« PreviousContinue »
on all solemn and interesting occa Through Leinster, Ulster, Connaught, sions, had a kind of collar placed Munster, round his neck, which possessed the Rock’s the boy to make the fun stir. wonderful power of contracting or The manner, it seems, in which relaxing, according to the impar- English legislation commenced in tiality of the sentence pronounced by Ireland, was by merely inflicting a him, and which pinched most incon- small fine for the murder of an Irishveniently, when an unjust decision man; and several cases actually occur was uttered. It was called from one in " the books " in which the plea to of their most just judges, Moran's such an accusation is, that the decollar; even to this day (says O'Hal- ceased was a mere Irishman. Caploran), in litigation between the peo- tain Rock gives one so far back as ple, by the judgment of Moran's collar the reign of Edward II. in which is a most solemn appeal. The use of Richard de Wayley's being accused this collar has been since discon- of the murder of one J. Mac Gillitinued, on account of the risk of movry, pleads, after admitting the strangulation to which it exposed death,' " that he could not commit many honourable judges, and the felony because the deceased was a collar itself was supposed to be lost;
mere Irishman, and not of free blood." but, to the inexpressible joy of all The following bitter lines on this sublovers of Irish curiosities, it was ject are addressed by the author "to again discovered a short time since, a certain personage, whose hatred of and is at present, I understand, worn
an Irishman is, at least, equal to his on all occasions by the Chief Justice love of a guinea ;" who this “ perof Ireland, with the greatest possible sonage" is, it will be perhaps safer ease and comfort to himself.” A for our readers to guess than for us beautiful, and, we believe, a well to demonstrate. deserved compliment to Chief Justice Bushe. What a blessing it would be Oh, had'st thou lived when ev'ry Saxon if this collar could be multiplied !
clown The origin of the family name is First stabb’d his foe, and then paid half a next, according to rule, inquired with such a' choice in thy well-balanced into, and an antiquarian suggestion
scale, is humourously hazarded, no doubt Say, would thy avarice or thy spite prevail ? with as much reason, and certainly with more ingenuity, than graver ety- We really know of no excuse for mologies which have cost many a this barbarous enactment at the time midnight.“ An idea exists in certain when it took place, because there quarters, that the letters of which was then plenty of game in the the name of Rock is composed are country, and there was no necessity, merely initials, and contain a pro- as in later periods, to hunt the human phetic announcement of the high des- species merely for amusement. We tiny that awaits, at some time or speak, of course, only of the earlier other, that celebrated gentleman, Mr. ages of the English sway, because Roger O'Connor, being, as they fill fully aware that in latter times the up the initials, the following awful diminution of the red deer and parwords - Roger O'Connor, King !" tridges might be urged in mitigation, Whatever may have been the anti- with quite as much grace, as many quity of the family, or the derivation excuses which we have heard for of the name, there can be no doubt, subsequent acts, less sanguinary perhowever, as to their occupation since haps, but certainly not more wise. the reign of Henry 11. having been Captain Rock dates, and with reason, exclusively warlike; so much so, in- the distinction of his family from the deed, that the author of the present days of this enactment. A few of narrative enthusiastically exclaims the laws which were passed previous Quæ regio in terris nostri non plena la. ciliate the Irish, and induce them to
to the reformation, in order to conboris ?
incorporate freely with their invaders, of which one of the family has given are here given; it at once annihilates this truly spirited and classical trans- the argument of those who affect to lation
justify those penal enactments on re
ligious grounds, that at this time op- ment to compel him to stand his pressor and oppressed were of the ground could only have been passed same persuasion.
by an Irish Legislature." It was in
the eleventh year of this reign enactLove had not taught our Harry to be ed, that “ nó Irish enemy should be
wise, Nor gospel light yet beam'd from Boleyn's Irish enemy was the current appella
permitted to depart from the realm.” eyes.
tion given by the invaders to the In the reign of Edward III. it was people, amongst whom they came to promulgated “ by royal mandate, settle. Thus those who remained that no mere Irishman should be ad- were excluded from every constitumitted into any office or trust in any tional privilege or human right, and borough, city, or castle, in the King's those who attempted to escape from land." Next, by the statutes of Kile the unnatural helotry were conkenny, it was enacted that “mar- demned as criminals ! Suffering unriage, nurture, or gossipred with the der such impolitic and oppressive inIrish should be considered and pu- fliction, this people over and over nished as HIGH TREASON !” It was again appealed to the Kings of Engalso made highly penal in the Eng- land for protection. The appeals lish to “ permit their Irish neigh- and the answers are on record. Such bours to graze their lands, to present was the British policy up to the pethem to ecclesiastical benefices, or to riod of Henry VIII. whom we find, receive them into monasteries or re- with the utmost simplicity, expresligious houses.” It was made penal sing his surprise that « his subjects of also “ to entertain their bards who this land should be so prone to facperverted the imagination by roman- tion and rebellion, and that so little tic tales." We remember in our own advantage had been hitherto derived times hearing of a poetic revenge from the acquisitions of his predebeing taken by one of the last of the cessors, notwithstanding the fruitfulbards, poor Carolan, upon a porter ness and natural advantages of Irecalled O'Flynn, who refused him the land.” “Surprising, indeed (exclaims access to which he considered him- Captain Rock), that a policy, such self traditionally entitled-On leav- as we have been describing, should ing the door of the inhospitable man- not have converted the whole counsion, he immediately struck up his try into a perfect Atlantis of happiharp to the following witty and bitter ness-should not have made it like impromptu. Those who know the the imaginary island of Sir Thomas energy and comprehensiveness of the More, where tota insula velut una Irish language will readily believe familia est !' Most stubborn, truly, that it does not gain by the trans- and ungrateful must that people be, lation.
upon whom, up to the very hour at What a pity Hell's gates were not kept by which I write, such a long and unO'Flynn,
varying course of penal laws, confis. So surly a dog would let nobody in.
cations, and insurrection acts, has
been tried, without making them in The reader will not be surprised to the least degree in love with their hear that the natives, ground down rulers !” Under such circumstances, by these infamous enactments, were it is not much to be wondered at weary of their birth-place, and de- that the Captain formed a treaty sired to leave it he will, however, offensive and defensive with the Mac doubtless, scarcely credit the fact Cartys, and O'Briens, and all those that, though their country was thus whom the title of Mac or O proved rendered intolerable to them as a re- to be genuine Milesian-a title, it sidence, they were, by a statute of appears, which precludes the success Henry IV, actually forbidden to émie of any alien intruder. grate. “ Those whom the English Per Mac atque O tu veros cognoscis Hirefused to incorporate with as sub
bernos; jects, they would yet compel to remain as rebels or as slaves. We
His duobus demptis, nullus Hibernus adest. have heard of a bridge of gold for a thus translated by one of our celeflying enemy, but an Act of Parlia- brated poets :
By Mac and o
rent, cordiality the bloody hand of You'll always know
the Reformation-strange and almost True Irishmen, they say ; incredible to relate, that body was For if they lack
the bishops! “ Most of the temporal Both O and Mac,
Lords,” adds Leland, “ were those No Irishmen are they..
whose descendants, even to our own Such were the acts by which the days, continue firmly attached to the people of Ireland were prepared for Romish communion; but far the the reformation. Under any cir- greater part of the prelates were such cumstances, a total and radical as quietly enjoyed their sees by conformchange in the religion of a country is ing occasionally to different modes of not easily effected; but when that religion.” This discreditable versa change was advocated by those who tility, however, did not extend behad grown hoarse in shouting the yond the church; the laity were stedwar-cry against the selected converts, fast in their faith, and Captain Rock there was no wonder that it was at once triumphantly vindicates his “ fiercely and at once rejected.” The Milesian, and gratifies his anti-Saxon hands which erected the altar of Pro- prejudices by the declaration that testantism in Ireland were red with the obstinate perseverance of the the blood of the natives, and those Irish in their old belief is not perhaps who survived naturally shrunk from more remarkable than the readiness what they considered not the shrine with which the people of England of peace, but the sanctuary of murder. veered about from one religion to Many who preached the reformation another during the three reigns that in that country, indeed, set about the succeeded the reformation; good work rather with the fury of were (says he, quoting Loyd), during renegades than the zeal of Christians. the interval between Mary's accession Let us hear what Leland says on and her first parliament, like the this - subject. Leland is the « only Jewish children after the captivity, Irish authority” on which Captain speaking a middle language, between Rock rests, but he says (and says Hebrew and Ashdod.' The Captain, very truly, unless the character of of course, is no great friend to the the Fellows of Trinity College Dub- statesmen and bishops of any counlin was much more liberal in Le- try; but, to do him justice, he is imland's time than it is now), that this partial in his animosity, and, lest those historian “was sufficiently protected of England should sneer at the haragainst any undue partiality to his lequinade just described as having country by a fellowship in the uni- been so nimbly performed by the versity of Dublin, a Prebend in St. Irish prelacy, he declares, quoting Patrick's cathedral, and a Chaplaincy good authorities as he goes-that at the Castle—all good securities the great reformer Latimer changed against political heterodoxy.” “Under his opinion no less than eight diffepretence,” says he, “ of obeying the rent times that Cranmer's faith orders of the state, they (that is, the was continually changing, he being advocates of the reformation), seized at one time a persecutor of all who all the most valuable furniture of the denied transubstantiation, a stickler churches, which they exposed to sale for pilgrimages, purgatory, &c. and without decency or reserve. The at another denouncing all such prinIrish annalists pathetically describe ciples as heretical—that many emithe garrison of Athlone issuing forth nent and excellent worthies contrived, with a barbarous and heathen fury, notwithstanding the very opposite. and pillaging the famous church of interests that prevailed in the reigns Clonmacnoise, tearing away the most of Henry, Edward, Mary, and Elizainoffensive ornaments, so as to leave beth, to hold situations of trust under the shrine of their favourite saint, all those sovereigns, and, though last Kieran, a hideous monument of sa- not least, that Sir Anthony St. Leger, crilege.” These Vandal reformers who had been entrusted with the goeven burned the venerated crozier of vernment of Ireland, when the new St. Patrick,-an act of barbarism as regulations of divine worship were to useless as it was inhuman. There be established in the reign of Edwas but one body of men in Ireland ward, was again made Deputy in the who grasped with, at least an appa- time of Mary, when these same re
gulations were to be all abolished!! thus express herself, when we find, What a picture is this of human con- under the government of Lord Grey, sistency! Little then is it to be won- the comfortable assurance given her, dered at that Captain Rock should that “ little was left in Ireland for usher in the reign of the regal re- her Majesty to reign over but carformer himself with the following casses and ashes !” That the Viceroy paragraph of bitter jocularity. himself was nothing loth in prosecut* Henry VIII. who was as fond of ing this system of benevolence, we theology as of dancing, executed va- may collect from his butchering in rious pirouettes in the former line, cold blood the garrison of Smerwick through which he, rather unreason- in Kerry, consisting of seven hundred ably, compelled the whole nation to men, who had surrendered to him follow him: and, difficult as it was on mercy! They were first disarmed to keep pace with his changes, either and then murdered, and the English as believer, author, or husband, or to reader will start, we doubt not, when know which of his creeds he wished he hears that the head butcher on the to be maintained, which of his books occasion stands eminent in the annals he wished to be believed, or which of of his country—" it is not without his wives he wished not to be be- pain,(says Leland,) that we find a serheaded, the people of England, to do vice, so horrid and detestable, comthem justice, obeyed every signal of mitted to Sir Walter Raleigh !” The his caprice with a suppleness quite effect of this policy in Munster, the wonderful, and danced the hays with most beautiful and richest part of their monarch and his unfortunate Ireland, is best described by Spenser wives through every variety of mys- the poet, in his tract on the state of tery and murder into which Thomas that unfortunate country. “ NotwithAquinas and the executioner could standing that the same was a most lead them.” Popery, however, as rich and plentiful country, yet, ere England still remembers, made a des- one year and a half, they were perate, though fortunately an ineffec- brought to such wretchedness as that tual rally in this country during the any stony heart would rue the same. reign of Mary, and it certainly is a Out of every corner of the woods and singular and striking circumstance, glynns, they came creeping forth that this period, every hour of which upon their hands, for their legs could might be counted by blood-drops in not bear them; they looked like anaEngland, was in Ireland an “ inter- tomies of death; they spake like val of peace and quietness.” Nay, ghosts crying out of their graves ; such, says Ware, was the tranquil- they did eat the dead carrions, yea, and lity of the time that “ several Èng- one another soon after ; insomuch as lish families, friends to the reforma, the very carcasses they spared not to tion, fled to Ireland, and there enjoy- scrape out of their graves, and if they ed their opinions and worship, with- found a plot of water-cresses or out notice or molestation.” A strange shamrocks, there they flocked as to fact! That the only part of the a feast for the time, yet not able to kingdom in which the reformers continue there withal ; that in short found safety and toleration, was pre space there was none almost left, and cisely that in which they had forfeit- a most populous and plentiful couned
every claim to both!.... The try suddenly left void of man or reign of Elizabeth presents however beast !!!” Who would imagine that a very different scene-a scene of in the midst of such scenes the .wholesale robbery and extermination! “ Fairy Queen" was written? Time, The Queen herself seems to have and Vandalism, in Ireland more ruinbeen at length conscience-struck at ous than time, have left some traces the conduct of her Viceroys, and exe still of the castle, in which the poet, claimed, on receiving some represen- by the redemption of his genius, entation of grievances, “ Alas, how I deavoured to atone for the depravity fear lest it be objected to us, by which he was surrounded. Into as it was to Tiberius, by Bato, the rebellion, the effect of which is • You, you it is that are in fault, who thus piteously described, was the have committed your flocks, not to Earl of Desmond driven by Elizashepherds, but to wolves.'' There beth's governors, who “ had long was but little wonder that she should looked with a watchful eye, (say's
Spenser,) on his immense possessions, of England !" The reign of James I. and thinking him too tempting, as an seems to have inspired the Irish with enemy to be suffered to remain as a some hopes of amelioration, but cerfriend, wrung him into undutifulness.” tainly those hopes were founded on Their inhuman policy was successful very slender grounds, arising, as they -five hundred and seventy four thou- did, from the ambiguous toleration sand six hundred and twenty-eight of a monarch who declared, that" he acres were on this occasion the wages was loth to hang a priest only for reof blood. In Ulster and Munster the ligion-sake and saying mass.
James same system was adopted. “ In however, pedant and coxcomb as he these provinces, the soldiers, (says undoubtedly was, was still an hoMorison,) encouraged by the example nest bigot; and, lest the matter should of their officers, every where cut down remain at all in doubt, he forth with the standing corn with their swords, issued a proclamation, trom which and devised every means to deprive the following is an extract: “Wherethe wretched inhabitants of the ne- as his Majesty is informed that his cessaries of life. Famine was judged subjects of Ireland have been deceivthe speediest and most effectual ed by a false report, that his Majesty means of reducing them. The like was disposed to allow them liberty of expedient was practised in the conscience and the free choice of a northern provinces. The governor religion ; he hereby declares to his of Carrickfergus, Sir Arthur Chi- beloved subjects of Ireland, that he chester, issued from his quarters, and will not admit any such liberty of for twenty miles round reduced the conscience as they were made to excountry to a desert. Sir Samuel Bagnal, pect by such report !!” Immediatewith the garrison of Newry, proceeded ly after this, to prove to his “ beloved" with the same severity and laid waste subjects that he was in earnest, James all the adjacent lands.” Captain banished the priests – denounced all Rock has left it out of the power of who harboured them-forbade the any partizan of the “ good Queen exercise of the Roman Catholic reliBess" to screen her from a participa- gion-forced the Roman Catholics to tion in these sanguinary measures. attend Protestant worship on appointThe very best evidence is produced ed days, and, to cap the climax of his against her-herself. “ Be not dis- oppressions, established Roman Camayed (said she, on hearing that tholic inquisitors, whose duty it was O'Neal meditated some designs a- to inform against their own brethren gainst her government), tell my who in any way infringed upon the friends, if he urise it will turn to their penal statutes! Well and truly advantage; there will be estates for might James tell his beloved that he them who want.” Indeed, it appears would not allow them liberty of conthat her fears, as expressed above, of science. Having thus settled all being assimilated to Tiberius, were controversial points on the subject of perfectly understood by her political religion like a true theological disadvisers. It would be difficult for putant, he then paternally set about any profligate rninister to give more the regulation of their civil conodious counsel to the Roman monster "After (says Captain Rock) than that which Elizabeth unblush- some centuries of hints from the peoingly received and basely acted on. ple themselves, it was at last found “ Should we exert ourselves (say her out by the Attorney General of King deputies, in a dispatch addressed to James, that my countrymen were by their royal mistress), in reducing this nature fond of law and justice ; but, country to order and civility, it must as both together would have been too soon acquire power, consequence, much for their unenlightened minds, and riches. The inhabitants will be it was so contrived as to give them thus alienated from England; they the former without the latter; and it will cast themselves into the arms of is a curious proof of the ' amari ali. some foreign power, or perhaps erect quid, which has always mingled themselves into an independent and with even the benefits we have reseparate state. Let us rather connive ceived from England, that the first use at their disorders: for a weak and made of the English law, on its first redisordered people never can attempt gular introduction into Ireland, was to detach themselves from the crown to rob thousands of the unfortunateua