Page images
PDF
EPUB

Massacre on Vinegar-hill.* “ The rebels committed such Protestants as were not fortunate enougti to retreat to Wexford with the loyalists, or to escape into the woods, to å prison on Vinegar-Hill, formed by the walls of an old windmill; and then proceeded to try them by a court-martial, which sat constantly for that purpose. The only charge against them was their being Orangemen, which was synonimous with Protestants. On the morniog of Tuesday, the 29th of May, they put to death twenty-four persons of the established church, by shooting some, and piking others, in front of the rebel line; of whom one was Mr. Henry Hatton, port-rieve of the town of Enniscorthy, an innocent, unoffending gentleman. They burned the glebehouse of Enniscorthy to asies, but converted the out-offices into stores, for holding provisions and arms for the camp.

“ A committee of twelve, consisting of some rebel officers and three priests, viz. fathers Roche, Kearns, and Clinch, and at times, Father Joha Murphy, continued constantly to sit, and to superintend and regulate the concerns of the camp, and the newly established republick. When the business of the day was over, they dined together at a table regularly furnished with the best viands which the country could afford, and with delicious wines, taken from the cellars of the neighbouring gentlemen.

“ They sent gangs of assassins round all the adjacent country, commanded by rebel officers, in quest of Protestants, who seized such of them as could not make their escape, and committed them to prisons at the foot of the hill or in the town,

“ The walls of an old windmill, on the top of the hill, served as a fold to contain the victims who supplied the sacrifice of the day; and when the rebel ranks were on parade, they were led forth and butchered in their presence, and as a regale to them; and what was very singular, the executioners often knelt down, crossed themselves, and said a prayer, before they immolated the victims, who were frequently almost famished before they were led to execution, from the bad and scanty food with which they were supplied.

" The camp was constantly attended by from ten to twenty priests,

* A mountain twelve miles from Wexford.

+ In a confession of faith, found in the box of a Priest, at Gorey, were the following articles :“ We are not to keep our oaths, with heretics." • We are not to believe their Oaths, for their principles are damnation." “ We are bound to drive heretics out of the land, with fire, sword, faggot and confusion,"

who daily said mass at the head of each rebel column, and afterwards pronounced an exhortation to animate them in the extirpation of heresy, and in the exclusive establishment of their own, the only true orthodox faitb.

.

Every morning, when the rebels paraded on Vinegar-bill, they put to death from fifteen to thirty Protestants in their presence, as an amusement to them. And this was done with the solemnity of an execution under a judicial sentence.

“ The gangs of pikemen, who were sent to roam the country in quest of Protestants to supply the grand slaughter-house at Vinegar-hill, could not restrain their thirst for blood, and often killed iheir prisoners on the spot where they seized them, though contrary to the orders of their leaders.

On the thirtieth day of May, William Neal, Henry and Bryan,' his sons, were seized at their house at Ballybrennan, by a band of assassins, who were sent from the camp in search of Protestants, and were conveyed to Vinegar-Hill camp. Michael Maddock and Joseph Murphy were leaders of the party. The former called them Orangemen, meaning Protestants, and wanted to kill them as such, but was over-ruled by some others of the band. Bryan Neal offered them his horse and cow to liberate them, but Maddock said, “ that the cattle of all Orangemen belonged to them al

ready."

When they arrived on Vinegar-hill, Murphy said he would not bring in any more Orangemen, unless they put them to death directly; on which a conference was held, when the father and the two sons were immediately condemned. They first led out to execution Bryan, who begged they would shoot him, instead of torturing him with pikes. One of the rebels said he should not die so easy a death; and instantly struck him on the head with a carpenter's adz, which made him stagger a few yards : but he was soon brought back, when one of them stabbed him in the side with a spear, anoiher in the neck, and a third shoved them aside, and shot him. William, the father, who was then brought forth, solicit. ed to be shot; and having complied with his request, they put him on his knees. The exesutioner missed fire at him three times, on which Fe. ther Roche, the general who attended the execution, desired him to try whether his firelock would go off in the air ? he accordingly tried and it succeeded. Father Roche then gave him a protection and ordered him to be discharged, having inputed his escape to Divine Providence. Morphy and Maddock were near neighbours, and supposed to be the intimate friends of the Neal family, who had no suspicion that they had harboured such sanguinary hatred against them, on account of their being of the

Protestant persuasion. William Neale had another son burnt at the barn of Scollabogue.

Charles Davis, a glazier of Enniscorthy, and of the Protestant religion, fought against the rebels in defence of that town, but was afterwards made a prisoner, and conveyed to Vinegar hill, by a party of rebels, who informed him that as he was an Orangeman, he would be put to death. On his arrival in the camp he saw about forty bodies lying dead, quite naked, and very much mangled with pikes; among which he porceived the body of Mr. Henry Hatton, port-rieve of the town of Enniscorthy. The rebels desired him, insultingly, to lay bis hands on his deceased friends, whom they called hereticks, and told him that all the heretics in the kingdom should share the same fate. They then put him on his knees, in the midst of the dead bodies, and shot him through the body and the arm, and gave him several pike wounds; after which they buried him, covering his body lightly with sods. He lay in that situation from seven o'clock in the evening till five next morning, when he found a dog, who had scraped away the sods, licking his wounds. A party of rebels, who were near the grave, perceiving the motion of his body, exclaimed—" the dead is coming to life; and that Davis should have a priest, as he could not obtain salvation without one." Father Sutton, of Eoniscorthy, who was in the camp, administered the rites of his church to him, and told him, he was sorry to see him in that situation ; but as there was no prospect of his recovery, he was glad that he was to die under his bands. He was then delivered to his wife, who conveyed him to his own house, where, with the aid of medical assistance, he recovered. These facts have been verified by affidavit, and are universally known. Charles Davis, who is now living, shewed me his wounds.

“ John Mooney, servant to Dr. Hill, and a Protestant, was taken prisoner, and conducted to the wind-mill prison on the top of Vinegarhill, the 31st day of May; and found there sixteen Protestant prisoners, with some of whom he had been long acquainted. They were desired to prepare for death, and soon after a ruffian entered the prison, with a drawn hanger, and began to torture the prisoners by way of amusement; but the rebel centinel stopped him, and said, that as they were lo die soon, it was cruel to torment them. In a few minutes, one of the prisoners was dragged out of the mill door, and shot; and soon after the remainder were. executed in the same manner. Among them there was a well-dressed respectable looking man, and his son, a boy about thirteen years old. The father seemed to bear his approaching dissolution with great fortitude, supposing that they would not injure his son on account of bis tender age; but what agonizing pangs must he have felt, when his child Vol. I. [Prot, Adv. Septemler, 1813.]

4 P

was butchered in his presence, and he, when led out to execution, was obliged to step over his bleeding corpse, which fell across the door!

“ Neither youth nor age were spared by these sanguinary ruffians :feeble old men, and blooming boys, alike fell a sacrifice to their brutal ferocity; and the tender sex were frequently violated, and then inbumanly butchered. To such deeds of blood, the deluded rebels were orged on by their designing priests, and were taught, by their spiritual guides, to believe that the only true road to heaven was over the bodies of heretics.

" It was to be hoped and expected, that the concessions made to the Roman Catholics, for above (wenty years, would have attached them to the State, and would have united them with their Protestant fellow-subjects, in the bonds of brotherly love, and Christian charity: and yet, Dot only the late rebellion, but incidents which daily occur, afford incontestible proofs, that the tenets of their religion, and the conduct of their priests, will always make it impracticable."

Massacre at Scullabogue. " I contemplate with horror, and relate with reluctance, an occurrence which took place on the day of the battle of Ross,* which will remain a lasting disgrace to human nature, and an indelible stain on the county of Wexford. During the encampment of the rebels on Carrickbyrne-hill, a party of them were posted at Scullabogue, within half a mile of the camp, where a barn was converted into a prison for the confinement of Protestant prisoners. Bands of assassins were sent round the adjacent country in quest of Protestants, whom they meant to extirpate, when they accomplished their final purpose of overturning the Government. On the eve of the thirtieth of May, Captain King, the proprietor of Sculla. bogue, was advised to abandon his house and to carry off what valuable effects he could, as a camp was to be formed the day after on Carrick. byrne-hill, which is within half a mile of Scullabogue.

“Next day he made his escape, and the rebels took possession house. It appears on the evidence of different persons, that one hundred and eighty-four Protestants were burned in the barn of Scollabogue, and that thirty-seven were shot in the front of it. The following circumstance appeared by the evidence of Richard Silvester, a witness on the trial of Phelim Fardy, one of the wretches concerned in that horrid

The 5th of June 1798. On the approach of the Rebels to the town of Ross, i great number of Priests with their vestments on, and crucifres in their hands, by moving through the ranks, and animating them by their harangues, kindled a degres of enthusiastic ardour in them, which nothing but fanaticism could inspire.

affair: that when the rebels encamped on Carrickbyrne-hill marched towards Ross, on the fourth day of June, the Protestant prisoners were left at Scollabogue under a guard of three hundred rebels, commanded by John Murphy, of Loughnageer, a rebel Captain ; Nicolas Sweetman and Walter Devereux, who both beld the same rank: that when the rebel army began to give way at Ross, an express was sent to Morphy, to put the Protestant prisoners to death, as the King's troops were gaining the day ; but Morphy refused to comply, without a direct order from the General : That he soon after received another message to the same purpose, with this addition, that the prisoners, if released, would become very torious and vindictive: That shortly after another espress arrived, saying, the Priest gave orders that the prisoners should be put to death : That the rebels on hearing the sanction of the Priest, became outrageous, and began to pall off their clothes, the better to perform the bloods deed : That when they were leading the prisoners out from the dwelling-house to shoot them, he turned away from such a scene of horror ; on which a rebel struck him with a pike upon the back, and said, he would let his guts out, if he did not follow him ; That he then attended the rebels to the barn, in which there was a great number of men, women, and children ; and that the rebels were endeavouring to set fire to it, while the poor prisoners, shrieking and crying out for mercy, crowded to the back door of the barn, which they forced open, for the purpose of admitting air ; that for some time they continued to put the door between them and the rebels, who were piking or shooting them; that in attempting to do so, their bands and fingers were cut off; that the rebels continued to force into the barn bundles of straw, to increase the fire. At last, the prisoners having been overcome by the fame and smoke, their moans and cries gradually died away in the silence of death.

" It was proved on the trial of John Keefe, convicted by a court martial on the fourteenth day of April, 1800, on the evidence of Robert Mills, that, after the bloody work began, he saw the prisoner with a pike, the point of which was broken, and the top of the shaft or handle was bloody; that be carried it to an adjoining forge, whetted it on a sharpening stone, and then proceeded to the front of the dwelling-house, where they were shooting the prisoners. Among the persons most conspicuous, we find the names of Fardy, Sinnott, Michell, or Miscally, who trampled on the dead and wounded bodies, and behaved otherwise in such a ferocious manner, as to obtain from the rebels the appellation of the true born Romans.

" William Ryan, a farmer, about three miles from Scullabogue, had a daughter who was kept by a Protestant gentleman at Duncannon. The

« PreviousContinue »