« ForrigeFortsæt »
II. That they, and their friends in England, took infinite pains to defeat every attempt for the restoration of peace, or even a cessation of hostilities, on any terms whatever; and were, therefore, with the rage of demons, determined on a war of extermination; and
“ An Irish parliament sat for three days in Dublin. By expelling the members actually in rebellion, and by excluding those who refused to take the oath of supremacy, they were reduced to an inconsiderable number. Yet they breathed the utmost fury against the Romish party ; declared for a rigorous execution of the penal statutes; and urged, both to the king and English Parliament, the necessity of new and severe laws against recusants. The English parliament echoed these sentiments. The bills were prepared for transmission, and the utmost vengeance denounced against Popery ; as if their sole purpose were to exasperate the insurgents to the utmost, or as if they had been already completely reduced."379
“ To involve as many as possible in the guilt of rebellion was part of the plan adopted by the party of the lords justices, whose great object was an extensive forfeiture of lands. Their agents were indefatigable in the procuring of indictments, not only against open rebels, but also those whose conduct was at all capable of being brought into question. Against the gentry of the Pale was principally directed the rage of their prosecution."380
“ It is too evident, that as the supine carelessness of some did encourage the Irish to rebel, so there were others in power, who were so taken up with the contemplation of forfeitures, that they rather increased the fuel, than took care to suppress the flame."381
380 Gordon, I. 403.
379 Leland, III. 197. 381 Nalson, II. 629.
III. That they devoured in idea the estates of those whom they goaded into insurrection.*
The evidence produced in the second chapter, page 58 to 62, might be deemed sufficient for the purpose. It is copious, conclusive, and irresistible. But more than ordinary pains, and a greater host of testimony than usual, are necessary for a writer who enters the lists against inveterate opinions, long regarded as incontrovertible, and cherished under the invigorating and congenial
*“ The lords justices, in a private letter of their own to the speaker, exclusive of the rest of the council, besought the Commons to assist them with a grant of some competent proportion of the rebels' lands! Here the reader will find the key that unlocks the whole secret of their iniquitous practices; and here he will find the motives to the orders they gave for receiving no submissions ; for issuing no proclamations of pardon at first, as the Parliament had suggested ; and in short for all their backwardness in putting an end to the rebellion, of which several opportunities offered ; and consequently for their sacrificing the peace and happiness of their country, and the lives of thousands of their fellow subjects."'382
“ Extensive forfeitures were the favourite object of the chief governors and their friends. The Commons of England had very early petitioned that the king would not alienate any of the escheated lands, that might accrue to the crown from the rebellion in Ireland : and they had lately proceeded in a scheme for raising money from the lands thus expected to escheate. A bill was framed for repaying those who should advance certain sums, for suppressing of the rebels, (as was pretended,) by vesting them with proportional estates in Ireland, on terms highly advantageous to a new English plantation. It evidently tended to exasperate the malcontents, and to make all accommodation desperate : but it was not on this account less acceptable to the popular leaders."383 382 Warner, 199.
383 Leland, III. 186, 187.
influence of bigotry, selfishness, and strong prejudice. We therefore proceed to produce facts, to establish these important positions.
A proclamation, of an ambiguous character, was published in January, 1642, which appeared to promise pardon to such of the insurgents as laid down their arms, and submitted themselves to the government. Numbers of the lords of the Pale, who had been reluctantly goaded into the war by the brutal ferocity of Sir Charles Coote, acting under the desolating orders of the lords justices, gladly availed themselves of this invitation ; laid down their arms; surrendered to the duke of Ormond; claimed his protection ; and flattered themselves with the fond, but alas ! delusive hope of being restored to peace and safety. Had they been received with the indulgence and forgiveness the proclamation appeared to offer, their example would have been generally, if not universally, followed, and the horrors of war brought to an early close; or if any number rejected the proffered mercy, they could have been readily crushed.
The lords justices were as dreadfully alarmed as a fell tiger, whose prey has nearly escaped his ravenous jaws. All their hopes of plunder were likely to be defeated, and their golden harvest of confiscation to be snatched out of their hands, at the moment when they regarded it secure beyond the power of fate. They adopted a most daring and profligate measure, which relieved
them from a result that would have defeated all their schemes, but which blasts their character for ever, and exposes them to infamy and abhorrence. They ordered Ormond to admit of no more submissions; to receive those that offered to surrender themselves, merely as prisoners of war ;* and, in order to avoid the danger of
*"They who had not engaged in actual hostilities, they who were only accused of harbouring, or paying contributions to the rebels, crowded to the earl of Ormond, and claimed the advantage of the royal proclamation. The lords justices, who not only favoured the designs of their friends in England, but expected to have their own services rewarded by a large portion of forfeitures, resolved to discourage these pacific dispositions. Ormond was directed to make no distinction between noblemen and other rebels; to receive those who should surrender, only as prisoners of war; and to contrive that they should be seized by the soldiers, without admitting them to his presence. They who were sent, in custody, to Dublin, though men of respectable characters, and families engaged in no action with the rebels, some, sufferers by their rapine, averse to their proceedings, known protectors of the English, were all indiscriminately denied access to the justices ; closely imprisoned ; and threatened with the utmost severity of the law.?"384
“A cessation was recommended by Clanricarde, as a means of giving them some leisure to reflect on their precipitate conduct; to recall them to their allegiance; and to prevent the desolation of the kingdom: but the chief governors were actuated by different motives. They severely condemned the protection granted to Galway : their orders were express and peremptory, that the earl should RECEIVE NO MORE SUBMISSIONS : every commander of every garrison was ordered not to presume to hold any correspondence with the Irish, or Papists; to give no protections; but to prosecute all rebels and their harbourers with fire and sword.' 384 Leland, III. 188.
385 Idem, 198.
being forced to pardon any of the repentant insurgents, who might induce the duke to pledge his honour for their safety, they directed him to contrive, as far as practicable, that they should be seized by the soldiers, and thus debarred of access to his person. These orders were given to all their other officers, and produced the horrible effects the wretched miscreants intended, to prolong and extend the horrors of war, and multiply confiscations to their utmost wish.
They had subsequently instructions from the Parliament of England to issue a proclamation, offering a pardon, on certain conditions, to such as would submit to their authority, and abandon the cause of the insurgents. With these instructions, they did not comply; and assigned the futile reason, that their former proclamation had been unavailing, although they had themselves, by their sinister policy, rendered it nugatory.*
*“ In another instance, the conduct of these wretched governors was still more suspicious. The parliament of England had recommended the offer of a general pardon to such rebels as should submit within a certain time, to be limited by the lords justices. No proclamation was published, no pardon offered, in consequence of these instructions. To palliate this omission, they pleaded the inefficacy of their former proclamations : the first of which only called on the king's subjects to abandon the rebels, without any positive assurance of mercy: the other offered a pardon, not to the rebels of Ulster, where the insurrection chiefly raged, but to those of Longford and Louth, Meath, and Westmeath. In the two last counties no body of rebels had appeared. And if any outrages or insurrections were to be suppressed, the lords justices contrived