Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Robert Emmet to commence, and carry on his operations. Lord Castlereagh stated, falsely, in the House of Commons, that they were entirely supplied by Emmet. That he had come into the possession of the sum of £3000, by his father's death, which he had invested in his revolutionary speculation. Now, the friends of Robert Emmet state, that the sum which came into bis possession, on the death of his father, was £1500. The following statement contains the most important information on that subject that has been yet laid before the public ; and I am indebted to my excellent friend, Mr. P. V. Fitzgerald, for putting me in communication with the late Mr. Fitzgerald, of Fleet-street, Dublin, my informant, on the matters above referred to. Mr. Fitzgerald was a near relative of Mr Philip Long, of Crow-street, and the person who had the chief conduct of his business in 1803. He was arrested after Emmet's failure, as was likeivise Mr. Long ; but in consideration of his youth, was soon liberated. He was then about eighteen years of age.

Mr. Fitzgerald was a mercantile gentleman of respectability, with the clearest recollection of the events in question, of any person I ever conversed with in relation to them. His knowledge of the subject, was that of a person who was intimately acquainted with the origin of that conspiracy, the proceedings of the prime mover, and with every act in furtherance of it, on the part of the main supporter of his enterprise. This valuable information was communicated to me at several interviews, and written down by me at each communication. Many weeks had not passed over, after procuring this information, which no other living person could afford, when Mr. Fitzgerald was seized with a paralytic stroke, which broke down his health ; and in a few months this amiable gentleman was

“Robert Emmet," says Mr. Fitzgerald, “came over from France, in October, 1802. Very soon after his arrival, he dined at Mr. Philip Long's, in Crow-street, of the house of Roche and Co., general merchants. Long was a first cousin of Fitzgerald's, and both were intimately acquainted with Mr. Emmet. When he arrived in Dublin, he professed to have come over about his private affairs, and not about public matters. He went into society, and visited people of consequence : he dined occasionally at James Ryan's, of Marlborough-street,

in the grave.

the gentleman who was styled Duke of Marlborough ; and also at Mr. George Evans *

The preliminary articles of peace were signed towards the end of October, 1801. This had put an end to any idea of attempting a new struggle at that period ; but war being de clared in March, 1803, altered the aspect of affairs in Ireland. Then Emmet began to talk seriously of preparations. Mr. Long contributed the funds. All the money transactions between Mr. Emmet and him, passed through Fitzgerald's hands. Mr. Long advanced altogether, to Emmet, about £1,400. The first money advanced to Mr. Emmét was in May, 1803. All the money thus advanced was lost. Mr. Long was then rich : he was always generous. He died in reduced circumstances, but not in absolute poverty.

“The 23rd of July, Mr. Long came to the office in Crowstreet, from the country, about mid-day. He said to Fitzgerald, there will be a rising to-night.' He then went to his desk, and searched among his papers for his will, which he sent to Mr. P -, to keep for him. He told Fitzgerald there were three separate attacks to be made ;--one on the Pigeon House, another on the Castle, and one on the Park battery. There were 1500 men to come in from Kildare ; ; vast numbers from other parts; but most reliance was placed on the men of Kildare. The Kildare men were to be formed in Thomas-street, and marched to the Castle, which was to be attacked and seized on. This plan was objected to by Fitzgerald. He said, he could not see what use there could be in parading along Thomas-street; why not begin the attack from Palace-street, where there was a waste house, close to the Castle-yard. This was, however, no time for new proposals. The expectation of the country tising generally, when the Castle was taken, was not an idle one. That day a náraber of strange people came to Mr. Long's. Dowdall came there six or seven times. Clarke, of Palmerstow!, bad been in to the government in the course of the day; 'or the 23rd of July. His men had demanded their wages in the morning, instead of the evening. This caused him to suspect and to watch their movements: he was shot at, coming along the quay, by some unknown person. When he came to the Castle, the

* Of Portrane, whence Hamilton Rowan escaped.

Viceroy and Commander-in-chief were absent. He saw Mr. Marsden, and informed him of his suspicions ; he had done so before, and Mr. Marsden treated it as a joke.

“ The Privy Council was summoned. Lord Kilwarden,* living at Lyons, county of Kildare, was sent for. He got the communication at six o'clock in the evening; he started for Dublin soon after, and was passing through Thomas-street about nine, when he was attacked. When attacked, Emmet was at Corn-market, with his men in full march, without having encountered any opposition. Emmet being informed that a gentleman and lady had been attacked by the rear body, instantly halted his men, and returned to stop the work of murder. He took the lady out of the carriage, and placed her in safety near the corner of Vickar-street; he returned to his men, and by this time, numbers had drawn off ; and Stafford, the baker, who subsequently married John Hevey's sister, refused to let Emmet go on-' there was no use in his going on.' Stafford was taken long after, and was to have been tried, but a flaw was discovered in the indictment. He and Quigley were to be tried together ; but in consequence of that flaw, the indictment was quashed : they were to have been tried again, but never were. The two fittest men for the work, were Stafford and Allen ; the two most unfit, were Emmet and Long. Emmet had no knowledge of the world. He placed trust in every man ; but he was the most honest and single-minded of human beings. Mr. Long was an excellent man in council, a good speaker, a good reasoner, and a good writer, a strong-minded man ; but in action he wanted nervehe was easily frightened. He was most devotedly attached to his country, and most honest to his cause—he would have mado. •amy sacrifice :fyr .it: He dever went to the Depot in

Thonja street; neither did Fitzgerald nor Mr. Allen. Neighan was a felfow-clerk with Fitzgerala, in the service of Mr. Long. He svas: young nian of great determination, had a turn for military affairs, and subsequently, entered the army, He took a deep interest in She business of the 23rd of July.

“On that night, sixteen of the leaders were supping with

* Lord Kilwarden was the nephew of the celebrated Theobald Wolfe, one of the eminent lawyers of his day, the gentleman after whom young Tone was called.

Hevey, in St. Thomas-court, opposite Mass-lane, when the firing commenced. In fact, when they ought to have been with their men, they were carousing with Hevey. While the preparations were going on, Allen's warehouse, in College-green, opposite King William's statue, was a rendezvous for the initiated.

“At half-past seven, in the evening of the 23rd of July, Fitzgerald walked through the Castle-yard.

There were no preparations ; the place was perfectly quiet and silent ; the gates were wide open !

“At half-past five in the evening, he had visited the old Custom-house barracks ; saw General Dunn apparently employed in taking precautions; and heard him ordering some soldiers to put the women out of the barracks, and to allow no men in : he then galloped off. Fitzgerald and Neighan were present when he gave the orders and rode off.

At half-past seven, a body of workmen, linked two and two, about twenty-four in number, attacked the Mansion-house, seized the arms, and came away, marching down Dame-street, and passing by the lower Castle-yard, and the Exchange, on their way to Thomas-street.

“On the 23rd of July, Robert Emmet sent to Mr. Long for £500. Mr. Long sent Fitzgerald to Robert Fyan, an eminent merchant, then living on Usher's-quay, for the money, which was due by Fyan to Long. Much delay ensued in giving a draft for the amount; and when given, the bank was closed—the business hours were past. Fyan knew the runners of the bank ; and he went with Fitzgerald to the bank, to the runner's office, where they are accustomed to be after bank hours, to receive payment of bills before handed over to the public notary. At six o'clock precisely, Fitzgerald received the money, and was just going out of the bank, when one of the runners said, 'news of an intended insurrection had reached government : the guards were doubled. The Castle gates, nevertheless, were wide open at half-past seven. In consequence of this intelligence, the money was not taken to Emmet, and he never received it.

“The explosion of the Depot in Patrick-street, took place on the 18th of July. The roof was partly blown off ; one man was killed, and another wounded, and taken to the hospital. The day of the explosion, Robert Emmet, William

6

Dowdall, John Allen, John Hickson, John Hevey, and Mr. J. M were dining at Joe Alleyburnes, at Killinacudd. Mr. Long went to them, to inform them of the explosion. All the materials saved, were conveyed to John Palmer's, of Cutpurse-row; but in the removal of a bag of flints, a great number had dropped out of the bag near his door, and on the following Monday, Palmer was arrested, on suspicion by Justice Bell, and released the day following. In one of the Orange Dublin papers, some days after the explosion, that affair was noticed. The government,' it said, 'was sleeping over a mine ;-for what purpose, but for insurrection, were these combustibles preparing ! Government took no steps.

Emmet's intention was not to commence for some months later, waiting till the greater part of the troops should be drawn off for the French war. He counted on the accomplishment of Buonaparte's threat of invading England. Mr. Long, after the explosion, hid himself for some time in the house of William Cole, a sboemaker, on Ormond-quay.

The proclamation, by common report, assigned to Emmet, was written by Mr. Long in his own house in Crow-street ; it was dictated by him to Neighan.* It was written on Friday evening, the 22d of July, and was printed at Stockdale's, in Abbey-street, and the porter waited till they were struck off, and carried a basket of them over to Long's. Old John Palmer, of Cutpurse-row, was frequently employed carrying messages from Mr. Emmet to Crow-street. A great deal of money passed through his hands.†

Miss Biddy Palmer, his daughter, was a confidential agent both of Emmet's and Russell's. She was sister to young Palmer who took a prominent part in the affairs of 1798. Biddy Palmer was a sort of Irish Madame Roland ; she went about when it was dangerous for others to be seen abroad, conveying messages from Emmet, Long, Hevey, Russell, and

* This proclamation is a totally different document to that headed, “Manifesto of the provisional government.”—R. R. M.

+ He had been imprisoned in 1798 for three months, for having a seditious pamphlet in his possession. His son John, who had to fly the country for the part he took in 1798, was drowned in Holland The father's business was ruined by his long imprisonment from 1803 till 1806; and the daughter is now living in poverty in Cumberlandstreet, Curtain Road, London.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »