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concluded " in the presence of Almighty God, the searcher of all hearts, with a true intention to perform the same, as we shall answer at that great day when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed; most humbly beseeching the Lord to strengthen us by his Holy Spirit for this end, and to bless our desires and proceedings with such success as may be deliverance and safety to his people.” Such was the declaration of war against Catholics, issued by the learned Assembly of Westminster, and confirmed by the two Parliaments of England and Scotland. Under this covenant the united forces of Britain were to march against all who could not call God to witness their adoption of “the solemn league and covenant."
Charles I., as soon as the covenant appeared, issued his condemnation of it; all the reformed prelates, of course, did likewise; but the Presbyterians, Independents, and Brownists, of the Long Parliament, armed in its defence, and their Scottish colleagues did likewise. Then came the civil war; the king a-field, and the rebels in possession of the capital; Strafford beheaded, and Cromwell lieutenant general of the army.
THE PRESBYTERIANS AND PURITANS IN IRELAND. - EXTERMINA.
TION THEIR POLICY.- ULSTER RISING OF 1641.- NEW CATHOLIC CONFEDERACY FOUNDED BY RORY O'MOORE. – QATH OF CONFEDERATION.- GENERAL INSURRECTION. - CATHOLIC LEGISLATION. – PETERS AND JEROME. - OWEN ROE O'NEIL ORMOND. CROMWELL IN IRELAND. THE PURITAN PENAL LAWS. DEATH OF CROMWELL.
PRESBYTERIANISM, in Scotland, dates from 1572 - the era of Knox's Book of Discipline; in Ireland, it may be properly dated from the Montgomery plantation, in Down; that is, from 1606. Montgomery originally obtained his title to a large tract in that county from
O'Neil; James I. confirmed it, with the proviso “ that the lands should be planted with British Protestants, and that no grant of fee farm should be made to any person of mere Irish extraction." Accordingly we find for years afterwards a steady importation of Protes-. tant tenants, Shaws, Boyds, Keiths, Maxwells, and Bayleys, all from Scotland. In the vaults of Grey Abbey, and the “stump of an old castle” at Newtown, the pioneers of this emigration had to abide until they erected fitter homesteads; the Montgomery family spent their first year in an old priory, roofed in for their service. In 1609, on the plea of a plot, which was never proved to exist, the six counties of Ulster were declared to be vested in the crown, and by the crown, in a subsequent proclamation, were offered to adventurers well affected in religion." The rules of the plantation were simply four: -
" I. That the proportion of land to be distributed to “ undertakers may be of three different quantities. The “ first and least may consist of so many parcels of land
as will make a thousand English acres, or thereabouts ; " the second or middle proportion, of so many parcels as “ will make fifteen hundred English acres, or thereabouts ; “ the third, and greatest, of so many parcels as will make “ two thousand English acres, or thereabouts.
“ II. That all lands escheated in every county may be “ divided into four parts, whereof two parts may be di“ vided into proportions consisting of a thousand acres
apiece, a third part into proportions of fifteen hundred " acres, and the fourth part into proportions of two thou: 66 sand acres.
“ III. That every proportion be made a parish, and a “ parish church be erected thereon; and the incombents “ be endowed with glebes of several quantities, viz.. An “ incumbent of a parish of a thousand acres to have “ sixty acres, of a parish of fifteen hundred acres to have
ninety acres, and of a parish of two thousand acres to “ have one hundred and twenty acres; and that the “ whole tithes, and the duties of every parish, be allotted “ to every incumbent, besides the glebes aforesaid.
66 IV. That the undertakers of these lands be of sey“ eral sorts - first, English and Scottish, who are to
“ plant their proportions with English and Scottish ten“ants; second, servitors in Ireland, who “ English or Irish tenants at their choice; third, natives “ of those counties, who are to be freeholders.
Following these four general principles of division “ were special directions for each county, based upon " their relative statistics. But, before stating these " special directions, it will be well to consider those ap“plicable to the whole scheme of the plantation.
" In each county, the authors of this project divided “ the lands escheated into two divisions, one the portion “ of the church, and the other the portion of the under" takers. The first was composed of termon, monas
tery, and mensall or dernesne lands; the second, of " the escheated territories of the late traitors.'" *
The established clergy was thus provided for by the king, while the Presbyterian laity were enriched by the same despotic exercise of power. These latter naturally organized their presbyteries on the Scottish plan, and imported their ministers from Scotland. For some time the connection was intimate and cordial; but after a generation or two, “the church of Scotland” ceased to control “ the church of Ulster," and there was not a believer or elder left who considered himself bound by the decrees of the General Assembly of Scotland.
While this new form of Protestantism was expanding in the north, the “recusant" Catholics were again trying the Parliament to secede, a second time, in 1623. This time they did not return; but each one, sullen or active according to his humor, agitated for resistance or remained quietly on his estate. The common people were as devoted as ever to their old faith and pastors. A thousand clergymen still remained in the country, secretly or openly, while as many more, from the colleges of France, Spain, and Italy, waited but opportunities to return.
* The actual division throughout Ulster may be judged from this sample: Tyrowen contained of available land, including the ecclesiastical possessions, 1571 ballyboes, or 98,187 acres ; Coleraine, otherwise O’Cahan's country, contained 547 ballyboes, or 34,187 acres, of which the Bishop of Derry claimed termon lands to the amount of 6343 acres ; Donegal contained 110,700 acres, of which 9000 acres were claimed as termon lands; Fermanagh, commonly called McGwire's country, contained 1070 tathes, or 33,437 acres, with 46 islands ; Cavan, O'Reilly's country, contained 620 polls, or 40,500 acres; and Armagh contained 77,800 acres, of which the primate's share was to be 2400 acres, and the in. cumbents' glebes were to enjoy 4650 acres.”
A man was wanting to combine and give heart to the dispersed believers. This man appeared in Roger, or Rory, O'Moore, the heir of a line of brave ancestors; whose father and grandfather had both died in defence of the church and country. Carried into Spain when a child, he returned soon after Charles's accession. Educated in all the science of that age, with the son of Hugh O'Neil as his friend and fellow-student, he grew in patriotism as in years.* His favorite project was to unite the Milesian and Norman Catholics in one holy brotherhood. To this end he gave up his natural right to the lands of Leix, and with his brother Lysagh, made a home at Ballynagh, “ near the Boyne.” He rode from castle to castle, reasoning and exhorting with men of various minds. So clearly did the people understand his labors, that this was their watchword 66 Our trust is in God and our Lady and Rory O'Moore.” He was equally successful with the noble in his hall and the farmer in his bawn. Who, indeed, could resist this self-denying man, as he begged the very holders of his own acres to unite with him for their joint preservation? “ my lands,” said he, “but help me to preserve our altars." He renounced with all solemnity just claims to a restoration of his estates, and urged only unity for the common faith and common defence. Could heroism rise higher above the earth?
In 1640, O'Moore saw that his patient projects began to operate. Every remonstrance, as he expected, was a failure; the lords of the Pale were rudely repulsed from
* Young O'Neil was found strangled in his bed at Brussels ; foul play was suspected on the part of the British agents there.
ť Parnell's sketch of O'Moore is the best and briefest I have met: “ Roger O’Moore possessed all the qualities of the heroic - character, talents, promptitude, courage, and love of country ; his person was remarkably graceful, his aspect dignified, his manners courteous.” Laws, p. 113. O'Moore's daughter Anna was the mother of Patrick Sarsfield.
the castle, and ordered to quit Dublin; an intercepted letter from the Earl of Essex to the deputy, advising their transportation to the West Indies, was printed; and lastly, three hundred and eighty-five thousand acres of their land in Leinster was declared to be confiscated. Driven on by these incentives, Preston, Lord Gormanstown, on the part of the Norman aristocracy, met Roger O'Moore, on the hill of Knoc-Crofty, near Tara, and assured him of their desire for union and coöperation. This was the beginning of the second Catholic confederation. the 230 October, 1641, impatient, perhaps, of O'Moore's slower policy, Sir Phelim O'Neil appeared in arms in the north.* Appointing four captains, and dividing his forces into four divisions, he assailed simultaneously the chief garrisons of the English. Dungannon, the home of his ancestors, Strabane, Armagh, Portadown, Cavan, and Newry were before three months in his keeping. Except the posts of Derry, Coleraine, and Carrickfergus, the English retained no strongholds in Ulster. In December, the Leinster lords equipped a confederate force, and Kilkenny, Wexford, Ross, and Waterford opened their gates to Lord Mountgarrett and his subordinate officers. The last day of the same month, the Irish of Tipperary, under Philip O'Dwyer, took Cashel, and about the same time, Limerick, Clare, and the Catholics of Connaught joined in the general insurrection.
At Lurgan and Portadown, O'Neil certainly showed a revengeful and merciless spirit in refusing quarter. This conduct contrasts strongly with the clemency he exhibited at the capture of Ballaghie, where they allowed the defender, Conway, “to march out with his men, and to carry away trunks, with plate and money, to Antrim.” †
* The pretended discovery by Clotworthy's servant, O'Connally, of a general massacre of the Protestants, is admirably analyzed by Matthew Carey, of Philadelphia, to whose memory I offer my humble tribute of homage. (For this analysis, see Appendix, p. 371.) Lord Conor McGuire and Colonel Hugh McMahon were arrested in Dublin, on the 23d of October, on that scoundrels testimony. McMahon was dreadfully racked, but made no confession ; Lord McGuire died on the scaffold, at Tyburn, in 1644, declaring his unalterable adhesion to the Catholic faith. McMahon was afterwards one of the supreme council of the Catholic confederaey. † Carte's Life of Ormond, vol. i. p. 188.