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but not at all to the extent of his wishes. Lord Mountnorris, whose conduct towards the Catholics became from henceforth wholly altered (he had formerly favoured them), sent for Mr. Redmond, upon finding that he was present at the plundering of his house, desiring that he would come to him directly. I'he reverend gentleman, conscious of his own integrity, and appre. hensive of no danger, being involved in no guilt, obeyed the summons without hesitation ; but his instantaneous hasty trial, condemnation, and execution, were the reward of his humane and generous exertions. His body, after death, underwent the most indecent mutilations.*
I find in a letter from Dr. Caulfield to Dr. Troy, of the 19th of October 1799, the following avowal about the Rev. John Redmond: “ All I can say of " the Rev. John Redmond is, that when Lord Mountnorris was preparing to
prosecute him, his groom and another of his servants (Protestants as I am
informed) told his lordship, that Redmond's conduct was innocent and “ praiseworthy, that he came unto the rebels, when they were plundering his “ lordship's house, and did all in his power to restrain and prevent them. " But now to look for any favourable testimony from that quarter would “ be vain, where no priest dares appear or Catholic raise his head or his “ voice."
But the Rev. Mr. Gordon puts the case of that unfortunate man in its true light : “ ( History of the Irish Rebellion, 2d edit. p. 225.) of the rebellious “ conduct of Redmond, coadjutor of Father Francis Kavenagh, in the parish of “ Clough, of which I was twenty-three years curate, I can find no other proof than " the sentence of the court-martial, which consigned him to death. He was accus“ed by the Earl of Mountnorris, of having appeared as chief among a party of “ rebels, who committed some depredations at his lordship’s house ; while he al“ leged, that his object in appearing on the occasion, was to endeavour to prevent " the plundering of the house, in which he partly succeeded. Coming into Gorey " on a message from the earl, seemingly unapprehensive of danger, and un“ conscious of guilt, he was treated as if manifestly guilty before trial, knocked “ down in the street, and rudely dragged by some yeomen. I mean not to
arraign the justice of the noble lord, his prosecutor, nor the members of the
court-martial. The former, who had rendered himself in no small degree " responsible for the loyalty of the Wexfordian Romanists, had doubtless "good reasons for his conduct; and the latter could have no personal animosity
against the accused, nor other unfavourable bias than what naturally arose “ from the turbid state of affairs, when accusation, especially against a Ro“ mish priest, was considered as a strong presumption of gwlt. But his " Protestant neighbours, who had not been able to escape fiom the rebels, assured
that while the latter were in possession of the country, he was constantly hiding in Protestant houses from the rebels, and that many Ro“ manists expressed great resentment against him as a traitor to their cause. " That he expected not the rebellion to be successful, appears, from this, “ that when the wife of Nathaniel Stedman (one of my Protestant parishioners)
applied to him to baptize her child, he told her, that he acceded to her re
quest merely lest the child should die unbaptized, in the necessary absence " of her minister, on condition that she should promise to make the proper
apology for him to me on my return to the parish.
si As I understand that the noble earl has not considered my relation of this "affair as complete or satisfactory, I here add a few more circumstances. “ Father Karenagh, to whom Redmond was coadjutor, had lived many years "in habits of the greatest apparent intimacy with the earl, mostly residing at “ his fordship's house, and sometimes entertaining him and Lady Mountnorris " and family at his own. Reilmond, being one of the company on thesc occa“sions, thought himself extremely honoured, and in some degree idolized the ** earl, who was regarded by the Catholics as their most zealous friend. “ Transported with zeal for his noble patron, when he heard that a mob had "gone to his lordship’s house in quest of liquors, he ran to prevail on them to
A party of insurgents in the county of Kildare, under the command of Mr. William Aylmer, still held out in arms; and thither the remaining body of the Wexford men, commanded by Mr. Fiizgerald, accompanied by Mr. Garret Byrne, and some Wicklow men, directed their course to form a junction, which they accordingly effected, but were stopped in their progress at Clonard by Lieutenant Tyrrel, a yeoman officer, who had occupied a fortified house in the town, until reinforcements from Kinnegad and Mullingar forced them to retreat.
After this repulse the few remaining Wexford men separated from their Wicklow associates, whom they deemed less warlike than themselves, and made different incursions into the counties of Kildare, Meath, Louth and Dublin, eluding, as well as they could, the pursuit of the army, with different parties of which they had several skirmishes. They were finally routed and intercepted by Captain Gordon of the Dumfries light dragoons, at the head of a strong party of horse and foot, at Ballyboghill, near Swords, and never more collected.
Some Wexford insurgents, however, remained with Mr. Fitzgerald, along with Mr. Aylmer, who, as outstanding chiefs, negociated with General Dundas, to whom they surrendered on the 12th of July, on condition, that all the other leaders, who had adventured with them, should be at liberty to retire whi. ther they pleased out of the British dominions.
The same terms were afterwards secured by General Moore to Mr. Garret Byrne, who was sent into confinement in the castle of Dublin, together with Messrs. Fitzgerald and Aylmer, by which they fared much better than those, who laid down their arms in Wexford depending on the faithful fulfilment of the terms entered into with Lord Kingsborough.
The plan of proposing terms for saving the lives of Mr. Oliver Bond and Mr. Byrne was proposed through Mr. Dobbs, a member of parliament. That gentleman with the sheriff went to the prison, in which Mr. A. O'Connor was confined, on the 24th of July with a paper,* signed by seventy state prisoners, purposing to give such inforioation as was in their power, of arms, ammunition, their schemes of warfare, their internal re. gulations and foreign negociations of the United Irishmen, provided the lives of Messrs. Bond and Byrne should be spared. In consequence of this agreement, some of the rebel chiefs, who were still in arms, ainong whom was Mr. Aylmer of Kildare, surrendered themselves. Several principals of the Union, particularly Arthur O'Connor, Thomas Addis Emmett, Dr. M.Nevin, and Samuel Neilson, gave details on oath in their examinations before the secret committees of the two houses of parliament, in whose reports published by authority of government is contained a mass of information concerning the conspiracy. Yet certain it is, that whatever were the original terms of the contract, and by whatever subsequent events the contractors were influenced or affected, the principal prisoners (15 in number) were not liberated, and a power was reserved or assumed by ministers to retain them in custody at least during the continuance of the war with France. Oliver Bond died in the mean time in prison of an apoplexy.
spare all except the small beer. Father Kavenagh told me, that on the sup“pression of the rebels, the earl called at his house, in a friendly manner, re" questing that Redmond should go to him to Gorey for a protection. What "protection he received has been already related. No act could be more po"pular among Protestants, at that time, than the hanging of a priest; yet " many Protestants would have come to bear witness in his favour, if they had “ been allowed time, and an assurance of personal safety. The popularity, " however, of his lordship with the common people of the Catholics is so in* delibiy impressed, that they cannot believe to this day, that he had any con"cern in this business; but endeavoured with all his power to save the priest. " I knew Redmond many years, and always thought him a remarkably timid Hand innocent man." VOL. v.
* The following was the agreement signed by seventy-three on the 29th of July, 1798. " That the undersigned state prisoners, in the three prisons of « Newgate, Kilmainham, and Bridewell
, engage to give every information in “ their power, of the whole of the internal transactions of the United Prish.
men, and that each of the prisoners shall give detailed information of every “ transaction, that has passed between Vie United Irishmen and foreign states; “ but that the prisoners are not, by naming or describing, to implicate any
person whatever, and that they are ready to emigrate to such country as “ shall be agreed on between them and government, and give security not to “ return to this country without the permission of government, and not to pass “ into an enemy's country, if on their so doing they are to be freed from pro. “ secution, and also Mr. Oliver Bond be permitted to take the benefit of this “proposal. The state prisoners also hope, that the benefit of this proposal “ may be extended to such persons in custody, or net in custody, as may “ choose to benefit by it.”
Signed by seventy-three persons. 29th of July, 1798. † In a pamphlet, styled A Letter from Arthur O'Connor to Lord Castlereagh, dated from prison, January the 4th, 1799, that minister is directly charged with a violation of the contract, and a misrepresentation to parliament of the transactions between him and the prisoners of state.
Other charges are made, one of which is, that the information given by these prisoners to government, was garbled to serve the purposes of the ministry, and particu. larly, that of a hundred pages, delivered by O'Connor lumself, only one bar! been published in the reports of the secret committees. Since to this partphlet, in which his lordstrip is peremptorily challenged to disprove any of the charges therein made, no reply has appeared, we have only the honour and integrity of his lordship and others for a disproof of these accusations, which may be a vindication to persons acquainted with bis lordship's character. The paniphlet was said to have been suppressed by government, at least was net Otherwise than clandestinely sold and circulated. The author expressly clears the lord lieutenant of ail blame in these transactions. The honour of the Marquis Cornwallis remains unimpeached even by the boldest of all the chiefs of the conspiracy.
Whether the negociation between government and the principal conspirators had any connection with, or influence on the bill of amnesty, ministers alone can answer, and the secrets of administration are not lightly to be divulged. The affirmative seems to be insinuated in the above mentioned pamphlet, and an opinion of that nature to have been, at the time of the bargain, propagated among people connected with the insurgents, who spoke of some agreement as of a treaty of peace. This letter of Mr. O'Connor's is very strong: and it is to be hoped, that the real reasons for not having answered it were prudential, viz. not to give consequence and notoriety to the contents of it. In it he asserts, that Lord Castlereagh in their first conference assured him, that Lord Cornwallis's honour was pledged to them for the religious performance of the ag eenient; and that Lord Clare made use of these remarkable expressions ; (p. 9) “ It comes to this, either you must trust the * government, or the government must trust you: a gorernment that could "violate engagements thus solemnly made, neither could stand nor deserved to "stand." He alleges five substantial and most severe deviations on the part sof government from the terms of the original agreement, justified upon the: allegation of a change of circumstances after it had been first acceded to.
During the whole of this rebellion the internal peace of the me. tropolis was preserved by the vigilance of the large military force constantly kept up within it, which chiefly consisted of yeomanry. The grand and royal canals, which were 50 feet broad and 12 feet deep, were a security against a surprise: and the several bridges were strongly pallisadoed, and guarded both by night and by day. The trials and executions of some of the principal leaders in the rebellion tended to keep others in awe, and prevented any further attempts of individuals in that desperate cause. Among others, a rebel officer, a Protestant, named Bacon, a reputable tay lor, having been apprehended disguised in female apparel, was executed on the 2d of June, near Carlisle bridge. On the 14th was executed, on the same scaffolding, Lieutenant Esmondo, whose case has been already related. On the 12th of July, Henry and John Sheares were brought to trial, condemned, and soon after put to death. The trial of John M'Cann, who had been secretary to the provincial committee of Leinster, followed on the 17th ; that of Michael William Byrne, * delegate from the county committee of Wicklow, and that of Oliver Bond, on the 23d. The two former were executed, but the third was reprieved, as has been mentioned.
• Of the execution of Mr. Byrne, Mr. O'Connor thus speaks in his letter to Lori Castlereagh. “On the 24th of July last, Mr. Dobbs and the sheriff en* tered my prison with a written paper, signed by seventy state prisoners, pur"pasing to give such information as was in their power of arms, ammunition, * and schemes of warfare, (of which it is now manifest they knew little or noci thing) and to consent to leave Ireland, provided the lives of Bond and Byrne (both under sentence of death) should be spared.'. I refused to sign it, not * only from a detestation of entering into any conditions with those, who com“posed the councils of Lord Cornwallis's administration, but because in the * massacre of my unarmed countrymen still raging, I did not think that any "object, which was not general, could warrant me, in whom such confidence ' was placed by so many millions of my countrymen, to enter into any such * compact, and because the possibility of its being attributed to a desire to
save my own bfe, in the peculiar situation I stood ill, was in niy mind an insuperable objection, if there had been no other. Besides, it seemed to nie,
Assassinations would probably have ceased soon after the granting of protections, had not some of the more desperate rebels, reinforced by deserters from some regiments of Irish militia, remained in arms in the mountains of Wicklow, and the dwarf woods of Killaughram, near Enniscorthy. These desperate banditti so terrified the whole vicinity of their lurking places, that those peaceable loyalists, who had remained in the country even in the heat of the rebellion, now found themselves necessitated to take refuge in towns. But, after a little time, the woods of Killaughram, scoured by the army, were cleared of their predatory inhabitants, who had ludicrously styled themselves babes of the woods, and tranquillity was restored to that part of the country.
The party in the Wicklow mountains, whose range was much more extensive, and haunts much more difficult of access, continued under two chiefs of the names of Holt and Hacket, to annoy the country for a longer time, and in a more formidable degree ; issuing suddenly from their fastnesses to perpetrate burnings and massacres, and retiring before troops could arrive to intercept them.
As these massacres were always intended to fall upon Orangemen, and they were all Protestants, it was represented, that they sprang entirely from a spirit of religious hatred, and as the real perpetrators could not be brought to justice, avowed retaliation was resorted to. Where any Protestants were murdered by these banditti or their confederates, a greater number of Catholics were put to death in the same neighbourhood by the yeomen. Thus at Castletown, four miles from Gorey, where four Protestants were massacred in the night by Hacket, seven Catholics were slain in revenge ; at Aughrim twenty-seven of that communion were killed in consequence of murders commit. ted on Protestants. Harassed incessantly by the pursuits of yeomen and soldiery, the numbers of the banditti gradually diminsihed: Hacket was killed near Arklow; Holt surrendered for transportation to the Earl of Powerscourt; and these bands of robbers at length totally disappeared.
" that to save the lives of Bond and Byrne, enough had signed their self-sacri“ fice to induce the ministers, already sated with blood, (as you and Lord “ Clare appeared to be when we met) to acquiesce ; but in this I was deceiv. “ed, a council sat on the fate of Byrne ; lie was executed. In this barter of “ blood, although you had lessened your quantum by half, yet you raised your “ demands for the price of the other, and proposed to those who had signed “ the paper, that they should deliver up names.”