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“ No age was spar'd; no sex, nay no degree;
All died. 'Twas crime enough that they had lives."1931 The canting and hypocritical impostor, in his despatches to the Parliament, had the shameless impudence to ascribe the glory" of this bloody deed to God, “to whom indeed the praise of this mercy belongs!!** And such was the delusion of those times, that, in all
Oes their arms, and performed it as long as any place held out; which encouraged others to yield. But when they had once all in their power, and feared no hurt that could be done them, Cromwell, being told by Jones, that he had now all the flower of the Irish army in his hands, gave orders that no quarter should be given; so that his soldiers were forced, many of them against their will, to kill their prisoners. The brave governor sir A. Aston, sir Edm. Verney, the colonels Warren, Fleming and Byrne, were killed in cold blood ; and indeed all the officers, except some few of least consideration, that escaped by miracle. The marquis of Ormonde, in his letters to the king and lord Byron, says, “ that on this occasion Cromwell exceeded himself and any thing he had ever heard of, in breach of faith and bloody inhumanity; and that the cruelties exercised there for five days afler 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."932
*“Sir,--It has pleased God to bless our endeavours at Drogheda; after battering, we stormed it. The enemy were about three thousand strong in the town. They made a stout resistance, and near one thousand of our men being entered, the enemy forced them out again. But God giving a new courage to our men, they attempted again, and entered, beating the enemy from their defences. The enemy had made three retrenchments, both to the right and left, where we entered, all which they were forced to quit; being thus entered, we refused them quarter, having the day before summoned the town. I believe we put to the sword the whole number of the defendents. I do not think thirty of the whole number escaped with their lives: those that did are in safe custody, for the Barbadoes. Since that time the enemy quitted to us Trim, and Dundalk; in Trim they were in such haste, that they left their guns behind them. This hath been a marvellous great mercy!! The enemy being not willing to put an issue upon a field battle, had put into this garrison almost all their prime soldiers, being about three thousand horse and foot, under the command of their best officers, sir Arthur Aston being made governor. There were some seven or eight regiments, Ormonde's being one, under the command of sir Edmund Verney. I do not believe, neither do I hear, that any officer escaped with his life, save only one lieutenant, who, I hear, going to the enemy, said, that he was the only man
931 Ben Jonson.
932 Carte, II. 84.
the churches in London, thanks were returned to the God of mercy, for this barbarous slaughter of his creatures !*
History furnishes no circumstance more disgusting, revolting, or hideous, than this nauseous compound of base perfidy, murderous cruelty, and abominable hypocrisy. Never was the throne of the Living God more egregiously insulted, than by these impious offerings of thanksgiving; and never were the thunders of heaven more loudly called for, than to blast the Pharisaical wretches who made such a mockery of all the imperious duties of humanity and religion.
Some time afterwards, Cromwell gained possession of Wexford, by treachery; where a carnage was perpetrated, as atrocious as that which had taken place at Drogheda.f The perfidy and cruelty were exactly of the same character as the proceedings at the latter place. Commissioners on the part of the citizens had made a treaty with Cromwell, whereby persons and property were to be secured, as well of the garrison, as the inhabitants. But in violation of the treaty, the whole, to the number of 2000, men, women, and children, were slaughtered.
Ireton, apparently sated with slaughter, gave protection to the remnant of the inhabitants of a certain barony. But being informed that they had broken the articles,” he, without inquiry, issued orders to slaughter every man, woman, and child” it contained. Lord
coo that escaped of all the garrison. The enemy were filled upon this with much terror: and truly I believe this bitterness will save much effusion of blood, through the goodness of God!!!
“ I wish that all honest hearts may give the glory of this to God alone, to whom indeed the praise of this mercy belongs! for instruments they were very inconsiderable the work throughout.
0. CROMWELL."933 *“ The ministers of London acquainted the people with the great success of the parliament's forces in Ireland, and returned thanks to God for the same."934
+ “As soon as Cromwell had ordered his batteries to play on a . distant quarter of the town, [Wexford] on his summons being rejected, Stafford admitted his men into the castle, from whence issuing suddenly, and attacking the wall and gate adjoining, they were admitted, either through the treachery of the townsmen or the cowardice of the soldiers, or perhaps both: and the slaughter was almost as great as at Drogheda."936
"Commissioners, treating with Cromwell, had procured the safety of the inhabitants of the town—and the preservation of it from plunder; as (well as] leave for the soldiers to depart every one to their own homes (they engaging not to bear arms any more against the state of England) and lastly of life to the officers. 938
S“ Soon after Ireton had the command of the army, he was informed that a certain barony had broken the articles in consideration of which they had been protected. He marched therefore against this barony, and gave immediate orders to his soldiers to kill man, wo
953 Whitelock, 428.
935 Warner, 476.
936 Borlace, 225.
Broghill, though a sanguinary ruffian, shuddered at the barbarity of those terrible orders; remonstrated with Ireton; and at length, with considerable difficulty, prevailed on him to confine the massacre to persons found in arıns, or who made resistance.* Those who cousider the awe which a ferocious army inspires, the reluctance which, without the most grievous outrage, the peasantry must have felt to encounter the swords of a victorious enemy, as well as the violence and rapacity of such an enemy, will be led to believe, that the provocation was of a similar character with that which, according to Phædrus, was given by the lamb, drinking at the lower part of the stream, to the wolf, allaying his thirst above, who charged the innocent animal with muddying the waters. The strong probability is, that some individual resisted the rape of his wife or daughter, or the plunder of his property, and that the foiled ruffians magnified the affair into a violation of the protection. But be that as it may, it does not diminish our horror of the merciless Ireton, who issued the murderous mandate to slaughter man, woman, and child;" as it must be obvious, that, if there were really a violation of the articles, a large portion of the men were probably wholly innocent: and, at all events, the women, and more especially the children, could not have deseryed the extermination from which they were so hardly rescued.
To the wretched Irish, neither caves, nor castles, nor churches, afforded any security. The murderous spirit of their enemies pursued them in every quarter, with as little mercy as the tiger displays towards the bleating lamb.
Three thousand men, women, and children, of all ranks and ages, took refuge in the cathedral of Cashel, hoping the temple of the Liv. ing God would afford them a sanctuary from the butcheries that were laying the whole country desolate. The barbarian Ireton forced the gates of the church, and let loose his blood-hounds among them, who soon convinced them how vain was their reliance on the temple or the altar of God. They were slaughtered, without discrimination.t Neither rank, dignity, nor character, saved the nobleman, the bishop, or the priest; nor decrepitude, nor his hoary head, the venerable sage bending down into the grave; nor her charms, the virgin; nor her
man, and child ; but before these orders were executed, lord Broghaill expostulated with him upon the cruelty of such proceedings.''937
*“ He was therefore humbly of opinion, that it would be more just, reasonable, and honourable, to order the soldiers to kill none but who were found in arms or made any opposition. With these words, Ireton was at last, though hardly, persuaded to revoke his bloody com
+ " Having brought together an army, he marched into the county of Tipperary, and hearing that many priests and gentry about **Cashel had retired with their goods into the church, he stormed it, and being entered, put three thousand of them to the sword, taking the priests even from under the altar. 1939
837 Orrery, I. Memoirs, 32.
938 Idem, 33.
939 Ludlow, I. 106.
virtues, the respectable matron ; nor its helplessness, the smiling infant. Butchery was the order of the day, and all shared the common fate.
“Behold the furious and unpitying soldier,
« Distracted mothers
Softly they hush'd, drop in anguish from them.”940 That the leaders of the forces of the government perpetrated the most atrocious cruelties, I have fully proved. I shall now give a few strong facts, to satisfy the reader, that they gloried in their guilt, and regarded the extent of their murders as constituting their merits. The sanguinary lord Orrery, bending down into the grave, being seventy-six years of age, in urging the claims of the earl of Barrymore and his two sons on the speaker of the English house of commons, appears to lay his chief dependence for success on the desolation they had perpetrated. The first, he says, lately hung up “ forty-three notable rebels for a breakfast."* It is not difficult to conceive what hideous havoc and carnage the constant repetition of these breakfasts, and dinners and suppers of the same character, must have produced.
The merit of the two sons of lord Orrery far transcended that of lord Barrymore; as they, in the course of a few months, destroyed above three thousand of the Irish.t This afforded them a sure claim to the favour and protection of government.
Sir William Cole, with one regiment of foot, of five hundred men, and one troop of horse, is recorded by Borlace to have slain 2,417 swordsmen, in various skirmishes and battles, and to have a starved and famished of the vulgar sort,” whose property they had previously plundered, no less than " 7000 persoits ;3,941 and thus, adds he,“ the English in all parts fought, so as indeed the rebels lost, in the general, many men, and much of their substance.” That they lost “ much of their substance," and that their enemies were as justly celebrated for their skill in plunder as for their thirst of blood, is be
** The earl of Barrymore “bath nothing but what he fighteth with the rebels for, and getteth by his sword; he having lately hanged forty-three notable rebels for a breakfast."94%
**I do affirm, and will make good this undeniable truth, that my two sons, Kynalmeaky and Broghill, with those forces that I have raised and satisfied, and they command, have been the destruction of above three thousand rebels, since the beginning of the insurrection."943 This letter is dated August 25, 1642; and the insurrection had not spread into Munster until December, 1641. This affords a clew towards forming an estimate of the horrible carnage perpetrated throughout the kingdom on the wretched Irish.
941 Borlace, 87,
942 Orrery, I. 12.
94. Idem, 15.
yond doubt. The following circumstance will shed additional light on this subject.
Sir Richard Cox, in the subsequent war between James II. and William, boasted that he had, in the single county of Cork, killed and hanged three thousand of the Irish ;* made preys to the amount of twelve thousand pounds; and divided three hundred and eighty pounds among one troop. This, it is to be presumed, is a pretty fair specimen of the slaughter and rapine that extended throughout the kingdom.
When a view is taken of the various thousands gleaned up in the preceding pages ; 3,000 in one place; 7,000 in another; 4,000 in another; 5,000 in another, and so on in succession; and when regard is had to the novel circumstance of the utter exclusion of all the histories on the Irish side of the question, no man can doubt that in this war of extermination, originally founded on the manifest perjury of O'Conally, provoked by the most savage cruelty, and protracted by the combined influence of devouring avarice, religious bigotry, and the most rancorous national hostility, there were, as I have already stated, from sir William Petty, above FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND OF THE IRISH “ wasted by the sword, plague, famine, hardship, and banishment, between the 230 October, 1641, and the same day, 1652;"944 that Ireland, during that war, exhibited as dreadful a scene of rapine and slaughter as either Mexico or Pery, when invaded by the Spaniards; and that none of the sanguinary exploits of Cortes or Pizarro could exceed, for atrocity, the deeds of Coote, St. Leger, Monroe, Inchiquin, Grenville, Hamilton, Tichbourne, Ireton, or Cromwell.
The horrible scenes we have depicted were not confined to Ireland. The war was carried on, in England and Scotland, with similar rapine, desolation and carnage on both sides, royalist and republican. It is not necessary, nor would it be proper, to enter here into detail respecting the affairs of the sister island. A few instances will be sufficient for my present purpose, merely to display the spirit of the age, the humanity of its warfare, and the peculiar propriety of the eternal reproaches, with which “the welkin has rung," against the barbarity of the Irish. Lord Clarendon, in various parts of his history, narrates the ruth
sooooOOooo ** As for the enemy, I used them like nettles, and squeezed them (I mean their vagabond partyes) soe hard, that they could seldom sting; having, as I believe, killed and hanged no less than three thousand of them, whilst I stayed in the county of Cork, and taken from them, in cattle and plunder, at least to the value of 12,0001. which you will easily believe, when you know that I divided 3801. between one troop (colonel Townsend's) in the beginning of August. Aiter which colonel Beecher and the western gentlemen got a prey worth S0001. besides several other lesser preys, taken by small partyes, that are not taken notice of.9945
944 Petty, 18. Sir William states the precise number of 504,000. 945 Sydney Papers, M. I. 168.