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jects.d Thus the same credulity, real or affected, of these two contending parties, by increasing their numbers, equally answered their different purposes. But the motives, by which it operated in each, were very different ; that of the insurgents being an honest, though misguided, intention of serving his majesty against a fačtious and disloyal administration, and that of the others, an avowed design to carry on and foment the rebellion against him.
But the regicides, having now gotten into their hands the known author of the forgery, and imagining that he would not hesitate to accept
condi. tions that might extricate him from his present dangerous situation, expected to be able to convince the world, by his own testimony, that he had levied and carried on that war, by a real commission from his majesty ; họping, by that means, to wipe away, or at least extenuate, their own guilt, in the late king's murder; as if they had only by that act, rid the world of the author and abettor of a rebellion, which they every where represented as most odious and detestable. Full of these hopes, they privately offered him his pardon, and the restitution of his estate, if he would make public confession and proof, of the genuineness and authenticity of this commission; but they being answered, “ that it was impossible for him to do so,” resolved to try what the terror of their high court of justice would do ; and therefore brought him to his trial, where his judges publicly repeated the same Vol. II.
5 Nalfon's Historic. Collet. d « By this artifice (says a contemporary writer) they murdered the king in the hearts of his subjects, by stifling therein all sentiments of respect and duty, long before they brought him to the block.” Sale and Settlement, &c.
e “ He had been frequently folicited thereunto by fair promises and great rewards, while he was in prison,
Carte's Orm. vol. ii. fol. 181. « Sir Richard Kennedy, made baron of the exchequer of Ireland by king Charles II. who attended Sir Phelim in prison, as his counsel, ufed frequently to mention this as told him there by Sir Phelim, with great detestation of the offer.” Id, ib, Note.
tempting offer, and enforced it with shameless importunity ; but he perfisting resolutely in his denial of the fact, his sentence was deferred till the next day; and then again, for the same reason, poftponed to the third, in order, as his judges told him,' to give him time to reflect on their friendly proposal. But Sir Phelim still acquitting his majesty of having any hand in that commislion, and even calling witnesses to prove, that he had himself fixed the seal to it in the manner beforementioned, sentence of death was pronounced against him. But even then they did not cease to tempt him ; for at the very place of execution, and after he had mounted the ladder, Ludlow fent him an offer of his life, and estate, if he would then accuse his majesty of having given him that commission. But he calmly answered, “ I thank the lieutenant general for his intended mercy ; but I declare, good people, before God and his angels, and all you that hear me, that I never had any commission from the king, for what I have done, in levying and prosecuting this war.” More of his speech, says Dean Ker, who was present at both his trial and execution, “ “ I could not hear, the guards beating off those that stood near the place of execution.”
Dr. Sheridan, the deprived bishop of Kilmore, told Mr. Carte, May 20th, 1711, that he was present at the execution of Sir Phelim O’Nial in Ireland, for being the chief actor in the Irish massacre; and that Colonel Hewson coming towards the ladder, Sir Phelim made his public acknowledgments to him in a grateful manner, for the civil treatment he had met with during the
whole 6 Nalson's Hiftoric. Collect.
f « His trial (says Mr. Carte) was drawn out into a length of several days, in hopes that the criminal might in that time be wrought upon to save his life, by blackening the memory of the late king." Orm. vol. ii. fol. i 31.
8 « Lord Macguire, also, who was privy to all the transactions of the insurgents, denied it to the last (in 1644), with more sense of conscience, (faith his majcity in his answer to the parliament's two last papers concerning Ireland,) than they who examined him expected." Borl, Irish Rebel. fol. 45.
whole course of his imprisonment; and only wished that his life had been taken from him in a more ho. nourable manner. To this Colonel Hewson answered, that he might fave his life if he pleased, only by declaring at that present to the people, that his first taking arms was by virtue of a commission under the broad feal of King Charles the first : but Sir Phelim replied, that he would not save his life by so base a lye, by doing so great an injury to that prince. 'Tis true, he faid, that he might the better persuade the people to come unto him, he took off an old seal from an old deed, and clapt it to a commission that he had forged, and fo persuaded the people that what he did was by the king's authority, but he never really had any commission from the king. This, adds Mr. Carte, the bishop told me, he heard him fay." ;
Sir Phelimi O’Nial is never mentioned in any history of this insurrection, but as a monster of cruelty, perfidy, and rebellion. I mean not to represent him as quite innocent in any of these respects ; , but I am inclined to think, that these charges have been greatly aggravated in his particular ; (for, says Mr. Carte," he had not the character of being an ill-natured man;"*) as we find, they have certainly been, with regard to his associates in this war.' At his trial he fervently declared, “ that divers outrages committed by his officers and soldiers, though contrary to his intention, pressed his conscience very much,” And indeed, his
7 Macpherson's Hist. Great Britain, vol. il. p. 280.
9. Ib. Carte.
h “ He declared, that his conscience was already oppressed by the outrages of his followers, and that he could not add to the severity of his present feelings by an unjust calumný of the king. Even at his execution, he was again tempted, and returned the answer above-mentioned aloud." Lel. Hift. of Irel. vol. iii. p. 395
“ He is generally accused of having given orders for the killing Lord Caulfield, on seizing his castle of Charlemount; but he was on the contrary, so highly provoked at that villainy, com mitted by some of his brutal followers, that in February, 1642,
whole conduct on this melancholy occasion, seems to ascertain the sincerity of that declaration. In this charitable light, I am apt to consider that unfortunate gentleman, with respect to his past life ; but when I compare his behaviour in this last scene of it, with that of his judges, I am at a loss to determine, which should be deemed greatest, the heroism of the former, or the villainy of the latter." i
CH A P.
having discovered fix of the murderers, he ordered them to be first hanged, and afterwards beheaded.” MSS. Irish Jour. written by his chaplain.
He appears to have been apprehended by Lord Charlemont's fucceffor, who applied to the house of commons, in 1662, for a reward for taking him, “ consideration being had of the great lufferings of the Lord Caulfield and his family, and of the great service by him performed in apprehending Sir Phelim O'Nial, and bringing him to justice, as also regard being had to a reward promised by the lords justices in the time of his late majesty, to Tuch persons as should bring the head of the said Sir Phelim.” (1000l.) Borl. f. 84.
“ Refolved, it fhould be reported to the house as their opinion, that the said Lord Caulfield, who brought the faid Sir Phelim to justice, shall be considered for that his service, out of the uses intended to be satisfied out of the money intended to be raised by bill.” Com. Jour. vol. ii. f. 22.
Notwithstariding the confefled truth of the above relation of the trial and execution of Sir Phelim O'Nial, a late learned historian cenfures Mr. Carte, as rather uncharitable for saying, “ that they would have pardoned and rewarded him, if he had been profligate enough to have falsely accused the late king." And he even asserts on this occasion, that Sir Phelim" was not tempted to accuse the king : and that his pardon was not promised on any such condition, but that he was to purchase it by producing a material and authentic proof of his guilt.” Lel. Hift. of Irel. vol. ii. p. 395.
Now I cannot comprehend, what, or whose guilt is here to be understood. Sir Phelim O'Nial had already confefTed himself guilty of the insurrection, but still denied that the king had given him a commission for commencing it. It is not to be supposed that they would have pardoned and rewarded him, for producing material and authentic proof of that guilt, which he had already confeffed ; it therefore remains, that they wanted him to confess, and produce proof of the king's guilt in granting him the commission in question, which he could not do,
CH A P.
Henry Cromwells administration in Ireland,
Henry Cromwell, second son to Oliver Cromwell, been placed earlier in the government of Ireland'; or when he was so placed, had he been suffered to'follow the bent of his own humane disposition, the Irish of that period would have had much fewer and less griev. ous causes of complaint than were then given them ; for to his favourable a representation and influence it was entirely owing, that the protector's council did not add new grievances, and oppressions, to those they already suffered. His letters in Thurloe's collection thew his abilities and skill in governing.' As chancel- .
Bate's Elenchus Motuum Nuperor. in Anglia, part ii. p. 57:
because no such commission had been granted. And it is fuffi. , ciently evident, from all the circumstances of his trial and execution, that had he been profligate enough to yield to their impor, tunity, by producing any proof, however immaterial and unauthentic, or even by simply avowing that calumny in any public manner, it would have gone very far towards contenting them. Dean Ker, who was present, testifies expressly, “ that on the fecond day of his trial, some of the judges told him, that if he could produce any material proof, that he had such a commiffion from Charles Stewart (for so they called his late majesty,) to declare and prove it, before sentence of death was passed against him, and that the said Sir Phelim should be restored to his estate and liberty." See Nall. Collect. Cart. Orm.
“ Doctor William Sheridan, formerly bishop of Kildare,” says Mr. Carte, “ and the late Mr. Locke, a very worthy man, and member of parliament, were present at the same time ; and have, to many gentlemen now living, confirmed the truth of Dean Ker's relation." Life of Orm. vol. i.
a “ The assessments which the Irish paid were above a fourth as much as those of all England and Wales; which, he told his father, in one of his letters, was ten times more than in due proportion they ought to be ; and that they paid incomparably more other charges, owing to the devastations in the civil war, than any other of the three nations." Warn. Irish Rebel. p. 567.