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His excellency having arrived at Cork, on the 29th of September, 1648, was there received with general acclamations of joy; and on the next day, the general assembly sitting at Kilkenny, gave a very signal proof of their real desire to be again received under his government,' by fixing a public brand on the two principal opposers of the late peace, the Nuncio Renuccini, and General Owen O’Nial. For they proclaimed the Vol. II.
· Cart. Orm. vol. ii. fol. 42.
a Dr. Leland, from Mr. Carte, gives' us the following chas, racter of this general: “ Owen O'Nial had served in the Imperial and Spanish armies with reputation. He was governor of Arras, when the French besieged this town in 1640 ; and,
latter a rebel and a traitor; and upon entering into a treaty of peace with the marquis, they drew up a charge against the former, “ representing the manifold oppressions, transcendent crimes, and capital offences, which he had been continually, for three years rast, acting within the kingdom, to the unspeakable detriment of their religion, the ruin of the nation, and the dishonour of the See of Rome.” This heavy accusation met with no opposition, even from such ecclesiastics as were present in that assembly. " It seems exceedingly strange to me,” says the Nuncio himself, in a letter to Cardinal Panzirolo on this occasion, " that although there were eight bishops present in this assembly, which offered such violence to my authority, and passed an order, that none should hereafter obey my commands, not one of them did protest or declare against it, or depart from the place in which it was held; or even make an apology, by a letter to his Holiness, or myself, for their conduct; affirming only, that therein they followed the example of those of
2 Cart. Orm. vol. ii.
3 Nuncio's Memoirs.
though obliged to surrender upon honourable terms, yet his defence gained him the respect, even of his enemy. Experience had formed him to an able and skilful soldier ; quick in difcerning, diligent in improving any advantage offered by the enemy; more circumspect than enterprizing; of a genius peculiarly fuited to defence, and excellent at protracting a war; qualities of especial use in that service which he was now to undertake. His knowledge of the world, his prudence, his sobriety and caution, appeared to greater advantage, as they were contrafted by the ignorance and rudeness, the intemperance and levity of Sir Phelim. To the secret mortification of this his kinsman, Owen was unanimously declared by the northern Irish, head and leader of their confederacy.” Carte's Orm. Lel. vol. iii. p. 178.
6 There were in this assembly,“ two archbishops, ten bishops, three earls, twelve viscounts, seven barons, twenty baronets, the principal gentlemen out of the three provinces of Leinster, Muniter, and Connaught, besides fome of the chief nobility. of Ulster.” Bishop of Ferns's Lett., to the Nuncio. Vindic. Catholic. p. 180.
Portugal, who drove Cardinal Palotto out of the kingdom, and imprisoned his auditor."
With the above mentioned charge, Sir Richard Blake, chairman of the assembly,* sent him notice, by their order, that there was a declaration and proteftation preparing against him, which were to be sent to his Holiness, to the end that his lordship might prepare for his journey, and for his defence; and that, in the mean time, he should not intermeddle, by himself or any of his instruments, directly or indirectly, with the affairs of the nation, on the penalty which might ensue, by the law of God and nations.” c
The Nuncio, accordingly, left Ireland on the 2zd of February following, to the great joy of the principal nobility and gentry, and the most respectable ecclesiastics of the kingdom. Yet while he was preparing for his departure, the lord lieutenant sent him a private message, by two of his particular friends, the Bishop of Ferns and Nicholas Plunkett, Esq; if he would then, at parting, take off his excommunication, and dispose the people to an absolute obedience to the peace, and the king's authority, he should not only receive all possible civility from him, at his departure from Ireland, but that he would make a very advantageous mention of him to the
whose distressed condition," he said, “ would certainly gain some credit to her at Paris, if it was not worse than London.” But the Nuncio did not wait their coming ; for on the night before, he went to sea in his own
c" Notwithstanding this message, he remained four whole months afterwards in the kingdom; and then left it of his own accord, and without any further message from the general affembly, when things seemed to be inclining to some kind of peaceableness between those of his party, and the other confederate catholics." Vindic. Catholic. in Hib. p. 174.
“ The court of Rome," says Mr. Carte,“ though it was contrary to their maxims to fix a public mark of censure on the conduct of their ministers, difapproving his conduct, sent him orders to make haste thither." Orm. vol. ii. fol. 56.
frigate, and, on the 2d of March, landed at St. Vaast, in the Lower Normandy.
At his return to Rome, he was but coldly received by the Pope ; and after having been told," “ that he had carried himself rafhly in Ireland," instead of being honoured with a cardinal's hat, as he expected, he was banished to his bishoprick, and principality of Fermo ; which he found in a distracted condition, by just such another insurrection of the people against their viceroy, as he had himself raised and fomented against the king's lieutenant in Ireland. These disappointments of his own, and the distractions of his people, affected him so sensibly, that he soon after died of grief. To what desperate courses o General O'Nial was driven, by the assembly's proclaiming him a rebel and a traitor, shall be hereafter related.
His excellency treats of a peace with the confederate
catholics. The lord lieutenant' being invited to Kilkenny, by the general assembly, October the 28th, in order to a more expeditious settling of the points in dispute, made his entry into that city in a splendid manner; having been met at some distance from it by the whole body of the assembly, and by all the nobility, clergy, and gentry in the neighbourhood. He was received into the town by the mayor and aldermen, with all those ceremonies and honours, which such corporations used to pay to the supreme authority of the kingdom, and was lodged in his own castle, with all his own guards about him.”
6 Walsh's Hift. of the Irish Remonstrance.
· Cart. Orm. vol. i. f. 45.
€ • The malice and headiness of Owen O’Nial and his party afterwards, was as much, and in truth more, against the confederate Irish, than the king." Borl. Irish Rebel. f. 269.