Page images

xxvif' wnicn united the British islands into one commonv—.v—J wealth, thirty members of a new parliament were appointed to Ireland. By the advice of Ludlow, who had retired from the civil administration, hut still retained his command in the army, sheriffs were so nominated, and matters in general so managed, that, under the appearance of a free election, the persons required by government were mostly chosen. The protector, displacing the commissioners, appointed Fleetwood lord-deputy for three years, and assigned him a new council. Among the instructions given to this new administration was that of dispens- ing with the order of the late parliament and council of state for the transportation of t'the Irish, into Connaught. This indulgence to the Irish, so consistent with humanity, and necessary to prevent the depopulation of the greater part of the kingdom, was matter of complaint to his enemies, the most formidable of whom was Ludlow, whose regiment was disbanded to diminish his influence. To guard against the fomenters of disaffection, Cromwell, in a spirit Of arbitrary power, perhaps necessary in the then existing state of affairs, commanded that the printer, the only one of the trade then subsisting in Dublin, should not suffer any publication to issue from his press without its previous inspection and approbation bv the clerk of the council.

Henry Cromwell, who had, after his inspection of

fdr°"'"eU'*Irish affairs, returned to England, was sent again in

toi6S5 to Irelanc^ nrst as a military officer, and afterwards

as lord-deputy^in Fleetwood's place; where he acted

with such temper and ability, that his father declared

that that himself micrht receive instructions from his son. Chap.


Though the military officers were discontented and \^»,~«J/ refractory; though the nation was exhausted, oppressed, and unable to support so great an army, while no supplies were sent from England, and the revenue was drained by grants to particular creatures of the protector; and though Ireland was sometimes totally neglected by the Euglish government amid more weighty concerns; yet this deputy so reconciled mens minds to the new government, that, while great discontents prevailed in England, addresses were transmitted from the army and every county in Ireland, expressing resolutions of adhering to the protector, against all who, from private animosity, should endeavour to throw the public again into combustion. On the death of Oliver Cromwell, 1658 and the accession of his eldest son Richard to the protectorship, who confirmed Henry in his government with the title of lord lieutenant, the same assurances were renewed: but in consequence of new revolutions in England, by which Richard was deposed, Henry was ordered to resign, and the civil government to be consigned to commissioners, while the command of the military forces in this kingdom was committed to Ludlow. Dreading lest the lord 1659. lieutenant should avail himself of his power and popularity to retain his place by force, the commissioners employed Sir Hardress Waller to surprize the castle of Dublin: but Henry, too generous to embroil the public for personal views, had determined to resign; and he retired to the Phoenix park, so

c 2 poor,

/chap, poor, from his disinterested administration, that lie va—y—^ could not immediately procure money to defray

the expenees of his voyage to his own country. Proceedings Sjnce from the unsettled state of affairs in Ena;

of th» royal- 0

ists land, the restoration of monarchy was expected by

men of reflexion, intrigues to second that design were put in motion among the royalists of Ireland, of which description were most of the old English, many of the aboriginal Irish and of the Scots of -Ulster, beside a considerable number of protestant soldiery. The disaffection to the republic was encreased among the last by the severe jealousy of Ludlow and the commissioners, who dismissed from the military service lord Broghill, Sir Charles Coote, some other suspected persons, and afterwards above two hundred officers, without trial or allegation of crime, and without recompence for their long and painful discharge of duty. Ludlow was recalled to London, colonel John Jones, one of those who had sitten in judgment, on the late king, was sent commander in his place; the commissioners of parliament, following the tide of revolution in England, styled themselves commissioners of the commonwealth; and all seemed quietly to submit to their government, when, by the explosion of the plot formed by the royalists, the whole fabric of their policy was shivered to pieces. The deep and circumspect Broghill had early communicated bis designs to Coote, who, with many other men of inJfiuence, had entered into the scheme. Lord Montgomery, Sir Theophilus Jones, Sir Oliver SaintGeorge, and others, seized the castle of Dublin


by a sudden and desperate effort, imprisoned colonel ^."vn^" John Jones with two of his colleagues, and declared '—-y—f for a free parliament; while Coote, securing Gal^ way, and surprizing Athlone, marched thence to the capital, and impeached of high treason Ludlow and the commissioners. At the same time also other parties of royalists made themselves masters of Youghal, Clonmel, Carlow, Limerick, and Drogheda; so that in one week almost the whole kingdom fell into the hands of those who aimed at the restoration of the kingly power and title.

A council of officers, assuming the temporary government, summoned a convention of the estates of Ireland at the requisition of the magistracy of' Dublin. This convention, in defiance of the council of state in England, which pronounced its dissolution, proceeded to secure the army in its favour, and to declare its detestation of the late king's murder, and the necessity of a free parliament. Ludlow, who had sailed into the harbour of Dublin, but ventured not on shore, as the council of officers wished to seize his person, endeavoured by letters from Duncannon to enflame the several garrisons against the present plan of the leading men. This desperate republican was recalled to England; but in Dublin Sir Hardress Waller had formed a scheme, which was frustrated, to seize the council of officers: he however seized the castle, and declared his resolution to punish the officers. In this alarming

c 3 crisis,

Chap, crisis, Coote and Sir Theophilus Jones rode through 'the streets exclaiming for a free parliament, and were followed by multitudes who re-echoed the exclamation. The castle was reduced in a siege of five days, and Waller sent prisoner to England.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »