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panion. We were to accost the Commander-in-Chief, and inform him they had a writ against him, and that we were sheriffs' officers, and, by compulsion, or otherwise, we were to force him into a carriage, and carry him off to Mr. Emmet’s. Emmet's staff, from timidity, upset this plan like all his others. I was told that night, when I had made all necessary preparations, that the plan had been abandoned.
“ To my kuowledge,” continues Duggan, “Mr. Emmet had secret friends connected with the government, who gave him intelligence of all the movements about the castle. Mr. Emmet, during the preparations making in the Depot, had a house in Butterfield lane, near Rathfarnham ; the officers of the counties, and several gentlemen, often had interviews with him there, but none of those connected in the Depots, unless occasionally to carry a message to him went there. Mr. Emmet went often to the Head Depot ; both by day and by night the writer was often called to attend him, to act as a body guard through the streets, walking on the other side of the way as he went along, and occasionally some men of the former were ready at a moment's notice to defend Mr. Emmet. Previous to the turn out Mr. Emmet remained almost entirely in the Depots, continually seeing regimentals making, writing proclamations, and receiving communications from the officers of the different counties. In his expectations of assistance in the country he was totally disappointed, which was the chief cause of the failure on the night of the 23rd. It had been arranged that a number of armed men were to march in from the adjacent counties, either to join in the attack to be made that night in Dublin, or to cause a diversion, by withdrawing the troops from the city, while those collected in the Depots sallied out and distributed arms to the persons gathering in from the county of Dublin, and the adjacent parts of the County of Kildare. Dwyer promised to march down from the mountains with 500 at least that evening, and appear near the city, likewise Mr. Nicholas Gray promised to come with a large force of Wexford men, consisting of thousands, by a different direction. All these persons failed to do so at the time appointed. In the course of the day of the 23rd, it was whispered about that there was to be a general rising that night in Dublin. The alarm reached the Castle. A Mr. Clarke of Palmerstown, a manufacturer, and a Mr. Wilcock, a gentleman, living
between Palmerstown and Chapelizod, seeing a bustle among the workmen of the neighbourhood, and a number of men passing from other parts to Dublin, rode up to the castle and made a report of their apprehensions of some disturbance. As they were both returning home, passing along Arran Quay, Mr. Clarke was fired at, and slightly wounded by some person who effected his escape. Both then went back to the Castle, or at least Mr. Clarke did, and a reward of £300 was immediately offered for information against the man who had fired at Clarke. In the course of an hour or so after, Henry Howley came along, in the direction of the Queen's Bridge, with one of the double coaches, which were to convey Mr. Emmet, and a number of his most determined followers, inside the Castle Yard, as if they were entering with persons going to a party. They were to be all well armed with blunderbusses, they were to gain possession of the Castle, and to seize on the Privy Council, who it was expected would have been sitting that evening, for Mr. Emmet had private information of that řatter, and of every movement going on in the Castle. When Howley was coming over the Queen's Bridge, and entering Bridgefoot-street, he saw a countryman and a soldier fighting, he stopped the coach to see how the battle ended, and, in the mean time, an officer, Cornet Brown, who was passing by chance, interfered in favour of the soldier, Henry Howley seeing this, leapt out of the coach, and cried out 'fair play for the countryman. Cornet Brown drew his sword, and Howley pulled out a pistol and shot him. Howley observing a sergeant's guard coming over the bridge thought it prudent to make his escape, he fled, and left the coach there, which caused a terrible disappointment to Mr. Emmet who was anxiously waiting for the coaches, as Howley was the person appointed to procure them. The object was to secure the Viceroy, and keep him and his family as hostages ; plenty of people were ready to pour into the Castle, once possession was gained of the court yards by Emmet and his party. Howley was to bring the coaches one after the other from Essex Bridge stand along the quay and over the Queen's Bridge. The drivers were to be dressed in liveries. Had the Castle been seized, the country was sufficiently prepared, all depended on the Castle.
“ The plan was to attack the entrance publicly, and at the
same time on the Ship-street side, from a house alongside the wall, an entrance was to be made by breaking through the wall, and a party of men were to be pushed in by this entrance. Several houses besides in that neighbourhood were secured, and were to be occupied by Mr. Emmet's people This disappointment of the coaches, together with the failure on the part of the Wicklow and Wexford men, for Mr. Emmet counted on Dwyer's party, and also on Mr. Gray's, determined him to abandon the Depot, and make the best he could of such an embarrassing situation, finding he could not conceal the business any longer. While some of the people were gathering about the Depot in Marshalsea-lane and arming themselves, one of the outposts or sentinels, who was placed to watch or reconnoitre messengers or dispatches coming or going between the Royal Hospital, the different barracks and the Castle, saw a trooper coming with dispatches from the Castle towards the Commander-in-Chief, and the trooper was shot dead by the outpost above mentioned.
“In the afternoon of the 23rd of July, when Mr. Emmet was informed that Mr. Clarke and Mr. Wilcock were on their way to the Castle, to give information of the suspected proceedings, Mr. Emmet ordered nie to set steady men to guard the different roads from the Castle to Island-bridge, where the artillery lay, and from the adjoining barracks, and from the Royal Barracks to the Castle, so that no express could pass to either of these places from thu Castle, or from the Commanderin-Chief, who resided at thu Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, where I remained, watching the movements of the General, after placing guards on all the passes, from seven to eleven o'clock that night; and, when I returned to the Depot, all were gone ; the place was in darkness, as the lamps were not lit up that night, it looked dismal.
“I lost no time in quitting Dublin, and making the best of my way to Rathcoffy, in the county of Kildare, where I joined my comrades. They had sent a message to Mr. Emmet, desiring he would come amongst them, and see what could be done
; but he did not then come. They remained together, to the number of fifteen, his staff (as they called themselves) ; but, after his death, they separated, and went amongst their friends. In the mean time, a great number of persons were arrested, tried, convicted, and put to death, the innocent as
well as the guilty. Of all they hung for that business, there were only four who knew any thing of it, and numbers were put to death who had no hand in it. This they continued to do until Quigley was arrested, along with three others, in the county of Galway. A stop was then put to the executions.
At all times Mr. Emmet seemed cool, tranquil, and determined, even to the last moment of my sceing him, which was at seven o'clock that evening, of the 23rd of July. He appeared to be confident of success ; he was never light or thoughtless in bis manner, nor absent, nor agitated in his mind. He talked familiarly with the men ; but still with something of seriousness, nothing of jocularity. The men never received any pay for their services, they all acted for the cause, and not for money—their diet and lodging, and sometimes only the latter, was their sole remuneration. The people had great confidence in him ; they would venture their lives for him.
“ After the failure of Robert Emmet's business, I escaped into Galway ; remained there for eighteen months ; came up to Dublin in 1805, and, the second day after my arrival, was arrested. I was charged with the crime of shooting at Mr. Clarke, of Palmerstown, on the afternoon of the 23rd of July, 1803. Mr. Clarke was brought to the Tower to see me, accompanied by Mr. Wilcock. Mr. Clarke said, you fired at me, in 1803, when you passed me on the Quay, as I was riding along with Captain Wilcock. I said to the gentleman, 'I would not have passed, and fired at you, Mr. Clarke.””
The 23rd July, 1803, was fixed on by Robert Emmet for carrying his long meditated purpose into effect. It was nine months since he had arrived in Ireland, with the design of renewing the efforts of the United Irishmen ; and however strenuously it may be denied by some amongst them, that the attempted insurrection of 1803, was part and parcel of their system,* Robert Emmet's attempt must be considered as the
* Lord Cloncurry though not a conspirator in Emmet's plot, was,
best effort of the society of the United Irishmen, and the deathblow to its objects. Emmet's active preparations had been carried on from the month of March. The government appeared to be entirely ignorant of their existence; nevertheless, events happened which could not leave them in ignorance of machinations being in progress, the aim of which was the overthrow of the government. On the 14th of July, the anniversary of the French revolution, bonfires were very general throughout the city : there was one on the Coal-quay, opposite the house of D. L. Redmond, and another in Kevin-street, near the fountain, where manifestations of a seditious kind were made, which could not be mistaken. The imprudence of this display on the part of some of the subordinate leaders, seems almost incredible ; and yet, in similar times and undertakings, where engagements of secrecy are entered into, to keep their designs concealed, we find men acting as if they had been already relieved from their obligations—that success was certain—that obstacles had been overcome -that their friends were all true, and capable of accomplishing their objects at a moment's notice that their enemies were frightened, or to be frightened, by a demonstration of their force, even in assemblages of a festive character, like those of the 14th of July ; or in a procession on a more solemn occasion, like that of the great funeral which took place not long before the outbreak of the rebellion of 1798. The explosion which took place in the Depot, in Patrick-street, on the 16th of July, 1803, was another occurrence which could not fail to excite the suspicions of Government; for the premises were visited by Major Sirr : and, although he did not discover the concealed store in which the greater portion of the material of the conspirators were secreted, he discovered some fragments of unfinished weapons. One of the attendants of the store, who had been wounded, had been taken to an hospital, and fell into the hands of the authorities,
Emmet's object was, to defer his attempt till the month of nevertheless, fully cognizant of his intentions. His two brothers, Thomas and Robert dined with him in Paris on the day previous to the latter's departure for Ireland. His chances of success appeared on examination, meagre, and various attempts were made to dissuade the young enthusiast from plunging into an undertaking so replete with bloodshed and peril. —Fitzpatrick's Life and Times of Cloncurry.