C. P. (Charles Patrick) Meehan.

The confederation of Kilkenny online

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your brightest hopes I As in every other feud, the par-
ties who were now to work the ruin of the country be-
gan to be recognised by the names of their leaders. —
Those who were ready to swear by Rinuccini, were de-
nominated Nuncionists ; and those who placed reliance
on the lord lieutenant, Avere designated Ormondists. The
solemn vow recorded at Knockcrofty, to merge all divi-
sions in the struggle for fatherland, was forgotten or un-
heeded ; and the demon strife had come from tlie abyss
to exercise his power. Alas ! for tliose who dream of
nationality with hate and dissension rankling in their
hearts !

To add to the embarrassment of the Ormondist party,
they were now informed that the nuncio, during his so-
journ in Paris, had received a memorial from Rome,
which had been transmitted thither from the English
Catholics, representing their grievances, and desiring
that the Irish would insert among the articles of the
peace, about which they were treating with the king,
some conditions in favour of tlie Catholics of England ;
and that the peace be concluded upon such terms as
might secure the Irish in their own country, and at the
same time enable them to come to his majesty's assist-
ance in England witli an arm}', whicli should be joined
by the English Catholics. The conditions laid down in
this memorial Avere the following ; and they were re-
garded as the most effectual : —

I. That the Irish do not come to England with lesi


than 10,000 or 12.000 men ; that they may subsist of
themselves without any fear of being cut off even by
those English Protestants who serve under his majesty.

II. That two seaport garrisons be delivered up to

III. That the general and all the officers be named by
the Irish.

IV. That the general be subject only to the immediate
orders of the king.

V. That tliis army be kept together m a body, and
not obliged to go upon any particular service, except
by order from the general and council of war.

VI. That the English Catholics, by the king's com-
mand and authority, have a power of meeting in a body,
and with a corps of horse, answerable to the Irish foot,
forming one army.

VII. That the Catholic general of this body of English
horse be such a man as shall not be distrusted by the
Irish, but approved of by the Irish general.

As the necessary consequence of those conditions, the
English Catholics had pledged themselves that nothing
should be omitted which was essential and necessary to
the complete establishment of the Catholic religion in

This subject afforded ample room for discussion in the
assembly, and a considerable time was spent by the Or-
mandists and the party opposed to them in debating on
the practicability of such proceedings.

But, for the elucidation of this matter, it is necessary
that we know in what relation Glamorgan stood to the
king and the Irish people. He was a Catholic, and son
of the Marquess of Worcester ; for the king he en-
tertained the most chivalrous devotion, and had already
advanced, in conjunction with his father, £200,000
towards the maintenance of the royal cause. He was
married to Margaret O'Brien, daughter of Henry Earl
of Thomond ; and his religion and connexions gave the
king good reason to believe that his influence in Ireland
should be considerable. As it has been already stated,
his majesty was well convinced that Ormond would
make no terms with the confederates which they would

• Glamorgan's Transactions, pp. 41. 42. 43.


regard as satisfactory. He, therefore, entrusted Gla«
morgan with a commission to levy men, coin money,
and to use the revenues of the crown for their support.
He gave a warrant to him to concede to the Catholiea
such terms as it was not prudent for the king or Or-
mond openly to make, and a solemn pledge to ratify
whatever engagements he (Glamorgan) might conclude.
He also furnished him with letters to the pope, the nun.
cio, and the Catholic princes from whom he expected
aid. When the nuncio arrived in Kilkenny, the earl
produced the commission, empowering him to treat Avith
the confederates. This letter, dated April 30, 1645,
expressed the king's hope " That the work commenced
by the late pope, in behalf of the Irish CathoUcs, would
have a happy accomplishment in the hands of his present
minister, aided by the assistance of his dear cousin
(Glamorgan), with whom he was at liberty to make
whatever terms he thought best, all of which he (the
king) would ratify on Glamorgan's return." He in-
formed the nuncio "that an acquaintance of twenty
years had confirmed his love and respect for Glamorgan,
and that whatsoever he promised in his name, he would
feel himself obliged to ratify as the price of the favours
he received." "Depend, therefore, on him," concludes
this authentic document, "but on the understanding
that the whole matter is to be kept strictly secret, since
you see that necessity demands silence, this being the
first document which we have ever addressed to any
Papal minister, but hoping that it is not to be the last.
Signed, Charles R., from our court of Oxford, 30th of
April, 1645." — Nor less curious is the warrant which
Glamorgan produced to the nuncio and the council, con-
cerning tlie authenticity of which document there cannot
be any doubt: —

" Charles R.
"Charles, by the grace of God, King of England,
Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the faith,
to our right trusty and right well-beloved cousin, Edward
Earl of Glamorgan, greeting. We, reposing great and
especiai trust and confidence in your approved wisdom
and fidelity, do by these (as firmly as under our great
seal to all intents and purposes) authorise and give you



power to treat and conclude with the confederate Roman
Cathohcs in our kingdom of Ireland, if upon necessity
anything be to be condescended unto, wherein our lieu-
tenant cannot so well be seen in, as not fit for us at the
present publicly to own ; and, therefore, we charge you
to proceed according to this our warrant frith all possible
secrecy ; and for Avhatsoever you shall engage yourself
upon such valuable considerations as you in your judg-
ment shall deem fit, we promise in the word of a king
and a Christian to ratify and perform the same, that
shall be granted by you, and under your hand and seal, the
said confederate Catholics having, by their svrpplies, tes-
tified their zeal to our service : and this shall be in each
particular to you a sufficient Avarrant."

But all these concessions depended on the landing
of the troops in England ; nor was there a single favour
to be conceded unless this agreement was fully carried

Along with the foregoing documents, which Glamor-
gan produced, he exhibited to the nuncio another in the
king's hand, addressed to " Our most Holy Father, In-
nocent X." With such assurances, as to political advan-
tages on the one side, and the concessions made in be-
lalf of the Catholic religion on the other, Rinuccini
xbund it impolitic to resist the inclination of tlie confe-
derates for the conclusion of peace , yet he seems all
through to have had some misgivings as to the sincerity
of the king, and, in a private interview with Glamor-
gan, he got a solemn assurance that, when the term of
Ormond's vice-royalty had expired, his successor should
be a Catholic j and that the Catholic bishops should be
entitled, as soon as a free parliament could be assembled,
to sit as spiritual peers, and take part in all matters con-
cerning the well-being of the kingdom. Glamorgan had
no difficulty in satisfying the nuncio on all these parti-
culars, provided the negotiation was kept strictly secret
till the king, relieved from his present embarrassments,
might be at liberty to confirm all the articles in tlie light
of day. The nuncio, not fully satisfied with the solemn
promises of Glamorgan, urged that some contingency,
Buoh as shipwreck, or the death of Glamorgan himself,
might prevent the transmission of the troops, in which
case the king would not be bound by a promise which


TTas purely conditional. He insisted, moreover, that in
case the English Catholics did not assist the Irish levies,
a failure of the enterprise might result ; but Glamorgan,
overruling all these considerations, bound himself by
oath, in the presence of the nuncio, that the 10,000 Irish
infantry, for which he stipulated, should not strike a
blow before the treaty had received the royal signature ;
and in case the king might withhold his consent, the
troops should be put to sea, and landed again in Ireland.
But it was useless to continue in opposition to the under-
hand negotiation carried on by the abettors of the peace.
Mountgarfet and Muskerry urged the necessity of
speedily sending the succours ; and Doctor Leyburn, on
the part of the queen, charged the Irish people with
cruelty in insisting on too much, and sought to convince
them that a bare toleration of their religion was as much
as they might reasonably demand from a king so strait-
ened as was his Majesty Charles the First, Apprehen-
sive of some failure of Glamorgan's treaty, the nuncio
had gained over nine bishops, who signed a protest
against any arrangement with Ormond or the king,
which did not fully guarantee the maintenance of the
Catholic religion ; and this was to be kept in reserve,
and afterwards produced as occasion might require.
This precaution was necessary, inasmuch as he saw that
no power of persuasion could moderate the desire of Or-
mond's adherents for a peace, and more particularly as
they were now enabled to point to the letters exhibited
by Glamorgan, in which Charles promised, on the M'ord
of a king and a Christian, to make good, to all intents
and purposes, whatever he should perform. " And al-
though you exceed," said his majesty, "what law can
warrant, or any powers of ours extend to, as not know-
ing what you have need of, yet it being for our service,
we oblige ourself not only to give you our pardon, but
to maintain the same with all our might and power."*

A considerable time had been spent in the negotiations
with Glamorgan, and it was not till near the close of
December that he set out for Dublin, accompanied by
two commissioners from the supreme council, to treat
»)rith Ormond on the levying of troops, and their tran"-

• "i'tde langard, in Appendix to vol. x.


snigsion to England. The king's condition was every
day becoming worse, and Cliester, the only city by which
he could maintain a communication v/ith Ireland, was
besieged by the parliament army. Glamorgan was
aware of the urgent necessity of immediately relieving
that place, and confidently calculated on being furnished
with three thousand infantry, as an instalment of the
ten for which he had stipulated in the secret treaty.

Meanwiiile the nuncio turned his thoughts to tlu;
state of Ireland. He did not hesitate to tell the supreme
council that the time which had been consumed in
armistices and cessations Avith Ormond, had been prc^'
ductive of the most disastrous results. The popular
ardour was beginning to cool, and gave their enemies
leisure to recruit their forces and strengthen the
fortresses which had fallen into their hands. Peace or no
peace, he had determined to make a vigorous attack on
the Scotch, in Ulster. Cork, Youghal, and Kinsale
were garrisoned by the troops of Murrogh O'Brien,
Lord Inchiquin. Sligo had been recently reduced by
the Scotch, which was of the greatest advantage to
them, inasmuch as it was favourably situated for com-
municating with Ulster and Scotland. In Ulster, the
Scots, under Munroe, held nearly all the principal
places, and extended their incursions to the very borders
of Leinster, which were but feebly protected by the
troops under Preston. The success of Munroe in
Ulster was attributable in a great measure to a want
of unanimity in its generals, as there was a dispute
between Owen O'Neill and his kinsman Sir Phelim, on
the question of precedency. Thus were the keys of
three provinces in the hands of the avowed enemies of
the Catholics, who, by temporising policy and subser-
viency to Ormond, were made to forget the value of the
adage, " Aid yourselves, and God will aid you."

Rinuccini's views were those of an uncompromising
prelate. He had learned to appreciate the impulsiveness
of the true Irish character, and determined to convince
the confederates that they had within their own body
ill the materials which were required to insure success.
He set his mind on one grand object, the freedom ol
the church, in possession of all her rights and dignities,


and the emancipation of the Catholic people from th«
dj^gradatiou to which Enghsh imperialism had con-
(lemned them. The churches, wliich tlie piety of
Catholic lords and chieftains had erected, he determined
to secure to the rightful inheritors. His mind and
feelings recoiled from the idea of a people worshipping
in crypts and catacombs. He abhorred the notion of a
priest or bishop performing a sacred rite as though it
were a felony ; and, spite the wily artifices of Ormond
and his faction, he resolved to teach the people of
Ireland that they were not to remain mere dependants
on English bounty, when a stern resolve might win for
them the privileges of freemen. His estimate of the
Irish character was correct and exalted. He formed
it in the proper quarter. On the Janiculum at Rome
stands the Franciscan convent of St. Peter ; many an
hour did he spend there listening to Wadding, as he
narrated the history of his own dear land — the per-
secutions of her children, and their constancy to the
Catholic ftiith. What place more fitted for the recital ?
On that same hill, Tasso, who sung of her rugged war-
riors marching to Palestine, oft reposed ; and within
the church that crowns its summit was the tomb of
Hugh O'Neill, whereon the history of Erin's chivalry
may be said to have been epitomized.*

It was, therefore, with evident and cogent reason that
he regarded the flattering attention of the modern Irish
as tlie homage that is paid to the treasurer of a prince,
whilst he received the spontaneous and heartfelt devo-
tedness of tlie ancient race as a manifest declaration of
their love for the religion of which he was a minister,
and one in whom they expected to find a deliverer from
penalties and persecutions. And why should he not
cherish an ardent admiration for the representatives of
the old Celtic tribes, and a cordial abhorrence for the
sickly policy of the Catholics of the Pale ? Ormond had
charmed, as never did any magician, " with spell and
philters,"! these ductile men and silken lords, who were

• All these inscriptions are to be found h\ " Home Ancient
Modem," by Dr. 1 onovan.
i Unkind Vo^Qvier.


lulling to make terms Avith him which a noble and per-
secuted race scorned to accept. Their religion was a
dearer consideration than tlieir plundered liomes and
confiscated estates. The war Avhicli they had waged was
iu the cause of that religion, for those whom they had
met foot to foot in many a bloody field had vowed its
destruction ; and, now that a treacherous king and his
faithf'd lieutenant were driven to the alternative of
throwing themselves on the protection of that people,
had they not an incontrovertible right to seek — nay, to
demand — terms which would secure and guarantee tlie
exercise of their religion, unfettered by those penal enact-
ments which were worthy the ministers of a Nero or
Domitian ?

Having maturely considered the state of the country
and its immediate exigencies, the nuncio concluded that
a bold and unanimous etFort would, in one campaign,
drive the enemy out of the three provinces before the
parliamentary faction could send troops to Ireland. He,
therefore, caused all the arms and ammunition which
he brought Avith liim to be transported to Kilkenny.
Meanwhile the party in the interest of Ormond busied
themselves in nominating bishops to some of the vacant
sees, and coadjutors to those prelates who, by reason of
age or infirmity, were unequal to the episcopal duties.
Six of those named by them were men who were
the creatures of their masters, and in the same re-
lation to them that Walsh was to Ormond, " what the
shadow is to the substance."* But the nuncio firmly
denied that any power was vested in them to nomi-
nate the bishops or their coadjutors; and in vindi-
cating this grand principle, he taught the Irish Catho-
lics that their hierarchy could never be more pure and
independent than when it was free from the patronage
and control of secuhir dominion. But expectation was
on tiptoe, and, now that the year 1645 had drawn to a
close, the confederates anxiously awaited iutelligenoa
ijrcm Ormond and Glamorgan.

• Ures of Irish Wrltrra .



It wras about the 1st of January, 1646, that the tW6
couiraissioners who had accompauied Glamorgan re*
turned in hot haste from DubUn to Kilkenny. Few
were prepared for the intelligence which they brought.
On St. Stephen's day, about dinner hour, GlamorgaJi
had been arrested by the order of Orraond, and com-
mitted a close prisoner to the castle on a charge of high
treason. Had the fleet of the parliament anchored in
the bay, it could not have caused greater alarm than
that which v/as feigned by Ormond and Digby on this
occasion. The gates of the city were closed, and none
were permitted to depart, save the confederate commis-
sioners. They, too, had been brought to tlie castle ; and
Digby, in the presence of Ormond, informed them that
they had reason to congratulate themselves on their
escape from the severities which were in store for the
unfortunate earl. " You must know," said he, " that a
document* has lately come into my hands, which was
found on the person of Malachy, Archbishop of Tuam,
who was slain at Sligo by the Scots. This paper, which
w signed by the Archbishop of Cashel, certifying that it
is a true copy, is the following : —

'•Whereas much time hath been spent in meetings
and debates betwixt his Excellencie Ja. Lord Marquesse
of Ormond, lord lieutenant and general governor of
his majesties kingdome of Ireland, commissioner to his
most excellent majesty, Charles, by the grace of God,
king of Great Britaine, France and Ireland, &c , for the

» A copy of all the papers had I een found on the person of the
Archblsliop of Tuam, when killed at Sligo by the Scots. It vras for-
warded to England, and published by order of the parliament, under
the title of '• Tlie Earl uf Glamorgan's Negotiations and Colourable
Commitment in Ireland'." Sir Thomas Faiifax was the man who
seized the captain of the ship in which tlie papers had been sent. Tha
Cviptain was a native of Wateiibrd, aad was arrested ct Padstovr, in
Com wall.— r. Appeadii.


treating and concluding of a peace in the said kingdome :
of his majesties humble and loyall subjects, the confe-
derate Roman Catholiques of the said kingdome of
Ireland, of the one part, and the Right Honourable
Donnog. Lord Viscount Muskery, and other commis-
sioners deputed and authorized by the said confederate
Roman Catholique subjects, of the other part; andtliere-
upon many difficulties did arise, by occasion whereof,
sundry matters of great weight and consequence neces-
sarily requisite to be condescended unto by his majesties
said commissioner, for the safety of the said confederate
Roman Catholiques were not hitherto agreed upon,
which retarded, and doth as yet retard the conclusion
of a firm peace 'and settlement in the said kingdome.
And whereas the Right Honourable Edward Earl of
Glamorgan, is intrusted and authorized by his most
excellent majesty to grant and insure to the said confe-
derate Roman Catholique subjects farther graces and fa-
vours which the said lord lieutenant did not, as yet, in
that latitude as they expected, grant unto them. And
the said earl having seriously considered of all matters,
and due circumstances of the great affairs now in agita-
tion, which is the peace and quiet of the said kingdome,
and the importance thereof in order to his majesties
service, and in relation to a peace and settlement in his
other kingdomes, and hereupon the place having scene
the ardent desire of the said Catholiques to assist hia
majestic against all that doe, ur shall oppose his royall
right or monarchique government, and having discerned
the alacrity and cheerefulnesse of the said Roman Ca-
tholiques to embrace honourable conditions of peace,
which may preserve tlieir religion, and other just in-
terests; in pursuance thereof in the twentieth of his reign,
granted unto the said Earle of Glamorgan, the tenour
whereof is as followeth, viz. Charles R — Charles,
by the grace of God, king of England, Scotland, France,
and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. To our right
trusty and well-beloved cousin, Edward Earle of Gla-
morgan, greeting. Wee, reposing great and especiall
trust and confidence in your approved wisdome and fi-
delity, doe by these (as firmly as under our great seal,
to all intents and purpose) authorize and give you powe?
to treat and conclude with the confederate Roman Ca.


tlioliques in our kingdome of Ireland, if upon >necessitac
anything be to be condescended unto, wherein our lord
lieutenant cannot so well be seen in, as not fit for us
at this present publicly to owne, and therefore we charge
you to proceed according to this our warrant, with all
possible secrecies ; and for whatsoever you shall engage
yourself, upon such valuable considerations, as you in
your judgment shall deeme fit, we promise in the worJ
of a icing and a Christian, to ratifie and performe the
same that shall be granted by you, and under your hand
and seal, the said confederate Catholiques having by
their supplyes testified their zeal to our service ; and
this shall bee in each particular to you a sufficient war-
rant. Given at our court at Oxon, under our signet,
and royall signature, the twelfth day of March, in the
twentieth year of our reigne, 1644. To our right truly
and well-beloved cousin, Edward Earle of Glamorgan,
It is therefore granted, accorded, and. agreed, by and
between the said Earle of Glamorgan, for and on the
behalf of his most excellent majesty, his heirs and suc-
cessors on the one part, and the Right Honourable
Richard Lord Viscount Mountgarret, lord president of
the supreme council of the said confederate Catholiques,
and the said Donnogh, Lord Viscount Muskery, Alex.
Mac Donnell, and Nicholas Plunket, Esquires ; Sir
Robert Talbot, Baronet ; Dermid O'Brian, Jo. Dillon ;
Patr. Darcy, and Jeffrey Browne, Esquires ; commis-
sioners in that behalf appointed, by the said confederate
Roman Catholique subjects of Ireland, for and in the
behalf of the said confederate Roman Catholiques of the
other part, in manner following, that is to say :

" That an act shall be passed in the next parliament
to be held in tliis kingdome ; the tenour and purport
whereof shall be as followeth, viz. An act for the re-
lief of his majesties Catholique subjects of his highnesse
kingdome of Ireland. Whereas by an act made in par-
liament held ill Dublin, in the second year of t^ie reigne
of the late Queene Elizabeth, intituled, an act for re-
storing to the crown the antient jurisdiction over the
btute ecclesiasticall and spirituall, and abolish all for-
raigne power repugnant to the same, and by another
statute made in the said last mentioned parliament, in-
tituled, an act for the uniformity of common prayer and


fttTTice in the church, and the administration of the sa-
craments, sundry mulcts, penalties, restraints, and in-
capacities, are and have been laid upon the professors of
the Roman Catholique religion in this kingdome, in and
for, and concerning the use, profession, and exercise of
iheir religion, and their functions therein, to the great
prejudice, trouble, and disquiet of the Roman Catholiques
in their liberties and estates, to the general disturbance
of the whole kingdome; for remedy whereof, and for
the better feeling, increase, and continuance of the
peace, unity, and tranquillity of tliis kingdome of Ire-
land, his majesty at the humble suit and request of the
lords and commons in this present parliament assembled,
is graciously pleased, that it may be enacted, and bee

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Online LibraryC. P. (Charles Patrick) MeehanThe confederation of Kilkenny → online text (page 11 of 22)