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but I did not wish uselessly to shed blood. I gave no signal for the rest, and they all escaped.
“ I arrived time enough in the country to prevent that part of it, which had already gone out with one of my men, to dissuade the neighbourhood from proceeding. I found, that by a. mistake of the messenger, Wicklow would not rise that night ; I sent off to prevent it from doing so the next, as it intended. It offered to rise, even after the defeat, if I wished
but I refused. Had it risen, Wexford would have done the same.
It began to assemble ; but its leader kept it back, till he knew the fate of Dublin. In the state Kildare was in, it would have done the same. I was repeatedly solicited, by some of those who were with me, to do so ; but I constantly refused. The more remote counties did not rise, for want of money to send them the signal agreed on.
“I know how men without candour will pronounce on this failure, without knowing one of the circumstances that occasioned it: they will consider only that they predicted it. Whether its failure was caused by chance, or by any of the grounds on which they made their prediction, they will not care ; they will make no distinction between a prediction fulfilled and justified—they will make no compromise of errors— they will not recollect that they predicted also, that no system could be formed—that no secrecy nor confidence could be restored—that no preparations could be made—that no plan could be arranged—that no day could be fixed, without being instantly known at the Castle—that government only waited to let the conspiracy ripen, and crush it at their pleasure—and that on these grounds only did they predict its miscarriage. The very same men, that after success would have flattered, will now calumniate. The very same men that would have made an offering of unlimited sagacity at the shrine of victory, will not now be content to take back that portion that belongs of right to themselves, but would violate the sanctuary of misfortune, and strip her of that covering that candour would have left her.
I now proceed to give some account of the principal leaders, and the most active of the subordinate agents of Robert Emmet
Mr. John Allen, a native of Dublin, now a colonel in the French service, was in 1803, a partner of Mr. Hickson, of 36, College-green, in the woollen-drapery business. He had been tried and acquitted at Maidstone, in February, 1798, on the same occasion, and on the same charge, as Arthur O'Connor. John Allen was the son of a respectable man in trade, in the Liberty, carrying on an extensive business at No. 44, Pimlico. John Allen was the person in whom Robert Emmet appears to have reposed most confidence ; and there certainly was none of his associates more deserving of it. His subsequent career is an ample proof of the truth of that assertion. Allen was acquainted with Lord W- I am informed by Mr. K—, that William Putnam M'Cabe was in Dublin, in 1803, during the time the preparations were going on for the insurrection. Not many nights before the outbreak, he called on Allen ; and Mr. K.'s impression was, from the intimate nature of his communications with his friend, that M'Cabe was concerned in Emmet's business. Dowdall frequently called, and Mr. K- thought favourably of him. After the failure, all those who had been implicated in the business fled. Dowdall and Allen went that night to Butterfield-lane, and from that place proceeded to Aliburn's, of Windy-harbour. There they remained for some time. The yeomanry visited the house ; but Allen and his companions used to conceal themselves during the day in a ditch, at the rear of the house, which was covered with briars. Hickson at length came to town, and for security, took
up his abode within the walls of Trinity College. A friend of his, a medical man now living, * who had rooms in College, contrived to get an acquaintance of his, who had likewise rooms there, to go out of town, and Allen was put into them. This
* I had been informed, that the Collegian in question was Dr. James M'Cabe; but Mr. Hickson says, and his information cannot be called in question, that the fact was not so.
“ friend in need,"
» who was
a friend indeed” to Allen, was a member of the College corps : he procured a military uniform for Allen, and made arrangements for his passage with the master of a vessel, that was about to sail to what port I have not been informed. Dowdall, about this time, came into town, and met Allen dressed in uniform with his friend. It was arranged that Dowdall should embark with Allen ; and the necessary arrangements for that purpose were made. Preparations were made for their going on board a boat, at some intermediate point between the Rock and Killiney. Allen, dressed in military uniform, and Dowdall in plain clothes, accompanied by their College friend, in his regimentals
, proceeded from Windy-harbour towards the place of embarkation (by the fields), and when they approached the sea-side, they observed some soldiers (two or three) coming out of their way towards them. The good effects of facing the enemy boldly; were exhibited on this occasion. One of the soldiers evidently suspected the party ; for he questioned them about the corps that Allen and his College friend belonged to, and eventually. told them, they must go with him to his officer. The Collegian interfered, and said, “My good fellow, this is carrying the joke too far ; yet I would be sorry to be obliged to get your officer to punish you for your folly." There was a disposition shown, on the part of the soldier, to lay hands on one of the party ; but the motion of those of Allen and his friend, and the corresponding expression of their features, took the soldier and his comrades aback. They wished the gentlemen a good morning, and in all probability, it was well for them they did SO. Allen and Dowdall got safely on board ship, and out of the reach of their enemies.
The following account of Mr. Allen was transmitted to me by Mr. B. P. Binns, from America, communicated by a person who speaks of an intimate acquaintance with Colonel Allen, who is now residing in Caen, in Normandy—a man no less honoured for his distinguished bravery in the field, than respected and esteemed for his private virtues, by all who know him, and amongst them, by some members of my own family :
“He entered the French service on his arrival in France, and advanced from the rank of lieutenant to that of colonel, solely by his services, and they were of the most daring character. It was he who led the storming party at the taking of
Ciudad Roderigo, in Spain, and was severely wounded above the thigh when he had gained the wall. The reward was his colonelcy. He was taken prisoner shortly after, and confined, with other French officers, on an island, I should say a rock, near Corunna. Luckily for him he had been made a prisoner by the Spanish army. Had he fallen into the hands of the English, or had they known any thing about his capture, he would have been transferred to England, though an adopted citizen of France, and made to suffer the dreadful penalties of high treason.
"He was exchanged, and, with the others, returned into France, his uniform held together by patching and sewing, in rags, the uniform in which he had been made prisoner ; he had no other during his imprisonment and exposure on this bleak rock. He came time enough, however, for the campaign of 1813, which terminated at Leipsic; was in that retreat ; in the horrible distress and night battle at Hanau; re-entered France ; was at Montmirail and at Laon ; had still a gleam of hope, when the news of Marmont's defection, and the occupation of Paris, crushed every thing. He joined the Emperor Napoleon at his return; and was speedily demanded by the English government, at the second occupation of Paris ; was arrested, and conducted to the frontier.
“ The Bourbons had still so much shame as not to surrender him on French ground.
The gens d'armes who happened to conduct him, had been soldiers, and he an officer ; there was a long struggle between old recollection and their duty ; between the memory of times past, and the delivery of an old officer to the English guard waiting to receive him. This did not terminate till they were at the last station of French ground.
" They lingered on the road, and stopped for a night at a village a league or two within the frontier. The mayor provided a strong room for the prisoner, which, in their care for security, they examined scrupulously, locking the door upon themselves. The night came, the last night before the old officer of the Empire, a gallant Irishman, was to be delivered to those who never spare.
"The gens d'armes asked leave to sup with him, and, as they got up to conduct him to the room, one of them said, “Monsieur le Colonel, the room in which you are to be confined is
strong, but one of the iron bars of the window is loose
; trust you will not escape.' It was a hint.
At eleven o'clock at night he was in the street, with a bundle and his own sword, which they left in the room. He made for the Loire, but the army had melted away ; and, after the foreigners withdrew, and that France was herself again, he appeared, claimed his half-pay, and is still living.
" He has a small sum in the French funds, and thus can live : for half-pay in France is a wretched thing.
“ He retired into Normandy, having sent for his two sisters, very old ladies, to live with him on their joint income and his
I should say went for, for as one of them is blind, and neither able to travel alone, he came over here to Dublin, under a feigned name.
Who could recognize a man broken by service and years, fourteen of which were as many campaigns ? Strangely enough, one of the first faces he met was that of Major Sirr, so infamously notorious during the rebellion and since, as Town-major of Dublin ; but his mother could not recognize Colonel Allen to-day.
He entered the capital with one packet, and left it with the next. His sisters had notice, and were prepared.
“ This was the return to his own home of the man who rose up against tyranny forty years before. He found it as he had left it, IN THE HANDS OF STRANGERS. Every thing had changed in Europe ; nothing in Ireland.
Mr. Henry Grattan, in the life of his father, gives the following account of Dowdall :
“There was an individual of the name of William Dowdall, a natural son of Hussey Burgh. The distinguished part that Burgh bad taken on behalf of the liberties of his country, at the period of the revolution in 1782, has been already stated. For him, and for his memory, Mr. Grattan entertained the warmest affection.
· Dowdall was a young man of pleasing figure, good address, and an interesting manner; he had been well educated, and was not deficient in information ; he was ardent and enthusiastic, a great admirer of his father's principles, and those also