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the symbol of all that was unjust, tyrannical, and disgraceful to humanity in the system of bondage from which the Irish had escaped. Another cause powerfully counteracted such tranquillising effects as the Emancipation might have had. This was the success of Belgium in 1830 in dissevering her union with Holland, which awoke new hopes in the leaders of the Irish, and made it neither their wish nor policy that tranquillity should exist. Perhaps, had their aims been different, the result would have been the same. The temper of a people cannot be permanently changed by a sudden change in the law; and in Ireland, up to this time, the function and value of law could never have been appreciated, and was not understood.
The Irish were at last free, but they were not tranquillised; the disturbances continued as before. In 1832 the state of the country was frightful. The popular ferment had risen to general insurrection, and it was doubted whether there were troops in the country to make head against the insurgents. It was not merely the Catholics who were excited; the Protestant fanaticism of Ireland was in a blaze. There was the hope of re-establishing the Ascendancy. Earl Roden was rolling into the presence of Majesty a petition on great wheels—a petition 4500 feet long, signed by 236,000 men “ devoted to the constitution, and determined to be free!” There was the hope of repealing the Union. The association that had carried Catholic Emancipation was reorganising and looking forward to the Repeal. Between the religious fanaticisms and the political fanaticisms, and the agitations of their rival organisations, the country was distracted. There was a call for martial law, and it was granted. Each of the years 1833 and 1834 had and required its Coercion Act. And so we arrive at the year 1835, when the trial was to be made of a new regime for Ireland.
Of the state of Ireland between 1835 and 1839 a pretty full account will fall to be given hereafter. It is enough in this place to state very briefly the facts necessary to be noticed, to give to this sketch such completeness as it is capable of. In 1835 the population of Ireland was 8,000,000 (the exact number in 1834 was 7,943,960). Of these, according to an official report in 1836, two and a half millions were absolutely destitute for a large portion of the year.
There was still no poor-law in Ireland. The trade of the country was good and increasing, but the main body of the people were still clinging to the land, and had no share in that “national prosperity” of which trade statistics are the exponents. The representatives of the “six of eight” of Sir William Petty were still struggling with the old difficulties. Their cabins were, if possible, nastier than ever; milk had ceased to be an article of consumption among them; and they ate, as their common food, a coarser, but more prolific potato than formerly, the lumper which used to be reserved for their pigs. There were the old difficulties regarding their relations to the land. The landlords were still, for the most part, tyrants or absentees, or with middlemen interposed between them and the tenants. Many of them were now in debt, and were in fact, though not declared, bankrupts. There were still the old evils arising from the insecurity of landed titles, and from the law of landlord and tenant, which gave
the landlord the right against all comers to the rent, and the tenant no interest in land improvements. Many of the estates were in Chancery, and had been there for the best part of half-a-century. The system of fixing rents by competition among the peasants still
prevailed, with the usual result of fixing the rents so high that it was impossible they could be paid. There were frequent evictions going on. There were ever new combinations—the chief of which was Ribbonism-forming among
the peasants to secure their interests by outrage and disorder. There were the old difficulties of the tithe collection, aggravated by the failure of Government to carry the Tithe Commutation Bill of 1834, and by the admissions on which that bill proceeded. There was O'Connell meditating Repeal, and halting between dislike of the Whigs and fear of the Tories—dislike of radical changes which might destroy his importance, and fear of a recurrence to the principles and government of the Ascendancy. Opposed to O'Connell's organisation was that of the Orange Society, which was the more formidable of the two, from the society being secret and its members armed. These two organisations represented the fears and hatreds which divided the main sections of the people—the nation of the tribes, and the nation of the conquerors. Agrarian crimes, faction fights, occasional insurrections, perpetual agitations in connection with land, politics, or religion, were the symptoms of the universal discontent and inquietude.
Such is the account I have to give of the state of Ireland, and its causes, when Mr Drummond went over to it as a member of the Government in 1835—the country to whose service he thenceforth devoted himself, and for which he died. It is an account necessarily very general and imperfect, and wanting in many qualifying and explanatory statements, which, however, if introduced, would have rendered the sketch disproportioned to its purpose and place in this work.* The main * The reader who may desire test the general accuracy
points in the deplorable history are sufficiently marked. They are—the partial character of the original conquest of Henry II., retarding the progress of native civilisation;
account, will find the books which the writer consulted in the following list, arranged as nearly as possible in the order in which they are founded on in the text :-“Giraldi Cambrensis Opera," ed. by Brewer, chap. xiv. of De Rebus a se Gestis. Lond. 1861; Vallency's “ Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis. Dublin, 1786,” [a series of valuable papers on Ancient Ireland); Boates' “ Ireland's Natural History. Lond. 1652;" " Jacobi Waræi de Hibernia, &c. Ed. sec. Lond. 1658;" "A View of the State of Ireland in the Yeare 1596. By Edmund Spenser. Dublin, 1632;" "A Discoverie of the State of Ireland. By Sir John Davis. Lond. 1613;" “The Political Anatomy of Ireland in 1672. By Sir William Petty. Lond. 1691." The five works last mentioned, and several others of much value, are brought together in two volumes : “A Collection of Tracts and Treatises illustrative of the Natural History, Antiquities, and the Political and Social State of Ireland. Dublin. Reprinted by Alex. Thoms & Sons, 1860.” These volumes have been printed by Mr Thoms for distribution only among his friends.] Hallam declines Petty's computations as “ prodigiously vague.” They are unsatisfactory, but they are the best that are to be had. 6. The Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters. Connellan's ed. Dublin, 1846." [It is from the elaborate notes in this work that I have taken the trouble to gather the numbers of the Septs in some districts of Ireland, given at p. 187.] “Irish Statutes, vol. i. Dublin, 1765." [The Kilkenny Statutes are not in this volume. An account of them will be found in Sir John Davis' “ Discoverie,” “Tracts and Treatises,” vol. i. p. 642, where also is evidence of the fact, that the Irish petitioned for admission to the Pale and benefits of English Law; and see Smyth's “ Ireland,” vol. i. p. 199. The Kilkenny Statutes were confirmed in their main provisions in 1495,-Rot. Parl. cap. 19.] For the proclamation by James I. of his Nontoleration (dated 4th July 1605), see Plowden's “ Historical Review, Lond. 1803" (vol. i. p. 102). The proclamation was printed about 1843; but I have not been able to get a copy of it. For modern accounts, see“ Ireland, Historical and Statistical, by George Lewis Smyth. 2 vols. Lond. 1844 ;” and “History of Ireland and the Irish People, by Samuel Smiles. Lond. 1844.” Smiles is intensely Irish ; Smyth takes a genealogical view of almost the whole matter. Leland's “ History. Lond. 1773,” 3 vols. ; and
the primitive character of that civilisation preserved to a late date; the suddenness and bloodiness of the convulsions by which it was destroyed, and the unhappy
Plowden's “ Historical Review of the State of Ireland. Lond. 1803,” (3 vols.), are standard and well-known works. “ Ireland, Social, Political, and Religious, by Gustave De Beaumont,” now in a 3d (French) edition (there is an English edition by Taylor, Dublin, 1839), is perhaps less known. It is written from an Irish point of view, but is not the less an able performance. “Irish History and Irish Character. By Goldwin Smith. Oxford and London, 1861," is perhaps as fair, dispassionate, and philosophical an outline of Irish history as exists. “ Ireland Before and After the Union. By R. M. Martin. London and Dublin, 1848,” gives as lenient a view of the historical business as possible—has what the Irish would call “ a strong flavour of the Castle." “ English Misrule and Irish Misdeeds. By Aubrey De Vere. Lond. 1848,” is Irish, yet true and effective. The whole of Hallam's 18th chapter “On Ireland," beginning p. 699, vol. ii., of “The Constitutional History of England. Lond. 1827,” is of course worth careful study. For the passage from Hallam, cited in the text, see idem, vol. ii., p. 738. The best account of the Rebellion of 1641 is in “ An History of the Life of James, Duke of Ormonde, 1610–1688, 2 vols. fol. By Thomas Carte. Lond. 1736.” It is sufficient to refer to Mr Carlyle's “Life of Cromwell," and Macaulay's account of the Tyrconnel wars. As to the state of the lower classes, and as to the oppressions of which they were the victims, circa 1776–78, see “Tour in Ireland, by Arthur Young, 2d ed. 2 vols. Lond. 1789."
For the Treaty of Limerick see Smiles' “ History," p. 240. It is there printed at length. For the acts passed in despite of it, see
History of the Penal Laws against the Irish Catholics from the year 1689 to the Union. By Sir Henry Parnell, Bart., M.P. 4th ed. 1825.” And see the footnotes to Hallam’s “ History,” vol. ii. pp. 761, 762; also O'Connell's “Ireland and the Irish,” as cited by Smiles, p. 270. For the Petition of the Irish Catholics to George III. on his accession to the throne, see Smiles' “ History," p. 317.-It is printed at length. For a defence of the Penal Code, see “Case of Toleration. By Edward Synge, &c., 2d edition. Dublin, 1726." For an account of the Risings after 1761, see “Irish Disturbances and the Irish Church Question. By Sir George Cornewall Lewis. Lond. 1836;" and see “Edinburgh Review," vol. lxx., p. 503, art. on the “Report of the Roden Committee.”