An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800
by Mary Frances Cusack
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The Dublin Philosophical Society held their first meetings on Cork-hill, at the close of this century, and it is evident that there were many men in that age who had more than ordinary zeal for scientific research. Dr. Mullen has left a detailed account of the difficulties under which he dissected an elephant, which had been burned to death in the booth where it was kept for exhibition on the 17th June, 1682. According to Haller, oculists are indebted to him for some important discoveries connected with the organs of vision.[534]

The old Custom-house stood on the site of houses now comprised in that part of Dublin known as Wellington-quay. Here a locality was selected, in the reign of James I., for the purpose of "erecting cranes and making wharves." This street, now so busy and populous, was then in the suburbs, and is described in the lease, A.D. 1620, as "a certain parcel of ground, lying in or near Dame-street, street, in the suburbs of the city of Dublin." A new Custom-house was erected about the period of the Restoration, with the addition of a council-chamber, where the Privy Council and Committees of the House of Commons were accustomed to assemble. By an order of the Privy Council, 19th September, 1662, the Custom-house-quay was appointed the sole place for landing and lading the exports and imports of the city of Dublin. In 1683 the public Exchange of Dublin was transferred from Cork House to the Tholsel, a building erected early in the reign of Edward II., and described by Camden as built of hewn stone. Here the Mayor was elected on Michaelmas Day, and the citizens held their public meetings. A clock was set up in 1560, no doubt very much to the admiration of the citizens. A new Tholsel or City Hall was erected in 1683, on the same site, and there was a "'Change," where merchants met every day, as in the Royal Exchange in London. Public dinners were given here also with great magnificence; but from the marshy nature of the ground on which the building had been set up, it fell to decay in 1797, and a new Sessions-house was erected in Greenstreet.

Nor did the good people of Dublin neglect to provide for their amusements. Private theatricals were performed in the Castle at the latter end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, if not earlier. The sum of one-and-twenty shillings and two groats was expended on wax tapers for the play of "Gorbodne," "done at the Castle," in September, 1601. Miracle and mystery plays were enacted as early as 1528, when the Lord Deputy was "invited to a new play every day in Christmas;" where the Tailors acted the part of Adam and Eve, it is to be supposed because they initiated the trade by introducing the necessity for garments; the Shoemakers, the story of Crispin and Crispianus; the Vintners, Bacchus and his story; the Carpenters, Mary and Joseph; the Smiths represented Vulcan; and the Bakers played the comedy of Ceres, the goddess of corn. The stage was erected on Hogges-green, now College-green; and probably the entertainment was carried out al fresco. The first playhouse established in Dublin was in Werburgh-street, in 1633. Shirley's plays were performed here soon after, and also those of "rare Ben Jonson." Ogilvy, Shirley's friend, and the promoter of this enterprise, was appointed Master of the Revels in Ireland in 1661; and as his first theatre was ruined during the civil war, he erected a "noble theatre," at a cost of L2,000, immediately after his new appointment, on a portion of the Blind-quay. Dunton describes the theatres, in 1698, as more frequented than the churches, and the actors as "no way inferior to those in London." The Viceroys appear to have been very regular in their patronage of this amusement; and on one occasion, when the news reached Dublin of the marriage of William of Orange and Mary, the Duke of Ormonde, after "meeting the nobility and gentry in great splendour at the play, passed a general invitation to all the company to spend that evening at the Castle."[535]

The inventory of the household effects of Lord Grey, taken in 1540, affords us ample information on the subject of dress and household effects. The list commences with "eight tun and a pype of Gaskoyne wine," and the "long board in the hall." A great advance had been made since we described the social life of the eleventh century; and the refinements practised at meals was not the least of many improvements. A bord-clothe was spread on the table, though forks were not used until the reign of James I. They came from Italy, to which country we owe many of the new fashions introduced in the seventeenth century. In The Boke of Curtosye there are directions given not to "foule the bord-clothe wyth the knyfe;" and Ben Jonson, in his comedy of "The Devil is an Ass," alludes to the introduction of forks, and the consequent disuse of napkins:

"The laudable use of forks, Brought into custom here as they are in Italy, To th' sparing o' napkins."

The English edition of the Janua Linguarum of Comenius, represents the fashion of dining in England during the Commonwealth. The table was simply a board placed on a frame or trestles, which was removed after the meal to leave room for the dancers. Old Capulet's hall was prepared thus:

"A hall! a hall! give room, and foot it, girls! More light, ye knaves, and turn the table up."

The head of the table, where the principal person sat, was called the "board-end;" and as one long table was now used instead of several smaller ones, the guests of higher and lower degree were divided by the massive saltcellar, placed in the centre of the table. Thus, in Ben Jonson, it is said of a man who treats his inferiors with scorn, "He never drinks below the salt." The waiters, after settling the cloth, placed the spoons, knives, forks, bread, and napkins beside the trenchers. The butler served out the drink from the cupboard, the origin of our modern sideboard. The "cobbord," erroneously supposed to have been like our modern cupboard, is specially mentioned amongst Lord Grey's effects. Lord Fairfax, in his directions to his servants, written about the middle of the seventeenth century, says: "No man must fill beer or wine the cupboard keeper," and he should know which of his "cups for beer and which for wine, for it were a foul thing to mix them together." There was another reason, however, for this arrangement—much "idle tippling" was cut off thereby; for as the draught of beer or wine had to be asked for when it was needed, demand was not likely to be so quick as if it were always at hand. There were also cups of "assaye," from which the cupbearer was obliged to drink before his master, to prove that there was no poison in the liquor which he used. The cupboard was covered with a carpet, of which Lord Grey had two. These carpets, or tablecovers, were more or less costly, according to the rank and state of the owner. His Lordship had also "two chares, two fformes, and two stooles." Chairs were decidedly a luxury at that day. Although the name is of Anglo-Norman origin, they did not come into general use until a late period; and it was considered a mark of disrespect to superiors, for young persons to sit in their presence on anything but hard benches or stools. The Anglo-Saxons called their seats sett and stol, a name which we still preserve in the modern stool. The hall was ornamented with rich hangings, and there was generally a traves, which could be used as a curtain or screen to form a temporary partition. The floor was strewn with rushes, which were not removed quite so frequently as would have been desirable, considering that they were made the repository of the refuse of the table. Perfumes were consequently much used, and we are not surprised to find "a casting bottel, dooble gilte, for rose-water," in the effects of a Viceroy of the sixteenth century. Such things were more matters of necessity than of luxury at even a later period. Meat and pudding were the staple diet of the upper classes in 1698. Wright[536] gives a long and amusing extract from a work published by a foreigner who had been much in England at this period, and who appears to have marvelled equally at the amount of solid meat consumed, the love of pudding, and the neglect of fruit at dessert.

We are able, fortunately, to give a description of the fare used during the same period in Ireland, at least by the upper classes, who could afford to procure it. Captain Bodley, a younger brother of the founder of the famous Bodleian Library in Oxford, has left an account of a journey into Lecale, in Ulster, in 1603, and of the proceedings of his companions-in-arms, and the entertainment they met with. His "tour" is full of that gossiping, chatty, general information, which gives an admirable idea of the state of society. This is his description of a dinner: "There was a large and beautiful collar of brawn, with its accompaniments, to wit, mustard and Muscatel wine; there were well-stuffed geese (such as the Lord Bishop is wont to eat at Ardbraccan), the legs of which Captain Caulfield always laid hold of for himself; there were pies of venison and various kinds of game; pasties also, some of marrow, with innumerable plums; others of it with coagulated milk, such as the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London almost always have at their feasts; others, which they call tarts, of divers shapes, materials, and colours, made of beef, mutton, and veal." Then he relates the amusements. After dinner they rode, and in the evening they played cards, and had, "amongst other things, that Indian tobacco of which I shall never be able to make sufficient mention." Later in the evening "maskers" came to entertain them; and on one occasion, their host gave them up his own "good and soft bed, and threw himself upon a pallet in the same chamber."[537]

The large stand-bed, or four-post, was then coming into use, and was, probably, the "good and soft bed" which the host resigned to the use of the officers, and which, if we may judge by the illustration of this piece of furniture, would conveniently hold a considerable number of persons. The pallet was placed on the truckle-bed, which rolled under the large bed, and was generally used by a servant, who slept in his master's room. The reader will remember the speech of Mine Host of the Garter, in the "Merry Wives of Windsor," who says of Falstaff's room: "There's his chamber, his house, his castle, his standing-bed and truckle-bed."

However interesting the subject may be, there is not space to go into further details. The inventory of Lord Grey's personal effects can scarcely be given as a picture of costume in this century, for even a few years produced as considerable changes in fashion then as now. Dekker, in his Seven Deadly Sinnes of London, describes an Englishman's suit as being like a traitor's body that had been hanged, drawn, and quartered, and set up in several places; and says: "We that mock every nation for keeping one fashion, yet steal patches from every one of them to piece out our pride, and are now laughing-stocks to them. The block for his head alters faster than the feltmaker can fit him, and hereupon we are called in scorn block-heads." The courtiers of Charles II. compensated themselves for the stern restraints of Puritanism, by giving way to the wildest excesses in dress and manners. Enormous periwigs were introduced, and it became the fashion for a man of ton to be seen combing them on the Mall or at the theatre. The hat was worn with a broad brim, ornamented with feathers; a falling band of the richest lace adorned the neck; the short cloak was edged deeply with gold lace; the doublet was ornamented in a similar manner—it was long, and swelled out from the waist; but the "petticoat breeches" were the glory of the outer man, and sums of money were spent on ribbon and lace to add to their attractions.

The ladies' costume was more simple, at least at this period; they compensated themselves, however, for any plainness in dress, by additional extravagances in their head-dresses, and wore "heart-breakers," or artificial curls, which were set out on wires at the sides of the face. Patching and painting soon became common, and many a nonconformist divine lifted up his voice in vain against these vanities. Pepys has left ample details of the dress in this century; and, if we may judge from the entry under the 30th of October, 1663, either he was very liberal in his own expenditure, and very parsimonious towards his wife, or ladies' attire was much less costly than gentlemen's, for he murmurs over his outlay of about L12 for Mrs. Pepys and L55 for himself. The country people, however, were attired more plainly and less expensively, while many, probably—

"Shook their heads at folks in London,"

and wondered at the follies of their superiors.

The arms and military accoutrements of the period have already been mentioned incidentally, and are illustrated by the different costumes in our engravings, which Mr. Doyle has rendered with the minutest accuracy of detail. This subject, if treated at all, would require space which we cannot afford to give it. The Life Guards were embodied by Charles II, in 1681, in imitation of the French "Gardes des Corps." The Coldstream were embodied by General Monk, in 1660, at the town from whence they obtained their name.

From an account in the Hamilton MSS., published in the Ulster Archaeological Journal, it would appear that it was usual, or, at least not uncommon, for young men of rank to go abroad for some time, attended by a tutor, to perfect themselves in continental languages. It need scarcely be said that travelling was equally tedious and expensive. A journey from Dublin to Cork occupied several days; postchaises are a comparatively modern invention; and Sir William Petty astonished the good people of Dublin, in the seventeenth century, by inventing some kind of carriage which could be drawn by horses. With his description of the condition of the lower classes in Ireland at this period, I shall conclude this chapter. The accompanying figure represents the costume of the Irish peasant about the fifteenth century. The dress was found on the body of a male skeleton, in the year 1824, which was preserved so perfectly, that a coroner was called to hold an inquest on it. The remains were taken from a bog in the parish of Killery, co. Sligo. The cloak was composed of soft brown cloth; the coat of the same material, but of finer texture. The buttons are ingeniously formed of the cloth. The trowsers consists of two distinct parts, of different colours and textures; the upper part is thick, coarse, yellowish-brown cloth; the lower, a brown and yellow plaid.

"The diet of these people is milk, sweet and sour, thick and thin; but tobacco, taken in short pipes seldom burned, seems the pleasure of their lives. Their food is bread in cakes, whereof a penny serves a week for each; potatoes from August till May; muscles, cockles, and oysters, near the sea; eggs and butter, made very rancid by keeping in bogs. As for flesh they seldom eat it. Their fuel is turf in most places." The potatoe, which has brought so many national calamities on the country, had been then some years in the country, but its use was not yet as general as it has become since, as we find from the mention of "bread in cakes" being an edible during a considerable part of the year.


[512] Language—A proclamation in Irish, issued by Tyrone in 1601, is still extant, with a contemporary English translation.—See Ulster Arch. Jour. vol. vi. p. 57.

[513] Pope.—He rhymes spirit and merit; fit and yet; civil and devil; obey and tea.

[514] Tasso.—

"The land fornenst the Greekish shore he held."

Chaucer, too, uses faute for fault in the Canterbury Tales.

[515] Historians.—Max Mueller—Lectures on the Science of Language, p. 271—states, that labourers in country parishes in England do not use more than 300 words. A friend of mine, who is an excellent Irish scholar, assures me the most illiterate Irish-speaking peasant would use at least 500.

[516] Carew.—The tradition of the country says that this vengeance was excited by the complaints of a lady, with whom the Lord President had some gallantries, and whose conduct Keating had reproved publicly.

[517] Scholars.—We have been favoured with an accurate photograph of this inscription, by William Williams, Esq., of Dungarvan, from which the engraving given above has been made. The view of Tubrid Churchyard is also engraved from a sketch with which he has favoured us. It is hoped that many Irishmen in distant lands will look with no little interest on these beautifully executed engravings, and breathe a blessing on the memory of the good and gifted priest. A Keating Society was established a few years ago, principally through the exertions of Mr. Williams and the Rev. P. Meany, C.C. A Catechism in Irish has already appeared, and other works will follow in due time.

[518] Brought us.—Regal Visitation Book. A.D. 1622, MS., Marsh's Library, Dublin.

[519] Excluded.—History of England, People's Edition, part ii. p. 156.

[520] Desired.—See the Hamilton Manuscripts, Ulster Arch. Jour. vol. iii. pp. 155-147. Blair complains also that his patron "would receive the sacrament kneeling."

[521] England.—"The diet, housing, and clothing of the 16,000 families above-mentioned [those were the middle class] is much the same as in England; nor is the French elegance unknown in many of them, nor the French and Latin tongues. The latter whereof is very frequent among the poorest Irish, and chiefly in Kerry, most remote from Dublin."—Political Anatomy of Ireland, Petty, p. 58.

[522] Antwerp.—Descrittione dei Paesi Bassi: Anvers, 1567.

[523] Paid.—The Sovereignly of the British Seas: London, 1651.

[524] Little.—Hib. Pac.

[525] Head.—The tract entitled Killing no Murder, which had disturbed Cromwell's "peace and rest," and obliged him to live almost as a fugitive in the country over which he had hoped to reign as a sovereign, still left its impression on English society. The miserable example of a royal execution was a precedent which no amount of provocation should have permitted.

[526] Writer.—Merchant's Map of Commerce: London, 1677.

[527] Sex.—The Interest of Ireland in its Trade and Wealth, by Colonel Lawrence: Dublin, 1682.

[528] Tobacco.—A Table of the Belfast Exports and Imports for the year 1683, has been published in the Ulster Arch. Jour. vol. iii. p. 194, which fully bears out this statement, and is of immense value in determining the general state of Irish commerce at this period. There are, however, some mistakes in the quotations of statistics, probably misprints.

[529] March.—Gilbert's Dublin, vol. i. p. 178.

[530] Faculty.—Document in the State Paper Office, Dublin, entitled Smyth's Information for Ireland.

[531] Aloes.Ulster Arch. Jour. vol. iii. p. 163.

[532] Roman Catholics.—The noisy and violent opposition which was made to a Catholic if he attempted to enter either a trade or a profession, would scarcely be credited at the present day; yet it should be known and remembered by those who wish to estimate the social state of this country accurately and fairly. After the Revolution, the Protestant portion of the Guild of Tailors petitioned William III. to make their corporation exclusively Protestant, and their request was granted.

[533] High-street.—Gilbert's Dublin, vol. i. p. 220.

[534] Vision.—Gilbert's Dublin, vol. ii. p. 149.

[535] Castle.—Gilbert's Dublin, vol. ii. p. 69. There is a curious account in the Quarterly Journal of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, July, 1862, p. 165, of a comic playbill, issued for a Kilkenny theatre, in May, 1793. The value of the tickets was to be taken, if required, in candles, bacon, soap, butter, and cheese, and no one was to be admitted into the boxes without shoes and stockings; which leads one to conclude that the form of admission and style of attire were not uncommon, or there would have been no joke in the announcement.

[536] Wright.—Domestic Manners, pp. 465, 466: "Oh! what an excellent thing is an English pudding! Make a pudding for an Englishman, and you will regale him, be he where he will."

[537] Chamber.—This most interesting and amusing journal is published in the Ulster Arch. Jour. vol. iii. p. 73, with a translation and notes. The original is in Latin.


Accession of James II.—Position of Public Affairs—Birth of an Heir—Landing of William of Orange—Arrival of King James in Ireland—The Siege of Derry—Cruelties of the Enniskilleners—Disease in Schomberg's Camp—The Battle of the Boyne—James' Defeat and Disgraceful Plight—The Siege of Athlone—The Siege of Limerick—Marlborough appears before Cork—William raises the Siege of Limerick and returns to England—The Siege of Athlone, Heroic Valour of its Defenders—The Battle of Aughrim—Surrender of Limerick.

[A.D. 1688-1691.]

King James' accession again raised the hopes of the Catholics, and again they were doomed to disappointment; while the Protestants, who had their fears also, soon learned that policy would bend itself to popularity. Colonel Richard Talbot was now raised to the peerage as Earl of Tyrconnel, and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the forces, with an authority independent of the Lord Lieutenant. His character, as well as that of his royal master, has been judged rather by his political opinions than by facts, and both have suffered considerably at the hands of a modern historian, who has offered more than one holocaust to the manes of his hero, William of Orange.

The moderate and cautious Clarendon was appointed Viceroy, and did his best to appease the fears of the Protestants; but he was soon succeeded by Tyrconnel, whose zeal for Irish interests was not always tempered by sufficient moderation to conciliate English politicians. He had fought against O'Neill; he had opposed Rinuccini; he had served in the Duke of Ormonde's army; he had helped to defend Drogheda against the Republicans, and had lain there apparently dead, and thus escaped any further suffering; he was of the Anglo-Irish party, who were so faithfully loyal to the crown, and whose loyalty was repaid with such cold indifference; yet his virtues have been ignored, and Macaulay accuses him of having "adhered to the old religion, like the Celts," which was true, and of "having taken part with them in the rebellion of 1641," which was not true.

James commenced his reign by proclaiming his desire for religious liberty. Individually he may not have been much beyond the age in opinion on this subject, but liberty of conscience was necessary for himself. He was a Catholic, and he made no secret of his religion; he was, therefore, obliged from this motive, if from no other, to accord the same boon to his subjects. The Quakers were set free in England, and the Catholics were set free in Ireland. But the Puritan faction, who had commenced by fighting for liberty of conscience for themselves, and who ended by fighting to deny liberty of conscience to others, were quite determined that neither Quakers nor Catholics should worship God as they believed themselves bound to do. Such intolerance, unhappily, was not altogether confined to the illiterate. Coke, in a previous generation, had declared that it was felony even to counsel the King to tolerate Catholics; and Usher, that it was a deadly sin. The King had neither the good sense nor the delicacy of feeling to guide him through these perils. His difficulties, and the complications which ensued, belong to the province of the English historian, but they were not the less felt in Ireland.

The Protestants professed to be afraid of being massacred by the Catholics; the Catholics apprehended a massacre from the Protestants. Catholics were now admitted to the army, to the bar, and to the senate. Protestants declared this an infringement of their rights, and forgot how recently they had expelled their Catholic fellow-subjects, not merely from honours and emoluments, but even from their altars and their homes.

An event now occurred which brought affairs to a crisis. The King's second wife, Mary of Modena, gave him an heir, and the heir appeared likely to live (A.D. 1688). William of Orange, who had long flattered himself that he should one day wear the crown of England, saw that no time should be lost if he intended to secure the prize, and commenced his preparations with all the ability and with all the duplicity for which his career has been admired by one party, and denounced by the other, according as political and religious opinions viewed the deceit under the strong light of the ability, or the ability under the glare of the deceit. The Protestant party could not but see all that was to be apprehended if a Catholic heir should succeed to the throne, and they sacrificed their loyalty to their interests, if not to their principles.

William arrived in England on the 5th of November, 1688. He professed to have come for the purpose of investigating the rumours which had been so industriously circulated respecting the birth of the heir who had barred his pretensions, and to induce the King to join the league which had been just formed against France; but he took care to come provided with an armament, which gave the lie to his diplomatic pretensions; and as soon as he had been joined by English troops, of whose disaffection he was well aware, his real motive was no longer concealed. James fled to France, whither he had already sent his Queen and heir. Still there was a large party in England who had not yet declared openly for the usurper; and had not James entirely alienated the affection of his subjects by his tyrannical treatment of the Protestant bishops, his conduct towards the University of Oxford, and the permission, if not the sanction, which he gave to Jeffreys in his bloody career, there can be little doubt that William should have fought for the crown on English ground as he did on Irish.

Ulster was principally peopled by Protestant Presbyterians, from the north of Scotland. They were not likely to be very loyal even to a Stuart, for the Irish had been called over to Scotland before now to defend royal rights; they had not very defined religious opinions, except on the subject of hatred of Popery and Prelacy. It cannot be a matter of surprise, therefore, that these men hailed the prospect of a new sovereign, whose opinions, both religious and political, coincided with their own. If he, too, had very general views as to the rights of kings, and no very particular view as to rights of conscience being granted to any who did not agree with him, he was none the less acceptable.

Tyrconnel had neither men, money, nor arms, to meet the emergency. He had to withdraw the garrison from Derry to make up the contingent of 3,000 men, which he sent to assist the King in England; but they were immediately disarmed, and the young men of Derry closed their gates, and thus were the first to revolt openly against their lawful King. The native Irish had been loyal when loyalty cost them their lives, without obtaining for them any increased liberty to exercise their religion; they were, therefore, not less likely to be loyal now, when both civil and religious liberty might depend upon their fealty to the crown. The Enniskilleners revolted; and the whole of Ulster, except Charlemont and Carrickfergus, declared for William of Orange.

James determined to make an effort to regain his throne; and by this act rendered the attempt of his son-in-law simply a rebellion. Had the King declined the contest, had he violated the rules of government so grossly as no longer to merit the confidence of his people, or had there been no lawful heir to the throne, William's attempt might have been legitimate; under the circumstances, it was simply a successful rebellion. The King landed at Kinsale, on the 12th of March, 1689, attended by some Irish troops and French officers. He met Tyrconnel in Cork, created him a duke, and then proceeded to Bandon, where he received the submission of the people who had joined the rebellion. On his arrival in Dublin, he summoned a Parliament and issued proclamations, after which he proceeded to Derry, according to the advice of Tyrconnel. Useless negotiations followed; and James returned to Dublin, after having confided the conduct of the siege to General Hamilton. If that officer had not been incomparably more humane than the men with whom he had to deal, it is probable that the 'Prentice Boys of Derry would not have been able to join in their yearly commemoration of victory. The town was strongly fortified, and well supplied with artillery and ammunition; the besiegers were badly clad, badly provisioned, and destitute of almost every thing necessary to storm a town. Their only resource was to starve out the garrison; but of this resource they were partly deprived by the humanity of General Hamilton, who allowed a considerable number of men, women, and children to leave Derry, and thus enabled its defenders to hold out longer. Lundy, who urged them to capitulate to King James, was obliged to escape in disguise; and Major Baker, assisted by the Rev. George Walker, a Protestant clergyman, then took the command. According to the statements of the latter, the garrison amounted to 7,500 men, and they had twenty-two cannon, which alone gave them an immense advantage over the royal army. So much has been already said and written, and sung of the bravery of the Derry men, that nothing more remains to say. That they were brave, and that they bravely defended the cause which they had adopted, there is no doubt; but if polemics had not mingled with politics in the encounter, it is quite possible that we should have heard no more of their exploits than of those other men, equally gallant and equally brave. The Enniskilleners, who have obtained an unenviable notoriety for their merciless cruelty in war, occupied the King's troops so as to prevent them from assisting the besiegers. Several encounters took place between the Derry men and the royalists, but with no other result than loss of lives on each side. On the 13th of June, a fleet of thirty ships arrived from England with men and provisions; but the Irish had obtained the command of the river Foyle, and possession of Culmore Fort at the entrance, so that they were unable to enter. De Rosen was now sent by James to assist Hamilton. He proposed and carried out the barbarous expedition of driving all the Protestants whom he could find before the walls, and threatening to let them starve there to death unless the garrison surrendered. His plan was strongly disapproved by the King, it disgusted the Irish, and exasperated the besieged. The next day they erected a gallows on the ramparts, and threatened to hang their prisoners then and there if the unfortunate people were not removed. It is to the credit of the Derry men that they shared their provisions to the last with their prisoners, even while they were dying themselves of starvation. Perhaps the example of humanity set to them by General Hamilton was not without its effect, for kindness and cruelty seem equally contagious in time of war. Kirke's squadrons at last passed the forts, broke the boom, and relieved the garrison, who could not have held out forty-eight hours longer. It was suspected that English gold had procured their admittance, and that the officers who commanded the forts were bribed to let them pass unscathed. The siege was at once raised; the royal army withdrew on the 5th of August; and thus terminated the world-famed siege of Derry.

James now held his Parliament in Dublin, repealed the Act of Settlement, passed the Act of Attainder, and issued an immense quantity of base coin. He has been loudly condemned by some historians for these proceedings; but it should be remembered (1) that the Act of Settlement was a gross injustice, and, as such, it was but justice that it should be repealed. Had the measure been carried out, however severely it might have been felt by the Protestant party, they could not have suffered from the repeal as severely as the Catholics had suffered from the enactment. (2) The Act of Attainder simply proclaimed that the revolutionists were rebels against their lawful King, and that they should be treated as such. (3) The utterance of base coin had already been performed by several Governments, and James only availed himself of the prerogatives exercised by his predecessors.

The day on which the siege of Derry was raised, the royalists met with a severe reverse at Newtownbutler. They were under the command of Lord Mountcashel, when attacked by the Enniskilleners. The dragoons had already been dispirited by a reverse at Lisnaskea; and a word of command[538] which was given incorrectly, threw the old corps into confusion, from which their brave leader in vain endeavoured to rally them. Colonel Wolseley, an English officer, commanded the Enniskilleners; and the cruelties with which they hunted down the unfortunate fugitives, has made the name almost a byword of reproach. Five hundred men plunged into Lough Erne to escape their fury, but of these only one was saved. Lord Mountcashel was taken prisoner, but he escaped eventually, and fled to France. Sarsfield, who commanded at Sligo, was obliged to retire to Athlone; and the victorious Williamites remained masters of that part of the country.

Schomberg arrived[539] at Bangor, in Down, on the 13th of August, 1689, with a large army, composed of Dutch, French Huguenots, and new levies from England. On the 17th he marched to Belfast, where he met with no resistance; and on the 27th Carrickfergus surrendered to him on honorable terms, after a siege of eight days, but not until its Governor, Colonel Charles MacCarthy More, was reduced to his last barrel of powder. Schomberg pitched on Dundalk for his winter quarters, and entrenched himself there strongly; but disease soon broke out in his camp, and it has been estimated that 10,000 men, fully one-half of the force, perished of want and dysentery. James challenged him to battle several times, but Schomberg was too prudent to risk an encounter in the state of his troops; and the King had not the moral courage to make the first attack. Complaints soon reached England of the condition to which the revolutionary army was reduced. If there were not "own correspondents" then in camp, it is quite clear there were very sharp eyes and very nimble pens. Dr. Walker, whose military experience at Derry appears to have given him a taste for campaigning, was one of the complainants. William sent over a commission to inquire into the matter, who, as usual in such cases, arrived too late to do any good. The men wanted food, the horses wanted provender, the surgeons and apothecaries wanted medicines for the sick.[540] In fact, if we take a report of Crimean mismanagement, we shall have all the details, minus the statement that several of the officers drank themselves to death, and that some who were in power were charged with going shares in the embezzlement of the contractor, Mr. John Shales, who, whether guilty or not, was made the scapegoat on the occasion, and was accused, moreover, of having caused all this evil from partiality to King James, in whose service he had been previously. Mr. John Shales was therefore taken prisoner, and sent under a strong guard to Belfast, and from thence to London. As nothing more is heard of him, it is probable the matter was hushed up, or that he had powerful accomplices in his frauds.

Abundant supplies arrived from England, which, if they could not restore the dead, served at least to renovate the living; and Schomberg was ready to take the field early in the year 1690, notwithstanding the loss of about 10,000 men. James, with the constitutional fatuity of the Stuarts, had lost his opportunity. If he had attacked the motley army of the revolutionary party while the men were suffering from want and disease, and while his own troops were fresh and courageous, he might have conquered; the most sanguine now could scarcely see any other prospect for him than defeat. He was in want of everything; and he had no Englishmen who hoped for plunder, no French refugees who looked for a new home, no brave Dutchmen who loved fighting for its own sake, to fall back upon in the hour of calamity. His French counsellors only agreed to disagree with him. There was the ordinary amount of jealousy amongst the Irish officers—the inevitable result of the want of a competent leader in whom all could confide. The King was urged by one party (the French) to retire to Connaught, and entrench himself there until he should receive succours from France; he was urged by another party (the Irish) to attack Schomberg without delay. Louvais, the French Minister of War, divided his hatred with tolerable impartiality between James and William: therefore, though quite prepared to oppose the latter, he was by no means so willing to assist the former; and when he did send men to Ireland, under the command of the Count de Lauzan, he took care that their clothing and arms should be of the worst description. He received in exchange a reinforcement of the best-equipped and best-trained soldiers of the Irish army. Avaux and De Rosen were both sent back to France by James; and thus, with but few officers, badly-equipped troops, and his own miserable and vacillating counsel, he commenced the war which ended so gloriously or so disastrously, according to the different opinions of the actors in the fatal drama. In July, 1690, some of James' party were defeated by the Williamites at Cavan, and several of his best officers were killed or made prisoners. Another engagement took place at Charlemont; the Governor, Teigue O'Regan, only yielded to starvation. He surrendered on honorable terms; and Schomberg, with equal humanity and courtesy, desired that each of his starving men should receive a loaf of bread at Armagh.

William had intended for some time to conduct the Irish campaign in person. He embarked near Chester on the 11th of June, and landed at Carrickfergus on the 14th, attended by Prince George of Denmark, the Duke of Wurtemburg, the Prince of Hesse Darmstadt, the Duke of Ormonde, and the Earls of Oxford, Portland, Scarborough, and Manchester, with other persons of distinction. Schomberg met him half-way between Carrickfergus and Belfast. William, who had ridden so far, now entered the General's carriage, and drove to Belfast, where he was received with acclamations, and loud shouts of "God bless the Protestant King!" There were bonfires and discharges of cannon at the various camps of the Williamites. The officers of several regiments paid their respects to him in state. On the 22nd the whole army encamped at Loughbrickland, near Newry. In the afternoon William came up and reviewed the troops, pitching his tent on a neighbouring eminence.[541] The army comprised a strange medley of nationalities. More than half were foreigners; and on these William placed his principal reliance, for at any moment a reaction might take place in favour of the lawful King. The Williamite army was well supplied, well trained, admirably commanded, accustomed to war, and amounted to between forty and fifty thousand. The Jacobite force only consisted of twenty thousand,[542] and of these a large proportion were raw recruits. The officers, however, were brave and skilful; but they had only twelve field-pieces, which had been recently received from France. On the 22nd, news came that James had encamped near Dundalk; on the 23rd he marched towards Drogheda. On the same day William went to Newry; he was thoroughly aware of the movements of his hapless father-in-law, for deserters came into his camp from time to time. James obtained his information from an English officer, Captain Farlow, and some soldiers whom he made prisoners at a trifling engagement which took place between Newry and Dundalk.

James now determined on a retreat to the Boyne through Ardee. His design was to protract the campaign as much as possible,—an arrangement which suited his irresolute habits; but where a kingdom was to be lost or won, it only served to discourage the troops and to defer the decisive moment.

The hostile forces confronted each other for the first time on the banks of the Boyne, June 30, 1689. The Jacobite army was posted on the declivity of the Hill of Dunore—its right wing towards Drogheda, its left extending up the river. The centre was at the small hamlet of Oldbridge. Entrenchments were hastily thrown up to defend the fords, and James took up his position at a ruined church on the top of the Hill of Dunore. The Williamite army approached from the north, their brave leader directing every movement, and inspiring his men with courage and confidence. He obtained a favourable position, and was completely screened from view until he appeared on the brow of the hill, where his forces debouched slowly and steadily into the ravines below. After planting his batteries on the heights, he kept up an incessant fire on the Irish lines during the afternoon of the 30th. But James' officers were on the alert, even if their King were indifferent. William was recognized as he approached near their lines to reconnoitre. Guns were brought up to bear on him quietly and stealthily; "six shots were fired at him, one whereof fell and struck off the top of the Duke Wurtemberg's pistol and the whiskers of his horse, and another tore the King's coat on his shoulder."[543]

William, like a wise general as he was, took care that the news of his accident should not dispirit his men. He showed himself everywhere, rode through the camp, was as agreeable as it was in his nature to be; and thus made capital of what might have been a cause of disaster. In the meantime James did all that was possible to secure a defeat. At one moment he decided to retreat, at the next he would risk a battle; then he sent off his baggage and six of his field-pieces to Dublin, for his own special protection; and while thus so remarkably careful of himself, he could not be persuaded to allow the most necessary precaution to be taken for the safety of his army. Hence the real marvel to posterity is, not that the battle of the Boyne should have been lost by the Irish, but that they should ever have attempted to fight at all. Perhaps nothing but the inherent loyalty of the Irish, which neither treachery nor pusillanimity could destroy, and the vivid remembrance of the cruel wrongs always inflicted by Protestants when in power, prevented them from rushing over en masse to William's side of the Boyne. Perhaps, in the history of nations, there never was so brave a resistance made for love of royal right and religious freedom, as that of the Irish officers and men who then fought on the Jacobite side.

The first attack of William's men was made at Slane. This was precisely what the Jacobite officers had anticipated, and what James had obstinately refused to see. When it was too late, he allowed Lauzan to defend the ford, but even Sir Nial O'Neill's gallantry was unavailing. The enemy had the advance, and Portland's artillery and infantry crossed at Slane. William now felt certain of victory, if, indeed, he had ever doubted it. It was low water at ten o'clock; the fords at Oldbridge were passable; a tremendous battery was opened on the Irish lines; they had not a single gun to reply, and yet they waited steadily for the attack. The Dutch Blue Guards dashed into the stream ten abreast, commanded by the Count de Solmes; the Londonderry and Enniskillen Dragoons followed, supported by the French Huguenots. The English infantry came next, under the command of Sir John Hanmer and the Count Nassau. William crossed at the fifth ford, where the water was deepest, with the cavalry of his left wing. It was a grand and terrible sight. The men in the water fought for William and Protestantism; the men on land fought for their King and their Faith. The men were equally gallant. Of the leaders I shall say nothing, lest I should be tempted to say too much. James had followed Lauzan's forces towards Slane. Tyrconnel's valour could not save the day for Ireland against fearful odds. Sarsfield's horse had accompanied the King. The Huguenots were so warmly received by the Irish at the fords that they recoiled, and their commander, Caillemont, was mortally wounded. Schomberg forgot his age, and the affront he had received from William in the morning; and the man of eighty-two dashed into the river with the impetuosity of eighteen. He was killed immediately, and so was Dr. Walker, who headed the Ulster Protestants. William may have regretted the brave old General, but he certainly did not regret the Protestant divine. He had no fancy for churchmen meddling in secular affairs, and a rough "What brought him there?" was all the reply vouchsafed to the news of his demise. The tide now began to flow, and the battle raged with increased fury. The valour displayed by the Irish was a marvel even to their enemies. Hamilton was wounded and taken prisoner. William headed the Enniskilleners, who were put to flight soon after by the Irish horse, at Platten, and were now rallied again by himself. When the enemy had crossed the ford at Oldbridge, James ordered Lauzan to march in a parallel direction with Douglas and young Schomberg to Duleek. Tyrconnel followed. The French infantry covered the retreat in admirable order, with the Irish cavalry. When the defile of Duleek had been passed, the royalist forces again presented a front to the enemy. William's horse halted. The retreat was again resumed; and at the deep defile of Naul the last stand was made. The shades of a summer evening closed over the belligerent camps. The Williamites returned to Duleek; and eternal shadows clouded over the destinies of the unfortunate Stuarts—a race admired more from sympathy with their miseries, than from admiration of their virtues.

Thus ended the famous battle of the Boyne. England obtained thereby a new governor and a national debt; Ireland, fresh oppression, and an intensification of religious and political animosity, unparalleled in the history of nations.

James contrived to be first in the retreat which he had anticipated, and for which he had so carefully prepared. He arrived in Dublin in the evening, and insulted Lady Tyrconnel by a rude remark about the fleetness of her husband's countrymen in running away from the battle; to which she retorted, with equal wit and truth, that his Majesty had set them the example. He left Dublin the next morning, having first insulted the civil and military authorities, by throwing the blame of the defeat on the brave men who had risked everything in his cause. Having carefully provided for his own safety by leaving two troops of horse at Bray to defend the bridge, should the enemy come up, he hastened towards Duncannon, where he arrived at sunrise. Here he embarked in a small French vessel for Kinsale, and from thence he sailed to France, and was himself the bearer of the news of his defeat. The command in Ireland was intrusted to Tyrconnel, who gave orders that the Irish soldiery should march at once to Limerick, each under the command of his own officer. William entered Dublin on Sunday, July 7th. He was received with acclamations by the Protestants, who were now relieved from all fear lest the Catholics should inflict on them the sufferings they had so remorselessly inflicted on the Catholics. Drogheda, Kilkenny, Duncannon, and Waterford, capitulated to the victorious army, the garrisons marching to Limerick, towards which place William now directed his course. Douglas was sent to besiege Athlone; but the Governor, Colonel Grace, made such brave resistance there, he was obliged to withdraw, and join William near Limerick.

The French officers, who had long since seen the hopelessness of the conflict, determined to leave the country. Lauzan, after having surveyed Limerick, and declared that it might be taken with "roasted apples," ordered all the French troops to Galway, where they could await an opportunity to embark for France. But the brave defenders of the devoted city were not deterred. The Governor consulted with Sarsfield, Tyrconnel, and the other officers; and the result was a message to William, in reply to his demand for a surrender, to the effect, that they hoped to merit his good opinion better by a vigorous defence of the fortress, which had been committed to them by their master, than by a shameful capitulation. By a skilfully executed and rapid march, Sarsfield contrived to intercept William's artillery on the Keeper Mountains, and after killing the escort, bursting the guns, and blowing up the ammunition, he returned in triumph to Limerick. His success animated the besieged, and infuriated the besiegers. But the walls of Limerick were not as stout as the brave hearts of its defenders. William sent for more artillery to Waterford; and it was found that two of the guns which Sarsfield had attempted to destroy, were still available.

The trenches were opened on the 17th of August. On the 20th the garrison made a vigorous sortie, and retarded the enemy's progress; but on the 24th the batteries were completed, and a murderous fire of red-hot shot and shells was poured into the devoted city. The trenches were carried within a few feet of the palisades, on the 27th; and a breach having been made in the wall near St. John's Gate, William ordered the assault to commence. The storming party were supported by ten thousand men. For three hours a deadly struggle was maintained. The result seemed doubtful, so determined was the bravery evinced on each side. Boisseleau, the Governor, had not been unprepared, although he was taken by surprise, and had opened a murderous cross-fire on the assailants when first they attempted the storm. The conflict lasted for nearly three hours. The Brandenburg regiment had gained the Black Battery, when the Irish sprung a mine, and men, faggots, and stones were blown up in a moment. A council of war was held; William, whose temper was not the most amiable at any time, was unusually morose. He had lost 2,000 men between the killed and the wounded, and he had not taken the city, which a French General had pronounced attainable with "roasted Apples." On Sunday, the 31st of August, the siege was raised. William returned to England, where his presence was imperatively demanded. The military command was confided to the Count de Solmes, who was afterwards succeeded by De Ginkell; the civil government was intrusted to Lord Sidney, Sir Charles Porter, and Mr. Coningsby.

Lauzan returned to France with Tyrconnel, and the Irish forces were confided to the care of the Duke of Berwick, a youth of twenty, with a council of regency and a council of war to advise him. Under these circumstances it was little wonder that there should We been considerable division of opinion, and no little jealousy, in the royal camp; and even then the seeds were sowing of what eventually proved the cause of such serious misfortune to the country.

The famous Marlborough appeared before Cork with an army of 1,500 men, on the 22nd of September, and the garrison were made prisoners of war after a brief and brave resistance; but the conditions on which they surrendered were shamefully violated. Kinsale was next attacked; but with these exceptions, and some occasional skirmishes with the "Rapparees," the winter passed over without any important military operations.

Tyrconnel returned to Ireland in January, with a small supply of money and some provisions, notwithstanding the plots made against him by Luttrell and Purcell. He brought a patent from James, creating Sarsfield Earl of Lucan. A French fleet arrived in May, with provisions, clothing, and ammunition. It had neither men nor money; but it brought what was supposed to be a fair equivalent, in the person of St. Ruth, a distinguished French officer, who was sent to take the command of the Irish army. In the meantime Ginkell was organizing the most effective force ever seen in Ireland: neither men nor money was spared by the English Parliament. And this was the army which the impoverished and ill-provisioned troops of the royalists were doomed to encounter.

Hostilities commenced on 7th June, with the siege of Ballymore Castle, in Westmeath. The Governor surrendered, and Athlone was next attacked. This town is situated on the river Shannon. Its position must be thoroughly understood, to comprehend the heroic bravery with which it was defended. It will be remembered that Athlone was one of the towns which the English of the Pale had fortified at the very commencement of their invasion of Ireland. That portion of the city which lay on the Leinster or Pale side of the river, had never been strongly fortified, and a breach was made at once in the wall. Ginkell assaulted it with 4,000 men, and the defenders at once withdrew to the other side; but they held the bridge with heroic bravery, until they had broken down two of the arches, and placed the broad and rapid Shannon between themselves and their enemies. St. Ruth had arrived in the meantime, and posted his army, amounting to about 15,000 horse and foot, at the Irish side of the river. The English had now raised the works so high on their side, that they were able to keep up an incessant fire upon the town. According to their own historian, Story, they threw in 12,000 cannon balls and 600 bombs, and the siege cost them "nigh fifty tons of powder." The walls opposite to the batteries were soon broken down, and the town itself reduced to ruins. The besiegers next attempted to cross in a bridge of boats, but the defenders turned their few field-pieces on them. They then tried to mend the broken bridge; huge beams were flung across, and they had every hope of success. But they knew not yet what Irish valour could dare. Eight or ten devoted men dashed into the water, and tore down the planks, under a galling fire; and, as they fell dead or dying into the river, others rushed to take the places of their fallen comrades, and to complete the work.

St. Ruth now ordered preparations to be made for an assault, and desired the ramparts on the Connaught side of the town to be levelled, that a whole battalion might enter abreast to relieve the garrison when it was assailed. But the Governor, D'Usson, opposed the plan, and neglected the order. All was now confusion in the camp. There never had been any real head to the royalist party in Ireland; and to insure victory in battle, or success in any important enterprise where multitudes are concerned, it is absolutely essential that all should act with union of purpose. Such union, where there are many men, and, consequently, many minds, can only be attained by the most absolute submission to one leader; and this leader, to obtain submission, should be either a lawfully constituted authority, or, in cases of emergency, one of those master-spirits to whom men bow with unquestioning submission, because of the majesty of intellect within them. There were brave men and true men in that camp at Athlone, but there was not one who possessed these essential requisites.

According to the Williamite historian, Ginkell was informed by traitors of what was passing, and that the defences on the river side were guarded by two of the "most indifferent Irish regiments." He immediately chose 2,000 men for the assault, distributed a gratuity of guineas amongst them, and at a signal from the church bell, at six in the evening, on the 30th of June, the assault was made, and carried with such rapidity, that St. Ruth, who was with the cavalry at a distance, was not aware of what had happened until all was over. St. Ruth at once removed his army to Ballinasloe, twelve miles from his former post, and subsequently to Aughrim. Tyrconnel was obliged to leave the camp, the outcry against him became so general.

St. Ruth's ground was well chosen. He had placed his men upon an eminence, and each wing was protected by a morass or bog. The Williamites came up on Sunday, July 11th, while the Irish were hearing Mass. In this instance, as in so many others, it is impossible to ascertain correctly the numerical force of each army. The historians on either side were naturally anxious to magnify the numbers of their opponents, and to lessen their own. It is at least certain, that on this, as on other occasions, the Irish were miserably deficient in all the appliances of the art of war, while the English were admirably supplied. The most probable estimate of the Irish force appears to be 15,000 horse and foot; and of the English 20,000. Ginkell opened fire on the enemy as soon as his guns were planted. Some trifling skirmishes followed. A council of war was held, and the deliberation lasted until half-past four in the evening, at which time a general engagement was decided on. A cannonade had been kept up on both sides, in which the English had immensely the advantage, St. Ruth's excellently chosen position being almost useless for want of sufficient artillery. At half-past six Ginkell ordered an advance on the Irish right centre, having previously ascertained that the bog was passable. The defenders, after discharging their fire, gradually drew the Williamites after them by an almost imperceptible retreat, until they had them face to face with their main line. Then the Irish cavalry charged with irresistible valour, and the English were thrown into total disorder. St. Ruth, proud of the success of his strategies and the valour of his men, exclaimed, "Le jour est a nous, mes enfans." But St. Ruth's weak point was his left wing, and this was at once perceived and taken advantage of by the Dutch General. Some of his infantry made good their passage across the morass, which St. Ruth had supposed impassable; and the men, who commanded this position from a ruined castle, found that the balls with which they had been served did not suit their fire-arms, so that they were unable to defend the passage. St. Ruth at once perceived his error. He hastened to support them with a brigade of horse; but even as he exclaimed, "They are beaten; let us beat them to the purpose," a cannon-ball carried off his head, and all was lost. Another death, which occurred almost immediately after, completed the misfortunes of the Irish. The infantry had been attended and encouraged by Dr. Aloysius Stafford, chaplain to the forces; but when "death interrupted his glorious career,"[544] they were panic-struck; and three hours after the death of the general and the priest, there was not a man of the Irish army left upon the field. But the real cause of the failure was the fatal misunderstanding which existed between the leaders. Sarsfield, who was thoroughly able to have taken St Ruth's position, and to have retrieved the fortunes of the day, had been placed in the rear by the jealousy of the latter, and kept in entire ignorance of the plan of battle. He was now obliged to withdraw without striking a single blow. The cavalry retreated along the highroad to Loughrea; the infantry fled to a bog, where numbers were massacred, unarmed and in cold blood.

The loss on both sides was immense, and can never be exactly estimated. Harris says that "had not St. Ruth been taken off, it would have been hard to say what the consequences of this day would have been."[545] Many of the dead remained unburied, and their bones were left to bleach in the storms of winter and the sun of summer. There was one exception to the general neglect. An Irish officer, who had been slain, was followed by his faithful dog. The poor animal lay beside his master's body day and night; and though he fed upon other corpses with the rest of the dogs, he would not permit them to touch the treasured remains. He continued his watch until January, when he flew at a soldier, who he feared was about to remove the bones, which were all that remained to him of the being by whom he had been caressed and fed. The soldier in his fright unslung his piece and fired, and the faithful wolf-dog laid down and died by his charge.[546]

Ginkell laid siege to Galway a week after the battle of Aughrim. The inhabitants relied principally upon the arrival of Balldearg O'Donnell for their defence; but, as he did not appear in time, they capitulated on favourable terms, and the Dutch General marched to Limerick.

Tyrconnel died at Limerick, of apoplexy, while he was preparing to put the city into a state of defence. He was a faithful and zealous supporter of the royal cause, and devoted to the Irish nation. His loyalty has induced one party to blacken his character; his haughty and unconciliatory manner prevented his good qualities from being fully appreciated by the other.

The real command now devolved on M. D'Usson, the Governor of Limerick. Active preparations for the siege were made on both sides. Ginkell contrived to communicate with Henry Luttrell, but his perfidy was discovered, and he was tried by court-martial and imprisoned. Sixty cannon and nineteen mortars were planted against the devoted city, and on the 30th the bombardment commenced. The Irish horse had been quartered on the Clare side of the Shannon; but, through the treachery or indifference of Brigadier Clifford, who had been posted, with a strong body of dragoons, to prevent such an attempt, Ginkell threw across a pontoon-bridge, and sent over a large detachment of horse and foot, on the morning of the 16th, which effectually cut off communication between the citizens and their camp. On the 22nd he made a feint of raising the siege, but his real object was to lull suspicion, while he attacked the works at the Clare end of Thomond-bridge. The position was bravely defended by Colonel Lacy, but he was obliged to yield to overpowering numbers; and the Town-Major, fearing that the enemy would enter in the melee with the Irish, drew up the bridge. The English gave no quarter, and, according to their own account, 600 men were slaughtered on the spot. This was the last engagement. Sarsfield recommended a surrender. Resistance was equally hopeless and useless; it could only end in a fearful sacrifice of life on both sides. A parley took place on the 23rd, and on the 24th a three days' truce was arranged. Hostages were exchanged, and a friendly intercourse was established. On the 3rd of October, 1691, the Treaty was signed. The large stone is still shown which was used as a table on the occasion. What that Treaty contained, and how it was violated, are matters which demand a careful and impartial consideration.


[538] Command.—Mountcashel gave the word "right face;" it was repeated "right about face." Colonel Hamilton and Captain Lavallin were tried in Dublin by court-martial for the mistake, and the latter was shot.

[539] Arrived.—The journals of two officers of the Williamite army have been published in the Ulster Arch. Jour., and furnish some interesting details of the subsequent campaign. One of the writers is called Bonnivert, and was probably a French refugee; the other was Dr. Davis, a Protestant clergyman, who obtained a captaincy in William's army, and seemed to enjoy preaching and fighting with equal zest.

[540] Sick.—Harris' Life of King William, p. 254, 1719. Macaulay's account of the social state of the camp, where there were so many divines preaching, is a proof that their ministrations were not very successful, and that the lower order of Irish were not at all below the English of the same class in education or refinement. "The moans of the sick were drowned by the blasphemy and ribaldry of their companions. Sometimes, seated on the body of a wretch who had died in the morning, might be seen a wretch destined to die before night, cursing, singing loose songs, and swallowing usquebaugh to the health of the devil. When the corpses were taken away to be buried, the survivors grumbled. A dead man, they said, was a good screen and a good stool. Why, when there was so abundant a supply of such useful articles of furniture, were people to be exposed to the cold air, and forced to crouch on the moist ground?"—Macaulay's History of England, People's Ed. part viii. p. 88.

[541] Eminence.—Journal of Captain Davis, published in the Ulster Archaeological Journal, vol. iv.

[542] Twenty thousand.—Captain Davis' Journal.

[543] Shoulder.—Davis' Journal The coat was exhibited at the meeting of the British Association in Belfast, in 1852. It had descended as an heirloom through Colonel Wetherall, William's aide-de-camp, who took it off him after the accident.

[544] Career.—History of the King's Inns, p. 239.

[545] Been.—Life of William III. p. 327.

[546] Charge.—See the Green Book, p. 231, for some curious stories about this engagement, and for a detailed account of St. Ruth's death.


Formation of the Irish Brigade—Violation of the Treaty of Limerick—Enactment of the Penal Laws—Restrictions on Trade—The Embargo Laws—The Sacramental Test introduced—The Palatines—The Irish forbidden to enlist in the Army—Dean Swift and the Drapier's Letters—Attempts to form a Catholic Association—Irish Emigrants defeat the English in France, Spain, and America—The Whiteboys—An Account of the Cause of these Outrages, by an English Tourist—Mr. Young's Remedy for Irish Disaffection—The Peculiar Position and Difficulties of Irish Priests—The Judicial Murder of Father Nicholas Sheehy—Grattan's Demand for Irish Independence—The Volunteers—A Glimpse of Freedom.

[A.D. 1691-1783.]

St. John's Gate and the Irish outworks were surrendered to the English; the English town was left for the Irish troops to occupy until their departure for France. The men were to have their choice whether they would serve under William III. or under the French. A few days after they were mustered on the Clare side of the Shannon, to declare which alternative they preferred. An Ulster battalion, and a few men in each regiment, in all about 1,000, entered the service of Government; 2,000 received passes to return home; 11,000, with all the cavalry, volunteered for France, and embarked for that country in different detachments, under their respective officers. They were warmly received in the land of their adoption; and all Irish Catholics to France were granted the privileges of French citizens, without the formality of naturalization. And thus was formed the famous "Irish Brigade," which has become a household word for bravery and the glory of the Irish nation.

The Treaty, as I have said, was signed on the 3rd of October, 1691. The preamble states that the contracting parties were Sir Charles Porter and Thomas Coningsby, Lords Justices, with the Baron de Ginkell as Commander-in-Chief, on the part of William and Mary; Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, Viscount Galmoy, Colonel Purcell, Colonel Cusack, Sir J. Butler, Colonel Dillon, and Colonel Brown, on the part of the Irish nation. The articles were fifty-two in number. They guaranteed to the Catholics (1) the free exercise of their religion; (2) the privilege of sitting in Parliament; (3) freedom of trade; (4) the safety of the estates of those who had taken up arms for King James; (5) a general amnesty; (6) all the honours of war to the troops, and a free choice for their future destination. The articles run to considerable length, and cannot, therefore, be inserted here; but they may be seen in extenso in MacGeoghegan's History of Ireland, and several other works. So little doubt had the Irish that this Treaty would be solemnly observed, that when the accidental omission of two lines was discovered in the clean copy, they refused to carry out the arrangements until those lines had been inserted. The Treaty was confirmed by William and Mary, who pledged "the honour of England" that it should be kept inviolably, saying: "We do, for us, our heirs and successors, as far as in us lies, ratify and confirm the same, and every clause, matter, and thing therein contained." Two days after the signing of the Treaty, a French fleet arrived in the Shannon, with 3,000 soldiers, 200 officers, and 10,000 stand of arms. Sarsfield was strongly urged to break faith with the English; but he nobly rejected the temptation. How little did he foresee how cruelly that nation would break faith with him!

Two months had scarcely elapsed after the departure of the Irish troops, when an English historian was obliged to write thus of the open violation of the articles: "The justices of the peace, sheriffs, and other magistrates, presuming on their power in the country, dispossessed several of their Majesties' Catholic subjects, not only of their goods and chattels, but also of their lands and tenements, to the great reproach of their Majesties' Government."[547] These complaints were so general, that the Lords Justices were at last obliged to issue a proclamation on the subject (November 19, 1691), in which they state that they had "received complaints from all parts of Ireland of the ill-treatment of the Irish who had submitted; and that they [the Irish] were so extremely terrified with apprehensions of the continuance of that usage, that some of those who had quitted the Irish army and went home, with the resolution not to go to France, were then come back again, and pressed earnestly to go thither, rather than stay in Ireland, where, contrary to the public faith, as well as law and justice, they were robbed in their persons and abused in their substance." Let it be remembered that this was an official document, and that it emanated from the last persons who were likely to listen to such complaints, or relieve them if they could possibly have been denied.

The men who had hoped for confiscations that they might share the plunder, now began to clamour loudly. It was necessary to get up a popular cry against Papists, as the surest means of attaining their end. Individuals who had as little personal hatred to the Pope as they had to the Grand Turk, and as little real knowledge of the Catholic Faith as of Mahometanism, uttered wild cries of "No Popery!" and "No Surrender!" William, whose morals, if not his professions, proclaimed that he was not troubled with any strong religious convictions, was obliged to yield to the faction who had set him on the throne. Probably, he yielded willingly; and was thus able, in some measure, to make a pretence of doing under pressure what he really wished to do of his own will.

On the 28th of October, 1692, the Parliament in Dublin rejected a Bill which had been sent from England, containing restrictions on certain duties, solely to proclaim their independence. A few days after they were taught a lesson of obedience. Lord Sidney came down to the House unexpectedly, and prorogued Parliament, with a severe rebuke, ordering the Clerk to enter his protest against the proceedings of the Commons on the journals of the House of Lords. The hopes of the English were raised, and the Parliament brought forward the subject of the Limerick articles, with torrents of complaints against the Irish in general, and the Irish Catholics in particular. William received their remonstrance coolly, and the matter was allowed to rest for a time. In 1695 Lord Capel was appointed Viceroy. He at once summoned a Parliament, which sat for several sessions, and in which some of the penal laws against Catholics were enacted. As I believe the generality even of educated persons, both in England and Ireland, are entirely ignorant of what these laws really were, I shall give a brief account of their enactments, premising first, that seven lay peers and seven Protestant bishops had the honorable humanity to sign a protest against them.

(1) The Catholic peers were deprived of their right to sit in Parliament. (2) Catholic gentlemen were forbidden to be elected as members of Parliament. (3) It denied all Catholics the liberty of voting, and it excluded them from all offices of trust, and indeed from all remunerative employment, however insignificant.[548] (4) They were fined L60 a-month for absence from the Protestant form of worship. (5) They were forbidden to travel five miles from their houses, to keep arms, to maintain suits at law, or to be guardians or executors. (6) Any four justices of the peace could, without further trial, banish any man for life if he refused to attend the Protestant service. (7) Any two justices of the peace could call any man over sixteen before them, and if he refused to abjure the Catholic religion, they could bestow his property on the next of kin. (8) No Catholic could employ a Catholic schoolmaster to educate his children; and if he sent his child abroad for education, he was subject to a fine of L100, and the child could not inherit any property either in England or Ireland. (9) Any Catholic priest who came to the country should be hanged. (10) Any Protestant suspecting any other Protestant of holding property[549] in trust for any Catholic, might file a bill against the suspected trustee, and take the estate or property from him. (11) Any Protestant seeing a Catholic tenant-at-will on a farm, which, in his opinion, yielded one-third more than the yearly rent, might enter on that farm, and, by simply swearing to the fact, take possession. (12) Any Protestant might take away the horse of a Catholic, no matter how valuable, by simply paying him L5. (13) Horses and wagons belonging to Catholics, were in all cases to be seized for the use of the militia. (14) Any Catholic gentleman's child who became a Protestant, could at once take possession of his father's property.

I have only enumerated some of the enactments of this code, and I believe there are few persons who will not be shocked at their atrocity. Even if the rights of Catholics had not been secured to them by the Treaty of Limerick, they had the rights of men; and whatever excuse, on the ground of hatred of Popery as a religion, may be offered for depriving men of liberty of conscience, and of a share in the government of their country, there can be no excuse for the gross injustice of defrauding them of their property, and placing life and estate at the mercy of every ruffian who had an interest in depriving them of either or of both. Although the seventeenth century has not yet been included in the dark ages, it is possible that posterity, reading these enactments, may reverse present opinion on this subject.

But though the Parliament which sat in Dublin, and was misnamed Irish, was quite willing to put down Popery and to take the property of Catholics, it was not so willing to submit to English rule in other matters. In 1698 Mr. Molyneux, one of the members for the University of Dublin, published a work, entitled The Case of Irelands being bound by Acts of Parliament in England, stated. But Mr. Molyneux's book was condemned by the English Parliament; and after a faint show of resistance, the Irish members succumbed. The next attention which the English Houses paid to this country, was to suppress the woollen trade. In 1698 they passed a law for the prevention of the exportation of wool and of manufactures from Ireland, "under the forfeiture of goods and ship, and a penalty of L500 for every such offence." The penal laws had made it "an offence" for a man to practise his religion, or to educate his children either in Ireland or abroad; the trade laws made it "an offence" for a man to earn[550] his bread in an honest calling. The lower class of Protestants were the principal sufferers by the destruction of the woollen trade; it had been carried on by them almost exclusively; and it is said that 40,000 persons were reduced to utter destitution by this one enactment. In addition to this, navigation laws were passed, which prohibited Irish merchants from trading beyond seas in any ships except those which were built in England. The embargo laws followed, of which twenty-two were passed at different periods during forty years. They forbade Irish merchants, whether Protestant or Catholic, to trade with any foreign nation, or with any British colony, direct-to export or import any article, except to or from British merchants resident in England. Ireland, however, was allowed one consolation, and this was the permission to import rum duty free. I am certain that none of the honorable members who voted such laws had the deliberate intention of making the Irish a nation of beggars and drunkards; but if the Irish did not become such, it certainly was not the fault of those who legislated for their own benefit, and, as far as they had the power to do so, for her ruin, politically and socially.

William had exercised his royal prerogative by disposing, according to his own inclination, of the estates forfeited by those who had fought for the royal cause. His favourite, Mrs. Villiers, obtained property worth L25,000 per annum. In 1799 the English Parliament began to inquire into this matter, and the Commons voted that "the advising and passing of the said grants was highly reflecting upon the King's honour." William had already began to see on what shifting sands the poor fabric of his popularity was erected. He probably thought of another case in which his honour had been really pledged, and in which he had been obliged to sacrifice it to the clamours of these very men. He had failed in the attempt to keep his Dutch Guards; his last days were embittered; and had not his death occurred soon after, it is just possible that even posterity might have read his life in a different fashion.

Anne succeeded to the throne in 1702; and the following year the Duke of Ormonde was sent to Ireland as Lord Lieutenant. The House of Commons waited on him with a Bill "to prevent the further growth of Popery." A few members, who had protested against this Act, resigned their seats, but others were easily found to take their places, whose opinions coincided with those of the majority. The Queen's Tory advisers objected to these strong measures, and attempted to nullify them, by introducing the clause known as the "Sacramental Test," which excludes from public offices all who refused to receive the sacrament according to the forms of the Established Church. As dissenters from that Church had great influence in the Irish Parliament, and as it was well known that their abhorrence of the Church which had been established by law was little short of their hatred of the Church which had been suppressed by law, it was hoped that they would reject the bill; but they were assured that they would not be required to take the test, and with this assurance they passed the Act. It seems to those who look back on such proceedings, almost a marvel, how men, whose conscience forbade them to receive the sacrament according to certain rites, and who, in many cases, certainly would have resigned property, if not life, sooner than act contrary to their religious convictions, should have been so blindly infatuated as to compel other men, as far as they had power to do so, to violate their conscientious convictions. The whole history of the persecutions which Catholics have endured at the hands of Protestants of all and every denomination, is certainly one of the most curious phases of human perversity which the philosopher can find to study.

Two of the gentlemen, Sir Toby Butler and Colonel Cusack, who had signed the Treaty of Limerick, petitioned to be heard by counsel against the Bill. But appeals to honour and to justice were alike in vain, when addressed to men who were destitute of both. The petitioners were dismissed with the insulting remark, that if they suffered from the Act it was their own fault, since, if they complied with its requirements, honours and wealth were at their command. But these were men who would not violate the dictates of conscience for all that the world could bestow on them, and of this one should think they had already given sufficient proof. The Bill was passed without a dissentient voice; and men who would themselves have rebelled openly and violently if the Sacramental Test had been imposed on them, and who would have talked loudly of liberty of conscience, and the blasphemy of interfering with any one's religious convictions, now, without a shadow of hesitation, imposed this burden upon their fellow-men, and were guilty of the very crime of persecution, with which they so frequently charged their Catholic fellow-subjects.

One Act followed another, each adding some new restriction to the last, or some fresh incentive for persecution. In 1709 an attempt was made to plant some Protestant families from Germany in various parts of the country. These settlements obtained the name of Palatines. But it was labour lost. Sir John Chichester once observed, that it was useless to endeavour to root Popery out of Ireland, for it was impregnated in the very air. A few of the Palatines, like other settlers, still kept to their own religion; but the majority, as well as the majority of other settlers, learned to understand and then to believe the Catholic faith—learned to admire, and then to love, and eventually to amalgamate with the long-suffering and noble race amongst whom they had been established.

It would appear that Queen Anne wished her brother to succeed her on the throne; but he had been educated a Catholic, and he resolutely rejected all temptations to renounce his faith. Her short and troubled reign ended on the 1st of August, 1714. Before her death the Parliament had chosen her successor. Her brother was proscribed, and a reward of L50,000 offered for his apprehension. The rebellion in favour of James III., as he was called on the Continent, or the Pretender, as he was called by those who had no resource but to deny his legitimacy, was confined entirely to Scotland; but the Irish obtained no additional grace by their loyalty to the reigning monarch. A new proclamation was issued, which not only forbid them to enlist in the army, but offered rewards for the discovery of any Papist who had presumed to enlist, in order that "he might be turned out, and punished with the utmost severity of the law." In the next reign we shall see how the suicidal effect of this policy was visited on the heads of its promoters.

The Irish Parliament now came into collision with the English on a case of appellate jurisdiction, but they were soon taught their true position, and with becoming submission deferred to their fate. The Irish Parliament had long been such merely in name; and the only power they were allowed to exercise freely, was that of making oppressive and unjust enactments against their Catholic fellow-subjects. It is a poor consolation, but one which is not unfrequently indulged, when those who are oppressed by others become themselves in turn the oppressors of those who are unfortunate enough to be in their power.

A new phase in Irish history was inaugurated by the versatile talents, and strong will in their exercise, which characterized the famous Dr. Jonathan Swift. The quarrels between Whigs and Tories were at their height. Swift is said to have been a Whig in politics and a Tory in religion. He now began to write as a patriot; and in his famous "Drapier's Letters" told the Government of the day some truths which were more plain than palatable.[551] An Englishman named Wood had obtained a patent under the Broad Seal, in 1723, for the coinage of copper halfpence. Even the servile Parliament was indignant, and protested against a scheme[552] which promised to flood Ireland with bad coin, and thus to add still more to its already impoverished condition. There was reason for anxiety. The South Sea Bubble had lately ruined thousands in England, and France was still suffering from the Mississippi Scheme. Speculations of all kinds were afloat, and a temporary mania seemed to have deprived the soberest people of their ordinary judgment. Dr. Hugh Boulter, an Englishman, was made Archbishop of Armagh, and sent over mainly to attend to the English interests in Ireland. But he was unable to control popular feeling; and Swift's letters accomplished what the Irish Parliament was powerless to effect. Although it was well known that he was the author of these letters, and though a reward of L300 was offered for the discovery of the secret, he escaped unpunished. In 1725 the patent was withdrawn, and Wood received L3,000 a year for twelve years as an indemnification—an evidence that he must have given a very large bribe for the original permission, and that he expected to make more by it than could have been made honestly. One of the subjects on which Swift wrote most pointedly and effectively, was that of absentees. He employed both facts and ridicule; but each were equally in vain. He describes the wretched state of the country; but his eloquence was unheeded. He gave ludicrous illustrations of the extreme ignorance of those who governed in regard to those whom they governed. Unfortunately the state of things which he described and denounced has continued, with few modifications, to the present day; but on this subject I have said sufficient elsewhere.

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