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BY THOMAS EELAND; :D. D.
Senior Fellow of Trinity College, and Prebendary of St. Patrick's, Dublin.

VOL. I.

DUBLIN:

PRINTED BY BRETT SMITH, 46, MARY-STREET.

1814,

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PRELIMINARY

DISCOURSE.

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HI E subject of the following History seems not unworthy of attention. A British reader may esteem it neither useless nor uninteresting, to trace the progress of the English power in IRELAND, from the invasion of Flenry the Second, through the conflicts of many ages, short intervals of peace, the sudden revival of hostilities, the suppression of civil war, the attempts to compose all national disea orders, and the final content in the cause of James the Second. It is a subject which comes recommended at least by the merit of novelty: for, although particular periods of these affairs have been treated, sometimes imperfectly, sometimes copiously, yet no general and connected history hath yet appeared of those actions, counsels, incidents, and revolutions, which ended in establishing the .. authority of the crown of England, in a country, now, a respectable member of the British empire: VOL. I.

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At the REVOLUTION, indeed, the favour and patronage of government encouraged Sir Richard Cox to such an attempt. But, however assiduous in his researches, he

produced nothing better than an hasty, indigested, and imperfect Chronicle, ending with the final suppression of the rebellion commenced in the year one thousand six hundred and forty-one. More than fourscore years have elapsed since the last commotions of Ireland; during this interval it hath made successful advances in refinement and literature: and the descendants of the English settlers in this country seem to have had both leisure and inducement, to record those actions in which their ancestors took so considerable a part. But men of letters thought, perhaps, too meanly of the subject; they were deterred by the darkness in which somie periods were involved; by the painful and disgusting pursuit of materials not yet disclosed, or not yet wrought into any regular narrative; or by the labour of selection from writers, who viewed their favourite object withi aga: eye topparua, and detailed every incident, with an oppressing minuteness.

BUT the circonstances of Ireland were a still more-dispiriting obstacle to the historian of this country. Prejudices and animosities could not end with its disorders, The relations of every transaction in times of contest and turbulence, were for many years dictated by pride, by resentment, by the virulence of faction, by the obliquity of particular interests

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