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ceedings of this otherwise trifling assortment of factions. In this remonstrance they set forth the happy subjection of Ireland to England—the descent of the greater part of the people from English parents—the ancient extension of magna charta to Ireland—its flourishing condition, and its liberal subsidies. From these they pass to the misgovernment of the earlof Strafford, and the various exactions, oppressions, impolitic measures, and malversations, by which this country, the great and flourishing descendant of England, was suddenly reduced to a state of exhaustion and poverty: the decay of trade—the perversion of law—the denial of rights and graces, monopolies, tyrannies, &c. A remonstrance composed of sixteen articles-specious in sound, and grounded on partial statements as well as gross misrepresentations and false views of justice and political expediency, but well suited to the temper of the time—had been voted by the commons. It was introduced in the lords, where it was defeated by the strenuous efforts of Ormonde; aided by the superior intelligence of that body, which then, as ever since, and indeed it always must happen, combined a greater portion of the political knowledge of the existing period.
On the death of Wandesforde, the earl of Strafford earnestly advised the king to appoint Ormonde to the government of Ireland. But though such also was the king's own judgment, a very violent opposition was made by the Irish commons, and it is attributed to the animosity and the intrigues of the earl of Arundel that this opposition was successful. The earl of Arundel conceived himself to be entitled to large property in Ireland, which was in the possession of the earl of Ormonde and others. The lands in question were a portion of the lands of Strongbow, which had passed with one of his daughters by marriage into the family of the earl of Norfolk, from whom lord Arundel derived his claim. But upon inquisition, it was discovered that the lands which might be affected by this claim were different from those for which it was made: the inheritance of the lady who married Hugh Bigod, earl of Norfolk, being in the county of Catherlogh, (Wicklow,) while the territory of Idough now claimed, had been brought by another daughter into the possession of an earl of Gloucester, from whom it was traced till it came by regular descent through the family of March to Edward IV. Being thus vested in the crown, it was granted by James I. to Francis Edgeworth and his heirs, from whom it was purchased by the earl of Ormonde and the earl of Londonderry.
These facts were affirmed by an inquisition issued 11 Car. I. On this occasion it would appear from Carte's statement, that some flaw which he does not sufficiently mention, was found in the titles, and that consequently the earls of Ormonde and Londonderry passed the lands in fee-farm for a rent of £30 a-year to Sir Charles Coote, who afterwards joined them in passing the same lands to Mr Wandesforde, who took out new letters patent on the commission for the remedy of defective titles. The earl of Arundel's pretence to any title seems to be clearly out of the question ; but his desire to obtain the lands was excited and kept alive by an artful projector who filled his imagination with glittering dreams of Irish gold; and when the king's title was found, he got letters from his majesty to the lord-deputy to give him the preference of such lands as had belonged to his ancestors. As no lands were found to answer this description, he was disappointed, and his pride mortified, and he became the active enemy of both the earls of Ormonde and Londonderry.
King Charles, whose facility in yielding to influence was among the first means of that reverse of fortune, which was aggravated perhaps by the obstinacy of his conduct, when resistance became dangerous, now yielded to the counsellors by whom he was surrounded; and we are inclined to attribute it more to the influence of his own enemies than to those of the earl of Ormonde, that this nobleman was set aside in deference to the clamour of the Irish commons, who were wholly unworthy of regard. The appointment of Dillon and Parsons followed, of whom the former was as we have already explained soon dismissed to make way for Sir John Borlase.
A stormy session of parliament followed in which nothing worthy of detail occurred. The two houses were engaged in mutual conflicts, which mainly originated in the irritable temper and the perverse obstinacy of the house of commons: they met with well-tempered and effective opposition in the lords, where the earl of Ormonde took the lead of the king's party, and displayed a degree of firmness, judgment, and sagacity, which would indeed be a sufficient reason for the detail of the circumstances, had we not by far too large a fund of more important matter, illustrative of the character of this great man.
The most memorable proceedings of the session consisted in a factious and scandalous impeachment of the members of Strafford's council at the suggestion of the conductors of his prosecution in the English parliament, for the sole purpose of preventing their attendance to give testimony in his favour. The charges were vague, and upon that frightfully iniquitous abnegation of all the principles of justice, the rule of cumulative treason, by which it was assumed that many slight misdemeanours not separately treasonable, might in their sum amount to treason. As these charges were futile, so the collision to which they gave rise did not consist so much in their consideration, as in a continued struggle on either side to effect or frustrate their real and direct intent, which was the confinement of the persons accused. The most curious of the small incidents of this protracted and turbulent discus. sion, was a suggestion prompted by the bold and ready ingenuity of the earl of Ormonde, in answer to the urgency of the opposite party for the arrest of the lord-chancellor; to this importunate proposal he answered that his removal would be a suspension of their authority; a point which caused great discussion, and thus with many other such frivolous questions helped to divert the efforts of the parliamentary faction in both houses, from graver mischief.
The next affair which immediately engaged the attention of the earl of Ormonde, was of far more interest. There was not
either for the maintenance or the dissolution of the
which had been raised in Ireland. And the king was insidiously urged upon the subject by the parliament, for the evident purpose of embarrassing him. His resources had been entirely exhausted, and it was felt to be a matter of the most pressing necessity, to disband a large body of men for whom he could not afford either pay or sustenance. As however this could not well be managed without the immediate disbursement of a large sum of money, no expedient seemed better than to send this force into foreign service. The English parliament urged by the Irish agents in London, addressed the king on the expediency of their being speedily disbanded, and he answered, by informing them of his difficulties and of the expedient he intended to adopt. On the very next day, 8th May, 1641, he sent an order to that effect to the Irish lords-justices, and a letter to the earl of Ormonde to take the necessary steps, for the cautious and peaceable discharge of a duty so nice and difficult. He signed also warrants for seven of their colonels to transport a thousand men each, out of Ireland for foreign service. Meanwhile, the provision of the requisite expense was entirely left to the Irish government. The lords-justices consulted with the earl, but they could only agree to execute the order as they might, and Ormonde sent his warrants as lieutenant-general to have the soldiers' pay stopped from the 25th of the same month. By great efforts, among the king's party in Ireland, a small sum sufficient for a part payment to the soldiers, enabled the earl to succeed in his difficult task, and by the aid of precise arrangements, and much vigilant and active precaution, he succeeded in disbanding them without any of the disorders that were apprehended.
Preparations had at the same time been made to send the regiments as already ordered into Spain, and the Spanish ambassador had expended large sums, when suddenly the commons started a new discontent and clamoured loudly against this disposition of the army. They affected to fear, that the king of Spain would use them only to raise rebellion in Ireland, after the example of his grandfather. The suggestion was perhaps more founded in probability than sincerely meant, as we have already stated in our notice of Roger Moore;* and it was a fact well known to one of the parties then composing the popular faction in the house, that the rebellion was at that moment in the course of preparation, and its first outbreak actually under contemplation, in the very place and among the very persons pointed out by their suggestion, the Irish refugees in Spain. Such was the substance of the speeches of the parliamentary leaders, Darcy, Cheevers, Martin and others, who specially mentioned several of those Irish officers who commanded the Irish in the Spanish service, with the titles of their Irish rank, “Prince of Ulster, marquis of Mayo, and earls of Desmond and Beerhaven.” By this clamour the king's design was interrupted and a most violent contest ensued, which in the course of the summer was transferred to the English house, where it was pursued with equal violence and pertinacity, to the great embarrassment of Charles, whom it involved with the Spanish ambassador and humiliated in the eyes of the public, and of all Europe.
On the attainder of Strafford, he urged upon the king to give the garter, which would thus become vacant, to the earl of Ormonde; as considering him the person most likely to be both efficient and zealous in his service, under the
pressure of those great embarrassments which were progressively thickening around him. Nothing can indicate more plainly the impression made by the character and con
* Life of Roger Moore, Vol. II.
duct of Ormonde upon the mind of that great statesman; and it is not less a high proof of Ormonde's elevated disinterestedness, that he refused the honour on the ground that in the king's present difficulties, it could be cf use as a means to win over, or to fix the adhesion of some one less steady and principled than himself.
We now come to the rebellion of 1641, which we are to view mainly in relation to the conduct of the earl of Ormonde ; but from the central position which his power and station, as well as his conduct and character affords, we shall take the occasion to give a more methodical and broader sketch of this marked portion of our history, of which we have already been enabled to offer select details and scenes. For this purpose, little more will be necessary than to notice briefly in their order of time the main series of general events, only expanding into detail those which bear any direct reference to the immediate subject of our parration.
Upon the fullest investigation of the preceding history, we can have no doubt that a rebellion was for many years in preparation. It was looked to by the clergy as the only means of raising them to that position of authority and influence, of pomp and splendour, which they saw exercised by their order upon the continent. The native Irish chiefs, looked upon it as the only hope of their restoration to their ancient rank and estate. The lawyers viewed it as the harvest of their order, whether as opening the field of legal extortion, or the path to official malversations. The people who were poor, lawless, and barbarous, had visionary ideas of advantages, artfully suggested by their leaders, and more substantial notions of the harvest of plunder and the delights of military license. These combustible elements lay crudely combining under the quiet surface of peace, and progressive improvement, the results of the plantations and institutions of the last reign; and slowly matured for the moment of occasion.
That moment was brought on by those various and rough collisions of party, which we have slightly sketched in this memoir. The troubles of the king were the fundamental cause; from this all received a violent accelerative impulse, and in the separate lines of their several views, came together, to seize the evident occasion and to fix and widen the breach which was made in the ramparts of civil order, for the surer and safer execution of their several designs. Within the walls of parliament and within the circles of office, influence and power,
be considered as having had their definite aims: every one was for himself, his party, or the constitution, or the king. Without, the views of the multitude were agitated and fluctuating, the people whose understandings are the tongues of their leaders, or the report of rumour, were filled with various sentiments of discontent, anger, fear, and expectation. The specious misrepresentations of a parliament of which the main weapon was the language of grievance and accusation, filled the country and gave a prevailing tone to popular feeling. And thus under circumstances from which rebellion would have arisen out of the position of the king's affairs, a long organized rebellion was kindled. Roger Moore and his associates as isolated individuals could not have moved a man, or done more than to organize a burglary; but the moment was come and the country prepared, and they had only to apply the fatal
firebrand to the issue of the inflammable vapour, and the fiery volume broke out with its broad red blaze, to wrap the land in confiagration beyond their power to quench or moderate.
For many years before 1634, Ever MacMahon afterwards titular bishop of Clogher, was, by his own confession to the earl of Strafford, employed
upon the continent, with others of his order and country in soliciting aid for this event. Early in 1641, the period of the parliamentary outbreaks which we have related, Roger Moore was at work; the conspiracy between himself, Macguire, Sir Phelim O'Neile, MacMahon, and others was concerted, late in the autumn of the same year; on the 22d October, 1641, Owen Conolly's information was received.* The next day had been appointed for the surprise of the castle: and in a few days more the rebels had obtained possession of the principal forts of Ulster. By whom, and by what means, and under what circumstances these exploits were performed, our notices of the principal actors describe.
At this time, the entire military force in Ireland consisted of 943 horse and 2297 foot; an effort which had been made by the’king to strengthen this force, had been effectually resisted by the English parliament. The earl of Ormonde was at Carrick-on-Súir, when he received the accounts of the first acts of the rebel chiefs. He had a little before dispatched Sir Patrick Wemyss to the king on some application concerning his palatine rights in Tipperary, which king James had unjustly seized, and which he was now endeavouring to
Sir Patrick was immediately sent back to him with the king's commission of lieutenant-general of Ireland. The lords-justices had also sent dispatches on the 24th October, two days after their first intelligence, but their letter miscarried, and on the 2d November, they sent another. But on the arrival of Wemyss with the king's commission, they also made a formal appointment to agree with it, saving however the authority of the lord-lieutenant.
It would have been fortunate for Ireland in that most critical moment, if the sole authority had been trusted to the earl of Ormonde ; and these miserable officials had been wholly set aside. Borlase was an old soldier, unversed in state affairs. Parsons was worse than incompetent. To his want of the statesman-like ability which the juncture needed, he added a want of political integrity, steadiness, and firm
He was a lawyer who had worked his way by his expertness and pliable subserviency; and who was incapable of comprehending any motive beyond the care of his own interest or safety, and unfit for any employment beyond the chicanes of official circumvention, by which life and property were ensnared. He did not clearly perceive the position of circumstances, and entertained neither adequate views of what was expedient, nor upright motives of action; and hence his conduct was inconsistent throughout and wavering. In his moments of terror, desirous to crush, burn, and execute indiscriminate vengeance; in the return of his confidence, as anxious to foster the rebellion of which he could not calculate the real results or see the progress.
He thus repressed the zeal and exertion of others, and protected while he exasperated the rebels. To this is to be added, that he was a zealous
* Vol. II. Life of Roger Moore.