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C H A P.
The treaty with the Duke of Lorrain considered.
It must be confessed, that this imminent danger of the whole kingdom's falling under the power of the English rebels, did induce Sir Nicholas Plunkett and Geoffry Brown, Efq; (commissioners on that occasion appointed by Lord Clanrickard) to yield to the folici. tations of some private agents of the Irish clergy, then at Brussels, to agree to the terms proposed by the Duke of Lorrain, rather than break off the treaty ; for which the deputy severely reprimanded, and threatened to proclaim them. But even that step they did not take without previous encouragement from the Queen, the Duke of York, and the Marquis of Ormond himself.
* The Duke of Lorrain had, in the year 1645, shewn fo. great a propensity to assist his majesty, as appears by the queen's letter to the king from Paris, of the 27th January, 1646, that he prepared to raise ten thousand men for that purpose. But that design having been fatally disappointed at that time (see Clanric. Mem. Dub. ed. p. 41.), the Irish clergy, mindful of his highness's former generous inclinations, privately employed Dr. Nicholas French, Bishop of Ferns, and Father William Bourke, Provincial of the Dominicans, to folicit the duke for these aids, now much more wanted than at any time before. They at the same time fent Colonel Oliver Synot to the Marquis of Ormond, to know his opinion of this negociation. What encouragement he gave them, in his letter to Lord Taaffe on that subject, to proceed in it, shall presently be seen. To the above mentioned procurators for the clergy, were afterwards added, Hugh O'Reilly, Archbishop of Armagh ; Thomas Fleming, Archbishop of Dublin ; Edmund Demply, Bishop of Leighlin ; Norbert Barry, Bishop of Cork ; and Francis Kirwan, Epifcop
Alladensis. Cox's Hist. part 2d. App. p. 177. • The fourth article of that treaty, so much censured, is, « The Duke of Lorrain is to do nothing in derogation of the king's authority or jurisdiction in Ireland, but rather to amplify
“ For, their commission being accompanied with instructions for application to be made to the Queen, the Duke of York, and the Lord Lieutenant, upon their landing ; in accomplishment thereof, Lord Taaffe repaired to Paris, and presented to her Majesty, the Duke of York, and Lord Lieutenant, all the papers and instructions, which they had received concerning that treaty; among which were the propositions agreed to and advised by the general assembly, for obtaining the protection and future succour of the kingdom ; which were in effect the same with the articles afterwards concluded with the Duke of Lorrain. And the said papers having been considered by her Majesty, the Duke of York, and Lord Lieutenant, her majesty directed her letters to Sir Nicholas Plunkett and Geoffry Brown, Esq; willing them to give credit to Lord Taaffe, in what he should relate unto them concerning that affair. By Lord Taaffe they understood, that her Majesty, the Duke of York, and Lord Lieutenant wished his highness would undergo the charge; and that he should meet with no opposition from any of them : yet that, by any instrument under their hands, they could not consent to it, left it might draw danger on the king's person, being then in the power of the Scots; and in pursuance of this letter of credence, Lord Taaffe advised, that they should proceed to a conclusion of the treaty.
The Marquis of Ormond, after having been informed by Lord Taaffe of the particulars of this transaction, wrote back to his lordship, “ that, touching the business of Ireland, and the Duke of Lorrain, for ought appearing to him, there was nothing done, that were to be wished undone ; and for what remained to produce new and further supplies, it was left to the agreement that should be made with his agent, by the VOL. II.
· Clanrick. Memoirs, p. 131.
3 Id. ib. p. 77
it: and having restored the kingdom and religion, to their true pristine estate, he is to resign chearfully the kingdom to the king." Borl. Irish Rebel. fol.
Marquis of Clanrickard, assisted by such as the late general assembly had appointed; who, as they were best judges of their own condition, so they had free liberty from his majesty, in case of high necessity, to endeavour their own preservation, even by receiving conditions from the rebels, which must be much more contrary to his interests, than to receive them from any other, almost upon any terms." He afterwards reminds his lordship,' "' that he had already made his application, where the king commanded he should, and that fo he was fairly quit of the matter."
3 Clanrick. Memoirs.
The king himself, in a letter to Lord Clanrickard, condescended to apologize for these commiffioners. For, after having told that lord, “ that they excused their having consented to this treaty with the Duke of Lorrain, only by the remediless necessities they then conceived Ireland to be in, and the absolute despair they had to procure a present supply by any other means,” he informs him, “ that they kept both parts of the articles in their hands, till his pleasure should be known; and that they had not, in that transaction, any purpose of undutifulness or disrespect towards him, which," adds his majesty, “ we are willing to believe, and graciously accept their future service ; and we recommend them to your good opinion and favour, to the end, that upon their application to you, you may receive them into the same place of confidence and esteem, you have formerly had of them, and use their advice and service as heretofore.” Članrick. Mem. Dub. ed. p. 120.
And in a letter to the Duke of Lorrain himself, after the treaty was broken off, his majesty says, “ he believed those offers which the commissioners made him in thạt treaty, proceeded rather from the smart, anguish and despair those gentlemen felt; and from the languishing and gasping condition of their miserable country, than from their want of affection and duty to him, and his interests." Ib. p. 123.
a The king in a letter to Lord Taaffe, from Johnstone, January 2d, 1650, uses these words, relative to this treaty with the Duke of Lorrain. “ The ways here for my affairs in Ireland being obstructed, I have heretofore entreated the queen to take that care upon her; and if therefore the shall direct you in any thing, you may safely follow her advice and direction, and have my consent to it.” Id. ib. p. 76.
This is the true state of that negociation for the Duke of Lorrain's assistance and protection. But we will suppose, for a moment, the common invidious representation of it to be just, namely, “ that the catholics of Ireland, when theirs and the king's forces were almost entirely reduced, invited the Duke of Lorrain over, engaging, upon his appearing among them with his forces, to deliver up the whole island into his hands, and declare him their sovereign." I say, even supposing this to have been the case, let the can did and impartial judge, from the dismal situation of these catholics at that juncture of time, whether a better or more justifiable project could have been thought
These commissioners, in their apology observe, “that to encourage them farther, and to take off all scruples in concluding the treaty), as well concerning the power, as the willingness of those who were next in trust to his majesty in the affairs of Ireland, Lord Taaffe shewed us two several letters; one from his majesty, intimating, that he referred the affairs of Ireland to his mother, the queen; and the other from the lord lieutenant to Lord Taaffe, approving his treaty with his highness."
Id. ib. p. 134,
e The Duke of Lorrain's proposals were: That he should be declared and acknowledged, protector of Ireland; and that some towns should be put into his hands, and garrisoned by his own troops, as fecurity for the re-payment of the money he should expend in recovering the kingdom from the English rebels. To the latter of these proposals Lord Clanrickard and the Marquis of Ormond, principally objected; although Ormond himself, in a letter to his majesty, in the year 1649, told him, “ that if money to support the Irish war against the English rebels could not be got otherwise than by giving some of his majesty's sea-towns or ports in Ireland, as caution for the re-payment of what fum his majesty could borrow, he humbly conceived that condition was not to be stuck at.”.; Carte's Collect. of Orm. Orig. Papers, vol. ii. p. 400.
And on the 11th of February, in the same year, Secretary Nicholas wrote to the Marquis of Ormond in these words: “ Your excellency, I conceive, will do well to advertise his majesty, whether there be any strong towns or places in Ireland that may be fit and conveniently engaged as caution, to such as will lend his majesty money for the recovery of Ireland.” Id. ib. vol. i. p. 344.
of. They were then reduced to slavery and beggary, by the English' rebels ; many thousands of them murdered, and the rest deprived of their estates. that the question will turn upon this, whether the ca. tholics of Ireland, in this wretched situation, and in utter despair of ever seeing the monarchy restored, for the preservation of which they had suffered so much, were to be blamed for calling in a foreign prince of their own religion, who had a considerable army to support them, rather than submit to so infamous an usurper as Cromwell, of such a bloody and ignominious conventicle, as the rump-parliament! Many protestants, both dissenters' and conformists, who have been conversant in the history of those times, have freely confessed, that, considering the miserable condition the Irish were then in, they could not have thought of a braver or more virtuous attempt ; by which they might have been instruments of restoring the lawful monarch, at least, to the recovery of England and Scotland, from those betrayers, and sellers, and murderers of his royal father.”
And, indeed, his majesty's affairs were then so absolutely desperate, in every part of his dominions, that, after this treaty with the Duke of Lorrain was entirely broken off, the Marquis of Ormond himfelf, abhorrent as he always seemed to be, from any connection with the Irish catholics, and especially with their clergy, advised, that speedy recourse might be had to their supreme spiritual head, the Pope himself, as the only visible means of retrieving them ; which he seemed to think might be happily effected by his Holiness's mediation and influence with the other catholic princes and states. “ To come shortly," says he in a letter to the Marquis of Clanrickard on that occasion, “ to what I would be at, wherein you may be concerned, I conceive fome one must be found, that hath power, if not with all, yet with most christian princes and states. Among the protestants there is none fuch ;
4 Swift's Works.