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giving his testimony against the most formidable oppressor they had then had to encounter.
The rebellion broke out in 1641; and though long expected by every class, spread terror and dismay through the country; hatred, distrust, and terror, seized the public mind; havoc and desolation began their well-known progress, with far more than their wonted fury. But such had been the effect of the earl's care, skill, and liberality in the extensive plantations he had made, that the waves of popular frenzy were retarded in their approaches to the county of Cork. On this occasion he fortified his castle of Lismore, which he garrisoned with an hundred horse and an hundred foot, and placed under the charge of his son, lord Broghill. His son lord Kynalmeaky, he placed in the command of Bandon bridge, a town erected by himself, and of which the walling and fortifying cost him fourteen thousand pounds, where he maintained a hundred horse and four hundred foot. The earl himself, at the earnest entreaty of the lord-lieutenant, took upon him the defence of the important town of Youghall, which was the only retreat left for the protestants in that part of the kingdom. There the earl, with his son, lord Dungarvon, his troop of cavalry, and two hundred of his own tenants, took his dangerous position; which he thus describes in a letter to lord Goring, “encompassed with an innumerable company of enemies, and have neither men, money, or munition. We are now at the last gasp; and, therefore, if the state of England do not speedily supply us, we are all buried alive. The God of heaven guide the hearts of the house of parliament to send us speedy succours; for if they come not speedily they will come too late."*
We here give another extract from the same letter, as it affords a very distinct view of the general alarm of that appalling time. “ This came last night about midnight, from my son, Broghill, who hath the guard of my
house at Lismore; whereby you will truly understand the great danger my son, house, and all that ever I had, in effect, is in; whom I beseech God to bless and defend; for the enemies are many, and he not above a hundred foot and threescore horse in my house to guard the same. All the English about us are fled, save such as have drawn themselves into castles, but are but few in effect, and they very fearful. All the natives that are papists, (the rest being few or none) are in open action and rebellion. Except the lord Barrimore, who behaves himself most loyally and valiantly. But alas! what is he with his forces amongst so many, when the whole kingdom is out.”|
At this time Kilkenny had been taken without a blow by the rebel lord Mountgarret, and the countess of Ormonde made a prisoner in her husband's castle; Cashel and Ferrers had surrendered; the protestant inhabitants in all these towns were stripped and turned out naked by the captors, “in such a barbarous manner as is not to be believed.”! Clonmel threw open her gates, " and let in the rebels to despoil the English,” &c.
The earl soon made himself especially an object of attack by his vigilant and efficient activity and prudence. A letter, which he
* Letters of the Earl of Cork, among the State Letters of Roger Earl of Orrery. # Ibid.
addressed to the speaker of the English house of commons, will not only give a just notion of the weakness of the enemy, but affords a strong confirmation of some remarks which we have already offered as to the
Sir, I pray you give me leave to present unto yourself and that honourable house, that this great and general rebellion broke forth in October last, at the very instant I landed here out of England; and though it appeared first at Ulster, yet I (who am threescore and six
bread in Ireland, these four and fifty years) and by reason of my several employments and commands in the government of this province and kingdom, could not but apprehend that the infection and contagion was general and would by degrees quickly creep into this province as forth with it did. And for that I found to my great grief, that by the courses the late earl of Strafford had taken, all, or the greatest part of the English and protestants in this province were deprived of their arms, and debarred from having any powder in their houses, and the king's magazines here being so weakly furnished, as in a manner they were empty; I without delay furnished all my castles in these two counties, with such ammunition as my poor armoury did afford, and sent £300 sterling into England to be bestowed on ammunition for myself and tenants," &c., &c.*
We shall here pass the further notices contained in this correspondence, of which we shall make further use hereafter. The earl lost his son, lord Kinalmeaky, in these wars; he was slain at the head of his troop in the battle of Liscarrol, in which three of his brothers were at the same time engaged, lord Dungarvon, and Broghill, and Francis Boyle.
In July, 1642, the earl was empowered and commissioned as Custos Rotulorum of the county of Cork, to hold quarter sessions for the trial of the rebels for high treason, at which eleven hundred were indicted.
The earl had, in the course of these two years, exhausted his means, and reduced himself to the lowest condition of distress, by his free and liberal contributions to the war. His estates were nevertheless the most thriving in the kingdom; his improvements were the most extensive, costly, and in their character the most well planned and public spirited; his churches, hospitals, schools, bridges, castles, and towns, would require pages to enumerate, so as to convey any adequate idea to the reader. Cromwell's remark is well known, and considering the speaker, conveys more than the most detailed enumeration. 66 That if there had been an earl of Cork in every province, it would have been impossible for the Irish to have raised a rebellion.”+ A remark elicited by his astonishment on seeing the prodigious improvements effected by the earl in the county of Cork.
The earl did not long survive these troubles, or live to see the end of this long and disastrous war; he attained the mature age of 77, but his period may perhaps have been abridged by the fatigues, anxieties, and afflictions attendant on the last two years previous to his death. This event occurred in 1643, in the month of September, at Youghall. He was interred in his chapel within the parish church.
* State Letters, &c.
By his second wife, the lady Catherine Fenton, who died 1629, and was buried in St Patrick's cathedral, in Dublin, he bad issue seven sons and eight daughters. Of these some were high among the most illustrious persons of this period, and will hereafter claim our most elaborate efforts in their several departments. We shall here only enumerate them in their order of birth: Roger died at school; Richard, lord Dungarvon, succeeded his father; Jeffrey was drowned while a child; Lewis, viscount Kynalmeaky, rose high in military character, was killed in the battle of Liscarrol, September, 1642, by a shot in the head; Roger, created earl of Orrery; Francis, viscount Shannon, distinguished by the most signal bravery in the same battle, in which he brought off his brother's body and his troop at the great risk of his own life; Robert, the illustrious philosopher, whose character and discoveries have imparted more lustre to the name of Boyle, than the proudest title which the power of kings can confer.
Bichard Kugent, Earl of Westmeath.
BORN A. D. 1583-DIED A, D. 1641.
SIR GILBERT DE NUGENT, with his brothers, and several of his kindred came to Ireland among the followers of Hugh de Lacie. And in recompense for his services obtained from that celebrated warrior, a grant of the barony of Delvin. Of which Sir Gilbert in turn made ample allotments to his brothers and others. From these contemporary stocks this family produced numerous branches. Sir Gilbert had two sons, who died without issue before their father. His barony was therefore left to his brother Richard, who left an only daughter. This lady married a gentleman of the name of Johns, in whose family the barony descended for some generations, but again returned to the family by the intermarriage of the heiress of John Fitz-Johns, lord of the barony, to Sir William Nugent of Balrath, the descendant of Sir Gilbert's third brother Christopher Nugent.
The subject of our history, Richard Nugent, was tenth baron in the lineal descent from Sir William. He was born in 1583. At the age of twenty he was knighted in Christ church with Rorey O'Donell
, earl of Tyrconnel. The next occasion which presents his name to the historian, is one which we had to notice more than once. It was when an anonymous letter dropped in the council chamber, led to the arrest of several Irish chiefs and noblemen, of whom Nugent was one.
This incident has already received as much of our attention as it demands.*
The reader will perhaps recollect, that in consequence of this letter, and of other previous incidents, which awakened the fears of govern, ment, the earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnel, Maguire, O'Cahan, and most of the Ulster lords fell under suspicion of being engaged in an extensive conspiracy to seize on the castle, and effect a revolution in the country. Of these many fled beyond the sea, and others who stood their ground were arrested.
* Page 323.
Nugent was imprisoned in the castle, but soon escaped. His servants, John Evans and Alexander Aylmer, found means to procure for him some cords, by the help of which he contrived to let himself down from the castle wall during the night. As soon as this fact was discovered in the castle, a proclamation was issued for his apprehension, and Sir Richard Wingfield was detached in pursuit with a party of cavalry. The baron, however, had too well availed himself of the night, and the pursuit was to no purpose. This escape was indeed fortunate, for it is hard to say what severities the first alarm might have drawn from the resentment or the private views of those at whose discretion he must have lain. His conduct was also prudent after the alarm had subsided; when the whole extent of the case which government could make was fully ascertained, and it appeared that the fight of the suspected earls was the chief presumption against them, the baron of Delvin came from concealment, and freely made his submission to king James. On which he received under the great seal a full pardon for life and property.
He assisted in the parliaments of 1613, and 1615. And 1621 was created by patent, earl of Westmeath. In 1628–1633, he was engaged by his countrymen to press their suit with king Charles for the redress of grievances, and was successful in obtaining their wishes.
In 1634 he sat in the parliament, called by the earl of Strafford, and was looked upon as one of the most influential of the
peers. In 1641, he refused to join in rebellion, and his life was menaced by the rebels. He was in his 58th year, and much broken by disease, fatigue, and probably by the failure of a constitution not originally strong. The threats which reached his ear alarmed him for his personal safety, and he feared to remain at his country place of Clonin, near Castletown Delvin. Obtaining a guard of forty horse, detached for the protection of his journey, at the order of lord Ormonde, he set out with his family, household furniture, and valuable property, on the way to Dublin. He had reached Athboy, when his further progress was arrested by a large party of rebels, to the number of one thousand resistance was not attempted. The carriage of the earl and the train of luggage-carts by which it was accompanied were instantly surrounded by a furious armed rabble, eager for plunder, and without the control of discipline or civilization. The work of plunder was brief and complete ; plate and money to the amount of one thousand pounds were seized; the countess and her attendants were stripped; the earl, blind and paralytic, was dragged from his carriage, and pulled along the road with a degree of violence which dislocated both his shoulders; a pistol was fired at him, and the bullet broke his thigh. His lordship could not have survived this cruel treatment more than a few hours; and his death followed in consequence.
David Barry, Earl of Barrymore.
BORN A. D. 1598-DIED A. D. 1642.
We have already had occasion to notice this ancient family, of which the name is to be found in the roll of those brave knights who accompanied William I. into England.
David succeeded to the estates and honours of his family at the age of twelve. In the year 1626, he was raised by king Charles to the earldom of Barrymore, upon the general consideration of his promising character and high reputation; as also on account of the respectability of his family and the numerous eminent knights and scholars it had produced. We should not, however, have considered these general grounds as a sufficient reason for giving him a place among those which are selected here for virtues or vices, actions or adventures, which distinguished them from their generations.
But the rebellion of 1641, called forth the loyalty and heroism of a noble breast; and the end of his life, crowned with a well-won reputation, claims from us the memorial of a few words.
This rebellion had not proceeded far, before the rebels applied to this earl to take the command, and offered to make him their leader, with full authority. The earl replied, “I will first take an offer from my brother Dungarvon, to be hangman-general at Youghall.” When this message reached the rebel camp, the rebels sent back word that they would pull down his castle of Castlelyons, to which he answered that he would defend it while one stone remained upon another, and desired to hear no more messages from them.
He garrisoned his castle of Shandon with one hundred men, and by his alertness, caution, and courage, kept open
passages between Youghal and Cork. On the 10th May, 1642, he joined his forces with those of lord Dungarvon, and took the castle of Ballymar Patrick, in which a large party of rebels had shut up one hundred women and children. Many of the rebels were slain in the attack, and sixty taken, of whom fifty-one were executed. After some other important successes, he distinguished himself in the battle of Liscarrol, in which he headed his own regiment. We are not informed that he suffered any severe hurt at this battle; yet it is very likely that he met with some injury either from fatigue, over excitement, or blows, for his death took place about three weeks after, 29th Sept., 1642.
He is mentioned by many good authorities as eminent for his piety and extensive benevolence. He had sermons twice a-day in his house, on every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday. During the rebellion he was especially active in the relief and protection of the numerous persons whom the rebels had stripped and turned out of doors.
He was interred in the earl of Cork's family vaults at Youghal. He had married a daughter of the earl of Cork.