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Title: Secret Service Under Pitt
Author: Fitzpatrick, William John
Language: English
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                       SECRET SERVICE UNDER PITT

               _Two vols. Crn. 8vo. with Portrait, 36s._



                        DANIEL O'CONNELL, M.P.

                     BY WM. J. FITZPATRICK, F.S.A.

                          KNT. ST. GREG. GT.

'In these volumes there is nothing tedious, and they are well put

'Mr. Fitzpatrick, who has done more than any living writer for Irish
biography, has in this, his latest and most important work earned the
gratitude of all students of Irish politics.'--DAILY TELEGRAPH.

'This work stands high above the extravagant and indiscriminating
eulogies of O'Connell, accompanied by ignorant and malignant
denunciations of all opposed to him, hitherto given to the world by
patriotic biographers.'--TIMES.

'Inspired by love and admiration, pursued with laborious and
indefatigable industry, and guided by honesty and good judgment. It
gives a higher and, we believe, a truer view of O'Connell's character
than has been given to the world before.'--VANITY FAIR.

'Fresh light is thrown upon a most interesting period of Irish history
by this publication, in which Daniel O'Connell reveals his innermost
thoughts upon great public questions, as well as on themes of sacred
and private import. Courts and Cabinets--the intrigues of public men
and the subtleties of political organisations--are alike laid open to
the public gaze.'--DAILY CHRONICLE.

'To Mr. Fitzpatrick is due the gratitude of all students of history,
of truth, and of human character for the patience and pertinacity with
which he has collected these letters, and the knowledge, discretion,
and tact of his arrangement. He has let O'Connell tell his own story,
and the connecting thread is slight and scientific, such as only minute
knowledge of his period could make it. The reader is hardly conscious
of its presence, yet it suffices to weld a huge mass of miscellaneous
correspondence into an authentic biography and lifelike portrait of the
man who, of all others, made the greatest mark on his country and his

'Mr. Fitzpatrick, while presenting to us a collection of moderate
extent, has not only woven them into a web of fair average continuity,
but has, as a sculptor would, presented to us his hero "in the round,"
so that we may consider each of his qualities in each varied light,
and judge of their combination into a whole, whether it is mean or
noble, consistent or inconsistent, natural or forced.... Few indeed,
as I think, of those who give a careful perusal to these pages, will
withhold their assent from the double assertion that O'Connell was a
great man, and that he was a good man. Upon this issue the volumes
now before us will enable us to try him: and in trying him to try
ourselves. For who can any longer doubt that some debt is still
due to him; that he was, to say the least, both over-censured and
undervalued?'--Mr. GLADSTONE, in _The Nineteenth Century_.

                 London: JOHN MURRAY, Albemarle Street.

                       SECRET SERVICE UNDER PITT


                       W. J. FITZPATRICK, F.S.A.

                       'LIFE OF LORD CLONCURRY'
                    'IRELAND BEFORE THE UNION' ETC.

                       LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.
                   AND NEW YORK: 15 EAST 16ᵗʰ STREET

                         _All rights reserved_

                              PRINTED BY


These rough notes--begun long ago and continued at slow intervals--were
put aside during the onerous task of editing for Mr. Murray the
O'Connell Correspondence. The recent publication of Mr. Lecky's final
volumes, awakening by their grasp a fixed interest in pre-Union times,
and confirming much that by circumstantial evidence I had sought to
establish, affords a reason, perhaps, that my later researches in
the same field ought not to be wholly lost. Mr. Lecky's kindness in
frequently quoting me[1] merits grateful acknowledgment, not less than
his recognition of some things that I brought to light as explanatory
of points to which the State Papers afford no clue. This and other
circumstances encourage me in offering more.

My sole purpose at the outset was to expose a well-cloaked case of
long-continued betrayal by one of whom Mr. Froude confesses that all
efforts to identify had failed;[2] but afterwards it seemed desirable
to disclose to the reader a wider knowledge of an exciting time.[3] In
various instances a veil will be found lifted, or a visor unlocked,
revealing features which may prove a surprise. Nor is the story without
a moral. The organisers of illegal societies will see that, in spite
of the apparent secrecy and ingenuity of their system, informers sit
with them at the same council-board and dinner-table, ready at any
moment to sell their blood; and that the wider the ramifications of
conspiracy, the greater becomes the certainty of detection.

It may be that some of these researches are more likely to interest
and assist students of the history of the time than to prove pleasant
reading for those who take up a book merely for enjoyment. Yet if
there is truth in the axiom that men who write with ease are read with
difficulty, and _vice versâ_, these chapters ought to find readers.
Every page had its hard work. Tantalising delays attended at times the
search for some missing--but finally discovered--link. Indeed, volumes
of popular reading, written _currente calamo_, might have been thrown
off for a tithe of the trouble.

'If the power to do hard work is not talent,' writes Garfield, 'it is
the best possible substitute for it. Things don't turn up in this world
until somebody turns them up.' Readers who, thanks to Froude and Lecky,
have been interested by glimpses of men in startling attitudes, would
naturally like to learn the curious sequel of their subsequent history.
This I have done my best to furnish. The present volume is humbly
offered as a companion to the two great works just alluded to. But
it will also prove useful to readers of the Wellington, Castlereagh,
Cornwallis, and Colchester Correspondence. These books abound in
passages which, without explanation, are unintelligible. The matter now
presented forms but a small part of the notes I have made with the same

A word as regards some of the later sources of my information. The
Pelham MSS. were not accessible when Mr. Froude wrote. Thomas Pelham,
second Earl of Chichester, was Irish Secretary from 1795 to 1798, but
his correspondence until 1826 deals largely with Ireland, and I have
read as much of it as would load a float. Another mine was found in
the papers, ranging from 1795 to 1805, which filled two iron-clamped
chests in Dublin Castle, guarded with the Government seal and bearing
the words 'Secret and Confidential: Not to be Opened.' These chests
were for a long time familiar objects exteriorly, and when it was at
last permitted to disturb the rust of lock and hinge, peculiar interest
attended the exploration. Among the contents were 136 letters from
Francis Higgins, substantially supporting all that I had ventured
to say twenty years before in the book which claimed to portray his
career. But neither the Pelham Papers in London nor the archives at
Dublin Castle reveal the great secret to which Mr. Froude points.

That so many documents have been preserved is fortunate. Mr. Ross,
in his preface to the Cornwallis Correspondence, laments that 'the
Duke of Portland, Lord Chancellor Clare, Mr. Wickham, Mr. King, Sir
H. Taylor, Sir E. Littlehales, Mr. Marsden, and indeed almost all the
persons officially concerned, appear to have destroyed the whole of
their papers.' He adds: 'The destruction of so many valuable documents
respecting important transactions cannot but be regarded as a serious
loss to the political history of these times.'

I have freely used the Registry of Deeds Office, Dublin--a department
peculiar to Ireland. Originating in penal times, its object was to
trace any property acquired by Papists--such being liable to 'discovery
and forfeiture.' This office served as a valuable curb in the hands of
the oppressor, and ought to prove a not less useful aid to historic
inquirers; but, hitherto, it has been unconsulted for such purposes.
Few unless legal men can pursue the complicated references and
searches, and--unlike the Record Office--fees attend almost every stage
of the inquiry. Here things stranger than fiction nestle; while the
genealogist will find it an inexhaustible store.

I have to thank the Right Hon. the O'Conor Don, D.L.; Sir William H.
Cope, Bart.; Mrs. John Philpot Curran; Daniel O'Connell, Esq., D.L.;
D. Coffey, Esq.; Jeremiah Leyne, Esq.; the late Lord Donoughmore, and
the late Mr. Justice Hayes for the communication of manuscripts from
the archives of their respective houses. The Rev. Samuel Haughton,
F.T.C.D., kindly copied for me some memoranda made in 1798 by the Rev.
John Barrett, Vice-Provost T.C.D., regarding students of alleged rebel
leanings. Sir Charles Russell, when member for Dundalk, obligingly
made inquiries concerning Samuel Turner; Mr. Lecky transcribed for me
a curious paper concerning Aherne, the rebel envoy in France, and has
been otherwise kind. My indebtedness to Sir Bernard Burke, Keeper of
the Records, Dublin Castle, dates from the year 1855.

The late Brother Luke Cullen, a Carmelite monk, left at his death a
vast quantity of papers throwing light on the period of the Rebellion.
No writer but myself has ever had the use of these papers, and I beg
to thank the Superior of the Order to which Mr. Cullen belonged for
having, some years ago, placed them in my hands.

The array of notes and authorities on every page is not the best
way to please an artistic eye; but in a book of this sort they are
indispensable and would be certainly expected from the oldest living
contributor to 'Notes and Queries.'

While there are many persons who enjoy a fox hunt, there are others
would vote it a bore; and readers of this mind had better, perhaps,
pass over the various stages of my chase after Samuel Turner, and come
to something that may suit them better.

        _New Year's Day, 1892_.


[1] Vide _England in the Eighteenth Century_, vii. 211; viii. 42-44,
45, 191, 240, etc.

[2] See Froude's _English in Ireland_, vol. iii. sec. vi.

[3] I have been further encouraged by the very favourable judgment of
an acute critic, the late Mr. Hepworth Dixon, regarding a book of mine,
written on the same lines as the present. See _Athenæum_, No. 1649, pp.
744 _et seq._


  CHAPTER                                                           PAGE

      I.  A MYSTERIOUS VISITOR                                         1

     II.  ARRESTS MULTIPLY                                             8

    III.  FATHER O'COIGLY HANGED                                      15


      V.  LORD CLONCURRY SHADOWED                                     35

     VI.  THE MASK TORN OFF AT LAST                                   44

    VII.  DR. MACNEVIN'S MEMORIAL INTERCEPTED                         52

   VIII.  GENERAL NAPPER TANDY                                        70

          SHOT THROUGH THE HEAD                                       91


     XI.  THE BETRAYER OF LORD EDWARD FITZGERALD                     116

    XII.  WILLIAM TODD JONES--EMMET'S REBELLION                      156


    XIV.  LEONARD MCNALLY                                            174

     XV.  FATHER ARTHUR O'LEARY                                      211

    XVI.  ARTHUR O'LEARY IN LONDON                                   227

          CAMPS--O'LEARY AND THE PRINCE OF WALES                     253

  XVIII.  BISHOP HUSSEY                                              280

          AND COUNTER-PLOT                                           290

     XX.  THOMAS REYNOLDS: SPY, AND BRITISH CONSUL                   301


  APPENDIX                                                           335

  INDEX                                                              380

                       SECRET SERVICE UNDER PITT



It is now some years since Mr. Froude invested with new interest
the Romance of Rebellion. Perhaps the most curious of the episodes
disclosed by him is that where, after describing the plans and
organisation of the United Irishmen, he proceeds to notice a
sensational case of betrayal.[4]

  An instance has now to be related [he writes] remarkable for the
  ingenious perfidy with which it was attended, for the mystery which
  still attaches to the principal performer, and for his connection
  with the fortunes and fate of Lord Edward Fitzgerald.

  Lord Edward's movements had for some time been observed with
  anxiety, as much from general uneasiness as from regret that a
  brother of the Duke of Leinster should be connecting himself with
  conspiracy and treason. His proceedings in Paris in 1792 had cost
  him his commission in the army. In the Irish Parliament he had
  been undistinguished by talent, but conspicuous for the violence
  of his language. His meeting with Hoche on the Swiss frontier was
  a secret known only to a very few persons; Hoche himself had not
  revealed it even to Tone; but Lord Edward was known to be intimate
  with McNevin. He had been watched in London, and had been traced
  to the lodgings of a suspected agent of the French Directory;
  and among other papers which had been forwarded by spies to the
  Government, there was one in French, containing an allusion to
  some female friend of Lady Edward, through whom a correspondence
  was maintained between Ireland and Paris. Lady Edward's house
  at Hamburg was notoriously the resort of Irish refugees. Lord
  Edward himself was frequently there, and the Government suspected,
  though they were unable to prove, that he was seriously committed
  with the United Irishmen. One night, early in October, 1797,[5] a
  person came to the house of Lord Downshire in London, and desired
  to see him immediately. Lord Downshire went into the hall and
  found a man muffled in a cloak, with a hat slouched over his face,
  who requested a private interview. The Duke (_sic_) took him into
  his Library, and when he threw off his disguise recognised in his
  visitor the son of a gentleman of good fortune in the North of
  Ireland, with whom he was slightly acquainted. Lord Downshire's
  'friend' (the title under which he was always subsequently
  described) had been a member of the Ulster Revolutionary Committee.
  From his acquaintance with the details of what had taken place it
  may be inferred that he had accompanied the Northern delegacy to
  Dublin and had been present at the discussion of the propriety
  of an immediate insurrection. The cowardice or the prudence of
  the Dublin faction had disgusted him. He considered now that the
  conspiracy was likely to fail, or that, if it succeeded, it would
  take a form which he disapproved; and he had come over to sell
  his services and his information to Pitt. In telling his story
  to Lord Downshire he painted his own conduct in colours least
  discreditable to himself. Like many of his friends, he had at
  first, he said, wished only for a reform in parliament and a change
  in the constitution. He had since taken many desperate steps and
  connected himself with desperate men. He had discovered that the
  object of the Papists was the ruin and destruction of the country,
  and the establishment of a tyranny worse than that which was
  complained of by the reformers; that proscriptions, seizures of
  property, murders, and assassinations were the certain consequences
  to be apprehended from their machinations; that he had determined
  to separate himself from the conspiracy.[6] He was in England to
  make every discovery in his power, and if Lord Downshire had not
  been in London he had meant to address himself to Portland or Pitt.
  He stipulated only, as usual, that he should never be called on
  to appear in a court of justice to prosecute any one who might be
  taken up in consequence of his discoveries.

  Lord Downshire agreed to his conditions; but, as it was then late,
  he desired him to return and complete his story in the morning.
  He said that his life was in danger even in London. He could not
  venture a second time to Lord Downshire, or run the risk of being
  observed by his servants. Downshire appointed the empty residence
  of a friend in the neighbourhood. Thither he went the next day in
  a hackney coach. The door was left unlocked, and he entered unseen
  by anyone. Lord Downshire then took down from his lips a list of
  the principal members of the Executive Committee by whom the whole
  movement was at that time directed. He next related at considerable
  length the proceedings of the United Irishmen during the two past
  years, the division of opinion, the narrow chance by which a rising
  had been escaped in Dublin in the spring, and his own subsequent
  adventures. He had fled with others from Belfast in the general
  dispersion of the leaders. Lady Edward Fitzgerald had given him
  shelter at Hamburg, and had sent him on to Paris with a letter to
  her brother-in-law, General Valence.[7] By General Valence he had
  been introduced to Hoche and De la Croix. He had seen Talleyrand,
  and had talked at length with him on the condition of Ireland. He
  had been naturally intimate with the other Irish refugees. Napper
  Tandy[8] was strolling about the streets in uniform and calling
  himself a major. Hamilton Rowan[9] had been pressed to return,
  but preferred safety in America, and professed himself _sick of
  politics_. After this, 'the person'--as Lord Downshire called his
  visitor, keeping even the Cabinet in ignorance of his name--came to
  the immediate object of his visit to England.

  He had discovered that all important negotiations between the
  Revolutionary Committee in Dublin and their Paris agents passed
  through Lady Edward's hands. The Paris letters were transmitted
  first to her at Hamburg. By her they were forwarded to Lady Lucy
  Fitzgerald[10] in London. From London Lady Lucy was able to send
  them on unsuspected. Being himself implicitly trusted, both by Lady
  Edward and by Lady Lucy, he believed he could give the Government
  information which would enable them to detect and examine these
  letters in their transit through the post.

  Pitt was out of town. He returned, however, in a few days.
  Downshire immediately saw him, and Pitt consented that 'the
  person's' services should be accepted. There was some little delay.
  'The person' took alarm, disappeared, and they supposed that they
  had lost him. Three weeks later, however, he wrote to Downshire
  from Hamburg, saying that he had returned to his old quarters,
  for fear he might be falling into a trap. It was fortunate, he
  added, that he had done so, for a letter was on the point of going
  over from Barclay Teeling[11] to Arthur O'Connor,[12] and he gave
  Downshire directions which would enable him to intercept, read, and
  send it on.

  Such an evidence of 'the person's' power and will to be useful made
  Pitt extremely anxious to secure his permanent help. An arrangement
  was concluded. He continued at Hamburg as Lady Edward's guest and
  most trusted friend, saw everyone who came to her house, kept watch
  over her letter-bag, was admitted to close and secret conversations
  upon the prospect of French interference in Ireland with Reinhard,
  the Minister of the Directory there, and he regularly kept Lord
  Downshire informed of everything which would enable Pitt to watch
  the conspiracy. One of his letters, dated November 19, 1797, is

  'A. Lowry writes from Paris, August 11, in great despondency on
  account of Hoche's death, and says that all hopes of invading
  Ireland were given over.

  'I then saw Reinhard, the French Minister, who begged me to stay
  here, as the only mode in which I could serve my country and the
  Republic. I instantly acquiesced, and told him I had arranged
  matters with Lord Edward Fitzgerald in London for that purpose. I
  showed him Lowry's[13] letter. He said that things were changed.
  Buonaparte would not listen to the idea of peace, and had some plan
  which I do not know. I told him the spirit of republicanism was
  losing ground in Ireland, for the Catholics and Protestants could
  not be brought to unite. I mentioned then what Fitzgerald told me
  in London, viz., that after I left Ireland they had thoughts of
  bringing matters to a crisis without the French. Arthur O'Connor
  was to have had a command in the North, he himself in Leinster,
  Robert Simms[14] at Belfast; that the Catholics got jealous
  of this, and Richard McCormick,[15] of Dublin, went among the
  societies of United Men and denounced the three as traitors to the
  cause, and dangerous on account of their ambition. All letters to
  or from Lady Lucy Fitzgerald ought to be inspected.

  'She, Mrs. Matthieson, of this place, and Pamela[16] carry on a
  correspondence. Lewins, Teeling, Tennant, Lowry, Orr, and Colonel
  Tandy are at Paris. Tone expects to stay the winter there, which
  does not look like invasion. Oliver Bond is treasurer. He pays
  Lewins and McNevin in London. Now for myself. In order to carry
  into effect the scheme which you and Mr. Pitt had planned, it was
  requisite for me to see my countrymen. I called on Maitland,[17]
  where I found A. J. Stuart,[18] of Acton, both of them heartily
  _sick of politics_. Edward Fitzgerald had been inquiring of them
  for me. I went to Harley Street, where Fitz told me of the conduct
  of the Catholics to him and his friends. He said he would prevail
  on O'Connor, or some such, to go to Paris. If not, he would go
  himself in order to have Lewins removed. Mrs. Matthieson[19] has
  just heard from Lady Lucy that O'Connor is to come. I supped last
  night with Valence, who mentioned his having introduced Lord Edward
  and O'Connor to the Minister here in the summer, before the French
  attempted to invade Ireland. They both went to Switzerland, whence
  O'Connor passed into France, had an interview with Hoche, and
  everything was planned.[20]

  'I feared lest Government might not choose to ratify our contract,
  and, being in their power, would give me my choice either to come
  forward as an evidence or suffer martyrdom myself. Having no taste
  for an exit of this sort, I set out and arrived here safe, and now
  beg you'll let me know if anything was wrong in my statements, or
  if I have given offence. If you approve my present mode of life,
  and encourage me so to do, with all deference I think Mr. Pitt may
  let me have a cool five hundred,[21] which shall last me for six
  months to come. To get the information here has cost me three times
  the sum, and to keep up the acquaintance and connections I have
  here, so as to get information, I cannot live on less.'[22]

The betrayer, before his interview with Downshire closed, supplied him
with a list of the Executive Committee of United Irishmen. This list,
duly given by Mr. Froude, includes--

  Jackson and his son; Oliver Bond; John Chambers; James Dickson;
  Casey, a red-faced Dublin priest; Thomas Addis Emmet; Dr. McNevin,
  a physician who had great weight with the papists;[23] Braughall,
  John Keogh and R. McCormick, who belonged to the committee, though
  they did not attend; Samuel Turner; Lord Edward Fitzgerald;
  Arthur O'Connor; Alexander Stewart; two Orrs, one an attorney and
  a dangerous person, the other of Derry, described as a clever,
  sensible, strong-minded man; B. Teeling; Tenants, of Belfast;
  Agnew, of Larne; Lawless, Lord Cloncurry's son; Hamill, of Dominick
  Street[24]; Inishry,[25] a priest, a canting, designing man, who
  swore in Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Lawless.[26]

Lord Downshire, who negotiated in this affair, had weight with Pitt.
The husband of an English peeress, and the son of Lord North's
Secretary of State, he was a familiar figure at Court. He had sat for
two English constituencies; and in the Irish Parliament as senator,
borough proprietor, governor of his county, and one of the Privy
Council, he wielded potent sway. His later history and fall belong to
chapter ix.


[4] _The English in Ireland_ (Nov. 1797), iii. 278.

[5] It was October 8, 1797.

[6] But it will appear that he continued to the end to play the part of
a flaming patriot.

[7] Cyrus Marie Valence, Count de Timbrune, born 1757, died 1822.
His exploits as a general officer are largely commemorated in the
memoirs of his friend, Dumouriez. After having been severely wounded,
he resided for some time in London; but was expelled by order of Pitt
on June 6, 1793. He then took up his residence in a retired outlet
of Hamburg, which our spy soon penetrated; and he at last wormed
himself into the confidence of Valence. The General afterwards resumed
active military service, and fought with distinction in Spain and
Russia.--Vide _Discours du Comte de Ségur à l'occasion des Obsèques de
M. Valence_; _Souvenirs de Madame Genlis, &c._; Alison's _Hist. Europe,
1789-1815_, x. 189.

[8] The strange career of Tandy--who was made a general by
Bonaparte--is traced in chapter viii. _infra._

[9] Some notice of Hamilton Rowan's adventurous courses will be found
in chapter xv. _infra._

[10] Lady Lucy Fitzgerald, sister of Lord Edward, married in 1802
Admiral Sir Thos. Foley, K.C.B., died 1851.

[11] Bartholomew Teeling was his correct name. In 1798 he was hanged in

[12] Arthur O'Connor, nephew and heir of Lord Longueville, sat in
Parliament for Philipstown, and spoke so ably on Indian affairs that
Pitt is said to have offered him office. In November 1796 he joined the
United Irishmen, and from that date his life is one of much activity
and vicissitude. Excitement and worry failed to shorten it. He became a
general in the French service, and died, aged eighty-eight, April 25,

[13] Alexander Lowry was the treasurer for Down. Tone describes Lowry
and Tennant as 'a couple of fine lads, whom I like extremely.'--_Life_,
ii. 433. Aug. 1797. Their youth and ingenuousness would make them easy

[14] Robert Simms had been appointed to the chief command of the United
Irishmen of Antrim; but he is said to have wanted nerve. James Hope, in
a narrative he gave Dr. Madden, said that Hughes, the Belfast informer,
once proposed to him to get rid of Simms by assassination. Hope pulled
a pistol from his breast and told Hughes that if ever he repeated that
proposal he would shoot him.

[15] Richard McCormick, originally secretary of the Catholic Committee,
and afterwards an active 'United Irishman,' and styled by Tone, in his
_Diary_, 'Magog.'

[16] The wife of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Moore's _Life of Lord Edward
Fitzgerald_ says that she was the daughter of Mde. de Genlis by
Philippe Egalité, Duke of Orleans; but a letter appears in Moore's
_Memoirs_ from King Louis Philippe denying it, and Mde. de Genlis calls
her a child by adoption. Pamela was a person of surpassing beauty; her
portrait arrests attention in the gallery of Versailles. R. B. Sheridan
proposed for her, but she rejected him in favour of Lord Edward. Died
1831; her remains were followed to Père la Chaise by Talleyrand.

[17] The allusion may be to Captain Maitland--afterwards General Sir
Thomas Maitland, Governor of Ceylon, a son of Lord Lauderdale. He was
in Parliament from 1774 to 1779, and from 1790 to 1796, when he sat for
the last time in the House--a circumstance which may, perhaps, explain
the remark that he was sick of politics. Died 1824. In 1800 he was
Colonel Maitland, and in the confidence of Lord Cornwallis.

[18] Who Stuart was, see p. 36 _infra_; also Lord Cloncurry's
_Memoirs_, p. 63.

[19] Madame de Genlis states in her memoirs that her niece, Henriette
de Sercey, married M. Matthiessen, a rich banker of Hamburg. The
General Count Valence married a daughter of Madame de Genlis, and
resided near Hamburg on a farm where the latter wrote several of her

[20] The expedition of Hoche to Bantry Bay in December, 1796.

[21] 'I just made a couple of betts with him, and took up a _cool_
hundred.'--_The Provoked Husband_, by Vanbrugh and Cibber, ii. i. 311,
ed. 1730. See also Smollett's _Don Quixote_, bk. iii. c. viii.

[22] Froude, iii. 277 _et seq._

[23] Alexander Knox, in his _History of Down_, errs in saying (p. 26)
that 'Dr. McNevin was an influential member of the Established Church.'

[24] All these men, unless Hamill and Inishry, are to be found in
books which treat of 1798. The first is noticed in the _Dublin Penny
Journal_, March 1, 1834 (p. 274). In 1797 Mr. Hamill was indicted
for defenderism and acquitted, 'and the witnesses for the Crown
were so flagrantly perjured that the judge, I have heard, ordered
a prosecution' (Speech of Henry Grattan in Parliament, May 13,
1805--_Hansard_, ii. 925).

[25] As regards 'Inishry,' no such cognomen is to be found in the
pedigrees of MacFirbis or O'Clery, or any name to which it might
be traced. The name that the spy gave was probably Hennessy--which
Downshire, in writing from dictation, may have mistaken for 'Inishry.'

[26] Long before the publication of Mr. Froude's book, Arthur O'Connor,
in a letter to Dr. Madden, states that 'Lord Edward took no oath on
joining the United Irishmen.'--Vide their _Lives and Times_, ii. 393.



It was not easy to separate the threads of the tangled skein which Mr.
Froude found hidden away in the dust of the past. But, lest the process
of unravelling should tax the reader's patience, I have transferred to
an Appendix some points of circumstantial evidence which led me, at
first, to suspect, and finally to feel convinced, that 'the person' was
no other than Samuel Turner, Esq., LL.D., barrister-at-law, of Turner's
Glen, Newry--one of the shrewdest heads of the Northern executive
of United Irishmen.[27] Pitt made a good stroke by encouraging his
overtures, but, like an expert angler, ample line was given ere
securing fast the precious prey.

One can trace, through the public journals of the time, that the
betrayer's disclosures to Downshire were followed by a decided activity
on the part of the Irish Government. The more important of the marked
men were suffered to continue at large, but the names having been noted
Lord Camden was able, at the threatened outburst of the rebellion,
to seize them at once. Meanwhile an influential London paper, the
'Courier' of November 24, 1797, gave a glimpse of the system that then
prevailed by announcing the departure from Dublin for England of Dr.
Atkinson, High Constable of Belfast, charged, it is said, with full
powers from Government to arrest such persons as have left Ireland, and
against whom there are charges of a treasonable or seditious nature.

  The former gentleman is well known, and will be long remembered
  by the inhabitants of Belfast, for the active part he took in
  assisting _a Northern Marquis_,[28] and the young apostate of the
  County Down, to arrest seven of their fellow-citizens on September
  16, 1796; since which period these unfortunate men have been
  closely confined without being allowed to see their friends, and
  now remain without hope of trial or liberation.

'The young apostate of Down'--thus indicated for English readers ninety
years ago--was Lord Castlereagh, afterwards Minister for Foreign
Affairs, and well twitted by Byron for his Toryism; but who, in 1790,
had been elected, after a struggle of two months' duration and an
outlay of 60,000_l._, Whig Member for Down. Like Pitt, he began as a
reformer; like Disraeli, he avowed himself a Radical; and presided
at a banquet where toasts were drunk such as 'Our Sovereign Lord the
People.' Ere long his policy changed, and his memory is described as
having the faint sickening smell of hot blood about it.

Mr. Froude's work has been several years before the world; it has
passed through various editions. Thousands of readers have been
interested by his picture of the muffled figure gliding at dark to
breathe in Downshire's ear most startling disclosures, but no attempt
to solve the mystery enshrouding it has until now been made.[29]

The name of Samuel Turner obtains no place on the list of Secret
Service moneys[30] expended by the Irish Government in 1798--thus
bearing out the statement of Mr. Froude that the name of the mysterious
'person' was not revealed in the most secret correspondence between
the Home Office and Dublin Castle. At the termination of the troubles,
however, when the need of secrecy became less urgent, and it was
desirable to bestow pensions on 'persons who had rendered important
service during the rebellion,' the name of Samuel Turner is found in
the Cornwallis Papers as entitled to 300_l._ a year. But a foot-note
from the indefatigable editor--Mr. Ross--who spared no labour to
acquire minute information, confesses that it has been found impossible
to procure any particulars of Turner.

For years I have investigated the relations of the informers with
the Government, and Samuel Turner is the only large recipient of
'blood-money' whose services remain to be accounted for. Turner's name
never appeared in any printed pension list. Mr. Ross found the name
at Dublin Castle, with some others, in a 'confidential memorandum,'
written for the perusal of the Lord Lieutenant, whose fiat became
necessary. The money was 'given by a warrant dated December 20, 1800,'
but the names were kept secret--the payments being confidentially made
by the Under-Secretary.

At this distance of time it is not easy to trace a life of which Mr.
Ross, thirty years earlier, failed to catch the haziest glimpse; but I
hope to make the case clear, and Turner's history readable.

Previous to 1798 he is found posing in the double _rôle_ of martyr and
hero--winning alternately the sympathy and admiration of the people.
Mr. Patrick O'Byrne, an aged native of Newry, long connected with an
eminent publishing firm in Dublin, has replied to a letter of inquiry
by supplying some anecdotes in Turner's life. It is a remarkable proof
of the completeness with which Turner's perfidy was cloaked that Mr.
O'Byrne never heard his honesty questioned.[31]

  In 1836 there was a tradition current in Newry of a gentleman
  named Turner, who in the previous generation had resided in a
  large red brick house situated in the centre of a fine walled-in
  park called Turner's Glen, on the western side of Newry, in the
  County Armagh. Mr. Turner had been in 1796 a member of the great
  confederacy of United Irishmen, one of the leaders who, for self
  and fellows, 'pledged his life, his fortune, and his honour' to put
  an end to British supremacy in Ireland. About the date mentioned
  the notorious Luttrell, Lord Carhampton, who was commander of
  the forces in Ireland at the time, and was then making a tour
  of inspection of the army, had to pass through Newry. The chief
  hotel in Newry at that time adjoined the post-office. The gentry
  and merchants of Newry generally went to the post-office shortly
  after the arrival of the mails to get their letters, and while
  waiting for the mail to be assorted promenaded in front of the
  hotel, or rested in the coffee-room. Mr. Turner wore the colours he
  affected--a large green necktie. Lord Carhampton, while his horses
  were being changed, was looking out of the coffee-room windows
  of the hotel, and his eye lighted on the rebel 'stock:' here was
  a fine opportunity to cow a rebel and assert his own courage--a
  quality for which he was not noted. Accordingly he swaggered up
  to Mr. Turner and, confronting him, asked 'Whose man are you,
  who dares to wear that rebellious emblem?' Mr. Turner sternly
  replied, 'I am my own man. Whose man are you, who dares to speak
  so insolently to an Irish gentleman?' 'I am one who will make you
  wear a hempen necktie, instead of your flaunting French silk, if
  you do not instantly remove it!' retorted Lord Carhampton. 'I wear
  this colour,' replied Mr. Turner courageously, 'because I like
  it. As it is obnoxious to you, come and take it off.' Carhampton,
  finding that his bluster did not frighten the North Erin rebel,
  turned to leave; but Turner, by a rapid movement, got between him
  and the door, and, presenting his card to the general, demanded
  his address. Carhampton told him he would learn it sooner than he
  should like. Turner thereupon said, 'I _must_ know your name; until
  now I have never had the misfortune to be engaged in a quarrel with
  aught but gentlemen, who knew how to make themselves responsible
  for their acts. You cannot insult me with impunity, whatever your
  name may be. I will yet find it out, and post you in every court as
  a coward.' The Commander of the Forces withdrew from Newry, having
  come off second best in the quarrel he had provoked. Mr. Turner,
  for reasons connected with the cause in which he had embarked, was
  obliged to lie _perdu_ soon after, and so Carhampton escaped the
  'posting' he would, under other circumstances, have got from the
  Northern fire-eater.

The general accuracy of Mr. O'Byrne's impressions is shown by the 'Life
and Confessions of Newell the Informer,' printed for the author at
London in 1798.[32] Newell travelled with the staff of Lord Carhampton,
and in April, 1797, witnessed the scene between Turner and him.

Newell's pamphlet, which created much noise at the time and had a large
circulation, did not tend to weaken popular confidence in Turner. It
appeared soon after the time that he had begun to play false; but
Newell, with all his cunning, had no suspicion of Turner.

The late Mr. J. Mathews, of Dundalk, collected curious details
regarding the rebel organisation of Ulster in 1797. With these details
the name of Samuel Turner is interwoven, but, although the object of
Mathews was to expose the treachery of some false brothers, he assigns
to Turner the rank of a patriot and a hero. How the authorities, by a
_coup_, made a number of arrests, is described; and how Turner, after
some exciting adventures, got safely to France.[33]

The spy on this occasion was Mr. Conlan, a medical practitioner in
Dundalk. A sworn information, signed by Conlan, is preserved among
the Sirr MSS. in Trinity College, Dublin. It is dated 1798, when
Turner himself was betraying his own colleagues to Pitt! Conlan states
that one evening, after Turner had left his house at Newry to attend
a meeting of United Irishmen at Dundalk, the officer in command at
the barracks of Newry got orders to march on Dundalk and arrest the
leaders. An officer's servant apprised Corcoran, who was an adherent of
Turner's. Corcoran mounted a horse and galloped to Dundalk, where he
arrived in time to warn Turner. Conlan recollected Turner and Teeling
travelling through Ulster and holding meetings for organisation at
Dundalk, Newry, Ballinahinch (the site of the subsequent battle),
Ronaldstown, Glanary, and in Dublin at Kearn's, Kildare Street,[34]
where the principal meetings were held.[35]

I find in the Pelham MSS. the examination of Dr. John Macara, one
of the Northern State prisoners of 1797. It supplies details of the
plan of attack which had been foiled by the arrests. 'Newry was to be
attacked by Samuel Turner, of Newry aforesaid, with the men from Newry
and Mourn.'[36]

It was not Conlan alone who reported Turner's movements to the Crown.
Francis Higgins, the ablest secret agent of Under-Secretary Cooke,
announces that Turner had sent 'letters from Portsmouth for the
purpose of upholding and misleading the mutinous seamen into avowed
rebellion;'[37] and some weeks later he states that 'Turner had
returned from Hamburg with an answer to the Secret Committee of United

We know on the authority of James Hope, who wrote down his
'Recollections' of this time at the request of a friend, that Turner,
having fled from Ireland, filled the office of resident agent at
Hamburg of the United Irishmen. The Irish envoys and refugees, finding
themselves in a place hardly less strange than Tierra del Fuego,
ignorant of its language, its rules and its ways, sought on arrival
the accredited agent of their brotherhood, hailed him with joy, and
regarded the spot on which he dwelt as a bit of Irish soil sacred to
the Shamrock. The hardship which some of the refugees went through was
trying enough. James Hope, writing in 1846, says that Palmer, one of
Lord Edward's bodyguard in Dublin, travelled, 'mostly barefooted, from
Paris to Hamburg, where he put himself into communication with Samuel
Turner.' The object of Palmer's mission was to expose one Bureaud, then
employed as a spy by Holland. 'Palmer,' writes Hope, 'gave Turner a
gold watch to keep for him.' He enlisted in a Dutch regiment, and was
found drowned in the Scheldt. 'When Turner,' adds Hope, 'was applied to
for the watch by Palmer's sister, he replied that he forgot what became
of it.'

Hamburg in troubled times was a place of great importance for the
maintenance of intercourse between England and France. Here, as Mr.
Froude states, 'Lord Downshire's friend' had vast facilities for
getting at the inmost secrets of the United Irishmen. Hope's casual
statement serves to show how it was that this 'person' could have
had access to Lady Edward Fitzgerald's confidence, and that of her
political friends at Hamburg.


[27] In chapter vii. my contention will be found established on
conclusive testimony, which had failed to present itself until years
had been given to a slow process of logical deduction. _Vide_ also
Appendix to this volume.

[28] 'The Northern Marquis' was, of course, Lord Downshire.

[29] 'A Lanthorn through some Dark Passages, with a Key to Secret
Chambers,' was the title originally chosen for the present book, but
I finally laid it aside as being too much in the style of old Parson
Fry's 'Pair of Bellows to Blow away the Dust.'

[30] How this book got out of the Castle and was sold for waste paper
by a man named Fagan is a curious story in itself. The volume is now
preserved in the Royal Irish Academy.

[31] A prisoner named Turner, Christian name not given, indicted for
high treason, is announced as discharged in December 1795, owing to the
flight of a Crown witness.--Vide _Irish State Trials_ (Dublin: Exshaw,
1796); Lib. R. I. Academy.

[32] _Vide_ pp. 21-2. Newell's pamphlet will be found in the Halliday
Collection, vol. 743, Royal Irish Academy.

[33] _Vide_ Mr. Matthew's narrative in _The Sham Squire_, sixth
edition, pp. 355-363.

[34] This place of rendezvous was, doubtless, chosen because of its
proximity to Leinster House, where Lord Edward mainly lived.

[35] Major Sirr's Papers (MS.), Trinity College, Dublin. Conlan's
information makes no mention of a remarkable man, the Rev. William
Steel Dickson, D.D., a Presbyterian pastor of Down, and described by
the historians of his Church as ready to take the field. Dr. Dickson,
in his _Narrative_, admits (p. 193) that he had been 'frequently in the
company of Lowry, Turner, and Teeling.' Turner was a Presbyterian and
possibly wished to spare a pastor of his Church.

[36] The Pelham MSS. Examination dated September 6, 1797. Pelham,
afterwards Lord Chichester, was Chief Secretary for Ireland at that
time, and his papers are a useful help in throwing light upon it. A
large portion of them are occupied by a correspondence with Generals
Lake and Nugent regarding Dr. Macara; he offered to inform if let out
on bail. Lake hoped that he would prove a valuable informer; and, as he
was far from rich, could not afford to reject pecuniary reward; but,
although Macara at first seemed to consent, his replies were finally
found to be evasive.

[37] Higgins to Cooke, MS. letter, Dublin Castle, June 7, 1797.

[38] _Ibid._, August 29, 1797. Five weeks later Turner makes his
disclosure to Downshire.



Mr. Froude, after a perusal of the letters of Downshire's friend, and
other documents, states that a priest named O'Coigly or Quigley 'had
visited Paris in 1797, returned to Dublin, and had been with Lord
Edward Fitzgerald at Leinster House; that he was now going back to
Paris, and Arthur O'Connor determined to go in his company.[39] Their
mission, though ostensibly for presenting an address from the London
corresponding society of United Irishmen to the French Government, was
really for the double purpose of urging upon it the prompt despatch
of an invading fleet to Ireland, and of deposing the Irish envoy,
Lewins, who, instead of Turner, had begun to be suspected. Mr. Lawless,
afterwards Lord Cloncurry, invited O'Coigly to dinner in London; and it
was on this occasion that O'Connor met the priest for the first time.
O'Coigly, under the name of Captain Jones, with Allen[40] seemingly as
his servant, and Leary, left London for Margate, on their mission of
mystery. O'Connor travelled by another route to Margate, took the name
of Colonel Morris, and was accompanied by Binns. On the following day,
at the King's Head Inn, Margate, all the party were arrested by two Bow
Street officers. O'Coigly and O'Connor had dined at Lawless's lodgings
more than once; and here, though not necessarily with his knowledge,
the travelling arrangements seem to have been made. Whether Turner
was a guest does not appear; but he was certainly in London at this
time, and as one of the Executive Committee is likely to have been
invited. Presently it will be shown that from this quarter came all
the information which enabled Pitt to seize O'Connor and O'Coigly at
Margate _en route_ to France, although, to elude observation, they had
journeyed by different roads. The prisoners, meanwhile, were removed
to London, examined before the Privy Council, and then transmitted to
Maidstone Jail to await their trial. The source of the information
which caused these historic arrests on February 27, 1798, has hitherto
remained a mystery. Father O'Coigly, while in jail, wrote some letters,
in which he failed to avow his share in the conspiracy, but admitted to
have made a previous visit to Cuxhaven. This was part of the city of
Hamburg. Turner, in addition to being the official agent of the United
Irishmen at Hamburg, was an old Dundalk acquaintance of O'Coigly's, and
no doubt was promptly hailed by the country priest.

Turner and O'Coigly are mentioned in Hughes's information. They
belonged to the same district organisation. After describing Teeling,
Turner and Lowry working in concert in 1797, Hughes adds that priest
Quigly or O'Coigly introduced him at that time to Baily and Binns.[41]
The paper revealed by Mr. Froude, now shown to be Turner's, and other
letters from the same hand in the 'Castlereagh Papers,' show that
the writer always felt a strong dislike to work with the 'Papists,'
especially priests. 'Casey, the red-faced, designing Dublin priest,'
was one of the leading men he met in Dublin, and whose 'prudence or
cowardice' disgusted him. Immediately after O'Coigly's return to
London we find the authorities on his track. The priest himself refers
to an abortive attempt to arrest him by night at Piccadilly.[42] Mr.
Froude, dealing with this case, does not seem to have suspected that
the arrival in London of Downshire's friend, at the time of the arrests
at Margate, was other than accidental. Yet clearly it was business of
no ordinary moment which brought him back to London at this time. It
will be remembered that, panic-stricken and fearing death from the
assassin's knife, he had returned to Hamburg in October 1797, ere an
answer came from Pitt to the proposition of betrayal conveyed by Lord

  It happened that at this particular time [writes Mr. Froude]
  that Downshire's friend was in London, and Pelham (the Irish
  Secretary) knew it. If the 'friend' could be brought over, and
  could be induced to give evidence, a case could then be established
  against all the United Irish leaders. They could be prosecuted
  with certainty of conviction, and the secrets of the plot could be
  revealed so fully that the reality of it could no longer be doubted.

  Most earnestly Camden[43] begged Portland[44] to impress on the
  'friend' the necessity of compliance. 'Patriotism might induce him
  to overcome his natural prejudice.' If patriotism was insufficient,
  there was no reward which he ought not to receive.[45] Portland's
  answer was not encouraging: 'The friend,' he said, 'shall be
  detained. As to his coming over to you, I have reason to believe
  that there is not any consideration on earth which would tempt
  him to undertake it. He is convinced that he would go to utter
  destruction. Better he should stay here and open a correspondence
  with some of the principal conspirators, by which means you may be
  apprised of their intentions. If I could be satisfied, or if you
  would give it as your positive opinion that this person's testimony
  or presence would crush the conspiracy, or bring any principal
  traitor to justice, I should not, and Lord Downshire would not,
  hesitate to use any influence to prevail on his friend to run any
  risk for such an object. But if he should fail and escape with his
  life, he could render no further service. Weigh well, therefore,
  the consequence of such a sacrifice.'[46]

After describing the arrest at Margate of Father O'Coigly, O'Connor,
and Binns, Mr. Froude writes:--

  O'Connor wrote a hurried note to Lord Edward, telling him not to
  be alarmed, nothing having been taken upon them which compromised
  any individual.[47] The messenger to whom the note was entrusted
  was unfortunate or treacherous, for it fell into the hands of
  the Government. _Had O'Connor known the connection between the
  Government and Lord Downshire's friend, he would have felt less
  confident._ There was evidence, if it could only be produced, which
  would send both Lord Edward and himself to the scaffold.

It may be observed here--_en parenthèse_--that Downshire must have felt
conflicting emotions when called upon to communicate information which
might bring Lord Edward to the block. His father had married the sister
of James, Duke of Leinster; Lord Edward was, therefore, the first
cousin of Lord Downshire.

One of the most truthful chapters of the laudatory life of Reynolds,
the informer,[48] is that aiming to show that he could not have been
the spy who caused the arrests at Margate. But the biographer is unable
to offer any suggestion as to who that agent was--so carefully veiled
from Reynolds, one of their own confidential prompters, was the part
played by Turner in that episode.

The information which led to the arrest of O'Connor, O'Coigly, and his
companion cannot have come from Ireland, because in the 'Book of Secret
Service Monies expended in the Detection of Treasonable Conspiracies'
no entry appears connected with the above incident, unless 'Dutton's
Expenses going to England to attend Quigly's Trial,' and where he had
merely to swear to the priest's handwriting. For his courage in doing
this--having once seen him sign a lottery ticket at Dundalk--50_l._
is paid to 'Dutton on June 12, 1798.' The names of Newell and Murdoch
certainly appear in the 'Secret Service Money' book about that time;
but it is clear from Newell's narrative--doubtless a genuine and frank
confession--that neither he nor Murdoch had any hand in tracing the
movements of O'Coigly and O'Connor.

Lord Castlereagh was now acting for Pelham as Chief Secretary
for Ireland. On July 25, 1798, a secret letter--printed  in the
'Castlereagh Papers'--is addressed to him from the Home Office:--

  I am directed by the Duke of Portland to inform your Lordship
  that I have received intelligence from _a person very much in the
  confidence of [Reinhard] the French Minister at Hamburg_,[49]
  that several French officers and soldiers have lately arrived
  at that place, where they have purchased sailor's dresses,
  clothed themselves in them, and gone on to Denmark and Sweden,
  from whence it is intended that they should embark for the North
  of Ireland.[50] I know not what credit is to be given to this
  information, which must be received with caution, as it does not
  appear to have reached his Majesty's Minister at Hamburg.

  It comes, however, from a person[51] whose reports while he was
  in this country[52] were known to his Excellency as singularly
  accurate and faithful--_the same who gave such an accurate account
  of the proceedings of O'Connor and Coigly_ whilst they were in this
  country, and on whose authority those persons were apprehended.[53]

Some of the letters of 'Lord Downshire's friend,' not being
forthcoming in the official archives, Mr. Froude assumed that they
had been destroyed; but, however masked, they are recognisable in the
'Castlereagh Correspondence.' Several anonymous papers, furnishing
information of the movements of the United Irishmen about Hamburg and
elsewhere, crop up in that book, having been enclosed from Whitehall
for the guidance of Dublin Castle. One of these letters makes special
reference to information already sent to Lord Downshire.[54]

Another long letter of the same batch will be found the first placed
in the second volume of Castlereagh, though an examination of it
shows that it belongs to the middle of the previous volume. Detailed
reference is made to Father O'Coigly's mission and movements, both in
France and in London. One is struck by the accuracy of its information
regarding the Ulster United Irishmen, of whom Turner was one. Of
MacMahon, who travelled to Paris with O'Coigly, we learn that, '_tired
of politics_, especially those of France, he is to write to Citoyen
Jean Thomas,[55] _à la poste restante à Hamburg_, whom he looks on as a
good patriot.'[56] It will be remembered that a similar phrase occurs
in the letter of Downshire's friend, printed by Froude, _i.e._ Rowan
had 'professed himself sick of politics.' Again, 'I found Maitland and
Stewart, of Acton, both heartily sick of politics.'

How to hang O'Coigly was now the difficulty. The Government knew--from
somebody who had worked with him--that he was deep in the treason; but
nothing could persuade the informer to prosecute him openly.

On April 11, 1798, Wickham writes from Whitehall:--

  It is most exceedingly to be lamented that no person can be sent
  over from Ireland to prove Coigly's handwriting. Proof of that kind
  would be so extremely material, that I have no doubt that the law
  officers would think it right to put off the trial if they could
  have any hope of any person being found, in a short time, who could
  speak distinctly to his handwriting.[57]

The secret adviser who, as Portland said, 'should be detained,' worked
his brain until at length a man, hailing from a place suspiciously
familiar to Turner, is sent for to swear to the point. Samuel Turner,
formerly of Newry, had intimate knowledge of every man in the place.
One Frederick Dutton, described as 'of Newry,' was now subpœnaed by the
Crown to swear to O'Coigly's handwriting in a letter addressed to Lord
Edward Fitzgerald. 'He claimed to have seen Coigly write his name for
the purpose of getting a watch raffled which belonged to a poor man
under sentence of death.' Dutton had been a dismissed servant and had
kept a public-house at Newry without a licence.[58]

Turner--it seems absurd to doubt the identity--got back to London on
Tuesday, May 15, 1798. What secret help he gave to the law officers
can only be inferred, for they pledged themselves that he should never
be asked to come forward publicly. Though O'Connor, O'Coigly, and
Binns[59] were arrested on March 1, their trials did not take place
till late in May 1798. The Duke of Norfolk, Lords Moira, Suffolk,
Oxford, John Russell, and Thanet, Fox, Sheridan, Whitbread, Erskine,
Grattan, all testified to O'Connor's character. All the prisoners were
acquitted, except the priest, notwithstanding that Lord Cloncurry paid
a counsel to defend him. He was hanged on Penenden Heath, June 7, 1798.
Judge Buller had leant heavily on O'Coigly in his charge.

  O'Coigly [writes Lord Holland] was condemned on false and
  contradictory evidence. I do not mean to aver, as Lord Chancellor
  Thurlow assured me he did to Judge Buller, who tried him, that
  '_if ever a poor man was murdered it was O'Coigly_,' but simply
  to allude to a circumstance which, in the case of a common felon,
  would probably have saved his life. The Bow Street officer who
  swore to finding the fatal paper in his pocket-book, and remarked
  in court the folding of the paper as fitting that pocket-book,
  had sworn before the Privy Council that the same paper _was found
  loose in O'Coigly's great-coat, and, I think, had added that he
  himself had put it into the pocket-book_. An attorney of the name
  of Foulkes[60] gave me this information, and I went with it to Mr.
  Wickham, who assured me that the circumstance should be carefully
  and anxiously investigated before the execution. But the order had
  gone down, and while we were conversing the sentence was probably

Lord Holland adds that when the Judge was descanting on the mildness
and clemency of the Administration, O'Coigly quietly took a pinch of
snuff and said 'Ahem!'

When no evidence was produced in court which could legally ensure a
verdict against O'Coigly, it seems reasonable to assume from the tone
of the law officers and the Judge that they possessed some secret
knowledge of his guilt, for in point of fact, though O'Coigly declared
his innocence, he was deeply pledged to the conspiracy.

'O'Connor was leaving the court in triumph,' writes Mr. Froude, 'but
the Government knew their man too well to let him go so easily. He
was at once re-arrested on another charge, and was restored to his
old quarters in Dublin Castle.'[62] From whom the fatal whisper came
does not appear, but the sequel seems to leave no doubt that to Turner
it was due. MacMahon and other prominent rebels were Presbyterian
clergymen of Ulster. It was an object now with those who desired the
collapse of the conspiracy to detach the Presbyterian party from the
'Papists.' Binns was a staunch Presbyterian rebel, a colleague of
O'Coigly. In a letter dated Philadelphia, 1843, Binns, addressing
Dr. Madden, states that great efforts were used to try and persuade
O'Coigly to implicate him, 'offering Mr. Coigly his life if he would
criminate me agreeable to the instructions of the Government, which
proposal he indignantly refused to accede to. Though heavily ironed, he
pushed the gentlemen out of his cell, when he there lay under sentence
of death.'

We have seen that when severely tried he resorted to snuff. He had
other small consolations. Even in his irons he talked irony. One of
several letters of protest addressed by the priest to Portland, shortly
before his death, tells him that he is 'one of his Grace's envoys
to the other world, charged with tidings of his mild and merciful

As O'Coigly's memory has been all but beatified as a martyr's, it is
due to the interests of historic truth to add--especially after the
remarks of Lord Holland--the following from a letter written by Arthur
O'Connor in 1842:--

  Though there was not legal evidence to prove that the paper found
  in Coigly's coat-pocket was Coigly's, yet, the fact is, it was
  his, and was found in his riding-coat; for when the five prisoners
  were brought to Bow Street, a report was spread that the papers
  taken on the prisoners were lost; for the first time Coigly said
  it was fortunate the papers were lost, for that there was one in
  his pocket that would hang them all. He never made a secret to his
  fellow-prisoners that he got that paper from a London society. In
  my memoirs I will clear up this point.

O'Connor's promised work, however, never appeared.

As regards Dutton, the witness who swore to O'Coigly's handwriting, his
subsequent career was cast on a spot also frequented by Turner.[63]
He is found at Cuxhaven, not very far from Hamburg, and, until 1840,
holding office in its postal and diplomatic departments, and the
husband of a lady well connected.[64] Cuxhaven, as gazetteers record,
was from 1795 a place of the utmost importance for the maintenance of
intercourse between England and the Continent.


[39] _The English in Ireland_, iii. 312.

[40] Allen, a draper's assistant in Dublin, afterwards a colonel in the
service of France.

[41] _Report of the Secret Committee_, p. 31. (Dublin, 1798.)

[42] _Life of the Reverend James Coigly_, p. 28. (London, 1798.)
Halliday Collection, R.I.A., vol. 743.

[43] The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

[44] The Home Secretary.

[45] Camden to Portland, March 1, 1798. _English in Ireland_, iii. 310.

[46] Portland to Camden, March 7, 1798.

[47] In O'Connor's valise were found 900_l._, a military uniform, and
some papers relating to Lord Edward Fitzgerald.--W. J. F.

[48] _Life of Thomas Reynolds_, by his Son. (London, 1839.)

[49] For proofs of the intimacy between Reinhard and Turner at Hamburg,
see _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 277 _et seq._; and my chapter on McNevin,

[50] In August, 1798, Humbert and 900 Frenchmen arrived in Killala Bay.

[51] 'The person' is the name by which Downshire's friend, the
betrayer, is usually styled in the letters from the Home Office to
Dublin Castle. The words, 'while he was in this country,' show that he
had left England, as Downshire's friend admittedly did, in panic.

[52] '_I.e._ in October 1797, when he called upon Downshire; and again
in March 1798, when Portland offered him large sums if he would openly

[53] Mr. Lecky describes this arrest, and rather suggests that it
may have been due to Higgins in Dublin (_vide_ viii. 55). The above
evidence points surely to the Hamburg spy.

[54] See _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 231-6.

[55] Of course one of Turner's many aliases. See p. 97, _infra_.

[56] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, ii. 1-7.

[57] _Ibid._ i. 178.

[58] Dutton, on his examination, said that he had sworn in Ireland
against one 'Lowry.' This is the man whom Turner, in his letters,
constantly points to. Dutton admitted that he had previously sworn
secrecy to the Society of United Irishmen, but the oath had been sworn
only on a spelling-book.

[59] Trial of Arthur O'Connor and James Quigley at Maidstone. Howell's
_State Trials_, vols. xxvi. and xxvii.

[60] Foulkes was the attorney whom Lawless engaged to defend O'Coigly.
Lord Cloncurry, in his _Memoirs_, writes very inaccurately of the
facts. He says that the arrests took place at Whitstable, instead of
Margate, and that O'Coigly was hanged on May 7, whereas he should have
written June. See p. 67.

[61] _Memoirs of the Whig Party._ By Lord Holland, afterwards a Cabinet

[62] Froude's _English in Ireland_, iii. 321.

[63] See p. 31, _infra_.

[64] In the Pelham MSS. is a letter signed Frederick Dutton, regarding
his Vice-Consulate, and dated Dec. 19, 1825.



The letters of secret information in the well-known 'Castlereagh
Correspondence' being mostly without date are inserted regardless of
chronological sequence, and are often, from dearth of explanation,
wholly unintelligible. One of these secret reports follows a letter
of Portland's[65]--to be found later on--regarding the intercepted
memorial which Dr. McNevin had addressed to the French Government. The
particular references to Lord Downshire, to Hamburg, to Fitzgerald, and
to the North of Ireland, of which Turner was a native--not to speak of
his 'tone of injured innocence,' 'the dread of those from whom I come
as to the ascendency of the Papists'--all point to him as the writer.

His tone as usual is hostile to Lewins, a Roman Catholic envoy of
great honesty, whose reputation he is ever seeking to injure; and the
intrigue, it may be added, very nearly succeeded in getting Lewins
superseded. Mr. Froude, it will be remembered, when describing his
unmasked informer writes:

  Lady Edward Fitzgerald had sent him on to Paris with a letter
  to her brother-in-law, General Valence. By Valence he had been
  introduced to Hoche and De la Croix. He had seen Talleyrand and had
  _talked_ at length with him on the condition of Ireland.

It was in February, 1798, that Mr. Froude's spy reappeared in
London.[66] He had interviews at the Home Office, where he received
some instructions, which are not stated. Camden urged Portland to
beg of him to give evidence publicly, and to offer reward to any
amount. But all to no effect. At last it was decided, as the next best
thing to do, 'that he should open a correspondence with the principal
conspirators, by which means you may be apprised of their intentions.'
This is exactly what he is now found doing. On April 17 he goes to
Paris, no doubt sent by the Home Office, to ascertain what arrangement
had been made by O'Coigly and O'Connor as regards the long-sought
French expedition to Ireland.

De la Croix will be chiefly remembered as the Minister for Foreign
Affairs with whom Tone had to do. But he had been personally offensive
to Lord Malmesbury, the English Minister, and M. Talleyrand was
appointed to succeed La Croix on July 15, 1797.[67]

The following letter is to be found in the 'Castlereagh Papers' (i.
231-6), and derives additional importance from its close connection
with Talleyrand:--


  April 17th [1798], arrived in Paris.

  On the 19th waited on the Minister for Foreign Affairs; it being
  Décadi, he was gone to the country. Left my name, and called next
  day, at eleven; instantly admitted; _talked_ over the purport of my
  visit, which I had brought in writing, as follows:--

  'Citizen Minister,--Since I had the honor of seeing you in
  September last, I understand attempts have been made to injure my
  character here by some persons equally despicable as malicious
  (I mean Lewines and his associates), from whom, though United
  Irishmen, I pride myself in differing, both in sentiment and
  conduct; nor should I condescend to answer their infamous

  'I, however, take great pleasure in acquainting you with what I
  have been about, viz., trying to bring over to the side of the
  United Irish what is called the Independent Interest, _alias_ the
  Country Gentlemen, all of whom have commands either in the Yeomanry
  or _Militia_,[69] and to whom the safety of the interior will
  be entrusted, whilst the regular troops march against the enemy.
  These gentlemen have always been much against the Government, but
  feared, in a revolution, the loss of their property, especially
  such as held their estates by grants of Oliver Cromwell. For some
  time past a union has been formed among this body for the purpose
  of forcing England into whatever measures they choose as soon as
  an invasion takes place; all of my most particular friends are of
  this association, and they have infused into the minds of the rest
  the idea that English faith is not to be relied on. In consequence,
  they are all now completely up to the formation of a Republic and a
  separation from Britain, provided the French Directory will give,
  under their seal, the terms and conditions Ireland has a right to
  expect and demands. I took upon me to say France never meant to
  treat Ireland has a conquered country; that, certainly, they would
  expect a contribution towards defraying the great expense incurred
  in supporting the cause of liberty; but what the sum would be, I
  could not take upon me to mention. They insist upon having that
  specified, and any other conditions for this purpose.

  'Citizen Minister, I now apply to you; to none other have I hinted
  my business, and the most profound secrecy will be requisite in
  order to completely deceive the English Government. I shall mention
  to you the channel of correspondence, &c., with the ciphers I'll
  make use of, if it is requisite to write, but which I sha'n't do
  without your permission, and giving you the letter to enclose to

                                      'I have the honour to remain,' &c.

Thus far the letter of Turner to Talleyrand--for Turner it assuredly
is. It does not follow that the Minister believed all he was told.
The quondam Bishop of Autun could read a soul. He was a diplomat,
however, and showed to his visitor that cautious courtesy which he had
learned when a bishop. He who said that speech is given to conceal
thoughts,[71] was not the man to be at once swayed by words. The
despatch now before us had been addressed to the Home Office, and must
be one of the papers Mr. Froude thought destroyed. The copy of his
letter to Talleyrand having been submitted to Portland, the spy thus

  The Minister then said it was a matter extremely interesting, that
  other things were on the _tapis_ at present, but desired I would
  call again on the second uneven day from that, and he'd[72] enter
  into particulars. I did so, and gave him the following letter. He
  said he had laid my first before the Directory; that their opinions
  coincided with his, but that they could not give anything under
  their hands or seal, nor he either; that I had perfectly expressed
  their intentions. I told him this was perfectly satisfactory to me,
  but I feared it would not be so to them. 'Surely,' says he, 'they
  have a confidence in you, and you shall have it from the Directory,
  if you choose.' I said I hoped that would be sufficiently
  satisfactory to my friends, and begged to know when I could see him
  again--the 1st of the next decade, as they were still very busy on
  other matters.

  _Copy of the Letter to Talleyrand._

  'Citizen Minister,--Wishing to give the Government every
  satisfaction on the point of my mission, I now have the honour
  of laying before you every particular. I am extremely glad to
  find it appears to you interesting, which induces me to hope as
  little delay will be given as possible. I think it incumbent on
  me to state to you that the spirit of the North is completely
  broken, and I fear shortly the rest of Ireland will be in the
  same predicament.[73] A vast number of the persons concerned in
  persecuting the United Irish are those from whom I come; for at
  present they dread, and with good reason, the ascendency of this
  body. As soon as you set these gentlemen's minds at ease in regard
  to their property, the business of revolution will get leave to
  go on, and the British Government will find themselves clogged in
  their system of terror, without knowing why. The enclosed paper
  contains the mode in which I am to act, &c., &c. I have the honour,

Turner then adds:--[74]

  Enclosure, containing the ciphers I sent to the Marquess of
  Downshire, and the following postscript:--

  'The intention of the ciphers was, if I thought it requisite to
  write from Paris, to say who I had had communication with and as a
  channel of conveying any intelligence you might allow me to send
  during my stay. The letter to be addressed to Charles Ranken,[75]
  Esq., at Mr. Elliot's, Pimlico, London, to be put in the common
  post-office at Hamburg, and sealed with a particular seal I
  have for the purpose. As soon as I receive the proper paper or
  document, in order to save time, I am to get, if possible, into
  England; if that can't be done with safety, I'm to go to either
  Bremen or Hamburg, write thence to Ranken, who comes over before
  him. I attest the business on oath, and he goes instantly for
  Ireland. Ranken,[76] having been a banker at Belfast, a man of good
  property, and looked on by Government as a friend, can pass and
  repass as if to settle accounts at Hamburg.

  'I beg leave once more to inform you that delay will be looked on,
  I fear, as non-compliance; and, if there's any particular point on
  which you wish for accurate information, I think I can undertake to
  obtain it.'

The spy's letter then proceeds:--

  He (Talleyrand) seemed to disapprove of my venturing to Ireland or
  England; asked me if I knew anything of Fitzgerald.[77]

  Waited on him the first of the following decade; he said nothing
  was resolved on. I asked if the Irish were to wait for their coming
  or not. He said by all means to wait, and not to risk or expose
  themselves. 'May I assure them you'll come in the course of three
  months?' 'No, we cannot fix a time; it may be more, or not so long.
  I shall depend on you to obtain for me as accurate a statement,
  with as much information as you can collect.' I desired to know on
  what particular point, otherwise I should be at a loss; he said
  he could not mention any particular. I then promised as much as I
  could collect in general, with a particular and accurate one of
  Ireland. I then asked if I might venture to assert that the French
  Government would be content with being paid the expense of their
  former expedition, and of that which will be sent; that they will
  leave the Irish to choose a constitution for themselves as soon as
  English influence is destroyed; guaranteeing to every individual
  their property, without respect to old Catholic claims and to their
  political conduct prior to the time of actual invasion. 'You may
  venture to assure them that the property of no individual will be
  seized upon, but the reverse. On the other points we cannot give an
  answer.'--'When shall I see the Directory?'--'On the ninth of this
  decade I shall speak to the President, and you may bring to me one
  of your acquaintance that is known to him, who will introduce you;'
  or that I might go alone, as my name was sufficiently known to him.
  Between that and the 9th I spoke to Abbé Grégoire[78] to accompany
  me; but he declined it, as did Stone;[79] upon which I wrote, on
  the 8th, to the Minister, to say that these two had refused, and
  that they thought he himself ought to do it, or give me a note of
  introduction to the President; but that, if it was disagreeable, I
  would not press the matter further, as I looked on his word as that
  of the Directory, and that I would call next day at the Directory,
  when, if I could get an audience, so much the better; if not, I
  thought it imprudent to wait longer.

  Next day I called at the Directory and sent in my name. I there
  met Duckett,[80] who told me it would be impossible to see any of
  them that day; for a letter, which he had just brought them, which
  came from Leonard Bourdon,[81] would give them, he believed, work
  enough, as he understood it contained some very interesting matter.
  I was to have seen some of them that day likewise; an answer came
  to us both that they were too much occupied. I then went to the
  Minister, and sent in my name, as did, at the same time, Colonel La
  Harpe and the Swiss Deputies. We were all sent off, as he was very
  busy. I left a note with his Secretary, saying I would set out next
  day, which I did, the 20 Floreal, alias Wednesday, the 9th May;
  arrived at Cuxhaven the Wednesday following; sailed the next day,
  landed at Lowestoff on Tuesday morning, got to town [London] that
  night, accompanied by one Jeffrey,[82] who passes himself off for a
  Scotchman, was coming to Yarmouth as an American, was in Paris last
  September, speaks French as a Frenchman, looks extremely like one,
  and lodges at the New Hummums, Covent Garden.

It is quite clear that the above letter was written by the same
nameless spy who poses in Froude's book as 'Lord Downshire's friend.'
'_One_ of his letters, dated November 19, 1797, is preserved,' writes
Mr. Froude; but, no doubt, a few others are preserved too, and may
be found in the correspondence of Lord Castlereagh. How they escaped
destruction is a marvel. Wickham, on January 11, 1799, writes,
regarding 'United Irishmen' at Hamburg: 'The enclosed very curious
papers the Duke of Portland desires may be laid before the Lord
Lieutenant, _and afterwards destroyed_.'

So careful was the spy of his reputation that he vouchsafes not a
signature. Internal evidence, however, shows that he was the man who
made his disclosure to Downshire, and was by him put in correspondence
with Portland.

From the letter just quoted it appears that, after his efforts to pick
news from Talleyrand and fish in Irish channels at Paris, he returned,
_viâ_ Cuxhaven, to London, where he arrived on Tuesday night, May 15,
1798. This date is worthy of note. The spy feared to show himself in
London and felt that his life was unsafe. What brings him back to
London on May 15, 1798? His favourite post was Cuxhaven or Hamburg.
O'Coigly, Binns, and Leary, though arrested in March _en route_ to
France, were not put on their trial until Monday, May 21, 1798. This
case is reported at extraordinary length in Howell's 'State Trials'
and would fill a volume. Scott, afterwards Lord Eldon, prosecuted.
The mass of secret information which the Crown contrived to acquire
strikes very forcibly. Letters written in cipher by O'Coigly to Lord
Edward Fitzgerald and others are translated and expounded by Scott.
All the parties concerned in the conspiracy had false names. Mrs.
Mathiessen[83] is called 'Marks;' 'a man going to William's,' means
'going to France,' etc. It was largely on evidence of this sort that
O'Coigly was convicted and hanged.[84]

The betrayer tells Talleyrand that 'the spirit of the North was
completely broken.' In point of fact, however, it was in the North that
the real martial spirit of the United Irishmen blazed, and there the
best battles were afterwards fought under the leadership of Orr and
Monroe. Turner was anxious to make the French turn their thoughts of
invasion to other points on the Irish coast, and he so far succeeded
that in August, 1798, Humbert's expedition, embracing not 1,000
men, landed at Killala, among the starved and unarmed peasantry of
Connaught. He calculated on meeting enthusiastic support; but, as Mr.
Lecky says, it soon became apparent how fatally he had been deceived.
After winning one battle, and losing another, Humbert surrendered to

'May I assure them that you'll come in three months?' Talleyrand is
asked. The object of this and other questions, which, to a casual
reader, seem hardly consistent with Turner's treachery to his friends,
is now pretty plain. Great doubt prevailed as to whether an invasion
of Ireland was really to be attempted. The First Consul blew hot and
cold upon it. If the spy, as an envoy of the United Irishmen, could
only extort from Talleyrand an explicit reply in writing avowing the
intention to invade, and telling the exact time on which the descent on
Ireland was to be made, England would thus be well prepared, and her
fleet able to destroy the French armament as she had already destroyed
that of De Winter. Why Bonaparte, at first so anxious for invasion,
should have changed his mind, is explained, in the recently published
Memoirs of Gouverneur Morris, as due to the conflicting reports of
Irish envoys. At St. Helena he told Las Cases that his mistake in '98
was to have gone to Egypt and not to Ireland.[85]

Mr. Froude states that the betrayer had discovered one of the objects
of the Papists to be the seizure of property, and had determined
to separate himself from the conspiracy. Attention is requested to
that part of the foregoing letter[86] where the writer refers to
the Cromwellian holders of estates in Ireland, and asks that every
individual be guaranteed his property without respect to old Catholic
claims and to their political conduct prior to the time of actual
invasion. Samuel Turner represented some of the Cromwellian Settlers,
and 'his most particular friends,' as he calls them, were amongst those
who held grants of land in succession to the old Papist proprietary.
The descendants of these men viewed invasion with alarm, lest their
lands should go, just as the property of the Papists had already

Talleyrand's caution in talking with Turner contrasts with the freedom
with which he opened his mind on the same subject to his _confrères_.
A very important book was published in 1890 at Paris by M. Pallain,
'Talleyrand sous le Directoire.' It depicts his diplomatic life, and
gives the pith of his despatches. From Turner and Duckett he probably
derived some impressions regarding Great Britain and Ireland. He
augurs well from the Irish rebellion, which has been 'cemented,' adds
Talleyrand, 'by the blood of celebrated victims.' The first victim was
the Rev. William Jackson, in 1794. Talleyrand urges the invasion of
Ireland and the establishment of an Irish Republic 'for the instruction
or chastisement of England.' 'Nelson's fleet,' he says, 'is manned
almost exclusively by Irishmen,' and that their patriotism 'will teach
them to see in the English their oppressors and enemies.' Talleyrand's
sketch of 'Irish Landed Proprietors' is full and curious.

Another man who, besides Talleyrand and Grégoire, dealt cautiously with
Turner was Stone, as Turner in his secret letter to the Home Office
admits. Stone had been tried in England for high treason and sent into
exile.[88] At Hamburg and at Paris he belonged to the set mentioned
by Mr. Froude's cloaked spy[89] as including Lady Edward Fitzgerald
(Pamela), Lady Lucy Fitzgerald, Mrs. Matthiessen, and General Count
Valence. Madame de Genlis in her 'Memoirs' mentions Stone conjointly
with her daughter Madame de Valence and her 'niece' Pamela.[90]


[65] See _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 251. See also chapter vii. of the
present volume.

[66] Froude, iii. 301.

[67] See _M. de Talleyrand_, par M. de Villemarest, ch. viii.; _Hist.
du Directoire_, par M. de Barante, liv. iv.

[68] Of infidelity to the rebel cause.

[69] Mr. Froude, speaking of 'the second arrest of two of the leading
committees of Belfast,' says (iii. 237) that 'Lake seized papers
which revealed the correspondence with France, the extent of the
revolutionary armament, and the measures taken for the seduction of the
army and militia. The papers were sent to Dublin and were laid before a
secret committee.' See also correspondence _in re_ McNevin's Memorial,
ch. vii. _infra_.

[70] The spy sought to deceive the French Government in this report.
The Cromwellian Settlers never thought of joining the United Irishmen.
One of Turner's objects seems to have been to get a written undertaking
from Talleyrand that the estates of these Settlers should be left
intact, and money sent to promote an alleged treasonable conspiracy of
Cromwellian Settlers against England, but which, in point of fact, did
not exist. The Ulster Presbyterians were, no doubt, rebels; but these
men were the descendants, not of the Cromwellian adventurers, but of
King James's Planters.

[71] This phrase is assigned to Talleyrand by Harel in the _Nain
Jaune_; but the thought had been previously expressed by another
bishop, _i.e._ Jeremy Taylor.

[72] The contractions 'he'd' and 'sha'n't' are entirely consistent with
Turner's 'you'll' in the letter to Downshire, transcribed by me from
the Pelham MSS. See p. 50, _infra_; also Turner's acknowledged letter
to Cooke, p. 97.

[73] This alternate blowing of hot and cold worked its end. A long
letter from the Home Office furnishing secret items to Dublin
Castle goes on to say (_Castlereagh_, ii. 361): 'Lewins had often
complained that the conduct of the French Government had been hitherto
so indecisive with respect to Ireland that all their projects had
naturally failed.' However, it was admitted by Talleyrand that 'Ireland
was the only vulnerable part of the British Empire.'

[74] The Cabinet, Mr. Froude says, was kept in utter ignorance of his
name, and in the most secret despatches of the Home Office he is known
only as 'Lord Downshire's friend.' These precautions will remind us of
the cipher of the Louvais despatches, which has hitherto baffled all
efforts to identify the Man in the Iron Mask.

[75] The narrative of Edward J. Newell--the spy who turned against
his employers--states (London, 1798, p. 59) that he was asked to give
information 'against Charles Rankin and others for high treason.'

[76] Our spy often refers to Rankin and others of Belfast: 'He [the
betrayer] had fled with others from Belfast at the general dispersion
of the leaders,' writes Mr. Froude, iii. 280.

[77] Whatever he knew of Lord Edward Fitzgerald is told in the first
letter. See pp. 5, 6, _ante_.

[78] This was Henri Grégoire, the celebrated Bishop of Blois--a most
influential member of the National Convention, and afterwards of the
Council of Five Hundred. The _aplomb_ of our spy in hailing such men
as friends will be appreciated. Grégoire was a cautious man, who
voted against the divorce of Napoleon and Joséphine, and opposed the
Emperor's marriage with Marie-Thérèse. During the 'Reign of Terror,'
when urged to follow the Archbishop of Paris and abjure his priestly
duties, he refused. B. 1750, d. 1831.

[79] Stone, see p. 33 _infra_.

[80] Duckett, an Irish rebel agent, falsely suspected by Tone of being
a spy, will figure in chapter x.

[81] See p. 110 _infra_.

[82] Possibly John Jeffrey, brother of Francis. He was a Scotchman, and
usually resided in America (_Life of Jeffrey_, by Lord Cockburn, i.
50). How completely a Republican spirit possessed him is shown by his
brother's letters to him in 1797, beginning 'My dear Citizen' (ii. 30
_et seq._). The subsequent Lord Jeffrey was also a democrat, and his
movements may have been shadowed, as those of Coleridge notoriously

[83] See Froude, iii. 283, or _ante_.

[84] Compare letter from 'Castlereagh to Wickham,' p. 44 _ante_.

[85] _Mémoires de Sainte-Hélène._

[86] The precise and careful wording is that of a lawyer, which Turner

[87] Mr. J. P. Prendergast, in his _Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland_,
prints, from original MSS., a 'list of adventurers for land in Ireland'
(p. 417). Among them we find: 'Samuel Turner of London, merchant
taylor, £200.' 'Richard Turner, senior and junior, taylors, £200.'
These persons are also found subscribing the same sum, he adds, as
'adventurers, for the sea-service' (p. 417). The hereditary feelings
and predilections of a Cromwellian Settler can be traced in the letter
to Talleyrand.

[88] I find in the contents of the long-sealed chest at Dublin Castle,
'The Examination of Samuel Rogers, of Cornhill, Banker,' regarding
his relations with Stone, dated May 10, 1794. With it is preserved
an autograph statement by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, technically
called his examination, embracing ten folios, dated May 9, 1794, and
explaining his intercourse with Stone.

[89] _Vide_ p. 5, _ante_.

[90] _Memoirs of Madame de Genlis_, iv. 130-36.



Discoveries and arrests now multiplied, despite the care with which
Reinhard and Lady Edward persuaded themselves that all negotiations had
been fenced.

Lord Cloncurry in his Memoirs writes of his 'dear friend Lord Edward
Fitzgerald,' and readers of that book will remember the touching
narrative given of the writer's arrest and long confinement in the
Tower. This peer seeks to show that he himself was innocent of treason,
but Mr. Froude states, after studying the letters of Lord Downshire's
friend, that 'Lord Cloncurry was a sworn member of the Revolutionary
Committee.'[91] The betrayer's first interview with Downshire took
place on October 8, 1797. In that interview he ranked among the marked
men, Lawless, afterwards Lord Cloncurry. During the next month we
find his movements narrowly watched. One of Mr. Froude's sensational
surprises is a statement in reference to this subsequent British Peer
and Privy Councillor. Pelham, Chief Secretary for Ireland, writing to
the Home Office on November 7, 1797, refers to the fact--if fact it

  'Mr. Lawless, Lord Cloncurry's eldest son, is going to England
  this night, charged with an answer to a message lately received
  from France. I have sent Captain D'Auvergne in the packet with Mr.
  Lawless, with directions to find where he means to go in London,
  and to give you immediate information.'[92]

A story never loses in its carriage; and Portland was perturbed by the
news. The Hamburg spy, who was the first to mention Lawless's name, was
now consulted.

Two secret letters from the Home Office, dated June 8, 1798,
and printed in Lord Castlereagh's 'Correspondence,' speak of a
communication received from '_a person_ in Hamburg,' and how

  'His Majesty's confidential servants have found it necessary to
  take into custody and detain several natives of Ireland, now
  resident here, of whose intimate connection and correspondence with
  the leaders and inciters of the present rebellion in Ireland there
  was no room whatever to doubt.... Communicate this information to
  the Lord Lieutenant, that the Honourable Mr. L----, Mr. S., of
  Acton,[93] and Messrs. T., A., and C.,[94] of the Temple, have been
  apprehended here, and Messrs. McG---- and D---- at Liverpool;[95]
  and that warrants for apprehending the following have been granted:
  Dr. O'K----, C----[96] of Abbey Street, Dublin, and Mr. H----.[97]

Lord Cloncurry states that the Duke of Leinster, Curran, and Grattan,
who happened to be visiting him, were also taken into custody; but
this statement is not wholly borne out by contemporary accounts.

Wickham's second letter of June 8, 1798, recurs to the arrests and
speaks of 'most secret, though accurate, intelligence received from
Hamburg,' adding:--

  There are some papers found in Mr. Lawless's possession that tend
  directly to show his connection with some of the most desperate
  of the Republican party here, as well as with those who are in
  habitual communication with the French agents at _Hamburgh_, and
  his Grace is in daily expectation of some material evidence _from
  that place_, tending more directly to implicate that gentleman in a
  treasonable correspondence with the enemy.[98]

'Braughall' was another name which will be found in the list written
out by Downshire from his visitor's dictation. Lord Cloncurry, in his
Memoirs, describes Braughall as 'his business agent and confidential
friend;' while Tone constantly refers to him in cordial terms. The
newspapers of the day record his arrest and how 'papers of a very
seditious nature were found in his house.'[99] Among them was a letter
from Lawless urging him to contribute to the defence of unfortunate
O'Coigly, and mentioning that 'Little Henry' had munificently
subscribed. This passage, Lord Cloncurry states, was interpreted at
Dublin Castle as referring to Henry Grattan, though the writer meant
Mr. Henry of Straffan, brother-in-law to Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and
as the result of this mistake Grattan was placed under arrest, but
speedily liberated.

A memoir of O'Coigly is furnished by Dr. Madden in the first edition of
his 'United Irishmen,' and embodies information derived from Cloncurry.
Deferring to the Hon. Mr. Lawless, when in London, he says: 'Every
Irishman who frequented his house was vigilantly watched by _agents of
a higher department than the police_.' Pelham says that he sent Captain
D'Auvergne on board the packet with Lawless, charged to find out where
he went to in London; and it would seem that during the tedious journey
of those days, Lawless suspected D'Auvergne's mission. 'The agent of a
higher department than the police' would also apply to Turner, who was
in London at this time. Who was the detective who had his berth next to
young Lawless on board the boat, sat and chatted with him in the coach
to London, and afterwards dogged his steps? Letters furnishing secret
information, and signed 'Captain D'Auvergne, Prince of Bouillon,' may
be found in the 'Castlereagh Papers.'[100] This personage represented
an old and illustrious French family. The Prince, finding his patrimony
sequestered during the Revolution, looked out for a livelihood, and
seems to have been not fastidious as to the sort. Cloncurry states
that when bidding good night at the house of a friend, he would say,
'I haven't the conscience to keep my poor spy shivering longer in the
cold.' After 1798, D'Auvergne's usual post was Jersey, whence his
letters in the 'Castlereagh Papers' are dated, and furnish the fruit
of espionage, including all warlike preparations made by the French at

Mr. Froude quotes a letter from Portland, part of which is to the
same effect as that already given, and announcing the discovery of
important papers 'in Mr. Lawless's [Cloncurry's] possession that tend
directly to show his connection with some of the most desperate of
the Republican party in England, as well as with those who are in
habitual communication with the French agents at Hamburg; and yet,'
he continued, 'under present circumstances, and with evidence of the
nature of that of which the Government here is in possession, strong
and decisive as it is, none of those persons can be brought to trial
without exposing secrets of the last importance to the State, the
revealing of which may implicate the safety of the two kingdoms.'[102]
But although the leading men could not be brought to trial, it was
fit to hold them fast, that thus the teeth of the conspiracy might be
drawn. One important man--Stewart of Acton--was certainly let out on
bail; but he was a cousin of Lord Castlereagh's.

These rough notes ought not to close without some notice of a reply
to Portland's criminatory remarks, which the late Lord Cloncurry has
placed on record. When the 'Castlereagh Papers' appeared he was an
octogenarian and enjoying, it is to be hoped, an unimpaired memory; but
it is an open secret that the book known as 'Lord Cloncurry's Personal
Memoirs' was fully prepared for publication, and its style strengthened
throughout, by a practised writer connected with the Tory press of
Dublin, and who believed that Cloncurry had been wrongly judged in 1798.

  As to the papers alleged by Mr. Wickham to have been found in my
  possession, [Lord Cloncurry is supposed to write] and tending
  directly to show my connection with some of the most desperate
  of the Republican party in London and Hamburgh, I now solemnly
  declare that I believe the statement to be _a pure fiction_,
  and that no papers were found, as I am most certain that, with
  my knowledge, no papers existed which could have had any such
  tendency, more directly or indirectly than, perhaps, a visiting
  ticket of Arthur O'Connor's, or a note from O'Coigly in acceptance
  of my invitation to dinner.[103]

On the other hand, it is stated in a letter to the Home Office, dated
July 24, 1799, that rebel despatches had been regularly addressed to
Mr. Lawless in the Temple, 'whose fate,' it is added, 'is much lamented
at Paris.'[104] Lord Cloncurry himself admits that in the autumn of
1797 he was elected--but without his desire or knowledge--a member
of the Executive Directory of the United Irishmen, 'when, for the
first and only time, I attended a meeting held at Jackson's in Church
Street.'[105] This date furnished fresh proof of the promptitude and
accuracy of Turner's information to Downshire (supplied also in the
autumn of 1797)--information which revealed the adhesion of Lawless,
afterwards Lord Cloncurry, to the Executive Directory. Jackson's name
is also to be found in the list as dictated by Turner. Of course
Lawless must have been already a United Irishman, or he could not
be eligible for election to a seat in the Directory. Binns, who was
arrested with O'Connor and O'Coigly at Margate, says: 'Coigly was no
stranger to Lawless; he made him a United Irishman in his father's
house, in Merrion Street, Dublin.'[106] Cloncurry's Memoirs state
merely that O'Coigly, who was the finest-looking man he had ever seen,
presented to him a letter of introduction, descriptive of Orange
persecution, which it was alleged he had suffered.

Lawless and O'Coigly had opinions in common; and both were much
together in London. The former never forgave O'Connor for having--as he
said--unfairly sacrificed O'Coigly during the trials at Maidstone.[107]
In collecting evidence to hang the priest, renewed attention fell upon
Lawless. His first imprisonment lasted for six weeks. On April 14,
1799, on the eve of his marriage with Miss Ryall, who at last died
of a 'broken heart,' he was again arrested on Portland's warrant and
committed to the Tower, where he remained two years. Lord Cloncurry
states that his father, in dread of confiscation following his son,
left away from him 65,000_l._ However, the Irish rebel lived to become
a British peer, a Privy Councillor, and the adviser of successive
Viceroys. Dr. Madden, who received much help from Cloncurry when
compiling his 'Lives of the United Irishmen,' states that Robert Emmet
dined with this peer in Paris, previous to leaving France on his
ill-fated enterprise; and Madden, in his second edition (ii. 137), says
he knows not how to reconcile the account of the interview, as supplied
in 'Cloncurry's Personal Memoirs,' with a verbal account of the same
given by his lordship to himself.

The list noted by Downshire from the dictation of his visitor, though
complete as regards the Rebel Executive of 1797, far from embraced
all the names which more careful thought must have brought to the
recollection of the informer. It had now become second nature to him
to discharge, almost daily, letters of fatal aim, jeopardising the
lives and reputations of men who implicitly trusted him. He also, as it
appears, 'opened a correspondence' with leading United Irishmen. It is
not sought to be conveyed that all the information came from Turner;
but the following remarks of Mr. Froude, although they repeat a few
names already mentioned, are important, as connecting 'Lord Downshire's
friend' with the harvest of captures in midsummer 1798:--

  Every day was bringing to the private knowledge of the Cabinet
  how widely the mischief had spread, _as the correspondence which
  continued with Lord Downshire's friend added to the list of
  accomplices_. Lord Cloncurry's son was no sooner arrested, than
  Stewart of Acton, a young Agar, a young Tennent, young Curran,
  McGuckin, Dowdall, and twenty others,[108] whose names never came
  before the public, were found to be as deeply compromised as

The question was even mooted as to whether he and others should not
be excepted by name from the Bill of Indemnity, or even specially
attainted by a Bill of Pains and Penalties, in consideration of the
impossibility of convicting them by the ordinary course of the law.[110]

Turner's knowledge and duties as a United Irishman having been mainly
confined to Ulster, it seemed strange that one of the Northern
Committee could be so intimate with O'Connor and Lord Edward. Even in
the betrayer's first interview with Downshire he reveals much intimate
acquaintance with both. All this can be readily understood now. In
November, 1796, O'Connor took a house near Belfast, preparatory to
offering himself for the representation of Antrim. Dr. Madden states
that Lord Edward and O'Connor lived together for some months, and
during their stay maintained friendly intercourse with the Northern
leaders.[111] Soon after we find the command in Ulster assigned to
O'Connor. 'Arthur O'Connor,' resumes Mr. Froude, describing the events
of December, 1797, 'after spending a few months in the Castle,'[112]
had been released on bail, Thomas Addis Emmet and Lord Edward
Fitzgerald being his securities. _"The person" who had come to Lord
Downshire_ had revealed the secret of the visit to Switzerland; but
without betraying his authority Camden could not again order O'Connor's
arrest.'[113] After an interval, however, and at a critical moment,
O'Connor was apprehended anew, and he remained a State prisoner until

At an early stage of this chase I met with the seeming difficulty that
the name of Samuel Turner appears in the list of leading rebels which
'_the person_' gave to Lord Downshire.[114] In undertaking to give a
complete list of the Executive Committee, he could not well omit his
own name. No doubt to invest it with increased importance, he puts it
next after those of Lord Edward and Arthur O'Connor (the nephew of
Lord Longueville), and before Stewart of Acton and the future Lord
Cloncurry. The act is consistent with the usual swagger of the man, and
shows the ingenuity by which he hoped to baffle all subsequent evidence
of his treachery.

Lord Camden writes: 'The intelligence with which we are furnished
would, if certain persons could be brought forward, be sufficient to
bring the conspiracy to light, defeat its ill consequences, and make a
salutary impression on the minds of the people.'[115] 'Unfortunately,'
comments Mr. Froude, '"certain persons" declined to be brought forward.
Pelham, when in London, made _large offers to Lord Downshire's friend_,
but without effect.'


[91] Froude, iii. 287.

[92] This announcement had its origin in one of the secret letters
of McNally (MSS. Dublin Castle). Lawless was to sail for London
'to-morrow night,' he wrote, 'and ought to be watched every hour'; but
nothing is said of the answer to France, of which Pelham declares he
was the bearer. McNally lived in Dublin, was a United Irishman, and
confidential lawyer of the body, but had been bought over. The strange
story of his life is told in a succeeding chapter. This man was now
asked to find out all he could about Lawless.

[93] Lord Castlereagh, in a letter addressed to Colonel Lord William
Bentinck, dated, Dublin Castle, June 24, 1798, and given to me by Mr.
Huband Smith, states that, according to the information received, 'Mr.
Stewart had accepted the post of Adjutant-General for Armagh in the
rebel army. Bentinck, writing to General Nugent three days later, says
that Stewart, when his prisoner, 'confessed to me privately that he was
a United Irishman.' This tends to show how generally accurate was the
information communicated through Downshire.

[94] Trenor, Agar, and Curran. Trenor was the secretary of Lawless.
Cloncurry's Memoirs state (p. 68) that the hardships to which Trenor
was exposed brought on illness and caused his death.

[95] It appears from a letter of Wickham's (_Castlereagh_, i. 313) that
the two men arrested at Liverpool were McGuckin and Dowdall.

[96] The _Dublin Directory_ for 1798 records the name of 'John
Chambers, 5, Abbey Street.' Here again the handiwork of Downshire's
'friend' is traceable. The private list of the executive, which he
gave him, includes Chambers's name. Mr. Chambers, grandson of the
above, tells me that when the warrant was issued, a judge of unpopular
antecedents hid the rebel in his house.

[97] The imprisonment of Hamilton, the nephew of Russell, is noticed in
the letter from Hamburg. _Castlereagh Papers_, ii. 5.

[98] Wickham to Castlereagh, Whitehall, June 8, 1798.

[99] McNally's secret letters, scores of which I have read in MS.,
make frequent mention of Braughall as a man with whom he was intimate;
and it is likely that the news of Lawless's intended journey to
England came from Braughall innocently. McNally, while incriminating
others, uniformly seeks to exculpate Braughall, whose counsel he was
(MS. letter of May 25, 1798). On June 13, 1798, he expresses his
opinion that 'Braughall is an enemy to force'; and a characteristic
hint drops: 'If Braughall could be made a friend--and I do believe
he is not disinclined to be one, for I know he always reprobates
tumult--his influence is great, and his exertions would go far to
restore peace.' Braughall had been secretary to the Catholic Committee,
and is repeatedly mentioned by Tone in his Journal. A fine portrait of
Braughall, in oils, may be seen in the boardroom of the Royal Dublin
Society, of which he was secretary. After his arrest, this picture
was relegated to a cellar of the institution; but, thanks to Lord J.
Butler, it has been recently unearthed and restored. He died in 1803.

[100] _Castlereagh_, i. 250, 373, 382; ii. 104, 162, &c.

[101] He obtained the rank of Post-Captain, R.N., in 1784; and at the
time that he was with Lord Camden at Dublin Castle he commanded the
'Bravo' gunboat. In 1805 he was gazetted 'Rear-Admiral of the Blue.'
His name crops up now and then in the Wellington Correspondence.
Thus, on November 15, 1814, when the Bourbons had been restored,
this gentleman, now signing himself 'D'Auvergne, Duke of Bouillon,
&c.' writes from 'Bagatelle, Jersey,' thanking his Grace for the
condescending interest he had shown in recovering for him the small
sovereignty of Bouillon. _Vide_ also a piquant memoir of His Serene
Highness Philip d'Auvergne, Prince de Bouillon, in _Public Characters_
for 1800-1, pp. 545, 561. His father, though of ancient lineage,
embarked in commercial pursuits; and it is added that at Jersey 'a
multitude of spies were kept in constant pay.' A love of epistolary
intrigue seems to have been hereditary with Captain d'Auvergne, Prince
of Bouillon. History records that Cardinal d'Auvergne Bouillon, 'during
the War of the Succession, held a culpable correspondence with the
enemy, _i.e._ Marlborough, Orrery, and Galloway.

[102] Portland to Camden, June 8.--S. P. O.

[103] _Personal Recollections of Lord Cloncurry._

[104] _Castlereagh Papers_, ii. 361.

[105] _Personal Recollections of Lord Cloncurry_, p. 38.

[106] Purchased by the father of Lord Cloncurry from Lord Mornington
(Cloncurry's _Recollections_, p. 8). In this house the Duke of
Wellington was most certainly born in 1769, though his Grace was
himself ignorant of the fact, as his Census return, in 1850, shows. It
is now the headquarters of the Land Commission.

[107] Statement of Lord Cloncurry to Mr. O'Neill Daunt.

[108] Stewart of Acton, Tennent, McGuckin, Hamilton, and many of the
twenty others, were all, like Turner, belonging to the Ulster branch of
the organisation.

[109] Froude, iii. 418; see also p. 20, _ante_.

[110] _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 163.

[111] _Lives and Times of the United Irishmen_, ii. 13.

[112] Birmingham Tower, Dublin Castle.

[113] _The English in Ireland_, iii. 288. The above passage serves to
show that the important arrests made by the Lord-Lieutenant in Ireland
were largely due to 'the person' who whispered in Downshire's ear.

[114] See this list, p. 7, _ante_.

[115] Camden to Portland, December 2, 1797.



Mr. Froude, quoting from the betrayer's letter to Downshire,
writes:--'I went to Harley Street, where Fitz[116] told me of the
conduct of the Catholics to him and his friends. He said he would
prevail on O'Connor, or some such,[117] to go to Paris; if not, he
would go himself, in order to have Lewins removed.'

Lord Edward came to this decision obviously on the representations
made by his false friend regarding Lewins. The false friend will
be found impugning Lewins on every opportunity. Turner and Lewins,
it may be repeated, clashed as rival envoys; Lewins, a Catholic,
represented the Leinster Directory, while Turner claimed to represent
the Northern. Turner worked his pen and tongue to such purpose that
he at last succeeded in convincing Lord Edward of Lewins's treachery.
Binns, in his narrative, states that 'O'Coigly had been commissioned
by the Executive to supersede Lewins in Paris, _whom some suspected of
betraying the interests of Ireland_.'[118]

The letter from Hamburg (first revealed by Mr. Froude) continues:--

  Mrs. Matthieson[119] has just heard from Lady Lucy that O'Connor is
  come. I supped last night with Valence, who mentioned his having
  introduced Lord Edward[120] and O'Connor to the Minister here[121]
  in the summer before the French attempted to invade Ireland.[122]
  They both went to Switzerland, whence O'Connor passed into France,
  had an interview with Hoche, and everything was planned.

  I feared lest Government might not choose to ratify our contract,
  and, being in their power, would give me my choice either to come
  forward as an evidence or suffer martyrdom myself. Having no taste
  for an exit of this sort, I set out and arrived here safe, and now
  beg you will let me know if anything was wrong in my statements, or
  if I have given offence....

One of the many unexplained letters in the Castlereagh Correspondence
finds its keynote here. In August, 1798, Wickham, of the Home Office,
writes as follows to Castlereagh, who then held O'Connor a prisoner in
Dublin.[123] Wickham's object, though shrouded in mystery, was no doubt
to check the accuracy of 'Lord Downshire's friend,' and to weigh the
marketable value of his services:--

  It would be a great satisfaction to me, personally, were O'Connor
  to be questioned on the object of his journey to Switzerland with
  Lord Edward Fitzgerald in 1796, and whether they, or either of
  them, were in France at that time, and what French agents they saw
  besides M. Barthélemy. I was absent with the Austrian army at the
  time of their arrival, so that I lost the opportunity of observing
  their motions.[124] If either of them went into France, which I
  am persuaded they did, I should be curious, for very particular
  reasons, to know whether they went in by way of Basle, and whether
  their passports were given in their own names. Should there be no
  impropriety in questioning O'Connor on these points, as I have said
  before, it would be a great satisfaction to me that it should be

Fifty pages may be turned ere the answer to this letter comes. It is
headed '_Secret_,' and bears date 'Dublin Castle, August 17, 1798.' All
my circumstantial evidence, aiming to show that Turner is the man whom
Mr. Froude could not identify, is crowned by this letter. Castlereagh
thus replies to Wickham:--

  'Secret.                            'Dublin Castle: August 17, 1798.

  'I have endeavoured to obey your commands in examining Mr.
  O'Connor as to the object of his journey to Switzerland with Lord
  Edward Fitzgerald. At first he declined answering to this point,
  considering himself as only bound to state the facts which came
  to his knowledge after he became a United Irishman, of which body
  he was not then a member. Upon being pressed, without mentioning
  names, he stated it thus:--In the summer of 1796, as set forth
  in the Memoir, an agent was sent to France to arrange with the
  Directory the plan of invasion. This person went to Hamburg; from
  thence, accompanied by his friend, to Switzerland; neither went to
  Paris, but the person employed _had an interview_ near the French
  frontier with a person high in the confidence of the Directory;
  upon a communication with whom everything was settled.[126] The
  reason neither proceeded to Paris was lest the English Government,
  in whose pay most of the officers in Paris were supposed[127] to
  be, should suspect the design, and arrest the persons on their

  'This perfectly agrees with Richardson's information, which states
  that Lord Edward and O'Connor met Hoche, and arranged the invasion.
  '_R---- states that O'Connor went into France_; if he did, it was
  only a short distance merely to meet Hoche, and, from what O'Connor
  said, Lord E. seemed to be the principal.'

The above paragraph is one of much importance. Richardson I have
discovered to be another alias of the hydra-headed Turner. Distinct
proof of this will be found presently. Castlereagh continues:--

  'Should I succeed in drawing from him any further information on
  this point, I shall have great pleasure in transmitting it. He
  further stated that, when taken in Kent,[128] although he had not
  authorised any person to hire a vessel direct for France, but
  rather looked to reach a Dutch port, yet his real object was to
  pass through Switzerland into France, and fairly confessed that,
  had he reached Paris, he should not have been idle, as, though not
  charged with any special commission, he did believe the Directory
  would have considered him as an accredited agent.'[129]

Ordinary students of history are not free to search the papers of
the Home Office, London after the date 1760; and the present writer
ventured to ask Mr. Lecky whether he had met the name of Turner in his
inquiries. The object of Mr. Lecky's history is distinct from mine,
and his researches have taken a different direction; but he could not
fail to observe, he said, that the Government correspondence threw
not much light on questions of espionage, 'for names of informers,'
he adds, 'are nearly always concealed.' However, on referring to his
notes, it appeared that '_Richardson_' was the pseudonym of Samuel
Turner. While thanking my correspondent, I thought it well to remind
him that in the 'Castlereagh Papers'[130] 'Furnes' is stated to be the
alias for this man. And I added, in order to guard against mistake,
that one Thomas Richardson, a Liberal magistrate for Tyrone, was
confined, in 1797, with Neilson and Teeling. The historian's reply is
very satisfactory:[131] 'Samuel Turner wrote his letters to the British
Government under the name of Richardson. This,' adds Mr. Lecky, 'is
not a matter of inference, but of distinct proof.'

Once only 'Richardson' is mentioned in 'Castlereagh.' It was the
false name by which the Home Office, when obliged to communicate
with Dublin Castle, masked Samuel Turner, LL.D., of the Irish Bar.
Lord Castlereagh's letter to the Home Office confirms the intimate
knowledge possessed by Turner of the doings of O'Connor and Lord Edward
Fitzgerald. O'Connor was now--August, 1798--in an Irish dungeon; and
Lord Castlereagh having, as he says, pressed him to answer certain
questions, adds: '_This perfectly agrees with Richardson's information,
which states that Lord Edward and O'Connor met Hoche and arranged the

Besides his horror of martyrdom by the knife, Turner had a lively dread
of the martyrdom of exposure and social ostracism. Jackson's trial in
1794 had the effect of deterring approvers. Curran's skill in torturing
such persons was marvellous; and Mr. Froude declares that he stretched
Cockayne as painfully as ever the rack-master of the Tower stretched
a Jesuit. 'He made him confess that he had been employed by Pitt, and
showed that, if Jackson was a traitor to the State, Cockayne was a far
blacker traitor to the friend who trusted him.'[132]

'Richardson' is now shown to be the same man as he who gave his
information to Downshire; and that 'Richardson' was an assumed name
for Samuel Turner.[133] Thus the question of identity is established
without appealing to further evidence. But inasmuch as my efforts
to track Turner open up facts long forgotten, and others new to the
historian, some readers may not object to follow.

As regards Lord Edward's meeting with Hoche, more than once referred
to in Turner's letter to Lord Downshire and in the correspondence of
the Home Office, M. Guillon, a recent investigator,[134] could find no
trace of it in the French official archives. Special efforts were made
at the time to veil this historic interview. No wonder, therefore, that
Mr. Froude, in introducing the information furnished by Downshire's
mysterious visitor, points specially to the secret meeting with Hoche,
and how Hoche himself had not revealed it even to Tone.[135]

Wickham was but carrying out Portland's behest in signifying to
Castlereagh that O'Connor, then a prisoner, should be questioned on
points of which the Home Office had acquired private knowledge. On
August 23, 1798, the same polite pumping of O'Connor is urged--a task
fraught with no great labour to a man of Castlereagh's tact and powers
of persuasion. 'A _private_ communication,' Wickham writes, 'of the
names of the persons with whom Mr. O'Connor corresponded abroad, would
answer _the particular purpose_ required by the Duke of Portland.' The
'particular' object is not explained. It was probably that the spy
might, as previously suggested, cultivate epistolary relations with the
men whom O'Connor[136] would admit to have been his correspondents.[137]

Teeling, one of the Northern leaders, who had been closely associated
with Turner, gives a curious glimpse of the easy intercourse which
Castlereagh would maintain with his captives. Sometimes he made the
arrests himself in the first instance, and afterwards could charm
his prisoners by drawing silken bonds around them. Teeling was
accompanied by his father on horseback, when 'we met,' he writes,
'Lord Castlereagh, who accosted us with his usual courtesy. We had
proceeded up the street of Lisburn together, when, having reached the
house of his uncle, the Marquis of Hertford, we were about to take
leave of his lordship. "I regret," said he, addressing my father,
"that your son cannot accompany you," conducting me at the same moment
through the outer gate, which, to my inexpressible astonishment, was
instantly closed, and I found myself surrounded by a military guard.'
Teeling, later on, describes a visit paid by Castlereagh to him when a

  Fatigued, and apparently much dispirited, Lord Castlereagh entered
  the room. He possessed the most fascinating manner and engaging
  address, with a personal appearance peculiarly attractive, and
  certainly not in character with the office he had that day assumed.
  For though national pride was extinct in his soul, the graces of
  nature were not effaced from the form, nor the polished manners of
  the gentleman forgotten in the uncourteous garb of the officer of
  police. He regretted that in his absence I had been subjected to
  the painful restraint of an additional guard. It was not his desire
  that they should have been placed within my room. A slight repast
  had been prepared for him, of which he pressed me to partake. The
  wine was generous, his lordship was polite, and the prisoner of
  State seemed for a moment forgotten in the kinder feelings of the
  earlier friend. [Lord Castlereagh then informed Teeling that they
  had that day arrested Neilson and Russell.] 'Russell!'[138] said I.
  'Then the soul of honour is captive! Is Russell a prisoner?' Lord
  Castlereagh was silent. He filled his glass--he passed me the wine.
  Our conversation had become embarrassing....[139]


[116] Edward J. Lewins was an attorney, and with the astuteness of that
craft he had early suspected Turner, as appears from the letter to
'Citizen Minister Talleyrand' (p. 24, _ante_).

[117] The 'some such' proved to be Father O'Coigly, arrested _en
route_, and hanged in 1798.

[118] Lewins, Mr. Lecky shows, proved thoroughly faithful to his party.

[119] Henriette de Sercy, the niece of Madame de Genlis, and the
companion of Pamela in childhood, who married Mr. Matthiessen, the
banker of Hamburg.

[120] Lord Edward Fitzgerald.

[121] Reinhard.

[122] At Bantry Bay in 1796. By many, Tone was regarded somewhat
as a clever adventurer; but when the French authorities saw a
nobleman--brother of the Duke of Leinster--as well as O'Connor, nephew
and heir of Viscount Longueville, acting in a way which meant business,
their hesitancy ceased.

[123] After the arrest and death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and the
collapse of the rebellion, the State prisoners consented to give some
general information which would not compromise men by name.

[124] Wickham's correspondence illustrative of his secret mission to
Switzerland, when he debauched the French minister, Barthélemy, with
'saint-seducing gold,' was published by Bentley in 1870.

[125] _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 259-60.

[126] 'Everything was planned,' are the words in the betrayer's letter
to Lord Downshire.

[127] In this suspicion, Lord Edward and O'Connor were not far astray.
_The Confidential Letters of the Right Hon. William Wickham_ reveal
that Pichegru and other French generals were paid by Pitt to allow
themselves to be beaten in battle.

[128] At Margate with Father O'Coigly.

[129] _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 309-10.

[130] General index to the _Correspondence of Lord Castlereagh_.
'Furness' is the name under which Reinhard, the French minister, refers
to him when writing to his Government.

[131] Letter of W. E. H. Lecky, Esq., to W. J. F., Athenæum Club,
London, July 5, 1888. Richardson, the popular author of 'Pamela,' was
then a specially familiar name, and one which would readily occur to a
well-read man who divulged the secrets of a real Pamela. The plot in
the stories of Samuel Richardson is developed by letters, a branch of
composition in which Samuel Turner was _au fait_. There seems a strange
irony in this spy describing, under the _nom de plume_ of Richardson,
a new 'History of Pamela' and her struggles. Dr. Madden says that,
after the death of her husband, Pamela returned in painfully straitened
circumstances to Hamburg, the only place to which she could with
prudence go. Madden little dreamt that the fugitive's retreat was the
serpent's lair.

[132] The Rev. William Jackson, an Anglican clergyman, came to Dublin
on a treasonable mission, accompanied, as his friend and legal adviser,
by Cockayne, a London attorney. The latter was deputed by Pitt to
entrap the National leaders. Cockayne prosecuted Jackson to conviction.
In Ireland, unlike England, one witness then sufficed to convict for
high treason.

[133] In a letter dated June 8, 1798, Wickham speaks of the source
from which 'R' procured 'all the information that he has communicated
to us'--meaning what concerned Lady Edward Fitzgerald, Valence, Mrs.
Matthiessen, Reinhard, and other ingenuous friends at Hamburg, who told
Turner all they knew. Dr. Madden and others mistook this 'R' for the
incorruptible Reinhard, as M. Mignet styles him. See folio 102, _infra_.

[134] _France et Irlande_ (Paris, 1888).

[135] See p. 1, _ante_.

[136] _Vide_ Appendix for some revelations of fratricidal betrayal by
O'Connor's brother.

[137] One letter only, from Richardson (Turner) to Lord Downshire, I
have found in the Pelham MSS.; it bears date 'Hamburg, December 1,

  'My Lord,--I cannot contrive any mode of seeing Mr. Fraser without
  running a very considerable risque of a discovery. For this reason
  I now intrude to request you'll be so kind as to favour me with a
  few lines. I wrote to you on November 17, by post. Since that I
  have sent you two letters by Captain Gunter, of the Nautilus: the
  first contains seven and a half pages of letter paper; the second,
  a single letter with such information as I could collect, which I
  hope will be material. Gunter promised to put them in the Yarmouth
  office himself.

  'It will be requisite for your lordship to lay aside every emblem
  of _noblesse_, and adopt the style of an Irish _sans-culotte_, for
  fear of accidents. If I appear worthy the further notice of your
  lordship, no pains on my part shall be spared to merit the honour
  of being ranked among your lordship's most sincere,

                                                         'J. RICHARDSON.

  'December 1, 1797, Hamburg (under cover to the master of the
  post-office, Yarmouth).'--Pelham MSS.

Placed far apart from Richardson's letter is found the despatch of
Cooke, wherein it had been enclosed. 'The letters by the "Nautilus"
have not been received,' he writes, 'and we know not how to direct to
him.' The Pelham MSS. are pyramids in bulk, but no other letter from
Richardson, alias Turner, is entombed within them.

[138] Neilson, Russell, Teeling, and Turner belonged to the Ulster
branch of the organisation. Russell, who had been a captain in the 64th
Regiment, and a J. P. for co. Tyrone, remained a prisoner until 1802,
and, on connecting himself with Emmet's scheme, was beheaded October
30, 1803. Samuel Neilson, son of a Presbyterian minister, died, after
many exciting vicissitudes, on August 29 in the same year.

[139] _Personal Narrative_, by Charles Hamilton Teeling. His daughter
became the first wife of Lord O'Hagan.



Although the spy did not confide to Lord Downshire until October 1797
his name and secrets, there is reason to believe that he had furnished
information previously. To enhance his importance he probably said
nothing of this. As Mr. Froude observes, he painted his own conduct
in the colours he thought best. This man had long played fast and
loose. So early as May 1797 Turner was viewed with suspicion. The
Castlereagh Papers contain a bundle of intercepted letters addressed by
Reinhard, the French Minister at Hamburg, to De la Croix, head of the
Foreign Office, Paris, of whom Tone often speaks with affection.[140]
These letters, as already stated, mention Turner under the name of
Furnes, which we learn from the Castlereagh Papers was an _alias_ of
Turner.[141] He is praised for his zeal and patriotism; but in one
letter Reinhard is found struggling with a painful misgiving. The
suspicion is so dark that he does not like to write even the name of
Furnes, but makes dots to tally with the letters composing it, and no
name was better known to De la Croix. At last Reinhard tries to banish
the thought as an unworthy suspicion; and a subsequent letter of his
reinstates Turner in full prestige.

The letter which expresses suspicion bears date May 31, but is
confusingly assigned, in the Castlereagh Papers, to the year 1798.
Its reference to Hoche, however, shows that it was written during the
previous year--his death having occurred on September 15, 1797.

  You must have heard [writes Reinhard to De la Croix] of the
  apprehension of two committees of United Irishmen at Belfast, and
  the publication of the papers seized, made by the secret committee
  of the Parliament of Ireland.[142] Among these papers is a letter
  from the provincial committee, informing those of Belfast that the
  executive committee having conducted itself in an improper manner,
  the provincial committee thought fit to dissolve it, retaining
  however, two-thirds of the former members. This letter has been
  printed in London in the _True Briton_, a ministerial paper. It
  is very remarkable that ...... should never have mentioned that
  circumstance to me. Supposing, which is very probable, that this
  reorganisation of the executive took place before the departure of
  ...... [from Ireland], it is natural enough to suppose that ......
  should find himself among the _excluded members_. The opinion
  that I have formed of him ...... [adds Reinhard in words worthy
  of a true diplomat] is, that he is a man of haughty and violent
  character, without, on that account, stooping to dissimulation and
  deceit; so, in order to revenge himself on his countrymen, he may
  have betrayed his cause to Mr. Pitt. [Reinhard goes on to say that]
  It was letters of Lord Edward Fitzgerald which certified that this
  man who called upon me was the person sent to me by Lady Fitzgerald
  on his arrival.[143]

It seems needless to point out that this must be the 'person' whom Mr.
Froude describes as being introduced by Lady Edward Fitzgerald, and
having the ear of Reinhard at Hamburg; and there is hardly less doubt
that the man thus noticed was the same who, having got into debt with
his friends, addressed himself to Pelham as early as 1796. His secret
letter to Pelham will be seen presently. Meanwhile the same sensitive
pride and the same revengeful spirit when that pride was once wounded
is also traceable in the details revealed to Lord Downshire next year.
Judging from the slippery and impulsive character of the man, I cannot
doubt that previous to his mission to London in October 1797, for the
purpose of making a final bargain with Pitt, he had coquetted with
Dublin Castle.

Lewins and Turner were rival envoys--Lewins represented the Leinster
Directory; Turner claimed to speak for Ulster. Of Lewins, who stands
above all suspicion, Reinhard writes to De la Croix in 1797:--'I think
L..... incapable of treachery, but capable of imprudence. I should not
answer thus concerning _the other_. What seems further to concur in the
support of my hypothesis is, that Mr. L. before his departure made it
a point of great importance to ascertain whether there was any other
envoy from Ireland, who addressed himself to me, and that he begged me
not to give my confidence to any other than to him alone. I refrained
from giving these tidings to General Hoche, not only because my means
of corresponding with him are uncertain, but because all the letters
from Frankfort announce his departure for Paris.'

It may not have struck Mr. Froude, as it certainly strikes me, that
the man he describes[144] as visiting Lord Downshire, and at the last
moment offering to betray, was the same person whom the historian,
one hundred pages previously, notices as an informer, 'in the closest
confidence of the _Northern Leaders_, but whose name is still a

It will be seen that Pelham's correspondent of 1796 had fallen into
debt and difficulties. This at first seems not consistent with the
statement of Mr. Froude that Downshire's visitor was the son of a
gentleman of good fortune in the North. But it is easy to see that the
son himself had got into pecuniary straits. He tells Downshire of the
expenses he is under, and asks Pitt for a 'cool 500_l._'[145] to begin

In addition to a judgment debt of 1,500_l._ which Jacob Turner in his
will forgives his son Samuel,[146] I find, on examining the records of
the three Law Courts, that another judgment debt of 800_l._ was marked
against Samuel Turner on January 26, 1793.[147]

Speaking of informers, Mr. Froude writes under date 1796:--

  One of these especially, whose name is still a mystery, was in the
  closest confidence of the Belfast leaders. He had been among the
  most enthusiastic of the original members of Tone's society, but
  he had fallen into debt to others of the confederates and had been
  expelled. In revenge he sold himself to the Government, satisfied
  his creditors with money which he received from Pelham, and was
  at once taken back into confidence. Among others, he became an
  intimate associate of William Orr, a Belfast tradesman, afterwards
  executed for treason, who at this time was a member of the Head
  Northern Committee.

  Orr told him that everything was ready. Dublin, Cork, Limerick,
  were waiting only for orders to rise, and when the word was given
  the movement was to be universal and simultaneous. They had 200,000
  men already officered in regiments; they had pikes and muskets for
  150,000, and more were on the way.

  The militia were almost to a man United Irishmen, and in fact,
  according to Orr, they would have risen in the autumn but for some
  differences among themselves. For himself, the informer thought
  that nothing would be attempted till the arrival of the French.

  The Belfast men, Neilson, Orr, the two Simms, the party who had
  taken the oath with Wolfe Tone on Cave Hill,[148] he described 'as
  wealthy, wily, avaricious, tenacious of their property, distrustful
  of one another, and if afraid of nothing else, desperately afraid
  of the Orangemen, who were five times stronger than people in
  general believed.[149] They had authentic news that Hoche might be
  expected in the fall of the year, and then undoubtedly an effort
  would be made. If Hoche came, they were perfectly confident that
  Ireland would be a republic before Christmas. The instant that the
  signal was given the whole Orange party were to be assassinated....

The Informer concludes with these words:--

  Be assured that what I have told you is true. The original
  agitators have been kept concealed even from the knowledge of the
  common people. The medium of dissemination has been the priests,
  and they have concealed from their congregations, on whom they have
  so effectively wrought, the names of those who have set them on,
  merely saying that there were men of influence, fortune, and power
  ready to come forward. The motive of the original agitators--and
  I mean by them the members of the Catholic Committee that sat
  in Dublin, and many of the Convention that were not on the
  Committee--was to carry the Catholic Bill through Parliament by the
  influence of terrorism.[150]

So much for the informer who sought the ear of the Irish Secretary
in 1796. His close connection with the Northern leaders, his air of
mystery, his hatred of the priests and the Catholic Committee, even
his style and tone, the reference to Hoche, the prediction that the
Protestants would suffer if the rebels won--all point to him as the
same person who made overtures to Pitt, through Downshire, in October
1797. The alleged disaffection of the militia and the danger which
menaced the estates of the aristocracy again crop up in Turner's letter
to Talleyrand.[151] In both cases the same stipulation is made that he
should not be called upon to give evidence publicly--the same nervous
temperament is revealed. Downshire's visitor expressed mortal terror
lest his life should pay the forfeit of his startling whisper. The same
fear--and I believe I may add, presentiment--pervades the letter to
Pelham in 1796. 'Don't name it,' he writes; 'if it get out they will
know whence it came, and my life will be the certain forfeit.'[152] The
'secret' which the informer of '96 told Pelham was what Mr. Fronde
describes as 'a curious story.' 'To show you that they tell me their
secrets,' writes the informer to Pelham, 'here is the account told me
of the death of Mr. McMurdoch of _Lurgan_.'[153] From searches made
in the Registry of Deeds Office, Dublin, I find that Samuel Turner
was closely connected with Lurgan, and in a way which gave double
facilities for acquiring its secrets.[154]

The reader might glance once more at Mr. Froude's account of the visit
to Lord Downshire on that dark October night in 1797. The betrayer's
disguise and stealthy nervous gait as though some avenging power were
on his track, are things worth noting. Why was he in such dread of
assassination before he unfolded his story to Downshire? Surely he
must have been conscious of having earned, for a long time before,
the penalty of 'Ormond steel.'[155] This, according to Dr. Conlan's
sworn testimony, was a specially familiar dogma with Teeling and
Turner when organising treason in Ulster. The visit to Downshire
was clearly prompted by greed. This peer had got the name of having
secret service money at his disposal. 'Bank notes were offered to
me,' observes James Hope, the working weaver of Belfast, 'if I would
implicate Will Tennant, Robert Simms and others, and it was admitted
that the money came from Lord Downshire.' This was probably among the
efforts which were made to induce minor conspirators to give evidence
publicly against their leaders, of whose treason the Crown had private
knowledge through Turner.[156] McDougall's 'Sketches of Irish Political
Characters,' published in 1799, says of Lord Downshire (p. 20): 'His
political conduct agrees very well with his motto, _Ne tentes, aut
perfice_; he supports administration with all his might.' Downshire's
visitor knew, therefore, that this peer, if he liked, could make good
terms with Pitt. Much of the melodramatic character of the scene
appears to have been designed to move Downshire. 'He saw Mr. Pitt' says
Froude, 'who consented that "the person's" services should be accepted.'

The Cabinet, we are told, was kept in ignorance of his name. But
Pelham, the Irish Secretary previous to Castlereagh, seems to have
known something of him already, for, as we learn, 'Pelham, when in
London, made large offers to Lord Downshire's friend.'[157] That
information had been given by Downshire's visitor prior to the
interview of October 1797, I cannot doubt.[158] Mr. Froude, describing
Lord Edward's visit to Hoche on the Swiss frontier,[159] writes: 'Hoche
himself had not revealed it even to Tone, but Lord Edward was known to
be intimate with Macnevin. He had been watched in London, and traced
to the lodgings of _a suspected agent of the French Directory_.'
Downshire's visitor, it will be remembered, had interviews with Lord
Edward in London.

When the betrayer threw back his disguise, Downshire, we are told,
recognised him at once. This, I suspect, was not the first time that
a communication reached Downshire from the same source. Dr. Madden
quotes from the 'Northern Star' of September 16, 1796, a sensational
account of the arrest at Belfast of Russell, Neilson, Sampson, and many
others, and how the whole garrison, with its artillery, took part in
the stirring scene, and it appears that Downshire helped to direct the
proceedings. That day Neilson and Russell surrendered to his lordship,
and Tone in his 'Diary' deplores the arrest as the heaviest blow which
could fall on their cause.[160]

The name of the French agent in London is not mentioned by Mr. Froude.
It is M. Jägerhorn, described by Reinhard, the French Minister at
Hamburg, as 'that estimable Swede;' and concerning whom there is
a mass of matter, often purposely misleading, in the Castlereagh
Correspondence. Macnevin's memorial to the French Directory was
betrayed to England in the summer of 1797. M. Jägerhorn was sent
by France to treat with the Irish Directory. His mission, however,
transpired, and means were taken to prevent him going farther than
London, whereupon Lord Edward Fitzgerald was deputed to cross to
England, and there confer with Jägerhorn.

Turner's _fracas_ with the terrorist commander-in-chief, Carhampton,
was supposed to have caused his retirement to Hamburg. But that scene,
with its dialogue, may have been purely theatrical.[161]

In June 1797 Turner attends several meetings of the Ulster delegates in
Dublin.[162] There it was that the 'prudence or the cowardice' of the
Papist leaders in Dublin, as he says, disgusted him.[163] Why should
the notorious Turner be allowed to go on to Dublin, and Jägerhorn be

Samuel Turner saw a good deal of Lord Edward and Jägerhorn in London.
We find traces of this knowledge in Mr. Froude's notes of 'the
person's' interview with Downshire--how he called Lord Edward 'Fitz'
and had confidential talk with him in Harley Street. The spy tells
Downshire soon after that Reinhard begged him to stay at Hamburg, 'as
the only mode in which I could serve my country and the republic. I
instantly acquiesced, and told him I had arranged matters with Lord
Edward Fitzgerald in London for that purpose.'

Turner played his cards so well, and personated an ardent patriot so
completely, that the suspicions of his fidelity which Reinhard[164]
expressed on May 31 are found removed soon after. Dr. Macnevin, of
Dublin, a chief in the Executive Directory, was now coming to Paris to
ask French aid. Reinhard reports progress to De la Croix:--

                                         Hamburg: 25 Messidor [July 12].

  While Mr. Lewins has suffered me to lose all traces of his journey,
  and Mr. Furnes[165] is gone to write to him, M. Jägerhorn has
  returned from London, and a new Irish deputation has called upon
  me. All the efforts of M. Jägerhorn having failed against the
  obstinacy with which the Duke of Portland refused him a passport
  for proceeding to Dublin, he determined to call Lord Fitzgerald
  to London. The latter came upon pretext of accommodating his
  sister. The authenticity of the mission of Mr. Lewins was verified;
  important details respecting the state of Ireland were given; it
  was ascertained that there was no derangement in the plan, and in
  the resources of the united patriots. It is unnecessary for me to
  give you a circumstantial account of the information brought by
  Mr. F., since he enters fully into that which Mr. Macnevin has
  just given. The latter came surrounded by all the motives for
  confidence, and he did not leave Dublin till the 27th of June: his
  intelligence is of the latest date, and from the very source. The
  reports of Mr. Macnevin, who goes here by the name of Williams,
  and who would wish to appear always under that name, as Mr. Lewins
  under that of Thompson, appear to me to throw great light upon all
  that the Government can have an interest to know. Mr. Macnevin has
  been secretary of the executive committee, and all that he says
  proves him to be a man thoroughly acquainted with the ensemble
  of facts and combinations. In annexing to this despatch the
  Memorial[166] which he delivered to me, I shall add what I have
  reason to think of importance in his conference.

  My first care was to clear up what the papers seized at Belfast
  said concerning a change made by the provincial committee in the
  organisation of the executive committee. It results from the
  answers of Mr. Macnevin, conjointly with those of _Mr. Furnes, that
  it was of dilatoriness and indecision that several members of the
  committee were accused_; that the northern province, feeling its
  oppression and its strength, was impatient to break forth,[167]
  while the committee strove to defer any explosion till the arrival
  of the French, and declined giving a full explanation of its
  relations with France; that, nevertheless, after the change of
  the committee, meetings were held in Dublin and in the North, at
  which it was resolved to wait; that the clandestine visitation of
  several depôts of arms, where the powder was found damp and the
  muskets rusty, contributed a good deal to that resolution; and that
  the desire for the assistance of the French had in consequence
  become more general than ever. It was, however, decided that a
  rising should take place when the prisoners were set at liberty.
  Macnevin and Lord Fitzgerald are of the moderate party. Furnes is
  for a speedy explosion; and it is some imprudences into which his
  ardent character has hurried him, that have obliged him to leave
  the country[168]; whereas, the conduct of Mr. Macnevin has been so
  circumspect,[169] that there is nothing to oppose his return.

Reinhard's despatch is continued at very great length, and those who
care to read it should consult the 'Castlereagh Papers' (i. 282-6).
He thus ends: 'I have just received a memorial in which M. Jägerhorn
gives me an account of his journey. I will send it to you by the next
courier. That estimable Swede has again manifested great devotedness
to the cause of liberty.'

By some marvellous sleight-of-hand Jägerhorn's secret report found
its way to Whitehall, instead of to Paris, and may be read in the
memoirs of Lord Castlereagh.[170] Two years later, the Swede will again
be found tracked from Hamburg to London, and arrested on Portland's

Mr. Froude's allusion to the facilities of command exercised by 'the
person' over Lady Fitzgerald's letter-bag, the hints he gave Downshire
how secret letters from Hamburg were sealed and addressed, and how
they might be intercepted, read, and then passed on,[171] are only
those gleams of light that shine dimly in dark places, but enough, with
present knowledge, to discern a good deal.

It will be remembered that Downshire's visitor, in his list of men
marked out for doom, gave prominence to Dr. Macnevin, 'a Physician who
had great weight with the Papists.' 'He (the betrayer) had discovered,'
writes Froude, 'that the object of the Papists was the ruin and
destruction of the country, and the establishment of a tyranny worse
than that which was complained of.'

The famous memorial of Dr. Macnevin, embracing a full report on the
state of Ireland, and appealing to France for help, was written at
this time.[172] On arrival at Hamburg he entrusted it to Reinhard,
the French minister there, by whom--as we learn from the 'Cornwallis
Papers'--it was translated and forwarded to Paris. Mr. Froude thinks
its betrayal to the English Cabinet a very remarkable circumstance, and
the more strange because 'no suspicion has been suggested of Macnevin's
treachery.' A hidden hand contrived to pass on to Pitt this document
destined to become historic.[173]

Wickham, writing to Castlereagh on August 15, 1798, states that the
rebel executive committee directed Dr. Macnevin to proceed to Paris
by the way of Hamburg; that the principal objects of his journey were
to give additional weight and credit to the mission of Lewins, and to
confirm the information that had already been transmitted.[174] Again
the reader may be reminded that Lewins and Turner were rival envoys.
Each is found constantly trying to circumvent the other. Turner,
therefore, had a special object in foiling and intercepting Macnevin's

Reinhard, in the betrayed despatch of July 12, 1797, tells De la Croix,
at Paris, that every confidence might be reposed in Lewins. Lewins'
usual post was at Paris, just as Turner's was at Hamburg, but both
passed to and fro. Of Lewins, Reinhard takes care to say that Macnevin

  not only attested that he possesses, and deserves, the utmost
  confidence, but that he is designated a minister at Paris in case
  of success. Mr. Macnevin wished much that his memorial should be
  communicated to him.[175]

If it was Turner's interest to intercept Reinhard's letter establishing
confidence in Lewins, it was still more his interest to keep back from
Lewins a document which, while vindicating his name, would protect it
from further attack; and this the 'Memorial' of Macnevin was designed
to do.

Camden had now ceased to be Viceroy and was succeeded by
Cornwallis.[176] The latter co-operates with the Home Secretary in
screening from publicity the name of their informer. The report of the
Secret Committee was now in progress. Cornwallis, writing to Portland,

  The same reason may not operate against the production of Dr.
  Macnevin's memoir, which might be supposed to have fallen into our
  hands by various other means, and which, from its being produced,
  without connection with the other papers, might not create any
  alarm in the quarter where it is so necessary that the most
  implicit confidence in our prudence and secrecy should be preserved.

  Your Grace will of course be aware that no account will be given,
  even to the Secret Committee, of the means by which these papers
  came into the hands of Government.[177]

Portland duly acknowledged Lord Cornwallis's despatch,

  in which you represent the advantages which might result from
  laying before the Committees of Secrecy of the two Houses of
  Parliament in Ireland the whole, or at least a part, of the very
  secret and authentic documents relating to the conspiracy in that
  kingdom, which I had the King's permission from time to time to
  transmit to the late Lord-Lieutenant [Lord Camden]. I lost no
  time in acquainting his Majesty's confidential servants with your
  Excellency's sentiments upon this very important and delicate
  question; and I am now to inform you that, after its having
  repeatedly undergone the most serious investigation and discussion,
  the result of our unanimous opinion is, that the communication
  of the whole of those papers cannot on any account, or in any
  situation of the country, be suffered to be made to a parliamentary
  committee, under whatever qualification or conditions it may be
  appointed, consistently with that secrecy which in certain cases
  the honour and safety of the State require to be observed.

  We agree, however, for the reasons you have stated, that the same
  objection does not exist to the production of the greater part of
  Dr. Macnevin's memoir, and I have therefore had an extract made of
  such parts of it as it appears to us may be laid before the public
  without inconvenience....

  To prevent as much as possible any occasion being given which can
  tend to a discovery of the channels by which this intelligence has
  been obtained, I most earnestly recommend to your Excellency to do
  your utmost in procuring that the facts which are stated from it
  may not stand in the report of the committees in the exact order in
  which they are given here, but that they may be mixed with other
  information which has been derived from other sources.[178]

The precautions taken to screen the betrayer were certainly very
complete. Castlereagh tells Wickham (July 30, 1798):--

  His Excellency authorised me to read the correspondence and
  memorial once over to the committee of the Commons, with a strict
  injunction that no person should note a single fact; and I can
  truly state that the individuals on that committee are altogether
  in the dark as to the manner in which that intelligence was
  obtained, and, from the mode in which it was gone through, can
  only have a very general impression of its contents. The same
  precaution was used in the Lords; and, I trust, although the Duke
  of Portland's despatch to his Excellency does not altogether
  sanction what has been done, yet that his Grace and the Ministers,
  who have so wisely enjoined the greatest precaution to be observed
  in the use to be made of that most interesting and important
  correspondence, will be of opinion that the guarded manner in which
  the Lord-Lieutenant made the communication to the committees, not
  authorising the smallest extracts to be made, or any of the facts
  to be relied on in their report, without being fully authorised by
  his Excellency, will preclude any danger to the State from this
  valuable channel of intelligence being in any degree brought into

In June 1798 Lord Edward was dead. The Sheares's had been executed.
Macnevin, O'Connor, T. Addis Emmet, and Sampson lay in prison in
Dublin. Blood flowed on every side. The city was like a shambles. The
State prisoners, on the understanding that executions should cease, and
that they might be allowed to leave Ireland, consented to reveal, but
without implicating individuals, the scheme of the United Irishmen. A
prolonged secret inquisition by the Secret Committee took place. As
soon as their evidence appeared, Macnevin and his fellow-prisoners
complained, by a public advertisement, that the Crown officials who
drew up the report of the Secret Committee had garbled the facts and
distorted their evidence. Into all this it is not necessary now to go,
but it may be observed that, while everything inconvenient was left
out, an innuendo was made that the betrayal of Dr. Macnevin's memoir
may have been due to Reinhard, the French Minister. This--apart from
M. Mignet's testimony to the incorruptibility of Reinhard--serves to
exculpate him, and narrows the spot on which suspicion now rests.
Reinhard, in his letter to De la Croix, thinks it strange that Turner
had never spoken to him about certain revelations made by 'the Secret
Committee of the Parliament of Ireland;'[180] but the reason now seems
intelligible enough.

Macnevin published his 'Pieces of Irish History'[181] at New York in
1807, and notices the betrayal of the memorial which he had addressed
to the French Government. Up to that time, and until his death in
1840, he does not seem to suspect Turner. Had any such doubt occurred
to him, he would have been the first to avow it. At p. 146 of his
book Macnevin inveighs against a 'profligate informer,' 'a ruffian of
the name of Reynolds;' but Reynolds' treachery was confined to the
arrests at Bond's in Dublin, and did not take place until March 1798.
Ten pages further on Macnevin speaks of the 'unparalleled fidelity of
the United Irish Body.' Dr. Macnevin was struck by the knowledge the
Government had acquired of the 'negotiations of the United Irishmen
with foreign States,' and, he adds, 'at this time one of the deputies
[_i.e._ himself] had personal evidence of its extent and accuracy. That
knowledge was obtained from some person in the pay of England and in
the confidence of France.' And Dr. Macnevin then proceeds to point to
REINHARD by name!

This is just what the officials of the Home Office wished for all
along. Wickham, referring to the publication of Macnevin's memorial by
the Secret Committee of the House of Lords, writes: 'It may fairly be
presumed that the copy has been obtained at [the Foreign Office] Paris,
or from R.'s [Reinhard's] secretary at Hamburg. _This conjecture will
be at least as probable as the real one._'[182]

One circumstance struck Macnevin as 'confirmation strong' of his dark
suspicion. Reinhard, as he tells us, made difficulties about giving him
a passport to Paris. A most important despatch from Reinhard to De la
Croix thus concludes:--

  What I must particularly urge, Citizen Minister, in regard to this
  business, is, at least, that you will have the goodness to direct
  me as to Mr. Macnevin. I will not give another passport without
  your order.[183]

This letter--possibly written at Lady Edward Fitzgerald's house at
Hamburg, and put into her post-bag--was treacherously betrayed to Pitt.
When De la Croix remained ominously silent in response to the above
appeal, is it surprising that Reinhard should have made difficulties
and delays in giving Macnevin a passport?[184]

Macnevin's groundless distrust of Reinhard naturally influenced the
views of a most painstaking investigator. Dr. Madden, who, when
he at last saw, in the 'Castlereagh Papers,' Reinhard's letters
to De la Croix, regarded the circumstance as damning proof of his
treachery.[185] Subsequently Mignet, the great French historian and
keeper of the ministerial archives at Paris, who had ample official
means of knowing the character and acts of both Reinhard and De la
Croix, assured Madden in writing that both men were incorruptible. This
may be taken as conclusive, for, unlike Turner, there is not a line
in any English State Paper tending to compromise Reinhard or De la

For the act of betrayal we must therefore look to Samuel Turner, agent
at Hamburg of the United Irish Brotherhood; the man who had access to
the most secret papers in Lady Fitzgerald's house, and who, we learn,
'was admitted to close and secret conversations upon the prospect of
French interference in Ireland with Reinhard.' This, in fact, was
the grand proof submitted by Downshire's visitor to show that he was
in a position to spy to advantage--a fact sufficient in itself to
demonstrate that Reinhard was himself no spy.

Dr. Madden's suspicion of Reinhard was doubtless strengthened by a
passage which for a long time puzzled myself, and occurs in Wickham's
letter to Castlereagh of June 8, 1798. Wickham speaks of 'information
confirmed by a person at Hamburg, who must necessarily have derived
his intelligence from a very different source, and who could not
but be ignorant of that from which R. had procured all that he has
communicated to us.' The name thus masked is not Reinhard, but
Richardson--an alias for Turner, as proved at p. 48 _ante_.

One thing greatly complicated this puzzle as regards 'R.' Wickham,
in a subsequent letter, dated July 25, 1798, speaks of 'R.'--meaning
not Richardson, but Reinhard, as the context shows.[187] But these
blanks are due to the noble editor of the 'Castlereagh Papers,'
the late Lord Londonderry; and in cloaking the name Richardson--it
inadvertently peeps out in one place, like 'Capel' instead of 'Catesby'
in 'Lothair'--he doubtless thought that it was a real name.

On February 18, 1798, Lord Moira addressed the House of Lords in favour
of Catholic Emancipation, which, he declared, must be granted, as
well as Parliamentary Reform. 'The greatest evil to be feared from it
sinks to nothing compared to the mischief which is raging at present.
The expression of a conciliatory desire on your part would suspend
immediately the agitation of the public mind.'

Mr. Froude says that the members of Council knew more than Lord
Moira--'if he really believed his words;' and he adds that they must
have found it hard 'to sit patient under his flatulent declamation.'
How much Turner's tattle had excited the Cabinet, and aroused lasting
prejudice against a statesman not less able than estimable, appears
from the historian's words: 'At that moment the Council were weighing
intelligence from the friend at Hamburg, so serious that they had
all but resolved on an immediate arrest of the entire Revolutionary

Reinhard tells De la Croix, on July 12, 1797, that while 'Lord Edward
Fitzgerald and Macnevin[188] were of the moderate party, Turner was
for a speedy explosion.'[189] Turner was co-operating in a very base
policy, one which unscrupulous statesmen are said to have planned.
During the examination of Macnevin before the Secret Committee, Lord
Castlereagh confessed that 'means were taken to make the United Irish
system explode.' The policy of exciting a premature explosion before
Ireland had been organised peeps forth in the Report of the Secret
Committee of the Irish Parliament: 'The rebellion [we are told]
would not have broken out so soon as it did, had it not been for the
well-timed measures adopted by Government.'

Turner's policy changed according as the policy of his employers
changed. In March 1798 the rebel Directory at Dublin were seized
as they sat in council at Oliver Bond's. Soon after, three out of
thirty-two counties rose; and to crush that partial revolt cost England
twenty-two millions of pounds and twenty thousand men.


[140] _Castlereagh_, i. 282-292.

[141] _Ibid._, General Index, iv. 504.

[142] Further on will be seen Portland's caution to Castlereagh as to
the means to be taken by the Secret Committee of the Irish Parliament
in order to divert suspicion from their spy.

[143] The letter, of which this is an extract, appears in the
_Castlereagh Papers_ (i. 275-6). It was the interest of the spy that
this letter should not be seen at the Foreign Office, Paris. It could
do him no harm in the eyes of Pitt. A second intercepted letter from
Reinhard states that consistently with his duties he sent Samuel
Turner [of Hamburg] to General Hoche (see _Castlereagh_, i. 285).
Tone mentions in his diary that Hoche one day 'seemed struck when I
mentioned Hamburg, and asked me again was I going hither. "Well then,"
said he, "perhaps we may find something for you to do there. There is a
person there whom perhaps you may see."' Tone muses, 'Who is my lover
that I am to see at Hamburg, in God's name?' (_Diary_, ii. 341.) His
diary is relinquished, however, just as he gets there, and his death in
an Irish prison occurred soon after.

[144] _English in Ireland_, iii. 278.

[145] _Ibid._ iii. 284.

[146] Irish Record Office.

[147] Judgment Registry, Four Courts, Dublin, No. 302.

[148] Tone's _Life_ (i. 128) describes how, before leaving for America
in 1795, he swore to his friends who surrounded him on Cave Hill never
to desist from his efforts until Ireland was free.

[149] This is quite Turner's style.

[150] Froude, iii. 176. The original objects of the Society of United
Irishmen were parliamentary reform and Roman Catholic emancipation.

[151] _Ante_, p. 25.

[152] The Rev. Arthur McCartney, vicar of Belfast, stated that he had
never heard of a Committee of Assassination existing in Belfast with
the cognizance or sanction of the leaders of the United Irishmen.

[153] Froude's _English in Ireland_, iii. 175.

[154] The following memorandum, though of no political import, is
useful as an authentic record of facts:--

'1791, February 13. Samuel Turner and Jacob Turner his father, both
of Turner's Hill, co. Armagh, Esquires, to John McVeagh of Lurgan.
Conveyance of Premises in Lurgan.

'1794, October 8. Samuel Turner of Newry, and Jane Turner, late of
Lurgan, now of Newry, to Thompson and others. Premises in Lurgan.

The Teelings, with whom Turner claims to be intimate, came from
Lurgan.' See Webb's _Irish Biography_.

[155] See Conlan's sworn information, Appendix.

[156] James Hope to the late Mr. Hugh McCall, of Lisburn. See Webb's
_Irish Biography_ for an appreciative notice of Hope.

[157] Froude's _English in Ireland_, iii. 290.

[158] There were informers from the first, but not to the extent
suggested; nor can it be fairly said that they were men 'deepest in the
secret.' 'This and similar information,' writes Mr. Froude, 'came in to
them (the Government) from a hundred quarters' (p. 177). 'They had an
army of informers' (p. 174). The historian here writes of the year '96,
and rather overrates the extent of the treachery. Dr. Macnevin, writing
in 1807, says that the secrets of the United Irishmen were kept with
wonderful fidelity. Their society existed from 1791; it was not until
1798, when ropes were round their necks, that Reynolds and McGuckin
proved false; and the same remark applies to most of the others.

[159] As regards Pelham's correspondent in 1796, and Downshire's in
1797, does Mr. Froude mistake, for two distinct betrayers, the one
Informer? His striking scenes, his dramatic situations, his fine
painting and accessories, remind me of a stage where the movements of
a few men convey the idea of an advancing 'army.' That 'Downshire's
friend' had been previously known as an informer is proved by a letter
from the Viceroy Camden to Portland, dated December 9, 1797.

[160] _Lives and Times of the United Irishmen_, iv. 22.

[161] _Ante_, p. 11.

[162] Appendix No. 1 to Report of the Secret Committee of the House of
Commons, 1798.

[163] See _ante_, p. 2; Froude, iii. 279.

[164] The French minister at Hamburg.

[165] The noble editor of the _Castlereagh Papers_ says that this name
is an alias for Samuel Turner.

[166] Mr. Froude errs in stating (iii. 260) that Macnevin himself
carried the Memorial to Paris.

[167] All this is exactly what Downshire's visitor told him (see chap.

[168] His challenge to the commander-in-chief, Lord Carhampton, was
among the 'imprudences.'

[169] Instead of the words 'circumspect' and 'moderate,' 'prudence' and
'cowardice' are applied to Macnevin's party by Turner (_vide_ chap. i.).

[170] _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 286-8.

[171] Among the letters headed 'Secret Information from Hamburg,'
in the _Castlereagh Papers_, is one making allusion to the writer's
previous communications with Downshire, whom he mentions by name, and
stating that certain letters to Charles Rankin, of Belfast, were 'to be
sealed with a particular seal I have for the purpose.'--_Ibid._ i. 234.

[172] Mr. Lecky says, what previous writers do not, that Macnevin wrote
the memorial _at_ Hamburg.

[173] Other intercepted letters addressed to the French Minister of War
will appear later on. These unanswered appeals were well calculated
to damp the ardour of the Irish refugees; but they tried to keep the
machine of conspiracy moving--despite the subtle insertion of so many
hidden obstacles tending to clog and destroy it.

[174] _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 271.

[175] _Ibid._ i. 284.

[176] How this appointment came about, see Appendix.

[177] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, i. 228.

[178] _Ibid._ i. 251.

[179] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, i. 246-7.

[180] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, i. 275-6.

[181] Allibone erroneously assigns (p. 558) the authorship of this book
to Thomas Addis Emmet.

[182] _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 237.

[183] _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 281-6.

[184] Reinhard seems to have complained to the French Directory that
his letters to De la Croix were not answered. The last intercepted
letters are dated July 1797; and on the 15th of the same month
Talleyrand was appointed to succeed De la Croix, who had been unjustly
suspected. De la Croix survived until 1805, when he died at Bordeaux,
mortified by the desertion of some old friends.

[185] _Lives and Times of the United Irishmen_, ii. 290.

[186] Arthur O'Connor, at all times distrustful, seems to have
suspected the upright Macnevin. They were never quite cordial
afterwards, and it is certain that in 1804, when both served in the
Irish Legion, a duel very nearly took place between them.

[187] See _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 237.

[188] After 1798 Macnevin migrated to America, where he filled several
important medical posts, and published numerous books. He survived
until July 1841.

[189] _Castlereagh_, i. 283.



An old and very influential French newspaper, 'Le Journal des Débats,'
published, on February 29, 1884, an article descriptive of the pleasure
with which its writer had heard sung a touching but simple Irish lyric,
'La Cocarde Verte,' commemorative of the career of General Napper
Tandy. It had been sung, he said, at Paris, by an English girl, who
threw into its simple lines a power most entrancing. The melody and
the words continued to haunt him at all hours,[190] and, some months
later, we learn, found him in London, seeking information, but in
vain, regarding Napper Tandy and the song. During a subsequent tour to
the 'Giant's Causeway,' his inquiries were not much more successful.
'J'avouai que nos histoires de France ne nous parlent pas de Napper
Tandy, et je quittai Portrush sans être absolument satisfait.'

When French history is silent as regards Tandy, and remote inquirers
appear so much interested about him, the present chapter may not have
been written in vain.

The arrest by British agencies of Tandy and others within the neutral
territory of Hamburg and contrary to the law of nations was baldly
denied for some time.[191] A similar tone was taken by official
authority as regards the subsequent surrender of Tandy to England; but
how true was the story, and with what striking circumstances fraught,
will presently appear.

Soon after the departure of Humbert's expedition for Ireland, Tandy,
now a general in the French service, accompanied by a large staff,
including Corbet and Blackwell, sailed from Dunkirk in the French ship
'Anacreon,' having on board a store of ordnance, arms, ammunition,
saddles, and accoutrements. He effected a landing on the coast of
Donegal, but, learning that Humbert, after having beaten Lake at
Castlebar, had met with reverses and surrendered to Cornwallis,
he abandoned the enterprise and re-embarked. It is told in the
'Castlereagh Papers' that the 'Anacreon,' when attacked by an English
cruiser, gave battle near the Orkneys, and that 'Tandy had put two
twelve-pound shot in his pockets, previous to leaping overboard in the
event of striking to the English ship.'[192]

An interesting memoir of Colonel Blackwell, who died in 1809, appears
in Walter Cox's 'Irish Magazine' for that year. William Murphy, an
old '98 man, and afterwards the well-known millionaire, said that Cox
played fast and loose, betraying his own party and the Government
alternately. Cox begins by saying that 'few occurrences excited a
stronger or more universal sensation than the treacherous arrest
at Hamburg, in 1798, of Blackwell, Morres, Tandy and Corbet.' Cox
describes Blackwell's perilous descent with Tandy on the Irish coast,
and states that, when passing through Hamburg going back to France, the
secret of his arrival and that of his comrades 'was betrayed to the
British envoy, Crawford, by two pensioned spies of England, _Turner_
and Duckett.'[193]

Cox was a shrewd man; but when suspicion is once raised it is apt to
extend beyond due limits. He was right as regards Turner; he wronged
Duckett. His impression of at least the first was probably derived from
Blackwell himself, for Cox acknowledges that some of the facts 'the
writer of this sketch received from the mouth of Colonel Blackwell.'

General Corbet privately printed at Paris, in 1807, strictures on the
conduct of the Senate of Hamburg for having handed him over to the
British minister. Appended to this _brochure_ is a letter written by
Tandy some days before his death, giving an account of his arrest. 'The
original,' writes Corbet, 'is in my possession.'

  I arrived in Hamburg on the evening of the 22nd of November, 1798
  [writes Tandy], and the next day I went with M. Corbet to visit the
  French minister and the Consul General Lagan to obtain passports to
  Paris. I passed the day with the consul general and prepared for my
  departure, which was to have taken place the following day. I was
  invited to sup the same evening by Messrs. T---- and D----, in a
  house where Blackwell, Corbet, and Morres supped also; we remained
  there till midnight, and at four o'clock went to our hotel. Towards
  morning I was awakened by armed men rushing into my chamber.

Cox jumped at the conclusion that the names thus cautiously initialled
by Corbet, are Turner and Duckett.[194] A coming chapter will vindicate
Duckett; and I am bound to conclude that this man, if he really joined
the supper party, had been duped by the plausibility of Turner. Turner
and Duckett have been previously shown as on friendly terms.[195]

The accuracy of the information by which Crawford, the British minister
at Hamburg, was able to effect his _coup_ excited general surprise.
According to the 'Castlereagh Papers' tidings reached him that Tandy
and others were lodged at an inn in Hamburg called the 'American
Arms,' and on November 24, 1798, soon after five o'clock A.M., this
minister, accompanied by a guard, entered the house. Early as it was,
Napper Tandy was found writing. The officer demanded his passport.
Thereupon Tandy, with composure, said he would produce it, and going
to his trunk he took out a pistol, which presenting, he said: 'This is
my passport.' The officer grappled with him, and the guard rushing in
secured Tandy. 'He and his associates were put in irons, and confined
by order of Sir James Crawford.'[196]

And now for a short digression ere finishing the story of Tandy's woes.

People were puzzled to know how the complicated intrigue which achieved
his capture--contrary to the law of nations--could have been completed
in a few hours. There can be little doubt that Turner--whom Cox broadly
charges with the betrayal, by furnishing information to Crawford
had ample notice of their coming.[197] Besides Turner's personal
acquaintance with Tandy, official ties of brotherhood had arisen
between them, and nothing was more natural than the invitation to sup.

A letter headed 'Secret Information from Hamburg,' and bearing
date August 16, 1798, has found its way into Lord Castlereagh's
correspondence.[198] The writer, clearly Turner, is found back at
Hamburg after one of his periodic visits to Paris, where, with his
usual _audace_, he claimed to be an accredited envoy of the United
Irishmen, and sought to discredit the mission of Lewins.

Before Tandy had left Paris for Dunkirk, where the 'Anacreon' was being
equipped for Ireland, he had some unpleasant differences with Lewins
and Wolfe Tone.[199] This afforded prospect of a golden harvest for our
spy. Tone had long avoided Turner; Lewins repudiated his pretensions.
Our spy now 'sided' with Tandy's party, and intrigued to such purpose
that he seems to have got himself appointed _locum tenens_ of the
general. In this affair Muir and Madgett, with honest motives, bore a
part. Muir, a distinguished Scotch advocate, had attached himself to
the republican interest, and was tried for sedition.[200] Madgett--an
old Irish refugee--held a post in the Foreign Office in Paris, and will
be remembered by readers of Tone's Diary as in constant communication
with him. It is needless to quote in full the anonymous letter of our
spy. It will be found in the 'Castlereagh Papers,' vol. i. pp. 306-9.
The men noticed in it, McMahon and O'Coigly, McCann and Lowry, had
been old allies of Turner's; and 'Casey, brother to the priest,' Tone,
Tandy, Lewins, Teeling, Orr of Derry, McCormack, all figure in the
original information conveyed to Lord Downshire.

The letter begins by saying that 'Tandy, having quarrelled with Lewins
and Tone, called a meeting of United Irishmen, at which a division
took place; the numbers pretty equal.' Tandy's rupture with Lewins was
quite enough to make Turner take Tandy's side. Dating from Hamburg, and
believing that the real 'minister of the interior' was a good cook, he

  A General Creevy, who goes with the great expedition [to Ireland],
  called on me one day at Paris and stayed dinner. Muir and Madgett
  were of the party. It was for the purpose of inquiring into Tone's
  character, which we gave him. Madgett and Muir swore me into the
  Secret Committee for managing the affairs of Ireland and Scotland
  in Tandy's place: there are only we three of the committee.

He then proceeds to describe his visit to the Hague, and the
information he acquired there. It may be asked if any evidence exists
that Samuel Turner left his usual quarters at Hamburg and was in Paris
at this time, and afterwards at the Hague. On p. 409 of the same volume
of Castlereagh, Turner is described by name as in Paris on business
connected with the United Irishmen, and that from thence he repaired to
the Hague. Here he was consulted, as he stated, by General Joubert on
various points, including the 'safest places for debarkation.' The West
coast, he tells Wickham, 'seemed to be the most eligible, from Derry
to Galway.' In the letter to Talleyrand[201] the West coast is also
suggested as the best point to invade.[202] The spy, after alluding to
the 'contrivances of Lewins,' who 'strives to prevent any person doing
anything with the (French) Government but himself,' reports Duckett as
a most active rebel. He makes this statement in a paper meant for the
private perusal of Portland[203] and Wickham. Thus it would appear that
Blackwell and Cox wronged Duckett in accusing him of informing against
Tandy. To Duckett, a man hitherto maligned, it is necessary in justice
to return.

Lord Edward had died in Newgate June 4, 1798. The departure of
his widow from Dublin and return to Hamburg are announced in the
'Evening Post' of August 16, ensuing. Our spy, as the 'friend' of
the dead Geraldine, welcoming Pamela back and tendering sympathy and
consolation, would be a good subject for a picture. Mr. Froude tells
us that the great power wielded by this seeming exile of Erin lay in
his intimacy with Lady Edward Fitzgerald at Hamburg. Morres had been
sojourning here previous to Tandy's arrival, and, like Turner, received
hospitality at her hands. 'Lord Downshire's friend,' who we are told
had access to her house and post-bag, could not fail to know Morres
well. It will be remembered that Dr. Madden blows hot and cold on
Reinhard, the French minister at Hamburg, and suggests that he may have
betrayed to Pitt his correspondence with De la Croix; but Reinhard had
now been succeeded by a new man; and if further exculpation[204] of
Reinhard were needed after the testimony of Mignet, it is found in the
fact that the correspondence of his successor was also tampered with.
The letter of 'Lord Downshire's friend,' in which he proposes to become
a spy, mentions, as a striking proof of his power, that he had full
access to the _bureau_ of the French resident at Hamburg: M. Maragan
now filled this post. A letter addressed by him to Talleyrand may be
found in the 'Castlereagh Papers.'

  Most Secret.                                  Hambourg, 29 Brumaire.

  M. Harvey Montmorency Morres,[205] of Kivesallen, in Ireland,
  has called upon me, on the part of the interesting Lady Edward
  Fitzgerald: he has been outlawed, and fears that he is not
  safe at Hamburg. He was an intimate friend of the late Lord E.
  Fitzgerald's; he has, therefore, acquired a right to the kindness
  of the widow, and it is on this ground alone that she has allowed
  herself to express it. Mr. Morres was the leader of the numerous
  corps of United Irishmen: he is utterly ruined in consequence of
  his attachment to the cause of liberty. He wishes to go to France,
  where he has important matters to communicate. He is expecting from
  day to day an officer, who has commanded some expedition, and he
  hopes to make the journey with him.[206]

This was Tandy, as a succeeding letter explains. Tandy and Morres were
seized at the same moment, and doubtless on the same whisper. Hamburg
encouraged an impression that Russia prompted this arrest; but, unless
on the hypothesis that Pitt had the Senate of Hamburg in his pay, it
is hard to understand how orders were sent to effect arrests there,
just as if it were on British territory. Mr. Secretary Elliot was a
member of the family which some months previously received the peerage
of Minto in acknowledgment of diplomatic service. This official,
writing to Lord Castlereagh, says: 'I learn from Mr. Hammond, Canning's
colleague [in the Foreign Office], that Napper Tandy is suspected to
be at Hamburg, and instructions have been sent to our resident there
to apprehend him.'[207] Thus Crawford must have heard in advance of
Tandy's coming, and taken his steps accordingly. Of course he at once
acquainted the head of his department; and hence the remark of Mr.
Elliot.[208] Some historians convey that Tandy, after his ill-fated
expedition to Ireland, returned direct from Donegal to Hamburg, _en
route_ for France. The words of the editor of the 'Cornwallis Papers'
are that 'he returned _immediately to France_.' But these accounts
are most misleading. Tandy did not get back to France until after his
liberation in 1802, and instead of the few days which might be supposed
to intervene between the departure from Donegal and arrival at Hamburg,
it was nearer to two months. Dreading renewed trouble with the English
cruisers, Tandy gave orders to steer for Norway. All landed at Bergen,
and after suffering many vicissitudes sought to reach France by land.
The cold became so intense that, as Corbet notes, people were found
frozen to death at the gate of Hamburg. Weary and footsore, Tandy
arrived here at twilight on November 22, 1798. Hungry for Irish news,
he readily embraced Turner's invitation to sup.[209]

This meeting between Tandy and the man whose 'wearing of the
Green'[210] had forced to fly his native land may have been in the
thoughts of the rebel bard when writing the rude ballad which,
a century later, so excited the querist in the 'Journal des

    'I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand,
    And he said 'How's poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?'
    ''Tis the most distressful country, for it's plainly to be seen
    They are hanging men and women for the wearing of the Green.'

It was no isolated secret that Turner had acquired and disclosed.
General Corbet, speaking of Morres, Tandy and Blackwall, gives an
interesting account of their subsequent imprisonment at Hamburg, and
how successive plans to effect their escape became marvellously foiled.
'I lost myself in vain conjectures,' he writes. 'It was not until a
long time after that I learned the infamous treason of which I was the
victim. I was very far from suspecting the author.' And then, in a
foot-note, he indicates him with great caution, dreading the penalty of
an action for libel.

  A man [he writes] residing at Hamburg, who had all my confidence,
  and that of my three companions in misfortune, was at this precise
  time sold to England, and was one of Crawford's numerous agents.
  He was informed of all our projects, and communicated them to this
  minister. This man is now [1807] actually in London,[212] and
  pensioned by the Government.[213]

It is strange that Corbet was able to anticipate by half a century the
revelation made in the 'Cornwallis Papers,' that a secret pension had
been given to Turner for information in Ninety-eight. But his privately
printed _brochure_ may indeed be styled a sealed book.

Some hours after the arrest Maragan, the French resident, wrote to the
Senate at Hamburg claiming Tandy and his colleagues as French citizens,
and threatening to leave the Hague unless they were released. Crawford
opposed the demand in terms equally strong, and, needless to say,
carried his point. The French _chargé d'affaires_, observing Tandy's
critical state of health, offered a large sum to the officer of the
guard to permit his escape, but the superior influence of Crawford
overrode all obstacles.

The letter of Tandy, from which an extract has already been made,
states that after his arrest one hundred louis d'or were taken from him
and never returned. His sufferings in prison he describes as so severe
that life became well nigh insupportable, and more than once he prayed
to be led out on the ramparts and shot.

John Philpot Curran gives us some idea of what these sufferings were:--

  He was confined in a dungeon little larger than a grave; he was
  loaded with irons; he was chained by an iron that communicated from
  his arm to his leg, and that so short as to grind into his flesh.
  Food was cut into shapeless lumps, and flung to him by his keepers
  as he lay on the ground, as if he had been a beast; he had no bed
  to lie on, not even straw to coil himself up in if he could have

The details given by Corbet of their detention are hardly less painful.
At last he and Morres were removed to a new prison.

  What had happened to me [he writes] would have naturally
  discouraged and prevented me from making any new attempts;
  nevertheless, I managed to correspond with my two companions in
  misfortune; and we all three stood so well with our guards, the
  greater number of whom we had gained, that we resolved to arm
  ourselves and place ourselves at their head, to deliver Tandy,
  who was in another prison, and after to repair to the house of
  the French ambassador. Our measures were so well taken that we
  hoped this time at least to recover our liberty in spite of the
  impediments which fortune might put in our way. But _the same
  traitor_ who had formerly deranged my plan discovered all to the
  English minister, Crawford, who immediately gave orders that our
  guards should be changed, and even that those of the different
  posts of Hamburg should be doubled, which continued even to our
  departure. Such was the result of the last struggle we made to
  obtain our liberty at Hamburg.

These incidents occurred at a time when wagers had been laid that
the days of French power were numbered. England, Austria and Russia
prepared to form an alliance. Suvarov, repulsing the French arms in
Italy, had entered on French territory; the Archduke Charles advanced
on the Rhine, and the Duke of York was in full march on Amsterdam.
Hamburg felt that the time had come when England might be truckled
to, and France slighted. At midnight on September 29, 1799, after
ten months' detention, Tandy and his companions were torn from the
sanctuary they had sought and put on board an English frigate which had
cast anchor at Cuxhaven.

Their departure was marked by a curious incident, which General Corbet
thus notices in describing his arrest and extradition:--

  In open sea, and half a league before us, an English frigate laden
  with gold, and on the way to Hamburg, was suddenly wrecked and only
  one sailor saved. What was the use of this? Was it to purchase
  additional mercenaries against France? Was it the price of that
  treachery of which the Hamburghers were just guilty? Happy would
  the Continent be if all the gold leaving England for such purposes
  had been buried in the sea![214]

Corbet, describing his arrest in the first instance, says that he asked
the soldiers by what authority they acted. 'They appeared not to be
ignorant that we were French officers; they answered that they should
fulfil the orders of the minister of England.'[215]

For a time France sought to stifle its wrath; but at last it was
resolved that the conduct of Hamburg should be denounced to all
States, allied and neutral; that all French consular officers quit
the offending territory; and that every agent of Hamburg residing in
France should leave in twenty-four hours. The Senate of Hamburg now
became penitential, and wrote to say so. 'Your letter, gentlemen,'
replied Napoleon, 'does not justify you. You have violated the laws of
hospitality, a thing which never happened among the most savage hordes
of the desert.'

A deputation from the Senate arrived at the Tuileries to make public
apology to Napoleon. He again testified his indignation, and when the
envoys pleaded national weakness he said: 'Well, and had you not the
resource of weak states: was it not in your power to let them escape?'
In reply it was urged that such negligence would have irritated rather
than appeased the Powers. Napoleon laid a fine of four millions and a
half on Hamburg. This sum, it is naïvely remarked by Bourrienne, his
secretary, mollified him considerably, and helped to pay Josephine's

An interesting account of the arrival in England of Tandy and his
companions appears in the 'Courier,' a leading London paper, of October
31, 1799.[216] A military _cortège_ accompanied them from Sittingbourne
to Rochester, and thence over Blackfriars Bridge, up Ludgate Hill, to

  Had Buonaparte and his staff been sent here by Sir Sydney Smith,
  they could not have excited more curiosity [records the 'Courier'].
  A vast concourse of people was gathered at the landing place, who
  attended the prisoners and their escort to the garrison gates,
  where a new concourse was assembled, and so from stage to stage to
  the end of the journey, everybody, old and young, male and female,
  was anxious to get a peep at this wonderful man, now become, from
  the happy perseverance of Ministers, a new bone of contention among
  the powers of Europe.

  Napper Tandy is a large big-boned muscular man, but much broken
  and emaciated. His hair is quite white from age, cut close behind
  into his neck, and he appears much enervated. This is indeed very
  natural, if it be considered that he is near seventy years of age,
  and has just suffered a long and rigorous confinement, his mind the
  constant prey of the most painful suspense. He wore a large friar's
  hat, a long silk black grey coat, and military boots, which had a
  very _outré_ effect.

  Blackwell and Morres seem to be about five and thirty. They are
  two tall handsome-looking men, wore military dresses, and have
  a very soldierlike appearance. The former is a man of a very
  enterprising genius, about the middle size, apparently not more
  than four or five and twenty, and has much the look of a foreigner.

Morres had not accompanied Tandy in his expedition to Ireland; and it
may be asked on what grounds he was placed in irons, and made to share
with the ill-starred general all the rigours of a tedious imprisonment.
While Morres indignantly protested against this persecution, he little
thought that a document, seriously compromising him, and penned by
his own hand, had been given up to the Crown officials. This was a
memorial which, on his arrival at Hamburg as an Irish refugee, he had
written, in Lady Edward's house most probably, and addressed to the
French Minister at Paris. It was intercepted as usual, and may now
be consulted in the 'Castlereagh Papers.' Colonel Hervey Montmorency
Morres tells Bruix how he had been intrusted by Lord Edward with
the direction of the intended attack upon Dublin, and especially as
regarded the magazine and batteries in the Phœnix Park; how after the
death of Lord Edward he escaped from Dublin, and remained concealed
until the arrival of Humbert at Killala, when he assembled the men of
West Meath to aid the invading army; but upon the surrender of Humbert
he disbanded his followers, and, being pursued by the King's troops,
made his way to England, and thence to Hamburg on October 7, 1798. In
conclusion he implored the protection of France for himself and his

After Tandy and Morres had been removed to Ireland, they were placed
at the bar of the King's Bench, when the Attorney General prayed that
sentence of death should be passed upon them. Historians curtly tell
that the prosecution broke down on a point of law; but this explanation
does not quite satisfy. The prisoners pleaded that they were arrested
abroad by the King's command, and were thereby prevented from
surrendering themselves for trial before the day limited by the Act of
Attainder for doing so. The case was argued for days. Tandy's legal
position was shown to be this: 'Why did you not surrender and become
amenable to justice? Because I was in chains. Why did you not come over
to Ireland? Because I was a prisoner in Hamburg. Why did you not do
something tantamount to a surrender? Because I was unpractised in the
language of the strangers, who could not be my protectors, inasmuch
as they were also my fellow-sufferers.' Counsel argued that when the
Crown seized Tandy at Hamburg it thereby made him amenable, and so
satisfied the law. Lord Kilwarden, a most humane judge, ruled that
Tandy should be discharged.[218] But their triumph was short-lived.
Tandy was transferred to Lifford, Donegal, previous to being tried in
the district where two years before he had made a hostile descent from
France. In Lifford gaol Tandy lay for seven months, during which time
great efforts were made to ensure the conviction of so formidable a
character; and April 7, 1801, was at last fixed for his trial. Several
applications to postpone it were refused by the court, and divers law
arguments and objections overruled.

The compact with Turner that he should never be asked to brave public
odium by appearing as an approver, was of course respected; but it
would seem that he was now brought over to Ireland for the purpose of
assisting the law officers in their difficult and delicate task. That
the quondam spy at Hamburg was in Ireland at this very time, though
soon after he is back again in Hamburg, can be shown. The Registry of
Deeds Office, Dublin, records that on February 25, 1801, Samuel Turner,
vaguely described as 'of the United Kingdom of Great Britain,' executed
to George Lysaght a conveyance of lands in Clare. In society he was
well trusted, unless by a few who kept their thoughts to themselves;
and at this same time also he became the trustee of the marriage
settlement of John Wolcot[219] and Dorothy Mary Lyons. One can hardly
realise this man, whose more fitting post would be a funeral feast,
presiding at a bridal breakfast and wishing joy and long life to his
friends. His trip to Ireland 'killed two birds with one stone,' for
the Book of Secret Service Money expenditure reveals that on July 8,
1801, 71_l._ 13_s._ 3_d._ is paid 'per _Mr. Turner_ to Chapman in
Cork for one year and eleven weeks, at one guinea.' Chapman I suspect
to have been a minor agent employed by Turner to ferret out evidence
against Morres and the Corbets (both Cork men), and in connection with
the prosecution of Tandy.[220] The 'one year and eleven weeks' would
cover the time that Tandy and his companions, after their removal from
Hamburg, lay in an Irish gaol awaiting their trial.

Tandy, finding the evidence against him overwhelming, admitted the
accuracy of the indictment, and was sentenced to die on the fourth of
the ensuing May. In this course he was doubtless influenced by his
son, with whom, as will be seen, McNally, the debauched legal adviser
of the rebels, could do what he liked.[221] Meanwhile Napoleon, on
his return from Egypt, claimed him as a French general, and held an
English prisoner of equal rank a hostage for his safety. It was now
not so clear that Pitt had a legal claim to the life of a man who wore
the uniform of a French officer, and had come into his hands under
circumstances the most peculiar.

As regards Blackwell, the fellow-prisoner of Tandy, Portland,
writing to Cornwallis, speaks of having been importuned by Mrs.
Blackwell's family, whom he describes as 'of considerable influence
in Somersetshire,' and imagines that 'there is no intention of
inflicting any punishment on Mr. Blackwell.'[222] Soon after we find
Blackwell[223] discharged, but, unlike Morres, he proudly refused to
give bail. Morres after an imprisonment of more than three years
regained his liberty on December 10, 1801. Tandy, less fortunate, was
removed to Wicklow gaol, and his son asserts that while there the
French minister in London signified that Buonaparte had sent directions
to his brother Joseph not to sign the treaty of peace 'at Amiens' till
Tandy was restored. M. Otto had in fact, as Bourrienne states,[224]
previously negotiated with Lord Hawkesbury for his release. Mr.
Froude says that 'Tandy was spared as too contemptible to be worth
punishing.'[225] This hardly conveys a true idea of the facts. A pardon
was at last made out for him on condition of banishment to Botany
Bay. To this proviso his son demurred; but, as Mr. Marsden, the Under
Secretary at Dublin Castle, assured him, 'all that was required was
merely the name of _transportation_, in order to strike terror into
others; and that he would pledge his honour, if he acquiesced, that his
father should be landed wherever he pleased, that it might appear to
the world as if he made his escape at sea.'[226]

Tandy arrived at Bordeaux on March 14, 1802. Bonaparte's treaty with
England was signed on the 27th of the same month. Military honours
hailed Tandy. Bordeaux was illuminated, and he was promoted to the rank
of a general of division. But in the midst of this jubilee the old
rebel read with horror a speech of Pelham's in Parliament stating that
'Tandy owed his life to the useful information and discoveries he had
given to the British Government.' He addressed a letter to Pelham, now
a peer, branding the statement as mean, audacious, and false. 'This may
appear uncouth language to a courtly ear,' he added; 'but it is the
voice of truth. I never had any connection or correspondence with your
Government, and if I had, they knew my character too well to attempt
to tamper with me. Had you contented yourself with saying, "there
were particular circumstances in my case," you would have adhered to
the truth, for you know the whole, though you have let out only a
part!' Tandy thus concluded: 'I am, my Lord, with the same sentiments
which I have uniformly cherished and supported, a friend to universal
benevolence, and an enemy to those only who raise their fortunes on
their country's ruin!'

Pelham probably confounded Napper Tandy with James Tandy, from whom
information had been given to his confidant, McNally, and by 'Mac'
conveyed to Dublin Castle. Napper told his son all, not thinking it
would transpire. His feelings had been roused by the imputation, and in
a letter to the 'Argus' he gave them fuller vent. 'Had discoveries been
proposed to me, I should have rejected, with scorn and indignation, a
baseness which my soul abhorred.... I had made up my mind for death in
a cause which no mode of execution could stamp disgrace upon. It would
have been death in the cause of freedom and of my country--a cause
which would have converted the scaffold into an altar, the sufferer
into a victim!'

Mr. Elliot, who, I think, afterwards succeeded his brother as Lord St.
Germans, echoed in Parliament the taunt cast by Pelham, and spoke of
'Tandy's ignorance and insignificant birth.'[227] Tandy, addressing
Elliot, said:--

  The illiberal attack which you have made upon me in your speech
  of the 24th of November last, in the British House of Commons,
  is the cause of my troubling you with this. My '_ignorance and
  insignificance_,' which you have painted in such glowing colours,
  ought, with a man of sense, to have been my protection; but you
  have proved yourself as deficient in this, as in point of good
  manners, which is the true criterion of a gentleman.

  You cannot, sir, but know (for you pretend to be a man of
  information) that I hold a high rank in the army of this great and
  generous nation, which places me upon a footing with the proudest
  peer of your island. You know, also, that the honour of a soldier
  is dearer to him than life; yet, with these facts before you, you
  have dared to traduce my character, and have attempted to affix a
  stigma to my name which nothing can now wipe out but the blood of
  one of us. _A French officer must not be insulted with impunity_,
  and you, as well as the country which gave me birth, and that which
  has adopted me, shall find that I will preserve the honour of my
  station. I, therefore, demand of you to name some town on the
  Continent where you will be found, accompanied by your friend and
  your pistols--giving me sufficient time to leave this, and arrive
  at the place appointed.

                           NAPPER TANDY, General of Division.
  Bourdeaux, December 12, 1802.

Eight weeks elapsed. Elliot failed to reply, and Tandy, in accordance
with the fashion of the day, proclaimed him 'a calumniator, a liar, and
a poltroon!' This fierce climax was preceded by a more temperate tone.

  The question in debate [he said, when Elliot assailed him] was for
  laying a tax on Great Britain, in which I, as a French citizen,
  could not possibly be implicated, and, therefore, it is evident
  that I was wantonly dragged in for the sole purpose of calumny and
  abuse. Such conduct was unmanly, as no brave man would attack a
  defenceless person, much less an absent one.

Ignorant of the source to which his betrayal was due, it did not
occur to Tandy that the speeches of Elliot and others may have aimed
at diverting suspicion from their real informant. Tandy, in reply,
advanced merely the suspicion that the charge of being an informer was
fulminated to excite the jealousy and disgust of his adopted country
France, which, unlike America, had opened her arms to afford him

The wearing worry of Tandy's later life had sapped his strength,
and left him sensitively open to hostile shafts, which his conduct
provoked. His vanity was commensurate with his patriotism, and in
his stoutest day was easily wounded. He gradually sank, and died
at Bordeaux in 1803. 'His private character,' writes Barrington,
'furnished no ground to doubt the integrity of his public one.' He
died, as he had lived, a staunch Protestant.[229]

Much has been written of the wonderful escape from Kilmainham Gaol
of Corbet, afterwards a general in the French service, and one of
the prisoners captured with Tandy at Hamburg, and thence removed to
Dublin. Miss Edgeworth was so much struck by this romantic escape, that
she made it the leading incident of her best novel. But, considering
the subtle international difficulties that had arisen, and with the
suggestion of Under-Secretary Marsden before us, it is a question how
far Corbet's escape may not have been connived at by Castlereagh.

The sermon which Napoleon preached to the Hamburg deputies on their
infringement of the law of nations was in the mouths of his admirers
for years after; but it lost in impressiveness by his own violation
of the neutral territory of Baden, when, on the night of March 17,
1804, he sent a strong guard to seize and carry off to France the
Duc d'Enghien. After a hasty trial by court-martial, and on unproven
charges of conspiracy, he was cruelly put to death in the Castle of
Vincennes. In the heated discussions to which this outrage gave rise,
Buonaparte more than once quoted the case of Tandy, and feebly sought
to find in the past conduct of Hamburg a precedent and justification.

Thomas Addis Emmet accused him of coldness and indecision as regards
the long threatened invasion of Ireland, because, instead of steering
for Erin in 1798, he changed his plan and went to Egypt. The arrest
of Tandy in Hamburg rekindled Napoleon's hostile feeling, and
shortly after the death of that general he resolved to carry out
comprehensively his oft-mooted design.

The 'Correspondence of Napoleon'[230] contains a letter to Berthier,
dated September 27, 1804. He says that an expedition to Ireland had
been decided upon; that 18,000 men for that purpose were ready at
Brest; that a simultaneous landing was to be attempted in Kent; while
in Ireland the French army would march straight on Dublin. Meanwhile
200,000 men were encamped at Boulogne; but hostile plans collapsed
with the smash of the French fleet at Trafalgar. A few weeks later the
so-called 'Army of England' traversed the banks of the blue Danube
instead of the Thames. General Mack capitulated at Ulm; Francis of
Austria fled, and Napoleon's legions entered Vienna.


[190] The words of the French writer will be found at p. 78, _infra_.

[191] The _London Courier_ of September 14, 1799, displays the
following translation of a letter addressed to a Paris journal:
'Citizens,--_The Redacteur_ has said, and many other Journalists
have repeated it, that Napper Tandy had been given up by the Senate
of Hamburg. I declare to you, Citizens, that not a word is said of
this in any letters received in any of the Banking houses in Paris,
nor in those which I myself have received. I hasten to give you this
information, because the Public ought never to be _deceived_.

  (Signed)                 'DANIEL C. MEYER,
                   'Consul General from Hamburgh.'

[192] _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 405. The letter, of which this is a
bit, was written by a spy who contrived to accompany Tandy as a sort
of aide-de-camp, and was on board the 'Anacreon' during the voyage.
Wickham divulges merely his initial, 'O,' but the reader will find his
name and career successfully traced in the Appendix.

[193] Cox's _Irish Magazine_, January 1809, pp. 32-4.

[194] It will be shown, later on, that an Irish spy named 'Durnin'
resided at Hamburg.

[195] See letter to Talleyrand, _ante_, p. 27. Some persons supposed
that because Duckett lived at Hamburg like Turner, he used that great
gangway to France for espionage. In the _Castlereagh Papers_ (ii. 6)
Duckett is described as 'Secretary to Léonard Bourdon.' Bourdon is
noticed in the _Nouvelle Biog. Génèrale_, was 'l'agent du Directoire à
Hambourg, d'où il fit partir les émigrés.'

[196] Sir James Crawford, British minister at Hamburg from 1798 to
1803. Crawford afterwards filled a similar post at Copenhagen, where
Reynolds, the Kildare informer, is also found acting as British consul.
Reynolds's betrayals were long subsequent to those of Turner, and of
a wholly different sort. His evidence was given in court publicly.
The editor of the _Cornwallis Papers_ states that Crawford died on
July 9, 1839; but Mr. Ross confounds him with an utterly different
man. The _Black Book_, published in 1820, records (p. 31) a pension of
1000_l._ 'continued to the family of Sir James Crawford, late minister
at Copenhagen, dead.' The 'most exhaustive' works of biographical
reference omit Sir James Crawford, a remarkable man, and one who played
an important part in European history; and a letter of mine in _Notes
and Queries_, asking for facts about him, failed to elicit a reply.

[197] _Infra_, p. 79.

[198] _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 306-9.

[199] Why Tone's _Diary_, as published, does not once name Turner, may
be due to the uncertainty as to whether Turner was alive in 1826, and
perhaps Tone's son, from motives of prudence, cut out some allusions
to him. Tone died in a Dublin prison on November 19, 1798, three days
before the arrest of Tandy. Tone and Turner were closely associated in
their studies, distinctions, and political pursuits. Turner entered
Trinity College, Dublin, on July 2, 1780; Tone entered on February 19,
1780. Turner was called to the Bar in 1788; Tone in 1789.

[200] Muir's trial took place on August 30, 1793. He was transported
to New South Wales, from which he escaped by American agency. After a
series of great sufferings he arrived at Paris in February 1798, but
died on September 27 that year from the effect of the hardships he had
endured. The papers of the Home Office show that in 1793 Muir came to
Dublin to confer with the United Irishmen, and on January 11 in that
year was elected one of the brotherhood. _Vide_ also _Life of Thomas
Muir_, Advocate, by P. Mackenzie (Simpkin, 1831).

[201] _Ante_, pp. 25-9.

[202] A man whom he found in consultation with Joubert, planning the
invasion of Ireland with a map of it before them, he describes in this
and subsequent letters as O'Herne. Students of the _Castlereagh Papers_
have been unable to identify this man; but it is clear that the O'Herne
who figures in them was no other than Ahearne, so often mentioned by
Tone in his _Diary_. The letter to Wickham mentions General Daendels
as a co-conspirator with O'Herne. In Tone's _Diary_ we read (p. 460):
'Received a letter from General Daendels, desiring me to send on Aherne
to him, without loss of time, to be employed on a secret mission.'

[203] The writer mentions his election in Tandy's place as proof of
his unsleeping vigilance and increased power to betray. Portland,
instead of seeing that the man thus ready to take a false oath would
not scruple to say anything, was so struck by the importance of the
letter that he sent a copy of it to Dublin for the guidance of Lord
Castlereagh. Here was a man, as Curran once said of an approver,
'willing to steep the Evangelists in blood.' Turner, in a previous
letter (_ante_, p. 28), glibly writes: 'I attest the business on oath.'

[204] _Vide ante_, p. 68 _et seq._

[205] Harvey Morres, of the ennobled family of Frankfort (b. 1767), had
been in the Austrian service previous to joining the Irish rebellion;
married, in 1802, the widow of Dr. Esmonde who was hanged in '98. He
subsequently gained the rank of a French colonel, and died in 1839.

[206] _Castlereagh Papers_, ii. 96.

[207] _Ibid._ i. 405.

[208] Tandy had borne a part in every Irish national movement from
November 1783, when the Volunteer Convention met. He was a most
determined man and a firm believer in artillery, a brigade of which he
commanded in Dublin, with the words 'Free Trade or ----' inscribed on
the breeches of the guns. The procession of Volunteer delegates from
the Royal Exchange to the Rotunda was announced by the discharge of
twenty-one cannon.

[209] It is doubtful whether the supper formed part of the plan for the
arrest. All arrangements with that design had been already organised.
_In vino veritas_; and the effect of the supper was, of course, an
increased knowledge and command of the conspiracy, with proportionate
profit to the spy. For such suppers he had a special _gusto_. 'I supped
last night with Valence, who mentioned having introduced Lord Edward,
&c., &c.' See letter to Lord Downshire, p. 4 _ante_.

[210] See Carhampton's command to Turner, when at Newry, to remove his
green neckcloth, p. 11, _ante_. Reinhard, writing to De la Croix, says
that these 'imprudences' compelled Turner to leave Ireland.

[211] These are his words: 'Pauvre de forme et bien simple de style,
mais d'une puissance d'autant plus entraînante, surtout sous le charme
d'une voix qui jetait toute l'intensité de la passion Anglaise dans les
accens de douleur et de colère, toujours un peu vagues et flottans, de
la fantaisie celtique. L'air et les paroles ne me sortaient point de
l'oreille; et, comme toute impression d'ensemble se concentre toujours
sur un détail unique, il y avait surtout une strophe étrange qui me

[212] The London _Post-Office Directory_, eighty years ago and later,
gave the names of those only who were engaged in trade. But Holden's
_Triennial Directory_ for 1808 includes the name 'Samuel Turner,
Esq. 21, Upper Wimpole Street.' The name disappears from the Dublin
Directory about the same time.

[213] _The Conduct of the Senate at Hamburg revealed_, by William
Corbet (Paris, 1807). The number of copies privately printed was small;
the pamphlet is very scarce, and obtains no place in the Halliday
Collection, R.I.A.

[214] Corbet's _Narrative_. (Paris, 1807.) General Corbet did not live
to see the day when the recovery of such treasure was regarded as
feasible. In 1889 appeared the prospectus of the Aboukir Bay Company
for recovering the treasure sunk in the 'L'Orient,' destroyed by Nelson
at the Nile.

[215] _Ibid._

[216] File in possession of the writer. The British Museum, so rich in
other respects, does not embrace the _Courier_ for 1798-9.

[217] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, ii. 94-6.

[218] Howell's _State Trials_, xxvii. 1194-1243.

[219] John Wolcot is a rare name. All have heard of John Wolcot, well
known as 'Peter Pindar,' the merciless assailant of George the Third.

[220] The intercepted memorial from Morres to the French Government,
preserved in the _Castlereagh Papers_ (ii. 96), urges: 'In case of
future attempts on Ireland on the part of France, the province of
Munster, which abounds in good havens, and whose men are the best
republicans in Ireland, is the point to be looked to.' The capture of
Cork is proposed, i. 295.

[221] See Appendix, 'James Tandy.'

[222] _Cornwallis Papers_, iii. 284.

[223] See memoir of Blackwell in Cox's _Irish Magazine of Neglected
Biography_ for 1811, p. 32.

[224] _Life of Napoleon._

[225] _English in Ireland_, iii. 488.

[226] _Appeal to the Public_, by James Tandy (Dublin, 1807), p. 108,
2nd ed. Halliday Pamphlets, vol. 915, R.I.A.

[227] This is probably the same Mr. Elliot (see _ante_, p. 77) who
states that instructions had been sent to have Tandy arrested on the
neutral ground of Hamburg. Elliot, who applied the term 'insignificant'
to Tandy, must have read the informer's letter (since published in
the _Castlereagh Papers_, pp. 405-9), where Tandy is described, among
other contemptuous epithets, as 'insignificant'! Elliot is styled in
the _Castlereagh Papers_, 'Military Secretary to Lord Cornwallis, the
Viceroy.' 'Cornwallis Elliot' is a favourite name in the St. Germans
family. Tandy addresses his assailant merely as 'Mr. Elliot.' The
Elliots formed a powerful diplomatic _coterie_.

[228] Elliot, writing to Lord Castlereagh, says: 'The Americans
absolutely refuse to admit the Irish traitors into their territories'
(_Castlereagh Papers_, i. 405, 411, 413, 415, 421). This is the
letter which refers to the contemplated arrest of Tandy at the Hague,
and in it he further says: 'I have begged Pelham to come to London
immediately.' Succeeding letters describe Elliot and Pelham closeted
together at various places.

[229] The Society of United Irishmen had no treasonable design when
first formed, as the following letter admitting the O'Conor Don would
almost in itself convey.

Tandy writes to Charles O'Connor from Dublin, December 8, 1791:--

  'Sir,--I have to acknowledge the favour of your very polite letter,
  and to assure you that I had particular pleasure in seconding the
  motion for the admission of Mr. O'Conor into the Society of United
  Irishmen--and that no exertion of mine shall be wanting to compleat
  the emancipation of my country, give her a free and general
  representation, and render to every man what I conceive to be his
  just and undoubted rights, security for his liberty and property,
  and a participation in the blessings of that land where Nature has
  placed him.

(O'Conor Don MSS.) Parliamentary Reform and Catholic Emancipation were
the two objects sought; and it was only when both demands had been
spurned by the Irish Parliament that the organisation drifted into
deeper plans. Some recollections of Tandy's expedition to Ireland will
be found in the Appendix.

[230] Bingham's _Correspondence of Napoleon_, ii. 96. (Chapman and
Hall, 1884.)



In 1799, Turner's stealthy steps can be traced once more in London. It
will be remembered that Lord Edward Fitzgerald had met, by appointment
near Whitechapel, M. Jägerhorn, a secret envoy of France, and gave
him, in full detail, information regarding every point on which that
agent had been charged to inquire. Jägerhorn was 'the estimable Swede'
named by Reinhard, the French minister at Hamburg, when writing the
intercepted letter. This document, dated July 12, the editor of the
'Castlereagh Papers' assigns to the year 1798;[231] but as Lord Edward
was dead at that time,[232] it must belong to the previous year. Other
secret missives were sent to Dublin at the same time by the Home
Office, in order to guide the course of the Irish Government. These
papers, filling forty pages of the book,[233] were the result of a
successful stroke of espionage at Hamburg.

M. Jägerhorn is of course the person alluded to by Mr. Froude when
describing the nocturnal visit to Lord Downshire. 'He [Lord Edward]
had been watched in London, and had been traced to the lodgings of a
suspected agent of the French Directory, and among other papers which
had been forwarded by spies to the Government, there was one in French
containing an allusion to some female friend of Lady Edward, through
whom a correspondence was maintained between Ireland and Paris.'

Hamburg was Turner's usual residence, and Jägerhorn had an estate near
that place.[234]

Although the case of M. Jägerhorn is opened in the first volume of the
'Castlereagh Papers,' and misplaced among the incidents of another
year, we do not find until far in the second the letters addressed to
him in 1797 by General Valence and Lord Edward. In 1799 Jägerhorn had
sought to renew his perilous enterprise. The same keen scent which
traced Lord Edward, in 1797, to the lodgings of the confidential envoy
in London, was once more on his track. Wickham, writing from the Home
Office on March 28, 1799, has news for Castlereagh in Dublin: 'I have
the satisfaction to inform your lordship that we have secured M.
Jägerhorn, who was coming over here on a mission similar to that which
he undertook some two years since, when he met Lord Edward Fitzgerald
in London.'

A full report is given of Jägerhorn's examination, in which he is
asked: 'Were you not charged to deliver to Lord Edward Fitzgerald a
letter from somebody?' and he replied, 'Madame Matthiessen.' This was
the lady, nearly connected with Lady Edward, and alluded to by Mr.
Froude as a name found in secret papers. He is further questioned
about Lord Edward, Lady Lucy, General Valence, and a number of other
persons whose names had cropped up in the interview between Turner and
Downshire; but, though the queries were searching, and Jägerhorn now
seemed completely in Pitt's power, nothing material was wrung from him.
England and Russia were at this time allied, and Jägerhorn, pretending
that he had a pension of 2,000 roubles as a spy of Russia, rather
dumb-foundered his examiners, and he at last regained his liberty. All
this is to be found, with full details, in the 'Correspondence of Lord

The paltry sum which Turner received for his services now comes to
be considered. This man, who had every facility of access to Lady
Edward's house at Hamburg and its rebel _entourage_, held the key of a
position so incalculably important  that he never himself discerned
its marketable value. Thousands would doubtless just as readily have
been paid to him as 'the cool 500_l._' that he modestly asked. 'To get
the information had cost him,' he said, 'three times that sum, and to
keep up the acquaintances and connections he had at Hamburg he could
not live on less.' 'Small profits and quick returns' seems to have been
his motto.

'Fresh evidence of the person's power to be useful,' writes Froude,
'made Pitt extremely anxious to secure his permanent help.' The
Cornwallis papers record, but without any attempt to identify him, that
the pension Samuel Turner received--dating from 1800--was but 300_l._
a year. Wellington when Irish Secretary addressed to Portland a letter
in which a present payment of 5,000_l._, and 'not more than 20,000_l._
within the year,' appears guaranteed to one nameless informer.[235]

Another case may be cited. A document placed in my hands by Sir W.
Cope, Bart., records that his grandfather was told by Under-Secretary
Cooke to stop at no sum, not even 100,000_l._, in urging Reynolds to
turn approver. Reynolds, not realising the importance of his evidence,
consented to take 5,000_l._ and 1,000_l._ a year, with the post of
British consul. The tergiversation of Reynolds did not take place until
1798, long after Turner had sold the pass.

The services of 'Downshire's friend' were more timely and, perhaps,
more valuable. He told what he knew in 1797: the names he gave of the
Executive Committee (p. 7, _ante_) proved more important than might
appear at first sight. Reynolds, it is true, gave the hint that a
Committee would be found sitting at Bond's on March 12, 1798, but he
does not seem to have disclosed names; his son says that the names were
inserted in the warrant purely 'on speculation.'[236]

As regards the more distinct whisper of Turner, the betrayal of the
Belfast Directory, at the very hour that Tone was leaving Brest with
a French fleet, proved in itself a paralysing blow, and one worth its
weight in gold. But the arm that dealt it struck from behind unseen.
However, as most of the information that Downshire's friend gave
concerned the Northern organisation, he may, perhaps, be credited with
this exploit. The loss of Ulster was the loss of the right arm of the
rebellion. Turner made his disclosures on October 8, 1797. Besides
the list of the Executive Directory, there can be no doubt that in
the information which followed he named, with others, John Hughes of
Belfast, the date and place of whose arrest tally with the presumption
that to Turner it was due. The 'History of Belfast' records: 'October
20, 1797--John Hughes, bookseller, having been apprehended _in
Newry_[237] on a charge of high treason, was brought in here escorted
by a party of light dragoons.'[238] Mr. Froude says that 'Downshire's
friend' kept him informed of everything.[239]

How well Turner knew Hughes is proved by the sworn testimony of the
latter,[240] in which he describes a breakfast in June 1797, with
Samuel Turner, Teeling, Macnevin, etc., when the fitness of the country
for an immediate rising was debated. Hughes had been a great patriot
previously, but now to save himself became a mercenary informer, and
even sought to criminate Grattan, who thereupon was dismissed from the
Privy Council, though, as Stanhope[241] admits, without just cause.
There had been no more zealous propagandist of the rebellion than
Hughes, and he names a long list of men whom he himself had sworn in
on a prayer-book. In 1802 John Hughes retired to the United States and
became a slave-owner.

Wickham's letter of June 8, 1798, enumerated, for the information
of Lord Castlereagh, a number of men whose arrests in England seem
consequent on the information furnished by Downshire's visitor. These
names include McGuckin, the attorney, who had been concerned for
O'Coigly at Maidstone. The subsequent career of this once determined
rebel, but who soon after his arrest in 1798 became a spy for the
Crown, enhances the importance of Turner's information at a great
crisis. The first recorded payment to McGuckin of secret service money
is March 5, 1799.[242] His son migrated to France, and was created a
baron by Louis Philippe.

The peril of assassination which shadowed every step made by Turner
was not adequately weighed by Pitt when estimating the value of his
services. The risk he ran was not confined to Ireland. The life of an
English spy abroad was deemed equally unsafe, and there is much reason
to fear that more than one met with short shrift. Even a successful
diplomat, if his subtlety touched French interests, could not regard
his life as safe. The disappearance of Benjamin Bathurst, a kinsman
of Earl Bathurst, has never been explained. Bathurst was sent on a
secret mission to Vienna, at the time that England before opening the
Peninsular campaign sought to persuade Austria to declare, by way of a
distraction, war against France. Austria soon after crossed the French
frontier, and Bathurst received hints of threatened personal doom.
Hoping to avoid assassination, he took a northerly route in returning
to England, and on reaching Perleberg in Brandenburg, he visited, in
his agitation, the commandant of cuirassiers, requesting that sentries
might mount guard at the inn where he stopped. These were supplied,
and Bathurst spent the day in writing and destroying letters. Shortly
before his carriage came to the door in the dark of a November evening,
he told some troopers who escorted him that they might withdraw. While
all the household was on the alert to see him off, he walked beyond the
circle of the lantern glare, and was lost to sight at the heads of the
horses. This occurred on November 25, 1809, and Bathurst was never seen
or heard of more, notwithstanding that, as we are reminded by Baring
Gould, England offered 2,000_l._ reward, and Prussia 100 Friedrichs
d'or, for the discovery even of his remains.

To trace the spy with whom these chapters mainly deal seemed, at the
outset, almost as hopeless as to find Bathurst's bones. Of all the
Government informers not one has been more ingeniously guarded from
discovery. Wellington, with all his astuteness, supposed that the fact
of a man's name appearing in the Banishment Act was conclusive evidence
against him of having been a rebel,[243] and therefore disqualified
from claiming any favour from the Crown. But had he known the secret
history of Turner's case, it would have opened his eyes. A Fugitive
Bill was passed in July 1798, enumerating the rebel leaders who had
fled from justice. In this bill we find Samuel Turner named. During
the following year Parliament was asked to lend itself to the fraud of
branding as a traitor the same Samuel Turner, by passing against him
an Act of Attainder. From 1797 he lived abroad, posing as an 'exile of

The sealed chest in Dublin Castle which was opened a few years ago
contained the only letter I ever saw signed with Turner's name. It
related to his pension, and it was necessary to lay the mask aside
for once. We have already seen him styled Furnes, Richardson, and
especially 'Lord Downshire's friend.'[245] A new name is now adopted
to puzzle posterity. He directs that 500_l._ be lodged to the account
of 'J. Destinger,' and this sum he was to draw through a third party.
Turner's letter is addressed, not to Dublin Castle, but to Cooke in
London, that gentleman having been succeeded, as Under-Secretary for
Ireland, by Mr. Marsden.

  _Rt. Honᵇˡᵉ Mr. Secretary Cooke._[246]

                                   Hamburg: May 18, 1802.

  Sir,--In consequence of letters I've had the honour of receiving
  from Lord Castlereagh and Sir James Craufurd, I take the liberty of
  intruding relative to a pension of 300_l._ per annum the Government
  has thought proper to bestow on me for information on Irish affairs.

  His lordship states that you have been so kind as to offer to pay
  the pension to any person I would name as agent--or in any way I
  was to propose. At present there is no person in Ireland I'd like
  to trust, and till some mode is adopted, I should be extremely
  obliged if you'd take the trouble of lodging in any bank in London
  the sum of 500_l._ (British) on account of J. Destinger--the name I
  shall draw it under--through Sir Geo. Rumbold.[247]

  Now that the war is over, and it is _supposed_ all persons in my
  line are discharged, I make it a point to spend much more money
  than heretofore in order to do away any idea of my being employed
  and income diminished, and it is for that reason I request your
  attention, and beg the honour of a line through Sir George to say
  where the draft is to be sent.

  Hoping one day or other to merit your good opinion, I remain, most
  respectfully, &c. &c.

                                                              S. TURNER.

Turner spent money freely, and often when he could ill afford it. He
had a social status to maintain: he was the son of a county magistrate;
had distinguished himself in college; belonged to an honourable
profession. He was the trustee of marriage settlements. He was 'Lord
Downshire's friend!' If he continued to wear his mask well, why might
he not aspire to attain, in America at least, the high official rank of
his late colleague and fellow-prisoner, Thomas Addis Emmet, whom she
at last honoured by a public funeral and a monument raised by national

The 'Dublin Directory' for 1804 describes Samuel Turner's address as 58
St. Stephen's Green, in that city. The volume must have been compiled
during the previous year, and it may be that the Irish Government, in
1808, removed him to Dublin, with the object of picking the brains
of those who had been concerned in Emmet's rebellion of that year.
Until the very night of its outburst, in July 1808, the existence of a
slumbering volcano had not been suspected. After the vain attempts to
convict and hang Tandy, Turner had returned to his old quarters.[248]

The Irish Government were wholly unprepared for Emmet's revolt. No
wonder that Wickham, with the experience he had acquired, confessed
amazement that the secret should have been kept so well.

  The Secretary of State cried out with astonishment to think that
  such a preparation for revolution could be carried on in the very
  bosom of the seat of Government, without discovery, for so long a
  time, when any of the party could have made their fortunes by a
  disclosure of the plot; and remarked, at the same time, in presence
  of Mr. Stafford and the two Mr. Parrots, John and William, that it
  was because they were mostly all mechanics, or working people, that
  the thing was kept so profound; and said that if the higher orders
  of society had been connected, they would divulge the plot for the
  sake of gain.[249]

Turner was at once set in motion: but how? We find him put into the
same gaol with a swarm of State prisoners, many of whom had been active
in 1798. All daily met for exercise in the yard of Kilmainham Gaol, and
had every opportunity for converse. Here Robert Emmet himself had been
confined until the very day of his execution.

The execution was followed by that of several of his confederates. Let
us look back. Martial law is proclaimed; a dead calm prevails. Turner
is now traced stealthily making his way to the Secretary of State's
Office, Dublin Castle. Anxious to avoid committing himself in writing,
especially with a true signature, he seeks the safer medium of oral
communication. Mr. Marsden cannot be seen; he is engaged just then in
conference with the chief law officer of the Crown. Turner scribbles
the following and sends it in; no signature is attached, but the paper
and enclosure are endorsed, by Marsden, 'Mr. Samuel Turner':--

  Understanding the Attorney-General is just with you, I take the
  liberty of sending in a letter of Mr. Ball, but wish to speak on
  other matters.

Sergeant Ball's letter is dated

                                            Temple St., October 3, 1803.

  I have looked into the Act of Parliament and considered in what
  manner you should proceed in order to do away the effect of the
  attainder thereby passed against you. Nothing short of an Act of
  Parliament, reversing the former as far as it affects you, will be
  sufficient to enable you to sue for your property in our courts
  of justice. I think you mentioned that some other plan had been
  suggested as sufficient. If you will let me know what it is, I will
  give it the most attentive consideration.

How Marsden and the Attorney-General settled the difficulty, no
correspondence exists to show; but the London 'Courier' of December 5,
1803, most lucidly reveals the facts:--

  On Friday last, Samuel Turner, Esq., barrister-at-law, was brought
  to the bar of the Court of King's Bench, in custody of the keeper
  of Kilmainham Prison, under a charge of attainder, passed in the
  Irish Parliament, as one concerned in the Rebellion of the year
  1798; but having shown that he was no way concerned therein, that
  he had not been in the country for a year and seven months prior
  to passing that Act--_i.e._ for thirteen months prior to the
  rebellion--and therefore could not be the person alluded to, his
  Majesty's Attorney-General confessed the same, and Mr. Turner was
  discharged accordingly.[250]

The 'Dublin Evening Post' of the day states that Turner's arrest was
due simply to his indiscretion in visiting Ireland on business arising
from the death of his father.[251] But as the 'Post' in 1803 had been
subsidised by the Crown, this account was probably meant to mislead.
The Castle archives bulge with the brimful letters of its editor, H.
B. Code. Turner's committal to Kilmainham was only another act in the
great drama, one scene of which Mr. Froude has so powerfully put before
us. 'Samuel Turner, Esquire,' of imposing presence and indomitable
mien, a veteran in 'the cause,' the man who had challenged the
Commander-in-Chief, the envoy to France, the exile of Erin, the friend
of Lord Edward and Pamela, the disinherited by his father, the victim
of State persecution, now stood before his fellow-prisoners the 'Ecce
Homo' of martyrdom, commanding irresistibly their confidence.

Of his detention in Kilmainham Dr. Madden knows nothing; but he
mentions that Turner accompanied the State prisoners--nineteen in
number--to Fort George in Scotland, the final scene of their captivity.
Here Turner's work was so adroitly performed that we find a man of
incorruptible integrity suspected instead. Arthur O'Connor told John
Patten that Thomas Addis Emmet 'gave information of a letter which
O'Connor was writing, through which means Government became acquainted
with the circumstance.' A long correspondence on the subject has been
published by Madden. Emmet at last challenged O'Connor. Patten,[252]
the brother-in-law of Emmet, was told to bring a certain pair of
duelling pistols to Fort George; but, thanks to the efforts of Robert
Emmet to allay the dispute, the weapons were not used. It was Patten's
impression that Turner's machinations had set the two friends by the
ears. Although O'Connor apologised, and both parties shook hands, it is
painful to add that half a century after, when the upright Emmet had
been more than twenty years dead, O'Connor, in his book 'Monopoly,'
stigmatised him as a man of bad faith. A suspicion more baseless was
never uttered. In this book the name of his fellow-prisoner, Turner,
is not once mentioned. Indeed, the inference is that he thought well
of Turner; for O'Connor, after criticising the Catholic members of the
Directory, declares that he had much greater reliance on the _Northern_
chiefs. O'Connor, Emmet, Neilson and others were detained at Fort
George until the Peace of Amiens, and then enlarged on condition that
they should expatriate themselves for ever.[253]

In 1807 Sir Arthur Wellesley, afterwards Duke of Wellington, entered on
his duties as Irish Secretary. A letter, dated Dublin Castle, December
5, 1807, and addressed to the Admiralty, recommends a midshipman in the
navy, Francis Turner, for promotion. 'He is the son of a Mr. Turner in
this country, who has strong claims to the favour of the Government
for the loyalty and zeal with which he conducted himself during the
rebellion in Ireland.'[254] Doubtless the new hand merely wrote in this
letter what the permanent officials prompted.[255]

Downshire, although a staunch Tory of the old school, uniformly
supported the Catholic claims. This example probably influenced his
_protégé_. O'Connell, while inculcating moral force in his struggle for
civil and religious liberty, was fond of enlisting in his bodyguard
men who in more troubled times had staked their lives and fortunes for
Ireland. He had himself been a 'United Irishman,' as will be shown. The
rebel General Clony presided as chairman at the Catholic Association.
Rowan, Teeling and 'Con' McLoughlin sat at the Council board, or stood
on the National platform. What confidence must not O'Connell have
reposed in the man who, as will appear, avowed himself ready to die for
his chief!

An aged gentleman, Patrick O'Byrne, who was born at Newry, almost under
the shadow of Turner's patrimonial gable, but who never once doubted
his fidelity to the cause in which O'Byrne himself has been no silent
ally, supplies a fact of sufficiently curious import:--

  When the Orange ascendancy faction resolved to put O'Connell out of
  the way [he writes], and their champion, the unfortunate D'Esterre,
  horsewhip in hand, was ostentatiously parading the streets of
  Dublin, accompanied by leering friends, to compel O'Connell to
  fight him, Mr. Samuel Turner took up his position in a hotel where
  it was known D'Esterre would go to seek O'Connell. He had not been
  there long before D'Esterre and his staff entered and inquired for
  O'Connell. Immediately Mr. Turner advanced and stated that his
  friend Mr. O'Connell was not there, but he--Mr. Turner--was there
  to represent him. No: they did not want Mr. O'Connell's friend;
  the Liberator himself was the object of their search. Mr. Turner,
  with the same spirit that he had challenged Lord Carhampton, now
  declared that he adopted Mr. O'Connell's words, publicly uttered,
  and made himself responsible for his actions. In vain; none but
  O'Connell himself would serve their purpose, and Mr. Turner was
  denied the opportunity of doing battle for his friend.[256]

All this time it cannot be said that, although undiscovered, Turner
was still a happy man. The dread spectre of assassination ceased not
to haunt him. 'After long experience of the world,' says Junius, 'I
affirm before God I never knew a rogue who was not unhappy.' Nor was
Turner's presentiment surprising. McSkimmin's History of Carrickfergus,
103-73, in his 'History of Carrickfergus,' states that the pistol and
the dagger were no uncommon means of dealing with informers; and he
supplies a list of men who thus suffered.

Books which treat of 'Ninety-eight' often mention Byrne of Dundalk.
In 1869 the late Mr. John Mathews of that town gathered from Byrne's
representative, Mr. P. J. Byrne, Clerk of the Crown, several facts,
and, in enclosing them to me, styled his informant 'the highest
authority on the unpublished history of the County.' Two days later
Mr. Byrne was no more. The inquiries I then made had no reference to
Samuel Turner, but some passing notices of this man which occur in the
manuscript are useful in now supplying missing links. Mr. Mathews was
an ardent patriot, and he described, not without emotion, how Turner
died. Regarding him as a rebel true to the end, he writes:--

  Turner went to the Isle of Man, and having quarrelled there with a
  Mr. Boyce, agreed that the dispute should be settled by an appeal
  to arms. Both, with their friends, repaired to the field of honour,
  and as Turner was preparing for the struggle his adversary shot him
  through the head; and [adds Matthews] thus terminated the career
  of a man whose only regret was that his life was not lost in the
  service of his country.[257]

Was the vengeance wreaked by Boyce meant as a tardy retribution? Was
the John Boyce, who with five other prisoners was consigned in 1797
to Carrickfergus Gaol, connected with the Boyce who shot Turner?
What Boyce had against Turner was a secret which died with both. No
proceedings seem to have been taken against the man by whose hand
he fell. And possibly this forbearance was not uninfluenced by the
fact that the Crown had need no longer for their informer's services,
but, on the contrary, gained by his death. Turner was a clever man,
troublesome to deal with, haughty, touchy, and resentful; and, like
Maguan,[258] Bird and Newell, he might at any moment publicly turn upon
his employers and betray them with as little compunction as he had
already sold his comrades.

A word as regards Lord Downshire, through whom Turner's disclosures
were at first conveyed. This peer, who at one time had wielded
potential influence at Whitehall, and had the ear of Pitt, lived to
fall into deep disfavour with Government. He steadily opposed the
Legislative Union, and helped to form a joint-stock purse with the
object of out-bribing Dublin Castle. In chastisement he was dismissed
from the Lord Lieutenancy of Down, deprived of his rank as colonel,
expelled from the Privy Council, and threatened with a parliamentary
inquiry into his conduct. These blows told, and on September 7, 1801,
he breathed his last.


[231] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, i. 282.

[232] Lord Edward Fitzgerald died on June 4, 1798.

[233] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, i. 270-309.

[234] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, ii. 265.

[235] Letter of Sir A. Wellesley to the Duke of Portland: dated
'Holyhead, June 19, 1808.' _Civil Correspondence of the Duke of
Wellington (Ireland)_, pp. 454-5.

[236] _Life of Reynolds_, by his Son, ii. 153.

[237] Newry had been Turner's home.

[238] _History of Belfast_, p. 478.

[239] Immediately after the rebellion Downshire received 52,500_l._,
nominally as compensation for borough seats. The magnitude of the
sum has excited historic surprise; but in making this payment other
services were, no doubt, weighed, including the timely information of
which Turner made him the channel.

[240] Before the Secret Committee of the House of Lords, 1798.

[241] See _Life of Pitt_, _ante_, p. 36.

[242] Account of S.S. Money applied in detecting Treasonable
Conspiracies per affidavit of Mr. Cooke.

[243] Vide _Irish Correspondence_, p. 386.

[244] The original of 'The Exile of Erin' was said to be an obscure
democrat named McCann; but it is just as likely to have been that
finished actor, Turner himself. So prominent and conversable a man must
have been well known to Thomas Campbell, then a strong Radical, and
who, as he tells us, wrote the 'Exile,' at Altona, near Hamburg, in
1801; and it suggests conflicting emotions to speculate as to how far
the figure of Turner, in his slouched hat, gazing wistfully from the
beach, in search of prey, may have influenced the beautiful idea of the

    'There came to the beach a poor exile of Erin,
      The dew on his raiment was heavy and chill;
    For his country he sighed, when at twilight repairing
      To wander alone by the wind-beaten hill.
    But the day-star attracted his eye's sad devotion,
    For it rose o'er his own native isle of the ocean;
    Where once, in the fire of his youthful devotion,
      He sang the bold anthem of Erin-go-Bragh.'

[245] Also 'Jean Thomas,' _ante_, p. 20. Compare also Wellington's
_Irish Correspondence_, p. 357, regarding a letter received in 1808
'from ---- _alias_ ----.'

[246] This letter was forwarded by Cooke to Marsden for his guidance.

[247] Sir George Rumbold was Consul-General at Hamburg. Died 1807.

[248] A small box of papers, labelled 'Curious and Selected,' is
preserved in the Record Tower, Dublin Castle. Two unsigned letters
supplying private information in 1803 have puzzled their official
custodians. St. John Mason--a cousin of the ill-fated Robert Emmet--is
the man mainly sought to be incriminated. The letters are endorsed 'R.'
and I observed, in holding up one against the light, that the capitals
'S. T. 1801,' appear as the watermark. 'R' is the cypher by which
Castlereagh points to 'Richardson,' _alias_ Turner, in his letter to
Wickham (p. 46, _ante_). The case of St. John Mason and his prolonged
imprisonment without trial was brought before Parliament in 1812. The
Duke of Richmond--then Viceroy--wrote a despatch and made allusion to
the above letters. 'Who the writer may have been I know not,' observes
his Grace, 'but he appears to have been some secret informer of the
Government.' This despatch was ordered by the House of Commons to be
printed June 2, 1812.

[249] MS. recollections, communicated by one of Emmet's officers,
Bernard Duggan.

[250] This Attorney-General was Standish O'Grady, afterwards Lord
Guillamore. The author of _Ireland and its Rulers_ states of him (i.
126): 'He was a quaint joker; a shrewd and old-fashioned wit, with a
vein of dry humour. As a judge he enjoyed a plebeian popularity, for he
took great sport in baffling the Crown lawyers.'

[251] 'Mr. Turner only returned to this country within the last few
weeks on account of the death of his father, who left his property to
younger children thinking the elder could not return, or that, if left
to him, it would be laid hold of by Government by virtue of the Act of
Attainder.'--_Dublin Evening Post_, November 29, 1803.

[252] John Patten, librarian to the Royal Dublin Society, survived
until the year 1864. He furnished me with many facts, duly noted at the
time. Some appear in the _Sham Squire_.

[253] For a curious poem which O'Connor distributed _en route_ to Fort
George, see Appendix.

[254] _Civil Correspondence of the Duke of Wellington (Ireland)_.

[255] The promotion urged by Wellington would seem to have been made,
and merited. _The Gentleman's Magazine_ for July, 1813, under the head
of 'Admiralty, May 30,' records the capture by some boats, under the
command of Lieutenant Turner, of a French privateer, after a severe
conflict and loss of life. I am bound to say, however, that the Turner
mentioned by Wellington as having strong claims on the Government since
1798, is not satisfactorily shown to be Turner who gave important
information during the Rebellion.

[256] Letter of Mr. Patrick O'Byrne to W. J. F., Dublin, September
6, 1880. D'Esterre was a practised duellist. He and O'Connell at
last met in a field near Naas, and D'Esterre fell January 31, 1815.
Lord Whitworth, the famous diplomat, was then Lord Lieutenant. The
_Sentinel_, an independent newspaper, declared that the most memorable
event which occurred in his Vice-royalty was this duel. It had
engrossed the attention of all Ireland, and ought to engross that
of Parliament also. Everyone asked why the outrage which led to the
catastrophe, being so public and protracted, had not been restrained by
some one of the many members of his Government who had observed it. But
vainly the friends of peace inquired why D'Esterre had not been placed
under arrest.

[257] Turner was very treacherously served by his impulsive foe.
Perhaps Boyce thought that had O'Connell accepted Turner's services in
that lonely field in Kildare, he might have been tempted, like Iago, to
deal a stealthy stab.

[258] Maguan of Saintfield is not to be confounded with Magan.



Of Duckett, an amateur rebel envoy, mentioned in connection with the
arrest of Napper Tandy,[259] something remains to be said. He was a
man of very active habits, and if less impulsive would have had more
friends. Tone, already the victim of misplaced confidence, viewed many
men with suspicion, and let them see it. In 1796 he was passing as a
French officer, and mentions in his diary that, when waiting to see
De la Croix, the minister of war at Paris, Duckett, who chanced to be
also in the ante-room, sought to enter into conversation with Tone by
handing him an English newspaper. Advances of this sort, though natural
in an exiled Irishman meeting another, were not without effect in
making Tone distrust and avoid him.[260] Duckett no doubt had projects
connected with the enterprise in hand to which the chivalrous Tone
would not stoop; but of these Tone knew little, and his prejudice was
formed on quite different grounds. These suspicions were shared by
Madgett, an official in the French War Office. Duckett, it appears,
told Madgett that two expeditions were to proceed to Ireland. 'Madgett
said that he had endeavoured to put Duckett off the scent by saying
he did not believe one word of the story, but that Duckett continued
positive.' Tone adds that the information was probably true; but that
it was terribly provoking it should be known to Duckett, 'to whom, by
the by, De la Croix revealed in confidence all that he knew, for which
he ought to be damned.' Tone later on admits that he knows nothing
against Duckett unless by report.[261]

Tone's unhealthy impression Dr. Madden caught contagiously. In the
first edition of his book, published forty years ago, he conveys that
Duckett was a spy subsidised by England.[262] Innuendo grew at last
into accusation, and a more recent edition records that Duckett,
'there is good reason to believe, was not employed by the Irish
Directory, but by the British Minister, Mr. Pitt.'[263] Again, we
are told that Duckett was '_assuming_ the character of an agent of
the United Irishmen at Paris, and continually dodged Tone in all his

I cannot endorse this imputation. In no pension list, or account of
secret service money, is the name of Duckett to be traced; nor is there
one line to criminate him in the archives of the Home Office. Nay more.
Open the 'Castlereagh Papers,' and there Duckett is found denounced as
a sworn enemy to England. These valuable State papers were published
ten years previous to the issue of Dr. Madden's revised edition; but,
uninfluenced by their revelations, he renews the charges against

Guillon, who has had access to the Government archives in France,
says that Truguet, Minister of Marine, had thrown himself heart and
soul into the projected invasion, and proposed to land 30,000 men in
Ireland, under Hoche; and 60,000 later on in England; but the Directory
deemed the plan too daring, and threw it aside; until Tone's memorials
made their thoughts recur to invasion, and they then adopted a portion
of the rejected scheme of Truguet.[265] An interesting letter from
Duckett to Truguet, Minister of Marine, turns up among the intercepted
despatches. This functionary had just been succeeded by a new hand.

Is the Government still resolved to prosecute the same plans and the
same projects [Duckett asks]. Can my country rely on its promises? Let
me know, I beseech you in the name of Liberty, what is to be done?
Shall I go home to accelerate the period for the arrival of which we
are all solicitous? Consider that it is only patriots and enemies of
England who risk anything--it is their blood that will flow.

The fears I had lest I should not be able to convert your bill into
money are unfortunately realised. I have presented it to Citizen
Reinhard, explained to him who I was, and what I was going to do.
I showed him how necessary it was that I should leave Hamburg. He
replied that his personal means did not permit him to comply with
my application, adding that he could not act, because I had not a
particular letter for him.

       *       *       *       *       *

A mysterious task and goal are glanced at.

  I am grievously mortified that I am not at this moment at the
  place of my destination. You know how deeply I interest myself in
  this cause; my presence will be conducive to the success of our
  friends. I wait for nothing but your answer to set out. I would
  merely request you to speak about me to your successor, to explain
  to him my situation and my necessities, in order that he may take
  into consideration the expenses which I shall be absolutely obliged
  to incur; for, when once arrived at my post, it will perhaps be
  impossible for me to receive assistance from him. I therefore
  beg of you to make him put me beyond the reach of accidents, by
  causing a sum that will afford me the means of subsisting and
  acting to be remitted to Hamburg. It does not belong to me to fix
  it. It is for him in his wisdom to see what sum will be necessary
  and indispensable for the expenses of six months. It would be
  superfluous to assure you of my attachment to the cause, and of the
  high consideration which I have for you personally.

  P.S.--Address your answer to Citizen Reinhard: it is he who
  undertakes to forward this letter to you.[266]

It will be remembered that the betrayer whom Mr. Froude dramatically
pictures as unbosoming himself to Downshire was the confidant of
Reinhard at Hamburg, had access to his house, and used that fact to
prove that his services, as an informer, were worth purchase by Pitt.
I have elsewhere shown that the letters headed 'Secret Information
from Hamburg,' which have crept into the 'Castlereagh Papers' to
puzzle the world,[267] can only have been written by 'Lord Downshire's
friend'--_i.e._ Turner. One appears at page 306 of the first volume of
that work. _There_ the objects vaguely broached by Duckett are revealed
as plainly as though Reinhard himself had whispered the word. The spy,
having furnished other items of news, writes:--

  'Duckett is at Hamburg; he has denounced Stone at Paris as a
  traitor.[268] I hear he [Duckett] has got money from the [French]
  Government for the purpose of renewing the mutiny in the English

Obstinately hostile winds, as in 1796, once more saved England. Tone,
whose untiring energy had accomplished the organisation of the invading
forces, soliloquises in his diary of 1 August, 1797:--

  I am, to-day, twenty-five days aboard, and at a time when
  twenty-five hours are of importance. There seems to be a fate in
  this business. Five weeks--I believe six weeks--the English Fleet
  was paralysed by the mutinies at Portsmouth,[270] Plymouth, and the
  Nore. The sea was open, and nothing to prevent both the Dutch and
  French fleets to put to sea. Well, nothing was ready; that precious
  opportunity, which we can never expect to return, was lost; and now
  that at last we are ready here the wind is against us, the mutiny
  is quelled, and we are sure to be attacked by a superior force. At
  Brest it is, I fancy, still worse. Had we been in Ireland at the
  moment of the insurrection at the Nore, we should beyond a doubt
  have had at least that fleet, and God only knows the influence
  which such an event might have had on the whole British Navy.

Much that Tone privately penned is found confirmed by a secret
committee which sat while Parker's[271] corpse hung in chains at
Sheppey. It appeared that the crews were largely sworn to espouse
the Irish cause; 'to be faithful to their brethren who were fighting
against tyranny;' to carry a portion of the fleet into Irish ports,
hoisting, instead of the Union Jack, a green flag emblazoned with

Dr. Madden's suggestion that Duckett was a spy of Pitt's is reiterated
with cruel consistency. Part of the grounds of his suspicion was
Duckett's intimate relations with Reinhard, also suspected by Madden,
but who is now shown conclusively to have been true. Madden frequently
quotes from the 'Castlereagh Papers,' but overlooks the following
letter from Sir J. Crawford to Lord Grenville, one wholly inconsistent
with his hypothesis that Duckett, like Turner, was a spy for Pitt.
Crawford was, of course, the British representative at Hamburg.

                                                       October 23, 1798.

  I shall abstain from any measures against Duckett, continuing, at
  the same time, to have him narrowly watched, which I hitherto have
  so completely, that there is scarcely a single step which he has
  taken since he has been at Hamburg with which I am unacquainted.
  His views for the present seem to be turned principally towards
  his Majesty's dockyards, and not choosing to venture in England
  himself, he is very desirous of getting over hither some one of
  those evil-disposed persons whom he knows to be employed in the
  dockyards, for the purpose of concerting with him the means of
  setting them on fire.... He is in very little esteem in France,
  and is particularly ill with Talleyrand.[273] His principal
  supporter is Bruyes (_sic_),[274] brother to the deceased admiral,
  and who was Minister of the Marine. He pretends that, in case
  of a successful attempt on the part of the French to land in
  Ireland, his object would be to get over to that country; but I
  have not hitherto been able to learn any particulars respecting
  his commission. He affects much secrecy, even with those with whom
  he lives in the greatest intimacy.[275] He has of late been in
  correspondence with Holt,[276] the rebel chief, who, through him,
  has been pressing the French for assistance. He says that there are
  3,500 land troops on board the squadron which lately sailed from
  Brest, but that they have French uniforms for 7,000 men, with the
  view, as he pretends, of clothing the first bodies of Irish that
  might join them in the same way as their own troops, and thus, a
  numerous body appearing in French uniforms, of impressing the Irish
  nation at large with an idea that they had landed a considerable

This letter explains the more ambiguous despatch written two months
before. Wickham transmits, by direction of Portland, for the
information of the Irish Viceroy, a copy of a secret note,

  which had been confirmed by the arrival of Mr. D---- [_i.e._
  Duckett] under a feigned name in Hanover, on his road to Hamburg,
  and I have little doubt of the truth of the rest from my intimate
  knowledge of the writer. D., by the extreme vigilance and activity
  of Sir James Crawfurd, has been discovered and arrested on his
  road; but, as he has been acknowledged as a person attached to the
  French Mission at Hamburg, and claimed as such, I fear there are
  no hopes whatever of his being delivered up, or even of having his
  papers examined.[278]

  Your lordship, who will be aware of the extreme delicacy of this
  business, will no doubt feel the necessity of keeping the whole
  of it as secret as possible. In the mean time it is a point of no
  slight importance that this man should have been discovered on his
  road, and his journey so much delayed as that the object of it will
  be, in all probability, defeated.[279]

Tone's prejudice against Duckett influenced Macnevin. 'Mr. Duckett is
still here,' writes Reinhard to De la Croix in another intercepted
letter. 'I proposed to Mr. Macnevin to reconcile himself with Mr.
Duckett. He has refused to do so.'

It is remarkable that while the usually clear-sighted physician
suspects Duckett of being an English spy, he praises '_the zeal and
talents of_ TURNER.'[280] Nor is there one line in Tone's Diary to
indicate distrust of Turner; but the wrong man, in true dramatic style,
incurs suspicion and blows. On September 21, 1797, Tone called on
General Hoche at Rennes. Hoche spoke of Duckett, and Tone destroyed
him with an expressive shrug, adding that he had boasted at Paris of
his acquaintance and influence with General Clarke, and even with
Hoche himself. Two days later Colonel Shee, the uncle of Clarke, and
who accompanied the expedition to Bantry Bay, also inquires if Tone
knew Duckett. 'I answered that Duckett was a scoundrel. I besought him
to put Hoche on his guard.' It appeared that Duckett had made two or
three advances to Shee, who, however, had consistently avoided him.
Tone's gorge is raised, and he ends some remarks of asperity with 'I'll
Duckett him, the scoundrel, if I can catch him fairly in my grip.'[281]

Duckett, according to the Hamburg spy, now shown to be Turner, was
employed by the French Government to excite mutiny in the British
fleet. Its first outburst was at Portsmouth; it was renewed at the
Nore. As historians, who might be expected to treat largely of such
incidents, barely notice that mutiny, a few remarks here are perhaps
admissible; the more so as it will be necessary to recur again to
Parker, who led the revolt. It assumed so formidable a front that
Truguet thought it might prove the death-blow to England's greatness.
Parker, who possessed wonderful powers of persuasion, was soon
joined by a large portion of Lord Duncan's squadron, and became the
_soi-disant_ admiral of the fleet. He blockaded the Thames, and
threatened to starve London. His mutinous force now consisted of
twenty-four sail of the line. Each ship was governed by a committee
of twelve, together with two delegates and a secretary, and all
assembled by beat of drum. The pulse of public feeling was shown in
three per cent. Consols falling to forty-five. The Board of Admiralty
visited the scene of the mutiny, but failed to effect an arrangement.
Lord Northesk, R.N., waited on Parker to hear his terms. These were
so exacting that Northesk hesitated. The following is culled from
the (London) 'Courier' of June 8, 1797, and it will be seen how much
Parker's letter differs from the mild version of it given in Campbell's
'Lives of the Admirals':--

  They persisted that the whole must be complied with.... Lord
  Northesk was now rowed on board the 'Duke of York' Margate packet,
  under a flag of truce, with three cheers from the 'Sandwich,' and
  with the following paper to ratify his credentials.


  You are hereby authorized and ordered to wait upon the King,
  wherever he may be, with the Resolutions of the Committee of
  Delegates, and are directed to return back with an Answer to the
  same within 54 hours from the date hereof.

                                                   R. PARKER, President.

Northesk, furnished with a passport from Parker, returned to town,
while Pitt and Dundas were hanged in effigy at the yard-arm. It was
even debated to surrender the fleet to the French. Thereupon Sheridan
suggested that all the buoys and beacons should be removed. A paper of
the day states that the troops, ordered to fire on the fleet from the
batteries at Gravesend, broke out into mutiny themselves, declaring
that fratricide formed no part of their duty. The biographical
dictionaries say that the popularity of Northesk and the firmness of
Lord Howe caused the utter collapse of this great mutiny; but such
history is misleading. The 'Repulse' was the first ship to abandon the
cause, and becoming stranded was mercilessly cannonaded by the fleet.
Its foremast and rigging were shot away; its decks were red with blood.
Two more deserters, the 'Agamemnon' and 'Vestal,' escaped better. In
slipping their cables and entering the Thames it was supposed that
they were carrying into effect an already debated plan of bombarding
Gravesend. The rest of the fleet followed and found themselves snared
into the hands of the Government. When this fact became apparent,
the mutineers were filled with fury. The ships separated, turned the
great guns on each other, and fought furiously for hours, until at
last Parker succumbed. In reading the trials of the delegates one
is struck by such Celtic names as Sullivan, Donovan, Walsh, Hughes,
Brady, MacCarthy, Maginnis, Coffey, and Branon. Strange reports were
current.[282] The 'Courier' of June 6, 1797, records that

  when he [Parker] was carried before the magistrates, he took two
  letters out of his pocket, saying, 'These are my authorities; it
  was on these I acted.' From this it has been inferred [adds the
  'Courier'] that he was set on by 'higher powers,' as the lower
  class call them: they say that Parker has declared he will not die
  till he has garnished Temple Bar with heads.

However, he made no distinct revelation. He was subjected to a number
of interrogatories, 'dans lesquels,' observes a French authority, 'on
chercha vainement à découvrir les secrets moteurs de l'insurrection.'

Duckett's letter to Truguet, minister of marine, and the information
of the Hamburg spy, help to throw light on this stirring episode. The
mutiny is commonly ascribed to the harsh regulations of the Admiralty.
A deeper design underlay it. Parker was at first committed to stand
his trial before a civil court; but a court-martial was suddenly
substituted. This deprived him of the forensic services of Erskine,
whose powerful eloquence had successfully defended Horne Tooke against
the Cabinet of Pitt. It was desirable that so dangerous a man should
be got rid of without delay. His application for an adjournment was
refused; and on June 30, 1797, he suffered death.

These mutinies were largely the work of Duckett, acting under the
instructions of La Croix, the French minister of war. Tone, as we have
seen, hated Duckett, whom he constantly snubs and denounces. Had there
been a co-operation, the event would doubtless have been different.
However all moderate men rejoiced at the issue. The mutiny formed part
of a scheme to sever England's right arm; but the chivalry of Tone
recoiled from a manœuvre of which he finally saw the importance while
hesitating to approve of it. Dutch and French fleets for the invasion
of Great Britain and Ireland had been nearly ready to start at the time
of the mutinies.

Pitt used a powerful engine in subduing the mutiny. He despatched
to the Nore a Roman Catholic priest, who impressively preached the
doctrine of submission.[283] This was probably the same priest of whom
Father O'Coigly complains as worrying him in the condemned cell in the
hope of persuading him to inform.


[259] _Ante_, p. 72.

[260] Many men recoil from affable persons who seem over-anxious to
know them. Sir Gavan Duffy in _Young Ireland_ states that Davis had
been prejudiced against the subsequently most distinguished Darcy
Magee, because he had 'obviously determined to transact an acquaintance
with him.'

[261] Tone's _Journals_, ii. 141. (Washington, 1847.)

[262] _United Irishmen, their Lives and Times_, 1st ed. i. 40-75.

[263] _Ibid._ 2nd ed. ii. 37.

[264] _Ibid._ iv. 603.

[265] _La France et l'Irlande._ (Paris, 1888.)

[266] _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 294-5.

[267] The puzzle is increased by the noble editor's arrangement of the
letters--made without regard to chronological order.

[268] Stone is the man who had been tried in 1795 for high treason, and
found guilty. But Duckett, though a staunch rebel, may have had good
reason for denouncing Stone three years later. Madame de Genlis, in
her _Mémoires_, upbraids Stone with having treacherously retained some
money which had been entrusted to him for Pamela. See tome iv. 130-1.

[269] Clarke, when giving Tone his commission in the French army,
asks him (_Journals_, i. 151) if he knew one Duckett: 'I answered I
did not, nor did I desire to know him.' Clarke replied that Duckett
was 'clever.' Clarke, afterwards Duke de Feltre, stooped to ignoble
tactics from which Tone recoiled. Clarke was a strong advocate for
_chouannerie_ (see Tone, ii. 96-9), and probably encouraged Duckett in
his scheme for destroying the English dockyards and exciting mutiny in
the fleet.

[270] At Portsmouth, when Lord Bridport gave orders to put to sea,
every ship at St. Helens refused to obey. The marines fired and five
seamen were killed. The crew of the 'London' turned the guns, and
threatened to blow all aft into the sea. The officers surrendered; the
marines laid down their arms, and Admiral Colpoys and Captain Griffiths
were put in confinement.

[271] Leader of the mutiny.

[272] _Report of the Secret Committee of Commons, England_, 1799.

[273] As Tone suspected Duckett to be a spy, he doubtless cautioned
Talleyrand against him. These misgivings spread from bureau to bureau.

[274] Tone's _Diary_ of June 16, 1798, praises the talents and activity
of Bruix; 'but what could he do? In the first place, he had no money,'
&c.--ii. 501.

[275] Turner's instructions from the Home Office were, if he would not
prosecute, to open a correspondence, at least, with leading rebels.

[276] Joseph Holt, a Wicklow Protestant, published his memoirs in two
volumes, but does not mention Duckett.

[277] _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 263-4.

[278] Duckett was secretary to Leonard Bourdon, who voted for the
death of Louis XVI., and by his energy overthrew Robespierre, July 27,
1794. He headed the Conspiracy of the Faubourgs in 1795, and doubtless
applauded Duckett in his scheme.

[279] _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 263.

[280] _Vide_ Dr. Macnevin's memorial relative to a landing in
Ireland.--_Ibid._ i. 305.

[281] Tone's _Journals_, i. 208. (Washington, 1827.)

[282] The _Courier_, describing the execution of the delegates, states
that the inextinguishable vitality of one man named Lee presented a
striking spectacle, and that extra balls had to be poured into his
head before he was despatched! A letter from the Irish Under-Secretary
of the day, now preserved in the State Paper Office, reveals that
Lee was discovered to have been a most determined United Irishman,
and had joined the fleet for the sole object of helping the cause
he had at heart. Lee and Duckett seem to have acted in concert. How
largely the British navy was composed of Irish sailors, and under
what circumstances their discontent originated, appear from an
amusing anecdote. Shortly before Trafalgar, the first lieutenant of
a man-of-war, when making his rounds to see that all hands were at
their guns, observed an Irish sailor kneeling in prayer: 'What! are
you afraid?' exclaimed the officer. 'Afeard, indeed!' replied the
tar, contemptuously. 'I was only praying that the shots of the French
might be distributed like the prize money--the lion's share among
the officers.' Tone assured Carnot that England had recently raised
80,000 Irishmen for her navy and marines. Carnot did not tell him in
reply to reserve that statement for the marines themselves, but took
it as strict truth. The computation, however, will not stand historic
scrutiny. According to an official return, it appears that Ireland had
furnished 11,457 men for the navy, and 4,058 for the marines.

[283] Of course with the sanction of Bishop Douglas, whose name is
often mentioned in the _Castlereagh Correspondence_.



Another man there was of the same type as Turner, who posed in
impenetrable disguise, but unlike Reynolds and Armstrong, spied in
secrecy and on the express condition that he should not be asked to
give public evidence and thus damage his social status.

An historian often quoted in these pages is not safe in suggesting that
we may find behind the mask of Lord Downshire's visitor the betrayer
of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. The utterly distinct quarter to which the
Geraldine's arrest is due will presently appear. Lord Edward had the
command of Leinster. Turner had mainly to do with Ulster. Guiltless
he was of Lord Edward's betrayal in Dublin, for the simple reason, no
doubt, that living abroad himself he knew nothing of his hiding-places.
All other sensational incidents of that stirring time paled before the
sorrow by which Lord Edward's arrest and death oppressed the people. A
Dublin ballad expressed the fierce anxiety felt to discover and destroy
the veiled betrayer--

    May Heaven scorch and parch the tongue by which his life was sold,
    And shrivel up the hand that clutched the proffered meed of gold.

Whilst, on the other hand, ballads inspired by loyal ardour did not
hesitate to regard as a holy work the annihilation of Lord Edward

In 1830, when continental thrones trembled and others fell, Moore
published his interesting 'Life of Lord Edward'--a work which, however
popular and opportune, will not bear a critical scrutiny as regards
historic exactness. 'From my mention of these particulars respecting
Neilson,' writes Moore, 'it cannot fail to have struck the reader that
some share of the suspicion of having betrayed Lord Edward attaches
to this man.' Moore's book attained a wide circulation, and the
descendants of Neilson naturally felt the wounding words. A letter
of his daughter strongly protests against them, and expresses a hope
that allowance will be made 'for the indignant feelings of a child
who has always been proud of her father's character.' Colonel Miles
Byrne, a shrewd head which narrowly escaped the axe in '98, failed to
endorse the imputation on Neilson, but hesitated not to declare that
Lord Edward had been 'betrayed, and discovered by Reynolds, a United
Irishman, to the agents of Government.'[286] In this random shot the
Colonel missed his mark. The flaming patriot, Walter Cox, often states
in his magazine that Laurence Tighe had shadowed to death the Geraldine
chief. Thereupon Dr. Brennan, in the 'Milesian Magazine,' broadly
charged Cox with the perfidy. Murphy, an honest, simple man, in whose
house Lord Edward was taken, has not been exempted from suspicion.
'Lord Edward's concealment,' observes Patrick Brophy, 'became known
through a soldier who was courting Murphy's servant girl;' forgetting
that Thomas Moore, in his account of the arrest, incidentally remarks:
'an _old_ maidservant was the only person in Murphy's house besides
themselves.' Maxwell, in his 'History of the Rebellion,' said of
Neilson, 'Thou art the man.' Mark O'Callaghan, in his 'Life of
O'Connell,' brands John Hughes as having received 1,000_l._ for Lord
Edward's blood, thus endorsing the indictment previously framed by
Dr. Madden.[287] The son and biographer of Reynolds flings suspicion
on Murphy; while Murphy, in his own account, says: 'I heard in prison
that one of Lord Edward's bodyguard had given some information.' Again,
Felix Rourke was suspected, and narrowly escaped death at the hands of
his comrades. Suspicion also attached to Mr. Ogilvie, who, as a near
connection, visited Lord Edward in Thomas Street a few days before the
arrest, and transacted business with him. Interesting as it is, after
near a century's speculation, to know the name of the real informer, it
is still more satisfactory that those unjustly suspected should now be
finally acquitted.

'On the 18th of May' [1798], writes Mr. Froude, 'Major Sirr received
communications from a quarter unhinted at in the most secret letters
of the Viceroy, telling him where Lord Edward could be found.'[288] I
proceed to point out 'the quarter.'

In 1841 Dr. Madden obtained access to a book in which Mr. Cooke,
formerly Under-Secretary at Dublin Castle, had made secret entries of
various payments to informers. Amongst these items is: 'June 20, 1798,
F. H. discovery of L. E. F. 1,000_l._' Although Cooke disclosed merely
the initials 'F. H.,' he gave the name in full when recommending the
informer for a pension. Writing to Lord Castlereagh in 1799, Mr. Cooke
says: 'Francis Higgins,[289] proprietor of the "Freeman's Journal," was
the person who procured for me all the intelligence respecting Lord
Edward Fitzgerald, and got ---- to set him, _and has given me much
information_, 300_l._' This 300_l._ was an annual stipend.

The 'Freeman's Journal' at this time was the organ of Dublin Castle,
and it is stated in a memoir of Secretary Cooke that he had written for
that paper. Hence a frequent intercourse subsisted between Cooke and
Higgins; and the evidence is conclusive as to Higgins having received
the Government reward. But the person of whose good name Cooke is so
careful that in writing to Castlereagh he considerately puts a blank
for it, was not so easily traced when first I took up this inquiry. Mr.
Ross, editor of the 'Cornwallis Papers,' who was allowed to ransack the
archives at Dublin Castle, writes: 'The man who gave the information
which led to his [Lord Edward's] arrest, received 1,000_l._, _but his
name has never transpired_.'

The point is now to prove that Francis Magan, M.A., barrister-at-law, a
man traditionally described as one of the most unsociable of men, was
the private friend and political ally of Higgins.

Thomas Magan, of High Street, Dublin, was the father of Francis. The
leading journal of that city, in its issue of June 30, 1787, records
how, on the previous evening, 'Mr. Magan, of High Street, entertained
Mr. Francis Higgins' and others. 'The glass circulated freely, and the
evening was spent with the utmost festivity and sociality.' The editor
concludes by styling him '_Honest_ Tom Magan.' On November 5, 1789, he
returns to the charge:--

  Mr. Magan, the woollen-draper in High Street, in conjunction with
  his friend Mr. Higgins, are preparing ropes and human brutes to
  drag the new Viceroy to the palace. It was Mr. Magan and the Sham
  Squire who provided the materials for the triumphal entry of Lord
  Buckingham into the capital.[290] ... Mr. Magan is really clever,
  and never has flinched in his partiality and attention to the
  cause of Mr. Francis Higgins--Mr. Magan has the honour, and that
  frequently, to dine Higgins.[291]

From an old Directory it appears that Tom Magan's loyal zeal was
acknowledged about this time by his appointment as 'Woollen Draper and
Mercer to His Majesty'[292]--one of the few paltry boons to which, in
penal days, a slavish Catholic trader dare aspire. In 1793 a Catholic
Relief Bill passed, and the bar was opened to Papists--a concession due
to the menacing attitude of the United Irishmen and the boom of the
French Revolution. Tom Magan's son, Francis, entered Trinity College,
Dublin; graduated in 1794; and became a member of the bar--probably on
the suggestion of Higgins, who was an attorney. In 1795 Francis Magan
left the parental roof-tree in High Street and took house for himself
at 20 Usher's Island, where he continued to live until his death in
1843. This house having been the residence of the Catholic Archbishop
of Dublin, Dr. Carpenter, who died there a few years previously, was
regarded reverentially by the survivors of his flock.

'Will no one urge Lord Edward to fly--I pledge myself that every port
in the kingdom shall be left open to him'--said Lord Chancellor Clare.
But money was to be made of his blood; and vampire instincts must needs
be sated. The arrest was not effected until Saturday, May 19, although
a proclamation promising 1,000_l._ as its price had been out since

Higgins, who constantly transmitted the result of his espionage to
Dublin Castle, was now more than ordinarily on the _qui vive_. At Moira
House, Usher's Island, Pamela, wife of Lord Edward, sometimes stayed.
In March, Leinster House, Kildare Street, was searched by soldiers--on
which occasion Major Swan said to Lady Edward: 'This is an unpleasant
duty for any gentleman to perform.'--'It is a task which no gentleman
_would_ perform,' was the reply.[293] She little dreamed that men whose
friendship she valued were playing a part still more ungentlemanly. On
this occasion Lord Edward narrowly escaped; thenceforth he avoided both
Leinster House and Moira House, unless for stealthy visits, and for
weeks he remained hidden at Portobello near Dublin.

Thomas Moore, when engaged on the 'Life of Lord Edward,' had an
interview with Major Sirr, and learned from him that on May 17,[294]
1798, 'he received information that a party of persons, supposed to be
Lord Edward Fitzgerald's bodyguard, would be on their way from Thomas
Street to Usher's Island that night.' Their destination, Moore adds, he
had failed to discover. I am in a position to show, however, that the
party were on their way to the house of Francis Magan and his sister,
in Usher's Island. Mr. James Moore, of 119 Thomas Street, had given
Lord Edward shelter when 1,000_l._ lay on his head; but a carpenter
named Tuite--who worked in Dublin Castle, and knew Moore--having
overheard Cooke say that Moore's house should be searched, gave a
timely hint to Moore, who therefore fled to Meath, previously telling
his daughter to provide for Lord Edward's safety. Francis Magan and
his sister were well known and respected by Miss Moore. She conferred
with Magan on the subject, and an arrangement was made that Lord Edward
should move that night from Moore's in Thomas Street to Usher's Island
and occupy a bedroom in Magan's house.[295] But it was suggested that,
as two or three people knocking at his hall door on Usher's Island
might attract attention, it would be safer to admit them by his stable
in Island Street, which lay immediately at the rear. The biographer
of Lord Edward knew nothing of Miss Moore's arrangement with Magan;
but he casually mentions that the Government received information of
his lordship's intended visit to Usher's Island. Major Sirr, attended
by a guard, proceeded to the quarter pointed out; a conflict between
the parties took place; 'and,' adds the biographer, 'Sirr in defending
himself lost his footing and fell; and had not those with whom he was
engaged been much more occupied with their noble charge than with
him, he could hardly have escaped. But their chief object being Lord
Edward's safety, after snapping a pistol or two at Sirr they hurried

Several volumes containing the original correspondence of Major Sirr
are now preserved in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. Amongst
them is the following letter:--

  Lord Edward will be this evening[297] in Watling Street. Place a
  watch in Watling Street, two houses up from Usher's Island,[298]
  another towards Queen's Bridge;[299] a third in Island Street, at
  the rear of the stables near Watling Street, and which leads up to
  Thomas Street and Dirty Lane. At one of these places Lord Edward
  will be found, and will have one or two with him. They may be
  armed. Send to Swan and Atkinson as soon as you can.[300]

                                                           EDWARD COOKE.

Cooke, with due consideration for the feelings of Magan and Higgins,
does not tell Sirr from whom the information came; but the plot now
thickens, and will be soon made clear.

Miss Moore--afterwards Mrs. Macready--died in 1844. To her son, she
said:--'The Government got timely information that we were going to
Usher's Island. Now this intention was known only to Magan and me; even
Lord Edward did not know our destination until just before starting. If
Magan is innocent, then I am the informer.'

On the day after Magan's apparently humane arrangement with Miss Moore
he called at her house, anxiously inquiring if aught had happened,
as he had waited up until the small hours, and yet Lord Edward
did not come! Miss Moore, not suspecting Magan, replied: 'We were
stopped in Watling Street; we hurried back to Thomas Street, where we
providentially succeeded in getting Lord Edward a room at Murphy's.'
Mr. Magan, satisfied by the explanation, leisurely withdrew, but, no
doubt, quickened his gait on reaching the street. That evening, at
four o'clock, Murphy's house was surrounded by soldiers, and Lord
Edward, after a desperate resistance, was secured, and conveyed in a
sedan-chair to the Castle.

Higgins claimed, and received, 1,000_l._ as the price. How much was
given by him to the 'setter,' or what precise agreement subsisted
between them, I have no document to show. A pension was bestowed upon
Magan, and I find in the Secret Service account the following entry:
'September 11, 1800--Magan, per Mr. Higgins, 300_l._'

The name of Thomas Magan, the father of the betrayer, disappears
from the Directory in 1797--from which I, at first, inferred that
his death occurred about that time. But it now appears that he
subsided into bankruptcy. On May 2, 1798, the assignees of Thomas
Magan, woollen-draper, a bankrupt, grant to John Corballis, for the
consideration of 690_l._, some house property belonging to Magan.[301]
This date is worthy of attention; it is one fortnight before the
arrest of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. The difficulties of the Magan family
had been gathering for some years. They commenced in 1793, when
Higgins lent Thomas Magan 1,000_l._; and three years later, as will
be seen, another thousand. 'The borrower is servant to the lender,'
saith the proverb. Further search in the Registry of Deeds Office,
Dublin, discloses two additional mortgages from Thomas Magan, senior,
to Francis Higgins--one for 2,341_l._, another for 1,000_l._ The
'witness is Francis Magan.'[302] Their date is July 7, 1796, when very
serious embarrassments threatened the family. How closely Shamado's
toils[303] grasped father and son is now clear; and let us hope that
when Francis Magan was persuaded by his tempter to sell Lord Edward's
blood, he muttered, not without emotion, 'My poverty, and not my will,

The name 'James Dixon' appears in the private list, supplied by Mr.
Froude, of those who constituted the executive Committee of the United
Irishmen in 1795, and 'by whom the whole organisation was managed.'
Dr. Madden does not seem to know this, and says merely[305] that
'James Dickson hospitably treated and succoured on all occasions the
families of the State prisoners.' The late Mathias O'Kelly told me
that one of the few persons with whom Magan lived, in early life, on
terms of intimacy was 'James Dickson, of Kilmainham,' and that he
had repeatedly met Magan at Dixon's house. 'Dixon was deeper in the
confidence of the rebel party than many more prominent leaders,' adds
O'Kelly. 'He took the chair at the meeting of United Irishmen which had
been convened to thank Napper Tandy for challenging Attorney-General
Toler, afterwards Lord Norbury; and he was twice imprisoned for
alleged complicity in the rebellion.' But the Government treated him
with a consideration extended to few others; and, on the grounds of
ill-health, he was permitted to leave Kilmainham Gaol daily on short
riding excursions.[306]

Undemonstrative in his habits, it is not easy to trace him in the
scanty reports of contemporary newspapers. On May 17, 1797, a meeting
of barristers was held urging the Government to 'yield to the moderate
wishes of the people, and thereby defeat the designs of any party
dangerous to the country;' and amongst the seventy-three signatories,
with Francis Magan, were T. A. Emmet, H. Sheares (afterwards hanged),
Robert Orr, B. B. Harvey (commander at Vinegar Hill in '98, and also
hanged), W. Sampson, Robert Holmes, J. Philpot Curran, L. McNally, and
many other popular men, some recognised as members of the United Irish
Society, such as Joseph Huband, and W. Newton Bennett, afterwards a
chief justice.[307] The subsequent Baron, Smith, is there too with
Robert Johnson, dismissed from the bench in 1806, and George Ponsonby,
afterwards Lord Chancellor. In 1797 they stood upon a pitfall, but by a
miracle escaped.

Francis Magan posed through life as the pink of propriety. Before
the last century closed he had strong claims for secret service; but
I cannot doubt, knowing his quiet and somewhat nervous nature, that
whatever information he gave must have been communicated through
Higgins. The latter owned a newspaper, which was the openly subsidised
organ of the Government. He constantly assailed the popular party
with invective; so that, unless through Magan, he could have had no
opportunity of approaching the patriots, much less sucking their brains.

My contention as regards Magan was first expressed in a 'Note on the
Cornwallis Papers' printed thirty years ago,[308] and it is with no
small interest that I now find all my suspicions confirmed by Magan's
own letters. The letters of Higgins to Cooke claiming blood-money for
Magan form the crowning proof of that which at first was mere theory.
Magan was an informer of the most mercenary type--constantly tendering
his services, and withholding information when coin ceased to clink.

The earliest mention of Magan by name is in 1797; the reports of
Higgins are specially full at that date, no doubt the fruit of
intercourse with Magan, who was completely his creature. One, undated,
says: 'On Wednesday last, Jackson, Dixon, Magan, and a large party
dined at McKinley's, opposite Kilmainham Gaol. The two first went into
the prison, and distributed money which the prisoners had wrote for.'

Many letters follow. Higgins told enough to show how important a spy
Magan could become if betrayal were made worth his while. On December
29, 1797, he writes: 'You have not, dear Sir, determined as to M. At
such a momentous and critical period ... every intelligence should be
obtained for Government.'[309]

But is the proof certain that 'M.' means Magan? Higgins four days later
returns to the charge, adding: 'You have said nothing about Magan, and
will let his information slip through your hands, as he is about to go
down to Belfast, and thence to England.'[310]

Higgins and Magan, strange to say, did not know that the democratic
barrister, McNally, was already in pay as a spy. Part of the
information furnished concerns McNally's movements, which may have made
Cooke indifferent as regards some of the letters. Higgins, on January
3, 1798, reports that at the pillorying of Finnerty, Lord Edward,
O'Connor, Bond, Sheares and McNally attended the rebel as a mark of
sympathy. Magan was hungry for Lord Edward's blood; and Cooke must
needs be brought at once to business. On January 5, 1798, Higgins says
he will 'fix Magan to meet Cooke at dinner,' and 'shall in the course
of to-day or to-morrow give you a hint of his terms.'

The dinner did its work. The ill-fated priest O'Coigly--or Quigly--was
now 'wanted,' but meanwhile other wants must needs be satisfied.

  M. wants money, and I am sure will serve your intention [Higgins
  writes]; let him have it, and I will bring you his receipt. I shall
  also send him in quest of Quigly.[311] Permit me, however, to
  mention that you have not half sufficiently examined M. I shall,
  therefore, set down an outline for you, or obtain him to attend
  when you can be more particular.[312]

Four days later he writes:--

  M. dines with Jackson,[313] etc., to-morrow. He promises to have
  many particulars. Two days before O'Connor sailed for England,
  M----, Emmet, and Lord Edward Fitzgerald dined with Fallon on
  settling a plan as to Galway. Fallon is a man of property.[314]

A bundle of letters covering six weeks follows. Magan feigned to be the
attached friend of his victims, and was so entirely trusted that they
resolved to give him higher office in the rebel executive.

  M. wishes you to send wt [what] was promised on the 28th. He is to
  be elected into office.[315]

A letter dated March 7, 1798, contains a long account from Magan,
through Higgins, regarding persons from Belfast and Wexford, recently
forming deputations from their committees. 'He is to be with me at
12 o'clock to-morrow. I request you will be so good as to recollect
sending to me for him as promised.' Magan was duly pumped, and Higgins,
on March 15, writes: 'M. was with me this day, and seemed as if I had
received a second 100_l._ for him. For God's sake send it, and don't
let me appear in so awkward a situation.' And on March 23, 1798,
Higgins writes:

  M. became quite offended that I did not send wt was promised. He
  has not communicated anything to me for the ten days past, tho I
  know he must have much information to give in.

The money was sent, and Magan's tattle was resumed.

  This night there is to be a meeting at Lawless's.[316] I shall
  learn to-morrow the nature of it. I would wish to put you in
  possession of something M. knows of, that you may ask and
  interrogate him about them, and let him agree to come to a fixed
  point of information. I know it is (or will be from his late
  election) in his power.[317]

Raised to a post of trust and authority in the organisation, Magan's
power of betrayal became, of course, largely increased. He had hitherto
communicated solely through Higgins. Stimulated by reward, he now
addressed Cooke direct, but anonymously. Cooke, however, has endorsed
the letter 'Mag.' It is dated not from Usher's Island, where he lived,
but from Higgins' house in Stephen's Green, and the handwriting is the
same as that in a later document with an acknowledged signature.

  I did not receive your promised favour till Easter Monday last, and
  on reading your letter requested Mr. H. to know your leisure for
  an interview.... He wrote me a most pressing letter not to leave
  town.... At the risk of my personal safety I accompanied him in a
  carriage to your door.... I have _all along_ had in contemplation
  to put you in possession of some act that would essentially serve
  the Government as well as the country, and it may not be very long
  till such is effected. At present perhaps you may not know that
  Lord Edward lurks about town and its vicinity; he with Nelson was
  a few days ago in the custody of a patrol in the neighbourhood of
  Lucan, but not being known and assuming other names, they were not
  detained for any length of time.[318] Nelson is now the most active
  man, and affects, if he really does not hold, the first situation.
  For my part I sometimes imagine he is the person that communicated
  with Government; however, suspicion has not pointed at him.[319]
  His absence, I know, at the present moment would be considered as
  very fatal to the cause in Dublin. I have just this moment heard
  Lord Edward has been mostly in Thomas Street.[320]

On May Day 1798, when boys and girls were rejoicing, and the May-pole
at Finglas was the scene of a festivity in glad welcome of the coming
flowers, Higgins writes in great fuss to Cooke that a more formidable
rising was at hand, adding: 'If you can see M. this night, you can
bring out where Lord Edward is concealed.' 'What hour shall I bring M.
this night, if your leisure will permit? Remember to bring him to a
point--I mean about Lord Edward.' But his lordship's frequent change
of abode baulked the projected capture. Mr. Lecky considers that the
search must have been made with singular languor to produce such little
fruit. It should be remembered, however, that no police force deserving
the name existed in Dublin; and that arrests were usually made, as
eventually in Lord Edward's case, by detachments of military.

On May 15 Higgins wrote to Cooke:--

  M. seems mortified that when he placed matters within the reach of
  Government the opportunity was neglected.... Lord Edward skulks
  from house to house--has watches and spies around who give an
  account of any danger being near. It is intended he shall go into
  the country (it is thought Kildare) and make a rising. Give me
  leave to remind you of sending to M.

Magan is shown to have met Lord Edward at council at this time, but
it was not easy to seize the chief on such occasions. Higgins was the
Castle journalist, and could throw off letters with ease. Mr. Lecky
says that his missives to Cooke would be found most useful material in
illustrating the history of his time; and, no doubt, they are destined
some day to see the light. Higgins uniformly writes of Lord Edward as a
monster of evil, but it is due to the ill-fated Geraldine to say that
men whose testimony ranks far higher record a different estimate.[321]
Lord Holland, a Cabinet minister, thus writes of him:--

  More than twenty years have now passed away. Many of my political
  opinions are softened--my predilections for some men weakened,
  my prejudices against others removed; but my approbation of Lord
  Edward Fitzgerald's actions remains unaltered and unshaken. His
  country was bleeding under one of the hardest tyrannies that our
  times have witnessed.[322]

If he had personal ambition to gratify, the powerful influence of
his family could easily have fed it to repletion. His life was one of
sacrifice and attests the sincerity of his soul.

Higgins thought that Cooke was not sufficiently alive to the
importance of Magan's hints. He now tells Cooke that an attack on
Dublin Castle had been proposed and adopted, but this information may
have been embellished to rouse the Irish Government. 'M. thinks it
is on the ensuing Tuesday or Wednesday, but will be certain for your
information,' he writes. 'He says the 300_l._ promised should have been
given at once.... However, I have given him leave to draw upon me, and
fully satisfied him of the honourable intentions of Government where
service was actually performed, and of your kind attention if he would
go forward among the meetings, communicate what is transacting, and, if
found necessary, point out the spot where they may be seized, etc. This
he has at length agreed to do.'[323]

The reader will remember Magan's arrangement with Miss Moore that,
for Lord Edward's greater safety, the noble fugitive was to shift his
quarters from James Moore's house to Magan's. The latter, to screen
himself from suspicion, felt anxious that Lord Edward's capture should
be made in the street.

  ... I also mentioned your kind promise of obtaining 1000_l._ for
  him (without the mention of his name or enrolment of it in any
  book) on having the business done, which he pointed out before the
  issuing of the proclamation. He, therefore, puts himself on your
  honour not to admit of any person to come and search his house
  (which I ventured to promise you would have observed), but to place
  watches after dusk, this night near the end of Watling Street or
  two houses up in that street from Usher's Island ... [here the pith
  of Mr. Cooke's letter, see p. 122 _ante_, is given], and at one of
  these places they will find Lord Edward disguised. He wears a wig
  and may have been otherwise metamorphosed, attended by one or two,
  but followed by several armed banditti with new daggers. He intends
  to give battle if not suddenly seized.[324]

The 'armed banditti' consisted merely of Mrs. and Miss Moore,
Gallagher, a clerk in Moore's employ, and a man named Palmer.[325] This
is the account furnished to me in a most circumstantial statement by
the late Mr. Macready, the son of Miss Moore. She had been educated
in Tours; Lord Edward always conversed with her in French, and he
usually passed as her French tutor. The hour was 8.30 in a lovely May
evening. Palmer and Gallagher walked some yards in advance, and were
the first to come in contact with Sirr's party at the corner of Island
Street. Sirr gave Gallagher an ugly wound which afterwards favoured
identification. The latter, a powerful man, made two or three stabs at
Sirr, who fell in the struggle, but, as he wore a coat of mail, he was
able, after a few moments, to regain his feet. Lord Edward was also in
handigrips with one of Sirr's guard; both came to the ground, but with
no more ill result to his lordship than some unsightly daubs of mud on
his coat. In the confusion the ladies hurried back with their noble
charge to Thomas Street, leaving Palmer and Gallagher to hold Sirr at
bay. The party abandoned their design of going to Magan's, though not
from any distrust of his fidelity, and obtained shelter for Lord Edward
in the house of a faithful adherent named Murphy with whom he had
previously stayed. Miss Moore told Magan next day the whole adventure,
and how the retreat had been safely effected. Lord Edward was lying
on his bed in Murphy's attic, after having drunk some whey to relieve
a bad cold, when Major Swan and Captain Ryan peeped in at the door,
exclaiming that resistance would be vain. At once Fitzgerald started
up like a lion from his lair and rushed at Swan. Revolvers were as yet
unknown and his pistol missed fire; he then drew a dagger. The account
furnished by Swan to a Government print states:--

  His lordship then closed upon Mr. Swan, shortened the dagger, and
  gave him a stab in the side, under the left arm and breast, having
  first changed it from one hand to the other over his shoulder (as
  Mr. Swan thinks). Finding the blood running from him, and the
  impossibility to restrain him, he was compelled, in defence of his
  life, to discharge a double-barrelled pistol at his lordship, which
  wounded him in the shoulder: he fell on the bed, but, recovering
  himself, ran at him with the dagger, which Mr. Swan caught by the
  blade with one hand, and endeavoured to trip him up.[326]

Captain Ryan then came upon the scene, but his flint lock missed fire;
and thereupon he lurched at Lord Edward with a sword-cane, which bent
on his ribs. Sirr had been engaged in placing pickets round the house,
when the report of Swan's pistol brought him upstairs.

  On my arrival in view of Lord Edward, Ryan, and Swan [writes Major
  Sirr, in a letter addressed to Ryan's son], I beheld his lordship
  standing with a dagger in his hand as if ready to plunge it into my
  friends, while dear Ryan, seated on the bottom step of the flight
  of the upper stairs, had Lord Edward grasped with both his arms
  by the legs or thighs, and Swan in a somewhat similar situation,
  both labouring under the torment of their wounds, when, without
  hesitation, I fired at Lord Edward's dagger arm, and the instrument
  of death fell to the ground. Having secured the titled prisoner,
  my first concern was for your dear father's safety. I viewed his
  intestines with grief and sorrow.

Lord Edward, in fact, had completely ripped him open. Although Sirr had
lodged several slugs in his lordship's right shoulder, he continued
to fight furiously until the soldiers, of whom more than 200 were
present, overwhelmed him by pressing their heavy firelocks across his
person. They had brought him as far as the hall, when he made another
desperate effort to escape, and a drummer from behind stabbed him in
the neck.[327] Previous to this scene Higgins plied Cooke with gossip
from Magan, as the case about to be cited will show.

The nickname applied to Pamela in the following extract was due to a
popular rumour that her parents were Madame de Genlis and Philippe
Egalité, Duke of Orleans: 'Lady Egality complains dreadfully about
Lord Castlereagh ordering a short passport. She will have letters
sewed or quilted in her clothes, and goes to Hamburg. I shall send you

Lady Fitzgerald was at this time at Moira House, within a few doors
of Magan; and the concluding words go to show that he had access to
the house, and was entirely conversant with its domestic doings;
the status, politics and attainments of so near a neighbour would
facilitate access to its gilded salons.[329] Lord Edward probably sent,
through Magan, messages to Pamela. Magan acted his part so plausibly
that on the very night Lord Edward lay a bleeding captive in Newgate,
he was raised by the votes of United Irishmen to a still higher post in
the organisation.

Lord Edward had been arrested in Murphy's house; and Mr. Lecky
remarks[330] that there is no mention of the place in the letters of
Higgins. The latter, to save time, may have given the hint orally.
Higgins resided within twelve minutes' walk of Cooke's office. Mr.
Lecky states:[331] 'He [Higgins] was accustomed to go openly and
frequently to the Castle.' Cooke told Sirr that if he would go on the
following day, between five and six P.M., to the house of Murphy in
Thomas Street, he would find Lord Edward there.[332]

On May 20, when Lord Edward was dying of his wounds in Newgate, Magan
furnishes through Higgins fresh hints, and promises further information
'to-morrow.' 'He was elected last night of the committee,' adds
Higgins. 'I had a great deal of exertion to go through to keep him
steady, and was obliged last week to advance him money.' On June 8
Higgins writes: 'I cannot get from M. a single sentence of who assumes
a Directory. I have so frequently put him off about the payment of the
1,000_l._ that he thinks I am humbugging him.'[333]

It will be remembered that, according to a secret entry of Cooke's,
1,000_l._ was paid on June 20 to 'F. H.' for the discovery of 'L. E.
F.,' and he observed the compact that Magan's name should not appear.
Magan thought that there was an effort to 'humbug' him as regards the
blood-money which he earned, but he knew how to 'humbug' a little
himself. Higgins, setting forth his own claims, tells Cooke, later on:
'By your interference Mr. M. obtained 300_l._ for expenses; give me
leave solemnly to assure you that I paid every possible expense he was
at, and more than I can mention.'[334]

Magan was one of the first Catholic barristers called after the
Relief Bill of 1793, and wore an aspect highly demure and proper. He
was a trump card in the hands of Higgins, which, if adroitly played,
could not fail to clear the board. But with what a small share of
the winnings Magan was content is consistent with all we know of
his crawling career.[335] Arthur O'Connor, writing to Dr. Madden in
1842, says: 'So far as I could learn, no one betrayed Lord Edward'--a
striking testimony to the secrecy with which the thing was done.[336]

Magan, the better to cloak his treachery, and to command that
confidence the fruit of which was distilled into dainty drops for
Cooke's ear, continued to manifest popular sympathies. He went
further, and on December 9, 1798, is found taking part against the
Government in a debate and division, where his feeble voice could
carry no influence, unless to deceive democratic friends. It was on
the occasion of the bar meeting, in Dublin, convened to discuss and
oppose the Legislative Union. Francis Magan's name may be found on the
patriotic side, in company with Bushe, Burton, Barrington, Burrowes,
Curran, Fletcher, Plunket, Ponsonby, and Leonard McNally.

Passing on to 1802, we find a round sum of 500_l._ slipped into the
hands of Francis Magan on December 15 in that year, as appears by 'an
account of Secret Service money applied in the detection of treasonable
conspiracies.' This is the same amount which was given in 1848 for the
discovery of Smith O'Brien, and again in September 1865 for Stephens,
the Fenian head centre; while in 1798 only 300_l._ was offered for
Neilson and General Lawless. The discovery which earned the reward of
500_l._ in December 1803 must have been esteemed of importance. What
that discovery was has been hitherto involved in mystery; but the
succeeding chapter, devoted to William Todd Jones, may help to make
it clear. The 500_l._ is given to Magan direct, nearly eleven months
after the death of Higgins, through whom Magan's information had been
previously conveyed to Dublin Castle. He was now thrown on his own
resources, and seems to have been less squeamish than of yore. Were
Higgins then living the refresher might have been less, for 'Shamado'
had no objection to a lion's share. And one is not surprised to read in
Plowden that Higgins, originally a pauper, died worth 40,000_l._[337]

Magan continued successfully to preserve his mask. A great aggregate
meeting was held on December 18, 1812, to protest against acts of the
Irish Government, and among the signatures convening it are those of
Daniel O'Connell and Francis Magan. This fact is brought out in a
memoir of the Liberator by his son, who, however, does not suspect

It was a national crisis. Meetings in aid of Catholic Emancipation had
just been forcibly dispersed. Lords Fingall, Netterville, and Ffrench
were dragged from the seats in which, as chairmen, they presided.
Other signatories who, with Magan, convened this meeting, were the
three Catholic peers just mentioned, Dr. T. Dromgoole, Bernard Coyle,
Sylvester Costigan, Con McLoughlin, and Fitzgerald of Geraldine--the
latter five having been, as well as O'Connell, United Irishmen.

I was not surprised to hear from Mathias O'Kelly,[338] an old member
of the Catholic Board and at one time secretary to the Catholic
Association, that Magan possessed the respect and confidence of those
bodies. He seemed to prove the sincerity of his sympathy in the most
practical way, and rarely gave less than ten pounds as a subscription
to their funds. It is, no doubt, to Magan that Wellington refers in
his letter to Dublin Castle, dated London, November 17, 1808: 'I think
that, as there are some interesting Catholic questions afloat now, you
might feed ---- with another 100_l._'[339]

Dr. Dirham, who from his boyhood had resided on Usher's Island, heard
it rumoured, he told me, that Magan during the troubled times kept
frequently open the door of his stable in Island Street to facilitate
espionage.[340] Moira House, now the 'Mendicity Institution,' is
situated within a few doors of No. 20, Usher's Island, the residence
for half a century of Francis Magan. As already mentioned, Pamela, the
beautiful wife of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, received in the stormy period
of '98 hospitable shelter from Lady Moira. To my surprise I find, in
a manuscript life of Dwyer the outlaw, by the late Luke Cullen, a
Carmelite friar, that two of Emmet's most active emissaries, Wylde and
Mahon, lay concealed in Moira House while a proclamation offering
500_l._[341] for their capture was being widely circulated. Before this
curious fact came to my knowledge, it will be seen, from a former work
of mine dealing with informers, that on utterly distinct circumstantial
evidence I sought to trace Magan as on the track of Wylde and Mahon at
Philipstown during the same eventful year.

Major Sirr made a private note, which remains duly on record[342]
that the retreat of Wylde and Mahon 'is sometimes at the gaoler's in
Philipstown, who is married to Wylde's sister.' The following entry
appears in the 'account of secret service money employed in detecting
treasonable conspiracies per affidavit of Mr. Cooke': 'April 2, 1803.
Francis Magan, by post to Philipstown--100_l._'[343]

In the State Papers of the time I can find no letters bearing on this
transaction, and therefore I must seek to trace it on circumstantial

Who can doubt that Magan, when a refresher reached him at Philipstown,
was in hot scent after Wylde and Mahon? Later on, during the same year,
we find Captain Caulfield and a party of military laying siege to the
house at Philipstown in which Wylde and Mahon were suspected to be
concealed. An account of a skirmish is supplied by Captain Caulfield in
a letter, dated December 17, 1803, also preserved in the Sirr papers:
'Captain Dodgson was killed, and,' adds Caulfield, 'we were obliged to
retire, while the villains made their escape.'[344]

Luke Cullen, the Carmelite already referred to, spent his later life
gathering from the peasantry their recollections of the troubled
times. His manuscript life of Dwyer has been placed in my hands by the
superior of Clondalkin monastery. Folios 595 to 597 describe Wylde
and Mahon's refuge at Philipstown, the abortive efforts to catch them
there, and afterwards their concealment at Moira House, Dublin. The
governor of Philipstown Gaol, we learn, was a near connection of both.
They are stated by Cullen to have at last effected their escape from
Moira House, Usher's Island, in a boat which rapidly passed out of the
bay. Having reached the United States, Wylde and Mahon joined the army,
and found speedy promotion. The statement that two proscribed men, most
active propagandists of Emmet's plans, lay under Lord Moira's ægis
seems startling; but this statesman and his countess had very popular
sympathies, and liked to succour rebels. The late Mr. Thomas Geoghegan,
solicitor, informed me that two uncles of his named Clements, who were
United Irishmen, obtained refuge at Moira House while warrants were
out for their arrest, and finally succeeded in escaping all pains and
penalties owing to the precautions taken by Lady Moira.

It is not a little singular that General Lord Moira, who, later on, was
offered the Viceroyalties of Ireland and of India, and who in 1812, on
the death of Percival, sought to form an administration, should have
performed the perilous task of harbouring men who loved Ireland 'not
wisely, but too well.' Portland, in a letter to Camden, dated 11 March,
1798, classes with 'the disaffected,' 'Lord Moira and his adherents.'
This impression was partly due to his indignant protest in Parliament
against that policy of torture by which the people had been daily
goaded to rebel.

Magan's life involved some strange contradictions. Proud, and even
haughty, he yet hesitated not to commit base acts; with the wages of
dishonour he paid his just debts. An interesting letter, in reply
to a query, was addressed to the present writer by the late John
Fetherstonhaugh, of Griffinstown, Kinnegad. His grandfather, Thomas
Fetherston, of Bracket Castle, was, he states, in the habit for years
of lodging in High Street, Dublin, at the house of Thomas Magan, a
draper, 'and departed this life in his house.'[345] Fetherston's
son, on inspecting his papers, found a joint bond from the draper and
his son, Francis Magan, for 1,000_l._, and on speaking to the former
respecting its payment, he declared that he was insolvent.

  So my father [adds Mr. Fetherston] put it into his desk, counting
  it waste paper. Some years elapsed and the son came to Bracket
  Castle, my father's residence, and asked for the bond. 'For what?'
  said my father. To his astonishment, he said it was to pay it. I
  was then but a boy, but I can now almost see the strange scene--it
  made so great an impression on me. Often my father told me Magan
  paid the 1,000_l._, and he could not conceive where he got it, as
  he never held a brief in court; and he was always puzzled why the
  Crown gave him place and pension.[346]

James Dickson of Kilmainham has been more than once mentioned in these
pages. As soon as he had been discharged from gaol, in the absence of
evidence to convict him in a court of law, he opened his house for
the entertainment and solace of the families of the State prisoners.
But his guests were not confined wholly to the United Brotherhood.
My informant, the late Mathias O'Kelly, often met there William Todd
Jones, of whose arrest in 1803, on suspicion of complicity in Emmet's
treason, volumes were published; Lord Kingsland, famous for a career
of marvellous vicissitude; Mrs. Neilson, wife of the rebel leader,
then imprisoned at Fort George; and Plowden, the popular historian,
who gathered at Dickson's table much valuable information. The house
was quite a centre of liberal opinion in Dublin, and no man shared
Dickson's confidence more fully than Magan. Mathias O'Kelly greatly
respected Magan, and thirty years ago, when I first started my
suspicion, he laboured hard to convince me that I was entirely wrong.
Magan told O'Kelly that he had been a member of the Society of United
Irishmen, but withdrew from it when he saw it drifting into dangerous
courses. The reverse is the fact. He played his part so well that at
the time of his betrayals he was promoted to a high post in the rebel

In 1832 a brochure was 'printed for the author by William Shaw,
Dublin,' which must have quickened the sluggish pulse of Mr. and Miss
Magan. It was 'An Impartial Enquiry respecting the Betrayal of Lord
Edward Fitzgerald,' by Joseph Hamilton. No charge was preferred against
the Magans in this pamphlet. But conscience makes cowards; the probing
given to a sore spot, and Hamilton's mention of 'Mr. Magan and his
sister,' with others who knew of Lord Edward's movements previous to
the arrest, proved distasteful at 20 Usher's Island.

Hamilton's labour was undertaken with the avowed object of clearing
Neilson from a suspicion which Moore, in his Memoir of Lord Edward,
ventured to start. Whether Moore, in gathering facts for his book, had
been referred to the Magans, I know not, but he certainly returned
to England strongly prejudiced against the incorruptible Neilson,
and straightway framed an indictment bristling with innuendos.[348]
Hamilton prints, with other vindicatory papers, letters from Hamilton
Rowan and Dr. McNevin, also a touching protest from the daughter of
Neilson. Hamilton knew Lord Edward well.

  Dearer to me was Edward's life than Neilson's memory [he writes].
  Dearer to me is Ireland than are Neilson's children and his
  friends. If I thought he was the man who could betray his generous
  friend and noble chieftain, I would leave his memory and his bones
  to rot together. I took up his vindication, not as a partial
  advocate; and in thus conducting his defence I will not endeavour
  to suppress a single fact which might go to justify the accusing
  passage in Lord Edward's 'Life.'

Mr. Hamilton proved Neilson guiltless, but he fell into the error,
which a man blindfolded at play commits, in very often making a grasp
in the wrong quarter. He suspects Reynolds; Captain Armstrong, who
betrayed Sheares; 'a Mr. Hatton, one of the rebel Executive, _who
unaccountably escaped_.'[349] Even Sir Jonah Barrington; nay, the
estimable philanthropist, Mathias O'Kelly, who lived with his father at
Galway's Walk, near the scene of Lord Edward's tussle with Sirr, was
also mentioned in a suggestive way. 'On the 17th May,' writes Hamilton,
'Armstrong met both the Sheares, and on that evening Major Sirr was
seen looking towards the rear of Miss Magan's house from Mr. O'Kelly's
stable door in Galway's Walk. I know five different places where Lord
Edward was concealed,' he adds. The secret which, like the sword of
Damocles, had long hung over the heads of Francis Magan and his sister,
now seemed on the point of falling; but their names were not used in
this pamphlet more freely than those of Miss Moore, Murphy, and a few
other persons amongst whose haunts the Geraldine flitted during his
last days in this world. Hamilton thus closes the first stage of his

  My documents and anecdotes are every hour increasing. I have
  received communications from the wife and son of him with whom the
  Major had the struggle near the house of Miss Magan. I call on
  Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Dixon,[350] Mrs. Rowe, and Miss Magan; I call on
  Mr. Magan, Mr. Murphy, their families, and all those individuals
  who either visited or served them or their noble guest, to tell
  all Ireland all they are acquainted with respecting the last week
  Lord Edward had his freedom. I know what some of them can say; I
  know what more of them might say; and I pause for their full and
  faithful declarations.

A promised second part never appeared; but it were almost better for
the feelings of Magan and his sister had the dreaded charge been boldly
fulminated, than the agony of suspense to which they were doomed. I had
not seen this scarce pamphlet when I first expressed my suspicions of

When the present century was in its teens, the aristocratic section of
Irish Catholics sought to give the Crown a 'veto' in the appointment
of their bishops, and started in opposition to O'Connell, who had been
demanding unfettered emancipation. In the ranks of this troublesome
schism, the records of which would fill a library, I find Francis
Magan, Lords Fingall,[351] Trimleston, Kenmare, Gormanstown, and
Southwell, Wolfe,[352] Shiel,[353] Bellew, Lynch, Donellan,[354]
Wyse,[355] Ball[356] and others anxious to reach by a short cut the
good things of the State.

The gentleman into whose hands Magan's papers passed tells me that he
found a letter addressed to him in 1834 by Sir W. Gossett, Assistant
Secretary of State at Dublin Castle, asking under what circumstances
he claimed a pension from the Crown, and requesting information as to
a small office he held. A copy of Magan's reply was appended, saying
that the Viceroy of the day had promised him a county chairmanship--or,
as it would now be called, a county court judgeship; but, owing to
the disabilities then affecting Catholics, he was found to be not
eligible for appointment, and the emoluments in question were given as
compensation.[357] Gossett had succeeded Gregory in 1831, and having
come in with the Whigs sought to administer a more liberal form of
government. Cornwallis, Castlereagh, Cooke and Marsden had been long
gone to their account, and dead men tell no tales. Whether Gossett
viewed Magan's reply as quite satisfactory does not appear. In 1835
Earl Mulgrave deprived Watty Cox of his pension, but I cannot say
whether the same high-handed course was extended to Magan.

Magan was said to have filled some small legal office long since
abolished, though of its precise character even his relatives
could afford no information. A gossiping missive is subjoined, the
less reluctantly because Magan, having often stood in misanthropic
isolation, it is pleasant to find any person who came in frequent
contact with him. Moreover it is one of the last letters of a not
undistinguished man. Sir W. Gossett, who wrote to Magan for information
as regards the sinecure he held, might have been glad of the dates
which are now supplied. The late Huband Smith, M.R.I.A., served
with Magan as a Commissioner for Enclosing Commons. This was rather
an unpopular appointment. The disturbances of 1766, ending in the
execution of Father Sheehy, all originated in the resistance offered
to a similar measure. From 1821 to 1827 Mr. Goulburn filled the office
of Chief Secretary for Ireland, and he was a very likely man to have
recognised the claims of any person who had rendered secret service
in '98. The same remark applies to the Premier, Lord Liverpool, who
provided so munificently for the family of Reynolds the informer. On
the death of that peer in 1827 his successor, Mr. Canning, earned
popularity by refusing to employ in his departments any of the spies
of '98, or even to ratify the appointments of Lord Castlereagh or Lord

Huband Smith's letter runs:--

  I deferred replying to your note and queries till I could lay
  my hands on some documents which I had preserved respecting the
  Commission for inclosing Waste Lands and Commons in Tallaght,
  Killsillaghan, &c. The Act was passed in the 2nd of George IV.
  session of 1821. The original Commissioners were Morgan Crofton,
  James Clancy, and Francis Magan, all barristers. The lands to be
  inclosed were:--In Tallaght, 783 acres; Killsillaghan, 150 acres;
  Luske, 320 acres exclusive of the racecourse. The Act recited
  the owners of the adjoining lands, lords of manors, and also the
  General Inclosure Act of 43 George III. The earlier meetings of
  the Commissioners were held in the Royal Exchange, and the later
  ones at the house of William Duffield Rooke, an eminent solicitor,
  in Molesworth Street, well known also in the musical world as an
  accomplished violinist, and member of the 'Beef-Steak Club.' Mr.
  Morgan Crofton having died in 1830, it became necessary for the
  surviving Commissioners under the Act to appoint a third in his
  place, and in February 1831 I was sworn in as a Commissioner at
  the meeting held on March 11, 1831, and this was the first time I
  met Magan. Mr. James Clancy was a barrister of some eminence well
  known to the profession by able legal treatises, amongst them one
  of considerable authority on the law of husband and wife.

  In regard to your query, what was the average amount of the fees
  which constituted Magan's salary--he was entitled to receive three
  guineas _per diem_ for every day on which the Commissioners sat
  in furtherance of the Act. Magan and his brother Commissioners
  were armed with large powers, such as examining witnesses on oath,
  awarding costs, and enforcing payment by distress warrant, &c. In
  point of fact they held a sort of court, and constituted a tribunal
  from which the appeal lay to the Superior Courts by action at law,
  under certain restrictions. The Commissioners were directed to hold
  perambulations, and authorised to sell such parts of the lands
  as, in their opinion, were necessary to defray the expenses of
  passing the Act and of carrying it into execution, and to execute
  conveyances of the fee-simple.

  It is on the commons at Lusk that the admirable Irish convict
  system, which has worked so well, has been fully carried into

  With regard to Magan's manner, it appeared to me very unobtrusive,
  and, as one would say, undemonstrative. He was then an elderly
  man sufficiently gentlemanlike in appearance, tall, yet rather
  of plain, and even coarse exterior; perhaps a little moody and
  reserved at times, and something may have been pressing on him
  of which he said little.[358] As to his private income, there
  were no data for coming to any conclusion.... He resided at
  Usher's Island, near the Four Courts, a neighbourhood at that time
  inhabited by a better class than now, and it formed no part of the
  Commission to inquire more minutely into his affairs.

Mr. Magan was socially described as a person who 'held his head high,'
and with a nice sense of honour. In later years he seemed unduly
sensitive and, at times, retiring. Possessing few friends through life,
he continued staunch to these few, beginning with Francis Higgins
and ending with 'Master' Clancy. 'I hold Magan in such esteem,' the
latter said, 'that only for his advanced age I should like to appoint
him my executor.' Some other men who remembered '98, its horrors,
and its gossip, rather recoiled from Magan without knowing well why.
There was something of a 'Dr. Fell' about him. He occasionally went
the home circuit, but got no briefs. When hailed by juniors with a
deference which put to flight all misgivings on his part as to whether
acquaintanceship was likely to be valued, his _hauteur_ softened into a
dignified affability, and this relaxation was often taken as a gracious
condescension. His white locks made him venerable, and by some he was
regarded as a father of the Bar.[359]

Another man who viewed him with respect was the late Judge Corballis,
who in reply to a letter wrote:--

  I never, directly or indirectly, heard anything of the alleged
  charge against Frank Magan during his life. I was on habits of
  intimacy with him to the day of his death, and was with him on his
  death-bed. He always bore a high character, as far as I could ever
  learn, either at the bar or in society.

Mr. Corballis lived in the country and knew not what Magan's neighbours
said. In their eyes a black cloud seemed to hover over his house.

    For forty long years, as the neighbours declared,
    His abode had ne'er once been cleaned or repaired.[360]

But in personal appearance he was neat enough, and might be daily seen,
in the stiff high cravat of the Regency, emerging from its precincts.
Dr. Atkinson and Charles Kernan say that, though Magan was a familiar
object to them all the year round, they never saw him accompanied by
mortal in his walks. He never married, would sit in solitude, or stalk
from room to room like Marlay's ghost. Perhaps the voice of conscience
muttered, 'You are said to have sought the confidence of men in order
to betray it; show the world by your frigid attitude that such is not
likely to be true.' He was reported to have wealth: how he acquired it
seemed a mystery.

In 1842, Dr. Madden, when engaged on his 'Lives of the United
Irishmen,' had interviews, as he tells us, with Mrs. Macready, who, as
Miss Moore, had been with Lord Edward the day before his arrest;[361]
but her son informed me that as Magan was then alive and residing near
at hand, she did not mention his name to Dr. Madden. Magan, however,
cannot fail to have heard of the inquiries being instituted around
him by Madden, and his nervous temperament was not calmed by that
knowledge. He died in 1843, during a period of great popular excitement
and when fears prevailed that the events of '98 were about to be

'Magan's remains lie in our vaults' writes a local priest.[362]

'By his will he requires a perpetual yearly mass to be celebrated by
all priests of this church for the repose of his soul, so that I have
been praying for him once each year since I became attached to this
parish, without knowing anything of his antecedents.'

Dr. Dirham had been residing within a few doors of Magan's house,
and on the death of that gentleman it occurred to him to move to the
more ample accommodation it afforded. His account, though wholly
unimportant, is curious in its way. For years Miss Magan kept
constantly promising to vacate in his favour, stating that some small
cottage in some rural spot would be much more suitable to her lonely
life; but an irresistible fascination bound her to the dingy rooms in
which she had vegetated since the dark days of '98. Francis Magan,
by a will of ten lines, had left all his property to Elizabeth, his
sister, and directed that his funeral might be private. The rooms were
now all shut up, and Miss Magan herself ate, drank, and slept upon
the landing. For twenty years the drawing-room had not been opened,
owing to the fact that a younger sister had died there; and the other
apartments of the house were locked up for reasons equally odd. A
strange indisposition to permit the humblest visitor to enter the
place, was shown in various ways. A quarter of a century seemed to have
elapsed since the dust-pit had been emptied, and boards were erected
round it which enabled the Magans to add daily _débris_, until at last
they became dust themselves. When Dr. Dirham came into possession of
the place[363] he found the garden covered from end to end with some
feet deep of cinders, through which rank nettles struggled like the
stings of the self-consciousness that made life with Magan the reverse
of roseate. In a retired nook stood a bottle drainer, the wooden
bars of which had fallen in from decay, smashing in its descent the
emblems of conviviality it once enshrined, and through the aid of
which profitable secrets may erst have been gained. The sewers and
gratings had become choked; and the deep area at the rear of the house
was filled with eight feet of stagnant water. A subterranean cell,
adjoining this fosse, and by courtesy styled the 'coal-vault,' opened
on another dark chamber; and a feeling of awe crept over the Doctor
when, impelled by curiosity to gauge its depth, he cast a stone into
the pit, and listened until its descent terminated in the sound of
splashing water below. The hinges of the hall door were so stiff during
Miss Magan's tenancy, that Dr. Fleming, who as a cousin once ventured
to visit the moneyed recluse, had to call at a neighbouring chemist's
for sweet oil ere he felt safe in crying 'Open Sesame.' Seated on the
cold landing, in the midst of chests of mysterious treasure, this
'unprotected female,' trembling in every nerve lest friends should
wrest it from her grasp, gloomily passed the closing years of a hidden
life. Once, on a false alarm of fire, her anguish was pitiable, and,
to the surprise of everybody, she relinquished the custody of some
chests to a neighbour,[364] Mr. Cotton, who, however, detained them
only a few hours. At another neighbour's, Miss Flanagan's, who kept an
old established bakery, Miss Magan always got her bank-notes changed;
but, fearful of being waylaid between the covered car she occupied,
and the door at which it stopped, Miss Flanagan was always obliged to
get into the vehicle and place in the hands of its shrinking occupant
the metallic equivalent for the crisp new note. Some arrears of rent
had accumulated at the time of Miss Magan's death, and a term of years
in the lease remained unexpired; but her property was so left that
the landlord's claim could not be satisfied. The house was in such a
ruined state that the landlord, Colonel King, was glad to accept half
the former rent. Although an extremely old house, only one tenant,
Archbishop Carpenter,[365] occupied it before Magan. In its back
parlour had been ordained Dean Lube and many other old priests well
known in Dublin during the struggle for Catholic Emancipation; and so
searchingly severe was the operation of penal law, that students for
ordination had to be smuggled into the Archbishop's house by the stable
in Island Street, afterwards turned to ignoble purposes. An altar stood
in a recess of this parlour, which the Magans changed into a cupboard.

William Allingham would seem to have had the house in his eye when,
some years later, he wrote:--

    Outside, the old plaster, all spatter and stain,
    Looked spotty in sunshine and streaky in rain;
    The window-sills sprouted with mildewy grass,
    And the panes from being broken were known to be glass.

    Within there were carpets and cushions of dust;
    The wood was half rot, and the metal half rust;
    Old curtains--half cobwebs--hung grimly aloof:
    'Twas a spider's Elysium from cellar to roof.

    But they pried not upstairs, through the dust and the gloom,
    Nor peeped at the door of the wonderful room
    That gossips made much of, in accents subdued,
    But whose inside no mortal might brag to have viewed.

    Full forty years since turned the key in that door:
    'Tis a room deaf and dumb 'mid the city's uproar.
    The guests, for whose joyance that table was spread,[366]
    May now enter as ghosts, for they're every one dead.

On consulting the records of the Probate Court early in this inquiry, I
was puzzled to find that the sum which Miss Magan appeared to have died
worth was quite nominal. This discovery disturbed, and for some time
retarded, the completion of the chain of evidence. On inquiry, however,
it was stated that, in order to save the legacy duty, she transferred,
when almost _in extremis_, a considerable sum to the late Very Rev. Dr.
Taylor and a respected physician[367] still living; and she made a will
ratifying that act. Orally, she expressed a wish as to its bestowal for
some useful purpose, but leaving details entirely to their discretion.
With the bulk of this money a refuge for penitent females and an asylum
for the insane were built.[368] Miss Magan died worth 14,000_l._, not
to speak of a fee-farm property known as Hartstown, held under Lord
Carhampton, and not far from the Devil's Mills, near Dublin, which,
local tradition states, his lordship built in one night by demoniac

It seems strange that Magan, who was insolvent before the rebellion,
could amass so much money. His secret pension was merely for 200_l._ a
year[370] (a sum insufficient to pay the rent of his house), give good
donations to the Catholic Board, pay off Fetherston's bond, and support
himself, his sisters and his horse--for in early life Mr. Magan did
indulge in that luxury. His pension, there is reason to think, from the
letter of Sir William Gossett in 1834, ceased to be paid about that
time. His fees as a Commissioner for enclosing commons were enjoyed
by him for a few years only; and as the 'S.S. Money Book' records but
three payments to him--namely, on September 11, 1800, April 2, 1802,
and December 15, 1802--it is evident that he must have derived income
from other sources. There are payments of secret service money to the
informers of '98 and their representatives which obtain no record in
the book ostensibly devoted to that purpose. Captain Armstrong, who
betrayed the Sheares's, is known to have received, throughout sixty
years, about 29,000_l._ in recognition of that act; and yet no trace of
his name appears in the book of Secret Service Money expenditure. Money
was also obtainable under a clause in the Act of 39 George III. cap.
65, by which a sum of 2,910_l._ was allocated to the Under-Secretary in
the Civil department (Dublin Castle) for the time being, in trust for
payment of secret annuities. A letter from Dr. Ferris suggests another
source. He states, on the authority of a clerk in Gleadowe Newcomen's
Bank, then dead, that an annuity had been paid from that house to
Francis Magan, and that the clerk had seen Magan's receipts. Dr. Ferris
suggests that the books of the bank might be still accessible for

An Act of Parliament provided that the Secret Service Money placed at
the Viceroy's disposal should pass confidentially through the hands of
the Chief Secretary; but this arrangement has not always been adhered
to, as is evident from the fact that the 1,000_l._ reward for the
discovery of Emmet was lodged to the credit of the informer in Finlay's
bank. The hint of Dr. Ferris is not uninteresting, but the books of
Newcomen's bank do not seem to have been preserved. Barrington states
that Sir W. Gleadowe Newcomen, who voted for the Union, received a
reward of 20,000_l._ with a peerage, and the patronage of his county.
It is a strange irony of fate that Lord Newcomen died poor. For years
he lived alone in the bank, gloating, it was wildly whispered, over
ingots of treasure, with no lamp to guide him but the luminous diamonds
which had been left for safe keeping in his hands. Moore would have
compared him to 'the gloomy gnome that dwells in the dark gold mine.'
Wrapped in a sullen misanthropy, he was sometimes seen emerging at
twilight from his iron clamped abode. La Touche's bank stood on the
opposite side of Castle Street, and Dublin wags compared the street to
a river because it ran between two banks. Jokes soon gave way to sobs.
One day Newcomen's bank broke,[372] and prosperous men perished in the
collapse. Lord Newcomen had previously retired to Killester, where he
died by his own hand. No claimant appeared for his coronet, and the
line became extinct. This was the twenty-seventh Irish peerage which
had failed since the Union. Gleadowe had been M.P. for Longford when
he voted for the extinction of the Irish Parliament. Richard Lovel
Edgeworth, a betrayed constituent, regarded this vote as an act of
treason, and in anger shot forth the following bolt:--

    With a name that is borrowed--a title that's bought,
    Sir William would fain be a gentleman thought;
    His wit is but cunning, his courage but vapour,
    His pride is but money--his money but paper!

What was a pointless sarcasm in 1800 became a stubborn fact in
1825--Newcomen's notes were waste paper. The Hibernian Banking Company
soon after began business within the walls.


[284] I leave unchanged some of the circumstantial evidence which had
convinced me of Magan's guilt, adding in brackets the criminatory
letters subsequently found (January 1891).

[285] Thus, in 'Croppies lie down,' to the tune of which, as Moore
says, 'more blood had been shed than often falls to the lot of lyrical

    'The ruthless Fitzgerald stept forward to rule,
    His principles formed in the Orleans school.'

[286] _Memoirs of Miles Byrne_, iii. 247. (Paris: Bossange, 1863.)

[287] 'Dr. Madden,' writes the Rev. James Wills, 'mentions a train of
circumstances which seems to fasten the imputation on Hughes.'--_Lives
of Illustrious Irishmen_, vi. 51. Years after, in his new edition,
Madden suggests suspicion against one Joel Hulbert (i. 85; ii. 443).
Eventually, however, Dr. Madden wrote: 'And now, at the conclusion
of my researches on this subject of the betrayal of Lord Edward
Fitzgerald, I have to confess they have not been successful. The
betrayer still preserves his incognito; his treachery, up to the
present time (January 1858), remains to be connected with his name,
and once discovered, to make it odious for evermore.... Nine-and-fifty
years the secret of the sly, skulking villain has been kept by his
employers, with no common care for his character or his memory.'--See
_Lives of the United Irishmen_, by R. R. Madden, ii. 446, 2nd ed.

[288] Froude, iii. 342.

[289] _Cornwallis Correspondence_, iii. 320.

[290] The Viceroy, whose carriage Magan and Higgins hired a mob to
draw triumphantly through the streets, was Lord Temple, afterwards
Marquis of Buckingham, twice Chief Governor of Ireland, and of whom Mr.
Grattan writes: 'He opposed many good measures, promoted many bad men,
increased the expenses of Ireland in a manner wanton and profligate,
and vented his wrath upon the country.'

[291] _Dublin Evening Post_, No. 1767. The same journal adds:--'It was
in Mr. Magan's house in High Street that the creditable certificate of
the clergy of Rosemary Lane Chapel was written and obtained.' It may
be explained that when the moralist, Magee, denounced Higgins as one
who had defied the laws of God and man, an advertisement, purporting
to come from the priests of Rosemary Lane Chapel, said that they had
no official or other knowledge of an imposture alleged to have been
committed twenty-three years previously by Mr. Francis Higgins, and
adding that, during his residence in Smock Alley, his conduct had been
marked by benevolence. 'This sprig of Rosemary,' commented the _Post_,
'may serve to revive the fainting innocence of the immaculate convert
of Saint Francis!' Magan, as a leading Catholic parishioner, had much
weight with the clergy.

[292] _Dublin Directory_, 1790.

[293] It was during this anxious period that Lord Edward, venturing out
at night, had an interview with Pamela in Denzille Street, when their
little child was taken from its cot to see its father, and a servant
suddenly entering the room found the parents in tears.

[294] It should be Friday, May 18, as appears from Sirr's original

[295] Statement of Mr. William Macready, the grandson of Moore,
furnished exclusively to the present writer.

[296] _Life and Death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald_, by Thomas Moore.
Paris ed. p. 160.

[297] May 18, 1798.

[298] Lest he should arrive at the hall door.

[299] Dirty Lane, now Bridgefoot Street, was another route by which
Lord Edward could come from Moore's. The Queen's Bridge is at the foot
of Dirty Lane. Island Street runs parallel with Usher's Island, a
suburban quay; and Magan's is the second stable from Watling Street.

[300] Major Swan was the assistant town major. Atkinson will be
remembered as the chief constable of Belfast. See _ante_, p. 8.

[301] The premises were on Wood Quay (then known as 'Pudding Row'),
Wine Tavern Street, and Fisher's Alley; they also included the 'Dog
and Duck' inn, north side of Thomas Street, with a rear extending to
Marshalsea Lane.--_Registry of Deeds Office._ Traces of other property
held by Thomas Magan crop up in unlooked-for places. By the settlement
of Philip Whitfield Harvey with Miss Frances Tracy, dated September 16,
1802, it is recited that Thomas Magan, having become a bankrupt, his
properties at Blackstaheny and in Britain Street were sold by auction
to Samuel Dick and a Mr. Halpin for the sum of 4,830_l._ Higgins had
property of his own at Blackstaheny, for I find a conveyance of lands
there in 1806 from the Harveys and Tracys to Andrew Rorke of Clonsilla;
consideration, 1,084_l._ 12_s._ 6_d._

[302] Magan's seal displays a boar's head, with the motto 'Virtute et

[303] A nickname by which the popular journalist, John Magee, satirised

[304] It was whispered that Francis Magan may have been the godson
of Francis Higgins, and baptised Francis in compliment to him. The
Catholic baptismal registries of the parish do not go back sufficiently
far to throw light; but, inasmuch as Thomas Magan married, in October
1770, the daughter of _Francis_ Kiernan, merchant, their son would be
very naturally called after the grandfather.

[305] _United Irishmen_, iv. 25.

[306] This would give Magan an opportunity of meeting and discoursing
with his old friend.

[307] _Dublin Evening Post_, Tuesday, May 23, 1797.

[308] Dublin: W. B. Kelly. Long out of print. The Rev. Dr. Stokes,
Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Trinity College, Dublin, in the
_Mail_ of October 14, 1885, stated that this pamphlet 'may be found
in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, Gallery H. 10, vol 92.'
The brochure had been printed mainly for the purpose of correcting a
mis-statement made by the _Athenæum_, when reviewing the _Cornwallis
Papers_. The _Athenæum_, then edited by W. Hepworth Dixon, far from
resenting my correction, reviewed the book in terms which stimulated
further efforts, and, if any excuse for them were needed, it is
supplied in that too favourable judgment. See No. 1649 p. 744. 'This
biography reads like so many pages out of Mr. Lever's _Con Cregan,
or the Irish Gil Blas_; but Mr. Fitzpatrick quotes several legal and
literary documents to authenticate his text. Facts in abundance are
produced. As illustrative of the state of Irish political society in
those days, this tract is extremely curious. With extraordinary power
of social research, an intimacy is established between the hateful
Higgins and Magan; ... most curious circumstantial evidence, to
criminate Magan. This tract merits preservation. The mass of social and
personal knowledge accumulated by Mr. Fitzpatrick is very striking. He
writes like an _ex post facto_ Boswell, and the research with which
he amasses minute particulars is a speciality with him. It is for
want, heretofore, of detailed and accurate domestic knowledge, that
Irish history is so crude and colourless; and works like those of Mr.
Fitzpatrick have value.'

[309] Higgins to Cooke, December 29, 1797.

[310] _Idem_, January 2, 1798.

[311] O'Coigly left for London on his luckless mission, and Magan lost
sight of him.

[312] Higgins to Cooke, January 12, 1798.

[313] Henry Jackson, a very active member of the Rebel Directory, and
father-in-law of Oliver Bond.

[314] John Fallon, Esq., J.P. and D.L., born April 6, 1767. Higgins to
Cooke, January 16, 1798.

[315] Higgins to Cooke, February 26, 1798.

[316] Lawless was Professor of Physiology in the College of Surgeons;
but, on finding that a warrant was out for his arrest, got safely to
France, where he rose to the rank of General, and lost a leg at Leipzig.

[317] Higgins to Cooke, March 28, 1798.

[318] Moore mentions that Lord Edward and Neilson were stopped,
at midnight, by the patrol at Palmerstown; but the former having
personated a doctor hurrying to the relief of a patient, both were
suffered to resume their journey.

[319] The accurate information on other points which daily reached
Cooke convinced not a few United Irishmen that treachery was at work.

[320] Magan to Cooke, April 22, 1798.

[321] It is also due to Lord Edward's memory to remind the reader that
Higgins was a man of leprosied reputation. Nearly thirty years ago, I
gave some account of him in _Ireland before the Union_. Meanwhile, the
reader might see what an English historian, Mr. Plowden, says of him,
_vide_ chap. xiv. 'Father Arthur O'Leary,' _et seq._ p. 213. I printed
in the _Sham Squire_ the original informations against Higgins for the
basest fraud, the true bills found against him by the Grand Jury in
1766, and the records of his committals to Newgate.

[322] _Memoirs of the Whig Party._

[323] Higgins to Under-Secretary Cooke, May 18, 1798.

[324] _Idem._

[325] Afterwards known to Turner at Hamburg, p. 14 _ante_.

[326] _The Express_, May 26, 1798.

[327] Mr. Froude says that 'Lord Edward was naturally a powerful man'
(iii. 343). This impression is not accurate. Jasper Joly, LL.D., son of
Lord Edward's godson, tells me that 'he was a small, wiry man.'

[328] Francis Higgins to Under Secretary Cooke, May 18, 1798.

[329] John Wesley visited Moira House in 1775, and has described
the splendour of its rooms, one of which was inlaid throughout with
'mother-of-pearl.' The spiritualised philosopher adds, 'and must this
pass away like a dream?' But he did not live to see, as Magan did,
Moira House the _refugium_ of hunger, rags, and dirt--a 'Mendicity

[330] Lecky, viii. 44.

[331] _Ibid._ vii. 211.

[332] _Life of Reynolds_, by his Son.

[333] Francis Higgins to Cooke, Stephen's Green, June 8, 1798. Quoted
by Lecky. For curious facts about Higgins, see chapter xiv.: 'Father

[334] Higgins to Cooke, June 13, 1801.

[335] The writer will be excused if he seems to linger on this theme;
but from childhood 'Magan' has been to him a familiar household
word. His grandfather, John Brett, lived next door to Magan's house
at Usher's Island. Voices, long since hushed, often described their
strange, silent neighbour, of whom it might be said, 'still waters run
deep.' Brett, though not a rebel, had popular sympathies, and several
patriots, including James Tandy, visited at his house. One day Major
Sirr created a great scare at Brett's by instituting a search for
pikes and papers. The hysterics of the young ladies and the protests
of their brothers served only to stimulate his ardour. No nook was
left unexplored, no stone unturned. The intruders even uprooted the
flower-beds in the garden, hoping to make a discovery, but all in vain;
and Sirr, with drooping plumage, at last withdrew.--See James Tandy's
arrest, Appendix, _infra_.

[336] _United Irishmen_, ii. 234.

[337] _Historical Review_, ii. 256.

[338] O'Kelly held, from a close personal knowledge of the man, that he
would be incapable of treachery.

[339] _Correspondence of the Duke of Wellington (Ireland)_, pp. 485-6.

[340] Two gardens belonged to Moira House: one in front of Island
Street, the other at its opposite side. These gardens are separated by
Island Street, which runs parallel with Usher's Island. A subterranean
passage under the street communicates with both pleasure grounds.
Usher's Island was formerly called Usher's Garden.

[341] The monk names this figure, but I think overstates it.

[342] The Sirr MSS., Trin. Coll. Dublin.

[343] In library of the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin.

[344] The Sirr MSS. This letter is quoted by Dr. Madden, who thinks
that the information on which Dodgson and Caulfield acted came from
Kildare; but it appears by the letter he himself prints (i. 522) that
it came from Dublin. Caulfield's letter, addressed to Major Sirr, says,
'In consequence of _your_ information, I reached Philipstown.' On the
two previous occasions when Major Sirr had laid hands on Lord Edward
Fitzgerald, the information as we see came from Magan. Dr. Madden, in
printing the letter referred to above, erroneously assigns to it the
date 1798; but the original MS. displays 'December 17, 1803.'

[345] How Mr. Fetherston came to patronise Thomas Magan's lodgings,
and otherwise to befriend him, was partly due to the fact that Magan
had descended from a once opulent race in West Meath. _Vide_ wills,
in Irish Record Office, of Thomas Magan, Togherstown, co. W. Meath,
dated 1710; and another, probably of his son, dated 1750. By a deed,
dated May 2, 1798, it appears that James and John Fetherston had
been trustees of the will of Mary Magan, the grandmother of Francis.
The property of Papists in penal times was liable to discovery and
forfeiture, and the help of friendly Protestants as trustees sometimes
became a necessity. The first mention of the Magans, and of the
Fetherstons as their trustees, is in 1763.

[346] Mr. Lecky has been kind enough to say (_History of England_,
viii. 45) that I have 'thrown more light than any other writer on the
career of Magan;' and he quotes the above as 'a very curious fact,'
adding that it would be interesting to know if 'the transaction took
place shortly after the death of Lord Edward.' As satisfaction of the
bond might possibly have been 'entered,' I searched the records of the
Four Law Courts, term after term, from 1798 to 1808, but no trace can
be found.

[347] The deliberate and mercenary way in which the respected
'counsellor' set himself to spy could be shown by fifty letters. Father
Quigley, or O'Coigly, who, it will be remembered, was arrested at
Margate in February on Turner's information (see chap. iii. _ante_),
and suffered death soon after, escaped by a hair's breadth the net
which Magan had been weaving for his capture in Dublin. A letter
from Higgins to Under-Secretary Cooke, dated 'Stephen's Green, 12th
January, 1798,' goes on to say: 'When I saw M---- this day and just
mentioned Quigly's name, he gave me instantly a description of him.
Met him before he went abroad often, and _was sheltered in Dixon's
house_. Will, he is convinced, find him out. But I beg to recommend
a strict watch on Dixon's and you will instantly discover him.' Four
days later, _i.e._ January 16, 1798, Higgins tells Cooke, 'M---- went
several times to Dixon's, but found no trace of Quigly at his former
residence. Neither has he been at Dr. McNevin's. The only place that he
can be sheltered among the party is at Bond's, and which will be known
by Thursday.' Two previous letters, dated October 17, and October 30,
1797, report very fully Dickson's conversations with Magan.

[348] Magan, to divert suspicion from himself, may have been the first
to set the story going that Neilson was a base informer. Thomas Moore,
after making inquiries in Dublin, returned home strong in suspicion
that Neilson had betrayed Lord Edward. Magan, in his secret letters of
1798, sometimes seeks to convey that Neilson was giving information at
Dublin Castle. One letter, dated April 22, 1798, says: 'I sometimes
imagine he (Neilson) is the person who communicated with Government;
however, suspicion has not pointed at him.' Higgins writes (May 15):
'M. says Neilson is playing a double game.' So faithful did Neilson
prove, that Major Sirr discovered him organising a plot to rescue Lord

[349] P. 19. The italics are Hamilton's. Hatton was one of the rebel
executive at Wexford.

[350] James Dickson, at whose house Magan had been a constant guest,
died a few years previously, and was buried beside the Round Tower at

[351] Fingall before his death expressed deep regret for this policy.
See Fagan's _Life of O'Connell_.

[352] Afterwards Chief Baron.

[353] Afterwards Master of the Mint and British minister at Florence.

[354] Bellew, Lynch, and Donnellan had pensions; not for secret
service, but to restrain them from clanking their chains.

[355] Afterwards a Privy Councillor, and British minister at Athens.

[356] Afterwards Mr. Justice Ball.

[357] The papers which set forth Magan's real claims to his pension
were not then accessible, even to the Irish Government. One of the
many letters addressed by Higgins to Cooke, dated June 30, 1798,
refers to the original intent of the United leaders to rise on May 14.
'Lord Edward was then with Magan, who found means to prevail on him
to postpone his purpose.' The postponement would give time for the
capture of Lord Edward Fitzgerald and others. This letter was written
after the death of the chief, and informs Cooke that 'the plan _was_
to rise Garretstown, Naul, &c., and circuitously round the metropolis
to Dunleary, &c. Lord Edward insisted on his Kildare men and those of
Carlow being brought in, and he would take the field at Finglas, and
march into the city, which was his great object to carry.' The above
is curious as showing how much Lord Edward's views had changed since
Reinhard described him as one 'of the moderate party.'

[358] Some said of Smith that he was 'cracked with larnin',' and his
chat deserved that Irish compliment. 'Your phrase "Still waters run
deep" seems happy in its application to Magan. There is also an Irish
proverb of which it reminds me:--


Well rendered by the Latin, seemingly a mediæval rhyme--

    "Audi, vide, tace:
    Si vis vivere in pace."

and almost literally translated by the French--

    "Oys, vois, et te taise,
    Si tu veux vivre en paix."

Magan was not dumb, but he knew well probably when to hold his
tongue.'--Letter of the late J. Huband Smith, M.R.I.A., June 5, 1866.

[359] The only sense of humour that he is recorded to have evinced
was in reference to Con Leyne, a wit often named in Moore's _Diary_.
The late Rickard O'Connell, of the Munster Bar, and satellite of
the Liberator, wrote, in reply to some questions, that he had been
introduced to Magan at the Four Courts in 1831 by Maurice King, who
said: 'Our young friend can tell you some good ones as to how Con got
on at Darrynane' (Dan's seat); and from time to time after, as I met
Magan in the 'Hall,' there was generally some allusion to Con, and a
chuckle if any fresh story or point against the renowned gastronome
turned up. 'The only members of the Munster Bar I ever saw speaking to
Magan were King, O'Loghlen (Sir M.), Con Leyne, and Howley--all men
of high honour, who would shun him as a black sheep if they had even
a strong suspicion that he was the character you assume him to be.
Usually, he was rather starched and formal in manner.'

[360] William Allingham.

[361] See _Lives and Times of the United Irishmen_, 2nd ed. ii. 408.

[362] Canon O'Hanlon, author of _The Lives of the Irish Saints_, then
attached to the church of SS. Michael and John. The vaults referred
to were once the pit of Smock Alley Theatre. The coffin, inscribed
'Francis Magan,' reposes close to that of the venerable Father Betagh.

[363] This was written in 1866, though not published until now.

[364] Secretary to the Mendicity Institution.

[365] Dr. Carpenter preceded Dr. Troy in the see, and by great prudence
guided the suffering Church through the quicksands which in penal days
encompassed it. He deprecated public agitation on the part of his
flock, lest the very clanking of the chains should arouse their keepers
to renewed activity and vigilance.

[366] The brother of Mathias O'Kelly was betrothed to Miss Magan; but
he broke away. Whether the bridal feast had been absolutely spread, is
not stated.

[367] The late Dr. Fleming of Merrion Square, one of the next-of-kin,
sought by legal proceedings to foil this arrangement, but failed. Mr.
H. Fetherston, his attorney after the case had been decided against
his client, said to the gentleman who partly represented Miss Magan:
'According to Canon Law you are now free to keep this money, and none
but a fool would reject it.' Mr. Fetherston was right; but the other
replied that there was also a law of honour and of conscience.

[368] Hartstown being a freehold, it could not go towards the endowment
of the institution, and the executor says that this fee-farm has cost
him more trouble than all the worry attendant on her complicated

[369] By a deed, dated December 10, 1797, Lord Carhampton,
commander-in-chief, a leading terrorist of his time, grants to Francis
Higgins part of his estate of Hartstown and Barnageath; but without
mention of trusts or considerations of any kind. During a law suit
which took place in 1802, as Mr. James Curran, great-grandnephew of
Higgins, informs me, it transpired that Higgins, in this transaction,
had been merely trustee for Magan. The freehold conveyed by Carhampton
to Higgins is now in the hands of Magan's legal representative. I
long suspected, but, on full inquiry, have failed to satisfy myself,
that Carhampton's grant to Higgins, in trust for Magan, was part of
an arrangement cunningly devised to baffle suspicion, and meant as an
acknowledgment of private information regarding rebel doings, which
Magan, it is certain, was giving to Higgins; but at least, it proves
Carhampton's friendly wish to promote the interwoven interests of both.
On pursuing the labyrinths of the Registry of Deeds Office, Dublin,
I find that the Magans had connection with the property so far back
as 1780. On February 20, 1793, 1000_l._ was lent by Higgins to Thomas
Magan, the father of Lord Edward's betrayer, charged on Blackstaheny
and Clonsilla, the adjoining lands. Three years later Higgins tightens
his toils, and, as already stated, seeks to further secure this
1000_l._ charged on the same property. 'Shamado,' doubtless, well knew
how to make his creature work. The consent to harbour Lord Edward, and
the whispered information as to place and hour would be an easy way
of wiping out the debt for 1000_l._, and of currying favour with the
lender. I may add that the foregoing note was written long before I had
found the criminatory letters of Higgins and Magan.

[370] Some of Magan's receipts have been preserved. On these receipts
the letters 'S. A.' are marked, a cipher implying that he belonged to a
class of informers who, by special agreement, were never to be called
upon to give public evidence. His pension was paid quarterly, and here
is one of his receipts:--

'Received from Wm. Gregory, Esq., by Wm. Taylor, Esq., fifty pounds
sterling, for the quarter to December 24 last.

'Dublin, January 22, 1816.

                                                              F. MAGAN.'

[371] Letter of Edward Ferris, M.D., Athy, June 21, 1867. He died,
March 25, 1877.

[372] A run had been made on La Touche's Bank, and great fears were
expressed lest it should break. At last Lord Limerick, who as Sexten
Pery had been popular, took his stand at the counter, and when people
saw him paying out the gold, confidence became restored.--His kinsman,
Aubrey de Vere, to the Writer.



Todd Jones, Wolfe Tone, and Hon. Simon Butler were three Protestants
to whom, Mr. Froude says, the Catholic Committee voted 1,500_l._ each,
as a reward for their cordially rendered aid. This was in 1793, and we
hear no more of Todd Jones from Froude. His subsequent history is not
without interest, and seems interwoven with that of Francis Magan.

John Philpot Curran's writing-desk remains exactly as he left it
when quitting Ireland in 1817 to die. A long and cautiously written
letter,[373] without signature, dated August 13, 1803, but known to
be from Lady Moira, reposes in this desk. It was written three weeks
after Emmet's rebellion, and a month prior to his execution. The
letter begins mysteriously, 'Read, reflect, but do not answer. Time
will unfold the intentions.' She complains of information which had
been sent to the Government, regarding a trunk, assumed to be full of
papers, reaching Moira House, Usher's Island, and presumably from Todd
Jones. She declares that her rooms were ransacked, under a warrant from
the Secretary of State, and how letters addressed to Todd Jones at
Moira House had been carried to Dublin Castle. In writing to Curran,
whom she wishes to be her counsel if the matter should come to trial,
she makes light of these letters, and prudentially describes her
correspondence with Jones as mainly of an antiquarian and picturesque

Magan, who resided within a few doors of Moira House, possessed
peculiar facilities for 'setting'[374] the movements of its
_habitués_.[375] It must have been in 1802 when he was found by
Mathias O'Kelly[376] associating with Todd Jones, and that date merits
attention. 'I had been absent from Ireland for _ten_ years, from the
year 1792,' writes Jones in his petition to the king, 'during the whole
of which period I was uninterruptedly a resident in England, and in May
1802 I was indispensably compelled to return to Dublin, by an affair of
honour.'[377] Soon after he proceeded to Munster, 'which I had never
beheld, and had long entertained an inclination to see.'[378]

At what date can we trace the first arrival of Jones on his mysterious
mission to Clonakilty, where with several of his friends he was
arrested on a charge of high treason in July 1803? To that question
the answer is, December 1802. The 'Account of Secret Service Money,
applied in detecting Treasonable Conspiracies,' contains the following
entry:--'1802, December 15th, Francis Magan, by direction of Mr. Orpen,

There is but one family named 'Orpen' in Ireland; and the only Orpen
who could possibly be authorised to direct the payment of 500_l._ to
Magan at this time was the High Sheriff of Cork, in whose bailiwick
Jones was tracked and caught.[379]

Emmet, in his speech from the dock, denied that he was the life and
soul of the conspiracy, as alleged by Mr. Solicitor-General Plunket;
declared that men of greater mark than he were deep in it; that on his
return to Ireland he found the organisation formed; he was asked to
join it; he requested time to consider; they invited him again, and he
embarked in the enterprise. And yet, so carefully was the secret kept,
that nothing transpired to show that he had any colleagues of good
position. Lord Norbury, who tried the case, and the Attorney-General
stigmatised the plan as contemptible from the fact that Emmet's allies
were of no higher rank than 'ostlers, bakers, carpenters, and old
clothes men,' and, notwithstanding the solemnity of Emmet's dying
words, history has since given him the exclusive credit, or discredit,
of the rising of 1803.

Among others to whom suspicion attaches, although there is no absolute
evidence to show his guilt, may be mentioned William Todd Jones, a
Protestant of good family and some means, a barrister and writer, and a
member of the late Irish Parliament. The Viceregal organ, the 'Dublin
Journal,' in its issue of August 6, 1803, after noticing the arrest of
Jones, adds: 'This gentleman has been many months on a tour through the
provinces of Leinster and Munster, making speculations on the state of
the country through which he passed.' He remained eight months in Cork,
and it is a question whether, during that prolonged stay, he may not
have sought to foment revolution. All memoirs of Emmet have hitherto
been silent as regards the complicity of Cork in his designs. Kildare
is the county of which mention is chiefly made. The following from the
'Courier' (London) of August 5, 1803, furnishes a glimpse into the then
state of Cork:--

  A Dublin mail arrived this evening, and brought us letters and
  papers of Monday last.... Though there has been no rising in Cork,
  yet very unfavourable symptoms of disaffection have appeared
  there, and to the south of that city we are sorry to hear that the
  malignancy of the former rebellion is by no means extinguished.

The same journal, of August 16, 1803, contains a letter 'written by a
gentleman of distinction in the county of Cork,' possibly Mr. Orpen
himself, who commanded a corps of Yeomanry. The writer, after stating
that he had spread yeomen in all directions to prevent the embarkation
of persons charged with treason, goes on to say:--

  Todd Jones has been at Dr. Callanan's, Clonakilty, the last eight
  months: H.,[380] by order of Government, arrested him for high
  treason, as also the Doctor and his son.... These measures have
  been attended with alarm; but I think we are at present quite safe;
  and a strong fleet at Beerhaven relieves me from all apprehension
  of an enemy.

  The entire of the Yeomanry of this kingdom is now on the permanent
  establishment. Our corps is strong, and without vanity a good one.
  I have applied for an addition of infantry: with this augmentation,
  I shall feel very little apprehension for any attack made upon us
  without the aid of foreign force.

It appears from this letter, dated August, 1803, that Jones had been
then eight months at Clonakilty in the county Cork: therefore his
arrival would have been in December 1802--the very date of the payment
of 500_l._ to Magan by direction of Mr. Orpen, high sheriff for the
county. Meanwhile the locality in which Jones pitched his camp became,
from some cause, decidedly heated. A letter in the London 'Courier,'
dated 'Cork, August 21,' after recording the arrest of Todd Jones,
Donovan, and Dr. Callanan, states, 'The peasantry in the neighbourhood
of Ross, near Clonakilty, go armed to their chapels, and mount a
regular guard over their arms while they perform their devotions.'

We have seen that Magan--traditionally described as an unsociable
person, possessing few friends--maintained most intimate relations
with James Dickson of Kilmainham, in whose house Jones was also a
constant guest. About the same time as the arrest of Jones in Cork,
the 'Courier' of August 30, 1803, announces in its Dublin news:
'Yesterday Mr. James Dickson, of Kilmainham, was arrested at his house
by Messrs. Atkinson[381] and Carleton, chief peace-officers, and his
papers searched. The superintendent magistrate had him conveyed to the
Castle, where he underwent examination, and was afterwards committed to
Kilmainham Gaol.'[382]

Todd Jones, writing at the time, warmly details the circumstances of
his arrest (the italics are his own):--

  My person has been assaulted in my bed at daybreak, in the
  respectable mansion of a venerable friend, Doctor Callanan, near
  Clonakilty, and I have been conveyed, very strongly guarded by
  Troops, to an ignominious common Gaol: in reaching which, at
  the moderate distance of twenty-two miles, I have been wantonly
  exhibited, _like an already convicted Felon_, for two long summer
  days, the first and second of August, in _Orange Triumph_, to the
  gaze of a very crowded Bandon rabble; and thence paraded, with like
  ostentation, _through all the streets of Cork_, as if _in progress
  to Execution_.--My venerable friend and hospitable entertainer,
  Doctor Calanan, a Physician of the age of seventy, with his only
  son, _on my account_, have been dragged from the same mansion to
  Prison, after a similar triumphant exposure of two days, to gazing
  multitudes, in the short distance of twenty-two miles: a Man
  eminent for a long professional life, dedicated to the Poor, and to
  the Peasants, whose tears kept pace with his progress.

He then goes on to request that all concerned in his detainer,
including the Sheriff of Cork, may be summoned to the Bar of
Parliament. An account of his shattered health is sent to the Secretary
of State--'It is my liberty which I pray for--a trial--liberation--or
death! I have been a close prisoner for eleven weeks, without even
having been shown my indictment, or been told the names of my

These complaints were made in October, 1803, but entirely failed
to obtain redress. His petition to the king, dated 1808, resumes
the story: 'Within this prison I continued confined from 23rd
July, 1803, until the latter end of October 1805, when I was
unconditionally discharged by the High Sheriff of the County of
Cork--untried--unbailed--unexamined and unredressed.'[384]

When the High Sheriff of Cork liberated Jones it may be assumed that
the same authority was instrumental in his committal. Formerly, high
sheriffs took much more active part in such proceedings than now. No
organised system of police then existed, and the high sheriffs seem to
have been duly impressed with the responsibility of their position.
On March 18, 1800, we find in the Secret Service Money Book, 100_l._
handed to Mr. Archer, High Sheriff of Wicklow, for the detection of
treason, and on April 27, 1801, a further sum. But these exertions were
dignified in comparison with the acts of Sir Judkin Fitzgerald, High
Sheriff of Tipperary, who, with his own hands, flogged the peasantry to
extort confession.

Emmet's insurrection burst forth in Dublin on the night of July 23,
1803; that same morning, and at a distance of 150 miles, Jones is

The connection of Todd Jones with Irish politics was apparently of a
graver and more subtle sort than might be inferred from Lady Moira's
letter to Curran, or even Plowden's account of him in his History.
Plowden, a Catholic--the guest, with Jones and Magan, of James
Dickson--says that the persecution which Jones underwent at the hands
of the Government was due solely to his powerful advocacy of Catholic
Emancipation and Parliamentary Reform. He defends Jones with all the
warmth of friendship; his 'History of Ireland' enters most largely
into the case, and quotes various orators who sought to vindicate
Jones in Parliament.[385] But the reply of the ex-Secretary of State,
Mr. Wickham, finds no place, contrary to Plowden's usual honesty and
fulness in that work. Wickham, as appears from Hansard, rose from the
bed of sickness to reply to Fox, who had taken up the case of Jones,
and addressed the House sitting. He said:--

  For some time after the arrest of Mr. Todd Jones, which the Irish
  Government was induced to order upon information--the particulars
  of which he could not with any propriety describe, but which were
  satisfactory to their minds as to the measure. Mr. Jones remained
  in prison without any particular inquiry having been instituted
  in his case. As soon, however, as the trials which followed the
  insurrection of 1803, and which so much occupied the attention of
  the Irish Government, had terminated, an inquiry into the case of
  Mr. Jones took place.... He had already stated the impossibility
  of giving a full explanation to the House without acting unfairly
  towards the character of the Petitioner. After the trial of the
  rebels, and the fullest investigation of the charge against Mr.
  Jones, his case became much more serious than it appeared at the
  outset. Willing, however, to act with every possible mildness,
  his case was submitted to the Crown lawyers accompanied by this
  question, 'whether it would be proper to liberate Mr. Jones,' and
  their unanimous opinion was decidedly in the negative. The Irish
  Government transmitted the case of Mr. Jones to his Majesty's
  Ministers in this country, requiring their advice; and their answer
  was, that it would be extremely unadvisable to allow such a person
  to be at large in Ireland![386]

Of how Jones's alleged guilt was hushed up, and why the vengeance of
the Attorney-General preferred to fall on 'ostlers, bakers, carpenters,
and old clothes men,' as he said, an idea may be perhaps formed from a
letter addressed by the Right Hon. William Saurin to Jones, proposing
that he should secretly, and as if of his own accord, exile himself
from Ireland. This letter was enclosed by Wickham to Jones on October
11, 1803. Saurin, Jones states, had been his schoolfellow.[387]

Dr. Madden professes to supply a list of all persons of substance
connected with Emmet in his attempt; also of persons who were cognisant
of his plans, and were supposed to be favourably disposed towards them;
but Todd Jones obtains no place,[388] and therefore the less excuse is
needed for this effort to embrace a long neglected figure, and one not
uninteresting for 'Auld lang syne.'[389]


[373] The full text of this long letter will be found in the Appendix.

[374] 'Setting' is the phrase used by Mr. Secretary Cooke (see _ante_,
p. 118).

[375] _Ibid._ p. 134.

[376] See previous chap. p. 140.

[377] Mr. Jones's 'Petition to the King,' dated 'Cork, March 9, 1808';
printed in Plowden's _History of Ireland_, iii. 624.

[378] _Ibid._

[379] The records of the Chief Secretary's Office show that in 1802
Richard Thomas Orpen, of Frankford, was High Sheriff of Cork. During
the present year (1891), I found in the Irish State Papers a letter
dated 'Cork, March 24, 1802,' from the above Mr. Orpen, in his capacity
of high sheriff, regarding a correspondence he had with General Myers
as to a small assistance of cavalry.

[380] Probably Dr. Hardinge of Cork, an active agent in those troubled

[381] Atkinson was desired to be on the alert in Cooke's letter to
Sirr, written on the day of Lord Edward's intended move, of which Magan
gave notice.

[382] Mr. Justice Day, writing to the Irish Government on September 27,
1803 (eight days after Emmet's execution), suggests that Lord Bantry,
who got his peerage for reporting the arrival of the French in '96,
would be a good man to make inquiries regarding Jones.

[383] _Curious Correspondence of William Todd Jones with the Secretary
of State._ Dedicated to Lord Moira and Mr. Fox. (Cork: Odell, 1804.)

[384] Plowden's _History of Ireland since the Union to 1810_, iii. 626
_et seq._

[385] Plowden's _History of Ireland since the Union to 1810_, ii. 36,
216-220, 623-632.

[386] _Hansard's Parliamentary Debates_, v. 793-5.

[387] _Curious Correspondence._ (Cork: Odell, 1804.)

[388] _United Irishmen_, iii. 329.

[389] The _Annual Register_ and other usually well-informed sources
fail to record the death of Jones. A full obituary of him appears in
the _Ulster Register_ for March 1818, iv. 186-8; and a fine monody on
'Immortal Jones,' probably by Drennan, in the same serial, pp. 224-5.



A recent letter from the ex-Crown and Treasury Solicitor for Ireland
quotes the following from Mr. Lecky's notice of an unnamed spy, and
asks me 'Who is he?'[390] 'He was a Dublin silk merchant,' writes
Lecky, 'and can be identified by a letter from Cooke to Nepean, May 26,
1794, in the Record Office, London.'[391]

I may now state that his name was Collins. Cooke's letter mentions that
200_l._ a year had been settled on the informer of 1794, and that he
was recommended for office in the West Indies--his future residence in
Ireland, after Rowan's arrest, being unsafe.

Mr. Joynt's query comes not amiss, for John Keogh, also a silk
merchant, was broadly branded by Walter Cox as an informer, and the
plausible indictment is transcribed by Dr. Madden and enshrined in his
_magnum opus_.[392] The charge against Keogh, who, by the way, preceded
O'Connell as leader of the Irish Catholics, is, however, baseless.

Mr. Cooke does not give the Christian name of this Collins, but later
official records describe it as Thomas. Collins was the first of the
systematic informers. Some sheaves of his letters are still preserved
at Dublin Castle, addressed to 'J. G.,' and heretofore supposed
to imply 'Gregory,' a highly distinguished secretary to the Lord
Lieutenant. But Gregory's name was William, and 'J. G.' stands for
'Jack Giffard,' whom Curran and Grattan, in often-quoted philippics,
denounced. The reports furnished to Giffard were regularly passed on
to Cooke, and two letters[393] from Collins to the latter speak of his
confidant 'Mr. G---- d.'

The daily reports extend almost unbroken from 1792 to 1795. All are
without a signature, while the official endorsement usual on such
letters is confined, in this case, to 'U. I. M.,' meaning, of course,
the rebel brotherhood. On December 15, 1792, he writes to Cooke:
'Implicitly depend upon my being totally unknown to mankind in this
business, save and except to you and J. G.'[394]

Collins--at each conclave--feigned to be an advanced republican, and
was regularly invited to attend. New members, on being admitted,
repeated 'a test.' In an early letter to Giffard he writes:--

  It is contemplated to abolish the Test, as it is found by
  experience that it prevents a number of very warm friends to a
  Reform from joining us; but I shall oppose it, as we have no
  business with any of your _lukewarm fellows_ who may hesitate at
  going as great lengths as ourselves.[395]

In advance of every meeting a list was sent to Collins of the new
candidates for election. Scores of his secret letters enclose these
lists, and announce the results of the ballot, with the names of the
rejected, and it is curiously illustrative of the precautions taken
to ensure secrecy, and as showing how little Collins was himself
suspected, that men much superior to him were refused admission.
Carefully prepared reports of the proceedings, with the names of the
speakers and of the number present, exist in endless evidence. In one
letter he encloses, for the Viceroy's satisfaction, the receipt given
to him for his annual subscription to the Society, signed by Oliver
Bond, but the part which names Collins is first blotted out, and
finally cut clean away.[396]

In August 1792, Cooke deputed Collins to extend his secret inquiries to
a wider area than the Hall in Back Lane where the United Irishmen met;
and the result is found in the subjoined letter. Its stealthy style
contrasts with the boldness of later missives.

  Sir--I have made every possible inquiry and I have reason to
  think that there now are Foreign agents here who have frequent
  conferences with a noble Viscount and his Brother,[397] who
  is a lawyer; also with J--hn K--gh, Ed--d B--re and Richard
  McC--m--k.[398] For your Information you have a list of such
  U---- I---- men as I think really dangerous from abilities. As to
  Inclination, the whole of the Society are nearly _alike_.

  You may be assured that whatever steps Mr. Tandy has for some
  time past taken, or is now pursuing, are by the advice of the
  before-mentioned noble Viscount[399] and Mr. Gr-tt-n; and also,
  that let the pretentions (_for the present_) of the R-m-n Ca---- be
  ever so moderate, the real design of their _leaders_ is to effect a
  separation between this country and Gr--t B--t--n.

                                                  I remain, &c. &c.[400]

Collins had the same liking for dramatic mystery as Turner; many of
the letters to 'G.' ask him to call at night to hear things that could
not be put on paper, to tap at a certain door in a dark passage, and
'no one would be the wiser.' In the graphic sketch he daily furnished,
special attention is paid to the chief 'sitter,' Hamilton Rowan, who
presided as chairman until his arrest; while Tone, Tandy, Emmet,
Drennan, Bond, Lewins, the Sheares, and B. B. Harvey (the last three
afterwards hanged) stand forth in bold outline from a crowd of minor
faces grouped in the background. Sometimes they all dined together.
'When Paine's health was given his picture was introduced and received
a general embrace. Several French songs were sung by Mr. Sheares, with
proper explanations for those ignorant of the language.'[401] Glimpses
of further feasts are caught, revealing the same familiar faces: men
who had not yet begun to realise the gruesome fact that the handwriting
was on the wall.

John Keogh is not often mentioned as present; and never after 1793.
In October '92 Collins furnishes an abstract of a spirited speech
delivered by Keogh. This led to queries, and in reply Collins tells
Cooke: 'The leaders are Hamilton Rowan, Tandy, Jackson, Bond, Dowling,
McCormick, Warren, and some others. But Keogh and Drennan are the
_grand movers_;'[402] and on the following day he writes: 'Keogh
is the principal performer behind the scenes--as the fellow's art
is such he does not appear amongst us, but has a set of fellows to
constantly attend and broach his sentiments.'[403] Keogh, a man of rare
sagacity--whose life has yet to be written--took the course described
in consequence of having recognised in his audience a person whom he
did not fully trust. Turning to Richard McCormick, in the hearing of
'Billy Murphy,' the subsequent millionaire, he said, 'Dick, men's lives
are not safe here,' and glided quietly away. John Keogh is the only
man of mark who passed unscathed through the crisis of '98; and Cox,
mistakenly believing that this immunity was due to treachery towards
his colleagues, sought to brand him as a spy.

In 1793, John Keogh, Sir Charles Ffrench and several other Catholic
delegates,[404] waited on George III. at St. James's and presented a
petition craving relief from the disabilities by which their order was
oppressed. The loss of America had preached the wisdom of concession;
and the tempest of the French Revolution roared within measurable
distance. While Pitt and Dundas were not indisposed to grant a full
emancipation to the Irish Catholics, they were constantly opposed in
this policy by Dublin Castle. The often sensational reports of Collins
seem to have had due effect. A long letter to Cooke regarding the
Catholics begins by saying that

  There are few individuals better acquainted with the views and
  dispositions of those people than I am. If they are gratified the
  day is not far off when High Mass with all its mummery will be
  performed in Christ Church[405]--the auditors to be a popish Lord
  Lieutenant, a popish Chancellor, &c. &c., unless the use of the
  former be preceded by an entire separation from Honest John Bull,
  which is the grand object of the disaffected of every description
  in this country.

  Where Government has _resisted_, the good effects have been found;
  when it has _relaxed_, demands have increased.... To come to the
  point: give the Papists all they _want_ or _nothing_. Without the
  former the sword must be drawn at one period or another; and the
  query is, whether it's not better to try the _event_ when they are
  _unprepared_, than to continue going on to give the _adder_ time
  to strengthen with the heat of _summer_: not that I think there is
  the smallest danger of any _war_ but _wordy_ ones from them--unless
  time and the interference of their _Gallic Friends_ may embolden
  them to acts of desperation. [He then proceeds to advise the
  embodiment of military corps in Dublin, well officered. The pay to
  be such as to induce respectable Protestant tradesmen and others to

  Suppose the whole to be mounted and appointed as dragoons, this
  small corps will be found of as much use as any Regiment of Cavalry
  in the Kingdom.

  If a _friend_ of yours[406] should be thought of, I think there
  would be an end to all _illegal meetings_,[407] associations and
  combinations, and I will answer for his compleating and arraying
  the number in 10 Days.[408]

A small measure of Catholic Relief was at length offered by Pitt.
Collins, a month later, courageously writes: 'If you think it
prudent to have me examined by the Secret Committee, I may give some
useful information previous to the Catholick Bill going to the Upper

It is not surprising that, from the regularity and general accuracy of
the spy's reports, Giffard in his conversations more than once revealed
a knowledge that fluttered the Inner Circle. On February 15, 1794,
Collins reports, in the _précis_ of proceedings that had taken place
that night:--

  A notice by Mr. John Sheares that he will on Friday next propose
  a new Ballot of the whole of the Society, or else the total
  dissolution thereof, in order, as he says, to get rid of some
  suspected Members, who, he says, are in the habit of betraying the
  Secrets of the Society to Government. At the time he gave this
  notice there were not more than fifteen members present and the
  proposition seemed to meet their approbation. The fact is they
  are all cursedly frightened by the examples made of some of their
  friends. Fear only can keep them in order; gentleness will only
  encourage their audacity.

Three months elapsed: they met and deliberated; the reports went
regularly to Dublin Castle; arrests were made; the Society wondered;
but Collins, though a loaded mine lay beneath his feet, stood his
ground. On Saturday, May 10, 1794, he announces:--

  Surgeon Wright proposed appointing a commission of inquiry to
  inspect into the character and conduct of not only the members of
  the Society, but of all other persons in this city who profess
  patriotism, as he had reason to suspect that Mr. Pitt's system of
  having spies in all company and in all Societies, had made its way
  into this country.

Collins, no coward like Turner, maintained his character as one of
the most regular attendants at the meetings, played his part, opposed
some minor propositions,[410] and continued his carefully framed
reports.[411] These reports perturbed Dublin Castle quite as much as
the United Irishmen had been scared by the leakage of their plans. On
April 28, 1794, Marcus Beresford writes to his father, who had long
been regarded as the virtual governor of Ireland:--

  Government are determined to hang Rowan if possible; but they have
  not yet shown any suspicion of any person here being concerned
  in the plot, in order to lull them into security. No person
  knows as much as I now tell you except Lord Westmoreland, the
  Attorney-General, and Sackville Hamilton.[412]

Judging from Cooke's letter to Nepean, Collins' chief enterprise was
in bringing Hamilton Rowan within the meshes of the law. In 1792, as
we learn from his Autobiography, Rowan was arrested on a charge of
distributing a seditious paper. Informations were filed against Rowan,
difficulties supervened, and he was not brought to trial until January
1794. Rowan offered proof that two of his jurors had declared 'Ireland
would never be quiet until Rowan and Napper Tandy were hanged.'[413]
The challenge, however, was not allowed. Curran acted as his counsel,
and delivered a speech reminding one of Cicero's defence of Milo. Rowan
was found guilty, fined, and committed to Newgate, but, by bribing
his jailer, escaped; and, after various romantic adventures, reached
France in a boat manned by two fishermen of Howth.[414]

A proclamation offering 1,000_l._[415] reward for his capture was read
by the men, but they told him not to fear. This remarkable escape took
place on May 4, 1794. Cooke's letter, saying that Collins' further
residence in Ireland would be unsafe, is dated May 26 following. An
amusing proof of the general distrust which then prevailed is shown in
the fact, recorded by Rowan, that on reaching France he was arrested
as a British spy, sent under a strong guard to Brest, and lodged with
galley-slaves.[416] Judging from Beresford's letter, written two days
before the escape, however, it cannot be said that he got out of the
frying-pan into the fire, as Rowan seems to have thought.

Some few letters from Mr. Douglas, who filled a Government post in
London, are intermingled with the Collins MSS. The Right Hon. John
Beresford, in a letter dated May 13, 1794, writes: 'Douglas called upon
me this day; we had a great deal of conversation about Rowan. He told
me that, as Rowan had escaped, Tone was the next guilty person, and
ought to be hanged.' This, however, it was not so easy to do. Neither
Turner nor Collins would prosecute openly. Meanwhile some friends of
Tone entered into negotiations with Government, and he was at last
allowed to expatriate himself beyond the seas.[417]

Mr. Collins[418] did not get the post for which he was recommended
until the year 1800. It was Dominica, one of the West Indian Islands,
as we learn from the 'S. S. Money Book.' The first entry of his name
is on November 23, 1797: 'Mr. Collins.--Sent to him, in London,
108_l._'[419] Here he remains for two years--no doubt one of the
gentlemen 'recommended by Mr. Cooke,' and mentioned in the 'Castlereagh
Correspondence' as qualified to 'set' the movements of Lord Cloncurry
in London.

In more than one of the secret letters sent by Collins to Cooke, he
offers his services for fields in other countries, where he thinks
he could be even more useful than at home. A large sheaf of papers
regarding troubles in the West Indies is preserved at Dublin Castle.
Dominica--the site of his first appointment--had been captured by the
British in 1756, but in 1771 the French, after a hard fight, once
more became its masters. In 1783 the island was again restored to
the English, but its executive felt far from secure. Intrigue was at
work; French emissaries were not few; and the presence of Collins, a
practised spy, came not amiss. The French, however, again effected a
landing in 1805; Roseau, the chief town, was obliged to capitulate,
and pay the enemy 12,000_l._ to quit. In 1890, after the cession of
Heligoland to Germany, there was talk of surrendering Dominica to

What was Collins' later history I have been unable to discover.
'Sylvanus Urban' tells of a Thomas Collins who was hanged; but this
is a mere coincidence of name. It is within the possibilities that
our spy may have posed as Governor Collins, and even received at his
levees Hamilton Rowan, who, during the travels by which his exile
was beguiled, would pay his devoirs, as he says, to the British

An informer of a novel type was a priest named Phillips. Describing the
events of the year 1795, Mr. Froude writes:--

  Lord Carhampton went down and took command in Connaught. Informers
  offered their services, provided their presence was not required in
  the witness-box. A Priest named Phillips 'caused himself to be made
  a Defender with a view of giving information.'[421] Others came
  whose names the Viceroy dared not place on paper. With the help
  of these men, Carhampton was able to arrest many of the Connaught
  Leaders;[422] and legal trials being from the nature of the case
  impossible, he trusted to Parliament for an Act of Indemnity, and
  sent them by scores to serve in the Fleet. Thus, amidst the shrieks
  of Patriots and threats of prosecution, he succeeded in restoring
  some outward show of order.[423]

Among Mr. Froude's startling passages, none created in Ireland a more
painful sensation than this. That an Irish priest--the _Soggarth
Aroon_[424] of the people--should be selling the lives of his friends,
flock, and penitents, was indeed a novel incident. Interest in the
episode has quite recently been revived by Mr. Lecky, who describes
Father Phillips as having given the Government some really valuable
assistance in detecting Rebel Leaders.[425] For all we know to the
contrary, this Ecclesiastic might have gone on to the end undiscovered,
posing and pontificating as a solemn Hierarch. But, in point of fact,
Phillips, though in orders, had been degraded and suspended by his
Ordinary. Dr. Madden, long before the publication of Froude or Lecky,
casually notices Phillips[426] as an 'excommunicated priest from French
Park, co. Roscommon.'

His end was involved in some mystery which it may be well to
penetrate. McSkimmins' 'History of Carrickfeargus' records, under
date January 5, 1796: 'The body of a stranger, said to have been an
informer, of the surname of Phillips, was found in a dam, near the
paper mills, Belfast.' How he came there we learn from James Hope, a
Protestant rebel of Ulster. After the excommunicated priest, Phillips,
had betrayed a number of the Defenders in Connaught, he proceeded to
Belfast, only to find, however, that his character had cast its shadow
before him. A party of Defenders seized Phillips, tried him on the
spot, and sentenced him to death. 'They gave him time to pray,' adds
Hope, 'then put leaden weights into his pockets, and drowned him.'

Punishment of informers by death was not of the frequency that
McSkimmin supposed and Turner feared. Hope, who is always truthful,
adds, that at a meeting of the Craigarogan Branch, 'they came to a
resolution: "That any man who recommended or practised assassination
of any person whomsoever, or however hostile to the Society, should be

There is another informer whose name Mr. Froude undertakes to disclose.
In April 1797 Camden sends Portland 'A statement which had been
secretly made to him by a member of the Military Committee of the
United Irishmen,'--and we learn that the informer in this instance
was a miniature painter named Neville. Due inquiry has failed to
find any man named Neville in the Society of United Irishmen, though
a respectable wine merchant, Brent Neville, appears as the uncle of
Henry Sheares's wife; 'Neville' has been reprinted in every succeeding
edition of Mr. Froude's book. But it is now quite certain that Neville
is a misprint for Newell. The 'Life and Confessions of Newell (a Spy),'
written by himself, and undoubtedly genuine, was published in London
in 1798; and in it (pp. 13-15) he describes his calling as that of a
miniature painter.


[390] William Lane Joynt, D.L., to W. J. F., Grange Abbey, June 29,

[391] Lecky's _England_, vii. 8.

[392] Madden's _United Irishmen_, iii. 331-2. Again, at p. 41, Dr.
Madden says that so early as 1793, the very time that Collins is now
shown to be at work, Keogh was suspected of infidelity. Mr. Lecky, in
reply to a private query, agrees with me that Keogh was thoroughly true.

[393] Notably that of November 26, 1793.

[394] Anonymous to Cooke, December 15, 1792. One letter only, dated
three years later, appealing to Dublin Castle for money and place, and
in the same handwriting as the others, lays aside his disguise and is
boldly signed 'Thomas Collins.'

[395] To 'J. G.' April 13, 1792. MSS. Dublin Castle.

[396] The date of this receipt is November 1, 1793.

[397] The Hon. Simon Butler, K.C., was brother of Edmund Viscount
Mountgarret, a peerage dating from October 1550. At a meeting of the
Society of United Irishmen in February 1793, Butler in the chair, and
Bond acting as secretary, a declaration was proposed and adopted,
pronouncing as illegal certain proceedings of the Secret Committee of
the Irish House of Lords, in compelling witnesses to answer on oath
questions compromising themselves, and directed to the discovery of
evidence mainly in support of prosecutions already commenced. For
this act, Butler and Bond were sentenced by the Lord Chancellor to be
imprisoned for six months and to pay a fine of 500_l._ to the King.
(See Madden, ii. 244.) Simon Butler was fortunate in not living to
witness the sad scenes of '98.

[398] John Keogh, Edward Byrne, and Richard McCormick.

[399] Diplomacy sought to paralyse the more influential arm of the
movement. This same Viscount Mountgarret was promoted to an earldom on
December 20, following!

[400] Anon. (Thomas Collins) to Cooke, August 27, 1792.

[401] [Collins] to 'J. G.,' November 20, 1793.

[402] [Collins] to Cooke, November 29, 1792.

[403] _Idem_, November 30, 1792.

[404] As in the case of Lord Mountgarret subtlety was employed in
the hope of moderating the tone of Sir Charles Ffrench. He had much
influence with the Irish Catholics; and in 1798 a peerage was conferred
on his aged mother, who, in her simplicity, said to a cousin, 'I don't
know what I have done that they should make a Lord of me.' In point of
lineage few had higher claims.

[405] A Protestant Cathedral in Dublin used by the Catholics until the

[406] Himself.

[407] Italics in original.

[408] Endorsed by Cooke, 'U. I., Jan. 29, '93.'

[409] [Collins] to Cooke, February 28, 1793.

[410] Letter of January 4, 1793.

[411] The zealous subserviency of Collins, as in the case of Reynolds
and Magan, originated in pecuniary straits. A letter of January 24,
1792, to Giffard, speaks of the accommodation he had received at his
hands; and addressing Mr. Cooke (June 26, 1793), he dilates on his

[412] _Beresford Correspondence_, ii. 26 (unpublished).

[413] _Autobiography of Archibald Hamilton Rowan_, p. 183.

[414] Rowan, until the willing hands were found, remained in Mr.
Sweetman's house, now known as Rosedale, Raheny.

[415] Mr. Froude says that the proclamation named '£2,000 for Rowan's
apprehension' (_Hist._ iii. 119). The proclamation, dated May 2, 1794,
offers '£1,000 to any person or persons who shall apprehend the said
Hamilton Rowan, wherever he may be found, or to so discover him that he
may be apprehended or committed to prison.'

[416] _Autobiography of Hamilton Rowan_, p. 220.

[417] In December 1796 Tone accompanied the French fleet to Bantry Bay.
Mr. Froude and other historians think that it was Grouchy who failed to
attempt a landing. 'Then, as twenty years later, on another occasion,
no less critical,' he writes, meaning Waterloo, 'Grouchy was the good
genius of the British Empire' (iii. 205). In point of fact, Grouchy
was not at Bantry. M. Guillon, in _France et Irlande_, written with
full access to the papers of the French Admiralty, makes it clear that
Bouvet, and not Grouchy, was the man who ought to have been named.

[418] Several persons named Collins, and described as silk mercers,
appear in the Dublin Directory between the years 1770 and 1800. Thomas
Collins vanishes in 1793; and 'Samuel Collins, silk and worsted
manufacturer, 35 Pill Lane,' is also found for the last time in the
Directory for 1793. They seem to have been brothers. A bill of Samuel,
duly receipted, for goods supplied to Dr. McNevin, a leading rebel, is
enclosed by Thomas in one of his secret missives to Cooke.

[419] Other entries follow: 'Thomas Collins' bill, from London, 54_l._
3_s._ 4_d._' is entered on September 22, 1798. These payments continue
to be made until 1799, when they become very frequent.

[420] _Autobiography of Hamilton Rowan_, p. 318.

[421] Camden to Portland, July 29, 1795.

[422] The late Colonel the Right Hon. FitzStephen French, whose brother
became Lord De Freyne, informed me that his father, Arthur French, M.P.
for Roscommon from 1785 to 1820, had been threatened with arrest by
Lord Carhampton. French lived at French Park, where 'Priest Phillips'
also resided.

[423] _The English in Ireland_, iii. 161.

[424] _Anglice_ 'darling priest' John Banim has given to the ballad
poetry of Ireland a well-known piece under this title.

[425] Cooke to Pelham, Dec. 4, 1795.

[426] _United Irishmen_, i. 537.



Thirty years ago I published in 'Notes and Queries'[427] an _exposé_ of
McNally, so far as it could then be done on circumstantial evidence.
His secret letters to the Irish Government were not accessible when I
first touched the subject, but these have become very familiar to me of
late, and it will be seen that all I sought to show is proved by the
revelation of McNally's own testimony. Before I come to these letters,
some of the remarks with which I had long previously prefaced my doubts
may perhaps be allowed to stand.

It is an object with Mr. Froude to show--and evidently as pointing
a moral--that men who posed as the greatest patriots were secretly
betraying the plans of their colleagues. But although Mr. Froude
mentions McNally more than once, it does not appear that he was an
informer. When describing the arrest and death of the Rev. Wm. Jackson
in 1794, he mentions McNally as 'a popular barrister,' and further on
his name is given with that of Curran, Ponsonby, Emmet, and Guinness,
as constituting 'the legal strength of Irish Liberalism.' This remark
is made in connection with an episode told with such dramatic effect
by Mr. Froude that it remains merely for a minor pen to unmask 'the
popular barrister.'

Charles Phillips, although he had made the lives of famous Irish
barristers his study, as shown in 'Curran and his Contemporaries,'
refused to believe any tale to the prejudice  of McNally. In the last
edition of his popular book Phillips declares that

  The thing is incredible! If I was called upon to point out, next
  to Curran, the man most obnoxious to the Government--who most
  hated them, and was most hated by them--it would have been Leonard
  MacNally--that MacNally, who, amidst the military audience, stood
  by Curran's side while he denounced oppression, defied power, and
  dared every danger![428]

In this impression he was supported by W. H. Curran, afterwards
judge--a man who, unlike his illustrious father, was of the hardest and
coldest nature. He travelled out of his path, in writing that father's
life, to pronounce a panegyric which is quite a curiosity to exhume:--

  Among many endearing traits in this gentleman's private character,
  his devoted attachment to Mr. Curran's person and fame and, since
  his death, to the interests of his memory, has been conspicuous.
  The writer of this cannot advert to the ardour and tenderness with
  which he cherishes the latter, without emotion of the most lively
  and respectful gratitude. To Mr. McNally he has to express many
  obligations for the zeal with which he has assisted in procuring
  and supplying materials for the present work. The introduction
  of these private feelings is not entirely out of place--it can
  never be out of place to record an example of steadfastness in
  friendship. For three and forty years Mr. McNally was the friend
  of the subject of these pages; and during that long period he
  performed the duties of the relation with the most uncompromising
  and romantic fidelity. To state this is a debt of justice to the
  dead. The survivor has an ampler reward than any passing tribute of
  this sort can confer, in the recollection that during their long
  intercourse not even an unkind look ever passed between them.[429]

These remarks were elicited by a scene which occurred in Finney's
trial[430] in '98. John Philpot Curran, embracing McNally, said, 'My
old and excellent friend, I have long known and respected the honesty
of your heart, but never until this occasion was I acquainted with the
extent of your abilities. I am not in the habit of paying compliments
where they are undeserved.' Tears fell from Mr. Curran as he hung over
his friend.[431] Emotion spread to the Bench, and Judge Chamberlain,
and Baron Smith warmly complimented McNally. Poor Curran! He

              loved to recall the past moments so dear
      When the sweet pledge of faith was confidingly given,
    When the lip spoke in voice of affection sincere,
      And the vow was exchanged and recorded in Heaven.[432]

In 1817, when Curran died in England, Burton--afterwards judge--singled
out McNally, as the attached friend of the illustrious dead, to tell
him the sad news.[433]

It does not surprise one that Phillips should have expressed the
scepticism he puts on record. No man was more deeply versed in Bar
traditions. He loved to question its oldest members about their
contemporaries; and amongst all their ana he never heard, as regards
McNally, a dark doubt started. 'Dr. Madden in his "Life of Robert
Emmet,"' writes Phillips, 'broadly states the fact [that he was in
Government pay], but does not give, as he usually does, his grounds for
so stating it.'[434] Madden, replying to Phillips, said, 'I acknowledge
I am ignorant of the time when the pension of 300_l._ was conferred.'

We now know not only the date, but the nature of the service by which
the pension was earned.

Under-Secretary Cooke, in the year 1800, drew up for Castlereagh's
information a confidential memorandum respecting 'Secret Service
Pensions' for those who had given important assistance during the
Rebellion. 'Mac,' for a pension of 300_l._ a year, is the first name
recommended.[435] On the following page, Mr. Cooke--obliged to be
explicit--writes the name _Leonard MacAnally_ in full, with the amount
300_l._ as his annual wages.

Major Sirr was chief of the police system in Dublin. His papers contain
no letters from McNally; but Thomas O'Hara, writing to Sirr on November
11, 1800, proffers his services as a spy, and requests Sirr to address
his answer to 'Leonard McNally, Esq., 20 Harcourt Street, Dublin.'[436]
McNally, irrespective of the knowledge he possessed as counsel for
the rebels, was himself a 'United Irishman.' An organ of that body,
the 'Northern Star,' on March 3, 1797, proudly describes him as such
in connection with the fact that, some days previously, he challenged
and fought Sir Jonah Barrington for having used disparaging language
towards the United Irishmen. In this combat he lost his thumb. The two
Sheareses and Bagenal Harvey--all hanged the following year--escorted
McNally to the ground.

A number of receipts for quarterly payments of Secret Service money
were stolen from Dublin Castle during the thirties, and came to the
hammer at a literary sale-room. Among them is the following:--

  Received from William Taylor, Esqr., Seventy-five pounds, due the
  25th June last.

                                                                   J. W.

  Endorsed (by Mr. Taylor)--5th July, 1816, 75_l._ L. M‘N.

                                                              S. A.[437]

McNally seems to have been the only recipient who was permitted to use
false initials. The handwriting in the above is identical with some
acknowledged autograph lines of Leonard McNally; but 'trifles light as
air' at first encouraged my suspicions. For instance: there appears in
the 'Cornwallis Papers,' some five hundred pages away from the part
which mentions him, a letter signed 'J. W.'[438] The able editor, Mr.
Ross, cannot guess the writer; but the information given deals with
matters arising out of legal proceedings, and thereby points to a
barrister as the spy.

In the same letter,[439] 'J. W.' states that a man named Bird is
determined to 'let the cat out of the bag.' Here it may be observed
in passing, that a pamphlet of the day is entitled 'The Cat let
out of the Bag,' and, though published anonymously, the copy now
before me displays his well known autograph, 'By Leonard McNally,

John Pollock was Clerk of the Crown for the Leinster Circuit in 1798.
The Book of Secret Service Money[441] records frequent payments,
through his hands, to 'J. W.' These entries appear from February 16,
1799, to June 16, 1801, when the words 'repaid from pension' are added.
McNally, it will be remembered, received his pension the previous year.
Cooke, in a confidential memorandum for Castlereagh, writes:--

  Pollock's services ought to be thought of. He managed Mac----,
  and MacGuicken,[442] and did much. He received the place of
  Clerk of the Crown and Peace, and he has the fairest right to

Thus we see how weak was the attempt made by McNally's friends to
explain away his secret pension. It was plausibly alleged that
McNally, having been refused a silk gown in 1808, the pension was then
conferred to compensate for his disappointment. So popular was this
barrister, that the refusal of the Crown to give him silk was voted a
grievance. Indeed, so far as outward appearance went, he uniformly took
the popular side on all questions. The Bar meeting, to denounce the
proposed Legislative Union, held on December 9, 1798, includes, among
the patriotic orators, Leonard McNally.

Some of the reasons given by Phillips for refusing to doubt McNally's
patriotism were, that he declined to join the lawyers' corps of
yeomanry in 1798, and that his was the last hand Curran grasped when
leaving Ireland! These waifs and strays only prove how well McNally
played his part. As a successful dramatic author, and one who had been
himself upon the stage, theatrical effect was at all times easy to him.

It is now time to appeal to direct evidence, not until recently
accessible. Mr. Lecky, in examining the archives of the Home Office,
has found record of McNally's fall, and the virtuous historian
describes it as a 'peculiarly shocking one.'[444] It will be remembered
that the Rev. Wm. Jackson, a parson, came to Ireland in 1794 on a
secret mission from France. He was arrested, tried, and sentenced to
death. McNally now found, it is said, that if he did not become an
informer the halter would soon encircle a neck previously dignified by
forensic bands.

  Jackson, shortly before his death [Mr. Lecky goes on to say], found
  an opportunity of writing four short letters, recommending his
  wife and child, and a child who was still unborn, to two or three
  friends, and to the care of the French nation, and he also drew up
  a will leaving all he possessed to his wife, and entrusting McNally
  with the protection of her interests. He wrote at the bottom of it,
  'Signed and sealed in presence of my dearest friend, whose heart
  and principles ought to recommend him as a worthy citizen--Leonard
  McNally.' These precious documents he entrusted, when dying, to his
  friend, and about three weeks after the death of Jackson, McNally
  placed them in the hands of the Irish Government.

  A few days later, Camden sent a copy of them to England, with a
  'most secret and confidential letter.' 'The paper which accompanies
  this,' he said, 'was delivered to Counsellor McNally, from whom
  Government received it. There is so much evidence against this
  person, that he is--I am informed--completely in the power of
  Government. Your Grace will observe that the care of Mrs. Jackson
  is recommended by her husband to the National Convention, and that
  Mr. McNally is desired to assist her by every means in his power
  to procure her assistance from them. It has occurred to me that
  an excuse might be made for Mr. McNally's being allowed to enter
  France for the purpose of attending to this woman's fortunes, that
  he should go through London, and in case your Grace should wish to
  employ him, I would inform you when and where he will be found.'

  Portland replied that he was perfectly ready to make use of the
  services of McNally in France, if Camden thought that he might be
  safely trusted, but he suggested that this was very doubtful. The
  control which Government possessed over him depended entirely upon
  the conclusive evidence of treason they had against him. Would
  that control continue in a foreign country? Camden, on reflection,
  agreed that it would not be safe to try the experiment. McNally,
  however, he was convinced, would be very useful at home.[445]

Jackson, finding no chance of acquittal, took poison and died, just as
Lord Clonmell was about to sentence him to be hanged. Shortly before
his death in the dock, seeing McNally pass, he grasped his hand and is
said to have whispered, 'We have deceived the Senate!' This was true of
McNally, but Jackson did not suspect him; nor did Curran, or the many
other shrewd scribes who have chronicled the touching incident.

Mr. Lecky thinks that McNally's fall dates only from 1794: my belief
is that he had previously evinced some frailty. In 1790, when counsel
for Lord Sherborne, Beresford Burston accused him of 'doing dirty
work,'[446] and McNally thereupon challenged Burston. Dr. Madden
says that, in 1792, at the time of Napper Tandy's action against the
Viceroy, some of Tandy's legal advisers were suspected of having
disclosed their ingenious case to the Crown. McNally was certainly
counsel in this cause. St. John Mason, brother-in-law of Addis Emmet,
broadly charges McNally with perfidy committed in 1792.[447] Previous
to this date Collins the spy calls McNally 'one of us,' in a secret
letter to the Government agent, Jack Gifford.[448] Who Gifford was is
shown by Curran, who complains to the Chief Secretary for Ireland, that
'Gifford, a note-taker for your Government, had the daring to come up
to me in the street and shake his stick at me.'[449]

Mr. Lecky says that McNally often betrayed to the Crown the line of
defence contemplated by his clients, and other information which he
could only have received in professional confidence, and the Government
archives contain several of his briefs annotated in his own hand. Mr.
Lecky finds that

  he was also able, in a manner not less base, to furnish the
  Government with early and most authentic evidence about
  conspiracies which were forming in France. James Tandy[450] ...
  was his intimate friend; McNally, by his means, saw nearly every
  letter that arrived from Napper Tandy, and some of those which
  came from Rowan and Reynolds. The substance of these letters
  was regularly transmitted to the Government, and they sometimes
  contained information of much value. Besides this, as a lawyer in
  considerable practice, constantly going on circuit, and acquainted
  with the leaders of sedition, McNally had excellent opportunities
  of knowing the state of the country, and was able to give very
  valuable warnings about the prevailing dispositions.[451]

Among the earlier victims to the severe legislation of that time was
Laurence Conner, a poor schoolmaster of Naas, charged with Defenderism,
whose case has been invested with interest by Sir Jonah Barrington,
Dr. Madden, and others. A moving speech from the dock failed to avert
his doom, and his head, for years after, grinned from a stake at the
top of the gaol. McNally, who had defended him, stated in his secret
report to Pelham that a provision had been offered for Conner's family
if he would make discoveries; but his reply was, 'He who feeds the
young ravens in the valley will provide for them!'[452] It is strange
that McNally should report to his employers this chivalrous speech,
which places in marked contrast his own frailty and disgraceful fall.
But corrupt as his heart had now become, he could not help admiring
magnanimity wherever he met it. The man who sought to make Conner
inform was, doubtless, McNally himself, at the instance of Crown
Solicitor Pollock, who, as the 'Cornwallis Papers' record (iii. 120),
'managed Mac.'

This is the man whose name Earl Russell erased from Moore's Diary of
February 27, 1835, leaving merely the initials 'L. McN.,' because some
doubts of his honesty had been expressed postprandially by Plunket, a
man more clear-sighted, it appears, than Charles Phillips. Succeeding
chapters will show Plunket associated with McNally during the State
trials of '98.

  Lord Holland amused with my saying how much I used to look up to
  this L---- McN---- [writes Moore], on account of some songs in a
  successful opera which he wrote, 'Robin Hood.' 'Charming Clorinda'
  was one of the songs I used to envy him being the author of.

'Your profession should have taught you principles of honour,' McNally
writes in the piece which first roused the muse of Moore. With such
fine sentiments it must have caused him a struggle to betray. All will
rejoice that he who sang

    Let Erin remember the days of old
    Ere her faithless sons betrayed her--

escaped the blight of McNally's breath. Moore was the bosom friend of
Emmet, sympathised with the 'cause,' and wrote for the organ of the
United Irishmen. Shortly after '98, however, he entered at the Middle
Temple, London, and saw McNally no more. Plunket told Moore that it was
in a duel McNally received the wound in the hip that lamed him, and on
a subsequent occasion, when he was again going out to fight, a friend
said, 'I'd advise you, Mac, to turn the other hip to him, and who knows
but he may shoot you straight.'[453]

McNally was indeed a brave man. If anyone seemed to doubt him, he
would be called out and probably shot. In early life he practised at
the English Bar. It is recorded in the 'Cyclopædian Magazine,' for
1808, that during the Gordon Riots, when the mob had smashed down the
Bishop of Lincoln's coach, had dragged him out, and were beating him
with bludgeons, McNally, at the risk of his life, rescued Dr. Thurlow,
on whose forehead, he heard them say, they meant to cut the sign
of the cross. This prelate, who somewhat favoured Catholic Relief,
was the brother of Lord Chancellor Thurlow; and the young barrister
may have had an ulterior object in thus exposing himself to danger.
McNally himself evidently supplied the account, of which but a few
details are here borrowed, and we learn that 'the Bishop required, and
received, the address of his protector, but never after acknowledged
the obligation.'[454] Some pamphlets on the Regency struggle, and the
'Claims of Ireland' vindicated on the principles of the English Whigs,
introduced him to Fox, for whom he acted as counsel at an election for
Westminster. 'By whatever right England possesses Liberty,' he said,
'by the same right Ireland may claim it!'

McNally as an orator was declamatory, and at times theatrical. His
outward man has been often caricatured, but John O'Keefe tells us
that he had 'a handsome, expressive countenance, and fine sparkling
dark eyes.'[455] Sir Jonah Barrington recognises the same features.
Contemporary memoirs of him supply a long list of his dramas, farces,
comic operas, touching lyrics, prologues and masques, all produced at
Covent Garden. But when in England he was a genuine, thoroughgoing
Irishman very unlike the sham which he afterwards became; and why
he resigned a dramatic for a forensic career is curiously shown by
'Sylvanus Urban.' The opening of Covent Garden Theatre, on September
23, 1782, was commemorated by a prelude from McNally's pen.

  The author, with a partiality to his own countrymen which we know
  not how to censure, has drawn the character of an Irishman as one
  possessed of qualities which he had rather imprudently denied to
  the other persons of the drama--English, Scotch, Welsh, and French.
  This circumstance gave offence, and before the conclusion of the
  piece the clamour became too great for anything to be heard. It
  was, therefore, laid aside.

No name seems to have been more popular with the pit and galleries,
and the admiration of his countrymen for him showed itself in odd
ways. Kemble somewhere describes an Irishman at Drury Lane indignantly
claiming one of Shakespeare's plays for McNally: and when a spectator,
duly challenged, replied that he did not want to dispute the point with
him, his tormentor said, still trying to foster a quarrel, 'but perhaps
you don't believe me?' Again the man received a polite assurance which
seemed quite satisfactory; but five minutes later 'Pat,' observing
Kemble whispering to a companion, came over in an attitude still more
menacing--'Maybe your friend doesn't believe that the play is written
by Leonard McNally?' and to avoid a scene both were glad to decamp.
Those were the days when the voice of national predilection made itself
heard and felt in dramatic criticism. Home scored a success with
'Douglas:' 'and where be your Wully Shakespeare noo?' was shrieked by
some clannish Scots that night. McNally's friends regretted more than
once that he ever left London. A book called 'Five Hundred Celebrated
Authors of Great Britain now living' was published here in 1788,[456]
and it is amusing to find McNally's name included with those of Burke,
Gibbon, Walpole, Crabbe, Burns, Cowper, De Lolme and Mackenzie, who at
the close of a century were helping to educate the minds which were to
adorn its successor.

One day Lord Loughborough, finding McNally ill prepared in a case which
came before the Court, advised him to abandon the Muses and study
Blackstone; but the _cacoëthes scribendi_ burned too strongly within
him to relinquish more cultured pursuits. His 'Sentimental Excursions
to Windsor' appeared, and on rejoining the Irish Bar he produced 'The
Irish Justice of the Peace,' for which 2,500_l._ was paid by Hugh
Fitzpatrick, the Catholic publisher; 'but it contained so much bad
law,' writes Charles Phillips, 'that it proved a treasure not to the
J. P's., but to the country attorneys.' Sadly soon the former had
practical experience of a writ; and Michael Staunton told me, that
if McNally's law points often served culprits, they hanged as many
more.[457] 'In Dublin,' records a contemporary scribe,[458] 'he has now
very considerable law business.'

'He had a shrill, full, good bar voice,' writes Barrington, in
bestowing other praise. Sir Jonah occupied the judgment seat, and was
famous for his power of discerning character; but, although he impugns
the good name of many men, he does not distrust McNally. According to
Barrington, 'Mac' was 'good-natured, hospitable, and talented.'[459]
It is to be feared that hospitality with the popular barrister was
but a means to an end. 'Will you walk into my parlour?' said the
spider to the fly. McNally, in some of his letters to the Government
when requesting money, urges as an extra reason the necessity of
entertaining friends in order to get at new information.

  Without money [he writes] it is impossible to do what is expected.
  Those Spartans wish to live like Athenians in matters of eating and
  drinking. They live so among each other, and without ability to
  entertain I cannot live with them, and without living with them I
  cannot learn from them.[460]

McNally knew human nature quite as well as Bishop South, who says of
the bacchanal that his 'heart floats upon his lips, and his inmost
thoughts proclaim and write themselves upon his forehead;' and he adds
that, just 'as a liar ought to have a good memory, so a person of guilt
ought to be also a person of great sobriety.'[461] McNally's dinner in
honour of unfortunate 'Parson Jackson' and of the man who shadowed him
to the grave, suggests that it was not the only occasion when death sat
at the table.

In midsummer 1798 the clangour of battle filled the air. 'Fear
prevails, and all jovial intercourse has ceased, so far as my
experience goes,'[462] he writes; but when hostilities ceased,
amenities were renewed.

After he had ceased to produce 'masques' at Covent Garden, and entered
on his new career of a barrister and a spy, one great effort of his
energetic life was to divert suspicion and puzzle posterity. He saw the
wisdom of the proverb, 'Show me your company,' and thus he had a double
object to gain by cultivating touch with patriotic men. In 1790 he was
admitted a Freeman for--as the address to him said--his services to his
country. In 1802 he published 'The Rules of Evidence, or Pleas of the
Crown.' It is dedicated to John Philpot Curran, 'from an affectionate
attachment,' writes McNally,

  and from a proud wish to make known to posterity that a reciprocal
  and an uninterrupted amity subsisted between the Author and the
  man whose transcendent genius and philosophic mind soar above all
  competition--whose honest and intrepid heart was never influenced
  in the Senate, nor intimidated at the Bar, from exerting, with
  zeal, independence, and spirit, his love to his country and his
  duty to his client.

The 'authorised' memoir of McNally in the 'Cyclopædian Magazine'
quotes the above, adding, 'The relatives of Mr. Curran may extract from
this dedication an epitaph worthy of his memory.' The whole object of
the memoir, one evidently inspired by McNally himself, is to foster
a feeling of respect for and confidence in his own pretensions. No
wonder that, in the eyes of Young Ireland one hundred years ago, a halo
encircled McNally's head. Some of the spirited efforts which roused
the Muse of Moore and Drennan are found in the organ of the United
Irishmen. The 'Northern Star' of November 10, 1792, contains rebellious
verses signed L. M. N.

Mr. Lecky has not examined McNally's secret reports after the year
1800, and his impression is that he 'did not wish to implicate
"persons."'[463] It would appear, however, on Mr. Lecky's own showing,
that McNally was not squeamish--even during the reign of terror--in
pointing to men by name.

  In September and October 1797 he told them [writes Mr. Lecky] that
  Bond was the treasurer of the conspiracy; that the chief management
  was now transferred from Belfast to Dublin and confined to a
  very few; that Keogh, McCormick, Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Arthur
  O'Connor, Sweetman, Dixon, Chambers, Emmet, Bond, and Jackson were
  in the secret.[464]

On February 5, 1797, McNally warns the Government that O'Coigly (hanged
the following year) was in Ireland on a political mission, and reports
the pith of his conversation.[465] 'O'Connor, Macnevin and Lord Edward
Fitzgerald,' he whispers, 'are the advocates of assassination,'[466]
which, indeed, there is great reason to doubt.[467] On November 19
Grattan is put in jeopardy.[468] Next month 'a most circumstantial and
alarming story,' writes Lecky, had come from McNally. 'It was, that
Lord Edward received, some days since, orders from Paris to urge an
insurrection here with all speed, in order to draw troops from England.
In consequence of it, there was a meeting of the head committee, where
he and O'Connor urged immediate measures of vigour;' and thereupon
their plans are laid bare: but how Emmet, Chambers, etc., opposed.
McNally lived in Dominic Street, near the Dominican Fathers. In letters
to Cooke he points to MacMahon and other of his reverend colleagues;
and I learn from the present custodian of the 'Dominican Records' that
Fathers MacMahon, Bushe, and Mulhall were arrested in '98, but at last
suffered to leave Ireland for America. On May 24, 1798, J. W. mentions
that MacMahon had called on him the previous day. But so early as June
14, 1797 the falcon eye of McNally had become fixed on this friar.
He and other priests, he states, meet weekly at Herbert's tavern,
Clontarf. 'Reilly, an officer who served in Germany, is often with
them. Individually, no doubt, they are all concerned in the politics
of the day, and they act when together with a caution certainly
suspicious. Vernon, of Clontarf, offered the waiter 100_l._ to make
discoveries, which he refused.'

'Troy may be up,'[469] McNally reports, meaning that the Catholic
archbishop had been probably enrolled a United Irishman. Henceforth
his Grace's letters were regularly opened at the Post Office.[470]
Minor names are often breathed, and who can doubt that, with the Habeas
Corpus Act suspended, advanced men stood upon the brink of an abyss?
Carhampton, Commander-in-Chief, sent numbers of untried men out of
the country,[471] and threatened to do the same with the Rev. Edward
Berwick,[472] and others. Hundreds were seized on bare suspicion and
expatriated without even knowing their accusers, or hearing the charge
for which they suffered.[473]

The acts of no member of the Directory are more regularly reported
than those of Arthur O'Connor. McNally seems to have been in his
confidence as political ally and legal adviser. In turning over his
letters I met one much more voluminous than the rest, furnishing
a complete list of all the witnesses to appear at Maidstone for
O'Connor's defence, and the facts to which they were prepared to
testify.[474] These witnesses included Erskine, Fox, Grattan, Sheridan,
Whitbread, Lords Moira, Suffolk, Thanet, and Oxford.

Throughout the State Trials men stalked who, as Curran said, measured
their value by the coffins of their victims, and gloom was relieved by
forensic _persiflage_. The duel already described left McNally lame,
and another limping barrister one day asked Parsons in 'the Hall' of
the Court, 'Did you see McNally go this way?' 'I never saw him go any
other way,' was the reply.

Ned Lysaght had his skit, too:--

    One leg is short which makes him lame,
      Therefore the legs don't tally;
    And now, my friends, to tell his name,
      'Tis Leonard MacAnally.

He had been urged to join a Volunteer corps; but Curran told him that
serious trouble might result, for, when ordered to 'march,' he would
certainly 'halt.'[475] When writing to Cooke on the subject of the
Lawyers' Corps, J. W., in a secret letter of June 12, 1798, introduces
his real name, no doubt to puzzle outsiders into whose hands it might
fall: 'It would be well perhaps if some of the judges would institute a
Corps of Invalids. McNally might lead blind Moore to battle.'

Mr. Lecky thinks that McNally after his fall 'retained all the good
nature and native kindness of his disposition.'[476] I fear that this
redeeming virtue cannot be safely assigned to him. A careful sketch of
the man appears in a local publication of the year 1806; and we learn
that among his characteristics are--

    Satire--oft whetted on ill-nature's stone,
    Which spares no other's failings, nor his own.
    But well may Leonard wield that branch of trade
    Where cunning comes to penetration's aid;
    --No logic closer--strong his declamation,
    But his best leg is cross-examination.[477]

This, as we now see, was done quite as much in the privacy of his study
as in the forensic arena.

       *       *       *       *       *

Curran's great speech in Hevey _v._ Sirr contains a passage which has
often been quoted:--

  A learned and respected brother barrister had a silver cup; Major
  [Sandys] heard that for many years it had borne an inscription
  of 'Erin go bragh'--which meant 'Ireland for ever.' The Major
  considered this perseverance for such a length of time a forfeiture
  of the delinquent vessel. My poor friend was accordingly robbed of
  his cup.

This 'learned and respected barrister' was none other than McNally
himself. I have read his secret letter to Cooke on the subject,
endorsed 'June 2, 1798,' and it makes him less a hero than he
would publicly convey. He complains of the seizure of his cup,
notwithstanding that, as he assured his military visitor, he had
already erased the offending inscription. 'Mac,' in conclusion, says
that the cup was value for 22_l._ 10_s._, 'hardly earned,' and encloses
a separate paper distinctly naming that sum as his due. Four days later
he writes to Cooke: 'Major Sandys returned a _sterling_ answer to _my
friend's_ note,' which means a full money remittance for the amount

Below we have McNally's version of this transaction, as supplied to
Curran's son for historic and popular purposes:--

  A sergeant waited upon him, and delivered a verbal command from
  Major Sandys to surrender the cup. Mr. McNally refused, and
  commissioned the messenger to carry back such an answer as so
  daring a requisition suggested.[479] The sergeant ... respectfully
  remonstrated upon the imprudence of provoking Major Sandys. The
  consequences soon appeared: the sergeant returned with a body of
  soldiers, who paraded before Mr. McNally's door, and were under
  orders to proceed to extremities if the cup was not delivered up.
  Upon Mr. MacNally's acquainting Lord Kilwarden with the outrage,
  the latter burst into tears and, exclaiming that 'his own sideboard
  might be the next object of plunder, if such atrocious practices
  were not checked,' lost not an instant in procuring the restitution
  of the property. The cup was accordingly sent back with the
  inscription erased.[480]

Arthur Wolfe, Lord Kilwarden, was the Chief Justice of the King's
Bench, and his alleged intimacy with McNally is probably exaggerated.
The biographer says that Curran repeatedly told this episode of
'98, and quotes a touching peroration regarding Kilwarden's alleged
interposition: that, in fact, great was the odour of its memory and
precious the balm of its consolation!

McNally's account of the robbery of his silver cup was part of his
stock-in-trade, and I am sure that for twenty times the price he would
not have been without it.

William Henry Curran knew not very much of his father, whose biographer
he became. John Philpot Curran had excluded him from his domestic
circle, and the letters to his son which appear in the book were
addressed to Richard. Who can doubt that much detail which lends
interest to the ever popular 'Life, by his Son,' was supplied to the
youth by the practised old scribe Leonard McNally? Curran's gratitude
to him for help afforded is freely expressed. McNally wrote a style
clear as rock water and full of classic strength. Nothing can be finer
than his secret letters to Pelham and Cooke--three of which he often
despatched in one day. The wonderful anecdotes which made Curran's
Life, by his son, almost a classic have been quoted over and over,
including the dinner scene at McNally's, when the ill-fated Rev. Mr.
Jackson was entertained. Curran's son tells how the talk had been
getting imprudent, when the butler, beckoning his master to the door,
warned him to be careful; 'for, sir, the strange gentleman who seems to
be asleep is not so, but listening to everything said: I see his eye
glistening through the fingers with which he is covering his face.'

Cockayne was, of course, a spy of Pitt's; but some of the sensational
anecdotes which McNally told of him, as also of Reynolds and Armstrong,
may have been overcharged to divert suspicion from himself. These are
not the only instances in which the embellishments of the professional
advocate seem traceable. As regards Jackson's death in the dock, we are
told that he made an effort with his cold and nerveless hand to squeeze
McNally's, muttering a quotation from Addison's 'Cato'; but the lines
and the adjuncts would be more likely to occur at such a moment to an
old playwright like McNally than to the dying clergyman.

Emmet's revolt took place on July 23, 1803, but was soon quelled. He
remained in concealment at Harold's Cross, and chose that position in
order that he might see Sarah Curran, with her father, pass daily to
Dublin. On August 25 he was arrested by Major Sirr. Popular confidence
in McNally had now reached its height. A special commission for trying
the insurgent leaders began on August 24, 1803. 'Most of the prisoners
chose Mr. McNally as their counsel, and Mr. L. McNally, junior, as
their agent,' records the 'Evening Post' of the day.

McNally had long had his eye on the gifted young orator Robert Emmet:
'Emmet, junior, gone on business to France--probably to supersede
Lewins,'[481] he writes to Cooke three years previous to the
insurrection of 1803. On September 3, in the latter year, McNally sends
one of his secret letters to Cooke, saying that he is authorised to
treat on behalf of a person privy to the whole conspiracy.[482]

The remainder of McNally's letters during these troubles of 1803 are
yet wanting. No doubt they remain among Wickham's papers of the period
which are still a sealed book.[483] Among the sensational incidents of
the hour was the outrage of searching Curran's house, and the capture
of Emmet's love-letters to Sarah Curran--to whom the youth had been
secretly engaged. Curran himself, we are told, though aware of Emmet's
visits, was ignorant of the attachment. But there was a seemingly dear
old friend, having access to Curran's domestic circle, whose eagle
eye could penetrate still deeper secrets. In the absence of McNally's
private reports of that month there is, however, no absolute proof
against him on this point.

Mount Jerome,[484] the seat of John Keogh, the great Catholic leader,
was also searched, and his papers seized. Dr. Madden mentions that, in
1802, Emmet had dined at Keogh's in the company of John Philpot Curran,
when the probability of success in the event of a second rebellion was
debated with great animation.[485] Whose was the whisper which betrayed
this information never transpired. But Curran, the great depository of
popular secrets, maintained, as will be shown, no reserve with McNally.
So far back as 1797 McNally writes:--

  Grattan and Curran are compleatly in the secret. Everything that's
  done or intended is communicated to them.[486]

A quantity of information follows, and the letter ends with these
pregnant words:--

  Curran gives a dinner at his house. _Will be there._

This is the man whom William Henry Curran describes as having been
'from his youth to his latest hour the most affectionate, unshaken and
disinterested friend' of his father.[487]

Before and after the conviction and death of Robert Emmet, the initials
'L. M.' peep from the 'Secret Service Money Book.' On August 25, 1803
(the very day on which Emmet was captured), we read: 'Mr. Pollock for
L. M., 100_l._' Pollock, Clerk of the Crown for Leinster, is the same
man through whom the bribes for 'J. W.' (McNally) are paid.[488] The
100_l._ cannot have been for the actual capture of Emmet, for I know
that in November following a bulk sum was paid for that service. The
_douceur_ to L. M. was in acknowledgment of useful information.[489]

McNally appears as counsel for Emmet in the State trial on September
19, 1803. Four days previously, namely, on September 14, 100_l._ is
set down to 'L. M.' On the morning of Emmet's execution an affecting
scene took place between the rebel chief and McNally, the only friend
allowed to see him. Emmet's mother had just died, but he did not know
it, and desire to see her filled him--'Then, Robert, you shall meet
her this day,' replied McNally, pointing to Heaven in his accustomed
dramatic style. A long account of the interview, doubtless supplied by
'Mac' himself with his usual itch for writing, and evidently designed
to promote Lord Hardwicke's popularity as Viceroy, appears in a
Ministerial journal, the London 'Chronicle,' on September 24, 1803.

  Emmet [we are told] observed that, had he not been interrupted by
  the Court in his address, he would have spoken as warm an eulogium
  on the candour and moderation of the present Government in this
  kingdom as his conception or language were adequate to.

After Emmet's arrest Curran was examined by the Privy Council, when
Chancellor Redesdale sought by a tone of intimidation to extort the
truth; but the scowl of contempt he encountered gave his own nerves the
shock he designed for another's, and made him sink back into his chair,
abashed by the failure of his rash experiment. Curran's son speaks of
the wonderful intrepidity of McNally's language in his addresses to
the Court; but it is easy to be defiant when one knows he is safe.
Contemporary critics record his marvellous power of penetration in
cross-examining witnesses on the State trials. A shrewd man, deep
in the secrets of both sides, would not find it hard to create this

Lord Cloncurry complains, in his Memoirs, that after his liberation
from gaol in 1801, and for many subsequent years, no man suffered more
from petty worries at the hands of the Irish Government. McNally was
in the coterie of which Cloncurry formed the central figure, and it
cannot be doubted that he consistently reported his fervid sentiments.
The 'Press' was the Rebel organ, its tone distinguished, as Lord Camden
said, by 'an unheard-of boldness,'[490] and a friendly offer made
by Lawless, afterwards Lord Cloncurry, to McNally is thus reported.
After mentioning when the private committee of United Irishmen met,
McNally[491] announces--the underlining his own:--

  Lawless, principal proprietor of the 'Press': _he has offered a
  share to J. W.[492]--a £50 share_.... Nothing save rebellious
  toasts at the dinner; _McNevin was there_. Lawless gave 'Cut the
  Painter' [_i.e._ Separation from England].

  _An accurate and dayly_ [sic] _account will be given_. Lawless
  sails for London to-morrow night. It is his turn of duty,--perhaps
  to meet some people at the Head. He ought to be watched from
  George's Quay every hour till his return.[493]

A later letter assures Pelham: 'The fellow-travellers of Lawless shall
be found out if possible.'[494]

Higgins and Magan knew nothing of Cloncurry's movements, but between
Turner and McNally he had a warm time of it. Lord Holland compared his
long detention in the Tower, untried and unaccused, to the operation
of the _lettres de cachet_ in old France. In 1803, on secret but, he
declares, erroneous information, that Emmet's wounded rebels were
concealed there, 'a large military force' searched Lord Cloncurry's
house in Kildare, and robbed it of a quantity of papers, some
fowling-pieces, armour, and even plate.'[495]

No details are forthcoming as regards the intercourse which subsisted
between McNally and Cloncurry throughout the eventful period
subsequent to their friendly relations in '98; but the cordiality of
that intercourse may be seen from a waif or two. The 'Correspondent,'
a Dublin journal, reports on August 27, 1817, a speech of the patriot
peer, Cloncurry, in which the epithet 'dear' is applied to his old
friend McNally. 'There is no gentleman,' he adds, 'for whom I have a
higher respect or esteem, and of whose knowledge, talent and elocution
I am more sensible.'

Sometimes McNally travelled as a spy, probably in disguise, through
remote rural districts. On August 28, 1805, he announces Tipperary as
'ready to rise.' In September he goes up the Dublin mountains, 'Emmet's
line,' and the result of his inquiries was that no rising need be
apprehended.[496] I do not find that McNally's secret letters exist at
Dublin Castle beyond the year 1805; I must, therefore, seek to trace
from other sources the close of his career. Pecuniary need drew its
toils tighter round him every day, making him, no doubt, more energetic
in his effort to cast them off.[497]

Readers of the 'Wellington Correspondence' from 1807 to 1809 will
be able to identify McNally. The subjugator of Tippoo Saib, then
Chief Secretary at Dublin Castle, found Catholic Ireland galled by
various disabilities. One letter, dated November 21, 1807, encloses
a paper headed 'Information received this evening from a very
intelligent Priest.'[498] This, on being quoted by the reviewers of the
Wellington Papers, excited disgust that a priest should be in secret
correspondence with Dublin Castle; but it is quite clear to me that
the letter came from McNally, and embodies merely the responses of a
gossiping priest to the pumping of a practised hand--the same, I may
venture to add, to whom McNally, upon dying, will be found making his
own confession.

The Whig Duke of Bedford took office with Fox, Lansdowne, and Grey in
the administration of 'All the Talents,' and ruled Ireland for one
year. Curran became Master of the Rolls, and McNally thought that he
himself, as the leading popular barrister, had claims for promotion.
All the men who will be remembered as voting with him at the bar
meeting in 1799 had got snug berths. His appeal to Bedford was referred
to Wellesley, whose common sense appears in the following reply:--

  I agree entirely with you respecting the employment of our
  informer. Such a measure would do much mischief. It would disgust
  the loyal of all descriptions, at the same time that it would
  render useless our private communications with him, as no further
  trust would be placed in him by the disloyal. I think that it might
  be hinted to him that he would lose much of his profit, if, by
  accepting the public employment of Government, he were to lose the
  confidence of his party, and consequently the means of giving us

Curiously enough, at the time he is himself most active as a spy, Mr.
T. Mulock, of Dublin, reports him, with Messrs. Hutton and O'Connell,
as persons who 'ought to be watched.'[500] An account of the first
meeting for Repeal of the Union, on September 18, 1810, is preserved in
the State Papers; and McNally spoke on that day 'with great zeal and
patriotism,' as Plowden proudly[501] records. Mr. Mulock had not the
knowledge of character shown by his kinswoman Miss Mulock, the novelist.

Reference has been already made to the fact that in 1811 the Irish
Secretary of State, Wellesley Pole, with the object of suppressing the
Catholic Committee, caused to be arrested, under the Convention Act,
Lord Fingall, Lord Netterville, and the other Catholic delegates. Able
counsel were retained by them, and private conferences, attended by
Burrowes, Johnson, Perrin, O'Connell, Burton, O'Driscoll, and McNally,
were held in order to decide on the lines of defence to be taken. The
questions involved were difficult and subtle; and although the courses
decided upon were equally novel, it was observed with amazement that
the Orange Attorney-General, Saurin, seemed marvellously well prepared
for every point, as the delegates daily fought their ground inch by

An aggregate meeting of Catholics was held after the arrests of their
delegates. John Mitchel describes the party then in power as a 'No
Popery Administration,' and the appearance of a Protestant on the
platform was hailed as a happy incident. The following is taken from
the 'Correspondent,' a once influential organ of Dublin Castle:--

  Mr. McNally offered himself to the consideration of the Catholic
  body. He was anxious that his name should be coupled to the
  glorious cause for which, as Irishmen, they were contending--a
  cause that, from his earliest youth, although a Protestant, he felt
  as his own. He insisted that the conduct of the Lord Lieutenant was
  illegal--that he had not the power of arresting an individual by
  his own mere authority; that, not having the authority, he could
  not, of course, delegate it to a Magistrate.--[Here he animadverted
  upon the conduct of Mr. Hare, the police magistrate, who made
  the arrests.] The King himself, he said, possessed not the power
  which the Lord Lieutenant assumed in the arrest of Lords Fingal
  and Netterville. He instanced the case of Chief Justice Hussey and
  Edward IV.--The King asked the Judge whether his own warrant would
  not be deemed sufficient to arrest a subject?--The Chief Justice
  answered in the negative. And the reason was obvious. _The King can
  do no wrong._--But the subject could have no legal redress against
  such an impeccable magistrate. He referred to the State trials for
  an exemplification and authority on this point; and he showed that
  a power which could not be exercised by Majesty itself, could not
  pass through the opaque body of his Lieutenant--a moonshine and
  intermitting ray.

O'Connell followed, and the clear head of that great lawyer saved
the Catholic body from the deeper pitfall in which the bad law of a
false adviser would have placed them. In the course of his speech he

  With regard to what had been said by Mr. McNally he could not
  assent. The action of Mr. Hare was merely his own, as a magistrate,
  and the Lord Lieutenant had no concern in being responsible for it;
  and he [Mr. O'Connell] would not allow in that assembly anything to
  be laid to the charge of the Duke of Richmond for which His Grace
  was not in every respect accountable.

On October 19, 1811, Wellesley Pole writes from Dublin Castle to the
Home Secretary regarding the proceedings of the Catholic Committee,
and enclosing 'a report from,' as he says, 'one of our spies.' This
document, signed 'J. W.' is still preserved with Pole's letter in the
Record Office, London. About the same time Pole announces to the Home
Office that 'Young Mr. Curran, son of the Master of the Rolls, has been
very active in soliciting from the Catholics subscriptions for Mr.
Finnerty, and letters from persons associated in London for promoting
that object have been addressed to the Catholics here.'[503] These
regular reportings of Curran's domestic circle involve a degree of
treachery painful to contemplate.[504]

The reports of 'J. W.' did not tend to make Curran a favourite with
'the powers.' The patriot's son, describing a prior year, records:--

  A party of seventeen soldiers, accompanied by their wives, or their
  profligate companions, and by many children, and evidently selected
  for the purpose of annoyance, were, without any previous notice,
  quartered on Mr. Curran's house.[505]

The late Mr. Byrne, an old Petty Sessions clerk, informed me that when
walking at this time with his cousin Mr. Phelan, an attorney of Liberal
politics, McNally, with a significant wink, accosted him, saying: 'The
people are at last beginning to read; those who cannot yet read have
books and papers read to them; after they read they will think, and
they won't be long thinking until they act.'

On the trial of Sheridan and Kirwan, two Catholic delegates, he spoke
warmly against the sheriff and others tampering with the jury, and was
checked by the bench. He excused himself by saying 'that where the
heart and the understanding went together it was difficult to keep
bounds,' etc. Great excitement prevailed by the effort made to crush
the freedom of speech, in the midst of which Percy Bysshe Shelley came
to Dublin, and largely helped by voice and pen to make the crisis
historic. Mr. Pole declared in Parliament, that 'if gentlemen would
read the debates of the Catholic Committee they would find separation
openly and distinctly recommended.' O'Connell, on February 29, 1812,
replied: 'Why, my lord, this is a direct accusation of high treason,
and he who would assert it of me, I would brand with the foulest
epithets. I defy the slightest proof to be given of its veracity.'
The Duke of Richmond, then Viceroy, writes at great length to the
Home Secretary, speaks of his 'secret information,' and flutters the

It was during the same year that Roger O'Connor, of Dangan
Castle--father of Feargus, member for Nottingham--headed a band of rude
retainers and robbed the Galway mail coach on Cappagh Hill. Though
somewhat daft, he had method in his system, and when, five years later,
he found himself a prisoner in Newgate, pending the long averted
prosecution, he directed his attorney, named Maguire, to draw up a
fictitious case, including a false line of defence, and lay it before
McNally, taking for granted that he would betray to the Crown the
person he supposed to be his client. The prosecution strangely broke
down, and O'Connor, although notoriously guilty, was acquitted.[507]
This trial took place in 1817: the death of Curran followed soon. A
man named Waring having been indicted for perjury, McNally is found
saying: 'Oppressed by the loss of my earliest friend, I have not
strength for the task. But I wish to repel the stigma thrown out
against my client, though I should die in the trammels.'[508]

The letters of McNally to Curran would be curious to read; 'but,'
writes his daughter-in-law, 'they were destroyed by my late husband
when he became so disgusted by the knowledge of the double face McNally
must have worn for so many years as the _friend_ of his father.'[509]

Although McNally's are destroyed, some characteristic letters from
Curran to him were supplied by the spy to Curran's biographer. It was a
constant effort of McNally to engraft himself on the fame and name of
Curran. A touching document in the romance of real life is the letter
addressed by Curran to McNally in 1810. He exhibits a kind solicitude
for the improved health of his false friend, and alludes to their
future meeting where secrets and sorrow would be no more.

                                   Godwin's, 41, Skinner Street, London.

  Dear Mac,-- ... I am glad to hear you are letting yourself out
  at Old Orchard; you are certainly unwise in giving up such an
  inducement to exercise, and the absolute good of being so often
  in good air. I have been talking about your habit without naming
  yourself. I am more persuaded that you and Egan[510] are not
  sufficiently afraid of weak liquors.[511] I can say from trial how
  little pains it costs to correct a bad habit. On the contrary, poor
  nature--like an ill-used mistress--is delighted with the return of
  our kindness, and is anxious to show her gratitude for that return
  by letting us see how well she becomes it.

  I am the more solicitous upon this point from having made this
  change, which I see will make me waited for in Heaven longer than
  perhaps they looked for. If you do not make some pretext for
  lingering, you can have no chance of conveying me to the wherry;
  and the truth is, I do not like surviving old friends. I am
  somewhat inclined to wish for posthumous reputation; and if you
  go before me, I shall lose one of the most irreclaimable of my
  trumpeters. Therefore, dear Mac, no more water, and keep the other
  element, your wind, for the benefit of your friends. I will show my
  gratitude as well as I can, by saying handsome things of you to the
  saints and angels before you come. Best regards to all with you.

                                                                J. P. C.

'Mac' stuck to him like a leech to the end. 'As he walked through the
grounds of his country seat with Mr. McNally,' writes Curran's son, 'he
spoke of the impending event with tranquillity and resignation:--

    I melt (said he) and am not
    Of stronger earth than others.

'"_I wish it was all over._"'[512]

'Curran's will, which I have in the house,' writes his daughter-in-law,
'is dated September 14th, 1816, and the codicil the 5th September,
1817; it bears the signatures (as witnesses) of Richard Lonergan and
Leonard McNally. Lonergan was editor of 'Carrick's Morning Post,' a
popular organ. The first of a series of papers on the Dublin Theatre,
signed 'L. M. N.,' appears in this journal of December 16, 1817:--

  A moral, well-acted play [he writes] is of more real benefit to
  Society at large than all the inflated harangues of puritanical
  declaimers. To men of letters the drama affords a most delightful
  recreation, after their understandings have been absorbed in
  perplexities, or their intellectual powers strained by continued

    O what a tangled web we weave
    When first we practise to deceive.

The elder Farran began his career in Dublin, and McNally's criticism
helped to make it a success. Mrs. Edwin, Miss Walstein, Fullam,
Williams, Young, all were cleverly reviewed. It was not necessary, he
said, for a tragedian to roar like a lion, or for a comedian to grin
as through a horse-collar. Two letters signed 'L. M. N.' espouse the
part of Mrs. Edwin, who had met with some unkindness. The concluding
sentence is characteristic: 'Allow me, madam, to inform you, that while
I continue your Panegyrist, you shall never know me. All old men are
more or less eccentric. I have my whims, and one of them is a dislike
to being thanked for doing what I think to be my duty.'

Friendly relations were established between the popular journalist and
his contributor, but at last they seem a little strained. The paper got
into trouble with a very formidable enemy to popular principles, Jack
Giffard, known as the 'Dog in Office.' The officiousness of McNally, if
he had no deeper design, is shown by Lonergan in a hurried leader of
September 17, 1818--the italics are his:--

             MR. JOHN GIFFARD _versus_ THE 'MORNING POST.'

  We did not and could not anticipate that an attempt would be made
  to induce the Recorder to fix on a day for the trial, so early as
  Thursday (this day!). Now, it is certainly not our intention that
  one hour's unnecessary delay should take place on the part of the
  proprietor of this paper, in meeting the Corporators face to face
  in Court, or elsewhere. It was, however, extraordinary, that a day
  so very early should be sought for, and that the motion should be
  made at a time when we could have no notice of even the Bills being
  found! This prosecution, in other respects _unique_, is equally
  unprecedented, we believe, in this _extreme_ anxiety to hurry
  the business forward. The Recorder did not countenance this very
  suspicious haste. Like an upright judge, he guarded the interests
  of the absent.

  He said it was of little consequence whether a day was fixed or
  not, as he supposed the case would be put off until next sessions.

  Mr. M‘Nally--'I understand, My Lord, they do not intend to traverse
  in _prox_. _Suppose your Lordship says Thursday next._'

  Recorder--'No, Mr. M‘Nally. _I cannot fix a day for the trial
  of an indictment only just found; especially as there is not any
  reason, that I can perceive, for such haste._'

  We have made this extract from one of the newspapers. If it be
  correct, may we ask Mr. M‘Nally _who instructed him to speak for
  us_? We had no counsel or agent present--how then could the worthy
  gentleman, with all his shrewdness and sagacity, _understand_ what
  was our intention? Mr. M‘Nally, finding that nobody present was
  authorised to speak in our behalf, as _amicus curiæ_, we suppose,
  states to the Court our intention; but how Mr. M‘Nally discovered
  that intention, it puzzles us to find out, for Mr. M‘Nally, with
  all his legal knowledge and abilities, is no conjuror. We wait then
  to hear from this gentleman by what authority, he, employed on the
  other side, in the absence of counsel or agent for the proprietor
  of this paper, did undertake to state to the Recorder what were our
  intentions? We think the conduct of Mr. M‘Nally, in this instance,
  of a piece with the rest of this curious proceeding.

Some legal proceedings are reported by the Dublin papers of September
18, 1818, as having been instituted by the histrions of Crow Street
Theatre for the recovery of their salaries. McNally's swaggering
pretensions to pose as an honourable man are amusingly marked. He was
counsel for the lessee, Frederick W. Jones.

  Mr. MacNally--Now, Sir, you suppose your profession to be a very
  honourable and gentlemanlike employment--equally respectable with
  my own as a barrister. Now, Sir, let me ask you, are you not a

  Mr. Gladstone--Most certainly. I consider myself the servant of
  Mr. Jones and the public. But there is higher authority than mine,
  for the Lord Chancellor of England declared, at an investigation
  of the affairs of Drury-lane Theatre, that all the performers were
  servants, and must be paid before any other creditor.

  The Lord Mayor instantly ordered Mr. Gladstone his money.

The last important case in which McNally figured was that of the Wild
Goose Lodge murderers at Dundalk. This case, highly tragic in its
nature, has been invested with thrilling interest by the powerful pen
of Carleton.

'From grave to gay' marked his course on circuit. A glimpse of the
'chaff' which followed McNally at mess is shown by Charles Phillips.

  It was a common practice with the juniors to play upon his vanity
  by inducing him to enumerate the vast sums he made by 'Robin
  Hood.' The wicked process was thus. They first got him to fix the
  aggregate amount; and then, luring him into details, he invariably,
  by third nights and copyright, quintupled the original. Woe to
  the wight, however, luckless enough to have been detected in this
  waggery. He was ready with his pistol.

Phillips also describes 'Mac' as ever varying in his account of how he
lost his thumbs, and that one night, tired and perplexed by repeated
questioning on the point,[513] he at last exclaimed, 'I don't know how
I lost them!' It seems to me that 'Mac' was too cool and cunning to
trip. Phillips, as a most distinguished co-operator with the Catholic
Board, was a man worth McNally's while to 'draw'; and the hoary-headed
'father,' in encouraging the juniors' chaff, probably feigned features
which he did not possess. We have seen how resolutely incredulous
Phillips stood when the spy's real character was first impugned.
Phillips is remembered by the English bar as a very cunning man. But as
regards McNally's treachery he died unconvinced. The man whose seeming
simplicity he loved to chaff was of deeper acumen. The 'Metropolis,' a
review of the Bar, printed in 1805, indicated among McNally's gifts--

    With all he saw or learned his memory fraught
    Acute perception of his neighbour's thought.

Phillips seemed to pity the awkward simplicity of his venerable friend;
but it was clearly McNally's game at times to pose as a 'butt,' and
Charles adds no more than the truth in saying, 'his eyes and voice
pierced you through like arrows.'

'Howell' should be consulted by those who care to trace the forensic
career of McNally--

    'L' stands for Lysaght, who loves a good joke;
    'M' for MacNally, who lives by the rope!

sings 'the Alphabet of the Bar.' But it is McNally's speeches as a
democratic orator, delivered on all great national occasions, in which
he appears to best dramatic effect.

The mission of General d'Evereux to Ireland, with the object of raising
troops for Bolivar--the South American patriot--took place in 1819,
and with it is involved McNally's last important acts of espionage. A
military passion had seized on the popular mind. For many weeks the
streets of Dublin, gay with plumage, reminded one of Paris during the
Napoleonic fever. The city swarmed with stalwart, ruddy youths, clad in
uniforms of green and gold, their swords clanking at every step. Levées
were held by D'Evereux with all the pomp of a court; public banquets
sought to do him honour. At first these things caused alarm at Dublin
Castle; but, finally, it was decided that the statute which forbade
foreign enlistment might be suffered to lie dormant: after all, the
opportunity was not a bad one to rid the land of those military spirits
whose presence could never conduce to its repose. In this connection
Dr. Scallan has something to say:--

  The badge of the United Irishmen worn by Lord Edward Fitzgerald,
  and taken from his remains when he lay dead in Newgate, was given
  by Leonard McNally to General d'Evereux, who recruited a number
  of Irishmen and drilled them, and formed a regiment with which he
  sailed to Venezuela, and there attacked the Spaniards and drove
  them from the country and freed the Venezuelans from the Spanish
  yoke, which had grown into an intolerable tyranny. The badge has
  attached to it a paper on which is the following inscription:--

  'From Leonard MacNally, Barrister at-law, to General d'Evereux of
  the Irish Legion, raised by him for emancipating the oppressed
  inhabitants of South America, and punishing their Tyrants. 20 July,

  This presentation would appear to be one of the, no doubt, many
  acts of McNally done for the purpose of concealing his perfidy and
  gaining his ends.

  My father-in-law, Laurence Esmonde White, of Scarnagh, exerted
  himself very much in assisting to procure men and officers for
  the Legion; and very successfully, as he had much influence with
  the people of the County Wexford, in which he always resided, and
  where his family had extensive estates. General D'Evereux gave him
  several tokens of his gratitude, of which the badge of Lord Edward
  was one. He also gave him a deed of gift, witnessed by his military
  secretary, of 200,000 acres of land in Venezuela. Which deed I
  have; but no one went there to take possession of the land, and it
  would seem to be lost through neglect. An old friend of mine (now
  deceased) who travelled much in that country, told me that the land
  was worth at least 50,000_l._

  I never could understand how the badge could have got into the
  possession of McNally, until his perfidy was revealed by Mr.
  Fitzpatrick. Then all was made clear. He, no doubt, obtained the
  badge from his paymasters in order that he might use it as he

During the passage from Dublin to Venezuela dissensions arose among
the officers, and some came back complaining that they had been misled
in the business. D'Evereux returned to justify his conduct, and a
committee, consisting of Lord Cloncurry, with Counsellors Curran,
McNally and Phillips, was appointed to inquire and report.

In 1820 Ireland lost her Grattan.[515] The man who had long shadowed
him vanished at the same time. Catholics may care to know, though they
will hardly attach much importance to the accession, that Leonard
McNally, 'after life's fitful fever,' sank into the bosom of Rome.
Father Smith, of Townsend Street Chapel, on February 13, 1820, gave
him the last rites. This priest, having got word that 'the Counsellor'
wished to see him, went to his house in Harcourt Street, where Mrs.
McNally informed him that her husband was then asleep, and must not be
disturbed. McNally's son, who happened to be coming down stairs at the
moment, reproved his step-mother for the indisposition she evinced to
admit the clergyman, adding, 'Can't you let him go to the devil his own
way?'[516] He then conducted the priest to the sick man's room. Father
Smith put on his stole, and heard muttered from the parched lips of
Leonard McNally a general confession, embracing the frailties of his
youth and the sins of his manhood. Contrition was manifested, and the
priest gave him absolution.[517] Within an hour McNally was dead. In
life he had been no coward, but the death-bed was no place to show old
instincts. His funeral _cortège_ wended its way to the old graveyard
of Donnybrook, where his bones now lie, near those of Dr. Madden, the
historian of the 'United Irishmen.'

McNally had married Miss Janson, the heroine of his famous lyric,
'Sweet lass of Richmond Hill;' but it was his second wife, _née_
Edgeworth, who appeared to Father Smith. The son had acquired a rough
reputation, and having been once robbed near Rathcoole, his father
asked Parsons, 'Did you hear of my son's robbery?' and received for
reply, 'No, whom did he rob?' This son died in 1869, leaving no

An action was brought by old McNally's administrator regarding the
house in which he died. 'I was present at the trial,' writes 'Rebellion
Smyth,' an aged correspondent. 'Judge Burton gave McNally a high
character for legal learning and worldly simplicity. "In the affairs
of the world" said Burton, "he was as simple as a child."'[519] The
eminent judge for once was mistaken.

Grattan's name has been mentioned by McNally as privy to the plans of
1798. What truth may be in the assertion that Grattan would join in an
appeal to arms is a point which may never be fully determined. It is
certain that in 1782 he would not have hesitated to employ physical
force. His friend Mr.--afterwards Justice--Day records of him that
'Grattan was resolved to assist, even by arms, if driven to it, the
liberties of Ireland.'[520]

  Neither Grattan[521] nor Curran were United Irishmen [writes
  Macnevin shortly before his death]. It was known in the event of
  success Grattan would have accepted an important appointment in the
  new Government; but Curran was continually consulted by them, knew
  everything that was going on, and his whole heart was in the cause.


[427] Vide _Notes and Queries_, October 8, 1859.

[428] _Curran and his Contemporaries._

[429] _Life of Curran_, by his Son, i. 384.

[430] McNally had spoken against time for an hour and three-quarters,
as he states in an autograph note. This has been enlarged into 'three
hours and a half' by Dr. Shelton Mackenzie in his _Life of Curran_, p.
228, while professing to quote from McNally's note as given by Thomas
Davis in _Curran's Speeches_, p. 365.

[431] _Life of Curran_, v. i. 397.

[432] From Curran's lines, 'The green spot that blooms on the desert of

[433] _The Freeman's Journal_, October 13, 1817.

[434] _Curran and his Contemporaries_, p. 376. (Blackwood, 1850.)

[435] _Cornwallis Papers_, iii. 320.

[436] Sirr Papers, MS., Library, Trinity College, Dublin.

[437] Secret Aid. 75_l._ would be a quarter's pay.

[438] Cornwallis, ii. 350.

[439] This letter, signed 'J. W.', speaks of Father Quigley, dressed _à
la militaire_. The _Cyclopædian Magazine_ for 1808 says that McNally
had lived at Bordeaux, and spoke French well (p. 537). The proceedings
of the Whig Club are reported. McNally was a member of this club.

[440] Halliday Collection, Royal Irish Academy, vol. 613.

[441] MS. now in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy.

[442] The attorney for the Ulster United Irishmen (see _ante_, p. 36).

[443] _Cornwallis Papers_, iii. 320. See Appendix to present work for
some account of Mr. John Pollock, who first succeeded in seducing the
once staunch patriot.

[444] Lecky, vii. 139.

[445] Lecky's _England_, vii. 140. (Longmans, 1890.)

[446] _The Grand Juries of Westmeath, from 1727 to 1853_, by J. C.
Lyons, p. 200.

[447] Madden, iii. 37.

[448] This letter reports an early meeting of the rebel conclave, and
is dated March 30, 1792. (MSS., Dublin Castle.)

[449] _Life of Curran_, by his Son.

[450] For a notice of James Tandy, afterwards stipendiary magistrate
for Meath, see Appendix.

[451] Lecky, vii. 141.

[452] Dr. Madden assigns Conner's death to the year 1796, but McNally's
report is dated September 17, 1795.

[453] Moore's _Journal, &c._, vii. 75. Edited by Lord John Russell.

[454] _Cyclopædian Magazine_, 1808, p. 539. A sensational and detailed
account of the rescue, evidently supplied by McNally, is culled from a
contemporary newspaper, and, in response to the present writer, appears
in _Notes and Queries_, of May 19, 1860, p 293.

[455] _Recollections of John O'Keefe_, ii. 45.

[456] McNally's name is amusingly mentioned by the _Saturday Review_
(lxvi. 516) in a paper on the 'Immortals of 1788.'

[457] Mr. Lecky thinks that, had not McNally become a spy, he might
have risen to the judgment seat. This, with the testimony of Phillips
and Staunton before us, is doubtful: but I am bound to say that many
contemporary Irish judges were bad lawyers, who owed their promotion
solely to political claims. Higgins does not seem to have known that
McNally was also a spy. He often reports him to Cooke: 'Counsellor
McNally told me this night at Parisoll's, that Government had offered
a sinecure employment, which he rejected. I offered to hold him 100
guineas that his services were never sought for, which completely put
him down.'--Francis Higgins to Cooke, November 18, 1797. MSS. Dublin

[458] _Sketches of Irish Political Characters_, 1799.

[459] _Personal Memoirs._

[460] This passage has been culled by Mr. Lecky.

[461] Sermon on Concealment of Sin.

[462] J. W. to Cooke, June 5, 1798.

[463] Lecky, vii. 142, 401.

[464] All these men, Keogh alone excepted, though never brought to
trial, underwent a prolonged term of imprisonment. Keogh was the highly
influential leader of the Catholics, and the Crown, probably, wished to
make an exception in his favour.

[465] Lecky, vii. 55.

[466] _Ibid._ p. 337.

[467] See O'Connor's letter (_United Irishmen_, ii. 234), saying that
in 1797 he expressed abhorrence of the Union _Star_, which had urged
assassination; whereupon Cox, its editor, instantly discontinued it.
Then, as regards Macnevin and Lord Edward, they are described by
Reinhard as 'of the moderate party.' See the _Castlereagh Papers_, i.

[468] Lecky, p. 423.

[469] _Ibid._ p. 331.

[470] _Ibid._ p. 462.

[471] Plowden's _Historic Review_, ii. 537.

[472] Berwick to Grattan. See _Life of Grattan_, vol. v.

[473] 'Trials, if they must so be called, were carried on without
number, under martial law. It often happened that three officers
composed the court, and that, of the three, two were under age, and
the third an officer of the yeomanry or militia, who had sworn, in
his Orange lodge, eternal hatred to the people over whom he was thus
constituted a judge. Floggings, picketings, death, were the usual
sentences, and these were sometimes commuted into banishment, serving
in the fleet, or transference to a foreign service. Many were sold
at so much per head to the Prussians. Other less legal, but not more
horrible, outrages were daily committed by the different corps under
the command of Government. The subsequent Indemnity Acts deprived
of redress the victims of this widespread cruelty.'--Lord Holland's
_Memoirs of the Whig Party_.

[474] This despatch is dated merely 'Tuesday, 25th'; but a second on
the same subject bears 'April 27, 1798.' (MSS. Dublin Castle.)

[475] In 1810, Sir William Stamer, who seized John Keogh's papers in
1803, gave a masquerade. McNally went as Æsop, but scorned to wear a
mask. Huband, whom he often reports, went as Pan; Dogherty, afterwards
Chief Justice, as Jeremy Diddler; Wolfe, afterwards Chief Baron, as
a hair-dresser; Sir Jonah Barrington as a friar; and 'Doctor Turner'
(no doubt Samuel, LL.D.), as Punch. For a full account, see _Hibernian
Magazine_ for 1810, p. 125.

[476] Lecky's _History of England_, vii. 142.

[477] _The Metropolis_ (Dublin, 1806), p. 43, second edition.

[478] McNally always describes himself, in his secret letters, as 'my

[479] Spy as he was, McNally trembled throughout the troubles, and is
not likely to have delivered the defiant reply which he claims to have
done. On May 24, 1798, he describes his family as 'all females--all
live in terror.' He has moved them a short way from Dublin. He hopes
that Cooke's interest will prevent the impending evil of free quarters
on his house. It was astutely felt at Dublin Castle, however, that the
more McNally seemed to suffer persecution for justice sake, the more
freely would popular confidence be reposed in him. On June 27, 1798, he
writes to Cooke, bitterly complaining that his house had been attacked
by soldiers, who refused to respect Castlereagh's protection.'

[480] _Life of Curran_, by his Son, ii. 148-9. Compare Lecky, viii. 24,
where MacNally seems humanely to lament the theft by soldiers, from a
Dublin barrister, of a stand inscribed 'Erin go bragh.'

[481] J. W. (secret), September 19, 1800.

[482] Wickham seems to allude to this fact in the _Colchester
Correspondence_, i. 456.

[483] Mr. Ross, in his preface to the _Cornwallis Papers_, states that
Wickham's papers are destroyed. His grandson tells me that the papers
are safely in his possession.

[484] Now the cemetery at Harold's Cross, Dublin.

[485] Madden's _United Irishmen_, iii. 330.

[486] J. W. to Mr. Secretary Cooke: endorsed 'November 1797.' McNally
adds, of a subsequent Whig Lord Chancellor, on whom he had his eye:
'Geo. Ponsonby is not of the private meetings at Grattan's or Curran's.'

[487] _Life of Curran_, by his Son, ii. 385.

[488] The same manuscript further records, under the respective dates,
March 16, 1803, and November 26, 1803, two sums of 100_l._ each, paid
to 'J. W.'

[489] Mr. W. B. Kelly, who held the copyright of a book of mine called
_The Sham Squire_, got it reprinted in Edinburgh many years ago. I had
no opportunity for revising the proofs, and I am anxious to correct
the strange misprint at p. 250, of '1,000_l._' instead of '100_l._'
to McNally. The original edition, at the same page, states the amount

[490] Camden to Portland, December 2, 1797.

[491] Most of McNally's letters are endorsed by Cooke. This is marked
by Pelham, 'November 8, 1797.'

[492] McNally himself.

[493] Cloncurry did not see Ireland again until his liberation from the
Tower. The object of his mission to England was mere surmise. Pelham
assumes that he carried a despatch to the French Republic (Froude,
iii. 287); but Cloncurry, ignorant of the above letters, tells his law
adviser: 'No papers on politics were found on me, for I never had such'
(_Memoirs_, p. 138). Previously, he casually mentions that his father
'insisted upon my going to London to keep my terms at the Temple, which
I accordingly did _in November_, 1797,' the very date of McNally's
letter. (_Memoirs of Lord Cloncurry_, p. 57.)

[494] Endorsed, 'M. secret. November.'

[495] _Personal Recollections of Lord Cloncurry_, p. 219.

[496] Not one of McNally's letters is dated beyond the day of the week;
but many have a correct date endorsed. Some conjectural dates, supplied
in late years by an official pencil, are often wrong.

[497] In 1807-8 he appears as a defendant in several judgments 'marked'
by the King's Bench. To Benjamin Bradley, 38_l._ 4_s._ 9_d._; to
Thomas Shaw, 56_l._; to the administrators of Hatch, and others; and
the search, if continued, would show the same results in after years.
Curran frequently accommodated him, as well as William Godwin and

[498] _Wellington Correspondence (Ireland)_, p. 192.

[499] _Wellington Correspondence (Ireland)_, pp. 99-100.

[500] Ireland, 1810, August to December, No. 648, State Paper Office.

[501] _History of Ireland since the Union_, by Francis Plowden, iii.

[502] The late Michael Staunton to W. J. F.

[503] Ireland, 1811, January to June, No. 652. Peter Finnerty, who, in
1798, had been pilloried as editor of the _Press_, was now (1811) in
Lincoln Gaol for a libel on Lord Castlereagh.

[504] Mr. Lecky thinks that, so early as 1795, McNally reported to the
Government a secret conference of Curran and Grattan. _Hist._ vii. 145.

[505] _Life of Curran_, i. 147.

[506] These papers are exclusively quoted in the _Correspondence of
Daniel O'Connell_ (edited by W. J. F.), ii. 420.

[507] For details, see _Ireland before the Union_, p. 8. (Dublin:

[508] _The Correspondent_, November 4, 1817.

[509] Letter of Mrs. John Philpot Curran, dated 'The Priory,
Rathfarnham, September 14, 1872.'

[510] John Egan, a member of the Irish Parliament, lost a judicial
office he held by voting against the Union, and died in poverty. A
staunch patriot to the end, he belonged to the set which numbered
Curran and McNally. Curran's first acquaintance with him was in an
affair of honour. Egan, a large man, complained of the great advantage
which Curran's diminutive figure gave him. 'I scorn to take any
advantage of you, whatever,' replied Curran. 'Let my size be chalked
out on your side, and I am quite content that every shot which hits
outside that mark should go for nothing.'

[511] It is a question whether 'Mac,' in society, drank as much as he
may have pretended to do. See _ante_, p. 185.

[512] _Life of Curran_, 1820, ii. 380. Italics in original.

[513] He seems not to have been so badly maimed as he gave Phillips to
believe. John P. Prendergast, a nonagenarian, remembers McNally saying
at the Trim Assizes in 1817, 'I have a finger and thumb to tweak the
nose of any man who dares to question my acts.' Luckily the present
writer did not live in those days. How one thumb went, see p. 177.

[514] Letter of J. J. Scallan, Esq., M.D., to the author. Black Rock,
April 23, 1890. The Doctor may not be quite right in his assumption.

[515] Mr. Lecky says that 'McNally had specially good opportunities of
learning the sentiments of Grattan' (vii. 281). Grattan died May 14;
McNally on February 13.

[516] Rev. John Kearney, P.P., St. Catherine's, to the author, February
10, 1860.

[517] McNally and Father Smith seem to have been old chums. So far
back as 1805, 'J. W.' writes, in one of his undated letters: 'Smith,
the priest whom I have before mentioned, informed me last night that a
person arrived here from France within these few days. The intelligence
he brings is an assurance of a Descent by the French, and that the
Fleet is now in the Atlantic with this object. I do not give credence
to his Information. I found it impossible to extract particulars or
names, but I am to see him to-morrow (Sunday).'

Smith, suspecting McNally to be a spy, is likely to have charged his
news with sensationalism, and 'Mac,' no doubt, found him useful as
a scout. That he was an open-mouthed gossiping man, his account of
his very solemn mission to the death-bed of the spy shows. He never
received promotion, and in the end became so deaf that when officiating
in his confessional he always reiterated audibly the character of
the sin disclosed, so as to be sure he heard it correctly, and the
result was very painful embarrassment to such neighbouring worshippers
as could not fail to become _en rapport_ with the conscience of the
penitent. Compare _Wellington Correspondence (Ireland)_, pp. 192-3,
and the 'Information of a Priest regarding threatened Invasion.'

[518] Lyons, in his _Grand Juries of Westmeath_, records,
deprecatingly, that Leonard McNally's people were engaged in trade;
but, according to their tombstone at Donnybrook, they once owned the
castle and lands of Rahobeth. Like other Irish gentry of the proscribed
faith, they sank during penal times, and the name of Leonard McNally
is found in the official list of 'Papists' who 'conformed' early in
the reign of George III. How this came about is traceable in Sheil's
notice of McNally in 1820: 'His grandfather made a very considerable
personal property, which he laid out in building in Dublin; but having
taken leases liable to the discovery of this property, in consequence
of a bill under the popish laws, he was stripped of it. His father died
when he was an infant, at which time the bill of discovery was filed,
and little attention was paid to his education.' The 'will of Leonard
McNally, Dublin, merchant,' who died in 1756, is preserved at the
Record Office.

[519] William Smith, B.L., died at Torquay, April 29, 1876.

[520] See _Life of Grattan_, by his Son, ii. 272.

[521] One of the more voluminous of the secret reports signed 'J. W.'
is dated March 24, 1797, and details twenty-three propositions of a
plan, through which the United Irishmen were to act with Grattan. The
proceedings took place at a meeting at Chambers's, one of the Rebel
Directory. (MSS. Dublin Castle.)



Dr. Madden, in a well-known work of considerable authority, singles out
three divines as examples of noble qualities: _i.e._ 'the Right Rev.
Dr. Doyle, the Rev. Arthur O'Leary, and Archbishop Murray.'[522]

Several years ago an influential journalist posted at Melbourne the
following letter. He was the mouthpiece of many. It is rather late
to answer his question publicly; but, in truth, the subject was not
an inviting one to touch, especially as, not having studied it, I
felt unable to reply in a way which would be deemed satisfactory by
the querist. On the other hand, the application having come from the
antipodes, I am encouraged to think that the subject possesses an
interest not confined to a hemisphere. 'No one was more generally loved
and revered than Father O'Leary,' writes Charles Butler. Yelverton,
speaking in the Irish Parliament, said: 'Unattached to this world's
affairs, Father O'Leary can have none but the purest motives of
rendering service to the cause of morality and his country.' He was the
subject of a grand panegyric from the pulpit. Two biographies of him
have been written by anointed hands. Idolised while living, his memory
was cherished by thousands. His name wore a halo! Now, according to
recent commentators, it seems not free from that light which floats
over unhealthy places. Let it not be denied that at different times
O'Leary did good work for his creed and country. As a religionist he
continued true to the end; but if we accept the high testimony of
Froude and Lecky, the same cannot be said of him as a patriot and a

                        38, William Street, Melbourne, December 1, 1875.

  Sir,--Knowing you from your published writings to be intimately
  acquainted with the secret political history of Ireland at the
  close of the last century, I venture to trespass on your courtesy,
  with a query relative to a celebrated character of those times,
  whose name, long gratefully and affectionately remembered by his
  countrymen, must in future, if the statements of a recent historian
  are deserving of any credit, be associated only with the names of
  the wretches whom, in the pages of 'The Sham Squire' and 'Ireland
  before the Union,' you have held up to the scorn of posterity!

  I allude to the famous 'Father O'Leary,' who, according to Mr.
  Froude, was a spy of Pitt's, systematically employed in betraying
  the secrets which his sacred calling and influence as a trusted
  patriot enabled him to become possessed of; and, with unparalleled
  audacity and baseness, publicly receiving the encomiums of his most
  distinguished contemporaries, such men as Grattan and Curran, for
  virtues which he only assumed, and for talents which he so basely
  prostituted! Is it possible that this man could have played such an
  odious part? Do you consider, sir, that the evidence produced by
  Mr. Froude in support of so terrible an accusation is sufficiently
  conclusive; or, has that sensational writer in this, as perhaps in
  other instances, accommodated his facts to his theories?[523] With
  tantalising reticence Mr. Froude gives only a few meagre lines from
  the correspondence in which he claims to have found the proofs of
  O'Leary's guilt. The subject has been much discussed in Australia,
  as no doubt it has in every country in which Irishmen are to be
  found. You have yourself, in one of your ...[524] volumes, referred
  to a mysterious connection between O'Leary and William Pitt. Was it
  an honourable, or an infamous one?

  May I ask you to favour me with your opinion upon it, judged by the
  light of Mr. Froude's revelations? By kindly complying with my
  request, you will oblige many anxious inquirers at the 'Antipodes.'

                                           I am, Sir, etc.,
                                                 MORGAN MCMAHON.

  W. J. Fitzpatrick, Esq.

I may at once say that, although evidence exists of O'Leary's frailty,
it is not sufficient to warrant, in all details, the very sensational
picture drawn by Mr. McMahon.

People always knew that O'Leary became entitled to a pension, though
how he acquired it was not so clear. Perhaps it is only fair to give
him the benefit of the version which his intimate friend, Francis
Plowden, placed on record eighty years ago.[525] His information was,
doubtless, derived from O'Leary himself; but O'Leary seems to have told
him no more than it was convenient to reveal:--

  O'Leary's writings on toleration had removed from the minds of many
  Catholics the difficulties which up to that time prevented them
  from swearing allegiance to the House of Hanover, and abjuring
  the House of Stuart. That Rev. Divine so happily blended a vein
  of liberality and original humour with orthodox instruction, that
  his writings became popular even with Protestants, and induced so
  much toleration and cordiality between them and the Catholics, that
  created a serious alarm in those who studied to perpetuate their
  division and consequent weakness. With much art they endeavoured
  to stop the progress of this terrifying liberality and harmony
  among Irishmen of different religious professions. The Rev. Arthur
  O'Leary was thanked by the British minister for the services he
  had rendered to the State, by frightening away the bugbear of
  Jacobitism, and securing the allegiance of the whole Catholic
  body to the House of Hanover. A pension of 200_l._ was granted to
  him for his life in the name of a trustee, but upon the secret
  condition that he should for the future withhold his pen, and
  reside no more in Ireland,--in such dread was holden an evangeliser
  of tolerance and brotherhood in that country. Two or three payments
  of this hush-money were made. Afterwards an arbitrary refusal for
  many years threw the Rev. Pensioner upon the voluntary support
  of his friends for subsistence. After a lapse of many years, by
  importunity and solicitation, and repeated proofs of his having
  complied with the secret conditions, he received a large arrear;
  and, in order to make himself independent for the rest of his days,
  he purchased with it an annuity for his life from a public office,
  and died before the first quarter became due.

It was, in fact, entirely by Plowden's intervention that the arrear
was paid. So we learn on the authority of the Rev. Thomas England,
who in 1822 brought out a life of O'Leary. Plowden was a friend of
Pitt's, and undertook to write a History of Ireland under the auspices
of that statesman. He had previously published in defence of the
British Constitution, and received in acknowledgment the D.C.L. of
Oxford. When writing eighty years ago of so popular and respected a
priest as O'Leary, Plowden--himself a Catholic--made his revelation
cautiously. It would now seem that some greater service was rendered
than the public service to which Plowden refers. It will be shown on
high contemporary authority that the object of the Castle in 1784 was
to divide the two great parties. This policy later on was boldly avowed
as _Divide et impera_.[526] The service, therefore, for which O'Leary
accepted secret pay cannot have been for promoting cordial co-operation
between Catholics and Protestants.

Mr. Lecky, in the sixth volume of his 'History of England,' has brought
to light a letter, going far to establish the fact that in 1784 O'Leary
'consented, for money, to discharge an ignominious office for a
Government which despised and distrusted him.'[527]

On studying O'Leary's public life there seems no doubt that the secret
pension of 100_l._ a year, which in 1784 he agreed to accept, was
merely supplemental to a larger subsidy previously enjoyed. How he
earned the first pension is now to be shown.

A volume, 'Sketches of Irish Political Characters,' was published in
1799. The writer, Henry McDougall, commanded sources of information
which gave his book value. Speaking of O'Leary, he says (p. 264):--

  During the most awful period of the American War, he addressed his
  Catholic countrymen, upon the subject of what ought to be their
  political conduct, in a manner that merited the thanks of every
  good citizen, and for which, it has been said, Government rewarded
  him with a pension; if so, never was a pension more deservedly

McDougall doubtless refers to a publication of O'Leary's, largely
circulated and often reprinted, _i.e._ 'An Address to the Common People
of Ireland on occasion of an apprehended Invasion by the French and
Spaniards in July 1779,[528] when the united Fleets of Bourbon appeared
in the Channel.' On April 12, 1779, Spain had concluded an alliance
with France and America, whereupon Vergennes, the French Premier,
divulged to the Spanish minister, Blanca, that an invasion of Ireland
was meditated. To promote this design, an American agent was instructed
to foster the interests of the allies amongst the Presbyterians of
Ulster; while the task of winning over the Irish Catholics was to be
entrusted to Spanish agents.

America was all but lost at this time, and England found herself in a
position of great difficulty. Ireland was drained of its garrison; the
people much discontented; the Catholic middle classes, grown rich by
commercial success, had established branches of their houses in France
and Spain. A letter of warning, which alarmed the Cabinet, and probably
led them to ask O'Leary's help, still exists. At the same time,
hurriedly and with a bad grace, they conceded a measure of Catholic
Relief. Lord Amherst, writing to Lord North from Geneva on June 19,
1778, says:--

  I have acquired a piece of information here, concerning a plot
  for a revolt in the West of Ireland among the Roman Catholics,
  with a view to overturn the present Government, by the aid of the
  French and Spaniards, and to establish such an one as prevails in
  this country, I mean the Cantons, by granting toleration to the
  Protestants.[529] You may depend on its authenticity.

And again:--

  My intelligence comes from Rome, and I am pretty certain these
  Acts have been brought in from the ministry receiving the same
  intelligence, which I know they have been in possession of for some
  time; as the measures for preventing the mischief proposed by the
  person who gives the information are exactly those that have been

O'Leary by his address aroused not only Catholic loyalty, but awakened
the apathy of many Protestants on whom the report of invasion had
previously made no impression. The Volunteers sprang into vitality, and
though they at first numbered merely 8,000, the force swelled ere the
year was out to 42,000 armed men, and without the cost of one shilling
to the Crown. Years after, the Government dreading, like Frankenstein,
the heaving mass it had helped to create, sought to suppress the
Irish Volunteers; but in 1778 their feeling was very different, when
O'Leary's inspiring address fanned the spirit of volunteering, and
conduced to preserve the country. It was then that Lord Buckinghamshire
officially declared that Ireland was prepared to offer a determined
resistance to invasion.

A link or two of the heavy penal chain had now been struck from
Papist limbs. The relaxation, however, was hampered with a new test
oath, drawn up in terms even more subtle than that which, when handed
to O'Connell fifty years later in Parliament, he withdrew rather
than take. Dr. Carpenter[530] ruled the R. C. see of Dublin at this
time. His flock embraced a considerable number who, from timidity
of conscience, expressed doubts as to the propriety of taking the
oath. Dr. Carpenter, though himself no great friend to the temporal
power of the Pope, felt that to deny on oath a power already claimed
by some famous theologians would seem rash and arrogant. Bishop de
Burgo, author of the 'Hibernia Dominicana,' opposed the oath in terms
still stronger; lay orators described as a poisoned cup the proffered
measure of Catholic relief. Again O'Leary came to the front. A pamphlet
of eighty-six pages was thrown on the country, entitled, 'Loyalty
asserted, or a Vindication of the new Test Oath of Allegiance, with
an impartial inquiry into the Pope's Temporal Power [a strong attack
upon it] and the claims of the Stewarts to the English Throne: proving
that both are equally groundless.' O'Leary examined the oath sentence
by sentence, and with logical precision showed its conformity to
Catholic teaching. 'The work was widely circulated,' writes Father
England, the first biographer of O'Leary, and called forth as well the
acknowledgments of the friends of the Government as the warm gratitude
of his Catholic fellow-countrymen. In November 1778 we read that the
Catholic Archbishop Carpenter, at the head of seventy of his clergy,
and several hundred Catholic laymen, attended at the Court of King's
Bench in Dublin and took the oath prescribed.[531]

The dreaded invasion never took place; but O'Leary's address was
scattered broadcast, and during subsequent years it reappeared again
and again. It reads more like the argument of a paid advocate than the
disinterested appeal of a poor Franciscan.

All this--not to speak of O'Leary's tracts on Toleration, and his
exertions, written and oral, to deter the Whiteboys from their
conspiracies--furnishes sufficient claim to a pension, without assuming
that it must have been earned in the dark field of espionage. However,
we now approach the time when overtures to discharge an ignominious
task were undoubtedly made to him.

On August 26, 1784, the Viceroy, Rutland, addressed a '_most secret_'
letter to Pitt's brother-in-law, Lord Sydney:--

  I have discovered a channel by which I hope to get to the bottom
  of all the plots and machinations which are contriving in this
  metropolis. As I always expected, the disturbances which have been
  agitated have all derived their source from French influence. There
  is a meeting in which two men named Napper Tandy and John Binney,
  together with others who style themselves free citizens, assemble.
  They drink the French King on their knees, and their declared
  purpose is a separation from England and the establishment of the
  Roman Catholic religion. At their meetings an avowed French agent
  constantly attends, who is no other than the person in whose favour
  the French ambassador desired Lord Caermarthen to write to me a
  formal introduction....[532] One of this meeting, alarmed at the
  dangerous extent of their schemes, has confessed, and has engaged
  to discover to me the whole intentions of this profligate and
  unprincipled combination.[533]

This is a glowing picture, one more than realising the beautiful vision
of Davis:--

    The mess tent is full, and the glasses are set,
    And the gallant Count Thomond is president yet.
    The vet'ran arose, like an uplifted lance,
    Crying: 'Comrades a health to the monarch of France!'
    With bumpers and cheers they have done as he bade,
    For King Louis is loved by the Irish Brigade.

The first mention of O'Leary's name in the State Papers is under date
September 4, 1784, when Sydney writes to the Lord-Lieutenant:--'O'Leary
has been talked to by Mr. Nepean, and he is willing to undertake what
is wished for 100_l._ a year, which has been granted him.'

  On Sept. 8th [writes Mr. Lecky] Orde thanks Nepean for sending over
  a spy, or detective, named Parker, and adds: I am very glad also
  that you have settled matters with O'Leary, who can get at the
  bottom of all secrets in which the Catholics are concerned, and
  they are certainly the chief promoters of our present disquietude.
  He must, however, be cautiously trusted, _for he is a Priest_, and
  if not too much addicted to the general vice of his brethren here,
  he is at least well acquainted with the art of raising alarms for
  the purpose of claiming a merit in doing them away.[534]

Thus, as it would seem, O'Leary had already not been slow in claiming
from the Government the merit, if not the wages, of allaying the causes
of public alarm. Plowden and England admit that O'Leary had a pension
of 200_l._ a year. He must have been in receipt of at least 100_l._ for
his writings at the time that, for an extra hundred, it was proposed
to him to undertake a base task. The promptitude and facility with
which Sydney, in September 1784, made the proposition shows the close
relations that had previously subsisted.

A curious letter from Weymouth, a previous Home Secretary, addressed
to Dublin Castle, is printed in Grattan's 'Life' (vol. i. p. 369). In
great panic he expresses fear that the Catholic colleges of France and
Flanders would despatch their _alumni_ as secret agents to Ireland.
These were among the reasons that made the Government anxious to secure
O'Leary's aid.

Dr. England--his earliest biographer--lived comparatively near the
time, and heard from O'Leary's publisher, Keating, a few interesting
incidents which, to some extent, tally with the revelations of the
State Papers. The biographer knows of an interview between O'Leary and
Nepean on behalf of Sydney and Pitt, but England and his informant are
deceived as to the conditions which accompanied the pension. Their
memory is also at fault as regards the year. Instead of 1784, they set
it down as 'soon after O'Leary had fixed his residence permanently in
London,' which, of course, was in 1789. O'Leary had been a good deal
in London previously, for, as Froude states, Orde in 1784 asked Sydney
to send him over confidential agents, and in September 1784 he writes,
'your experts have arrived safe.'[535]

  Soon after he [O'Leary] had fixed his residence permanently in
  London [writes Dr. England], one day whilst dining with his
  attached and valued friend, Mr. Keating, the bookseller, he
  was informed that Lord Sydney's secretary was in the adjoining
  parlour, and had a communication to make to him. He immediately
  left the table; and when, in a short time, he returned, he related
  the substance of the interview. The secretary stated to him that
  Government had observed with much satisfaction the good effects
  which Mr. O'Leary's writings had produced in Ireland--peace, good
  order, and unanimity, amongst all classes of his countrymen,
  had been promoted and advanced by his exertions; and that, in
  consideration of the services thus rendered to the Empire, it was
  determined to manifest the approbation of such conduct by offering
  him a pension suitable to his circumstances, and worthy of his
  acceptance; that, with a delicacy arising from the ignorance of
  his means of subsistence, they had as yet hesitated fixing on
  any specific sum, choosing rather to learn from himself what
  would answer his expectations, than to determine on what might be
  insufficient for his claims. The secretary took the liberty of
  asking a question to which, at the same time, he did not insist
  on receiving an answer: whether, in the event of any popular
  commotion in Ireland, as it was dreaded would be the case from the
  diffusion of American republican notions, O'Leary would advocate,
  as formerly, principles of loyalty and allegiance? To this latter
  question an unhesitating reply was given, confirmatory of the
  known inflexibility of O'Leary's political conduct; with regard
  to the pension, he never had sought for one, though, at a former
  period of his life, something of the kind had been hinted to him;
  in the present instance he was grateful to the Government for the
  recollection of him, and suggested that the utmost of his claims
  would be answered by 100_l._ a year. He was afterwards informed
  officially that his presence in Ireland was necessary for the
  purpose of having the pension placed on the list of that country.
  He repaired thither, and, after the necessary formalities were gone
  through, he became entitled to 200_l._ per annum; but England adds
  that, 'for some unexplained cause, his pension, after one or two
  years, was arbitrarily withheld.'[536]

It will be seen that the point here made is not consistent with
Plowden's account (_ante_, p. 213). According to him, the pension was
'hush-money:' he was to write no more, and, above all, he was not to
write in promotion of good feeling and toleration. England upholds
that it was given in the hope that O'Leary would continue to write in
the same tone that had already earned Governmental gratitude. Sydney
settled terms with O'Leary in London, and, through his secretary, told
him what to do.

'Cedars have yielded,' says St. Peter. It was a clever thought to plan
the corruption of O'Leary for the performance of a part which his
employers describe with gusto. Two years previously, on February 27,
1782, popular confidence in him had reached its height when Yelverton,
Grattan, and Sir Lucius O'Brien praised him with enthusiasm.

  A man of learning, a philosopher, a Franciscan [said Grattan] did
  the most eminent service to his country in the hour of its greatest
  danger. He brought out a publication that would do honour to the
  most celebrated name. The whole kingdom must bear witness to its
  effect by the reception they gave it. Poor in everything but genius
  and philosophy, he had no property at stake, no family to fear for;
  but descending from the contemplation of wisdom, and abandoning the
  ornaments of fancy, he humanely undertook the task of conveying
  duty and instruction to the lowest class of the people.[537]

How he qualified for these praises Mr. Froude may now be allowed to
show. After O'Leary arrived in Dublin he saw Orde, and was told what
the Government expected him to do. The following letter is dated
September 23, 1784:--

  Your experts have arrived safe [wrote the Secretary, reporting
  their appearance]. At this moment we are about to make trial of
  O'Leary's sermons,[538] and Parker's rhapsodies. They may be both
  in their different callings of very great use. The former, if we
  can depend on him, has it in his power to discover to us the real
  designs of the Catholics, from which quarter, after all, the real
  mischief is to spring. The other can scrape an acquaintance with
  the great leaders of sedition, particularly Napper Tandy, and
  perhaps by that means dive to the bottom of his secrets.[539]

Sir Richard Musgrave was one of the alarmists who loved to purvey
sensational news for Dublin Castle. His 'History of the Rebellion,'
published in 1801, embodies his impressions of events for twenty years
before. No wonder that Dublin Castle was fluttered by his reports.
Here is clearly one of them, and it serves to show why it was that the
Government were so anxious in 1784 to secure O'Leary by a subsidy:--

  A corps called the Irish Brigade was raised in Dublin, of which
  nineteen out of twenty were Roman Catholics, and they appointed
  Father O'Leary, an itinerant friar, their chaplain. I have been
  assured that they exceeded in number all the other Volunteer corps
  in the city.

And again:--

  In the summer of the year 1783, the Irish Brigade, with the Dublin
  Independent Volunteers, commanded by James Napper Tandy and Matthew
  Dowling, formed an encampment between Roebuck and Dublin, under
  the pretext of studying tactics and learning camp duty, though it
  was well known that they were hatching revolutionary projects. It
  is to be observed that the war, the only pretext for their arming,
  was now at an end; yet many corps in different parts of the kingdom
  resolved not to lay down their arms but with their lives.[540]

Musgrave's construction of the above, as in many other incidents, is
not wholly correct; though in his estimate of Tandy and Dowling, both
Protestants, he was accurate enough.

If O'Leary played the part assigned and attributed to him, never did
face more belie internal baseness, or was more exquisitely fashioned
to command the confidence of its dupes. The 'Gentleman's Magazine' for
February 1802 contains a study of 'Father Arthur' from the pen of Mr.

  His manners [he says] were the most winning and artless,
  anticipating his goodwill and urbanity before he opened his lips;
  and when they were opened, his expressions did but ratify what
  those manners had before ensured. And you had a further earnest of
  this in the benign and ineffable smile of a countenance so little
  practised in guile that it at the same time invited to confidence,
  and denoted an impossibility of your being betrayed.

Curran, addressing the Irish House of Commons in 1787, revealed a trait
highly honourable to the friar: 'Mr. O'Leary was, to his knowledge, a
man of the most innocent and amiable simplicity of manners in private
life. The reflection of twenty years in a cloister had severely
regulated his passions and deeply informed his understanding.'[541]
Curran's knowledge was partly derived from the fact that O'Leary
belonged to 'The Monks of the Screw,' often regarded as a convivial
club; but 'whose more important object,' writes Hardy, the biographer
of Charlemont, 'was a co-operation of men holding a general similarity
of political principles resolved to maintain the rights and
constitution of their country.' Previously, O'Leary had dedicated his
Miscellaneous Tracts 'to the Dignitaries and Brethren of the Monks of
St. Patrick,' addressing them, with his wonted humour, as 'Reverend
Fathers and illustrious Brethren.'

He had already written in denunciation of French designs on Ireland;
and what more natural than that he should now be asked to track the
movements of certain French emissaries which the Government heard
had arrived in Dublin, and were conspiring with the Catholic leaders
to throw off the British yoke.[542] This task O'Leary, as a staunch
loyalist, may have satisfied his conscience in attempting, especially
as he must have known that in 1784 the Catholics, as a body, had no
treasonable designs, though, doubtless, some few exceptions might be
found. In fact, his friend Edmund Burke, a member of the Ministry in
1783, declared, but later on, that 'the Irish Roman Catholics were
everywhere loyal, save at certain points where their loyalty had been
impaired by contact with Protestants.' Orde,[543] while using O'Leary,
thought him a knave; yet feigned a readiness to believe his reports.
The exhaustive correspondence of Count d'Adhémar, the French ambassador
in London, with his Government, is now open to inquirers at the French
Foreign Office; but, as it makes no allusion to any French agent in
Ireland at this period, the story may be little better than one of the
sensational myths so often found in the letters of informers to the
Irish executive.[544] But, although no documental evidence exists of a
French agent having been in Dublin in 1784, it is certain that five
years later, _i.e._ in 1789, one Bancroft, an American by birth, was
sent on a secret mission from France to Ireland.[545]

We hear of no important arrests during the troubled period that O'Leary
is said to have been set in motion; but the Habeas Corpus Act had not
been suspended since 1779, and was not until 1794 that Pitt renewed the

In analysing O'Leary's life and judging his conduct, it is not fair
to ignore any remark of his tending to exculpate; but, if panegyrics
are desired, the reader should consult the memoirs by England, Buckley
and some others. Almost O'Leary's last public performance appeared in
1800: 'An Address to the Lords of Parliament, with an account of Sir H.
Mildmay's Bill relative to Nuns.'

  His loyalty was not [he said] the effect of necessity or
  timeserving policy, for in France, where the Penal Laws of England
  drove him for education, and where the Catholics of Ireland had
  Seminaries and Convents with full admission to all the degrees
  of her universities, I _resisted every solicitation to enlist
  any of the subjects of these kingdoms in the French King's
  service_, though I had then every opportunity of being appointed
  to superintend prisons and hospitals during the wars. It was my
  interest to recommend myself to the favour of people in power, and
  consequently more my interest to become more a courtier than a
  moralist. St. Paul calls God to witness when he asserts the truth:
  I can do the same when I assert that conscience was the rule of my

This is further useful in showing that O'Leary was no admirer of the
French king, and now that he was a pensioner of England would hardly
object to discover the reported French agents in Dublin, who, with
Napper Tandy, are said to have 'drank on their knees' the toast of
'Louis of France.'

The latter story--told by the Viceroy, Rutland, in his letter to
Sydney--bears improbability on its face. It seems strange that Tandy
and his party, who not long after were Red Republicans and the allies
of Carnot and Hoche, would drink the health of Louis XVI. on their
knees.[547] They were principally Protestants; and John O'Connell, in
the Life of his father, says that Sheares shocked the future Liberator
by exultantly displaying a handkerchief soaked in the French king's

I suspect that when O'Leary returned from making, in September 1784,
the inquiries which he is assumed to have done, his report was
something in the spirit of Canning's knife-grinder: 'Story! God bless
you, I have none to tell, sir;' and that Orde concluded O'Leary himself
was in the plot. On October 17, Orde writes to Nepean, alluding to some
rumour about our friar which is not stated. 'Del Campo's connection
with O'Leary--or rather O'Leary's with him--may have given rise to all
the report; but, after all, I think it right to be very watchful over
the priest, and wish _you_ to be so over the Minister. They are all of
them designing knaves.'

Thus it appears that in little more than a fortnight after O'Leary is
supposed to have begun to spy, Orde was far from satisfied with him.


[522] _United Irishmen_, iii. p. vi.

[523] Mr. Froude, with the letter before him which he found, could
adopt hardly any other impression. Mr. Macdonough, in _Irish Graves in
England_, follows Froude, and speaks of O'Leary's 'traitorous conduct.'
He, however, errs in assigning 1811, instead of 1802, as the date of
his death. See _Evening Telegraph_, February 6, 1888.

[524] The omitted matter is merely a compliment.

[525] Plowden's _Ireland since the Union_, i. 6. (Dublin, 1811.)

[526] Mr. Lecky, who examined the State Papers, tells us that seven
years later, _i.e._ 1791, 'The chief members of the Irish Government
made it their deliberate object to revive the religious animosities
which had so greatly subsided, to raise the standard of Protestant
ascendancy, and to organise through the country an opposition to

[527] Vol. vi. 369.

[528] _Vide_ Lecky, iv. 491.

[529] 'If 30,000 men under the denomination of French troops landed in
Ireland,' writes O'Leary, '15,000 Protestants from France, Germany,
Switzerland, &c., would make up half the number. Neither are you to
confide in their promises of protection.'--O'Leary's _Tract_, p. 104.

[530] Dean Lee, the grandnephew of Dr. Carpenter, tells me that a smart
apostate priest had been deputed to frame the new oath.

[531] _Annual Register_, xxi. 208. See also a fine panegyric on
O'Leary, published in the _Irish Quarterly Review_, vii. 686.

[532] This is, no doubt, M. Perrin, of whom some particulars will be
found, _infra_, p. 246.

[533] Rutland to Sydney, most secret, Aug. 26, 1784.

[534] Rutland's letter, to which this is an answer, seems to have been

[535] My first idea was that, unless it were possible to trace some
of the written reports in which Froude insinuates that O'Leary kept a
daily record of espionage, his guilt as a spy must be doubted; but,
judging by Sydney's testimony, the guilt seems _primâ facie_ proven,
the absence of such letters notwithstanding. O'Leary was not much of a
letter-writer: few of any sort appear in his memoirs. The biographers
tell us that when producing the great essays by which he acquired fame,
his practice was to dictate them while he paced his study.--W. J. F.

[536] _Life of Rev. A. O'Leary_, by Rev. T. R. England, 1822, pp. 234
_et seq._ In 1788, Orde himself received a pension of 1,700_l._ a year,
charged on the Irish Establishment.

[537] _Irish Parl. Debates_, i. 293.

[538] From the word 'sermons' I thought, at one time, that O'Leary was
summoned--on the re-appearance of the 'Whiteboys'--to administer the
dissuasives which, some years previously, had produced good effect. I
have diligently searched newspaper files and contemporary pamphlets,
and I can find no letter, or reported sermon, addressed by O'Leary
to the Whiteboys in 1784. Two years later, he certainly tried to
reason with them. The words 'if we can depend on him,' lead to the
inference that O'Leary gave Orde some personal assurance as regards his
willingness to make the inquiries desired.

[539] Froude's _English in Ireland_, ii. 413.

[540] Musgrave's _Memoirs of the Rebellion_, pp. 50-1. (Dublin, 1801.)

[541] In 1784, the very year that O'Leary consented, as we are told,
'to dive to the bottom of secrets,' a gold medal was presented to him
by the Cork Amicable Society. 'Father O'Leary is represented in the
habit of his order,' writes England, 'crushing with his right foot
the Hydra of religious persecution; with his right hand he opens the
gates of the Temple of Concord; whilst with his left he beckons his
countrymen (emblematically represented by the harp) to enter the sacred
edifice, forgetful of their prejudices against each other. The genius
of his country is represented with extended arms over his head, each
bearing a crown--the one of Science, the other of Victory.'

[542] See Attorney-General Fitzgibbon's account of this scare, _infra_,
p. 245.

[543] The Chief Secretary for Ireland.

[544] State papers of the present century are a sealed book; but
special leave was given to search for such papers as threw light
on Shelley's visit to Dublin in 1812. During this inquiry a sight
was obtained of a correspondence between Dublin Castle and the Home
Office, numbering many hundred sheets, and dealing entirely with the
information furnished by a tipsy clerk of Mary's Lane Chapel to the
effect that a general massacre of all the Protestants in Ireland
had been projected! Myths of this sort have periodically scared
the executive. Passing on to 1830, we find, in the Sirr Papers,
informations dated December 24 and 27, and disclosing another Popish
plot. Among the men alleged to be deep in the conspiracy were the
late saintly Bishop Blake, Brother Syrenus, a monk, Thomas Reynolds,
afterwards city marshal, W. J. Battersby, and a number of other
Catholic laymen. Twenty-three officers--_i.e._ young priests from
Carlow and Maynooth--are alleged to be sent by different coaches to
various parts of Ireland, and all charged with secret missions of a
most formidable character!

[545] Lecky, _Hist. of England_, vi. 537.

[546] London, printed; Dublin, reprinted by H. Fitzpatrick, 1800.
O'Leary seems to have had a pension when in France. 'I resisted the
solicitations,' he adds, 'and ran the risk of incurring the displeasure
of a Minister of State, and losing my pension.' 'A small pension from
the French Government he retained until the French Revolution,' as we
learn from a sketch of O'Leary, probably written by Plowden, in the
_Gentleman's Magazine_ for January 1802.

[547] The obsolete custom of drinking healths on the knees is noticed
in Brand's _Popular Antiquities_, ii. 329; and Dekker's _Honest Whore_,
A.D. 1630.



It is to be regretted that the State Paper naming 'O'Leary and Del
Campo' should be couched in words so brief and cautious. Mr. Lecky
offers no explanation of it. Not only are we uninformed as to the
nature of the 'Report;' but we are left to guess who Del Campo was. One
thing is evident: Dublin Castle and the Home Office put their heads
together, shook them mysteriously, and then urged extreme caution in
dealing with knaves. Books of biographic reference make no mention of
Del Campo's name; but it is quite clear from Cumberland's memoirs that
Del Campo was the Spanish minister, next in authority to Florida Blanca.

  In the year 1780 [writes Cumberland], and about the time of
  Rodney's capture of the Caracca fleet, I had opportunities of
  discovering through a secret channel of intelligence many things
  passing, and some concerting, between the confidential agents
  of France and Spain (particularly the latter) resident in this
  country, and in private correspondence with the enemies of it. Of
  these communications I made that use which my duty dictated and
  to my judgment seemed advisable. By these, in the course of their
  progress, a prospect was opened of a secret negotiation with the
  Minister Florida Blanca, to which I was personally committed, and
  of course could not decline the undertaking it.[548]

While the American War still raged, and hostilities from France and
Spain continued to threaten, Richard Cumberland, son of a bishop and
the secretary of a former viceroy, started on his secret mission to
the courts of Lisbon and Madrid, bearing from England letters of
accreditation, quite a boxful of instructions, and accompanied by his
wife and daughters 'on the pretence of travelling into Italy upon a
passport through the Spanish dominions.' Cumberland's interviews with
Del Campo are described, and for a time all went well; but, owing to
terrible rumours as regards the 'No Popery' riots in London, which
now broke out, led by Lord George Gordon, President of the Protestant
Association, the treaty[549] collapsed; Del Campo refused to appear;
Cumberland was recalled, and the Government who sent him out withheld
the repayment of 5,000_l._, the amount of expenses he had incurred.

It may be said that Orde's want of confidence in O'Leary arose, not
because he had furnished so little secret information, but because of
some whisper that the Spanish Minister had had _pourparlers_ with him.
It would be strange if O'Leary, who in 1779 wrote powerfully against
the hostile designs of Spain, should be suspected, within the next
few years, of abetting them. The rumour, which Mr. Lecky says is not
stated, may have been merely that O'Leary, the only Catholic writer of
intrepidity at that day, had been asked by Del Campo, who soon after
became resident Spanish minister in London, and was himself of English
extraction,[550] to write an exposure of the 'No Popery Riots' and
their leaders--incidents which Spain, now more than ever defiant in its
pose, could not fail to turn to political account.

A postscript to O'Leary's 'Miscellaneous Tracts' mentions that he had
been requested to give a history of the London riots. 'I promised to
undertake the task,' he writes, 'and began to digest my materials;
but afterwards reflecting that the duty of the historian bound me to
arraign at the impartial tribunal of truth both men and actions--unmask
the leading characters,' &c.... he then came to 'consider my own state
exposed in consequence of the Penal Laws to the insult of every
ruffian, and, comparing the defenceless situation of the priest with
the duty of the historian, I dropped the attempt.'

These tumults of 1780 lit a flame which did not die out even with
the expiring century. During their height most of the Roman Catholic
chapels of London, especially those of the foreign embassies, were
gutted and burnt. Papists' houses were attacked, as well as the houses
of all persons known to favour them. For days and nights the mob gained
an almost complete mastery of London, which is described as like a
city taken by storm. The venerable Bishop Challoner was roused from
his sleep and urged to fly; he died soon after of palsy, the effects
of the shock. No man's life was safe who did not mount the badge of
riot, a blue cockade; windows displayed flags of the same colour; while
the watchword 'No Popery' was prudentially inscribed. Broadsides were
circulated under the auspices of Lord George Gordon--the unholy high
priest of the holocaust--in which Englishmen were exhorted to remember
'the bloody tyranny and persecuting plots exercised on Protestants
by Rome'--the Spanish Armada, of course, included. Society seemed
falling to pieces. From Tyburn to Whitechapel the highway presented
a frontage of mourning. Every shop was closed. Mr. Archer, a priest,
deposed in court that he had paid 40_l._ to be allowed to pass through
Fleet Street, and a hackney coachman refused 10_l._ to drive a papist
to Hampstead. The mob, flushed with victory, now sought allies in the
prisons. Newgate, then recently rebuilt at a cost of 150,000_l._,
was attacked with fury; its great gates fell before them like frail
partitions; 500 felons, including those set free from Clerkenwell, were
let loose upon the burning city, leaving behind them in flames, not the
gaol only, but the whole street.[551] It seemed a second 1666, and the
famous fall of the Bastile, nine years later, was but the mere echo.

Storm had not as yet burst over Ireland; but the heavy air was charged
with electricity. The following are the words with which Mr. Froude
awakened widespread interest, and drew forth that missive from the
Antipodes given on a previous page.

  If rebellion was meditated [Froude writes], the Government required
  fuller knowledge; and 'a new plan of management' had to be adopted
  'to obtain exact information of the conduct and motives of the most
  suspected persons.' 'Useful and confidential agents,' whose silence
  and fidelity could be relied on, 'who would write the daily history
  of a man's motions,' without betraying himself, were not to be
  found in Dublin.

  The Irish Secretary applied to the English Cabinet to furnish him
  from their own staff of informers. Two valuable persons answering
  to Mr. Orde's description were sent, and the name of one of them
  will be an unpleasant surprise to those already interested in the
  history of the time.

  They were both Irishmen. One was a skilled detective named
  Parker,[552] an accomplished orator who could outmouth the noisiest
  patriot, and had already some knowledge of the leading agitators.
  Orde welcomed this man with a twinge of misgiving. 'I hope he is
  discreet,' he wrote, 'for he must to a certain extent be possessed
  of the power of hurting us by garrulity or treachery.'[553]

  The other was no less a person than the celebrated Father O'Leary,
  whose memory is worshipped by Irish Catholic politicians with a
  devotion which approaches idolatry. O'Leary, as he was known to the
  world, was the most fascinating preacher, the most distinguished
  controversialist of his time. A priest who had caught the language
  of toleration, who had mastered all the chords of liberal
  philosophy, and played on them like a master; whose mission had
  been to plead against prejudice, to represent his country as the
  bleeding lamb, maligned, traduced, oppressed, but ever praying for
  her enemies; as eager only to persuade England to offer its hand to
  the Catholic Church, and receive in return the affectionate homage
  of undying gratitude. O'Leary had won his way to the heart of Burke
  by his plausible eloquence. Pitt seemed to smile on him: it is
  easy now to conjecture why. When he appeared in the Convention at
  the Rotunda the whole assembly rose to receive him. Had such a man
  been sent over on an open errand of conciliation, his antecedents
  would have made the choice intelligible. But he was despatched as
  a paid and secret instrument of treachery, in reply to a request
  for a trained informer.[554] What the Government really thought of
  Father O'Leary may be gathered from Orde's language when told to
  expect him. 'He could get to the bottom of all secrets in which
  the Catholics were concerned,' and Catholics were known to be the
  chief promoters of the agitation in Dublin. But he too was to be
  dealt with cautiously, for he was a priest. 'They are, all of
  them,' Orde said, 'designing knaves;' 'the only good to be derived
  from them is, perhaps, to deceive them into an idea that they are

Sir Jonah Barrington describes Orde as 'a cold, cautious and
sententious man.'[556] These letters in some respects support that
impression. A few years later he was created Lord Bolton. His letter,
announcing O'Leary's arrival at Dublin on secret service, is dated
September 23, 1784.[557] Let us look back a little and see what the
previous year was doing.

The Dungannon Convention, which won great boons for Ireland, was
followed by provincial assemblies in Leinster, Munster and Connaught.
Resolutions were carried, delegates were appointed, and the nation
anxiously awaited the great Volunteer Convention in Dublin, on which
the fate of Ireland was declared to depend. Meanwhile one hundred
and sixty envoys of the Volunteer army met, electing Lord Charlemont
chairman. Red uniforms fringed the streets, and the delegates, two by
two, marched through the lines, amid the roll of drums and the waving
of national ensigns. The Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry rode to
the Convention with an escort of dragoons.

  A distinguished corps of volunteers [writes Mr. Buckley] had
  conferred on O'Leary the honorary dignity of chaplain; and we are
  assured that many of the measures submitted for consideration at
  the great Convention held in Dublin had been previously placed
  before him for his opinion as to their prudence and utility. On
  that memorable day, when the delegates of a hundred thousand men
  met in the Rotunda, with all the pomp and power that an armed
  nation could concentrate for a great national purpose, it was
  gratifying to the assembled masses of spectators to behold Father
  O'Leary, as he entered the building, received at the door by the
  entire guard of volunteers with a full salute of rested arms. He
  marched up the hall amidst the deafening cheers of the surrounding
  delegates, and, in the debate which followed, his name was
  frequently mentioned with honour and applause.[558]

'Plowden's remarks, which you enclose, do not meet the specific
statements of Froude, that O'Leary was employed as an informer at the
period of the Volunteer Convention,' writes Mr. Morgan McMahon, my
Australian correspondent.[559] Mr. Froude's words certainly tend to
convey that the Convention took place at the time of Orde's application
for a spy. The date of the Convention was November 1783: Orde's letter
was written in September 1784. Again, it is suggested that O'Leary was
despatched in reply to a request for a _trained_ informer. But it does
not appear that though he may have been useful as a diplomatist he was
already a spy. On the contrary, Sydney writes (Sept. 4): 'O'Leary has
been talked to and he is willing to do what is wished for 100_l._ a
year.' Orde replies (Sept. 8), 'I am very glad that you have settled
matters with O'Leary, who can get to the bottom of all secrets in which
the Catholics are concerned.' O'Leary had already a pension, ostensibly
for his writings; but the pension for espionage must not be confounded
with it.

It is certainly admitted by even O'Leary's panegyrists that at the
period of the Convention of 1783 delicate overtures, which they assume
he rejected, were made to him; but the magnanimous words supposed to
have been used by O'Leary when parleying with his tempter rest on no
authority whatever, and some will be disposed to suspect that a colour
is imparted to the overtures more presentable to general readers than
the naked truth, whatever it was. The pension, I repeat, which O'Leary
already enjoyed, was, I think, merely for his writings; though, prior
to September 1784, he may have accepted douceurs for distinct acts of
diplomacy. At all events it is due to O'Leary to give him the full
benefit of the exculpatory words of his brother priest. Describing the
Volunteer Convention, Father Buckley writes, eighty years later:--

  During Father O'Leary's visit to Dublin on this occasion, he was
  waited on by a gentleman who was well known to be on very close and
  friendly relations with the Government of the day.[560] The visit
  appeared, for some time, to be merely one of ceremony, and the
  visitor paid many handsome compliments to the Father on the style
  of his writings and their good effect on the public mind. Soon,
  however, it was easy to see that diplomacy had more to do with the
  visit than etiquette, for the gentleman, in courteous language,
  intimated that if Father O'Leary would use his pen in extolling
  certain measures just then brought forward by the Administration,
  his services would be handsomely requited. O'Leary was displeased
  and indignant at the proposal to barter his patriotism for a bribe,
  and conveyed his feelings in no measured phrase. The request was
  therefore softened down into an entreaty that he would at least
  abstain from writing on those measures in terms of condemnation.
  But the minion of the Government knew not with what manner of man
  he had to deal. 'I will never be silent,' warmly exclaimed O'Leary,
  'whilst my exertions can be of the least service to my religion or
  my country.'[561]

Thus far Buckley, the biographer of 1867. England, O'Leary's
biographer of 1822, finishes the interview in less florid words: 'He
was then told that a pension of 150_l._ per annum was to be offered
for his acceptance, and that no condition repugnant to his feelings
as an Irishman or Catholic was to be annexed to it. A change in the
Administration[562] took place shortly afterwards, and the promise
remained unfulfilled.'[563]

Father England assumes that O'Leary spurned the overtures at the time
of the Convention, though later on his acceptance of a pension is
admitted. While guiltless, no doubt, of direct betrayal, he may have
been led to connive at a trick by which the Irish Government succeeded
in breaking up the Convention.[564]

O'Leary, towards the close of his life, had made copious notes
illustrative of the history of Ireland--notes handed by him to Plowden,
who was glad to interweave them with his own when compiling 'The
Historical Review.' Plowden dismisses with the following note the great
incident of the Convention:--

  Whilst the business of equal representation was in agitation at a
  meeting of the Convention in Dublin, a pretended letter from Lord
  Kenmare was produced, purporting to convey the general sentiments
  of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, in which they were made to
  express their perfect satisfaction with what had been already done
  for them, and that they desired no more than peaceably to enjoy the
  privileges they had obtained.

Catholics thus became excluded from the constitutional prerogatives
claimed for Protestants. The proceedings of the Convention were at
last adjourned _sine die_. Sir Boyle Roche invented the fatal letter,
and Mr. Froude conveys that he was instigated to this course by the
Viceroy. Sir Gavan Duffy states--as a common belief in Ireland--that
'had the Convention not been betrayed by its leaders, the Union would
never have taken place.'[565]

O'Leary, though his name, and that of Sir Boyle Roche, are not
mentioned in the printed abstract of the proceedings, was certainly
present when the fictitious letter was read. Dr. England, describing
the demonstration by which O'Leary's arrival was hailed at the Rotunda,
adds that it 'occurred on the same day on which the message said to be
from Lord Kenmare was read at the Convention,'[566] but no fault is
found with O'Leary by England, who is his invariable eulogist.

Lord Kenmare was a fast friend of our friar,[567] and is uniformly
praised by him.[568] It was when on a visit to this peer that O'Leary,
seeing a wounded stag approaching Yelverton, wittily said: 'How
naturally instinct leads him to come to you to deliver him by a _nolle
prosequi_.'[569] Kenmare, this leader of the higher class of Catholics,
was falsely represented as announcing at the Convention that his
co-religionists were satisfied with the concessions they had got. I
find that O'Leary had privately expressed, very much to his honour, but
a short time before, an opinion diametrically opposite; and urging the
Catholics not to cease agitation till every link in their fetters had
been struck off;[570] but he now held his peace, and thus wittingly, or
otherwise, aided the base schemes of the Viceroy. O'Leary himself had
long been recognised as the most prominent exponent and mouthpiece of
the Catholic demand; and, from his intimacy with Lord Kenmare, he could
hardly fail to have known his sentiments on a question in which both
were naturally most interested; the forged letter, however, claiming
authority to speak for the Catholics of Ireland, was allowed to pass
unchallenged, to the ruin of the Convention and the exultant triumph of
a faction.

O'Leary and Sir Boyle Roche are not persons likely to have been
intimate; and yet it can be shown that an intimacy did exist. A letter
from O'Leary, written a year before the Convention, and to be found
later on, avows that he was the friend and political correspondent of
Roche.[571] The forged letter--in which were travestied the opinions
and aspirations of the Catholics of Ireland--was read on November 11,
1783.[572] Not until a fortnight after was the fraud exposed by the
popular Earl-Bishop of Derry, who read a letter from Lord Kenmare,
dated Killarney, Nov. 20, saying, 'I utterly disavow having given the
least authority,'[573] &c., &c. Sir Boyle Roche thereupon addressed
to several leading Catholics a remarkable note dated 'Dublin Castle,
14th February, 1784.' This document was, of course, the act of the
Administration, Roche having been merely wound up and used as an
automaton. His letter, seeking to entrap slavish Catholics and sink
them in the mire of unpopularity, began by saying that it would flatter
him in the highest degree 'if I should find that my conduct was not
disapproved by yourself and friends,' and he holds out the hope that,
being once more in Parliament, he would be not unmindful of Catholic

  I had certain intelligence [he adds] that the Bishop of Derry had
  leagued himself with some of the unthinking part of the Catholics,
  who were in town for the purpose, and that the admission of that
  body to the rights of voting for members of Parliament was to be
  the first matter agitated in the Convention. I now thought that
  the crisis was arrived in which Lord Kenmare[574] and the heads
  of the body should step forth to disavow these wild projects, and
  to profess their attachment to the lawful powers.... I therefore
  resolved on a bold stroke.[575]

He adds that he was elated to the greatest degree by his success,
having 'entirely disconcerted the measures of the leaders of the

The Earl-Bishop of Derry was a decided revolutionist and very eager for
separation, and is alleged to have said to Lord Charlemont, 'Things
are going well, my lord: we shall have blood.' O'Leary, author of
'Loyalty Asserted,' and notoriously a man of peace, would probably
have felt little scruple in seeking to avert by diplomatic means what
Orde feared might become a bloody chaos. Burke, writing to a brother
priest of O'Leary's, said, 'Do everything in your power to check
the growth of Jacobinism on the one hand, and oppression, which is
its best friend, on the other.' No wonder that the Irish Government
blenched at the outlook. One Dublin paper, called the 'Volunteer
Journal,' urged assassination; and some men had been arrested, in the
previous spring, on a charge of conspiring to murder seven unpopular
members of Parliament. The supineness of magistrates and the absence
of any regular police force opened great facilities for crime. Riots
raged in the streets owing to trade strikes; men were 'tarred and
feathered' and let loose before the infuriated mob; soldiers were
houghed and left bleeding on the pavement. New corps of volunteers
advertised for recruits, and men of the worst repute rushed into their
ranks. Meanwhile the Bishop of Derry was raising a fresh regiment of
volunteers in Ulster. 'The Viceroy, at Fitzgibbon's advice,' writes
Froude, 'sent down officers in disguise to watch him, with a warrant
in their pockets should an arrest be necessary;' and he adds that
'this singular prelate ran a near chance of ending his career on the
gallows.' The withdrawal from public life of so remarkable a figure was
second only in its effect to the collapse of the Convention, of which
he was the animating spirit. When, six years later, Bancroft was sent
by France on a secret mission to Ireland, his report, now preserved
in the Foreign Office at Paris, states, as we learn from Lecky, that
the fall of the Convention had 'thrown a certain ridicule on Irish
democracy, and it may be long before it is repaired.'

The Convention belongs to the year 1783. Not until the autumn of 1784
are any letters found compromising O'Leary--letters not revealing any
distinct acts of espionage, or even penned by himself, but showing him
to have yielded to the voice of the tempter.

In judging a man who is not alive to defend himself, one whose memory
has been for a century revered, I am reluctantly led to encumber this
narrative with various considerations for and against, so that readers
may have the result of a conscientious study of the case, and he able
to form a judicial conclusion.

The promptitude of O'Leary's arrival in Dublin impressed badly all
who read it in Froude; for Orde, according to that historian, asked
the English Secretary of State to send him over two trained men from
their own staff of informers.[576] The letter containing this request,
however, I have not seen in print or manuscript. O'Leary came over
at the same time as a detective named Parker; but the alacrity of
the priest's arrival, though it looks badly, may not be altogether
due to his readiness to play the spy. This man, 'poor in everything
save genius and philosophy,' to quote Grattan's words, was informed,
according to England, one of his biographers, that his presence in
Dublin was necessary in order that some formalities should be gone
through ere his name could be placed on the Irish Civil List.[577]
England says that a pension which, during the previous year, he was
on the point of receiving, fell through because of a change in the
Cabinet; and may not this consideration have been in itself enough to
expedite the journey?

O'Leary had been interviewed in London by Sir Evan Nepean, a practised
diplomatist, and consented, we are told, to come to Dublin to make
certain inquiries. But who can tell what wily words were employed to
induce him to wait on the Irish Secretary, Orde, at Dublin Castle? Orde
posed as a man rather liberal for the time, and was the correspondent
of Grattan and Lord Kenmare. Men of the world know that very different
language is often used when writing _of_ a person, than when addressing
that person direct. On the other hand it should be remembered, assuming
that Sydney conveys a correct impression of what passed, that O'Leary
seemed willing to accept 100_l._ for services dealing, not with the
special exigencies of the hour, but on condition that he continued,
from year to year, and for the same annual fee, to probe to the bottom
certain secrets of his party.

When he arrived in Dublin the country was rent by great and just
discontent. One grievance was that Parliament possessed no adequate
representation of the popular voice. In March 1784, Flood brought in a
Bill for 'Reform,' and twenty-six counties petitioned in its favour.

It had been decided that the Convention[578] of the previous year
should be followed up by a national Congress. This announcement brought
dismay to the Castle. The loss of her American Colonies had just taught
Pitt a lesson. Contemporary pamphleteers, thinking perhaps of the then
fashionable melodrama, 'The Castle Spectre,' saw Dublin Castle scared
by mysterious terrors.

'The letters C.O.N.G.R.E.S.S.,' writes Orellana,[579] 'are magic
letters, of themselves sufficient to rise an apparition before the eyes
of a guilty Minister--an apparition that will seem to draw his curtains
in the dead of night, and rouse him from his pillow!'

The Congress was in fact the ghost of the Betrayed Convention.

There was to be a great meeting at the Tholsel in Dublin, on September
27, 1784, preliminary to the coming Congress. The prompt arrival from
London, on September 24, of O'Leary and Parker, and Orde's confidential
whisper that they were to begin operations at once, lead to the belief
that both attended this meeting. Indeed, from O'Leary's prominent
attitude at the previous Convention, he is almost certain to have taken
part in the deliberations that followed it. No mention, however, is
made of O'Leary or Parker in the Dublin prints of the day.[580] The
Congress and its preliminary meeting are, no doubt, constantly referred
to, but they sat with closed doors, and no reports appear. What took
place must be gleaned from other sources. A letter from Orde, published
in Grattan's 'Life,' and dated September 18, 1784, six days before
O'Leary's arrival from London, mentions that at the coming meeting
opposition would be made to putting a question upon the election of
representatives for a National Congress.[581]

As this was a period full of great issues, and yet but little known,
perhaps I may be allowed to cull from the local journals of the day a
few remarks to show the spirit which animated both sides.

The 'Dublin Evening Post,' the popular organ, 'most earnestly
recommends a numerous and respectable meeting at the Tholse on Monday
next. The occasion,' it adds, 'is great.'[582] But ere long the Castle
journalist gleefully chronicles a collapse.

  The weeping and gnashing of teeth among _the city Patriots_ on
  account of yesterday's melancholy disappointment at the Tholsel
  is not to be described. What a damp must this falling off in the
  metropolis give to the yet unassembled bailiwicks. Alas! alas! that
  the city which laid the first stone of 'a national Congress' should
  now give a shock to the precious building! How are the mighty
  aggregate Committee fallen! ah, how are they despised! Resolutions,
  address, circular letters--all, all are scattered to the winds;
  and commotion, revolution, and scramble, sunk in an abyss of
  despair beyond all hopes of resurrection.[583]

If O'Leary attended the meeting at the Tholsel, it is easy to know what
tone he took. Three years later he published a pamphlet in which he
seems very familiar with the incidents of that month.

  I recollect the unmerited abuse given for a long time in the
  papers to the Catholics, because seventeen housekeepers in
  Dublin unguardedly signed a requisition to the high sheriff for
  the purpose of convening an aggregate meeting relative to a
  parliamentary reform, though I am confident the seventeen knew as
  little about the impropriety of their signing that requisition, and
  foresaw as little the offence it would give, as the high sheriff
  himself. And as to the Catholics, in their disqualified situation,
  they could not with either prudence or propriety follow any other
  line but that of a strict neutrality in a political question, on
  which neither the friends nor opponents of a parliamentary reform
  would acknowledge them competent to determine.

This tamed tone will not fail to strike on comparing it with his
intrepid letter[584] written not two years before.

Meanwhile the National Congress was announced to hold its first
meeting. 'Whatever underhand engines may endeavour to effect,' says
the popular organ, 'we hope to see these just and constitutional
deliberations re-establish the purity of representation.'[585]

One prime object of the Castle is detected and denounced by the same
courageous journalist, John Magee. The 'Dublin Evening Post' of
November 5, 1784, records:--

  The borough-ridden Government, disappointed in its impotent
  attempts to prevent the laudable exertion of the people in
  prosecuting a Parliamentary Reform, and finding that even the venal
  knaves of the Castle nauseate the fulsome charges so long run on
  Binns and Tandy, has directed the venal writers, as the last effort
  of an expiring and despairing cause, to endeavour to sow those
  seeds of dissension which so long desolated this divided Kingdom,
  and set father against son, and brother against brother, that all
  might become the easy slaves of foreign tyranny.[586]

These extracts do not criminate O'Leary, but are useful as illustrating
the history of the time, and developing secret policy, while, moreover,
they correct some strange inaccuracies. For instance: the Viceroy,
writing to Sydney, as printed in Mr. Lecky's History, calls Tandy's
colleague 'Binney.' Of course it should be Binns, a name frequently
found in the dark records of '98.

The Castle scribe, in another paragraph, states of Binns and Tandy,
both thoroughly honest men--'Fame is very busy that they have received
the all-subduing touch of "aurum mirabile."' This was probably to
divert suspicion from the really subsidised quarter. It will be
remembered that the date of O'Leary's arrival, and that of Parker,
quite tallies with the meeting on the 27th September; and it may be
asked what else could have brought the popular orators to Dublin at
that juncture? Parker knew Tandy, and, as Orde remarks, might be 'able
to dive to the bottom of his secrets.'

While diplomacy sought to work its ends in one quarter, brute force
laboured in another to disable the arm which had been upraised. The
Sheriff of the County Dublin having convened his bailiwick to meet on
the subject of Reform, Fitzgibbon, then Attorney-General, addressed an
unconstitutional letter to him threatening to proceed by attachment
against those who responded to his call. The sheriff himself was fined
and imprisoned.

The subsidised journalist, Francis Higgins, writes on December 24,

  The Roman Catholics may evidently see how wickedly intent on their
  ruin certain people have been, with a serious idea of extending the
  elective franchise, or, indeed, any other privilege to them. They
  endeavoured to cajole (the Roman Catholics) into a commotion.[587]

In conclusion, the old charge of venality and perfidy is brought
against the incorruptible Tandy. 'Napper,' we are told, 'betrayed
them.' But Barrington, and all other historians, admit that Tandy was
sound to the core.

Grattan, in the Life of his father, notices as strange that the Bishop
of Derry, who the previous year was so active at the Convention,
absented himself from the Congress. The explanation probably is that
his lordship had heard something of the detectives with a warrant
for his arrest in their pocket. How the Congress crumbled, and the
organisation melted away, a glimpse is obtained from Plowden, who
embodied in his 'Historical Review' a mass of notes made by O'Leary.
'It is well posterity should know,' writes his biographer, 'how much
Plowden was indebted to his co-operation.'[588]

Plowden had never been to Ireland until about the year 1800. The
following words seem those of a man who knew the inner workings of the
governmental policy in 1784.

  The link of unanimity having been once severed [we read in
  Plowden], the fall of the armed associations into difference
  and contention was much more rapid than had been their progress
  to union. The divisions of the volunteers were encouraged by
  Government; and for that purpose discord and turbulence were rather
  countenanced than checked in many counties, particularly upon the
  delicate and important expedient of admitting the Catholics to the
  elective franchise, a question which it was artfully attempted
  to connect with the now declining cause of Parliamentary Reform.
  Through a long series of years Government had never wanted force
  to quell internal commotions; and it seemed to be now dreaded
  lest an union of Irishmen should extinguish the old means of
  creating dissension. The desire of disuniting the volunteers begat
  inattention to the grievances of the discontented and distressed
  peasantry of the South: that wretched and lawless rabble once
  more assumed the style of _White Boys_,[589] and for some time
  committed their depredations with impunity, particularly against

The Volunteer army became gradually disorganised and disbanded; and the
cannon, on which the words 'Free Trade or This' were inscribed, went
back to the foundry.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1785 things looked a little dark in Dublin, which must have given
O'Leary something to do to see through. A storm signal was raised
by a few alarmists, and the Attorney-General, Fitzgibbon, though he
sought to make light of the outlook, admitted enough to show that the
country ought to be prepared for foul weather. Mr. Lecky, in rejecting
as without foundation[591] the report confided by Rutland to Sydney
in 1784, that a French agent was then in Dublin, makes no reference
to a man named Perrin, mentioned in a remarkable speech of the
Attorney-General, Fitzgibbon, better known as Lord Clare. On February
14, 1785, he announced in the Irish Parliament that

  The great majority of the original Volunteers have hung up their
  arms and are retired to cultivate the arts of peace: their place
  has been assumed by men who disgrace the name. I have seen
  resolutions inviting the French into this country. On the 26th
  April, 1784, the Sons of the Shamrock voted Mr. Perrin, a native of
  France, honorary member of their corps. I have seen publications
  inviting Catholics, contrary to the laws of the land, to arm
  themselves to reform the constitution in Church and State. I
  have seen encomiums on Louis XVI., the friend of mankind and the
  assertor of American liberty.... They may invite the French to
  invade our country. I have seen invitations to the dregs of the
  people to go to drills and form into corps; we should therefore
  distinguish between the gentlemen--the original Volunteers--and
  those sons of sedition. I have seen a summons from a Major Canier,
  ordering his corps to attend with nine rounds of ball cartridge,
  _as there might be occasion for actual service_, and at the same
  time intimating a threat to Government; and will any man tell me,
  that we should be overawed by such people as these? or that the
  Commons of Ireland should be afraid to grant a sum of money to
  array a militia until these people should lay down their arms?[592]

M. Perrin, the native of France, whose name Fitzgibbon mentions in
connection with the resolution to invite the French to invade Ireland,
was no doubt the father of the subsequently well-known judge of the
Queen's Bench, Louis Perrin. Under what circumstances M. Perrin first
came to Dublin is not clear. Sometimes he was styled a Professor of
French; usually resided in Dublin; but would sojourn, for months at
a time, in the houses of such Irish gentry as wished to acquire a
knowledge of that tongue. 'Perrin's French Grammar' was at a later date
very familiar in Irish circles.[593]

The tinge of disappointment which peeps forth in the later allusion of
Secretary Orde to O'Leary may have been influenced by a circumstance
casually noticed by his biographer. We have seen from a well-informed
local journal of the day, that venal writers had received instructions
to endeavour to sow the seeds of dissension. It will be shown that
O'Leary was specially intimate with the proprietor of the Castle organ,
and O'Leary would be one of the first writers on whom Orde's thoughts
could not fail to fall. O'Leary's biographers say, but without giving
dates, that he recoiled from the proposal to write in the organ of
the Irish Government. Indeed, in a pamphlet, previously published, he
records his dislike to anonymous compositions.[594] An eloquent divine,
the Rev. Morgan d'Arcy, in preaching the funeral panegyric on Father
O'Leary, travelled slightly out of his path to touch on this point. He

  The well-timed and effectual exertions of this extraordinary
  man, could not fail to attract the notice of Government, and,
  consequently, were not suffered to remain unrewarded by his
  gracious and beneficent sovereign; but, though he received with
  all becoming gratitude this unsolicited and well-earned mark
  of royal remuneration, yet such was his disinterestedness, and
  the noble independence of his spirit, that when, soon after, a
  very considerable annuity had been offered him to become the
  supporter of a periodical publication,[595] which then was, and
  still continues to be, the foul vehicle of misrepresentation,
  slander, and calumny on the Irish people; indignant at the
  insulting proposal, he rejects it with becoming contempt, though
  by his refusal he was sure to incur the displeasure of a certain
  description of men, and through their influence might apprehend
  a discontinuance of his pension; yet, destitute as he was of all
  earthly property beside, sooner than prostitute his heaven-sent
  talents, he leaves his native country and repairs to this
  metropolis, to enjoy the boasted and enviable blessings of British
  protection and British liberty.

The preacher's reference here would be to the year 1789, when O'Leary
removed permanently to London. It was in '89 that the great struggle on
the Regency Question, which will be dealt with later on, raged between
the camps of Whig and Tory in Ireland.

Higgins, the subsidised owner of the Castle organ, was called 'Shamado'
by John Magee, and painted in colours of demoniac hue. According to
Dr. Morgan d'Arcy, O'Leary did not yield to the tempter, but rejected
the proposal with indignation and contempt, and this would naturally
incur displeasure. The statement proves too much, for Higgins, by his
will dated 1791, speaks of O'Leary as his 'long and faithful friend,'
and leaves him a bequest in proof of affection. Further, his journal
devoted part of its very limited space to occasional paragraphs
laudatory of O'Leary, and not ill-calculated to strengthen popular
confidence in his name. Thus, on May 12, 1785--a few months after
Orde says he had consented to work secretly for pay--we read in the
subsidised organ of the Irish Government:--

  Nothing can more mark the influence of wisdom and superior genius
  than the mention made of Dr. O'Leary in George Anne Bellamy's
  'Apology' where she says the philanthropy and interference of that
  liberal man put an end to the scandalous conduct of Count Haslang's
  (the Bavarian ambassador's) chaplain on the death of that old
  representative of the _corps diplomatique_.[596]

The organ of the Irish Government does not praise O'Leary for
political support. To do so would arouse suspicion whether well founded
or not; but Higgins, from friendship or policy, seeks to exalt his
prestige and popularity. In the 'Freeman' of November 20, 1784, we have
a long account of how he put down Dr. Johnson, who had addressed him
with boorishness. 'The literati,' it is added, 'consider themselves as
much obliged by Dr. O'Leary's conduct on the occasion, as it has much
humbled the imperious and surly behaviour of Johnson.'

The statement of Plowden, that O'Leary was pensioned on condition that
he should withhold his pen in support of toleration,[597] will not bear
test.[598] In 1784, O'Leary is conclusively shown to be subsidised.
His dissuasive address to the common people of Ireland denunciatory of
Whiteboyism, a bulky treatise, bears date 1786. It seems more likely
that a subsidy would be given for writing in support of the oppressive
laws of that day. This letter to the peasantry writes up that grinding
impost--Tithes--in reference to which Bishop Doyle afterwards prayed,
'May our hatred of Tithes be as lasting as our love of justice!'

  Pray, my brethren, what right have you to curtail, to your own
  authority, the income of the Protestant clergy? [O'Leary writes].
  If the tithes became the property of the laity, they would raise
  their rents in proportion. Or is it because that, from the earliest
  ages of the world, those who believed in the true God have
  consecrated to Him a part of the fruits of the earth, you will
  think it an heavier burthen to pay the same thing because it was
  in conformity to the law of God that the laws of Christian states
  have appointed it? You know that the rules of justice extend to all
  without exception, and that, to use the familiar phrase, everyone
  should have his own, whether he be Protestant or Catholic, Turk
  or Christian. It is more your interest than you imagine, that the
  Protestant clergy of this country should be maintained in their
  rights. For many ages you have been defenceless, destitute of any
  protection against the power of your landlords, your clergy liable
  to transportation or death. The mild and tolerating spirit of the
  clergy of the established religion has been the only substitute
  for all other resources. They trained up from their early days
  the Protestant nobility and gentry in the principles of morality
  and virtue. If they preached against Purgatory, they enforced
  charity.... If they denied that the Pope is head of the Church,
  they taught their congregation that no man is to be injured on
  account of his religion, and that Christianity knows no enemy. As
  by nature we are prone to vice of every kind, and that the earliest
  impressions are the strongest, had it not been for those principles
  which they instilled into the minds of their hearers, long before
  now your landed men in this country would have treated you as
  Turks, who think it no scruple to violate the beds of the Jew, and
  warn the husbands that if they come into their houses whilst they
  are doing them this injustice they will cut off their heads.

  Is it then to gentlemen of this description, the children of the
  first families in the kingdom, the instructors of the most powerful
  part of the community, the most moral and edifying amongst them,
  the most charitable and humane, that a handful of poor men are to
  prescribe laws tending to diminish the support of their offspring,
  destined to fill one day the most important offices in the State?
  What! a Rev. Archdeacon Corker, a Rev. Archdeacon Tisdal, a Rev.
  Mr. Chetwood, a Rev. Mr. Weekes, a Rev. Mr. Meade, a Rev. Mr.
  Kenny, who spent his time and fortune amongst you, relieving your
  wants, and changing part of his house into an apothecary's shop to
  supply you with medicines, which yourselves could not purchase,
  must from an apprehension of violence quit his house.[599]

In this strain O'Leary argued at much length; but the impartial
historian of this very time describes 'the system of Tithes as the
greatest practical grievance, both of the poorer Catholics and of the

Most people have heard of O'Leary's controversy with the Bishop of
Cloyne, in which, when the prelate disputed Purgatory, O'Leary retorted
that he might 'go farther and fare worse.' The 'Critical Review'
examined the controversy with a shrewdly penetrative eye. Lord Kenmare,
in a letter dated October 2, 1787, writes: 'I read with the greatest
pleasure the 'Critical Review' on the Cloyne controversy. It is the
best performance that has yet appeared on the subject. Grattan is
violent against the Bishop of Cloyne for his publication, and thinks,
with the reviewer, that Government is at the bottom of it.'[601]
O'Leary's reply, which runs to 175 pages, contains many excellent
truths worthy of commendation; but it is a question whether this
elaborate controversy may not have been inspired and encouraged from
Dublin Castle. Law and order are, very properly, inculcated throughout
by O'Leary, and powerful dissuasives addressed to the 'Whiteboys' are
printed at the end.[602] As regards the Bishop of Cloyne, O'Leary
assures him, in words somewhat supererogatory:

'I was not sent here to sow sedition (p. 119). I returned here, not as
a felon from transportation, but as an honourable exile, who returns
to his native land after having preferred a voluntary banishment to
ignorance and the abjuration of the creed of his fathers.' Some years
later, _i.e._ in 1789, he was falsely reported to have taken the latter
step, and, like Drs. Butler and Kirwan, to meditate matrimony. 'Having
from my early days,' he wrote, 'accustomed myself to get the mastery
over ambition and love, the two passions which in every age have
enslaved the greatest heroes, your correspondent may rest assured that
I am not of the trio.'

O'Leary was a Franciscan friar who had made vows of voluntary poverty.
The fact that he had long been accustomed to rest content with a little
may help to explain the modest sum he was satisfied to accept for
services which, if cordially rendered, were worth the amount twenty
times told. And in judging the man for accepting this money it must be
remembered that the bulk of it was spent in alms deeds. Bishop Murphy
told Father England that when a youth he was frequently O'Leary's
almoner, and that a number of reduced persons were weekly relieved in
Cork to the average extent of two or three pounds. 'Charity,' we are
told, 'covers a multitude of sins.'


[548] Cumberland's _Memoirs_, ii. 2-38. (London, 1807.)

[549] Cumberland several times calls it a 'treaty.'

[550] Vide _Correspondence of Sir John Sinclair_, ii. 385-6. Del
Campo's letters are written in excellent English; it appears that,
though born in Spain, he had come from an English Catholic family named

[551] Vide _Annals of the English Catholic Hierarchy_, by W. Maziere
Brady, pp. 170-4. (Rome, 1883.) 'Sketch of a Conference with Earl
Shelbourne,' _The Dublin Review_, vols. xx.-xxi. Trials of the rioters,
_The Rockingham Correspondence_, ii. 419. This remarkable incident has
been all but overlooked by historians. Dickens was greatly struck by
its features.

[552] We have no proof that Parker was an Irishman.

[553] Orde to Evan Nepean, September 8, 1784 (see _English in Ireland_,
ii. 413).

[554] In the postscript to O'Leary's letter (see Appendix) we catch
a glimpse of some of the Catholic leaders in Dublin at this time,
into whose secrets Orde assumes he could easily dive. They include
Thomas Braughall, so often mentioned in Wolfe Tone's _Diary_ as a
Catholic organiser and United Irishman; Charles Ryan, a very important
Catholic leader (fully described in Wyse's _History of the Catholic
Association_, i. 138-9); and Mr. Kirwan, noticed at p. 177 of the same
book. Sutton, 'the Brigadier,' also mentioned in O'Leary's letter, was,
with Braughall, one of the thirty-three Catholic delegates who, in
1793, represented the City of Dublin (see _Vindication of the Catholics
of Ireland_, p. 90.) (London: Debrett, 1793.) Edward Lewins, the two
Sweetmans, Thomas Reynolds, and other afterwards very prominent rebels,
figure in the said list of the Dublin delegates.

[555] Mr. Orde to Mr. Evan Nepean, October 17, 1784. See Froude's
_English in Ireland_, iii. 414. But Mr. Froude will excuse me for
adding that the chief passage he quotes is from a letter dated
September 8, 1784.

[556] _Rise and Fall of the Irish Nation_, Paris ed. p. 319.

[557] My Australian correspondent, Mr. Morgan McMahon, was puzzled to
determine how O'Leary, the scene of whose labours was Ireland, could be
summoned from London in 1784, inasmuch as his biographer states that it
was not until 1789 O'Leary took up his residence in that city (Buckley,
p. 304). The accuracy of Mr. Froude's date is, however, confirmed by
a letter in the _Life of George Anne Bellamy_, iii. 120 (Dublin ed.
1785). On August 16, 1784, Mr. W. T. Hervey writes to that celebrated
actress, then living at 10, Charles Street, St. James', and expressing
the 'infinite satisfaction' he felt at meeting O'Leary at dinner.

[558] _Life of Father O'Leary_, by the Rev. M. B. Buckley, p. 203.

[559] See his letter, _ante_, p. 212.

[560] England, from whom Buckley recast and embellished this account,
calls him 'a gentleman in the confidence of the Ministry' (p. 118). Was
it Sir Boyle Roche--of whom presently?

[561] See England's account of the overtures made to O'Leary in London,
_ante_, p. 220. England puts 'country' before 'religion.'

[562] In April 1783 the Coalition came into power. Pitt's
administration dates from December 1783.

[563] England's _Life of O'Leary_, p. 118.

[564] O'Leary was specially weak in yielding acquiescence. Buckley
states (_Life_, p. 355) that O'Leary, having been led to connive at the
legislative union, he expressed remorse.

[565] _Bird's-eye View of Irish History._

[566] England's _Life of O'Leary_, p. 105. (London, 1822.)

[567] See _Life_ by Buckley, pp. 212-213, 237, 277. See also England,
pp. 133, 134, 176, 179.

[568] See _Mr. O'Leary's Defence, in reply to the Lord Bishop of
Cloyne_, pp. 41-42. (Dublin, 1787.)

[569] Thomas Moore's _Diary_, iv. 112.

[570] See letter to Mr. Kirwan in Appendix. After 1783, no such bold
tone is traceable in O'Leary's expressions.

[571] See Appendix. Their intercourse may have been strengthened by
clannish claims. O'Leary was a Cork man, and Roche is described as
'a branch of the ancient baronial family of Roche, Viscount Fermoy.'
See obituary in _Gentleman's Magazine_ for 1807, p. 506. His wages
comprised the baronetcy bestowed in 1782; a pension of 300_l._ a year,
with a separate annuity of 200_l._ for his wife; and, later on, the
miserable post of Gentleman Usher, or Master of Ceremonies, at Dublin
Castle. It is remarkable that in all the contemporary reports of the
discreditable transaction, as regards Lord Kenmare, the name of Sir
Boyle Roche is suppressed, and George Ogle, afterwards a P.C., put in
his place. Ogle and O'Leary were both 'Monks of the Screw.'

[572] The Rev. Dr. Wills, when writing his _Lives of Distinguished
Irishmen_ (v. 243), gathered curious facts from survivors of those
times. Of Sir Boyle Roche we learn that 'it was usual for the members
of the Irish Cabinet to write speeches for him, which he committed to
memory, and, while mastering the substance, generally contrived to
travesty into language, and ornament with peculiar graces, of his own.
On many of these occasions he was primed and loaded for action by the
industry of Mr. Edward Cooke, who acted during several administrations
as muster-master to the wisdom of the Castle.' Sir Boyle felt that he
had specially earned the gratitude of the Crown; and I find, by the
Précis book of Lord Fitzwilliam, he had even applied for a peerage. In
the Pelham MSS. he is constantly found worrying for honours and reward.

[573] See England's _Life of O'Leary_, p. 109.

[574] Lord Kenmare died September 9, 1795. For a careful study of
his temporising character see Wyse's _Catholic Association_. He had
enjoyed his title merely by courtesy. In 1798 his son was advanced to a
Viscounty, and the next year to an Earldom.

[575] Mr. Lecky says that 'it is a strange illustration of the standard
of honour prevailing in Ireland, that a man who, by his own confession,
had acted in this manner continued to be connected with the Government
and a popular speaker in the House of Commons' (vi. 368). But, in point
of fact, Dublin Castle could not get on without him.

[576] See Froude, ii. 415.

[577] Vide _ante_, p. 220.

[578] The Convention had greatly alarmed the Government. In 1793,
Lord Clare introduced the Convention Act, making all such assemblages
henceforth illegal; but a popular leader remarked that it was the
wisdom of Xerxes attempting with iron fetters to chain the sea. In
1811, Lord Fingall, Mr. Kirwan, and other Catholic delegates were
arrested under the Act. It never became law in England, and about the
year 1878 Mr. P. J. Smyth, M.P., succeeded in freeing Ireland from its

[579] _The Letters of Orellana_, an Irish Helot, to the Seven Northern
Counties not represented in the National Assembly of Delegates held at
Dublin in October 1784, for obtaining a more equal representation of
the people. Halliday Pamphlets, Royal Irish Academy, vol. 482, p. 29.

[580] Besides the journals of the day, I have searched the litter
of pamphlets to which that pregnant year gave birth; but, the names
'O'Leary' and 'Parker' never appear. Their mission, clearly, was a
secret one. Sheahan's _Articles of Irish Manufacture_ (Cork, 1833)
certainly speaks of Mr. Parker, 'who fell in with a Doctor O'Leary'
(p. 112); but, on hunting up the pamphlet from which he quotes, _Plea
for the Poor_ (p. 15), it appears that the date is 1819, and the Dr.
O'Leary was a physician in Kanturk.

[581] Diplomatic letters, but fulsomely servile, are addressed by Orde
to Grattan (vide _Life_, by his Son, iii. 209-11). Orde must have known
that Grattan was jealous--first, of Flood, with whom he constantly
quarrelled, and, secondly, of a new, bold, and thoroughly honest
Protestant leader, who had just made his _début_, and worked hard to
make the Congress a success. This was James Napper Tandy, commander of
the Dublin Volunteer Artillery, and afterwards a general of division in
the service of France.

[582] _Dublin Evening Post_, September 18, 1784.

[583] The _Freeman's Journal_, September 28, 1784. This journal, once
the organ of Grattan, Flood, and Lucas, fell into the hands of an
unprincipled adventurer, named Francis Higgins, who prostituted the
once virtuous print to a venal executive.

[584] See Appendix, p. 374.

[585] _Dublin Evening Post_, October 23, 1784.

[586] The policy of creating a schism has often since been acted upon.
We have already seen Lord Northington's approval of such a scheme.
The Viceroy, Cornwallis, addressing Portland, June 22, 1799, writes
in reference to a public question: 'Dublin is not without material
for a counter party, which I should have sanguine hope of collecting
if my endeavours to produce a schism in the corporation should prove
successful.'--_Cornwallis Correspondence_, i. 339.

[587] _The Freeman's Journal_, December 24, 1784.

[588] _Life of O'Leary_, by Rev. M. B. Buckley, p. 385. See also
England's _O'Leary_, p. 289. (London, 1822.)

[589] The 'White Boys' were perpetually denounced by O'Leary.

[590] _Historical Review of the State of Ireland_, by Francis Plowden,
ii. 104.

[591] Lecky, vi. 369.

[592] _Irish Parliamentary Register_, iv. 227.

[593] 'For King Louis is loved by the Irish Brigade,' we know on the
authority of Irish song, and the judge was baptised 'Louis' apparently
in compliment to the French king, described as 'the assertor of
American liberty.' The bias of the Perrins was always democratic,
and the judge himself had been the attached friend of Robert Emmet,
whom he embraced in the dock. The conduct of 'P. _the Scholar_'
(T.C.D.) at this time is noticed by Archbishop Magee, then a fellow,
in a letter printed in Plunket's _Life_. The judge's brother, Mark
Perrin, rector of Athenry, in a letter to me, states that on the
night Emmet was sentenced to death, Louis Perrin came home to their
house at Chapelizod, bathed in tears. In that picturesque part of the
'Strawberry Beds,' where one can cross the Liffey by a ferry, access is
gained to the old churchyard of Palmerstown, in which, partly smothered
in weeds and fallen leaves, may be traced the epitaph of Judge Perrin's
father. When Brougham declared in 1828 'The Schoolmaster is abroad,
and I trust to him armed with his Primer against the Soldier in full
military array,' he used the idea in a higher sense than could apply to
M. Perrin and his 'Grammar,' who, unobtrusive as he seems to have been,
caused some disquietude to Lord Clare, a man of all others the most
difficult to perturb.

[594] 'I disclaim anonymous productions.'--Postscript to his
_Miscellaneous Tracts_. (Dublin, 1781.)

[595] Buckley says that this proposition was made to O'Leary in Dublin
(_Life_, p. 354).

[596] As service of a political or diplomatic sort might possibly be
inferred from this paragraph, I thought it just to O'Leary to see the
book from which 'Shamado' quotes. The incident is described by Mrs.
Bellamy in the _Apology for her Life_, ii. 246-7 (Dublin ed. 1785). She
complains that the remains of Count Haslang were not treated with due
respect; and that a new chaplain, who had been assigned to the Bavarian
ambassador, behaved towards 'the chaplains and domestics of the late
count with unmanly arrogance ... had it not been for the timely arrival
of that justly respected luminary Father O'Leary.' Her account is not
very clear. In what year Haslang's death occurred is not mentioned;
but the _Gentleman's Magazine_ of the time throws in a few dates and
facts. Count Haslang died at Golden Square, London, on May 29, 1783,
after an embassy of forty-two years (liii. 454). George II. had formed
an attachment for him in Hanover, and brought him to London. Haslang's
son was Prime Minister of Bavaria, while his father, during a crisis in
its history, filled the post of ambassador to England. On June 5, 1783,
a solemn dirge, attended by all the _corps diplomatique_ in London, was
sung in Warwick Street (R.C.) Chapel; but 'owing to a dispute at the
grave [in old St. Pancras] several of the ambassadors returned home
without supporting the pall.' The dispute, which is not explained, at
last obliged the Anglican chaplain to read the burial service over the
deceased envoy of a Catholic power.

O'Leary, in finally adjusting the difficulties, may have discharged a
diplomatic mission inspired from Downing Street. Mrs. Bellamy alludes
to insults offered even to the domestics of Count Haslang. How serious
it was to insult even a servant of the Bavarian ambassador is shown
by the _Gentleman's Magazine_, xxv. 232-3. In 1755, we learn that 'T.
Randall, late an officer to the Sheriff of Middlesex, pursuant to his
sentence for arresting a servant of Count Haslang, was brought from
Newgate before his Excellency's house in Golden Square, having on his
breast a paper proclaiming that he had been adjudged by Lord Chancellor
Hardwicke and the Chief Justices to be _a violator of the laws of
nations, and a disturber of the public repose_, and stands convicted
thereof.' Randall was carried back to Newgate.

Mrs. Bellamy, in vaguely alluding to insults offered even to Count
Haslang's domestics, doubtless includes herself, for Haslang describes
her as his 'housekeeper' (_Life_, ii. 104). This woman, the natural
daughter of Lord Tyrawley, ambassador at Lisbon, was introduced
into society by his sister; became a very influential person, and
shared the confidence of Fox and other Whig lights. O'Leary, she
describes (ii. 8): '... who, with unaffected piety, is blest with
that innocent chearfulness which, joined to his brilliant wit and
sound understanding, makes him the admired darling of all who have the
happiness of knowing him.'

Count Haslang's house in Golden Square has been, since 1789, the
presbytery of Warwick Street R. C. Chapel; and its transfer to
parochial uses dates also from that year.

[597] _Ante_, p. 213.

[598] The _Freeman_, the subsidised organ of the Irish Government,
after extolling O'Leary, added, on May 12, 1785: 'It were sincerely to
be wished that this excellent writer and Christian philosopher would
once more sit down and employ his talents in the service of his country
and literature in general.' In the following year, _i.e._ 1786, he
reviewed a 'forgotten controversy,' including a defence of Pope Clement
XIV. in suppressing the Jesuits.

[599] The Rev. Mr. O'Leary's _Address to the Common People of Ireland_,
pp. 12-14. (Dublin: Cooney, 1786.)

[600] Lecky's _England in the Eighteenth Century_, vi. 540.

[601] Edward Hay, in his _History of the Rebellion_, says that the
Bishop of Cloyne's pamphlet 'was dedicated to the Spirit of Discord.'
Dr. Woodward was hardly the bigot that he pretended to be; his epitaph
in Cloyne Cathedral records that 'he was a warm friend to Catholic

[602] A very clever, poetic version of this and other addresses of
O'Leary, entitled _The O'Leariad_, appeared, and seems to have been
written to direct attention to O'Leary's loyal pamphlets, and to
enforce and imprint their arguments on the popular mind. (Printed in
Dublin, and reprinted at Cork by Robert Dobbyn, 1787.) _Vide_ Halliday
Pamphlets, Royal Irish Academy, vol. 514.



The State Papers throw no light on what Plowden styles 'the arbitrary
withdrawal of O'Leary's pension.' The following historic incident, now
forgotten, and curious in its detail, may have led to that act.

In 1789, a great struggle raged between the Parliaments of England
and Ireland on the question of creating the Prince of Wales Regent
during the insanity of George the Third. The Prince at this time had
been bound up, politically and socially, with the Whigs. Pitt, fearing
that the Regency might prove fatal to his ambition and his Cabinet,
resisted the heir-apparent's right to the prerogative of his father,
and declared that 'the Prince had no better right to administer the
government during his father's incapacity than any other subject of the
realm.' An address to the Prince from the Irish Parliament requested
that he would 'take upon himself the government of Ireland during the
continuation of the King's indisposition, and no longer; and under the
title of Prince Regent of Ireland, in the name, and on behalf of his
Majesty, to exercise, according to the laws and constitution of that
kingdom, all regal powers, jurisdiction, and prerogatives to the crown
and government thereof belonging.'

Pelham, speaking of 'the tricks and intrigues of Mr. Pitt's faction,'
adds, 'I have not time to express how strongly the Prince is affected
by the confidence and attachment of the Irish Parliament.' Portland
takes the same tone. The Buckingham Papers afford rich material for a
history of this struggle. The noble editor admits that 'the Parliament
of Ireland preserved the unquestionable right of deciding the Regency
in their own way. The position of Lord Buckingham[603] had become
peculiarly embarrassing. What course should be taken in the event of
such an address being carried? The predicament was so strange, and
involved constitutional considerations of such importance, as to give
the most serious disquietude to the Administration.'[604]

Hopes were felt that the King might recover. The Viceroy receives
instructions to use obstructive tactics, 'to use every possible
endeavour, by all means in your power, debating every question,
dividing upon every question, moving adjournment upon adjournment,
and every other mode that can be suggested, to gain time!'[605] But
the Viceroy did more. He openly threatened to make each opponent 'the
victim of his vote.' Fitzgibbon was promised the seals and a peerage
if he succeeded for Pitt. Lures and threats were alternately held out.
The peerages of Kilmaine, Glentworth, and Cloncurry were sold for hard
cash, and the proceeds laid out in the purchase of members. Meanwhile
the King got well. Thereupon the Master of the Rolls, the Treasurer,
the Clerk of Permits, the Postmaster-general, the Secretary of War,
the Comptroller of Stamps, and other public servants, were dismissed.
The Duke of Leinster, Lord Shannon, the Ponsonbys were cashiered.
Employments that had long remained dormant were revived, sinecures
created, salaries increased; while such offices as the Board of Stamps
and Accounts, hitherto filled by one, became a joint concern. The
weigh-mastership of Cork was divided into three parts, the duties of
which were discharged by deputies, while the principals, who pocketed
the profits, held seats in Parliament. In 1790, one hundred and ten
placemen were members of the House. The Viceroy, Buckingham, during his
short régime, added 13,040_l._ a year to the pension list; the names
of the recipients are already on record. On the other hand, some men
who had taken the Prince's side in the contest lost their pensions.
O'Leary may have been in this batch.[606] Croly, in his 'Life of George
IV,' dilates on the intimate relations which subsisted between the
Prince and the priest, and adds that O'Leary was no unskilful medium
of intercourse between his Church and the Whigs, and contributed in no
slight degree to the popularity of the Prince in Ireland. According to
Buckley, the Prince patronised O'Leary to such an extent that rumour
whispered it was by him the marriage ceremony with Mrs. Fitzherbert had
been performed.

Barrington, describing the chastisement applied to those who, in
Ireland, favoured the appointment of the Prince as Regent, says: 'Lord
Buckingham vented his wrath on the country;' but what proof have we
that the alleged agent of the Castle, O'Leary, incurred that Viceroy's

In 1789, the year O'Leary removed permanently to London, he settled
down, at the Spanish Ambassador's Chapel in London, as an assistant
priest to Dr. Hussey, and, apparently, a most unwelcome one. An
extraordinary pamphlet, not known to his biographers, was privately
issued by O'Leary referring to a feud between himself and Dr. Hussey.
At page 11 O'Leary writes:--

  The old clerk told me in the vestry, 'that I might now return to
  Ireland, as my enemy, the Marquis of Buckingham, had returned to
  England.' Surprised how or where the clerk of a vestry could get
  such an insulting information, I recollected that his master [Dr.
  Hussey] had told me some time before that he had seen a letter
  from the Marquis of Buckingham, when Viceroy of Ireland, to some
  nobleman or gentleman of the English Catholic Committee, wherein he
  depicted the Catholics of that kingdom in very unfavourable if not
  odious colours, and painted me as one of the ringleaders.[607]

This serves to explain Dr. England's remark in 1822, when accounting
for O'Leary's permanent removal to London, that 'his residence in
Ireland had become painful;'[608] but elsewhere in his book he assigns
a different reason for the change.

  It has been stated [he writes] that a secret condition was annexed
  to this grant, binding O'Leary to reside in England,[609] and
  preventing him from further interference in the political concerns
  of the empire. The fact, however, is that O'Leary had made previous
  arrangements for a permanent residence in London--not only as being
  more favourable to his health, which generally suffered by his
  visits to Dublin, but from a rational conviction that the great
  seat of influence and power was the proper sphere of his benevolent

This biographer did not know O'Leary personally; his conjecture,
or explanation, is plausible. But few men would remove for their
health to the purlieus of St. Giles and Soho, the mission with which
O'Leary had most to do. Its fearful squalor at the period described
is curiously shown in Clinch's recently published 'Bloomsbury and St.
Giles.' It will be remembered that the preacher of his funeral sermon
conveys that the migration in 1789 was caused by O'Leary's refusal to
write in a venal Dublin print against the party with whom he had long
been associated. Snubbed by the Viceroy, Buckingham, his usefulness
at Dublin Castle was now a thing of the past; but yet, as he could
not afford to give up all State endowment, I suspect that he settled
down in London in some undefined diplomatic rôle, where his tact and
influence would find a field for exercise. A most careful memoir of
O'Leary, ending with the words 'Requiescat in pace'--written probably
by his friend and co-religionist Plowden--appears in the 'Gentleman's
Magazine' for February 1802. It contains some facts not noticed by his
more diffuse biographers. 'This laudable conduct,' we are told, 'did
not escape the attention of the Irish Government, and induced them,
when he quitted Ireland, to recommend him to men of power in this
country.' I believe that O'Leary's removal to London was made under
Government auspices, extended in the hope that, by his diplomatic
power, it might lead to useful knowledge and results.

As George, Prince of Wales, held Whig views at this time, Mr. Pitt's
great career ran some risk of being cut short. The Prince gathered
round him the leading Whig lights, including O'Leary, as we learn
from Croly's 'Life of George IV.'[610] A good picture of life in the
Pavilion at Brighton is given, and of the brilliant jokes which capped
the hits of Sheridan and Curran. But O'Leary's presence had, I think,
a deeper significance. With graver men his intercourse was frequent.
'Edmund Burke was very marked in the regard which he manifested to
O'Leary,' writes England. 'Fox was not only Pitt's rival, but the
leader of a powerful party constantly on the watch to oust Pitt from
office.' It may be presumed that the men of power in London to whom
O'Leary, on leaving Ireland, had letters from Dublin Castle, occupied a
camp hostile to the Whig garrison of the Pavilion.

One proof that O'Leary wished to regain favour with Pitt is afforded
by the casual remark of his biographer. 'When O'Leary learned that
his friend (Plowden) was engaged at the desire of Pitt in writing
the 'Historical Review,' he sent him his invaluable collections, as
affording the best and most authentic materials for the recent history
of Ireland.'[611]

I do not like that phrase of Plowden in which he says--when speaking
of O'Leary's pension--that it was only after giving repeated proofs
that the secret condition had been complied with, he received a large
arrear.[612] Plowden no doubt thinks that the pension was meant as
'hush money;' but it is a question whether O'Leary was quite frank
with him as to its character.

'An oak of the forest is too old to be transplanted at fifty,' said
Grattan, regarding Flood's removal to London in 1784. 'Disgusted with
the condition of his country,' writes O'Leary's later biographer,
Buckley, 'and hopeless of doing anything by which it could be improved,
he resolved on quitting it altogether and living in the free atmosphere
of England, so congenial to a bounding and manly temperament like
his.... In the year 1789 Arthur O'Leary left Ireland for ever, and
took up his residence in London as one of the chaplains to the Spanish
Embassy.'[613] It appears, however, from the testimony of Plowden, the
attached friend of O'Leary, that it was a condition expressly made
by the Crown that O'Leary was 'to reside no more in Ireland.'[614]
I suspect that the appointment just described was brought about by
Court intrigue. From the time of the Armada the movements of the
Spanish minister were viewed with jealousy, often with alarm. In
1779, when the combined fleets of Spain and France rode menacingly in
the Channel, O'Leary, as we have seen, denounced them to the Irish
people, and his appointment to the Spanish embassy must have been the
work of England rather than of Spain. In 1789 strained relations had
again arisen between Spain and England; and a few years later war was
actually declared by Spain.[615] Sydney states that O'Leary had already
consented to furnish secret information.[616] His present position
would enable him to acquire knowledge of, not only the designs of
Spain, but of Dr. Hussey too; and without saying that O'Leary could be
capable of downright treachery, it is probable that Pitt believed he
would. It will be remembered that, in 1780, Dr. Hussey, chief chaplain
to the Spanish embassy in London, had been sent with Richard Cumberland
to effect a treaty with the Court of Spain, a negotiation not entirely
successful. What was the precise nature of the hold which Hussey,
originally a Carthusian monk, acquired over the Court of England is
destined to remain shrouded. Buckley says it was at the special request
of George III. that Dr. Hussey accompanied Mr. Cumberland on a secret
mission to Madrid.[617]

What Cumberland himself thought of his colleague is curious to see. We
are told that 'the high-sounding titles and dignities showered upon
Dr. Hussey by the Court of Spain outweighed in his balance English
guineas;' that 'in his heart he was as high a priest as à Becket, and
as stiff a Catholic as ever kissed the cross;' but yet 'had left behind
him in his coffin at La Trappe no one passion native or ingrafted
that belonged to him when he entered it.' So clear-sighted a man as
Hussey could not fail to see the secret thoughts of Cumberland, or to
have diagnosed, in his turn, the jaundiced retina through which he
was viewed; for Cumberland complains of 'his singular, sudden, and
capricious conduct to the author and his family, of which he was an
inmate.'[618] Hussey had demanded his passports to return to England;
but on Cumberland's remonstrance paused, and cancelled a letter he had
addressed to the English Secretary of State asking leave to return.
Mystery covers much of this mission to Spain, for Cumberland says, 'I
will reveal no more than I am in honour and strict conscience warranted
to make public. For twenty years I have been silent, making no appeals
at any time but to my official employers, who were pledged to do me

Mr. Froude tells us that Dr. Hussey[620] was in the confidence of
Dundas and Portland, and had received favours from them. Both were
prominent statesmen in the Cabinet of Pitt, and both eventually turned
against Hussey. Dr. Hussey is described as Chaplain to his Catholic
Majesty of Spain, and Rector of the Church of the Spanish Embassy in
London. He evidently knew something of O'Leary not revealed to the

At this point it may be well to open once more the pamphlet privately
printed--'A Narrative of the Misunderstanding between the Rev. Arthur
O'Leary and the Rev. Mr. Hussey.' Its purport, O'Leary says, is to
remove the bad impressions which a late report, one which impugned his
morality, might have made on some Catholic families, and the reader is
requested either to burn the brochure, or erase altogether the name of
Mr. Hussey. The latter is just the man to have muttered 'qui s'excuse
s'accuse' as he read the following; and O'Leary's remark serves to show
that Hussey suspected he had deeper motives.

  The desire of co-operating in the work of the ministry [writes
  O'Leary] was my only inducement for associating with Mr. [Hussey]
  in the Spanish Ambassador's Chapel. He soon began to throw some
  obstacles in my way--but in the most insulting and contemptuous
  manner. The old clerk of his vestry, who retails among the common
  people all the stories he hears from his employer, was commissioned
  by him to direct me in the choice of my theme [in the pulpit].[621]

In 1780, the Spanish ambassador to London was, we learn, 'Count Fernan
Nunez, who had committed himself to a conversation from which Mr.
Hussey drew very promising expectations.'[622] But in 1789 we find
him succeeded by no less a person than the Marquis del Campo, whose
previous attitude, as sub-Premier of Spain, had filled the British
Cabinet with alarm.[623] Orde, writing to Nepean, of the Home Office,
five years before, tells him to be very watchful over this minister;
and O'Leary's friend, Plowden, whatever he means by it, says that it
was only after giving repeated proofs that the secret conditions had
been complied with, that O'Leary received a large arrear of his pension.

'A Narrative of the Misunderstanding' between O'Leary and Hussey
shows that the appointment of the former as Hussey's colleague was
forced upon the latter, and that Hussey distrusted and despised him,
confirming the old adage, two of a trade never agree. O'Leary complains
that on Good Friday, in presence of a crowded congregation numbering
many Protestants, Hussey sent

  one of the boys who attend the altar, twice into the pulpit to
  interrupt me in the most pathetic part of my discourse by chucking
  the sleeves of my surplice and ordering me to come down under
  pretence that the ceremonies of the day were too long. Thus a scene
  was exhibited of which neither the congregation nor myself had ever
  been spectators before.

And again:--

  By the manner in which he concerted his plans, in waiting until
  the eve of the days on which I was to appear in public, and
  then sending me, on a sudden, verbal messages by his clerk, and
  afterwards such insulting notes as no Prelate would send to the
  meanest clergyman in his diocese, one would be apt to imagine that
  he played the part of a skilful general, who amuses an enemy the
  better to decoy him unprepared into an ambuscade.

  I was surprised at such peremptory mandates from a man who, at
  most, could pretend but to an equality.... But his view was, either
  to disgust me with the chapel, or to commit me with the public, in
  thus thwarting me in the exercise of my functions.

O'Leary was the lion of the hour; his portrait looked out from the
windows of Bond Street and Piccadilly, surrounded by soul-stirring
sentiments culled from his published books.[624] There it was that Dr.
Hussey sought to reduce his prestige, which he considered overcharged,
and to destroy the confidence and respect usually manifested in his
regard. It is certain that he felt as uncomfortable in his society as
he had ever done in the hair shirt and enforced reserve of La Trappe.
He did not brand O'Leary as a spy; he could not do so without offending
the Government; but he raised what lawyers call 'a false issue.' Indeed
O'Leary charges the doctor, on strong circumstantial evidence, with
having supplied to the newspapers paragraphs in which an unworthy
innuendo is advanced, and one by no means calculated to exalt the
friar's reputation for asceticism: 'In proportion as the breach widened
between us, the paragraphs rose in a climax to a greater degree of

Many curious things transpire in this _brochure_, and amongst them
the following: 'I got the very singular information,' writes O'Leary,
'that some years before, in a boarding school at Hampstead, then under
his (Hussey's) direction, he took my picture out of a frame, tore it
in several pieces, and cast it away with disdain, saying, "One would
imagine he is founder of this establishment."'[626] Here again I submit
that Dr. Hussey raised a false issue, and his dislike to O'Leary, as
evidenced by this strong proceeding, must have had deeper grounds than
the paltry plea assigned.

  When this affair relative to the picture happened [writes O'Leary]
  I was in Ireland, in the full bloom of my reputation,[627] which I
  would have preserved unfaded to the last moment of my existence,
  had it not spread on the lips of a man to whom I cannot apply the
  Italian proverb, Whatever your mouth touches, it heals: 'La vostra
  bocca sana quel die tocca' (p. 14).

Dr. Hussey, as already stated, was in the secrets of the Crown. In
1784 Sydney tells Orde, rightly or wrongly, that O'Leary had consented
to furnish private information. In 1789 O'Leary, as we have seen,
removed to London and settled down in alarming proximity not only to
Hussey, but to the minister of Spain. Hussey's attachment to Spanish
interests, Cumberland states, outweighed his devotion to his English
patrons, and of course it was highly inconvenient that a man who played
fast and loose with both should be domesticated with O'Leary. 'They are
all of them designing knaves,' writes Orde, and doubtless he and his
colleagues, acting on the coarse prejudice thus expressed, urged the
arrangement on the principle of 'set a thief to catch a thief.' The
more refined Sydney probably calculated that it would be 'diamond cut
diamond' between them.

The effort it must have cost so polished a person as Dr. Hussey to
pursue the course ascribed to him may be inferred from the words
of Charles Butler: 'He was a man of great genius, of enlightened
piety, with manners at once imposing and elegant, and of enchanting
conversation: he did not come in contact with many whom he did not
subdue: the highest rank often sunk before him.' Cumberland, his
companion in the secret mission, describes him as wearing 'a smile
seductive; his address was smooth, obsequious, studiously obliging and,
at times, glowingly heightened into an impassioned show of friendship
and affection. He was quick enough,' he adds, 'in finding out the
characters of men.'

O'Leary appealed to Bishop Douglas, and a meeting between the parties
took place at his house. The result was a written statement, dated June
21, 1791, that Dr. Hussey never had any crime or immoral conduct to
allege against O'Leary, and that he had left the Spanish Ambassador's
chapel of his own free will. 'Mr. O'Leary and I have come to a full
explanation upon all past misunderstandings, and are both satisfied
with the explanation,' writes Dr. Hussey. This paper was certified
by Bishops Douglas and Berington[628] and by Francis Plowden to be
conformable to Dr. Hussey's verbal declaration. The finale was worthy
of an ecclesiastic who wished to avoid disedifying the laity by
unseemly wrangles. But, privately, Dr. Hussey took means to prevent a
recurrence of an incident which greatly annoyed him. The Castlereagh
Papers contain a letter to Lord Hobart from Sir J. Cox Hippisley, in
which he mentions as having been reported to Rome, 'a very offensive
measure of Hussey's in a way so as to have produced a sort of censure
on Bishop Douglas of London.' Dr. Hussey, it is stated, had claimed
the right, as chaplain to the Spanish mission, of nominating priests
to officiate at the Spanish chapel in London independently of Bishop

Frequent reference has been already made to Del Campo. The concluding
words of O'Leary's 'Narrative' go on to say:--

  I intended to complain in person or to write a severe letter
  against him to the Marquis del Campo,[630] than whom there are
  few ambassadors[631] of a more amiable disposition, or in whose
  train a chaplain would be more happy. But, expecting never to be
  disturbed by Mr. [Hussey], after leaving him in the unrivalled
  possession of his pulpit and controversy, I retired without the
  slightest murmur. Had I even been treated with that civility to
  which I was entitled, I would yet have quitted York Street. We were
  on the eve of a war with Spain, and from my peculiar obligations to
  my own sovereign, in case of a threatened invasion, I would have
  returned to Ireland, where, upon a similar occasion, the exertions
  in the line of my profession had been attended with the happiest
  results in promoting that loyalty which recommends my Religion and

Here O'Leary, though so recently attached to the Spanish embassy,
declares himself a partisan, if not a sentinel, in the English
interest. It appears that, while officiating at Spanish Place, he
lodged in Warwick Street, probably acting as assistant chaplain to
the Bavarian embassy as well, and where, as Mrs. Bellamy records, he
arrived opportunely, in 1783, to adjust angry difficulties that had
arisen in that quarter. Seven years later, although ostensibly pastor
of St. Patrick's, Soho, from 1790 to his death, he seems still attached
in some way to the Bavarian chapel and embassy, for the preface to
his sermon in denunciation of French principles is dated from Warwick
Street, though the sermon itself had been preached at St. Patrick's.

In March 1797, O'Leary's desire to retain the favour of Pitt is
traceable in the sermon to which reference has just been made. It was
preached before a congregation mainly Irish, but embracing also the
famous Duchess of Devonshire, and many other great personages.[632] Its
aim is apparent in the account given of it by the 'Monthly Review' as
'a discourse well adapted to keep alive a high degree of good, warm,
Christian hatred of the French, on whom the preacher is very severe,
with now and then a stroke of pleasantry, sarcasm and rough wit.'
Ireland had been nearly lost to England the previous year by Hoche's
expedition to Bantry Bay, but England's unsubsidised allies, the winds,
had come to her aid. O'Leary's discourse, occupying fifty pages, was at
once issued in pamphlet shape, and reprinted in Dublin.

As has been already observed, O'Leary maintained cordial relations with
some men who bore a bad name. Francis Higgins, originally a Newgate
felon, became at last a most influential negotiator. Plowden exhibits
fully his unpleasant character in the 'Historical Review,' vol. ii.
pp. 256-9. 'This man' he says, 'had the address, by coarse flattery
and assumed arrogance, to worm himself into the intimacy of several
persons of rank and consequence, who demeaned themselves by their
obsequiousness to his art, or sold themselves to him. The fact that
he died worth 40,000_l._ is highly illustrative of the system which
generated, fostered, and pampered this species of reptile.' Higgins is
shown by the 'Cornwallis Papers' to have been a spy on a great scale.
There is reason to know that he wormed himself into the confidence of
O'Leary; and reason to fear that he turned it to account. The man who
began his career by duping a Jesuit and obtaining his co-operation
in making an heiress his wife, is not likely to have failed with the
genial Franciscan. Higgins early won the friendship of O'Leary; and
his bequest 'to my long and faithful friend, the Rev. Arthur O'Leary,'
has been already noticed. Fidelity to Shamado seems like fidelity to

Higgins liked to utilise profitably the information he acquired from
pliable Catholics like Magan.[633] Magan was a barrister, and held
his head high. It will be remembered that Higgins drew from him the
secret of Lord Edward Fitzgerald's hiding place, and for this service
alone received 1,000_l._ in hand, and a pension of 300_l._ a year. The
'Sham Squire' was not the man to leave money, in 1791, 'to his long and
faithful friend,' O'Leary, unless he had made more than the amount by
the use of him. Higgins claims O'Leary as a dear friend; the habits of
the time warrant the assumption that he was his boon companion too. In
the unguarded intimacy of social intercourse, that frank and affable
nature is likely to have enriched the Squire's stock of gossip. To what
extent that confidence was unfolded can be now but darkly surmised.

O'Leary, if called upon to reveal information to the Government, may
have acted with reserve. In softer moments[634] much may have leaked
out which was not deliberate betrayal.

It is casually stated by Mr. Lecky (vol. vii. p. 211) that Higgins, in
enumerating his services to the Government, especially mentions the
expense he had incurred in entertaining priests, and other persons
of the higher class, for the purpose of obtaining intelligence. In
one respect O'Leary's intercourse with Higgins worked for good. The
newspaper of the latter, though an organ of Orangeism, advocated the
Catholic claims.

In 1796 Dr. Hussey, afterwards Bishop of Waterford, seems to have
accepted the post of secret agent,--probably not widely dissimilar from
that which the statesmen of 1784 thought O'Leary would not object to
discharge. Higgins, writing to Dublin Castle in October 1796, expresses
regret that the Government had not been very judicious in their
selection of 'an agent for acting on the Catholics.[635] 'The Roman
Catholic body hold a superficial opinion of Dr. Hussey as a courtly
priest. If anything was to be effected or wished to be done in the
Roman Catholic body, Dr. O'Leary would do more with them in one hour
than Hussey in seven years. Of this I am perfectly assured; and O'Leary
not ten days since wrote me word he would shortly claim a bed at my

O'Leary had a nephew for whom in a recently published letter he hopes
to provide a berth when some friends of his would regain their power.
The allusion no doubt is to Fox and the Whigs. This is the nephew
noticed by Francis Higgins, in a secret letter to Under-Secretary Cooke
eight months before the rebellion. 'At a meeting at Bond's, which Lord
Edward Fitzgerald and O'Connor attended, O'Connor read a letter from
Fox which had been delivered to him (O'C.) by O'Leary, nephew of Dr.
O'Leary, who had arrived from London with despatches from Mr. Fox,
and set off in the mail for Cork the same night.' These despatches
concurred with the United Irishmen as to the necessity of enforcing a
parliamentary reform.[636]

The bequest of Higgins to O'Leary is noticed as strange by the priest's
biographer. Was it meant by way of restitution, seeing that the compact
to pay O'Leary had been broken? As in the case of the betrayal of Lord
Edward Fitzgerald by Magan, 'Shamado' no doubt pocketed the lion's

The will of Francis Higgins goes on to say: 'To Andrew D. O'Kelly,
of Piccadilly, London, I leave 300_l._: declaring that if I did not
know that he, my friend, was in great affluence, I would have freely
bequeathed him any property I might be possessed of.' This was the
man sometimes known as Count O'Kelly, but more generally as Colonel
O'Kelly. An Irish judge who once acted as advising counsel for the
legatees of O'Kelly, informs me that the latter was originally a
jockey, afterwards a successful blackleg, and was made colonel of a
regiment that never existed, simply by the Prince Regent addressing
him under that title. This explains a remark made by the 'St. James's
Gazette,' that 'his military rank, whatever right he may have had to
it, as well as to his Countship, could never obtain for him an entrance
to the clubs of his fellow sportsmen.'[637] He owned the racehorse
'Eclipse,' and by its aid netted 124,000_l._

There has been much discussion by O'Leary's biographers upon Plowden's
statement as to the stoppage of the pension, and they vainly try to
account for so harsh a step. 'What the reason for this withholding
was, it is not easy to ascertain,' writes Father Buckley; but, from an
observation in the 'Life of Grattan,' by his son, we surmise that it
must have been because O'Leary refused to comply with a request made by
the minister, that he _would write in the support of the Union_.[638]
Plowden takes care to say that the pension was 'hush money.' Buckley's
argument demands, however, a fuller reply.

The agitation against the Union took place chiefly in 1799. O'Leary
died in January 1802, soon after the Union became law. Plowden, through
whom he got the arrears paid, says that it was 'after a _lapse of many
years_, by importunity and solicitation, and _repeated proofs_ of his
having complied with the _secret conditions_, he received a large
arrear.' Therefore there could not have been time for all this in the
interval between the Union and O'Leary's death.

But, in point of fact, O'Leary _did_ express himself publicly in
favour of the Union. His 'Address to the Lords Spiritual and Temporal,'
dated from O'Kelly's house, and published in June 1800, mentions
that he is 'a great friend to the Union, and reconciled many to it;'
and then follows much clever argument in support of the measure.
This rather spoils the statement in Grattan's 'Life,' quoted by the
biographer of O'Leary as proof that he spurned Pitt's proposal to
support the Union.

  Colonel O'Kelly [writes Grattan] related that, at the period of the
  Union, Mr. Pitt offered a considerable pension to O'Leary, provided
  he would exert himself among his Roman Catholic countrymen, and
  write in support of the Union; but every application was in vain;
  O'Leary steadfastly resisted Mr. Pitt's solicitations, and, though
  poor, he rejected the offers of the minister, and could not be
  seduced from his allegiance to his country.

The newspapers recording O'Leary's death, in January 1802, say that he
died at his lodgings in Great Portland Street, London. When the Union
was carried, he probably got his _congé_ from O'Kelly. This man, of bad
odour, became a Crœsus in wealth, and eventually a sort of Brummagem
Brummell, deep in the confidence of George, Prince of Wales.[639]
O'Leary is found living with O'Kelly in Mayfair, London, and some of
his pamphlets are dated from 46 Half-Moon Street, Piccadilly, the
'Colonel's' house.[640] Father Buckley is puzzled 'how our worthy
friar contracted so close an intimacy with a man of tastes and habits
apparently so little congenial to his own.'[641] Perhaps O'Kelly[642]
was the trustee in whose name O'Leary got a pension on secret
conditions. Plowden is the only writer who alludes to the intervention
of a trustee. He was very intimate with O'Kelly, and witnessed his will
in 1820. The Prince of Wales had already made O'Kelly the medium for
paying a secret pension of 300_l._ a year to Chifney the jockey, in
consideration of having designedly lost a race at Epsom.[643]

I now come to a startling piece of evidence, calculated, almost, to
make one exclaim with Luke (xix. 22), 'Out of thy own mouth I judge
thee.' The testimony of no less a witness than O'Leary himself claims
to be heard.

More than sixty years after the death of O'Leary, Father Buckley was
informed in writing, by a relative of the deceased, that O'Leary, when
dying, often exclaimed, 'Alas! I have _betrayed_ my poor country.'[644]
The informant's impression is that O'Leary's remorse was due to having,
at the request of Pitt, acquiesced in the Union, notwithstanding
that we have 'Colonel' O'Kelly's testimony that 'O'Leary withstood
Pitt's solicitations to support that measure.' The Catholic bishops
of Ireland cordially encouraged the Union, as the Castlereagh Papers
show--and we do not hear that Dr. Troy and his _confrères_ felt much
remorse--although, in addition to their support of the Union, they
signed resolutions in favour of giving to a Protestant king a veto in
the appointment of Catholic prelates.

But the letter of O'Leary's kinsman must not be dismissed without
quoting its context. 'Pitt,' he writes, 'promised the emancipation
of Catholics and repeal of the Penal Laws, if he (O'Leary) would
acquiesce, &c. He did; and so silence was deemed consent. Pitt obtained
the Union; then resigned his office; and tricky enough,' adds O'Leary's
kinsman, 'said he could not keep his promise.'

This is slightly misleading. Pitt had given a pledge, through
Cornwallis, to Archbishop Troy that he would not accept office except
on condition that the Catholic claims were to be met. In 1801, owing
to the fixed resolve of the King against Emancipation, Pitt went out.
His conduct, therefore, was so far straight. When he returned to power
in 1804, in complete violation of that compact, O'Leary had been two
years dead.

Among O'Leary's admirers there was none more ardent than the late Lord
Chancellor O'Hagan, in whose now deserted study still hangs a fine
portrait of the friar, inscribed with soul-stirring sentiments on which
O'Hagan had long sought to shape his own course. This gentleman could
not bring himself to believe Mr. Froude's charge branding O'Leary as
a spy, and was unable to rest until he read with his own eyes at the
State Paper Office the original correspondence. He returned to Dublin
declaring that the imputation was but too well founded. This view,
coming from a man of judicial mind, might be taken as conclusive;
but yet, one is unwilling to see a great reputation wrecked, without
wishing to throw out a hope or a plank by which there is a chance of
saving it. This plank is, indeed, a poor one; but, just as a sinking
man will grasp even at a straw, humanity suggests that no effort should
be left untried to keep the struggler afloat.

The two letters which led Lord O'Hagan to his reluctant conclusion are
now before the reader. In neither is the Christian name of O'Leary
given; but no other priest of the name obtained contemporary notice.
The most damaging bit of evidence is Sydney's letter to Rutland
announcing that O'Leary, having been talked to by Nepean, was willing
to do what was wished for 100_l._ a year.[645] These letters bear
date 1784, eighteen years before O'Leary's death. No letters of his
in any way compromising him have been found. The voluminous papers of
Pelham, the Irish Secretary, from 1795 to 1798 do not once mention
his name. 'I have certainly never seen any reports from O'Leary to
the Government,' writes Mr. Lecky in reply to an inquiry; 'and I have
quoted in my History every passage I have come across in which he is
ever mentioned.'[646] These passages are few.

O'Leary was a decided humourist: no one conversing with him felt quite
sure when he meant to be serious. In the 'talk' that passed he may
have played the diplomat. We have seen how Orde distrusted him. To
a request blandly urged in personal converse by a statesman who had
already pensioned him, this friar, existing merely by connivance, could
not afford to assume attitudes of offended dignity. A glimpse of his
precarious position is caught from a speech of Grattan's:--

  At the time that this very man lay under the censure of a law
  which, in his own country, made him subject to transportation or
  death, from religious distinctions, and at the time that a prince
  of his own religion threatened this country with an invasion, this
  respectable character took up his pen and, unsolicited and without
  a motive but that of real patriotism, urged his own communion
  to peace, and to support the law which had sentenced himself to

Nepean and Orde suggested certain inquiries which O'Leary was to make;
but who can tell at what point of these inquiries the practised casuist
may have meant to draw the line? A hundred pounds a year, which Nepean
says he named, seems marvellously small for the magnitude and risk of
the service expected. Orde writes on September 8, 1784, expressing
satisfaction that Nepean, in London, had 'settled matters with O'Leary,
who can get to the bottom of all secrets in which the Catholics are
concerned, and they are certainly the chief promoters of our present
disquietude.' A fortnight later, after an interview with the priest at
Dublin Castle, he adds, (September 24, 1784): 'O'Leary has it in his
power, _if we can depend upon him_, to discover to us the real designs
of the Catholics, from which quarter, after all, the real mischief is
to spring.' O'Leary must have known that, in 1784, _no_ treasonable
designs were harboured by the Catholics, and probably felt that he
would be safe in making the inquiries prescribed. Mr. Lecky, a most
patient historic investigator, a man who has searched more secret
sources of sound information than any other writer of Irish history,
while he considers that the letters just quoted prove O'Leary a spy
(p. 369), yet, in describing this very time, doubts

  whether the Catholics themselves took any considerable part in
  these agitations. For a long period an almost death-like torpor
  hung over the body, and, though they formed the great majority
  of the Irish people, they hardly counted even in movements of
  opinion. Even when they were enrolled in volunteer corps there
  were no traces of Catholic leaders. There was, it is true, still
  a Catholic Committee which watched over Catholic interests;
  Lord Kenmare and a few other leading Catholics were in frequent
  communication with the Government; two or three Catholic bishops
  at this time did good service in repressing Whiteboyism; and Dr.
  Troy, who was then Bishop of Ossory, received the warm thanks of
  the Lord-Lieutenant;[648] but for the most part the Catholics stood
  wholly apart from political agitation.

I do not like repetitions; but they are sometimes a necessity, as in
judicial summing-up. Twelve days after O'Leary had been set to work,
the Chief Secretary at Dublin Castle seems quite dissatisfied with him.
The tone in which our humourist's reports were pitched may be guessed
from the following passage in a later pamphlet from his pen[649]:--

Lord Chesterfield, on his return from his Viceroyship, informed George
II. that he had met in Ireland but _two dangerous Papists_, of whom
_His Majesty should be aware_--two [comely] ladies named Devereux, who
had danced at the Castle on the King's birth-night. All the viceroys of
Ireland, from Lord Chesterfield to Earl Camden, could have made a much
similar answer, if interrogated, concerning what is called the _danger
of Popery_.[650]

Whether from this tone, or from other causes, the Government
became quite disappointed with their man; for, as Plowden states,
they withheld his pension, and 'an arbitrary refusal for many years
threw the reverend pensioner on his friends for subsistence.' 'The
unexplained cause,' noticed by Dr. England,[651] may, perhaps, here be
guessed. O'Leary, as Sydney states, consented, in 1784, to make the
secret inquiries which Orde wished, and probably to offer such advice
as his experience should suggest; but the idea thrown out at an early
stage of this study seems likely enough,--that, after he had made due
efforts to find out the truth, he pleasantly assured the Government
that no French emissaries had been to Dublin at all; that the Catholics
were loyal subjects; and, instead of a slumbering volcano, that Rutland
had found a mare's nest! This Viceroy's letter will be remembered in
which he drew a highly sensational picture of alleged secret doings
in Dublin. It was he who first urged on Sydney the wisdom of securing
O'Leary as a spy, and Sydney soon after reports the negotiation
as successful. But we have no testimony from Nepean with whom the
interview took place. When Rutland spoke, Orde spoke; the act of one
was the act of the other. Both were equally fluent as correspondents;
but during the three subsequent years that they held office at Dublin
Castle, we find no letters from either announcing any discoveries made
by O'Leary, and which, no doubt, they would have been only too glad to
do as confirming their own forecast, and building up a reputation for
subtle statesmanship.

More troublesome times came within the next ten years: the Society of
United Irishmen spread with alarming rapidity; and if O'Leary had any
wish to play the spy, he had now a grand opportunity by simulating
ardent patriotism like McNally and others. His great sermon in 1797 was
a declaration of war against French principles, and against all who
adopted the policy of revolution. Again, when it became necessary for
him to preach the panegyric of Pius VI., who died at this time, he went
out of his way to run full tilt against democracy. The 'Courier,' a
popular organ, thus describes it:--

  Abounding with glowing imagery, classical allusion, and displaying
  in every sentence the energy of an enlightened and vigorous mind,
  the Doctor took occasion to felicitate his flock, in the most
  emphatic terms, on the happiness enjoyed in this country, on the
  constitution and state of which he pronounced a fine panegyric,
  happily applying to the extent of our dominion and national glory
  the line of the poet--

               Imperium Oceano, famamque terminat astris.

O'Leary's friends will hope that it was by this tone, rather than by
playing the ignominious _rôle_ of a spy, that he sought to regain
governmental favour.

The sole remaining letter in the carefully preserved records of the
informers of '98 which names O'Leary must not be excluded here. Things
had quite changed since 1784. Higgins, in a secret letter to Dublin
Castle, dated January 2, 1798, says:--

  I took leave to inform you, some time since, that many Roman
  Catholics seem apparently sorry for the lengths they've been led,
  and suggested, if O'Leary, or any popular preacher, was to exert
  himself among them, thousands would come to swear allegiance. I
  know O'Leary would be a tower of strength among them. He was their
  first champion, and is most highly respected by the multitude. His
  writings and preaching prevented the White Boys and insurgents of
  the South from joining the rabble of Cork and rising _en masse_ at
  the period when the combined fleets of Spain, France, etc., were in
  the English Channel.[652]

Higgins does not say that O'Leary authorised him to make this
proposition; and even had he done so, it cannot be deemed base.

Orde's letters to the Home Office in 1784, though urging extreme
caution lest he and his colleagues should be themselves betrayed, show
him to be impulsive in statement, and prone to jump to conclusions.
These letters, blemished by an occasional expletive, are printed by Mr.
Lecky. Orde is quite sanguine as regards wonderful Catholic secrets
that O'Leary would unearth, but this is not the only case in which he
exhibits rashness of assumption.

These notes must now end. If their freedom and fulness need
justification, it is found, perhaps, in O'Leary's own words. He had
meditated a history of the political events of 1780.

  The duty of the Historian [he writes] binds him to arraign at
  the impartial tribunal of truth both men and actions; unmask the
  leading characters; examine into their motives; lay open the hidden
  springs of proceedings, whether worthy of applause, or deserving
  to be doomed to censure; and embellish his narrative with suitable
  reflections. No person is obliged to write a history [he adds], but
  when he writes it he must tell the truth.[653]

A word remains to be said respecting Parker, the second agent named
in Orde's letter of 1784. He is not so easily identified as Father
O'Leary. The Irish books which treat of the period may be vainly
searched for the name of Parker. It has been said that the adventurous
spirit, who thirteen years later aroused by his eloquence the British
navy to mutiny, was identical or connected with Orde's agent. I do
not bind myself to the truth of this theory; nor am I able to prove
a negative; but certainly some circumstances support it worthy of
consideration; and having promised in a former chapter to recur to
Parker of the Nore, I am afforded an opportunity for doing so by Mr.
Froude's account of the secret mission to Dublin. Orde's agent arrived
there in September 1784, to overreach and, as we are told, outmouth
noisy patriots. It is true that Parker the mutineer was finally
executed by the English authorities; but Jemmy O'Brien, the spy, also
swung at the same hands. The former had received a classical education,
and had served in the navy during the American War. His character
was bad. His irrepressible oratory and power of influencing minds
got him into scrapes. He married a woman with some property, which
he dissipated, and was then imprisoned for debt. Released at length,
he was sent on board the royal fleet as a 'supernumerary seaman,'
to quote Portland's proclamation offering 500_l._ for his arrest.
'The address, ready eloquence, but, above all,' says Rose, 'the deep
dissimulation he possessed, gave him vast influence over his comrades.'
If true that Parker was sent on board the fleet to counteract mutiny,
the result only shows that it is possible for an extinguisher to take
fire. In his written defence, read on the fourth day of his trial, he
'solemnly declared that his only object of entering into the mutiny was
that of checking a most dangerous spirit of revolt which had prevailed
in the different ships, the bad effects of which he had done all in
his power to prevent.' How he fanned the flame of mutiny, and on its
outburst was appointed 'President,' we have already seen. This was in
1797. Who is the Parker, with persuasive oratorical powers, that is
sent on a questionable mission to Ireland in 1784? It may be said that
this cannot be Parker who afterwards figured at the Nore, because at
the time of the secret mission to Dublin he was serving in the navy
at a far distant place. The following words of Gorton make it hard to
prove an 'alibi' for Richard Parker.[654] After describing his service
during the American War, Gorton writes: 'On peace taking place he
retired from his professional duties.' American independence had been
won in 1778; but the articles of peace were not signed by England until
November 30, 1782. Therefore Parker could be easily in Dublin in 1784.
Mr. Froude's remarks about him are meagre, but it may be gleaned that
the Parker of '84 was a man qualified and ready to keep a dark diary
of what he observed. Parker of the Nore had the same habit. When he
was searched, an elaborate diary of the proceedings which had taken
place on shipboard was found. Parker's wife testified to the fact
that he was rhapsodical and eccentric, but the plea failed to save his
life. Orde, in announcing the arrival of Parker of '84, speaks of his
'rhapsodies,' and avows a misgiving that he might not act discreetly.
The written defence of Parker of the Nore was highly rhapsodical, and
the reverse of discreet. But he had abundant talent. Parker of '84 is
described as an accomplished orator, and a good hand at sedition. So
was Richard Parker. The former was an expert in dissimulation. The same
character is given of Richard Parker by Rose. It may be also noteworthy
that Orde's agent hailed from London. Mr. Froude assumes that Parker
was an Irishman; the name is certainly English.

The 'Courier' of October 14, 1797, records some conversations with
Richard Parker which afford a sample of the rhapsodical eloquence which
had so often entranced his audience. An officer on board the ship that
held him prisoner expressed impatience at not getting ahead, as the
winds were contrary. 'What!' said Parker, 'are you not satisfied with
having an admiral of the British fleet in chains, but you must also
usurp the command of the elements? Or, because you have the honour to
be my executioner, are you likewise as mad as the Persian tyrant who
ordered his minions to lash the waves?' Much more of his talk is given.
The 'Courier' states that 'from peculiar energy of intellect, his
diction, even in common conversation, was bold and original.'


[603] The Viceroy of Ireland.

[604] _Memoirs of the Courts and Cabinets of George III., from Original
Family Documents_, by the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, 1853.

[605] _Ibid._

[606] Dr. England, the first biographer of O'Leary, mentions that his
pension had been charged on the _Irish_ Establishment.

[607] _Narrative of the Misunderstanding between Rev. A. O'Leary and
Rev. Mr. Hussey_, p. 11. (Dublin, 1791.)

[608] _Life of O'Leary_, by Rev. T. England, p. 190.

[609] The good Priest does not quite deny the statement though seeming
to do so.

[610] With Lord Moira, too--a great Whig power in those days--O'Leary
was specially intimate; and it was this peer who erected in St.
Pancras the monument to his 'virtues and talents,' for which the
_Tablet_ newspaper, fifty years later, opened a subscription list to
restore,--in such enduring honour was the memory of this marvellous
friar held.

[611] England's _Life of O'Leary_, p. 289. (London, 1822.)

[612] See _ante_, p. 214.

[613] _Life of the Rev. A. O'Leary_, by the Rev. M. B. Buckley, pp.

[614] Vide _ante_, p. 213.

[615] See Alison's _History of Europe_, ii. 30, 203, 425.

[616] See p. 218, _ante_.

[617] Buckley's _O'Leary_, p. 306.

[618] Cumberland's _Memoirs_, ii. 62-5. (London, 1807.) Dr. Hussey had
died four years previous to their publication.

[619] _Ibid._

[620] Previously, Dr. Hussey is found at Vienna, hand in glove with the
Emperor Joseph of Austria. See England's _O'Leary_, p. 199.

[621] _A Narrative of the Misunderstanding, etc._ p. 7.

[622] Cumberland's _Memoirs_, ii. 2.

[623] Del Campo lived in the well-known palatial structure opposite the
old chapel in Spanish Place, described by Thackeray as 'Gaunt House,'
and lately occupied by Sir Richard Wallace. The defeat of the Armada
in 1588 had marked an epoch in the history of the British Empire, and
Englishmen uneasily regarded the feasts and intrigues in Manchester

[624] One, published in 'April, 1784, by Keating, of Bond Street,'
displays the following fine sentiment: 'Let not religion--the sacred
name of religion--which even in the face of an enemy discovers a
brother, be any longer a wall of separation to keep us asunder.'

[625] _A Narrative of the Misunderstanding between the Rev. Arthur
O'Leary and the Rev. Mr. Hussey._ (Dublin: printed at No. 75, Aungier
Street, 1791.)

[626] _Ibid._ p. 13.

[627] O'Leary's comment on Hussey's treatment of his picture is
amusing. 'When Constantine the Great was informed that stones were cast
at his statue, he rubbed his forehead and said that he did not feel
himself hurt. And I can say that my body was not lacerated when my
picture was torn.'

[628] Why Dr. Berington, Bishop of the Midland District, should be
called in was, clearly, because a schism threatened the diocese in
consequence of the Pope appointing Dr. Douglas bishop in opposition
to the strenuous efforts made by the Catholic Committee to get Dr.
Berington translated to London. Several lay members of that league
went so far as to maintain that the clergy and laity ought to choose
their own bishops without any reference to Rome, and procure their
consecration at the hands of any other lawful bishop. After the
appointment of Dr. Douglas, they even threatened to pronounce it
'obnoxious and improper.' Dr. Berington, however, addressed a printed
letter to the London clergy, resigning all pretension to the London
vicariate, and soon the schismatical opposition to Dr. Douglas was
withdrawn. See Brady's _Catholic Hierarchy in England_, pp. 178-9.
(Rome, 1877.)

[629] On visiting this chapel, in 1888, a fine relic of the ancient
splendour of Spain, I found it very much as it was in the days of
Father O'Leary. A study of Dr. Hussey's face, by Gainsborough, is
preserved here, as well as some maps and papers in the autograph of
the former. The foundation stone of a new church to replace it, and
near the old one, was laid by Cardinal Manning, on June 27, 1887,
in presence of the Infanta of Spain and the Spanish minister. Canon
Barry, the present pastor, mentions an interesting tradition connected
with Tyburn tree, which, as is well known, stood near the Marble
Arch: 'The Chapel of the Spanish Embassy was, during the dark days of
persecution, a special home for Catholics. Many a martyr on his way to
Tyburn received the blessing of the chaplain of the embassy and was
aided by the prayers offered in the Spanish Chapel for perseverance in
his conflict for the faith.' The Canon, in the course of a statistical
detail, adds: 'When war between England and Spain broke out, the usual
payments made by Spain for the support of the chapel fell 4,000_l._
into arrears. Diplomatic relations having been again suspended between
England and Spain in 1805, the chapel was confided to the care of Don
Miguel de la Torre.'

[630] Del Campo ceased, soon after, to be Spanish minister to St.
James's, and was succeeded by the Chevalier Azara. The latter had great
influence at the Vatican, and proposed that Dr. Hussey should be the
channel of communication between the Pope and the British Government.
_Castlereagh Papers_ iii. 86.

[631] An historic writer, Sir Nathaniel Wraxall, famous rather for
pleasant gossip than for strict accuracy, states that the Spanish
embassy in London maintained friendly relations with England. But what
was the prevailing idea in Spanish diplomatic circles at this time
is traceable in a despatch of Talleyrand published last year (1890)
by M. Pallain. Talleyrand states, on the authority of the personal
assurance of the Spanish minister, that nearly all the sailors who man
the British fleet are Irish, and from love of country would turn their
guns on England. The accurate number will be found set forth at p. 114,

[632] The sermon was preached in St. Patrick's, Soho, where O'Leary
mainly officiated. Last year (1891) the chapel was in process of

[633] _Vide_ chap. xi. _ante_.

[634] Father Buckley, the biographer of O'Leary, died soon after the
date of the following letter. It notices a weakness, of which a paid
purveyor of news, like Higgins, would be apt to take ready advantage.
Shamado is likely to have been the more successful because his own
character of a brain-sucker and betrayer had not then been unmasked.
On December 7, 1869, Father Buckley writes from SS. Peter and Paul's,
Cork: 'The _Personal Memoirs_ have arrived, and I am much pleased with
them. The sketch of O'Leary I am sorry I had not seen, to embody in
my book. I fear, however, it would not have tended much to enhance
the esteem of the good _padre's_ character, inasmuch as, in the
background of the picture, there is a strong steam of whisky-punch,
and the narrative affords a strong confirmation of what Michael Kelly
records that Father O'Leary, like himself, was rather partial to "Saint
Patrick's Eye-Water."

[635] It cannot be said that this agency was of a base character. In
1795, Dr. Hussey announces to Edmund Burke that the Catholics were
loyal and ready to spill their blood to resist the French (Lecky,
vii. 90). Mr. Lecky states that he was 'constantly employed by the
Government in negotiations with the Irish Catholics.' In September
1794, Dr. Hussey, then an _employé_ of the Crown, comes over to consult
with the Catholic bishops at Dublin on new measures of education
(Lecky, vii. 121). The foundation of Maynooth College was the result.

[636] Higgins to Cooke, September 1, 1797. (MSS. Dublin Castle.)

[637] _Vide_ 'Fathers of the Turf,' in _St. James's Gazette_, January
6, 1881. The writer adds that O'Kelly is said to have held post-obits
to a large amount, 'and his transactions were upon so large a scale
that he might be seen turning over "quires" of bank-notes in search of
a "little one," by which term he meant one for £50.' In the Registry of
Deeds Office, Dublin, is preserved a document, dated February 12, 1819,
whereby the Marquis of Donegal secures to O'Kelly the sum of 27,934_l._
12_s._ 4_d._, a gambling debt, and O'Kelly is described as Andrew Denis
O'Kelly, Esq., son and heir apparent of Philip Kelly, Esq., deceased.
'Colonel' O'Kelly died in 1820, leaving no children.

[638] _Life of O'Leary_, by the Rev. M. B. Buckley, p. 357 (italics in

[639] Vide _Ireland before the Union_, 6th ed. pp. 211-15. (Dublin:

[640] Grattan's _Life_, by his Son. Those who may suppose that O'Leary
forgot the priest in the diplomat, should see Father Morgan D'Arcy's
account of the reforms he effected in the demoralised region of St.
Giles. _Vide_ Buckley, pp. 397 _et seq._

[641] _Life of O'Leary_, by Rev. M. B. Buckley, p. 359.

[642] See _ante_, p. 213.

[643] _Ireland before the Union_, pp. 211-15.

[644] _Life of the Rev. Arthur O'Leary_, by the Rev. M. B. Buckley, p.

[645] See _ante_, p. 218.

[646] W. E. H. Lecky, Esq. to W. J. F., October 28, 1890.

[647] _Parliamentary Register_, Feb. 26, 1782.

[648] In a letter signed by Orde.

[649] _Address to the Lords Spiritual and Temporal_, p. 12. (London,

[650] O'Leary does not tell this anecdote correctly. It was not of
two ladies named Devereux, but of a famous beauty, Miss Ambrose, that
Chesterfield made this joke; and it was told, not to George II., but
to Lord North. Chesterfield addressed the following impromptu to Miss
Ambrose at a viceregal ball:--

    'Pretty Tory, where's the jest
    Of wearing orange on a breast
    Which, in whiteness, doth disclose
    The beauty of the rebel rose?'

[651] See _ante_, p. 220.

[652] Francis Higgins to Under-Secretary Cooke. (MSS. Dublin Castle.)

[653] _Postscript to Miscellaneous Tracts_, 1781.

[654] Richard Parker is usually described as a common sailor. A
statement from his widow appears in the _Courier_ of July 5, 1797:
she claimed Parker's corpse, and, when asked by the admiral for what
purpose, she answered, 'To have him interred like a gentleman, as he
had been bred.' The request was refused. Parker's corpse remained
exposed for years on the island of Sheppey, hung in chains until it
dropped to pieces at last. The London _Courier_ of the day insists that
he had been for some time a lieutenant in the Royal Navy.



The subsequent career of Dr. Hussey--of whom a glimpse is obtained on a
previous page--affords features sufficiently curious to claim a fuller

A second mission of secrecy to Spain proved more successful than his
first. In 1786 London swarmed with freed negroes, made wicked by
idleness, and four hundred of them, with sixty white women in bad
health and worse repute, were shipped by the Government to Sierra Leone
to form a colony. Eight years afterwards this settlement was attacked
by the French; Spain sided against England; Dr. Hussey again repaired
to Madrid, healed the rupture, and Sierra Leone is now a bishopric. For
these and other services Hussey enjoyed a pension from Pitt.[655]

The 'Wickham Papers'--published in 1870--reveal the successful efforts
of Pitt to sap Napoleon's power, by paying Pichegru and other French
generals on condition that they would do their best to be beaten in
battle. Wickham had been sent on more than one secret mission to
the Continent, and acquired a shrewd knowledge of the intrigues of
men.[656] He was afterwards appointed Under-Secretary at the Home
Office, in which capacity he addressed to Lord Castlereagh at Dublin
Castle, many letters in 1798, but hundreds of their allusions as
printed have been, hitherto, unintelligible. One, referring to the
statement drawn up by Arthur O'Connor and the other State prisoners,

  I observe also that they have passed very lightly over their
  connections with the Spanish Government, and yet we have undoubted
  proof that a direct communication had taken place with some
  Minister of that country at the time that McNevin was at Hamburg.
  The Duke of Portland particularly wishes that some of them should
  be closely questioned as to this point, and the mode now adopted of
  examining them separately seems to be particularly favourable for
  drawing the real secret from them. They certainly had audiences of
  the Spanish Chargé d'Affaires at Hamburg, and, I believe, also of
  Mr. D. C. at Paris. I have always had strong suspicions that Dr.
  H.[657] has sent returns of the state and temper of the Catholics
  in Ireland to the Spanish Government.[658]

'D.C.' must be Del Campo,[659] the Spanish Minister already mentioned
in Sydney's letter about O'Leary; and 'Dr. H.' can only mean Dr.
Hussey, chaplain to the Spanish embassy in London. As such, he was
the servant of Spain, and when a conclave of English Catholics named
him as envoy to Rome, there to lay before Pius VI. a document of much
importance, Del Campo refused him leave of absence. The latter had now
ceased to be Spanish minister, and Lord Camden had become the Viceroy
of Ireland. Mr. Froude, with warmth, writes: 'Lord Camden had brought
into Ireland, as he supposed, a serpent of healing, but it turned on
him and stung him.'[660] This allusion is to Dr. Hussey who, in 1797,
became Bishop of Waterford, and at once issued a pastoral charge so
ultramontane that it gave quite a shock at Whitehall. He lived in
a style of brilliant pretension hitherto unattempted by his brother
bishops,--men who, as Shiel states, were wont to pick their steps
stealthily, as among penal traps. Dr. Hussey's elevation to the See of
Waterford was due to the British Crown, but may have been influenced by
a desire to shelve him in a remote place where he could do scant harm
by intrigue.

'It was as mischievous a performance as ever I read,' quoth Sir John
Coxe Hippesley _à propos_ of Dr. Hussey's pastoral, 'and ministers
here took care he should know their sentiments on that subject. He was
in dudgeon thereat, and the Duke of Portland told me he demanded his
passport "to return to Spain;" it was made out, but the doctor thought
better of it, and he remains to lend his hand to _the tranquillity_ of

It appears, however, from the Vatican archives that Hussey, in March
1798, did petition the Pope for leave of absence from his diocese, and
for a coadjutor, 'as he could not obtain the consent of the Court of
Spain to leave its service.' He adds that for thirty years he was head
of the Spanish Ambassador's Chapel, London.[662] His _amour propre_,
no doubt, revolted from accepting at Portland's hands the passport to
return to Spain--if, indeed, he could desert his diocese without leave
from the Pope. A coadjutor bishop was not granted, but, in reply to the
request for leave of absence, it was stipulated by Rome that Hussey
should appoint efficient vicars to govern the see while away.[663] Was
it of this arrangement that, as Hippesley says, he 'thought better'?
Between the two accounts the diplomat stands confessed. He certainly
passed the year 1799 in London, where, true to his instincts, we find
him busy as a bee. Writing to J. Bernard Clinch, the influential
occupant of a chair at Maynooth, he says of the then mooted Legislative

  Whatever my reason may tell me upon a cool inquiry, my feelings
  rejoice at it. I told the Chancellor of your Exchequer here, that I
  would prefer a Union with the Beys and Mamelukes of Egypt to that
  of being under the iron rod of the Mamelukes of Ireland; but, alas!
  I fear that a Union will not remedy the ills of poor Erin. The
  remnants of old oppression and new opinions that lead to anarchy
  (to use the words of a foolish milk-and-water letter) still keep
  the field of battle, and until one side be defeated, the country is
  not safe. Another project upon which I have been consulted is, to
  grant salaries or pension to the Catholic clergy of the higher and
  lower order.[664] The conditions upon which they are to be granted,
  as first proposed to me, are directly hostile to the interests of
  religion, and, taken in the most favourable point of view, must
  be detrimental to the Catholics, by cutting asunder the slender
  remaining ties between the pastor and his flock, by turning the
  discipline and laws of the Church into a mercantile, political
  speculation, and must end in making the people unbelievers, and,
  consequently, Jacobins--upon the French scale. Whether the prelates
  of Ireland have courage or energy enough to oppose any such project
  so hurtful to religion, I will not say. Indeed, the infernal Popery
  laws have lessened the courage of the clergy, as well as destroyed
  the honesty and morals of the people, and my affection for my
  native land is not so effaced as to enable me to say with our
  countryman, after he had gone to bed, 'Arrah, let the house burn
  away; what do I care, who am only a lodger?'[665]

Dr. Hussey had been so long condemned to observe the Carthusian rule of
silence that he seemed, when freed from restraint, like an opened flask
of 'Mumm.'

It has been said that only in the confessional, or in chaunting, is
this Trappist vow wholly dispensed with. The desire for shrift is
implied by pointing to the mouth and beating the breast. To a man
orally gifted like Hussey this restraint must, indeed, have proved
painful, and accounts for the wonderful reaction in which he now

As a preacher, he made a sensation in the West End second only to that
subsequently awakened by Irving's sermons at Hatton Garden. Charles
Butler was present at one preached by Dr. Hussey on the small number
of the elect. He asked whether, if the arch of Heaven were to open and
the Son of Man, bursting from the mercy in which He is now enveloped,
should stand in that church and judge his hearers, 'it were certain
that three or even two--nay, trembling for myself as well as for you,
is it quite certain that even one of us,' thundered Dr. Hussey, 'would
be saved?' 'During this apostrophe,' writes Butler, 'the audience was
agonised--at the interrogation there was a general shriek--some fell on
the ground--the greatest triumph of eloquence I ever witnessed.'[666]

'Dr. Hussey was no favourite at Rome--possibly through lay intrigue, to
which Gonsalvi was but too open,' observes an octogenarian priest of
Waterford. The Holy See, however, quite recognised Hussey's powers as
a diplomatist, for one of his last acts was to draw up the _Concordat_
between Pius VII. and Napoleon--in which delicate mission he obtained
the thanks of both. A long account of Hussey's interview at the
Tuileries is given by England; and how struck Napoleon was with his
arguments and expression.

The 'Burke Correspondence' describes Dr. Hussey's resolute attitude in
requiring that the rights of Catholic soldiers should be recognised.
The 'O'Renehan Papers' supply further details. At Clonmel Gaol he
demanded the release of a Catholic soldier who had refused to receive
religious instruction from the parson. The officer in command insulted
Dr. Hussey, adding that he would flog him but for his coat. 'You wear
the coat of a brave man,' said the bishop, 'and no one but a coward
ever uttered such a threat; I dare you to touch me.' 'You shall not
remain here, sir,' cried the officer, sulkily. 'Nor the soldier
either,' replied Hussey, 'for I shall report your conduct this day,
and obtain his release.' He did write to the Duke of Portland, and the
soldier was discharged from prison.[667]

People were puzzled as to how Hussey managed, in penal days, to
have influence with the Home Secretary. The most secret doings of
the executive were known to Hussey. Lord Cloncurry mentions in his
'Memoirs' (p. 64), that all his motions in London in 1798 were
carefully watched by a spy, and he adds: 'My kind informant was Dr.
Hussey, who had been private secretary to the Duke of Portland.'

How he first came in touch with the King's ministers, and even with
the King himself, happened in this way. When Spain joined France in
assisting America to throw off the English yoke, the Spanish minister
quitted London, giving to Hussey authority to complete certain
diplomatic negotiations.

Some erroneous impressions prevailed to the prejudice of this singular
man. Cumberland blows hot and cold: speaks of the honours Hussey
received from Spain, and that he had clearly no repugnance to those
that his Church could give. 'He had no wish to stir up insurrection;
but'--adds Cumberland--'to head a revolution that should overturn the
Church established, and enthrone himself primate in Armagh, would have
been his glory and felicity--and, in truth, he was a man, by talents,
nerve, ambition, and intrepidity, fitted for the boldest enterprise.'
This impression seems partly due to a Good Friday sermon, in which
Dr. Hussey announced the speedy emancipation of the Catholics, and
the downfall of sectarianism in Ireland. He established new schools,
hospitals, and convents in Waterford, and endowed them with gold.

The widespread feeling of distrust in public men which certain
incidents of the time aroused is curiously shown by the remark of
Sylvanus Urban, when announcing Hussey's death. 'The enemies of
administration said he was employed by Government to sow the seeds of
dissension with a view to bring about the Union. Others considered him
an agent of France.'[668] We have seen, on the authority of Froude,
that he turned on his former friends in the Cabinet, and stung them;
while Edmund Burke, writing to Hussey on his famous pastoral, says:--

  From the moment that the Government, who employed you, betrayed
  you, they determined at the same time to destroy you. They are
  not a people to stop short in their course. You have come to an
  open issue with them. On your part, what you have done has been
  perfectly agreeable to your duty as a Catholic bishop and a man of
  honour and spirit.

This was almost the last letter written by Burke.

The Pelham MSS. contain the following curious letter addressed by
Hussey to Pelham, afterwards Lord Chichester, and a most influential
member of the Government. Hussey's informant was, no doubt, Edmund

                                              Waterford: April 19, 1797.

  Sir,--I received this day a letter from a friend of mine who sits
  in Parliament, who heard you defend the meaning of some sentiments
  in a pastoral letter, supposed to be addressed to the Roman
  Catholic clergy of this diocese by the Right Reverend Dr. Hussey,
  against the admixture of fulsome flattery and captious malevolence
  of a placeman, and though the intimacy that once subsisted between
  us has ceased, I will not be inferior in generosity to any man, and
  accordingly I embrace this occasion to thank you for the justice
  you do me. If done some months ago it would silence some malevolent
  whispers and have obliged your humble servant,

                                                           THOS. HUSSEY.

An account of Maynooth College by one of its professors appears in
the 'Irish Magazine' for February 1808; and it is mentioned as a fact
not generally known that Burke was 'attended spiritually in his last
illness by Dr. Hussey.' In the accounts of Burke's funeral Dr. Hussey's
presence is recorded; and it is told by Dr. England that when Hussey
approached his old friend Portland in the graveyard, the duke turned
abruptly away. 'Crosses' continued to come. Pelham, replying to Dr.
Duigenan on February 22, 1799, declared that the Board of Maynooth had
displaced their president for non-residence.

Hussey with all his friendship for Burke was no friend to his son. A
letter from John Keogh to Hussey, dated October 2, 1792, and seemingly
communicated by the latter to Dundas, then Home Secretary, is preserved
among the Secret Irish State Papers in London. It repudiates Burke's
son who had been sent to Ireland by his father as an agent on behalf
of the Catholics, and tells Dundas that he was wholly unauthorised to
speak for that body. According to Tone's journal of September 1792,
Keogh regarded young Burke as a spy sent by Dundas. He was wrong, for
Hobart, writing to Nepean, on October 4, 1792, states that Dundas took
credit with Westmoreland for having given Burke a chilling reception on
his return to England. This was the youth of whom Buckle says, 'Never
can there be forgotten those touching allusions to the death of that
only son, who was the joy of his soul and the pride of his heart, and
to whom he fondly hoped to bequeath the inheritance of his imperishable

Hussey was succeeded as an intermediary between the Irish Catholics
and the Crown by Dr. Moylan, Bishop of Cork. This prelate--who had
denounced the French when their fleet lay in Bantry Bay, for which he
would have lost his head had they been able to land--became a great
favourite with Pitt and Portland.

The duke in a letter dated Bulstrode, July 27, 1800, states:--

  There can be, and there never has been, but one opinion of the
  firmness, the steadiness, and the manliness of Dr. Moylan's
  character, which it was agreed by all those who had the pleasure
  of meeting him here, was as engaging as his person, which avows
  and bespeaks as much goodwill as can be well imagined in a human

Dr. Hussey, as the first President of Maynooth, regarded it with
paternal anxiety; and as he was now in deep disfavour with the
Government, he asked Dr. Moylan to plead for it, and probably
draughted the words. The lay seminary of Maynooth, in which Judge
Corballis and other able men received their education, was threatened
with suppression at this time.

  Whoever was the adviser of this measure [writes Dr. Moylan]
  consulted more his bigotry than the welfare of his Excellency's
  administration, or the dictates of sound policy, for what could be
  more impolitic than the suppression of the only house for the lay
  education of the Roman Catholic youth immediately under the eye
  and inspection of Government, and under the direction of trustees
  who must have the confidence of Government--an establishment in
  which the principles of loyalty and attachment to his Majesty's
  Government and to our excellent Constitution are, I am bold to
  say, as strongly inculcated into the minds of the pupils as in any
  college or other place of education in his Majesty's dominions.

Dr. Moylan adds:--

  So violent an act gives cause to suspect that it is only a prelude
  to other unfriendly measures, and in particular to the suppression
  of the college at Maynooth, of which we shall ever remember with
  gratitude that your Lordship has been the comer-stone.[669]

Pelham usually endorses his letters with a memorandum of his reply--but
in this instance none seems to have been given. Dr. Hussey regarded
uneasily the threatened downfall of the house which he had raised. The
estrangement of old friends, and prolonged anxiety, preyed upon him,
and in the following year he dropped down dead. This event occurred at
Tramore, near Waterford. He had

    Fondly hoped--his long vexations past--
    Here to return, and die at home at last.

The Bishop outlived O'Leary by eighteen months, and attended the
funeral of his rival. His own was marked by a painful incident. Polemic
and party spirit ran so high that some militia and soldiers attempted
to throw the coffin into the river Suir; a disgraceful riot took place,
and several lives were lost.[670] My correspondent was puzzled to
account for an occurrence so painful, but it is clearly traceable to
the friction which had arisen between Dr. Hussey and certain military
officers. He was fortunate in not living to see the extinction of the
Lay College at Maynooth which had known his fostering care.


[655] For other instances in which priests acted as secret agents see

[656] One letter conveys the proposal of a much respected ecclesiastic
'to foment an insurrection in the Cevennes.' _Wickham Correspondence_,
i. 165.

[657] Hussey was residing in Ireland from 1795. Four years previously
his friend, Bishop Egan of Waterford, recommended him at Rome as
worthy to succeed 'the illustrious' Archbishop Butler of Cashel. See
_O'Renehan Papers_.

[658] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, i. 264.

[659] It may be said that the prefix 'Mr.' disturbs this belief; but
all Wickham's letters thus describe foreign diplomats. For example,
he writes to Lord Grenville on October 5, 1796: 'I have had in my own
hands, and read, a despatch of _Mr._ La Croix to _Mr._ Barthelemy,'
etc.--_Wickham Correspondence_, i. 462.

[660] _English in Ireland_, iii. 215. As Dr. Hussey, an Irishman by
birth, had been president from 1795, of the college at Maynooth, it is
not quite correct to say that the young Englishman, Lord Camden, who
became Viceroy in 1797, brought Hussey to Ireland.

[661] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, iii. 89.

[662] See Brady's _Episcopal Succession_, ii. 75. (Rome, 1876.)

[663] _Ibid._

[664] In 1799, it appears that Bishop Douglas of London was anxious
that a provision should be made for the English Catholic clergy; in
other words, that they should be pensioned. See _Castlereagh Papers_,
iii. 87.

[665] In March 1799, as I find from the Pelham MSS., Dr. Moylan, Bishop
of Cork, urges in the name of his colleagues a State endowment of the

[666] Hussey, as the friend of Johnson, is allotted a niche by Boswell.

[667] I find in the Pelham MSS. an interesting paper of eight folios,
in Hussey's autograph, as regards an alleged systematic interference
with the religious tenets of soldiers, and handed by himself to the
Government. There is also a letter from Portland, dated November 1,
1796, concerning the alleged appointment by the Pope of Dr. Hussey as
Vicar Apostolic over the Catholic military of Ireland. Pitt, in giving
him authority over Catholic chaplains, did so on the understanding
that, as a staunch anti-Jacobin which he was, he would stamp out
disaffection in the army.

[668] _Gentleman's Magazine_, September 1803, p. 881.

[669] Cork, January 1, 1802; the Pelham MSS. Pelham had been Chief
Secretary for Ireland when Maynooth College was founded.

[670] The late Very Rev. Dr. Fitzgerald, P.P., Carrick-on-Suir, to the
Author, September 19, 1888.



Twelve Presbyterian clergymen were concerned in the rebellion: the Rev.
W. Steel Dickson, D.D., who wrote an interesting 'Narrative' of his
'Confinement and Exile,' Rev. Samuel Barbar, Rev. William Porter, Rev.
Sinclair Kelburne, Rev. Arthur McMahon, and the Rev. Messrs. Stevelly,
Simpson, MacNeil, Sinclair, Glardy, Birch, and Warwick. Of these men
three were executed: Porter, Stevelly, and Warwick. It is to be feared
that one of the twelve became a Judas.

There are two informers, McMahon and Durnin, who have never been
noticed by Madden or other historians of the time. I now quote from
Bourrienne, formerly the private secretary of Napoleon, and afterwards
ambassador to Hamburg. Berthier will be remembered as the Minister of
War and Prince of Wagram, who met a violent death during the Hundred

'Previous to my arrival in Hamburg in 1804,' writes Bourrienne,
Marshal 'Berthier had recommended to Bernadotte two Irishmen as spies.
Bernadotte employed them, but I learned that McMahon, one of the two,
rendered himself more serviceable to England than to us. I communicated
this fact to Bernadotte, who ascertained that my information was
accurate.' The future King replied:--

  I have the honor to inform you, Marshal, that two Irishmen residing
  in Hamburg, MM. Durnin and MacMahon, who had been liberally
  rewarded by the English Government _for coming to France_ to act as
  spies on the Irish refugees and the views of the French Government,
  have offered their services to assist the designs of France in the
  cause of the United Irishmen.

  His Majesty wishes that you should accept the offer of these two
  Irishmen; that you should employ them in obtaining all possible
  information, and even furnish them with whatever money may be

  For the sake of expedition, I have written on this subject to
  General Dessolle, who commands in Hanover during your absence,
  and I beg that you will transmit to him the orders necessary for
  following the Emperor's instructions.

  I have the honor, etc.

Bourrienne says that, but for the information he had transmitted to
Berthier, Bernadotte would have conceived himself bound to employ the
two men recommended to him. The following was his answer:--

  I have received your letter, my dear minister, and thank you for
  your attention in communicating to me the information it contains.

  I never had great confidence in the fidelity or intelligence of
  MacMahon. He was never entrusted with any business of importance,
  and if I furnished him with the means of subsistence, it was
  because he was recommended to me by the war minister, and,
  besides, his unfortunate condition could not but excite pity. I
  at first allowed him four hundred francs per month; but finding
  him perfectly useless, I reduced that allowance to two hundred and
  fifty, which was barely sufficient for him to live on. He has not
  been at headquarters for the last three months.

  I enclose a copy of the letter which the war minister wrote to me
  respecting MacMahon.

                                                     T. BERNADOTTE.[671]

Bernadotte's missive, like a shell, bursts with crushing force. The
fact that McMahon's movements in '98 are continually reported to the
British Government would show, however, that it was not until _after_
the collapse of the rebellion, and want stared him in the face, that
he sold his information. When hunger sent its spasm remorse lost its

In the report of the Secret Committee of the House of Lords, issued in
1798, it appears, from the sworn testimony of John Hughes of Belfast,

  in June 1797 he attended a meeting at Randalstown, which consisted
  of Teeling, Lowry, Robert Moore, and Colonel James Plunkett. He
  attended said meeting by the direction of Lowry and Teeling to hear
  the report of the Colonels of the County of Antrim. The Report
  was brought by Dunne, accompanied by the Rev. Arthur MacMahon of
  Holywood. The first resolution was that it would be imprudent to
  act at that time without foreign aid, but that if the County of
  Down would act, a part of the Antrim Colonels, who could bring out
  nine or ten thousand men, would act with Down. The meeting broke
  up in consequence of the division amongst the Antrim Colonels. The
  Rev. Arthur MacMahon told the meeting that he had been sent by the
  Colonels of the County of Down to state to the Colonels of the
  County of Antrim, who had met at Park Gate that day, that they (the
  Colonels of Down) were willing to rise, and that he had delivered
  such the message of the Down Colonels to the Antrim Colonels.
  MacMahon was then a member of the Ulster Provincial Committee,
  and he told him that he had been one of the seven Colonels of the
  County of Down who had been selected and appointed leaders for said
  county; and he also told him that he (MacMahon) was a member of the
  National Executive.

  MacMahon was informed on his road home (as he heard) that he would
  be taken; and he, Robert Rollo Read, Hastings Mason, once an
  officer in the Downshire Militia, and John Magennis, took boat at
  Bangor and got over to Scotland, and afterwards _MacMahon got to
  France_, where he still is.--Pp. 28-9.

The report and appendix of the Secret Committee is known to have been
edited by Alexander Knox, whom Lord Macaulay afterwards described
as 'a remarkable man.' Mr. Knox was the private secretary of Lord
Castlereagh; and, in compiling the report for the Government, he
disclosed as much of McMahon's proceedings as was convenient for their
purpose. The Government well knew that McMahon had engaged deeply in
treason between the period of his taking boat at Bangor and getting
to France. The second volume of Lord Castlereagh's Correspondence
opens with the following secret letter. Quigley, or O'Coigly, will be
remembered as the unfortunate priest who was hanged at Maidstone in May

'McMahon, member of the executive committee, a Presbyterian parson
from the County of Down, forced to emigrate in June last, came over to
London, where he met with Quigley, who was likewise obliged to leave
Ireland. They started together in London, imitating the Patriots in the
mode of forming societies after the plan of the United Irish. They had
heard of the expedition at the Texel being intended for Ireland, and it
was agreed on that an insurrection should be attempted in London, as
soon as the landing was effected in Ireland. Colonel Despard was to be
the leading person, and the King and Council were to be put to death,
&c. Their force was estimated at 40,000, ready to turn out. McMahon,
hearing he was traced to London, resolved on going for France, and took
Quigley as his interpreter; he got a subscription made to pay Quigley's
expenses, and collected twenty-five guineas, fifteen of which were
given by a Mr. Bell, of the City.

'McMahon and Quigley went over to Cuxhaven, thence directly to Holland,
were on board the fleet, and, when the expedition went off, proceeded
to Paris. They there found Lewins, but could get no satisfactory
answers from him relative to his communications with the French
Government. A quarrel was the consequence, and Father Quigley was
despatched privately by McMahon to London, to get some one sent over to
represent the Patriots of both nations, and to replace Lewins.'[672]

Seaton Reid, D.D., the able historian of the Presbyterian Church,
says that in 1789 McMahon was ordained to the pastoral charge of
Kilrea, and in 1794 became minister of Holywood. He is described as
a man of daring character, and considerable literary attainments. Dr.
Reid's History has been continued by Dr. Killen, an ecclesiastical
historian of rank, who found McMahon's subsequent career involved in
great mystery. 'On the Continent,' writes Dr. Killen, 'he embraced the
military profession, and it is said--with what truth I know not--that
he became distinguished as General Mack.' Most notices of Mack, the
Austrian general, say that he died in obscurity, and at a date unknown.
It is almost a pity to disturb the romance with which Dr. Killen has
invested this subject,--but 'truth is stranger than fiction.' An
inquiry into the life of General Mack is fatal to the suggestion of the
Presbyterian historian.[673]

The arrival of Arthur McMahon at Paris is specially noted in Tone's
Diary on February 1, 1798.[674] Soon after the Hamburg spy announces,
with other facts, that McMahon--O'Coigly's companion--is appointed
colonel and aide-de-camp to Napper Tandy.[675] A later letter of secret
information, no doubt from Turner--who had been a colleague of McMahon
when organising treason in Ulster--says:--

  MacMahon has about 300_l._ sterling, property remitted him by
  Charles Rankin of Belfast; this he means to employ in buying a
  farm. Tired of politics,[676] especially those of France, he is to
  write to Citoyen Jean Thomas, à la Poste restante, à Hamburg, whom
  he looks on as a good patriot.

The 'Castlereagh Papers' give a secret account of Tandy's expedition;
and how 'Joseph Orr and McMahon the clergyman, went out in a small
corvette of eight guns, to reconnoitre the Irish coast and to fire
signals; but the boat turned leaky, and they were obliged to put into
Flushing, being chased by the English cruisers. These two refused to go
any more, and went to Boulogne, where they follow privateering.'[677]

This is the last we hear of McMahon until he turns up in the letter of
Berthier, the French Minister of War.

It would have been well for McMahon's friends had the quondam shepherd
entered on pastoral work of another sort, assuming that he seriously
entertained the idea, and that it was not mooted by him to throw Turner
off the scent. Turner--at this time--had begun to be suspected, as
Reinhard shows (_ante_, p. 53). Certain it is, the _soi-disant_ farmer
chose dirtier work than scouring drains, or even spreading manure.
But as his movements with Tandy are secretly reported to the British
Government, it would seem that he had not as yet become a regular
informer. Whatever proposal he made to Pitt, the bargain was apparently
bungled. Unlike others, his name is not to be found in any pension
list. Judging from the poverty in which Bernadotte found McMahon in
1803, his trade as a spy cannot have been very remunerative. But
increased trade often brings large profits, and his opportunities for
doing good work for Pitt were certainly greater after 1804.

Experience taught McMahon something. A disappointed man, willing to spy
on behalf of whichever side paid best, had at least no difficulty in
making a choice. How he gradually acquired facilities for plying his
trade with profit now remains to be shown.

Miles Byrne--who held a command in the rebel lines at Vinegar
Hill, narrowly escaped with his life, was afterwards the trusted
agent of Robert Emmet in 1803, and became a colonel in the French
service--supplies in his Memoirs an honoured list of 'exiled Irish
whom he met in France,' including 'Arthur McMahon.' This would be
about the year 1803. Matthew Dowling, Byrne's host on the occasion,
had been deeply compromised in '98, and his name is often met in the
autobiographies of Cloncurry, Hamilton Rowan, and Moore.

  I spent [writes Byrne] one evening at his lodgings in company with
  Paul Murray and Arthur MacMahon, and he made us nearly forget we
  were far away from our home; he made us proud of being exiles in a
  good cause.

The statement of the historian of the Presbyterian Church that the
Rev. Arthur McMahon embraced the military profession, and became
distinguished as 'General Mack,' is true in every particular, except
the last three words.

In 1804 the Irish legion was formed by Napoleon, and McMahon got a
commission from Berthier. Colonel Miles Byrne speaks of McMahon as
amongst his 'best friends and comrades--we were happy and united.'[678]
The risk he ran of a bear's hug never struck him. 'We could see the
masts of the ships in the bay of Brest, from whence we expected soon
to sail with an army to liberate our beloved country; this view caused
sensations that exiles alone can feel and appreciate.' Byrne goes on
to say that General Sarazan was 'suspected to have been in the pay of
England.' Not one word is dropped to the prejudice of McMahon.

A great crisis in England's history had now arisen. Buonaparte was
master of Europe. Russia joined him; Prussia and Austria were all but
his serfs; North Germany was annexed to France. In 1809 the Walcheren
expedition--consisting of 235 ships and 40,000 land forces--was
despatched by England with the object of checking Napoleon's advance
into Austria.

Never had a grander fleet left England, or great expectation been more
utterly crushed. After a prolonged bombardment, Admiral Strahan and
Lord Chatham evacuated Walcheren on December 23, 1809. They returned
to England, but with McMahon a prisoner.[679] This capture, however,
failed to satisfy Parliament. Angry discussion rose, Canning and
Castlereagh fought a duel, Burdett was lodged in the Tower, riots rent
London, and Lord Chatham resigned to avoid deeper disgrace.[680]

Bernadotte, it will be remembered, while admitting that McMahon had
never been entrusted by France with secret business of importance, yet
complains of his inefficiency as a spy. What but disappointment could
ensue? Bourrienne, the minister of France at Hamburg, learned long
after, as he tells us, that MacMahon gave to England information vastly
exceeding in value anything he told France. England could pay well when
she chose, while the fund available in France for secret service was
shallow and precarious.

As regards the second spy named in Bernadotte's letter to Berthier,
histories of the rebellion may be vainly searched for any mention of
Durnin; nor is it surprising, when we know, as we now do, that this
man had three or four aliases. Nay, more--he is sometimes described in
the Government reports merely by an initial! Thus, Wickham encloses
to Castlereagh a letter from Crawford, British minister at Hamburg,
in which he says, 'one D----, alias C----, who murdered Pentland at
Drogheda--a man much esteemed by Mr. Beresford, is now here.'[681] The
usually exhaustive index to the 'Castlereagh Correspondence' includes
no name resembling Durnin. However, it turns up in a letter of Wickham
to Castlereagh, dated November 23, 1798, announcing that a vessel named
the 'Morgan Rattler' had just arrived at Hamburg from Dublin with some
rebel fugitives, and bearing letters and papers from Coll, a colonel in
the rebel army at Wexford, and 'Duff, alias Campbell, but whose real
name,' he adds, 'is _Dornan_.'[682] Lower down in the letter, Wickham
adds that 'Campbell, alias Duff, but whose real name is Dornan, is
said to have been concerned in the murder of a person of the name of
Pentland, or Portland, near Drogheda.'[683]

Here at last one gets upon a long-lost track--a track, it is to be
feared, of a double-dyed villain. Dalton's 'History of Drogheda'
mentions (ii. 370) that in 1796, shortly after the arrival of the
French fleet in Bantry Bay, 'Mr. Pentland, surveyor of excise in
Drogheda, was inhumanly and wilfully murdered.'

Officers of excise usually kept a sharp watch on the coast; and hence,
probably, Durnin deemed it well to 'remove' him. Why Durnin figured
under the name of Duff at Drogheda may have been because it was
endeared to the people by historic tradition. D'Alton--the historian of
Drogheda--often mentions the Duffs, and how for faith and fatherland
they suffered attainder in 1691. I cannot find that Durnin attained
any influence in the councils of the United Irishmen; but McMahon must
have been a person of culture and prepossessing manners to succeed in
exciting the sympathy of a stoical soldier of the Revolution, and who,
moreover, had reason to doubt his fidelity. The name Arthur McMahon
is found in the Fugitive Bill of 1798. But this circumstance affords
no proof that he was not then a spy; for Turner also figures in the
Fugitive Bill, and was afterwards subjected to the mock penalty of
imprisonment. The Banishment Act includes the name 'John Dorney.'
Durnin and Dorney are convertible names. A gardener named Durnin, or
Dorney (for the peasantry hail him by both names), has been employed in
the author's family for many years.

When one considers the heterogeneous character of the throng who
joined the ranks of the United Irishmen, it is only surprising that
their secrets were so well kept. The late Frank Thorpe Porter, a
well-known police magistrate, gave me a personal reminiscence not
devoid of interest. His father had been one of the brotherhood; but
one dark night in March 1798, a beggarman having given him 'the secret
sign' in the street, he musingly said, 'By Jove! if our Society
includes such fellows as this, the sooner I get out of it the better.'
He had been a sergeant of grenadiers in the Irish Volunteers of 1782,
and his tall figure may be recognised in Wheatley's celebrated picture
of the review in College Green under the Duke of Leinster and Lord

Many United Irishmen, whose names do not appear in history, had escapes
as narrow, but on a more modest scale, as those which favoured Hamilton
Rowan. Mr. Porter added a reminiscence worth preserving. The house
of his father, an eminent Protestant printer, was 69 Grafton Street.
The maidservant had a sweetheart in an opposite house, and one Sunday
evening, while Mrs. Porter was entertaining Dignan, a proscribed rebel,
the domestic left her master's door ajar, and tripped across the street
for a chat. Meanwhile, who should walk up to Porter's but the city
sheriff, holding in his hand the manuscript of a Proclamation which he
required him to print. Finding that the hall-door gave no resistance,
he proceeded upstairs. Mrs. Porter, thunderstruck, but with presence of
mind, hailed him from the lobby above, exclaiming, 'Oh! _Mr. Sheriff_,
I am very glad to see you.' Dignan took the alarm that she intended
and, seizing a dark table-cover with which he concealed his person,
flung himself under a pianoforte that stood in a corner. This had
hardly been accomplished when the sheriff entered. 'Sheriff,' said Mrs.
Porter, 'you probably met your friend the Town Major, who has just
gone after having a glass of punch--take his seat and make yourself
comfortable.' The sheriff, nothing loth, accepted the proffered
hospitality. Mrs. Porter's feelings may be imagined during the _mauvais
quart d'heure_ of his stay, when a single sigh from the outlaw would
have sealed not only his doom, but probably her husband's as well.[684]

Mr. Porter did not know what Dignan had done. But I find, among
McNally's secret letters to Dublin Castle, one enclosing a copy of the
'Union Star,' a revolutionary print, which, he says, 'has been printed
at Dignan's house in Grafton Street.' A later letter (endorsed May 23,
1798, the night on which the rebellion burst forth) announces 'Ferris
is the informer against Dignan.' Ferris is described by Musgrave in
his history (p. 176) as head of a committee of United Irishmen, who
was waited upon by a blacksmith named Dunne offering to murder Lord
Carhampton, the famous terrorist. Ferris warned Carhampton, and Dunne
with his accomplice McCarthy was hanged. Frequent payments to Ferris
through Lord Carhampton are recorded in the book of 'Secret Service
Money.' Musgrave notices him as a rather meritorious man. Who Ferris
was McNally tells Cooke in a letter of secret gossip. 'Ferris, forty
years ago, was an attorney and stripped of his gown for perjury; lived
in Green Street; at present in Castle.'


[671] Napoleon's marshals were rich men. The salary of a marshal
was 1,600_l._ a year; but their emoluments were much increased by
allowances made by Napoleon. Berthier had in addition 400_l._ a month
as a major-general, and further received from his generous master
50,000_l._ every year.

[672] It may have been because Lewins, the shrewd attorney, and
incorruptible envoy of the United Irishmen, suspected MacMahon, that
he refused to yield information on being pumped. Hence the intrigue to
oust Lewins of which we have already heard.

[673] MacMahon was in the pastoral charge of Kilrea at the very time
that Mack, a native of Franconia, held high rank in the army of the
Prince of Coburg, and was directing the operations of the campaign of
1793. From 1794 to 1797, while MacMahon was preaching at Holywood, and
representing the rebel colonels of the county Down, General Mack was
serving in the Netherlands, and in command of the Army of the Rhine.
Charles Mack earned notoriety by delivering over to Napoleon, in virtue
of the capitulation of Ulm, 33,000 Austrians as prisoners of war.
For this act he was tried at Vienna, and received sentence of death
as a traitor to his country. But Bourrienne denies that any secret
understanding existed between him and Buonaparte. Mack's sentence
having been commuted, he was consigned to an Austrian dungeon, where
for a long time his fate was lost in mystery. Even more inglorious was
the final career of Arthur McMahon.

[674] _Life of Wolfe Tone_, ii. 460.

[675] _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 306.

[676] Compare the passages 'sick of politics,' in p. 6, _ante_, &c.

[677] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, i. 408.

[678] _Memoirs of Miles Byrne_, ii. 17. (Paris, 1862.)

[679] _Memoirs of Miles Byrne_, ii. 59.

[680] Hoche's expedition was scattered by adverse winds. How the
Walcheren came to grief was partly due to fever, which decimated the
troops. A long report from Dr. Renny appears in the sixth volume of the
_Castlereagh Correspondence_, and, on reading it now, one cannot doubt
that the 'antiphlogistic' treatment then employed thinned the ranks
more effectively than Napoleon's shells. Antimony and calomel, blister
and blood-letting, did their work.

[681] _Castlereagh_, ii. 226.

[682] _Castlereagh_, ii. 15.

[683] The Pentlands opposed the United Irishmen. Henry Pentland served
as sheriff of Drogheda in 1799, with George MacIntagart as mayor.
MacIntagart was the man who dressed up spies in French uniforms to
entrap credulous peasants.

[684] F. Thorpe Porter, police magistrate, to W. J. F., January 1862.



No greater contrast could be found to the idiosyncrasy of Magan
than that of Thomas Reynolds. If the former was shy, shrinking, and
unobtrusive, Reynolds had indomitable _audace_, a fondness for display
and luxury, a love of society, and an effrontery which no rebuff could
disconcert. After several arrests had been made, and when a suspicion
of infidelity rested on him for the first time, Neilson, a powerful
man, meeting him unarmed at night, grasped him by the throat, and,
presenting a pistol, exclaimed, 'What should I do to the villain who
has sought my confidence to betray me?' Reynolds, with perfect _sang
froid_, replied, 'You should shoot him through the heart!' Neilson,
struck by the reply, changed his purpose and suffered Reynolds to go.

Fourteen delegates from Leinster, as they sat in council at Bond's,
had been arrested on Reynolds's information, and the sickening fact is
told by Dr. Madden that some days after the arrests he paid a visit of
condolence to Mrs. Bond, and caressed the babe she held in her arms.

But let it not be supposed that he had any share in the betrayal of
Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Reynolds held an advantageous lease of lands
under the Leinster family, warmed to Lord Edward, and, during the
period of his outlawry, gave him some money to meet a pressing call.
The Geraldine little dreamed from what source it was derived. Before
the payment of the 5,000_l._ to Reynolds he received, early in 1798,
500_l._ from Dublin Castle.

Reynolds, a silk mercer, had been persuaded to inform by Mr. W. Cope,
an eminent merchant, who exercised great influence over him, under
circumstances that will be soon apparent. His grandson, Sir William
Cope, Bart., has sent me the correspondence which attained this end.
Cope, in a memorandum, dated 1799, writes:--

  I exerted my influence, and, though Mr. Cooke said
  to me, 'You _must_ get him to come forward; stop at
  nothing--100,000_l._--anything,' etc., I conditioned with
  Government for him for only 5,000_l._ and 1,000_l._ per year, and
  he is satisfied. He came forward at my repeated intercession.

The 'Life of Thomas Reynolds,' by his son, was issued in 1839, with
a view to whitewash a sullied memory; the biographer--not supposing
that the Cope papers existed--states that, as compensation for heavy
losses, a bulk sum of but 500_l._ was paid to Reynolds, 'with an
annuity of 1,000_l._ Irish, with reversion to my mother, my brother and

The accounts of Secret Service Money have also turned up to bear out
Cope's statement and confront Reynolds junior. It appears, under date
of March 4, 1799, that Reynolds received on that day not 500_l._,
but the completion of a sum of 5,000_l._ As regards the pension, it
continued to be paid for near forty years, and it has been computed
that he drew altogether 45,740_l._

The information which had been dropping from Reynolds, sometimes not
as freely as had been hoped, received a stimulus by his arrest at
Athy on May 5, 1798. He writes to Mr. Cope that he has been thrown
into a dungeon, and demands from the Government, what they well
know he merits, instant enlargement. He refers to the great and
essential services he had rendered to Government, and adds that by his
confinement he is totally prevented from obtaining and giving further
knowledge. Then it was that Cope settled the terms with Cooke. Cope's
powerful influence over Reynolds was due to the fact that the latter
had gradually become his slave as a creditor to a large extent. Sir
William Cope[686] has sent me a letter from Reynolds's wife to show the
falsity of the biographer's assertion that he had made no terms with
the Crown for his information. It appears from a letter of Reynolds
that the wife was empowered to act for him, and among the terms
required were, 'that he might settle in any part of England he liked,
receive from the Government letters of introduction, recommending him
and family to the particular attention of the gentry of the place;'
the pension to commence on June 25, 1798, with 5,000_l._ in hand; in
conclusion she begs Cope to advance on loan 1,000_l._[687]

These and other references to monetary transactions led me to search
the Registry of Deeds Office, and the following result appears:
'1794--Thos. Reynolds of West Park Street Dublin to Wm. Cope.
Consideration 5041_l._ 14_s._ 5_d._ Lands of Corbetstown, King's Co.'

The fact that Reynolds was obliged to borrow this sum shows the
erroneousness of Lord Castlereagh's statement in Parliament, 'that
he was a gentleman in considerable circumstances.' Fresh proof of
the wisdom of the proverb (xxii. 7), 'the borrower is servant to the
lender,' is afforded by this episode. In the case of Higgins and
Magan, the treachery of the latter to Lord Edward was entirely due
to the fact that Higgins had bound him, hand and foot, in bonds more
inextricable than those by which Mephistopheles sought to enchain his
victim. Shamado got the lion's share of the blood money earned by that
betrayal. Cope, though a man of great wealth, and professing to have
influenced Reynolds solely from a sense of moral duty, obtained a
pension of 1,000_l._ a year for his wife, with reversion to his three
daughters.[688] Cope survived until December 7, 1820, when he died at
his house in Hume Street, Dublin. His three daughters never married.
The foregoing inquiries have been invited by the son and biographer
of Reynolds, who, seeking to pillory Dr. Taylor, author of the 'Civil
Wars,' writes:--

  'Perhaps Mr. Taylor could furnish me with the records from which he
  discovered that my father was distressed from want of money.' He
  may, perhaps, consider Mr. Moore's 'Life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald'
  as a record, or Mr. Moore himself as an historian, of small value;
  but I shall notice his work in another place, I shall confine
  myself for the present to Mr. Taylor. 'From what source,' he asks,
  'did Mr. Taylor discover that my father had been an active member
  of the Union? and, above all, from what record did he receive the
  foul slander that he had sold the secret to Government? Could not
  the same record have supplied him with the price also; and, if so,
  why did he not name it? From what records did he learn that my
  father had insured to himself by his conduct even the slightest
  reward? The whole accusation is as false as it is malicious.'[689]

Among other damaging things alleged against Reynolds on the trials of
Bond, Byrne, and McCan were that he had stolen his mother's jewellery
and had afterwards poisoned her, and that he had broken several oaths;
and it was sworn by five respectable witnesses that they did not
believe him worthy of credit on his oath.

A small incident, which has never appeared in print, may perhaps be
given here. The guard which seized the fourteen delegates at Bond's
house entered by means of a password. This we shall presently know,
and Major Sirr had Reynolds to thank for the information, though the
father of a late police magistrate--Mr. Porter--lay for a time under
the stigma. Wm. Porter--in whose house Dignan will be remembered as
having had a narrow escape from arrest--met Oliver Bond one day on
Cork Hill, Dublin, and asked him, as a United Brother, for a list of
the signs and passwords employed on special occasions. Bond replied:
'Call at my house on Monday evening next, making sure to ask as you
enter, "Is Ivers from Carlow come?"' Porter was on his way to keep
this appointment when he met Luke White--the founder of the Annaly
peerage --who asked him to accompany him to Crampton Court close by,
where some business was transacted between the two--one being a printer
and the other a publisher. An hour was thus consumed, and Porter on
arriving at Bond's--it was Monday, March 12, 1798--found a cordon of
soldiers round the house. Reynolds, who held the rank of colonel in the
rebel organisation, was not then suspected; and it was Oliver Bond's
conviction, freely expressed, that William Porter had betrayed the
password to Sirr. For this suspicion he made frank atonement. Bond's
trial did not come on for three months, and the interval proved one of
much anxiety to Porter. Then it was that Reynolds excited much surprise
by entering the witness-box. Bond, recognising Porter in court,
stretched forth his arm across the necks of his keepers, and shook the
hand of the man he had wronged.[690]

Reynolds, unlike Magan, who seemed content with the crumbs which
fell from 'Shamado's' hand, was less easily satisfied. In 1810 he
got the postmastership at Lisbon, the emoluments of which for four
years amounted to 5,600_l._, after which he became British Consul at
Iceland; but, not liking the post, he coolly returned to London without
leave, when the following scene took place between himself and Mr.
Cooke, formerly Under-Secretary at Dublin Castle. Reynolds's son thus
tells what passed: '"You are a madman; you are an imprudent; I tell
you so to your face; and you were always an imprudent man, and never
will be otherwise. I tell you, you are considered as a passionate,
imprudent man." "Mr. Cooke," said my father, "if I was not so, perhaps
Ireland would not at this day be a part of the British Empire: you did
not think me passionate or imprudent in 1798." "I tell you again,"
said Mr. Cooke, "you are mad. Well, what do you intend to do now?"
"Really," said my father, "I intend to do nothing at all; I suppose
Lord Castlereagh, on his return, will settle my resignation." ... "Lord
Castlereagh," continued Mr. Cooke, "knows you to be a very imprudent
man, and he would certainly hesitate at allowing you to be in London,
where your imprudence would give advantage to your enemies to bring you
into trouble, and him too. He does not like you to be in London: I tell
you fairly that is the feeling."'[691]

Lord Castlereagh then filled the critical post of Minister for Foreign
Affairs. A formidable Opposition daily questioned and tormented him.
The horror of Mathias on hearing 'the Bells' can hardly have been
greater than that of Castlereagh whenever Reynolds's ring sounded at
his door. Reynolds refused to freeze any longer in Iceland, and, after
some delay, was appointed consul at Copenhagen. He soon got tired of
it, and coolly installed his son there as vice-consul; but, on Canning
succeeding to Castlereagh, after the suicide of the latter, he sent
young Reynolds adrift. Meanwhile the sire divided his residence between
Paris and London. He constantly crossed Castlereagh's path, posing
before him as an ill-used man and largely helping to drive him mad. The
cupidity of Reynolds is described as insatiable. In 1817, Thistlewood,
Watson, and Hooper were indicted for treason; true bills were found by
the grand jury of Middlesex; but the name of Thomas Reynolds having
appeared on the panel, much wrath found vent, and a feeling of disgust
passed over England. The press took up the subject, and Parliament
resounded with 'Reynolds, the Irish informer.'

Society snubbed him, but still his chariot went round the Row day by
day. After Castlereagh's death he removed permanently to Paris, where
he loved to parade his pompous person, and became as well known in the
Champs-Elysées as Charles X. or Louis Philippe. Some lines scribbled at
this time illustrate the feelings with which thinkers of a certain type
watched his diurnal progress:--

    Lolling at his vile ease in chariot gay,
    His face, nay, even his fearful name, unhidden!
    Uncloaked abroad, 'neath all the eyes of day,
    Which--as he passeth--close, while breath is hushed,--
    Unspat upon, untrampled down, uncrushed,
    I've seen the seven-fold traitor! &c.

Reynolds had a habit of leaving his card on men the buckles of whose
shoes he was unworthy to burnish. Amongst others whom he thought
that by doing so he honoured, was Dr. Daniel Haliday, of Paris, who
represented a family distinguished in Irish letters. In Haliday's hall
there hung a fine portrait of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Turning its
face to the wall, and sticking Reynolds's card on it, he said to his
servant: 'When he again comes, refer him to this picture.' Reynolds, of
course, repeated the visit, and felt the rebuff the more because Lord
Edward was not among the men he had betrayed. The late Charles Haliday,
to whom I owe this story of his uncle, shared the rather general belief
as to Reynolds having informed against the Geraldine, while the now
convicted Magan, who lived close to Charles Haliday on the banks of the
Liffey, failed to incur his suspicion.

One fine day in August 1836, when Paris was _en fête_, Reynolds died,
and his remains were brought to England and consigned to the vaults
of Wilton Church, Yorkshire. By a coincidence Dr. Haliday died at the
same time, as appears from his epitaph in the picturesque graveyard of
Dundrum near Dublin. When struck down by death at Paris, he had been
engaged on a History of the Irish Brigade.


[685] _Life of Reynolds_, by his Son, ii. 514. Mr. A. F. Reynolds,
the biographer, died in 1856, after having long filled the post of
stamp-distributor for the East Riding of Yorkshire.

[686] Sir W. Cope died Jan. 9, 1892.

[687] The full text of the correspondence I have published elsewhere.
The letters of Reynolds are full of bad spelling.

[688] _Cornwallis_, ii. 375.

[689] _Life of Thomas Reynolds_, by his Son, i. 103.

[690] Frank Thorpe Porter, police magistrate, to W. J. F., May 30, 1860.

[691] _Life of Thomas Reynolds_, by his Son, ii. 445.



Armstrong was another man who, unlike Turner and Magan, boldly
betrayed, and by baring his name to popular odium, bared his breast to
its penalties. He lived to old age in a district specially burrowed by
agrarian crime; but, though often taunted with his treachery, never
suffered a pin-scratch at the hands of the people.

Before Armstrong comes on the scene it is well to give some account of
the men he so cruelly betrayed.[692] This becomes the more imperative,
inasmuch as unpublished letters of Sheares, containing important
explanations, were placed in my hands for historic use by the late Mr.
Justice Hayes.

The father of John and Henry Sheares was a banker and member of the
Irish Parliament, remarkable for having introduced a bill, which
became law in 1766, for the regulation of trials in cases of treason,
and under which his sons were afterwards tried. He was a person of
culture, too, author of some touching reflections on 'Man in Society,
and at his Final Separation from it.' Several passages seem to reveal
a presentiment of the great domestic tragedy which he did not live to
see. A practical Christian, he published an essay elaborating the great
fact that unless man forgives, he can never himself be forgiven; and
these inculcations, it is hoped, helped to calm the closing thoughts
of his suffering sons. Mr. Sheares founded a Debtors' Charity in
Cork, and an amateur performance of 'King Henry IV.,' in aid of it,
introduced as its chief histrions the subsequently historic brothers.
Their career was highly dramatic. Henry successfully competed for the
hand of Miss Swete with a young barrister, Mr. John FitzGibbon, who, as
the Lord Clare of after years, is said to have shown that he neither
forgot nor forgave. In 1792 Henry Sheares visited France to see his
children at school. The Revolution was then at its height; he and his
brother John became intimate with Brissot and Rolande, and thenceforth
may be dated the birth of that bias which finally made both easy prey
for Armstrong. In July 1793, Henry Sheares challenged his early rival,
now Lord FitzGibbon, to explain or retract what he called an 'infamous
calumny,' conveyed in a speech wherein the chancellor referred to two
men, agents of the French Jacobin Club, who had employed themselves
in disseminating its principles in Dublin. But even John Sheares was
not the revolutionist which party spirit loved to depict him. A letter
appears in the 'Castlereagh Papers,' in which the writer, Redhead
York, describes John Sheares at Versailles, falling on his knees and
vowing that he would plant a poignard in the heart of any person who
would hurt a hair on the head of the Queen of France. In 1792 Henry,
a barrister of some years' standing, secured the house, 128 Lower
Baggot Street, Dublin, now the Ulster Bank. It was at that time a
corner house; but Sheares, shortly before his death, assigned a plot of
ground adjoining it whereon the two houses between Sheares's residence
and Pembroke Street were built. The large block of buildings between
St. Stephen's Green and Sheares's house did not then exist. Miss
Steele saw, from her father's back windows in the Green, the soldiers
surrounding Sheares's home when, in May 1798, treason was deemed
sufficiently ripe for a _coup_. John Sheares, the junior of Henry by
nine years, lived with him, and the utmost fraternal love subsisted
between both.

Captain John Warneford Armstrong, the descendant of a Scotch settler
in Ireland, was at heart a supporter of oligarchical principles, but
acted so well the part of a flaming patriot, that Byrne, a democratic
bookseller, led Armstrong to his private room and presented him to
Sheares as 'a true brother on whom you may implicitly depend.' Henry
declined to hold converse unless in presence of his brother John.
Armstrong said he would wait until John came. Conversation, however,
had commenced before his arrival; he at length appeared with Byrne, and
the latter introduced Armstrong in an equally impressive way. Armstrong
deposed on the trial that John Sheares said--'I know your principles
very well,' and asked him to join the cause by action as he had already
done by inclination. Armstrong replied--'I am ready to do everything in
my power for it, and if you can show me how I can assist I will serve
you to the utmost.' John, an impulsive youth, said that the best way he
could help was to gain over the soldiery, and confer with him as to the
best way of seizing the royal camp. Armstrong appointed to meet him at
Baggot Street with this end; he did so, and on Sunday night, May 13,
paid another visit--both brothers being present. On the 15th he called
twice; John Sheares said he would like to introduce him to a friend of
his, Surgeon (afterwards General) Lawless, with whom he might consult
and advise in his absence--he [John] being obliged to go down and
organise Cork. All this time Henry Sheares is found reticent, and at
some of the interviews he was not present at all. However, on Thursday,
the 17th, both brothers appeared to this apparently zealous convert
to their cause; Lawless was also by, and (according to Armstrong's
testimony) said: 'He had lately attended a meeting of deputies from
almost all the militia regiments, at which meeting there were two of
his [the approver's] men.'

Henry Sheares, now familiar with Armstrong as his guest and constant
visitor, let fall some remarks by which the betrayer succeeded in
implicating him as having knowledge of the military organisation.
This was not enough for Armstrong; that evening he returned to their
house. Henry did not appear; John came down and obtained a written
introduction from him to a sergeant in his regiment, known to be
a United Irishman. The most sickening part of this story has yet
to be told. Armstrong continued to worm himself into the hearts of
his victims. He accepted their invitations to dinner, mingled with
their family, listened to Mrs. Sheares singing at the harp for his
entertainment, and, as Curran declared, fondled on his knee the child
of the man whom he had marked for doom!

The time was now coming, and coming fast, when the blood of the Sheares
was to be set free--a fact the more painful, when we know that two of
their brothers had already given their lives in the service of the
King. Armstrong in the year 1843 said, in presence of Mr., afterwards
Lord, O'Hagan, that 'Lord Castlereagh persuaded him to dine with the
Sheares with a view to gather further information.' Dogging their
steps, scenting their hot blood, and measuring the days they had
to live, he at last gave tongue, and on May 21 both brothers were
seized. That evening, while John was a prisoner, but as yet ignorant
of Armstrong's perfidy, the betrayer is found paying him a visit of
condolence, probably hoping to gather, during the excitation of his
victim, facts which would compromise absent friends. Any evidence which
could incriminate Henry was far less than that affecting John. It is
surprising that the wonderful caution shown by Sheares when a younger
man should not have made him more guarded in his intercourse with
Armstrong; and at this point it is curious to look back at Collins's
report (p. 168 _ante_) where he describes Sheares warning the Society
of United Irishmen that spies were spreading snares around.

Anyone reading this trial, with the light now available, cannot fail
to be struck by a circumstance which has heretofore passed without
comment. The outlook was black for the brothers when their counsel,
Plunket, Curran, McNally, and Ponsonby, held a conference to see what
could be done. A good point was at last detected; one of the Grand
Jury who found the bill appeared to be a foreigner, or, as legally
termed, an alien. Law books had to be looked up; some searching
inquiries made. McNally, meanwhile, had been despatched to the
Court of Common Pleas to appease the judges, who had been waiting
for some time and waxed impatient. McNally explained that there was
a deliberation among the counsel on a serious point of law, and,
until they came in, he could say no more. The court made an effort
to draw him, but he parried it with seeming firmness. The case stood
adjourned, and when Plunket, Curran, and Ponsonby arrived to spring a
surprise, they found Attorney-General Toler (the Lord Norbury of after
years) fully prepared, not only by a written 'replication' bristling
with points, but by an elaborate oral argument, and, between him and
the prime-sergeant, they met the objection with a readiness quite
wonderful, and which meant ruin to the brothers. The court of course
overruled a plea which counsel for the Sheareses hoped would have
quashed the proceedings, and it cannot be doubted that the point had
been betrayed to Toler by one of the counsel engaged in the conference.

The Attorney-General said he would go on with the trial of John; but
at another conference of their counsel it was decided, in evil hour,
that both brothers should go into the dock together and join in their
challenge. The luckless suggestion is likely to have come from McNally.
Curran was not a great lawyer, his _forte_ lay in cross-examination
and classic eloquence; he revered McNally, as has been already shown,
and he was not the man to differ with him. Two witnesses, it will be
remembered, were then necessary to convict for treason in England; the
Irish judiciary were satisfied with one. The amazement of the Sheares
on beholding Armstrong enter the witness-box can be guessed. Curran
drew a picture of the children of his client sitting in the mansion
where Armstrong was hospitably entertained--the aged mother supported
by the devotion of her son--and it was suggested that the informer
'smiled upon this scene, contemplating the havoc he was about to make.'
Midnight had passed when the evidence closed. Armstrong's first cousin,
Thomas Drought, testified, among other damaging facts, to atheistical
expressions used by the approver.[693] Lieutenant Shervington, an uncle
by marriage, heard Armstrong say 'that if there could be no other
person found for the purpose, he would, with pleasure, become the
executioner of George III., and glory in the deed.' His uncle replied
that if such were his principles he ought to throw up his commission
and go over to the enemy at once.

When the trial had proceeded for fifteen hours, Curran, sinking with
exhaustion, moved for an adjournment, but Toler opposed, and at eight
o'clock next morning a verdict of 'Guilty' was returned. At these
words the brothers fell into each other's arms. At three o'clock both
were brought up for judgment. Lord Carleton, who presided, was said
to have been appointed by Sheares's father the guardian of John,
but it is correct to say that he had been only the attached friend
of their father.[694] This judge was visibly affected, and made
touching reference to the past. John, with his full blue eyes and open
countenance, as Maria Steele describes him, made an earnest appeal for
his elder brother's life, declaring that he knew nothing of a fatal
manuscript that, admittedly written by John, had been found in Henry's
desk; all in vain: Toler seemed impatient for the sacrifice, and both
were sentenced to be hanged next day. Sir Jonah Barrington prints a
painful letter addressed to him by Henry, but which by some mistake
did not reach him, he says, till the fatal morning. Henry could not
believe that an adverse verdict awaited him, and when at last it came,
he was utterly stunned by the blow. Sheares begs Barrington to see Lord

  Oh! speak to him of my poor wretched family--my distracted
  wife, and my helpless children; snatch them from the dreadful
  horrors which await them. Desire my mother to go to Lord Shannon
  immediately, and my wife to the Lord Chancellor.... We are to
  receive sentence at three o'clock. Fly, I beseech you, and save a
  man who will never cease to pray for you--to serve you. Let me hear
  from you, my dear fellow, as quick as possible. God bless you.

  Newgate: eight o'clock.

Sheares's wife sat for hours in a sedan chair at Lord Clare's
hall-door; and when, at length, he appeared, she threw herself at
his feet, clasped his knees, and implored him to save her husband,
but failed. Barrington, tardily acting upon Henry's letter, had more
influence with the chancellor.

  I immediately waited on Lord Clare [he writes]; he read the letter
  with great attention; I saw he was moved--his heart yielded. I
  improved on the impression; he only said 'What a coward he is! but
  what can we do?' He paused. 'John Sheares cannot be spared. Do you
  think Henry can say anything, or make any species of discovery
  which can authorise the Lord Lieutenant in making a distinction
  between them?--if so, Henry may be reprieved.' He read the letter
  again, and was obviously affected. I had never seen him amiable
  before. 'Go,' said he, 'to the Prison, see Henry Sheares, ask him
  this question, and return to me at Cooke's office.' I lost no time,
  but I found on my arrival that orders had been given that nobody
  should be admitted without a written permission. I returned to the
  Castle--they were all at Council. Cooke was not at his office: I
  was delayed. At length the secretary returned, gave me the order. I
  hastened to Newgate, and arrived at the very moment the executioner
  was holding up the head of my friend, and saying, 'Here is the head
  of a traitor.'[695]

Barrington says nothing of Lord Shannon, who was related to the
Sheareses, and it is certain that the message for him miscarried.
This peer, with the object of offering condolence, called upon their
mother[696] the day of the execution, and was greatly distressed when
she threw herself upon her knees to beg the favour of his intervention
for John; she did not know that Henry had been implicated, and, of
course, was ignorant that either had already suffered death. Lord
Shannon, in an agony of mind, and unable to explain, rushed from the

There was a butchery displayed in the immolation of the brothers which,
if employed at the present day on a beast in the shambles, would evoke
angry protest. The 'New Cork Evening Post' of July 23, 1798, while
supplying some painful details, bears out Barrington's recollection:--

  They requested that they might not continue long exposed to the
  gaze of the multitude, and, having each an halter fixed round
  his neck, and a cap drawn over his face, holding by each other's
  hand, they tottered out upon the platform in front of the prison.
  In making the rope fast within, John Sheares was hauled up to the
  block of the tackle, and continued nearly a minute suspended alone
  before the platform fell. It did fall, and instantly both were
  suspended. After hanging about twenty minutes, they were, at a
  quarter after three o'clock, let down, when the hangman separated
  their heads.[697]

Much feeling was roused by this sanguinary act. Classic students
who lived in the past started in horror, comparing the Sheareses
to 'the hapless victims' described by Gibbon: 'the two brothers
of the Quintilian family whose fraternal love endeared them to
posterity--whose bodies seemed animated by one soul--and whose union in
death is due to the cruelty of Commodus.' Grattan loudly condemned
the men 'whose misrule had brought Ireland to so black a crisis. The
question men should have asked was, not why was Mr. Sheares upon the
gallows?--but why was not Lord Clare along with him?' And two years
later, in a speech of resistance to the Union, he declared that the
treason of the minister against the liberties of the people was far
worse than the rebellion of the people against the minister. But even
in the latter sense, Henry Sheares must be held guiltless. John,
pouring out to his sister, in an agonised letter, his most secret
thoughts, writes: 'Heaven is my witness how assiduously I sought to
keep aloof, in any of my political concerns, from _him_;' and there is
not a line in the evidence of Armstrong to prove that Henry took any
active part in the treason. Addis Emmet, Arthur O'Connor, McNevin--all
the men who had been at the head of it, and its very soul, were at that
hour in gaol. O'Connor declared that he and his colleagues knew nothing
of the Sheareses; and it is certain that neither of them had ever
intrigued with France, as O'Connor and the others had done. The names
of the Sheareses find no place in the list of marked men that Turner
gave Downshire (p. 7, _ante_). This omission can be easily accounted
for. Arthur O'Connor, in a letter to Dr. Madden, which pointed out some
inaccuracies, writes:--

  You seem to think the Sheares were leading men in the Union,[698]
  whereas, I may say, they never entered it, so as to be known to us.
  The fact is, they were just entering it when they were cut off. It
  was the younger Sheares's Proclamation, which was an act purely
  personal, without the knowledge or concurrence of the Union, that
  has misled some to think he and his brother were deeply engaged in
  the Union.'

The following is one of the letters, already promised, and now
published for the first time. It is written by Henry previous to his

  Dear Sir,--Accept my best thanks for the friendly readiness with
  which you consented to present my letter, which I hope has been
  received. I am now to trouble you on a subject more immediately
  relating to my unfortunate situation. I have apply'd as is usual
  in those cases to my different Friends to come forward on my tryal,
  and to give me a character such as they think I deserve, and to put
  it in a manner most likely to produce a beneficial effect. From
  my knowledge of the goodness of your heart, from a sympathy which
  I am sure you feel for a fond husband and an affectionate father,
  from the regard which I am sure you have for Mrs. Sheares, I feel a
  hope that in this instance you will gladly embrace this opportunity
  of saving us both. You know that on these occasions a general
  character is not admissable so that it must apply to the political
  character. And so far to the domestic as will go to establish the

  Taking it this way may I hope that you can say that you know me
  to be a man of domestic habits, fondly attached to my wife and
  children, so as to make it highly improbable that I would suffer my
  political conduct to endanger their happiness; that you consider me
  a man of liberal but not violent principles; that I go no farther
  in them than the first characters of opposition in the English
  and Irish Parliament have done, namely being an advocate for a
  reform in Parliament and a renovation of the ancient purity of our
  constitution; that I am not a friend to violent systems, and that I
  am not an advocate for Revolution.

  This is what, from your knowledge of me, I trust you can say
  without going farther than will justify you to yourself. And for
  this friendly service I shall seize with pleasure every opportunity
  of showing how much I shall feel myself obliged to you for it.

  As it is usual and necessary for the use of counsel to have the
  witnesses' names which they are to prove arranged in the brief, I
  have given directions to my agent to wait on you for that purpose
  whenever it may be convenient to you, as also to go through the
  form of giving you a summons.

                       Your very much obliged and grateful Friend,
                                                  HENRY SHEARES.

  Kilmainham Gaol: July 10, 1798.

The superscription of this letter has been removed--probably by the
recipient--and it seems very likely that he left his friend in the
lurch, and did not come forward for his defence. The prosecuting
counsel of those days loved to taunt such witnesses with a
participation in the views held by the accused; they were browbeaten
and bullied, and often left the court wincing under some dark
innuendo, dropped with jibing leer.

John, the younger brother, wrote two letters to his sister, from which
it is clear that--constituted as the jury panel was at that day--he had
no hope of acquittal. The matter omitted deals with sundry small debts
which he desired should be paid:--

                                       Kilmainham Prison: July 10, 1798.

  The troublesome scene of life, my dear Julia, is nearly closed,
  and the hand that now traces these lines will in a day or two be
  no longer capable of communicating to a beloved and affectionate
  family the sentiments of his heart. A painful task yet awaits me.
  I do not allude to my trial, or my execution. These--were it not
  for the consciousness I feel of the misery you all will suffer on
  my account--would be trivial in comparison with the pain I endure
  in addressing you for the last time. You, Julia, who have been
  kind to me beyond example; your solicitudes for my welfare have
  been unremitting, nor did they leave you a moment's happiness. As
  a wayward fate seems from the earliest moment of my life to have
  presided over my days, I will not now recapitulate the instances of
  a perverse destiny that seems to mark me out as the instrument of
  destruction to all I love. Robert--Richard--and Christopher, dear,
  valued brothers! If it be true that the mind survives the body,
  I shall shortly join you, and learn for what wise purpose Heaven
  thought fit to select me as your destroyer! My mother too--Oh!
  God! my tender revered mother, I see her torn looks--her broken
  heart--her corpse! What have I done to deserve this misery? I must
  forbear these thoughts as much as possible, or I must forbear to

  My trial comes on the day after to-morrow, and the event is
  unequivocal. You must summon up all the resolution of your
  soul, my dear Julia; if there be a chance of snatching my
  afflicted mother from the grave, that chance must arise from your
  exertions; my darling Sally, too, will aid you; she will, for a
  while, suspend her joy at the restoration of her husband to her
  arms--for of his escape I have no more doubt than I have of my
  own conviction and its consequences. All, all of you must forget
  your individual griefs and joys, and unite to save that best of
  parents from the grave; stand between her and despair; if she will
  speak of me, sooth her with every assurance calculated to carry
  consolation to her heart; tell her that my death--though nominally
  ignominious--should not light up a blush in her face; that she knew
  me incapable of a dishonourable action or thought; that I died in
  full possession of the esteem of all those who knew me intimately;
  that justice will yet be paid to my memory, and my fate be
  mentioned rather with pride than shame by my friends and relations.
  Yes, my dear sister, if I did not expect the arrival of this
  justice to my memory, I should indeed be afflicted at the nominal
  ignominy of my death, lest it should injure your welfare, and wound
  the feelings of my family. But, above all things, tell her that at
  my own request I have been attended in my latest moments by that
  excellent and pious man, Doctor Dobbin, and that my last prayer was
  offered up for her. While I feared for Harry's life, hell itself
  could have no tortures for the guilty beyond what I suffered. I
  pictured you all, a helpless, unprotected group of females, left to
  the miseries of your own feelings, and to the insults of a callous,
  insensible world. Sally, too, stripped of a husband on whom she
  tenderly doats, and the children of their father--and all by my
  cursed interloping, and by my residence with them! Yet, Heaven is
  my witness, how assiduously I sought to keep aloof in any of my
  political concerns from him. My efforts, however, have kept him
  clear of any of those matters that have involved me in destruction.
  When Sally has got him back to her arms, and that I, who caused his
  danger, and her unhappiness, am no more, she will cease to think of
  me, perhaps, with reproach. This I trust she will do; she ought,
  for she herself could never have done more for his salvation than
  I endeavoured to do. But the scene is changed, I am no longer the
  frantic thing I was while his danger appeared imminent. A calm
  sorrow for the sufferings that await you on my account, and a
  heart-felt regret at being obliged to quit your beloved society for
  ever, has succeeded; yet all this will soon have an end, and with
  comfort I already anticipate the moment when your subsiding grief
  gives you back to the enjoyment of each other. Still, my dearest
  Julia, even when I shall be no more, your plagues on my account are
  not likely to cease....

  Good night, Julia. I am going to rest, thank God! free from the
  consciousness of intentional offence, and from any wish tainted
  with personal resentment.

John when in France had been an ardent admirer of Rousseau, whose style
he now unconsciously catches:--

                                               Wednesday night: July 11.

  It is now eleven o'clock, and I have only time to address my
  beloved Julia in a short eternal farewell. Thou sacred power!
  whatever be thy name and nature, who has created us the frail and
  imperfect creatures we are, hear the ardent prayer of a creature
  now on the eve of an awful change. If thy Divine Providence can be
  affected by mortal supplication, hear and grant, I beseech Thee,
  the last wishes of a heart that has ever adored Thy goodness. Let
  peace and happiness once more visit the bosom of my beloved family.
  Let a mild grief succeed the miseries they have endured, and when
  an affectionate tear is generously shed over the dust of him who
  caused their misfortunes--let all their ensuing days glide on in
  union and domestic harmony. Enlighten my beloved brother; to him
  and his invaluable wife grant the undisturbed enjoyment of their
  mutual love, and as they advance let their means of providing for
  the sweet pledges of their attachment increase. Let my Julia, my
  feeling--my too feeling--Julia, feel the consolation she has so
  often sought for others, let her soul repose at length in the
  consummation of all her wishes--let her taste that happiness her
  virtues have so well merited. For my other sisters provide those
  comforts their situation requires. To my mother, oh, Eternal Power!
  what gift shall I wish for my matchless parent? Restore to her
  that peace which I have torn from her--let her forget me in the
  ceaseless affections of my remaining sisters, and in their growing
  prosperity--let her taste that happiness which is best suited to
  her affectionate heart, and when at length she is called home, let
  her find in everlasting bliss the due reward of a life of suffering
  virtue. Adieu, my Julia, my light is just out, the approach of
  darkness is like that of death, since both alike require I shall
  say farewell for ever. Oh, my dear family, farewell--farewell for

In dealing with Armstrong's conduct in this case,[699] I regret being
obliged to take a tone different from that of Mr. Lecky, who has placed
his character in a somewhat favourable point of view.

The sealed chest in Dublin Castle, which was opened some years ago,
contained McNally's secret reports, signed 'J. W.' Among them is the
following, dated by McNally, July 14, 1798:--

                       _Lord Cork's First Letter_

  Lord Cork writes: 'Mr. John Warneford Armstrong was certainly in
  my regiment and quitted it in a most disgraceful manner. From his
  conduct while there I would not pay much attention to what he did
  say, nor give much credit even to his oath.

  'I would send a person on purpose did I not think it would be too

  [Dated by Lord Cork, July 9.]

                _Lord Cork's Second Letter, dated 11th_

  'Mr. Sheares's letter did not reach me till to-day. I lose no
  time to inform the Lord Lieutenant circumstances concerning
  Mr. Armstrong that I hope may be of service to the unfortunate
  brothers.'[700] ...

  It has transpired [adds McNally], perhaps without foundation,
  that amnesty is to be held out to-morrow--chearfulness is the

  The letters above alluded to are in the hands of _my friend_
  [_i.e._ himself]. He has kept them private.

Sheares and McNally had been old friends. Sheares stood by him in the
hour of danger.[701] These ties were strengthened by the fact that
McNally was counsel for him on the trial.[702] Assuming that McNally
had the letters in his possession of which he sends copies, it seems
quite indefensible to have kept back Lord Cork's, dated July 9, until
the very day on which the brothers were hanged. The execution took
place in Dublin at 11·45 A.M. on July 14, 1798. Sir Jonah Barrington
mentions that a reprieve was granted but did not arrive in time. It
cannot be assumed that McNally humanely used these letters in any other
quarter, for, as he assures Cooke, he 'has kept them private.'

Sir Jonah Barrington, who was constantly consulted by the Irish
Government, says, when noticing Armstrong's evidence against the
Sheares, that, unlike Reynolds--a man of spotted fame and impoverished
finances--'Armstrong had a stake and a status to lose; but he took
the bold course of sacrificing openly the honour of an officer and a
gentleman.' These words he would not use had Lord Cork's letter seen
the light.

Armstrong, forty-five years after the execution of his victims, held,
in a conversation with Dr. Madden, that Curran's statement as to taking
'baby Sheares' on his knee could not be true because he was never fond
of children. An unscrupulous man, however, playing a desperate game,
and in the excitement of hot pursuit, may have done things contrary to
his usual habits. Armstrong's sole effort was to extort the confidence
of the Sheares; and he could not forget that he who takes the child
by the hand takes the parent by the heart. It is to be feared that
Armstrong's oral 'pooh pooh' is untenable. The following anecdote,
now told for the first time, rests on the high authority of Lawrence
Parsons, Earl of Ross. Armstrong, shortly after the death of the
Sheareses, when landing from Holyhead at the Pigeon House, and anxious
to avoid hostile greetings from the mob who always awaited the coach
which brought to Dublin the usually seasick passengers, crossed the
Strand to Sandymount, and when midway observed approaching a lady in
black accompanied by two children. The latter on recognising Armstrong
ran gleefully to meet him.[703] Needless to say they were the widow and
orphans of Henry Sheares. Another authentic anecdote ought to be told.
The grand-aunt of Mr. Gray, F.T.C.D., gave him the following curious
reminiscence. Her family resided near Armstrong in the King's County,
and he was intimate at their house. One evening in 1797 the lady heard
angry voices in the parlour, where she had left the gentlemen after
dinner, and on turning the handle to re-enter a loud smash followed.
Armstrong had talked so much treason that it excited her brother to
disgust; and this feeling gave place to rage when Armstrong, having
left the room for some minutes, had returned dressed in rebel green.
The former seized a decanter and hurled it at Armstrong, who ducked,
and the panel suffered instead of his head.

The Rev. Dr. Dobbin, who attended the brothers at their execution, now
claims to be heard in a letter published for the first time. It is
addressed to Captain William Flemyng, a cousin of the Sheareses:--

                                                 Finglas: July 16, 1798.

  My dear Sir,--Agreeably to your desire I send the letter which
  Mr. John Sheares addressed to me, and which I received from his
  own hands on Saturday morning after his participating in the most
  solemn rite of our religion. However criminal I may consider his
  conduct to have been in other respects, of the charges from which
  he is so anxious his memory may be vindicated I acquit him from
  my soul; under this conviction I shall chearfully comply with
  his request, and embrace every opportunity of explaining his
  real intentions in writing the paper which has so much irritated
  the public mind. You, I trust, will exert yourself in a similar
  manner; when you have taken a copy of the letter you will be so
  good as to return it. The two unfortunate brothers, who forfeited
  their lives last Saturday to the violated laws of their country,
  were the sons of an eminent banker in Cork with whom I had lived,
  many years since, in intimacy and friendship. The elder brother
  I was but slightly acquainted with, but Mr. John Sheares I knew
  more intimately. I admired his uncommon talents, and still more
  the distinguished humanity and philanthropy which marked the
  whole of his conversation and demeanour. It was, therefore, with
  equal surprise and concern I heard of his being under confinement
  on a charge of high treason. With still greater astonishment,
  if possible, I heard a paper had been found in his handwriting,
  the tendency of which was to excite the people to violent and
  sanguinary proceedings: this was so entirely irreconcileable with
  the humane and liberal principles which I was persuaded had
  ever directed the conduct of J. S. that I ardently wished for an
  explanation. An opportunity soon occurred. On Friday morning I
  received your letter informing me of the conviction of the two
  brothers, and conveying an earnest request from J. S. that I
  should visit him as soon as possible. I undertook the melancholy
  office with mingled pain and satisfaction. I continued with them
  some hours that day. What past during the solemn interview was,
  I trust, suited to the awful circumstances in which they were
  placed, and becoming the character and situation in which I stood.
  I shall only trouble you, however, with what relates immediately
  to the subject of the letter, or is connected with it. The charge
  of sanguinary intentions he disclaimed as most abhorrent to his
  nature and repugnant to his principles, asserted his object to
  prevent the effusion of blood, and assigned more fully and more at
  large the motives and reasons contained in his letter. The whole
  was delivered with a serious, solemn, and unembarrassed air, such
  as usually accompanies truth, and must have imprest on my mind
  the fullest conviction of his sincerity. There is one fact he
  mentioned on this occasion, which I shall relate to you as nearly
  as I can in his own words: 'To the taking away of the life of a
  fellow creature where it can be prevented my nature is so abhorrent
  that I was called by some of my democratic friends "the Informer":
  assassination was mentioned, and I reprobated the idea with horror
  and positively declared that, unless it was instantly given up, I
  would myself inform against them: in consequence of my peremptory
  declaration it was given up, and the lives of some persons were

  On my strongly representing to him the fatal and unjustifiable
  part he had taken, and the miserable condition of his country, he
  made the following reply: 'Dr. Dobbin, many wished for reform who
  did not think of rebellion, but you know the progress of the human
  mind; where demands, just in the opinion of those who make them,
  instead of concession produce further coercion, discontents are
  encreased, and a man is gradually led on step by step to lengths he
  would in the beginning shudder at.'

  His behaviour with respect to his near relatives was tender and
  affecting; resigned to his own fate, he expressed the strongest
  desire to save, if possible, the life of his brother. When I was
  parting from him at my last visit, he conjured me in visible
  emotion with tears in his eyes to visit his poor mother and
  endeavour to console her.

                   Adieu, my dear Sir,[704] most truly yours,
                                                 WILLIAM DOBBIN.

  Finglas: July 16, 1798.

The enclosure does not seem to have been sent back by Flemyng as
requested. The original of John Sheares's letter is now before me,
preserved within the decaying folds of Dr. Dobbin's manuscript:--

                       _To the Rev. Dr. Dobbin._

  My dear Sir,--As to-morrow is appointed for the execution of
  my brother and me, I shall trouble you with a few words on the
  subject of the writing produced on my trial, importing to be a
  proclamation. The first observation I have to make is that a
  considerable part of that scrolled production was suppressed on
  my trial; from what motive, or whether by accident, I will not
  say--certain it is that the part which has not appeared must have
  in a great measure shewn what the true motives were that caused
  that writing, if it had been produced. To avoid a posthumous
  calumny in addition to the many and gross misrepresentations of
  my principles, moral and political, I shall state, with the most
  sacred regard to Truth, what my chief objects were in writing,
  or rather in attempting to write, it, for it is but a wretched,
  patched and garbled attempt. It was contained in a sheet of paper
  and in one or two pieces more, which are not forthcoming--the sheet
  alone is produced. It is written in very violent revolutionary
  language, because, as it in the outset imports, after a revolution
  had taken place could it alone be published--and the[705]
  occurrence of such an event I thought every day more probable.
  The first sentence that has produced much misrepresentation is
  that which mentions that some of the most obnoxious members of the
  Government have already payed the forfeit of their lives--I cannot
  state the words exactly. From this it is concluded I countenanced
  assassination--Gracious God!--but I shall simply answer that this
  sentence was merely supposititious, and founded on that common
  remark, oftenest made by those who least wished it verified, that
  if the people had ever recourse to force and succeeded, there were
  certain persons whom they would most probably destroy. The next
  most obnoxious sentence--more obnoxious to my feelings, because
  calculated to misrepresent the real sentiments of my soul--is that
  which recommends to give no quarter to those who fought against
  their native country [unless they should speedily join the Standard
  of Freedom]. With this latter part of the sentence I found two
  faults, and therefore drew my pen over it as above. The first fault
  was that the word 'speedily' was too vague and might encourage the
  sanguinary immediately to deny quarter, which was the very thing
  the whole sentence was intended to discountenance and prevent--the
  next fault was that it required more than ever should be required
  of any human being, namely, to fight against his opinions from
  fear. The sentence was intended to prevent the horrid measure of
  refusing quarter from being adopted: by appearing to acquiesce in
  it at some future period, when the inhuman thirst for it should
  no longer exist. But as the sentence now stands in two parts of
  the sheet it would appear as if I sought to enforce the measure I
  most abhor. To prevent it was, in fact, one of my leading motives
  for writing the address: but I had also three others that are
  expressed on the piece or pieces of paper, which made part of the
  writing, but which, tho' laid all together in the same desk, have

  The three objects alluded to are these, the protection of property,
  preventing the indulgence of _revenge_, and the strict forbiddal
  of injuring any person for religious differences.

  I know it is said that I call on the people to take _vengeance_
  on their oppressors, and enumerate some of their oppressions. But
  this is the very thing that enables me to point out the difference
  between _private revenge_ and _public vengeance_. The former has
  only a retrospective and malignant propensity, while the latter,
  though animated by the recollection of the past, has ever only in
  view the removal of the evil and of the possibility of occurrence.
  Thus the assassin _revenges_ himself; but the patriot avenges
  his country of it's enemies, by overthrowing them, and depriving
  them of all power again to hurt it: In the struggle some of their
  lives may fall, but these were not the objects of his vengeance.
  In short, even the Deity is said in this sense to be an _avenging_
  Being; but who deems him _revengeful_? Adieu, my dear sir. Let me
  entreat you, whenever an opportunity shall occur, that you will
  justify my principles on these points. Believe me your sincere

                                                   JOHN SHEARES.

  Newgate: 12 o'clock at night, July 13.[706]

The Proclamation which brought John Sheares to the scaffold (Henry had
no part in it, and died, so far, innocent) ended with these words:--

  Vengeance, Irishmen, vengeance on your oppressors! Remember
  that thousands of your dearest friends have perished by their
  merciless orders! Remember their burnings--their rackings--their
  torturings--their military massacres, and their legal murders.
  Remember Orr!

These declamatory words of a young barrister and amateur tragedian, who
probably had no serious design of going red-handed into revolution,
were by no means confined to _his_ mouth. In the Appendix will be found
some account of William Orr. Meanwhile, the late Henry Grattan, son of
the greater Grattan, writes:--

  'Remember Orr!' were words written everywhere--pronounced
  everywhere. I recollect, when a child, to have read them on the
  walls--to have heard them spoken by the people. Fortunately I did
  not comprehend their meaning. The conduct of the Irish Government
  was so reprobated, that at a public dinner in London, given in
  honor of Mr. Fox's birthday, in one of the rooms where the Duke of
  Norfolk, Lord Oxford, Mr. Erskine, Sir Francis Burdett, and Horne
  Tooke sat, two of the toasts were,--'The memory of Orr--basely
  M--D--D. May the execution of Orr provide places for the Cabinet of
  St. James's at the Castle!'

The fate of the Sheareses was soon forgotten, but occasionally a
pilgrim in thoughtful mood wended his way to their last resting place.
William Henry Curran sent to the 'New Monthly Magazine,' in 1822,
an account of St. Michan's crypt, Church Street, Dublin. This vault
possesses the rare virtue of preserving human remains.[707] He was
struck on entering to find that decay had been more busy with the
tenement than the tenant:--

  In some instances the coffins had altogether disappeared; in others
  the lids or sides had mouldered away, exposing the remains within,
  still unsubdued by death from their original form.... I had been
  told that they (the Sheares) were here, and the moment the light
  of the taper fell upon the spot they occupy, I quickly recognised
  them by one or two circumstances that forcibly recalled the close
  of their career--the headless trunks and the remains of their
  coarse, unadorned penal shells. Henry's head was lying beside his
  brother; John's had not been completely detached by the blow of
  the executioner--one of the ligaments of the neck still connects
  it with the body. I knew nothing of these victims of ill-timed
  enthusiasm except from historical report; but the companion of my
  visit to their grave had been their cotemporary and friend, and
  he paid their memories the tribute of some sighs, which, even at
  this distance of time, it would not be prudent to heave in a less
  privileged place.

The late Richard Dalton Webb, when a boy, also went to see these
reliques. With a penknife he severed the ligament mentioned by Curran,
and carried away the head to his own home, where it remained twenty
years. He finally regretted having taken it, and offered it to Dr.
Madden, at whose door the gruesome relic duly arrived.

  The head was finely formed [he writes], but the expression of the
  face was that of the most frightful agony. The mark of very violent
  injuries, done during life to the right eye, nose, and mouth, were
  particularly apparent; the very indentation round the neck, from
  the pressure of the rope, was visible; and there was no injury to
  the cervical vertebræ occasioned by any instrument.

These horrible marks were doubtless caused by the brutal and bungling
way in which the executioner had done his work. Madden, in good
taste, restored to the shrunken trunk its long-lost head. When John
Sheares, in his last letter, spoke of 'an affectionate tear shed over
his dust,' he little foresaw the grim irony by which the words of the
Burial Service--'Dust to dust, ashes to ashes'--were to be thwarted. He
never married. Roche, in his 'Essays of an Octogenarian,' says that,
happening to occupy the rooms in Dublin where John Sheares had once
lived, he discovered, in a recess, a package of his letters, which, on
finding them addressed to a lady, he instantly burned. Rich material
for romance was thus, happily, lost.

John Sheares's last letter to his sister makes feeling reference to
his natural daughter Louise, then aged seven years. Julia Sheares gave
from her pinched resources what served to educate this girl. Louise
married a Mr. Coghlan, but, owing to his loose habits, left him. John's
dramatic dash descended to his child. She became a popular actress, and
was known on the London stage as 'Miss White.' Here the gentle histrion
went through many struggles, and was pursued by much adulation. But
panting--like Goldsmith's hare--to the spot from whence at first she
flew, Louise returned to Ireland, and died there in 1828.

Whilst the parchment features of the Sheareses grinned in agonised
expression, and their orphans shivered in the storms of a cold,
neglectful world,[708] John Warneford Armstrong battened on his
blood-money, and posed as a prosperous and popular man. Lord Cork's
damaging account of his antecedents in the letter which remained near
a century sealed will be remembered. The magisterial bench hailed his
adhesion; he took a leading place on the grand jury of his county;
Burke's 'Landed Gentry' enrolled him in its ranks.

In 1843 the name of Captain Armstrong again came before the public, in
connection with the prosecution of his servant, Egan, for stealing,
among other effects, a gold medal in commemoration of his discoveries
in 1798. The late F. Thorpe Porter, from whose lips I had the following
anecdote, was on the bench with Sir Nicholas FitzSimon as police
magistrate, when the latter, recognising through a glass door the
well-known figure of Armstrong approaching, said: 'Here is Sheares'
Armstrong; I don't care to meet him,' and retired into a private room.
FitzSimon, as former member for the King's County in which Armstrong
lived, had been in pleasant touch with him, and often chuckled at his
quaint conceits. Armstrong with his accustomed swagger took his seat,
uninvited, on the bench. Mr. Porter said that he had not the honour of
his acquaintance, and requested him to withdraw. 'I always had this
privilege from Major Sirr,' replied Armstrong, unabashed; 'and I am a
magistrate for the King's County.' 'This not being the King's County,'
retorted Porter, 'I must only repeat my request. If you continue to sit
here people in court might suppose that you were--what I should much
regret--a friend of mine.'

Sir Thomas Redington, the Under-Secretary, informed Mr. Porter that
Armstrong had reported to the Government the words of which he
complained, but that it was decided to take no action in the matter.

Soon after a case came on for hearing before the judicial Chairman
of the King's County, to whom the Clerk of the Peace, speaking in a
half-whisper, said: 'Sheares' Armstrong' (a nickname by which he was
well known) 'has some testimony to offer which it might be well for
you to hear.' This was done, and the chairman, in summing up, said:
'I now come to the evidence of Mr. _Sheares_ Armstrong'--and he
then proceeded to observe upon it, innocently using--over and over
again--the stigmatising nickname, to the amusement of the audience
and the agony of Armstrong. All was not _couleur de rose_ with this
prosperous person. 'The Attornies Guide,' a local satire, published
at Dublin in 1807, and written by the Rev. Richard Frizell, rector of
Ilfracombe, notices as a judgment, a fact which can be regarded merely
as a coincidence: 'Shortly after he gave his ever-memorable evidence
on the trial of these unfortunate gentlemen--the Sheareses--he was
afflicted with a fistula in the face, which rendered him as remarkable
an object as Cain is supposed to have been after the murder of his
brother.' Frizell finally exclaims (p. 42):--

    Unhappy Sheares--an Armstrong thus caressed
    Thy infant, hanging at its mother's breast;
    Friendship pretending, revelled at thy board,
    While round your neck he tied the fatal cord!

Stings like these must have severely tried his patience. His temper
was of as hair-trigger a character as the pistols which he carried for
protection. Robert Maunsell, a leading solicitor, of whom Armstrong
was a client, informed me that the captain, on one occasion, when
entertained by Mrs. Maunsell in Merrion Square, smashed, by an awkward
swinging gesture, the leg of the chair on which he sat, whereupon his
exclamation was not a gallant apology, but--'D---- n your chairs,
madam!' This, Maunsell said, was intoned with a nasal twang--the
penalty paid for the _lupus_--which ate into his beauty fifty years

To earn 500_l._ a year Armstrong must have done something more than
merely to ensnare the Sheareses, although hitherto he has been
credited with that exploit alone. William Lawless was Professor of
Physiology at the College of Surgeons, Dublin, a man of mark, and very
highly connected. Immediately after his interview with Armstrong at
Sheares's house we find a warrant issued for his arrest, and it was
not Armstrong's fault if he failed to meet the fate of the brothers.
A timely hint from Surgeon-general Stewart put Lawless on the alert.
By hair-breadth escapes he eluded his pursuers, and at last reached
France, where he became a distinguished general under Napoleon.

Armstrong, when stealing on the Sheareses, sought to kill another
bird with the same stone. He was clearly making notes for the ruin of
Lawless as well, and mentioned on Sheares's trial, among other remarks
alleged to have been made by Lawless, that the trees near the Royal
camp would come handy in suspending prisoners captured by the rebel
force. Lawless had luckily escaped at this time, but at once wrote
indignantly denying that he had ever made so horrible a suggestion.
Previous to his flight he had resided in French Street, Dublin, whither
Major Sirr proceeded with a warrant both for his arrest and that of
John Sheares, who had been in daily conference with him. While Sirr was
engaged in searching Lawless's house a knock came to the door, Sheares
entered, and Sirr at once said, 'You are my prisoner.'

Lawless had seen Lord Edward constantly during the period of his
concealment; but Armstrong knew nothing of the chieftain's movements,
and, of course, had no hand in his betrayal, though some infer to
the contrary from a passing remark made by Mr. Froude.[709] But he
qualified for his pension by a general vigilance and activity in
support of that red system and policy which John Sheares's proclamation
brands. Armstrong having been questioned by Curran as to three peasants
which he had taken prisoners in '98, he replied: 'We were going up
Blackmore Hill, under Sir James Duff; there was a party of rebels
there. We met three men with green cockades. One we shot, another we
hanged, and the third we flogged and made a guide of.'[710]

The murder of a little child by a yeoman named Woolagan excited, even
in those days, a feeling of abhorrence, and Plowden, in his 'History
of Ireland,' notices Woolagan's acquittal by the court-martial which
tried him, but does not cite the evidence. This we find in the 'Dublin
Magazine' for October 1798. There it will be seen that the murderer
threw the onus on the general orders issued by Captain Armstrong.
Phillips and Curran, who have written of that man, do not appear to
have read this trial. The crime was proved and not denied, yet Woolagan
was acquitted. But the Viceroy, Lord Cornwallis, condemned the verdict,
and disqualified the president of the court-martial, Lord Enniskillen,
from again presiding in that capacity.

Captain Armstrong, though hot-tempered, was capable of generous acts,
and his redeeming points must not be ignored. He was a bad hater, a
good laugher. Affable to all, he frequently went out of his way to
be civil; and with him sweet words had more than their proverbial
value. In days when landlordism reigned with iron sceptre, he showed
indulgence to his tenantry; but when giving leases, or using his
influence with higher lords of the soil for that end, he cunningly
got his own life inserted as a beneficial interest to the tenants.
Thus in the hot-bed of Ribbonism he gloried to the end in a sort of
charmed life. He survived until April 20, 1858, when he died at Clara,
in the King's County, after having drawn from Dublin Castle 500_l._ a
year, or about 29,464_l._ Castlereagh, who had urged him to his work,
recommended him for a pension, and predeceased him by nearly forty
years, might have deemed this sum excessive had he lived to see it paid.

Seeking to disarm prejudice and cultivate rural friendship, Armstrong
maintained cordial relations with the peasantry. He would enter their
cabins, sit with rude hosts, and converse with their wives on various
domestic points solely of interest to themselves. We must suppose that,
consistently with his later utterance, their children attracted from
him no moving manifestation of regard. His long life had one decided
advantage. It is stated that he lived down every political enemy
and contemporary, becoming in the end downright popular. His face,
familiar from childhood even to old men, became at last endeared to
early memories, and his neighbour, Captain Fuller, who attended his
funeral, testifies to the almost incredible fact that he saw some
well-known Ribbonmen, who were present, weep, and horny hands upraised
which, in the hot blood of youth, had dispensed 'the wild justice of


[692] The fact that Mr. Lecky, when noticing the Sheares, tells his
readers to 'see a curious anecdote about them' in a former book of
mine, affords in itself an excuse for now offering something new. Vide
_England in the Eighteenth Century_, viii. 191.

[693] Ridgeway's _Report of the Trial of the Sheares_, p. 129.

[694] The will of Sheares senior lends no support to this often
repeated statement; but he commits his children to the care of Lord
Shannon, a relative of their mother. This peer had been created, in
1786, Baron Carleton in the peerage of England, and hence the confusion.

[695] _Rise and Fall of the Irish Nation_, p. 365. (Paris, 1833.)

[696] She did not long survive the great shock, but a prolonged
purgatory was reserved for Henry's widow. She never raised her head,
loved to occupy a darkened room, and always spent in fasting and prayer
the anniversary of his death. Like her husband she was a Protestant.

[697] Brutal and bungling as all this was, it would appear that, from
the first, it was designed that a cruel butchery should desecrate their
death. The original warrant for their execution orders that:--

'They, and each of them, be hanged by the neck--but not until they be
dead--for whilst they are yet alive, they are to be taken down--their
entrails are to be taken out of their bodies, and, whilst they are yet
alive, to be burned before their faces; their heads are then to be
respectively cut off; their bodies to be divided into four quarters,
and their heads and bodies to be at His Majesty's disposal.'

The above death warrant, with written directions from Mr. Cooke, as
to the troops to attend at the scaffold, is addressed to Alderman
Archer, High Sheriff for Dublin in 1798, and is now preserved by his
grandnephew, Rev. Thomas Gray, M.A., F.T.C.D.

[698] The Society of United Irishmen.

[699] Most writers on the period, in noticing the anomaly that in
England two witnesses were necessary in cases of treason, but in
Ireland only one, assume that this law continues in force. The law as
regards two witnesses dates from the reign of Edward III. It received
strengthening touches by the 7 & 8 Will. III. cap. 3. But in 1822 it
was extended to Ireland (1 & 2 Geo. IV. cap. 24); and editors of Haydn
might note this fact.

[700] General Edward Boyle, eighth Earl of Cork, survived until June
29, 1856, and was the last surviving peer who had sat in the Irish and
in the English House of Lords.

[701] See notice of the duel, p. 177, _ante_.

[702] 'Anonymous letters are flying. _My friend_ got two this week
threatening death and destruction if he exerted himself on the
approaching trials.' 'My friend' is the 'cipher' by which McNally
always means himself.--J. W. to Cooke, July 10, 1798. (MSS. Dublin

[703] The late Lord Ross, a friend of Armstrong's, to Rev. Thomas Gray,
M.A., F.T.C.D., who has communicated it to W. J. F.

[704] The late Dr. Ireland, a nonagenarian, who had filled official
posts in Dublin Castle, knew Flemyng, to whom Dr. Dobbin's letter is
addressed. Flemyng had been in the East India Company's service, but
joined the United Irishmen during leave of absence from Bengal, in
which place he had known Lord Cornwallis, its then Governor-General,
but later Viceroy of Ireland. 'Flemyng,' says Dr. Ireland, 'attained
popularity for having, with his own arm, killed the largest boar seen
in India, an animal which had often ripped open horses and oxen. One
night, at Dublin, the Viceroy sent for Flemyng and surprised him by
saying that all that had passed between him and the Sheares was known
to the Privy Council. The Lord Lieutenant, then placing his arm on
Flemyng's shoulder, said: "Let not another day elapse, or not all my
influence can save you from the gallows. Start for India at once; those
fellows at Ghazapore must be put down; you are just the man to do it.
You will be gazetted to your company ere you reach Bombay." Flemyng
went to India, did the work, rose, and died rich. In 1805 he again met
Lord Cornwallis, on his arrival in India charged with the re-assumption
of its reins of government; with gratitude he acknowledged the
timely service he had rendered him in 1798. Death was written in the
face of Lord Cornwallis as he landed at Calcutta: India, the grave
of Europeans, folded him to its embrace, and a few weeks later the
soldier-statesman was no more.'--Richard Stanley Ireland, M.D., to W.
J. F. This aged physician died on March 13, 1875.

[705] The word 'possible' was written here, but afterwards crossed out.

[706] The above letter of John Sheares, enclosed in Dr. Dobbin's
communication, has, I find, been printed by Dr. Madden; but, on
comparing the original document with the printed copy, no fewer than
thirteen discrepancies are detected.

[707] The soil and walls of the crypt being a compound of argillaceous
earth and carbonate of lime, a singularly antiseptic character is thus
imparted to these vaults.

[708] In 1860, a daughter of Henry Sheares, then seventy-two years of
age, was an occupant of an almshouse in Cork.

[709] Froude, iii. 341.

[710] _The Trial of the Sheareses_, reported by Ridgeway, p. 129.

[711] The late Sir Robert Peel.



(_Vide_ p. 8, _ante_.)

The following is a _résumé_ of some earlier evidence which had
convinced me that the informer whose name Mr. Froude says is
still wrapped in mystery[712] could be only Samuel Turner, LL.D.,

Speaking of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Mr. Froude says: 'His meeting with
Hoche on the Swiss frontier was known only to very few persons. Hoche
himself had not revealed it even to Tone.'

But Turner knew a vast deal about the arrangements with Hoche. An
intercepted letter addressed by Reinhard, the French Minister at
Hamburg, to De la Croix, and written on July 12, 1797, may be found in
the 'Correspondence of Lord Castlereagh,' and assigned by mistake to
the year 1798. In this letter Reinhard tells De la Croix that he sent
Turner to General Hoche. From Hoche[713] himself Turner most likely
learned of the secret interview between Lord Edward and the French

But what proof have we that Lord Downshire's muffled visitor had had
himself an interview with Hoche?

Mr. Froude at some pages distant from the part where he refers to Lord
Edward's meeting with Hoche, when recurring to Downshire's visitor,
whose identity was 'kept a secret even from the Cabinet,' states, from
knowledge acquired after reading the spy's secret letters, 'He had
actually conferred with Hoche and De la Croix.'

The intercepted letter in the 'Castlereagh Papers' refers at much
length to the proceedings of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, MacNevin, and
Turner; but Turner in this letter is called _Furnes_. The general
index to that work states[714] that Furnes is an alias for Samuel
Turner; and further he is described as 'an Irish rebel.' Had the noble
editor supposed that Turner was a spy in the pay of the Crown, this
letter would doubtless have been suppressed in common with others
which Dr. Madden misses. Lord Londonderry brought out his brother's
correspondence in 1848, during the 'Young Ireland' agitation, and was
careful to let few secrets appear.

'He had accompanied the Northern delegacy to Dublin,' proceeds Mr.
Froude, 'and had been present at the discussion of the propriety of an
immediate insurrection.'

John Hughes, of Belfast, an officer in the Society of the United
Irishmen, was arrested immediately after Turner opened communication
with Downshire, and while in gaol turned King's evidence. From the
sworn testimony of John Hughes we learn that, in June 1797, he was
summoned by Lowry and Teeling to attend a meeting in Dublin of
delegates from the different provinces of Ireland, in order to receive
a return of the strength of the United Irishmen. Whilst he was in
Dublin, in June 1797, Teeling invited him to meet some friends at his
lodgings, including Tony McCann of Dundalk, _Mr.[715] Samuel Turner_,
John and Patrick Byrne, Lowry, Dr. MacNevin, and others.[716] The
leaders differed as to the expediency of an immediate rising. 'He met
the above mentioned persons at several other times in Dublin, in June

'The Northern delegate had been present at the discussion of the
propriety of an immediate insurrection. The cowardice or the prudence
of the Dublin faction had disgusted him,' writes Mr. Froude.

The Northern leader who was disgusted with the prudence of the Papist
conspirators in Dublin must have been Turner. In the 'Castlereagh
Papers' is a letter of Reinhard, the French Minister, stating, on
the authority of Turner, 'that it was of dilatoriness and indecision
several members of the Committee were accused; that the Northern
province, feeling its oppression and its strength, was impatient to
break forth.'[718]

Reinhard adds, what will surprise many regarding Lord Edward: 'Macnevin
and Lord Fitzgerald are of the moderate party. Furness [Turner] is for
a speedy explosion, and it is some imprudences into which his ardent
character hurried him that obliged him to leave the country, whereas
the conduct of Macnevin has been circumspect.'[719]

Among the men whom Hughes swears he met in June 1797, with the Northern
delegates in Dublin, were _Turner_, Teeling, MacCann, John Byrne [Union
Lodge, Dundalk], Dr. Macnevin, Colonel Plunket,[720] and Andrew Comyn
of Galway. These men--Turner excepted--were all Roman Catholics; so
were John Keogh, Braughall, MacCormick, and other influential Dublin
leaders--whose names do not appear. Tone was abroad. Downshire's
visitor speaks of the men he met in Dublin as 'Papists' whose prudence
and cowardice disgusted him, and he came to the conclusion that the two
parties could not amalgamate.

Mr. Froude, again describing Downshire's visitor, writes: 'He had seen
Talleyrand and talked with him at length on the condition of Ireland.'

The 'Castlereagh Papers' contain a remarkable letter, headed 'Secret
Intelligence,' and describing very fully an interview with Talleyrand
in reference to an invasion of Ireland. On the third page of his letter
the spy writes: 'Enclosure containing the cyphers _I sent to the
Marquis of Downshire_.'[721]

To this letter I must again return.

Mr. Froude states that Downshire's visitor had discovered one of the
objects of the Papists to be a seizure of property, and had determined
to separate himself from the conspiracy.

Turner belonged to a family of Cromwellian settlers. This we learn from
Prendergast's 'Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland,' p. 417. The letter
(quoted above), printed in the Castlereagh Papers, and acknowledging
to have spied for Lord Downshire, mentions that the writer's 'most
particular friends' were men 'who feared in a Revolution the loss of
their property, especially such as held their estates by grants of
Oliver Cromwell.'[722]

Mr. Froude says that when the mysterious visitor threw back his
disguise Downshire recognised in him the son of a gentleman of good
fortune in the North of Ireland. Lord Downshire is part proprietor
of Newry, where Turner lived, and Hill Street, Newry, is named after
the Downshires, just as Turner's Hill, Newry, is called after the

It may be added that Jacob Turner, of Turner Hill, in the county
of Armagh, esquire, by his will, dated April 27, 1803, acquits and
discharges his son 'Samuel from a judgment debt obtained by me against
him for 1,500_l._'[724]

'"The person" had been a member of the Ulster Revolutionary Committee,'
writes Mr. Froude. This Turner admittedly was.

'He had _fled_ with others,' he tells Lord Downshire when describing
how he came to leave Ireland and settle at Hamburg.

James Hope, in his narrative supplied to Dr. Madden in 1846, when
noticing Turner, writes, 'He _fled_ and settled in Hamburg, where he
was entrusted by the Directory with carrying on the correspondence
between the Irish and French Executives.'[725]

Mr. Froude says that the mysterious man was intimate with all the
United Irish refugees at Hamburg, received instructions from the
Home Office to open a correspondence with rebel leaders, and had the
_entrée_ to the house of Lady Edward Fitzgerald.

No wonder that Lord Downshire's friend should command these exceptional
facilities for spying when we know, on the authority of James Hope, a
veteran rebel of Ulster, that Samuel Turner was the accredited agent at
Hamburg of the 'United Irishmen.'[726]

Mr. Froude tells us that he revealed such evidence of his power to be
useful--at Hamburg--that Pitt was extremely anxious to secure his help.

As Turner is shown by Hope to have been the authorised agent of the
'United Irishmen' at Hamburg, the reason becomes clear why Pitt was so
anxious to secure a man who had access at that place to all the secrets
of his party.

'An arrangement was concluded,' writes Mr. Froude. 'He continued at
Hamburg, as Lady Edward's guest and most trusted friend, saw every one
who came to her house, kept watch over her letter-bag, was admitted to
close and secret conversations upon the prospect of French interference
in Ireland with Reinhard,[727] the Minister of the Directory there, and
he regularly kept Lord Downshire informed of everything which would
enable Pitt to watch the conspiracy.'

The first volume of Castlereagh should here be opened. At pp. 277-286
will be found three intercepted letters, addressed by Reinhard at
Hamburg to De la Croix, revealing minute particulars regarding the
United Irish envoys, and bearing testimony to the zealous help rendered
to the conspiracy by Turner.

'I showed Reinhard Lowry's letter,' quotes Mr. Froude.

Turner and Lowry were old allies in Ireland, and had no secrets between
them. The sworn information of John Hughes mentions that he saw Lowry,
Turner, and Teeling engaged on a committee for conducting the defence
of United Irishmen at the Antrim and Down Assizes in February, 1797.

Mr. Froude tells us that the spy who hurried to London and sought
Lord Downshire was able to describe an important letter which was on
the point of going over from Barclay Teeling in France to Arthur
O'Connor.[728] Great confidence must have been reposed by Teeling in
the man who could tell all this; and such confidence could be earned
only by old intimacy and association. What proof is there that early
intimacy existed in Ireland between Barclay Teeling and Samuel Turner?

The correspondence of Major Sirr, the Fouché of Dublin, with minor
spies, is preserved in Trinity College, Dublin. These papers contain
an information in which Dr. Conlan of Dundalk denounces, as deep in
the conspiracy, Samuel Turner, Barclay Teeling, Lowry, and Byrne. He
describes some hair-breadth escapes of Barclay Teeling, Turner, and
Lowry, and how they spent one night in a barn near Dundalk. Conlan had
been a United Irishman, who finally brought to the gibbet his cousin
Hoey and Marmion[729] of Dundalk.

After the betrayer had hurried from Hamburg to London to sell his
secrets to Pitt, and then as suddenly disappeared, 'he wrote to Lord
Downshire,' observes Mr. Froude, 'saying that he had returned to his
old quarters, for fear he might be falling into a trap.'

In fact, as Mr. Froude shows, he was in mortal terror of the assassin's
knife. Conlan's sworn information, describing the previous doings of
Teeling and Turner in Ireland, mentions how Teeling, Corcoran, and
Byrne had a password for putting informers out of the way. Whenever one
was detected he was sent to some United Irishman with the password,
'Do you know Ormond Steel?' 'But,' adds Conlan--laying 'the flattering
unction to his soul'--'there never was occasion for this.'[730]
Turner's treachery was of enormous magnitude, and most momentous in
its results. Once a man of indomitable courage, conscience made him an
arrant coward in the end.

'I feared,' writes the betrayer to Lord Downshire, 'lest Government
might not choose to ratify our contract, and, being in their power,
would give me my choice either to come forward as evidence or suffer
martyrdom myself. Having no taste for an exit of this kind, I set out
and arrived here safe.'[731]

His dread of 'Ormond Steel' is further proved by Portland's words in
reply to the Viceroy Camden, who vainly begged that he might come over
to Dublin--'he is convinced he would go to utter destruction.'[732]

Speaking of Napper Tandy, Mr. Froude says of the veiled informer that
he 'had been naturally intimate with the other Irish refugees.'[733]

Tandy, in the chapter devoted to him, tells how he and three other
Irish refugees had been invited at Hamburg by 'T.' to sup, and were
betrayed. Watty Cox, a sound authority on such points, broadly states
in the 'Irish Magazine' for January 1809, p. 34, that Tandy and his
comrades were 'betrayed by TURNER.'

'He had come to England to sell his knowledge to Pitt,' says Mr. Froude.

It will be seen that the price paid to _Samuel Turner_ is officially
reported in Dublin Castle. For centuries it had been the custom for
England to charge her Pension List on the Irish Establishment. Irish
spies and informers are generally of a low type. Reynolds--perhaps
the most important of them--could not spell, as his letters, placed
in our hands by Sir W. Cope, show. The same remark applies to the
correspondence of other informers printed by Dr. Madden. The letters
of Mr. Froude's spy are those of an educated man, and show that
he corresponded and conversed in French. Samuel Turner was well
qualified for all this and more, having graduated in the University of

These are but a few of the reasons which satisfied me that the betrayer
described by Mr. Froude was SAMUEL TURNER. I arrived at my conclusions
slowly--according as certain facts, 'far between,' presented themselves
in the field of research. But the reader, if he cares to trace the
career of this man, and does not object to meet a repetition or two,
will find an array of circumstantial evidence amounting to moral
demonstration. It may be added that documental proof finally came to
crown these researches.


(See chap. viii. _ante_.)

The late Mr. Allingham, of Ballyshannon--father of William Allingham
the poet--in one of his last letters, dated April 25, 1866, recalls a
strange incident. 'Should you treat of the stirring period of 1798,'
he writes, 'perhaps the following little fact may be acceptable. Some
forty years ago I chanced to be on a visit at the hospitable residence
of the late N. Foster, Esq., in the Rosses;[735] he told me of J.
Napper Tandy having put in to the Rosses, in the year 1798, with a
French ship of war, the "Anacréon," and how he at once hoisted an
Irish flag emblazoned with the words "Erin go Bragh." Tandy was then
a general in the French service. He had with him, for distribution, a
sheaf of proclamations, addressed to the Irish nation; they had been
printed in France, and he left several copies at Mr. Foster's. I got
Miss Grace Foster to take an exact copy of the strange document, and
which now I send you.

'The French General Rey also had a grandiloquent proclamation with him,
beginning "The soldiers of the Great Nation have landed on your coast,
well supplied with arms and ammunition of all kinds, with artillery
worked by those who have spread terror amongst the ranks of the best
troops in Europe, headed by French officers; they come to break your
fetters, and restore you to the blessings of liberty. James Napper
Tandy is at their head; he has sworn to lead them on to victory or die.
Brave Irishmen! the friends of liberty have left their native soil to
assist you in re-conquering [_sic_] your rights; they will brave all
dangers, and glory at the sublime idea of cementing your happiness with
their blood."[736]

'Napper Tandy had a large number of saddles and cavalry appointments
on board the French ship of war, but he could not procure any horses
in the Rosses. So Mrs. Foster said to him, "I fear, General, you will
not be able to put the saddle on the right horse!" N. Tandy asked
Mr. Foster: "What news?" to which Foster replied that a part of the
French troops had landed at Killala, and, after winning the battle of
Castlebar, had been finally compelled, near Longford, to capitulate
to Lord Cornwallis. Napper Tandy seemed to doubt this intelligence,
and proceeded to take forcible possession of the Rutland post-office,
which was kept by Mr. Foster's sister. He opened the newspapers,
and, to his dismay, found that all was over with the expedition.
His descent on Rutland took place September 16, 1798. Tandy, when
embarking from the Island for France, wrote an official letter, signed
and sealed, with a view to exonerate Foster from blame for not having
despatched his mail-bags. Tandy testified that, being in temporary
want of accommodation, he was obliged to put "citizen Foster under
requisition," and place sentinels around the island. He and his
officers paid for everything they took, including two pigs and a cow.
General Rey, when leaving, removed a gold ring from his finger and
presented it to Mrs. Foster, as a token of fraternity. Tandy not only
discharged every obligation, but discharged a cannon as a farewell
note. Foster was a staunch loyalist, and ere the "Anacréon" was under
way he despatched two expresses, one to Letterkenny, in hopes that the
Lough Swilly fleet would intercept them. This was not so easy, for
Tandy told Foster they had met several English cruisers _en route_, but
had outsailed them all. The "Anacréon" was equally successful on its
return voyage, captured two English ships near the Orkneys, after a
stiff engagement, and at last landed Tandy and his A.D.C.s in Norway.'

A copy of Tandy's letter, deliberately penned when leaving Rutland,
appears in the appendix to Musgrave's 'Rebellion,' and seems not quite
consistent with the statement in the Castlereagh Papers that he got
so drunk on the island he had to be carried to the ship.[737] But his
grief was so poignant on finding his dearest hopes frustrated that it
would not be unnatural, in days when hard drinking was the fashion,
if the amateur French general had recourse to _eau-de-vie_. How he
was arrested on neutral territory, contrary to the law of nations,
subjected to cruel suffering, and sentenced to death, a previous
chapter tells.

Fuller inquiry into the career of this quondam merchant of Dublin
finds it curiously interwoven with the history of Europe and his
fate influential in its affairs. In 1793 Holland was the scene of
disaster to the Duke of York; and his second campaign to that country
in 1799 ended in a disadvantageous capitulation. Previously he had sent
General Don into the interior of Holland to foment among the natives
an insurrection against French rule. Don was seized as a spy and
threatened with death for seeking to corrupt an enemy which England had
failed to conquer in the field.[738] He was, however, safely restored
during the negotiations of 1799, and Plowden makes the statement,
as one generally believed, that in the Helder convention there was
a secret article for restoring to liberty Tandy and Blackwell, in
return for the delivery of Don, who, by the laws of war, had incurred
the penalty of death. The Paris journals of October 1799 said that
the Duke's capitulation contains some private articles which his
Royal Highness did not wish to submit to the consideration of the
coffee-houses in London.

Prolonged delay attended the liberation of Tandy. Brune bitterly
complained of it in the Council of Five Hundred; and then it was that
Buonaparte branded, as an attack upon the rights of nations and a crime
against humanity, the surrender, by Hamburg to England, of Tandy,
Blackwell, Morres, and Corbet.

The painful details already given as regards the severity of their
imprisonment it is pleasant to relieve by some notice of the conduct of
one official who, superior in gentlemanly instinct to others of higher
rank, treated Tandy and his companions with a courteous consideration
most acceptable to men whose hearts ached from recent persecution. This
letter--unknown to Mr. Ross, the editor of the 'Cornwallis Papers'--was
addressed, we believe, to a near kinsman of that writer.

                  _To Mr. Ross, the King's Messenger._

                                'Dublin: November 18, 1799--_in prison_.

'Sir,--We find ourselves at a loss to know how we best can express
our acknowledgments for the very polite, gentlemanly, and philosophic
manner in which you have uniformly behaved towards us, ever since
the period of our first getting under your care at Sheerness, during
our subsequent stay in London, upon the whole of our journey through
England, and until our arrival here; a conduct the peculiar inheritance
of a man of sense, education, and honour; and which, upon all
occasions in life, must leave with the feeling mind a pleasing and
everlasting impression.

'All that we, sir, on our parts, can offer (and request your acceptance
of as a just tribute to your merit) is our sincerest wishes for your
happiness and future welfare--and to all of our fellow-citizens whom
the casualties of the day may hereafter chance to place in similar
circumstances with us, we wish from our hearts the superior good
fortune of falling into the hands of an officer who, knowing his duty
like Mr. Ross, like him also executes it in a manner that honours
humanity--an idea, that, with us, while drawing a comparison between
such-like conduct as we now speak of, and that which we but very
recently experienced in a foreign country, restores to its pristine,
but nearly lost worth, in our minds, the invaluable weight of social
law, and of all generous and liberal-minded converse betwixt man and

The following signatures are affixed:


The interest which continued to attach to Tandy's memory long after his
death, even in quarters not likely to evince sympathy, is curiously
shown in the following extract from a letter addressed in 1846 by
Robert Shaw Worthington, B.L., to O'Connell, soliciting his patronage
with the Whig Government: 'My Liberal opinions I inherit from my
father, who, strange as it may appear, was Lord Mayor of Dublin in
1795.[739] _His_ liberal opinions did not serve him in those days; he
was a supporter of Catholic Emancipation, and in the year 1809, at a
private dinner-party at the house of Mr. Farrell, Blackhall Street, my
father proposed the memory of Napper Tandy.[740] One of the company
(the perfidious name was Fanning) reported the circumstance next day at
the Castle; my father received a letter from the Chief Secretary (the
present Duke of Wellington) calling upon him to disprove the charge;
but, being unable to do so, he was dismissed from his office of Dublin
Police Magistrate, the salary of which was 500_l._ per annum.'[741]


The letters of secret information in the 'Castlereagh Papers,' though
assumed by most readers to come from the one source, are divided
between two spies. No successful attempt has been hitherto made to
identify the writers. The result of Dr. Madden's inquiry went no
further than to show that the letters were penned, not by spies of a
low type, but by _gentlemen_ of high standing.[742] It was then that
I sought to draw aside their masks. 'Downshire's friend' (Turner)
was traced more easily than a correspondent of the Home Office,
London, whose initial 'O' is dropped once only by Wickham. The spy
who contrived to accompany General Tandy's staff in the expedition to
Ireland in 1798 has left us a curious account of what passed on board
the 'Anacréon'[743] during their brief visit to Ireland. The perilous
character of his enterprise was quite as striking as Tandy's descent
on Donegal and escape from the English fleet. Wickham confides to
Castlereagh merely the initial letter of this spy's name.[744] The
written statement from 'O' is a curious document, and one which has
been more than once quoted by historians. An old note-book of mine
contains the following:--'I have long and vainly tried to discover
this man; but to Dr. Madden it will be at least satisfactory to know
that "O" can never have taken any prominent part in the councils of
the United Irishmen, and his name, even if discovered, would not be a
familiar one. He can never have been in the Executive Directory, or on
any of the baronial committees. He mentions incidentally that he has
been but once in Ireland for eight years.'

Some readers fancied that the spy 'O' who accompanied Tandy was
O'Herne,[745] O'Finn,[746] Ormby,[747] O'Mealy,[748] O'Hara,[749]

O'Connor,[751] or O'Keon[752]; my own theory was that 'O' stood for
some man whose name would prove to be Orr. At p. 309, vol. i., of the
'Castlereagh Papers,' in a report of the French fleet preparing to
invade Ireland, a list is given of the Irish agents at Brest: 'Orr,
_who accompanied Murphy_, was still at Paris.[753] Did not seem to like
going.' The letter of 'O,' describing the crew on board the 'Anacréon'
in its expedition to Ireland, mentions 'Murphy ... and myself' (p. 407).

'O,' in his secret letter dated 1798, speaks of having been in Trinity
College, Dublin, nine years before. An 'Orr' graduated as B.A. in
1789, but this proved not much. His letter shows (pp. 406-10) that
he had the confidence both of the French Directory, and of the Irish
envoys in France. Another anonymous letter of secret information from
Paris (Castlereagh, ii. 2-7) is undoubtedly Turner's. He speaks of
Orr and Murphy as together; the first as a 'relation of him that was
hanged,' and 'Murphy as having been lately expelled Dublin College,'
and both, he adds, were applying for passports at Altona (p. 6). John
Murphy made a deposition[754] at Bow Street, dated November 2, 1798,
in which he names _George Orr_ and himself, proceeding to the Hague,
thence to Paris, and afterwards joining Tandy's expedition, when Murphy
became secretary to the General. It is curious to find Turner[755]
and Orr--each ignorant of the treachery of the other--reporting their
movements to the Secretary of State.[756]

'By direction of the Duke of Portland,' writes Wickham to Lord
Castlereagh, 'I send for the information of the Lord Lieutenant the
enclosed extract from some very important communications that have been
made to his Grace by a person of the name of O----.'

In this letter, describing Tandy's descent on Ireland, the relations
between him and the French Directory are minutely detailed, with an
account of the equipment of the expedition, and studies of the officers
on board and their antecedents.[757] It is not unlikely that Orr and
Murphy, especially the latter, had been at first zealous adherents of
the movement headed by Lord Edward and Tone; but that after the death
of these leaders and the consignment of the Rebel Directory to dungeons
they considered their own position as materially changed.

When Buonaparte broke faith with Addis Emmet, and sent his legions to
the Pyramids of Egypt, instead of encamping them among the Round Towers
of Ireland, Orr then sought to fill his purse, and console a baulked
ambition, by extracting gold from Pitt: 'To show how the finances of
France are,' he writes regarding Tandy's expedition, 'and how they
meant to make their Irish friends pay their expenses, three generals
went out on that little expedition; and all the money they could muster
among them was about thirty louis d'or. One of them, to my own certain
knowledge, had but five guineas in all.'[758]

Again, in a subsequent letter, he writes: 'The grand object of the
French is, as they term it themselves, London. _Delenda_ (sic)
_Carthago_ is their particular end; once in England, they think they
would speedily indemnify themselves for all their expenses and recruit
their ruined finances.'[759]

England, unlike France, could pay lavishly, and it would be curious
to know if Orr's increasing facilities for acquiring valuable
information, according as Napoleon's power grew, were acknowledged by
the '5,000_l._, and not more than 20,000_l._ within the year,' which
Wellington in 1808 thought fair fees for the unnamed informer who sent
secret news from France--a man who, it is added, had been paid at this
rate by Pitt.[760]

Orr continued long after to discharge in France the perilous _rôle_ of
a vigilant spy, and, as such, was a small thorn in Napoleon's side. The
Pelham MSS. contain a long letter signed 'G. O.' (33-112, folio 205),
further described in a separate note as 'George Orr,' and beginning--'I
much fear that the French have outgeneraled the British Government
with respect to what is to go forward in the West Indies.' The date
would be about 1802, but it is incorrectly placed with papers of 1807.
This is the only report from Orr preserved by Pelham. With complicated
precautions of secrecy it is addressed 'C. W. F., Esq.', and by this
mysterious official passed on to Pelham for perusal. These initials are
often met in the State Papers, both of England and Ireland; and future
inquirers have a right to know something of the man who played no
unimportant part during an eventful period of our history. 'Cornwallis'
and 'Castlereagh' furnish no note on this point; the 'Gentleman's
Magazine,' that great storehouse of facts, knows him not. At last, in
'Three Thousand Contemporary Public Characters,' published by Whittaker
in 1825, I found the following notice of a career which deserves more
permanent record.


Was born in Scotland in 1775; and, after having finished his studies
at Edinburgh, was taken, in 1793, by Lord Grenville, into the office
of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. In 1796 Lord Grenville
sent him as confidential secretary with Mr. Wickham, then going
minister to Switzerland: with that gentleman Mr. Flint entered into
a close intimacy. He was recalled in 1797, and again employed in the
Foreign Office. Next year the Alien Bill passed, and Lord Grenville
recommended Mr. Flint to the Duke of Portland, as a fit person to put
it in execution; and his Grace, who was then Home Secretary, appointed
him Superintendent of Aliens. In this situation he was very active,
and is said to have rendered essential service to many of the Royalist
emigrants.[761] When Pichegru returned from Cayenne, he confided to
Mr. Flint those plans which, in the end, brought on his destruction.
In 1800 the Duke of Portland granted Mr. Flint leave of absence, and
he was sent as secretary of legation to Mr. Wickham, then envoy to the
allied armies in Germany. After witnessing the campaigns in Bavaria
and Austria, he returned to England, where he was employed until 1802,
and was then sent to the sister kingdom as Under-Secretary of State in
Ireland. He is now [1826] agent, in London, of the Irish Department. In
1812 he received the honour of knighthood.'

It may be added that the Irish 'S. S. Money Book' records a number of
payments in 1803 by Flint to minor informers, including Murphy, the
colleague of George Orr. The Wellington Correspondence makes frequent
reference to Flint; but readers are left without any information as to
who this 'very clever fellow' was--to quote the Duke's own words. (v.,
p. 643).


The unscrupulosity with which spying was practised in the days of 'the
First Gentleman in Europe' is not pleasant to contemplate. I find
Robert O'Connor, nephew of Lord Longueville, betraying his own brother!

Pelham writes to Brigadier-General Coote on May 27, 1797:--

'I have received at different times very important information from
Mr. Robert O'Connor, and indeed he was the first person who gave me
information against his brother.

'I hear that you have excellent spies, and I expect great success from
your exertions.'

General Eyre Coote writes ('Pelham MSS.' July 24, 1797):--

'I enclose you strong information against Roger O'Connor just
received from Robert. It is very curious that one brother should be
so inveterate against the other. I, however, am of opinion that Roger
O'Connor has been the principal in all the treasonable practices in
this part of the country.'

Roger, of whose adventurous feats volumes might be written, was noted
more for backsliding than backbone. Pelham, in a letter to Coote, dated
Phœnix Park, July 25, 1797, says:--

'He [Roger] declares himself to be disposed to give every information,
and to render every service to the King's Government, in his power.'

No circles, however cultured, were untainted by the spy. Dr. Madden
gives a very ugly picture of Sir Jonah Barrington revealing at
Dublin Castle the seditious talk that he heard at Lady Colclough's
dinner-table, and how Grogan, Colclough, and Harvey, men of rank
and fortune, who were present, died on the gallows ere the year

Mr. Pelham's Papers afford curious glimpses of social life in Ireland
as presented by his correspondents. A priest, who resided near Collon
in the county Louth, is described as having dined at a squire's house
in the neighbourhood,[763] and a paper having fallen out of his pocket,
'curiosity tempted some of the gentlemen to read it. A copy of it
was brought to England by Mr. William Beaufort, son of the Rev. Dr.
Beaufort, rector of Collon, and Mr. Young, his connection, furnished a
copy.' The paper, in point of fact, embodied merely secret tenets of
his religious rule.


On his way to Fort George prison, in Scotland, O'Connor distributed
some curious lines, which at first passed as an exemplary effusion,
but, on being more closely scanned, they developed rebel sentiments.
O'Connor intended that the lines of the second verse should be read
after the corresponding lines in the first. The first lines of the
two verses constituted the great sentiment which O'Connor liked to

    The pomp of courts, and pride of kings,
    I prize above all earthly things;
    I love my country, but the King
    Above all men his praise I sing;
    The royal banners are display'd,
    And may success the standard aid.

    I fain would banish far from hence
    The 'Rights of Man' and common sense;
    Confusion to his odious reign,
    That foe to princes, Thomas Paine!
    Defeat and ruin seize the cause
    Of France, its liberties, and laws!


(_Vide_ chap. xii. p. 156.)

An unpublished letter, addressed to John Philpot Curran, though
anonymous, bears internal evidence to show that the writer was Lady
Moira, whose daughter, Selina, had married Lord Granard. In those days
it was not unusual to intercept and read letters at the post-office,
and to this circumstance is doubtless due the great caution with which
the noble writer describes her relations with Todd Jones. He was then
in custody, and Lady Moira's great object was to exculpate him as well
as herself, for 'Cæsar's wife should be above suspicion.' Enough has
been already said to indicate the spy[764] who kept his eye on Moira
House and the movements of Todd Jones.

                     _To John Philpot Curran, K.C._

                                        'Castle Forbes: August 13, 1803.

'Read, reflect, and do not answer. Time will unfold _the intentions_.
But it is common prudence to watch knaves, who are playing the fool,
and who may not chance to consider that others, from having hearkened
to the precept to be, although "innocent as doves," induced to adopt
somewhat of the "wisdom of the serpent," will scrutinise their
measures. To state the case, Mr. Todd Jones is the son of a physician,
who in the year 1752 I formed the acquaintance of, and attendant
on the family into which I entered by marriage; he was a sensible
well-informed man, and having studied abroad his profession at the same
college with Doctor Aberside, a person known to Lord Huntingdon and me;
as a friend to that medical poet, he became an intimate acquaintance of
mine; and having for thirty years and upwards exercised his Æsculapian
skill with such success as to have recovered me from dangerous fevers,
and also never letting a single patient die in his hands beneath my
roof, he became the intimate friend of the family, and his son was
the companion of _my_ sons in his early youth, and an inmate like to
a relation till my sons went into the world, and since then he has
regarded me with a sort of filial respect and attention, and I have
shown to him the return of maternal kindness and goodwill. However,
his residence for many years past being in England and Wales, has
confined our intercourse to correspondence; now and then a letter from
me in answer to many of his, which, as he excels in letter-writing,
I always received his letters as real sources of amusement, and
of information on the subject they transmitted, which usually had
reference to antiquities.[765] I had not seen him for several years
when he came over a twelvemonth ago, to settle some pecuniary affairs
with Lord Downshire's executors or agents, having sold his estates as
an annuity during his life; and a sum of money, which money was to be
kept for a space of time in his lordship's hands, lest any claim should
be made on the estate. I saw him frequently whilst he was in Dublin,
which was during that space of time that Sir Richard Musgrave and he
quarrelled and at length fought. He left Dublin before I quitted it,
and came here in the first week of last October. He wrote to me lately
from the Lake of Killarney giving me a description of the lake and its
odd traditions, mentioning his return to Dublin in a month, and from
whence he was to return to Wales. I then heard from general report
that he was arrested and in Cork jail, which I imputed to Sir Richard
Musgrave's malice.[766] For as to any treasonable practices, Jones's
indolence as well as his turn of thinking and whimsical pursuits were
a conviction to me that he was neither inclined to be, or capable
of being, a conspirator. However, in the course of last week I was
informed from _Moira House_ that a person, by warrant from the Castle,
had come to search _for a trunk in consequence of their having received
intelligence that Mr. Todd Jones had sent off a trunk directed to me
at Moira House_. My servants were examined, my house and storerooms
explored, but not any such trunk had arrived nor been heard of, and
orders were left that when it did, where it was to be sent to. Some
English letters that were directed to him at my house were conveyed to
Mr. Marsden.[767] They were opened to show their contents. One was from
a Mr. Maddox, who, I think, is married to Lord Craven's sister[768]
(better known by being the daughter of the Margravine); another from
a young man going to India, and not conveying a trace of injury to
him. I wrote to a person who was employed to execute the warrant that
I could not be blind to the affront intended to be cast upon me;
that, if such intimation had been given of a trunk then sent, the
person that communicated the intelligence was able and would certainly
inform by what coach it went, and consequently they might have had it
seized when Mr. Jones was arrested. That time had now sufficiently
elapsed to have had another key made for the trunk and to place in
it whatever papers, &c., _might be reckoned convenient_. That if any
trunk did come, the _lock_ and the hinges should be well examined,
before credible witnesses, before it _went out of my house_; and that
I neither was awed, nor capable of being frightened, by so mean and
paltry a contrivance. Thus they had taken up McCan,[769] but, I find,
have liberated him, and given out that, as he was connected with Mr.
Grattan, it was to get papers of Mr. Grattan's into their hands that he
was arrested for that purpose; now, whether this report is to blacken
the character of the famous ex-senator, or with further views, I do
not decide. In respect to the insult I have met with, it is aimed
against Lord Moira through me. It is, however, to me a much blacker
and more artful attempt against him, in which _high and mighty ones_
were blended when too many cooks spoiled the broth. The former plot,
however, has made me alert, and awakened all my expectations respecting
possible malevolence. But my spirit, like the palm-tree, rises by the
pressure of oppressive indignity. My eyes are so weak that I fear you
will not be able to decipher this hasty scrawl. How absurdly are they
acting! Lady G----[770] does not know that I write this. It is not in
my nature to worry people with disagreeable humours, nor to humiliate
myself by complaints, though I like to guard against probable evils, in
which case I shall, sir, depend upon your aid if it comes to publicity.'


Any person who has read the secret reports furnished by McNally to
Dublin Castle must see that the source from which he drew his more
important knowledge was James Tandy, son of the arch-rebel Napper
Tandy. This information, however, may have been gathered partly during
the unguarded intimacy of friendship. Its accuracy, not less than the
promptitude and opportuneness of each disclosure, led a very shrewd man
to suspect that James Tandy was betraying his party, and not McNally
who picked his brains. In the 'Cornwallis Papers' (iii. 85) is one of
the many secret reports sent by J. W. to Dublin Castle. He probably
chuckled when penning the following allusion to the source from which
he himself mainly derived his knowledge.

'Wright, the surgeon, of Great Ship Street, has had a long conversation
with J. Tandy, in which he [J. T.] urged him to send a paper from
Wright to his father, Napper; and this he did in such a manner as has
created in Wright's mind very strong doubts of his sincerity; indeed,
_he conceives him to be a spy_, and has resolved to avoid all further
conversation with him.'

Dr. Thomas Wright, M.R.I.A., secretary to the United Irishmen, was a
long-headed man, still well remembered in Dublin; but I do not think
that James Tandy--beyond being indiscreetly open-mouthed--can be called
an informer, much less a spy.

James Tandy is found a state prisoner with others after the rebellion,
but this fact in itself is not enough to exculpate him; for Turner
is also found a state prisoner. During his detention he addressed a
letter to the Secretary of State, solemnly declaring that while he
loved Napper Tandy as his father, he abhorred his politics; and he
complains of an oral slander circulated by the Solicitor-General,
afterwards Baron McCleland, that he 'was guilty of high treason, and
to a certainty would be hanged.' I may here remark that the manuscript
list of United Irishmen, furnished by Collins the spy so early as 1793,
includes James Tandy's name. Tandy with thirteen others petitioned
the Viceroy on July 11, 1804, in regard to harsh treatment they had
received when state prisoners, entered into a personal correspondence
with Mr. Secretary Marsden, whom he holds responsible for it, and
threatens to horsewhip him in case he should ever be set at liberty.
James Tandy--though not his companions in durance--was liberated
on bail in September following, and he states in a public letter:
'I obtained my enlargement on condition that I would relinquish my
intention of horsewhipping Mr. Marsden.'[771] This statement, however,
which Plowden quotes as history, must be taken _cum grano_, for
Tandy in his memorial to the Viceroy Bedford says: 'Petitioner was
discharged from prison when in a state of health which allowed no
hopes for his life--a fact which Dr. Richards can testify, as also the
surgeon-general, Mr. Stewart.'[772]

The antecedents of his family earned no gratitude from Government, and
yet we find James Tandy appointed to a lucrative post. Lord Cloncurry
casually mentions him exercising his functions as a stipendiary

James Tandy's arrest and imprisonment were certainly not due to
McNally, who would be the last to kill the goose which laid the
golden eggs; more than that, he tells Cooke that James Tandy was no
republican. How McNally utilised James Tandy may be seen from his
secret letters. Both are found constantly together. A hurried despatch
from McNally, dated January 31 (he rarely gives the year) says:
'McNally and James Tandy went yesterday morning to Mr. Grattan's at
Tinnehinch, and returned in the evening.'

A negotiation between Arthur O'Connor and Napper Tandy in France is
detailed by McNally: 'James Tandy has consulted McN. on the danger
of such an undertaking.'[774] On September 23, 1800, McNally writes:
'Emmet, T. assures me (and he made inquiry), is in Paris.' On September
19, 1800, McNally writes, 'my friend,[775] passed yesterday morning
with T., junior,' and he jots down a large amount of matter as the
result of the conference.

'Mr. Pelham's answer to James Tandy is expected with anxiety,' records
a previous report.

The secret letters of Higgins to Cooke constantly point to James Tandy.
On March 7, 1798, he urges Cooke 'to watch Napper Tandy's intercourse
with his son, and through him with the rest of the incendiaries. His
son waited on a Mr. Connell with a letter this day.' I quote this
passage because of the name 'Connell' which occurs in it. The allusion
is to the subsequently celebrated Daniel O'Connell. Higgins tells Cooke
that 'Connell holds a commission from France (a Colonel's). He was to
be called to the Bar here to please a very rich old uncle, but he is
one of the most abominable and bloodthirsty republicans I ever heard
of. The place of rendezvous is the Public Library in Eustace Street,
where a private room is devoted to the leaders of the United Irish

The words are given as a curiosity, and not as accurately describing
O'Connell's real sentiments, and the statement that this ardent youth,
fresh from the mint of the French College at Douai, held a commission
from France is one of the sensational myths with which Higgins loved to
garnish his reports. In 1798 Daniel was called to the Bar to please,
as Higgins correctly states, his rich uncle, Maurice Connell of
Darrinane--traditionally known as 'Old Hunting Cap.' Higgins is also
right in regarding the future Tribune as a rebel. He had joined the
United Irishmen in 1798, but escaped in a turf-boat previous to the
insurrection. It will be remembered that Maurice Connell, as shown by
the Pelham MSS., was the first to report the arrival of a French fleet
in Bantry Bay.

It is worthy of notice, in exploring the _genus_ 'spy,' that the
violently incisive language used by Higgins is never employed by
McNally. The latter gives a man a wound and leaves him there. Higgins
poignards his victims over and over again, and kicks their dead bodies,
as in the case of Lord Edward Fitzgerald.

The arrest of James Tandy was made in 1803, a year after the death of
Higgins, and is likely to have been prompted by Magan, who was active
(see p. 157 _ante_) at that time. In closing these notices of the Tandy
family, it may perhaps be mentioned that Napper Tandy's father took an
ultra loyal part during the excitement caused by the rising of Charles
Edward in 1745. A run on the Dublin Banks was made, and _Faulkner's
Journal_ of October 8 in that year contains a manifesto from some
Dublin merchants, including Tandy, agreeing to accept their notes as


Lord Camden, the Irish Viceroy in 1798, has been often styled a dull
man; but he seems to have had his wits about him, as will presently

I find, by a remarkable letter of this Lord Lieutenant, written two
months previous to General Lake's retreat from Castlebar, that he saw
the weak points of the somewhat overrated warrior who afterwards got a
peerage for beating the Mahrattas. It may be said that the defeat at
Castlebar was due to panic among the troops, but all accounts agree
that Lake and Hutchinson had been out-manœuvred by Humbert.

'I remain in the opinion I originally held,' writes Lord Camden at a
time anterior to the arrival of the French, 'that General Lake is not
fit for the command in these difficult times, and have written to Pitt
in the most serious and impressive manner I am able to make him master
of the actual danger of the country. It is unfortunate that he should
have lost the advantage of General Lake's services where he was really
well placed, and have brought him to one which is above his capacity.
He has no arrangement, is easily led, and no authority.'[776]

Passing reference has been made to the arrival at Killala, on August
22, 1798, of a small French force under Humbert; and some notice of
the sequel is due. Humbert had started from Rochelle solely on his own
responsibility. General Lord Hutchinson held Castlebar with 5,200 men;
but Lake, as the senior officer, assumed the command. Lake arrived at
dark with a large reinforcement, and next morning was surprised to see
the French troops rise from a defile hitherto regarded as impassable,
General Taylor having been previously sent forward to cut off their
approach by road. Although the French were jaded after a forced march
of fifteen hours, they advanced with much vivacity, and attacked the
King's troops, who had posted themselves on a steep hill-side with
nine pieces of cannon. 'They advanced in excellent style--with great
rapidity as sharp-shooters,' Cooke writes.[777] Lake's line wavered, a
retreat was sounded, the flight of the infantry was most disorderly,
and Sir Jonah Barrington compares it to that of a mob. Lord Jocelyn's
Light Dragoons (he was taken prisoner soon after by Humbert) ran
like so many 'Tam O'Shanters' to Tuam, a distance of forty miles,
followed by such of the French as could get horses for the chase.
All the artillery, with five pair of colours, fell into the hands of
the French. This disgraceful panic is remembered as 'The Races of

Such conduct, unlike their position, was indefensible; for Lake's
men, different from the enemy, had been refreshed by a good night's
rest. The French had left 200 men to garrison Killala, and Humbert's
soldiers, when in action, did not exceed 800, according to the
statement of Lake's secretary.[779] But it has been often said that the
French, in making so successful an attack, must have been supported by
vast numbers of native insurgents. Again Cooke writes, on the authority
of Lake's secretary, 'he saw no peasantry.'[780]

Mr. Vereker, Lieutenant-Colonel of the Limerick Militia, got a peerage
for having repulsed the French at Coloony, and the motto on his arms is
simply the name of that place. Lord Carleton records, in his autograph,
on the margin of a book, some curious facts:--

'The skirmish at Coloony,' he writes, 'began and ended in a blunder.
Vereker (who knew nothing of the rapid march of thirty-five Irish miles
which the French had made from Castlebar) supposed he was attacking
only their vanguard; and Humbert, equally ignorant of Vereker's force,
mistook the troops which attacked him for the vanguard of a larger
body, and altered his plan of marching to Sligo, which must have
surrendered at his approach. When Lake, with his division, arrived at
Coloony next morning, he found eighteen Frenchmen, dangerously wounded,
who were left behind by their army.'

The strangest part of the story is that Vereker in this attack acted
on his own responsibility, and contrary to the instructions he had
received from Lake. This brief campaign was marked by a series of
wonderful misapprehensions. French accounts say that Humbert, seeing
the strength of the British line at Castlebar, thought of retiring to
Ballina, and to cover the retreat ordered General Sarrazin to make a
feigned attack, which, being mistaken by Lake for an attempt to turn
his flank, produced the panic, where upon Sarrazin, changing his plan,
and without Humbert's orders, charged the enemy and sent them flying.
But here Humbert's triumph stopped. Meanwhile, as Lord Carleton in
another note states, 'The Hompesch Dragoons were of infinite service,
being chiefly Hungarians, and hanging close on the enemies' rear;
the (common) Irish, deceived by their dress and foreign language,
took them for the French, and came to join them in great numbers, but
were immediately cut down, and their pockets rifled by their supposed

Again, as Lord Carleton notes, the French mistaking, by its picturesque
dress, a Highland regiment for guerilla troops, sought to fraternise
with them, and greatly to their cost.

It has been repeatedly stated, and is generally believed, that Lord
Camden was recalled in order to make way for the milder policy of Lord
Cornwallis; but it is a fact now worth recording, though somewhat late,
that the appointment of Cornwallis was directly due to Camden himself.

Camden continues:--

'I return to the opinion I had entertained before, that the Lord
Lieutenant ought to be a military man. The whole government of the
country is now military, and the power of the chief governor is almost
merged in that of the general commanding the troops. I have suggested
the propriety of sending over Lord Cornwallis, whose name, with some
good officers under him, will have great weight; and I have told Pitt
that which I really feel, that without the best military assistance I
conceive the country to be in the most imminent danger, and that my
services cannot be useful to the King.'[781]

Mr. Froude quotes from a letter of Camden's 'The insurgents will be
annihilated.'[782] But his tone to Pelham is widely different. He

'Unless Great Britain pours an immense force into Ireland the country
is lost.... I cannot suffer my character and my peace of mind to be
trifled with.'[783]

Pitt acted on Camden's counsel and appointed Lord Cornwallis. Camden
confides to Elliot:--

'If I relinquish my situation, as I do now, merely for the public good
at the risque of a false construction, it becomes doubly necessary that
I should receive some mark of confidence that it may not be supposed I
am recalled from any opinion on the part of the ministers that I have
not acted as became me.'[784]

And in a letter of the same date to Pelham, Camden says he is the
servant of the public, and ready himself 'to act in Ireland, or
elsewhere, in whatever manner I might be the most usefully employed.'

Camden's counsel was followed, that the Viceroy of Ireland--in such
times--ought to be a military man. Lord Cornwallis, the new chief
governor, went down to Connaught at the head of 20,000 troops, and
Humbert surrendered. On September 8, 1798, after a fortnight's progress
through the country, 96 officers and 748 French rank and file became
prisoners of war; and, according to Gordon, 500 peasant auxiliaries
were put to the sword. Several sympathisers, chiefly local gentry,
were hanged; including, as Lord Carleton notes, Messrs. Blake, French,
and O'Dowd. Thus ended Humbert's quixotic enterprise; but the previous
expedition to Bantry Bay, in 1796, was very formidable; and England had
not had such an escape since the Spanish Armada. In this connection
Lord Carleton has another word to say; and I do not feel warranted
in omitting what serves to explain some things hitherto a puzzle.
Few believed that Hoche's expedition of 1796 could have escaped the
vigilance and vengeance of the English fleet which had long been
watching it off Brest.

'Admiral Kingsmill (a most excellent naval officer), who commanded in
Cork Harbour, was one of these sceptics. He thought it impossible so
large a fleet could have escaped the vigilance of all his cruisers.
Kingsmill had no intelligence of it, and repeatedly said, if the French
fleet was in Bantry he would suffer his head to be chopped off on his
own quarter-deck. Had not the French, when they first made the land,
mistaken the Durseys for Three-Castle-Head, by which they missed their
port, and were several hours beating back again, they would have got
so far up the bay as to have been able to effect their purpose. It is
much to be lamented that an officer of high rank in the British navy,
Keith Elphinstone (afterwards Lord Keith), returning from India in the
'Monarch' of 74 guns, and putting by accident into Crookhaven at the
very time the two French ships and frigates were in Bantry Bay, could
not be prevailed upon to put himself at the head of the ships then in
Cork Harbour--the 'Powerful' of 74 guns, and three stout frigates--and
block up the bay till Lord Bridport's fleet could arrive. "_It was not
his business._" He got all the stores Kingsmill could send him, and
sailed off to England. I assert this fact as positively true.--H. C.'

The signature of Lord Chief Justice Carleton is affixed to all the
Government proclamations of the time. His peculiar knowledge was
largely derived as a member of the Irish Privy Council, and from his
relations with Cork, of which he was a native.

It was not 'the Shan Van Voght' who first announced, as the old
ballad has it, that 'the French were on the sea.' The news came from
Darrynane Abbey, where the waves roll in unbroken from Labrador. Daniel
O'Connell's people have been accused of treasonable leanings--but
unfairly. Old Maurice Connell, or O'Connell, chieftain of Darrynane,
made money through 'smuggling,' but he was no rebel. Opening that
scantily explored mine--the Pelham MSS.--I find Maurice Connell
announcing to an under-strapper of the Government, who reports it to
Pelham, that a French fleet is in Bantry Bay, and he calls it 'most
melancholy intelligence.' The letter is dated 'Darrynane, December 20,
1796.' 'I give you this early information,' writes Maurice from his
mountain crag, 'in order that every proper measure should be pursued on
an event _soe_ very alarming.'[785]

This timely information had the start by two days of Mr. Richard
White's, who notoriously received his peerage in acknowledgment of a
message of similar tenor. We learn from the old pamphlet of Edward
Morgan, that 'A servant of his (White's) brought the first despatch
to General Dalrymple, in Cork, of the arrival of the French, on the
night of Thursday, December 22, who was but four hours going forty-two
miles, Irish, on a single horse.'[786] The above is culled from Lord
Carleton's copy, and it is added in his autograph, 'Mr. White, for his
services on this occasion, which were very meritorious, was created
Lord Bantry.'

Communication with London proved so slow in those days that reward was
justly due to those who sought to mend a state of things now hard to
realise. The King's messenger, when autumnal or wintry winds prevailed,
had often to wait three or four weeks ere the boat could sail from
Dublin to Holyhead; and on one occasion in the seventeenth century
Dublin Castle was three months without letters from London.[787] Even
on _terra firma_ a snail's pace too often marked the progress of great
officials who ought to have set a better example. Carew, when going
from Dublin to London, lost five days in accomplishing the 'run'
between Holyhead and Chester. When the winds proved propitious, and the
King's messenger was an active man, he was able to deliver in Dublin in
one week the despatch from Whitehall.


(See p. 178, _ante_.)

John Pollock, Clerk of the Crown for Leinster, who, according to
the 'Cornwallis Papers,' 'managed' the counsel and attorney of the
United Irishmen, deserves a note, especially as he is one of the men
regarding whom the industrious editor of that work found it impossible
to ascertain particulars. His services, which, Cooke says, 'ought to
be thought of,' were rewarded in 1800 by the Deputy Clerkship of the
Pleas of the Exchequer. Gross abuse defiled this post; but until 1816
the iniquity was not brought before Parliament. On April 29 Mr. Leslie
Foster declared that 'Mr. Pollock drew 10,000_l._ out of the profits,
and on which he ought to pay the salaries of the other clerks; but,
instead of this, he pocketed the whole of the money, leaving them to
raise the fees upon the suitors on no other authority than their own
assumptions!' In 1803 Pollock's emoluments from this office did not
exceed 3,000_l._ a year. Mr. Attorney-General Saurin impeached him in
nine distinct charges, and as a result he was deposed.[788]

Pollock's name constantly appears in that curious manuscript known as
the 'S.S. Money Book,' one of the last payments to him being on January
10, 1799, for 1,137_l._ 10_s._ The frequent payments to 'John Pollock
for J. W.' suggested to me that the gold which he disbursed was usually
for persons connected with the law, and with this clue I am able to
trace and make clear various ciphers which Dr. Madden was unable to
explain when publishing a copy of the Secret Account just named. For
instance, we find: '1799--16 Feb. J. Pollock for J. W.--£150--G. M.
£50.' Again, on May 3 following: 'J. Pollock for G. M. I.--£50.' And on
June 5 and August 3, '£150 to G. M. I.' Who is 'G. M.' and 'G. M. I.'?

George McIntagart is described in 1798 as an attorney-at-law. Benjamin
P. Binns, in an autobiographical sketch, speaks of this man as his
step-father. It was George McIntagart who, when Mayor of Drogheda in
1798, dressed up Orangemen in French uniforms, and sent them through
the country to entrap simple peasants. He then flogged them until, they
revealed whatever they knew. The future Duke of Wellington, writing to
the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland on March 17, 1809, observes: 'Will you
have Mr. McIntagart appointed to be Collector of Drogheda?'[789]

'February 24, 1798. Mr. Pollock for J. W. H.' appears on record.
Turning to the list of attorneys in that year, the name of 'J. Wright
Heatly' is found. Dr. Madden also prints, 'August 23. Major Sirr for W.
A. H., £68 5_s._ 0_d._,' but offers no conjecture as to the owner of
these initials. He must be the man described by Plowden who, after an
interview with the Irish Privy Council, was equipped at the expense of
Dublin Castle with a showy rebel uniform, including a cocked hat and
feathers, and sent on a mission to Belfast to seduce and to betray. An
orderly dragoon repaired with instructions to General Sir Charles Ross,
who commanded in Belfast, that Houlton was a confidential agent and not
to be molested. Houlton, however, having started in a chaise and four,
arrived at Belfast in advance of the orderly, and the result was that,
when in the act of declaiming treason at a tavern, he was arrested
by the local authorities, paraded in his uniform round the town, and
sent back a prisoner to Dublin.[790] The Belfast papers of the day give
his name as William Ainslie Houlton, and he is clearly identical with
the W. A. H. of Mr. Cooke's cipher. It would be endless to pursue this
subject. Meanwhile, those who care to follow the various ciphers in the
'S.S. Money Book,' and to know the circumstances under which each item
is penned, can obtain full information from the present writer.

Pollock in his new sinecure did not cease to gratify the instincts
which made him so efficient in 1798. A letter from him is found in
the 'Wellington Correspondence,' dated January 12, 1809, directing
attention to McNevin's 'Pieces of Irish History,' then recently
published in New York. Pollock assures the future subjugator of
Napoleon that, from information he received, this book is the precursor
of a French invasion of Ireland. '_If you have Cox_,'[791] he adds
'(who keeps a small bookshop in Anglesea Street), he can let you into
the whole object of sending this book to Ireland at this time; and
further, if you have not Cox, believe me that no sum of money at all
within reason would be misapplied in riveting him to the Government.
I have spoken of this man before to Sir Edward Littlehales and to Sir
Charles Saxton. He is the most able, and, if not secured, by far the
most formidable man that I know of in Ireland.'[792] This letter, from
the niche assigned to it in the 'Wellington Correspondence,' calls
for a distinct notice of Cox, whose name occurs so frequently in the
foregoing sheets.


(See p. 71, _ante_.)

Mr. O'Donoghue, in 'Irish Humourists,' states of Cox and his rebel
sheet, the 'Union Star,' which openly urged assassination: 'While
the moderate organs of the United Irishmen--the 'Press' and the
'Northern Star'--were being suppressed and their editors persecuted
and imprisoned, Watty Cox and his sheet were left severely alone.' I
am sure the author will allow me, in the interests of history, to set
this point right. The Pelham MSS. contain the following letter from
Cooke:--'This day I suppressed the "Union Star." Cox offered [Justice]
Bell to disclose the author, and to tell what he knew to Government
on condition of pardon. I accepted the terms and have seen him. He
was sole author, printer, and publisher. He composed the "Star" at
different printing houses with types of different printers and struck
them off by a small bellows press of his own. He says he continued the
publication more from vanity than mischief; says that he has been for
some time against continuing the scheme of separation from England
because he thought it could not succeed ... thinks it will if there be
any invasion. Lord Edward F. [_sic_] and O'Connor have been often with
him; they knew of his writing the "Star." Cox pronounced Lord Edward
"weak but very zealous"; O'Connor has abilities and is an enthusiast,
but he thinks they want system.' Much more follows, and Cooke adds, 'he
[Cox] is a clever man and deep.'[794]

The viceroy, Camden, writing two days later, says: 'He [Cox] seems
able to give much important information;'[795] but Camden assumes this
merely on the strength of the fact mentioned in Cooke's letter, and Cox
does not seem to have compromised his friends by any actual disclosure.
Arthur O'Connor, addressing Dr. Madden in 1842, declared that Cox
remained always faithful to him, and also to Lord Edward Fitzgerald.
Whatever changes may have taken place in his conduct, it was not until
after Lord Edward's death and O'Connor's exile. While there was a
chance of success, he was one of the staunchest men in Ireland to their
cause. Had O'Connor--a person of great vanity--dreamt that Cox called
him an enthusiast, and Lord Edward weak, his praise might perhaps have
been modified.

In 1803, when Dublin Castle was dismayed by the outbreak of Emmet's
rebellion within shadow of its walls, I find addressed to Cox the copy
of a letter from Under-Secretary Marsden requesting him to call upon
him, and 'nobody would be the wiser.' Cox replies in writing to the
effect that he did not care how public their communications should be;
and certainly at this time he cannot be called 'a spy,' if indeed he
ever was.

The Viceroy Hardwicke wrote, soon after, an official vindication of his
conduct; and he mentions incidentally that it had been meditated to
place Cox under arrest as a dangerous democrat. His 'Irish Magazine' is
a marvellous medley, and contains, intermingled with some rubbish, a
good deal of valuable matter useful for future reference. Having been
put in the pillory more than once for his writings, and finally been
sentenced to pay a fine of 300_l._, and enter into security himself
for one thousand, with two others of 500_l._ each, to keep in good
behaviour for seven years, as well as suffer one year's confinement in
Newgate, Cox at last consented, on receiving a pension of 100_l._ a
year, to expatriate himself to America. This Lord Mulgrave stopped in
1835, and the death of Cox occurred soon after.[796]


(See chap. xxi.)

Documents previously quoted make ambiguous reference to the fate of
William Orr. This unfortunate person was arraigned at Carrickfergus in
September 1797, for having administered to a soldier named Wheatley the
United Irishman's oath. He was found guilty on evidence so glaringly
bad that Baron Yelverton, in sentencing him, sobbed. Most of the
inhabitants left the town to mark their horror of the sacrifice.
Newspapers of the last century did not deal much in sensational
headings. The _Courier_, an influential London journal, of December 25,
1797, affords some exception:--

'Murder Most Foul!--The Irish papers which arrived this morning contain
the affidavits of the Rev. George Macartney, D.L., magistrate for
the county Antrim; the Rev. James Elder, Dissenting Minister; and
of Alexander Montgomery, Esq., stating that Hugh Wheatley--one of
the witnesses brought forward by the Crown against Mr. Orr, lately
executed in Ireland--had confessed that he had been guilty of _perjury_
and _murder_!!'

Some of the jury also came forward and admitted that they were drunk
when they gave their verdict. These facts, duly deposed to and
attested, were laid before the Viceroy, Lord Camden, by the magistrate
who had caused Orr to be arrested, 'and who,' writes Dr. Madden, 'when
he found the practices that had been resorted to, used every effort,
though fruitlessly, to move Lord Camden to save the prisoner. Orr was
executed because of his known connection with the United Irish system,
but not on account of the crime legally laid to his charge.'

The date of Lord Camden's fatal decision, in reply to the influential
appeal which had reached him, merits attention. Turner, on October
8, 1797, disclosed to Downshire--for the private information of the
Government--a list of men, including 'two Orrs,' who, he said, were
members of the Executive Directory of the United Irishmen; and Camden,
probably, thought that Orr, who then lay in jail, adjudged guilty of
having administered the rebel oath, was one of them. On October 13,
Camden surprised Great Britain quite as much as Ireland, by deciding
that William Orr should hang, and within forty-eight hours he suffered
death.[797] A painful sensation passed through the country: Drennan's
fine lyric, 'The Wake of William Orr,' will live as long as 'The
Burial of Sir John Moore.' '_Remember Orr_' were the last words in
the manuscript which hanged Sheares. The fate of Orr had more effect
in hurrying rebellion to a premature explosion than all the efforts
of Tone, McNevin, and O'Connor. The latter urged that Ireland should
strike without further waiting for French aid.

Dr. Madden re-awakened interest in this case of Orr by claiming to
show that Wheatley, by whose tainted testimony he died, was identical
with a subsequently well-known military officer. Hugh Wheatley, the
informer and common soldier (Dr. Madden holds), is the same man who
afterwards figured as Captain Wheatley in the West Middlesex Regiment,
who served in Egypt, 'wore the Sphinx on his cap,' and in 1827 resided
at Uxbridge.[798] In 1844 Dr. Madden addressed to a brother officer of
this man--a Captain Hester--various queries, all of which drew forth
answers disparaging to Captain Wheatley, including the fact that he
was remarkable for his love of money and his profligacy. 'How did he
get his commission?' asked Dr. Madden: 'I cannot say,' replied Hester,
'nor could any of the officers. The commanding officers appeared always
in fear of him. It was not because he had good pistols, for he never
used them himself, but he would lend them--as he would his cash--on

It seems almost a pity to spoil the piquancy of an attractive page, but
'truth is stranger than fiction,' and as Dr. Madden declares more than
once that justice to the dead and historic accuracy are his objects,
it is right to show that in this case he has confounded two utterly
different men. Even a son of the wronged officer is brought on the
_tapis_ as a person Dr. Madden had known in another land. The following
letter confirming my doubts will help to distinguish between the two

                                         'War Office: September 6, 1866.

  'Sir,--I am directed by the Secretary of State for War to
  acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 21st ultimo, asking
  for particulars of the service &c. of a Mr. Hugh Wheatly in the
  West Middlesex Militia, between the years 1799 and 1810, and to
  acquaint you that he regrets that he is unable to give you the
  information you wish for.

  'I may add that a Mr. W. Wheatley was appointed to the Regiment
  as Lieutenant on the 21st February, 1804, and was promoted to a
  Company, 17th December, 1811.[799]

  'A Mr. Hugh Wheatly was serving in the Tenth (Edinburghshire)
  Militia in 1800 as Lieutenant. His commission was dated 26th March,

                       'I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,
                                              'L. SHADWELL, Col.

  'W. J. Fitzpatrick, Esq., J.P.'

The Hugh Wheatley who--as we are informed by the War Office--received
a commission in the Edinburghshire Militia on March 26, 1798, is
certainly Orr's Wheatley. One of the depositions of the Rev. George
Macartney--a magistrate and D.L. for Antrim--speaks of Hugh Wheatly as
a _Scotch_ soldier, who confessed he had been instigated to give false
evidence against Orr. Even after he had received his commission we
find Wheatley in receipt of Secret Service money; and on February 5,
1800, 115_l._ 2_s._ 9_d._--or one hundred guineas old currency--appears
on record to his credit.

Notes of a conversation with the late Dr. Verdon--a representative of
William Orr--discloses some things new to students of the time. Major
Orr, son of William Orr, served with distinction in the Peninsular
War; he obtained his commission at the age of twenty-three, and on his
return to England the Duke of York, then Commander-in-Chief, after
complimenting him upon his services, asked if there was any promotion
he ambitioned. 'I hate the sword I wear,' was Orr's sullen reply;
'perhaps your Royal Highness will allow me to retire from the service.'
'Pray are you related to Orr who suffered in '98?' inquired the Duke.
'I have the honour to be his son,' the soldier replied. The Duke with
reluctance accepted the resignation, and next day wrote a cheque for
1,000_l._, and sent it to the widow of William Orr 'as some slight
compensation for the loss she had sustained' twenty years before. The
Duke of York was at this time heir apparent to the throne. Captain Orr
retired on full pay with the rank of brevet major. Some years after,
finding that his means were inadequate to meet domestic expenses, he
asked the Duke for a barrack mastership. Orr filled this office in
Longford, and subsequently in Dublin till his death.


Mrs. Anastasia O'Byrne, who died in 1875, had been in the habit of
sending me rough recollections of such small things as came within the
cognisance of a very unobtrusive woman. Some of her letters appeared in
a former book. The following is new:--

  'In May, 1798,' says Mrs. O'Byrne, 'the narrator, then a comely
  matron of thirty, possessing a soft innocent expression and a
  delicate rose-hue complexion, donned her bonnet of the previous
  season, with intent to make some purchases in the drapery line
  at a flourishing mart in Thomas Street. The bonnet was of bright
  green silk, had often been worn without remark, was purchased for
  its supposed becoming effect, and had lain quietly ensconced in
  its bandbox throughout the winter. But during that eventful season
  the political atmosphere had undergone disturbance, and the storm
  which shattered to pieces many happy homesteads was about to sweep
  through Ireland. Amid other signs of the times, "the wearing of
  the green" came to be regarded with suspicion and dislike by the
  authorities of the day. Of this, however, the wearer of the green
  bonnet was then quite unconscious. On she went, but was rather
  concerned, and somewhat puzzled, to find herself attracting an
  unusual share of the attention of the passers-by, particularly as
  she was alone. As she passed out of Dame Street into Castle Street
  and Skinner's Row,[800] where the narrowness of the flag-way made
  collisions of passengers a rule rather than an exception, she was
  startled to hear, every other moment, a voice whispering, almost
  under her bonnet: "God bless your colour, ma'am!" She remarked
  that those who did not use this phrase regarded her with an angry
  scowl; but still no thought of connecting these incidents with
  the _hue_ of her bonnet ever crossed her mind. On her return
  from Thomas Street her attractive power seemed to increase, the
  cabalistic words: "God bless your colour, ma'am!" were not uttered
  so frequently, but the streets were greatly crowded by men, some of
  whom regarded her bonnet with so fierce a glare that she thought
  they had a notion of plucking it from her head. She then began to
  perceive, with some alarm, that scarcely any women were abroad,
  and that military and yeomanry paraded the streets. When she
  reached Cork Hill she saw masses of people thronging the line of
  way in Dame Street, whilst the crowd about the Castle gates and
  the Royal Exchange seemed heaving in agitation like the waves of a
  troubled sea. Whilst trying to pierce the dense crowd around the
  Royal Exchange she heard a familiar voice shout her name twice in a
  loud, excited tone. She glanced in the direction of the sound, and
  saw the pale, eager face of a young man of her acquaintance, the
  husband and brother of two intimate female friends, peering at her
  through one of the windows of the Royal Exchange, then a receptacle
  for State prisoners. Entering a little by-street she turned with
  great difficulty from the surge of the crowd which was floating
  from College Green side, and soon got into more quiet quarters.
  By the circuitous route she reached home unmolested, but found the
  household in great alarm about her, for tidings had reached them
  that several females during the tumult of the day had been rudely
  insulted, and roughly treated, for wearing ribbons or garments
  of green hue, one most respectable lady having had a gown of the
  obnoxious colour sliced from her body by the sabre of a loyal
  trooper. The excitement of the day was caused by the arrest of the
  unfortunate brothers Sheares. The young prisoner who called on
  her from the window had just recently been arrested in the street
  on suspicion, solely on account of having used indignant words of
  remark in the hearing of a loyal yeoman. His great anxiety to gain
  the notice of the wearer of the green bonnet was caused by his
  desire that his relatives, who were ignorant of his arrest, should
  learn it, and take measures for his release, before the tidings of
  it could reach the ears of a very youthful wife in a very delicate

  'The poor fellow was speedily released, for higher game had been
  bagged, and nothing beyond his warm words could be adduced against
  him. But the young wife, whom he soon after left a widow, always
  believed that his early death was caused by his arrest. He had
  caught a severe cold whilst in prison, his lungs became affected,
  and rapid decline and early death ensued.

  'On the day of the arrest of the Sheareses the wearer of the green
  bonnet beheld the sacking and the attempted burning of the house
  and stock-in-trade of Patrick Byrne, the bookseller of Grafton
  Street in whose shop the brothers were first introduced to their
  betrayer, Captain Armstrong. It was a pitiful sight to behold the
  amount of property in beautifully bound books ruthlessly torn
  to pieces and tossed out of windows into the street. Byrne was
  arrested, but afterwards got safely out of the country, and settled
  in Philadelphia. His brother, a Roman Catholic priest in Rosemary
  Lane Chapel, followed him to America.'

The old lady's garrulousness about her green bonnet has been allowed
space the more readily because the following contemporary statement
comes to illustrate and explain, not only her own reminiscence, but an
oft-quoted phrase which has become historic. I have culled it from the
London _Courier_ of August 29, 1797. The _Dublin Journal_ to which it
refers was the organ of the Irish Government, and the property of Jack


  _Dublin, August 24._--The _Dublin Journal_, with base malignity,
  throws out the most indecent insinuations against the virtue of
  every female who wears _green_ in her apparel. How the citizens of
  Dublin, and the inhabitants of the country, who are also included
  in this infamous denunciation, will bear to have their wives and
  daughters so stigmatised, remains to be seen. A more villainous
  libel never disgraced the Press. In case of success, it must render
  useless all the goods in silk, cotton, or woollen which have been
  dyed green, to the ruin of the manufacturers. Language is not
  adequate to express the abhorrence that arises at this hellish
  meditation to rob women of their character and working-people of

A corps, called the 'Antient Britons,' attained by their cruelties
notoriety in '98. Pelham, in a secret letter, recognises their activity
and loyalty; but casually adds (a trait which, coming from him, will
be more regarded than if told by a partisan): 'They were quartered
at Newry,' he writes, 'where there was a lady as active as the Miss
Greggs at Belfast, and upon her accosting a soldier on guard, she was
certainly very roughly treated.... They tied her petticoats round her
neck, and sent her home showing her garters.'[801] Pelham probably
learned this fact from one of the letters of Samuel Turner, formerly of


(See chap. xvi. p. 236.)

O'LEARY IN 1782.

The following letter--one honourable to O'Leary--has escaped the
vigilance of all his biographers. It seems to have been addressed
to Mr. Kirwan, a Catholic leader who held some military rank in the
Volunteer army, and who at mess had been asked to drink 'The glorious,
pious, and immortal memory' of William III.! '_Jungamus dexteras_'
was the motto of O'Leary and Grattan at this time. The former, in his
reply to the Bishop of Cloyne in 1796, states that the policy of Dublin
Castle was '_Divide et impera_.'

This letter is dated a year previous to Lord Sydney's effort to corrupt
O'Leary. From that hour no such courageousness of demand marked his

                                                 'Cork: October 4, 1782.

  'Much esteemed and dear Sir,--I am honoured this instant with your
  kind favour, which makes me doubly happy, in the information that
  you are well, and the satisfaction of still retaining a share in
  your remembrance. Your choice of Lord Mornington[802] for your
  Colonel gave me infinite satisfaction, and your design to continue
  him at your head until he forfeits his claim to that honour by
  some unbecoming and well-attested steps is equally founded in
  wisdom and justice. Let it be the province of bigots to censure the
  toast, after the reasons alleged for having given it. King William
  was the first who scattered the seeds of liberty in this kingdom.
  There is nothing in the frame of a Catholic that is averse to its
  growth. He never violated his engagements with the Catholics of
  Ireland, though often solicited to a breach of promise. There was
  not a Stuart, from the first to the last, but betrayed them, either
  from cowardice or treachery. James II. promised to repeal his
  Declaration, on condition of being reinstated. What could freedom
  expect from the resumption of his dignity?

  'In the very heat of action, when the alternative was death or
  victory, he commands _to spare his English subjects_.[803] _Poor
  man! he was tender-hearted and pusillanimous!_ I care not. Bears
  are fierce, and deer are timid. It is equal to me whether I suffer
  by the claws of the one or the horns of the other. In my opinion,
  though our sufferings have been long and unmerited, it is happy
  for us that King William came over; for under weak kings of our
  own religion, controlled by laws, we would be for ever obnoxious
  to our fellow-subjects. Every gentleman from Dublin whom I meet
  here talks with admiration of the Irish Brigade.[804] Sir Boyle
  Roche, who wrote me a letter the other day, talks of them in a
  strain of rapture. I never have seen an address from the Catholics
  of Ireland but I spurned with indignation at, except your late
  address to Earl Temple. They were always couched in the cringing
  language of servility, and even falsehood, boasting of _common
  blessings_, when it was in the power of your children to strip
  you of your kitchen-gardens and the shoeboy of your houses. In
  your last address you spoke as Gentlemen, thankful for what you
  got, and decently intimating that you want and deserve more. I
  make it my humble request that, whilst one Penal Law stands upon
  record, except those that exclude you from the Senate and high
  offices under the Crown, in every address you will glance at
  your restraints. Were it not from an apprehension of incurring
  the displeasure of the Catholic Gentlemen of Dublin, I would
  have torn Gormanston's[805] address, and Portland's answer, to
  pieces. The former addressed as a contented slave, and the latter
  answered with the rudeness of a Batavian burgomaster who would say
  "_Behave always so, or else ----!_" The liberal-minded Protestants
  themselves acknowledge that enough has not been done for us. It
  is what Lord Beauchamp wrote to me when I was in Dublin. I send
  you Mr. Hamilton's letter on the same subject. I received it
  here, in a letter from Sir Boyle, who applauds _the wisdom of the
  Irish Brigade in not adopting the violent measures of several
  armed societies_. There is some meaning in these words, which I
  here would not have communicated but to a few of the discreet
  of our own. You can keep Mr. Hamilton's letter until I pay you
  my respects in Dublin. I wish I knew who he is.[806] As to the
  Dungannonists,[807] they should be remembered with gratitude by
  the Catholics of this kingdom. But as the Brigade is composed of
  all parties without distinction but such as merit confers, whether
  a letter which would give them the appearance of a Roman Catholic
  armed society would be expedient, however merited, you are the
  more competent judge. Whether the sycophants of Government, averse
  to the Northerns, would not represent Peter leaguing with John
  against Martin, who once confined them to a boxing-match over
  a tub, but sees them now shake hands over the table when they
  can appear with their swords and bucklers in the hall. However,
  should you deem the measure eligible, considering time, place,
  circumstances, the sympathies of some, the antipathies of others,
  the clashing of interests, the factions of parties, the jealousy of
  Government wishing the metamorphosis of your shining blades into
  shepherd's crooks,--there is not one living who would sooner comply
  with my friend's request than I would. But from conviction, free
  from flattery, I affirm that he is better qualified for a similar
  letter. I heard of him before I knew him; known, I conversed with
  him. I guessed what he could do. I read the sentimental and correct
  Las Casas. I was convinced that I had not guessed in vain. From
  this motive I cannot be prevailed on, besides the time, which has
  grown so scanty on my hands since my arrival here that I cannot
  spare one hour; exhorting every Sunday, and attending to several
  avocations, which, though of some benefit to others, often make me
  regret that I ever quitted my solitude and books. I suggested once
  to Mr. Weldon to propose Dr. Dunn--a Dissenting minister--to the
  Brigade for a third chaplain. If he be proposed and elected about
  the beginning of March, or any time after, I shall write him a
  letter, in which I shall pay those of his profession the compliment
  they deserve without giving offence to others. Ever &c.

                                                        'ARTHUR O'LEARY.

  'My best regards to Mrs. Kirwan, Messieurs Braughill, Ryan, Gavan,
  without forgetting our worthy Brigadier Sutton.'[808]

The biographer of Grattan cannot be regarded as an authority when
speaking of O'Leary. A letter headed 'Dr. O'Leary to Mr. Grattan,'
appears in Grattan's 'Life,' vol. v. pp. 263-4. It is dated May 25,
1805; begins, 'My dear Grattan;' speaks of his (O'Leary's) little
grandson, and ends, 'Believe me, with truth and affection, your sincere
friend and faithful confessor, Father O'Leary.' 'I congratulate you,
myself and my country on the honour your speech on the Catholic
question has conferred on us,' he writes, and thanks Grattan in
extravagant terms for having introduced his name with laudation.

Grattan's speech--delivered on May 13, 1805--occupies from page 914
to 940 of 'Hansard,' and O'Leary is not once named in it. Grattan's
biographer inserts with all the prominence and respect due to a genuine
document this transparent hoax. He adds a foot-note to say that
Grattan's speech in May, 1805, praised O'Leary. The biographer ought to
have known that O'Leary had been three years dead in 1805, and that it
is not usual for friars to rejoice in grandsons.


Father Arthur O'Leary died in London on January 8, 1802. The remains
lay in state; a grand dirge was sung; an imposing funeral cortège
followed them to Old St. Pancras, where a fine monument to his memory,
inscribed with words of praise, soon marked the spot. Tradition states
that Old St. Pancras was the last church in London where Mass was said
after the Reformation: hence the wish felt by Catholics in penal days
to sleep within its precincts. A visit to this historic graveyard in
its present desecrated state awakens emotion. No ground, however, is
sacred to the engineer. Old St. Pancras is now traversed by two lines
of railway--more regard being paid to the 'sleepers' above than to the
sleepers below. Passing trains ever and anon cause this resting-place
of the dead to tremble violently as if by earthquake. Indeed a seismic
shock, had it passed through the churchyard, could hardly have produced
more wreck. Here many an old tombstone inscribed '_Requiescat in
pace_'--others displaying grand heraldic sculpture--even a bishop's
mitre and a shattered coronet--proclaim the irony of fate. The
scorched and begrimed soil, once green and rural, but now split into
a hundred fissures--almost tends to remind one of a great Scriptural
picture, where shrouded dead are seen rising in protest from the
riven earth. Tablets and tombs sufficient to represent the life of
a city are rudely removed and ranged far from the graves they ought
to mark. 'Old Mortality' will find them piled--close as cards in a
pack--beneath a dark archway, over which locomotives rush, their shrill
scream suggesting a cruel travesty of the last trumpet. A few massive
mausoleums are certainly spared, and amongst them that to the memory of
O'Leary. Another part of the disused cemetery creates quite a contrast
to the scene of desolation just described. Parterres smiling with
flowers may be seen; also winding walks, and an occasional shaded seat,
where whispering love repeats a story older even than Old St. Pancras.


Dr. Hussey was not the last Catholic priest sent by the Court of
England on a private mission to the Continent. The subsequent Duke of
Wellington, writing from London to Dublin Castle on March 18, 1808,

'It would be very desirable to have a person to send over to Holland
and France just at the present moment, and I know nobody that would
answer our purpose so well as ----, the Scotch priest. I wish,
therefore, that you would desire him to come over to me.'

On the following day he writes:--

'As I intend to send ---- to Paris, it might not be inconvenient to
know the person through whom the disaffected communicate with the
French Government in order that ---- might watch him.'[809]

The chief blank may be filled with the name of the Rev. James
Robertson. The nephew of this man, Mr. A. B. Fraser, found among his
papers, 'A Narrative of a Secret Mission to the Danish Island in 1808.'
The priest had been sent by Wellington to the Spanish general Romana,
and the result was the transmission of the Spanish army from the
service of France, by the British fleet, from North Germany to Spain.

Spain was the theatre of a still more important case of secret service
rendered by a Catholic priest. In 1860 I wrote to Field-Marshal Lord
Combermere as the only man then living likely to know of the relations
which subsisted, during the Peninsular War, between Wellington and Dr.
Curtis, Rector of the Irish College of Salamanca. The following is a
portion of his reply:--

  'Dr. Curtis had been fifty years head of the College when he left
  Spain to become Roman Catholic Primate of Ireland.

  'He had communicated very valuable information to the Duke of
  Wellington while Soult held his headquarters at Salamanca.

  'His connection with the Duke was suspected before the first entry
  of the British into Salamanca, and two days previous to this event,
  while dining with Soult, Dr. C. heard the General remark how
  strange it was that Lord Wellington seemed so well acquainted with
  his proceedings.

  'Some of the aides-de-camp looked at Dr. Curtis pointedly on this
  occasion, and the next day, while at table with the same party,
  similar observations were made, and Dr. Curtis perceived that the
  suspicions of Soult had been in some manner confirmed.

  'On his return home that night, he found two gendarmes awaiting
  him, and he was at once conveyed to prison.

  'He assured Lord Combermere that had not the English arrived the
  next day, he would have been executed as a spy.'

It may be added that the mysterious reference in Wellington's despatch
of May 8, 1811,[810] is to Dr. Curtis.

The appointment of this priest by the Pope as 'Archbishop of Armagh,
and Primate of All Ireland' was directly due to influence exerted with
Cardinal Gonsalvi by British statesmen, including Lord Castlereagh,
Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Duke of Wellington maintained for
many years a constant and cordial correspondence with the Primate,
and the Duke's change of policy on the Catholic Question was not
uninfluenced by it. The papers of this eminent prelate, varied and
voluminous in their character, have been long in the custody of
the present writer, and at a future day may be dealt with as their
importance demands.


[712] Froude, iii. 277.

[713] See _Castlereagh Correspondence_, i. 285.

[714] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, i. 285.

[715] Turner's is the only name in the list to which Hughes prefixes
this title of courtesy, which shows that he was looked up to as a man
superior to his fellows.

[716] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, iv. 504.

[717] _Report of the Secret Committee of the House of Lords_, 1798, pp.

[718] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, i. 283. Turner was known by the
_alias_ of 'Furness,' partly, perhaps, in allusion to his seemingly
red-hot patriotism.

[719] _Ibid._

[720] James Hope in his narrative speaks of Colonel Plunket as at first
a flaming rebel, who had been assigned to the command of Roscommon;
but Lord Carleton, in a manuscript note to _Irish Pamphlets_, vol. 129
(Nat. Lib. of Ireland), says that on the eve of action he surrendered
to Dr. Law, Bishop of Elphin. Plunket was tried by court-martial and

[721] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, ii. 231.

[722] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, ii. 232.

[723] Every man desiring to become a barrister is obliged to lodge a
memorial describing himself and his parentage. Anxious to ascertain
whether the description of Lord Downshire's friend would apply to
Turner, as the son of a gentleman of property in Ulster, I applied at
the King's Inns, Dublin, to be allowed to see how Turner described
himself--but was refused, although the object was explained to be one
purely historical. This greatly retarded my inquiries, which were
begun many years ago. At last an examination of the wills and the
entrance-book of Trinity College, Dublin, established all that I had
surmised, and the following letter, which I find in the Pelham MSS.,
is further important in this connection:--'The arms belonging to Mr.
Turner, senior, a magistrate near Newry, were taken from him at the
time of the general search for arms in that county. I believe that his
conduct has been misconceived owing to the conduct of his son, and, if
you see no particular objection to it, I should be glad that his arms
should be restored to him' (Pelham to General Lake, Phœnix Park, August
3, 1797).

[724] _Records of the Probate Court, Dublin._

[725] _United Irishmen_, 1st edit. i. 252.

[726] _United Irishmen_, 1st edit. i. 240. These references to Turner,
supplied by Hope, were not reprinted by Dr. Madden in the second
edition of his _United Irishmen_. 'The Cornwallis Papers' had not then
appeared, disclosing the name of Samuel Turner as a recipient of a
pension for important but unexplained services in connection with the

[727] Bourrienne's _Life of Napoleon_ describes Reinhard as a Lutheran.

[728] The betrayer, in his letter to Lord Downshire, states that Lowry
wrote from Paris to him on October 11, 1797, in great despondency on
account of Hoche's death.

[729] Mr. Cashel Hoey, grandson of Conlan's victim, an important
Government official in London, decorated by the Crown, died Jan. 6,
1892. Antony Marmion, author of _The Maritime Ports of Ireland_, was
the son of Conlan's second victim.

[730] The Sirr MSS. Trin. Coll. Dublin.

[731] Froude's _English in Ireland_, iii. 284.

[732] Froude's _English in Ireland_, iii. 305.

[733] _Ibid._ 281.

[734] Samuel Turner, B.A., T.C.D., 1786; LL.D., T.C.D. 1787, _College
Calendar_. He claimed to have descended, I believe, from Dr. Samuel
Turner, M.A. of Oxford in 1605, whose parliamentary career and daring
spirit are noticed in L'Estrange's _History of the Reign of Charles I._

[735] A wild district near Gweedore, on the coast of Donegal, embracing
the contiguous island of Rutland.

[736] The facsimile of this proclamation, as furnished by Mr.
Allingham, is headed 'Liberty or Death!' and displays a drawing of
the Irish harp and the cap of liberty; but as the text appears in the
_Castlereagh Papers_ (i. 407), a sample must suffice here:--'Horrid
crimes have been perpetrated in your country, your friends have fallen
a sacrifice to their devotion to your cause, their shadows are around
you and call aloud for vengeance, etc.'

[737] These and other statements appear in a letter signed 'O.' which
will be dealt with presently.

[738] From 1795 the Duke enjoyed the titles of Field-Marshal,
Commander-in-Chief, and Bishop of Osnaburg.

[739] The Corporation at that time was notoriously Orange.

[740] James Farrell, though a Rebel leader during the troubles, is
afterwards found entertaining at dinner H.R.H. the Duke of Sussex and
Major Sirr.

[741] Letter dated 'Salmon Pool Lodge, Dublin, September 21, 1846.'
(O'Connell MSS. Derrinane Abbey.) If it were not for the letter of Sir
A. Wellesley, which fixes the date, I would be disposed to place this
incident earlier.

[742] Madden's _United Irishmen_, ii. 391.

[743] There is an account in Musgrave of the arrival of the 'Anacréon'
with notices of some of the men on board, but it throws no light on
'O.' He was lost in the crowd of French officers and adherents.

[744] _Castlereagh Correspondence_, i. 405.

[745] O'Herne, otherwise Aherne (see _Castlereagh_, i. 308). He is
often mentioned in _Tone's Journal_.

[746] O'Finn (see _Castlereagh_, ii. 5). O'Finn figures in the Fugitive
Bill. See p. 96, _ante_.

[747] Ormby, an Irish rebel in France (_Castlereagh_, i. 307).

[748] O'Mealy, an Irish rebel in France (_ibid._ ii. 7, 359 _et seq._).

[749] O'Hara (_ibid._ i. 327).

[750] Colonel O'Neill (_ibid._ ii. 230).

[751] O'Connor (_Castlereagh_, i. 374).

[752] O'Keon, who went with the French to Killala. See _Byrne's
Memoirs_, iii. 164. (Paris, 1863.)

[753] At Paris 'O' had three interviews with General Lawless in
reference to the invasion, which is detailed in his clever letter (see
_Castlereagh_, i. 397). He is able to tell Lawless the number of men
the French Directory were prepared to sacrifice in the attempt. The
added statement that 'Orr did not seem to like going' is consistent
with his sneering tone at all that passed on board the 'Anacréon.'
Were Orr discovered to have been a spy, he would have swung from the

[754] MSS. Record Tower, Dublin. A narrative of the progress of Tandy's
expedition, dated October 21, 1799, and preserved in the same archives,
is endorsed 'G. O.'

[755] Turner (see p. 5, _ante_) announces Orr as at Paris with Tandy,
Teeling, Lewins, and other arch-rebels.

[756] See p. 56, _ante_, and _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 405.

[757] The most trivial incidents are chronicled, including Tandy's
fondness for gazing on a few laced coats that he had in his
wardrobe. Tone himself was not proof against this vanity: 'Put on my
regimentals--as pleased as a little boy in his first breeches' (ii.
176). 'O' announces that 'Turner refused to accompany any of the
expeditions to Ireland, and went from Paris to the Hague' (i. 409).
Turner had been in dread of assassination as the penalty of betrayal,
and could not be persuaded to revisit Ireland while the troubles and
their excitement continued.

[758] _Castlereagh Papers_, i. 408.

[759] _Ibid._ p. 410 (October, 1798).

[760] _Wellington Correspondence (Ireland)_, p. 455.

[761] But Flint seems to have had more to do in this _rôle_ than
paternally to extend the ægis. Lord Cloncurry, describing his own
arrest in 1798, writes (_Memoirs_, p. 68) that his Swiss valet was
seized under the Alien Act, sent out of the country, and never heard of

[762] _United Irishmen_, iv. 232-5. Sir Jonah, in his _Personal
Sketches_ (pp. 163-6), tells this himself, but without the elaborate
colouring of Madden.

[763] Probably Foster. Some of the papers in the same volume are
addressed to the Right Hon. the Speaker, Collon (Pelham MSS. fol. 205).
Thomas Pelham, Earl of Chichester, whose name has been often mentioned
in this book, died July 4, 1826. A pleasing sketch of Pelham appears in
_Barrington's Memoirs_, i. 180.

[764] Francis Magan (see p. 134, _ante_).

[765] It would be unlike Jones if his letters to Lady Moira did not
deal with warmer topics than 'antiquities.' Tone's _Life_ contains a
letter from Lady Moira to Jones, in which she says: 'As to making a
democrat of me, that, you must be persuaded, is a fruitless hope.'

[766] It has never been my habit to print only such parts of letters as
are convenient to my purpose. Lady Moira would be the last to suspect
her neighbour Magan; and she naturally thought at once of Musgrave, who
had so recently accepted Jones's challenge. But Lady Moira was wrong in
thinking that, when their affair of honour ended, Musgrave owed spite
to Jones. He afforded good proof to the contrary in omitting from later
editions of his book the passages which had offended Jones. The duel
took place at Rathgar, Musgrave was slightly wounded, and Ned Lysaght
said that his next edition would probably be 'in boards.' Jones, in a
private letter, written long after, speaks of his antagonist as 'Dick
Musgrave,' and exonerates him from the suspicion of having spitefully
caused his arrest. A notice of the duel appears in the _Annual
Register_ for 1802, p. 410. T. O. Mara attended Jones as second.

[767] Under-Secretary at Dublin Castle.

[768] The Lady Elizabeth Craven, whom Mr. John Edward Maddox married,
died in 1799.

[769] McCan, the agent of Grattan, was examined by the Privy Council;
when the Attorney-General, O'Grady, is stated to have offered
McCan office, and a payment of 10,000_l._ if he would criminate
Grattan.--_Life of Grattan_, by his Son, v. 228. McCan, on behalf
of Grattan, had remitted money to Dowdall, but only from motives of
humanity. Dowdall was concerned in Robert Emmet's plot. Mathias O'Kelly
told me that he met Dowdall, Magan, and Todd Jones dining at the table
of James Dixon, the active rebel already noticed.

[770] The Countess of Granard. The Dowager Lady Moira, from whom her
son inherited the baronies of Hungerford and Hastings, died on April
12, 1808.

[771] Plowden's _History of Ireland_, 1811, ii. 22.

[772] _Appeal_, p. 122; Halliday Collection, vol. 915. R. I. A.

[773] _Personal Recollections_, p. 246.

[774] J. W. Sunday evening, 9 o'clock.

[775] McNally himself.

[776] Camden to Pelham, Dublin Castle, June 6, 1798. (Pelham MSS.,

[777] Cooke to Wickham, Dublin Castle, September 1, 1798.

[778] Philip Crampton, afterwards the famous Surgeon-General and
medical baronet, took part in the action at Castlebar, as assistant
surgeon to the Longford Militia. His friends often chaffed him on
having been the first man to reach Tuam.

[779] Cooke to Wickham, Dublin Castle, September 1, 1798.

[780] _Idem._

[781] Camden to Pelham, Dublin Castle, June 6, 1798. (Pelham MSS.)

[782] Froude's _English in Ireland_, iii. 351.

[783] Camden to Pelham, June 11, 1798. (MS.)

[784] Camden to Elliot, Dublin Castle, June 15, 1798. (Pelham MSS.) The
only weak suggestion in the remaining part of Camden's letter--needless
to transcribe--is that the scene in Ireland was sufficiently extensive
for the Duke of York 'to assume the command-in-chief,' for York's
failures in the field constitute unpleasant incidents in history.

[785] The Pelham MSS., London.

[786] _A Journal of the Movements of the French Fleet in Bantry Bay_
(Cork, 1797). Hugh Lord Carleton's copy, with manuscript notes. It was
this peer who tried and sentenced the Sheareses to death. When the
Legislative Union became law in 1800, Lord Carleton retired from the
bench and continued to reside in London until his death on Feb. 25,
1826. Though twice married he left no issue, and his peerage, like that
of Bantry, is extinct.

[787] From the first days of October to the end of December, 1605.

[788] William Sinclair, of Belfast, one of the founders of the
Dungannon Convention, married John Pollock's sister. He afterwards took
part in the battle of Antrim where Lord O'Neil fell. He survived until
the year 1864, and had reached the age of ninety-eight.

[789] See _Wellington Correspondence (Ireland)_, p. 612.

[790] Plowden's _Post-Union History_, i. 223-5.

[791] Watty Cox, publisher of the _Irish Magazine_. Eighteen months
previously, Mr. Trail, of Dublin Castle, reports to Sir A. Wellesley a
long conversation with Cox. See _Wellington Correspondence (Ireland)_,
p. 121.

[792] _Civil Correspondence and Memoranda of F. M. Arthur Duke of
Wellington_, edited by his Son, p. 535.

[793] The author of _Irish Humourists_ describes Cox as one of the most
peculiar individuals to be met with in Irish history, and expresses
hope that some day the documents relating to him possessed by the late
Dr. Madden, and other manuscripts that must be somewhere in existence,
will be published, and a full biography given to the world of so
striking a personality.

[794] Cooke to Pelham, Dublin Castle, December 14, 1797.

[795] Camden to Pelham, December 16, 1797. (Pelham MSS.)

[796] In Birmingham Tower, Dublin Castle, the box marked 'Carton
620-24' should be consulted.

[797] Hope, who knew most of the secrets of his party, has stated that
the man who administered the oath to the soldier was not William Orr
but William McKeever, a delegate from Derry, who afterwards escaped to

[798] _United Irishmen_, i. 486-7.

[799] This was the Wheatley known to Captain Hester.

[800] This narrow street--as well as the adjoining passage known as
'Hell'--was cleared away soon after, in order to form Christchurch
Place in front of the cathedral.

[801] Letter of the Right Hon. Thomas Pelham, Phœnix Park, Nov. 1,
1797, to the Home Office. (Pelham MSS.)

[802] Garret, Earl of Mornington, married the daughter of Lord
Dungannon, was father of the Duke of Wellington, and died May 22, 1784.

[803] The late John Cornelius O'Callaghan, the highest authority on the
Jacobite and Williamite wars, assured me that this speech, attributed
to James, was never uttered.

[804] O'Leary was honorary chaplain to the Irish Brigade Volunteers.

[805] A Catholic Peer.

[806] No doubt 'Counsellor Hamilton,' a democratic barrister of Ulster,
uncle of Thomas Russell, who was executed in 1803 as the colleague of

[807] The volunteer meeting at Dungannon in February, 1782, resolved
that 'the claim of any body of men other than the King, Lords,
and Commons of Ireland, to make laws to bind this kingdom, is
unconstitutional, illegal, and a grievance.'

[808] Who these men were, see p. 231 _ante_. Gavan may have been an
error of the copyist for Thomas Glanan, one of the Catholic delegates
of the city of Dublin in 1793.

[809] _Wellington Correspondence (Ireland)_, pp. 371-6.

[810] Vide _Wellington Despatches_, compiled by Lieut.-Colonel Gurwood,
ii. 538. (London, 1835.)


  Aberside, Dr., and Lady Moira, 352

  Aboukir Bay, lost treasure in, 81

  Academy, Royal Irish, 9, 86, 138, 240

  Addison, Joseph, 192

  Admiralty, the, 112

  'Agamemnon,' mutinous man-of-war, 113

  Agar, Mr., arrested, 42

  Agnew, of Larne, 7

  Aherne, Capt., 75

  Alien Bill, 349

  Alison, Sir A., 3, 258

  'All the Talents' Administration, 198

  Allen, Colonel, arrested, 15

  Allingham, Wm., 148, 342

  Altona, 96, 347

  Ambrose, Miss, 274

  'American Arms,' Inn, 73

  American War, 215, 278

  Amherst, Lord, 215

  Amiens, Peace of, 101

  Amsterdam, Duke of York marches on, 81

  'Anacréon,' French war ship, 71, 342, 347

  Antient Britons Regt., 373

  Annaly, Lord, 304

  Antrim, rebel colonels of, 292, 364

  Archduke, the, Charles, 81

  Archer, Alderman, 315

  -- Rev. Mr., a priest, 229

  Armada, Spanish, 229, 260

  Armstrong, Captain (J. W.), 153, 308, 309, 311, 312, 314, 316, 324,

  Artillery, present at arrests, 59

  -- Volunteer, commanded by Napper Tandy, 241

  Assassination urged, 238, 365

  'Athenæum,' the, 126

  Atkinson, High Constable, 122, 159

  -- Dr., 148

  Attainder, Act of, 83, 96, 100

  'Attornies Guide,' the, a local satire, 331

  Austria, 81, 90, 95, 257, 295, 296, 350

  Autun, Bishop of (Talleyrand), 27

  Avonmore, Lord, _see_ Yelverton.

  Azara, Chevalier, 264

  Bailey, a rebel, 16

  Ball, Mr. Justice, 144

  -- Sergeant in 1803, 99

  Bancroft, a secret agent, 225, 238

  Banim, John, 172;
    lines by, 307

  Banishment Act, 96, 298

  Banks, run on the, 154, 357

  Bantry Bay, French expedition to, 45, 170, 287

  -- Lord, 368

  Barber, Rev. Samuel, implicated, 290

  Barrington, Sir Jonah, 142, 177, 181, 183, 185, 189, 231, 255, 313,
        315, 321, 358, 368

  Barthélemy, M., 45

  Bathurst, Lord, 39, 95, 290, 291

  -- Benjamin, 95

  Battersby, W. J., 224

  Bavarian Embassy in London, 248, 264, 355

  Beauchamp, Lord, 375

  Beaufort, William, Rev., 351

  Bedford, Duke of, 198, 356

  Bellamy, Anne, 231, 248, 249

  Bennett, William Newton, a United Irishman, afterwards Chief Justice,

  Bentinck, Lord Wm., 37

  Beresford, Rt. Hon. J. C., 168, 169, 170, 180, 297

  -- Correspondence, 169

  Bergen, Tandy at, 78

  Berington, Bishop, 263

  Bernadotte, King, 291, 296, 297

  Berthier, Marshal, 27, 90, 290, 295, 297

  Berwick, Rev. E., 188

  Betagh, Father, S.J., 191

  Binns, Benjamin P., 15, 21, 31, 40,44, 218

  Birch, Rev. Mr. (Presbyterian), implicated, 290

  Bird, an informer, 178, 268

  'Black-book,' the, 73

  Blackburn, Francis, 224

  Blackwell, Colonel, 71, 79, 82, 85, 344, 345

  Blake, Bishop, 224

  -- Mr., executed in 1798, 361

  Blanca (Spanish Minister), 215, 227

  Bolivar, Simon, 207

  Bolton, Lord (_see_ Orde)

  Bond, Oliver, 7, 69, 72, 127, 165, 187, 301, 304

  Botany Bay, 86

  Boulogne, 90, 295

  Bourdon, Leonard, 30, 72, 110

  Bourrienne, Louis, 82, 290, 291, 294, 297, 339

  Bouvet, Admiral, at Bantry Bay, 170

  Boyce, John, 104

  Brady, Maziere, 229, 282

  Braughall, Thomas, 7, 231, 337, 376

  Brennan, Dr., 'the Wrestling Doctor,' 117, 309

  Brest, armament at, 90, 110

  Brett, John, 135

  Bridport, Admiral (Lord Hood), 108, 144, 160, 362

  Brigade, the Irish, in service of France, 246, 307

  Brissot, Jean Pierre, 309

  Bristol, Earl of (Bishop of Derry), 232, 236, 237

  Brophy, P., state dentist, 117

  Bruix, Admiral, 32, 83, 110

  Brune, Marshal, 344

  Buckingham, Lord, Viceroy of Ireland, 119, 255 _et seq._

  -- Papers, 255

  Buckinghamshire, Lord, 216

  Buckley, Rev. M. B., 231, 244, 259, 267-9

  Buller, Mr. Justice, 21

  Buonaparte (_see_ Napoleon)

  Burdett, Sir F., 197, 297, 328

  Bureaud, 14

  Burke, Sir Bernard, C.B. LL.D., _preface_

  Burke, Edmund, 224-38, 257, 268, 286, 287

  Burton, Mr. Justice, 176, 199, 210

  Bushe, Chas. Kendal, 136

  Butler, Archbishop, 281

  -- Charles, 211, 263, 284

  -- Lord Jas., 37

  -- Hon. Simon, 167

  Byrne, Colonel Miles, 117, 295-7

  Callanan, Dr., 159, 160

  Camden, Lord, 17, 38_n_, 43, 58_n_, 63, 64, 117_n_, 125, 137, 179,
        194, 195, 196_n_, 274, 314-66, 358, 360, 361, 368

  Campbell, Thos., 96, 297

  Canning, George, 45, 77, 145, 226, 297, 306

  Carhampton, Lord, 11, 78, 103, 152, 171, 188

  Carleton, Lord Chief Justice, 313;
    his MS. notes, 337, 360, 363

  -- Ald., peace officer, 159

  -- William, 205

  Carnot, French Minister in 1796, 113

  Carpenter, Roman Catholic Abp. of Dublin, 120, 150, 161_n_, 216

  Carrick's 'Morning Post,' 203

  Carthusians of La Trappe, 259

  Casey, Rev. Mr., a priest, 15, 74-5

  Castlebar, battle of, 343, 359

  Castlereagh, Lord, 9, 18, 20, 36_n_, 38_n_, 39, 43, 46, 47, 48, 49,
        50, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 71_n_, 72, 73, 76_n_, 83, 92, 95, 97,
        108, 109, 110, 115, 119, 191, 200, 281_n_, 282, 283, 292, 293,
        294, 295, 297, 299, 303, 306, 309, 311, 333, 335, 336, 337, 378,

  Catholic Emancipation in 1797, 68, 161, 215

  Caulfield, Captain, 138, 297

  Challoner, Bishop, 229

  Chamberlain, Mr. Justice, 176

  Chambers, John, 36, 187, 210

  Chapman of Cork, 85

  Charlemont, Lord, 223-99

  Charles, Archduke, 81

  Chatham, Lord, 157, 296, 297, 299

  Chesterfield, Lord, 272, 274

  Chichester, Earl of (_see_ Pelham)

  Chifney the jockey, 271

  Clancy, Master, 145_n_, 147

  Clare, Lord Chancellor, 120, 309, 313, 314, 316

  Clarke, Duc de Feltre, 108_n_

  Clement XIV., Pope, 249

  Clements, The Brothers, 139

  Clerkenwell prisoners set free, 229

  Clinch, J. B., 282

  Cloncurry, Lord, 7, 21, 34, 38, 39, 40_n_, 42, 94, 171, 195, 196,
        197, 203, 286, 296, 349_n_, 356

  Clonmel, Lord Chief Justice, 80

  Clony, (Rebel) General, 102

  Coburg, Prince of, 294

  Cockayne, 48, 192

  Cockburn, Lord, 30

  Code, H. B., 100

  Colchester Correspondence, Preface

  Colclough, Lady, 331, 351

  Coll, (Rebel) Colonel, 297

  Collins, Thomas, 163, 165, 166, 169, 170, 171, 181

  Coloony, action at, 359

  Colpoys, Admiral, confined by mutineers, 108

  Combermere, F. M. Lord, 378 _et seq._

  Commons, enclosed, 145

  Comyn, Andrew, 337

  Congress, National, in 1784, 240

  Conlan, Dr., 12, 340

  Connor, Lawrence, hanged, 181, 182

  Convention, Volunteer, in 1783, 234

  -- Act, 240

  Cooke, Edward, Under-Sec. for Ireland in 1798, 13, 27_n_, 93, 97,
        118, 119, 121, 122, 123, 127, 128, 130, 131, 133, 135, 138, 141,
        144, 159_n_, 168_n_, 169, 170, 171, 172, 189, 190, 191, 192,
        193, 300, 305, 314, 315, 321, 322, 358, 366

  Coote, General Sir Eyre, 350

  Cope, Sir Wm. H., 93, 302, 303

  -- William, pensioned in 1798, 302-3

  -- Misses, pensioned, _ibid._

  Corballis, J. R., 123, 148, 288

  Corbet, General, 71, 72, 78, 79, 81, 89

  Cork, proposed capture of, 85

  -- Lord, on the Sheareses, 321-330

  Cornwallis, Lord, 6_n_, 32, 63, 64, 78, 79_n_, 118_n_, 144, 178, 243,
        266, 271, 325, 333, 336, 343-9, 360-63

  Correspondence, Wellington, 209, 364, 365, 378-79

  'Courier,' the (London), 8-82, 112, 158, 276-89, 372

  Cox, Walter, 71-85, 117, 144, 163, 188, 191, 325_n_, 333, 341, 365,
        366, 367

  Coyle, Bernard, 137

  Crampton, Dr., afterwards Sir P., flight from Castlebar, 359_n_

  Craven, Lady E., 354

  Crawford, Sir James, British Minister at Hamburg, 71, 72, 73, 77, 79,
        93, 100, 109, 169, 180-297

  Creevy, General, 95

  Crofton, Morgan, 145, 146, 338

  Croix, De la, French Minister of War, 25, 52, 53, 54, 60, 67, 69, 78

  Cromwell, Oliver, 26

  Cromwellian Settlers, 32 _et seq._

  Crow Street Theatre, 205

  Cullen, Luke, _preface_, 137, 138

  Cumberland, R., 227, 228, 258, 285

  Curran, John Philpot, 32, 36, 42, 48, 76_n_, 80, 125, 156, 161, 164,
        174, 175, 176, 180, 189, 191, 192, 307, 312, 313, 324, 328, 333

  -- Sarah, 193

  -- W. H., 192-202

  Curtis, Archbishop, 378

  Cuxhaven, 23-30, 31, 81, 293

  Cyclopædian Magazine, 178, 183, 187

  D'Adhémar, Count, 224

  Daendels, General, 75

  Dalrymple, General, 362

  D'Alton, John, 298

  Dangan Castle, 201

  Darrynane, 147_n_

  Daunt, O'Neil, 159_n_

  D'Auvergne, Captain, 35, 38, 39, 60

  Davis, Thomas, 105_n_, 175_n_, 218

  Day, Judge, 159, 210

  De Burgo, Bishop, 217

  De Feltre, Duc, French War Minister, 108

  De Genlis, Madame, 5, 34, 42, 45, 108, 133

  De la Croix, 66, 67, 76, 78_n_, 105, 124, 125, 140, 187

  Del Campo, Marquis, 52, 53, 63, 226, 227, 228, 260, 264, 281

  D'Enghien, Duc, murdered, 90

  Derby, the, races, 271

  Derry, Bishop of (Lord Bristol), 237

  Despard, Col., 293

  Dessolle, General, 291

  D'Esterre, Mr., shot by O'Connell, 102

  Destinger, J., an _alias_ for Samuel Turner, 97

  De Vere, Aubrey, 154

  Devereux, General, 207, 208

  Dickson, James, 124, 143, 159, 161

  -- Rev. W. Steele, D.D., 13, 291

  Dignan, a rebel, 299

  Dillon, 23_n_

  Directory, French, 26, 29, 347

  Directory, Irish Rebel, Lord Cloncurry a member of, 40;
    French mission to, 59, 120

  Dirham, Dr., 149 _et seq._

  Division in the rebel councils, 292

  Dixon, W. Hepworth, 126

  Dobbin, Rev. Dr., 319, 323, 325, 327_n_, 354_n_

  Dodgson, Capt., 138, 170

  Dominica, 171

  Don, General, 344

  -- O'Conor, _preface_

  Donegal, Marquis of, his gambling debts, 269

  Donellan, Councillor, 144

  Douglas, Bishop, 115, 263-4, 283

  Dowdall, W., 353, 354_n_, 358

  Dowling, Mathew, 222, 223

  Downshire, Lord, 2 _et seq._, 14, 16, 17, 18, 34, 41, 42, 43, 44, 48,
        49, 51, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 74, 76, 78, 91, 92, 94,
        102, 104, 107, 316, 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, 339, 340, 346;
    pecuniary transactions with Todd Jones, 353, 358

  Doyle, Bishop, 59, 211

  Drennan, Wm., 187, 368

  Dromgoole, Dr., 137

  Drought, George, 312

  'Dublin Evening Post,' 76, 100, 120, 241

  Duckett, 30, 33, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110,
        111, 113, 114, 141, 354_n_

  Duff, General Sir James, 332

  Duffy, Sir Gavan, 105_n_, 113_n_

  Duggan, Bernard, 99

  Duigenan, Dr. Patrick, 287, 291, 304

  Dumouriez, General, 3

  Duncan, Lord Admiral, 112

  Dundas, L. (Lord Melville, colleague of Pitt's), 167, 287

  Dungannon Convention, 232, 375

  Durham, Lord, 290

  Durnin, 72_n_, 290, 297, 298

  Dutton, Frederick, of Newry, 18;
    afterwards Brit. Vice-Consul, 23

  Dwyer, Michael, an outlaw, 137

  Edgeworth, Miss, 89, 209

  -- Richard Lovel, 154

  Egan, Bishop, 202_n_, 281_n_, 330

  Elder, Rev. J., 367

  Eldon, Lord, 31

  Elliot, Lord, 87

  -- Mr., of the Foreign Office, 77

  Emmet, Robert, relations with Lord Cloncurry, 41, 77, 87, 88, 129,
        137, 139, 140, 156, 157, 161, 162, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 200,
        251, 256, 275, 295, 356

  -- Temple, 356

  -- Thomas Addis T., 42, 65, 79_n_, 90, 98, 101, 180, 188, 316-18, 356

  England, Rev. Thomas, 214, 217, 219, 220, 226, 286

  Enniskillen, Lord, 333

  Erskine, Lord, 21, 114, 189, 328

  Esmonde, Dr., hanged, 77

  'Exile of Erin,' the, 96

  Fallon, John, D.L., 128

  Farrell, James, 345_n_

  Farran, W., actor, 204

  Fetherstonhaugh, John, 138, 152

  Ferris, Dr. E., 153

  -- informer, 300

  Ffrench, Lord, 137, 167, 361

  Fingal, Lord, 137, 143, 198, 199

  Finglas, Lord Edward to take the field at, 129, 144, 323

  Finlay's Bank, 154

  Finnerty, Peter, 200

  Finney's Trial, 175

  Fitzgerald, Lord Edward, 1, 34, 42, 43, 44, 45, 57, 58, 65, 67, 76,
        77, 78_n_, 86, 91, 92, 124, 125, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135,
        136, 137, 142, 148, 159, 303, 335, 357, 366

  -- Lady Edward (Pamela), 33, 49, 76, 91, 121-34

  -- Lady Lucy, 4, 33, 44, 92

  -- Sir Judkin, 161

  -- Very Rev. Dr., 289

  FitzGibbon, John (Lord Clare), 120, 254_n_, 309

  Fitzpatrick, Hugh, 185, 213, 221

  FitzSimon, Sir Nicholas, 330

  Fitzwilliam, Lord, 303

  -- Dr., 150, 323, 325

  -- Capt. Wm., 323

  Flint, Sir C., 349, 350

  Flood, Henry, 241

  Foley, Sir T., K.C.B., 4

  Fort George Prison, 101, 351

  Foster, Rt. Hon. J., Speaker, 351

  -- Leslie, 303, 341, 342, 343

  Foulkes, Mr., 21

  Fox, C. J., 198, 249, 268, 328

  Francis, Emperor, 90

  Frankfort Peerage, 77

  Fraser, Mr., a suspected rebel, 49

  'Freeman's Journal,' 119, 176_n_, 242

  French, Right Hon. FitzStephen, 172

  Frizell, R. F., Rev., 331

  Froude, J. A., _preface_, 1, 8, 17, 34, 39, 41, 42, 48, 49, 52, 53,
        54, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61_n_, 62, 68, 72, 75, 91, 92, 107, 118,
        120, 121, 122, 124, 144, 170_n_, 172, 173, 174, 176, 179, 180,
        212, 239, 277, 279, 281, 286, 332, 335, 336, 337, 338, 341, 360

  Fry, Parson, 9

  Fugitive Bill, 96

  Fullam, Mr., actor, 204

  Fuller, Capt., 334

  Furnes (_alias_ for Samuel Turner), 47, 59, 336

  Gainsborough, 264

  Gallagher, 132, 151, 159

  'Gentleman's Magazine,' 102, 225, 236, 248, 256, 349

  George, Prince Regent (afterwards George IV.), 257, 270

  Germany, North, annexed to France, 296

  Gibbon, Edward, 315

  Gifford, John, 163, 164, 181, 204, 278, 372

  Gladstone, an actor, 205

  Glardy, Rev. Dr., implicated, 290

  Godwin, William, 197_n_

  Gonsalvi, Cardinal, 284, 379

  Gordon, Lord G., 228, 229

  Gormanston, Lord, 143, 375

  Gossett, Sir W., Under-Sec., Dublin Castle, 144-5

  Goulburn, Rt. Hon. W., 145

  Gould, Baring, Rev., 96

  Granard, Lord, 144, 352

  -- Lady, 355

  Grattan, Rt. Hon. Henry, 7, 21, 94, 164, 188, 189, 194, 200_n_, 208,
        210, 212, 219, 221, 270, 273, 315, 325, 327, 354, 356, 369, 375,
        376, 377

  Gravesend, project to bombard, by mutinous fleet, 113

  Gray, Rev. Thos., F.T.C.D., 315_n_, 322

  Gregg, Miss, 372

  Grégoire, Bishop of Blois, 29, 33

  Gregory, Sir W., Dublin Castle, 144, 153, 164

  Grenville, Lord, 109, 281, 349

  Griffiths, Captain, arrested, 108

  Grogan, Cornelius, executed, 351

  Grouchy, General, 170_n_

  Guillamore, Lord (_see_ O'Grady)

  Guillon, M., 49, 106, 170

  Habeas Corpus Act, 225

  Hague, The, 75, 88, 347

  Halliday, Charles, 46, 86_n_, 95

  -- Dr., 307, 356

  Hamburg, 4 _et seq._, 14, 39, 49-60 _et seq._, 76 _et seq._, 81, 84,
        109, 110, 290, 294, 297, 344

  Hamill, Mr., 7

  Hamilton, 36, 141, 142, 169, 375

  Hammond, Mr., of the F. O., 77

  Hansard, 161, 162, 376

  Hardinge, Dr., 159

  Hardwicke, Lord, 194, 195, 249, 367

  Hardy, Francis, 223, 231_n_

  Hare, Mr., Police Magistrate, 199

  Harel, Nain Jaune, 27

  Harold's Cross, 193

  Harpe, La, Col., 30

  Harvey, B., hanged, 125, 177, 351

  -- Philip Whitfield, legal representative of the 'Sham Squire,' 124

  Haslang, Count, 248-9

  Hatton, J., 142

  Hawkesbury, Lord, 87

  Hay, Edward, 251

  Hayes, Mr. Justice, _preface_, 369

  Heatly, J. W., 364

  Helder, the Convention, 344

  Hertford, Marquis of, 50

  Hester, Captain, 369

  Higgins, Francis, _preface_, 13, 19_n_, 24, 118 _et seq._, 127, 128,
        129, 130, 131, 133, 134, 135_n_, 136, 141_n_, 149, 185_n_, 196,
        266, 267, 268, 276_n_, 357

  Hippisley, Sir J. C., 264, 282

  Hobart, Lord, 264

  Hoche, General, 4, 6, 45, 49, 111, 126_n_, 226, 297_n_, 335, 340_n_,

  Hoey, Mr., hanged, 340

  Holland, Lord, 21, 22_n_, 160, 182, 189-91

  Holmes, Robert, 125

  Holt, General, rebel, 110

  Hood, Admiral Lord, 144, 160, 362

  Hooper, conspirator, 306

  Hope, James, 5, 13, 14, 173, 337_n_, 338, 339, 368_n_

  Horne Tooke, 114

  Houlton, W. A., 364, 365

  Howe, Admiral, Lord, 113

  Howell's 'State Trials,' 84_n_, 207

  Huband, Joseph, 125

  Hughes, John, 5, 94, 292, 336, 337

  Hulbert, Joel, 118

  Humbert, General, 19, 83, 327, 358, 359, 360, 361

  Huntingdon, Lord, and Lady Moira, 352

  Hussey, Rev. Dr., 255, 259, 264, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 287,
        288, 289, 378

  -- Chief Justice, 199

  Hutchinson, General, Lord, 358

  Hutton, Mr., 198

  Iceland, British Consul at, Thos. Reynolds, 305

  Ireland before the Union, 130

  -- Richard Stanley, M.D., 325

  Jackson, Henry, of the Rebel Directory, 40, 127

  -- Rev. W., 33, 48, 174, 179, 180, 192

  Jacobin Club, 309

  Jägerhorn, M., French secret agent, 59-61, 91-2

  James II, 374

  Janson, Miss, 209

  Jeffrey the democrat, 30

  Jesuits, the suppressed, 249

  Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 249, 284

  Johnston, Judge Robert, 125

  Joly, Jasper, LL.D., 133

  Jones, W. Todd, 157 _et seq._, 205, 353_n_

  Josephine's, Empress, debts, 82

  'Journal des Débats,' 70

  Joynt, W. Lane, D.L., 163

  Keating, a publisher, 219

  Keith, Admiral Lord, 363

  Kelburne, Rev. Sinclair, implicated, 290

  Kelly, Michael, 267

  -- W. B., 194_n_

  Kemble, J. P., 184

  Kenmare, Lord, 143, 199, 234, 235, 237, 239, 251, 274

  Keogh, John, 7, 163, 166, 167, 168_n_, 187_n_, 189, 193, 337

  Keon, a rebel, 141

  Kernan, Chas., 148

  Killen, Rev. Dr., 294

  Kilmainham Gaol, General Corbet's escape from, 89;
    100, 126, 159, 318

  Kilwarden, Lord, 191

  Kingsland, Lord, 140

  Kingsmill, Admiral, 361

  Kirwan, the Catholic delegate, 201, 231, 373

  Knox, Alex., 7, 292

  Lagan, General, 72

  Lake, General, 13, 338, 359-60

  Las Casas, 32, 376

  Law, Bishop of Elphin, 337

  Lawless, V. B., afterwards Lord Cloncurry, 7, 35 _et seq._

  -- Wm., General, 128, 136, 310, 347

  Lecky, W. E. H., _preface_, 36, 44_n_, 46, 47_n_, 48, 49_n_, 62_n_,
        130, 134, 135, 140_n_, 172, 179, 180_n_, 181, 186_n_, 188, 189,
        190, 208, 212, 214, 215, 218, 223_n_, 227, 228, 230, 231_n_,
        237, 243, 267, 268, 273, 274, 276, 308, 320

  Leinster, Duke of, 36, 299, 301

  Lewins, Edward, Rebel Envoy to France, 14, 44, 54, 60, 63, 74, 75,
        193, 293

  Leyne, Con, 147

  Limerick, Lord (Sexton Pery), 154

  Lisbon, 305

  Littlehales, Sir Edward, 365

  Liverpool, Lord, 145

  Londonderry, Lord, 336

  Lonergan, Richard, 203, 204

  Longueville, Lord, 43, 310

  Loughborough, Lord, 185

  Louis XVI., 110_n_, 226, 245

  Lowry, a rebel, 74

  Lucas, Dr., 242

  Lyons, J. C., 180_n_, 209_n_

  -- Dorothy M., 84

  --(Lord Cloncurry's seat) searched, 198

  Lysaght, Edward, 353

  -- George, 84

  McCan, 14, 57, 58, 61, 63, 64, 304, 336, 397

  Macara, Dr., 13

  Macartney, Rev. Andrew, 56, 367

  Macaulay, Lord, 292

  Macdonough, 222

  MacIntagart, George, 298, 364

  Mack, General, 90, 294

  Mackenzie, Dr. Shelton, 175

  McSkimmin's History of Carrickfergus, 103-73

  McCarthy, 300

  McCleland, Baron, 356

  McCormack, Richard, 5, 7, 74, 165, 166, 337

  McDougall, Henry, 215

  MacGuicken, 42, 58_n_, 95, 178, 213, 235_n_

  McKeever, 173

  McKeon, 368_n_

  McKinley, 126

  McLoughlin, Con, 102

  McMahon, Rev. Arthur, 74, 290, 292, 294_n_, 296

  McMurdoch, W., 57

  McNally, Leonard, 24_n_, 36_n_, 37_n_, 85, 87, 127, 174, 175, 176,
        178, 179, 180, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 193, 194,
        195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206_n_,
        208, 224, 311, 312, 321, 322, 335, 336, 356

  -- Leonard, junior, 193, 209

  -- Mrs., 208, 209, 210, 295, 300

  Macnevin, Dr., 58, 59, 65, 66, 67, 69_n_, 94, 142, 316, 335, 336,
        337, 340_n_

  Madden, Dr. R. R., 7, 49, 68, 76, 96, 105, 106, 109, 117, 118, 120,
        121, 122, 124, 125, 126, 138, 148, 162, 163, 173, 190, 193, 194,
        209, 211, 327, 329, 339, 341, 343, 346, 352, 368, 369

  Maddox, Mr., and Lady Moira, 354

  Madgett, M., 74, 105

  Magan, Francis, 108, 116, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 127, 128, 129,
        133, 134, 135, 136, 138, 147, 169, 173, 175, 196, 301, 303,
        305, 307, 308

  Magee, Archbishop, 246

  -- Darcy, 105

  Mahon, 137

  Maidstone (Father O'Coigly hanged at), 21

  Maitland, Mr., 6, 74, 92

  Mara, T. O., 353

  Maragan, M. (French Consul at Hamburg), 76, 79

  Margate, arrests at, 16, 47

  Marsden, Mr. Under-Secretary, 86, 89, 99, 100, 354, 367

  Marshals of France, rich, 291

  Mask, the Iron, referred to, 28

  Mason, St. John, 98

  -- Hastings, 292

  Mass, High, 167

  Mathew, J., 12, 103, 104

  Matthieson, Mrs., 6, 31, 92

  Maunsell, Robert, 331

  Maxwell, 93, 98

  -- W. H., 117

  Maynooth, College, 224, 288

  Meyer, Daniel, Consul-General at Hamburg, 70

  Mignet, M., 67

  Mildmay, Sir H., 225

  Minto, Lord, 77

  Mitchel, John, 199

  Moira, Lord, 21, 139, 150, 160, 184, 189, 257, 353

  -- Lady, 137, 139, 156, 161, 362

  Monks of the Screw, 223

  Moore, Thomas, 117, 121, 182, 235

  -- R., 290, 296, 364

  -- F., 116_n_, 117, 120, 131, 182

  -- Miss, 121, 122, 123, 132, 143

  Mornington, Lord, 40, 374

  Morres, Harvey, 71, 76, 82 _et seq._, 304, 305, 345

  Morris, Gouverneur, 32

  Mountgarret, Lord, 67, 165

  Mount Jerome (seat of J. Keogh), 193

  Moylan, Bishop, 283, 287, 288

  Muir, Thomas, 74

  Mulgrave, Lord, Viceroy, 144, 367

  Mulock, Mr. T., 198

  -- Miss, _ibid._

  Multon, 156

  Murphy, 132, 347, 348, 350

  -- John, P., 347

  -- Billy, 71, 166

  Murray, Archbishop, 211

  -- John, _pref._

  Musgrave, Sir R., 222, 300, 343

  Mutiny in the British Fleet, 113

  Napoleon, 32, 81, 82, 85, 86, 89, 90, 291, 296, 332, 344, 348, 365

  Neilson, Samuel, 47, 51, 55, 59, 101, 117, 136, 140, 141, 301

  Nelson, Lord, 33, 81, 137

  Nepean, Sir E., 163, 218, 226, 230, 231_n_, 239

  Netterville, Lord, 137, 198, 199

  Neville, B., 173

  New South Wales, 74

  Newcomen, Lord, banker, 153

  Newell, E. J., 12, 114, 175

  Newgate, 130;
    burnt down, 229;
    executions, 314

  'No Popery' riots, 228-9

  Norbury, Lord, 125, 158, 312

  Nore, Mutiny at the, 111, 115

  Norfolk, Duke of, 21, 328

  North, Lord, 7, 112, 113, 205-75

  'Northern Star,' 59, 187

  Northesk, Lord Admiral, 112, 113

  Northington, Lord, 243_n_

  'Notes and Queries,' _preface_, 73, 183

  Nugent, General, 13

  O'Brien, W. S., 201, 278

  O'Byrne, Patrick, 10, 102

  O'Callaghan, J. C., 374

  O'Coigly, Father, hanged, 15 _et seq._, 31, 37, 38, 40, 41, 44,
        47_n_, 93, 115, 117, 127, 141, 178, 188, 293, 294

  O'Connell, Daniel, 102, 103, 143, 147, 198, 199, 200, 201, 216, 357,
        363, 367

  -- John, 226

  -- Maurice ('Old Hunting Cap'), 357;
    first to announce the arrival of the French in Bantry Bay, 362

  -- Richard, 247

  O'Connor, Arthur, 4, 5, 17, 40, 41, 42, 43, 46, 48, 49, 60, 65, 67,
        101, 102, 201, 308, 309, 311, 316, 340, 350, 351, 366, 368

  -- Roger, 350, 351, 368

  O'Conor Don, The, 89

  'Octogenarian, Essays of an,' 329

  O'Donoghue, D. J., 365

  O'Dowd, The, hanged, 361

  Ogilvie, Wm. (connected with Lord Edward Fitzgerald), 118

  Ogle, George, 236

  O'Grady, Standish (Lord Guillamore), 100, 354

  O'Hagan, Lord, 51, 311, 345

  O'Hanlon, Canon, 148

  O'Herne, Captain (_alias_ Aherne), 75

  O'Keefe, John, 183

  O'Kelly, Colonel Andrew Denis, 268, 269, 270, 271, 354

  -- Mathias, 136, 140-3, 151, 157

  O'Leary, Rev. Arthur, 211-13, 215-28, 230-53, 255, 257, 258, 260-3,
        265-76, 281, 288, 373-7

  O'Loghlen, Sir Michael, 147

  O'Neill, Lord, killed, 364

  Orde, Irish Secretary, 218, 219, 221, 223, 226, 230, 231, 233, 236,
        239, 240, 246, 247, 260, 262, 273, 275, 276, 277

  'Orellana,' Letters of, 240

  O'Renehan, Rev. Dr., 281

  Orkneys, Tandy's engagement at the, 342

  Orleans, Duc de, 5, 133

  Orpen, Mr., 157, 158, 159

  Orr, Wm., 55, 74, 327, 346-48, 368

  -- George, 346 _et seq._, 349, 350

  Orr, J. R., 295

  -- Major, 370

  Osnaburg, Bishop of (_see_ Duke of York)

  Otto, M., 86

  Oxford, Lord, 21, 189, 328

  Paine, Thomas, 166

  Pallain, M., 33, 265

  Palmer (one of Lord Edward Fitzgerald's bodyguard), 14, 132

  'Pamela,' _see_ Lady Edward Fitzgerald

  Pancras, Saint, 248, 377

  'Papists,' the, _pref._, 2, 32, 62, 140, 229

  Parker, 109, 112, 114, 132, 230, 239, 240, 241, 243, 265, 277, 373

  Parliament, the Irish, 1, 7, 253 _et seq._

  Parliamentary Reform in 1797, 68, 161

  Parsons, Laurence, 189, 209, 322

  Patten, John, 101

  Pavilion at Brighton, 257

  Peel, Sir Robert, 334

  Peerages sold, 255

  Pelham, Right Hon. Thos., _preface_, 56-8, 13-23, 76, 86, 87, 181,
        185, 192, 196, 200, 338, 349, 350, 351, 360, 361, 366, 373

  Peninsular War, 378

  Pentland, Henry, murdered, 297

  Perrin, Louis, 199, 218, 246_n_

  Phelan, Mr., friend of MacNally, 200

  Philippe, King Louis, 5, 95

  Phillips, Charles, 174, 176, 185, 206, 208, 233

  -- Friar, a spy, murdered, 172

  Pichegru, General, 46, 349

  'Pieces of Irish History,' by Dr. McNevin, 66, 365

  Pitt, Prime Minister, 3, 4, 6, 9, 76, 77, 85, 92, 93, 95, 106, 108,
        109, 114, 167, 192, 212, 240, 253, 254, 255, 257, 270, 271, 272,
        280, 339, 340, 341, 349, 361

  Pius VI., Pope, 275, 281

  -- VII., Pope, 284, 285

  Plowden, Francis, 136, 161, 188, 198_n_, 213_n_, 214, 221, 225, 242,
        245_n_, 249, 259, 266, 269, 270, 275, 281, 332, 344

  Plunket, W. C., Lord, 136, 157, 169, 182, 292, 311, 312, 337

  Plunkett, Colonel, hanged, 292, 337

  Pole, Wellesley W., 198, 200, 201

  Pollock, John, 178, 194, 201, 363, 364, 365

  Ponsonby, George, 125, 254, 260, 261, 262, 311, 312

  Porter, F. Thorpe, 299, 300_n_, 304, 305, 330

  -- Rev. Wm. (Presbyterian), hanged, 290

  -- William (father of F. T. Porter), in '98, 299, 305

  Portland, Duke of, 20, 22, 30, 41, 43_n_, 49, 55, 58_n_, 60, 62, 63,
        64, 65, 70_n_, 110, 172, 173, 176, 179, 180, 196_n_, 208,
        243_n_, 250, 253, 260, 264, 278, 281, 282, 284, 285, 287, 297,
        298, 341, 347, 349, 350

  Portobello, 121

  Portsmouth, mutiny at, 108

  Pratt, Mr., on Fr. O'Leary, 223

  Prendergast, J. P., 33_n_, 206, 337

  Presbyterians, the, of Ulster, 215

  'Press,' the, organ of the U. I. M., 197

  Pretender, the (Charles Edward), rising of, 357

  Privy Council, Lord Downshire expelled from, 104

  Quigley, or O'Coigly, a priest, 15 _et seq._, 293-4

  Quintilian family, case of the, cited, 315

  Randall, T., 248

  Rankin, Charles, 28, 62

  Reade, Robert Rollo, 292

  Redesdale, Lord, 195

  Redington, Sir Thomas, 330

  Reform, Parliamentary, 68

  Regency, struggle for the, 247, 253 _et seq._

  'Register, Annual,' 217

  Registry of Deeds Office, _preface_, 84, 124, 269, 303

  Reid, Rev. Seaton, D.D., 293

  Reinhard, French Minister at Hamburg, 4, 5;
    letters of, 53-61, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 76, 78, 91, 107, 108, 109,
        117, 118, 144, 145, 295, 335, 336, 337, 338

  Renny, Dr., 297

  Rey, General, 343

  Reynolds, Thomas, informer, 59, 66, 93, 116, 117, 118, 142, 145, 163,
        169, 231, 301, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307

  'Ribbonmen,' 333

  Richards, Dr. Solomon, 356

  'Richardson, J.' (_alias_ for Samuel Turner), 45, 50, 68, 98

  Richmond, Duke of, 201, 204

  Riots in London, 229-297

  Robertson, Rev. J. (Secret Agent), 378

  Robespierre, Maximilian, 110

  Roche, Sir Boyle, 177, 232, 233, 235, 236, 237, 245, 329, 374

  -- James, 329

  Rodney, Admiral Lord, 227

  Rogers, Samuel (examination of), 33

  Rolande, Madame, 309

  Romana, Spanish General, 378

  Rose, Rev. Mr., 278, 279

  Rosemary Lane Chapel, 120, 373

  Ross, General Sir C., 73, 74, 193, 344, 345, 364

  -- Charles, _preface_, 10, 119

  Rosses, the, Tandy's arrival at, 342

  Ross, Lord, 322, 326

  Rousseau, Jean Jacques, 319

  Rowan, Hamilton, 3, 102, 163, 166, 169, 171, 183, 296, 299

  Rumbold, Sir G., 97

  Russell, Sir Charles, Q.C., _preface_

  -- Lord John, in 1798, 21, 183

  -- Thomas (executed), 51

  Russia, ally of England, 92

  Rutland, Duke of, 217, 218, 219, 285

  -- Island of, 343

  Ryan, Captain, 133, 169, 189, 231

  Salamanca, Irish College at, 378

  Sampson, Wm., 59, 85

  Sandys, Major, 190, 191

  Sarrazin, General, 297, 360

  'Saturday Review,' 184

  Saurin, Rt. Hon. Wm., 162, 199, 364

  Saxton, Sir Charles, 365

  Scallan, J. S., 208

  Secret Committee of the Irish Parliament, Report of, 17, 53, 67, 292

  Secret Committee in Paris, 75

  Shannon, Earl of, 254

  Shaw, W., 141

  Sheares, Brothers, hanged, 127, 142, 162, 165, 166, 173, 177, 226,
        309, 310, 311, 314, 315, 316, 317, 321, 322, 327, 329, 368, 372

  Shee, Colonel, 111

  Sheahan, Mr., writer, 241

  Sheehy, Rev. N., 145

  Shiel, R. Lalor, 144

  Shelley, Percy Bysshe, in Dublin, 201, 224

  Sheridan, R. Brinsley, 5, 21, 112, 210, 287

  Sierra Leone, 280

  Simms, Robert, 5, 55

  Simpson, Rev. Mr., implicated, 290

  Sinclair, Rev. Mr., implicated, 290

  -- William, 365

  Sirr, Major, 118, 121, 122, 124, 132, 133, 134, 135, 138, 142, 159,
        177, 224, 229, 305, 330, 332

  Smith, Father (McNally's confessor), 208, 209

  -- Sir W., Baron, 125, 176

  -- Huband, 32, 146

  Smock Alley Theatre, 148

  Smyth, P. J., 240

  Soult, Marshal, 378

  South, Bishop, 186

  Southwell, Lord, 143

  Spain and England, strained relations between, 215, 260, 264, 276, 281

  Stafford, a rebel, 98

  Stamer, Sir Wm., 189

  Stanhope, Lord, 94

  Staunton, Michael, 199

  Steele, Maria, 309, 313

  Stevelly, Rev. Mr. (Presbyterian), hanged, 290

  Stewart, Surgeon General, 356

  St. Germans, Lord, 87

  Stokes, Rev. Dr., 126

  Stone, tried for high treason, 30, 33, 108

  Strahan, Admiral, 296

  Stuart, Mr., implicated, 39, 42, 43

  Suffolk, Lord, 21, 189

  Suvarov, Marshal, 81

  Swan, Town Major, 123, 132, 133

  Swete, Miss (married to Henry Sheares), 309, 314

  Sydney, Lord, 217, 219, 220, 224, 233, 239, 240, 245, 256, 262, 272

  'Tablet,' the, 257

  Talleyrand, 5, 25 _et seq._, 72, 74, 76, 265_n_

  Tandy, Jas. Napper, 33, 56, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79,
        80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 88, 89, 90, 93, 98, 100, 218, 222, 223, 225,
        226, 241_n_, 242, 243, 244, 294, 295, 341, 343, 344, 345, 346

  -- James, 135, 181, 355 _et seq._

  Taylor, Wm. (Dublin Castle), 177

  -- W. C., author of 'Civil Wars,' 304

  Teeling, 4, 5, 47, 51, 74, 86, 94, 292, 336, 337, 338, 339, 340

  Temple, Lord, Viceroy, 119, 375

  Thanet, Lord, 21

  Thistlewood, Arthur, 306

  Thomas, Jean (an _alias_ for Samuel Turner), 20

  Thurlow, Lord, 183

  Toler, John, Lord Norbury, 125, 312, 313

  Tone, T. Wolfe, 15, 45, 49, 53, 55, 58, 59, 74, 75, 106, 108, 109,
        110, 111, 185, 231, 287, 294

  Tooke, Horne, 114, 328

  Tracy, Miss Frances (legatee of the 'Sham Squire'), 124

  Trafalgar, Incident at, 113

  Trail, Mr., Dublin Castle, 365

  Treason, High, two witnesses necessary to convict in, 320

  Trimleston, Lord, 143

  Trinity College, Dublin, 120, 126

  Troy, Dr., Archbishop of Dublin, 150, 271, 274

  'True Briton,' the, 53

  Truguet, M., French Minister of Marine, 106, 113, 114

  Tuite, the carpenter, 121

  -- Jacob, 55, 57

  Turner, Samuel, LL.D., Barrister-at-Law, 8, 33, 38, 40, 41, 42, 43,
        46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 52, 54, 55, 57, 59, 60, 61_n_, 63, 66, 67,
        68, 69, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76_n_, 78, 79, 84, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96,
        97, 98, 99, 100, 102_n_, 105, 125, 190, 196, 294, 295, 298, 308,
        316, 335, 336, 339, 340, 347, 348

  Tyburn Tree, 264

  Tyrawley, Lord, 249_n_

  Tithes (Father O'Leary in favour of), 250

  Ulm, Capitulation of, 294

  Union, Legislative, 104, 178, 269, 286, 365

  Union, Star, the, 189, 300, 365

  Urban, Sylvanus, 171, 186, 285

  Valence, General, 3, 12, 78, 92

  Vanbrugh, Sir T., 6

  Venezuela, 207

  Verdon, Dr., 368

  Vereker, Colonel, 359

  Vergennes, Count (French Premier), 215

  Versailles, 5

  Vicar-Apostolic, Military, 285

  Vienna, 259

  Villemarest, M. de, 25

  Vincennes, murder of Duc d'Enghien at, 90

  Vinegar Hill, 295

  Volunteer Convention, 77

  Volunteers of 1782, Irish, 216, 232, 238, 245

  Wagram, Prince of, 290

  Walcheren, Expedition to, 297

  Wales, George, Prince of, 253, 270

  Wall, Rev. Dr., 236

  Wallace, Sir Richard, 260

  Walstein, Miss, 204

  Warren, Thomas, 163

  Warwick, Rev. Mr. (Presbyterian), hanged, 290

  Watson, Dr., 306

  'Wearing of the Green,' 78, 79, 370

  Webb, R. D., 328

  Wellington, Duke of, 93_n_, 96, 101, 102_n_, 137, 198_n_, 209, 345,
        349, 351, 364, 365, 378, 379

  Wesley, Rev. John, 134

  Westmoreland, Lord, 169, 219, 349_n_

  Weymouth (Irish Secretary), 219

  Wheatley, Hugh, 369

  Whigs, the English, 9, 21, 183, 198, 249, 253, 257, 345

  Whitbread, Mr., 21, 189

  White, Esmonde, 208

  -- Luke, ancestor of Lord Annaly, 304

  -- R., created Lord Bantry, 362, 363

  Whiteboys, the, 217, 245, 249, 274

  Whitechapel, Lord Edward Fitzgerald in, 91

  Whitworth, Lord, 103_n_

  Wickham, Rt. Hon. W., 21, 37, 39, 46, 48_n_, 49, 63, 65, 66, 68, 71,
        72, 92, 94, 98, 110, 161, 162, 193, 280, 297, 298, 346, 347, 350

  Wills, Rev. James, 117_n_, 236_n_

  Wolcot, John, 84

  Wolfe, Stephen C. Baron, 1, 144, 189

  Woodward, Bishop, 251_n_, 374

  Woolagan, Court-martial on, 332

  Worthington, Sir R., Police Magistrate, dismissed, 345

  Wraxall, Sir N., 265, 271

  Wright, Surgeon Thos., 168, 355

  Wylde and Mahon sheltered by Lady Moira, 139

  Wyse, Rt. Hon. Thos., 144, 231_n_, 237_n_

  Yelverton, Baron, 211, 221, 235, 367

  Yeomanry, the, 159, 333

  York, Duke of, 81, 361, 369, 370

  -- Redhead, 309

  Young, Charles (actor), 204

  -- Mr., 351

                              PRINTED BY



                 Two vols. 8vo. 1,200 pp. 12_s._ 6_d._

                       OF BISHOP DOYLE (J.K.L).

                     BY W. J. FITZPATRICK, F.S.A.

                   KNIGHT OF ST. GREGORY THE GREAT.

                   *       *       *       *       *

                        OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.

'Mr. Fitzpatrick's memoir is richly studded with anecdotes and sketches
of his attractive hero as politician, scholar, theologian, professor,
bishop, religious director, and friend. The biographer has a keen eye
to humour, and has thrown in a number of specimens of Irish wit. He is
exclusively the master and the specialist of his subject.'--SATURDAY

       *       *       *       *       *

'Of this distinguished man, Mr. Fitzpatrick has lately published the
"Life, Times, and Correspondence," after having accumulated ample
materials for his undertaking by unwearied personal investigation and
epistolary inquiries extending through several years. It is in every
respect an original work, tracing the intellectual progress, examining
the motives and policy, and illustrating the character and habits,
of by far the ablest Roman Catholic prelate of recent times. [Three
columns of eulogy followed.] Men of all parties united in conceding
to him the praise of a high order of genius and of unsullied virtue.
Indeed, under whatever point of view the career of this eminent man is
viewed, the conclusion which the perusal of these volumes will force,
even upon those least disposed to appreciate his high qualities, must
be that he was a master-spirit, an honour to the country which gave
him birth, and an ornament to the Christianity which he so earnestly
preached and so devoutly practised.'--MORNING POST.

       *       *       *       *       *

'Mr. Fitzpatrick, whose previous biographical works have been
favourably received, has published a "Life of Dr. Doyle" full of
amusing and instructive matter.... In closing this volume, we cannot
but express our regret that so good a man and so sincere a patriot
should not have survived to our own happier times.... A lively,
gossiping, and sensible biography.'--SPECTATOR.

       *       *       *       *       *

'Those who take an interest in tracing the history of past
agitations will find ample amusement in the "Life and Times of Dr.

       *       *       *       *       *

'... These volumes really contain the history of Ireland for a quarter
of a century. In these days of hasty compilation and superficial
literary labour, it is refreshing to meet a work so original, so full
of research, so honestly and ably written as this "Life of Dr. Doyle."
Mr. Fitzpatrick has performed a task which secures for him a very high
place among Irishmen who have enriched the historical literature of
their country.'--DAILY EXPRESS (Dublin).

       *       *       *       *       *

'Our words may sound extravagant. We can only repeat the motto in
Doyle's coat of arms--"_Tolle lege_." Take up the book which narrates
his life, times, and correspondence, and read. We appeal to the
monuments of history, so beautifully, so accurately, so eloquently
displayed before us by the great historian of one of the greatest men.
The book before us is a monument of Mr. Fitzpatrick's skill, of his
knowledge of men and events, of his great power of discernment, of his
faithfulness, of his impartiality, of his herculean labour, of his
exalted Christianity.'--BOSTON PILOT.

       *       *       *       *       *

                           8vo. 2_s._ 6_d._

                       IRELAND BEFORE THE UNION.

                     By W. J. FITZPATRICK, F.S.A.

                   *       *       *       *       *

                        OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.

'Mr. W. J. Fitzpatrick has brought out a new and much-amended edition
of his capital contribution to our knowledge of "Ireland before the

       *       *       *       *       *

'But we must refer the historical student, who would know something
more than the historian has yet deigned to tell us, to this remarkable
production of patriotic industry. Wonderfully clear, and vivid, and
varied is the portraiture interspersed in the illustration of the
man and his times, and very often illumined by bright flashes of
wit and humour. Mr. Fitzpatrick has been called the Irish Boswell,
but he includes all the best qualities of his best editors added
to Boswell. This volume ought to have a place in every historical
library.'--MORNING POST.

       *       *       *       *       *

'Most complete and entertaining. As anecdote follows anecdote, and
revelation after revelation is unfolded, we are lost in wonder that
the perpetrators of such outrages and acts of oppression as Mr.
Fitzpatrick describes, gathered from the most authentic sources, could
have been suffered to follow out their evil courses for even a single

       *       *       *       *       *

'A true picture of Irish society towards the close of the last century,
and shows to what sort of people the highest places of the State were
in that country entrusted. The author is Mr. Fitzpatrick, who has
hunted up his facts in many quarters, and woven them into an exciting
narrative.'--DAILY TELEGRAPH.

       *       *       *       *       *

'A clever work, filled with amusing anecdotes and interesting
disclosures. No doubt it will have a large sale, not only in Ireland,
but in the United States.'--COSMOPOLITAN.

                      JAMES DUFFY & SONS, Dublin.


  Numerous errors exist in the index, e.g. Keon and Multon don't
  appear anywhere in the text. Also indexed items often don't appear
  on the listed page. Corrected the spelling of index names to that
  used in the text.

  Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical

  Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.

  Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Secret Service Under Pitt" ***

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