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Marquis of Clanrickard, assisted by such as the late general assembly had appointed ; who, as they were best judges of their own condition, so they had free liberty from his majesty, in case of high necessity, to endeavour their own preservation, even by receiving conditions from the rebels, which must be much more contrary to his interests, than 'to receive them from any other, almost upon any terms.” He afterwards reminds his lordship, “'that he had already made his application, where the king commanded he should, and that so he was fairly quit of the mat
3 Clanrick. Memoirs.
The king himself, in a letter to Lord Clanrickard, condescended to apologize for these commissioners. For, after having told that lord, " that they excused their having consented to this treaty with the Duke of Lorrain, only by the remediless necessities they then conceived Ireland to be in, and the absolute despair they had to procure a present supply by any other means," he informs him, " that they kept both parts of the articles in their hands, till his pleasure should be known; and that they had not, in that transaction, any purpose of undutifulness or disrespect towards him, which,” adds his majesty, “ we are willing to believe, , and graciously accept their future service ; and we recommend them to your good opinion and favour, to the end, that upon their application to you, you may receive them into the fame place of confidence and esteem, you have formerly had of them, and use their advice and service as heretofore.” Članrick. Mem. Dub. ed.
And in a letter to the Duke of Lorrain himself, after the treaty was broken off, his majesty says, " he believed those offers 'which the commissioners made him in that treaty, proceeded rather from the smart, anguish and despair those gentlemen felt; and from the languishing and gasping condition of their miserable country, than from their want of affection and duty to him, and his interests." Ib. p. 123.
The king in a letter to Lord Taaffe, from Johnstone, January 2d, 1650, uses these words, relative to this treaty with the Duke of Lorrain. The ways here for my affairs in Ireland being obstructed, I have heretofore entreated the queen to take that care upon her; and if therefore the shall direct
you thing, you may safely follow her advice and direction, and have my consent to it.” Id. ib. p. 76.
This is the true state of that negociation for the Duke of Lorrain's assistance and protection. But we will suppose, for a moment, the common invidious representation of it to be just, namely, “ that the ca. tholics of Ireland, when theirs and the king's forces were almost entirely reduced, invited the Duke of Lorrain over, engaging, upon his appearing among them with his forces, to deliver up the whole island into his hands, and declare him their sovereign.". I say, even supposing this to have been the case, let the candid and impartial judge, from the dismal situation of these catholics at that juncture of time, whether a better or more justifiable project could have been thought
These commissioners, in their apology obferve, “ that to encourage them farther, and to take off all scruples (in concluding the treaty), as well concerning the power, as the willingness of those who were next in trust to his majesty in the affairs of Ireland, Lord Taaffe shewed us two several letters; one from his majesty, intimating, that he referred the affairs of Ireland to his mother, the queen; and the other from the lord lieutenant to Lord Taaffe, approving his treaty with his highness.” Id. ib. p. 134.
• The Duke of Lorrain's proposals were: That he should be declared and acknowledged, protector of Ireland; and that fome towns should be put into his hands, and garrisoned by his own troops, as security for the re-payment of the money he should expend in recovering the kingdom from the Englífh rebels. To the latter of these propotals Lord Clanrickard and the Marquis of Ormond, principally objected, although Ormond himself, in a letter to his majesty, in the year 1649, told him, “ that if money to support the Irish war against the English rebels could not be got otherwise than by giving some of his majesty's fea-towns or ports in Ireland, as caution for the re-payment of what sum his majesty could borrow, he humbly conceived that condition was not to be stuck at." Carte's Collect. of Orm. Orig. Papers, vol. ii. p. 400.
And on the 11th of February, in the same year, Secretary Nicholas wrote to the Marquis of Ormond in these words: “ Your excellency, I conceive, will do well to advertise his majesty, whether there be any strong towns or places in Ireland that may be fit and conveniently engaged as caution, to such as will lend his majesty money for the recovery of Ireland.” Id.
ib. vol. i. p. 344
of. They were then reduced to slavery 4 and beggary, by the English rebels ; many thousands of them murdered, and the rest deprived of their estates. So that the question will turn upon this, whether the catholics of Ireland, in this wretched situation, and in utter despair of eyer seeing the monarchy restored, for the preservation of which they had suffered so much, were to be blamed for calling in a foreign prince of their own religion, who had a considerable army to support them, rather than submit to so infamous an usurper as Cromwell, or such a bloody and ignominious conventicle, as the rump-parliament! Many protestants, both diffenters and conformists, who have been conversant in the history of those times, have freely confessed, that, considering the miserable condition the Irish were then in, they could not have thought of a braver or more virtuous attempt; by which they might have been instruments of restoring the lawful monarch, at least, to the recovery of England and Scotland, from those betrayers, and sellers, and murderers of his royal father.'
And, indeed, his majesty's affairs were then so absolutely desperate, in every part of his dominions, that, after this treaty with the Duke of Lorrain was entirely broken off, the Marquis of Ormond himself, abhorrent as he always seemed to be, from any connection with the Irish catholics, and especially with their clergy, advised, that speedy recourse might be had to their supreme spiritual head, the Pope himself, as the only visible means of retrieving them ; which he seemed to think might be happily effected by his Holiness's mediation and influence with the other catholic princes and states. “ To come shortly,” says he in a letter to the Marquis of Clanrickard on that occasion, “ to what I would be at, wherein you may be concerned, I conceive some one must be found, that hath power, if not with all, yet with most christian princes and states. Among the protestants, there is none such ;
4 Swift's Works.
and among the Roman catholics, it is visible, that the Pope has most of authority and persuasion; and it shall be, without scruple, my advice, and that speedily, that fitting ministers may be sent, and apt: inducements proposed, to him for his interpofition with all princes and states.”----- Here the sentence is left abruptly broken off, with what view, if done de. signedly, may
be easily conjectured from the foregoing fragment.
The Marquis of Clanrickard leaves Ireland, now
entirely subject to the English rebels. THE
HE affairs of the confederate catholics being now absolutely irretrievable, the Marquis of Clanrickard,
a Borlase observing how easily and quickly (in a few months) the usurpers got pofleffion of Ireland, adds, such a winter's campaign, by so inconsiderable a party, against fo considerable a kingdom, was never read or heard of; considering especially, that to the support of the Irish interests from January, 1649, to January, 1650, there was raised 533,5641. 1os. uid. besides meal, beeves, wheat, winter-quarters, king's customs, excise, and enemies estates, if we may credit the relation of Mercurius Politicus." Reduct. of Irel. p. 256. Of so little avail are the greatest supplies to the most numerous army, when divisions among its members, and distrust of its principal leader, prevail in it.