Sivut kuvina

During the winter and the earlier w»r Aa- part of the spring, the powers aan7i'i't hostile to France Were gatheri-riince. jng their strength for a great effort, and were in constant communication with one another. As the season for military operations approached, the solemn appeals of injured nations to the God of battles came forth in rapid succession. The manifesto of the Germanic body appeared in February; that of the States General in March; that of the House of Brandenburg in April; and that of Spain in May.*

Here, aa soon as the ceremony of the coronation was over, the House of Commons determined to take into consideration the late proceedings of the French king.t/ In the debate, that hatred of the powerful, unscrupulous and imperious Lewis, which had, during twenty years of vassalage, been festering in the hearts of Englishmen, broke violently forth. He was called the most Christian Turk, the most Christian ravager of Christendom, the most Christian barbarian who had perpetrated on Christians outrages of which his infidel allies would have been ashamed. J A committee, consisting chiefly of ardent Whigs, was appointed to prepare an

prsestari possit a nobis, qui non Turcico tantum bello impliciti, sed insuper etiam crudelissimo et iniquissimo a Gallis, rerum suarum, at putabant, in Anglia securis, contra datam fldem impediti sumus, ipsimet Serenitati vestrse judicandum relinquimue. . . . Galli non tantum in nostrum et totius Christiana? orbis pemiciem fcedifraga arms cum juratis Sanctaa Crucis hostibus sociare fas sibi ducunt; sed etiam in imperio, perfidiam perfidia cumulando, urbes deditione occtipatas contra datam fidem immensis tributis exhaurire, exhaustas diripere, direptas funditus exscindere aut flammis delere, Palatia Principum ab omni antiquitate inter ssevissima bellorum incendia Intacta servata exurcre, templa spoliare, dedititios in servitutem more apud barbaros usitato abducere, denique passim, imprimis vero etiam in Catholicorum ditionibus, alia horrenda, et ipsam Turcorum tyrannidem suporantia immanitatis et sffivitse exempla edere pro ludo habont."

* See the London Gazettes of Fob. 25. March 11. April 22. May 2. and the Monthly Mercuries. Some of the Declarations will be found in Dumont's Corps Universe! Diplomatique, t Commons' Journals, April 15, 16. 1089. .!. Oldmixon.

address. John Hampden, the most

ardent Whig among them, was put into the chair; and he produced a composition too long, too rhetorical, and too vituperative to suit the lips of the Speaker or the ears of the King. Invectives against Lewis might perhaps, in the temper in which the House then was, have passed without censure, if they had not been accompanied by severe reflections on the character and administration of Charles the Second, whose memory, in spite of all his faults, was affectionately cherished by the Tories. There were some very intelligible allusions to Charles's dealings with the Court of Versailles, and to the foreign woman whom that Court had sent to lie like a snake in his bosom. The House was with good reason dissatisfied. The address was recommitted, and, having been made more concise, and less declamatory and acrimonious, was approved and presented.* William's attention was called to the wrongs which France had done to him and to his kingdom; and he was assured that, whenever he should resort to arms for the redress of those wrongs, he should be heartily supported by his people. He thanked the Commons warmly. Ambition, he said, should never induce him to draw the sword: but he had no choice: France had already attacked England; and it was necessary to exercise the right of selfdefence. A few days later war was proclaimed.f

Of the grounds of quarrel alleged by the Commons in their address, and by the King in his manifesto, the most serious was the interference of Lewis in the affairs of Ireland. In that country great events had, during several months, followed one another in rapid succession. Of those events it is now time to relate the history, a history dark with crime and sorrow, yet full of interest and instruction.

* Commons' Journals, April 19. 24. 26. 1689.

f The declaration is dated on the 7th of May, but was not published in the London Gazette till the 13th.


William had assumed, together with

stwoof the title of Kin8 of Eng,!lnd. ireundat the title of King of Ireland.

or'ti''"iie- For all our jurists then regarded voiimou. Ireland as a mere colony, more important indeed than Massachusetts, Virginia, or Jamaica, but like Massachusetts, Virginia, and Jamaica, dependent on the mother country, and bound to pay allegiance to the Sovereign whom the mother country had called to the throne.*

In fact, however, the Revolution found riieei»ii Ireland emancipated from the S? "hlidi domi nion of the English colony, ofthe As early as the year 1686, James c.thoiiM. had determined to make that island a place of arms which might overawe Great Britain, and a place of refuge where, if any disaster happened in Great Britain, the members of his Church might find refuge. With this view he had exerted all his power for the purpose of inverting the relation between the conquerors and the aboriginal population. The execution of his design he had entrusted, in spite of the reiponstrances of his English counsellors, to the Lord Deputy Tyrconnel. In the autumn of 1688, the process was complete. The highest offices in the state, in the army, and in the Courts of Justice, were, with scarcely an exception, filled by Papists. A pettifogger named Alexander Fitton, who had been detected in forgery, who had been fined for misconduct by the House of Lordsat Westminster, who had been many years in prison, and who was equally deficient in legal knowledge and in the natural good sense and acuteness by which the want of legal knowledge has sometimes been supplied, was Lord Chancellor. His single merit was that he had apostatised from the Protestant

* The general opinion of the English on this Bubject i9 clearly expressed in a little tract entitled "Aphorisms relating to the Kingdom of Ireland," which appeared during the vacancy of the throne.

religion; and this merit was thought sufficient to wash out even the stain oi his Saxon extraction. He soon proved himself worthy of the confidence of his patrons. On the bench of justice he declared that there was not one heretic in forty thousand who was not a villain. He often, after hearing a cause in which the interests of his Church were concerned, postponed his decision, for the purpose, as he avowed, of consulting his spiritual director, a Spanish priest, well read doubtless in Escobar.* Thomas Nugent, a Roman Catholic who had never distinguished himself at the bar except by his brogue and his blunders, was Chief Justice of the King's Bencht Stephen Rice, a Roman Catholic, whose abilities and learning were not disputed even by the enemies of his nation and religion, but whose known hostility to the Act of Settlement excited the most painful apprehensions in the minds of all who held property under that Act. was Chief Baron of the Exchequer^ Richard Nagle, an acute and well read lawyer, who had been educated in a Jesuit college, and whose prejudices were such as might have been expected from his education, was Attorney General.!

Keating, a highly respectable Protestant, was still Chief Justice of the Common Pleas: but two Roman Catholic Judges sate with him. It ought to be added that one of those judges. Daly, was a man of sense, moderation, and integrity. The matters however which came before theCourt of Common Pleas were not of great moment. Even

* King's State of the Protestants of Irelsod, ii. 6. and iii. 3.

t Ibid., iii. 3. Clarendon, in a letter to Rochester (June 1. 1686), calls Nugent" a vcrr troublesome, impertinent creature."

X King, iii. 3.

} Ibid., ii. 6., iii. 3. Clarendcn, in a letter to Ormond (Sept. 28. 1686), speaks highly o/ Naglc's knowledge and ability, but in the Diary (Jan. 31. 168|) calls him " a coretoo, ambitious man."

the King's Bench was at this time almost deserted. The Court of Exchequer overflowed with business; for it was the only court at Dublin from which no writ of error lay to England, and consequently the only court in which the English could be oppressed and pillaged without hope of redress. Rice, it was said, had declared that they should have from him exactly what the law, construed with the utmost strictness, gave them, and nothing more. What, in his opinion, the law, strictly construed, gave them, they could easily infer from a saying which, before he became a judge, was often in his mouth. "I will drive," he used to say, "a coach and six through the Act of Settlement." He now carried his threat daily into execution. The cry of all Protestants was that it mattered not what evidence they produced before him; that, when their titles were to be set aside, the rankest forgeries, the most infamous witnesses, were sure to have his countenance. To his court his countrymen came in multitudes with writs of ejectment and writs of trespass. In his court the government attacked at once the charters of all the cities and boroughs in Ireland; and he easily found pretexts for pronouncing all those charters forfeited. The municipal corporations, about a hundred in number, had been instituted to be the strongholds of the reformed religion and of the English interest, and had consequently been regarded by the Irish Roman Catholics with an aversion which cannot be thought unnatural or unreasonable. Had those bodies been remodelled in a judicious and impartial manner, the irregularity of the proceedings by which so desirable a result had been attained might have been pardoned. But it soon appeared that one exclusive system had been swept away only to make room for another. The boroughs were subjected to the absolute authority of the Crown. Towns in which almost every householder was an English Protestant were placed under the government of Irish Roman Catholics. Many of the new Aldermen had never even seen the places over which they were appointed to bear rule. At the same time the Vol. n.

Sheriffs, to whom belonged the execution of writs and the nomination of juries, were selected in almost every instance from the caste which had till very recently been excluded from all public trust. It was affirmed that some of these important functionaries had been burned in the hand for theft. Others had been servants to Protestants; and the Protestants added, with bitter scorn, that it was fortunate for the country when this was the ease; for that a menial who had cleaned the plate and rubbed down the horse of an English gentleman might pass for a civilised being, when compared with many of the native aristocracy whose lives had been spent in coshering or marauding. To such Sheriffs no colonist, even if he had been so strangely fortunate as to obtain a judgment, dared to entrust an execution.*

Thus the civil power had, in the space of a few months, been Themiutransferred from the Saxon to {JJ7h£""* the Celtic population. The h»na» transfer of the military power itoman had been not less complete. c*a°""The army, which, under the command of Ormond, had been the chief safeguard of the English ascendency, had ceased to exist. Whole regiments had been dissolved and reconstructed. Six thousand Protestant veterans, deprived of their bread, were brooding in retirement over their wrongs, or had crossed the sea and joined the standard of William. Their place was supplied by men who had long suffered oppression, and who, finding themselves suddenly transformed from slaves into masters, were impatient to pay back, with accumulated usury, the heavy debt of injuries and insults. The new soldiers, it was said, never passed an Englishman without cursing him and calling him by some foul name. They were the terror of every Protestant innkeeper; for, from the moment when they came under his roof, they ate and drank every thing: they paid for nothing;

» King, ii. S. 1., Hi. 3. 5.; A Short View of the Methods made use of in Ireland for theSubversion and Destruction of the Protestant Religion and Interests, by a Clergyman lately escaped from thence, licensed Oct. 17.1689.

and by their rude swaggering they seared more respectable guests from his door. *

Such was the state of Ireland when Hutuai the Prince of Orange landed enmity at Torbay. From that time the En- every packet which arrived at SK?"7 Dublin brought tidings, such ii-iahry. as coui^ not but increase the mutual fear and loathing of the hostile races. The colonist, who, after long enjoying and abusing power, had now tasted for a moment the bitterness of servitude, the native, who, having drunk to the dregs all the bitterness of servitude, had at length for a moment enjoyed and abused power, were alike sensible that a great crisis, a crisis like that of 1641, was at hand. The majority impatiently expected Phelim O'Neil to revive in TyrconneL The minority saw in William a second Oliver.

On which side the first blow was struck was a question which Williamites and Jacobites afterwards debated with much asperity. But no question could be more idle. History must do to both parties the justice which neither has ever done to the other, and must admit that both had fair pleas' and cruel provocations. Both had been placed, by a fate for which neither was answerable, in such a situation that, human nature being what it is, they could not but regard each other with enmity. A king, who perhaps might have reconciled them, had, year after year, systematically employed his whole power for the purpose of inflaming their enmity to madness. It was now impossible to establish in Ireland a just and bene

* King, iii. 2. I cannot find that Charles Leslie, who was zealous on the other side, has, in his. Answer to King, contradicted any of these facts. Indeed Leslie gives up Tyrconnel's administration. "I desire to obviate one objection which I know will be made, as if I were about wholly to vindicate all that the Lord Tyrconnel and other of King James's ministers have done in Ireland, especially before this revolution began, and which most of any thing brought it on. No; I am far from it. I am sensible that their carriage in many particulars gave greater occasion to King James's enemies than all the other maladministrations which were charged upon his government." Leslie's Answer toKing, 1632.

ficent government, a government which should know no distinction of race or of sect, a government which, while strictly respecting the rights guaranteed by law to the new landowners, should alleviate by a judicious liberality the misfortunes of the ancient gentry. The opportunity had passed away: compromise had become impossible: the two infuriated castes were alike convinced that it was necessary to oppress or to be oppressed, and that there could be no safety but in victory, vengeance, and dominion. They agreed only in spurning out of the way every mediator who sought to reconcile them.

During some weeks there were ontrages, insults, evil reports, vio- pmk lent panics, the natural pre- S^g. ludes of the terrible conflict 8"^Jwhich was at hand. A rumour spread over the whole island that, on the ninth of December, there would be a general massacre of the Englishry. Tyrconnel sent for the chief Protestants of Dublin to the Castle, and, with his usual energy of diction, invoked on himself all the vengeance of heaven if the report was not a cursed, a blasted, a confounded lie. It was said that, in his rage at finding his oaths ineffectual, he pulled off bis hat and wig, and flung them into the fire.* But lying Dick Talbot was so well known that his imprecations and gesticulations only strengthened the apv prehension which they 'were meant to allay. Ever since the recall of Clarendon there had been a large emigration of timid and quiet people from tie Irish ports to England. That emigration now went on faster than ever. It was not easy to obtain a passage on board of a well built or commoaions vessel. But many persons, made bold by the excess of fear, and choosing rather to trust the winds and waves than the exasperated Irishry, ventured to encounter all the dangers of Saint George's Channel and of the Welsh coast in open boats and in the depth

* A True and Impartial Account of uw most material Passages in Ireland since December 1688, by a Gentleman who ms «■ Eyewitness; licensed July 22.1689.

of winter. The English who remained began, in almost every county, to draw close together. Every large country house became a fortress. Every visitor who arrived after nightfall was challenged from a loophole or from a barricaded window; and if he attempted to enter without passwords and explanations, a blunderbuss was presented to him. On the dreaded night of the ninth of December, there was scarcely one Protestant mansion from the Giant's Causeway to Bantry Bay in which armed men were not watching and lights burning from the early sunset to the late sunrise. *

A minute account of what passed in Hirtory of one district at this time has ofV?TM come down to us, and well ■"■»*«• . illustrates the general state of the kingdom. The south-western part of Kerry is now well known as the most beautiful tract in the British isles. The mountains, the glens, the capes stretching far into the Atlantic, the crags on which the eagles build, the rivulets brawling down rocky passes, the lakes overhung by groves in which the wild deer find covert, attract every summer crowds of wanderers sated with the business and the pleasures of great cities. The beauties of that country are indeed too often hidden in the mist and rain which the west wind brings up from a boundless ocean. But, on the rare days when the sun shines out in all his glory, the landscape has a freshness and a warmth of colouring seldom found in our latitude. The myrtle loves the soil. The arbutus thrives better than even on the sunny shore of Calabria, f The turf is of livelier hue than elsewhere: the hills glow with a richer purple : the varnish of the holly and ivy is more glossy; and berries of a brighter red peep through foliage of a brighter green. But during the greater part of the seventeenth century, this paradise was as little known to the civilised world as Spitzbergen or Greenland. Ji ever

• A True and Impartial Account, 1889; Leslie's Answer to King, 1692.

t There have been in the neighbourhood of Killarney specimens of the arbutus thirty feet high and four feet and a half round. See the Philosophical Transactions, 227.

it was mentioned, it was mentioned as a horrible desert, a chaos of bogs, thickets, and precipices, where the she wolf still littered, and where some half naked savages, who could not speak a word of English, made themselves burrows in the mud, and lived on roots and sour milk. *

At length, in the year 1670, the benevolent and enlightened Sir William Petty determined to form an English settlement in this wild district. He possessed a large domain there, which has descended to a posterity worthy of such an ancestor. On the improvement of that domain he expended, it was said, not less than ten thousand pounds. The little town which he founded, named from the bay of Kenmare, stood at the head of that bay, under a mountain ridge, on the summit of which travellers now stop to gaze upon the loveliest of the three lakes of Killamey. Scarcely any village, built by an enterprising band of New Engenders, far from the dwellings of their countrymen, in the midst of the hunting grounds of the Bed Indians, was more completely out of the pale of civilisation than Kenmare. Between Petty's settlement and the nearest English habitation the journey by land was of two days through a wild and dangerous country. Yet the place prospered. Forty two houses were erected. The population amounted to a hundred and eighty. The land round the town was well cultivated.

* In a very full account of the British isles published at Nuremberg in 1690, Kerry is described as "an vielen Orten unwegsam und voller Winder und Geburge." Wolves still infested Ireland. "Kein schadlich Thier ist da, ausserhalb Wolff und Fuchse." So late as the year 1710 money was levied on presentments of the Grand Jury of Kerry for the destruction of wolves in that county. See Smith's Ancient and Modern State of the County of Kerry, 1756. I do not know that I have ever met with a better book of the kind and of the size. In a poem published as late as 1719, and entitled Maodermot, or the Irish Fortune Hunter, in six cantos, wolf hunting and wolf spearing are represented as common sports in Munster. In William's reign Ireland was sometimes called by the nickname of Wolfiand. Thus in a poem on the battle of La Hogue, called Advice to a Painter, the terror of the Irish army is thus described:

"A chilling damp
And Wolfland howl runi thro' the riling camp,"

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