Few documents have come down to us from the Irish, whose resistance to England from 1688 to 1691 attracted the attention of Europe. The paucity of contemporary Jacobite writings in connection with the affairs of Ireland is assignable to the results which followed the ill-success of the Irish movements for James II., and to the calamities in which favourers of the house of Stuart were involved through the operation of penal laws. The contemporary books and tracts in relation to Irish affairs from 1688 to 1691, printed at London, were issued under governmental supervision, and as publication was not permitted without official licence, the Jacobites were effectively excluded from the press in Great Britain and Ireland.
The Narrative printed in the present volume is contained in a manuscript of which only two copies are known to exist. These were apparently transcribed about the year 1711, and are in the ordinary style of English writing of that time.
One of the copies has been long in the possession of the Plunkets, earls of Fingall, in the peerage of Ireland. The second copy was, early in the last century, acquired by Thomas Carte, author of the Life of
p.viJames, duke of Ormonde, a History of England and other works. With Carte's collection this manuscript came to the Bodleian library, Oxford, where it is now preserved.
The work is anonymous, and little information has been obtained as to its authorship. According to a late earl of Fingall, family tradition ascribed the production to Nicholas Plunket. He is said to have been an eminent lawyer, member of a branch of the house of Fingall, but of his career no precise details are accessible.
The Plunkets or Plunketts were among the most eminent of the Anglo-Irish Roman-Catholic adherents of Charles I. and his family. The chief houses of the Plunkets were those of which the heads were the earl of Fingall, the barons of Dunsany and Louth. Peter'Plunket, fourth earl of Fingall, was only eight years of age at the accession of James II. in 1685. Christopher Plunket, lord Dunsany, served that king as a captain in the cavalry regiment of Henry Luttrell. Captains, lieutenants and ensigns of the name of Plunket were included in the infantry regiment levied for the same king by Oliver Plunket, lord Louth. In the Light to the Blind are incidentally mentioned sir Nicholas Plunket, member of the supreme council of the Irish Confederation, 1642, and Margaret Plunket, dowager countess of Fingall, one of the witnesses to the birth of prince James Francis Edward Stuart. The Narrative here printed contains references to Walter Plunket, a commissioner of the mint at Dublin for James II; Richard and Christopher Plunket, of the regiment of lord Louth; and brigadier Patrick Plunket, described as a very experienced officer of foreign education,who served in Limerick during the siege of 1691.
The author of the Narrative may have been connected with Plunket, who, under the pseudonyme of "John Rogers," acted in 1713-14 as a diligent secret agent in England and on the continent in the interest of James Francis Edward Stuart, with whose secretary, David Nairne, he maintained communications in relation to the projected return of that
p.viiprince to England as king James III. In one of these despatches, in 1713, Plunket mentioned that he had been educated for some years in Germany; in another he referred to his intercourse with lord Fingall whom he described as no man of great parts, but most zealously honest to "James III."
The Narrative is the production of an earnest advocate of the Stuart cause and of the rights of the Roman Catholics of Great Britain and Ireland. James II. is throughout styled the king of England, and William III. is designated the prince of Orange. The conduct of the adherents of William III. in Ireland is, in the Narrative, referred to as a revolt against the authority of the lawful monarch.
As elucidatory of the position of the Irish at the accession of James II., there is, in the present volume, prefixed to the Narrative, the author's account of the treatment of Irish royalists under the acts of settlement and explanation, 1661-65.
The Narrative supplies accurate information not elsewhere accessible on affairs of England and Ireland at the period of the Revolution of 1688, and in relation to persons engaged in the civil transactions and military operations of the time. The author was apparently acquainted with individuals who had taken prominent parts in the affairs which he chronicles. Statements and views expressed among the Jacobites on the various events and matters in which they were concerned, are detailed and discussed in the Narrative.
A strong belief in the capacity and integrity of the lord lieutenant, Richard Talbot, duke of Tyrconnell, is expressed by the author. The duke's death, he wrote, pulled down a mighty edificea considerable Catholic nationfor there was no other subject left able to support the national cause.
Our author was of opinion that if the duke of Tyrconnell had lived, he would not have accepted any offer for the surrender of Limerick, because he expected to retrieve the country by protracting the war. Tyrconnell, we are assured, grounded his
p.viiiexpectation upon the courage of the Irish army, made evident by the battle of Aughrim, and upon the reinforcements he expected to receive from France in the following spring. This estimate of Tyrconnell coincided with that entertained by the Jacobite attorney-general, sir Richard Nagle. On the day of Tyrconnell's decease, Nagle wrote that as the duke appeared always zealous for his country, so his loss at that time was extremely pernicious to the welfare of this poor nation.
Sarsfield is censured by our author for having joined the party of officers who dissented from the views of Tyrconnell, when he proposed to make terms with William III. before the siege of Limerick in 1690. Further on, however, he describes and praises the noble featachieved by Sarsfield in intercepting the hostile artillery on its way from Dublin to Limerick.
The author of the Narrative explains that he regarded the Irish Catholics as the nation of Ireland,on the ground of their being the ancient proprietors, and because the other inhabitants of the country were few in proportion, and deemed generally but intruders and newcomers.
In view of the remarkable loyalty of the Irish Catholics to the crown, the author argued that if the king secured them fully in their rights, he might never fear rebellion in England or Scotland, because the Irish would be insuperably powerful, as having the kingdom of Ireland entirely to themselves by an established possession.
Looking forward to the establishment of James III. on the throne of England, the author indicates, as follows, some of the measures to be adopted for the benefit of Ireland under an Irish government: the restoration of the Irish to their estates from which they had been excluded; to make the parliament of Ireland absolute in enacting laws without being obliged to send beforehand the prepared bills, which are destined to pass into acts by the consent of both houses of parliament
p.ixfor the king's precedent approbation of them, it being sufficient to have the king's assent given unto them by the voice of his deputy after the said bills have passed both the houses; to make the judicature of the nation determine causes without an appeal to the tribunals of England; to give full liberty to merchants to export the product and manufacture of the kingdom, and to import foreign goods without an obligation of touching at any harbour of England; to erect studies of law at Dublin; to put always the viceroydom into the hands of an Irish Catholic; to set up a silver and gold mint in the capital city; to confer the principal posts of state and war on the Catholic natives; to keep standing an army of eight thousand Catholic; to train a Catholic militia; to maintain a fleet of 24 warlike ships of the fourth rate; to give the moiety of ecclesiastical livings to the Catholic bishops and parish priests during the life of the present Protestant bishops and ministers, and after the death of these, to confer all the said livings on the Roman clergy; to make the great rivers of the kingdom navigable, as far as it is possible; to render the chief ports more deep, and thorough tenable against any attacks from sea; in fine, to drain the multiplicity of bogs, which being effected will support a vast addition of families.
Views of the Jacobites of Ireland in relation to the acceptation of William III. as king of Great Britain, appear at page 182 of the Narrative. In connection with this subject the author wrote:
But you'll say: that England, the principal kingdom of the monarchy, ought to be followed by heland in owning or disowning the kings of that monarchy. We answer thus: that the behaviour herein of the people of England is no rule to Ireland; a distinct realm, a different nation, as having a viceroy for governor sent by the king as king of Ireland; also as having discrepant laws; as having a Parliament of her own, so judges and magistrates. Ireland had never acknowledged her king to be chosen by the people, but to succeed by birth; nor her king to be deposable by the people upon any cause of quarrel. She knows more righteous things, and scorns to make heretical England her pattern in the point of righteousness. When the lawful king of England dies, Ireland acknowledges immediately the person next in blood, be Catholic or Protestant, to be the king of England and her's, whether the people of
p.xEngland consent to it or not, as she did when king Charles the first was dead, whose eldest son, Charles the second, she owned as her true sovereign, and signed that acknowledgment in characters of blood, though at the same time England rejected him, until being weary of her rebellion, she received him at last as her undoubted king. Therefore bring no more England as a prototype of behaviour towards the crown unto Ireland.
The Narrative closes with brief notices of the departure to France of the Irish troops and Jacobite officials, and the proclamation in March, 1692, by which William III. declared the war in Ireland to be at an end. At the conclusion of the Narrative the author expresses his opinion that the king or France made a false stepin European politics in not having aided to maintain the Irish war.
In illustration of subjects mentioned in the Narrative, some documents have been appended, which may be noticed as follows:
p.xiEdmund Spenser. That writer, by his advocacy of severe measures against the Irish, was regarded by them as an enemy to their race. We find, however, that his grandson, Hugolin Spenser, espoused the Irish cause, and became a lieutenant in the regiment raised in Munster by Dominic Sarsfield, lord Kilmallock, to serve against the army of William III. Hugolin Spenser thus eventually forfeited his right in the estates at Kilcolman, in the county of Cork, which queen Elizabeth had granted to his ancestor.
p.xiimuch facilitated by his majesty's royal condescension to apply towards the satisfaction and reprisals of honest purchasers under the said acts a great part of the lands and tenements forfeited to him by the late rebellion and treason committed by estated persons within this kingdom, who, contrary to their duty and allegiance, joined with the prince of Orange.
p.xvand chief in command under him was the duke of Würtemberg. The former bore testimony to the great bravery evinced by the Irish at Aughrim. The battle, according to Ginkel, was obstinate and close, and on both sides there was horrible carnage Major-general Hugh Mackay, who took an important part in the battle of Aughrim, referred to the fact that the Williamite troops were composed of four or five different nations. A Huguenot officer, who served in the army of William III. against the Irish, mentioned the difficulties which he experienced in managing the military under his command, arising from the circumstance that they were composed of nearly all the nations of Europe. My lieutenant, he wrote, spoke French, and the cornet Flemish and German.
p.xviaddressed to Fitzwilliam, lord Merrion, by the Jacobite attorney general, from Limerick, when the army of England was approaching to lay siege to that town in August, 1691. Nagle deplores the death of the viceroy, Tyrconnell, which had just occurred, and mentions the arrangements which had been made for carrying on the government in Ireland for king James.
p.xviiarrangements had been carried out for the conveyance of the Irish forces to France.
|Treatment of Irish royalists on the restoration of Charles II.||1|
|Position of Charles II. in relation to the Irish||2|
|Devices against restoration of Irish royalists||4|
|Ancient Irish and old English of Ireland||5|
|Cromwellian settlers in Ireland||6|
|Charles II. and house of peers in England||7|
|Proceedings in parliament, 1660||8|
|Legislative injustice to Irish royalists||9|
|Irish nobility and gentry||10|
|Treaty, 1648-9, between Charles I. and the Irish||11|
|Letter from Louis XIV. to Charles II. on behalf of the Irish||12|
|Irish delegates to England||15|
|Royal declaration for settlement of Ireland, 1660||16|
|Case of the Irish.Statements and answers||20|
|Conduct of Charles II.||22|
|Parliamentarians and regicides||23|
|Exile and restoration of Charles II.||24|
|Cromwellians in England and Ireland||25|
|Edward Hyde, earl of Clarendon, chancellor of England||26|
|Disasters to Irish royalists||27|
|Associates of chancellor Clarendon||28|
|Requirements under act of settlement||29|
|Legal devices of Cromwellians||30|
|Cromwellians in parliament, 1661||31|
|Legislation for settlement of Ireland||32|
|Court of Claims at Dublin, 1663||33|
|Act of explanation, 1665||34|
|Injustice inflicted on the Irish nation||35|
|Position of the Irish, 1688||37|
|Jacobite projects for amelioration of Ireland||39|
|Movements in Ireland for prince of Orange||40|
|Proceedings at Londonderry and Enniskillen||41|
|Affairs in MunsterBandonKinsale||42|
|Lord Mountjoy and sir Stephen Rice||43|
|Measures of Tyrconnell, governor in Ireland for James II.||44|
|Transactions in UlsterCladybridge||45|
|Arrival of James II. in Ireland, 1688-9||46|
|James II. at Dublin||47|
|Resources of the Irish||48|
|Jacobite management of civil and military affairs||49|
|The Irish at home and abroad||52|
|Jacobite privy council and officers of state in Ireland||52|
|Dukedom conferred on Tyrconnell||52|
|Disbandment of part of Jacobite army||52|
|James II. and privy council at Dublin||54|
|The nation of IrelandClasses in Ireland||55|
|Cromwellian settlers in Ireland||56|
|Acts of settlement and explanation||57|
|Reasons for abrogation of those acts||59|
|James II. and Londonderry||62|
|Political errors of James II.||63|
|Siege of Londonderry||64|
|James II. and parliament at Dublin, 1689||69|
|Repeal of acts of settlement and explanation||69|
|Acts of Jacobite parliament||69|
|French squadron at Bantry||70|
|League of Augsburg||71|
|Observations on governments||72|
|Suggestion on arbitration between states||73|
|Conduct of Catholic Princes||74|
|Actions at Londonderry||75|
|MacCarthy, lord Mountcashel.Anthony Hamilton||81|
|Mismanagement by officers of James II.||83|
|Relief of Londonderry.Irish losses||84|
|Affairs in Scotland||86|
|Marshal Schomberg lands in Ireland, 1689||87|
|Movements of James II. and Schomberg||88|
|Sligo and Jamestown taken by Sarsfield||89|
|James II. at Dublin, 1689||89|
|Preparations by William III.||90|
|Views on military operations.||91|
|Arrivals in Ireland from France||92|
|Departure of Mountcashel, with five regiment for France||92|
|Engagement at Cavan||93|
|Brigadier Wolseley.Duke of Berwick||93|
|Surrender of Charlemont, 1690||93|
|Camp of James II. at Dundalk||94|
|William III lands at Carrickfergus, June 1690||95|
|Engagement near Newry||96|
|Movements of James II. and William III.||97|
|Engagement at the Boyne, 1690||99|
|Death of Schomberg||102|
|Deaths at the Boyne||103|
|James II. returns to France||104|
|Movements of William III. in Ireland||105|
|Condition of Limerick||109|
|Designs of Duke of Tyrconnell||110|
|Opposition to Tyrconnell||111|
|Considerations in relation to the war in Ireland||112|
|Siege of Limerick by William III., 1690||113|
|Convoy intercepted by Sarsfield||113|
|Assault on Limerick by William III.||116|
|Repulse of William III by the Irish at Limerick||116|
|William III. departs from Ireland||117|
|Sidney, Porter and Coningsby, lords justices||117|
|Mission of Tyrconnell to France||118|
|Delegates to France from his opponents||118|
|Movements of Sarsfield||118|
|Baron de Ginkel, commander-in-chief in Ireland for England||118|
|Capture of Cork||119|
|Operations against Kinsale||120|
|Conclusion of second year of the war in Ireland||121|
|Engagement at sea, 1690||122|
|Pope Innocent XI. and James II||124|
|Observations on papal government||125|
|Visit of Tyrconnell to James II. in France||126|
|Marquis of St. Ruth appointed marshal-general of Ireland||127|
|Return of Tyrconnell to Ireland, 1691||128|
|St. Ruth arrives in Ireland||129|
|Movements of Ginkel and St. Ruth||130|
|Position of Athlone||131|
|Opposition to Tyrconnell||132|
|Attack on Athlone||133|
|Capture of Athlone||136|
|St. Ruth encamps at Aughrim||137|
|The Irish army at Aughrim||138|
|Battle of Aughrim, July, 1691||139|
|Death of St. Ruth||143|
|Observations on movements at Aughrim||144|
|Deaths at battle of Aughrim||147|
|Tyrconnell at Limerick||148|
|Charges against brigadier Henry Luttrell||149|
|James II. and Louis XIV.||150|
|Irish forces at Limerick||152|
|Resoluteness of the Irish army||153|
|Siege of Limerick, 1691||154|
|Death of Tyrconnell||155|
|Notice of Tyrconnell and his career||156|
|Observations on defence of Limerick, 1691||162|
|Capitulation at Sligo, 1691||164|
|Discourse on treaty of Limerick||168|
|Observations on siege of Limerick||173|
|Conditions suitable for the Irish||177|
|Proceedings in connexion with treaty of Limerick||178|
|Conclusion of treaty at Limerick, October, 1691||179|
|First and second articles of the treaty of Limerick||179|
|Ireland, a distinct realm and nation||183|
|Views on relations between England and Ireland||184|