Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

CHA P. any scept, according to the ancient customs, had the proLVI. perty of any particular eftate; but as the whole fcept

had a title to a whole territory, they ignorantly prefer1641. red this barbarous community before the more fecure and narrower poffeffions affigned them by the English. An indulgence, amounting almoft to a toleration, had been given to the catholic religion: But fo long as the churches and the ecclefiaftical revenues were kept from the priests, and they were obliged to endure the neighbourhood of profane heretics, being themselves discontented, they endeavoured continually to retard any cordial reconciliation between the English and the Irish nations. Confpiracy THERE was a gentlemen, called Roger More, who, in Ireland, though of a narrow fortune, was defcended from an antient Irish family, and was much celebrated among his countrymen for valour and capacity. This man first formed the project of expelling the English, and afferting the independency of his native country N. He fecretly went from chieftain to chieftain, and rouzed up every latent principle of difcontent. He maintained a close correfpondence with lord Maguire, and Sir Phelim O'Neale, the most powerful of the old Irish. By converfation, by letters, by his emiffaries, he represented to his countrymen the motives of a revolt. He obferved to them, That, by the rebellion of the Scots, and factions of the English, the king's authority in Britain was reduced to fo low a condition, that he never could exert himself with any vigour, in maintaining the English dominion over Ireland; that the catholics, in the Irish houfe of commons, affifted by the proteftants, had fo diminished the royal prerogative and the power of the lieutenant, as would much faciliate the conducting, to its defired effect, any confpiracy or combination, which could be formed; that the Scots, having fo fuccefsfully thrown off dependence on the crown of England, and affumed the government into their own hands, had fet an example to the Irifh, who had fo much greater oppreffions to complain of; that the English planters, who had expelled them their poffeffions, fuppreffed their religion, and bereaved them of their liberties, were but a handful in comparison of the natives; that they lived in the most fupine fecurity, interfperfed with their numerous enemies, trusting


N Nalfon, vol. ii. p. 543.



trufting to the protection of a small army, which was it- C H A P. felf scattered in inconfiderable divifions throughout the whole kingdom; that a great body of men, difciplined by the government, were now thrown loose, and were ready for any daring or defperate enterprize; that though the catholics had hitherto enjoyed, in fome tolerable measure, the exercife of their religion, from the moderation of their indulgent prince, they muft henceforth expect, that the government will be conducted by other maxims and other principles; that the puritanical parliament, having at last subdued their fovereign, would, no doubt, as foon as they had consolidated their authority, extend their ambitious enterprizes to Ireland, and make the catholics in that kingdom feel the fame furious perfecution, to which their brethren in England were at prefent expofed; and that a revolt in the Irish, tending only to vindicate their native liberty against the violence of foreign invaders, could never, at any time, be deemed rebellion; much less, during the present confusions, when their prince was, in a manner, a prifoner, and obedience must be paid, not to him, but to those who had traiterously ufurped his lawful authority o.

By these confiderations, More engaged all the heads of the native Irish into the confpiracy. The English of the pale, as they were called, or the old English planters, being all catholics, it was hoped, would afterwards join the party, which restored their religion to its antient fplendor and authority. The intention was, that Sir Phelim O Neale, and the other confpirators should begin an infurrection on one day, throughout the provinces, and should attack all the English fettlements; and that, on the very fame day, lord Maguire and Roger More should furprize the caftle of Dublin. The commencement of this revolt they fixed on the approach of winter; that there might be more difficulty in transporting forces from England. Succours to themselves and fupplies of arms they expected from France, in confequence of a promise made them by cardinal Richelieu. And many Irifh officers, who served in the Spanish troops, had given affurances of their concurrence, as foon as they faw an infurrection entered upon by their catholic brethren. News, which every day arrived from England, of the

o Temple, p. 72, 73, 78. Dugdale, p. 73.


CHA P. fury expreffed by the commons against all papists, struck LVI. fresh terror into the Irish nation, and both ftimulated the confpirators to execute their fatal purpofe, and gave them affured hopes of the concurrence of their countrymen P.


SUCH propenfity to a revolt was discovered in all the Irifh, that it was deemed unneceffary, as it was dangerous, to entrust the fecret into many hands; and the appointed day drew nigh, nor had any difcovery been yet made to the government. The king, indeed, had received information from his ambaffadors, that something was in agitation among the Irish in foreign parts; but though he gave warning to the administration in Ireland, the intelligence was entirely neglected Secret rumours, likewise, were heard of fome approaching confpiracy; but no attention was paid to them. The earl of Leicester, whom the king had appointed lieutenant, remained in London. The two justices, Sir William Parfons and Sir John Borlace, were men of small abilities; and, by an inconvenience, common to all factious times, owed their advancement to nothing but their zeal for that party, by whom every thing was now governed. Tranquil from their ignorance and inexperience, these men indulged themselves in the most profound repose, on the very brink of deftruction.

BUT they were awakened from their fecurity, the very day before that appointed for the commencement of hoftilities. The caftle of Dublin, by which the capital was commanded, contained arms for ro,000 men, with thirty-five pieces of cannon, and a proportionable quantity of ammunition: Yet, was this important place guarded, and that too without any care, by no greater force than fifty men, Maguire and More were already in town with a numerous band of their retainers; Others were expected that night: And, next morning, they were to enter upon, what they efteemed the eafieft of all enterprizes, the surprisal of the castle. O Conolly, an Irishman, but a proteftant, betrayed the confpiracy to Parfons R. The justices and council fled immediately, for fafety, into the castle, and re-inforced the guards. The

Rush. vol. v. p. 408.


P Dugdale, p. 74. vol. ii. p. 565. R Rufh. vol. v. p. 399. Nalfon, vol. ii. p. 520. May, book ii. p. 6.



The alarm was conveyed to the city, and all the protef- C H A P. tants prepared for defence. More efcaped: Maguire was taken; and Mahone, one of the confpirators, being likewise feized, first discovered to the juftices, the project of a general infurrection, and redoubled the apprehenfions, which were already universally diffused throughout Dublin S.

BUT though O Conolly's difcovery faved the castle Irish infrom a furprize, the confeffion, extorted from Mahone, furredion came too late to prevent the intended infurrection, and mafONeal and his confederates had already taken arms in facre. Ulfter. The Irish, every where intermingled with the English, needed but a hint from their leaders and priests to begin hoftilities against a people, whom they hated on account of their religion, and envied for their riches and prosperity T. The houses, cattle, goods, of the unwary English were first seized. Thofe, who heard of the commotions in their neighbourhood, instead of deferting their habitations, and affembling together for mutual protection, remained at home, in hopes of defending their property; and fell thus feparately into the hands of their enemies U. After rapacity had fully exerted itself, cruelty, and the most barbarous, that ever, in any nation, was known or heard of, began its operations. An universal maffacre commenced of the English, now defenceless, and paffively refigned to their inhuman foes. No age, no fex, no condition, was fpared. The wife weeping for her butchered husband, and embracing her helpless children was pierced with them, and perished by the same stroke w. The old, the young, the vigorous, the infirm, underwent a like fate, and were confounded in one common ruin. In vain did flight save from the first affault: Deftruction was, every where, let loose, and met the hunted victims at every turn. In vain was recourfe had to relations, to companions, to friends: All connexions were diffolved, and death was dealt by that hand, from which protection was implored and expected. Without provocation, without oppofition, the astonished English, living in profound peace and full fecurity, were maffacred by their nearest neighbours,


Rufh. vol. v. p. 400.
U Idem, p. 42.
w Idem.

s Temple, p. 17, 18, 19, 20. T Temple, p. 39, 40, 79.

P. 40.

* Idem, p. 39, 40.

CHAP. with whom they had long upheld a continued intercourse X of kindness and good offices *.



BUT death was the lightest punishment inflicted by thofe enraged rebels: All the tortures, which wanton cruelty could devife, all the lingering pains of body, the anguish of mind, the agonies of defpair, could not fatiate revenge excited without injury, and cruelty derived from no caufe. To enter into particulars would fhock the leaft delicate humanity. Such enormities, though attefted by undoubted evidence, appear almost incredible. Depraved nature, even perverted religion, encouraged by the utmost licence, reach not to fuch a pitch of ferocity; unless the pity, inherent in human breafts, be deftroyed by that contagion of example, which transports men beyond all the ufual motives of conduct and behaviour.

THE weaker fex themfelves, naturally tender to their own fufferings, and compaffionate to thofe of others, here emulated their more robust companions, in the practice of every cruelty Y. Even children, taught by the exam, ple, and encouraged by the exhortation of their parents, effayed their fecble blows on the dead carcaffes of defencelefs children of the English. The very avarice of the Irish was not a fufficient reftraint to their cruelty. Such was their frenzy, that the cattle, which they had feized, and by rapine had made their own, yet, because they bore the name of English, were wantonly flaughtered, or, when covered with wounds, turned loofe into the woods and defarts A.

THE ftately buildings or commodious habitations of the planters, as if upbraiding the floth and ignorance of the natives, were confumed with fire, or laid level with the ground. And where the miferable owners, shut up in their houses, and preparing for defence, perished in the flames, together with their wives and children, a double triumph was afforded to their infulting foes B

Ir any where a number affembled together, and, affuming courage from defpair, were refolved to sweeten death by a revenge of their affaffins; they were difarmed by capitulations, and promifes of fafety, confirmed


x Temple, P. 39% Temple, p. 100. Y Idem, p. 96, 101. Rush. vol. v. p. 415. A Idem, p. 84. B Temple, p. 99, 106. Rushworth, vol. v. p. 414.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »