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Bristol on the 13th of August and arrived in Dublin on the 15th, where he made a speech in the streets, and was received with acclamation.
The only places at that time left to the Parliament in Ireland were Dublin and Derry. The royalist cause was prosperous, and the Marquis of Ormond had even laid siege to Dublin. Advancing on both sides of the Liffey he had cast up works which completely shut in Jones, the governor, and cut off the pasturage for the horses. Ormond lay at Rathmines, and was hastening the work around Dublin with the apparent certainty of reducing the city before many days. No man braver than he, nor more confident of success. Exhausted with fatigue one night, after a hard day's toil, he retired to rest, giving orders to the troops to remain under arms. Hardly, however, had he closed his eyes when he was suddenly awakened with the noise of firing; and, starting from his bed, saw everything about him in the utmost confusion. Jones, the governor, a brave and experienced officer, had made a sally with the reinforcement lately arrived; and attacking a party of Ormond's men, occupied in repairing an old fort which commanded the city, he totally defeated them; improving the advantage which he had gained, he came up at Rathmines with the main body of Ormond's army, which he soon threw into disorder, and drove them off the field. All the ammunition was seized, all the baggage and provisions; three thousand men were killed, upwards of two thousand were taken prisoners—and with these a triumphal entry was made into Dublin.
The defeat at Rathmines, which threw a blemish on Ormond's character, gave a heavy blow to the royal cause. The army which with much labour and industry Ormond had been levying for more than a twelvemonth, was entirely dispersed. At the same time Cromwell, with a body of picked troops, was approaching-bent on doing the work he had come to do.
Cromwell on his arrival remained for about a fortnight in Dublin, where he was joined by Ireton. On the 9th of September he began his work at
This town, anciently called Tredagh, since the time of Henry II. had been regarded as a place of great importance. The governor of the place was Sir Anthony Ashton, who had a garrison of select men, three thousand in number, commanded by Sir Edmund Varney, whose father was killed in the fight for the royal standard at the battle of Edge Hill.
Ashton, the governor, was so confident of the strength of Drogheda, that he wrote to Ormond saying he need not hurry to their relief as the town "could not be carried by assault." He therefore complacently enough watched the arrival and settling down of Cromwell's army-satisfied that outside Drogheda they might remain for a long while, but that inside they never could be without the garrison surrendered.
Cromwell made immediate preparation for the siege, but before a shot was fired he sent a formal summons to the governor to surrender both castle and town. This command was haughtily refused, and the attack was commenced by assault on the south side of the town, a point where, although the defences were most formidable, the soldiers would have the largest amount of shelter in mounting the breach. Great annoyance was occasioned by guns placed in a church spire, and the first day was spent in battering down this steeple. On the next, two breaches were made in the east wall, and at five o'clock in the evening some seven hundred men, under Colonel Cossele, marched to the assault. With impetuous fury they mounted and rushed in, but the besieged received them on the point of the pike and hurled them back again with the loss of their leader and a considerable number of officers. Discomfited-shattered-the remnant looked round for help, and help was not distant. With a ringing cheer a thousand men came rushing to their aid, General Cromwell at their head. Another fierce combat at the breach, another intense struggle for life or death, the besieged-feeling their peril-fighting with a superhuman energy and strength; the soldiers of Cromwell steadily advancing -many dropped-the deepening twilight ushered in the night of death to scores; but they neither faltered nor fell back; they had come to conquer, and not all the men in Drogheda thrice told could divert the fate of the town. They secured the breach; they were masters of the entrenchments; they had forced an entry to the church-church militant from whose "pulpit of stone" so many hurled defiances had been flung. There was an ancient building called Mill Mound, moated and pallisaded; there Ashton and his principal officers had retired; but nothing could resist the impetuous rush of Cromwell's soldiers-the Mill Mound was soon their own-and all within were put to the sword.
The sun had gone down, the dark night had come, but the work which remained for Cromwell's soldiers to perform was labour best done in the black darkness. Two thousand people, at the least, perished that night in Drogheda. There was no sparing-death! it rang out from the clatter
of their accoutrements, it was heard in the psalms they sang! Here were they a host of Israelites with Canaanites at their mercy. There was a pyramid of fire leaping into the air from St. Peter's steeple, where "sundry arrant Papists" were burnt alive. A thousand people flocking to a church for protection were all destroyed. slaughter-house; but the butchers, who said
Drogheda became a great grace over the slaughter,
grew tired at length with their work, and some victims were spared till the next day when they were killed in cold blood.
It was urged that the "Papists" in the town had insulted the Protestants-had thrust them out of the very church where they themselves so miserably perished; it was declared that such a spectacle as had been exhibited would strike terror throughout the country and save the shedding of blood elsewhere. The fugitives who afterwards surrendered were thus dealt with: all the officers were knocked on the head, every tenth of the privates killed, and the rest shipped as slaves to Barbadoes.
This massacre was described by Cromwell as "a marvellous great mercy," and he prayed that "all honest hearts may give the glory to God alone, to whom, indeed, the praise of the mercy belongs."
The "mercy" was continued for five days, during which the soldiers. glutted their vengeance by an indiscriminate slaughter and pillage, and all the friars, to employ Cromwell's own expression, were "knocked on the head promiscuously."
Cromwell returned with great rejoicing from Drogheda to Dublin. From thence he marched to Wexford and appeared before that town on the 1st of October.
Is a seaport town, built on the south side of the Slaney; it was formerly surrounded by a wall and defences of tolerable strength. It is famous as having been the head quarters for a time of the rebels in 1798, who held it till after the battle of Vinegar Hill, but a more melancholy interest attaches to it on account of the massacre of which it was the scene in 1649.
When Cromwell appeared before the walls of Wexford he summoned the governor to surrender; this summons was refused, but the officer who commanded the castle turned traitor and yielded it to Cromwell. A battle took place in the Market Place, where the royalist troops made stout resistance, but in vain. Cromwell informed the Parliament they
were all put to the sword; "not many less than two thousand, and I believe not twenty of yours from first to last of the siege. The soldiers got a very good booty, and the inhabitants were either so completely killed, or run away, that it were a fine opportunity for honest people to go and plant themselves there." Without dwelling on the all frightful incident of the carnage, we may state that about three hundred women clustered round and clinging to the cross-imploring the help of Him who hung upon it-were butchered, every one as another "great mercy."
After the capture of Wexford Cromwell marched upon Ross, a stronglyfortified town on the southern border of Wexford county. The garrison
surrendered as soon as a breach was effected. It was commanded by General Taafe, who demanded liberty of conscience, to which Cromwell replied that if he meant "a liberty to exercise the Mass," he must plainly tell him that where the Parliament of England had power that I would not be allowed. However, the garrison received honourable terms; they were allowed to march out with arms and baggage; and accordingly the general retreated towards Kilkenny with 1500 men. The rest, to the number of 600, remained and agreed to serve under Cromwell. Ireton, Cromwell's Lieutenant-General, had been sent to lay siege to Duncannon, an important fort, which commands the mouth of the Suir, but he was obliged to abandon the enterprise. The army was now
weakened by the number of garrisons left behind in the conquered towns, and also by sickness, which Cromwell himself did not escape. But the terror of his name, and the dissensions of a doomed people, did his work almost as effectually as his arms. In Cork the garrison joined the Protestant citizens, and, driving out their governor and the Irish inhabitants, declared for the Parliament. Youghal, and other Munster towns, also revolted from their Catholic and Royalist authorities, and submitted to Cromwell. The latter marched against Waterford, but postponed the attempt in consequence of the enfeebled condition of his men; but he advanced towards Dungarvon, which surrendered at discretion, and he made Youghal his winter quarters, distributing his troops in the cities which had revolted; while all the Catholic towns still unsubdued, except Clonmel and Kilkenny, refused to receive the troops of Ormond, the King's Lord-Lieutenant. The latter proposed to assist in the defence of Waterford, but they refused to give his troops quarter, even in huts under their walls outside, though he agreed to pay for all their provisions. He was obliged to retire to Kilkenny, his own city, where he wrote in great mortification to acquaint the king-Charles II.-"how his authority was despised by those great pretenders to loyalty."
After reducing Kilkenny Cromwell marched on Clonmel. began on the 28th of March, 1650, and lasted till the 8th of May. In Clonmel, according to Whitelock, "they found the stoutest enemy this army had met in Ireland, and there never was seen so hot a storm, of so long a continuance, and so gallantly defended, either in Ireland or England." The besiegers endeavoured to take the town by storm, but were utterly confounded.
"The fierce death-wrestle," says an eye-witness, “lasted four hours." At length when the ammunition of the besieged was exhausted, and no further supply possible, they stole away in the night; the inhabitants agreed to terms of surrender, securing Cromwell's promise to spare civilians not taken with arms. When the army entered they found the garrison fled, and a hot pursuit followed. Some of the troopers were overtaken on the road and killed, but the civilians escaped
With the reduction of Clonmel Cromwell ended his "handsome spell of work," as Carlyle calls it, and prepared to return to England. He had spent ten months in Ireland and had certainly done more to bring the