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of the doors-as there were no chimneys. The cabins were thatched with potato stalks, having flat stones and sods piled on this roofing, to mend it and keep it down. This crushing exposure sadly humiliated the proud demagogue; and the refusal of the party, since known as the Irish Nationalists, to submit any longer to his dictation-added to the gloom of his declining years. Broken down in health and spirit, he withdrew to the Continent, in the hope of receiving the papal benediction before he closed his career on earth. But he did not enjoy that melancholy satisfaction. He died at Genoa in May 1847. In accordance with his own instructions, his heart was conveyed to Rome. His body was brought back to Ireland; where it was interred, with all the honours of a public funeral, in Glasnevin cemetery, in the neighbourhood of Dublin.

The career of Daniel O'Connell suggests many mournful reflections. He was unquestionably one of the most gifted individuals of his age ; but we may fairly question his claim to be considered a good man and a genuine patriot. He had a clear and vigorous intellect; and it is difficult to believe that he was in earnest, when he represented a repeal of the Union with Great Britain, as the grand panacea for all the woes of Ireland. The accomplishment of such a measure would assuredly be but the beginning of a new cycle of sorrows for this distracted land. And yet, in pursuit of this bugbear, he induced his poor countrymen to neglect their industrial occupations, and to waste their time and money in attendance on his monster meetings. When, on one occasion, he assured them that there would be an Irish Parliament in Dublin College Green within the year, the utmost charity can scarcely give him credit for sincerity. For a long period he kept Ireland in a state of most unhealthy excitement; and, though he counselled the people not to break the law, he taught them to evade its obligations; to turn Government into contempt; and to live on the very verge of rebellion. He was totally destitute of that regard for truth, without which no man, however otherwise distinguished, is worthy of respectful consideration. When seeking to evade a difficulty, or carry a favourite object, or annoy an adversary, he did not hesitate to utter the most atrocious falsehoods. He gloried in his powers of abuse; and he once condescended, in a Dublin market-place, to enter into controversy with an ill-tongued huckstress, to prove how far he was her superior in the department of Billingsgate. The sad state of his own tenantry attested, how shamefully he neglected the most obvious means of promoting the comfort and elevation of the people. And if we are to credit reports, propagated even by his own admirers, he was very far from a model of purity in his domestic relations. 2 His scrupulous attention to the rites of his Church, and his servile devotion to the priesthood, earned for him a high religious reputation among Romanists; but they failed to prove that Popery can sanctify the heart, or adorn with the beauty of holiness.

1 Letters on the Condition of the People of Ireland, by Thomas Campbell Foster, Esq., of the Middle Temple, barrister-at-law, pp. 396, 528, 529, 544. London, 1846.

2 The Rev. Dr. Miley, his chaplain, who, accompanied by young Daniel O'Connell, repaired Rome with the heart of the deceased immedia after his demise, thus describes his interview on that occasion with the Sovereign Pontiff:“ After passing through the vast and gorgeous saloons and galleries of the Quirinal, we found the ante-chambers filled with groups of personages in every style of costume, from the glittering uniform to the cowl, and all before us in the order or reception. But the name of O'Connell was a talisman which brought us at once into the presence of his Holiness; and, while (O'Connell's son) Daniel was kissing his feet, the Pontiff said : 'Since that happiness I had so longed for was not reserved for me—to behold and embrace the hero of Christianity-let me at least have the consolation to embrace his son.' He then drew the son of O'Connell to his bosom and embraced him. ... I must not attempt to detail the manner in which his Holiness eulogised the Liberator as the great champion of religion and the Church, as the father of his country, and the glory of the whole Christian world."The Last Days of O'Connell, by W. B. Maccabe, Esq., p. 105. Dublin, 1 See Pictorial History of England, vii. 200, 389, 660. See also Dr. Porter's Life of Dr. Cooke, p. 354, new edition.

2 “ Whilst he doted on his wife and children, he is said to have not unfre. quently forgotten his marriage vows.Life and Times of Daniel O'Connell, by Luby, p. 531. His licentiousness is generally admitted by his own co-religionists.






The year 1847 supplies one of the most melancholy chapters in the history of Ireland. For some preceding seasons the potato crop had partially failed; but in 1846 the blight was almost universal. The food of the greater portion of the people was thus destroyed ;' and the country experienced all the horrors of famine. In December 1846, upwards of five thousand wretched beings were begging in the streets of Cork; and, when utterly exhausted, they crawled to the workhouse to die. In rural districts, children, looking like old ?

, men and women through the effects of hunger, were to be seen sitting in groups at the cabin doors, silent and sad; and not a few of the poor lived for days or weeks on turnips or cabbages. Early in 1847 the accounts from all quartersparticularly from the south and west—were most appalling. In Skibbereen, in the county of Cork, there was constant use for a coffin with movable sides, in which the dead were carried to the grave-yard, and there dropped into the ground. As


1 It was calculated that Ireland lost this year, by the failure of the crop, at least £16,000,000. Whilst the potatoes were ruined, the oat crop was also deficient.

2 Maguire's Father Mathew, p. 378. 3 lbid. p. 382.

5 Ibid. p. 386. In 1700 there was a Quaker meeting-house in Skibbereen. An old record contains the following entry, dated May 29th, 1700:

:-“There is a meeting-house for the Quakers in Skibbereen. Every Sunday the Quakers in and

4 lbiu.

time advanced, the prospect became still more dismal. Whole families were exterminated by dysentery, fever, and starvation; and bodies lay five or six days unburied. Government expended vast sums in its endeavours to mitigate the national suffering; and in March, 1847, there were employed, in public works, the enormous number of 734,000 persons-representing so many families, or upwards of three millions of individuals.2 The people emigrated in crowds; and, in four or five years, Ireland lost about one third of its population.

The famine silently accomplished a social revolution. There were large numbers of gentry all over the country who had once lived in extravagance, and who were too proud to seek to repair their fortunes by engaging in trade; their estates were heavily encumbered ; and now, with greatly reduced means, they were still struggling to maintain a position of respectability. The potato blight completed their ruin. Their starving tenantry could pay no rents; their creditors could obtain no interest for their money; and, totally unable to meet the claims for rent-charge and increased poor rates, some of them were themselves obliged to seek relief in the workhouses. In 1849 Parliament found it necessary to pass an act to "facilitate the sale and transfer of encumbered estates in Ireland ;” and, during the ten following years, under the operation of this law, upwards of twenty-five millions sterling were paid for property sold in the Encumbered Estates Court. Even this enormous amount does not fully represent the value of the estates brought to auction ; for the tens of thousands of acres, at first thrown upon the market, diminished competition ; and wealthy capitalists often made purchases on terms which, before or since, would have been deemed equivalent to partial confiscation. In the course of a few years, many of the Irish peasantry and yeomanry were in the hands of another race of proprietors; and though there were numerous cases, in which the capital and intelligence of these strangers contributed much to promote their comfort, there were others in which the new lords of the soil, viewing their bargains merely in the light of a mercantile investment, sought, in the shape of increased rents, to extract the highest possible rate of interest from the farming population.

near Skibbereen hold a meeting-generally a silent one-to the number of about eight families, and also on Thursdays."— BRADY's Cork, Cloyne, and Ross, vol. ii. 453. According to the census of 1861, there was not a single Quaker in Skib. bereen or the neighbourhoud.

1 Maguire's Father Mathew, p. 387. Ibid. p. 402. Pim's Condition and Prospects of Ireland, p. 131. Dublin, 1848.

3 In 1841 the population of Ireland, according to the census of that year, amounted to 8, 175, 124. It continued to increase till 1846, when it probably amounted, according to the preceding rate of increase, to 8,578,000. In 1851 it had decreased, according to the census of that year, to 6,552,383. In the five years, from 1847 to 1851 inclusive, no less than 1,067,559 persons emigrated from Ireland to North America. See Transactions of Society of Friends, Appendix, p. 358. In 1847 the Irish emigrants sent home £200,000. In 1851 their remittances to their friends in their native country were estimated, for that single year, ai a million. Ibid. p. 47.

4 The 12th and 13th of Victoria, chap. lxxviii. In the same year (1849) an Act was passed (12th and 13th of Victoria, chap. cv.) "for converting the renewable leasehold tenure of lands in Ireland into tenure in see.” In 1849 estates in Ireland to the value of £1,500,000 per annum were under the care of the law courts. Transactions of the Society of Friends, p. 114.

Though the blight prevailed throughout all Ireland, it was felt with peculiar severity by the people of Connaught and Munster. In the failure of the potato crop, many of them were deprived of their only food. The inhabitants of Ulster and Leinster, who were generally in more comfortable circumstances, and who were not entirely dependent for subsistence on a single esculent, were better prepared for the calamity. The famine inflicted on Irish Romanism the heaviest blow it had sustained since the time of the great Rebellion, two hundred years before. In the course of a very few years, it lost in Ireland, by death and emigration, upwards of a million and a half of its adherents. The folly and wicked

1 Maguire's Father Mathew, p. 453.

• The following table, setting forth the number receiving rations, and the total expenditure under the Relief Act (10th of Victoria, chap. vii.) in each of the four Provinces, may be adduced in confirmation of the statement in the text :

Greatest number


of rations given out. Expenditure. Ulster

346,517 £170,598 Leinster




450, 606 1,013,826



2,556,601 £1,676,268 The annexed table, exhibiting the population of the four provinces, according to

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