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should explicitly declare, that the insurrection was 6 confined to the mere old Irish in the province of Ulster, and others who had joined them?"
XI. That though the lords justices had recourse to the execrable expedient of putting Mac-Mahon and others to the rack, they should not have extorted a word from any of them, to support the charge of murderous intentions, if any conspiracy had existed, for “ cutting off all the Protestants and English throughout the kingdom ?”
XII. That if there were a general conspiracy, and of course a large assemblage of people in Dublin, for the purpose of seizing the castle on the 23d, the lords justices would not have been able, on the morning of that day, to apprehend more than two of the leaders and a few common servants ?
XIII. And finally, whether, the deposition of O’Conally being incontrovertibly established as false, and he of course perjured, in the two vital points,
1. The universality of the plot, and
II. The determination to massacre all who would not join in it,
There can be any credit whatever attached to the remainder of his testimony? And whether it does not necessarily follow, that the whole was a manifest fraud and imposture, designed to provoke insurrection, and lead to its usual and inevitable result,-confiscation ?
Before the reader decides on answers to these queries, it is hoped he will bear in mind the strong facts adduced in Chapter XIV. to prove that the seventeenth century was, in the fullest sense of the word, the age of perjury, forgery, and fabricated plots.
He will there see, that in London, at that period, the boasted courts of justice were, as we have said, mere slaughterhouses, where the depositions of men, stained and covered over with crimes of the most atrocious nature, as the leopard is covered with spots, were received, in cases where the lives of innocent men were at stake, and were finally immolated. He will likewise behold the horrible fact, that the testimony of a man whose perjury was detected in open court, and there confessed by himself, was afterwards received, and was the means of consigning innocent persons to the ignominious death of the gallows.
Let him also bear in mind, that forged plots, supported by perjury, and occasionally by the stupid and clumsy contrivance of letter-dropping, * had been one of the steady and uniform machines of the government of Ireland, from the invasion to that period; and had produced the forfeiture of millions of acres.
And further, let it not be forgotten, that all the writers, Clarendon, Carte, Warner, Leland, Gordon, &c. agree, that the grand object of the lords justices was, in the beginning, to extend the
* Supra, 168.
flames of civil war; and, when the insurrection had by these means become general, to prevent a cessation of hostilities, for the purpose of producing extensive confiscations. This point being of primary importance, we shall devote a short chapter to it, immediately succeeding the present
With all these strong facts taken into view, we then invite a decision; and entertain no doubt of a favourable verdict.
On this subject we stand committed, in the face of all the enlightened men in Christendom; and have no hesitation in pledging ourselves, that if any independent and upright judge or lawyer of any court in France, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, or the United States, will pronounce affirmative answers to the above queries, so as to imply a belief in the reality of the conspiracy, as deposed to by the 5 Protestant gentleman,” alias " servant,” we will cheerfully consent to have this book burned by the hands of the common hangman, and will suppress it ourselves.
The lords justices alarmed at the prospect of
peace. Corroboration of their guilt. Suceessful in their endeavours to prolong and extend the horrors of war. Execrable policy of the English Parliament.
THE tenor of the narrative of the origin of the insurrection in 1641, as detailed in the preceding chapter, bears such strong internal evidence of fraud and imposture, as can hardly fail to convince every man of candour, that it was a concerted and nefarious plan, for the purpose of goading the Irish into insurrection, and continuing the system of spoliation, of which the history of Ireland presents to the harrowed feelings of the reader one unbroken series.
This evidence derives important corroboration from the subsequent conduct of the rulers of the country, which of itself would be sufficient to convict them, even had the story been so well concocted as to wear a plausible aspect. This conduct we now expose to the consideration and abhorrence of the reader.
As a preliminary, we presume it will hardly be denied, that those who are opposed to a restoration of peace; who use every effort to extend the horrors of war; who expect to profit by that extension; and who devour the anticipated profits, may, without any unreasonable jealousy, be suspected, unless there be strong reasons to the contrary, of having been instrumental in the commencement of war. But where, in addition to these circumstances, there appear, as in this instance, in their own narrative, manifest fraud and deception, then we have that strong degree of presumptive evidence of which alone the nature of the case admits.
We undertake, therefore, to prove, by testimony the most irrefragable :
I. That the lords justices left nothing undone to extend the flames of civil war, and to involve in the confiscation attendant on it all the estated men in the kingdom ;
* “ It is certain that the lords justices, not only by their words and actions, expressed their unwillingness to stop the growth of the rebellion (as appeareth undeniably in their refusing the offers which both the earl of Ormond and the Parliament of Ireland made to suppress it) but showed also a desire to increase the distempers of the nation, and were often heard to wish, that the number were greater of such as became criminal."'377
“ The marquis of Ormond detested the violent and destructive counsels and measures of the lords justices, which had spread the rebellion; were ruinous to his majesty's affairs; and likely to effect the utter desolation of his country.""378 377 Carte, I. 259.
378 Idem, 338.