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regulation, arose from a desire of " securing the estates and quieting the minds of the subjects universally throughout the kingdom, whereas its obvious and inevitable tendency was to produce an effect diametrically opposite, and to unhinge the titles and “disquiet the minds of the subjects universally throughout the kingdom.” As well might we at this moment assert that the armies of France have entered Spain to support the liberal party, as that the unqualified rejection of a limitation of the claims of the crown to sixty years would
quiet the minds of the subjects."
“The greatest and most horrid “ Their first intention went no fur. massacres were acted before the par. ther than to strip the English and the lament could possibly know there was a protestants of their power and posrebellion; for after that the plot was sessions; and, unless forced to it by detected, the rebels somewhat slacked opposition, not to shed any blood."90 in their first cruelties."99
“Resistance produced some bloodshed; and in some instances private revenge, religious hatred, and the suspicion of soine valuable conceal. ment, enraged the triumphant rebels to insolence, cruelty and murder. So far, bowever, was the original scheme of the conspiracy at first pursued, thai few fell by the sword, except in open war and assault; no indiscriminate mas.
sacre was as yet committed."91 Here, again, is an egregious discrepancy, the result of sinister views, or of a gross neglect of historical duty. The accounts are not only different, but so diametrically opposite, that one or other must be false. While Warner and Leland'inform us explicitly, that the first intention of the insurgents was, “not to shed any blood," and that in the beginning “ few fell by the sword, except in open war and assault,"
,” Borlase as explicitly states not only that the insurrection began with massacre ; but that “ the most horrid massacres were committed” within the first week; for that is the only construction that can be given to the words—“ before the parliament could possibly know there was a rebellion.” The despatches of the lords justices, of the 25th, which announced the commencement of the insurrection, reached London on the 31st of October, 92 and, as will appear in the next page, nothing had then occurred, that could warrant the belief of a massacre, or a deliberate murder even on a small scale.
I shall now close with one other set of proofs.
“ In one week, they, (the Irish,) mas. “ Sir William Petty computes the sacred very near 100,000 persons, British, (including therein both Engmen, women, and children,"93 lish and Scots,) to be before the rebel.
“On the 23d of October and the fol. lion, in proportion to the Irish, as lowing days, above 40,000 English pro- two to eleven; at which rate, there testants were massacred by the Irish.”'94 were about two hundred and twenty
“ Above 200,000 men, women, and thousand British in the whole king. children, were murdered within the dom."'PG space of one month."95
“ It would be almost endless to give
89 Borlase, 50.
90 Warner, 47. 91 Leland, III. 137. 92 Temple, 43. 93 Warwick, 199. 94 Rapin, IX. 340. 95 May, 31. Baker, 531.
96 Carte, I. 177.
an account of all the cruelties acted by these incarnate devils upon the in. nocent English, of whom they destroy. ed near 300,000 in a few months.":97
The error here is greater and far more important, than in any of the former instances, and an error which must have been a wilful misstatement on the part of Warwick and May, as both of them lived at the time of the insurrection, and must have well known the falsehood of the assertion. Sir William Petty is universally regarded as the most accurate statistical writer respecting Ireland, of the seventeenth century. No man had better ineans of information-and none was more industrious in the employment of his materials. He had no conceivable temptation to underrate the number of British in the kingdom. And though we must admit, that in statistics, which are at all times, and even under the most advantageous circumstances, a difficult science, critical accuracy could not at that period be attained, yet the errors were probably not very great. He could not well be mistaken to any such extent as would very materially affect the question before us—even admitting for a moment, for sake of argument, that instead of 220,000 British, there were 250 or even 300,000 in the kingdom at that period.
It hence results, prima facie, that independent of all other testimony, of which I shall shortly submit some very cogent ones to the reader, the preceding accounts, particularly those of Warwick and May must be false. There is scarcely any thing more extravagant in Baron Munchausen than the assertion that very near 100,000 persons were massacred in one week-or “ above 200,000 within the space of one month,” out of a population of 220,000, or even 300,000. These accounts prove but one thing--and this they prove to a demonstration-which is, that the writers of Irish history have freely dealt in fables, and unceasingly falsified their narratives to gratify their passions, their prejudices, or their interests.*
* Although the following fact may not be intrinsically of any great importance, yet its introduction cannot be improper as tending to corroborate the idea of the general incorrectness of the narratives of Irish affairs, and the dire animosity borne towards the Irish. Among other accusations against them, they were charged with being necromancers or magicians, and having purchased of the devil the privilege of being invulnerable by fire arms, or other weapons of offence --for in fact no falsehood was too atrocious or too incredible to be believed against them.-Indeed the more atrocious, the more acceptable to their envenomed and implacable enemies.
“ It is certain, that at the taking of the Newry, a rebel being appointed to be shot upon the bridge, and stripped stark naked, notwithstanding the musketeer stood within two yards of him, and shot him in the middle of the back, yet the bullet entered not, nor did him any more hurt, than leave a little black spot behind it. This many hundreds were eye witnesses of, one of which, of good trust, hath re
97 Burton, 37.
Although the error here is so plain, that no man can entertain a doubt on the subject, yet collateral evidence may be not only proper, but necessary in a case of such importance, a case on which so much of the truth or falsehood of the history of that period materially depends.
The insurrection was for six weeks confined to the province of UIster*—and therefore if every man, woman, and child, presbyterians as well as protestants, had been murdered there, it would not sustain the statement of either of the above historians. In Ulster the Scots were by far more numerous than the English, or those of English descent-and the Irish officers in the commencement issued positive orders not to molest them.t
Further: on the 25th of October, the lords justices transmitted despatches to the lord lieutenant then in London, giving an account of sundry depredations committed by the insurgents in plundering property, and burning houses—and put the seal of reprobation on Warwick's and Rapin's statements, by the declaration that “this, though too much, is all that we hear is done by them.”
Thus far, therefore, there was no massacre-no murder-no blood shed-for if there had been, they would have “heard" of it-and they are not to be suspected of a wilful suppression of any thing unfavourable to the Irish. From this charge, the whole tenor of their conduct fully exonerates them.
In their proclamation of the 23d they state-that “these are to make known and publish to all his majesty's good subjects in this kingdom of Ireland, that there is a discovery made by us, the lords justices and council, of a most disloyal and detestable conspiracy intended by some evil-affected Irish papists, against the lives of us the lords justices and council, and many other of his majesty's faithful subjects throughout this kingdom,” &c.ag The lords and gentlemen of the pale, conceiving that in the generality of this designation the innocent inhabitants of those parts of the kingdom, which were perfectly tranquil, might perhaps be included, appealed to the lords justices to guard the public against such an inference, which was accordingly done by a proclamation issued on the 29th of the same month, wherein
" They declared and published to all his majesty's good subjects in this kingdom, that by the words “ Irish papists” they intended only such of the old Irish in the province of Ulster as have plotted,
000000 ļated it to me. Divers of the like have I been confidently assured of, who have been provided of diabolical charms."100
* This shall be established in its proper place, when I enter on the details of the insurrection.
7" The Irish either out of fear of their numbers or for some other politic reason, spared those of that nation, (making proclamation on pain of death, that no Scotsman should be molested in body, goods, or lands,) whilst they raged with so much cruelty against the English."
98 Temple, 30.
99 Ibid, 22.
100 Bernard, 100.
101 Carte, I. 178.
contrived, and been actors in this treason, and others who adhere to them; and that they did not any way intend or mean thereby any of the old English of the palę, nor of any other parts of this kingdom, they being well assured of their fidelities to the crown.”102 In this proclamation, too, there is not one word respecting murder or massacre.
The following day, Oct. 30th, moreover, which makes the seventh from the date of the insurrection, the justices issued a proclamation against the insurgents, in which they state, that those wicked malefactors have surprised some of his majesty's forts and garrisons in the north of Ireland; slain divers of his majesty's good subjects ; imprisoned some, robbed and spoiled very many others, and continue yet in those rebellious courses.
Now I appeal to the good sense and candour of the reader, whether these extracts do not completely falsify and put down forever, the statements of those writers whom I have quoted, viz. Warwick, Rapin, May, and Baker? The sentence “ have slain divers,” &c. does not for a moment countenance the idea of massacre, or even murder on a large scale. The operation of the spirit of exaggeration, which has such free scope in times of great effervescence, is well known. Hundreds in such cases become thousands—and thousands tens or hundreds of thousands; and there cannot be a reasonable doubt, that had one hundred, or even fifty persons been massacred, the atrocious act would have been not only pourtrayed in the most glowing and terrifying colours, but magnified, five, ten, or twenty fold. The words slain divers" must refer to some two, three, four, or half a dozen persons, probably slain in some affray, in defence of their own property, or in the act of depredating on that of others.
I have gone further in these details than I intended: but the great importance of the object I had in view in this preliminary chapter will fully justify the exuberance of the proofs I have adduced. That object was to satisfy the world that on many of the most vital points, the histories of Ireland, even those in the highest reputation, are one solid mass of error of the most flagrant character; that they not only contradict each other, but are at variance with themselves; and that many of the errors are of such a kind, and on such plain and simple points, that it would be unpardonable weakness to ascribe them to any thing else than the most sinister purpose.
It now remains to close this long chapter with a statement of the plan of the work.
It is divided into five parts, of which four are historical, embracing unequal portions of time. The fifth is of a statistical character.
The first part contains sketches of the policy of the Irish govern. ment between the invasion of Ireland by Henry II. anno 1172-and the death of Elizabeth, in 1602.
The second commences with the reign of James I. and terminates with the rising in Ulster in October, 1641. It embraces those forty years in which Temple, Borlase, Clarendon, Carte, Warner, and 102 Temple, 34.
103 Rushworth, IV. 401.
and almost all the other writers on the history of Ireland, have depicted a millenium as existing in that country.
The third commences with the insurrection in 1641, and closes with the demise of Oliver Cromwell.
The fourth commences with the restoration of the monarchy under Charles I. and includes the surrender and conditions of Limerick, with the perfidious violation of those conditions by the enaction of the cruel and unjust code, of which the ostensible object was “to prevent the growth of popery," but the real one, to divest the Roman Catholics, the great body of the nation, of their civil rights—to debase, degrade, and enslave them—and to deprive them of their estates--objects which unfortunately were but too successfully accomplished. This division will contain a sketch of those laws, and a view of some of the many oppressive ones still in operation.
The fifth presents a view of the chief of the great natural advantages of Ireland, and of the systematic course of measures whereby the happiness and prosperity of that island have for centuries been offered up as a holocaust on the altars of the rapacious and insatiable spirit of monopoly—and a degree of wretchedness produced, of which, for so long a period of time, the history of the world affords few examples.
Let it not be for a moment supposed, that I profess to publish a regular, connected, historical view of Irish affairs. Expectations predicated on such a supposition would be utterly disappointed. The work is, in the fullest sense of the word, desultory. Its grand objects are, to present a brief sketch of the withering and pernicious policy pursued towards Ireland for centuries-of the awful sufferings of the natives, in consequence of that policy-and to vindicate the national character from the atrocious calumnies with which it has been tarnished in the estimation of the world at large.
This division of the work contains nine subdivisions 1. A sketch of the great outlines of the system of administration which for centuries prevailed in Ireland, till the close of the reign of queen Elizabeth.
2. The plan generally pursued to goad the Irish into resistance, and insurrection, in order to enrich the agents of the government by the confiscation of their estates, together with the enormous confiscations which followed those insurrections.
3. The conflagration of houses, hamlets, villages, and towns-the destruction of every thing calculated to minister to the sustenance of man or beast-wi:h the horrible waste of human life, which took place in the murderous and devastating system of warfare, pursued by the English armies.
4. The heart-rending sufferings of the Irish by plague and famine, the natural consequences of this Vandalic system of warfare.
5. The extreme baseness and perfidy, to which the rulers of Ireland and their agents had recourse, in order to accomplish their parposes.