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ford made the stoutest fight of all. Taking the field on May 27th, they seized Oulart, marched on Ferns, captured Enniscorthy, and occupied Wexford itself. In a few days the whole county was in their hands, with the exception of the fort of Duncannon and the town of New Ross. On June 4th, New Ross was attacked. The battle raged for ten hours. The town was taken and re-taken, but in the end the rebels were defeated and forced back on Gorey. A few days later they took the offensive again, and advanced on Arklow. Reinforcements were despatched from Dublin to succour the garrison. On June 9th Arklow was attacked. Another fierce battle, closing only with sunset, was fought. Victory remained still doubtful, when, at 8 p.m., the rebel captain was struck down, killed by a cannon ball. Then his men, who had throughout the day maintained the struggle with desperate courage, retreated sullenly, falling back once more on Gorey.

Fresh troops now arrived from England, and General Lake, who had succeeded Abercrombie as commander-in-chief, took the field in person. On June 21st, the rebel army was attacked in its last stronghold on Vinegar Hill, and annihilated. The insurgents, retreating through the counties of Dublin and Wicklow, were hunted down with merciless vengeance. 'The carnage was dreadful,' wrote Lake to Castlereagh; the determination of the troops to destroy everyone they think a rebel is beyond description.' Before the end of July the fire was put out in Wexford. But, before

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'RACES OF CASTLEBAR'

237

the end of August, an attempt was made to re-kindle it in the west.

When the news of the insurrection reached France, the government, yielding to the importunities of Tone, resolved to despatch another expedition to Ireland. The plan was to send detachments from various French ports. For this purpose, General Humbert was quartered at Rochelle with 1000 men; General Hardy at Brest with 3000 men; General Kilmaine was held in reserve with gooo men. At the last moment the government grew dilatory, and Humbert determined to strike at once on his own responsibility. Accompanied by Tone's brother, Matthew, and another United Irish exile, Bartholomew Teeling, he left Rochelle towards the middle of August, and landed in Killala on the 22d of the same month. General Lake hastened to meet him. A pitched battle was fought at Castlebar on August 22d. Lake was beaten and driven from the field. He retreated so rapidly that the battle is to this day known as the 'Races of Castlebar.' Cornwallis, who had become viceroy in June, came quickly to Lake's help, and forced Humbert to surrender at Ballinamuck on September 8th. Matthew Tone and Teeling were arrested, and, despite the protestations of Humbert, hurried to Dublin and hanged.

Yet another effort was to be made. On September 20th, the last French expedition sailed from Brest. It consisted of a fleet of one sail of the line, the Hoche (74 guns), eight

on

As on

frigatesLoire, Résolue, Bellone, Coquille, Embuscade, Immortalité, Romaine, Semillanté-and one schooner the Biche, under command of Admiral Bompard, and of an army of 3000 men under General Hardy. Tone was board the admiral's ship the Hoche. the previous occasion, the ships were scattered on the voyage; but, on October roth, Bompard arrived at the entrance of Lough Swilly with the Hoche, the Loire, the Résolue and the Biche. He was instantly signalled from the shore. At daybreak next morning a British squadron, consisting of six sail of the line, one razee (60 guns) and two frigates, under the command of Sir John Borlase Warren, hove in sight. Bompard signalled the French frigates and the schooner to retreat, and cleared the Hoche for action. A boat from the Biche came alongside the Hoche for last orders. The French officers gathered around Tone and urged him to escape.

“The contest is hopeless,' they said. * We shall be prisoners of war; but what will become of you ?' He answered, Shall it be said that I fled when the French were fighting the battles of my country? No; I shall stand by the ship.' The British admiral having despatched two sail—the razee and a frigate -to give chase to the Loire and the Résolue, bore down on the Hoche with the rest of the squadron. The French ship was rounded, but Bompard nailed his colours to the mast. For six hours the Hoche stood the combined fire of the British ships. Her masts were dismantled; her rigging was swept

sur

'I am very

1798]
ARREST OF TONE

239 away; the scuppers flowed with blood; the wounded filled the cock-pit. At length, with yawning ribs, with five feet of water in the hold, her rudder carried away, her sails and cordage hanging in shreds, her batteries dismounted, and every gun silenced, she struck. Tone commanded a battery, and fought like a lion, exposing himself to every peril of the conflict. The Hoche was towed into Lough Swilly, and the prisoners landed and marched to Letterkenny. The Earl of Cavan invited the French officers to breakfast.

Tone was among the guests. An old college companion, Sir George Hill, recognised him. How do you do, Mr Tone?' said Hill. happy to see you.' Tone greeted Hill cordially, and said, 'How are you, Sir George? How are Lady Hill and your family?' The police, who suspected that Tone was among the prisoners, lay in waiting in an adjoining

Hill went to them, pointed to Tone, and said, 'There is your man.' Tone was called from the table. He knew that his hour had come; but he went cheerfully to his doom. Entering the next apartment, he was surrounded by police and soldiers, arrested, loaded with irons and hurried to Dublin.

On November roth, he was put on his trial before a court-martial. He said to his judges, 'I mean not to give you the trouble of bringing judicial proof, to convict me, legally, of having acted in hostility to the government of his Brittanic majesty in Ireland. I admit the fact. From my earliest youth I have re

room.

garded the connection between Ireland and Great Britain as the curse of the Irish nation, and felt convinced that, while it lasted, this country could never be free nor happy. My mind has been confirmed in this opinion by the experience of every succeeding year, and the conclusions which I have drawn from every fact before my eyes. In consequence, I determined to apply all the powers which my individual efforts could move, in order to separate the two countries.' He made but one request.

He asked to be shot like a soldier. The request was refused, and he was ordered to be hanged within fortyeight hours. On the morning of the 12th of November, Curran moved the Court of King's Bench for a writ of habeas corpus.

'I do not pretend,' he said, “that Mr Tone is not guilty of the charges of which he is accused. I presume the officers were honourable men.

But it is stated in this affidavit as a solemn fact that Mr Tone had no mission under his majesty, and therefore no court - martial could have cognisance of any crime imputed to him whilst the Court of King's Bench sat in the capacity of the great criminal court of the land. In times when war was raging, when man was opposed to man in the field, courts - martial might be endured; but every law authority is with me, whilst I stand upon this sacred and immutable principle of the constitution, that martial law and civil law are incompatible, and that the former must cease with the existence of

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