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make up the probation in other cases: nor how he suffered the greatest indignities imaginable from his complices in presence of the Privy Council, though this convinced many of their lordships that he was at the mercy of those complices, who were too far upon his secrets not to be slavishly submitted to. But I cannot omit how, that since he came into prison, he has lived so impiously and atheistically, as shews that he had no awe upon his spirit to restrain him from committing any crime from a love to God or a fear to hell ; and that he constantly filled and kept himself drunk from morning till night, thereby to drown the voice of his conscience, and to make himself insensible of the terrors of the Almighty.
“The judges have declared what was necessary to be proved, and you are only to judge if we have proved what they have thought necessary ; and therefore there is no place to doubt if a man's life may be taken upon mere presumptions, for the judges have eased you of that scruple by finding the grounds in this qualified libel relevant; and his own advocates have acknowledged this probation to be so strong and unanswerable, that before the half of it was led they went away and deserted a client whom they found they could not defend ; nor should any man doubt of a probation which one's own advocates think invincible. If then such amongst you as are fathers would not wish to be murdered by your own children, or such of you as are sons would not wish the world to believe that you are weary of your fathers, you will all concur to find this miscreant guilty of a crime that God has taken so much pains” (an odd expression] “ to detect, and all mankind had such reason to wish to be punished, May then the Almighty God, who formed your hearts, convince them; and may this poor nation cite you as the remarkable curbers of vice to all succeeding ages!”
When Sir George Mackenzie had concluded his address, His Majesty's Advocate protested for an assize of error against the inquest, in case they should assoilzie racquit] the pannel. That is to say, he protested that, in case the jury should pronounce the prisoner not guilty, he might be entitled to have them brought up to be tried themselves for giving a wrong verdict.
But the jury unanimously found the prisoner Guilty of all the facts laid in the indictment; viz. of treason, cursing his father, and being accessory to his murder.
The assize finding him guilty, the lords of justiciary ordered him to be hanged on the 15th of February, at the cross of Edinburgh, and his tongue to be cut out for cursing his father, and his right hand to be cut off for the parricide, and his head to be put upon the East Port of Haddington, as nearest to the place of murder, and his body to be hung up in chains betwixt Leith and Edinburgh, and his lands and goods to be confiscated for the treason.
All this was rigorously put into execution. “Some thought,' says Lord Fontainhall, a contemporary judge, “ if not a miraculous, yet an extraordinary return of the imprecations was the accident of the slipping of the knots on the crosse, whereby his feet and knees were on the scaffold, which necessitated them to strangle him, bearing therein a nearer resemblance to his father's death; and a new application having been made that they might be allowed to bury him, Duke Hamilton was for it, Put the Chancellor would not consent, because he had mocked his religion: so his body was hung up, and some days after being stolen down,
it was found lying in a ditch among some water, as his father's was; and by order was hung up again, and then a second time was taken down.”
The haze of popular superstition with which this horrible case is surrounded is no unfit atmosphere for one of the darkest and saddest of domestic tragedies to be found in judicial records; a tragedy, as we may gather from many glimpses we have, through the scene chiefly presented to us by the trial, into the back-ground of the past, of long years of sin and sorrow before the horrors of that last midnight in which the old man's breath was crushed out of him by the son who had already broken his heart. Philip Stansfield is said to have been a reprobate from his youth upwards; and a story is told by the Scottish church historian, Wodrow, which makes his doom to have been pronounced by the voice of prophetic sagacity, not uninspired, long before he heard the fatal words from the lips of the Dempster of the High Court of Justiciary. “ This profligate youth,” Wodrow writes, “ being at the University of St. Andrew's a good many years before he committed this barbarous murder, came to a sermon in Kinkell Close, about a mile from St. Andrew's, where Mr. John Welch was preaching, and, in his spite and mocking, in time of sermon, threw somewhat or other at the minister, which hit him. The minister stopped, and said he did not know who had put that public affront on a servant of Christ; but, be he who he would, he was persuaded there would be more present at his death than were hearing him preach that day, and the multitude was not small. This was accomplished, and Mr. Stansfield acknowledged this in prison after he was condemned, and that God was about to accomplish what he had been warned of.” Wodrow says that he had the circumstance “ from several hands, and one of them present when this passage fell out.” The clergy man who made this severe repartee was a great grandson of John Knox, and one of a family eminent in the Scottish church for eloquence and courage during nearly the whole of the stormy period from the Reformation to the Revolution. The time of Mr. John Welch's preaching in Fife was from about 1670 to 1674.
A FORTRESS OF THE DESMOND.
" Brown in the rust of time-it stands subliine,
With overhanging battlements and toucrs,
One great object of this series of papers on “ Historic Ruins" I con. sider to be the drawing public attention to these fading relics of other times, and by investing them with the associations of famous deeds to which they can lay just claim, insure them respect and protection from hands too ready to anticipate the spoiler, Time. In Ireland, particularly, this calls loudly for remark. There is melancholy neglect of our monu. mental remains in Ireland -and in this respect we present a sad contrast to every other country and leaven knows the past is the brightest era of our fame. Surely there ought to be spirit enough in the country to prevent the priceless and irrecoverable memorials of our country's greatness diminishing daily before our eyes-becoming small by degrees, and shamefully less. They order these things better in France : public Boards and government officers care for and protect the historical monu. ments in the land of the Gaul ; but we have no fostering public departments or government Boards interested in preserving any national relics of the ancient kingilom of Erin. Does it not, then, behove the Irish to look to it, and take upon themselves the duties which other countries depute their minister to do. It is possible for every man to assist, and at least refrain from doing positive injury. The peasant need not make a gate-post of a pillar-stone, or turn the sculptured capital into a support for his cabin-door. The patriot, Davis, has denounced such conduct in his own forcible way:-“ We have seen pigs housed in the piled friezes of a broken church, cows stabled in the palaces of the Desmonds, and corn thrashed on the floor of abbeys, and the sheep and the tearing wind tenant the corridors of Arlcach." We, too, have similar testiinony to add. We were lately in company with a friend, in the abbey ruins of Glenworth, Co. Cork; sheep and horned cattle browsed amid the ruins. A portion of the chapel is in perfect preservation, save that the roof is gone ; and wind and rain, the summer sun and winter blast, came and went, unchecked, through the space. The parish priest accompanied us, and informed us“that his parish was in great want of a commodious school-room that the poor people could ill atford funds to build one ; and decming the walls of this abbeychapel quite able to support a roof, he applied to the gentleman on whose
VOL. V., NO. XXI,
property the ruins exist for the requisite permission, but the gentleman, finding it was for the purpose of national education, positively refused," and the desecrated abbey is now occupied by the sheep and cows of the neighbourhood. But a beautiful river and a bold ruin are before us. The river is the Blackwater, which has now wandered far from its cradled home, near the mountains of Sliabh Logher, to Kerry. It has swept, in its majestic course, along battle plains, and scenes remarkable in the pages of the historian. Its dark waters have mirrored back the tottering walls of castles once firmly held by puissant chiefs, whose warrior races have long since been lost to earth. O Keefes, MacDonoughs, Condons, Desmonds, Raleighs, Boyles, Barrys, have left proud memories that can never be effaced along its course ;-names connected with deeds of blood and strife that recall the horrors war inflicts on a country, and make us rejoice at their absence. What awful memories are linked with the blood-cemented walls before us; what fearful deeds have been perpetrated within these chambers, now bare and open to view! Let us recount a portion of its history.
HISTORIC LEGEND OF STRANCALLY.
“Ile rose by blood, he built by main distress,
And the inheritance of desolation left
* You ask me to give you some particulars respecting the Castle,” said my friend, « and I am happy to oblige you, for I think you will agree with me, that Edmund Spencer had this very castle in his mind when, in the book of the · Fairie Queen,' he describes the cruelties of Pollenti, and his subjugation, by Sir Artigall. As the account is lengthened by à curious legend connected with the building,” added my companion, seating himself on a buge fragment of wall, which seemed torn from the main building by some very sudden shock, as if an earthquake had heaved the mass asunder, “we may as well rest ourselves while I relate it."
I took my seat opposite the heap of dismantled ruins, and listened attentively while my friend went on.
« You can readily imagine, from the size and strength of the pile before you, what this castle must have been in the days of its glory, when the stout fortress of the puissant Earl of Desmond. Even now, its lofty walls, and wide spread towers, so many scattered emblems of strength, attest its fame; but the walls are long prostrate, and the towers tenantless, and the moralizers on the wrecks of human grandeur may now read humanity some useful lessons. The chieftain who dwelt here was descended from an illustrious race. He was of the Geraldines: and we find that Maurice Fitzgerald, the founder of the princely race, now represented by the ducal house of Leinster, the knightly races of Glin, Kerry, Muckridge, &c., cali e over to this country with Earl Strongbow, and traced a far back ancestry among the Italian and Norman nobles. The most virtuous race will occasionally have to shew a dark stain on their escutcheon ; and the character of the chieftain of Desmond, who dwelt in Strancally Castle, may be gleaned from the following tale:
“ The bridal of Sir Herbert Fitzgerald, of Conna Castle, to the fair daughter of Condon, Lord of Ballyduff, had been the source of great gratification to the friends of both families. Sir Herbert was much beloved for his martial and chivalrous bearing, and by his junction with the Chief of Ballyduff, was supposed to have strengthened his position in the county, so as to defy any force which the grasping efforts of the Lord of Strancally might bring into the field against him. This latter noble had constantly at his command a band of daring desperate ruffians, who, ever needy, and leading the most dissolute lives, were ready to set lance in rest and unsheath their willing swords against any person to whom their lord directed them to ride, and on whose possessions he cast a longing look. I need hardly tell you, that in those times, when the humanizing efforts of good and wholesome laws had made no progress whatever in the country, such doings could be committed with perfect impunity, provided always, as you lawyers say, the acting party was sufficiently strong to resist the force of the Lord President of the province, in case that high official was not himself the offending party, as was unhappily very often the case. Well, the marriage gave content to all parties apparently ; for one of the foremost to visit the Lord of Conna and his new-made bride, was Lord Desmond, of Strančally, and to assure the bridegroom of the fidelity of his friendship, he refused to leave Conna until a day was fixed for a great feast at Strancally, in honour of the nuptials.
“ I am sorry you promised that bold bad man, dear Herbert,' exclaimed the bride, as the fierce visitor, followed by his grim warriors' retinue, made his strong charger bound as he plunged the rowels into his side in exultation.
“Hush, my timid dove,' replied her husband, bad he is—but there are others bold enough to defy him— time and place proper-but now there is no cause to fear. As his guest, you know I am safe.'
“ The lady silently shook her head, and went on with the embroidery of a banner she intended to present to her lord.
“Meanwhile, the joy of Lord Desmond at the success of his visit, could not be controlled in silence. He summoned to his side the leader of his band-leader in wickedness, as first in command. I have him,' cried Desmond. "I have him fast,—and despite their cunning, from the banks of Blackwater to the bride, all shall yet be mine. They thought to outwit me, and keep the town of Conna as a watch-house, to prevent my harrying Condon's country, but now they shall find out their mistake.'
«. I guessed there was work astir, my lord,' observed the retainer. Your friendly visits are seldom congratulatory. How mean you to deal with this youthful pair ? My sword, my rope, or a draught of my potion are equally at your need. And the ruffian's face glanced murder.
“Thanks, trusty Everard, you never failed me,' returned the savage lord. “But methinks your words have caused me much embarrassment. With respect to this gay gallant, I can easily manage him ; if any difficulty of despatching him arises, there remains the secret chamber, the trap-bed never misses, and the dark waters of Avondhu roll so swiftly to the sea, that no corpse ever reached the shore to give rise to a suspicion. But I am loath to hurt the girl-she must be cared for.'
“ With this touch of compassion, which caused a muttered curse of astonishment to rush to the lips of the attendant, the group entered the court-yard of Strancally,