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Thomas Addis and Robert Emmet 


Thomas Addis Emmet, M.D., LL.D. 

Member of the Virginia Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society of 
the University of Virginia; President of the Irish National Federa- 
tion of America during its existence; made Knight Commander of 
the Order of St. Gregory by Pope Pius X; Recipient of the Laetare 
Medal; Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and many pro- 
fessional and historical societies at home and abroad ; Author of 
surgical works — last, Principles of Gynaecology, three editions, Phila- 
delphia and London — with German, French and Spanisli translations, 
together with many monographs, historical and professional, and 
in addition, The Emmet Family (1898); Ireland Under English 
Rule, two editions (1003 and 1900); Incidents of my Life (1911). 


New York. 1915. 

Ireland <was old when Greece was young. Before Rome had 'written her 'wondrous lams 
Ireland had established civilization in the emerald isle of the West. Like the pyramids 
of Egypt the round towers of Ireland stand among the architectural wonders of the 
•world. Pliny and Julius Cxsar assert that Ireland's civilization was the "wonder of 
the East, and Plutarch <writes that, compared with the Irish people, other nations are 


astor, lenox and 

tilD£n Foundations 

B 1915 L 

Hon. Martin H. Glynn, New York, March 4, 19H. 

Copyright, 1915 

The Emmet Press, Inc. 

16 East 40th Street 

New York 

Go into the length and breadth of the world, ransack the literature of all countries, find 
'if you can a tingle book in -which the conduct of England towards Ireland is any- 
where treated except -with profound and bitter condemnation. 

Gladstone (Morley's Life). 

A B 

EM>°' ' 

What dot i the liberty of a people consist in? It consists in the right and power to make 
la<ws for its own government. Were an individual to make laws for another country, 
thai person is a despot and the people are slaves. When one country makes la<ws for 
another country, the country -which makes the laws is absolutely the sovereign coun- 
try, and the country for which those taws are made is in a state of slavery. 



The triumph of England over Ireland is the triumph of guilt over innocence. 

John Philpot Curran 

Every attempt to govern Ireland has been made from an English standpoint and as if for 
the benefit of Englishmen alone. 


Law in Ireland 'was the friend neither of the people nor of justice, but the impartial per- 
secutor of both. 

Aubrey de Vere. 

Had Ireland desired to submit she could not have done so. England did not leave her the 
choice. Risings, revolutions and civil 'wars were forced upon the country from cen- 
tury to century. They were provoked by massacres, plantations and persecutions; 
by the oppressions of landlords, by the injustice of the laivs. It <was England herself, 
it was the English in Ireland that made the Irish rebels. But how comes it, one may 
ask, that after so long an agony Ireland still survives, that the name of her people 
has not been obliterated from the pages of history? The reason is, that do<wn to the 
eighteenth century, so vigorous 'was her race, so powerful the influence of her climate 
and of her pleasant nature, so great the charm of her soul on the souls of the new- 
comers, that Ireland always assimilated her invaders. "Lord!" said the poet Spenser, 
"how quickly doth that country alter men's natures." England, on the other hand, 
was lacking in the first duty of a conqueror, which is to legitimatize his conquest 
by the spread of civilization and by works of reparation. This is a truth that none 
can fait to recognize. 

i L'Irlande cotemporaire, by L. Paul Dubois, 

Tr. Kettle. 

It is an irksome and painful task to pursue the details of thai penal code; but the penal 
code is the history of Ireland. 

John Mitchel. 

Native Irish civilization ceased, for all practical purposes with the defeat of the insurrec- 
tion of 1641, and the break-up of the Kilkenny confederation. 

James Connolly. 

Illustrations — Volume I 

Thomas Addis Emmet, from a miniature by Aubry, in Paris, 1803 Frontispiece 

Dedication from "The Emmet Family" 

Thomas Addis Emmet, M.D., by Miss Anna Frances Levins (after 

preface) facing page 

Thomas A. Emmet, from Madden, by Herbert 
Arms of the Emott, Emmott, Emett, Emmett, and Emmet Families 
Salver presented to Dr. Robert Emmet by the Governors of St. Pat 

rick's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland 

Pedigree of the Morrice Emmet Family, London, 1687 
Bible Record of an Emmet Family living in Ireland, 1647 
Christopher Emett and Rebecca Temple Emett, his wife (previous t< 

1744), from miniatures ........ 

Dr. Robert Emmet of Dublin, from a miniature about 1760 
Dr. Robert Emmet's residence in Molesworth Street, Dublin 
Residence of Dr. Emmet and his son, T. A. Emmet, facing Stephen': 


St. Patrick's Hospital for the Insane, Dublin 

The garden at Casino .....■•■■ 

Casino, the country residence of Dr. Robert Emmet, near Dublin 

Robert Holmes, Father of the Dublin Bar 

Facsimile of a letter written by Mrs. Elizabeth (Mason) Emmet, the 

last letter to her son Thomas Addis . . . . 

Anne Western Temple, wife of Christopher Temple Emmet, from a 

miniature ........-•• 

Christopher Temple Emmet, from a miniature .... 

Facsimile of the legal diploma issued by Trinity College to Thoma 

Addis Emmet, 1790 

Mrs. Margaret (Thompson) Colville, taken by Mrs. Elizabeth (Emmet 

Le Roy, from a miniature painted about 1730 

William Waynfleet, Bishop of Winchester 

Facsimile of a letter by T. A. Emmet on his increasing family, 1796 
"The Press," Organ of the L T nited Irishmen, giving first letter written by 

Thomas A. Emmet, signed "Montanus" .... 
Facsimile of a letter written by Dr. Robert Emmet on the arrest of hi 

son Thomas Addis ..... ... 

Newgate Prison, Dublin 













vi Illustrations 


Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin . . . . ... . . 266 

Sir John Temple and family, painting by Trumbull .... 291 

Death mask bust of Dr. Robert Emmet 294 

Trinity College Library, Dublin 310 

William James Macneven, from Madden, by Herbert .... 332 
Death mask of Robert Emmet by Petrie (See Volume II for its 

history) 372 

Thomas Addis Emmet by Martin, painted and engraved after 1804 . 391 
Facsimile of the closing of Mr. Emmet's plea before Mayor De Witt 

Clinton 399 

A Political Broadside used in 1807 for the defeat of Rufus King . . 420 
Mrs. Jane (Patten) Emmet, by Miss Elizabeth Emmet while a pupil of 

Fulton 438 

"An Evening at Home", from a pen drawing by Dr. John Patten 

Emmet, 1818 ' . . . .439 

John Patten Emmet, M. D., drawn by Miss Jane Macneven, 1842 . 446 
Thomas Addis Emmet, painted by Miss Elizabeth Emmet while a pupil 

of Fulton 453 

Mrs. Jane (Patten ) Emmet, enlarged from a daguerreotype — 1840 . . 455 
Silver pitcher presented to Thomas Addis Emmet by the Irishmen of 

Greenwich village, near New York 465 

View of St. John's Chapel . 472 

Grace and Trinity churches, Broadway 482 

St. Mark's Church in the Bowerie 484 

Dr. W. J. Macneven by Jarvis 511 

From an original pen drawing of Dr. Sam'l Mitchell made by Dr. J. P. 

Emmet in 1819 while the professor was lecturing .... 513 
Thomas Addis Emmet, supposed to be from Morse's portrait . . 517 
St. Mark's Church in the Bowerie, before the streets were opened . 530 
Bust of Thomas A. Emmet, made by his son, Dr. John Patten Emmet . 535 
Emmet Monument, St. Paul's Churchyard, New York, as first rep- 
resented 542 

Facsimile of the title page on Macneven's report ..... 543 

The Monument of Thomas Addis Emmet and St. Paul's Church . 553 
Mrs. Jane (Patten) Emmet from a portrait by Mrs. Elizabeth (Emmet) 

Le Roy . 561 

There is nothing more desirable than that the sovereign of these realms should understand 
the real nature of Irish history; should comprehend the secret springs of Irish discon- 
tent; should be acquainted <with the eminent virtues <which the Irish nation have ex- 
hibited in every phasis of their singular fate; and, above all, should be intimately ac- 
quainted <with the confiscations, the plunder, the robbery, the domestic treachery, the 
violation of all public faith, and of the sanctity of treaties, the ordinary "wholesale 
slaughters, the planned murders, the concerted massacres, •which have been inflicted 
upon the Irish people by the English governments- 
Daniel O'Connell. M.P., Memoir on Ireland, 1844. 

When Englishmen set to work to <wipe the tear out of Ireland's eye, they *t<wayi buy the 
pocket-handkerchief at Ireland's expense. 

Col. Edtv. Saunderson, M.P. 

Illustrations — Volume II 

Robert Emmet by H. Brocas 



Robert Emmet's birthplace, Stephen's Green, Dublin 

l'acsimile pages of Locke's work, showing Robert Emmet's annotations 

Facsimile page of Robert Emmet's note-book used at Trinity College 

Facsimile of a pen and ink sketch by Robert Emmet 

Seal for the United Irishmen, designed by Robert Emmet 

Parliament House and Trinity College, Dublin 

Parlor at Casino as it was in 1880 

Robert Emmet's Bedroom at Casino ... 

Anne Devlin 

House on Butterfield Lane, leased by Robert Ellis (Emmet) 
The unchanged entrance to Emmet's depot in Marshal Lane ) 
Map of the neighborhood ( 

Marshal Lane from Bridgeloot Street 
James Hope ...... 

Col. Miles Byrne, 1840 

Site of Robert Emmet's depot in Patrick Street ) 

Map of the neighborhood 

Canal Bridge at Harold's Cross . . . 

Dublin Castle Courtyard 

House at Harold's Cross where Robert Emmet was arrested 
Michael Dwyer ........ 

Facsimile of signature of Tresham Gregg, Gaoler of Newgate 
The Devil's Brief, prepared for Robert Emmet's trial 
Courtroom, Green Street, Dublin, where Robert Emmet was tried 
A supposed portrait of Dr. Robert Emmet, painted about 1780 
Broadside issued by the Provisional Government to the People of Ireland 

Copied from the original used at the trial 
Henry Charles Sirr, Esq., Town Major of Dublin 
Lord Norbury, from a sketch made by Petrie during Emmet's trial 
Facsimile of signed autograph bv Lord Norbury 
Broadside issued by Government : "The Trial and Dying Behavior of 

Mr. R. Emmett" 













viii Illustrations 


Bill rendered by the Government for the diet of the State prisoners during 
September, 1803, showing that of Robert Emmet on the day of 
his trial 229 

Monogram R. E., designed by Dr. Emmet for back of Comerford minia- 
ture; Watch seals, including one designed and worn by Robert 
Emmet and used on title page of Vol. II, motto "Alas my Country"; 
another showing a harp with shamrock and motto "Ubi libertas ibi 
Patrya". designed and worn by Robert Emmet, given to his brother 
and in 1800 given by Thomas Addis Emmet to Mr. Patten . . 234 

The Hibernian Journal or Chronicle of Liberty, a Dublin newspaper 
issued September 21st, 1803, giving an account of Robert Emmet's 
trial and execution 236 

Thomas Street, where Robert Emmet was executed, in front of Bridge- 
foot Street and St. Catherine's Church 238 

Petrie's sketches of Robert Emmet and Lord Norbury, taken during 

Emmet's trial 253 

Comerford's sketch of Robert Emmet enlarged 254 

Broadside issued by the Government and engraved by Brocas, showing 

Emmet speaking .......... 256 

Government's false version of Emmet's speech, intended to mislead and 

irritate the French 257 

Robert Emmet, enlarged from Brocas's courtroom scene, to show the 

head had been redrawn ......... 258 

Facsimile of warrant issued by Alexander Marsden, Under Secretary for 

Ireland, to pay for betrayal of Robert Emmet .... 261 

Sarah Curran, from a painting by Romney ...... 262 

A page from "The London and Dublin Magazine", 1825, containing 

"Robert Emmet and his Cotemporaries" 272 

A page from Whitty's Life of Robert Emmet to show the accuracy with 

which Robert Emmet was quoted . . . . . . .276 

A page from Locke's work, annotated by Robert Emmet, to show the 

accuracy of the quotations made by Herbert 278 

Stephen's Green, Dublin, 1798 281 

Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet in 1880, visiting for the first time the grave in 

Glasnevin churchyard claimed to be that of Robert Emmet . . 284 

St. Peter's Church on Aungier Street, where the Emmet burial vault was 

placed 285 

Mural tablet placed in St. Peter's Church, Dublin 287 

Interior of Trevor's vault, under St. Paul's Church, Dublin, showing the 

supposed remains of Robert Emmet 296 

Robert Holmes, as he appeared at John Mitchel's trial, from the Irish 

Tribune, June 17, 1848 326 

Supposed sketch of Mrs. Holmes 327 

Facsimile of cablegram from Messrs. McCarthy and Dillon, asking for 

funds 330 



Facsimile of cablegram from the Committee of the National Federation 
thanking Dr. Emmet for the fifty thousand dollars sent from the 
Irish National Federation of America, which secured Mr. Gladstone's 

Map of Dublin, showing the route taken by Robert Emmet to the place 
of execution, and the situation of the depots, churches and other 
points mentioned in the text ....... 

Tombstone of Christopher Fmett in the parish churchyard at Tipperary 
Ireland ........... 

Pedigree of the Emmott family of Emmott Hall, near Colne, Co. Pal 
Lancashire, England ......... 

Portrait of Robert Fulton painted by Miss Elizabeth (unmet ( Mrs. W. H 
I.e Roy ) ; the same as engraved by Leney, altered plate published by 
Delaplaine as after P.enjamin West 

Miniature of Fulton painted by himself after Miss Emmet's portrait 




The ivitl of the people is the only earthly authority -which can rightfully constitute civil 
government. This <n>ill be absolute and independent of human convention. 

Robert Holmes. 

The misfitting of ye shirt-maker comes not that she be a Papist! 

Unknown Cromwettian Writer in Ireland. 

It has pleased the English people in general to forget all the facts in Irish History. They 
have been also graciously pleased to forgive themselves all these crimes! And the 
Irish people would forgive them likewise, if it mere not that much of the worst spirit 
of the worst days still survives. 

Daniel O'Connell, M.P. 
A Memoir on Ireland, 1844. 

The Union is not being repealed; the Union ts being made perpetual. 

Tim Healy. M.P. 

Has England ever done a voluntary or gratuitous favour? and if not <whither shall we 
attribute this measure of an union, to a regard for us, or herself ? 

Wm. ]. Macneven, 1799. 


Who could have seriously thought any promise 'would bind England, a country which 
even then ivas notorious all over the world for broken faith and dishonoured treaties? 

James Connolly. 

The Rebellion of 1798 vva$ ■wickedly provoked, rashly begun, and cruelly crushed. 

Earl Russell. 

The last ten years of the eighteenth century ivill furnish to the historian by far the most 
important events ivhich have yet marked the progress of the human race. The events 
which have been crenvded into this short period are not only in themselves deeply in- 
teresting to the present generation, but tuilt probably be viewed in their effect at no 
distant era as decisive of the future destinies of every nation upon earth. 

T. A. Emmet, 1800. 

Do you see nothing in that America but the graves and prisons of our armies? What you 
trample on in Europe 'will sting you in America. Grattan to Pitt. 

My grandsire died, his home beside; 

They seized and hanged him there; 
His only crime, in evil time 

Your halloiued green to <wear. 

The Voice of the Nation. 


Chiefly on Economic and Historical Subjects 

Addison, Joseph 11-476 

Barrington, Sir J. 11-186; 273 

Blackstone I-iii 

Carnot 11-562 

Casement, Sir Roger 11-310; 336 

Castlereagh, Lord II-l 

Charlemont 11-201 

Clarendon, Edward Hyde, Earl of I-xviii 

Connaught Proverb 1-3 

Connolly, James I-v; xi ; 4 ; 11-42; 60; 290; 328 

Curran, John Philpot I-iii; 11-253; 580 

Curran, Henry 1-71 

Davis, Thomas 1-t ; 11-81; 303; 352; 382; 392; 393; 394; 430; 43S ; 443; 454; 464; 472 
508; 589 

De Beaumont 11-553 

De Vere, Aubrey T-iv ; 4; 11-366; 429 

Devlin, Joseph 11-353; 514 

Drennan, William 11-145 

Dubois, L. Paul (Tr. Kettle) I-iv ; 11-297; 362; 364; 398; 418; 422; 433; 434; 521; 528 
546 ; 554 ; 560 ; 570 

Emmet, Mary Anne 1-22; 25; 29; 44; 49; 68; 69; 11-10; 131; 122; 200; 227; 262; 310 

Emmet, Robert 1-19; 11-217 

Emmet, T. A. I-xii; xix ; xxv; 3; 147; 148; 161; 169; 170; 182; 183; 190; 191 
201; 202; 219; 229; 230; 237; 238; 244; 245; 251; 252; 260; 270; 279; 280; 292; 293 
302; 303; 314; 315; 329; 330; 334; 335; 339; 340; 347; 348; 366; 367; 382 
383; 390; 391; 405; 406; 421; 422; 433; 434; 448; 449; 462; 463; 470; 478; 479; 492 
493; 498; 499; 516; 517; 527; 528; 535; 542; 543; 558; 559; 562; II-xvi ; 11: 41; 68 
69; 82; 93; 113; 121; 137; 261; 291; 349; 350; 359; 412; 439 

Emmet. T. A.. M.D. I-xviii; xlvii ; 149; 11-333; 353 

Fitzpatrick. Wm. J. I-xlvi ; 259 

Flood, Henry 11-21 

Froude. J. A. 11-402 

Gladstone. William Ewart I-ii; 4; 11-20 

Glynn. Martin H. I-ii ; 11-228 

Golden, Peter 11-334 

Grattan. Henry I-xii; 55; II-viii ; 242; 399; 407 




Hay Il-ix 

Hayley 11-132 

Healy, Tim I-x 

Holme?, Mary Anne Emmet. See Emmet. Mary Anne 

Holmes, Robert I-ix; 9; 11-311; 335; 361; 564 

Hope, James 11-51; 52; 155 

"Irish Freedom" 11-309 ; 443 ; 456 ; 578 

"Irish Review'' I-xvi ; 11-333 

Johnson, Samuel 11-572 

Kavanagh, Patrick F. 1-72; 146: II-3; 31; 59; 144; 156; 185; 210; 211; 556 

Kettle. See Dubois 

Lake, Gen. 11-171 

Lalor, James Fintan 11-329 

Law, A. Bonar I-xlvii 

Locke, John 1-504 

McBride 11-216 

McCracken. H. J. 11-298 

MacLeda, Fergus 11-304 

Macneven, -William J. I-xi 

Madden, R. R. I-xxvii ; 471 

Mill. John Stuart 11-393 

Mitchel, John I-iv; 34; 11-272; 445; 516 

Moira, Lord 11-170 

Moore, Thomas 11-336 

"The Nation" 11-360 

Newman, Cardinal 11-331 

O'Brien, William Smith 1-2; 70; 11-362; 444; 466; 474; 496 

O'Connell, Daniel I-vi ; x; 1; 271; 11-455 

Orr, William 11-145 

Parliamentary Papers (1904) 1T-424 

Parnell, Charles Stewart 11-417 

Pearse, P. H. 11-252 

Plato 11-94 

Robinson, J. M. 11-471 

Rosebery, Lord 1-160 

Russell, Lord John I-xii; Il-viii ; 527 

Saunderson, Edw. I-vii 

Shakespeare Il-xvi; 112; 579; 5S7 

Shelley, Percy Bysshe 11-136 

Smith, Adam 11-406 

Spenser, Edmund I-xlviii 

"Spirit of the Nation" I-xxvi : H-522 

Swift, Dean 11-395 

Tone, Theobald Wolfe 1-71; II-2 ; 30; 312; 413; 460; 563 

Truth Teller 1-5; 220; 534 

Unknown I-iv; x; 11-362; 423; 564 

Victoria, Queen 11-383 

"Voice of the Nation" I-xiii ; xvii ; 11-310 

Whitty's Life of Robert Emmet 1-52; 505; 337; 513 

Wright, Thomas 11-463 

Aphorisms w 

The following portion of a poem was written by Christopher Temple Emmet, llie 
elder brother of Thomas Addis and Robert Emmet, who died before the political diffi- 
culties of Ireland occurred, and when all in association were loyal to George the Third. 
"King of the Kingdom of Ireland". He wrote among other poems "The Decree", men 
tion of which will be found in the notice of Temple Emmet. 

It is a remarkable prophecy, and although it has not been verified, England's record 
during the past one hundred and thirty years and more, but the clearer marks the inevit- 


But should Britain ere forget 

What to Sister's claims are due. 
Madly, should she ever threat 

Tyrant laivs, or force, to you; 

Should she ever claim a right, 

Ireland's commerce to restrain. 
Should she ever presume, by might. 

Such oppression to maintain; 

In that day, her doom is seal'd ; 

By that act, her charter void, 
Heav'n's condition d grant repeal'd, 

Heav'n's intended boom destroyed ; 

In that day — 'tis so decreed, 

Letter'd large, enroll'd by Fate, 
You to Britain shall succeed. 
Yours shall be the rising state. 

Christopher Temple Emmet, 

Dublin, 1777-1780. 

To understand British dealings 'with Ireland requires a. long memory. Who sups 'with the 
Devil needs a long spoon. Anyone 'who thinks that British policy has changed, and 
that England to-day intends to deal straight 'with Ireland and grant her a "measure 
of freedom" for the control of her c*wn affairs, need only study the British handling 
of the trans-Atlantic mail call at Queensto'wn to kno'w the truth. 

The Irish Review, March, 1914. 

While the nations of Europe are rapidly advancing in knowledge, civilization and free- 
dom, <why are <u>e alone stationary? Is it because <we have no home to be proud of, 
no flag to fight for, no country to honour, to labour for and to love? 

The Voice of the Nation, 1843. 


Let us cultivate a foreign policy and foreign information as useful helps in that national 
existence which is before us, though its happiness and glory depend in the first instance 
on "ourselves alone". Ireland has a glorious future, if she be <worthy of it. 

The Voice of the Nation, 1842. 

They found the utter EXTIRPATION of the nation {'which they had intended] to be 
in itself very difficult, and to carry in it somewhat of horror, that made some impres- 
sion on the stone-hardness of their own hearts. After so many thousands destroyed 
by the plague 'which raged over the kingdom, by fire, sword, and famine, and after so 
many thousands transported into foreign parts; there remained still such a numerous 
people that they knew not how to dispose of ; and though they 'were declared to be 
all forfeited, and so to have no title to anything, yet they must remain somewhere. 
They therefore found this expedient, which they called an act of grace; there 'was 
a large tract of land, even to the half of the province of Connaught, that <was sep- 
arated from the rest by a long and large river and 'which by the plague and many 
massacres remained almost desolate. 

Into this space they required all the Irish to retire by such a day, under the penalty of 
death, and all 'who should after that time be found in any other part of the kingdom, 
man, 'woman, or child, should be killed by anybody 'who saw or met them. The land 
'within this circuit, the most barren in the kingdom, was out of the grace and mercy 
of the conquerors, assigned to those of the nation as ■were enclosed, in such propor- 
tions as might 'with great industry preserve their lives. 

Lord Clarendon's Life. 

A little over half a million of the Irish people 'were thus left by Cromwell 'with the choice 
of going to "Hell or Connaught". These 'were chiefly of the nobility and gentry and 
from them nearly all of the Irish of the present day are descended. 

The Author. 

For six centuries Ireland has been schooled as a province and she betrays alt the vices of 
her education. 

T. A. Emmet. 


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Historical Preface 

HE author's earliest recollection of any knowledge of Irish 
affairs is the expression of his father's opinion that Ire- 
land could have no prospect of a bright future until she 
should have gained full management of her own affairs, 
and that desideratum, lie was confident, could only be at- 
tained after a total separation from England. 

The author, as an American of Irish descent, offers 
no apology for the views he expresses in this work; his 
convictions are as the warp in the construction of cloth; 
the fabric would be worthless were it omitted. He claims little originality and 
no responsibility for the views held by him, bred as they are in the bone. 
His utterance of them is but a reflection of what would be said by his father, 
grandfather, great-uncle and great-grandfather, were they living. 

As a foundation to this work it will be necessary to call the attention of 
the reader to certain historical facts not generally known. The recital may 
seem out of place in the Preface, but the writer being in possession of all the 
facts, can alone be the judge of the fitness of this. 

In no other country does there exist a condition similar to that in the 
United States, where many individuals, even native-born, underrate the standard 
worth of their Government, and their own people, in contrast with England, 
which is their ideal. Their influence, so far as it can be exerted, is obstructive; 
like the particles of vagrant dust in the atmosphere which, although worthless 
in themselves, may obstruct the action of the finest mechanism. Few realize 
the truth of Aubrey de Vere's statement, that with a free people — "A nation 
forms its institutions as a shell-fish forms its shell, by a sort of slow exudation 
from within, which gradually hardens as an external deposit, and must there- 
fore be fitted to the shape of that which it invests and protects." England's 
form of government is best fitted for her people, and would be worthless for 
any other nation. The shell of the clam would be no more suitable for the 
oyster than would the oyster's shell for the clam, nor could either be expected 
to thrive under the protection of that meant for the lobster. 

At one time we owed legally such an obligation to England, but it was 
never merited by the so called "mother country"; she certainly neglected her 


xxviii Historical Preface 

American Colonies, leaving them to shift for themselves until through their 
own effort they had prospered sufficiently to be worth robbing, and the attempt 
then made to fit us to England's shell, caused our separation. A similar result 
must follow the attempt in Ireland. 

Unceasing efforts are made to prove that we in the United States are an 
English race, whereas no statement could be more devoid of truth. Those in; 
the world at large, who may find themselves holding very different views from 
those advanced by the writer, do so through ignorance, as they do not know 
how great is the power exerted in this country through English influence 
with the press, in the writing of our school books, and as is claimed to be 
the case, in the teaching given in our public schools, and all for England's 
profit alone. A knowledge of the truth of this statement can only be acquired 
by special investigation. 

Since the American colonies gained their independence, England has never 
for a moment ceased to intrigue and look forward to the opportunity when by 
some chance she may recover her loss. 

If it can be shown that we in the United States are not an English people, 
and that a majority of the inhabitants of this country are descended from Irish 
and German ancestors, we, as a rival people, can certainly hold no interest in 
common with England, once the romance attached to the mythical relation of 
mother and daughter has been removed. 

For the past century or more, England has striven to dominate the world 
by grasping every commercial advantage within her reach, and has like a. 
bully, by means of her powerful navy, restricted the trade of every other nation 
to some extent, until she has become as much of a menace as the military spirit 
of Germany may prove.* She has seized and held as a colony every foot of 
land she could wrest from a weaker power. By craft and sharp practice she 
has gained the greater portion of the carrying trade of the world, and has 
hesitated at no procedure whereby she could aid in placing the centre of the 
financial world in London. Notwithstanding the fact that she has gained 
control of the greater portion of the world's wealth, she covets the whole, and 
will not brook a rival without making every effort for her destruction. Despite 
her efforts, however, Germany and the United States have proved a check. 
Consequently, for some years past, there has been a secret effort made by Eng- 
land to gain a close legislative alliance with the United States, by which she 
would occupy a position enabling her. under the guise of friendship, to reap 
every advantage. But every attempt to place us in a false position has been 
frustrated, and this has been accomplished chiefly through the vigilance of the 
descendants of the Irish and German people in this country. f 

•This militarism is claimed to be necessary for self-defence. 

|The "Anglo-Maniacs" are alone responsible for all the trouble in this country, due to religious 
bigotry. Some of the most active among them have not been citizens of the country, and have 
been besides profoundly ignorant of the situation here. As English sympathisers, they have 
arrogantly claimed a right, as if it were in England, to denounce the "foreign vote" and the "low 
Irish". "Those among them who were citizens certainly were traitors to their adopted country in 
expressing a doubt as to the validity of her laws. If the laws of naturalization are complied with, 
all should be treated alike, and when an individual legally becomes a citizen of the United States, 
he can no longer be termed a foreign voter. The "low Irish" in this country have proved the 
equal of any other race by fully demonstrating their worth. The most ignorant individual, if 
questioned, would seldom hesitate to name some person of Irish or German blood, well known for his 

Historical Preface xxix 

Previous to our Civil War this country commanded to a great extent the 
■ carrying trade of the world and her flag was seen in every port. But England 
made good use of her opportunity and gained what the United States had lost. 
For reasons which cannot here be considered, this country neglected to make 
any serious effort to regain her former position until within a recent period, 
and it has been asserted that this neglect was due to a wish to conciliate Eng- 
land, the "mother country". After the Franco-Prussian war ( Germany gradually 
established herself as a serious rival to England's future prosperity, her ad- 
vantages being a greater average degree of intellectual development of her 
people, and a greater mechanical skill, joined to thrift and industry. Within 
the same period this country also made great advances, the result being that 
at the present time England is dependent on Germany and this country for 
many industrial products with which she formerly supplied the world. The 
possibility has already been recognized that with her many threatening domestic 
troubles she may find it difficult to maintain herself as a first class power. 

The English Government, through selfishness, seems devoid of all principle 
of either honesty or fair play towards a neighbor, so much so that she is always 
intriguing against other nations with both falsehood and craft until an oppor- 
tunity is created, without cost except in money, for her puppets to strike an 
unexpected blow in the dark, and if possible it will be a mortal one. With 
undoubtedly good men constantly at the head of the English Government, they 
are, as individuals, helpless to make any change from the accepted policy of 

With every outward pretence of good will, England in truth secretly holds 
for this country only most malevolent feelings. It has been stated that: — 
"Great Britain makes friends only with inferiors, never with an equal". As 
the two countries are destined to be rivals in every respect, and as we have 
never equalled her in statecraft, it is not to be expected that England, with 
her well known vindictive character, can honestly hold anything in common 
with this country. She stands apart in this respect from every other nation of 
the earth and we have never had any treaty or relation with her that it has not 
been to her gain alone. 

The assertion has been made that about thirty-four thousand families in Eng- 
land represent the descendants of the Normans, who have remained essentially 
one people in directing the policy of the English government. They form the 
foundation of the House of Lords and hold among them over seven hundred 
permanent titles. Thus it has been hidden from the world how continuously, 
century after century, certain families have filled every office of importance and 
profit. These are designated the "Upper Classes". The descendants of the 
Saxons, with a conglomeration of all other races, form the English people, hav- 
ing little intercourse with the "Upper Classes" beyond an occasional intermar- 
riage. It is seldom that any individual of the "Middle Classes", outside of the 

personal contributions to the welfare and development of the country. On the other hand, those most 
familiar with the history of this country would hesitate, and probably fail in being able to mention 
offhand the name of a single man of English birth and education, who had benefited this country by his 

xxx Historical Preface 

House of Commons, has any connection with the "Governing Class". With 
full allowance for exaggeration, few persons realize how true is the general 
statement as to the influence still exercised in England by the descendants of 
the Normans. 

The want of truthfulness and honesty, with many other disreputable traits, 
claimed to be connected with the working of the English Government, seem a 
direct inheritance from their thieving and piratical Norman ancestry.* 

The writer has had no means of obtaining any accurate or detailed knowl- 
edge as to the methods of the British Government, except those practised in 
connection with Ireland and the colonial management of this country. But 
it is supposed to be the counterpart of the sixty' or more "Bureaucracies" in 
Dublin Castle, which have existed for centuries, without direct responsibility 
to any one. This political combination, with no interest beyond their own 
profit, have remained as a moral leprosy, self-propagating and poisoning 
the body politic of the country. Lord Dunraven, in his book "The Outlook 
in Ireland", has fully depicted the working of this system and his showing is 
well worth the attention of the historical student. 

In a paper readf before the American Irish Historical Society, of New York 
City, the writer claimed that over sixty per cent, of the population of the 
United States were to some extent of Irish blood. $ In the same paper 
he held that there were more negroes in the country who could 
prove their African origin, than individuals who could establish the fact 
that they were of English stock. It was also shown that the English 
people did not come to this country in the seventeenth century, and the 
reason why they did not was given, while no one can question the fact 
that the Irish did come, being made to leave from England as English emi- 
grants. Moreover, the Irish were the frontiersmen and Indian fighters from 
the Alleghany Mountains to the Pacific Coast. The author will cite in illustra- 
tion an instance known to him. A kinsman by the name of Temple located, 
after 1719, over ten thousand persons in the course of several years on the 
"New Hampshire Grants," where he held a large land grant, and on which 
Temple, Dublin, Mason and other towns were settled, such names showing 
their Irish origin. Every individual was Irish and a Catholic, from Co. Kerry 
and Co. Cork, and all spoke Irish almost exclusively. In time, they lost their 
faith and language, many changed their names, and from the writer's investi- 
gation, it is doubtful, if at the present time, a single individual, descended. from 
the original settler, knows anything of the family history. Yet the history of 
these towns, giving the names of the earlier settlers, does not contain the name 
of a family of which there cannot be found at the present time a representative 
of the same stock in Co. Kerry and Co. Cork. 

In this connection the Irish legend on the title page — Fag a Beala'c, having 

*Elsewhere in this work will be found Ralph Emerson's estimate of the ancestry of the House 
of Lords. 

f'lrish Emigration during the 17th and 18th Centuries", printed in the Proceedings of the 
American Irish Historical Society, Vol. IV. 

^Subsequent investigations have convinced the writer that the true proportion was even greater, and 
so continued until, within recent years, the German and Italian emigration began to dominate. 

Historical Preface xxxi 

in English the milder meaning -Clear the Way", and pronounced phonetically 
as one word Foogabalah, — is of interest as being the very ancient Irish battle 
cry. Dr. Thos. Dunn English, an expert, some \ears before his death, informed 
the writer that it was referred to by some Roman author, but the authority 
he mentioned lias been forgotten. Possibly it was Tacitus in his Life of 
Agricola, by whom it must have been heard, for he served for many rears 
during the first century of the Christian era as the Roman coast surveyor, and 
was the first to make known that Great Britain was not a portion of the 
European Continent. He likewise urged on Roman authorities in England 
the advisability of conquering Ireland, at that time a formidable maritime 
power. This battle cry was also referred to by English writers in Queen 
Elizabeth's day, and was therefore not "Scotch-Irish", but mentioned in proof 
of the Irish being a barbarous people. It was heard at Fontenoy, at the battle 
of the King's Mountain in 17S0. and throughout our Civil War. "The Con- 
federate Yell" was the last indication preserved proving the origin of the 
people who settled the Alleghany Mountain valleys from the southern border 
of Pennsylvania to the French Broad River in Carolina, and into the mountains 
of Tennessee. Nearly a million of young Catholic Irishmen were driven out 
of their country early in the seventeenth century. Those of them who did not 
enter the service of some European nation, came to this country and, by fighting 
the Indians on the frontiers, were a shield to the settlers on the coast. The 
writer is indebted to the editor of "The Spirit of the Nation" for the correct 
mode of spelling Fag a Beala'c ; with the other facts given in the same place 
he was already familiar. 

As those who left Ireland were chiefly from Connaught and Minister, the 
soldiers abroad were generally known as "The Connaught Rangers", or the 
"Fag a Beala'c Boys". Napier in his "History of the Peninsular War" states: 

Nothing so startled the French soldiers as the wild yell with which the Irish regi- 
ments sprang to the charge, and never was that haughty and intolerant shout raised in 
battle, but a charge, swift as thought and fatal as flames, came with it, like a rushing in- 
carnation of Fag a Bcalac! 

The English learned to their cost the meaning of the cry. 

Nothing is proved by the tradition held by many that their ancestors sailed 
on some date from an English port, and generally from Bristol, England. No 
record was kept of the few English who emigrated during the 17th century, 
while every vessel containing Irish emigrants was throughout this century, 
compelled to go to an English port, to pay a head tax, and to sail from there 
as an English vessel, its passengers registered as English emigrants. More- 
over, they were made to change their names and take English ones. 

The followers of Raleigh, William Penn and Lord Baltimore, were nearly 
all Irishmen, as Raleigh and Penn had spent the greater part of their lives in 
Ireland, where Penn became a Quaker, while Baltimore was born there. 

A large portion of western North and South Carolina was settled exclu- 
sively by Irish people. As a matter of record it is a noteworthy fact that 
Cromwell and his friends found it profitable to send many Irish women to 

xxxii Historical Preface 

New England ! For his purpose the most attractive-looking young Irish girls 
were kidnapped and shipped to the New England colonies, as well as to some 
of the West India Islands, where they were sold as slaves. This is shown by 
Prendergast's "Cromwellian Settlement in Ireland". There were more young 
girls thus sent to New England from Ireland, than would have given a wife 
apiece to every Puritan settler in that country. The author has stated* "If 
we take into consideration the total number of "Puritan Fathers" in New 
England at this time, it would seem not improbable that these two hundred 
and fifty young Irish women, with many others sent over from Ireland about 
the same time, must have all eventually been transformed at least into Irish 
Puritans. If so, their progeny must in time have given quite a Hibernian tint 
to the pure blood of the descendants of the Mayflower. I have not seen that 
the New England writers, who make our histories, have noted these facts, 
but probably they failed to do so, on evidence that they were not "Scotch- 
Irish women". 

It is known that some of these Irish women did not continue among the 
Puritans, but escaped to their countrymen, who were in the mountains and had 
a large settlement in the wilderness on the present site of Lowell, Mass., con- 
cerning whose assistance to the settlers on the coast, history is equally silent. 
This Irish settlement, which occasionally is referred to, was, it is stated — 
"tolerated" by the Puritans, yet they protected those on the coast from the 
Indians, otherwise the English settlers there would have been exterminated 
at an early period. But such is our history ! 

The Irishmen in the "back country" always volunteered to fight the Indians 
when there was trouble, and on the roll of the soldiers who served, for instance, 
in the Pequot War, there are over fifty names recorded which no Puritan ever 
bore. On the contrary the Patricks, Michaels and other names show the 
Catholic faith of their bearers, and prove conclusively that the Irish were the 
frontiersmen, as has already been stated. 

The history of Ireland is reflected in every step of American history and 
development of the country from the beginning of the 17th century; this is 
due to the fact that in every station of life Irish brains and brawn contributed 
more to the development of this country than those of any other race. There 
is no country where the Irish people are more at home, than in the United 
States, and with no other race does there exist a greater veneration, than the 
Irish hold for this asylum of their people. The Irish take more interest in 
the development and political condition of the country than any other race, 
deprived as they were of this privilege in their native land. They also 
possess a more accurate knowledge of its history than do the native-born, not 
of Irish descent. The author obtained from his father his first knowledge of 
the history of his native land, and with it was taught Irish history and some 
knowledge of the Irishmen who had aided in the development of the country. 
As a consequence, he may claim without conceit, to be an authority on the 

"Ireland Under English Rule", Second Edition, Vol. I, page 115n. 

Historical Preface xxxiii 

history of his native land, and he will yield to no one claiming to possess a 
greater degree of love and patriotism. 

The suffering and consequent training to which the Irish race were sub- 
jected during past centuries in Ireland made the descendants, as a rule, a better 
citizen in this country, and the Irish-American with a knowledge of Irish 
history cannot hut have a greater love and veneration for the land of his 

Those who are most ignorant of both Irish and American history, are the 
only persons in this country who are prejudiced against the "low Irish", and 
who through English influence, even regard them as interlopers in the country, 
notwithstanding their history. This opinion is held after the Irish have com- 
plied with every constitutional requirement, whereby they become legally en- 
titled to the enjoyment of every privilege. 

Such people would be astonished could they realize that the greater part 
of the world outside of English influence regards the Irish as being most 
worthy of such privileges. Those who are so unwilling to be just in obtaining 
some knowledge of the truth, are blinded by the influence of England, which 
country for more than seven hundred years has never relaxed its effort to 
underrate the truth concerning the Irish people and prevent it being known. 
This ink-fish procedure has been utilized by England as a political policy, to 
mislead the world as to the degraded and unworthy condition claimed as a 
justification of her treatment of the Irish people before and after the alleged 
English civilization. 

Col. Philip Roche Fermoy, of the Army of the French Republic, wrote in 
his "Commentary on the Memoirs of Tone" (page 62) : 

For the character of this brilliant people, where, by having been removed from their 
native country, they had passed beyond the shade of influence spread over them at home, 
by "the most humane, generous, and benevolent government upon the earth", another 
witness may be appealed to. not less worthy of credit than the two former. In a letter 
from Doctor Franklin's works (Vol. II, page 08, 4th edition) dated 19th of August 
1T-.4. and giving a character of the Irish emigrants in America, he says — "It is a fact 
that the Irish emigrants and their children are now in possession of the Government of 
Pennsylvania, by their majority in the assembly, as well as a great part of the territory; 
and I remember well the first ship that brought any of them over." 

On this fact, as related by Doctor Franklin, it may be observed that the scene of 
action was Pennsylvania — a province colonized by Quakers — the Quakers, a sect, what- 
ever their virtues may be, remarkable for persevering industry, and a rigid attention to 
order, punctuality and decorum. Could the Irish emigrants without a strict conformity 
to these Quaker-like observations have got in Pennsylvania so far forward as to have 
secured, within the short period of the life or rather within the shorter period of the 
observation of one man, a lead, both on the territorial property, and in the political 
power of so remarkable a state as Pennsylvania? 

Such, on the habits and character of the Irish, was the effect of a riddance from the 
influence of "the most humane, generous, and benevolent government on the earth". 

The reader must not be misled as to what the author has written, but seek 
to learn the truth by personal investigation. Nothing in this book will be 
found written more to the purpose, for just in proportion as it can be shown 

xxxJ v Historical Preface 

the United States were not settled by the English people, and that we owe 
nothing whatever to that Government but mistrust, can it be seen that the 
history of the Irish people in Ireland and their course in this country are 

After an exhaustive study of the subject in close connection with family 
traditions, Thomas Addis Emmet was found to have been an uncompromising 
advocate for the total separation of Ireland from England. He reached this 
conviction before he became chief Director, at the head of the affairs of the 
United Irishmen, and these views he transmitted to his brother Robert, before 
he had passed his boyhood. During Mr. Emmet's examination before the 
Secret Committee of the Irish House of Lords on August 11th, 1798, he was 
asked if he did not think Ireland would do better to continue the connection 
with England, and his answer was : — "I do not. I think this might be the 
happiest country in the world if she was established as an independent Re- 
public". But for some cause now unknown he was opposed to the open rebellion 
of the Irish people in 1797. 

The indications are that it was a question of expediency, both as to time 
and circumstance, in depending upon aid from France. This he wished to 
obtain only within a limited extent, hoping thus to save Ireland from becoming 
a French province, a contingency he greatly feared. As a non-military man it 
seemed to him that any attempt made by the Irish people alone could but result 
in defeat. With these views, as it has been shown, Mr. Emmet possessed the 
power to influence every Irish leader except Mr. Arthur O'Connor. O'Connor 
desired to have the closest relations established between Ireland and France, 
and immediate action taken, with the hope that, as the heir claimant, he might 
finally be made King of Ireland by Napoleon. How far the influence exerted 
by Mr. Emmet was conducive to the welfare of Ireland is not at this point the 
question, and it must remain one to be determined by others. It is certain, 
however, that Mr. Emmet alone did exercise this influence, and particularly 
with Lord Edward Fitzgerald who, although in command of the military branch 
of the organization, yielded his own judgment in the matter. The outbreak 
was prevented for fully eighteen months by Mr. Emmet's influence, until finally, 
to force the issue to one of open warfare, Mr. Emmet and all the other leaders 
were suddenly arrested and imprisoned by the English Government. The 
management of the United Irishmen then passed into other hands, and Eng- 
land at once gained her object, which was to force the country into an outbreak, 
and thus prepare the people to accept the Union as a last alternative to ex- 

With this event Mr. Emmet ceased to be an active leader in Irish affairs. 
His principles, however, were firmly established and he was able to exercise 
his influence with his brother Robert, so that their political views were in full 
accord, and at the same time it is frequently shown that Mr. Emmet had the 
greatest confidence in his brother's judgment. 

So far as the author has been able to understand the principles and purpose 
of the Young Ireland Party in 1848, and the Fenian Organization later, they 

Historical Preface xxxv 

must have had an origin in Mr. Emmet's teaching alone At least it can be 
claimed that of all the organizations formed since the Rebellions of 1798 and 
1803, the Fenian was the only one with which Thomas Addis, and Robert 
Emmet could have been affiliated. The movement of Robert Emmet and that 
of the Fenians were alike, inasmuch as they are judged to have failed in 
accomplishing anything for Ireland's profit, but to the student of Irish history 
at the present time, this is clearly a fallacy. Robert Emmet's demonstration 
and the Fenian movement, with the object of separation from England, were 
closely related, in being the only attempts ever made against England's rule 
in Ireland, which came so near being successful as to strike the English Govern- 
ment with terror of the possibilities, should another attempt be made along the 
same lines. The fear of a Fenian movement is as real today as with the recep- 
tion of the first shock from their action, and but for this fact the much or little 
now claimed to have been gained for Home Rule would not exist. 

In after life Mr. O'Connor charged Mr. Emmet with cowardice for his 
course at the beginning of the Rebellion of 1798, but for this course it is 
certainly unnecessary to offer any vindication. Had he known what Irishmen 
could do with the pike, and how readily the best soldiers in the world, as the 
English were considered to be, could be driven out of Ireland in 1798, if the 
Irish had been able to keep together with an adequate supply of food, he cer- 
tainly would have advocated and have struck the first blow for Ireland's 

From boyhood the writer accepted bis father's teaching, that the regenera- 
tion of Ireland could not have a beginning until she became an independent 
country. He learned in addition from his own investigation, that during the 
past seven hundred years, England has in no instance observed in good faith 
a single promise or pledge made to Ireland, nor to the world at large, unless 
through self-interest or fear. He has never held any ill will against the Eng- 
lish people as individuals, for he came of the same stock, and a large proportion 
of his personal friends throughout life have been of that nationality. But, no 
word or words exist in the English dialect, by which he could express his dis- 
trust of that political machine termed the British Government; and his contempt 
for its bad faith and other characteristics of the policy which has been employed 
since the days of the Normans, to the detriment of all but the English people 
themselves. Consequently, the writer cannot have the slightest faith in any 
political promise in relation to Ireland made by an English official, from the 
Prime Minister to the most humble clerk.* 

The writer has passed the greater portion of a long life in the service of 
Ireland, without question as to what was being done, and without regard to 
his own private opinion. He recalls a meeting of the Hoffman House Com- 

*The writer's taste may be questioned in subjecting the reader to a consideration of an individual 
opinion based, it will be claimed, on prejudice. This might be accepted, were it not that two-thirds or 
more of the Irish people hold the views expressed by him, and their convictions should therefore 
be placed on record, as part of the history of Ireland. England has only the acquired rights of a 

* xxvi Historical Preface 

mittee in the early days of Mr. Parnell's career, where he either offered a 
resolution or advocated the establishment of the principle, that no suggestion 
should at any time be made from this country to the Irish leaders as to the con- 
duct of Irish affairs, and that resolution has been strictly adhered to. For the 
past thirty years and more, the views held by the majority of the Irish leaders 
have received full and loyal support from this country without relation to 
individual opinion as to details. 

Whatever has been accomplished by Mr. Redmond and the members of his 
party in Parliament should stand to their credit, and they alone will be held 
responsible in case of failure. 

The delay in the effort to obtain Home Rule during the past thirty years 
has at least been of advantage in preparing the people to take charge of their 
own affairs, and an even longer period of probation may be necessary. If so 
it should be utilized, since in the history of a nation, time is of secondary im- 
portance. The regaining of their native language is of yet more importance to 
the Irish people than even Ireland's independence would be at this period, an 
advantage which independence would certainly follow. Until the Irish language 
becomes the spoken one of the country, Ireland can claim no nationality, nor 
can there be perfect union of her people, nor any certainty as to the maintenance 
of their future integrity. So long as the English dialect is alone spoken by the 
Irish people they are under subjection, and English influence and corruption 
cannot be checked.* Many of the Irish people have yet to realize that they 
are themselves to blame for the fact that their country has not long since been 
a free and independent nation. Ireland has needed no aid from outside ; she 
has been able at any time within the past seven hundred years to have driven 
every Englishman out of the country, had she been united and made the effort 
to help herself. The future lies entirely within her own grasp and only a 
fighting faith is needed to be at least ready for an opportunity. "Let Ireland , 
do what she can and she will accomplish everything." Until the majority of 
her people give less thought to the past, and more to the existing conditions and 
the future, to advance Ireland's interests, England's power will continue. 
God has done everything for Ireland, but many of her people are unworthy in 
having done nothing more to advance the interests of their native land than 
the utterance of so many idle words. 

In 1908 the author contributed an open letter to "The New York Irish 
World", for the issue of June 7th, in which he said : 

I have long reached the conclusion that there has been no real failure for many years 
on part of the Irish people to advance the cause of self-government. The idea is generally 
held by those who had not given thought to the subject, that each special Irish movement, 

*So important did the author deem the revival of the Gaelic that after he had well passed 
his seventy-fifth birthday, he began the study of the language as an example to others, and within a 
reasonably short time he. without difficulty, acquired a knowledge of the grammar and obtained a 
fair reading facility, with the occasional use of the dictionary. But with the deafness of old age 
existing for some years previous nothing could be accomplished in learning to speak the language. 
It was a source of great regret that the writer had to abandon the study, and devote himself to 
literary work which could not be delayed on account of his advancing age. This study is well 
worth the attention of the educated, and is so for a special purpose. The student who acquires an 
advanced knowledge of the Gaelic insensibly becomes a learned man, as no other exercise trains 
the mind so well for acquiring knowledge. 

Historical Preface xxxvii 

outbreak or rebellion, was a separate undertaking; and as no result was in evidence but 
the punishment of the participators, the whole was judged a failure. This is not true. 
As well might it he claimed in war, that it has a beginning with each battle. Every mi 
nient made by the people during the past one hundred and twenty-five years, in the nature 
of resistance to the power of England, accomplished something, and was a step towards 
the end. Consequently the act of every individual Irishman who made any effort to 
benefit his country, rendered essential aid, and furthered the completion of that particular 
step in which he took part. Personally 1 have always had a feeling of the greatest respect 
for every individual who has ever made an effort to serve Ireland with the courage of 
his convictions, and I have maintained the sentiment, without regard to his special 
political views. 

This was certainly a true representation of the situation, for the gain 
throughout the last century was a steady one. 

The final movement of the Irish people, or rather of "the privileged 
classes", to improve their own condition alone, had its beginning in 1782-Sli, 
just at the termination of the Revolutionary War in this country, and naturally 
failed ; but from that time to the present there has existed no inertia among 
the Irish people at large, nor has the standard ever lacked a bearer. 

The action of the "Grattan parliament", composed entirely of Protestants; 
the efforts of the Presbyterians of the North for religious freedom and Catholic 
Emancipation; the Rebellion of 1798; the outbreak of 1S03; Catholic Emanci- 
pation; Daniel O'ConnelFs efforts for repeal of the fraudulent "Union"; the 
Young Ireland movement in 1848; the efforts of the Fenians; the Disestablish- 
ment of the so-called Irish Church "as by law established"; the first Land 
Act, and all subsequent ones ; the Land League and the breaking-up of the 
landlord system ; the beginning of the redistribution of the land among the 
people by purchase, with a number of measures equally important in their 
way, — these were all part of the one general movement for the benefit of the 
Irish people. 

The above stated record was the result entirely of Irish agitation, and not 
one single point was gained from the English Government through any other 
incentive than political necessity, backed by the demands of a sufficiently 
united people. 

With each concession thus gained and fitted in its place, as a properly 
chiselled and squared stone in a well constructed wall, the whole now forms a 
solid' foundation for what is to come hereafter and to be based upon it. 

The first step towards bringing about what has been accomplished, was 
made by Protestants in the Irish Parliament to correct the abuses there exist- 
ing, which had rendered that body probably the most corrupt in Christendom. 
With no less zeal was the attempt made through Protestant effort in the Irish 
Parliament to bring about Catholic Emancipation, against the opposition of 
the Government, the King, the English people, and especially Irish aristocracy. 

When the demand was made for Home Rule by the Irish Parliament in the 
name of the Kingdom of Ireland, the English Government, through fear of the 
consequences in case of a refusal, promptly repealed what was a usurpation on 
the part of the British parliament, namely, the "Act of George the First" — 

xxxviii Historical Preface 

with the official acknowledgement, signed by the King of England and attested 
by England's great seal of state, as to Ireland's independence of England, as 
a distinct kingdom, which had never had its special rights impaired by the 
dual system. George the Third was King of Great Britain, and King of Ire- 
land, as sovereign of two separate countries. 

As Great Britain was unable to afford any protection to Ireland against an 
expected attack from the French, the Kingdom of Ireland organized its own 
army under the command of Irish officers through the "Volunteer Movement", 
and legislative measures were adopted for the purpose of correcting the abuses 
which had been brought about through misgovernment and the influence of the 
English Government. During a period of fully six hundred years, and until 
a very recent period, the course of England towards Ireland was not upright, 
just, nor even honest, but that of a cowardly bully; during that period she 
carefully bided her time to persecute and to punish Ireland, a country she could 
not conquer, and dared not attack except when Ireland was disabled through 
dissensions of England's creation. 

While England was engaged in strife with France she acquiesced in their 
demand, and granted what the Irish people asked in justice, doing so with the 
most attractive promises and good wishes for the future. 

Henry Flood, held by many to have been the ablest man Ireland ever pro- 
duced, was at this period active in public affairs of the country. In one of his 
speeches in the Irish parliament and in relation to the reputation of the English 
Government, he said: — "When have you negotiated that you have not been 
deceived? When have you demanded, that you have not succeeded?" 

A most remarkable body of men, both as to numbers and talent, now became 
prominent in Ireland, and in Dublin particularly, to direct her public affairs. 
But by law they were all of the privileged class and advocates of "Protestant 
Ascendancy". They advocated the unrestricted right of worship for the Cath- 
olics, and many other political changes, where they themselves would be 
chiefly benefitted. Catholic Emancipation was a measure of policy; as 
Protestants of the Church of England, their motive was political gain; but as 
Protestants they were blind as to any necessity for changing the political con- 
dition of those not of their faith. They were Irishmen by birth, but English- 
men in all their sympathies, with no thought for the political right of the 
Catholics, who were in the proportion of about six out of eight of the total 
population. During fully two hundred years these people suffered from a 
religious persecution to an extent never equalled in any other part of the world. 
They had not a legal right in the land of their birth, even so much as was 
concomitant with the existence by law of a dumb beast. 

The bounds of the civilized world resounded in echo, responsive to the 
eloquence of Grattan and his associates, but no claim in justice was made for 
the Catholics beyond their nominal religious emancipation, simply to permit 
the public exercise of their religion, which, as was well known, was fully 
practised in private, and which during two centuries the Government had been 
unable to suppress. 

Historical Preface xxxix 

Universal suffrage was unthought of, except by a limited number who 
sturdily advocated the right of full citizenship of tlie Jew, Catholic and 
Protestant Dissenter. "Protestant Ascendancy", from a political standpoint, 
advocated only a limited suffrage with a local vote for the serf, to be controlled 
by the thus increased power of the I'roteslant landlord. 

Yet, Ireland began to prosper from the brilliant prospect set forth "for her 
future. Henry < irattan led the Parliament, as well as all those holding the 
power and wealth of the country, so that there was no opposition to the attain- 
ment of every reform needed for the full regeneration of the country. Yet, he 
and his party accomplished nothing throughout the greater part of a genera- 
tion. Grattan spent his life in the utterances of promises and platitudes, 
eloquently put forth with the most irridescent coloring, but based on as little 
substance as an ignis fatuus. The vacillations of his followers as to purpose, 
their want of union, and, above all, cowardly neglect of opportunity for bene- 
fitting their country, gave both time and indication to Pitt as to when to bring 
about the Union ; a consummation hoped for by the English from the days of 

Grattan and the "Opposition" leaders acting with him, through their policy 
of considering Ireland's needs of secondary importance in comparison with 
England's interests, were thus responsible for the sacrifice of the lives of over 
one hundred thousand Irish men, women and children, by legal murder, mas- 
sacre and strife, to accomplish Pitt's purpose of the Union. A political and 
illegal result which, so long as it exists will be a bar to any real union between 
England and Ireland, and which can only be maintained by force. Moreover, 
until repealed it must defeat legally every effort for the gain of true Home 
Rule, as two entirely distinct provisions for the government of Ireland cannot 
exist legally at the same time. Will not a neglect to repeal the "Act of the 
Union" furnish England with the legal power at any time to wipe out all that 
Ireland may gain from opportunity for Home Rule, whenever it may be to 
England's interest to do so? 

The course of Grattan and his friends of English sympathies led to the 
formation of the Society of United Irishmen. Lecky, who has written the 
"History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century", the only exhaustive work on 
the subject, was necessarily familiar with all the historical details connected 
with the Rebellion of 1798. He has stated (Vol. Ill, p. 174) :— 

The name of Grattan was still so great, his eloquence was so transcendent, his 
character was so transparently pure, that few open murmurs were heard against him, 
but from the "Opposition" as a hody, the United Irishmen were wholly separated. 
Wolfe Tone wrote that he had long entertained a more sincere contempt for what is 
called The Opposition than for the common prostitutes of the Treasury Bench, who 
wanted at least the vein of hypocrisy. 

And Lecky continues : — 

Emmet, who was perhaps the ablest member of the party, declared that "the United 
Irishmen and their adherents thought the Opposition had forfeited all pretence to public 

xl Historical Preface 

confidence by consenting to the measures for the repression of disaffection, — at least 
before any advance had been made to correct the acknowledged radical vice among the 
representation in Parliament." 

Emmet and Tone were very close friends. Tone and Samuel Neilson 
organized in Ulster what was to be the first branch of the Society of United 
Irishmen. Emmet, however, for special reasons, did not become a sworn 
member of the organization for several years after. It is not now known 
with which of these three men the general plan originated, but the credit is 
generally given to Tone, while Emmet, throughout his connection with the 
Society, was essentially the organizer, in which work he had the efficient aid 
of others. Tone and Neilson often sought his advice and were guided by 
their friend's opinion, but there is no instance on record in which either Tone 
or Neilson directed Emmet's course. 

In some respects Tone had the advantage of Emmet, as his manner was 
such that he attracted attention as soon as he began to speak, but all were 
finally convinced who listened to Mr. Emmet's argument, and with this power 
he was unequalled as an organizer. He commanded from the beginning the 
profound respect and confidence of the Catholics, and of all others who 
knew him. He had more sincere friends in all ranks of life who were devoted 
to him personally, than any other Irish leader, with the exception of Lord 
Edward Fitzgerald, while many had but little confidence in the latter's judg- 
ment as a leader. 

Thomas Addis Emmet, withal, was regarded as the head of the Society 
of United Irishmen, and especially by those who wished Ireland's wrongs 
redressed without resorting to arms ; with so much accomplished they believed 
that separation from England would for a time be unnecessary, but he never 
lost sight of absolute separation as a final essential. In these views he was 
supported by Samuel Neilson, Thomas Russell, Dr. James Macneven, John 
Sweetman, and every other leader of importance in Irish affairs, with the 
exception of Arthur O'Connor, who had no confidence in any one but himself. 

While Tone and Fitzgerald agreed with O'Connor as to the necessity for 
a military organization of the Society, with the ulterior object of a separation 
of Ireland from England, the friendship of these men for Emmet never weak- 
ened. They continued to act under his advice, until finally Mr. Emmet became 
convinced that nothing could be obtained for the relief of Ireland without a 
separation from England. This change in the character of the organization 
was known at once to England, as she was fully informed by her spies in the 
society, and the arrest of the leaders who, acting under Mr. Emmet's in- 
fluence, were delaying the outbreak, at once forced the country into open 
rebellion. , 

This work has been the result of over fifty years devoted to study and 
collecting material. It was at length written to show that full justice had 
never been rendered to Mr. Emmet, owing to the want of adequate knowledge 
as to his services in the Irish cause, and which England had done everything 

Historical Preface xli 

to underrate. From these circumstances it was natural that the reputation of 

the elder brother should have been overshadowed by the romance attached to 
the memory of Robert Emmet. 

At the request of the early leaders in the Society of United Irishmen, Mr. 
Emmet was for nearly two years engaged in forming new branches of the 
Society throughout the country, while he was on circuit in the practice of his 
profession. So quietly did he carry on this work that his friends were un- 
aware that he took the slightest interest in politics. That his work should not 
be suspected he apparently took no part in the trials of those under arrest, 
yet his private advice aided those who had charge of the defence. During all 
this time he was fully trusted, notwithstanding its being known among the 
leaders that he had never taken the oath of association. At length he joined the 
organization regularly, and shortly after he became a member he was elected 
to the Directory with Mr. O'Connor, Dr. Macneven and two others who never 
served. Arthur O'Connor was a man of the greatest ability and he had ren- 
dered most important service to the Irish cause before he and Mr. Emmet 
met for the first time in Dublin, when they became members of the Society 
of United Irishmen. 

On being placed in a position of responsibility as a Director O'Connor 
proved himself unlit to direct. Actuated by jealousy he at once refused to 
advocate any plan which did not originate with himself, and his only purpose 
while in office seemed to be to lead by intrigue, or to destroy the work of 
others. When he found that he could not weaken the influence of Mr. Emmet, 
who was supported by the full co-operation of his other colleagues, he made 
every effort among the members until his arrest, to have Mr. Emmet removed 
from the position of supreme executive. 

It can be claimed that by means of this work an exhaustive effort has been 
made for the first time to bring together all the material known to exist in 
connection with the lives of Thomas Addis and Robert Emmet, and no other 
writer except Dr. Madden, has succeeded by an individual effort in offering 
so great an amount of original material as will be found within these pages. 

It is a noteworthy circumstance that few but the close students of Irish 
history have ever read in full or had access to all the documents in connection 
with the political course of these men. On account of the length of the official 
papers and the penurious spirit of the publishers, only a portion or a synopsis 
of the papers has ever been printed except in official form and these have not 
always been accessible. For the first time, so far as the writer is informed, the 
trial of Robert Emmet is herein given with the full text of the testimony of 
each witness, as to questions and answers, with every document in its full 
integrity, and incorporated in its proper place with the text, or else the por- 
tion there omitted is to be found in the Appendix. The only other place 
where the evidence, in connection with the trial of Robert Emmet is printed 
in full is Ridgway's official report, where it appears in the same volume with 
other trials ; yet even here in three instances, where the witness has given 
the same testimony in another trial, the reader of Emmet's trial is referred 

x lii Historical Preface 

back to the first presentation. The trial of Robert Emmet as given in this 
volume is therefore the only published instance where every feature can be 
found in consecutive order. 

Almost every circumstance in the life of Thomas Addis Emmet as first 
given to the public, was based on the sketch written by Mr. T. A. Emmet, Jr., 
and placed at the disposal of Dr. Madden, who embodied the whole in his 
"Lives of the United Irishmen". The information then possessed by the 
son, however, was comparatively limited, and in the absence of other material 
it often misled. Through the effort of the writer much has been gained from 
the collection of Mr. Emmet's scattered correspondence, and through study 
of the official records. Unfortunately Mr. Emmet seldom made in these 
private letters any reference to the historical portion of his life, but he partly 
supplied this want by his own writings, the existence of which was largely 
unknown to his family or the public. His letters and essays on the political 
situation of the country, which were printed chiefly in "The Press", a Dublin 
newspaper and the official organ of the United Irishmen, are most valuable, 
and for the first time these papers have been published collectively in con- 
nection with his life. 

Previous to the printing of "The Press", "The Northern Star" was issued 
in Belfast by Neilson and Tone until destroyed by the British troops, but it is 
not known that Mr. Emmet made any literary contribution to its columns. 

Arthur O'Connor, as part owner and for some time editor, issued "The 
Press" with great ability, and to the annoyance of the Government, which 
did not dare suppress it until Grattan and his friends furnished the oppor- 
tunity by showing that they would offer no resistance. During the issue of 
"The Press" there appeared a number of letters from Mr. Emmet's pen, 
written annonymously and signed "Montanus". These letters were outspoken 
on the condition of the country and attracted the greatest interest. Numbers 
of "The Press" are now seldom to be found, as they were destroyed by the 
Government and consequently even their existence was known to but few. 
A still smaller number were aware that Mr. Emmet was the author of these 
letters signed "Montanus", or of the extent of his services in the management 
of this paper, of which he frequently acted as editor, or of his influence at 
the same time in the Society of United Irishmen. All of these letters have 
been copied for this work, and reprinted directly from a file of "The Press" 
itself, with a copy also of Emmet's last and scarcest letter, which was to 
have been issued and was in type when the paper was seized by the Govern- 
ment. Fortunately, "Extracts from The Press", in book form for refer- 
ence, with all these letters and other articles of interest, both in this country 
and abroad, were reprinted just after the rebellion, but without giving the 
names of the authors; nevertheless these volumes are now almost as difficult 
to obtain as a perfect file of the original newspaper. 

While imprisoned in Kilmainham, Dublin, Mr. Emmet wrote some con- 
tributions to Irish history which fortunately were preserved by the family, 
who, however, were unaware of their value, and these are now given all 

Historical Preface xliii 

together for the first time. A portion of contributions was printed in New 
York by his friend Dr. Macneven as "Pieces of Irish History". These essays 
have also been reproduced in this work. 

The general impression held by the public was that Mr. Emmet wrote but 
little, whereas, as a matter of fact, no other Irish leader placed on record 
so much with which he was personally associated. In proof of this the reader 
will find at the head and end of many chapters a ([notation, generally on some 
economic subject, taken from his political writings and given as an 

The extent of religious prejudice and race hatred among the Irish people 
previous to the existence of the United Irishmen, cannot now be realized. 
All of this had to be removed by personal influence, a condition not existing 
in our day. A larger proportion of the people were reconciled and enrolled 
by Thomas Addis Emmet and through his personal influence than through all 
other means. In the beginning the difficulty was greatest with the Protestants 
in consequence of the special privileges enjoyed exclusively by them. Their 
ignorant prejudice was fostered by falsehood issued through the influence of 
the English Government with the object of maintaining its own influence and 
strength in the country. As an inheritance from his father and mother, Mr. 
Emmet from early manhood labored to effect the emancipation of Catholics, 
and was fully trusted by all of that faith. At one time while he was at the 
head of the United Irishmen, over one hundred thousand men were enrolled 
.and in active service, Catholics and Protestants being associated in the closest 
bond of membership. Some one warned Mr. Emmet of his danger and of the 
certainty that information would be conveyed to the English Government 
concerning his connection with the organization. 

Mr. Emmet's reply was: "I am fully in the power of over twenty thousand 
men, and am well known to a greater number, yet I do not believe one will 
inform on me". Such proved to be the case, as the Government was never 
able to obtain any legal evidence on which he could be brought to trial. Yet 
at that time the organization was permeated by the spy and informer in the 
English interest, men who joined at the beginning and were not suspected, 
and they held responsible positions throughout. Fortunately for Mr. Emmet 
these informers were chiefly from the higher walks of life, persons with whom 
he had but little intercourse, his work having been among the masses of both 
Catholics and Protestants, with whom his influence was great. 

At the suggestion of Mr. Emmet, Tone began his wonderful work for 
Catholic Emancipation and to bring about the needed reconciliation with the 
Protestants, but unfortunately Tone was often absent on other service. After 
Tone's death Mr. Emmet had to take up this work and, whenever he was 
engaged with tasks temporarily of more importance, direct others in its execu- 
tion. What Mr. Emmet taught in the letters of "Montanus" has been trans- 
mitted to the present day, and has exercised its influence from time to time, 
long after the source was forgotten. Among Mr. Emmet's teachings can be 
found almost every expedient utilized from the time his service ceased down 

xliv Historical Preface 

to the present, and which rendered possible Catholic Emancipation and Home- 
Rule for Ireland. 

In comparison with what has been collected in relation to the life work 
of Thomas Addis Emmet, that gained for the better elucidation of Robert 
Emmet's plans and work, is equally important. 

A study of this work will show that Robert Emmet's plans of action were 
far-reaching and well digested, so far as the execution rested with him. 
Unfortunately he had not James Hope with him at the end when, of all men 
associated with him, this man's personality would have been invaluable. 
Emmet's efforts failed because he was unsupported by many leaders at a time 
when he most needed assistance, and although he was unaware of it at the 
time, it is probable that not a single order was carried out, or reached the- 
person for whom it was intended. When we consider Robert Emmet's project 
and the close attachment which existed between him and his elder brother it 
is inconceivable that his plans and purpose were not influenced by the judg- 
ment of that brother. 

In truth, the influence of the service rendered by these two men to forward 
Ireland's regeneration, will remain as one and indelible. When Robert 
Emmet's epitaph can be written, for the same reason that of his elder brother 
will be needed, as their purposes were inseparable. 

The investigation for collecting the material bearing upon the life of 
Thomas Addis Emmet shows two instances apparently reflecting upon either 
his honesty of purpose or his ability, — his course with Arthur O'Connor and 
that with Rufus King. The following was Mr. Lecky's opinion as quoted 
from his "Ireland in the Eighteenth Century" (Vol. IV, p. 253), and there 
need be advanced no additional authority, as no one could be found who had 
less sympathy for Mr. Emmet's work. He states : 

Emmet and Arthur O'Connor were perhaps abler, they were certainly more con- 
spicuous men than their colleagues, and the first is one of the few really interesting 
figures connected with the rebellion. He was a respectable lawyer, an excellent writer, 
a very honest and disinterested man, and he had certainly not embarked in treason 
either through motives of selfish ambition, or through any mere love of adventure and 
excitement. He became a United Irishman in order to obtain a radical parliamentary 
reform and Catholic Emancipation ; he found that these things were never likely to be 
attained except by force, and he at last succeeded in persuading himself that if Ireland 
were only detached from England she would soar to an unprecedented height of pros- 

Nature had intended him much more for the life of a man of letters than for the 
scenes in which he is often found in the earlier stages of a rebellion, but is usually 
discouraged or eclipsed in blood, long before the struggle has run its course. His 
writings and his examination before the Privy Council are singularly interesting and 
instructive, as showing the process by which a humane, honourable, and scrupulous man 
could become the supporter of a movement which was the parent of so many crimes. 
Grattan knew Emmet slightly and admitted his integrity, but he had a profound contempt 
for his political understanding. He described him, somewhat unceremoniously, as a 
quack in politics who despised experience, set up his own crude notions as settled rules, 
and looked upon elections and representations as if they were operations of nature, 
rather than the work of art. Anyone, Grattan maintained, who could bring himself to 

Historical Preface xlv 

"believe that a country like Ireland, in which the people were so destitute that one-third 
of them were exempted from the payment of hearth money on account of their poverty, 
could be safely or tolerably governed, must he politically mad, and have forfeited all 
right to be considered in Irish politics. Emmet afterwards rose to considerable dis- 
tinction in America and became Attorney-General of New York. Grattan, perhaps 
unjustly, thought his success was much beyond his talents, and such as he would never 
have attained if he had remained at home. 

This is perfectly true, as the Government would have made every effort, 
as in the case of Robert Holmes, to retard his advancement. The public will 
learn for the first time that Pitt, to bridle Mr. Emmet's political influence, 
offered him the position of Solicitor General of Ireland before he had reached 
his twenty-ninth birthday. This bribe Mr. Emmet promptly declined, and 
thereby incurred the implacable enmity of Pitt and Castlereagh, and suffered 
from the consequences to an extent never known to the public. 

In a footnote Lecky writes : 

See a curious conversation of Grattan in his Life (IV.. 360, 361). Grattan acutely 
added :— "England should take care. She transports a great deal of hostile spirit to 
that quarter." 

Judge Story (of the United States Supreme Court), however, than whom 
there can -be no higher authority, said that Emmet was "by universal consent 
in the first rank of American advocates," and he speaks with much respect, 
both of his character and his talents. See his sketch of Emmet in his own 
published Life by his son, and in Field's "Irish Confederates" (New York, 
1851, pp. 335-339). 

Lecky continues : 

Arthur O'Connor was a different type. ... He now believed the organization 
[when he became a member of the Directory' with Emmet and Macneven] to have be- 
come sufficiently powerful for independent action, and in conjunction with Fitzgerald, 
he strongly advocated it. The dispute ran very high and it made O'Connor a bitter 
enemy of Emmet, whom he accused very unjustly of cowardice. 

It is not necessary to offer any defence for Mr. Emmet. Time has ren- 
dered a verdict on which his reputation firmly rests, and it will not suffer from 
any comparison with that now held by Mr. O'Connor. 

The first judgment likely to be passed by the superficial reader will be to 
the effect that this work is to a great extent a compilation. This is not cor- 
rect, as the student will find. Few books of its character can ever be written 
without being necessarily based on the evidence of others, and at the same 
time it will be found that few works have been issued of a biographical nature 
and not contemporary, which contain more original material. 

The mason in constructing his building selects each brick needed, and 
when completed, the result certainly cannot be claimed for a single one of the 
different brick-makers, nor for all of them. The structure is all original, due 
to the judgment and knowledge of the mason, who was able to establish the 
value of each part of all the material he needed. The judgment exercised by 
the writer or the mason, is based on the knowledge obtained from study of 

xlvl Historical Preface 

Much of his knowledge the writer acquired directly from his grand- 
mother. This was supplemented by many explanations which came almost di- 
rectly from Dr. Macneven himself, and he gained a knowledge of family 
tradition from those who were cotemporaries with the events here related, and 
who, from childhood, would often recollect many trivial details of more value 
in forming a consistent narrative than the possession of a few isolated facts. 
He also was fortunate in gaining access to material which had been forgotten, 
or was not known to exist before the writer began his investigation. He may 
therefore justly claim to have written, as well as compiled, an original work. 

At some future time another may recast this material into a more 
attractive form, but certainly the claim is valid that for the first time the 
political life of Thomas Addis Emmet and of his brother Robert, has been 
written in more than outline. The fact must now be accepted that 
Thomas Addis Emmet, more than any other leader in the early part of 
the movement of 1798, left an indelible and individual impression on 
Irish affairs, which is followed to the present time, although the source has- 
been forgotten. Robert Emmet, although he failed from adverse circum- 
stances, was the originator of everything in the Fenian movement which made 
it most formidable, and he established the necessity for securing Dublin as the 
first step in every revolutionary movement, although the idea was not strictly 
original with him. 

The purchaser of this work is to be congratulated, as it is the first work 
of the kind ever published where his interest has been consulted to a like 
extent. Apart from their priceless value and number the illustrations are 
unique from an historical standpoint. They certainly represent all that the 
skill and good taste of Miss Anna Frances Levins, the artist, could accomplish. 
There are, moreover, many other special features of great interest : the 
prophecy of C. Temple Emmet, to be found after the list of aphorisms in the 
first volume ; the reproduction from the only known copy of a work by St. John 
Mason, bearing on the treatment of English political prisoners; most im- 
portant of all is the unique portrait of Robert Emmet, which is likely to be 
accepted in the future as the only perfectly reliable portrait, inasmuch as every 
opportunity for securing a good likeness was enjoyed by the artist. A price- 
less memento of the poet, Shelley, is found in the heretofore unpublished por- 
tion of his poem to the grave of Robert Emmet. This was obtained through 
the efforts of Frank J. Sullivan, Esq., of San Francisco, Cal. But two verses 
of the poem were ever allowed to be published, so that in the pages of this 
work this poem reaches the public for the first time as it was written and in 
its entirety. 

There m>ere few voices more influential in the national councils than that of Thomas 
Addis Emmet. Humane, disinterested, 'warm-hearted, zealous, he glided through 
the meetings of the Irish Unions remonstrating 'with some, suggesting to others, and 
advising all. 

William J. Fitzpatrick. and Ireland can never prosper together. It is as impossible to bring about such a result, 
in defiance of the attributes of nature, as that the mixing of oil and water should 
ever blend into a homogeneous product. The experience of seven centuries has proved 
this. The t-wo nations have nothing in common. They need a different civilization 
and a different language, as every aspiration of life is at variance between them. 
Could England divest herself of the greed for gain, she would advocate a total sep- 
aration to the gain of both countries. 

Thomas Addis Emmet, M.D. 

Armed resistance to tyranny is justifiable and a duty on every citizen. 

A. Bonar Lavj, 
"Against Imposing Home Rule on Ulster", Bristol, 1914. 

Ireland may some day be justified by Ulster's course in fighting for her independence. 

Thomas Addis Emmet, M.D. 

Through the grace of God individuals are sometimes regenerated and the change may be 
possible for nations, after the millennium. Home Rule may be granted and every 
other concession, yet the locked ball and chain of the prisoner <will still be there. The 
experience of the centuries has taught that England alone will prosper by any union 
'with Ireland, as she can never be satisfied <with even the lion's share, but must have all 
profit. I should like to see England and Ireland good friends for their mutual ad- 
vantage. But I have Ireland's welfare too much at heart to be satisfied with any 
relation between them short of absolute separation and Ireland an independent coun- 
try. An orange devoid of its contents is of no value but in recollection of that derived 
from it, and England may find the analogy applicable. 

Thomas Addis Emmet, M.D. 

Marry, so there have bin divers good plottes devised and wise councells cast already 
about the reformation of that realm, but they say it is the fatall destiny of that land 
that no purposes 'whatsoever which are mentioned for her good will prosper or take 
effect, <which, whether it proceed from the very genius of the soyle or influence of the 
starrs, or that Almighty God hath not yet appointed the time of her reformation, or that 
hee reserveth her in this unquiet state still for some secret scourge which shall by her 
come unto England, it is hard to be knotvne but yet much to be feared. 

Edmund Spenser, State of Ireland, 1596. 



Thomas A. Emmet, from Madden, by Herbert 

Lei them loun. _. o<w. arbours ana cays tunic n never vietvea . „«.., 

let them shed a tear over their unhappy country. She had been too long misruled by 
cruel men; but by the exercise of that morality <which forbade a crime, vjhich shud- 
dered at it as the pestilential gate of mephitic cholera, they should be rescued from 
the tyrant and despot. Ireland ought, should, and shall be free. 

O'Connell — Repeal meeting, Connemara. 

Historical Essays in connection with Ireland 


T. A. Emmet 

The nations are fallen, but thou art still young; 

Thy sun is but rising, <whilst others have set; 
And tho' slavery's gloom o'er thy morning hath hung. 

The full moon of freedom shall beam round thee yet. 


military invasion, or a combination of hostile fleets, united to deprive her of com- 
mand of the sea, not to enumerate any other events to •which the chances of an hour 
may give birth, would render England helpless, unless she tvas sustained by the hearty 
supporl of Ireland. 

William Smith O'Brien, The Nation— Nov. 13, 1847. 

The minister Pitt confessed a truth, -which the complicated -wretchedness of ages loudly 
proclaimed— that the constant object of the policy exercised by the English Govern- 
ment in regard to Ireland had been to disbar her from the enjoyment and use of her 
o-wn resources, and to make her completely subservient to the interests and opulence 
of Britain. 

T. A. Emmet. 


on the 


of the 



1171 to 1789 







The Right Honorable Charles James Fox. 

Three things for a man to avoid: the heels of a horse, the horns of a bull and the smile 
of an Englishman. 

An old Connaught Proverb. 

We have somewhat else against you; for compacts broken and frauds displaced by frauds. 

Aubrey De Vere. 

It is difficult to believe that either Grattan or Flood could have seriously thought that any 
promise 'would bind England, a country ivhich even then ivas notorious all over the 
'world for broken faith and dishonored treaties. 

James Connolly- 

There is no blacker or fouler transaction in the history of man than the making of the 
union bettoeen Great Britain and Ireland. 


There was one man engaged in that struggle <who possessed all the elements of greatness, 
and ■whose judgment could alone check the violence of insurrectionary success, and 
bring all within the limit of order, — that was Thomas Addis Emmet. 

"The Truth Teller". August 11, 1842. 

Observations on the Conquest of Ireland 

Part I 

State of Ireland previous to introduction of English power — An object of boast 
by natives, of derision by malicious foreigners — One harmless in effect; the other 
intended to justify wrong inflicted by oppression — Invasion under Henry II begins 
the era meriting the deepest recollection as a starting point — Its record calamitous 
and sickening — Education of a people not in change from one form of polity in 
social customs and laws to another, but in the progressive formation, of its moral 
and political character and in a common principle called Country — The proud feel- 
ing of an independent national existence, the State and its members acting recipro- 
cally on each other — Where this is wanting and one country bound to another its 
character and conduct will betray invariably the vileness of its conditions — National 
Independence incompatible with provincial subjection in every sphere — Slavery in 
every form destructive of the virtue, the genius and the spirit of man. 

j(HE state of Ireland at a remote period, previous to the intro- 
duction of the English power, has been a subject of 
unmerited panegyric, and of still more unmerited abuse. 
The vain or indignant native boasts of ancient heroes, 
literature, political institutions and refinements. The 
ignorant or malicious foreigner denies every pretension 
to early fame, and draws the darkest picture of barbarism 
and crimes. The national vanity which emblazons doubt- 
ful pretensions in the splendid coloring of fancy, is not 
malignant in origin, and is harmless in its effect, but the deliberate 
calumny, which blackens the character of the injured in order to 
justify the wrongs of the oppressor, deserves a harsher epithet than falsehood 
and a severer chastisement than contempt. However, Milesian antiquity or 
Milesian fame, is, to the present question, a barren boast and a melancholy 
alleviation of the closing scene of the eighteenth century. Curiosity may be 


6 Ireland a Province 

amused and vanity gratified by the real or fancied attainments of primitive 
independence; but in those events alone, by which his present condition has 
been determined, or may be changed, is man seriously concerned. 

The invasion of Ireland by Henry the Second is the first era in its 
annals which merits the deep recollection of the present times, and it is an 
era which may be remembered long. From this era the progress of events in 
Ireland may be traced and connected as essentially affecting the character, 
the fortune and the hopes of the present and succeeding generations.* But, 
however important such events may appear as illustrative of the actual state 
of things, or as pregnant with speculations on the future, the detail will be 
found, until a very late period, rather calamitous than interesting. The reader 
is sickened and fatigued with uniform repetition of the same policy, the same 
crimes and the same suffering. The mind is seldom enlightened or elevated 
by examples of genius or magnanimity, either in the conquerors or the con- 
quered. The imagination is not dazzled by the splendor of victory, and the 
misfortunes of the vanquished seem hardly to excite even the pity of the 
generous and humane. 

That the subjugation of a country, superior in almost every natural ad- 
vantage to the country by which it was subjugated, should produce neither 
glory in victory nor sympathy in defeat, is a singular historical phenomenon. 

Uninterested in the detail of facts, the inquisitive mind becomes interested 
in accounting for the very apathy which it feels, and, while the annals of 
Ireland are perused with indifference or disgust, as a particular history of 
events, they become important and engaging in the abstract investigation of 
cause and effect. Perhaps, too, from this view of its history, while the 
philosophic temper is gratified by observing the influence of moral causes 
counteracting the physical destinies of nature, producing weakness and 
want and ignorance, emasculating and debasing, where all the outlines of 
creation seemed traced for happiness, the feeling mind may be led to sym- 
pathize with the fortunes of a people, brave, generous and intelligent, sub- 
dued and enslaved without even the consolation of many a hard-fought field. 

Had the liberties of Greece perished with Leonidas at Thermopylae, Spartan 
glory would have been the same. Had the days of Marathon, Salamis and 
Plataea been days of defeat, instead of victory to Greece, the orator might 
still have sworn by the sacred memory of the dead. When a nation which 
refuses to bend is broken by the tempest, its fame is measured by the storm. 
But in the sad picture of her destruction, Ireland exhibits not the majestic 
ruins of a nation. Before Ireland could be a nation, she became a province; 

*Mr. Emmet cannot be accepted as an authority on early Irish history, as he had no other source 
but what the English published. This the Irish people themselves had accepted through ignorance of 
their own history, as was England's purpose. The Germans, since Mr. Emmet's death, have given 
authentic proof that the English tribes were in their breech-cloths when Ireland was already a civilized 
country, as early as that of Rome. This has been proved by the manuscripts found in the early Irish 
monasteries of the continent. By this means, also, it is known that to Ireland is due all of our present 
knowledge of Greek and Roman literature, after the fall of Rome, and possibly the preservation of 
Christianity itself after the inroads of Attila, at the end of the fourth century, for a hundred years 
later the Irish missionaries converted the invaders and rechristianized Europe. The Irish people, after 
the invasion of Henry the Second, lost all knowledge of their early history, as England, from the 
beginning, systematically destroyed every evidence of Irish civilization, and it is now taught as history 
that Ireland was civilized by English precept and example! 

Education and Nationalism 

before Ireland could be a people, her inhabitants were made slaves, attached 
not to their country, but to their soil. 

As individuals or as clans or as septs, they have wandered for long cen- 
turies through a dreary existence, without any central principle of attraction 
and light and warmth. For six long centuries Ireland has been schooled as 
a province, and she betrays all the vices of her education. 

Civilization has frequently been diffused by conquest, and even imposed 
by force. But such civilization can be relative only ; above the barbarism 
which it has succeeded, far below the standard of independent, voluntary 
improvement. When civilization is imposed, it will be fashioned by the 
habits, the prejudices and the interests of conquest to form a society of slaves, 
not a community of freemen. Civilization imposed in an age of barbarism 
has its use, it might preserve or propagate what might be otherwise lost or 
only partially known, but it never can generate a nation. Man may be com- 
paratively civilized by conquest, may be raised above the brute, but, in order 
to attain the true dignity of his nature, he must shake off the conquest, he 
must dare to think as he pleases, and to speak as he thinks. The education 
of a people must be its own work, the spontaneous effect of its own genius, 
roused by accident or example, enriched by all that it can invent, and all that 
it can borrow, leading or led by the knowledge around. But Ireland has not 
received her education from herself, she has been educated by another country, 
which for a long time had but little to bestow, would not communicate even 
that little, and at length, studied to check the growth which it feared. Ireland, 
to have been well educated, ought to have been left to herself, to work her 
way in the world of science and government and trade, by her own talents, 
her own spirit and her own industry. But, instead of this, she was rudely 
seized in an age of barbarism, and thrust out of the sphere of light. She 
could neither create nor imitate. She could neither give birth to a Solon, 
nor send for her twelve tables to Greece. 

The education of a people is not the changing of its garb, nor the allure- 
ment of its chieftains to a Court; it is not the substitution of English for 
Brehon law, the gibbet for the epic; it is not to be found in Protestant 
charter-schools, nor in Catholic seminaries, in the university of Dublin, nor in 
the college of Maynooth. The education of a people is the formation of its 
moral and intellectual and political character, measured by its advancement 
in government, in laws, in manners, in science, in arts, in manufactures, in 
trade, in the general diffusion of knowledge and virtue, and of the comforts, 
the conveniences and the refinements of life. Nature is the volume, and 
experience is the school. The benefits of law and policy, of manufactures 
and trade, of arts and science, are the effect of individual talent, and of united 
labor. But genius and industry, the powers of a few and the labors of the 
many, combining toward a common end, can only exist where there is some 
common, invigorating principle of life and motion. This common principle 
is country, the proud feeling of an independent national existence, by means 
of which every action is reflected from the individual to the State, and from 

8 Industry and Freedom 

the State to the individual, and fame and emolument are enjoyed in the two- 
fold capacity of man and citizen. 

The State and its members act reciprocally on each other, the public and the 
private energies are intimately connected. A sense of national glory, of high 
national character, acquired and maintained by self-exertion, a love of the 
common weal (the fertile source of noble nations and ingenuous sentiments), 
inspire and animate and dignify the individual, exalt the soul above selfish 
affections, develop the powers of the understanding, give birth and vigor to 
the sciences and arts, and, if they sometimes rouse the ambitious and destruc- 
tive, they more uniformly call forth and exercise the generous and useful 
passions of the human breast. But where this common invigorating principle 
is wanting, where a people is reluctantly bound to the will, subservient to the 
interests, and attached to the fortunes of another State, its character and 
conduct will invariably betray the vileness of its condition. National inde- 
pendence by no means necessarily leads to national virtue and happiness ; but 
reason and experience demonstrate that public virtue and general happiness 
are absolutely incompatible with a state of provincial subjection. 

Added to the sufferings peculiarly attached to such a condition, the very 
consciousness of dependence on another power for advancement in the scale 
of national being, must weigh down the spirit of a people, manacle the efforts 
of genius, repress the energies of virtue, 'blunt the sense of common glory 
and common good, and produce an insulated selfishness of character, the 
most certain marks of debasement in the individual and mortality in the State. 

The industry of man arises not from the mere impulse of instinct. The 
industry of man arises from instinct and reason, from feeling and from 
experience, from a sense of duty and a love of fame. The industry of man 
embraces the material and the intellectual world; is impelled by the sordid, 
and animated by the generous affections; is connected with everything mean 
and everything noble in the human breast ; it grovels on the earth and it 
ascends to heaven ; the gross portion of its nature may exist in any clime 
where the animal can breathe; but every celestial particle will perish where 
the mind dare not think. The soil of Attica is still visited by the same sun, 
yet "the Athenians walk with supine indifference among the glorious ruins 
of antiquity, and such is the debasement of their character, that they are 
incapable of admiring the genius of their predecessors". The soil of Attica 
is still visited by the same sun, but his beams no longer illumine a land of 
liberty, whose alchemic power transmutes whatever it touches into gold. The 
republic of Athens is no more, and the genius and the spirit and the virtue 
which once covered that scanty and rugged soil with glory, now only live in the 
records of her fame. "Nothing can be more advantageous to the common- 
wealth than what Themistocles has proposed," said Aristides, "but at the 
same time, nothing can be more unjust". It must be done, was the in- 
stantaneous and unanimous resolution of a free people. Will the actions of 
a free people be always just? No, but the actions of an enslaved people will 
never be sublime. Slavery in every form which it can assume is destructive 

Ireland Enslaved 

of the virtue, the genius and the spirit of man. The subjection of one people 
to another is of all species of slavery incomparatively the worst, and the 
history of human calamity has not yet exhibited such an instance of com 
plicated and long-continued wretchedness, of forced and mortifying- debase 
nient, as the subjection of Ireland to the English power has produced. 

Ireland — "Her virtues are her o<wn — her vices have been forced upon her". 

Robert Holmes. 

Part II 

Causes and consequences of British Conquest — Invasion found Ireland in a 
state of internal disorder favorable for the invader — Had invasion not taken place, 
evolution would have effected a radical and salutary change in conditions — England an 
example of the value of independence since departure of the Romans — England 
only changed King — The principle of national life was destroyed before Ireland 
could renovate herself — England seized moment Ireland was weakest — Divide et 
impera became the policy of the foreign government — Parliaments and charters 
too often the trappings of the slave — Long after doom of country was fixed some 
provincial or sept chief rebelled, but no national effort — The system of Pale and 
Plantation, at first one of national antipathy, culminated finally in antipathy of 
religion aggravated by England's attempts to impose her religion by force — Re- 
ligious dissension became permanent basis of English power in Ireland — Ireland 
never derived advantage from wisdom or virtue of English sovereigns, but has been 
the victim of their follies and crimes — Elizabeth and James had different policies, 
but their effects were the same — Charles I and his deputy Strafford laid the 
foundation of calamities that followed — Loyal attachment of Catholics to Charles 
caused by fear of Puritans of Scotland and England — Cromwell combining hypoc- 
risy with genius broke Catholic strength and followed it with the most inhuman 
proscriptions of all of that faith — Progress of events drove Catholics over to 
Royalist cause — Great anticipations when Charles II was restored — Disappointment 
followed and things remained as before — James II brought new calamities, though 
his intentions towards Ireland were benevolent — The will of the people the only 
foundation of government — Benefit of this principle kept for England — Ireland 
always governed by a minority — This in time became the Protestant — Three-fourths 
of Irish people proscribed. — The religious division of the people eventually con- 
stituted the solid basis of foreign domination — Dissenters more numerous than 
Established Churchmen joined in common persecution of Catholics — Both alike 
shared plunder of the Irish — Protestant atrocities concealed ; Catholic magnified — Penal 
Code at length relaxed, but religious creed remained basis of political degradation — 
This condition and evils arising out of it inevitable consequences of English rule — Civil 
commotions in England benefited Englishmen, but never Ireland — English domination 
not assured by the sword but by policy, which made war on the mind, depressed the 
genius, broke down the spirit, corrupted the morals and withered the industry of Ireland. 

HATEVER may be the truth or falsehood of her early 
attainments, Ireland, at the time of the expedition of 
Henry the Second, was in a state of internal disorder, 
most favorable to invasion, but which, had it not been for 
this very invasion, must soon, in the natural and ordinary 
progress of events, have effected a radical and salutary 
change in the government and manners of this ill-fated 
island. This will appear in the highest degree probable, 
whether we reason upon general principles or attend to 
the strong authority of experience. England herself is a luminous example 


Divide and Rule H 

of order springing from confusion, liberty from civil strife, and strength from 

No credulity can believe that had Ireland, girt with the Atlantic and em- 
braced within the sphere of European mind, been left as independent in will 
as in station, she could at this day, exhibit such a miserable contrast as she 
presents to the strength, the opulence and the policy of her neighbor. 

When England ceased to be a Roman province, though successfully in- 
vaded, she still preserved national independence. Vastly superior in natural 
advantages to the countries of the invaders, she invited and fixed in her more 
genial, more fruitful, more commodious, or more extensive soil, the Saxons, 
the Danes and the Normans. The Saxons and the Danes were enterprising 
adventurers, seeking a settlement merely in a foreign land, not a provincial 
dependency to their own. William of Normandy was an adventurer of an- 
other kind. He aspired to the throne of an independent kingdom, and Nor- 
mandy became a feudal appendage to the British crown. But had the Duke 
of Normandy been King of France, and had the strength of France been 
consolidated by the union of the great fiese to the Crown. Britain might be 
at this day to France what Ireland is to Britain, a miserable province, without 
a constitution, without a navy, and without a name. 

By what is called the Norman Conquest, England but changed a king. 
Ireland presented to the ambitious Henry the sole idea of a desirable acces- 
sion to a feudal crown, and conquest necessarily involved the loss of inde- 
pendence to the vanquished. Before Ireland could, by self-renovation, acquire 
a new existence, before her scattered and discordant tribes could be united 
by a sense of common interest, or by the chances of internal war, giving to 
some chieftain of superior genius and fortune, some Boroume of a later 
age, the creation of a people, the principle of national life and movement was 
destroyed. No sense of common interest, no example of other states, no 
talents and fortune of the soldier, no wisdom and virtue of the sage, could 
henceforward unite the scattered elements of a people. 

There is frequently an interval of repulsion, which precedes cohesion in 
political as in natural bodies. This interval is a moment of weakness. It was 
observed and seized. The natives, improvident, turbulent and divided, brave 
in war, but rude in arms, continually sacrificing to personal or family revenge 
every consideration of general good and common safety, became the easy prey 
of invaders more civilized, or rather less barbarous, who could understand and 
employ the obvious policy of profiting by disunion, and converting the inde- 
pendence of septs into national subjugation. 

Divide ct impera, is no refinement in the science of conquest and despotism. 
It is the policy of circumstances, not of any age or country. When a nation 
is to be governed contrary to its interest and inclination, and when the union 
of the people would render such a government impracticable, the sense of com- 
mon interest, and the wish of common liberty must be counteracted by creat- 
ing or strengthening divided interests and hostile feelings. Nor is the task 

12 No National Resistance 

The selfish and malignant passions are so powerful in man, that it requires 
no uncommon effort of genius, or dexterity of management to make them the 
instruments of his weakness and dishonor. 

The facility with which a number of Irish chieftains submitted to the first 
English invaders is not surprising, but it was fatal. A firm acquisition of 
territory, however small, and a formal recognition of sovereignty, however 
partial, would necessarily be sufficient, under the relative situation of the two 
countries, to secure to Henry, his heirs and successors, the absolute dominion 
of Ireland. 

It is idle to dispute about the precise terms and nature of the sovereignty 
with which he was invested. It is idle to appeal to early charters and to 
triumph in early parliaments. The appeal is delusive and the triumph is vain. 
Parliaments and charters are too often the trappings of the slave. Evidence, 
stronger than parliaments and charters, evidence written in the tears and the 
blood of the natives, exhibits Ireland, from the invasion of Henry, in all the 
horrors of provincial servitude, as the pure acquisition of conquest, begun, 
and to be completed and retained, by the sword. 

As soon as this conquest had become an object of ambition to the English 
monarch, and the invaders had secured a footing in the country the annihila- 
tion of Ireland as an independent state appeared to be inevitable. The sub- 
jugation, however, of the inhabitants was tedious and afflicting. Long after 
the doom of their country had been fixed, the chieftains of a province or a 
sept, stung with insult, provoked by injury, roused by indignant feeling, 
tormented by the bitter recollection of departed power, or impelled by the 
keen sense of self-preservation, fought for vengeance or for safety, and 
struggled for local independence with a frequency, and an obstinacy, which 
prolonged common misery, without the chance, or indeed the design, of 
effecting common emancipation. 

From inability, ignorance, prejudice or private interest, no vigorous, com- 
prehensive system of conquest and civilization was ever adopted by the 
invaders. Enough was always done to secure national subjection, but not 
enough to make that subjection, either profitable to the master, or comfortable 
to the slave. Crude, desultory, unconnected plans succeeded or supplanted 
each other, according to the leisure, the ability and the temper of the English 
Court, or the talents and character of its deputies, without a consciousness 
of the real importance of the acquisition, or an enlightened or liberal idea 
either of colonial connection, or provincial dependence. The system of Pale 
and Plantation, founded in the unjust and cruel expulsion of the natives from 
their possessions, was at first a system of national antipathies, and at length 
terminated in the more lasting and deadly antipathies of religion. 

Owing to a variety of circumstances, which it is unnecessary to detail, while 
the Protestant religion had become the religion of a large majority of the 
people of England, the Catholic continued to be the religion of the great 
body of the Irish. One cause alone seemed to be adequate to the effect. From 
the very first, the reformed religion appeared in Ireland, not recommended 

Religious Divisions 13 

by reason, but imposed by force, imposed t'>i> by a power, whose prog 
"in the beneficial work of conquering and therebj breaking a savage nation 

to the salutary discipline of civil order and good laws", could he traced only 
by mangled carcasses and desolated plains. 

The right of private judgment in matters of religion, a right most clearly 
founded in reason and in Scripture, justified the Protestant in renouncing 
the tenets and authority of the Church of Rome. But this right, the irre- 
fragable justification of his own conduct, the Protestant respected not in 
others. The profession of Popery became highly penal and hence arose a 
religious division of the people, a new and more permanent basis of English 
power in Ireland. 

By means of this religious division the English nation could in future be 
more easily inflamed against the Irish, and the Irish more fatally armed 
against itself. The name of l'apist became a sufficient apology for any act 
of injustice or cruelty committed against the person who bore it; and the 
fury of bigotry was added to the desire of forfeiture, in continuing a system 
of the most flagrant robbery and the most barbarous extirpation. 

It has been the curse of Ireland to derive no advantage from the wisdom 
and virtue of English sovereigns, yet to be the peculiar victim of their folly 
and their crimes. Elizabeth is the pride of English annals. But the conduct 
of Elizabeth or that of her deputies towards the Irish, was savage and im- 
politic in the extreme. The unceasing and merciless fury of her commanders 
drove the miserable natives to despair. Mercy was considered as incom- 
patible with the fiscal interests of the crown. The Acts of Supremacy and 
Uniformity were imposed upon the nation by force or fraud, and its attach- 
ment to Popery was confirmed or increased by persecution. 

lames the First was pedantic, conceited, hypocritical and arbitrary. His 
favorite scheme of plantation could be carried on only by injustice and 
crueltv. New severities were exercised in order to produce new insurrection, 
and consequently new forfeiture. Notwithstanding, however, multiplied 
provocation and favorable opportunities, no considerable commotion took 
place in Ireland during his reign. 

Yet the nobility and gentry of Ulster were stripped of their possessions 
without proof of treason, and in the other provinces the design was com- 
menced, which was afterwards so faithfully prosecuted, of seizing on the 
estates of the natives, under pretense of judicial inquiry into defective 

The penal statutes were rigorously enforced by His express instructions, 
and the most barefaced oppression and extortion were practised in the 
ecclesiastical courts. 

The character and conduct of Charles the First, a miserable tissue of 
tyranny, duplicity and meanness, were calculated to deceive and abuse the 
Catholic, and to excite the suspicion and distrust of the Protestant. His 
deputy, Strafford, haughty, imperious, arbitrary, and systematically faithless. 
laid the foundation of the calamities which followed. The lords justices, 

14 Insurrection of 1641 

Parsons and Borlase, connected with the Parliamentarians, the prevailing party 
in England, aggravated the complaints of the Catholics, and, from the most 
corrupt motives, endeavored to provoke a general insurrection. 

The cause of the Catholics, as a religious sect, contending for the free 
exercise of that mode of worship, which they preferred, was founded in the 
clear and inalienable rights of conscience. 

As Irishmen, provoked by accumulated wrongs, and contending for the 
independence of their country, their cause might have been founded in rights 
as clear and as inalienable. But their views were not national. Their con- 
nection with Charles, either as negotiating insurgents, or as allies, was incom- 
patible with the idea of national emancipation, and their interests, even as a 
party, were destroyed by their own dissensions, and the interference of a 
turbulent, vain and bigoted foreign ecclesiastic. 

The loyal attachment of the Catholics to Charles, notwithstanding his ex- 
treme duplicity, arose principally from their dread of the triumphant Puri- 
tanical party in England and Scotland, which seemed to threaten their religious 
tenets and worship with a severer persecution than they had hitherto ex- 

That their views and conduct were sectarian and not national, is by no 
means surprising. But their insurrection terminated, as all former insurrec- 
tions had done, in extending and confirming the English power. In this 
respect it was more ruinous in its effects than any which preceded. It laid 
the deep foundation of that religious animosity and mutual intolerant bigotry 
which almost destroyed the social sympathies and benevolent affections by 
which men are held together. 

Hypocrisy, genius and courage advanced Oliver Cromwell to command. 
Appointed chief of the Parliamentarian forces in Ireland, his conduct was 
marked by vigor and by cruelty. The strength of the Catholics was soon 
entirely broken, and their discomfiture was followed by the most inhuman 
proscription of their entire sect, in person and property. 

In the progress of events, the Catholic cause had become identified with 
the Royalist. The Royalist cause embraced at first a number of Protestants 
as well as Catholics, but they had never united with confidence and affection. 
The Protestants were, without much difficulty, detached from the party, and 
joined to the Parliamentarians. Hence the Catholics, who composed the great 
mass of the Irish people, had alone sustained the wide-spreading and ruthless 
vengeance of Cromwell and the Parliamentarians. 

From the commencement of this insurrection to the restoration of Charles 
the Second, Ireland exhibited a scene of the most complicated woe. Whatever 
government prevailed in England, the great body of the Irish were sure to 
suffer every indignity and oppression ; being constantly considered by the 
English nation as a conquered people, suspected, hated, dreaded and persecuted. 

Upon the restoration of Charles the Second to the throne, the Catholics 
naturally expected an essential alteration in their favor. 

In this, however, they were disappointed. The administration of Irish 

Revolution of 1088 15 

affairs had always been considered in England a mere subject of policy, never 
of justice. Whatever system of administration seemed, at the moment, best 
calculated to secure the dependence of Ireland, was adopted without any re- 
gard to the rights of the natives, or any feeling for their calamities. Upon 
this occasion it appeared politic to suffer the mass of the people, not more as 
Catholics than as Irishmen, to remain as they were found, plundered and 

From the character of James the Second, Ireland was doomed to ex- 
perience new calamities. His conduct in favor of the Catholics arose not 
from the just and enlightened policy of extending the benefits of legislation 
and government equally to all his subjects without distinction of religious 
belief. It arose from a bigoted attachment to the Church of Rome, which he 
had displayed in an intemperate zeal for the re-establishment of the Catholic 
religion in England ; also, an attempt, which was connected with his design 
of subverting the constitution and liberties of that country. 

His cause was espoused by the Catholics of Ireland, not because he was 
a bigot and wished to be despotic, but from a variety of motives religious and 
political, independent of his mere personal character, some of which influenced 
them in common with the Jacobites in England, who composed a very large 
portion of that nation ; others arose from their appropriate situation, from a 
feeling of religious and civil degradation and a desire of regaining that rank 
and that property, of which, with reason, they deemed themselves most 
iniquitously deprived. But whatever was its origin, this attachment of the 
Irish Catholics to the cause of James, was unfortunate in every sense of the 
word. It is highly improbable that success under such a man could have 
served any good national purpose, and defeat more than ever confirmed the 
power of England. The contest increased religious antipathies ; victory in- 
flamed the desire, supplied the means, and sanctified the pretext of new 
religious persecution and the union of a people, whose only chance of inde- 
pendence and happiness rested in a combination of sentiment and strength, 
seemed more impracticable than at the time, when Ireland was divided into 
a number of hostile petty sovereignties and discordant septs. 

The will of the people is the only rightful foundation of government. On 
this basis has the English constitution been professedly raised. The English 
Revolution of 1688 derived its unanswerable vindication from the inherent 
and imprescriptible government agreeably to its own judgment of the best 
means of attaining its own happiness. To the practical application of this 
right, England is indebted for the liberty, the glory and prosperity which she 
has enjoyed. But the application and its fruits she reserved to herself. Her 
happiness has been incommunicable. The system of supporting the English 
government in Ireland has remained the same. A small portion of the people, 
itself enslaved, fattened on the misery of the nation. The Catholics con- 
tinued to be the peculiar objects of legislative persecution. The Articles of 
Limerick, to which the public and royal faith had been pledged were soon 
shamefully violated, and, in times of profound tranquillity, without even the 

16 Rule of the Minority 

pretense of insurrection or conspiracy, new laws of unexampled severity 
were enacted and rigorously enforced against this devoted portion of the 

From the period of the capitulation of Limerick, the English power may 
be considered as completely established, and patiently, or tamely acquiesced in 
by the Irish. From that period an end seemed to be put to the desolation of 
the sword. The slower, but not less certain, and more consuming desolation 
of the law remained. The English power had advanced by unequal, and 
frequently interrupted steps, but its progress could be uniformly traced in 
blood, and its final triumph was succeeded by a system of provincial adminis- 
tration at once barbarous and unwise. 

From the situation of Ireland at the invasion of Henry the Second, from 
the system of subjugation which had been pursued, and from the event which 
that system had in its operation necessarily produced, as division had been 
the great instrument of conquest, so it continued to be the mainspring of 
English government in the country. Conformably to the general policy of 
statesmen, and the general constitution of governments, which is almost always 
framed for the emolument of a few at the expense of numbers, the minority 
of a people is made the instrument of ruling the majority and of enslaving 
the whole. If from this cause the minority of the Irish people would become 
the instrumental government of the nation, enslaving and enslaved, the cir- 
cumstances of the country, and the train of events, which had long stained 
its annals and mutilated its strength, confined the minority to a very small 
number of its inhabitants. 

This small number, in the progress of time, came to consist almost entirely 
of the Protestant sect of the Church of England. This sect had been made 
the established sect in Ireland also, and its ministers were to be supported at 
the general expense of the nation. This sect was composed of the Ulster 
English adventurers, who had been settled on the forfeited lands, of which 
Catholics had been deprived. Hence from the mighty influence of property, 
as well as from sectarian sympathy, the interests of this sect and of the 
English power were soon considered as inseparably connected. And the 
religious division of the people, from this twofold cause eventually con- 
stituted the solid basis of foreign domination. 

The Dissenters from the Church established, who were not Catholics, 
chiefly the Presbyterians, who far outnumbered the established sect, while they 
reprobated an hierarchical establishment in general, had yet cordially joined 
in a common persecution of the Catholic. The religious antipathy of the 
Presbyterians to the Catholics was still stronger than that of the Episcopalians, 
and under the English scheme of plantation, grounded on the extirpation of 
the natives, they too enjoyed lands, from which the original proprietors had 
been expelled. However, the conduct of the great numbers of the Presby- 
terians in supporting the English power was derived from the most disin- 
terested and honorable motives. Owing to events which had taken place in 
England previous to the revolution, the cause of the English power in Ireland 

Triumph of Protestantism 

had become, or appeared to be, the of civil liberty, and as such, was 
warmly espoused, and supported and confirmed by the Presbyterians. 

Mere sectarian difference in belief and worship could never, without the co- 
operation of other causes, have produced in the Protestant mind such lasting 
hostility towards the Catholic. But the latter wars in Ireland had originated 
in, and been fatally marked in their progress, by the religious division which 
had succeeded and absorbed the former divisions among the people. In these 
wars, particularly in the commencement of the insurrection of 1641, the most 
shocking acts of barbarity had been committed both by Protestants and Cath- 
olics. But the Protestant was finally victorious, and, while his own atrocities 
were concealed, or palliated, or justified, those of the Catholics were studiously 
recorded, magnified, and painted in the black colors of bigotry, interest and 

The Protestant child imbibed, with the tale of horror, the most deep-rooted 
detestation of the Catholic, and religious rancor became transmissible by 
descent. The Protestant was victorious and had divided the spoil. The 
Protestant was legislator, and, with every prejudice of education and impression 
of fear, with every selfish and every angry passion engaged on the side of 
severity. Laws of the most promiscuous devastation, affecting the Catholic in 
mind, in person and in property, were blindly accumulated, and long rigorously 
enforced. On this strong and lasting principle of division, the English power 
in Ireland seemed to rest securely. The Protestant was taught by education 
and by interest to identify this power with life and property; and the mass 
of the people, shut out from the social state, and helots in their native land, 
seemed destined to remain the victims of a penal code, the most cruel, the 
most singular, and the most impolitic that has ever been exhibited in the 
legislative annals of any country. 

In these religious contests, which so long and so miserably afflicted this 
unhappy land, the respective merits of the contending parties are of little im- 
portance, or rather are altogether lost in the consideration of their common 
errors and common enormities, and of the advantage which these afforded 
to the common enemy in completing the subjugation of all. Melancholy is the 
comparison which arises, not from the emulation of virtue, but from the calcu- 
lation of crimes. Certain it is that had the delinquency of the Catholic been 
as flagrant as the most exasperated Protestantism can paint, it never could 
justify a code of penal laws, affecting a vast majority of the people with such 
dreadful punishment and such vile humiliation, attached to opinion and entailed 
upon successive generations. The very idea of such a proscription of three- 
fourths of a people is utterly incompatible with the idea of civil society. They 
can not exist together in the mind. The end of civil association is the common 
happiness of all the members of the State in their various relations and de- 
pendencies, and no sacrifice can be necessary or just except that of partial 
interest to general good. But by this iniquitous system the order of civil asso- 
ciation was reversed. The government was radically framed for the exclusive 
advantage of a few. and the mind, the life, the industry of millions, were 

18 Irish Disunion 

considered as the rightful property of these few, the sport of their prejudice, 
their intolerance, their ignorance, their selfishness and their fears. 

Such a monstrous violation of all the principles of society and all the rights 
of nature could not last forever. When the fury of persecution had been 
glutted with extensive confiscation, and the total prostration of Catholic rights, 
civil and religious, by Parliamentary omnipotence, the cooler reflection, experi- 
ence and feeling of the Protestant gradually led to a mitigation of the law, not 
so much of importance in itself as from its being a happy omen of some 
better destiny. In the year 1778 the severity of the Popery penal code was in 
some degree relaxed. That code, however, still continued to exhibit a dis- 
graceful monument of bigotry and impolicy, and strong religious prejudice 
continued to mark the character and influence the conduct of the Irish people. 

Though the Protestant, satisfied with vengeance, or softened by time, ceased 
from active persecution, and had even remitted something of former legislative 
severity, he still considered the exclusion of the Catholic from a community 
of rights as essential to the preservation of his power, and, while he boasted 
of toleration, made a religious creed the badge of political heresy, and the basis 
of political degradation. On the other hand the Catholic, hated and hating, 
conscious of debasement, yet unconscious of his rights and his strength, 
sensible of injury, yet tamely acquiescent in punishment, ignorant and bigoted 
and spiritless, seemed incapable of understanding and asserting the sacred 
rights of conscience or of country. 

This unnatural and miserable state of religious animosity and civil disunion, 
by which the great majority of the people was thrust out of the pale of the 
body politic and the nation was enslaved, arose not from any appropriate char- 
acteristic of the Irish mind, from any peculiar defect of intellect or depravity 
of disposition. It was the inevitable consequence of British conquest and 
British policy, combined with and acting upon the different successes of the 
Reformation in England and in Ireland, the conduct and fall of the House of 
Stuart, the rise and usurpation of Cromwell, and the Revolution of 1688. 

The benefits finally resulting from civil commotion in England, by the 
triumph of liberty and extension of trade, were exclusively confined to that 
country. The shock had extended to Ireland, but was felt only by the havoc 
which it had produced. Provincial dependence was the law of her political 
existence, and every event was essential to the life by which she grew. The 
disunion of her inhabitants was the original cause of her dependence, and by 
that disunion alone has the dependence been secured. 

The disunion has continued. The causes of disunion have varied. The 
mutual jealousy of chiefs, the blind vengeance of clans, hereditary feuds, dis- 
tinctions of colonist and native, had all their respective and proportionate 
influence in the lamentable work of subjection and desolation and weakness. 
But all these causes of calamity were comparatively feeble and transitory. 
They had their day of ruin and they ceased. The cause was forgotten and the 
ruin might have been repaired. Religious bigotry succeeded and remains, 
potent and inveterate, blind and unforgiving; it embitters the present with the 

Policy of Persecution 19 

memory of the past, loads the living with the crimes of the dead, exalts creeds 
above practice, admits the evidence of metaphysics, denies the evidence of 
facts, and promotes hatred and hostility among those whom common sufferings, 
common interest and common country, should indissolubly unite in sympathy, 
in affection, in object and in action. 

The foregoing rapid sketch, not so much of particular facts as of the 
general result of facts, may convey some faint idea of the miseries attending 
the conquest of Ireland by the English power. But whoever traces its progress 
in detail, with the common feelings of humanity and the catidor of an honest 
man, will say that no general description can paint in colors sufficiently strong 
the miseries of that conquest, its devastation was not confined to the ravages 
of war. The ravages of war may be repaired. Fields may be again cultivated, 
cities and villages may be rebuilt and repeopled. War is a hurricane which 
sweeps before it man and the works of man, but it spares enough to cover the 
face of nature again with new abundance and with new beauty. It does not 
annihilate the very elements of reproduction. It violates the rules of morality 
and the rights of mankind, but it does not eradicate the principles on which 
these rules and rights depend. It does not systematically corrupt the human 
heart. It rouses all its energies and displays the heroism which saves, as well 
as the ambition which destroys. 

It is not the sword which slaughtered her people, whose ravages Ireland 
deplores ; it is that sword which would have "cut the Charter of King John 
to pieces". It is the policy which considered charters and parliaments but as 
instruments of domination, to be granted or withheld, new-modeled or resumed, 
as best calculated to insure the vassalage of the slave ; it is the policy which 
made war upon the mind, which depressed the genius, broke down the spirit, 
corrupted the morals, and withered the industry of the land ; it is the policy 
which converted a religion of harmony and peace into a religion of discord 
and persecution, which dissolved the social sympathies of life, which assailed 
the principles of morals and the feelings of nature, rewarding ingratitude in 
the child and honoring the basest of crimes as a conversion to truth ; it is the 
policy which covered the land with petty tyrants, in whatever concerned the 
poor, knowing no rule of conduct but their own will, which made the protection 
of law the boon of beneficence, not the inheritance of right; it is the policy 
which goaded a starving, houseless peasantry to outrage, then murdered them 
by law ; which darkened the intellect, gibbeted the body, and stigmatized the 
objects of its malignant dispensations as incorrigible barbarians; it is the policy 
which "brayed the people as it were in a mortar", and affected to wonder at 
the writhings of agonized nature, which Ireland deplores. 

1$ not Ireland already traceable in the statute book as a ivounded man in a crotvd is 
traced by> his wounds? Robert Emmet 

"My Lords of Strogue'' 

Part III 

English Law— Early Charters and Parliaments — History of English Law in 
Ireland important — Benefits of English law exclusively confined to English Colonists 
who had not degenerated by intermarrying with Natives and adopting their customs 
— Also to a few Irish Septs who had been enfranchised by special favor — Sir John 
Davis and Lord Coke testified that no people loved Justice better than the Irish 
and its equal execution — But English adventurers counteracted this wish and it was 
no felony to kill Irish in time of peace — English Parliaments and Charters in Ire- 
land were the title to plunder and oppress — England's policy always that of the 
despot to the slave — It always differentiated between the native and the foreign 
colonist — An Act of Henry IV ordained that Irish hostile to their foreign rulers 
could not leave country without special license. 

ROM a view of the desolation of law the mind flies for 
relief to a history of the law itself. That history is 
important. The early grants and repeated confirmations 
of English law, and of the privileges of distinct legislation, 
have been often appealed to as demonstrative of early 
national independence by compact. Their existence may 
be indisputable, but the inference is absurd. Had such 
a compact been really made between the invaders and the 
Irish nation, the observance of it by England would, in- 
deed, have been a curious anomaly in the history of ambition. Wretched is the 
people, whose chance of liberty hangs on an indenture of independence. 

Whatever compact did exist, or whatever benefits English law and distinct 
legislation might confer, were long exclusively confined to the English colonists, 
who had not degenerated by intermarrying with the natives, or adopting their 
customs and manners, and to a few Irish septs, who had been enfranchised by 
special favors. It is the honorable testimony of Sir John Davis, that "there 
was no nation under the sun that did love equal and indifferent justice better 
than the Irish, or that would rest better satisfied with the execution thereof, 
although it were against themselves, so as they might have the protection and 
benefit of the law, when upon a just cause they did deserve it". The celebrated 
Lord Coke also declares that "there was no nation of the Christian world that 
were greater lovers of justice than the Irish, which virtue", he adds, "must 
necessarily be accompanied by many others". Yet for the space of three hun- 
dred and fifty years at least, from the commencement of their subjugation, the 
benefit and protection of English law were not communicated to the Irish, 


Statute of Kilkenny 21 

though they frequently desired to be admitted to that precarious privilege. 
The wish was counteracted by the English adventurers, that their cruelty 
and injustice to the natives might be indulged without restraint. The Irish 
were reputed aliens and enemies in their native land, it was adjudged no felony 
to kill them in time of peace; "the law did neither protect their life, nor revenge 
their death." 

When Henry the Second had once secured a lirm footing in the country, 
whatever compacts he may have formed, either with his own haughty and 
licentious barons, or with the native chieftains, can never be seriously viewed 
in any other light than as the elements of domination, which, from the 
relative situation of the invader and the invaded, was destined to comprehend 
both colonist and native in one common dependence. The most solemn engage- 
ments with the natives were sure to be violated, whenever the violation ap- 
peared necessary to the extension of dominion; and, with respect to political 
privileges, the proud invaders soon became a feeble and dependent race. 
Parliaments and charters were to the Englishman in Ireland but precarious 
evidences of an unhallowed title to plunder and oppression. The insolent and 
rapacious foreigner was doomed eventually to feel, in common with the native, 
the humiliation of provincial servitude. He was first instrument and finally 
the victim of conquest. 

Every internal distinction among the people was mutable in its nature and 
controllable by events. But the internal connection with England afforded a 
necessary relation of rule and dependence as permanent as the connection 
itself. On this relation of a superior and a dependent state, every change in 
the destiny of the people immediately or remotely depended. 

Measures of legislation and measures of policy were either purposely de- 
vised with a subserviency to this principle of imperial authority and provincial 
subjection, or naturally took their tone and tendency from its powerful im- 
pulse. The policy of England towards Ireland, even as a dependent State, 
was unwise, illiberal and unfeeling, but it was uniformly the policy of the 
despot to the slave. 

To represent the existence of early parliaments in Ireland as a proof of 
early national independence, is a solemn mockery of sufferings unexampled 
in extent and severity. The memorable Statute of Kilkenny, said to be long 
quoted with reverence on account of its salutary provisions, is an illustrious 
record of the nationality of such parliaments, which, instead of wisely and 
humanely embracing the colonist and native within the protection of equal 
law, studied to mark more strongly the fatal line of distinction between them. 
Even the desire of the Crown to impart, as well as the native to receive the 
protection of English Law, was long withstood by these parliaments. Yet 
the people, whom they refused to incorporate into the body of subjects, whom 
in peace they would not govern by the law, and in war could not root out by the 
sword (such was their matchless injustice), they endeavored to prevent from 
seeking refuge in another country from the miseries of their own. By an Act 
passed in the reign of Henry the Fourth it was ordained, that no Irish enemy 

22 Irish Confined to Realm 

should be permitted to depart the realm without special licence, and that the 
person and goods of an Irishman (an enemy) attempting to transport himself 
without such licence, might be seized by any subject, who was to receive one 
moiety of the goods, the other to be forfeited to the King. 

England tuouuld banish commerce from yoour coasts, ■would sap the source of industry if 
she did not knonu, that to her resulted all the advantage. 

Miss Emmet. 

Part IV 

Origin and Nature of Poynings' Law — Distinction between English by birth and 
English by blood began in reign of Edward III — The English adventurers of English 
birth affected to despise the English by blood — The English by blood espoused 
cause of House of York — When Henry VII had borne down all opposition he re- 
duced both factions to insignilicance — Made Irish Parliament mere court of record 
of Royal edicts — This was effected by Poynings' Law which was insidious in its 
operation — Its details — Ireland became a country without a Constitution or Trade 
— Its people, impoverished and divided, and its Parliament a compound of pride, 
bigotry and meanness. 

if HE famous distinction between the English by blood and 
the English by birth commenced in the reign of Edward 
the Third. The English by birth, the later adventurers, 
as they successively came over, affected to despise and 
degrade the descendants of the earlier invaders, or the 

English by bl 1. 

The English by blood, from a long tenure in the 
country, were more numerous and more powerful than 
their adversaries, though the latter were favored by 
the Crown as being- more immediately devoted to its interests. The 
English by blood were attached to the House of York. They even warmly 
espoused the cause of the impostor Simnel, and afterwards showed a disposition 
to favor the pretensions of the impostor Warbeck. But, when Henry the Seventh 
had borne down all opposition to his claims, he took advantage of the dismay 
attending an abortive attempt and disappointed wishes. He new modelled a Par- 
liament, which had been too much under the influence of powerful deputies, and 
too much the instrument of turbulent factions to be a ready and useful instru- 
ment of the Crown and of English supremacy. This politic prince seems to have 
been determined to reduce all factions to a state of common insignificance, 
and to simplify the exercise of foreign domination, by making the Parliament 
a mere court of record for registering the edicts of the sovereign. 

This was effected by the celebrated law of Poynings, which concealed its 
purpose under the fair appearance of correcting some acknowledged abuses, 
and disclosed not at once its full and decisive effect on the future powers of 

Previous to this period the Irish Parliament, such as it was, had claimed 
and exercised the right of legislation, though interrupted by some usurpations 
on the part of England, in the same manner as the right of legislation was 
enjoyed by the Parliament of that country. The Irish Parliament passed laws 


24 Poynings' Law 

for Ireland with a negative power merely vested in the Crown. But by this 
law of Poynings, as afterwards explained and enlarged by the third and fourth 
of Philip and Mary, the order of legislation was reversed, the original and 
efficient powers of legislation were essentially vested in the Crown, and to 
the Parliament was left but a negative voice on the ordinances of the prince. 
Upon the construction of the statute of Poynings and the explanatory act com- 
bined neither Lords nor Commons in Ireland had a right to frame or propose 
bills. A bill was first framed by the Deputy and Privy Council of Ireland, 
afterwards transmitted for approbation to the King and Council of England, 
who had a power of alteration and of really making it a new hill unalterable, 
by sending it back under the great seal of England, and lastly it was presented 
to the Irish Parliament, to which remained the single insignificant privilege 
of agreeing to the whole of the bill or rejecting the whole, as thus modelled and 
returned by the Crown. This practice was strictly observed until the reign of 
James the First, when the Irish Parliament assumed the privilege of being 
humble remembrancers to the Deputy and Council of what bills were to be 
transmitted to England. 

Hence arose the custom of framing in either House what were called heads 
of a bill, which was carried to the Council, from thence transmitted and in the 
form of a bill laid before the King and Council of England. Here it might 
be suppressed or altered at pleasure. If it was returned to the Irish Parliament, 
the power of that Parliament extended only to the simple acceptance or rejec- 
tion of the bill in the very form in which it came back, however changed from 
its original nature. Thus the high court of Parliament, the supreme delibera- 
tive assembly of the nation, was in truth little more than a court of enrolment 
for the imperial rescripts of the English monarch. 

The importance of Poynings' Law did not appear in its full magnitude 
for a considerable time. The ministers of the Crown in Ireland even contended 
on some occasions for a suspension of its provisions, as they happened to be 
influenced by a desire of extraordinary dispatch, or some other temporary 
motive. Yet such was the miserable state of the people, such its dread of the 
power of a deputy, supported by a small parliament composed of his own crea- 
tures, that every attempt of this kind excited alarm, and a strict adherence 
to the Law of Poynings was long considered as the great security on the sub- 
ject. But, when by the extension of the English conquest in Ireland the 
business of Parliament grew more important, and the number and weight of 
the Commons had increased, the ideas of the Government and the people 
changed. In the reign of Charles the First, the artful Strafford, who well 
understood the value of such an engine of power, admonished his royal master 
that "the previous allowance of laws to be propounded in the Irish Parliament, 
should be held as a sacred prerogative, not to be departed from, in no point to 
be broken or infringed." 

A prerogative held sacred by a Strafford could only have derived its sanc- 
tity from a profanation of the rights of the people. In England, the Crown and 
the people, equally oppressed by the overbearing tyranny of the feudal lords, 

Submission of Parliament 

had conspired in its destruction. Restrictions on alienation and feudal de- 
pendence were gradually abolished, commerce increased, the Commons rose 
first into wealth and finally into power, which in its paroxysms subverted the 
monarchy, and in its more moderated efforts established British liberty on the 
basis of the revolution. But no change of circumstances could give lasting 
life and spirit to the Irish Parliament as constituted by the Law of Poynings. 
The Commons might increase in number, in wealth, and in knowledge, but 
must still remain obscure and impotent. Such abject, mute submission to a 
foreign yoke debased their sentiments and paralyzed their powers. The law 
indeed might be done away; some passing shock might restore the palsied 
energies of nature. But, while the law remained, no permanent vigor could 
ever mark the existence of that assembly. In England, with the revolution 
came liberty, and strength, and science, and glory. The miserable province 
exhibited the most humiliating contrast of servitude and weakness, without 
constitution, without trade, its people impoverished and divided, its Parliament 
a motley compound of pride, bigotry and meanness. 

Persecution has made many martyrs; but it has never made one convert, and never <will 
— the nature of man resists it; the feeling implanted by the God of Justice revolts 
against it. 

Miss Emmet. 

Part V 

Power of binding Ireland by its laws usurped by English Parliament — The 
Poynings' Law left a simulacrum of liberty to Irish Parliament — That was ended 
by an express declaration of a right by the English Parliament to bind Ireland by 
its laws — Protests were of no avail and the exterminating colony of lawless in- 
vaders eventually became the dupes and victims of their own injustice — Ireland's 
right to Liberty — Instances of direct exercise of dominion from year 1641 to the 
Revolution frequent and flagrant — Policy toward Ireland invariable no matter what 
bigotry and meanness. 

SHE Law of Poynings may seem sufficiently to have marked 
the inferiority and secured the dependence of Ireland. 
It was an absolute surrender by her own Parliament of 
its best powers. 

However injurious to the interest and degrading to the 
spirit of the nation, it had become the rule of legislation, 
and the acknowledged bond of subjection. But it pre- 
sented the idea of a distinct Parliament legislating for a 
distinct country, claimed as a right, not held by suffer- 
ance. It, therefore, appeared to British pride a species of domination 
too subtile and refined. A formal undisguised exercise of sovereignty alone 
could fully display the relation of imperial rule and provincial obedience. 

The policy of a Caesar condescended to leave to an enslaved people the 
image of a free constitution. The policy was prudent. It was a sacrifice of 
pride to wisdom. But the individual despot will often stoop to appearances, 
to which the despot nation will not bend. That England should govern Ireland 
by the Parliament of Ireland was not enough. It remained to close the scene 
of conquest by a mortification of the feelings as well as a triumph over the 
liberties of the conquered. This was achieved by an express declaration from 
the Parliament of England of a right to bind Ireland by its laws. 

The English Parliament, at a very remote period, had occasionally exer- 
cised the power of legislating for Ireland, particularly as to foreign trade, 
and some distinction had even been taken, though it does not appear to have 
been practically adhered to between external and internal legislation. 

This occasional exercise of legislative authority on the part of England, 
however, had been generally protested against by the Irish Parliament as a 
manifest usurpation. 

Indeed, the formal adoption by that Parliament, from time to time, of laws 
previously enacted in England and considered as expedient in Ireland, seemed 


English Legislative Supremacy 

to be a virtual declaration that no law of the English Parliament, as such, 
could have force in Ireland ; hut that the sanction of the Irish legislature was 
necessary to give it validity; and that the English Parliament was followed 
as an example, not obeyed as an authority. Thus much may he stated as 
matter of fact with respect to the exclusive legislative power of the Irish 
Parliament and the ideas which that Parliament entertained of its own inde- 

Bui in investigating the political relation between England and Ireland, 
we must not he led away by any formal grants of liberty, by any formal con- 
veyances of constitution, by any pompous claims of right, by any solemn 
protests against wrong. A country always suffering, though always com- 
plaining and deprecating its sufferings, affords but an odd idea of independence. 
The relation between England and Ireland must be appreciated by attending 
to the general tenor of facts ; and facts must be appreciated with a due regard 
to the probable effects of certain general causes, existing throughout the whole 
time of that relation and constant in their operation. Undoubtedly no antici- 
pation, however specious, of probable results from given relations between 
nations or individuals ought to hold a single instant against the actual result 
of well authenticated fact. But as no evidence can satisfy the mind of the 
existence of facts whose existence is demonstratively impossible, so it is certain 
that general probabilities ought always to be attended to in estimating the 
nature and evidence of any alleged particular existence. 

If, contrary to all the conclusions of experience, the invasion of Ireland 
by Henry the Second should be said to have introduced into that country a 
distinct national legislature, mystically united to the Crown of England, and 
by that mystical union, rendering it an independent imperial kingdom, merely 
subject to the Crown of England in the same manner that England is subject 
thereto, and pursuing its own happiness according to its own will, the 
philosophic mind, well acquainted with the history of man, with the relative 
condition of England and Ireland at the time of that invasion, with the state of 
European opinions and manners, with the ideas entertained by the invaders of 
themselves and of the people whom they invaded, with the pious professions and 
real intentions of Henry, would no doubt wonder most exceedingly that such 
an independence should be the result of that invasion, but would, at the same 
time, be prepared impartially to consider the nature and proofs of that inde- 
pendence, and, however antecedently sceptical, would be ready to yield to the 
force of truth. 

But if a view of the history of Ireland for a period of six centuries from 
the time of that invasion should exhibit a scene of calamity and debasement, 
which even a knowledge of the general nature of ambition and its conquests 
could have but faintly anticipated ; if the conduct of England throughout the 
whole of that period should be marked by the most unfeeling cruelty and 
contemptuous pride towards the nation ; if, instead of the English colony 
carrying with it liberty and independence, every successive band of invaders 
should appear to come solely for the purpose of plunder, affecting to despise 

28 Ireland's Right to Liberty 

their predecessors as contaminated and degraded by their residence in a bar- 
barous and conquered land, thus proclaiming aloud the opinion which England 
entertained of the object of colonization; if, during the progress of a long 
protracted conquest, Ireland should appear covered with blood and desolation, 
and, at the end of ninety years of uninterrupted peace after that conquest was 
finally achieved, should still appear wasted and impoverished, without manu- 
factures, without trade, with a people ignorant and starving in an age of 
science and in a land of the happiest soil and climate, if such should be the 
record presented by indisputable facts, some future historian, who will not 
seek to build a claim of right to liberty on parchment precedents, but to in- 
vestigate truth by every species of evidence, will know how to appreciate the 
value of musty records of independent legislation transmitted by an exter- 
minating colony of lawless invaders. 

He will observe these invaders to be themselves the dupes of parliaments 
and charters, destined finally to suffer the penalty of their own injustice. He 
will observe England actually exercising, under various appearances, the pre- 
eminence of dominion, and Ireland enduring the wrongs and the contumely 
of oppression ; and he will conclude that, if Ireland can not produce a better 
title than precedent, to independence, she is of right enslaved. 

But she can produce that title. The title of man to liberty is derived from 
heaven, from the bounty of that Providence which made him the piece of 
workmanship he is, "noble in reason, infinite in faculties, in action like an 
angel, in apprehension like a god." She can produce the immortal record of 
independence traced by Deity on the mind of man. A charter of liberty is but 
evidence of an agreement to enjoy liberty according to certain forms; it can 
never be evidence of a right to enjoy. Even as evidence of that agreement it 
derives its whole authority from the will of the people, which prescribes or 
consents to the mode. The charter of John was to the barons at Runnimede 
but a record of the manner in which they wished to be governed by their kings. 
Their title to liberty rested not on the charter, it rested on the rights of man. 
Yet man considers his title to liberty like the title to an estate, and anxiously 
inquires if his ancestors have registered the deeds. 

Man looks to antiquity for a right to be free. As well might he look to 
antiquity for a right to breathe. Man looks to antiquity for a right to be free, 
and is a slave by precedent when he could not be made a slave by force. 

But be the precedents in favor of the exclusive legislative sufficiency of 
the Parliament of Ireland as they might, England respected them not. From 
time to time, as it gratified her caprice or served her policy, she legislated for 
Ireland. She regulated the commerce, she disposed of the territory and of the 
people of Ireland, and affected to regard the Irish Parliament but as a sub- 
ordinate assembly, subject to the interference and control of the superior State. 
It may also be observed, not as anything extraordinary, but merely as an his- 
torical fact, that in proportion as Ireland increased in importance to England 
by the progress and final completion of conquest, and in proportion as England 
succeeded in her struggles for liberty, so did her direct and open exercise of 

Destruction by Legislation 

dominion over Ireland advance to its full and formal avowal. The instances 
of this direct exercise of dominion from the year Kill to the revolution, were 
frequent and flagrant. Whether England was ruled by a king, by a parliament, 
or by a protector; whether her government was a government of prerogative 
or of privilege, founded in right or in usurpation, her conduct to Ireland was 
the same, unvaried in the despotic principles from which it flowed, varied only 
by the different notions of expediency, which her rulers entertained. 

When at last, by the revolution, the political dangers of England seemed 
at an end, when her constitution seemed to repose securely after all its storms, 
when the triumph of liberty after long and doubtful warfare might have in- 
spired the just and generous sentiment that it was as dear to others as it had 
been to herself, a change of system with respect to Ireland might not unrea- 
sonably have been expected. It might have been expected, not that England 
would abdicate her sovereignty, but that she would exercise it with more 
justice, and with more feeling, that she would pay some regard to the wants, 
if not to the rights of the province, and advance its industry while she secured 
its dependence. It might have been expected that she would prefer the security 
of that dependence through the indirect and less offensive means of its own 
Parliament, than by a haughty assumption of direct legislative supremacy, 
which insulted the slave without exalting the despot. 

If such expectations were entertained, they were miserably disappointed. 
That revolution which gave liberty to England, seemed to increase the dis- 
position as it increased the power to oppress. The English Parliament con- 
tinued to legislate for Ireland. It not only legislated for Ireland, but it 
ruined her by legislation. It assailed her manufactures and trade, and as it 
diminished the value, so it not inconsistently, destroyed the means of life. 

Have you ever tried conciliation; have you ever attempted amelioration? — Never. From 
the first moment thai an English foot pressed this ground, to the present, the system 
has been a system of cruelty, untinged with mercy. 

Miss Emmet, Letter to the Irish Parliament. 

Part VI 

Molyneaux's "Case of Ireland"— Was member of the Irish House of Commons 
— Roused by legislative interference of English Parliament in Irish affairs, published 
his Case not long before Revolution in England — He demonstrated that conquest 
gave England no rightful domination over Ireland — His definition of conquest — 
Molyneaux erred, not in his definition of conquest, but in its application to historical 
fact — His perversion of fact lay in maintaining that submission of chieftains turned 
body of Irish people into loyal subjects of an English King — The work of exter- 
mination had left in Molyneaux's time only one in a thousand of the original 
natives in Ireland — England made Ireland a province, and the province made its 
people slaves — Ireland not governed by the King and Parliament of Ireland — It 
was the King and Council of England that governed the King and Parliament of 
Ireland — The King of Ireland was a mere metaphysical abstraction — Parliament of 
Ireland a body without a soul — Molyneaux befogged himself in a mysterious con- 
fusion of ideas, and burned his book. 

'OT long after the revolution, Molyneaux, a member of 
the Irish House of Commons, roused by some recent 
instances of legislative interference by the Parliament of 
England, highly injurious to his country, published his 
celebrated "Case of Ireland". This production chal- 
lenges one or two observations. 

The author demonstrated (the demonstration was 

easy), that conquest could, on no possible supposition, 

give to England a rightful dominion over Ireland. But 

England held Ireland by the fact of conquest, and cared little about the 

right. Molyneaux, it is true, denied even the fact of conquest, but the denial 

is altogether unworthy of his talents and his cause. 

He defines conquest to be : "an acquisition of a kingdom by force of arms, 
to which force likewise has teen opposed". Now this definition is evidently 
erroneous in not being sufficiently comprehensive. Certainly no peaceable ac- 
quisition of a country by the free and voluntary submission of its inhabitants 
is, in the present argument, to be called a conquest. But the acquisition of a 
country by the terror of force, without any exercise of force, is upon every prin- 
ciple of reason, as much a conquest, as an acquisition by force, to which force 
likewise has been opposed, can possibly be. It would not be easy to distinguish 
between the acquisition of the robber, who with a pistol at your breast, makes 
you deliver up your purse at once, and the acquisition of him, who cannot 
compel you to surrender it until after a struggle in which you have been 
worsted. Molyneaux doubts not but the barbarous people of the island were 


" Case of Ireland ?I 

struck with fear and terror of King Henry's powerful force, and yet, according 
Jo him, all was transacted with the greatest quiet, tranquillity and freedom 
imaginable. He talks of the easy and voluntary submission of the nati\< 
though struck with fear and terror of a powerful force, and concludes that 
"there was no hostile conquest, for where there is no opposition, such a con- 
quest can take no place". His conclusion might be true, if his definition was 

But the great error of Molyneaux lies not in his definition, it lies in his 
application of the definition to historical facts. He admits that some of 
Henry's vassals, by his licence and permission, but not by his particular com- 
mand, having landed hostilely in Ireland, vanquished the natives in several 
engagements and by that means secured an establishment in the country. 
Upon this Henry, though lie had not commanded the expedition, yet finding 
that his subjects had made a very good hand of it, went himself into Ireland 
with an army, where he obtained from his successful subjects the fruits of their 
very good handy-work. 

Then comes the free and voluntary submission of the kings, princes, chiefs, 
archbishops, bishops and abbots of all Ireland, swearing allegiance and sub- 
mitting- themselves and their posterity for ever to Henry and his heirs as true 
and faithful subjects, and here, according to Molyneaux, terminated the acqui- 
sition of an entire kingdom, with the greatest quiet and tranquillity and freedom 

Whoever reads and believes that Henry, long before this magical acquisition 
of the Kingdom of Ireland, had meditated the conquest of it, that he only 
waited for an opportunity and a pretence, and that, when the pretence was 
offered, being engaged in more urgent affairs, he permitted his subjects in the 
meantime to embrace the opportunity, which he had anxiously desired, will not 
find it very easy to form a clear idea of the difference between such a permission 
and a command. Henry took advantage of the actual force of his own sub- 
jects, to which force had been unsuccessfully opposed, and of the fear and 
terror caused by the presence of a powerful army, which he had brought with 
him, the formidable nature of which the success of the first invaders had 
taught the natives fully to comprehend, and it will not be more easy to perceive 
the distinction between the acquisition of a kingdom by such means, and the 
"acquisition of a kingdom by force of arms, to which force had likewise been 
opposed". Had the matter even terminated here, and had the acquisition been 
in this manner completed, it never could be called a peaceable acquisition by 
the voluntary submission of the natives ; it would have been to all intents an 
hostile conquest. 

But the grand perversion of facts consists in maintaining that the sub- 
mission of the native chieftains, which Molyneaux describes, is to be considered 
as a conversion of the entire body of the natives of Ireland into liege subjects 
of the King of England ; that the scene of acquisition closed here ; and that 
every subsequent conflict between the English invaders and the native Irish 
is to be viewed, not as a link in the chain of "acquisition of kingdom by force 

32 Living Servitude 

of arms, to which force likewise was opposed", but as a contest between a 
lawful prince and his rebellious subjects. Subjects! whom these rapacious 
and blood-thirsty invaders persisted for centuries in denominating the "Irish" 
enemy, that the law might neither protect their lives nor revenge their deaths, 
that they might be extirpated without restraint as without mercy. 

So well was the work of extirpation carried on that, by the calculation of 
Molyneaux himself, but a mere handful of the ancient Irish remained in his 
day, not one in a thousand. He urges this very extirpation of the natives as 
an argument against the claim of any right by conquest over Ireland in his 
day, since thereby the great hody of the people consisted of the progeny of the 
English, over whom at least England could not claim dominion by conquest, 
being the instruments of its settlement, not the objects of its effects. 

An attempt to demonstrate that the subjection of Ireland to the English 
power has not been the effect of force, but of the voluntary submission of its 
ancient people, is like an attempt to demonstrate the non-existence of matter, 
the existence of which is proved every moment of our lives by the testimony 
of every sense. No pompous or politic description of real or iffected sub- 
mission, no representations of ignorant, weak, malicious or prejudiced his- 
torians, no sophistry of argument advanced in the service of religious and 
political monopoly, can ever persuade the candid and feeling mind, that the 
dominion of England over this devoted land has not been founded in a con- 
quest, as unprovoked in its origin, as hypocritical in its pretences, and in its 
prosecution and completion as inhuman and inglorious, as ever stained the 
annals of ambition. 

But the victorious invaders and their posterity cannot be called a conquered 
people. They were not conquered by arms, but they were conquered by policy, 
or rather they were conquered by the force of moral causes. By the influence 
of moral causes both conquerors and conquered were equally doomed to de- 
pendence. Their fortunes could not be separated. The victorious invaders 
were undone by their own victory. They conquered not for themselves, they 
conquered for England. They made Ireland a province, and the province 
made them slaves. That Ireland, subjugated as she was, could retain national 
independence seems a moral impossibility ; that she did not retain it is an his- 
torical truth, irresistibly forced upon the mind by facts which cannot be 
controverted, and a character which cannot be misunderstood. 

Read that character in the champion of her rights ; read it in a member of 
their insulted legislature, read it in a descendant of the victorious invaders, read 
it in Molyneaux himself, the friend of Locke, whose reasoning he could apply, 
but whose spirit he could not imbibe ; for Locke had a country and Molyneaux 
had none. "If what I offer herein seems to carry any weight in relation to my 
own poor country, I shall be abundantly happy in the attempt, but if after all, 
the great council of England resolve the contrary, I shall believe myself to be in 
an error, and with the lowest submission, ask pardon for my assumption". What ! 
Appeal from the demonstrations of reason to prejudiced, interested, proud 
authority, and model belief by the decrees of a Parliament which was robbing 

What Molyneaux Proved 33 

his poor country of her trade, and her legislature of its ancient rights. What! 
Ask pardon for daring to utter the conviction of his reason and the dictates 
of his conscience in a cause, which he felt to he the cause of truth and of his 
country. Molyneaux did live in a conquered country ; while he denies the 
conquest by his argument, he proves it by his example. Molyneaux did 
live in a dependent country ; and while he appeals to written liberty, we may 
appeal to living servitude. 

Molyneaux does not prove, he could not prove, the independence of Ireland. 
He admits the reverse in express terms. "Nor do I think that 'tis anywise 
necessary for the good of England to assert this high jurisdiction [direct legis- 
lative supremacy] over Ireland. For since the statutes of this Kingdom are 
made with such caution, and in such form, as is prescribed by Poynings' statute 
10. Hen. VII, and by the third and fourth Philip and Mary, and whilst Ireland 
is in English hands, I do not see how 'tis possible for the Parliament of Ireland 
to do anything that can be in the least prejudicial to England". Such is his 
reasoning, and beyond all controversy under these laws of its existence, it was 
not possible for the Parliament of Ireland to do anything, that could be in the 
least prejudicial to England, or in the least serviceable to Ireland, but according 
to the will of the superior state. The exclusion of a possibility of injuring 
England necessarily includes an impossibility of serving Ireland, except as 
directed or permitted by that supreme will. Both the one and the other could 
only be founded in the absolute want of independence in the Parliament of 
Ireland. It was not the King and Parliament of Ireland, that governed Ireland. 
It was the King and Council of England that governed the King and Parlia- 
ment of Ireland. Or rather the King of Ireland was a mere metaphysical ab- 
straction, as the Parliament of Ireland was a body without a soul. What then 
does Molyneaux prove? He proves incontestably that conquest can give no 
rightful dominion to nation over nation. He proves the early existence of a 
distinct Parliament in Ireland, claiming and generally exercising an exclusive 
power of making laws for Ireland, considering its own sanction necessary to 
give Acts of the English Parliament validity in Ireland, and negativing any 
contrary presumption as an infringement of its privileges. He admits many 
late instances of interference by the English Parliament, but proves them to 
be unjust innovations. He proves the existence of early grants and charters 
of liberty to Ireland, and resists the claim of legislative supremacy in the Par- 
liament of England as contrary not only to precedent, but to reason and the 
rights of mankind. 

It rested with the minister of England to determine the merits of the ques- 
tion. He well knew it was not to be a question of reason or of right, but a 
question of policy supported by power. He well understood the nature of that 
distinct parliament, for the privileges of which Molyneaux contends, and how 
little it was really connected with the independence of Ireland. He well under- 
stood the nature of those boasted grants of liberty, which Molyneaux proclaims, 
on whom they had been conferred, and to what purpose they had been em- 

34 Fate of Molyneux's Book 

He well knew how little England need respect the instruments of conquest, 
now that conquest was complete, that the work of extermination had been but 
a work of substitution, that success had levelled all distinctions but those, which 
policy might feel it necessary to create or support. He well knew that England 
had always exercised a virtual supremacy over Ireland, and was conscious on 
what little that supremacy reposed. But he did not wish to declare all these 
things. As England possessed the supremacy of strength, he determined she 
should exercise the supremacy of legislation. But he did not choose to publish 
her real title. He wished that to be concealed in the mysterious confusion of 
ideas, which different intellects, prejudices, passions and interests would infal- 
libly throw around it. 

He wished to assume the right of legislative supremacy in England as too 
evident to be disputed, or too sacred to be discussed. The minister would no 
doubt have preferred precedent to mystery, and argument to assumption. But 
the precedents were against him. On the only ground of argument which he 
could with prudence have adopted, the case of Ireland was unanswerable. It 
presumptuously assailed by reason what he resolved should be held as an in- 
controvertible article of faith, and, like Omar, he burned the Book. 

It may be affirmed that whatever there nvas of religious rancour in the contest tuas the 
•work of the Government through its Orange allies, and <with the express purpose of 
preventing an union of Irishmen of all creeds — a thing which is felt to be incompatible 
•with British government in Ireland. 

John Mitchell. 

Part VII 

An enquiry into the causes which determined the policy of England — England's 
greatness arose from liberty and commerce — Her liberty was her own — Her com- 
merce is a source of greatness depending more on chance and others and less on 
will and herself — As an object of speculative discussion and partial imitation the 
British constitution' may be calculated to interest mankind — The British policy de- 
rived from it but the motives of injustice and oppression — Her power rests upon 
her external commerce — It is a question whether a people which has never respected 
the rights of others is entitled to respect of any kind from others — The develop- 
ment of England's tyranny in Ireland — Ireland's Parliament used to destroy Ire- 
land's manufactures and. trade — Ireland kept weak by poverty and disunion — Eng- 
land's mistake was in destroying constitutional liberty and at the same time the means 
of life — Comparison with the empire of ancient Rome — Lord Lyttelton's speculations 
on what Ireland might have been had Magnus, King of Norway, succeeded in con- 
quering Ireland at beginning of twelfth century — Detestable policy of English 
statesmen in time of Elizabeth — England's malignant jealousy of Ireland increased 
with her expanding commerce — Ireland a favorite of nature, a victim of England's 
policy — Ireland must not be independent, is England's proposition — Her extinction a 
question ever present in the mind of English statesmen' — The nation which is feared 
ought to be aspiring — With strength to be free it is a crime to be enslaved. 

1KX the nature of the Irish Parliament, impotent and 
abject (not only as modelled by Poynings' Law, but as 
composed of every element of dependence), is considered, 
an enquiry seems pressed upon the mind why England 
should persist in a haughty assumption and contemptuous 
exercise of the supremacy of direct legislation. It ap- 
pears unnecessary to the support of a supremacy of will, 
by which she could always govern Ireland through the 
agency of its own Parliament, and secure its dependence 
without wounding its pride, or seeming to trench upon real or fancied privileges. 
It might be unwise to provoke by recent usurpation an examination of ancient 
right, which might itself be found to be indeed but an usurpation of an older 
date. It might be dangerous to make domination palpable to the most vulgar 
capacity, and to exercise it in a manner, which might rouse the tamest spirit. 

To the slave without hope it may be enough to feel that he is enslaved. 
To investigate the motives of his ruin might be only adding insult to oppres- 
sion ; but to the freeman, who would be wise, or to the slave, who may be free, 
an enquiry into the motives of tyranny, which seem to spring not from caprice 
but design, not from accident but system, not from casual and temporary, but 


36 English Commerce 

from necessary and permanent causes, must be useful, and ought to be in- 

The greatness of Britain has arisen from liberty and from commerce. Her 
liberty she may peculiarly call her own. Her commerce may have first sprung 
from that liberty, and may be still intimately connected with it; but it is a 
source of greatness depending more upon chance and less upon will, more 
upon others and less upon herself. Commerce is a good, comparative and 
dependent. Its relations are infinite. It is connected with the ignorance and 
the knowledge, the wants and the luxuries, the idleness and the industry, with 
the situations and the governments, with the opinions and with the prejudices 
of different countries, not only in themselves, but as compared. It depends 
much upon design and much upon accident, much upon wisdom, and much 
also upon fortune. 

In contemplating the policy of England, we are led to consider her chiefly 
in a commercial point of view. In estimating her character as a nation we, 
no doubt, observe the constitution of her government and the administration 
of her laws as eminently distinguishing her from surrounding States. But it 
is in the influence, which that constitution, in its practical existence, may have 
had on her general policy in peace and in war, as connected with other powers, 
or her own dependencies, that these powers and dependencies are principally 
concerned. As an object of speculative discussion, or of partial imitation, the 
British constitution may be calculated to delight, to instruct and to ameliorate 
mankind, while British policy may have derived from that constitution, but the 
motives and the means of injustice and oppression. 

It is not by her existing power that we are to measure the greatness of 
England, but by that power compared with her native strength. England 
possesses not in herself independent greatness from extent of territory, fertility 
of soil, and consequent population. Her colossal power rests upon external 
commerce, and other nations are chiefly interested in her constitution, as that 
constitution has been connected with her commerce, and as her policy has been 
connected with both. If her constitution and her commerce have grown and 
must perish together, and if her policy has rested the security of both on the 
perpetual violation of justice, a respect for her constitution will not protect 
her commerce. A question may even be excited how far the liberty of a people 
is entitled to respect, which has never yet in a single instance respected the 
rights of any other people, when tempted to infringe them by ambition or 
avarice, and not restrained by force. 

But an enquiry into the policy of England must now be limited to a view 
of the nature and motives of her conduct in a haughty assumption of a right 
to bind Ireland directly by her laws, and in an intemperate depression of the 
Irish people. The connection between England and Ireland, always a con- 
nection of rule and dependency, had been modelled originally by the cir- 
cumstances of the times. It had commenced in feudal times, and it exhibited 
in its progress all the uncertainty and inconsistency which marked those times. 
The manner in which the conquest of Ireland was effected by the intervention 

Variation in Policy 37 

of English settlers, necessarily produced charters and parliaments, and all the 
forms of liberty and independence in a country which actually experienced the 
most cruel and humiliating servitude. 

The power of England, comparatively strong, but really feeble, rendered a 
vigorous plan of conquest impossible. A conquest, prolonged from this weak- 
ness in England, through many ages of calamity and disgrace, was subject to 
the vicissitudes of capricious, temporary, unconnected schemes. The original 
design of conquest, which might have been defeated by a seasonable union 
among the natives, was obstinately persisted in and finally achieved. But it 
had been conceived in an age of rude, desultory warfare, in a mere spirit of 
acquisition, with a determination to subject, but without any precise object in 
subjugation. Hence the idea of dependency was constantly connected with 
Ireland in the contemplation of British policy, as it must always be connected 
with the acts of the conquered in the mind of the victorious people, when the 
victorious and the conquered continue as before, distinct people in distinct 
countries. But though the general idea of dependency was immediately and 
invariably associated with Ireland in the English mind, and though it led to 
the most unqualified exercise of dominion on the part of England, no clear 
and accurate idea appears to have been conceived for a length of time of the 
manner in which England might best fashion that dependency to her wants 
and wishes. 

Before any precise notions of political liberty had been formed in England, 
the feudal barons carried with them into Ireland such notions as then pre- 
vailed, and the formal basis of such a constitution as England then possessed. 
But after some time it was discovered that even in this formal basis too much 
had been conceded by England in Ireland. When the English settlers had 
been so long and so firmly established in the country as apparently to secure 
the acquisition, when retreat seemed destruction to them and their continuance 
absolutely dependent on England, it was then discovered that a parliament, 
similar to that of England, was too formidable in the faction to be useful in 
despotism. Poynings' Law repaired this defect. By this law was introduced 
a settled form of subjection and an established organ, by which imperial will 
might communicate its mandates. But, in the occasional paroxysms of domina- 
tion, or in the confusion of troubled times, even this form of provincial gov- 
ernment was violated, and at length the violation of principle, when that 
violation appeared subservient to the aggrandizement of England, came to 
be considered by the English Parliament as itself a principle, or, at least as 
grounds upon an antecedent principle, which it would be presumption to deny 
or to arraign. 

But whence arose this variation in the policy of England? Whence did it 
arise that England, not content with the instrumentality of the Irish Parlia- 
ment, assumed a power of direct imperial legislation? It arose from that 
change in the circumstances of Europe, which substituted trade for chivalry 
and commercial speculation for feudal ambition. 

When England, adapted for commercial pursuits and formed for com- 

38 Irish Parliament a Tool 

mercial greatness only, had directed her views principally to commercial 
aggrandizement, it appeared that a provincial legislature, possessing even a 
negative upon imperial regulation, might be an obstacle to that simple and 
imperious exercise of dominion, which the interests of trade might require. 
Did the legislature of neither country interfere, were Ireland left to the free 
exertions of her native strength, not a doubt could exist of her powers and 
success. The Irish Parliament, it is true, could not, unless permitted by the 
British Cabinet, encourage Irish trade and promote Irish manufactures by 
active beneficence. But, except under peculiar circumstances of depression, 
commerce, perhaps, flourishes most when least encumbered and enthralled by 
legislative interposition. Ireland certainly did labor under severe artificial 
disadvantages, and required the fostering care of a patriotic and provident 
legislature. Still, however, such is her vital power, she must have advanced 
rapidly in health and vigor if her Parliament, impotent to create, should not be 
active to destroy, but by a bare neutrality, leave her to the bounty of heaven, 
to industry and fortune. Indeed, from such a Parliament neutrality could not 
be expected, and England might, and did, through that Parliament, carry 
on active and deadly hostility against the manufactures and trade of 
Ireland, directly by commercial prohibition, indirectly by religious perse- 

But even such a parliament, however shackled and debased, might form 
some barrier against the unfeeling policy of a foreign State, considering 
Ireland at once in the twofold light of a dependent and a rival. A sense of 
self-preservation, an identity of interest with the country, must in some degree 
prevent even such a Parliament from entering blindly into the fears, the pre- 
judices, the avarice and the ignorance of the British merchant and manu- 
facturer, and from sacrificing to the ephemeral popularity of a British Minister 
the fortune and the hopes of the latest generations. 

An attachment to country will cling to the basest minds unless counteracted 
by some powerful personal interest, and hence there would exist the trouble- 
some and expensive necessity of constantly maintaining this personal counter- 
action. Or, perhaps, an attachment to country is in base minds but an 
attachment to self, to some personal advantage enjoyed from the country, un- 
connected with one social feeling or generous sentiment. Such vileness must 
be bought, and self alone could outweigh self. The Parliament of Ireland, 
therefore, would be chiefly impracticable with respect to the trade of Ireland. 
The prejudices of this Parliament were all in favor of the British policy of 
national division ; but its interests were all against the British policy of national 
depression and impoverishment. This Parliament would persecute the Catholic, 
but might not wish to destroy the woolen manufacture of Ireland. But the 
double object was to be secured of keeping Ireland weak by poverty and weak 
by disunion. The first object could be most certainly and easily attained 
through the British Parliament, and the latter through a domestic legislature. 
The prejudices of the British Parliament would be all in favor of British 
monopoly in trade, the prejudices of an Irish Parliament in favor of the policy 

Irish Industry Crushed 

of exciting the Protestant against the Catholic, and thus depressing and de- 
basing the great body of the Irish people. 

Indeed by this blind persecuting spirit in the Irish Parliament, that Par- 
liament was made the instrument also of the commercial jealousy of England. 
Even if the religion of the Catholic was really with the Irish Parliament the 
only object of the Popery Laws, yet his industry, though indirectly, was much 
more fatally assailed. A solitary convert might not now and then proclaim the 
wretched triumph of liberty or terror, while an ignorant, a bigoted and a 
starving population betrayed the direful and permanent effects of that abom- 
inable code. 

Thus, by the assumption of legislative supremacy in the Parliament of 
England, whatever the Parliament of Ireland might wish to spare could be 
destroyed, and Irish industry could be directed or crushed, as might best 
promote the commercial ambition, or gratify the commercial malignity of Eng- 
land. The Irish Parliament would answer the subordinate purposes of a pro- 
vincial legislature, prejudiced and odious, full of apprehension and distrust, 
limited not only in its virtual but in its formal powers, and exhibiting the 
appearance as well as the reality of subjection, appearing to act by a delegated 
authority, and by the very abuses of that authority, securing the dominion of 
the power, from which it seemed to emanate, and by which it might be con- 

The right of supreme legislation in England as the supreme State, assumed 
as a general right, unlimited and undefined, necessarily implied a right of 
exercising that legislation in every instance, according to the suggestion of 
prudence or the impulse of caprice; and the Irish Parliament could be con- 
sidered as existing only by sufferance, and permitted to exist only from policy. 
That Parliament was destined, in one short moment of passing glory, to alarm 
the fears and to humble the pride of England ; but it was also doomed to perish 
for ever by the policy, which in that short moment it could disappoint and pro- 
voke. Before that short moment of its triumph, and that fatal moment of its 
doom arrived, England continued to employ it in the domestic drudgery of 
routine legislation, or in the more vigorous but more disgraceful office of civil 
and religious persecution. 

But why should England thus study to depress and to debase so much 
more than seemed necessary to her safety, and so much more than seemed even 
consistent with her interest? Would not wisdom prescribe a more generous 
policy, must not the extreme weakness and impoverishment of Ireland defeat 
the rapacity which demanded the sacrifice, and enfeeble the power which tri- 
umphed in desolation? When England had subdued the country and had 
formed the province, why could she not, like ancient Rome, govern with au- 
thority but govern without fear, destroy all constitutional freedom, but destroy 
not the means of life? 

That England might, by an enlarged and liberal policy, have secured to 
Ireland happiness and to herself glory and strength, and have exhibited to 
surrounding nations a singular union of conquest and moderation was certainly 

40 Roman and English Systems 

within the limits of moral contingency. That England would have oppressed 
with a milder tyranny might have been expected, even upon the cold calcula- 
tions of common political prudence. But a comparison of the native powers 
and capacities of the two countries, which loudly proclaimed a competition 
of native strength, the consciousness of aggravated wrongs, the dread of long 
provoked vengeance, the pride of power, the jealousy of commerce, all con- 
spired to produce on the part of England a policy, narrow, suspicious, selfish 
and sanguinary. Ireland had been subdued without any settled, preconceived 
plan of conquest and dominion, and throughout the entire duration of her 
dependent existence she has exhibited not only an opposition between form 
and reality, but the more wonderful opposition of rivalship and servitude. By 
nature a rival, by fortune an appendage to Britain, the bounty of Providence 
has been her curse, the equal has been punished in the slave. A conviction of 
what Ireland might do and ought to do seems to have impressed upon the policy 
by which her destiny has been controlled a character of cruelty and fear, of 
jealousy and meanness, unexampled in the annals of provincial administration. 

The history of ancient Rome, from her humble origin to the zenith of her 
power, presents an almost uninterrupted scene of conquest, and the imagination 
is constantly occupied and elevated with the renown of military achievement. 
We are astonished and improved by the wisdom of their admirable institutions, 
which gave harmony and strength and permanence to the solid fabric of her 
greatness, and we ascribe the victories of the republic not to fortune but to 
genius. The Romans were trained to conquest upon a system uniform and 
comprehensive. The design of universal dominion could only have been 
gradually inspired by successive triumphs, but the policy which led to that 
dominion was early formed and steadily pursued. It was simple and grand, 
capable of universal application, not depending on individual caprice or talents, 
nor on the varying impulse of the people. Domestic struggles terminated in 
a well-construed government, and domestic peace must have given energy 
to foreign exertions ; but their institutions, which were more immediately con- 
nected with conquest, continued their uniform advancement and operation, 
undistinguished by political storms. The imperious policy of war controlled 
all parties and combined all talents. The unity of conquest was preserved 
entire. In maintaining the honor, enlarging the boundaries and advancing the 
glory of the republic the efforts of all its citizens were voluntary, ardent and 

As the surrounding countries were successively subdued, they were de- 
prived of national existence and freedom, but once deprived of independence, 
they were no longer considered as distinct objects of jealousy or apprehension. 
By a singular and happy policy universally applied to all the members of the 
empire, the fortune of the province was almost identified with the fortune 
of the ruling state, and all seemed blended into one mighty mass, actuated by 
a common principle of life and intelligence. The provinces were, no doubt, 
servile and debased. But the liberal and fearless policy of Rome permitted 
them to enjoy every advantage not absolutely inconsistent with its universal 

Rome's Temperate Rule 4I 

views, and freely imparted the benefits of a superior advancement in science, 
laws and manners. The provinces were degraded, and they must have felt their 
degradation ; they were oppressed and they must have felt the oppression, 
but that degradation and that oppression were only such as seem inseparable 
from the loss of national independence. They were the necessary incidents of 
conquest, not the studied aggravations of malevolence. The Roman province 
was not brutalized and impoverished upon system. The very principle upon 
which it was governed was not a principle of deterioration. Every vestige of 
independence was destroyed, but all the fountains of happiness were not 
poisoned. Industry was oppressed by exaction, but not prohibited by law. 
Every province was held in subjection by the united force of the empire, and 
governed by a common rule of domination applied to every part without dis- 
tinction and without fear. The idea of jealousy arising from a rivalship or 
competition of interests between the empire and the province could not exist. 
The despotism of Rome over her dependencies was not the despotism of dis- 
trust, suspicion and envy; it was the despotism of a power which, having 
formed the ambitious design of conquest, was soon taught by success to con- 
sider itself irresistible, and which viewed every new acquisition as an accession 
of strength, not as an object of apprehension. 

The vanquished nations, with their inhabitants, their wealth and their 
capabilities, were embraced within the common circle of empire, interest and 
protection. In the loss of independence they lost everything most interesting 
and elevating to man, the ennobling consciousness of a power to be free, but 
that loss was not embittered by the vexatious, petty, malignant hostility of a 
suspicious tyranny. The objects of a policy, absolute but wise, consistent and 
temperate, the provincials were ruled, not persecuted ; destitute of freedom, 
they were not also destitute of ease; they enjoyed without envy and without 
control all the advantages which can be separated from self-government. 

Had the reduction of Ireland to the state of a Roman province completed 
the extensive plan of Agricola, we might demonstrate by the contrast of facts 
applied to Ireland herself the difference between the condition of a dependency 
of Rome and a dependency of Britain. We might demonstrate by the melan- 
choly contrast of her servitude, the superior misery of being subject to a power, 
strong enough to subdue and oppress, but which, from situation, from circum- 
stances and from character, must ever view with suspicion and dread, a country 
formed by nature for commercial pre-eminence, and, by the very means em- 
ployed to enfeeble and debase, instructed in the secret of her strength and in 
the remedy of her misfortunes. It is a miserable policy, which betrays the fears, 
while it inflicts the wrongs of oppression. By exposing the weakness as well 
as the injustice of despotism, a reiteration of cruelty seems necessary to self- 
defence. When in the sad history of his undoing the slave has been taught a 
lesson of independence, the tyrant can see no safety but in an accumulated 
weight of chains, the slave no retreat from suffering but in death or emanci- 

Lord Lyttelton, after mentioning an unsuccessful attempt of the conquest 

42 Disunion Fostered 

of Ireland by Magnus, King of Norway, in the beginning of the twelfth cen- 
tury, makes the following observations : 

If this enterprise had been more wisely conducted, and the success had been answer- 
able to what the divisions among the Irish princes, and the inclination of the Ostmen in 
favor of a Monarch, from whose country most of them originally came, seemed reason- 
able to promise, it would have erected in Ireland a Norwegian Kingdom, which, together 
with Man and the other dominions of Magnus, full of shipping and good seamen, might 
in progress of time, have composed a maritime power capable of maintaining itself 
perhaps for ever, against that of the English, and disputing with them the sovereignty of 
the sea. It may indeed be esteemed most happy for this nation [England] that no King 
of Denmark or of Norway, or of Sweden, nor any prince of the Ostmen settled in 
Ireland, ever gained an entire dominion of that isle, for had it remained under the orderly 
government of any of these, its neighborhood would have been, in many respects, prej- 
udicial to England. 

The conclusions of the noble historian appear to be indisputable, and as 
important as they are probable. He might, too, with equal sagacity, though 
not, perhaps, with equal prudence, have made another supposition, and might 
have drawn conclusions as instructive and as irresistible. He might have said, 
had Ireland, breasting the Atlantic, been left to the fortune of her native 
independence, unassailed by foreign ambition, she might, in progress of time, 
have composed a maritime power capable of maintaining itself for ever against 
England, and preventing the growth of that inordinate domination, which has 
oppressed with its crimes the east and the west, the African and the Hindoo; 
and he might have said, that should Ireland ever be restored to the independ- 
ence which she has lost, Britain might resign, and resign forever, the empire 
of the seas. 

The formidable aspect of Ireland, as an independent state, appears, indeed, 
to have made a strong and fatal impression on the councils of England at an 
early period. 

In the reign of Elizabeth the unfeeling and detestable policy of ruling Ire- 
land by means of her intestine divisions, her barbarism and her poverty, was 
openly avowed by the ministers of that princess. 

Should we exert ourselves, said they, in reducing this country to order and 
civility, it must soon acquire power, consequence and riches, the inhabitants 
will be thus alienated from England, they will cast themselves into the arms 
of some foreign power, or perhaps exert themselves into an independent and 
separate state. Let us rather connive at their disorders, for a weak and dis- 
ordered people never can attempt to detach themselves from the crown of 

It is true. Sir Henry Sydney and Sir John Perrot, who perfectly understood 
the affairs of Ireland and the disposition of the inhabitants, a generous dis- 
position easily won and attached by kindness, both expressed the utmost indig- 
nations at such abominable maxims. "Yet this doctrine found its way", says 
the historian, "into the English Parliament". Certainly that was not the first 
era of its appearance in that Parliament. From the time that Ireland can be 

Policy of Depression W 

said to have seriously engaged the attention of the British Cabinet, the doc- 
trine of binding Irishmen, not by voluntary attachment, but by hopeless debility, 
has uniformly pervaded its councils, while the British Parliament, untouched 

by individual pity, unrestrained by individual honor, or the feeling of individual 
shame, has been ready to execute, and even to anticipate, the worst purposes 
of this vile policy of depression. 

This malignant jealousy towards Ireland increased with the increasing 
commerce of England. It was impressed upon the measures of each successive 
minister, not merely by his own prejudices and apprehensions, but by the more 
intemperate fears and prejudices of the people. A minister of genius, in- 
trepidity and virtue, might soar above the hackneyed and barbarous policy of 
ages. But the fate of Ireland rested not even on the remote and precarious 
chance of a generous and wise administration. It rested on the passions and 
the prejudices, or the ignorance, the pride and the avarice of an entire people. 
The boasted pre-eminence of the British constitution in giving effect to popular 
will was a source of calamity to the province. In the progress of the com- 
mercial system of England, an intimate union was formed between the state 
and the commercial interest of the nation. The commercial gained a complete 
ascendancy over every other interest whatever. Trade not only received a 
peculiar and constant and anxious protection, but the most unreasonable de- 
sires and apprehensions of the trading part of the community were nattered 
by the ministers and the Parliament. The power of the British merchant, 
manufacturer and mechanic multiplied the wrongs, perpetuated the independ- 
ence, and aggravated the mortifications of Ireland. The Irishman and the 
negro were enslaved upon the very same principle. In acts of foreign tyranny 
the British minister was the servant both of the Crown and the people. In 
acts of foreign tyranny the British Parliament faithfully represented the 
wishes of its constituents. To increase the commerce of England seemed a 
sufficient motive and justification for the foulest injustice and most licentious 
despotism towards other nations and its own dependencies. 

Had Ireland been less the favorite of nature, she would have been less the 
victim of policy. But her great natural advantages, which impressed the 
ministers of Elizabeth with the well-founded opinion that, possessed of a good 
government, she must soon acquire power, consequence and riches, seem to 
have marked her for destruction. The maxims of the ministers, though not 
so directly avowed, were embraced by their successors. They have been in- 
variably pursued, and can be easily traced in characters deep and lasting. Had 
Ireland been less formidable, England might have been less unjust both to 
Ireland and to herself. 

The contracted genius and dastardly spirit of a government, filled with the 
constant dread of competition or revolt, seem to have marred the fortune of 
the empire, as well as the fortune of the province. Instead of the wise and 
magnanimous conception of comprehending Ireland within a common circle 
of hopes and fears, of interests and wishes, the mean and dangerous principle 
of exclusion was adopted. 

44 A Crime to be Enslaved 

Ireland must not be independent, was a proposition which involved a 
melancholy train of base and malevolent ideas. It was a maxim which con- 
stantly led the mind to jealousy and suspicion. It seemed to put a negative 
on the communication of happiness, to confine the genius to petty temporary 
expedients of prevention, and to limit the benefits of conquest to the mere 
extinction of a rival. And is not that advantage great? Would not the actual 
physical extinction of Ireland be to England a subject of congratulation com- 
pared to the existence of Ireland as an independent separate state? Such in- 
deed does appear to be a question ever present in the mind of British states- 
men, and their idea of continuing Ireland impotent, abject and dependent, 
seems to have bounded their ambition. 

A conviction that nature, in assimulating the powers, had contrasted the 
interests of the countries, seems to have precluded every generous attempt to 
unite them by sympathy or affection derived from a participation of common 
advantages, and a consciousness of reciprocal benefaction. 

The haughty spirit of conquest could not stoop to equality, the contracted 
spirit of commerce either could not conceive or would not tolerate a community 
of rights. The idea of keeping Ireland down was the only idea which could 
satisfy the pride and the prejudices of Englishmen, which could reconcile all 
interests, allay all fears, please all fancies, indulge all passions, and silence 
all complaints. 

But in this conspiracy of weak, sordid and malignant principles against her 
peace, Ireland might learn to respect herself — to respect that strength which 
could excite the jealousy and provoke the persecution of her oppressor. She 
might learn in her humiliation a lesson of lofty ambition. If nature had not 
created an opposition of interests, policy, at least, had produced it. If nature 
had given the means of independence, policy had made it necessary to self- 
preservation. The nation which is feared ought to be aspiring. With strength 
to be free it is a crime to be enslaved. 

Bigotry . . . it has been a pestilence to the land . . . in the hand of power 
. . . religion has retired to tueep over the horrors committed in her name — and 
appeals to her Founder, to the Founder of universal benevolence, from the charge of 
exciting these crimes. 

Miss Emmet. 

Part VIII 

English Declaratory Act — 6 George I. Blackstone — From era of the Revolution 
Irish Parliament presented spectacle of vilest debasement — The Catholics instead 
of reposing on the bosom of their country, were forced to cling for safety to the 
mercy of the English crown — By the Act 6 of George I, the Parliament of England 
sanctified all its past usurpations and Ireland acquiesced — Blackstone justified the 
"right of conquest". 

}f ROM the era of the Revolution the Parliament of Ireland 
presented a spectacle of the vilest debasement. Humbled 
by the Parliament of England to the abject condition 
of a subordinate legislature, even the limits of its cir- 
cumscribed authority were not ascertained by any fixed 
distribution of powers and privileges, but depended on 
the undefined, capricious and arbitrary inclinations of the 
superior assembly. Whenever the English Parliament 
deemed it expedient to interfere either in the legislative 
or judicial capacity, its will constituted at once the principle and the justi- 
fication. The transient and feeble complaints of the Irish Parliament 
were treated with insolent contempt. Yet this Parliament, thus degraded 
and insulted, became the miserable instrument of the tyranny which 
oppressed it. More debased by its own passions, than by the des- 
potism to which it bowed, the very period of its greatest servitude was 
stained by the most unprovoked and senseless persecution. At the very 
period, when it presumed to feel the infringement of its own privileges and the 
destruction of Irish commerce, it wantonly outraged the most sacred rights of 
nature, and assailed the most sacred duties of social life. In a country beg- 
gared and debilitated by a foreign parliament, this domestic legislature, blinded 
by religious bigotry, or moved by baser self-interest, enacted laws ruinous to 
the peace, the morals and the industry of its people. The Catholics, instead of 
reposing on the bosom of their country, were forced to cling for safety to the 
mercy of the Crown. The policy of disunion became completely triumphant. 
The good sense or pleasantry of a deputy might now extend protection to the 
persons of men deprived of every right, without endangering the power, which 
rested securely on their ignominious proscription and on the delusion of the 

This frantic or corrupt persecution of the Catholic seemed to be revenged 
in the severe mortification of the Parliament. This Parliament, thus powerful 


46 Act 6. Geo. I 

to destroy, and uncontrolled in desolation, was at length formally and expressly 
declared by an English Act of Parliament to be, what it had long virtually 
been, the dependent instrument of foreign domination. By the memorable 
Act 6th. Geo. I the Parliament of England, with imperious despotism, sanctified 
all its past usurpations, and recorded the high prerogative of strength to tyran- 
nize over weakness. 

Whatever ideas of self-importance the provincial legislature might have 
hitherto indulged, were now completely banished. The dream of independence 
was at an end, and the Parliament of Ireland awoke to all the meanness of its 
condition. This wretched assembly now exercised an authority confessedly 
subordinate and precarious. The same power which had declared its depend- 
ence might destroy its existence. That existence could be considered as con- 
tinued only from convenience. When it was declared "that the British Parlia- 
ment had, hath, and of right ought to have full power and authority to make 
laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the People and Kingdom 
of Ireland", it was really declared that the Irish Parliament existed entirely 
by sufferance, as the instrument of those menial offices, which the British Par- 
liament might consider beneath its dignity and unworthy its regard ; or those 
offices of desolation, which the British minister might think best suited to the 
interests, prejudices and passions of the provincial assembly. Since by the 
Declaratory Act 6th. Geo. I the authority of the Parliament of England to 
bind Ireland by its laws was assumed to be an authority original, universal, 
absolute and without control, it is demonstrative that the Parliament of Ire- 
land was permitted to legislate from policy merely. As the Parliament of Eng- 
land was declared to have a right to legislate in every instance, the Parliament 
of Ireland could have but a licence to legislate in every instance, and could be 
permitted to enjoy that licence only the better to promote the views of the 
haughty power which had arrogated the right. 

While the friend of freedom disdains to advocate the cause of the Irish 
Parliament, he must sympathize in the fate of the Irish people, through all 
the changes of British policy, still doomed to endure the bitter curse of insult 
and the gloomy horrors of servitude, and still seize every opportunity, which 
the history of that policy presents, to illustrate its motives, and to reprobate 
its injustice. 

The object of England was monopoly in trade, as the support of present 
greatness and the source of future aggrandizement. Most of her dependencies 
seemed, by situation and productions, naturally excluded from competition, 
calculated to consume the produce of British industry, and to return what 
British luxury might consume, or British industry might diffuse, either in its 
original state, or with the additional improvements of ingenuity and art, and 
what the wants or the luxury of other countries might finally consume. But 
Ireland in every point of view, in geographical station, in soil, in productions, 
in people, presented the constant idea of competition favored by superior ad- 
vantages from nature. Ireland irresistibly forced upon the mind the image of 
a country, the inhabitants of which would easily fall into the three great classes 

Ireland's Unique Situation i~ 

of husbandmen, manufacturers and merchants, from whose various and recipro- 
cal connections and labors, wealth, strength and independence would necessarily 
be derived in the free and unrestrained advancement of her means Happy 
in the facility of supporting a multitude of laborious hands, in the means of 
varied and abundant agriculture, in many productions of nature, the raw ma- 
terials of art, and in an industrious and ingenious people capable of adding 
to these materials or to the productions of other climates the incalculable value 
of diligence and skill, Ireland seemed formed to supply the wants and minister 
to the convenience and even luxury of numerous other states. Placed on the 
western skirt of Europe, and three-fourths of her shores washed by the At- 
lantic, after the discovery of a new world had opened to European ambition 
new sources of aggrandizement, she seemed destined to connect the intercourse 
of eastern and western hemispheres. Independently of the discovery of 
America the situation of Ireland appeared peculiarly fitted for commercial en- 
terprise. She was not only cast between England and the West, but she also 
possessed a greater facility of communication with the East, and with many 
regions of Europe. The power of independent competition seemed, indeed, 
marked in such bold characters by nature that it required the unceasing efforts 
of an active and malicious policy to defeat the obvious purposes of creation. 
But, as the fears or folly of England prevented the experiment of excluding 
the idea of competition between the countries, by cherishing the idea of com- 
mon interest founded on the enjoyment of common rights, the desperate and 
cruel alternative was embraced. It was determined to exclude all competition 
by the impotence of ignorance and the torpor of despair, by insidious artifices 
to counteract the tendencies of nature, and by open and direct interference to 
assail the energies, which artifice might enfeeble, but could not destroy. By 
fraud or by force it was resolved so to mould and fashion the natural ad- 
vantages of Ireland as to convert the very means of independence into sub- 
sidiary instruments of servitude. Hence, among a thousand instances, the 
unsheltered peasantry and starving manufacturers of Ireland manned the fleets, 
and recruited the armies which enslaved her. 

When England seemed to have added strength to her constitution by seat- 
ing the House of Hanover on the throne, when her commerce and her arms 
had exalted her power and resources above every other European state, her 
policy towards Ireland could only be satisfied by the most unequivocal ex- 
pression of the most unbounded despotism. 

By the statute for "better securing the dependency of Ireland", a formal 
enunciation was made of the vile connection between tyrant and slave. 

The grave commentator on the laws of England was now to initiate the 
British youth in the pride of power and the sophistry of ambition ; and the 
future senator was to imbibe in early life the unhallowed principles of op- 
pression. Ireland was now enrolled in the pompous catalogue of countries 
subject to the dominion of England. She was now told by high authority that 
even previous to the 6th. of Geo. I she was bound by Act of the British Par- 
liament, whenever that parliament condescended to have her in its contempla- 

48 Right of Conquest 

tion under general words or particular nomination. She was not only in- 
structed in the rule of her subjection, but in the reason of the rule. "It followed 
from the very nature and constitution of a dependent state ; dependence being 
very little else but an obligation to conform to the will or law of that superior 
person or state, upon which the inferior depends." She was also informed of 
the reason and true ground of this superiority to which she was submissively 
to bend. It was "what we usually, tho' somewhat improperly, call the right 
of conquest ; a right allowed by the Law of Nations, if not by that of nature ; 
but which in reason and civil policy can mean nothing more than that, in order to 
put an end to hostilities, a compact is either expressly or tacitly made between 
the conqueror and the conquered, that if they will acknowledge the victor for 
their Master he will treat them for the future as Subjects, and not as enemies". 
When Molyneaux denied that Ireland ever had been conquered, when he sup- 
ported her rights to liberty by charters, and to independence by her distinct 
legislature, he only attempted to defend a good cause by means unnecessary or 
fallacious. He erred through an extreme anxiety to fence his argument from 
every possible attack. He erred through the vain imagination that precedent 
might control those whom pity could not melt, whom a sense of justice could 
not influence, and that men, who wielded the sword of power, would regard 
the recorded privileges of weakness. When Molyneaux bowed with the lowest 
submission to the great council of England he only betrayed the involuntary 
dejection of an honest mind unconscious of its own humiliation. 

But when the sanctified commentator on the rights of Englishmen, who 
breathes a pious prayer for their perpetuity, maintains that force can be a just 
foundation for dominion; when he affirms that Ireland by right of conquest 
continued in a state of dependence, and must necessarily conform to such 
laws, as the superior state might think proper to prescribe, and that when this 
state of dependence was almost forgotten and ready to be disputed by the 
Irish nation, it became necessary in order to bring back these mutinous slaves 
to a recollection of their condition and a sense of their duty, to declare how that 
matter really stood, and solemnly to record in the rolls of the British Parliament 
its own opinion of its own title to subdue, to plunder and to oppress ; and when 
he delivers this with all the gravity of a professor, in the midst of an elaborate 
panegyric on laws and liberties and constitution, the indignant advocate of truth 
cannot stoop to refute doctrines so impudent and absurd. 

What is the right of conquest, the original and true ground of the de- 
pendence of Ireland and of her obligation to conform to the will of the 
superior state, according to the definition of this liberal and scientific pre- 
ceptor of British youth? "It is a right allowed by the Law of Nations, if not 
by that of nature, but which in reason and civil policy can mean nothing more 
than that, in order to put an end to hostilities, a compact is either expressly 
or tacitly formed between the conqueror and conquered, that if they will 
acknowledge the Victor for their Master he will treat them for the future as 
Subjects [bound to conform to his will as their only law] and not as enemies". 
Thus was the ardent and ductile mind to learn the principles of justice in the 

Crime of Oppression 49 

practice of nations, to set up the laws of ambition again>t the laws of nature, 
and compacts of compulsion against the inalienable rights which they infringed, 
to respect in the sword of Zinges or Tamerlane the just foundation of govern- 
ment, and in the sword of Mahomet the just foundation of religion. Thus the 
men who were to bind Ireland by their laws, were piously taught that to have 
stopped short of the crime of extermination sanctified for ever the crime of 
oppression, and that Irishmen might be murdered as enemies, or must submit 
to be manacled as slaves. 

As <well might you seek to stem the impetuous ocean <with a mound of sand as hope to 
confine the current of public opinion, and public toishes, by making it criminal to 
think, and punishable to <wish; as toell may you seek to calm the raging •winds of 
heaven by bidding them be still, as hope to limit the human understanding by penal 

Miss Emmet. 

Part IX 

Free Trade — Repeal of Poynings' Law, and of the Act 6, George I. — In 1778 
the wretchedness of Ireland appeared for the first time to interest the English 
Parliament — Not from sense of justice or generosity, but from fear — England made 
sacrifices to fear which she refused to justice — But they were insincere— The effect 
of the American Revolution — It assisted, interested and elevated the Irish mind — 
The formidable change irom feeble lamentation to bold demands and the array of 
60,000 volunteers demonstrated to England the necessity of concessions — Something 
resembling Free Trade was given — Poynings' Statute and the 6th of George I were 
repealed — The English Parliament renounced "for ever" the right to bind Ireland 
by its laws — Generous and confiding Ireland, in a delirium of unsuspecting en- 
thusiasm, accepted it all as genuine. 

jl'HILE an unjust and unprovoked invasion, which had in- 
volved Ireland in centuries of darkness and blood, was 
deliberately advanced as a rightful origin of British 
domination ; while force, which she could not resist, was 
made a justification of the servitude, to which she was 
consigned, her condition exhibited a dreadful illustration 
of the principles of her dependence. 

The policy of depression had been carried to an 
extremity which seemed inconsistent with the very 
selfishness from which it flowed. In the year 1778 the wretchedness of 
Ireland appeared for the first time to interest the British Parliament. But 
it was not the justice or generosity of that Parliament which the wretchedness 
of Ireland had moved. It had alarmed its fears. Individuals in the zeal of party, 
or perhaps in the sincerity of virtue, might seem to feel, or might really feel 
the truths which they proclaimed, but the mass of that Parliament was actu- 
ated by the cold maxims of prudence alone, in a wish to relax in some degree 
the commercial bondage of Ireland. For some time, however, the people of 
England, less prudent than the Parliament, could not see that even selfishness 
was deeply concerned in the demands of justice. 

Ireland was not only ruled by the artful temporising policy of the Cabinet 
of England; she was also subject to the blind, bigoted selfishness of the English 
manufactory and counting-house, which would not feel or would not confess 
that Ireland might be sunk too low even upon the base calculations of com- 
mercial arithmetic. 

The Minister yielded to prejudices, which, however marked by folly and 
pregnant with mischief, he had not the virtue or courage to resist. The 


Free- Trade 51 

conduct, which is not founded on the unbending principle of right, but on the 
pliant maxims of expediency, is often mortified by severer sacrifices to fear 
than need have been made at first to justice. The Parliament and people of 
England were soon humbled to concession, which the haughty spirit of 
despotism could never have anticipated, and which it was impossible could be 
sincere. The unfeeling and impolitic exercise of legislation terminated in the 
entire and absolute renunciation of legislative supremacy. Ireland was at 
length taught by necessity a lesson she might have long known from reason, 
and which she ought never to forget. She was taught to look to herself for 
justice, and to liberty for happiness. 

The effect of the memorable war between England and America will long 
be felt by the nations of Europe. America has triumphed, but the struggle 
between despotism and liberty has been transferred from the western to the 
eastern hemisphere. Europe has been convulsed by the shock of contending 
principles, and the happiness or misery of ages may depend on the final issue 
of the contest. From the era of the American War, Ireland may be considered 
as acting in some measure by a distinct individual impulse, as contrasting her 
existence with that of England, and forcing herself upon the notice of man- 
kind as a country which might one day be worthy of a rank among inde- 
pendent nations. The power, which had enslaved, impoverished, and insulted, 
was reduced to the mortifying confession that it was unable to protect. Ireland, 
abandoned and cast upon herself, discovered in the exertions of self-preserva- 
tion the means of greatness as well as safety. The important discussion, to 
which the American War had given rise, and the magnanimous struggle of the 
American people against the arrogant pretensions of tyranny had assisted, 
interested and elevated the Irish mind. The keen sense of appropriate suffer- 
ing had produced a much stronger sensation than mere sympathy. The 
instincts of nature were confirmed by the decisions of reason, and ennobled 
by the energies of freedom. The events which followed produce mingled 
sensations of admiration and disappointment, exultation and sorrow. 

The extreme distress to which Ireland had been reduced by the policy of 
England, the extraordinary and formidable change from feeble lamentations 
to bold demands and active retaliation in a country which had so long lan- 
guished in obscurity and contempt ; the awful sanction impressed on the 
language of truth by the array of sixty thousand Volunteers ; the embarrassed 
situation of England from a war unjust in its principle and disastrous in its 
events, at length demonstrated to the Minister the necessity of prompt and 
decisive concessions to Ireland. But it entered not into his imagination that 
these concessions should extend beyond a relaxation of the excessive and 
absurd restrictions on her trade, which had been intemperately accumulated, 
without even an attention to the obvious maxim of a prudential tyranny. 

The concessions proposed as a relief of the distress and a satisfaction of 
the complaints of Ireland were entirely commercial. Though limited in their 
extent, and in many respects illusory in their operation, they were important. 
Contrasted, at least, with the past commercial bondage of Ireland, these con- 

52 Poynings' Statute Repealed 

cessions might well justify the proud boast of a Free Trade. That there should 
be some relaxation of that bondage seemed universally acknowledged. That 
such ample concessions were made arose from the perplexity of fear and the 
temporising spirit of expediency. While England possessed the supreme 
legislative power these concessions might be recalled or modified. Perhaps 
in the very moment of liberality the minister anticipated a season of less 
danger and more arrogance, in which England might resume whatever should 
appear formidable to her jealousy or humbling to her pride. But the pride 
of England was soon to experience much severer mortification. The spirit 
which had demanded and obtained for Ireland an emancipation in trade dis- 
dained to submit to the foreign despotism, which had reduced her to beggary 
and despair. The emancipation of the Irish Parliament from the shackles of 
Poynings' Law and of Ireland from the supreme control of the Parliament 
of England seemed from recent experience absolutely necessary to existence. 
In the delusion of unsuspecting enthusiasm it seemed all-sufficient to the inde- 
pendence and happiness of Ireland. 

Poynings' Statute was repealed, the 6th Geo. I was repealed, and the 
British Parliament renounced for ever the right to bind Ireland by its laws. 
These lofty claims were opposed as long as they could be opposed with safety. 
The desperate counsels which lost America had been succeeded by more 
temper and more prudence in a new administration, and the apparent com- 
placency, with which the pretensions of a foreign legislature were finally 
relinquished, completed the satisfaction of a generous and confiding nation. 

Liberty is the child of oppression, and the birth of the offspring is the death of the parent. 

Robert Emmet— Whitty's "Life". 

Part X 

New Theory of Irish Government — British power was humiliated not subverted 
by these concessions — The theory of British despotism was unchanged, and the 
despotism remained — In the emancipated Parliament of 1782 Ireland did not obtain 
an independent legislature — The triumph of 1782 ivas the triumph of the Volunteers — 
But it was limited by their objects — In the events of 1779 their first hopes had cen- 
tered and their best strength had perished — They did not emancipate Ireland from 
British tyranny — The hopes of Dungannon were soon disappointed — Their plan of 
reform still excluded three-fourths of Irishmen from the rights of citizens, and 
from that moment their strength was gone — The efforts of the more liberal, daring 
and decisive minds failed, and later repentance was vain 

HE humiliation of British pride was not the subversion 
of British power. The theory of despotism was un- 
changed ; the despotism remained. That the Crown of 
Ireland was an imperial crown inseparably annexed to the 
Crown of Great Britain ; but that the Kingdom of Ireland 
was a distinct kingdom with a Parliament of her own. 
the sole legislature thereof, and a negative power alone 
vested in the Crown ; and that on this annexation and dis- 
tinction the interest and happiness of both countries essen- 
tially depended, now constituted the sublime doctrine of Irish independence. 
The idea of an inseparable annexation of the imperial Crown of Ireland, as a 
distinct independent kingdom, to the Crown of Great Britain, is a metaphy- 
sical subtlety, which the mind, no doubt, can comprehend, but which it also 
perceives to be totally inapplicable to the solution of a question of fact. The 
mere power of comprehending an abstract idea can not influence the investi- 
gation of general probabilities, nor can it determine the truth or falsehood of 
any alleged particular existence. The nature of the connection between Eng- 
land and Ireland must depend on historical evidence, and not on the faculty of 
forming abstract ideas and defining possible contingencies. Yet an acknowl- 
edgment of the mental compatibility of ideas, not conceded by the reason, but 
extorted by the fears of England, was supposed to annihilate her ambition, 
her injustice, her jealousy, the feelings and prejudices of ancient power, the 
habits of oppression and the poignant recollection of pride chastised. No, but 
in her own Parliament, Ireland now possessed her security against the long 
habits of uncontrolled dominion, against the sordid apprehensions of com- 
mercial avarice, against the inveterate principles of jealous policy, against the 
moral tendencies of the British mind ! Ireland in the bold eminence of station, 


54 The Irish Volunteers 

which proclaimed her as "the best friend or the worst enemy in the world to 
Britain", possessed a security that Britain, dreading her enmity, would hence- 
forth conciliate her friendship ! 

Had Ireland indeed obtained an independent legislature, the improbability 
of being unjust might have imposed upon England the necessity of being wise. 
But in the emancipated Parliament of 1782 Ireland obtained not that legislature. 

Her fatal pre-eminence of station had early doomed her to servitude, and 
the Parliament of 1782 could not rescue her from bondage. That Parliament 
had even opposed its own elevation. Trained to provincial vileness, it seemed 
lost to every sentiment of generous ambition. At length swept before an 
enthusiasm which it could not feel, it presumed to boast of glories which it 
was unworthy to reflect. 

The triumph of 1782 was the triumph of the Volunteers. It is an era in 
the political existence of Ireland which may he remembered with pride, not 
because Ireland then ceased to he a province, but because Ireland then displayed 
the powers which mark her destiny to be a nation. In her Volunteers may be 
seen at once her strength and her weakness. Endeared by recollection, inter- 
esting to the feelings of a gallant, a generous and a grateful people, the name 
of the Volunteers seems consecrated to eternal praise, but the faithful page of 
history, which records their virtues and their triumphs, will also transmit their 
errors and their humiliation. "It was a sacred truth and written as it were in 
the tables of fate, that the Irish Protestant never should be free, until the Irish 
Catholic ceased to be a slave." When the Volunteers at Dungannon declared 
their respect for the inalienable right of private judgment in the matters of 
religion, their joy in the relaxation of penal laws against their Roman Catholic 
fellow-subjects, and their opinion that it was a measure fraught with the hap- 
piest consequences to the union and prosperity of Irishmen, they uttered a 
sentiment more honorable to themselves and more interesting to their country 
than any other contained in the splendid resolutions of their celebrated assem- 
bly. Such a sentiment proclaimed in a season of growing energy, where the 
resistless impulse of an hour might bear down the prejudices of ages, seemed 
to announce the most auspicious effects. But darkness still rested upon the 
fortune of Ireland. The principle of energy in the Volunteers was limited by 
its early objects. In the events of 1779, 1782 and 1783 their first hopes had 
centred and their best strength had perished. In these events were involved 
merely the emancipation of the trade and Parliament of Ireland, the trade 
from extravagant restrictions, the Parliament from Poynings' Law and the 
direct supremacy of the British legislature. The emancipation of Ireland from 
British tyranny was a distinct object, demanding new and more difficult exer- 
tions, opposed by the most powerful interest, prejudices and passions of the 
human breast. Healed by the importance of their first exertions, the Volun- 
teers seemed not to have timely perceived how very little complete success in 
these might be connected with the independence and happiness of their country. 

When cooler reflection had succeeded to the ardor of victory, the real im- 
portance of the acquisition could be more distinctly ascertained. Reason soon 

Decline of the Volunteers 55 

discovered that much indeed remained to be done. But the spirit of enthusiasm 
had fled, and unassisted reason was much too feeble for the contest. Whatever 
hopes might have been formed from the early liberality of Dungannon were 
soon disappointed. 

The extent of that liberality appeared to be bounded by a relaxation of 
positive penalties against Catholics merely. When the Volunteers, seated in 
national convention in the capital, announced to an anxious people their mem- 
orable plan of reform, by which they would have excluded three-fourths of 
their countrymen from the rights of citizens, when they thus deliberately 
recorded the bondage of Ireland and solemnly consecrated the unhallowed 
policy of the oppressor — from that moment their strength was gone. 

In vain did some liberal, daring and decisive minds point out the only road 
to honor and to safety. In vain did late and magnanimous repentance attempt 
to repair the fatal error. The ruinous advice to desist from a pursuit which 
might create disunion among the friends of reform of the Protestant sects, 
produced or increased the mischief which it affected to prevent, or professed 
to deprecate. Oppressed by their own dissensions on the question of Catholic 
Emancipation, by their reverence for the opinion of men of great talents and 
undoubted integrity who were adverse to that measure, by the artifices of the 
secret or avowed enemies of reform, who dreaded in the union of Irishmen 
the certain overthrow of a growing system of foreign influence and domestic 
corruption, oppressed by the accumulated weight of the fraud and the preju- 
dices of ages, the Volunteers gradually sank into the common mass of an 
abused, insulted, and enslaved people. The clouds which hung over their 
descending glory could not obscure the splendor of their achievements. They 
did not rescue their country from tyranny, but they rescued her from the 
calumnies of her oppressors. In their virtue they illustrated her title to liberty ; 
in their errors and misfortunes they demonstrated the causes of their debase- 
ment. They have left to posterity an illustrious example in victory and a mis- 
erable lesson in defeat. 

Believe me, you may as -well plant your foot on the earth and hope by that resistance to 
stop the diurnal revolution, <which advances you to that morning sun, tuhich is to 
shine alone on the Protestant and Catholic, as you can hope to arrest the progress of 
that other light, reason and justice, 'which approaches to liberate the Catholic and 
liberalize the Protestant. 

Grattan— Irish Parliament. 

Part XI 

Parliamentary Reform — The Repeal of the Declaratory Act, 6th George I. and 
the repeal of the Poynings' Act did not in any sense change the dependent char 
acter of the Irish Parliament — The Revolution of 1688 had merely illustrated the 
right of the English people to change their government — It limited the power of 
the crown, but it left the system of popular representation, which was utterly in- 
adequate to its acknowledged object, untouched — A new method was adopted — Art 
was substituted for violence and corruption for prerogative — These the crown used 
freely to evade the limits placed on its direct exercise of power — The constitution and 
system of election and representation of the Irish Parliament rendered it incapable 
of regenerating Ireland — To expect it to work for the good of Ireland could only be 
the baseless vision of a disordered imagination — Domestic corruption became the 
necessary instrument of foreign domination — The Volunteers bowed to the con- 
temptuous recommendation "to convert their swords into plough-shares". The 
English government seized the occasion and the result was that a majority of the 
Irish Parliament was found capable of conspiring against National independence 
by recognizing the absolute right of the English Parliament to legislate for Ireland 
— The downward course of the Irish Parliament to self-extinction is traceable to its 
failure to legislate for the benefit of the people — Progress of Protestants toward 
more liberal treatment of Catholics was rapid, but did not reach the point of 
granting them complete participation in civil and political rights — Impossibility of 
regeneration by political methods led up to a genuine Irish movement — The name 
assumed by the men composing it was "The Society of United Irishmen". 

REPEAL of the Declaratory Act of the 6th. Geo. I and a 
renunciation of any right or claim in the British Parlia- 
ment of legislating for Ireland, together with a repeal of 
Poynings' Statute, gave or restored to Ireland a distinct 
legislature, the sole acknowledged authority, by which 
laws could in future be made, and exhibiting all the 
forms of an independent national legislature. But, while 
the Parliament of Ireland, from the era of these boasted 
acquisitions, exhibited the forms of independent legisla- 
tion, that Parliament remained essentially unaltered. It remained a de- 
pendent provincial assembly, neither representing the will, influenced by the 
feelings, nor identified with the interests of the Irish nation. 

The acquisitions which had just been made, however splendid in the 
attainment, soon appeared to be of importance only as they might be esteemed 
necessarily antecedent to a radical change in one of the three estates, of which 
the Parliament was composed. According to the admirable theory of the 


Influence of the Crown 

Mntish Constitution, which the Irish Constitution was now supposed to re 
semble in its spirit, and the forms of which it now possessed, the I louse of 
Commons ought to consist of a number of delegates, freely and frequentl) 
chosen by the people, and really representing the general will, so that no law 
should be made nor tax imposed without the consent of the nation. While a 
variety of opinions might prevail on the extent and mode of elective suffrage . 
and the duration of the delegated trust best adapted to produce the desired 
effect, there was not a man, who felt or who professed a love of liberty ami 
of the British Constitution, who did not maintain that, by the principles of 
both, the House of Commons ought faithfully to represent the collective bod) 
of the people, and be, at least so constituted, that, though not chosen by all, 
it could not possibly have any other interest than to prove itself the repre- 
sentative of all. 

Reason demonstrated that on this representation of the people by the 
House of Commons the existence of the distribution and of balance of power 
in the constitution, and the secure and permanent enjoyment of every right 
which it conferred or guaranteed, must absolutely depend. Experience had 
confirmed the deductions of reason. The Revolution of 1688 in England had 
practically illustrated and enforced the natural and indefeasible right in the 
people of forming a government agreeably to its own will, of deposing gov- 
ernors and new-modelling a constitution. By -that Revolution a solemn declara- 
tion was made of the rights of the people and new limits were assigned to the 
powers of the Crown. But the popular representation was left untouched. 
That representation was completely inadequate to the acknowledged object 
of its action in the political system. Art was henceforth substituted for vio- 
lence, corruption for prerogative, and the constantly increasing influence of the 
Crown from the periods of the Revolution presented to the attentive mind the 
irrefragable evidence of fact, that the necessity of another revolution could 
not be averted save by restoring or establishing that intimate relation between 
the constituent and the representative which, making the House of Commons 
the faithful image of the people, might secure liberty to the nation and perma- 
nence to the throne. Every sincere and provident friend of the constitution, 
devoted to liberty and fond of peace, saw with deep concern, in the means 
of corruption and in the progress of venality, the principles of that constitution 
becoming only the theme of declamation or the vision of theory, and in the 
reform of its practice by its principles discovered the only road to safety. The 
greater the blessings of civil liberty actually enjoyed by Englishmen, the more 
illustrious the station to which their country had been raised by the superiority 
of its constitution, the greater ought naturally to be the anxiety to preserve 
that part of the constitution from which its superiority evidently flowed, sound 
and entire, or, if degenerated and corrupt, to restore it to health and vigor. 
Every right and every blessing must be insecure unless the people, by their 
representatives in Parliament, should be made, or continue, the guardians of 
their own happiness. 

The proud pre-eminence of the British constitution rested on this founda 

58 Intrigue in House of Commons 

tion : on the government of the community by the general will, without the 
evils of democracy. The legislative powers of the Crown and of the aris- 
tocracy could only be considered as wise and salutary checks, designed and 
fitted to secure the deliberative, well-advised, and real expression of the 
general will. But while the theory of British liberty presented a fair and 
fascinating picture, it could not be denied that the very reverse of the picture 
was the true representation of the actual state of things — that, while English- 
men exulted in Magna Charta, in trial by jury, in a bill of rights, in a habeas 
coipus act, in the sanctity of the "straw-built shed", which the King dared not 
violate, the continuance of these blessings depended on a House of Commons 
notoriously under the influence of the Crown. 

A conviction of the excellence of the principles and the magnitude and 
danger of the abuses of the constitution had impressed on the minds of the 
wise and virtuous in England a conviction of the necessity of a reform in the 
representation of the people in that country, as the certain and salutary means 
of preserving its liberties without the shock and hazard of a revolution ; and 
their talents and their hearts had been accordingly long turned towards the 
attainment of this object, which in the rapid progress of parliamentary corrup- 
tion gained daily new importance and excited increasing solicitude. While 
such was the state of public sentiment in England on the necessity of reform 
in its legislature ; every general topic which could be urged in favor of the 
measure there applied with ten-fold force to the Parliament of Ireland. But 
it was not merely general reasoning, however strong, derived from the principles 
of political liberty, and the glaring inadequacy of the existing representation 
of the people to give efficiency to these principles, which demonstrated the 
necessity of parliamentary reform in Ireland. A variety of appropriate causes 
belonged to this country, which identified reform with national existence which 
presented it to the understandings and feelings of a long oppressed and im- 
poverished people, not as the regeneration, but as the acquisition of a consti- 
tution, as the only means of emancipating their country from the bondage and 
repairing the desolation and debasement of six hundred years. 

It required no proof from experience to determine that, constituted as the 
Irish Parliament was, the late changes in its political powers would only render 
it a more expensive instrument for administering British domination in Ire- 
land ; that the mode of governing the province would indeed be varied, but 
that, without a radical reform in the representation of the people, it must still 
remain a province, dependent and degraded. What was the state of that repre- 
sentation? Out of the three hundred members, of which the House of Com- 
mons consisted, the counties, counties of cities and towns, and the university, 
returned but eighty-four, leaving two hundred and sixteen for boroughs and 
manors (of this number two hundred were returned by individuals instead of 
bodies of electors; from forty to fifty were returned by ten persons). With 
respect to the boroughs, several of them had no resident elector at all, some of 
them but one, and on the whole two-thirds of the representatives were returned 
by less than one hundred persons. Even the county representation, the only 

Need of Parliamentary Reform 

portion of this miserable system which could, by any effort of the mind, be 
conceived to express the popular will, was grossly defective in its principles 
and corrupt in its practical existence. While the House of Commons was thus 
composed, its slender connection with the people, by means of such members 
as could be called elected, was renewed but once in every eight years, unless 
accelerated by the royal prerogative of dissolution. Even the election of this 
very small portion, which alone bore the semblance of representation, exhibited 
a disgraceful and afflicting scene of bribery, intemperance, riot, animosity and 

The necessity of ruling Ireland through her own Parliament, introduced by 
recent events, soon made a seat in the House of Commons an object of keen 
and expensive contention to the court and rival factions among the aristocracy. 
Every engine of influence, intrigue and corruption was employed by the hostile 
parties; the peace of society was disturbed; the integrity of the elector awed 
or seduced, while a few rare instances of talents and patriotism returned to 
the Parliament served but to illustrate more strongly the baseness of the sur- 
rounding crowd, unmoved by the charms of reason and eloquence, by the power 
of virtuous example, or the dread of public execration. 

To denominate a system of which such a House of Commons constituted 
a part, and that the part on which the character of the whole essentially de- 
pended, a free constitution was an insult to the understanding and a cruel 
mockery of the wretchedness which had groaned for ages beneath a foreign 
yoke. To look to such a House of Commons for the exercise of independent 
legislation, for protection to infant trade, for encouragement to arts, science 
and morals, for healing religious animosities by impartial and magnanimous 
justice, for raising Ireland from a state of poverty and humiliation to pros- 
perity, dignity and strength, for guarding her rights and her interests from the 
force or the fraud of foreign despotism long exercised without control and 
without mercy, to look to such a House of Commons for virtue like this, could 
be only the baseless vision of a disordered imagination. 

Scarcely had the Irish Parliament been emancipated from the usurped 
supremacy of the British legislature, when the question of reform in the na- 
tional representation began to engage the attention of the men by whose spirit 
and perseverance that emancipation had been effected. The absolute necessity 
of reform, in order to complete the great work of national regeneration, forced 
itself with irresistible conviction on every reflecting and unprejudiced mind, 
while the formidable array of a Volunteer convention seemed calculated to bear 
down all opposition to the measure. In that convention, however, the ardor 
of a generous enthusiasm had already subsided. By the demands of exclusive 
liberty that convention seemed to court and to deserve the mortification which 
it endured. History has seldom to record the triumph of reason over preju- 
dice; her common and melancholy task is to portray the disastrous effects of 
false principles and malignant passions, to connect the degradation of man 
with the causes of his weakness and corruption, and to trace the conspiracy 
of a profligate' few against the rights and happiness of millions. 

60 Two Plans Defeated 

If upon the late change in the political condition of Ireland, a conviction 
of the necessity of a further and more important change has been immediately 
pressed upon the public mind, the very state of things, which had produced that 
early and well-founded conviction, began as immediately to operate its natural 
effect, in creating a determined and fierce resistance to every attempt at refor- 
mation. The English Court had recovered from its perplexity and alarm, and 
had formed a fixed determination to oppose to the utmost the growing spirit 
of national emancipation. The Irish Parliament presented the obvious means 
of opposing this spirit with success. That Parliament had been raised to a 
rank in legislation by which the great majority of its members became more 
firmly leagued together than ever, by the constant and powerful operation of 
private interest against the rights and interests of their native land. Foreign 
influence quickly succeeded foreign legislation, and domestic corruption became 
henceforward the necessary instrument of foreign domination. 

The Parliament felt at once the advantage of its situation, and appropriated 
to itself as real characteristics all the figurative epithets with which a glowing 
eloquence had emblazoned its recent exaltation ; when called upon to reform, 
it assumed the lofty tone of offended majesty. The Volunteer convention 
bowed before the idol, which superstition had clothed with omnipotence. The 
affected importance of national delegation served but to render the humiliation 
of that convention more complete, from the secret conviction that three-fourths 
of the people, uninterested in its success, could not sympathize in its defeat. 
The Protestant mind, as yet only disposed to cease from persecution, but 
neither expanded to benevolence nor enlightened to justice, was startled at the 
idea of Catholic liberty. The convention, conscious of its weakness, shrank 
from a contest to which it was unequal, and the Volunteers of Ireland experi- 
enced the first effects of independent legislation in a contemptuous recom- 
mendation "to convert their swords into ploughshares". When the first plan 
of reform was introduced into the Irish Parliament, one of the professed 
grounds of rejection was the character of the assembly by which it had been 
prepared. It was said to have originated with a body of armed men and to 
be proposed to the House at the point of the bayonet. This objection, however 
fallacious, and notoriously adopted for the purposes of deception, was studi- 
ously removed. The attempt was renewed, supported by numerous petitions 
from all parts of the kingdom. Mr. Pitt was now minister of England. His 
disastrous career had commenced with brilliant exertions in favor of reform. 
His lofty eloquence had been mistaken for the emanation of an ardent and 
virtuous mind, and the cold duplicity of his character had not yet been un- 
folded. His advancement to power was considered as an era auspicious to 
liberty, and Ireland rejoiced in the commencement of an administration, which 
had deluged her with blood and contemplated her destruction. The second 
effort of reform met with the same determined opposition from the Parliament 
as the first. The murmurs of a disunited people were heard with indifference, 
and could be despised with impunity. As the cause of defeat, however, was 
either not yet understood, or could not be removed, a new attempt was soon 

Public Sentiment Defied <>1 

made to carry the measure by merel) a new disposition of the force, by which 
it was originally conceived that success might be secured. Delegates chosen 
by counties and cities met again in the metropolis in 11.S5, to concentrate the 
scattered sentiments of the country on this great question of national safety. 
and to digest a new plan of reform. 

A new plan of reform was accordingly prepared, in some respect differing 
from the former plans, but still founded on the same narrow basis of exclusive 
rights. As its principle was the same, so was its fate. It was rejected by the 
House of Commons with the most marked contempt for the wishes even of 
that portion of the people, to whose reiterated demands no objection could be 
raised on the ground of religious incapacity. In these inefficient efforts for 
obtaining reform, while a variety of objections were raised by the Parliament 
to the particular nature of every plan proposed, it was the reform and not the 
plan, which really excited its reprobation. Every possible modification of 
reform would have been received by that assembly and by the British min- 
isters with the same hostility, as a presumptuous attempt to subvert a system 
of monopoly and corruption in a vile and venal aristocracy, by which that 
aristocracy was to be the instrument of British supremacy, now that the direct 
legislative supremacy of the British Parliament had been formally renounced. 
Resistance to reform originated in the same principle of ruling Ireland as 
a subject state, by which she had been so long desolated and enfeebled ; and in 
the same intestine divisions, which had hitherto confirmed the bondage of Irish- 
men, oppression still found its ignoble support. This resistance on the part 
of the government was soon marked by acts of injustice and violence, which 
exposed the vain imagination that with the forms had been also transferred 
to Ireland the spirit of a free constitution. 

In attacks on the liberty of the press ; in attempts to prevent legal peaceable 
meetings of the people for the purpose of deliberating on the best means of 
reform ; in proceedings by the summary and unconstitutional mode of attach- 
ment against sheriffs for convening and presiding at such meetings, proceed- 
ings subversive of the trial by jury, and a flagrant usurpation of power in the 
King's Bench, in matters clearly out of its jurisdiction ; in these and similar 
exertions of licentious authority was early evinced a contempt for all ac- 
knowledged rights and privileges, whenever their violation should appear 
necessary to awe or restrain the voice of the people. From the beginning of 
the conflict the desperate determination of the government, to defend an ini- 
quitous system by every means and at every hazard, may be discovered and 
ought to be traced, in order to form a just estimate of the real causes of the 
calamitous scenes which followed. 

In the temper and conduct of Government from the beginning may be seen 
fatal symptoms of those arbitrary principles, of that haughty defiance of public 
sentiment and feeling, of that settled purpose of subduing the rising spirit of 
the nation, which led first to a system of legislative coercion, silencing the 
voice of truth, and terminated in a furious and sanguinary system of exter- 
mination by law and by the sword. 

62 New Commercial Arrangement 

While such was the early and obstinate resistance opposed to parliamentary 
reform, a memorable example was presented to the nation of the imperious 
necessity of the measure, as the only means of guarding its recent acquisitions 
and future hopes against foreign encroachment and domestic treachery. The 
plan of a new commercial arrangement between Britain and Ireland proposed 
by the British minister in 1785, with all the circumstances attending its progress 
and final issue, afforded a striking illustration of the nature of these acqui- 
sitions and the foundation of these hopes. It was demonstrated by an experi- 
ment addressed to every understanding, that the security of whatever Ireland 
had obtained, that the hope of whatever she might anticipate, depended abso- 
lutely on the attainment of such a reform in the representation of the people 
as would make the House of Commons the faithful guardians of the rights 
and interests of an independent nation. Without such a reform the destiny 
of Ireland appeared evidently to rest on the mere will of the British Cabinet 
and on the quantum of corruption which that Cabinet might at any time think 
it expedient to employ for the accomplishment of its wishes ; without such a 
reform it was manifest that the commercial and political views of British 
statesmen, the jealousy, the avarice, or the folly of the British merchant and 
manufacturer, must continue to be the standard of Irish prosperity. • 

In the commencement, indeed, of this interesting transaction, the minister 
confessed a truth, which the complicated wretchedness of ages loudly pro- 
claimed : "that the constant object of the policy exercised by the English gov- 
ernment in regard to Ireland had been to disbar her from the enjoyment and 
use of her own resources, and to make her completely subservient to the in- 
terest and opulence of Britain". 

Within a very few years this system, according to the minister had been 
entirely reversed, and a liberal, enlightened and comprehensive policy had suc- 
ceeded to the jealousy and bigotry of past ages. 

Upon this new policy he now prefessed to act. With his mind irradiated 
with this recent illumination he brought forward his new system, liberal, bene- 
ficial and permanent. But this upright and beneficent statesman, this elo- 
quent advocate of Irish commerce and negro emancipation, had been led away 
by the romantic visions of speculative justice, and was soon compelled to 
acknowledge the necessity of modifying his original plan by the vulgar standard 
of British liberality. <i 

The original plan, in the form of eleven propositions, had been warmly re- 
ceived and hastily adopted by the Irish Parliament. But, notwithstanding this 
general approbation, which seemed at first to have also pervaded the nation, 
the proposed arrangement, however specious and alluring, was in reality a 
covered attack on the newly redeemed rights of Ireland in commerce and con- 
stitution. The sagacity of a few had at once discovered and marked the de- 
ception. But it became unnecessary to impress by argument their conviction 
on the minds of others. The nation was soon roused from its dream of British 
generosity by a direct attack too flagrant to be disguised or mistaken. 

The eleven original propositions were returned to Ireland from the English 

Original Measures Changed 63 

Parliament enlarged to the number of twenty, so modified and changed as to 
excite in a large portion even in the Irish Mouse of Commons sentiments of. 
horror, indignation and contempt. Yet even these latter propositions, thus 
altered, containing a formal surrender of the lately acquired independence 
of the Irish Parliament, in commercial laws and external legislation, together 
with a grant of perpetual tribute to England, and an abdication of Irish Ma- 
rine; even these propositions, thus injurious and insulting, thus restrictive of 
the infant trade and mortal to the infant constitution of Ireland; even these 
propositions, in three years after the lofty assertion of the national inde- 
pendence of Ireland, were supported by a majority of her house of repre- 
sentatives, the supposed delegated guardians of that independence. 

The measure, it is true, was abandoned by the minister. At the com- 
mencement of his political career he did not judge it wise to press a measure 
so justly odious to the Irish nation, when he found that the spirit, which had 
awed Britain in 1782 was not yet extinct. The corruption of the Parliament, 
which in 17S5 could surrender the glories of 1783, might inspire him with 
reasonable confidence that at some future period, a more fatal attack might be 
attempted with success. With such a Parliament he might deem it unnecessary 
to stipulate expressly for the controlling supremacy of England in external 
trade or in anything else ; or, meditating on the nature of a Parliament, thus 
vile and traitorous in three years after its deliverance from bondage, he might 
even then have anticipated the consummation of its baseness at the close of 
the eighteenth century. Though the measure was abandoned by the minister, 
it was, in its nature and circumstances, calculated to awaken the most serious 
alarms in the people of Ireland for the safety of that trade and constitution, 
from which so much prosperity had been fondly expected. 

The measure had professedly originated in a conviction of the justice and 
expediency of a more equal and liberal arrangement of the commercial inter- 
course between the countries. From that free trade, which had been granted 
by the policy, or extorted from the fears of England, Ireland had derived few 
of those advantages, respecting which such sanguine expectations were at first 
indulged. With all her boasted attainments of commerce and independence, 
her manufacturers were starving. Protecting duties were loudly called for 
by the people, and sternly denied by the Parliament under the influence of the 
minister. The Irish trade presented an appearance of national agency alto- 
gether incompatible with the British policy of imperial regulation. That policy 
could only be satisfied by compelling the Irish nation to look from its own 
legislature to England for relief. The original plan of the minister was 
viewed by the most discerning with distrust, as illusory in its benefits and 
insidious in its compensations. But admitting it to be as liberal as its advo- 
cates proclaimed, it soon appeared that Ireland must depend, not on the com- 
prehensive wisdom of the statesman, but on the narrow bigotry of the counting- 
house ; that either the minister had never been sincere, or had quickly learned 
that to sacrifice the interests, invade the rights and despise the sufferings of 
Ireland were traditional dogmas of British policy, which he must hold sacred 

64 Parliamentary Corruption 

if he wished to be the British minister. His liberality was found to terminate 
in an attempt to take advantage of the dejection of a distressed people to 
cheat them into a surrender of both trade and legislation, and a majority of 
the Irish Commons was found vile enough to conspire with foreign perfidy 
against national independence. When within three years after repeal and 
renunciation, within three years after England had abjured all claim to im- 
perial legislation, and had in the most solemn manner recognized the unlimited 
absolute right in the Irish Parliament to legislate exclusively for Ireland, such 
an attempt could be made by a British minister and supported by an Irish 
House of Commons, all abstract reasoning on the necessity of a reform became 

An example pregnant with the most melancholy instruction was now ad- 
dressed to the common sense and common feelings of every man who could 
reflect or feel on the rights and interests of his country. In proportion to 
the joy of a present escape was the dread of future calamity, when calm re- 
flection had succeeded to the tumult of victory. 

The temporary transport passed away, and the pride of a precarious triumph 
was soon humbled by a view of the real danger and real weakness of the 
victors. Uniformly plundered and oppressed by Britain, and almost blotted 
out from the memory of nations, Ireland in a moment of glory had redeemed 
herself from obscurity and reproach. But her difficulties seemed to multiply 
with her pretensions. 

The claim of independence was a claim to danger as well as to happiness. 
The danger seemed every day to increase, the chances of happiness to diminish. 
The Parliament advanced in confidence, as it advanced in corruption. Neither 
emanating from the nation, nor sympathizing in the national distress, it uni- 
formly condemned the sentiments and sacrificed the interests of the people. 

As a great measure in the representation, so, with perfect consistency, every 
attempt at subordinate reform was opposed with haughty defiance, or dismissed 
with insulting disdain. 

A place bill, a pension bill, a responsibility bill, were successively rejected 
by rank majorities, and with circumstances of such marked indifference to the 
opinion, the grievances, and the complaints of the people, as not only demon- 
strated the magnitude of corruption, but evinced the desperate purpose of de- 
fending it to the last, under every form, and in all its abominations. The 
corruption was even presumptuously avowed by the servants of the Crown in the 
representative assembly of the nation. Peerages were sold by Government to 
purchase seats in the Commons, and all enquiry into this monstrous prostitution 
of the royal prerogative refused. The infamous traffic of boroughs was con- 
ducted with the most shameless publicity. Private jobs for the aggrandizement 
of particular families or individuals, either originated in the Parliament, or re- 
ceived its sanction. A system of profligate expense was supported by a system 
of profligate taxation, destructive of the industry, the health and the morals 
of the people. A vile aristocracy, courted, flattered, paid and despised, calumni- 
ating the country which it plundered, and converted the new legislative powers 

Radical Changes Imperative 

of the Irish Parliament into a source of private revenue. The nation, taxed 
without its consent, paid the very bribes by which it was undone, and Britain 
raised a tribute in Ireland, by means of an Irish Parliament, to perpetuate the 
old relation of imperial rule and provisional subjection, under the new phrase- 
ology introduced at the era of 1782. 

In the course of a very few years from that memorable era, the anticipa- 
tions of reason had been fully confirmed by the evidence of experience. A 
reform in the national representation, which political sagacity had immediately 
connected with the events of that period as indispensable to Irish independence, 
was a measure soon brought home to the understanding of ordinary men, by 
personal observation of existing abuses ; and a strong sentiment of its necessity 
had easily pervaded the reflecting and disinterested part of the nation. 

The foreign power, which had roused to resistance, by an arrogant as- 
sumption of direct supremacy in legislation enforced with senseless severity in 
point of trade, still continued, through the medium of corruption, an indirect 
but absolute and injurious domination, exercised with more temper as to the 
commerce, but with the same violation of the natural rights and dearest in- 
terests of Ireland. By what it vouchsafed to communicate were discerned more 
clearly the benefits withheld. Even the security of commercial advantages 
depended upon interested views of policy in England. 

On her own Parliament Ireland could have no reliance; and if happiness 
consists not more in the actual possession, than in the prospect of its continu- 
ance; if enjoyment in the present rests in excluding all apprehension of the 
future, it was impossible that Irishmen could rejoice in their condition, had 
that condition been as prosperous and exalted as it was calamitous and degrad- 
ing. While the recent advancement of Ireland in trade was freely admitted, it 
was observed to bear no proportion to her capacities ; and the amelioration of 
the wretched state of the lower orders of the people seemed not in the least 
promoted by the change. The same squalid poverty, the same debasing ignorance, 
the same vices and the same crimes, the offspring of that poverty and that 
ignorance, continued to betray unequivocal symptoms of deep and untouched 
defects in the constitution of the government, by which their destiny was 
controlled. Their wretchedness depended upon a variety of causes, constitut- 
ing in the aggregate that miserable system, by which the country had been 
ruled for centuries of desolation, and which nothing but a radical change in the 
principles of legislation, finance, and in the entire political economy of the 
state could ever effectually remove. Such a change could only be expected 
from a national parliament, which, identified in interest with the community, 
would consider the comfort and morality of the mass of the people the great 
object of its care, as the great end of its institution. 

While the lower orders could only be sensible of their misery, but could 
discern neither the cause, nor the remedy, it was felt and acknowledged by 
every enlightened person in the country, uninterested in perpetuating abuse, and 
the opinion had deeply impressed all the middle classes of society, that from 
parliamentary reform alone could be hoped any general and permanent good. 

66 Catholic Rights Considered 

But, though the popular sentiment in favor of this measure was thus gen- 
eral and ardent, the minds of those, who could most influence and direct public 
opinion, had been much agitated and divided as to the nature and extent of the 
reform, which ought to be insisted upon as necessary and safe. This difference 
of sentiment in the friends of reform among the Protestant sects arose chiefly 
from the interesting question, whether the Catholic should be comprehended 
equally with the Protestant in the proposed improvement of. the representation? 
This was a question calculated to engage the most violent passions, the most 
obstinate prejudices and the most lively apprehensions of the Protestant mind. 
Protestants in general had been rapidly advancing towards the idea of emanci- 
pating Catholics from the inhuman penalties and prohibitions of the Popery 
Code ; but the idea of granting the Catholic a complete participation of all civil 
and political rights was violently resisted by any number of honest and en- 
lightened Protestants, whose tolerant principles and zeal for liberty could not 
be doubted, but whose reasonings had taken a bias from their prejudices, or 
their apprehensions, too powerful to be easily changed by argument or by ex- 

The opinion that to admit the Catholics to a community of rights would en- 
danger the established religion and property of the country had hitherto pre- 
vailed. It was an opinion which the first great advocates of reform either 
actually entertained, or to which they submitted from a belief that the measure 
could be more easily carried unencumbered by Catholic claims ; and that under a 
reformed Protestant government, at no very distant period, all distinctions 
might with safety be for ever abolished. The experiment of exclusive reform, 
however, had been repeatedly made, supported by the greatest talents that 
ever adorned the Irish Parliament, and had been made in vain. These talents 
had been supported from without by whatever of authority or of intimidation 
could be derived from the sentiments and resolutions of an armed association, 
formidable in fame, in numbers, in prosperity, in a union of no inconsiderable 
proportion of men of rank, with a mass of general respectability, in such a 
combination of circumstances and character, calculated to impress weight upon 
opinion, that the decided and high-toned reprobation of their interference by 
the Parliament seemed to astonish and confound the delighted representatives 
of such various and commanding titles to respect. The experiment of ex- 
clusive reform had been made under other auspices and had failed. It was op- 
posed by a combination of external power and internal corruption, too power- 
ful to be overcome by the partial efforts of a disunited people. 

While the evil and the remedy agitated all passions, and were canvassed 
by all understandings, the cause of defeat became every day more discernible, 
and the necessity of calling forth the energies of all seemed first to demonstrate 
the injustice of exclusion. In tracing the subjection and calamities of Ireland 
from the introduction of the English power down to the formal abdication of 
the legislative supremacy of England, the disunion of Irishmen must have ap- 
peared to every attentive and candid observer to have been the direful source 
of their degradation. 

Efforts Towards Reform 67 

This disunion had invited invasion and had made conquest permanent. At 
different intervals the power of the rapacious and sanguinary foreigners was 
shaken, hut the want of national views and general co-operation among the 
natives terminated at length in the common subjugation of all. 

When every attempt to expel the invaders from the country was finally re- 
linquished in despair; when a vast portion of the original inhabitants had been 
rooted out by the sword, or by legal proscription, and the space, which they had 
occupied, filled up by Englishmen ; when the descendants of these colonists 
had grown Irishmen in interests, in feelings and in sufferings, it might seem 
reasonable to expect that the connection, by which the two countries were united 
under a common king, would become a connection of reciprocal advantages 
and equal rights, and that Ireland, in her utility and her strength, would pos- 
sess the guarantee of her prosperity and independence. Such indeed might 
have been the final issue of things, but for the unfortunate circumstances, by 
which the disunion of Irishmen was prolonged in a new and more disastrous 
form. But the ultimate division of the people into two great religious denomi- 
nations enfeebled both, and surrendered them an easy prey to the insidious 
policy of England. 

Mutual bigotry blinded the Protestant and the Catholic; it destroyed or 
blunted the social and benevolent feelings ; it engendered the most cruel and 
inveterate suspicions, the events of history, viewed through this deceitful 
medium, were seen neither in their just color nor proportion, and the personal 
experience of the existing generation was borne down by the traditional 
prejudice of the preceding. Towards the era of the Volunteers these religious 
antipathies had become less violent, and in the progressive liberality of that 
illustrious body might have for ever perished. 

But the growing sentiment of general liberty was checked by the artifices 
of the interested, the violence of the intolerant, the apprehensions of the timid, 
and above all by the authority of some men of revered worth and talents, who 
from prejudice or from prudence were decidedly adverse to the admission of 
the Catholic to an equality of political rights. Before the error was fully 
understood and felt in its effects, the early ardor, which might have repaired 
the ruin, had ceased. 

It became necessary to kindle a fresh spirit proportioned to the ends to be 
attained, and the difficulties to be encountered. The magnitude of the abuses 
to be reformed, the obstinacy, with which they were defended, the discomfiture 
of past exertions, the increasing danger of delay, seemed to demand new and 
extraordinary efforts. 

To emancipate public opinion from destructive prejudice, to redeem the 
Protestant character from the stain of persecution, to exalt the Catholic from 
mental darkness and political debasement, to turn all parties from the bitter 
remembrance of past hostility, and from mutual crimination, to the contempla- 
tion of a common country, oppressed and impoverished through the miserable 
delusion of its people ; to dissolve the artificial and mischievous connection be- 
tween politics and religion, to substitute national enthusiasm for sectarian 

68 The United Irishmen 

bigotry; to unite all hearts and combine all talents in the pursuit of parlia- 
mentary reform by interesting the entire nation in its attainment, and by 
means of a legislature really independent ; to secure to Ireland the free exer- 
cise of her powers, and the full enjoyment of her own resources, presented to 
the benevolent, the ardent, and the aspiring mind, the noblest objects of am- 

With such objects before them, a few individuals conceived the idea of 
forming a political association, the essential characteristic of which should be 
the promoting of union among Irishmen of every religious persuasion, in the 
attainment of an equal representation of the people in Parliament, without am 
distinction, founded merely in a difference of religious belief and worship. 
Impressed with a conviction that a radical reform in the popular representation 
could alone establish and secure the liberties of Ireland, and that no reform 
could be either practicable, efficacious or just, which did not comprehend Irish- 
men of every religious sect , deeply impressed with the important conclusion, 
furnished by every page of Irish history and confirmed by the events of every 
passing hour, that the intestine divisions among Irishmen had produced, and, 
while they continued, must confirm their degradation ; the founders of this novel 
institution submitted to their countrymen in forcible and animated language their 
principles and their pretensions. The striking truths which they proclaimed, 
the bold doctrines which they advanced, the great and beneficial ends, which 
they proposed, soon attracted the attention both of the government and the 
people. To the government these appeared most formidable ; to the people 
most alluring. 

The name of the ''Society of United Irishmen," assumed by this celebrated 
association, pointed out at once the source of past calamity and the foundation 
of future hope. It is a name which has been loaded with every reproach, and 
adorned with every praise ; it has left upon the minds of friends and foes im- 
pressions deep and lasting; it has kindled the most violent and opposite pas- 
sions ; it has engaged the most powerful and hostile interests ; it has made the 
noble tremble for his titles, the man of wealth for his abused possessions, an 
endowed priesthood for their Establishment ; it has been connected either really 
or artificially with the most momentous events ; it has presented to the heated 
or affrighted imagination the most magnificent or the most terrific objects; it 
has awed oppression ; it is now allied to misfortune ; how shall it be transmitted 
to posterity in the faithful characters of truth ? 

If you allo'w your foundations to be undermined, your resources destroyed; you must 
expect to see the baseless fabric of Irish independence sink. 

Miss Emmet— To the Irish Parliament— 1799 

Part XII 

Conclusion— Separation of Ireland from England and its erection into a dis- 
tinct and independent nation avowed. 

fBJJGMBS^HCTWl ' ' ' ' ' eighteenth century will furnish 

to the historian by far the most important events which 
have yet marked the progress of the human race. Tin- 
events which have been crowded into this short peril id 
are not only in themselves deeply interesting- to the 
present generation, but will probably be viewed in their 
effects, at no very distant era, as decisive of the future 
destinies of every nation upon earth. 

The mighty struggle between despotism and the 
rights of manhood is indeed suspended for a season, but a triumphant 
issue to the cause of truth and liberty may well be anticipated by sober 
and unprejudiced reason. Insignificant as the history of Ireland may have 
appeared previous to this period, as connected with the fate of other nations, 
the late war between France and England has given an importance to Ireland, 
in the great question between old establishments and the rights of the people, 
which has been widely felt and will not easily be forgotten. That the existence 
of Ireland, as a distinct and independent nation, must necessarily involve the 
subversion of the British monarchy, a revolution in the commerce and a still 
more momentous evolution in the ancient government of Europe, seems to have 
been a proposition well understood and universally conceded by all parties. As 
this proposition is supposed either to have originated with the societies of 
United Irishmen, or to have been eagerly embraced by them when proposed 
by France, an enquiry into the objects and conduct of these associations will 
present a view of Ireland from the year 1?'90 to the peace with France in 1801 
embracing the most important and interesting events in its history during that 

Without the concurrence of the Irish Parliament, the power of the English minister 
•would have been innoxious ; against the wishes of the Irish Parliament, it <would have 
been impotent. 

Miss Emmet. 

A large majority of the Irish nation have irrevocably pronounced their determination 
that Ireland shall sooner or later be released from the grasp of the British Parliament. 
That <oom> is lisped in the first orisons of the child, and mingles 'with the latest 
prayer of the aged and of the dying. 

William Smith O'Brien, "The Nation". 

// it England <who supports that rotten aristocratic faction, among <which not the tenth 
part of your population has arrogated to itself five-sixths of the property and power 
of your nation. 

Theobald Wolfe Tone. 








Merciful God! 'what is the state of Ireland, and •where shall you find the 'wretched in- 
habitant of this land? You may find him perhaps in a gaol, the only place of security, 
I had almost said, of ordinary habitation ; you may see him flying by the conflagra- 
tion of his own dwelling; or you may find his bones bleaching on the green fields of 
his country, or he may be found tossing upon the surface of the ocean, and mingling 
his groans 'with those tempests less savage than his persecutors, that drive him to a 
returnless distance from his family and his home. 

Curran, in defence of Wm. Orr, 1797. 

As to the personal and political virtues of the United Irishmen, there can be no difference — 
the world has never seen a more sincere or more self-sacrificing generation. 

Rev. Patrick F. Kavanagh, "The Insurrection of 1798"- 

Part of an Essay Towards the History of Ireland 

By T. A. Emmet. 

•TKR the king's recovery from his indisposition in 1789, 
the Parliament of Ireland became an object of ridicule 
and contempt from its profligate versatility. Several 
measures, founded more or less on popular principles, 
were proposed by the ( Ipposition ; they were, however, 
uniformly lost, and the failure seemed to excite but little 
public interest. 

The year 1790 was for the most part spent in the 
agitation and corruption of contested elections. 
But an event was now taking place, which seemed calculated to make an 
epoch in the history of every nation, and which has peculiarly acted on the con- 
dition of Ireland. The French Revolution was beginning to unfold its im- 
mense importance. In order the better to understand its effects on that country, 
it may be advisable to take a short view of its situation and political sentiments 
at that period. 

The situation of Ireland, in respect to strength, opulence, prosperity and 
happiness, was never a subject of exultation or praise to the humane or reflect- 
ing mind. Her destitution of every manufacture but one, her fisheries unex- 
plored, her noble harbors unoccupied, her navigable rivers unheeded, her 
inland improvements neglected, her unreclaimed bogs and mountains, her 
uncultivated fields, her unemployed, houseless, starved, uneducated peasantry, 
had been long the theme of sorrow to the patriot, and of contempt to the 
unfeeling. That her situation, in many of these respects, had greatly improved 
within the ten preceding years, could not admit of doubt ; but enough still 
remained to excite considerable discontent in a suffering people, and to de- 
serve the most serious attention from an honest government. Whatever may 
have been the amount of those grievances, they gave rise to very opposite 
opinions, as to their cause. 

Some supposed, — what has also been asserted of the negro race, — that the 
Irish were an inferior, semi-brutal people, incapable of managing the affairs 
of their country, and submitted, by the necessity of their nature, to some 
superior power, from whose interference and strength they must exclusively 
derive their domestic tranquillity, as well as their foreign protection ; and to 
whose bounty they must owe whatever they can enjoy of trade, commerce, 
comfort or opulence. Those who entertained this opinion, said, that from the 


74 Act of Uniformity 

insignificant extent and unfortunate locality of Ireland, she was doomed to be 
dependent either on England or France ; and that, of course, not only gratitude, 
but policy should make her cling to that state, with whom her interests had 
been interwoven for ages, and from whose fostering protection she had derived 
her civil and religious liberty, together with all the blessings of which she 
could boast. These assertions, both of a natural inferiority, and of the im- 
mutable necessity of submission, which had been for ages not uncommon in 
England, chiefly found their Irish advocates in those who might lay claim to 
be regenerated by the force of English connections and habits, or who, at least, 
felt themselves qualified, by a peculiar felicity of exception, to fill the office 
and enjoy the emoluments of the Irish government. 

Others, however, whose pride, perhaps, would not permit them to allow a 
natural inferiority, asserted, that the source of Ireland's misfortunes was to 
be traced back to remote antiquity. 

History and a knowledge of her laws and government enable us, they said, 
to detect the cause of all her calamities. She was subdued and ruled by the 
sword; she was depopulated by the ravages of war, and wasted by perpetual 
and bloody conflicts between settlers and natives ; she was occasionally tran- 
quillized by despoiling from a fresh portion of the aboriginal inhabitants their 
hereditary properties ; and repeopled through confiscation and forfeitures. 
Even the Reformation itself, by which so many other countries were illustrated 
and improved, was made an instrument for brutalizing Ireland. Without con- 
sulting the opinions of the Irish; without compassionating or endeavoring by 
reason to dispel their errors ; without affording means of improvement, or 
time for those means to operate, their religion was regulated by Act of Parlia- 
ment, to the precise standard of English faith. Although the natives entirely 
rejected, and scarcely any, even of the settlers, adopted these new tenets, yet, 
by force of the Act of Uniformity, every man was compelled to attend on, 
and conform to the Protestant worship ; while, by force of a royal proclamation, 
every man was interdicted the exercise of the Catholic religion, its clergy 
were banished, and the severest penalties denounced against those who dared 
to give them hospitality or shelter. Nor was this all ; a code of disfranchise- 
ment, robbery, persecution, oppression and debasement was further, and in 
more civilized times, erected as a buttress to what might in mockery have been 
called, the Church of Ireland. The inhabitants of that devoted country, in 
name a nation, in fact a province planted with a colony, — were studiously kept 
at variance and distracted by civil and religious pretexts, that they might never 
coalesce for the attainment of national objects. Her government was per- 
mitted to extend over the land, only in proportion as the English Pale was 
widened; and even then, its members (for the most part, from their birth or 
dispositions), its feelings, legislation and ordinances, were entirely English. 
Whenever a clashing of interests between the two isles was perceived or ap- 
prehended, Ireland was forced to yield to the overbearing ascendancy of an 
insatiable and jealous rival. Her commerce was fettered, her manufactures 
surrendered, her raw materials delivered over, her population drained, her 

The Irish Government 

resources exhausted, her agriculture neglected, — all to aggrandize the power 
from which her government was derived, and with which her governors are 

If, in one instance, a brilliant exception cheers the afflicted memory, to what 
is it to he attributed? To the military array of Ireland; to the transitory dis- 
play of something like national energy m the Irish people; to the alarm of 
England; to the panic of its government, lest another oppressed province 
should imitate the example of America, and assert its independence, in alliance 
with France. The restrictions on the Irish trade were repealed by the English 
Parliament itself, in the moment of consternation and weakness; their removal 
was not a gift from liberality or affection, hut a restoration from fear. Even 
the constitutional arrangements of 1782, insignificant as subsequent experience 
has shown them to he, were solely produced by the momentary influence of 
the Irish people on the English Government. The Parliament of Ireland con- 
stantly resisted every proposal for asserting the national independence, so long 
as that resistance was agreeable to the ministers of England ; nor did its 
chameleon color change, until the object on which its undeviating eyes were 
fixed had assumed a short-lived splendor. 

Those arrangements, however, gave to Ireland no more than the mere 
name of independence. She is still a province, and still destitute of a national 
government. Her rulers are English, and totally divested of all kind of Irish 
responsibility. Her legislature is devoted to the English ministry, and prac- 
tically unconnected with the Irish nation. On the Lords it would be absurd 
to bestow a thought ; nor are the Commons deserving of more attention. 
Three-fourths of the people are formally excluded, by the Catholic laws, from 
being counted among their constituents ; and the other fourth is but as dust in 
the balance. Exclusive of private adventures in the political market, about 
thirty individuals, principally Lords, possess the power of returning a majority 
in the House of Commons, and even two-thirds of the representation are en- 
grossed by less than one hundred persons. These wholesale dealers as regu- 
larly sell their members as a country grazier does his cattle, and the steady 
purchaser is the British agent. Such is the Irish Government. 

As to inferiority of nature, added they, it is peculiarly absurd, when asserted 
of a people composed of settlers from so many different countries. It is 
obviously false of the Irish, who, even at home, though deprived of whatever 
stimulus to genius or industry may result from trade and commerce; though 
nearly interdicted from education by law, and for the most part, debarred 
from it by poverty ; though brayed and crushed under the weight of so many 
vicious institutions, yet show themselves sagacious, brave, warmhearted and 
enterprising; but wdien abroad, they are released from the oppressions of their 
native land, and can enter into the career of fair and honorable competition ; 
then, even unsupported by interest or connection, they prove themselves worthy 
of the utmost confidence, and of the highest distinctions in council and in 
the field. 

As to the natural necessity of seeking protection from a superior state. 

76 Natural Resources of Ireland 

it is scarcely credible, said they, of a country which is intersected with navi- 
gable rivers and indented with the finest bays ; which is blest with a temperate 
climate, a diversified and fruitful soil, productive mines and inexhaustible 
fisheries ; which is also situated in one of the most advantageous points for uni- 
versal commerce, particularly since the rapidly increasing demands of America, 
seem to open an incalculable market. The assertion can not be true of a 
country, which, in itself protected by its insular situation, contains 19,000 
square miles ; which, by being sacrificed to the aggrandizement of England^ 
and turned into its best market, instead of its most formidable competitor, 
has probably increased the capital and opulence of that kingdom by almost 
one-third ; which, notwithstanding repeated wars, constant emigration, and 
want of trade, manufactures or agriculture, has been able to create and sup- 
port a population of five millions ; which furnishes to Europe some of her most 
distinguished officers, to the British army about one-half of its soldiers, and 
to her navy almost two-thirds of its seamen ; and which, after paying the ex- 
penses of its own extravagant government, and many useless establishments,, 
is able to pour without reserve or return, four millions annually into the lap 
of Britain, — even perhaps an infinitely larger sum, if a fair estimate could be 
made of the enormous rents unproductively remitted to Irish absentees, — and 
of the losses, that Ireland still sustains, to the benefit of England, by the 
slowly disappearing effects of those commercial restraints, which for a cen- 
tury, annihilated her trade, in every article but linen ; and which, by their sur- 
viving consequences, still continue to surrender her foreign and domestic 
markets to a country, in natural productions, as well as in every commercial 
and manufacturing point of view, essentially her rival. 

Scarcely any, however, of those who entertained these sentiments har- 
bored a thought of destroying the connection between the two kingdoms. 

Ireland, said they, in its early infancy received an incurable organic injury, 
which will always prevent her rising to her natural strength and stature as a 
nation. But since it is incurable, it must be borne with resignation, and the 
best office that affection or science can perform, is to relieve, by occasional 
palliatives, whatever symptoms may become urgent or dangerous. Let us en- 
deavor to procure some alleviation for our peasantry, by encouraging agricul- 
ture, by bettering their situation, and by mitigating their burthens ; let us 
bargain, as prudently as we can, for the commercial arrangements that remain 
unsettled ; but, above all things, let us labor to give a national and patriotic 
spirit to our legislature, by restraining the force of English influence, by 
checking the profligate extent of corruption, and by correcting the enormously 
unequal and inadequate state of the representation in Parliament. 

Such were the views and objects of even the most ardent Irish patriots 
before the commencement of the French Revolution. 

It must not be supposed that one or other of the very opposite opinions 
already stated, respecting the cause of Ireland's calamities, and the system 
of policy she should pursue, was entertained, in its full extent, by every person 
in the country. On the contrary, each intermediate sentiment had its advo- 

Protestant Support of* England 

cates ; and, contradictory as the extremes may appear, they were sometimes 
blended, almost always diversified and modified, according to the different 
points of view, in which the I'.riiish constitution and connection were regarded, 
from interests or prejudices, from education or habits, from information or 
ignorance, from inconsideration or deep reflection. Perhaps a knowledge of 
these points of view may be best obtained by examining into the state and 
opinions of the leading religious sects. 

Religion may be said to have separated Ireland into two people, the Prot- 
estants and Catholics. The Protestants were divided into the members 
of the Church of England and the Dissenters. Both of these had been in their 
origin foreign colonists, introduced and enriched in consequence of long- 
continued massacres and warfare, of confiscations and new grants, of ousters 
under the Popery Laws, and acquisitions as Protestant discoverers; by all of 
which the original Irish had been systematically dispossessed or extirpated, 
and the dependence of their country on another state permanently secured. 

The members of the Church of England, not exceeding one-tenth of the 
people, possessed almost the whole government and five-sixths of the landed 
property of the nation, which they inherited by odious and polluted titles. 
For a century they had nearly engrossed the profits and patronage of the 
Church, the law, the revenue, the army, the navy, the magistracy and the cor- 
porations of Ireland, deriving their superiority and consequence from the 
interweaving of the ecclesiastical establishment with the civil authority of 
the country. Independent of religious animosity, their desire to retain what 
they possessed, made them regard with aversion and mistrust the Catholics 
whom they had oppressed, and from whom they dreaded a resumption of 
property, should any change render the measure practicable ; and their eager- 
ness to monopolize what they so largely enjoyed, excited the jealousy of the 
Dissenters, who shared with them somewhat of the emoluments of power. 
Conscious also of their natural weakness, they saw their only security in the 
superiority and assistance of England to the aggrandizement of which they 
were therefore uniformly devoted. The protection of that country was indeed 
afforded to them ; but in return they paid the surrender of the commerce and 
liberties of Ireland. During the American Revolution, concurrent circum- 
stances had enabled and emboldened the other sects to hurry them into measures, 
by which that commerce and those liberties were partially resumed ; but their 
dispositions remained unchanged, and faithful to their interests, they still 
continued to defend the British connection as the bulwark of their importance 
and strength. 

The Dissenters, who were originally settled for the most part in Ulster, 
regarded no doubt with filial affection the country from whence they came, and 
with contempt and dislike the people whom they displaced. They also detested 
Catholics with the fanatic fervor that characterized the early disciples of 
Knox and Calvin. Their descendants, however, possessing few overgrown 
landed properties, and being mostly engaged in manufactures and trade, did 
not feel a dependence on England as essential to their existence or happiness ; 

78 Dissenters and Catholics 

but they felt the commercial restrictions to which it gave rise as injurious to 
their prosperity and pursuits. They were twice as numerous as the Lutherans,* 
and had not the same inducement of weakness and fears, for seeking support 
and succor in the arms of a foreign power. The predilection for their native 
country being therefore checked by no extraneous causes, they gradually 
ceased to consider themselves in any other light than Irishmen; they became 
anxious for Ireland's welfare, and sensible of its wrongs. Lovers of liberty, 
and almost republicans from religion, from education and early habits, 
they sympathized with the Americans, when that kindred people was struggling 
to shake off the British yoke. They principally composed in their own island 
the never-to-be-forgotten Volunteers, and most energetically raised their voices 
and their arms in favor of its commercial freedom and constitutional independ- 
ence, as far as those points were at that time understood. They were even 
suspected of aiming at separation from England. There was, however, no 
union of sentiment or sense of common interests among the different religious 
sects sufficiently strong to justify the hope that Ireland could maintain itself 
as a distinct power ; and many, in whom the efforts of the transatlantic colonies 
had necessarily excited congenial wishes, apprehended that it must be de- 
pendent on either England or France. 

In this alternative the Dissenters saw no room to hesitate ; for however great 
their admiration of America and its constitutions, they preferred England when 
contrasted with France, for the freedom of its government ; and would not by 
a change of masters risk the horrors of Popery and slavery which they had 
been taught to .believe and boast that their forefathers had combatted and 
repelled. They, however, continued to be distinguished by their zeal in pursuit 
of parliamentary reform, and of every other measure founded on the principles 
of democracy and liberty. 

The Catholics were the descendants of the primitive Irish, or of those early 
settlers whom the Reformation had identified with the aboriginal inhabitants. 
While in the violence of contest, the adherents of the Pope everywhere re- 
garded with hatred and horror the sects that had separated from his Church, 
unquestionably the Irish Catholics strongly participated in the common feel- 
ings; but they were rapidly disappearing in Ireland as in the rest of Europe. 
Those men, however, still continued estranged from their Protestant country- 
men by causes much more substantial than religious bigotry. They were nearly 
three-fourths of the population, and instead of enjoying the estates of their 
forefathers, they scarcely possessed one-fifteenth of the landed property of 
the kingdom. To this state they had been reduced by various causes which 
might have been forgotten in the lapse of years, but that one still remained in 
the code called the Popery Laws, which by its continued operation perpetuated 
the remembrance of the past, excited resentment for the present, and appre- 
hensions for the future. Nor was that the only injury they experienced from 

*When Mr. Emmet wrote the above those who accepted Luther's views were termed "Lutherans" 
and those who followed Calvin were "Calvinists." The Lutherans formed the Protestant Churchy now 
the Church of England "as by Law Prescribed," and claimed to be tlie Protestants. The Calvinists 
were termed Dissenters and not Protestants, as they had dissented from the Established Church. The 
term Anglican is in use only from about the middle of the last century. 

Popery Laws 

these laws, which undermined the affections, controlled the attachments, re- 
strained the industry, closed the prospects, prohibited the education, and pun 
ished the religion of those against whom they were enacted. This code had 
indeed suffered some mitigation within the last twelve years; but enough still 
remained to injure and to degrade. 

The effect of such a complicated system of persecution and oppression upon 
its victims may be easily conceived. The peasantry were reduced to a lament- 
able state of physical wretchedness and moral degradation. Even the gentry 
were broken down ; and, though individually brave, and characteristically na- 
tional, they seemed devoid of collective courage and political spirit. The 
Catholics loved Ireland with enthusiasm, not only as their country, but as the 
partner of their calamities; to the actual interposition of England, or to its 
immediate influence, they ascribed their sufferings, civil and religious, with 
those of their forefathers. Hereditary hatred, therefore, and sense of injury 
had always conspired with national pride and patriotism to make them adverse 
to that country and enemies to British connection. This they had often mani- 
fested, when there was a prospect of doing it with success. Now, however, 
they appeared only anxious to soften the rigors of their situation by an uniform 
support of Government, which had carefully insinuated to them that it was 
their protector against the other sects, but most especially against the Dis- 
senters, and that it alone prevented the severe execution of the Popery Laws. 
This obsequiousness on the part of the Catholics, their former well-known 
attachment to the French Court while they could hope for its assistance, and 
some remaining prejudices against their religion itself, caused them to be 
regarded by the Protestants as unfit for liberty and hostile to its establishment. 

Much mutual distrust and alienation naturally flowed from this difference 
of interests, sentiments and opinions. Some progress towards conquering them, 
had, indeed, been made in the time of the Volunteers ; but the antipathies of 
centuries were far from being completely removed. For that reason, when, 
in the Volunteer Convention, called together in 1784, for the purpose of bring- 
ing about a parliamentary reform, the delegates from Belfast, obedient to the 
early liberality and enlightened instructions of their constituents, supported the 
equal admission of Catholics to the rights of free men, they were left almost 
alone. The plan of representation proposed by that assembly was founded on 
the exclusive privilege of Protestants ; and because its base was so narrow 
(the prejudices of the times not perhaps admitting of its being enlarged), it 
was easily defeated ; for the people felt no interest in that from which they 
were to derive no benefit. The French Revolution, however, paved the way 
for the entire accomplishment of what the Volunteer institution had begun. 
A Catholic country had, by its conduct, contradicted the frequently repeated 
dogma, that Catholics are unfit for liberty ; and the waning glory of the British 
constitution seemed to fade before the regenerated government of France. 
These things sunk deep into the minds of the Dissenters, who likewise saw 
another lesson of liberality enforced by their new teachers : that no religious 
opinions should be punished by civil disfranchisement. The Catholics, on their 

80 Injustice of Tithes 

part, perhaps, derived some instruction from the same event. If there was 
any truth in the imputation of their being unfit for freedom, which is much 
more than problematical, it must be confessed that this striking example 
quickly changed their opinions and feelings ; and that as the French Revolution 
reconciled the Protestant reformer to his Catholic countrymen, so it ripened 
the Catholics for liberty. 

Another circumstance seemed also to draw nearer together the Catholics 
and Dissenters, and to excite in them a common admiration of that Revolu- 
tion ; an identity of opinions and interest on the subject of tithes, which had 
for many years been a topic of violent discussion at home, and were recently 
abolished in France. Nowhere, perhaps, on earth, were tithes more unpopular, 
or considered by the people as a greater grievance than in Ireland. They went 
to the support of an Established clergy that preached a religion which was 
adopted by only one-tenth of the nation, and which was not merely disbelieved, 
but considered as heresy, by three-fourths of those that were forced to pay 
them. They had been the frequent subject of partial insurrection, and were 
always the fertile source of general discontent; so that the French reformers, 
by abolishing them, exceedingly increased the numbers, and awoke the energy 
of their Irish admirers. Accordingly, the approbation of that Revolution was 
very early, as well as extensive in Ireland; and the impulse it communicated 
to the public mind has given direction to all that country's subsequent political 

The example of France, in not permitting civil disqualification to result 
from any profession of religious belief, impressed itself most powerfully on 
the minds of many Protestants. They felt not only the justice, but the wisdom 
of liberality, and became convinced that a similar measure, with an entire ob- 
livion of all religious feuds and jealousies, was necessary to the peace and 
prosperity of Ireland. Some of them, considering more maturely the argu- 
ments respecting the admission of Catholics to the rights of citizenship, which 
had been fruitlessly urged in 1784, during the exertions for amending the 
parliamentary representation, and deriving instruction from the defeat of that 
measure to which they were ardent friends, wished to array the members of 
that religion also in support of reform, by giving them an interest in its success. 
If it were combined with Catholic Emancipation, and its Protestant advocates 
could be induced to forego their sectarial prejudices, the chance in favor of 
both objects would be infinitely increased by the union. Reform would be 
again raised from the neglect into which it had fallen since its rejection by 
Parliament, and would derive additional consequence from a fresh reinforce- 
ment of popular support. The Catholics would count among their friends 
those whose hostility had hitherto appeared to be the chief obstacle to their 
relief; and the two sects being engaged in pursuit of the same object, their 
former distrust and animosities would vanish before their common interest. 

The first step towards the accomplishment of this plan was naturally taken 
by the Dissenters in the North, whose habit of public discussion, ardent love 
of liberty, and greater independence of Government, emboldened them to 

Influence of Clubs 81 

begin. They felt also that, as their forefathers had been pre-eminently instru- 
mental in oppressing the Catholics, justice as well as policy required them to 
make the earliest advances towards conciliation and union. Before that time, 
the violent prejudices, vaunted superiority and repulsive arrogance of the 
Protestants in general, had placed Mich a gulf of separation between the 
followers of the two religions, that the Catholics, the most enlightened and 
attached to liberty, despaired of effecting anything in conjunction with their 
countrymen; and. however reluctantly, were forced to purchase occasional 
mitigations of the penal code by dependency on the Court and humble solicita- 
tions at the Castle. But it is unquestionable that when that body saw itself 
likely to be supported by a considerable portion of the Protestants, it mani- 
fested a perfect willingness to make common cause. The spirit of religious 
liberty having made great progress in the province of Ulster, it was intended 
at a public celebration of the French Revolution, on the 14 July, 1791, at Bel- 
fast, the political capital of the North, to introduce a collateral resolution in 
favor of admitting the Catholics to the rights of citizenship, which was, how- 
ever, withdrawn, from an apprehension that the minds of those present were 
not yet fully prepared for the measure. It was shortly afterwards received 
and adopted by the first Belfast Volunteer Company, a remnant of the old 

That resolution drew from the Catholics of Elphin and Jamestown others, 
expressive of their thanks, which were forwarded to Belfast ; and this, at the 
time, almost unheeded event, was the first foundation of an union which in its 
progress seemed destined to strike a tremendous blow against British connec- 

More energetic measures remained still to be adopted. Clubs were long 
used in Great Britain and Ireland for the accomplishment of political objects. 
At this very time, the parliamentary opposition, with its adherents, was asso- 
ciated under the name of the Whig Club ; the most public-spirited citizens of 
Dublin had formed themselves into a society called the "Whigs of the Capi- 
tal" ; and other similar institutions existed in the country parts of the kingdom, 
particularly at Belfast, all professing to revive the decaying principles of 
Whiggism. To the French, however, is the world indebted for completely 
demonstrating the political efficacy of clubs ; and the proof that they were then 
giving pointed out the advantage of employing an instrument which promised 
so much benefit, and which seemed peculiarly calculated for overcoming those 
antipathies that opposed the progress of reform in Ireland. The clubs already 
established seemed by the ancient principles of the party from which they were 
named, as well as by the prejudices of many of their members, rather to exclude 
religious toleration. In consequence, therefore, of an agreement between some 
popular characters in the North and some of the most enterprising Catholics 
of Dublin, together with a few members even of the Established Church, 
whom the progressive spirit of the times had liberalized, societies were to be 
instituted for uniting together objects of parliamentary reform and Catholic 

82 United Irishmen and the Press 

Accordingly one was constituted in Belfast, in October, 1791 ; in the Novem- 
ber following, another in Dublin ; and shortly after many others throughout 
the North, all under the attractive title of United Irishmen. In their declara- 
tion they stated, as their "heavy grievance", that they had "no national govern- 
ment, but were ruled by Englishmen and the servants of Englishmen" ; and, 
as its "effectual remedy", they pledged themselves "to endeavor hy all due 
means, to procure a complete and radical reform of the representation of the 
people in Parliament, including Irishmen of every religious persuasion". 

The press, too, that most important engine in popular proceedings, it was 
determined to employ in this cause. There was, therefore, established by some 
of the most active and zealous in Belfast a newspaper, called the "Northern 
Star", which began with the commencement of 1792, and during the whole of 
its existence was undeviatingly devoted to the principles and views of the 
United Irishmen. A pamphlet written in the preceding September, by Theo- 
bald Wolfe Tone, under the signature of a "Northern Whig", was likewise 
made extremely conducive to the same purpose. Its scope was to show to the 
Protestant friends of reform that they could never hope for success unless by 
embodying with their measure a repeal of the Popery Laws, and thus giving 
to the mass of population an interest in its favor. The eloquent and forcible 
development of this principle, though proceeding from an unknown, and at 
that time, perfectly unconnected individual, did not fail to excite the attention 
and approbation of those who were occupied in endeavoring to give it effect. 
They bestowed on the author their most confidential friendship, and employed 
his work as a powerful instrument for spreading their opinions. Ten thousand 
copies of it were struck off in Belfast, and circulated with unceasing industry 
and perseverance throughout the province of Ulster, while a cheap edition of it 
was selling in Dublin ; and its effects were proportioned to the abilities of the 

Such were the measures adopted by a few men, of inconsiderable rank, 
and of no peculiar importance in society, to subvert the exclusive principles, 
both constitutional and religious, which had for ages characterized the Irish 
government ; and, when the difficulties they encountered are considered, it is 
almost astonishing that the success of their exertions should ever have entitled 
them to the historian's notice. In the first place, they had to surmount the 
prejudices and suspicion of different sects, which length of time and tradition 
had almost interwoven with their respective creeds. This they hoped to accom- 
plish, and they succeeded to a great degree, by bringing Catholics and Prot- 
estants together into societies and familiar intercourse, that mutual knowledge 
might remove mutual distrust ; but the hatred of the lowest order of Catholics 
and Dissenters was, in -many places, still violent and inveterate; so that, not- 
withstanding the utmost efforts of the United Irishmen, it was sometimes sub- 
sequently fanned into actual hostilities. 

In addition to this original difficulty, they were counteracted by the mem- 
bers of the Church Establishment, who, with very few exceptions, were alarmed 
at the new combination of parties, and endeavored to dissolve it with a zeal 

The Catholic Committee 

proportioned to their fears. Besides, even those Presbyterian men of property, 
who had obtained reputation by co-operating with Lord Charlemont, and the 
Whig interest, cried out against and opposed the visionary wildness of obscure 
men, who were outstripping them in the career of politics, and rendering in- 
significant the exertions by which they hoped to have signalized their names. 
Thus abandoned by the rich and the respected, and not yet supported by the 
poor and despised parts of the community, the societies of United Irishmen 
were left exposed to the attacks of Government and its adherents from every 
quarter. The insignificance of their individual members was derided, the sin- 
cerity of their principles and professions was denied, and they were charged 
with harboring concealed designs of republicanism and separation from Eng- 
land. This assertion was subsequently made against them by high authority, 
and a letter quoted in proof from Tone (the original planner of these societies) 
to one of his friends, in which he declared himself a decided enemy to British 
connection. Whether that enmity be deserving of censure or panegyric, it was 
unquestionably felt by him and by many others ; but no design of interfering 
with the connection was entertained by the bodies at large; nor can it be justly 
ascribed to them, at that time, whatever changes may have been since produced 
by the progress of principles, which have swept away all veneration for ancient 
establishments, merely as such, and substituted in its stead new feelings and 

While these things were going on, the Catholics were likewise soliciting, 
by their accustomed organ, a relaxation of the penal code. About twenty years 
before, a committee for conducting their affairs had been instituted with the 
knowledge and tacit sanction of Government. It consisted of lords and gentle- 
men of rank and fortune, who sat in their own right, and of delegates from 
towns and cities. As their business was little more than presenting addresses 
of congratulation and loyalty to every newly-arrived viceroy, and endeavoring, 
by humbly suing to his secretary, with occasional petitions to Parliament, to 
procure some mitigation of the Popery Laws, the constitution of the committee 
was found fully adequate to all its purposes. Auguring favorably from the 
progressive liberality of the times, this body in the latter end of 1790, prepared 
a petition to Parliament, presuming to ask for nothing specific ; but merely 
praying that the case of the Catholics might be taken into consideration. Major 
Hobart, the Lord Lieutenant's secretary, was waited on with this petition, to 
implore the countenance and protection of Government ; but, liberal as were 
the times, Government deemed this a season for resisting innovation of every 
kind, and its protection was refused. The committee were, however, inclined 
to persevere ; but such was the Irish Parliament, that they could not prevail 
on any one member of that body to bring in their petition ! 

Another circumstance, too, strongly marked the determination of Govern- 
ment respecting them. In the summer of 1790, Lord Westmoreland, then 
Lord Lieutenant, visited the South of Ireland. On his arrival at Cork, it was 
intimated to the Catholics there, that an expression of their loyalty would be 
acceptable. Accordingly an address of that nature was prepared, which, how- 

84 Division in Committee 

ever, concluded with a hope that their loyalty would entitle them to some 
relaxation of the present code. Before its being formally presented, it was 
submitted to His Excellency, and was returned to them, to strike out the clause 
which expressed the hope. With a feeling rather natural to men not perfectly 
broken down by oppression, they refused to strike it out, and declined present- 
ing any address at all. 

In the beginning of 1791, the Catholic Committee were again disposed to 
urge their suit. They deputed twelve of their body to go to the Castle with a 
list of those laws, and entreat the protection of Government to remove any 
part of them it thought fit; but more forcibly to mark disapprobation, delegates, 
who were soliciting on behalf of three millions of people, were dismissed with- 
out the civility of an answer ! 

The patience of the Committee was not yet exhausted. They had been 
repulsed by the Irish Government; but, perhaps, without the concurrence of 
its English superiors. Mr. Keogh was. therefore, delegated to London, to 
make a similar application at the fountainhead. After three months' solicita- 
tion, he was informed that no opposition would occur from England to the 
Irish Catholics being admitted to the profession of the law, to their serving 
on grand juries, to their being county magistrates and high sheriffs; and, that 
their admission to the elective franchise should be taken under consideration. 

But, in the meantime, the Irish administration appears to have attempted 
defeating the Catholic application, 'by working on some members of the Com- 
mittee, and to have hoped, at least, to draw from it some pledges that it would 
never connect itself with the United Irishmen. For this purpose, some of the 
country gentlemen who sat in right of their rank, and who were always the 
most prominent persons in every humble application at Court, directed by its 
obvious wishes, perhaps by its secret suggestions, endeavored to induce the 
Committee to adopt the resolution of seeking no removal of the existing dis- 
abilities, but in such manner and extent as to the wisdom, liberality and benevo- 
lence of the legislature should seem expedient. This was resisted by others, 
as a real abandonment of their object, and, on a division in the general Com- 
mittee, in December, 1791, this last opinion prevailed by a majority of ninety 
to seventeen. This success, and the account of the exertion that produced it, 
were received with enthusiasm in the North. Coming from that part of the 
Catholics which was thought the least likely to resist administration, it was 
considered as shaking off hereditary aristocracy, and as a convincing proof 
that the body at large was sincerely determined to coalesce with the Protestant 
reformers. It, therefore, gave a deep root to the union there, in Dublin, and 

These proceedings deserve also to be particularly noticed, as having given 
birth to the first general discussion of politics by the Irish Catholics in their 
distinct capacity. The landed gentlemen, who had so long assumed to be the 
head of that body, could not be easily brought to feel their weakness, or sur- 
render their situation. After having gained a reinforcement, by a very diligent 
exertion, of fifty-one other names, Lords Fingal, Gormanston and Kenmare, 

Langrishe's Bill ' s 5 

with the rest of the Sixty-eight, published to the world the resolution that had 
been negatived in the Committee. It has been alleged in their excuse for this 
obsequious exertion, that it was procured by the promise of a more extensive 
relief than was solicited by the Committee. Perhaps they also presumed to 
hope, that the display of so much strength and importance would silence or 
confound their not much more numerous opponents. It, however, produced 
counter resolutions from the Catholics of almost all the counties and principal 
towns in the kingdom, approving of the conduct of the Committee, and censur- 
ing that of the Sixty-eight. In the course of the meetings, where these counter 
resolutions were passed, the condition of the Catholics was the subject of 
universal discussion ; and thus the sense of their rights, and indignation at their 
wrongs was exceedingly increased. 

On the other hand, the friends of what has since been called the Protestant 
ascendancy had taken considerable alarm, and declared themselves against the 
Catholic claims and measures with the utmost violence and passion. As they 
were almost entirely members of the Established Church, in possession or 
expectation of all the exclusive benefits derived from their religion, and in 
general the uniform supporters of administration, they were either actually 
members of Parliament, or at least more peculiarly connected with that body. 
This, therefore, will account for the proceedings of the session which com- 
menced on the nineteenth of January, 1792. 

On the first night of its meeting, Sir Hercules Langrishe (a confi- 
1792 dential servant of Government, but an early and decided enemy to 
the Popery Laws), gave notice in the House of Commons of his in- 
tention to introduce a Bill for the relief of the Catholics, which was accordingly 
brought in on the fourth of February. It opened to them the Bar, up to the 
rank of King's Counsel; permitted their intermarriage with Protestants, pro- 
vided it were celebrated by a Protestant clergyman ; but continued the dis- 
franchisement of a Protestant husband from marrying a Popish wife; and 
subjected a Catholic clergyman, celebrating such intermarriage, to the penalty 
of death; at the same time, declaring the marriage itself null and void. It 
further gave the Catholics the privilege of teaching school without licence from 
the ordinary, and permitted them to take two or more apprentices. 

Whether this Bill was intended as a reward for the fidelity of the Sixty- 
eight, or a compliance of some order from the English Cabinet, does not clearly 
appear ; but it certainly was introduced without consulting the Catholic Com- 
mittee. That body, however, in pursuance of its resolution, and of the decided 
wishes of those who declared in its favor, prepared a petition, which detailed 
at large the peculiar hardships of their situation. This Mr. O'Hara attempted 
to present on the twenty-fifth of January; but he quickly withdrew it, in con- 
sequence of some formal objections, and of the hostile temper of the House, 
very unequivocally manifested by the furious speeches of some members, and 
the heat and ferment that seemed to agitate the whole. Another petition was 
substituted a few days after, and presented on the eighteenth of February by- 
Mr. Egan. This last was couched in language the most humble, and simply 

86 Belfast's Petition Rejected 

entreated the House to take into consideration: "Whether the removal of 
some of the civil incapacities under which they labored, and the restoration 
of the petitioners to some share in the elective franchise, which they enjoyed 
long after the revolution, would not tend to strengthen the Protestant state, 
add new vigor to industry, and afford protection and happiness to the Catholics 
of Ireland". 

A petition was likewise presented by the inhabitants of Belfast in favor of 
the Catholic claims. While the sufferers themselves were supplicating partial 
relief, in terms almost abject, their northern friends, little accustomed to 
temporize with the passions or prejudices of their opponents, boldly relied on 
the justice of the application, and asked for a complete repeal of all penal 
and restrictive laws against the Catholics; so that they might be put on the 
same footing with their Protestant fellow-subjects. It has been already men- 
tioned that a resolution expressing similar sentiments was withdrawn, lest it 
should be lost at the preceding celebration of the fourteenth of July in Belfast ; 
but such had been the progress of liberality among the Dissenters, that this 
unqualified application to Parliament was accompanied by six hundred Prot- 
estant signatures. 

The House of Commons, however, was not actuated by the same spirit. 
These petitions were indeed received ; but after some days they were taken 
off the table, on the motion of the Right Hon. David Latouche, and rejected 
by a very large majority; thereby cementing the already formidable union of 
sects, and binding the Catholics and Dissenters more closely together by a 
community of insult. 

In the debate on this motion, Mr. Grattan reprobated the bigotry of the 
Protestant ascendancy, and predicted the final success of the Catholics, by 
one of those sublime comparisons that peculiarly characterize his eloquence. 

What! never be free? (exclaimed this overwhelming orator). Three millions of 
your people condemned by their fellow-subjects to an everlasting slavery, in all changes 
of time, decay of prejudice, increase of knowledge, the fall of papal power, and the 
establishment of philosophic and moral ascendancy in its place! Never be free! Do 
you mean to tell the Roman Catholic, it is in vain that you take oaths and declarations 
of allegiance ; it would be in vain even to renounce the spiritual power of the Pope, and 
become like any other Dissenter, it would make no difference as to your emancipation: 
go to France : go to America : carry your property, industry, manufacture, and family, 
to a land of liberty. This is a sentence which requires the power of a god and the 
malignity of a demon : you are not competent to pronounce it. Believe me, you may as 
well plant your foot on the earth, and hope by that resistance to stop the diurnal 
revolution, which advances you to that morning sun, which is to shine alone on the 
Protestant and Catholic, as you can hope to arrest the progress of that other light, 
reason and justice, which approaches to liberate the Catholic and liberalize the Protestant. 
Even now the question is on its way, and making its destined and irresistible progress, 
which you, with all your authority, will have no power to resist ; no more than any other 
great truth, or any great ordinance of nature, or any law of motion, which mankind is 
free to contemplate, but cannot resist: there is a justice linked to their cause, and a 
truth that sets off their application. 

Notwithstanding the adverse disposition of Parliament, Sir Hercules 

The Whig Club 87 


Langrishe's Bill was allowed to pass into a law; but in the debate to which it 
gave rise, the speakers on both sides of the question, even many of il -> sup- 
porters, who were likewise adherents of Government, vented the most un- 
measured abuse against the Catholic Committee, against tln»e who defended 
it by resolutions and addresses, against the people of Belfast, and the Societies 
of United Irishmen. Of these last, that of Dublin was attacked with peculiar 
severity, because it had made itself pre-eminently obnoxious, by several publi- 
cations of various merits and importance. One of these, "The Digest of the 
Popery Laws," prepared by the lion. Simon Butler, an eminent lawyer, and 
the first chairman of the society, was admirably calculated to promote the 
cause for which it was written. By merely stripping the statutes of their 
preamble and recitals, and bringing the enacting clauses together in a simple 
arrangement, it presented, at one view, such a monstrous mass of tyranny and 
oppression as shocked almost every reader. 

Indeed, although this society appeared to be actuated by the purest prin- 
ciples of patriotism, it had so conducted itself that it did not seem to have 
gained a single friend in either House of Parliament. The Castle and its 
followers were such enemies as it must have counted on from its very origin ; 
but their enmity was not more marked than the aversion of the Opposition. 
This party had formed itself, as already stated, about the time of the regency 
dispute, into a Whig Club, and had hoped to collect the nation under its 
standard, by pledging itself to a Bill for preventing placemen and pensioners 
from sitting in Parliament, with others of a similar nature and equal im- 
portance. The members of the Opposition were by no means agreed as to 
the Catholic claims or a parliamentary reform ; although the able and eloquent 
Mr. Grattan, whose talents, exertions and public estimation deservedly made 
him the head of the party, together with Mr. Curran and some others, were 
avowed friends to both. In order, therefore, to preserve the appearance 
of co-operation and unanimity, the club remained intentionally silent on these 
two vital questions. Its prudence, however, did not increase its strength ; for 
so entirely had the United Irishmen succeeded in drawing general attention 
to their own objects, that a place Bill and a pension Bill were considered as 
petty evasions of more important measures. The candidates for political situ- 
ation who rested their pretensions on them were despised and derided, and 
those societies had not been instituted many months before they destroyed the 
popularity and extinguished the power of the Whig Club. No wonder, then, 
that the members of Opposition were not their parliamentary advocates, and 
were in some instances among their most inveterate abusers. 

But the effects of the abuse thrown out against the Catholics and their 
Committee were infinitely more important. The members of that religion had 
been charged with tenets inimical to good order and government ; with harbor- 
ing pretensions to the forfeited estates of their forefathers ; and with wishing 
to subvert the existing establishment that they might erect a Popish one in 
its stead. These declarations were denied by a very full and unequivocal 
declaration from the Committee; which was subsequently subscribed both by 

88 Committee Reorganized 


the clergy and laity. It also published the answers of foreign universities to 
queries proposed at the desire of Mr. Pitt, by the Committee of English 
Catholics on the same religious opinions attributed to their communion ; which 
in all their answers are explicitly disavowed. The faculty of divinity at Lou- 
vain in particular expressed itself "struck with astonishment that such ques- 
tions should, at the end of this eighteenth century, be proposed to any learned 
body, by inhabitants of a kingdom that glories in the talents and discernment 
of its natives". These measures exceedingly comforted the timid Protestants. 

The majority of the Committee had also been stigmatized in Parliament 
as turbulent and seditious agitators, whose conduct should rather operate to 
prevent the relief granted to the good demeanor of the Sixty-eight. The 
petition of the former was said to be only the act of an obscure faction, con- 
fined merely to the capital, disavowed by the great mass of the Catholics, 
ignorant of their sentiments, and incompetent to speak on their behalf. 

If it was intended ever to proceed further, by any secondary body, in pur- 
suit of emancipation, this objection of incompetency could no longer be over- 
looked, urged as it had been with peculiar force, and well-founded as it cer- 
tainly appeared to be, were the organization only of the Committee con- 
sidered. The necessity of unequivocally showing, that whatever future appli- 
cation might be made, was conformable to the wishes of the Catholics at large, 
and, perhaps, also, the desire of shaking off an hereditary aristocracy, which 
had become odious in consequence of the conduct of the Sixty-eight, deter- 
mined the Committee to devise a plan, whereby the sentiments of every in- 
dividual of that persuasion in Ireland should be ascertained. To this it was 
further impelled, by an assurance which was possibly given under an idea that 
compliance with the requisite would be impracticable, and which is alluded to 
in the plan itself, in the following words : 

We have the first authority for asserting, that this application [a petition to the 
king] will have great weight with our gracious sovereign and with parliament, if our 
friends are qualified to declare that it is the universal wish of every Catholic in the 

The necessary unanimity was further promoted by a declaration from the 
leaders of the Sixty-eight (repentant from the inadequacy of the relief granted 
to their good demeanor), that they would never again enter into any act to 
oppose the general Committee, in its endeavors to obtain emancipation. 

The plan itself proposed, that electors should be chosen by all the inhab- 
itants of that religion in every parish, and that those electors should, in each 
county, choose its delegates to the Committee. This manner of conducting the 
election was most satisfactory to the United Irishmen, who had now begun 
to maintain universal suffrage, as the only just mode of appointing represen- 
tatives ; and it removed from the Dissenters all remaining apprehensions that 
the Catholics might be unfit for liberty. 

This project for re-organizing the general Committee was at first strongly 
opposed by the Catholic bishops, who probably foresaw from its accomplishment 
the annihilation of their own influence in that assembly, as well as the dis- 

Meeting of Volunteers 89 

pleasure it would afford to Government. They strenuously insisted to their 
flocks that the measure was not only impolitic, but illegal, and imminently 
dangerous to those who might attempt to cany it into effect. This charge oi 
illegality, which was also made from other quarters, determined the Committee 
to submit the plan itself to the opinion of two eminent lawyers, whose pro- 
fessional characters might remove all apprehensions or doubt, while the inde 
pendence and the liberality of their principles would guard against the injurious 
operation of corrupt influence or religious prejudice. For this purpose they 
chose the Hon. Simon Butler and Beresford Burston, whose answers being 
entirely favorable, were printed, and universally dispersed throughout the 
country. From thenceforward no farther mention was expressly made of the 
illegality of the measure, and Catholic opposition to it gradually died away. 

The proceedings of the Committee were seconded in the strongest manner 
by Belfast and its neighborhood, at their commemoration meeting on the four- 
teenth of July. As Volunteer associations had never been totally discontinued 
in Ulster, that day's immense assembly consisted not only of those with the 
other inhabitants of the town and the vicinity, but also of a very considerable 
number of distant Volunteer companies, together with a great concourse from 
a wide circuit of the North. The objects to be proposed to the meeting having 
been the subject of a year's general and public discussion, were perfectly well 
understood by all before their assembling. These objects were to express a 
decided approbation of the French Revolution, with entire confidence in its 
success, and to adopt its principles as far as they were applicable to Ireland, 
through the means of Catholic Emancipation and parliamentary reform. A 
number of principal Catholics and others from Dublin attended this meeting 
by previous agreement, that they might themselves witness the spirit of the 
North. The resolutions and addresses were carried with acclamation, and the 
visitors returned satisfied as to the present and sanguine as to the future issue 
of the popular exertions. 

But the agitation which the plan of the General Committee produced 
throughout the kingdom, during the summer and autumn of 1792, was most 
extraordinary. Wherever their adversaries were sufficiently strong, corporate 
or county meetings were held to reprobate the plan, and to resist the exorbitant 
pretensions of the Catholics; but if defeat, or even formidable resistance was 
dreaded, similar resolutions were entered into by the grand juries, where suc- 
cess could be easily secured from the mode of their appointment. 

These resolutions breathed no common opposition. In general, they charged 
the Committee with the interests of overawing the legislature ; they drew a line 
of circumvallation round the Protestant ascendancy, and pledged those who 
adopted them, as solemnly as could be done 'by words, to resist with their lives 
and fortunes every attempt to regain a right within its limits. The corporation 
of Dublin went still further ; for, alluding to the possibility of Government's 
finally acceding to the Catholic claims, it expressly says, that 

The Protestants of Ireland would not be compelled, by any authority whatever, to 
abandon that political situation which their forefathers won with their swords, and 
which is therefore their birthright. 

90 Protestant Ascendancy 

And to this threatened resistance against the constituted authorities, it 
solemnly pledged the lives and fortunes of its members. That no doubt might 
be entertained as to the extent of what it was determined at all hazards to 
maintain, it gave a definition of Protestant ascendancy in these words : 

A Protestant king of Ireland, a Protestant Parliament, a Protestant hierarchy, 
Protestant electors and government, the benches of justice, the army and the revenue, 
through all their branches and details, Protestant; and this system supported by a con- 
nection with the Protestant realm of England. 

What gave to those resolutions a still more important appearance was, 
that they seemed to be made with the immediate sanction of Government, 
inasmuch as the most confidential servants of the Crown, and even its ministers, 
stepped forward to give them countenance and support in their respective 
counties. This authoritative interference on the part of persons high in the 
administration of the country (such as Mr. Foster, the Speaker of the House 
of Commons, in the County of Louth, and the Lord Chancellor in the County 
of Limerick), against a plan, calculated to ascertain an universal wish, formed 
a very striking and suspicious contrast with the assertion of the Committee, 
that it had the first authority to declare an application would have infinite 
weight, if it appeared to be the wish of every Catholic in the nation. 

The friends of emancipation were not on their parts much less active. The 
United Irishmen of Dublin and several Catholic bodies, treated with indig- 
nation, argument, contempt, severity and ridicule, the pledges and menaces 
of the opposite party. Those in the capital particularly directed their attention 
to the circular letters issued by the corporation of that city, and in«a pointed 
declaration denied its assertions and replied to its reasonings. The meeting 
convened for that purpose was remarkable, among other things, for affording 
to the Catholics the first public opportunity of exerting their unknown, and 
almost despised talents. All the speeches on that occasion, but particularly the 
able, artful and argumentative declamation of Mr. Keogh, the classic and cul- 
tivated eloquence of Dr. Ryan, filled their ascendancy opponents with mortifi- 
cation and surprise. 

In order to further do away the effects of the grand jury resolutions, and 
to consider the situation of affairs, a great number of meetings of different 
towns and districts was likewise held throughout the province of Ulster during 
the winter of 1792. At all of them it was declared, that a radical reform in 
the representation of the people was the only remedy for the many existing 
grievances. Some few, with Londonderry at their head, expressed themselves 
as favorable to the gradual admission of the Catholics into this basis of reform ; 
but the great majority followed the example of Belfast, and declared for the 
immediate and unqualified extension of the right of suffrage to the whole 
Catholic body. 

These declarations, from different assemblies, having testified some slight 
disagreement on one of the great questions, it was proposed to call a convention 
of the province, as had twice before been done, and on one occasion with 

Influence of the French Revolution 

marked success. Dungannon, the former place of meeting, and even the fif- 
teenth of February, its anniversary, were deemed auspicious, and were there- 
fore selected. It was also judged tit that the delegates should be appointed 
on the plan then pursued by the Catholics. 

Their elections had been everywhere carried on, even during the heat of the 
grand jury and county resolutions, with tranquillity, and almost without obser- 
vation. But the threatened hostilities of the Protestant ascendancy roused a 
martial spirit in its opponents. The ranks of the old Volunteer corps were 
filling, and new ones springing up in every part of the North. Vague and 
obscure notions, that the resistance of those who benefitted by the existing 
exclusions, together with the tide of political opinions now strongly setting in 
from France, would cause Ireland to be the theatre of revolution and the seat 
of war, seemed already to have possessed the minds of many; and the military 
dispositions and habits of the Irish were not such as to make them shrink 
from the struggle. Ever since the defection of the Sixty-eight, the Catholics 
had been kept in constant heat and agitation by political disputes and discus- 
sions. They first stepped forward to resist that aristocracy and support their 
Committee : their attention was then more peculiarly turned inwards upon 
their disabilities, by those occurrences, and by the debates in Parliament, while 
their affection was in no respect conciliated by the temper with which these 
debates were marked. The ensuing summer called forth all their reasoning 
faculties in their own defence, and excited all their animal feelings by insult, 
asperity and menace. To them, therefore, the proceedings of the last year had 
been a continual study of the Rights of Man, and a gradual incitement to 
assert them. The Dissenters, who never stood in need of much preliminary 
preparation, contemplated with enthusiasm the progress of the French Revolu- 
tion, and remembered their own fame in 1782. They saw indeed that their 
dearest objects, Catholic Emancipation and parliamentary reform were likely 
to be resisted, and conceded only to force: but so far from being terrified at 
the prospect, they rather began to speculate upon the ulterior consequences 
of the conflict. What those consequences might be, the eventful tenth of 
August and twenty-first of September seemed to develop. The first of those 
days dethroned the King of France, and the last of them made that country a 
republic. But this extraordinary change was far from disagreeable to men who 
had been republicans in theory ever since the establishment of American 
independence; or whose minds were now rapidly advancing towards the same 
principles, almost without their consciousness. 

Irish enthusiasm was likewise raised to its highest pitch, by the rapid and 
surprising victories with which the French, after their first disasters, had 
signalized the war. Nor was it overawed by the fear of opposition ; for the 
military force in the country was small, and the gentry of more liberal senti- 
ments, but who had kept aloof from fear of shame, were beginning to flock 
round the popular standard. 

Such were the auspicious circumstances under which the Catholic Com- 
mittee assembled on the third of December, 1792, and its meeting could not 

92 Petition to the King- 

but afford some matter fox speculation. The body which had previously held 
its meetings in Dublin, under the same name, and with the privity and consent 
of Government, though of no alarming appearance, either from its numbers 
or importance ; and though during almost the whole of its time, religious preju- 
dices seemed at least dormant, did not think proper to make itself an object of 
any notoriety; so that even its existence was nearly unknown to the greater 
part of the Protestant community. Now, however, notwithstanding that civi! 
war had been denounced by the ascendancy, and the menace countenanced at 
least by men very high in the government of the country, or enjoying very 
lucrative places in the administration, this Committee assembled with the 
utmost publicity : and so imposing was its appearance from numbers and 
respectability, that its original title was soon merg-ed in the more expressive 
appellation of The Catholic Convention. To what was this change attribut- 
able? To the consciousness of strength which its constituents had acquired, 
by being repeatedly involved in political discussions ; to the increasing 
liberality and firmness of the Protestants who espoused their cause; but most 
peculiarly to the unequivocal and energetic support they derived from their 
former enemies, the Northern Dissenters, by many strong and explicit 
declarations, together with corresponding military preparations. 

The most active Northerns, who had the year before procured a petition 
from Belfast to Parliament for a complete repeal of the whole Popery Code, 
now pressed upon those of the Committee with whom they were in habits of 
communication, that it should also make the same extensive claim. If there 
had been any difference of opinion, the effectual co-operation which they had 
always given, would have added infinite weight to their advice. But in truth, 
the Committee from the very outset seemed perfectly disposed to assert all the 
rights infringed on by those laws. 

It replied in a very dignified style to the different corporation, county and 
grand jury resolutions, by its vindication. Well knowing the authoritative in- 
fluence which a royal recommendation would have on both legislative Houses, 
it prepared a petition to the king, setting forth all the disabilities of the Cath- 
olics ; praying that he would recommend to his Parliament of Ireland to take 
into consideration the whole of their situation ; and expressing their wish to 
be restored to the rights and privileges of the constitution of their country. 

The next question was, how this petition should be forwarded to England. 
Some were for transmitting it, in the ordinary mode, through the viceroy ; and 
this, Government itself seemed very solicitous to procure. The measure was 
expressly solicited 'by Lord Donoughmore, who, with his family, had always 
espoused the Catholic cause ; and who was likewise among the most steady sup- 
porters of administration. He waited outside the Hall where the Committee 
met, to know their determination: he was informed by order of the meeting, 
that if the Lord Lieutenant would promise to forward the petition, with a 
recommendation in its favor, it should be intrusted to him. Lord Donoughmore, 
having carried this communication to the Castle, and returned with an answer 
that His Excellency could not in his official situation pledge himself to the re- 

The First National Battalion 93 

quired recommendation ; a remembrance of the hostile denunciations during the 
preceding summer, a suspicion of the manner in which they were excited, pie- 
vailed, and it was determined that the petition should lie presented to the king 
himself, by deputies of the Committee's own appointment. These were Messrs. 
Edward Byrne, John Keogh, James Edward Devereux, Christopher I'ellew 
and Sir Thomas French, Bart. They were accompanied by Mr. lone, who, 
though a Protestant, had in consequence of his very uncommon talents and ex- 
ertions in the Catholic cause, been appointed one of the secretaries to the 
Committee, and the secretary to the delegation. 

This Committee was also remarkable for having as one of its members a 
Protestant and officer in the king's service, Major Edward Sweetman, returned 
by the County of Wexford, a place since accused of having manifested a spirit 
of bigotry and intolerance. The representative which it chose proved himself, 
however, every way worthy of the trust, by his firmness, liberality and splendid 

The delegates, on their way through the North, were received at Belfast 
with the most marked affection. Their horses were taken from their carriages, 
and they were drawn through the streets by a Presbyterian populace, who 
wished to mark the sincerity with which they embraced the Catholic cause. 

The Volunteer corps were at this time continuing to increase and extend 
rapidly through the North. In Belfast, particularly, a very numerous town- 
meeting was held and attended by even the most moderate and opulent in- 
habitants. Resolutions were there passed, urging in the strongest manner a 
complete re-establishment of the Volunteer institution, and determining to 
form a military fund. 

While these things were going on, Government seemed to be feeling its way, 
and hesitating whether it should concede or resist. Its measures accordingly 
often appeared experimental, embarrassed, and when compared together, the 
result of contradictory sentiments. 

A new military association was forming in Dublin, called the First National 
Battalion, which unequivocally avowed republican principles by its emblematic 
device, — a harp without a crown, surmounted by a cap of liberty. As repub- 
licanism had not then stricken deep root in the capital, this very avowal served 
exceedingly to discredit the corps and to prevent its increase. In consequence, 
therefore, of a proclamation which appeared the eighth of December, and was 
well known to be directed against that body, under the vague description of 
seditious associations, it was never able to parade in public, because it was 
conscious of wanting public support. The proclamation not being generally 
supposed to allude to the old Volunteers, they, however, still continued to as- 
semble. At a meeting of some of the Dublin corps on the fifteenth of De- 
cember, thanks were voted to the United Irishmen of that city, for their 
address of the night before to the Volunteers, calling upon them to resume 
their arms, stating the necessity of a reform in Parliament, pointing out the 
advantages that would accrue from a convention's meeting for that purpose, 
and suggesting the propriety of calling provincial assemblies preparatory to 

94 Revised Petition Distributed 

the national meeting. As this address became a subject of criminal prosecution, 
the resolution of thanks gave great offence to Government. 

A publication having appeared in the "Northern Star", which was deemed 
libellous, an officer was sent down to arrest the printer and proprietors of that 
paper, then nineteen in number, and consisting of some of the most popular 
characters in the town. When the officer arrived there and saw the disposition 
of its inhabitants, he began to doubt the propriety of executing his warrant, 
and communicated his opinion to some of the friends of Government on the 
spot, whose apprehensions rather corresponded with his own. In this state 
of indecision he remained for many days, waiting ulterior orders ; when the 
nature of his commission having transpired, the proprietors informed the 
sovereign of the town that if the warrant was legal they would surrender them- 
selves ; but if it were otherwise they would forcibly resist its execution. He 
directly brought them the warrant to satisfy them of its legality, and they sub- 
mitted to a voluntary arrest. On their arrival in Dublin, as if no opportunity 
were to be lost of marking the union of sects, they were attended to the chief 
justice's house by a numerous retinue of Catholic gentlemen of the first im- 
portance, and every bail bond was jointly executed by a member of that religion 
and by a Protestant. 

The Catholic delegates having presented their petition at St. James's 
1793 on the 2d January, the Lord Lieutenant, in his speech from the throne 

on the tenth, communicated a particular recommendation from His 
Majesty to take into serious consideration the situation of his Catholic subjects, 
and relying on the wisdom and liberality of his Parliament. This recommenda- 
tion seemed to work a rapid change of sentiment in many of those who had 
before brought forward the counties and grand juries, to pledge their lives 
and fortunes against any further restoration of rights to their fellow-subjects. 
In general it was received with a chastened and meek submission; but those 
who had most signalized themselves by their effusions of Protestant zeal could 
not so easily subject themselves to the charge of tergiversation. The Lord 
Chancellor and Dr. Duigenan, as if speaking by concert, each in the House 
of which he was a member, in the debate on the address, accused the Catholics 
of having deceived the king by a tissue of the greatest falsehoods and misrep- 
resentations in their petition, and pledged themselves to prove this assertion 
at the proper period. The chancellor in particular said there was no such 
legal disabilities as stated in the petition, the laws relating to them having ex- 
pired or been repealed. These assertions by the highest judicial character in 
the country were very unceremoniously contradicted by the Catholic sub- 
committee, which was appointed to act during the adjournment of the General 
Committee. In two days after the assertion was made, they published a second 
edition of their petition with notes specifying the different statutes, sections 
and clauses, on which the alleged falsehoods and misrepresentations were 
grounded, and this they caused to be distributed to every member of either 
House of Parliament. His lordship never thought fit to confute their false- 
hoods or correct their misrepresentations. 

Resolutions of Citizens 95 

Four days after the opening of Parliament, the House of Commons, on 
the motion of Mr. Grattan, amended by Mr. Corry (a supporter of adminis- 
tration), unanimously agreed to a committee for enquiring into the state of 
the representation; and the staunchest courtiers appeared eager to promote 
the great work of parliamentary reform. The two objects of the United Iri^li 
men seemed now on the point of being peaceably accomplished, and hope took 
possession of every mind. 

Parliament having been understood to sanction the discussion of those 
two heretofore proscribed subjects, an aggregate meeting of the citizens of 
Dublin was convened on the twenty-fourth of January to take them into con- 
sideration and instruct their representatives. In the resolutions adopted by 
this meeting the House of Commons was said not to be freely chosen by the 
people : and that House, as then influenced by places of emolument and pen- 
sions, it was alleged, did not speak the sense of the people. These resolutions 
having appeared in the "Hibernian Journal", the printer was ordered to attend 
at the bar of that House on the twenty-ninth of January, for a breach of 
privilege. When questioned as to his defence, he said the resolutions were 
sent to him authenticated under the signature of Henry Hutton, one of the 
high sheriffs of the city; and that the sheriff authorized him to say he had 
signed them, as chairman of the meeting, and was ready to avow the fact if 
called upon. After a long debate the printer was ordered into custody, where 
he was kept for a few days and then discharged : but no notice was taken of 
the sheriff, who was attending, dressed in the insignia of his office, and ready 
to justify his conduct. 

On the twenty-seventh of the same month, when the Goldsmiths' Corps of 
Volunteers was marching to exercise, as it had been in the habit of doing every 
week, it was informed by a civil magistrate that its meeting was contrary to 
the proclamation of the eighth of December, and that he had orders to disperse 
it, but would not call in the military except in case of refusal. Unprepared 
and surprised at this totally unexpected application of the proclamation, it 
declined committing the country. 

This proclamation was taken into consideration by the House of Commons 
on the thirty-first of that month, and it was there stated by Mr. Secretary 
Hobart, that the Goldsmiths' Company was dispersed because it was one of 
those which had, on the antecedent fifteenth of December, thanked the United 
Irishmen ; and also because it had sometime in the November before issued 
a summons entitled "Citizen Soldiers", and dated "last year, would to God it 
were the last hour of slavery". Which summons, reciting that the delegates 
of the corps were to assemble to celebrate the retreat of the Duke of Brunswick, 
and the French victories in the Low Countries, called upon the members of that 
body to attend. An address of thanks was unanimously voted to the Lord 
Lieutenant for the proclamation ; but Lord Edward Fitzgerald, intending to 
oppose it, began thus : 

I give my most hearty disapprobation to that address, for I do think that the Lord 
Lieutenant and the majority of this house are the worst subjects the king has. 

96 Influence of War 

His words were instantly taken down, and he was ordered to the bar. On 
his explaining, it was unanimously resolved that his excuse was unsatisfactory 
and insufficient. The next day, however, an apology that was rumored to be 
an aggravation of the insult, was received by a great majority. 

The inhabitants of Belfast, finding that the king's speech had opened a pros- 
pect of success to their Catholic brethren, again petitioned the House of Com- 
mons in their favor. Such was the progress of liberality, and this petition was 
signed by almost two-thirds of the adult male population of the town. But as if 
to manifest the utmost extent of contempt towards the House, which they alleged 
had insulted the petitions of the people, and then crouched to a recommendation 
from the throne, their present was an exact transcript of that which had been 
rejected the year before. No attempt was made, however, to repeat the indig- 

So far administration and its adherents seemed to fluctuate between con- 
cession and resistance. But on the twenty-first of January, Louis the Sixteenth 
had suffered death, and his execution caused a great revulsion of public sen- 
timent. On the first of February, war was declared between France and Eng- 
land, and the armies of the former were for months after everywhere repulsed 
and driven within its territories. The affairs of that republic were thought to 
be rapidly tumbling to ruin, by those who conceived the possibility and enter- 
tained the hopes of replacing a Bourbon on the throne. Perhaps these changes 
in the appearances of a revolution, the influence of which operated powerfully 
on Ireland, banished indecision from the councils of the Castle. Perhaps, too, 
the hope occurred to men, who always regarded the union of sects in the com- 
bined pursuit of Catholic Emancipation and parliamentary reform with hatred 
and dread, that by carefully keeping separate the two questions, an opportunity 
might arise of breaking the union, which rendered them irresistible ; and that 
by conceding enough to meet the actual necessities of a considerable number of 
the Catholics, such a temporary content might be produced among them as 
would destroy their energy in co-operating with the other sect, and would 
facilitate the subduing of both in detail. 

That Government did not wish to do more than meet the actual necessities 
of such a number of the Catholics, and destroy their co-operation with the 
Dissenters, seems probable from the following circumstances. While some 
of the delegates from the Committee were yet in London, the sub-committee, 
apprehending from private circumstances that it was advisable to make the 
extent of their wishes fully known to the Irish administration, deputed some 
of their body to wait on Major Hobart, and acquaint him that the object and 
expectations of the Catholics were the entire repeal of the Popery Laws. This 
declaration the secretary received with perfect politeness, but without impli- 
cating his responsibility by an indiscreet reply. Some days after, a second in- 
terview on the same subject having been judged necessary, the sub-committee 
feeling that it was called upon to be precise and specific, desired its deputies 
to read to Mr. Hobart on its part, the same declaration reduced to writing. 
When this was accordingly done, Mr. Hobart addressed himself to Mr. Keogh, 

Relief Measures 97 

one of the deputation, and asked, did he not think that if Government went 
for the elective franchise, and the repeal of the Catholic laws relating to juries, 
with some minor circumstances then stated, enough would be done. Mr. Keogh 
replied, that as one of the deputation he could only answer, that it would not 
content the Catholics, and that there lie had no right to deliver any private 
opinion. "Bui it is your private opinion 1 request to know," rejoined the 
secretary. "Why then", said Mr. Keogh, "if 1 was to give my private opinion 
I should say, they are substantial benefits". "It is not in Government's power", 
directly answered the minister, "to grant more". Some vague was 
then carried on with others of the deputation, as if it was possible to negotiate 
on the footing of partial emancipation. When the convention (in substance 
at least, the same as the foregoing), was reported to the sub-committee, it was 
exceedingly irritated, and hoping to retrieve what was past, instantly sent a 
new deputation, consisting of different members to reiterate the declaration in 
stronger terms: hut the secretary had taken his ground. 

Accordingly on the seventh of February he obtained leave to bring- in a Bill, 
for giving to the Catholics the elective franchise ; the right of being grand 
and petty jurors in all cases; of endowing a college and schools; of carrying 
arms if possessed of a certain property qualification ; of holding subordinate 
civil offices ; and of being justices of the peace. It also repealed all the remain- 
ing penal laws respecting personal property. 

The progress of this Bill through Parliament was by no means rapid. It 
was violently opposed by the ascendancy phalanx. They insisted that yielding 
to the Catholic claims was incompatible with the constitution and connection 
between the two countries, and a violation of the coronation oath. "They have 
done this", replied Mr. Grattan, "when a new enthusiasm has gone forth in the 
place of religion, much more adverse to kings than popery, and infinitely more 
prevailing — the spirit of republicanism. At such a time they have chosen to 
make the Catholics outcasts of a Protestant monarchy, and leave them no 
option but a republic ; such a policy and such arguments tend to make Irish 
Catholics French republicans." "You are trustees," said he again, "to preserve 
to Great Britain the physical force of the Catholics of Ireland, and nothing but 
you can forfeit it — not religion — not the Pope — not the Pretender — but your 
proscription, which argues that the franchise of the Catholic is incompatible 
with British connection, and of course teaches the Catholic to argue that British 
connection is incompatible with Catholic liberty". 

In the House of Peers, indeed, the opposition of the Lord Chancellor did 
not seem so violent and determined as at the first agitation of the question. 
This very striking change gave an air of credibility to certain rumors then 
in circulation. It was reported that his lordship had been reminded of his 
being the first native ever permitted to hold the Irish seals ; and that the im- 
propriety of departing from constant usage in his favor would become very 
manifest if he set himself at the head of any Irish party in opposition to what 
had been decided on by the English Cabinet. The doctrine to which he owed 
his elevation was that the government of Ireland should be subordinate to that 

98 The Ulster Convention 

of England, and as such was the condition of his appointment, he must concur 
in the measures of those by whom it was conferred. 

The Bill, however, was not only opposed but procrastinated in its different 
stages, by circumstances that seemed scarcely accidental, and created frequent 
anxiety and suspense in those who were to profit by its success. While this 
uncertainty was hanging over their heads, and restraining their exertion for 
any other political object, Parliament carefully separated the questions of 
reform and Catholic Emancipation, which the Dissenters and reformers so 
ardently wished to unite; for it repaired the error it had fallen into through 
indecision, when it consented to the Committee on the state of the representa- 
tion. At the first sitting of that Committee on the ninth of February, Mr. 
Grattan proposed three resolutions, stating: 

That the representation of the people is attended with great and heavy charges 
in consequence of the elections and returns of the members to serve in parliament, and 
that said abuses ought to be abolished. 

That of three hundred members elected to serve in parliament, the counties and 
counties of cities and towns, together with the university, return eighty-four members, 
and that the remaining two hundred and sixteen are returned by boroughs and manors. 

That the state of the representation of the people in parliament requires 

In the speech, by which these resolutions were prefaced, he asserted that 
of three hundred members, above two hundred were returned by individuals; 
from forty to fifty by ten persons ; that several of the boroughs had no resident 
electors at all ; some of them had but one ; that on the whole, two-thirds of the 
representatives in the House of Commons were returned by less than one hun- 
dred persons. 

The resolutions were opposed by Sir John Parnell, the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, who proposed instead of them, but in the form of an amendment: 
"That under the present system of representation the privileges of the people, 
the trade and prosperity of the country have greatly increased, and that if any 
plan be proposed likely to increase those advantages and not hazard what we 
already possess, it ought to be taken into the most serious consideration". After 
a long debate this resolution was carried by a repentant majority of a hun- 
dred and fifty-three to seventy-one. 

Notwithstanding the inauspicious bodings which were caused by this divi- 
sion, the Ulster convention met at Dungannon on the appointed fifteenth of 
February. When it was assembled Antrim, Down, Londonderry, Tyrone, 
Donegal and Monaghan were found to be very fully represented; several dis- 
tricts in Armagh, Fermanagh and Cavan had totally failed to meet, or appoint 
any delegates. On the whole, however, it was considered a more complete 
representation of the province than either of the preceding meetings, because 
the delegates had been chosen directly by the whole people, which was not 
formerly the case. 

In order to prevent any danger from the coming together of violent or fac- 
tious men, the gentlemen of rank, property and moderate principles, were 

Militia Bill 

anxious to be chosen, and were very successful. This body after a sitting of 
two days came to a decision in favor of the absolute necessity of a radical 
reform, including the unqualified and immediate admission of the Catholics. 
A resolution was also entered into, declaring in very pointed terms the protest 
of that province against the war with France; another was likewise passed 
expressing disapprobation of the militia establishment, as tending to supersede 
the Volunteers. 

For, among the strong measures which were proceeding at least ywrx passu 
with the Catholic Bill, was one for raising sixteen thousand militia in Ireland. 
An augmentation of live thousand men was also made to the ordinary estab- 
lishment of twelve thousand regulars. Besides, obviously in order, by pre- 
venting the Volunteers from being supplied with arms or ammunition, to strike 
at their existence, and to throw every practicable impediment in the way of 
the people's arming, a Bill was passed to prevent the importation of arms 
and gunpowder into the kingdom, and the removing or keeping of arms or 
gunpowder without licence. Directly after the assent had been given to this 
Bill the artillery belonging to the Liberty Corps in Dublin was seized, that of 
the Merchants' Corps was taken by private agreement, and the lawyers with 
a public procession gave up theirs. The houses of gunsmiths and others in 
that city that were suspected as containing concealed arms were searched, and 
every manifestation given there that the Volunteers were to be no further 
tolerated than should be agreeable to administration. An Alien Bill was also 
enacted similar to that adopted in England. 

These Bills were agreed to in Parliament with so much readiness on all 
sides that Opposition could not be charged with clogging the wheels of govern- 
ment. Both parties concurred in the necessity of repressing faction and sedition ; 
while the United Irishmen and their adherents thought that Opposition for- 
feited all pretence to public confidence, by consenting to such measures, at 
least before any advance had been made to correct the acknowledged radical 
vice in the representation. 

Sir Lawrence Parsons, indeed, pressed strongly that this reform should be 
included in the same Bill, and incorporated with the restoration -of the Catholic 
franchise, which he imagined would secure both by uniting the nation in one 
common interest. 

But sever these measures, said he, and what is the consequence? The minister 
will think that he has grartified so great a part of the people by the Catholic measure, 
that he may venture to control the rest; and under this delusion he may crush the 
reform. And what a multitude of mischiefs the rejection of the reform would produce, 
it is for you to consider after the public expectation has been so much excited upon it. Or 
if you say that the Catholics having got franchise would join in calling for reform, 
true; but what would the minister think? that the Catholics having obtained so much, 
would abate much in their fervor. He would hope, after he had drawn off by the 
Catholic Bill so great a portion of discontent, that he might venture for a while to 
leave the rest to ferment, resolving, however, at his leisure to put a heavy curb on 
your future exertions. 

During this part of the session, another subject occupied the serious atten- 

100 Origin of Defenders 

tion of the Upper House of Parliament. Disturbances had broken out, and 
outrages were committed in the county of Louth, and the neighboring counties 
of Meath, Cavan and Monaghan, by persons of the very lowest rank in life, 
associated under the name of Defenders. This body had its origin in religious 
persecution, and was an almost inevitable consequence of the system, according 
to which Ulster had been colonized and settled and Ireland ruled since the 
Reformation. In that province English and Scotch planters had been estab- 
lished on the forfeited lands of the native Catholics. These last were for the 
most part obliged to retire to the bogs and mountains ; but even there they 
were not permitted to lose the remembrance of their forefathers, their power 
and opulence, in the tranquil enjoyment of security and content. The bogs 
and mountains afforded them no refuge against the Acts of Uniformity and 
Supremacy or the accumulated oppression of the Popery Laws. Nor were the 
wretched inhabitants exempted by their defenceless condition from the hatred, 
contempt and persecution of their privileged and arrogant neighbors. Hence 
arose a mutual, rancorous animosity between the new settlers and natives, or 
in other words between the Protestants and Catholics, transmitted from genera- 
tion to generation, until at last it became more violent and intolerant than in 
any other part of Ireland. 

The Volunteers by the benign influence of their institution, had for the first 
time considerably abated this spirit, and by their successful activity as military 
men in keeping the peace, had prevented its receiving fresh provocation by out- 
rage or insult. But in proportion as that body declined or was discouraged, 
prejudices and hatred revived, especially in districts remote from the principal 
Presbyterian towns, where the growing liberality of the most enlightened 
Dissenters could scarcely operate. These prejudices which, chiefly prevailing 
in the county of Armagh, extended, less or more, into the adjoining districts 
of the counties of Down and Tyrone, began to break out into something like 
open hostility, in the year 1791. About that period, several associations among 
the lower orders of the Protestants were founded under the appellation of 
Peep-o'-Day Boys, whose object was to scour the Catholic districts about the 
break of day, and strip the inhabitants of fire-arms, alleging that they were 
warranted in so doing by the Popery Laws, which had indeed for a long period 
forbidden to the members of that communion the use of arms, even for self- 

The Catholics, thus exposed and attacked, entered into a counter associa- 
tion called Defenders, which derived its name from the necessity of their situa- 
tion, and its excuse from the difficulty, or as they stated, the impossibility of 
obtaining justice against the aggressors. This association, at first local and 
confined, as much as mutual hatred would allow, to actual self-defence, began 
in 1792 to spread through the other parts of the kingdom, and not a little to 
connect itself with more general politics. To this it is said to have been im- 
pelled by a harsh, unfounded persecution, which some leading friends of 
Government did not think it consistent with their characters to carry on in 
the County of Louth, and which seems to have prepared the way for subse- 
quent disturbances elsewhere. 

Napper Tandy 101 

In proportion as this association extruded itself into districts, where no 
Protestants of inferior rank in life were to be found, and therefore no out- 
rages like those committed by the Peep-o'-Day Boys to be apprehended, it 
gradually lost its characteristic of being a religious feud, and became in fact 
an association of the lowest order, particularly for procuring a redress of the 
grievances of the very lowest orders. Even in the counties wdiere it originated. 
it ceased to be actuated by religious animosity before the end of 1792, in con- 
sequence of the exertions of the early United Irishmen (whose chief en- 
deavors were always directed to reconcile the Protestants and Catholics), to- 
gether with the influence of some liberal-minded men of both persuasions, and 
still more from the publications peculiarly adapted to that purpose, which were 
incessantly circulated through the medium of the "Northern Star"; for by 
these means the hatred of sects was lulled, until a subsequent period, when 
it will appear to have been aroused by fresh aggressions. 

The Defenders, after their association had changed its type, were bound 
together by oaths, obviously drawn up by illiterate men, different in different 
places, but all promising secrecy, and specifying whatever grievance was, in 
each place, most felt and best understood. Tithes therefore were, in all of 
them, very prominent. The views of these men were in general far from dis- 
tinct ; although they had a national notion that "something ought to be done 
for Ireland"; but they were all perfectly convinced that whatever was to be 
done for themselves or their country could only be accomplished by force of 
arms. They therefore formed themselves, as far as their knowledge would 
permit, upon a military system, and in order to procure arms, used to asssemble 
by night, to take them from the houses of those who they conceived would be 
eventually their enemies. 

They seem to have been entirely without any connection in the upper, or 
even middling ranks of life, except what has transpired relative to Mr. Napper 
Tandy. Observing the commotions that were taking place in the County of 
Louth and its vicinity, and guessing that they were not without some motive 
and object, he was desirous of penetrating into the secret. He contrived to 
communicate this wish to some of the Defenders ; and as his character was 
long known to them, they agreed to inform him if he would bind himself to 
secrecy. To this he consented, and met a party of them at Castlebellingham, 
where the oath of secrecy was administered. This fact having been dis- 
covered by an informer, bills of indictment for felony were found against him 
with great privacy by the Grand Jury of the County of Louth, where it was 
hoped he would be easily entrapped, as he was on his way from Dublin, to 
stand his trial there for having published a libel. Information, however, of 
his new danger was given him before he reached Dundalk ; he therefore ab- 
sconded, and shortly after left the kingdom. 

These disturbances also attracted the attention of the House of Lords early 
in 1793, and a secret committee was appointed to inquire into their causes, to 
endeavor to discover their promoters, and to prevent their extension. This 
committee consisted very much of peers who were avowed enemies to the 

102 Imprisonment of Reynolds 

Catholic Bill, and had during the preceding summer committed themselves 
against the meeting of what they emphatically called "the Popish congress". 

The secret committee in the course of its proceedings proposed questions, 
to which it required answers on oath, that might eventually have criminated 
the persons under examination. As a knowledge of this fact had been ob- 
tained by the United Irishmen of Dublin, some of whom had been thus inter- 
rogated, they alleged that the researches of the committee were not confined 
to the professed purpose of its institutions, but directed principally to the 
discovery of evidence, in support of persecutions, previously commenced, and 
utterly unconnected with the cause of the tumults it was appointed to investi- 
gate. They therefore published a series of observations, calculated to show 
that the committee had no such right. They distinguished the legislative from 
the judicial capacity of the House of Lords; denied its right to administer an 
oath in its legislative capacity ; asserted that as a court it was bound by those 
rules of justice which were obligatory on all other courts, both as to the limits 
of jurisdiction, and the mode of conducting inquiry; and farther insisted, that 
these rules deprived it of all right to administer an oath, or exact an answer, 
in similar cases, or to delegate its judicial authority to a committee. 

For this publication, the chairman and secretary of the society, the Hon- 
orable Simon Butler and Mr. Oliver Bond, with whose names it was signed, 
were brought before the House itself on the first of March. They both 
avowed the publication, and were in consequence sentenced by that assembly 
to six months' imprisonment, and a fine of £500 was imposed on each. The 
society was not, however, deterred from espousing their cause. They were 
sumptuously entertained, as if in defiance of Parliament, during the whole of 
that time, and their fines paid by the voluntary subscriptions of the United 

Well calculated as was the sentence passed on these gentlemen to prevent 
others from disputing the authority of the committee, yet it did not entirely 
succeed. Doctor Reynolds, a physician from the North, having been sum- 
moned before their lordships, professed his conviction of the truth of the 
observations published by the United Irishmen, and refused to be examined 
on oath. He was, therefore, committed and detained a prisoner for near five 
months, till the expiration of the session ; during all which time he experienced 
the same attentions as were shown to Butler and Bond. 

While the report of the secret committee was preparing, lively alarms were 
excited, and rumors very current through the metropolis that it would impli- 
cate many leading members of the Catholic Convention, even to capital 
punishment, cover the whole of that body with suspicion and odium and hazard, 
if not defeat, their Bill, which was still only in progress. On the day when 
the report was expected it was not made; a noble lord, however, sent a con- 
fidential and mutual friend to Mr. Sweetman, the secretary of the sub- 
committee, to inform him, that should it appear, his life would be exceedingly 
endangered, and the Bill itself run a great risk; but that if he would sign any 
kind of paper in the form and wording most agreeable to his own feelings. 

Peep-o'-Day Boys 


acknowledging his indiscretion, and expressing his regret at having connected 
himself with the Defenders, his lordship was authorized to say the report 
should never see the light, and all difficulties respecting the pending law 
should be removed. This, Mr. Sweetman peremptorily refused, but offered, 
in consequence of the subsequent conversation, to call together the sub-com- 
mittee, that it might receive any proposal his lordship should think fit to make 
to them. Accordingly, in the course of an hour, they were collected in one 
room, while his lordship occupied that adjoining. lie then offered to them, 
by means of his friend, the same benefits if they would disavow their secre- 
tary. This they also refused. The report appeared the next day. 

Its object was to connect the Defenders with all that was obnoxious to the 
administration, and principally to implicate the General Committee, or at 
least the sub-committee of the Catholics. This it attempted to do, by inference, 
from the secrecy and regularity of the Defender system, which it said seemed 
as if directed by men of superior rank; from the collecting of money to a 
considerable amount by the voluntary subscription of Catholics, in conse- 
quence of a circular letter from the sub-committee, expressing the necessity 
of raising a fund for defraying the heavy and growing expenses incurred by 
the General Committee, in conducting the affairs of their constituents; and 
lastly, from some letters written by Mr. Sweetman to a gentleman at Dundalk, 
in which, the report states, that the secretary, in the name of the sub-committee, 
directed inquiries to be made, touching the offences of which the Defenders 
then in confinement were accused. One of these letters is given, dated ninth 
of August, 1792, which mentions that the brother of a person whom the secret 
committee states to have been committed as a Defender, left town truly 
disconsolate at not being able to effect something towards the liberation of his 
kinsman. This chain of circumstantial evidence was strengthened by the 
assertion, that Mr. Sweetman's correspondent had employed, at a considerable 
expense, an agent and counsel to act for several persons accused as Defenders. 
The report, seeming to presume that the money used for that purpose was 
supplied by the Catholic Committee, and part of the voluntary subscription it 
had collected, has the candor to state, that nothing appeared before the secret 
committee which could lead it to believe that the body of the Catholics were 
concerned in promoting these disturbances, or privy to this application of their 
money. The secret committee then couples (but only by the insinuation which 
results from juxtaposition in their report) the Defenders with the Volunteers, 
the reformers and republicans in the North and in Dublin. 

This attack on the organs and adherents of the Catholics, having been 
generally conceived as aimed in hostility against the Bill then depending for 
their relief, no time was lost in counteracting its effects. A reply to it ap- 
peared almost directly from the sub-committee, and another from the secre- 
tary. The defence by the former stated, that while religious quarrels were 
going on between the Peep-o'-Day Boys and the Defenders, in consequence 
of personal application from several Protestant gentlemen, three of the com- 
mittee had an interview in July, 1792, at Rathfryland, in the County of Down, 

104 Catholic Bill Defended 

with above twenty respectable Protestant gentlemen of that neighborhood, 
who admitted, that in no one instance had the Catholics been the aggressors; 
but on the contrary, had been repeatedly attacked, even in the solemn offices 
of their religion and burial of their dead. At this interview it was further 
stated to have been agreed that the committee should use all its influence with 
the lower orders of Catholics, to induce them to desist from their meetings, 
and that the Volunteers should adopt resolutions expressing their determina- 
tion to protect every man equally, without distinction of party or religion. 
In order to effectuate this agreement, the General Committee framed a cir- 
cular address to that district, stating the agreement and the determination of 
the Volunteers : 

Entreating the lower orders of Catholics to abstain from parade and meetings, 
and all other measures that might tend to alarm their Protestant brethren ; pointing 
out the embarrassment that would necessarily be thrown in the way of the great Catholic 
objects, by anything of riot, tumult or disorder; promising to those who should observe 
the peaceable demeanor recommended by that address, all possible protection, as well 
as by applications to Government, as by supporting at ithe common expense, the cause 
of those who, if attacked in their houses, property or persons, should dutifully appeal 
to the law of the land for redress, where circumstances might not enable them to seek 
that protection themselves ; but that the General Committee would in no case under- 
take the defence of any man who should assist in any riotous or disorderly meeting. 
or should not behave himself soberly, peaceably, and honestly. 

The defence further stated that this address and the resolutions of the 
Volunteers restored peace and harmony to that part of the country, which had 
been harassed for many years before. It likewise mentioned that the person 
alluded to in Mr. Sweetman's letter was recommended by that gentleman's 
commercial correspondent as coming within the description of those whom 
the committee had promised to support ; which, on examining his brother, 
there was found cause to doubt, and on that account all advice and assistance 
was refused. The sub-committee then solemnly asserted that this was the 
only instance of their ever having had any kind of communication with the 
Defenders. As to the levying of money, it specified the different expenses 
which had been incurred in pursuing the Catholic claims, and the necessity of 
voluntary contributions for their discharge. It also denied that any part of them 
was ever applied to any other purpose. Mr. Sweetman's refutation dwelt on 
the same topics, and entered into a minute detail of his communications with 
his commercial correspondent, the gentleman alluded to in the report of the 
secret committee. Notwithstanding the alarms that had been excited previous 
to the publication of the report, no attempt was made to proceed against any 
of the sub-committee or its secretary. 

But, about this time a tumult of another nature occurred, which never 
became an object of parliamentary cognizance; which was stated but imper- 
fectly, even in the "Northern Star", from motives of not very unreasonable 
apprehension ; and which perhaps from a similar cause was scarcely noticed in 
the Dublin prints. It deserves, however, to be rescued from oblivion, and 
assigned to its proper place in history. For some days previous to the fifteenth 

Attack on Lisburn 105 

of March, various movements of the military were made towards Belfast, 
which were supposed to indicate some extraordinary measure. A train oi 
artillery, consisting of two mortars and two field pieces, was brought to 
Lisburn, within seven miles of that town, and the inhabitants were also warned 
from different quarters of some impending mischief. On the fifteenth, at 
about two o'clock, four troops of the 17th dragoons having arrived in the 
vicinity by different routes, galloped into the centre of the town from its two 
Opposite extremities with their sabres drawn, as if in full charge. After this 
singular manner of entering into a place where profound tranquillity pre- 
vailed, where cavalry had never been quartered before, and where none ivas 
at that time expected, they were billeted on the principal taverns. 

The inhabitants had not in general risen from their dinners when a most 
alarming tumult began to take place. The dragoons had issued out from 
their respective quarters with their sabres drawn, generally in parties of from 
ten to twenty, under the orders of a sergeant or corporal. They proceeded 
to attack every person, of every age and sex, who happened to be in the 
streets and wounded many very severely. They had provided themselves with 
two or three ladders, upon which they mounted to demolish obnoxious signs, 
among which was that of Dr. Franklin. This having been made of copper 
cost them much useless labor with their swords ; and the delay it occasioned 
gave some little opportunity to the inhabitants to recover from their astonish- 
ment, and think on their situation. The soldiers proceeded with a written 
list to attack the houses of several individuals who had been long known for 
their popular principles. They also broke such windows of milliners or 
haberdashers as contained in them anything green. 

This scene lasted until quite dark, when the inhabitants having begun to 
assemble in groups, and consult together, were preparing to fly to arms. The 
magistrates and the officers then interfered, and shortly put an end to the 
military outrage. It is worth notice, that during the whole of this transaction, 
the 55th regiment, at that time in garrison in Belfast, was drawn up under 
arms within the barracks ; but did not interfere until the dragoons had retired, 
when they were ordered out to line the streets, and prevent any assemblage 
of the townspeople. So ended the evening of the fifteenth. 

The night was spent in anxious alarm, few of the inhabitants went to bed, 
lest the attack should be renewed. From what occurred next day, however, 
it is evident that the Volunteers were not remiss during that time in making 
preparations for defence. 

On the morning of the sixteenth the streets were almost deserted. The 
sovereign, .Mr. Bristow (who appears, in this awful dilemma, not to have 
forgotten the duty he owed to the community), called a meeting of the in- 
habitants by public notice at the different places of worship. This meeting 
was so numerously attended that it was held in the open air. The sovereign 
informed the inhabitants of his having waited upon General White, who com- 
manded in the district, but who had been out of town the night before, and 
that the general expressed some regret at what had occurred, and was willing 

106 Claim of General White 

to concert measures for the future peace of the place. The meeting appointed 
a committee of twenty-one, including all the magistrates, to confer with him 
on this subject. 

Meanwhile the dragoons were manifesting every determination to re- 
commence their proceedings as soon as it should be dark; they were even 
observed marking the houses of the most obnoxious persons, that had escaped 
them the night before from their ignorance of the town, to which they were 
all utter strangers. It was evening before the committee could meet the gen- 
eral : even his sincerity was doubted, for one of the warnings of danger 
to the town which had been given, and was believed, consisted of an 
assurance, that he had some time before written to Government, expressing 
his apprehensions that when he should be committed with Belfast, he should 
not be able to prevent his soldiers from plundering the town, as the inhabitants 
were rich, and had a great deal of plate in their houses. But if the general 
was sincere the discipline of the troops was very questionable; no time was, 
therefore, to be lost; night was coming on. The Volunteers, to the number 
of about seven hundred, being all who had arms, repaired as privately as 
possible to two places of parade, both near the centre of the town. They had 
also placed a guard in every house where an attack was expected. Several 
of the neighboring country corps had sent them assurances that they would 
march to the support of the inhabitants on the first intimation of its being 
necessary. Thus prepared, and certain of reinforcements, they calmly waited 
the result of the conference between the committee and the general. 

This was for some time prevented from taking place by a demand on the 
part of General White to be admitted as a member of the committee, he 
having been shortly before appointed a magistrate of the county. His ap^ 
pointment was made pursuant to the system which administration had even 
then adopted, of associating into the commission of the peace many military 
officers, quartered in what it conceived to be unfriendly places. It did so 
without any regard to habitual residence, to local connections, or fortune, and 
without any view to their interfering in the ordinary duties of the office, but 
merely to elude the ancient provisions of the law requiring that the army, 
whenever called out to act, should be under the direction and control of a 
civil officer. The general's claim was, therefore, peremptorily refused by the 
committee, who insisted that by magistrates were meant such as had some 
stability and property in the county, not ephemeral agents, constituted only 
because they were military men, for a time stationed in the district. In con- 
sequence of this delay, one division of the Volunteers, apprehending that 
matters would come to extremities, moved from its parade, and took post in 
the exchange. This General White soon perceived, and sent his aide-de-camp, 
Captain Bourne, to the sovereign, then presiding at the committee, to demand 
the keys of the market-house in His Majesty's name, as the Volunteers had 
taken the strongest position in the town, and he insisted on having the second. 
Some of the committee, not apprized of the movement of the Volunteers, said 
it was only a guard which was placed in the exchange. "I know it is not a 

Last Effort of the Volunteers 107 

guard," replied the aide-de-camp, "I have just examined ii by order oi ( ieneral 
White, and the area is a grove of bayonets. I therefore demand, in the king's 
name, the keys of the market-house". The sovereign answered that the market- 
house did not belong to him; that he was then in the midst of the magistrates 
and principal inhabitants of the town, and would be guided only by them; the 
keys were therefore withheld. 

At length, at about seven o'clock, the committee and the general met. 
The general demanded that the Volunteers should disperse, as a preliminary 
to the conference. This was refused by the committee, on the ground that 
these corps had assembled merely as a precautionary measure of defence, and 
that when they were satisfied as to the safety of persons and property, their 
members would immediately repair to their homes. The general complained 
that he was in an irksome situation, and knew not well what to do. He could 
not enter into terms which would appear as a compromise, or rather a capitu- 
lation on the part of His Majesty's troops; but he would answer for the 
safety of the town and the discipline of the dragoons. To this it was replied, 
that if the outrage was merely a mutinous excess of the men, contrary to their 
orders, it was impossible for the general to answer that it would not again 
occur; his pressing such responsibility would rather confirm the suspicion that 
the violence had been sanctioned by authority, and that his absence the night 
before was not merely accidental : in short, that there was only one way of 
allaying all apprehensions, and that was to remove the dragoons. To this at 
length the general acceded, and a written agreement was entered into, wherein 
he pledged himself publicly and personally, for the safety of the inhabitants 
during the night, and that the troops should be removed next morning. To 
this agreement the sovereign signed his name as a witness, and upon its being 
communicated to the Volunteers, they instantly dispersed. The dragoons were 
accordingly removed, and not afterwards replaced by any other corps. 
Whether that agreement was considered, what General White apprehended it 
would be, a "capitulation on the part of His Majesty's troops", it is not easy 
to say; but he did not long continue in the command of that district. 

That was the last effort of the Volunteers; for shortly afterwards Gov- 
ernment expressly commanded that every assemblage of that body should 
be prevented by military force : and a review of some country corps at Doah, 
in the County of Antrim, having been previously fixed upon for some few 
days after, the army was marched out of Belfast, on the very morning of the 
review, to meet and disperse them. But the Volunteers, having been fortunately 
apprized of these steps, were able to guard against the melancholy conse- 
quences that might have ensued, and entirely avoided assembling. 

The Catholic Bill having at last found its way through the forms of 
Parliament, and received the royal assent, the general committee again met 
on the twenty-fifth of April. After expressing its thankfulness to the king 
for his interposition on behalf of its constituents, and voting some substantial 
and honorable proofs of its gratitude to individuals who had labored in the 
Catholic cause, it directed its attention towards one of the most desrradin<r 

108 Commercial Distress 

and deleterious consequences of the lately repealed Popery Laws ; and ap- 
pointed a committee to consult, communicate and correspond upon the means 
of procuring an improved system of education for the Catholic youth of 
Ireland. The general committee further signalized itself by marking, in its 
last moments, its attachment to the entirely unaccomplished object for which 
the Protestant reformers were so anxious. It "most earnestly exhorted the 
Catholics of Ireland to co-operate with their Protestant brethren, in all legal 
and constitutional means, to carry into effect that great measure, recognized 
by the wisdom of Parliament, and so essential to the freedom, happiness and 
prosperity of Ireland, a reform of the representation of the people in the 
Commons House". Having done this, it dissolved itself: since, by the restora- 
tion of the elective franchise, the Catholics of Ireland were enabled to speak 
individually the language of freemen, and that they no longer wished to be 
considered as a distinct body of His Majesty's subjects. Glad as the govern- 
ment was at the quiet dissolution of this committee, it was deeply offended at 
their valedictory resolution. 

Public attention, however, was now occupied by the distresses of traders 
and manufacturers, particularly in the cotton line, who were reduced to great 
embarrassments by the first consequences of the war. Their warehouses were 
overstocked with goods, which they were unable to send to any market ; they, 
therefore, became incompetent to answer the demands for which they were 
responsible, and the workmen were reduced to the greatest distress for want 
of employment. The immediate pressure of this calamity was wisely removed, 
and credit greatly restored by advances from Government, to such persons as 
could deposit goods to a sufficient amount, or produce equivalent security. 
The sum of £200,000 was entrusted to the management of commissioners, who 
granted out of it, to the different claimants, such sums as they judged necessary. 

The country was also distracted by risings in many places to resist the 
execution of the militia law. The people in almost every county opposed the 
ballotting, and sometimes ventured to resist the regular forces that were 
brought against them. In the County of Wexford particularly, the insurgents 
attempted to attack the chief town, in order to liberate some prisoners from 
the gaol; and in the conflict, Major Vallotin, who commanded the army, was 
killed. By allowing, however, that enlisted men should be taken, and substitutes 
found; by making some provision for the families of those who were drawn 
by lot ; but still more by the constant and vigilant interposition of military 
force, resistance to the measure was gradually subdued. 

Another instance of opposition to Government occurred where it was 
scarcely expected: in the month of June, at the annual meeting of the Synod 
of Ulster, a body consisting of the whole Dissenting clergy of the North, and 
the presbytery of Dublin, together with a lay delegate from each parish. 
Notwithstanding a recent addition to the regium donum, supposed to be given 
to obtain their influence against the union of sects, this body, in its address 
to the king, expressed its dislike of the war, and its satisfaction at the ad- 
mission of Catholics to the privileges of the constitution. 

Address of Catholic Bishops "" 

l*'ar from the same ungrateful nature was an address with which the Lord 
Lieutenant was honored by the bishops of the long oppressed and reluctantly 
enfranchised religion. Their effusion of thankfulness did not confine itself to 
mere panegyric on his adminstration : it virtually contradicted many of tl 
charges which had been preferred by the laity of the same persuasion. It 
applauded that spirit of conciliation by which it is said I lis Excellency's go\ 
ernment was eminently characterized, and went, by implication, to sever the 
union of the sects. Its compliments were not very consistent with the further 
pursuits of freedom, and its candor was conspicuous in the approval of the 
manner by which Defenderism had been suppressed, and in deploring that the 
majority concerned in that unhappy system of infatuation were of their re- 
ligion. The indignation and astonishment which this address excited among 
the Catholic laity can he easily conceived. It seemed called for-hy no par- 
ticular occasion. It was clandestinely conducted, and even remained a pro- 
found secret until after it had been some days delivered. It was a violation 
of solemn declarations which these very prelates had made from time to time, 
amounting to the fullest assurances that they would never take a step of a 
political nature, but in conjunction with the laity. It was also generally con- 
sidered as an unprincipled coalition with those who exhausted every effort in 
resisting the claims of the Catholics, and whose intolerance compelled that 
body to look upon them in no other light than that of enemies. But it was 
not without an object. The persons to whom the general committee entrusted 
the formation of a plan for the education of the youth of their religion had 
made considerable progress. After several meetings in the early part of the 
summer they had agreed to these general principles : that the plan, while it em- 
braced the Catholic youth, should not exclude those of any other persuasion; 
that it should depend on the people for its support, and be subject to the joint 
control of the clergy and laity. They had, by correspondence with different 
parts of the kingdom, assured themselves that there would be no deficiency of 
ample resources for carrying it into effect. They had also submitted their 
general principles to the prelates themselves, the majority of whom expressed 
the most decided approbation. They had even held meetings with those 
reverend persons upon the best mode of bringing those principles into action. 
At one of those meetings, Dr. Reily, the Catholic primate. Dr. Troy r , the Arch- 
bishop of Dublin, and four others who were present, made very considerable 
offers of pecuniary aid. more than might have been expected from their 
limited incomes. Dr. Reily likewise proposed the sketch of a plan nearly as 
follows : that there should be a grammar school in each diocese, where the 
lower branches of education should be elementarily taught ; that there should 
be four provincial academies, where such youths as were designed for the 
Church, for other professions or literary pursuits, should be received from 
the diocesan schools, instructed in the languages and sciences ; lastly, that there 
should be one grand seminary, in which those who had passed through any of 
the provincial schools should be entered for the purpose of standing public ex- 
aminations; such as were destined for the Church, to receive the necessarv testi- 

11° Plan for Catholic Education 

monials for their ordination, and such as were otherwise disposed to qualify 
themselves for degrees, in whatever college they should think fit, which might 
be authorized by law to confer those dignities. 

This outline, with some other material, had been referred to Dr. Ryan, 
Dr. M'Neven and Mr. Lyons, three gentlemen extremely well qualified for 
digesting a more detailed plan, and they were actually occupied on the sub- 
ject. They hoped by its accomplishment to deserve, and probably to acquire 
to themselves and their fellow-laborers, the gratitude of their countrymen and 
of posterity, for a wise and comprehensive system of education, which should 
not only benefit the Catholic body, but also embrace the general civilization of 
Ireland; which, independent of its direct advantages, might by the force of 
emulation, awake the established institutions from their present torpor, and 
perhaps even excite the silent sister of the English universities into something 
like literary exertion. But while they were indulging their enthusiastic ex- 
pectations, there is strong reason to believe that the Catholic hierarchy had 
privately stated these proceedings to Administration, and given it the option 
either to permit the members of that religion to establish a popular system of 
education, which might not be conducted entirely to the satisfaction of the 
Court, or to assist the prelates with its influence and resources to establish 
another, over which they, having entire control, could so manage as to make it 
subservient to every purpose which Government might wish to derive from 
such an institution. On these latter terms a bargain appears to have been 
concluded, in which the address to His Excellency was to be part of the price 
for Court protection. Certain it is, that after that address was presented, all 
co-operation and confidence between the prelates and the laity were destroyed, 
and the gentlemen who were preparing a popular plan were assured they 
might desist from their labors, as an arrangement had been made for Catholic 
education, which should be solely conducted by the bishops, under the auspices 
of Government and the sanction of Parliament. 

The projected system of strong measures was now to be completed by the 
legislature. The report of the secret committee of the lords, asserted, with a 
strange confusion of expressions, that the existence of a self-created, rep- 
resentative body of any description of the king's subjects, "taking upon itself 
the government of them, and laying taxes or subscriptions", to be applied at 
the discretion of that representative body, or of persons deputed by them, was 
incompatible with the public safety and tranquillity. The Convention Bill 
was, therefore, brought in and passed; but although it was professed to be 
calculated solely against such bodies as were described in the report, its title 
was to prevent the election or appointment of unlawful assemblies, "under 
pretence of preparing or presenting public petitions, or other addresses to His 
Majesty or the Parliament." The Bill enacted that all such assemblies should 
be unlawful; but it had the mercy to declare that His Majesty's subjects might 
still petition the king or Parliament. A traitorous Correspondence Bill was 
likewise enacted, conformable to that in England. To preserve the same 
uniformity, and perhaps also as an equivalent for the sacrifices to which 

The Friends of Peace hi 

Opposition had freely consented, a Libel Bill and Place Bill were permitted 
to pass. 

On the nineteenth of July, Mr. George Ponsonby, in the name of his 
brother, presented a bill for the more equal representation of the people in 
Parliament. The former gentleman, with his connections, had ever since the 
regency dispute joined the Opposition; and by their influence, as well as by 
his own abilities, be had acquired as much consideration and import rune as 
could be conferred by a part), which adhered neither to Government nor the 
people. The outline of the plan proposed by this bill was, that three repre- 
sentatives should be appointed for each county, and for the cities of Dublin 
and Cork. With regard to other cities, boroughs, towns or manors, that per- 
sons residing within the distance of four miles every way from the centre of 
each (within such variations as necessity might demand), should have a right 
to vote for its representatives, if possessed of a ten-pound freehold ; that no 
person admitted to the freedom of any corporation should thereby acquire such 
a right, unless he were also seized within the city or town corporate, of a five- 
pound freehold, upon which he or his family resided for a year before the 
election and admission ; that this regulation should not extend to persons ac- 
quiring that freedom by birth, marriage, or service ; and lastly, that an oath 
should be taken by every person returned to serve in Parliament, that he had 
not purchased his seat. 

This plan may perhaps not unjustly be considered as flowing from the 
principle of property qualification, adopted by a society which called itself 
the Friends of the Constitution, Liberty, and Peace. When the union of 
Catholics and Dissenters in pursuit of the same objects had succeeded in rais- 
ing the question of reform from the neglect into which it had fallen after the 
Convention of 1784, and the force of public opinion was bearing powerfully 
upon that point, a number of noblemen and gentlemen of the first rank and 
fortune, with the Duke of Leinster at their head, collecting around them as 
much as possible the friends of reform in Parliament, in the Whig Club, and 
at the Bar, formed themselves in the latter end of 1792, into a society under 
that name. It was expected by its respectability to overawe, and by its modera- 
tion to curb, the much more democratic United Irishmen. When it had thus 
superseded what its partisans termed faction and sedition, it intended to put 
itself at the head of the people. That its loyalty might be unquestioned, a 
disavowal of republican principles was made an integral part of its admission 
test. So long as the Irish ministers were balancing upon their line of conduct, 
they patronized, as much as was consistent with their characters, this check 
upon their most formidable opponents, by means of which silent approbation, 
and of the society's own landed connections, it was enabled to put out some 
offshoots in other parts of the kingdom. But w-hen reform was to be seriouslv 
resisted, the Friends of Peace were not found forward to struggle against the 
storm, and the society expired of languor, while the United Irishmen were 
maintaining themselves against denunciations, prosecutions and imprisonments. 
These last in Dublin had also submitted to public consideration a plan of 

112 Session of 1794 

parliamentary reform, on the broad base of universal suffrage, for which they 
were become unequivocal advocates. 

In truth, however, by this time all prospect of accomplishing anything on 
that subject had everywhere disappeared. The hope that had been excited by 
the unanimous consent of Parliament to go into a committee was disappointed 
by the rejection of Mr. Grattan's resolutions, and the adoption of Sir John 
Parnell's amendment; it was completely blasted by the successive adjourn- 
ments, which defeated every attempt to render the committee's proceedings of 
any avail ; and the presenting of Mr. Ponsonby's bill was rather considered as 
the formal discharge of a promise long since made, than as a step towards 

The expression, too, of that spirit which called for reform, was greatly 
restrained by the coercive measures of Government and Parliament at home, 
and by the gloomy appearances abroad. France was agitated by the defec- 
tions of its generals, the insurrections in the West, the contest between the 
Mountain and the Girondists, and the successful pressure of foreign armies. 
Even when that country again began to assume an offensive aspect, and deter- 
mined on the motion of Barrere to rise in mass, the enthusiasm by which it 
was actuated failed of exciting correspondent demonstrations in Ireland ; very 
much indeed from the effects of domestic terror, but in many cases unques- 
tionably from a contemplation and horror of that beginning system in the 
French Republic. The professions of atheism and the open mockery of Chris- 
tianity shocked a people that always cherished and respected religion. The 
carnage committed by the revolutionary tribunals and the tyranny of the Com- 
mittee of Public Safety deeply afflicted the lovers of liberty and justice. The 
assertions boldly made by the anti-reformists and the adherents of government 
that those outrages were essentially connected with the march of democracy, 
alarmed the timid, revolted those whose liberal politics were more the result 
of feeling than of reflection, and even co-operated with the measures of Gov- 
ernment, in compelling many of the philosophic reformers to wait in silence 
a more favorable opportunity, when what had been lost of public reason and 
public strength should be again restored. 

In this state of active outcry on the one part and temporary inaction 
1794 on the other, Parliament again met on the twenty-first of January, 
1794. During this session Opposition in almost every case melted 
itself down into the common mass of ministerial advocates. The address to 
His Majesty was unanimously voted without amendment, Mr. Grattan having 
only broken silence to state his determination to preserve the connection with 
Great Britain, and to assist her in the war, even if it were more unsuccessful. 
He afterwards, in the course of the session, introduced a motion relative to 
an equalization of duties between the two countries, but Mr. Secretary Douglas, 
having moved the question of adjournment, he declined pressing his own 
motion, lest it should seem to imply a distraction of sentiment in the House. 
The Alien and Gunpowder Bills were continued likewise without resistance 
or comment, and that precedent was afterwards constantly followed. 

Volunteers Dispersed 113 

The only instance where * opposition seemed to assume anything of us 
former tone was in the debate upon Mr. Ponsonby's reform bill on the fourth 
of March; but even then that party was particularly careful to mark its abhor- 
rence of democracy, of French principles and universal suffrage. Sir Law- 
rence Parsons, indeed, very strikingly pointed out what he called the imposture 
and mockery of the existing representation: 

When the Americans were deliberating, said he, on their new constitution, if 
any one had got up among them, and had proposed such an institution as our present 
borough representation, and had said, there is a certain ruin in Virginia, let it send 
two representatives, to he named by any twelve persons Mr. Washington shall appoint; 
and there is a certain tree in Pennsylvania; let it send two representatives, to be named 
by any twelve persons Mr. Franklin shall appoint; and so on — would not the man 
have been deemed mad who made such a proposition. An institution, then, which 
any rational set of men upon earth would deem a man mad for having proposed, can it be 
sound sense in you to retain? 

Mr. Grattan, too, among other arguments in support of the plan before 
the House, asserted that ninety, or, as he believed, about forty individuals, 
returned a vast majority in the House of Commons : 

Of property, said he. it will be found that those who return that majority (it is I 
believe two-thirds), have not an annual income of three hundred thousand pounds, while 
they give and grant above three millions, — that is, the taxes they give are ten times, 
and the property they tax is infinitely greater than the property they represent. 

Hut his speech was most particularly remarkable for a series of epigram- 
matic invectives against the United Irishmen of Dublin, their plan of reform, 
and the principle of universal suffrage. 

To this display of what they styled "the highest genius with the lowest 
ribaldry", they replied in an answer full of argument, and which cannot be 
refused at least the merit of temper and moderation ; but in doing so they 
made their last public effort. Mr. Hamilton Rowan had been found guilty on 
the preceding twenty-ninth of January of publishing a seditious libel, by dis- 
tributing the address of that society to the Volunteers of Ireland, and sen- 
tenced to two years' imprisonment, and a fine of five hundred pounds. 
Government then felt itself emboldened, after the rejection of Mr. Ponsonby's 
bill, by a majority of one hundred and forty-two to forty-four, to disperse 
the only body under its immediate observation, that presumed to brave its 
power, and persevered in pursuing reform. This Mr. Sheriff Giffard accom- 
plished by its order, and without resistance, in consequence of the general 
apparent apathy, and of a conviction on the minds of the members themselves, 
that there now remained no hope of acquiring the object for which they 
sought, by similar meetings, or by public discussions. 

This society from its first formation, had been a mark for the abuse of 
Government and its adherents. To the perseverance and exertions, however, 
of the United Irishmen of Dublin, may be attributed much of the change which 
took place in the public mind in favor of the Catholic claims. Just before the 
existence of their society the followers of that religion would not be permitted 

114 Hints at French Invasion 

in an address of loyalty to the viceroy to express a hope of relief; and not a 
member of Parliament could be found even to present a petition to the legis- 
lature, praying that their case might be taken into consideration : yet the 
institution had not been eighteen months established when, in spite of denun- 
ciations of war from the Protestant Ascendancy, and with only the ungracious 
and constrained assent of the Irish Government, the Popery Laws, the dis- 
grace and scourge of a century, were reduced to a few comparatively insig- 
nificant restraints. 

A reform in Parliament seemed at one time, too, on the point of being 
conceded to that spirit, which the same society had been very instrumental in 
exciting, and was always among the foremost to evince. Whether that spirit 
be characterized as patriotism and firmness, or as faction or sedition, if all 
the friends of reform had concurred in displaying as much of it as was shown 
by the United Irishmen, and had marched pari passu with them, there can be 
no reasonable doubt but that their efforts would have been crowned with com- 
plete success. Thus might Ireland, under the vigilant protection and ameliorat- 
ing cares of a free, regenerated legislature, have emerged from her debase- 
ment, poverty and wretchedness ; have rapidly risen to importance and opul- 
ence, to prosperity and happiness ; have escaped her subsequent calamities, her 
scenes of persecution, desolation, outrage and horror; have still continued a 
distinct and independent, as she would have been an admired and respected 

The present inaction on the part of the people, does not, however, seem to 
have deluded Parliament into an opinion that coercion had produced conviction 
in the lower orders, or that the Gunpowder and Convention Bills, with all their 
consequences, had removed a sense of grievance from the Irish mind. Colonel 
Blaquiere (as if he had the wildness to suppose that such a motion could be 
entertained in the assembly he addressed), proposed that every member should 
send for each of his tenants, who paid him under forty pounds a year, and 
refund him three shillings in the pound of his last September's rent. There 
was not a man among them, he said, who in case of commotion could find 
fifty followers on his estate, perfectly attached to the constitution. He went 
on, and said the French were meditating something wicked ; he inclined to 
believe it was Ireland they meant to visit — half the nation was attached to 
them — he would be right if he said more than half. This was reprehended 
with such an irritation on the part of the House, as sometimes betrays itself in 
those who are unexpectedly offended by the statement of an undeniable and 
unwelcome truth. Sir Lawrence Parsons urged Administration to take 
measures for putting the country into a proper state of defence, by raising and 
officering independent companies. His importunity on this subject was almost 
deemed troublesome; but in pressing it on ministers, he told them he thought 
they were sleeping on a volcano. 

And deep and terrible, indeed, was the volcano, which secret discontent was 
forming, and gradually extending throughout the land. The press had been 
overawed and subdued ; numberless prosecutions had been commenced against 

Offer of French Aid 115 

almost every popular publication, but particularly against the "Northern Star". 
The expectations of the reformers had been blasted, their plans had been 
defeated, and decisive means had been taken by Government to prevent their 
being resumed. It became, therefore, necessary to wait for new events, from 
which might be formed new plans. Nor did such events seem distant; for 
now the French armies were again emblazoning their cause with success, and 
hiding in the splendor of their victories, the atrocities of their government. 
This raised a returning hope, that the crimes and calamities of the moment 
might pass away from that republic, and the permanent consequences of its 
revolution still shed a happy influence on Ireland. The utterance of opinions 
favorable to reform and democracy was prevented in the upper and middling 
ranks, by the coercion they experienced and by the outcries that were raised 
against France, against her principles, and from them against liberty itself. 
But those restraints and reflections scarcely affected the lower orders, in 
themselves nineteen-tw entieths of the population ; whose proceedings were 
unobserved, whose reasonings were confined to their own misery, and whose 
views were entirely directed to its alleviation. The system of Defenderism, 
therefore, continued to spread from Ulster into Connaught, Leinster and 
Munster, privately and uninterruptedly, although its progress was marked in 
those places by some appearances of assembling and disturbance. The De- 
fenders, likewise, began to entertain an idea, that possibly the French might 
visit Ireland, and that from thence benefits would result to them and their 
country; for in some places it was made a part of the oath, and in others 
well understood, that they should join the French in case of an invasion. 
There is not, however, any reason to believe that this expectation arose from 
any communication with France; but only from the strength and ardency of 
their own wishes. They were also, as yet, unconnected with any persons of 
information or an higher order. But even these last were not induced by their 
defeats and disappointments entirely to relinquish their political pursuits: on 
the contrary, some of them began to resolve on more important measures. 

At an earlier period, when the Brissotins had declared war against England, 
they sent a confidential agent to Ireland, with offers of succor, if it would 
attempt to liberate and separate itself from their enemy. This gentleman 
arrived in Dublin sometime in the summer of 1793, with an introduction to 
Lord Edward Fitz-Gerald. His offers were made known to Messrs. Butler 
and Bond, then in Newgate, to Mr. Rowan, Dr. Reynolds and some others; 
but those persons, then so obnoxious to Government, discountenanced the 
proposal, and it was dropped. Now, however, a similar application was dif- 
ferently received. When the Committee of Public Safety came into power they 
employed the Reverend William Jackson, who had been for some years 
resident in France, to go to England and Ireland for the purpose, among 
other things, of getting accurate information of the state of each. In London 
he contrived to obtain a paper descriptive of the state of England, which 
asserted that all parties would unite to repel an invasion. He then determined 
to proceed to Dublin ; but first made Mr. Cockayne (an attorney who had been 

116 Tone's View of Ireland 

his acquaintance for many years), privy to his mission. Mr. Cockayne 
directly communicated the intelligence to the English ministry, and was or- 
dered to contrive that he might be Mr. Jackson's travelling-companion, and 
a vigilant reporter of his proceedings. They accordingly set out together, 
about April, 1794, for Dublin, when they accidently met a gentleman, who had 
known Mr. Cockayne in London, and, of course, invited him and his fellow- 
traveller to dinner. The company consisted of men whose principles were 
democratic, and the conversation was consequently of that cast. By means of 
an acquaintance which Mr. Jackson there formed with Mr. Lewines, and by 
some intimation of his not being an unimportant character, he contrived to be 
introduced to Mr. Hamilton Rowan, then in Newgate, and by him to Mr. Tone 
and Dr. Reynolds. To them he communicated the motives of his journey, and 
showed them the paper he had procured in England. This caused Mr. Tone 
to draw up, for the purpose also of being sent to France, a succinct and 
forcible statement of what he conceived to be the actual situation of Ireland. 
He divided its population into religious and political classes, of each of which 
he pointed out the strength, interests, dispositions and grievances, together 
with the effect that would be produced on each by an invasion. 

In a word, concluded he, from reason, reflection, interest, prejudice, the spirit 
of change, the misery of the great bulk of the nation, and above all, the hatred of the 
English name, resulting from the tyranny of near seven centuries, there seems to be 
little doubt but an invasion in sufficient force would be supporte3 by the people. There 
is scarcely any army in the country, and the militia, the bulk of whom are Catholics, 
would to a moral certainty refuse to act, if they saw such a force as they could look to, 
for support. 

Mr. Jackson was so pleased with this paper and its author, that he pressed 
him very strongly to go to France, and enforce in person its contents ; promis- 
ing him the utmost success, both as a public and private man. At first Mr. 
Tone agreed to this proposal; but afterwards declined it, on account of his 
wife and children. Mr. Rowan then suggested that Dr. Reynolds should go 
on the same mission, which he was not unwilling to do, but was dis- 
countenanced by Mr. Jackson, who wished it to be undertaken by no other 
person but Tone, of whose consent he had not entirely despaired. While this 
was going on, Government was minutely informed of every particular by the 
intervention of Cockayne; and having intercepted some of Jackson's letters, 
enough to form a body of evidence against him, he was arrested the latter 
end of April. Dr. Reynolds shortly after got privately to America. Mr. 
Rowan escaped from Newgate on the night of the first of May, and was 
conveyed on board a small vessel in Dublin harbor, that had been secured for 
him by a friend. A proclamation was directly issued by Government, offering 
£1,000 reward for his apprehension, and another by the corporation of Dublin, 
from whose gaol he had escaped, offering £500 for the same purpose. The 
sailors of the ship in which he was concealed, knowing whom they had on 
board, showed him the two proclamations, to which he answered : "Lads, my 
life is in your hands", and made them fully acquainted with the cause of his 

Tone's Escape 1 17 

danger and flight. They instantly assured him they never would betray, but 
would protect him to the last extremity. Accordingly, on the first change of 
wind, they put to sea, and landed him safely in France. Tone, on the other 
hand, made no attempt at concealment or escape. It was not at first ascer- 
tained that Cockayne was an informer, and even after he had reason to be 
otherwise convinced, he persuaded himself that no more could be proved 
against him, than misprision of treason, in concealing a solicitation to go to 
France, which he had rejected. In this opinion he was probably mistaken, 
but the point was never tried, owing to the interposition of private friendship. 
Mr. Marcus Beresford and others, whose government connections were of the 
first importance, interested themselves zealously and successfully, to screen 
him from prosecution. Attempts, however, were made to induce him, by 
threats and offers, to appear against his associates; but this he rejected with 
indignation. He communicated unequivocally to the servants of the Crown, 
everything he had done himself; but refused to disclose what might affect 
others; and added, that if he was left unmolested, it was his intention, as soon 
as he could settle his affairs, and receive payment of the £1500 that had been 
voted him by the Catholic Committee, to quit Ireland; that if, however, Gov- 
ernment chose to prevent his doing so, it might arrest him, and if he was 
put upon trial, he would justify his political conduct. The influence of his 
friends, with perhaps his own firmness, prevailed, and he remained undisturbed. 

The arrest of Jackson, and the publication of his designs, conveyed no 
unwelcome information to the body of the Irish people. From thence they 
derived the first authentic intelligence, that their situation was an object of 
attention to France, and that they might perhaps, at some future period, receive 
assistance from that quarter. These expectations were cherished with the 
more ardor, on account of the surprising victories of the Republican armies in 
the summer of 1794, and not a little sweetened by the fall of Robespierre, and 
the consequent hope, that the reign of terror and cruelty was about to cease. 

In the sullen broodings also of secret discontent, republicanism and the 
desire of separation from England, found powerful auxiliaries. Men, whose 
moderate principles and limited views had been bounded by reform thought 
they read in the proscription of Parliament, and the obstinacy of the borough 
proprietors, that reform was equally difficult of attainment as revolution; and 
that the connection with England was the firmest bulwark of the abuses they 
sought to overthrow. From hence they inferred that everything must be 
hazarded before anything could be gained. Some, undoubtedly, were driven 
by the force of this conclusion to rally round the ministerial standard; but 
the immense majority, even of simple reformers, were rather impelled by it to 
aim at more important objects. Nothing, not even a reform, they imagined 
could be accomplished without foreign succors, incompetent as they deemed 
themselves to cope with England and the aristocracy at home. No nation, 
however, could be expected to give effectual aid, unless the end proposed to it 
was, in point of interest, equivalent to the risk. A reform in the Irish 
Parliament was not that equivalent to any foreign State; but the weakening 

118 A New Oath 

of England, by destroying its connection with Ireland, was of supreme im- 
portance, as they thought, to every maritime power. This train of reasoning 
was further strengthened in men of more democratic principles, by a con- 
viction of the superior excellence of a republican government. Reform and 
a republic, said they, are surrounded with equal difficulties, if only the internal 
strength of the Irish people be considered; but the most valuable of these 
objects is by much the most attainable, if reference be had to the chance of 
foreign assistance. 

No steps, however, were at this time taken for action, or even for prepara- 
tion; but all parties were speculating upon some change, in consequence of the 
French successes. There were persons, indeed, who began to think, that after 
the experience of failure from the abandonment by leaders in 1784, and after, 
perhaps, a subsequent experience in 1793, the only sure plan would be, to make 
the mass of the people act ; they never would betray themselves ; nor be satis- 
fied with anything short of what their own wants required. Besides, as the 
remnants of religious animosity were still chiefly to be found in the lower 
orders, it was hoped that by bringing together those of that description, though 
of different sects, they might soon learn the identity of their views and 
interests, and as ardently love, as for centuries past they and their ancestors 
had feared, each other. 

These ideas seemed to influence one of the three societies of United Irish- 
men that had been formed in Belfast ; which having escaped from observation 
by the obscurity of its members, had never entirely discontinued its sittings; 
and also another club of men, principally in the same sphere of life, some of 
whom had indeed been United Irishmen ; but others never were. As there was 
scarcely a possibility of assembling in public, or of openly expressing their 
political sentiments, they wished to devise other means, and determined, as 
far as in their power, to influence the Friends of Liberty to come together 
again, and institute a system of secret association ; this they soon in part 
accomplished. Instead of the United Irish test an oath mostly copied from 
it was adopted; but the substance was so altered as to correspond with the 
progress of opinions. It did not, like the test, simply bind to the use of 
abilities and influence in the attainment of an impartial and adequate repre- 
sentation of the Irish nation in Parliament ; but every member was sworn to 
"persevere in his endeavors to obtain an equal, full and adequate representa- 
tion of all the people of Ireland", thus leaving ample room for the efforts of 
republicanism. Secrecy and mutual confidence were also necessary, and the 
laws, which stood in the way of the pursuits and objects of these societies, 
were to be disarmed of their terrors. For this purpose it was made part of 
the admission oath, that neither hopes nor fears, rewards nor punishments, 
should e\er induce the person taking it, directly or indirectly, to inform or 
give evidence against any member of those societies, for any act or expression 
pursuant to the spirit of the obligation; thus stamping as a perjurer the man 
who should become an informer; attaching an additional sense of moral guilt 
to a dereliction of their cause, and destroying all regard of those recently- 

Portland's Policy H9 

made laws, which they said were enacted by a government it was criminal 
to support. 

This plan was adopted, and the new test was taken by the two Belfast 
clubs; several others were also organized in that town and its vicinity, during 
the autumn and winter of 1794. As the name of United Irishmen was dear 
to the people, from the obloquies which had been cast upon them by the 
friends of Government ; and as it so well expressed their own intentions, the 
title of that body was adopted for the new associations; and this identity 
of name has generally led into an erroneous belief, that the new system was 
only a direct continuation of the old one. 

It has been already hinted, and can not be too forcibly impressed on the 
reflecting reader, that this institution, which from its very outset, looked 
towards a republican government, founded on the broadest principles of 
religious liberty and equal rights ; that this institution, the consequences of 
which are yet to be read in the history of Ireland, was not the cabal of 
ambitious leaders, of artful intriguers, or speculative enthusiasts. Its first 
traces are to be found among mechanics, petty shop-keepers and farmers, who 
wanted a practical engine, by which the power and exertions of men like 
themselves, might be most effectually combined and employed ; accordingly the 
scheme was calculated to embrace the lower orders, and in fact to make every 
man a politician. From the base of society it gradually ascended, first to the 
middling and then to the more opulent ranks. Even in the very town where 
it had its origin, its existence was for a long time unknown to the generality 
of those who had previously been the most prominent democratic characters; 
nor did they enter into the organization until they saw how extensively it 
included those below them. 

While this system was making its advances silently but rapidly in the 
North, a change took place in the lieutenancy of Ireland. When Mr. Pitt 
thought it advisable to dismember the English Opposition, by detaching from 
it those whose opinions on the subject of the French war most nearly coincided 
with his own, the Duke of Portland was prevailed upon to enter the Cabinet, 
by such offers as can be best inferred from Lord Fitzwilliam's letters to 
Lord Carlisle, which have been published by the authority of the writer. These 
offers are sufficiently expressed in the following passages: 

When the Duke of Portland and his friends were to be enticed into a coalition 
with Mr. Pitt's administration, it was necessary to hold out such lures, as would make 
the coalition palatable. If the general management and superintendence of Ireland 
had not been offered to His Grace, that coalition could never have taken place. 

The superintendence of that country having been vested in the duke, he 
seems to have been seriously intent on remedying some of the vices in its 
government. The system of that government, he said, was execrable ; so 
execrable as to threaten not only Ireland with the greatest misfortune, but 
ultimately the empire. So strong was this opinion on his mind, that he 
seemed determined on going himself to reform those manifold abuses; if he 

120 Fitzwilliam 

could not find some one in whom he might have the most unbounded con- 
fidence, to undertake the arduous task. Such a person he found in Lord Fitz- 
william, his second self, his nearest and dearest friend. That nobleman was 
far from desirous of undertaking the herculean office ; but he was urgently 
pressed and persuaded by the Duke of Portland. They both had connections 
and political friends in Ireland, members of the Opposition, whom they wished 
to consult on the future arrangements, and whose support Lord Fitzwilliam 
conceived of indispensable importance. Mr. Grattan, Mr. William Ponsonby, 
Mr. Denis Bowes Daly, and other members of that party, were, therefore, 
invited to London. They held frequent consultations with the Duke of Port- 
land and Lord Fitzwilliam, at which Mr. Edmund Burke also occasionally 

As they had, during the preceding session of Parliament, even under the 
unpopular administration of Lord Westmoreland, expressed their approbation 
of the war, and assented to the strong measures of Government, they were 
very ready to join with the Duke of Portland in rallying under the standard 
of Mr. Pitt, provided certain domestic stipulations were acceded to, from which 
they hoped to secure some share of public confidence. Among these were 
unqualified Catholic Emancipation, the dismissal of what was called the 
Beresford faction, with adequate regulations for preventing embezzlement, 
and for securing order and economy in the collection and administration of 
the treasury and revenue. Mr. Burke also suggested a further measure of 
liberality, flowing to the Catholics from Government itself. They, he asserted, 
were far from being conciliated even by the partial repeal of the Popery Laws 
in 1793 ; inasmuch as Administration, while it acceded to the law, showed 
dislike to its relief, by avoiding as much as possible to act under its pro- 
visions ; although it rendered them admissible to certain offices, no appoint- 
ment had been made which realized to any individual the benefits it promised. 
He, therefore, advised that those places should, in some ascertained proportion, 
be conferred on Catholics, so as to bind more closely the members of that 
communion to the State. 

These consultations lasted for some months, and when the Opposition leaders 
had determined upon their project, it was communicated to the British Cabinet, 
as containing the terms upon which they were willing to take a share in the 
Irish Government. Mr. Pitt wished, and indeed tried to obtain, that some of 
those measures should be at least delayed in the execution for a season ; but 
Mr. Grattan and his friends insisted that they should be brought forward the 
very first session, in order to give eclat to the commencement of their adminis- 
tration. In the propriety of this demand the Duke of Portland uniformly 
concurred, and even Mr. Pitt himself, zuho had previously kept in the back- 
ground, and avoided personal communication with Lord Fitzwilliam' s friends, 
was present at some of the latter interviews, and certainly did not prevent its 
being believed that he acquiesced in those demands, with which it was impos- 
sible to doubt his being acquainted. The members of the Opposition had no 
great experience of cabinets ; they conceived that they were entering into 

Fitzwilliam's Powers 121 

honorable engagements, in which ever} thing that was allowed to be undei -tood, 
was equally binding on whatever was absolutely expressed. They rested satis- 
fied that their stipulations were known and acceded to; they neglected to get 
them formally signed and ratified, or reduced to the shape of an instrument 
from the British Cabinet to the viceroy; they put them unsuspectingly in their 
pockets, and set off to become ministers in Ireland. Dr. Ilussey, too, an Irish- 
man and a Catholic ecclesiastic, who, it is said, had more than once been 
entrusted with important missions by English administrations, was sent over 
by the Cabinet, to superintend and frame a plan for the education of the Irish 
clergy, in coincidence, it was supposed, with the other benefits intended for the 
members of that religion. 

Mr. Grattan and his colleagues were scarcely arrived when, finding that 
public expectation, particularly on the Catholic question, had been awakened 
by the negotiations in England, and by Lord Fitzwilliam's appointment, they 
determined to begin without delay the system of conciliation, for which, as 
they conceived, they had received sufficient authority. It was therefore com- 
municated so early as the fifteenth of December to some of the most active 
members of the late Catholic Committee, that Lord Fitzwilliam had full powers 
to consent to the removal of all remaining disabilities ; but that, as opposition 
to that measure was naturally to be expected from the Protestant Ascendancy, 
it behooved the Catholics to be active in their own cause, and to be prepared 
with petitions from all quarters. This intimation overcame a resolution 
formed by very many of that persuasion, that they would never again consent 
to meet as a distinct body. On the twenty-third, the former sub-committee, 
therefore, advised the Catholics to petition in their different counties and 
districts, for the entire restoration of their rights. 

Lord Fitzwilliam arrived and assumed his office on the fifth of 
1795 January, 1795. As experience had shown how much reputation might 

be hazarded by ministerial coalitions, the friends of His Excellency 
deemed it advisable to counteract the suspicions which his and their novel 
connections might inspire ; they therefore let it be known that he came to 
reverse the system of internal misrule, under which Ireland had been pre- 
viously oppressed. To this assertion instant belief was given, when it was 
understood whom he had called to his councils, and whom he was inclined to 
repel from his presence. Mr. Grattan, Mr. Curran and the Ponsonby family 
were, of late, pledged to the utmost extent of Catholic Emancipation, and, to a 
certain measure at least, of parliamentary reform. An expectation of some- 
thing beneficial was, therefore, entertained from an administration in which 
they were to be conspicuous ; but as the instability of political characters had 
been too often proved, more sanguine confidence was excited by the rumored 
intention to disgrace and dismiss such men as Lord Clare, Mr. Beresford. 
Messrs. Wolfe and Toler. The complete repeal of all the remaining Popery 
Laws was considered as essentially connected with this change, and some even 
ventured to hope for more important public benefits. 

The appointment, therefore, of His Excellency excited a lively interest, and 

122 Catholic Claims 

gave universal satisfaction to those Catholics, Dissenters and liberal members 
of the Establishment, who as yet had not turned their eyes towards republi- 
canism and separation from England; or having done so, had not fixed their 
views so steadily, as not to permit them to be diverted by minor considerations. 
The determined republicans, however, and members of the new organization, 
while they favored the demonstrations of pleasure, because some internal, 
temporary alleviations might be gained, regarded the appointment as a mere 
change of ephemeral politics, which would serve to agitate the ambitious and 
interest the unthinking, but the importance of which was soon to vanish before 
the mightier objects, that were rising to occupy the Irish mind. These men 
also deemed the administration itself eminently suspicious ; because it designed, 
as they alleged, by the popularity of partial measures, to turn public attention 
from more real grievances, and to excite if possible, a general approbation of 
the war with France. 

Lord Fitzwilliam had scarcely assumed the reins of government, when he 
perceived the irresistible propriety of conceding all the rights peculiarly with- 
held from the Catholics. He was waited upon by a very numerous and re- 
spectable assemblage of that body, with an address expressive of their satis- 
faction at His Excellency's appointment, and at his taking to his councils men 
who enjoyed the confidence of the nation, and hoping that, under his adminis- 
tration, an end would be put to all religious distinctions. An interview of 
congratulation was likewise had with Lord Milton, the Lord Lieutenant's sec- 
retary, in which he recommended the most peaceable demeanor and good 
conduct to all ranks ; but mentioned that, whatever steps the Catholics meant 
to pursue, he trusted they were such as would meet the approbation and support 
of the whole body. On the very third day after His Excellency's arrival he 
wrote to the British Secretary of State, declaring his sentiments on the subject 
of their claims; and his expressions are remarkable, because they clearly 
show, not only his own urgency, but also an apprehension that he might be 
thwarted in one of his favorite schemes, to the execution of which he seems 
conscious he had not gotten an unqualified or willing consent. He trembled, 
he said, about the Catholic question ; he stated that he found it already in 
agitation, and concluded by giving his own opinion of the absolute necessity 
of the concession, as a matter not only wise, but essential to the public tran- 
quillity. That letter went by the same mail as one of the preceding day, relative 
to the removal of Messrs. Wolfe and Toler, the attorney- and solicitor-general. 
The Duke of Portland, however, in his reply of the thirteenth, made an omi- 
nous selection of topics ; he omitted saying a word on the Catholic question, 
but informed His Excellency that His Majesty consented to Mr. Wolfe's 
peerage. This letter was far from satisfactory. Lord Fitzwilliam, therefore, 
on the fifteenth, again urged the matter still more forcibly; he stated that, 
from the circumstances of the case, no time was to be lost, and added that if 
he received no peremptory instructions to the contrary, he would acquiesce. 
In that letter he also mentioned the necessisty of dismissing the Beresfords. 

Before those peremptory instructions arrived, Parliament met on the 

Grattan's Speech 123 

twenty-second of January. Mr. Grattan moved the address to His Majesty, 
and his speech on that occasion developed enough of the new system of 
government to confirm the suspicions of the republicans, and considerably to 
impair its popularity with the mass of the people. lie declaimed against the 
French, with the utmost force of invective, and hurried by his zeal to hyper- 
bole, almost to bl.i>pliemy, he said the objects at stake in the war were the 
creature and his Creator, man and the Godhead ; as if the Almighty were to 
be hurled from heaven and deprived of His omnipotence by the success of the 
French Republic. 

In one respect, however, his speech was admirably calculated for its object. 
Supplies to an unprecedented amount were wanting; and they are voted 
by Parliament, not by the people; it therefore dwelt on the topics that were 
most likely, by agitating the passions and exciting the fears of members of 
Parliament, to open the purse-strings of the nation. 

"You know enough", said he, "of levels of Europe to forsee that that great ocean, 
that inundation of barbarity, that desolation of infidelity, that dissolution of government, 
and that sea of arms, if it swells over the continent, must visit our coast" ; and again 
speaking of Great Rritain, "vulnerable in Flanders, vulnerable in Holland, she is mortal 
here [in Ireland]— Here will be the engines of war, the arsenal of the French artillery, 
the station of the French navy, and through this wasted and disembowelled land, 
will be poured the fiery contents of their artillery". 

Mr. Duquery proposed an amendment to the address, imploring His 
Majesty to take the earliest opportunity of concluding a peace with France, 
and not let the form of government in that country be an impediment to that 
great and desirable object. This was negatived, and the address agreed to 
with only three dissenting votes. 

On the twenty-fourth of January, no peremptory instructions having yet 
arrived, Mr. Grattan presented a petition from the Catholics of Dublin, pray- 
ing to be restored to a full enjoyment of the blessings of the constitution, by 
a repeal of all the penal and restrictive laws affecting the Catholics of Ireland. 
Petitions couched in the same terms now poured in from every part of the 
kingdom; no serious opposition to the measure was expected. Parliament 
seemed at length ready to render justice with an unsparing hand; the Prot- 
estants nowhere raised a murmur of dissatisfaction, and a petition in favor 
of this expected liberality, was once more presented by the indefatigable town 
of Belfast. 

Meanwhile, constant correspondences were going on between the govern- 
ments of the two countries. Though Lord Fitzwilliam declared on the fif- 
teenth of January that he would acquiesce in complete Catholic Emancipation, 
unless he should receive peremptory instructions to the contrary, the subject 
was not even touched on in either of the Duke of Portland's letters prior to 
the second of February; on that day he received another, silent like those 
that preceded it on that subject, and merely relating to the intended dismissal 
of Mr. Wolfe. Lord Milton, His Excellency's secretary, also received one of 
the same date from Mr. Wyndham, mentioning Mr. Pitt's reluctance to the 

124 Catholic Relief Deferred 

removal of Mr. Beresford, but nothing more. This last now appears to have 
grown into a subject of some importance, for on the ninth Mr. Pitt himself 
wrote to Lord Fitzwilliam, expostulating on the intended dismissal of Mr. 
Beresford, but still silent on the less material Catholic question ; Mr. Pitt, 
however, concluded with an apology "for interrupting His Lordship's attention 
from the many important considerations of a different nature, to which all 
their minds ought to be directed". 

The Duke of Portland, Lord Fitzwilliam's ''nearest and dearest friend", 
was the person appointed to break the unwelcome intelligence that, notwith- 
standing the length to which the Irish Government was pledged to the Cath- 
olics, its steps must be retraced. In a letter of an earlier date by a day than 
Mr. Pitt's, he brought that business "for the first time into play, as a question 
of any doubt or difficulty with the British cabinet". 

"Then", says Lord Fitzwilliam, in his letter to Lord Carlisle, "it appears to have 
been discovered that the deferring it would be not merely an expediency or thing to 
be desired for the present, but the means of doing a greater good to the British 
empire, than it has been capable of receiving since the revolution, or at least since the 

His Excellency, in his reply to this unexpected communication, set forth 
the danger of retracting, and refused "to be the person to raise a flame, which 
nothing but the force of arms could keep down". 

The business of Parliament, however, was still proceeding, and the budget 
opened on the ninth of February. Before entering on the preparatory state- 
ments, Sir Lawrence Parsons rose, and, after expressing the highest confi- 
dence in the noble lord at the head of the government of the country, and in 
the administration, who aided his councils, wished, on the part of the people, 
to be explicitly informed whether the gentlemen now in power were determined : 

To carry into effect those measures they so repeatedly and ably proposed when in 
opposition — whether the repeal of the Convention Bill — whether the abolition of sinecure 
places, which they had inveighed against — whether the disqualification of placemen from 
sitting in Parliament, which they had branded with corruption — whether a reform in 
Parliament, which they had deemed indispensably necessary, or an equalization of 
commercial benefits between both kingdoms, which they had insisted to be just, were 
now meant to be carried into effect. 

To these questions Mr. Grattan replied in general terms: 

The honorable member has asked whether the same principles which were formerly 
professed by certain gentlemen, with whom I have the honor of acting, were to be 
the ruling principles at present in his majesty's councils? To that I answer, they 
certainly are. 

This answer not appearing sufficiently specific, Sir Lawrence again asked : 

"Whether it was their determination to carry a repeal of the Convention Bill? whether 
they meant to carry the Reform Bill?" He further desired to know "whether the places 
that had been created for corrupt purposes during the close of Lord Buckingham's 
government were to cease? whether the trade between Great Britain and Ireland was 
to continue on its old footing, or to be reduced to a system of justice and perfect 

Debate in Parliament 125 

These were plain questions, he said, which were easily answered. He pro- 
fessed himself willing to co-operate in supporting the war in the most vigorous 
manner; but while Parliament called upon the purse of the nation, he thought it 
their duty to remunerate the people by constitutional benefits, lie did not press 
for particular information ; his questions went only to general measures. On the 
subject of them, the gentleman upon whom he called had frequently gone so 
far as to produce bills, and in a quarter of an hour preparation might be made 
to bring them forward. It would be consolatory to the people to know, before 
the supplies were granted, that a redress of grievances was to follow. These 
gentlemen he had heard say of the Convention Bill, "that it struck at the root 
of every free constitution in the world". If that were true, and that it were 
such an enormity, it ought not to be continued an infection in ours. He con- 
cluded with repeating his respect for, and confidence in Administration. Mr. 
Grattan. after a considerable debate had taken place, during which he had 
ample time for reflecting within himself, and consulting his colleagues, an- 
swered those specific questions in these words : 

To mention every particular bill is unusual — it would be presumptuous. Influence, 
however it may be possessed, ought never to be avowed by a minister in the face of 
Parliament. What has fallen from the honorable baronet, however, induces me to 
say, and I am authorized to mention for the gentlemen with whom I have the honor 
to act. that the same principles which wc professed while in Opposition, continue to 
govern our conduct now, and that we shall endeavor to the utmost of our power to 
give them effect. 

In a subsequent part of the debate, Mr. W. B. Ponsonby (who had intro- 
duced the Reform Bill the year before) said: 

He held it right to notice some expressions that had been thrown out in the 
course of the night, in order to sound whether the gentlemen who possessed the confi- 
dence of Administration, were determined to persevere in the same line of conduct which 
they observed while out of office, and to endeavor for a redress of grievances. For 
his own part he believed and trusted Ihey would go as far as possible to reform abuses, 
to obviate popular complaints, and he should only say, that if not convinced that they 
were of the same sentiments with himself, they should never have his support. 

These replies to specific questions, answering, by something more than 
implication, in the affirmative, had perhaps no influence on the conduct of a 
Parliament, the members of which knew each other so intimately and thor- 
oughly ; but they contributed very much to give confidence in the Fitzwilliam 
administration out of that assembly, and to induce a patient acquiescence in 
the unprecedented grant of one million six hundred and twenty-eight thousand 
pounds, additional debt, and eighty thousand pounds, as estimated by the Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer, but two hundred and fifty thousand pounds, as esti- 
mated by Sir Lawrence Parsons, of additional taxes. 

When the Duke of Portland's letter of the eighth was not yet perhaps 
known to Mr. Grattan, he proceeded to carry into effect the conciliatory meas- 
ures for which he conceived that he and his friends had stipulated with the 
British Cabinet. Accordingly on the twelfth of February, he obtained leave 

126 Fitzwilliam's Recall 

to bring in a bill for repealing the police laws, which were extremely obnoxious 
to the citizens of Dublin, and against which every parish in that city had re- 
cently petitioned. He then likewise obtained leave to bring in the Catholic 
Bill, which was only resisted by Colonel Blaquiere, Mr. Ogle and Dr. Duigenan. 
On the same night, in pursuance of the same plan, it was announced by the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, that a new arrangement would be made of the 
duties on beer and spirits, the object of which was restraint in the abuse of 
spirituous liquors among the lower orders, and the substitute of a wholesome 
and nourishing beverage for a liquid poison. He also stated, that a new 
arrangement of the hearth tax would form part of the financial system. The 
session before, an attempt had been made to ease poor housekeepers of this 
burthensome tax; but such perplexing formalities had been established, that 
many people had continued to pay the tax, rather than take the necessary 
trouble for procuring the remission ; this year, it was determined to exempt, 
absolutely and unconditionally, all houses having but one hearth. The tax, 
however, upon leather was continued from the preceding session, although it 
was strongly resisted, as oppressive to the poor, by Mr. Duquery, who sug- 
gested, in lieu of it, two shillings in the pound on all pensions, salaries, fees. 
perquisites, etc. This conduct was pointedly reprobated both by Mr. George 
Ponsonby and Mr. Grattan ; by the latter, with an irritation such as he has 
more than once manifested, during his short connections with the Government. 
Mr. Duquery, however, continued his opposition, and on a subsequent night 
proposed, as a commutation, a tax on absentees, which was supported by Sir 
Lawrence Parsons, but rejected by the House. 

On the twenty-third of February, the new Administration brought forward 
their proposed regulations of the treasury board. Lord Milton obtained leave 
to introduce a bill on that subject, founded on some resolutions proposed by 
Mr. Forbes, the scope of which was, to give to the Irish board an equally 
efficient control with that possessed by the Board of Treasury in England ; 
to compel the payment of balances by public officers, to exclude the commis- 
sioners of the treasury from sitting in Parliament ; to establish in correspondent 
officers the mutual checks and control with which the auditor, clerk of the 
rolls and teller of the exchequer in England are vested ; and that all money 
arising from the receipt of the revenues should be paid into the bank of Ire- 
land. On the following day, Mr. Grattan suggested the propriety of revising 
the revenue laws, and bringing the whole code within the compass of one 
consistent act. 

But now the differences which had arisen between the English and Irish 
governments were made public. What was the motive for the change in 
the British councils has given rise to various surmises. The ostensible reason 
was a difference of opinion respecting Catholic affairs. Lord Fitzwilliam, 
however, has uniformly denied that they were the real motives for his recall. 
Mr. George Ponsonby, too, in the House of Commons, declared upon his 
honor as a gentleman, that in his opinion, the Catholic question had no more 
to do with the recall of Lord Fitzwilliam than Lord Macartney's embassy to 

Beresford Goes to London 127 

( lima. "Lord Fitzwilliam was to be recalled," said he, "and this was con- 
sidered as the most important pretext fur the measure". Those who do not 
suspect from Mr. Pitt's cautious reserve, while the arrangements were under 
discussion, a preconcerted design to be executed as soon as the supplies were 
voted, and his lordship with his friends disgraced by having entered into the 
coalition, attribute the change to the successful representations of Mr. Beres- 

That gentleman, perceiving the blow that was aimed against himself and 
his connections, did not foolishly waste his time in the antechamber of the 
Castle, or on the Opposition benches of the House of Commons. He repaired 
to London, and there, it is presumed, set before the highest authority the 
ingratitude of ministry, and the services of himself and family. They had 
been faithful servants for many years, during which time they could never 
be reproached with a murmur of disapprobation, or an expression of unwil- 
lingness, in undertaking anything for the advantage of England. They had 
adhered to their sovereign in the trying crisis of the regency, and had not 
turned, like some of his newly-adopted friends, to worship the rising 
sun. The situation of Ireland, too, and the temper of the times, Mr. 
Beresford perhaps alleged, were such as should make every kind of re- 
form, and of course, his dismissal, be resisted. The debate of the 
ninth of February may likewise have afforded ample room for awaken- 
ing fears and exciting indignation ; Mr. Grattan and Mr. Ponsonby 
appeared to have pledged themselves, at least by implication, to a reform 
in Parliament, which it was the firm intention of the English ministers to with- 
stand, and to a repeal of the Convention Bill, which had enabled Government 
to stifle all expressions of discontent in Ireland. The Catholic Bill may, under 
this point of view, have had its influence: it may have been represented as 
creating disaffection in the Protestant mind, as inconsistent with the con- 
nection and contrary to the coronation oath. It is not improbable, too, that 
in this interview, some suggestions may have proceeded from that gentleman, 
which gave rise to the discovery mentioned in Lord Fitzwilliam's letter, that 
deferring that measure would be the means of doing a greater service to the 
British empire than it had been capable of receiving since the union with 
Scotland. Whether these surmises are just, it is scarcely possible to ascertain; 
but perhaps the disagreement between the two governments ought to be 
ascribed to a coincidence of Mr. Beresford's exertions with the deliberate 
resolutions of some of the British Cabinet and the weakness of others. A 
favorable pretext for carrying the consequences of that coincidence into effect, 
was afforded by the equivocal conduct of Lord Fitzwilliam and his friends; 
for while the former appeared, in his correspondence, to wish it had been 
practicable to keep back the Catholic claims, and thus abandoned whatever 
there was of positive stipulation, on his part, for their being settled the very 
first session, his friends were giving explicit assurances and effectual assistance 
to the Catholics in bringing them forward. 

When the disagreement and its probable consequences were known, grief 

128 Widespread Discontent 

and consternation seized upon all who had flattered themselves, that the meas- 
ures of His Excellency's administration were to redress the grievances, remove 
the discontents, and work for the salvation of Ireland. The event was also 
a subject of regret to those who, though they knew and did not disapprove 
of the irresistible progress with which men's minds were advancing to ulterior 
objects, yet wished to pass the intermediate period of expectation under an 
ameliorated system. The active republicans and new United Irishmen, how- 
ever, were not sorry that the fallacy of ill-founded political hopes had been 
so speedily exposed, and they rejoiced that the agitation and controversies 
which were springing up would so entirely engross the attention of their 
opulent, interested and ambitious adversaries, as that they and their proceed- 
ings would pass unnoticed. They well knew that, in the midst of disputes for 
power, places and emoluments, neither the great nor their connections would 
condescend to bestow a thought upon despised malcontents, or the advances 
of an obscure system. They, therefore, not unwillingly assisted in keeping the 
attention of Government, and of the higher ranks, occupied with party con- 
tests, and even themselves yielded to that indignation which disinterested spec- 
tators naturally feel at the commission of a perfidy and injustice. 

Thus a very general expression of popular dissatisfaction was produced 
by the rumored recall of Lord Fitzwilliam. In the House of Commons, on 
the twenty-sixth of February, Sir Lawrence Parsons and Mr. Duquery, who 
had, in some instances, opposed the measures of his administration, were the 
foremost to prove their sorrow and alarm, by moving and seconding an ad- 
dress to His Excellency, imploring his continuance in the country. This was 
withdrawn at the earnest request of Mr. George Ponsonby. On the second 
of March, Sir Lawrence moved to limit the money bills to two months, in con- 
sequence of the conduct of the British Cabinet ; but Lord Milton and Mr. 
George Ponsonby deprecated the measure, and after a long debate it was 
rejected. The House of Commons, however, unanimously resolved, that His 
Excellency had, by his conduct since his arrival, merited the thanks of the 
House and the confidence of the people. 

Out of Parliament the discontent was more manifested. The Catholics 
from every part of Ireland, had petitioned for a repeal of the remaining Popery 
Laws ; not because they felt any extensive interest, or great anxiety, that their 
rich merchants and landed gentlemen should have an opportunity of selling 
themselves, in a corrupt Parliament, or of acquiring high offices and commis- 
sions, which could afford no benefit to the poor or middling classes ; but these 
laws were a violation of rights, a remaining badge of inferiority, and a leaven 
for fermenting religious differences. The Catholics, therefore, felt affection 
and gratitude to His Excellency for his intentions in their favor, and a strong 
sense of insult offered to themselves when they found those intentions made 
the pretext for his recall. 

Those of that religion in Dublin, impelled by such feelings, assembled on 
the twenty-seventh, the second day after the disagreement was made public, 
and voted a petition to the king, on the subject of their own claims, and for 

Appointment of Camden 129 

the continuance of Lord Fitzwilliam in his office. This, from motives of 
delicacy, they forwarded by delegates. It is, however, not unworthy of re- 
mark, that they appointed as secretary to this delegation, Mr. Tone, whose 
talents and services to their cause, were unquestionably of the utmost im- 
portance, but whose connection with Mr. Jackson and whose intentions with 
regard to France were matters of public notoriety. The Catholics in most 
parts of the kingdom met and by resolutions or addresses expressed the same 

The Protestants, too, assembled extensively, and as warmly spoke their 
indignation at what they considered ministerial treachery and a public calamity. 
The freemen and freeholders of the city of Dublin, like the Catholics, agreed 
to a petition to the king, and transmitted it by delegates. The merchants and 
traders of that city, with Mr. Abraham Wilkinson, the then governor of the 
Bank of Ireland, at their head, expressed their sorrow at the rumored recall 
of His Excellency, and their entire concurrence in the removal of all religious 

The corporation, indeed, faithful to its principles, raised its voice against 
the Catholic claims ; but this measure of monopoly experienced a more for- 
midable opposition than could have been expected in the sanctuary of the 
Protestant Ascendancy. Many other parts of the kingdom, such as the Coun- 
ties of Kildare, Wexford, Antrim, Londonderry, etc., followed the example 
of the freemen and freeholders in the capital ; and the same sentiments seemed 
to pervade every part of the kingdom. 

But whatever were the motives for recalling Lord Fitzwilliam, they had 
more weight in the British Cabinet than those expressions of dissatisfaction 
on the part of the Irish people. As the noble viceroy still continued to main- 
tain the measures he had adopted for the government of Ireland, a cabinet 
council was held on the tenth of March, in which the Duke of Portland, who 
had been himself almost determined to enter in person upon a crusade, against 
wdiat he did not hesitate to call the execrable system by which that country 
was ruled, concurred in the vote, and submitted to be the official instrument 
of transmitting the letters, recalling his second self, liis nearest and dearest 
friend — whom he had persuaded to accept the Irish government, and to whom 
he had committed the important office of reforming the manifold abuses in that 
government. Earl Camden was appointed his successor, and sworn in the 
next day. He arrived in Dublin and assumed his office on the thirty-first. 

The expression of dissatisfaction was not repressed in Ireland, even by its 
being known that the determination of the Cabinet was fixed and irrevocable. 
Resolutions of sorrow and regret were now as general, as had been petitions 
and addresses. The workings of discontent appeared also, from certain minute 
traits, to be leading to an extensive adoption, or at least to a covert approba- 
tion, of the United Irish system. The words "union of the people", "united 
with our brethren", are everywhere studiously introduced, and almost always 
distinguished by capitals or italics. 

The Catholics of Dublin met on the ninth of April, to receive the report 

130 Catholic Resolutions 

of their delegates ; and their resolutions would not afford an unfair inference 
of the sentiments entertained by the generality of their persuasion. They 
unanimously thanked Mr. Tone for the many important services he had ren- 
dered to the Catholic body : "services", which they truly declared, "no gratitude 
could overrate, and no remuneration could overpay". 

We derive consolation, said they, under the loss which we all sustain by the 
removal of the late popular administration, in contemplating the rising spirit of harmony 
and co-operation among all sects and descriptions of Irishmen, so rapidly accelerated 
by that event; and we do most earnestly recommend to the Catholics of Ireland, to 
cultivate, b>; all possible means, the friendship and affection of their Protestant brethren ; 
satisfied as we are, that national union is national strength, happiness and prosperity. 

Referring to passages in Lord Fitzwilliam's letters, which appeared to 
imply an intimation from the Cabinet that, if the repeal of the remaining 
Popery Laws was then withheld, it might, at a future opportunity, be used 
as the means of procuring a legislative union between the two countries, they 
unanimously adopted the following resolution : 

That we are sincerely and unalterably attached to the rights, liberties and independ- 
ence of our native country; and we pledge ourselves, collectively and individually to re- 
sist even our own emancipation, if proposed to be conceded upon the ignominious terms 
of an acquiescence in the fatal measure of an union with the sister kingdom. 

If these resolutions had stood in need of interpretation, they would have 
received it, from the eloquent and daring speeches that were made at that 
day's meeting, by men, some of whose names are now well known to the 
public. Among the most conspicuous speakers were Dr. Ryan (who died 
shortly afterwards, deeply deplored as a national loss, by those who knew his 
talents and worth), Dr. MacNeven and Mr. Keogh. 

Another incident also signalized that day, and was peculiarly characteristic 
of the public sentiment. It has been the constant custom with the University 
of Dublin, to present addresses of congratulation to every newly-arrived chief 
governor: that day was appointed for presenting their offering to Lord Cam- 
den. While the procession was on its way the students, as if with one consent, 
broke off, and left the provost and fellows to make what appearance before 
His Excellency they might think fit, while they themselves turned into a 
coffee-house at the Castle gate, and there prepared an address to Mr. Grattan, 
approving of his public character and conduct. This they presented directly; 
and having done so, they repaired in a body to Francis Street chapel, where 
the Catholics were assembled. They entered while Mr. Keogh was speaking; 
and that ready as well as able orator instantly seized the incident, and hallowed 
the omen. They were received with the most marked respect and affection ; 
the Catholics taking that opportunity of showing that the language of union 
and brotherly love, which they were uttering, only expressed the sentiments 
nearest their hearts. 

If the discontent that was raised by the recall of Lord Fitzwilliam, proved 
conducive to the views of the republicans and United Irishmen, their cause 

Jackson's Trial and Death 131 

was still further promoted by the entire development of what were to have 
been the measures of his administration. These were enumerated by Mr. 
Grattan, when moving, on the twenty-first of April, for a committee to inquire 
into the slate of the nation. Besides the Catholic Bill, he stated: 

That this administration had paid attention to the poverty of the people, by plans 
for relieving the poor from hearth-money: had paid attention to their morals, by a 
plan increasing the duty on spirits; had paid attention to their health, by proposing a 
plan to take off all duties on beer and ale; that a plan for education had been intended; 
that a more equal trade between the two countries had not escaped their attention ; 
that an odious and expensive institution, that obtained under color of protecting the 
city by a bad police, was abandoned by that government, and a bill prepared for correct- 
ing the same; that a Responsibility Bill had been introduced; and a bill to account for 
the public money by new checks, and in a constitutional manner had been introduced 
by persons connected with that government ; that it was in contemplation to submit for 
consideration some further regulations for the better accounting of the public money, 
and for the better collection of the revenue. 

But not a word of reform in Parliament, of a repeal of the Convention Bill, 
or of a mitigation of the strong measures by which the former administration 
had coerced the people. Indeed Colonel Stewart (since Lord Castlereagh), 
deprecating such measures, explicitly asked whether the late ministers, had 
they remained, would have supported a parliamentary reform, or a repeal 
of the Convention Bill ; and Mr. Archdall said that everybody knew it was Lord 
Fitzwilliam's fixed determination to oppose every tendency to what was called 
parliamentary reform. Such queries and observations being suffered to pass 
without reply, it was clear that those measures, to which many considered that 
administration as bound, were never in its contemplation. The objects which 
it proposed to accomplish, were urged as proofs, that it was the best govern- 
ment Ireland could possibly hope for, in the present order of things ; and those 
to which its professed principles would have seemed to lead it, but which, not- 
withstanding apparent pledges, it was forced, by the very nature of its sub- 
ordinate situation, to relinquish, were coupled with the measure, in which it 
was thwarted and perhaps duped, to show to persons who wished to advance 
no further than reform and constitutional redress, that those things were 
rendered absolutely unattainable by the connection with Great Britain. 

Mr. Jackson's trial for high treason came on upon the twenty-third of 
April, and he was convicted on the evidence of Cockayne : he did not, however, 
suffer the penalties of the law, for a few clays after, previous to his being 
brought up to receive sentence, he contrived to swallow a large dose of arsenic. 
The firmness with which he bore the excruciating pains of that poison was 
very remarkable. A motion in arrest of judgment was to be made; but it is 
manifest he entertained no hope of its success, and only wished it might con- 
tinue, until he should have escaped from all earthly tribunals. He concealed 
the pangs he was suffering so well, that, when he was called upon to know 
what he had to say, why sentence of death should not pass upon him, though 
at the time actually unable to speak, with a smiling and unembarrassed air, he 
bowed and pointed to his counsel. His fortitude did not fail him to the last; 

132 The Covenanters 

for it was scarcely suspected by the spectators that he was ill, until he fell 
down in the agonies of death, in the midst of his counsel's argument. 

This man possessed distinguished talents and acquirements ; and the fol- 
lowing anecdote shows that he entertained a high sense of honor. While he 
was preparing for his trial, and was fully apprized of what would most prob- 
ably be its ultimate issue, a friend was, by the kindness of the jailor, permitted 
to remain with him until a very late hour at night, on business. After the 
consultation had ended, Dr. Jackson accompanied his friend to the outward 
door of his prison, which was locked, the key remaining in the door, and the 
keeper in a very profound sleep, probably oppressed with wine. There could 
have been no difficulty in his effecting an escape, even subsequent to the de- 
parture of his friend, and without his consent, but he adopted a different con- 
duct ; he locked the door after his guest, awoke the keeper, gave him the key, 
and returned to his apartment. During his imprisonment he wrote and pub- 
lished a learned and able answer to Paine's "Age of Reason" ; and after his 
death various prayers and homilies of his own composition were found in his 
pocket. His funeral was attended by numbers, even of a respectable rank of 
life, who, though they had been unconnected with him while living, dared to 
give this presumptive proof, that they were friendly to his mission. 

The publicity which this trial gave to the schemes of the French, coincided 
aptly with the extension of the new United Irish system. From the very out- 
set of that organization, a French invasion was deemed by its members, if not 
absolutely necessary, at least very advisable to the accomplishment of their 
objects. That trial reminded them afresh that such a measure had been con- 
templated, and they imagined it had become more easy, after Jackson's arrest, 
by the conquest of Holland in the intermediate winter, and by the possession 
of the Dutch fleet. 

The United Irishmen were at this time beginning to spread very rapidly in 
the Counties of Down and Antrim, and the effects of their system might easily 
be traced by the brotherhood of affection, which, pursuant to the words of their 
test, it produced among Irishmen of every religious persuasion. Men who 
had previously been separated by sectarial abhorrence, were now joined to- 
gether in cordial and almost incredible amity. Of this, perhaps, no instance 
more remarkable can be conceived, than the conduct of the Covenanters, a sect 
still numerous in those two counties. By all the prejudices of birth and 
education, they appeared removed to the utmost possible extreme, from any 
kind of co-operation or intercourse with Catholics. Their adherence to the 
Solemn League and Convenant, bound them to the accomplishment of the 
Reformation in England, and Ireland, "according to the word of God, and the 
example of the best Reformed Churches" ; while the traditional notions, which 
they inherited were, that the Reformation could only be brought about by 
coercion and penal laws. They were, however, lovers of liberty and republi- 
cans by religion and descent; their concurrence in the general system was, 
therefore, not unimportant. To this effect, it was laid before them that per- 
secution, in itself unjust, had been also found insufficient for reclaiming Cath- 

Their Reception of Quigley 

olics; that the desired Reformation could only be accomplished by the efforts 
of reason, which would be best promoted by mixing with the misled, and 
gradually convincing them of their errors; that affection worked more strongly 
upon ignorance and obstinacy than hatred; and that in doing justice to those 
men, hy permitting to them the enjoyment of all their rights, the object of the 
Solemn League and Covenant would not be in the least counteracted, and the 
cause of liberty (for which an almost equal enthusiasm was felt), would be 
exceedingly promoted. Arguments so appropriate and just were too strong 
for prejudice. Covenanters in numbers became United Irishmen, and the most 
active promoters of the system. After this had gone on for some time among 
them, Quigley, a Catholic priest (whose name is since well known from his 
trial and conviction at Maidstone), went to a part of the country where they 
were settled, and was introduced as a fellow-laborer in the common cause. 
The affection which these poor men showed to one, whom, shortly before, they 
would perhaps have regarded as a demon, was truly astonishing. Intelligence 
was dispatched to every part, of his arrival, and from every part they crowded 
to receive and caress him. But when they learned that this Romish priest was 
so sincere a lover of liberty, as to have been actually fighting at the capture of 
the Bastile, their joy was almost extravagant. 

Such were the efforts of this new system, as far as it had extended, while 
the zeal of its members was overcoming every other obstacle, and establishing 
it in every direction. It was almost entirely destitute of funds by which mer- 
cenary assistance could be procured ; but numbers were found ready to quit 
their daily occupations and go on missions to different parts of the North. 

As secrecy was one of its vital principles, care was taken, from the very 
beginning, to guard against large meetings, by an arrangement that no society 
should consist of more than thirty-six, and that when it amounted to that 
number, it should split into two societies of eighteen each, the members to be 
drawn by lot, unless in country places, where they might divide according to 
local situation ; they were connected together and kept up their occasional com- 
munication by delegates. As they were now become very numerous, particu- 
larly in the County of Antrim, it was found necessary to form a general system 
of delegation, on a scale sufficiently large for their growing importance, and even 
capable of comprehending every possible increase. Accordingly, delegates were 
expressly appointed from almost every existing society, and the representatives 
of seventy-two met, for that purpose, at Belfast, on the tenth of May, 1795. 
In addition to what they found already established, respecting individual so- 
cieties, they framed a system of committees, and thus completed the original 
constitution of the new United Irishmen, a brief abstract of which is as 
follows : 

It first states the object of the institution to be, to forward a brotherhood 
of affection, a communion of rights, and an union of power, among Irishmen 
of every religious persuasion, and thereby to obtain a complete reform in 
the legislature, founded on the principles of civil, political and religious liberty. 
It then proceeds to the rules of individual societies, such as the admission of 

134 Constitution of Irish Union 

members by ballot; the raising of a fund by monthly subscriptions; the ap- 
pointment of a secretary and treasurer by ballot, once every three months ; 
the election by ballot of two members from each society, who with the secre- 
tary were to represent it in a baronial committee, the regulation of some minor 
internal affairs; the taking of the test by every newly-elected member, in a 
separate apartment, in the presence of the persons who proposed and seconded 
him, and of a member appointed by the chairman ; after which he was to be 
brought into the body of the society, where he was again to take it publicly; 
the splitting of every society amounting in numbers to thirty-six, into two 
equal parts ; the eighteen names drawn by lot were to be the senior society, 
and its delegates were to procure from the baronial committee a number for 
the junior, according to which it was to be classed and recognized, and its 
delegates received by that committee ; no society was to be recognized by any 
committee, unless approving of and taking the test, and amounting to seven 
members ; lastly was laid down the order of business at each meeting. From 
these societies committees took their origin, in an ascending series ; the baro- 
nials consisted of their immediate delegates. When any barony or other district 
should contain three or more societies, it was determined that three members 
from each, appointed as already mentioned, were to form a baronial for three 
months. In order to preserve the necessary connection between all the parts, 
no committee in any new barony or district could act until properly constituted : 
for that purpose the secretary of the senior society was to request a deputation 
from the nearest baronial to constitute a committee for that barony or district. 
When the number of societies in any barony amounted to eight, in order to 
prevent the committee's becoming too numerous it had a right to form 
another baronial ; but each was to represent at least three societies. That none 
might be unrepresented, baronials were empowered to receive delegates from 
the societies of a contiguous barony, which did not contain three. The 
baronials were also to correspond with societies or with individuals, who had 
been duly qualified as United Irishmen ; and any business originating in one 
society, should, at the instance of its delegates, be laid by the baronial before 
the others. The county committees were to be formed when any county had 
three or more baronials, by two persons from each, to be chosen by ballot for 
three months : and until that took place, the existing baronial in any county 
had liberty to send delegates to the adjacent county committee. Provincials 
were in like manner to take place, when two or more counties in a province 
had their committees, by three from each, also chosen for three months by 
ballot; and where a provincial was not yet constituted, the county committees 
were to send delegates to the nearest provincial. The national committee was 
to consist of five delegates from each provincial. The names of committee 
men were not to be known by any person but those who elected them. 

Whoever reflects on this constitution for a moment, will perceive that it 
was prepared with the most important views. It formed a gradually extending 
representative system, founded on universal suffrage, and frequent elections. 
It was fitted to a barony, county or province, while the organization was con- 

Who were the United Irishmen? 135 

fined within those limits; but if the whole nation adopted the system, it fur- 
nished a national government. 

The tenth of May, 1795, therefore, produced the most important conse- 
quences to Ireland, and such as will be remembered by the latest posterity. 
Curiosity will naturally be solicitous to learn, who and what manner of men 
they were, that dared to harbor such comprehensive and nearly visionary ideas. 
They were almost universally farmers, manufacturers and shopkeepers, the 
representatives of men certainly not superior to themselves ; but they and their 
constituents were immovable republicans. After the business, for which they 
had been deputed, was finished, the person whom they had appointed their 
chairman, stated that they bad undertaken no light matter; that it was advisable 
to be ascertained whether their pursuits and objects w-ere the same; and that 
he would, therefore, with the permission of the meeting, ask every delegate 
what were his views, and as he apprehended, those of his society. This being 
done, every individual answered in his turn, a republican government, with 
separation from England, and assigned his reasons for those views. 

Statesmen and historians have been, perhaps at all times, too much inclined 
to characterize the people as a blind, unthinking mass ; and to attribute its 
movements to the skill and artifice of a few factious demagogues, whom they 
suppose able, by false pretences, to excite or still at pleasure, the popular storm. 
In the present instance it is unquestionably a mistake, which has led to many 
erroneous conclusions, and even to some false steps, to imagine that the people 
were deluded into the United Irish system, by ambitious leaders, who held out 
as a pretence, Catholic Emancipation and parliamentary reform. These were 
very seriously pursued, until the first was to a great degree acquired, and the 
attainment of the last became desperate. From this despair, and the measures 
that produced it, arose a change of objects ; but it arose with the people them- 
selves. In Ireland the Catholics in general, particularly the poor, had long 
entertained a rooted wish for separation, which they considered as synonymous 
with national independence. The desire for this and the more modern spirit 
of republicanism, having been equally the result of undoubted grievances and 
protracted sufferings, sprung up principally where those grievances were most 
oppressive and longest endured — with the lowest orders, whose experience 
and feeling supplied the place of learning and reflection. As the United Irish 
system ascended into the upper ranks, it engulfed into it, numbers who after- 
wards indeed appeared as leaders ; but while these men were ignorant of that 
system, and very earnestly aiming at reform, multitudes of the people, whom 
they are supposed to have deluded, were as earnestly intent upon a republic : 
and even after they coincided in endeavoring for that form of government, 
they would, perhaps, have been more ready than their poorer associates to 
abandon the pursuit, if reform had been granted. 

In the meantime, Parliament was occupied with measures of a very dif- 
ferent nature and importance, from those just described: its attention was 
engaged in discussing the motives of Lord Fitzwilliam's recall, and in adopting 
or rejecting the proposed measures of his administration. The bill for regu- 

1-36 Arthur O'Connor 

lating the treasury, the alteration of the police laws, substituting in lieu of that 
institution a parochial watch for Dublin, as well as the regulations restraining 
the abuses of spirituous liquors, and giving encouragement to the brewing 
trade, were allowed to take effect; the project of equalizing the commercial 
duties between the two countries, was evaded by adjournment; but the Catholic 
Bill introduced by Mr. Grattan was rejected on the fourth of May. That ques- 
tion had now lost much of its public interest, not only because its absolute 
importance was little, and that little daily vanishing, but also because, from 
the change of administration, the urging of it was attended with no prospect 
of success. It served, however, to produce a very long and animated debate 
in the House of Commons. The splendid talents and argumentative powers of 
Mr. Grattan were called forth again, to illustrate, adorn and diversify a sub- 
ject on which he had more than once bestowed such efforts as would have 
exhausted any ordinary mind. 

Opposite in opinions, reasonings, matter and manner was the speech of 
Dr. Duigenan, conceived and delivered in a style peculiar to himself. 

On this night Mr. Arthur O'Connor first attracted public notice. Quitting 
the uninteresting question before the House, and profiting by a well-known 
argument against the Catholic claims, that if complied with, they would over- 
turn the constitution and the Church Establishment, he took a bold and com- 
prehensive view of both ; examined what he alleged to be the principles on 
which they were founded, the corruptions by which they were supported, and 
the vices to which they gave birth : from thence he inferred, that if the pre- 
dicted subversion were, in truth, to take place, great good to the whole nation 
would be the immediate consequence. Although it was impossible to arrive 
at this conclusion, except by arguments familiar to all reflecting republicans, 
and often, 'but covertly, urged in the "Northern Star" and other favorite pub- 
lications, yet this speech excited the utmost astonishment: partly from its 
ability, partly as coming from an unknown man, that had previously supported 
the measures of Government, and partly because it was spoken within the 
walls of Parliament. It also procured to its author uncommon popularity with 
the Irish people, who are always ready to receive with open arms, a repentant 

The bill was lost by 155 to 84 ; a disparity that may perhaps excite con- 
jecture as to what the numbers would have been, if Lord Fitzwilliam had con- 
tinued chief governor. 

Another question also relating to the members of the same religion, was 
still in agitation. Dr. Hussey had been sent over, as already stated, by the 
British Cabinet, to prepare and superintend a plan for educating their clergy, 
and one was accordingly submitted to Parliament. Whatever connection it 
may have had with the bargain, said to have been entered into between their 
prelates and Lord Westmoreland's administration, it was highly approved 
of by those reverend persons ; but a strong petition was presented against it 
by a number of Catholic laymen. Their objections were, that in the college, 
which the proposed plan went to establish, trustees different from the prin- 

Mr. Ottiwell in Contempt 137 

cipal and professors were empowered to regulate the course of education, and 
also'to appoint professors and scholars on the foundation, without any kind 
of examination into their merits or qualifications; and also, that the plan, as 
far as it operated, obstructed the educating together of Catholics and Prot- 
estants: the petitioners, therefore, strongly reprobated it as tending to per- 
petuate a line of separation, which the interest of the country required to be 
obliterated, and as preventing early habits from producing a liberal and friendly 
intercourse through life. Such objections might perhaps have deserved the 
attention of philosophic legislators; they were, however, entirely disregarded 
by Parliament, and the plan was adopted without alteration, — almost without 
discussion or debate. 

The conclusion of this session was rendered remarkable, by something 
like impotency or unwillingness in the House of Commons to defend its own 
dignity. A Mr. Ottiwell, a subordinate clerk in the revenue, had proposed to 
the commissioners of wide streets in Dublin, for a large quantity of ground, 
near Carlisle-bridge: his proposal was accepted, and in consequence of the 
bargain, the public lost sixty thousand pounds. Some circumstances having 
raised a suspicion that it was the result of fraud and collusion, accomplished 
through the influence of Mr. Beresford, who was generally believed to be a 
partner in the profits, a committee to enquire into the transaction was appointed 
in the reforming administration of Lord Fitzwilliam. When that nobleman 
was displaced, however, the Beresford interest having been restored, Mr. 
Ottiwell took courage, and refused to answer to the committee certain ques- 
tions not tending to criminate himself. The contempt was reported to the 
House, and he was summoned to the bar. Having refused there likewise to 
answer, it was moved to take him into custody. This motion being resisted, 
the speaker rose, and desired that, as the House was thin, gentlemen should 
not go away. Instantly above a dozen members withdrew, as if they had con- 
ceived the caution to be a hint ; on a divison, the total numbers not amounting 
to forty, the House was of course adjourned, and Mr. Ottiwell returned home 
unmolested. In two days after, the motion was renewed and carried; but Mr 
Ottiwell stayed within doors, and his servants refused to let the sergeant-at- 
arms see him. Thus did this man, who appeared to be concealing, by contu- 
macy, an alleged fraud upon the public to the amount of sixty thousand pounds, 
continue, to the very end of the session, to insult the dignity of that House, 
and to defy those privileges which had so often stricken terror into the editors 
of newspapers and others accused of abusing the liberty of the press. 

The labors of Parliament were interrupted by prorogation on the fifth of 
June ; but the business of the United Irishmen had been carried on, and still 
proceeded without interruption. It has been more than once stated, that they 
were anxious to procure the co-operation of France : and the circumstances 
about to be detailed, will show that they never lost sight of that cardinal 
object. Very early in 1795, while their organization extended no further 
than individual societies, communicating by delegates, they ventured to appoint 
a person to go to that country for the express purpose of soliciting an in- 

138 Tone Goes to America 

vasion ; his departure, however, was postponed by various circumstances ; and 
the trial of Mr. Jackson took place. The facts that were disclosed on that 
occasion, and the payment of the vote of fifteen hundred pounds by the Cath- 
olics, which was not made till after the recall of Lord Fitzwilliam, determined 
Mr. Tone to go to America. His talents and inclinations were indisputable; 
it was, therefore, conceived that his emigration might be rendered subservient 
to the views of the United Irishmen, without the intervention of any other 
agent. At this time their system had reached no higher than a committee for 
the County of Antrim. Certain members of that committee, having then cast 
their eyes upon Tone, consulted with confidential friends, not actually in the 
organization, but with whom he had been in habits of unreserved communica- 
tion. The result was, that after his arrival at Belfast, on his way to America, 
perfectly ignorant of the business and of the new system, to which he did not 
belong, he was empowered by those persons, some of whom held the highest 
situations at that time in the system, to set forth to the French Government, 
through its agent in America, the state of Ireland and its dispositions. For 
that purpose, they were completely developed to him; the rising strength of 
the organization was pointed out; and also the great probability of getting 
into it all the Defenders, the ground of which was, even then, actually laid. 

Mr. Tone left Ireland on the sixteenth of June. When he arrived off the 
coast of America, he was near having all his prospects, personal and political, 
blasted by an outrage which British ships of war were in the habit of com- 
mitting, with impunity, against the American flag. The vessel in which he 
took passage (the "Cincinnatus" of Wilmington), was stopped and boarded 
by three English frigates (the "Thetis", the "Hussar",, and the "Esperance"), 
for the express purpose of pressing into the British service, such sailors and 
passengers as might be thought fit. The party entrusted with the execution 
of this duty, after treating the officers and crew of the American ship with 
characteristic rudeness, pressed all the hands but one, and about fifty of the 
passengers, who were obviously not seafaring men, and were sailing under 
the protection of a neutral flag. Mr. Tone, on one occasion, attempted to 
interfere in favor of the father of a family whose wife and children were on 
board ; but the only consequence of his interference was, that he himself was 
dragged into the boat, to be made a common sailor in the British navy. 

This would probably have been his fate, but that the heart of the com- 
mander was accessible to the distraction and despair of a sister, a wife and 
children. He was so far affected by the screams of Mrs. Tone, by the agonies 
of a beautiful and interesting female, and by the tears and cries of her children, 
that he released his victim. 

Soon after Tone's landing in America, having waited on Citizen Adet, 
the French minister, he communicated to him the information and commis- 
sion with which he was charged, but had the mortification to be very coldly 

Those, however, who deputed him, had every reason to be convinced that 
their conduct met the wishes of the United Irishmen. Not long after Tone 

Negotiations with France 139 

had left Ireland, a provincial committee for Lister was organized, in con- 
sequence of the committees for the Counties of Down and Antrim having been 
constituted. As this provincial was to meet only once a month, and its mem- 
bers to come from different and distant parts of the country, it determined, 
about the end of August, to form a body, not specified in the constitution, 
which was called the executive, because its duty was entirely confined within 
the limits denoted by that term, it having no originating power, and being 
totally subservient to the provincial. During the intervals of that committee's 
meetings, the executive was to execute what had been ordered, and afterwards 
to report its own proceedings at the next opportunity. It was to be a watch 
upon the Government, and to call extra meetings of the provincial, if neces- 
sary. As its connection was only with that committee, its members were un- 
known to any but those who appointed them. 

While this organization was advancing, the wish of the people for French 
alliance developed itself more and more, in each successive stage. At a county 
committee held in Antrim, during that summer, a member from an obscure 
district, proposed it should be recommended to the provincial, to open a com- 
munication with France. This was unanimously agreed to, and the recom- 
mendation transmitted to the provincial, by whom it was unanimously adopted: 
it was then given in charge to be carried into effect by the executive ; which, 
thereupon, was informed of everything that had been done respecting Tone. 
It therefore did not think fit to take any new step, further than causing 
fresh advices to be despatched to him, setting forth the state of Ireland at the 
time of writing; the risings, prosecutions and convictions at the assizes in 
Leinster and Connaught ; the transportation without trial in the latter province 
during that summer, and the growing discontents that were becoming more 
apparent and formidable. He was, therefore, urged to press, both on the 
score of French and Irish interests, for an invasion. In consequence of this 
communication, he again waited on Citizen Adet, whose manner of reception 
was now entirely changed. That minister had in the interval written home 
for instructions, and the answer of the Directory had arrived, ordering him 
to press Tone to repair to France without delay. This was accordingly urged 
in the strongest manner, and Tone sailed from America on the twenty-fifth 
of December. After a very quick passage, he was received by the Government 
in the most confidential and respectful manner. In some time, and on a more 
intimate knowledge of him, he was placed in the army, and promoted to the 
rank of chef-de-brigade, and adjutant-general. 

The statement which had been transmitted to him, amply justified his im- 
pressing on the Directory the magnitude and universality of popular discontent 
in Ireland ; for after he had left that country, insurrection and open disturb- 
ances began to show themselves in many places, but particularly in the 
provinces of Leinster, Connaught, and Ulster. The Defenders in the two 
former were active in increasing their numbers, and seemed at length to imagine 
themselves equal to some great exertion ; they assembled very frequently in the 
counties near Dublin, especially Meath, and stripped many houses of arms. 

140 Defender Trials 

They appeared in still greater strength in the Counties of Leinster, Roscom- 
mon, and Longford, where at first there seemed no force equal to resist them. 
These proceedings made the summer assizes of that year remarkable for the 
number of convictions and capital executions. Of these, the trial and con- 
viction at Naas, in the County of Kildare, of Lawrence O'Connor, a school- 
master, and the most respectable person, in point of rank, that had been yet 
discovered in the Defender system, was made particularly conspicuous by his 
firmness and devoted attachment to his principles. When sentence was going 
to be passed upon him, he boldly defended the institution, on the ground of 
the oppressed state of the poor; and when the judge who was performing 
that awful office, struck with his appearance and conduct, asked him, had he 
any wife or children, "My lord", he replied, "God will take care of them, for 
I die in a good cause". He suffered on the seventeenth of September, with- 
out derogating from his previous demeanor. 

In the Connaught counties, the trials were not as numerous in proportion 
as in Leinster. Lord Carhampton had gone down to quell the insurrection, 
and after he had succeeded, thinking perhaps that legal proceedings were 
tedious and sometimes uncertain in their issue, he delivered the £raols of most 
of their inhabitants, by taking such as he thought fit, and sending them, with- 
out form of trial, or other warrant but his own military orders, to serve on 
board the fleet. In this manner, nearly 1300 persons were transported, not by 
their own connivance, nor as a kind of voluntary commutation of what they 
might suffer if rigorously prosecuted. On the contrary, it was not even pre- 
tended, that those selected were accused of the most serious crimes, or the 
most likely to meet conviction before a jury; nor was the act attributed by the 
inhabitants of the country, to a misjudging lenity. Indeed, the objects of this 
summary measure were frequently seen tied down on carts, in the bitterest 
agonies, crying out incessantly for trial, but crying in vain. This conduct 
marked his lordship's attachment to Government too strongly not to have its 
imitators. Magistrates, therefore, without military commissions, but within 
the influence of his example, assumed to themselves also the authority of 
transporting without trial. 

In the province of Ulster, the County of Armagh and its borders ex- 
hibited a scene of more melancholy disturbances, and more abominable op- 
pression than afflicted or disgraced the rest of Ireland. The religious ani- 
mosities that had raged so violently in 1793, appeared to have been subdued 
by the combined efforts of liberal Catholics and Dissenters, by the unremitting 
exertions of the United Irishmen of that day, and by the conciliatory senti- 
ments which flowed from the press, as far as it was in the same interests. 
The press, however, was subsequently reduced almost to silence; and the 
recent coercive statutes had nearly annihilated all public efforts by United, 
or even liberal Irishmen, on any subject of general politics, except during the 
transitory administration of Lord Fitzwilliam. The barriers to the revival of 
those animosities being thus broken down, they again desolated the country 
with augmented fury. The Peep-o'-Day Boys, who originally pretended only 

The ( )rangemen m 

to enforce the Popery Laws by depriving Catholics of their anus, now affected 
more important objects. They claimed to be associated for the support of a 
Protestant government, and a Protestant succession, which they said were 
endangered by the increased power of the Catholics in the State, and they 
therefore adopted the name of Orangemen, to express their attachment to 
the memory of that prince to whom they owed their blessings. With this 
change of name, they asserted they had also gained an accession of strength; 
for the Peep-o'-Day Boys only imagined they were supported by the laws of 
the land, in their depredations on their Catholic neighbors; but the Orangemen 
boasted a protection greater than even that of the law, the connivance and 
concealed support of those who were bound to see it fairly administered. 
Thus emboldened, and as they alleged, reinforced, they renewed their ancient 
persecutions: but not content with stripping Catholics of arms, they now went 
greater lengths than they had ever done before, in adding insult to injury, 
sometimes by mocking the solemnities of their worship, and at others, even 
by firing into the coffins of the dead, on their way to sepulture. 

The Catholics were by no means inclined to submit with tameness to these 
outrages. The Defender system had nearly included all of that persuasion in 
the lower ranks, and scarcely any others were to be found in the neighborhood. 
They seized some opportunities of retaliating, and thus restored to Defend- 
erism, in that part of the country, its original character of a religious feud. 
These mutual irritations still increasing, at length produced open hostilities. 
An affray near Lough Brickland, on the borders of the Counties of Down and 
Armagh, and another at the Fair of Loughgall, preceded and led to a more 
general engagement in the month of August, at a place called the Diamond, 
near Portadown, in the County of Armagh. For some days previous to this, 
both parties had been preparing and collecting their forces ; they seized the 
different passes and roads ; had their advanced posts, and were in some 
measure encamped and hutted. No steps, however, were taken by the magis- 
trates of the country; nor, as far as can be inferred from anv visible cir- 
cumstances, even by Government itself, to prevent this religious war, publicly 
levied and carried on in one of the most populous, cultivated and highly im- 
proved parts of the kingdom ; nay, more, the party which provoked the hostili- 
ties, and which the event has proved to have been the strongest, boasted of 
being connived at, for its well-known loyalty and attachment to the con- 

Whatever may have been the motives for this inaction, certain it is, that 
both parties assembled at the Diamond, to the amount of several thousands. 
The Defenders were the most numerous, but the Orangemen had an immense 
advantage in point of preparation and skill, many of them having been mem- 
bers of the old Volunteer corps, whose arms and discipline they still retained, 
and perverted to very different purposes from those that have immortalized 
that body. The contest, therefore, was not long or doubtful ; the Defenders 
were speedily defeated, with the loss of some few killed and left on the field 
of battle, besides the wounded, whom they carried away. After this, in 

142 ' ' Hell or Connaught 

consequence of the interference of a Catholic priest and of a country gentle- 
man, a truce between both parties was agreed upon, which was unfortunately 
violated in less than twenty-four hours. The two bodies that had consented 
to it, for the most part, dispersed ; the district, however, in which the battle 
was fought, being entirely filled with Orangemen, some of them still remained 
embodied, but the Catholics returned home. In the course of next day, about 
seven hundred Defenders from Keady, in a remote part of the county, came 
to the succor of their friends, and, ignorant of the armistice, attacked the 
Orangemen, who were still assembled. The associates of the latter being on 
the spot, quickly collected again, and the Defenders were once more routed. 
Perhaps this mistake might have been cleared up, and the treaty renewed, if 
the resentment of the Orangemen had not been fomented and cherished by 
persons to whom reconciliation of any kind was hateful. The Catholics, after 
this transaction, never attempted to make a stand, but the Orangemen com- 
menced a persecution of the blackest die. They would no longer permit a 
Catholic to exist in the county. They posted up on the cabins of those un- 
fortunate victims this pithy notice, "to hell or to Connaught" ; and appointed 
a limited time in which the necessary removal of persons and property was to 
be made. If, after the expiration of that period, the notice had not been 
entirely complied with, the Orangemen assembled, destroyed their furniture, 
burnt the habitations, and forced the ruined family to fly elsewhere for shelter. 
So punctual were they in executing their threats that, after some experiments, 
none were found rash enough to abide the event of non-compliance. In this 
way. upwards of seven hundred Catholic families in one county, were forced 
to abandon their farms, their dwellings, and their properties, without any 
process of law, and even without any alleged crime, except their religious 
belief were one. 

While these outrages were going on, the resident magistrates were not 
found to resist them, and in some instances were even more than inactive 
spectators. The arm of Government, too, seemed palsied; or its strength ex- 
hausted by its efforts in Connaught to restrain the subdued insurgents, and by 
the vigilant activity of the commander in that province, to transport the sus- 
pected without trial. The County of Armagh, however, and its neighborhood 
were not destitute of military force, able and willing to repress those out- 
rages. The Queen's County militia, consisting mostly of Catholics, was there, 
and exceedingly incensed at the unresisted, unrestrained, and even unnoticed, 
persecution against that religion, which it was forced to witness. 

But though the protecting hand of Government, or of the magistracy, was 
not held forth to the oppressed, they were not utterly abandoned. The United 
Irishmen endeavored to allay the animosities by conciliatory efforts, as well 
as to bring to punishment the most daring violators of the law, and the magis- 
trates, from whose suspicious inactivity they derived most succor. This, it 
was hoped, would produce many advantages. The United Irishmen would 
convince those forlorn people of their sincerity in seeking for the entire aboli- 
tion of all religious distinctions, and perhaps induce them, by gratitude and 

Fresh Outrages 143 

interest, to enter into the union. If redress was to be obtained or the Prot- 
estant persecution to be checked, the Catholics would owe to their exertions 
at least a temporary relief from immediate sufferings, until the fulness of time 
should arrive for decisive remedies; but if the alleged connivance and support 
of magistrates anil higher authorities should succeed in frustrating legal prose- 
cutions, at least the horrible atrocities themselves would be exposed beyond 
the possibility of concealment or denial ; and from the failure of the experi- 
ment, it was expected the proscribed would at last conclude, that their pro- 
tection was not to be found in perverted laws, or delusive tribunals. 

Prosecutions were therefore commenced and carried on by the executive, 
at the desire of the provincial committee of the United Irishmen, against some 
of the most notorious offenders, and some of the most guilty magistrates; but 
that measure appeared only to redouble the outrages. Many of those who 
attempted to swear examinations, were killed or forced to fly, and others com- 
pelled by the fear of death, to retract or contradict the depositions they had 
given. The applications were, in this manner, almost entirely defeated ; or, 
if they succeeded, the proceedings were studiously protracted by every legal 
artifice; even the verdicts of juries, summoned by sheriffs, and influenced by 
magistrates, themselves laboring under heavy suspicions, were sometimes 
interposed between the prosecutors and justice. Effectual relief was thus in- 
deed, for the most part, withheld from the oppressed; but they learned to look 
upon the United Irishmen as their only friends, to confide in the sincerity of 
those Protestants who had joined in the union, and no longer to look, with hope 
or affection, towards the existing law or its remedies. 

These objects were likewise accomplishing, at the same time, by other 
means. The steps that were taken against the Defenders in Leinster and Con- 
naught, and the house-rackings in the County of Armagh, had forced many 
wretches to abandon their homes, and seek for shelter where they might be 
unknown and unsuspected. Some of these unhappy fugitives were invited to 
Belfast, whence they were received by the Presbyterian families in the 
Counties of Down and Antrim ; they were secure from danger, provided with 
employment, treated with affectionate hospitality, and the hereditary prejudices 
they had imbibed against Northerns and Dissenters were lost in the overflow- 
ings of their gratitude. To their friends, whom necessity had not compelled 
to flight, they communicated the intelligence of their safety and happiness ; 
thus spreading the fame of United Irish sincerity and attachment to remote 
districts, where the system was then unknown. 

But the most important accession of strength gained by that body, at this 
period, arose from their successful interference with the Defenders, particu- 
larly in the Counties of Down and Antrim. From the first formation of the 
Union, its most active members were extremely anxious to learn the views 
and intentions of the Defenders. The latter, it was manifest, wished a redress 
of many of those grievances, against which the efforts of the former were 
also directed ; but their wishes were not sufficiently seconded by intelligence, 
nor did their institution appear calculated for co-operation on an extensive 

144 Defenders and United Irish 

scale ; it seemed almost exclusively Catholic, and so far as could be ascertained, 
was not sufficiently representative. Besides, as most counties had something 
peculiar to themselves, either in their test, their formalities, or their signs, a 
Defender in one county was not, therefore, one in another; and the associa- 
tion, or rather mass of associations, wanted an uniformity of views and 
actions. As it owed its origin to religious animosities, and was almost entirely 
composed of illiterate persons, there was reason to apprehend, it might still 
be vitiated by bigotry and ignorance, and that instead of reserving its physical 
force for one object and one effort, it might waste itself, as was actually the 
case in Connaught, in partial and ill-directed insurrections against local griev- 
ances. The United system, on the other hand, by pursuing only one thing, 
"an equal, full and adequate representation of the people", secured an uni- 
formity of views, and by fixing attention on the state of the representation, 
as the fruitful parent of every other evil, it suggested, wherever it gained 
admission, a remedy for the oppressions by which the inhabitants were most 
afflicted. Proceeding as it did, on the principle of abolishing all political dis- 
tinctions on account of religion, and establishing a brotherhood of affection 
among Irishmen of every religious persuasion, it struck at the root of bigotry, 
received the support, and secured the co-operation of every sect that was not 
rendered hostile by an immediate interest in the abuses it proposed to remedy. 
Organized as it was under a series of committees which were connected to- 
gether to the highest rank, it was capable of the most perfect co-operation, and 
had in itself, all the advantages of a provisional representative government, 
to which it was habituating its members, before they could be called upon to 
establish a national constitution. 

This immense superiority of advantages in favor of the United system, 
which clearly proved that it was the result of settled design and reflection, 
while the other seemed to derive its birth from accident and ignorance, was 
pointed out to the Defenders in the counties where the union was most preva- 
lent. There was no repugnancy in the tests of the two bodies, and many Cath- 
olics had, from the commencement, belonged to both. They persuaded other 
Defenders to follow their example. Protestant United Irishmen, too, resolved 
to break the exclusively Catholic appearance of Def enderism ; there being 
nothing in the test or regulations to prevent them, they were sworn into that 
body, and carried along with them their information, tolerance and republi- 
canism. They pointed out to their new associates, all that has been already 
stated in the comparison between the two systems; and set before them, that 
the something which the Defenders vaguely conceived, ought to be done for 
Ireland, was, by separating it from England, to establish its real as well as 
nominal independence ; and they urged the necessity of combining into one 
body, all who were actuated with the same views. At last their exertions were 
favored with entire success. The Defenders, by specific votes in their own 
societies, agreed to be sworn United Irishmen, and incorporated in large 
bodies into the union. Thus did they in those counties, merge into the broadest 
and best-concerted institution, which from henceforth, spread through their 

Spread of Irish Union 145 

Catholic districts with surprising rapidity; the inhabitants having abandoned 
whatever were the peculiarities of their own association. 

The Northern United Irishmen likewise pursued their scheme still further. 
The executions in Meath, Kildare, and latterly in the capital itself, showed to 
them that Defenderism had reached so far, and was likely to extend through 
all the Catholic parts of the kingdom. Weldon, Hart, Kennedy, and others, 
were found guilty in Dublin, in the latter end of l?!)."), of high treason, all 
being Defenders, and met their fate with that enthusiasm and fortitude, which 
political as well as religious sufferers have, in almost all ages, exhihited. The 
evidence on those trials showed that the views of the Catholics of that rank 
of life, in and near the metropolis, though they had never yet heard of the 
United system, were perfectly conformable to those of the Northern repub- 
licans. This coincidence determined the latter to open a communication which 
should pave the way for the extension of their own organization. They accord- 
ingly despatched persons up to Dublin, who found means to explain themselves 
with some of the principal Defenders of the Counties of Meath, Dublin and 
elsewhere. This caused deputies from them to be sent to Belfast, to examine 
if the views of the North corresponded with theirs, and how far its sincerity 
might be relied on. These men, on their arrival there, were soon convinced 
that the Northerns were more enlightened, and as ardent as themselves, and 
that their sincerity was too often proved and too explicitly manifested to be 
doubted. On their return home, they communicated a detail of the views of 
the union, and laid the foundation for the adoption of that system by the 
Catholics who deputed them. 

The impression which was made by all those measures on the Defenders, 
gave the United Irishmen a ready access to the militia regiments, as they 
arrived in the North. These were mostly composed of Catholics, having come 
from he other provinces; in many instances they were already Defenders, 
that as jciation having spread into the counties where they were raised. The 
progressive steps were now made easy : the Catholic soldier had no reluctance 
to become a Defender ; the Defender was quickly induced to follow the example 
of those where he was quartered, and to become an United Irishman. The 
union thus spread among them very extensively, and the militia regiments were 
often vehicles by which both systems were carried to different and remote 

The author would state that no leader of the movement in 1798, with the exception 
of Tone, and he only for a limited period, could have written so graphic and valuable a 
contribution to Irish history, based on personal knowledge in relation to every detail. 

The one unique and remarkable trait in Mr. Emmet's character is here well illustrated, 
where, in absence of all vanity he as usual made no reference to himself. No one on 
reading the essay just given would suppose he was personally connected to some extent 
with every incident and was frequently an active leader. 

Under all circumstances and throughout Mr. Emmet's life, he unconsciously assumed 
the position, and his associates recognized his leadership. With all his modesty of char- 
acter, he was unyielding as a leader and always carried his purpose through by the facility 

146 Mr. Emmet's Services 

he possessed of impressing each individual with their own importance. There was no 
desire to mislead on Mr. Emmet's part, but to educate and make use of every one asso- 
ciated with him to the fullest extent of his intellectual development. While Mr. Emmet 
gave credit to every one but himself, he had the facility of gaining the fullest degree of 
confidence as a leader from all without question, as each felt when Mr. Emmet expressed 
an opinion, he had in some degree based the conclusion upon their conversation. 

This faculty was as of value in a leader, but it caused his own services to be under- 

The last of the men of "98" sleep peacefully in their graves, their sons are grey-haired 
men; but the nation for tuhose freedom they fought still ivears her ancient chains, 
■ — her voice has been unheard amongst the nations, save nuhere agony ivrung from 
her a cry that reminded the tuorld at once of her existence and of her misery. 

Rev. Patrick F. Kavanagh. 

Your interference ivas then, sir, made the pretext of detaining us for four years in custody, 
by 'which very extensive and useful plans of settlement 'within these states tuere 
broken up. The misfortunes ivhich you brought upon the objects of your persecution 
lucre incalculable. Almost all of us wasted four of the best years of our life in 
prison. As to me, I <would have brought along •with me my father and his family, 
including a brother, 'whose name perhaps even you tvilt not read 'without emotions 
of sympathy and respect. Others nearly connected iviih me 'would have been partners 
in my emigration. But all of them have been torn from me. 1 have been prevented 
from saving a brother, from receiving the dying blessings of a father, mother, and 
sister, and from soothing their last agonies by my cares; and this, Sir, by your un- 
warrantable and unfeeling interference. 

T. A. Emmet. 

Letter to Rufus King — 

April 9th, 1807. 

History of the Emmet Family 

There is not nonx> in Ireland an individual that bears the name of Emmet. I do not <wish 
that there should 'while it is connected <with England and yet it <will perhaps be re- 
membered in its history. 

T. A. Emmet 
to Peter Burrcwves — 
Nov. 19th, 1806. 

To 'what extent I ought to yield to you for talents and information is not for me to decide. 
In no other respect, however, do I feel your excessive superiority. My private char- 
acter and conduct are I hope as fair as yours; and even in those matters <which 1 
consider as trivial, but upon 'which aristocratic pride is accustomed to stamp a value, 
I should not be inclined to shrink from competition. My birth certainly 'will not 
humble me by the comparison; my paternal fortune 'was probably much greater than 
yours; the consideration in 'which the name I bear <was held in my native country 
<was as great as yours is ever likely to be, before 1 had an opportunity of contributing 
to its celebrity. As to the amount of ■what private fortune I have been able to save 
from the 'wreck of calamity, it is unknown to you or to your friends; but t'wo 
things I 'will tell you: 1 never ■was indebted, either in the country from 'which I came, 
nor in any other in ■which I have lived, to any man, further than necessary credit for 
the current expenses of a family; and am not so circumstanced that I should tremble 
"for my subsistence", at the threatened displeasure of your friends. So much for the 
past and the present, no'W for the future. Circumstances ■which cannot be controlled 
have decided that my name must be embodied in history. From the manner in ■which 
even my political adversaries, and some of my cotemporary historians, unequivocally 
hostile to my principles, already speak of me, I have the consolation of reflecting, that 
'when the falsehoods of the day are 'withered and rotten, I shall be respected and 
esteemed. You, Sir, 'will probably be forgotten ■when I shall be remembered 'with 
honour; or, if, peradventure, your name should descend to posterity perhaps you 'will 
be kncnun only as the recorded instrument of part of my persecutions, sufferings, and 

T. A. Emmet. 
Letter to Rufus King, 1807. 

^. <^V A A A 


Arms of the Emott, Emmott, Emett, 
Emmett and Emmet families 

From Robert Emmet's death and the emigration of Thomas Addis Emmet <with his 
family to the United States there has been no one of the name in Ireland or elseiuhere, 
except the daughter of their brother, Temple, <who bore a legitimate relationship to 
the family nearer than 210 years. 

Thomas Addis Emmet, M.D. 

Chapter I 

Documentary and Traditional History of the Emmet Family* 



fgjsJL jjj 


N the 3d of October 1G19, Thomas Emmott, of Emmott 
Hall, died in the parish of Colne, Co. Pal. Lancashire, 
England, where he had been for many years the head of 
a family whose ancestors had lived for centuries on the 
same lands. The eldest son generally bore the name of 
William, while Thomas, Robert, John and Christopher 
were the Christian names most frequently used. This 
family has twice been reduced to a single female member, 
whose husband adopted the name. By special Act of 
Parliament, about 1745, Richard Wainhouse, the husband of Mary Emmott, 
took the surname of Emmott, and within a few years a similar change of name 
took place, so that the present head of the family is Richard Greene-Emmott, 
Esq. The family for an indefinite period — certainly previous to the seven- 
teenth century, as shown by monumental remains — has borne the same arms. 
In the Somerset Herald Office, London, is to be found the record of an 
Emmet family living in London at the time of the Herald's visitation in 1687. 
The right of this family to bear arms was then both recognized and recorded 
by the Herald. These arms are identical with those granted several centuries 
before to the Lancashire family of Emmott, and they are, moreover, the same 
arms that were used in Ireland by the ancestors of the American branch of 
Emmet. But "Edmondson's Heraldry", 1780, gives the arms of "Emmett, 
Emmott [Westminster] and of Emmot in Lancashire — Per pale az. & sa. : a 
fesse engrailed, erm., between three bulls' heads cabossed, or", and the crest, 
"out of a ducal coronet, or, a bull salient, ppr." 

The arms used by the Emmet family in Ireland are shown on a silver 
salver in the possession of the writer. This was given in 1783 to Dr. Robert 
Emmet by the Governors of St. Patrick's Hospital, Dublin, an institution 
founded for the insane by Dean Swift in 1745, and it was the first public 
asylum for the insane ever established in Ireland. After a service of many years 
Dr. Emmet resigned his position, and was then made the recipient of this 
piece of plate, which is thirty-one inches in diameter, and on which is en- 

"See Appendix, Note I, for the earlier history. 


150 Coat of Arms 

graved the following inscription : — "Presented by unanimous consent of the 
Governors of St. Patrick's Hospital, Dublin, to Robert Emmet, Esq., State 
Physician, as a Memorial, not compensation, of the many services rendered 
by him to that institution, as Governor, Physician, and Treasurer thereto. — 
Feb. 3, 1783". The Governors of this Hospital were, ex-officio, as a body, 
composed of the chief officials of the city of Dublin. 

At that time great importance was attached to the use of heraldic arms, 
so much so that no one was allowed to bear them in Great Britain, or Ireland, 
unless entitled to do so and after paying a tax for the privilege. Therefore, 
under the circumstances, the presence of these arms engraved on this salver, 
and the fact that they were placed there by direction of this Board of Gov- 
ernors, proves beyond question that Dr. Emmet was entitled to use them. 
This is an important circumstance in its bearing on the history of 
the family, and in the inference to be drawn from it, that this branch at least 
came from the Emots of Lancashire. 

It has also a more general bearing from the fact that wherever a branch 
of the family has been found entitled to bear arms, and without reference to 
the different modes of spelling the name, the arms have been essentially the 
same, or very similar to those which were used by the Emot family of Colne, 
Lancashire, and were in all probability the same as those granted or borne, 
by Robert de Emot in the fourteenth century. The three bulls' heads cabossed 
have been found with generally a fesse engrailed, erm. ; but in one instance 
as borne by a London family of Emmet, a chevron engrailed was used. In 
the first grant of the arms it is supposed the color on the shield was azure, 
from the fact that this tincture appears on the earliest rendering found. The 
same is still used by the Emmott family, and generally by the Emmet branches, 
but a party per cross, as well as per pale, has been used with azure and sable. 

The greatest variation has been found in the crest and motto, as the choice 
of either or both rested with the individual. In the original grant the crest 
was — "Out of a ducal coronet, or, a bull rampant, ppr," and not "salient", as 
given by Edmondson. The oldest motto, and the one still borne by the Em- 
motts of Lancashire, is "Tenez le Vraye", while Dr. Robert Emmet used 

The only exception met with in the use of the bulls' heads was found in 
the granting of arms to a Peregrine Emmit, of Spilsby, Co. Lincoln, about 
the middle of the last century. In this instance the two bulls' heads in the 
upper part of the shield were placed on an engrailed chief of ermine, with 
two crossed thighbones and four ants* on the basse in azure, and with a 
different crest. 

•This introduction into the Emmet Arms has reference to the old English and the root in the 
Anglo-Saxton, of Emmet, an Ant. The word is still to be found in some of the dictionaries. In "King 
James' Version" of the Bible, in the Book of Proverbs, the rendering is — "Go to the emmet, thou 
Sluggard". Shakespeare in "King Lear" shows the significance of the word, as typical of industry, 
"Or we'll set thee to school to an Ant". The writer has been informed that there exists 
in the Hebrew a similar word signifying constancy or trustworthiness. If true, this would ex- 
plain the use of the motto, Constans, derived from an old Gaelic root, a supposedly older language 
than the Hebrew. But there exists no trace of such a word in the modern Irish. In a record of over 
three hundred years of the Emmet family abroad, it is remarkable how large a proportion there were 
among them, of men of brains, enterprise, thrift, and steady workers. 


Salvei presented to Dr. Roberl Emmet by the Governors of St. Patrick's Hospital, 

I >ublin, Ireland 



Tipperary Emmets 151 

From the circumstantial evidence collected it seems probable that the im- 
mediate ancestry of Christopher Emett, of Tipperary, may have been con- 
nected with the following branch of the family, which had connections in 
Kent and Middlesex, living in London, bearing the same arms, and claiming 
to have been from the Lancashire stork : 

Maurice Emmet, the son of ■ — — Emet, married Elizabeth Pynes, and 
at the time of the visitation of the Herald-at-Arms in 1687 he was living 
in Peter Street, London, and was in his sixty-eighth year of age. They had 
the following children at this visitation, and their ages were then recorded : 

1. William Emmet, of St. Bride's Parish, married Elizabeth, a daughter 
of John Browne, and had one child, Mary. 

2. Maurice Emmet, "His Majesty's Bricklayer", married Elizabeth Bur- 
rage, of the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and in 1687 he was thirty- 
five years of age. His children were John, aged fifteen, Maurice, twelve, and 
Elizabeth, thirteen. 

3. Richard. He had several children, but the particulars could not be 

4. George Emmet, unmarried, and at the age of thirty-two years. 

5. "Henry Emmet, citizen", "His Majesty's Glass Painter and Stainer". 
He was at the time thirty years of age, and had married Mary, the daughter 
of Edward Hill, also of London. Their children were John Emmet, then 
twelve years of age, and Mary, who died in infancy. 

The visitation is signed by "Henry Emmett", with the following marginal 
note made at the time by the London Herald : "The arms, from a silver 
seal, and Mr. Emmet alleged the colours as they are here marked. He affirm- 
eth that he is descended from Emmet of Emmet Hall in Lancashire, but 
nothing found of that family in the visitation of that county". 

"Emmott- Hall", as we have shown, existed at that time, and the family 
were recorded by the Visitation Herald, and they bore these same arms. It 
is, therefore, possible, as the original mode of spelling the name was Emot, 
that in a previous generation the name of this branch had been spelled Emmott ; 
or, it is quite possible that the residence of another branch in the same county 
had been called "Emmet Hall", for the evidence is conclusive that the an- 
cestors of all of the name, whatever the mode of spelling, came originally 
from this neighborhood. 

It will now be well to consult the will of William Emet, of Tipperary, 
who expected his "kinsman", Henry Emet, to come from England according 
to his order. As William left a bequest to his brother George, Henry was 
probably the son of another brother. The eldest brother of Henry, of London, 
was named William, and he also had a brother George. 

But for the facts that William, of Tipperary, died in 1671, and William, 
of London, was possibly living in 1687, it might be held that they were 
one and the same person. On the other hand, if William, of London, was liv- 
ing at the time of the visitation, it is remarkable that his age was not recorded 
in consequence of being the eldest son. In the same connection should be 

152 Emmets in Plymouth 

considered the notes relating to "John Emmet of London, Esq.", who received 
a pension of one thousand pounds per annum in 1711, and left his property 
at his death to his wife and his son, Henry Emmet. 

Notwithstanding that Maurice Emmet is styled "His Majesty's Brick- 
layer", and his brother Henry "His Majesty's Glass-stainer", it is not believed 
that either of them followed so humble a calling.* This family was evidently 
well off at the time, possibly wealthy, with an estate in Middlesex County, 
and had doubtless rendered some service to the Government. At that time 
no greater service could be rendered to the King than by making him a loan 
of money, which he was never expected to repay in any other manner than 
by a grant of some position or office, which afforded his creditors an oppor- 
tunity to recoup with interest from the public purse and by methods not to 
be too carefully inquired into. "His Majesty's Brick-layer" and "His 
Majesty's Glass-stainer" doubtless received some stipend from their nominal 
offices until something better presented itself ; and it might be readily assumed 
that, with some like existing obligation, Henry Emmet was given the contract 
for furnishing "clothing and accoutrements" for the regiment commanded by 
Schomberg, and that John Loudon, as copartner, was in all probability the 
man-of-straw selected to do the work in the most profitable manner. The cir- 
cumstance of being entitled to bear arms renders the supposition impossible 
that under the then existing social code either Maurice or Henry Emmet 
could have followed a trade. 

Henry showed by his seal that he used the arms in 1687, and at that time 
he satisfied the London Herald-at-Arms that he was entitled to bear them, 
and, as has been stated, the right was officially recognized and recorded at 
the time. On the other hand, if he had not fully satisfied the Herald as to 
this right, the seal would have been seized and destroyed. 

Henry Emmet and his son John were for some reason closely connected 
with the town of Plymouth, England, in their business relations with Ireland, 
and at the same time with a Mr. White, a merchant of that place. Unless for 
some special reason the town of Plymouth had been selected, this circumstance 
becomes the more worthy of note, as many other ports in England were more 
favorably situated for commercial relations with Ireland. Dr. Christopher 
Emett, of Tipperary, also had some connection with the same town, as one 
of his sisters married a Mr. White, of Plymouth, and his wife, Rebecca Temple, 
had an uncle, Mr. Nathaniel White, a merchant, who was living in 1717. This 
fact is shown in a letter written at the time by Capt. Robert Temple, her brother. 
A copy of this letter was obtained by the writer from Capt. Temple's great- 
grandson, the late Mr. Robert C. Winthrop, of Boston. It is also known that 
Thomas Temple, the father of Robert, sailed from this port when he first went 
out to settle in New England, during the early part of the eighteenth century. 
It has been shown that a large branch of the Emmet family lived in Plymouth 
according to the record of the burial of Thos. Emmet in 1588, and the burial of 
Mary Emmet in 1707. 

*The one was no more "His Majesty's Brick-layer" than the late Queen Victoria's equerry was her- 

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An Old Bible 153 

A family bearing the surname of Emmetson once resided there, and a Dr. 
Remmetson [R. Emmet's son] was a very distinguished physician in the town 
during the early part of the last century. The writer possesses a large folio en- 
graving of this physician, which most probably was published by a dealer, for 
under ordinary circumstances it would have proved too costly for a private 
individual to have had it engraved for a limited circulation. 

There exists no clue, but quite possibly there was some connection between 
the family of Dr. Christopher Emett and Thomas Emet, who was supposed 
to have died without children, and whose estate passed to Thomas Moore 
through his grandmother, Katherine Emet. The social relations of these two 
families were with the most prominent in the county, and they were more nearly 
the same than of any of the other branches then living in Ireland; they 
seem to have been associated with the same families in their neighborhood 
which were known to Dr. Robert Emmet and his children a generation later. 

Many years ago a young man named Moore, from the south of Ireland, 
got into some pecuniary difficulty while in this country, and was aided by 
Mr. T. A. Emmet, an uncle of the writer. Moore knew nothing of the early 
history of his family, but came to Mr. Emmet for assistance on the strength of 
a tradition that in some manner Robert Emmet, "the patriot", was related to his 
family. In proof, he promised to send to Mr. Emmet, on his return, a Bible 
which had belonged to some one of the name of Emmet, but none of his 
family knew how or when it came into their possession. Moore kept his 
promise, and shortly after the book was received by Mr. Emmet it was pre- 
sented by him to the writer. This Bible is an octavo volume, printed in London, 
1638, and it contains a record of the birth of five children, placed, as usual, 
on the record sheet between the Old and the New Testament. The first two 
entries were made in the handwriting of an educated man in middle life, while 
the last three were written by a female who wrote with some difficulty ; but, 
from the propinquity and order of the dates it is evident that the whole record 
was one of the same family of children. At the back of this book there had been 
written what seemed to have been an extensive family record, but apparently 
a child had seized these leaves and in an attempt to get them into its pos- 
session they were pulled out, leaving just enough along the binding to indicate 
the nature of the manuscript. In 1734, eighty-seven years after this record 
had been made, some one wrote in the tremulous hand of old age : "I desire 
this leaf may not be taken out." 

On going through the Bible, on page after page was found written in a 
child's hand, "Mary Moore's", along the margin, as if it were done to mark 
the chapter which she had to memorize. The whole interest in the book 
turns on this name, and the possibility that it may have belonged to Mary 
Moore, the sister of Thomas, who inherited the property of Thomas Emet. 
The family tradition held by the Moores, that they were connected with Robert 
Emmet's family, cannot be accepted or be relied upon alone as evidence, since 
the origin of the tradition may have been due entirely to their possession of 
the book. 

154 Settlement in America 

The following is the Bible record : 

1647. My daughter Deborah Emmet was borne ye 7th day of November 1647, — 

being Sunday, and was baptized ye Sunday following, being the 14th day of 

1650. My daughter Mary Emmet was borne and Baptized upon Fryday, being 

ye 22nd day of November, 1650. 
My sonn Honri [Henry] Emott was borne upon Sonday, being the 25th day of 

November, 1653. 
My daughter Elossoboth Emott was borne the 21st day of November, 1655. 
My son John Emott was borne the 21st of November, 1658. 
I desire this leaf may not be taken out. — 1734. 

As early as 1658 the name of James Emott appears among the first settlers 
in Amboy, N. J., and in 1686 he was appointed Secretary of that Province. 
There have been several distinguished men of this family, the most prominent 
being the late Judge James Emott, of Poughkeepsie, N. Y., who died in 1850. 
Some years ago an uncle of the writer inquired into the early history of this 
family. Judge Emott, of Poughkeepsie, then stated that little was known 
of his ancestor, the first Emott settler in Amboy, and that he was ignorant 
of the date of his arrival ; nor could he tell whether James Emott had emigrated 
from Holland with the first Dutch settlers, or had come from England at a 
subsequent period. 

New Perth, on Ambo Point, hence in time Perth Amboy, was named after 
James, Earl of Perth, one of the proprietors of East Jersey, and it was settled 
by Scotch and emigrants from the north of England. Under the circum- 
stances, that James Emott came originally from either Lancashire or York- 
shire, in the north of England, is a natural inference, connected as he was with 
the early settlement of Perth Amboy.* 

Dr. William James Macneven, one of the United Irishmen during the 
troubles of 1798, was confined in Fort George, Scotland, with Thomas Addis 
Emmet. He married a Mrs. Tom, nee Riker, of Bowery Bay, Long Island, who 
lived to an advanced age. The writer, when a young man, learned from her the 
history of a member of the Emmet family, who came with his brother to New 
York about the middle of the 18th century. She also stated that towards 
the close of the Revolution her family returned to their country place, which 
had been abandoned for some years, as the English held New York and the 
neighborhood. It was then found that the British soldiers in seeking for 
plunder had violated the family vault and had left the coffins broken and 
open. As a child Miss Riker was particularly struck by the dark hue of the 
bones in one of the coffins, in such marked contrast to the blanched appear- 
ance of the other skeletons. Her father told her they were the remains of a 
young Irishman, named Emmet, a great favorite with everyone who knew 
him, who had come to this country with his brother some years before the 
Revolution. Mr. Emmet had begun as a teacher, but later studied law. Dur- 
ing one of his frequent visits to Mr. Riker's house he was struck by lightning 

*The name Emott is quite a common one at the present time in Yorkshire, England. In a list 

o{ wills (Appendix, Note I) is one of James Emott, who died in York, 1561. 




• 2 

^ -»x~ ' ._.«■_._■ 





Emmittsburg 155 

while mending a pen at an open door. The history of this young man inter- 
ested her so much that she frequently got her father to repeat the story, and 
it apparently made an indelible impression on her, for she never forgot its 
details. Shortly after Thos. Addis Emmet's arrival in this country Mrs. 
Macneven made his acquaintance and told him the story of this young Irish- 
man. Mr. Emmet then recalled having heard his father mention that, when 
a boy, one of his uncles, a brother of Christopher Emett, had come into pos- 
session of a farm near New York, and that he had sent two of his sons out 
to look after it. They were never heard of after their arrival in America, not 
an infrequent occurrence in the early settlement of this country, owing to the 
uncertainty of any intercourse by letter, which could only be transmitted by 
one individual to another. The coincidence in dates would lead to the infer- 
ence that this young Emmet and his brother were these two nephews of 
Christopher Emett; and, moreover, Mrs. Macneven had the impression that 
Mr. T. A. Emmet believed that such was the fact. Nothing is known of the 
subsequent history of the brother. 

James Emmet, of the Hillsboro' District, was appointed Captain in the 
Third North Carolina Regiment on April 16th, 1776, and served throughout 
the war. The writer has in his possession a copy of a letter written by Col. 
James Emmet on April 27th, 1781, to General Greene, and the late Mr. James 
A. Garland, of New York, had in his possession a number of others, showing 
that Col. Emmet was an active and trusted officer. The writer also recalls see- 
ing among the list of officers of the North Carolina Confederate troops, who 
surrendered at the end of the Civil War, a Col. Emmet, who was, no doubt, a 
descendant of the Revolutionary officer. So far it has been impossible to 
discover the existence at the present time of this family in North Carolina. 
But the query here presents itself: Was Col. James Emmet of the Revolu- 
tion the other nephew of Christopher Emett, of Tipperary, Ireland, or was he 
a descendant of James Emott, of Perth Amboy? 

The name of Emmet seems to possess some special attraction for the 
struggling play-actor, the negro minstrel, and the clog-dancer. The writer has 
known of three instances in this country, and of one in England, where persons 
on the stage have assumed the name. One of the most noted instances was 
the late clog-dancer, "J. K. Emmet," whose real name, it is said, was Kline, 
and who had not the slightest claim whatever to the name of Emmet ; how- 
ever, his family still continues to use it. 

Among the early settlers in the neighborhood of Frederick, Md., was a 
family of Emmitts, and their place was the site of the present Emmittsburg. 
The writer has been unable to obtain any information concerning the early 
history of this family. 

It is most remarkable that, occupying so prominent and influential a posi- 
tion as did the progenitors of the American branch early in the eighteenth 
century, a break could exist in the family record which obscures entirely all 
previous history. It is well known that the church records, as well as those 
in private hands, were frequently burned or otherwise destroyed in Ireland 

156 Lack of Family Traditions 

by the British troops ; in fact, both public and private property was wantonly 
destroyed whenever the pretext of a possible rebellion could be made. This 
is one reason for the obscurity which surrounds this portion of the family 
history, but the lack of traditional information in the family is to a still 
greater degree responsible for it. This condition must to some extent be at- 
tributed to Mr. Thomas Addis Emmet, who had suffered so much during the 
troubles of " '98," and had so little pleasure associated with the past in Ireland, 
that after his arrival in this country neither he nor his wife ever referred to 
Irish affairs or to the family history if it were possible to avoid doing so. He 
felt bitterly about the tragedies of this portion of his life — so much so that 
in a large number of his letters which have come to the notice of the writer, 
and which cover many years of his life in America, in but three instances 
did Mr. Emmet make any allusion to his family or past history. In one letter 
to a daughter he made reference to "the fortitude with which his wife had 
borne the privations of her prison life. In another letter he expressed the hope 
that "no one of the name would ever put foot on the soil of Ireland while she 
remained under British Rule". And the other instance was to the effect that 
he wished the past forgotten, and the history of the family to begin with its 
settlement in this country. 

In a letter by T. A. Emmet, given in the twenty-fifth chapter and written on 
November 10th, 1806, to Mr. Peter Burrowes, an old associate in Ireland, we 
find expression of the same sentiment: "There is not now in Ireland an 
individual that bears the name of Emmet. I do not wish that there ever should 
while it is connected with England, and yet it will perhaps be remembered in its 

*The following letters may be of interest to the reader, as they were written by the first individual 
of the name to visit Ireland over forty years after her father had been banished from his native land. 
These letters were written by Miss Margaret Emmet, Mr. Emmet's eldest daughter, who was born in 
Ireland, and was with him during his imprisonment at Fort George, being then about eleven years of 
age. Mrs. Graves, her youngest sister, born in New York, and her husband, formed the party. 

The first of these letters written by Miss Emmet is to her niece, Susan L,e Roy, the daughter of 
her sister Elizabeth: 

Dublin, August 1st, 1842. 
"My Dear Susan: 

As you have redeemed your character, as a correspondent, by a pleasant letter which I received 
the other day, I must avail myself of a very few spare moments to write to you a short answer, 
which is all that I can do at this time as the steamer sails so soon. You will wonder, I have no doubt, 
that we should have so much to occupy us in such a quiet place as Ireland, but we are staying at 
Uncle John's, and although they have seen great reverses of fortune, from loss of property, still the 
hospitality of the land will break out in them and we are feasted either at home or abroad every day, 
and after bein^ here almost a week this is the first chince I have had of writing. Your Uncle Graves 
is writing to Mount Alto [the country place of Bache McEvers] and of course giving a glowing account 
of our first reception in Paddy land, which was rather in the loafer style, as we spent the night in the 
street begging admittance from door to door without success. I longed for uncle Bill to sing Barney 
Brannigan while I was sitting on the handle of the wheel-barrow that held our luggage. I think he 
would have made the windows of the houses around fly open by the magic of his voice, and our dis- 
consolate situation would have been made known to more than the flinty heart who answered us from 
behind the closed door that there "was not a spare bed in the house." But long life to the moon, for 
a sweet noble creature, as she shone out in all her splendor silver bright; and when we had no other 
resource we returned to another hotel and there got a carriage and drove into Dublin by broad day- 
light, for the steamer landed the passengers at King's town, seven or eight miles from Dublin, and 
immediately falls back into the stream, — otherwise we would have returned to sleep in it. When we 
reached Dublin we went to bed for a few hours and breakfasted before we drove to Uncle John's, who 
lives about two miles from Dublin. When once inside of a house the warm feeling of the country 
began to show itself, for the waiter who attended at breakfast shed real silent tears when he heard 
who we were ard I have ro doubt told the other servants in the Hotel, for there were men and women 
on every landing as we went down stairs, and all looked kindlv at us. 

At Sandy Mount, where we are staying, we are treated like spoiled children, and nothing can 
exceed the kindness of all. Even every member of Uncle John's wife's family, who although in con- 
stant attendance on a brother who is very ill, have asked us to their houses. We went out today and 
I am obHe^d *o finish my letter in the small hours, as Mr. Delprat says. On that account we went out 
to a beautiful country seat of a cousin of your grand mother, who asked after his cousin Jane and 
called me Margaret soon after he knew me. At that place I am sure we would have spent some pleasant 

An I lonorable Name 157 

In a letter written by Thomas Addis Emmet to Rufus King, of New York, 
in L807, during a p< ilitical contest, he writes, "'and even in those matters 
which I consider as trivial, but upon which aristocratic pride is accustomed 
to stamp a value, I should not be inclined to shrink from competition. My 
birth certainly will not humble me by the comparison, my paternal fortune was 
probably much greater than yours; the consideration in which the name I hear 
was held in my native country was as great as yours is ever likely to he, he fore 
I had an opportunity of contributing to its celebrity". 

Dr. Madden states that ''Emmet's vanity was of a peculiar kind; he was 
vain of nothing but his name." Robert Emmet when answering, at his trial, 
the accusation that he was an emissary of France that he might advance his 
own ends, repudiates the charge as follows: "Oh, my country, was it per- 
sonal ambition that influenced me! had it been the soul of my action, could 

days, but one of the family, a favorite son, is lying at the point of death and Mrs. Colville, his mother, 
could only leave him for a few moments to see us when we called there. But they are constantly 
sending fine fruit &c and showing what they would do but for circumstances. 

I must draw this to a close per force, but your uncle Graves has written so \on% a letter to your 
Aunt Jane, that this is only to tell you that I have not forgotten you and tell Libby [her sister 
Elizabeth] that her little letter was very nice indeed. Your Uncle will not allow me to write another 

Yours ever, 

Margaret Emmet." 
Miss Susan Le Roy, 

New York. 

The next letter from Miss Emmet is to her sister, Mrs. Le Roy: 

Dublin, August 15th, 1842. 

"After sipping the sweets of the Devil's Punch Bowl at Killarney, you will think, My dear Eliza- 
beth, that I must be just in good order to answer your folio letter of six pages, which I received on 
my return to Dublin and read with the greatest pleasure; not excepting the two scrub epistles at the 
end, and were I not again pressed for time while writing I would try what virtue there is in crossing, 
but I am afraid I cannot today. Mary Ann also received one from you a week later, we conjecture, for 
Jane began it and put no date. 

I am grieved to learn that John [her brother] is still so much a sufferer as you state, I had hoped 
that he would have recruited fast when among you all and with summer weather. It seems too hard 
that he should be obliged to go before our return when we are so near it, but I know how necessary a 
warm climate is to him and the end of September may be too late for him to travel. 

We leave this for Scotland in a couple of days taking the North of Ireland first. We spent four 
days in Killarney and would willingly have remained longer, as we had such torrents of rain some part 
of the time that we had to forego several excursions on that account. The lakes are very beautiful and 
the mountains fine and water falls, all with some legend of fairies and enchantment about them, with 
O'Donoghues and O'Sullivans for the heroes. Indeed there is not a rock or island that has not its tale 
of romance. 

We have not been able to hear as much genuine Irish wit as 1 expected. But the common 
people we have come in contact with, have been spoiled by being guides &c. — and training their wit. 
However, the old man who took us in for the night, in our trouble on the road, told me that I "spoke 
a deal entirely plain" for one coming from America and a day or two in the bogs would have brought 
the real stuff out I am sure. The same ill luck about houses attended us on our return from Killarney, 
although travelling a different route and we were once actually floored by two or three countrv gentle- 
men "who pay the rent," (pigs) who in settling some private quarrel dashed between our horses' legs 
and threw them both down, postilion and all. It had been raining hard and we had to dismount from 
the carriage in a perfect sea, and found both horses' knees shockingly cut. They proved to be but 
flesh wounds, but had we had any other resource our humanity would have prompted us to take it 
instead of going on with them, which we were obliged to do after a time on a slow walk, however, 
and for a short distance. From Limerick we had no trouble, and on our way we paid a visit to Mrs. 
Harper, a cousin of Mama who was Miss Colville, and Miss Margaret Colville. They had written 
to Dublin hoping we would spend a day with them on our way to Killarney, but we went a different 
direction and the family are in much trouble about a son of Mr. Colville at Ctontarf who died the day 
after our visit. As we passed through the town, where they were living, coming back, we thought we 
would call even if they were not at home, and I am glad we did, for it is delightful to see how affec- 
tionately Mamma is remembered and to feel so warmly welcomed for her sake. Had Mr. Colville's 
family not been in distress I am sure we would have spent part of our time with them, and they 
seemed to live very pleasantly in the country. As it is they have been constantly sending fine fruit 
and the delicacies of the season to Uncle John for us. Uncle John is a perfect contrast to Mamma, 
slow in speaking and very absent, but he has a great deal of fun and such perfect good humor that 
everybody loves him and he has a mind stored with information. In traveling whenever we were in a 
difficulty, he always had some improvement or invention which was just making that would have suited 
our case exactly, had it been in general use. Once when our boat was aground, he said there was one 
just invented with wheels at the bottom, for such an emergency; again when we could not stem the 
rapids and were wishing our boat could be carried, there was an India rubber one making by some 
one, and so on in his quiet way. 

We have seen Mr. Holmes twice; he was absent when we first arrived and did not return until 
a day or two before we went South. He is a fine looking old man, but not one my heart warms to, 
for altho' he is not what you would call a reserved man, there is no glow about him which would draw 
you near to him as a relation." 

158 Social Status 

I not by my education and fortune, by the rank and consideration of my family, 
have placed myself among the proudest of your oppressors." 

In the history of the family a series of letters will be given which were 
written to T. A. Emmet while in prison. Frequent reference is made in these 
letters to prominent persons in Ireland, and in a manner to show clearly what 
had been the social position of the family before the political troubles of the 
day overwhelmed its members. 

The writer recalls seeing his grandmother, Mrs. T. A. Emmet, burn a large 
mass of letters, or other papers, during the winter of 1841, while on a visit 
to one of his uncles, then living in Broome Street; in fact, as a thoughtless 
boy, he aided her in doing so by gathering up what had fallen from the grate. 
But one single record seems to have been preserved, and that is a Bible con- 
taining the family record of the grandfather and father of T. A. Emmet; but 
for this nothing would be known beyond the name of his father. 

It has, unfortunately, been only within the past fifty years that any attempt 
has been made, and only by the writer, to ascertain anything of the family 
history. While this search has been essentially an exhaustive one in both 
England and Ireland, it was productive of little beyond the accumulation of 
a mass of material bearing only on a part of the general history of the family, 
and chiefly relating to the political courses of Thomas Addis and Robert Emmet. 

A portion of these papers showed that there were certain striking pecu- 
liarities or facts strangely associated almost everywhere with the name of 
Emmet. We may recall the circumstance stated in relation to the close re- 
semblance of the arms borne by the different branches of the family for 
centuries past, and without relation to the different modes of spelling the name. 
It has also been found in nearly every generation, and in every branch, that 
the Christian names of Christopher, Robert, William, Thomas and John have 
been those most commonly used. Again, the records of England and Ireland 
show, during the past three hundred years, that an unusually large proportion 
of the Emmets, with the various modes of spelling, have been professional 
men, generally "married well", and evidently to superior women, as a rule, 
who were able to train their children to the best advantage. 

So far as could be judged, from a large number of wills examined, there 
is no evidence that the Emmets at any time possessed great wealth, but all 
seemed to have been in comfortable circumstances, as, with a single exception, 
no one of the name was found on the records of the Bankruptcy Courts. This 
would indicate a prudent, thrifty race, with little taste for show, and one in- 
clined to live within its means. But the most remarkable circumstance noted 
was the fact that the family has occupied essentially the same social position 
from our earliest records to the present day — a fact doubtless to be attributed 
to the training of professional life and to the consequent development and 
maintenance of the intellectual faculties. Medicine seems to have been a 
favorite profession, and many have been successful at the Bar, but not a clergy- 
man bearing the name has been found in Ireland. In the north of England 
there have been several of the Established Church of the name of Emmott, 

Family Connections 159 

and at a more recent period the Rev. M. Emmet became prominent in England 
as a Methodist minister. 

Spooner, in his "History of the Fine Arts", etc. ( New York, 1865 I, men- 
tions Win. Emmett, "an English engraver, who flourished about 1710. He 
engraved a number of prints for the booksellers, among which is a large view 
of the interior of St. Paul's Church, executed with the graver in a neat, clear 

In O'Hart's "Irish Pedigrees" it is stated from Agnew's "French Pro- 
testants" that an individual bearing the name of Emet was naturalized in Ire- 
land between 1689 and 1701. It would seem that he was of Huguenot descent 
from Holland, and came over to Ireland among the followers of William, 
Prince of Orange. 

Within the personal experience of the writer there have been seven different 
families of Emmet (with the name variously spelt) unknown to each other, 
and from different parts of the world, who have claimed to be in direct descent 
from Thomas Addis and Robert Emmet, or more remotely connected with the 
same family. So fixed has the tradition become that it is impossible to prove 
how the question of relationship originated, it becoming finally accepted as 
true, on the alleged claim of some progenitor who knew the facts, but has since 

I recall two noted instances ; that of Mrs. General Botha and the Reverend 
Thomas Addis Emmet, S. J., whose father was an Irishman. A member of 
the Tucker family who was of position in the East India Company, when the 
British Government annexed India, was a first cousin of the writer's grand- 
father, on his mother's side. 

After a visit to Bermuda some sixty years ago the writer became pos- 
sessed of some papers connected with this official, where frequent mention 
was made of a General Emmott, who had spent his life in the East India 
service. He was a native of Yorkshire in England, and when the East India 
Company ceased to exist the General was pensioned and given some office con- 
nected with the government at Cape Town, where he finally died. Mrs. Botha's 
father was undoubtedly descended from this General Emmott, but her name 
had been changed to Emmet and she had two brothers, Thomas Addis and 
Robert Emmet who served through the Boer War with great credit. Through 
the aid of the late Michael Davitt, the writer was able to correspond with Mrs. 
Botha, but she had no proof of relationship nor extended knowledge of her 
own family's settlement at the Cape nor of any connection with Ireland, and 
yet the family continues to hold the claim. 

The family of the Catholic clergyman was from Ireland, but he possessed 
no knowledge of his history and held nothing more than the tradition that a 
relationship did exist. 

From the birth of Christopher, the grandfather of Thomas Addis and 
Robert Emmet, every connection of the family is perfectly well known. Chris- 
topher, who was born in 1700, may have had a brother or sister of whom the 
present members of the family have no record. 

160 Question of Descent 

But Christopher, as will be shown, had only two children. The eldest 
son, and his child, died young. Dr. Robert Emmet, the remaining child and the 
youngest, had three sons and a daughter who passed the period of adolescence. 
Temple, the eldest, died as a young man, and had but one daughter who also 
died at an early age. 

The children of Thomas Addis Emmet all settled in New York, except 
the writer's father, and an uncle, who died early in life as a midshipman in 
the United States navy. The history of all these was known to the writer 
in as close detail as ever the life of one individual could be to another. There- 
fore, the claim of relationship with the family of Robert Emmet at any time 
within at least 210 years can only rest on an illegitimate connection. 

But from the writer's intimate knowledge of the lives of the male mem- 
bers of the family, it seems an absurdity to suppose they ever had any illegiti- 
mate children. There can not exist the slightest basis for the claim of those 
who hold they have descended directly from Robert Emmet. He never mar- 
ried and both friend and foe who knew him from childhood, agree that his 
moral character, in every relation, was in accord with the highest standard 
of purity. 

The Irish question has never passed into history because it has never passed out of 

Lord Rosebery. 


Christopher Emett and Rebecca 
Temple, his wife 

In the sad picture of her destruction Ireland exhibits not the maiestic ruins of a nation. 
Before Ireland could be a nation she became a province; before Ireland could be a peo- 
ple her inhabitants 'were made slaves, attached not to their country, but to their soil. 

T. A. Emmet. 

Chapter II 

Irish relations and ancestors of the present generation of the Emmet family in the 
United States of America— Christopher Emett, M.D., marriages and connections — Dr. 
Robert Emmet of Dublin— Author— Medical work and a number of poems. 

T has been shown that different branches of the Emmet 
family were in Ireland during three hundred years, and 
in England for centuries before. Yet between them and 
the ancestors of the family now in the United States no 
direct communication could be traced, nor is there any 
record of this branch earlier than the beginning of the 
eighteenth century. 

The American family came from Thomas Emett, the 
father of Christopher Emett, of whom nothing more is 
known. Christopher was born in 1700, as was ascertained from the 
headstone over his grave in the yard of the Tipperary parish church. 
He was a physician or surgeon, and, according to Dr. Madden's state- 
ment, had a large practice at the time of his death. He probably 
practised surgery chiefly and did not take the degree of Doctor of Medi- 
cine, which would explain why he had never styled himself "Doctor", and in 
fact nothing more than "Christopher Emett, Gent"," as his signature appears 
upon several documents. He married, February 9th, 1727, Rebecca, only 
daughter of Thomas Temple, Esq., of Ten Hills — near Boston — and grand- 
daughter of Sir Purbeck Temple, Bart.* Her father resided for the greater 
portion of his life in America, as did his son Robert, and his grandsons Robert 
and John Temple. They married in New England, and their descendants, as 
will be shown, became afterwards more closely related to the Emmet family. 
Christopher and Rebecca Emett had but two children : 

1. Thomas Emett, who was born in 1728, married Grace Russell, and had 
one child. The father died of smallpox June 27th, 1758. His child expired 
on the following day from the same disease, and both were buried in the same 
grave in the town of Tipperary. Mrs. Emett died in Dublin, about 1788, at 
the house of Dr. Robert Emmet, and in her will she directed that she should be 
buried in the same grave with her husband and child. 

"See Appendix. Note II, for history of the Temple Family. 


162 Will of Christopher Emett 

2. Robert Emett was born in Tipperary, November 29th, 1729, and the de- 
tails of his life will be given hereafter. 

Christopher Emett died in Tipperary, leaving the following will : 

In the name of God, Amen. I, Christopher Emett, of Tippperary, in the County of 
Tipperary, being at present in a bad state of health, but of sound mind and memory, 
thanks be to God, do make and declare this to be my last Will and Testament, revoking 
all former wills by me made and declaring this and no other to be my last Will and 
Testament, in the manner following : 

First, I give to my dearly beloved wife Rebecca Emett the sum of fifty pounds, 
and my plate and household linen, which fifty pounds I desire she may be paid first, 
the debts justly due of me having been discharged. I farther bequest unto my wife, 
during her widowhood, the use of her choice Room, and the furniture thereof, in the 
House we now dwell in, together with the Interest I now have in the Fairs and Mar- 
kets of this Town, she discharging, paying, and fullfilling the several Articles which I 
am subject to in the Lease which I have of the same, and if my said wife should 
think proper to marry after my decease, my will is that both my sons pay her two 
hundred and fifty pounds sterling over and above the fifty pounds first given and be- 
queathed to her, or if my said wife and all, or any, of my Executors, jointly with her 
hereafter named, shall think proper to Iett or sell all or any of my Freehold Leases, 
real or personal Estate, which I hereby empower them to do, my Will is that She re- 
ceives the said fifty pounds as in case of such marriage. 

The remainder of my worldly substance to go and be equally divided between my 
two sons Thos. Emett and Robert Emett, and in case of the death of both before 
arriving at the lawful age, then my Will is that if my wife be living that she may be 
paid two hundred pounds more than heretofore given her, but if she should not be 
living my Will is that one hundred pounds of the above two hundred pounds intended 
for her be paid to my sister in law Elizabeth Temple, of the city of Dublin, if she be 
then living, and fifty pounds to my sister in law Agnes Cuthbert, of Castlebarr, if she 
should be then living, and not otherwise, and if not, that and the remainder of my Sub- 
stance to be equally divided between my brothers and sisters, or as many as shall be 
living of them, except fifty pounds which I leave to my nephew Christopher Emett, son 
of William Emett, and forty pounds to my nephew John Mahony, in case of such con- 
tingencies as hereinbefore expressed; and it is further my will and desire that neither 
of my sons should marry before they arrive at the age of twenty-two years without 
the consent of my wife first had, and the consent of Joseph White, Esq., or of Ambrose 
Harding with hers, and in case either of them should, then he to receive twenty-five pounds 
and no more, and the Legacy herein intended for him to go to his brother. But in 
case they should both marry before they arrive to such age, then their legacies to be 
disposed of between them, as my wife, Ambrose Harding, Esq., and Joseph White, 
Esq., see proper, and it is my will that if any dispute arise between my sons on account 
of the legacy herein intended for them, that the same may be determined by Ambrose 
Harding, Esq., Joseph White, and my wife, or any two of them, and in case of them 
refusing, then to any other three honest gentlemen, of which James Reardon, of the 
town of Tipperary if living be one, which determination shall be final to such dispute, 
and in case either of them shall not abide by such determination, then to receive twenty 
pounds and no more. 

I nominate, constitute and appoint the aforesaid Ambrose Harding, Joseph White, 
Rebecca Emett, my wife, and Samuel Taylor, of Waterford, Gent n , executor of this my 
last Will and Testament; I appoint my said wife Rebecca and said Samuel Taylor 
guardians of my said sons Thomas and Robert during each of their minorities. 

In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand and seal this twentyeth day of 
April, in the year of our Lord God one thousand and seven hundred and forty-three. 

Christopher Emett [seal]. 

Kindred of Christopher Emett 163 

Signed, scaled, published and declared liy the said Testator to be his last Will and 
Testament in presence of us who have signed our names as Witness in his Pri i 
the words "and I appoint my said wife Rebecca and Samuel Taylor, guardians of my 
said sons Thomas and U'ol.i'U during each of their minorities", being first above inter- 
lined between the thirty-third and thirty-fourth lines. 


John Armstrong, Saml. Corbett, Rudolph Holib. 

The last Will and Testament of Christopher Emett, late of Tipperary, in the county of 
Tipperary, Gent., deed., leaving and so forth, was proved and approved in common form 
of law and registered in his Majesty's Court of Prerogative and the Burden of the 
Executive of the said Will and administration of the goods of the said deed, were 
granted by the Most Rev. Father John and so forth, also Judge and soforth, to Rebecca 
Emett, widow and relict of the said deed., and Samuel Taylor, of the city of Dublin, 
Gentn., two of ye Execrs. named in ye said Will, they being first sworn. Saving the right 
of Ambrose Harding and Joseph White, Esqs., the other Execrs. and soforth. Dated the 
fourteenth day of November in ye year of our Lord 1743 — and they have to exhibit an 
Inventory on or before the last day of May next ensuing. 

Christopher Emett evidently had a number of brothers and sisters, as is 
shown by the provision made in his will that under a certain contingency the 
property should "be equally divided between my brothers and sisters, or as 
many as shall be living of them". He mentions by name only his brother 
William, and so far no clue has been obtained to indicate the names of his other 
brothers or their place of residence, consequently it is impossible to trace the 
relationship between those of the name known to have been living at that time 
in Ireland. Possibly Christopher's other brothers were without male children, 
or if this was not so their male descendants, as well as those of their nephew 
Christopher, died out in the next generation. 

The proof of this rests on the letter given in the twenty-fifth chapter and 
written to Peter Burrowes by Thomas Addis Emmet, shortly after settling in this 
country, and already referred to, in which he states — "there is not now in 
Ireland an individual that bears the name of Emmet." This positive assertion 
must be accepted without question, as it cannot be supposed that Mr. Emmet 
could have been either ignorant of the facts or indifferent to the truth of such 
an important statement. 

It seems not unlikely, from evidence to be presented, that one of Christo- 
pher's sisters married a Joseph White, who was probably of the same family 
as Nathl. White, the Plymouth merchant, and that the Joseph White who was 
executor to Christopher Emett's will was the son of Nathaniel. It is also 
likely that one of the sisters of Christopher married a Mr. Taylor, and that 
he was the father of Samuel Taylor selected by Christopher Emett as one of 
his executors and to be the guardian of his children. It is also likely that still 
another sister of Christopher married Thomas Addis, a merchant of Cork. It 
is thought that Mr. Addis married twice, Joana Emett being his first wife and 
Jane his widow. His will was dated May 19th, 1719, and it was proved June 
6th, 1724. It may be inferred from the date of proving the will that Mr. Addis 
died in the spring of 1724.* 

•The Addis family was one of importance in Cork. Ireland, throughout the 17th century. Mem- 
bers of this family frequently served as mayor or sheriff of Cork. The cutlery, and particularly the 

164 The Addis Family 

He left one son, Fenton Addis, who was an only child and by his first wife. 
Fenton Addis was a lawyer by profession and practised in Cork for many 
years. While we have no positive proof of the exact degree of relationship, 
it is known that one did exist. Mr. Addis lived well past the middle of the 
eighteenth century, and his connection with Dr. Emmet's family could only 
have been based on some relationship. Fenton Addis's wife died in 1744; he 
had no children, and evidently on his death his effects passed to Dr. Robert 
Emmet. In proof of this surmise the writer has a number of books which he 
inherited from his father, and which doubtless originally formed part of the 
library of his grandfather, T. A. Emmet. These books contain the bookplate 
or signature of Fenton Addis, and from the date of publication of some of 
them it is evident that he was alive as late as the birth of Thomas Addis 
Emmet. In precisely the same manner the family inherited a silver snuffbox 
with a large bloodstone on the top set around with Irish garnets. On the in- 
side of the cover is inserted what is supposed to be a rare form of bloodstone, 
perfectly white, with a blot in the center resembling a fresh drop of blood. 
Around this stone is the inscription: "This Box to be kept in ye family of 
Thomas Addis for ye last of his male line, A.D. 1708. — Value 10 pds." At 
the time of Fenton Addis's death his immediate family had apparently died 
out, and this snuffbox naturally-. went to _pr. , Emmet for his son bearing the 
name of Addis. 

One of the bequests made in Christopher's will was to Elizabeth Temple, 
his wife's sister, and also "fifty pounds to my sister-in-law Agnes Cuthbert, of 
Castlebarr, if she should be then living, and not Otherwise."* There is nothing 
to show who this "sister-in-law" could have been. The only possible explana- 
tion seems to be that she was his sister and not a sister-in-law, as stated in the 
will. This view is suggested from the reading of the will of Dr. Wm. Cuthbert, 
as follows : 

In the name of God, amen. I William Cuthbert, of the city of Dublin, gent., being 
of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, do make my last Will and 
Testament in manner following, — that is to say I give, devise and bequeath unto my 
beloved wife Mary Cuthbert, otherwise Phibbs, in addition to her marriage articles with 
me, which I hereby confirm, all my real and personal estate of what kind and nature 
so ever towards her better support and maintinance, except my books in physick and 
chirurgery, which I hereby devise to my former wife's nephew D r . Robert Emmitt, 
and do nominate, constitute and appoint my said wife Mary sole executive of this my 
will, hereby revoking all former wills by me made and declaring this to be my last Will 
and Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand and seal, this 
twenty-fifth day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 
seventy-three. Will m . Cuthbert [sEAL]t 

carving tools, made by the Addis family, were noted features of Irish industry for generations. The 
family seemed to have died out during the following century in Cork or emigrated to New England. 
The following newspaper cutting was sent to me while writing this work and it would seem to indicate 
that some of the family had settled in Connecticut: 

(3651.) 1. Addis, Ancestry wanted of the following-named: James Addis of Durham, Conn., 
a soldier in Revolution. Samuel Addis who married Submit Bartlett. Thomas Addis of Durham, Conn., 
born 1739, died April 14, 1827. Thomas Addis of Westbrook, Conn., 1764. Thomas Addis of Litchfield, 
Conn., who married Abby De Wolf. Thomas Addis, who married Susanna Larrabee in Boston, 1748. 

*The author recently looking over a file of papers printed in Dublin during the later portion of 
1797, saw the advertisement of a house to be let in Dublin, and "possession given immediately or sooner 
if desired". 

tAmong the State Prisoners at Fort George and a leader in the organization of United Irishmen 

IS 1 


of Dublin, from a miniature, about 1 760 

Dr. Robert Emmet 165 

Signed, scaled, published and declared by the Testator as his last Will and testa 
merit in presence of us who in his presence at his request, and in presence of each 
other, have subscribed our names as witnesses: 

Thomas Taylor, Wm. Bill, Alex*. Sparow. 

It is evident from this document that Agnes Cuthhert was a sister of Chris- 
topher Emett and the first wife of Dr. Cuthhert. 

Christopher Emett also mentions his nephew, John Mahony, whose mother 
was Diana Emett, another sister. John Mahony's sister married a Dr. 
Macoubry, of Anacloy, Downpatrick, Ireland. A letter from T. A. Emmet 
to his kinswoman, Mrs. Macoubry, relating t<> the birth of a sun, and one 
from Dr. Emmet, referring to the arrest of his son, will be given hereafter, and 
reference to these letters is made, as through them the relationship to Diana 
Emett was traced. Mrs. Macaubry's daughter, Diana, married Mr. John Gerd- 
wood, originally of Edinburgh, but who settled afterwards in the north of 
Ireland. The widow of her son, Mrs. Sarah Gerdwood, presented the writer 
with these letters to Mrs. Macoubry, with an account of the family connection. 

Another point of interest is presented in this last will. The testator desig- 
nates himself as "Wm. Cuthhert, of the city of Dublin, Gent.," without making 
any reference to his profession, which he most likely would have done if en- 
titled to the degree of "Doctor of Medicine." This explanation applies equally 
to Dr. Christopher Emett, who was termed by others a physician, though he 
never used the title himself, notwithstanding that he no doubt practised both 
medicine and surgery. The only explanation is the one already given, that he 
obtained the degree of surgeon, and consequently would have been ad- 
dressed, according to the English custom, as Mr. Emett, while his social posi- 
tion entitled him to the designation "Gent n ." 

Robert Emmet, the youngest son. became a noted physician. He received 
his degree of medicine from the University of Montpellier, France, about 1750, 
and began the practice of his profession in Cork, Ireland. In 1753 Dr. Emmet 
wrote a medical work* on some of the diseases of women, which was originally 
published in Latin and was afterwards translated into French and English, 
with two editions printed in Paris, and one in England. f 

Dr. Robert Emmet wrote quite a large volume of poemsj while a medical 
student, and for several years after, between 1750 and 1765. The writer felt 
a delicacy in making any attempt to pass judgment on the merit of these poems 

was a Joseph Cuthbert, but no mention is known to have ever been made of him by Mr. Emmet, as 
would have been the case had he been a relative of Dr. Wm. Cuthbert. 

*Tentamina Medica, de Mensium Fluxu et de Curatione Morborum Cephalicorum. Auctore, 
Roberto Emett, Med. Bacc. e Societate Regia Scientiarum, Monspeliense, MDCCLIII. 

fThe writer has possessed the four editions. 

JThe volume in which these poems were written is bound in vellum, made of thick Dutch paper, 
and despite its having been subjected to rough usage, the skill of the book-binder has preserved its 

Previous to being put to its present use. 25 or 30 pnges were cut out, so close that the nature of 
the manuscript which has been removed cannot be determined. The first poem written in the book 
bears the title "A Poem on a Harvest Day, in three parts, (Morning. Noon and Night), Cork, Sept. 
1758". The poems bear various dates between the first written and the last in 1763 while near the end, 
1754 and 1755 are given, showing the^e had been composed at a previous time and were copied in after 
"The Harvest Day" was written. These poems were written while Dr. Emmet lived in Cork, a 
number, before his marriage, and several while a student. Many years after, it would seem, Robert 
Emmet, Jr. had as a child been reading his father's poems, many of which he had seen were signed 
by the elder. A particular one he noticed had not been signed so he supplied the deficiency with 
the signature "Robbert Emmet", in a large copy-book form, an accomplishment he had evidently but 
recently acquired. 

166 Dr. Emmet's Poems 

of Dr. Robert Emmet and hesitated to choose what parts were worthy of pub- 
lication. He, therefore, submitted the matter to an old friend, Mr. J. I. C. 
Clarke, the journalist and poet. Had Mr. Clarke never written more than 
"Kelly and Burke and Shea", in prose or poetry, he would be entitled to a most 
prominent position in the literary world. Mr. Clarke's reply was as follows: 

I have found Dr. Emmet's verses extremely interesting. He was, I presume, at 
the time a young man, probably under thirty, educated to the full and in touch with 
all the literature and art of his day. He had the true poetic bent, and an admirable 
technique. As you know, it is impossible for anyone to write outside his cycle, that is he 
must express himself in the line of the greater writers around him. Hence the influence 
of Pope, the dominant note of his time, is most felt, but in a particular way he was 
influenced also by Gray. The "Harvest Day" is very largely so, several phrases from 
the "Elegy in a Country Churchyard" finding their way into his lines. However, I 
have chosen the third or "Evening" part for copying, because it gives a picture of 
country life in Ireland of 1758 that is fairly illuminative. The affectation that colors 
most of the poetry of the eighteenth century is naturally present. These were described 
in a pompous way. The classics were plentifully drawn on for illustration. 
The names of gods and goddesses are sprinkled over it. You get the idea when you 
read the eighteenth century poets of England that they wrote with ruffles on their 
shirts, with periwigs and wore red heels. I am having a number of the poems copied, 
making them as varied as possible. He is most natural in "A Letter to a Friend". 

In a subsequent letter, as to the advisability of placing the remaining por- 
tion of The "Harvest Day" in the Appendix, Mr. Clarke wrote — 

The whole poem is good mid-eighteenth century verse. The thing that is most 
valuable in it to me is the light that it throws on the agricultural and rustic customs 
of the times in Ireland. "Evening" has most of these. The other parts "Morning" and 
"Noon" are poetically all right, to go in the Appendix. As I wrote before, the "Letter 
to a Friend" is the best and most human thing in the book, and the Lyrics are good also. 
(See Appendix, Note III.) 


No more the cooling streams delight 

The coverts please no more, 
The Sun descends his mid-day height 

And coasts Ierne's shore. 
The lab'rer eyes his steep career, 

And marks well pleas'd the ray 
Which speaks the well watch'd hour near 

And ends the hir'd day. 

The goaded oxen now set free 

Tend loweing in the vale 
And slowly winding o'er the lee 

Their fellow oxen hail. 
And now wide stretching o'er the lawn 

The lengthen'd shades appear 
Of peasants who at russet dawn 

The silent valleys cheer. 

*See Appendix, Note III, for remainder of the poem. 

"Evening' 167 

In sportive groups they quit the field 

Nor toils their vigour marr 
For there behold one active wield 

And loss the massive barr. 
Here with a rock's enormous weight 

I [igh on his arm upbore 
Each arduous strives to emulate 

The Swains who cast before. 

Still more laborious, there one joyns 

A seeming frantick train 
Which tightly girt around their loins 

Drive furious o'er the plane. 
The youth of neighb'ring villas, they 

Met eager to decide 
Superior strengtli and skill in play, 
For villagers have pride. 

And active now they hurl the ball 

And eagerly pursue, 
They cross, they jostle, tripp and fall 

Each other to outdo, 
And stung with love of rustick fame 

Each anxious plays his part 
Runs, pants and toils to win the game 
And prove superior art. 

But hark! the Groves harmonious ring, 

And crowding to the fray 
The fledg'd musicians fondly sing 

The vespers of the day. 
In concert wild their notes arise 

As fades the setting light 
An instinct hommage to the skies 
And bid the Day good night. 

For now disrob'd of all his blaze 

The West'rn Sun behold 
His glory cropt and dimm'd his rays 

A lucid sphere of gold; 
Now scarce above the upland height 

Appears the fading ray 
And sudden now withdrawn from sight 

It dips into the Sea. 

Now home the peacefull sheperd tends 

His fleecy charge secure 
Th' endearing glance fond Mopsa sends 
And greets him at the door. 

168 "Evening" 

And there light tripping o'er the vale 

The merry milk-maids come 
Or burthen'd with the foaming pail 

Return jocund home. 


The attentive ploughman there behold 

Gaze on the ruddy sky 
And from just observation bold 

Pronounce the morrow dry. 
Or now tho' settl'd and serene 

The gilded clouds appear, 
He dooms it lost in constant rain 

Without one ray to cheer. 

His knowledge not from books he draws 

Or schoolmen's learn'd pride 
Hydraulick rules or nature's laws, 

Experience is his guide. 
Instructed hence the field he leaves 

Eve low'rs the' impending tide 
And counts the future harvest's sheaves 

Stretch'd by his fire's side. 

Instructed hence, t' elude the flight 

And save the embryo grain 
He waits the moon's returning Light 

Nor trusts th' abortive wane. 
But hark ! in close of Ceres rites 

The hagart's toil complete 
The frolick bagpipes' sound invites 

The Lab'rers to a treat. 

And there behold the sportive band 

Pleas'd with th' Eolian sound 
Give each to each the willing hand 

And dance the merry round. 
No artfull modes of dance they know 

The Louvres measur'd pace 
The Rigadoon, the Pasby slow 

Or minuet's easy grace. 

By nature's laws alert they move 

And vigour wings their heels, 
And there observe intent on Love 

How gracefull Sic'ly wheels. 
With looks intent wher'ere she turns 

Young Roger's eyes pursue, 
And Sic'ly too for Roger burns 

Could Roger but be true. 

Evening" 169- 

But see pale Cynthia lights her lamp 

And spreading o'er the sky 
Thick charg'd with chilling aguish damp 

The dusky vapours fly. 
Now home the ru Stick Swains retire 

That peacefull happy home 
Where dread cabals and vengefull ire 

Are seldom known to come. 

Nor sooner on the peacefull bed 

Their cumbrous limbs are thrown 
Than Somnus waves the scepter'd lead 

And marks them for his own. 
Sleep on, ye Sons of health full toil, 

Enjoy the soft repose, 
No tortur'd dreams your slumbers spoil 

With scenes of fancy 'd woes. 


The sultry heat is now forgot 

The day's fatigue is o'er 
Joy, Health and Peace await your Lot, 

What has a monarch more? 
Not oft so much, since anxious cares 

Their secret hours employ 
And thousand doubts, distrusts and fears 

The regal peace destroy. 

Learn hence this truth, ye grave and gay 

Wherewith intent to please 
The rustick muse would close her lay 

And set each heart at Ease. 
In want or wealth, in hinds or kings 

Proportion'd bliss you'll find, 
Content from no condition springs, 

Its source is in the mind. 

The education of a people must be its otvn 'work, the spontaneous effect of its o<wn 

T. A. Emmet. 

It has been the curse of Ireland to derive no advantage from the 'wisdom and virtue of 
the English sovereigns, yet to be the peculiar victim of their crimes. 

T. A. Emmet. 

Chapter III 

Poems of Dr. Robert Emmet continued — Marriage — The Mason family — Families 
in Co. Kerry connected with the Emmet family by this marriage — Their mode of living — 
Never very loyal to Great Britain — Dr. Emmet's residence in Dublin— Birthplace of 
Robert Emmet, Jr. — Names of some of the visitors to Dr. Emmet's house — Buckingham, 
appoints Dr. Emmet State physician, and to other positions — Different modes of spelling 
the name of Emmet — Madden's opinion of Dr. Emmet and his wife — His sons — The 
writer's meeting with Dr. Madden — The Temple family in New England — As loyalists 
returned to Ireland and lived with Dr. Emmet — How Dr. Emmet became a republican — 
Thomas Addis Emmet a republican — How the sons were influenced — The family's distrust 
of Napoleon — Ireland would probably have been a French province had the brothers 
Emmet acted otherwise — Patten's account of Dr. Emmet's course in training his sons — Dr. 
Emmet the father of seventeen children — All but four dead in early childhood — The sup- 
posed cause — Injustice of Grattan and Curran in their account of Dr. Emmet — Training 
of his sons — The loss of the Emmet effects after the imprisonment of T. A. Emmet — 
Grattan's portrait in possession of Dr. Emmet— Emmet residence at "Casino". 

S it was felt that "Harvest Day," the poem from which 
the selection given in the last chapter was made, was 
too lengthy to incorporate in the text, the "Morning" 
and "Noon" portions will be found in the Appendix 
(Note III). The following selections consist of shorter 
complete poems. 

From a Poem — On the Death of a Friend 


Almighty God, thou great eternal cause, 
Primceval source of all things which exist, 
Who by the mere volition of thy will 
Didst call forth matter from the shapeless Void, 
And on the warring Elements impress 
That beauteous harmony which all pervades. 
Thou God to whom this perdurance of time 
Which seems so wondrous to the human thought 
Appears as bounded as immense to man. 
Oh ! how can we, the helpless sons of earth, 
Of whom such millions perish in the birth 
Without one bit of judgement or of thought 
And loose Existence 'ere they well exist. 


'On the Death of a Friend" 171 

Or if existing for so short a space 
Its longest period seems luit ;i day, 
Much less! a moment, with respect of thee 
How can (I say), this helpless human race, 
The short liv'd tenants of a pigmy sphere, 
Which when in ballance with creation's scale 
Seems like an atom ballanced with a world, 
How can such beings impotent to stretch 
And Life protract one moment to their wish 
Expect to rise immortal from the Grave 
Exist eternal and coequal Thee? 
Here Reason staggers and Reflection fails 
"Tis Faith alone, enlivening faith can cheer 
And give the glad assurance of hereafter. 

A Letter to a Friend 

Whence, prithee, Bob, proceeds this sullen mood 
This sulky silence which you have pursu'd 
For three whole weeks? What, not one word of news 
But what the Journal can supply or Pues? 
In vain you'll plead attention to the Laws 
For that, my friend, could never be the cause 
Silent and guiltless now the Four Courts stand 
And Justice still may loiter in the Land. 
But if to silence me your scheme was meant 
'Tis all in vain, I'll baffle your intent 
And write to you as free as I'd converse, 
Nay more to plague you too, perhaps in verse. 
'Tis true this method may take up some time 
To sort the words and hitch them into Rhime 
But that I may comply with ; for to you 
My friend, I own I've little else to do. 

Physicians now in vain would boast their knowledge 
Improv'd by books, and ripen'd at a colledge 
It stands them, faith, in very little stead 
As Boerhaave great, as elegant as Mead 
'Tis all a jest in vain they'd hope to rise 
In twenty thousand men how many wise? 
Perhaps one dozen ; good, the odds are great ; 
And could this dozen wise afford them meat? 
I fancy not ; then take the saveing Rule 
A wise man's interest is to play the fool ; 
Judgement and sense are trimmings to his coat 
But 'tis address that makes a man of note; 
And hence it is the art of every trade 
Is that by which a fortune must be made, 
Hence fawning Quacks defraud us of our bread 
And safe since silence rules the toung-ty'd dead. 

172 "A Letter to a Friend " 

Still on they venture with assassin hand 
Heavens great vice-gerents, to destroy the Land 
As bold as Ignorant, they wickedly advise 
Nor think by them the victim patient dies, 
But talk familiar on all points inform'd 
And boast of cures miraculous perform'd. 
Miraculous indeed ! if potent nature 
Or Providence in pity to its creature 
Eludes their Ignorance with doubtfull strife* 
And bids the poison'd wretch escape with Life. 

Lamprey sells sword blades yet has too much sense 
Because he sells them, to inferr from thence 
That he might venture to instruct by rule 
And from a cutler keep a pushing school. 
Read makes good Lancets, Bistories, Trephines 
Gripes, Scalpels, Crochets, Gorgerets, Grephines, 
Yet (farr as I could ever learn) the man 
Has never yet attempted to trepan, 
Nor do I think it could be fairly shewn 
He ever cut one patient for the stone 
Much less the Hands employ'd about the wheel 
To give the polish or fine edge the steel. 


Not so by Physick all whom she employs 
Nurse tenders, midwives, pothecaries' boj'S 
Druggists of both sorts, a tremendous tribe 
With wondrous ease and confidence prescribe, 
Surgeons and barbers horrid to endure ! 
The very pestle-boy can boast some cure. 
Well, then, suppose our knowledge thus despis'd, 
I should resolve on what you have advis'd, 
Read Wood's Institutes and then proceed 
To Coke on Littleton, the lawyers creed, 
With tropes and figures all in order plac'd 
Conscience thrown off and Bashfullness effac'd 
For here I own true modesty appears 
To stop preferment for at least ten years, 
And thus equipt should enter at the barr 
A willing soldier for the quibbling warr. 
Heavens, what a thought ! my very heart recoils 
At the bare project and your counsel spoils; 
What. — Hire out my Lungs, my Life, and more 
My very honesty — to prove some whore, 
Some publick prostitute a virtuous mother, 
And for her bastard cheat her husband's brother ; 
To crush the orphan, swell the widow's cries, 
Oppress th' oppress'd and on their ruin rise. 
Term after term, still protract a cause 
Expound, mistake, distort, confuse the laws, 

*The expression seems a little bold here, as if the omnipotence of Providence was scarce able to 
overcome and baffle the ignorance of quacks, I own it is so. I have not a properer to substitute, and 
certainly if omnipotence could be baffled it would be in this instance. [Dr. Robert Emmet's note.] 

'In Vain My Dear Betty" V3 

Wrest honest words from their most ohvious meaning 
And baffle justice by my false explaining. 
Or if supporting in so strange a way 
So slow, so venal, for such monstrous pay 
That equity gives up, alike undone 
If costs go for her or against, all on< 
No, rather still let poverty be mine 
Than by such methods heap th' Asturian mine 
What wealth in millions of such illgot gold? 
None sure to me when decripit and old 
Reflection holds her mirrour to record 
The actions past, and seal the great award. 
January, 1760. 

The Ninth Ode of Horace 

Avoid my friend th' unlicens'd stretch of mind 

To know what Length, or State of Life's assign'd ; 

Nor ask the Babylonian Cheats what Power 

Or Starrs presided at your natal hour. 

If fate allows you many years to run 

Or with this Season the short thread be spun, 

Be wise alike and promt of your time 

At best 'tis short; indulge in mirth and wine 

Nor trust to Hope: for that in prospect lies 

Whilst with each breath a hasty minute flys. 

Then snatch the present, that alone is given, 

Resign'd, submit futurity to Heaven. 

In Vain My Dear Betty 

In vain, my dear Betty ; your bosom you steel 
Against the soft anguish you surely must feel ; 
In the bloom of your youth and so pleasing to sight 
You'll be teaz'd into Love and must yield to delight. 

Even now while you slight me examine your heart 
Yet a novice in Love, and a stranger to art, 
Don't you feel some emotions you cannot explain, 
A something you know not if pleasure or pain? 


The innocent blush spreads a bloom on your face 
And beauty disordered acquires new grace; 
Consult your own heart, what I say it will prove 
I tell you my dear, they're symptoms of Love. 

Then since you must love ; and sure love is no crime, 
Indulge its first essays, the present's your time; 
Enjoy life's best blessing, improve the soft flame 
Whose joys can't be painted, whose bliss wants a name. 

174 " No More My Fond Bosom ' ' 

Nor dread those distastes which so often are said 
To ruffle Love's pleasures and Hymen's blest bed, 
For believe me, my dear, they can only take place 
When choice has been founded on fortune or face. 


Their rage you may smile at 'tis all a mistake 
Distrust should attend but where merit is weak, 
You may ever depend on your power to sway 
Whose temper must please tho' your beauty decay. 

Then choose from amidst the fond youth of the town 
Some one to make happy and call you his own, 
But oh, dare I counsel, and speak my wish free, 
1758. The choice, my dear Betty, should fall but on me. 

Let Green Spring Deck the Fields 


Let green Spring deck the fields and the meadows look gay 
With Enamel of flowers and graces of May, 
From each spray let the warbling songsters proclaim 
Their joy to see Emma advance on the plain. 

Attentive, ye fair ones, behold how she moves, 
With what ease in her shape, how invested by loves, 
Yet repine -not the rivals that Emma's more fair 
Since a Goddess and you the same judgement must share. 

For Venus herself struck with rage and surprize 
Laid a hold on young Cupid and banded his eyes 
Afraid least the urchin should rather approve 
To call Emma his mother and Goddess of Love. 

No More My Fond Bosom 

No more my fond bosom with anguish shall heave 
Or Love unpropitious my reason enslave, 
No longer her conquest coy Phillis shall boast 
Alarm my peace or give gout to the toast; 
To Reflection and Reason the reins I'll resign 
Nor regret the dear fair that can never be mine. 

What tho' she says no ; I'm resolved not to fret 
And since she can't love me must strive to forget ; 
Yet how vain our resolves, and how weakly maintain'd 
Whilst obstinate Love keeps the ground he has gain'd 
And by Reason or Right or by Passion betray'd 
Still approves of the choice which in Phillis I made. 










The Mason Family 17 ^ 

Dr. Emmet married, November 16th, 1760, Elizabeth Mason, of Cork. 
His marriage was announced in the "Dublin Journal" November 21. 1760: 
"Married; Robert Emmet, Esq., of Cork, Doctor of Physic and corresponding 
member of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Montpelia in France, to Miss 
Mason of said city." Her father, James Mason, Esq., was from Ballydowney, 
Co. Kerry, where be was born and still held a country place. Her mother, 
Catherine, was a daughter of Pierce Power, Esq., of Elton, Co. Kerry. Up 
to this date the family of Emmet never had any direct connection with or 
interest in the Irish people. They had been members of the English garrison 
living in Ireland, and in all probability, as was generally the case, regarded the 
Irish people proper as a conquered and inferior race. 

By this marriage the children of Dr. Emmet became affiliated with Irish 
blood through the Power, O'Hara, McLauklin, Blennerhassett, Conway, 
Mason, Spring-Rice and other families. These were all English originally, 
but had freely intermarried with the native Irish people of Co. Kerry, and 
other portions of the West of Ireland, so that eventually many of the 
descendants became more Irish than the Irish people themselves, and were 
always in conflict with the English Government, as they were all free traders, 
and regarded smuggling as a most praiseworthy occupation. (See Appendix, 
Note IV, for record of the Mason family.) 

It is not known where Dr. Emmet lived in Dublin when he began the prac- 
tice of his profession. His residence from about 1770 to 1776 was on the 
north side of Molesvvorth-street, near Kildare with a street lamp in front as 
shown in the print. Mr. David S. Quaid, solicitor, of Dublin, in 1902 issued 
a little work, "Robert Emmet, His Birthplace and Burial", and as a result of 
his investigation it is now proved that Robert Emmet was born in Stephen's 
Green and not in Molesworth-street, as held by Dr. Madden. Mr. Quaid 
states : 

The Dublin Directory for 1777, and the entry of his son Robert's Baptism, on 10th 
of March, 177S, in St. Peter's Church Record, show conclusively that Dr. Emmet's resi- 
dence was Stephen's Green, West, for at least two years earlier than the date mentioned 
by Dr. Madden. ... If further proof is thought necessary that the houses Nos. 124 and 
125 Stephen's Green, West, at Glover's Alley corner, were Dr Emmet's it is afforded by a 
partnership deed of February 27th, 1808, made between David Sherlock and Thomas 
Sherlock. "McCready's Dublin Street Names" states: "that Glover's Alley (which runs 
from Stephen's Green, West, to Lower Mercer Street) was known by that name as far 
back as 1766, that Glover's Alley was formerly known as Gregory's Lane, that the house 
had certainly been refronted and divided into two houses". The house, on a lot 34 feet 
in width, may have been divided into two by Dr. Emmet as seems likely because I find 
that Thomas Addis Emmet, according to the Dublin Directory, was living, about 1796, 
next door to Dr. Emmet. The baptism of John Patten Emmet [father of the writer], a 
son of T. A. Emmet, is thus recorded in the Parochial Register of St. Peter's Church, 
on the 15th of April, 1796 — "John Patten Emmet, son of Thomas (Addis) and Jane Patten 
of Stephen's Green." It would seem, therefore, fairly certain that there were two houses 
beside each other in 1796, Nos. 109-110. The present numbers are 124 and 125. There is 
a good deal of difference in the appearance of the brick work in front of the houses from 
that in the side back wall. The roof, too, is very old. 

1/6 Visitors at the Emmet Home 

No alteration seems to have been made in the back of the houses, which, 
viewed from Glover's Alley, seem antiquated. There had been no alteration 
in the appearance of these houses since the building of the College of Surgeons 
in 1828, as shown by a large engraving of that building in the possession of 
the writer, but changes had been made at the time of the marriage of T. A. 
Emmet. Dr. Madden gives the names of some of those who were frequent 
visitors at Dr. Emmet's house. Dr. William Drennan, Arthur O'Connor, Lord 
Edward Fitzgerald, Rev. Walter Blake Kirwan, Mr. (afterwards Chief Baron) 
Pennefather and his brother Judge Pennefather, Surgeon Richards, Dr. Mac- 
neven, Mr. (afterwards Judge) Chamberlain, Mr. (afterwards Chief Justice) 
C. K. Bushe, Mr. (afterwards Judge) Peter Burton, Sir Edward Newenham, 
of St. Donlough's, Peter Burrowes, K. C, Lady Anne Fitzgerald and Mr. 
(afterwards Baron) George. Mr. St. John Mason, B. L., a nephew of Mrs. 
Emmet, was also a constant visitor. He was an intimate associate of Robert 
Emmet, the two being first cousins. So oblivious was Mr. Baron George of 
his early friendship with the Emmet family that he actually sat with Lord 
Norbury in 1S03, at the "trial" of Robert Emmet. 

Shortly after Dr. Emmet's marriage, Earl Temple, a relative, then the 
Marquis of Buckingham, became Viceroy of Ireland. He advised Dr. Emmet 
to settle in Dublin, and then appointed him "State Physician." Through the 
appointments thus afforded him Dr. Emmet soon became a prominent man and 
most successful in his profession. He took an active part in politics and ac- 
quired a reputation as a noted political writer of the day. 

Christopher Emett spelled his name with one m and double t, and so did 
his son Robert while studying medicine and for some time after he began the 
practice. It is not now known when he made the change or the reason for 
doing so, but he apparently adopted the present mode of spelling about the 
time of his marriage and while living in Cork. The first positive evidence we 
have is from the marriage contract made with Elizabeth Mason on November 
15th, 1760, when he signs his name "Robert Emmet", but in the body of the 
instrument it is differently spelled. He again made a change within the next 
ten years, when he moved to Dublin. Dr. Madden writes : 

In 1770, Dr. Robert Emmett, as he then wrote his name, appears to hare commenced 
practice in Dublin. In 1771, the name of Robert Emmett first appears in the "Dublin 
Directory," and in the list of State officers as "State Physician," having been appointed 
Feb. 25th, 1770, and his place of residence "Molesworth-street," — the name is thus given 
with double t 'till the year 1781, when it appears in the Directory of that year "Emmet," 
and so continued, while he lived on Stephen's Green, and to the last appearance of his 
name in the Directory of 1802. 

It is thus shown that Dr. Robert Emmet changed the method of spelling 
his name no less than four times during his life — from Emett to Emmett,* 
then Emmet, again to Emmett, and finally to Emmet. Other like instances 
were noticed in looking over the public records, where the change was made 

•The minutes of the Irish House of Commons for 1771, have a record of the presentation of a 
petition of Robert Emmett, M.D., stating that the Petitioner is Physician to St. Patrick's Hospital for 
the reception of Lunatics and Idiots; setting forth his duties, and the lack of adequate compensation, 
and praying such aid as to the House should deem fit. 





















The Temple Family I" 7 

at different periods of life, as in the case of Dr. Emmet. But the most remark- 
able variation in spelling the name has been found in several instances where 
the letters o and e seemed to have been used indiscriminately by the same 

Dr. .Madden states that : 

Dr. [Robert] Emmet was a man of warmth of feeling, frank, upright, and stead- 
in his opinions. His lady was a person of noble disposition, and of a vigorous 
understanding, fit to be the mother of three such children as Christopher Temple, Thomas 
Addis, and Robert Emmet. 

When giving the "Folk-lore of the Emmets," at the beginning of the second 
chapter in the "Life of T. A. Emmet", Dr. Madden refers to the material which 
has been furnished as follows : 

The notes of the sons of Thomas Addis Emmet, that have reference chiefly to the 
career of their illustrious father, leave many deficiencies to be supplied in the accounts 
given of the origin of this remarkable family — perhaps one of the most remarkable, in 
an intellectual point of view, of any family we have authentic account of. 

During a visit to Ireland in 1880 the writer had the good fortune to meet 
Dr. Madden, and on one occasion he expressed the opinion, as one based upon 
his personal investigation, that the father and mother, the three sons and the 
daughter of this branch of the Emmet family constituted the "most talented 
family, in every respect, that he had ever known of." 

Sir John Temple and his brother Robert were natives, it is believed, of New 
England, having at least lived there for the greater portion of their lives, and 
had by their marriage with the Shirley, Bowdoin and other families become 
connected with many of the prominent people of New England. When the 
American Revolution began they were rather in sympathy with the movement, 
and were personally acquainted with many of the leaders. But when separa- 
tion was brought about by the passage of the Declaration of Independence, the 
Temples, as loyalists, left the country and went abroad. 

Robert Temple and his family after their arrival from New York and Bos- 
ton resided in Dublin for some eighteen months with his cousin, Dr. Robert 
Emmet, after whom he had been named. Mr. Temple had been opposed to a 
separation of the colonies from the "mother country", but his views underwent 
a great change, and he became more of a sympathizer with the movement be- 
fore his sudden death, which occurred towards the close of the struggle. While 
Robert Temple was residing in Dublin, Christopher, Dr. Emmet's eldest son, 
married his cousin, Anne Western Temple, a daughter of Robert. On the 
death of the father, Dr. Emmet became the executor of Mr. Temple's will and 
the guardian of his two youngest daughters. Shortly afterwards the youngest, 
Mehitabele, married the grandfather of the late Marquis of Dufferin. 

In a list of pensions on the Civil Establishment, taken from "The Parlia- 
mentary Register," Vol. IV, there appears the following : 

Robert Emmet, Doctor of Physic, in trust for Harriet Temple, from 4th of February 
1782, during pleasure— I SO. 

Mehetable Temple from 4th of February, during pleasure — £.">0. 

178 Dr. Emmet a Republican 

The following letter written by Dr. Emmet to an unacceptable suitor for 
the hand of one of his wards, would show that he at least made the attempt 
to discharge his duty — 

Presuming that a Letter which I had the honor of writing to you about a month 
ago had not reached you by the sixth of last month; when you addressed a second letter 
to a young Lady under my guardianship and which was this day delivered to her by Mr. 
Nelson, I think it but proper again to inform you, that all applications on the subject of 
that Letter will be unproductive to you and disagreeable to the Lady. Your own Prudence, 
Honor and Discretion will therefore I hope determine you not to prosecute it farther. In 
my last I inform'd you, by desire of the Lady: that subsequent Letters from you would not 
he received ; if however, or if receiv'd not repl/d to. As my former, however, possibly 
might not have reached you ; am again necessitated to repeat that Resolution to you. 

Indeed it is not to be avoided. The young Lady's father's dying injunction was, that 
such a proposal should not be accepted — his testamentary appointment — that if accepted, 
no division of his property should accompany it. Under such circumstances you see Sir, 
that even Hope must be precluded. The young Lady is not in the least degree dispos'd to 
violate her father's Injunctions; on the contrary, she is determined in the most strict and 
punctual means to adhere to it and so must Sir Your obed' nt Humb. Serv*. 

Rob 4 . Emmet. 
Dublin, Feb. 2, 1783. 

This letter was addressed to "Mr. Saml. White — in care of Mr. Johnth" 
Williams, Mantz, France.'"' 

It is evident that Mr. Temple and his brother exercised a great influence 
in changing the views which must have been held by their kinsman, Dr. Emmet. 
This is shown by the gradual withdrawal of Dr. Emmet from the associations 
which his family had always held with those still termed the "Castle people", 
who were in sympathy with the British Government. He gave up the different 
governmental positions which he had so long held in consequence of being the 
"State Physician", the salaries of which, it has been stated, aggregated over two 
thousand pounds a year. The last move was to sever, after so many years of 
service, in 1783, his connection with St. Patrick's Hospital, and then it was 
that he was presented with the silver salver, the history of which has already 
been given. From this period Dr. Emmet became an enthusiastic advocate for 
a republican form of government as understood in the United States of 
America, and in time he fully indoctrinated his two sons, Thomas and Robert, 
with his principles. 

Far-reaching, indeed, was his teaching. It is impossible to estimate its 
full bearing upon the immediate past or the future history of Ireland for many 
generations to come, while its influence upon the fortunes of his own family 
was great indeed. Temple died before there was any special trouble in the 
country, and he died a loyal subject of George the Third. 

Thomas Addis, uninfluenced to any great degree by his father's teaching, 
thought for himself. He did not contemplate - a separation from England 
unless driven to the decision as a last resort, after failure in obtaining certain 
needed changes in the Constitution. 

Not a member of the family wished for disunion until Pitt, the Younger, 
by his merciless policy of misrule, had purposely forced the greater portion of 


:0"^ \ 

Distrust of Napoleon 179 

the Irish people into rebellion. The situation was such that there seemed to 
be no future for Ireland unless a separation was brought about, by which 
means, it was expected from the effort of 1798 and 1803, the people would 
gain Home Rule in a more complete form than the present generation can hope 
to acquire it in the near future after a century and more of agitation. 

By a letter to be given hereafter, it will be shown that on the arrest of 
his son Dr. Robert Emmet had no knowledge as to how far he was implicated, 
beyond being dissatisfied with the general mode of governing the country. 
Eventually every member of Dr. Emmet's family favored separation from 
England as the only preliminary to any change for the better in the government 
of Ireland; and they held the greatest admiration for the republican principles 
formulated by the United States. Under these circumstances they loathed 
the teaching brought forth by the French Revolution. Yet, it is persistently 
held that Dr. Emmet and his family were in full sympathy with the French 
movement. Thomas Addis and Robert Emmet, as their father in the previous 
generation, had many warm personal friends among the titled and educated 
classes in Paris, who subsequently lost their lives at the hands of 
the French rabble. With these friends they were in full sympathy, 
and naturally detested French politics, so incompatible with a true 
republican form of government. Above all, not a member of the 
family had the slightest confidence in Bonaparte's truthfulness or 
honesty of purpose. The sons, in politics, were often obliged to 
yield, from expediency, their personal views to the will of the majority among 
their associates. This policy Thomas Addis Emmet was able to follow, with 
great success, until his arrest, and the delay enabled him to exercise his per- 
sonal influence. The Emmets were at one time in hope of being able to obtain 
a controllable aid from France, such as was given to the United States, but 
never ceased to fear that if France rendered any aid, the result would only 
be a change of masters. Whether this was a fortunate or unfortunate circum- 
stance for Ireland will always be a matter of conjecture. The result would in 
all probability have been different had the Emmet brothers for personal ad- 
vantage been willing to become satellites of Napoleon. At least the separation 
of Ireland from England would have been accomplished, and the country 
would have remained a French province until the fall of the Emperor, when 
the Allies would have restored Ireland to England, if an exchange had not 
already been made by Napoleon with England for some of the sugar-bearing 
West India Islands, but Ireland's condition would beyond a doubt have been 
infinitely worse than it is today. 

Madden states : 

The person living who is the best qualified to speak of the habits and principles of 
Dr. Emmet [evidently John Pattenl, a gentleman intimately connected by ties of friend- 
ship with his family, who lived under his roof and still has a perfect remembrance of his 
character, and of his conduct towards his children, declares that beyond passing observa- 
tion on the duty which every man owed to his country, there was no ground for these 
injurious statements now to be considered. 

180 Grattan's Account of Dr. Emmet 

Dr. Emmet was the father of seventeen children, but only four lived beyond 
childhood.* These were Christopher Temple, Thomas Addis, Mary Anne and 
Robert. In reference to these sons of Dr. Emmet it is stated in Grattan's 
"Memoirs" that they "were three most singular men, few families could boast 
of such individuals." While these three men were particularly noted for their 
intellectual development a stranger would scarcely draw the inference from 
the statement. Henry Grattan had been a school-mate and for many years 
was an intimate friend of Dr. Emmet in early manhood.f so that he was as 
familiar with the doctor's views as any friend could be, yet in this Life it is 
recorded in a most unjust and cynical manner: — "Emmet had his pill and his 
plan and he mixed so much politics with his prescriptions that he would kill 
the patient who took the one, and ruin the country that listened to the other." 
Dr. Emmet was said to have resigned the positions of honor and profit he 
held under the government and misled his two sons with false views in rela- 
tion to a republican form of governmet based "upon the teaching from the 
leaders of the French Revolution" . Doubtless it was on Grattan's authority 
that Charles Phillips, in "Curran and his Contemporaries", based a version of 
the same story accredited to Curran : 

The memorable year 1803 reintroduces — sadly enough upon the scene — the name of 
Emmet. The father of this remarkable family was a physician in good practice, resident in 
Dublin, he was a very ardent politician and according to Mr. Grattan, was ever "mixing up 
his pills with his plans," sometimes much to the perplexity of the patients. He had three 
sons, all gifted with very rare genius, and these it was his delight to educate in his princi- 
ples. Curran used facetiously to describe the old doctor giving them what he called 'their 
morning draught: — "Well, Temple, what would you do for your country? Addis, would 
you kill your brother? would you kill me?" 

Grattan's version of the story is slightly different. 

Little, alas, did that unfortunate father foresee the consequences of the lesson he was 
inculcating! and little also did Curran dream, when he turned this inappropriate tuition 
into a jest, how mournfully it was one day to affect himself! How revolting, how heart- 
rending it is to hear the unfortunate Robert thus apostrophizing that deluded parent on 
the eve of his execution : "If the spirits of the illustrious dead participate in the concerns 
of those who were dear to them in this transitory scene, dear shade of my venerable father 
look down on your suffering son and see has he for one moment deviated from those moral 

*In a subsequent chapter will be found a letter written by Mr. Emmet to his daughter in 1822. 
He here mentions the fact that the water was so unwholesome in that part of Ireland where he lived 
as a boy, that it all had to be boiled before drinking. He doubtless refers to some place near Dublin 
where Dr. Emmet sent his children during the summer where the water was contaminated from 
sewerage. It was not then known that washing the dairy utensils in this water would poison the 
milk. This may account for the unusual proportion of deaths among Dr. Emmet's children, where 
both parents were healthy. The milk carried off the infants, and typhoid fever the elder children. 

fAt the time of Dr. Emmet's death he had in his possession an oil portrait of Grattan as a young 
man, presented to him by his friend. On closing "Casino", with Thomas Addis Emmet in prison, 
and never likely to return to Ireland, Mrs. Holmes, through fear of confiscation of Mr. Emmet's 
effects, distributed many articles of value and all the library among the friends of the family for safe- 
keeping. Very few of these things were ever returned, or could be traced in after years. Unfor- 
tunately Mrs. Holmes did not make a list of where these things were left. A few years ago two 
photographs claiming to be of Robert Emmet, Jr. were sent to the writer, stating they were held as 
heirlooms and not for sale. Although one of these portraits was marked R. Emmet and had been 
in the possession of the family for an unknown period, neither of them could have been a portrait 
of Robert Emmet, Jr., for he was a younger man at the time of his death, but it is very likely that 
both were at one time the property of Dr. Robert Emmet, and this is rendered the more probable 
as the holder claimed to have been a distant relative. From an anatomical study of the shape of the 
bones forming the brow and nose, as shown by enlarging the photograph, the writer is willing to ac- 
cept one as the likeness of Dr. Robert Emmet without any knowledge of its history beyond the 
resemblance to the death mask. As a portrait of the Doctor the other is doubtful, it is most probably 
a photograph of the oil painting of Henry Grattan. 

Residence at "Casino" 181 

ami political principles which you so early inculcated into his youthful mind, and I i u hit h 
he has now to offer up his life"! 

Alas! Alas! indeed unhappy father, could this mournful appeal have reached him ' 
Of this family, Temple, the eldest, passed through the University with such success that it 
is said the examiners changed in his case, the usual approbation of "Valdc Rene" into the 
laudatory one of "0 Quam Bene"! llis rise at the Irish bai was unexampled, and at the 
earlj age of thirty with a reputation to which time could not have added, he was called 

The second brother . . . had he confined himseli to his profession there could have 
been no doubt from the eminence to which he soon attained, of his ultimately realizing 
every object of his ambition. Hut the aspish-seed sown in his youthful mind had fallen on 
a too genial soil and was rising fast to obscure the brightness of his prospects. He devoted 
himself to the unhappy politics of the day and became at last so inextricably compromised 
that with the consent of the government he was self-expatriated. . . . Emmet himself I 
never saw. He was in America some years before I was called to the Irish bar. But I 
found his memory still fresh there, and many of his associates still remaining. From 
their report of him, it was quite clear that his presence in Ireland was incompatible with 
its peace, and his public manifestations were the more dangerous, because in private life he 
was altogether irreproachable. Peter Burrowes, his friend and correspondent (in the 
( lath of an act of Parliament) used to revel in the recollections of him. 

These comments are from the pen of a man who desired to be just, and 
was so to the extent an Irishman with English sympathies could be. Curran, 
to make a good story, was not always truthful. 

Dr. Emmet's position has never been understood. As will be seen in the 
memoir of his son Robert, neither he nor any member of his family held any 
sympathy with French republicanism. 

The only insight we have, casting any light upon the domestic life of the 
family, is given in the letters to Thomas Addis Emmet and received while at 
Fort George. These were all written from "Casino", the family country place, 
at Miltown in the suburbs of Dublin, where Dr. Emmet retired after relin- 
quishing his practice, in consequence of his advanced age and after his son's 
arrest and imprisonment. The town house was then rented and the family 
remained at "Casino" until the final breaking up. After the arrest of his son, 
Thomas Addis, many old friends and acquaintances drifted away in conse- 
quence of the family troubles. While Doctor Emmet and his wife were de- 
serted by a large proportion of their fair-weather friends, this most worthy 
couple held the sincere sympathy of many among the middle-class and the poor 
of Dublin. This city had always been burdened with more than a fair propor- 
tion of the destitute, and at this time the number was unusually great, and not 
the slightest effort was made by the authorities for their relief. During a long 
life Mrs. Emmet was probably the only woman in her station of life in Dublin 
who had ever made any individual effort for the relief of the poor. Dr. Emmet 
derived a large income from the official position he held as "State Physician", 
so that he was able to devote the great part of his professional life to the 
charitable relief of the indigent, and for many years he held the largest 
medical practice in Dublin among the rich and poor. In consequence of the 
fact that Dr. and Mrs. Emmet were so well known for their charitable life, 
their youngest son Robert became known to a larger number of persons in 

182 Popularity of Robert Emmet 

Dublin than many a noted man. While he was at Trinity College many became 
aware that he had been dismissed on account of his political views. This was 
resented to a remarkable extent and Robert Emmet was regarded, by these 
people, as a martyr for the popular cause years before he had become identified 
with the politics of the country. He was devoted to his mother and as a 
young boy was constantly by her side and had few other companions. She 
probably made use of him in her charitable work and he thus became ac- 
quainted with many whom he would never otherwise have met. 

For years before Doctor Emmet's death he had devoted much time and 
money to improving the grounds and gardens at "Casino", and the result was 
one in which he took great pride. After the arrest of Thomas Addis Emmet 
and the long delay to which he was subjected, without preferred charges or 
prospect of trial, these poor old people in their seclusion, rapidly lost their 
interest in their surroundings. With the knowledge that their son Robert was 
in full sympathy with the views of his brother, and that his life's prospects 
were already lost from being unable to engage in any professional work after 
expulsion from college, they became crushed by the uncertainty of the future. 
Their death blow had been received, long before the fact was realized by theii 

That England should govern Ireland by the Parliament of Ireland iuas not enough. It 
remained to close the scene of conquest by> a mortification of the feelings as 'well as 
a triumph over the liberties of the conquered. 

T. A. Emmet. 





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The English Parliament at a very remote period had occasionally exercised the pozuer 
of legislation for Ireland, particularly as to foreign trade. . . . This occasional 
exercise of legislative authority on the part of England, hoivever, had been generally 
protested against by the Irish Parliament as a manifest usurpation. 

T. A. Emmet. 

Chapter IV 

"Casino" and its history for fifty years after it passed from the family — Dr. Emmet's 
death and place of burial — The fate of the Earl of Qare — Dr. Emmet's will — Thomas 
Addis Emmet's letter to his mother — Her answer and its history — Death of Mrs. Emmet — 
"Casino" closed — Town houses rented — The Emmet family a remarkable one at this 
period — Something about permanent traits of character among the Temple, Mason and 
Emmet families — Speculations by the writer — Those along the same line of Louise Imogen 
Guiney, the author of Robert Emmet's Life. 

[|N 18S0, before any material change had been made, the 
writer had the good fortune to see "Casino" near Mil- 
town beyond the city about three miles to the south, and 
the family arms were still in evidence on each stone gate- 
post. A Mr. Meldon, who died shortly afterwards, owned 
it at that time. He had held the property some fifty years 
and before it had undergone any change. The previous 
owner had purchased it from the family and had taken 
care to preserve everything intact. So in 1880 the appear- 
ance of the house and grounds was essentially the same as when occupied by the 
family, with the single exception that the window-frames in the front of the 
house, having become decayed, new ones filled with plate-glass had been sub- 
stituted. The garden had been preserved just as Dr. Emmet laid it out; and 
when the greenhouses became decayed, new ones in facsimile had been put up 
in their place. The wall-fruit, too, which the doctor had planted and trained 
was all preserved by building new trellis work about it when necessary. It was 
stated that even the vegetables found on the place were continued of the same 
stock and occupied the same locality. The parlor was still covered by the 
tapestry paper which no doubt had been a source of delight to the younger 
generation of the past. 

After the death of Mr. Meldon and the expiration of his lease, the house 
was said to have been pulled down, but this was proved not to be the case 
and it is still occupied as a private residence. 
Dr. Madden states : 

Dr. Emmet died at Casino, near Miltown, in the autumn of 1802. H'e was buried 
in the graveyard of St. Peter's Church, in Aungier-street (Dublin), on the right-hand 
side of the entrance, close to the wall on the south side. 


184 Fate of the Earl of Clare 

He also notes that the tomb of vault has the following inscription on it : 

Here lies the remains of 

Robert Emmet, Esq., M.D., 

who died the 9th of December, 1802, 

In the 73rd year of his age. 

In 1880 the writer could not find his tomb, nor that of any other member 
of the family. On inquiry he ascertained that all the tombstones had been re- 
moved some years previously, but were yet preserved, and several feet of 
earth had been put on the original surface of the ground to raise it to the level 
of the street in front. The tombstones after removal were all placed in piles 
at a distance, and though these were carefully examined, no trace of any con- 
nected with the family could be found. The only compensation for the labor 
of investigation was that at the bottom of the pile was found the headstone of 
John, Earl of Clare, broken and forgotten, notwithstanding the fact that it 
had been elaborately emblazoned with the arms of his mushroom title. This 
man had been honored by the British Government for services rendered in 
bringing about the so-called "Union", with which the Irish people themselves 
had nothing to do, and by means which we know today were the most corrupt 
and damnable ever devised by mortal man or designated as statecraft. The 
enjoyment by Clare of his honors was deservedly brief. He died in January, 
1802, despised by every honest man in the country, and but for this accident 
no one today would know where the remains of this unhallowed man had 
been hidden away. 

Mr. Quaid states : 

Dr. Emmet, by his will, dated 3rd February, 1800, appointed as his trustee, his son 
Thomas Addis Emmet, then a State prisoner in Fort George, and by an undated codicil, 
[which, so far as I can learn, has never been published before] he directed that "in case 
it should be inconvenient to my son, Thomas Addis, to act as my executor as by the 
within will appointed, I then and hereby appoint my son-in-law, Robert Holmes, Esq., 
to that trust". 

Here in the events which happened we find Mr. Holmes occupying a posi- 
tion of the greatest trust in relation to his wife's family. 

Thomas Addis Emmet never saw his native land again, and on the 28th 
of December, 1802, Mr. Holmes obtained, as executor, a grant of probate to 
Dr. Emmet's will, of which I give the following extracts: — 

In the name of God, amen, I, Robert Emmet, of Casino, near Miltown, in the County 
of Dublin, Doctor of Physic, being of sound and disposing mind and memory and under- 
standing do make -and publish this my Will and Testament in manner and form following. 
I order and direct that my just debts be paid. ... I give, devise and bequeath my 
leasehold interests in lands of Knockena in the County of Kerry and also my leasehold 
interest whether freehold or chattel in the dwellinghouse and lands whereon I now 
reside. . . . with my household furniture, plate, stock of cattle and farming utensils 
to my eldest son now living, Thomas Addis Emmet, subject to the payment of f2,500 to 
be paid by him as purchase money and to be considered by him as part of the residue 
.... of my fortune, and in case my said son shall not choose to accede or agree to 
the foregoing bequest upon the said terms, then my will is that my said two leasehold 


[Father of the Dublin Bar.] From an oil painting in Dublin 



Dr. Emmet's Will 185 

interests, together with my said furniture, plate, stock of cattle and fanning implements 
shall be sold, and the money arising therefrom shall be paid into and considered as part 
of my personal estate. 

Thomas Addis Emmet did not accept the terms of the will as proposed by 
his father, as he was absent from Ireland with no expectation of ever returning. 
Mr. Quaid continues to elucidate Dr. Emmet's will as follows: — 

By the terms Mrs. Emmet was to have been entitled during her life to the invested 
proceeds of £5,500, which was directed by Dr. Emmet to be raised for that purpose. The 
testator's direction was "to pay and hand over unto my dearly beloved and most deserving 
wife Elizabeth Emmet, formerly Mason, the interest money accruing .... upon the said 
principal sum of £5,500 .... which, with £30 per annum settled upon her at her mar- 
riage and charged upon the lands of Ballydowney, in the County of Kerry, will make 
her income £360 per annum". 

Dr. Emmet also directed that after the decease of his wife "the interest money, of 
£2,000, part of the said sum of £5,500, shall go and be paid to my daughter Mary Anna 
now married to Robert Holmes, Esq., during her life, and after her decease the said 
interest money to be applied for the maintenance of her child or children", and included 
a provision in his will for the payment of the entire £2,000 to Mrs. Holmes' child or 
children after her decease. If she had no children, which did not happen, the testator 
directed that the £2,000 "shall revert to my two sons, Thomas Addis Emmet and Robert 
Emmet, to be divided equally between them''. The testator also directed that "as to 
£2,000 more of said principal sum of £5.500 the interest money whereof I have bequeathed 
to my dearly beloved wife during her life my will is that after her decease, said £2,000 
shall be handed over and paid to my son Robert Emmet, and as to the remaining £1.500 
of said principal sum of £5,500, . . . my will is that said £1.500 shall be paid to my 
grand-daughter, Catherine Emmet, daughter of my late son. Christopher Temple Emmet 

" The last-mentioned provision made by Dr. Emmet for his grand-daughter. Miss 

Catherine Emmet, clearly indicates that Dr. Emmet was one of the most high-minded 
of men. It appears, as recited in the will, that Mrs. Temple, mother of Mrs. C. T. 
Emmet, paid over £1,000 to C. T. Emmet in consideration of being paid an annuity of 
£50 a year for life. Through some oversight the £1,000 was never received, but notwith- 
standing the annuity was regularly paid to Mrs. Temple, until her daughter. Mrs. C. T. 
Emmet, died after her husband. The testator stated he had afterwards paid the £1,000 
himself, and directed the life annuity to be paid to Mrs. Temple, after his death out of 
the lands of Ballydowney, County Kerry, and if it was not so paid, that it should be 
paid out of the interest on the £1.500 bequeathed to his grand-daughter. 

Dr. Emmet's will concludes with a bequest of the remainder of his fortune to his 
sons, Thomas Addis Emmet and Robert Emmet, share and share alike. The codicil is 
in Dr. Emmet's handwriting. 

The testator directed that the rent-charge of £150 per annum before referred to 
should, after his wife's death, be paid to her son Thomas Addis Emmet, and he was also 
to have "Casino". The testator adds — "By which here above regulation I think that ray 
dearly beloved wife and both my sons will be eventually benefited, as she will be given 
an addition of £30 per annum to the provision first appointed for her. My son, Thomas 
Addis, will after her decease acquire an annuity of £150 per annum during his own 
and his brother Robert's life, peaceably and well secured, instead of a disputable and 
uncertain interest .... I hereby appoint the above regulation, written by myself of 
a codicil to my within will, and in case it should be inconvenient to my son Thomas 
Addis to act as my executor as by the within will appointed, I then and hereby appoint 
my son-in-law, Robert Holmes, Esq., to that trust". The testator added — "And whereas, 

186 Mrs. Emmet's Grief 

my said grand-daughter may die without being married or leaving any issue by marriage 
whereby her fee-simple estate in the County of Kerry would rest with my son Thomas 
Addis, now, my will and appointment in that case is that the sum of £1,500 herein be- 
queathed to my said grand-daughter, shall in that contingency, go and be paid to my 
son, Robert, and his heirs". 

In December, 1802, Thomas Addis Emmet learned of his father's death 
and wrote to his mother in the following strain: — 

The first comfort you can know must spring up from within yourself, from your 
reflection and religion, from your recalling to memory that my father's active and 
vigorous mind was always occupied in doing good to others, that his seventy-five years 
unostentatiously and inestimably were filled with perpetual services to his fellow-creatures. 
That although he was tried, and that severely, with some of those calamities from 
which we cannot be exempt, yet he enjoyed an uncommon portion of tranquillity and 
happiness, for by his firmness and understanding he was enabled to bear like a man 
the visitations of external misfortunes, and from within no troubled conscience or 
compunction of self-reproach ever disturbed his peace. 

Some one indorsed on this letter: "In his father's character his own has 
been drawn". 

Within a month after her husband's death Mrs. Emmet wrote to her son, 
but as she directed it to New York, Poste restante, it did not reach Mr. Emmet 
until long after her own death. It is a most pathetic piece of writing, and. 
one well worthy the last place in their correspondence. That it was the last 
letter which passed between them is most probable, as all communications with 
Ireland was soon afterwards cut off by reason of the war with France. This 
letter shows that her son Robert was with her at *he time of his father's death. 
It doubtless was a fortunate circumstance, for, poor broken-hearted woman 
that she was, his support must have been most grateful and even necessary to 
her. Her letter shows how fully she appreciated it. The following is a copy 

of this letter. 

January 7th, 1803. 
My dearest Tom, 

After some struggle with myself I have determined to write to you; it is an effort, 
but it is such an one as I shall feel the better for having made, knowing that a letter 
from me will be a cordial to you, and the more so as I can give you a better assurance 
of the state of my mind than any other person could do for me. I do not wish to excite 
your feelings or my own. We both know the magnitude of our loss, all we now have 
to do is to endeavor to lull our uneasy and melancholy sensations. I have had many 
mitigations afforded to me; the presence and support of our dear Robert was one of 
the greatest that could have happened in such a situation. I am consoled by all my 
children, for surely never parent has been more supremely blessed than I am in the 
affection, the virtues, and the disposition of my children. I am strongly impressed 
thereby, but while I feel grateful for the blessings, I feel humbled by the consciousness 
that I by no means merit the too high opinion which their filial affection and partiality 
have of either my power or disposition. I do not mean at this time to sue for compli- 
ments when I assure you that I feel a great unworthiness about me. That I should 
enjoy so great a calm as I do is a matter of astonishment to me, whose married life of 
forty-three years were all embittered by the apprehension of what has now befallen me; 
it is of such a kind as to cause self-reproach that it is unworthy of my situation or of 
the strong affection which I bore, and which both you and I know was pure, ardent, 

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Deatli of Mrs. Emmet 187 

and sincere. I do not delude myself by a spiritual vanity that any supernatural aid has 
been afforded to me, nor can I console myself that it was the effect of religion or resig- 
nation. I know it proceeds from a cessation of long-endured, agonizing agitations that 
tore my heart tho' they have not injured my frame. I have for a length of time lived 
under an uplifted axe, it has fallen, and 1 am not destroyed. My dear, dear Tom, I 
am unfortunately at liberty to see you; I shall not go to Brussels because I should only 
impede your plans, and 'till our affairs are arranged 1 do not wish to incur any expense 
that I do not know how far I may be warranted in. If life is granted to me, I mean 
the summer after next to spend a year with you in America, and if the dangers of the 
voyage do not operate too strongly upon a coward heart, the rest of my life will probably 
be divided between you and Mary Anne [Mrs. Holmes]. She has, beyond the ties of 
affection strong claims upon me, and upon us all, as she has stood in the pass and borne 
the first assault of all our distresses, and she has always endeavoured to lighten them, 
generally to the prejudices of her own health. 

Your dear, tender, and ever to be honoured father had so arranged his affairs as 
to enable him, if he had been spared, to allow one hundred a year to you and another 
hundred to Robert during his life. The too ample provision that has been made for 
me, tho' it will not enable me to do thus much, will I trust leave it in my power to 
allow fifty pounds a year to each of my children; they all deserve alike and all hold an 
equal place in my affections. 

I do not want riches for myself, but I wish I could do more for all of you. Assure 
Jane of my best affections. I know how she has felt, and I know that, however strong 
her attachment, it was no more than adequate to that which was felt for her. Mary 
Anne is but just recovering from a bilious fever which succeeded her lying-in ; it was 
what was to be expected as a natural consequence of the preceding circumstances. 
Mr. Holmes is heavily laden with our business; the confidence we have in him is great, 
and he will fully fill the trust your father had in him with rectitude and ability. Your 
children here are as they should be; the dear ones with you I feel an increased affection 
for them. May the blessings of the best of fathers light upon you, and may the prayers 
and wishes of my heart be heard in favour of you, your wife, and children; how 
strongly do I feel myself inclined to invoke a departed spirit. Adieu, my dearest Tom, 
I am 

Your truly affectionate mother, 

E. Emmet. 
Thos. Addis Emmet, Esq., 

Poste restante, New York. 

As the stone found by Dr. Madden in St. Peter's churchyard over the 
Emmet tomb was a flat one covering the entrance to the family vault, doubtless 
it was simply covered in and not disturbed. Dr. Madden writes in addition : 

Here also the remains are interred of the widow of Dr. Emmet, who survived 
her husband only nine months. She preceded her youngest son, Robert, to the 
tomb by a few days. From the period of the arrest of her son, T. A. Emmet, in March, 
1798, her existence was a blank. She died, mercifully was it ordained, some days before 
the execution of Robert Emmet. The deatli of this amiable, exemplary, and high- 
minded lady, whose understanding was as vigorous as her maternal feelings were 
strong and ardent, took place at a country residence of the late Dr. Emmet, on the 
Donnybrook-road, at the rear of the Hospital of the Society of Friends. She survived 
her husband about nine months, and evidently, like the mother of the Sheares, was 
hurried to the grave by the calamity which had fallen on her youngest son, who, it was 
vainly hoped, was to have occupied one of the vacant places in the house, and in the 
hearts of his afflicted parents. Vainly had they looked up to Thomas Addis Emmet to 
supply that place which had been left void by the death of their eldest and most gifted 

188 Ancestral Traits 

son, Christopher Temple Emmet. And when Thomas Addis was taken away from them 
and banished, to whom had they to look but to that younger son? and of that last 
life-hope of theirs they might have spoken with the feelings which animated the 
Lacedemonian mother' when one of her sons had fallen fighting for his country, and 
looking on the last of them then living, she said: — "Ejus locum expleat frater". And 
that son was taken from them, incarcerated for four years, and doomed to civil death. 
Thomas Addis Emmet was then a proscribed man in exile. The father had sunk under 
the trial, although he was a man of courage and equanimity of mind; but the mother's 
last hope in her youngest son sustained in some degree her broken health and spirits, 
and that one hope was dashed down never to rise again, when her favorite child, the 
prop of her old age, was taken from her, and the terrible idea of his frightful fate became 
her one fixed thought, — from the instant the dreadful tidings of his apprehension 
reached her 'till the approaching time of the crowning catastrophe, when, in mercy to 
her, she was taken away from her great misery. 

In Chapter XIII of the second volume will be found an account of the last 
interview between Robert Emmet and his devoted mother. 

The mental and physical individuality of Dr. Emmet and his wife was 
remarkable, and all their children, although there was no family resemblance 
as to mind or countenance, reached a still higher degree of development. It is- 
not unusual for a child to be born, whether of a noted family or in the lowest 
walks of life who, resembling no member of his family, in after life becomes 
noted for his intellectual attainments, but it is unique for an entire family 
to reach an extraordinary degree of perfection. 

Before the marriage of Christopher Emmet and Rebecca Temple, no mem- 
ber of the Emmet family, during several hundred years, reached a higher posi- 
tion than that of a successful professional man who thus gave evidence of 
possessing more than the average amount of brains, and this success was more 
the rule than the exception. It was a well marked trait of all bearing the 
name of Emmet, to attend strictly to their private business, seldom to hold 
office or take the least prominence in public affairs. 

The Temples, on the contrary, having with the Emmets been in the country 
since the Norman Conquest, at an early date became connected with the 
dominant race by marriage, and were from the beginning prominent in their 
self-assertion as military leaders and directors in the management of State 
affairs. They were always typical Normans and were seldom at home, while 
the Emmets made good husbands and, the Saxon element predominating, their 
whole happiness seemed to rest on their domestic relations. 

When might made right, the Temples were ever ready to take what they 
could get and sometimes were not over-scrupulous. As a rule, they had always 
been narrow-minded and bigoted in everything relating to religion and politics, 
but were truthful, trustworthy and fearless. Withal, their religion was gen- 
erally based on the simplest form, dogma carried little weight and their chief 
reliance seemed to be on human judgment. Until a late period they favored 
the simplest form of government, one in which all power should rest with 
the people. The writer has given much study to this subject and has been 
able to recognize many characteristic features which the Emmet family of 
later days inherited from their Temple ancestors. In the same connections the 

Miss Guiney's Views 189 

Masons of County Kerry were found to have much in common with the 
Temples and from their isolated position for centuries on the west coast of 
Ireland, they were never much impressed witli England's claims to Irish 

But it was through the Masons that all bigotry and intolerance in religion 
or politics which previously existed in the family, disappeared, Dr. Roberl 
Emmet's wife being the person who brought about the change. No woman 
outside of a convent could have passed through life more influenced by the 
teaching of Our Lord, as to Christian charity and love of her neighbor. So 
completely was the life of this noble wife and mother passed in a spirit of 
self-abnegation and good deeds in the service of others that almost all knowl- 
edge as to her own humanity was obscured, leaving us only the results to base 
any judgment on as to her well-spent life in charitable work. 

Several years after the completion of this portion of the writer's work, his 
attention was accidentally called to a statement along the same lines of investi- 
gation expressed by Louise Imogen Guiney in her sketch of Robert Emmet, 
and it may be of interest to give here the views of one unbiased. 

The Emmets were of Anglo-Norman stock, Protestants (converted by the methods 
of Henry Sth) settled for centuries in Ireland. The Masons, of like English origin, 
had merged it in repeated alliances with women of Kerry, where the Normans, the Dane, 
and later invaders from nearer quarters had never settled down to perturb the ancient 
Celtic social stream. Dr. Emmet was a man of clear brain and incorruptible honor. The 
mother of his children, to judge by her letters, many of which have been privately 
printed, [in the "Emmet Family" and reproduced in this volume] must have been an 
exquisite being, high-minded, religious, loving, humorous, wise. Her eldest son. Christo- 
pher Temple Emmet, was named for his two paternal grand-parents, Christopher Emmet 
of Tipperary and Rebecca Temple, great-great-granddaughter of the first Baronet Temple 
of Stowe, in Buckinghamshire. The mention of the prolific, wide-branching, and ex- 
traordinary family of Temple, as forebears of the younger Emmets, is like a sharply 
accented note in a musical measure. It has never been played for what it was worth ; 
no annalist has tracked certain Emmet qualities to this perfectly obvious ancestral 

The Temples had not only in this case the bygone responsibility to bear, for in 
a marked manner they kept on influencing their Emmet contemporaries, as in one con- 
tinuous mood thought engenders thought. Says Mr. James Hannay : — "The distinctive 
fiflos of the Temples has been a union of more than usual of the kind of talent which 
makes men of letters, with more than usual of the kind of talent which makes men of 
affairs". The Emmets, too, shared the "distinctive '^#<h ' in the highest degree. Added 
to the restless two-winged intelligence, they had the heightened soberness, the moral 
elevation, which formed no separate inheritance. The Temples, were, and are, a race 
of subtle but somewhat austere imagination, strongly inclined to republicanism and to 
that individualism which is the norm of it. The Temple influence in eighteenth century 
Ireland was, obliquely, the American influence ; a new and heady draught at that time, 
a "draught of intellectual day". If we seek for these unseen agencies which are so 
much more operative than mere descent, we cover a good deal of ground in remembering 
that Robert Emmet the patriot, came of the same blood as Sidney's friend, Cromwell's 
chaplain, and Dorothy Osborne's lean and philosophic husband. And he shared not only 
the Temple idiosyncracy, but unlike his remarkable brothers, the thin, dark, aquiline 
Temple face. 

Rebecca Temple, only daughter of Thomas, a baronet's son, married Christopher 

190 Love of Liberty 

Emmet in 1727, brought the dynastic names, Robert and Thomas into the Emmet family 
[correct as to Thomas, but Robert de Emott was the first of the name known in 
England]. Mrs. Emmet lived in the house of her son, the Dublin physician, until her 
death in 1774, when her grandchildren, Temple and Thomas Addis, were aged thirteen 
and ten ; Robert being yet unborn. Her protracted life and quiet character would have 
strengthened the relations, always close with the Temple kin. Her brother Robert had 
gone in his youth from Ireland to Boston, where his father was long a resident ; and 
where he married a Temple cousin. This Captain Robert Temple died April 13, 17S4, 
at his seat, Ten Hills, at Boston, in New England. His three sons, the eldest of whom, 
succeeding his great-grandfather, became afterwards Sir John Temple, eighth Baronet 
of Stowe, all settled in New England and married daughters of the Bowdoin, Shirley, 
and Whipple families — good wives and clever women .... The latter day Winthrops 
of the Republic are directly descended from him, and the late Marquis of Dufferin 
and Ava, from his brother. A certain victorious free spirit, an intellectual fire, whimsi- 
cal and masterful, has touched the whole race of untamable Temples and the Emmets, 
, the very flower of that race. Love of liberty was, in both Robert Emmet and in Thomas 
Addis Emmet, no isolated phenomenon, but their strengthened and applied inheritance 
.... This community of ideas was further cemented by the marriage of Anne Western 
Temple, Robert Temple's daughter, to Temple Emmet, Doctor Emmet's eldest son. 

The only daughter of Dr. Emmet, Mary Anne, had what was termed, by way of 
adequate eulogy, a "masculine understanding", with which she wrote pertinently and well. 
Her husband was the celebrated barrister of Dublin and devoted Irishman, Robert 
Holmes. He was the true friend and adviser of the whole Emmet family after the 
death of Doctor Robert Emmet. 

Ireland has not received her education from herself, she has been educated by another 
country, which for a long time had but little to bestow, 'would not communicate even 
that little, and at length studied to check the growth which it feared. 

T. A. Emmet. 


wife of Christopher Temple Emmet 

The malignant jealousy toivard Ireland increased ivith the increasing commerce of Eng- 

T. A. Emmet. 

Chapter V 

Christopher Temple, the eldest son of Dr. Emmet— Sketch of his life from the 
"Dictionary of National Biography" — A man of remarkable ability and a dis- 
tinguished lawyer in Dublin before the age of twenty-seven — His death and burial 
— Grattan's statement as to Emmet's talents — Emmet's only child a daughter who 
died young and unmarried — Something of her life — Peter Burrowes' recollections 
of his college-mate — Burrowes a noted lawyer, but absent-minded — Mr. Emmet's 
early poems — Two of these poems printed in Edkins' Collection after his death — 
"The Decree", an allegory from his pen — Remarkable production, as Emmet took 
no special interest in politics — He predicts the ultimate fall of England if justice 
be not rendered Ireland — "The Myrtle" — At the time of his death he holds from 
the government the position of King's Counsel, indicating that no doubt of his 
loyalty was entertained — Temple Emmet a member of the "Monks of the Screw" 
— History of this exclusive society of professional men of Dublin. 

ERFECTLY in accord with the Family records the "Dic- 
tionary of National Biography" states : 

Christopher Temple Emmet, barrister, eldest son of Robert 
Emmet, M.D., and elder brother of Thomas Addis and Robert 
Emmet, was born at Cork in 1761. He entered the University 
of Dublin in 1775, and obtained a scholarship there in 1778. He 
was called to the bar in Ireland in 1781, and in that year he 
married Anne Western Temple, daughter of Robert Temple, an 
American loyalist who had settled in Ireland. Emmet attained 
eminence as an advocate ; he possessed a highly poetical imagina- 
tion, remarkably retentive memory and a vast amount of acquired knowledge of law, 
divinity, and literature. Under the chancellorship of Lord Lifford, Emmet was advanced 
to the rank of king's counsel in 1787. His death occurred in February, 17S8, while he 
was on circuit in south of Ireland, and his widow died in the following November. 

The "Hibernian Magazine", Feb. 1788, states that he died in York-street in 
Dublin. This is an error. Temple Emmet died away from home, at the age 
of twenty-seven, but was buried from his residence in York-street, and the 
tradition exists in the family that he died from over-work. As has been 
stated, his wife, Anne Western Temple, of Ten Hills, near Boston, Mass., was 
a second cousin. 

The following is a copy of the official entry in the Church Records, which 
is in the possession of the writer: — 


192 Christopher Temple Emmet 

Register — St. Peter's Parish, Dublin— 

This is to certify that Temple Emmet, Esq., late of York Street in the City 
of Dublin, was interred on the ninth day of March, 1788, as appears by an entry 
thereof in the Register of this Parish. 

Given under our hands this 10th day of March, 1830. 

John [Illegible], Minister 
George Gray } Church Warders 
Edw d . Brewster j 

Dr. Madden wrote of Temple Emmet: 

His brilliant talents and eminent legal attainments obtained for him a character that 
in the same brief space was probably never gained at the Irish Bar. 

He also quotes from the testimony of Mr. St. John Mason, that : 

He was certainly one of the most bright ornaments of the Irish Bar, and the most 
eloquent man of his day . . . 

His death created a great sensation at the time and notices of his character 
and death and the high estimation in which he was held, will be found in the 
public journals of the day. 

Mr. Grattan, in the life of his father, the celebrated Henry Grattan, gives 
it as his opinion that: 

Temple Emmet, before he came to the Bar, knew more law than any of the 
judges on the bench; and if he had been placed on one side and the whole bench 
opposed to him, he could have been examined against them, and would have sur- 
passed them all; he would have answered better both in law and divinity than 
any judge or bishop in the land. He had a wonderful memory, he recollected everything, 
it stuck to him with singular tenacity. 

C. Temple Emmet left one child, Catherine, who died unmarried. Nothing 
is now known of Catherine Emmet's life after the death of her grandparents, 
Dr. Emmet and his wife, beyond the fact that she once visited her uncle in 
America and there established a friendship with his two older daughters. It 
would seem that she did not preserve the acquaintance closely, as only one 
letter from her to her cousin, Elizabeth Emmet, has been found among the 
family papers. This letter, however, gives every indication that she was a 
talented woman, and we learn from it of her bad health, which was probably 
the reason that she was not able to keep up a correspondence with her relatives. 
It is also probable that Miss Emmet was an invalid for many years before her 
death, as she inherited a delicate constitution from her mother. The following 
is a copy of her letter: 

Combe Down, near Bath, 
27th February, 1817. 

My beloved Elizabeth will not, I hope, reject a few lines from me to whom she 
is very dear, though various circumstances have for some time obliged that one 
to be silent towards her and the other members of the family. That every one 
of these members of the family is nevertheless as tenderly beloved as ever, she 
can, however, most sincerely assure them, and she trusts that they will not refuse 
their pardon for an offence which she could not in fact avoid, since the debility to 
which she was at one period reduced, rendered her incapable of writing to anybody 
whatever. Do not, therefore, my friend, condemn me without hearing, but rather 
grant me a generous pardon, and let me if possible soon hear from you, and hear 

Letter from Catherine Emmet l ( -> 3 

too some particulars concerning my uncle and aunt, my dearest Robert, and all 
those other friends so dear to you as well as to myself, and in whose society you 
have the happy prospect of spending your days, a bliss of which I have given up 
even the remotest hope on this side of the grave. I have promised in this to give 
you some account of my health and of my present situation. 

I must not therefore allow myself to run forth into fine speeches, but will begin 
with telling you that, persuaded by the arguments of Mrs. Tinton, who had paid 
me several visits since I came to Bath, and likewise by those of the excellent family 
in which I reside, 1 have entirely given up the system of D r . Parry as it contributed 
only to weaken me without diminishing the complaint which it professed to erad- 
icate. This you may suppose was to me no trifling disappointment, for if I had 
set my mind too earnestly upon any earthly object, it was upon getting free from 
a complaint which must render me a burden to those around me and prevent me 
from feeling that independence which nothing could otherwise deprive me of. 
Since however it is so ordained I must only remain satisfied, and most grateful 
do I feel for having met with a friend such as my dear Miss Hazlitt, who can 
feel and allow for all my weaknesses. We are now, together with her good Father 
and Mother, residing on Combe Down, near the town of Bath. The situation itself 
is most delightful, and the air is reckon'd uncommonly wholesome for all who have 
in their constitution anything of a consumptive tendency. My dearest Elizabeth 
Holmes* has more than half promised to pay me a visit here in the course of next 
summer, on her return from Devonshire, where she is now spending some time 
and where she has already derived some benefit from the mildness of the climate. 
I saw her as she passed through Bath on her journey thither, and was much shocked 
by the visible weakness of her frame, but I trust from the favorable accounts which 
I have received since that all may yet be overcome. She spoke to me much about 
those friends in America whom she so much long'd to see and from whom a few 
lines were, she said, to her more precious than anything besides. This I could 
easily believe, for I myself felt the same emotion. I look forward to some hours 
of enjoyment in the summer with this object of my fond affection, and I think that 
she too will enjoy herself amid the scenes about, and, what is more to be desir'd 
than anything, that each of us will become acquainted with the character and dis- 
position of the other. Such are the hopes in which I at present indulge. 

To any greater happiness I durst not look forward lest the whole should ter- 
minate in disappointment. Sometimes, when I think of you and those around you, 
I cannot help indulging in the wish that I could once more see you and converse 
with you, though for ever so short a space of time. But the idea vanishes from 
my mind, almost as soon as formed, for I quickly perceive its fallacy. My dear 
Miss Hazlitt could tell you how often our conversation is of New York, and how at 
such moments rather than any other, my tongue can discover the art of extending 
itself without fatigue in praise for those most dear to my heart. As to company, 
we see none. Our enjoyments are totally of the domestic kind. In strength I 
can perceive myself daily to be gaining something, and when again established to 
the same point of health which I enjoyed before I entered upon this unfortunate 
experiment, when able to use my limbs for myself and those around me, as I then 
did, I shall be thoroughly satisfied, for I shall then have it in my power to be 
useful, and you, my dear Elizabeth, do not know and cannot well form an idea of 
the horror of that sensation connected with the consciousness that you are of use to no 
one, and perhaps forgotten by those whom you best love. 

Forgive me for saying this. The thought will sometimes enter into the soul, 
and it cannot always be banished just at pleasure. The way by which you will 
oblige me totally to dismiss it will be by writing soon and sending me even the 
most trifling particulars that relate to my belov'd aunt and uncle. To yourself, 

•Her cousin; afterwards Mrs. Lenox-Conyngham. 

194 "Monks of the Screw" 

or my dearest Margaret, or to any other member of that Family which I so 
frequently reflect upon, and for whose happiness these lips daily offer up so many 
prayers, to all these you must remember me as if particularly named, and I hope 
that from some of you I shall soon hear. 

In the meantime I can only assure you that whatever may be the distance that 
lies between us and however long the time of our separation, you will at all times 
and in every situation possess in me a most faithful friend and affectionate cousin. 

C. Emmet. 

Miss Elizabeth Emmet, 

Peter Burrowes' "Memoir" contains the following notice of his college 
mate : — 

Temple Emmet died prematurely. His eloquence was great, but spoiled by 
imagery. He could not speak prose; it was poetry. Having on one occasion to 
close the sitting of the College Historical Society by a speech from the chair, he 
prepared the speech and sent it to Mr. Burrowes desiring him to curtail it as he 
thought proper, and so alter it, if necessary as that it should appear to the best 
advantage. Mr. Burrowes tried, but ineffectually; he could not alter it without 
changing the entire. It was all poetry. One passage he used to repeat wtih great 
earnestness and animation : "America ! America ! the land of arts and arms, where 
that goddess, Liberty, was wooed and won, and twelve young eaglets springing 
from her nest, bore freedom upward on her soaring wings". 

The entire speech was in this style; and Mr. Burrowes returned it, being un- 
able to comply with the speaker's wishes. He did however pronounce a most 
flowery and eloquent address from the chair on that occasion; it was full of talent, 
but it was a speech of blank verse.* 

Temple Emmet's professional standing is indicated by the fact that he 
was a founder and member of a social club called the "Monks of the Screw", 
composed of fifty members selected from the learned professions in Dublin, 
who dined together at least once a week at the club-house on Dublin Bay.f 

Mr. Emmet possessed a most logical mind, and it had been stated that 
when he engaged in the practice of his profession, his arguments were so 
concise in statement and so logical in the deductions drawn that there was 
no one at the Irish Bar during his service who could equal him. In this 
respect Temple Emmet possessed a mental development rarely found in any 
individual with a poetical tendency. In his early life Mr. Emmet had pub- 
lished in London a large volume of his original poems. So diligently and 

*This is a very clear criticism from one said to have been the most absent minded man in 
Ireland. According to Phillips in "Curran and His Contemporaries": "It is recorded of him 
[Burrowes] that on circuit, a brother barrister found him at breakfast time standing by the fire 
with an egg in his hand and his watch in the saucepan." 

tSome years ago the writer possessed a work of two or three volumes bearing the title, he 
thinks, of "The Monks of the Screw", written evidently by one who had obtained access to 
their minutes, or who had known some one most familiar with the individualism of the different 
members and their work. This book gave a report of much that was said and done by the members 
at their Dinners. These men were the most learned in their professions, and noted for their wit 
and story-telling. In a recently published work "John Philpot Curran", 1750-1817, by R. W. W., 
Dublin, 1907, it is stated: — "When Lord Avonmore [Barry Yelverton, a friend of Curran] 
founded the patriotic convivial society of 'The Monks of the Screw' in 1779 [to 1795] Curran was 
made Prior of the Order: and a glance at the names of the men who accepted him at twenty-nine as a 
special leader will attest the position he had already won. 

"Their chapter song, written by the Prior, and a picture of their proceedings, will be found in 
'Charles O'Malley'. Curran, who was a host in himself — though according to Lever's pun, his 
elevation could not be depended on — gloried in his title, and named his estate of Hally Park, near 
Rathfarnham, some four miles from Dublin, 'The Priory'. 

"He gravely told the inmates of a French monastery who thanked him for his advocacy of the 
Catholic cause and offered him the keys of the house, that he was a prior himself in Ireland, and 
that he would merely accept the key of the wine cellar." 



Poems of Temple Emmet 195 

during so many years hail thi^ work been sought for, that the writer would 
doubt the accuracy of the statement, were it not that the elder members of 
the family, who have long passed away, all remembered seeing the work and 
hearing it spoken of in Ireland during their early childhood. 

That Temple Emmet possessed a poetical faculty and that his poems were 
published there can be no doubt. By means of the cross-reference card cata- 
logue at the Public Library in New York city, two poems of some length from 
his pen were found which were previously unknown, to the present generation 
at least. 

"The Decree" was found to have been printed several times, and for the 
last time in "A Collection of Poems, Dublin, MDCCLXXXIX, issued for the 
editor Joshua Edkins". In the Public Library of New York there were 
found copies of three annual issues for 1789, 1790 and 1801 — "The Decree" 
was published in the first volume of the series, known as "Edkins' Collec- 
tion of Poems", and the following year appeared "The Myrtle" by Emmet 
with an anonymous poem supposed to have been also from his pen. "The 
Decree", an allegory of thirty-two stanzas of four lines each, according to 
the "Dictionary of National Biography" : — 

Was written during the administration of, and inscribed to, the Earl of Buck- 
inghamshire, Viceroy of Ireland from 1777 to 1780. In these verses the author 
predicted that the future eminence of England would be imperilled if she delayed 
to act justly toward Ireland, by annulling harsh laws, and by removing the enact- 
ments which prohibited commerce between the Irish and America, which he styled 
'the growing western world'. 

It is not known when "The Myrtle" was written, but the volume of poems 
by Christopher Temple Emmet was published in London during his lifetime 
and must therefore have been written previous to 1788, in which year he died, 
and these poems reprinted in "Edkins' Collection of Poems"* must have been 
taken from the work issued by Mr. Emmet himself years before. 

The Decree 

Written During the Administration of, and Inscribed to 

His Excellency 

John Earl of Buckinghamshire 

By Christopher Temple Emmet, Esq. 

High enthron'd, in godlike state, 
Rising from the wat'ry plain, 
Mighty Neptune sat, elate; 

Neptune's trident shook the main. 

*Tbomas Addis Emmet's name appears among the list of subscribers with Henry Grattan. Edmund 
Burke, Richd. Brinsley Sheridan, The Rt. Hon. C. J. Fox, George Robert Fitrgerald ("Fighting" 
Fitzgerald, afterwards banged for murder), John Kemble, Saml. Whyte, Dr. Drennan, and many 

196 "The Decree" 

Dazzling glory, round his head, 
Beam'd a blaze of orient light; 

Mermaids left their sea-green bed, 
Gaily, rob'd in azure bright. 

In their shells, blue Tritons rode 
Round their monarch's wat'ry car; 

Naiads hymn'd a nautic ode, 
And the shores resounded far. 

Then, sweet Sirens, gently, sung 
"Rule, Britannia, rule the waves!" 

And responsive Tritons rung 
"Britons never shall be slaves". 

Distant valleys caught the sound, 
On a swelling surge convey'd, 

And the sportive Echoes round 
Tuneful, lent their mimic aid. 

Ere the notes well dy'd away, 
Lo ! a beauteous form arose, 

Zephyrs, soft, began to play, 
Soft as new-born April blows. 

Drest, she stood in vernal green, 
Floating, loosely, to the wind ; 

At her side, an harp was seen, 
And her hair flow'd loose behind. 

Careless, circling round her head, 
Gather'd fresh from off the plain, 

Three-leav'd grass compos'd a braid ; — 
Gayer dress may suit the vain. 

Soft, she struck her trembling lyre; 

Soft, the warbling notes were play'd; 
Soft, addressing then her sire, 

Thus the mild-ey'd beauty said. 

"Ne'er be Britain's honours faded, 
Long may Britain rule the main, 
Long, her flag fly, undegraded, 
Dread of France and haughty Spain. 

"May she humble ev'ry foe, 
May her honours ever rise, 
Still, in greatness, may she grow, 
May her glories reach the skies. 

"Happy, thus, that she is great, 
Happy, thus, that she is free, 
May I, humbly, ask what Fate 
Has resolv'd on, touching me?" 

Neptune wav'd his hoary head, 
Tritons trembled at his nod, 

Ocean shrunk beneath its bed, 
Nature felt the lab'ring God. 

The Decree" 197 

Pausing, then, at length, he ciy'd, 

"Britain's monarchs long shall reign, 
Long her fleets, in triumph, ride, 
Neptune's bulwarks, on the main. 

"But if ere, in thoughtless hour, 
Freedom's rights she shall invade. 
Struck with lust of lawless povv'r, 
BRITAIN'S laurels, then, shall fade. 

"Vainly, then, her fleets shall roam, 

Half mankind, combin'd, her foes; 
She may strike — but not strike home ; 
Heav'n itself shall blast her rose. 

"Older, stronger, mark'd by Fate, 
Hers it is to rule the main, 
Nor do thou the humbler state, — 
Stiller joys of life, disdain. 

"Britain, in that higher sphere, 
Must ten thousand ills endure, 
Whilst, divest of anxious care, 
You may sit and smile secure. 

"But should Britain ere forget 
What to Sisters' claims are due, 
Madly, should she ever threat 
Tyrant laws, or force, to you ; 

"Should she ever claim a right, 
Ireland's commerce to restrain, 
Should she ere presume, by might, 
Such oppression to maintain ; — 

"In that day, her doom is seal'd ; 
By that act, her charter void, 
Heav'n's condition'd grant repeal'd, 
Heav'n's intended boon destroy 'd ; 

"In that day — 'tis so decreed, 
Letter'd large, enroll'd by Fate, 
You to Britain shall succeed, 
Yours shall be the rising State." 

"Oh ! far distant be the day," 

Quick, the mild-ey'd Maid reply'd, 
Ne'er let Britain's pow'r decay, 
Ne'er be Britain's title try'd. 

"Ne'er let wrongs her honour stain, 
Still, her sway let Britain keep; 
In her stead should Ireland reign, 
Ireland in that pomp would weep. 

"Never may I so be prais'd, 
Never so obtain renown ; — 
If on Britain's ruin rais'd, 
I reject the proffer'd crown." 

198 "The Decree" 

"What Jove wills must be obey'd, 
What Jove wills is ever best," 
Neptune said, with voice dismay'd, 
And, in sorrow, smote his breast. 

"Hark ! — methinks, I hear the word ; 
Hark ! — methinks, the loud alarm ; 
See ! — oh, see ! the half drawn sword ! 
See! the half uplifted arm! 

"Right, provok'd by wrong exceeding, 
Drest in Terror's garb appears; 
Oh, how stay my children bleeding! 
How prevent the widow's tears ! 

"Prudence, mild, must sooth the storm; 
Prudence stop my children's woes; 
Prudence, drest in Hobart's form, 
Must the growing ills compose. 

"Patient, faithful, mild, and just, 

He shall make their discord cease, 
Greatly, godlike in his trust, 
He shall seal their mutual peace. 

"Injur'd Ireland he shall guide, 
Britain's errors shall upbraid, 
He shall open Wealth's fair tide, 
And set free restricted Trade. 

"Then shall Commerce gladly smile, 
In each flying gale, unfurl'd, 
Hov'ring 'twixt her fav'rite Isle 
And a growing Western world. 

"Ireland, happy in redress, — 

Britain, sav'd by cancel'd laws, — 
Each shall Hobart's conduct bless, 
Each proclaim her loud applause. 

"High, amidst the good and great. 
Honour shall enroll his name ; 
Friend and father to each state 
He shall fill the trump of Fame !" 

Ireland, raptur'd struck the lyre 
Neptune still'd the roughen'd main 

Nymphs and Tritons caught the fire ; 
Heav'nly music clos'd the scene! 

"The Myrtle" ' " 

Sent to 

a Lady 

With a Present of 


By Christopher Temple Emmet, Esq. 

Once on a time, as poets tell, 
And poets, sure, knew old times well, 
When simple swains and virgins fair 
Tended in vales their fleecy care, 
And each, like the wild flocks they fed, 
On earth's soft lap reclin'd their head; 
Then Jove, for Jove o'er Ida reign'd, 
On Ida's top the Gods conveyn'd; 
And each God, e'er th' assembly rose, 
Some Tree from hill or valley chose, 
Jove took the Oak, a tree divine ! 
And little Bacchus took the Vine; 
The Laurel Phoebus made his care, 
For still he lov'd the Flying Fair; 
The Olive pleas'd the blue-ey'd Maid; 
But Venus chose the Myrtle's shade. 

First Jove arose, and first he spoke, 

And gifted thus his chosen Oak; 

"O'er all the mountains thou shalt reign, 

And spread thy branches to the plain; 

High on the hills, my Oak shall rise 

And, first of trees, approach the skies; 

In vain loud storms and rattling hail 

Thy leafy honours shall assail ; 

But, in the Dodonoean grove, 

Men shall thy pow'r prophetic prove; 

While priests in holy madness wait 

To catch from thee the voice of fate; — 

And thou shalt grace the wat'ry plain, 

Long as Britannia rules the main, 

Her floating bulwark thou shalt prove, 

To Britain sacred — and to Jove." 

Next Bacchus to his Vine began, 
"Sweet Tree ! which smooths each care of man ; 
To thee shall truth her altars raise, 
Parent of mirth and child of ease, 
By thee shall dull reserve be drown'd, 
When with thy fruit the cup is crown'd; 
Thy floods shall fright away despair, 
Dazzle deep thought, and drown old care; 
And all, who feel the force of wine, 
Shall pay due honours to my Vine; 
For thou can'st ev'ry grief destroy, 
And, in their place, plant ev'ry joy". 

200 "The Myrtle" 

Apollo, too, his Tree display'd, 

And, speaking, wept the Penian maid; 

"Henceforth 'tis will'd, fair favour'd Tree! 

Each honest breast shall beat for thee; 

And who feel fame's pure kindling fire 

To thy green honours shall aspire; 

Thy leaves shall prove the victor's praise, 

And sacred make the poet's lays; 

Thy wreaths shall twine the champion round, 

And conquest, with thy boughs, be crown'd". 

Minerva, thus, her Tree addrest; 

"When men by war's black scourge are prest, 

And discord, high in air, displays 

Her bloody torch and wasteful blaze, 

My Olive shall its branches wave, 

To snatch from death the bold and brave; 

No more the trembling maid shall weep, 

Nor frightful visions scatter sleep; 

No starting fair, with faded cheek, 

Her promis'd love in vain shall seek; 

No more the orphan's tears shall flow, 

Nor death awake the widow's woe; 

To white rob'd Peace shall Terror yield 

His gorgon crest and snake-hung shield; 

Nor sullen, view th' ensanguin'd plain 

And whirl his car o'er heaps of slain; 

But fury pale shall learn to cease, — 

My Olive still the pledge of peace". 

Last, Venus took her Myrtle fair, 

And drest each sprig with happy care; 

"For thou shalt be supremely blest, 

And far more favour'd than the rest ; 

In future times her care you'll prove 

Who reigns on earth the Queen of love; 

For her my Myrtle I design, 

To her I'll give whate'er is mine; 

In proof whereof, her waist around 

With my own cestus shall be bound ; 

At present, you'll remain with me — 

Hereafter, one more fair you'll see; 

And each new day and each new year, 

In beauties new like her, appear, 

Unsully'd as her native truth, 

And blooming like her op'ning youth; 

Perhaps with gentle hand, she'll pour, 

From steaming urn, a silver show'r; 

Perhaps, in gayest verdure drest, 

You'll chance to deck her snowy breast, 

There flourish, with superior bloom, 

And, thence, your chiefest sweets assume, 

And while, with concious grace she treads, 

And Love around his glory spreads, 

"The Myrtle" 201 

The nymphs shall all in envy vie, 
And all the swains with envy die; 
The nymphs shall envy her they view, 
The swains, blest Myrtle! envy you ; 
Because, design'd to give delight, 
Your sweets attract my Delia's sight ; 
Because you grace her gentle breast, 
Where Sorrow's self might learn to rest! 
And thus what each aspires to be 
Becomes the fate rcserv'd for thee". 

Man looks to antiquity for a right to be free; as 'well might he look to antiquity for a 
right to breathe. 

T. A. Emmet. 

The policy of England towards Ireland, even as a dependent state, >was unwise, illiberal 
and unfeeling, but it iuas uniformly the policy of the despot to the slave. 

T . A. Emmet. 

Chapter VI 

Birth and early life of Thomas Addis Emmet — His course at Trinity College, Dublin, 
compared with the standing of his brother Temple — Studies medicine in Edinburgh — His 
course there— Thesis for graduation— Dr. Samuel Mitchell's account of Emmet's career— 
His great popularity in the literary societies— His college friends— Served in Guy's Hos- 
pital, London— Begins practice in Dublin— Gets rapidly into a large practice — Associated 
with his father — He and his father become state physicians for the king — Sudden death 
of his brother Temple — Studies law at the wish of his father and is equally successful as a 
student — His acquaintances while a law student among men afterwards distinguished — In 
less than a year he fully establishes himself at the Dublin bar — His early connection with 
the United Irishmen — Takes an active part in forming the organization prior to becoming 
a member — Takes the oath of the United Irishmen in open court, during the trial of his 
client for the same offence — Emmet's early association with Theobald Wolfe Tone — Dr. 
Madden's work — An early advocacy of Catholic Emancipation and parliamentary reform 
and work in advancing the movements— Tone's visit to the United States — Pitt's course 
towards Ireland for bringing about the Union with England — England's promises to Ire- 
land never observed in good faith — Had Pitt and Napoleon an understanding? 

'HOMAS ADDIS EMMET, the second son of Dr. Robert 
Emmet and Elizabeth Mason, was born in Cork, Ireland, 
April 2-4, 1764. He was educated in a school kept by Mr. 
Keer in Dublin. Nothing is now known of his course be- 
yond the fact made evident from the number of prize- 
books gained by him that he possessed more than average 
ability and application. According to family tradition 
Mr. Emmet, when passing into manhood, was fond of 
all out-door sports, particularly of hunting, and he was 
considered to have been an unusually good horseman. He entered Trinity Col- 
lege, Dublin, 1778, when he was fourteen years of age, and was graduated at 
the end of the course with very high honors. His elder brother Temple was 
graduated a few years previous with such distinction as to establish a standard 
so high as never since to have been reached by any other individual. Thomas 
Addis Emmet obtained a scholarship in 1781, and the Degree of B.A. in 1782, 
and established for himself a standard which has remained to his individual 
credit. During a visit to Trinity in 1880 the writer learned from an official, 
who seemed fully acquainted with the circumstances, that while some individ- 
ual occasionally reached Temple Emmet's standard in some special line, as in 
mathematics or the Classics, no student up to that date, in his final examina- 
tion for graduation, had since reached the standard established by these 


Graduation Thesis 203 

brothers for the whole course. The early death of the one and the political 
difficulty and exile of the other so soon after graduation had caused this re- 
markable fact connected with them to be forgotten. 

After receiving the Degree of LL.B. from Trinity University, Mr. T. A. 
Emmet began the study of medicine in Edinburgh and graduated in 1784, 
achieving there comparatively as high a standard as he held at Trinity. We 
are indebted to the funeral oration delivered by Dr. Samuel Mitchell, who was 
a fellow-student with Mr. Emmet, for the following information: 

In October, 1784, I found T. A. Emmet at the University of Edinburgh. He had in 
the September preceding received the degree of doctor of medicine in due form, pursuant 
to a decree of the faculty, and an order of the academic senate. The velvet cap had been 
put upon his head by the distinguished Principal William Robertson. He staid there during 
the winter which succeeded his graduation, for the purpose of further improvement. 
Gentlemen who can afford it, and are not pressed immediately into business, not un- 
frequently do so. I soon became acquainted with him. I even sought an introduction, 
for he was in high consideration among the students, and he was reputed by the pro- 
fessors and seniors as having performed his exercises, and gone through the prescribed 
course of study, with more than common ability. 

The statutes imposed upon a candidate for the doctorate among other tasks, the 
publication of a dissertation upon some professional subject in the Latin language — Mr. 
Emmet possessing a taste for chemistry did defend at the solemn examination [for the 
degree of medicine] a composition* "De aere fixo vel acido aereo" : the production upon 
which Professor Black had founded much of his well-earned fame. Experiments had 
proceeded at that day far enough to ascertain that it was an air, fixed in, or attracted to 
other bodies as by chalk, for example, and they had proved that it was an acid quality, 
capable of changing the purple of litmus to red. But they had not discovered that its 
basis was elementary charcoal, nor, that in correct nomenclature, it ought to be called 
carbonic acid. The performance was considered to have been his own, and not the work 
of one of those useful hirelings, who prepared exercises for the dull and lazy. 

As to the style, it was deemed a good specimen of modern latinity, and in regard 
to the matter, it was reckoned one of the best inaugural tracts. Mr. Smellie, one of the 
printers to the University, a good naturalist and a fair judge of literary and scientific 
matters, had made a selection of those collegiate pieces that went through his hands, 
which he published in a volume from time to time, under the title of "Thesaurus Medicus". 
Emmet's dissertation had the honor of being reprinted, and preserved among the choice 
articles there. . . . The dissertation states that it is Chymico-Medical. . . . The 
first section or chapter, contains the history of the substance, as it was understood forty- 
seven years ago. That his diligence may be duly appreciated it becomes me to tell you 
he quotes the English philosophical transactions, and the writings of Priestley, Cavallo, 
Falconer, Lavoisier, and Bergman, as reigning authorities. He likewise manifests his 
acquaintance with the labors of Percival, Nooth, Black, Macbride and Pringle, to whom 
he makes becoming reference and acknowledgment. 

In the next division of his subject, he examines the "nature of the Aereal Acid", and 
after an elaborate discussion of the matter from the facts and opinions before him, he 
concludes his enquiry, by observing, like a candid, modest and sensible man [p. 45] : "If I 
should be required to give a theory of the Aereal Acid, I should not venture to do it at 
present; we are probably ignorant of many qualities belonging to the gases; but further 
removed from an acquaintance with their peculiarities and constitutions! This, how- 
ever, I will venture to assert, that fixed air, as far as I can judge, approaches as nearly 

*Tentamen Chymico-Medicum de Aere Fixo sive Acido Aereo, Edenburg mdcclxxxiv. See Ap- 
pendix, Note V. 

204 Early Oratorical Efforts 

to a simple substance as any gas, or any acid, and in the two cases, we are equally unac- 
quainted with their constituent ingredients" ! 

The chief part of his discussion is directed to the employment of the aereal acid in 
medicine. Herein he exhibits a summary of its use in gangrene, diseases of the stomach 
from a defect of vigor, in putrid typhus fever, in angina maligna, in confluent smallpox 
and putrid measles, in consumption of the lungs, in dysentery and in scurvy, after the 
manner of an industrious enquirer, who had exerted every effort that health, oppor- 
tunity and assiduity could apply, for the elucidation of the subject. 

Mr. Emmet's paper on aereal acid was read at the first meeting of the 
National Philosophy Society in its new hall, which on the same occasion was 
dedicated, and he took his seat as president. At this time he was also presi- 
dent for the year of the Royal Society of Medicine and the Society of Natural 
History and Research. The work was dedicated by Mr. Emmet to : "Nobi- 
lissimo et integerrimo viro, Georgio Grenville Nugent Temple, comiti de Temple 

Dr. Mitchell goes on to say: 

The capital city of Scotland abounds in Societies, composed mostly of the higher 
order of students, who meet for mutual improvement. 

The Royal Medical is one of these, in which memoirs are read and debated. Mr. 
Emmet was a conspicuous orator in these discussions. He was thought to be one of the 
best speakers if not the very best. He was sufficiently esteemed, to be chosen one of the 
four presidents. It was a regulation that a part of the discussion in the order of business 
should be in Latin, and therein perhaps Mr. Emmet excelled every person who took the 
floor. His knowledge was various, his memory retentive, his ideas methodical, and his 
utterance impressive. 

There was another society in which he appeared to great advantage, in these juve- 
nile pursuits. This was the Royal Physical Society. The objects of this association 
were virtually the same with the former. A new hall had been constructed and a formal 
inauguration ordered. Dr. Emmet, one of the presiding officers, was appointed to deliver 
the discourse. This he executed much to the satisfaction of his audience in the Latin 
tongue; although in the preface of the pamphlet he informs the reader that it was but 
a work of three days [tridui opus]. The copy I possess of the tract is noted as having 
been received from the author. I recollect, almost as well as if it was yesterday, his 
attitude and manner, and the motion of his right hand which grasped a roll. 

There was a third society, to the presidential chair of which he was elevated. This 
was the association for the promotion of Natural History. 

I believe I am correct in remarking that the distinction and praise he obtained while 
yet at the university, operated upon me as incentives to industry, after a model so con- 
spicuous and admired, with the hope of gaining similar rewards. 

There was yet another society, called the "Speculative", to which he belonged, and 
over which he also became presiding officer. The exercises here were of a different 
character from those of the others; inasmuch as they embraced almost every subject 
except physical, natural and medical science. The whole extent of politics, metaphysics, 
economics, literature and history were considered at the meetings. 

He was the presiding officer of five of the literary societies at the same time, while 
it was a great honor to have held the position once. 

Young Emmet had gained in this place as much reputation as one of his years could 
attain. He was prepared to enter the world of business and give counsel to rich and 
disabled. And in this function he would probably have been able and successful; adorn- 
ing from year to year a profession he had cultivated with extraordinary diligence and 

Personal Characteristics 205 

Dr. Mitchell mentions among Dr. Emmet's intimate friends the names of Sir 
James Mackintosh, Dougal Stuart, Mr. Hope, Dr. John Rogers of New York 
and Dr. Casper Wister of Philadelphia, all of whom became in after life dis- 
tinguished men. On leaving Edinburgh he went to London, where he entered 
Guy's Hospital as a resident physician and served the usual course in that 
institution. He then proceeded to the Continent for an extended tour, accom- 
panied by an intimate friend from the north of Ireland, Mr. George Knox, a 
son of Lord Northland. With Mr. George Knox, Dr. Emmet corresponded 
for several years during a portion of his life of which we have little knowl- 
edge. This correspondence is still in existence, hut the writer was unahle to 
obtain permission to have the letters copied. Dr. Madden in early life had 
the good fortune, as a foundation for his "Lives of the United Irishmen," to 
become personally acquainted with many who had taken part in the political 
movement of 1798. He thus knew many of Dr. Emmet's contemporaries and 
from them he was able to portray for our benefit the personal attributes of 
Dr. Emmet as they existed at this period of his life. In Madden's work, to 
which we have to make such frequent reference, will be found the following 
analysis : — 

His career at college, if less brilliant than that of his brother Temple, was such as 
gave ample promise of his future eminence. His qualities were not of the same shining 
character. The powers of his imagination were less remarkable than the solidity of his 
judgment and the logical precision and acumen of his reasoning faculties. His oratorical 
efforts were distinguished by no bold flights of impassioned eloquence; they abounded 
not in the flowers of a poetic imagination, but in plants of a less precocious maturity — of 
a more enduring bloom: an impressive earnestness of manner, an honesty of purpose, 
and sincerity of conviction in the delivery of his sentiments; a strict adherence to truth; 
a manly scorn of the meanness of subterfuge or falsehood; a closeness of reasoning that 
never deviated from its essential line of argument; and on occasions which called for the 
display of fervid feelings an outbreak of indignant or enthusiastic eloquence, which 
formed a striking contrast with the apparent calmness of reflection and coldness of 
feeling which his staid demeanour and contemplative cast of countenance would seem 
to indicate. 

His physical conformation was not robust; he was measured in his gait, and retiring 
and unobtrusive in his deportment. In his dress he was careless — almost negligent; he 
bestowed no attention on personal appearance. His head was finely formed — it had all 
the compactness that a phrenologist would look for in the head of a man of profound 
thought ; and the expression of his countenance was indicative of integrity and straight- 
forwardness that inspired confidence and respect, and made those who came into con- 
tact with him feel the presence of a man of inflexible principles, and of fixed, well 
considered opinions. A slight cast in his eyes, accompanied by a habit of closing his 
eye-lids, incidental to what is termed "nearness of sight", gave a kind of peering expression 
to his regard. It was that of a man who communed more with himself than with external 
things, but its predominant expression was benevolence : it was the regard of a man 
whose suavity of disposition was too great to be spoiled by studious habits, by strong 
convictions on political subjects, or a determined purpose to act upon these when the 
occasion came for action. 

Dr. Madden, in his Life of Thomas Addis Emmet, claims in the dedication 
that he was : 

206 Admitted to the Irish Bar 

A man of great worth and virtue, sound understanding, solid judgment, fine talent, 
and highly cultivated tastes ; of singular equanimity of mind, urbanity of manners, and 
kindness of disposition; yet of inflexible integrity, steadfast principles, just views, and 
well weighed opinions. 

Emmet's vanity was of a peculiar kind; he was vain of nothing but his name: it 
was associated with the brightest of the by-gone hopes of Irish genius, and with the 
fairest promises of the revival of the latter in the dawning powers of a singularly gifted 
brother. No man could say with truth that vanity or selfishness was the mental in- 
firmity of Emmet. 

No malignant act was ever imputed to him. The natural kindness of his disposition 
was manifested in his looks, in his tone of voice ; those who came in contact with him 
felt that his benignity of disposition, his purity of heart and mind were such, "and the 
elements so mixed in him, that nature might stand up and say to all the world — this was 
a man." Malignity and Emmet were as dissimilar in nature as in name. 

A restless mind was not the mind of Emmet; the calm, tranquillizing influence of 
philosophy had given its serenity to his intellectual organization. The repose, if one may 
so speak of his character, was apparent in the composure of his demeanour and the 
quietude of his deportment. 

Emmet's ambition was to see his country well governed, and its people treated like 
human beings, destined and capacitated for the enjoyment of civil and religious freedom. 
For himself he sought no pre-eminence, no popular applause ; he shrunk from observation 
where his merits, in spite of his retiring habits, forced themselves into notice. No man 
could say that Emmet was ambitious. 

The reader should bear this statement of Madden's fully in mind as it is 
the key to Mr. Emmet's political life, and the explanation why he failed to 
such an extent in gaining due credit when no other leader in the Rebellion 
of 1798 accomplished so much. 

Dr. T. A. Emmet, from the beginning, took a prominent position in the 
practice of medicine in Dublin, where he was very extensively known, and 
was soon appointed by the Government "State physician" in connection with 
his father. This was a position of great importance, to which was attached 
a good salary. He thus became a "Court physician", and ex officio, the physi- 
cian to any member of the royal family requiring medical services while visit- 
ing Dublin. The position also connected him with several hospital appoint- 
ments, and made him a member of the Corporation of the City of Dublin and 
of several important commissions. 

In Mr. Emmet's twenty-sixth year, when holding a position in his pro- 
fession acquired by few before middle age, his brother Temple suddenly died, 
having already reached the head of the Dublin Bar before he was thirty years 
of age. The father, judging of his son's ability as a physician, believing he 
would occupy even a more prominent position and take his brother's place, 
urged him to give up medicine for the legal profession. 

He at once acquiesced in his father's wish and proceeded to London, where, 
for two years and a half, he applied himself to the study of law, at the Temple 
and in the courts at Westminster, and on returning to Ireland was admitted 
to the Irish Bar in the Michaelmas term of 1790. 

Mr. Emmet's advance in law was quite as rapid as it had been in the prac- 
tice of the medical profession. 

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Legal diploma issued by Trinity College to Thomas \ddis Emmet, 1790 

Sue librae 



Case of Napper Tandy 

Archibald Hamilton Rowan has written:* 

In January or February, 1792, I had been arrested by a warrant from Judge Downes 
on a charge of distributing a seditious paper. ... I had at first declared my wish to 
employ no other counsel to defend me than those who belonged to the Society of United 
Irishmen; but Messrs. Emmet and Butler both declined the task, as they said it might 
look like arrogance in junior counsellors to conduct so great a case as that which would 
probably ensue. 

It soon became evident to Mr. Emmet's friends that he could not remain 
longer in retirement, even to serve the cause of the Society of United Irish- 
men in the work of organization, which he was so desirous of doing. 

Within two years after Mr. Emmet's admission to the Irish Bar, he made 
his first appearance in Court, together with Simon Butler, Leonard M'Nally 
and Matthew Uowlin, the attorney, to conduct the noted case of Napper Tan- 
dy, begun on June 27, 1792. The final hearing was on Nov. 29th, 1792, 
"Against the Viceroy, the Earl of Westmoreland, the lord chancellor, the 
Right Hon. John Foster and Arthur Wolfe (afterwards Lord Kilwarden), 
Timothy Dillon and George O'Reilly. The action was on the question — 
"Whether any action, civil or criminal, can be brought against a Lord Lieu- 
tenant of Ireland, pending his viceroyalty." 

As in so many other matters concerning this period we are indebted to 
Dr. Madden for the only information which throws light on much that would 
otherwise be obscure, particularly for his reproduction of the account written 
by St. John Mason, himself a lawyer of ability. Dr. Madden states: — 

The proceedings were instituted on the ground that the official rank of the lord 
lieutenant was conferred by letters patent under the great seal of Great Britain; while 
the great seal of Ireland was the only one which could be recognized in any court of law 
in Ireland. 

Those who advised the course of proceeding adapted in Tandy's action against the 
lord lieutenant and privy council were men of a time that was productive of boldness. 
The circumstances of Tandy's case are briefly these: — He was Secretary to the Dublin 
Society of United Irishmen. It became the object of the Society to discover the views 
of the Defenders: he accordingly met a party of Defenders at Castle Bellingham, where 
he took the oath; he was informed against, a bill of indictment was privately prepared 
against him at the Louth assizes, the authorities expecting to take him on his way t'o 
Dublin where he had shortly to stand his trial for libel. He was informed of his danger, 
however, at Dundalk, and soon after quitted the kingdom. 

The final hearing of the motion came on the 26th of November, 1792. 

The result was what might be expected ; and the case is not only remarkable for the 
question raised in it, but for the report of Emmet's speech on this occasion, the first of 
his on record, and the longest of any that has reached us. In that speech there were 
sufficient indications of ability of the first order to justify the anxiety felt to take him 
from the Bar, and to shelve such formidable talents on the Bench. 

The great object of those proceedings it was desirable to keep undiscovered in the 
preliminary steps; that object was to contest the validity of the lord lieutenant's patent, 
as having been granted under the great seal of England, instead of that of the chancellor 
of Ireland. The object, however, was disclosed to the crown lawyers, and Tandy's ad- 
vocates were obliged to bring forward the main question prematurely. 

•Autobiography of Archibald Hamilton Rowan, Esq., &c, Dublin, 1840. 

208 Report of Emmet's Speech 

Mr. Mason stated : 

With respect to the proceedings in the King's Bench against the viceroy, Lord West- 
moreland [on account of a proclamation which the latter, in council, had issued for the 
apprehension of James Napper Tandy, who had fled the country on the issuing of an 
order for his arrest, in consequence of a report of a secret committee of the House of 
Commons, charging him with treasonable communication with the Defenders] the object 
was to contest the validity of the appointment of Lord Westmoreland as lord lieutenant, 
and indeed of all those who had previously filled the office of viceroy; and to produce 
the Earl of Westmoreland as a witness in these proceedings of Tandy, for the purpose of 
showing that his lordship's appointment was invalid, inasmuch as it was in virtue only of 
letters patent, granted under the great seal of England, and not under the great seal of 
Ireland, which was then a separate kingdom. On the occasion, a subpoena having been 
issued for the attendance, as a witness of Lord Westmoreland, T. A. Emmet moved for 
the plaintiff, that the defendant, John Fane, Earl of Westmoreland, of the Kingdom of 
Great Britain, do enter into security for his appearance at court on the day of next term. 
The court refused the motion. The attorney-general declared that the lord lieutenant 
would not give security. 

Mr. Mason in addition states : 

On the renewed proceedings in this case, 26th November, 1792, T. A. Emmet spoke 
strongly on the subject of the lord lieutenant's appointment. One passage created a sen- 
sation throughout the kingdom : — "I boldly assert that there has been no legal viceroy in 
Ireland for the last six hundred years, and not only the counsel of Lord Westmoreland 
will not deny that fact, but they will not dare to let his patent come under a train of 
legal investigation". 

Mr. Mason made the charge : 

Leonard McNally, the barrister, betrayed the cause by disclosing the object to the 
government, or the judges, or legal advisers of the crown who had been previously igno- 
rant of it. 

M'Nally as an informer was already in the employ of the British Govern- 

A full and authentic report was given of Mr. Emmet's speech, which is 
worthy of being presented in full to the reader, it being his first made at the 
bar and the only one while Emmet was engaged in Dublin practice of which 
so full an account is given. 

Mr. Emmet began his speech by explaining the nature of his action. It 
was made necessary by the attorney-general avowing himself not to be counsel 
for the Lord Westmoreland, no course being in court on which to ground this 
application before appearance and unsupported by any affidavit. It was not 
a motion, and it would not be called a motion, if the counsel on the other side 
could call it by any other name. He would, however, tell the court what it 
was, — it was a message from a great man, desiring the court to stop the pro- 
gress of the law against him; and he would say on the authority of 2 Inst. :56, 
that it is exactly that against which the nulli negabimus justitiam of Magna 
Charta was enacted. The ground of the application, as stated by the attorney- 
general on a former occasion, was that Lord Westmoreland would not appear, 
and that it would be inconvenient and even dangerous to arrest him in the 

Even the King Can be Sued 

midst of his guards. "If by law he can not be compelled to appear the menace 
was unnecessary; if by law he may be compelled to appear, the menace was 
indecent. If he can he compelled to appear, he must appear; and notwith- 
standing the character given of him by his own immediate advocates, I cannot 
believe that while he claims to be the viceroy of this Kingdom, lie will set the 
example of resisting the laws to the subjects of his sovereign. But by law 
he may be compelled to appear; no privilege exempts him from being sued." 

It is a principle of the law, laid down in 1 Com. Dig. 104, Title action, C. 3, 
that "every subject of the King, ecclesiastical or temporal, man or woman, vil- 
lein or free, may be sued". So great was the protection to the subject's right 
of suing that the common law code was preserved even against the King 
until another was pointed out [for this Mr. Emmet cited 1 Com. Dig. 104, C. 
1 : until the time of Edward I the King might as an ordinary individual have 
been sued in all actions]. The court observing that there was doubt expressed 
in that very passage as to the fact, he then cited 43 Ed. Ill, 22 ; Thel. Dig. 1 , 4, 
C. 1, 3; 24 Ed. Ill, 55; and having established that position, proceeded to 
argue that even supposing Lord Westmoreland to be, what he claimed to be, 
lord lieutenant, "his privilege is only an emanation from and cannot be 
greater than the King's prerogative. But even the King can be sued by peti- 
tion, and would still continue suable by the common law mode, if another 
more adapted to the subtlety of the times, had not been found out; therefore 
the lord lieutenant must still continue suable by the common law mode, since 
he can not be sued in any other way. The court have no right to quash its 
process for anything but irregularity and none is alleged here. But the only 
foundation of the application is that an action will not lie against the lord 

"That may be true, and yet he may be sued. There are many men in many 
cases, against whom actions will not lie, and yet they may be sued and must 
appear. If the viceroy has such a privilege, he comes too soon — he must plead 
it". In "Nostyn versus Fabrigas Comp. 172", Lord Mansfield says: — "If it 
were true that the law makes him that sacred character, he must plead it, and 
set forth his commission as special matter of justification, because prima 
facie the court has jurisdiction". Mr. Emmet then cited several authorities 
to show that this was the rule of all privileges, and observed that this attempt 
to avoid pleading and setting forth the lord lieutenant's commission resulted 
from fear; for his counsel knew that if it was spread on the record it might 
be demurred to, and could be proved to be a nullity. This endeavor to deter- 
mine the question in a summary way has also another object, to prevent the 
plaintiff from being able to appeal, or from taking advantage of a writ of 
error; but that very reason ought to induce the court to refuse the application. 
A question of novelty and importance ought to be put in the most solemn and 
conclusive mode of determination, and the court ought to decline deciding in 
a manner summary and final on a matter in which the subject ought to have 
the power of appeal. He next questioned the dictum that no action will lie 
against a governor locally during his government. "It is my Lord Mansfield's 

210 Legal Status of Viceroy 

opinion, unsupported, as far as I know, by any other authority in the books ; 
and fortunately my Lord Mansfield has given the reason of his opinion: — 
'because upon process he would be subject to imprisonment'. The guarded 
manner of expressing the dictum shows its weakness. He says locally no ac- 
tion would lie against him out of the place where he is governor, and yet his 
imprisonment in England would as much impede and embarrass his govern- 
ment as if it were at Barbadoes. But it is not necessary that he should be 
subject to imprisonment in order that an action should lie. They are every 
day brought against peers and persons whose bodies are privileged from 
arrest. If the rights of the subject to have remedy for injury must be re- 
stricted as far as that policy renders it indispensable the principles of the 
common law and the right of the subject ought not to be sacrificed even to the 
attainment of that great object, the security of a viceroy's person, if it can 
be attained in any other way. The consequence therefore is that the court 
must so mould its process as to attain the redress of the subject without vio- 
lating that privilege. This can be done by making the next process after this 
subpoena distress and not attachment, and he by letting the plaintiff proceed 
at his peril to a parliamentary appearance. Mr. Emmet then cited by way 
of analogy to his last position a case from Raymond, 152, in which it was de- 
termined that an officer of the King's household, whose person was conse- 
quently free from arrest, might be sued, so as that the King might not be 
deprived of his service, and so might be outlawed. He then observed that the 
inconveniences of the opposite doctrine would be most monstrous, and show 
it cannot be law. . . . Here Mr. Baron Power intimated that the court knew 
the cause of action, for the attorney-general had told it to them ; upon which 
Mr. Emmet replied that neither the court nor the attorney-general could pos- 
sibly know the cause of action, that no one but Mr. Tandy, his counsel and 
his attorney could know the cause of action ; and that "the court, if they de- 
cide against the plaintiff, must say that no action whatsoever will lie against 
the lord lieutenant. But, if the governor be entitled to such a privilege as is 
contended for, he must be a legal governor, and legally appointed inasmuch 
as the privilege is a legal one. The court may know that he is a de facto 
governor, and that may be sufficient to warrant and induce them to pay him 
every obeisance and attention, or perhaps to sanction any ministerial act which 
he must do, but he can never have a legal right to a legal privilege in a court 
of law unless he had a legal right to his office, for he is appointed under the 
great seal of England. It was but lately that some of the ablest lawyers on 
the bench, and at the bar, were of opinion that the great seal of England can 
appoint a regent ; for it can appoint a viceroy, whose name and whose func- 
tions differ but little from those of a regent. The attorney-general depre- 
cated on a former day the supposition that this country had been for six 
hundred years without a legal viceroy. To that I answer with the sincere 
wish that this country may not continue to be as it has been for the last six 
hundred years; its independence was ascertained in 1782, and if there was 
any abuse crept in before, it ought to have ceased then. For the last ten years 

Takes Oath of United Irishmen 21 1 

I boldly say there has been no legal viceroy in Ireland; and the counsel for 
Lord Westmoreland will not only not venture to contradict me, but they will not 
even dare to let his patent get into a train of legal investigation". Mr. Emmet 
concludes: "this is an application which Lord Westmoreland has no right to 
make, and which the court has no right to grant".* 

This case attracted general comment throughout Great Britain, because of 
the ability and learning displayed by Mr. Emmet, and above all for the un- 
daunted courage he showed in the defense of his clients. 

The other case, charging the prisoner with treason in having openly ac- 
cepted the oath as administered to those becoming members of the Society 
of United Irishmen, was brought to trial, and Mr. Emmet with great clear- 
ness informed the court that the purpose of the United Irishmen was entirely 
free from all treasonable purpose, their object being to restrain the people 
from outbreak, and to unite them, regardless of religious belief, by bringing 
about Catholic Emancipation, and the correction of certain parliamentary 
abuses. Mr. Emmet then stepped forward in front of the bench, and in full 
view of all in the court room, after invoking the aid of the Almighty, he 
slowly and impressively read aloud the oath, kissed the Bible as he declared 
himself thereby a member of the United Irishmen. He then took his seat. The 
whole scene was so striking and dramatic as to have the effect of stopping 
all further proceedings. The judge, without comment, discharged the prisoner 
and dismissed the court. Tandy was thus saved from being sentenced to be 
hung early on the following morning, as was the usual practice, with a packed 
jury and without the slightest regard for the evidence. There are many 
instances on record where the innocence was clearly established and yet the 
judge seemed to base his decision upon some fault of the prisoner's apart 
from the question of guilt. 

The Government became alarmed at Mr. Emmet's course and immediately 
resorted to the usual measures of corruption and bribery, hoping to render 
him harmless before he should become formidable. With this object, Pitt 
delegated a Castle official to see Mr. Emmet and offer him in the name of 
the Government the position of solicitor general of Ireland, with the additional 
assurance that he would be promoted to the next vacant judgeship. Mr. Emmet 
at once saw the purpose and realized that the offer was not intended either 
as a compliment or an honor, but as a business transaction to secure his politi- 
cal support. Much to the astonishment of the government at so unprecedented 
an action on the part of an Irishman, and especially one who had not yet spent 
two years in the practice of his profession, he promptly declined the offer. 
Dr. Macneven told Judge Emmet that his father's course was not understood 
by the Government and that their inference was that he set a higher price on 
his services, and would only be satisfied with a pecuniary compensation in 
addition. Another agent was therefore sent from Pitt to make the sugges- 

•Report of Proceedings in Action — James Napper Tandy, Plaintiff, and John. Earl of West- 
moreland, Defendant, Published by order of the Society of United Irishmen, December, 1782, Page 

212 Refuses Solicitor-Generalship 

tion that Mr. Emmet should reconsider his course, assuring him that no man, 
whatever his age or position, could afford to offend Government in a way that 
he must eventually regret. Notwithstanding the official warning given by a 
man with the suavity of a swine- feeder, Mr. Emmet promptly reiterated his 
former answer and doubtless in doing so clearly expressed his contempt for 
the whole proceeding. Castlereagh afterward became involved and accepted 
Mr. Emmet's refusal as a personal matter, and until his final release years 
after, allowed no occasion to pass without a reminder of his vindictive and 
spiteful spirit.* 

"The Press", published in Dublin as the organ of the United Irishmen, by 
Arthur O'Connor, gives, in 1797, a speech of some length made by Thomas 
Addis Emmet, at the trial of some United Irishmen he was defending. Twelve 
prisoners had been confined nearly seven months in the Belfast barracks, and 
were brought up to Dublin by habeas corpus for trial before the Court of 
Kings' Bench, on October 10th, 1797. This occasion was one of the few 
instances where Mr. Emmet appeared as counsel on the trial of the United 
Irishmen, for the leaders thought it advisable he should follow this course 
since he had been busy for more than a year extending the branches of the 
organization of the United Irishmen throughout the country. 

There remains now but little record of this period of Mr. Emmet's life, 
with the exception of what Dr. Madden was able to obtain from the Emmet 
family when he contemplated writing his work on the United Irishmen, to- 
gether with all the odds and ends, as it were, that he could gather from the 
few individuals then alive, who were contemporary. All of this he succeeded 
in working together, but with little system and many errors. Still without 
Dr. Madden's labors there would have existed a hiatus in Irish history. This 
statement is necessary as the writer has found frequently, that Dr. Madden em- 
bodied in his work the material furnished by Mr. T. A. Emmet, Jr. As the 
writer had access to the same authority, he has not always given Dr. Madden 
credit for originality. Dr. Madden also had the advantage of being a personal 
friend of Mr. John Patten, Mrs. Emmet's brother, and he knew Mr. Robert 
Holmes who married Miss Emmet, the sister of T. A. and Robert Emmet. 
He happily availed himself of the opportunity to place on record the details 
obtained from these sources, details known also to the writer. f 

The first mention made of Mr. Emmet taking any active part in Irish poli- 
tics is recorded in Tone's Journal. On Emmet's introduction to the sub- 
committee of the Catholics on October 15th, 1793, Tone states that he was 

•Following a sketch of Mr. Emmet's life signed J. Ti. S. the reader will find (Vol. I, Chap. 34) 
further reference to this subject, explaining why this offer was not made public. 

fPr. Madden's work, issued in I860, is now out of print. This difficulty was about to be_ removed 
by the enterprise of the Napper Tandy Publishing Company of New York, in the reprinting of 
Madden's work in a very attractive form. The work was begun in 1911, but after the issue of the 
eighth volume, covering about two thirds of the work, it was suspended. The writer is ignorant as 
to the cause, but has supposed it was due to the serious difficulty every writer and publisher of 
Irish works has to meet, that the Irish are not a reading people. After over two hundred years of 
penal laws which made it a crime to learn to read or write, they have not yet recovered sufficiently 
to become a reading people. In some respects this failure in the reproduction of Madden's work 
may prove an advantage to the public, for. notwithstanding its great value, it contains so many errors and 
requires such a different svstem in arranging the material, that it should be rewritten and properly 
prepared from a literary point of view and to prove of profit to a publisher. 

A Friend to Catholic Emancipation 213 

well received by the members and richly deserved their admiration. "Emmet 
was the best of all the friends to Catholic Emancipation, always excepting Mr. 
Hutton, worth two of Stokes, ten of Burrowes, and a hundred of Drennan". 

From this time Emmet, behind the scenes of Catholic agitation, continued 
to give his pen to their cause and with his usual heedlessness of self allowed 
others to take the merit of his services. 

This trait in Mr. Emmet's character is fully illustrated in his contribution 
to "Pieces of Irish History Illustrative of the Catholics in Ireland", published 
by Dr. Macneven (New York, 1807). In this volume is to be found a memoir 
termed "Part of an Essay Towards tbe History of Ireland", from Mr. Emmet's 
pen. It consists of 144 pages, in which he gives a history of the efforts made 
in Ireland to obtain a repeal of the Popery Laws, which held three-fourths 
of the population of Ireland in a grievous state of bondage. He also details 
the movement for organizing the United Irishmen, who had in view the same 
purpose among other measures which were to be repealed or reformed. No 
one had been more active or had been more familiar with every step taken in 
advancing these political movements in Ireland than Thomas Addis Emmet, and 
yet after having given due credit to others, Mr. Emmet makes not the slightest 
reference to himself. 

If the frequent reference made to Mr. Emmet by Lecky in his "History 
of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century", in connection with the early movement 
to bring about Catholic Emancipation in Ireland, be accepted as evidence of 
the value of his services, he certainly has not received due credit elsewhere. 

Mr. T. A. Emmet was throughout life absolutely free from all feeling of 
bigotry towards those who differed from him in their religious belief. His 
course was made all the more prominent in contrast to the marked prejudice 
and illiberality shown toward the Catholics, both in Ireland and in this country, 
by many of those occupying Mr. Emmet's station of life. The same generous 
and charitable disposition which he had received from his father and mother 
he transmitted to his children, who were as marked in their liberality as he had 

Mr. Emmet did not hold the feeling he did toward the Catholics simply 
through a sense of liberality or indifference, but he made himself familiar 
with their tenets, and while he did not fully share their belief, he never 
misunderstood or misinterpreted their motives. During a noted ecclesias- 
tical trial in connection with Trinity Church, held in the city of New York, 
Mr. Emmet was suddenly called upon to take part and this without prepara- 
tion. To the astonishment of all he showed that he possessed a profound 
knowledge of theology and ecclesiastical law in all details. The writer was 
informed of this incident by his uncle, Judge Robert Emmet, who stated 
that it was generally conceded after the termination of this trial that his 
father, as a theological scholar, had not an equal in the country. In this 
respect Mr. Emmet was not unlike his elder brother, Christopher Temple, 
of whom, as we have seen, Grattan held that he knew more law than any 
judge on the bench and more divinity than any bishop in the land. 

214 Early Association with Tone 

In the winter of 1790, Tone organized a political club, consisting of Dr. 
Drennan, Stokes, John Pollock,* Johnson, Burrowes, Stark and Russell. 

Any two of the men present would have been the delight and entertain- 
ment of a well-chosen society ; but all together was, as Wolsey says, "too much 
honour". Tone adds : 

In recording the names of the members of the club, I find I have strangely omitted 
the name of a man whom, as well for his talents as his principles, I esteem as much as 
any, far more than most of them, I mean Thomas Addis Emmet, a barrister. He is a 
man completely after my own heart; of a great and comprehensive mind; of the warmest 
and sincerest affection for his friends; and of a firm and steady adherence to his princi- 
ples, to which he has sacrificed much, as I know, and would, I am sure, if necessary, 
sacrifice his life. His opinions and mine square exactly. 

Aggregate meetings of the Catholic body now became frequent, and every 
person of any note connected with them took a part in their proceedings. Emmet 
alone kept aloof : he rendered them all the assistance in his power — he devoted 
his fine talents to their service, but he made no public display, and sought no 
public approbation for them. At this time he was not a member of the Society 
of United Irishmen, but long before he joined it he was the person in every 
emergency consulted by its leaders. 

When Tone was leaving Ireland on his visit to the United States, Mr. 
Emmet wrote to him : 

My dear Friend: 

I have just this instant heard from Simon McGuire that you leave town tonight. 
I can scarcely believe that you would entirely break yourself away from this country and 
from me among the rest, without calling on me or even writing me a line. You know, 
and I trust will always be convinced that my friendship and affectionate regard for you is 
most undiminished. It is not of that nature to be shaken by adversity, which God knows 
how soon it may be my lot to undergo. Wherever you are you shall always command a 
steady friend in this country, as long as I reside here. Write to me at least when you 
reach your destination, and as often as may suit your convenience. Perhaps your letters 
may be useful to me for regulating my future settlement in life. God bless you. Give 
my most affectionate compliments to Mrs. Tone. 

We must now give some consideration to the purpose and expectation of 
the United Irishmen. In the early organization and according to Mr. Emmet's 
purpose it was not anticipated by the majority that force at any time would 
be resorted to for bringing about the many reforms found necessary to insure 
Ireland's future prosperity. 

The organization was a representative one in all details, and until the 
sudden removal of Lord Fitzwilliam as viceroy, the Irish people were con- 
tented, sincerely believing in the truth of England's profession of honesty, 
and in her desire to accede to the wishes of the Irish people. 

But Pitt, the British Minister, feared that Ireland would soon become 
too strong to be coerced, and by her prosperity rival England in her manu- 
factures. It was then that this man, who was to prove a demon incarnate 
in Irish affairs, decided on his course and determined to force the Irish 
people into rebellion. It was his purpose, through the. horrors of a merciless 

•Pollock had already become a spy for the government. 

Pitt and Napoleon 215 

war, and by means only resorted to by the mosl savage races, to force the 
people by his severity to accept, finally, as a relief from exhaustion, the so- 
called "Union" with England. This he wished them to do as a claimed nei es- 
sity, that he might justify himself before the world for his line of action. He 
violated every pledge England had made to the Irish people. 

His course has impressed the writer with the belief that Pitt and Napoleon 
must have entered into some compact to forward their own ends. This may 
seem an irresponsible statement to one not familiar with the facts and the 
unprincipled political character of both of these men to whom by nature the 
truth was unknown. It was known to every Irish leader in Paris that a 
number of French officers with whom they were constantly being thrown in 
social life and who seemed to have no special occupation, were "in the pay 
of England." No Irishman seems to have suspected that they could have 
been "in the pay of England" for any other purpose than to spy on them. 

Nor can there be any doubt that they were absent from their regiments 
and could only be so with the connivance of the French Government, and 
must have been assigned by the same authority to be "in the pay of England." 
Fitzpatrick, in his "Secret Service Under Pitt", page 46, states : 

The reason neither [Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Arthur O'Connor] proceeded to 
Paris was lest the English government in whose pay most of the officers in Paris were 
supposed to be, should suspect the design, and arrest their persons on their return. 

In this suspicion Lord Edward and O'Connor were not far astray. "The 
Confidential Letters of the Right Hon. William Wickham" reveal the fact 
that Pichegru and other French generals were paid by Pitt to allow themselves 
to be beaten in battle. Could this have been done more than once without 
the knowledge and connivance of the French Government? Surely Napoleon 
received some recompense from Pitt on his agreeing not to invade either 
England or Ireland, for otherwise, with Napoleon's knowledge of England's 
condition, a different course would certainly have been adopted at the begin- 
ning and England would have been immediately crushed by his invasion. Both 
Mr. Emmet and Dr. Macneven feared that some understanding existed at 
one time between them. Throughout the course, for which they were directly 
or indirectly responsible, the people incurred such an amount of misery and 
suffering that Robespierre by comparison was an angel of mercy. In the 
second edition of "Ireland Under English Rule," the author has placed on 
record his opinion that : 

Napoleon in France and Pitt at the head of the British government were the demons 
of discord, who were at this time sacrificing the property and happiness of the world. 
Yet, if it were possible to place in contrast all the crime, suffering and misfortune, with 
all the consequences, which could be traced directly or indirectly to the acts of these two 
men, Napoleon would appear as an angel of mercy in comparison with Pitt. It is simply 
special pleading and a subterfuge to maintain that Mr. Pitt should not be held blamable 
for the misdeeds of his officials in Ireland, in consequence of his many cares at the head 
of the ministry in England which would have barred his personal supervision. No one 
but himself was responsible for the policy of the English government previous to the 

216 Camden Merely a Tool of Pitt 

appointment of Lord Fitzwilliam and for the latter's selection and administration ; and 
he was equally responsible for his sudden removal. He certainly approved of Lord 
Camden who came to Ireland instructed to carry out a totally different policy, which 
was to exasperate the people and thus furnish him a pretext to establish "The Union". 
Nothing could have been done in either country without his approval. 

The epigrammatic statement of Shakespeare, "the evil that men do lives 
after them; the good is often interred with their bones", is applicable to Pitt 
in his relation to Ireland, in so far as the evil for which he was responsible has 
continued ; with his bones was interred not even a good intention. 

In "Cloncurry and His Times" it is reasonably stated: 

We are perhaps wrong to identify the cruelties practiced so much with Lord Cam- 
den, for his many supporters to a man, allege that he neither was ambitious, wicked nor 
unprincipled. An empty-headed puppet, an ingeniously devised automaton in the hands 
of Mr. Pitt, that simply acted as that great Dictator willed and danced away, so long as 
its machinery continued wound up, conveyed according to some writers, a tolerably fair 
idea of his artificial lordship. 

Sir Jonah Barrington.who was a contemporary, records: 

He [Camden] fully carried out Pitt's policy, for from the day of his arrival the 
spirit of insurrection "increased, and in a short period, during his lordship's government 
more blood was shed, as much of outrage and cruelty was perpetrated on both sides, and 
as many military executions took place as in ten times the same period during the san- 
guinary reign of Elizabeth or the usurpation of Cromwell or King William. 

Dr. Madden in his first series of "United Irishmen", p. 155, makes the 
following statement, as to the value placed on Mr. Emmet's veracity but un- 
fortunately he neglects to put on record the occasion calling for what he says 
concerning Pitt : 

A man in the secrets of the opposition part of that time — the head-piece of that 
system which grew out of the insecurity of Irish independence and the failure of the 
measures which terminated in the recall of Lord Fitzwilliam, a man whose word was 
never doubted by friend or foe — Thomas Addis Emmet — thus speaks of the proposals 
of the Irish leaders made to the Duke of Portland, and acquiesced in by Mr. Pitt : 

"Mr. Pitt wished, and indeed tried to obtain, that some of those measures should be at 
least delayed in the execution for a season ; but Mr. Grattan and his friends insisted that 
they should be brought forward the very first session, in order to give eclat to the commence- 
ment of their administration. In the propriety of this demand the Duke of Portland uni- 
formly concurred; and even Mr. Pitt himself, who had previously kept in the background, 
and avoided personal communication with Lord Fitzwilliam's friends, was present at some 
of the latter interviews, and certainly did not prevent its being believed that he acquiesced 
in those demands, with which it was impossible to doubt his being acquainted. The mem- 
bers of the Opposition had no great experience of cabinets; they conceived that they 
were entering into honourable engagements, in which everything that was allowed to be 
understood, was equally binding with whatever was absolutely expressed. They rested 
satisfied that their stipulations were known and acceded to ; they neglected to get them 
formally signed and ratified, or reduced to the shape of an instrument from the British 
cabinet to the viceroy; they put them unsuspectingly in their pockets, and set off to 
become ministers in Ireland". 

Mr. Emmet has thus given his version of this episode now generally ac- 
cepted as the true one. The historical student frequently meets with what 

Falkiner's Estimate of Fitzwilliam 

may be termed Irish historical enigmas, or unqualified perversion of facts, 
for which no explanation can be offered. The following is taken from Falk- 
iner's work, page 126:* 

No episode in Irish history has heen the subject of more vehement controversy or 
more abundant criticism than the recall of Lord Fitzwilliam from his brief and unfor- 
tunate viccroyalty. 

At the time it took place the incident strained almost to breaking-point the lately 
formed coalition between Pitt and the Portland Whigs, upon which depended the whole 
policy of England in the struggle with France. And even after the lapse of about a 
century the passions it engendered can still lend warmth to the pen of the coolest of 
historians, and inspire the most vigorous passage in the criticisms of the most moderate 
and most detached of statesmen. The whole question of the justice of Pitt's action in 
summarily recalling Fitzwilliam has been so recently and so fully investigated from the 
point of view of Cabinet precedents and official propriety, by Lord Rosebery and Lord 
Ashbourne, that it is unnecessary to re-state it here, though it is impossible to refer to 
the subject without observing that the significance of the recall has been very greatly 
exaggerated. It was certainly not the proximate cause of the Rebellion. Had it been so, 
many of the arguments used in justification of the Rebellion must disappear. The recall 
was no doubt in Lord Rosebery's phrase, "a land mark". It pointed the pause in that 
policy of concession which had its culmination in the Franchise Act of 1793, and which 
had encouraged extravagant expectation in the popular mind ; but it was not the occasion 
of that pause. The publication by Lord Ashbourne of the Cabinet Memorandum drawn 
up by Pitt and concurred in by Fitzwilliam's most particular friends and colleagues — 
Portland, Spencer, Windham, and Loughborough — disposes, once for all, of all contro- 
versy on that aspect of the question and fully justifies the censure which Lord Rosebery 
has pronounced with all the authority of one who had held the Premiership, on Fitz- 
william's extraordinary disregard of arrangements definitely sanctioned and prescribed 
by the Cabinet and of pledges most explicitly entered into. That document entirely de- 
stroys the case of Lord Fitzwilliam, convicting the viceroy not merely of weakness and 
indiscretion but of actual bad faith: for it proves that every one of those acts of his 
viceroyalty zvhich led to Fitzwilliam's recall, and in regard to which he claimed to have 
been given complete liberty of action by his colleagues, had been expressly repudiated by 
the Cabinet in advance, with Fitzwilliam's express assent. 

Had the viceroy and his allies behaved with the commonest discretion, it is 
impossible to say how far the intrigue might have succeeded. But their designs were 
soon bruited abroad, and Fitzgibbon was not the man to sit still under such an attack. 
If in the course of his administration he had made enemies, he also had powerful friends. 
And though Pitt was far from sharing his strong anti-Catholic views, it was soon evi- 
dent that the Chancellor was much more likely to dismiss the viceroy than the viceroy 
to dismiss the chancellor. . . . Fitzwilliam had no sooner arrived in Ireland than he 
entered upon a career of proscription, and one of the first acts was to dismiss Beresford 
from his post in the Revenue. Beresford was not only Fitzgibbon's closest ally in the 
Irish government, but from his connections, influence, and great ability in council he 
had become one of the most powerful men in Ireland — and one of the most disreputable. 
The whole question of Fitzwilliam's conduct in Ireland became the subject of a confer- 
ence among the leading members of the Cabinet; his indiscretions censured by the Prime 
Minister and repudiated by his closest friends were too glaring to be condoned, and he 
was at once recalled ! Lord Camden was sent over in his stead and thenceforward, and 
until after the passing of the Act of Union the supremacy of Fitzgibbon, now created 
Earl of Clare, remained unchallenged. 

•"Studies in Irish History and Biography, mainly of the Eigtheenth Century", by C. Litton Fal- 
kiner, London, 1902. 

218 Beresford Faction 

This is given to the world by English sympathizers as history ! Is it not 
a natural inference drawn by every one seeking the truth, that so-called Irish 
history, as issued under English governmental influence, is one continuous, 
egregious and wilful lie, beginning with that violater of every precept of the 
Decalogue, Henry the Second, to the recital of this particular incident. I cast 
no reflection on the writer of this article, for, unless he was in the direct em- 
ploy of the government for the special purpose, he had at his command only 
the material intended to be given to the world. He was not of Irish stock, or 
he would have not only doubted, but have been prepared to disprove every 
point after knowing its source. 

Nothing was ever expected by the people of Ireland from Pitt, and nothing 
to his credit stands there; for "the Union" so-called is but a flaunting lie, 
and a monument to the practice of every crime for which Pitt, in the name of 
the English people, was alone responsible ; and until repealed will stand as an 
indelible red stigma upon every honest Englishman. There is no evidence to 
show that he ever used his position to rob the country, as many did before 
him, but he corrupted others by giving them a free hand, that he might use 
them for his purpose. It is not necessary to go beyond the mention of the 
Beresford family — or the mention of the name of that member of it who 
with his friend Pitt was never known to speak the truth. The writer has 
stated elsewhere :* 

Marcus Beresford, the leader of the faction above referred to, belonged to a family 
which for generations had lived on the country through its influence with the British 
government under all administrations. Uncompromising advocates of Protestant As- 
cendancy and active Orangemen, they were ever ready to do any disreputable service for 
the government. The Beresfords and their connections at one time monopolized one- 
fourth of the government offices in Ireland and, it was commonly held, had been able 
to take more from Ireland and to give less than any other family in the country. In less 
than three hundred years they have acquired over one hundred and sixty thousand acres 
of land in Ireland alone. 

Of Fitzgibbon, Lord Clare, it has been written : 

It would seem that nature formed that man to show 
How many vices in one heart might grow. 
How much misfortune one man's crimes might cause 
A Nation's right, her liberties and laws.+ 

Before Mr. Gladstone became the head of the English Government, the 
only persons ever placed in charge of Irish affairs were the Beresfords, the 
Fitzgibbons or some other of the same race, who had remained unchanged in 
nature from their ancestors, the Normans. The writer has elsewhere 
written :J 

Comment to any great extent on this subject is unnecessary beyond presenting for 
comtemplation the views of that classic writer and profound thinker, Ralph Waldo 
Emerson. His views are the more applicable in connection with what a reviewer wrote : 

•"Ireland Under English Rule", Vol. I, p. 161. The reader would find it interesting to refer 
also to "Our Old Nobility" by Howard Evans. 

f'Literary Remains of the United" Irishmen", R. R. Madden, 1887. 
{"Ireland Under English Rule", Vol. I, p. 203. 

"The Memory of Sorrows" 219 

""Look through all Emerson's writings and then consider whether in all literature you can 
find that aspiration staled in such condensed words by Joubert: 'To put a whole hook 
into a page, a whole page into a phrase, and that phrase into a word!' [and the write] 
is prompted to supply — robbery]. 

The writer would include in Emerson's word of deduction the iniquity of England's 
dealings with Ireland, from the first days of the Normans. Emerson wrote:* 

"The Normans came out of France into England worse men than when they went 
into it, 160 years before. They had lost their own language, and learning the barbarous 
Latin of the Gauls, had acquired with the language all the vices it had names for. The 
conquest has obtained in the chronicles the name of 'memory of sorrows'. Twenty 
thousand thieves landed at Hastings. These founders of the House of Lords were 
greedy and ferocious dragons, sons of greedy and ferocious pirates. They were all alike. 
They took everything they could carry; they burned, harried, violated, tortured and 
killed, until everything English was brought to the verge of ruin. Such, however, is the 
illusion of antiquity and wealth, that decent and dignified men now existing boast of 
their descent from these filthy thieves, who showed a far juster conviction of their own 
merits by assuming for types the swine, goat, jackal, leopard, wolf and snake which they 
severally resembled !" 

Evidently Emerson's Saxon blood had never been eliminated ! 

•"English Traits", Ralph Waldo Emerson, Boston, 1884, Chapter IV., on "Race", pp. 62-63. 

Slavery in every form it can assume is destructive of the virtue, the genius and the spirit 
of man. The subjection of one people to another, is of all species of slavery incom- 
parably the 'worst. 

T. A. Emmet. 

Great as <were the talents of the men ivho stood beside Emmet in the early struggle for his 
country's liberty, the pre-eminence may be claimed for him, for <while the profound- 
ness of his judgment, and the justice of his views entitled him to the respect of his 
associates, inflexible integrity commanded respect even from his enemies. 

"New York Truthteller," July J 5th, 1843. 

Chapter VII 

Marriage of Thomas Addis Emmet — Some account of Mrs. Emmet's family — Nothing 
known of their early married life, except the rapid progress made by him in his profes- 
sion — Letter relating to the birth of his second son and to his family at that time — 
Political condition of Ireland after the close of the American Revolution — The Volunteer 
Movement — An unusually large proportion of remarkably talented men took part in Irish 
politics at that time — Their policy and results — Their purpose only to secure "Protestant 
Ascendancy" — Ireland temporarily prosperous under the "Grattan Parliament" — Theobald 
Wolfe Tone becomes prominent as an Irish leader — The final failure by Grattan in ob- 
taining any reform of abuses, and the cause — The Irish people ruthlessly driven into tne 
outbreak of 1798 by a course of barbarous persecution on the part of the English Gov- 
ernment, that the pretext might be furnished for bringing about the so-called Union 
with England — Thomas Addis Emmet becomes a United Irishman. 

1 OPEFUL as Thomas Addis Emmet was at this period of 
his life for the future prosperity of his country, so dear 
to him, he married in 1791, Jane, a daughter of the Rev. 
John Patten, a Presbyterian minister, of Clonmel, Ire- 
land, by Margaret Colville, the daughter of Win. Colville, 
Esq., and Margaret Thompson. [See Marriage Settle- 
ment — Appendix Note VI.] 

From Richard Patten, of Waynfleet, Co. Lincoln- 
shire, and Margery, the daughter of Sir Wm. Brereton, 
of Co. Cheshire, England, the Irish branch of this family claimed direct 
descent. Richard Patten, of Waynfleet, had three sons : the eldest was 
William Waynfleet, the Catholic Bishop of Winchester; the next was Richard 
Patten, of Baselow, Derbyshire, where the family was living at the time of 
Tames the First, and from him the Irish family sprang; the youngest son was 
John Patten, Dean of Chichester. 

Mrs. Emmet died in 1846. A few weeks later, while passing along Fulton 
Street, New York, the writer noticed in a show window the old folio edi- 
tion of "Burch's Heads of the People", which was opened at the portrait 
of William Waynfleet, Bishop of Winchester. The work was purchased be- 
cause of the strong resemblance this portrait bore to the writer's grandmother; 
in fact, when first seen from across the street the likeness was still more strik- 
ing, for at that distance the bishop's miter closely resembled the cap generally 



Mrs. Margaret [Thompson] Colville, taken by Mrs. Elizabeth [Emmet] Le In<>\. 
From a miniature painted about 1730 




Mrs. Emmet's Ancestors 221 

worn by Mrs. Emmet. Prompted by curiosity the writer looked up the 
bishop's history and discovered that his family name was Patten, and thai he 
hail assumed, on entering upon his ecclesiastical life, the name of Waynfleet, 
from the name of his father's estate. After having obtained this information 
the writer learned for tiie first time, from both his uncle Robert and his 
aunt, Mrs. I.e Roy, that their mother had claimed her family was descended 
from Richard Waynfleet, the bishop's brother, and that both her father and 
grandfather had been educated in Oxford, and, she believed, in Magdalen Col- 

The writer visited Oxford some years after to ascertain if any member 
of the family had been educated in Magdalen College, but unfortunately it 
was during the vacation and he was unable to verify the statement. But he 
discovered that the arms of the college, which were those borne by the founder, 
were the same as those given on a book-plate in a volume from his father's 
library printed in the early part of the eighteenth century. . From the date, 
the book, and consequently the arms, must have belonged to the Rev. William 
Patten, of Dublin, the grandfather of Mrs. Emmet. The only difference in 
the arms was the addition, in those of William Patten, of a white rose in the 
right-hand corner of the shield, which doubtless was intended to indicate 
that some subsequent member of the Irish family had taken part in the War 
of the Roses. 

By the bishop's will a grant of this college was made to the university, 
it is said, and the writer has seen it stated somewhere, on the following condi- 
tions — that a mass should be said daily for the repose of his soul, and that 
the eldest of his family should be gratuitously educated at the college. If so, 
the eldest of the family doubtless held the right of free education, but as the 
authorities soon ignored one condition it would have been quite as easy for 
them to have laid aside the other. 

The bishop died in 1486 and was buried in his cathedral at Winchester. 
The features of the marble effigy on his tomb bear even a more marked re- 
semblance to Mrs. Emmet than do those of the engraved portrait. This is 
certainly a most remarkable circumstance, that so marked a family likeness 
should crop out after an interval of some four hundred years. Moreover, 
there seems to have been a clergyman in nearly every generation of the family, 
and the same family names were preserved. 

The descendants of William Colville Emmet, the voungest son of Thos. 
A. and Jane Patten Emmet, have in their possession a small tortoise-shell box 
which was apparently intended for a snuffbox. On the top of this is an en- 
graved silver plate, with a bishop's miter and so intricate a monogram that 
W. W. can be traced as readily as any other combination. 

It has been a family tradition, and one doubtless received from Mrs. 
Emmet, that this box belonged to William Waynfleet, Bishop of Winchester. 
This is doubtful, however, as tortoise-shell or horn is extremely liable to 
crack and disintegrate, as the oil dries out, even in a much shorter period. 
Moreover, it could never have been used by the bishop as a snuffbox, for he 

222 Emmet Home at Rathfarnham 

lived before the introduction of tobacco from America. If it had ever be- 
longed to the bishop it would probably have been used for conveying the Host 
to the sick. But such a box is always made of some metal, so that it can be 
kept thoroughly clean, and the greatest care would be taken, even to its de- 
struction, to guard against its being put to a profane use. The probable ex- 
planation is that it was a snuff-box belonging to some connection of the Col- 
ville family, which was a very extensive one. In corroboration of this view 
the author has established the fact that towards the close of the seventeenth 
and the beginning of the eighteenth century, several bishops in Ireland of the 
Established Church were closely connected with the Colville family. 

With the exception of her brother John the members of the Patten fam- 
ily seem to have held no further intercourse with Mrs. Emmet after her 
husband's connection with the Irish movement was brought to light by his 
arrest. Consequently at the present time all trace of these connections has 
been lost to the relatives in America, and on the death of Mrs. Emmet's 
nephew, John Patten, Jr., an unmarried man, that branch of the family became 

Nothing special is known of Mr. Emmet's early married life, except that 
he lived at Rathfarnham, and that for several years, as we learn from Tone's 
diary, in which he gives an account of a visit he made to Emmet's home with 
Russell. He lived on intimate terms with Curran and his family, and con- 
sequently knew Curran's friends, who shared his political views. Among 
these was a Mr. Hudson, as we learn from a letter from Lady Hudson- 
Kinahan quoted in the sketch of Mrs. Holmes, who was doubtless the same 
later sent with Mr. Emmet as a State prisoner to Fort George. The follow- 
ing letter written to his second cousin, a granddaughter of Diana Emett, 
the sister, of Christopher, is probably the first record made of the birth of 
the son who became the writer's father. 

Dublin, April 30th, 1796. 
My Dear Mrs. Macoubry : 

Tho' I was very sorry to hear of Mr. Forde's death on many accounts, yet I assure 
you it gave me very sincere'pleasure to find by your letter that he had left you out of debt. 
It was an act of kindness and generosity highly worthy of him. I am very much obliged 
to you for having thought of making me acquainted with your good fortune and feel 
something more than flattered by the expressions of gratitude you are so good as to use 
towards me. I am only sorry it is not in my power to be of more essential service to my 
friends and relatives. 

You did not know at the time you were wishing me joy of the birth of my last 
daughter, Mrs. Emmet was on the point of giving me another son, which she did in a 
few days after I received yours. She is now, thank God, extremely well and the 
mother of four fine children, two boys and two girls. So you see my family is increasing 
fast. She is, thank God, extremely well and strong. So is my brother's daughter, who 
is growing up a very sensible and sweet-tempered child. My sister Mary Anne is much 
obliged to you for inquiring after her. My father, mother, Mrs. Emmet and all the 
family join in the kindest good wishes to you, 

Your affectionate friend and kinsman, 

Mrs. Macoubry, care of Thos. Addis Emmet. 

G. Knox, Anacloy, Downpatrick. 

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The Volunteer Movement 223 

Alfred Webb, in his "Compendium of Irish Biography," states: 
The next year, 1796, he hegan to take a prominent and hading part as a United 
Irishman. 1'ossessed of private means, already earning £750 a year at the Bar, with a 
young family rising up around him, of domestic habits and irreproachable character, 
nothing but the clearest conviction of duty cotdd have impelled him to range himself 
against the Government. 

Mr. Emmet was successful in the practice of his profession from the begin- 
ning and rose rapidly to a prominent position at the Bar. The author of a 
sketch of Mr. Emmet in "American Eloquence" wrote: 

He rode the circuit with Curran — and in the opinion of many was his superior in 
talents, legal attainments and general information. But this was not the time for him to 
realize his hopes of legal preferment. The condition of his country impoverished by 
the cupidity of the English, the dark and cheerless prospect that opened upon her des- 
tinies, engrossed all his attention. 

After the close of the American Revolution a remarkable movement was 
instituted in Ireland by a number of men, the leaders of which were of great 
talent, called "The Volunteers". They organized to have the legislative inde- 
pendence of the country established as a distinct kingdom from England; to 
reform many abuses in connection with the Irish Parliament, which had be- 
come corrupt under the close-borough system. Few of the members were 
elected, but were appointed by individuals, and they voted as directed, so that 
it was possible to carry any measure by gaining the influence of three or four 
persons. A general reform was needed throughout the country among those 
holding office. None but those who conformed to the English Church, "as by 
law established", and in the proportion of one out of six or seven of the 
total Irish population, had a legal existence, or could hold any posi- 
tion or exercise any privilege. The minority formed the English garrison in 
Ireland and did so as a privileged class. They advocated under all circum- 
stances "a Protestant King, a Protestant Parliament, a Protestant hierarchy, 
and Protestant electors, and a government in connection with the Protestant 
realm of England". Until within a comparatively late period those of the 
Established Church alone claimed to be the Protestants, while the Presbyter- 
ians were termed "Dissenters", and were allowed to exist in the land only under 
many restrictions; while the Catholics forming the great majority of the 
population, during over two hundred years under the penal laws, had no legal 
existence in Ireland, and during many years if they ventured within the Pale, 
could be shot down on sight without question. 

These men, working for their own benefit alone as members of a privileged 
class, included some of Ireland's most noted men, Flood, Grattan, Lord 
Charlemont and many others who were never interested in any move for the 
advantage of the Irish people at large and who never seemed to realize that 
any effort should be made for their betterment. These leaders in the end 
accomplished nothing for the advance of Ireland's prosperity. Yet, the "Grat- 
tan Parliament" is being constantly quoted in evidence of what Ireland could 
accomplish if she had the management of her own affairs; while there prob- 
ably never existed throughout that period an executive body more corrupt, or 

224 "Golden Age" of Ireland 

one in which the people of a country had so little influence. Every move was 
directed by English influence. To prove the necessity for parliamentary re- 
form, Grattan, himself behind the scenes at the time, held that: "The viceroy 
and the majority of this House [Irish House of Commons] are the worst 
subjects the King has!" 

Throughout this imaginary "Golden Age", which was one of bribery, the 
majority of the leaders and Grattan's contemporaries, were man of remark- 
able ability and of wonderful eloquence. Their purpose and promise of 
bringing about great reform was ever before them, in appearance fair-looking 
and irridescent as a soap-bubble; yet in the end Ireland gained no permanent 
benefit. If it ever were possible for one in Irish sympathy to joke on so 
serious a condition, we could show how Pitt, concealing himself and his pur- 
poses, and acting as wire-puller, during nearly a generation, kept going well to 
the front — a species of Punch-and-Judy show, for the amusement of Grattan 
and his associates in the Irish Parliament House. When a change suited his 
purpose, as if with the sudden issue of a bolt from the heavens, every individ- 
ual in the land was punished by the agents of irresponsibility, until Ireland 
was in extremis and accepted the Union with England as a merciful respite. 

For a time Ireland prospered greatly, in consequence of the promises made 
and the seeming absence of English domination, but it was due chiefly to the 
efforts of the Dissenters, in whose hands was held the trade of the country, 
and for the first time their prospects brightened. 

This period of being diverted by Pitt's "puppet-show" was time lost to 
Ireland. The British Government was being too sorely pressed with troubles 
at home and by its enemies abroad to give any attention to Ireland. She 
therefore granted without hesitation everything wanted by the Irish Parlia- 
ment, but in words only, or with the usual mental reservation. Irrespective 
of rank there are doubtless as many honorable and truthful individuals to be 
found among the English as elsewhere ;. but the statecraft of the country has 
been from the earliest day a lying fraud, in every relation with Ireland, and 
no milder designation would be consistent with the truth. Ireland under 
Grattan's influence thus rested for a generation in a state of false security, on 
this pledge of the English government. The declaration of the English Par- 
liament affirmed that Ireland's relation with England was that of a sovereign 
state with her own separate king, to be, in the management of her own affairs, 
entirely free from all English rule. This was accepted by Ireland in good 
faith until too late to correct existing abuses and to strengthen her position 
before England repudiated and disarmed her. May not history repeat itself? 

Little more need be stated as to the action of the Presbyterians of the 
North and these not in accord with the Anglo-Irish leaders. But the fol- 
lowing taken from Taylor's "Life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald," a recently 
published work in this country, is worthy of the reader's attention: 

There is something tragic, which leaves no room for reproach, even if it is 
impossible not to see in it cause for regret, in the attitude of the men of whom Grattan 
was the most distinguished representative. Loyal, true, and upright, they had given their 

Deceived by English Promises 

lives and had given them in vain, to further what the} conceived to be the best interest 
of their country. Now defeated on all hands, they were forced to look on, an isolated 
and helpless group, and to watch the people they had done their best to serve led, as they 
believed, to destruction by other and less experienced guides. 

"Alas, all the world is mad", wrote Lord Charlemont about this very tunc, "and 
unfortunately strait-waistcoats are not yet in fashion". And again: "My advice has 
been lavished on both parties with equally ill success. . . . Would to Heaven it had 
been otherwise; but spurred on by destiny, we seem on all hands to run a rapid course 
towards a frightful precipice. But it is criminal to despair of one's country. 1 will 
endeavor yet to hope". 

It is but a feeble hope which is kept alive by the consciousness that despair 
is a crime. 

The view he imagined his father would have taken of the United Irishmen, 
is summarized, a little brutally, by Grattan's son — namely, that they were a 
pack of blockheads, who would surely get themselves hanged, and should 
be all put in the pillory for their mischief and nonsense. Grattan knew but 
little of the individuals who composed the party and of some of them a more 
intimate knowledge might have modified the rough-and-ready judgment at- 
tributed to him. He did not associate with them, says the same authority ; 
"they kept clear of him — they feared him and certainly did not like him. . . . 
He considered their proceedings not only mischevious but ridiculous". 

Grattan held in after life: 

We did not approve of the conduct of the United men, and we could not approve 
of the conduct of the government, and feared to encourage the former by making 
speeches against the latter. It was not necessary . . . for me to apologize for not 
having joined them. I would do neither. The one was a rebel to his king, the other to 
his country. In the conscientious sense of the word rebel, there should have been a 
gallows for the rebel and there should have been a galloivs for the minister. Men will 
be more blamed in history for having joined the government than they would if they 
had joined the rebels. The question men should have asked was not "Why was Mr. 
Sheares on the gallows"? — but, "Why was not Lord Clare along with him"? 

The Irish leaders of Grattan's day allowed themselves to be disarmed when 
they had fully one hundred thousand men in the Volunteer organization, well- 
armed, under the command of Eord Charlemont, who weakened in his sym- 
pathy for the condition of his native country disbanded his troops, trust- 
ing to English promises. England now resorted to her usual tactics in bring- 
ing about religious dissension, and in Ulster she was entirely responsible for 
the contention, crime and suffering resulting from the contest between the 
Protestant Peep-O'-Day Boys and the Catholic Defenders. 

In the autumn of 1791, Theobald Wolfe Tone came into notoriety when 
he took a prominent part with Neilson, Russell, Fitzgerald, Hope and others 
in organizing (October 12th) the first branch of the United Irishmen, with 
the objects of uniting the Catholics and Protestants and of bringing about 
parliamentary reform, although Tone and others already held the view that 
there was no hope for Ireland's prosperity until a separation from England 
had been brought about, and the Catholics had been emancipated with full 
rights of citizenship. He wrote: 

226 Tone Secretary of the Catholic Committee 

To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection 
with England, the never-failing source of our political evils, and to assert the inde- 
pendence of my country — these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland, 
to abolish the memory of our past dissensions, and to substitute the common name of 
Irishmen in place of the denomination of Protestant, Catholic, and Dissenter,— these 
were my means. 

In November, 1791, Tone returned to Dublin and on November ninth, the 
first branch of the United Irishmen was formed in Dublin, chiefly through 
his efforts. In Belfast Catholic Emancipation with equal rights received early 
attention, and a Catholic Committee was formed for petitioning the King and 
Parliament, and Tone acted as secretary. 

A committee was sent to present the petition to the king in person and in 
consequence of the active interest taken in the subject by many of the Pres- 
byterians and Protestants in Ireland, the British Government was forced, 
against their secret wishes, to have a Bill for Catholic Relief introduced into 
the Irish Parliament. The Earl Fitzwilliam was appointed viceroy, with full 
power to speedily grant relief to the demands of the people, and to reform 
the many abuses claimed to exist. But within a few weeks England changed 
her policy, Fitzwilliam was recalled, and a reign of terror was estab- 

Moore, when treating of the sudden removal of Earl Fitzwilliam, 
who was doing so much for the advance and prosperity of Ireland, and the 
appointment of "The cold-hearted and cruel Camden as Viceroy", wrote : 

Its natural effect was to reinforce instantly the ranks of the United Irishmen with all 
that mass of discontent generated by such a defiance of the public will, and we have it 
on the authority of the chief leaders themselves, that out of the despair and disgust of 
this moment arose immediately an immense accession of strength to their cause. 

It is stated in "Cloncurry and His Times" (p. 85) : 

The spirit of faction never raged with greater fury than in 1795, when Camden, 
scourge in hand, assumed the reins of government. The burning, pitch-torturing, half- 
hangings, picketing, tarring and scourging to which the unhappy people were subjected 
for long anterior to the rising of '98 must be recollected by every well-read Irishman. 
The goading system was daily in requisition, forcing discontent into rage and provoking 
rage to retaliation. The people, driven from their homes, were hunted as wild beasts, 
slaughtered sometimes, tortured always. Whatever little property they possessed fell into 
the hands of the despoiler. Fencibles, Hessians, and Ancient Britons (so many monsters 
in human form), were turned by their officers loose upon the wives and daughters of a 
virtuous peasantry, incited to the practice of every infamy and outrage, and commanded 
to pitch-cap, flog and torture with gunpowder and fire those husbands, fathers, sons or 
brothers, who ventured to raise feeble voices in opposition to the system. Government 
afforded the people no protection and there was not one solitary magistrate — with per- 
haps a single exception — who would take a deposition against any of the licenced perse- 

Lord Cloncurry was a personal friend of Thomas Addis Emmet at the 
time when they both entered public life, and in "His Times", from which we 
have been quoting, it is stated : — 

Up to this period neither Macneven, Fitzgerald, Emmet, nor O'Connor had joined 
the ranks of the United Irishmen. 

Rebellion of 1798 Forced by Government 

The Union with England was of course the ultimate object of this policy. . . . 
The Ministerial scheme, which was wily and deep-laid, may thus be epitomised. In 
secret conference it was arranged to filch from poor Ireland the very- moment when she 
would be found prostrated and exhausted from a series of ineffectual struggles for free- 
dom—when too much stricken down to entertain one atom of hope for future regenera- 
tion — when so miserably debilitated from loss of blood to be unable to offer any resistant e 
to the outrage — it was then, we say, proposed to filch, with characteristic treachery from 
the breast of Ireland, her brightest and most valuable gem— the possession of her parlia- 

"Sir", exclaimed Lord Castlereagh, in an unusual burst of candor during Macneven's 
examination before the Secret Committee, "means were taken to make the United Irish 
system explode" ; a truer sentence never emanated from his lips. 

In order to bring about the Union measure it was necessary that the flame of re- 
bellion should be fed ; and that Government were not backward in acting so, will we think, 
be tolerably evident to any person who takes the trouble of reading those books of 
Madden and Moore which treat more particularly of that eventful period of Irish 

In a footnote is given : 

The Secret Committee's Report for 1798 contains, amongst others, the following 
pregnant passage: — "It appears from a variety of evidence laid before your committee, 
that the rebellion would not have broken out so soon as it did, had it not been for the 
well-timed measures adapted by the government, &c." 

It will be shown hereafter by Mr. Emmet's examination before the Secret 
Committee that he stated under oath, that in his opinion and judgment, there 
would have been no Rebellion if the government had not forced the outbreak. 

In asserting that the people were driven into insurrection by a system 
of persecution encouraged by Government, it is possible we may be accused by 
some of partiality, and by others with a wanton exaggeration of facts. Even 
though you may produce authorities, some critics may possibly exclaim, it 
will be found that they are Irish ones, and doubtless partisans. It is with no 
small satisfaction that we can in reply refer such persons to the recorded senti- 
ments of some of the most distinguished cabinet ministers of England, 
amongst whom the late Lord Holland and the late Lord John Russell must not 
be overlooked. 

"The fact", writes Lord Holland, "is incontrovertible that the people of Ireland were 
driven to resistance by the free quarters and excesses of the soldiery, which were such 
as are not permitted in civilized warfare, even in an enemy's country". 

In a footnote an extract is given from "Memoirs of the Whig Party during 
my Time, by the late Edward, Lord Holland, 1853" : 

Trials, if they must be so called, were carried on without number, under martial 
law, etc. . . . Floggings, picketings, death, were the usual sentences; and these were 
sometimes commuted into banishment, serving in the fleet, or transference to a foreign 
service, &c. . . . Dr. Dickson [Bishop of Down] assured me that he had seen fam- 
ilies returning peaceably from Mass assailed without provocation by drunken troops and 
yeomanry and the wives and daughters exposed to every species of indignity, brutality, 
and outrage, from which neither his remonstrance nor those of other Protestant gentle- 
men, could rescue them. 

228 Emmet becomes a United Irishman 

Lord John Russell, shortly before his death, observed in reference to the 
Rebellion, that it was wickedly provoked, rashly begun, and cruelly crushed. 

Long before Pitt as British Minister let it be known what his future policy 
would be to bring about the Union, he showed in the heat of debate what the 
government policy was to Ireland in relation to her prosperity. 

In "Ireland Under English Rule" (2nd ed., Vol. II, p. 40), it is stated: 

The charge has been made frequently, and the evidence has never been wanting, that 
England from the beginning even to our day has followed a settled purpose in her de- 
termination that the Irish people and Ireland should never prosper. The writer, how- 
ever, is not aware that any of her statesmen have been as outspoken as the younger Pitt, 
while debating the Irish commercial proposition on the 22nd of February, 1785. He 
spoke as follows :* 

"The species of policy which had been exercised by the Government of England in 
regard to Ireland had for its object to debar the latter from the enjoyment of her own 
resources, and to make her completely subservient to the opulence and interest of Eng- 
land ; that she had not been suffered to share in the bounties of nature or the industries 
of its citizens!!!" Comment is unnecessary. 

Madden in "Pieces of Irish History" writes concerning this subject: 

So little was the policy of the British Cabinet on this subject, a secret even out of 
Ireland that the director Carnot told Dr. Macneven [in Paris] in August, 1798, that a 
union was Mr. Pitt's object in his vexatious treatment of Ireland and it behoved the 
United Irishmen to be aware of his schemes. 

In September, 1793, Mr. Emmet became conspicuous by his defence of 
O'Driscoll, who was put on trial for sedition at Cork. Mr. Emmet was 
soon recognized through his eloquence and learning as the leading Irish Na- 
tionalist barrister, and by 1795, when he took the oath of the United Irishmen 
in open court, his position was firmly established. In this year he was elected 
secretary of the Society of United Irishmen, and in 1797 he succeeded Roger 
O'Connor as a member of the directory. In this position it is said he showed 
more prudence than his colleagues, in opposing with the aid of McCormick and 
Macneven, a resort to arms and seeking aid from France, unless an outbreak 
had to be resorted to as an extreme measure. Until Mr. Emmet joined in the 
management of the organization of the United Irishmen, it was not known to 
his friends that he was interested in the movement. Nevertheless he had been 
actively engaged for several years in the organization throughout the country. 
This he had been able to do with the aid of a number of individuals, while on 
circuit in the practice of his profession. 

J. J. Reynolds, in his "Footprints of Emmet", writes : 

Of the celebrated Thomas Addis Emmet the head-piece and chief organizer of the 
United Irishmen, little need be said. He may be described as the mind of the or- 

The Countess d'Haussonville, in her life of Robert Emmet states : 

Thomas Addis Emmet was one of the principal actors in the Rebellion of 1793. 
He entered into the association of the United Irishmen in 1796, and directed it by the 

•See Debret's "Parliamentary Register" 

Emmet and the Rebellion 229 

wisdom of his counsel more- than by any active part which he took in the Insurrec- 
tion. Naturally proud, reserved, and silent, though ardent, with a broad intelligence and 
a kind heart, hut governed by inflexible principles and ready to make every sacrifice foi 
the cause, Thomas Addis Emmet had several of the qualities necessary for the chief of a 
party. Lord Edward Fitzgerald [the Irish used to say] was the most amiahle, nobl< 
minded, and the hest of men, but he was not the man to conduct a revolution to a suc- 
cessful issue ; the man we wanted was Thomas Addis Emmet. 

"Of the United Irishmen", says Lord Holland , in his "Memoirs", "the man of great- 
est ability and capacity was Thomas Addis Emmet"; again — "he is always said to have 
been the ablest man among the Irish conspirators".* 

Madden wrote : 

In men who are "fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils", the passions and mental 
qualities we expect to find are ambition, vanity, malignity, restlessness, or seclusiveness of 
mind. Were these the characteristics of T. A. Emmet? The question, with perfect safety to 
the memory of Emmet, might be put to any surviving political opponent of his of com- 
mon honesty, who was acquainted with those times, and the men who were prominent 
actors in them . . . No man could say of Emmet, as Gregory of Nazianzen did of 
Julian, his fellow-student, "that he prognosticated evil of him from the restlessness of 
his regard, the wandering of his eyes, and the unsteadiness of his nature". i 

The charge of recklessness or unscrupulousness of conduct never has been brought 
against Emmet. Then, under what circumstances or impelled by what motive, did such a 
person become a rebel? A man of moderate independence, of rising prospects at the 
Bar, devoted to his family, his chief happiness in its circle of domestic habits, of irre- 
proachable character; who had "given hostages to fortune", and had a father's interest 
in the preservation of peace and quiet ; who had a stake in the soil, and being connected 
with it by other ties besides those of love, was necessarily opposed to measures which 
imperilled property and the privileges of its owners. If the reader would know the cause, 
he will find it in every page of Irish history that is devoted to the illustration of this 
period, and it may be comprised in a single sentence: The cruel policy of ruling the 
country by means of the disunion of the inhabitants, and the abandonment of the power 
and functions of government to a faction, whose interests and passions were arrayed 
in deadly hostility against the great body of the people. 

•The Whig Party During My Time (London, 1852), V. II, p. 
(Gregory of Nazianzen, Orat. IV. in Julian., p. 122. 

Had Ireland, breasting the Atlantic, been left to the fortune of her native independence, 
unassailed by foreign ambition, she might in progress of time have composed a mari- 
time po'wer capable of maintaining itself forever against England and preventing the 
grovith of that inordinate domination <which has oppressed tvith its crimes the East 
and the West, the African and the Hindoo. 

T. A. Emmet. 

This unnatural and miserable stale of religious animosity and civil disunion, by •which 
the great majority of the people 'was thrust out of the pale of the body politic and the 
nation 'was enslaved, arose not from any appropriate characteristic of the Irish mind, 
from any peculiar defect of intellect or depravity of disposition It 'was the inevi- 
table consequence of British conquest and British policy. 

T. A. Emmet. 

Chapter VIII 

Suppression by the Government of "The Northern Star" of Belfast — "The Press" 
of Dublin then the organ of the United Irishmen — Samuel Neilson — The men now known 
to have written for "The Press" — Thomas Addis Emmet as "Montanus" the most volu- 
minous writer and at times acting editor — The Government's efforts to ascertain the 
names of the writer of the "Montanus" letters fruitless — The Government ignorant that 
Arthur O'Connor was the chief owner, for a long period the editor, and was a frequent 

j'O agent, while it lasts, is more irrepressible for secret 
political work in Ireland than an official paper, which 
existing only from day to day as a free lance can be all the 
more outspoken in reaching the greater number of persons 
before it is possible to suppress the whole of any one 

. The chief organs of the "United Irishmen" [according to 
Savage in his work "Ninety-eight and Forty-eight", p. 200] were 
"The Northern Star" and "The Press". The former was estab- 
lished in Belfast, January fourth, 1702. The chief owner and editor was Samuel 
Neilson . . . The success of its teaching may be inferred from the persecution it 
received from the government . . . He [Neilson] is generally looked upon as the 
originator of the Society [United Irishmen] into which Tone breathed an actual 
being; and was one of the most active, undeviating, and sincere of the leaders of 
the Union. 

Neilson was long imprisoned and when brought into court, heavily chained, 
was called on "to plead". He answered in a stentorian voice : "No, I have 
been robbed of everything ; I could not fee a counsel ; my property, everything, 
has been taken from me". He then retired, but immediately returning to the 
dock, exclaimed : "For myself I have nothing to say : I scorn your power, 
and despise that authority that it shall ever be my pride to have opposed". 

His refusal to engage counsel saved his life by the delay, as he was in- 
cluded in the negotiation with the Government. He was imprisoned with 
Thomas Addis Emmet in Dublin, and afterward at Fort George, being 
throughout his political career a devoted friend of Mr. Emmet. Mr. Neilson 
died in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1803. The writer, having learned by 


Contributors to the Press 231 

accident of the condition of Neilson's almost forgotten grave, called the mat- 
ter to the special attention of those present at a dinner of the American 
Irish Historical Society held in New York, and urged those who were in a 
position to do so to take steps towards having the grave reclaimed and put 
in order for future identification. This was promptly done, and the local 
branch of the Ancient Order of Hibernians erected a handsome granite monu- 
ment over Samuel Neilson's grave after it had been fully identified. 
Savage records : 

The first number of "The Press" was issued in Dublin, September 2cSth, 1797; 
the last, March 3rd of the following year, running sixty-seven numbers; besides 
two, which were suppressed by the government. The writers in it were, as far 
as known, Arthur O'Connor, Dean Swift ("Marcus") ; Thomas Addis Emmet ("Mon- 
tanus") ; Wm. Preston, a distinguished scholar of Trinity and one of the founders of the 
Royal Irish Academy; William Sampson (supposed to be "Fortesque") ; Dr. Drennan, 
Roger O'Connor, and other able men under the signatures of "William Caxton," "An 
Irishman," "Sarsfield," "Euergetes," "Dion," "Scaevola," "Bolingbroke," "A Militia Of- 
ficer," "Vincent" and others. 

In the eleventh number there is a clever, though not a remarkable piece 
of verse, entitled "The London Pride and Shamrock, a Fable", 
signed "Trebor" ; which Dr. Madden believes was written by Robert Emmet, 
the signature, when read backwards, spelling his Christian name. Thomas 
Moore tells us that he wrote something for "The Press", and that it was 
included in the secret report of The Committee of the House. His contribu- 
tions were of no moment, however. 

Both friend and foe seem to have contributed to "The Press". It has been 
stated on good authority that after the paper had been suppressed it was 
found that one of the frequent contributors was a regular informer of Major 
Sirr's Battalion in 1798, whose name was Brennan! 

The writer having gone carefully through the whole issue of "The Press", 
found "The London Pride and Shamrock", an accepted production by Robert 
Emmet, but there was no other contribution in his judgment likely to have 
been written by him. Yet there was found a letter in the issue of Decem- 
ber 2nd, 1797, addressed: "To the students of Trinity College", and signed 
"Sophister", which was in a general way suggestive of his style. If Emmet 
wrote the letter he might also have written several others, where the identity 
of authorship was unknown, and there also existed in some other contribu- 
tions a similiarity of expression, showing at least that Emmet and the author 
were close friends. It is not likely that Robert Emmet was the author of 
these doubtful letters, although written in so natural a style. Had he been 
the author and from their value, already so well known, this circumstance 
would have caused this connection to be remembered. 

Savage further states : 

Those writings, however, which seemed to have created the most noise, and with 
some justice, were written by Dean Swift, "Marcus", who is described by Barrington 
as tall, thin, and gentlemanly, but withal an unqualified reformer and revolutionist; 
also Addis Emmet's "Montanus" letters, and John Sheares' "Dion" letter to "The Author 

232 Arthur O'Connor 

of Coercion" [Lord Clare], which, some rumor of its embryo existence getting out, 
caused the seizure of the 68th number of the paper, when all ready for publication. 
Thus the 67th number was the last published ; but in a collection of the chief articles 
and letters issued soon after, to fan, says Musgrave, the seemingly smothered flame 
of rebellion, the 68th number is restored, as well as an intended 69th, being "The Ap- 
peal of the People of Ulster to their Countrymen, and the empire at large". 

In a footnote of Savage's work it is stated : 

An American reprint is now before me; the title runs "Extracts from the Press; a 
Newspaper published in the Capital of Ireland during part of the years 1797 and 1798, 
including numbers sixty-eight and sixty-nine, which were suppressed by order of the 
Irish Government, before the usual time of publication, Philadelphia ; printed by William 
Duane, Aurora Office, 1802". 

In connection with the leaders who wrote for "The Press", Savage ex- 
presses the opinion : 

Thomas Addis Emmet was precisely such a man as might, had not many occur- 
rences combined against the party to which he belonged, have led the Irish Revolution 
to a successful issue. In 1797 he was decidedly the ablest, though not the leading man 
in Ireland. 

The writer can not allow this last statement to pass unchallenged, while 
he would have hesitated as to the question of ability. Arthur O'Connor, 
Mr. Emmet's chief rival in both respects, was a man of phenomenal ability 
in early life, when he could be gotten to exercise it in some other line than 
a defence of an assumed grievance or of his inordinate self-conceit. He cer- 
tainly was a very prominent man, if not the most so of all the Irish leaders, 
and to hold the position he was at all times seeking to gain the attention of 
the public. But at no time in his career was he considered a reliable man 
except by a few individuals, themselves of no influence save one of detri- 
ment, but who evidently prospered through their connection with him. Mr. 
Emmet, on the contrary, avoided publicity, and as a consequence his service 
as a leader was never known or fully appreciated. Fitzpatrick in his work 
has made the following statement, based on a knowledge of the views of 
Lord Cloncurry, a life-long friend of Mr. Emmet. The bearing of the quota- 
tion is rather incidental, its importance consisting in its demonstration of 
Mr. Emmet's purpose as a United Irishman, and is therefore of more value to 
the reader if given as a whole. Fitzpatrick wrote : 

Thomas Addis Emmet, a member of the Executive Directory [United Irishmen] 
and one of the brightest ornaments of the Irish bar was interrogated rigidly by the 
Secret Committee in 1798. There were few voices more influential in the national coun- 
cils than that of Thomas Addis Emmet. Humane, disinterested, warm-hearted, zealous, 
he glided through the meetings of the Irish Union, remonstrating with some, suggesting 
to others, and advising all. In the course of his examination, he observed, parenthetically 
in reference to some questions from Lord Clare — "Will you permit me to add, upon my 
oath, that it was my intention to have proposed to the Executive, and I am sure it 
would have been carried, had there existed any reasonable hope of reform, to send a 
messenger to France to apprise the Council of the difference between the people 
and the government having been adjusted and not to attempt a second invasion". England, 
however, had a deeper game to play than the bloodless suppression of Irish disaffection. 

Emmet's Restraining Influence 233 

It knew a trick worth two of that and therefore resumed the work of torture witli re- 
doubled rigour. 

It is a remarkable circumstance that with a fact so easily proved, no his- 
torical writer has expressly shown that through Mr. Emmet's personal in- 
fluence alone several hundred thousand enrolled members, of the United 
Irishmen or Union organization were restrained from outbreak during the 
eighteen months previous to his arrest, during which time he directed the 
policy of that organization. And this was done at a time when a majority of 
both the leaders and members were in their individual judgment impressed 
as to the advisability of following the opposite course. He certainly defeated 
all of O'Connor's intrigues to undermine his influence and even persuaded 
Lord Edward Fitzgerald, in command of the military department, to inaction, 
and in opposition to his own judgment and wishes. As leader, Mr. Emmet only 
yielded to a compromise after it was shown that the English Government could 
not be trusted, and would make no reforms on any terms. The English Gov- 
ernment was fully informed through her spies as to the situation. With every 
desire to get Mr. Emmet out of the way, yet, with no evidence against him 
and everything to prove his course had been consistent and unquestionably 
loyal to the Government, the authorities did not dare bring him to trial on 
the plea of a "devil's brief", or on any evidence to be supplied by the "Bat- 
talion of Testimony"; but in a spirit of spiteful vindictiveness, since he was 
a man of too much influence to be hanged as many thousands had been, with- 
out the slightest justification and without even that of legal murder with a 
packed jury, he was imprisoned for over four years and at times was subjected 
to the greatest cruelty. The writer, therefore, on the facts of the case, does 
not hesitate to claim that no leader during the troubles of '98 held and 
exercised a greater influence both by pen and example than Mr. Emmet did 
during the time he could exercise it, and no other leader showed greater and 
more unflinching courage than Mr. Emmet did in his course, notwithstanding 
the misrepresentation and intrigue to which he was subjected, without im- 
pairment to his teaching even to the present day, as that teaching is shown 
by his writings, although the source has been forgotten. 

The following letter was published in "The Press" (October 3, 1797), 
and accompanied the first letter written by Thomas Addis Emmet and signed 
"Montanus".* It was held at the time these letters were published in "The 
Press" that no other Irish leader contributed so much to direct public opinion 
and to the spread of the organization of the United Irishmen as the author 
of these letters. 

To the Conductors of the Press : 

I have read with much pleasure, the Prospectus of your paper. If you adhere to 
your promise of conveying to your countrymen, without prejudice, and without weak- 
ness, just views of persons and things you will render an essential service to Ireland. 

•Madden, in the second series of his work, p. 253, writes in relation to the writers in "The 
Press": — "Those under the signature of Montanus, eleven in number, are written with great power, 
and bear evident mark of a mind deeply imbued with political and legal knowledge, and an intimate 
acquaintance with the character and condition of the people. The spirit which breathes in these 

234 Letters from the Mountains 

The want of some sure vehicle of interesting truths, has been severely felt, at this 
juncture — never was there a period when it was more necessary to enlighten the public 
mind; for never was there a period in which the people have been placed in circum- 
stances of greater delicacy and difficulty. It is the duty of every man who wishes well 
to his country, to contribute according to the measure of his information and talents, 
to the work of public instruction. Imprest with this idea I send you copies of some 
letters which have fallen into my hands on the subject of the present discontent in 
Ireland. They were written by an old gentleman of my acquaintance to a young friend, 
who had requested his advice as a guide for his political conduct. If you think them 
worth insertion in your paper, they are at your service; and I shall be happy to have 
contributed, in its infancy (when even mean assistance may be useful) to a laudable 



Letters from the Mountains 

Being a series of Letters from an old Man in the Country to a young Man in Dublin; 
issued by The Press. 

October 3, 1797. 
My dear Friend, 

You require my sentiments on the situation of public affairs, at this juncture, and 
my advice, as a guide for your conduct, in this critical emergency. My advanced age, 
and my sincere affection for you, might well give me the privilege, did I possess the 
capacity of advising and most ready, indeed, should I be to offer, nay, to obtrude my 
counsels on you, could I be convinced of their producing a salutary effect; but, my dear 
friend, it is now a most awful task to determine for oneself, still more awful it is to 
determine for another, on a point which involves the safety or perdition of every object 
which can be dear to man. 

The situation of Ireland is become critical in the extreme. The dreadful forms of 
public disturbance have stolen upon us, like a thief in the night. The horizon is blackened 
around us; the island is shaken to its centre; and fathomless abysses seem hourly to 
yawn with destruction beneath our feet. At such a season it will be difficult — difficult 
did I say; it will be impossible for any man to remain neuter — he must put his hand to 
the plough, and having done it, he must not look back. On this choice of party, to which 
(I foresee it) we shall ultimately be driven, will depend the fate of the individual; and 
on the choice of the majority of the people will depend the fate of the country. That you 
may be found among the saviours of Ireland, is the earnest wish of your friend. Con- 
sider the situation of this kingdom, the circumstances of other countries, and the temper 
and spirit of the times. Decide for yourself with all the calmness and deliberation that 
the tempestuous season allows; and may God Almighty lead you to a life of happiness, 
or a death of honour. 

While I profess myself unable to give you directions for the regulation of your 
political conduct, you have a right to command my sentiments on the situation of public 
affairs — as far as it is safe or prudent to communicate an opinion on the subject. I give 
you, believe me, no small proof of my friendship, in the dwelling, for your sake, on a 
contemplation so painful as that of Irish affairs. The present harrows up the feelings of 
a man who loves his country; and as to the future, it requires no common fortitude to 
meet, with eyes unmoved, the long dreadful perspective before us. I shall be well satis- 
fied, however, to punish myself, if I can be useful to you. I shall give you my thoughts 

letters is that of a calm determination, an imperturable disposition, a nature softened by philosophy, 
insensible to fear and influenced by no sordid or selfish motive. The author of these letters on 
authority of the late Dr. McNeven in a statement to the author (who ought to have known the 
person he believes to have been the writer of them better than anybody else) was Thomas Addis 


PfclCE 2D J 




1 HAVt reod w'.'h pVrture, |hg Proi 

Ipe-ldi ■ I /, - ,. ,-. |( j,„j e jt. P „ ,„ y „ hf 

pnrnisn, •>( oonwying to ».. „,, oau&rymtai 
wiUkuI prejudita, onf wlihggl -<.>,«». Jim 
W ugl perCUfii .InJ ihinja, y , „,i| .cjeraa 
r*c?i/f( strvice to /«/«,*/ '[ , lf wa« *J *,me 
o»t» vohiuV of Iroth*, ha* bevn .< 
V*arcMcIt .»i Ihla Juodunj— imcr was ih^< 
f)f*noJ - IN i if wai m..rr .«,ci*j.y i eBli^hlen 
ihe pobi.e mind for never «si ll.ere ■ pen*] 
in whuj) Lit people Law. been t l. v «) us ein.unv 
vi.. ... : (lUlar deJkaty and U/fLuliy. I( It 
i,t* u.Ji. -fBvri'y, who wishe, mcU to I. i 
country, t.Mui.liibuh*n\cuMti., ; i.w.'ie '...svi.t- ,., 

fill lilfo'.n..f lu.i.,,/1 Wremi. |.i 0* Work of public 
itataKijoii Imprest wilfi ihil i..<.. I ie„d y*.u 
copiwof some Idled whirh h.nafalkn ihlo i„\ 
bonds, on me Mbjmfloffhc present dbcotiKBii 
in /nr-W They wercwrltletrbyon ,.:,: ,, . ., 
nun ol my aouainlarve, to a young friend', who 
lind ies/utjird hli advice »i a Kuirie for his oo4i- 
lictlconducl If tou think theinwonh insertion 
In yo..r paper, ihry arc at your lerntr, B mJ t 
shall tv happy to hjv conlnbulod, , n in infancy, 
<whc-n*v«n r<v:sr. AnUnrk-r tuny I- useful) to 3. 
laudabla undertaking. 



B*- t J «W« j/ /,,•/„., ff»m « */./ ,«.,,, fa //# 
Cat-aft r, ttajv**/, M*„ ,„ DuHn, 
L E » 1 K K I. Fr.tnJ, 

• X?" TT *i"" r "7 MftWnll »n the iiniRimt. <,f 
public affol-t, , t ihit jur>-l,i-c. and m> advice. 
•i .i guide fo- JJWf cemdod, ». this critical 
rr«y. M) ndaia ed age. « -d my tin ere after- 

Jff.V) m«d givemt.he prWit^. 

(Mil I puur^th* ..i!*,,^ ,j| iidv^irw— *nd m""it 

rwdy. indMd, ■hoiljd I b" tojOlfw, .My, l„ nb- 

IfM.I,. ,„y co idi«4i an you, could I b cone:rKr^ of 

tii-r BT J:. n;i a wl..tjrv HT.-vl j but, mv (fcjr 

Ir-c.-.l ir h .-w w . „ moat rhvTuI uik tu d«t«ruRn« 
Wo.-wwlf,>iill(n«^ asyfnlu it to determine for 
■nnHier, aq n p.,lni which invalvci the aalety nr 
perditinnof aery object ulnci con be (Uaf"ro 

The iftumlon of frt!*,tt\t become cri-ical in 
th- mivne? T*" 1 rfrcdjul fom«(i pubjie dii- 
♦urtonrt hav- naien « pj .t ..a, hbi a Uuef m Hie 
n.-h.—Tr.- Iwrtion d blackexd wound us— Tr C 
KlUnd u irtakeri to in c eJ ,ire , add &lhomlcM 
Bbytui t«m hour!) i > ut sn with dewruClioli 
brrn-jih mir fcef Al inch a k.iwb it will be 
difteulprdiflifuii did lnji if will b«j iiupvUaU* 
for an-/ min m mtii*m'i,nttfi»Wiemu*ipL|t hii 
KiiJut'itfaa^. and hnemg don* *i, he mm 
iwtlaok bick 0.ilhinli«|« u f pjffv . io which 
flfweteeitlur jIibI! ullimarely be driv«n ™H| 
dspeodlhe fslf of the individual t and on rhf 
rhoiwofihe majority.efthc people will depend 
Ihe biecfthe eeunlry Tha. yoo a»y be found 
»ni«ii£,<, l W, a iheea.nMf wish 
of yovr friend Consider ihe liluation ofth<s 
kingdom, th« c.fcumttances of rxhef Oountriei. 
and the lemrer «nd ipint of the iimet. Decide 
for yourself, with all the calmnea *nd deliberati- 
on rh.v the tempettdoui seaiod ^llow.-aud rriny 
God Almiphly lead )(H , tg « lifeof happineM, or 
a deaih of honour. 

While I proth, myseir.unahlo lo gi.e you di- 
rection!, for ihe rc£ularioiH of your political con- 
duct, you have a right tu command niy jewr- 
nwolton rbc *tl«ationofpublk affair*— a< far ai 
o is saw- or.nrudent (o communicate an opinion 
on the I give you, believe roe, nn amall 
proof or my friendship, in ihe dv«*lrin C for y ,, r 
**.'"■ °? , s couiem pla lion w painful as ther of 
ln)h affairs The present harruwj up the fee!- 
ingiof a man who tovw hi) country , and ai |o 
the fufure it requ.rei no ctmrnon fortHodc io 
meet with eyei unmoved the loos dreadful per- before ui I jhalj be wdf wtohed, ho^- 
ever, to poitish mytelf, if 1 caui be uteful to yon 
Ishall give you mf thongbu t a the wtuatian of 
the country, without passion ond wiiho D[ pr c , u , and it it from |uch yieWf of the situation of 
the^ountry. I»ken ,| d.fferen, poinl. ofooaeTvau. 
•n. and bydinVreat obtervm, thai a conndemie 
•"*« will lea.rn, to e-fcwe hi *«■/,, Jn d eMabl.ih 
Ihe rote of ku poJi'iflCondwit. 

The fint remark which! would vqc** io yon.. 
Iionih* aahsn'ihingiiupar ond inalieniion which 
tee.ii to haw poasatt the govemmeTiU of £nrano, 
wi.h few" exceptions, and presented ihem ntiend- 
ing to ihe jreat revolution vMcfe hai been 
wroojb „ ,b e human charafler. A mighty 
splrtl 'sawatened— the Por.iu» of raiijnal enquiry 
hwgoneobroad with gujrtt itr.<l^-+e marrhet, 
with freedont in hij train, | lrM ; er d| of the 
rarth Thij I; no lime Tor the powerful /m- to 
wrap ihetxueKet np m a frlie.wiWy, and 
dnpiie iheerlo, and irtsolnbe fcdinij» of the 
oppta and iajund awa/ This i t» lime to 
hu£ to the bosorn in*derata tuuic and ar-.em 
errors ; to hold aov C rnnjem, and thoaa who ad 
mirusierir oi J/.a-ff, the paoplt Brwaroed ai 
■w*T The ma-imiof policy, which proved 
aulf.cent for Itvo imperfeCI lights of put times, 
will be found delaii*? guides al I hi* day. The 
ooitoraj, the manocn, ihe kcowledge, ihe pyr- 
auiit, aod cbintf of men, hat* .■-rt-™. 
treat biw! -»r..d rk>». . ,.~* ^...:a T. 


t. -I KfK 

tounlrj— • d u l. n di„„ f or w ),i thi 
''-:.,. i^.l inlh« mjinlfru.KF 
el •lu*o,.o u . Co«rl. and, «.n>bn> U i 
»""', yd I^Uod. if.lhfl« t ,i„, nof m , Dr , cu | ( , 

,"' ''"•'» you ilaUUKiaaiLi court, 
oi j..«,^, B nd Lr«d » tdU.o^ i,M by 
».. I..d £ , bu, | .J, , uU , , ( ^ 

wilhotil oOcnce io lb- — - 


powen i bar Dr. „, 
'»* ilifftrnv/ between i 
.— ...._. ..-//, .^a.^-.w. and*/.«,.»,. 

PJ.I »jfc-l. BlrTl, „,„»„ ta,^, , rf 

SSh x! 1 "* 1 " ' < * , ''"' d ' •"'' "• '"o-« 15 
"rt i.»Kfa . m-rary. „„„,„„., .„,. ( ^ 

uC"Ji* r h""" Tfc " " ' k ' """"»« •?; 

truly inoependtr.! country , 

i,..V u .'y""'"'S," i ' i " ""ntd-ih. m,e 

iTf.™,..,^,,,,,,,,^ , 

cr.ficod Io ,(, c ,„.,„„, ,, / ^ rj >^ 

is crpetxleiir- The pecple are supposed to cherish 

KTJ .IS "'i"^"-'- -f-Tiriio 

niTll" 5^1 ,T°"""';"" ! > tk'tnroiuol U,. 
lOE.nar.Kleo, nul,,,,,^^ „, , hc „, ,J 

f 'tmrf, jowimnan. odopu a ^ ur „ ,.* „., „ , 

,.p,c,o„ a„d co,„.,l,d l.« ,_rfW, M rat 

i.«li ,!»,„ o /„o„„,e rr»,ioir„„|„ ^ 

r.T", S:,".™"' "f" 1 ""™u" r c,e. 
y Meujrrnientot tlicil-le. and every rar^. f w . 
'riv. a.Klore openly professed ant) defended, as a^pot.roppresaiot, of .he P *op] 

burst for h ruun the Jipsortndipnant n,lu., v „ 
.» severely rfttaluet under the Awioni.Mtioi;' of 
« .edmous sp „„ , andalltltejfriEQUra, bvwhrth 
he people « re , ram pled down to the d,,-. S 

Ibw w°K >,' PV" U 1 l ( ''' ,f «M-«*T. and rn- 
Mob!edw,thrhe, 1 | ail „b!e njrll „ of »,' 
"""— a "-i"if,p,UT«lUn - 

It too rreouehily happens jn dependent pro- 
• ■n*!, .t. v the insoleiKe and oppression of their 
fiovernmeni grow* lo Iuc l, . p( « ch | rtw . 

-he people n middle course. beiwe«,.b»l„,a and 
m.wrabie slarery ou.iha «nr hand, open 

E ?f? I '"l 1 '*'* ' ^^ ** -"'vTrJeed trj 
th,.,a the. su ch w«, ^ Jrtsatbn ol Ir.i^J^ 
Heuwa avert , u( h a calamitooi state of ltnn»| I 
b^lhecorwv^nhetWaanSwa/^ta/iiarKl I,. 
Iv ' " ? i"' ^ P* cu ' i »' <W«er. «nd nequiee, 
W.„- nod lemeni m aM gen«M.i: || should nerfcr 

should fat^y pw^oo.he ver*. he.,, D f /„W. 
criui. and benumb the energy of her anirhment 

*JSSb •^'M-rJtfc.rcuial.OTof ,h W *l»| 
pn.K.ple.., « US es health and animation 
thro ihepoluicnl fmmce. I fear the Sr tl „(, «. 
hire, hat .loo ofien been led, to adopt a tery dtf- 
ranat pol.ry g rllaill hM beeniaught by a-ffittr; 
cinl notioni, to consider ht- 

hoocsi but bhiotled individuals. *,,».> attached 
iheraaelvet h> iheir standard fiont dmoieiTsiecl 


|bl i 

ibltth Ihe (_--.. Il.-J. thai I hr y. ,,(.->,. 

a.™.- «. ..,., ^oniry has alrooai uniformly pro- 
posed wnlveU, -stheolntnor-artd of il ( rja/icy. 
the main'enancf ol an Eighth Inte-str a rrwt- 
tmwil*;iiith^l from rbe mre-<-r*> ef 
ItJtnd. hya muhirodaof eaamptes, fromaott*ru 
.'i. J ,. -1rrt< If.h hn-ryry , hat me toflv wouW-srst— 
in-it ^ilic (ocriats of aor Crjrrernr.nderKt* .1 ah«It 
c./..!ine myMlt io ihe period. Inrina whirj' Mr 
r-lt has ruled the halm of ihrAsi,** Koipi.e.— a 
perine! wlrnJi will be (.•■tingutsftc I in ih.- asissahl 
of mankjnd, ta -he end of t|*ne,' for th« inrj- 
meruoui «--rnr* and {i-atlfii- n-tcJurfom whuh 
H U' pr-duced 1 feat- 1 have llrAi you wi " 
ui long Wfure. I shall' for the pn.entco 
tuiiscnbt) myieff, yours 


»nwe™anaiB,o*,i ,, , ( . ,. '. 
ma.) duiy, *, , t ,ha tl ^ ,,,,. ^ 
T-t r,..,, ,,, sarTt»t»a t !li ja *,| |h.| , 

store mar, of rende,^ th,, n colleo- 
- J M»Bi mthsn j to ciittasjjrlr lfc« 
md tnduiirv. which mm 
th'all he rfcid fa - ■ 



an .iHstocmry i 


TAKFnrpof imrodn 

he republic ..I Liitri. 
I .nn,*tfon irf'rxmli, or any' oligarchy ..f 
snip in rhe mode of publiiatinn. Mnke bi_ ... 
tjff, f rqualiry Brjuoli'ly unJ Emiiry are 
rnout termt Lei the Cornpc«ttSn fot public 
opinion devrnd info tbaj areni ..I the pr«s, in 
the ietf--.iine uniform .«f lypoc.raphy. nor do yon 
venture to anticipate t!,e yAymem of that public- 
by any innnu.vfon of the blade an, thnt tere 
comes a ..;....! prodiiclion, bur ihere follows one 
of leii cornrnirariw value. It it P oi always »eivr 
manol ti,i, r , that A ill be iht- man of rhe people. 
The p, inter •ttyjv i, nc^he rype of good wfiiiVitV, 
ior Ih» can only cut <*pcrs m cnpinls. and erstl^- 
rowr by btiiitf lerrrn to make nonsoose em 
phalicnl. The J.Klietunt eye of the public uhII - 
ol ilieif reidily tea-o g nite tha great man, ii wanie 
tiji itiloriri.iiion from 'he compositor to see tiifrglh 

and sine* in Sorsfidd, to descry a nil! ..■ 

pen i D hu, fiwrnd. nor doetit refluirtf rfhai it Jim 
noirermed. todiloover in rhe letter ofa Lawyer 
orte of iheclearest. of hoadt, one of the Us.' ..I 
beans. The manner declare* .he- man. Bum 
co going .to VeriailJrs o/esied m the plaipest 
manner, had a.Mn. altendants orrraroroted wiih 
jjolj late and an yeli-et. He appeared the nat- 
ter, and the whole court his servants: iFon-weU 

■i^jfffeSK*"''" *" "* '^ ""'* 

a of her 

much i 

and the 

- -of heropuli 
- be lamented, Aat.ihc.goveiiamtnts-of 
i»ts coniilry, i n ., fong mvcession, ant 
jrceptioa*, have btentooaj,., toforr. 
ielvev idea* of a certain foreign it* 

with few 


f 'he couninrthe/on- appoinijed: 
mcorripitible wfifi it.and tli^ o-eiee.. 

ley think 

».and(hr t 
■sight io be 


-o t -o- 

he utile 

objeelnf thsiraq tPtttrtUon A.Wau-ordtn,* 

fi|J"« of the Srit-.n erttpire" [ U^d they c.. D - ' 
atdetala time rypher, or ereTi on' Une'qcctl. 
-lomaia oeghtivc quanniy, and ^ riyse rjrin- 
'<pl*i (hey have conducted 'themteU,, iXe- an m- 
salted garrison, with' oifficuhy uiaialaimia. Its 
t*.t I..., nodaupiKir-ag „ K \r% in*oa.ts and de- 
P»«".om, ]n , hoslite » Qd exhausted cc*,t» 

VVhetherjueh a system prerails 
t is not for me [■■(.'.■■-.■ .... » 
alien i 

(hi. d"y. 

tllry y 011 

great and rapid cssaufe , and .stupid, indeed 
mus- be ihe a dm ini it re: ton which doa not adoi,t 
ih maaima to Ihe great -y. i . ,.. ,, lo the charac- 
ters reaourcet. and lempers of men. This 
proudly weak irwHenHon to the circutntfanwa of 
ihe. limes, hasb^smnesTssliadyr^^able.assdpe. 
culwrty WiumMsi „ those who havr had the « M 
c* ro-e. „ lfi | w u>raj. 

i.LT':' ° t T Cr 7* "^ tK * ■"•»"»* Ireland Js 

« honoured hy GsMs fiiiuio. vwuh ihee^rila- 

jrlllAlioQ i-rf tfie 

m»yjud e sfors/otir.e!f That- it tor 

appe«i« (mm the letl-r. of Pomate Boit."'", 
cunons monument of the cnttopt an ,H mistaken 
manajremenr, which hat been considertd as 
toond policy lor ifo-^aridasn of IrttmJ, a nd 
vtiich rlhTO,n five* us a key to the teftVlIdf 

hous- " 

oaVhe natwe^ tha, tha rnbnee of pr,n->r Th Ire^. 
l»od -t neglefled Constant and vf^.'jn- indor-' 
art itfl r^re^ehrat.oni r,f the n^esjity ( |>eWwA 
«l 'It* pitmen.* of ,he counh-y, eccWiasTital 
jndin.^ndmijiury, on u liens, i„ order ,„ k#e6 
"P b predominant of ,he f-nglt.h trjertst U 
«a.-h^, U ntso»-d, ihaniysiem of go.emment 
inim.-al ,» lru . f#<,pi ri fou \ A ^ nianaped only 
■imughthelrmrserHfonofr-^.grieTT Mi«r-ken 
h*. fhvt thought » ir has bry?n 

Thit honest mimics! h-rlfite 

^rtrtponr/eBtT wph the Brilish fjibmet' 

full of tomplniiil,; tha; prefer rr^nr: ai* h«...~i J 

cnlighiened dn^i, ihar 


.otered, , 

««*B J» 'rfrfeis. n^nygado Is the most ad 

persecutor^ thme svho h.irt been hli brethren io 

^tticihe tenegado Bn .j pervefletr frttNt-ae 
"«n>mts ibe mow emel foe <o the lmete-ts of hti 
laanwanuttuy. ,he most ot.oageou. sopporter^f 
•vha: „ Impeoyeriy . alM ,h, £ c£ v,n [',,,„, 

. From ihe aapIiMttanof this permdnu, role of 
<f,t^r wW t/asjera tn I be nsaiwemiye of nn far^.y, 
""KW ptareeded that miscfoetoui nArslitf 
>»h K h h„. astifcnnly lah-am-d. and often .pi 

cuecerrfunj- n, rnJlame a.c -pitir r,f p,rtt rare 

and tel. ( . R ,us rorroosiiy, which has ndded no 
lure poignancy to the neurr seme of- ofhn- eviN, 
that tSare reied and consumed this detoted .™i. 
lejf. Wotesiant was artfully inflamed ai 
CaibaJic, Ca,hol,c 

i Protestant DiHenierj 

NO maaim is more trtie than rhtt, - That no 
Liberty can sonrivethe Liberty of rhe Pr-» -," it 
breathes a sour inro fhebrtJy nf a People i tr 
frf-m-: iheir manner), and byjeachung them Iheir 
dotie; n.,Jthe ir r, E hii. onditBpixinj ihem.Wrh 
tln-iesMinvema oi vfetttf-aiid counter, "by v.hich 
boiharotobeenfinresl, tmrfJucesthatbipirc of 
reason tn t)n* onicerre , it is ite_ vests, finj, up-m 
, -he poatTvadrtrrof which, the fore of N-irtons de- 
pends t and ihein-v: pcrehandi, offctatirg for 
thewhotecomtmiu.ry, sJiooU MJtrcesttntts; em- 
p^yed in ^eping it ollsre.' But it mvtt be ae- 
kr!oi-!erlg.r3, ihat by, wme^mlirj; of lare. the 
Pmsy (n rhis haflrmeed coantryhaaoeen eithe- nr- 
gligsmiorapcrrure; u hai been n centlnel a-stwp 
on Irs pos t> - „ t sj. ^-pen jt^g^ ^)t w ^ 1iri! . t 
il-elecfieand theircn-,ie, in iheserttttiofivhich 
it affecletj to trolunteer. To ftawfr trnd betray, 
has been tow e^'tsTeiTra-cli-rorrhoie wtkj hn>e 
''l'l'\«'a.ti^o>yacl ) a i >dni( dm auipnii-r. 
«a> what V«BStnjtiidai)dnKti*nriry in rhe be- 
?>n»iog. j-erfid'uxii and t . ; - 
>"pf. Somiioyaotfto'tadW (Ktatneapnjta- 
clrf n I,kh have token j>lac»..p .J, it reaiaaft, ,har 
c^wpcicitothusiuluteoTc BSldtlerotDlrrry to ,he 
%h Charcot bus- nbtoinerl, trad rhe bast rllsposcrf 
ptCT, reav-u., Kij; bc^niVj to 'do"!* 
tliecrtincnte.tfa $* 'ri, ttiotiwn, tJiaHbyad by 
any mb.t«rc of iha self t .Ti pai:toas I >hev have 
aemihrpiwiryro^uor^foiheih mall the chafm; 
ola virlu,-: ujr^in, tbyrji^. degenemte and re- 
eeite.ihr^..,;iict* «i iK- mmnter behind 
ihecuitiiur-otac:*. tlrt iulder pan oil a publiV 

h ii^.v pr^-tj to itrabllih a NetvLimrvr., 
to b> toMy ao.f ujulteratily devoted io rhe ptopla . 
oflrelaiidastd^eitlnietttts, under th# apBelk. 

Foa ihefenions before itsned, Iroewtrril thst 
nsrf ao* wnte»ee in ihe form 6F pcofesaJon io iht 
pKbhrfhoaW be urterred. bur raiher, tbaV iho 
cnlo, m .iofT-rfi lajsiftouldUiiiKertd toipeak 
fonthertve-ires, and ihe print let to IffVsrr d c by ■ 
ttr* csswrccsrr which ihey should tmfold'j yti the 
'he iritssnadt nr»on which their .i ; n.^i.- n u t-i- ' 
•"*ed. and vvbuh shall tes.a-ed m aleit rtwrda 

t'ertbrta Sort, pus t 

a.iy. i 

seeds of sift lie hi 
Inherent" in tnxiTnsi 

■runnMiilri^,ift i »rt 0fj ^,( uw , ,.,.,, |r 
folly awn iterp m ihat t-oodVnl „.„! he .t ,i-- U. 
bw U twi rsi.l to e u ][hnla pirin ifmll ,hey 
s-Toot for-I, mall th^ K fory ,., ,|l, .,,...,„/,„„„, 
c^n ln»l-.iilo.i thesoale of NatWna, ur^ : , 
S-ehrronlmpenol, ,,„- tn ■. > - ,„ ra*£ott»pr| 
to atsm and nhtnAi !Ter ...-, rf . ..j ,. p |„. ' , ff 
fe|«fej r^.Kdinbj BVi«i itLswKsftoly, 
io incilone .h if masinia ol «•,.,..*.* and II- 
beny, without nhi.h no n» h« atmndii- 
mptyHblei toro,,„ jjpj tto„£> t (i r . '^,,, r1 .,, i , 
Jrid the etrj>I ( ,y ,,| o.-rfv ,.»einmu.,. 

and incor.merse. in.Piw bhnjqi -v s.. ], K 

lierlet. those mines r>Fwert1nS -h-,-t 

pbi«oce.r.thei , --^-oTro«l, [ ~ m, 1,,,. 

<■ed.wi.edin cntrntie iii-.a-l.rf, |o m'/it-..,,,..,, 

rtort.d-purem-rairv m ? ifo- tturrj W era..-.. 

and to tve or en.l . n atteftt.ei.i.t.-tt'- liii Id . , ( 

'^esofreHgton, in fh^ih-e,.-- ii^itA> '(■ L tll > . 

are a mockery, -r. m, - rmi , ,',„,' ,, liJ „ luw ^,' .,„^ 

Iichoppiness^yjTnMntaindHio^ onasati mind ' 

ihat, nesLitnalo^e ..[ God .. ri.e.-t-v.'* of t 

thtnild hnre o_p!i»vsj in the niitf "n i '^i v . ,d 

finally, if .• be « * loo prest^(hli^j, , ^' pots- " 

jedl urierl) iropt..ii,o.hle. t-. proron-.a. t*tttt>r.« 

■ n t'-e at-.seaof govcrnt-. . tthjet}, prr eeymg 

and manifold ; ibese are rhe . oa : which 

rut rai-vyicr^yyonfiLlcnciw-riitai^.ii a lair 

tnal, - ti-d'tnaj r: e momejjt of in defectfon, te 

lhel«ofit»«iJ»etKe;'• A ijaein, such at no 

News-paper hat p^ne to the expence of-beretr>- 

flre. has been ^d-, p .ed for proet.ring dje oatlirst 

in-elligeace, which shall be mspaniaiJy gate„ 4 

arar^utaratiwttlrinshail be p>,d w ille-dctat! of 

d.. meat io cKt^TTsthveaf auid'a fairhfbr rephn given 

-Ttrie't.ati',ji tenttng-a.. in s, t'a Kp0 rtatipsitaissi 

«etfiiTioisa, fajpioai the :wenemli.n of jadge or 

jury To dittm'y scene- j» di ma». w>e ahull 

glean "heyewmartjx. >rrt Vosr- fliveandanrj - 

in^tn ihe StHts T.ttm* ■, there Ttillbc \hr moto 

Te n ni - foTthitgpitiiirntion of- oikf the 

.^i-seofiaaapprr^chiBg wiirer. a, ,hen- « *, 

rwboWtiry-«fan> detsartr m the Hm«>i* C —^ 

tn^^aWtfihaThonou'aW Hoi. re i. ^,1, ht> 

luff tent to Raw .he enrtipenr rrf ne,-, pe».| .-a- 

lO^satatJSwJd there be any, ond the rtr-nre nnrl 

jtaarisoajni of the neve ra*e». of >vh„h we mm 

POSsQvetTie're t> jlj ne n V aft.. 

l^ktefw'wftn- wired to tvnid 'heir prod.c- * 
tioSWWILPSrFS .-V,lr.i ;1 .„f,.fi, l] ,.. 
enssico on- Public SiB , e<9< _;■■■: ,t ■ -, , , 

diSrrajjs, cao «et.oibt odo-.nwtl ay oi:Win .,.- 
aisc , pr,.., c ch.rr.clor Is™ ..ftlK ptcfe'tat*. 
y. iifictSuitij ,o or h^d ,ocy-d i 
mao .n.o ijv. t.rlp J ^.rtrc- L f c, 
■ ) i,f'.!irandlu-eo-i.w'.a'. f :if. rpTff 
O'c-«.n. J ni f y 1 ut, Afl/rViU'W rhw-this c„. 
.o.n.,»l. p > r ,pV I i„ f .. Th „, hr m ,„ i( ,„ hch 
"^thT cr..t|, already beg'.rd .., „ ef^ „ „.„ 
" ihemi ku-ili tiru dcrrive •!. -ra of reorl ..._ 
" then ...Me, .ndihe osa t J. r ;^, t ,. 
" ^ye»p diet, tiny «i,k ,h, d, 
" peTLel.ed " 

A LETTER , ,.„ SAREyi^l '. 
bAtuoeetoa P.l.nphl,: s /(r, c„4' f. Uw t ,„„ 

>in.4inin|tO|»enonooj o lie .-((rec'e.Aidrn.or 
7^e A^/. /.Vr, ijYeryCjV.c-,-,,, 

I. .h,. Dl.} P cb! „:-eJ ,, [V „. ,, t^pj^,,-. 


to follow . 


By J. MuohX. Cuifc ..»,.,, 
IHOlliltt : 

rFiytcii'o viirorr, 

AW junk. /, ,«„, ,- „,, r „, ^i 

fXtirr rntwi^^jAL, 
il* evr#pt~a> 



E tt I C E. 

The. greatest inle'erls of Europe arc ut Ihil day 
■igitated m Inly. Whatever tends to. make 
luigwn linly, and the men who ans acting a 
conspicuous part ihcre, should be sought fur 
and retcrded. A French- journal, primed ac 
Milan, mulled "" /rimr.- ttitmd bj tfif eticj ef 
ilalj: furnishes us with an article calculated 
ro make us better atqoainicd both with the 
present situation of Venice, anil ihe genius of 
the hero who has etujuaed her destinies. — The 
.municipality of ibis ttly had dispatched m 
Buonapniie, ciiizerl Dautttru : the (allowing is 
the account which DaudoiQ. gave to <Jy: ' l,um ~ 
cipality of one of liii interviews with the de- 

li. ci 

of Jialy. . 

" I spoke to the Ge a; ral concerning the. delapi- 
dj/hiu or ihe difiViTrt sorts oT tfmber destined for 
• rhe service of the navy. H* disapproved cf that 
practice, testified much inreres; respecting the 
subject, and auured me thai as Udtna he would 
give orders ■va^lll should be scrupulouJy rc;peCI- 
r; -. he desired, toe to- pnpejij-bim u niemonal oa 
the vnpjeet 

" 1 spoke to hinwf Adrka, whrch ha» cref 
b«rn eoasidered as an in'ejtral >part oTihc Hi- 
. ■:,[■" r, and at present for&s a pan of aha ife- 
fjrtiDeaiof ParJua. He testified, his^urprut at 
thii, tjoesriooed Genera! Sara^uey d/i4ii-i«r>, 
.».„, decided --bat it snould be turned tu ouj- dc- 
jUsrtrcca: ■■- ■ - ■- 

" I submitted to. htra.«he- injpaiilbiliiy to* 
were under of aiming with (trass gum, as he had 
required, the five snips which we ur* -. ! •.;i,.i 
him.. Me coniaiied ihat they shonld be armed 
t\a\y with iroa guns, and trust rirtir armament 
Ihould Decompiled >vuh brawouo. 

" I asked him, with the frankness of a Re- 
pesbiicaa spraJdag to a RepubTrcan, .whether the 
h 'Ji-t".iii; bad coasented to the occupying of Istna 
and.DaJmatia ay (he Anwrians' He aa,<vcTed 
mi, not) and **l insisted cm this point, he re. 
peairi U 10 rue *o positively thai 1 was Quite, (er- 
fjMMJ, He i] .«si toned me concerning the d:i- 
pciirion at thuae provinces, the fat tilt) of taking 
•Zaraby a Itbdusj, a ni told me tu ■>■■ i:- him (he 

'* I informed hub, riwa-ifce people of fatrla 
>ittie vs>y.itie.-a»be Irtei axd tuoctuuKdivnh 
Vffin )'ih.- i-rt-.u-j.-aii .' thecnant were 
voy diCooujTtd with lh« Auii riant, ar.ri that 
«ha w^f'.iic iscua of the Alteoce would repel 
our, fittmy iy irb a^i itt bfce. 
^'- " 1 did nor f «-get to ipea.k ro hito cooctrain* 
the mutqoett oi ' vrhtb our Nan >o3l Grurdtore 
»» i-.-h if-iiv U* .'.rn -.ei;J jbs, that Venice «ai 
to ;■ |H i p vthb a'.) .y ■■: 1 three banaliooi of tlte 
Bae. in complete iff; eigoiecTij 07 tbcrejbou'i, 
to be lurniihed by "ur orethren of Italy 1 raat 
ifmVihounnd stand tA »nm wuiit-e rcujiuitc 
$»mbm purpne, andmai ne ln^Ui ireoy an- 
pc+; of tht .remainder. 

" 1 1 peke :n hjm vf tbi eoaSnnevi fntaoaa- 
ttS by CKtr ctunmisaion agiiaai (out* guilty ppr- 
*oa% sod won h rat«r wirh dathctum ia, liitir 
- -**«u«too ODihcBMi of thMtommatAmMthant'n 
«f ibe other bBmm n tlf **«" the ie<.vu4y ■■) a 
oea-rat conurnMav. comptrted pt . the ck9Mti-4 
: eJ rh*en Vewiuatt 5est*. w.u-wte iadittrreritaW 
JMmiwan, tniMitBiy* rWjund emit, mtd re- 
form » Hwiiihir iH partwubt arlnwoistratiani, 
Avaw ojltrar miM MrAguMfl tin. andollutle 
' ntiliiy H*«ai9rtd |M-*1 htt I'm. it to 
all taes* Dtrm afld that ia a lew ttaya j 
artotdd «ft ike wnoiapui in execution. 
■ - <;-1 infarrDtd htni cftHs»M had tmit of 
, thr fon'rr,ral» psJuic»l and tommfrcnl picture 
ef Venic*, t^e Etappy mult tehich u oflercd, ood 
th* publication *•» •vew |0i% to icik* oJ h — 
Me intmrd'atety uked m* tor « copy of St, aadj 
- r-rtnt, tied me totead 1; wkb (Ma? Manuij 

" Ha tj.-ru'e wai ready : OP WAS fumg m «i 
out. when, after >t<riruj, rttcitned Uiht^r and 
a hull, he questioned ne t^a.o c on c ern ing the 

- puoliti-£)»mf vUich prrrftUtd fei Vrnicr. A pa- 
rriptic jociety," well isttnaanti ( •nW^liSujnng 
Rcfjiihlt-nneiiT^y— <* CJ>ic ihorri, ur«U fljoK-cdj 
trifi.r iw; U-rrr^>;fjiK ttTHlinf"" "fitr the tvlal 

- plmur: — one puoiit (ttrrngt daily •aAjhioirflg 
the ample for therr traMWenriii, the^spint wfatcri 
ao.'ii;-,-i-- ut .in— ihR, ml i, ti whir raiUjr ci- 
viluet iheccrtimrv, and renews the brjllividan 
«t in 3p;tndanf* ' . 

K1LJV, Sift.' 8. 
Th» people of UdJo.'hr.clnijthai )ht Tnx\ 
. c ji.miuionrm had impoaed a. milrary coem, 
'rjuiion. upou thnn uluch (hey wers not ju,# to 
[•J . ym deputies :.< unite repraeuiajtari .) tbew 
cajetoBoMapane. The geteral advistij rhnn 
[a setl-ch* ptnpwfiy trf^rhechurrh, and npply 11 to" 
the duwrar^e <d- ibv^mitrSufton, " tUn," 06- 
■eoed Ute. depttnet* " who will lenrare to ptir- 
ch^i(* «.-c, ■ prj[-er'y r Will (hr yr jTiii.tul artn.,- 
11 ■ ■ i< •'! ' ■■■- .-^ ' : rtrrn .-;. o ro preside al the 
i-l.', "t >■» g 'ONdK in ilUfirfy ? —*+wtirttcm 03 
ihiimu." said Butfuaparre, ' /an /AdZ/ twtainly 
6t**virfr*t."' I- ..,..:«;. .1- .-j frotn ibis as- 
luran.e, tftrt (he frrach gprfmnont hll detrr- 
rninestoottcjcrd* aiiy parr of jhc^terra hrmu of 
Venice to the rf6uae*T>Cr\tBaBXl»rr*: that dttn?- 

1- if the nf-rninnir-i v-tr.rn; j! :, .ml.! f . 11 ineVi- 

table, .if the cabinet of Vietuci persists in its 

A rraiitlatlonof the irorlt nf rh* ciiiien Se-, 
Teilliere : ■ \.~ .■: ■ , mi the liberty of worship, hat 
jiisi been pabjuhad nere n -A trataiaiinn of r. 
Paine'i tetter is printed ftlongi\titb it. Both ihrsa 
^vritings nr; re^d ivith j^wt. ti vtdiry by all ihe 
friends of liberty and sound philosophy. 

The Cisalpine repubtk' begins to ei. tend its p©« 
■ .lirica'l referiore fcevnod. ;lealy. . Onr direc'tury 
havevippoint d nnrfa Cairapio, of Bergamo, 
nrtn ilter pieaipo'en iiry 10 the court ol Spain, 
TUcKlvocateCiav-jjii goes nnhhitn as secretary 
of rfce embassy. Anr:her advo^ta Maxnani 13 
3rn^irncdminis«rpl™ipotenriaryto''iha courfof 
luseiny. It ij no: surprising that in our republic 
tha advocates pe.-foTrti a pniicipaJ nan. both In 
the in:eri'.r mxl ia foreign miuions. . I his c:s:s is 
here, a; in most otlier coUDtri-Tt, composed oJ the 
rn'*i enlightened cirueu*. They were, the fine' 
and ilic rr^si ardent propagaiori of the twoi-Jtin- 
nary pnrv.ipl«'io whichweaw ioirbwd for ocr 

W-v'.vfv.-. Tb«y It-it. tWr&t:, tin £tV 
righ,t to our ciufidcn.T. 

FSMUii.4, Accvst =9. 
Bcfo't General Bo ueaparta set tvtf far U'dlta, 
he visited the Uiretflory nf ourreTjublic tit Milan. 
to inform 1 hem ni the ohjKS of has joutoey. ond 
t • recommend rhc interests of thn Country ro 
their . ■ „.iu-. u We uadersund thai- the 
members of rite directory wtre very wall satiified, 
with ■ -e ast'lrathAt wbieb, (ha commar^trr in 
chief made to them; but we have not [aimed, 
■' -■ lie said any thing poiitive against the enntw 

We ate assured ihat the territi^Tiei oF BreEnoo 
and Mantua, axe 10 be deparr.-nenis.of the Cisal- 
pine republic. We also e.'.pct that Venice will 
be iitorparareJ, agreeably to the wishes of iu 
iiihabitartn. We entertain no fears with regard 
to the cooiequenm of the hostilttret which ixnr.c 
etped will recommence. Tbe Krencb army is 
a ihe best possible condition, and irstlisp>siiinni 
. are most etje.'^etic. If ne.-eiary, ir wQ! b; 
y>i led by 10000 Vietlinjnics^, 4,oco Genoese, snd 
10.000 C"..i-p n-. all rvwly raised troops, bat 
foil of ardcui and couiage. 

The £si |n- 1 ■ . have be-in all pro* is tonal 'y do- 
pmad of tliejr pemuios. They arc compelled 
to appear bdorethe m3gts»cnei. ond give m'their 
nam£St their agent and their employment. 

Tlnr direiiiory rriae required an cka^I accannr 
of ail the moults "v! ntios, and even the ti ... 1/ 
Wurrr a, Jt appean thai all the consent . and 
.pnn.ipalty those of ibe Mr " ' >' jrv . are upon the 
f.-e ot a -sterol utiori ,' and many confidently siaw, 
that hrforethecodof IXIober, ail f> •.- ■■■ -c i--- 
ments will have ceased to exist. 

The wishes, of people here, relatiTe ro peace, 
are divided accordtug 10 thtf poiiticalscntimenrs. 
Th^se who prefer their owtt tranquillity ro the 
estab'ishment ->f the rep'iblic, are earnest in iriih- 
in^that the war sliould cease ; but its conrinua- 
tun it desired by all ■!;■.-.- tvhri :h«. it necessary 
to^thrt cuBsolidattoii of our republic, to give It a 
rc^venicnt eitensio:i ol territwy, and to itreojtb- 
en the public mind. 

SOME. Avcttrr sfi. 

The tried of the conipirators proceed -aery 
slowly. .".;.■- prrsont are arretted, but they are 
nor •■'-■i J . iviih |he rigour which nurgvacrament 
has been accustomed to practise in sunt! >" cases 
When General Murnt arriwd, •> >vaa Mpeclrd 
rhat Buonaparte hie! tent hint tu demand the 11. 
tvny of all the priuoafs. The event, hotvner, 
hat not confirmed this cnojavlurc. Trrcren]'- 
tionistt of this city, complain that the French 
miais-'crCacauli did not intercede inisteir favour j 
but the friends of the gns^rtscjunat arxtol his tare- 
duct, and fear 1* will eut berstplaeedbya pen' n 
10 much ;o their liking. He hat baea presented 
with a line Mosaic picture, which be 'intends to 
send] to the Municipality -if Ntnrx. 

l p n a o v — uiTiMitt 19, 

Seme «/ the M.irtrine papers . b*w aaiernd; 

that Mr. Viefc was aent bscXtnam PrksKe unth 
in tntirtwrtosv that the atsrver ol the 
crrmsoeiinrieri or the direct: ory *o the dJipatchei 
witb,t*ruch a»r aaeswaerr traa charged, «r-j())d 
be test ra Dover 6/ a Freucfc catnTief. We sc- 
&ra* rsa> ihe cmnrarv.^hjt the HSia— I ill tvnifb ar- 
peaied in (he Ccairsrr of vn-nerdse;, trot perirtfUy 
ctsrsatcs, asstt ttaw ehe cari.-urrve aatur of the 
French ccenmbsaaaaoa hnaajnt 10 atwen fcyUr. 
Vick, rare, iha: she sirt>rsrssiaM «oaM auty be 
eoeaett to the Emsb of a resririrriaojsf all cos*. 
aeps. jA praclacmion on ilti« aufaje^l. are wet* 
cterttand. mi!) > pubUihxd tiibv (o-uhutj**- oc 
en !>Jorday, . 

Toe Stschs. trakh soon after the esaenlnj af 
the ■sserkai WKidasy. atn one par ctnt expe- 
rienced just bctOTC the dos. , a tadekn rite, end 
the 3 per omt. CoesoJi left off at #o| foe the 
CVlabrraarrunt Thris trstsriiing. howfitr. thsry 
JfjasafcU. The Brkst. tebcatba paper wai pas 
■> naest, was tfl 

W« reosned this trsoTTSusj, tW Bnsaasas easert 
of (hr a jib iastant. 

lntheGaaem of tSesi^h, anatior is ji'ptatby 
toe Rip>t Hon. Henry AeJdiBSftrav tpe*h«J* rt aha 
fcottw of C omr a a-j , m pu-rsuarra of an a-fl a/ 
die fcsst wssinn a* pufliaiiase. ibar the tht+fiiut 
anf the Bank -naean tqt aanat^olsj coin to rfce 
atrrsourrt of the doftan now ai HrcAttco, aaal 
which have been stomped at rh a Tower" 

Genval La Fay rnc and hta rnmpana}' n sveef 
reierkacd frjm crstshiseineTn pa t*W 1 j tb of Au ' an. 
— Tatfce iirtAorj, «ivr1cr;iefly to a IflTter tnsxrn 
BaritutttUtsoospane. the world U hsdeiitorl lor 
stW etajaajaayaj assaeal hate eatrrieated theae Kalliai 

A fetter flora Nap Its, of the tct iasr, rtsasvlaats 
in eitraordbary au ape af a Neapalian, 
0/ at giraa, tTon fi»» istntsian RaBcya, ott the 
khind U* Sardinia, it, undar Givour ef a breaxe, 
aad by a sodden tat* asosk bf ska Irigase *i the 
fnttant tSe galleys *« comin>; do en or board 
bit, ihry were ihrsaaba aaeo tacb Wnruit>n. that 
oojy sniecitliesn bujaj m>aic na Jay elcsajtide the 
frigate, nW mugfa rrea-tneajr it tacelred inrioced 
rhe t -j ti ■ .- tjjndaji the tmiTpnte. after Jo-. ■, -, z a 
n m'.rr cd' ruea, lean 035 the 6ni jaLry iu the 
hinds nf the Neapolitans. 

1 he Dutch trootw, ehsembarlbrd from th- tram- 
potji its d»e TexeL-are not sent buck to the* n- 
rltons, but'dinnbarat) in rartrotraicr 1 m ?riej. 
land, cVr. 

The ihTps which rhe Spaniards npetfed from 
South Amrirra and the Philippirat IlLsticfs, tilth 
1 S.rnn ir-iit of psaatrcs on beard, are amir 1 .-,. 
Tehentfe. Adnx Nclion'i squadrwo, 11 is added, 
.ire gnrf to Gibraltar to refit. 

IVarsaooTM. S,;i sU.— EilW the 
Sasta ftireil, ir/join the Sen of Lord Bridpon j 
bur. there be-,ng little or no wind, the it coming 
inioSt. Helm's, tn brin^up Re the n^ht. The 
Prompt* Ingare, and the fleet under her convoy, 
thisfey (qt bndervvelgri from Erpuhertd. Srokes- 
bay, -*c. in ! d-opt fl-"vn to St Hden'1 

fljme*tfi Dtet Sept. 37.— Lrst cTenine; ■» 
n*ed the StO' of 3; gtin', Cr-pt. Vni|te, w ith n 
Ditch slup under French coloun, (rosn Amster- 
il-rn, bovnd ba Brejt, laden with iron, etecJ. bu-- 
ter, cbeesei tjie. Armed alt.) the fte tsVp.-itrbrts; of 
U guru. Capt James Drew, wtih a c«»tjy for 
(he Weirwjrd. Satierl thcChsprnao rf 14 gt/ns, 
Capt, Keen, wiih a cenvoy for Millord , also, this 
day, the Galatea of j: gijni, C^r-Hu Byrg.^od 
c A'roi it, Ctnt. Verhc, 


Dei^L'. G^vrsl tf Dkiimm, Cn^mandtr in Ckif of 

(tr .Iri'lLrj ef ' tht Ann; :'.-': ia-i.Vi cr.-; ,VJ- : „ 

6i .- *■ iit.!,i,-i Qirt&irj. 

tfaud^ttsnen «t Wc'cuacri Se(- «• tf>7— ( A. t*.- 

*.. t.l- ". Director:. " _.'"• "" 

The ne\vi- wtdch 1 have CO- arrboance Co ybtl 
roost a3b ' every friend to the republic. GesserfU 
Uoche, Viiose health has for some time been in- 
I jsred by fatigue and labour,- est pi red in my bice, 
after a crisis of six bouts. This uacxpaefled -las* 
aepriv W ^owirnment.of.ciae of iit most zealouf: 
c>ihmders, atjd leave; the army svithoa a coin- 
ruandct. Until you shall have given orders res- 
pcflinj his suxessor. General Letebire, rhe moe: 
antient General of Division, will rake the com- 
mand. My pen refuses ro write any more. tV 
mourn for faiin as a broth.v and a Iriend i the 
country oughr m, mourn for him as one of its most 
rrnrt supporters. 

(Signed J DF.RKU.E, 

Iht Cf-medtr t> Ctir/e/>Af ArtBt-j tf-itn 

Army if iht a'awtrr unJ ItUuit. It tfit isvrttfw 


Cttiwns Dirr.'l.ii, 

I wrote 10 you rhii morning in tcirs, In ri:« 
midit nfa family in und ■. c^itld iherc- 
fore gi.e you no accouo'. of' the rircinhttas^es 
which, ha** deprived France of General rfhche 

Gifted with a ttrong nn4 ardetjfcoaviittrura'" 
tFiOtfgh with an e*rraordin:.ry sensibility '-f oerrrl\ 
<^ncral H<scbee>LprTienccd only Jively aod ardent 
seiiKt.ons. The leauMnhment effected him be- 
yond e.preiiion': 1I1- rr.vo- ,r. r: .-..;,. T,-i ri C.s- 
plav rh. , diapusiiion to a greater patfeclioo - '. 

Thrown on- a wide thr-alrc, Hoche has erri- 
ploj'ed all h-j ii -.llf- en rill with dignity the part 
*hich he was to play, and he employed them rr> 
iha ntrnosr extent The misfonunsj' which he 
etpenaoatd during his im prison mctit nndar the 
reifn of RoOeapierre; the Mttaordttiar.y fctiiJcsi 
ivhichhe tooUmiSedepartmenfof the Vfcst, 10 
pacify tJtac country ( the bad «icce:s of tjie et 
pedition ae-iimt Inrland. asd the dangeii which 
hr rail 6> sea, thejaccusafion brought againtt Bmi 
iathe natitknal tribune by ibe late cor.splnstbrs, 
tfce ardour with which he attempted to overthrow 
rh* ra— ill these cirvum3tan*eixombined,ubac3red 
his strength, and about a fin-. I- ago revived, rriih 
alarmirs? symptoms acolrj, and a cumpbinc in 
thai breesr, which he ^ad ai-rady eKpeneBcad 11 
Brrsr r but which hebatlto^ mucriise?leifled. AD 
theassuianceniaTT watirreiTecTtial to tare him. 

For wen or eight chjj': he expeViciKed frorn 
time ia rime firs of siitfieation, whtcrt pasatd off 
wita earceedingrfrtiVale end onenmmoo atony j 
ffas tmalleit rtvstioa prxkdure*iiri tie fin. Yestfr- 
ebsy. about ten it* the evening, after having passed 
a ifJerabif. calm day, and harlatf aten eppiiet] to 
tmr.tbusiisera> hbr tiiBerriitrt were red., bled , a 
tsreactrnl fit of iutrbcatioB ropk freen hun the u-a 
oV h«, and nfier lixbourtof iadesrribable 
agony, he expired K my arrrti. Hoi body mil 
be -j-eard to^ibrtntr. In orcter tb d*-.m.y iht re- 
port i| c.ra*Jatraa>, «f ha) havinc beea pmsnoed. 
On. the day atter ro^mraTow, ae ihaU be tent tnm 
Weulaar with sll due pwap, to be- carried to 
CoWeatr, Mirer* hr wiUrse tttrnred by the tide 
aVG^MajratrJiattfc^ofPerttr.baT.h, , 

rfCwtl Hrtchts, G^sMederiCaief atf the 
'tratM of Uatsaabre and »s>Jw, asai «T the 
fchic* and Waar.V. who dirt at Waatlse- ott rfc* 
itMhuart mthe ittltmrof fcllaw, otder mar 
thaw iWll he a fsaetsJ Weat i eaaay Is' the CaWp 
aw Mart oa Data d I aaan. ' t " 

TVWtsJssar of Waranttaf the Itmlm- stall 
vsteeDetr-M the ctttsatatM' carry hi f i«t.iere;u. 
uattH tad ahs.Il preietd this plan ta *W Dttec ory. 

Th* ce*sm order shall be pruurdtad fxsred 


TWtaa*!«weD*im^oryonJers, their Airrereac. 
«rparal at Datiiiuii, ti aprritsved roramat4er la 
Chiet «f the) lamscs U th* hum and IVtoaatte, and 

Tost AUaatre r of War it -tstetuniaratd to exe- 
ttutt lbs prasan- order, u hid. shall be priai-rf 

B LEfrALX. Prtadcat. 
_LAGAW»h, Sec. ties. 

TassCatfauatwiitAistakaa) irotsa rh« ftipuUkmia 
Francois J 
Cttiaea Carnpessa. Hydraulic £a£tnee*, wrote, 
anone moatirt at>o, the io!!o-Mrg iKiet toGenrtal 
Btrsaapone -^The author do ires ut to publish 
it | aod *■ ire of opinion that .1 Will CirUin.y 
cscjat m-:th csricaiiy. 
•* 7m GbtatM aWsaAaree. Genarea* i» C*"/ •/ iMt 

" eiTi;iw etafaiu 

" Vour gloriiirs tomraigrij, directed by the 
new gnic-cioerii of the Ftettvh Republic, base 
dt leni*th spread tb* dawn .-! ageacral peace over 
our Coatinnnr. 

. 1 he only enemy ivlitch remains for yoa to 
enrnbst, Muepfatfd Iroen us by trtetea. riru-.h, 
ii'h?»w nitDirt.iflnh.di v<iJ have br^wo, 
'he.ti orti of a Cmi rrn m .peace 1 and then cutae" 
nndrepeae yourself a.vhite arnoug 11* under your 
la-atie. VeatiwaH wehold with pMatvrertrelton- 
ri^hJT r f; tnn of the an;, which yog ha\-e ehe- 
rivhed from y-uir infancy, and of wbicb ymi are 
a ■(■.'■!■:■>■.,■- papil- Vour muiiiplied c»naue%rs 
hb^-C rciove red, them It. n that abytt -nr . whkb 
drr-atidite >var ....-.! plunged thoa. The ■met 
who addresses yon, tiled wt'h ihe molt livery 

■u .:■-. will <■ ■ ", if ibe -urna, «l eaeci.tioii 
be udorded him. a van edifice, wturnce, at ihe 
condution of hit ;■--.■■> that; will issufe «n 
neria] vessel, cnpabJe ef tnrryinj up with you 
more than tHii hundred pertotn, end tvhich ■ *y 
be direcled to any point cf the . omj c I my 
tell tv be your pilnr. Vou can thus, tvrrftout 
any tt ■■,."•■. hovrr above ibe heetc of 
jrnlous ot Our hjj.|iine<s, aca 1 tlvcnder ngaintt 
t.iem li>e a new |upiter, mrrely by throwing 
prrpcndiccilnrly downward* file-br.indt made of ■ 
vuteianiT which will kindle oily by the com-eci 
an.! larpussiou ac the end of its fall, bur winch it 
uill be inipotiiblc iu-r*iin;u:Jb ; or perhaps you 
may trtirkji more prudent to , bestir *t once by 
forcsBsj tS?- British Cabinet tn cauju-Jate, v-'biri 
jos. ino) ctiil^ d", c; yr.) tyi-! have ;: ir> t-aur 

of the tsraririoic wtVu of t^land. T-r>m 
cnUraiatioas I >.4\( tjttrtle.T am comiisdMa, tiiitJ 
with 1 thtsmschiw. you mrtsrr«o from Peris t» 
London. ™d mxra ba-k tetr&tii to ftrrtt, in «!• I 
-•Vcwin, v*i thou ^c!t•iorrJd rag. 

•' The penocJ of rim ctwefprise, tf tfcy WrW 
vnkecao belmrd, it not tar ditta*. A thjaa' 
etBrpaigD fcratd tetudicient to realeae else w*oi« 
Cfmy plan. l>brn, then, ft^mtailAe, iu atssa 
TuKor, by^yoor coire^.ndror- wjlb rfct lioectt- 
nwt Dire.-lory nf tfre Fresxh repoblii: HjflrK^ 
j « nalde nnv fjMposal w fa govdnjarsuM, be> 
thispm^edetSiwlly, trad the e.rseSars rfraas 
svnr Wvelnrb*rtoabsarbWtliewfcr/Id «f ctnt nja; 
veflorjrof Pncee. 

" The objeiTl J pfopv* fc, to es«6ltsij. ia -h* 
f-r-sr o.-j.-i ■,( the snn .ipbere, sgeaenil «jjvi^». J 
lion, inhn rely more cerrain utA moee advantage. ' 
birs rhaii maritime mv^n. «. tvhlrtS hat (ret ' 
di-ujt-.-dTnot-<n-ti J i!ity ot meatris \-4» Q Sfe^e 
the perieil !iber-y nf enmrrrefW, asrrl to gicrpW-' 
and fiappntcst to all rhe nanoni of rivi p-i»-rey 
and unite them at enei«nily.- Be <e»ai i.di « P j 
fiaveiurmmin-ed the' mutt iplied obt Jdej Mrbcb 
presented rheiTixelvtt before me ^ and mv:xt.-, 
eressrve dLxoveriat a*e devtloped ma *trfc Uxb 
I hare preparer:, u.3..jtn ; of aauut jm I~ .- 
tttrt di^iefcd into fire ports ■ ^^ "^ 

* 1 has-cshn-vn *a ttcT*rd le.rwl 
men of tttft capital. The 0>imnibsu.jer*r» #p. 
Doio'ertm take ray plan frBwidetatioa. /■*■«, 
ttf whomartjjsemboritrf the Nationnljwstiiuau - 
asdj formadr w>re metnbe-s *f the AWerrry 
hare Dtenir.iteU upon my data, whhaa rli. I 
haveflerruemlyesamlised titfa the fje.iteir|trre j, . ! 
rton: at tau, after a toog ffertetof cot* erjanj -ra • 
I with me. they haV testilied their •pptobatson "T 

il the moii unamrnous and most earnest is>snath- 
• " Every moment of your time, bra va Gene raC*'. 
is occupied by your atrnrttioo to objects) raat rrj»| 
conducivetO our happiness. I cannot thni arsl 
ought nor, coostrleri-g the drijan e beractfj tn, 
rod feanog h-tc my lett-r thooM foil fee: ' <etridir- 
ODi h^isda, tranacribethe whole ot J^Sjbsglwan 
that has been made up «i hutMibroi. taraflsi 
ply rsrueut you wini an rxuadt ftom ihe hi 
part of it. -j - 

RxtraSfrtn tAi t09t!un'eu s/ th* tt}jK. 

" In the fifth and las: parr of rhe vrorkvterTrtd 
detaihi which the author had pt«iertedot^*l»r>iil 
CsrprriTruEBts oh at^«rar-kMi ; and "are leom tbit 
thisartrsi had hitherto expnirneed oruVdil 
poinaiien.-i btst it Uobvhuarfjtruscijrib i a e 
sod hit dtnt Carry wlrb, tfnrta all la* clsriiao 
tto of rcsuuvo attdtrtrir\- 

- We lautlj pTttflatfMo'eo^der thtrTScpefJ- 
ntnit which the t agUi e ei Cerhpe wt y hsJijareTr 1 
made. 'ritha-tiewro-iec5a B i;r vv -i., 0D ; 2,^. 
tic mstchittei, and dtrrdtii» S ,b*Oi to Bjefol pas. ' 

fsate*. Wearecoeivinctd vrit* hitiv-*» we have 
tlready o ba if e tU , tha: the larjer the Skria-artfl I 
nachinta atf madev the- tTioee ettiy wiTt':lDVta' 

dieetfl ihiiis-4»r\S LH wtbe7 wsD etr eatut in the «jr 
!'-« re'a:iiTreiit^a»inpropci-rtna tttQaW nuirtbeT 
or men they may earry. ecd c^iiiersnetriy t..^f» 
ri»pMti«ofth**tedW lajevi. tf stVc-rft-' ' 
ttoV-T th# tftJtted tnaetgeb of ttfo qm. awutk .«, 
v*|stdt tad subtnlt the of beeb 10 c^cnlai 
titra, IttvtlJbesa^tb^.rtiv-forcsiejf (JsetrrAwia 
be tOalom inferior 13 rhar pfrbe wind. " w> s» 
tsSetflrore c e aa u sced, tha-. utwvei&SJ, highly ad* 
rartia^att t»i^C«Uit^mp-noa etalo. tnaal I 
ftltnl'rii c^^jprrt-^ roaiaist him iff tjat crvaurada 
.'toof this mathiste. If art t^tnTjcrar'-mevsrirrir " 
the iomernr r^«ijrn rrh-^srssa-ltirBT-rtiT^,. .^5 
tdswriei, there hrwhing nrravturaaa. ,n «ttvcso> 
^ti»atthnre«ioursiiiIliri3i mjtj-ffbe hid 6u»j-- 
if asrcesetr y, m usslbjf an arrerBpt. tht fc.cen *JL' 
which ramst add » the ha^p, neat -sf a'J the net laU 

. * Betdn, soeh an e«e*?riie, if eqr n ri-rely 
osrnttd, woa^ afforf a d-^ii.* arjAttrasfe t> rtipl 
ewtnttry. The buililtiy which CithtraCsT prta* i 
pi^rprej-t to .esrabllih. and whkh snavbe ^,.9* 
arrtiered ia the CnoTips-tlMrHs. would ulttwap 
prtrssrm a fporrairient morrby-f rhe Re;«b.£ 
In it al the citric rinihab lij^rH fce cri^iws-ejj, 
■cd art tsrre rit>ntn r-rrjeflrr^ 

arioce. and of censne csrrtrTOtbeevhiiffi iaooei | 
weather. This builriirrj 11 ihe -'.e^trv S* s t 
and pores nod ivhoHs may be rnu'Ti^imi in 
pnrtion as new eesselt are cemtrucJea, Tl 
vnoiaeeswhkh a navigation of thit kin*, w«aidi 
infalibly produce, are so amply drmi n rra-rd I j 
Ihe vrt-rk u | Cittr.-n (' ..u, >},.,, n0 rlo nor 
hetimie ro recommend the prornpt eareftjopa off 
hit peatti." 

." P.S. 4n my rrratbe ea Aeora-tat: ->■, t peo- ! I 
pose that the urjitftl eiiy .,f c.teh coumry »haU) , 
hare a dock for bauJintr Aerirl res Hsi and est ' 
Aerrwrattc (mrt. hstvinj a nu.-nber of wharfs, on 
which foreten vessels may at all timMde\T*rtd, 
and remain without dinger a tufEcient time to|- 
onload, rrmke commercial eacbanges, rake rnf"M:4 
caratwi, retit Sec Bui while ihete uesaelt ere 
Oetqpr eaii, the tassaOeet of whidi will carrjrrMirs 
than two hundred. pertom, ibsry vrili have no 
occasion ro descend forth* ptrpoteof exchan^intf 
or nurcranlaf comrnodities. Their power? ef 
dinwioa, by ivhieh they arecrsabitd to m.ifce- - 
wByCf^ltku rhe srt on rt st winds, -kjW terte rot ' 
tnnkr tbem ascend or dr t ce r rd, or trm-i.n *-n:i- 
rraiir at airy bel^fif tecjuTtec!. Two .-Hmo^phc- ■- 
tie buoys, r.ich surmurjred with a p.-ir?chtite ro 
be used to nvje of any oedderu. mutt he pl-^cd 
in the two p.-riiioM wrh which th* two earner 
TBitiet of the £Sllrry of rhc rcs-el ought 10 tor- . 
ruinate, r.nel may be let «f-nn ^cdtotren uom the 
pleniureol the cre.v, with men,' ptcv-itJom-, or 
artivtet of any kind «rar) .'„■ aianctKv rmg rise 

r I 


Finelly, eaothrr small cylindrical' bony 1 
t down fh.m the cert-re 'nVvjiltan (Jn; 


C.illerV ocrhi 
would serve ro rec 
eap.i 'lit'mn of th 

rilftht ten-e to give 
by day orn.f|ht (t-, 
pl«nprcv ; 'ius;ycjn 


art dure paVillloet, 
ire uarii a penrral paact-, ir, 
: fortresses, 4c. belanKintr n 
lies. I> i-nj re*ic tb>? buo 
sad «OTi»* intelligence, eithe 


ode, -he resri:!*t i ia* jof unic! 
enbitsfl rhe reoccaed.ilie l .p; 
^ieof the earth. 
pr.'-i " CM:eiKtt,Vf>afsrrtV 

The Voice of Truth is Silent 

on the situation of the country, without passion and without prejudice; and it is from 
such views of the situation of the country, taken at different points of observation, and 
by different observers, that a considerate man will learn, to chuse his party, and establish 
the rule of his political conduct. 

The first remark which 1 would suggest to you, is on the astonishing stupor and in- 
attention which seem to have possest the governments of Europe, with few exceptions, 
and prevented them attending to the great revolution which has been wrought in the 
human character. A mighty spirit is awakened; the genius of rational enquiry has gone 
abroad in giant strides; he marches, with freedom in his train, to the ends of the earth. 
This is no time for the powerful few to wrap themselves up in a false security, and de- 
spise the cries, and insult the feelings of the opprest and injured many. This is no time 
to hug to the bosoms inveterate abuses and ancient errors; to hold government, and those 
who administer it, as all in all; the people governed as nothing. The maxims of policy, 
which proved sufficient for the imperfect light of past times, will be found delusive guides 
at this day. The notions, the manners, the knowledge, the pursuits and claims of men, 
have undergone a great and rapid change ; and stupid, indeed, must be the administration 
which does not adopt its maxims to the great revolution in the characters, resources, 
and tempers of men. This proudly weak inattention to the circumstances of the times, 
has been peculiarly observable, and peculiarly injurious in those who have had the care 
of governing Ireland. 

I must observe, also, that although Ireland is dignified in the name of independent 
kingdom, and honored by Great Britain with the appellation of sister country; a dis- 
tinction for which, God knows, she pays dearly, in the maintenance of a luxurious Court, 
and a cumbrous establishment; yet Ireland, in the opinion of many acute observers, is, to 
all intents and purposes, in a state of provincial dependence. I will not pretend to decide 
the question with respect to Ireland, lest my letter to you should come into the courts 
of justice, and be pronounced a seditious libel by the Judge; but I am told I may as yet 
enquire, without offense to the powers that be, or danger of the tender, what is the 
difference between a country really independent, and a province. 

In a country really independent, the laws and polity originate within its own bosom, 
and are calculated to extend the advantages of the state, whether natural or acquired, 
and to recover its defects. The systems and maxims of government in such a country, 
consequently arise from its peculiar interests. This is the situation of a truly inde- 
pendent country. 

In a province the medal is reversed — the true interests of a provincial country are 
perpetually sacrificed to the interests, the pride, the means, and even the caprices of 
the country on which it is dependent. The people are supposed to cherish a secret desire 
of freedom— and this is imputed to them as guilt. To counteract the criminal longing 
after ancient independence, on the part of the governed, government adopts a system of 
avowed suspicion and concealed hostility; divide and rule is with them a favourite 
maxim; venality and corruption are industriously diffused through every department of 
the state and every rank of society, and are openly professed and defended, as the neces- 
sary engines or supports of government. Meantime a despotic oppression of the people 
prevails; the free-born and adventurous spirit is banished; the virtuous sentiment is pro- 
scribed, and the voice of truth is silent; or, if it should burst forth from the lips of 
indignant misery, it is severely chastised, under the denomination of a seditious spirit; 
and all these rigours by which the people are trampled down to the dust, are justified on 
the principle of expediency, and ennobled with the plausible names of vigorous meas- 
ures; — a strong administration. 

It too frequently happens in dependent provinces, that the insolence and oppression 
of their government grows to such a pitch, as leaves to the people no middle course 
between absolute and miserable slavery on the one hand, and open resistance on the other; 
I should be sorry indeed, to think that such was the situation of Ireland. Heaven avert 
such a calamitous state of things! but the connexion between Great-Britain and Ireland, 

236 Protestant Ascendancy a Rallying Phrase 

is a tie of peculiar delicacy, and requires wise and lenient management,* it should never 
be strained, with a rude unskilful hand, lest it should fatally press on the very 
heart of Ireland, chill, and benumb the energy of her attachment to Britain, and stop the 
circulation of those vital principles, which diffuse health and animation through the 
political frame. I fear, the British Cabinet has too often been led, to adopt a very dif- 
ferent policy. Britain has been taught by selfish and narrow commercial notions, to 
consider Ireland, not as the companion of her prosperity, and the pillar of her strength, 
but as the rival of her industry and the invader of her opulence. It is much to be 
lamented, that the governments of this country, in a long succession, and with few 
exceptions, have been too apt, to form to themselves ideas of a certain foreign interest, 
superior to that of the country they are appointed to govern, incompatible with it, and 
the prosecution of which, as they think, ought to be the ultimate object of their ad- 
ministration, Britain according to their political arithmetic, is the only integral figure of 
the British empire ; Ireland they consider as a mere cypher, or even on some occasions 
as a negative quantity, and on these principles they have conducted themselves like an 
insulted garrison, with difficulty maintaining its station, and supporting itself by inroads 
and depredations, in a hostile and exhausted country. 

Whether such a system prevails at this day, it is not for me to determine, when we 
have taken a view of the situation of the country, you may judge for yourself. That it 
formerly existed appears from the letters of Primate Boulter, a curious monument of 
corrupt and mistaken management, which has been considered as sound policy for the 
meridian of Ireland ; and which may still give us a key to the secrets of our prison-house. 
This honest political prelate, in his correspondence with the British Cabinet, is full of 
complaints, that preferments are bestowed on the natives, that the balance of power in 
Ireland is neglected. Constant and vigilant indeed, are his representations of the neces- 
sity of bestowing the preferments of the country, ecclesiastical, judicial and military, 
on aliens, in order to keep up the predominancy of the English interest. It was then 
supposed, that a system of government inimical to the people, could be managed only 
through the intervention of Foreigners. Mistaken politicians: who thus thought! it has 
been discovered, in our more enlightened days, that as among the infidels, a renegado is 
the most active persecutor of those who had been his brethren in faith ; so the renegado 
and perverted Irishman, becomes the most cruel foe to the interests of his native country, 
the most outrageous supporter of what is improperly called the English interest. 

From the application of this pernicious rule of divide and govern to the maintenance 
of an English interest, proceeded the mischievous activity which has uniformly laboured, 
and often too successfully, to inflame the spirit of party rage and religious animosity, 
which has added no little poignancy to the acute sense of other evils, that have vexed 
and consumed this devoted country. Protestant was artfully inflamed against Catholic; 
Catholic against Protestant; Dissenters against both, and they against Dissenters. The 
Protestant ascendancy became a kind of rallying phrase, a signal, to call together the 
staunch adherents of the government party, and those honest but bigotted individuals, 
who attached themselves to their standard from disinterested motives. 

I might establish the position that the government of this country has almost uni- 
formly proposed to itself, as the ultimate end of its policy, the maintenance of an English 
interest as erroneously contradistinguished from the interests of Ireland, by a multitude 
of examples, from ancient and modern Irish history; but the task would exceed the com- 
pass of our correspondence. I shall confine myself to the period during which Mr. Pitt 
has ruled the helm of the British Empire — a period which will be distinguished in the 
annals of mankind to the end of time, for the momentous events and gigantic revolu- 
tions which it produced. I fear I have tried you with this long lecture. I shall for the 
present conclude, and subscribe myself, yours, Montanus. 

•This sentence is given as it appears in the original copy of "The Press" newspaper of October 
3, 1797, and in a London work published in 1880, with the title of "The Beauties of The Pres#'. In 
a like reprint published by Duane in Philadelphia, with the title of "Extracts from the Press", 1802; 
it reads — "and under a wise and lenient management." The editor's name is not given. 

Identity of "Montanus" 

The English Government was so desirous of obtaining the name of the 
author of these letters that, after the arrest and imprisonment of the publisher 
or printer, the seizure and suppression of the paper were delayed many months 
with the hope of obtaining this information. It could never be secured, how 
ever, nor was the Government then informed of .Arthur O'Connor's connec 
tion as the owner, the efficient editor and frequent contributor. 

For the remainder of the letters of "Montanus" and other material relating 
to them see Appendix, Note VII. As a copy of "The Press" is a rarity the 
first "Montanus" letter has been reproduced in facsimile together with the 
second page of the paper which contains a remarkable letter addressed to 
Napoleon and giving an account of an "air ship" just invented, which is of 
great interest in connection with the efforts now being made to perfect this 
invention for war purposes. 

They [the Volunteers} did not rescue their country from tyranny, but they rescued her 
from the calumnies of her oppressors. In their virtue they illustrated her title to 
liberty; in their errors and misfortune they demonstrated the causes of their debase- 
ment. They have left to posterity an illustrious example in victory and a miserable 
lesson in defeat. 

T. A. Emmet. 

On investigating the political relation between England and Ireland ive must not be led 
away by any formal grants of liberty, by any formal conveyances of constitution, by 
any pompous claims of rights, by any solemn protest against 'wrong. A country 
always suffering, though always complaining and deprecating Us sufferings, affords 
but an odd idea of independence. 

T. A. Emmet. 

Chapter IX 

A letter from "The Press", "Montanus" (Thomas Addis Emmet), addressed to 
"Satanides" (the British commander in chief in Ireland, — the Earl of Carhampton) with 
his epitaph — An article by an unknown writer on the condition of Ireland ; attributed 
by many to Mr. Emmet, as it was generally held that no other man in public life at that 
time in Ireland, had a more profound knowledge of the economic condition of the 
country — Possibly written at his dictation, as the article expresses fully the well known 
views held by Mr. Emmet. 

"Montanus" to "Satanides" 

NEVER supposed you would have become the object of a public 
address unless the muse of satire, who flies at all game, had 
strength fit to publish a continuation of the "Diaboliad". I never 
supposed that you would have arrived at the bad eminence of 
becoming an object for the justice of your country. I did even 
suppose, from my knowledge of your propensities and habits of 
life, that you might be fated to perish by the hands of some Bravo 
in a Brothel, or to consume away, by the noisome effects of low 
and vulgar debauchery. An untimely end might seem, by a just 
dispensation, an appropriate attendant on your house ; yet your 
Father, to the inconceivable regret and sorrow of his pious heir, 
attained a sound, if not a good old age; and died in quiet, notwithstanding your daily 
and hourly maledictions on his head. This old gentleman hated you most cordially; for 
he was shrewd and sensible and knew you well ; it is probable he marked the dawning 
of all these talents which have now reached their meridian. He saw in you the worthy 
representative of a name immortalized in the black catalogue of traitors, and destined 
to furnish a parricidal race, for the affliction and slavery of their native land. How 
must the spirit of your Sire exult, if he can gain a moment's respite from his prison- 
house, to look abroad on the affairs of men. How must he rejoice to see the Son, whom 
he detested and despised, running the rapid race of infamy and earning for himself 
an untimely end ; even now he anticipates the moment, when no acts of indemnity shall 
avail, to screen the criminal ; he sees you gathered to your forefathers in the place 
allotted for the shades of a Tristan l'Ermite, a Borgia, an Alva or a Kirk. 

Your name was heretofore borne by a numerous clan in this country; when your 
notorious ancestor perpetrated the deed of treachery ; the honesty of his humble con- 
nections execrated the treason, disclaimed the traitor, and renounced their family name, 
as contaminated. The name has continued to be a term of reproach, a designation of 
perfidy; not even the ennobling hand of Majesty could restore it to good order; it has 


"Montanus" to "Satanides" 

lost no portion of infamy; in your keeping it may soon perish wholly from among men, 
to be no more remembered or remembered only as a word of reproach and reprobation. 

Yet, do not flatter yourself, that you shall be eonsigncd to oblivion. You shall be 
remembered and recorded in the annals of this country as an apostle of atrocity, a founder 
of the system of terror. To you may be traced back the reign of outrage and brutality; 
a reign under which your feelings and your talents qualify you to be an ingenious 
minister in the cabinet, an active agent in the field. You dared by your single authority 
to supersede all the dearest rights of the people; you trampled on the then existing 
laws; you dared on mere suspicion and surmise to depopulate whole districts. You 
have introduced the precedent of grievous punishment, without form of trial, or proof of 
guilt; and what punishment! what must be the heart of the savage wretch who delivered 
it? the youth, the stay and comfort of their drooping age, was torn from his infirm and 
decrepit parents; the affectionate husband was torn from his shrieking and disconsolate 
wife; the laborious and protecting father, from his famishing and helpless infants; the 
simple peasant or the sober citizen was torn from his cottage, the abode of industry 
and peace, and cast among the sweepings of gaols— the refuse of mankind among felons 
and malefactors of every description; here, while nothing but execrations and blasphemy; 
while all the expressions of blasted depravity stunned his ears, he remained weary 
months secluded from the air and light of heaven, in the narrow compass of his watery 
dungeon; and this situation, which a negro slave might pity, he exchanged only to 
remove to pestilential climates, where with every breath he drew he inhaled perdition. 

The most dreadful exhibitions lose much of their horror by frequency; the system 
of arbitrary imprisonment in marine dungeons is become both the law of the land and 
the order of the day. We are familiarised to it by use; but it cannot, it must not be 
forgotten, that you were the inventor of the system; that to terrify into silent submission 
an opprest and injured people you first introduced a new species of punishment, even 
worse than death. 

The learned judge who passed in circuit through the province immediately after 
your merciful exploits of pacification, not only viewed them with indignation, as a sound 
Lawyer, and friend to the Constitution, but also as a good citizen and discerning politician, 
foresaw the fatal tendency of your ferocities and the spirit which they tended to excite ; 
and with great propriety, called on the grand jury of the county, which was the chief 
scene of your enormities to find bills of indictment against you. Had these people whom 
he addresst possessed good sense and spirit and pursued the directions of the upright 
magistrate, you had stood your trial, as an atonement to the wounded constitution, and 
outraged justice of the land. In that case, what evils might have been averted! instead 
of a prosecution, a bill of indemnity followed your acts. Your invention was applauded, 
and past into law. The cruelty of the tyger, the barbarity of the negro-driver, became 
the principles of legislation. To you then, as the author and inventor of new and 
hitherto unknown ferocities, the first assailants in the war of extermination against the 
friends of liberty, must be ascribed all the subsequent outrage and calamity, the dreadful 
exhibitions of horrors of which Ireland has been made, and I fear must fatally continue, 
the bloody theatre. 

Were you not the inventor, the projector and prototype of cruelty? have you not 
avowed a responsibility? Have you not taken on yourself the completion of what you 
first planned? have you not realized your own ideas of coercion? To you doubtless we 
must attribute the precision and promptitude, with which all the measures of imprison- 
ment, banishment, witchery, and conflagation have been executed, by that power, which 
now expounds the law, and administers the police of this country. 

From their chief or commander proceeds the conduct of the soldiery. The army 
has of late been too often stained with innocent blood ; should we inquire the cause 
which has made the troops in this country the organs (I hope the reluctant organs) 
of barbarities disgraceful to human nature — will it not be found Thou Art The Man? 

Few times, or emergencies, could have rendered your vices or ill qualities an object 

240 Epitaph for the Earl of Carhampton 

of notice, and terrific regard to the public, or given you an opportunity of doing much 
public mischief, and earning much public odium. It required the prevalence of an ad- 
ministration, shallow, weak, atrocious and actuated by a determined enmity to this 
country, to snatch talents like yours from obscurity, and give them a mischievous ac- 
tivity. The attention of such rulers was naturally turned toward you by a recollection 
of your early fame, for intrepidity in wrong, when a neighbouring kingdom saw in you the 
officious instrument, in a violation of the sacred rights of election. This early transac- 
tion showed a meddling, adventurous spirit, supported, I will admit by some address 
and courage, and unmixed with deep reflection or solid judgment to make you appre- 
hensive of consequences. For these qualities were you selected to superintend the 
crusade against the peasantry of Ireland; to mature the establishment of martial law; 
perhaps to complete the annexation of this island to Great Britain, as a conquered and 
enslaved province, under the plausible name and form of an Union. 

Your life it seems has been menaced. I do not wonder that when the whole private 
and public existence of nearly half a century have been employed to the detriment of 
society, the death of such a person should appear more beneficial to his country than 
his life. You may exult in the triumph over two miserable wretches; you may call the 
yeomanry of the metropolis to witness your victory; you may degrade them into the 
co-mates, or rather the satellites of the executioner, but shall this secure you from the 
claims of justice and the fears of death? The grand jury of a servile country might 
refuse to find bills of indictment against you; but should the blood of slaughtered 
thousands arise against you ; should the cries of suffering myriads at length be heard ; 
should you be presented, by the grand inquests of public opinion, as the occult cause of 
civil sedition, the prime mover of national calamity, the determined foe of human nature, 
what protection will you find in the system of terror, and the power of the sword? An 
unknown hand smote your ancestor in the face of day, in the crowded streets of the 
metropolis. It is truly said that the man who holds cheap his own life, has in his 
power the existence of any other person ; but it were, indeed, to be lamented that you 
should perish by the stroke of private justice, and defraud the executioner of his right, 
and the nation of her example. Were you this moment surrounded by the justly en- 
raged populace ; were their arms raised to inflict the deserved doom, I would throw 
myself among their ponyards — I would place myself at your side — I would intercede for 
your hated life — I would say, "Suffer him to pollute the air a little longer; degrade not 
the majestic exertions of the people by employing them on so base an object. The day 
comes when justice shall prevail; when Ireland shall raise her head from the dust, 
and perform a solemn sacrifice to the constitution. On that awful day of rejoicing to 
the good and terror to the wicked, a few victims may be required, and this wretch may 
be included in the number, and meet the ignominious doom of a traitor". Then, perhaps, 
should the public erect a monument near the place of execution to perpetuate the memory 
of your infamy and punishment; it may bear an inscription of the following tenor. 


This narrow space, 

Beneath the gibbet on which he died, 

Confines the body of Satanides 

A man of colour, 

Whose injuries to his country were most extensive. 

Whose infamy was unbounded. 

In his earlier days 

He was notorious for want of duty to his natural parents; 

Time matured his ungrateful and unfilial qualities, 

Execution is the Order of the Day 241 

And lie became the parricide of the country that gave him birth, 

Having exhausted the sink of private vice, 

And sounded the depths of political depravity, 

It became doubtful 

Whether his private or his public life were the most odious and contemptible. 

The disposition of a traitor he inherited by descent ; 

A sovereign contempt of honest fame, 

And a rooted abhorrence of every virtue, 

He acquired by his own industry. 

His intellectual powers were not mean, 

But being joined with a bad heart 

They served only to render his vices and crimes more extensive and atrocious. 

He possessed a considerable share of courage; 

But this being accompanied with a want of judgment, 

And a dereliction of principle, 

Became political rashness and desperate perseverance in guilt. 

He received the full advantage of that which be had laboured to banish from Ireland, 


But the proofs of his guilt were clear, 

Punishment soon followed, 

And he died regretted by a conquered and opprobrious faction. 


Think not the life and death of this man unimportant to society; 

Providence delights to bring good out of evil, 

And acts by means inscrutable to human wisdom. 

The meddling atrocity of this malefactor, 

And the blind sanguinary rage 

Of the weak and wicked administration that employed him, 

Were powerfully instrumental 

In the rousing an opprest and injured 



This epitaph is suggested for the Earl of Carhampton, who is designated 
as "Satanides". 

The following article by an unknown author, appeared in "The Press", 
November 23rd, 1797, and by many was attributed to the pen of Mr. Emmet: 

The lot of Ireland is cast — it is no longer a secret — sentence has been pronounced 
against the people, and execution is the order of the day. 

The system of disarming the people, of forbidding them to communicate in num- 
bers by day, and imprisoning them within their houses after sunset, now assumes a 
more formidable shape and hoists its real colours, and marks the true designs of the 
British Cabinet in Ireland. 

It is impossible for the people to doubt any longer for a moment the destiny ap- 
pointed them ; and it is idle and ridiculous nonsense to talk any more about British 
Constitution, Irish independence, political liberty, or civil immunity ; those may have 
been proper topics for a past and may be so for a future generation, but to the present 

242 Hard is the Lot of the Loyal 

where is the man who will say they are not lost, if he is not himself lost to every senti- 
ment of shame, of truth, of common sense. 

The North ; the most protestant, the most free, independent, wealthy, and civilized 
quarter of Ireland ; first split into factions by ministerial machinations, then disarmed 
and over-run by military forces, persecuted by spies, informers, and perjured prosecu- 
tions, now crouches at the feet of a British soldier; who encouraged and set on by those 
who should be the guardians of their country, exercises with relentless hate the dominion 
of fire, sword and the gibbet. 

To the southward, if we turn our eyes, similar scenes challenge our horror. In the 
county Westmeath upwards of three hundred houses of the unfortunate tenantry were 
burned within the last six months ; and their miserable inhabitants bayoneted, shot, 
hanged, or fled by the light of their blazing cottages from the fury of their butchers, 
to seek asylum among the beasts of the field, with no covering but the vault of Heaven, 
and robed with the cold earth. 

Similar horrors pervade the counties of Carlow and Wicklow ; fire and sword, 
slaughter and devastation, rape, massacre, and plunder everywhere stare the hapless 
peasantry in the face. 

The counties not yet delivered up to military outrage may contemplate tamely if 
they will Veluti in Speculo their approaching doom in that of the counties already 
consigned for destruction. 

What course then is left for the people of this devoted country to steer? Does 
loyalty require of them to stand while their last means of defence are wrested from 
them, their houses burned, their wives and daughters violated, and their throats cut? 
If it does, hard indeed is the lot of the loyal. , 

Had Hoche and his ferocious soldiers landed amongst us last Christmas and prac- 
ticed such outrages without resistance, we would have been proclaimed through England 
and through Europe as a nation of the veriest cowards under Heaven. 

Have then the people a taste and fancy to gratify in chusing the nation by which 
they are to be cut down? Is it with them loyalty and national spirit to resist the same 
conflagration and murder at the hands of Frenchmen, which they tamely await and calmly 
submit to at the hands of a Welshman or a scat? 

Militia men of Ireland, some of you have been persuaded to embrue your hands in 
Irish blood, the blood of your kindred and countrymen. It was against the enemies of 
your country, and in defence of your homes, your kindred, your wives, and children, and 
your liberties, you took up arms. Are you sure that you are not at this moment sentenced 
for transportation to another country and condemned to abandon your own to its worst 
and most barbarous enemies? Where is your alternative? 

Yeomen of Ireland, are you prepared to turn your arms against your country, or 

to relinquish these arms and tamely submit to slavery or massacre the moment you refuse? 

Besotted indeed must you be, men of Ireland, if you slumber any longer in a false 

security, or hesitate to decide on what conduct to adopt against the enemies of your 

country, and the most fatal and inveterate foes of your king ! 

No one could read closely the letter of "Montanus" and then read the ar- 
ticle just given without being impressed with the similarity of style. Either 
Mr. Emmet was the author, or it was written by some one in close relation 
to him at his dictation. 

The writer is fully convinced that about this time Pitt and Napoleon had 
come to some understanding for their own benefit and possibly this existed 
from the beginning. During 1797, and after the mutiny at the Nore, England, 
was so paralysed with uncertainty as to the disloyal condition of her navy 
and army, and with other troubles at home, that unless Pitt was certain that 
Napoleon had no intention of aiding the Irish people, he would never have 

The Belfast Resolutions 243 

dared to institute the course he did at this time in Ireland. Of all people hav- 
ing a history, the English are the most quick-witted and unscrupulous in 
state-craft, and Pitt might well have been the author of some scheme by which 
it was agreed that Napoleon would not invade Kngland, or afford the Irish 
any material help. Had Napoleon been in earnest with a purpose of conquer- 
ing England, she could have been crushed at any time and Ireland given a 
free hand, for certainly Napoleon had an accurate knowledge of England's 
helpless condition. 

It is stated in Grattan's "Memoirs", written by his son : 

Every effort in Parliament to remedy the grievances of the nation was useless, and 
it may appear singular that the question of Parliamentary reform and Catholic emancipa- 
tion should have been brought forward by Mr. Ponsonby. The circumstances which led 
to this were as follows:— In December 1796 a public meeting was held at Belfast and 
William Sampson, Arthur O'Connor, R. Symes and Mr. Tennent, with five others, all 
United Irishmen, were appointed to draw up resolutions to be laid before the lord 
lieutenant. They set forth : — 

"That the imperfect state of the representation in the House of Commons is the 
primary cause of the discontent. 

"That the public mind would be restored to tranquillity and every impending danger 
averted by such a reform as would secure population and property their due weight, 
without distinction on account of religion. 

"That a declaration fairly manifested on the part of the Government, to comply with 
the just desires of the people, would produce the happiest effects, as it would conciliate 
the affections of the people, whose object was reform alone, and thus bid defiance to 
foreign and domestic enemies." 

These resolutions were laid before the lord lieutenant, and if they had met with a 
favourable reception and had been promptly acted on they might have prevented the 
catastrophe that followed, and there would have been neither insurrection, invasion, nor 
Union, and the breach between the King and the people would have closed. This is dis- 
tinctly set forth in the memoir delivered to Government by O'Connor, Emmet and 
McNeven. But that did not seem to be the object of the Government party; they wished 
to carry the Legislative Union; and accordingly their writers assailed these resolutions 
and their authors with unmeasured abuse, and poured upon both all their indignation and 
anger, and declared that no terms should be kept with such men. Thus they made it 
appear that attachment to the people and their liberties was not meant to imply attach- 
ment to the Government, but that loyalty should have ulterior views. 

Mr. Grattan had alluded to a Union in some of his late speeches; and it now 
began seriously to be entertained by the minister in Ireland. It had long since been enter- 
tained by a party in England, as appears from the letters of Lord Shelburne, in 1782, and 
from th/- communications of the Duke of Portland, although less distinctly, in 1795. With 
this view Parliamentary reform had been constantly rejected; these wily politicians know- 
ing, that if the abuse of the institution of Parliament rendered the body little valued or 
respected the people might become indifferent whether it should be retained or lost, and 
thus their project of Union would have a certain and easy victory. 

The leading men of the Opposition, therefore, attached much importance to the 
Belfast resolutions, and before Mr. Ponsonby brought forward his plan of reform in 
May 1747, Emmet's party sought to open a communication with them. Mr. Ponsonby sent 
for Mr. Grattan, and he, Curran, and the Ponsonbys met in order to confer on the pru- 
dence of an interview with Emmet and his friends [this interview was refused by Grattan 
and others, as has been shown elsewhere]. They wished the latter to join on the question 
of reform, give up annual elections and universal suffrage and acquiesce in the plan 
about to be submitted to Parliament. To this some of Emmet's party were disposed; and 

244 Failure of the Reform Bill 

Neilson, who was one of them, and well acquainted with the people of the North, their 
feelings, and wishes, was understood to assent. Mr. Ponsonby thought it would con- 
siderably strengthen his case if he was authorized to declare that the discontented party 
had offered to be satisfied and to withdraw their extravagant demands if the Government 
would assent to the proposed reform. Accordingly, the leaders of the Opposition dis- 
cussed the point: they sat late, talked a good deal about the proposed interview, some 
doubting the wisdom of it, and they broke up without deciding anything. 

However, Mr. Grattan, on his return home, made up his mind not to hold the 
meeting and sent off Mr. Ponsonby, advising them against such a step, as it probably 
would lead to no good, and might place them in an embarrassing situation. He very 
likely thought that Government would not yield and neither party listen to terms. Cer- 
tainly, with such a party in power as Lord Camden and Lord Clare, this conclusion was 
right, but with any other it would have been fatal ; for on a review of the whole case, 
it may be said that the United Irishmen were sincere. The North had relaxed its efforts 
against the Government; great difficulties were placed in the way of the United men; 
and above all, they found that they could not depend on each other; or they would gladly 
have listened to any reasonable terms of accommodation. In his evidence Emmet says 
that if the reform had been adopted, the Executive Directory of the United Irishmen 
would have sent a messenger to France to tell them "that the difference between the 
people and the government was adjusted, and not to attempt a second invasion". 

Thus it may fairly be said that all the misfortunes that befell the country were 
attributable to Lords Camden and Clare ; they lost the opportunity of recalling the United 
Irishmen to a sense of loyalty and of duty. This proceeding having ended — and from 
the evidence of the United party, it appears it was the only connexion ever subsisting 
between them and the members of the Opposition — Mr. Ponsonby brought forward his 
motion on the subject of reform, but he could only muster 30 to 117; thus ended this 
measure, which Mr. Flood, Mr. Grattan, Mr. Ponsonby and all the leading patriots had 
so long abridged, yet even at this late period the United men declared would have satisfied 
the country. The Opposition finding their labours useless and the task of opposing the 
violent measures of Government hopeless, formed the resolution to retire ; and on the 
debate on the motion of reform, Mr. Grattan declared their intention no longer to attend 
the House of Commons. His advice to Government and his remonstrance with them 
in their violent conduct, extorted praise even from those to whom it was addressed ; and 
among others from Lord Castlereagh, who complimented him on the manner and temper 
with which he had treated the subject. 

The members of the Church of England, not exceeding one tenth of the people, possessed 
almost the tvhole of the property of the nation, which they inherited by odious and 
polluted titles. For a century they had nearly engrossed the profits and patronage of 
the Church, the latu, the revenue, the army, the navy, the magistracy, and the cor- 
porations of Ireland. 

T. A. Emmet. 

In a country so beggared and debilitated by a foreign parliament, this domestic legislature 
[the Irish Parliament] blinded by religious bigotry, or moved by baser self-interest, 
enacted la<ws ruinous to the peace, the morals, and the industry of its people. The 
Catholics, instead of reposing on the bosom of their country, ivere forced to cling for 
safety to the mercy of the Crown. The policy of disunion became completely trium- 

T. A. Emmet. 

Chapter X 

A large majority of the Irish people at length become organized as United Irishmen 
and, to a great extent, through the efforts of Mr. Emmet — Mr. Emmet becomes the chief 
leader — The Irish organization unable to accomplish its purpose in consequence of the 
number of spies and informers who had even become supposed leaders in its ranks — 
Lord Edward Fitzgerald — His relations with Thomas Reynolds— The Government at 
length arrests all the leaders, but without legal evidence on which to bring Emmet to trial 
— His imprisonment — Conditions in English prisons — Death of Lord Edward — Govern- 
ment negotiations with the Irish leaders. 

ROVOCATIONS, one after another, with the most wanton 
cruelty were inflicted by the representatives of the Eng- 
lish government in Ireland, on individuals and communi- 
ties, as law-abiding as in any portion of England. For 
months the people remained quiet and patiently suffering 
with each increasingly severer infliction. With the ex- 
ception of those in sympathy with England or in the em- 
ploy of the Government, individuals in every station of 
life were made to suffer until all were roused to such a 
condition of exasperation that it became most difficult for the leaders of the 
United Irish organization to keep them from a general outbreak. The people 
were at length united to a degree never reached before nor at any subsequent 
period in their desire for a total separation from England. 

Under these conditions, it now seems that had any decisive action been 
taken by the United Irishmen during 1797, Ireland could have gained her in- 
dependence. The people would have had no difficulty in obtaining all the 
arms they needed, and in strengthening themselves at every point, so that shortly 
they would have been impregnable against any attack, as England during that 
period was helpless. The Irishmen in her army and navy had been tampered 
with, and would almost to a man have joined their countrymen, and even the 
officers were divided in their sympathies. Unfortunately, it was impossible to 
settle upon any definite course acceptable to a majority, in consequence of the 
existing discord and diversity of opinion. The organization was paralyzed in 
action, owing to the number of spies in important positions, who were unsus- 


246 Appointed to the Directory 

pected in consequence of their apparent zeal for the welfare of their country. 
These interlopers took so active a part and were so well-represented in every 
committee, that they were able to prevent any compromise being made. The 
Anglo-Irish government at that time exercised more power or influence in di- 
recting the affairs of the United Irishmen than those who represented the best 
interests of the country. 

It was evident to Mr. Emmet, who was at the head of the organization, that 
Pitt had determined to force the people into rebellion. He certainly recog- 
nized it to be a sound policy to act contrary to the course wished for by the 
Opposition, and was able by his personal influence to hold the people in check 
for nearly eighteen months, but he was unable to prevent a change being made 
in the organization by which it became a secret society, with an oath on initia- 
tion, while some effort was made to establish a military organization. As it 
was thought that these changes would be an agency for accomplishing Mr. 
Pitt's purpose, they were easily made with the aid of the spies. Thus Mr. 
Emmet's purpose and influence were greatly weakened. As he had deceived 
himself into the belief that the necessary reform could be gained by constitu- 
tional measures, he had been able to direct his course and influence with the 
leaders and people, in punishment of which the Government employed the most 
extreme measures they were able to use against him, thus satisfying their re- 
sentment at their failure to convict him of treason. 

Webb in his biographical sketch of Mr. Emmet states : 

Upon [Arthur] O'Connor's arrest in 1797 Emmet took his place on the Directory. 

This is an error, as O'Connor, Emmet and Macneven, with two other per- 
sons who never served, were appointed to the Directory at the same time. 
O'Connor took no part in the work, as he never favored any action unless the 
proposal originated with himself. The result was that for nearly two years 
Thomas Addis Emmet directed the affairs of the Society of United Irishmen 
with the full aid and concurrence of Dr. Macneven, who was a devoted 
friend. During this period Mr. Emmet opposed receiving aid from France 
or taking an armed issue with England until, all peaceful measures having 
failed, he became reconciled to a separation from England. 

The position taken by him made an enemy of O'Connor, who afterwards 
denounced Mr. Emmet as a coward. Eord Edward Fitzgerald was the only 
military leader in the organization, although O'Connor considered himself 
to be one, and for months before the leaders of the United Irishmen were ar- 
rested, Fitzgerald and O'Connor were the only leaders who were in favor of 
forcing the issue with the aid of France. Yet Fitzgerald, by nature lacking in 
decision of character, did not fully support O'Connor, the reason doubtless 
being his knowledge that the organization was totally unprepared to gain their 
purposes by any military action. Ford Edward Fitzgerald was a man respected 
by every one and beloved by all with whom he ever had any personal inter- 
course. He was the soul of honor and appreciated to the fullest extent the 
obligation he had incurred when he allowed himself to be persuaded to accept 

Lord Edward Fitzgerald 247 

the position of military leader of the movement. He knew that he could ac- 
complish nothing if called on to act. Fortunately the will of the majority of 
those in whom he had confidence were in favor of delay, while the members 
were greatly divided as to receiving any aid from France. The effect was to 
paralyze all efficiency of action. Unfortunately Fitzgerald, being no judge 
of men, had surrounded himself with others as inefficient as himself; for 
though he had the opportunity to gain a practical knowledge of his profes- 
sion while in the English army, he was always too busily occupied in love- 
making to avail himself of it. Thus the Irish people drifted through the year 
1797, losing an opportunity never to occur again. 

To wards the close of the year Lord Edward Fitzgerald accidently met a 
gentleman by position, Mr. Thomas Reynolds, with whom he had but a slight 
acquaintance, although he was a distant relative. Reynolds held a good posi- 
tion in the social life of Dublin, he had taken an active part in the Catholic 
movement and was a United Irishman, although he had had no share in the 
management of the movement. We now know that Reynolds had, from the 
beginning been in the pay of the English government as a spy, but it had been 
for special service. The meeting with this man was the turning-point in Lord 
Edward's life, and the information given by him to Reynolds enabled the 
Government to wipe out in one morning all connection between Ireland and 
Great Britain. Most persons would have been somewhat on their guard in 
forming an intimacy with even a well-known man, who for some reason had 
continued in the background. Lord Holland, the cousin of Fitzgerald stated : 

I could never find that there was a single man against whom he felt the slightest 
personal animosity. He made allowance for the motives and even temptations of those 
whose action he detested. 

Fitzgerald forced an intimacy on this man, and on his endorsement and by 
his influence, he became a prominent leader. Through his information the 
English troops were able to seize nearly all the arms and military stores which 
had been collected, and of which Lord Fitzgerald alone had any knowledge 
as to details. At this time the government suddenly decided to force the 
United Irishmen to open rebellion by an arrest of all the leaders and this was 
easily accomplished, as Reynolds was a member of the committee of deputies 
from different parts of the country who were to meet at the house of Oliver 
Bond in Dublin on March 12th, 1798, and these were all arrested and thrown 
into prison. Lord Edward Fitzgerald happened not to have been present, 
having been prevented by some accidental cause. He was thus able to escape 
and was in hiding for some time, until his place of concealment was betrayed, 
when on his arrest he was wounded and died in Newgate soon after. Rey- 
nolds was of course absent, but at the time he was in attendance at another 
meeting where he was elected with absolute trust to a high position. 

Webb states : 

There was no specific charge against Emmet, but he was regarded rightly as one of 
the most formidable opponents of the government. 

248 Arrest of Thomas Addis Emmet 

He was not present at the meeting held at Bond's, but was arrested that 
morning at his own residence. Mr. Emmet acknowledged that dependence to 
any degree on French assistance would be ultimately fatal, and that Bonaparte 
was the worst enemy Ireland ever had. After his arrest he was taken to Kil- 
mainham, and shortly after to Newgate. Within a few days Mrs. Macaubry, 
living in the North of Ireland, wrote to her kinsman, Dr. Robert Emmet, to 
ascertain if the report were true regarding his son's arrest. His answer makes 
it evident that he was ignorant at least of the extent to which his son was im- 
plicated. He wrote : — 

My dear Mrs. Macoubry : 

The account you read in the papers of my son's arrest is but too true ! He is com- 
mitted to close confinement, nor can any of his family be permitted to see him. 

I have not, however, the slightest apprehension as to his conduct : so that a short time 
will terminate matters I hope to his honour and enlargement. I thank you for your 
friendly feeling for him, and am your affectionate kinsman, 

Robert Emmet. 

Dublin, March 27th, 1798. 

As a matter of record, Mr. Emmet was not arrested by the sheriff as the 
other leaders had been, but by Alderman Carlton, and left in his custody for 
several hours, remaining in his house until he was taken to Kilmainham. At the 
time of his arrest Mr. Emmet resided on Stephen's Green, in the third house 
from York Street. The present College of Surgeons on the corner of York 
Street was built in 1827, leaving a narrow passageway to a brewery in the rear 
between the college and Dr. Robert Emmet's residence. The doctor's house 
was about forty feet in width when he first occupied it, but on the marriage of 
his son Thomas Addis, the house was divided and reconstructed into two resi- 
dences, the doctor selecting the one next to the College of Surgeons for his 
own use. 

Immediately on the arrest of the Irish leaders, who had organized the 
United Irishmen with the expectation of obtaining, by peaceful measures, the 
changes necessary for the future welfare of Ireland, the direction of Irish af- 
fairs passed into other hands. The new leaders resorted to arms, as Pitt ex- 
pected, and so gave the excuse he regarded as necessary to establish the Union 
between Ireland and England. The Irish government soon found that in the 
imprisonment of the original leaders, it had over-reached itself, owing to the 
want of all evidence to secure convictions, particularly of those who had 
strictly followed the policy recommended by T. A. Emmet as the chief execu- 
tive. It, however, carried its point in creating a civil war, as the new leaders 
readily fell into the trap laid for them. Dr. Madden thus graphically describes 
the situation:— 

As the time approached, the dreadful notes of preparation were manifest in all parts 
of the country. In the interior the peasantry began to move in large masses to some 
central points. Night after night they were known to be proceeding along unfrequented 
roads to their places of rendezvous. The cabins throughout large tracts of country, were 
either deserted, or found to contain only women and children. The lower classes that 

z "2 
2 < 







Insurgents Defeated and Dispersed 249 

were in the habit of flocking to the cities for employment, were no longer to be found in 
their usual places of resort. A general consternation prevailed. Even the measures taken 
on the part of the government promised no security. On the contrary, from their arbi 
trary and despotic character, they only tended to exasperate the spirit of disaffection. 
Martial law was proclaimed, and the people were sent to the prisons, until they could con- 
tain no more. Prison-ships were then employed, and many of the conspirators were in- 
formally executed, and many who were innocent were put to death in a summary manner 
Deprived of their chosen leaders, the management of the revolutionary councils fell into 
the hands of less competent men. After a short but sanguinary struggle, some partial 
successes in the counties of Wexford and Wicklow, the insurgents were defeated and 
entirely dispersed at the action on Vinegar Hill, by the forces under the command of 
General Lake, and in a short time afterward the rebellion was entirely crushed. A French 
force of about eleven hundred men, at length landed at Killala, on the northwest coast of 
Ireland, on the 12th of August; but it was too late, and in less than a fortnight they sur- 
rendered to Lord Cornwallis. 

For some time after the imprisonment of the State prisoners and while 
they were yet confined at Newgate* there was no restraint enacted towards 
them beyond their being confined to the building. They were allowed free 
intercourse among themselves. Mr. Emmet soon began to occupy his mind 
and leisure and wrote an essay entitled : "Observations on the Causes and 
Consequences of the Conquest of Ireland by Britain, from 1771 to 1798, 
written in Ireland and intended to be presented in manuscript to the Right 
Hon. Ch. Jas. Fox." 

Such was the apparently free license given to every one for the destruction 
of life, as if with the purpose of exterminating the Irish people and to a degree 
greater than ever existed in France, that the leaders, to stop this slaughter, to 
a great extent of innocent people, offered the Government to use their influence 
in checking the desultory warfare many of the less prominent leaders had been 
able to keep in active operation among the mountains, in defiance of every 
effort made by the Government to check it. This subject will be treated 
at length hereafter. But the prisoners issued a broadside to show that the 
Government had acted in bad faith and that the official publication had mis- 
stated the terms of the agreement. They were immediately subjected to ex- 

•Newgatc, facing on Halston Street with Green Street Court House in the rear, was the Bastille 
of Dublin, and was pulled down on account of its infamous reputation. Over the door shown in the 
print was a stout iron hook to which Major Sirr and Trevor, the jailer, strung up many a patriotic 
Irishman; thus they dispensed with the labor of erecting a gallows, for which, nevertheless, the Gov- 
ernment was charged. The open window to the right and just above the entrance, looked into a room 
or cell in which Lord Edward Fitzgerald was confined and where he died. Moore, in his "Life of 
Lord Fitzgerald", shows that the family of Lord Edward complained bitterly of the neglect and 
cruel treatment to which the young man had been subjected. Lord Henry Fitzgerald, a brother, wrote 
a letter to Lord Camden, the Lord Lieutenant and the man responsible for the frightful crimes and 
cruelty at that time being inflicted on Irish prisoners for carrying out the policy of William Pitt, 
his master. 

Lord Henry wrote: 

"He felt ill treatment, but he communed with his God. and his God did not forsake him. But, 
Oh! my Lord, what a day was Saturday for him! On Saturday my poor forsaken brother, who 
had hut the night and the next day to live, was disturbed: — he heard the noise of the execution of 
Clinch at the prison door. He asked eagerly 'What noise is that?' and certainly in some manner or 
other he knew it; for, — O God! what am I to write? — from that time he lost his senses; most part 
of the night he was raving mad; a keeper from a mad-house was necessary. Now, my Lord, shall I 
scruple to declare to the world — I wish I could to the four corners of it — that amongst you your ill- 
treatment has murdered my brother as much as if you had put a pistol to his head!" 

Lord Edward Fitzgerald died June 4th, 179S. 

It seems to have been the custom, after a convivial noon-day meal, for the officials to assemble 
at the inner door of the prison and with considerable "horse play" to hand up to the executioner 
the prisoner who was to be "made away with" on that day. A constant source of merriment was 
found on each occasion in the difficulty they experienced lifting the prisoner by the legs and at 
the same time holding him so that the rope around his neck might be secured to the hook. 

250 Agreement with Government 

animation by both Houses of Parliament ; they were closely confined to their 
quarters and each one placed in a separate room; their persons were searched 
and all their papers and correspondence seized. Fortunately the essay written 
by Mr. Emmet had been sent outside to be engrossed and bound for presenta- 
tion to Mr. Fox, the leader of the party then politically opposed to the govern- 
ment, and was thus saved. At the time of this search, Mr. Emmet had made 
some progress in the writing of a memoir showing the condition of Ireland 
as judged by the United Irishmen, but this was carried off by the Government 
officials. This was a great loss, for had the material been preserved it would 
have been the means of showing how important a part Mr. Emmet took in the 
early movement of '98, the details of which are now so little known. 

When the first proposition was made by the prisoners to the Government 
that some course should be agreed upon to correct the frightful condition to 
which the country had been reduced, the battles of New Ross, Arklow, and 
Vinegar Hill had been lost, and the English had been successful in every quar- 
ter. It is said "Eord Charlemont without any solicitation on the part of the 
prisoners meditated a plan of retreat for those in confinement, and a concilia- 
tion to arrest the work of massacre and death". Mr. Francis Dobbs, a for- 
mer Governor of North Carolina, a member of Parliament, a man of humane 
feelings and a friend to the government, visited the prisoners in their re- 
spective rooms and avowed his wish to facilitate an arrangement equally ad- 
vantageous to the government and to the revolutionists. Everything had 
failed and hope was extinguished at least for a season. The State prisoners, 
therefore, were anxious to arrest the tide of misery that was every day swel- 
ling, and which had already overspread the country like a flood. They re- 
ciprocated the wishes expressed by Mr. Dobbs, and soon they were visited by 
Mr. Secretary Cook. Lord Cornwallis had now assumed the government of 
Ireland, and much was hoped from his clemency. When Dr. Macneven, a 
man of whom I shall particularly speak in the course of this memoir, was 
visited in the prison of Kilmainham by Mr. Secretary Cook, with a bluntness 
and independence peculiar and honorable to his character, he informed the 
secretary that he would have nothing to do with the negotiation unless the 
prisoners had the pledge of Lord Cornwallis himself. When Mr. Cook re- 
tired, Mr. Emmet, Dr. Macneven and Mr. Sweetman had a consultation and 
it was agreed to open a conference with Lord Castlereagh, then the minister 
for Ireland. In the course of these steps it had been mutually contemplated 
that on the one hand Government was to stop the effusion of blood; on the 
other, that the prisoners were to reveal the main features of the intended rev- 
olution, and state the extent and nature of the intended connection with 
France ; but names were not to be demanded or given under any circumstances. 
Before any interview had taken place between the prisoners and Lord Castle- 
reagh, Mr. Dobbs again visited the prisoners and stated that the government 
demanded names; then, said the prisoners, there's an end to the negotiation ; 
our friends shall never be exposed by any disclosure of ours. 

The Government then gave up the hope of obtaining names. The prisoners 

Treaty of 1798 251 

were permitted to have some intercourse and they unanimously appointed three 
agents to act on their behalf: Mr. Emmet, Dr. Macneven, and Mr. (Arthur) 
O'Connor, he who first distinguished himself in 1795 by his bold and un- 
expected speech in the Irish House of Commons on the Catholic question. On 
the twenty-ninth of July, 179S, Mr. Emmet, Dr. Macneven and Mr. O'Connor 
had their interview in Dublin Castle with Eord Castlereagh, Lord Chancellor 
Clare, and Mr. Secretary Cook, and entered upon what is called the Treaty 
of 1798. The writer will allow Mr. Emmet to speak for himself through 
his narrative as it is reproduced in the following chapter. 

The Irish tvere reputed aliens and enemies in their native land ; it ivas adjudged no felony 
to kill them in time of peace. La'w did neither protect their life nor revenge their 

T. A. Emmet. 

The selfish and malignant passions are so powerful in man thai it requires no uncommon 
effort of genius or dexterity of management to make them the instruments of his 
•weakness and dishonor. 

T. A. Emmet. 

Chapter XI 

Examination of Committee leaders before the Secret Committee of Parliament — 
Report of examination as revised by Mr. Emmet — The Irish leaders were examined 
before a Committee from the House of Lords three days after — Agreement between the 
leaders and the Irish government accepted as being fully satisfactory to both — Later the 
government publishes an untruthful statement as to the terms — A prompt denial issued 
by the prisoners — Course of Rufus King as American Minister — Immediate death threat- 
ened by the government officials to all the prisoners if a prompt repudiation was not made 
— All refuse and are immediately placed in solitary confinement — Mr. Emmet treated with 
exceptional rigor — Every means taken to intimidate the other prisoners but not one 
yielded — Public opinion, however, had been so trained that the official version was ac- 
cepted without question — In violation of the agreement, the State prisoners were not 
allowed to emigrate — Agreed that Mr. Bond, who had been condemned to death, should 
not be executed, but allowed to emigrate — His sudden death — Quotations from the com- 
pact of the State prisoners with the Irish government. 

REAT interest seemed to have been created, and after 
Messrs. Emmet, Macneven and O'Connor had been ex- 
amined before the Secret Committee from the House of 
Commons of the Irish Parliament on July 29, 1798, they 
were allowed to prepare and present a memoir to the Com- 
mittee bearing the title, "Memoir, or Detailed Statement 
of the Origin and Progress of the Irish Union : Delivered 
to the Irish Government by Messrs. Emmet, O'Connor 
and Macneven, August the 4th, 1798". (See Appendix, 
Note VIII for this Memoir in full.) 

In accord with family tradition this paper was from the pen of T. A. 
Emmet. A copy of this document is still preserved among the family papers. 
Its authorship may be inferred from the letter from Russell to Macneven, No- 
vember 8th, 1802. A copy of this paper is given in the Memoirs and Corre- 
spondence of Viscount Castlereagh (Vol. I, p. 373). 

On August 10th, 1798, the State prisoners were taken to Dublin Castle 
and there examined individually and in detail before the Committee of Par- 
liament, which examination was printed under the title — "Substance of Thomas 
Addis Emmet's examination before the Secret Committee of the House of 
Lords, August 10th, 1798, taken by the Government officials and revised by 
Mr. Emmet". For a copy of this document see Appendix, Note IX. Mr. 
Emmet having preserved, after his examination, a copy of the minutes which 


Action of Rut'us King 253 

he was asked by the committee to revise, and which had been taken by one 
of their official secretaries, we have been furnished with the means for making 
a comparison with the published official report. 

In "The Dublin Magazine" for August, 1798 (p. 131), is given at length 
the printed report of Mr. Emmet's examination from this committee to the 
House of Lords. As we have the means of comparison, it will be sufficient to 
reprint this in corroboration of the charge made by the State prisoners, that 
honesty and truthfulness were not part of the English policy in Irish affairs. 
For a copy of this published report see Appendix, Note X. 

On August 14th, three days after the examination, he was again summoned 
and examined at greater length before a second committee. For a copy of 
"The Examination of Thomas Addis Emmet before the Secret Committee of 
the House of Commons, August 14th, 1798, taken by the Government official 
and revised by Mr. Emmet", see Appendix, Note XI. 

An arrangement was made by the Government with the Irish leaders im- 
prisoned in Dublin, and to the full satisfaction of both parties, that Oliver 
Bond's life should be spared, although he had been condemned before a packed 
jury and sentenced to death, and that the prisoners should be liberated and 
allowed to go into exile, on condition that their ihfluence be exerted with a 
large number of insurgents who had retreated to the mountains under General 
Holt and others, and had continued to keep up a desultory resistance ; all of 
whom, it was agreed, should receive a full pardon on surrendering their 
arms and returning home. The Irish leaders succeeded in securing peace 
throughout the country, but they were not released from their confinement. 
Later the Government published a false statement as to the terms of the 
treaty made with the Irish leaders, which was promptly denied by the pris- 
oners. The Irish Secretary and representative of the English Government 
made the acknowledgement to some of the prisoners, that the cause of the 
delay of their release was due to the action of Mr. Rufus King, the American 
minister, in making an official protest against the leaders being allowed to 
emigrate to the United States, "as undesirable on account of their republican 
views". Mr. King was a Federalist, but had acted simply from his individual 
prejudices. In his letter to Rufus King (written some years later and treated 
at greater length hereafter) Mr. Emmet stated : "We contradicted the mis- 
statement of the Committee from the House of Lords and Commons of Ire- 
land, by an advertisement written in prison signed by our names and published 
on the 27th of August". The prisoners were immediately visited by an offi- 
cial of the government, who threatened their lives, without trial, unless they 
at once made a public contradiction of their statement regarding the terms 
made with the government. This the prisoners all refused to do, or to make 
any retraction, and consequently they were each placed again in solitary con- 
finement and were subjected to great privation and severity, the treatment 
of Mr. Emmet, it will be shown in the following chapter, being especially 

As soon as the protest of the prisoners was published, showing the dis- 

254 Death of Oliver Bond 

honesty and fraud practised by the Government, a resolution was introduced 
into Parliament authorizing the immediate hanging of all the prisoners, which, 
being voted down, it was proposed as a compromise, that they should be tried 
without delay by a drum-head court martial to obtain the same result. 

Mr. Bond had been tried and convicted and was awaiting the result to be 
obtained by the efforts of the leaders in quieting the country, when he suddenly 
died from apoplexy, as claimed by the Government, but almost every one not 
connected with the Government openly held that he had been poisoned. So 
general was this opinion that the Government was unable to suppress it. No 
denial was expressed nor was any attempt made by the Government to in- 
vestigate the circumstances attending Mr. Bond's death, so that there remained 
little doubt that this noble patriot was the victim of foul play. It was doubt- 
less safer for the reputation of the English Government's influence, as exer- 
cised in Ireland during Pitt's administration, that Mr. Bond should be held to 
have died of apoplexy than that he should be released, and free to give to the 
world his own personal experience as a political prisoner in an Irish prison. 
For information as to what such experience was, the reader is referred to St. 
John Mason's work in the Appendix, Note XIII. 

Dr. Madden was the only person who had an opportunity for fully in- 
vestigating this question as to the bad faith exercised by the English Govern- 
ment towards the political prisoners and he was the only one who was able 
personally to interrogate a number of those who could speak from personal 
knowledge. He is therefore to be accepted as the only writer able to pass 
with authority and judgment in justice to both parties. To avoid repetition 
it is better to give Dr. Madden's statement in full, as the writer has in his pos- 
session all the material from the original papers of Mr. Emmet to which Mad- 
den had access. Up to the present time the writer has been unable to trace 
other material which passed through Dr. Madden's hands, and is incorporated 
in his whole narrative, the only authority now accessible. 

In the pamphlet from which the report of Emmet's examination (See 
Appendix, Note XII) is taken, no account is given of the compact with Gov- 
ernment, but in Macneven's "Pieces of Irish History" a statement of it is 
given by him at considerable length. The original draft of a paper on this 
subject, unpublished and drawn up chiefly by Emmet, exists in the handwrit- 
ing of himself, Sweetman and MacneveriT and as it differs in the mode of 
treating the matter as well as in style, and in some respects is more precise and 
simple in its details, it is inserted in this memoir of its principal author, and 
however fully the subject has been gone into, the importance of it to the char- 
acter of Emmet would alone be a sufficient reason for its insertion. 

The opponents of these men have had the full use of their pens and 
tongues against the characters, private as well as public, of the men of 1798. 

In common fairness we are bound to hear what they have to say in their 
own defence, or at least in extenuation of their errors. The Musgraves, the 
Duigenans, the Reynoldses have had their hearing — justice demands one for 
them, and it is not for those who profess to love justice to refuse it. 

Emmet's Account of the Negotiation 

The account of the compact of the State prisoners with the Irish Govern- 
ment, taken from the original draft of that document in the handwriting of 
Thomas Addis Emmet, John Sweetman, and William lames Macneven, was 
drawn up by them in France on their liberation from Fort George, and re- 
mained in the possession of John Sweetman. The following part of the state 
ment is in the handwriting of Thomas A. Emmet: — 

\\V the undersigned, until this day State prisoners and in close custody, feel that the 
first purpose to which we should apply our liberty is to give to the world a short account 
of a transaction which has been grossly misrepresented and falsified, but respecting 
which we have been compelled to silence for nearly the last three years. The transaction 
alluded to is the agreement entered into by us and the other State prisoners with the 
Irish government, at the close of the month of July, 1798; and we take this step without 
hesitation because it can in nowise injure any of our friends and former fellow-prisoners, 
we being among the last victims of perfidy and breach of faith. 

From the event of the battles of Antrim and Ballinahinch early in June, it was mani- 
fest that the northern insurrection had failed in consolidating itself. The severe battle 
of Vinegar Hill on the 21st of the same month led to its termination in Leinster; and 
the capitulation of Ovidstown on the 13th of July,* may be understood as the last ap- 
pearance in the field of any body capable of serving as a rallying point. In short, the 
insurrection, for every useful purpose that could be expected from it was at an end; but 
blood still continued to flow — courts martial, special commissions, and above all sanguinary 
Orangemen, now rendered doubly malevolent and revengeful from their recent terror, 
desolated the country, and devoted to death the most virtuous of our countrymen. These 
were lost to liberty, while she was gaining nothing by the sacrifice. 

Such was the situation of affairs when the idea of entering into a compact with the 
government was conceived by one of the undersigned, and communicated to the rest of us 
conjointly with the other prisoners confined in the Dublin prisons, by the terms of which 
compact it was intended that as much be saved and as little given up as possible. It was 
the more urgently pressed upon our minds and the more quickly matured by the impend- 
ing fate of two worthy men. Accordingly, on the 24th of July, the State prisoners began 
to negotiate with Government, and an agreement was finally concluded, by the persons 
named by their fellow-prisoners, at the Castle of Dublin, and was finally ratified by the 
Lord Chancellor, Lord Castlereagh, and Mr. Cooke, three of the King's ministers. 

In no part of this paper were details or perfect accuracy deemed necessary because 
the ministers, and particularly Lord Castlereagh frequently and solemnly declared that 
it should in every part be construed by Government with the utmost liberality and good 
faith ; and particularly the last clause was worded in this loose manner to comply with 
the express desire of the ministers, who insisted upon retaining to Government the pop- 
ularity of the measure ; but it was clearly and expressly understood, and positively en- 
gaged that every leading man not guilty of deliberate murder should be included in the 
agreement (who should choose to avail himself of it) in as full and ample a manner as 
the contracting parties themselves, and that there should be a general amnesty with the 
same exceptions for the body of the people. 

We entered into this agreement the more readily because it appeared to us that by it 
the public cause lost nothing. We knew from the different examinations of the State 
prisoners before the privy council, and from conversations with ministers that Govern- 
ment was already in possession of all the important knowledge which they could obtain 
from us. From wdience they derived their information was not entirely known to us, but 

"The event preceding the massacre of the capitulated body of the United Irishmen on the Rath 
of the Curragh of Kildare, by the command of Major General Sir James Duff, executed chiefly by 
the yeomanry cavalry of Captain Bagot, and the Fox-hunting Corps, commanded by Lord Roden. 

256 Flagrant Breach of Contract 

it is now manifest that Reynolds, McGinn and Hughes, not to speak of the minor in- 
formers, had put them in possession of every material fact respecting the internal state 
of the union; and it was from particular circumstances well known to one of us, and en- 
tirely believed by the rest, that its external relations had been betrayed to the English 
cabinet, through the agency of a foreigner with whom we negotiated. 

This was even so little disguised that, on the preceding 12th of March, the contents 
of a memoir which had been prepared by one of the undersigned at Hamburgh, and 
transmitted thence to Paris, were minutely detailed to him by Mr. Cooke. Nevertheless 
those with whom we negotiated seemed extremely anxious for our communications. 
Their reasons for this anxiety may have been many, but two particularly suggested them- 
selves to our minds ; they obviously wished to give proof to the enemies of an Irish 
Republic and of Irish Independence, of the facts with which they were themselves well 
acquainted, while at the same time they concealed from the world their real sources of 
intelligence. Nor do we believe we are uncharitable in attributing to them the hope 
and wish of rendering unpopular and suspected men in whom the United Irishmen had 
been accustomed to place an almost unbounded confidence. The injurious consequences 
of Government succeeding in both these objects, were merely personal; and as they were 
no more, though they were revolting and hateful to the last degree, we did not hesitate 
to devote ourselves that we might make terms for our country. 

What were these terms? That it should be rescued from civil and military execution; 
that a truce should be obtained for liberty, which she so much required. There was also 
another strongly impelling motive for entering into this agreement. If Government on 
the one hand was desirous of rousing its dependents by a display of the vigorous and 
well-concerted measures that were taken for subverting its authority and shaking off the 
English yoke ; so we, on the other hand, were not less solicitous for the vindication of 
our cause in the eyes of the liberal, the enlightened and patriotic. We perceived that in 
making a fair and candid development of these measures we should be enabled boldly to 
avow and justify the cause of the Irish union, as being founded upon the purest princi- 
ples of benevolence, and as aiming only at the liberation of Ireland. We felt that we 
could rescue our brotherhood from those foul imputations which had been industriously 
ascribed to it — the pursuit of the most unjust objects by means of the most flagitious 

If our country has not actually benefited to the extent of our wishes and of our 
stipulations, let it be remembered that this has not been owing to the compact, but to 
the breach of the compact, the gross and flagrant breach of it, both as to the letter and 
spirit, in violation of every principle of pledged faith and honour. 

Having been called upon to fulfill our part of the compact, a stop being put to all 
further trials and executions, a memoir was drawn up and signed by two of the under- 
signed, together with another of the body [they being selected by Government for the 
purpose] and was presented to Mr. Cooke on the 4th of August. It was very hastily 
prepared in a prison, and of course not so complete and accurate as it might otherwise 
have been ; but sufficiently so to draw from Mr. Cooke an acknowledgment that it was a 
complete fulfilment of the agreement; though he said the lord lieutenant wished to have 
it so altered as not to be a justification of the United Irishmen, which he said it mani- 
festly was. 

Upon the refusal to alter it, Government thought proper to suppress it altogether, and 
adopted a plan which they had already found convenient for promulgating not the entire 
truth, but so much of the truth as accorded with their views, and whatever else they 
wished to have passed upon mankind under colour of authority for the truth. This was 
no other than examination before the secret committee of parliament. By these com- 
mittees several of us were examined, and to our astonishment we soon after saw in the 
newspapers, and have since seen in printed reports of these committees, misrepresented 
and garbled, and, as far as relates to some of us, very untrue and fallacious statements 
of our testimony — even in some cases the very reverse of what was given. That no sus- 

John Sweetman's Statement 

picion may attach to this assertion from its vagueness, such of us as were examined will, 
without delay, state the precise substance of our evidence on that occasion. 

The Irish parliament thought fit about the month of September in the same year, to 
pass an act to be founded expressly on this agreement. To the provisions of that law we 
do not think it worth while to allude because their severity and injustices are lost in com- 
parison with the erroneous falsehood of its preamble. In answer to that we must dis- 
tinctly and formally deny that any of us did ever publicly, or privately, directly or in- 
directly, acknowledge crimes, retract opinions, or implore pardon, as is therein most falsely- 
stated. A full and explicit declaration to this effect would have been made public at the 
time, had it not been prevented by a message from Lord Cornwallis, delivered to one of the 
subscribers on the 12th of that month. Notwithstanding we had expressly stipulated at 
the time of the negotiation for the entire liberty of publication in case we should find our 
conduct or motives misrepresented, yet this perfidious and inhuman message threatened 
that such declaration would be considered as a breach of the agreement on our part, and 
in that case the executions in general should go on as formerly. 

Thus was the truth stifled at the time, and we believe firmly that to prevent its publi- 
cation has been one of the principal reasons why, in violation of the most solemn engage- 
ments, we were kept in close custody ever since, and transported from our native country 
against our consent. 

We conceive that to ourselves, to our cause, and to our country and to posterity, we 
owe this brief statement of facts, in which we have suppressed everything that is not of 
a nature strictly vindicatory - ; because our object in this publication is not to criminate but 
to defend. As to their truth we positively aver them, each for himself, as far as they 
fall within his knowledge, and we firmly believe the others to be the truth, and nothing 
but the truth. 

The following part of the statement is in the handwriting of John Sweet- 

On the 12th of March, 1798, the deputies from several counties, having met in Dublin 
to deliberate upon some general measures for the union, were arrested in a body at Mr. 
Bond's as were also many others of its principal agents, and put into a state of solitary 

Some of these persons were examined by the privy council previous to their committal 
to prison ; when it appeared beyond a possibility of doubt that the negotiations of the 
United Irishmen with France had been betrayed to the British Government on the 30th, the 
Kingdom was officially declared in a state of rebellion, and put under martial law. A 
proclamation from the lord lieutenant had directed the military to use the most summary 
method for repressing disturbances; and it was publicly notified by the commanders in 
some counties that unless the people brought in their arms in ten days from the period 
of publication, large bodies of troops would be quartered on them who should be licensed 
to live at free quarters, and that other severities would be exercised to enforce acquies- 
cence. In the latter end of May the United armed men of the County Kildare felt them- 
selves obliged to take the field, and hostilities commenced between them and the King's 
forces on the 24th. About this time the Counties of Wexford and Wicklow were generally 
up, and those of Down, Derry, Antrim, Carlow, and Meath were preparing to rise. The 
appeals to arms in these counties were attended with various success on both 
sides, and the military were invested with further powers by a proclamation 
issued by the lord lieutenant and council, directing the generals to punish all attacks upon 
the King's forces, according to martial law, either by death or otherwise, as to them should 
seem expedient. For some time the people had the advantage in the field, but the defeat 
at New Ross on the 5th of June, at Antrim on the 7th, that of Arklow on the 9th, of 
Ballinahinch on the 12th, of Vinegar Hill on the 21st, and Kilconnell on the 26th, with the 
evacuation of Wexford, and some unsuccessful skirmishes which afterwards took place 

258 The Compact According to Macneven 

in the County of Wicklow, removed all hope of maintaining the contest for the present 
with any probability of success. In the interim troops were arriving from England and 
several regiments of English militia had volunteered their services for Ireland. About 
the end of June a proclamation was issued promising pardon and protection to all persons 
except the leaders who should return to their allegiance and deliver up their arms, which 
it was said had a very general effect. A large body of the Kildare men had already sur- 
rendered to General Dundas, and on the 21st of July another party with its leaders, 
capitulated with General Wilford. The King's troops, by this time, were victorious in 
every quarter, and the park of artillery which had been employed in the south had re- 
turned to the capital. 

It was now upwards of two months since the war broke out, during which time no 
attempt had been made by the French to land a force upon the coast, nor was there any 
satisfactory account then received that such a design was in contemplation. The expedi- 
tion of Buonaparte and the forces under his command were already ascertained to have 
some part of the Mediterranean for their object. No other diversion was made by the 
French to distract the British power during this period. Military tribunals, composed 
of officers, who in many instances, as has been publicly admitted, had not exceeded the 
inconsiderate age of boyhood, were everywhere instituted and a vast number of executions 
had been the consequence. The yeomen and soldiers, licensed to indulge their rancor and 
revenge, were committing these atrocious cruelties which unfortunately distinguish the 
character of civil warfare. The shooting of innocent peasants at their work was occasion- 
ally resorted to by them as a species of recreation — a practice so inhuman that unless we 
had incontestible evidence of the fact we never should have given it the slightest 
credibility. During these transactions a special commission under an act of parliament 
was sitting in the capital ; and the trials having commenced, it was declared from the 
bench that to be proved an United Irishman was sufficient to subject the party to the 
penalty of death, and that any member of a baronial or other committee was accountable 
for every act done by the body to which he respectively belonged in its collective capacity, 
whether it was done without his cognizance, in his absence, or even at the extremity of 
the land. As it was openly avowed that convictions would be sought for only through 
the medium of informers, the government used every influence to dignify the character 
of this wretched class of beings in the eyes of those who were selected to decide on the 
lives of the accused ; and they so effectually succeeded as to secure implicit respect to 
whatever any of them chose to swear, from juries so appointed, so prepossessed. It was 
made a point by the first connections of Government to flatter these wretches, and some 
peers of the realm were known to have hailed the arch-apostate Reynolds with the title 
"Saviour of his Country". 

The following part of the statement is in the handwriting of William James 
Macneven : 

In the case of Mr. Bond, the Jury, with an indecent precipitation, returned a verdict 
of guilty on the 23rd of July, and on the 25th he was sentenced to die. Byrne was also 
ordered for execution. In this situation of our affairs a negotiation was opened with 
Government, and proceeded in through the medium of Mr. Dobbs. An agreement was in 
consequence concluded and signed, which, among other things, stipulated for the lives 
of Byrne and Bond ; but Government thought fit to annul this by the execution of Byrne. 
As, however, the main object, the putting a stop to the useless effusion of blood, was still 
attainable, it was deemed right to open a second negotiation. In its progress Government 
having insisted on some dishonourable requisitions, which were rejected with indignation, 
occasioned the failure of this also. It was however proposed by them to renew it again, 
and deputies from the gaols were appointed to confer with the official servants of the 
crown. A meeting accordingly took place at the Castle on the 29th of July when the final 
agreement was concluded and exchanged. 

Agreement Signed by the Prisoners 

In addition to the fulfilment to the letter of this agreement, the official servants of the 
crown pledged the faith of Government for two things — one that the result and end of 
that measure should be the putting a stop to the effusion of blood, and that all executions 
should cease, except in cases of wilful murders. The other was that the conditions of 
the agreement should be liberally interpreted. The agreement was in the course of a day 
or two generally signed by the prisoners. 

Whilst the United Irishmen retained the control of the original Directory, their progress 
•was sure and steady, but from the moment that its members 'mere snatched from their 
position, and either crushed unto death or consigned to dungeons, the contrary result, 
as might naturally be expected, ensued. 

W. J. Fitzpatrick. 

The views of those miho are associated as United Irishmen did not extend beyond the 
attainment of a reform in parliament by peaceful and constitutional means. 

T. A. Emmet. 

Chapter XII 

Continued quotations from the memoir — Reasons for entering into and ratifying the 
agreement made with Government — Absolute denial of the truthfulness of the Government 
statement regarding the terms of treaty recently made by any Irish leader — This declara- 
tion due to the credit of their country and countrymen — The course in Parliament of Hon. 
Francis Hutchinson toward the State prisoners — Action of Wm. C. Plunket — McNaugh- 
ten moved that they should be immediately brought to trial and executed — Madden's 
statement as to the relation of T. A. Emmet and Plunket — St. John Mason's statement — 
The views of Dr. Robt. Emmet and Macneven on this subject — Rigors of Emmet's im- 
prisonment — Letter from Emmet to Russell in relation to Tone — Phillips on Tone's course 
— The enmity of Clare and Ponsonby to Tone — The efforts of Marcus Beresford, George 
Knox, and the Atty.-General Wolfe to save Tone's life — The special views of Geo. Knox — 
Consent of the Government that Tone should go into exile to the United States — A parole 
of honor no doubt implied as to his exile — Tone's account of an interview with Emmet 
and Russell and his statement that they fully agreed as to his interpretation of his relation 
to the government — Did Tone violate his parole of honor and justify England's course? — 
Tone's relation with the French minister at Philadelphia — Savage's account of the friend- 
ship existing between Emmet, Russell and Tone — Description of Thomas Russell, his 
person and political course — Tone leaves his family in the United States and returns to 
France — Falkiner's account of the relation between Tone and Lord Clare. 

HE quotation from the Memoir is continued at greater 
length : 

Having thus stated the facts, we proceed to declare our 
reasons for entering into and ratifying this agreement; 1st, Be- 
cause we had seen, with great affliction, that in the course of the 
appeal to arms, while four or five counties out of the thirty-two 
were making head against the whole of the King's forces, no 
effectual disposition was manifested to assist them, owing, as we 
believe, to the extreme difficulty of assembling, and the want 
of authentic information as to the real state of affairs. 2ndly, Because the concurring or 
quiescent spirit of the English people enabled their government to send not only a con- 
siderable additional regular force, but also many regiments of English militia into Ireland. 
3rdly, Because it was evident that in many instances the want of military knowledge in 
the leaders had rendered the signal valor of the people fruitless. 4thly, Because, notwith- 
standing it was well known in France that the revolution had commenced in Ireland — an 
event that they were previously taught to expect — no attempt whatever was made by them 
to land any force during the two months which the contest had lasted, nor was any account 
received that it was their intention even shortly to do so. 5thly, Because that by the 
arrest of many of the deputies and chief agents of the union, and by the absence of others, 
the funds necessary for the undertaking were obstructed or uncollected, and hence arose 





End of the Memoir 261 

insurmountable difficulties. 6thly, Because from the several defeats at New Ross and 
Wexford, no doubt remained on our minds that farther resistance, for the present, was 
not only vain but nearly abandoned. 7tbly, Because we were well assured that the procla- 
mation of amnesty issued on the 29th June had caused great numbers to surrender their 
arms and take the oath of allegiance. 8thly, Because juries were so packed, justice so 
perverted, and the testimony of the basest informers so respected that trial was but a 
mocker)', and arraignment but the tocsin for execution. 9thly, Because we were convinced 
by the official servants of the crown, and by the evidence given on the trials that govern- 
ment was already in possession of our external and internal transactions; the former 
they obtained as we believe through the perfidy of some agents of the French government 
at Hamburgh ; the latter through informers who had been less or more confidential in 
all our affairs. lOthly, and finally, every day accounts of the murders of our most virtuous 
and energetic countrymen assailed our ears ; many were perishing on the scaffold, under 
pretext of martial or other law, but many more the victims of individual Orange hatred 
and revenge. To stop this torrent of calamity, to preserve to Ireland her best blood . . . 
we determined to make a sacrifice of no trivial value — we agreed to abandon our country, 
our families and cur friends. 

And now we feel ourselves further called upon to declare that an Act, passed in 
Ireland during the autumn of 1798, reciting our names and asserting that we had 
retracted our opinions, acknowledged our crimes, and implored pardon, is founded upon a 
gross and flagrant calumny — neither we, the undersigned, nor any of our fellow-prisoners, 
so far as we know or believe, having ever done either the one or the other; and we 
solemnly assert that we never were consulted about that Act, its provisions or preamble, 
and that no copy of it was ever sent to us by any servant of the Crown, though repeatedly 
promised by the under-secretary, or by any other person. On the contrary it had, unknown 
to us, passed the House of Commons, when one of us [Samuel Neilson], having seen by 
mere accident an abstract of it in an English newspaper, remonstrated with the servants 
of the Crown on the falsity of the preamble, and was silenced only by a message from 
the lord lieutenant that it was his positive determination to annul the agreement and 
proceed with the executions, etc., if any further notice whatever was taken of the preamble, 
or if one word was published on the subject. We did not conceive ourselves warranted, 
situated as things then were, in being instrumental to a renewal of bloodshed. We have 
ever been constrained to silence, for, in violation of a solemn agreement, we have been kept 
close prisoners. 

To our country and to posterity we felt that we owed this declaration; and to their 
judgment upon our conduct and motives we bow with respectful submission.* 

Dr. Madden in "The United Irishmen, Their Lives and Times", continues 
this subject as follows : 

In the month of July, 1798, the negotiations were entered into with the government 
of which the principal details have been given in the preceding manner. On the tenth of 
August T. A Emmet was examined before the secret committee of the House of Lords. 
A very small portion of this examination was given in the parliamentary report purporting 
to contain the examination of the State prisoners. On their liberation from Fort George, 
Emmet, O'Connor and Macneven published in London a pamphlet containing the memoir 
of the origin and progress of the union they had delivered to the Irish government and 
an account of their examination in which the suppressed portions of their evidence were 
given. t The pamphlet is now rarely to be met with, and from it the following account 
of the examination of T. A. Emmet is taken, after having compared it with the original 
document in the possession of the son of one of the parties to the compact. 

•Set Appendix, Note XII., Second report to the House of Lords from the Secret Committee 
in relation to the State prisoners. 

f'Memoirs of the Irish Union", Robinson, London, 1802. 

262 The Course of Francis Hutchinson 

The original, found among the papers of T. A. Emmet, from which Dr. 
Madden obtained the copy he reproduced in his work, was also copied by the 
writer and will be found in the Appendix (Note VIII). 

In connection with the action of William Conyngham Plunket in Parlia- 
ment, when the reputation of the State prisoners was at stake, they published 
a statement taking exception to the truthfulness of the Government statement 
regarding the compact made, which was under consideration before that body. 
Dr. Madden has treated the incident at some length. As Mr. Emmet was 
known to have made so little reference to the subject, the writer felt hesitancy 
in doing so. But on due reflection he decided that the subject as an incident 
in Mr. Emmet's life could not be ignored. If more detailed information is 
desired, the reader will do well to refer to Dr. Madden's work. 

Dr. Madden states : 

We now come to a transaction which involves the character of a great Whig lawyer, 
namely, William Conyngham Plunket ; and it behooves us in dealing with it to steer clear 
of angry commentaries and criticisms of his conduct in regard to T. A. Emmet, and to 
cite official authorities for any accounts given of his transaction and its results. I allude 
to his conduct in parliament during Emmet's imprisonment in August 1798 and in relation 
to an advertisement which appeared in two of the morning newspapers complaining of 
the garbled reports that had been published in the government newspapers of the evidence 
of Messrs. Emmet, O'Connor, and Macneven before the secret committees. 

The only reports that existed of the proceedings in parliament in 1798 are those which 
are given in the newspapers of the day, except in the case of the Union debates, when 
important speeches are found separately published. I prefer taking the report of the pro- 
ceedings in the Irish House of Commons on the 27th of August from a government 
paper at that time, and therefore I make use of the "Freeman's Journal" of the 28th 
August, 1798. 

The Hon. Francis Hutchinson called attention to an advertisement of three of the 
State prisoners [Emmet, O'Connor and Macneven] in the "Hibernian Journal and 
Saunders' News Letter". He said : — "That advertisement whether considerd as a libel 
on that House of Parliament, or as a manifesto exciting rebellion, was one of the most 
daring and insolent compositions he had ever read" . . . Mr. Plunket said : — "He repro- 
bated in the strongest terms the publication which had been read to the House by the 
honourable gentleman who had proposed the motion then before the House, and described 
it to be a species of proclamation or manifesto couched in the most libellous and insolent 
language, and proceeding from three men who were signal instances of the royal mercy 
to all the open and concealed traitors of the country; urging to rebellion and to the aid 
of a French invasion, calling upon their friends to cast from them all fear of having been 
detected in their treasons, and to prosecute anew those machinations which had been 
suspended. He felt strongly the obligation of government to observe good faith towards 
those men in any conditions made with them, but he also conceived it to be incumbent 
on the executive power to adopt such precautions as should effectually prevent the state 
prisoners from corrupting the public mind". [The report of Mr. Plunket's speech on 
this occasion is given without any curtailment]. . . . Mr. McNaughten was of opinion 
that, as martial law had not ceased, the persons in question, Arthur O'Connor, Thomas 
Addis Emmet, and Dr. Macneven, should be immediately brought to trial and executed. 

Dr. Madden continues ("Lives", 3rd series, p. 77) : 

The late Lord Plunket had been the early friend and fellow-student at the University 
of T. A. Emmet. Of that fact there can be no doubt. All the members of the family 
and intimate friends and early associates of T. A. Emmet in America and Ireland, with 

William Conyngham Plunket 263 

whom I have been in communication, are agreed on that point. . . . I believe that the 
late Lord Plunket and Thomas Addis Emmet were not only intimate, as Lord 
Plunket stated, but very intimately acquainted and <>n terms of the most intimate 
friendship, 'when they were fellow-students at the University of Dublin, and at the 
Inns of Court in England. And be it observed, there was a long interval between the 
two periods above indicated. T. A. Emmet entered college in 1778, and he was not 
called to the bar till the month of May, 1790. And Lord Plunket admits in his affidavit 
that it was after T. A. Emmet had been called to the bar "that all intimacy ceased between 
him and deponent". So here we have an admission of an intimacy that had subsisted 
twelve years and upwards between two young men of the same pursuits, of similar gifts 
and kindred talents, of congenial and literary tastes, being suddenly broken off on account 
of a difference in their political opinions, and at a time, too, when neither of them had 
ever taken any prominent part in political affairs or controversies. I say to that state- 
ment, the estrangement referred to is highly improbable, and that the friends of T. A. 
Emmet are not conscious of it . . . . T. A. Emmet, I have reason to believe, considered 
that Mr. Plunket was his friend up to the time of his arrest and imprisonment in March, 
1798 .... Mr. St. John Mason, the nephew of Dr. Emmet's wife, in reference to the 
part taken in Parliament by Mr. Plunket in relation to Thomas Addis Emmet, makes use 
of these words in his written statement to me of his reminiscences of the Emmet family: — 
"/ have heard Dr. Emmet say that he [Plunket] was an ungrateful man". That Dr. Emmet 
believed Mr. W. C. Plunket had been under obligations of friendship to his son T. A. 
Emmet I have no doubt. That T. A. Emmet was shocked and disgusted when he heard 
of the part taken by W. C. Plunket in the House of Commons on the occasion of the 
proceedings in relation to the advertisement of the State prisoners, I can have no doubt 
. . . . Dr. W. J. Macneven, conjointly with T. A. Emmet, published in New York in 
1807 a work entitled "Pieces of Irish History'"- ... In the latter treatise at page 162 
Dr. Macneven, in reference to the advertisement signed by T. A. Emmet, A. O'Connor, 
and Macneven, of the 27th of August, says: "A tempest of folly and fury was immediately 
excited in the House of Commons. Blinded by their rage, the members of that honour- 
able assembly neglected the obvious distinction between the newspapers and their report. 
They took to themselves the falsehoods that had been repelled. Mr. McNaughten, and two 
virulent barristers, Francis Hutchinson and Conyngham Plunket, were even clamorous for 
having the persons who signed the refutation disposed of by a summary execution. 
Plunket had been the bosom intimate of Emmet — the companion of his childhood, and the 
friend of his youth". 

Is it to be imagined that T. A. Emmet would have allowed his statements to go forth 
in a work that was a joint publication of his and his associate and confidential friend, 
Macneven, if he believed the main facts with regard to his relations with Plunket were 
misstated — however more sober and less exaggerated the terms of it might have been, 
had that account of his former friendship with Mr. Plunket been written by himself? 

But with the precision which characterized every thing written or said by T. A. 
Emmet, we find in a letter of his to Rufus King, dated the 9th of April, 1807, that when 
he speaks of this transaction he does not implicate Plunket in the atrocity he imputes to 
another member of the House of Commons; he merely says — "A proposal was made in the 
Irish House of Commons by Mr. McNaughten, an Orangeman, to take us out and hang 
us without trial". 

No doubt Emmet's disgust and indignation at the treacherous conduct of Mr. W. C. 
Plunket in his regard — namely, in hounding on the government to measures of severity 
against him and the other two state prisoners — prevented his making mention of the name 
of W. C. Plunket. And this was the line of conduct that any one acquainted with the 
character of T. A. Emmet would have a right to expect at his hands. 

It will be necessary to refer again to this subject when the trial of Robert 
Emmet is being considered. 

264 Rigors of Emmet's Imprisonment 

The first question put to Mr. Emmet at his examination before the Com- 
mittee from the Irish House of Commons was : — "Were you a United Irish- 
man" ? His answer was : — "I am one". This answer, and the fact that it 
was known that he had to a great extent written the different papers which 
had been issued in the name of the Irish leaders, increased the enmity and ill- 
will of several members of the Irish Government, and of no one more than 
Lord Castlereagh, who, to the last, persecuted his helpless prisoner. So far 
as an honest and charitable man could cherish to the fullest extent a bitter 
hatred for another, Mr. Emmet fully reciprocated the feeling. Through the 
press, the public was informed that the Irish leaders had been subjected to the 
closest solitary confinement in punishment for their late exhibition of a re- 
bellious spirit. This was true so far as they were confined without inter- 
course with each other, but they were not restricted in the matter of occupy- 
ing light and well-ventilated rooms, supplied with such books as they wished 
and with supposedly good food. Mr. Emmet was the only exception ; by order 
of Castlereagh he was confined for six weeks in total darkness, but in a fairly 
dry cell under the prison. The cell was about seven feet in length, with the 
walls within reach on each side, and the only ventilation was from a loop-hole 
above the door. He was allowed no bed-clothing and lay on a stone shelf 
raised but a few inches from the floor. He had no change of underclothing 
during that time, and was deprived of every means of cleanliness, even 
of the facility for washing his hands and face. He was kept on bread and 
water, often insufficient in quantity to satisfy either his hunger or thirst. The 
bread was of the worst quality and the water always offensive both in taste 
and smell. Not many years since the writer had in his possession a small 
book about one and a half inches square and consisting of only a few pages, 
which Mr. Emmet had contrived to conceal on his person and in which he 
marked with pencil the number of days he was thus held in solitary confine- 
ment on insufficient food. Evidently his only means of computing time was 
the daily delivery of his bread and water. He saw no one save once in 
twenty-four hours, and that a foul-sme!ling attendant who threw his bread 
in anywhere upon the floor, and, before he could place the vessel of water on 
the floor, he often succeeded in spilling some portion, at the same time giving 
vent to the foulest combination of words in the way of curses at Mr. Emmet 
for his rebel proclivities. 

Mr. Emmet fully realized at the beginning that he was placed there by his 
enemy with the determination to break his spirit and compel him to sue for 
mercy or lose his life in the struggle. The only movable article in the cell, 
with the exception of the wooden vessel for holding his allowance of drinking 
water was a heavy wooden bucket without a cover for containing the dejecta. 
On Mr. Emmet making the request for a cover, the brutal turnkey struck 
at his head with the bucket, knocking him from his seat. The blow glanced 
from his shoulder, but would have fractured his skull had there been light 
enough to direct it as intended. The receptable was never covered or washed 
out, and the contents were often emptied on the entry floor before the door of 

Release from Confinement 265 

the cell. As there was no ventilation except through the entry, which was 
at a great distance from any efficient communication with the external air, the 
atmosphere at no time could have been a healthy one and it is remark- 
able that the life of an individual could have been sustained in it. In the 
Appendix will be found some account of treatment of prisoners in English 
prisons (Note XIII). Day after day passed without a remonstrance on Mr. 
Emmet's part, although time ceased to have any connection with his existence, 
so far as he was able to appreciate it. 

Mr. Emmet was a man who, without effort, saw and heard everything 
about him, and forgot nothing. There seemed no information to be acquired 
by a human being of which he did not acquire some knowledge, and often to 
the extent of being an expert. His time soon became fully occupied in the 
study of the masonry of the walls of his cell, which he could not see. He soon 
knew the number of stones in the walls of his cell and the size of each, and 
by touch he learned to recognize the work of each mason who dressed the face 
of the different stones. From his knowledge of geology he studied the nat- 
ural history of each block and recalled where in different parts of Ireland he 
had noticed the out-cropping of the same material, or some indication of its 
existence in the neighborhood, and even gave thought to the special canal 
route by which it had been brought to Dublin. 

Although he became emaciated and often too weak to hunt for the piece 
of bread last thrown in, he now felt that the end of his suffering was rapidly 
approaching, when at length, in his semi-conscious condition, he realized that 
he was to be released. Someone in authority was prompted through kindness 
to act and to do so without the knowledge of Castlereagh. The kindly wife of 
the head jailor was thus able to intervene without fear of the brute, Dr. 
Trevor,* a creation and tool of Lord Castlereagh, but the jailer was removed as 
soon as it became known that directions were not carried out. Mr. Em- 
met's condition was such that it was necessary for the messenger to swing 
him across his shoulder and take him to his new quarters. Until after the 
death of Mr. Emmet no knowledge of the details of his suffering during this 
close confinement was ever imparted even to his family. And then only as 
stated by Dr. Macneven, who learned them from his friend after his arrival 
in this country, but the sufferer was never known to have uttered a complaint 

•It would be well for the reader to consult the Appendix, where a remarkable production from 
the pen of St. John Mason, a first cousin of the Emmets, will be found (Note XIII). Mr. 
Mason was arrested, apparently on no evidence beyond that of his relationship, and was only re- 
leased after a long imprisonment, broken in health and fortune. He had acquired the enmity of 
Trevor and suffered a merciless persecution in consequence. After Mason*s release he devoted every 
effort to the purpose of having Trevor removed, but it was only after some years that he finally 
succeeded in having the matter brought before Parliament and an investigating committee appointed 
by the House of Commons, by which he succeeded in his purpose. He published three large pam- 
phlets, the first and the least voluminous of which is given in the Appendix as showing the type 
of men which always have been selected hv the English official and which come in contact with the Irish 
people. To be totally unfit for the position is the chief requisite. To such persons was given a free 
hand to rob both the people and the Government. If by accident a better man came into place he 
was soon removed. One of Mason's books contains a statement of his case, and the last, the most 
valuable for historical purposes, is rendered so by containing little more than extracts from the report 
published by the committee of the House of Commons. These works are now so rarely to be found that 
it seems as though a determined effort must have been made when they were published to destroy 
all evidence connected with them. This ruffian, Trevor, was allowed to hold his position for many 
years, with the same immunity enjoyed by others, regardless of public complaint. In his work 
Mason published Trevor's so-called vindication, well written by his lawyer, as a general denial, but 
proved to be false, as he retired in possession of over half a million of dollars, although he was a 
penniless tramp when appointed. 

266 Mrs. Emmet Admitted to Gaol 

even to his wife. He himself never referred to the subject, and when 
questioned by his wife and others, he answered with a suppressed sigh, but in 
as cheerful a manner as he could assume : "The little I was called on to bear 
was as nothing to what so many others had to suffer". From the recollec- 
tions of his childhood, the writer is now the only one living who has any 
knowledge of this incident in Mr. Emmet's life. It was a subject his grand- 
mother always avoided in after life, but he learned from the younger members 
of the family that they could recall hearing it said their father was a changed