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It probably, during the subsequent parliamentary discussions, passed into the hands of the Lord Lieutenant or Chief Secretary, and was never sent back to the office in Dublin.

It is time, however, to leave this discussion and return to the effects of the Tipperary letter on the fortunes of the Government. The excitement its publication caused was, we have seen, renewed and extended through the murder of Lord Norbury in January 1839.* Out of this excitement, again, came renewed attacks in Parliament, in March 1839, on the principles and conduct of the Irish administration. By this time Lord Normanby had given up the Lord Lieutenancy, and succeeded Lord Glenelg as Minister for the Colonies ; and Lord Ebrington had gone as Viceroy to Ireland.

In the Lower House the attack was renewed, on the motion of Mr Shaw, for a return of the Irish Criminal Statistics for the years 1835–39; a few days later it was renewed in the Upper, on the motion of Earl Roden, for a Committee of Inquiry into the state of Ireland since 1835 with respect to the commission of crime. In both Houses the Tories were loud in their denunciations of the Administration. Never had Ireland,

* The murderer of Lord Norbury was never discovered, nor were the causes of the murder. “A very large reward,” says Mr Brady, “ was offered by subscription, the only effect of which was to bring forward persons who swore false informations for sake of the reward, and two of whom were actually prosecuted, when I was AttorneyGeneral, convicted of perjury, and transported." Letter to present writer. It may here be stated that the murderers of Mr Cooper were brought to justice, owing to the measures taken by the Government, and referred to in the Tipperary letter, ante, p. 315. They were tried, in the course of the year 1838, at a Special Commission at Clonmel, found guilty, and executed.

according to them, been in such a fearful condition. There was security neither of person nor of property. Outrages most fearful in kind were of daily occurrence ; a state of utter lawlessness and criminality was the established phase of Irish society. The House of Commons, after much debating, passed resolutions approving of the principles of the Executive in Ireland. On the other hand, the Committee of Inquiry, moved for in the House of Lords by Earl Roden, was granted. Before this Committee reported, Ministers, having been virtually beaten on their Jamaica Bill, had resigned, and had returned to office after the interlude of “the BedChamber Plot.” On the Committee making their report—two huge volumes of evidence, unaccompanied by comment-Lord Brougham, heading the Tories and a small party of Liberal malcontents—he never could forgive the Ministers who excluded him from office made a successful assault on Government in the House of Lords on the 6th August 1839.* It was, of course,

a painful duty” for his Lordship to discharge, but it was imperative ! He knew his motives might be suspected. He was violating old associations, and exposing himself to cruel suspicions.—It was a case for a display of oratorical power, and he rose to the occasion, concluding his speech, than which nothing could be more unfair as a view of the evidence produced by the Roden Committee, with a burst of indignation against the Ministers in reference to the Bed-Chamber Plot.

* Lord Brougham, in attacking the Ministers, turned aside to eulogise Mr Drummond as an able man, by whom they had been ably defended. The reference to Drummond was cheered. Pigot, then Solicitor-General for Ireland, writing to Drummond in reference to this, says—“Nothing could be more gratifying to your warm friends than the manner in which Brougham's mention of you was received by the whole house."




ONE, and the leading, scheme which Drummond entertained for the redemption of Ireland, before and during his connection with its government, was founded on the absolute necessity of improving the condition of the common people. He saw, or believed he saw, that till that was done no real progress could be made ; that order and tranquillity in Ireland were impossible. These might be temporarily established by conciliating the popular leaders, by a watchful and vigorous police, and a rigorous administration of criminal justice; but so long as the causes which gave influence to popular tribunes, and disposed the people to crime and disorder, remained in operation, relapses were certain to occur, and to be more serious in proportion to the duration of their repression by finesse and physical force.

A mere reform of the justiciary could do no good.

“Where destitution is,” says Drummond in one place, ** there crime will be found as a matter of course ; and, with increased destitution, there will be an increase of crime." The observation is trite, but to him it was the foundation of a policy. The chief thing needful for the Irish was a permanent improvement in their condition in respect to the means of subsistence.

It was his belief, founded on general impressions, which careful inquiries afterwards confirmed, that the condition of the masses in Ireland, instead of improving, was deteriorating. The subdivision of land no longer proceeded; it was checked ; farms, on the contrary, were being enlarged and consolidated. Meanwhile the population, which depended upon the land alone for support, was still increasing. The demand for land was consequently greater than before, while there was a decrease of the supply of it, arising from the consolidation of farms. This was an adequate cause for the deterioration which he believed was taking place in the condition of the labouring poor. The commerce of the country was increasing, its agriculture improving, the value of the land rising, but in this improvement the masses of the people were not participants.

How was this state of things to be altered ? Emigration and a poor-law system would afford temporary relief; these, combined with better and more enlightened views of landed proprietors (which he did his best to inculcate), with respect to their own interests and those of their tenantry, might effect more lasting good ; but something like a lift was necessary to be given to a people sunk so low, to start them on an upward course. This he proposed should be given by a judicious system of public works, which, while it gave immediate relief to the people, new directions to their energies, and new habits to theic: lives, should be so designed as otherwise

to promote the wellbeing of the nation by facilitating social intercourse and commerce.

After the Union, projects were more than once mooted for improving the condition of the Irish, by employing them as day-labourers on the systematic reclamation of waste and bog lands. On these projects committees and commissioners had been appointed to report. They always reported favourably, but nothing was ever done. Drummond believed that much good might be done in this way under a proper system of management. The public works which he himself most favoured, and which he projected, were a national system of railroads for Ireland, somewhat similar to the governmental systems which have been so successful in some continental countries.

Dr Madden states very briefly, and I believe correctly, what Drummond's views were as to the manner in which, at that juncture, such public works might affect Ireland :-"He believed that the great thing for the British Government to apply itself to in Ireland was the consideration of the vast mass of the people. For schemes of Government he cared little, and it was not the tendency of his mind to regard politics in that light in which they are regarded by the statesman, strictly so called. He looked upon Ireland with a practical eye, and thought that a British ruler need not be overanxious about future danger from the Irish. He considered that it was impossible to raise a middle class in Ireland without tranquillity, and that there could not be quiet unless the people were employed. Hence he was such an advocate of railways upon an extensive plan, because,-1. They would give temporary employment to the peasantry, and drain off some of the competitors for land. 2. By employing the peasantry the

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