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CHAPTER I.

HISTORY OF IRISH LOCAL DISTURBANCES FROM 1760

TO THE PRESENT DAY.

By the settlement of Ireland after the revolution of 1688, the power of the new government was so firmly established, that no combined movement took place in favour of the ancient dynasty, not even during the Scottish rebellions of 1715 and 1745*.

The system

* The feeling so long and so ardently entertained by the Jacobites of Scotland in favour of the family of their former princes, did not prevail in Ireland to anything like an equal extent, notwithstanding the large numbers of Catholics in the latter country. “As to the Pretender (says Swift, in his 7th Drapier's Letter, written soon after 1724) his cause is both desperate and obsolete. There are very few now alive who were men in his father's time, and in that prince's interest; and in all others the obligation of conscience has no place. Even the papists in general, of any substance or estate, and their priests, almost universally are what we call Whigs, in the sense which by that word is generally understood." Vol. vii. p. 46. ed. Scott.

“It is notorious (says Plowden, Hist. Review, vol. i. p. 336), that when Murray, the Pretender's secretary, gave up all the letters and papers relative to the last rebellion in Scotland, a scheme which had been planning and contriving for seven years before, it plainly appeared that the Jacobite party had no dependence upon, or connexion or correspondence with, any Roman Catholic in Ireland; the very name of that kingdom not having been once mentioned throughout the whole correspondence."

Dr. Campbell, in his Philosophical Survey of the South of Ireland, published in 1777, speaking of the common people of Athlone, says, “Curious to learn their sentiments as well as manners, I have entered into conversation with them as often as possible, and I could not find them so much attached to the house of Stuart as I apprehended. They have frequently spoke of James II. with indignation. He called the Irish cowards, and said that all was lost through their fault at the battle of the Boyne: this they have not forgot, and do not fail to recriminate; they brand him with a name the most opprobrious in their language, and expressive of the most dastardly cowardice. Some of them have said to

of Irish government, adopted in order to further the Protestant and English interest, and the severe penal code against the Catholics, though unsuccessful in converting the natives to the reformed faith, nevertheless so coerced the mass of the people, as to prevent any open

insurrection. By degrees, however, as population increased, the closer contact of the miserable peasantry led them to form local and limited combinations, for the purpose of shaking off those burdens which pressed most heavily upon them, but which, when thinly scattered over the face of the country, they could not hope successfully to resist*. The first of the risings which originated in this new state of things, and which had little or nothing in common with the previous troubles in Ireland, (such as the great rebellion of 1641,) was that of the Whiteboys, or Levellers, in 1761. These insurgents were so called, because they wore white shirts over their clothes, as a badge of their union, and because one of their principal objects was the levelling of the fences of newly-inclosed waste land. The immediate cause of their rising is stated as follows by Dr. Curry, the earliest and best informed writer on the subject : me, We expect little good from any of the race of Sheemas-a-caccagh.P. 273. See also Curry's Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland, vol. ii. p. 252, 260. On the tranquillity of Ireland about the middle of the eighteenth century, see a pamphlet by Dr. Lucas, entitled “ A short but true History of the Rise, Progress, and happy Suppression of several late Insurrections, commonly called Rebellions, in Ireland." Reprinted. Dublin, 1760.

* It appears, from accounts which cannot be very wide of the truth, that the number of Catholics in Ireland, in 1733, was less than a million and a half. See Edinburgh Review, No. 124, p. 514. Towards 1790, the population of Ireland was about four millions; of which about three millions were Catholics. London Review, No. 3, p. 230. In 1834 the number of Catholics in Ireland was 6,427,712, as returned by the Commissioners of Public Instruction. It has therefore more than quadrupled itself in a century.

“ About this time great tumults had been raised, and some outrages committed in different parts of Munster, by cottiers and others of the lowest class of its inhabitants, occasioned by the tyranny and rapacity of their landlords. These landlords had set their lands to cottiers far above their value, and, to lighten their burden, had allowed commonage to their tenants. Afterwards, in despite of all equity, contrary to all compacts, the landlords inclosed those commons*, and precluded their unhappy tenants from the only means of making their bargains tolerable. Another cause of these people's discontents was the cruel exactions of tithe-mongers; these harpies squeezed out the very vitals of the people, and by process, citation, and sequestration, dragged from them the little which the landlord had left them. These are the real causes of the late tumults in Munster, and it may be safely affirmed that there is no nation that has not had tumults from such or the like causes, without religion coming into questiont.”

A letter from a gentleman in Youghall to his son in London (printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for April, 1762), likewise states, that the Whiteboys“ all along pretended that their assembling was to do justice to the poor, by restoring the ancient commons and redressing other grievances I.”

* By commons is here doubtless meant merely waste land. If there had been a right of commonage over these wastes, and they had not been private property, the landlords would have been unable to inclose them without the consent of the commoners.

ofo Dr. Curry's State of the Catholics of Ireland, in his Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland, vol. ii. pp. 271-2, (London, 1786). Dr. Curry was the author of an anonymous pamphlet, published in 1766, entitled, A candid Enquiry into the Causes and Motives of the late Riots in Munster; together with a brief Narrative of the Proceedings against the Rioters, in a Letter to a Noble Lord in England,” which he in part repeats in the extract given in the text. See the Preface to his Review, p. iv., and for the high opinion of this tract entertained by impartial persons, see O'Conor's History of the Irish Catholics, Part I., p. 318-9.

This statement occurs in the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xxxii., in A succinct Account of a Set of Miscreants in the Counties of Waterford, Cork, Limerick, and Tipperary, called Bougheleen Bawins (i. e.

of Irish government, adopted in order to further the Protestant and English interest, and the severe penal code against the Catholics, though unsuccessful in converting the natives to the reformed faith, nevertheless so coerced the mass of the people, as to prevent any open insurrection. By degrees, however, as population increased, the closer contact of the miserable peasantry led them to form local and limited combinations, for the purpose of shaking off those burdens which pressed most heavily upon them, but which, when thinly scattered over the face of the country, they could not hope successfully to resist*. The first of the risings which originated in this new state of things, and which had little or nothing in common with the previous troubles in Ireland, (such as the great rebellion of 1641,) was that of the Whiteboys, or Levellers, in 1761. These insurgents were so called, because they wore white shirts over their clothes, as a badge of their union, and because one of their principal objects was the levelling of the fences of newly-inclosed waste land. The immediate cause of their rising is stated as follows by Dr. Curry, the earliest and best informed writer on the subject : me, We expect little good from any of the race of Sheemas-a-caccagh.' P. 273. See also Curry's Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland, vol. ii. p. 252, 260. On the tranquillity of Ireland about the middle of the eighteenth century, see a pamphlet by Dr. Lucas, entitled “ A short but true History of the Rise, Progress, and happy Suppression of several late Insurrections, commonly called Rebellions, in Ireland." Reprinted. Dublin, 1760.

* It appears, from accounts which cannot be very wide of the truth, that the number of Catholics in Ireland, in 1733, was less than a million and a half. See Edinburgh Review, No. 124, p. 514. Towards 1790, the population of Ireland was about four millions; of which about three millions were Catholics. London Review, No. 3, p. 230. In 1834 the number of Catholics in Ireland was 6,427,712, as returned by the Commissioners of Public Instruction. It has therefore more than quadrupled itself in a century.

“ About this time great tumults had been raised, and some outrages committed in different parts of Munster, by cottiers and others of the lowest class of its inhabitants, occasioned by the tyranny and rapacity of their landlords. These landlords had set their lands to cottiers far above their value, and, to lighten their burden, had allowed commonage to their tenants. Afterwards, in despite of all equity, contrary to all compacts, the landlords inclosed those commons*, and precluded their unhappy tenants from the only means of making their bargains tolerable. Another cause of these people's discontents was the cruel exactions of tithe-mongers; these harpies squeezed out the very vitals of the people, and by process, citation, and sequestration, dragged from them the little which the landlord had left them. These are the real causes of the late tumults in Munster, and it may be safely affirmed that there is no nation that has not had tumults from such or the like causes, without religion coming into questiont.”

A letter from a gentleman in Youghall to his son in London (printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for April, 1762), likewise states, that the Whiteboys “ all along pretended that their assembling was to do justice to the poor, by restoring the ancient commons and redressing other grievances I.”

* By commons is here doubtless meant merely waste land. If there had been a right of commonage over these wastes, and they had not been private property, the landlords would have been unable to inclose them without the consent of the commoners.

ofo Dr. Curry's State of the Catholics of Ireland, in his Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland, vol. ii. pp. 271-2, (London, 1786). Dr. Curry was the author of an anonymous pamphlet, published in 1766, entitled, “ A candid Enquiry into the Causes and Motives of the late Riots in Munster; together with a brief Narrative of the Proceedings against the Rioters, in a Letter to a Noble Lord in England," which he in part repeats in the extract given in the text. See the Preface to his Review, p. iv., and for the high opinion of this tract entertained by impartial persons, see O'Conor's History of the Irish Catholics, Part I., p. 318-9.

This statement occurs in the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xxxii., in “ A succinct Account of a Set of Miscreants in the Counties of Waterford, Cork, Limerick, and Tipperary, called Bougheleen Bawins (i. e.

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