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wretched vassals, that they would gladly have transferred their ill requited allegiance to the fostering controul of English law ;. certainly when once they had submitted to it, and tasted the sweetness of an impartial adıninistration of justice, of the secure possession of property, and the valuable privilege of transmitting it to their children, they never would bave revolted, to submit to a slavery which had no recommendation from interest, or personal security.
But when the government, by a most cruel and absurd implication, confounded the sept with the chieftain, and because he resisted, confiscated their property ; they took from them more than they couid ever. make a recompense for, and created a common interest with their tyrant, whom it otherwise would have been more natural for them to, desert, when the enjoyment of a more lenient government was within their reach.
Di But, the object of the English govern ment at that", ţime, was plynder, and confiscation; they despised the natives too much to consider them as objects of care,
or civil improveinent;: they were only solicitous to improve every pretext for making forfeitures.
We have seen that the territories of Leix and Offaly, were confiscated under Edward VI. and the septs, as well as their leaders, banished or destroyed. This circumstance had given rise to frequent rebellions under Mary; and, as well as we can collect, the septs, viz. the O'Moors, and O'Connors, had succeeded in a certain degree in recovering part of their possessions by force of arms.
The reign of Elizabeth began ominously for Ireland, Her first instructions to Lord Sussex were, for “the distribution of Leix, Offaly, together with Iry, Glanmacaliry, and Slemergie." By the memorial of Sir J. Perrot, we find that all these lands were made estates in tail to Englishmen.
We have seen that the English government had influenced the chieftain Con O'Neil, to surrender his territory, and take back a grant of it, with remainder to his bastard son Matthew, and his issue, instead of his legitimate son, Shane O'Neil. This policy exactly resembled what the English
government has practised in later times in India ; they raised a person to the throne, in violation of the customary mode of succession, who depended for his station on their power, who was strictly a dependant, and might be set aside whenever a favourable opportunity occurred *. death of the father, Shane O'Neil was elected chieftain according to ancient usage. The English made war against him as an usurper; he is slain by treachery; and his territory, which in the eye of the English government itself, could not, by its own act, be considered as belonging to him, but to the issue of the bastard Matthew, was confiscated for his supposed rebellion ; and the issue of Matthew, who had been guilty of no rebellion, were left destitute! So that in order to divest Shane, the territory was
The same policy was adopted by the late Empress of Russia, in the conquest of the Crimea. Her directions were to support the weaker chieftains of the Tartars against the stronger, and to take every opportunity of appointing chieftains in the interest of Russia. There is nothing peculiar in the History of Ireland, or in the nature of the Irish; it is the history of spoliation, of resistance and suffering, which has taken place in so many nations, whose only fault has been their weakness.
reputed Matthew's; and in order to get rid of Matthew's claim, the territory was confiscated as Shane's.
But in fact it belonged to neither. It was the great province of Ulster, which the chieftain possessed as a king, not as a landlord, and drew his revenue from various imposts on the gross produce of the territory, and not from the territory itself.
The lands belonged to the sept, and were lield by them in joint tenancy. To talk of confiscating the lands of Shane O'Neil was the same as if the emperor of Austria was to confiscate the lands of the elector of Bavaria, to dispossess every old proprietor, and let every acre of ground to undertakers. To confiscate the most flourishing quarter of Ireland was even then much more easy to decree, than effect; and though this monstrous exploit was perpetrated in the end, yet at first, it was more within the measure of the cupidity of the English government, than its power.
Yet the confiscation was decreed, and Elizabeth, with all the rapaciousness of a land pirate, took a share in the adventure.
The account is curious:
“ On the 9th of July, 1573; the Queen granted the Earl of Essex the half of the signories of Clanneboy and Ferney, &c. &c. The Earl was to go thither with 200 horse, and 400 foot, and maintain them for two years. ' Afterwards the Queen and Earl were to keep an equal military force at their several expence, for the defence of their respective shares. Each was to bear an equal charge for erecting fortifications. Afterwards, division was to be made by commissioners, and then each might for twenty years build on her or his respective share, as they pleased : each might dispose of five thousand acres as they pleased ; the Earl was to be Captain-general for seven years, and was to plant his part, as well as the Quee: her's, until there should be a thousand English inhabitants in each moiety.
The royal and lordly robbers took their measures with the duplicity of conscious villainy. The Lord Deputy, Sir William Fitzwilliams, was instructed to give out that Essex came to repel the Scots, and