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lance of the salaried officials, which have come within the knowledge of the unpaid resident magistracy; and an outrage, being indefinite, in the recklessness of partisanship, may not be no ticed or returned. But an inquest, by violence, is definite, and blood is the true and indelible marking ink of crime. We refer our readers to the author's prefix for a full illustration of the value of inquest returns, given in pursuance of the abbreviated formula. We have thus far laid before our readers as full a review as the nature of our publication would admit, of Mr. Kings
ley's model county book. It details the defects of those which are now published, and suggests measures for their improvement; it extends its scrutiny into the criminal condition of a county, and proposes means by which it can be accurately ascertained, and faithfully reported; and in reference to the fiscal details of the grand jury, and of the criminal returns of the country, it affords a great variety of valuable tables by which all these details are presented at one glance to the reader under a classed and tabular form.
BY-WAYS OF IRISH HISTORY.
CHAP. XXII.-INSURRECTIONS AND ANATHEMAS.-BISHOP BURKE AGAIN.
THE disturbances of the last century, to which it is the custom of writers on the state of Ireland to ascribe what they term an agrarian origin and name, are, principally those occasioned by the Levellers, or White-boys and Rightboys,† in Munster and the south-those wrought by the Hearts of Oak and § Hearts of Steel, in the province of Ulster. The agents or instruments engaged in the southern insurrectionary movements were Roman Catholic, the northern disturbers were Protestant, chiefly, we believe, Presbyterian. Southern disorder became a system, northern speedily subsided, and yielded to the power of the law. The southern disturbances were characterised by excessive cruelty. The northern, not less strikingly, by the absence of it.
We may, in the course of our excursions, have to present the reader with facts illustrative of these distinctions. At present, we offer, in proof of their correctness, a few unsuspicious testimonies.
1. Mr. Lewis, (Irish Disturbances, p. 32,) admits that the southern disturbances, although, he says, not designed to favor the cause of Romanism, were carried on by Roman Catholics." Of the northern, he writes-" A few years after the first rising of the Catholics in the south, there occurred a disturbance among the Protestant Peasants of the north, though wholly unconnected with it, and springing from local causes." In the same spirit, Mr. Seward observes, that "if the majority engaged in the north were Presbyterians, and in the
south Papists, it was because the body of the poor are of those persuasions in those places." These various insurgents are not to be confounded, for they were very different. The proper distinction in the discontents of the people, is into Protestant and Catholic. All but the Whiteboys were among the manufacturing Protestants of the north. The Whiteboys were Catholic labourers in the south."
2. The cause which generated the one (Hearts of Oak) being removed, and that of the other (Hearts of Steel) being only temporary, the duration of neither was long. The rise and fall of each was like that of a mountain river, which swelled by a broken cloud, at once overwhelms all around, and then shrinks down as suddenly into its accustomed bed; whereas in the south, where the cause was permanent, without appearance of redress, the effect remained. The poor, deprived of their right of commonage-driven from the good grounds-obliged to pay five or six guineas for an acre to set their potatoes in-and having no resources for manufactures as in the north, they became enemics to the state, "the state not being their friend, nor the state's law." Collectanea Politica, Vol. I. p. 36.
3. For it is to be observed that, though they talked much, though they insulted several gentlemen, erected gallowses, and menaced ineffable perdition to all their enemies, no violent cruelty was exercised, nor, as Lord Charlemont said, was a single life lost, or any person maimed in the county of * An. 1759. † 1785. 1763 or 1764. $ 1772. Seward dates the "Hearts of Steel" so early as 1769.
Armagh ;-a species of conduct totally opposite to that of the southern insurgents; but which his lordship ascribed not to any diversity of religion, but to the oppression under which the unfortunate creatures in the south laboured. "A rebellion of slaves," continued he, "is always more bloody than an insurrection of freemen."-Hardy's Life of Charlemont, Vol. I. p. 187.
This is unsuspicious testimony. It bears, independently of the high character of one of the witnesses, internal evidence of its fidelity. It is the admission of parties who will not deny a plain truth, rather than the volunteered accusation of individuals who took pains to discover-of parties who endeavour to correct their actual perception of the reality of things, by their habitual impressions, ingeniously or violently straining the result of their observations into compliance with the demands of their theories, and labouring to undo
the effect of their evidence by the force of the explanations with which they over-ride it. On this unsuspicious testimony, offered by competent witnesses, in opposition to their personal or party bias and prejudice, we are assured that the "agrarian" disturbances, in which Irish Roman Catholics were the actors in the last century, were characterised by excessive cruelty, and were of long continuance-while the disorders of Protestants were equally characterised by the absence of cruelty, and were of short duration.
Brief, however, as Protestant disorder was, it served the purpose, effectually, of keeping up the continuity of Irishinsurrection. At the termination of the Session of 1762, Lord Halifax congratulated parliament on the suppression of disturbances in the south. The Oak-boy disturbances in the north commenced the year* after. Southern disorders, recommencing after a very
* We do not mean to insinuate that the various manifestations of a lawless and disorderly spirit were so obedient to the will of those who secretly contrived the harms of Ireland, as, with the occasion or cause which called them forth, to come at their bidding. The rising of the Hearts of Oak was occasioned, we do not deny, by the burdens imposed on the northern peasantry, on whom the expense and labor of roadmaking pressed heavily. Neither are we disposed to argue the presence of a sinister influence exasperating a hasty people against imposts to which they had, ever before, patiently submitted. We can well imagine that the burdens may have been heavier in 1763 than they had been in former years. In 1762, as Arthur Young notices, the first Irish act, offering a bounty for the inland carriage of grain, had been passed. Whatever was intended by the framers of that act, which has been so much, and, we believe, so unjustly, condemned, its indirect influence upon our carriage roads, must have been considerable. It may have thus had an effect in producing the northern discontent. The benefits it offered the farmer were yet to coine-the burdens it prepared for him, in the projects for the improvement of roads to which it gave birth, were immediate and heavy. But while the occasion of the farmers' discontent may be thus fairly traced to the operation of an act, and a judicious act, of the legislature, the agencies which converted that discontent to the uses of treason may have been of a widely different nature, shaping to very evil uses the ends which had been rough-hewn in parliament.
Mr. Lewis places the rising of the "Hearts of Oak" in 1764, and, as usual, he is in The following extracts from the Gentleman's Magazine, will serve to show that their disturbances were at their height in the preceding year, and may furnish other useful information also.
"Great disturbances have happened in the north of Ireland, on account of the heavy cesses latterly laid on the people."-Gent. Mag. July, 1763, p. 391.
"The tumults in Ireland, by the Oak boys, as they call themselves, have had very serious consequences. Several of them have lost their lives in skirmishes with the soldiery, and many are taken and sent to jail to answer for their offence. It was computed that, by their idleness and riots, the loss to the nation was £4000 per diem. The following seems to contain their motives for these disorders. In some parts of Ireland, the inhabitants of a certain tract conceived themselves injured by some new roads made there, and therefore assembled, in order to compel the gentlemen of the country to promise them redress in that particular; but the facility with which they were gratified in those instances, made them vain and insolent; and from thence they have declared against the clergy's smaller tithes and church dues, and oppose the payment of them by force.' They went to the houses of several clergymen, &c. and obliged them to swear that they would not insist on such demands, Several proclamations have been issued against them by the lords-justices, one of which promises safety and indemnity to all those misled persons who return to their habitations and industry."-Ibid. Aug. 447.
The Freeman's Journal, September 13, 1763, contains an address which is thus re
brief interval," had nearly ceased before 1770." (see Mr. Lewis, p. 19.) Munster had not time to feel its quiet before the north became convulsed by the outbreak of the *Hearts-of-steel; and when their tumult was suppressed, the south was ripe, and ready to resume its disorderly functions again, in the savage atrocities of the Rightboys. Before they could be reduced to order, an insurrectionary system, avowing purposes of graver and more alarming character, was disclosed. Peep-ofday-boys and Defenders began to appear in the foreground of our history; and outrages, which, previously, were supposed to be local and personal in their nature and objects, came to have the consequence which is ascribed to all marked political movements, attached to them. And thus, for more than eighty years, has Ireland been almost without interval or cessation, troubled with disorders which caused uneasiness and apprehension to loyal subjects, here, at home, which must have been a source of trouble and perplexity to England, and must have held forth encouragement to her enemies.
We have noticed some of the characteristics which distinguished the northern disturbances from those which afflicted Munster and Leinster, The most instructive characteristic of the southern disorders, that by which, perhaps, the system is more plainly indicated, we have reserved, demanding, as we think it does, separate and especial consideration.
"The disturbances of the White
boys," writes +Arthur Young, which lasted ten years in spite of every exertion of legal power, were, in many circumstances, very remarkable, and in none more so, than the surprising intelligence among the insurgents wherever found it was universal, and almost instantaneous: the numerous bodies of them, at whatever distance from each other, seemed animated with one soul; and not an instance was known in that
long course of time of a single individual betraying the cause; the severest threats, and the most splendid promises of reward, had no other effect but to draw closer the bonds which connected a multitude, to all appearance so desultory.
It cannot surprise us that a combination such as this should have appeared, to men of reflection, even such as were least prone to adopt causeless apprehesions, far more formidable in its powers and purposes than the uuorganised masses of disorderly Protestants in the north. Among these they witnessed the presence of a spirit, lawless and licentious, but not remorseless and implacable, prompting to acts of violence and mischief, but seldom instigatiug to acts of cruelty, threatening severities and excesses, but generally contenting itself with enacting scoffs and jeers, and rude frolics; a spirit, in short, which sported, as it were, in the riot of intemperance, the desultory disorders of the moment, and took no thought for the future, concerning political results to which they might be rendered conducive. The Whiteboy disturb
commended: "The committee of the Free Press having approved of the following admonition as pertinent to the late troublesome and turbulent times in this kingdom, in order to give it a more general consideration, have ordered it to be reprinted and published in their paper." The address is from "The true friends of liberty to the Whiteboys in the south, the Oak boys of the north, and the Liberty boys of Dublin." it appears that instead of rising in 1764, the Hearts of Oak had been put down before
the autumn of 1763.
* Mr. Lewis places the insurrection of the Hearts of Steel so late as 1772. Here, also, he is most probably in error. Some of these disturbers had been tried and acquitted at Carrickfergus, before, at least, the March of that year, when an act of parliament was passed, in consequence of the verdict, for the trial of offences in counties where they had not been committed. Mr. Seward's chronology, also, is, probably, erroneous, but it would seem that the rising of the Hearts of Steel took place at least as early as 1771. The extortion which occasioned it, deprived this country of great numbers of Protestant subjects, and sent them to recruit the American armies, bearing with them very hostile feelings towards their native country.
+ Tour in Ireland, vol. 2, p. 138.
This description applies more especially to the "Hearts of Oak." The Steel-boys, whose grievances were severer, were provoked to greater acts of violence; but such as to bear no resemblance in atrocity to those by which southern disorder was distinguished. Of the Hearts of Oak, we find the following notice in Mr. Stuart's History of Armagh. "The Hearts of Oak' were on another occasion prevented from doing much mischief, by the sagacity of Thomas Macan, Esq. who was frequently sovereign of the city of Armagh. They had assembled in a large body, and had sallied forth on a desultory excur
ances were widely different in their character; and were, therefore, justly suspected of being so, in their origin and purpose. They denoted organization and direction-they gave token of some end not yet avowed, but which, if its nature could be conjectured from the means by which it was to be attained, must be of alarming magnitude. The movements of the Whiteboys were conducted with secrecy, intelligence, and combination. All their proceedings appeared governed by an authority of which the power was felt in movements, which, though varied and far asunder, bore traces of subtle concert and combination. Even their cruelties, which it would be unjust to the savage state to term barbarous, (for which there could be found no parallel, except, perhaps, in the tortures by which the most ingenious among the American Indians strove to overcome an adversary's for titude,) seemed ordered less by the merciless instincts of revengeful natures than by some dark intelligence which would render the vengeance of the insurgents more dreaded than the authority of law; and would thus adopt an inhuman cruelty, at which its agents shuddered while they inflicted it, among the instruments by which the whole mass of the rural population of Ireland might in time be reduced to seek protection, by becoming confederated in a treasonable organization.
And here, before proceeding with our proper subject, we shall take leave to enter into a brief, and, we hope not an impertinent digression. In the contest for ascendancy over the imaginations of the Irish people, carried on, for so many years, between the terrors of insurrection, and law, the illegitimate horror has prevailed. It must be confessed, however, that the contest was sharp and uncompromising; conducted with little respect for the mercies which abide even in guilty natures; conducted on the part of the law, with a
culpable ignorance of the influences by which man is best affected; and, on both sides, with an utter disdain of the economy which should ever preside over the distribution of the pains and penalties, “Quicquid delirant reges,” &c. The quotation is trite, but most true, Achivi," or Millesü "plectuntur." The poor, neglected peasantry of Ireland, after having suffered grievously, and so far as law was concerned, inexcusably on both sides, at length embraced the party, which, if not strongest, was most to be dreaded; and awarded the prize of their adhesion to the successful insurgents. They, the poor Roman Catholic peasantry of Ireland, have had hard measure to complain of. The authors of their wrongs were, in the first instance, principally Roman Catholics; but Protestants connived at the injustice; endeavoured to correct its injurious consequences, by the infliction of legal severities; and have now, and have long had, to suffer in their persons, and interests, and reputations, for the injustice which they permitted, and the (it would scarcely be too much to say) injustice which, with the law's sanction, they inflicted.
The inability of many of our Protestant proprietors to contend with the difficulties by which they were beset, or their indisposition to enquire into the various embarrassments and perplexities which annoyed them, opened a field for the activities of a class of beings peculiar to this country, and unique in its kind, the middlemen of Ireland. This class, to a very great extent consisting of Roman Catholics, who, before the relaxation of the penal code, had leases held for them in trust, has had the distinction of perfecting a system of extortion and oppression, in comparison with which the worst species of slavery is mild and tolerant. By the improvident concession of the chief landlords, many of these oppressors, obtaining leases for ever, became pro
Sion, when Macan, whose urbanity and facetiousness had rendered him very popular, met them in mad career, and addressing them with a kind of pleasant, lively, and playful eloquence, peculiar to himself, promised them that their grievances should be redressed. They hailed him with thunders of applause, adorned his hat with oaken boughs, and placed him at their head. He marched with them for some time-then assumed the command-ordered his followers to halt, and having delivered a second animated speech to the listening crowd, persuaded them to disperse in perfect good humour, and return to their respective homes. In the midst of the insurrection, "The Hearts of Oak" were guided rather by whim and caprice than by any settled plan, to effect any important or mischievous purpose. They obliged Dr. Clarke, a respectable clergyman, (says Mr. Hardy,) who, they alleged, was the first to exact more than he was entitled to in tithes, to go on the top of his own coach, and drew him through various parts of the country. Infinite were the hisses and scurril jests as the Doctor passed along.-Page 441.
prietor's themselves; and gave, in their practice, a very unpalatable reading of the sense in which they understood the acknowledged right of every man to do what he pleased with his own. Exorbitant rents, services such as should never have been rendered or accepted, became ordinary conditions on which alone cotter-tenants were to be indulged with the means, the miserable means, to live. This cruel oppression many proprietors, who did not profit by it, overlooked or permitted. They received, in due season, the moderate rental for which they had contracted, and allowed the punctual "forestaller,""* to enrich himself by enormous profits wrung from the necessities of his neglected dependents. Having thus disengaged themselves from the duties they owed to the sovereign who had granted to them fair estates, and to the population which they suffered to be settled on them; when time brought round the natural result, and they found themselves the nominal and powerless proprietors of a tenantry prepared by wretchedness, and desperation for the temptations of the incendiary and the traitor; they set themselves, in forgetfulness of the duty which still it was in their power to discharge, to counteract the evils which their conduct as landlords had produced, by exercising with redoubled diligence and severity, the powers they possessed as magistrates and legislators.
Hence, the contest between insurrection and law. Both strove to win a mastery over the peoples' fears. Both seemed, almost alike, regardless of the peoples' comforts. On the one side cruelties were perpetrated, of which, it might well be thought humanity was incapable; "atrocious acts which," Arthur Young admits, “made the Whiteboys," the objects of general indignation.” On the other side, "acts were passed for their punishment," observes the same author, "which seemed calculated for the meridian of Barbary." This was a foolish as well as a wicked contest. The State seemed to have taken its lesson from the worst part of the Whiteboy system, and to have been unobservant of the circumstances, from which it could derive useful instruction. It could not rival the Whiteboy system
in the certainty with which vengeance was to be inflicted; because British law would rather have the guilty acquitted than the innocent punished, and therefore contrives chances of escape for every culprit. It could not imitate the cruelties of Whiteboy vengeance; civilization would not tolerate such enormities. It could take one important lesson from the Whiteboy system; it could borrow the secrecy with which its punishments were inflicted;-and this lesson, to the great detriment of public and private interests; to the great waste of life taken by the murderer and the executioner ; to the great profit and promotion of the insurrectionary system; the legislature and the magistracy disregarded. The country has suffered much from the consequences of this neglect. It gave, to the insurgents the exclusive advantages derivable from inflicting punishment in secret. When, after the law's delay and uncertainty, a culprit was condemned to death and ordered for execution, every thing was done, by the legislature and the executive in the country, which would ensure to the convict, the benefit of a quiet mind. He was indulged in the consolations of his religion; he was permitted to converse with his best loved friends; and he was assisted to sustain himself with firmness in the last moment of his life, by witnessing great multitudes who had come to grace his death, and who, he knew, would speak honourably of the resolution with which he had embraced it. Thus was the violater of the law, the house-burner, the murderer, supported. When Whiteboys or Right-boys, General Ulster or Captain Right, had decreed that a man should die, a very different fate awaited their victim. He was at once consigned to executioners, without sympathy or remorse. He was seized on the high way, or roused from sleep. He was suddenly surrounded by faces in which he could read no expression but one, which taught him that his hour was come. In a moment, without time for thought or prayer, the death-blow was struck; or the hellish tortures, which were to end in death, were brutally commenced. Who could compare the condemnation of the law, to such an end as this? Why should
The name given by the Hearts of Steel, to the chief tenants on Lord Donegal's property, who had purchased, by payment of a fine, the farms of poorer men, and then leased them to the former occupants at an excessive encrease of rent.]
+ Young's Tour, Vol. 2, p. 129.