Mansfield, in the
King's Bench, decided an Irish appeal case, notwithstanding
the recent statute establishing the judicial independence
of the Irish courts. It is true the case had been appealed
before the statute was passed; and that Lord Abingdon
withdrew his motion for want of a seconder; but the alarm
was given, and the popular mind in Ireland, jealously
watchful of its new-born liberties, saw in these attempts
renewed cause for apprehension. In opposition to all
this suddenly awakened suspicion and jealousy, Grattan,
who naturally enough assumed his own interest in preserving
the new constitution to be quite equal to those who cast
doubts on its security, invariably held one language.
The settlement already made, according to his view, was
final; it was an international treaty; its maintenance
must depend on the ability and disposition of the parties
to uphold it, rather than on the multiplication of
declaratory acts. Ireland had gone to England with a
charter, not for a charter, and the nation which would
insist upon the humiliation of another, was a foolish
nation. This was the lofty light in which he viewed the
whole transaction, and in this light, it must be added,
he continued to view it till the last. Many of the chief
English and Irish jurists of his time, Lord Camden, Lord
Kenyon, Lord Erskine, Lord Kilwarden, Judges Chamberlain,
Smith, and Kelly, Sir Samuel Rommilly, Sir Arthur Pigott,
and several others, agreed fully in Grattan's doctrine,
that the settlement of '82 was final and absolute, and
"terminated all British jurisdiction over Ireland." But
although these are all great names, the instinct of
national self-preservation may be considered in such
critical moments more than a counterpoise to the most
matured opinions of the oracles of the law. Such must
have been the conviction also of the English Parliament,
for, immediately on their meeting in January, 1783, they
passed the _Act of Renunciation_ (23rd George III.),
expressly declaring their admission of the "exclusive
rights of the Parliament and Courts of Ireland in matters
of legislature and judicature." This was Flood's greatest
triumph. Six months before his doctrine obtained but
three supporters in the Irish Commons; now, at his
suggestion, and on his grounds, he saw it unanimously
affirmed by the British Parliament.

On two other questions of the utmost importance these
leading spirits also widely differed. Grattan was in
favour of, and Flood opposed to, Catholic emancipation;
while Flood was In favour of, and Grattan, at that moment,
opposed to, a complete reform of parliamentary
representation. The Catholic question had its next great
triumph after Flood's death, as will be mentioned further
on; but the history of the Irish reform movement of 1783,
'84, and '85, may best be disposed of here.

The Reformers were a new party rising naturally out of
the popular success of 1782. They were composed of all
but a few of the more aristocratic corps of the volunteers,
of the townsmen, especially in the seaports and
manufacturing towns, of the admirers of American example,
of the Catholics who had lately acquired property and
recognition, but not the elective franchise, of the gentry
of the second and third degree of wealth, overruled and
overshadowed by the greater lords of the soil. The
substantial grievance of which they complained was, that
of the 300 members of the House of Commons, only 72 were
returned by the people; 53 Peers having the power to
nominate 123 and secure the election of 10 others; while
52 Commoners nominated 91 and controlled the choice of
4 others. The constitution of what ought to have been
the people's house was, therefore, substantially in the
hands of an oligarchy of about a hundred great proprietors,
bound together by the spirit of their class, by
intermarriage, and by the hereditary possession of power.
To reduce this exorbitant influence within reasonable
bounds, was the just and wise design to which Flood
dedicated all his energies, after the passage of the _Act
of Renunciation_, and the success of which would certainly
have restored him to complete equality with Grattan.

In the beginning of 1783, the famous coalition ministry
of Lord North and Mr. Pox was formed in England. They
were at first represented at Dublin Castle, for a few
months, by Lord Temple, who succeeded the Duke of Portland,
and established the order of _Knights of Saint Patrick_;
then by Lord Northington, who dissolved Parliament early
in July. A general election followed, and the reform
party made their influence felt in all directions. County
meetings were held; conventions by districts and by
provinces were called by the reforming Volunteers, in
July, August, and September. The new Parliament was to
be opened on the 14th of October, and the Volunteers
resolved to call a convention of their whole body at
Dublin, for the 10th of November.

The Parliament met according to summons, but though
searching retrenchment was spoken of, no promise was held
out of a constitutional reform; the limitation of the
regular troops to a fixed number was declared advisable,
and a vote of thanks to the Volunteers was passed without
demur. But the proceedings of the Houses were soon eclipsed
by the portentous presence of the Volunteer Convention.
One hundred and sixty delegates of corps attended on the
appointed day. The Royal Exchange was too small to
accommodate them, so they adjourned to the Rotunda,
accompanied by mounted guards of honour. The splendid
and eccentric Bishop of Derry (Earl of Bristol), had his
dragoon guards; the courtly but anxious Charlemont had
his troop of horse; Flood, tall, emaciated, and solemn
to sadness, was hailed with popular acclamations; there
also marched the popular Mr. Day, afterwards Judge; Robert
Stewart, father of Lord Castlereagh; Sir Richard Musgrave,
a reformer also, in his youth, who lived to confound
reform with rebellion in his old age. The Earl of Charlemont
was elected president of this imposing body, and for an
entire month Dublin was divided between the extraordinary
spectacle of two legislatures--one sitting at the Rotunda,
and the other at College Green, many members of each
being members of the other; the uniform of the volunteer
sparkling in the Houses, and the familiar voices of both
Houses being heard deliberating and debating among the

At length, on the 29th of November, after three weeks'
laborious gestation, Flood brought before Parliament the
plan of reform agreed to by the Convention. It proposed
to extend the franchise to every _Protestant_ freeholder
possessed of a lease worth forty shillings yearly; to
extend restricted borough constituencies by annexing to
them neighbouring populous parishes; that the voting
should be held on one and the same day; that pensioners
of the crown should be incapable of election; that members
accepting office should be subject to re-election; that
a stringent bribery oath should be administered to
candidates returned; and, finally, that the duration of
Parliament should be limited to three years. It was,
indeed, an excellent Protestant Reform Bill, for though
the Convention had received Father Arthur O'Leary with
military honours, and contained many warm friends of
Catholic rights, the majority were still intolerant of
_religious_ freedom. In this majority it is painful to
have to record the names of Flood and Charlemont.

The debate which followed the introduction of this proposed
change in the constitution was stormy beyond all precedent.
Grattan, who just one month before (Oct. 28th) had that
fierce vituperative contest with Flood familiar to every
school-boy, in its worst and most exaggerated form,
supported the proposal. The law officers of the crown,
Fitzgibbon, Yelverton, Scott, denounced it as an audacious
attempt of armed men to dictate to the House its own
constitution. The cry of privilege and prerogative was
raised, and the measure was rejected by 157 to 77. Flood,
weary in mind and body, retired to his home; the Convention,
which outsat the House, adjourned, amid the bitter
indignation of some, and the scarcely concealed relief
of others. Two days later they met and adopted a striking
address to the throne, and adjourned _sine die_. This
was, in fact, the last important day of the Volunteers
as a political institution. An attempt a month later to
re-assemble the Convention was dexterously defeated by
the President, Lord Charlemont. The regular army was next
session increased to 15,000 men; 20,000 pounds were voted
to clothe and equip a rival force--"the Militia"--and
the Parliament, which had three times voted them its
thanks, now began to look with satisfaction on their
rapid disorganization and disbandment.

This, perhaps, is the fittest place to notice the few
remaining years of the public life of Henry Flood. After
the session of 1785, in which he had been outvoted on
every motion he proposed, he retired from the Irish
Parliament, and allowed himself to be persuaded, at the
age of fifty-three, to enter the English. He was elected
for Winchester, and made his first essay on the new scene,
on his favourite subject of representative reform. But
his health was undermined; he failed, except on one or
two occasions, to catch the ear of that fastidious
assembly, and the figure he made there somewhat disappointed
his friends. He returned to Kilkenny to die in 1791,
bequeathing a large portion of his fortune to Trinity
College, to enrich its MS. library, and to found a
permanent professorship of the Irish language. "He was
an oak of the forest," said Grattan, "too old to be
transplanted at fifty." "He was a man," said one who also
knew him well, Sir Jonah Barrington, "of profound abilities,
high manners, and great experience in the affairs of
Ireland. He had deep information, an extensive capacity,
and a solid judgment." In his own magnificent "Ode to
Fame," he has pictured his ideal of the Patriot-orator,
who finds some consolation amid the unequal struggle with
the enemies of his country, foreign and domestic, in a
prophetic vision of his own renown. Unhappily, the works
of this great man come down to us in as fragmentary a
state as those of Chatham; but enough remains to enable
us to class him amongst the greatest masters of our
speech, and, as far as the drawbacks allowed, among the
foremost statesmen of his country.

It is painful to be left in doubt, as we are, whether he
was ever reconciled to Grattan. The presumption, from
the silence of their cotemporaries, is, that they never
met again as friends. But it is consoling to remember
that in his grave, the survivor rendered him that tribute
of justice which almost takes the undying sting out of
the philippic of 1783; it is well to know, also, that
one of Grattan's latest wishes, thirty years after the
death of Flood, when he felt his own last hours approaching,
was, that it should be known that he "did not speak the
vile abuse reported in the Debates" in relation to his
illustrious rival. The best proof that what he did say
was undeserved, is that that rival's reputation for
integrity and public spirit has survived even his terrible



The second period of the era of independence may be said
to embrace the nine years extending from the dissolution
of the last Volunteer Convention, at the end of 1784, to
the passage of the Catholic Relief Bill of 1793. They
were years of continued interest and excitement, both in
the popular and parliamentary affairs of the country;
but the events are, with the exception of the last named,
of a more secondary order than those of the previous

The session of 1785 was first occupied with debates
relating to what might be called the cross-channel trade
between England and Ireland. The question of trade brought
with it, necessarily, the question of revenue; of the
duties levied in both kingdoms; of the conflict of their
commercial laws, and the necessity of their assimilation;
of the appropriations to be borne by each, to the general
expense of the army and navy; of the exclusive right of
the English East India Company to the Indian trade;--in
short, the whole of the fiscal and commercial relations
of the two countries were now to be examined and adjusted,
as their constitutional relations had been in previous

The first plan came from the Castle, through Mr. Thomas
Orde, then Chief Secretary, afterwards Lord Bolton. It
consisted of eleven propositions, embracing every division
of the subject. They had been arrived at by consultation
with Mr. Joshua Pim, a most worthy Quaker merchant, the
founder of an equally worthy family; Mr. Grattan, Mr.
Foster, and others. They were passed as resolutions in
Ireland, and sent by Mr. Orde to England to see whether
they would be adopted there also, the second Pitt, then
Chancellor of the Exchequer, gave his concurrence, but
when he introduced to the English Parliament _his_
resolutions--twenty in number--it was found that in
several important respects they differed from the Irish
propositions. On being taken up and presented to the
Irish Parliament, in August, the administration found
they could command, in a full House, only a majority of
sixteen for their introduction, and so the whole arrangement
was abandoned. No definite commercial treaty between the
two kingdoms was entered into until the Union, and there
can be little doubt that the miscarriage of the Convention
of 1785 was one of the determining causes of that Union.

The next session was chiefly remarkable for an unsuccessful
attempt to reduce the Pension List. In this debate,
Curran, who had entered the House in 1783, particularly
distinguished himself. A fierce exchange of personalities
with Mr. Fitzgibbon led to a duel between them, in which,
fortunately, neither was wounded, but their public
hostility was transferred to the arena of the courts,
where some of the choicest _morceaux_ of genuine Irish
wit were uttered by Curran, at the expense of his rival,
first as Attorney-General, and subsequently as Chancellor.

The session of 1787 was introduced by a speech from the
throne, in which the usual paragraph in favour of the
Protestant Charter Schools was followed by another advising
the establishment of a general system of schools. This
raised the entire question of education, one of the most
difficult to deal with in the whole range of Irish
politics. On the 10th of April, Mr. Orde--destined to
be the author of just, but short-lived projects--introduced
his plan of what might be called national education. He
proposed to establish four great provincial academies,
a second university in some north-western county, to
reform the twenty-two diocesan schools, so richly endowed
under the 28th Henry VIII., and to affiliate on Trinity
College two principal preparatory schools, north and
south. In 1784, and again in this very year, the humane
John Howard had reported of the Irish Charter Schools,
then half a century established, that they were "a disgrace
to all society." Sir J. Fitzpatrick, the Inspector of
Prisons, confirmed the general impression of Howard: he
found the children in these schools "puny, filthy, ill
clothed, without linen, indecent to look upon." A series
of resolutions was introduced by Mr. Orde, as the basis
of better legislation in the next session; but it is to
be regretted that the proposed reform never went farther
than the introduction and adoption of these resolutions.

The session of 1788 was signalized by a great domestic
and a great imperial discussion--the Tithe question, and
the Regency question.

The Tithe question had slumbered within the walls of
Parliament since the days of Swift, though not in the
lonely lodges of the secret agrarian societies. Very
recent outbreaks of the old agrarian combinations against
both excessive rents and excessive tithes, in the Leinster
as well as in southern counties, had called general
attention to the subject, when Grattan, in 1787, moved
that, if it should appear, by the commencement of the
following session, that tranquillity had been restored
in the disturbed districts, the House would take into
consideration the subject of tithes. Accordingly, very
early in the next ensuing session, he moved for a committee
on the subject, in a three hours' speech, which ranks
among the very highest efforts of his own or any other
age. He was seconded by Lord Kingsborough, one of the
most liberal men of his order, and sustained by Curran
and Brownlow; he was opposed by Attorney-General Fitzgibbon,
and by Messrs. Hobart, Browne, and Parsons. The vote was,
_for_ the Committee of Inquiry, 49; _against_ it, 121.
A second attempt, a little later in the session, was
equally unsuccessful, except for the moral effect produced
out of doors by another of those speeches, which it is
impossible to read even at this day, without falling into
the attitude, and assuming the intonation, and feeling
the heartfelt inspiration of the orator.

The Regency question was precipitated upon both Parliaments
by the mental disorder, which, for the second or third
time, attacked George III., in 1788. The question was,
whether the Prince of Wales should reign with as full
powers as if his father were actually deceased; whether
there should be restrictions or no restrictions. Mr. Pitt
and his colleagues contended successfully for restrictions
in England, while Mr. Fox and the opposition took the
contrary position. The English Houses and people went
with Pitt, but the Irish Parliament went for an
unconditional regency. They resolved to offer the crown
of Ireland to him they considered _de_ facto their
Sovereign, as freely as they had rendered their allegiance
to the incapable king; but the Lord Lieutenant--the
Marquis of Buckingham--declined to transmit their
over-zealous address, and by the time their joint delegation
of both Houses reached London, George III. had recovered!
They received the most gracious reception at Carlton
House, but they incurred the implacable enmity of William
Pitt, and created a second determining cause in his mind
in favour of an early legislative union.

The prospect of the accession of the Prince to power,
wrought a wonderful and a salutary change, though temporary,
in the Irish Commons. In the session of 1789, Mr Grattan
carried, by 105 to 85, a two months', in amendment to a
twelve-months' supply bill. Before the two months expired
he brought in his police bill, his pension bill, and his
bill to prevent officers of the revenue from voting at
elections, but ere these reforms could be passed into
law, the old King recovered, the necessary majority was
reversed, and the measures, of course, defeated or delayed
till better times. The triumph of the oligarchy was in
proportion to their fright. The House having passed a
vote of censure on Lord Buckingham, the Viceroy, for
refusing to transmit their address to the Regent, a threat
was now held out that every one who had voted for the
censure, holding an office of honour or emolument in
Ireland, would be made "the victim of his vote." In reply
to this threat, a "Round Robin" was signed by the Duke
of Leinster, the Archbishop of Tuam, eighteen peers, all
the leading Whig commoners--the Ponsonbys, Langrishes,
Grattan, Connolly, Curran, O'Neil, Day, Charles Francis
Sheridan, Bowes Daly, George Ogle, etc., etc.--declaring
that they would regard any such proscription as an attack
on the independence of Parliament, and would jointly
oppose any administration who should resort to such
proscription. But the bold and domineering spirit of
Fitzgibbon--the leader of the Castle party, then, and
long afterwards--did not shrink before even so formidable
a phalanx. The Duke of Leinster was dismissed from the
honorary office of Master of the Rolls; the Earl of
Shannon, from the Vice-Treasurership; William Ponsonby
from the office of Postmaster-General; Charles Francis
Sheridan, from that of Secretary at War, and ten or twelve
other prominent members of the _Irish_ administration
lost places and pensions to the value of 20,000 pounds
a year, for their over-zeal for the Prince of Wales. At
the same time, Mr. Fitzgibbon was appointed Lord Chancellor,
a vacancy having opportunely occurred, by the death of
Lord Lifford, in the very midst of the prescriptive
crisis. This elevation transferred him to the Upper
House, where, for the remaining years of the Parliament,
he continued to dogmatize and domineer, as he had done
in the Commons, often rebuked, but never abashed. Indeed,
the milder manners of the patrician body were ill suited
to resist this ermined demagogue, whose motto through
life was _audacity, again audacity, and always audacity_.
The names of Wolfe, Toler, Corry, Coote, Beresford, and
Cooke, are also found among the promotions to legal and
administrative office; names familiar to the last generation
as the pillars of the oligarchical faction, before and
after the Union. To swamp the opposition peers, the Earls
of Antrim, Tyrone, and Hillsborough were made Marquises
of Antrim, Waterford, and Downshire; the Viscounts
Glenawley, Enniskillen, Erne, and Carysfort, were created
Earls of Annesley, Enniskillen, Erne, and Carysfort. Then
Judge Scott became Viscount Clonmel; then the Lordships
of Loftus, Londonderry, Kilmaine, Cloncurry, Mountjoy,
Glentworth, and Caledon, were founded for as many convenient
Commoners, who either paid for their patents, in boroughs,
or in hard cash. It was the very reign and carnival of
corruption, over which presided the invulnerable
Chancellor--a true "King of Misrule." In reference to
this appalling spectacle, well might Grattan exclaim--"In
a free country the path of public treachery leads to the
block; but in a nation governed like a province, to the
helm!" But the thunders of the orator fell, and were
quenched in the wide spreading waters of corruption.

The Whig Club--an out-of-door auxiliary of the opposition
--was a creation of this year. It numbered the chief
signers of the "Round Robin," and gained many adherents.
It exercised very considerable influence in the general
election of 1790, and for the few following years, until
it fell to pieces in the presence of the more ardent
politics which preceded the storm of 1798.

Backed though he was by Mr. Pitt, both as his relative
and principal, the Marquis of Buckingham was compelled
to resign the government, and to steal away from Dublin,
under cover of night, like an absconding debtor. The
Chancellor and the Speaker--Fitzgibbon and Foster, Irishmen
at least by birth and name--were sworn in as Justices,
until the arrival of the Earl of Westmoreland, in the
ensuing January.

The last two Viceroys of the decade thus closed, form a
marked contrast worthy of particular portraiture. The
Duke of Rutland, a dashing profligate, was sent over, it
was thought, to ruin public liberty by undermining private
virtue, a task in which he found a willing helpmate in
his beautiful but dissipated Duchess. During his three
years' reign were sown the seeds of that reckless private
expenditure, and general corruption of manners, which
drove so many bankrupt lords and gentlemen into the market
overt, where Lord Castlereagh and Secretary Cooke, a
dozen years later, priced the value of their parliamentary
cattle. Lord Rutland died of dissipation at little over
thirty, and was succeeded by the Marquis of Buckingham
(formerly Lord Temple), the founder of the Irish Order
of Chivalry, a person of the greatest pretensions, as a
reformer of abuses and an enemy of government by corruption.
Yet with all his affected superiority to the base arts
of his predecessor, the Marquis's system was still more
opposite to every idea of just government than the Duke's.
The one outraged public morals, the other pensioned and
ennobled the betrayers of public trusts; the one naturalized
the gaming-table and the keeping of mistresses as customs
of Irish society; the other sold or allowed the highest
offices and honours of the state--from a weighership in
the butter market to an earl's coronet--to be put up at
auction, and knocked down to the highest bidder. How
cheering in contrast with the shameful honours, flaunted
abroad in those shameful days, are even the negative
virtues of the Whig patricians, and how splendid the
heroic constancy of Charlemont, Grattan, Curran, and
their devoted minority of honest legislators!

With Lord Westmoreland was associated, as Chief Secretary,
Mr. Hobart, formerly in the army, a man of gay, convivial
habits, very accomplished, and, politically, very unprincipled.
These gentlemen, both favourites of Pitt, adopted the counsellors,
and continued the policy of the late Viceroy. In
pursuance of this policy, a dissolution took place, and the
general election of 1790 was ordered. We have already
exhibited the influences which controlled the choice of members
of the House of Commons. Of the one hundred and five great
proprietors, who owned two-thirds of the seats, perhaps a
fourth might be found in the ranks of the Whig club. The
only other hope for the national party was in the boroughs,
which possessed a class of freemen, engaged in trade, too
numerous to be bought, or too public spirited to be dictated to.
Both influences combined might hope to return a powerful
minority, and, on this occasion (1790) they certainly did so.
Grattan and Lord Henry Fitzgerald were elected for Dublin,
over the Lord Mayor and one of the Aldermen, backed by the
whole power of the Castle; Curran, Ponsonby, Brownlow,
Forbes, and nearly all "the victims of their vote" were re-elected.
To these old familiar names were now added others
destined to equal, if not still wider fame--Arthur Wellesley,
member for Trim; Arthur O'Conor, member for Phillipstown;
Jonah Barrington, member for Tuam; and Robert Stewart,
one of the members for the County Down, then only in his
twenty-second year, and, next to Lord Edward Fitzgerald,
lately elected for Athy, the most extreme reformer among the
new members. Arthur O'Conor, on the other hand, commenced
his career with the Court by moving the address in
answer to the speech from the throne!

The new Parliament, which met in July, 1790, unanimously
re-elected Mr. Foster, Speaker; passed a very loyal
address, and, after a fortnight's sitting, was prorogued
till the following January. The session of '91 was marked
by no event of importance, the highest opposition vote
seems to have been from 80 to 90, and the ministerial
majority never less than 50. The sale of Peerages, the
East India trade, the Responsibility (for money warrants)
Bill, the Barren Lands Bill, and the Pension Bill, were
the chief topics. A committee to inquire into the best
means of encouraging breweries, and discouraging the use
of spirituous liquors, was also granted, and some curious
facts elicited. Nothing memorable was done, but much that
was memorable was said--for the great orator had still
a free press, and a home audience to instruct and elevate.
The truth is, the barrenness of these two sessions was
due to the general prosperity of the country, more even
than to the dexterous management of Major Hobart and the
Cabinet balls of Lord Westmoreland. There was, moreover,
hanging over the minds of men the electric pressure of
the wonderful events with which France shook the Continent,
and made the Islands tremble. There was hasty hope, or
idle exultation, or pious fear, or panic terror, in the
hearts of the leading spectators of that awful drama,
according to the prejudices or principles they maintained.
Over all the three kingdoms there was a preternatural
calm, resembling that physical stillness which in other
latitude precedes the eruption of volcanoes.



Before relating the consequences which attended the spread
of French revolutionary opinions in Ireland, it is
necessary to exhibit the new and very important position
assumed by the Roman Catholic population at that period.

The relief bills in 1774 and 1778, by throwing open to
Catholics the ordinary means of acquiring property,
whether moveable or immoveable, had enabled many of them
to acquire fortunes, both in land and in trade. Of this
class were the most efficient leaders in the formation
of the Catholic Committee of 1790--John Keogh, Edward
Byrne, and Richard McCormick. They were all men who had
acquired fortunes, and who felt and cherished the
independence of self-made men. They were not simply
Catholic agitators claiming an equality of civil and
religious rights with their Protestant fellow-countrymen;
they were nationalists, in the broadest and most generous
meaning of the term. They had contributed to the ranks
and expenses of the Volunteers; they had swelled the
chorus of Grattan's triumph, and borne their share of
the cost in many a popular contest. The new generation
of Protestant patriots--such men as the Hon. Simon Butler,
Wolfe Tone, and Thomas Addis Emmet, were their intimate
associates, shared their opinions, and regarded their
exclusion from the pale of the constitution as a public

There was another and a smaller, but not less important
class--the remnant of the ancient Catholic peerage and
landed gentry, who, through four generations, had preferred
civil death to religious apostasy. It was impossible not
to revere the heroic constancy of that class, and the
personal virtues of many among them. But they were,
perhaps, constitutionally, too timid and too punctilious
to conduct a popular movement to a successful issue. They
had, after much persuasion, lent their presence to the
Committee, but on some alarm, which at that time seems
to have been premature, of the introduction of French
revolutionary principles among their associates, they
seceded in a mass. A formal remonstrance against what
remained, pretending to act for the Catholic body, was
signed by Lord Kenmare and sixty-seven others, who
withdrew. As a corrective, it was inadequate; as a
preventive, useless. It no doubt hastened in the end the
evil it deprecated in the beginning; it separated the
Catholic gentry from the Catholic democracy, and thrust
the latter more and more towards those liberal Protestants,
mainly men of the middle class like themselves, who began
about this time to club together at Belfast and Dublin,
under the attractive title of "United Irishmen." Whatever
they were individually, the union of so many hereditary
Catholic names had been of very great service to the
committee. So long as they stood aloof, the committee
could not venture to speak for _all_ the Catholics; it
could only speak for a part, though that part might be
nine-tenths of the whole: this gave for a time a doubtful
and hesitating appearance to their proceedings. So low
was their political influence, in 1791, that they could
not get a single member of Parliament to present their
annual petition. When at last it was presented, it was
laid on the table and never noticed afterwards. To their
further embarrassment, Mr. McKenna and some others formed
"the Catholic Society," with the nominal object of
spreading a knowledge of Catholic principles, through
the press, but covertly, to raise up a rival organization,
under the control of the seceders. At this period John
Keogh's talents for negotiation and diplomacy saved the
Catholic body from another term of anarchical imbecility.

A deputation of twelve having waited this year on the
Chief Secretary with a list of the existing penal laws,
found no intention, at the Castle, of further concession.
They were "dismissed without an answer." Under these
circumstances, the Committee met at Allen's Court. "It
was their determination," says Keogh, "to give up the
cause as desperate, lest a perseverance in what they
considered an idle pursuit might not only prove ineffectual,
but draw down a train of persecution on the body." Keogh
endeavoured to rally them; proposed a delegation to
London, to be sent at the expense of the Committee;
offered, at last, to go at his own charge, if they
authorized him. This proposal was accepted, and Keogh
went. "I arrived in London," he adds, "without any
introduction from this country, without any support, any
assistance, any instructions." He remained three months,
converted Mr. Dundas, brought back with him the son of
Burke as Secretary, and a promise of four concessions:
1st. The magistracy. 2nd. The grand juries. 3rd. The
sheriffs of counties. 4th. The bar. It was in this
interview that Keogh, after obtaining Mr. Dundas's express
permission and promise not to be offended, said to him,
according to Charles Butler's account, "Since you give
me this permission, and your deliberate promise not to
be offended, I beg leave to repeat, that there _is_ one
thing which you ought to know, but which you don't suspect:
you, Mr. Dundas, know nothing of Ireland." Mr. Dundas,
as may be supposed, was greatly surprised; but, with
perfect good humour, told Mr. Keogh that he believed
this was not the case; it was true that he never had been
in Ireland, but he had conversed with many Irishmen. "I
have drunk," he said, "many a good bottle of wine with
Lord Hillsborough, Lord Clare, and the Beresfords." "Yes,
sir," said Mr. Keogh, "I believe you have; and that you
drank many a good bottle of wine with them before you
went to war with America."

On the return of Keogh to Dublin, a numerous meeting was
held to hear his report. At this meeting, the fair promises
of the English ministers were contrasted with the hostility
of the Castle. The necessity of a strong organization,
to overcome the one and hasten the other, was felt by
all: it was then decided to form the Committee into a
Convention. By this plan, the Catholics in each county
and borough were called on to choose, in a private manner,
certain electors, who were to elect two or more delegates,
to represent the town or county in the general meeting
at Dublin, on the 3rd day of December following. A
circular, signed by Edward Byrne, Chairman, and Richard
McCormick, Secretary, explaining the plan and the mode
of election, was issued on the 14th of January, and the
Catholics everywhere prepared to obey it.

The corporations of Dublin and other cities, the grand
juries of Derry, Donegal, Leitrim, Roscommon, Limerick,
Cork, and other counties, at once pronounced most strongly
against the proposed Convention. They declared it
"unconstitutional," "alarming," "most dangerous;" they
denounced it as a copy of the National Assembly of France;
they declared that they would "resist it to the utmost
of their power;" they pledged "their lives and fortunes"
to suppress it. The only answer of the Catholics was the
legal opinion of Butler and Burton, two eminent lawyers,
Protestants and King's counsellors, that the measure was
entirely legal. They proceeded with their selection of
delegates, and on the appointed day the Convention met.
From the place of meeting', this Convention was popularly
called "the Back Lane Parliament." Above 200 members were

The Convention proceeded (Mr. Byrne in the chair) to
declare itself the only body competent to speak for the
Catholics of Ireland. They next discussed the substance
of the proposed petition to the King. The debate on this
subject, full of life and colour, has been preserved for
us in the memoirs of Tone, who, although a Protestant,
had been elected Secretary to the Catholic Committee.
Great firmness was exhibited by Teeling of Antrim, Bellew
of Galway, McDermott of Sligo, Devereux of Wexford, Sir
Thomas French, and John Keogh. These gentlemen contended,
and finally carried, without a division, though not
without a two-days' debate, a petition, asking complete
and unrestricted emancipation. With the addition of the
Chairman and Secretary, they were appointed as deputies
to proceed to London, there to place the Catholic ultimatum
in the hands of King George.

The deputies, whether by design or accident, took Belfast
on their way to England. This great manufacturing town,
at the head of the staple industry of the north, had been
in succession the head-quarters of the Volunteers, the
Northern Whigs, and the United Irishmen. Belfast had
demanded in vain, for nearly a generation, that its 20,000
inhabitants should no longer be disfranchised, while a
dozen burgesses--creatures of Lord Donegal--controlled
the representation. Community of disfranchisement had
made the Belfastians liberal; the Catholic deputies were
publicly received with bonfires and ringing of bells,
their expenses were paid by the citizens, and their
carriage drawn along in triumph, on the road to

Arrived at London, after much negotiation and delay with
ministers, a day was fixed for their introduction to the
King. It was Wednesday, the 2nd of January, 1793; they
were presented by Edmund Burke and the Home Secretary to
George III., who "received them very graciously;" they
placed in his hands the petition of their co-religionists,
and, after some compliments, withdrew. In a few days,
they were assured their case would be recommended to the
attention of Parliament in the next royal speech, and
so, leaving one of their number behind as "charge
d'affaires," they returned to Dublin highly elated.

The Viceroy, on their return, was all attention to the
Catholics; the Secretary, who, a year before, would not
listen to a petition, now laboured to fix a limit to
concession. The demand of complete emancipation, was not
maintained in this negotiation as firmly as in the December
debates of "the Back Lane Parliament." The shock of the
execution of the King of France; the efforts of the secret
committee of the House of Lords to inculpate certain
Catholic leaders in the United-Irish system, and as
patrons of the Defenders; the telling argument, that to
press all was to risk all,--these causes combined to
induce the sub-committee to consent to less than the
Convention had decided to insist upon. Negotiation was
the strong ground of the government, and they kept it.
Finally, the bill was introduced by the Chief Secretary,
and warmly supported by Grattan, Curran, Ponsonby, Forbes,
and Hutchinson, Provost of Trinity College. It was resisted
in the Lower House by Mr. Speaker Foster, Mr. Ogle, and
Dr. Duigenan, an apostate, who exhibited all the bitterness
of his class; and in the Upper House, by the Chancellor,
the son of an apostate, and the majority of the lords
spiritual. On the 9th day of April, 1793, it became the
law of Ireland. "By one comprehensive clause," says Tone,
"all penalties, forfeitures, disabilities, and incapacities
are removed; the property of the Catholic is completely
discharged from the restraints and limitations of the
penal laws, and their liberty, in a great measure,
restored, by the restoration of the right of elective
franchise, so long withheld, so ardently pursued. The
right of self-defence is established by the restoration
of the privilege to carry arms, subject to a restraint,
which does not seem unreasonable, as excluding none but
the very lowest orders. The unjust and unreasonable
distinctions affecting Catholics, as to service on grand
and petty juries, are done away; the army, navy, and all
other offices and places of trust are opened to them,
subject to exceptions hereafter mentioned. Catholics may
be masters or fellows of any college hereafter to be
founded, subject to two conditions, that such college be
a member of the University, and that it be not founded
exclusively for the education of Catholics. They may be
members of any lay body corporate, except Trinity College,
any law, statute, or bye-law of such corporation to the
contrary notwithstanding. They may obtain degrees in the
University of Dublin. These, and some lesser immunities
and privileges, constitute the grant of the bill, the
value of which will be best ascertained by referring to
the petition."

It is true, Catholics were still excluded from the high
offices of Lord Lieutenant, Lord Deputy, and Lord
Chancellor. What was much more important, they were
excluded from sitting in Parliament--from exercising
legislative and judicial functions, Still the franchise,
the juries, the professions, and the University, were
important concessions. Their first fruits were Daniel
O'Connell and Thomas Moore!

The Committee having met to return thanks to the
parliamentary supporters of the bill, their own future
operations came also under debate. Some members advised
that they should add reform to their programme, as the
remnant of the penal laws were not sufficient to interest
and attract the people. Some would have gone much further
than reform; some were well content to rest on their
laurels. There were ultras, moderate men, and conservatives,
even in the twelve. The latter were more numerous than
Wolfe Tone liked or expected. That ardent revolutionist
had, indeed, at bottom, a strong dislike of the Catholic
religion; he united himself with that body because he
needed a party; he remained with them because it gave
him importance; but he chiefly valued the position as it
enabled him to further an ulterior design--an Irish
revolution and a republic on the French plan. The example
of France had, however, grown by this time rather a terror
than an attraction to more cautious men than Tone. Edward
Byrne, Sir Thomas French, and other leading Catholics,
were openly hostile to any imitation of it, and the dinner
at Daly's, to celebrate the passage of the act, was
strongly anti-Gallican in spirit and sentiment. Keogh,
McCormick, and McNevin, however, joined the United
Irishmen, and the two latter were placed on the Directory.
Keogh withdrew, when, in 1795, that organization became
a secret society.

The Bishops, who had cheered on, rather than participated
in the late struggle, were well satisfied with the new
measure. They were, by education and conviction,
conservatives. Dr. Plunkett of Meath, Dr. Egan of
Waterford, Dr. Troy of Dublin, and Dr. Moylan of Cork,
were the most remarkable for influence and ability at
this period. Dr. Butler of Cashel, and his opponent, Dr.
Burke of Ossory, the head of the resolute old ultramontane
minority, were both recently deceased. With the exception
of Dr. James Butler, Bishop of Cloyne and Ross, who
deserted his faith and order on becoming unexpectedly
heir to an earldom, the Irish prelates of the reign of
George III. were a most zealous and devoted body. Lord
Dunboyne's fall was the only cause of a reproach within
their own ranks. That unhappy prelate made, many years
afterwards, a death-bed repentance, was reconciled to
his church, and bequeathed a large part of his inherited
wealth to sustain the new national college, the founding
of which, ever since the outbreak of the French revolution,
the far-seeing Burke was urging upon Pitt and all his
Irish correspondents.

In 1794, the Irish Bishops, having applied for a "royal
license" to establish academies and seminaries, were
graciously received, and Lord Fitzwilliam's government
the next session brought in the Act of Incorporation. It
became law on the 5th of June, 1795, and the college was
opened the following October with fifty students. Dr
Hussey, afterwards Bishop of Waterford, the friend of
Burke, who stood by his deathbed, was first President;
some refugee French divines were appointed to
professorships; and the Irish Parliament voted the very
handsome sum of 8,000 pounds a year to the new foundation.
Maynooth, whatever its after lot, was the creation in
the first instance of the Irish Parliament. We have thus,
in the third century after the reformation, after three
great religious wars, after four confiscations, after
the most ingenious, cruel, and unchristian methods of
oppression and proselytism, had been tried and had failed,
the grand spectacle of the Catholics of Ireland restored,
if not fully, yet to the most precious of the civil and
religious liberties of a people! So powerless against
conscience is and ever must be coercion!



The era of independence which we have desired to mark
distinctly to the reader's mind, may be said to terminate
in 1797, with the hopeless secession of Grattan and his
friends from Parliament. Did the events within and without
the House justify that extreme measure? We shall proceed
to describe them as they arose, leaving the decision of
the question to the judgment of the reader.

The session of 1793, which extended into July, was,
besides the Catholic Relief Bill, productive of other
important results. Under the plea of the spread of French
principles, and the widespread organization of seditious
associations--a plea not wanting in evidence--an Arms
Act was introduced and carried, prohibiting the importation
of arms and gunpowder, and authorizing domiciliary visits,
at any hour of the night or day, in search of such arms.
Within a month from the passage of this bill, bravely
but vainly opposed by Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and the
opposition generally, the surviving Volunteer corps, in
Dublin and its vicinity, were disbanded, their arms,
artillery, and ammunition taken possession of either by
force or negotiation, and the very wreck of that once
powerful patriot army swept away. In its stead, by nearly
the same majority, the militia were increased to 16,000
men, and the regulars from 12,000 to 17,000--thus placing
at the absolute control of the Commander-in-Chief, and
the chiefs of the oligarchy, a standing army of 33,000
men. At the same period, Lord Clare (he had been made an
earl in 1792), introduced his Convention Act, against
the assemblage in convention of delegates purporting to
represent the people. With Grattan only 27 of the Commons
divided against this measure, well characterized as "the
boldest step that ever yet was made to introduce military
government." "If this bill had been law," Grattan added,
"the independence of the Irish Parliament, the emancipation
of the Catholics, and even the English revolution of
1688, could never have taken place!" The teller in favour
of the Convention Act was Major Wellesley, member for
Trim, twenty years later--Duke of Wellington! It became
and still remains the law of Ireland.

Against this reactionary legislation we must credit the
session of '93, besides the Catholic Relief Bill and the
East India Trade Bill, with Mr. Grattan's Barren Lands
Bill, exempting all newly reclaimed lands from the payment
of tithes for a period of seven years; Mr. Forbes's
Pension Bill, limiting the pension list to 80,000 pounds
sterling per annum, and fixing the permanent civil list
at 250,000 pounds per annum; and the excellent measure
of the same invaluable member, excluding from Parliament
all persons holding offices of profit under the crown,
except the usual ministerial officers, and those employed
in the _revenue service_. This last salvo was forced into
the bill by the oligarchical faction, for whose junior
branches the revenue had long been a fruitful source of

Parliament met next, on the 21st of January, '94, and
held a short two-months' session. The most remarkable
incidents of these two months were the rejection of Mr.
George Ponsonby's annual motion for parliamentary reform,
and the striking position taken by Grattan, Curran, and
all but seven or eight of their friends, in favour of
the war against the French republic. Mr. Ponsonby proposed,
in the spirit of Flood's plan ten years earlier, to unite
to the boroughs four miles square of the adjoining country,
thus creating a counterpoise to the territorial aristocracy
on the one hand, and the patrons of boroughs on the other;
he also proposed to extend the suffrage to every tradesman
who had served five years' apprenticeship, and gave each
county _three_ instead of two members, leaving intact,
of course, the forty-shilling freehold franchise. Not
more than 44 members, however, divided in favour of the
new project, while 142 voted against it! Had it passed,
the parliamentary history of the next six years could
never have been written.

It was on this Reform bill, and on the debate on the
address, that Grattan took occasion to declare his settled
and unalterable hostility to those "French principles,"
then so fashionable with all who called themselves friends
of freedom, in the three kingdoms. In the great social
schism which had taken place in Europe, in consequence
of the French revolution of 1789-'91, those kingdoms,
the favourite seat of free inquiry and free discussion,
could not hope to escape. The effects were visible in
every circle, among every order of men; in all the
churches, workshops, saloons, professions, into which
men were divided. Among publicists, most of all, the
shock was most severely felt; in England it separated
Burke and Windham from Fox, Erskine, Sheridan, and Grey;
in Ireland it separated Grattan and Curran from Lord
Edward Fitzgerald, Arthur O'Conor, Addis Emmet, Wolfe
Tone, and all those ardent, able, and honest men, who
hailed the French, as the forerunner of a complete series
of European republics, in which Ireland should shine out,
among the brightest and the best.

Grattan, who agreed with and revered Burke, looked upon
the "anti-Jacobin war," as a just and necessary war. It
was not in his nature to do anything by halves, and he
therefore cordially supported the paragraph in the address
pledging Ireland's support to that war. He was a
constitutionalist of the British, not of the French type.
In the subsequent Reform debate he declared that he would
always and ever resist those who sought to remodel the
Irish constitution on a French original. He asserted,
moreover, that great mischief had been already done by
the advocates of such a design, "It"--this design--"has
thrown back for the present the chance of any rational
improvement in the representation of the people," he
cried, "and has betrayed a good reform _to the hopes of
a shabby insurrection_." Proceeding in his own condensed,
crystalline antithesis, he thus enlarged on his own
opinions: "There are two characters equally enemies to
the reform of Parliament, and equally enemies to the
government--the leveller of the constitution, and the
friend of its abuses; they take different roads to arrive
at the same end. The levellers propose to subvert the
King and parliamentary constitution by a rank and
unqualified democracy--the friends of its abuses propose
to support the King and buy the Parliament, and in the
end to overset both, by a rank and avowed corruption.
They are both incendiaries; the one would destroy government
to pay his court to liberty; the other would destroy
liberty to pay his court to government; but the liberty
of the one would be confusion, and the government of the
other would be pollution."

We can well understand that this language pleased as
little the United Irishmen as the Castle. It was known
that in private he was accustomed to say, that, "the
wonder was not that Mr. Sheares should die on the scaffold,
but that Lord Clare was not there beside him." He stood
in the midst of the ways, crying aloud, with the wisdom
of his age and his genius, but there were few to heed
his warnings. The sanguine innovator sneered or pitied;
the truculent despot scowled or menaced; to the one his
authority was an impediment, to the other his reputation
was a reproach. It was a public situation as full of
conflict as man ever occupied, and we are not astonished,
on a nearer view, that it led, after three years hoping
against hope, to the despairing secession of 1797.

A bright gleam of better things shot for an instant across
the gloomy prospect, with which the year '94 closed for
the country. Lord Westmoreland was recalled, and Lord
Fitzwilliam, largely connected with Ireland by property,
and one of the most just and liberal men in England, was
to be his successor. The highest expectations were
excited; the best men congratulated each other on the
certain promise of better times close at hand; and the
nation, ever ready to believe whatever it wished to
believe, saw in prospect, the oligarchy restrained, the
patriots triumphant, and the unfinished fabric of
independence completed, and crowned with honour.

This new reign, though one of the shortest, was one of
the most important Ireland ever saw. Lord Fitzwilliam,
the nephew of Lord Rockingham, the first to acknowledge
the constitution of 1782, had married a Ponsonby; he was
a Burke whig--one of those who, with the Duke of Portland,
Earl Spencer, and Mr. Windham, had followed the "great
Edmund," in his secession from the Fox-and-Sheridan
majority of that party, in 1791. Pitt, anxious to conciliate
these new allies, had brought them all into office in
1794--Earl Fitzwilliam being placed in the dignified
position of President of the Council. When spoken of
for the Viceroyalty he wrote to Grattan, bespeaking his
support, and that of "his friends, the Ponsonbys;" this
letter and some others brought Grattan to London, where
he had two or three interviews with Pitt, the Duke of
Portland, and Lord Fitzwilliam. Better still, he made a
pilgrimage to Beaconsfield, and had the benefit of the
last advice of the aged Burke. With Pitt he was disappointed
and dissatisfied, but he still hoped and expected great
good from the appointment of Lord Fitzwilliam to the
office of Viceroy. It seems to have been fully understood
that the new Lord Lieutenant would have very full powers
to complete the gracious work of Catholic emancipation:
with this express understanding, Mr. Grattan was pressed
to accept the Chancellorship of the Exchequer, but steadily
declined; he upheld in that position Sir Henry Parnell,
an old personal, rather than political friend, one of a
family of whom Ireland has reason to retain a grateful
recollection. He was, however, with Ponsonby, Curran,
and others of his friends in both Houses, added to the
Privy Council, where they were free to shape the measures
of the new administration. At the King's levee, on the
10th of December, when Lord Fitzwilliam was sworn in,
the aged Burke, in deep mourning for his idolized son,
attended; Grattan was so much spoken to by the King as
to draw towards him particular attention; Mr. Pitt, the
Duke of Portland, and other ministers, were present. All
took and held the tone that complete emancipation was a
thing settled: Burke congratulated Grattan on the event,
and the new Viceroy was as jubilant and as confident as
anybody, that the great controversy was at length to be
finally closed under his auspices.

On the 4th of January, Lord Fitzwilliam reached Dublin;
and on the 25th of March he was recalled. The history of
these three months--of this short-lived attempt to govern
Ireland on the advice of Grattan--is full of instruction.
The Viceroy had not for a moment concealed his intention
of thoroughly reforming the Irish administration. On his
arrival at the Castle, Mr. Cooke was removed from the
Secretaryship, and Mr. Beresford from the Revenue Board.
Great was the consternation, and unscrupulous the intrigues
of the dismissed. When the Parliament met at the end of
January, Grattan assumed the leadership of the House of
Commons, and moved the address in answer to the speech
from the throne. No opposition was offered--and it passed
without a division. Immediately, a bill granting the
Catholics complete emancipation--rendering them eligible
even to the office of Chancellor, withheld in 1829--was
introduced by Grattan. Then the oligarchy found their
voices. The old cry of "the Church in danger" was raised,
delegations proceeded to London, and every agency of
influence was brought to bear on the King and the English
cabinet. From the tenor of his letters, Lord Fitzwilliam
felt compelled in honour to tell Mr. Pitt, that he might
choose between him and the Beresfords. He did choose--but
not till the Irish Parliament, in the exuberance of its
confidence and gratitude, had voted the extraordinary
subsidy of 20,000 men for the navy, and _a million, eight
hundred thousand pounds, towards the expenses of the war
with France!_ Then, the popular Viceroy was recalled amid
the universal regrets of the people. The day of his
departure from Dublin was a day of general mourning,
except with the oligarchical clique, whose leaders he
had so resolutely thrust aside. To them it was a day of
insolent and unconcealed rejoicing; and, what is not at
all uncommon under such circumstances, the infatuated
partisans of the French revolution, rejoiced hardly less
than the extremest Tories, at the sudden collapse of a
government equally opposed to the politics of both.
Grattan, than whom no public man was ever more free from
unjust suspicion of others, always remained under the
conviction that Pitt had made merely a temporary use of
Lord Fitzwilliam's popularity, in order to cheat the
Irish out of the immense supplies they had voted; and
all the documents of the day, which have since seen the
light, accord well with that view of the transaction.
Lord Fitzwilliam was immediately replaced by Lord Camden,
whose Viceroyalty extended into the middle of the year
1798: a reign which embraced all that remains to us to
narrate, of the Parliamentary politics of the era of

The sittings of Parliament were resumed during April,
May, and June, but the complete emancipation bill was
rejected three to one--155 to 55; the debates were now
marked, on the part of Toler, Duigenan, Johnson, and
others, with the most violent anti-Catholic spirit. All
this tended to inflame still more the exasperated feeling
which already prevailed in the country between Orangemen
and Defenders. Thus it came, that the High Court of
Parliament, which ought to have been the chief school of
public wisdom--the calm correcting tribunal of public
opinion--was made a principal engine in the dissemination
of those prejudices and passions, which drove honest men
to despair of constitutional redress, and swelled the
ranks of the secret political societies, till they became
co-extensive with the population.

The session of 1796 was even more hopeless than the
immediately preceding one. A trade motion of Grattan's
on the address commanded only 14 votes out of 140; in
the next session his motion in favour of equal rights to
persons of all religious creeds, obtained but 12 votes
out of 160! From these figures it is clear that above a
third of the members of the House no longer attended;
that of those who did attend, the overwhelming and
invariable majority--ten to one--were for all the measures
of repression and coercion which marked these two sessions.
The Insurrection Act, giving power to the magistrates of
any county to proclaim martial law; the Indemnity Act,
protecting magistrates from the consequences of exercising
"a vigour beyond the law;" the Riot Act, giving authority
to disperse any number of persons by force of arms without
notice; the Suspension of the _habeas corpus_ (against
which only 7 members out of a House of 164 voted)--all
were evidences to. Grattan, that the usefulness of the
House of Commons, as then constituted, was, for the tune,
lost or destroyed. It is quite clear that he came to
this conviction slowly and reluctantly; that he struggled
against it with manly fortitude through three sessions;
that he yielded to it at length, when there was no longer
a possibility of resistance,--when to move or to divide
the House, had become a wretched farce, humiliating to
the country, and unworthy of his own earnest and
enthusiastic patriotism.

Under these circumstances, the powerless leader and his
devoted staff resolved to withdraw, formally and openly,
from further attendance on the House of Commons. The
deplorable state of the country, delivered over to an
irresponsible magistracy and all the horrors of martial
law; the spread among the patriotic rising generation of
French principles; the scarcely concealed design of the
Castle to goad the people into insurrection, in order to
deprive them of their liberties; all admonished the
faithful few that the walls of Parliament were no longer
their sphere of usefulness. One last trial was, however,
made in May, 1797, for a reform of Parliament. Mr. George
Ponsonby moved his usual motion, and Curran, Hardy, Sir
Lawrence Parsons, Charles Kendall Bushe, and others, ably
supported him. The division was 30 to 117. It was on this
debate, that Grattan, whose mournful manner contrasted
so strongly with his usual enthusiasm, concluded a solemn
exposition of the evils the administration were bringing
on the country, by these affecting words:--"We have
offered you our measure--you will reject it; we deprecate
yours--you will persevere; having no hopes left to persuade
or to dissuade, and having discharged our duty, we shall
trouble you no more, _and after this day shall not attend
the House of Commons_." The secession thus announced was
accomplished; at the general election, two months later,
Grattan and his colleague, Lord Henry Fitzgerald, refused
to stand again for Dublin; Curran, Lord Edward Fitzgerald,
Arthur O'Conor, and others, followed his example. A few
patriots, hoping against hope, were, however, returned,
a sort of forlorn hope, to man the last redoubt of the
Constitution. Of these was William Conyngham Plunkett,
member for Charlemont, Grattan's old borough, a
constitutionalist of the school of Edmund Burke, worthy
to be named among the most illustrious of his disciples.

In the same July, on the 7th of the month, on which the
Irish elections were held, that celebrated Anglo-Irish
statesman expired at Beaconsfield, in the sixty-seventh
year of his age. His last thoughts--his last wishes, like
his first--were with his native land. His regards continued
fixed on the state of Ireland, while vision and faculty
remained. His last efforts in writing and conversation
were to plead for toleration, concession and conciliation
towards Ireland. The magisterial gravity of Burke was
not calculated to permit him to be generally popular with
an impulsive people, but as years roll on, and education
extends its dominion, his reputation rises and brightens
above every other reputation of his age, British or Irish.
Of him no less truly than powerfully did Grattan say in
the Imperial Parliament, in 1815: "He read everything,
he saw everything, he foresaw everything. His knowledge
of history amounted to a power of foretelling; and when
he perceived the wild work that was doing in France, that
great political physician, intelligent of symptoms,
distinguished between the access of fever and the force
of health; and what other men conceived to be the vigour
of her constitution, he knew to be no more than the
paroxysm of her madness; and then, prophet-like, he
denounced the destinies of France, and in his prophetic
fury, admonished nations."



Half measures of justice may satisfy the generation which
achieves them, but their successors will look with other
eyes, as well on what has been won as on that which is
withheld. The part in possession will appear to their
youthful sense of abstract right and wrong far less
precious than the part in expectancy, for it is in the
nature of the young to look forward, as it is of the old
to turn their regards to the past. The very recollection
of their fathers will stimulate the new generation to
emulate their example, and will render them averse to
being bound by former compromises. So necessary is it
for statesmen, when they yield to a just demand long
withheld, to yield gracefully and to yield all that is
fairly due.

The celebrated group known to us as "the United Irishmen,"
were the birth of a new generation, entering together on
the public stage. With few exceptions, the leading
characters were all born within a few years of each other:
Neilson in 1761, Tone, Arthur O'Conor and Lord Edward
Fitzgerald in '62, McNevin in '63, Sampson and Thomas
Addis Emmet in '64, and Russell in '67. They had emerged
into manhood while the drums of the Volunteers were
beating victorious marches, when the public hopes ran
high, and the language of patriotism was the familiar
speech of every-day life.

In a settled state of society it would have been natural
for the first minds of the new generation to carry their
talents, gratefully and dutifully, into the service of
the first reputations of the old; but Irish society, in
the last years of the last century, was not in a settled
condition; the fascination of French example, and the
goading sense of national wrongs only half-righted,
inflamed the younger generation with a passionate thirst
for speedy and summary justice on their oppressors. We
must not look, therefore, to see the Tones and Emmets
continuing in the constitutional line of public conduct
marked out by Burke in the one kingdom, and Grattan in
the other. The new age was revolutionary, and the new
men were filled with the spirit of the age. Their actions
stand apart; they form an episode in the history of the
century to which there may be parallels, but a chapter
in the history of their own country original and alone.

The United Irish Society sprung up at Belfast in October,
1791. In that month, Theobold Wolf Tone, then in his 28th
year, a native of Kildare, a member of the bar, and an
excellent popular pamphleteer, on a visit to his friend
Thomas Russell, in the northern capital, was introduced
to Samuel Neilson, proprietor of the _Northern Star_
newspaper, and several other kindred spirits, all staunch
reformers, or "something more." Twenty of these gentlemen
meeting together, adopted a programme prepared by Tone,
which contained these three simple propositions: that
"English influence" was the great danger of Irish liberty;
that a reform of Parliament could alone create a
counterpoise to that influence; and that such a reform
to be just should include Irishmen of all religious
denominations. On Tone's return to Dublin, early in
November, a branch society was formed on the Belfast
basis. The Hon. Simon Butler, a leading barrister, was
chosen Chairman, and Mr. Napper Tandy, an active middle-aged
merchant, with strong republican principles, was Secretary.
The solemn declaration or oath, binding every member "to
forward a brotherhood of affection, an identity of
interests, a communion of rights, and a union of power
among Irishmen of all religious persuasions," was drawn
up by the Dublin club, and became the universal bond of
organization. Though the Belfast leaders had been long
in the habit of meeting in "secret committee," to direct
and control the popular movements in their vicinage, the
new society was not, in its inception, nor for three
years afterwards, a secret society. When that radical
change was proposed, we find it resisted by a considerable
minority, who felt themselves at length compelled to
retire from an association, the proceedings of which they
could no longer approve. In justice to those who remained,
adopting secrecy as their only shield, it must be said,
that the freedom of the press and of public discussion
had been repeatedly and frequently violated before they
abandoned the original maxims and tactics of their body,
which were all open, and above-board.

In 1792, Simon Butler, and Oliver Bond--a prosperous
Dublin merchant of northern origin--was summoned to the
bar of the House of Lords, condemned to six months'
imprisonment, and a fine of 500 pounds each, for having
acted as Chairman and Secretary of one of the meetings,
at which an address to the people, strongly reflecting
on the corrupt constitution of Parliament, was adopted.
In '94, Archibald Hamilton Rowan, one of the purest and
most chivalrous characters of any age, was convicted, by
a packed jury, of circulating the famous "Universal
Emancipation" address of his friend, Dr. William Drennan,
the poet-politician of the party. He was defended by
Curran, in the still more famous speech in which occurs
his apostrophe to "the genius of Universal Emancipation;"
but he atoned in the cells of Newgate, for circulating
the dangerous doctrine which Drennan had broached, and
Curran had immortalized.

The regular place of meeting of the Dublin society was
the Tailors' Hall, in Back Lane, a spacious building,
called, from the number of great popular gatherings held
in it, "the Back Lane Parliament." Here Tandy, in the
uniform of his new National Guard, whose standard bore
the harp without the crown, addressed his passionate
harangues to the applauding multitude; here Tone, whose
_forte_, however, was not oratory, constantly attended;
here, also, the leading Catholics, Keogh and McCormack,
the "Gog" and "Magog," of Tone's extraordinary _Memoirs_,
were occasionally present. And here, on the night of the
4th of May, 1794, the Dublin society found themselves
suddenly assailed by the police, their papers seized,
their officers who were present arrested, and their
meeting dispersed. From that moment we may date the new
and _secret_ organization of the brotherhood, though it
was not in general operation till the middle of the
following year.

This new organization, besides its secrecy, had other
revolutionary characteristics. For "reform of Parliament"
was substituted in the test, or oath, representation "of
all the people of Ireland," and for petitions and
publications, the enrolment of men, by baronies and
counties, and the appointment of officers, from the least
to the highest in rank, as in a regular army. The unit
was a lodge of twelve members, with a chairman and
secretary, who were also their corporal and sergeant;
five of these lodges formed a company, and the officers
of five such companies a baronial committee, from which
again, in like manner, the county committees were formed.
Each of the provinces had its Directory, while in Dublin
the supreme authority was established, in an "Executive
Directory" of five members. The orders of the Executive
were communicated to not more than one of the Provincial
Directors, and by him to one of each County Committee,
and so in a descending scale, till the rank and file were
reached; an elaborate contrivance, but one which proved
wholly insufficient to protect the secrets of the
organization from the ubiquitous espionage of the

In May, 1795, the new organization lost the services of
Wolfe Tone, who was compromised by a strange incident,
to a very serious extent. The incident was the arrest
and trial of the Rev. William Jackson, an Anglican
clergyman, who had imbibed the opinions of Price and
Priestley, and had been sent to Ireland by the French
Republic, on a secret embassy. Betrayed by a friend and
countryman, named Cockayne, the unhappy Jackson took
poison in prison, and expired in the dock. Tone had been
seen with Jackson, and through the influence of his
friends, was alone protected from arrest. He was compelled,
however, to quit the country, in order to preserve his
personal liberty. He proceeded with his family to Belfast,
where, before taking shipping for America, he renewed
with his first associates, their vows and projects, on
the summit of "the Cave Hill," which looks down upon the
rich valley of the Laggan, and the noble town and port
at its outlet. Before quitting Dublin, he had solemnly
promised Emmet and Russell, in the first instance, as he
did his Belfast friends in the second, that he would make
the United States his _route_ to France, where he would
negotiate a formidable national alliance, for "the United

In the year in which Tone left the country, Lord Edward
Fitzgerald, brother of the Duke of Leinster, and formerly
a Major in the British Army, joined the society; in the
next year--near its close--Thomas Addis Emmet, who had
long been in the confidence of the promoters, joined, as
did, about the same time, Arthur O'Conor, nephew of Lord
Longueville, and ex-member for Phillipstown, and Dr.
William James McNevin, a Connaught Catholic, educated in
Austria, then practising his profession with eminent
success in Dublin. These were felt to be important
accessions, and all four were called upon to act on "the
Executive Directory," from time to time, during 1796 and

The coercive legislation carried through Parliament,
session after session--the Orange persecutions in Armagh
and elsewhere--the domiciliary visits--the military
outrages in town and country--the free quarters, whipping
and tortures--the total suppression of the public press
--the bitter disappointment of Lord Fitzwilliam's
recall--the annual failure of Ponsonby's motion for
reform--finally, the despairing secession of Grattan and
his friends from Parliament--had all tended to expand
the system, which six years before was confined to a few
dozen enthusiasts of Belfast and Dublin, into the dimensions
of a national confederacy. By the close of this year,
500,000 men had taken the test, in every part of the
country, and nearly 300,000 were reported as armed, either
with firelocks or pikes. Of this total, 110,000 alone
were returned for Ulster; about 60,000 for Leinster, and
the remainder from Connaught and Munster. A fund,
ludicrously small, 1,400 pounds sterling, remained in
the hands of the Executive, after all the outlay which
had taken place, in procuring arms, in extending the
union, and in defending prisoners arrested as members of
the society. Lord Edward Fitzgerald was chosen
Commander-in-Chief; but the main reliance, for munitions,
artillery, and officers, was placed upon the French



The close of the year 1795 saw France under the government
of the Directory, with Carnot in the cabinet, and Pichegru,
Jourdain, Moreau, Hoche, and Buonaparte at the head of
its armies. This government, with some change of persons,
lasted from October, 1795, to November, '99, when it was
supplanted by the Consular Revolution. Within the compass
of those four years lie the negotiations which were
carried on and the three great expeditions which were
fitted out by France and Holland, at the instance of the
United Irishmen.

On the 1st of February, 1796, Tone, who had sailed from
Belfast the previous June, arrived at Havre from New
York, possessed of a hundred guineas and some useful
letters of introduction. One of these letters, written
in cipher, was from the French Minister at Philadelphia
to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Charles Lacroix;
another was to the American Minister in France, Mr.
Monroe, afterwards President of the United States, by
whom he was most kindly received, and wisely advised, on
reaching Paris. Lacroix received him courteously, and
referred him to a subordinate called Madgett, but after
nearly three months wasted in interviews and explanations,
Tone, by the advice of Monroe, presented himself at the
Luxembourg Palace, and demanded audience of the "Organizer
of Victory." Carnot also listened to him attentively,
asked and obtained his true name, and gave him another
_rendezvous_. He was next introduced to Clarke (afterwards
Duc de Feltre), Secretary at War, the son of an Irishman,
whom he found wholly ignorant of Ireland; and finally,
on the 12th of July, General Hoche, in the most frank
and winning manner, introduced himself. At first the
Directory proposed sending to Ireland no more than 5,000
men, while Tone pleaded for 20,000; but when Hoche accepted
the command, he assured Tone he would go "in sufficient
force." The "pacificator of La Vendee," as the young
general was called--he was only thirty-two,--won at once
the heart of the enthusiastic founder of the United
Irishmen, and the latter seems to have made an equally
favourable impression. He was at once presented with
the commission of a _chef de brigade_ of infantry--a rank
answering to that of colonel with us--and was placed as
adjutant on the general's staff. Hoche was all ardour
and anxiety; Carnot cheered him on by expressing his
belief that it would be "a most brilliant operation;"
and certainly Tone was not the man to damp such
expectations, or allow them to evaporate in mere
complimentary assurances.

During the autumn months the expedition was busily being
fitted out at Brest, and the general head-quarters were
at Rennes. The Directory, to satisfy themselves that all
was as represented by Tone, had sent an agent of their
own to Ireland, by whom a meeting was arranged on the
Swiss frontier between Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Arthur
O'Conor, Dr. McNevin, and Hoche. From this meeting--the
secret of which he kept to himself--the young general
returned in the highest spirits, and was kinder than ever
to his adjutant. At length, early in December, all was
ready, and on the 16th the Brest fleet stood out to sea;
17 sail of the line, 13 frigates, and 13 smaller ships,
carrying 15,000 picked troops, the _elite_ of "the Army
of the Ocean," and abundance of artillery and munitions
of war. Tone was in the _Indomptable_, 80 guns, commanded
by a Canadian, named Bedout; Hoche and the Admiral in
the frigate _Fraternite_; Grouchy, so memorable for the
part he played then and afterwards, was second in command.
On the third morning, after groping about and losing each
other in Atlantic fog, one-half the fleet (with the fatal
exception of the _Fraternite_) found themselves close in
with the coast of Kerry. They entered Bantry Bay, and
came to anchor, ten ships of war, and "a long line of
dark hulls resting on the green water." Three or four
days they lay dormant and idle, waiting for the General
and Admiral; Bouvet, the Vice-Admiral, was opposed to
moving in the absence of his chief; Grouchy was irresolute
and nervous; but at length, on Christmas day, the council
of war decided in favour of debarkation. The landing was
to take place next morning; 6,500 veterans were prepared
to step ashore at daylight, but without their artillery,
their military chest, and their general. Two hours beyond
midnight Tone was roused from sleep by the wind, which
he found blowing half a gale. Pacing the gallery of the
_Indomptable_ till day dawned, he felt it rising louder
and angrier, every hour. The next day it was almost a
hurricane, and the Vice-Admiral's frigate, running under
the quarter of the great 80-gun ship, ordered them to
slip anchor and stand out to sea. The whole fleet was
soon driven off the Irish coast; that part of it, in
which Grouchy and Tone were embarked, made its entrance
into Brest on New Year's day; the ship which carried
Hoche and the Admiral, only arrived at La Rochelle on
the 15th. The Directory and the General, so far from
being discouraged by this failure, consoled themselves
by the demonstration they had made, of the possibility
of a great fleet passing to and fro, in British waters,
for nearly a month, without encountering a single British
vessel of war. Not so the Irish negotiator; on him,
light-hearted and daring as he was, the disappointment
fell with crushing weight; but he magnanimously carried
Grouchy's report to Paris, and did his utmost to defend
the unlucky general from a cabal which had been formed
against him.

While Tone was reluctantly following his new chief to
the Meuse and the Rhine--with a promise that the Irish
expedition was delayed, not abandoned--another, and no
less fortunate negotiator, was raising up a new ally for
the same cause, in an unexpected quarter. The Batavian
republic, which had risen in the steps of Pichegru's
victorious army, in 1794, was now eager to imitate the
example of France. With a powerful fleet, and an unemployed
army, its chiefs were quite ready to listen to any proposal
which would restore the maritime ascendancy of Holland,
and bring back to the recollection of Europe the memory
of the puissant Dutch republic. In this state of affairs,
the new agent of the Irish Directory, Edward John Lewines,
a Dublin attorney, a man of great ability and energy,
addressed himself to the Batavian government. He had been
sent abroad with very general powers, to treat with
Holland, Spain, France, or any other government at war
with England, for a loan of half a million sterling, and
a sufficient auxiliary force to aid the insurrection.
During two months' stay at Hamburg, the habitual route
in those days from the British ports to the continent,
he had placed himself in communication with the Spanish
agent there, and had, in forty days, received an encouraging
answer from Madrid. On his way, probably to Spain, to
follow up that fair prospect, he reached the Netherlands,
and rapidly discovering the state of feeling in the Dutch,
or as it was then called, the _Batavian_ republic, he
addressed himself to the Directors, who consulted Hoche,
by whom in turn Tone was consulted. Tone had a high
opinion of Lewines, and at once proceeded with him to
the Hague, where they were joined, according to agreement,
by Hoche. The Dutch Committee of Foreign Affairs, the
Commander-in-Chief, General Dandaels, and the Admiral,
De Winter, entered heartily into the project. There were
in the Texel 16 ships of the line and 10 frigates,
victualled for three months, with 15,000 men and 80 field
guns on board. The only serious difficulty in the way
was removed by the disinterestedness of Hoche; the French
Foreign Minister having demanded that 5,000 French troops
should be of the expedition, and that Hoche should command
in chief; the latter, to conciliate Dandaels and the
Dutch, undertook to withdraw the proposal, and gracefully
yielded his own pretensions. All then was settled: Tone
was to accompany Dandaels with the same rank he had in
the Brest expedition, and Lewines to return, and remain,
as "Minister-resident" at Paris. On the 8th of July, Tone
was on board the flagship, the _Vryheid_, 74 guns, in
the Texel, and "only waiting for a wind," to lead another
navy to the aid of his compatriots.

But the winds, "the only unsubsidized allies of England,"
were strangely adverse. A week, two, three, four, five,
passed heavily away, without affording a single day in
which that mighty fleet could make an offing. Sometimes
for an hour or two it shifted to the desired point, the
sails were unclewed and the anchors shortened, but then,
as if to torture the impatient exiles on board, it veered
back again and settled steadily in the fatal south-west.
At length, at the end of August, the provisions being
nearly consumed, and the weather still unfavourable, the
Dutch Directory resolved to land the troops and postpone
the expedition. De Winter, as is known, subsequently
found an opportunity to work out, and attack Lord Duncan,
by whom he was badly beaten. Thus ended Irish hopes of
aid from Holland. The indomitable Tone rejoined his chief
on the Rhine, where, to his infinite regret, Hoche died
the following month--September 18th, 1797--of a rapid
consumption, accelerated by cold and carelessness. "Hoche,"
said Napoleon to Barry O'Meara at Saint Helena, "was one
of the first generals France ever produced. He was brave,
intelligent, abounding in talent, decisive and penetrating.
Had he landed in Ireland, he would have succeeded. He
was accustomed to civil war, had pacified La Vendee, and
was well adapted for Ireland. He had a fine, handsome
figure, a good address, was prepossessing and intriguing."
The loss of such a patron, who felt himself, according
to Tone's account, especially bound to follow up the
object of separating Ireland from England, was a calamity
greater and more irreparable than the detention of one
fleet or the dispersion of the other.

The third expedition, in promoting which Tone and Lewines
bore the principal part, was decided upon by the French
Directory, immediately after the conclusion of peace with
Austria, in October, 1797. The decree for the formation
of "the Army of England," named Buonaparte Commander-in-
Chief, with Desaix as his second. Buonaparte consulted
Clarke as to who he most confided in among the numerous
Irish refugees then in Paris--there were some twenty or
thirty, all more or less known, and more or less in
communication with the Directory--and Clarke answered
at once, "Tone, of course." Tone, with Lewines, the one
in a military, the other in an ambassadorial capacity,
had frequent interviews with the young conqueror of Italy,
whom they usually found silent and absorbed, always
attentive, sometimes asking sudden questions betraying
great want of knowledge of the British Islands, and
occasionally, though rarely, breaking out into irresistible
invectives against Jacobinism and the English system,
both of which he so cordially detested. Every assurance
was given by the General, by the Directors, by Merlin du
Douai, Barras, and Talleyrand especially, that the
expedition against England would never be abandoned.
Tone, in high spirits as usual, joined the division under
the command of his countryman, General Kilmaine, and took
up his quarters at Havre, where he had landed without
knowing a soul in France two years before.

The winter wore away in busy preparations at Havre, at
Brest, and at La Rochelle,--and, which seemed mysterious
to the Irish exiles--at Toulon. All the resources of
France, now without an enemy on the Continent, were put
forth in these preparations. But it soon appeared they
were not put forth for Ireland. On the 20th of May,
1798--within three days of the outbreak in Dublin, Wexford,
and Kildare--Buonaparte sailed with the _elite_ of all
that expedition for Alexandria, and "the Army of England"
became, in reality, "the Army of Egypt."

The bitterness, the despondency, and desperation which
seized on the Irish leaders in France, and on the rank
and file of the United Irishmen at home, on receiving
this intelligence are sufficiently illustrated in the
subsequent attempts under Humbert and Bompart, and the
partial, ineffectual risings in Leinster, Ulster, and
Connaught, during the summer and autumn of 1798. After
all their high hopes from France and her allies, this
was what it had come to at last! A few frigates, with
three or four thousand men, were all that could be spared
for the succour of a kingdom more populous than Egypt
and Syria combined; the granary of England, and the key
of her Atlantic position. It might have been some comfort
to the family of Tone to have read, thirty years afterwards,
in their American asylum, or for the aged Lewines to have
read in the Parisian retreat in which he died, the
memorable confession of Napoleon at Saint Helena: "If
instead of the expedition to Egypt, I had undertaken that
to Ireland, what," he asked, "could England do now? On
such chances," he mournfully added, "depend the destinies
of empires!"



It is no longer matter of assertion merely, but simple
matter of fact, that the English and Irish ministers of
George III. regarded the insurrectionary movement of
the United Irishmen as at once a pretext and a means for
effecting a legislative union between the two countries.
Lord Camden, the Viceroy who succeeded Lord Fitzwilliam
in March, '95--with Mr. Pelham as his Chief Secretary,
in a letter to his relative, the Hon. Robert Stewart,
afterwards Lord Castlereagh, announced this policy, in
unmistakable terms, so early as 1793; and all the official
correspondence published of late years, concerning that
period of British and Irish history, establishes the fact
beyond the possibility of denial.

Such being the design, it was neither the wish nor the
interest of the Government, that the insurrection should
be suppressed, unless the Irish constitution could be
extinguished with it. To that end they proceeded in the
coercive legislation described in a previous chapter; to
that end they armed with irresponsible power the military
officers and the oligarchical magistracy; with that view
they quartered those yeomanry regiments, which were known
to be composed of Orangemen, on the wretched peasantry
of the most Catholic counties, while the corps in which
Catholics or United Irishmen were most numerous, were
sent over to England, in exchange for Scotch fencibles
and Welsh cavalry. The outrages committed by all these
volunteer troops, but above all by the Orange yeomanry
of the country, were so monstrous, that the gallant and
humane Sir John Moore exclaimed, "If I were an Irishman,
I would be a rebel!"

It was, indeed, impossible for any man, however obscure,
or however eminent, to live longer in the country, without
taking sides. Yet the choice was at best a hard and
unhappy one. On the one side was the Castle, hardly
concealing its intention of goading on the people, in
order to rob them of their Parliament; on the other was
the injured multitude, bound together by a secret system
which proved in reality no safeguard against traitors in
their own ranks, and which had been placed by its Protestant
chiefs under the auspices of an infidel republic. Between
the two courses men made election according to their bias
or their necessities, or as they took local or general,
political or theological views of the situation. Both
Houses of the legislature unanimously, sustained the
government against the insurrection; as did the judges,
the bar, and the Anglican clergy and bishops. The
Presbyterian body were in the beginning all but unanimous
for a republican revolution and the French alliance; the
great majority of the Catholic peasantry were, as the
crisis increased, driven into the same position, while
all their bishops and a majority of the Catholic
aristocracy, adhered to that which they, with the natural
tendency of their respective orders, considered the side
of religion and authority. Thus was the nation sub-divided
within itself; Protestant civilian from Protestant
ecclesiastic, Catholic layman from Catholic priest, tenant
from lord, neighbour from neighbour, father from son,
and friend from friend.

During the whole of '97, the opposing parties were in a
ferment of movement and apprehension. As the year wore
on, the administration, both English and Irish, began to
feel that the danger was more formidable than they had
foreseen. The timely storm which had blown Grouchy out
of Bantry Bay, the previous Christmas, could hardly be
reckoned on again, though the settled hostility of the
French government knew no change. Thoroughly well informed
by their legion of spies both on the Continent and in
Ireland, every possible military precaution was taken.
The Lord Lieutenant's proclamation for disarming the
people, issued in May, was rigorously enforced by General
Johnstone in the South, General Hutchinson in the West,
and Lord Lake in the North. Two hundred thousand pikes
and pike-heads were said to have been discovered or
surrendered during the year, and several thousand firelocks.
The yeomanry, and English and Scotch corps amounted to
35,000 men, while the regular troops were increased to
50,000 and subsequently to 80,000, including three
regiments of the Guards. The defensive works at Cork,
and other vulnerable points were strengthened at an
immense cost; the "Pigeon House" fort, near Dublin, was
enlarged, for the city itself was pronounced by General
Vallancy, Colonel Packenham, and other engineer authorities
dangerously weak, if not wholly untenable. A system of
telegraphic signals was established from all points of
the coast with the Capital, and every precaution taken
against the surprise of another French invasion.

During the summer assize, almost every considerable town
and circuit had its state trial. The sheriffs had been
carefully selected beforehand by the Castle, and the
juries were certain to be of "the right sort," under the
auspices of such sheriffs. Immense sums in the aggregate
were contributed by the United Irish for the defence of
their associates; at the Down assizes alone, not less
than seven hundred or eight hundred guineas were spent
in fees and retainers; but at the close of the term, Mr.
Beresford was able to boast to his friend Lord Auckland,
that but one of all the accused had escaped the penalty
of death or banishment! The military tribunals, however,
did not wait for the idle formalities of the civil courts.
Soldiers and civilians, yeomen and townsmen, against whom
the informer pointed his finger, were taken out, and
summarily executed. Ghastly forms hung upon the thick-set
gibbets, not only in the market places of country towns,
and before the public prisons, but on all the bridges of
the metropolis. Many of the soldiers, in every military
district were shot weekly and almost daily for real or
alleged complicity with the rebels. The horrid torture
of picketing, and the blood-stained lash, were constantly
resorted to, to extort accusations or confessions. Over
all these atrocities the furious and implacable spirit
of Lord Clare presided in Council, and the equally
furious and implacable Luttrel, Lord Carhampton, as
Commander-in-Chief. All moderate councils were denounced
as nothing short of treason, and even the elder Beresford,
the Privy Counsellor, was compelled to complain of the
violence of his noble associates, and his inability to
restrain the ferocity of his own nearest relatives--
meaning probably his son John Claudius, and his son-in-law,
Sir George Hill.

It was while this spirit was abroad, a spirit as destructive
as ever animated the Councils of Sylla or Marius in Old
Rome, or prompted the decrees of Robespierre or Marat in
France, that the genius and courage of one man redeemed
the lost reputation of the law, and upheld against all
odds the sacred claims of personal liberty. This man was
John Philpot Curran, the most dauntless of advocates,
one of the truest and bravest of his race. Although a
politician of the school of Grattan, and wholly untainted
with French principles, he identified himself absolutely
with his unhappy clients, "predoomed to death." The genius
of patriotic resistance which seemed to have withdrawn
from the Island with Grattan's secession from Parliament,
now re-appeared in the last place where it might have
been expected--in those courts of death, rather than of
justice--before those predetermined juries, besides the
hopeless inmates of the crowded dock, personified in the
person of Curran. Often at midnight, amid the clash of
arms, his wonderful pleadings were delivered; sometimes,
as in Dublin, where the court rooms adjoined the prisons,
the condemned, or the confined, could hear, in their
cells, his piercing accents breaking the stillness of
the early morning, pleading for justice and mercy--pleading
always with superhuman perseverance, but almost always
in vain. Neither menaces of arrest, nor threats of
assassination, had power to intimidate that all-daring
spirit; nor, it may be safely said, can the whole library
of human history present us a form of heroism superior
in kind or degree to that which this illustrious advocate
exhibited during nearly two years, when he went forth
daily, with his life in his hand, in the holy hope to
snatch some human victim from the clutch of the destroyer
thirsting for his blood.

In November, '97, some said from fear of personal
consequences, some from official pressure in a high
quarter, Lord Carhampton resigned the command of the
forces, and Sir Ralph Abercromby was appointed in his
stead. There could not be a more striking illustration
of the system of terror patronized by government than
was furnished in the case of Sir Ralph as Commander-in-
Chief. That distinguished soldier, with his half century
of services at his back, had not been a week in Dublin
before he discovered the weakness of the Viceroy, and
the violence of his principal advisers, the Chancellor,
the Speaker, Lord Castlereagh and the Beresfords. Writing
in confidence to his son, he says, "The abuses of all
kinds I found here can scarcely be believed or enumerated."
The instances he cites of such abuses are sufficiently
horrible to justify the strong language which brought
down on his head so much hostility, when he declared in
his proclamation of February '98, that the Irish army
was "formidable to every one but the enemy." These
well-known opinions were so repugnant to the Castle
policy, that that party held a caucus in the Speaker's
Chambers, at which it was proposed to pass a vote of
censure in Parliament on the General, whom they denounced
as "a sulky mule," "a Scotch beast," and by other similar
names. Though the Parliamentary censure dropped, they
actually compelled Lord Camden to call on him to retract
his magnanimous order. To this humiliation the veteran
stooped "for the sake of the King's service," but at the
same time he proffered his resignation. After two months'
correspondence, it was finally accepted, and the soldier
who was found too jealous of the rights of the people to
be a fit instrument of their destruction, escaped from
his high position, not without a profound sentiment of
relief. His verdict upon the barbarous policy pursued in
his time was always expressed, frankly and decisively.
His entire correspondence, private and public, bears one
and the same burthen--the violence, cruelty, and tyranny
of Lord Camden's chief advisers, and the pitiful weakness
of the Viceroy himself. Against the infamous plan of
letting loose a lustful and brutal soldiery to live at
"free quarters" on a defenceless and disarmed people--an
outrage against which Englishmen had taken perpetual
security at _their_ revolution, as may be seen in "the
Bill of Rights," he struggled during his six months'
command, but with no great success. The plan, with all
its horrors, was upheld by the Lord-Lieutenant, and more
than any other cause, precipitated the rebellion which
exploded at last, just as Sir Ralph was allowed to retire
from the country. His temporary successor, Lord Lake,
was troubled with no such scruples as the gallant old

Events followed each other in the first months of 1798,
fast and furiously. Towards the end of February, Arthur
O'Conor, Father James Quigley, the brothers John and
Benjamin Binns, were arrested at Margate on their way to
France; on the 6th of March, the _Press_ newspaper, the
Dublin organ of the party, as the _Star_ had been the
Ulster organ, was seized by Government, Lord Edward
Fitzgerald and William Sampson being at the time in the
office. On the 12th of March, on the information of the
traitor, Thomas Reynolds, the Leinster delegates were
seized in conclave, with all their papers, at the house
of Oliver Bond, in Bridge Street, Dublin. On the same
information. Addis Emmet and Dr. McNevin were taken in
their own houses, and Sampson in the north of England:
of all the executive, Lord Edward alone escaping those
sent in search of him. This was, as Tone notes in his
journal, on the ill news reaching France, "a terrible
blow." O'Conor's arrest in Kent, Sampson's in Carlisle,
and the other arrests in Belfast and Dublin, proved too
truly that treason was at work, and that the much-prized
oath of secrecy was no protection whatever against the
devices of the Castle and the depravity of its secret
agents. The extent to which that treason extended, the
number of associates who were in the pay of their deadly
enemies, was never known to the United Irish leaders;
time has, however, long since "revealed the secrets of
the prison-house," and we know now, that men they trusted
with all their plans and hopes, such as McNally and
McGucken, were quite as deep in the conspiracy to destroy
them as Mr. Reynolds and Captain Armstrong.

The most influential members of the Dublin Society
remaining at large contrived to correspond with each
other, or to meet by stealth after the arrest at Bond's.
The vacancies in the Executive were filled up by the
brothers John and Henry Sheares, both barristers, sons
of a wealthy Cork banker, and former member of Parliament,
and by Mr. Lawless, a surgeon. For two months longer
these gentlemen continued to act in concert with Lord
Edward, who remained undetected, notwithstanding all the
efforts of Government, from the 12th of March till the
19th of May following. During those two months the new
directors devoted themselves with the utmost energy to
hurrying on the armament of the people, and especially
to making proselytes among the militia, where the gain
of one man armed and disciplined was justly accounted
equal to the enlistment of three or four ordinary adherents.
This part of their plan brought the brothers Sheares into
contact, among others, with Captain John Warneford
Armstrong, of the Queen's County Yeomanry, whom they
supposed they had won over, but who was, in reality, a
better-class spy, acting under Lord Castlereagh's
instructions. Armstrong cultivated them sedulously, dined
at their table, echoed their opinions, and led the
credulous brothers on to their destruction. All at last
was determined on; the day of the rising was fixed--the
23rd day of May--and the signal was to be the simultaneous
stoppage of the mail coaches, which started nightly from
the Dublin post-office, to every quarter of the kingdom.
But the counterplot anticipated the plot. Lord Edward,
betrayed by a person called Higgins, proprietor of the
_Freeman's Journal_, was taken on the 19th of May, after
a desperate struggle with Majors Swan and Sirr, and
Captain Ryan, in his hiding-place in Thomas Street; the
brothers Sheares were arrested in their own house on the
morning of the 21st, while Surgeon Lawless escaped from
the city, and finally from the country, to France. Thus,
for the second time, was the insurrection left without
a head; but the organization had proceeded too far to be
any longer restrained, and the Castle, moreover, to use
the expression of Lord Castlereagh, "took means to make
it explode."

The first intelligence of the rebellion was received in
Dublin on the morning of the 24th of May. At Rathfarnham,
within three miles of the city, 500 insurgents attacked
Lord Ely's yeomanry corps with some success, till Lord
Roden's dragoons, hastily despatched from the city,
compelled them to retreat, with the loss of some prisoners
and two men killed, whom Mr. Beresford saw the next day,
literally "_cut to pieces_--a horrid sight." At Dunboyne
the insurgents piked an escort of the Reay Fencibles
(Scotch) passing through their village, and carried off
their baggage. At Naas, a large popular force attacked
the garrison, consisting of regulars, Ancient Britons
(Welsh), part of a regiment of dragoons, and the Armagh
Militia; the attack was renewed three times with great
bravery, but finally, discipline, as it always will,
prevailed over mere numbers, and the assailants were repulsed
with the loss of 140 of their comrades. At Prosperous,
where they cut off to a man a strong garrison composed of
North Cork Militia, under Captain Swayne, the rising was
more successful. The commander in this exploit was Dr.
Esmonde, brother of the Wexford baronet, who, being betrayed
by one of his own subalterns, was the next morning arrested
at breakfast in the neighbourhood, and suffered death at
Dublin on the 14th of the following month.

There could hardly be found a more unfavourable field
for a peasant war than the generally level and easily
accessible county of Kildare, every parish of which is
within a day's march of Dublin. From having been the
residence of Lord Edward, it was, perhaps, one of the
most highly organized parts of Leinster, but as it had
the misfortune to be represented by Thomas Reynolds, as
county delegate, it laboured under the disadvantage of
having its organization better known to the government
than any other. We need hardly be surprised, therefore,
to find that the military operations in this county were
all over in ten days or a fortnight; when those who had
neither surrendered nor fallen, fell back into Meath or
Connaught, or effected a junction with the Wicklow rebels
in their mountain fastnesses. Their struggle, though so
brief, had been creditable for personal bravery. Attacked
by a numerous cavalry and militia under General Wilford,
by 2,500 men, chiefly regulars, under General Dundas,
and by 800 regulars brought up by forced marches from
Limerick, under Sir James Duff, they showed qualities,
which, if well directed, would have established for their
possessors a high military reputation. At Monastereven
they were repulsed with loss, the defenders of the town
being in part Catholic loyalists, under Captain Cassidy;
at Rathangan, they were more successful, taking and
holding the town for several days; at Clane, the captors
of Prosperous were repulsed; while at Old Killcullen,
their associates drove back General Dundas' advance, with
the loss of 22 regulars and Captain Erskine killed. Sir
James Duff's wanton cruelty in sabring and shooting down
an unarmed multitude on the Curragh, won him the warm
approval of the extermination party in the Capital, while
Generals Wilford and Dundas narrowly escaped being
reprimanded for granting a truce to the insurgents under
Aylmer, and accepting of the surrender of that leader
and his companions. By the beginning of June the six
Kildare encampments of insurgents were totally dispersed,
and their most active officers in prison or fugitives
west or south.

By a preconcerted arrangement, the local chiefs of the
insurrection in Dublin and Meath, gathered with their men
on the third day after the outbreak, at the historic hill
of Tara. Here they expected to be joined by the men of
Cavan, Longford, Louth and Monaghan; but before the
northerners reached the trysting place, three companies of
the Reay Fencibles, under Captain McClean, the Kells and
Navan Yeomanry, under Captain Preston, (afterwards Lord
Tara,) and a troop of cavalry under Lord Fingal, surrounded
the royal hill. The insurgents, commanded by Gilshine and
other leaders, intrenched themselves in the graveyard which
occupies the summit of Tara, and stoutly defended their
position. Twenty-six of the Highlanders and six of the
Yeomanry fell in the assault, but the bullet reached farther
than the pike, and the defenders were driven, after a sharp
action, over the brow of the eminence, and many of them
shot or sabred down as they fled.

Southward from the Capital the long pent-up flame of
disaffection broke out on the same memorable day, May
23rd. At Dunlavin, an abortive attempt on the barrack
revealed the fact that many of the Yeomanry were thoroughly
with the insurgents. Hardly had the danger from without
passed over, when a military inquiry was improvised. By
this tribunal, nineteen Wexford, and nine Kildare Yeomanry,
were ordered to be shot, and the execution of the sentence
followed immediately on its rending. At Blessington, the
town was seized, but a nocturnal attack on Carlow was
repulsed with great loss. In this last affair, the rebels
had _rendezvoused_ in the domain of Sir Edward Crosbie,
within two miles of the town. Here arms were distributed
and orders given by their leader, named Roche. Silently
and quickly they reached the town they hoped to surprise.
But the regular troops, of which the garrison was chiefly
composed, were on the alert, though their preparations
were made full as silently. When the peasantry emerged
from Tullow Street, into an exposed space, a deadly fire
was opened upon them from the houses on all sides. The
regulars, in perfect security themselves, and abundantly
supplied with ammunition, shot them down with deadly
unerring aim. The people soon found there was nothing
for it but retreat, and carrying off as best they could
their killed and wounded, they retired sorely discomfited.
For alleged complicity in this attack, Sir Edward Crosbie
was shortly afterward arrested, tried and executed. There
was not a shadow of proof against him; but he was known
to sympathize with the sufferings of his countrymen, to
have condemned in strong language the policy of provocation,
and that was sufficient. He paid with the penalty of his
head for the kindness and generosity of his heart.



The most formidable insurrection, indeed the only really
formidable one, broke out in the county of Wexford, a
county in which it was stated there were not 200 sworn
United Irishmen, and which Lord Edward Fitzgerald had
altogether omitted from his official list of counties
organized in the month of February. In that brief interval,
the Government policy of provocation had the desired
effect, though the explosion was of a nature to startle
those who occasioned it.

Wexford, geographically, is a peculiar county, and its
people are a peculiar people. The county fills up the
south-eastern corner of the island, with the sea south-east,
the river Barrow to the west, and the woods and mountains
of Carlow and Wicklow to the north. It is about forty
miles long by twenty-four broad; the surface undulating
and rising into numerous groups of detached hills, two
or more of which are generally visible from each conspicuous
summit. Almost in the midst flows the river Slaney,
springing from a lofty Wicklow peak, which sends down on
its northern slope the better known river Liffey. On the
estuary of the Slaney, some seventy miles south of Dublin,
stands the county town, the traveller journeying to which
by the usual route then taken, passed in succession
through Arklow, Gorey, Ferns, Enniscorthy, and other
places of less consequence, though familiar enough in
the fiery records of 1798. North-westward, the only road
in those days from Carlow and Kilkenny, crossed the
Blackstairs at Scollagh-gap, entering the county at
Newtownbarry, the ancient Bunclody; westward, some twenty
miles, on the river Barrow, stands New Ross, often
mentioned in this history, the road from which to the
county town passes through Scullabogue and Taghmon
(_Ta'mun_), the former at the foot of Carrickbyrne rock,
the latter at the base of what is rather hyperbolically
called "the _mountain_ of Forth." South and west of the
town, towards the estuary of Waterford, lie the baronies
of Forth and Bargy, a great part of the population of
which, even within our own time, spoke the language
Chaucer and Spenser wrote, and retained many of the
characteristics of their Saxon, Flemish, and Cambrian
ancestors. Through this singular district lay the road
towards Duncannon fort, on Waterford harbour, with branches
running off to Bannow, Ballyhack, and Dunbrody. We shall,
therefore, speak of all the localities we may have occasion
to mention as on or near one of the four main roads of
the county, the Dublin, Carlow, Boss, and Waterford roads.

The population of this territory was variously estimated
in 1798, at 150,000, 180,000, and 200,000. They were,
generally speaking, a comfortable and contented peasantry,
for the Wexford landlords were seldom absentees, and the
farmers held under them by long leases and reasonable
rents. There were in the country few great lords, but
there was little poverty and no pauperism. In such a
soil, the secret societies were almost certain to fail,
and if it had not been for the diabolical experiments of
Lord Kingsborough's North Cork Militia, it is very probable
that that orderly and thrifty population would have seen
the eventful year we are describing pass over their homes
without experiencing any of the terrible trials which
accompanied it. But it was impossible for human nature
to endure the provocations inflicted upon this patient
and prosperous people. The pitch-cap and the triangle
were resorted to on the slightest and most frivolous
pretexts. "A sergeant of the North Cork Militia," says
Mr. Hay, the county historian, "nicknamed, _Tom the
Devil_, was most ingenious in devising new modes of
torture. Moistened gunpowder was frequently rubbed into
the hair cut close and then set on fire; some, while
shearing for this purpose, had the tips of their ears
snipt off; sometimes an entire ear, and often both ears
were completely cut off; and many lost part of their
noses during the like preparation. But, strange to tell,"
adds Mr. Hay, "these atrocities were publicly practised
without the least reserve in open day, and no magistrate
or officer ever interfered, but shamefully connived at
this extraordinary mode of quieting the people! Some of
the miserable sufferers on these shocking occasions, or
some of their relations or friends, actuated by a principle
of retaliation, if not of revenge, cut short the hair of
several persons whom they either considered as enemies
or suspected of having pointed them out as objects for
such desperate treatment. This was done with a view that
those active citizens should fall in for a little experience
of the like discipline, or to make the fashion of short
hair so general that it might no longer be a mark of
party distinction." This was the origin of the nickname
"Croppy," by which, during the remainder of the
insurrection, it was customary to designate all who were
suspected or proved to be hostile to, the government.

Among the magistracy of the county were several persons
who, whatever might have been their conduct in ordinary
times, now showed themselves utterly unfit to be entrusted
with those large discretionary powers which Parliament
had recently conferred upon all justices of the peace.
One of these magistrates, surrounded by his troops,
perambulated the county with an executioner, armed with
all the equipments of his office; another carried away
the lopped hands and fingers of his victims, with which
he stirred his punch in the carousals that followed every
expedition. At Carnew, midway between the Dublin and
Carlow roads, on the second day of the insurrection,
twenty-eight prisoners were brought out to be shot at as
targets in the public ball alley; on the same day
Enniscorthy witnessed its first execution for treason,
and the neighbourhood of Ballaghkeen was harried by Mr.
Jacob, one of the magistrates whose method of preserving
the peace of the county has been just referred to. The
majority of the bench, either weakly or willingly,
sanctioned these atrocities, but some others, among them
a few of the first men in the county, did not hesitate
to resist and condemn them. Among these were Mr. Beauchamp
Bagenal Harvey of Bargy Castle, Mr. Fitzgerald of Newpark,
and Mr. John Henry Colclough of Tintern Abbey; but all
these gentlemen were arrested on Saturday, the 26th of
May--the same day, or more strictly speaking, the eve
of the day on which the Wexford outbreak occurred.

On the day succeeding these arrests, being Whitsunday,
Father John Murphy, parish priest of Kilcormick, the son
of a small farmer of the neighbourhood, educated in Spain,
on coming to his little wayside chapel, found it laid in
ashes. To his flock, as they surrounded him in the open
air, he boldly preached that it would be much better for
them to die in a fair field than to await the tortures
inflicted by such magistrates as Archibald Jacob, Hunter
Gowan, and Hawtrey White. He declared his readiness to
share their fate, whatever it might be, and in response,
about 2,000 of the country people gathered in a few hours
upon Oulart Hill, situated about half-way between
Enniscorthy and the sea, and eleven miles north of Wexford.
Here they were attacked on the afternoon of the same day
by the North Cork Militia, Colonel Foote, the Shilmalier
Yeoman cavalry, Colonel Le Hunte, and the Wexford cavalry.
The rebels, strong in their position, and more generally
accustomed to the use of arms than persons in their
condition in other parts of the country, made a brave
and successful stand. Major Lambert, the Hon. Captain De
Courcy (brother of Lord Kinsale), and some other officers,
fell before the long-shore guns of the Shilmalier fowlers;
of the North Cork detachment, only the colonel, a sergeant,
and two or three privates escaped; the cavalry, at the
top of their speed, galloped back to the county town.

The people were soon thoroughly aroused. Another popular
priest of the diocese, Michael Murphy, on reaching Gorey,
finding his chapel also rifled, and the altar desecrated,
turned his horse's head and joined the insurgents, who
had gathered on Kilthomas hill, near Carnew. Signal fires
burned that night on all the eminences of the county,
which seemed as if they had been designed for so many
watch-towers; horns resounded; horsemen galloped far and
near; on the morrow of Whitsunday all Wexford arose,
animated with the passions and purposes of civil war.

On the 28th, Ferns, Camolin, and Enniscorthy were taken
by the insurgents; the latter, after an action of four
hours, in which a captain, two lieutenants, and eighty
of the local yeomanry fell. The survivors fled to Wexford,
which was as rapidly as possible placed in a state of
defence. The old walls and gates were still in good
repair, and 300 North Cork, 200 Donegal, and 700 local
militia ought to have formed a strong garrison within
such ramparts, against a mere tumultuous peasantry. The
yeomen, however, thought otherwise, and two of the three
imprisoned popular magistrates were sent to Enniscorthy
to exhort and endeavour to disperse the insurgents. One
of them only returned, the other, Mr. Fitzgerald, joined
the rebels, who, continuing their march, were allowed to
take possession of the county town without striking a
blow. Mr. Bagenal Harvey, the magistrate still in prison,
they insisted on making their Commander-in-Chief; a
gentleman of considerable property, by no means destitute
of courage, but in every other respect quite unequal to
the task imposed upon him. After a trial of his generalship
at the battle of Ross, he was transferred to the more
pacific office of President of the Council, which continued
to sit and direct operations from Wexford, with the
co-operation of a sub-committee at Enniscorthy. Captain
Matthew Keogh, a retired officer of the regular army,
aged but active, was made governor of the town, in which
a couple of hundred armed men were left as his guards.
An attempt to relieve the place from Duncannon had utterly
failed. General Fawcett, commanding that important
fortress, set out on his march with this object on the
30th of May--his advanced guard of 70 Meathian yeomanry,
having in charge three howitzers, whose slower movements
it was expected the main force would overtake long before
reaching the neighbourhood of danger. At Taghmon this
force was joined by Captain Adams with his command, and
thus reinforced they continued their march to Wexford.
Within three miles of the town the road wound round the
base of the "three rock" mountain; evening fell as the
royalists approached this neighbourhood, where the victors
of Oulart, Enniscorthy, and Wexford had just improvised
a new camp. A sharp volley from the long-shore-men's
guns, and a furious onslaught of pikes threw the royal
detachment into the utmost disorder. Three officers of
the Meathian cavalry, and nearly one hundred men were
placed _hors de combat_; the three howitzers, eleven
gunners, and several prisoners taken; making the third
considerable success of the insurgents within a week.

Wexford county now became the theatre of operations, on
which all eyes were fixed. The populace gathered as if
by instinct into three great encampments, on Vinegar
Hill, above Enniscorthy; on Carrickbyrne, on the road
leading to Ross, and on the hill of Corrigrua, seven
miles from Gorey. The principal leaders of the first
division were Fathers Kearns and Clinch, and Messrs.
Fitzgerald, Doyle, and Redmond; of the second, Bagenal
Harvey, and Father Philip Roche; of the last, Anthony
Perry of Inch, Esmond Kyan, and the two Fathers Murphy,
Michael, and John. The general plan of operations was
that the third division should move by way of Arklow and
Wicklow on the Capital; the second to open communication
with Carlow, Kilkenny, and Kildare by Newtownbarry and
Scollagh-gap; while the first was to attack New Ross,
and endeavour to hasten the rising in Munster.

On the 1st of June, the advance of the northern division
marching upon Gorey, then occupied in force by General
Loftus, were encountered four miles from the town, and
driven back with the loss of about a hundred killed and
wounded. On the 4th of June, Loftus, at the instance of
Colonel Walpole, aid-de-camp to the Lord Lieutenant, who
had lately joined him with considerable reinforcements,
resolved to beat up the rebel quarters at Corrigrua. It
was to be a combined movement; Lord Ancram, posted with
his militia and dragoons at the bridge of Scaramalsh,
where the poetic Banna joins the Slaney, was to prevent
the arrival of succours from Vinegar Hill; Captain McManus,
with a couple of companies of yeomanry, stationed at
another exposed point from which intelligence could be
obtained and communicated; while the General and Colonel
Walpole, marched to the attack by roads some distance
apart, which ran into one within two miles of Corrigrua
camp. The main body of the King's troops were committed
to the lead of Walpole, who had also two six-pounders
and a howitzer. After an hour-and-a-half's march he
found the country changed its character near the village
of Clogh (_clo'_), where the road descending from the
level arable land, dips suddenly into the narrow and
winding pass of Tubberneering. The sides of the pass were
lined with a bushy shrubbery, and the roadway at the
bottom embanked with ditch and dike. On came the confident
Walpole, never dreaming that these silent thickets were
so soon to re-echo the cries of the onslaught. The 4th
dragoon guards, the Ancient Britons, under Sir Watkyn
Wynne, the Antrim militia, under Colonel Cope, had all
entered the defile before the ambuscade was discovered.
Then, at the first volley, Walpole fell, with several of
those immediately about Ms person; out from the shrubbery
rushed the pikemen, clearing ditch and dike at a bound;
dragoons and fencibles went down like the sward before
the scythe of the mower; the three guns were captured,
and turned on the flying survivors; the regimental flags
taken, with all the other spoils pertaining to such a
retreat. It was, in truth, an immense victory for a mob
of peasants, marshalled by men who that day saw their
first, or, at most, their second action. Before forty-eight
hours they were masters of Gorey, and talked of nothing
less than the capture of Dublin within another week or

From Vinegar Hill the concerted movement was made against
Newtonbarry, on the 2nd of June, the rebels advancing by
both banks of the Slaney, under cover of a six-pounder--
the only gun they had with them. The detachment in command
of the beautiful little town, half hidden in its leafy
valley, was from 600 to 800 strong, with a troop of
dragoons, and two battalion guns, under command of Colonel
L'Estrange; these, after a sharp fusilade on both sides,
were driven out, but the assailants, instead of following
up the blow, dispersed for plunder or refreshment, were
attacked in turn, and compelled to retreat, with a reported
loss of 400 killed. Three days later, however, a still more
important action, and a yet more disastrous repulse from
the self-same cause, took place at New Ross, on the Barrow.

The garrison of Ross, on the morning of the 5th of June,
when General Harvey appeared before it, consisted of
1,400 men--Dublin, Meath, Donegal, and Clare militia,
Mid-Lothian fencibles, and English artillery. General
Johnson, a veteran soldier, was in command, and the place,
strong in its well preserved old walls, had not heard a
shot fired in anger since the time of Cromwell. Harvey
was reported to have with him 20,000 men; but if we allow
for the exaggeration of numbers common to all such
movements, we may, perhaps, deduct one-half, and still
leave him at the head of a formidable force--10,000 men,
with three field-pieces. Mr. Furlong, a favourite officer,
being sent forward to summon the town, was shot down by
a sentinel, and the attack began. The main point of
assault was the gate known as "three bullet gate," and
the hour, five o'clock of the lovely summer's morning.
The obstinacy with which the town was contested, may be
judged from the fact, that the fighting continued for
nearly ten hours, with the interruption of an hour or
two at noon. This was the fatal interruption for the
rebels. They had, at a heavy cost, driven out the royalists,
with the loss of a colonel (Lord Mountjoy), three captains,
and above 200 men killed: but of their friends and comrades
treble the number had fallen. Still the town, an object
of the first importance, was theirs, when worn out with
heat, fatigue, and fasting since sunrise, they indulged
themselves in the luxury of a deep unmeasured carouse.
The fugitive garrison finding themselves unpursued, halted
to breathe on the Kilkenny bank of the river, were rallied
by the veteran Johnson, and led back again across the
bridge, taking the surprised revellers completely
unprepared. A cry was raised that this was a fresh force
from Waterford; the disorganised multitude endeavoured
to rally in turn, but before the leaders could collect
their men, the town was once more in possession of the
Bang's troops. The rebels, in their turn, unpursued by
their exhausted enemies, fell back upon their camping
ground of the night before, at Corbet hill and
Slieve-kielter. At the latter, Father Philip Roche,
dissatisfied with Harvey's management, established a
separate command, which he transferred to a layman of his
own name, Edward Roche, with whom he continued to act
and advise during the remainder of this memorable month.

The summer of 1798 was, for an Irish summer, remarkably
dry and warm. The heavy Atlantic rains which at all
seasons are poured out upon that soil, seemed suspended
in favour of the insurgent multitudes, amounting to
30,000, or 40,000 at the highest, who, on the different
hill summits, posted their nightly sentinels, and threw
themselves down on turf and heather to snatch a short
repose. The kindling of a beacon, the lowing of cattle,
or the hurried arrival of scout or messenger, hardly
interfered with slumbers which the fatigues of the day,
and, unhappily also, the potations of the night rendered
doubly deep. An early morning mass mustered all the
Catholics, unless the very depraved, to the chaplain's
tent--for several of the officers, and the chaplains
always were supplied with tents; and then a hasty meal
was snatched before the sun was fairly above the horizon,
and the day's work commenced. The endurance exhibited by
the rebels, their personal strength, swiftness and agility;
their tenacity of life, and the ease with which their
worst wounds were healed, excited the astonishment of
the surgeons and officers of the regular army. The truth
is, that the virtuous lives led by that peaceful peasantry
before the outbreak, enabled them to withstand privations
and hardships under which the better fed and better clad
Irish yeomen and English guardsmen would have sunk
prostrate in a week.

Several signs now marked the turning of the tide against
the men of Wexford. Waterford did not rise after the
battle of Ross; while Munster, generally, was left to
undecided councils, or held back in hopes of another
French expedition. The first week of June had passed
over, and neither northward nor westward was there any
movement formidable enough to draw off from the devoted
county the combined armies which were now directed against
its camps. A gunboat fleet lined the coast from Bannow
round to Wicklow, which soon after appeared off Wexford
bar, and forced an entrance into the harbour. A few days
earlier, General Needham marched from Dublin, and took
up his position at Arklow, at the head of a force variously
stated at 1,500 to 2,000 men, composed of 120 cavalry
under Sir Watkyn Wynne, two brigades of militia under
Colonels Cope and Maxwell, and a brigade of English and
Scotch fencibles under Colonel Skerrett. There were also
at Arklow about 300 of the Wexford and Wicklow mounted
yeomanry raised by Lord Wicklow, Lord Mountnorris, and
other gentlemen of the neighbourhood. Early on the morning
of the 9th of June the northern division of the rebels
left Gorey in two columns, in order if possible to drive
this force from Arklow. One body proceeding by the coast
road hoped to turn the English position by way of the
strand, the other taking the inner line of the Dublin
road, was to assail the town at its upper or inland
suburb. But General Needham had made the most of his two
days' possession; barricades were erected across the
road, and at the entrance to the main street; the graveyard
and bridge commanding the approach by the shore road were
mounted with ordnance; the cavalry were posted where they
could best operate, near the strand; the barrack wall
was lined with a _banquette_ or stage, from which the
musketeers could pour their fire with the greatest
advantage, and every other precaution taken to give the
rebels a warm reception. The action commenced early in
the afternoon, and lasted till eight in the evening--five
or six hours. The inland column suffered most severely
from the marksmen on the _banquette_, and the gallant
Father Michael Murphy, whom his followers believed to be
invulnerable, fell leading them on to the charge for the
third time. On the side of the sea, Esmond Kyan was badly
wounded in the arm, which he was subsequently obliged to
have amputated, and though the fearless Shilmaliers drove
the cavalry into and over the Avoca, discipline and
ordnance prevailed once again over numbers and courage.
As night fell, the assailants retired slowly towards
Coolgreney, carrying off nine carloads of their wounded,
and leaving, perhaps, as many more on the field; their
loss was variously reported from 700 to 1,000, and even
1,500. The opposite force returned less than 100 killed,
including Captain Knox, and about as many wounded. The
repulse was even more than that at Ross, dispiriting to
the rebels, who, as a last resort, now decided to
concentrate all their strength on the favourite position
at Vinegar Hill.

Against this encampment, therefore, the entire available
force of regulars and militia within fifty miles of the
spot were concentrated by orders of Lord Lake, the
Commander-in-Chief. General Dundas from Wicklow was to
join General Loftus at Carnew on the 18th; General Needham
was to advance simultaneously to Gorey; General Sir Henry
Johnson to unite at Old Ross with Sir James Duff from
Carlow; Sir Charles Asgill was to occupy Gore's bridge
and Borris; Sir John Moore was to land at Ballyhack ferry,
march to Foulke's Mill, and united with Johnson and Duff,
to assail the rebel camp on Carrickbyrne. These various
movements ordered on the 16th, were to be completed by
the 20th, on which day, from their various new positions,
the entire force, led by these six general officers, was
to surround Vinegar Hill, and make a simultaneous attack
upon the last stronghold of the Wexford rebellion.

This elaborate plan failed of complete execution in two
points. _First_, the camp on Carrickbyrne, instead of
waiting the attack, sent down its fighting men to Foulke's
Mill, where, in the afternoon of the 20th they beat up
Sir John Moore's quarters, and maintained from 3 o'clock
till dark, what that officer calls "a pretty sharp action."
Several tunes they were repulsed and again formed behind
the ditches and renewed the conflict; but the arrival of
two fresh regiments, under Lord Dalhousie, taught them
that there was no farther chance of victory. By this
affair, however, though at a heavy cost, they had prevented
the junction of all the troops, and, not without
satisfaction, they now followed the two Roches, the priest
and the layman, to the original position of the mountain
of Forth; Sir John Moore, on his part, taking the same
direction, until he halted within sight of the walls of
Wexford. The other departure from Lord Lake's plan was
on the side of General Needham, who was ordered to approach
the point of attack by the circuitous route of Oulart,
but who did not come up in time to complete the investment
of the hill.

On the morning of the appointed day, about 13,000 royal
troops were in movement against the 20,000 rebels whom
they intended to dislodge. Sir James Duff obtained
possession of an eminence which commanded the lower line
of the rebel encampment, and from this point a brisk
cannonade was opened against the opposite force; at the
same time the columns of Lake, Wilford, Dundas, and
Johnson, pushed up the south-eastern, northern and western
sides of the eminence, partially covered by the fire of
these guns, so advantageously placed. After an hour and
a half's desperate fighting, the rebels broke and fled
by the unguarded side of the hill. Their rout was complete,
and many were cut down by the cavalry, as they pressed
in dense masses on each other, over the level fields and
out on the open highways. Still this action was far from
being one of the most fatal as to loss of life, fought
in that county; the rebel dead were numbered only at 400,
and the royalists killed and wounded at less than half
that number.

It was the last considerable action of the Wexford rising,
and all the consequences which followed being attributed
arbitrarily to this cause, helped to invest it with a
disproportionate importance. The only leader lost on the
rebel side was Father Clinch of Enniscorthy, who encountered
Lord Roden hand to hand in the retreat, but who, while
engaged with his lordship whom he wounded, was shot down
by a trooper. The disorganization, however, which followed
on the dispersion, was irreparable. One column had taken
the road by Gorey to the mountains of Wicklow--another
to Wexford, where they split into two parts, a portion
crossing the Slaney into the sea-coast parishes, and
facing northward by the shore road, the other falling
back on "the three rocks" encampment, where the Messrs.
Roche held together a fragment of their former command.
Wexford town, on the 22nd, was abandoned to Lord Lake,
who established himself in the house of Governor Keogh,
the owner being lodged in the common jail. Within the
week, Bagenal Harvey, Father Philip Roche, and Kelly of
Killane, had surrendered in despair, while Messrs. Grogan
and Colclough, who had secreted themselves in a cave in
the great Saltee Island, were discovered, and conducted
to the same prison. Notwithstanding the capitulation
agreed to by Lord Kingsborough, the execution and
decapitation of all these gentlemen speedily followed,
and their ghastly faces looked down for many a day from
the iron spikes above the entrance of Wexford Court House.
Mr. Esmond Kyan, the popular hero of the district, as
merciful as brave, was discovered some time subsequently
paying a stealthy visit to his family; he was put to
death on the spot, and his body, weighted with heavy
stones, thrown into the harbour. A few mornings afterwards
the incoming tide deposited it close by the dwelling of
his father-in-law, and the rites of Christian burial, so
dear to all his race, were hurriedly rendered to the
beloved remains.

The insurrection in this county, while it abounded in
instances of individual and general heroism, was stained
also, on both sides, by many acts of diabolical cruelty.
The aggressors, both in time and in crime were the yeomanry
and military; but the popular movement dragged wretches
to the surface who delighted in repaying torture with
torture, and death with death. The butcheries of Dunlavin
and Carnew were repaid by the massacres at Scullabogue
and Wexford bridge, in the former of which 110, and in
the latter 35 or 40 persons were put to death in cold
blood, by the monsters who absented themselves from the
battles of Ross and Vinegar Hill. The executions at
Wexford bridge would probably have been swelled to double
the number, had not Father Corrin, one of the priests of
the town, rushing in between his Protestant neighbours
and the ferocious Captain Dixon, and summoning all present
to pray, invoked the Almighty "to show them the same
mercy" they showed their prisoners. This awful supplication
calmed even that savage rabble, and no further execution
took place. Nearly forty years afterwards, Captain Kellet,
of Clonard, ancestor of the Arctic discoverer, and others
whom he had rescued from the very grasp of the executioner,
followed to the grave that revered and devoted minister
of mercy!

It would be a profitless task to draw out a parallel of
the crimes committed on both sides. Two facts only need
be recorded: that although from 1798 to 1800, not less
than _sixty-five_ places of Catholic worship were demolished
or burned in Leinster, (twenty-two of which were in
Wexford county), only _one_ Protestant Church, that of
Old Ross, was destroyed in retaliation; and that although
towards men, especially men in arms, the rebels acted on
the fierce Mosaic maxim of "an eye for an eye and a tooth
for a tooth," no outrage upon women is laid to their
charge, even by their most exasperated enemies.



On the 21st of June, the Marquis Cornwallis, whose name
is so familiar in American and East Indian history,
arrived in Dublin, to assume the supreme power, both
civil and military. As his Chief Secretary, he recommended
Lord Castlereagh, who had acted in that capacity during
the latter part of Lord Camden's administration in
consequence of Mr Pelham's illness; and the Pitt-Portland
administration appointed his lordship accordingly, because,
among other good and sufficient reasons, "he was so unlike
an Irishman."

While the new Viceroy came to Ireland still more resolute
than his predecessor to bring about the long-desired
legislative union, it is but justice to his memory to
say, that he as resolutely resisted the policy of torture
and provocation pursued under Lord Camden. That policy
had, indeed, served its pernicious purpose, and it was
now possible for a new ruler to turn a new leaf; this
Lord Cornwallis did from the hour of his arrival, not
without incurring the ill-concealed displeasures of the
Castle cabal. But his position gave him means of protection
which Sir Ralph Abercromby had not; he was known to enjoy
the personal confidence of the King; and those who did
not hesitate three months before to assail by every abusive
epithet the humane Scottish Baronet, hesitated long before
criticising with equal freedom the all-powerful Viceroy.

The sequel of the insurrection may be briefly related:
next to Wexford, the adjoining county of Wicklow, famous
throughout the world for its lakes and glens, maintained
the chief brunt of the Leinster battle. The brothers
Byrne, of Ballymanus, with Holt, Hackett, and other local
leaders, were for months, from the difficult nature of
the country, enabled to defy those combined movements by
which, as in a huge net, Lord Lake had swept up the camps
of Wexford. At Hacketstown, on the 25th of June, the
Byrnes were repulsed with considerable loss, but at
Ballyellis, on the 30th, fortune and skill gave them and
their Wexford comrades a victory, resembling in many
respects that of Clough. General Needham, who had again
established his head-quarters at Gorey, detached Colonel
Preston, with some troops of Ancient Britons, the 4th
and 5th dragoons, and three yeomanry corps, to attack
the insurgents who were observed in force in the
neighbourhood of Monaseed. Aware of this movement, the
Byrnes prepared in the ravine of Ballyellis a well-laid
ambuscade, barricading with carts and trees the farther
end of the pass. Attacked by the royalists they retreated
towards this pass, were hotly pursued, and then turned
on their pursuers. Two officers and sixty men were killed
in the trap, while the terrified rear-rank fled for their
lives to the shelter of their head-quarters. At
Ballyraheene, on the 2nd of July, the King's troops
sustained another check in which they lost two officers
and ten men, but at Ballygullen, on the 4th, the insurgents
were surrounded between the forces of General Needham,
Sir James Duff, and the Marquis of Huntley. This was the
last considerable action in which the Wicklow and Wexford
men were unitedly engaged. In the dispersion which
followed, "Billy Byrne of Ballymanus," the hero of his
county, paid the forfeit of his life; while his brother,
Garrett, subsequently surrendered, and was included in
the Banishment Act.

Anthony Perry of Inch, and Father Kearns, leading a much
diminished band into Kildare, formed a junction with
Aylmer and Reynolds of that county, and marched into
Meath, with a view of reaching and surprising Athlone.
The plan was boldly and well conceived, but their means
of execution were deplorably deficient. At Clonard they
were repulsed by a handful of troops well armed and
posted; a combined movement always possible in Meath,
drove them from side to side during the midweek of July,
until at length, hunted down as they were, they broke up
in twos and threes to seek any means of escape. Father
Kearns and Mr. Perry were, however, arrested, and executed
by martial law at Edenderry. Both died bravely; the priest
sustaining and exhorting his companion to the last.

Still another band of the Wexford men, under Father John
Murphy and Walter Devereux, crossed the Barrow at Gore's
bridge, and marched upon Kilkenny. At Lowgrange they
surprised an outpost; at Castlecomer, after a sharp
action, they took the town, which Sir Charles Asgill
endeavoured, but without success, to relieve. Thence they
continued their march towards Athy in Kildare, but being
caught between two or rather three fires, that of Major
Mathews, from Maryboro', General Dunne, from Athy, and
Sir Charles Asgill, they retreated on old Leighlin, as
if seeking the shelter of the Carlow mountains. At
Killcomney Hill, however, they were forced into action
under most unfavourable circumstances, and utterly routed.
One, Father Murphy, fell in the engagement, the other,
the precursor of the insurrection, was captured three
days afterward, and conveyed a prisoner to General Duff's
headquarters at Tullow. Here he was put on his trial
before a Military Commission composed of Sir James Duff,
Lord Roden, Colonels Eden and Foster, and Major Hall.
Hall had the meanness to put to him, prisoner as he was,
several insulting questions, which at length the
high-spirited rebel answered with a blow. The Commission
thought him highly dangerous, and instantly ordered him
to execution. His body was burned, his head spiked on
the market-house of Tullow, and his memory gibbeted in
all the loyal publications of the period. On his person,
before execution, were found a crucifix, a pix, and
letters from many Protestants, asking his protection; as
to his reputation, the priest who girded on the sword
only when he found his altar overthrown and his flock
devoured by wolves, need not fear to look posterity in
the face.

Of the other Leinster leaders, Walter Devereux, the last
colleague of Father Murphy, was arrested at Cork, on the
eve of sailing for America, tried and executed; Fitzgerald
and Aylmer were spared on condition of expatriation;
months afterwards, Holt surrendered, was transported,
and returned after several years, to end his days where
he began his career; Dwyer alone maintained the life of
a Rapparee for five long years among the hills of Wicklow,
where his adventures were often of such a nature as to
throw all fictitious conceptions of an outlaw's life into
commonplace by comparison. Except in the fastnesses
frequented by this extraordinary man, and in the wood of
Killaughram, in Wexford, where the outlaws, with the last
stroke of national humour, assumed the name of _The Babes
in the Wood_, the Leinster insurrection was utterly
trodden out within two months from its first beginning,
on the 23rd of May. So weak against discipline, arms,
munitions and money, are all that mere naked valour and
devotion can accomplish!

In Ulster, on the organization of which so much time and
labour had been expended for four or five years preceding,
the rising was not more general than in Leinster, and
the actual struggle lasted only a week. The two counties
which moved _en masse_ were Down and Antrim, the original
chiefs of which, such as Thomas Russell and Samuel Neilson,
were unfortunately in prison. The next leader on whom
the men of Antrim relied, resigned his command on the
very eve of the appointed day; this disappointment and
the arrest of the Rev. Steele Dickson in Down, compelled
a full fortnight's delay. On the 7th of June, however,
the more determined spirits resolved on action, and the
first movement was to seize the town of Antrim, which,
if they could have held it, would have given them command
of the communications with Donegal and Down, from both
of which they might have expected important additions to
their ranks. The leader of this enterprise was Henry John
McCracken, a cotton manufacturer of Belfast, thirty two
years of age, well educated, accomplished and resolute,
with whom was associated a brother of William Orr, the
proto-martyr of the Ulster Union. The town of Antrim was
occupied by the 22nd light dragoons, Colonel Lumley, and
the local yeomanry under Lord O'Neil. In the first assault
the insurgents were successful, Lord O'Neil, five officers,
forty-seven rank and file having fallen, and two guns
being captured; but Lumley's dragoons had hardly vanished
out of sight, when a strong reinforcement from Blaris
camp arrived and renewed the action, changing premature
exultation into panic and confusion. Between two and
three hundred of the rebels fell, and McCracken and his
staff, deserted by their hasty levies, were arrested,
wearied and hopeless, about a month later, wandering
among the Antrim hills. The leaders were tried at Belfast
and executed.

In Down two actions were fought, one at Saintfield on
the 7th of June, under Dr. Jackson--where Colonel Stapleton
was severely handled--and another and more important one
at Ballynahinch, under Henry Munro, on the 13th, where
Nugent, the district General, commanded in person. Here,
after a gallant defence, the men of Down were utterly
routed; their leader, alone and on foot, was captured
some five or six miles from the field, and executed two
days afterwards before his own door at Lisburn. He died
with the utmost composure; his wife and mother looking
down, on the awful scene from the windows of his own house.

In Munster, with the exception of a trifling skirmish
between the West-Meath yeomanry under Sir Hugh O'Reilly,
with whom were the Caithness legion, under Major Innes,
and a body of 300 or 400 ill-armed peasants, who attacked
them on the 19th of June, on the road from Clonakilty to
Bandon, there was no notable attempt at insurrection.
But in Connaught, very unexpectedly, as late as the end
of August, the flame extinguished in blood in Leinster
and Ulster, again blazed up for some days with portentous
brightness. The counties of Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon and
Galway had been partially organized by those fugitives
from Orange oppression in the North, who, in the years
'95, '96, and '97, had been compelled to flee for their
lives into Connaught, to the number of several thousands.
They brought with the tale of their sufferings the secret
of Defenderism; they first taught the peasantry of the
West, who, safe in their isolated situation and their
overwhelming numbers, were more familiar with poverty
than with persecution, what manner of men then held sway
over all the rest of the country, and how easily it would
be for Irishmen once united and backed by France, to
establish under their own green flag, both religious
and civil liberty.

When, therefore, three French frigates cast anchor in
Killalla Bay, on the 22nd of August, they did not find
the country wholly unprepared, though far from being as
ripe for revolt as they expected. These ships had on
board 1,000 men, with arms for 1,000 more, under command
of General Humbert, who had taken on himself, in the
state of anarchy which then prevailed in France, to sail
from La Rochelle with this handful of men, in aid of the
insurrection. With Humbert were Mathew Tone and Bartholmew
Teeling; and immediately on his arrival he was joined by
Messrs. McDonnell, Moore, Bellew, Barrett, O'Dowd, and
O'Donnell of Mayo, Blake of Galway, Plunkett of Roscommon,
and a few other influential gentlemen of that Province--
almost all Catholics. Three days were spent at Killalla,
which was easily taken, in landing stores, enrolling
recruits, and sending out parties of observation. On
the 4th, (Sunday,) Humbert entered Ballina without
resistance, and on the same night set out for Castlebar,
the county town. By this time intelligence of his landing
was spread over the whole country, and both Lord Lake
and General Hutchinson had advanced to Castlebar, where
they had from 2,000 to 3,000 men under their command.
The place could be reached only by two routes from the
north-west, by the Foxford road, or a long deserted
mountain road which led over the pass of Barnagee, within
sight of the town. Humbert, accustomed to the long marches
and difficult country of La Vendee, chose the unfrequented
and therefore unguarded route, and, to the consternation
of the British generals, descended through the pass of
Barnagee, soon after sunrise, on the morning of Monday,
August 27th. His force consisted of 900 French bayonets,
and between 2,000 and 3,000 new recruits. The action,
which commenced at 7 o'clock, was short, sharp, and
decisive; the yeomanry and regulars broke and fled, some
of them never drawing rein till they reached Tuam, while
others carried their fears and their falsehoods as far
inland as Athlone--more than sixty miles from the scene
of action. In this engagement, still remembered as "the
races," the royalists confessed to the loss, killed,
wounded, or prisoners, of 18 officers, and about 350 men,
while the French commander estimated the killed alone at
600. Fourteen British guns and five stand of colours
were also taken. A hot pursuit was continued for some
distance by the native troops under Mathew Tone, Teeling,
and the Mayo officers; but Lord Roden's famous corps of
"Fox hunters" covered the retreat and checked the pursuers
at French Hill. Immediately after the battle a Provisional
Government was established at Castlebar, with Mr. Moore
of Moore Hall, as President; proclamations addressed to
the inhabitants at large, commissions to raise men, and
_assignats_ payable by the future Irish Republic, were
issued in its name.

Meanwhile the whole of the royalist forces were now in
movement toward the capital of Mayo, as they had been
toward Vinegar Hill two months before. Sir John Moore
and General Hunter marched from Wexford toward the Shannon.
General Taylor, with 2,500 men, advanced from Sligo
towards Castlebar; Colonel Maxwell was ordered from
Enniskillen to assume command at Sligo; General Nugent
from Lisburn occupied Enniskillen, and the Viceroy,
leaving Dublin in person, advanced rapidly through the
midland counties to Kilbeggan, and ordered Lord Lake and
General Hutchinson, with such of their command as could
be depended on, to assume the aggressive from the direction
of Tuam. Thus Humbert and his allies found themselves
surrounded on all sides--their retreat cut off by sea,
for their frigates had returned to France immediately on
their landing; three thousand men against not less than
thirty thousand, with at least as many more in reserve,
ready to be called into action at a day's notice.

The French general determined if possible to reach the
mountains of Leitrim, and open communications with Ulster,
and the northern coast, upon which he hoped soon to see
succour arrive from France. With this object he marched
from Castlebar to Cooloney (35 miles), in one day; here
he sustained a check from Colonel Vereker's militia,
which necessitated a change of route; turning aside, he
passed rapidly through Dromahaine, Manor-Hamilton, and
Ballintra, making for Granard, from which accounts of a
formidable popular outbreak had just reached him. In
three days and a half he had marched 110 miles, flinging
half his guns into the rivers that he crossed, lest they
should fall into the hands of his pursuers. At Ballinamuck,
county Longford, on the borders of Leitrim, he found
himself fairly surrounded, on the morning of the 8th of
September; and here he prepared to make a last desperate
stand. The end could not be doubtful, the numbers against
him being ten to one; after an action of half an hour's
duration, two hundred of the French having thrown down
their arms, the remainder surrendered, as prisoners of
war. For the rebels no terms were thought of, and the
full vengeance of the victors was reserved for them. Mr.
Blake, who had formerly been a British officer, was
executed on the field; Mathew Tone and Teeling were
executed within the week in Dublin; Mr. Moore, President
of the Provisional Government, was sentenced to banishment
by the clemency of Lord Cornwallis, but died on shipboard;
ninety of the Longford and Kilkenny militia who had joined
the French were hanged, and the country generally given
up to pillage and massacre. As an evidence of the
excessive thirst for blood, it may be mentioned that at
the re-capture of Killalla a few days later, four hundred
persons were killed, of whom fully one-half were

The disorganization of all government in France in the
latter half of '98, was illustrated not only by Humbert's
unauthorized adventure, but by a still weaker demonstration
under General Reay and Napper Tandy, about the same time.
With a single armed brig these daring allies made a
descent, on the 17th of September, on Rathlin Island,
well equipped with eloquent proclamations, bearing the
date "first year of Irish liberty." From the postmaster
of the island they ascertained Humbert's fate, and
immediately turned the prow of their solitary ship in
the opposite direction; Reay, to rise in after times to
honour and power; Tandy, to continue in old age the
dashing career of his manhood, and to expiate in exile
the crime of preferring the country of his birth to the
general centralizing policy of the empire with which he
was united. Twelve days after the combat at Ballinamuck,
while Humbert and his men were on their way through
England to France, a new French fleet, under Admiral
Bompart, consisting of one 74-gun ship, "the Hoche,"
eight frigates, and two smaller vessels, sailed from
Brest. On board this fleet were embarked 3,000 men under
General Hardi, the remnant of the army once menacing
England. In this fleet sailed Theobold Wolfe Tone, true
to his motto, _nil desperandum_, with two or three other
refugees of less celebrity. The troops of General Hardi,
however, were destined never to land. On the 12th of
October, after tossing about for nearly a month in the
German ocean and the North Atlantic, they appeared off
the coast of Donegal, and stood in for Lough Swilly. But
another fleet also was on the horizon. Admiral Sir John
Borlase Warren, with an equal number of ships, but a much
heavier armament, had been cruising on the track of the
French during the whole time they were at sea. After many
disappointments, the flag-ship and three of the frigates
were at last within range and the action began. Six hours'
fighting laid the Hoche a helpless log upon the water;
nothing was left her but surrender; two of the frigates
shared the same fate on the same day; another was captured
on the 14th, and yet another on the 17th. The remainder
of the fleet escaped back to France.

The French officers landed in Donegal were received with
courtesy by the neighbouring gentry, among whom was the
Earl of Cavan, who entertained them at dinner. Here it
was that Sir George Hill, son-in-law to Commissioner
Beresford, an old college friend of Tone's, identified
the founder of the United Irishmen under the uniform of
a French Adjutant-General. Stepping up to his old
schoolmate he addressed him by name, which Tone instantly
acknowledged, inquiring politely for Lady Hill, and other
members of Sir George's family. He was instantly arrested,
ironed, and conveyed to Dublin under a strong guard. On
the 10th of November he was tried by court-martial and
sentenced to be hanged: he begged only for a soldier's
death--"to be shot by a platoon of grenadiers." This
favour was denied him, and the next morning he attempted
to commit suicide. The attempt did not immediately succeed;
but one week later--on the 19th of November--he died from
the results of his self-inflicted wound, with a compliment
to the attendant physician upon his lips. Truth compels
us to say he died the death of a Pagan; but it was a
Pagan of the noblest and freest type of Grecian and Roman
times. Had it occurred in ancient days, beyond the
Christian era, it would have been a death every way
admirable; as it was, that fatal final act must always
stand between Wolfe Tone and the Christian people for
whom he suffered, sternly forbidding them to invoke him
in their prayers, or to uphold him as an example to the
young men of their country. So closed the memorable year
1798, on the baffled and dispersed United Irishmen. Of
the chiefs imprisoned in March and May, Lord Edward had
died of his wounds and vexation; Oliver Bond of apoplexy;
the brothers Sheares, Father Quigley, and William Michael
Byrne on the gibbet. In July, on Samuel Nelson's motion,
the remaining prisoners in Newgate, Bridewell, and
Kilmainham, agreed, in order to stop the effusion of
blood, to expatriate themselves to any country not at
war with England, and to reveal the general secrets of
their system, without inculpating individuals. These
terms were accepted, as the Castle party needed their
evidence to enable them to promote the cherished scheme
of legislative Union. But that evidence delivered before
the Committees of Parliament by Emmet, McNevin, and
O'Conor, did not altogether serve the purposes of
government. The patriotic prisoners made it at once a
protest against, and an exposition of, the despotic policy
under which their country had been goaded into rebellion.
For their firmness they were punished by three years'
confinement in Fort George, in the Scottish Highlands,
where, however, a gallant old soldier, Colonel Stuart,
endeavoured to soften the hard realities of a prison by
all the kind attentions his instructions permitted him
to show these unfortunate gentlemen. At the peace of
Amiens, (1802), they were at last allowed the melancholy
privilege of expatriation. Russell and Dowdall were
permitted to return to Ireland, where they shared the
fate of Robert Emmet in 1803; O'Conor, Corbet, Allen,
Ware, and others, cast their lot in France, where they
all rose to distinction; Emmet, McNevin, Sampson, and
the family of Tone were reunited in New York, where the
many changes and distractions of a great metropolitan
community have not even yet obliterated the memories of
their virtues, their talents, and their accomplishments.

It is impossible to dismiss this celebrated group of men,
whose principles and conduct so greatly influenced their
country's destiny, without bearing explicit testimony to
their heroic qualities as a class. If ever a body of
public men deserved the character of a brotherhood of
heroes, so far as disinterestedness, courage, self-denial,
truthfulness and glowing love of country constitute
heroism, these men deserved that character. The wisdom
of their conduct, and the intrinsic merit of their plans,
are other questions. As between their political system
and that of Burke, Grattan and O'Connell, there always
will be, probably, among their countrymen, very decided
differences of opinion. That is but natural: but as to
the personal and political virtues of the United Irishmen
there can be no difference; the world has never seen a
more sincere or more self-sacrificing generation.



"Nothing strengthens a dynasty," said the first Napoleon,
"more than an unsuccessful rebellion." The partial
uprising; of the Irish people in 1798 was a rebellion of
this class, and the use of such a failure to an able and
unscrupulous administration, was illustrated in the
extinction of the ancient legislature of the kingdom,
before the recurrence of the third, anniversary of
the insurrection.

This project, the favourite and long-cherished design of
Mr. Pitt, was cordially approved by his principal
colleagues, the Duke of Portland, Lord Grenville, and
Mr. Dundas; indeed, it may be questioned whether it was
not as much Lord Grenville's design as Pitt's, and as
much George the Third's personal project as that of any
of his ministers. The old King's Irish policy was always
of the most narrow and illiberal description. In his
memorandum on the recall of Lord Fitzwilliam, he explains
his views with the business-like brevity which characterized
all his communications with his ministers while he retained
possession of his faculties; he was totally opposed to
Lord Fitzwilliam's emancipation policy, which he thought
adopted "in implicit obedience to the heated imagination
of Mr. Burke." To Lord Camden his instructions were,
"to support the old English interest as well as the
Protestant religion," and to Lord Cornwallis, that no
further "indulgence could be granted to Catholics," but
that he should steadily pursue the object of effecting
the union of Ireland and England.

The new Viceroy entered heartily into the views of his
Sovereign. Though unwilling to exchange his English
position as a Cabinet Minister and Master-General of
Ordnance for the troubled life of a Lord-Lieutenant of
Ireland, he at length allowed himself to be persuaded
into the acceptance of that office, with a view mainly
to carrying the Union. He was ambitious to connect his
name with that great imperial measure, so often projected,
but never formally proposed. If he could only succeed in
incorporating the Irish with the British legislature, he
declared he would feel satisfied to retire from all other
public employments; that he would look on his day as
finished, and his evening of ease and dignity fully
earned. He was not wholly unacquainted with the kingdom
against which he cherished these ulterior views; for he
had been, nearly thirty years before, when he fell under
the lash of _Junius_, one of the Vice-Treasurers of
Ireland. For the rest he was a man of great information,
tact, and firmness; indefatigable in business; tolerant
by temperament and conviction; but both as a general and
a politician it was his lot to be identified in India
and in Ireland with successes which might better have
been failures, and in America, with failures which were
much more beneficial to mankind than his successes.

In his new sphere of action his two principal agents were
Lord Clare and Lord Castlereagh, both Irishmen; the
Chancellor, the son of what in that country is called a
"spoiled priest," and the Secretary, the son of an
ex-volunteer, and member of Flood's Reform Convention.
It is not possible to regard the conduct of these high
officials in undermining and destroying the ancient
national legislature of their own country, in the same
light as that of Lord Cornwallis, or Mr. Pitt, or Lord
Grenville. It was but natural, that as Englishmen, these
ministers should consider the empire in the first place;
that they should desire to centralize all the resources
and all the authority of both Islands in London; that to
them the existence of an independent Parliament at Dublin,
with its ample control over the courts, the revenues,
the defences, and the trade of that kingdom, should appear
an obstacle and a hindrance to the unity of the imperial
system. From their point of view they were quite right,
and had they pursued their end, complete centralization,
by honourable means, no stigma could attach to them even
in the eyes of Irishmen; but with Lords Clare and
Castlereagh the case was wholly different. Born in the
land, deriving income as well as existence from the soil,
elected to its Parliament by the confidence of their
countrymen, attaining to posts of honour in consequence
of such election, that they should voluntarily offer
their services to establish an alien and a hostile policy
on the ruins of their own national constitution, which,
with all its defects, was national, and was corrigible;
this betrayal of their own, at the dictate of another
State, will always place the names of Clare and Castlereagh
on the detested list of public traitors. Yet though in
such treason, united and identified, no two men could be
more unlike in all other respects. Lord Clare was fiery,
dogmatic, and uncompromising to the last degree; while
Lord Castlereagh was stealthy, imperturbable, insidious,
bland, and adroit. The Chancellor endeavoured to carry
everything with a high hand, with a bold, defiant,
confident swagger; the Secretary, on the contrary, trusted
to management, expediency, and silent tenacity of purpose.
The one had faith in violence, the other in corruption;
they were no inapt personifications of the two chief
agencies by which the union was effected--Force and Fraud.

The Irish Parliament, which had been of necessity adjourned
during the greater part of the time the insurrection
lasted, assembled within a week of Lord Cornwallis'
arrival. Both Houses voted highly loyal addresses to
the King and Lord-Lieutenant, the latter seconded in the
Commons by Charles Kendal Bushe, the college companion
of Wolfe Tone! A vote of 100,000 pounds to indemnify
those who had suffered from the rebels--subsequently
increased to above 1,000,000 pounds--was passed _una
voce_; another, placing on the Irish establishment certain
English militia regiments, passed with equal promptitude.
In July, five consecutive acts--a complete code of
penalties and proscription--were introduced, and, after
various debates and delays, received the royal sanction
on the 6th of October, the last day of the session of
1798. These acts were: 1. The Amnesty Act, the exceptions
to which were so numerous "that few of those who took
any active part in the rebellion," were, according to
the Cornwallis' correspondence, "benefited by it." 2. An
Act of Indemnity, by which all magistrates who had
"exercised a vigour beyond the law" against the rebels,
were protected from the legal consequences of such acts.
3. An act for attainting Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Mr.
Harvey, and Mr. Grogan, against which Curran, taking "his
instructions from the grave," pleaded at the bar of the
House of Lords, but pleaded in vain. (This act was finally
reversed by the Imperial Parliament in 1819.) 4. An act
forbidding communication between persons in Ireland and
those enumerated in the Banishment Act, and making the
return to Ireland, after sentence of banishment by a
court-martial, a transportable felony. 5. An act to compel
fifty-one persons therein named to surrender before 1st
of December, 1798, under pain of high treason. Among the
fifty-one were the principal refugees at Paris and
Hamburg-Tone, Lewines, Tandy, Deane Swift, Major Plunkett,
Anthony McCann, Harvey Morres, etc. On the same day in
which the session terminated, and the royal sanction was
given to these acts, the name of Henry Grattan was, a
significant coincidence, formally struck, by the King's
commands, from the roll of the Irish Privy Council!

This legislation of the session of 1798, was fatal to
the Irish Parliament. The partisans of the Union, who
had used the rebellion to discredit the constitution,
now used the Parliament to discredit itself. Under the
influence of a fierce reactionary spirit, when all merciful
and moderate councils were denounced as treasonable, it
was not difficult to procure the passage of sweeping
measures of proscription. But with their passage vanished
the former popularity of the domestic legislature. And
what followed? The constitution of '82 could only be
upheld in the hearts of the people; and, with all its
defects, it had been popular before the sudden spread of
French revolutionary notions distracted and dissipated
the public opinion which had grown up within the era of
independence. To make the once cherished authority, which
liberated trade in '79, and half emancipated the Catholics
in '93, the last executioner of the vengeance of the
Castle against the people, was to place a gulf between
it and the affections of that people in the day of trial.
To make the anti-unionists in Parliament, such as the
Speaker, Sir Lawrence Parsons, Plunkett, Ponsonby and
Bushe, personally responsible for this vindictive code,
was to disarm them of the power, and almost of the right,
to call on the people whom they turned over, bound hand
and foot, to the mercy of the minister in '98, to aid
them against the machinations of that same minister in
'99. The last months of the year were marked besides by
events already referred to, and by negotiations incessantly
carried on, both in England and Ireland, in favour of
the Union. Members of both Houses were personally courted
and canvassed by the Prime Minister, the Secretaries of
State, the Viceroy and the Irish Secretary. Titles,
pensions and offices were freely promised. Vast sums of
secret service money, afterwards added as a charge to
the public debt of Ireland, were remitted from Whitehall.
An army of pamphleteers, marshalled by Under-Secretary
Cooke, and confidentially directed by the able but
anti-national Bishop of Meath, (Dr. O'Beirne,) and by
Lord Castlereagh personally, plied their pens in favour
of "the consolidation of the empire." The Lord Chancellor,
the Chief Secretary and Mr. Beresford, made journeys to
England, to assist the Prime Minister with their local
information, and to receive his imperial confidence in
return. The Orangemen were neutralized by securing a
majority of their leaders; the Catholics, by the
establishment of familiar communication with the bishops.
The Viceroy complimented Dr. Troy at Dublin; the Duke of
Portland lavished personal attentions on Dr. Moylan, in
England. The Protestant clergy were satisfied with the
assurance that the maintenance of their establishment
would be made a fundamental article of the Union, while
the Catholic bishops were given to understand that complete
Emancipation would be one of the first measures submitted
to the Imperial Parliament. The oligarchy were to be
indemnified for their boroughs, while the advocates of
Reform were shown how hopeless it was to expect a House
constituted of _their_ nominees, ever to enlarge or amend
its own exclusive constitution. Thus for every description
of people a particular set of appeals and arguments was
found, and for those who discarded the affectation of
reasoning on the surrender of their national existence,
there were the more convincing arguments of titles,
employments, and direct pecuniary purchase. At the close
of the year of the rebellion, Lord Cornwallis was able
to report to Mr. Pitt that the prospects of carrying the
measure were better than could have been expected, and
on this report he was authorized to open the matter
formally to Parliament in his speech at the opening of
the following session.

On the 22nd of January, 1799, the Irish legislature met
under circumstances of great interest and excitement.
The city of Dublin, always keenly alive to its metropolitan
interests, sent its eager thousands by every avenue
towards College Green. The Viceroy went down to the Houses
with a more than ordinary guard, and being seated on the
throne in the House of Lords, the Commons were summoned
to the bar. The House was considered a full one, 217
members being present. The viceregal speech congratulated
both Houses on the suppression of the late rebellion, on
the defeat of Bompart's squadron, and the recent French
victories of Lord Nelson; then came, amid profound
expectation, this concluding sentence:--"The unremitting
industry," said the Viceroy, "with which our enemies
persevere in their avowed design of endeavouring to effect
a separation of this kingdom from Great Britain, must
have engaged your attention, and his Majesty commands me
to express his anxious hope that this consideration,
joined to the sentiment of mutual affection and common
interest, may dispose the Parliaments in both kingdoms
to provide the most effectual means of maintaining and
improving a connection essential to their common security,
and of consolidating, as far as possible, into one firm
and lasting fabric, the strength, the power, and the
resources of the British empire." On the paragraph of
the address, re-echoing this sentiment, which was carried
by a large majority in the Lords, a debate ensued in the
Commons, which lasted till one o'clock of the following
day, above twenty consecutive hours. Against the suggestion
of a Union spoke Ponsonby, Parsons, Fitzgerald, Barrington,
Plunkett, Lee, O'Donnell and Bushe; in its favour, Lord
Castlereagh, the Knight of Kerry, Corry, Fox, Osborne,
Duigenan, and some other members little known. The
galleries and lobbies were crowded all night by the first
people of the city, of both sexes, and when the division
was being taken, the most intense anxiety was manifested,
within doors and without. At length the tellers made
their report to the Speaker, himself an ardent
anti-Unionist, and it was announced that the numbers
were--"for the address 105, for the amendment 106," so
the paragraph in favour of "consolidating the empire"
was lost by one vote! The remainder of the address,
tainted with the association of the expunged paragraph,
was barely carried by 107 to 105. Mr. Ponsonby had
attempted to follow his victory by a solemn pledge binding
the majority never again to entertain the question, but
to this several members objected, and the motion was
withdrawn. The ministry found some consolation in this
withdrawal, which they characterized as "a retreat after
a victory," but to the public at large, unused to place
much stress on the minor tactics of debate, nothing
appeared but the broad, general fact, that the first
overture for a Union had been rejected. It was a day of
immense rejoicing in Dublin; the leading anti-Unionists
were escorted in triumph to their homes, while the
Unionists were protected by strong military escorts from
the popular indignation. At night the city was illuminated,
and the patrols were doubled as a protection to the
obnoxious minority.

Mr. Ponsonby's amendment, affirmed by the House of Commons,
was in these words:--"That the House would be ready to
enter into any measure short of surrendering their free,
resident and independent legislature as established in
1782." This was the _ultimatum_ of the great party which
rallied in January, 1799, to the defence of the established
constitution of their country. The arguments with which
they sustained their position were few, bold, and
intelligible to every capacity. There was the argument
from Ireland's geographical situation, and the policy
incident to it; the historical argument; the argument
for a resident gentry occupied and retained in the country
by their public duties; the commercial argument; the
revenue argument; but above all, the argument of the
incompetency of Parliament to put an end to its own
existence. "Yourselves," exclaimed the eloquent Plunkett,
"you may extinguish, but Parliament you cannot extinguish.
It is enthroned in the hearts of the people--it is
enshrined in the sanctuary of the constitution--it is as
immortal as the island that protects it. As well might
the frantic suicide imagine that the act which destroys
his miserable body should also extinguish his eternal
soul. Again, therefore, I warn you. Do not dare to lay
your hands on the Constitution--it is above your powers!"

These arguments were combated on the grounds that the
islands were already united under one crown--that that
species of union was uncertain and precarious--that the
Irish Parliament was never in reality a national
legislature; that it existed only as an instrument of
class legislation; that the Union would benefit Ireland
materially as it had benefited Scotland; that she would
come in for a full share of imperial honours, expenditure
and trade; that such a Union would discourage all future
hostile attempts by France or any other foreign power
against the connection, and other similar arguments. But
the division which followed the first introduction of
the subject showed clearly to the Unionists that they
could not hope to succeed with the House of Commons as
then constituted; that more time and more preparation
were necessary. Accordingly, Lord Castlereagh was authorized
in March, to state formally in his place, that it was
not the intention of the government to bring up the
question again during that session; an announcement which
was hailed with a new outburst of rejoicing in the city.

But those who imagined the measure was abandoned were
sadly deceived. Steps were immediately taken by the Castle
to deplete the House of its majority, and to supply their
places before another session with forty or fifty new
members, who would be entirely at the beck of the Chief
Secretary. With this view, thirty-two new county judgeships
were created; a great number of additional inspectorships
and commissioners were also placed at the Minister's
disposal; thirteen members had peerages for themselves
or for their wives, with remainder to their children,
and nineteen others were presented to various lucrative
offices. The "Escheatorship of Munster"--a sort of Chiltern
Hundreds office--was accepted by those who agreed to
withdraw from opposition, for such considerations, but
who could not be got to reverse their votes. By these
means, and a lavish expenditure of secret service money,
it was hoped that Mr. Pitt's stipulated majority of "not
less than fifty" could be secured during the year.

The other events of the session of '99, though interesting
in themselves, are of little importance compared to the
union debates. In the English Parliament, which met on
the same day as the Irish, a paragraph identical with
that employed by Lord Cornwallis in introducing the
subject of the Union, was inserted in the King's speech.
To this paragraph, repeated in the address, an amendment
was moved by the celebrated Richard Brinsley Sheridan,
and resisted with an eloquence scarcely inferior to his
own, by his former _protege_ and countryman, George
Canning. Canning, like Sheridan, had sprung from a line
of Irish literateurs and actors; he had much of the wit
and genius of his illustrious friend, with more worldly
wisdom, and a higher sentiment of personal pride. In very
early life, distinguished by great oratorical talents,
he had deliberately attached himself to Mr. Pitt, while
Sheridan remained steadfast to the last, in the ranks of
the Whig or liberal party. For the land of their ancestors
both had, at bottom, very warm, good wishes; but Canning
looked down upon her politics from the heights of empire,
while Sheridan felt for her honour and her interests with
the affection of an expatriated son. We can well credit
his statement to Grattan, years afterwards, when referring
to his persistent opposition to the Union, he said, he
would "have waded in blood to his knees," to preserve
the Constitution of Ireland. In taking this course he
had with him a few eminent friends: General Fitzpatrick,
the former Irish Secretary, Mr. Tierney, Mr. Hobhouse,
Dr. Lawrence, the executor of Edmund Burke, and Mr.,
afterwards Earl Grey. Throughout the entire discussion
these just minded Englishmen stood boldly forward for
the rights of Ireland, and this highly honourable conduct
was long remembered as one of Ireland's real obligations
to the Whig party.

The resolutions intended to serve as "the basis of union,"
were introduced by Mr. Pitt, on the 21st of January, and
after another powerful speech in opposition, from Mr.
Grey, who was ably sustained by Mr. Sheridan, Dr. Lawrence,
and some twenty others, were put and carried. The following
are the resolutions:--

1st. "In order to promote and secure the essential
interests of Great Britain and Ireland, and to consolidate
the strength, power, and resources of the British empire,
it will be advisable to concur in such measures as may
tend to unite the two kingdoms of Great Britain and
Ireland into one kingdom, in such manner, and in such
terms and conditions as may be established by acts of
the respective Parliaments of his Majesty's said kingdoms.

2nd. "It would be fit to propose as the first article,
to serve as a basis of the said union, that the said
kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland shall, on a day to
be agreed upon, be united into one kingdom, by the name
of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

3rd. "For the same purpose it would be fit to propose,
that the succession to the monarchy and the imperial
crown of the said United Kingdom, shall continue limited
and settled, in the same manner as the imperial crown of
the said Great Britain and Ireland now stands limited
and settled, according to the existing law, and to the
terms of the union between England and Scotland.

4th. "For the same purpose it would be fit to propose
that the said United Kingdom be represented in one and
the same Parliament, to be styled the Parliament of the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; and that
such a number of Lords, spiritual and temporal, and such
a number of members of the House of Commons, as shall be
hereafter agreed upon by the acts of the respective
Parliaments as aforesaid, shall sit and vote in the said
Parliament on the part of Ireland, and shall be summoned,
chosen, and returned, in such manner as shall be fixed
by an act of the Parliament of Ireland previous to the
said union; and that every member hereafter to sit and
vote in the said Parliament of the United Kingdom shall,
until the said Parliament shall otherwise provide, take,
and subscribe the said oaths, and make the same declarations
as are required by law to be taken, subscribed, and made
by the members of the Parliaments of Great Britain and

5th. "For the same purpose it would be fit to propose,
that the Churches of England and Ireland, and the doctrine,
worship, discipline, and government thereof, shall be
preserved as now by law established.

6th. "For the same purpose it would be fit to propose,
that his Majesty's subjects in Ireland shall at all times
be entitled to the same privileges, and be on the same
footing in respect of trade and navigation in all ports
and places belonging to Great Britain, and in all cases
with respect to which treaties shall be made by his
Majesty, his heirs, or successors, with any foreign power,
as his Majesty's subjects in Great Britain; that no duty
shall be imposed on the import or export between Great
Britain and Ireland, of any articles now duty free, and
that on other articles there shall be established, for
a time to be limited, such a moderate rate of equal duties
as shall, previous to the Union, be agreed upon and
approved by the respective Parliaments, subject, after
the expiration of such limited time, to be diminished
equally with respect to both kingdoms, but in no case to
be increased; that all articles which may at any time
hereafter be imported into Great Britain from foreign
parts shall be importable through either kingdom into
the other, subject to the like duties and regulations,
as if the same were imported directly from foreign parts:
that where any articles, the growth, produce, or manufacture
of either kingdom, are subject to an internal duty in
one kingdom, such counter-vailing duties (over and above
any duties on import to be fixed as aforesaid) shall be
imposed as shall be necessary to prevent any inequality
in that respect; and that all matters of trade and
commerce, other than the foregoing, and than such others
as may before the Union be specially agreed upon for the
due encouragement of the agriculture and manufactures of
the respective kingdoms, shall remain to be regulated
from time to time by the United Parliament.

7th. "For the like purpose it would be fit to propose,
that the charge arising from the payment of the interests
or sinking fund for the reduction of the principal of
the debt incurred in either kingdom before the Union,
shall continue to be separately defrayed by Great Britain
and Ireland respectively; that, for a number of years to
be limited, the future ordinary expenses of the United
Kingdom, in peace or war, shall be defrayed by Great
Britain and Ireland jointly, according to such proportions
as shall be established by the respective Parliaments
previous to the Union; and that, after the expiration of
the time to be so limited, the proportion shall not be
liable to be varied, except according to such rates and
principles, as shall be in like manner agreed upon previous
to the Union.

8th. "For the like purpose, that all laws in force at
the time of the Union, and all the courts of civil or
ecclesiastical jurisdiction within the respective kingdoms,
shall remain as now by law established within the same,
subject only to such alterations or regulations as may
from time to time as circumstances may appear to the
Parliament of the United Kingdom to require."

Mr. Pitt, on the passage of these resolutions, proposed
an address stating that the Commons had proceeded with
the utmost attention to the consideration of the important
objects recommended in the royal message, that they
entertained a firm persuasion of the probable benefits
of a complete and entire Union between Great Britain and
Ireland, founded on equal and liberal principles; that
they were therefore induced to lay before his Majesty
such propositions as appeared to them to be best calculated
to form the basis of such a settlement, leaving it to
his wisdom in due time and in proper manner, to communicate
them to the Lords and Commons of Ireland, with whom they
would be at all times ready to concur in all such measures
as might be found most conducive to the accomplishment
of that great and salutary work.

On the 19th of March, Lord Grenville introduced the same
resolutions in the Lords, where they were passed after
a spirited opposition speech from Lord Holland, and the
basis, so far as the King, Lords, and Commons of England
were concerned, was laid. In proroguing the Irish Houses
on the 1st of June, Lord Cornwallis alluded to these
resolutions, and the anxiety of the King, as the common
father of his people, to see both kingdoms united in the
enjoyment of the blessings of a free constitution.

This prorogation was originally till August, but in August
it was extended till January, 1800. In this long interval
of eight months, the two great parties, the Unionists
and the anti-Unionists were incessantly employed, through
the press, in social intercourse, in the grand jury room,
in county and city meetings, by correspondence, petitions,
addresses, each pushing forward its own views with all
the zeal and warmth of men who felt that on one side they
were labouring for the country, on the other for the
empire. Two incidents of this interval were deeply felt
in the patriot ranks, the death at an advanced age of
the venerable Charlemont, the best member of his order
Ireland had ever known, and the return to the kingdom
and to public life of Lord Charlemont's early friend and
_protege_, Henry Grattan. He had spent above a year in
England, chiefly in Wales and the Isle of Wight. His
health all this time had been wretched; his spirits low
and despondent, and serious fears were at some moments
entertained for his life. He had been forbidden to read
or write, or to hear the exciting news of the day. Soothed
and cheered by that admirable woman, whom Providence had
given him, he passed the crisis, but he returned to
breathe his native air, greatly enfeebled in body, and
sorely afflicted in mind. The charge of theatrical
affectation of illness has been brought against Grattan
by the Unionists,--against Grattan who, as to his personal
habits, was simplicity itself! It is a charge undeserving
of serious contradiction.



When the Irish Parliament met for the last time, on the
15th of January, 1800, the position of the Union question
stood thus: 27 new Peers had been added to the House of
Lords, where the Castle might therefore reckon with safety
on a majority of three to one. Of the Lords spiritual,
only Dr. Marlay of Waterford, and Dr. Dixon of Down and
Conor, had the courage to side with their country against
their order. In the Commons there was an infusion of some
50 new borough members, many of them general officers,
such as Needham, and Pakenham, all of them nominees of
the Castle, except Mr. Saurin, returned for Blessington,
and Mr. Grattan, at the last moment, for Wicklow. The
great constitutional body of the bar had, at a general
meeting, the previous December, declared against the
measure by 162 to 33. Another powerful body, the bankers,
had petitioned against it, in the interest of the public
credit. The Catholic bishops, in their annual meeting,
had taken up a position of neutrality as a body, but
under the artful management of Lord Castlereagh, the
Archbishops of Dublin and Tuam, with the Bishop of Cork,
and some others, were actively employed in counteracting
anti-Union movements among the people. Although the vast
majority of that people had too much reason to be disgusted
and discontented with the legislation of the previous
three years, above 700,000 of them petitioned against
the measure, while all the signatures which could be
obtained in its favour, by the use of every means at the
command of the Castle, did not much exceed 7,000.

The Houses were opened on the 15th of January. The Viceroy
not going down, his message was read in the Lords, by
the Chancellor, and in the Commons, by the Chief Secretary.
It did not directly refer to the basis laid down in
England, nor to the subject matter itself; but the leaders
of the Castle party in both Houses, took care to supply
the deficiency. In the Lords, proxies included, Lord
Clare had 75 to 26 for his Union address: in the Commons,
Lord Castlereagh congratulated the country on the
improvement which had taken place in public opinion,
since the former session. He briefly sketched his plan
of Union, which, while embracing the main propositions
of Mr. Pitt, secured the Church establishment, bid high
for the commercial interests, hinted darkly of emancipation
to the Catholics, and gave the proprietors of boroughs
to understand that their interest in those convenient
constituencies would be capitalized, and a good round
sum given to buy out their perpetual patronage. In
amendment to the address, Sir Lawrence Parsons moved,
seconded by Mr. Savage of Down, that the House would
maintain _intact_ the Constitution of '82, and the debate
proceeded on this motion. Ponsonby replied to Castlereagh;
Plunkett and Bushe were answered by the future judges,
St. George Daly and Luke Fox; Toler contributed his farce,
and Dr. Duigenan his fanaticism. Through the long hours
of the winter's night the eloquent war was vigorously
maintained. One who was himself a distinguished actor in
the struggle, (Sir Jonah Barrington,) has thus described
it: "Every mind," he says, "was at its stretch, every
talent was in its vigour: it was a momentous trial; and
never was so general and so deep a sensation felt in any
country. Numerous British noblemen and commoners were
present at that and the succeeding debate, and they
expressed opinions of Irish eloquence which they had
never before conceived, nor ever after had an opportunity
of appreciating. Every man on that night seemed to be
inspired by the subject. Speeches more replete with talent
and energy, on both sides, never were heard in the Irish
Senate; it was a vital subject. The sublime, the eloquent,
the figurative orator, the plain, the connected, the
metaphysical reasoner, the classical, the learned, and
the solemn declaimer, in a succession of speeches so full
of energy and enthusiasm, so interesting in their nature,
so important in their consequence, created a variety of
sensations even in the bosom of a stranger, and could
scarcely fail of exciting some sympathy with a nation which
was doomed to close for ever that school of eloquence which
had so long given character and celebrity to Irish talent."

At the early dawn, a special messenger from Wicklow, just
arrived in town, roused Henry Grattan from his bed. He
had been elected the previous night for the borough of
Wicklow, (which cost him 2,400 pounds sterling), and this
was the bearer of the returning officer's certificate.
His friends, weak and feeble as he was, wished him to go
down to the House, and his heroic wife seconded their
appeals. It was seven o'clock in the morning of the 16th
when he reached College Green, the scene of his first
triumphs twenty years before. Mr. Egan, one of the
staunchest anti-Unionists, was at the moment, on some
rumour, probably, of his approach, apostrophising warmly
the father of the Constitution of '82, when that striking
apparition appeared at the bar. Worn and emaciated beyond
description, he appeared leaning on two of his friends,
Arthur Moore and W. B. Ponsonby. He wore his volunteer
uniform, blue with red facings, and advanced to the table,
where he removed his cocked hat, bowed to the Speaker,
and took the oaths. After Mr. Egan had concluded, he
begged permission from his seat beside Plunkett, to
address the House sitting, which was granted, and then
in a discourse of two hours' duration, full of his ancient
fire and vigour, he asserted once again, by the divine
right of intellect, his title to be considered the first
Commoner of Ireland. Gifted men were not rare in that
assembly; but the inspiration of the heart, the
uncontrollable utterance of a supreme spirit, not less
than the extraordinary faculty of condensation, in which,
perhaps, he has never had a superior in our language,
gave the Grattan of 1800 the same pre-eminence among his
cotemporaries, that was conceded to the Grattan of 1782.
After eighteen hours' discussion the division was taken,
when the result of the long recess was clearly seen; for
the amendment there appeared 96, for the address 138
members. The Union majority, therefore, was 42. It was
apparent from that moment that the representation of the
people in Parliament had been effectually corrupted; that
that assembly was no longer the safeguard of the liberties
of the people. Other ministerial majorities confirmed
this impression. A measure to enable 10,000 of the Irish
militia to enter the regular army, and to substitute
English militia in their stead, followed; an inquiry into
outrages committed by the sheriff and military in King's
county, was voted down; a similar motion somewhat later,
in relation to officials in Tipperary met the same fate.
On the 5th of February, a formal message proposing a
basis of Union was received from his Excellency, and
debated for twenty consecutive hours--from 4 o'clock of
one day, till 12 of the next. Grattan, Plunkett, Parnell,
Ponsonby, Saurin, were, as always, eloquent and able,
but again the division told for the minister, 160 to
117--majority 43. On the 17th of February, the House went
into Committee on the proposed articles of Union, and
the Speaker (John Foster) being now on the floor, addressed
the House with great ability in review of Mr. Pitt's
recent Union speech, which he designated "a paltry
production." But again, a majority mustered, at the nod
of the minister, 161 to 140--a few not fully committed
showing some last faint spark of independence. It was on
this occasion that Mr. Corry, Chancellor of the Exchequer,
member for Newry, made for the third or fourth time that
session, an attack on Grattan, which brought out, on the
instant, that famous "philippic against Corry," unequalled
in our language, for its well-suppressed passion, and
finely condensed denunciation. A duel followed, as soon
as there was sufficient light; the Chancellor was wounded,
after which the Castlereagh tactics of "fighting down
the opposition," received an immediate and lasting check.

Throughout the months of February and March, with an
occasional adjournment, the Constitutional battle was
fought on every point permitted by the forms of the House.
On the 25th of March, the Committee, after another powerful
speech from the Speaker, finally reported the resolutions
which were passed by 154 to 107--a majority of 47. The
Houses then adjourned for six weeks, to allow time for
corresponding action to be taken in England. There was
little difficulty in carrying the measure. In the Upper
House, Lords Derby, Holland, and King only opposed it;
in the Lower, Sheridan, Tierney, Grey, and Lawrence
mustered on a division, 30 votes against Pitt's 206. On
the 21st of May, in the Irish Commons, Lord Castlereagh
obtained leave to bring in the Union Bill by 160 to 100;
on the 7th of June the final passage of the measure was
effected. That closing scene has been often described,
but never so graphically, as by the diamond pen of Jonah

"The galleries were full, but the change was lamentable.
They were no longer crowded with those who had been
accustomed to witness the eloquence and to animate the
debates of that devoted assembly. A monotonous and
melancholy murmur ran through the benches; scarcely a
word was exchanged amongst the members; nobody seemed at
ease; no cheerfulness was apparent; and the ordinary
business, for a short time, proceeded in the usual manner.

"At length, the expected moment arrived: the order of
the day for the third reading of the bill for a 'legislative
union between Great Britain and Ireland' was moved by
Lord Castlereagh. Unvaried, tame, cold-blooded, the words
seemed frozen as they issued from his lips; and, as if
a simple citizen of the world, he seemed to have no
sensation on the subject.

"At that moment he had no country, no God, but his
ambition. He made his motion, and resumed his seat, with
the utmost composure and indifference.

"Confused murmurs again ran through the House. It was
visibly affected. Every character, in a moment, seemed
involuntarily rushing to its index--some pale, some
flushed, some agitated--there were few countenances to
which the heart did not despatch some messenger. Several
members withdrew before the question could be repeated,
and an awful, momentary silence succeeded their departure.
The Speaker rose slowly from that chair which had been
the proud source of his honours and of his high character.
For a moment he resumed his seat, but the strength of
his mind sustained him in his duty, though his struggle
was apparent. With that dignity which never failed to
signalize his official actions, he held up the bill for
a moment in silence. He looked steadily around him on
the last agony of the expiring Parliament. He at length
repeated, in an emphatic tone, 'As many as are of opinion
that THIS BILL do pass, say _ay_! The affirmative was
languid, but indisputable. Another momentary pause ensued.
Again his lips seemed to decline their office. At length,
with an eye averted from the object he hated, he proclaimed,
with a subdued voice, '_The, AYES have it_.' The fatal
sentence was now pronounced. For an instant he stood
statue-like; then indignantly, and with disgust, flung
the bill upon the table, and sank into his chair with an
exhausted spirit. An independent country was thus degraded
into a province. Ireland, as a nation, was extinguished."

The final division in the Commons was 153 to 88, nearly
60 members absenting themselves, and in the Lords, 76 to
17. In England all the stages were passed in July, and
on the 2nd of August, the anniversary of the King's
accession, the royal assent was given to the twofold
legislation, which declared the kingdoms of Great Britain
and Ireland one and inseparable!

By the provisions of this statute, compact, or treaty,
the Sovereignty of the United Kingdom was to follow the
order of the Act of Succession; the Irish peerage was to
be reduced by the filling of one vacancy for every three
deaths, to the number of one hundred; from among these,
twenty-eight representative Peers were to be elected for
life, and four spiritual Lords to sit in succession. The
number of Irish representatives in the Imperial Parliament
was fixed at one hundred (increased to one hundred and
five); the churches of England and Ireland were united
like the kingdoms, and declared to be one in doctrine
and discipline. The debt of Ireland, which was less than
4,000,000 pounds in 1797, increased to 14,000,000 pounds
in '99, and had risen to nearly 17,000,000 pounds in
1801, was to be alone chargeable to Ireland, whose
proportionate share of general taxation was then estimated
at 2-17ths of that of the United Kingdom. The Courts of
Law, the Privy Council, and the Viceroyalty, were to
remain at Dublin, the cenotaph and the shadows of
departed nationality.

On the 1st day of January, 1801, in accordance with this
great Constitutional change, a new imperial standard was
run up on London Tower, Edinburgh Castle, and Dublin
Castle. It was formed of the three crosses of St. Patrick,
Saint Andrew, and Saint George, and is that popularly
known to us as "the Union Jack." The _fleur de lis_, and
the word "France," were struck from the royal title,
which was settled, by proclamation, to consist henceforth
of the words _Dei Gratia, Britanniarum Rex, Fidei Defensor_.

The foul means by which this counter revolution was
accomplished, have, perhaps, been already sufficiently
indicated. It may be necessary, however, in order to
account for the continued hostility of the Irish people
to the measure, after more than sixty years' experience
of its results, to recapitulate them very briefly. Of
all who voted for the Union, in both Houses, it was said
that only six or seven were known to have done so on
conviction. Great borough proprietors, like Lord Ely and
Lord Shannon, received as much as 45,000 pounds sterling
in "compensation" for their loss of patronage; while
proprietors of single seats received 15,000 pounds. That
the majority was avowedly purchased, in both Houses, is
no longer matter of inference, nay, that some of them
were purchased twice over is now well known. Lord Carysfort,
an active partisan of the measure, writing in February,
1800, to his friend the Marquis of Buckingham, frankly
says: "The majority, which has been bought at an enormous
price, must be bought over again, perhaps more than once,
before all the details can be gone through." His lordship
himself, and the order to which he belonged, and those
who aspired to enter it, were, it must be added, among
the most insatiable of these purchased supporters. The
Dublin _Gazette_ for July, 1800, announced not less than
sixteen new peerages, and the same publication for the
last week of the year, contained a fresh list of twenty-six
others. Forty-two creations in six months was a stretch
of prerogative far beyond the most arbitrary of the
Stuarts or Tudors, and forms one, not of the least
unanswerable evidences, of the utterly corrupt
considerations which secured the support of the Irish
majority in both Houses.

It was impossible that a people like the Irish,
disinterested and unselfish to a fault, should ever come
to respect a compact brought about by such means and
influences as these. Had, however, the Union, vile as
were the means by which it was accomplished, proved to
the real benefit of the country--had equal civil and
religious rights been freely and at once extended to the
people of the lesser kingdom--there is no reason to doubt
that the measure would have become popular in time, and
the vices of the old system be better remembered than
its benefits, real or imaginary. But the Union was never
utilized for Ireland; it proved in reality what Samuel
Johnson had predicted, when spoken of in his day: "Do
not unite with us, sir," said the gruff old moralist to
an Irish acquaintance; "it would be the union of the
shark with his prey; we should unite with you only to
destroy you."

In glancing backward over the long political connexion
of Ireland and England, we mark four great epochs. The
Anglo-Norman invasion in 1169; the statute of Kilkenny
decreeing eternal separation between the races, "the
English pale" and "the Irish enemy," 1367; the Union of
the Crowns, in 1541, and the Legislative Union, in 1801.
One more cardinal event remains to be recorded--the
Emancipation of the Catholics, in 1829.





The plan of this brief compendium of Irish history obliges
us to sketch for some years farther on, the political
and religious annals of the Irish people. Having described
in what manner their distinctive political nationality
was at length lost, it only remains to show how their
religious liberties were finally recovered.

The first striking effect of the Union was to introduce
Catholic Emancipation into the category of imperial
difficulties, and to assign it the very first place on
the list. By a singular retribution, the Pitt administration
with its 200 of a House of Commons majority, its absolute
control of the Lords, and its seventeen years' prescription
in its favour, fell upon this very question, after they
had used it to carry the Union, within a few weeks of
the consummation of that Union. The cause of this crisis
was the invincible obstinacy of the King, who had taken
into his head, at the time of Lord Fitzwilliam's recall
from Ireland, that his coronation oath bound him in
conscience to resist the Catholic claims. The suggestion
of this obstacle was originally Lord Clare's; and though
Lord Kenyon and Lord Stowell had declared it unfounded
in law, Lord Loughborough and Lord Eldon were unfortunately
of a different opinion. With George III. the idea became
a monomaniac certainty, and there is no reason to doubt
that he would have preferred abdication to its abandonment.

The King was not for several months aware how far his
Prune Minister had gone on the Catholic question in
Ireland. But those who were weary of Pitt's ascendancy,
were, of course, interested in giving him this important
information. The minister himself, wrapped in his austere
self-reliance, did not volunteer explanations even to
his Sovereign, and the King broke silence very unexpectedly,
a few days after the first meeting of the Imperial
Parliament (January 22nd, 1801). Stepping up to Mr. Dundas
at the levee, he began in his usual manner, "What's this?
what's this? this, that this young Lord (Castlereagh)
has brought over from Ireland to throw at my head? The
most Jacobinical thing I ever heard of! Any man who
proposes such a thing is my personal enemy." Mr. Dundas
replied respectfully but firmly, and immediately
communicated the conversation to Mr. Pitt. The King's
remarks had been overheard by the bystanders, so that
either the minister or the Sovereign had now to give way.
Pitt, at first, was resolute; the King then offered to
impose silence on himself as regarded the whole subject,
provided Mr. Pitt would agree to do likewise, but the
haughty minister refused, and tendered his resignation.
On the 5th of February, within five weeks of the
consummation of the Union, this tender was most reluctantly
and regretfully accepted. Lord Grenville, Mr. Dundas,
and others of his principal colleagues went out of office
with him; Lord Cornwallis and Lord Castlereagh following
their example. Of the new Cabinet, Addington, the Speaker,
was Premier, with Lord Hardwicke as Lord-Lieutenant of
Ireland. By the enemies of Pitt this was looked upon as
a mere administration _ad interim_; as a concerted
arrangement to enable him to evade an unfavourable
peace--that of Amiens--which he saw coming; but it is
only fair to say, that the private letters of the period,
since published, do not sanction any such imputation. It
is, however, to be observed, _per contra_, that three
weeks after his formal resignation, he had no hesitation
in assuring the King, who had just recovered from one of
his attacks brought on by this crisis, that he would
never again urge the Catholic claims on his Majesty's
notice. On this understanding he returned to office in
the spring of 1804; to this compact he adhered till his
death, in January, 1806.

In Ireland, the events immediately consequent upon the
Union, were such as might have been expected. Many of
those who had been instrumental in carrying it, were
disappointed and discontented with their new situation
in the empire. Of these, the most conspicuous and the
least to be pitied, was Lord Clare. That haughty,
domineering spirit, accustomed to dictate with almost
absolute power to the Privy Counsellors and peerage of
Ireland, experienced nothing but mortification in the
Imperial House of Lords. The part he hoped to play on
that wider stage he found impossible to assume; he
confronted there in the aged Thurlow and the astute
Loughborough, law lords as absolute as himself, who soon
made him conscious that, though a main agent of the Union,
he was only a stranger in the united legislature. The
Duke of Bedford reminded him that "the Union had not
transferred his dictatorial powers to the Imperial
Parliament;" other noble Lords were hardly less severe.
Pitt was cold, and Grenville ceremonious; and in the
arrangements of the Addington ministry he was not even
consulted. He returned to Ireland before the first year
of the Union closed, in a state of mind and temper which
preyed upon his health. Before the second session of the
Imperial Parliament assembled, he had been borne to the
grave amid the revilings and hootings of the multitude.
Dublin, true to its ancient disposition, which led the
townsfolk of the twelfth century to bury the ancestor of
Dermid McMurrogh with the carcass of a dog, filled the
grave of the once splendid Lord Chancellor with every
description of garbage.

On the other hand, Lord Castlereagh, younger, suppler,
and more accommodating to English prejudices, rose from
one Cabinet office to another, until at length, in fifteen
years from the Union, he directed the destinies of the
Empire, as absolutely, as he had moulded the fate of
Ireland. To Castlereagh and the Wellesley family, the
Union was in truth, an era of honour and advancement.
The sons of the spendthrift amateur, Lord Mornington,
were reserved to rule India, and lead the armies of
Europe; while the son of Flood's colleague in the Reform
convention of 1783, was destined to give law to Christendom,
at the Congress of Vienna.

A career very different in all respects from those just
mentioned, closed in the second year of Dublin's widowhood
as a metropolis. It was the career of a young man of
four-and-twenty, who snatched at immortal fame and obtained
it, in the very agony of a public, but not for him, a
shameful death. This was Robert, youngest brother of
Thomas Addis Emmet, whose _emeute_ of 1803 would long
since have sunk to the level of other city riots, but
for the matchless dying speech of which it was the prelude
and the occasion. This young gentleman was in his 20th
year when expelled with nineteen others from Trinity
College, in 1798, by order of the visitors, Lord Clare
and Dr. Duigenan. His reputation as a scholar and debater
was already established within the college walls, and
the highest expectations were naturally entertained of
him, by his friends. One of his early college companions
--Thomas Moore--who lived to know all the leading men
of his age, declares that of all he had ever known, he
would place among "the highest of the few" who combined
in "the greatest degree pure moral worth with intellectual
power"--Robert Emmet. After the expatriation of his
brother, young Emmet visited him at Fort-George, and
proceeded from thence to the Continent. During the year
the Union was consummated he visited Spain, and travelled
through Holland, France, and Switzerland, till the peace
of Amiens. Subsequently he joined his brother's family
in Paris, and was taken into the full confidence of the
exiles, then in direct communication with Buonaparte and
Talleyrand. It was not concealed from the Irish by either
the First Consul, or his minister, that the peace with
England was likely to have a speedy termination; and,
accordingly, they were not unprepared for the new
declaration of war between the two countries, which was
officially made at London and Paris, in May, 1803--little
more than twelve months after the proclamation of the
peace of Amiens.

It was in expectation of this rupture, and a consequent
invasion of Ireland, that Robert Emmet returned to Dublin,
in October, 1802, to endeavour to re-establish in some
degree the old organization of the United Irishmen. In
the same expectation, McNevin, Corbet, and others of the
Irish in France, formed themselves, by permission of the
First Consul, into a legion, under command of Tone's
trusty aid-de-camp, McSheehey; while Thomas Addis Emmet
and Arthur O'Conor remained at Paris, the plenipotentiaries
of their countrymen. On the rupture with England Buonaparte
took up the Irish negotiation with much earnestness; he
even suggested to the exiles the colours and the motto
under which they were to fight, when once landed on their
own soil. The flag on a tricolour ground, was to have a
green centre, bearing the letters _R.I.--Republique
Irlandaise_. The legend at large was to be: _L'independence
de l'Irlande--Liberte de Conscience_; a motto which
certainly told the whole story. The First Consul also
suggested the formation of an Irish Committee at Paris,
and the preparation of statements of Irish grievances
for the _Moniteur_, and the semi-official papers.

Robert Emmet seems to have been confidently of opinion
soon after his return to Dublin, that nineteen out of
the thirty-two counties would rise; and, perhaps, if a
sufficient French force had landed, his opinion might
have been justified by the fact. So did not think, however,
John Keogh, Valentine Lawless (Lord Cloncurry), and other
close observers of the state of the country. But Emmet
was enthusiastic, and he inspired his own spirit into
many. Mr. Long, a merchant, placed 1,400 pounds sterling
at his disposal; he had himself, in consequence of the
recent death of his father, stock to the amount of 1,500
pounds converted into cash, and with these funds he
entered actively on his preliminary preparations. His
chief confidants and assistants were Thomas Russell and
Mathew Dowdall, formerly prisoners at Fort-George, but
now permitted to return; William Putnam McCabe, the most
adventurous of all the party, a perfect Proteus in
disguise; Gray, a Wexford attorney; Colonel Lumm of
Kildare, an old friend of Lord Edward Fitzgerald; Mr.
Long, before mentioned; Hamilton, an Enniskillen barrister,
married to Russell's niece; James Hope of Templepatrick,
and Michael Dwyer, the Wicklow outlaw, who had remained
since '98 uncaptured in the mountains.

In the month of March, when the renewal of hostilities
with France was decided on in England, the preparations
of the conspirators were pushed forward with redoubled
energy. The still wilder conspiracy headed by Colonel
Despard in London, the previous winter, the secret and
the fate of which was well known to the Dublin leaders
--Dowdall being Despard's agent--did not in the least
intimidate Emmet or his friends. Despard suffered death
in February, with nine of his followers, but his Irish
confederates only went on with their arrangements with
a more reckless resolution. Their plan was the plan of
O'Moore and McGuire, to surprise the Castle, seize the
authorities and secure the capital; but the Dublin of
1803 was in many respects very different from the Dublin
of 1641. The discontent, however, arising from the recent
loss of the Parliament might have turned the city scale
in Emmet's favour, had its first stroke been successful.
The emissaries at work in the Leinster and Ulster counties
gave besides sanguine reports of success, so that, judging
by the information in his possession, an older and cooler
head than Robert Emmet's might well have been misled into
the expectation of nineteen counties rising if the signal
could only be given from Dublin Castle. If the blow could
be withheld till August, there was every reason to expect
a French invasion of England, which would drain away all
the regular army, and leave the people merely the militia
and the volunteers to contend against. But all the Dublin
arrangements exploded in the melancholy _emeute_ of the
23rd of July, 1803, in which the Chief-Justice, Lord
Kilwarden, passing through the disturbed quarter of the
city at the time, was cruelly murdered; for which, and
for his cause, Emmet suffered death on the same spot on
the 20th of September following. For the same cause,
the equally pure-minded and chivalrous Thomas Russell
was executed at Downpatrick; Kearney, Roche, Redmond and
Howley also suffered death at Dublin; Alien, Putnam,
McCabe, and Dowdall escaped to France, where the former
became an officer of rank in the army of Napoleon; Michael
Dwyer, who Lad surrendered on condition of being allowed
to emigrate to' North America, died in exile in Australia,
in 1825. Others of Emmet's known or suspected friends,
after undergoing two, three, and even four years'
imprisonment, were finally discharged without trial.
Mr. Long, his generous banker, and James Hope, his
faithful emissary, were both permitted to end; their
days in Ireland.

The trial of Robert Emmet, from the wonderful death-speech
delivered at it, is perfectly well known. But in justice
to a man of genius equal if not superior to his own--an
Irishman, whose memory is national property, as well as
Emmet's, it must here be observed, that the latter never
delivered, and had no justification to deliver the vulgar
diatribe against Plunkett, his prosecutor, now constantly
printed in the common and incorrect versions of that
speech. Plunkett, as Attorney-General, in 1803, had no
option but to prosecute for the crown; he was a politician
of a totally different school from that of Emmet; he
shared all Burke and Grattan's horror of French
revolutionary principles. In the fervour of his accusatory
oration he may have gone too far; he may have, and in
reading it now, it is clear to us that he did press too
hard upon the prisoner in the dock. He might have performed
his awful office with more sorrow and less vehemence,
for there was no doubt about Ms jury. But withal, he gave
no fair grounds for any such retort as is falsely attributed
to Emmet, the very style of which proves its falsity. It
is now well known that the apostrophe in the death-speech,
commencing "you viper," alleged to have been addressed
to Plunkett, was the interpolation many years afterwards
of that literary Ishmaelite--Walter Cox of the _Hibernian
Magazine_,--who through such base means endeavoured to
aim a blow at Plunkett's reputation. The personal reputation
of the younger Emmet, the least known to his countrymen
of all the United Irish leaders, except by the crowning
act of his death, is safe beyond the reach of calumny,
or party zeal, or time's changes. It is embalmed in the
verse of Moore and Southey, and the precious prose of
Washington Irvine. Men of genius in England and America
have done honour to his memory; in the annals of his own
country his name deserves to stand with those youthful
chiefs, equally renowned, and equally ready to seal their
patriotism with their blood--Sir Cahir O'Doherty and
Hugh Roe O'Donnell.



During the five years in which Lord Hardwicke was Viceroy
of Ireland, the _habeas corpus_ remained suspended, and
the Insurrection Act continued in force. These were the
years in which the power of Napoleon made the most
astonishing strides; the years in which he remodelled
the German Empire, placed on his head the iron crown of
Lombardy, on his sister's that of Etruria, and on his
brother's that of Holland; when the Consulate gave place
to the Empire, and Dukedoms and Principalities were freely
distributed among the marshals of the Grand Army. During
all these years, Napoleon harassed England with menaces
of invasion, and excited Ireland with corresponding hopes
of intervention. The more far-seeing United Irishmen,
however, had so little faith in these demonstrations that
Emmet and McNevin emigrated to the United States, leaving
behind them in the ranks of the French Army, those of
their compatriots who, either from habit or preference,
had become attached to a military life. It must however
be borne in mind, for it is essential to the understanding
of England's policy towards Ireland, in the first twelve
or fourteen years after the Union, that the wild hope of
a French invasion never forsook the hearts of a large
portion of the Irish people, so long as Napoleon Buonaparte
continued at the head of the government of France. During
the whole of that period the British government were kept
in constant apprehension for Ireland; under this feeling
they kept up and increased the local militia; strengthened
garrisons, and replenished magazines; constructed a chain
of Martello towers round the entire coast, and maintained
in full rigour the Insurrection Act. They refused, indeed,
to the Munster magistrates in 1803, and subsequently,
the power of summary convictions which they possessed in
'98; but they sent special Commissions of their own into
the suspected counties, who sentenced to death with as
little remorse as if they had been so many hydrophobic
dogs. Ten, twelve, and even twenty capital executions
was no uncommon result of a single sitting of one of
those murderous commissions, over which Lord Norbury
presided; but it must be added that there were other
judges, who observed not only the decencies of everyday
life, but who interpreted the law in mercy as well as in
justice. They were a minority, it is true, but there were
some such, nevertheless.

The session of the Imperial Parliament of 1803-'4, was
chiefly remarkable for its war speeches and war budget.
In Ireland 50,000 men of the regular militia were under
arms and under pay; 70,000 volunteers were enrolled,
battalioned, and ready to be called out in case of
emergency, to which it was proposed to add 25,000
sea-fencibles. General Fox, who it was alleged had
neglected taking proper precaution at the time of Robert
Emmet's _emeute_, was replaced by Lord Cathcart, as
Commander-in-Chief. The _public_ reports at least of this
officer, were highly laudatory of the discipline and
conduct of the Irish militia.

In May, 1804, Mr. Pitt returned to power, as Chancellor
of the Exchequer and Prime Minister, when the whole Pitt
policy towards Ireland, France, and America, was of course
resumed; a policy which continued to be acted on during
the short remainder of the life of its celebrated author.

The year 1805 may be called the first year of the revival
of public spirit and public opinion after the Union. In
that year Grattan had allowed himself to be persuaded by
Fox, into entering the Imperial Parliament, and his old
friend Lord Fitzwilliam found a constituency for him, in
his Yorkshire borough of Malton. About the same time,
Pitt, or his colleagues, induced Plunkett to enter the
same great assembly, providing him with a constituency
at Midhurst, in Sussex. But they did not succeed--if they
ever attempted--to match Plunkett with Grattan. Those
great men were warm and close friends in the Imperial as
they had been in the Irish Parliament; very dissimilar
in their genius, they were both decided anti-Jacobins;
both strenuous advocates of the Catholic claims, and both
proud and fond of their original country. Grattan had
more poetry, and Plunkett more science; but the heart of
the man of colder exterior opened and swelled out, in
one of the noblest tributes ever paid by one great orator
to another, when Plunkett introduced in 1821, in the
Imperial Parliament, his allusion to his illustrious
friend, then recently deceased.

Preparatory to the meeting of Parliament in 1805, the
members of the old Catholic Committee, who had not met
for any such purpose for several years, assembled in
Dublin, and prepared a petition which they authorized
their chairman, Lord Fingall, to place in such hands as
he might choose, for presentation in both Houses. His
lordship on reaching London waited on Mr. Pitt, and
entreated him to take charge of the petition; but he
found that the Prime Minister had promised the King one
thing and the Catholics another, and, therefore, declined
acceding to his request. He then gave the petition into
the charge of Lord Grenville and Mr. Fox, and by them
the subject was brought accordingly before the Lords and
Commons. This debate in the Commons was remarkable in
many respects, but most of all for Grattan's _debut_.
A lively curiosity to hear one of whom so much had been
said in his own country, pervaded the whole House, as
Grattan rose. His grotesque little figure, his eccentric
action, and his strangely cadenced sentences rather
surprised than attracted attention, but as he warmed with
the march of ideas, men of both parties warmed to the
genial and enlarged philosophy, embodied in the interfused
rhetoric and logic of the orator; Pitt was seen to beat
time with his hand to every curiously proportioned period,
and at length both sides of the House broke into hearty
acknowledgments of the genius of the new member for
Malton. But as yet their cheers were not followed by
their votes; the division against going into Committee
was 336 to 124.

In sustaining Fox's motion, Sir John Cox Hippesley had
suggested "the Veto" as a safeguard against the
encroachments of Rome, which the Irish bishops would not
be disposed to refuse. Archbishop Troy, and Dr. Moylan,
Bishop of Cork, gave considerable praise to this speech,
and partly at their request it was published in pamphlet
form. This brought up directly a discussion among the
Catholics, which lasted until 1810, was renewed in 1813,
and not finally set at rest till the passage of the bill
of 1829, without any such safeguard. Sir John C. Hippesley
had modelled his proposal, he said, on the liberties of
the Gallican Church. "Her privileges," he added, "depended
on two prominent maxims: 1st. That the Pope had no
authority to order or interfere in anything in which the
civil rights of the kingdom were concerned. 2nd. That
notwithstanding the Pope's supremacy was acknowledged in
cases purely spiritual, yet, in other respects, his power
was limited by the decrees of the ancient councils of
the realm." The Irish Church, therefore, was to be
similarly administered, to obviate the objections of the
opponents of complete civil emancipation.

In February, 1806, on the death of Pitt, Mr. Fox came
into power, with an uncertain majority and a powerful
opposition. In April, the Duke of Bedford arrived, as
Viceroy, at Dublin, and the Catholics presented, through
Mr. Keogh, a mild address, expressive of their hopes that
"the glorious development" of their emancipation would
be reserved for the new government. The Duke returned
an evasive answer in public, but privately, both at Dublin
and London, the Catholics were assured that, as soon as
the new Premier could convert the King--as soon as he
was in a position to act--he would make their cause his
own. No doubt Fox, who had great nobleness of soul,
intended to do so; but on the 13th of September of the
same year, he followed his great rival, Pitt, to the
vaults of Westminster Abbey. A few months only had
intervened between the death of the rivals.

Lords Grey and Grenville, during the next recess, having
formed a new administration, instructed their Irish
Secretary, Mr. Elliot, to put himself in communication
with the Catholics, in relation to a measure making them
eligible to naval and military offices. The Catholics
accepted this proposal with pleasure, but at the opening
of the session of 1807, in a deputation to the Irish
government, again urged the question of complete
emancipation. The bill in relation to the army and navy
had, originally, the King's acquiescence; but early in
March, after it had passed the Commons, George III.
changed his mind--if the expression may be used of him
--at that time. He declared he had not considered it at
first so important as he afterwards found it; he intimated
that it could not receive his sanction; he went farther
--he required a written pledge from Lords Grey and
Grenville never again to bring forward such a measure,
"nor ever to propose anything connected with the Catholic
question." This unconstitutional pledge they refused to
give, hurried the bill into law, and resigned. Mr. Spencer
Perceval was then sent for, and what was called "the
No-Popery Cabinet," in which Mr. Canning and Lord
Castlereagh were the principal Secretaries of State, was
formed. Thus, for the second time in six years, had the
Catholic question made and unmade cabinets.

The Catholics were a good deal dispirited in 1805, by
the overwhelming majority by which their petition of that
year was refused to be referred to a committee. In 1806,
they contented themselves with simply addressing the Duke
of Bedford, on his arrival at Dublin. In 1807, the
"No-Popery Cabinet," by the result of the elections, was
placed in possession of an immense majority--a fact which
excluded all prospects of another change of government.
But the Committee were too long accustomed to
disappointments to despair even under these reverses.
Early in the next session their petition was presented
by Mr. Grattan in the Commons, and Lord Donoughmore in
the Lords. The majority against going into committee was,
in the Commons, 153; in the Lords, 87. Similar motions
in the session of 1808, made by the same parties, were
rejected by majorities somewhat reduced, and the question,
on the whole, might be said to have recovered some of
its former vantage ground, in despite of the bitter,
pertinacious resistance of Mr. Perceval, in the one House,
and the Duke of Portland, in the other.

The short-lived administration of Mr. Fox, though it was
said to include "all the talents," had been full of
nothing but disappointment to his Irish supporters. The
Duke of Bedford was, indeed, a great improvement on Lord
Hardwicke, and Mr. Ponsonby on Lord Redesdale, as
Chancellor, and the liberation of the political prisoners
confined since 1803 did honour to the new administration.
But there the measures of justice so credulously expected,
both as to persons and interests, ended. Curran, whose
professional claims to advancement were far beyond those
of dozens of men who had been, during the past ten years,
lifted over his head, was neglected, and very naturally
dissatisfied; Grattan, never well adapted for a courtier,
could not obtain even minor appointments for his oldest
and staunchest adherents; while the Catholics found their
Whig friends, now that they were in office, as anxious
to exact the hard conditions of the Veto as Castlereagh

In truth, the Catholic body at this period, and for a
few years subsequently, was deplorably disorganized. The
young generation of Catholic lawyers who had grown up
since the Relief Act of '93 threw the profession open to
them, were men of another stamp from the old generation
of Catholic merchants, who had grown up under the Relief
Act of 1778. In the ten years before the Union, the
Catholic middle class was headed by men of business; in
the period we have now reached, their principal spokesmen
came from "the Four Courts." John Keogh, the ablest,
wisest and firmest of the former generation, was now
passing into the decline of life, was frequently absent
from the Committee, and when present, frequently overruled
by younger and more ardent men. In 1808, his absence,
from illness, was regretted by Mr. O'Connell in an eloquent
speech addressed to the Committee on the necessity of
united action and incessant petitions. "Had he been
present," said the young barrister, "his powers of
reasoning would have frightened away the captious
objections" to that course, "and the Catholics of Ireland
would again have to thank their old and useful servant
for the preservation of their honour and the support of
their interests." It was a strange anomaly, and one which
continued for some years longer, that the statesmen of
the Catholic body should be all Protestants. A more
generous or tolerant spirit than Grattan's never existed;
a clearer or more fearless intellect than Plunkett's was
not to be found; nobler and more disinterested friends
than Ponsonby, Curran, Burroughs and Wallace, no people
ever had; but still they were friends from without; men
of another religion, or of no particular religion, advising
and guiding an eminently religious people in their struggle
for religious liberty. This could not always last; it
was not natural, it was not desirable that it should
last, though some years more were to pass away before
Catholic Emancipation was to be accomplished by the union,
the energy and the strategy of the Catholics themselves.



Charles, fourth Duke of Richmond, succeeded the Duke of
Bedford, as Viceroy, in April, 1807, with Lord Manners
as Lord Chancellor, John Foster, Chancellor of the
Exchequer--for the separate exchequer of Ireland continued
to exist till 1820--and Sir Arthur Wellesley as Chief
Secretary. Of these names, the two last were already
familiar to their countrymen, in connection with the
history of their own Parliament; but the new Chief
Secretary had lately returned home covered with Indian
laurels, and full of the promise of other honours and
victories to come.

The spirit of this administration was repressive,
anti-Catholic and high Tory. To maintain and strengthen
British power, to keep the Catholics quiet, to get
possession of the Irish representation and convert it
into a means of support for the Tory party in England,
these were the leading objects of the seven years'
administration of the Duke of Richmond. Long afterwards,
when the Chief Secretary of 1807 had become "the most
high, mighty and noble prince," whom all England and
nearly all Europe delighted to honour, he defended the
Irish administration of which he had formed a part, for
its habitual use of corrupt means and influence, in
arguments which do more credit to his frankness than his
morality. He had "to turn the moral weakness of individuals
to good account," such was his argument. He stoutly denied
that "the whole nation is, or ever was corrupt;" but as
"almost every man of mark has his price," the Chief
Secretary was obliged to use corrupt influences "to
command a majority in favour of order;" however the
particular kinds of influence employed might go against
his grain, he had, as he contended, no other alternative
but to employ them.

With the exception of a two months' campaign in Denmark
--July to September, 1807--Sir Arthur Wellesley continued
to fill the office of Chief Secretary, until his departure
for the Peninsula, in July, 1808. Even then he was
expressly requested to retain the nominal office, with
power to appoint a deputy, and receive meanwhile the very
handsome salary of 8,000 pounds sterling a year. In the
wonderful military events, in which during the next seven
years Sir Arthur was to play a leading part, the
comparatively unimportant particulars of his Irish
Secretariate have been long since forgotten. We have
already described the general spirit of that administration:
it is only just to add, that the dispassionate and resolute
secretary, though he never shrank from his share of the
jobbery done daily at the Castle, repressed with as much
firmness the over-zeal of those he calls "red-hot
Protestants," as he showed in resisting, at that period,
what he considered the unconstitutional pretensions of
the Catholics. An instance of the impartiality to which
he was capable of rising, when influenced by partisans
or religious prejudices, is afforded by his letter
dissuading the Wexford yeomanry from celebrating the
anniversary of the battle of Vinegar Hill. He regarded
such a celebration as certain "to exasperate party spirit,"
and "to hurt the feelings of others;" he, therefore, in
the name of the Lord-Lieutenant, strongly discouraged
it, and the intention was accordingly abandoned. It is
to be regretted that the same judicious rule was not at
the same tune enforced by government as to the celebration
of the much more obsolete and much more invidious
anniversaries of Aughrim and the Boyne.

The general election which followed the death of Fox, in
November, 1806, was the first great trial of political
strength under the Union. As was right and proper, Mr.
Grattan, no longer indebted for a seat to an English
patron, however liberal, was returned at the head of the
poll for the city of Dublin. His associate, however, the
banker, La Touche, was defeated; the second member elect
being Mr. Robert Shaw, the Orange candidate. The Catholic
electors to a man, under the vigorous prompting of John
Keogh and his friends, polled their votes for their
Protestant advocate; they did more, they subscribed the
sum of 4,000 pounds sterling to pay the expenses of the
contest, but this sum Mrs. Grattan induced the treasurer
to return to the subscribers. Ever watchful for her
husband's honour, that admirable woman, as ardent a
patriot as himself, refused the generous tender of the
Catholics of Dublin. Although his several elections
had cost Mr. Grattan above 54,000 pounds--more than the
whole national grant of 1782--she would not, in this
case, that any one else should bear the cost of his last
triumph in the widowed capital of his own country.

The great issue tried in this election of 1807, in those
of 1812, 1818, and 1826, was still the Catholic question.
All other Irish, and most other imperial domestic questions
were subordinate to this. In one shape or another, it
came up in every session of Parliament. It entered into
the calculations of every statesman of every party; it
continued to make and unmake cabinets; in the press and
in every society, it was the principal topic of discussion.
While tracing, therefore, its progress, from year to
year, we do but follow the main stream of national history;
all other branches come back again to this centre, or
exhaust themselves in secondary and forgotten results.

The Catholics themselves, deprived in Ireland of a
Parliament on which they could act directly, were driven
more and more Into permanent association, as the only
means of operating a change in the Imperial legislature.
The value of a legal, popular, systematic, and continuous
combination of "the people" acting within the law, by
means of meetings, resolutions, correspondence, and
petitions, was not made suddenly, nor by all the party
interested, at one and the same time. On the minds of the
more sagacious, however, an impression, favourable to such
organized action, grew deeper year by year, and at last
settled into a certainty which was justified by success.

In May, 1809, the Catholic Committee had been reconstructed,
and its numbers enlarged. In a series of resolutions it
was agreed that the Catholic lords, the surviving delegates
of 1793, the committee which managed the petitions of
1805 and 1807, and such persons "as shall distinctly
appear to them to possess the confidence of the Catholic
body," do form henceforth the General Committee. It was
proposed by O'Connell, to avoid "the Convention Act,"
"that the noblemen and gentlemen aforesaid are not
representatives of the Catholic body, or any portion
thereof." The Committee were authorized to collect funds
for defraying expenses; a Treasurer was chosen, and a
permanent Secretary, Mr. Edward Hay, the historian of
the Wexford rebellion--an active and intelligent officer.
The new Committee acted with great judgment in 1810, but
in 1811 Lord Fingal and his friends projected a General
Assembly of the leading Catholics, contrary to the
Convention Act, and to the resolution just cited. O'Connell
was opposed to this proposition; yet the assembly met,
and were dispersed by the authorities. The Chairman, Lord
Fingal, and Drs. Sheridan and Kirwan, Secretaries, were
arrested. Lord Fingal, however, was not prosecuted, but
the Secretaries were, and one of them expiated by two
years' imprisonment his violation of the act. To get
rid of the very pretext of illegality, the Catholic
Committee dissolved, but only to reappear under a less
vulnerable form, as "the Catholic Board."

It is from the year 1810 that we must date the rise,
among the Catholics themselves, of a distinctive line of
policy, suited to the circumstances of the present century,
and the first appearance of a group of public men, capable
of maintaining and enforcing that policy. Not that the
ancient leaders of that body were found deficient, in
former times, either in foresight or determination; but
new times called for new men; the Irish Catholics were
now to seek their emancipation from the imperial government;
new tactics and new combinations were necessary to success;
and, in brief, instead of being liberated from their
bonds at the good will and pleasure of benevolent
Protestants, it was now to be tested whether they were
capable of contributing to their own emancipation,--whether
they were willing and able to assist their friends and
to punish their enemies.

Though the Irish Catholics could not legally meet in
convention any more than their Protestant fellow-countrymen,
there was nothing to prevent them assembling voluntarily,
from every part of the kingdom, without claim to delegation.
With whom the happy idea of "the aggregate meetings"
originated is not certainly known, but to O'Connell and
the younger set of leading spirits this was a machinery
capable of being worked with good effect. No longer
confined to a select Committee, composed mainly of a few
aged and cautious, though distinguished persons, the
fearless "agitators," as they now began to be called,
stood face to face with the body of the people themselves.
The disused theatre in Fishamble Street was their habitual
place of meeting in Dublin, and there, in 1811 and 1812,
the orators met to criticise the conduct of the Duke of
Richmond--to denounce Mr. Wellesley Pole--to attack
Secretaries of State and Prime Ministers--to return thanks
to Lords Grey and Grenville for refusing to give the
unconstitutional anti-Catholic pledge required by the
King, and to memorial the Prince Regent. From those
meetings, especially in the year 1812, the leadership of
O'Connell must be dated. After seven years of wearisome
probation, after enduring seven years the envy and the
calumny of many who, as they were his fellow-labourers,
should have been his friends; after demonstrating for
seven years that his judgment and his courage were equal
to his eloquence, the successful Kerry barrister, then
in his thirty-seventh year, was at length generally
recognized as "the counsellor" of his co-religionists
--as the veritable "Man of the People." Dangers, delays
and difficulties lay thick and dark in the future, but
from the year, when in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, the
voice of the famous advocate was recognized as the voice
of the Catholics of Ireland, their cause was taken out
of the category of merely ministerial measures, and
exhibited in its true light as a great national contest,
entered into by the people themselves for complete civil
and religious freedom.

Sir Arthur Wellesley had been succeeded in 1810 in the
Secretaryship by his brother, Mr. Wellesley Pole, who
chiefly signalized his administration by a circular
against conventions, and the prosecution of Sheridan and
Kirwan, in 1811. He was in turn succeeded by a much more
able and memorable person--_Mr_., afterwards Sir Robert
Peel. The names of Peel and Wellington come thus into
juxtaposition in Irish politics in 1812, as they will be
found hi juxtaposition on the same subject twenty and
thirty years later.

Early in the session of 1812, Mr. Perceval, the Premier,
had been assassinated in the lobby of the House of Commons,
by Bellingham, and a new political crisis was precipitated
on the country. In the government which followed, Lord
Liverpool became the chief, with Castlereagh and Canning
as members of his administration. In the general election
which followed, Mr. Grattan was again returned for Dublin,
and Mr. Plunkett was elected for Trinity College, but
Mr. Curran was defeated at Newry, and Mr. Christopher
Hely Hutchinson, the liberal candidate, at Cork. Upon
the whole, however, the result was favourable to the
Catholic cause, and the question was certain to have
several additional Irish supporters in the new House
of Commons.

In the administrative changes that followed, Mr. Peel,
though only in his twenty-fourth year, was appointed to
the important post of Chief Secretary, The son of the
first baronet of the name--this youthful statesman had
first been elected for Cashel, almost as soon as he came
of age, in 1809. He continued Chief Secretary for six
years, from the twenty-fourth to the thirtieth year of
his age. He distinguished himself in the House of Commons
almost as soon as he entered it, and the predictions of
his future premiership were not, even then, confined to
members of his own family. No English statesman, since
the death of William Pitt, has wielded so great a power
in Irish affairs as Sir Robert Peel, and it is, therefore,
important to consider, under what influence, and by what
maxims he regulated his public conduct during the time
he filled the most important administrative office in
that country.

Sir Robert Peel brought to the Irish government,
notwithstanding his Oxford education and the advantages
of foreign travel which he had enjoyed, prejudices the
most illiberal, on the subject of all others on which a
statesman should be most free from prejudice--religion.
An anti-Catholic of the school of Mr. Perceval and Lord
Eldon, he at once constituted himself the principal
opponent of Grattan's annual motion in favour of Catholic
Emancipation. That older men, born in the evil time,
should be bigots and defenders of the Penal Code, was
hardly wonderful, but a young statesman, exhibiting at
that late day, such studied and active hostility to so
large a body of his fellow subjects, naturally drew upon
his head the execrations of all those whose enfranchisement
he so stubbornly resisted. Even his great abilities were
most absurdly denied, under this passionate feeling of
wrong and injustice. His Constabulary and his Stipendiary
Magistracy were resisted, ridiculed, and denounced, as
outrages on the liberty of the subject, and assaults on
the independence of the bench. The term _Peeler_ became
synonymous with spy, informer, and traitor, and the Chief
Secretary was detested not only for the illiberal sentiments
he had expressed, but for the machinery of order he had
established. After half a century's experience, we may
safely say, that the Irish Constabulary have shown
themselves to be a most valuable police, and as little
deserving of popular ill-will as any such body can ever
expect to be, but they were judged very differently during
the Secretaryship of their founder; for, at that time,
being new and intrusive, they may, no doubt, have deserved
many of the hard and bitter things which were generally
said of them.

The first session of the new Parliament in the year 1813--
the last of the Duke of Richmond's Viceroyalty--was
remarkable for the most important debate which had yet
arisen on the Catholic question. In the previous year,
a motion of Canning's, in favour of "a final and
conciliatory adjustment," which was carried by an unexpected
majority of 235 to 106, encouraged Grattan to prepare a
detailed Emancipation Bill, instead of making his usual
annual motion of referring the Catholic petitions to the
consideration of the Committee. This bill recited the
establishment of the Protestant succession to the crown,
and the establishment of the Protestant religion in the
State. It then proceeded to provide that Roman Catholics
might sit and vote in Parliament; might hold all offices,
civil and military, except the offices of Chancellor or
Keeper of the Great Seal in England, or Lord-Lieutenant,
Lord Deputy, or Chancellor of Ireland; another section
threw open to Roman Catholics all lay corporations, while
a proviso excluded them either from holding or bestowing
benefices in the Established Church. Such was the
Emancipation Act of 1813, proposed by Grattan; an act
far less comprehensive than that introduced by the same
statesman in 1795, into the Parliament of Ireland, but
still, in many of its provisions, a long stride in advance.

Restricted and conditioned as this measure was, it still
did not meet the objections of the opponents of the
question, in giving the crown a Veto in the appointment
of the bishops. Sir John Hippesley's pernicious
suggestion--reviving a very old traditional policy--was
embodied by Canning in one set of amendments, and by
Castlereagh in another. Canning's amendments, as summarised
by the eminent Catholic jurist, Charles Butler, were to
this effect:--

"He first appointed a certain number of Commissioners,
who were to profess the Catholic religion, and to be lay
peers of Great Britain or Scotland, possessing a freehold
estate of one thousand pounds a year; to be filled up,
from time to time, by his Majesty, his heirs, or successors.
The Commissioners were to take an oath for the faithful
discharge of their office, and the observance of secrecy
in all matters not thereby required to be disclosed, with
power to appoint a Secretary with salary (proposed to be
five hundred pounds a year), payable out of the consolidated
fund. The Secretary was to take an oath similar to that
of the Commissioners.

"It was then provided, that every person elected to the
discharge of Roman Catholic episcopal functions in Great
Britain or Scotland should, previously to the discharge
of his office, notify his then election to the Secretary;
that the Secretary should notify it to the Commissioners,
and they to the Privy Council, with a certificate 'that
they did not know or believe anything of the person
nominated, which tended to impeach his loyalty or peaceable
conduct;' unless they had knowledge of the contrary, in
which case they should refuse their certificate. Persons
obtaining such a certificate were rendered capable of
exercising episcopal functions within the United Kingdom;
if they exercised them without a certificate, they were
to be considered guilty of a misdemeanor, and liable to
be sent out of the kingdom.

"Similar provisions respecting Ireland were then

"The second set of clauses," says Mr. Butler, "was
suggested by Lord Castlereagh, and provided that the
Commissioners under the preceding clauses--with the
addition, as to Great Britain, of the Lord Chancellor,
or Lord Keeper, or first Commissioner of the Great Seal
for the time being, and of one of his Majesty's principal
Secretaries of State, being a Protestant, or such other
Protestant member of his Privy Council as his Majesty
should appoint--and with a similar addition in respect
to Ireland--and with the further addition, as to Great
Britain, of the person then exercising episcopal functions
among the Catholics in London--and, in respect to Ireland,
of the titular Roman Catholic Archbishops of Armagh and
Dublin,--should be Commissioners for the purposes
thereinafter mentioned.

"The Commissioners thus appointed were to take an oath
for the discharge of their office, and observance of
secrecy, similar to the former, and employ the same
Secretary, and three of them were to form a quorum.

"The bill then provided, that subjects of his Majesty,
receiving any bull, dispensation, or other instrument,
from the See of Rome, or any person in foreign parts,
acting under the authority of that See, should, within
six weeks, send a copy of it, signed with his name, to
the Secretary of the Commissioners, who should transmit
the same to them.

"But with a proviso, that if the person receiving the
same should deliver to the Secretary of the Commission,
within the time before prescribed, a writing under his
hand, certifying the fact of his having received such a
bull, dispensation, or other instrument, and accompanying
his certificate with an oath, declaring that 'it related,
wholly and exclusively, to spiritual concerns, and that
it did not contain, or refer to, any matter or thing
which did or could, directly or indirectly, affect or
interfere with the duty and allegiance which he owed to
his Majesty's sacred person and government, or with the
temporal, civil, or social rights, properties, or duties
of any other of his Majesty's subjects, then the
Commissioners were, in their discretion, to receive such
certificate and oath, in lieu of the copy of the bull,
dispensation, or other instrument.

"Persons conforming to these provisions were to be exempted
from all pains and penalties, to which they would be
liable under the existing statutes; otherwise, they were
to be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanor; and in lieu
of the pains and penalties, under the former statutes,
be liable to be sent out of the kingdom.

"The third set of clauses provided that, within a time
to be specified, the Commissioners were to meet and
appoint their Secretary, and give notice of it to his
Majesty's principal Secretaries of State in Great Britain
and Ireland; and the provisions of the act were to be in
force from that time."

On the second reading, in May, the Committee of Parliament,
on motion of the Speaker, then on the floor, struck out
the clause enabling Catholics "to sit and vote in either
House of Parliament," by a majority of four votes: 251
against 247. Mr. Ponsonby immediately rose, and, observing
that, as "the bill without the clause," was unworthy both
of the Catholics and its authors, he moved the chairman
do leave the chair. The committee rose, without a division,
and the Emancipation Bill of 1813 was abandoned.

Unhappily, the contest in relation to the Veto, which
had originated in the House of Commons, was extended to
the Catholic body at large. Several of the noblemen,
members of the board, were not averse to granting some
such power as was claimed to the crown; some of the
professional class, more anxious to be emancipated than
particular as to the means, favoured the same view. The
bishops at the time of the Union, were known to have
entertained the idea, and Sir John Hippesley had published
their letters, which certainly did not discourage his
proposal. But the second order of the clergy, the immense
majority of the laity, and all the new prelates, called
to preside over vacant sees, in the first decade of the
century, were strongly opposed to any such connexion with
the head of the State. Of this party, Mr. O'Connell was
the uncompromising organ, and, perhaps, it was his course
on this very subject of the Veto, more than anything
else, which established his pretensions to be considered
the leader of the Catholic body. Under the prompting of
the majority, the Catholic prelates met and passed a
resolution declaring that they could not accept the bill
of 1813 as a satisfactory settlement. This resolution
they formally communicated to the Catholic Board, who
voted them, on O'Connell's motion, enthusiastic thanks.
The minority of the Board were silent rather than satisfied,
and their dissatisfaction was shown rather by their
absence from the Board meetings than by open opposition.

Mr. O'Connell's position, from this period forward, may
be best understood from the tone in which he was spoken
of in the debates of Parliament. At the beginning of the
session of 1815, we find the Chief Secretary (Mr. Peel)
stating that he "possesses more influence than any other
person" with the Irish Catholics, and that no meeting of
that body was considered complete unless a vote of thanks
to Mr. O'Connell was among the resolutions.



While the Veto controversy was carried into the press
and the Parliamentary debates, the extraordinary events
of the last years of Napoleon's reign became of such
extreme interest as to cast into the shade all questions
of domestic policy. The Parliamentary fortunes of the
Catholic question varied with the fortunes of the war,
and the remoteness of external danger. Thus, in 1815,
Sir Henry Parnell's motion for a committee was rejected
by a majority of 228 to 147; in 1816, on Mr. Grattan's
similar motion, the vote was 172 to 141; in 1817, Mr.
Grattan was again defeated by 245 to 221; in this session
an act exempting officers in the army and navy from
forswearing Transubstantiation passed and became law.
The internal condition of the Catholic body, both in
England and Ireland, during all those years, was far from
enviable. In England there were Cisalpine and Ultramontane
factions; in Ireland, Vetoists and anti-Vetoists. The
learned and amiable Charles Butler--among jurists, the
ornament of his order, was fiercely opposed to the no
less learned Dr. Milner, author of "The End of Controversy,"
and "Letters to a Prebendary." In Ireland, a very young
barrister, who had hardly seen the second anniversary of
his majority, electrified the aggregate meetings with a
new Franco-Irish order of eloquence, naturally enough
employed in the maintenance of Gallican ideas of church
government. This was Richard Lalor Shiel, the author of
two or three successful tragedies, and the man, next to
O'Connell, who wielded the largest tribunitian power over
the Irish populace during the whole of the subsequent
agitation. Educated at Stoneyhurst, he imbibed from
refugee professors French idioms and a French standard
of taste, while, strangely enough, O'Connell, to whom he
was at first opposed, and of whom he became afterwards
the first lieutenant, educated in France by British
refugees, acquired the cumbrous English style of the
Douay Bible and the Rheims Testament. The contrast between
the two men was every way extreme; physically, mentally,
and politically; but it is pleasant to know that their
differences never degenerated into distrust, envy or
malice; that, in fact, Daniel O'Connell had throughout
all his after life no more steadfast personal friend than
Richard Lalor Shiel.

In the progress of the Catholic agitation, the next
memorable incident was O'Connell's direct attack on the
Prince Regent. That powerful personage, the _de facto_
Sovereign of the realm, had long amused the Irish Catholics
with promises and pledges of being favourable to their
cause. At an aggregate meeting, in June, 1812, Mr.
O'Connell maintained that there were four distinct pledges
of this description in existence: 1. One given in 1806,
through the Duke of Bedford, then Lord-Lieutenant, to
induce the Catholics to withhold their petitions for a
time. 2. Another given the same year in the Prince's
name by Mr. Ponsonby, then Chancellor. 3. A pledge given
to Lord Kenmare, _in writing_, when at Cheltenham. 4. A
verbal pledge given to Lord Fingal, in the presence of
Lords Clifford and Petre, and reduced to writing and
signed by these three noblemen, soon after quitting the
Prince's presence. Over the meeting at which this indictment
was preferred, Lord Fingal presided, and the celebrated
"witchery" resolutions, referring to the influence then
exercised on the Prince by Lady Hertford, were proposed
by his lordship's son, Lord Killeen. It may, therefore,
be fairly assumed, that the existence of the fourth pledge
was proved, the first and second were never denied, and
as to the third--that given to Lord Kenmare--the only
correction ever made was, that the Prince's message was
delivered verbally, by his Private Secretary, Colonel
McMahon, and not in writing. Lord Kenmare, who died in
the autumn of 1812, could not be induced, from a motive
of delicacy, to reduce his recollection of this message
to writing, but he never denied that he had received it,
and O'Connell, therefore, during the following years,
always held the Prince accountable for this, as for his
other promises. Much difference of opinion arose as to
the wisdom of attacking a person in the position of the
Prince; but O'Connell, fully persuaded of the utter
worthlessness of the declarations made in that quarter,
decided for himself that the bold course was the wise
course. The effect already was various. The English Whigs,
the Prince's early and constant friends, who had followed
him to lengths that honour could hardly sanction, and
who had experienced his hollow-heartedness when lately
called to govern during his father's illness; they, of
course, were not sorry to see him held up to odium in
Ireland, as a dishonoured gentleman and a false friend.
The Irish Whigs, of whom Lord Moira and Mr. Ponsonby were
the leaders, and to whom Mr. Grattan might be said to be
attached rather than to belong, saw the rupture with
regret, but considered it inevitable. Among "the Prince's
friends" the attacks upon him in the Dublin meetings were
regarded as little short of treason; while by himself,
it is well known the "witchery" resolutions of 1812 were
neither forgotten nor forgiven.

The political position of the Holy See, at this period,
was such as to induce and enable an indirect English
influence to be exercised, through that channel, upon
the Irish Catholic movement. Pope Pius VII., a prisoner
in France, had delegated to several persons at Rome
certain vicarious powers, to be exercised in his name,
in case of necessity; of these, more than one had followed
him into exile, so that the position of his representative
devolved at length upon Monsignor Quarrantotti, who,
early in 1814, addressed a rescript to Dr. Poynter,
vicar-apostolic of the London district, commendatory of
the Bill of 1813, including the Veto, and the Ecclesiastical
Commission proposed by Canning and Castlereagh. Against
these dangerous concessions, as they considered them,
the Irish Catholics despatched their remonstrances to
Rome, through the agency of the celebrated Wexford
Franciscan, Father Richard Hayes; but this clergyman,
having spoken with too great freedom, was arrested, and
suffered several months' confinement in the Eternal City.
A subsequent embassy of Dr. Murray, coadjutor to the
Archbishop of Dublin, on behalf of his brother prelates,
was attended with no greater advantage, though the envoy
himself was more properly treated. On his return to
Ireland, at a meeting held to hear his report, several
strong resolutions were unanimously adopted, of which
the spirit may be judged from the following--the concluding
one of the series--"Though we sincerely venerate the
supreme Pontiff as visible head of the Church, we do not
conceive that our apprehensions for the safety of the
Roman Catholic Church in Ireland can or ought to be
removed by any determination of His Holiness, adopted or
intended to be adopted, not only without our concurrence,
but in direct opposition to our repeated resolutions and
the very energetic memorial presented on our behalf, and
so ably supported by our Deputy, the Most Reverend Dr.
Murray; who, in that quality, was more competent to inform
His Holiness of the real state and interests of the Roman
Catholic Church in Ireland than any other with whom he
is said to have consulted."

The resolutions were transmitted to Rome, signed by the
two Archbishops present, by Dr. Everard, the coadjutor
of the Archbishop of Cashel, by Dr. Murray, the coadjutor
of the Archbishop of Dublin, by the Bishops of Meath,
Cloyne, Clonfert, Kerry, Waterford, Derry, Achonry,
Killala, Killaloe, Kilmore, Ferns, Limerick, Elphin,
Cork, Down and Conor, Ossory, Raphoe, Clogher, Dromore,
Kildare and Leighlin, Ardagh, and the Warden of Galway.
Dr. Murray, and Dr. Murphy, Bishop of Cork, were
commissioned to carry this new remonstrance to Rome, and
the greatest anxiety was felt for the result of their

A strange result of this new _embroglio_ in the Catholic
cause was, that it put the people on the defensive for
their religious liberties, not so much against England
as against Home. The unlucky Italian Monsignor who had
volunteered his sanction of the Veto, fared scarcely
better at the popular gatherings than Lord Castlereagh,
or Mr. Peel. "Monsieur Forty-eight," as he was nicknamed,
in reference to some strange story of his ancestor taking
his name from a lucky lottery ticket of that number, was
declared to be no better than a common Orangeman, and if
the bitter denunciations uttered against him, on the
Liffey and the Shannon, had only been translated into
Italian, the courtly Prelate must have been exceedingly
amazed at the democratic fury of a Catholic population,
as orthodox as himself, but much more jealous of State
interference with things spiritual. The second order of
the clergy were hardly behind the laity, in the fervour
of their opposition to the rescript of 1814. Then--entire
body, secular and regular, residing in and about Dublin,
published a very strong protest against it, headed by
Dr. Blake, afterwards Bishop of Dromore, in which it was
denounced as "pregnant with mischief" and entirely
"non-obligatory upon the Catholic Church in Ireland."
The several ecclesiastical provinces followed up these
declarations with a surprising unanimity, and although
a Vetoistical address to His Holiness was despatched by
the Cisalpine club in England, the Irish ideas of Church
government triumphed at Rome. Drs. Murray and Milner
were received with his habitual kindness by Pius VII.;
the illustrious Cardinal Gonsalvi was appointed by the
Pope to draw up an explanatory rescript, and Monsignor
Quarrantotti was removed from his official position. The
firmness manifested at that critical period by the Irish
church has since been acknowledged with many encomiums
by all the successors of Pope Pius VII.

The Irish government under the new Viceroy, Lord Whitworth
(the former ambassador to Napoleon), conceiving that the
time had come, in the summer of 1814, to suppress the
Catholic Board, a proclamation forbidding his Majesty's
subjects to attend future meetings of that body issued
from Dublin Castle, on the 3rd of June. The leaders of
the body, after consultation at Mr. O'Connell's residence,
decided to bow to this proclamation and to meet no more
as a Board; but this did not prevent them, in the following
winter, from holding a new series of Aggregate meetings,
far more formidable, in some respects, than the deliberative
meetings which had been suppressed. In the vigorous and
somewhat aggressive tone taken at these meetings, Lord
Fingal, the chief of the Catholic peerage, did not concur,
and he accordingly withdrew for some years from the
agitation, Mr. Shiel, the Bellews, Mr. Ball, Mr. Wyse of
Waterford, and a few others, following his example. With
O'Connell remained the O'Conor Don, Messrs. Finlay and
Lidwell (Protestants), Purcell O'Gorman, and other popular
persons. But the cause sustained a heavy blow in the
temporary retirement of Lord Fingal and his friends, and
an attempt to form a "Catholic Association," in 1815,
without their co-operation, signally failed.

During the next five years, the fortunes of the great
Irish question fluctuated with the exigencies of Imperial
parties. The second American war had closed, if not
gloriously, at least without considerable loss to England;
Napoleon had exchanged Elba for St. Helena: Wellington
was the Achilles of the Empire, and Castlereagh its
Ulysses. Yet it was not in the nature of those free
Islanders, the danger and pressure of foreign war removed,
to remain always indifferent to the two great questions
of domestic policy--Catholic Emancipation and Parliamentary
Reform. In the session of 1816, a motion of Sir John
Newport's to inquire into the state of Ireland, was
successfully resisted by Sir Robert Peel, but the condition
and state of public feeling in England could not be as
well ignored by a Parliament sitting in London. In
returning from the opening of the Houses in January,
1817, the Regent was hooted in the street, and his carriage
riddled with stones. A reward of 1,000 pounds, issued
for the apprehension of the ringleaders, only gave
additional _eclat_ to the fact, without leading to the
apprehension of the assailants.

The personal unpopularity of the Regent seems to have
increased, in proportion as death removed from him all
those who stood nearest to the throne. In November, 1817,
his oldest child, the Princess Charlotte, married to
Leopold, since King of Belgium, died in childbed; in
1818, the aged Queen Charlotte died; in January, 1820,
the old King, in the eighty-second year of his age,
departed this life. Immediately afterwards the former
Princess of Wales, long separated from her profligate
husband, returned from the Continent to claim her rightful
position as Queen Consort. The disgraceful accusations
brought against her, the trial before the House of Lords
which followed, the courage and eloquence of her counsel,
Brougham and Denman, the eagerness with which the people
made her cause their own, are all well remembered events,
and all beside the purpose of this history. The unfortunate
lady died after a short illness, on the 7th of August,
1821; the same month in which Ms Majesty--George IV.
--departed on that Irish journey, so satirized in the
undying verse of Moore and Byron.

Two other deaths, far more affecting than any among the
mortalities of royalty, marked the period at which we
have arrived. These were the death of Curran in 1817,
and the death of Grattan, in 1820.

Curran, after his failure to be returned for Newry, in
1812, had never again attempted public life. He remained
in his office of Master of the Rolls, but his health
began to fail sensibly. During the summers of 1816 and
'17, he sought for recreation in Scotland, England and
France, but the charm which travel could not give--the
charm of a cheerful spirit--was wanting. In October,
1817, his friend, Charles Phillips, was suddenly called
to his bed-side at Brompton, near London, and found him
with one side of his face and body paralyzed cold. "And
this was all," says his friend, "that remained of
Curran--the light of society--the glory of the forum--
the Fabricius of the senate--the idol of his country."
Yes! even to less than this, was he soon to sink. On
the evening of the 14th of October, he expired, in the
68th year of his age, leaving a public reputation as free
from blemish as ever did any man who had acted a leading
part, in times like those through which he had passed.
He was interred in London, but twenty years afterwards,
the committee of the Glasnevin Cemetery, near Dublin,
obtained permission of his representatives to remove his
ashes to their grounds, where they now finally repose.
A tomb modelled from the tomb of Scipio covers the grave,
bearing the simple but sufficient inscription--CURRAN.
Thus was fulfilled the words he had uttered long
before--"The last duties will be paid by that country on
which they are devolved; nor will it be for charity that
a little earth will be given to my bones. Tenderly will
those duties be paid, as the debt of well-earned affection,
and of gratitude not ashamed of her tears."

Grattan's last days were characteristic of his whole
life. As the session of 1820 progressed, though suffering
from his last struggle with disease, he was stirred by
an irresistible desire to make his way to London, and
present once more the petition of the Catholics. Since
the defeat of his Relief Bill of 1813, there had been
some estrangement between him and the more advanced
section of the agitators, headed by O'Connell. This he
was anxious, perhaps, to heal or to overcome. He thought,
moreover, that even if he should die in the effort, it
would be, as he said himself, "a good end." Amid--

   "The trees which a nation had given, and which bowed
    As if each brought a new civic crown to his head,"

he consulted with the Catholic delegates early in May.
O'Connell was the spokesman, and the scene may yet be
rendered immortal by some great national artist. All
present felt that the aged patriot was dying, but still
he would go once more to London, to fall, as he said,
"at his post." In leaving Ireland he gave to his oldest
friends directions for his funeral--that he might be
buried in the little churchyard of Moyanna, on the estate
the people gave him in 1782! He reached London, by slow
stages, at the end of May, and proposed to be in his
place in the House on the 4th of June. But this
gratification was not permitted him: on the morning of
the 4th, at six o'clock, he called his son to his bed-side,
and ordered him to bring him a paper containing his last
political opinions. "Add to it," he said, with all his
old love of antithesis, "that I die with a love of liberty
in my heart, and this declaration in favour of my country,
in my hand."

So worthily ended the mortal career of Henry Grattan. He
was interred by the side of his old friend, Charles James
Pox, in Westminster Abbey; the mourners included the
highest imperial statesmen, and the Catholic orphan
children; his eulogium was pronounced in the House of
Commons by William Conyngham Plunkett, and in the Irish
capital by Daniel O'Connell.



Before relating the decisive events in the contest for
Catholic Emancipation, which marked the reign of George IV.
we may be permitted to cast a glance backward over the
religious and secular state of Ireland, during the sixty
years' reign of George III.

The relative position of the great religious denominations
underwent a slow but important revolution during this
long reign. In the last days of George II., a Chief-Justice
was bold enough to declare that "the laws did not presume
a Papist to exist in the kingdom;" but under the sway of
his successor, though much against that successor's will,
they advanced from one constitutional victory to another,
till they stood, in the person of the Earl Marshal, on
the very steps of the throne. In the towns and cities,
the Catholic laity, once admitted to commerce and the
professions, rose rapidly to wealth and honour. A Dublin
Papist was at the head of the wine trade; another was
the wealthiest grazier in the kingdom; a third, at Cork,
was the largest provision merchant. With wealth came
social ambition, and the heirs of these enfranchised
merchants were by a natural consequence the judges and
legislators of the next generation.

The ecclesiastical organization of Ireland, as described
in 1800 by the bishops in answer to queries of the Chief
Secretary, was simple and inexpensive. The four archbishops
and twenty bishops, were sustained by having certain
parishes attached to their cathedrals, _in commendam_:
other _Cathedraticum_ there seems to have been none.
Armagh had then 350 parish priests, Tuam 206, Cashel 314,
and Dublin 156: in all 1126. The number of curates or
coadjutors was at least equal to that of the parish
priests; while of regulars then returned the number did
not exceed 450. This large body of religious--24 prelates,
nearly 3,000 clergy--exclusive of female religious--were
then, and have ever since been, sustained by the voluntary
contributions of the laity, paid chiefly at the two great
festivals of Christmas and Easter, or by customary
offerings made at the close of the ceremonies of marriages,
baptisms, and death. Though the income of some of the
churches was considerable, in the great majority of cases
the amount received barely sufficed to fulfil the injunction
of St. Patrick to his disciples, that "the lamp should
take but that wherewith it was fed."

The Presbyterian clergy, though in some respects more
dependent on their congregations than the Catholics were,
did not always, nor in all cases, depend on the voluntary
principle for their maintenance. The Irish Supply Bill
contained an annual item before the Union of 7,700 pounds
for the Antrim Synod, and some other dissenting bodies.
The _Regium Donum_ was not, indeed, general; but that it
might be made so, was one of the inducements held out to
many of that clergy to secure their countenance for the
Legislative Union.

The Established Church continued, of course, to monopolize
University honours, and to enjoy its princely revenues
and all political advantages. Trinity College continued
annually to farm its 200,000 acres at a rental averaging
100,000 pounds sterling. Its wealth, and the uses to
which it is put, are thus described by a recent writer:
"Some of Trinity's senior fellows enjoy higher incomes
than Cabinet ministers; many of her tutors have revenues
above those of cardinals; and junior fellows, of a few
days' standing, frequently decline some of her thirty-one
church livings with benefices which would shame the
poverty of scores of continental, not to say Irish,
Catholic archbishops. Even eminent judges hold her
professorships; some of her chairs are vacated for the
Episcopal bench only; and majors and field officers would
acquire increased pay by being promoted to the rank of
head porter, first menial, in Trinity College. Apart from
her princely fellowships and professorships, her seventy
Foundation, and sixteen non-Foundation Scholarships, her
thirty Sizarships, and her fourteen valuable Studentships,
she has at her disposal an aggregate, by bequests,
benefactions, and various endowments, of 117 permanent
exhibitions, amounting to upwards of 2,000 pounds per
annum." The splendour of the highest Protestant dignitaries
may be inferred from what has been said formerly of the
Bishop of Derry, of the Era of Independence. The state
maintained by the chief bishop--Primate Robinson, who
ruled Armagh from 1765 to 1795--is thus described by Mr.
Cumberland in his _Memoirs_. "I accompanied him," says
Cumberland, "on Sunday forenoon to his cathedral. We
went in his chariot of six horses attended by three
footmen behind, whilst my wife and daughters, with Sir
William Robinson, the primate's elder brother, followed
in my father's coach, which he lent me for the journey.
At our approach the great western door was thrown open,
and my friend (in person one of the finest men that could
be seen) entered, like another Archbishop Laud, in high
prelatical state, preceded by his officers and ministers
of the church, conducting him in files to the robing
chamber, and back again to the throne. It may well be
conceived with what invidious eyes the barely tolerated
Papists of the city of Saint Patrick must have looked on
all this pageantry, and their feelings were no doubt
those in some degree of all their co-religionists
throughout the kingdom."

The Irish Establishment, during the reign of George III.,
numbered among its prelates and clergy many able and
amiable men. At the period of the Union, the two most
distinguished were Dr. O'Beirne, Bishop of Meath, an
ex-priest, and Dr. Young, Bishop of Clonfert, a former
fellow of Trinity College. As a Bible scholar, Dr. Young
ranked deservedly high, but as a variously accomplished
writer, Dr. O'Beirne was the first man of his order. His
political papers, though occasionally disfigured with
the bigotry natural to an apostate, are full of a vigorous
sagacity; his contributions to general literature, such
as his paper on _Tanistry_, in Vallency's _Collectanea_,
show how much greater things still he was capable of. It
is not a little striking that the most eminent bishop,
as well as the most celebrated Anglican preacher of that
age, in Ireland (Dean Kirwan), should both have been
ordained as Catholic priests.

The national literature which we have noted a century
earlier, as changing gradually its tongue, was now mainly,
indeed we might almost say solely, expressed in English.
It is true the songs of "Carolan the Blind," were sung
in Gaelic by the Longford firesides, where the author of
"the Deserted Village" listened to their exquisite melody,
moulding his young ear to a sense of harmony full as
exquisite; but the glory of the Gaelic muse was past.
He, too, unpromising as was his exterior, was to be one
of the bright harbingers of another great era of
Hiberno-English literature. When, within two generations,
out of the same exceedingly restricted class of educated
Irishmen and women, we count the names of Goldsmith,
Samuel Madden, Arthur Murphy, Henry Brooke, Charles
Macklin, Sheridan, Burke, Edmund Malone, Maria Edgeworth,
Lady Morgan, "Psyche" Tighe, and Thomas Moore, it is
impossible not to entertain a very high opinion of the
mental resources of that population, if only they were
fairly wrought and kindly valued by the world.

One memorable incident of literary history--the Ossianic
outbreak of 1760--aided powerfully though indirectly in
the revival of the study of the ancient Celtic history
of Scotland and Ireland. Something was done then, by the
Royal Irish Academy, to meet that storm of Anglo-Norman
incredulity and indignation; much more has been done
since, to place the original records of the Three Kingdoms
on a sound critical basis. The dogmatism of the unbelievers
in the existence of a genuine body of ancient Celtic
literature has been rebuked; and the folly of the theorists
who, upon imaginary grounds, constructed pretentious
systems, has been exposed. The exact originals of
MacPherson's odes have not been found, after a century
of research, and may be given up, as non-existent; but
the better opinion seems now to be, by those who have
studied the fragments of undoubted antiquity attributed
to the son of the warrior Fion, that whatever the modern
translator may have invented, he certainly did not invent

To the stage, within the same range of time, Ireland gave
some celebrated names: Quinn, Barry, Sheridan, Mrs.
Woffington, Mrs. Jordan, and Miss O'Neill; and to painting,
one pre-eminent name--the eccentric, honest, and original,
James Barry.

But of all the arts, that in which the Irish of the
Georgian era won the highest and most various triumphs
was the art of Oratory, What is now usually spoken of as
"the Irish School of Eloquence," may be considered to
have taken its rise from the growth of the Patriot party
in Parliament, in the last years of George II. Every
contemporary account agrees in placing its first great
name--Anthony Malone--on the same level with Chatham and
Mansfield. There were great men before Malone, as before
Agamemnon; such as Sir Toby Butler, Baron Rice, and
Patrick Darcy; but he was the first of our later succession
of masters. After him came Flood and John Hely Hutchinson;
then Grattan and Curran; then Plunkett and Bushe; then
O'Connell and Shiel. In England, at the same time, Burke,
Barre, Sheridan, and Sir Phillip Francis, upheld the
reputation of Irish oratory; a reputation generously
acknowledged by all parties, as it was illustrated in
the ranks of all. The Tories, within our own recollection,
applauded as heartily the Irish wit and fervour of Canning,
Croker, and North, as the Whigs did the exhibition of
similar qualities in their Emancipation allies.

Nothing can be less correct, than to pronounce judgment
on the Irish School, either of praise or blame, in sweeping
general terms. Though a certain family resemblance may
be traced among its great masters, no two of them will
be found nearly alike. There are no echoes, no servile
imitators, among them. In vigorous argumentation and
severe simplicity, Plunkett resembled Flood, but the
temperament of the two men--and Oratory is nearly as much
a matter of temperament as of intellect--was widely
different. Flood's movement was dramatic, while Plunkett's
was mathematical. In structural arrangement, Shiel,
occasionally--very occasionally--reminds us of Grattan;
but if he has not the wonderful condensation of thought,
neither has he the frequent antithetical abuses of that
great orator. Burke and Sheridan are as distinguishable
as any other two of their contemporaries; Curran stands
alone; O'Connell never had a model, and never had an
imitator who rose above mimicry. Every combination of
powers, every description of excellence, and every variety
of style and character, may be found among the masterpieces
of this great school. Of their works many will live for
ever. Most of Burke's, many of Grattan's, and one or two
of Curran's have reached us in such preservation as
promises immortality. Selections from Flood, Sheridan,
Canning, Plunkett and O'Connell will survive; Shiel will
be more fortunate for he was more artistic, and more
watchful of his own fame. His exquisite finish will do,
for him, what the higher efforts of men, more indifferent
to the audience of posterity, will have forfeited for them.

It is to be observed, farther, that the inspiration of
all these men was drawn from the very hearts of the people
among whom they grew. With one or two exceptions, sons
of humble peasants, of actors, of at most middle class
men, they were true, through every change of personal
position, to the general interests of the people--to the
common weal. From generous thoughts and a lofty scorn of
falsehood, fanaticism and tyranny, they took their
inspiration; and as they were true to human nature, so
will mankind, through successive ages, dwell fondly on
their works and guard lovingly their tombs.



The fond tenacity with which the large numbers of the
Irish people who have established themselves in foreign
states have always clung to their native country; the
active sympathy they have personally shown for their
relatives at home; the repeated efforts they have made
to assist the Irish in Ireland, in all their public
undertakings, requires that, as an element in O'Connell's
final and successful struggle for Catholic Emancipation,
we should take a summary view of the position of "the
Irish abroad."

While the emigrants of that country to America naturally
pursued the paths of peace, those who, from choice or
necessity, found their way to the European Continent,
were, with few exceptions, employed mainly in two
departments--war and diplomacy. An Irish Abbe, liked the
celebrated preacher, McCarthy--or an Irish merchant firm,
such as the house of the same name at Bordeaux, might be
met with, but most of those who attained any distinction
did so by the sword or the pen, in the field or the

In France, under the revolutionary governments from '91
to '99, the Irish were, with their old-world notions of
God and the Devil, wholly out of place; but under the
Consulate and the Empire, they rose to many employments
of the second class, and a few of the very first. From
the ranks of the expatriated of '98, Buonaparte promoted
Arthur O'Conor and William Corbet to the rank of General;
Ware, Alien, Byrne, the younger Tone, and Keating, to
that of Colonel. As individuals, the Emperor was certainly
a benefactor to many Irishmen; but, as a nation, it was
one of then: most foolish delusions, to expect in him a
deliverer. On the restoration of the Bourbons, the Irish
officers who had acquired distinction under Napoleon
adhered generally to his fortunes, and tendered their
resignations; in their place, a new group of Franco-Irish
descendants of the old Brigades-men, began to show
themselves in the _salons_ of Paris, and the Bureaus of
the Ministers. The last swords drawn for "the legitimate
branch" in '91, was by Count Dillon and his friend Count
Wall; their last defender, in 1830, was General Wall, of
the same family.

Though the Irish in France, especially those resident at
Paris, exercised the greatest influence in favour of
their original country--an influence which met all
travelled Englishmen, wherever the French language was
understood--their compatriots in Spain and Austria had
also contributed their share to range Continental opinion
on the side of Ireland. Three times, during the century,
Spain was represented at London by men of Irish birth,
or Irish origin. The British merchant who found Alexander
O'Reilly Governor of Cadiz, or the diplomatist who met
him as Spanish ambassador, at the Court of Louis XVI.,
could hardly look with uninstructed eyes, upon the lot
of his humblest namesake in Cavan. This family, indeed,
produced a succession of eminent men, both in Spain and
Austria. "It is strange," observed Napoleon to those
around him, on his second entry into Vienna, in 1809,
"that on each occasion--in November, 1805, as this day
--on arriving in the Austrian capital, I find myself in
treaty and in intercourse with the respectable Count
O'Reilly." Napoleon had other reasons for remembering
this officer; it was his dragoon regiment which saved
the remnant of the Austrians, at Austerlitz. In the
Austrian army list at that period, when she was the ally
of England, there were above forty Irish names, from the
grading of Colonel up to that of Field-Marshal. In almost
every field of the Peninsula, Wellington and Anglesea
learned the value of George the Second's imprecation on
the Penal Code, which deprived him of such soldiers as
conquered at Fontenoy. It cannot be doubted that even
the constant repetition of the names of the Blakes,
O'Donnells, and Sarsfields, in the bulletins sent home
to England, tended to enforce reflections of that
description on the statesmen and the nation, and to
inspirit and sustain the struggling Catholics. A powerful
argument for throwing open the British army and navy to
men of all religions, was drawn from these foreign
experiences; and, if such men were worthy to hold
military commissions, why not also to sit in Parliament,
and on the Bench?

The fortunes of the Irish in America, though less brilliant
for the few, were more advantageous as to the many. They
were, during the war of the revolution, and the war of
1812, a very considerable element in the American republic.
It was a violent exaggeration to say, as Lord Mountjoy
did in moving for the repeal of the Penal laws, "that
England lost America by Ireland;" but it is very certain
that Washington placed great weight on the active aid of
the gallant Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Southern Irish
troops, and the sturdy Scotch-Irish of New Hampshire.
Franklin, in his visit to Ireland, before the rupture,
and Jefferson in his correspondence, always enumerates
the Irish, as one element of reliance, in the contest
between the Colonies and the Empire.

In the immediate cause of the war of 1812, this people
were peculiarly interested. If the doctrines of "the
right of search" and "once a subject always a subject,"
were to prevail, no Irish emigrant could hope to become
--or having become, could hope to enjoy the protection
of--an American citizen. It was, therefore, natural that
men of that origin should take a deep interest in the
war, and it seems something more than a fortuitous
circumstance, when we find in the chairman of the Senatorial
Committee of 1812, which authorized the President to
raise the necessary levies--an Irish emigrant, John
Smilie, and in the Secretary-at-war, who acted under the
powers thus granted, the son of an Irish emigrant, John
Caldwell Calhoun. On the Canadian frontier, during the
war which followed, we find in posts of importance, Brady,
Mullany, McComb, Croghan and Reilly; on the lakes,
Commodore McDonough, and on the ocean, Commodores Shaw
and Stewart--all Irish. On the Mississippi, another son
of Irish emigrant parents, with his favourite lieutenants,
Carroll, Coffee, and Butler, brought the war to a close
by their brilliant defence of New Orleans. The moral of
that victory was not lost upon England; the life of Andrew
Jackson, with a dedication "to the People of Ireland"
was published at London and Dublin, by the most generally
popular writer of that day--William Cobbett.

In the cause of South American independence, the Irish
under O'Higgins and McKenna in Chili, and under Bolivar
and San Martin in Colombia and Peru, were largely engaged,
and honourably distinguished. Colonel O'Conor, nephew to
Arthur, was San Martin's chief of the staff; General
Devereux, with his Irish legion, rendered distinguished
services to Bolivar and Don Bernardo. O'Higgins was hailed
as the Liberator of Chili. During that long ten years'
struggle, which ended with the evacuation of Carraccas
in 1823, Irish names are conspicuous on almost every
field of action. Bolivar's generous heart was warmly
attached to persons of that nation. "The doctor who
constantly attends him," says the English General, Miller,
"is Dr. Moore, an Irishman, who had followed the Liberator
from Venezuela to Peru. He is a man of great skill in
his profession, and devotedly attached to the person of
the Liberator. Bolivar's first aide-de-camp, Colonel
O'Leary, is a nephew of the celebrated Father O'Leary.
In 1818, he embarked, at the age of seventeen, in the
cause of South American independence, in which he has
served with high distinction, having been present at
almost every general action fought in Colombia, and
has received several wounds. He has been often employed
on diplomatic missions, and in charges of great
responsibility, in which he has always acquitted himself
with great ability."

That these achievements of the Irish abroad produced a
favourable influence on the situation of the Irish at
home, we know from many collateral sources; we know it
also from the fact, that when O'Connell succeeded in
founding a really national organization, subscriptions
and words of encouragement poured in on him, not only
from France, Spain, and Austria, but from North and South
America, not only from the Irish residents in those
countries, but from their native inhabitants--soldiers
and statesmen--of the first consideration. The services
and virtues of her distinguished children in foreign
climes, stood to the mother country instead of treaties
and alliances.


1821 TO 1826.

At the beginning of the year 1821, O'Connell, during the
intervals of Ms laborious occupations in court and on
circuit, addressed a series of stirring letters to "the
People of Ireland," remarkable as containing some of the
best and most trenchant of his political writings. His
object was to induce the postponement of the annual
petition for Emancipation, and the substitution instead
of a general agitation for Parliamentary reform, in
conjunction with the English reformers. Against this
conclusion--which he ridiculed "as the fashion for January,
1821"--Mr. Shiel published a bitter, clever, rhetorical
reply, to which O'Connell at once sent forth a severe
and rather contemptuous rejoinder. Shiel was quite content
to have Mr. Plunkett continue Grattan's annual motion,
with all its "conditions" and "securities." O'Connell
declared he had no hope in petitions except from a reformed
Parliament, and he, therefore, was opposed to such motions
altogether, especially as put by Mr. Plunkett, and the
other advocates of a Veto. Another session was lost in
this controversy, and when Parliament rose, it was
announced that George IV. was coming to Ireland "on a
mission of Conciliation."

On this announcement, Mr. O'Connell advised that the
Catholics should take advantage of his Majesty's presence
to assemble and consider the state of their affairs; but
a protest against "connecting in any manner the King's
visit with Catholic affairs," was circulated by Lords
Fingal, Netterville, Gormanstown, and Killeen, Messrs.
Baggott, Shiel, Wyse, and other Commoners. O'Connell
yielded, as he often did, for the sake of unanimity. The
King's visit led to many meetings and arrangements, in
some of which his advice was taken, while in others he
was outvoted or overruled. Nothing could exceed the
patience he exhibited at this period of his life, when
his natural impetuous temperament was still far from
being subdued by the frosts of age.

Many liberal Protestants at this period--the King's brief
visit--were so moved with admiration of the judicious
and proper conduct of the Catholic leaders, that a new
but short-lived organization, called "the Conciliation
Committee," was formed. The ultra Orange zealots, however,
were not to be restrained even by the presence of the
Sovereign for whom they professed so much devotion. In
the midst of the preparations for his landing, they
celebrated, with all its offensive accompaniments, the
12th of July, and at the Dublin dinner to the King--though
after he had left the room--they gave their charter toast
of "the glorious, pious, and immortal memory." The
Committee of Conciliation soon dwindled away, and, like
the visit of George IV., left no good result behind.

The year 1822 was most remarkable, at its commencement,
for the arrival of the Marquis of Wellesley, as
Lord-Lieutenant, and at its close, for the assault
committed on him in the theatre by the Dublin Orangemen.
Though the Marquis had declined to interfere in preventing
the annual Orange celebration, he was well known to be
friendly to the Catholics; their advocate, Mr. Plunkett,
was his Attorney General; and many of their leaders were
cordially welcomed at the Castle. These proofs were
sufficient for the secret tribunals which sat upon his
conduct, and when his Lordship presented himself, on the
night of the 14th of December, at the theatre, he was
assailed by an organized mob, one of whom flung a heavy
piece of wood, and another a quart bottle, towards the
state box. Three Orangemen, mechanics, were arrested
and tried for the offence, but acquitted on a technical
defect of evidence; a general feeling of indignation was
excited among all classes in consequence, and it is
questionable if Orangeism, in Dublin, ever recovered the
disgust occasioned by that dastardly outrage.

The great and fortunate event, however, for the Catholics,
was the foundation of their new Association, which was
finally resolved upon at an Aggregate Meeting held in
"Townsend Street Chapel," on the 10th of May, 1823. This
meeting had been called by an imposing requisition signed
with singular unanimity by all the principal Catholic
gentlemen. Lord Killeen presided. Mr. O'Connell moved
the formation of the Association; Sir Thomas Esmonde
seconded the motion; Mr. Shiel--lately and sincerely
reconciled to O'Connell--sustained it. The plan was simple
and popular. The Association was to consist of members
paying a guinea a year, and associates paying a shilling;
a standing committee was to form the government; the
regular meetings were to be weekly--every Saturday; and
the business to consist of organization, correspondence,
public discussions, and petitions. It was, in effect, to
be a sort of extern and unauthorized Parliament, acting
always within the Constitution, with a view to the
modification of the existing laws, by means not prohibited
in those laws themselves. It was a design, subtle in
conception, but simple in form; a natural design for a
lawyer-liberator to form; and for a people strongly
prepossessed in his favour to adopt; but one, at the same
time, which would require a rare combination of
circumstances to sustain for any great length of time,
under a leader less expert, inventive, and resolute.

The Parliamentary position of the Catholic question, at
the moment of the formation of the Association, had
undergone another strange alteration. Lord Castlereagh,
having attained the highest honours of the empire, died
by his own hand the previous year. Lord Liverpool remained
Premier, Lord Eldon Chancellor, Mr. Canning became Foreign
Secretary, with Mr. Peel, Home Secretary, the Duke of
Wellington continuing Master-General of the Ordnance. To
this cabinet, so largely anti-Catholic, the chosen organ
of the Irish Catholics, Mr. Plunkett, was necessarily
associated as Irish Attorney General. His situation,
therefore, was in the session of 1823 one of great
difficulty; this Sir Francis Burdett and the radical
reformers at once perceived, and in the debates which
followed, pressed him unmercifully. They quoted against
him his own language denouncing cabinet compromises on
so vital a question, in 1813, and to show their indignation,
when he rose to reply, they left the House in a body.
His speech, as always, was most able, but the House, when
he sat down, broke into an uproar of confusion. Party
spirit ran exceedingly high; the possibility of advancing
the question during the session was doubtful, and a motion
to adjourn prevailed. A fortnight later, at the first
meeting of the Catholic Association, a very cordial vote
of thanks to Plunkett was carried by acclamation.

The new Catholic organization was labouring hard to merit
popular favour. Within the year of its organization we
find the Saturday meetings engaged with such questions
as church rates; secret societies; correspondence with
members of both Houses; voting public thanks to Mr.
Brougham; the penal laws relating to the rights of
sepulture; the purchase of a Catholic cemetery near
Dublin; the commutation of tithes; the admission of
Catholic freemen into corporations; the extension of the
Association into every county in Ireland, and other more
incidental subjects. The business-like air of the weekly
meetings, at this early period, is remarkable: they were
certainly anything but mere occasions for rhetorical
display. But though little could be objected against,
and so much might be said in favour of the labours of
the Association, it was not till nearly twelve months
after its organization, when O'Connell proposed and
carried his system of monthly penny subscriptions to the
"Catholic Rent," that it took a firm and far-reaching
hold on the common people, and began to excite the serious
apprehensions of the oligarchical factions in Ireland
and England.

This bold, and at this time much ridiculed step, infused
new life and a system hitherto unknown into the Catholic
population. The parish collectors, corresponding directly
with Dublin, established a local agency, co-extensive
with the kingdom; the smallest contributor felt himself
personally embarked in the contest; and the movement
became, in consequence, what it had not been before, an
eminently popular one. During the next six months the
receipts from penny subscriptions exceeded 100 pounds
sterling per month, representing 24,000 subscribers;
during the next year they averaged above 500 pounds a
week, representing nearly half a million enrolled

With the additional means at the disposal of the Finance
Committee of the Association, its power rose rapidly. A
morning and an evening journal were at its command in
Dublin; many thousands of pounds were expended in defending
the people in the courts, and prosecuting their Orange
and other enemies. Annual subsidies, of 5,000 pounds
each, were voted for the Catholic Poor schools, and the
education of missionary priests for America; the expenses
of Parliamentary and electioneering agents were also
heavy. But for all these purposes "the Catholic Rent,"
of a penny per month from each associate, was found
amply sufficient.

At the close of 1824, the government, really alarmed at
the formidable proportions assumed by the agitation,
caused criminal informations to be filed against Mr.
O'Connell, for an alleged seditious allusion to the
example of Bolivar, the liberator of South America; but
the Dublin grand jury ignored the bills of indictment
founded on these informations. Early in the following
session, however, a bill to suppress "Unlawful Associations
in Ireland," was introduced by Mr. Goulburn, who had
succeeded Sir Robert Peel as Chief Secretary, and was
supported by Plunkett--a confirmed enemy of all extra-legal
combinations. It was aimed directly at the Catholic
Association, and passed both Houses; but O'Connell found
means "to drive," as he said, "a coach and six through
it." The existing Association dissolved on the passage
of the act; another, called "the _New_ Catholic
Association," was formed for "charitable and other
purposes," and the agitators proceeded with their
organization, with one word added to then--title, and
immensely additional _eclat_ and success.

In Parliament, the measure thus defeated was followed by
another, the long-promised Relief Bill. It passed in the
Commons in May, accompanied by two clauses, or as they
were called, "wings," most unsatisfactory to the Catholic
body. One clause disfranchised the whole class of electors
known as the "forty-shilling freeholders;" the other
provided a scale of state maintenance for the Catholic
clergy. A bishop was to have 1,000 pounds per annum; a
dean 300 pounds; a parish priest 200 pounds; a curate 60
pounds. This measure was thrown out by the House of Lords,
greatly to the satisfaction, at least, of the Irish
Catholics. It was during this debate in the Upper House
that the Duke of York, presumptive heir to the throne,
made what was called his "ether speech"--from his habit
of dosing himself with that stimulant on trying occasions.
In this speech he declared, that so "help him God," he
would never, never consent to acknowledge the claims put
forward by the Catholics. Before two years were over,
death had removed him to the presence of that Awful Being
whose name he had so rashly invoked, and his brother,
the Duke of Clarence, assumed his position, as next in
succession to the throne.

The Catholic delegates, Lord Killeen, Sir Thomas Esmonde,
Lawless, and Shiel, were in London at the time the Duke
of York made his memorable declaration. If, on the one
hand, they were regarded with dislike amounting to hatred,
on the other, they were welcomed with cordiality by all
the leaders of the liberal party. The venerable Earl
Fitzwilliam emerged from his retirement to do them honour;
the gifted and energetic Brougham entertained them with
all hospitality; at Norfolk House they were banqueted in
the room in which George III. was born: the
millionaire-demagogue Burdett, the courtly, liberal Lord
Grey, and the flower of the Catholic nobility, were
invited to meet them. The delegates were naturally cheered
and gratified; they felt, they must have felt, that their
cause had a grasp upon Imperial attention, which nothing
but concession could ever loosen.

Committees of both Houses, to inquire into the state of
Ireland, had sat during a great part of this Session,
and among the witnesses were the principal delegates,
with Drs. Murray, Curtis, Kelly, and Doyle. The evidence
of the latter--the eminent Prelate of Kildare and
Leighlin--attracted most attention. His readiness of
resource, clearness of statement, and wide range of
information, inspired many of his questioners with a
feeling of respect, such as they had never before
entertained for any of his order. His writings had already
made him honourably distinguished among literary men;
his examination before the Committees made him equally
so among statesmen. From that period he could reckon the
Marquises of Anglesea and Wellesley, Lord Lansdowne and
Mr. Brougham, among his correspondents and friends, and,
what he valued even more, among the friends of his cause.
Mr. O'Connell, on the other hand, certainly lost ground
in Ireland by his London journey. He had, unquestionably,
given his assent to both "wings," in 1825, as he did to
the remaining one in 1828, and thereby greatly injured
his own popularity. His frank and full recantation of
his error, on his return, soon restored him to the favour
of the multitude, and enabled him to employ, with the
best effect, the enormous influence which he showed he
possessed at the general elections of 1826. By him mainly
the Beresfords were beaten in Waterford, the Fosters in
Louth, and the Leslies in Monaghan. The independence of
Limerick city, of Tipperary, Cork, Kilkenny, Longford,
and other important constituencies, was secured. The
parish machinery of the Association was found invaluable
for the purpose of bringing up the electors, and the
people's treasury was fortunately able to protect to some
extent the fearless voter, who, in despite of his landlord,
voted according to the dictates of his own heart.

The effect of these elections on the empire at large was
very great. When, early in the following spring, Lord
Liverpool, after fifteen years' possession of power, died
unexpectedly, George IV. sent for Canning and gave him
_carte blanche_ to form a cabinet without excepting the
question of Emancipation. That high spirited and really
liberal statesman associated with himself a ministry,
three-fourths of whom were in favour of granting the
Catholic claims. This was in the month of April; but to
the consternation of those whose hopes were now so justly
raised, the gifted Premier held office only four months;
his lamented death causing another "crisis," and one more
postponement of "the Catholic question."



A very little reflection will enable us to judge, even
at this day, the magnitude of the contest in which
O'Connell was the great popular leader, during the reign
of George IV. In Great Britain, a very considerable
section of the ancient peerage and gentry, with the Earl
Marshal at their head, were to be restored to political
existence, by the act of Emancipation; a missionary, and
barely tolerated clergy were to be clothed, in their own
country, with the commonest rights of British subjects
--protection to life and property. In Ireland, seven-eighths
of the people, one-third of the gentry, the whole of the
Catholic clergy, the numerous and distinguished array of
the Catholic bar, and all the Catholic townsmen, taxed
but unrepresented in the corporate bodies, were to enter
on a new civil and social condition, on the passage of
the act. In the colonies, except Canada, where that church
was protected by treaty, the change of Imperial policy
towards Catholics was to be felt in every relation of
life, civil, military, and ecclesiastical, by all persons
professing that religion. Some years ago, a bishop of
Southern Africa declared, that, until O'Connell's time, it
was impossible for Catholics to obtain any consideration
from the officials at the Cape of Good Hope. Could there
be a more striking illustration of the magnitude of the
movement, which, rising in the latitude of Ireland, flung
its outermost wave of influence on the shores of the
Indian ocean?

The adverse hosts to be encountered in this great contest,
included a large majority of the rank and wealth of both
kingdoms. The King, who had been a Whig in his youth,
had grown into a Tory in his old age; the House of Lords
were strongly hostile to the measure, as were also the
universities, both in England and Ireland; the Tory party,
in and out of Parliament; the Orange organization in
Ireland; the civil and military authorities generally,
with the great bulk of the rural magistracy and the
municipal authorities. The power to overcome this power
should be indeed formidable, well organized and wisely

The Lord Lieutenant selected by Mr. Canning, was the
Marquis of Anglesea, a frank soldier, as little accustomed
to play the politician as any man of his order and
distinction could be. He came to Ireland, in many respects
the very opposite of Lord Wellesley; no orator certainly,
and so far as he had spoken formerly, an enemy rather
than a friend to the Catholics. But he had not been
three months in office when he began to modify his views;
he was the first to prohibit, in Dublin, the annual Orange
outrage on the 12th of July, and by subsequent, though
slow degrees, he became fully convinced that the Catholic
claims could be settled only by Concession. Lord Francis
Leveson Gower, afterwards Earl of Ellesmere, accompanied
the Marquis as Chief Secretary.

The accession to office of a prime minister friendly to
the Catholics, was the signal for a new attempt to raise
that "No-Popery" cry which had already given twenty years
of political supremacy to Mr. Perceval and Lord Liverpool.
In Ireland, this feeling appeared under the guise of what
was called "the New Reformation," which, during the summer
of 1827, raged with all the proverbial violence of the
_odium theologicum_ from Cork to Derry. Priests and
parsons, laymen and lawyers, took part in this general
politico-religious controversy, in which every possible
subject of difference between Catholic and Protestant
was publicly discussed. Archbishop Magee of Dublin, the
Rev. Sir Harcourt Lees, son of a former English placeman
at the Castle, and the Rev. Mr. Pope, were the clerical
leaders in this crusade; Exeter-Hall sent over to assist
them the Honourable and Reverend Baptist Noel, Mr. Wolff,
and Captain Gordon, a descendant of the hero of the London
riot of 1798. At Derry, Dublin, Carlow, and Cork, the
challenged agreed to defend their doctrines. Father
Maginn, Maguire, Maher, McSweeney, and some others accepted
these challenges; Messrs. O'Connell, Shiel, and other
laymen, assisted, and the oral discussion of theological
and historical questions became as common as town talk
in every Irish community. Whether, in any case, these
debates conduced to conversion is doubtful; but they
certainly supplied the Catholic laity with a body of
facts and arguments very necessary at that time, and
which hardly any other occasion could have presented.
The Right Rev. Dr. Doyle, however, considered them far
from beneficial to the cause of true religion; and though
he tolerated a first discussion in his diocese, he
positively forbade a second. The Archbishop of Armagh
and other prelates issued their mandates to the clergy
to refrain from these oral disputes, and the practice
fell into disuse.

The notoriety of "the Second Reformation" was chiefly
due to the ostentatious patronage of it by the lay chiefs
of the Irish oligarchy. Mr. Synge, in Clare, Lord Lorton,
and Mr. McClintock at Dundalk, were indefatigable in
their evangelizing exertions. The Earl of Roden--to show
his entire dependence on the translated Bible--threw all
his other books into a fish pond on his estate. Lord
Farnham was even more conspicuous in the revival; he
spared neither patronage nor writs of ejectment to convert
his tenantry. The reports of conversions upon his lordship's
estates, and throughout his county, attracted so much
notice, that Drs. Curtis, Crolly, Magauran, O'Reilly,
and McHale, met on the 9th of December, 1826, at Cavan,
to inquire into the facts. They found, while there had
been much exaggeration on the part of the reformers, that
some hundreds of the peasantry had, by various powerful
temptations, been led to change their former religion.
The bishops received back some of the converts, and a
jubilee established among them completed their reconversion.
The Hon. Mr. Noel and Captain Gordon posted to Cavan,
with a challenge to discussion for their lordships; of
course, their challenge was not accepted. Thomas Moore's
inimitable satire was the most effective weapon against
such fanatics.

The energetic literature of the Catholic agitation
attracted much more attention than its oral polemics.
Joined to a bright army of Catholic writers, including
Dr. Doyle, Thomas Moore, Thomas Furlong, and Charles
Butler, there was the powerful phalanx of the _Edinburgh
Review_ led by Jeffrey and Sidney Smith, and the English
liberal press, headed by William Cobbett. Thomas Campbell,
the Poet of Hope, always and everywhere the friend of
freedom, threw open his _New Monthly_, to Shiel, and
William Henry Curran, whose sketches of the Irish Bar
and Bench, of Dublin politics, and the county elections
of 1826, will live as long as any periodical papers of
the day. The indefatigable Shiel, writing French as
fluently as English, contributed besides to the _Gazette
de France_ a series of papers, which were read with great
interest on the Continent. These articles were the
precursors of many others, which made the Catholic question
at length an European question. An incident quite
unimportant in itself, gave additional zest to these
French articles. The Duke de Montebello, with two of his
friends, Messrs. Duvergier and Thayer, visited Ireland
in 1826. Duvergier wrote a series of very interesting
letters on the "State of Ireland," which, at the time,
went through several editions. At a Catholic meeting at
Ballinasloe, the Duke had some compliments paid him,
which he gracefully acknowledged, expressing his wishes
for the success of their cause. This simple act excited
a great deal of criticism in England. The Paris press
was roused in consequence, and the French Catholics,
becoming more and more interested, voted an address and
subscription to the Catholic Association. The Bavarian
Catholics followed their example, and similar communications
were received from Spain and Italy.

But the movement abroad did not end in Europe. An address
from British India contained a contribution of three
thousand pounds sterling. From the West Indies and Canada,
generous assistance was rendered.

In the United States sympathetic feeling was most active.
New York felt almost as much interested in the cause as
Dublin. In 1826 and 1827, associations of "Friends of
Ireland" were formed at New York, Boston, Washington,
Norfolk, Charleston, Augusta, Louisville, and Bardstown.
Addresses in English and French were prepared for these
societies, chiefly by Dr. McNevin, at New York, and
Bishop England, at Charleston. The American, like the
French press, became interested in the subject, and
eloquent allusions were made to it in Congress. On the
20th of January, 1828, the veteran McNevin wrote to Mr.
O'Connell--"Public opinion in America is deep, and strong,
and universal, in your behalf. This predilection prevails
over the broad bosom of our extensive continent.
Associations similar to ours are everywhere starting into
existence--in our largest and wealthiest cities--in our
hamlets and our villages--in our most remote sections;
and at this moment, the propriety of convening, at
Washington, delegates of the friends of Ireland, of all
the states, is under serious deliberation. A fund will
erelong be derived from American patriotism in the United
States, which will astonish your haughtiest opponents."

The Parliamentary fortunes of the great question were at
the same time brightening. The elections of 1826, had,
upon the whole, given a large increase of strength to
its advocates. In England and Scotland, under the influence
of the "No-Popery" cry, they had lost some ground, but
in Ireland they had had an immense triumph. The death of
the generous-hearted Canning, hastened as it was by
anti-Catholic intrigues, gave a momentary check to the
progress of liberal ideas; but they were retarded only
to acquire a fresh impulse destined to bear them, in the
next few years, farther than they had before advanced in
an entire century.

The _ad interim_ administration of Lord Goderich gave
way, by its own internal discords, in January, 1828, to
the Wellington and Peel administration. The Duke was
Premier, the Baronet leader of the House of Commons; with
Mr. Huskisson, Lord Palmerston, in the cabinet; Lord
Anglesea remained as Lord Lieutenant. But this coalition
with the friends of Canning was not destined to outlive
the session of 1828; the lieutenants of the late Premier
were doomed, for some time longer, to suffer for their
devotion to his principles.

This session of 1828, is--in the history of religious
liberty--the most important and interesting in the annals
of the British Parliament. Almost at its opening, the
extraordinary spectacle was exhibited of a petition signed
by 800,000 Irish Catholics, praying for the repeal of
"the Corporation and Test Acts," enacted on the restoration
of Charles II., against the non-Conformists. Monster
petitions, both for and against the repeal of these acts,
as well as for and against Catholic emancipation, soon
became of common occurrence. Protestants of all sects
petitioned for, but still more petitioned against equal
rights for Catholics; while Catholics petitioned for the
rights of Protestant dissenters. It is a spectacle to
look back upon with admiration and instruction; exhibiting
as it does, so much of a truly tolerant spirit in Christians
of all creeds, worthy of all honour and imitation.

In April, "the Corporation and Test Acts" were repealed;
in May, the Canningites seceded from the Duke's government,
and one of the gentlemen brought in to fill a vacant seat
in the Cabinet--Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, member for Clare--
issued his address to his electors, asking a renewal of
their confidence. Out of this event grew another, which
finally and successfully brought to an issue the century-old
Catholic question.

The Catholic Association, on the accession of the
Wellington-Peel Cabinet, had publicly pledged itself to
oppose every man who would accept office under these
statesmen. The memory of both as ex-secretaries--but
especially Peel's--was odious in Ireland. When, however,
the Duke had sustained, and ensured thereby the passage
of the repeal of "the Corporation and Test Acts," Mr.
O'Connell, at the suggestion of Lord John Russell the
mover of the repeal, endeavoured to get his angry and
uncompromising resolution against the Duke's government
rescinded. Powerful as he was, however, the Association
refused to go with him, and the resolution remained. So
it happened that when Mr. Fitzgerald presented himself
to the electors of Clare, as the colleague of Peel and
Wellington, the Association at once endeavoured to bring
out an opposition candidate. They pitched with this view
on Major McNamara, a liberal Protestant of the county,
at the head of one of its oldest families, and personally
popular; but this gentleman, after keeping them several
days in suspense, till the time of nomination was close
at hand, positively declined to stand against his friend,
Mr. Fitzgerald, to the great dismay of the associated

In their emergency, an idea, so bold and original, that
it was at first received with general incredulity by the
external public, was started. It was remembered by Sir
David De Roose, a personal friend of O'Connell's, that
the late sagacious John Keogh had often declared the
Emancipation question would never be brought to an issue
till some Catholic member elect stood at the bar of the
House of Commons demanding his seat. A trusted few were
at first consulted on the daring proposition, that
O'Connell himself, in despite of the legal exclusion of
all men of his religion, should come forward for Clare.
Many were the consultations, and diverse the judgments
delivered on this proposal, but at length, on the reception
of information from the county itself, which gave strong
assurance of success, the hero of the adventure decided
for himself. The bold course was again selected as the
wise course, and the spirit-stirring address of "the
arch-Agitator" to the electors, was at once issued from
Dublin. "Your county," he began by saying, "wants a
representative. I respectfully solicit your suffrages,
to raise me to that station.

"Of my qualification to fill that station, I leave you
to judge. The habits of public speaking, and many, many
years of public business, render me, perhaps, equally
suited with most men to attend to the interests of Ireland
in Parliament.

"You will be told I am not qualified to be elected; the
assertion, my friends, is untrue. I am qualified to be
elected, and to be your representative. It is true that
as a Catholic I cannot, and of course never will, take
the oaths at present prescribed to members of Parliament;
but the authority which created these oaths (the
Parliament), can abrogate them: and I entertain a confident
hope that, if you elect me, the most bigoted of our
enemies will see the necessity of removing from the
chosen representative of the people an obstacle which
would prevent him from doing his duty to his king and
to his country."

This address was followed instantly by the departure of
all the most effective agitators to the scene of the
great contest. Shiel went down as conducting agent for
the candidate; Lawless left his Belfast newspaper, and
Father Maguire his Leitrim flock; Messrs. Steele and
O'Gorman Mahon, both proprietors in the county, were
already in the field, and O'Connell himself soon followed.
On the other hand, the leading county families, the
O'Briens, McNamaras, Vandeleurs, Fitzgeralds and others,
declared for their old favourite, Mr. Fitzgerald. He was
personally much liked in the county; the son of a venerable
anti-Unionist, the well-remembered Prime Sergeant, and
a man besides of superior abilities. The county itself
was no easy one to contest; its immense constituency (the
40-shilling freeholders had not yet been abolished), were
scattered over a mountain and valley region, more than
fifty miles long by above thirty wide. They were almost
everywhere to be addressed in both languages--English
and Irish--and when the canvass was over, they were still
to be brought under the very eyes of the landlords, upon
the breath of whose lips their subsistence depended, to
vote the overthrow and conquest of those absolute masters.
The little county town of Ennis, situated on the river
Fergus, about 110 miles south-west of Dublin, was the
centre of attraction or of apprehension, and the hills
that rise on either side of the little prosaic river soon
swarmed with an unwonted population, who had resolved,
subsist how they might, to see the election out. It is
hardly an exaggeration to say that the eyes of the empire
were turned, during those days of June, on the ancient
patrimony of King Brian. "I fear the Clare election will
end ill," wrote the Viceroy to the leader of the House
of Commons. "This business," wrote the Lord Chancellor
(Eldon), "must bring the Roman Catholic question to a
crisis and a conclusion." "May the God of truth and
justice protect and prosper you," was the public invocation
for O'Connell's success, by the bishop of Kildare and
Leighlin. "It was foreseen," said Sir Robert Peel, long
afterwards, "that the Clare election would be the turning
point of the Catholic question." In all its aspects, and
to all sorts of men, this, then, was no ordinary election,
but a national event of the utmost religious and political
consequence. Thirty thousand people welcomed O'Connell
into Ennis, and universal sobriety and order characterized
the proceedings. The troops called out to overawe the
peasantry, infected by the prevailing good humour, joined
in their cheers. The nomination, the polling, and the
declaration, have been described by the graphic pen of
Shiel. At the close of the poll the numbers were--O'Connell,
2,057; Fitzgerald, 1,075; so Daniel O'Connell was declared
duly elected, amidst the most extraordinary manifestations
of popular enthusiasm. Mr. Fitzgerald, who gracefully
bowed to the popular verdict, sat down, and wrote his
famous despatch to Sir Robert Peel: "All the great
interests," he said, "my dear Peel, broke down, and the
desertion has been universal. Such a scene as we have
had! Such a tremendous prospect as is open before us!"

This "tremendous prospect," disclosed at the hustings of
Ennis, was followed up by demonstrations which bore a
strongly revolutionary character. Mr. O'Connell, on his
return to Dublin, was accompanied by a _levee en masse_,
all along the route, of a highly imposing description.
Mr. Lawless, on his return to Belfast, was escorted
through Meath and Monaghan by a multitude estimated at
100,000 men, whom only the most powerful persuasions of
the Catholic clergy, and the appeals of the well-known
liberal commander of the district, General Thornton,
induced to disperse. Troops from England were ordered
over in considerable numbers, but whole companies, composed
of Irish Catholics, signalized their landing at Waterford
and Dublin by cheers for O'Connell. Reports of the
continued hostility of the government suggested desperate
councils. Mr. Ford, a Catholic solicitor, openly proposed,
in the Association, exclusive dealing and a run on the
banks for specie, while Mr. John Claudius Beresford, and
other leading Orangemen, publicly predicted a revival of
the scenes and results of 1798.

The Clare election was, indeed, decisive; Lord Anglesea,
who landed fully resolved to make no terms with those he
had regarded from a distance as no better than rebels,
became now one of their warmest partisans. His favourite
counsellor was Lord Cloncurry, the early friend of Emmet
and O'Conor; the true friend to the last of every national
interest. For a public letter to Bishop Curtis, towards
the close of 1828, in which he advises the Catholics to
stand firm, he was immediately recalled from the government;
but his former and his actual chief, within three months
from the date of his recall, was equally obliged to
surrender to the Association. The great duke was, or
affected to be, really alarmed for the integrity of the
empire, from the menacing aspect of events in Ireland.
A call of Parliament was accordingly made for an early
day, and, on the 5th of March, Mr. Peel moved a committee
of the whole House, to go into a "consideration of the
civil disabilities of his Majesty's Roman Catholic
subjects." This motion, after two days' debate, was
carried by a majority of 188. On the 10th of March the
Relief Bill was read for the first time, and passed
without opposition, such being the arrangement entered
into while in committee. But in five days all the bigotry
of the land had been aroused; nine hundred and fifty-seven
petitions had already been presented against it; that
from the city of London was signed by more than "an
hundred thousand freeholders." On the 17th of March it
passed to a second reading, and on the 30th to a third,
with large majorities in each stage of debate. Out of
320 members who voted on the final reading, 178 were in
its favour. On the 31st of March it was carried to the
Lords by Mr. Peel, and read a first time; two days later,
on the 2nd of April, it was read a second time, on motion
of the Duke of Wellington; a bitterly contested debate
of three days followed; on the 10th, it was read a third
time, and passed by a majority of 104. Three days later
the bill received the royal assent, and became law.

The only drawbacks on this--great measure of long-withheld
justice, were, that it disfranchised the "forty-shilling
freeholders" throughout Ireland, and condemned Mr.
O'Connell, by the insertion of the single word "hereafter,"
to go back to Clare for re-election. In this there was
little difficulty for him, but much petty spleen in the
framers of the measure.

While the Relief Bill was still under discussion, Mr.
O'Connell presented himself, with his counsel, at the
bar of the House of Commons, to claim his seat as member
for Clare. The pleadings in the case were adjourned from
day to day, during the months of March, April, and May.
A committee of the House, of which Lord John Russell was
Chairman, having been appointed in the meantime to consider
the petition of Thomas Mahon and others, against the
validity of the election, reported that Mr. O'Connell
had been duly elected. On the 15th of May, introduced by
Lords Ebrington and Duncannon, the new member entered
the House, and advanced to the table to be sworn by the
Clerk. On the oath of abjuration being tendered to him,
he read over audibly these words--"that the sacrifice of
the mass, and the invocation of the blessed Virgin Mary,
and other saints, as now practised in the Church of Rome,
are impious and idolatrous:" at the subsequent passage,
relative to the falsely imputed Catholic "doctrine of
the dispensing power" of the Pope, he again read aloud,
and paused. Then slightly raising his voice, he bowed,
and added, "I decline, Mr. Clerk, to take this oath.
Part of it I know to be false; another part I do not
believe to be true."

He was subsequently heard at the bar, in his own person,
in explanation of his refusal to take the oath, and,
according to custom, withdrew. The House then entered
into a very animated discussion on the Solicitor General's
motion "that Mr. O'Connell, having been returned a member
of this House before the passing of the Act for the Relief
of the Roman Catholics, he is not entitled to sit or vote
in this House unless he first takes the oath of supremacy."
For this motion the vote on a division was 190 against
116: majority, 74. So Mr. O'Connell had again to seek
the suffrages of the electors of Clare.

A strange, but well authenticated incident, struck with
a somewhat superstitious awe both Protestants and Catholics,
in a corner of Ireland the most remote from Clare, but
not the least interested in the result of its memorable
election. A lofty column on the walls of Deny bore the
effigy of Bishop Walker, who fell at the Boyne, armed
with a sword, typical of his martial inclinations, rather
than of his religious calling. Many long years, by day
and night, had his sword, sacred to liberty or ascendancy,
according to the eyes with which the spectator regarded
it, turned its steadfast point to the broad estuary of
Lough Foyle. Neither wintry storms nor summer rains had
loosened it in the grasp of the warlike churchman's
effigy, until, on the 13th day of April, 1829--the day
the royal signature was given to the Act of Emancipation
--the sword of Walker fell with a prophetic crash upon
the ramparts of Derry, and was shattered to pieces. So,
we may now say, without bitterness and almost without
reproach, so may fall and shiver to pieces, every code,
in every land beneath the sun, which impiously attempts
to shackle conscience, or endows an exclusive caste with
the rights and franchises which belong to an entire People!

End of Volume 2 of 2.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Popular History of Ireland : from the Earliest Period to the Emancipation of the Catholics - Volume 2" ***

Copyright 2023 LibraryBlog. All rights reserved.