Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

party. The attack was to be, as nearly as witness could recollect, between nine and ten. Mr. Allen, the prisoner, another gentleman, and witness, breakfasted at Browne's, near the bridge. The unnamed gentleman, who seemed to know more of the matter than either of the others, made some objection to begin so soon ; Allen was in favour of the immediate attempt : witness returned to town with the prisoner. On entering the premises of the prisoner, found two men making pike handles. He called on Allen at three o'clock, and made some observations about his wages, when Allen gave him a guinea, and bid him not lose time about his wages ; Allen desired him to call at six, which he did, and received a blunderbuss, and appointed that evening to meet him at Rainsforthstreet, convenient to the canal. Witness went there, but he did not see Allen ; he went into a public-house, and, after some time, saw a multitude of people coming from the canal ; they asked him to go along with them, he said he had no ammunition for his blunderbuss, and one of the people told him to go with them to the Depot in Marshalsea-lane, and they would get plenty there. He went there with them, and,

after every person that came helped himself to arms,” they went into Thomas-street, and there, either before or after them, a carriage was stopped, a trunk was taken out, and two or three, with pikes, began breaking open the lid. Witness called out, “it is not for plunder we are looking.” He saw the gentleman in the carriage make a race towards the Church. Witness said he should be brought back, and so he was, and witness told him that no injury should be done to his property. The people then ran down Vickar-street, and attacked the watch-house ; then they proceeded towards Francis-street, then down Plunket-street, through Patrick-street, on to Kevin-street. They were fired on in Francis-street by the Coombe guard, which caused them to disperse ; witness made his way home, and was arrested at his own door. On his cross-examination, he said, he had been in the rebellion of 1798, he was still a prisoner, and came that day from the Castle.

An extract from a paper of fourteen pages, which the prisoner had written during his confinement, was given in evidence against him : it appeared to have been intended as an address to his countrymen. The last sentence of it was to the

following effect, -"when any favourable opportunity occurs, which may shortly be the case, I beg you will not do as beretofore—take up arms to lay them down, like a blast of wind, and then be taken prisoners, and hanged like dogs.”

There were several witnesses produced, who corroborated the evidence of M'Cabe. Mr. M'Nally made an able speech in his defence. Several witnesses were called, who gave him a high character for probity and general good conduct. The jury retired for five minutes, and brought in a verdict of guilty. On being asked, in the usual form, if he had any thing to say why judgment should not be passed, he addressed some observations to the court on the evidence of the several witnesses. He denied, in positive terms, that any pikes had been in his house, or made there. Respecting a conversation he had with Mr. Read, when he gave the health of Buonaparte, and spoke favourably of his character, he said he thought there could be no impropriety in so doing, when he saw, by the public prints, that persons had been tried in England, and punished for disparaging the character of that great man. * He did not hesitate to tell the court, though the halter was round his neck, and the axe ready to serer his head from his body, he was placed in a high official situation, acting under the provisional government : be acted with that energy which he thought would promote its welfare ; he acted according to the dictates of his own mind and principles. He would acknowledge, that its completion and success were the full amount of his wishes. Had any of his proceedings relative to the 23rd, been brought forward, he should feel" Here the prisoner became so agitated, as to be unable to proceed for some time. After a pause of some minutes, he said, “The situation of my mind will not permit me to say any thing more. I submit to the sentence.'

Baron George said—“If you wish to say any thing more that may ease your mind, we will wait as long as you please."

The prisoner replied—“I have nothing more to say, but after I am sent to the cell, that no visitors shall be allowed to

Let no strangers be admitted from curiosity. I wish to have a chair."

The Attorney-General said, he had given directions that the prisoner should be furnished with chairs and tables.”

The prisoner expressed a desire to have the use of pen, ink,

[ocr errors]

see me.

and paper.

“He trusted he might be permitted to write a few letters to his friends."

Mr. Baron George said—“ We shall give directions as you desire.” He then proceeded to pass sentence in a very impressive and feeling manner. No allusion was made on the trial to the attempt which the prisoner had made on his life.

The prisoner met his fate with firmness. He was about twenty-four or twenty-five years of age ; remarkably goodlooking. He was respectably connected, and nearly related to a medical gentleman of some distinction, of his name, in Dublin. A sketch of him was taken at the trial, by Petrie, and engraved by Maguire, which is said to have borne a strong resemblance to the original. The particulars of the trial are taken from “Ridgeway's Report.”


From the following notices of the career of Michael Dwyer, more information as to his character and conduct may probably be obtained, than from any previous account of this remarkable man.

“I was sent,” says James Hope, " by Robert Emmet to the mountains of Wicklow, to examine the condition of a party which had kept to the mountains for five years, and set the military at defiance. A first cousin of Dwyer's was my guide ; and I met Dwyer in the glen of Emall,* in company with Hugh Byrne, John Moran, and Martin Burke. Their arms were in bad order, and I had them replaced. I furnished each of them with a new blunderbuss, a case of pistols, and

ammunition. A spy named Halpin, who had fled into Dublin, shortly afterward appeared in the neighbourhood of Emall. Dwyer got notice; and commenced a pursuit, until in sight of Dublin. He learned that Halpin was too far ahead : he discharged his blunderbuss with vexation, and blew the thumb

* The place here called the glen of Emall, is probably the glen of Innall.

off his left hand. I got him another, with a twisted barrel. His hand was healed when I last saw him.

“Dwyer, Byrne and Burke,* ventured into Dublin, and came to my house at No. 8, in the Coombe. I had many anecdotes from them. The following is one :-

"At the approach of winter, as the mountain air became chill, their numbers began to diminish. One night, Dwyer and Byrne were on an outpost, and stopped a man going towards the main body. On searching him, they found a letter directed from an enemy to Holt, with terms for surrender. They went instantly to Holt, and brought him a distance from the men, read the letter to him, and told him, that his being a Protestant was the only thing that prevented his instant death ; and warned him, at the peril of his life, never to let them again see his face among the people. For some days his case was desperate, not having concluded his treaty with the government ; and the parties in pursuit of individuals were so numerous at one time, that Dwyer escaped by sitting behind one of the mountain cataracts, while the military passed without observ

ing him.'

“An article in a recent magazine represents Dwyer as inclined to plunder : the reverse is the fact. His means of life were derived from the love of his countrymen : and even in the opposite ranks he had many friends; and although there was a barrack in the glen of Emall, they never could banish him out of it. A deserter had joined him from the county Antrim, named M'Alister. Dwyer told me he had a friend in the barracks, a corporal, a good soldier, and as trusty a friend as ever he had. Dwyer and his men had a subterraneous retreat in the glen, lined with wood and moss, the entrance to which was covered with a large sod that was cut out of a tuft of heath, where they remained all day, and had their rations as regular as the soldiers in the barracks had, and took to the mountains at night.

“ One evening Dwyer met my friend Cameron, and he gave him some ball-cartridges, saying, 'mind yourself to-night ; for

* Martin Burke was a brother-in-law of Dywer's. He was taken in December, 1803, after a pursuit of several miles through the fastnesses of the mountains, and through the glens. In his flight, he is stated in the newspapers, to have crossed the river Ovoca nine times.

[ocr errors]

we will be in search of you. M'Alister and Dwyer went that night to a house on the south side of the glen. A short time before day a rap came to the door, and some one said, 'Are you within, Dwyer? Dwyer answered, “Yes.' Will you surrender ?' said the person. Dwyer answered, 'I came into this house without leave from the family. If you let them out, I'll tell you what I'll do ;' which being done, Dwyer said, “Now I will fight till I die. The house was instantly set on fire. M'Alister and Dwyer had each of them a blunderbuss and a case of pistols, with which they commenced firing out first, and continued the firing with the two blunderbusses. Dwyer heard the officer calling the corporal, his friend, 'Come forward with your men, Cameron ; I see what you are doing. Cameron advanced and fell, and also some of his men. A clamp of turf that was in the house took fire ; and Dwyer and M‘Alister expected soon to perish in the flames, when a shot from without broke M‘Alister's arm. M'Alister said, 'Dwyer, I am done ; but take my advice, and try to escape. Load your blunderbuss and give it to me; go on your hands and feet; I will open the door, and stand upright and discharge the blunderbuss; they will fire at me, and you may be off before they load again.' Dwyer went on his hands and feet after loading the blunderbuss, and his comrade clapped him on the back, sayiug, ‘Now, let me see the spring you make.' Dwyer made the spring, and M‘Alister received the fire of the military; and fell dead at the door.* A stream ran past the door, and a little ice had formed on some gravel in the middle of it; and Dwyer's feet slipped on it, and he fell on his hands; he soon recovered himself, and was on his feet making good use of them. A highlander dropped his gun, and followed him across a field, and was so near him in the chase, that Dwyer said he felt his hand touching him, when he thought of giving him the trip, by which he threw down the highlander, and escaped. He said, if the highlander had not followed him, a volley would have brought him down before he cleared the field.”

Mr. Luke Cullen, of Clondalkin, has given me the following account of Dwyer and his men, which throws much light on

* The heroism and the fate of M‘Alister are the subject of some beautiful lines of Mrs. Tighe, which were republished, some years ago, in the “Dublin Penny Journal.”

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »