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Contrivances of Sir Charles Coote and Lord Brogbill


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“THE'king's interest had been so totally extinguished in Ireland, for many years past, that there was no person of any consideration there, who pretended to revive it. At the death of Cromwell, and at the deposition of his son Richard, Henry Cromwell was invested with the full authority in Ireland; the two presidents of Munster and Connaught, were Lord Broghill and Sir Charles Coote, both equally depending on the lord lieutenant; and they the more depended upon him, and courted his protection, by their not loving one another, though still agreeing in a long averfion to the king, by multiplications of guilt. Amidst the many fucceeding changes in the government, the two presidents remained in their several provinces, with full power ; either because they had not deserved to be suspected, or because they could not be easily removed.” Some fufpicion, however, there was of Lord Broghill, which he took uncommon pains to remove; for, but a few months before the king was restored, he wrote to Secretary Thurloe, “ that he had heard, he and his friends were misrepresented in England, as persons, that intended to set up for themselves, and to make Ireland a back door to let Charles Stewart into England

; and thereby, at one blow, to cut up by the roots the precious rights they had been so long contending for. But he professed, that he knew nothing further from the thoughts of all his acquaintance and friends ; for that interest, as well as duty, would keep them from so ruinous a wickedness.” a



· Clarend. Life, vol. ii. p. 107.

War. Hift. Ir. Reb.

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Broghill's biographer, panegyrist and chaplain, tells us, that at a council of the usurpers in the time of Richard Crom


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In the confusion that now arose, from different tevolutions in the state, Sir Charles Coote took an opportu-. nity to send an express to the king, with a tender of his obedience, and with great cautions, as to the time of appearing ; only desiring,' 3" to have such commissions in his hands, as might be applied to his majesty's service in a proper conjuncture; which were sent to him, and never made use of by him. He expressed great jealousy of Broghill, and unwillingness that he should know of his engagement. Coote found assistance to feize upon the castle of Dublin, and the persons of those that were in authority, who were imprisoned by him; and the government was settled in such a manner, as was thought most agreeable to the presbyterian huniour; until, upon the king's restoration, General Monck was declared lord lieutenant of Ireland ; soon after which, the king was proclaimed at Dublin, and in every

other part of the kingdom.”

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3 Clarend. ubi supra.

P. 56.

well, “ he offered a test to purge the army, which was, that all fhould be turned out of it who would not swear to defend the government as it was then established under the protector and parliament.” Morrice's Mem. prefixed to Orrery's State Letters,

But even after the king was proclaimed, “ the pulpits, filled with Scots covenanters, rang with nothing but warm exhortations to stand by the covenant, even unto blood, virulent invectives against the bishops and vehement harangues against episcopacy and liturgies. These were the only subjects of their preachings for four months together.” Cart. Orm. vol. ii. f. 208. " It was by the underhand encouragement of some great men (who did not care to declare themselves openly) that the sectaries grew fo bold at this time, as to petition against bishops, and so refractory as to insult the laws, which obliged them to conformity.". Id. ib. f. 210.

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Commisioners fent from Ireland; their characters

and designs. As soon as the king was proclaimed, Sir Charles Coote and his associates sent 'commissioners to his majesty, whom they called commissioners from the state ; and a present of money from the same, accompanied with all those professions of duty, which could be ex, pected from the best of subjects.

These commissioners were the Lord Broghill, Sir Audley Mervin, Sir John Clotworthy, and several other persons of quality, much the greater number whereof? “had been always notorious for the differvice they had done the king. All these commissioners from the state had instructions, to which they were to conform, in defiring nothing from the king, but the settling of his own authority amongst them, the ordering the army, the reviving the execution of the laws, and settling the courts of justice, and such other particulars, as purely related to the public; and their public addresses were to this, and no other purpose. But then, to their private friends, and such as they desired to make their friends, most of them had many pretences of merit, and many expedients by which the king might reward them, and out of which they might be able liberally to gratify their patrons. And by these means, all who served the king were furnished with suits enough to make their fortunes, in which they presently engaged themselves, with very troublesome importunity to the king himfelf, and all others, who, they thought, had credit, or power to advance their desires."

Lord* Broghill appeared fo'. very generous, and to be without the least pretence to any advantage to himfelf, that he quickly got himself believed ; and having


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3 Id. ib.

· Clarendon's Life.

2 Id. ib.
* Ib. vol. ii. p. 110.


free access to the king, by mingling apologies for what he had done, with promises of what he would do, he made himself so acceptable to his majesty, that he heard him willingly, because he made all things easy to be done and compassed ; and gave such assurances to the bed-chamber men, to help them to good fortunes in Ireland, which they had reason to despair of in England, that he wanted not their testimony on all occali. ons, nor their defence and vindication, when any thing was reflected upon to his disadvantage or reproach."

The ground-work of the before-mentioned expediservice of the kingdom, was s the calling a new parliament, consisting only of protestant peers, and commoners; a general pardon, and indemnity to all the protestants; and that nothing should be done to the prejudice of the adventurers or soldiers ; or towards qualifying the Irifh for recovering possession of their eftates.

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The Irish catholics excluded out of the general act of



T was apprehended that the act of oblivion, and general pardon, which the English parliament had been drawing up to be presented to the king at his landing, might be so extensive as to comprehend the Roman catholics of Ireland.' To prevent this, other agents were sent over by persons concerned in the new purchases; all these attended the house of commons, suggesting continually, that they never could be secure in

any parliament, that could be called in Ireland, if it did not exclude out of that act of general indemnity, all persons who had any hand in the rebellion ; under which notion, they comprehended promiscuously all


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those of the Roman catholic religion, who had been sequestered or in arms.

Reports also were industriously spread by these agents that the Irish were ready to rise into a new rebellion. But this was a thing ? impossible to be conceived by any body that knew the miserable condition of these people There were, indeed, fome persons, who had been deprived of their estates, so transported with the thoughts of regaining them upon the king's being proclaimed, that they endeavoured to take possession of them immediately, without having recourse to those methods which the law prescribes, in case of being unlawfully dif-seized. These were chiefly of those Irish gentlemen, who had been found innocent, when in Cromwell's time, inquisition was made into the guilt of persons concerned in the rebellion ; and who were afterwards by him forced to quit their ancient estates, and accept of other lands in Connaught or Clare in lieu thereof. They had suffered grievously in the exchange, and having been transplanted by an usurped power, easily imagined, they might warrantably re-enter upon their former possessions, and eject the intruders, as all in England did, whose estates had been taken from thems by the usurpers. Hence arose feveral riots and disturbances, which the convention at Dublin taking hold of, published on May the 20th, a declaration for preserving the peace, and quieting possessions; and the severe laws and ordinances lately made by the usurpers against the Irish, were hereupon put in execution. They were not allowed to go from one province to another, to transact their business ; abundance of the estated men were imprisoned, all their letters to and from Dublin intercepted, and the gentry forbid to meet, and thereby deprived of the means of agreeing upon agents to take care of their interests, and of an opportunity to represent their griev.



* Id. ib. f. 205.

3 Id. ib. 4 Id. ib. f. 206. s Id. ib. vol. ii. f. 398.

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