Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

on

house ; and, it is worthy of observation, that in the midst of this scene of sanguinary tumult no injury or insult was offered to her, or attempted to be offered to her, by the infuriated rabble. Mr. Fitzgerald states, that the person who rescued her from her dreadful situation was Robert Emmet.

Miss Wolfe, after remaining some time in the place of refuge she was placed in, proceeded on foot to the Castle, and entered the Secretary's office, in a distracted state, and is said to have been the first bearer of the intelligence of her father's murder. Lord Kilwarden was found lying on the pavement dreadfully and mortally wounded ; when the street was cleared of the insurgents, he was carried almost lifeless to the watch-house in Vickar-street. On my arrival in Dublin,” says James Hope,

the first of November, 1803, I met an acquaintance, who had been prisoner in Vickar-street watch-house, when Lord Kilwarden was brought in, after receiving his death wounds. Major Swan, and some officers, shortly afterwards came there ; and one of those persons said, in a great rage, that he would have a gallows erected at the watch-house door, to hang the villains who were then confined there. His lordship called thrice to Major Swan, before he answered. 'What are you going to do, Swan,' said his lordship ; 'to hang these rebels, my lord,' was the reply. His lordship said, 'let no man be put to death, but by the laws of his country. At that instant an officer appeared, with a party of horse, and ordered the street to be cleared of all obstruction. To Lord Kilwarden's injunction, my informant says, Hope considered he owed his life, and not only his, but every prisoner in the watch-house at that time owed his life to that good man's interference. When Lord Kilwarden," continues Hope," was Attorney-General, he had to prosecute a number of very young men, who were charged with treason, in 1795 ; they were found guilty by the jury, but Lord Kilwarden took an opportunity of representing their youth to the judge, and spoke of them as school-boys, with a view of mitigating their punishment, and having it changed to transportation. One of the young men said he would prefer death, received his sentence, and was executed ; the others were transported. A near relation of the young man who suffered death, I was informed, was present when Lord Kilwarden's carriage was stopped in Thomas-street, the night of

the insurrection, (this man's name, Mr. Curran states, was Shannon,) and, hearing his name, exclaimed, 'that is the man I want,' sprung forward, and stabbed him with his pike ; others soon followed the example of this villain. Had I been there, I would have risked my life to have saved Lord Kilwarden from hurt or harm.* I once went to Lord Kilwarden's house, with a woman, whose husband was in prison, to solicit his liberation. After hearing her complaint, he said, 'poor woman, I will do what I can for you.' Then, my lord,' said she, 'I have no fear for my husband's safety. Her husband was liberated.

"I have made many inquiries, of persons who were present when this barbarous act was committed ; of others, who, though not present, were with Robert Emmet, and had been subsequently informed of the particulars of this murder. I never met with one who said he knew the persons by whom it was committed, or, from his own knowledge, who could tell what part of the country they came from ; whether they were natives of Dublin, or whether the act was one of private vengeance, of unpremeditated ferocity, or of brutal drunkenness. It has been stated, that his lordship was mistaken for Lord Carlton. It is likewise stated, as we find, that the relative of a convicted prisoner, who harboured malice against his lordship, was the murderer. My opinion is, there is no truth in these reports ; but that the sacrifice of the most merciful, just, and humane judge in the land, and, therefore, the most popular, was carried into effect by monsters, in the human form, who mixed in the ranks of the insurgents

, but were not of them, for the purpose of bringing the greatest possible obloquy on the people, and doing the greatest possible mischief to the prospects of their leader, and the character of his undertaking.

" The murder of the innocent men in the barn of Scullabogue ;t the massacre of the defenceless Protestant prisoners

* It is a curious circumstance, and a pleasing one, to observe that the same thought, and nearly in the same words, is expressed by two men, who were confidential agents of Robert Emmet.—R. R. M.

* You refer to the Scullabogue massacre, and, to my expression, that 'you slurred over the matter,' I think so still. That perfidious act was designed by the agent of the Irish Government, to palsy the efforts of the North, at the most critical period of the people's cause. * * * That massacre was concocted in the Castle of Dublin! and the .concoction of it was entrusteď to Mr. Secretary Cooke. I will state to

6

on the bridge of Wexford ; the murder of Lord Mountjoy, the strenuous supporter of the claim of the Roman Catholics ; the murder of Lord O'Neil, the early advocate of the same cause ; the murder of Lord Kilwarden, the most upright of the magistrates of the land, “the wisest, because the gentlest in her councils,” the most humane of judges, among the most deservedly respected of the public men of his day. These are acts which are involved in mystery, which time, perhaps, will yet unveil. Can such acts of savagery, of wanton, profitless, boot. less, barbarity, be reconciled with the feelings, the passions, the purposes, the interests of the multitude. I do not believo the murder of Lord Kilwarden, was the unpremeditated act of a ferocious rabble. I believe it was the premeditated act of wicked men, in the ranks of the insurgents, for the purpose of defeating and disgracing their proceedings. Indeed we have a slight proof of this, in the admission of one of the approvers, on the trial of Redmond,—he swore that he was present at the attack on Lord Kilwarden, and that, when Mr. Wolfe tried to make his escape, he, the witness, ordered the people to bring him, back. The poor gentleman was accordingly brought back, and piked to death ; but this latter circumstance the approver, discreetly, declined to touch on. There was frightful perfidy had recourse to, in the encouragement of the hopes of the conspirators at the beginning, in the you sir, word for word, what my sources of information on the subject were, and by whom, and when I was informed about it. I was passing through the Castle-yard, in Dublin, in the year 1805, where I lived from 1802 to 1817, when I was spoken to by a friend of mine, and an old schoolfellow, Bartholomew Corby, Esq., register to one of the Masters in Chancery of that day, Mr. Westby (both these gentlemen are Protestants), and both of them were standing together, on the occasion I refer to. My friend introduced me to Mr. Westby. While we talked of the news of the day, Mr. Westby suddenly arrested our attention, by calling on us to look at the two men, who were then standing at the office door of the Under Secretary of State. He said, 'Look at those two fellowsthey are the very men whom Cooke sent down to the Scullabogue Barn and caused it to be set on fire by, on the 5th June, 1798. When several respectable protestants, and loyal men, who were then prisoners to the rebels, were destroyed ; and a report was circulated, by order of Government, that it was done by the Catholics, because it was a Catholic rebellion. The object was gained by the in. fernal scheme. The Northern Presbyterians, believing this story, gave up their arms, saying, 'we did not take them up for any such

purpose.' Letter fom Benjamin Pemberton Binns to Dr. Madden.

affected ignorance of their machinations, and in the character given to them at their close.

Emmet halted his party at the market-house with the view of restoring order, but tumult and insubordination prevailed ; during his ineffectual efforts, word was brought that Lord Kilwarden was murdered, he retraced his steps, proceeded towards the scene of barbarous outrage, and in the course of a few minutes returned to his party ; from that moment he gave up all hope of effecting any national object. He saw that his attempt had merged into a work of pillage and murder. He and a few of the leaders who were about him, abandoned their project and their followers. A detachment of the military made its appearance at the corner of Cutpurse-row, and commenced firing on the insurgents, who immediately fled in all directions. The rout was general in less than an hour from the time they sallied forth from the Depot. The only place where any thing like resistance was made was on the Coombe, where Colonel Brown was killed, and two members of the Liberty Rangers, Messrs. Edmeston and Parker. The guardhouse of the Coombe, had been unsuccessfully attacked, though with great determination ; a great many dead bodies were found there. The mayoralty house had been attacked and robbed of its arms.

“ It now only remains to show what were the chances of success on which Robert Emmet counted, what were his plans, and what were, in his opinion, the causes of its failure. These matters can be best explained in Robert Emmet's own words. The following statement of his plans and intentions is extracted from Mr. Curran's admirable biography of his father. The statement was drawn up by Robert Emmet, and addressed in a letter to his brother, written after his conviction. That letter was never transmitted to Thomas Addis Emmet, and the latter complained in bitter terms of its being withheld from him. *

* The gentleman to whom T. A. Emmet addressed those complaints had inquiries made after the detained letter of his brother. One side of the letter was discovered the Castle by an eminent leading functionary, the late Baron Wolfe ; and, strange to say, the missing portion was found in London by the gentleman to whom T. A. Emmet addressed on the subject. The authenticity of the document there is no doubt of, indeed its appearance in Mr. Curran's work is a sufficient proof of that fact.

"In a publication ascribed to the Under Secretary, Mr. Marsden, a sort of resumée of the state trials of 1803, it is stated, Mr. R. Emmet embraced Dr. Trevor at parting with him, when going to execution, and committed to his charge two letters, one addressed to his brother, and another to a person high in office, (Mr. Marsden.)"

ACCOUNT OF THE LATE PLAN OF INSURRECTION IN DUBLIN, AND CAUSE OF ITS FAILURE.*

“The plan was comprised under three heads :-Points of Attack-Points of Checkand Lines of Defence. The points of attack were three—the Pigeon House,

the Castle, and the Artillery Barracks at Island Bridge.

“ The attack was to begin with the Pigeon House-number of men 200—the place of assembly, the Strand, between Irishtown and Sandymount-the time, low water—the men to divide into two bodies : one to cross by a sandbank, between the Pigeon House and Light House, where they were to mount the wall; the other to cross at Devonshire Wharf

, both parties to detach three men with blunderbusses, and three with jainted pikes concealed, who were to seize the sentries and the gates for the rest to rush in. Another plan was formed for high water, by means of pleasure or fishing boats, going out in the morning, one by one, and returning in the evening to the dock at the Pigeon House, where they were to land. A rocket from this was to be the signal for the other two, viz :

“The Castle, the number of men 200. The place of assembly, Patrick-street Depot. A house in Ship-street was expected, also one near the gate. A hundred men to be armed with jointed pikes and blunderbusses, the rest to support them, and march openly with long pikes. To begin by the entrance of two job coaches, hackney coachmen, two footmen, and six persons inside, to drive in at the upper gate into the yard;

* Annexed to the copy from which the above has been transcribed is the following memorandum, in the hand writing of a gentleman who held a confidential situation under the Irish Government.-" The original of this paper was delivered by Mr. Emmet on the morning just before he was brought out to execution, in order to be forwarded to his brother, Thomas Addis EMMET, at Paris."

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »