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saw they cut their way through a thick oaken door; and, having thus got clear from their apartment, they groped their way in silence to a loophole, or window, in the White Tower, from which they let themselves down by a rope procured for the purpose. The rest of the exploit was comparatively easy: they waded through the moat, and found their way to Drury Lane, where the friends who had contrived to supply the means of escape had secured their lodging.
Till October 20th,* they lurked securely in this concealment, and might very probably have escaped. But one night, with the recklessness of their countrymen, one of them called out from the window to an oyster woman who was passing by. The voice was recognised, and information promptly conveyed to Mr Conyers, the lieutenant of the Tower. A guard was despatched, and before two hours they found themselves once more in their lodging in the Tower.
They were brought to trial on the 16th November, in the King's Bench. MacMahon was at onoe condemned. Macguire made an able defence, and contrived to have his trial postponed till the following term. He was again brought before the same court on the 10th and 11 th of February, 1645; when he pleaded that being baron of Enniskillen, he had a right to be tried by his peers^ for this he cited the statute 10 Henry VII., by which he affirmed that the laws of England were in force in Ireland. To this the king's council demurred, and the point was argued on both sides, and ruled against Macguire by judge Bacon. We have not had it in our power to ascertain distinctly the ground of this decision; by the well known law of Poynings' parliament, 10 Henry VII., cited by Macguire; by repeated previous laws of Irish parliaments and royal declarations; and by several extensions of the great charter, the privilege of trial "per legale judicium parium quorum" seems to have been the rightful claim .of every Irish subject. Nevertheless lord Bacon declared that an Irish baron was to be tried as a commoner in England. He eited the ease of lord Gray, who was so tried for acts done in Ireland. This decision and precedent demands no discussion, as they cannot be considered as other than a stretch of power, with its lame excuse. On this an order was passed by the lords and commons for Macguire's trial. He then applied for further delay, for the purpose of bringing witnesses from Ireland. This also was denied upon grounds which would not now be regarded as satisfactory: the time that had already been spent on different pretences; and the very strange ground, that no witness could disprove the facts deposed to by the witnesses against him. This unconstitutional assumption, by which he was evidently prejudged, strongly indicates the undefined notions of trial by jury which could be applied in so very advanced a period of English law; and still more strongly the arbitrary influences which in that time were greater than the law.
Lord Macguire did not abandon his own cause. When the trial came on, he challenged twenty-three jurors empanneled for the first jury. The challenge was allowed, and the prisoner remanded till next day, when he was again brought up. The next day he moved that his plea of his rights as a peer, should be referred to the lords, which was refused; both because he had now put himself on his trial by the country, and also as the trial was by an order to which the lords were party. Another jury was sworn. To these Macguire objected that they were parties interested, most of them being purchasers of his lands. On this, after a wrangling argument, it was consented by the king's counsel, that the jury should declare upon affidavit, whether they, or any of them, had any share in the rebel's lands in Ireland. The jury made a declaration in the negative, and the trial was ordered to proceed.
He was then convicted, both by many circumstantial proofs, and by his own confession. Lord Bacon then asked him why sentence should not pass against him. Macguire, who seems to have sturdily resolved to contest every inch of ground, asked by what seal the judge proceeded against him. The judge answered, by the old seal; to which Macguire answered, that he conceived that the ordinance of parliament for a new great seal, must invalidate all proceedings under the old. This objection, though indicative of the objector's pertinacity and readiness, was but a cavil; and sentence was at length passed. Macguire was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn, 20th February, 1645.*
DIED ABoUT A. D. 1665.
The ancestors of the eminent soldier here to be noticed, and of the Irish branch of the family of Stewart came into Ireland in the reign of James I, and claim an ancient and illustrious origin from the family of that monarch. We might thus, travel far back into the antiquity of Irish kings and heroes, the founders of the ancient monarchy of the Scottish throne. Of these some notice will be found in our first volume. We might also repeat with some effect the romance of Macbeth, and once more call up the ghost of Banquo to sit in his vacant chair and shake his "gory locks" for the entertainment of our readers. As the first of the Stewarts is traced by the heralds to his grandson, Walter, the son of Fleance, who on the murder cf his father by Macbeth, fled into Wales, where he married Nesta, the daughter of Griffith ap Llewellyn, king of North Wales. After the death of Macbeth, his son, Walter, returned to Scotland, and was made lord high steward of Scotland by king Malcolm III. From him descended in order several representatives, bearing the name of Stewart to Robert Stewart or Stuart, who, in 1370, on the failure of issue male in the reigning family, succeeded to the throne of Scotland, by which the crown was transferred back into the direct line of descent from king Duffus,f in the tenth century.
James Stewart, a son of Murdoch, second duke of Albany, on the attainder of his father, fled into Ireland, where he married into the
* Borlase. | Duffus left a son nnd a daughter; the son died childless, and was succeeded by Malcolm II. Banquo was the daughter's son.
family of MacDonell, and settled in the county of Tyrone where he died in 1449, leaving seven sons. From these descended several branches of the Stewart family in this country. Of these the oldest was created lord Avondale, to which title in the course of descent, were added the titles of Ochiltree next, and then Castle-Stewart.
The branch of this family, of whom we are now more especially to speak, is not traced to its root in the parent stem, with the distinctness we could wish. But the connexion is undoubted and not remote. We must here be contented to follow the example of most historians, and all heralds, whose skill in tracing out the cobweb lines of pedigree is not more admirable than the sleight of hand, by which obscure dates and lamentable chasms are shuffled out of view; so that the concealment of ignorance indicates a degree of skill not less useful than the discovery of truth.
In the reign of James I., the Stewarts of Newtown-Stewart and Culmore, in the county of Tyrone, were distinguished by their ability and courage, of both of whom we shall here give an account.
Sir William was the elder brother, and an undertaker to a very large extent in the county of Tyrone at the time of the plantation of Ulster. There he made considerable improvements, and built several castles and flourishing villages. He was knighted for his useful and efficient conduct in the short rebellion of O'Doherty; and, in 1613, represented the county of Donegal in parliament. By privy seal in 1423, he was created baronet.
When the rebellion of 1641 broke out, he received a commission to raise one thousand foot, and a troop of horse, for the security of the country. With this body of men he gave Sir Phelim 0"Neile three remarkable defeats. Near Strabane, as he was on the point of setting fire to the town of Raphoe; on the mountains of Barnesmore; and lastly, a bloody and decisive rout, June 16th, 1642, which we have noticed in our memoir of Sir Phelim, and in which the great army which he had collected from all the northern counties, was put to flight, with the loss of five hundred men. Sir William died some time about 1662, the latest date at which we can discover any historical mention of him, or of his brother Robert, whom we are now to notice.
Bobert Stewart was the second brother of the same family; and was a gentleman of the privy chamber to James I. He received large grants in the counties of Leitrim, Cavan, and Fermanagh. He was made a colonel by king Charles; and, in 1638, was appointed to the command of Culmore castle. Ho was in the following year returned member of parliament for the city of Londonderry; and in 1641, obtained a commission to raise one thousand foot, and a troop, for the king's service. He was made also governor of Derry, on the death of Sir James Vaughon in 1643, and on the 3d June, in that year, obtained a memorable victory over the rebel commander, the celebrated Owen O'Neile. The particulars of this battle must be the trophy of the victor, we shall therefore give a brief account of them here.
Owen O'Neile was on his march through the county of Monaghan, with three thousand two hundred men, of which force one thousand were immediately with him, the remainder were in attendance upon a large collection of cattle and fugitives, which it was his intention to escort into Leitrim and the bordering counties. Stewart, having obtained intelligence of his approach, hastened to overtake him, and after a very severe march, came up with him on the borders of Fermanagh, at a place called Clonish. He had with him his own regiment, and Sir William's, with some companies from Derry, and from the regiments of Sir W. Balfour, and colonel Mervyn. When his approach had been ascertained by O'Neile, he posted his main body to the best advantage, in a strong pass, under a veteran officer of his own name, and advanced with his cavalry to reconnoitre. Sir Robert was about a mile from the enemy when he was apprized of these particulars: he ordered a halt that his men might breathe and take some 1 refreshment. After this, he marched on till he came in sight of the rebels—they were drawn up behind a pass through a narrow stone causeway which O'Neile had lined with musqueteers. Sir Robert detached a strong party to force this position; their approach was met by O'Neile's cavalry, which came rushing over the causeway, and a very smart encounter took place: but the Irish were at last driven back—and their retreat pursued by Stewart's horse. For a moment the advantage was doubtful; the last horseman of the Irish had scarcely passed over the causeway, when the pursuers were saluted by a tremendous fusillade from the musqueteers within. The cavalry retired, but it was to make way for the forlorn hope, who charged impetuously in, and carried all before them—the whole of the English cavalry were at their heels, and in a few moments again charging the enemy's horse on the other side of the pass. For some minutes now the battle raged with great fury and little method. Captain Stewart, the leader of Sir Robert's troop, and probably either his son or his nephew, engaged hand to hand with Owen O'Neile: the combat was interrupted—the combatants were too important to their respective parties to be allowed to fight it out—the battle rested for an instant on the result of a blow, when Stewart was charged on one side, and wounded, while by a lateral shock his horse was borne to the earth.
In the mean time, Shane O'Neile, whom his commander had posted in the rear of the cavalry, in the strong pass already mentioned, saw how matters were going on. He advanced with his twelve companies to support the cavalry already beginning to break and give way. Sir Robert saw this movement, and quitting the cavalry which he had headed, he put himself at the head of his own regiment of foot and led them on to charge the advancing infantry of his antagonist. They were bravely received, and both parties rushing together with the animosity of the occasion and age, strove with a brave and sanguinary desperation for a full half hour. At last, as the second regiment of the English had made their way, and were ready to advance to the aid of their companions, the Irish suddenly gave way and fled with such precipitation as to break the order of their own body of reserve, which was coming up to their aid. All fled together, and the English horse executed tremendous havoc on their flying companies as they ran. In this battle the loss of Owen O'Neile was very great: numbers of his best men were slain, and, what was far worse, most of his foreign officers were either killed or taken.
The loss of the English was but six killed, and twenty-two wounded; but Sir Robert Stewart was by no means in condition to take further advantage of his victory. His supplies were spent, and he was obliged to disperse his forces to their several stations, and return to Londonderry. O'Neile pursued his way to Charlemont: the people flocked about his standard every mile of the way; before he had reached Mohil, his forces showed no sign of the slaughter of Clunies. They were, it is true, unarmed; but the supreme council sent him arms and ammunition, and he soon took the field as strong as ever.
We shall now pass on more glancingly through the rest of Stewart's career. Most of the circumstances we shall have to relate in future detail. In 1644, he was one among the colonels, who agreed in a resolution against taking the covenant which the parliament ordered to be taken by the army.
Jn 1648, he was, by the vicissitudes of events, opposed to the parliamentary army in Ireland. And as he commanded the important fort of Culmore, which was the key to Londonderry, he was an object of much close watchfulness, and fell into a dexterously contrived snare —which is indistinctly related by Lodge, who refers to Carte, but must have found his half-told story somewhere else. Carte simply mentions, that " Sir Charles Coote," (son of the person already commemorated in volume II.) " treacherously seized on Sir Robert Stewart's person, forced him to order his castle of Culmore to be delivered, and then sent him a prisoner to London." Lodge mentions that he was inveigled into Derry, to a baptism at a friend's house, and " insi diously taken," and with colonel Mervyn, who was similarly taken, delivered to colonel Monk, who sent them to London,—adding that colonel Monk, afterwards by some artifices, got possession of Culmore:—a statement which may be as true as Carte's, but is not the same. Carte's observation should not be here unrepeated:—" This treatment of so gallant an officer, after a course of sufferings for so many years, and of services greater than any other commander then in the kingdom had performed, highly incensed the old Scots, and all the forces that had used to serve under him."
When the war was ended by the success of the parliamentary forces, and an act was passed for the settlement of Ireland, Stewart was expressly excepted from pardon for life or estate. He lived nevertheless, to see brighter days after a long and dreary interval of adversity. The year 1660 brought with it the restoration; and the merit and sufferings of Stewart were among those which escaped the oblivion of the heartless and selfish Charles. He was appointed to the command of a company, and soon after made governor of the city and county of Derry.
From this we find no further mention worthy of note; and as he had run a long course from the year 1617, in which we find him recorded for his faithful services to king James, to the restoration, we may presume, that he had attained a good old age. From the Ordnance Survey of Derry, we also find that in 1661, he was succeeded in his government by colonel Gorges, appointed May 6th, 1661. It is therefore the high probability that his death occurred in the same year.