« PreviousContinue »
The next day after his arrival at Kilkenny, his excellency entered into a treaty of peace with the general afsembly; and after he had advanced so far in it, as that, “ he thought, he had good grounds to hope it would be speedily concluded, upon the conditions he was empowered to give them, he found it suddenly interrupted by a very dangerous mutiny, raised by some leading officers in Lord Inchiquin's army, who endeavoured, not only to hinder the conclusion of the peace, but also to incline those under them to a treaty and submission to the English parliament.”
On this occafion, it was thought necessary by his excellency and Lord Inchiquin, to suspend the conclufion of the peace, “ in such a manner, as might induce the mutineers to believe it would be wholly laid aside for their satisfaction." On the other hand, the article concerning the free exercise of religion, was not yet adjusted to the fatisfaction of the allembly; some of the clergy having much higher expectations, in that respect, than others thought fit to be insisted on. “ This was the only point,4 in which there was danger of the treaty's breaking up unfinished, it being very difficult to give content therein to the Roman catholics, without at the same time disgusting the protestants.” But an incident happening at this juncture, united the differing parties in that assembly, and greatly accelerated the peace. Some copies of the remonftrance of the independent army in England, which had publicly avowed their design of subverting every thing, that had been hitherto known for government in these nations, were then brought to Kilkenny, and read with universal abhorrence. This s immediately removed all the difficulties which some of the Roman catholics, in zeal for their religion, had thrown in the way of the peace. The general assembly receded from their demands in that point. And on the 28th of December, upon consideration of his majesty's present condition, and their own hearty de
2 Carte's Orm. vol. iii. 3 Ib.
4 Id. ib. vol. ii. f. 43. s Id. ib. f. 49.
fires, says Mr. Carte, of spending their lives and fortunes, in maintaining his rights and interests, they resolved unanimously, to accept of the Marquis of Ormond's answer to their propositions for religion. “ That desperately wicked remonstrance,” says the marquis himself, “ whatever mischief it may do, hath yet done this good, that it put us quite from all disputes upon the necessity of conditions, and was no small cause of the speedy, and I hope, happy conclufion of the peace.
The peace of 1648 concluded and proclaimed. ON
the 17th of January, 1648,' the general assembly repaired to the presence of the lord lieutenant in his castle at Kilkenny, and there, with all folemnity imaginable, presented to him, fitting on a throne of state, the articles of the peace, by the hands of Sir Richard Blake, their chairman, which he received; and having confirmed them, on his majesty's behalf, caused them to be publicly proclaimed. Nine Roman catholic bishops, present in the assembly, joined, the next day,
b “ This agreement,” says Borlase, “ passed with that mira. culous consent and unity, that in the whole afsembly, in which there were (nine) catholic bishops, there was not one diffenting voice.” Irilh Rebel. f. 260.
While the Marquis of Ormond was treating, at Kilkenny, with the confederates on the peace of 1648, the English parliament having had notice of it from Colonel Jones, ordered their commissioners treating with Charles in the Isle of Wight, to prevail upon him to disavow it. “Whereupon his majesty signified, that in case other things were composed by the treaty (with the parliament) the concerns of Ireland should be left wholly to the houses." And in the interim wrote to Ormond,“ to require him to defift from any further proceedings in that peace.” Borl.
ib. fol. 259.
in a circular letter, which they sent to all the cities and corporations of their party, exhorting them to receive and obey the peace now concluded; which was in fubstance that which had been made in 1646, but rejected by a former afsembly.”!
The lord lieutenant, in a letter to Lord Digby, January the 22d, after telling him, that the peace was concluded, adds, “ I must say for this people, that I have obferved in them, great readinefs to comply with what I was able give them; and a very great fense of the king's sad condition.” And in another letter, of the fame date; to the Prince of Wales, he takes notice “ of the very eminent loyalty of the affembly, which was not,” fays he, “ fhaken by the success, which God hath permitted to the monstrous rebellion in England; nor by the mischievous practices of the no less malicious rebels in Ireland.”
After the signing of the articles, his excellency made a speech to the assembly, wherein he congratulated them, not only on the score of what they had already obtained by that peace, in point of freedom of worship, abatement of penalties, and other advantages ; but also on the hopes of further indulgence and favour in all these respects, according to their future merits.” For he told them, “ that, besides the provision made against their remotest fears of the severities of certain
2 Ib. vol. iii. f. 600.
3 Id. ib. f. 601.
+ İb. vol. iii.
In that letter they observed to the people, “ that although in their thoughts and occafions, during these feven years wars, they' had ftill the same loyalty, which now made them comply with his majesty in his greatest necessity, and had often publicly sworn it, yet they lay under the suspicion of many men; but that by the present agreement, all blemish of that kind was taken away. That, as for their religion, they had received good fatisfaction for the being and safety of it; that by the temporal articles, their lives, liberties, and estates were provided for; so as now," added they, “ you have a clear quarrel, without the least colour of suspicion; for you fight purely against fectaries and rebels, for God and Cæfar; and under those banners, you may well hope for victory." Enquiry into the Share, &c. p. 267.
(penal) laws; and besides many other freedoms and bounties conveyed to them, and their posterity, by these articles; there was a door, and that a large one, not left, but purposely set open, to give them entrance to whatever of honour or other advantage they could reasonably with." And yet, about the same time that his lordship made this public and folemn declaration to the assembly, he, in a private letter to Sir Charles Coote, a parliamentarian rebel, “averred with much confi. dence, (they are his own words) that the advantages, which the Romilh professors were fupposed to have, in religion or authority, - by that peace, were no other but pledges for his majesty's confirmation of the other concessions, and that they were to determine therewith ;" 5 as in truth they did.
The happy effects of this peace. Ormond's defeat at
Rathmines. Cromwell's arrival th Ireland.
THERE was, for some time, great union and harmony between the English and Irish forces, now joined under the Marquis of Ormond's command. His excellency in a letter to the king, June 28th, 1649, acquainted him,' " that the ground of his greatest confidence of future success was their present cordial conjunction against the rebels, their former disaffection to each other appearing, then, only in an emulation rather of advantage than hinderance, to his
5 Cart. Orm. vol.ii. fol. 52.
• Yet the king himself, in a letter to the Marquis of Ormond, March 9th, 1648, told him on this occafion, that he had lately received from Lord Byron the articles of the peace, which he had made in Ireland, together with a copy of his letter to him ; that he was extremely fatisfied with both, and would confirm, wholly and entirely, 'all that was contained in the articles.” Cart. Collect. of Orig. Papers, vol. ii. p. 363.
To this union it was certainly owing, that their first operations were extremely successful ; for in the space of a few months, they became masters of Sligo, Drogheda, Dundalk, Waterford, Trim, Newry, and in short of all the strong holds and towns in the kingdom, except Londonderry and Dublin. Towards this latter city, therefore, his excellency marched the combined armies; hoping to repair the mischiefs he had done by his late surrender of it to the English rebels, and to reduce it once more under his majesty's obedience. His excellency's excesfive confidence in these united forces, though now in want of almost every necessary for his enterprise on Dublin, is one of the supposed causes of his fatal difappointment in that attempt. That this confidence was indeed excessive, appears by his letter of July 18th, to the king, from his camp at Finglas; for there he tells him,
" that which only threatens any rub to our success, is our wants, which have been, and are fuch, that soldiers have actually starved by their arms, and many of less constancy, have run home: many of the foot are weak; yet I despair not to be able to keep them together, and strong enough to reduce Dublin, if good supplies of all forts come not speedily to relieve it. I am confident, I can persuade one half of this army to starve outright; and I shall venture far upon it, rather than give off a game, so fair on our fide, and so hard to be recovered if given over."
But while his excellency was thus securely making preparations for that enterprise at Rathmines, a place
? Carte's Orig. Pap. vol. ii. p. 389.
* And yet Borlase confidently afferts, from Clarendon, “ that from the first hour of the peace (of 1648) these English and Irish had not been without that prejudice towards each other, as gave the marquis much trouble ; and that they were rather incorporated by their obedience and submission to the authority and pleasure of their chief commanders, than united by the same inclinations and affections to any public end." Hist. of the Irish Rebel. f. 287.