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CHAPTER XIII

THE STUARTS

SUC

'NEIL, as we have seen, had

received a free pardon and was restored to his titles and estates. O'Donnell was ceeded in the chieftainship of his clan by his brother Rory; and Rory was now made Earl

of Tyrconnell. And so the reign of James I. (1603-1625) opened on a tranquil and exhausted Ireland.

But O'Neil and Rory O'Donnell did not feel safe in Ulster. Disquieting rumours were abroad of plots

to seize them and carry them off to England. They did not wait for this new blow to fall. Eluding the vigil

of the government -- if, indeed, the government desired to restrain them—they

ance

embarked in a foreign vessel at Lough Swilly on September 14th 1607, and sailed for France. They returned to Ireland no more. Rory O'Donnell died at Rome in May 1608, and O'Neil, broken in health and fortune, sick, blind, miserable, passed peacefully away in the same city on July 20th 1616.

The flight of the two chiefs was seized by the government as a favourable opportunity for confiscating their lands, which comprised the counties of Tyrone, Derry, Donegal, Armagh, Fermanagh and Cavan, containing in all nearly three million acres. Of these, half a million acres of fertile land was distributed among Scotch and English settlers. The rest, consisting of bog, mountain and forest, was restored to the Irish.1 Large districts in the county of Derry were offered at a cheap rate to the great civic companies of London. Twelve accepted the offer, and a committee of their representatives was formed, with the title of the Honourable Irish Society, to administer the affairs of the plantation,' under the provisions of a

a royal charter. Thenceforth, in memory of this event, the town of Derry assumed the name of Londonderry.

The plantation of Ulster was followed by the plantation of Leinster, where nearly half a million acres of land were wrenched from the rightful owners and handed over to another

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? In the reign of Elizabeth half-a-million acres were confiscated in Munster.

1616-1632]

STRAFFORD

123

motley crew of English adventurers. The old proprietors wandered forth in the fastnesses of the woods and mountains, outlaws and pariahs, seeking shelter from the myrmidons of the government and waiting for the hour of

vengeance and reprisal to come. The Irish had expected mercy from the Stuarts, but they received none. Charles I. (1625-1649)-selfish, mean, treacherous—followed in the footsteps of his predecessors. Under the pretence of conciliation, he still pursued a policy of aggression and aggrandisement. In 1626 such of the old Irish landowners as still remained drew up certain articles, forming a Bill of Rights, to which they respectfully solicited the royal assent, promising in return to raise a voluntary assessment of £100,000 for the use of the crown. The principal articles in these 'graces, as they were called, provided for the security of property, the due administration of justice, the prevention of military exactions and the freedom of trade.

Charles took the money, promised the graces,' and broke his word.

About 1632 Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, became lord-deputy. The spirit of confiscation was still in the air, and Wentworth resolved to plant Connaught, as Ulster, Munster and Leinster had been planted. He set to work with insidious villainy. Under the sanction of the law, he outraged the law. By corrupt inquisitions, packed juries and bribed retainers, he dispossessed many of the old proprietors in Roscommon, Mayo and Sligo ; but the juries of

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Galway refused to find against the old Norman house of Clanricarde, withstood the authority of the crown, defied the lord-deputy, and saved the rest of the province. In 1640 Strafford returned to England with his work unfinished, and Ireland saw him no more.

CHAPTER XIV

ULSTER REBELLION—OWEN ROE O'NEIL

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now

HE day of vengeance and re

prisal, for which the plundered chiefs of Ulster, Leinster and Munster had waited

and watched, was

at hand. Charles I. and his parliament were entering on a struggle of

life or death. The occasion was favourable for an Irish revolt.

England's difficulties were then, as they have always been, Ireland's opportunity.

Roger O'Moore, one of the dispossessed chiefs of Leinster, rallied his fellow-countrymen around him, to recover the inheritance of their fathers, and to fight for religious and national freedom. The representatives of

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