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profit more by his offence than he himself who committed it.
To the other class may be referred those crimes whose effect is limited to that which is actually done by the offender, without reference to any influence on the future conduct of any individual: as when a homicide is committed from motives of personal vengeance, or under the momentary excitement of drunkenness or party quarrel: when a house is broken open simply to obtain property : when a man is robbed on the highway: when a woman is carried away and forced to marry a particular person. In these cases no general or prospective result is intended; the criminal merely seeks to gratify his own malice or avarice, or to satisfy his own personal and present want by the act. It is obvious that the same act might fall under the one or the other of these two classes, according to the motive with which it was done: for example, a homicide committed by a burglar merely to facilitate his robbery would belong to the latter class : but if it was done in order to punish a man, and to let the world know that all who acted in a similar manner would be similarly treated, it belongs to the former class.
Now the characteristic difference between the crimes of Ireland, and of England, France, and indeed of almost every civilized country in the world, is that in a large part of Ireland the former class appears to preponderate considerably beyond the latter: whereas, in other countries, the former class of crimes is so small, that at ordinary times it can scarcely be said to have any existence * The preponderance of the exemplary or
* M. Guerry, in his important work on the Moral Statistics of France, p. 31, gives the following table for France, of the apparent motives of the
preventive crimes may be particularly seen in certain districts of Ireland : thus in Munster, in the year 1833, illegal notices, administering unlawful oaths, assaults connected with combination, attacks on houses, burnings, maiming of cattle, malicious injury to property, and appearing in arms, nearly all of which were of this description, comprehended 627 out of a total of 973 crimes : and even of the others, as homicides, firing at persons, rescues, illegal meetings, &c., many were doubtless committed with the same motive*.
The only crimes recently committed in England with the same general intention are, the fires and riots produced by the administration of the poor-laws, which had the effect of intimidating the overseers and magistrates, and of inducing them to give a higher scale of allowance to paupers f.
The crimes committed by four most serious crimes, viz., poisoning, murder, manslaughter, and
Out of 1000 crimes 1. Hatred, vengeance, resentment
264 2. Domestic dissensions, hatred among relations
143 3. Quarrels in gambling or in public-houses
113 4. Theft (in order to accomplish it or to prevent punishment for it)
102 5. Accidental quarrels and encounters
94 6. Disputes arising from interest or from neighbourhood
80 7. Adultery
64 8. Incontinence, concubinage, seduction 9. Desire of obtaining a succession or extinguishing an annuity 25 10. Desire of obtaining a sum of money insured on lives or property
25 11. Love slighted or thwarted, refusal of marriage
20 12. Jealousy
1000 Nothing can offer a stronger contrast than this table, in which everything is personal, to the ordinary motives of the worst crimes in Ireland.
See note (B.) at the end. ofo “ Labourers who had been refused relief had been heard to leave their vestries saying almost aloud, “You all want a few more good fires !' Intimidation, however ashined they may be to confess it, in many cases
members of trades' unions, or by their procurement, were also of the same complexion : thus the murder of Mr. Ashton by Garside and his accomplice, was intended to punish him for his violation of the laws of the union, and to strike terror into those mill-owners who might otherwise be inclined to transgress them.
It is to the state of things which we exhibited in the last chapter, to the wretched condition of the mass of the Irish peasantry, their inability to obtain employment for hire, and their consequent dependence on land; to the system of combination and self-defence this engendered ; in short, to the prevalence of the Whiteboy spirit *, that this peculiar character of Irish crimes is to be attributed. It has been already explained, how the Irish peasant, constantly living in extreme poverty, is liable by the pressure of certain charges, or by ejectment from his holding, to be driven to utter destitution, to a state in which himself and family can only rely on a most precarious charity to save them from exposure to the elements, from nakedness, and from starvation. It is natural that the most improvident persons should seek to struggle against such fearful consequences as these : that they should try to use some means of quieting apprehensions which (even if never realized) would themselves be sufficient to embitter the life of the most thoughtless: and it is had been successfully exerted, and designing men were still endeavouring to promulgate to the disaffected the maxim that fire would produce relief, and that relief alone conld extinguish fire.”—Sir F. Head's English Charity, p. 94.
* We use the term Whiteboy, in a general sense, to include all those disturbances and outrages which have been carried on not only by the Whiteboys, but also by the Rightboys, the Threshers, the Whitefeet, and Blackfeet, the Terry Alts, Captain Rock's men, &c., as it is the best known expression, and as the Act specially meant to put down this class of offences, and which describes them in the recital, is called the Whiteboy Act. Above, p. 10.
to afford this security that the Whiteboy combinations are formed. The Whiteboy association may be considered as a vast trades' union for the protection of the Irish peasantry: the object being, not to regulate the rate of wages, or the hours of work, but to keep the actual occupant in possession of his land, and in general to regulate the relation of landlord and tenant for the benefit of the latter. Certain other objects are occasionally added, the chief of which is to prevent the employment of a stranger, the quantity of work being, in the opinion of the labourers, already insufficient for the natives : at times, moreover, the Whiteboys (as we have already seen) have sought to reduce the rate of tithe, or to prevent its collection, or to lower the priests' dues. These combinations being constantly in existence, and working with weapons which
be turned to any purpose, the objects have perhaps somewhat varied: but in general they have been restricted simply to the occupation of land and the several payments immediately connected with it.
Before we proceed to show, by extracts, that the regulation of the terms on which land is to be held is the predominant end of the Whiteboy combinations, it may be proper to remark, that the possession of arms is in general the first object aimed at, inasmuch as this affords the only means by which their laws can be enforced. The possession of arms, however, not being the ultimate object of these associators, we shall postpone what we have to say on this head until we come to treat of the machinery by which their system is worked.
That the object of the Whiteboys is general, and that they seek to enforce certain laws, for the purpose
of removing certain evils, is forcibly stated in the following passage of a despatch from Lord Wellesley, as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, to Lord Melbourne, dated 15th April, 1834 :
“ A complete system of legislation, with the most prompt, vigorous, and severe executive power, sworn, equipped, and armed for all purposes of savage punishment, is established in almost every district.
district. On this subject I cannot express my opinions more clearly, nor with more force nor justice, than your lordship will find employed in a letter addressed by Lord Oxmantown, lieutenant of the King's County, to Mr. Littleton. Lord Oxinantown truly observes, that the combination established surpasses the law in vigour, promptitude, and efficacy, and that it is more safe to violate the law than to obey it.”—Papers relating to the State of Ireland. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 7th July, 1834, p. 5.
A similar statement is made by Colonel Ralph Johnson, a magistrate of the Queen's County :
" What do you imagine to be the object of this association ? - I have said before, it is intimidation,-to legislate; they conceive they have grievances, and they take this mode of redressing them.
“ What grievances ?-Very many grievances, in my mind; I think there is very great mismanagement of landed property; it is very great, even on the part of resident landlords, although not to the same extent that exists with absentees.”—Minutes of Evidence, House of Commons, 1832, Nos. 763-4.
The same view, with regard to the assumed authority of these combined peasants, seeking to substitute their own law for that of the state, is also taken in a speech delivered in the Irish House of Commons by Mr. Browne, in reference to the disturbances of the Rightboys in 1787:
" The legislature sitting there (he said), with a vain image