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the whole kingdom in both the natives, to wit, the old and new Irish. And that if the gentry of the kingdom were disposed to free themselves furtherly from the like inconvenience, and get good conditions for themselves, for regaining their ancestors' (at least a good part thereof) estates, they could never desire a more convenient time than that time, the distempers in Scotland being then on foot; and did ask me what I thought of it?
“ I made him answer, that I could not tell what to think of it; such matters being altogether out of my element. Then he would needs have of me an oath of secrecy, which I gave him, and thereupon he told me that he spoke to the best gentry of quality in Leinster, and a great part of Connaught, touching that matter ; and he found all of them willing thereto, if so be they could draw to them the gentry of Ulster: for which cause, said he, I came to speak to you. Then he began to lay down to me the case that I was in then, overwhelmed in debt, the smallness of my estate, and the greatness of the estate my ancestors had, and how I should be sure to get it again, or at least à good part thereof.* And moreover, how the welfare and maintaining the Catholic religion, which, he said, undoubtedly the parliament now in England will suppress, doth depend upon it: for, said he, it is to be feared, and so much I hear from every understanding man, the parliament intends the utter subversion of our religion;-by which persuasions he obtained my consent. And so he demanded whether any more of the Ulster gentry were in town. I told him that Mr Philip Reilly, Mr Tirlogh O'Neile brother to Sir Phelim O'Neile, and Mr Cossloe MacMahon, were in town; so for that time we parted.
“ The next day he invited Mr Reilly and I to dine with him ; and after dinner he sent for those other gentlemen, Mr O'Neile and Mr MacMahon, and when they were come, he began the discourse, formerly used to me, to them; and with the same persuasions formerly used to me, he obtained their consent. And then he began to discourse of the manner how it ought to be done, of the feasibility and easiness of the attempt, considering matters as they then stood in England, the troubles of Scotland, the great number of able men in the kingdom, meaning Ireland: what succours they were to hope for from abroad: and the army then raised, all Irishmen, and well armed, meaning the army raised by my lord Strafford against Scotland. First, that every one should endeavour to draw his own friends into that act, and at least those that did not live in one county with them. And when they had so done, they would send to the Irish in the low countries, and in Spain, to let them know of the day and resolution: so that they would be over with them by that day or soon after with a supply of arms and ammunition, as they could: that there should be a set day appointed, and every one in his own quarters should rise out that day, and seize on all the arms he could get in his county; and this day to be near winter, so that England could not be able to send
* Fortuna ea omnia victoribus premia posvit, the true old secret of rebellion, however the outside may be ornamented with the dream of liberty, and the pretence of patriotism.
forces into Ireland before May, and by that time there was no doubt to be made but that they themselves should be supplied by the Irish beyond seas, who, he said, could not miss of help from either Spain or the Pope."* Such was the plan proposed by Moore; but lord Maguire informs us that the company did not entirely adopt his proposal. They resolved not to stir in the matter until they should first have ascertained how far they might depend on having help from the continent. They were also desirous to have the advice and consent of the gentry through Ireland. On this point Moore urged, “ that it was to no purpose to spend much time in speaking to the gentry: for that there was no doubt to be made of the Irish, but that they would be ready at any time," &e. Among other things he told them, that there was a great man whose name for the present he was sworn to conceal; but who would not fail them if the rising should begin. This was lord Mayo, as he declared on a pledge of secrecy from lord Maguire and the rest
of the company;
From this, Moore continued to exert his utmost efforts, while the other principal parties, just mentioned, held themselves in reserve, aecording to the views they had taken. Their caution was not yet overeome, and they were resolved not to commit themselves, until they could ascertain the security for success and safety. Moore proceeded soon after into Ulster, where he hoped to meet many of the gentry at the assizes; but meeting few, and not finding the readiness he expected, the utmost that could be determined was the postponement of further proceedings, till the following May, when the conspirators should meet in Dublin. In the mean time, a message from the earl of Tyrone came from Spain, to confer with the members of his family and name, and inform them that he had obtained the cardinal Richlieu's promise to send arms, ammunition, and money, on demand, to Ireland: and that he himself only awaited the favourable moment to join them, and desired them to be ready. This message quickened the dilatory, and gave new life to their proceedings. When they met in Dublin, Mr Moore, Reilly, lord Maguire, and his brother dispatched the messenger (Neile OʻNeile) back to Spain, -to announce their determination to rise on stwelve or fourteen days before or after All Hallowtide, as they should see cause, and that he should not fail to be with them at that time."}
In the mean time, the earl of Tyrone was killed. On receiving confirmation of this afflicting intelligence, Moore sent off one father Connolly, the priest of the parish in which he lived, to colonel Owen O'Neile. Further incidents soon occurred to favour the views and quicken the resolution of the conspirators. Intelligence was received of severe proclamations against the members of the church of Rome, in England, and of the hostile declarations of the Scots against that communion. A permission from king Charles to levy men for the Spanish service, and an order to transport for the purpose, the Irish regiments then in Ireland, set these leaders actively to work; they set on foot a violent clamour against the removal of the army, on the adherence of which they relied, and they also availed themselves of the occasion to levy troops as if for Spain. In this, Plunket already mentioned, Hugh Byrne, the wrongs of whose father we have already related, and an officer of the name of O'Neile, volunteered their exertions. To these, Sir James Dillon added his exertions, and gave his concurrence and the weight of his name. From this gentleman, lord Maguire learned the design entertained by himself and his branch of the conspiracy, which was to devote the force they were raising to the defence of the Irish catholics against the Scots; they were to begin by seizing on the castle, where they expected to find abundant supplies of arms and military stores. On their arrival in Dublin, a meeting was held between the principal conspirators and the colonels of the army, who were thus engaged in the same enterprise. At this meeting they discussed the points: how they should secure money to pay the soldiers; how they should obtain foreign succours ; how they should draw in the gentry of the pale; who should undertake to surprise the castle, and how it should be attempted. To these points it was respectively answered: that the rents should be collected to pay the soldiery, and that the Pope had promised Tyrone to maintain 6000 men at his own charge; for foreign aid, the promises of the Spanish ambassador in London were alleged; for the gentry of the pale, colonel Plunket answered that they would not be found slow to join in their arms; the seizure of the castle was undertaken by colonels Plunket and Bourne. This meeting was held “ in the end of August, 1641, or beginning of September.”* And as these colonels were to surprise the castle with no more than 100 men, Sir James Dillon pledged himself to join them in a few days, after they should have succeeded, with 1000 men. It was thought that once seizing the castle, they could command the town with its artillery
* The relation of Lord Maguire, + Lord Maguire's Narrative.
While farther meetings and messages were going on, and the conspirators were yet doubtful when to rise, they received an intimation through Mr Moore, from Owen O'Neile, desiring them to rise without further loss of time, and that he would join them on fourteen days' notice. There nevertheless
still to have been much irresolution, indicated by numerous abortive meetings and desultory resolutions. At last, on the 5th October, the principal conspirators resolved to attempt the castle on the 23d, which being a market day, the concourse of people would less attract the notice of the government,
To the question, as to the leaders in this enterprise, Moore replied that he would be one, and colonel Bourne another; the castle he observed had two gates, that the Leinster men should undertake the small gate, and the Ulster men the other. Sir Phelim O'Neile and lord Maguire attempted to excuse themselves from being present, but Moore insisted. Sir Phelim pleaded the necessity of being away to seize upon Londonderry; but Maguire was compelled to give his consent to be present.
* Lord Maguire's Narrative.
It was a necessary part of their plan, and, in the existing condition of the English garrisons, not unlikely to be crowned with success, that they were similarly, and at the same time, to obtain possession of every important place of strength.
By simultaneous movements on the same day, Londonderry, Carrickfergus, and Newry, were to be surprised, and directions were to be circulated through the country, that the gentry should everywhere rise and seize upon the nearest forts.
On the 22d, one day before that fixed for the attack, the conspirators assembled in Dublin, and met to weigh their strength, and settle the proceedings for the next day. Of 200 men they had counted upon, but 80 had arrived, and it was proposed to delay the attack until the afternoon, to give time for others to come in.
But while they were thus concerting their plan, other incidents were taking place elsewhere.
The council had already received warning from Sir William Cole, of many suspicious indications, such as were sufficient to satisfy all intelligent persons, who were not stupified by the opiate atmosphere of the Castle, that something unusual and dangerous was afloat. The movements of Sir Phelim O'Neile and lord Maguire had been observed. But the Castle crew were unwilling to be roused from the placid slumber of office, and were content to recommend watchfulness to others. On the eve of the rebellion, however, they received a warning not to be trifled with, with impunity.
Owen Conolly, a servant of Sir John Clotworthy, on the evening of the 22d, was seized by the watch, and brought to lord-justice Parsons, and disclosed to him the whole particulars of the conspiracy. Parsons disbelieved the story, it carried the appearance of exaggeration, and it was apparent that the informant was considerably affected by intoxication. He told his tale confusedly, and his answers seemed not consistent. Parsons, perhaps to get rid of him, desired him to go and obtain further discoveries. On cool reflection, however, he thought it expedient to consult with lord Borlase, to whom he forth with repaired, though it was ten o'clock at night. Borlase, saw the matter in a stronger light, and blamed his colleague for letting O'Conolly go. O’Conolly was however easily found. He had not gone far before his intoxication attracted the notice of the sentinels, and he either was detained or remained for safety. He was found by the messenger of Borlase. He had become a little more collected, but as he was not yet perfectly coherent in his statement, he now represented that his head was affected by the strong potations which had been forced upon him, but that if he were permitted to lie down for a little, he could explain all clearly. He was sent to bed, while the lord Borlase sent round to summon as many of the council as could be found. They were soon joined by Sir Thomas Rotheram, and Sir Robert Meredith the chancellor of the exchequer. Orders were sent to secure the city gates, and strengthen the castle guard, while the lord mayor and city officers received directions to have all persons watched who should appear in the streets.
In the mean time, O'Conolly became collected, and detailed the particulars contained in the following document:-
u Eramination of Owen O Conolly. “ Who being duly sworn and examined, saith; That he being at Monimore, in the county of Londonderry, on Tuesday last, he received a letter from colonel Hugh Oge MacMahon, desiring him to come to Connaught in the county of Monaghan, and to be with him on Wednesday or Thursday last. Whereupon be, this examinant, came to Connaught on Wednesday night last, and finding the said Hugh come to Dublin, followed him thither; he came hither about six of the clock this evening, and forthwith went to the lodging of the said Hugh, to the house near the boat in Oxmantown, and there he found the said Hugh, and came with the said Hugh into the town, near the Pillory, to the lodging of the lord Maguire, when they found not the lord Maguire within, and there they drank a cup of beer and went back to the said Hugh's lodging. He saith, that at the lord Maguire's lodging, the said Hugh told him, that there were and would be this night great numbers of noblemen and gentlemen of the Irish papists, from all parts of the kingdom, in this town; who, with himself, had determined to take the castle of Dublin, and to possess themselves of all his majesty's ammunition there to-morrow morning, being Saturday. And that they intended first to batter the chimnies of said town, and if the citizens would not yield, then to batter down the houses, and so to cut off all the protestants that would not join with them. He further saith, that he the said Hugh told him, that the Irish had prepared men in all parts of the kingdom, to destroy all the English inhabiting there to-morrow morning by ten of the clock; and that in all the seaports and other towns in the kingdom, all the protestants should be killed that night, and that all the posts that could be, could not prevent it. And further saith, that he [O'Conolly] moved the said Hugh to forbear executing of that business, and to discover it to the state, for saving of his own estate, who said, that he could not help it: but said, that they did owe their allegiance to the king, and would pay him all his rights; but that they did this for the tyrannical government that was over them, and to imitate Scotland, who had got a privilege by that course. And he further saith, thạt when he was with the said Hugh in his lodging, the said Hugh swore that he should not go out of his lodging that night, but told him that he should go with him next morning to the castle; and said, if this matter were discovered, somebody should die for it. Whereupon the examinant feigned some necessity for his leasement, went down out of the chamber, and left his sword in pawn, and the said Hugh sent his man down with him: and when this examinant came down into the yard, and finding an opportunity he, this examinant, leaped over a wall and two pales and so came to the lord-justice Parsons. (Signed) “WILLIAM PARSONS,
« THOMAS ROTHERAM, Owen O'CoxoLLY.
“Robert MEREDITH, "Oct. 22, 1641."