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how it prospered, presuming you would rather make use of it for your own defence or against enemies, than to try your strength against a poor widow of your own blood; but since you have bent it against me, let the blood which shall be shed, be required at their hands that seek it; for my part, my conscience tells me that I am innocent, and wishing you so too, I rest your cousin.
She was further menaced by Charles Dempsie, who wrote the following letter, with a design of sending it to her that afternoon, but being beaten out of the town, he was prevented, and it was found in one of the houses.
"I do admire that a lady of your worth and honour as you conceive yourself to be, should in so regardless a sort, instead of matters of conscience in your letters, use frivolous and scandalous words, expressly nominating us your enemies Glanmaleroe Kearnes, and that, in that letter written this very day unto Sir Luke Fitzgerald desiring his assistance to the number of fifty men, which should quash and cashier us here hence, he being your enemy no less than we, secluding kindred, not prophaneness of religion. Nay, your ladyship was not formerly abashed to write to William Parsons, naming us in that letter unto them, a mixt multitude. Remember yourself, madam, consisting of more women and boys than men. All these letters before your ladyship shortly shall be produced. Both the messengers we have intercepted, together with your letters, and do detain them as yet prisoners, until such time as thereof we do certify your ladyship, which at the present we thought to do expedient. They are, therefore, censured to death, and this day is prefixed for their execution, your ladyship by your letters desires novelties. Hear then, Chidley Coote (correspondently to the intent of your letters to Parsons, coming to your aid), being intercepted in the way, was deadly wounded, ten taken prisoners, his ensigns taken away. One Alman Hamnett's man, if he come safe with his message, (as I hope he will not), will confirm this news. Had the character of these letters of yours been either Lloyd's or Hamnett's, that politick engineer and the adviser of quillets, (by him that bought me), no other satisfaction should be taken but their heads; though, as the case stands, Hamnett lives in no small danger for manifold reasons.
But notwithstanding all these menaces and attacks, she held out with great spirit, until fetched off safe by Sir Richard Grenville, in October, 1642, after which she retired to Coleshill.
&an&al iflacfronell, ?2arl of Antrim.
BOBN A. D. 1609 DIED A. D. 1682
Of the ancestry of the Macdonells we have already had occasion to take notice. The person we are now to commemorate, is one of the many whom fortune rather than any inherent merit has made eminent, more by the conspicuous display of the ordinary passions and weaknesses incidental to our nature, than by wisdom, courage or virtue.
He was educated in England, where he early recommended himself at court by the specious attractions of person, manner, and imposing pretensions. These advantages were greatly improved by his marriage with the widow of the celebrated George Villiers, duke of Buckingham, by means of which he was enabled to appear with great splendour at the English court, and was introduced to the favour of the queen.
When the troubles in Scotland broke into war in 1639, this lord was forward to offer his services, which were accepted by the king, who was about to march into Scotland, against the covenanters with the "of Argyle at their head. The earl was in the habit of speaking fty terms of the power and influence which he possessed in Ireland, jroposed to levy a considerable force of Ulster men, and make a jnt on the Scottish Isles; over which he presumed that his own ent from the "lords of the Isles," gave him no small influence. He thus to effect a diversion, so as to occupy the attention of the e of Argyle on one quarter, while the king's army should make r approaches on the other. He was sent into Ireland to make his .es; but whatever service might have been thus effected by a more .•reet and capable person, Antrim was utterly devoid of all the ential qualifications. His very forwardness to embark in a great -ign appears to have been but the effect of the want of all conception the real difficulties to be encountered, and like many sanguine and illow persons he was rather actuated by a blind self-confidence than any distinct conception of his design. His imposing language which reived the king, and it is probable himself, had little weight with the inetrating and masterly intellect of Strafford, then the lord-lieutenant ', Ireland. Besides other objections, which we here omit, to his plan, trafford on conversing with the earl at once discerned his entire igorance of military affairs, and his incapacity for any service that needed orecast, prudence, discretion and experience in the conduct of affairs. The earl had, he found, entered upon an extensive and hazardous undertaking without any consideration of the means by which it was to be effected, and strongly remonstrated against both the project and the man. But Antrim's friends at court were all powerful at the tune; the weighty influence of the queen was exerted for him, and the earl of Strafford was strongly pressed by the king to forward the undertaking. On this, every thing was put in train, and every assistance was given to the earl of Antrim; the organization of his army was projected and officers appointed, and emissaries were sent off to the Isles to concert a rising with the Macdonalds. After all this pomp of preparation, it was but too apparent that the earl had overrated his power in the north; he was only enabled to attend the king's expedition with a force small in point of number, but fortunate in not being put to the proof. The English and Scottish armies having come in sight of each other, the king was prevented by his generals, who had no great wish to fight for him, from offering battle; and the reputation of Antrim was allowed to continue untarnished for other trials.
After the treaty of peace (signed on this occasion), the earl accompanied the king to Oxford, and returning to Ireland sat in the parliament 1640. After this he continued to live in Ireland, sustaining the character for which he was by nature best fitted, by magnificent and popular hospitality, until the growing troubles rose to a height incompatible with the peaceful pomps and vanities of life. His countess was compelled to take refuge in England, and again filled a distinguished place in the favour of queen Henrietta and her court. The character of the marquess was assailed by the scandalous aspersion of having joined with the rebels, but this malicious charge was repelled by the strong testimony of Parsons, who was the witness of the harmlessness of his deportment in Dublin. In the commencement of the rebellion, his lordship is honourably to be distinguished for the humane and active assistance he gave to the distressed protestants, whose condition was then more deplorable than it afterwards came to be, in the further stage of the war. Nor can we trace his lordship in any overt proceeding of a political tendency, till the spring of 1642, when having visited his property in the north, he was probably worked upon by tho enthusiasm of his own dependents to form high expectations from the favour of the northerns. With the facile and prurient inflammability of a warm fancy and over-weening self-confidence, he at once began to reckon on the effects of his own authority and influence, by which he hoped to convert a rebel multitude into a royal army devoted to the interests of king Charles. In this expectation he was doomed to meet with disappointment; the rebels were pleased at the accession of a name so well suited to give speciousness to their favourite pretence of royal authority. But they saw easily through the ostentatious and feeble spirit that tried in vain to assume an ascendant over their minds. He was indeed too good for them, and too incapable either of going the whole length in atrocity which they uniformly sought in their leaders, and without which no one long continued to have any authority among them; neither had he the craft necessary to temporize, or to suppress his own temper and opinions. Disgusted with their cowardly massacres, which fell entirely on the unarmed and defenceless, upon whom they wreaked vengeance for the severe and often too sweeping justice of military judges; he was loud in the expression of his horror, and condemned their entire conduct, in a tone that plainly manifested an entire unconsciousness of all their peculiar objects and passions. He was prompt and liberal in relieving the distressed and hunted protestants, and it was but too plain that however desirable the accession ot the rebel army might be to his lordship's private views, he was not exactly the person they wanted. An instance of his meritorious activity in this character, occurred during the time when Coleraine was besieged by the Irish army in 1641, when he prevailed with the Irish officers so far as to allow the people of the town to graze their cattle for three miles round; and was permitted to send in large supplies of corn to the starving inhabitants.
The marquess failing to turn the rebels to his own purposes was not induced to embrace their motives or adopt their cause. So far from this, he raised a regiment of his own tenantry; but these plain proofs of loyalty, were not in these uncertain times sufficient to protect him from becoming the object of suspicion. Monroe having entered the county of Antrim, considered the reports which had circulated of his commerce with the rebels and the fact of his being a papist, sufficient excuse to commit an outrage upon him not unworthy of Sir Phelim O'Neile.
Dunluce castle was the stronghold and residence of the ancient family of M'Quillan, the ancient chiefs of that district, and it was as leader of a Scottish army that the ancestor of the earl of Antrim had expelled these ancient proprietors, and obtained possession of their rock and domain. Here the earl was residing when he received a visit of seeming compliment from Monroe, the general of the Scottish force in Ulster. Monroe was welcomed with all the frank hospitality, and entertained with all the splendour of his generous but unobservant host. The entertainment was not well over when the signal was given, and the astonished earl seized and hurried off a prisoner, while the castle and domain were plundered by his cold-minded and plotting captor.
He was so fortunate as to escape from Monroe and fled into England, where he waited on the queen at York. It was at the time when the king's friends were labouring to procure a cessation of arms in Ireland; Antrim was, as was natural to him, soon led to put forward his notions of his own efficiency to promote this design, and was presently sent into Ireland with instructions; but he was taken on his landing and imprisoned by Monroe in Carrickfergus, where he lay for some months, his enemy all the time drawing his rents and remaining master of his whole possessions, without the slightest heed of the king's letters to command restoration. Once more the earl succeeded in escaping from his "enemy and reached Oxford again, December, 1643.
It happened then, as is known to the reader, that the marquess of Montrose was endeavouring to raise an army to create a diversion in Scotland, so as to draw back the army which had marched into England, and was at the time in treaty with the parliament. Antrim was consulted and engaged "that if the king would grant him a commission, he would raise an army in Ireland, and transport it to Scotland, and would himself be at the head of it; by means whereof, he believed all the clan of the Macdonells in the Highlands, might be persuaded to follow him."* To this a ready consent was given, and the king by privy seal created him marquess of Antrim, 26th January, 1644.
The marquess with his characteristic disregard of circumstances, adopted the means which must be admitted to offer some specious advantages for his purpose. His conduct was in principle the same which had on the previous occasion, already mentioned, involved him in the proceedings of the rebels; but circumstances had widely
changed, and the confederates of Kilkenny might well he assumed to be sincere in their allegiance against a common enemy. Rebellion had changed sides: a confusion of parties had now arisen which admitted of the utmost latitude of construction, and it must have appeared to the marquess a happy expedient to take the oath of association and become a member of the supreme council of Kil« kenny. The device had the common justification of such measures, and it was successful. By the favour of the council he was enabled to raise 1500 effective men, whom he sent to Montrose under the command of colonel Alexander Macdonell; and distinguished themselves very highly in all his battles.
The next appearance of the marquess is in 1647, when he was with two. others sent by the council of Kiikenny to the queen and prince Charles, to desire that a lord-lieutenant might be sent to govern the country. The marquess of Ormonde landed soon after and concluded a treaty of peace, but Rinuncini being, as the reader is aware, pertinaciously opposed to peace *, he was joined by O'Neile and the marquess of Antrim.
In 1651 he appears engaged in Cromwell's party and in his pay; he is mentioned at this time to have received £500 a-year from him, which was afterwards, in 1655, increased. This liberal allowance appears to have been for no other purpose but for the use of his influence in the north, and for the countenance of a name. His active services were not required, and he took no decided part on the parliamentary side: his own motive was probably no more than to save himself by a passive acquiescence; while, considering the party with whom he had to deal and the weakness of his own character, it is equally to be presumed that he was as useful as was in any way desired to Cromwell. This connexion did not prevent his using his best exertions to serve the royal cause. When the prince came into England he supplied him with arms and ammunition, and after the battle of Worcester assisted in procuring ships for his escape.
On account of these services, he afterwards obtained the restoration to his estates by the act of settlement. He was twice married, but had no children; and when he died in 1682 he was succeeded by his brother.
SlUcfe, dNftf) Earl of &lanricar&e.
»onN A. n. 1604—Died A. D. 1657.
This nobleman was son of Richard, fourth earl of Clanricarde, who in.
early life was distinguished by the appellation of Riehard of Kingsale,
in consequence of the prominent part he took against the rebels in the
siege of that town, haviug killed twenty of them with his own hand.
T-*is personal bravery and untainted loyalty were inherited by his
, who had in addition, a strong personal attachment to the unfortu
? Charles, whom he attended in his expedition against the Scots in
.0. He had taken his seat in parliament when it met in 1639, and
lin by proxy in the year following; being a peer of England in right