« ForrigeFortsæt »
men, and by way of triumph
for this exploit, paraded the heads on pikes through the streets of Dublin. These unfortunate victims were, I repeat, charged with having harboured rebels, whom they could not prevent from access to their houses.
The chief of the lords and gentry very wisely declined trusting themselves with such men on their bare word, and only three of them went. The remainder on the 10th transmitted a letter to the lords justices, stating their reasons for non-attendance-their apprehensions of the consequences—the threats held out against them—the murders at Santry, &c.
The justices on the 14th again sent them a message requiring them to meet them on the 17th, giving them further assurances of safetybut, with the same sinister views as in the former instance, they issued an order on the very same day, (the 14th) to a body of troops under Coote to proceed to Clontarfe, a small village a few miles from Dublín, to "burn and spoil the rebels' goods”-and to seize " such of the boats and vessels now ing there as they can on the sudden," and “to burn, spoil, sink, and make unserviceable the rest."711 Now there were no rebels, and of course no rebels' goods there.
A robbery, it is true, had been committed by some lawless people on a bark from England, which Carte on good grounds supposes to have been “ deserted, or wrecked; in which case people that live on the sea coasts, influenced by a common, but barbarous notion, are apt to deem and treat the goods on board as lawful plunder:"712 But this could not warrant the military execution which took place.
The order for thisincursion, issued at the same time as the invitation, which promised security, proved, beyond the possibility of doubt, that the nobility and gentry could place no dependance on the promises of the lords justices—who, in the opinion of Carte, did not wish them
10000000000 that they had harboured and relieved the rebels, who had made inroads and committed depredations in those parts. Hard was the case of the country people at this time, when not being able to hinder parties of robbers and rebels breaking into their houses, and taking refreshments there, this should
be deemed a treasonable act, and sufficient to authorize a massacre. This following so soon after executions, which sir Charles Coote, (who in revenge of his own losses, and the barbarities of the Ulster Irish, certainly carried matters to such extremities as nobody can excuse,) had ordered in the county of Wicklow; among which, when a soldier was carrying about a poor babe on the end of his pike, he was charged with saying, that he liked such frolics, made it presently be imagined, that it was determined to proceed against all suspected persons in the same undistinguishing way of cruelty; and it served either for an occasion, or pretence, to some Roman Catholic gentlemen of the county of Dublin, (among which were Luke Netterville, second son of the lord viscount Netterville, George Blackney of Rickenbore, and George, King of Clontarfe,) tó assemble together at Swords, six miles from Dublin, and put themselves with their followers in a posture of defence."713
711 Borlace, 42.
712 Carte, I. 246.
713 Idem, 244.
to come in, their object being to gain a pretence, for declaring war against them.
The party thus sent out to Clontarfe committed great devastation, and among the rest they destroyed property to the amount of 40001. belonging to Mr. King one of the very gentlemen specially invited under promise of security to Dublin, on the 17th.t That this was done to provoke the inhabitants of the pale-to prevent their obeying the summons--to induce them to stand on their defence and to afford a pretence for declaring them in a state of insurrection, will not, I think, be doubted-especially when it is borne in mind, as, to form a correct opinion of the course of affairs, it must be constantly, that the idea of a complete extirpation of the Irish was steadily cherished throughout the whole contest by the ruling party, and must have been the operating cause which led them first to produce the insurrection, and then by every means in their power to foment and spread it universally over the island. Bearing this idea in view, their conduct throughout appears perfectly consistent and uniform--and discovers as much clearness of head as obliquity of heart. On any other ground their proceedings are a tissue of gross absurdity and inconsistency,
This course of proceeding produced the effect intended-in the words of Carte" Their violent measures and threats of extirpation, terrifying and making the nobility and gentry of English race desperate, hurried them, in spite of their animosity against the old Irish, into an insurrection."714
IV. Adjournment of Parliament. Charles I. involved in the most serious difficulties and embarrass
అంది * “ Coote went with a party of soldiers, and entirely neglecting Kil. barrock and Raheny, fell upon Clontarfe, which belonged to Mr. King, (who was all this while absent from thence at Swords,) and burnt his tenants' houses and goods, not sparing even his mansion house, under pretence that some of the goods taken by robbery out of the bark, had been carried thither in his absence, and found there be. fore it was set on fire.":715
+ " The gentlemen of the pale, banished Dublin by three successive proclamations, and on pain of death ordered to repair to their own houses, unable to make resistance, and seeing not any, even the least, prospect, of relief or succour, opened their defenceless habitations to the enemy; which gave the lords justices occasion to complain, that “the rebels were harboured and lodged in the gentlemen's horses of that county, as fully as if they were good subjects." This correspond. ence, however necessitated it was at first, involving them in the guilt of rebellion, according to the rigour of the law, which they had no reason to think would be relaxed on account of their unhappy situation, by any favour or tenderness they might hope from the then government, made the gentlemen in general and the high sheriff in particular, to join the rebels, and put the fate of their persons and fortunes upon the issue of the rebellion.it
714 Carte, I. 463.
716 Idem, 246.
716 Idem, 238.
ments by his wicked attempt to force the English liturgy on the Scotch, and by the decisive attitude maintained by the English parliament, which refused to grant supplies adequate to the emergency of his situation, was ardently desirous to conciliate the Irish, and therefore intended to accord those graces which, as already stated, he had most perfidiously withheld, after having received the full value of them. He therefore sent express orders to the lords justices to have them regularly rati. fied by act of parliament, in August, 1641. The messengers had arrived at the port of embarkation in England, and were daily expected in Dublin. The nation, harassed by the untiring rapacity of those hosts of pimps, spies, and informers, whose iniquitous proceedings are detailed in Chapter XIV, and by a variety of other oppressions and grievances, was in the most anxious expectation of this all-important arrangement being at length finally completed. Those graces were admirably calculated to allay the heart burnings which the proconsular tyranny of Strafford had excited, and completely tranquillize the public mind. But this would have wholly defeated the sinister views of the lords justices; and therefore they wickedly adjourned the parliament at this critical juncture, in order to frustrate the purposes of the king ; disappoint the ardent and reasonable wishes of the nation; excite disaffection; and prepare for the in. surrection which they then must have calculated to produce.*
Nothing could be conceived more ill-timed or more provoking to the Irish than this adjournment. It dashed the cup from their lips, at the moment when they had every reason to expect a fruition of its contents—and created an universal murmur throughout the nation. They had however no remedy. They were obliged to submit.
The adjournment was till the 9th of November. The nation had
*" After certain knowledge that the said committees were by the water side in England with sundry important and beneficial bills, and other graces to be past, as acts in that parliament, of purpose to prevent the same, the said faction, by the practise of the said lords justices, and some of the said privy councell and their adherents, in tumultuous and disorderly manner on the seventh day of August, 1641, and on severall dayes before, cryed for an adjournement of the house, and beinge overvoted by the voices of the more moderate parte, the said lords justices and their adherents told severall honourable peers, that if they did not adjourne the lords house on that day, being Saturday, that they would themselves prorogue or adjourne the parliament on the next Monday following; by meanes whereof, and of great numbers of proxies of noblemen, not estated, nor at any tyme resident in this kingdome, (which is destructive to the libertye and freedom of parliaments here) the lords house was ou the said seventh day of August adjourned, and the house of commons by occasion thereof, and of the faction aforesaid, adjourned soone after, by which meanes those bills and graces, according to your majestie's intention, and the greate expectation, and longing desires of your people, could not then pass as acts of parliament."117
719 Carte, IlI. 139.
hoped when that day should arrive, that parliament would devise some effectual means for repressing the disturbances in the north, and for establishing peace and tranquillity in the kingdom. This effect would have taken place, had they been allowed a regular session. But this would have been death to the projects of the governors, and therefore on the 3d of November they prorogued the parliament, till the 24th of that month, under the very frivolous pretence, that, during the continuance of the rebellion, it would be dangerous to convene parliament;" whereas, the existence of a rebellion was the strongest possible reason for their sitting, and would have been sufficient reason to summon an extra session, even earlier than the period fixed by adjournment. The lawyers belonging to parliament were of opinion, that unless
oooo * “ The reasons which they alleged for this opinion were, that it would highly trench upon the gravity and wisdom of the board to alter a resolution taken there, and made known to the whole kingdom by proclamation; and that it would be of dangerous consequence to bring a number of people to the city in such dangerous times; that several of the Protestant members for Ulster were dispersed, or so shut up or employed, that they could not repair to the present meeting; and that therefore the Roman Catholics, (who peradventure might bring ill affections with them,) would be superior in number and voices, and so carry all things according to their own humour. These reasons, founded chiefly upon mean jealousies and fears, for which there did not seem to be any just grounds, when so many Roman Catholic members were likewise absent, and there was no danger to be apprehended from such as were present, in a city whence all strangers were banished by proclamation, and in which there was now a garrison of 4 or 5000 men, did not satisfy the others; but upon a vote the majority declared themselves for sticking to the prorogation."718
+" 1'here never could be stronger and more pressing reasons for the sitting of a parliament than there were at this time. For to say nothing of the rebellion, the graces lately granted by the king, and so much desired by the nation, which arrived in Ireland too late to be passed in the last session, were to be enacted in this, and were ex. pected with great impatience by the merchants, who were to be eased in the rates of customs, and licences of exportation ; by the gentle. men for the security of their estates, against the avarice and rapine of needy ministers and projectors, by which they had been plagued and harassed for forty years past; and indeed by all sorts of men throughout the nation, who were in one respect or other to find relief, convenience, and advantage thereby. The late clamours about grievances had quickened every body's sense of them; they were uneasy every moment till they were redressed, and to disappoint them in the height of their eager expectations, was enough to make them furious and desperate, and could not fail of producing more mischiefs and real dangers than their fears could suggest of imaginary ones to arise from any other cause."719
718 Carte, I. 223.
719 Idem, 230.
it was allowed to meet on the day fixed by the adjournment, it would be virtually dissolved. The judges were consulted, who being doubtful on the subject, the justices consented to allow parliament to meet for one day, to prevent a dissolution.
Parliament accordingly met, but there were few members attended, as the notification of meeting had not gone into Munster or Connaught where the proclamation for the prorogation had been circulated. Of course scarcely any of the members for those two provinces attended. A protestation and declaration were drawn up by both houses against the rebels, which, and some other business of no importance not being completed in one day, the lords justices with great difficulty were prevailed on to allow them to sit the next day. The earl of Ormonde, the lord Dillon of Costello, and other Protestant gentlemen, were anxious to have the prorogation annulled, and the session continued—but all their representations were in vain. The session was closed in two days to the regret of every honest man in the nation, who all united in execrating the vile policy which led to such a baneful measure.*
V. Offers of pardon. In consequence of instructions from the English parliament, the lords justices offered a pardon to the insurgents on the 30th of October-but couched in such terms that it was meant not to take effect. To destroy all chance of its favourable operation, there were but forty copies printed. It was merely thrown out as a blind to deceive the world, and cast an odium on the insurgents for rejecting the lenity of the government. It was confined to four counties, in two of which there had been no rebels ; it excluded freeholders alto. gether; and extended to those non-freeholders alone, who, having committed any depredation, should within ten days restore the property, which, in almost every case, must necessarily have been utterly impracticable.
** There was something so very weak or wicked in not permitting the parliament to sit at this critical juncture, that *** the greatest part of the miseries which Ireland underwent in this rebellion were in a good measure occasioned by the obstinacy or the evil intentions of those who were then at the helm."720
+" 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
720 Warner, 126.