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taunts, the peasants who surrounded him, and who were well habituated to the concealment of their fierce and terrible passions, affected to laugh, and said “ that his honour was mighty pleasant; and sure, his honour, God bless him, was always fond of his joke!" But while they indulged in the sycophancy under which they are wont to smother their sanguinary detestations, they were lying in wait for the occasion of revenge. Perhaps, however, they would not have proceeded to the extremities to which they had recourse, but for a determination evinced by Mr. Chadwick to take effectual means for keeping them in awe. He set about building a police barrack at Rath Cannon. It was resolved that Mr. Chadwick should die. This decision was not the result of individual vengeance. The wide confederacy into which the lower orders are organised in Tipperary held council upon him, and the village areopagus pronounced his sentence. It remained to find an executioner. Patrick Grace, who was almost a boy, but was distinguished by various feats of guilty courage, offered himself as a volunteer in what was regarded by him as an honourable cause. He had set up in the county as a sort of knighterrant against landlords ; and, in the spirit of a barbarous chivalry, proffered his gratuitous services wherever what he conceived to be a wrong was to be redressed. He proceeded to Rath Cannon; and without adopting any sort of precaution, and while the public road was traversed by numerous passengers, in the broad daylight, and just beside the barrack, in the construction of which Mr. Chadwick was engaged, shot that unfortunate gentleman, who fell instantly dead. This dreadful crime produced a great sensation, not only in the county where it was perpetrated, but through the whole of Ireland. When it was announced in Dublin, it created a sort of dismay, as it evinced the spirit of atrocious intrepidity to which the peasantry had been roused. It was justly accounted, by those who looked upon this savage assassination with most horror, as furnishing evidence of the moral condition of the people, and as intimating the consequences which might be anticipated from the ferocity of the peasantry, if ever they should be let loose. Patrick Grace calculated on impunity; but his confidence in the power and terrors of the confederacy with which he was associated was mistaken. A brave, and a religious man, whose name was Philip Mara, was present at the murder. He was standing beside his employer, Mr. Chadwick, and saw Grace put him deliberately to death. Grace was well aware that Mara had seen him, but did not believe that he would dare to give evidence against him. It is probable, too, that he conjectured that Mara coincided with him in his ethics of assassination, and applauded the proceeding. Mara, however, who was a moral and virtuous man, was horror-struck by what he had beheld ; and under the influence of conscientious feelings, gave immediate information to a magistrate. Patrick Grace was arrested, and tried at the summer assizes of 1827. I was not present at his trial, but have heard from good authority that he displayed a fearless demeanour; and that when he was convicted upon the evidence of Philip Mara, he declared that before a year should go by he should have vengeance in the grave. He was ordered to be executed near the spot where his misdeed had been perpetrated. This was a signal mistake, and produced an effect exactly the reverse of what was contemplated. The lower orders looked upon him as a martyr; and his deportment, personal beauty, and undaunted courage, rendered him an object of deep interest and sympathy upon the scaffold. He was attended by a body of troops to the old Abbey of Holycross, where not less than fifteen thousand people assembled to behold him. The site of the execution rendered the spectacle a most striking one. The Abbey of Holycross is the finest and most venerable monastic ruin in Ireland. Most travellers turn from their way to survey it, and leave it with a deep impression of its solemnity and grandeur. A vast multitude was assembled round the scaffold. The prisoner was brought forward in the midst of the profound silence of the people. He ascended and surveyed them; and looked upon the ruins of the edifice which had once been dedicated to the worship of his religion, and to the sepulchres of the dead which were strewed among its aisles, and
had been for ages as he was in a few minutes about to be. It was not known whether he would call for vengeance from his survivors, or for mercy from Heaven. His kindred, his close friends, his early companions, all that he loved and all to whom he was dear, were around him, and nothing, except an universal sob from his female relatives, disturbed the awful taciturnity that prevailed. At the side of Patrick Grace stood the priest—the mild admonitor of the heart, the soother of affliction, and the preceptor of forgiveness, who attended him in the last office of humanity, and who proved by the result how well he had performed it. To the disappointment of the people, Patrick Grace expressed himself profoundly contrite; and, although he evinced no fear of death, at the instance of the Roman Catholic clergyman who attended him, implored the people to take warning by his example. In a few moments after, he left existence. But the effect of his execution will be estimated by this remarkable incident. His gloves were handed by one of his relations to an old man of the name of John Russel, as a keepsake. Russel drew them on, and declared at the same time, that he should wear them “ till Paddy Grace was revenged:” and revenged he soon afterwards was, within the time which he had himself prescribed for retribution, and in a manner which is as much calculated to excite astonishment at the strangeness, as detestation for the atrocity of the crime, of which I proceed to narrate the details.
Philip Mara was removed by Government from the country. It was perfectly obvious, that if he had continued to sojourn in Tipperary, his life would have been taken speedily, and at all hazards, away. It was decided that all his kindred should be exterminated. He had three brothers; and the bare consanguinity with a traitor (for his crime was treason) was regarded as a sufficient offence to justify their immolation. If they could not procure his own blood for the purposes of sacrifice, it was however something to make libation of that which flowed from the same source. The crimes of the Irish are derived from the same origin as their virtues. They have powerful domestic attachments. Their love and devotion to their kindred instruct them in the worst expedients of atrocity. Knowing the affection which Mara had for his brothers, they found the way to his heart in the kindest instincts of humanity; and from the consciousness of the pain which the murder of “his mother's children” would inflict, determined that he should endure it. It must be owned, that there is a dreadful policy in this system. 'The Government may withdraw their witnesses from the country and afford them protection; but their wives, their offspring, their parents, their brothers, sisters, nay their remotest relatives, cannot be secure, and the vengeance of the ferocious peasantry, if defrauded of its more immediate and natural object, will satiate itself with some other victim. It was in conformity with these atrocious principles of revenge that the murder of the brothers of Philip Mara was resolved upon. Strange to tell, the whole body of the peasantry in the neighbourhood of Rath Cannon, and far beyond it, entered into a league, for the perpetration of this abominable crime; and while the individuals who were inarked out for massacre were unconscious of what was going forward, scarcely a man, woman, or child looked them in the face, who did not know that they were marked out for death. They were masons by trade, and were employed in building the barrack at Rath Cannon, on the spot where Chadwick had been assassinated, and where the funeral of Patrick Grace (for so his execution was called) had been performed. The peasantry looked in all probability with an evil eye upon every man who had put his hand to this obnoxious work; but their main object was the extermination of Philip Mara's brothers. They were three in number-Daniel, Laurence, and Timothy. On the 1st of October they were at work, with an apprentice in the mason trade, at the barrack at Rath Cannon. The name of this apprentice was Hickey. In the evening, about five o'clock, they left off their work, and were returning homewards, when eight men with arms rushed upon them. They were fired at; but the fire-arms of the assassins were in such bad condition, that the discharge of their rude mus
ketry had no effect. Laurence, Timothy, and the apprentice, fied in different directions, and escaped. Daniel Mara lost his presence of mind, and instead of taking the same route as the others, ran into the house of a poor widow. He was pursued by the murderers, one of whom got in by a small window, while the others burst through the door, and with circumstances of great savageness put him to death. The intelligence of this event produced a still greater sensation than the murder of Chadwick; and was as much the subject of comment as some great political incident, fraught with national consequences, in the metropolis. The Government lost no time in issuing proclamations, offering a reward of 20001. for information which should bring the assassins to justice. The magnitude of the sum induced a hope that its temptation would be found irresistible to poverty and destitution so great as that which prevails among the class of ordinary malefactors. It was well known that hundreds had cognizance of the offence; and it was concluded that, amongst so numerous a body, the tender of so large a reward could not fail to offer an effectual allurement. Weeks, however, passed over without the communication of intelligence of any kind. Several persons were arrested on suspicion, but were afterwards discharged, as no more than mere conjecture could be adduced against them. Mr. Doherty, the Solicitor General, proceeded to the county of Tipperary, in order to investigate the transaction ; but for a considerable time all his scrutiny was without avail. At length, however, an individual, of the name of Thomas Fitzgerald, was committed to gaol upon a charge of highway robbery, and in order to save his life, furnished evidence upon which the Government was enabled to pierce into the mysteries of delinquency. The moment Fitzgerald unsealed his lips, a numerous horde of malefactors were taken up, and farther revealments were made under the influence which the love of life, and not of money, exercised over their minds. The assizes came on; and on Monday the 31st of March, Patrick Lacy and John Walsh were placed at the bar, and to the indictment for the murder of Daniel Mara pleaded not guilty.
The Court presented a very imposing spectacle. The whole body of the gentry of Tipperary were assembled in order to witness a trial, on which the security of life and property was to depend. The box which is devoted to the Grand Jury was thronged with the aristocracy of the county, that manifested an anxiety far stronger than the trial of an ordinary culprit is accustomed to produce. An immense crowd of the peasantry was gathered round the duck. All appeared to feel a deep interest in what was to take place, but it was easy to perceive in the diversity of solicitude which was expressed upon their faces, the degrees of sympathy which connected them with the prisoners at the bar. The more immediate kindred of the malefactors were distinguishable by their profound but still emotion, from those who were engaged in the same extensive organisation, and were actuated by a selfish sense that their personal interests were at stake, without having their more tender affections involved in the result. But besides the relatives and confederates of the prisoners, there was a third class amongst the spectators, in which another shade of sympathy was observable. These were the mass of the peasantry, who had no direct concern with the transaction, but whose principles and habits made them well-wishers to the men who had put their lives in peril for what was regarded as the common cause. Through the crowd were dispersed a number of policemen, whose green regimentals, high caps, and glittering bayonets, made them conspicuous, and brought them into contrast with the peasants, by whom they were surrounded. On the table stood the governor of the gaol, with his ponderou keys, which designated his office, and presented to the mind associations which aided the effect of the scene. Mr. Justice Moore appeared in his red robes lined with black, and intimated by his aspect that he anticipated the discharge of a dreadful duty. Beside him was placed the Earl of Kingston, who had come from the neighbouring county of Cork to witness the trial, and whose great possessions gave him a peculiar concern in tracing to their sources the disturbances, which had already a formidable character, and in
timated still more terrible results. His dark and massive countenance, with a shaggy and wild profusion of hair, his bold imperious lip, and large and deeply set eye, and his huge and vigorous frame, rendered him a remarkable object, without reference to his high rank and station, and to the political part which he had played in circumstances of which it is not impossible that he may witness, although he should desire tu avert, the return. The prisoners at the bar stood composed and firm. Lacy, the youngest, was dressed with extreme care and neatness. He was a tall handsome young man, with a soft and healthful colour, and a bright and tranquil eye. I was struck by the unusual whiteness of his hands, which were loosely attached to each other. Walsh, his fellow prisoner and his brother in crime, was a stout, short, and square-built man, with a sturdy look, in which there was more fierceness than in Lacy's countenance; yet the latter was a far more guilty malefactor, and had been engaged in numerous achievements of the same kind, whereas Walsh bore an excellent reputation, and obtained from his landlord, Mr. Creagh, the highest testimony to his character. The Solicitor-General, Mr. Doherty, rose to state the case. He appeared more deeply impressed than I have ever seen any public officer, with the responsibility which had devolved upon him ; and' by his solemn and emphatic manner rendered a narration, which was pregnant with awful facts, so impressive, that during a speech of several hours' continuance he kept attention upon the watch, and scarcely a noise was heard, except when some piece of evidence was announced which surprised the prisoners, and made them give a slight start, in which their astonishment and alarm at the extent of the information of the Government were expressed.* They preserved their composure while Mr. Doherty was detailing the evidence of Fitzgerald, for they well knew that he had become what is technically called “a stag,” and turned informer. Neither were they greatly moved at learning that another traitor of the name of Ryan was to be produced, for rumours had gone abroad that he was to corroborate Fitzgerald. They were well aware that the Jury would require more evidence than the coincidence of swearing between two accomplices could supply. It is, indeed, held that one accomplice can sustain another for the purposes of conviction, and that their concurrence is sufficient to warrant a verdict of guilty ; still Juries are in the habit of demanding some better foundation for their findings, and, before they take life away, exact a confirmation from some pure and unquestionable source. The Counsel for the prisoners participated with them in the belief that the Crown would not be able to produce any witnesses except accomplices, and listened, therefore, to the details of the murder of Daniel Mara, however minute, without much apprehension for their clients, until Mr. Doherty, turning towards the dock, and lifting up and shaking his
The speech of Mr. Doherty was highly eloquent. He took occasion to describe the general condition of the county in language equally simple, powerful, and true. To the causes of that condition he did not advert, for it did not fall within his oficial province to do so ; but he has since, in the House of Commons, pointed out what he conceived to be the real sources of these deplorable evils. I regret that Mr. Doherty did not take the pains to publish bis speeches at Clonmel. Justice has not been done to the dictiou in the newspapers in which they were reported. The publication of those speeches in an authentic form would not only evince the talents of the able advocate by whom they were delivered, but would also have the effect of showing, in a striking view, the unfairness of not allowing the Counsel for the prisoners to speak, while the Crown enlists all the power of rhetoric against them. The fault is not with Mr. Doherty, but in the system, “ Aperi os tuum muto, et vindica inopem," is written in golden letters in the Court. The law, instead of vindicating the poor man, shuts his Counsel's mouth. I have seen many cases where a powerful speech might have saved a prisoner's life. A good appeal to the Jury would have preserved two of the men who were convicted of the murder of Barry at Clonmel. It is said that Judges would not have time to go through the trials if Counsel for the prisoners were allowed to speak. In other words, they would be delayed from their vacation villas upon circuit. What an excuse !
hand, pronounced the name of “Kate Costello.” It smote the prisoners with dismay. At the time, however, that Mr. Doherty made this announcement, he was himself uncertain, I believe, whether Kate Costello would consent to give the necessary evidence; and there was reason to calculate upon
her reluctance to make any disclosure by which the lives of “ her people," as the lower orders call their kindred, should be affected. The statement of Mr. Doherty, which was afterwards fully made out in proof, showed that a wide conspiracy had been framed in order to murder Philip Mara's brothers. Fitzgerald and Lacy, who did not reside in the neighbourhood of Rath Cannon, were sent for by the relatives of Patrick Grace, as it was well known that they were ready for the undertaking of “the job.” They received their instructions, and were joined by other assassins. The band proceeded to Rath Cannon in order to execute their purpose, but an accident prevented their victims from coming to the place where they were expected, and the assassination was, in consequence, adjourned for another week. In the interval, however, they did not relent, but on the contrary, a new supply of murderers was collected, and on Sunday, the 30th of September, the day preceding the murder, they met again in the house of a farmer, of the name of Jack Keogh, who lived beside the barrack where the Maras were at work. Here they were attended by Kate Costello, the fatal witness, by whom their destiny was to be sealed. In the morning of Monday, the 1st of October, they proceeded to an elevation called “The Grove,” a hill covered with trees, in which arms had been deposited. This hill overlooked the barrack where the Maras were at work. 'A party of conspirators joined the chief assassins on this spot, and Kate Costello, a servant and near relative of the Keoghs (who were engaged in the murder), again attended them. She brought them food and spirits. From this ambush they remained watching their
prey until five o'clock in the afternoon, when it was announced that the Maras were coming down from the scaffolding on which they were raising the barrack. It appeared that some murderers did not know the persons whose lives they were to take away, and that their dress was mentioned as the means of recognition. They advanced to the number of eight, and as I have already intimated, succeeded in slaying one only of the three brothers. But the most illustrative incident in the whole transaction was not what took place at the murder, but a circumstance which immediately succeeded it." The assassins, with their hands red with the gore of man, proceeded to the house of a farmer in good circumstances, whose name was John Russel. He was a man of a decent aspect and demeanour, above the lower class of peasants in station and habits, was not destitute of education, spoke and reasoned well, and was accounted very orderly and well conducted. One would suppose that he would have closed his doors against the wretches who were still reeking with their crime. He gave them wel. come, tendered them his hospitality, and provided them with food. In the room where they were received by this houry delinquent, there were two individuals of a very different character and aspect from each other. The one was a girl, Mary Russel, the daughter of old Jack Russel, the proprietor of the house. She was young, and of an exceedingly interesting appearance. Her manners were greatly superior to persons of her class, and she was delicate and gentle in her habitual conduct and demeanour. Near her there sat an old woman, in the most advanced stage of life, who was a kind of Elspeth amongst them, and from her age and relationship was an object of respect and regard. The moment the assassins entered, Mary Russel rushed up to them, and with a vehement earnestness exclaimed “ Did you do any good?” They stated in reply that one of the Maras was shot; when Peg Russel (the withered hag) who sat moping in the reverie of old
age, till her attention was aroused by the sanguinary intelligence, lifted her shrivelled hand, and cried out with a shrill and vehement bitterness, “ You might as well not have killed any, since you did not kill them all." Strange and dreadful condition of Ireland ! The witness to a murder denounces it. He flies the country. His brothers, for his crime, are doomed to die. The whole population confederate in their death. For weeks the