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passions of those who shudder at the delightful
“Remember him, the villain, righteous heaven,
And desolation covers all the land."395
batim with, the deposition of the fabulist, Dean Maxwell :*
“ In this rebellion, so barbarous and bloody, 154,000 Protestants, men, women, and children, were massacred in that kingdom, between the 23d of October, when the rebellion broke forth, and the 1st of March following, by the computation of the priests themselves, who were present, and principal actors in these tragedies, and who were directed by some chief rebels of Ireland to make this computation, lest they should be reported to be more bloody than in truth there was cause. All which appears by the examination of arch-deacon Maxwell, who lived a long time a prisoner with Sir Phelim O'Neil's mother, and was there when this computation was brought
To give currency to this wretched, absurd, and notorious imposture, the English House of Commons, with an utter disregard of truth and character, ordered it to be read by the ministers of every parish within the kingdom, in their several churches and chapels ;t thus making the temples of the Living God the instruments of poisoning the minds of his worshippers, by the propagation of flagrant falsehood.
July 25, 1643. “ It is this day ordered by the House of Commons, that the ministers of every parish within the kingdom shall read this declaration in their several churches and chapels, on the next fast-day after the same shall come to their hands, after the ending of the first sermon, and before the beginning of the next.
* Supra, 55.
336 Rushworth, V.355.
397 Idem, 356.
Was there a massacre of the Protestants in
Ireland in 1641?
“ Fortiter calumniare : aliquid adhærebit.” HAVING, as we hope and trust, satisfactorily disposed of the question of the pretended conspiracy, in 1641, for a general massacre of " such of the Protestants as would not join” the murderers, we now proceed to investigate and combat the legendary tales of the immense numbers which, in the miserable romances, honoured with the prostituted titles of histories of the Irish rebellion in 1641, are stated to have been massacred by the Irish : and we feel confident that we shall satisfy the reader, that they are entitled to exactly the same degree of credit as lord Clarendon's millenium, which has figured to so much advantage in our preceding chapters.
In order to proceed correctly in the investigation, our first step will be, to ascertain the exact state of the allegations which we mean to disprove. We will therefore let the parties narrate their own tales. If they should fail to impose on the reader of the present day, they have no merit in the failure: as they spared no pains to delude and deceive the world, and hitherto, unfortunately, have been but too successful :
“ It would be almost endless to give a particular account of all the detestable cruelties acted by these incarnate devils upon the innocent English, of whom they destroyed near 300,000 in a few months !!!"398
“ The depopulations in this province of Munster do well near equal those of the whole kingdom ! ! !9399
“There being, since the rebellion first broke out, unto the time of the cessation made Sept. 15, 1643, which was not full two years after, above 300,000 British and Protestants cruelly murdered in cold blood, destroyed some other way, or expelled out of their habitations, according to the strictest conjecture and computation of those who seemed best to understand the numbers of English planted in Ireland, besides those few which fell in the heat of fight during the war. 9:400
“ The day appointed for executing this bloody design was the 23d of October, on which day they were to rise all over the island. The design was really executed, as projected : and it is said, on that and the following days above forty thousand English Protestants were massacred by the Irish!!!"401
Above 154,000 Protestants were massacred in that kingdom from the 23d October to the 1st March following.
“By some computations, those who perished by all these cruelties are supposed to be 150 or 200,000. By the most moderate, and probably the most reasonable account, they are made to amount to forty thousand! if this extenuation itself be not, as is usual in such cases, somewhat exaggerated!"403
“The innocent Protestants were upon a sudden disseized of their estates; and the persons of above 200,000 men, women, and children were murdered, many of them with exquisite and unheard of tortures, within the space of one month!!!!!404 398 Burton, 37.
400 Idem, 6. 401 Rapin, IX. 340. Idem, 343. 403 Hume, III. 545, 404 May, 81. Frankland, 903. Baker, 532.
“A general insurrection of the Irish spread itself over the whole country, in such an inhuman and barbarous manner, that there were forty or fifty thousand of the English Protestants murdered, before they suspected themselves to be in any danger, or could provide for their defence, by drawing together into towns or strong houses.
“Though they were prevented of surprising Dublin, by a mere accident, yet through the country, it has been thought, that in one week they massacred very near one hundred thousand persons, men, women, and children!!!"*406
That “ Saul slew his thousands, and David his tens of thousands," was, in “ olden time," sung by the women of Israel. Every Philistine was magnified into ten; every ten into a hundred ; and every hundred into a thousand. But the amplifying powers of the Jewish women fade into insignificance, when compared with those of the Anglo-Hibernian writers. Every Englishman that fell in battle, or otherwise, was murdered. Every man was magnified into a hundred; every ten into a thousand; and every hundred into ten thousand.
Such a spirit of exaggeration has prevailed, in a greater or less degree, in all ages. Even in common occurrences, hardly calculated to excite any interest, we find, every day of our lives, that the statements of current events are so highly coloured, as to differ full as much from the reality, as the countenance of a meretricious courtezan, who has exhausted her stores of carmine and white-lead, differs from the un
405 Clarendon's E. II.
406 Warwick, 199.