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abundance of wild animals required a felling of so many thousand trees every corresponding extent of wooded coun- year did make a great destruction of try to afford them shelter. A few the forest in tract of time. In the years later (1697) we find that wood year 1669, the Earl of Strafford furwas equally plentiful in Munster, for in nished Lawrence Wood of London that year a committee of the House of with pipe staves to a great amount, at Cominons estimated the injury done the rate of £10 per thousand.t. to Lord Kenmare's forests at £45,000, The exportation of wood for pipe and that those of Lord Massey, in staves had but an insignificant effect Cork, had suffered to the amount of in accelerating the destruction of the £25,000.
Irish forests, when compared with the The publications of the Irish Record vast quantities of wood which were Commission contain some curious in- consuined in the reduction of iron ore. formation respecting former abundance Many parts of Ireland contain a great of natural woods in Ireland. The abundance of iron ore, of the very best trustees appointed for the sale of the quality, which is now a useless and unestates forfeited in the rebellion of availing treasure, as there is unfortu1668, estimated the value of the woods nately no corresponding supply of standing upon such estates,' at about mineral fuel. Formerly this want was £60,000. According to the same less severely experienced, as the woods report, the woods upon the estate of afforded a ready supply of charcoal Sir Valentine Brown, in Kerry, were and when the iron works were situated cut down and wasted to the amount of near the coast, or had the advantage £20,000; and on the late Earl of of water carriage, the iron trade could Clancarty's estate, now granted to Lord be conducted with great advantage. Woodstock, the waste of timber is The iron trade appears to have comestimated at £27,000. So hasty have inenced early in the seventeenth censeveral of the grantees and their agents tury, and to have been carried on with been in the disposition of the forfeited great spirit, till the unhappy events of woods, that vast numbers of trees have 1641 suspended every branch of nabeen cut down and sold for not above tional industry. sixpence a piece. The like waste is On the restoration of tranquillity, still continuing in many parts of this the manufacture of iron was resumed kingdom, and particularly in the lands with increased vigor. Sir William of Fettrim, within six miles of Dublin, Petty, himself a manufacturer of iron, and the woods of Shagnessy, in the inforins us, that there were no less county of Galway, purchased by Toby than 6000 iron forges in Ireland, which Butler, Esq. for about £2,500, which gave occupation in various ways to no were valued at above £12,000.* fewer than 25,000 persons, either in at
But a better idea of the extent of tending to the furnaces or in cutting the forest may be formed, when we down the trees and preparing charcoal. examine the causes which lead to their Before the rebellion of 1641, extensive destruction. Great quantities of wood iron works were established by the were formerly exported from Ireland. Earl of Cork in several places in the When Boate published his work, the south of Ireland. Sir Charles Coote's exportation of pipe staves was one of iron works in Roscommon, Leitrim, the ordinary branches of industry, so and at Mountrath, in Queen's County, as a mighty trade was driven in them. gave occupation to no fewer than Whole ship loads were sent into foreign twenty-five hundred people. There countries yearly, which, as it brought were similar establishments in Fermagreat profit to the proprietaries, so the nagh, in King's County, and various
Irish Record Commission, v. 3, p. 40. + The following quotation will show the reckless manner in which many of the forests of Ireland were destroyed. In an inquisition for the county of Down, taken some time between 1654 and 1657, it is stated that in Shane O'Neil's country, in the county of Down, ere were then standing 8,883 trees, six inches square at the but, the remains of a great oak forest, out of which one Adam Montgomery, with two or three others, took the cutting of two summers; Mr. Dallaway 60 oaks; another person 127; and others to the amount of 727 trees in all, without leave; and by the Lord of Arde's warrant, 126 do.; and that one John King did cut, upon Lisdalgan, and other inland tinber tunes, (crown lands,) with sundry workmen with him, for a year and a half, great store of timber trees, cutting the same to pipe-staves, hogshead-staves, barrel-staves, bear-shaves, and spokes for carts.
places thronghout Ireland. Such was ceased together, although some of the the spirit with which this branch of latter survived till after 1745.* trade was carried on, that iron works Although the iron works yielded were established on the sea coasts of very large profits to their owners, Ulster and Munster ; and as the land motives of a different but no less powe carriage of the ore was too expensive, erful nature operated in stimulating when brought from the interior of the the trade. It was desirable to cut country, the necessary supplies were down the forests which afforded shelter imported from England. The rate of to the turbulent, and also to bring as profit of these undertakings varied much land as possible under cultivation. with the locality, depending very much Smith, in his bistory of Waterford, on the facility with which the materials says, that the destruction of the woods could be transported by water. Boate, was chiefly intended in the erecting of to whom we are indebted for most iron furnaces. of these interesting details, states, that * The English formerly considered the manufactured iron cost Sir Charles this kingdom much in the same light as Coote froin ten to eleven pounds per our planters do America at present, a ton, and was sold at the rate of seven place overgrown with woods, although all teen pounds per ton.
methods were to be taken to clear the “ The Earl of Cork, whose iron works country of timber, to which these works being seated in Munster, afforded him much coutributed.” very good opportunity of sending his iron The consequence of this idea was, out of the land by shipping, did in this that in those places where one was not particular far surpass all others, so that to be had, or the amount of land rar. be gained great treasures thereby; and riage rendered the smelting unprofitknowing persons, who had a particular able, the trees were cut down and insight into his affairs, do assure me that allowed to rot or used as fuel. Hence he had profited above one hundred thou- in many places throughout the counsand pounds by his said iron works."
try, the tenant was bound by the It is easy to conceive the havoc terms of his lease to cut down a given such an extensive iron trade must have number of trees every year. Such caused in our forests, and the rapid was the fate of the woods of Ireland; change which the aspect of the country and although the destruction of a rast must have suffered, and how much of quantity of timber was necessary for what was beautiful in its mountain the progress of agriculture and the gescenery effaced. Sinith, in his history veral prosperity of the country, we of Kerry, when speaking of the iron cannot but regret that the warfare was works of Glencara, states that all or carried on to uiter extermination, and the greater part of the bills and moun- that the beauty of the scenery has suftails hereabouts, were formerly cr- fered such injury. But mankind are vered with trees which have been de ever apt to run to extremes, and the stroyed by the iron works erected near foriner neglect of planting in this coun. the river Carra, by Sir William Petty, try adınitted of the same apology as and carried on till a few years ago, has been urged in defence of the same when the workmen were obliged to neglect in America at present. What stop working for want of charcoal. pleasur
sure can those take in planting Such was the fate of the forests, whose lives are employed in cutting and finally of the iron furnaces; they down trees?
• The rapid destruction of the forests appears to have altracted the attention of the Irish parliament, and induced them to take some precautions to moderate the evil. In an act passed in 1698, we find the followirg statements :--" Forasinuch as by the late rebellion in this kingdom, and the several iron works formerly here, the timber is utterly destroyed, so as that at present there is not sufficient for the repairing of the houses destroyed, much less a prospect of building and improving in aftertimes, unless some means be used for the planting an increase of iimber trees. It was enaceed that persons having iron-works, should plant 500 acres every yearevery person holding 500 acres to plant one acre in seven years. The same act directed that 260,600 trees should be planted in 31 years from the year 1703. This legislation produced but little effect, and in the year 1703, another act was passed, repealing all duties on the importation of unwrought iron, and foreign timber, as such duties tended to the destruction of the woods of this kingdom.” This law was certainly a very judicious one, but inefficacious, because too late.
The forests of Ireland consisted one of the most picturesque objects of the chiefly of the Scotch fir, the oak, and kind I have ever met with. One foot the yew; but the ash and the elm were from the ground it was 40 feet 6 inches probably rare. A few of the ancient round. This massive stem is full nine patriarchs of our forests still survive, feet high, and some of the branches exwhose magnitude and beauty estabó tend full 70 feet.” lished the fact that there is nothing
The yew tree was formerly very in the soil or climate of Ireland un common in Ireland, and
spefavorable to the growth of timber. cimens of this beautiful but sombre tree The splendid oak of Portmore in the still subsist. Smith informs us that it county of Antrim, which was cut formerly grew in prodigious quantities down only a few years ago, measured in the south of Ireland, until they forty two feet in circumference. This were cut down to afford fuel for the was only six feet less than the circum- iron furnaces. One of the finest yews ference of the celebrated Cawthorpe in the country, formerly grew near the oak, the finest tree of the kind in Eng- Seven Churches, in the county of land.
Wicklow. It had a circumference of Ireland can boast of several mag, 16 feet, and was justly esteemed one nificent specimens of the ash and the of the ornaments of that romantic spot, elm, the most of which still subsist, or where its great age, and the feelings at least did so till a very recent period. of sadness which this tree is so apt to At St. Wolstans, in the county of excite, rendered it an appropriate acKildare, there was an elm, perhaps the companiment of the ruined buildings finest of the kind in this or any country. and gloomy solitude of the place. The diameter of its head, taken from About fifty years ago, the principal the extremities of its lower branches, branches were sawed off, by the agent exceeded 34 yards, and the stem was for the see, and sold for the value of 38 feet 6 inches in circumference. This the timber. poble tree was prostrated by a storm in “ From that time to the present," says 1776. The age of this tree is unknown, Mr. Hayes, “the poor remains have but tradition supposes it to have been been in a constant state of decay, and it planted by the monks of St. Wolstans, has scarcely put out a branch. The bark before the dissolution of that monastery, has fallen off, and a large holly has grown which happened in 1538.6 Several up through the fissures of the stem.” beautiful specimens of the ash occur
It is in Ireland.
not improbable that this The old ash of Donerey has a circumference of 42 feet. The yew was formerly planted in the vie trunk, as is the case with many old cinity of the church-yard, in confortrees,' is bullow, and formerly served have prevailed throughout the country.
mity with a custom which appears to as a school. Near Kennely church, If we calculate its age by the number in King's County, there is an ash, cele- of lines in its diameter, we may infer brated for its great dimensions, and for that it was planted sometime during certain religious ceremonies, which the ninth century, and was bave for many years been observed respecting it. The lower people, when quently one of the oldest trees in the
The yew appears formerly passing by with a funeral, lay the to have been held in great estimation, corpse down for a few minutes, say a from religious feelings, as well as from prayer, and then throw a stone to
the uses to which it was applied. The increase the number which have been Abbey of Newry has derived its name accumulating for ages around the root. froin ihe yew trees which grew in its The circumference of this tree is nearly vicinity ; hence it was called, in the 202 feet. The finest tree of the kind monkish Latin of the time, Monasin the empire, is the ash of Sein, in terium de viride ligno ; in Irish, Na Queen's County
Jur, or the newrics, or yew trees-an “ This celebrated piece of antiquity," appellation still applied to the town of says Mr. Hayes, “stands on the high Newry by the country people. The road between Monasteriven and Portar- seal of the abbey was a mitred abbot, lington, and though it has long ceased to sitting in a chair, supported by two have any pretensions to beauty, is still yew trees.
• The precise spot where this beautiful oak stood, is called Derrychrin, an abbreviation for Darragh-erin, or the Oak of Ireland. + Hayes on Planting, from whose book most of these facts are taken.
It hus strangely enough been doubted whether the yew be truly indigenous to Ireland. This doubt can be very easily removed, for abundance of the trunks of
GALLERY OF ILLUSTRIOUS IRISHMEN.--N0. Vill.
The scope of our subject becomes en- frank declaration that we are noconlarged by the very complex relations cerned in statements that have no with the world, in which the subject of bearing on our especial and professed our memoir became involved, as his aim, which is not to record, but to decareer advanced. His various talents, lineate. Mr. Moore has occupied the with the vivacity and ambition which place of the biographer ; and though directed and animated their employ- we have occasionally read his book ment, placed him in scenes and as with that dissent, from which we our. pects, which, without some contriv- selves do not expect to stand exance, are not on our narrow scale to empted, we think he has not left the be harmonized into the unity of me- niche unoccupied, on which the methodical narration.
mory of Sheridan is to survive. Consistently with our plan, we shall With this in view, we bave omitted be obliged to obtain this essential all detail relative to the shortobject by the selection of a few promi. lived administration, wbich was terminent topics, from which may depend nated by the death of Lord Rocking, the main events of the life we are ham. The immediate consequences engaged on, and the features of a cha were the accession of Lord Shelburne racter which we trust to have depicted to his place at the head of the governat least with fidelity, though we con ment; the resignation of Mr. Fox fess with less force and skill than the and his friends, and the celebrated subject deserves.
coalition of that eminent orator and In conformity with this method we party leader, with the object of twelve have not dwelt on the particulars of years' implacable and violent aniinosity, those party conflicts which arose out of, Lord North, for the purpose of forcing or gave occasion to, the varied changes, the king to submit to their dictation. defeats and successes, disjunctions and of this coalition some of Mr. For's coalitions of the parties and the per- warmest admirers have said, that sons. Deep, as must be the detailed it left a lasting “scar upon bis reputainterest of those brilliant collisions of tion;"* we are not obliged to propower, and their important and often nounce on either side. Whether it affecting results, nothiny of this could was owing to this powerful combinabe preserved in the meagrevess of the tion or not, Lord Shelburne resigned, brief and summary notices we are com- and the friends of Mr. Fox again came pelled to offer. Every event has its into power under the Duke of Porthistory and its result; and while the land." This administration was shortuninformed reader can draw nothing lived as its predecessors. Mr. Fox's from the dryness of such an abstract, India bill
, after passing the Commons, the well-read in history can only was rejected in the Lords, December feel that it adds nothing to his 17, 1783; and on the following night stock of facts. We must extricate Lord North and Mr. Fox received ourself from these alternatives by the their dismissal by a messenger from the yews have been imbedded in the bogs, and are consequently of very ancient growth, and must have flourished long before planting was thought of. The idea that the yew is not a native tree, probably originated in the acts of parliament encouraging the importation of foreign yew staves, for the purposes of archery. It was not the scarcity of yew trees, but the real or imagined superior qualities of the foreign yew staves which was the cause of such laws. By an act of the English parlia. ment, of the eighth of Elizabeth, for regulating the price of bows, we find that those constructed of yew staves of foreign growth, were valued at three times the price of these which were made of native yew. Bows meet for men's use, being outlandish yew, 6s. Bd. ; bows, being English yew, 2s. An act of Richard III. complains that bow staves had risen to the « outrageous price of eight pounds a hundred, owing to the seditious conspiracy of the Lombards ;” and enacts that ten bow-staves be imported with every butt of malmsey.
• The writer of the memoir of George IV. insists, and we think with reason, that there was no change of principle on the part of Fox. Lord North came over to him.
king. To connect these changes with concentration of its genius. He was the topic before us, requires but few for a time dazzled by a combination words. Sheridan's prospects rose and of wit, wisdom, knowledge, and genius, sunk with his friends, and as their in- unparalleled in English history; and tervals of power were thus transient, was at the same time impelled on they can be supposed to have had little the other side, by a harshness, which, immediate connexion with the events of while we pronounce it justifiable, we his life, further than the continued admit to have been extreme, and there, occasion which political vicissitude fore doubt to have been judicious on affords, for the exertion of talent. the part of his father.
The names of thosegreat men who have George III, an eminent example of stamped the opinions and controversies all the domestic virtues, had devoted of the day in which they lived, with himself with firm and uncompromising the permanency of their genius, are still fervor to reform the excessively liberstanding topics of earnest and some tine spirit of his reign. The piost distimes inflarned dissension among those graceful and disgusting vices seem to who have occasion to revert to their have basked in the noonday, unreperiod. Nor is it possible to touch its proved by public feeling, and were not history without, in some degree, affirme considered to detract from the reputaing the standard by which we would tion of eminent public men. It will characterize them and their actions. be sufficient authority on this head to However we may settle with our Whig quote one sentence from a very able opponents the precise limits within and we believe honest Whig writer : which the balancing powers of the constitution should be severally advanced
“ It is indisputably true, that his conor restrained, we must assert, that in section with the Whig party and its illustheir struggle for supremacy, the Whigs trious chief, which now began, favored of that reign went unjustifiable lengths his own bias to dissipation. They were and maintained dangerous principles. almost all persons who indulged in horseThe time also was itself pregnant with racing, gaming, social pleasures. In short
, the elements of revolution; a power tered vices of high life, which, far from
those fashionable irregularities and charwas abroad which deinanded rather a counteraction than an impulse. At lustre to their talents, public services, and
debasing their characters, gave relief and a time when kingly power was be
patriotism." ginning to be menaced from abroad : a combination of ability such as was We shall not stay to discuss the denot known before or since was licate question, as to the worth, singaged in an illtimed if not unconsti- cerity, and genuineness of the public tutional design to reduce the power virtues and services which were set off of the crown. The ambition of indi. by so portentous a lustre ; we should viduals and the spirit excited by concert fear to join in a part similar to that and opposition precipitated their ac. acted by the wives of a middle-aged tions. And but for the firmness man of whom we are told by the fabulist, of George III. the sagacity of Mr. that while the younger pulled out all Burke, and the providential accession the grey hairs, the elder, with equal of the Pitt administration the crown industry, eradicated the black ; so that might have been trampled under foot, between them the poor man was put and the tempest of revolution would to the cost of a wig. George III, have broken in balf a century sooner whose feelings as a man, a father, aud over the ruins of the constitution. a king, were equally outraged by the Such was the state of parties, when conduct of the Prince, and by his the history of the Prince of Wales friends, was zealous to arrest a course becomes so intimately connected with so ruinons and offensive to decency the fortunes of the subject of this sketch, and religion, by taking a decided that we must enter somewhat more course of resistance and opposition. largely into its particulars.
It was not merely his wish to control The Prince of Wales had become extravagant expenditure, or to restrain intimately acquainted with the great dissolute courses by the natural counWhig leaders at Devonshire house, teraction of the domestic affections. where the Whiggism of the day appears The compromise to the Prince's reputo have established its bead quarters, tation; the danger to his future peace; and doubtless to have gained prose- the seeming unconstrained lavishness lytes by the magnificence and luxury of his expenditure ; the fatal sanction of its attire, as well as by the splendid to all that was contemptible, profligate,