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The transplantation of the Irish into Connaught.


IWELL'and his council, finding the utter extirpation of the nation, which they had intended, to be in itself very difficult, and to carry in it fomewhat of horror, that made some impression upon the stone-hardness of their own hearts, after so many thousands destroyed by the sword, fire, famine, and the plague; and after so many thousands transported into foreign parts, found out the following expedient of transplantation, which they called an act of grace. There was a large tract of land, even to the half of the province of Connaught, that was separated from the rest, by a long and large river, and which, by the plague and many massacres, remained almost desolate. Into this space and circuit of land, they required all the Irish (" whom Cromwell had declared innocent of the rebellion,” says Leland,) to retire by a certain day," under the penalty of death ; and all who after


Clarend. Life, vol. ii. p. 116.

? Hift. Ir. vol. iii. p. 409:

· By a proclamation of Cromwell and his council, printed at Dublin by William Bladon, in the year 1654, “ they were commanded to transplant themselves before the ist day of March next ensuing, into the province of Connaught, and county of Clare, according to former declarations, and to address themselves to those that are there empowered for that purpose, to take out their respective assignments for lands, and proceed to build and settle themselves there, and make provision for their families; and this upon the highest penalties.” See Walth's Reply to a Person of Quality, p. 33.

The same contemporary writer mentions, “ the rigorous execution of this proclamation, in the long imprisonment of some, the exile of others, and the death of Hethrington in the market-place of Dublin, for not obeying it, as the paper his breast when he was executed, expressing the cause of his death, did manifest : and in the general rule so well known,



that time, should be found in any other part of the kingdom, man, woman, or child might be killed, by any body who saw or met them. The land within this circuit, the most barren in the kingdom, was, out of the grace and mercy of the conquerors, assigned to those of the nation who were enclosed, in such

proportions as might with great industry preserve their lives; and to those persons from whom they had taken great quantities of land in other provinces, they alligned greater proportions within this precinct. And that they might not be exalted with this merciful donative, it was a condition that accompanied this their accommodation, that they should all give releases of their former rights and titles to the land that was taken from them, in consideration of what was now assigned them ; and so they should for ever bar themselves, and their heirs, from laying claim to their old inheritance. What should they do,” continues my author,

they would not be permitted to go out of this precinct, to

shift which they had to force the obedience of all the Irish to that proclamation, turning them to Barbadoes, or putting them to death, expressed in plain English at Kilkenny by Colonel Axtel, in the case of Mrs. Martha Harpol.” Id. ib. p. 148.

b «« That all the transplanted Irish (fays Walsh) to a man, at least the generality of them, and hereof: I am very certain, deny any kind of exchange or bargain made by them for such lands, in lieu of their own proper estates, or any release given, or disclaim made, or promise engaged to quit from thenceforth, or at any time after, their own former titles to those estates, whence they had been so forcibly removed : and likewise deny that they could, if they would, prejudice, or bind, those of their children who had, by antient or late agreement, before the wars, those

estates entailed


them.” Id. ib. Yet even those unhappy gentlemen, who were thus violently driven from their own fair estates, into those barren waftes of Connaught and Clare (though after a most rigorous inquisition by the late usurpers, they were all found innocent of the rebellion), were, after the king's return, debarred by his declaration for the settlement of Ireland, from being ever restored to their estates, on pretence :“ that they had sued out decrees from the usurpers (which, on the highest penalty, they were compelled to do), and were bound thereby, and were not to be relieved against their own act.” See his majesty's Declaration, November 1660. Cart. Orm. vol. ii. fol. 216.

shift for themfelves elsewhere ; and without this assig. nation, they must ftarve here, as many did daily die of famine."

" In this deplorable condition, and under this confternation, they found themselves obliged to accept, or fubmit to, the hardest conditions of their conquerors ; and fo figned fuch conveyances and releases as were prepared for them, that they might enjoy those lands which belonged to other men. And by this means, the plantation of Connaught, as they called it, was finished, and all the Irish nation was enclosed with in that circuit;" the rest of Ireland being left to the English. Some few estates were left to the old lords and just proprietors, who being all protestants (for no Roman catholics were admitted) had either never offended them, or had served them, or had made compofition for their delinquencies, by the benefit of some




3 Clarend. Life, vol. ii: p. 117.

p. 148.

Father Walsh, who was thoroughly acquainted with the affairs of these transplanted gentlemen, afferts, “ that he knew some of those who had not ten pounds lands per annum afsigned them in Connaught, whose proper estates at home, in their own countries, whence they had been removed, were worth a thousand a year.". Reply to a Person of Quality, p. 147. “ Others were transplanted that got nothing at all.” Id. ib.

This transplantation, grievous and shocking as it appears in this authentic description of it, has been represented by a late historian;, rather as a piece of necessary and ufeful policy, at that time, than'as an act of severity and injustice to the Irish. “ Connaught, (says that writer) was reserved entirely for the Irish, under the qualifications determined by parliament. Here they were to confine themfelves, and to enjoy their several proportions of land; that fo the new English planters might proceed without interruption, and without that danger of degenerating, which former ages had experienced from an intercourse with the Irish; and the natives, divided by the Shannon from the other provinces, and surrounded by Englifh garrisons, might be restrained from their old barbarous incursions." Lel. Hift. of Ir. vol. iii. p. 396.


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High courts of justice in Ireland. ABOUT this time, a new tribunal, under the title of an high court of justice,“ was erected, by the usurpers, in different parts of both kingdoms, for the trial of rebels and malignants, that is to say, of those who were still found faithful to the king. That which fat at Dublin, in 1652, was besides authorised,'

to hear


i Borl. Irish Rebel.

“ These gentlemen (says an intelligent, contemporary, and impartial writer) were thus transplanted, without cattle to stock that land, without seed to sow, or plough to manure it ; without servants, without shelter, without house or cabbin to dwell in, or defend them from the wolves, or from robbers, or from heat or cold, or other injuries of the air. And the miserable Irish fo transplanted, must not even in those small tracts allotted for them, within the narrow precincts of fome parks in three or four counties of Connaught, and Thomond, pitch in any place, or fix their dwelling houses, or take any lands within two miles of the Shannon, four of the sea, and four of Galway, the only city within their precinct: they must not enter this town, or any other corporate or garrisoned place, without particular orders, at their peril, "even of being taken by the throat." Walsh's Reply to a Person of Quality, p. 145.

· In Ireland, the first high court of justice fat at Kilkenny, where the confederates had usually held their general assembly and supreme council ; they were attended, and sat in very great state, with twenty-four halberdiers in good apparel for their guard, and all other officers suitable. The president of this court was one justice Donellan, an Irish native, picked out (says my author) for the greater terror of the delinquents ; to whom, as alliftants, were joined justice Cook, the infamous solicitor against the late king, and commiffary-general Reynolds. These judges would have most wickedly, and by all abominable artifices, of soothing and threatening, tempted their prisoners to accuse the late king as a principal in the Irish insurrection, “ but found not, by all their fcelerate practices, what they fought for, Brief Chronicle of the Civil Wars, &c. pi 616.


and determine, all massacres and murders, done or committed since the first day of October 1641 ; that is to say, the actors, contrivers, promoters, abettors, aiders, and assisters of any of the said massacres or murders, or killing after quarter given.” From the iniquitous and bloody sentences frequently pronounced in these courts, they were commonly called Cromwell's slaughter-houses ; ' “ for no articles were pleadable in them: and against a charge of things said to be done twelve years before, little or no defence could be made ; and the cry that was made of blood, aggravated with expressions of so much horror, and the no less daunting aspect of the court, quite confounded the amazed prisoners, so that they came like sheep to the slaughter.”

And indeed, what else could be expected at a time when all distinctions of right and wrong were confounded, and lost in those of power and impotence;? " when the noblest acts of loyalty (says the Marquis of Ormond himself) received the judgment due to the foulest treason, due to the unrighteous judges that pronounced it, without authority in the persons, or justice in the sentence; when the benches were crowded and oppressed, with the throng and wicked weight of those that ought rather to have stood manacled at the bar, when such was the bold contempt, not only of the essentials, but also of the very formalities of justice, that they gave no reason for taking away men's estates, but that they were Irish papists; when all men were liable to the entanglements of two-edged oaths, from the conflicts raised by them in men's breasts, between conscience and conveniency ; between the prostitution of their confciences, and the ruin of their fortunes ; than which an harder and more tyrannical choice could not be obtruded on christians. For here the election was not, swear thus against your conscience, or you shall have no part in the civil government, no office in the


2 Hift. of Independency.
3 Ormond's Speech to Parliament. Borl. Irish Rebel.

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