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Yet loyal as this perseverance of the Irish clergy was, (not lessened by the daily desertions of the protestant royalists, or by the increasing power and success of the regicides,) it has not hindered party-malice to suggest, that they were, even at this juncture, instilling such sentiments into the minds of their people, as were utterly incompatible with their allegiance to the king, or due submission to his lieutenant. “ The Irish,” we are told, “ had still as much of Ireland in their power, as could maintain a war against all the English rebels there ; that his excellency the Marquis of Clanrickard, had argument enough to hope, if he could be confident of the union of the nation ; that he might have reasonably promised himself an union of the nation, if he could have been confident of the affection and inte. grity of the clergy ; but that the greatest part of the Irish ecclefiaftics had no mind to have any relation to the English nation, and as little to return to their obedience to the crown; that it was by the advice and influence of these ecclesiastics, that the confederate catholics were first inclined to treat with the English rebels for conditions; and that afterwards, such offers were made to the Duke of Lorrain by commissioners of their chusing, as in effect transferred the whole right and sovereignty of that kingdom to his high
But, besides what has been already related of the temper, and disposition of these ecclesiastics, and of the ftate of the nation at that dismal juncture, the whole of this charge is incontestably proved to be false, from that “ state of his majesty's affairs, and the condition of his faithful subjects in Ireland, which the Marquis of Clanrickard himself transmitted to the Marquis of Ormond, on occasion of the above-mentioned treaty with the Duke of Lorrain."
For therein his lordship sets forth,* “ that the power and success of the rebels were such, as that the whole nation was in their possession,' or subject to their contribution, except the province of Connaught, and county of Clare, his majesty's city of Limerick, and town of Galway ; and that the said province of Connaught, and county of Clare were, for the most part, waste; that the inhabitants thereof were utterly impoverished; that no considerable forces could be brought together to maintain a defensive war against the rebels, much less an offensive; that the city of Limerick, and town of Galway had of a long time, out of a feeling sense they had of their own destruction, been inclined to treat for conditions with the rebels ; that the same was the resolution of most of the other people of Ireland, who could not humanely see how they could be otherwise preserved ; and that many of the officers of his majesty's army did, from several parts of the kingdom, represent their sense that it was absolutely necessary for the people's preservation to treat with the rebels for conditions, seeing there was no power to resist them.”
3 Clarend. Borl. Irish Rebel. fol. 339.
4 Clanrick. Mem. Dub. ed. p. 56.
From hence it is manifeft, that whatever inclination these deserted Irish had to treat with the rebels, was not at all owing to the advice, or influence of their clergy; but naturally arose from that irremediable distress, to which they then found themselves reduced, and from the dismal prospect of its daily increase, until it should end in their total destruction.
“ But no sooner,” proceeds Lord Clanrickard, “ had these Irish understood, that the Duke of Lorrain's ambassador had arrived in Ireland, with offers of
powerful assistance for the preservation of the catholic
s Clanrick. Mem. Dub.ed. p. 56.
a Yet Clarendon himself, in the account of his own life, contradicts all this. For he there fays, “ that when the success of the parliament had totally subdued the king's arms, and himself was so inhumanly murdered, neither the forces in Ireland under the king's authority, nor the Irish, who had too late submitted to it, could make any long resistance ; so that Cromwell quickly dispersed them by his own expedition thither.” Vol. ii. p. 14.
Cromwell invaded Ireland in August 1649, and remained there but about eight months.
religion, and of his majesty's fubjects interests, than they took much comfort and encouragement thereby, hoping that the rebels power might be
opposed. And soon after, the towns of Limerick and Galway, and all other places, yet in his majesty's obedience, seemed more chearfully than before, to aflift his majesty's authority in opposing the rebels; and to disavow and disclaim any treaty with them, though formerly inclined, if not resolved.'
Upon this change in the temper of the people, the deputys “ authorised fome of the Roman Catholic prelates, and commissioners of trust, to treat with the faid embassador ; who being accordingly called together, with several officers of the army, after a long and serious debate, weighing the unavoidable danger the nation was in of falling into the hands of the rebels, did therefore advise, that it was absolutely neceffary to accept of his said highness's protection. But the said embassador's propositions being such, as Lord Clanrickard could not consent to, the treaty and conclusion for farther supplies, were put over to be determined by his highness, or such as he should depute, and by such as should be authorised by the deputy in his majesty's behalf.”
His lordship concludes with his own opinion upon the then situation of affairs, thus : “ It is very evident, how
great the evils are that will happen, if immediately great aids are not hastened to this nation ; for the kingdom will, by the foreflowing thereof, be entirely in the enemy's power and possession, and the people universally enforced to submit unto them.”
CH A P.
The treaty with the Duke of Lorrain confidered.
It must be confessed, that this imminent danger of the whole kingdom's falling under the power of the English rebels, did induce Sir Nicholas Plunkett and Geoffry Brown, Esq; (commissioners on that occasion appointed by Lord Clanrickard) to yield to the folicitations of some private agents of the Irish clergy, then at Brussels,“ to agree to the terms proposed by the Duke of Lorrain, rather than break off the treaty; for which the deputy severely reprimanded, and threatened to proclaim them. But even that step they did not take without previous encouragement from the Queen, the Duke of York, and the Marquis of Ormond himself.
· The Duke of Lorrain had, in the year 1645, shewn fo great a propensity to assist his majesty, as appears by the queen's letter to the king from Paris, of the 27th January, 1646, that he prepared to raise ten thousand men for that purpose. But that design having been fatally disappointed at that time (see Clanric. Mem. Dub. ed. p. 41.), the Irish clergy, mindful of his highness's former generous inclinations, privately employed Dr. Nicholas French, Bishop of Ferns, and Father William Bourke, Provincial of the Dominicans, to folicit the duke for these aids, now much more wanted than at any time before. They at the same time sent Colonel Oliver Synot to the Marquis of Ormond, to know his opinion of this negociation. What encouragement he gave them, in his letter to Lord Taaffe on that subject, to proceed in it, shall presently be seen. To the above mentioned procurators for the clergy, were afterwards added, Hugh O'Reilly, Archbishop of Armagh; Thomas Fleming, Archbishop of Dublin ; Edmund Dempfy, Bishop of Leighlin ; Norbert Barry, Bishop of Cork ; and Francis Kirwan, Episcop. Alladensis. Cox's Hift. part 2d. App. p. 177.
• The fourth article of that treaty, so much cenfured, is, “ The Duke of Lorrain is to do nothing in derogation of the king's authority or jurisdiction in Ireland, but rather to amplify “ For,' their commission being accompanied with instructions for application to be made to the Queen, the Duke of York, and the Lord Lieutenant, upon their landing ; in accomplishment thereof, Lord Taaffe repaired to Paris, and presented to her Majesty, the Duke of York, and Lord Lieutenant, all the papers and instructions, which they had received concerning that treaty; among which were the propositions agreed to and advised by the general assembly, for obtaining the protection and future succour of the kingdom ; which were in effect the same with the articles afterwards concluded with the Duke of Lorrain. And the said papers having been considered by her Majesty, the Duke of York, and Lord Lieutenant, her majesty directed her letters to Sir Nicholas Plunkett and Geoffry Brown, Esq; willing them to give credit to Lord Taaffe, in what he should relate unto them concerning that affair. By Lord Taaffe they understood, that her Majesty, the Duke of York, and Lord Lieutenant wished his highness would undergo the charge; and that he should meet with no opposition from any of them : yet that, by any instrument under their hands, they could not consent to it, left it might draw danger on the king's perfon, being then in the power of the Scots; and in pursuance of this letter of credence, Lord Taaffe advised, that they should proceed to a conclusion of the treaty.
The Marquis of Orniond, after having been informed by Lord Taaffe of the particulars of this transaction, wrote back to his lordship, “ that, touching the bufiness of Ireland, and the Duke of Lorrain, for ought appearing to him, there was nothing done, that were to be wilhed undone ; and for what remained to produce new and further supplies, it was left to the agreement that should be made with his agent, by the Vol. II.
Clanrick. Memoirs, p. 131.
3 Id. ib. p. 77.
it: and having restored the kingdom and religion, to their true pristine estate, he is to resign chearfully the kingdom to the king.” Borl. Irish Rebel. fol. 351.