Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

most wild and wandering state, dis establish the new population, not by tracted into petty factions that com- removing, or in any wise oppressing mitted atrocities upon each other at the native population, but by locating which humanity shudders, and always among them the settlers froin England under the odious influence of a number and Scotland. The motives and feelof chieftains, who imposed their arbi- ings that influenced the government in trary exactions and capricious wills this noble and, as the result has proved, as law upon their own factions, and most wise and politic measure, were sought even to impose them in a simi pure and disinterested ; they were so lar manner upon others; and the result far removed from any thing like a was, that neither peace, nor security, nor spirit of oppression against the people, prosperity could ever be established in that we do believe, we are verily conthe province, until the whole system of vinced, that the chief and prevailing the country was remodelled by effec- motive was a disinterested 'desire to tually crushing the influence of these confer the greatest blessing that they chiefs, and teaching the peasantry to could bestow upon them, namely, the know the sweets of tranquillity, the order and industry of civilized life, and comforts of security, the protection of a taste for all the improvements in law, and the advantage of prosperity habit and life which belong to civilized

It was in order to accomplish this, society. The following extract from which was plainly for the advantage of Leland, will fully justify this lanthe native population, and also for the guage :important purpose of establishing a

“ The passion for plantation which steady and loyal population in the James indulged, was actuated by the heart of that disaffected province, that fairest and most captivating motives. He the crown first undertook the planta. considered himself as the destined retion of Ulster. It was no part of the former and civilizer of a rude people, and design to oppress or remove the native was impatient for the glory of teaching a population, but to plant among the whole nation the valuable arts of life, of immense unpeopled and uncultivated improving their lands, of extending their tracts with which the province abound- commerce, and refining their mannersed, a more loyal and civilized class, of establishing a population in Ireland who, by their orderly and industrious composed of loyal and industrious inhabits, would practically teach to the habitants, who liy mixing with the old natives the advantages of order and natives should entice them from their industry. The thinness and scattered barbarisın, and thus of converting the state of the native population rendered wildness and distraction of the country this a matter of 'no great difficulty, into one fair scene of order, peace and especially as at least three-fourths- we prosperity.” speak far within the truth—of the en

We may add another extract from tire province were wholly unculti- the same writer :vated even in the rude fashion of the country, but were left covered with Irish to harass and distress the govern,

“ The repeated efforts of the native natural forests or extensive bogs and morasses, not in the smallest degreement, which they could have no rational more improved than the back woods expectations of subduing, only served to

confirm their subjection. By their conof our American colonies.

spiracies and rebellions a vast tract of An opportunity-just such an one

land escheated to the crown in six as could be desired, and yet could northern counties, Tyrconnel, (now scarcely be hoped for—was afforded, called Donegal,) Tyrone, Derry, Ferby the lights of Tyrone, Tyrconnel, managh, Cavan and Armagh, amounting and other northern rebels, who, on to about five hundred thousand acres-a finding that their secret treasons were tract of country covered with woods, discovered, and fearful of the conse- where robbers and rebels found a secure quences, fled to the continent. These shelter, desolated by war and famine, and chiefs were the proprietors of the destined to lie waste without the delibegreater portion of the soil of the pro- rate and vigorous interposition of the vince which thus became forfeited to English government. James, who afthe crown ; and it was upon these for. fected to derive his glory from the acts of feitures that the crown proposed to peace, resolved to dispose of these lands

in such manner as might introduce all hundred acres, and on the rest, eight fathe happy consequences of peace and cul- milies of husbandmen, artificers, and cottivation. The experience of ages bears tagers. The others were under the line the most honorable testimony to the de. obligations proportionately.

All were, sign, and Ireland must gratefully acknow. for five years after the date of their paledge that here were the first foundations tents, to reside, either in person or by laid of its affluence and security." such agents as should be approved by the So much, then, for the motives of state, and to keep a sufficient quantity of

arms for defence. The British and serthe plantation of Ulster ; they were purely political and philanthropic, and vitors were not to alienate their lands to partook in no degree of sectarian them to such persons as should refuse to

mere Irish, or to demise any portion of bigotry or prejudice. It was impossi- take the oathis to yovernment. They ble, however, from the very nature of were to let them at determined rents, and the measure, although we believe it was for no less term than twenty-one years, never once contemplated at the time, or three lives. Their tenants' houses that it could fail in having a most im- were to be built after the English fashion, portant influence on the religion of the and united together in towns or villages. population ; and looking at the result The old natives whose estates were grantafter so many years, we cannot but re- ed in fee simple, to be held in soccage, gard it as the most important measure were allowed the like privileges; they were ever undertaken by the English go- enjoined to set their lands at certain rents, vernment, as connected with the reli- and for the like terms as the other undergion of Ireland.

takers, to take no Irish exactions from As our present object is to show the their inferior tenants, and to oblige them causes of this great measure having to forsake their old Scythian custom of failed to influence the religion of the wandering with their caitle from place to country, as much as from its nature it place for pasture, or CREAGHTING, as they ought to have done, we need not enter called it, to dwell in towns, and conform very minutely into the details and par- to the English manner of tillage and husticulars of the plantation ; but as it is bandry.” possible, indeed very probable, that

Such was the conditions of the celemany of our readers are unacquainted brated plantation of Ulster, and it will with the conditions on which lands were

be at once perceived that there was no granted to the settlers, we shall give spirit of wrong or oppression against them in the concise form of the historian, the natives. The Irishi were perunited and we do so the more readily as they to hold and locate their own lands with lead us to the true cause of the failure their own countrymen, and to claim of the measure in the reformation of and possess the same privileges as the the religion of Ireland.

English or Scotch, and in all the con“ Estates were assigned to all to be ditions exacted from all parties, there held of then and their heirs. The under. was nothing that savoured of the narrow takers of two thousand acres were to hold spirit of sectarian bigotry, but all had of the King in capitethose of fifteen reference to the civilization of a wild hundred by knights' service—those of a and barbarous district. Nothing could thousand in common soccage. The first be devised more wisely adapted to acwere to build a castle,and enclose a strong complish this noble end and ineasure of court-yard or bavn, as it was called, with- philanthropy, and the result has proved, in four years: the second to finish a house

in the experience of two centuries, the and bawn in two years; and the third to

consummate wisdom of the design, for enclose a bawn, for even this rude spe

ever since that plantation, the province cies of fortification was accounted no in- of Ulster has been the seat of manufacconsiderable defence against the incursions

tures, the model of agriculture, the exof an Irish enemy. The first were to plant upon their lands, within three years, garden of true religion to this island.

ample of loyalty and peace, and the forty-eight able men of English or Scottish birth, to be reduced to twenty fami It is precisely at this point, and lies, to keep a demesne of six hundred arising out of this fact, that the diffiacres in their own hands, to have four culty commences, for it may well and fee farmers on a hundred and twenty reasonably be asked, whence has it #cres each, six leaseholders each on a arisen, that although this plantation of

Ulster-and the same question is appli We feel no hesitation-none whatcable to the subsequent plantations else- ever-in stating that these causes were where-- has weaned the natives from their of a political and not a religious nature. primitive barbarism of life, it yet has not This we urged in an article in a former won them from their religious prejudices, number, and think we proved was the and that though it has led them to case with tnose causes which led to habits of civilization,it has never induced the failure of the Reformation in the them to embrace the principles of the palmy times of Elizabeth. It is very Reformation. It must ever be care- facile work for factious demagogues fully kept in view that although a vast and interested priests, to declaim about body of English and Scottish Protest- the love and attachment of the Irish ants were thus located in this country, peasantry to the religion of their fathers, and thereby a vast accession was made and it is just as smooth and vily an to the numerical amount of the Pro- occupation for the sectarian bitterness testant population, which has increased of some separatists to wag their filthy and multiplied in full obedience to the tongues against the apathy, and neprimitive commandments ; yet it does glect, and carelessness of the Estabnot appear that they were to any ex lished Church. But the truth--the tent worth noticing. The means of naked truth--is, that the reformation Protestantizing the nation, they them- of the natives from their old superstiselves were Protestants, and maintained tions was not impeded by either any steadily, and do still maintain, their attachment to the Church of Rome, or Protestant principles; but the same any negligence of the Established may be said of the natives, who were Clergy, but by causes that had their Roman Catholics, and maintained stea- birth amidst the political throes of the dily, and do still maintain, their Roman country: Catholic principles. Neither sect We feel convinced that no sensible seems to have made any great advarice and unprejudiced mind will think otheron its opponent, and it is a remarkable wise of this matter, provided always and important fact, that at this day the he knows any thing about it. We comparative numbers, belonging to throw in these provisos, because we both sects, are pretty much the same have often met very adventurous and relatively that they were two centuries very Hippant cits-mere club-house ago. The oldest estimate of any value talkers—who dilate as dogmatically as which we possess,

that of Sir Wil- if they were really the profound sages liam Petty, who states the relative they affect to be thought, while they, in proportion of the two classes as follows: sober sadness, are fully as well acquaintRoman Catholics to Protestants as ed with what passes in the moon, as two and two-thirds to oncand the latest with the chequered history of this upon which we can place any confi- island. Now we, who proless to be dence, is that of Mr. Forster, who es- something like authority in all matters timates the proportion at two and three- connected with Irish history, whether eighths to one. So that although a cen- of politics, or religion, or literature, or tury and a half has intervened between antiquities-we, The Dublin University these two estimates, and although they Magazine, do assert, without any

fear shew a small advance on the part of the of contradiction from any quarter to be Protestant population, yet on the whole respected, that the ancient superstitions we may say that these plantations did of the natives of Ireland have not been not as much as might reasonably have perpetuated either by their fancied been expected, intluence the religion attachment to the principles of the of the natires. It is, therefore, the Church of Rome, or by any pretended inquiry remains as to the causes of this neglect on the part of the Church of failure, why was it that those measures England, but by that great evil which failed to establish the principles of the has ever walked through the land with Reformation in this country? Why the rampant step of a giant, and lashed was it that while they introduced civili- it with a scourge of scorpions--namezation and industry—the English namely, the political state of the country, and English habits—they yet failed to which has ever exposed it a prey to introduce the religious principles of be torn in pieces by intestine disiracEngland ?

tions, and a theatre for the contention

of every faction in the empire. It wandering about for pasture, as if the was this spirit—the evil genius of whole island were an open common, Ireland—that marred the noble and to which all had an equal right who glorious prospects that were opened could show an equal might. They in the days of Elizabeth ; and it was could thus naturally be led to adopt this spirit that passed again over the what appeared evidently and on the land, and desolated, as with a whirl- face of it, to be a palpable advantage, mind, the fair and beautiful vista that and accordingly they did, to a certain opened to the view in the plantation extent, adopt the civilization of the of C'Ister.

settlers. We say to a certain extent, Let us not, however, be misunder- because it is a fact that to this day those stood. We mean not to fasten the portions of Ulster which have contifailure of that great measure in reform- nued in the hands of the original ining the religion of Ireland altogether habitants, and who have still clung to upon the troublous bearing of the na- their original religion, are very far infetives. Far from it; we feel that the rior in culture and civilization to those failure arose from the conduct of the portions which came into the hands of plantation--through the mistakes of the settlers. Thus, while to a cersome and the wickedness of others— tain extent they embraced the habits of in connexion with the evil condition order and industry, which were introand general political and social state duced among them, because they saw of the native population, it state that them so plainly to be advantageous to reqnired more cautious sagacity and themselves, they did not equally emmore political wisdoin on the part of brace their religious principles, because, those who conducted the settlements among other reasons, they could not so than they appear to have exercised, for easily discern the advantage of doing although the crown had devised the so. measure with consummate wisdom and This distinction requires to be kept disinterested feeling, those who carried it in view, for the population were altointo effect were too often either reckless gether in too barbarous a stage--inadventurers, or grasping spirits that mersed to the throat in absurd superdid not enter into the feelings and spirit stitions and impenetrable ignorance, of the crown, and it was, therefore, the and could not form an opinion-were, less to be marvelled at,that the natives, in fact, incapable of thinking on the always delighting in stormy strife and principles of a religion which, like agitation-habitually addicted to the Christianity, in its pure state after the reckless bearing of faction, and natii. Reformation, presented itself to their Tally burning for sime plausible pretext eyes divested and disrobed of those exfordisaffection-should takefire at every temal trappings and sensible displays thing that was not perfected with that in which ignorance soon generally inprudent caution that was so necessary vests it. They could see, therefore, in even the details of the conduct of so but litue attraction in this religion; great a measure.

while, perhaps, they saw, or thought There is, therefore, much in the way they saw, something not always recomof apology may be offered on behalf of mendatory of it in the conduct of the the natives. We may farther note, that settlers. If we, then, throw into the among a wild and ignorant population scale that feeling—that gigantic feeling like that wbich had possessed the pro- among even savage tribes—which arose vince of Ulster, there was a vast dif- out of their relative siiuations, they ference between embracing the civili were the conquered in the presence zation, and receiving the religion of of their conquerors-slaves, as their England. They could easily perceive leaders would tell them, doomed to the comforts of houses constructed in hear and to bear the clanking of their the English manner, and would natu- chains, even in the presence of their rally be led to adopt it. They could foreign masters. There were not wanted readily observe theadvantages of tillage in those days ample pretexts for sowing and a settled farm, and would, there- disaffection, discontent, and agitation ; fore, easily be led to prefer it to their there, unhappily, were not wanted acts hall-Scythian fashion of creaghting, or of wrong, which the spirit of faction

and bigotry, with that tact which is been accomplished, a very few years peculiar to this country, could handle had scarcely elapsed, when, as if there with large effect on the excitableness had not been already ample materials and enthusiasm of the mere Irishry; for hostility, a new and unexpected and, more than all, there were not element of discord was cast among wanted then, any more than now, indi- them, one which, we believe, more than viduals who, for their own selfish pur- all else, caused the failure—so far as poses, could wield the pretexts which it was a failure—of the plantation of might, or might not, be afforded, for the Ulster, and threw up an impassable continued discontent and disaffection barrier between the Protestant and of the natives. Bold, bad men, they Roman Catholic, that is, between the knew the influence of religious di-corid, English and Irish population. We and they knew the inflammable nature allude to the violation of the conditions of those upon whom they acted; they of the settlement on the part of the threw in the torch of religious discord, more extensive planters or landlords, and essayed to sever two nations, that, who, for their own ends--for their own were it not for the political state of the selfish aggrandiseinent-generated an natives, excited by their factionists, object of rivalry, which ever has sepawould have been long since a happy rated, and does even yet separate, ihe and united people.

two classes. The peculiar position in which both The conditions contained in the vaparties were placed naturally created rious grants of lands strictly required materials for mutual estrangement; and that the proprietors should in no case truly the history of the times show's alienate their lands to the natives, or that those materials were not suffered plant them as tenants on their grants. to sleep undisturbed. On one hand, the 'The Irish chiefs were to locate the nasettlers entered a wild and woody and tives on their lands: but the English uncultivated country, abounding in deep and Scottish were required to plant morasses and impenetrable fastnesses; those who were of English and Scottish and respecting its inhabitants the set- birth upon theirs. This condition was tlers entertained strange and confused wise and just under the peculiar cirimpressions, arising from their preda- cumstances of the settlement; and if it tory habits, barbarous customs, atro- bad been strictly adhered to it would cious murders, and unnumbered rebel- have prodigiously extended the benefits lions. It was natural, therefore, that, derivable from the measure: but, unentering a new country under such im- fortunately for our distracted country, pressions, they should shrink from close' in which there seems to be an evil intercourse with, and should feel a spirit ever ready to breathe a blight watchful jealousy towards, the native upon our loveliest prospects and upon population. On the other hand, it was all that is most beautiful and admirable equally natural that the natives should amongst us, some of those new profeel an estrangement from those who prietors did not adhere to these comia had conquered their country and flung tions, and actually removed those Engthe chain of England's power over the lish and Scottish tenants whom they green hills of Ireland, and who went so had first planted on their grants, and far in the steps of conquest as to seize located the natives in their stead. The upon the very soil, and transfer its competition for land, the rivalry which possession to the children of the sas was thus generated between the settlers senach. Under such circumstances, it and natives, soon became a deep and is not to be wondered at that a strong dark feeling, that, to this day, clings to suspicious jealousy should find place in the individuals of both classes; for the the hearts of both settlers and natives; settlers felt that they had been wronged, and we know that it is not in a soil and they felt a burning indignation at of such a character that the beautiful thinking that the new landlords should plant of true religiou is likely to spread thus cast them off and prefer a class of abroad its branches: it could neither tenantry who, from their barbarous strike root downwards nor bear fruit habits and few wants, could afford to upwards.

offer a largerrent for their lands, and who Thesettlement, however, had scarcely possessed no other recomiendations.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »