An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800
by Mary Frances Cusack
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I shall give the account of these atrocities in the words of a Protestant historian first. The Rev. Mr. Gordon writes thus, in his narrative of these fearful times: "The fears of the people became so great at length, that they forsook their houses in the night, and slept (if, under such circumstances, they could sleep) in the ditches and the women were even delivered in that exposed condition, These facts were notorious at the time.... Some abandoned their house from fear of being whipped; and this infliction many persons appeared to fear more than death itself. Many unfortunate men were strung up as it were to be hanged, but were let down now and then, to try if strangulation would oblige them to become informers." He then goes on to relate at length how the magistrates tortured smiths and carpenters at once, because it was supposed from their trade they must have made pikes; and how they, at last, professed to know a United Irishman by his face, and "never suffered any person whom they deigned to honour with this distinction, to pass off without convincing proof of their attention." He also mentions the case of a hermit named Driscoll, whose name and the same details of his sufferings are given in Clancy's account of the insurrection. This man was strangled three times, and flogged four times, because a Catholic prayer-book was found in his possession, on which it was supposed that he used to administer oaths of disloyalty.

I shall now give the account of another historian. Plowden writes thus; "These military savages [the yeomanry corps—it will be remembered what Lord Moira said of them in Parliament] were permitted, both by magistrates and officers, in open day, to seize every man they wished or chose to suspect as a Croppy, and drag him to the guardhouse, where they constantly kept a supply of coarse linen caps, besmeared inside with pitch; and when the pitch was well heated, they forced the cap on his head; and sometimes the melted pitch, running into the eyes of the unfortunate victim, superadded blindness to his other tortures. They generally detained him till the pitch had so cooled, that the cap could not be detached from the head without carrying with it the hair and blistered skin; they then turned him adrift, disfigured, often blind, and writhing with pain. They enjoyed with loud bursts of laughter the fiendlike sport—the agonies of their victim. At other times, they rubbed moistened gunpowder into the hair, in the form of a cross, and set fire to it; and not unfrequently sheared off the ears and nose of the unfortunate Croppy." Plowden then details the atrocities of a sergeant of the Cork Militia, who was called Tom the Devil. He concludes: "It would be uncandid to detail only instances of the brutality of the lower orders, whilst evidence is forthcoming of persons of fortune and education being still more brutalized by its deleterious spirit." He then mentions an instance, on the authority of both an eyewitness and the victim, in which Lord Kingsborough, Mr. Beresford, and an officer whose name he did not know, tortured two respectable Dublin tradesmen, one named John Fleming, a ferryman, the other Francis Gough, a coachmaker. The nobleman superintended the flagellation of Gough, and at every stroke insulted him with taunts and inquiries how he liked it. The unfortunate man was confined to his bed in consequence, for six months after the infliction. On Whit-Sunday, 1798, these men were again tortured with pitchcaps by the gentlemen. Other instances might be added, but these will suffice to show the feeling which actuated the rulers who permitted, and the men who perpetrated, these deeds of blood. "With difficulty," says Mr. Plowden, "does the mind yield reluctant consent to such debasement of the human species. The spirit which degrades it to that abandonment is of no ordinary depravity. The same spirit of Orangeism moved the colonel in Dublin, and his sergeant at Wexford. The effect of that spirit can only be faintly illustrated by facts. Those have been verified to the author by the spectator and the sufferer."[578]

From a letter of Lady Napier's, never intended for publication, and above all suspicion of any sympathy with the lower order of Irish, it will be seen how the tenantry of the Duke of Leinster were driven to revolt. It is dated Castletown, 27th June, 1798, and addressed to the Duke of Richmond. "The cruel hardships put on his tenants preferably to all others, has driven them to despair, and they join the insurgents, saying: 'It is better to die with a pike in my hand, than be shot like a dog at my work, or to see my children faint for want of food before my eyes.'"

Sir Ralph Abercrombie was appointed to command the army in Ireland, in 1797; but he threw up his charge, disgusted with atrocities which he could not control, and which he was too humane even to appear to sanction.[579] He declared the army to be in a state of licentiousness, which made it formidable to every one but the enemy. General Lake, a fitting instrument for any cruelty, was appointed to take his place; and Lord Castlereagh informs us that "measures were taken by Government to cause a premature explosion." It would have been more Christian in the first place, and more politic in the second place, if Government had taken measures to prevent any explosion at all.[580]

On the 12th of March, 1798, the Leinster delegates, who had been long since betrayed, were seized by Major Swan, in Dublin. Fifteen persons were present, the greater number of whom were Protestants. Emmet, MacNevin, Jackson, and Sweetman, were seized the same day. Arthur O'Connor had already been arrested on his way to France, with Father Coigley. The latter was convicted on May 22, at Maidstone, and hanged on evidence so inconclusive, that Lord Chancellor Thurlow said: "If ever a poor man was murdered, it was Coigley!" The arrest of Lord Edward FitzGerald occurred soon after. The room in which he was arrested and the bed on which he lay is still shown, for the brave young noble had won for himself the heart's love of every true Irishman. The story of his life would occupy more space than can be given to it. To abridge it would be to destroy more than half of its real interest. A severe wound which he received in the struggle with his captors, combined with the effects of excitement and a cruel imprisonment, caused his death. He was a chevalier sans peur et sans reproche. Even his enemies, and the enemies of his country, could find no word to say against him. With him died the best hopes of the United Irishmen, and with his expiring breath they lost their best prospect of success.[581]

Lord Edward died on the 4th of June. The 23rd of May had been fixed for the rising; but informations were in the hands of the Government. Captain Armstrong had betrayed the Sheares, two brothers who had devoted themselves to the cause of their country with more affection than prudence. The base traitor had wound himself into their confidence, had dined with them, and was on the most intimate social relations with their family. On the 12th of July he swore their lives away; and two days after they were executed, holding each other's hands as they passed into eternity.

The rising did take place, but it was only partial. The leaders were gone, dead, or imprisoned; and nothing but the wild desperation, which suggested that it was better to die fighting than to die inch by inch, under inhuman torture, could have induced the people to rise at all. The ferocity with which the insurrection was put down, may be estimated by the cruelties enacted before it commenced. Lord Cornwallis, in his Government report to the Duke of Portland, declared that "murder was the favourite pastime" of the militia. He declared that the principal persons in the country and the members of Parliament were averse to all conciliation, and "too much heated to see the effects which their violence must produce." To General Ross he writes: "The violence of our friends, and their folly in endeavouring to make it a religious war, added to the ferocity of our troops, who delight in murder, must powerfully counteract all plans of conciliation; and the conversation, even at my table, where you will suppose I do all I can to prevent it, always turns on hanging, shooting, burning, &c.; and if a priest has been put to death, the greatest joy is expressed by the whole company."

On the 23rd of May, Dublin was placed under martial law; the citizens were armed, the guard was trebled, the barristers pleaded with regimentals and swords, and several of the lamplighters were hung from their own lamp-posts for neglecting to light the lamps. The country people were prepared to march on the city, but Lord Roden and his Foxhunters soon put down their attempt. The next morning the dead were exhibited in the Castle-yard, and the prisoners were hanged at Carlisle-bridge. Sir Watkins Wynn and his Ancient Britons distinguished themselves by their cruelties. The Homsperg Dragoons and the Orange Yeomanry equalled them in deeds of blood. The fighting commenced in Kildare, on the 24th, by an attack on Naas, which was repelled by Lord Gosport. Two of his officers and thirty men were killed, and the people were shot down and hanged indiscriminately. "Such was the brutal ferocity of some of the King's troops," says Plowden, "that they half roasted and eat the flesh of one man, named Walsh, who had not been in arms." At Prosperous the insurgents attacked and burned the barracks, and piked any of the soldiers who attempted to escape from the flames. This regiment, the North Cork Militia, had been specially cruel in their treatment of the people, who were only too willing to retaliate. A troop of dragoons, commanded by Captain Erskine, was almost annihilated at Old Kilcullen. But reverses soon followed. At Carlow the insurgents met with a severe defeat; and the defenceless and innocent inhabitants, who fled into their houses for shelter from the fire, were cruelly and ruthlessly burned to death in their own habitations by the military.

A body of 2,000 men, under a leader named Perkins, encamped on the Hill of Allan, and agreed with General Douglas to lay down their arms. The General was honorable and humane, but his subordinates were not so. Major-General Duff, to whom the arms were to have been delivered up, ordered his troops to fire on the people, when they had assembled for that purpose. Lord Roden's cavalry cut them down, and an immense number were slaughtered in cold blood. Another attack took place at Tara, where the Irish were again defeated. The insurrection now broke out in Wexford. The people in this part of the country had not joined the movement in any way, until the arrival of the North Cork Militia, commanded by Lord Kingsborough. The men paraded in orange ribbons, fired at the peaceful country people, and employed pitchcaps and torture, until their victims were driven to desperation. The county was proclaimed on the 27th of April, by the magistrates; and before any riot had taken place, Mr. Hunter Gowan paraded through Gorey at the head of his yeomanry, with a human finger on the point of his sword, which was subsequently used to stir their punch in the evening.

On Whit-Sunday, the 27th of May, the yeomen burned the Catholic Chapel of Boulavogue. Father John Murphy, the parish priest, who had hitherto tried to suppress the insurrection, placed himself at the head of the insurgents. The men now rose in numbers, and marched to Enniscorthy, which they took after some fighting. Vinegar Hill, a lofty eminence overlooking the town, was chosen for their camp. Some of the leading Protestant gentlemen of the county had either favoured or joined the movement; and several of them had been arrested on suspicion, and were imprisoned at Wexford. The garrison of this place, however, fled in a panic, caused by some successes of the Irish troops, and probably from a very clear idea of the kind of retaliation they might expect for their cruelties. Mr. Harvey, one of the prisoners mentioned above, was now released, and headed the insurgents; but a powerful body of troops, under General Loftus, was sent into the district, and eventually obtained possession of New Ross, which the Irish had taken with great bravery, but which they had not been able to hold for want of proper military discipline and command. They owed their defeat to insubordination and drunkenness. A number of prisoners had been left at Scullabogue House, near Carrickburne Hill. Some fugitives from the Irish camp came up in the afternoon, and pretended that Mr. Harvey had given orders for their execution, alleging, as a reason, what, indeed, was true, that the royalists massacred indiscriminately. The guard resisted, but were overpowered by the mob, who were impatient to revenge without justice the cruelties which had been inflicted on them without justice. A hundred were burned in a barn, and thirty-seven were shot or piked. This massacre has been held up as a horrible example of Irish treachery and cruelty. It was horrible, no doubt, and cannot be defended or palliated; but, amid these contending horrors of cruel war, the question still recurs: Upon whom is the original guilt of causing them to be charged?

Father Murphy[582] was killed in an attack on Carlow, and his death threw the balance strongly in favour of the Government troops, who eventually proved victorious. After the battle of Ross, the Wexford men chose the Rev. Philip Roche as their leader, in place of Mr. Bagenal Harvey, who had resigned the command. The insurgents were now guilty of following the example of their persecutors, if not with equal cruelty, at least with a barbarity which their leaders in vain reprobated. The prisoners whom they had taken were confined in the jail, and every effort was made to save them from the infuriated people. But one savage, named Dixon, would not be content without their blood; and while the army and their leaders were encamped on Vinegar Hill, he and some other villains as wicked as himself found their way into the jail, and marched the prisoners to the bridge, held a mock trial, and then piked thirty-five of their victims, and flung them into the water. At this moment a priest, who had heard of the bloody deed, hastened to the spot; and after in vain commanding them to desist, succeeded at last in making them kneel down, when he dictated a prayer that God might show them the same mercy which they would show to the surviving prisoners. This had its effect; and the men who waited in terror to receive the doom they had so often and so mercilessly inflicted on others, were marched back to prison.

The camp on Vinegar Hill was now beset on all sides by the royal troops. An attack was planned by General Lake, with 20,000 men and a large train of artillery. General Needham did not arrive in time to occupy the position appointed for him; and after an hour and a-half of hard fighting, the Irish gave way, principally from want of gunpowder. The soldiers now indulged in the most wanton deeds of cruelty. The hospital at Enniscorthy was set on fire, and the wounded men shot in their beds. At Wexford, General Moore prevented his troops from committing such outrages; but when the rest of the army arrived, they acted as they had done at Enniscorthy. Courts-martial were held, in which the officers were not even sworn, and victims were consigned to execution with reckless atrocity. The bridge of Wexford, where a Catholic priest had saved so many Protestant lives, was now chosen for the scene of slaughter; and all this in spite of a promise of amnesty. Father Roche and Mr. Keogh were the first victims of the higher classes; Messrs. Grogan, Harvey, and Colclough were hanged the following day. A mixed commission was now formed of the magistrates, who were principally Orangemen, and the military, whose virulence was equally great. The Rev. Mr. Gordon, the Protestant clergyman whose account I have principally followed, as above all suspicion, declares that "whoever could be proved to have saved an Orangeman or royalist from assassination, his house from burning, or his property from plunder, was considered as having influence amongst the revolters, and consequently as a rebel commander." The reward for their charity now was instant execution. The Rev. John Redmond, the Catholic priest of Newtownbarry, had saved Lord Mountmorris and other gentlemen from the fury of the exasperated people, and had preserved his house and property from plunder. He was now sent for by this nobleman; and, conscious of his innocence, and the benefits he had rendered him, he at once obeyed the summons. On his arrival, he was seized, brought before the court, and executed on the pretence of having been a commander in the rebel army. He had, indeed, commanded, but the only commands he ever uttered were commands of mercy. Well might Mr. Gordon sorrowfully declare, that he had "heard of hundreds of United Irishmen, during the insurrection, who have, at the risk of their lives, saved Orangemen; but I have not heard of a single Orangeman who encountered any danger to save the life of a United Irishman." With equal sorrow he remarks the difference in the treatment of females by each party. The Irish were never once accused of having offered the slightest insult to a woman; the military, besides shooting them indiscriminately with the men, treated them in a way which cannot be described, and under circumstances which added a more than savage inhumanity to their crime.

The next act of the fatal drama was the execution of the State prisoners. The rising in Ulster had been rendered ineffective, happily for the people, by the withdrawal of some of the leaders at the last moment. The command in Antrim was taken by Henry McCracken, who was at last captured by the royalists, and executed at Belfast, on the 17th of June. At Saintfield, in Down, they were commanded by Henry Monroe, who had been a Volunteer, and had some knowledge of military tactics. In an engagement at Ballinahinch, he showed considerable ability in the disposal of his forces, but they were eventually defeated, and he also paid the forfeit of his life. A remnant of the Wexford insurrection was all that remained to be crushed. On the 21st of June, Lord Cornwallis was sent to Ireland, with the command both of the military forces and the civil power. On the 17th of July an amnesty was proclaimed; and the majority of the State prisoners were permitted eventually to leave the country, having purchased their pardon by an account of the plans of the United Irishmen, which were so entirely broken up that their honour was in no way compromised by the disclosure.

Several men, however, were executed, in whose fate the country had, for many reasons, more than ordinary interest. To have pardoned them would have been more humane and better policy. These were the two Sheares, M'Cann, and Mr. William Byrne. Their history will be found in the Lives of the United Irishmen, by Dr. Madden, a work of many volumes, whose contents could not possibly be compressed into the brief space which the limits of this work demands.

Some painfully interesting details of this fearful period may be found in the Annals of Ballitore, a work already referred to in this volume. The writer being a member of the Society of Friends, must be beyond all suspicion of partiality for rebels or Papists; yet, happily, like many members of that Society, was distinguished for humanity and toleration for the opinions of others. Her account of '98, being the annals of a family and a village, is, perhaps, almost better calculated to give an exact idea of the state of the times than a work comprising a more extended range of observation; and yet what was suffered in Ballitore was comparatively trifling when compared with the sufferings of other villages and towns. The first trial was the quartering of the yeomen, "from whose bosom," writes this gentle lady, "pity seemed banished." The Suffolk Fencibles and the Ancient Britons were next quartered on the unfortunate inhabitants. Then commenced the cruel torturing, for which the yeomen and militia obtained an eternal reprobation; the public floggings, of which she writes thus—"the torture was excessive, and the victims were long in recovering, and in almost every case it was applied fruitlessly;" yet these demons in human form never relaxed their cruelty. "The village, once so peaceful, exhibited a scene of tumult and dismay; and the air rang with the shrieks of the sufferers, and the lamentations of those who beheld them suffer."[583] Then follow fearful details, which cannot be given here, but which prove how completely the people were driven into rebellion, and how cruelly they were punished. Reprisals, of course, were made by the unfortunate victims; and on one occasion, Mrs. Leadbeater relates how Priest Cullen begged the life of a young man on his knees, and, as a reward of his humanity, was apprehended soon after, and condemned to death. The most cruel scene of all was the murder of the village doctor, a man who had devoted himself unweariedly to healing the wounds of both parties; but because he attended the "rebels," and showed them any acts of common humanity, he was taken before a court-martial, and "hacked to death" by the yeomen with their swords. "He was alone and unarmed when seized," writes Mrs. Leadbeater, "and I believe had never raised his hand to injure any one."

The French allies of Irish insurgents appear to have a fatality for arriving precisely when their services are worse than useless. On the 22nd of August, 1798, Humbert landed at Killala with a small French force, who, after a number of engagements, were eventually obliged to surrender at discretion.

Ireland having been reduced to the lowest state of misery and servitude, the scheme for which much of this suffering had been enacted was now proposed and carried out. The first parliamentary intimation was given in a speech from the throne, on the 22nd of January, 1799; a pamphlet was published on the subject by Mr. Cooke, the Under-Secretary; but it required more cogent arguments than either speeches from the throne or pamphlets to effect the object of Government. Mr. Pitt had set his heart upon the Union, and Mr. Pitt had determined that the Union should be carried out at any expense of honour. The majority of the Irish lawyers protested against it. The Irish people, as far as they dared do so, opposed it. At a meeting of the Irish bar, on the 9th of December, there were 166 votes against the Union and only thirty-two in favour of it. The published correspondence of Lord Cornwallis and Lord Castlereagh has revealed an amount of nefarious corruption and treachery at which posterity stands aghast. "These noblemen," writes Sir Jonah Barrington, "seemed to have been created for such a crisis, and for each other. An unremitting perseverance, an absence of all political compunctions, an unqualified contempt of public opinion, and a disregard of every constitutional principle, were common to both." But Lord Cornwallis had some compunctions; for he wrote to General Ross, describing his office as "the most cursed of all situations," and expressing, in language more forcible than gentlemanly, his ardent desire to "kick those whom his public duty obliged him to court."

The immediate arrangements made for carrying out the Union were extremely simple. A scale of "compensation" was arranged—a word which could, by a slight perversion of the ordinary meaning of the English language, be used as a new form of expressing what was formerly called bribery. Every one was promised everything that he wished for, if he would only consent to the measure. The Catholics were to have emancipation, the Protestants ascendency, the bar promotion, the people higher wages, the boroughmongers magnificent compensation. FitzGibbon, who had been made Lord Clare, and was then Chancellor, bribed, threatened, and cajoled the Upper House; Mr. Secretary Cooke employed himself with equal ability in the Lower House. Grattan had left Ireland; Flood was in retirement; the members of the bar who had voted against the Union were dismissed from office, and the Prime Serjeant, Mr. FitzGerald, was the first victim. The thirty-two who formed the minority were at once removed. I have not space for the details of the various attempts which were made to pass the unpopular measure. Barrington has given a list of the members for the Union, and the rewards they received. His description of the last night of the Irish Parliament is too graphic to be omitted:—

"The Commons' House of Parliament, on the last evening, afforded the most melancholy example of a fine, independent people, betrayed, divided, sold, and, as a State, annihilated. British clerks and officers were smuggled into her Parliament, to vote away the constitution of a country to which they were strangers, and in which they had neither interest nor connexion. They were employed to cancel the royal charter of the Irish nation, guaranteed by the British Government, sanctioned by the British Legislature, and unequivocally confirmed by the words, the signature, and the Great Seal of their monarch.

"The situation of the Speaker on that night was of the most distressing nature. A sincere and ardent enemy of the measure, he headed its opponents; he resisted with all the power of his mind, the resources of his experience, his influence, and his eloquence. It was, however, through his voice that it was to be proclaimed and consummated. His only alternative (resignation) would have been unavailing, and could have added nothing to his character. His expressive countenance bespoke the inquietude of his feeling; solicitude was perceptible in every glance, and his embarrassment was obvious in every word he uttered.

"The galleries were full, but the change was lamentable; they were no longer crowded with those who had been accustomed to witness the eloquence and to animate the debates of that devoted assembly. A monotonous and melancholy murmur ran through benches, scarcely a word was exchanged amongst the members, nobody seemed at ease, no cheerfulness was apparent, and the ordinary business, for a short time, proceeded in the usual manner.

"At length the expected moment arrived. The order of the day for the third reading of the Bill for a 'Legislative Union between Great Britain and Ireland,' was moved by Lord Castlereagh. Unvaried, tame, coldblooded, the words seemed frozen as they issued from his lips; and, as a simple citizen of the world, he seemed to have no sensation on the subject.

"At that moment he had no country, no God but his ambition: he made his motion, and resumed his seat with the utmost composure and indifference.

"Confused murmurs again ran through the House; it was visibly affected. Every character in a moment seemed involuntary rushing to its index—some pale, some flushed, some agitated; there were few countenances to which the heart did not despatch some messenger. Several members withdrew before the question could be repeated, and an awful momentary silence succeeded their departure. The Speaker rose slowly from that chair which had been the proud source of his honours and of his high character; for a moment he resumed his seat, but the strength of his mind sustained him in his duty, though his struggle was apparent. With that dignity which never failed to signalize his official actions, he held up the Bill for a moment in silence; he looked steadily around him on the last agony of the expiring Parliament. He at length repeated, in an emphatic tone, 'As many as are of opinion that this Bill do pass, say aye.' The affirmative was languid but indisputable; another momentary pause ensued; again his lips seemed to decline their office; at length, with an eye averted from the object which he hated, he proclaimed, with a subdued voice, 'The Ayes have it.' The fatal sentence was now pronounced; for an instant he stood statue-like; then indignantly, and with disgust, flung the Bill upon the table, and sunk into his chair with an exhausted spirit.

"An independent country was thus degraded into a province—Ireland, as a nation, was extinguished."


[571] Clergy.—Barrington says, in his Rise and Fall of the Irish Nation, p. 67, the Catholic clergy had every inclination to restrain their flocks within proper limits, and found no difficulty in effecting that object. The first statement is unquestionably true; the second statement is unfortunately disproved by many painful facts.

[572] Them.—Vol. ii. p. 93.

[573] Oath.—I give authority for these details. In the spring of 1796, three Orangemen swore before a magistrate of Down and Armagh, that the Orangemen frequently met in committees, amongst whom were some members of Parliament, who gave them money, and promised that they should not suffer for any act they might commit, and pledged themselves that they should be provided for by Government. The magistrate informed the Secretary of State, and asked how he should act; but he never received any answer, for further details on this head, see Plowden's History of the Insurrection.

[574] Sermons.—On the 1st of July, 1795, the Rev. Mr. Monsell, a Protestant clergyman of Portadown, invited his flock to celebrate the anniversary of the battle of the Boyne by attending church, and preached such a sermon against the Papists that his congregation fell on every Catholic they met going home, beat them cruelly, and finished the day by murdering two farmer's sons, who were quietly at work in a bog.—Mooney's History of Ireland, p. 876.

[575] Indemnity.—Lord Carhampton sent 1,300 men on board the fleet, on mere suspicion. They demanded a trial in vain. An Act of Indemnity was at once passed, to free his Lordship from any unpleasant consequences.

[576] Remember Orr.—Lives and Times of the United Irishmen, second series, vol. ii. p. 380.

[577] Sway.—An important instance of how the memory or tradition of past wrongs excites men to seize the first opportunity of revenge, if not of redress, has occurred in our own times. It is a circumstance which should be very carefully pondered by statesmen who have the real interest of the whole nation at heart. It is a circumstance, as a sample of many other similar cases, which should be known to every Englishman who wishes to understand the cause of "Irish disturbances." One of the men who was shot by the police during the late Fenian outbreak in Ireland, was a respectable farmer named Peter Crowley. His history tells the motive for which he risked and lost his life. His grandfather had been outlawed in the rebellion of '98. His uncle, Father Peter O'Neill, had been imprisoned and flogged most barbarously, with circumstances of peculiar cruelty, in Cork, in the year 1798. The memory of the insult and injury done to a priest, who was entirely guiltless of the crimes with which he was charged, left a legacy of bitterness and hatred of Saxon rule in the whole family, which, unhappily, religion failed to eradicate. Peter Crowley was a sober, industrious, steady man, and his parish priest, who attended his deathbed, pronounced his end "most happy and edifying." Three clergymen and a procession of young men, women, and children, scattering flowers before the coffin, and bearing green boughs, attended his remains to the grave. He was mourned as a patriot, who had loved his country, not wisely, but too well; and it was believed that his motive for joining the Fenian ranks was less from a desire of revenge, which would have been sinful, than from a mistaken idea of freeing his country from a repetition of the cruelties of '98, and from her present grievances.

[578] Sufferer.—Plowden, Hist. p. 102.

[579] Sanction.—His son says: "His estimate of the people led him to appreciate justly the liveliness of their parts. But while he knew their vices, and the origin of them, he knew that there was in their character much of the generosity and warmth of feeling which made them acutely sensitive when they were treated considerately and kindly. His judgment of the upper classes of society, and of the purity and wisdom of the government, was less favorable. He saw that the gentry were imperfectly educated; that they were devoted to the pursuits of pleasure and political intrigue; and that they were ignorant or neglectful of the duties imposed on them as landlords, and as the friends and protectors of those who depended on them for their existence."—Memoir of Sir Ralph Abercrombie, p. 72.

[580] All.—Lord Holland says, in his Memoirs of the Whig Party: "The fact is incontestable that the people of Ireland were driven to resistance, which, possibly, they meditated before, by the free quarters and excesses of the soldiery, which are not permitted in civilized warfare, even in an enemy's country." The state prisoners declared the immediate cause of the rising was "the free quarters, the house-burnings, the tortures, and the military executions."

[581] Success.—The real betrayer of this brave but unfortunate nobleman has only been discovered of late years. Dr. Madden was the first to throw light upon the subject. He discovered the item of L1,000 entered in the Secret Service Money-book, as paid to F.H. for the discovery of L.E.F. The F.H. was undoubtedly Francis Higgins, better known as the Sham Squire, whose infamous career has been fully exposed by Mr. Fitzpatrick. In the fourth volume of the United Irishmen, p. 579, Dr. Madden still expresses his doubt as to who was the person employed by Higgins as "setter." It evidently was some one in the secrets of Lord Edward's party. The infamous betrayer has been at last discovered, in the person of Counsellor Magan, who received at various times large sums of money from Government for his perfidy. See the Sham Squire, p. 114. Higgins was buried at Kilbarrack, near Clontarf. In consequence of the revelations of his vileness, which have been lately brought before the public, the tomb was smashed to pieces, and the inscription destroyed. See Mr. Fitzpatrick's Ireland before the Union, p. 152.

[582] Murphy.—Rev. Mr. Gordon says: "Some of the soldiers of the Ancient British regiment cut open the dead body of Father Michael Murphy, after the battle of Arklow, took out his heart, roasted his body, and oiled their boots with the grease which dropped from it."—History of the Rebellion, p. 212.

[583] Suffer.—Annals of Ballitore, vol. i. p. 227.


The State of Ireland before and after the Union—Advancement of Trade before the Union—Depression after it—Lord Clare and Lord Castlereagh in the English Parliament—The Catholic Question becomes a Ministerial Difficulty—The Veto—The O'Connell Sept—Early Life of Daniel O'Connell—The Doneraile Conspiracy—O'Connell as Leader of the Catholic Party—The Clare Election—O'Connell in the English House of Parliament—Sir Robert Peel—George IV. visits Ireland—Disturbances in Ireland from the Union to the year 1834, and their Causes—Parliamentary Evidence—The "Second Reformation"—Catholic Emancipation—Emigration, its Causes and Effects—Colonial Policy of England—Statistics of American Trade and Population—Importance of the Irish and Catholic Element in America—Conclusion.

[A.D. 1800-1868.]

It is both a mistake and an injustice to suppose that the page of Irish history closed with the dawn of that summer morning, in the year of grace 1800, when the parliamentary union of Great Britain and Ireland was enacted. I have quoted Sir Jonah Barrington's description of the closing night of the Irish Parliament, because he writes as an eyewitness, and because few could describe its "last agony" with more touching eloquence and more vivid truthfulness; but I beg leave, in the name of my country, to protest against his conclusion, that "Ireland, as a nation, was extinguished." There never was, and we must almost fear there never will be, a moment in the history of our nation, in which her independence was proclaimed more triumphantly or gloriously, than when O'Connell, the noblest and the best of her sons, obtained Catholic Emancipation.

The immediate effects of the dissolution of the Irish Parliament were certainly appalling. The measure was carried on the 7th of June, 1800. On the 16th of April, 1782, another measure had been carried, to which I must briefly call your attention. That measure was the independence of the Irish Parliament. When it passed, Grattan rose once more in the House, and exclaimed: "Ireland is now a nation! In that new character I hail her, and bowing to her august presence, I say, Esto perpetua!" period of unexampled prosperity followed. The very effects of a reaction from conditions under which commerce was purposely restricted and trade paralyzed by law, to one of comparative freedom, could not fail to produce such a result. If the Parliament had been reformed when it was freed, it is probable that Ireland at this moment would be the most prosperous of nations. But the Parliament was not reformed. The prosperity which followed was rather the effect of reaction, than of any real settlement of the Irish question. The land laws, which unquestionably are the grievance of Ireland, were left untouched, an alien Church was allowed to continue its unjust exactions; and though Ireland was delivered, her chains were not all broken; and those which were, still hung loosely round her, ready for the hand of traitor or of foe. Though nominally freed from English control, the Irish Parliament was not less enslaved by English influence. Perhaps there had never been a period in the history of that nation when bribery was more freely used, when corruption was more predominant. A considerable number of the peers in the Irish House were English by interest and by education; a majority of the members of the Lower House were their creatures. A man who ambitioned a place in Parliament, should conform to the opinions of his patron; the patron was willing to receive a "compensation" for making his opinions, if he had any, coincide with those of the Government. Many of the members were anxious for preferment for themselves or their friends; the price of preferment was a vote for ministers. The solemn fact of individual responsibility for each individual act, had yet to be understood. Perhaps the lesson has yet to be learned.

One of the first acts of the Irish independent Parliament, was to order the appointment of a committee to inquire into the state of the manufactures of the kingdom, and to ascertain what might be necessary for their improvement. The hearts of the poor, always praying for employment, which had been so long and so cruelly withheld from them, bounded with joy. Petitions poured in on every side. David Bosquet had erected mills in Dublin for the manufacture of metals; he prayed for help. John and Henry Allen had woollen manufactories in the county Dublin; they prayed for help. Thomas Reilly, iron merchant, of the town of Wicklow, wished to introduce improvements in iron works. James Smith, an Englishman, had cotton manufactories at Balbriggan; he wished to extend them. Anthony Dawson, of Dundrum, near Dublin, had water mills for making tools for all kinds of artisans; this, above all, should be encouraged, now that there was some chance of men having some use for tools. Then there were requests for aid to establish carpet manufactories, linen manufactories, glass manufactories, &c.; and Robert Burke, Esq., of the county Kildare, prayed for the loan of L40,000 for seven years, that he might establish manufactories at Prosperous. These few samples of petitions, taken at random from many others, will enable the reader to form some faint idea of the state of depression in which Ireland was kept by the English nation—of the eagerness of the Irish to work if they were only permitted to do so.

The Irish revenue for the year 1783 was, in round numbers, L900,000, which amounted to a tax of about six shillings per annum on each person. It was distributed thus:

For the interest of the National Debt, L120,000 Army and Ordnance, Civil Government, and other funds, 450,000 Pensions, grants, bounties, and aids to manufacturers, 250,000 Surplus unappropriated, 80,000 ———— Total, L900,000

More than L200,000 was spent during that year in erecting forts, batteries, and other public buildings, which gave employment to the people in certain districts. Large sums were granted to the poor of Cork and Dublin for coals; and large grants were made to encourage manufactures. I have observed, however, in carefully examining these grants, which are by far too numerous for insertion, that they were principally, and, indeed, I might say exclusively, made to persons in Dublin and its neighbourhood, in the north of Ireland, and in the cities of Cork and Limerick. Hence, the prosperity of Ireland was only partial, and was confined exclusively, though, probably, not intentionally, to certain districts. This will explain why the misery and starvation of the poor, in the less favoured parts of the country, were a principal cause of the fearful insurrection which occurred within a few short years.

Lord Clare proclaimed, in the House of Parliament, that "no nation on the habitable globe had advanced in cultivation, commerce, and manufactures, with the same rapidity as Ireland, from 1782 to 1800." The population increased from three millions to five. There were 5,000 carpenters fully employed in Dublin; there were 15,000 silk-weavers. Nor should we be surprised at this; for Dublin possesses at the present day substantial remains of her former prosperity, which are even now the admiration of Europe. All her great public buildings were erected at this period. The Custom-house was commenced, and completed in ten years, at a cost of a quarter of a million sterling. The Rotundo was commenced in 1784. The Law Courts, the most elegant and extensive in the British Empire, were begun in 1786. In 1788 there were 14,327 dwelling-houses in Dublin, and 110,000 inhabitants. Two hundred and twenty peers and three hundred commoners had separate residences. Dublin was fashionable, and Dublin prospered.[584]

I have already said that corruption soon did its fatal work. It sanctioned, nay, it compelled, the persecution of the majority of the nation for their religious creed; and with this persecution the last flame of national prosperity expired, and the persecutors and the persecuted shared alike in the common ruin. In 1792 Lord Edward FitzGerald denounced the conduct of the House in these ever-memorable words: "I do think, sir, that the Lord Lieutenant and the majority of this House are the worst subjects the King has;" and when a storm arose, the more violent from consciousness that his words were but too true, for all retraction he would only say:

"I am accused of having said that I think the Lord Lieutenant and the majority of this House are the worst subjects the King has. I said so; 'tis true; and I am sorry for it."

On the 1st of January, 1801, a new imperial standard was exhibited on London Tower, and on the Castles of Dublin and Edinburgh. It was formed of the three crosses of St. George, St. Patrick, and St. Andrew, and is popularly known as the Union Jack. The fleur de lis and the word France were omitted from royal prerogatives and titles; and a proclamation was issued appointing the words Dei Gratia, Britaniarum Rex, Fidei Defensor. The Dublin Gazette of July, 1800, contained the significant announcement of the creation of sixteen new peerages. The same publication for the last week of the year contained a fresh list of twenty-six others. Forty-two creations in six months were rather an extensive stretch of prerogative; and we cannot be surprised if the majority of the nation had more respect for the great untitled, whose ancestry were known, and were quite above accepting the miserable bribe of a modern peerage.

Strangely enough, from the very day on which the Union was proclaimed, the Catholic question became a ministerial difficulty. Pitt's administration failed on this very point, although it had seemed invincible a few weeks before. The obstinacy of the King, which, indeed, almost amounted to a monomania, was the principal cause. He made it a personal matter, declared it the "most jacobinical thing he had ever heard of;" and he informed the world at large that he would consider any man who proposed it his personal enemy. Pitt resigned. Opinions varied as to his motives. He returned to office in 1804, having promised that he would not again press the subject; and he adhered to his determination until his death. The Irish nobles, who had worked hardest to carry the Union, were somewhat disappointed as to the result. Lord Clare was told by the Duke of Bedford, that the Union had not transferred his dictatorial powers to the Imperial Parliament. He retired to Ireland deeply chagrined, and was soon borne to his grave, amid the revilings of the people whom he had betrayed. Lord Castlereagh, who had been less accustomed to command, and had less difficulty in stooping to conquer, succeeded better with his English friends, and in a few years he ruled the cabinets of Europe; while the Iron Duke, another Irishman, dictated to their armies.

In 1803 the flame of insurrection again broke out, and again French aid was expected, and the expedition ended in disappointment. Napoleon himself regretted that he had turned his armies towards Egypt, instead of towards Ireland. Emmet's career was brief, and would probably have been almost forgotten, but for his famous speech at the moment of receiving sentence, and for the history of his love and her devoted attachment to his memory.

In 1805 Grattan entered the Imperial Parliament, at the request of Fox. An English constituency was found for him. At the same time, Plunket was brought into the house by Pitt; and thus these two famous men, the one so full of the brilliant, and the other so full of the powerful, gifts of mental science, again pleaded their country's cause together, and in perfect harmony, though differing on some political points. When Grattan first rose to address the British Senate, there was a hushed attention to his every word; as his eloquence kindled with his subject, there were suppressed murmurs of approbation; when he had concluded, there were thunders of applause. His subject was a petition from the Irish Catholics, which was presented to both Houses in 1805. The division gave 339 to 124 against going into committee; still it was something gained, when Englishmen even listened to Irish grievances, or made some effort to understand them.

The Veto was now suggested. The object of this was to allow the crown a passive voice, if not an active one, in the nomination of Catholic bishops. Happily for the Catholic Church in Ireland, the proposal was steadily rejected, though with a determination which brought even members of the same Church into collision. Connexion with the State might have procured temporal advantages, but they would have been in truth a poor compensation for the loss of that perfect freedom of action so essential to the spiritual advancement of the Church.

The Duke of Richmond came to Ireland in 1807, with Sir Arthur Wellesley as Chief Secretary. The young man, whose fame was yet unattained, showed himself as clearheaded in the cabinet as in the camp. He made every attempt to suppress the party demonstrations which have been the curse of Ireland, and induced the Wexford people to discontinue their annual celebration of the battle of Vinegar Hill. If he could have suppressed a few other anniversaries in the north, it would have been a blessing to the United Kingdom. In 1806 Mr. Grattan was returned for Dublin, and generously refused the sum of L4,000, which his constituents had collected to pay his expenses. The Catholic question was now constantly coming up, and more than one cabinet was formed and dissolved according to the views of the different members on that matter. A new element of vitality had been introduced by the relaxation of the penal laws. Men were no longer afraid to ask for a grace which they wanted, lest they should lose a grace which they had. The people found that they might speak their real opinions without apprehensions of attempts at conversion in the shape of pitchcaps and half-hangings; and when the people were ready for a leader, the leader was ready for the people; and Daniel O'Connell took the place in the guidance of the Irish nation, which he will never lose in their memory and in their affections.

The history of Ireland and the life of O'Connell are convertible terms for five-and-forty years. O'Connell represented Ireland, and Ireland was represented by O'Connell. We have had our great men and our good men, our brave men and our true men; but, to my poor thinking, the greatest of our men was O'Connell—for who ever approached him in his mighty power of ruling a nation by moral suasion only? the best of our men was O'Connell, for who dare assert that he was ever unfaithful to his country or to his country's faith? the bravest of our men was O'Connell, equally fearless in every danger, moral or physical; and the truest of our men was O'Connell, dying of a broken heart in a faraway land, because he saw his country's cause all but ruined—because he knew that with his failing breath one of his country's surest helpers would pass from her for ever. A thoughtfully written "History of the life and Times of O'Connell," by some one really competent to do justice to the subject, is much wanted. I believe that posterity will do justice to his memory as one of the best and noblest patriots which the world has ever seen—a justice which as yet has been scarcely accorded to him as fully as he has merited. Had O'Connell accomplished no other work for Ireland than this—the giving of a tone of nationality and manliness to the people—he had accomplished a most glorious work. He taught Irishmen that chains do not make the slave, but rather the spirit in which the chains are worn. He awoke, in the hearts of his countrymen, that love of freedom, which is the first step towards making a successful effort to obtain it. He showed them how they might intimidate their oppressors without injuring themselves—a lesson eminently necessary where the oppressors are incomparably more powerful than the oppressed.

The sept of O'Connell, from which this noble man was descended held a prominent position among the early Milesian clans. Pure Celtic blood ran in his veins; the fire of Celtic wit sparkled in his utterances; the lighthearted happiness of a Celtic spirit guided his actions; and the undaunted bravery of a Celtic warrior's courage looked out of his clear beaming eye. A nobleman, in truth, was Daniel O'Connell—a nobleman of whom any nation might justly be proud—a nobleman to whom we must hope that Ireland will yet raise some monument of enduring fame. The O'Connell sept were driven from their ancestral homes, in 1172, by Raymond, Strongbow's son-in-law. Their territory lay along the Shannon. They were now compelled to take refuge in a wild and desolate part of Kerry, too wild and too desolate to attract English cupidity. A MS. is still preserved in the British Museum, written by one of the O'Connell family; it is in the Irish language, and bears date 1245. In this document mention is made of a Daniel O'Connell, who proceeded to the north of Ireland, at the head of a large body of men, to resist an invading force. The Celts were successful; and when they had won the day, the chieftain and his vanquished foes feasted together. In 1586 Richard O'Connell was High Sheriff of Kerry; but, from the accession of William III., until the illustrious Liberator obtained some degree of freedom for his country, all the O'Connells were prescribed from positions of emolument, for having held with unswerving fidelity to the old faith.

O'Connell was born on the 6th of August, 1775, "the very year," as he himself says, in a letter to the Dublin Evening Post, "in which the stupid obstinacy of British oppression forced the reluctant people of America to seek for security in arms, and to commence that bloody struggle for national independence, which has been in its results beneficial to England, whilst it has shed glory, and conferred liberty, pure and sublime, on America." He was educated at St. Omers, and it is said manifested some inclination for the priesthood; but there can be no doubt that his vocation lay in another direction, as he was incomparably too deeply religious and too thoroughly honest not to have obeyed the call of God at any cost, had such a favour been vouchsafed to him. It is said, whatever his dislike of physical force may have been in after-life, that he unquestionably knew how to use the argumentum baculinum in his early days; and that more than one student was made to feel the effects thereof, when attempting ill-natured jokes on the herculean Celt. During his residence abroad he had some opportunities of witnessing the fearful effects of the French Revolution; and it is probable that a remembrance of these scenes, added to his own admirably keen common sense, saved him from leading his countrymen on to deeds of open violence. He was called to the Irish bar in the memorable year of 1798. For some time he failed to obtain practice; for who would confide their case to a young Catholic lawyer, when the fact of his creed alone would be sufficient to condemn his client in the eyes of Protestant juries, judges, and attorneys? His maiden speech was made in opposition to the Union, even as his life was spent in the most strenuous efforts to obtain the reversal of that most fatal measure. A meeting was held in the Royal Exchange, Dublin, at the close of the year 1799, to petition against it; but even as O'Connell was denouncing, in his most eloquent language, the new attempt at national degradation, Major Sirr and his file of military rushed into the apartment, and separated the assembly. O'Connell now retired into private life, and, with the marvellous foresight of true genius, devoted himself to storing up that forensic knowledge which he felt sure he should one day use for the benefit of his countrymen.

One of the most important instances in which O'Connell's legal acumen saved the lives of his countrymen, is known as the "Doneraile Conspiracy;" and as all the facts are eminently illustrative of the history of Ireland at that period, and of the character and abilities of one of her most distinguished sons, I shall relate the circumstances. Several Protestant gentlemen in the neighbourhood of Doneraile, had been making those abortive efforts to "convert" their tenants from Popery, which usually end in no small amount of ill-feeling on both sides; another of these gentlemen, with equal zeal and equal want of common sense and common humanity, had devoted himself to hunting out real or supposed rebels. This gentleman had at last brought on himself an armed attack, for which he deserved little pity. He contrived, however, to capture one of his assailants, who, of course, was hung. The gentlemen having thus excited the unfortunate peasantry, pointed to the results of their own folly as though these results had been the cause of it; and an informer came forward, who, with the usual recklessness of his atrocious class, accused some of the most respectable farmers of the district of having entered into a conspiracy to murder the Protestant gentlemen,—a cruel return certainly had it been true, for their earnest efforts to convert the natives from "the errors of Popery to those of the Protestant Church." A special commission was sent down; the wildest excitement prevailed on all sides; and, as was usual in such cases, the bitterest prejudice against the unfortunate accused. The Solicitor-General led for the crown: the defence was a simple denial. In such cases the examination of the approvers is the great point for the accused, and should be confided to the ablest counsel. One of the unfortunate prisoners was a respectable farmer, aged seventy, of whom the highest character was given. But it was all in vain; after five minutes' deliberation, the jury gave in the verdict of guilty. As the men were to be made an "example of," they were sentenced to be hanged in six days. This was on Saturday. The next lot of prisoners was to be tried at nine o'clock on Monday morning. There was one universal cry for "O'Connell," from the great multitude who knew these poor victims were perfectly innocent. On Saturday night a farmer mounted the best horse that could be found in Cork, and, after a night of incessant riding, he reached Derrynane Abbey on Sunday morning at nine o'clock. His name was William Burke: let it be transmitted with all honour to posterity! He told his errand to one who never listened unmoved to the tale of his country's sorrows and wrongs; and he assured O'Connell that, unless he were in Cork by nine next morning, the unfortunate prisoners, "though innocent as the child unborn," would all be hanged. The great man at once prepared for his journey; and so wild was the joy of Burke, so sure was he that there would now be a hope, if not a certainty, of justice, that only the earnest entreaties of O'Connell could induce him to remain a few hours to rest his weary horse. On the same good horse he set out again, and reached Cork at eight o'clock on Monday morning, having travelled 180 miles in thirty-eight hours. Scouts had been posted all along the road to watch the man's return: even as he passed through each little village, there was an anxious crowd waiting the word of life or death. "O'Connell's coming, boys!" was enough; and a wild cheer, which rent the very mountains, told how keenly an act of justice could be appreciated by the most justice-loving people upon earth. And O'Connell did come. He has himself described the sensations of that midnight journey, through all the autumn beauties of the most beautiful scenery in the United Kingdom. And then he exclaims: "After that glorious feast of soul, I found myself settled down amid all the rascalities of an Irish court of justice."

The Solicitor-General was actually addressing the jury, when the shouts of the excited crowd announced the arrival of one who, by this act of his life alone, deserves, par excellence, the proud and glorious title of the LIBERATOR. He entered the courthouse, apologized for his unprofessional attire; and as he had no refreshment, and there was no time to lose, he requested permission of the judges to have a bowl of milk and some sandwiches sent to him. The Solicitor-General resumed his address, but had not proceeded far before the stentorian voice of O'Connell was heard exclaiming: "That's not law." The bench decided in his favour. He was rapidly swallowing as much food as was necessary to sustain nature, and once more, with his mouth full, he exclaims: "That's no longer law; the Act is repealed." Again the mortified counsel proceeded with his case, and once more O'Connell's knowledge of law served him in good stead. "The learned Solicitor," he exclaimed, "has no right to make such a statement; the crown cannot give such matters in evidence." For the third time the ruling was in favour of the Liberator. Then came the all-important cross-examination of the approvers; and the men who had lied so well and so boldly on Saturday, prevaricated, cursed, and howled under the searching questions of their new examiner; Nowlan, the vilest of the lot, exclaiming at last: "It's little I thought I'd have to meet you, Counsellor O'Connell." Alas! thrice-wretched man, who thought still less of another Court and another Judgment. O'Connell won the day. He threatened the very Solicitor-General with impeachment before the House of Commons, for the way he conducted the case. He taunted him, bewildered him, scolded him, laughed at him, as he only could do; and when at last the unfortunate man came out with some observation about "false facts," O'Connell threw the whole court into a roar of laughter by directing attention to the bull, and by his inimitable imitation of his English accent. The jury could not agree, and the men were acquitted. Another trial came on next day, and it was then discovered that one of the approvers differed in most important matters from his statements on oath before the magistrates of Doneraile, and in what he now stated. This was enough; and the jury brought in a verdict of not guilty, though, on the very same evidence, a verdict of guilty had been given on Saturday. As an act, however, of great clemency, the men who had been sentenced to be hanged in six days, were now only transported.

During the time of O'Connell's retirement and study, he had but too many opportunities of knowing how little justice was likely to be meted out to Irishmen accused, justly or unjustly, of political crimes; and, doubtless, he directed his studies to those special points most likely to be helpful hereafter. Robert Emmet's execution took place in October, 1803; and from that hour, until the accession of the Whigs to office, in 1806, Ireland was ruled by martial law. The Habeas Corpus Act and trial by jury were suspended, and the jails and transport ships were crowded with the victims of military ferocity and magisterial vengeance. In the debate of 1805, when the Catholic petition was brought into the House of Commons by Mr. Fox, and treacherously opposed by Pitt, Mr. Ponsonby exclaimed, speaking of the Irish Catholics: "I know them well; and I know, at the same time, that whatever is good in them, they owe to themselves; whatever is bad in them, they owe to you, and to your bad government." Mr. Grattan accused the English Tories of "running about like old women in search of old prejudices; preferring to buy foreign allies by subsidies, rather than to subsidize fellow-subjects by privileges." He might have said by justice, for the Irish have never asked for privileges; they ask simply for the same justice as is shown to English subjects. Mr. Foster, the last Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, declared that, "under the Union Act, by compact, the Protestant boroughs were suppressed, and a compensation of L1,400,000 paid to Protestant owners, and not one shilling to the Catholics."

O'Connell came prominently forward as a leader of the Catholic party in 1810. A meeting was held in the Royal Exchange, Dublin, to petition for Repeal of the Union, at which the High Sheriff of that city presided, and many distinguished men were present—a proof that, however corrupted Irish Parliaments may have been by English gold, there was still some advantage to be gained to the country by possessing even a partial independence. O'Connell's speech was published, and circulated widely. To give the full details of his career as a leader of the people, would require a volume the size of the present work; to give even a sufficiently comprehensive outline, would require several chapters: I can but hope that some able hand will take up the subject, and with equal earnestness do I hope that it may be some one really capable of doing justice to it. One who would write the "Life and Times of O'Connell" as such a work should be written, would require to bring more than ordinary abilities to the task, and would deserve, at the hands of his countrymen, the highest expression of gratitude which they could give. Such a work would be incomparably the noblest monument which could be dedicated to his memory.

The Clare election is undoubtedly the culminating point in O'Connell's career. Men stood aghast in amazement at the boldness of the man who presumed to make such an attempt. Even his friends could scarcely believe that he was in earnest, or that he was wise. His success was a splendid example of what the energy and determination of one single man could accomplish. Well might the Lord Chancellor declare that "this business must bring the Roman Catholic question to a crisis and a conclusion." The words were prophetic; the prophecy was realized. On the 5th of March, 1829, Mr. Peel moved a committee of the whole House, "to go into the consideration of the civil disabilities of his Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects." The motion was carried by a majority of 188. On the 15th of May, 1829, O'Connell appeared in the House to take his seat. He was introduced by Lords Ebrington and Dungannon. The House was thronged. The very peeresses came to gaze upon the arch-agitator, expecting to see a demagogue, and to hear an Irish brogue. There were whispers of surprise when they saw a gentleman, and a man who could speak, with the versatility of true talent, to suit his audience. The card containing the oath was handed to O'Connell; he read a portion of it over in an audible voice—the portion which required him to say that "the sacrifice of the Mass, and the invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and other saints, as now practised in the Church of Rome, are impious and idolatrous;" and to deny the dispensing power of the Pope, which never existed, except in the imagination of its framers. With a courteous bow he said, in a voice to be heard throughout the House: "I decline, Mr. Clerk, to take this oath: part of it I know to be false; another part I believe not to be true."

Again he sought the votes of the electors of Clare, and again he was returned by them. On the 13th of April, 1829, the royal signature was affixed to the Act of Emancipation, and Irishmen were no longer refused the rights of citizens because they respected the rights of conscience.

In the year 1812, the late Sir Robert Peel came to Ireland as Chief Secretary, unfortunately destitute of the enlargement of mind and the native genius of his predecessor, Sir Arthur Wellesley. His abilities, however great, were not such as to enable him to understand a nationality distinct from his own; and hence he could not deal with the Irish, either to his credit, or for their advantage. From the year 1815 to 1817 the conduct of the English Parliament towards Ireland was regulated with the nicest attention to the movements of the General who ruled the Continent. In 1817 an Act was passed, which, with admirable policy, excused Catholic officers, naval and military, from forswearing transubstantiation. In 1821 George IV. visited Ireland. It was the first time that an English King had come to Ireland as the acknowledged sovereign of the people. Their hopes were high; and the deference for royalty, so eminently characteristic of the Celt, had at last found an opportunity of expressing itself. All that loyalty could do was done; all that the warmest heart could say was said. The King appeared impressed by demonstrations so entirely new to him; he wore a large bunch of shamrocks constantly during his brief stay; but before the shamrocks were faded, Irish wants and Irish loyalty were alike forgotten.

In the year 1824 the subject of Irish disturbances was carefully inquired into by Select Committees of both Houses of Parliament. Some extracts from their reports will give the best and most correct idea of the state of the country from the Union to the year 1834, when another investigation was made. In 1807 the county Limerick was alarmingly disturbed. In 1812 the counties of Tipperary, Waterford, Kilkenny, Limerick, Westmeath, Roscommon, and the King's county, were the theatre of the same sanguinary tumults. Limerick and Tipperary remained under the Insurrection Act until 1818. In 1820 there were serious disturbances in Galway, and in 1821, in Limerick.

These disturbances are thus accounted for Maxwell Blacker, Esq., Barrister, who was appointed to administer the Insurrection Act, in 1822, in the counties of Cork and Tipperary: "The immediate cause of the disturbance I consider to be the great increase of population, and the fall in the price of produce after the war; the consequence of which was, that it was impossible to pay the rent or the tithes that had been paid when the country was prosperous." Sir Matthew Barrington, Crown Solicitor of the Munster Circuit for seventeen years, was asked: "Do you attribute the inflammable state of the population to the state of misery in which they generally are?" "I do, to a great extent; I seldom knew any instance when there was sufficient employment for the people that they were inclined to be disturbed; if they had plenty of work and employment, they are generally peaceable." John Leslie Foster, Esq., M.P., in his examination, states: "I think the proximate cause [of the disturbances] is the extreme physical misery of the peasantry, coupled with their liability to be called upon for the payment of different charges, which it is often perfectly impossible for them to meet." Matthew Singleton, Esq., Chief Magistrate of Police in the Queen's county, said, on his examination: "I have seen, and I know land to be set one-third above its value."

It would be useless to give more of this evidence, for the details are always the same. The people were almost starving. They could scarcely get a sufficiency of the poorest food, yet they were compelled to pay rent and tithes far above the value of their land. If they were unable, they were thrown out upon the wayside to die like dogs.

There can be no doubt that the outrages thus perpetrated were very fearful. Every man's hand was against them, and their hand was against every man. They shot their landlords, and they "carded" the tithe-proctors. Gentlemen's houses were barricaded, even in the daytime. Many families of the higher classes lived in a state of siege. The windows were made bullet-proof; the doors were never opened after nightfall. It was a fearful state of society for a Christian country, and the guilt and disgrace of it was surely on those who had caused it. Yet we do not find that the knowledge of these facts produced any effect upon the men who heard them, and who alone had it in their power to apply the remedy. Still something was done; and although it is one of the stern facts of history, one can scarcely choose but smile at the simplicity of those who planned and carried out such a scheme for the improvement of Ireland.

The "second reformation" was commenced in 1827. The Catholic priests were challenged to controversy; even laymen interfered. Theology and theological differences became the town and table-talk of Ireland. Bibles and tracts were distributed in all directions amongst the starving poor, food and clothing were occasionally added; yet, notwithstanding these powerful inducements, the people starved and remained Catholics. Writs of ejectment were then tried; and the Irish poor had their choice between the Bible and beggary—but they chose beggary.

So far did the Bible craze go, that it almost amounted to a monomania. One noble lord, to show his reverence for that book, and to convince his tenantry of the estimation in which he held it, flung every volume of his library into the lake of his demesne, and with the Bible in his hand, which commanded him to feed the hungry, refused to feed them unless they complied with his commands. Moore's satires were, unquestionably, the best weapons against such fanaticism. Sheil wrote in the Gazette de France, and hundreds of pens wrote in the American papers. A loud cry of "Shame!" arose in every quarter of the world; the echo reached the ears of the promoters of the movement; and the force of public opinion succeeded in suppressing the futile attempt.

The influence of Irish emigrants in America was already beginning to be felt. Large sums of money poured in from that country to swell the Catholic rent, and a considerable portion of the funds were employed by O'Connell in providing for men who had been ejected by their landlords, for refusing either to believe a creed, or to give a vote contrary to their conscience. He even threatened to buy up the incumbrances on some of these gentlemen's estates, to foreclose their mortgages, and to sell them out. His threat, added to his well-known determination, was not without its effect.

The whole subject of Irish emigration may be safely predicted to be the key which will unlock the future fate of Great Britain. It is true that, at this moment, every effort is being made by the English nation to conciliate America; it remains to be seen how Americans will be disposed to accept present flattery as a compensation for past injustice, and scarcely past contempt. A better knowledge of Irish history might prevent some fatal mistakes on both sides of the Atlantic. I have, therefore, felt it a duty to devote the concluding pages of this History to this important subject.

The great tide of western emigration was undoubtedly caused, in part, by the sufferings of the famine year; but these sufferings were in themselves an effect, rather than a cause; and we must look to more remote history for the origin of the momentous exodus. It has, indeed, been well observed, that "when a man leaves his country for one subject to foreign rule, it must, in general, be that he does not care for it, or that it does not care for him; it must either be that he is so little attached to the institutions of his own country, that he is willing to submit to those of another; or that he despises the latter sufficiently to look forward to replacing them by those of his own."[585] No unprejudiced person can for a moment doubt which of these causes has been most active in producing Irish emigration. The Irishman's love of home and of his native land, is a fact beyond all dispute: his emigration, then, can have no other cause than this, that his country, or the country which governs his native land, does not care for him; and when we find noble lords and honorable members suggesting "the more emigration the better," we cannot doubt that he is the victim to indifference, if not to absolute dislike. Undoubtedly, if the Irishman did not care for his country, and if the Englishman, when planted in Ireland, did not become equally discontented and rather more indignant than his predecessors under English rule in Ireland, the arrangement might be a very admirable one; but Irishmen, to the third and fourth generation, do not forget their country, neither do they forget why they have been compelled to leave it. A work has been published lately on the subject of the Irish in America. It is much to be regretted, that the very able writer did not give statistics and facts, as well as inferences and anecdotes. A history of the Irish in America, should include statistics which could not be disputed, and facts which could not be denied. The facts in the work alluded to are abundant, and most important; but they should have been prefaced by an account of the causes which have led to emigration, and as accurate statistics as possible of its results.

Some few English writers have had the honesty to admit that their colonial policy has not been the most admirable; "nor should we forget," says the author of the History of the United States, "that the spirit in which these colonies were ruled from England was one, in the main, of intense selfishness. The answer of Seymour, an English Attorney-General under William and Mary, or towards the close of the seventeenth century, to the request of Virginia, for a college, when her delegate begged him to consider that the people of Virginia had souls to be saved as well as the people of England: Souls! damn your souls! plant tobacco!" is scarcely an unfair exponent of that spirit.[586] Another writer says: "Historians, in treating of the American rebellion, have confined their arguments too exclusively to the question of internal taxation, and the right or policy of exercising this prerogative. The true source of the rebellion lay deeper—in our traditional colonial policy."[587] One more quotation must suffice: "The legal rights of those colonies have been perpetually violated. Those which were strong enough were driven to separation; those which adhered to us in that great contest, or which we have subsequently acquired or founded, are either denied constitutions, or, if the local authorities oppose the will of the Imperial Parliament, find their constitutions changed, suspended, or annulled."[588] It will be remembered that the original colonists of America were principally Englishmen, who were driven from their own country by religious intolerance; yet no sooner had they established themselves in their new home, than they commenced to practise even more fearful persecutions on others than those from which they had fled. There was one honorable exception; the Roman Catholics who fled from persecution in England, never, even in the plenitude of their power, attempted the slightest persecution, religious, social, or legal.

It will be seen, then, that the first emigrants to America from the British dominions, could not have had any special attachment to the country they had left; that, on the contrary, their feelings were embittered against the mother country before their departure from her shores; and after that departure she did nothing to allay the irritation, but much to increase it. For several centuries after the arrival of the "May Flower," the number of emigrants from England and Ireland were, probably, tolerably equal, and by no means numerous. It was not an age of statistics, and no accurate statistics can be given.

The disruption between the States and England, or rather the causes which led to it, re-opened whatever feelings there may have been against the mother country, and at the same time increased its bitterness a hundredfold. The tide of Irish emigration had set in even then—slowly, indeed, but surely; and it will be remembered that the Irish in America, few though they were, became the foremost to fan the flame of rebellion, and were amongst the first to raise the standard of revolt. The States obtained a glorious freedom—a freedom which, on the whole, they have used wisely and well; and even their bitterest enemies cannot deny that they have formed a powerful nation—a nation which may yet rule the destinies of the world. Let us endeavour now to estimate in some degree the influence of Irish emigration on American society. If the history of Ireland were written in detail up to the present day, fully one-fourth the detail should comprise a history of the Irish in America. Never in the world's history has an emigration been so continuous or so excessive; never in the world's history have emigrants continued so inseparably united, politically and socially, to the country which they have left. The cry of "Ireland for the Irish," is uttered as loudly on the shores of the Mississippi as on the shores of the Shannon. It is almost impossible to arrive at accurate statistics of the number of Irish in America, but a fair approximation may be obtained. The population of America, according to a recent writer, was, in 1840, 17,063,353; in 1850, it had risen to 23,191,876; it is now [1868], 35,000,000. In 1842, the imports were in value, $100,162,087; the exports, $104,691,534; and the tonnage was 2,092,391. In 1859, the imports were $383,768,130; the exports were $356,789,462; and the tonnage was 5,146,037. This increase is beyond all historical precedence, and a future historian, who found such amazing statistics of increase, and knew nothing of emigration, would be strangely puzzled to account for it. But if he searched the files of an old English or Irish newspaper office, whatever might have been the creed or politics of its proprietors, he would soon arrive at a satisfactory solution. In the Irish Times, the leading Irish paper of the day, he would find the following reference to the present history of Ireland: "The Emigration Commissioners notice with some surprise the fact, that, during the past year [1867], the emigrants from Ireland were better clothed, and carried with them better furnished kits, than either the English or foreign emigrants. During the past year, 51,000 Irish emigrants left Liverpool alone—a regiment nearly one thousand strong every week. The loss of 100,000 persons annually, chiefly of the labouring classes, and generally strong, active, well-built men, affords matter for serious consideration. If the Government be contented that 100,000 yearly of the Irish population should, increase the power of America [the italics are our own], they have but to refuse those generous and considerate measures which alone can keep our people at home, by giving them a chance of progressing as they do in America."

This is the honestly avowed opinion of a Protestant paper, whose editors are beyond all suspicion of writing to encourage "Popery," or preach Fenianism. An admirable parliamentary comment has just occurred in the rejection of the Protestant Church Suspension Bill by the House of Lords, though there is no doubt that the good sense and the native justice of the English nation will at length compel its acceptance.

The fact is, that at this moment nearly one-half the population of America are Irish and Catholics. The writer lately quoted, cannot refrain from a sneer at the "low Irish" in America, to whom he attributes the "insult and injury" which he is pleased to consider that Americans manifest to foreign nations, and especially to England; he forgets the old sources of injury, which no American can forget; and he forgets, also, how easily the same "low Irish" might have been prevented from exhibiting the feeling which he attributes to them.

Let those who wish to understand the present history of Ireland, read Mr. Maguire's Irish in America, carefully and thoughtfully. If they do so, and if they are not blinded by wilful prejudices, they must admit that the oft-repeated charges against Irishmen of being improvident and idle are utterly groundless, unless, indeed, they can imagine that the magic influence of a voyage across the Atlantic can change a man's nature completely. Let them learn what the Irishman can do, and does do, when freed from the chains of slavery, and when he is permitted to reap some reward for his labour. Let him learn that Irishmen do not forget wrongs; and if they do not always avenge them, that is rather from motives of prudence, than from lack of will. Let him learn that the Catholic priesthood are the true fathers of their people, and the true protectors of their best interests, social and spiritual. Let him read how the good pastor gives his life for his sheep, and counts no journey too long or too dangerous, when even a single soul may be concerned. Let him judge for himself of the prudence of the same priests, even as regards the temporal affairs of their flocks, and see how, where they are free to do so, they are the foremost to help them, even in the attainment of worldly prosperity. Let him send for Sadlier's Catholic Directory for the United States and Canada, and count over the Catholic population of each diocese; read the names of priests and nuns, and see how strong the Irish element is there. Nay, let him send for one of the most popular and best written of the Protestant American serials, and he will find an account of Catholics and the Catholic religion, which is to be feared few English Protestants would have the honesty to write, and few English Protestant serials the courage to publish, however strong their convictions. The magazine to which I refer, is the Atlantic Monthly; the articles were published in the numbers for April and May, 1868, and are entitled "Our Roman Catholic Brethren." Perhaps a careful perusal of them would, to a thoughtful mind, be the best solution of the Irish question. The writer, though avowing himself a Protestant, and declaring that under no circumstances whatever would he be induced to believe in miracles, has shown, with equal candour and attractiveness, what the Catholic Church is, and what it can do, when free and unfettered. He shows it to be the truest and best friend of humanity; he shows it to care most tenderly for the poor and the afflicted; and he shows, above all, how the despised, exiled Irish are its best and truest supports; how the "kitchen often puts the parlour to the blush;" and the self-denial of the poor Irish girl assists not a little in erecting the stately temples to the Almighty, which are springing up in that vast continent from shore to shore, and are only lessened by the demands made on the same willing workers for the poor father and mother, the young brother or sister, who are supported in their poverty by the alms sent them freely, generously, and constantly by the Irish servant-girl.

Nor have the Catholics of America overlooked the importance of literary culture. A host of cheap books and serials are in circulation, and are distributed largely and freely in convent schools, collegiate establishments, and country parishes; and with a keen appreciation of the religious necessities of the great mass of non-Catholics, of which, unfortunately, English Catholics are oblivious, tracts are published in thousands for general reading, and given to travellers in the railcars, and steamboats. Nor has a higher class of literature been overlooked. The gifted superior of the Congregation of St. Paul has been mainly instrumental in getting up and superintending the labours of the Catholic Publication Society, which, in addition to the multitude of valuable works it has published, sends forth its monthly magazine, well entitled The Catholic World, which is unquestionably the best serial of its kind, and may vie with those conducted by the most gifted Protestant writers of the day, while it is far superior to anything which has as yet been published by the Catholics of this country.

Such is a brief outline, and scarcely even an outline, of the present history of Ireland, in which the hearts of so many of our people are in one country, while their bodies are in another. There is another phase of this present history on which I could have wished to have dwelt much longer; I mean the political union between America and Ireland. So long as Irish emigration continues—I should rather say, so long as real Irish grievances are permitted to continue—so long will this state of things be dangerous to England. Justice to Ireland may be refused with impunity just so long as there is peace between England and America; but who shall dare predict how long that peace will continue, when, as must assuredly happen in a few short years, the Irish in America, or their direct descendants, shall form the preponderating class, and therefore guide the political affairs of that mighty people?

The maps which are appended to this edition of the Illustrated History of Ireland, will, it is hoped, be found not only interesting, but important. Irishmen in America will see, by a glance at the map of family names, the territories in Ireland formerly held by their ancestors. Statistics showing the fearful depopulation of the country, which, notwithstanding all the boasts of those who advocated it, has not benefited those who remain, will be found in another map. The third map is not less important; by that will be seen the immense preponderance of Catholics to Protestants; and it will suggest, no doubt, to thoughtful minds, the injustice of sacrificing the multitude to the individual few.

A few words must also be said about the two full-page illustrations which have been added to this Edition. One of the most important events in the life of O'Connell has been chosen for the one; and, alas! one of the most frequent occurrences in Irish history, from the first English invasion to the present day, has been chosen for the other. In the engraving of O'Connell, it was impossible to preserve the likeness, as the expression demanded by the incident could not be produced from any of the portraits extant; with regard to the eviction scene, it is unfortunately true to the life. Those who have read Mr. Maguire's Irish in America, will recognize the special subject represented. Those who read the Irish local papers of the day, may continually peruse accounts of evictions; but only an eyewitness can describe the misery, and despair of the unfortunate victims. When shall the picture be reversed? When will Irishmen return from America, finding it possible to be as free and as prosperous here? Finding that a man who is willing to toil may obtain a fair remuneration for his labour, and that a man may have the rights of men;—then, and not till then, may we hope that Irish history will, for the future, be a record of past injustice, amply compensated for by present equity.


[584] Prospered.—This gives an average of about eight persons to each house. There were 22,276 inhabited houses in Dublin in 1861, and the population was 254,480. This would leave an average of eleven persons to each house. There are only seventy-five carpenters in Thom's Directory, and sixty-four cabinet makers: if we give them an average of ten men each in their employment, it would not give more than 680 at the trade in all.

[585] Own.—History of the United States, p. 3. Ludlow and Hughes; Macmillan, London, 1862. The title of this work is singularly infelicitous, for it is merely a sketchy and not very clear account of the late war in America.

[586] Spirit.—History of the United States, p. 7.

[587] Policy.—Morley's Burke, p. 153.

[588] Annulled.—Historical and Philosophical Essays, Senior, vol. i. p. 197.


The letter given below, which is from the pen of a distinguished Protestant clergyman, appears to me of such importance, that I place it here to be a permanent record for the future historian of Ireland, as an important opinion on the present history of this country, but too well supported by facts.


My DEAR BUTT,—If every other man in the world entertained doubts of my sincerity, you, at least, would give me credit for honesty and just intentions. I write to you accordingly, because my mind has been stirred to its inmost depths by the perusal of your address in my native city of Limerick. I do not regard the subject of your address as a political one. It ought to be regarded solely as a question of humanity, justice, common sense, and common honesty. I wish my lot had never been cast in rural places. As a clergyman, I hear what neither landlords nor agents ever heard. I see the depression of the people; their sighs and groans are before me. They are brought so low as often to praise and glorify those whom, in their secret hearts, are the objects of abhorrence. All this came out gradually before me. Nor did I feel as I ought to have felt in their behalf, until, in my own person and purse, I became the victim of a system of tyranny which cries from earth to heaven for relief. Were I to narrate my own story, it would startle many of the Protestants of Ireland. There are good landlords—never a better than the late Lord Downshire, or the living and beloved Lord Roden. But there are too many of another state of feeling and action. There are estates in the north where the screw is never withdrawn from its circuitous and oppressive work. Tenant-right is an unfortunate and delusive affair, simply because it is invariably used to the landlord's advantage. Here we have an election in prospect, and in many counties no farmer will be permitted to think or act for himself. What right any one man has to demand the surrender of another's vote I never could see. It is an act of sheer felony—a perfect "stand-and-deliver" affair. To hear a man slavishly and timorously, say, "I must give my vote as the landlord wishes," is an admission that the Legislature, which bestowed the right of voting on the tenant, should not see him robbed of his right, or subsequently scourged or banished from house and land, because he disregarded a landlord's nod, or the menace of a land-agent. At no little hazard of losing the friendship of some who are high, and good, and kind, I write as I now do.

Yours, my dear Butt, very sincerely,


Dundrum, Cough, co. Down, Sept. 7, 1868.



Abbey, the Black, Kilkenny, 318. of Mellifont, 231. of St. Mary, 317. of Holy Cross, 317. of Dunbrody, 289. of Tintern, 317. of St. Saviour's, Dublin, 318. of St. Thomas the Martyr, 287. of Boyle, 316. Abercrombie, Sir Ralph, 623. Act of Emancipation passed, 647. Adamnan, St., 172. Adrian's Bull, 274. Aedh, St., 221. Aengus, St., 179 his Festology, 180 his Chronicle, 41. Aengus Grove, Synod at, 227. Aengus, King, baptism of, 123 his death, 130 ancestor of the O'Keeffes, O'Sullivans, O'Callahans, and MacCarthys, 130. Africa, Phoenician circumnavigation of, 69. Agrarian outrages and their causes, 613. Agricola, 95. Aideadh Chonchobair, legend of, 127. Ailbhe, Princess, 105. Ainmire, Hugh, 167. All Hallows Eve, 88n. Altan, St., 177. Amalgaidh, King, and his seven sons, 123. Amato, prelate who consecrated St. Patrick, 115. Amlaff the Dane, 195 in Dublin, 191. Ancient pitcher, 240. fireplaces, 240. shoes, 252. brooch, 270. boot, 251. Andrew, St., Church of, in Henry II.'s time, 272. Anglo-Irish and old Irish, their differences at Kilkenny, 487. Annals of Ulster, 39 compiled by Four Masters, 51 accounts in, confirmed ab extra, 68 poetry from, 198 kept with great care, 233 dedication of, 53 quotations from, 58, 59, 75, 88, 90, 94, 132, 144, 198, 199, 218, 232n, 265, 283, 388, 307, 312n. 313. of Tighernach, 48. of Innis MacNerinn, 39. of Innisfallen, 39. of Boyle, 39. of Clonmacnois, 60n. of Loch Ce, 115. of Ballitore, 630. preserved by Celtic Race, 67. Anselm, St., commends the Irish prelates, 229. Antiquities of pre-Christian Erinn, 148. Antwerp, Irish soldiers in, 478. Aqua vini and aqua vitae, 245. Architecture of Tara, 167. Ardmore round tower, 237. Armagh, See of, 114 founded, 120 streets of, 187n. Arnold on pedigree, 85n. on history taught by verse, 86n. Athlone, siege of, 568 castle of, 314 bridge built, 308n. Attacotti, revolt of the, 96. Augustinians, Order of, 316.


Bachall Isu, St. Patrick's, 114 its wanton destruction, 115. Ballitore, sufferings in, 630. Balor of the Evil Eye, 64. Banbha, the Lady, 43. Banqueting hall at Tara, 160. Baptism, ceremonies at, 229. Baraid, a Scandinavian chief, 195. Barbadoes, the Irish seat as slaves to, 515. Bards of Erinn, or files, 40. Barretts, feud between Cusacks and, 332. Barrington, Sir Jonah, on the last night of Irish Parliament, 639. Barry, an Irishman, 601. Barrys and Roches, 445. Battle of Magh Tuireadh, 61. of Sliabh Mis, 75. at Taillten, 75. between the Firbolgs and Tuatha De Dananns, 62. Connor, 343. of Geisill, 78n. of Bealagh Mughna (Ballaghmoon), Kildare, 193. of Dundalk, 201. of Sulcoit, near Tipperary, 205. of Belach-Lechta, near Macroom, co. Cork, 207. of Glen-Mama (Glen of the Gap), near Dunlavin, 208. of Clontarf, 214. of Downpatrick, 325. of Benburb, 493. of the Boyne, 563. of Aughrim, 570. of the Ford of Comar, Westmeath, 160. of Magh-Rath, 171. of Almhain (near Kildare), 186. of Desertcreaght, 332. of St. Callixtus' day, 352. of Ford of the Biscuits, 451. Beare, O'Sullivan, his History, 534. Beasts, the three, to be hunted, 517. Bede's account of Ireland, 79 on Irish saints, 173. Belgium, MSS. preserved in, 46. Beltinne, or fire of Baal, 119 origin of, 164. Benignus, St., St. Patrick's successor in the See of Armagh. 116. Berchau, St., 162. Beresford faction, 616. Bill, curious, of a play, 547n. Bishops, Protestant, indifferent about regular ordination, 536. Black Death. 86. Blefed or pestilence, 162. Bog butter and cheese, 246. Bohun, Humphrey de, 270. Bonnell, his statistics, 540. Book, a, given for a ransom, 377. Books preserved, list of, 39, 44 list of lost, 39, 40. Book of Chronicum Scotorum, 39. of Laws, 40. of Ballymote, 37. of Leinster, 40. of Lecain, 37 when written, 50n. Annals of Ulster, 39. of Innisfallen, 39. of Boyle, 39. of Four Masters, 51. of Tighernach, 39. of Inis MacNerinn, 39. of Clonmacnois, 60n. Speckled, 37. Cuilmenn, 40. Saltair of Tara, 39 when written 40. of Uachongbhail, 39. Cin Droma Snechta, 39 when compiled, 43. Saltair of Cashel, 39 when compiled, 44. Saltair of Cormac, 41. of St. Mochta, 44. of Cuana, 44. of Dubhdaleithe, 44. Saltair of Temair, 43. Saltair-na-Rann, 41. of Leabhar buidhe Slaine, 44. of Leabhar na h-Uidhre, 44. of Eochaidh O'Flannagain, 44. of Inis an Duin, 44. Short, of St. Buithe's Monastery, 44. of Flann of St. Buithe's Monastery, 44. of Flann of Dungeimhin (Dungiven, co. Derry), 44. of Dun da Leth Ghlas (Downpatrick), 44. of Doire (Derry), 44. of Sabhall Phatraic (co. Down), 44. of Uachongbhail (Navan), 44. Leabhar dubh Molaga, 44. Leabhar buidhe Moling, 44. Leabhar buidhe Mhic Murchadha, 44. Leabhar Arda Macha. 44. Leabhar ruadh Mhic Aedhagain, 44. Leabhar breac Mhic Aedhagain, 44. of O'Scoba of Cluain Mhic Nois (or Clonmacnois), 44. of Leabhar fada Leithghlinne, 44. Book of Invasions, 54. of Duil Droma Ceata, 44 of Clonsost, (Queen's county), 44. of Trias Thaumaturgas, 52. of Hispania Illustrata, 70, of Acaill, 104. of Armagh, 109. of Rights, 253n. Boromean Tribute, the origin of, 98 remitted, 185. Boulter, Dr., 581. Bran Dubh, bravery and stratagem of, 168. Bravery of the Dalcassians, 218. Breas, the warrior, 62. Brehon laws, 147 by whom compiled, 144. Brendan, St. and his voyages, 169. Brian Boroimhe, 205 avenges the death of Mahoun, 207 deposes Malachy, 209 his wife, 211 his death, 217 romantic ballad of the lady, 209 originator of surnames, 210n. Brigid, St., her birthplace, 131. Briton, origin of name, 60. Brodir, the apostate Dane, 212 kills Brian Boroimhe, 217. Browne, Dr., 395. Bruce, invasion of, 350. Bruce's, Edward, campaign, 342 his death, 345. Brunehalt, Queen, 173. Burke, MacWilliam, 299 head of the Burke family in Ireland, 299. Burke, MacWilliam, 326 wars of, with the FitzGeralds, 326 defeat of, by O'Connor, 328. Burke, celebrated statesman of 18th century, 593 his school days, 594 his hatred of oppression, 595 his marriage, 596 becomes secretary, 597 his maiden speech, 598 on Indian policy, 604. Burkes and Geraldines, 333. Burgat, Dr., his Brevis Relatio, 518n. Burgo, Richard de, 309. Burnt Njal, quotations from, 217. Butlers, the, their history, 354.

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