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authority. I now present one, from a work of great merit, “ Ireland's Case briefly stated,” which is a fair sample of the atrocious injustice perpetrated on the Irish—but, however vile, it cannot surprise us after the various details of the iniquitous system pursued on this occasion-and the rules laid down for establishing the nocency of the claimants.
“ Mr. Francis Betagh, of Moynalty, whose ancestors, for seven or eight hundred years together, were in the possession of a considerable estate in the county of Meath, was but nine years of age in October 1641: yet he was sworn in the court of claims to have been then in actual rebellion, at the head of a foot company, plundering and stripping the Protestants, and that by two of the meanest scoundrels of the whole kingdom, hir’d for the purpose, whereof one was then and there prov'd not to have been three years old at the time of that insurrection, and the other no way qualified to be believ'd, when the gentry of the whole county declar'd and testified the contrary. Nevertheless, upon the bare oaths of these fellows, the gentleman was adjudg'd nocent by the court; and altho' the perjury was afterwards more fully detected, insomuch that sir Richard Rainsford, chief commissioner or judge of that court, when the marchioness of Antrim expostulated the matter with him, plainly acknowledg’d the injustice of it, to herself, to the now earl of Limerick, and to other persons of quality; yet no redress cou'd be had for the gentleman, nor any remedy to be expected, while the enchantment of the act of settlement was of force."989
The increasing degeneracy of mankind is, and has at all times been, a fruitful theme with moralists and theologians. From a perusal of their writings, it would appear as if every succeeding age became worse than those that preceded. According to this theory, mankind must ultimately become demons incarnate. The age of which I am writing, compared with the present, affords the most overwhelming refutation of this doctrine. The contrast between the two is immense, and wholly against the former. There is scarcely a page of the history of that period uncontaminated with vice and crime of the most revolting kind. Rampant injustice, rapine, and violence-forgery, perjury, bribery, and corruption-rank and loathsome hypocrisy covering itself with the thread-bare cloak of religion, while violating every law of religion and morality-all stalked abroad in the glare of day, and were all employed for the foul and detestable purpose of plundering a generous, but helpless and prostrate nation. Such proceedings, I flatter myself, for the honour of human nature, would not at the present day be countenanced in the most corrupt quarter of the most corrupt country in the civilized, perhaps I might add the savage part of the world.
950 Ireland's Case briefly stated, 102.
The Stuart dynasty, a curse to the Irish. Abdication of James II.
War in Ireland. Grand exploit of Sarsfield in the destruction of a train of artillery. Surrender of Limerick.
“ The history of Ireland's unhappy connerion with England, exhibits, from first to last, a detail of the most persevering, galling, grinding, insulting, and systematic oppression, to be found any where, except among the Helots of Sparta."-Paulding.
NO nation ever had more cause to curse a family than the Irish to vent maledictions on the miserable Stuart race, whose reigns produced an unvarying tissue of misery and wretchedness to that illfated nation. When a nation suffers for some illustrious character, an Alfred, a Gustavus Vasa, or a Prince of Orange, there is some consolation, something to cicatrize the wounds. But every Irishman, who reflects on the character of the four Stuarts, who ruled over the three kingdoms, and considers their conduct to Ireland, must feel ashamed that his countrymen should have ever felt the least attachment to that miserable dynasty, whose misrule has inflicted unutterable woes on his country.
I have given ample details of the miseries of Ireland, under James I. Charles I. and Charles II. Their adherence to James II. filled up the measure of their miseries--overspread the land with havoc and slaughter and produced another scene of rapine and confiscation of estates. James's abdication in England did not vacate his title to the crown of Ireland. The vote of the parliament of the latter island, was necessary to extend the abdication there. No such vote was passed. And the Roman Catholics, the great body of the nation, fatally for themselves, determined to support him.
A bloody war of about three years duration was waged, in which the English armies were generally victorious. In two destructive battles, fought at the Boyne and at Aughrim, the Irish were signally defeat ed with great slaughter. Many of the fortified towns were taken by the English forces. The siege of Limerick, the most important by far, was undertaken about the close of the summer of 1691. The fortifications were almost impregnable—and were garrisoned by a numerous army. The commanders were brave and skilful. There was scarcely a hope of taking the place by storm—and there was no naval force, on the part of the besiegers, to enable them to effect such a blockade as might starve the garrison into a surrender. It was, moreover, abundantly supplied with provisions. To crown the difficulties of the besiegers, a powerful 'force was daily expected from France.
The English army was unprovided with a proper train of artillery, and had ordered a formidable one from some distant place, which was on its way to, and within seven miles of, the English camp. A brave Irish partizan officer, lord Lucan, better known by the name of Patrick Sarsfield, whose memory ought to be dear to every Irishman, at the head of a small select party of troops from the gar
rison, surprised, defeated, and destroyed the convoy, and took the whole train of artillery: Unable to convey it away, he had no choice but to destroy and render it useless to the enemy. He placed the cannon, with their muzzles in the earth, surrounded them with gunpowder, and by a train blew up the whole with a most tremendous crash. The officers of the besieging army, about seven miles distant from the scene, knowing the enterprizing spirit of the contriver of this coup de main, swore, when they heard the explosion, that it must be either Patrick Sarsfield or the Devil, wbo performed the exploit.
Whatever chance the English might have had for the capture of the place, was thus annihilated. The prospect was, a tedious siege, to be protracted into the winter season, or, what was still worse, a total defeat, if the French forces arrived. William was impatient to close the war, as all his energies and resources were in requisition for the war on the continent, where he had to contend with the best troops, the ablest generals, and the most formidable monarchy in Europe. He therefore gave peremptory orders to Ginckle to close the war, by a treaty with the Irish commanders in Limerick on any terms.* This was accordingly done on the annexed conditions, which were duly
*« Six weeks were spent before the place, without any decisive effect. The garrison was well supplied with provisions. They were provided with all means of defence. The season was now far advanced, the rains had set in. The winter itself was near. Ginckle had received orders to finish the war upon any terms.****** The English general offered conditions, which the Irish, had they even been victors, could scarce refuse with prudence."981
“Many obvious reasons justified William for putting an end to the war upon moderate terms. Many millions had already been expended in the reduction of Ireland. Near 100,000 men had been Tost by sickness and the sword. The army, though victorious in the field, were exhausted with fatigue. Winter was approaching. The siege of Limerick must in all probability have been raised,
a second disappointment before that place would have been equal to a defeat. The spirits of the Irish would rise; the French, encouraged by their success, would aid their allies with more effect."982
+ The Civil Articles of Limerick. “William and Mary by the grace of God, &c. To all to whom these presents shall come, greeting. Whereas certain articles, bearing date the 3d day of October last past, were made and agreed on between our justices of our kingdom of Ireland, and our general of our forces there, on the one part, and several officers there, commanding within the city of Limerick in our said kingdom, on the other part; Whereby our said justices and general did undertake that we should ratify those articles, within the space of eight months or sooner, and use their utmost endeavours that the same should be ratified and confirmed in parliament. The tenor of which said articles is as follows, viz.
I. The Roman Catholics of this kingdom shall enjoy such privileges in the exercise of their religion, as are consistent with the laws 981 Macpherson, I. 621.
982 Idem, 622
ratified in proper form, by king William and queen Mary. This solemn contract was, in all its important articles, basely and perfidi
oo of Ireland, or as they did enjoy in the reign of king Charles the second; and their majesties, as soon as their
affairs will permit them to summop a parliament in this kingdom, will endeavour to procure the said Roman Catholics such further security in that particular, as may preserve them from any disturbance upon the account of their said religion.
II. All the inhabitants or residents of Limerick, or any other garrison now in the possession of the Irish, and all officers and soldiers, now in arms, under any commission of king James, or those authorized by him, to grant the same in the several counties of Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Cork, and Mayo, or any of them; and all the commisşioned officers in their majesties' quarters, that belong to the Irish regiments now in being, that are treated with, and who are not prie soners of war, or have taken protection, and who shall return and submit to their majesties' obedience; and their and every of their heirs, shall hold, possess, and enjoy, all and every their estates of freehold and inheritance, and all the rights, titles, and interests, privileges and immunities, which they, and every or any of them held, enjoyed, or were rightfully and lawfully entitled to in the reign of king Charles II. or at any time since, by the laws and statutes that were in force in the said reign of king Charles II. and shall be put in possession, by order of the government, of such of them as are in the king's hands, or the hands of his tenants, without being put to any suit or trouble therein; and all such estates shall be freed and discharged from all arrears of crown-rents, quit-rents, and other public charges, incurred and become due since Michaelmas 1688, to the day of the date hereof: and all persons comprehended in this article, shall have, hold, and enjoy all their goods and chattels, real and personal, to them, or any of them belonging, and remaining either in their own hands, or the hands of any persons whatsoever, in trust for, or for the use of them, or any of them: and all, and every the said persons, of what profession, trade, or calling soever they be, shall and may use, exercise and practise their several and respective professions, trades, and callings as freely as they did use, exercise, and enjoy the same in the reign of king Charles II.; provided that nothing in this article contained be construed to extend to, or restore any forfeiting person now out of the kingdom, except what are hereafter comprised: provided, also, that no person whatsoever shall have or enjoy the benefit of this article that shall neglect or refuse to take the oath of allegiance,* made by act of parliament in England, in the first year of the reign of their present majesties, when thereunto required.
III. All merchants, or reputed merchants, of the city of Limerick, or of any other garrison now possessed by the Irish, or of any town or place in the counties of Clare or Kerry, who are absent beyond the
L. A. B. do sincerely promise and swear, that I will be faithful, and bear true allegiance to their majesties, king William and queen Mary. So help me God.
ously violated, by almost every parliament that wat in Ireland for sixty years, by the laws to prevent the growth of popery, of which I
seas, that have not borne arms since their majesties' declaration in February 1688, shall have the benefit of the second article, in the same. manner as if they were present: provided such merchants, and reputed merchants, do repair into this kingdom within the space of eight months from the date hereof.
IV. The following officers, viz. colonel Simon Lutterel, captain Rowland White, Maurice Eustace of Yermanstown, Chievers of Maystown, commonly called Mount-Leinster, now belonging to the regiments in the aforesaid garrisons and quarters of the Irish army, who are beyond the seas, and sent thither upon affairs of their respective regiments, or the army in general, shall have the benefit and advantage of the second article, provided they return hither within the space of eight months from the date of these presents, and submit to their majesties' government, and take the above-mentioned oath.
V. That all and singular the said persons comprised in the second and third articles shall have a general pardon of all attainders, outlawries, treasons, misprisions of treason, premunires, felonies, trespasses, and other crimes and misdemeanours whatsoever, by them, or any of them, committed since the beginning of the reign of king James II. and if any of them are attainted by parliament, the lords justices, and general, will use their best endeavours to get the same repealed by parliament, and the outlawries to be reversed gratis, all but writing-clerks' fees.
VI. And whereas these present wars have drawn on great violences on both parts; and that if leave were given to the bringing all sorts of private actions, the animosities would probably continue that have been too long on foot, and the public disturbances last: for the quieting and settling therefore of this kingdom, and avoiding those inconveniences which would be the necessary consequence of the contrary, no person or persons whatsoever, comprised in the foregoing articles, shall be sued, molested, or impleaded at the suit of any party or parties whatsoever, for any trespasses by them committed, or for any arms, horses, money, goods, chattels, merchandises, or provisions whatsoever, by them seized or taken during the time of the war. And no person or persons whatsoever, in the second or third articles comprised, shall be sued, impleaded, or made accountable for the rents or mean rates of any lands, tenements, or houses, by him or them received, or enjoyed in this kingdom, since the beginning of the present war, to the day of the date hereof, nor for any waste or trespass by him or them committed in any such lands, tenements, or houses: and it is also agreed, that this article shall be mutual and reciprocal on both sides.
VII. Every nobleman and gentleman, comprised in the said second and third articles, shall have liberty to ride with a sword, and case of pistols, if they think fit; and keep a gun in their houses, for the defence of the same, or for fowling.
VIII. The inhabitants and residents in the city of Limerick and other garrisons, shall be permitted to remove their goods, chattels, and provisions, out of the same, without being viewed and searched,