« PreviousContinue »
Ormonde to succeed him, came to the decision to appoint lordsjustices, and nominated Sir W. Parsons, and lord Dillon. A committee of the Irish house of commons which had opposed the selection of the earl of Ormonde, then made an equal opposition to that of Dillon, and ou grounds precisely similar; a fact not discreditable to the latter. That lord Dillon had been on terms of close intimacy, and a strenuous supporter of Strafford, was among the avowed objections.
On Strafford's departure, a committee of the popular party was appointed to assist in his impeachment. They were strenuously opposed by lord Dillon, with the earl of Ormonde and other loyalists. By their influence Dillon was removed and Sir John Borlase substituted. In this instance the vindicta Nemesis seems to have performed her retributive round with more than her usual alacrity. The principal members of this committee, and the party which they represented, gained little by exchanging men like Ormonde and Dillon, for Parsons and Borlase. This committee consisted of the lords Gormanstown, Kilmallock, Costilo, and Baltinglass, with Sir Hardness Waller, Sir James Montgomery, Messrs Lynch, Burke, Browne, and other distinguished commoners. These lords and gentlemen, it is just to say, though of the party opposed to the king and to the English government and church as then constituted in Ireland, and though correctly speaking, to be classed as an opposition, whose aims were to a considerable extent different from those which they pretended; the common character of most popular parties; yet the grievances contained in their remonstrance are for the most part real and truly stated. And as they contain a pretty fair view of the defects and abuses of the Irish government, and of the state of the law as then existing, we shall take the first direct occasion to offer a full summary of its contents.
So far as regards lord Dillon, it is enough to say, that at first no reasons were assigned for objecting to him. The king demanded objections. A second petition declared the grounds: that lord Dillon had committed some people for selling contraband tobacco; had often been a referee upon paper petitions; and that his son was married to a daughter of the earl of Strafford's. The king expressed his dissent from these objections, but thought proper to give way.
At the eruption of the rebellion he was among the severest sufferers: his property falling almost all into the hands of the rebels. His stock amounting to 2500 sheep, and nearly 200 head of black cattle, was wholly destroyed by his tenantry. Lord Dunsany attempted to interfere and remonstrated with the miscreants; to his remonstrance they replied that they would not forbear, for though lord Dillon was as he told them an Irishman, yet he was a protestant.
Lord Dillon served as a volunteer in all the earl of Ormonde's expeditions, and was distinguished for his bravery, and the readiness with which he exposed himself to every personal risk. He succeeded to the earldom upon the death of his father, in 1641, but only lived to bear the title till August, 1642, when he died at Oxmantown, and was buried in St Patrick's church.*
<£&arlcg /ftoore, ScconO Uigcount I3rogi)c&a.
BoBS A. D. 1603—SLAIN A. D. 1643.
The ancestors of this eminent soldier are said to have first come from France into England soon after the conquest. They acquired estates in Kent, and are said to have assumed the name of De la More or De More, from the name of the manor, More-place in that county.
Of the descendants of this family, Sir Thomas Moore of Benenden in Kent, was father of Sir Thomas, who came orer to Ireland and founded a noble family (the earls of Charlerille,) early in the reign of Elizabeth; and also of Sir Edward, ancestor to the subject of this notice. Sir Edward came over as a soldier, and was knighted in 1579 by Sir William Drury, in his camp between Limerick and Kilmallock.* In consideration of his many and distinguished services, queen Elizabeth gave him a lease of the dissolved abbey of Mellifont, with its endowments in the county of Louth. This place continued afterwards to be the family seat, until the early part of the last century. In the history of Tyrone's, rebellion, he is also mentioned frequently, and acted a distinguished part. His son, Sir Garret, served with distinction in the same war, and was with Sir William Godolphin, employed to treat with the earl of Tyrone on his submission at the end of that rebellion, in 1602. In 1621, Sir Garret was created Viscount Moore of Drogheda, in consideration of his great and honourable services.
Charles Moore, the third son of this last named person, came early on the stage of public life. In August, 1628, in his 25th year, he was appointed upon the commission for the regranting of escheated lands in Ulster; and advancing still in public importance, took an active and leading part in the affairs of his own province. These'were not however, during the continuance of peaceful times, such as to claim especial notice, and we therefore pass over details of no present interest, to the period which brought him into more distinguished notice. We shall therefore only delay to mention that, in 1639, in rirtue of the commission of grace, he had a lease and confirmation of his estates in Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Dublin, Monaghan, and the King's county, with license to impark 4000 acres, &c &ct
At the beginning of the rebellion lord Moore was residing with his family and a garrison of sixty-three carbines,^ in the gloomy and sequestered state of the ancient castle of Mellifont, far from the vicinage of social life, and presenting an exposed point of attack to all the turbulence of Ulster. Here, on the 26th October, 1641, at a late hour in the day, the accounts of the first exploits of Sir Phelim O'Xeile and the northern rebels reached him. He was alarmed by the account that his sister, lady Blayney, with her children, had been seized and imprisoned, and the castle taken by the rebels, who had surprised Xewry and other towns and castles in the north. At midnight, lord Moore rode with his troop to Drogheda, which was about four miles and a half from Lb castle. On his arrival, he found the place unprovided for its defence,
* Lodge. f 'I"1*. t IW*
the civil authorities, unconscious of the danger of their situation, and either incredulous or ill affected. He endeavoured to infuse vigour into their conduct, and to animate them to the preparations necessary for the defence of the town. The mayor and aldermen promised fairly, but Moore saw quickly that they could not be relied on: he at once resolved himself to make good the defence of the town, and for this to remove his family into it. He began by causing the walls to be repaired, the old and neglected artillery to be mounted and made fit for service, and the ditch scoured. Perceiving the total insufficiency of any force he could command, and strongly suspecting the disloyalty of the citizens, he rode off on a dark night to Dublin, to represent this state of things to the council, and desire their prompt interference to save the place. His remonstrances, backed by liberal offers of further aids in men at his own expense, had the desired effect: Sir Henry Tichburne was sent with a thousand foot, and arrived in the towu 4th November. The reader knows the rest, the siege is detailed in our notice of Sir Phelim O'Neile.
In this interval lord Moore again applied to the council, offering to raise 600 men, and with the aid of Tichburne and the troops under his command, to secure the county of Louth. The offer was not accepted; but soon after, the rebels, resenting the spirited conduct of this nobleman, invested his castle of Mellifont with 1300 men. The castle was defended by twenty-four musqueteers, and fifteen dragoons, who held out bravely until their ammunition was spent. They were then compelled to yield. The gates were thrown open, the fifteen troopers mounted and charged out upon the rebels, through whom they forced a path, and without the loss of a man, made their way to Drogheda: the remainder of the garrison, to the number of twenty-four, yielded on quarter, but were slaughtered by the order of MacMahon, with twentyeight of lord Moore's servants. The rebels carried away cattle and other property to the value of two thousand pounds.*
This event occurred a few weeks before the siege of Drogheda. In that siege lord Moore's tenants took a conspicuous part; and there is reason to believe, that they had even joined in the attack on Mellifont. They met with the due reward of their crime—during the siege of the town, they were attacked by their outraged lord, where they stood in arms on the north of Drogheda, and routed with the loss of their leader, and four hundred men killed in action, with several prisoners, among whom was Rory MacArt MacCross MacMahon. It was this exploit that raised the siege. Among the incidents of this fight, the most remarkable was an adventure of Moore's. It chanced that, with seven other horsemen, he was separated from his main body: the rebels quickly saw his exposed situation, and a cry arose "this is my lord Moore;" he was in a moment surrounded by upwards of two hundred men, and desperate efforts were made to seize him. Every effort was however vain against the impetuous charge with which Moore and his gallant little party broke through the crowd, and with the most formidable execution, cut themselves a bloody path to their friends.
When the siege of Drogheda had been raised, lord Moore was left
VOL. III. B
in command of the town; and the conduct of the war in that part of the country was left chiefly to him. In the course of this service he performed many signal exploits, and obtained numerous important successes. On entering Ardee, 23d March, his personal valour obtained great notice, as numbers of the rebels fell by his own hand. In two days after he seized on Navan, and took a large plunder from the rebels whom he found endeavouring to secure the town against him.
In consideration of these great services, in June, 1642, king Charles appointed him governor of the county of Louth, and barony of Slane.*
In August, the same year, he inarched with Sir John Borlase and colonel Gibson with their regiments, each amounting to 500 men and four pieces of cannon, against the castle of Seddan, which was defended by captain Fleming with a strong garrison of the rebels; the defence was brave and obstinate, though not of long duration. Having effected a breach, the walls were thrice assaulted, and at the last carried, after 500 brave rebels had fallen in the breach, and on the field without. The strength of this place had, it appears, been much relied on. Its capture made a strong impression on the resolution of lords Gormanstown and Netterville, who thereupon abandoned the castles of Newtown, and the fort of the Nobber. The counties of Louth and Meath were thus cleared of the presence of an enemy.
In the summer of the following year, the relative strength of the two opposing parties had considerably changed. The English army had been suffered to fall into neglect, and the rebels had been strengthened by the accession of many eminent lords and gentlemen, whose wealth and abilities gave new vigour to a bad cause. These circumstances we shall detail further on. On the 7th August, 1643, lord Moore was sent out against general Preston, who had advanced into Meath to reap the harvest of that county. Moore took Athboy, but, from the total want of ammunition, was unable to keep the field, or even to secure any portion of the harvest. His soldiers, in common with those of every other officer in the English service, were in a state of starvation, and ready to mutiny for their pay. The angry spirit among them became so manifest, that the peasantry who observed their condition took the alarm and kept aloof: but reaped the corn and carried it off every night. Owen O'Neile with 5000 well appointed soldiers and 700 cavalry, possessed himself of the whole harvest from Cavan to Slane; and the garrisons of Drogheda, Dundalk, and the fortified castles in the surrounding districts were perishing from utter want, so that their garrisons were all ready to desert them. O'Neile, joined by Sir James Dillon, and in connexion with Preston, by whom he could be joined without obstruction, seized on numerous castles without a blow, and proceeded to lay siege to Athboy. This, lord Moore was ordered to prevent, but was not in force to move. The government sent orders into Ulster that Monro should march or send 2200 men to assist him; Monro refused, on the pretence of an independent command over Ulster.
In this distress colonel Monk received orders to march from the county of Wicklow, where he had taken possession of Bray and New
castle, and to reinforce lord Moore. Thus strengthened, lord Moore advanced towards Athhoy. On his approach O'Neile raised the siege and advanced to meet him, and took up a strong position at Portlester ford, upon the Black Water, about five miles from Trim. At a small distance from the ford was a mill, called the Earl's mill; into this O'Neile put sixty men, and threw up a strong breastwork before the door. Lord Moore commanded an attack on this post, but a wellserved battery repulsed the assailants. As he stood upon a rising ground to direct this assault, it had been observed that the ball from a gun of the enemy repeatedly grazed the ground near his station: Moore, in the anxiety of the duty in which he was engaged, took no notice of the danger, and at last was struck by a ball which pierced his armour and occasioned his death. This event is dated by Lodge on the 7th August, and by Carte on the 12th September, 1643. The latter date agrees with the general train and succession of events, and that of Lodge, who is singularly careless about dates, must be from inadvertence.
Borlase remarks, in the account which he gives of this incident, that Moore was the first who engaged in the cause, and the last who fell in the commission of king Charles.
©onnor JWacgutre, 2Saron of lEmiteftillm.
EXECUTED A. D. 1645.
This unfortunate person was one of those Roman catholic noblemen whom the artful representations of Roger Moore may be considered as having forced into rebellion. He has left his own account of the circumstances, by which it is apparent to how great an extent his conduct was influenced by the address and representations of Moore. This document we already quoted to some extent in our notice of that gentleman.
Of Macguire it will not be necessary to say much. He was the representative of an ancient Irish race, the chiefs of Fermanagh, whose names have from time to time occurred in our pages. His grandfather had a grant from the crown of 6480 acres, in Fermanagh, in consideration of service. This property with other honours descended to Connor; but he had, by his extravagance reduced himself to ruin. And was thus the more exposed to the artifices employed to draw him into the dangerous practices which cost him his life. His career was brief, as he was taken prisoner on the first discovery of the rebellion.
The day after this discovery, he was taken in an obscure house in Cooke street. Moore, Plunket, and others, having escaped across the Liffey overnight At first Macguire refused to make any confession, but afterwards made a full disclosure of all the particulars. He was sent, together with MacMahon, to London, where they were committed to the Tower. There they remained for nearly two years; until, on August 18th, 1644, they contrived to make their escape.* With a