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Whiteboy system is given by Chief Justice Bushe on the Maryborough Commission :
“ Illegal oaths are administered by them, often by compulsion, to unhappy wretches who attribute to them an obligation which they deny to more legitimate engagements. Vengeance is denounced against all who refuse to join those associations, or resist their mandates, or give information of their crimes; by these means they become numerous, and the incessant and indefatigable plunder of arms from all descriptions of loyal and peaceable subjects soon renders them formidable. The destruction of property follows, houses and barns and granaries are levelled, crops are laid waste, pasture lands are ploughed, plantations are torn up, meadows are thrown open to cattle, cattle are maimed, tortured, killed. Those persons who incur their displeasure are visited by parties of banditti who inflict cruel torture on their persons, mutilate their limbs, or beat them almost to death. Men are deliberately assassinated in the open day, who have in any way become obnoxious to the insurgents, or opposed their system, or refused to participate in their outrages, and sometimes the unoffending members of a family are indiscriminately murdered by burning the habitation of one devoted victim."-(p. 5.)
In certain parts of Ireland the Whiteboy code is constantly in operation, and if any man either from rashness or necessity from time to time dares to violate it, he is immediately made to suffer either in person or property, and his example is sufficient to prevent a repetition of the offence. At certain intervals, however, from accidental circumstances, the spirit of the people is roused by some oppression, or they are excited by some trifling occurrence, and the ordinary state of (what may be termed) intermitting Whiteboyism is aggravated into a rapid succession of outrages, almost bordering on insurrection. The state
of the country, when thus generally disturbed, is described by many witnesses.
“ At that time, (says Mr. Blacker, of the north of the county of Cork,) every species of crime was committed ; murders, robberies, burnings of houses, houghing of cattle, serving of threatening notices, severely beating obnoxious persons, every species of crime that could disgrace a country; fires seen at night, conflagrations of houses, five, six, seven, eight, and nine, in different parts of the country, and the gentlemen's houses barricadoed *.” “ There had been some houses burnt, (says Mr. Bennett, of another district,) some persons flogged, some stacks of corn and turf had been burnt; and I found the people in the county, the gentlemen and the farming class of the better description, in a state of very great alarm f.” " The county of Limerick, in 1821, (says Major Willcocks,) was very much disturbed, and numbers of murders committed, several places burnt and destroyed, and several persons beaten, and cattle destroyed and houghed, houses attacked and arms taken I."
Of the county of Clare, when under the Insurrection Act, Major Warburton says :
“ There were a great number of burnings, both of houses, haggards, and cattle; threatening notices were served ; and a variety of other outrages, such as houghing cattle and sheep Ş.”
Mr. Becher, describing the north-western part of the county of Cork, in 1821, says:
“It was exceedingly disturbed; the common people were in the habit of going out at night administering illegal oaths, attacking houses for the purpose of getting arms, and in short executing whatever their wishes or inclinations were. There was a general difficulty in obtaining rents from them, and altogether the state of the country was what might be called a state of insurrection |I." * H. L., 1824, p. 15.
mo H. C., 1824, p. 81. C., 1824, p. 96.
$ H. L., 1824, p 77. || H. L., 1824, p 133.
He is further examined as follows:
“ Was not every gentleman, indiscriminately, in that country, whether a humane landlord, or the contrary, obliged to barricade his house?-Yes, all; but notices were given to some, that they need not do it.
“ Do you think they could have trusted to those notices ?Certainly not.
“ How long did that state of barricado last ?- I am not so accurate as to dates, as to be able to answer that question correctly; but I think it was in the year 1821. I was attending my duty in Parliament here, and on my way home, in Dublin, I got a letter from my brother, stating that the country was in that state. I made as much haste as I could to get down, and arrived the day after the battle of Newmarket, as they call it, had taken place; and for the remainder of that winter, we were in the habit of hearing of horsemen galloping on the roads round the domain. In short, the people had the country in their possession at night; by day, they were kind enough to leave it to us. We frequently observed signal fires thrown up at night; and there was every symptom of an approaching insurrection. I inquired among the common people, for information as to the nature and object of their proceedings; but I was generally told it was a subject not to be talked of without danger of fatal consequences. This state lasted, I think, for . the rest of the winter; then the Insurrection Act began to operate a little in checking it, because it kept them at home. I do no think it operated effectually for some time, but at length it began to check it; and now I think, they are feeling the effect of the restraints imposed upon them, and the country has certainly beome quieter.
“Was it necessary to barricade by day-time?-Yes, it was, during that time; and in fact, several arms have been taken since that, in the day-time.”-H. L., 1824, p. 141.
The following report of a monti’s crimes, in a district of the King's County in 1834, will give a more
precise idea of the ordinary state of a disturbed country, without any very atrocious crimes :
Garrycastle District, Lieutenant William Henderson, Chief
Constable. “ Extracts from Chief Constable's Report. “1 March.-An armed party entered the house of John Low, of Macken, within two miles of the post-town of Ferbane, swore him if he had fire-arms in the house, and searched it, but got none; on their departure they fired a shot.
“ A party of six armed men entered the house of James Connor, within one mile and a half of Cloghan town, and ordered him to give up the arms he had in his possession ; they searched the house, but got none.
“ The same party went to the house of Matthew Killan, of same place, and ordered him to give up land in his possession.
“7 March. The house of P. Donahoe, of Baleitha, within one mile of Banagher, was attacked by a party of men, who beat him, and stabbed his wife with a bayonet, broke all his delf, and swore him to give up his land. Perpetrators unknown.
“ Same night the house of Thomas Donahoe, of Clairmount, was attacked by a party of men, who stabbed Donahoe with a bayonet, beat his wife, broke all his windows and delf, and swore him to give up his land.
“ 9 March.-An armed party went to the house of Mr. Baker, of Bellmount, about one o'clock, while the family were at Divine service ; they knocked at the hall-door, and being refused admittance, and resisted by the steward, who fired on them, they fired through one of the windows, broke seven or eight panes of glass, and lodged several slugs in the ceiling of the room.
Perpetrators unknown. “ An armed party went to the house of Michael Merrigan, near Shannon-bridge, put him on his knees, and swore him to leave his house in seven days.
" 10 March.-On this night an armed party went through
the neighbourhood of Bellmount, firing several shots. They went to Mr. Baker's gate-house, and inquired for the steward, apparently for the purpose of shooting him, but they did not find him. This steward defended Mr. Baker's house on the 9th, when it was attacked.
“ 12 March.—The houses of Thomas and Hugh Donelan, of Park, near Banagher, were attacked by a party of men, who swore them to give up that land, and robbed Hugh of 71. in cash.
“ Three men, armed with pistols, went to the house of Matthew Hunt, of Cloney, near Banagher. They swore him to give up his land in a week's time, and to give up his house to a man named Galvin.
“ 17 March. The house of William Doyly, of Toudmore, within two miles of Banagher, was entered by a large party, for the purpose of beating Doyly. Four men are apprehended, who have entered bail to stand their trial at the next quarter-sessions of Birr.
“ The house of S. Toaker, of Gurtagown, was maliciously set on fire. Perpetrators unknown.
“ 20 March.-An armed party of six men came to the house of Michael Butler, of Cloononey, within one mile and a half of Cloghan, and swore him to give up his house and land.
A threatening notice was posted outside the town of Cloghan, warning the labourers not to work for any person for less than 1s. a day.
“ 23 March.—A house, the property of John Carnevan, of Gloster, near Banagher, was maliciously set on fire.
- 25 March.-One man broke into the house of John Rourke, of Cloughail, and warned him not to sow any more for J. Devery
“ The same night a party of men went to the house of John Kilcoe, same place, and warned him to the like effect.
“ 30 March.—At six o'clock this morning the house of John Hinchy, who resides at Newtown, about three miles from Banagher, was entered by two armed men, who desired him to go to the priest, and settle about land he (Hinchy) had in dis