Abbildungen der Seite

police, who had taken him in charge for not being able to give an account of himself. By his disclosures, Mac Mahon, lord Maguire, and some more, were arrested; but other leaders, hearing of the discovery, saved themselves by instant flight. Most opportunely, sir Francis Willoughby, governor of Galway Castle, a privy-councillor and an able soldier, reached Dublin at this critical moment. He found the gates closed and the suburbs in much confusion. Hearing that the lords justices and the privy council were in deliberation at sir John Borlase's, on the green leading to the college, he went thither. He told them that in the country through which he passed he observed no signs of disturbance, but that an unusual number of strange horsemen had all night been pouring into the suburbs. He recommended an adjournment to the castle for greater security. The lords justices and council acted on his suggestions, assigned to him the general defence of the place, and issued a proclamation informing the public of the plot discovered, and exhorting to loyalty and courage in self-defence.

The force at the command of the government did not exceed three thousand men, and these were scattered in garrisons and detachments through the country. In Dublin castle were “ one thousand five hundred barrels of powder, with proportionate match and bullet, arms for ten thousand men, and thirty-five pieces of artillery with all their equipage.” For its security were “eight infirm wardens and forty

[ocr errors]

halberdiers," being the parade guard of the chief magistrate on state occasions. Willoughby was prompt and energetic. “ The council table was his only couch. He could not venture to lay down his drawbridge without the attendance of his whole insignificant guard, until the arrival of a part of his disbanded regiinent from Carlisle enabled him to arm two hundred men for the defence of the castle ; a body soon reinforced by those who fled for shelter to the capital, and by some detachments of the army recalled from their quarters by the lords justices."

Nothing could exceed the consternation of the citizens. Rumours the most appalling flew like lightning. Many of the English went on board vessels in the river to return to their native country, and, though wind-bound, preferred remaining on the water to venturing on land again. A fleet of Scotch fishermen offered five hundred of their men for the service of the state, but just as the offer was accepted, they set sail under a false alarm. Four hundred soldiers, embarked for the service of Spain and detained by order of the English parliament, were not permitted to leave the ships till they were nearly perishing from hunger, and eventually they dispersed to join the rebel cause. However, under the advice of sir John Temple, Master of the Rolls, the principal Protestant merchants of the city deposited their goods and valuables in the castle, under a guarantee of payment for whatever should be applied to the

public service. Thus provisions were obtained when the treasury was exhausted, and when the magistrates of the city could not or would not advance money to the government.

Dublin was saved and became tranquil. Not so the country. In the course of the ensuing winter, horrors were perpetrated the accounts of which make the blood run cold as we read them in our

own day. “Forty thousand persons, and by some computations," writes Godwin, “five times that number, are said to have perished in this undistinguishing massacre."

Charles, unable to adjust matters with the Parliament, appealed to arms in support of his prerogative. In August, 1642, he unfurled his standard at Nottingham. “A high wind beat down the flag, an evil omen, as it was deemed by some who saw it, and a symbol as it proved of the result of that unnatural conflict." At length, Ireland became the dernier resort of the royal cause.

Ormond was made lord deputy and commander of the army. He soon found himself in a position of difficulty between two antagonists—the friends of Protestantism, and the Roman Catholic federates-neither of whom now cared much for his sovereign, but against both of whom, though hostile the one to the other, he felt it impossible to maintain his ground. The month of February, 1647, found him yet in Dublin, but under the necessity of deciding to which party he would yield. His choice was in


favour of the English parliament. In April, several of their regiments arrived, and in June came their commissioners with more troops. To these Ormond formally surrendered Dublin, Drogheda, then called Tredagh, and other garrisons; and in July he delivered up into their hands the insignia of his authority, and went to England. One of the three persons given by Ormond as hostages for this capitulation, was the eminent sir James Ware, “the Camden of Ireland.”

Thus anded the reign of Charles over Dublin. The city was in a most wretched and dilapidated state. By returns dated August, 1644, its inhabitants numbered-Protestants, 2,565 men, and 2,986 women ; Roman Catholics, 1,202 men, and 1,406 women ; total 8,159. But perhaps this census embraced only adults; or, which is more probable, it did not include the suburbs; otherwise the population had decreased three-fifths during the preceding thirty-four years—a diminution incredible, even with every allowance for havoc made by war, pestilence, and famine.




On the surrender of Dublin to the parliamentary commissioners, they appointed colonel Michael Jones to be its governor with the command of the troops. His first care was to repair the walls and otherwise to prepare the city for defence against the army of the confederates which threatened it. Within a fortnight after Ormond had left, Jones marched forth and attacked them at Duggan's Hill, gaining a complete victory. They are said to have had between five and six thousand slain in the engagement; fifteen of their fieldofficers, and eighty-four other commissioned officers were among the prisoners; while Jones lost only twenty men. Besides artillery and other spoil, sixty-four "fair oxen" fell into his hands, and proved a most seasonable supply. A person giving an account of the battle, wrote, “ All their colours we have, which colonel Jones would not be persuaded to have brought into Dublin with triumph, as savouring (said

« ZurückWeiter »