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I would represent his case to the magistrates. He took my advice, but the fear of arrest and lashing had so taken possession of his thoughts, that he could neither eat nor sleep, and on the morning of the 25th, he fell on his face and expired in a little grove near my house.' p. 88. .
From p. 113, we learn that such is the hardy constitution of the Irish peasantry, that it was difficult to kill them; and the number who recovered from desperate wounds greatly surprised the author.
The most sanguinary conflict, in what was called the croppr war, was fought near Ross, by the rebels under Harvey, and the British troops under major-general Johnson.
Though this was doubtless the most bloody battle of the croppy war, I am not convinced that the loss of the assailants amounted to three thousand, or even two thirds of that number. That of the royal army in killed, wounded, and missing was acknowledged to be two hundred and thirty, of whom ninety lay dead on the scene of action. This army, before the battle, had consisted of about twelve hundred men. The rebels left behind them in their retreat fourteen swivel guns, and four cannon on ship-carriages. An artils lery man of the royal army, a prisoner of the rebels, had been appointed to the management of one of those canon, with menaces of instant death if he should not level right--and death he instantly found for aiming high. The fight had been so irregularly maintained by the rebel forces, that beside the neglect of their original plan, probably not half, or even a fourth part of their number, (supposed to be near' twenty thousand) ever descended from Corbet-hill to share the danger; and many in the beginning of the action Aed to their homes, and were, some hours before the decision of the com. bat, giving a fancied narration of the success of the day : • The alliance of cowardice with cruelty cannot perhaps be more strongly exemplified than in some of this day's transactions, Some run-away rebels, who had not dared to hazard their persons in the battle, turned their fury against objects equally void of criminality as incapable of resistance. Beside the massacre of three protestant men, who had fought courageously on the side of the rebels against the king's forces, they committed an act of such atrocity as requires no comment :--At the house of Scullabogue, the property of a Mr. King, at the foot of Carrickburn-mountain, had been left, when the rebel army marched to Corbet-hill, above two hundred protestant prisoners of both sexes and all ages, under a guard commanded by John Murphy, of Loghnagheer. The runaways, declaring that the royal army in Ross were shooting all the prisoners, and butchering the catholics who had fallen into their hands, feigned an order from Harvey for the execution of those at Scullabogue.
This order, which Harvey himself, a protestant and a man of humanity, was utterly incapable of giving, Murphy is said to have resisted but his resistance was vain. Thirty-seven were shot and piked at the hall-door ; and the rest, a hundred and eighty-four in
number, crammed into a barn, were burned alive-the roof being fired, and straw thrown into the flames to feed the conflagration. I have conversed with some respectable men who viewed the scene of this diabolical action on the following day, and who were struck with inexpressible horrors at the sight. Father John Shallow, Ro. man-catholic priest of Adamstown, has been charged by some with being concerned in, or approving of this horrid business; but from the affidavits of three protestants which I have read, and other grounds, I am decidedly inclined to think the charge not well founded. Another priest is on more probable grounds considered by some as the chief instigator of this horrible deed—whose name I forbear to mention, lest he may possibly be innocent, and I should unjustly bring odium on him. A few Romanists, according to some accounts fifteen in number, one of whom was Father Shallow's clerk, had been, partly by mistake or inadvertence, partly from obpoxious circumstances in the unfortunate objects, inclosed in the barn with the protestants, and by the precipitancy of the murderers shared the same fate.' P. 120.
.6 The rebels, who after the defeat of Walpole's army on the 4th of June, had wasted their time in burning the town of Carnew, in trials of prisoners for Orangemen, the plundering of houses, and other acts of like nature, at length collected their force at Gorey, and advanced to attack Arklow on the oth, the only day in which that post had been prepared for defence. Their number probably amounted to twenty-seven thousand, of whom near five thousand were armed with guns, the rest with pikes, which gave them'in some points of view the appearance of a moving forest, and they were furnished with three serviceable pieces of artillery. The troops posted for the defence of this, at that time, most important station, consisted of sixteen hundred men, including yeomen, sup. plementary men, and those of the artillery. The rebels attacked the town on all sides, except that which is washed by the river. The approach of that column, which advanced by the sea shore, was so rapid, that the picket guard of yeoman cavalry stationed in that quarter was in extreme danger, a party of the rebels having eniered and fired what is called the fishery, a part of the town on that side, composed of thatched cabins, before they could effect their escape, so that they were obliged to gallop through the flames while the main body of this rebel column was at their heels. So great was the terror of this troop of yeomen that most of them stopped not their ilight till they had crossed the river, swimming their horses, in great peril of drowning, across that broad stream. The farther progress of the assailants was prevented by the charge of the regular ca. valry, supported by the fire of the infantry, who had been formed for the defence of the town, in a line composed of three regiments, with their battalion artillery, those of the Armagh and Cavan
militia, and the Durham fencibles. The main effort of the rebels, · who commenced the attack near four o'clock in the evening, was directed against the station of the Durham, whose line extended through the field in front of the town to the road leading from Gorey.
• As the rebels poured their fire from the shelter of ditches, so that the opposite fire of the soldiery had no effect, colonel Skerret, the second in command, to whom major-general Needham, the first in command, had wisely given discretionary orders to make the best use of his abilities and professional skill, commanded his men to stand with ordered arms, their left wing covered by a breast-work, until the enemy leaving their cover should advance to an open attack. This open attack was made three times in most formidable force, the assailants rushing within a few yards of the cannons' mouths ; but they were received with so close and effective a fire, that they were repulsed with great slaughter in every attempt. The Durhams were not only exposed to the fire of the enemy's small arms, but were also galled by their cannon. A piece of these, directed at first much too high, designedly by a soldier, taken pris soner by the rebels, of the name of Shepherd, appointed to manage the gun, was afterwards levelled so by Esmond Kyan, a rebel chief, that it broke the carriage of one of the battalion guns, and obliged the left wing of the regiment to shift its ground, by advancing twenty paces, to avoid being enfiladed by the shot. One of the balls carried away the whole belly of a soldier, who yet lived some miņutes in that miserable condition, extended on the ground, and stretching forth his hands to his associates. Whatever talents general Needham may have possessed as a leader, of which I think it not necessary to give my opinion, he displayed for some time the courage of a soldier, riding from post to post exposed to the enemy's fire. He, however, at last, began to talk of a retreat. The resolution of colonel Skerret, on that occasion, saved Arklow, and, in my opinion, the kingdom. His reply to the general, when addressed on the subject of a retreat, was in words to this effect. “We cannot hope for victory otherwise than by preserving our ranks : if we break, all is lost; and from the spirit which I have seen displayed at this awful crisis by the Durham regiment, I can never bear the idea of its giving ground.”_By this magnanimous answer of the colonel, which had the full approbation of lieutenant-colonel Bainbridge and the other officers, the general was diverted some time from his scheme of a retreat, and in that time the business was decided by the retreat of the rebels, who retired in despair, when frus, trated in their most furious assault, in which Father Michael Murphy, priest of Ballycannoo, was killed by a cannon-shot, within thirty yards of the Durham line, while he was leading his people to the attack. This priest had been supposed by the more ignorant of his followers to be invulnerable by bullets or any other kind of weapon ; to confirm them in which belief he frequently shewed them musket balls, which he said he caught in his hands as they flew from the guns of the enemy. Though I was well acquainted with the extreme credulity of the lower classes of my Romanist countrymen, I could not give credit to this account until I found it confirmed beyond a doubt by various concurring testimonies, The same divine
protection was believed to be possessed by Father John, the famous fanatic already mentioned.
This battle, though not altogether the most bloody, was perhaps the most important of this war, since it probably decided the fate of Ireland. As the rebels were not pursued, for a pursuit would have been very hazardous, particularly near the close of the evening, which was the time of their retreat, they carried away most of their wounded, so that their loss could not be ascertained, but may have amounted to three or four hundred. The loss of the Durham regiment, out of three hundred and sixty men, of whicke it consisted, was twenty privates killed and wounded. One of its officers only received a hurt, captain Holmes of the grenadier com pany, the corner of whose eye was grazed by a musket-ball, which caused an effusion of blood and a most excruciating pain. This he supported with surprising fortitude, remaining at his post, and continuing to perform his duty. The loss of men sustained by the rest of the army I could not accurately learn ; but it was very small, much less than might have been expected; for though the weight of the combat lay on the Durhams, the action was every where warm, and the defence bravely maintained.' P. 128. - We shall not dwell on the detestable massacre at Wexford, nor on other shocking circumstances of this commotion, with which the public ear has for a long time been repeatedly disgusted ; and our extracts having already rather exceeded the proposed measure, we shall only indicate one or two striking passages. Few rebels were spared (p. 187) who could be proved to have saved a loyalist or his property-this humanity being considered as a proof of influence. The author hesitates, however, to believe that the report of this measure proceeded from policy; and that the insurgents were represented as exhibiting no humanity, in order to render their cause universally odious. The Hessians (p. 197) exceeded the other troops in depredation, and actually destroyed many loyalists, till the arri. val of the marquis of Huntley and his Highlanders introduced a different scene of order, justice, and mercy. Mr. Gordon conjectures (p. 203) that Ireland sustained damage by these commotions to the amount of two millions sterling. He observes (p. 218) that those who were most scrupulously ob. servant of the catholic religion and ceremonies were uniformly the most addicted to cruelty and murder; while the bullies. of the country, at fairs and other pacific meetings, were uniformly the greatest cowards in the field.
The account of the French expedition, under Humbert, appears to be related with clearness and precision; and our author is largely indebted to the Narrative of the Bishop of Killala, who records the assertion of Charost, that no consideration should prevail on him again to trust himself to such a horde of savages as the Irish. The importance of the following remarks commands their insertion.
: • Much work indeed is left for the imperial parliament, to attach the mass of the Irish peasantry to the constitution. This cannot be effected so long as the peasants are physically miserable. In my humble opinion, those taxes ought to be abolished which fall heavily on this description of men. Since the rents of lands, which are in general dreadfully severe on the Irish peasants, cannot be limited by law, long tenures ought to be enacted, which right encourage them to improve their grounds, so as to rise into a more comfortable con. dition, and augment at the same time the national riches. I should also wish a fair and equitable commutation of tithes, or such modifi. cation of them as would relieve the industrious cultivator, by obliging the lazy grazier, and the idle esquire, to bear a just proportion of the burthen. These hints may appear presumptuous from an obscure individual ; but I conceive it to be the duty of every writer, who on reflexion is strongly biassed in favour of the utility of a measure for the welfare of his country, to give his opinion freely to the public. That some defects must have existed in the system might, I should think, appear from the disturbances which have had place at several times among the peasants of Ireland; as the open, yet almost bloodless insurrection of men styling themselves Hearts of Oak, in the year 1763, in the counties of Armagh, Tyrone, and Derry--men of all sects of religion indiscriminately; the more bloody insurrection of the Hearts of Steel, ten years afterwards, in the counties of Antrim and Derry, mostly protestants, irritated to violence by exactions of rents and fines of leases on the estate of the carl of Donegal ; and the nocturnal outrages committed many years in the south by the Whiteboys, particularly in the counties of Tipperary and Kilkenny. Neither is emigration to America, from an island which could easily maintain double the number of its present inhabitants by a due cultivation and improvement of its lands, a very favourable symptom. What revenue might Ireland contribute for the support of the British power under proper encouragements of industry, when under many discouragements her annual revenue to the crown has risen from less than ten thousand pounds, in the fourteenth century, to near six millions, or six hundred fold, at, the close of the eighteenth?' P. 297.
The appendix contains several papers, letters, trials, &c. Of these documents, one of the most striking is a letter from Harvey, when at the head of the insurgents, declaring his utter inability of acting according to his own intentions.