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The Council saw through the hollow manoeuvre; but as they could not garrison the city, they adopted prompt measures to prevent the citizens from
roused, and they acknowledged that now the time was at hand when, if they possessed any resources in talent, industry, friends, dependants, or wealth, they were bound to employ all these energetically in the defending and upraising of the commonwealth soon doomed to fall, and in the preservation and defence of their lives, their wives, their children, and all their properties. And lest they should give occasion by their own neglect or violence to the city, being betrayed and reduced to the last degree of distress by a too numerous party who aimed at it, they spent days and nights in anticipating and averting the attempts of their antagonists, and in restoring their fellow-citizens to a better way of thinking and becoming integrity.
Meantime, while we were circumstanced in such peril, after we had passed several months suspected, and apprehensive in avoiding and laying stratagems alternately, behold we learned by sudden report that your Lordship would come hither in a few days, which kept us in a state of anxiety and solicitude: for we feared lest some clandestine embassy sent by our adversaries would draw you over to give credit to their attempts by your presence, being sufficiently assured; and having clearly foreseen that if your most illustrious Lordship should influence the minds of the citizens, while hesitating, vacillating, and in suspense, that we should lose our cause, which is so legitimate and of so great moment, and on which our own safety and that of the whole community depends, and that the populace, being won over, would raise some disturbance in the city; wherefore we judged that it was of the utmost consequence to the public interest, as soon as possible, to entreat you through our envoys, that you would be pleased to make a longer delay at Cashel while we should provide for ourselves and the interests of our community; which care kept us so anxious and busy employed, and distracted our attention, that we had not time to pay your Lordship the respect due from your humble servants, by suitable honors and adequate preparations ; and that presently when we had transacted the business which was then to be done in the city, that your lordship's arrival would be most grateful to us. But our envoy having by no means obtained his point, brought us word that your most illustrious Lordship had decided to ride up to our gates for the purpose of seeing our Bishop [Presul]; from which unexpected reply that former suspicion of ours received a great aggravation, respecting the clandestine and crafty pronouncement of your arrival by our antagonists, which we could not be led to expect would take place, until astonished by the sudden intelligence of your being mounted on horseback before our gates. We at length adopted the resolution, that our envoy should explain to you in what anxiety about present circumstances our Council and people were involved and engaged, and to request in our name, that for that night at least you would go to either of the splendid h ouses distant not more than one mile, of Mr. Jordan Koch, Town Councillor, or Nicholas Haly, Esq. also a fellow-citizen of ours, where you would be honourably received, and there on the next morning kindly await the further wishes of the Council. Waiting in the meantime to see if we should happen to learn from some of your attendants or household secretaries, something that would remove that scruple about the designs of the adverse faction, and had that happened according to our desires, we would receive you freely, and, as the saying is, with open arms; but your hasty and more distant withdrawal disappointed both of us in our wishes and expectation.
Illustrious Sir, you have the true sentiments of our minds disguised by no fabrications, which we suppliantly pray you may receive with the same sincerity of mind; and that you pardon your servants, whom the fear of domestic feuds, plotting against our lives and fortunes, has drawn aside from the path of our usual and ancient civility and due deference; and humbly imploring the apostolic benediction that you would kindly grant it to us, and that you would graciously remove the indignation of our bishop against us, for which marks of civility and decency, our city Councillors and all classes would be eternally obliged to you, as well as myself.
Your Lordship's most humble Servant,'
Limerick, lith October, 1643.
This other letter also by the advice of the same Mayor and Council, I wrote to the same Peter Francis Scarampi on the 5th January, 1643, old style.
Most Illustrious Lord—As when I was lately at Waterford, and had offered to you the apology of our mayor, and of all classes of our city, and explained to you the reasons of our constant duty and obedience to the apostolic seat, so in turn when I came to Limerick, I extolled the praises of your kindness, benignity, and indulgence towards them, and brought word that your most illustrious Lordship had decided upon thoroughly effacing and removing the mark of the offence you had taken, honoured our city and aged bishop with your presence, and fixed for that purpose upon the next spring as being most suitable, being the time when you should have some respite from the anxiety of business, as well as when the serenity of the air, the tranquillity of the weather, and the pleasantness of the country might conduce more to your health, and mitigate the tediousness of so long a journey. The reason for which candour on your part, and foresight in selecting the time of the proposed journey, all approved, and did not expect your most welcome arrival before that time. But our mayor very lately heard that our bishop had intended (I know not what secret advice moving him to it), himself and the rest of the common council, and some one of the clergy, should invite and bring hither your most illustrious Lordship at so unseasonable a time of the year, when, without the pressure of some urgent necessity,
joining the Earl of Thomond to the injury of the Confederate Government. The influence which the Earl of Thomond exercised over the merchants of Limerick was well known, because he occupied Bunratty Castle, and the islands on the Shannon, which commanded the navigation of the river. He could destroy their commerce, injure their credit, and prevent their approach to or from the sea, if he chose. The Council despatched Sir Daniel O'Brien and Daniel O'Brien of Dough, to seize the Castle of Bunratty, and the person of the Earl. The one was the uncle, the other the near kinsman of the Earl—and both were persuaded that it was the best thing could happen him, for the Council had resolved, if he could thus be compelled to join the Confederation, that without interfering with his religion, a great part of his estates would be preserved for him, and no declaration required by which he should be subject to the penalty of neutrals. But the Earl was fully alive to what he conceived to be his own interests. He had already given up Bunratty to the Parliamentarians, and it was not recovered without a formal siege,1 as we shall see as we proceed.
THE APOSTOLIC NUNCIO EINUCCINI. SIEGE OF BUNEATTY CASTLE. ESTIMATE
OP OEMOND. TE DEUM IN ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL. OEMOND's PEACE
DENOUNCED. BOURKE DEPOSED. FANNING CONSTITUTED MAYOR. ATEO
CITIES OF MUEEOUGH OF THE burnings AT CASHEL, &C.
The war, in its very beginning, produced great changes in the circumstances of some of the highest personages in the land. The Marquis of Antrim, whose Dowager is stated to have been reduced to such a state of poverty by the war,' returned to Kilkenny this year, having effected his escape from Carrickfergus, and recently come from England. He proposed to raise troops to assist Montrose in Scotland; and the Confederates, whom he had joined, agreed to furnish him with arms, and 200 barrels of oatmeal, which were to be shipped to Scotland by Mr. Archer, a merchant of Kilkenny1
no prudent person ought to persuade, or even propose that your Lordship should expose yourself to the uncertainty of the weather, the inclemency of the winter, and the inconveniences of so long, muddy, and deep a journey. Wherefore our mayor, and the other leading men of the council untreated me to write in their names to your most illustrious Lordship, and in the first place recall the memory of their due respect towards you, their most humble request that, since your Lordship is pleased to adhere firmly to your first point, and commendable purpose, and to be induced by no intreaties to anticipate that time, which is so suitable, and which you will appear to have more prudently taken forethought for your health, exposed to very many inconveniences, on account of the unusual variety of climate, soil, and food, and to do a most acceptable thing to our mayor and the rest of our council, preoccupied in collecting very large sums of money, as well for promoting the expeditions of those led into England, and the army (intended) for Ulster, as well as towards the third collection of £30,000 sterling, to be paid to the King, as well as (preoccupied) by other cares arising out of present circumstances. Wishing your most illustrious Lordship every success,
Your very humble servant,
1 Billing, Frarpntntum Hittoricum.
1 We give the fact in the words of Dr. Arthur:—
1643. Dame Elis Ny Neyl, Countess Dowager of Antrim, by reason of the warriors, was reduced to extremitie, and driven to pave her 2 rings, a Cross, and a ievvell of gould, inlayed with rubbies and diamonds, to John Barnevill, for £20 sterling, with a bill of sale past of them, unless ahee had redeemed the same by the 20th day of September, 1643, which not being able to doe of her own moneys, was driven to mortgage the premisses to Thomas Roch FitzPyers, of Ityrr, merchant, for the said sume of £20, which shee delivered to the said Barnevill in redemption of the said Jewells, and promised him, the said Roch, £20 10s. for lending her the said £20 from the 2nd of August to Michaelmas enseuing, 16-43. And the said Countess being at Lymrick the 9lh of September, 1643, desired me to pay the said Thomas Roch the said sume of £21, and to keeps her said Jewell in my owne custodic untill shee were able to pave tnee, to prevent future consumption and inconveniences which may ensue unto the said Ladye through the accruing interest sought by the said Roch: I to pleasure the said Countess payed the said Koch the £20 aforesaid, and kept the said Jewells salfe for the said Ladye, demanding noe interest of moneys of her. 30th Aprilis, 1649, by vertue of the said Ladye Dowager, her letter dated La grange- begg 29" Martii, 1649, I delivered the said Jewells to Sr. Connor O'Cuillenane, a Franciscan fryar, from whome I receaved twentie pounds, and five shillings, sterling, and who uppon his oate promised to see me payed of 15s. more, by May day then next ensuing, instead of the 3 picatouns which were counterfaiet, and that I would not then receare for my payment. John Arthure FitzRobert, James Ryce FitzJohn, Nichd. Wale, and Thomas Power Fitzjames were present—Dr. Thomas Arthur's AfSS., p. 137.
On the 21st of July, 1644, Ormonde was duly sworn in Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. About this time Edmond O'Dwyer, afterwards Bishop of Limerick, where he distinguished himself when Ireton beseiged the city, was sent to Rome by the Confederation, with a memorial to Pope Urban, praying his Holiness to promote Father Luke Wadding to the College of Cardinals. On 17th of July, Lord Inchiquin had addressed a memorial to the Parliament in England, which was signed also by Lord Broghill, Sir Percy Smith, and other distinguished officers, against the cessation of hostilities for a year, which had been signed by Ormond on the part of the King, with Lord Muskerry on the part of the Irish Confederation. Inchiquin was in consequence appointed President of Munster, which had been refused him by the King, and which was the cause of his changing to the side of the Irish Parliament. He was, however, reduced to inactivity at present by the winter and the want of supplies, and in the spring of the next year the Confederate General, Castlehaven was in the field at the head of 6000 men, with whom he overran the country, taking possession of Cappoquin, Mitchelstown, Mallow, Doneraile, the Castle of Liscarrol, and other strong places.
In the end of October considerable succors were received in money and supplies from Pope Innocent X. These timely succors consisted of 2000 swords, 500 cases of petronels, 20,000 pounds of powder, and five or six trunks full of Spanish gold. They were entrusted to the care and management of the celebrated John Baptist Rinuccini, prince and archbishop of Fermo, in Italy, who was consigned to the supreme council of the Confederation, with the rank of Nuncio Apostolic, and was received at Kilkenny with the greatest possible joy and honour by the council; presently he was surrounded by archbishops, bishops, a great number of the nobility and citizens following the Lord Mountgarrett, President of the Council, welcoming him with open arms.2 In his report to the Pope, Rinuccini shows he had formed but a poor estimate of these outward manifestations of respect and attachment. He gives no credit to Ormond for sincerity in any one point of view: he states, on the contrary, that the Marquis boasted of having the Pope's money, and he alleges that, instead of making preparations to meet projected attacks on the confederation, he did all he could to afford the enemy a safe and victorious progress to Kilkenny.
As a counterpoise to this success, we may mention the loss at this time of the Castle of Bunratty, belonging to the Earl of Thomond, and which was now taken by the Earl of Inchiquin. But this important castle was subsequently re-taken by the Confederate troops under Lord Muskerry,1 an advantage not deemed inferior to the capture of the castle of Roscommon, which about the same time was taken by the Confederate Preston.
1 The Archers were an ancient Anglo-Irish family in Kilkenny.
1 Vindicise Catholicorum Hibernire.
On the 13th of June, 1646, Father Hartigan, S.J. who had been sent into Ulster as chaplain general to the troops, returned to Limerick with the news of the great victory obtained by the Confederates, under Owen Roe O'Neill, over Monroe at Benburb; along with the news Father Hartigan brought thirty-two standards, captured from the enemy. More than 3000 of the British forces were slain.
'The capture of Bunratty Castle was an object of the most critical importance to the Confederates. The Earl of Thomond,* who before lived peaceably in this castle, admitted into it at this time, a garrison of 800 foot and 60 cavalry, most of them reformed officers, under the command of Lieut.-Colonel MacAdam, "a stout officer," who began at once to raise works to strengthen the castle, which, owing to the marshes about it, might be impregnably fortified. Bunratty, which was strong, was deemed before the invention of artillery capable of defying all attempts to take it. It was now placed in a state of complete defence, and a mount was raised whereon were four pieces of cannon. A small castle, and behind this the church, which is now a ruin, stood at a little distance from this platform, all within a deep trench, well flanked, in which the Parliamentarians meant to draw water from the river, which ran to the east of the castle. Lord Muskerry advanced to encamp in the parish of Bunratty, having taken a castle upon quarter which stood at the entrance into the park, wherein the enemy had left some musqueteeis. The finest deer in Ireland roamed through the park; and the Irish soldiers took good care to supply themselves with plenty of venison; the wood, too, was preserved from destruction because the dry brush afforded better firing, and was easier gathered. Lieut-General Purcell, Major-General Stephenson, and Colonel Purcell, all veteran officers who had served in the German wars, were principally instructed with the conduct of this action. (Billing.) After soma skirmishing, they became masters of nil the ground without the broad, deep trench on the west side of the castle, and sat down at such a distance that the brow of the bank kept Muskerry's camp from being annoyed from the castle or the mount. Faggots and baskets were supplied by the under wood. The garrison in the castle was brought by a portion of the Parliamentarian fleet on the Irish coast, under the command of Sir William Penn, which had arrived in the Shannon on the 11th of March, 1646, and which in its course up the river had committed several atrocities on the unprotected inhabitants ; it anchored between six and seven o'clock on the same evening off Bunratty, and sent a trumpetter to the Earl of Thomond, with a letter from Sir William Penn and Lieut.-Colonel MacAdam,—the Earl received it kindly, embracing the motion, and promising to join them. (Memorials of Sir William Penn). After negociations, which were carried on the next day by Sir Teague M'Mahon—the Earl not appearing in person—they landed 700 men on an island close to Bunratty; Captain Uuntly, one of the Earl's retinue, waiting on them, invited them to confer with the Karl, with whom they dined, and found him well disposed towards the Parliament; the soldiers then marched over, and quartered in Bunratty that night. The Earl was evidently anxious to play off the Admiral and his party if he could; but he committed himself irretrievably to them. (Memorials of Sir William Penn). The ship, which the pilot told them might go up within two or three cable's length of Bunratty, at five fathoms at low water, grounded on a ledge of rocks six feet high at the north side of the river, and was not got off without difficulty, and sustaining severe injury. The seige was carried on with skill and bravery on both aides ; the beseiged, who were supplied with men from the ships, sallied out often, but owing to the proximity of the hill, and other causes, their sallies did no harm. In one of them, however, on the 1st of April, Captain Magrath, commander-in-chief of the Irish horse, was wounded; a route followed, in which a large number of the Confederate army were taken prisoners by the Parliamentarians. In the afternoon a general attack was made on the Confederate camp at Six Mile Bridge, where a hot engagement ensued, which terminated in the overthrow of the Confederate camp, the soldiers of which were pursued two miles, and 250 bags of oatmeal, and other provisions which were found in the camp, were taken by the Parliamentarians, whose stores were well nigh exhausted. Captain Magrath and a lieutenant, both of whom had died of their wounds, were honorably buried with three vollies of small shot. Previously to this Lord Muskerry had made every exertion to distract the attention of the
* Sir Barnabas O'Brien, sixth Earl of Thomond. On his arrival in England, where he married Mary, youngest daughter of Sir James Fermor, Knight, lineal descendant of the Burons Li.-nipstcr, Earls of Poinfert, he waited on the King at Oxford, who created him Marquis of BiUiug, in Northamptonshire, a title never enjoyed by his posterity, as the patent did not pass the Great Seal owing to the troubles.—Lodge. [He was descended from Conor, who d. in i 539; Inchiquin from Mokkoou the Tanist who died in 1551. The last Earl of Thomond died in 1741. The above ancestors were brothers.]
The nuncio writing from Limerick in the 16th of this month, thus describes the thanksgivings offered up upon this occasion.1 The next day (Sunday 14th June, 1646,) at four o'clock in the afternoon, a triumphal procession ■was formed from the church of St. Francis, where the standards had been deposited. The whole of the military in Limerick under arms led the way, after them came the standards, borne aloft by the gentlemen of the city. The nuncio accompanied by the Archbishop of Cashel and the Bishops of Limerick, Clonfert and Ardfert followed; after whom came the members of the supreme council, the mayor and magistrates in their robes of office. The people filled the streets and windows, and on the arrival of the procession at the cathedral, the Te Deum was sung by the nuncios choir. He himself offered up the accustomed prayers, and concluded with a solemn benediction. Next morning he assisted at the mass in St. Mary's Cathedral, for the giving of thanks, which was chanted by the Dean of Fermo in St. Mary's Cathedral, in the presence of the prelates and magistrates above mentioned.8
The negociations and intrigues which followed these events,8 and which ended in the signing of Ormond's peace in 1646, fill a large space in the history of the times. The Nuncio protested with all the vehemence he could employ, and summoned the prelates and other chiefs among the clergy, with the heads of religious houses to meet him at Waterford, where with all the formality of an apostolic visitation, or a regular national synod, the peace was unanimously denounced, the scruples or fears of those who inclined towards it, were set at rest by promises of Rinnuccini that large assistance would come from Rome, and that the Archbishop of Cashel had given his assent by saying " in verbo tuo laxabo rete."
besieged, and to lodge a number of his soldiers in a place by which a part of the army might be enabled to invest the castle ; this was successfully executed, but the soldiers, hearing a noise which they imagined was the approach of cavalry, fled in consternation, the sergeant appointed to command the party being the first to take to his heels, relying on too great indulgence hitherto observed in such cases. Lord Muskerry, however, made a stern example— the sergeant and ten soldiers were executed on the spot. To make up for the partial reverse, Lieut.-Colonel Mac Adam, who is admitted by Billing to have been a most skilful and couragious officer, whose loss to the Parliamentarians was irreperable, was killed by an accidental shot from a field piece that was planted among gabions.* His loss was the main cause of the capture of Bnnratty by the Confederate army. Several pages of that very interesting- work, "The Memorials of Sir William Penn," (2 vols., Duncan, London, 1833) are occupied with a diary of this seige, and with the proceedings of the Parliamentarians before Bunratty. During the time they attacked the castles of Rossmanaher, Cappagh, Kenane, Captain Hunt's castle, &c, and killed many inoffensive country people, who, in the diary of the operations, are called "Rogues," &c. iSc. The progress of the seige was satisfactorily hastened by the presence of Binunccini, the Papal Nuncio, who remained at Bunratty twelve days, forwarding the batteries, completing the undertaking, and ultimately, when victory crowned the effort with success, causing the English standards to be carried through the streets of Limerick as trophies of the Catholic religion. (Nvnziatura).
1 From the Nunziatnra in Irlanda: Florence, 1844.
* Among those killed at Benburb was Lord Blany; Lord Montgomery who commanded the horse, was made prisoner; in his pocket was found a note of the lists of the army on their way to Kilkenny, where they expected to be in twelve days march. Besides the general joy which so signal a victory was to all the confederates, and the solemn thanks which were rendered to God for it by the Council and Nuncio at Limerick, the Pope, as soon as he had heard of it, went in person to Santa Maria Major at Rome, to be present at the Te Deum he caused to be sung for the good success of the Catholics in Ireland.—Billing's Fragmenbim Uistoriaim.
* In a letter to the Father General of the Jesuits, at Rome, the Nuncio complains that the Fathers of the Society in Ireland were the causes of all the commotions against him, and that they raised disobedience to his interdicts. He states, however, that the Rector of the Order in Limerick refused to obey Father Molone, the Superior in Ireland who conducted the intrigues against him. He adds that in Kilkenny, by his (the Nuncio's) influence, the Jesuit Fathers obtained the Abbatial Church of St John, and in Waterford the Church of St. Peter.
* Lieutenant-Colonel John MacAdam was an ancestor, I am informed, of the MacAdams of Blackwater House, in the County of Clare.