« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
against persons who came to occupy tenements from which the previous tenants were expelled ?—They were against persons who took land for the purpose, I believe, of reletting it; or persons who took land after other persons had been dispossessed."-H. L., 1824,
101. Colonel Rochfort, Queen's County :
“Is the association, and the ends of it, directed against the gentry ?—Not particularly.
“ Have they been attacked ?-No; I only know of one gentleman; they attacked the Rev. Mr. Trench, curate of Athy: he was at church ; and when Mrs. Trench had come home, and was washing her hands up stairs, a band of armed men came in, and attacked the house, and carried off the
“ That is the only case where the house of a gentleman has been attacked ?—Yes, the only house, I believe.
“ Has any gentleman been injured in any way?-No, I believe not; but Captain Lyster was fired at, but he was not injured.
“ The attack on Mr. Trench was more by stealth than by violence ?-Yes, it was four o'clock in the day *.
Against what class are their efforts directed ?—Against all the lower farmers who have arms; a portion of the Whitefeet might have gone for arms, but a great many committed robberies and burglaries, which all fall upon the poor. At the last commission three men attacked a poor woman's house, where she and her aunt lived together, and the whole property was not worth 10s.; they robbed her of what they could get, and two of them violated her ; they are sentenced to transportation.
“ In other cases, the attacks were upon farmers holding a few acres of ground ?—Yes; and frequently in the same family, when there were disputes in the family, mostly about a small quantity of ground.”—H. C., 1832, Nos. 1067-73.
* See an account of this transaction above, p. 211.
The attack was certainly not made by stealth : it was made by a party of armed men in the open day.
John Dillon, Esq. :
“ Were the attacks made upon the very low description of farmers holding small pieces of ground ?—They were made upon every class.
“ Were they made upon farmers holding ten or twenty acres ? Not except they had taken land lately in the possession of another.
“ The question refers to attacks for arms ?—Every one was attacked that had arms, if they could get at them.
They interfered with every person they thought fit about land ?-Yes; they did not attack those that were armed and they thought would defend themselves.”—Ibid., Nos. 2367-70.
Major Warburton :
“ Were they (the outrages] levelled chiefly against landlords, or against persons who came to occupy tenements from which the previous tenants had been expelled ?-I think they were levelled against both; that they were levelled against the parties acting under the arrangement with the landlord, and against the landlord for making the arrangements, in many cases that occurred.
“ Were many of the outrages directed against the clergy, or against the collectors of tithes ?–Many of them against tithe proctors; there were not many of them against the clergy, I think.”-H. L., 1824, p. 78.
When the attack is directed against the landlords, it is rather made upon their property than their houses or persons.
“ Was the destruction of property (Serjeant Lloyd is asked) chiefly levelled against the landlords or the tithe-owners ?The property that was consumed when I was in Cork (he replies) was in the instances where distress had been made for rent, and drawn off; it was very frequently consumed : when tithes have been drawn in kind, they also have been consumed.” -Ibid., p. 112.
Bishop Woodward, in his pamphlet on the Whiteboys of 1787, says, that in the county of Cork, at that time,
so general a terror of violence from the common people prevailed, that few persons, if any, thought it prudent to distrain for rent, or to process for debt." He adds in a note, that “one gentleman made the attempt [to distrain for rent], but I have good information that a notice was fixed up in the adjoining town forbidding any person to buy the goods; and the agent was under the necessity of procuring a party of soldiers to guard the corn distrained.”—p. 83.
The Whiteboys have probably been of opinion with Jonathan Wild, that mischief is too valuable a thing to be wasted ; and hence they have rarely committed a crime without an object, or attacked a powerful person when their end could be equally well attained by attacking a weak one. They have evidently sought in general not to provoke any unnecessary hostility. Hence, at seasons of the greatest disturbances, strangers settled in the county, and not mixed up with dealings in land, or mere passing wayfarers, are suffered to remain unharmed. The evidence of Mr. Griffith, the engineer, will explain this point.
“ When you first went among them, had you any feelings of personal insecurity ?–Never.
“ Have you ever gone about armed amongst them ?-Never.
“ Is that the case with the middlemen of this district ?Some of the middle gentry go about armed, and some are attended by horse-police; I speak of the middle gentry; the higher order of gentry never go about armed ; at least I have never met any who were.
“ Do you think that altogether an imprudent precaution on the part of the middle gentry of whom you speak ?-I think it may be very necessary for their protection ; in general they are
men who are obnoxious to the people, and they are more likely to be attacked than any other persons.
“ Where is your residence in this district ?—In the neighbourhood of Mallow.
" Is there any part of the district that has been more subject to disturbances than the spot in which your residence is fixed ? - It is considered the most disturbed part of Ireland, and outrages took place within half a mile of my house.
“ Is your house barred or bolted in the night in any particular manner?-No.
“ Have you had your family there?-My family have resided there for upwards of a year.
“ Have you had any fear of disturbance ?-I have not.
“Do you conceive that any one of the middle gentry of whom you speak would be tolerably safe to live in a similar habitation ?-I am persuaded they dare not do it; the people look up to me with very different feelings; I pay them, and receive nothing but their labour in return.
Does it ever occur, even to the females of your family, to have any personal apprehension ?-I do not think Mrs. Griffith had; but when I was from home, which, on an average, was six days out of seven, the female servants were afraid, particularly when they saw fires around them. or Did
often see those fires ?-Several times. “ Do you mean that you have a perfect sense of personal security in an open house ?-I have noi the least fear; there was no system of robbery in the country; the apparent motives of attack were either political or revengeful, and consisted chiefly in burning corn-stacks and thatched houses, particularly those belonging to the better order of farmers or to the middle gentry who had committed some act obnoxious to the people; but I never considered myself in that light, and I have no apprehension in passing through that country in the middle of the night.
“ Had you no apprehension that you might be mistaken for one of the middle gentry ?—That might have occurred; but if I had mentioned my name, I think I should have been per
mitted to pass.
“ Do you mean that your name is known through the whole of that district of nine hundred and seventy miles ?-I am certain that it is, and that a large portion of the inhabitants know me personally.
“ Did the Committee understand you right, that at the period when this country was most disturbed, the upper ranks of gentry would be more secure in going through it than the middle ranks of gentry ?-I think they are more secure, at least there is more appearance of security; they ride about the country without being armed.
" And the others do not?-Some of the others do not.
“Do you conceive that a stranger, for instance an English gentleman, travelling either from motives of curiosity or commercial speculation, would be in security or otherwise ?-In perfect security.
“ Do you conceive that if an English gentleman were to engage in the investment of capital in any commercial or manufacturing speculation, in the centre of that very district, or the most disturbed part of it, that they would be in any hazard, personal or otherwise ?-I think neither himself, nor the property, would be in any hazard, provided he treated the people justly, and paid them regularly.
During the height of the disturbance, the superior gentry went about unarmed ? —During the period of the disturbances which took place last year, in the neighbourhood of Charleville and Mallow, the gentlemen went about unarmed.
If, then, they can trust their persons in this way by day, what was the reason they did not conduct themselves as other individuals, who had no apprehension, and who lived in perfect tranquillity at night ?-Because the depredations generally took place by night, and the gentry did not know to what extent they might proceed; the attacks were generally confined to houses at night, and individuals were not molested in the day-time.
“ Persons who were not obnoxious to the population had nothing to fear from them ?—Every gentleman holding land