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In this decline of the King's affairs, the confederated 1617. catholics met again at Kilkenny, where they took into the conf consideration, that his Majesty was in restraint, that all addresses to him were forbidden, and that some put themmembers of parliament, who had ventured to speak in self his favour, were expelled, " therefore in that extremity, “ there being no access to his Majesty for imploring “ either his justice or mercy, all laws either human “ or divine did allow the said catholics to take some “ other course, in order to their defence and preserva“ tion: not against his sacred Majesty, but against those “ who had laid violent hands on his person, who de“ signed to abolish the royal authority, and resolved 6 to destroy or extirpate the said catholics *.” The ambitious Ormond having been thus indig- Ormond
olands at nantly expelled from the government by the enemies Cork, and of his master, resorted to the unshaken loyalty of the Kilkenny. Irish catholics, the King's firmest friends, as the instruments of his own revenge. He dissembled for the moment his anti-catholic rancour, and affected to place the fate of his sovereign in their exertions. He landed at Cork on the 29th of September 1648, where he was received with acclamation, and invited by the general assembly at Kilkenny to conclude a peace, and join with the nation in making head against
France, having been informed that a warrant had issued for
opposes the catholics to the last.
1648. the parliamentarian rebels. He was received in tri
umph at Kilkenny by the whole body of the assembly, and all the nobility and gentry of the neighbourhood, and lodged in his own castle with his own guards
about him. Ormond... Ormond still rejected every proposal of the confedecatholics to rates relating to toleration of religion, and the repeal of
any of the penal laws. The treaty was interrupted by the open defection of Inchiquin's army and their declaration against the King. Ormond was intimately connected with this nobleman, and he took this occa. sion of suspending the definitive treaty, under pretext of giving satisfaction to Inchiquin and his leading
officers. Peace con- The peace was concluded the 17th of January, 1648, the confe- a fortnight before the tragical end of this unfortunate
monarch. Carte observes, that " * the news of the “ conclusion of this peace did not reach England soon s enough to deter the execrable authors of the mur“ der of their King from perpetrating a villainy, which, “ how long soever they had intended it, they durst
not attempt to execute, till they thought themselves “ secure of impunity by being absolute masters of “ Great Britain, without any considerable force in any “ part of these nations to oppose their measures or “ take vengeance on their crimes.” Even this profsesed encomiast of Charles and Ormond has not scrupled to animadvert upon the King's ingratitude to his catholic subjects of Ireland
* 2 Vol. Cart. Orm. p. 526
accelerated he fate of
Ormond had evidently accelerated the disasters of 1648. his royal master, by having so long deprived him of Ormond the assistance of his catholic subjects in Ireland. But acelerated never till the last week of his master's life had he Charles. the honesty to do them justice, by noticing in a letter to the Prince of Wales, “ * the very eminent “ loyalty of the assembly, which was not shaken by “ the success which God had permitted to the mon
strous rebellion in England, 'nor by the mischievous « practices of the no less malicious rebelst in Ireland.”
It is 'no small unequivocal mark of the eminent Unshaken loyalty and fidelity of the Irish catholics, that at the Irish Charles's execution, they formed the only compact Charles national body throughout the extent of the British Empire, who had preserved untainted and unshaken their faith and attachment to the royal cause, although they had been throughout his reign more oppressed, persecuted, and aggrieved by their sovereign, than any other description of his subjects whatsoever. No sooner were the melancholy tidings of the death of Charles conveyed to Ormond, who was then at Youghall, than he instantly proclaimed the Prince of Wales King, by the style of Charles the Second.
* 2 Orm. 2 vol. p. 52.
Effects of King Charles's execution.
The melancholy event of King Charles's execution was an open demonstration of the loyalty of the confederates, who still openly persevered in their exertions for the royal cause. Even Ormond was now compelled to treat his armed protestant friends as rebels and regicides. With a reluctant confidence he placed himself at the head of the confederated catholics, and soon reduced most of the strong holds of the northern parts of the kingdom, except Dublin and London. đerry. His pride stimulated him to regain possession of Dublin, which he had basely sold to the parliamentarian rebels. But that infamy was aggravated by his disgraceful defeat at Rathmines, * by a very inferior force under Michael Jones, the parliamentarian governor of Dublin. That shameful disaster, coupled with the ready submission of Inchi
* Rathmines is about three miles from Dublin: Carte says, that 1500 soldiers and 300 officers in this battle were taken prison. ers, and about 600 slain, and above half of them within the walls of Dublin after quarter had been proclaimed. Most of Inchiquin's men enlisted under Jones, 2 C. Orm. 81. According to Borlase, Ormond, after this shameful defeat, wrote to Jones for a list of prisoners, who answered, “My lord, since I routed your army, I cannot have the happiness to know where you are, that I may wait upon you."
quin's men, who instantly enlisted into Jones's army, and several other circumstances indicative of Ormond's partiality to whatsoever force opposed the confederates, renewed in the Irish their former suspicions, that he had still some secret understanding with the English rebels: and these suspicions were strengthened by the unaccountable failure of all his subsequent undertakings against them. The new king wrote from the Hague, that he was Charles II.
approves extremely satisfied with the articles of peace with of the peace,
then takes the confederates, and would wholly confirm them*. the coveNotwithstanding, after he had been proclaimed in Scotland, he was advised by Ormond to accept of the commissioners' invitation to seat himself on that throne, though he well knew that the covenant was to be the previous condition of his admission. Charles arrived in Scotland on the 23d of June, 1650, where he signed both the national and solemn covenant t. Within two months, he published a declaration, “ that he would have no enemies but the enemies of the coyenant : that he did detest and abhor popery, “superstition, and idolatry, together with prelacy : resolving not to tolerate, much less to allow, those in any part of his dominions, and to endeavour the extirpation thereof to the utmost of his power.” He
* Cart. Orig. Let. 2 vol. p. 363 and 367.
It is fairly remarked by Leland, 3 vol. 352, that “ Charles chose rather to attempt the recovery of his dominions by hypocrisy and perfidy in Scotland, than by any gallant enterprize in Ireland.”