Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

trembled to think of the country's situation, when they should sit upon the bench.”

In November, 1803, Mr. J. Kiernan, of Enniskillen, was sent up to Dublin, a prisoner, for examination, by Mr. Wickham. A Mr. Dennison, a state prisoner, who had been confined for some time in Kilmainham, was discharged in the beginning of December, 1803. Mr. Lawless, an eminent brewer of Dublin, was arrested in November, and let out on bail. Mr. Charles Teeling, who had been arrested the 8th of November, 1803, was discharged about the 23d of November, his brother, George Teeling, who had come to visit him, having been made a prisoner, and detained.

Messrs. Philip Long, John Hickson, John Hevey, St. John Mason, Nicholas Gray, James Tandy, Henry Hughes, Wm. H. Hamilton, John Palmer, Wm. M‘Dermot, Daniel Dolan, Daniel Brophy, and Dennis Cassin, were arrested and committed to Kilmainham ; and, in a house opposite that jail, Messrs. Cloney, Carthy, Dickson, Holmes, &c., were imprisoned.

The conversion of national, scientific, and commercial establishments (no longer needed in Ireland) to military purposes, we have a curious account of, in the London Chronicle, of August 25th and 27th, 1803. From Dublin, August 21, “ The ci-devant parliament house, and the celebrated academy house in Grafton-street, are converted into barracks. The market-house in Thomas-street has been lately fitted up, with a view to impede the progress of an enemy from the west end of the town, and to command the different avenues in that quarter : the 93rd regiment has been appointed its garrison. The arches of the house are filled up, and a balcony is constructed on the first floor, upon which the soldiers can draw up, and fire with the best effect. The Royal Exchange has also been purchased by government, for the purpose of barracks, and it is intended to place some cannon on that part of it which fronts Parliament-street, Essex Bridge, and also that which is opposite to Castle-street.

Barriers are to be erected at the entrances into Francisstreet, Meath-street, James's-street, &c., the whole city to be surrounded by an oak paling of considerable height, and gates to be erected at all the principal entrances into town."

On the 21st of August, 1803, the Lord Mayor issued a proclamation, commanding all persons, except military men in

their uniforms, the members of privy council and judges, to keep within their dwellings from nine o'clock at night until six o'clock in the morning, and all persons to affix to their doors a list of the persons inhabiting the same ; and any person found in a house not included in that list, will be treated as an idle and disorderly person.

August 16, 1803, the Dublin papers state, that Mr. Philip Long had been arrested, and committed to Kilmainham ; also, on the 10th of August, that a barrister, Mr. St. John Mason, who had arrived on the 9th, in his own carriage with four horses, had been arrested, and sent to Dublin.

In the London Chronicle of September the 3d and 6th, 1803, the following is taken from the Dublin papers, dated the 29th of August :

“A Mr. Houlton, a naval officer, was arrested in Dundalk, and brought up to Dublin in a chaise and four ; a suit of rebel's uniform was found on him. When arrested, he was dressed in his naval uniform, but this was removed, and he was arrayed in the rebel uniform, and thus brought to the Castle."

The above notice of Houlton's arrest is deserving of particular attention ; this man - was employed by the government in a most atrocious conspiracy against the people. The particulars of it will be found in Plowden's Post Union History, Vol. I., p. 223. A miscreant of the name of Houlton, of the broad cloth class, speculating on the wickedness and weakness of the government, applied for an interview with Mr. Marsden, and, by the latter, was brought before the Privy Council, Lord Redesdale presiding at it. Houlton said he had private information that there were several of Russell's northern adherents embarked in fishermens' boats and some smuggling craft, with a design of surprising the Pigeon House. He offered his services to government in any way that they might be made useful to the state, and accordingly it was determined by government to send him down to the north, where he was to pass off as a rebel general. Mr. Houlton was equipped with a suit of rebel uniform, and a superb cocked hat and feathers, provided by the government, for the latter alone they paid seven guineas. Houlton made no stipulations for reward; for his expenses he consented to receive £100. Lord Redesdale, pleased with his modesty, no less than his zeal, in the service of government, in

the first instance spoke of 500 guineas being at his disposal. “When the government had fully equipped Mr. Houlton in his rebel uniform, he was sent on his mission,” says Plowden, “to Belfast, to tempt, to proselytize, to deceive and to betray." Instructions were sent down to Sir Charles Ross, who then commanded in Belfast, to apprize him that the rebel general was a confidential servant of the Castle, and was not to be interrupted or interfered with, but was to be aided and assisted as he should desire and suggest ; the express was forwarded by an orderly dragoon, Houlton, however, had set off in a postchaise and four, and arrived in Belfast long before the dragoon, and immediately after his arrival, commenced business at a tavern in the town, where he talked treason in so undisguised a manner as to excite astonishment. Information was given to the commanding officer, Sir Charles Ross, the man was arrested, and by Sir Charles Ross's orders, he was dressed in his rebel uniform and paraded round the town, and was then committed to jail. At length Sir Charles Ross received the instructions of the government. The plot was marred ; it only remained to send the ill-starred informer back to his employers under a military escort, and, on his arrival, he was punished for his failure, to his utter astonishment, by being committed to Kilmainham. There he frankly acquainted the state prisoners with the whole of his unlucky mission ; after some time he was liberated, and rewarded with an inconsiderable appointment on the coast of Africa. In the pamphlet entitled “ Pedro Zendono,” this unfortunate wretch is spoken of as being in confinement in Kilmainham in 1804 ; as having been originally brought forward, chosen for his mission by Dr. Trevor, and, after its failure, and his imprisonment, as having menaced Trevor with unpleasant disclosures, which caused his being treated for some time with extraordinary severity.

In Major Sirr's correspondence with the informers of 1798 and 1803, it will be found he was in communication in both years with a midshipman in the navy, who went by the name of Morgan.

CHAPTER XI.

There is probably but one person living who could give a correct account of the events which transpired the night of the 23d, after the flight of the leaders, and the route of their followers, so far as regarded the principal person among the former. That person was Anne Devlin, at the period referred to, a young woman of about 25 or 26 years of age, the daughter of a man in comfortable circumstances, for one in his station in life, a cow-keeper, on a large scale, in the neighbourhood of Butterfield-lane ; his establishment and the land he occupied, were in sight of the house tenanted by Robert Emmet. Anne Devlin was niece of the Wicklow outlaw, or hero, Michael Dwyer : her cousin, Arthur Devlin,* was one of Emmet's

* On lately looking over a manuscript life of O’Dwyer, captain of the Wicklow outlaws of '98 I hit on a stray leaf of the biography of Robert Emmet. On the night of defeat they retreated to his residence, Butterfield-lane, and very early on Sunday, the 24th, the most of them went to the house of Brien Devlin, whose residence was convenienthe was the father of that faithful young woman, Anne Devlin. There they spent the day, without seeming depressed in spirit by their recent failure; nor did they seem to have any ultimate object inview such as their desperate state might suggest. Resistance to the last; surrender or escape was not spoken of by them, at least in public. On Monday Mrs. Devlin was getting some milk churned, and some of them volunteered to bear a hand. Mr. Heavy took off his coat, got a white apron from one of Mrs. Devlin's daughters, and was actually churning when a woman raised the latch of the door and walked in without rapping, as she was accustomed to do. She gazed about her with an apparent air of stupid vacancy; she made some slight excuse for coming in, and retired. She was the wife of a yeoman. Mr. Grierson, the King's printer, had a residence convenient. She went and told him how she had that moment seen fifty French officers at Devlin's.

Mr Grierson had just sat down to dinner with a couple of friends that he had previously invited to spend that day with him at his country residence. He did not believe all that the woman told him, but he submitted the whole to his friends, and asked their consent, if he should not start immediately for the Castle and give information as he received it. The wine was going round, toasts were pledged and thanks were sent to heaven for the preservation of all the King's loyal subjects. It was that, they being in an obscure place that would not be suspected, they considered themselves quite safe, and would not attempt to stir until the silent hour of night." This hint was adop

right hand men, and a brother of her's was likewise one of his agents. When Emmet took the house in Butterfield-lane,

ted. The wine sparkled more vividly and became more attractive. The butler in passing through the hall heard part of the woman's story; and while attending to his duties at a sideboard in the apartment when the gentlemen were in an under tone discussing the recent intelligence received of the French officers, he had heard sufficient to enable him to clearly comprehend the substance of the woman's information.

He was well acquainted with Arthur Devlin, and he lost no time in conveying the intelligence to his uncle, Brien Devlin, for him. There was no time to be lost. As soon as it became dark Brien Devlin had three horses ready for them, and a veteran of '98, named Cummins, from one side of Blessington, undertook the guiding of them to John Doyle's, of Ballymore, near to Ballynascorney where they remained for that night and next day, and on Tuesday evening went to Mrs. Rose Bagnal's, of Ballynascorney, something better than a mile from Doyle's, still in the county of Dublin, and about eight miles distant from the seat of Government.

On the night of Wednesday, the 27th, they left Mrs Bagnal's, declaring that they would not be the cause of any person suffering on their account. Their bivouac for this night was in a small glen not far distant from Mrs. Bagnal's, where the sky was the canvass of their tents, and their only tapers the brilliants of heaven.

Here chilled from the night air and dew, and no doubt suffering from want of food, on the morning of the 28th they made their way to a public house at Bohernabreena, kept by William Kearney, about two and a half miles nearer to Dublin than the place where they had spent the night. After taking such refreshments as the place afforded they still remained, some of them testing the comparative properties of Kearney's Parliamentarian and his home-brewed mountain dew -when Robinson, the barony .constable of Upper Cross, who had been all that morning endeavouring to get on their trail, now stepped into Kearney's amongst them; he certainly did not expect to meet them there, and he was near paying a large price for his morning visit but for the host, who protected him from Quigley's ire. Kearney may be said to be one of themselves, he having fought through the the battles of '98, and was a particular friend of Stopford. He let them know who this unwelcome visitor was, and saw him away from danger.

In Kearney's house there was a small upper room, with a very narrow stairs leading to it. It had scarcely the appearance of an apartment used for ordinary purposes. It was a cockloft, and had no window but a skylight. The greater number of the staff, particularly such as had on their uniform, were in this room. About eleven o'clock, as one of the men was looking out through the skylight, he perceived a military party, composed of army and yeomen, something more than 500 strong. The latter were commanded by Mr. La Touche, Captain of the Rathfarnham Mounted Corps of Yeomen, and Mr. R. Shaw as

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »