Page images


should once more feel myself restored to peace and happi

I beg, Sir, you will excuse the liberty I take, and believe me (if you can) when I assure you that no man more fervently wishes you every blessing Providence can bestow, than the person who for a time robbed you of all comfort on earth,




SIR, AS I hope in a few days to present you with my history in print, I shall not trouble you much at present, as in it you will see my reasons for deserting, and for first becoming one of the Battalion of T'estimony; on mature reflection I am confident you must say, to yourself, I have acted right. I shall not pretend to say I am beyond your power, but should you even arrest me, you will find my heart was never afraid, to end the project I had once began. You well know, not a friendship for government, but my affection for the Murdock family, was my reason for becoming an Informer ; that attachment having ceased, the tye'that bound me to you, was no more, and I am again what I then was. Connected with Murdock, I was a villain, but unconnected with him, cease to

be so.

An Englishman dared to act honestly, and shall a native of Ireland, whose sons are renowned for their honor, and their courage, be out-done by that nation, which we find in general produce only men of diabolical and vicious principles? Though I can't deny being a villain, I hope clearly to prove, I had the honor of being made so by you, though you did not inculcate enough of your principles to make it lasting. I think you will now be tired of the business of Information, and I assure you, you will shortly have no occasion for it :

Think how disgraceful must appear your connections and sap port, when even Spies and Informers scorn and fly their associaa tion, and throw themselves on the forgiveness of their injured country, for being a while connected with such miscreants. I hope you will now acquit me of the charge of want of feeling. I return you thanks for the numberless favors you have conferred on me, and assure you, that I would not exchange one single hour of my present happiness, for ten thousand times the sams you have already lavished on me. I have no occasion now for pistols, the propriety of my present behaviour is guard enough ; the forgiveness of my country, its reward-every honest man is my friend; and for the other part of the community, their esteem is a disgrace. My bosom is what it has not been this long time, the seat of contentmentand I thank my God for having saved me from impending ruin.


N. B. This was the same Newell who wore the mask, and carried the wand. (See page 72.) He was the gallant of Mrs. Murdock. He, with Murdock and Dutton, composed the triumvirate, whose exploits Bird revealed in his confessions, signed by Mr. Grattan, and stated by Lord Moira in the Irish house of lords, as “having made his blood to curdle."

No. X.-Page 80.

BELFAST RESOLUTIONS. AT a meeting of the inhabitants of Belfast, held by adjournment on the 2d of January, 1797, from the former meet ing of the 31st of December, 1796, the committee chosen by the said meeting having agreed to the following resolutions, recommended them to their townsmen for adoption


Ist-Resolved, That the imperfect state of the represents tion in the house of commons, is the primary cause of the discontent in this country.

2d-That the public mind would be restored to tranquili-, ty, and every impending danger effectually averted by such a reform , in parliament, as would secure to population and property their due weight in the scale of government, without distinction on account of religious opinions.

3d-That a determination firmly manifested on the part of government, to comply with the great desires of the people, would be productive of the happiest effects, inasmuch as it would conciliate the affections of the people, whose object is reform alone, and thereby constitute the only rams, part of defence, that can bid complete defiance to the efforts of foreign and domestic enemies.

4th-That such a change in the system of government, would give to property, law, religion, and the necessary distinction of rank, additional stability and weight, and that no opinion can be entertained by the people so dangerous, as the despair of succeeding in their constitutionalexertions to obtain the most important objects of their wishes.

5th-That we conceive a constitution by king, lords and commons (the commons being then reformed) when wisely and honestly administered, capable of affording every happiness a nation can enjoy.

6th-That we are ready, if permitted by government, to arm in like manner as the volunteers, whose memory we revere, and whose example we wish to imitate. ResolvedThat the chairman be requested to wait upon

the sovereign with a copy of the resolutions, and to request him, in the name of the meeting, to communicate the same to the Lord-Lieutenant, and solicit permission for the inhabitants of this town to arm themselves agreeably to the same resolution.

REMARK. The chancellor, Lord Clare, in the house of lords, on the 17th of the same month, adverting to these resolutions, made use of the following intemperate expressions :

“ To say nothing of the affiliated United Irishmen, avow. edly associated to support the enemy, I will recal to your lordship's recollection, the daring insolence of some of those persons in the great commercial town of Belfast, where a meeting was lately held; at which resolutions of so treasonable a nature were entered into, as to make us amazed at the milda. ness of government in not punishing the authors.”

Now, in the first place, the author of these resolutions, was Lord O'Neil, a man of ancient rank and standing in the country;" whereas Lord Clare's grand-father was a Roman Catholic priest, and his father a student of St. Omers, destined originally for the same profession, and who had, it is said, been actually tonsured!

Lord O'Neil, who was once greatly beloved in the country, had, at this time, lost his popularity, by joining with the Clare faction, and afterwards, a fact deeply to be lamented, lost his life in the battle of Antrim. And was then one of the acting privy counsellors, sitting at the same board with Lord Clare, and signing the same proclamations and acts of coercion.

Lord O'Neil had wished to have these very resolutions adopted by the county of Antrim, as measures of conciliation; but in the exasperated state of the public mind, he despaired of accomplishing it. It was in the interval of the adjournment, that some friends of Lord O'Neil, moderate men, and good government men, had put these resolutions into my hands, with intreaties that I would use my endeavors to have them passed by the committee of the town. I was not in the secret of the French alliance, and had no other motive under Heaven, than to assuage the violence of party, to prevent the impending massacre, and if possible to keep the door open to reconciliation, and prevent a civil war. But


though I did not know that the French had been invited, I knew very well that the governing faction were meditating the revolution, which they afterwards effected, under the name of Union. The implacable ráncot of Lord Clare against me, could have then no other motive than, that I stood in the way of a darling massacre, and was anxious to promote peace. And certainly, if ever there was an action that deserved the praise of moderation, it was that one for which I was thus virulently denounced. If I am now less moderate, it is not because my personal feelings have been injured, for I am still willing to sacrifice what remains of my life and fortune to the advantage of my country ; but it is because my eyes are open to the futility of expecting any benefit to Ireland from those who govern her. Had conciliation been compatible with the views of those men, they would have commended my endeavors, and the declarations of the state prisoners examined by Lord Clare himself, would have been convincing proofs how well I acted.-(See pieces of Irish Hist: P. 228.)

No. XI.–Page 84. HUMANITY PUNISHED WITH DEATH, Erom the relations of Mr. Hay, and the Reverend Mr. Gordon,

DIFFERENT courts-martial were instituted in Ross, Enniscorthy, Gorey and Newtown-Barry, and several persons were condemned and executed, and others were sentenced to transportation. Among those who were condemned to be executed, I cannot avoid noticing the case of the Reverend John Redmond, a Catholic priest, who, it seems, during the insurrection, had done all in his power to save the house of Lord Mountnorris from being plundered, which he, in some degree, effected, but not at all to the extent of his

« PreviousContinue »