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not bear them; they looked like anatomies of death ; they spoke like ghosts crying out of their graves; they did eat the dead carrions, happy where they could find them ; yea, they did eat one another soon after, inasmuch as the very carcasses they spared not to scrape out of their graves; and if they found a plot of water-cresses or shamrocks, there they Ancked, as to a feast for a time. Yet were they not all long to continue there withal ; so that in short space of time, there were none almost left, and a most populous and plentiful country was suddenly left void of man and beast. Yet surely in all that war there perished not many by the sword, but all by the extremity of famine, which they themselves had wrought.”
Such is a picture of the condition of the South; the North I have already described. Thus we learn what Ireland was, and so, by contrast, can better know and comprehend what it is. Thus it became a necessity for the Ministers of Queen Elizabeth to decide upon the kind of government, and the nature of the policy which should be pursued towards Ireland. Under these circumstances, there was a design contrived for the future and better government of Ireland. First, they would introduce English tenures for titles ; next, magistrates and sheriffs of counties; then a Parliament; then noble provisions were sketched out, such as rebuilding churches at the Queen's expense, and the erection of twelve free grammar schools, where the Irish youth should grow into civility; then a University should be founded in Elizabeth's name, and endowed with lands at Elizabeth's expense. A reformed religion should be introduced, in which there should be no more pluralities—no more abuse of patronage—no more neglect, or idleness, or profligacy. The Bishops of the Church of Ireland were to be chosen from amongst those who had risen from the Irish schools through the Irish University. The masters of the Grammar Schools “should teach the boys the New Testament, Paul's Epistles, and David's Psalms, in Latin; that they, being infants, might savour of the same in age, as an old cask doth of its first liquor. In every parish, from Cape Clear to the Giant's Causeway, there should be a true servant of God for a pastor, who would bring up the children born in the same in the knowledge of the Creeds, the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments and the Catechism ; the children to be brought for Confirmation to the Bishop at seven years of age, if they could repeat them, or else to be rejected by the Bishop that time, with reproach to their parents.”
That was the Elizabethan idea of a future Ireland; but it would not suit Shane O'Neill, who engaged incessantly in conspiracies and rebellions. At last, he provoked the British Power beyond endurance ; he was attacked and destroyed. What, then, was to be done? Ulster was devastated and depopulated; the churches levelled to the ground; the habitations (such as they were) were demolished; there were no cattle; there were no towns; no civilized man in what is now a powerful, rich, and splendid province. The Counsellors of the King considered anxiously what was to be done, and they advised their Sovereign how to do it.
King James I., adopting the policy of Elizabeth, resolved that there should be a settlement of English and Scotch made in Ulster; which settlement might be thereafter the foundation of a prosperous kingdom: and in order to induce his subjects to engage in that settlement, there was drawn up by one of the wise men of that time, “A Description" of that part of our country which the city of London should be induced to colonise.
“The country,” he says, “is well watered, generally by abundance of springs, brooks, and rivers; and plenty of fuel, either by means of wood, or, where that is wanting, of good wholesome turf. It yieldeth store of all necessary for man's sustenance, in such measure as may not only maintain itself, but also furnish the city of London yearly with manifold provision, especially for their fleets. As it is fit for all sorts of husbandry, so, for breeding of mares and increase of cattle, it doth excel; whence may be expected plenty of butter, cheese, and hides, and tallow.” Now, it is deserving attention, that before the settlement of Ulster was begun, the wellfounded opinion in reference to the soil of our country should have been thus expressed :—“As for hemp and flax, they do more naturally grow there than elsewhere ; which, being well regulated, might give great provision for canvas, cable, cording, and such like requisite for shipping; besides thread, linen cloth, and all stuffs made of linen yarn, which is more fine and plentiful there than in all the rest of the kingdom. Materials for building—timber, stone of all sorts, limestone, slate, and shingle—are afforded in most parts of the country ; and the soil is good for brick and tile. The country is very plentiful for honey and wax. Sea fishing very plentiful ; salmon abundant. There be also some store of good pearls upon this coast, especially within the river of Lough Foyle.”
The King submitted to the Corporation of London his proposal that they would undertake a part of the settlement. The Corporation agreed to accept the King's designs, provided, on inquiry, the representation of the country, and the probability of succeeding with the Plantation, should appear to be correct. And what did they do? Who were the men dispatched to inquire into the practicability of founding the great settlement of Ulster? What were their names ? I venture to think you never heard them before, yet must they be ranked amongst the benefactors of Ireland. The Common Council of London said they would choose out from
their number four wise and discreet citizens, to view the situation, and report to the Corporation thereof; and upon that report depended the acceptance of the noble trust. Who were the men chosen for the task ? John Broad, goldsmith; Robert Dreswell, paper-stainer; John Rowley, draper; and John Muirs, mercer. All honour to their memory! They reported favourably; and the regulations for the settlement were drawn up, and the allotments of land granted. Listen, ye conquerors, tyrants of the world, to the mercers, the grocers, the fishmongers, the goldsmiths, the skinners, the tailors, the salters (including dyers), sadlers, cutlers, joiners, ironmongers, vintners, clothworkers, nor were the butchers and brown bakers forgotten—these were the founders of a community now more populous and powerful than the kingdom of Denmark. Churches, schools, glebes, colleges were not forgotten. It was not believed by the statesmen and the merchants of these great times, to be possible or prudent to attempt to found a Christian State without a Christian Church.
Thus, as I have said, James I., an ingenious King, followed up the designs of Elizabeth, and of her far-reaching ministers who recommended the Plantation of Ulster; but it was by men of industry the vast und splended project was accomplished. We may compare their labours with the task performed in Scotland and in Holland. How did this young Plantation grow to maturity and strength ? By industry and religion. Towns were built ; Derry was fortified ; lands were cultivated; manufactures, shipping, commerce, increased : “ Sic fortis Etruria crevit.” Allow me to read to you a passage from the charter of what was at that time one of the most important places in the North of Ireland— Coleraine ; the language of which is of a kind very different from the dull phraseology of the legal documents of the present day.
We may here discover the causes of the success of a grand experiment:
“ James, by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c., to all to whom these present letters shall come, greeting. Wheras there can be nothing more worthy of a King to perform than to establish the true religion of Christ among men hitherto depraved and almost lost in superstition, to improve and cultivate by art and industry countries and lands uncultivated and almost desert; and not only to stock them with honest citizens and inhabitants, but also to strengthen them with good institutions and ordinances whereby they might be more safely defended, not only from the corruption of their morals, but from their intestine and domestic plots and conspiracies, and also from foreign violence : And whereas the province of Ulster, in our realm of Ireland, for many years past hath grossly erred from the true religion of Christ and Divine grace, and hath abounded with superstition, insomuch that for a long time it hath not only been harassed, torn, and wasted by private and domestic broils, but also by foreign arms, We, therefore, deeply and heartily commiserating the wretched state of the said province from superstition, rebellion, calamity, and poverty, which heretofore have horribly raged therein, have esteemed it to be a work worthy of a Christian Prince, and of our Royal office, to stir up and recal the same province to religion, obedience, strength, and prosperity. And whereas our beloved and faithful subjects, the Mayor and Commonalty and citizens of our City of London, burning with a flagrant zeal to promote such our pious intention in this behalf, have undertaken a considerable part of the said plantation in Ulster, and are making progress therein, We,” &c. Such was the style in which the King expressed the inten