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devastation of the persons and estates of divers of his Majesty's good and loyal subjects, . . . and taken, slain, and imprisoned great numbers of them."1 Three days afterwards the same Lords Justices announce that the insurgents "had already slain many most barbarously, hewed some to pieces, and exposed thousands to want and beggary who had good estates and lived plentifully."2 The Lords and Commons of England, in an order published in the same month, commence by stating that they have been "advertised of the dangerous conspiracy and rebellion in Ireland, by the treacherous and wicked instigations of Romish priests and Jesuits, for the bloody massacre and destruction of all Protestants living there." Charles I. himself, in a proclamation dated at Westminster on the 1st of January, 1642, speaks to the same effect. "Divers lewd and wicked persons," says his Majesty, “have of late risen in rebellion in our kingdom of Ireland . . . dispossessed many of our good and loyal subjects of the British nation and Protestants of their houses and lands, robbed and spoiled many thousands of our good subjects of the British nation and Protestants of their goods to great values, massacred multitudes of them, imprisoned many others, and some who have the honour to serve us as Privy Councillors of that our kingdom."4

Evidence has already been adduced to prove that the massacre commenced at the breaking out of the rebellion;5

1 See Lord Gormanstown's commission by the Lords Justices and Council, dated Castle of Dublin, November 2nd, 1641. Cox, ii., appendix viii.; Rushworth, iv. [409].


Rushworth, iv. [410]. In another letter of the same date (5th November, 1641) to the Speaker of the English House of Commons, the Irish Lords Justices say: "This kingdom and the lives of us all here, and all the Protestants in the kingdom were never in so great danger to be lost as at this instant-no age having produced in this kingdom an example of so much mischief done in so short a time as now we find acted here in less than a fortnight's space, by killing and destroying of so many English and Protestants in several parts, by robbing and spoiling of them and many thousands more of his Majesty's good subjects."-NALSON, ii. 893. We are to remember that Ireland had often before been the scene of awful 3 Borlase, p. 36; Cox, ii. 81.


4 See Borlase, p. 53, where the royal proclamation is given at length. See also Nalson, vol. ii. 809-10.

5 See before, p. 36, note (4). In Lord Somers's Tracts (vol. v. p. 621), there

but it was not to be expected that the authorities in Dublin would be immediately apprised of all the barbarities committed.1 There were cases in which not a single Protestant was left to tell the tale: and as many parts of the country were completely in the hands of the insurgents, it was often impossible for those who escaped the carnage to convey very speedy information. Owen O'Connolly, who discovered the plot in time to prevent the seizure of Dublin Castle, then reported to the Lords Justices that a scheme had been laid to destroy all the Protestants of Ireland3; and the result demonstrated that he had not been misinformed. The very next day the murders commenced; and those who were not killed on the spot were driven away naked and penniless from their dwellings. In every district, where the insurgents had sufficient power, the scheme of extirpation, either by death or expulsion, was rigorously executed.*

The allegation that very few persons were killed until the Protestants themselves commenced a massacre is a silly and transparent falsehood. It cannot appeal for support to a

is a copy of the sworn deposition of George Cottingham, parson of Monaghan, who, about the 30th of October, 1641, was cast with forty-eight others into a small and horrible dungeon where they were nearly stifled. Many of these were eventually either murdered with skeans, hanged, or drowned.

1 Curry, in his Historical Memoirs (p. 66), lays great stress upon the circumstance that, in a letter of the Lords Justices of Ireland to the Lord-Lieutenant in England, dated 25th October, 1641, no mention is made of murders committed. It is obvious that almost nothing could then have been known in Dublin of what had happened in Ulster only two days before. The government must have been quite ignorant of the general state of the province.

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He is described in the copy of his examination as 'Owen O'Connolly, gentleman." He wore a sword, and though in the employment of Sir John Clotworthy, he seems to have held a respectable position. He obtained a pension from Parliament for his services on this occasion.

* See his examination taken on the night of the 22nd October, 1641, in Rushworth, iv. 399.

4 It has been commonly supposed that the Protestants of Cavan escaped better than those of other parts of Ulster at this time; but Clogy, the son-in-law of Bedell, who was on the spot, assures us that the Bishop was "the only Englishman in all the County of Cavan that was permitted to stay under his own roof." Memoir, p. 180.

The following is a specimen of the accounts given by certain parties as to the origin of the massacre :-" The beginning of November was marked by the barbar

single shred of evidence. When the bloody carnival began, the English and Scottish settlers were living at ease, totally unprepared for any such outbreak. In almost all parts of the country they were far outnumbered by the natives; and it I would have been more than madness for the colonists to have engaged in an aggressive warfare. They were often either murdered or swept out of a district, before they had any opportunity of combining for self-defence. The assertion that a murderous outrage committed by Protestants, at Island Magee,1 near Carrickfergus, in the County of Antrim, was "the first massacre" perpetrated at this melancholy period, is a disgraceful fabrication. Neither then, nor for many years afterwards, did the Roman Catholics venture to produce any such apology. It became current, for the first

ous slaughter committed by the Scottish garrison of Carrickfergus in the Island Magee. Three thousand persons are said to have been driven into the fathomless North Sea, over the cliffs of that island, or to have perished by the sword. The ordinary inhabitants could not have exceeded one-tenth as many, but the presence of so large a number may be accounted for by the supposition that they had fled from the mainland across the peninsula which is left dry at low water, and were pursued to their last refuge by the infuriated Covenanters. From this date forward until the accession of Owen Roe O'Neill to the command, the northern war assumed a ferocity of character foreign to the nature of O'Moore, O'Reilly, and Magennis."-Hist. of Ireland by Thos. D'Arcy McGee, ii. 106-7. Haverty makes much the same statement. Hist. of Ireland, p. 523. It may be sufficient

to observe that in the beginning of November 1641 almost the whole of the County of Antrim was in the hands of the insurgents. The Protestants had been swept from the open country, and with difficulty repelled their assailants in a few of the towns. There was no Scottish garrison in Carrickfergus until the following April; and the Black Oath had already driven almost all the Covenanters out of the north. It may be added that this version of the affair is quite a late invention, without any historical support whatever. According to the tale of 1662, the Carrickfergus garrison murdered “all the inhabitants of the Island Magee to the number of about 3,000." See Moran's Persecutions, p. 217. This tale being proved false, the new version became necessary.

1 In 1641 there was a mixed population in Island Magee, a considerable number being Protestants. According to an old and apparently well-founded tradition, several Roman Catholics were preserved from the massacre by a Presbyterian, named Hill, who hid them in a corn kiln. Some of the descendants of this good man still reside in the parish. See McSkimin's History and Antiquities of Carrickfergus, p. 45, third edition. Belfast, 1832.

"It is very significant that, in the famous Remonstrance of the Catholics, dated Trim, March 17th, 1642 (1643), though so many other apologies are given for the proceedings of the insurgents, and though the cruelties of Sir Charles Coote are

time, at the Restoration, when the question of forfeited lands was so fiercely debated1; and it was brought forward at that crisis to palliate the enormities with which the insurgents stood chargeable. It could not, however, bear the light of investigation. The outrage at Island Magee took place after the date of all the letters and proclamations already quoted; for the very day of its occurrence can be ascertained as accurately as that of any other event recorded in history. At this

particularly mentioned, this affair of Island Magee-now put in the foreground— is never named. See this Remonstrance, in the appendix to Curry's Hist. Memoirs, P. 200.

1 O'Conor, himself a Roman Catholic, says :-"The first who mentions this pretended massacre [of Island Magee] is an anonymous collector of stories entitled A Collection of some Massacres and Murders committed on the Irish, since the 23rd of October, 1641, which were published first in London, when the Act of Settlement was in contemplation in 1662.”—Hist. Address, part ii. 232-3. He adds in a note, "Lurgan surrendered to the Irish rebels by capitulation November 15th, 1641, when, contrary to the faith of nations, the whole garrison were put to the sword! The foreign-influenced writers, ashamed of this horrid transaction, and endeavouring to cast off the odium, when they expected to be included in the Act of Settlement, trumped up their clumsy story of a previous massacre at Island Magee."-Ibid. p. 232.

* The whole matter was afterwards carefully investigated by commissioners appointed for the purpose, and the depositions relating to it are in existence in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. The facts ascertained by the commissioners are given in the text. Such writers as Curry meet the evidence of these depositions by simply declaring that they will not believe them! Warner has asserted that most of the evidence was not given on oath; but Dr. Reid, who carefully inspected the volumes, has shown that this statement is incorrect. See his Hist. of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, i. 340, note. Dr. Reid read over all the depositions relating to Island Magee. Dr. Reid has also shown that Warner's computation as to the total number massacred was quite a miscalculation based upon imperfect data. Some additional light has been thrown upon this subject by a little work which has recently made its appearance, entitled The History of the Wars of Ireland from 1641 to 1653 by a British Officer of the Regiment of Sir John Clotworthy. Dublin, 1873. The MS. of this volume is said to have been preserved at the Jesuits' College, Clongowes Wood, since 1814. It has been published under Roman Catholic auspices; and, without pronouncing any opinion as to the question of its genuineness, it may be sufficient to state that it corroborates the depositions in Dublin College as to the date of the outrage at Island Magee. See pp. 8, 9. It states that "about Christmas" a party of Protestant soldiers "murdered about eighty persons, men, women, and children, near Templepatrick; at which other Scots took example and did the like at Island Magee." These Protestant soldiers were provoked to commit the murders at Templepatrick under the impression that their own wives and children had been previously massacred. Ibid. p. 8.

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period many Protestants had been massacred in the County of Antrim: the assailants had spared neither sex nor age: and about threescore old men, women, and children, who had license to go to Larne or Carrickfergus, were attacked on the way, and butchered without mercy." Exasperated by these horrid and perfidious proceedings, some soldiers from Carrickfergus,accompanied by several strangers driven from more distant districts, proceeded to the peninsula of Island Magee, and on Sunday, the 9th of January, 1642, put to death in retaliation not more than thirty of the Roman Catholic inhabitants. The deed cannot be justified-but it is preposterous to speak of it as the cause of the massacres of 1641.

Archbishop Ussher was in England when the rebellion commenced, and he never returned to Ireland, Almost all the rest of the Protestant prelates were driven from the country. Maxwell, bishop of Killala, was expelled from his episcopal residence, robbed, and wounded; and with difficulty escaped farther violence.3 Webb, bishop of Limerick, was seized by the insurgents, and died soon afterwards in captivity. But there is no more touching episode connected with this reign of terror than that which relates to the last days of Bedell, bishop of Kilmore. His saintly character had produced such an impression on all around him that even the rebels treated

1 Reid, Hist. of Presbyterian Church in Ireland, i. 326-7-8.

He died at Ryegate in England on the 21st of March, 1656, aged 75 years. Moran states that " from his death-bed, he wrote to Rome to open negotiations for the purpose of being received back into the bosom of that very Catholic Church which he had so wilfully maligned."—Archbishops of Dublin, p. 312, note. This can only be characterized as a very gross falsehood. Romanists have often manufactured recantations for distinguished Protestants; and this attempt to misrepresent Ussher is one of their most audacious fabrications. Long before his death, says Dr. Bernard his chaplain, a report, supposed to have emanated from " some Popish priest," was circulated to the effect that he had "turned a papist." "But," he continues, "it fell out to be at the same time, or immediately after, he had in two learned sermons given his judgment at large that the Papacy was meant by Babylon in the 17th and 18th of the Revelation, which, in the return of his answer to that report, he did affirm, and was his judgment to his last.”—DR. BERNARD'S Judg ment of the late Archbishop of Armagh, p. 144. London, 1658. Immediately before his death Ussher was not confined to bed even for a day, and all his proceedings at the close of his life have been exactly registered. To the last he entertained the worst opinion of Popery. See Elrington's Life, pp. 296-7, 276. 4 Ibid. i. 566.

3 Mant, i. 563.

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