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labourers.-O sir, that must be a mistake : it was to have been Mr. - ' • Help me to find the man who has shot at me,' said another gentleman to his own tenants. The answer was, “We know our duty;' and not a man stirred. And these are not extraordinary instances: they are cases of almost daily recurrence.*
The effect of them is to bewilder and paralyse the government, -to bow down the people into a fearful submission to a secret tribunal of Thuggists (there is no better parallel for it), cooperating with the priesthood against one and the same party, and to terrify the landlords into flight, or quiescence, or absolute subjection, as Dr. Meyler states, to their tenantry and the priest ; or rather to their tenantry in the hands of the priest. The clergy they would terrify also, were not the Irish clergy supported by a higher power, and nerved against such fears. Dr. Kinsala, indeed, denied in a letter to the Bishop of Gloucester that the clergy were exposed to any such trials. It was not true,' he said,
that several had been murdered.' And as for brutal assaults, he had never heard of them. Mr. Ferguson of Cork, Mr. Houston of Kildare, Mr. Dawson of Limerick, Mr. Whitty, whose inurderers were tried at Clonmel, within twenty miles of Dr. Kinsala's residence,-Mr. Going, murdered near the same place,--of these Dr. Kinsala had never heard. Nor had he heard of any brutal assaults on them. Mr. O'Sullivan | ventures to give the following table of cases within his own knowledge only, thirty-nine of which occurred to clergymen of his own personal acquaintance, between the years 1829 and 1836; and he declares that it is an imperfect enumeration, even of those which he knew, how much more of those which occurred throughout the country :
' Assaults on persons, or attacks on houses . 47
* Some notion of the extent of this intimidation may be formed from the following account of crimes from July 1836 to April 1839. In adducing it, frightful as it is, let us make one important remark, lest our horror at such a sight in Ireland should destroy our sympathy with that country, or blind us to its real condition, or induce any flattering comparison of the good estate of England. It will be observed that they are not such crimes as occur in England. The crimes in England are, we think, far worse than those in Ireland, indicating more profligacy, and more settled selfishness and bru. tality. The crimes in Ireland are those of a Guerilla warfare—very frightful, but, when seen in this their true light, to be taken as the measure of degradation and wick edness rather in those who instigate, than in those who commit them :97 Firing into dwellings,
559 Robberies of arms, 1421 Injury to property,
1145 Common assaults, 182 Levelling fences,
1195 Incendiary fires, 191 Resistance to legal processes,
615 Homicides, 73 Rescues of prisoners,
1001 Killing or maiming cattle, 1191 Attacks of houses,
2259 Aggravated assaults. 1502 Threatening notices,
... Report on Crime, vol. ii., p. 1085. † Romanism, &c., vol. ii. p. 371.
Attempts to kill or maim by fire-arms
. . 8 Attempts to assassinate the sons of clergy . An inquirer might also ask at the insurance offices under what conditions the Irish clergy are admitted to insure their lives.
Add to this Dr. Doyle's tithe war-clergymen with families gentlemen, men of education, of piety—whose only crime, according to Dr. Doyle's own confession, was, that some of the body had been zealous, over-zealous he thought, in discharging their duty* —compelled to part with servants and all the comforts of life-to take their children from school, to drop their insurances, to sell the furniture of their houses, till a 'whole family, husband and wife, and six children, had nothing but a bed to sleep on'— to dig with their own hands'—to be dependent on public charity for support-to be · living on a meal of potatoes a-day'—and all this patiently and resignedly, rather than promote disturbance, or run the risk of shedding the blood of their oppressors by enforcing their just rights. Think of this, and think of Dr. Doyle and his coadjutors in their chapels compelling the peasantry to withhold what they were bound and were willing to pay, and looking composedly on such a scene, and if any rebellious pity did arise, calming it with the thought that their victims 'would not be allowed to die with hunger in the midst of their own people--and then ask, if you will, whether these agrarian outrages have not some deeper meaning than the struggle of a peasantry for land ?
And, before we pass from this point, let us ask what were the feelings of the people towards this persecuted race of clergy. They were probably hatred, jealousy, resentment for injuries, contempt, indignation against oppression. We take from the evidence on tithes † the character given of them by a soldier and a gentleman, Colonel Sir John Harvey. We cannot do more than take one. Let our readers look for themselves, and see if the language is solitary-if it is not universal :
What,' he was asked, “is the general feeling of the population within your district towards the Protestant clergy ?- Previous to the agitation of this tithe question' (an agitation, remember, introduced by strangers, carried on against the will of the people, inflamed by Dr. Doyle and his priests, and unprovoked except by such cases of oppression as Dr. Doyle's
* See Dr. Doyle's Evidence on the Tithe Committee.
Report, March 13, 1832, p. 25. VOL, LXVII. NO. CXXXIII.
priests invented, and procured to be confirmed by oath, when, as it was proved before the Committee, they were utterly false)—'previous to this, I can have no difficulty in saying that they were held in the utmost respect by the lower orders of the Catholic people.... In any statement I make, I beg to observe generally, that I rest it upon official documents in the possession of the Irish government, and upon information acquired during a period of four years that I have been in my present situation ; passing through the country in all directions, communicating with persons of all ranks; professing no political opinion myself; received with hospitality by the nobility, clergy, and gentry, and persons of all creeds and of all political opinions. From such sources of information I am enabled to state that the general feeling of the lower orders of the population towards the Protestant clergy, previous to the agitation of this question, was one of unbounded respect: they looked up to them as among the best resident gentry in the country. In all times of difficulty and distress they were the first persons to whom the Catholic poor thought of applying. They knew that they were addicted to charity ; that they made no distinction of creed in the objects soliciting their relief; and nothing could be more unbounded than the feeling of respect and confidence that appeared to me to be placed in them generally.'
The slightest knowledge of Ireland would render any confirmation of this superfluous. Whence, then, these horrible outrages? They were not sudden outbreaks of feeling : they were prepared, matured, executed as judicial sentences—the sentences of a secret tribunal, which had its ministers spread throughout the country, all ready, according to the Whitefoot oath, 'to go ten miles on foot, and fifteen miles on horseback, on five minutes' warning ;' all sworn ‘never to pity the moans or groans of the dying, from the cradle to the crutch, and to wade knee-deep in Orange blood. As judicial—we are almost repeating the account of them delivered from the bench by Baron Smith-they are executed by strangers : notices are given beforehand ; the people look on as spectators at an execution, unmoved, or it may be, pitying, but without any more thought of averting the blow than English by-standers would have of saving a ravisher or patricide from the gallows. The vengeance is measured. When one clergyman-a man of whom those who knew him can scarcely speak except as of a saint—was cruelly stoned to death, they sent up to the house to inform his friends where he lay, “that the poor old gentleman might not lie out the whole night in the cold. Another clergyman was warned to leave his parish. When he would not admit the threatening letters, they wrote to his wife, entreating her not to go out with him, lest the shot intended for her husband should strike her; and once, when the assassins were planted, they abstained from firing, because his children were with him on the
car. Once more, we say, Mr. Morrissy, a Roman Catholic clergyman, declares that the Inquisition is established in Ireland. It is confirmed by the publication of Dens's Theology,' and its Appendix. Is it, we ask, true?
Be it remembered, also, that this dark agency spreads not merely through the peasantry: it penetrates into the bosom of families. A nobleman is called on in the evening; is informed that the same night he is to be murdered; that the iron gate is to be left open, and a candle, to direct the shot, placed in a certain window by the hand of his own servant. The informer is sent off immen diately to give notice of a similar attempt to be made on the life of another. The gate is found open, the candle in the window, the servant waiting dressed in his room, and the next morning the informer is picked up a short distance from the house, murdered himself. So also Mr. O'Driscoll :
“The confederacy of servants becomes almost universal in all commotions of the lower Irish, and many families have perished by the hands of their own domestics. ... Those servants belong to the great confederacy of the people.' [We beg to ask who are the persons that boast of having this confederacy under their education and their control?] They are leagued against the family that feeds, and clothes, and cherishes them. They are sworn to deliver up to death their benefactors, or themselves to execute the sentence, if required. The family suspect this to be the case--they can hardly doubt it—and they sit like victims surrounded by their executioners.'— Review of Evidence, p. 31, 28.
We console ourselves with the epithet 'agrarian.' It is, indeed, undoubtedly true that these outrages are connected with the possession of land ; that land is of the utmost importance to the Irish peasant; that his living depends on it; and that when he is threatened with starvation by ejectment of any kind, violence might well be expected. But is it not a fact that the perpetrators of these crimes—and we are referring to the words of Baron Smith-in scarcely a single instance have been persons in distress? Patience under suffering, however acute, is a characteristic of the Irish peasantry. How can the attribution of these outrages to disputes about land be reconciled with another fact so often, we hope and believe so calumniously, urged against the Irish landlords, that they are ejecting their tenants by hundreds ? How, if the peasantry are so ready to revenge such ejectments with blood, and can do it without fear of conviction, are any of these landlords still alive?
But then remember that the Irish landlords are for the most part Protestants; that no beneficence of personal character is able to shield them from these attacks; that a Lord Lorton,
devoting all his energies to the welfare of his people, is the man marked out for assassination ; that the only parties safe are those who succumb to the priests; that even Roman Catholic landlords, the moment they act independently--with those feelings of loyalty, honour, and duty which a well-educated Romanist, the errors of whose system are corrected by the excellence of his own heart, will display and has so often displayed in former times that inoment they are exposed to attack. Lord Kenmare, a name respected by all parties, is no more secure than Lord Roden, when he becomes suspected of heresy; that is, of a want of submission to this secret ecclesiastical tribunal. He is even more violently denounced on the very principle of Popery,—that the subjects of the Church are more amenable to her censures than those who are without her pale.
Once more. Ireland, it has often been said, has been confiscated three times over. We are no friends of confiscation, least of all of the confiscations in Ireland. But this is not to the purpose. Time, we might suppose, had elapsed sufficient to obliterate such recollections. Irishmen, let us repeat it, are notoriously patient under suffering—almost fatalists in succumbing to necessity. One of the chief obstacles to the welfare of their country is their unwillingness to exert themselves in order to improve their condition. They prefer, we repeat it again without fear of refutation, to live under Protestant rather than under Romanist landlords.* They have a quick feeling of reverence for birth and blood—they attach themselves readily to their superiors -the moment they are released from the influence of their priests and their religious associations, (we are referring to the experience of districts where conversion has extended,) instead of hating the name of England, they become fondly attached to it. And yet, side by side with these facts, as one of the great paradoxes in Ireland, it is found that the memory of these confiscations is treasured up to this day in the minds of the peasantrydistricts are still known by the names of the old Irish proprietors -the very individuals, now perhaps paupers, are pointed out to whom the property rightfully, as it is said, belonged. Deeds, documents, and maps with the ancient boundaries marked out, are carefully preserved (it is asserted, in the hands of the priests) i
-pedigrees are transmitted—the days are counted till the hour when they are to be reinstated in their right. When will be
* A remarkable instance is now before us of a whole tenantry, when an estate was to be sold, going to the Protestant clergyman, and entreating him to buy it, that they might be under him, and not be transferred to a Roman Catholic landlord. But the general fact is notorious.
+ See especially the evilence of Colonel Irwin, Com. Rep., May 19, 1825, p. 696.