IRELAND, FROM THE PLANTATION OF ULSTER TO THE CROMWELLIAN SETTLEMENT. (1611-59.)
By R. DUNLOP, M.A. Vict.
Character of the period . 513
Effect of the plantation policy in Ireland . 514
Parliament meets. Opposition to Governmeut . 515
Chichester recalled. Growing discontent . 516
The " Graces." Wentworth appointed Deputy . 517
Wentworth's policy. Six subsidies granted . 518
The "Graces" refused. Commission for the remedy of defective titles . 519
New plantations. The Scottish Rebellion . 520
Stratford's failure as Deputy. The Irish army . 521
Origin and outbreak of the Rebellion . 522
The gentry of the Pale. Spread of the Rebellion . 523
Measures of the English Parliament . 524
Ormonde defeats the rebels at Kilrush . 524
The Confederates organise their resistance . 525
Charles tries to reconcile the Confederates . 526
Cessation of arms. Irish troops in England . 527
Charles' dilemma. Secret instructions to Glamorgan . 528
Glamorgan's intrigues discovered. Rinuccini . 529
The Peace concluded. Opposition of Rinuccini . 530
The Confederates besiege Dublin. Preston defeated . 531
The Confederates lose ground. Treaty signed . 532
Battle of Rathmines. Landing of Cromwell . 533
Cromwell's campaign. Clerical reaction . 534
Articles of Kilkenny. End of the War . 535
Preparations for a final Settlement . 536
Difficulties in carrying out the scheme . 537
The Settlement effected . 538
IRELAND. FROM THE PLANTATION OF ULSTER TO THE CROMWELLIAN SETTLEMENT. (1611-59.)
IT is usual to describe the thirty years that elapsed between the plantation of Ulster and the Rebellion of 1641 as a period of peace and prosperity. That they were so in a relative sense is not to be denied. It is unquestionable that the country, thanks to the industry of the new settlers, made rapid progress in material prosperity. All the same it was a period of deep unrest and suppressed discontent. For the time, the sword had done its work. Their chiefs slain, exiled, or imprisoned, themselves decimated by famine and pestilence, the natives looked on in impotent rage while the chicaneries of the law stripped them one by one of lands to which they believed they possessed an indefeasible right.
In the years immediately following on the plantation of Ulster three other plantations, in North Wexford (1610-20), Longford and Ely O'Carroll (1615-20), Leitrim and the midland districts along the Shannon (1620), comprising nearly half a million acres of land, were taken in hand. But, though not one of these could be regarded as even moderately successful, and though the market price of land in Ulster averaged not more than £50 for a thousand acres, such were still the fortunes to be made in land-jobbing that it seemed as if the natural boundaries of Ireland could alone set a limit to the craving for Irish land. It was indeed an age of planters and plantation projects ; and the philosophical reasoning of Bacon was hardly required to convince men willing to risk their lives and fortunes in trying to effect a settlement in Virginia or on the inhospitable coasts of Newfoundland that they would find a more remunerative sphere for their labours nearer home, and would at the same time render the State signal service by spreading order and civility among the Irish. For Ireland it was unfortunate that the former consideration largely outweighed the latter. The whole aspect of affairs had changed entirely since the days when Henry VIII had proposed to win Ireland by " sober ways, political
But, with whatever feeling of satisfaction the plantation policy might be regarded in England as offering a hopeful solution of the Irish problem, in Ireland it provoked wide-spread indignation, not merely on the part of those on whose ruin it was based, but amongst those whose loyalty to the English Crown had never been called seriously in question. To the old settlers of Anglo-Norman origin the new plantations constituted a grave political danger. Notwithstanding their loyalty they had long been feeling dissatisfied with their position. More than once they had formally protested against the unconstitutional methods of the Irish Government, especially in the matter of cess, and had insisted on the recognition of their rights as Englishmen. Unfortunately for the favourable consideration of their demands and the development of constitutional government they were almost to a man Roman Catholics. Their hopes that with the accession of James I their position would undergo a change for the better had been disappointed ; and, as the determination of Government to enforce the Act of Uniformity became unmistakable, they could not close their eyes to the danger that menaced them through the ever-rising tide of Protestant immigration. As symptomatic of the change that had come over them, it was noticed by a contemporary writer that whereas "until of late, the old English race, as well in the Pale as in other parts of the kingdom, despised the mere Irish, accounting them a barbarous people void of civility and religion," now " the slaughters and rivers of bloodshed between them are forgotten," "and, lastly, their union is such, as not only the old English dispersed abroad in all parts of the realm, but the inhabitants of the Pale, cities and towns are as apt to take arms against us (which no precedent time hath ever seen) as the ancient Irish." A common religious belief has furnished the cement to many strange alliances ; and in Ireland, where religion was becoming more and more the touchstone of national life, it was little wonder if, in face of the danger menacing them, the gentry of the Pale should have thought their only chance of safety lay in a union with the native element. Whether the bond of religion would prove strong enough to withstand the dissolving influences of social and racial differences, it was for the future to decide.
It is significant of that strange antithesis between respect for the letter of the law and indifference to its spirit, which ever and again shows itself in the history of the English rule in Ireland, that, after wresting six entire counties from the Irish by more or less equivocal methods, the Government of James I should have thought it necessary to secure the
In announcing (November, 1611) the King's intention to summon a Parliament, Chichester, with an appearance of the utmost candour, invited the nobility of the Pale to confer with one another as to the measures they thought necessary to pass for the benefit of the country. This they refused to do, urging their right, according to a doubtful interpretation of a clause in Poynings' Act, to be made acquainted as part of the Council of the realm with the measures intended to be passed in Parliament. But, finding Chichester absolutely determined not to admit their claim and confirmed in their worst anticipations of further penal legislation by the public execution or martyrdom, in February, 1612, of Cornelius O'Devany, Catholic Bishop of Down and Connor, they addressed in November a strong remonstrance to the King. In it they complained that they had not been consulted by the Deputy as the statute required, and that the erection of corporations " consisting of some few and beggarly cottages" could "tend to naught else...but that...penal laws should be imposed upon jour subjects." No attention was paid to this protest ; and in April, 1613, the elections took place amid great excitement. No sooner had Parliament met on May 18 and a motion to elect Sir John Davis Speaker been made, than the long pent-up storm broke loose. On the ground that Davis, having no residence in county Fermanagh, had been improperly returned as a knight of that shire, the Opposition insisted on scrutinising all elections before proceeding to any other business. But, allowing themselves to be persuaded to nominate a candidate of their own, and letting their choice fall on Sir John Everard, the supporters of Sir John Davis, following English precedent, retired from the chamber to tell their numbers. During their absence the Opposition declared Everard elected and placed him in the chair. Apprised of what had happened, the Government party finding themselves in the majority returned in hot haste, and, having ejected Everard, installed
Davis in his place. Hereupon the Opposition, declining to take further part in the Parliament, withdrew. Their friends in the Upper House made common cause with them ; and Chichester, after vainly trying to eft'ect a compromise, yielded to their request to allow them to send a deputation to submit their complaints to the King. In the meantime he prorogued Parliament.
The petition resolved itself into an elaborate attack on Chichester's administration. It was, as James confidentially admitted, a specious document; and, though he was convinced that it was all a piece of Jesuitry, yet, inasmuch as he was anxious that his Irish subjects should learn " rather to address themselves to the sovereign by humble petition ...than, after the old fashion of that country to ran out, upon every occasion of discontent, to the bog and wood," he thought it advisable to appoint a Commission to investigate their complaints. How far his impartiality extended was seen from his nominating Chichester head of the Commission. It reported on November 12 ; and on April 20, 1614, James read the Irish deputation a severe lecture on their undutiful and disgraceful behaviour. Their charges against Chichester he pronounced wholly unfounded ; and all that, as a matter of grace, he would concede was the temporary disfranchisement of several boroughs, provided the petitioners consented to sign a formal instrument of submission.
But the opposition which he had encountered gave James reason to pause ; and when Chichester reopened Parliament in October he was authorised to announce that the Bill against the Jesuits had been withdrawn. The concession worked favourably on the Catholics; and under Sir John Everard's leadership they offered no farther resistance to Government. With their support a subsidy Bill was passed in the following session, and there was every prospect that with a little goodwill on both sides a reasonable compromise might have been effected. Unfortunately at this juncture Parliament was dissolved and Chichester recalled.
Where he had failed, there was little reason to expect that either Sir Oliver St John (1616-22), or Lord Falkland (1622-9), would prove more successful, hampered as they were in their anti-Catholic line of policy by having to regulate their conduct according as the wind blew from Spain or in a contrary direction, and by the perennial bankruptcy of the Irish treasury. The time had passed away when the Counter-reformation could be dammed in by shilling fines for non-attendance at church and futile proclamations for the banishment of the Catholic clergy. Such proceedings and the constant rummaging of the land for plantation purposes served only to irritate. Year by year the dissatisfaction grew; and in 1626 it was more than doubtful whether Government could command the majority in Parliament which it had possessed ten years earlier. Anyhow, the experiment was one that Charles preferred, if possible, to avoid. But, with a war with France likely to be added to that with Spain, it was imperative that Ireland, which was openly spoken of as the
Starting with the axiom that a prosperous people is also a loyal people, Wentworth bent all his energies to the development of the natural resources of Ireland. And it must be said for him that, if in trying to accomplish his purpose he spared no one who ventured to oppose him, neither did he spare himself. His eye was everywhere. If the exportation and manufacture of wool had to be discouraged as detrimental to the staple trade of England, he, by way of compensation, personally superintended the development of the linen industry, and insisted on a free export of hides and tallow. He arranged the details of a commercial treaty with Spain, calculated to encourage the fishing industry ; he brought over experts to explore the mineral resources of the country ; laid down stringent regulations for the preservation of the rapidly disappearing forests ; exerted himself to improve the breed of cattle ; cleared the narrow seas of the pirates that infested them and rendered commerce insecure ; and, by buying out all private interests detrimental to the Crown, succeeded in more than doubling the revenue of the State. Knowing the value of order and decorum in public life, he insisted on a strict observance of Court etiquette ; repaired Dublin Castle ; cleared out the wine-vaults under Christ Church ; and by his own example infused a spirit of emulation in the army which shortly raised it to the highest pitch of efficiency. For the rest, he was content to bide his time. What he could do to realise his friend Laud's wishes in the matter of ecclesiastical uniformity and discipline by pressure on the episcopacy, and to restore dignity to the Church by the recovery of its property, he did. But it was no part of his policy to irritate the Catholics by fining them for non-attendance at church when, as was too often the case, there was no church for them to attend. Doubtless he made many enemies by his policy of "thorough"; but in his struggle with Cork, Wilmot, Mountnorris, Crosby, and the rest, we cannot deny him a certain measure of sympathy. Under his controlling hand Ireland emerged from the state of anarchy into which she had drifted, and, feeling confident of his ability to steer an independent course, he obtained Charles' reluctant consent to risk a Parliament.
The event more than answered his expectations. Parliament met on July 14, 1634. It was the most splendid scene Dublin had ever witnessed. In his opening speech Wentworth announced the King's intention to hold two sessions, the one for himself, the other for the benefit of his subjects. The proposal to separate grievances from supply was agreeable to neither Catholics nor Protestants ; but so evenly balanced were they that, as Wentworth put the case, neither party would allow the other to rob it of applying the whole grace of His Majesty's thanks to itself. Hence, when the motion for supply was made, both " did with one voice assent to the giving of six subsidies to be paid in four years." But, if the Commons ever imagined that their loyalty would be rewarded by a candid confirmation of the long-promised Graces, they
When Parliament reassembled in November the indignation of the Catholics knew no bounds, and finding themselves accidentally in the majority, they rejected without consideration all and every measure submitted to them. For a moment Wentworth thought of adjourning Parliament ; but the Protestants came to his rescue and enabled him to bring the session to a satisfactory conclusion. For the next four years his course was clear ; and with characteristic energy he at once took up his plantation project.
Hitherto, however they might have answered their purpose of substituting a British for a native proprietary, the plantations had proved singularly unprofitable to the Crown. Not only had vastly more land, for which they of course paid no rent, been passed to the undertakers than was set out in their patents, but their eager haste to turn their estates to immediate profit had led to such a general breach of the conditions of plantation as constituted a serious danger to the State. So notoriously was this the case in regard to the London Society that in 1032 the Star Chamber had ordered the suspension of its charter and the sequestration of its rents. Though not responsible for this step, Wentworth fully approved it ; and, on the confiscation of the Society's Charter in 1635, he suggested the conversion of its estates into an appanage for the Duke of York. But the Londoners were not the only offenders ; and, though it was impossible to deal with private individuals in the same drastic fashion without imperilling the whole settlement, the Commission for the remedy of defective titles was admirably contrived to make them pay handsomely for their defaults and at the same time to teach them a salutary lesson for the future. As for the plantations which he intended himself to set on foot in Connaught and elsewhere, though inconsiderable in comparison with those already established, he hoped, by a stricter admeasurement of land and by making estates only in capite, to render them not less profitable to the Crown, and by at the same time restricting them to English undertakers, to create a counterpoise to the Scottish settlers in the north. For himself, he was perfectly convinced of the validity of
The little cloud which had been gathering over Edinburgh in the summer of 1637 had spread with such alarming rapidity as at the beginning of the following year to cast its shadow over Ireland also. From Scotland the contagion of the Covenant had spread to Ulster, and, faster than either he or his chief ecclesiastical agent, Bishop Bramhall, was aware, the country was slipping out of his control. As the prospect of war between England and Scotland grew more certain, and it became necessary to reckon up his resources, Charles was unreasonably annoyed when reminded that the Irish army barely sufficed to guarantee order in Ireland itself; and, while accepting the Deputy's offer of 500 men to garrison Carlisle, he could not avoid contrasting the scanty help thus furnished him with the recent magnificent promise of the Earl of Antrim to attack Argyll in his own country with 10,000 men. It was ever Charles' misfortune to be unable to look facts fairly in the face ; and, finding it impossible to convince him that Antrim's offer was merely intended as a " handsome compliment," Wentworth moved the bulk of the army to Carrickfergus, by way of giving what countenance he could to the project.
The Treaty of Berwick afforded a slight breathing-space ; and, the Deputy's quarrel with Lord Chancellor Loftus having brought him to London in September, 1639, Charles eagerly turned to him for advice. Wentworth's remedy was a Parliament. He remembered how, when everybody had predicted failure, he had been splendidly successful in Ireland^ in 1634. Let Charles follow his example : he was convinced that no Englishman would refuse money for driving the Scots out. To hearten the experiment he would himself hold a Parliament in Ireland ; of the result there could be no doubt. How little he knew his own countrymen was soon to appear; but so far as Ireland was concerned his experiment was crowned with success. He returned to Dublin Earl of Strafford. Parliament was already in session. On March 23,1640, the Commons with one voice voted four subsidies, or ^180,000. Never had such a scene of unanimity been witnessed ; hats were thrown in the air and assurances given that if more money was wanted more would be forthcoming, even if they left themselves nothing but hose and doublet. Overjoyed at his victory, Straffbrd, after appointing Sir Christopher
Wandesforde his deputy and leaving instructions with the Earl of Ormonde to add 8000 men to the army, hastened back to England. He had calculated that the example of the Irish Parliament would find imitation in England ; he had not considered that the conduct of the English Parliament might cause a reaction in Ireland. But it was no sooner evident that the day of his power was over than the Commons of Ireland joined with their brethren in England to bring the fallen Minister to justice. To Stratford's plea of good government they replied with a remonstrance under fifteen heads, which formed the backbone of his impeachment. For a time the universal hatred with which he was regarded kept them unanimous. Pillar after pillar of the building which he had raised with so much care was thrown to the ground amid general applause. Step by step the country drifted back into the state of anarchy from which he had rescued it. The Nemesis that lies in wait for despotism had overtaken the policy of "thorough." On November 12 Parliament was adjourned to January 26, 1641. During the recess Wandesforde died, and after some wrangling Sir William Parsons and Sir John Borlase were appointed Lords Justices. In Parsons the new settlers had obtained a ruler after their own hearts.
Meanwhile all eyes were directed to the army, which under Stratford's instructions Ormonde had raised to nearly 10,000 men. " You have an army in Ireland you may employ here to reduce this kingdom," Strafford was reported to have advised Charles. Whether " this kingdom " meant England or Scotland might be disputed, but there could be no question as to the deadly insult to public opinion implied in the suggestion. No words can adequately express the loathing and utter abhorrence which the mere suggestion of employing Irish soldiers in England excited in the breasts of Englishmen. To the demand of the English Commons for its instant disbandment Charles returned an absolute refusal. The fact was that the Irish army was beginning to assume a new importance to him, as the idea of playing off the Irish Catholics against the English Parliament took hold of his mind. Granted that he could detach the Scots from their bond with the Parliament, which was his immediate object, it would not, he imagined, be impossible by conceding the Graces and by extending practical toleration to the Catholics to win over the Irish Parliament to his side. Scotland and Ireland conciliated, the Irish army would materially strengthen his hands in dealing with the English Parliament. It was therefore of the utmost importance that it should be kept together. His intentions were suspected, and being driven to consent to the disbandment of the new levies he tried a middle way by issuing warrants for their transportation to Spain.
Curiously enough, this step was strongly opposed by both parties in the Irish Parliament : by the Protestants on the ground that, in case of invasion, it was extremely dangerous to permit so many Irishmen well acquainted with every creek and haven in the kingdom to enter the
Spanish service ; by the Catholics on the ground that it was the height of madness to allow so many men to leave the country when its liberties were menaced by English Puritans and Scottish Presbyterians. The difficulty of finding money to pay their arrears caused some delay ; but towards the end of July this obstacle was overcome, and the soldiers were already assembling at the ports appointed for their embarkation, when secret instructions arrived from Charles to the Earls of Ormonde and Antrim, requiring them to keep the army together, and if possible to raise its strength to 20,000 men. The message arrived too late ; and an express sent to inform the King of the fact found him at York on his way to Scotland. From York the order came to get the men together again and hold them in readiness, if the occasion arose, to declare for the King. The officers in charge of the disbanded soldiers readily fell in with the plan ; and steps were taken to sound the gentry of the Pale and the leaders of the old Irish as to their views on the subject.
It was at this point that the plot, if we may so designate a movement authorised by the King, ran into another of quite independent origin. We know now, what no one at the time suspected, that a rebellion had long been brewing in the north, having for its object the recovery of Ulster and ultimately of Ireland for the Irish, and depending for its success on support promised by Owen Roe O'Neill, commanding in the Spanish service in the Low Countries. On him, since definite tidings had arrived of the death of John O'Neill, commonly called the " Conde de Tirone," before Monjuich, the mantle of leader had fallen. Everything had been prepared, and only the opportunity was wanting for a general rising in Ulster. To Rory O'More, Lord Maguire, and the other northern conspirators nothing could therefore have happened more in accordance with their wishes than the chance thus afforded them of accomplishing their own designs under colour of assisting in a quasi-legal plot. It was the cue of the King's party to lie quiet and wait instructions ; but, as September drew to a close, a rumour got about that the plot was abandoned, and O'More and Maguire reverted to their old plan.
At a meeting of the conspirators on October 5 the rising was finally fixed for Saturday the 23rd. The rebellion broke out simultaneously all over Ulster on the day appointed. The attempt to capture Dublin failed. Derry, Coleraine, Lisburn, Carrickfergus, Enniskillen escaped; but Dungannon, Charlemont, and Newry were captured by the rebels. There was no general massacre ; but everywhere the colonists were turned out of house and home, stripped of their possessions, and too often left without a rag to cover their nakedness. Large numbers perished of cold, hunger, and ill-treatment ; and many, there is no doubt, were butchered in cold blood ; but the great majority managed to escape.
The Rebellion took everyone by surprise, none more so than the quondam allies of Maguire and O'More. Charles, whose conscience may perhaps have reproached him for his share in the mischief, and who was
Ulster, and the Pale now lie the more open to His Majesty's free disposal and to a general settlement of peace and religion by introducing of English." As the event proved, the Lords Justices erred greatly in their forecast of the probable consequences of the defection of the Pale ; but their suggestion of a new plantation did not miss its calculated effect.
Meanwhile the rebellion had been seriously occupying the attention of all parties in England. On the main point all were of one opinion ; and, had it been simply a question between England and Ireland, money and men would have been speedily forthcoming to gratify the national desire for revenge. In the first flush of its wrath, the House of Commons voted that 10,000 foot and 2000 horse should forthwith be raised for its suppression and that the offer of Scottish assistance should be accepted. Gradually cooler counsels prevailed. The more the leaders of the parliamentary party came to know of Charles1 intrigues, the more they were convinced that the Irish rebellion was only part of the general problem they were trying to solve. To place a victorious army in Charles' hands was merely to fashion an instrument for their own destruction : until security was obtained on this point nothing of importance could be done. Towards the end of December Sir Simon Harcourt arrived at Dublin with 1500 men ; in February, 1642, Sir Richard Grenville brought 1500 foot and 400 horse to the relief of the President of Munster; in April Robert Munro reached Carrickfergus with 2500 Scots. These forces, and a contribution of ,£37,000, were the whole of the aid furnished to the Government of Ireland during the first six months of the Rebellion. Meanwhile, however, no opportunity was neglected of exasperating public bpinion against the Irish, so as to render a reconciliation between them and Charles impossible. On December 8, 1641, it was resolved that the King should be asked to declare that he would never consent to a toleration of the popish religion in Ireland. On February 24 following, the Lords and Commons voted that, as several million acres of " profitable lands " in Ireland were calculated to have been rendered liable to confiscation by the Rebellion, the proposal of " divers worthy and well-affected persons " should be accepted for raising £1,000,000 by the sale of " two millions and a half of these acres, to be equally taken out of the four provinces of that kingdom " in the proportion for each adventure of £200, £300, £450, and £600 of one thousand acres in Ulster, Connaught, Munster, and Leiiister respectively. On March 19 Charles was forced to give his consent to this atrocious scheme of national robbery. With these two Acts the English Parliament closed the door against any hope of reconciliation.
In Ireland, matters were not progressing favourably for the rebels. In March their lack of artillery compelled them to raise the siege of Drogheda; a month later the Earl of Ormonde inflicted a crushing defeat on them at Kilrush; in May they were driven out of Newry. These and other disasters, though in a measure counterbalanced by the rapid extension of the rebellion, did not fail to exercise a depressing influence on the gentry of the Pale ; and after the retreat of the northern rebels from Drogheda they made a desperate effort to extract themselves from the critical position into which their fears had driven them. But the Lords Justices, whom success and the prospect
Finding the door of mercy thus resolutely closed upon them and the Government bent on a war of extirpation, the gentry of the Pale took steps in May to organise their resistance by appointing a Supreme Council of Nine to act as a provisional government, pending the meeting of a General Assembly to represent the nation at Kilkenny. Help for them was already on the way. In July Owen Roe O'Neill arrived in Lough Swilly with a hundred veterans and considerable supplies of arms and ammunition, and almost at the same time Thomas Preston and five hundred men with artillery and other stores of war landed at Wexford. With their arrival the rebellion passed out of the stage of sporadic insurrection into that of regular warfare. On October 24, the day after the battle of EdgehiH, the General Assembly of the Confederated Catholics met at Kilkenny. It was virtually a parliament of the Irish nation. But, regarding themselves as a merely provisional assembly brought together under exceptional circumstances to devise means for protecting themselves until His Majesty could take measures for their preservation, the Confederates confined themselves to providing for the administration of justice, the assessment of taxes, and the organisation of their military strength. The Supreme Council was reconstituted to consist of twenty-four members, of whom twelve were to reside constantly at Kilkenny, or wherever they should judge most expedient, to form a central and permanent government for the management of all affairs civil and military. For the administration of local justice and carrying out the behests of the Supreme Council, each county was provided with a separate Council consisting of one or two deputies from each barony, and each province with a provincial Council consisting of two deputies out of each county. For military purposes each province was assigned its own army under its own chief commander-O'Neill in Ulster, Preston in Leinster, Garret Barry in Munster, and John Bourke in Connaught. The form of government having been thus settled and agents appointed to plead their cause at the principal Courts in Europe, the General Assembly addressed two petitions, the one to the King, explaining the reasons which had forced them to take up arms, protesting their loyalty, and requesting permission to submit their grievances to him ; the other to the Queen, entreating her intercession with the King.
To Charles it would have been extremely satisfactory, if by coming to terms with the Confederates he could have set free his army in Ireland to fight his battles in England. The obstacles to such an agreement
When the commission was opened at the Council Board, Parsons and others strenuously opposed the proposal to treat, and, the Confederates taking exception to the terms of the letter requiring them to appoint agents to submit their grievances, the Lords Justices, in the hope of breaking oiF the negotiations, managed with difficulty to get 1500 men in marching order. This force they proposed to entrust to the command of Lord Lisle ; but Ormonde, who was tired of submitting to their dictation in military matters, insisted on commanding himself. On March 18 he won a complete victory over Preston at Ross ; but owing to lack of provisions was compelled to return to Dublin without reaping the fruits of his success. Meanwhile the Confederates had reconsidered their position ; and on the day before the battle they handed in a statement of their grievances to the commissioners appointed to receive them. Their demand for a new Parliament and religious toleration afforded little prospect of a settlement. Quite apart from the opposition of men like Parsons, it was generally felt that the concession of a free Parliament at that time would imperil the entire English interest in the country. Nevertheless, it was clear to any but the blindest partisan that, with the army on the verge of mutiny and without a penny in the treasury, nothing but a cessation of hostilities could save the situation.
After his defeat at Ross Preston had rallied his forces, and in May managed to capture Ballynakill. On June 4 Castlehaven inflicted a crushing defeat on Sir Charles Vavasour in Munster, and a fortnight later Galway Castle capitulated to Colonel Bourke. Against these successes the Confederates had to set the defeat of Owen O'Neill by Sir Robert Stewart at Clones ; but Stewart had been unable to improve his victory, and a week or two later O'Neill was as strong as ever. Each day added to the difficulties of Ormonde's position. In April Charles had written again, insisting on a cessation, and Ormonde once more opened negotiations for a truce. But the Confederates, who were fully alive to the strength of their position, persisted in their demand for a new Parliament and for a thorough investigation of their grievances. Unable
But, since the cessation had not been effected without considerable friction among the Confederates themselves, and, as Carte candidly admits, " more out of a sense of duty than policy," so, no sooner was it proclaimed than it was at once denounced by the adherents of the Parliament. The report of it greatly injured the Royalist cause; but it enabled Charles to accomplish his immediate purpose of setting free part of his army in Ireland. By the beginning of November four regiments had arrived at Bristol from Munster, and more were ready to follow as soon as Lord Inchiquin could find means to transport them. In the same month 2000 men under Sir Michael Ernely landed in Flintshire to form the nucleus of a small army under Lord Byron. But the assistance had been dearly purchased. On January 25, 1644, Byron was defeated and his army routed by Sir Thomas Fairfax at Nantwich. It was hard for Charles to find his hopes thus dashed ; but it was harder still to see these same "Irish Papists," for whom he had drawn upon himself the odium of his own subjects, enlisting, after their defeat, in the service of his enemies. The Irish danger had been averted; but Parliament was keenly alive to the necessity of preventing such expeditions in the future by furnishing Ormonde with sufficient occupation at home. While, therefore, a Scottish army under the Earl of Leven prepared to invade England to assist the Parliament, messengers were despatched to Ulster to assure Munro and the northern commanders of the speedy arrival of money and provisions, and to promote a general engagement to the Covenant. Strange to say, Munro's refusal to recognise the cessation was not distasteful to Charles, who calculated, not without reason, that it would prevent any help from that quarter reaching Leven. Moreover he was not without hope that, if Antrim succeeded in transporting, as he professed himself able to do, 2000 redshanks into Scotland to cooperate with Montrose, Leven might speedily find himself recalled. Hitherto Antrim had not proved very deserving of confidence; but in July he actually managed, with Ormonde's assistance, to land 1600 men in Scotland, where under the leadership of Alaster MacDonnell they not a little contributed to Montrose's success.
Meanwhile the agents appointed by the Confederates to arrange the
Various circumstances prevented Glamorgan from reaching Ireland before the beginning of August. In the meantime fresh instructions reached Ormonde, authorising him to conclude a peace, and if necessary to concede the demand for the repeal of the penal laws and the suspension of Poynings1 Act. Armed with these new powers Ormonde reopened negotiations with the Confederates in April, 1645, but only to find that, under the influence of the papal agent Scarampi and the clerical party, they had added to their demands another for the retention of all such churches, chapels, and abbeys as were then in their possession. Exasperated beyond measure at this new demand, Charles declared that rather than consent to it he would withdraw his army from Ireland, whatever hazard that kingdom might run by it.
Affairs were in this critical position when Glamorgan arrived with a commission authorising him to treat directly with the Confederates, but couched in such curious terms and conferring on him such extraordinary powers as raised strong, but apparently unfounded, doubts of its genuineness. Finding on his arrival that the only hindrance to the conclusion of the treaty was the newly raised question of the churches, and being determined to secure at all costs the military support, which was to be the price of the bargain, Glamorgan persuaded the Confederate
Glad to have overcome this difficulty, Glamorgan hastened to Dublin to get things in readiness for transporting his men, when, in consequence of his secret treaty having come to light, he was arrested at the instance of Lord Digby. His arrest spread consternation among the Confederates. None of them questioned his bona fides, and, in consequence of their strong remonstrance, coupled with a threat of renewing the war, Ormonde consented to release him on bail on January 21, 1646. Returning to Kilkenny, he endeavoured by every means within his power to bring the treaty to a conclusion ; but, now that his disavowal by the King was known, Rinuccini absolutely refused to abate one jot of his demand for a confirmation of the concessions in the secret treaty before he would agree to the conclusion of the peace, professing to have information of a treaty in progress between the Pope and Sir Kenelm Digby on behalf of the Queen, containing more favourable terms even than the secret treaty.
On the other hand, the majority of the Supreme Council were anxious to conclude the peace on the basis of the agreement with Ormonde, leaving further concessions, on the guarantee given by Glamorgan, to Charles' generosity. The time, they urged, had nearly passed when
Unfortunately, the opportunity for this had passed away. By the end of spring every available sea-port along the western coast of England was in the hands of the Parliament. The collapse of the King's cause in England and the activity of the parliamentary party in Ireland, especially in Connaught, brought forcibly home to the Confederates the necessity of immediate and united action, if their own cause was to avoid a similar fate. Accordingly, nothing having been heard of the papal treaty, and Ormonde refusing absolutely to sanction Glamorgan's, the Supreme Council passed a resolution authorising the ratification and publication of the peace. The resolution had been carried in face of the fiercest opposition of the Nuncio. Outvoted in the Council, Rinuccini, after entering a formal protest against the resolution, summoned Owen O'Neill to his support. His messenger found that general in the full flush of victory, having on June 5 almost annihilated the Scottish army under Munro at Benburb. It was the only great success that the Confederate arms had achieved, and its consequences might have been even more important than they were, had O'Neill been allowed to carry out his intention of attacking the Scots in their own quarters. Recalled from his pursuit of them, he gave instant obedience to Rinuccini's summons ; while the Legate, relying on his support, convoked a meeting of the clergy to Waterford, where on August 12 a resolution was passed condemning the peace and forbidding its proclamation under pain of excommunication. The Supreme Council was powerless to resist him; and, though the peace was proclaimed at Dublin and Kilkenny, it was everywhere else rejected. On September 18 Rinuccini entered Kilkenny in triumph, and, having caused his opponents to be arrested, he appointed a new Council, consisting of his own immediate followers, with himself as President, pending the election of a new General Assembly. It was a most successful coup d'etat, and Rinuccini could with reason boast that under his leadership the much despised clergy of Ireland had as it were in the twinkling of an eye made themselves masters of the kingdom. His victory ruined the national cause.
For the moment, however, he was master of the situation, and he at once turned his attention to the capture of Dublin. It was late in the year to begin operations ; but, having effected a reconciliation between Preston and O'Neill, whose mutual jealousy had constantly weakened the Confederates, he determined to make the attempt, and in November sat
Several months elapsed before the negotiations were completed, and it was not till July 28 that he formally handed over the sword of State to the Commissioners appointed by Parliament to receive it. Aroused to a sense of their danger, the Irish exerted themselves to recover the advantage of which their dissensions had robbed them ; and, O'Neill having withdrawn with his army to Connaught, Preston prepared to resume operations against Dublin by breaking down the girdle of fortified places surrounding it. But it was too late. Michael Jones, to whom the defence of Dublin had been committed, had lost no time in restoring confidence and discipline to his troops, and in strengthening his position by opening up communication with Sir Henry Tichborne at Drogheda. At the beginning of August, hearing that Preston was trying to capture Trim, he sallied forth with the united garrisons of Dublin and Drogheda for the purpose of forcing a battle. Compelled by Jones1 approach to change his plans, Preston endeavoured by a flank movement to cut off his communications with Dublin. The two armies met at Dangan Hill, a few miles south-east of Trim. The advantage of position lay with Preston, but Jones was superior in cavalry, and it was the cavalry that decided the day. In the battle that followed (August 8) Preston was completely defeated and his army almost exterminated, with the loss of all his artillery. Through the intervention of O'Neill, Jones was prevented from reaping the full fruits of his victory, but its effect was tremendous. Disaster followed quickly on disaster. Inchiquin, whom Castlehaven and his own necessities had long kept inactive, had at last been able to assume the offensive. By the end of August he had recovered the greater part of Munster ; on September 13 he stormed the rock of Cashel, putting the garrison and many of the inhabitants to the sword with a savagery that has handed down his name to the execration of posterity ; on November 13 he routed and almost destroyed the Confederate army under Lord Taaffe at Knockninoss near Mallow ; and by the end of the year his light cavalry had swept the country almost to the very walls of Kilkenny. Nor was this the sum of the Confederates' misfortunes. In July Parliament appointed Monck commander of all the forces in Ulster with the exception of the Scottish regiments under Munro. Though hampered in his action by lack of provisions, his presence served to stiffen resistance there ; and by
North, south, and east, the Confederates had lost ground. Under the influence of these losses the moderate party among them recovered their authority, and, being readmitted to their places in the Supreme Council, they insisted on appointing commissioners to proceed to Paris to arrange the terms of a treaty of peace with the Queen, and at the same time to invite the Prince of Wales to Ireland. They could not have chosen a more propitious time for their purpose, in view of the wide-spread dissatisfaction created by the breach between the Parliament and the army, and of the opportunity which it furnished for an alliance between the Royalists and the Presbyterians against their common enemy, the Independents. Among the first to take the alarm was Inchiquin, who after carefully sounding Ormonde in the matter openly declared for the King in April, 1648. A month later he succeeded, in spite of the opposition of the Nuncio, and the general abhorrence with which he was regarded by the Irish, in concluding a cessation with the Confederates. The ground being thus prepared for a Catholic-Royalist alliance, Ormonde returned to Ireland early in October, and on January 17,1649, a treaty was signed at Kilkenny on the basis of the Peace of 1646, whereby the Irish were secured in the free exercise of their religion and the independence of their Parliament, and in return for which they agreed to furnish Ormonde with 15,000 foot and 500 horse. As was to be expected, Rinuccini opposed the peace with all his might, but his period of power was over, and in February he quitted Ireland.
To Ormonde the prospect seemed brighter than ever before, and he sent a pressing message to the Prince of Wales to put himself at their head. Even the execution of Charles served rather to improve the situation than otherwise. For though nothing could shake the fidelity of Jones, or Monck, or Coote, the " old Scots " in Ulster declared for Charles II, and, after they had managed to surprise Carrickfergus and Belfast, Monck was driven to seek refuge in Dundalk, and, after the surrender of that place to Inchiquin in July, to retire to England. Want of provisions prevented O'Neill from opposing ; and Jones, deprived of Inchiquin's support, was obliged to confine himself to defensive operations. Dublin, Drogheda, and Derry alone held out. Towards the end of January Rupert appeared before Kinsale with eight vessels. Nothing but one determined effort was, it seemed, wanting to win the whole of Ireland. But appearances were delusive. The country was exhausted ; provisions of all sorts were scarce ; money was nowhere to be got ; O'Neill's attitude was at best doubtful ; the loyalty of Inchiquin's army uncertain ; the fleet under Rupert, owing to his jealousy of Ormonde, useless. Still, the situation was beyond all question really critical.
Believing it to be such, Cromwell on March 30 definitely accepted the command of the army destined for Ireland, and, pending the conclusion
Ormonde had now about 7000 foot and 4000 horse ; and he determined to push his lines closer up to the city in the direction of Baggotrath, with the intention of cutting off Jones' foraging grounds. While thus engaged, and having unfortunately sent Inchiquin with a considerable force to Munster on a report that Cromwell intended to land there, he was suddenly attacked at Rathmines by Jones on August 2. His army was completely routed, with the loss of 1800 prisoners, all his military stores and artillery, and his money-chest.
The battle of Rathmines decided the issue of the war. When Cromwell landed at Dublin a fortnight later with 8000 foot and 4000 horse Ormonde could oppose to him nothing but the shadow of an army. Recognising that neither he nor the Commissioners of Trust, acting for the Confederates, could put another army in the field, and that the sole hope of resistance rested with O'Neill and the garrisoned towns, he threw 2300 of his best troops under the command of Sir Arthur Aston into Drogheda, and opened negotiations for a reconciliation with O'Neill. But the time when cooperation could be of use had passed away. Himself stricken down by a fatal disease and hardly able to support his own army, O'Neill, though expressing his willingness to come to his assistance and actually sending him 3000 men under his nephew Hugh O'Neill, could do no more. On November 6 he died at Cloughoughter in county Cavan. Left to himself, Ormonde could only look on in helpless inactivity. On September 3 Cromwell appeared before Drogheda with 10,000 men. A week later he stormed the town, and put to the sword the whole garrison and not a few civilians, including every priest on whom he could lay his hands, in all about 2800 persons. " I am persuaded," he wrote, " that this is a righteous judgment of God upon those barbarous wretches who have imbrued their hands in so much innocent blood, and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future, which are the satisfactory grounds to such actions, which otherwise cannot but work remorse and regret." As a matter of fact the sack of Drogheda, however it may be excused by the laws of war, was a most useless and unjustifiable measure- useless, because after the first terror had passed away it did not serve to weaken the resistance of a single garrison, and unjustifiable, because not one man of the garrison had in all likelihood been concerned in the "massacre." But that Cromwell could in all sincerity urge the "massacre" as a justification of his proceeding only shows how successful
It was late in the following year before Ireton took the field. Having forced the passage of the Shannon in the face of Castleliaven, he formally summoned Limerick on June 3. Nearly five months, however, elapsed before the city, worn out by famine and pestilence, capitulated. As the garrison marched out it was noted by Ludlow that two of the soldiers fell down dead of the plague in the ranks. Ireton himself caught the infection, and died on November 26, leaving Ludlow to finish the work of conquest. Meanwhile, Athlone had surrendered to Coote on June 18. At the beginning of 1652 Gal way and a few isolated garrisons alone held out. Galway capitulated to Coote in April, on terms which the Parliamentary Commissioners refused to ratify. But the country was by no means conquered. Everywhere considerable bands of soldiers, amounting together to several thousands, with whom the soldiers of the Commonwealth had difficulty in coping, carried on an exasperating guerrilla warfare. Cromwell's decree of no pardon had long ago been given up ; but all the same it seemed as if the war would never come to an end. The cost of maintaining the army was becoming unbearable and the Adventurers were clamouring for a speedy settlement of their claims. Urged by these considerations, the Commissioners of Parliament held out offers of more favourable treatment as an inducement to submit. On May 12 terms were concluded with the Earl of Westmeath on behalf of his Irish forces in Leinster, permitting him and his men, with the exception of such as had been guilty of murder, to transport themselves abroad into any country at amity with the Commonwealth. These terms, known as the Articles of Kilkenny, furnished the basis for further surrenders. During the summer one leader after another submitted ; and when Fleetwood arrived in September most of the Irish had laid down their arms. No fewer, it was calculated, than 34,000 Irish soldiers took the opportunity thus given them to quit the country. A large number still remained, insufficient indeed to offer any effectual opposition, but sufficient to frustrate any scheme for the extirpation of the nation.
The settlement of Ireland could now begin ; and no man could have
The ground-plan of the settlement having been thus laid preparations were made to put it in execution. For this purpose the lands designed for the new settlers had first of all to be cleared of their old owners. The first step in this direction had already been taken by an Order issued on July 2, requiring all Irish proprietors to transplant themselves and their families to Connaught before May 1, 1654, and afterwards, on October 14 (such at least seems to have been the interpretation generally adopted), extended to all Irishmen without exception.
When May 1 came it was found that 1589 certificates, representing 43,308 individuals, had been lodged with the Commissioners at Loughrea, appointed to assign lands in Connaught ; but of a general transplantation there was not the faintest sign. For a moment it seemed as if the transplantation policy would undergo modification. But in the end the views of Fleetwood and the military party prevailed. On November 30 a fresh Declaration was published requiring all transplantable persons to betake themselves to Connaught before March 1, 1655, under pain of death. This time, so far as the proprietors were concerned, the Order did not remain a dead letter. During the winter hundreds of families removed into Connaught. But nothing could induce the natives as a body to move. A few were hanged as an example ; multitudes-men, women, and children-were, under the pretext of vagrancy, shipped off to Barbados and elsewhere. But it was all to no purpose. Self-interest and humanity urged the abandonment of a policy that was turning Ireland into a wilderness and leaving it a prey to the wolf and the Tory. Meanwhile the necessity for a speedy settlement had become imperative. The debt to the army was alarming. There had been a slight disbandment and a partial settlement of "'49 arrears" in 1653, for which purpose Leitrim had been withdrawn from the lands assigned to the Irish ; but there were still more than 30,000 men in pay. To add to the difficulties of the situation, it was found that the land at the disposal of the State was insufficient to answer all obligations. To remedy this deficiency, the army consented to the rates at which the lands were to be calculated being raised ; a new and more accurate survey, known as the Down Survey, under the direction of Dr William Petty was ordered ; and further lands in Connaught were added to the general fund. Meanwhile the army was put in possession of the rents accruing from the lands assigned for its satisfaction. In September, 1655, the first great disbandment took place. In March, 1656, Petty had finished his survey; and by the close of the year the army had, except the bulk of the " '49 arrears," been practically settled on the lands allotted to it. By the end of 1658 most of the Adventurers' claims had been satisfied.
There was still much to do in the way of settling all the obligations incurred by Government, but under the mild rule of Henry Cromwell, who had succeeded Fleetwood in September, 1655, though not actually appointed Deputy till November, 1657, the country gradually emerged from the chaos in which the war and the plantation had involved it Infinite were the sufferings of the dispossessed Irish. Murder and outrage stalked through the land. The new planters, whithersoever they came, carried their lives in their hands. But the dream of a new England across the Channel, as it had long floated before the imagination of English statesmen, seemed at last to have been realised. Two-thirds of the soil of Ireland had passed into the hands of Englishmen. By the identification of its commercial interests with those of England, and the incorporation of Ireland with that country for parliamentary purposes, under the Instrument of Government, and by the care taken to secure a monopoly in the representation to the new settlers, the Commonwealth had as it were placed its seal on its victory. Henceforth the English interest in Ireland might be considered safe.
After the death of Cromwell the government of Ireland shared the fate that overtook the Commonwealth. In vain Ludlow, to the last true to his Republican principles, tried hard to avert the inevitable and to reconcile men who would not be reconciled The country was tired both of the rule of the army and of a discredited Parliament ; and when on December 16, 1659, Monck declared for a free Parliament the army in Ireland under Coote and Broghill acquiesced. The Restoration brought many changes with it, and among them a fresh land settlement ; but, as an expression of the will of England, the Cromwellian Settlement was too firmly laid to be radically altered.