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"That one of his informants paid on his admission a fee of 1s. 8d., and about 7s. 6d. for whiskey; and that he afterwards paid 5s. on being made a committee-man, and gave 4s. 4d. for drink for those present."
acquainted. It could not be without my knowledge, and I have never had the slightest intimation of it." Lord Donoughmore says: "I know nothing of any secret society in Tipperary" (and Lord Donoughmore's was an opinion to which noble Lords could not object). Mr. Drummond
The whole of his answer is very important, and should be read at length. Mr. Drummond says:
"The promoters are publicans, who receive "As to Ribandism itself, I doubt the exist ence of such a society, formed with a view quarterly payments, and render no account. to the commission of agrarian outrage; and The publicans have a sort of connection with founded upon feelings of religious animosity, the whole to some head unknown. The proeach other, and affect mystery, and attribute from the effects which appear, I cannot even conclude its existence. There is no evidence moters are knaves, and the members dupes. whatever, except the unsupported assertion of I think that it is chiefly formed and carried on informants, of any outrage having been planned by publicans to bring trade to their houses, and that the money subscribed goes to support at any of their meetings; and a strong pre-in idleness a great many more clever than the sumption against this supposition is furnished by the remarkable fact, that our informants, though professing to be present at the meetings where murders have been concocted, have never, during several years, been able to give information of any such murder until after its
"As far as I know, every meeting of a lodge is in a public-house. A great number of the masters are publicans. The lodge is usually held at a public-house. One reason for keep ing up the system is, that the meetings are held in public-houses, and the publicans being parish masters, receive 18. a piece from each cómmittee-man in the parish, beside the profit on the drinking. Each committee-man gets 1s. from every man he tests or swears, and after that 3d. a quarter from every man in his lodge; and the county masters get 3s. 6d. a quarter from each parish in the county."
Mr. Faussett quotes an information"That at the quarterly meetings each of the members pays 6d., of which 3d. are allocated to the purpose of drinking, and the other 3d. are paid to the masters for pass-words. At other meetings each of the members pays 6d., of which half is for drink, and the other half goes to a fund for private purposes. The publicans have a great interest in the system it brings grist to their mill; a great many of the members are imposed upon, and don't know what becomes of their money."
One object of keeping it up was to make money, as the county delegate made 3001. a year. Captain Despard stated:
An informant of Mr. Faussett says: The 6d. a month is subscribed to buy arms, but they have not bought any yet." The noble Lord also quoted the evidence of Mr. Cahill, Mr. Tracy, and Mr. Faussett, for the purpose of showing that the informers were distressed and in want of money. After all the evidence which he had offered, noble Lords would not be surprised at the universal failure to secure convictions for the offence of Ribandism. [The Earl of Roden: There was one conviction at Drogheda.] That was the only case of successful prosecution. While on this branch of the subject, he would state what had passed in committee. Drummond, in one of the seven days of his examination, came before the committee with six or seven boxes of papers relating to the prosecution for Ribandism, and with some anxiety of manner observed, that if any noble Lord entertained the slightest suspicion that the Government had not diligently and perseveringly done their duty for the punishment of Riband outrages, he was ready to enter at full length into every single case. The committee kindly allowed him to do so, although both the noble Chairman and the noble and learned Lord acquiesced in assuring Mr. Drummond that not the slightest doubt was entertained but the Government had done their utmost. But when it was remembered that the main ground of the charge of the noble Earl was, that there existed a conspiracy, which had been fostered by the neglect of the Government, that the organization of such a conspiracy was a certain source of crime, and that his noble Friend (the Marquess of Normanby) was responsible for more
In 1816, Sir Robert Peel, in bringing the state of Ireland before Parliament, said :
crime and bloodshed than any previous | dictates. If a tract of land was to be set in Viceroy, was not this communication from con-acre, these lawless miscreants would fix a the committee to Mr. Drummond a com- price per acre upon it, and any person giving plete justification of the conduct of his more would certainly receive personal torture, or suffer some injury in his property." noble Friend? To come to the immediate subject of discussion, the bill before the House, which enacted a new mode of dealing with persons having passes, pass words, or unlawful oaths, there was nothing new in the nature of these offences. From Mr. Barrington, Crown solicitor, he had procured a statement of the nature of the Whiteboys' oaths in former years;
"That in former periods of the history of that country, tumults and outrages had subsisted, but they were generally to be traced to small and comparatively unimportant causes; particular and local grievances; personal animosities or hereditary feuds constituted the "In 1761: To be ready when called upon. principal sources of them; at other times, In 1785: To obey Captain Wright. In 1807: grievances of a more distinct and positive naTo be ready when called upon. In 1811: To ture were alleged, such as the high price of keep secret, and be ready when called upon. land, and then the professed object of the comIn 1812: Not to sell potatoes for more than bination was to lower it. But the disturb68. per barrel, nor to work for less than certain ances then existing have no precise or definiwages. In 1821: To join Captain Rock. In tive cause-they seemed to be the effect of a 1822: To keep secret, and be loyal to the party; general confederacy in crime-a comprehento keep secret and assist the Whiteboys. In 1824. sive conspiracy of guilt-a systematic opposiNever to assist in the execution of a civil bill tion to all laws and municipal institutions. decree, or serve a civil bill process; to pro- The records of the courts of justice show such cure money to aid the Whiteboys; not to disa settled and uniform system of guilt, that such cover or give evidence. In 1824. To kill monstrous and horrible perjuries could not be ministers, proctors, spies, and informers; not found in the annals of any country on the face to discover on a murder if he saw it committed; of the globe, whether civilized or uncivilized. to become a three-year-old-boy; to swear on Time alone, the prevalence of a kind and pathe altar not discover on Captain Rock. Internal Government, and the extension of 1829. To keep secret; not to work for less education were the remedies which must be than 1s. a-day, and to be ready when called relied on." upon. In 1830: To be true to the Whiteboys. In 1833: Not to pay tithes or churchrates. In 1834 Not to work under certain wages. In 1837 Not to serve tithe processes. In 1838 Not to prosecute at sessions."
In further corroboration of the state of Ireland with regard to these crimes, in former years, he would quote from speeches of Sir Robert Peel in 1814 and 1816. In 1814, Sir Robert Peel said :
"The evil which it was now proposed to remedy, had_not, he was sorry to say, risen on a sudden. It had existed for a considerable time, indeed he might say for the whole period he had the honour of forming a part of the Irish Government. The disturbances in this county (Westmeath) appear to have commenced about the beginning of the year 1813, and have been rapidly increasing ever since, notwithstanding great exertions have been made on the part of the magistracy to check and subdue them. The persons engaged in those disturbances, styling themselves carders,' commenced their outrages, by attacking houses, robbery of fire-arms, and swearing the lower orders to obey such rules and orders as should be dictated and pronounced by them. To effect these purposes, they posted notices through different parts of the country, and declared vengeance against any person who should not comply with such, their lawless
In 1820, the county of Galway was so much disturbed, that Mr. James Daly, in his place in Parliament, stated :—
of that country required a more prompt and "There never was a period when the state more vigorous interposition on the part of Government, when the disturbance was so extensive, and the outrages of so violent and dangerous a character. The disturbances to which he had alluded commenced about the middle of November last, in the county of Roscommon and the parts adjacent. Renewed disturbances took place, in which some lives were lost, and a gentleman of respectability was shot by the roadside on a public highway. The meeting of the magistrates was adjourned for a fortnight, and in that short interval, such was the increased audacity of the rebels-for he could designate them in no other mannerthat upwards of seventy gentlemen's seats had been attacked and plundered, and there were actually 'not five seats in the whole district which had either not been entered, or defended and saved from the depredations, after an obstinate engagement. They attacked the policebarracks, and thirteen of the police were dangerously wounded in a desperate engagement, which lasted from half past nine in the evening till three in the morning. For above five hours was this band of rebels engaged with his Majesty's organized and veteran troops,
The country was studded so thickly with troops | in the seven months ending January last, the that no man could stand at his door without number of outrages of an insurrectionary chaseeing parties of soldiers. Government had racter committed within the county have been obliged to take another step, which was amounted to 300, while the number of conunconstitutional, although he allowed it was victions have been only nine, notwithstandnecessary, namely, to grant the qualification ing the great exertion of the constituted auof the peace to field officers and captains com- thorities." manding detachments. What he had described related only to one county. He had heard that both Kilkenny and Cork were disturbed, and that horrible outrages had been perpetrated in Westmeath."
In March, 1829, in bringing before the House of Commons the bill for the removal of the Roman Catholic disabilities, Sir Robert Peel described the state of Ireland thus
"I apprehend it scarcely possible we can change for the worse. What is the melancholy fact? That for scarcely one year during the period that has elapsed since the Union, has Ireland been governed by the ordinary course of law. In 1800, we find the Habeas Corpus Act suspended, and the act for the suppression of rebellion in force. In 1801 they were continued; in 1802, they expired. In 1803 the insurrection, for which Emmett suffered, broke out. Lord Kilwarden was murdered by a savage mob; and both acts of Parliament were renewed. In 1804 they were continued In 1806 the West and South of Ireland were in a state of insubordination, which was with difficulty suppressed by the severest enforcement of the ordinary law. In 1807, in consequence, chiefly, of disorders that had prevailed in 1806, the act called the Insurrection Act was introduced; it gave power to the Lord-lieutenant to place any district, by proclamation, out of the pale of the law; it suspended trial by jury, and made it a transportable offence to be out of doors from sunset to sunrise. In 1807, this act continued in force, and in 1808, 1809, and the close of the ses
sions of 1810. In 1814, the Insurrection Act was renewed; it was continued in 1815, 1816, and 1817. In 1822, it was again renewed, and continued during the years 1823, 1824, and 1825. In 1825, the act intended for the suppression of dangerous associations was passed; it continued during 1826, and 1827, and expired in 1828. In 1829, disturbances to a frightful extent existed in part of the county of Cork; conspiracies were formed for the assassination of magistrates; murders were committed; the police barracks were at tacked, the inhabitants shot; houses and villages burned, and gentlemen in their carriages and on horseback, fired at and wounded. A special commission was held in the county at this period."
At a general meeting of the Kilkenny magistrates in March 1832, it was resolved
"That it appears by official documents that
trates of Queen's County in 1832, it was At a similar general meeting of magisstated, that
"No man can venture to leave his house unguarded at any hour in the twenty-four. Within the last three months 133 houses in the Queen's County had been attacked, from 65 of which, arms had been plundered."
Those magistrates called for a renewal of the Insurrection Act. The magistrates of other counties also assembled in the
same year from similar causes. There was evidence sufficient to prove that the state of things complained of by the noble Earl, even if proved to exist, was not new. But it might be said that the noble Marquess had not grappled with the evil as former Governments had done. He was quite sure that the two last of the predecessors of the noble Marquess, Lords Anglesey and Wellesley, were far too high-minded and honourable men to receive a compli ment of that sort at the expense of their successor. The truth was that the noble Marquess had done as much if not more than any of his predecessors to bring back the country to tranquillity and to ameliorate its condition, and he was quite sure that he would be saying nothing that could at all wound the self-love of those noble Lords--if such a term could be applied to their feelings-when he said that the administration of the noble Marquess would be regarded by the great majority of the Irish people with the most grateful recollection. That was the best answer that the noble Marquess could give to the charge of indifference to the punishment of crime. The present Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, admirable as his administration undoubtedly was, was fast pursuing the course originally chalked out by Lords Anglesey and Wellesley, and since so excellently followed up by the noble Marquess. To one other topic he would refer as illustrative of the facts of the noble Marquess's Government-the amount of military force now in Ireland. When he assumed the reins of Government, there was in Ireland an army of 23,000 or 24,000 men. The nominal force now in Ireland was 11,257, of whom, perhaps, not more than 10,500 were effective men. If there were not
another argument in favour of the admin- | associations had existed in Ireland, he istration of the noble Marquess, this single must say that they had never ceased since fact spoke volumes in favour of the admir- 1798. The machinery established by the able principles upon which the noble Mar- United Irishmen was the commencement, quess had acted in Ireland. and that machinery was found so convenient for carrying on such societies that it had never been abandoned. The society of 1798 was formed originally by the Protestants of the north of Ireland—it was not formed by the Roman Catholics. He had only further to remark that the Roman Catholic priests of Ireland, of whom he had had any knowledge, although of course there were exceptions, as there were in every large body, appeared to him some of the most respectable and meritorious individuals he had ever met with.
Lord Brougham said, there could not be a doubt, from what had fallen from the noble Lord who had just sat down, as well as from the statement of the noble Chairman of the committee, that Ribandism was a most dangerous association, and one which the magistrates were bound to take the most energetic measures to put down. Noble Lords seemed to think the association less dangerous, because it was agrarian in its objects. But could there be anything more dreadful than an association for such purposes, and with such objects as those detailed in the evidence? Why, it was in evidence that for five shillings or six shillings any man who had taken possession of a tenement, from which another had been ejected, could be shot. He had never seen a greater desire in any witnesses to tell, or any committee to ascertain the truth. He still thought that the appointment of the committee was proper; he thought, with the noble Duke, that the result had proved highly important, and although he did not go the full extent of the opinion of some noble Lords as to the proof of the extent and object of secret societies, still he did not even know, till the appointment of the committee, that there did exist such a dangerous weapon to be snatched up at any moment, and he had never thought that Ireland was in such a state at present as it was found on this inquiry to be. A noble Lord who had been lately introduced into that House, and who had spoken with much ability in the course of this debate (Lord Lurgan), had borne testimony to the fairness of the committee, and he did not envy the feelings of those leaders of the noble Lord who would now impugn it, or who, with a no more certain majority than twenty-two, had chosen to pass judgment before they had even heard the evidence.
Viscount Melbourne had hoped, that the noble Duke (Wellington) would have allowed the debate to close without troubling their Lordships with any observations; but the noble Duke had not only broken silence himself, but he had also compelled him to break silence. Some observations which the noble Duke had made, it was necessary for him to notice. The noble Duke had stated the reasons for which he had supported the appointment of the committee, and had said that he was satisfied with the result, and that this result entirely justified the course which he had taken. He had opposed the appointment of the committee, on the ground that it was unnecessary and useless, and intended to criminate and accuse the Government of Ireland. As to obtaining by its means, information, it was, as he thought, useless; but, whether it had proved so or not, as he had not perused this great body of evidence, he could not say, but having heard the substance of the evidence, with respect to Ribandism, very fully, and no doubt very fairly, stated by noble Lords near him, he was of opinion, with respect to secret societies, that the committee was a complete failure. There was nothing proved that they had not heard for many years-there were no new circumstances, and no new information on the subject The noble Lord opposite (Wharncliffe) was Lord Plunket said, that it was a mistake well acquainted with the state of Ireland; to suppose that it was not the desire of he well knew what had taken place in comthe Government to use every exertion mittees on Irish affairs for the last twenty effectually to put down any secret socie- years, and he had taken part in the debates ties; but it would be foolish in him if, on those affairs, and he would appeal to that after the favourable verdict which had noble Lord, whether, with respect to secret been passed by all on his noble Friend, societies or Ribandism, whatever it might he provoked any further discussion. Hav- be called, there were stated any circuming been for forty years in public employ-stances with which they were not acquaint. ment, and having been assured that secreted before the committee was appointed?
up to a great extent without the knowledge of the Government of the day. There had always since been secret societies of all descriptions for the worst of purposes to control trade, to control labour, and for purposes of tyranny and of violence; and it was impossible to deny that to the violence from which the country in which we live was unfortunately not exempt, there was a greater propensity in Ireland. Then the noble Duke made another charge, that while the Government knew of the existence of these secret societies, and these elements of evil, there had been a speech from the Throne congratulating the House on the peaceable state of Ireland. He only remembered one occasion in which there was such a speech, and that was at the end of the Session of 1834, for which the noble Duke (Richmond) was fully as responsible as himself, and the Government did conceive that they were then justified, by the circumstances which then existed, to state the greater degree of tranquillity in Ireland. They did not negative that there was not in Ireland any dangerous symptoms; he thought, then, the Government was justified in putting into the mouth of the Sovereign on the Throne the congratu
Their nature, their object, and the manner | up suddenly-it grew up secretly-it grew in which they worked, had been well explained by his noble and learned Friend who had lately addressed the House; he fully agreed in that noble Lord's view of the subject, but at the same time there was no subject on which they ought to be more cautious in expressing their knowledge. In the first place all was secret; all that was unknown was assuredly greatly dreaded; there was no subject on which there was more room in which fancy could work. In the next place, when they were adopted in one part of the country, it was said that they had great communication with others. Many of the members entertained violent and ulterior views-many were not acquainted with those views; the more artful did not state to the others their object. It was always stated that there were progressive degrees in the society-to some of these part of the society were admitted, and part not. He acknowledged the great dangers of such societies-he acknowledged the great evil which they might effect; but still it was a subject on which it behoved a person to exercise extreme caution as to the belief which might be grounded on such suspicion or such evidence. Some very sarcastic observations had been made in the course of the debate, and especially by the noble Duke, in relation of improvement, and he thought ference to its having been said that there were nine millions of inhabitants, and that they could not be resisted, and because it had been also said that there were five hundred thousand ready for any purpose for which it might be called for. They all knew very well that the influence of particular individuals was very great; their extraordinary influence was not exerted through secret societies; he was not so much afraid of secret societies, but public meetings were much more to be feared. Give him the force and the power of a public meeting, and he was not very much alarmed at any political danger from secret societies. The noble Duke had, as usual, brought forward two or three charges, which he had before made-he said that now every one admitted that secret societies did exist. He owned that this seemed a strange delusion on the part of the noble Duke. They were known to have existed for a long time. It had been so stated by his noble and learned Friend-it had always been admitted-it was known that there had been the Society of United Irishmen-it was a society which grew
now that they were justified. Then the noble Duke (Wellington) complained that, with the state of things that existed in Ireland, and with the other dangers that threatened, they had reduced the peace establishment. Than this statement nothing could be more erroneous. He could not mean that they had not provided as large a civil and military force as they had received from the noble Duke in the year 1830. But what the noble Duke meant was, that circumstances had since arisen, for he said, "You have drawn troops from Ireland to support the war in Canada," and that when these circumstances had arisen, and there had been this great demand, they had not augmented the force of the country to meet them. The great question of the police was not discussed by the noble Duke. But the Government thought that present circumstances justified them in trusting the maintenance of the interests of the country to the force at present in their possession. He must observe that very often general opinion made a force which was not otherwise of quite sufficient