|[Preface] [Contents] [Bernards] [Index] [Depositions] [Maps] [Definitions] [Town/Parish Descriptions, 1835] [Pictures]|
HISTORY OF BANDON
[Pages 107-121] THE GREAT REBELLION - WARNINGS OF THE COMING STORM - AN UNSPEAKABLE NUMBER OF IRISH CHURCHMEN FLOCK OVER FROM THE CONTINENT - THE CRUELTIES - THE GLAMORGAN TREATY; THE FIRST ARTICLE CONFIRMS THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CLERGY IN POSSESSION OF ALL THE LANDS, TITHES, ETC., WHICH THEY HAD WRESTED FROM THE PROTESTANT CLERGY SINCE THE REBELLION BEGAN - DUPLICITY OF THE KING - CROMWELL ARRIVES.
The normal state of Ireland, from the arrival
of Milesius down to the suppression of the rebellions of Desmond and Tyrone, was
that of oppression, rapine, perfidy, and murder. One would have thought
that the introduction of Christianity amongst the inhabitants, and the
dissemination of its divine precepts among them, would have softened their
hearts, and have raised them above their every-day work of rapacity and blood.
But it was not so. Speaking of the Irish, "we never read of any other
people in the world," says an old writer, "so implacable, so furiously, so
eternally set upon the destruction of one another." He then tells of no
less than six hundred battles fought between themselves, by people of the same
country, language, and religion.
Although there was no subject so often dwelt upon by the Irish, in their complaints against the English, as interference with the exercise of their religion, and thereby hindering the practice of its holy precepts among the people; yet, ere England laid claim to a foot of the soil, they systematically violated one of the holiest commands which the Christian religion has given us:-"Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," was not complied with by those who seized upon their neighbours husbands, their neighbour's wives, their children, and annually paid them away in tribute.
Neither was that commandment, which says:-"Thou shalt do no murder," obeyed by a people who slaughtered one hundred and eighteen of their Kings ; and who burned with such a fury for dominion or revenge,* that under its influences they are said to have torn out one another's lives.
Century after century rolled by and yet the country underwent no change. Incursions on each other's territories, lifting cattle, forays, and internecine wars were just as much in vogue, outside the Pale, in the days of Elizabeth as they were those of Con of the hundred fights. To the English, all this was the cause of an endless expenditure of blood, and a vast expense. Scarcely had they trampled out the flames of rebellion in the east, when they burst out anew in the west. The rebellion of Gerald, Earl of Desmond, was scarce at an end in the south, when that of Hugh, Earl of Tyrone, began in the north.
After the capitulation of the Spaniards at Kinsale, and the departure of O'Neal and O'Donnell from a country where their path was too often marked "with large columns of fire and dense dark clouds of smoke," Ireland enjoyed a long rest. That tranquility, so necessary for the progress of a state, she enjoyed now for the first time. Peace begat confidence, and confidence begat trade and commerce; and these poured riches in abundance into her lap.
Forests and woods, heretofore the asylum of the criminal and the wild beast, were now the site of busy towns and villages. And there was many a bleak hill-side, whose sod was often stiff with the gore of contending septs, now occupied by a succession of comfortable farm-houses, with their orchards and their cornfields; whilst the green pastures, which but a few years before were covered with rushes and bog-water, and where the daily resort of the widgeon and and wild duck, were now grazed upon by flocks and herds of the best English cattle.†
* So intense was the feeling of revenge, that it was not
uncommon for an Irish chieftain, when he had slain his adversary, to decapitate
him, and have his skull polished and silver-mounted; and from this hideous
drinking vessel he used to regale himself on festive occasions.
† Vide- A Remonstrance of the distressed Protestants in the Province of Munster.
But this was to pleasing a reality to
last. Averse to the quietude of peaceful occupations, and glorying in the
excitement of war, the native Irish could easily be induced to join with those
who could tempt them with the pretext for hostilities; and there were those who
were even on the look-out for a favourable turn of the tide, and to whom the
discovery of the pretext was no difficulty. A complaint against the new
plantations, and of the number of new English coming over, was soon upon their
lips. But the new English had come to settle upon lands which a fierce
and protracted revolt had turned into a desert. That property which
had belonged to the partizans of Mountjoy was destroyed by O'Neil; and that
property which had belonged to the partizans of O'Neil was destroyed by Mountjoy.
Speaking of the great track of country forfeited by the northern chieftains:-"All the food the people had," said Moryson, "was taken from them by the rebel soldiers, so that the common sort were driven to unspeakable extremities." Again:-"No spectacle was more frequent in the ditches of towns, and especially in wasted countries, than to see multitudes of these poor people with their mouth all coloured green by eating nettles and docks."
It was into this wilderness, "the new English," had come; and because of the six counties, escheated to the King by the rebellion of Tyrone and Tryconnell,-a rebellion which took the best army in Europe, and the expenditure of two millions sterling, to suppress,-were disposed of to those who undertook to improve the lands, and to plant them with an industrious and loyal people; and because, forsooth, there was a rumor that the colonizing principle would be extended, those who had never even simulated loyalty unless constrained by circumstances, and who scoffed at industry and trade, must needs get incensed at the preference shown "the new English;" and hence the new plantations were in the fore-front of Irish grievances.
The other great cause of complaint was the persecution of their religion. Although there were acts in the statute book intolerant of the free exercise of Popery, yet for years before they were a dead letter.* Roman Catholic mayors presided over cities; Roman Catholic sheriffs presided over counties. Some of the Roman Catholic justices of the peace, who sat upon the bench, and some of the Roman Catholic lawyers, who practised at the bar, had never taken the oath of supremacy or allegiance to the King, whose laws they promulgated.
* See Lord Lowther;s speech at the opening of the High Courts of Justice, Borlace, Sir John Templer's History of the Irish Rebellion, and various other works.
Indeed, so anxious was the government to
conciliate those turbulent subjects, that concessions made to them were refused
to the religionists of the State; and they were allowed to enjoy a licentious
freedom in the doctrines and rituals of Rome, at the very time when Protestant
nonconformists writhed under the whip at the tail of a cart, when red hot irons
seared their cheeks, when the executioner's knife slit their noses up, and
scooped out their ears, because they refuse to comply with the formularies of
the Church of England.
They enjoyed their full share of the State's honors also. They had their earls and viscounts, their barons and baronets; they had their burgesses to introduce measures into the Commons, and they had their nobility to ratify them in the Lords.
The clergy, one would think, ought to have been content with all this liberty to their laity, and with publicly celebrating their religious rites without being interfered with. But they were not satisfied yet. The most severe anathemas of the Church of Rome-a church proscribed by law-were uttered against those who dared to attend the worship of the church of England-a church established by law. But the Romish clergy had no idea of stopping short even at this. They must go farther still, and actively interfere in a civil affairs. They opposed the judgments of the courts of law, and they absolutely compelled their people to disobey the decisions of the judges, when they were not in accordance with their wishes.
They had a regular Romish hierarchy, complete never detail, established all over the kingdom; and the its jurisdiction was as potent as if Pope Urban the Eight resided in Dublin Castle. In every province in Ireland they had an archbishop; in every diocese, a bishop; and every parish, a priest. There were abbeys, nunneries, religious houses everywhere, and they were filled with nuns and monks, Jesuits and friars . Even the metropolis, the official residence of the government itself, was so overrun with those several orders -more especially the friars, who abounded in every variety, shod and unshod, black, white, and grey-that Father Harris, in his published work, humorously remarked:-That it was as hard to find what number of friars were in Dublin as to count how many frogs there were in the second plague of Egypt."
Even in a few years after the death of Elizabeth, such was the number of places of Roman Catholic worship and resort in and around Dublin, that Barnebe Ryche could not refrain from saying, in 1610:-"Let the window which way it list-east, west, north, or south-Dublin is so seated, that a Papist may go from the high cross with a blown sheet, right before the wind, either to an idolatrous mass within the town, or to superstitious well without the town."
Yet the top of their contentment did not overflow. Now that they enjoyed the free exercise of their worship to its fullest extent, they wanted to enjoy the livings formerly attached to the worship also.* This could be best effected by a revolt;† and when was there a time more opportune for a revolt then the present? England and Scotland had been at war, and Scotland was victorious; and now England herself was divided, and trembled at the approach of a much greater war-a war between the people of England and her Parliament on the one side, and the royalists of England and her King on the other.
Materials for a revolt were not wanting. We cannot forbear asking, when were they? 'Tis true that the old Irish septs, who had maintained a protracted struggle with the Saxon for nearly four centuries and a half, were crushed and dispirited, but they were not extinct. Their organization was still effective and formidable. They had to lead them, chieftains, to whom descended traditions of the heroism and achievements of a long line of forefathers; and they had their bards to sing passionate recitals of the many wrongs they endured.
'Twas easy to fan these combustibles into a blaze; and no one was better adapted for that task than Roger Moore,‡ who had been sent over for that very purpose from Spain. "After some very little time spent in salutations," says Lord Maguire, "Moore began to discourse of the many afflictions and sufferings of the natives." And after referring to Lord Strafford's government,-which, by the way, pressed with as much severity on the English inhabitants as on the Irish, and probably more so, and, therefore, not a grievance peculiar to themselves,-he mentioned the plantations; and then tell them that if the gentry of the kingdom were disposed to free themselves from the like inconvenience, and get good conditions for themselves for regaining a good part (if not all) of their ancestral estates, they could never desire a more convenient time than that time.
* In the very first article in the peace may between
the English and the rebels,-the Glamorgan Treaty,-the Catholic clergy were to
hold, "henceforward and for ever," all the tithes, &c., which they had wrested
from the Protestants since the 23rd of October, 1641; and to get back those
which the Protestants had retaken from them during the same period. When
the Pope's legate came over, he refused to sanction any peace that did not
stipulate to restore the livings of the Protestant clergy to his priesthood.
† Mr. Sacherveril mentions the names of several priests who told him that the priests, Jesuits, and friars of England, Ireland, and Spain, and other countries beyond the seas where the plotters, projectors, and contrivers of this rebellion; and that they have been these six years in agitation and preparation for the same. MacMahon, bishop of Clogher, admitted to the Earl of Strafford, that so far back as 1634, he, with others of his order, were engaged in soliciting aid for it.
‡ So popular was Moore with the peasantry, that they put their trust, they used to say, in God, our Lady, and Roger Moore.
Although Maguire may have agreed with him as
to the opportuneness of the time, yet he has hesitated to join in an enterprise
so often productive of forfeiture and the scaffold. Moore saw this, and,
changing his ground, he began again. He put before him that he was
overburthened with debt; that his estate was small, whilst that of his
forefathers was large. That the the estate of his forefathers would be
restored to him for the most part, if not altogether; and, as if to silence any
whisperings of conscience about drawing the sword on those who had never harmed
him, he was told that the welfare of the Catholic religion depended on it.
"I hear from every understanding man ," says Moore, " that the Parliament
intends the utter subversion of our religion."
With the prospect of the sponge being applied to his debts, and his estate increased in this world, and the happiness that must most assuredly be his, for fighting for the welfare of the Catholic religion, in the next, what could Maguire do? To enrol himself in that noble phalanx, who would rob his creditors at the same time that they would enrich his church and himself; and he did so.
Warnings were not wanting of the coming storm. More than eighteen months before, Sir Henry Vane acquainted the Lords Justices that information had reached him from abroad, which had been substantiated by the King's ministers in Spain and elsewhere, to the effect:-"That of late there had passed from Spain, and probably from other parts, and unspeakable number of Irish churchmen, for England and Ireland, and many good old soldiers; and that, among the Irish friars in Spain, a whisper runs as if they expected a rebellion in Ireland." Sir Henry Bedingfield foretold it the previous April, and even on the 11th of October itself.
Sir William Cole gave the justices and counsil notice "that there was a great resort made to Sir Phelim O'Neil's house, also to Lord Maguire's. That the latter made several journeys within the Pale and other places, and had spent much of his time in writing letters and sending despatches abroad.
But it was not until they were informed by 0wen O'Connolly, on the evening of the 22nd of October, that it was the intention of numbers of Irish noblemen and gentlemen to take Dublin Castle on the following morning, October 23rd (the feast of St, Ignatius Loyala, the founder of the Jesuits), and possess themselves of all his Majesty's ammunition, that they opened their eyes.
The magnitude of the danger that were in alarmed both the council and the justices, and they instantly set to work. They had the gates of the city closed. They remove themselves into the Castle for better security. They had Lord Maguire, Colonel MacMahon, and other leaders, arrested; and they issued a proclamation, calling on all the good and loyal subjects in the kingdom to arm and betake themselves to their own defense.
The insurrection was begun in the north by Sir Phelim O'Neil; and his very first act showed how little dependence could be placed on his honour by those who fell into his hands, and must have created misgivings in the minds of many as to the sincerity of the professions of those amongst whom he was so conspicuous a chief. Inviting himself and some of his followers to the house of Lord Caulfield, who was always glad to see him-they sat down to supper; but scarce was the entertainment half over, when he ordered his lordship and his family to be seized and bound. His castle was gutted before his eyes, and his servants were murdered.
The other chiefs arose also at the same time, in their own localities. The O. Reilly's (one of whom was a member of Parliament, and another high-sheriff of Cavan) took possession of that county. The MacMohons seized all forts in Monaghan. Newry, with its magazine of seventy barrels of powder, was betrayed to Magennis.
When Lord Ranelagh returned to his presidency in Connaught, he found Mayo, Leitrim, Roscommon, and Sligo in open rebellion; and before he was there long, several of his towns were burned, and he himself was shut up in Athlone Castle the entire winter. The O'Farrels overran Longford; Kells and Navan succumbed to O'Rielly; Naas, Kildare, and Trim were also seized; and before the month of November was that an end, Drogheda, and walled-in town, not many miles distance from the seat of government itself, was besieged by fourteen thousand men.
Munster was the last to rise; but it was not until the last day of the old year that it did anything. On that day the rebels seized on Cashel, and the next day on Fethard. Encouraged by this beginning, Clonmel, Dungarvan, Kilmallock, Waterford, Limerick, and every town in Tipperary, rushed to arms.
At first the Irish made a distinction between the Scotch settlers and the English. "The Scotch," said they, "are new comers; and, besides they have suffered persecution for their religion like ourselves." But this was a piece of strategy. The true cause of this simulated friendship was least the Scotch should unite with the English, and crushed the rising in Ulster.
The newcomers were timely treated for about ten days,-until, in fact, the English were nearly all destroyed,-and then their turn came. From that time out it did not matter at which side of the Tweed a British Protestant was born. The cruelties they committed were diabolical, then were aimed "at extirpating out of this island, not only the Protestant religion, but also your Majesty's most loyal subjects;"* and so effectual was the progress made in carrying out this design, that, before the end of March, no less than one hundred and fifty-four thousand of the Protestant inhabitants had lost their lives.†
It is true that all those had not their brains knocked out; neither were they all hanged or shot; but thrusting men and women, with the helpless offspring who clung to them, without either food or fuel, and stripped stark naked,‡ out into the bitter winter season of "1641," and forcing them to remain there until they fell dead with cold and hunger, was less humane, but a more wholesale method of destroying them then either of the former. Thousands perished thus!
* See a letter form the Lords Justices and council to King
Charles the First
† Ibid , also life of Bishop Bedell, Dr. Maxwell's Examination, &c. We are aware that the numbers mentioned in the Lords-Justices letter are considered grossly exaggerated by some writers; and even Sir William Petty things they did not exceed thirty-seven thousand. But let anyone look through the thirty-two folio volumes of depositions sworn before the commissioners, appointed under the great seal to take the evidence of sufferers from the rebellion, and he will there read the testimony of witnesses from every part of Ireland concerning the droves of people continually being led to the slaughter. Considering all those killed by actual force; by being driven out in the cold, where they perished; those that died broken-hearted and by hunger; it would appear that the computation made by the justices is rather within and outside the mark.
‡ Some of these miserable people having procured straw, endeavored to hide a portion of their nakedness; but the rebels used to amuse themselves by setting the straw on fire, regardless of the intercessions or the shrieks of the sufferers.-See depositions of John Major, of Kilkenny.
A more expeditious mode of getting rid of them was also in
high favour. At Portadown, upwards of a thousand were brought out in
parties of forty each, and pushed over one of the broken arches-into the river;
where those that continued struggling with their fate "were knocked on the head,
and so after drowned, or else shot to death in the water."
Thousands were hanged; thousands were smothered in ditches and turf-pits; thousands were knocked on the head, or piked to death. Multitudes were burned alive; many were buried alive; and so fiendish had the Irish become from familiarity with their horrible occupation, that it afforded them pleasure to hear their victims speak from the grave, ere the clay had choked them.*
Some had their eyes plucked out; some had their hands cut off. Even little children, whose innocence and helplessness should have touched a pitying chord in a parent's heart, fared no better. Two children were hanged-one at the neck and one other at the girdle of their mother, who, poor woman, was here herself also hanged; and with them (in hellish disport) their enemies hung up a dog and a cat.†
Some were fed upon by swine; others by dogs‡ and more of them had their brains dashed out. And it is on record that another little sufferer was absolutely boiled to death in a cauldron.§ But some were not even satisfied with this wholesale extermination. They must obliterate every trace of England's connection with Ireland. The English names of places must be replaced by Irish names; and penalties must be inflicted on those that speak the English tongue.
The people upon which these atrocities were perpetuated, had been living on the most friendly terms with their Irish neighbours. When any of these were sick or in distress, they administered those comforts and gave that assistance which the sick and the distress stand in need of. They did not excite their susceptibilities, by drawing invidious comparisons between their race and religion and those amongst whom they had settled. They had done nothing that would could arouse a revengeful feeling, or even said anything that could provoke a retort; yet, ere many hours, that confidence, through which they had beheld them for years, disappeared from before their eyes, scared away by the thick, read mist that arose from the blood of their fathers, their wives, their children.
See Dr. Maxwell's Examination.
† Depositions of the Rev. William Hewitson, county Kildare.
‡ Vide Sir John Temple's History of the Irish Rebellion
§ Ibid, page 156; also Sir John Brolace's History of the Irish Rebellion.
Some of those active in the organization of the great outbreak
were averse to the shedding of innocent blood. "Let us banished the
English out of Ireland," said they, "as the Spaniards banished the
Moors out of
Spain!" To this it was replied:-"That if they were expelled the
kingdom, they would return back, full of revengeful thoughts, to recover their
Nevertheless, influential men among the moderate party, such as Lord Muskerry and many others, did succeed for a short time in restraining their followers within the bounds of the Spanish policy. But there were others who hounded them on-to overleap them. They were told that the bodies of those who would be killed in the war would be scarce cold ere their souls would be in heaven.* That the penalties of excommunication would fall upon them, should they harbour or relieve any Scot, English, or Welshman; and Father Mahoney,† in his Disputatio Apologetica, assures his readers, "that the Irish are engaged by a divine, humane, and natural precept, unanimously to join and extirpate the heretics,‡ and to shun communion with them."
* See Sir John
† Cnogher O'Mahony was born in Muskerry, county Cork. He was a Jesuit, and an active member of their Order. He published the Disputatio Apologetica deJure Regni Hibernia adversus Hoereticos Anglos, in 1648, under the assumed name Cornelius de Sancto Patrico. The intention of the work was to make it appear that the sovereigns of England were not entitled to Ireland; and that, supposing Charles the First to have had a right originally, it lapsed, owing to the fact of his being a heretic. So fierce was Father Mahony's hatred to the English crown, that he recommended his countrymen to kill all those who sided with it, should they even be his own co-religionists; and when they had rid themselves of their enemies to set up a king of their own. Although the Disputatio was ordered to be burned, by order of the Supreme Council, at Kilkenny, yet it remained unnoticed by the clergy until 1666, several years after the rebellion had ended,-when, in fact, the dissemination of its doctrines could not to no more harm.
‡ In his tour of Ireland, in 1644, Boullaye Le Gouz, "who was of the French nation, and a good Catholic," records and instance of the bitter spirit possessed by the Irish priesthood at this time, not only against those of their fellow-christians who differed from them in matters of faith, but even against a nation who cheerfully afforded them a home, and who knelt at the same altar with themselves, because she dared to tolerate any of her own people when they ventured to think for themselves. "At Lord Ikerims," says Le Gouz, "I'm mad at supper, a friar, who had on mortal dislike to the French. He could not refrain from giving vent to his antipathy in my presence; stating that, as we had no Inquisition in France, we were but a set of reprobates, and partial to heretics,-whom, instead of tolerating as we do, we ought rather to exterminate, as the progress of the Catholic faith could not co-exist with this pestilent sect, whose very name ought to be abhorred by the people."
It would be impossible, within the limits of one short chapter,
to give even a brief account of the numerous battles and encounters that took
place almost daily, between the Protestants and Roman Catholics, throughout the
kingdom. We will merely remark that they were numerous, and fought with
varying successes,-the fickle goddess leaning at one time to the Saxon, and
at another time to the Celt,-and then pass on to the peace made "by the Earl
of Glamorgan, by virtue of the Kings authority under his signet and signature, on
behalf of his Majesty, and Lord Mountgarret, Lord-President of the Supreme
Council of the Confederates, Lord Muskerry, and others, on behalf of the
King's Roman Catholic subjects and the Catholic clergy of Ireland."
The first article in the agreement was solely in reference to the Roman Catholic clergy, who, in their anxiety to secure the livings of Protestant clergy, threw into the back-ground those grievances upon which Roger Moore was never tired for expatiating. It was agreed "that the Roman Catholic clergy of this kingdom, henceforth and for ever, shall hold and enjoy all such lands, tenements, tithes, and hereditaments, whatsoever by them enjoyed or possessed within this kingdom since the 23rd of October, 1641."
From this it is evident that they were to be confirmed for ever, not only in the lands, tithes, &c.., which they had wrested from the English, and which they then held, but also all that they at any time possessed since the breaking out of the rebellion; so that the lands, tithes, churches, parsonages, &c., retaken from them, were obliged to be handed over to them again.
The second article stipulated that two-thirds of the emoluments of those tithes, &c., possessed, or to be possessed, by the clergy, was for the ensuing three years to be employed in the quipping an army for his Majesty use.
The third was that Lord Lieutenant, or any one else in authority under his Majesty, shall not disturb the professors of the Roman Catholic religion in the possession of their churches, lands, tithes, &c., until the King's pleasure be signified for confirming and publishing the same.
And the fourth was, that an Act of Parliament should be passed according to the tenure of these agreements; and that, in the meantime, the clergy shall enjoy the full benefit of the agreements made with them.
There was also an agreement made at the same time between the Glamorgan and the same parties, on behalf of the Confederate Roman Catholics, in which it was certified that the professors of the Roman Catholic religion "shall hold and enjoy all and every the churches by them enjoyed, or by them possessed, since the 23rd of October, 1641. That Roman Catholics shall enjoy the free and public use of their religion. Shall be exempted from the authority of the Protestant clergy. That these our clergy shall not be molested in the exercise of spiritual and ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the people. And the Confederates bind themselves in return to bring ten thousand men (one half armed with muskets, and the other half with pikes) to any party in Ireland, to be shipped for his Majesty's use in England, Scotland or Wales."
This treaty of peace , known as the Glamorgan Treaty, was kept with great secrecy from the Kings Protestant subjects. Charles was unwilling that it should get abroad that he had concluded negotiations with their hereditary foes-for ten thousand men; and that those were to be brought to England, and let loose upon those who had resisted his religious intolerance, his illegal taxes, his tyranny, his despotism.
Not withstanding the precautions that were taken to keep the treaties hidden from public view, yet their contents soon got abroad; copies of them having been found in the pocket of the Titular Archbishop of Tuam, after he was killed-in an attack made by him at the head of some troops on the town of Sligo.
The papers were sent to the Parliament, and they ordered them to be printed and published to the whole world. The contents amazed everybody, and overwhelmed with confusion those who loudly proclaimed that a King could do no wrong.
The Kings' most devoted adherents, his Lord Lieutenant, and his zealous cavaliers, could not be persuaded that he was in earnest. How could he that could do no wrong allow the lands, that were reclaimed by the untiring industry of his Protestant subjects, to be wrested from them, and the livings of their clergy to be appropriated by those whom they looked upon as idolaters? Could he who could do no wrong shake the red hand of the murder, who smote to death tens of thousands of his best subjects? Could he tell him that he may keep his spoils, and never even reproach him with his slaughters? Could he still grasp that gore-stained hand , whilst he bargain with its owner for more blood, and yet do no wrong?
The Parliament were enraged, and sent a strong remonstrance on the subject to Charles, who, in his reply, stated that he had heard of it with extraordinary amazement. "That it was true he was anxious to procure a peace in Ireland; but not such a one as would compromise his honour and conscience, or the safety of his Protestant subjects. That Glamorgan was bound up by our positive commands from doing anything but what you (the Parliament) should particularly and precisely direct him to, both in the matter and manner of his negotiations."*
The King's commission to Glamorgan, however, gives all this a flat denial. His Protestant subjects about whose safety he was concerned, are not named, or even referred to; his honour and conscience are nowhere to be seen; and "Glamorgan being bound up by our positive commands from doing anything but what the Parliament should particularize and direct him to do"-was an invention of his own. On the contrary, Glamorgan was told "to proceed with all possible secrecy; and for whatsoever you shall endanger yourself, upon such valuable considerations as you in your judgment shall deem fit, we promise, on the word of the King and a Christian, to ratify and perform the same that shall be granted by you, and under your hand and seal, the said Confederate Catholics having, by their supplies (the promise of ten thousand men to butcher the English non-conformists), testified their seal to our service; and this shall be in each particular to you as sufficient warrant."
In order to save appearances, and avoid, if possible, the charge of Popish predilections, "our trusty and right well-beloved cousin," Edward, Earl of Glamorgan, was impeached of suspicion of treason, and committed to prison; but when Charles,-who, forsooth, "was exceedingly angry at the first news of this affair,"-cooled down, and calmly considered "that the earl's error proceeded from excess of loyalty, and that that all this was done to hasten the considerable succour of ten thousand men unto him, "his insulted Majesty was at length appeased; and he sent the erring earl a most kind and gracious letter, containing great assurances both of favour and friendship.‡
* Vide-His Majesty's letter about the Earl of the
† See Warrant from the King to the Earl of Glamorgan.
Notwithstanding the confidence placed in him by the King, and the
great friendship he entertained for him, yet his trusty cousin must have
trespassed seriously on his forbearance, for scarce was Glamorgan out of gaol,
when away he went again to Kilkenny, and resume the negotiations
interrupted by the untimely discovery in the pocket of the Titular of Tuam.
There was another peace perfected between the Marquis of Ormond and the Confederates, on the 30th of July; 1646 but as this did not provide sufficiently foreign the liberty and splendors of religion, in accordance with the exalted notions of the Nuncio, the poor bantling was not on the head, ere it entered on the third week of its sickly existence.
Many subsequent attempts were made by Ormond to patch up a peace, in order that he might procure assistance for the King, but they ended in nothing; and shortly after he surrendered Dublin to the Parliament, and left the country in disgust.
Meanwhile, disunion began to prevail in the Irish army. The old Irish, or Nuncio's party, under Owen Roe, said that they were better soldiers and better Catholics than the old English or Confederate party under Preston. From words they proceeded to acts. On the 11th of June, 1648, Owen Roe proclaimed war against the Supreme Council of the Confederates at Kilkenny, and on the 20th of the same month on the Confederates proclaimed war against Owen Roe.
Lord Ormond went again to Ireland, and finally arranged a peace with both lay and clerical belligerents; "but it extract such conditions," says Cox, "as rather hastened than prevented his Majesty's ruin." Before the good news had, however, reached London, he, in whose favour it was concluded, had expiated his crimes on the scaffold.
There were now no less than five armies in this distracted kingdom, all acting independently of each other, and all with different objects in view. There was the Royal army, under the late King's faithful Lieutenant, the Marquis of Ormond. Castlehaven and Preston commanded the Confederates. Jones commanded for the Parliament. The Nuncio's forces were led by Owen Roe O'Neil ; and the united troops of the English and Scotch Presbyterians were under Montgomery and Sir George Munroe.
Sieges and surrenders, advances and retreats, skirmishes and battles, were daily occurrences. The impoverished country was still more impoverished, and the misery of its people were increased by the confusion and disunion that prevailed everywhere. Such was the state of affairs when Cromwell arrived in Dublin!
His first act was to issue a proclamation against swearing and drinking; and his next was to enjoin his soldiers not to do any injury to any person, unless found in arms or employed by the enemy. He invited the country people to bring their provisions into his camp, and that they should be paid for them in hard cash; and proclaimed that all those who would act peaceably and quietly should have liberty to live at home with their families, and be protected in person and estate. By these, as well as other judicious measures, he soon begat strength and confidence.
After the capture of Drogheda, Cromwell marched south. City after city, and fortress after fortress, fell before him; and the Protestant inhabitants of Bandon, Youghal, Cork, and other towns in Munster threw open their gates to him, and bid him welcome.
Upon his return to England, Charlemont, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, and some few insignificant places, were all that remain to the great army of the confederate Catholics. Before very long, these were in the hands of Coote and Ireton; and on the 26th of September, 1653, it was officially announced "that the rebels were subdued, and the rebellion appeased and ended.
Thus ended the greatest effort that was ever made by the people of this country to rid themselves of English rule. An effort, which was conceived in order to take advantage of the nation's distress,* -born in treachery, baptized with blood, fed on carnage,-and after a vigorous existence it was overcome, and placed in a felon's grave!
* "England's adversity is Ireland's opportunity!" is a cry with which our own ears are not unfamiliar.
|[Preface] [Contents] [Bernards] [Index] [Depositions] [Maps] [Definitions] [Town/Parish Descriptions, 1835] [Pictures]|