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Tone. Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Court Martial I do not mean that you should waste your time in proving, according to law, that I have borne arms against the King's. government in Ireland I admit the fact. From my tenderest youth I have considered the union of Ireland with Great Britain as the scourge of the Irish Nation. And that the people of this country can have neither happiness nor freedom whilst that connection endures. Every day's experience, and every fact that arose, convinced me of this truth ; and I resolved, if I could, to separate the two countries.But, as I knew Ireland could not, of lf, throw off the yoke, I sought for help wherever I could find it.
Content in honorable poverty, I have refused offers, which to one in my circumstances, might seem magnificent. I remained faithful to the cause of my country, and looked for an ally in the French Republic, to free three millions of my countrymen from
Here he was interrupted by the President and Judge Advocate, who observed that this discourse tended not to justify himself so much, as to enflame the minds of certain men (United Irishmen) of whom, doubtless, numbers were present.
Tone. Unconnected with every party in the republic, without protector, money, or intrigue, the frankness and integrity of my views soon raised me to a distinguished rank in the French army. I enjoyed the confidence of the government, the approbation of my General ; and I dare assert it, the esteem of my brave comrades. Reflecting upon these circumstances, I feel a confidence, of which no reverse of fortune, nor the sentence which you are so shortly to pronounce, can rob me. If I enrolled myself under the banners of France, it was with the hope of contributing to the salvation of my native land. From that same and single motive, I encountered the dangers of war in a country not my own, and on seas which I knew to be covered with the triumphant fleets of a government whom it was my glory to resist.
I have courted poverty-I have left without protector, a beloved wife ; and without a father, children whom I adored. To such and to so'many sacrifices, in a cause which my conscience still tells me was a just one, I have little difficulty now to add that of my life.
I hear it said that this country has been a prey to horrors, I lament it if it is so. But I have been four years absent, and cannot be responsible for individual sufferings. It was by a frank and open war that I proposed to separate the countries. It is unfortunate, that private vengeance on one side or on the other, should have considered itself authorised to mingle its fury in the contest. I grieve for it as much as any other, but I am innocent of all these calamities; and to all those who know any thing of my sentiments or character, justification on that head would be very useless. But in vulgar eyes, the merit of the cause is judged by its success. WASHINGTON CONQUERED_KOSKIUSKO FAILED!
After a combat nobly sustained, which would have inspired a sentiment of interest in a generous enemy, to the eternal shame of those who gave the order, I have been dragged hither in chains. I speak not for myself in this. I know my fate right well. But the tone of supplication is beneath me.
I repeat it again. I admit all that is alleged against me, touching the separation of Ireland from Great Britain. Words, writings,actions, I avow them all. I have spoken, and I have acted with reflection and on principle'; and now with a firm heart I await the consequences. The members who compose this court, will doubtless do their duty, and I shall take care not to be wanting to mine.
This discourse was pronounced with an accent so dignified, as deeply affected every hearer; the members of the tribunal not excepted. A silent pause ensued, which Tone first interrupted, by asking if it was usual to assign an interval between the sentence and the execution? The Judge Advo. cate answered, that the members would immediately give their opinions, the result of which would be forthwith laid be fore the Lord-Lieutenant. If the prisoner therefore had any further observations to make, it was now the moment.
Tone.--I have a few words to say relative to the mode of punishment. In France, the emigrants who stand in the same situation as I do now before you, are condemned to be shot. I ask, then, that the court should adjudge me to die the death of a soldier, and that I may be shot by a platoon of grenadiers. I ask this, more in right of my situation as Chief of Brigade in the French army, than for my own sake. It is a respect due to the coat I wear. And I shall, therefore, beg of the court to read my commission and letters of service, by which it will appear that I do not avail myself of any deception or subterfuge, but that I have been long and bona fide a French officer.
The Judge Advocate.—You must feel, Sir, that the papers you allude to, are undeniable proofs against you.
Tone.Oh I know it well, and I admit the facts, and I admit the papers as proofs of full conviction! [The papers were then reade They were, a brevet of Chief of Bri
gade from the Directory, and signed by the Minister of War-a letter of service, giving to Tone the rank of Adjutant-General
and a passport.] General Loftus.-By these papers you are designated as serving in the army of England (l’Armee d'Angleterre.)
Tone.--I did serve in that army, when it was commanded by Bonaparte, by Dessaix, and by Kilmaine, who is, as I am, an Irishman—but I have also served elsewhere.
General Loftus.—The court will not fail to submit to the Lord Lieutenant the address which has been read by the prisoner, and also the object of his last demands.--His lordship, however, took care to efface a great part of it, namely, that which Tone was prevented from reading.
The sequel is well known. Mr. Tone, finding that he was to be executed in the same savage manner as his brother
had been a few days before, found means to disappoint his enemies, and chose the manner of his death. [And thus perished Tbeobald Wolfe Tone, a man of unquestioned
personal honor, of heroical courage, of the most amiable character, and of talents, which, for the same reason that they drew upon
bina the sentence of a traitor in Ireland, would, in
other country, bave raised him to the highest distinction. For some account of his wife and children, see Appendix No. 16.
No. IV.–Page 37. The following document will shew the nature of those peep
of-day, Orange, or No-popery-men, who at present govern the king's conscience, and consequently his councils throughout the empire. The encouragement of them, and their acts of ruthless persecution, were among the principal means which the ministers boast of having used, to bring about REBELLION, and through Rebellion, UNION.
ARMAGĦ, December 28, 1795. At a numerous meeting of the magistrates of the county of
Armagh, convened this day, at the special instance of Lord Viscount GOSFORD, Governon,
His Lordship having taken the chair, opened the business of the meeting, by the following Address :
GENTLEMEN, HAVING requested your attendance here this day, it becomes my duty to state the grounds upon which I thought it advisable to propose this meeting, and at the same time to submit to your consideration, a plan which occurs to me as most likely to check the enormities that have already brought disgrace upon this country, and may soon reduce it into deep distress.
It is no secret, that a persecution, accompanied with all the circumstances of ferocious cruelty, which have in all ages distinguished that dreadful calamity, is, now raging in this country.-Neither'
age nor sex, nor even acknowledged in. nocence, as to any guilt in the last disturbances, is sufficient to excite mercy, much less to afford protection.
The only crime which the wretched objects of this ruthless persecution are charged with, is a crime indeed of easy proof; it is simply a profession of the Roman Catholic Faith, or an intimate connexion with a person professing that faith. A lawless banditti have constituted themselves judges of this new species of delinquency, and the sentence they have pronounced is equally concise and terrible—it is nothing less than a confiscation of all property, and immediate banishment.
It would be extremely painful, and surely unnecessary, to detail the horrors that attend the execution of so wide and tremendous a proscription-a proscription, that certainly exceeds in the comparative number of those it consigns to ruin and misery, every example that ancient or modern history can supply. For where have we heard, or in what story of human cruelties have we read, of more than half the inhabitants of a populous county, deprived, at'one blow, of the means, as well as the fruits, of their industry, and driven in the midst of an inclement season, to seek a shelter for them. selves, and their helpless families, where chance may guide them?
This is no exaggerated picture of the horrid scenes now acting in this county. Yet surely it is sufficient to awaken sentiments of indignation and compassion in the coldest bo- ? som.-These horrors, I say, are now acting, and acting with impunity. The spirit of partial justice (without which, law is nothing better than an instrument of tyranny) has for time disappeared in this county ; and the supineness of the magistracy of Armagh, has become a common topic of conversation in every corner of the kingdom.