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Chap, instance. They believed Father John, and another * 'J priest, Michael Murphy, to be invulnerable, when leaden bullets were shewn them by these leaders, which they affirmed to have been shot against them by the enemy, and to have struck them without hurt.
State of Dublin—Cornwallis viceroy—^Executions at Wexford—Grogcm, Harvey, #c.—Fate of Perry—« BUI of amnesty—Capitutation of leaders—O'Connor's pamphlet—Prosecutions— Banditti — Devastations of the rebellion—Compensations to suffering loyalists—Estimate of loss to the kingdom—Depravation of morals-—Frauds in claims of compensation—Embarrassment of clergymen—Neglect of the French government—Arrangement of Cornwallis—Killala's narrative.
Ith the final dispersion of the Wexfordian m-Chap surgents the rebellion was terminated, and this had XI-V- ^ been but local. The whole kingdom had remained state of quiet, except the counties mentioned, and a small part 1798. of the county of Cork. In the last the few insurgents had been quickly suppressed, defeated atBallynascarty, on the nineteenth of June, by colonel Sir Hugh O'Reily. All this time the capital, vigilantly guarded by a large military force, had enjoyed a peace not otherwise interrupted than by alarms of plots within and hostilities without. The chief part of this force *- Vol. II. G g consisted
Chap, consisted of its own citizens, formed into yeomen v^-J^ companies, whose conduct on this occasion merits much applause. The grand and royal canals, fifty feet hroad and twelve deep, formed a defence round the city, in the nature of a wet ditch, the numerous bridges of which, fortified with palisades, were constantly guarded by yeomen. Trials and executions had early commenced. Among the executed were Henry and John Sheares, John Mac-Cann, who had been secretary to the provincial committee of Leinster, and Michael William Byrne, delegate from the county committee of Wicklow. Oliver Bond was condemned, but reprieved, as a judicious and necessary system of mercy was adopted after the arrival of a new chief governor. Cornwall!* That a viceroy of military talents, of political v• 1798. knowledge and activity, vested with strong powers, had not been sent sooner into this kingdom, where a widely extended insurrection had been so long known to have been planned, seems an unaccountable conduct in the British cabinet. The consequence might have been fatal if the insurgents had been well conducted, and supplied with arms and ammunition from France. As if to make atonement for past inattention, one of the fittest persons was at length appointed to this most important office, the marquis Cornwallis, who had eminently displayed talents of a general and statesman; not less when inevitably overcome in America, than wlien victorious in the East, His earlier appointment might have saved the loss of some thousand lives, and of immense property. His
activity activity aud wisdom, his easiness of access and at- Chap. tention to business, displayed a new phenomenon, > "r -1^ where the viceroyalty had been generally a sinecure, and the viceroy a pageant of state. His administration commenced on the twentieth of June, when he entered the metropolis in a very modest manner, from which lord Camden departed in a kind of triumphal parade.'
His arrival could not immediately change the system. Trials, by court-martial, and executions in at Wexford. the usual manner, proceeded at Wexford, immediately after its surrendry, and several men suffered as leaders of rebellion. The bridge was the scene of execution, as it had been of massacre. The bodies after death by hanging, were commonly stripped, treated with indignity, and thrown into the river, and their heads placed aloft on spikes on the court-house. Philip Roche, a man of rough and boisterous demeanour, but humane, courageous, and seemingly of a military genius by nature, might with more regular troops and better arms have performed much. He seemed to have latterly despaired of success, and thence to have indulged almost perpetual intoxication. As his character has been foully misrepresented, I suspe6i that the actions of another priest, named Roche, who is said to have preached unchristian doctrines, have been through mistake attributed to him. Since many surviving protestants owed their lives to his exertions, his fate was secretly regretted; and that he had been treated with more decency previously to his execution, might
c H A p. be wished for the honour of the military character.
t',- * # Captain Mathew Keugh, a protcstant, who had been, formerly an officer in the royal service, made an excellent defence, which was then of no avail. He had been in great danger among the rebels, from whom he had unfortunately for himself accepted a commission, and had been signally serviceable in prevailing on them to evacuate the town.
Beauchamp Bagenal Harvey and Cornelius Grogan, protestants also, suffered together. The latter, possessed of an estate of eight thousands pounds a year, and of much accumulated wealth, had unfortunately been made a prisoner by the insurgents, who nominated him a commissary. Enfeebled with age, the gout, and a timid spirit, he had been as unable to execute a commission as to rejecT; the title. He was seized at his house by the soldiery, which, with all his effects, was consigned to plunder. His great wealth might have been a strong temptation, and I am decidedly of opinion that of rebellion he was perfectly innocent. Such is the consistency of human nature, that this timid man met his fate with heroic fortitude, while Harvey, who in duels had displayed an intrepid spirit, shewed symptoms of fear at his execution. Harvey 3 not fortunate in his private connexions, had in some respects borne an amiable character, particularly that of a most humane landlord; a character every where valuable, in Ireland scarce. He had been carried by the tide of theoric politics into the system of United Irishmen; but I have good reason to believe that he was