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dispersed by the army. The plotters of democratic Chap. revolution and political separation secretly rejoiced \^^lj at the growing discontents, when men of more loyal sentiments were heard to declare, that" the minister who determines to enslave the people, must renounce his project, or wade through their blood."
Motion of Earl Moira—Newspapers—Seditious instruSions by hand-bills—Negociation with France —Members of the Irish drectory—O'Connor—Lord Edward Fitzgerald—Information of Reynolds— Arrest of the Leinster delegates—Armstrong's information—Henry and John Sheares—Violences of the United Irish—General proclamation—AbercrombiCf—Military execution-—Irregular violences—The term Croppy—Miserable consequences of espionage —Arrest of Lord Edward Fitzgerald—Arrest of Shewes—Plan of the insurrection—Proceedings of administration—Proceedings of parliament.
C\uu *. HE coercive system, maintained by a numerous K^mo" army> ana* seconded by great numbers from various »*» Motion, motives of interest, fear, or fashion, was condemned
as cruel, unjust, and dangerous, by many reflecting men substantially loyal, too timid or too weak to attempt opposition to the torrent. With a nobility of mind, suitable to his rank, but rare in every station, Francis-Rawdon Hastings, earl of Moira, made repeated exertions in favour of his suffering
country. In the March and November of 1797, he Chap. had moved in the British house of lords, as Charlesl—-^—-» Fox in that of the commons, "that an humble address should be presented to the king, praying him to interpose his paternal interference for the allaying of the alarming discontents then subsisting in Ireland." "Before God and my country, " said this nobleman, "I speak of what I myself have seen. I have seen in Ireland the most absurd, as well as the most disgusting tyranny that any nation ever groaned under. I have seen troops sent full of this prejudice, that every inhabitant of that kingdom is a rebel to the British government; the most wanton insults, the most grievous oppression, practiced upon men of all ranks and conditions in a part of the country as free from disturbance as the city of London. Thirty houses are sometimes burned in a single night; but from prudential motives, I wish to draw a veil over more aggravated facts, which I am willing to attest before the privy council, or at your lordship's bar." These motions were negatived, as was a third which he made in the succeeding year, on the nineteenth of February, in the Irish house of lords, where he offered to produce full proof of many and various acts of barbarous violence.
Deeds of this kind, performed on the side of New loyalty, were not generally known beyond the partsP*TMof the country in which they severally had place, since the conductors of established newspapers dared not to publish any such, and newly instituted prints were soon suppressed in which this caution was not
Chap, observed. These prints were indeed licentious, not
XI II. . • • •
X^^^j confined, more than ministerial publications, to impartial fact, but calculated to raise odium against the existing government, at least the existing administration. The proprietors of the Northern Star, a paper published in Belfast, were, by suspension of the a6l of habeas corpus, imprisoned in Newgate; but as the publication was continued notwithstanding, the printing office and all its contents were destroyed by a detachment of soldiers under the sanction of their general. A paper of superior style and less virulence, called the Pi-css, instituted in Dublin in the latter part of 1797, was yet so intemperate that its publisher was imprisoned, when Arthur O'Connor avowed himself, according to a new law, to be the proprietor, or person responsible for its contents. By another law in the beginning of 1798, authority was given to grand juries to present as, nuisances newspapers containing seditious matter, and to magistrates to destroy the printing materials after such presentation. This paper was in consequence suppressed, and another, called the Harp of Erin, prevented. The liberty of publication was sufficiently circumscribed. If it should be destroyed,- the liberty of the nation would inevitably expire with it. instmaiont ^n place of newspapers, hand-bills were privately biiishand" P"nted and dispersed by the agents of the Irish Union. By these, and oral modes of communication, instructions on various subjects were conveyed from the directory through the whole body of the association. Abstinence from spirituous liquors was recommended,
mended, that by diminishing the consumption of Chap. this great objecl of excise, the royal revenue might i^"1^ sustain a diminution. Another motive may have been the advantage of sobriety, without which neither secrets could be secure, nor, on a summons to arms, co-operation regular. So well was this injunction obeyed, that a change, which benevolence would wish permanent, without motives of disloyalty, from drunken to sober habits, was quickly observed among the generality of the common people. To prevent the raising of supplies to government from the sale of quit rents of the crown, the public was cautioned against purchasing, as the bargains would not be valid under a new legislature in case of a revolution. From the alledged insecurity of the existing government a caution was also promulgated against the accepting of bank notes as a medium of exchange; but the draining of the national bank by the return of bills was prevented by a forced circulation. Its governors and company had been ordered by the privy council to discontinue payments in specie: the tender of its notes was a legal discharge of debt: and those who refused to sell goods for this paper money, were liable to heavy amercement by soldiers quartered on them. Emissaries, employed to corrupt the army, distributed hand-bills, calculated to excite compassion for the sufferings of the people and hatred to their present rulers.
While various engines were employed for internalNegociatio^ opposition, the Irish directory maintained an inter-witbFrancecourse with the French. After the failure of the