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the claims of the church ?' He said, • Do person shall be turned out of his land ?you suppose that that would settle it; do Yes, that is decided at a meeting of the you suppose that if I paid you 358. an acre, committee previously concerted some that I should not know that 5s. an acre days." went to a parson professing a religion that I do not profess : do you think I should
And it is not the less material to not know, that if you did not pay the observe, that these outrages comparson, I should have it for 30s. instead menced at a period, when there were of 35s. an
an unusually small number of real Of the length to which this com
grounds of complaint among the bination against tithes has gone, it people, and in counties where there is unnecessary to multiply many
was a very great number of resident proofs. That which M. Dupard says nistered with unusual lenity; when
gentlemen, and the laws were admiof Queen's County, may serve as a specimen for the whole country.
rents were low, wages high, and the
people comfortable; decisive evi“ Have any tithes been recently paid dence, that it was not the redress of in the Queen's County ?-No.
real evils, so much as the arts of Agi. “ Are they likely to be paid ?--Never ; tators, and the democratic spirit ex. they will never pay tithe “ Do you think that the resistance to
cited by the French Revolution and
the Reform Bill, which has thrown tithes extends to Protestants as well as Catholics ?- The lower classes of Protes
the country into its present distracted tants have been intimidated from paying
state. Col. Rochfort put this in the tithe; they have been served with notices
clearest point of view. not to pay.
“ Have the goodness to describe short. “ Which do you think will ultimately ly to the Committee in what state that prevail, the system of intimidation, or the county is with respect to disturbance ? terrors of the special commission ?-I It has been in an exceedingly disturbed think they have no respect for the laws at state ; all kinds of outrages, what we call all.
insurrectionary or Whiteboy outrages, go. “ Does this association for mischief ing on ; serving notices to give up land, and prevail throughout the country ?-Yes. that upon the penalty of having their houses
“ There have been murders and rob. burned, or their own persons being murberies committed under it ?- Yes.
dered. “ So that the county is in the posses- “ Is it general through the county ? sion of that particular association ?-Yes, Yes, I think it is; some parts are more nearly so.
affected by it than others. “What do you conceive to be the object “ At what time did they first establish of this association from your acquaintance, themselves ?-) was abroad the whole of which is considerable, with what is going 1828 and 1829, and great part of 1830, on; what do you conceive to be the ob. but I understood it began in 1829; it ject of the association ?- It is a complete was then checked, and began again more resistance to the existing laws; some extensively in 1831. of them say, they will have all the lands “ To what do you attribute it ?-Rein the country in their hands again; motely, I should say, to the general feel. some of the Whitefeet and Blackfeet saying of hostility between the ancient Irish that.
and English, wbich has been transferred Why do they seek to get arms in the to the two religions, and that excited by way they do ?—I heard for some time it various causes ; the agitation for emanci. was for the purpose of opposing the levy- pation and tithes, and the various things ing the tithes.
of that kind, and the revolutions of Paris “ Have they any system of manage- and Belgium. ment, any committees ?— Yes, they have, “ Then you mean there is a kind of amongst themselves; they meet in public. indigenous spirit and feeling on the part houses.
of the people, originally hostile, and con“Do they investigate the cases and tinuing as such, to the law ?-Yes, and to decide what house they will attack, or
& great extent. what individual they will ill-treat ?— Yes, “ The Queen's County, till the period they decide it some days previously to the you refer to, was generally very quiet ? attack.
Yes, it was very quiet ; and a great num“When there is an attack made upon a ber of respectable gentry residing in it. man to give up his land, is it the result of an I think one part of the object of the Agiinvestigation of the case, and the decision tators was to overturn as much as possible of the committee, and an order that the the influence of the country gentry.
" Is not the county conspicuous for the " And that therefore the present chasın number of resident gentry ?-Yes. that separates the two extremes of socie
“ And the good understanding that ex. ty, the gentry from the peasantry, has isted between them and the people ? produced this result; that their authority Yes.
as magistrates is entirely dependent upon “ And free from complaints of the causes that have nothing to do with any conduct of the magistrates ?-Yes; quite grievance connected with the conduct of free from that, and very little cause of the gentry?-Certainly. complaint of any other kind.
“ Do you think that the feeling against “ And the duty of the magistrates very tithe just now is greater in the abstract fairly and honourably performed ?-Yes ; than it has been upon former occasions ? I do not think they could have been better - Yes, I think it is. performed in any part of the world.
“ Would you ascribe it to a growing “ Then with regard to the rent, what conviction of the odiousness of tbis im. has been the conduct of the gentry to post, or to the result of agitation ?- T. wards their tenants?-I think the rents agitation, and better organization." charged by the head landlords are in general moderate ; and I think the gentry
The prejudicial effect of the agihave in very few cases acted against their pation, with the bitter disappoint
tation set on foot to carry Emancitenants, and in none where there were not great arrears; and where they have
ment which has followed the passing done so, in all the cases that have come
of the measure, is admitted by its to my knowledge they have remunerated
warmest advocates. Listen to Mr the tenants, and given them the means
Dillon, the secretary to the Catholic to quit the land or transport themselves,
Association in Queen's County, on and left them nothing to complain of rea
the subject sonably.
" You have stated that the people “ There were no grounds of complaint
were disappointed by the results of the then in the county, of the conduct of the
Emancipation ; state what was included gentry in removing tenants ?-No rea
in their notion of what was likely to resonable grounds, in my opinion; where
sult from it.—They expected the aboliany were removed, consideration was had
tion of tithes; it was not held out to for them.
them; I do not think it was held out to “ Against what class are their efforts
them during the struggle for emancipadirected ?-Against all the lower farmers
tion, but I am sure they expected it, and who have arms; a portion of the White
a reduction of rents, and a revision of the feet might have gone for arms, but a great grand jury laws, and different other admany committed robberies and burglaries,
vantages; I would be inclined to say that which all fall upon the poor.
the peasantry themselves bad rather a “ In other cases, the attacks were upon
vague notion of the benefits to result farmers bolding a few acres of ground ?
from it ; that some benefits would result Yes; and frequently in the same family, they conceived, but their notions were when there were disputes in the family, ill defined. mostly about a small quantity of ground.
“ A general indefinite good ?-Yes. “ Was there any committee managing
“Do you not think in that they inclu. and directing those proceedings?_I know ded a repeal of the Union ?-No, I do nothing of my own knowledge; but it is
not think that they thought of it at that impossible such a system could go on
time. without it.
“ That is a subsequent thing ?-Yes, “ Do you think that the peasantry with the peasantry of the country certainwould have entered into this conspiracy ly; not with others. themselves unless acted upon by external
“ Do you not think that the disapcauses ?-No.
pointment of the peasantry at the settle• You have stated that at no other time
ment of the question of Emancipation has has improvement made greater progress ? produced a feeling of exasperation on -Yes.
their minds which has determined them “Do you not think that is a very omi. in agitating for themselves ?-I think it nous feature in the character of the
is because they found no immediate benepresent disturbance, as it removes it
fits to follow. from any feeling of distress ?-Yes, cer
" And because they find no immeditainly.
ate benefits resulting from it, they are “And when every exertion has been
now resolved to agitate for themselves ? made by the magistrates and gentry to Yes." make themselves as serviceable to the population as they can ?-Yes, I think This is exactly what we always they have.
maintained would take place, and
what historical information would question in exciting the people to oppolead every one to expect. Where sition ?-I believe a very strong part any coucession is made to popular
but the tithe question did not come into agitation, disappointment is sure to my part of the county; it was in the ensue when the object is gained, and county of Carlow and the county of Kilthis only makes the people more
kenny, where it seems to have been put discontented, and augments the ge
an end to. neral exasperation which prevails.
“ But the Roman Catholic clergy did The machinery erected for one ob
take a very active part in exciting oppoject, is applied with more angry in
sition to tithe ?- Very active indeed. clinations to another; and thus one
“Do you not think that that strengthconcession to democratic violence
ened the general feeling of insubordination leads to another, till the whole insti
through the country ?-Of course.
“ Are not the priests a little alarmed tutions of society are at length melt
at the loss of influence they are beginning ed down in the revolutionary cruci
to feel ?-I am sure they are. ble.
“ And they are beginning to feel a litOf the ultimate objects to which
tle uneasy lest the people should get the Association, now so general out of their hands altogether ?- Probably throughout Ireland, is directed, we have the following account from “ Is that the motive that influences Hovenden Stapleton, Esq, a barris- the priests ?-I cannot say that. ter, and magistrate of Queen's “ Do you think, if the Roman CathoCounty
lic priests had been as active to repress “ How do you account for this asso.
tbe first outbreaking as they were to enciation for illegal purposes spreading so
courage it, that any disturbance would
now exist ?- I think that they could have extensively?- It is not surprising it should spread so much in the collieries, the po- ning in my parish, had they co-operated
checked the disturbances in the begin. pulation being very great; the colliers are
with the magistrates. We had a very constantly in the habit of combining for a rise of wages; they drink excessively, large meeting of magistrates very close
to the residence of the Catholic priest. and they are a people most easily contaminated, and likely to be led into such a
Sir John Harvey came from Dublin, and
Colonel Evans from Kilkenny, on the system. “ To what objects have their opera
part of Government, and several magistions been directed ?- In the first in
trates and gentlemen attended; and stance, the taking of arms; during 1829
though the meeting was opposite the it was almost entirely confined to the
priest's house and he at home, he did taking of arms; after that there was some
not attend nor give his assistance; we cessation, but in the last year their object
memorialized the Government for troops
and additional police, which displeased seems to have been the settlement and
him very much. disposition of land and property of almost
“ You say that the tithes are extin“ Do you consider that as their ulti- guished ; does that extend to church promate object ?- Their ultimate object I perty as such, or the mode of paying it; conceive to be the disposition and settle
do you think there is as much opposition ment of land ; to prevent any landlord
to the payment of tithe as a rent-charge, taking land from a tenant, or preventing
as in the usual form ?-Yes, I think in him doing what be pleases with bis
“ So that in fact it is church property land.
" Is the system governed by commit- they consider to be extinguished ? They tees ?--I have reason to think that it is.
have got rid of the payment of the tithe,
which is the only church property in my I think there is what they call a head
district.” committee, composed of seven members, who sit and discuss all matters; then The supineness of Government in there is a sub-committee under them, checking these outrages, and the who receive orders from the head com- consequent head which insubordi. mittee. The body at large are sworn to
pation and disorder have acquired, commit whatever may be ordered." bas come out in spite of all their efOf the conduct of the priests in
forts to repress it, even from the wit
nesses whom they themselves cited. the excitement of this agitation, the Mr Hovenden fully explains this same witness gives the following ac- subject. count:
“ Do you attribute the want of har“Did the priests take no part in the title mony and concurrence between the Go
vernment and the resident gentry to any present, both at the rebellion in 1798, political feeling?-I do think the gentle- and the disturbances in these times, inen in that part of the country have some and who is, consequently, so well political feeling against the present Go- able to mark the features of resemvernment; I have none.
blance between them, gives the fol“ What does that arise out of ?-They lowing interesting account of the think there is a want of energy in the influence of the priests over their Government.
flocks, and the share they had in “ To what does that extend ?- They exciting several of the worst dislet the country come into a state almost turbances in the county of Kilkenny. of open rebellion without adopting energetic measures.
“ You have stated that, in 1798, in con. “ Did not that state exist in other
sequence of the peculiar position in which parts of Ireland under former Govern- you were, as presiding at several courts. ments ?-Not in the Queen's County. martial, you had an opportunity of judg
“ If it existed in Clare and other coun- ing of the character of the Catholic clergy, ties, why should you accuse the present and from those opportunities you have Government, if former Governments have formed the worst opinion of them ?been equally guilty ?— The disturbances Undoubtedly, I speak of that. in Clare commenced in the present Go- “Have you any grounds for consider. vernment. I am acquainted with the ing the Catholic clergy of the present county of Clare, having property there, day to be similar in character to those and I know the feeling amongst the ma- you observed, admitting that what you gistrates and gentry there is the same as state is correct, in 1798?- I was a mem. in the Queen's County ; that it was in ber, not president of the courts-martial. consequence of the supineness of Go
I have a strong impression on my mind vernment that disturbances got to such a that they are exactly similar in point of head there.
principle to those of 1798; and I have May not former Governments have had private information from people in been equally culpable in this matter ? - whom I think I could confide, that their The state of Ireland was not so much plans are to overturn the Protestant inconvulsed under former Governments. terests of this country, and to possess “ You were asked whether that want
themselves of Protestant property, and of concurrence may not be attributable to raise their church upon the ruin of ours; political feelings? Yes.
and that is my firm impression. " You have been asked whether the
“Have you any facts upon wbich those present disturbed state of the country is impressions are grounded ?-I bave mennot owing to the misconduct of former tioned that I received private information Governments; bave former Governments
upon the subject, which I could not with ever in so marked a way held up the gen- any degree of honour or propriety divulge. tlemen of the country and the magistrates “ Then the whole of these impressions of the country, as objects of reprobation, are grounded upon private information ? in the manner that the present Govern- -No; they are grounded on the former ment have done?-I know that the
circumstances, in addition to private inQueen's County has never been in a state formation. like the present under former Govern- “ What are the circumstances of their ments, nor at any former period have I conduct to wbich you refer in speaking known the same want of confidence in of the clergy of the present day?- From the Government as the magistrates now their great infuence over their flocks, I have.
am persuaded that no improper conduct “ Has it been the conduct of former could originate in their parish without Governments to depreciate the conduct their approbation. of the yeomanry and landlords ?-No; I “ You think that every single crime think that breach is wider than it has committed by any Catholics in any parish ever been before; there is that want of in Ireland must' solely be attributed to confidence and co-operation between the the influence that the parish priest has Government and the magistrates, which over them ?-I am sure he knows every I do not remember in former times.
crime committed, from confession, and “ Do you find that this hostility to I am sure he could prevent it if it was the present Government exists among his wish to do so. those who have been their political “ Do you believe he knows every friends, as well as those wbo are known
crime before a person goes to confession? to be their political opponents ?-I think -How could that be possible? I am it is very general."
eure until after confession he could not Major-General Crawford, who was know it; but from the general informa
tion he receives, he will know of things “ In what respect ?_They were then a going on in the parish.
very mixed body; the commencement “ Do you think that the present com- was with the Presbyterians; it extended bination against tithe is likely to extend to some of the Established Church, but to other objects ?-Yes, I do; I think it very few, and when it came into the Rowill extend to rents very speedily, and man Catholic country it was embraced every species of property.
by them very warmly; but the present "Do you not think that the present in
combination is among the Roman Cathoterference in the letting of farms and the
lics, and it seems to gain ascendency management of property is the begin
in the country, and that the object is to ning of it ?- Already they will not suffer
gain the property of the Protestant pose any persons to hold lands in the neigh- sessors, and to make this an independent bourhood of Castlecomer, but with the Catholic country; this is my impression. approbation of the Whitefeet.
“ What was the object of the tumul“Do you think that a transition to the tuous meeting at Castlecomer in January non-payment of rent is very natural ?- last ?- It was to get rid of the tithes. Yes; I think when one law is infringed “ Was that the beginning of it?_Not on with impunity, other laws will neces. altogether the commencement; they had sarily be infringed.
assembled in two or three instances be“Do you think that the toleration of
fore; they had assembled at Loughlin any aggression is a toleration and a
Bridge and at Dr Butler's, and at two or bounty upon farther aggression?—Yes; three other places, I believe; but the I think it excites to it.
great assemblage was at the two bridges. “Do you think that the present combi. “ Did the priests appear, from the renation will proceed, when it has disposed sult of that meeting, to have obtained a of one claim, to settle another?-I am considerably increased dominion over the satisfied of it.
people ?—There is not the least doubt “Do you think that the powers of of it, from the proceedings of that day, the law which can now be brought to that their influence over the country was bear upon the present combination, are paramount; in fact now, except in the sufficient to repress it?—No, not now; garrison towns, they are the only legisif they had been determinately acted on lators. The Whitefeet laws are enforced in the first instance, they would have either by severe beatings, or by attempts been sufficient; but I think that they at assassination or murder, so that the have gained a head that makes it impos- common law has no effect whatever. sible to do it now.
Out of the garrison towns the wbole of “ You have spoken of the priests being the country is under the influence of the at the head of the mobs, and that they mob; no gentleman can go out unarmed were actually leading the mobs at that
with safety. time; was there any doubt at all about “ Under the influence of that descripit ?_Not the least, in the town, nor tion of persons you describe as having as. among the Protestants generally of Castle- sembled at Castlecomer?-It originated comer, though there is a doubt, it seemsfrom that mob. I think a general comin the minds of some of this committee. bination has taken place since that, and
“ Was there any doubt expressed by a more dangerous kind of conspiracy has any one at the time?- Not the least un
originated. der the sun; it was clear as noon-day. “ Of what sort ?-I think that at that
“ Did anybody at that time doubt that period the object was to get rid of the the priests could instantly have quashed tithe. Since that their ulterior objects this disturbance at the outset ?- The
are to compel the Protestants to quit the people would not have assembled with.
country, and to get rid of the English out their excitement ; and they could connexion. I think the object is separa. have quashed it with as much ease as I tion. I think these are the ulterior oblay down my hand; gentlemen here may jects that they did not think of in the not believe what I state, but I am per- first instance. fectly persuaded of it.
“Do you think that their success upon “Do you conceive there is any simi. the subject of tithes has encouraged them? larity between the present combination, — Yes, I am sure of it; and that was my which appears to have been entered into impression at the time. I should rather on the part of the disturbers, and other have put down their apparent success, combinations during other disturbed pe- and not have allowed them to acquire a riods in 1796 or 1798?- I think that the new character." present combination is different to 1798 considerably
This gentleman was an eyewit