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HISTORY OF BANDON
[Pages 149-175] OLIVER CROMWELL LANDS IN DUBLIN - HE STORMS DROGHEDA - HIS CAREER IN THE SOUTH - SEVERAL OF THE MUNSTER TOWN PRONOUNCE FOR HIM - BANDON IS THE FIRST TO MAKE THE ATTEMPT - CROMWELL VISITS BANDON - THE ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF ROSS HANGED AT CARRIGADROHID CASTLE-SIR RICHARD COX AND HIS DESCENDANTS - TRIAL OF MAC CARTHY-CRIMEN, OF BALLINAROHUR CASTLE, BEFORE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE IN BANDON, FOR THE MURDER OF MR. BURROWES AND HIS FAMILY.
new chapter in the history of this great civil was now opens before us.
After eight years of a prolonged and desperate struggle, -after a wholesale
destruction of life and property, -neither of the combatants were victorious.
The Supreme Council of the Confederate Irish still sat at Kilkenny, and their
armies garrisoned most of the towns of Munster. The Royalists were also in
arms, and held Cork, Bandon, Youghal, and other important places in the
Province. To these two-various causes added three more. Owen Roe
O'Neil commanded the army of the Nuncio and the clerical party in the North.
The Scotch and English Presbyterians had an army of their own, which would
neither ally itself with the Royalists or with the Irish; or even with those
whose religious and political opinions were almost in unison with their own-the
Parliamentarians. And, lastly, the troops which Colonel Jones and Sir
Charles Coote commanded in Dublin and Derry for the Parliament.
''Twas on a memorable day in August-a day that will survive in our annals for ever-that Oliver Cromwell landed in Dublin. He brought with him eight thousand foot, four thousand horse, twenty thousand pounds in hard cash, a large park of artillery, and all the other requisites for carrying on war on an extensive scale. Notwithstanding that Oliver's attention must have been fully occupied in making the necessary preparations for arming, provisioning, and equiping such a formidable force, yet he did not overlook- what was of paramount importance in his eyes- the religious instruction of his soldiers. Every file was served out of store with a Bible; and such a horror had he of profane swearing, that one of his first proclamations-as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland-was directed against it.
Cromwell did not come here to look about him. On the 2nd of September he was before Drogheda.
Ormond had left nothing undone to strengthen this place. He placed four hundred men of his own regiment in it; also the regiments commanded by Sir Edward Verney, Colonel Birns, Colonel Warren, and Colonel Wall, Lord Westmeath, Sir James Dillon, and Lieutenant-Colonel Cavanagh; amounting together to three thousand four hundred foot and two hundred horse, all of whom were under the orders of Sir Arthur Aston (late governor of Oxford), a man of great military experience and reputation. So confident was Sir Arthur of being able to maintain his position, that he wrote to Ormond-to assure him-that he "would find the enemy play; and that the garrison being select men, and the town so strong, it could not be taken by assault." Oliver, however, soon effaced this impression from his mind; for having besieged the place on one side only, and then even with the formality of a regular approach, he began construction of his batteries on the 9th of September, and the very next day-at five in the evening, stormed the town. Although his men were twice beaten off, and their leader (Col. Cassells) slain, yet-nothing daunted-he attacked it the third time, commanding in person,* and carried it.
* Oliver was the brave man. It is related, that once -during his Scotch campaign -he was riding near Glasgow at the head of a body of horse, when a Scotch soldier, who was planted on a high wall, fired at him, and missed him. Oliver, without slackening his pace or drawing a rein, turned contemptuously round in his saddle :-"Fellow, " said he, "if the trooper of mine missed such a shot as that, I'd give him hundred lashes!" He then rode on, leaving Sawney amazed at the cool way he took this attempt on his life. This, as Mr. Pinkerton remarks, was a rare example of true courage.
Most of the garrison were put to the sword,
amongst whom was Colonel Boyle (one of the Cork family); and the rest,
amounting, it is said, to not more than thirty, were transported to Barbadoes.
The terrible slaughter at Drogheda so terrified the neighbouring garrisons, that Dundalk submitted immediately,-as in several forts and castles.
In justice to Cromwell, it is but right to state that, previous to opening fire on the town, he sent the besieged the following laconic message:-"Surrender, and quarter. No surrender, no quarter."
When Owen Roe heard that a place so strong and so well secured as Drogheda was taken, and that in such a summary manner:-"Well, exclaimed he, with a great oath, "after that, if Cromwell stormed hell, he'd take it too!"
Having returned to Dublin, Oliver marched southwards; and, having taken Arklow, ferns, Enniscorthy, and other places, he arrived at Wexford on the 1st of October, and summoned the town to surrender. But the governor (Colonel Synot ) gave a reply, which made it evident that his only object was to gain time. In this Cromwell, who also bided his time, indulged him; so that Lord Castlehaven found it easy to introduce a regiment of foot into the town, and-in three days after-Lord Ormond was able to send in another force, consisting of a thousand men, under Sir Edmund Butler. Nevertheless, this last reinforcement was not within the walls two hours, when Captain James Strafford surrendered the castle. Cromwell instantly had the guns turned on the town, which so terrified the garrison and the inhabitants, that they fled from the walls in dismay, and endeavoured to effect their escape by the river. The besiegers took advantage of the fright they were in; and, raising the scaling-ladders, they ran up the walls and took the town by storm. Upwards of two thousand of those found in arms were put to the sword.
From Wexford, Cromwell hastened to Ross, into which Lord Ormond had thrown one thousand five hundred men. But scarce had the guns began to play-when the garrison began to capitulate.
"I demand liberty of conscience," said Taffe, the governor, "for those who intend to remain in the town!"
"I meddle with no man's conscience," replied Oliver, "but if by liberty of conscience you mean liberty to exercise the mass, I judge it best to use plain dealing, and let you know-that where the Parliament of England have power-that will not be allowed."
Taffe, being unable to prevail upon that stern Independent, was obliged to accept the proffered terms, and marched out; taking with him all his men, save about six hundred who took service with Cromwell.
In the meantime, the chief towns in our county had revolted to the Parliament. The city of Cork was the first to begin. It appears the movement originated there with some officers, who waited upon Colonels Townsend, Warden, and Gifford-the three colonels who were under arrest for showing disaffection to the royal cause. The officers told them "that they were undone unless they would stand by them, for they would else be slaves to the Irish." "Bring us a sword each, and a brace of pistols," said they, "and we will live to congratulate ourselves upon our successes, or perish in the attempt!" The arms were brought to them; and-descending the prison steps sword in hand-they were met by the guard, who, with loud cries of "We are with you to!" fell in behind them, and march to the main guard. There was no difficulty in getting them and the Protestant citizens to pronounce for them also; and then -with one simultaneous shout-they demanded that the Irish should be driven out of the city. This was a speedily done effected; and on the next morning Major-General Sterling, and the few that remained of his way of thinking, were also placed outside the gates.
Although as we have said, Cork was the first town in Munster to declare for Cromwell, Bandon was the first to make the effort. Ere the officers had asked the colonels to stand by them, some prominent townsmen, and some officers of the Bandon militia, had resolved to seize on the Royalist guards, and deliver up the garrison. The attempt was made by a party of civilians, on the forenoon of the 16th of November, under the command of Captain Braly and Lieutenant Berry. At first they were successful, having seized upon the guards at West-gate; but the other posts not being attacked at the concerted time, the Royalists were on the watch, and Braly and his valiant comrades were assailed by overwhelming numbers, and made prisoners.*
In about three weeks after this another design was on foot, 'to seize the governor, officers, and guards, and secure the town for the Parliament and the Lord Lieutenant-Cromwell;" and having taken possession of two houses near the sally-port at the north side of the town, the conspirators plainly told Courtnay (the governor) that it was vain for him to oppose, as they were resolved to deliver up the town. Courtnay seem to have thought so too; and he asked them not to deliver him up also, until he had some time to make conditions for himself and his party. This was agreed to, and at the end of the specified time he surrendered.†
* See history of the Bandon militia in this work, chapter
† See M.SS. Carte-papers, Bodleian Lib., Oxford
The throwing open of the gates of these
Munster towns was of the greatest benefit to Cromwell. It convinced him
that the inhabitants were with him; and they furnished him with comfortable
winter quarters for his hard-worked troops.
This hostile demonstration for the Parliament, and the gaining possession of those garrisons by their generals, without losing a drop of blood, greatly incensed the Royalists. "It was a treacherous revolt of the Presbyterian English, which garrisoned most of the towns of Munster." And Lord Ormond-in a letter to Charles-thought it was too bad "that Bandon, Kinsale, Youghal, and other places, should be all betrayed to him [Cromwell] without one stroke struck!"
The Presbyterian English* did garrison most of the towns in Munster; but in our town, whatever may be said of the garrison, there is no doubt that the inhabitants themselves were thoroughly Puritan. Hence it was, that from the moment they became aware of the negotiations going on between the King and the rebels, they mistrusted him. They could not be expected to look favourable upon-much less to fight side by side with-those whose lands still reeked with the blood of their dearest kindred. And what claim had the Royalists upon their allegiance and affections?-Royalists who were willing to secure the Irish enemy in the possession of all the property and they had wrested from them, and to forgive them for all their offences, or what nature or quality soever, as if they had never been committed.
* Although the Presbyterian English separated themselves from the Royalists, yet the latter did not taught them "with their religion." They were not, however, so lenient to the Scotch Presbyterians, whom they accused of having "a scurvy religion ;" and assigned that as the reason why they agreed so well with those who had done none at all.
Their very stomachs sickened at the mention
of the unholy alliance between their King and the rebellious Irish. The
alliance itself was an unnatural one, and it was both hypocritical and hollow on
both sides. What cared the Irish for a King; who, when they thought
themselves strong enough to do so, hastened to offer his kingdom of
Ireland-first to the Pope, and subsequently to nearly every other Roman
Catholic crowned-head in Europe? What cared the King for those who he knew
looked upon him as an intruder; and who had just made a prodigious effort to
shake off the sovereignty of England forever. Charles joined them in order
to procure assistance to crush those who resisted his autocratic enactments in
England; and they joined Charles in order that-when he had accomplished his
vicious purpose-they could the more easily rid themselves of him , and scoop out
of the earth the very fibres of the roots of those colonies which the prudence
of preceding princes had planted in Ireland.
Cromwell selected Youghal as his head-quarters during the winner of 1649. He frequently left it, however, on two hours of inspection to the various garrisons that were quartered throughout this county, and those adjoining. On the 17th of December he first came to Cork, accompanied by Lord Broghill; and after Ireton's arrival-in two days after-he proceeded to Kinsale; and from thence to our own town.
Tradition asserts that he was greatly pleased with the strength of this plantation, and their devotion of its inhabitants to the cause of England; and, speaking about that great nobleman who was so closely identified with Bandon, he is reported to have said: "That if there had been an Earl of Cork in every province in Ireland, it would have been impossible for the Irish to have raised a rebellion!''
Oliver came several times to Bandon , and always put-up at a little two-storied house-that then occupied the site upon which at present stands the residence of Mr. T. Bennett-in the South Main Street; and in a little bedroom of which (at the western end)-one who in a short time was destined to become one of the most powerful potentates of Europe-often retired to rest, or to muse, perhaps, over his anticipations of the future. Such importance did a subsequent owner of the little tenement of two stories attach to everything connected with Cromwell's visit to the town, that when the house was taken down-about the beginning of this century-to make room for its present successor, he had the boards of the little bedroom carefully removed, and relaid in the new edifice; and-with no small interest-we have looked on those old time-worn mementoes of a by-gone age,-mementoes, too, closely associated with the presence of Oliver Cromwell.
On the 29th January Cromwell broke up his winter quarters, and
marched for Ormond's head-quarters at Kilkenny. His march was one
continued triumph. He occupied Clogher; Roghill Castle succumbed without a
struggle; Fethard, contrary to all the rules of war, was summoned by
candlelight, and surrendered before daylight; the garrison at Cashel fled when
they heard of his approach. At Callan, Oliver was joined by Reynolds;
after placing a garrison there, he then fell back upon Fethard and Cashel.
Meanwhile Colonel Hewson, who commanded the Parliamentary guards in Dublin, had made his way-at the head of two thousand foot and one thousand horse-into Kildare; and, having taken Leighlin Bridge (on the river Barrow), at least effected at junction with Cromwell before Gouran. Gouran Castle was strong; and was thought so much of by the enemy, that it was occupied by a portion of Ormond's own regiment, under Colonel Hammond, a distinguished Royalist. Hammond sent a stern negative in replied to Oliver's order to surrender. The batteries were immediately placed in position, which so terrified Hammond than that they mutinied, and gave up their officers, a priest, and the castle itself, on being allowed their lives. The next morning Hammond and all his officers-save only one only-were brought out on the parade-ground, and shot; and the unlucky priest, who had been chaplain to the Roman Catholics in the regiment, was hanged.
On the 22nd March Cromwell arrive before Kilkenny, and the same day demanded that the city and castle should be given up to him; but the governor (Sir Walter Butler) refused. After vigorous resistance-extending over some days-he began to negotiate; and on the 28th of the same month he capitulated.
Cromwell's army now spread itself in all directions, collecting provisions levying contributions, and reducing the small garrisons scattered throughout the country.
Colonel Hewson's party attacked Castledermot; but the Irish shut themselves up in a strong tower, having burnt the greater part of the castle the day previously, and they refused to come out. Whereupon Hewson piled a lot of faggots and other combustible against the door, and set fire to them. In due time the inmates cried for mercy-and they surrendered. Amongst them were three friars and one Captain Sherlock, who is described as "a bloody tory."*
* Sherlock was not the only ''bloody tory'' to be met with in those days. In fact, they over-ran the whole country; and the authorities were often at their wit's how to get rid of them. The ordinary price set upon a tory's head was forty shillings; but if he happened to be a great tory-like Sherlock-the reward offered was often as high as thirty pounds. In a proclamation, dated October, 1655, the following sums were offered for the apprehension of the under-named tories-alive or dead:-For blind Donough, £30; Dermot Ryan, £20; James Leigh, £5; or for any other tory that shall be brought by any countryman to any governor of a county or precinct-dead or alive,-forty shillings
After the capture of Kilkenny, Cromwell
proceeded to invest Clonmel, but here the resistance he met with was not only
obstinate but successful. Such were the number of his men that perished in
the very first assault, that he determined on starving out the
than on hazarding another attempt. Meanwhile, he said pressing
instructions to Lord Broghill to come to his assistance at once; but scarce
had Broghill arrived, when intelligence reached him that the
Titular bishop of
Ross was on his way-at the head of five thousand foot-to compel him to raise
the siege. He instantly dispatched Lord Broghill-with two thousand
horse and sixteen hundred foot-to intercept him. On the line of march, with a portion
of his force-consisting of six hundred horse and four hundred foot-he
overtook Lord Muskerry, marching to join the
bishop at the head of one thousand
horse and two
thousand foot, and fell on him at once. Both sides fought furiously.
Many of the Irish strove hard to reach Lord
Broghill, shouting at the top of
their voice:-"Kill the fellow in the gold-laced
coat!" And they would, in
all probability, have done so, had not a supernumerary lieutenant come to his
aid, and saved him. After a desperate struggle, the
Irish at length gave
way, leaving behind them six hundred dead and a great many prisoners.
On the morning of the 10th of April Lord Broghill came before Carrigadrohid Castle, and found it occupied by some of the bishop's troops. Here he left his foot to over-awe the garrison, and hurried on with his horse to Macroom. The Irish, aware of his approach, burnt the castle, and then joined their main body, which lay encamped in the park. Broghill immediately dashed at them with great spirit; and with such success, that they broke and fled-leaving a great many dead,* and several prisoners. Amongst the latter were the high-sheriff of Kerry and the bishop himself.
* Colonel John Barry -Fitz-William-(who succeeded his grandfather, John Barry of Liscarrol, and was married to Alice, daughter of the first Earl of Cork, and relict of the Earl of Barrymore) was killed fighting on the English side.
In those days there was not much time
consumed in a tedious process of law; nor were there many opportunities afforded
an ingenious counsel to pick holes in an indictment. A file or two of
dismounted troopers presented their petronels at the high-sheriff's breast, and
soon that functionary was beyond the reach of any benefit he may be entitled to
by a decision of the twelve judges in his favour.
The bishop, Lord Broghill took with him to Carrigadrohid; and he there offered him his life if he would induce the garrison in the castle to surrender. He accepted the proffered terms; but, when brought within talking distance of them, he told them to hold out to the last. Broghill did not appreciate the joke; he ordered a gallows to be erected forthwith; a rope was put round the bishop's neck, and he was hanged on the spot.
But the loss of his life did not even save the castle; as it was soon afterwards taken, and by a very simple contrivance. The sentries posted on the watch-tower saw teams of oxen dragging heavy ordinance, and slowly approaching the castles walls. ''What,'' probably thought the terrified warders, ''shall become of us, when these walls are battered about our ears! If not seized and shot on the instant, we may be hanged like a dog!'' And a fearful instance-fresh in their memories, if not yet before their very eyes-told them that the opposing general was not incapable of using the halter. They surrendered. The heavy ordinance were balks of timber, fashioned to resemble cannon.
Emboldened by Lord Broghill's success, Cromwell again assaulted Clonmel, but was driven back. Again he rushed at the breach; and both sides maintained the fight with great fury until the darkness prevented them seeing one another. The inhabitants were now weary of the struggle, and believing that Oliver would be victorious in the end, they gave up; and the next day Cromwell marched into the town.
The taking of Clonmel was his last achievement in Ireland. Despatches had reached him from the Parliament, urging him to return home. He gave the command to Major-General Ireton, the Lord President of Munster,-the same who shortly after also succeeded him as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; and embarked for England, at Youghal, on the 29th May. On the 4th of June following he entered the Parliament, when Mr. Speaker (by order) ''gave him the hearty thanks of this house, for his great and faithful services unto the Parliament and the Commonwealth.''
Now that the war was drawn to a close, people breathed more freely; and they began to turn their attention to other matters, from which they were diverted by that momentous struggle which had absorbed all their time and attention for the previous nine years. The inhabitants who had lived outside the walls of our town thought they had a right to be exempt form the rating assessed upon those who lived inside. They complained that it was an oppression to assess them, and that they ought not to be asked to contribute and longer. The inhabitants who lived within the walls thought differently; so they joined issue, and went to law.
The cause was tried before a jury, on the 26th of September. The plaintiffs were:- The provost, free-burgesses, and commonalty of Bandon-Bridge; and the defendants:- Francis Boyle, Esq.,* Thomas Ellwell (Ensign), Roger Grimley, Thomas Hogan, and all the other tenants of the said Francis Boyle, and inhabitants of the Irish-town. As the jury could not agree, another was empannelled; and the case was reheard. Mr. Clement Woodroffe (the provost), Mr. George Fenton, and Mr. Abraham Savage appeared for the corporation. Mr. William Thivey (agent to Mr. Boyle), Ensign Grimley, and Thomas Ellwell, for the inhabitants of the Irish-town.
* Francis Boyle, fourth son of the first Earl of Cork, was created Viscount Shannon in 1660, and died at a very advanced age in 1699. It was this gentleman who so valiantly distinguished himself at the battle of Liscarroll in 1642, upon which occasion he nearly lost his life in rescuing the body and charger of his brother, Lord Kinalmeaky. The title expired with his grandson, but was renewed in 1756, and conferred upon Henry Boyle, Esq., of Castlemartyr, the garrison of Lord Broghill, first Earl of Orrery.
It was alleged by the plaintiffs that,
according to the patent of King James, ''all the castles, messuages, lofts,
mills, houses and edifices, structures and carthlaghs, places, lands, tenements,
and hereditaments whatsoever, with the appurtenances, on both sides of the
river, sliding or running under the bridge of the said town, adding thereto, or
being within the said town or village, or points of the same, shall henceforth
and continue one free and entire borough of itself.'' They then produced
Mr. Woodner, Charles Coombes, and others, ''who being antient men,'' deposed, on
their own knowledge, that at the time the Letters-Patent were granted there were
some structures in that place (i.e. -the Irish town); and, moreover, that
Samuel Fenton had a house there, which was subsequently occupied by one James
Ellwell. Woodner and Coombes also averred that the parish church stood in
part of the said Irish-town, and that all the inhabitants of Bandon-on the
south-side of the river-went to the said church, there being no other parish
church save in the said Irish-town, and that some of the burgesses nominated in
the Letters-Patent (viz.:-Stephen Skipwith, Thomas Taylor, and William Cecill-they
living at the south-side of the town) worshipped in the same. Plaintiffs,
in addition tried to prove that Ballymodan was also called Bally-bandon, thereby
endeavouring to show that the whole parish was incorporated. Finally, they
proved, from entries in the rate-books of 1614 and 1628, that Ellwell and
Witherhead-although living in Irish-town-paid the same rates as those residing
inside the gates.
The defendants admitted that Ellwell and Witherhead did reside in the Irish-town, but the rates they paid, they alleged, was for property within the walls. That the Irish-town was part of Ballymodan, but was not of Bandon-Bridge. That it belonged to William Murray at the time of the incorporation; and that from him it was subsequently purchased by the Earl of Cork. And Coombes admitted that when Captain Adderly was provost he was rated for a house he built outside the walls, by West-gate; and that he was acquitted of the payment thereof, as it stood not upon the corporation.
The plaintiffs, in reply, urged that the house referred to by Coombes was built since the erection of the walls, and that that altered the case.
As regards Ballymodan being alias Bally-bandon, Lieutenant John Langton deposed that he read over many records and always found it written Ballymodan; and did not find it ''alias Bally-bandon,'' until he hath kept court here.*
Even if they were rated, the defendants insisted that it was only during the war, and not in peaceable times. And to show that they were recognized as being outside the bounds of the corporation, they brought forward Mr. Edmunds, who stated that Mr. Richard Crofts, provost in 1617, showed him the bounds of the corporation, and told him it went no farther than the little river.†
* Lieutenant John Langton was seneschal of the manor of
Ballymodan, and was also an officer of the Bandon militia. He married a
sister of Francis Bernard, Esq., of Castle-Mahon. Vide. Langton,
† Now known as Bridewell river.
Mr. Daniel Roch confirmed the testimony of
Edmunds, and said it was only intended to incorporate that portion of the town
built on what was forfeited to the crown by the attainder of one Mahowne, whose
lands were bounded by the said river running by the East-gate.
The plaintiffs showed that this could not be the case, as a small portion of the lands within the walls, and already incorporated (viz.: the lands south of the little river) never belonged to Mahowne.
But, replied the defendants, Lord Cork being the owner of those lands south of the river, and within the walls, consented thereunto for the good of the corporation, by setting the walls on that side of the hill southwards. Upon proof of this being demanded, the defendants were unable to produce any.
Both sides having at length thoroughly exhausted every proof and argument they possessed, the court decreed:- That the church being in the Irish-town rendered it a town, otherwise it would be a hamlet. It was, therefore, determined that all the lands, tenements, and hereditaments on both sides of the river Bandon,-in both parishes antiently called by the name of Ballymodan and Kilbrogan, and known and called by the name of Bandon-Bridge, -shall be deemed for evermore a part of the corporation; and even in all equity, said the judge, those who availed themselves of the protection of the walls, and who could not have kept anything from the enemy during the war, ought in all conscience contribute towards the safe-guarding of Bandon-Bridge. The judgement was pronounced by John Cooke, Chief Justice of Munster.
The year that witnessed this great internal commotion amongst our old townsmen, witnessed the birth of a child within our walls, destined to become a great man, and a far more eminent lawyer than the Chief Justice himself. On the 26th of March, the Honorable Sir Richard Cox, Lord High Chancellor of Ireland, was born. In his autobiography, he tells us that his grandfather, Michael Cox (the first of the family who settled in Ireland), was the younger brother of an honest family, which had some hundreds of years held a good copyhold near Bishop Cannings, in Wiltshire. Michael's third son, Richard, married Katherine* (''a pretty black woman, as I have been assured''), daughter of Walter Birde, Esq.,† three times sovereign-and for a long time recorder-of Clonakilty; and by her had the subject of this memoir.
* Katherine was previously married to Captain Thomas
Batten, who was killed at the siege of Dungaravan, in 1642, having been shot
through the forehead.
† Walter Birde was educated at Oxford. He was not only a good scholar but also understood music, and was said to be an excellent performer on the bass-viol.
Before he was three old, however, he lost
both his parents. His father, whilst walking with one Captain Norton, was
suddenly set upon by him, and stabbed; and his mother took grief so much to
heart at his loss, that she fell into consumption, and died the following
winter. John Birde (his mother's brother) then took charge of the little
helpless orphan, and, when he was of sufficient age, sent him to school to Mr.
Thomas Barry, of Clonakilty. At fourteen years old he began to learn
logic, and when barely fifteen he left school; and not having the means to take
out his degree at Trinity College, he spent the next three years in
idleness,-during the whole of which he scarcely ever opened book, unless
Heylin's Cosmography, or the very few works on history or theology to be had
in the town.
He attributes all his success in life to a principle of honesty, and a regard for religion, sincerity, and virtue; in connection with which he relates the following:- I owed a cob [a Spanish dollar, value 4s.6d.], which by driblets I had lost at the truck-table, and being dunned for it I stole one from my uncle; but being checked by my principle, I restored it immediately, and resolved to take some lawful course to pay that debt, and furnish myself with more money. That very night I proposed to my uncle, who was seneschal of several of the Earl of Cork's manors, that I might have his permission to practice as an attorney; which being granted, I got enough to pay my debt the first court day.''
His success encouraged him to proceed, and before he attained the age of eighteen he was an attorney of great repute in all the local courts. Shortly after this he resolved on becoming a barrister, Accordingly he proceeded to London, and entered himself as a student at Gray's-Inn in 1671; and in two years later was called to the bar.
On his return to Bandon he united himself to a wife and a ;aw-suit. However disposed people may be to run after the former, there are few to whom the latter is an attraction. Nevertheless, to a young active lawyer, a law-suit may present itself in a different light. He may not only gain his cause, but gain notoriety and fame. This was the view he took of it; and had his anticipations been realized, all would have been well. But, unfortunately, they were not. The suit went against him; and such an effect had this upon him, that he absolutely threw up practice, returned to Clonakilty, and went farming.
But the growing of corn and the rearing of cattle had little or no attraction for a man of his active and ambitious temperament. Accordingly, he shook off the rustic indolence which pastoral ease produces, and began again. He was also stimulated to this by the numerous family which his illusory dowered wife, Mary Bourne, brought him.
He now took up his residence in Cork, where his industry and abilities soon drew him into notice; and such was his success, that the very first year of his residence there he realized upwards of five hundred pounds. His practice continued to increase, and in a short time he was enabled not only to keep his coach and live in a style befitting his position, but to purchase estates.
Upon the resignation of the recordership of Kinsale by William Worth,* he was appointed to that office through the interest of Sir Robert Southwell. In addition to the great industry and skill exhibited by Mr. Cox in mastering his case, he was possessed of the seductive and persuasive eloquence -an eloquence so attractive and telling, as to earn for him the appellation of the silver-tongue of Munster . But the time was fast approaching when he should forego his honours and the emoluments, and leave the country altogether.
On the return of the Earl of Clarendon from the Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland, in 1687, he was succeeded by Lord Tyrconnell. Cox saw in this appointment an attempt to reverse that policy which fostered the Protestant interest in this country; and he well knew that, in the hands of an unscrupulous partizan like "lying Dick," no means would be spared to render the effort a success. He, therefore, resolved to leave as soon as he could; which he did, and went to live in Bristol. Here time hung heavily on his hands; but he was determined not again to relapse into listlessness and inactivity. He undertook to write a history of the country which his infant years had seen emerging from a great civil war, and which his mature years saw hurrying into one another. He began his history of Ireland in Bristol. The first part was published in London, in 1689, then entitled Hibernia Anglicana; and the second appeared in 1690, but was not brought down further than 1653. Some think that its continuation from that year was in manuscript, but this is generally believed to be a mistake.
* William Worth was the first recorder of Cork. He was subsequently second baron of the Irish Exchequer.
When the Prince of Orange landed at Torbay,
there were thousands who rejoiced at the news; but-with the fate of Monmouth
before their eyes-they hesitated to bid him welcome. Cox was not one of
these. With a fearless disregard of the consequences, he hurried up to
London; and took a most decided and active part in promoting the revolution.
He wrote a pamphlet, providing the urgent necessity of placing the crown upon
Williams head, and of sending speedy relief to the Protestants in Ireland.
And after the proclamation announcing that William and Mary had ascended the
throne, he published A brief and modest Representation of the
Conditions of Ireland.
His numerous good services were not suffered to go unrequited. He was made Under Secretary of State; and soon after accompanied King William to Ireland.* He was present at that memorable encounter at the Boyne and by his sagacity was enabled-even on the tented field-to render valuable assistance to his royal master.
It appears that the night before the battle and Irish officer deserted from the enemy; and, being brought before William, stated the number and position of the Irish with such confidence, that the King got uneasy, and told Sir Richard Southwell, his Irish Secretary of State, that James's army were certainly more numerous than he imagined. Southwell immediately went to Cox, and told him what his Majesty said. "Never mind," says Cox, as he hit upon a plan of testing the Jacobite officer's estimate of numbers, "let him be carried through the camp; and then let him inform the King how many men he has with him. "This was done; and after being conducted through the several divisions of the Protestant army, he was led to William; and he stated to him that he had-at least-more than double the number of troops he really had. King William saw at once that his new ally was a port authority in such matters, and gave them have himself no further concern on the subject.
* Richard Cox, of Clonakilty, appears on King James's Black List of ''Persons who have notoriously joined in the rebellion and invasion of this kingdom, are hereby adjudged traitors, convicted and attained of high-treason, and shall suffer such,'' &c.
When the King reached Finglass, a little
village within two miles of Dublin,-which he did on the 5th July,-he established
his head-quarters there. And the next day-upon his return from the city-he
issued a proclamation, in which pardon and protection were promised to all
labourers, private soldiers, farmers,-as well as to all townsmen and mechanics,-
who remained at home; or would surrender their arms and return to their
dwellings on or before the 1st of August. The tenants of
were told to pay their rents as heretofore; but those who held under the
disloyal were directed not to pay anybody, until the Commissioners of the
Revenue should duly acquaint them as to who were to be the new owners. The
proclamation also declared that those who took an active part in aiding or
fomenting the rebellion shall abide the consequences. This celebrated
document, which plainly intimated to those in arms against the new Sovereign
what they had to expect, was drawn up by Cox; and so exactly was it in
accordance with the King's own views, that his Majesty was heard to say:-''That
Mr. Cox had exactly his his own thoughts.''
When Waterford surrendered, Cox was appointed to the recordership of the city. But this was only a move to a step still higher; for on the embarkation of his royal patron at Duncannon-in a few months after-he was raised to the Bench; having been sworn in-on the 15th of September, 1690-as one of the Justices of the Common Pleas.*
* The salary of a judge of the Common Pleas-this time-was about £400 per annum.
The month after he took his seat as a judge
he accompanied Robert Rochford, Esq., (one of the Commissioners of the Great
Seal) on a Commission of Assize and gaol delivery, to Ardee and Drogheda.
In the March, of 1691, the Lord Chief-Justices Reynell and Mr. Justice Cox went
as Judges of Assize to Cork and Waterford; and such was the number of
''protections'' granted by them at this time, that-in those two counties
alone-they amounted to no less than twenty-four thousand.
He had hardly been a judge six months, when he was appointed to an office differing remotely from the usual requirements of judicial life, and demanding a rare foresight, combined with a promptitude and vigilance, which no man-but one possessed of a sagacious understanding and a resolute will-would be fit to undertake. Although the country swarmed with rapparees, disbanded soldiers of James' army, and the numerous disaffected people who overspread the west of this county, nevertheless, Cox. was not deterred by the magnitude of the task before him from entering actively on his duties. He was selected to fill the post of Governor of the County and City of Cork, on the 1st of May, 1691; and on the fourth of the same month he arrived at the scene of his labours.
He proceeded at once to raise and equip eight regiments of dragoons, and to increase the three militia regiments of the county to nine companies each. Success attended his efforts. Not only did he protect a frontier extending from Tallow to Sherkin Island-about eighty miles-from the incursions of the Irish without, but he also inflicted a wholesome chastisement on those within. Upon the latter, he tells us, his troops did much execution and great service; and took from them so much plunder-ten thousand pounds worth, if not more-as set many of the soldiers on their legs after the war.''
Although the governor was entitled to a tenth of all the spoil, he refused to take any of it; "contenting himself with acting like a true Englishman, whose heart was in the cause." So pleased was the Government with this act of Cox's disinterestedness, as well as with the talent and energies he displayed in the discharge of his onerous duties, that they presented him with one hundred and fifty pounds, and permanently reduced his quit-rents to half.
Not only where the authorities grateful, but also those whose lives and possessions he protected from destruction. He received the warmest expressions of gratitude, says one of his biographers, from the numerous persons whose property he saved from devastation and pillage.
On the 12th of April, 1690, he was made Deputy-Governor of the Royal Fishery Company; and the next day a member of their Majesty's Privy Council. Upon his return to Dublin from the Summer Assizes in the South-where he went circuit with Judge Reynell-he was knighted by Lord Sydney, the Lord Lieutenant.
In 1693 he was elected the member of the Philosophical Society, upon which occasion he read an essay on the geography of the counties of Antrim and Derry. The same year he visited England, where he met with a very favourable reception from the Lord Treasurer (Godolphin), and the other members of the Government; and received at their hands a substantial proof of their approbation of his services,-they having nominated him on the commission of Irish forfeitures, at a salary of four hundred per annum.
"The strict equity," says Wills, "with which he resisted an oppresive partiality on one side, and the urgency of menace and corruptions on the other, soon drew upon him the clamorous accusations of those by whom the just forfeitures of the recent struggle were looked on as a prey, and that no less dangerous resentment of the leaders of popular feeling."
It was no hard matter to raise a powerful set against him; and when everything was decided by the movements of intrigue , his displacement was a matter of course. One occasion is honourably distinguished, in which an effort was made to seize on the estates of several gentlemen of the county of Galway, in defiance of the articles of the capitulation. Cox insisted on the manifest injustice of such a violation of a solemn treaty, and-by an arbitrary order in council-he saved the Galway gentlemen from losing their estates.
Soon after this a manoeuver was made to destroy Sir Richard's credit with the King, by voting that the forfeitures in Ireland were mismanaged. The effort was a failure, and served to raise the reputation it was designed to destroy.
Cox defended himself against the formidable string of accusations-by statements so full, so well vouched, and so forcibly put forward-that the vote was lost.
In 1694 he went circuit with Chief-Justice Pyne; upon which occasion he came to Cork, where such was the number of rapparees and other lawless people put on their trial for capital offences, and found guilty, but no less than eight-and-twenty of them were condemned to be hanged or burned.*
Upon his retirement from his troublesome and unenviable commissionership in 1698, he turned again to literary pursuits; and-amongst other things-published an essay for the conversion of the Irish. He also wrote his views on a bill then before the Lords, to prohibit the exportation of Irish woollens.
Upon the death of Lord Chief-Justice Hely, of the Common Pleas, in 1701, Cox was promoted to the vacant post; and soon after to a seat in the Privy Council.
The same year his daughter Mary was married to Mr. Allen Riggs;† and the year preceding, his eldest daughter, Amy, married sir William Maunsell,‡ a Welsh baronet.
* Mr. Freke, of Rathbarry Castle-now Castle-Freke-was high-sheriff at the time. In her journal Mrs. Freke (his wife), speaking of this Assizes, says:-"He [Mr. Freke] kept his first Assizes in the city of Cork, where I was with him; and had two-and-twenty proper handsome men, in new liveries, to attend him, besides those that ran by his horses' side. The two judges were:-Lord Chief-Justice Pyne, and Sir Richard Cox." Again:-"Amongst those sentenced to death was a young Englishman (and only son), whose life I begged-it not been for murder, and his father an esteemed man in Dorsetshire.''
† After Rigg's decease, she married, in 1716, the Rev. Nicholas Skolfield, vicar of Fanlobbus and Drinagh.
‡ Sir William Maunsell agreed to settle an estate in Wales, or the yearly value of £450, on his wife. When this was done, her father was to pay Maunsell her fortune of £1,000, and to allow Lady Maunsell one hundred a-year during her life. Sir Richard was very fond of his daughter Amy, and made her several presents. He gave her a bed and bedstead, for which he paid £37; a chaise, which cost him £10, &c., &c. He was also very kind to Sir William, and paid many of his debts. Amongst the rest, he paid Lawless, the poultry-man £1 2s. 5d.; Gaskin, for coles [sic], £12 0s. 7d.; Mr. Day, for coffy [sic], £4 17s. 6d.; Mr. Baker, for sope [sic], £4 16s. 1d.; Alderman Ffrench, for a furnace, 18s. 9d.; Johnson, the attorney, £1 3s. 0d.; for two hundred of turf, at Clonaklity, £1, &c., &c.
When King William died, Sir Richard Cox was
sent for by Lord Methuen, to consult with him on Irish affairs, but more
particularly to consider what measures should be laid before the Irish
Parliament; and it was by his advice that, at this time, the first bill was
introduced for the recovery of small debts in Ireland; and it was through his
exertions the English Parliament legalized the exportation of Irish linens
direct to the colonies.
When Mr. Methuen (the Irish Lord Chancellor) was sent as ambassador to Portugal, Sir Richard Cox was appointed to his high office; and thus, by pursuing, as he says, the principles of honesty, religion, sincerity, and virtue, he attained to the highest legal honours in the power of the State to bestow, -having been, on the 6th of August, 1703, sworn in as Lord High-Chancellor of Ireland.
Four days after this he issued writs for the meeting of Parliament on the 21st of September; and, in that great senatorial assembly, the once humble Bandon orphan boy took precedence of the highest nobles of the land, and occupied the enviable position of Speaker of the House of Lords.
The same year the Lord Mayor, Recorder, Sheriff, and Aldermen of Dublin waited on him with the freedom of the city, and presented it to him in the gold box of considerable value.
In 1705 Sir Richard and Lord Cutts were appointed Lords Justices; the Duke of Ormond being the Lord Lieutenant.
In 1706 he was created a baronet by Queen Anne; and the same year he subscribed twenty-five pounds towards repairing one of the churches in Bandon-"being the town where I was born."*
In the April of 1707 the Earl of Pembroke succeeded to the Lord Lieutenancy; and the following June Cox resigned the seals† into his lordship's hands, who assured him that he would not accept them unless with the design of returning him adequate compensation.
One of the objections of the Whigs to Cox's remaining in office was-that he was opposed to the repeal of the Test Act.‡
* See his autobiography.
† New seals were sent from England to Sir Richard; the old ones then became his as a matter of right. These weighed upwards of one hundred ounces; and those of the Common Pleas, which also lapsed to him (weight, twenty-five ounces), he got made into a handsome silver bowl, with the Ormond arms on one side, and his own on the other. This, together with the gold box he received from the Dublin corporation, he desired should be preserved as heir-looms in the family.
‡ Cox was a consistent opponent of all those outside the Pale of the Church of England. On this subject, he says:-"The ministry of England having, as I suppose, a designed to repeal the test here as to Protestant dissenters, and render them capable of holding offices, which it was truly judged I would never promote." Again:-"I was a firm churchman, and stopped a bill for liberty of conscience, by saying I was content every man should have liberty of going to heaven; but I desired nobody might have liberty coming into government but those who would conform to it."
After vacating his office, he remained
some time in Dublin, ready to face any investigation which his enemies might make
into his conduct.
They did not keep him long waiting. Numerous accusations were brought against him; all of which he replied to so fully and powerfully, that his accusers retired from the contest-irritated and confused.
He again returned to the country and resumed his pen. He wrote An Address to those of the Romish Communion in England; also, An Enquiry into Religion, and the use of reason in reference to it.
In 1710, on the displacement of the Whig ministry, he came back to public life, and was made Lord Chief-Justice of the Queen's Bench; which post he filled until the death of Queen Anne, when he and the other Tory judges were obliged to retire.
In 1715 he was called before the Irish Parliament to answer several charges brought against him; but-after a full and patient hearing-he was honourably acquitted of all.*
Again he returned to Dunmanway, where he spent his time in improving his estates, in study, and in acts of charity; and he died there on the 3rd of May, 1733, in the eighty-fourth year of his age.†
* Cox concludes his autobiography with a
sentiment-the truth of which must have more than once forcibly impressed itself
on his mind:-"Experience," says this eminent statesman and lawyer, "has
convinced me that one ought not to put too great trust in men."
† Sir Richard maintained that name for hospitality for which Dunmanway was famous in former days. Amongst other proofs of which, is the following lament, which we extract from Crofton Cooker's interesting researches in the South of Ireland:-"My love and darling, though I was never in your kitchen, yet I have heard an exact count of it. The brown roast-meat continually coming from the fire; the black boilers continually boiling ; the cock of the beer barrel for ever running ; and if even a score of men came in, no person would enquire their business, but they would give them a place at your table, and let them eat what they pleased, nor would they bring a bill in the morning to them. My love and friend, I dreamed, through my morning slumbers, that your castles fell into decay, and that no person remained in it. The birds sang sweetly no longer, more where their leaves upon the bushes; always silence and decay! The dream told me that our beloved one was lost to us; that the noble horseman was gone-the renown Squire Cox!
''He was endowed with many personal
advantages,'' writes Wills, ''and many great qualifications for the professional
career in which he rose to eminence.''
Sir Richard left a large property to his descendants. Whilst a practising barrister his income was large, and was subsequently much larger. His expenditure was in a style befitting his position- but nothing more. All the rest of his income he invested in the purchase of estates.
We have already seen that, even previous to his appointment to the recordership of Kinsale, he had become a land-owner, an from that period-until his death in 1733-there is scarcely a year that he did not add considerably to his possessions.
Sir Richard had four daughters, and two sons -Richard and Michael. The latter was archbishop of Cashel in 1754. He married Anne, daughter of James, son of William, Earl of Inchiquin, and had issue. Richard-the great Sir Richard's eldest son-predeceased him, having died in 1725. He married a daughter of Dean Pomeroy, and left an only son.*
* Arthur Pomeroy, Dean of Cork (of the Pomerroys of Engeston, in Devonshire), was educated at Westminster School, and subsequently was a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He came to Ireland in 1672, as chaplain of the Earl of Essex, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Osborne , county Waterford , and had issue-besides a daughter married to Richard Cox-a son John, who was rector of St. Paul's, Cork, an archdeacon of that diocese. This John, in 1716, married Elizabeth, daughter of Edmund Donellan, of Roscommon, and by her had, with others, two sons -Arthur and John. Arthur was raised to the Peerage, as Viscount Harburton; and John became a Lieutenant-General , and a Privy Councillor of Ireland. -See. Clerical records of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross.-Dr. Brady.
Richard-second baronet-succeeded, upon the
death of his grandfather, in 1733. This gentleman was noted for a blemish,
which not only detracted considerably from his personal appearance, but rendered
him unwilling to take an active part in the various public events of his day.
It appears that, in the reign of William the Third, they lived in the wild mountainous district of Glounacreme a celebrated Tory, named Donough-na-Malan-bawn (Dennis of the white eye-brows). This daring outlaw was the terror of the adjacent country for miles around. No one was safe from his depredations. One time he would burst in the door of a farm-house, and-with horror threats-demand the farmer's money; and, at another time, he would drive away his cattle, and secrete them in lonely defiles-known only to himself.
Emboldened by repeated success, his audacity prompted him to pay a predatory visit to that great incarnation of law-the veritable Lord Chancellor himself. His usual good luck attended him. He had picked out some of Sir Richard's best cows, and was in the act of driving them off, when the alarm was given; and Sir Richard's steward -a smart, active fellow, name Shannon-calling to his aid two or three good-men, upon whom he could rely, followed in pursuit.
Finding that Sir Richard's men were on his trail, Donough abandon the cattle, and endeavoured to escape with his life. But Shannon was resolved not to rest quiet with the mere recovery of this master's property. He now saw a chance of ridding the neighbourhood of this audacious scoundrel, and he determined on doing so if he could.
Failing in this his attempt to reach his old quarters, Denis made straight for Inchigeelagh, with Shannon and his party at his heels; and arriving on the edge of one of the lakes, he dashed-in, and tried to baffle his pursuers by line amongst the rushes.
But there were those now on his track who were not to be baffled by ordinary obstacles. Paddling through the water and mud in search of him, he was at length found; and they returned with their prisoner in triumph to the manor-house.
Many were anxious to see the notorious bandit, and crowds hurried to the impromptu tribunal before which he was arraigned. Amongst those who made their way there-anxious to set eyes on this notorious marauder-was the wife of Sir Richard's eldest son. This lady was far advanced in pregnancy at the time; so much was she affected by the site of the ill-looking ruffian, but she fainted on the spot.
In some time after she gave birth to a son-the second baronet; and it was found the child's eye-brows bore a strong resemblance to those of Donough-na-Malan-bawn.
Sir Richard was collector of the Port of Cork, and member of Parliament for the borough of Clonakilty. In 1702 he was born; and in 1725 he married Catherine, youngest sister of George Evans (first Lord Carbery). He died in 1766.
He was succeeded by the Rev. Sir Michael Cox, his second son. In 1772 he died, and was succeeded by Sir Richard Eyre Cox, his only surviving son. He married Maria, daughter of John O'Brien, Esq., and niece of the Marquis of Thomond; by whom he had only daughter-Maria. Sir Richard was drowned-by the upsetting of a boat-in a little lake adjoining the town of Dunmanway, on the 6th of September, 1784.
It seems that the young baronet, like many a younger young man of large fortune, had more time on his hands he well knew what to do with. He was tired of hunting, of shooting, of cards; in fact, of all the ordinary resources of a country gentleman's life. At last the piece of intelligence reached him, which promised a new pastime. He was told that one of those indefatigable missionaries-sent out into the world by John Wesley-was about visiting Dunmanway for the first time.
To lay hands on the unfortunate man, drag him to the adjoining lake, and there half-down him, would afford rare sport, and helped him ingratiate him with the mob at the same time. Accordingly he commenced his preparations; and the day before the preacher was expected he got his boat into the lake, and took an oar himself. Whilst pulling away vigorously, the oar suddenly snapped, and he fell back with great force. Owing to the awkwardness of those that were with him, in their efforts to pull him up, combined with his own unskillfulness, the boat heeled over. His companion struggled for the banks as fast as they could, but made no attempt to save him.*
Cox was lying in the bottom of the boat when it upset; and it is thought that, in turning over, he must, in falling out, have received a blow from it which stunned him, or was forced by its weight into the mud,-the water not been more than three or four feet deep where the accident occurred. When the body was recovered, life was extinct.
* In Stewart and Revington's life of the Rev. Adam Averell, it is stated that there were many persons present who could swim, but, being awed by dark cloud which at that time overspread the lake, no effort was made to save him.
The Wesleyans, of course, saw in the untimely
fate of the young baronet a single mark of the displeasure of Providence.
If Cox had not taken out his boat, and made arrangements to half-drown one of
their preachers, he would not be drowned himself.
"Twas because he had laid his horsewhip across the shoulders of the priest, said the Roman Catholics.
No! said the Established Church people, "twas because the oar which he used was made on a Sunday, and from a limb cut off one of the venerable elms in the churchyard.
"The poet who wrote his epitaph, however, entirely disagrees with the views of the three important bodies of religionists just mentioned. ''De Mortuis nil nisi bonum.'' was his motto, as appears by the following description:-
"Beneath this stone, in death's cold arms is laid,
In youth's fair bloom untimely snatched away;
Whose upright soul, approaching heaven surveyed,
And would not risk it to a longer stay.
"Pure where the feelings of his generous mind;
His liberal soul of bounty knew no end;
In him the helpless long were taught to find
A husband, son, a father, and a friend."
Upon the death of this Sir Richard, the
title devolved upon Sir Richard (grand nephew of the second baronet), he being
the grandson of Colonel Michael Cox, by Anna Maria, only daughter of Daniel Shea,
of the West Indies. He was lost on his way home from Bengal, the ship
having foundered, and all the hands perishing. He was succeeded by his
brother, Sir John, the sixth baronet. Sir John was born in 1771, and died
December 23rd, 1832.
Sir George Matthias Cox, Major-General in the Bombay army, succeeded upon Sir John's decease. He died on the 28th of June, 1838, and the title passed to Sir Richard, of Castletown, county Kilkenny. He was son of Michael Cox, of Castletown, by Mary, daughter of Henry, first Lord Dunalley. He died in 1846, and was succeeded by his uncle, Sir Francis Cox. Born 1769' married in 1803, Anna Maria, second daughter of Sir John Ferns. He had no male issues. Upon his death, in 1856, his nephew, Sir Hawtrey, the tenth and present baronet, succeeded.
Fleetwood,-who became Cromwell's son-in-law, having married the widow of Ireton,
who had died of the plaque at the siege of Limerick,- was appointed
Commander-in-Chief of the army in Ireland. He was also entrusted with the
civil government; but cojointly with four commissioners of the Parliament
namely:- Edmund Ludlow, Miles Corbet, John Jones, and John Weaver.
Amongst the very earliest proceedings of those associated with Fleetwood was that of erecting a high-court of justice, for the purpose of trying those who had performed the first great act in the drama with blood-stained hands.
Commissioners for this purpose were soon sent to several places. Mr. Justice Cook went down to Kilkenny, and opened his court within a building-the walls of which often rang with the declamations of the Irish confederacy.
Lord Chief-Justice Lowther sat in Dublin, and condemned to death Sir Philip O'Neil,- a monster, who, as he himself admitted, was an accomplice in the murder of no less than five thousand of his Protestant fellow-subjects.
Commissioners were also opened in Waterford, Cork, &c.; and one was held in our town. The commissioners who sat here were:-John Clerke, John Wheeler, and Peter Wallis. No small portion of the evidence taken before them had reference to the case of Mr. John Burowes, of Balliniscarthy.
Mr. Burrowes held some lands under Dermod-McDaniel Carthy,* alias Mac-ni-Crimen, of Ballinorohur Castle; and upon those he was residing when the rebellion broke out.
It appears he was an extensive sheep farmer, and also possessed cows and horses. But these did not remain long in his possession. Mr. Edmund Hodnett, a gentleman of wealth and station, and who lived on his estate at Courtmasherry, seized on no less than eleven hundred sheep belonging to him and his neighbour, Henry Sampson.
After this, Burrowes foresaw what he had to expect. Having taken his property, he thought the next thing they'd take would be his life. Urged by the instinct of self-preservation-an instinct which rises above all others in the human breast-he applied to his landlord, who lived not a mile distant, to shelter him and his family from the fury of the storm, before whose overwhelming might many a hope fell prostrate for ever; whose track was marked by roofless homesteads; and whose very roar-surly and terrifying as it was-was almost stifled by the moaning of men, and the wail of women.
Mac-ni-Crimen did shelter them for a time; but growing tired of his charge, or wishing to be rid of their pitiful faces, he brought them to the Irish encampment at Killavarrig Hill; where poor Burrowes, together with his wife and two sons, were taken to the rear of the rebel lines and hanged, by order of Mac-ni-Crimen, their protector.
* He was one of the Mac Carthys-Mac-ni-Crimen-a sept of the McCarthy Reaghs of Kilbrittain. Dermod was married to a daughter of Randal Oge Hurly, by his wide, Catherine Collins. Hurly lived at Ballinacorriga Castle, a few miles to the south of Dunmanway. Tradition states theat Faenah Crimen, and ancestor of Demod-McDaniel, issued leather money from his mint, at Balliniscarthy. Mounteen Castle was built by one of the McCarthy Crimens, in 1446. Upwards of twenty-eight feet of this castle was taken down to build a house (long since in ruins) for the Rev. Mr. Stawell. A gold ring was found near Mounteen some years ago. It is thus inscribed:-''I live if I [marry you, understood] if noe I dye.''
The whole country was indignant at this gross
outrage on the laws of hospitality, and ''a general rumour prevailed that
Burrowes was basely hanged by Mac-ni-Crimen.'' The feeling against him was
so general and so strong, that he was afraid even to stay within his own castle
walls. He fled to the neighbourhood of Dunmanway; and lived for some time
at Kildee, within sight of his brother-in-law's castle, hoping by this means to
escape the vengeance of those who professed the same religion, and belonged to
the same race, as the murdered Burrowes.
Being asked why he left Balllinorough, he replied that he was timorous to live in his castle, for fear of the garrison at Bandon-Bridge.
The property Mr. Burrowes left behind him soon found its way into strange hands. Dermod Mac Ffinen Reagh got his nag; but the lion's share Mac-ni-Crimen reserved for himself. He admitted that he had three of his trunks, and that they contained gowns of serge, linen, and other apparel; also that he had brass pots of his, pewter dishes, a flock-bed, a feather-bed, a ring, and some household stuff, which Mac-ni-Crimen thought it unnecessary to particularize.
In reply to a question about their money, he averred that he had not seen any of it, except one twenty shillings, which he borrowed from Mr. Burrowes. That, although the Burroweses were taken to Killavarrig, it was not he took them there. That it was some of the soldiers belonging to his son (Captain Mac-ni-Crimen's) company who carried the before McCarthy Reagh. In addition, he intimated very plainly that they deserved their fate. The reason why Burrowes was put to death, said he, was because he gave one Tom Stephens, a shoemaker, five pounds to go to Bandon and inform the Bandonians of the weakness of the castle; and that-two days before the death of Burrowes-one Richard Willoughby accused him of it. Moreover, that Burrowes did admit to him (Mac-ni-Crimen) that he sent Stephens to Bandon, but that he gave him no money, or sent him to give any intelligence to the townspeople; and that the wife of Burrowes confessed as much, and no more.
A Newcestown man, named Harrisson, a private in Captain Woodhouse's company (Bandon Militia) stated that ''he lived in Bandon-being a soldier in Captain Woodhouse's company; and, whilst there, he met Stephens, who told him that Mac-ni-Crimen told Burrowes that he was overpowered by a stronger party, and he must be hanged. Whereupon Burrowes said:-''This is not the promise you made me, or else I might have gone away with the rest of my friends.'' Mac-ni-Crimen said he could not help it.''
A statement of McCarthy Reagh's-at that time an outlaw, and on the run for his life-was handed to the commissioners. If this statement was true, Mac-ni-Crimen was as innocent of the death of poor Burrowes and his family as those who were not born at the time.
It was McCarthy Reagh's soldiers took the prisoners out of Ballinorohur Castle, and brought them before him. That they (the Burrowes) confessed their treachery to him. That he referred their confession to his commanders, who caused them to suffer. That Mac-ni-Crimen was not even at home when Burrowes was taken away; neither was he present, or even privy to their censure or suffering, to his knowledge.
According to this testimony, it was McCarthy Reagh's commanders caused the Burrowes to be put to death; but according to the evidence of Mac-ni-Crimen's wife, it was McCarthy Reagh, who not only signed the order for their execution, but wrote it.
McCatthy subsequently explained this. He admitted he did write an order for their execution, but it was after they were dead; the order being given upon the importunity of Mac-ni-Crimen's wife, who began to grow apprehensive least a day of reckoning should come.
McCarthy, as he acknowledged, was presented at Killavarrig on the day of the murder, and so was Mac-ni-Crimen.
An eye-witness, who was there relates ''that he well remembers when the latter came up and asked McCarthy what he should do with the Burrowses; whereupon McCarthy, who had just heard of his own castle at Kilbrittain being taken, fiercely replied:-'' Go you and them to the devil, and afterwards where you will!''
The upshot of the matter was that the commissioners believed Mac-ni-Crimen to be the murderer, and they hanged him accordingly.
Although high-courts of justice-Cromwell's slaughter-houses the Irish called them-were, as we have said before, held in several places in Ireland, for trying those accused of having taken part in the fearful slaughter at the commencement of the great outbreak; yet such was the number of those who had been cut off during the previous ten years, or had perished by pestilence, or had fled from the country, that not more than two hundred were left to perish by the hands of the executioner.
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