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squeeze him with his damp and nerveless Tone's report, they were, so early as hand uttered in a whisper,and with a smile 1794, nearly co-extensive with the of mournful triumph, the dying words of Roman Catholic population in the humPierre—. We have deceived the senate."" bler walks of life and in the rural dis

tricts. If we are to receive the opi. The trial of Mr. Jackson has been

nion of Mr. M'Nevin, they were a rendered memorable by a result which society entitled to the name they bore, followed it after a very long interval.

composed of men who entered into alIt was the first of the state trials in

liance with each other, and who which it was decided that, in Ireland,

took arms with no other object or one witness was sufficient to convict

design than that of resisting aggresin a case of high treason. The bench

sion, and sustaining themselves against pronounced that this was the doctrine

an hostile faction. of common law, in both England and Ireland-a doctrine changed by a statute in one country, but unaltered “ But the Peep-o'-Day Boys were an in the other. In the life of Mr. Cur

association of a different character,"ran, this distinction between the law

(From the Hearts of Oak, 8c.)—“influof the two countries was strongly com

enced at one and the same time by bigotry

and avarice. Intolerant of the religion mented on, and Lord Holland, whose

of the Roman Catholics, and desirous attention was called to the fact by

to possess their land, the Peep-o'-Day some observations in the Edinburgh Boys combined the gratification of both Rerier, introduced a statute, the 1st passions, by the adoption of a system of and 2nd of William 4th, to correct the outrage and robbery against the peranomaly.

sons and the property of the Catholic The report of Mr. Jackson's trial, peasantry of the north of Ireland. They however, makes it clear, that he ex

were chiefly, it not entirely, Protestants

who assumed the sanctions of Protes. perienced no injustice, and was denied no indulgence which he might reason

tantism, for conduct abhorrent from the ably claim. The impression on the

spirit of all religion. Originally, they

were confined to the county of Armagh. minds of impartial men may be infer- Their career commenced in 1784, and red from the following expression in a has been variously described. They letter of Lord Charlemont:

drew upon the stores of liistory, and

found a precedent in the Puritan regi. " Jackson has been found guilty on cide's edict, “to hell or to Connaught? the fullest evidence. A gentleman, who and they proceeded very systematically attended the trial, assures me, that there to drive the Catholic population of Ulswas twenty times more proof of real ter beyond the Shannon. At the earliest guilt brought forward in this case, than dawn, they visited their houses, under in all the London prosecutions put to

the pretence of seeking for arms—the gether."*

common trick of the tyrant in Ire.

land is a search for arms-and, even Jackson's was the first trial for high in the guarded language of the adtreason in Ireland, during the cen

vocate of the flagellations and pitchcaps,

* committed the most wanton outrages, tury. The « trials of the Defenders,"

insulting their persons and breaking

their furniture.'t' But domiciliary visits which follow next in order, com

soon gave way to ejectment. Expulsion mencing December 14th, 1795, and from farms became general; it was a ending March 3rd, 1796, occupy a proceeding by which the Protestant considerable portion of the volume, and wrecker, Peep-o'-Day Boy, and eventare preceded by an introduction which ually purple Orangeman, specially occu. professes to give an historical and faith. pied the relinquished acres, and sat ful account of the origin and objects

down, a conqueror, to enjoy the fruits of the system framed by these deluded

of his invasion. The facts are undemen. They were, at the time when

niable; at a period little later than these

trials, not less than 7,000 Catholies had the trials took place, exclusively Ro- been burned out of Armagh. Plowden man Catholics, or, at least, were re- adds, that the ferocious banditti who quired to be so, by the rules of the had expelled them, had been encouraged, society. If we may credit Wolfe connived at, and protected by govern

* Hardy's Life of Charlemont, vol. ii. p. 355.
+ Innsgrave's History.

ment.'

It is certain the magistrates have been, perhaps, less damnatory in had been supine, and had given passive his strictures upon it; had he made encouragement to the Peep-o'-Day Boys,

sufficient inquiry into the subject, he who had changed their name into

would have known that the supposition Orangemen. The charitable and Christain portion of the northern Protestants

so far from being absurd or false, is looked with horror and disgust at the

nothing more or less than the strict enormities practised upon the wretched

and well-known truth. peasantry, and falsely said to be prac

But although an incident of this de. tised under the sanctions of Protestant- scription may have furnished occasion ism; but men of that class were not the for the formation or division of parties, majority; nor were they found in any the cause must have lain deeper, and great numbers amongst those to whom the elements of division must have was consigned the guardianship of the

been already accumulated in the public peace. The magistrates—whethier from

mind. Much doubt and uncertainty secret sympathy, or want of energy, it matters little_allowed the houses of the

is said to prevail as to the priority of agpeople to be burned or unroofed, and

gression in the conflicts between the the people themselves to be driven, un- original Peep-o'-Day Boys and Defen. der fierce threats, out of their native ders, and speculation has been busy even dwellings, without any active interposi- as to the circumstances under which the tion to save them.

latter party adopted their name. It is • The consequence was natural. The

said that organised disaffection in Ireunprotected people sought protection land has very craftily benefited by a from themselves. They felt that they

frequent change of name, and has thus were the victims of a conspiracy be. tween guilt and power-burnt out of

succeeded in misleading more than the their houses, shot, or robbed, by the

superficial into a belief that an insurfirst; unprotected, unredressed, by the

rectionary system had no continuity of last; and they looked to their own plan or purpose. It has been said that strength and despair for that defence the name Defender was taken up by a which the law retused, and hence came party who had previously denominated the Defenders. Their oppressors were themselves the Brest Fleet," ("fleet" men of the lowest rank among the Pro. was the name assumed by each of the testants; the Defenders were in the

local factions in the north,) and bad lowest rank of the Catholics; but the crimes of neither can, with justice, be

thus incurred suspicion of cherishing

some treasonable purpose. If there imputed to the spirit of their religion. The Peep-o'-DayBoys were vulgar men,

be truth in this allegation, it throws using the name of religion as a mask for

much light on the nature of the conrobbery and aggrandizement; the De

test carried on in the north. We have fenders were a society of affrighted not adequate means of deciding the peasants, agitated by despair or vin- question. dictiveness, and driven to wage a defen- There are, however, considerations sive war against violence and robbery.” which ought not to be so much nc

glected as they are by those who profMr. M‘Nevin, consistently with this fer information on such subjects as representation, discredits the usual these. Why are the factious or party account of the origin of feud between proceedings of the North judged of the northern factions. The “supposi- and pronounced upon, as if Ulster held tion" that they had their rise “in a itself estranged from the other parts quarrel which took place in the fair of of Ireland ? Why is the question Portnorris, between two of those sec- respecting priority of outrage detaries, whose personal enmity soon termined by a reference to that proextended itself to the entire body of vince only, in which the particular each,

“ is," he says, “ very absurd disorders have had their evil conseand manifestly false, as might be ex

It is well known that in pected, coming from Sir R. Musgrave, the earliest insurrectionary movements even in the character of Veridicus." in the South and West of Ireland, Had Mr. M.Nevin remembered that there was a reference to some secret Hardy, the biographer of Lord Char- power or principle which had autholemont, countenances the “supposi- rity in the North and that even to a later tion" of Sir R. Musgrave, he would day this reference continued.

quences ?

was

p. 295.

ears were

How is it possible to believe that had not made the necessary distinction Northern disaffection did not take between the Defenders of 1785 and cognizance of, and keep up intelligence those who became dreadfully conspicuwith insurrection as it made progress ous in some years after. The first in the South ? How is it possible to feuds were staid-the “ Peep-o'-Day" suppose that the contests between boys ceased their matutinal, and the * Peep-o'-Day" boys and Defenders, by Defenders their (nocturnal invasions which the North of Ireland was dis- of each other's domestic quiet, and turbed in the year 1785, are to be a season of repose succeeded. When judged of apart from all considera- the disorders broke out again, in tion of the “ Right” boys, who in the 1791, the Defenders had the unequisame year showed themselves in such vocal discredit of their commencecommanding force in the South, and ment, and the infamy, all their own, of made and marked their progress where- signalizing their opening proceedings ver they were withstood, by the mos by an atrocity unparalleled perhaps in execrable cruelties_“ cruelties," as the annals of the civilized world. We Lord Clare observed,“ too borrible even allude to what we dare not dwell upon, for savages to be thought guilty of ?" the unutterable cruelties perpetrated These men met, observed the noble on the family of the schoolmaster at lord, in a Roman Catholic chapel, Forkhill. If such an outrage, and and there took an oath to obey the fiendish menace which it was dethe laws of Captain Right, and to signed to exemplify, had not alarmed starve the clergy; thence they pro- and aroused all whose ceeded in bodies, frequently unarmed, shocked by the report of it, the prinamounting to thousands, swearing in ciples of foresight and 'caution would the people of every district so as to have been imparted to us for no good make their organization universal. If purpose. And yet the Protestants of there was resistance, or any serious the North, persecuted and menaced as violation of their laws, woe to the they continued for some years to be, offender; mutilation-whipping, were were slow to combine for their mutual among the most merciful of their in- protection and support. The Deflictions. Instances were known in fenders were organized as a bodywhich a wretched man was set naked had plan and purpose in their moveon a saddle covered with thorns- ments-had secret signs and passwords buried alive in a grave lined with by which they gained the advantage of thorns. But the cruelties of this bar- recognition as members of the same barous confederacy are too shocking fraternity—and used all these advanto be dwelt on. We pass away from tages in their assaults upon Protest. them, and we ask, is it reasonable to ants, scattered and defenceless. We imagine that the system from which have heard men of the strictest inthey emanated had not its influence in tegrity speak of that season of terror the North, and was not feared there? with all the freedom of conscious We profess ourselves honestly unable truth-describe the boastful array of to say whether in the North of Ireland their enemies as they appeared at the “ Peep-o'-Day" boys or the De- times in bands of several hundreds, fenders took the lead in their warfare and marched through fairs or marof mutual outrage. We have inquired kets—the manner in which multitudes extensively, and minutely, and unsuc- of unknown enemies would sometimes cessfully. Roman Catholics, of age suddenly appear, and by some mysto remember, have contradicted Pro. terious bond of concert, act together testants of equal age and of equal in an outrageous attack upon them; soundness of mind. Both have agreed and we have had described to us the in condemning the lawless factions- manner in which, not unfrequently, describing them as, on the one side and the bedding of a whole family would the other, the idle, disorderly, and be employed as a barricade on some worthless; but both have persisted in night of alarm, while the threatened disclaiming for their respective co- household caught by turns, as in turn religionists the discredit of commenc- they kept watch, a chill, and unreing civil strife.

freshing slumber. Such was the state This doubt, however, hangs over of extensive districts in the North of only the first stage of Northern dis- Ireland from the year 1792 until the cord. Mr. M'Nevin writes as if he formation of the orange societies in * A most groundless charge has been sometimes made against the Orange society, professing to be founded on an address delivered by Lord Gosford in the December of 1795. His lordship stated that Roman Catholics were cruelly persecuted and driven from their homes by a banditti, who accused them of no crime except their religious belief. It is only necessary to read his lordship’s address, to be convinced that the charges against the orangemen finds in it no countenance whatever. The battle of the Diamond was fought between Defenders and “ Peep-o'. Day" boys. It was only when the former broke the truce, and re-commenced hostilities, that the Protestants of other denomination than Presbyterians, took part against them. The Orange society was framed in the first instance by those of the Protestants who were forced last into the field ; and the excesses, iť excesses there were, after the battle, can, with no colour of justice, be ascribed to them. But, in truth, Lord Gosford's address is full of exaggeration and misstatement. It was framed in accordance with the complaints of men, who in many instances covered their escape from the punishment of the law under pretence that they were flying from personal enemies,

Septeniber, 1795. In the interval a most acrimonious spirit was manifested in the contests between the dis. orderly and ill-conducted of various religious denominations. “Peep-o'Day” boys and Defenders were continually in the foray, or the fieldaların and outrage were spread abroad in all directions--and with a supineness altogether unaccountable, law and governinent left a fine country and peaceable subjects to the mercy of contending factions. At length the Protestants, of the better description, were awakened to a sense of their danger. The battle of the Diamond, and the treachery which signalized it, aroused them, and the Orange society was formed. The first lodge was constituted towards the close of September, 1795. In the two following years the order gained consistency and extent; and since the day when it attained strength, Ulster has enjoyed security.

We are not the advocates or apologists of political societies, marked by religious distinctions. Far more to our minds would be a state of things in which all sects and classes should feel themselves one people--all under the law's protection, and all interchanging the charities of a Christian society. But there may be times when faction is strong, and the law blind or weak—when he who would be safe must seek a more effectual protector than unwise laws or a feeble executive can afford him—when the good must combine if they would not be victims of their enemies. In such a conjuncture the Protestants of the North of Ireland instituted the Orange societya society which could appeal to the state of Ulster for forty years for

proof that its agency was beneficial, and which can appeal to the moderation and respect for law, which has characterised its proceedings during recent years of sore trial, as proof unanswerable that its professions of loyalty to the throne, attachment to the constitution, and its recognition of the great rule of Christian and social duty, have ever been in accordance with the principles by which, professedly, it has been aniinated.*

We shall not enter into the details of the trials of the Defenders. Their treasonable organization and designs were made too manifest to need further exposure:

There is but one subject on which we should wish to be enlightened. It is as to the meaning of the leading pass-word adopted in this confederation. The word is “Eliphismatis." It will be remembered that the Defenders were exclusively Roman Catholic, and that their great object was described as being to annihilate or exterminate Protestants. It is probably very generally known that the pass-word, as given in the trial of Welden, was interpreted as a pleilge to prosecute this evil purpose. The word was supposed to be composed of the initials of the engagement, and was thus interpreted :

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Such was the interpretation almost more than ordinarily free from reliuniversally assigned to the word by Pro- gious preferences, announced himself, testants. We could wish to hear a by the advice of the party introducing better explanation given with an air of him, as a Roman Catholic. After authority. It is unhappily certain, some time he learned the more secret that the disclosed purposes and the acts purposes of the society, and finding of Defenders gave a semblance of truth that a general massacre of Protestants to the sinister interpretation; and it was among them, some good instincts is not irrational to believe, that the stirred within him, and in a state of readiness with which vile calumnies agitation, denoting horror at the incirculated with respect to the Orange telligence, he communicated it to a society were received by the antagonist friend,* and besought his council. party, was, to some extent, an acknow- Arrests and trials followed. It is of ledgment that their own views were little moment now to enter into detail of the same kind which they were so of the particulars proved as affecting prompt to believe of others.

As re

individuals. As regarded the society at spects the Orange body, time, and the large, it appears to have become convery searching inquiry into their sys- nected with France, to have entertained tem—we may add also, their uniform a purpose of exterminating Protestants, conduct_has disproved the foul slan. and to have meditated a general rising, ders industriously circulated to defame which was to commence in the North them; the societies also against which after the harvest had been saved. It is they united for their defence, have had unnecessary to remind the reader how their objects and purposes to some ex- amply evidence to this effect was borne tent ascertained, and the effect has out by the well-known state of Ulster, been to establish the very worst of the and especially by the battle of the Diacharges, and confirm the worst suspi. mond, fought September, 1795. The cions ever entertained respecting them. consequence of that unhappy, though

On " the trials of the Defenders,” providential, engagement was to arrest reported in Mr. M.Nevin's volume, the Defenders in their career of the principal witness was a person of wickedness-to rescue the North of the name of Lawler. He appears to Ireland from their power, and thus have been a young man, originally eventually, through God's blessing, to brought up as a Protestant, and after- save the country. wards led astray by falling into the The remaining trials in the volume society of persons who entertained the are characterized rather by the great infidel notions, and the revolutionary forensic ability displayed in them than principles then unhappily prevalent. by any thing of universal importance From stage to stage of rash and crimi- in their circumstances. One is the nal speculation he passed eventually into trial in which Mr. Peter Finnerty was the Society of Defenders ; and being convicted of a libel; the other that in

* “George Cowan sworn; examined by Mr. Attorney-General. "Do you know Lawler? I do. “How long? Four or five years. · Do you recollect his going to you in August last? I do. “Tell the jury upon what occasion was that. He came to me on Monday morning, 23rd or 24th of August, and seemed to be a good deal agitated. He came into the parlour : he shut the door of the parlour, and then opened his mind to me.". Trials, p. 382.

“ The prisoner asked witness what religion he was of? Witness replied he was a Roman. The reason he said so was, because Brady told him when he went to be sworn to say he was a Roman, for that they had an objection to admit Protestants. Witness asked the prisoner his reason for asking the question so many times ? Prisoner said, because he would not sit in company with a Protestant. "That the night before the Defenders were to have risen, but on account of the harvest not being got in, it was deferred; for if the harvest should be destroyed, they would be starved; but as soon as it was got in, they would rise upon the Protestants and put them to death, and that the ports would be attacked at the same time; he meant by the ports the different garrisons in Ireland.” – Ibid, p. 421.

+ The trials were held in the winter, the criminal purpose was sworn to as having been discovered in the summer of that ycar.

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