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Ormond heads the catholics,
Fidelity of the Irish catholics to the house of Stuart-The artful proceedings of CromwellHis conduct in Ireland, and the sufferings of the native Irish-Speech of Lord Clare upon some of the events of this period-The court of claims-termination of the protectorate.
THE fidelity of the Irish catholics to the house of Stuart remained unshaken by the solemn catastrophe of Charles's death; they still continued to struggle in defence of the throne, and Ormond, who placed himself at the head of the confederates, soon reduced most of the strong holds which were in the possession of the protestants in the north of Ireland. Dublin and Londonderry, however, resisted his power, though he was peculiarly solicitous to gain possession of the former place, that he might in some measure redeem the baseness of his conduct in having bartered it to the parliamentary rebels. He only added, however, ignominy to ignominy by his disgraceful de feat at Rathmines by a force under Michael Jones, the parliamentarian governor of Dublin, very inferior to his own. He that has been once fraudulent will not easily recover his reputation for integrity; and the Irish catholics, who had not
The hypocrisy of Charles II.
forgotten the venal treachery of their leader, saw in this defeat only fresh grounds of suspicion against Ormond, which grounds were strengthened by the inauspicious result of all his subsequent undertakings. Meanwhile the nominal but exiled monarch (Charles II.) wrote a letter from the Hague, signifying his approbation of the articles of peace with the confederates, and his intention of confirming them. Yet, after he had been proclaimed in Scotland, he accepted, by the advice of Ormond, the invitation of the commissioners to seat himself on that throne, though he was well aware that a previous measure must be the signing of the covenant. On the 23d of June, however, 1650, Charles arrived in Scotland, and signed both the national and the solemn covenant, thus choosing rather to attempt the recovery of his domnions by hypocrisy and perfidy in Scotand than by any gallant enterprize in Ireland. In order to give full effect to his treachery, he published a declaration two months afterwards," that he would have no enemies but the enemies of the covenant; that he did detest and abhor popery, superstition, and idolatry, together with prelacy: resolving not to tolerate, much less to allow, those in any part of his dominions, and to endeavour the extirpation thereof to the utmost of his power;" and as a further proof of his perfidious dealing with the Irish, he added "that he was convinced in his conscience of the sinfulness and unlawfulness of it, and of his allowing them (the confederates)
Events of the protectorate.
the liberty of the popish religion, for which he did from his heart desire to be deeply humbled before the Lord; and for having sought unto such unlawful help for the restoring of him to his throne." The wily Ormond well knew what would be the effect of this declaration, to which he had advised his sovereign. It would alienate from him the affections of his Irish catholic subjects, who saw themselves exposed to the full operation of that merciless persecution which was avowed in every clause of the covenant; they saw themselves the devoted victims of a monarch's perfidy, in defence of whose family they had shed some of their dearest blood. Still, however, their allegiance was not to be corrupted or shaken by temporary feelings.
Cromwell, however, knew too well the impotence of Irish loyalty to rest satisfied till he had humbled it to the very dust. With that artful cunning which characterized his whole career, he confounded loyalty with popery; he connected them together, and directed the zealous fury of the puritans equally against the religion as well as the fidelity of the catholics. He exhibited them as devoted to the odious system of catholicism, beneath the influence of which it was held a mark of piety to believe that nothing honourable, manly, or pious could thrive; and having heated their imaginations by these delusive sentiments, he found it an easy task to apply the religious hatred of his followers against the political firmness of his
Cromwell reduces Drogheda.
enemies. The blind and undistinguishing zeal of religious persecution is the fittest instrument which tyranny and fraud can employ against the liberties of a free people, for it is one of the consequences of sincerity in matters of faith that we extend our abhorrence to every thing either political, civil, or moral, that is connected with our adversaries.
Cromwell, therefore, eagerly sought to crush the last remaining stay of the Stuarts, in subduing their catholic adherents in Ireland. He landed at Dublin on the 15th of August, 1650, with 8000 foot and 4000 horse, a great quantity of ammunition, and a splendid military retinue. He remained a fortnight to recruit his forces, and then marched with 10,000 men to Drogheda, which was bravely defended by Sir Arthur Aston, but at length surrendered in consequence of a proclamation from Cromwell, that quarter should be shewn to all who would lay down their arms. Cromwell kept his word for two days, at the expiration of which time, having disarmed all the garrison, he ordered the whole to be massacred in cold blood; and this inhuman butchery was so faithfully executed by the wretches who obeyed him, that only 30 escaped with their lives, and those 30 were transported to Barbadoes. Republicans are equally brutal in all ages. Ludlow, in describing this infamous slaughter, merely observes," that he presumed it was used to discourage others from making opposition;" and with
Progress of Cromwell's army.
equal apathy he says, "at Wexford the slaughter was almost as great as at Drogheda." Wexford was betrayed by Colonel Stafford, whom Ormond had appointed governor of the castle. Ormond himself, speaking of the massacre at Drogheda, says, in his letter to the King and Lord Byron, "that on this occasion Cromwell exceeded himself and any thing he had ever heard of in breach of faith and bloody inhumanity; and the cruelties exercised there for five days after the town was taken would make as many several pictures of inhumanity as are to be found in the Book of Martyrs or in the relation of Amboyna." Cromwell, indeed, made his followers believe that the Irish ought to be dealt with as the Canaanites were in Joshua's time. In addition to the terror which his severities excited, he added that of uncommon vigour and promptitude. He marched towards the south, and obtained a partial success. Ross surrendered conditionally. Ireton was compelled to raise the siege of Duncannon, but Inchiquin was defeated by Cromwell, and Ormond was compelled to retire to Kilkenny; but Cromwell failed in two attacks upon Waterford. He next surprised Carrick-en-Suire, but retired from Kilkenny almost as soon as he approached it, in consequence of hearing that one Tickle, through whose treachery he was to have got possession of the place, had been seized and hung
up two days before. The winter was now ap-proaching, and his army went into quarters in