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ceeded that it has generally taken two, to Government, there is no great danger three, or four years before it has been en- that any party feeling would prevent him tirely suppressed ?-In Clare, the whole from doing his duty. disturbance was suppressed in a few “ You originally said that in Ireland months, to the astonishment of every there was a tendency among the common body. Last year, if it had not been for people to create disturbance, unless they the activity of the police magistrate in were checked ?--I think the great fault Limerick, Mr Vokes, I question whether in Ireland is, that the people are not in. that county would not have been as bad clined to appeal to the laws as they do in as ever Clare was.
this country; the great object is to make “ Would not similar results follow to Irishmen attached to the law, and that those which you have described in other can only be done by perseveringly prosecounties, notwithstanding there might be cuting every case, no matter of what deevery disposition on the part of the ma. scription. gistrates to do their duty ?-Certainly; “ You would have a stipendiary maI think had there been a local magistrate gistrate in every county ?-Yes; and he in the Queen's County, whose duty it should take out of the hands of the parties was to watch the incipient outrage, that themselves the administration of the law. he might have checked it, and in the If a homicide occurs at a fair, instead of other counties also which have been dis- the people coming forward to prosecute, turbed. I would therefore have a police they wait till the next fair, and then commagistrate, as well in the peaceable as in mit, in retaliation, a murder on the other the disturbed counties, who should be re- side. I would take the prosecution out sponsible; and on the first outrage oc- of their hands ; I would not wait till they curring, let the whole force of the govern- gave the information; it should be the ment and the law officers, investigate the duty of the magistrate to force forward case till they came to the root of it." the prosecution, and punish the persons
Every one practically acquainted who had committed the first homicide.” with Ireland, knows how much the. The same change is strongly readministration of justice is disfigured commended by Colonel John Roch, or prevented by the party spirit fort, an active and intelligent magiswhich prevails on both sides. Mr trate in Queen's County :Barrington justly considers the operation of permanent judges, free from
“ How do you account for the lower such local influence, as one great ad
orders of the people being able to establish vantage to be derived from the pro
such a formidable association, and commit posed permanent magistrates.
such outrages for so long a period, with
out it being checked in the first instance ? “ You have given as one of your rea- -It was the want of a sufficiently numesons for the appointment of a permanent rous police in the country. I think there stipendiary magistracy, that the resident are some legal arrangements wanting that magistrates in Ireland were generally un. may check the commencement of these der the influence of party spirit ?-I did outrages. not say so; I said we could not get a “ Do you think that the quickness local agent except from one party or the with which the parties commence a sysother.
tem of outrage and establish intimidation, “ That is not the case with respect to leads to the making it so formidable at the magistrates at all ?—Party is much once, as to counteract the open efforts more in some parts of Ireland than in the magistrates are able to make ?-I others.
think in the present state of Ireland “Do you consider a stipendiary ma. there is a general intimidation over the gistracy would be so regulated as to be country; the moment a Rockite notice is free from the influence of all party consi. served, or a demand for arms made, intiderations ?-I do; I judge of it from the midation commences, though it has been mode in which I see some police magis- in a perfect state of quiet before. trates act.
“ Do you conceive that the ordinary “ Would you propose to give to the powers of magistrates, with the best disstipendiary magistrate the civil jurisdic position to suppress any thing of this kind tion of all ordinary magistrates, or confine in the first instance, are sufficient for that his jurisdiction to criminal matters ?-I purpose, or can be applied in the instanwould give him the full power of all ordi- taneous manner necessary to stop the pronary magistrates, and the commission for gress of it?-No, I think not; I think every county adjacent to the one in which there is something wanting to enable us he is residing; this man being responsible to check the commencement of the out.
eat danger Terent him
rages, for they commence by small be- by the court, and consider their lives ginnings; a single man quarrelling with or properties endangered if they rehis own family about the division of some turn to their houses.
These are property, is enough to set it agoing; he strong measures; but strong meagets in some people from the neighbour. sures alone will be attended with ing county, they serve a Rockite notice any effect in a country so distracted and commit some outrages, and intimi as Ireland. It is in vain to apply to dation follows, nobody knowing where a people on the borders of the savage the blow will fall next.
state, the institutions or franchises “ Then with the view of preventing of a highly civilized society, or which the recurrence of this system of association in the Queen's County, are you of turies of tranquillity and peace. The
work well under a training of cenopinion that some amendment is wanted with regard to the power possessed by system of intimidation which checks magistrates generally, with respect to the any attempt even at justice, is thus means of administering the law? I think described by Colonel Rochfort: the first commission of crime might be prevented by a more ready administration well-disposed farmers are perfectly cog
“ Is it not the fact, that the class of of the law; by the Crown solicitor having nizant of the nightly proceedings of the a clerk or a partner residing in each county disaffected persons in the part of Ireland town, who should have an office open ready to receive all applications and in
where you live, and are afraid to give any
: But they could do it if they pleased ? and do every thing in his department they could give would lead to a convic
- Yes; I am not sure that the evidence in the office; and I think that the quartersessions should be, in the case of any dis
tion before a jury, but it would be suffi
cient to direct our searches.
" But the system of terror is now such, week or a fortnight, according to the
that they would be afraid to come forexigency of the case, so that prompt ward and tell what they saw ?— Yes, cerjustice might be administered.
tainly; and that is very reasonable, as “ Your object would be, in having this
their property, and their own lives, and deputy-solicitor of the Crown, to watch
that of their families, are in the power of the early proceedings, and assist the ma
any ruffian. gistrates in taking steps to put a stop to
“ Then a man worth L. 100 or L. 200 it ?-_Yes, and to assist individuals who
a-year, is it not natural he would conceal are attacked, and cannot afford to go to
any offences he saw, rather than come a solicitor themselves."
forward as a prosecutor ?--Certainly." But it is not sufficient that the re It is needless to comment on this commendations contained in these state of things; till it is removed, depositions, and embodied in the Re. there is an end of order or protecport of the Committee, are adopted tion to life in Ireland. by Government; it is also indispen It is evident that great part of the sable that some provision be made licentiousness of Ireland has arisen for the protection of witnesses who from the administration of justice by speak against the Whiteboys, and of the country gentlemen; in other the jurymen who are summoned to words, by one of the parties in the their trials. As matters now stand, state over the other. All the witthey are so completely intimidated, nesses examined before the Comthat conviction too often is impos- mittee concur in stating that there is sible. The only way to meet this a thorough distrust of law in every dreadful evil, is to authorize Govern- part of the country, and a settled bement, upon a report from the Judges lief that the courts are nothing but on the Circuit, that juries will not the engine by which the ruling party convict from intimidation, to suspend wreak their
the lower o establish id commit iod, with tinstance ? ntly numehink there anting that it of these
quickness ence a sys imidation, midable at sen efforts make:-) of Ireland n over the e notice is iade, intihas been
vengeance on their adthat mode of trial altogether, and versaries. The length to which this convict the criminals as in courts- party spirit is carried, is such, that martial, by the Judges alone. Provi in the opinion of the most competent sion at the same time must be made judges, it in a great measure disquafor the emigration, at the public ex- lifies the better class of the people pense, of all witnesses, with their fa- from taking an active part with any milies, who are deemed worthy of it good effect, in the suppression of
ordinary : best disthis kind it for that je instanp the pro
I think enable us the out.
disorders. Sir Hussey Vivian's opi. “ Can you state the feeling with which nion is decisive on this point :- they are regarded by the people ?-With “Do you think there is any class of so
a very great degree of animosity in most
parts of the country. ciety, farmers for instance, so exempt from
“ Does that animosity extend to the the spirit of party, in the agitated coun
regular troops ?-No; on the contrary. ties, that it would be safe to put arms in
“To what do you attribute that ?- We their hands ?-_Undoubtedly not. I think there is that party spirit, that if you put
act in support of the civil authority; they
are the civil authority; theirs is a sort of arms into the hands of one party, you in
system of espionage, and they have many cur the animosity of the other; and we
duties to perform which occasion their know of the arming of the yeomanry in
being disliked by the people. the north, and there is no doubt that that
“Can you suggest any improvement in has led to organization, and to a certain extent arming, of the Ribbonmen; there
the constabulary establishment in Ire
land ? I think that is not within my pro. is, I conceive, in consequence, more dan
vinee; the police force seems to me a ger of collision in the north than in any
very good one; they generally conduct part of Ireland. I have no doubt that the yeomanry could put them down if they
themselves admirably well. came to blows; but still there is more
“Do you consider that the hostility of danger to be apprehended from the very
the people to the police is any impeach
ment upon the police ?-Certainly not. circumstance of both parties being to a
“ You would say, perhaps, the meagreater extent better armed than in any
sure of hostility was the measure of their other part of Ireland. “ That is, where the arms are put into
utility ? - Certainly, in a great degree.” the hands of those of a particular creed?
In the testimony of these compe- That may have produced the effect I have stated.
tent judges, we have a clear plan “ The question was this-Supposing a
pointed out for the pacification of case where the only distinction of indivi.
the ordinary disturbances of Ireland duals was the interest which was pos
-a vigorous and efficient clerk of sessed in the district, measured by the
the Crown, or public prosecutor in amount of property possessed ?-In order each county, with a proper establishto do that, you must re-organize the minds ment of efficient clerks, to investiof the people of Ireland.
gate cases, and take evidence at all • Supposing, in the Queen's County, times--a local magistrate of characthe most respectable class of farmers were ter and talent, selected from the armed, do you think they are so exempt higher grades of the bar, to try transfrom the spirit of disturbance in the county portable cases at all times, and suas to afford a sufficient guarantee that they perintend the preparation of the cawould use their arms in support of the pital ones for the Circuit Judges-an constituted authorities ?-I should doubt extension of the police, who now disvery much whether, in case of a disturb. charge their duiy with such praiseance, they would not use them against
worthy fidelity and forbearance, and each other. I know there is a violent
their establishment in such force as party spirit that must be overcome to pre
to make resistance impossible. Such vent their so doing, and this pervades all
is the system recommended by the Ireland.”
practical men in Ireland, after cenThe same intelligent officer, whose turies of suffering and disquietude, command and opportunities of ob- under institutions framed on the Engservation extend over all Ireland, has lish model; and it is precisely the given equally decisive evidence as to same as was established three ceuthe superior efficacy and impartiality turies ago by the wisdom of the Scotof the police, in the discharge of their tish legislature, and to which the arduous duties.
long tranquillity and orderly habits " What is your opinion of the conduct of that country are mainly to be of the police - My opinion of the con
ascribed. duct of the police, formed after the en. But great as would be these imquiries I have made, is, that it has been provements upon the criminal pracgenerally excessively good; and I believe tice of Ireland, and absolutely indisthe police has been most efficient, for no- pensable as they are to any thing like thing can be better than the manner in a tranquillization of that distracted which they have conducted themselves country, it is evident that something where the troops have had to do with more is necessary to put down the them.
organized insurrection which now
prevails in so many of its provinces ders of proctors and gaugers, preventing -wbich has so much increased since exportation of provisions, digging up land, the labours of the Committee were destroying fences, hougbing cattle, resistclosed, and now threatens to sever ing the payment of tithes, and other outthe connexion between the two coun- rages similar to those which have occurtries.
red in Clare last year, and which are now In investigating the evidence on
the subject of investigation in the Queen's this important subject, there are four County. conclusions, to which every impar. give much more information to the Com
“ A few of these cases will, I think, tial mind must arrive, and which are amply supported by the testimony
mittee than any general observations or of witnesses, on both sides of poll- opinions. I have traced the origin of al. tics, above all suspicion.
most every case I prosecuted, and I find 1. That the ordinary disturbances,
that they generally arise from the attachprior to the agitation on the Catholic change in the possession of land; hatred
ment to, the dispossession of, or the Question, arose from merely local or
of tilhe proctors prior to the Composiagrarian causes, and had no connex.
tion Act, and from the passing of that ion with political discontent, or the act, until the last year, we had not in government of Great Britain.
Munster a single outrage relating to tithe; 2. That during the Catholic Ques- previous to the Composition Act we had tion, this discontent was seized hold several murders of proctors. Then the of by the Agitators, and turned to po- compelling the reduction of prices of prolitical purposes.
visions, the want of employment, and in 3. That the machinery erected for Clare the want of potato ground; the inagitation or emancipation, is now ap- troduction of strangers as workmen. One plied to the ulterior objects of Ca- of the outrages at Clare, for which fourtholic ambition, Extinction of Tithes, teen men were convicted, was that of a the Repeal of the Union, and the Re- Kerry man going to get work in Clare ; sumption of the Estates of the Pro his house was attacked and prostrated. testants; and that the country is I have never known a single case of di. thereby in a continual state of out rect hostility to the government as a gorage and intimidation, utterly de- vernment, although hostility to the law structive to all the purposes of good leads to hostility to the goverument; but government.
as to direct opposition to the government, 4. That the supine indifference, or
I never knew an instance of that being the tacit encouragement of Ministers to
object." this agitation, is the circumstance
Of the mode in which these outwhich has brought it to its present rages were committed,and the height alarming height.
to which they have risen, the folMr Barrington, the crown-solicitor lowing account is given by the same for Munster, declares
witness : “The Whiteboy system has, for the “ Can you state wbat means are taken last sixty years, continued under different by these gangs to propagate these sysnames; as, Peep-o'day-boys, Thrashers, tems, as you bave given the Committee Whiteboys, Righters, Carders, Shanavats, to understand that there is a willingness Caravats, Rockites, Black-hens, Riskaval on the part of the peasantry to commit las, Ribbonmen, the Lady Clares, the Terry crime? --I do not wish the Committee to Alts; these latter were the names they understand any such thing. I believe the assumed last year in Clare. Now we have greater number join through terror and the Whitefeet and Blackfeet. The out- necessity, from the kind of houses they rages have been of the same kind for the inhabit, and the retired situation in which last sixty years; the only variation is, that they are placed. The parties to the mur. the horrid torture called carding has der of Mr Blood went to the houses of not been used at all latterly; a few years many poor farmers to compel them to go back that system (which was a dreadful with them. Some of these farmers told mode of torturing a person whom they me that they were deligbted to hear of they wished to punish) was in frequent their execution; they said so secretly, practice.
knowing I would not disclose it; they “ Associations have been formed for frequently made them join when they regulating the prices of land, attacking went out at night. Captain Rock (the houses, administering oaths, delivering man Dillane, who I have alluded to) told threatening notices, taking arms, taking me that he has been obliged to threaten horses at night and returning them again to fire at bis own men to make them at. in the morning, taking away girls, mur. tack a house.
and sathe ca
zes-a low dispraise ace, and
2. Such by the
Pe cene Scotch the habits
" What are the means by which they in tranquillizing the country you exexercise these systems of intimidation pected 2-I think, that the agitation over the lower orders?-By going to their raised to carry the Catholic Relief houses at night, and swearing them to Bill, has been transferred to other join, and be ready whenever they may be objects.” called on to take arms or to attack houses. If they refuse, or their wives and fami
i “ You remember some publications in lies should in any way prevent them, they
n they the shape of pastorals that emanated from were formerly carded, but latterly wound high authority ?-Yes, certainly.
“Is it your opinion that they preceded ed or flogged, or some other punishment inflicted on them.
the resistance to tithe, or produced the 16 Is punishment nearly certain to fol. resistance to tithe? I think they had a low the non-execution of what is ordered considerable cffect in organizing the reto be done ?-Most certainly; and the
sistance to tithe ; but whether they took consequence is, the whole peasantry of a
santru of a
the opportunity of the general feeling county, not having any means of resist
of which they found prevailing, or led it, is ance, are obliged to join. When this sys.
more than I can say. tem commences, the whole county is soon
" At any rate, the publications were in a fame, if it is not discovered and in
anterior in their date to the present disstantly checked.
turbances, and the associations guiding “ In the first instance, the gang obtains
those disturbances ?—They were anterior the support of a great number of indivi, to the general meeting. duals?-Yes.
Sir Hussey Vivian, whose means “ Does this intimidation operate fur- of information are perhaps more ex. ther, so as to check the administration tensive than those of any other inof the law ?- It does; they are threaten dividual in Ireland, on account of his ed if they attempt to prosecute or give military command, confirms this any information, and they swear them not testimony. to do so. In 1821, the county of Cork and the bounds of Kerry were in a most
" From the information you have redreadful state, the King's troops were at
ceived, do you conceive that the organitacked, and the people took possession of
Zation against tithes is a resistance that a town; there was a regular battle be
has sprung up among the peasantry, acttween the people and the light infantry
ing upon the result of their own feelings and yeomanry of the county, at Deshure.
on the injustice of it, or a resistance that The gentlemen took the rifle brigade be
i is promoted by Agitators ?-It is hardly hind them on horseback, and pursued the poss
possible to say: I think it was in the insurgents. A special commission was first instance a question that arose out of sent down, which quieted those counties
the writings and principles set forth by at once."
Agitators ; but it has got such a hold Such was the origin of the system
among the people of Ireland, I do not see
the way out of it; like other great quesI outrage and intimidation in Ire- tions, it has been taken up too late. Since land, and the means by which it rose I have been in Ireland, I have been all to the formidable height which it has over the country; I have been in almost assumed of late years. But still, till every military station ; and I took a great taken advantage of by the political deal of pains to endeavour to ascertain Agitators, it never assumed a general the feelings of the people of Ireland, and aspect, or acquired, except in 1798, a to see what it is that excites them, and political character. But it was of this whether they have any grievances to cominflammable and reckless state of the plain of. I have been in 500 different public mind, in the lower classes, cottages, and I bave seen and heard a that the Whigs and Agitators took ads great deal of the cottagers and farmers, vantage to organize agitation, on the and ascertained their opinions. One day subject of Catholic Emancipation,
when out hunting, I said to a farmer, I and which is now applied with so wish I had a large landed estate here, I much efficacy, to effect the suppres
would soon settle this question of the sion of Tithes and the Repeal of the
tithes, as far as my property was conUnion.
cerned.' He said, "How would you do Col. Rochfort declares that he
it?' I said, “ You should never hear the was a firm friend to Catholic Eman- the way is a greater grievance with the
words tithes or church-cess,' (which, by cipation. He was asked, “ what do people than the tithes). you conceive to be the reason that there is my land, will you give me L. 150
I would say, that measure has not had the effect a-year for that farm, and I will settle all