C. P. (Charles Patrick) Meehan.

The confederation of Kilkenny online

. (page 9 of 22)
Online LibraryC. P. (Charles Patrick) MeehanThe confederation of Kilkenny → online text (page 9 of 22)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


this engagement with Montrose. — Graing. biograph., vol. ii., p. 245.

% Collection of Original Papers, fouftd among the Duke of Ormond'l
Bftpers, vol. i., p. 73.



CONPEDERATIOH OF KILKENNf. 5l

Irish Catholic subjects ; and it is likely that his desire
for concluding a peace with them originated in the con-
sideration of the effectual services of the men who hum-
bled these stern Covenanters on their own mountains.
Ere we close this rapid view of the events of this year, it
is necessary to observe that Urban VIIL, wlio had so
cordially befriended the confederates, died early in July,
1644, and was succeeded by Innocent X., on the 15th of
September of the same year.

The time for the expiration of the truce was now ap-
proaching, and the general assembly, which met in Au-
gust, appointed commissioners to treat with Ormond
for a renewal. Amongst those named to manage
it was Thomas Fleming, Catliohc Archbishop of Dub-
lin ; but as Ormond objected to him, Muskerry, Sir
R. Talbot, Browne, D'Arcy, Dillon, and Plunket, set
out on the 31st of August for Dublin. Upon their ar-
rival the cessation was renewed to Deccinber 1, and af-
terwards continued to a longer time. *



CHAPTER V.

When the confederate commissioners returned to Kil-
kenny, Charles I. was congratulating himself on the bril-
liant victories achieved by Colkitto and Montrose in
Scotland. The hapless monarch naturally began to think
that nothing could prove so conducive to liis interests as
a peace witli the Irish Catholics ; but, well aware as
he was of their oath of association, he must have in-
wardly grieved at the idea of being obliged to purchase
it at such a price as the free and public exercise of the
- Catholic religion. Yet, in truth, the confederates, as it
■^will appear, were the only loyal subjects in Ireland on
whose willing liearts he could place true reliance. Dis-
affection was contagious, and Inchiquin was already tam-
*pering with Lord Esmond, the governor of Duncanaon,
and persuading him to declare for the parliament, or sur*

• Ciirte, i., 51G.



CONFEDERATION O? KILKENNV.

render that strong place to their forces. As to himself,
he had entered into a truce with General Purcell, which

, was not to expire till the 10th of April following. This
act, as precipitate as it was unwise, had heen done to
propitiate Ornicnd, who had an overweening notion of
Murrogh O'Brien. The consequence was, that he had
time to collect forces, and strengtlien himself in the
towns out of which lie had expelled the Catholics. The
truce which had heen renewed with Ornrond, left the

, supreme council free to look closely into their circum-
stances ; and they resolved to send their agents beyond
the seas to the courts of the Catholic princes. *• Their
design was, that tliey might know tliemselves what they
had to trust to, and what succours they might really de-

"pend on from abroad; and that, in case they sliould
be forced to serve God again in holes and corners, the
world might know they had laboured all they could to
prevent that misfortune." * For this purpose Father
Hugh Bourke was sent to the court of Madrid, to solicit
the King of Spain ; Belling, the secretary of the council,
had orders to proceed to the Vatican, to congratulate In-
nocent X., and to visit the Italian princes, and the Mar-
quess of Castle-Rodrigo, governor of the low countries.
Hartegan, a priest, remained as their envoy at the French
court. The articles of the treaty with Ormond were re-
ligiously observed ; and towards the end of December,
the king wrote to the lord lieutenant in the following
terms : — "I have thought to give you this order, to seek
to renew the cessation for a year ; for which you shall
promise the Irish, if you can have it no cheaper, to join

V with them against the Scots and Inchiquin." f Ormond,

* however, did not attach much importance to these orders,
and was in no mood to oppose either Munroe or Inchi-
quin ; on the contrary, he had already hinted to liis par-
tisans in the council that he meditated a peat e which
was calculated to prove advantageous to them. But the
flagitious acts passed in the parliament towards the end
of September caused the supreme council to take such
Bteps as were necessary for their immediate security.
Unprotected as the coast was at this moment, they knew
not how soon a descent might be made by their enemies;

• Carte's Oitn., L, 529. ♦ Eeliq. Sacra. Carol.



(



CONFSDI BATrorf OF KILKENNY.

and the orders to execute all Irish-born and papists whz
might be found upon the seas, struck salutary terror into
iiheir hearts. The most important seaports then in their
possession were Watcrford, Wexford, and Gal way. The
loss of any of tliera must have done incalculable mischief;
and a rumour reached them that Esmond was about to sur,
render Duncannon. About the beginning of January,
Preston was ordered to blockade the fortress ; but this
proving too slow a process, he resolved to convert the
blockade into a siege. The weather being extremely
bad, and a whirlwind prevailing, " which blew the prim-
ing off the guns, filling the pans with dust," seriously
retarded the operations of the besiegers.* A flotilla was
ordered by the parliament to succour the place, but such
■was the perseverance of the confederates that they finally
drove out the garrison, after ten weeks' siege. During
this time they expended 19,000 lbs. of powder, f and were
ably helped by the inhabitants of Hoss and Wexford.
Esmond, who was old and blind, died soon after, and
thus escaped a punishment which his disloyalty amply
deserved. Whilst the confederates were engaged at this
siege, the king sent an order to Ormond to conclude a
peace with the confederates. The general assembly,
which was then sitting, immediately despatched Sir Ni.
cholas Plunket and Lord Muskerry to confer vrith him,
on the 6th of March, 1645. Ormond, who was fully
empowered by the king to abrogate the penal statutes,
artfully concealed the royal orders, and referred the
commissioners to the decision of his majesty, who had
determined that these obnoxious statutes should not be
put in execution after the conclusion of a peace. He
ihen laboured sedulously to convince them that a sus-
pension of Poyning's law could not be conducive to their
interests. Amongst some new graces to which he yielded,
the Catholics were to be released from all the king's rents
an^ revenues which they had received since the begin-
ning of the war, with an abolition of all outlawries, at-
tainders, and indictments against any of them. The
king, he assured them, was willing to confer all places
of trust and honour indiscriminately on Catholic and

• Belling. 276. 1 Carta, i. 538.



H



CONFEDKUATION OK KILKENNY.



Protestant subjects; but he indignantly denied that
ne liad any notion of employing? an equal number of
bo th parties. Witb this unsatisfaetor}^ arrangement,
the delegates hastened back to Kilkenny, to report
tlie result of their conference to the- assembly —
But as the lord lieutenant made no guarantee for
religious immunities, save such as the king might
be subsequently induced to cede, the great body of the
assembly would not subscribe a peace which did not
secui'c the public exercise of religion. Scarampi and
the bishops would not make any compromise, autl as tlie
peace on which Ormond reckoned made no real
provisions for the hereditary possession of the Catholics
of Ulster, a great majority of the confederates would
not hearken to the wily artifices of the viceroy. And
no wonder that such terms sliould be rejected witli
scorn. The clergy, who exercised the most unbounded
influence over their flocks, were secretly informed of
the king's intention to grant their most sanguine
demands, and, notwithstanding the unseeudy haste of
i*lunket and Muskerry to negotiate a peace with
Ormond, contrived to obstruct it. But, although tlie
commissioners, who favoured Ormond's views, desisted
from pressing it in the assembly, they managed to
carry on an under-hand negotiation with the lord lieu-
tenant in Dublin. Througliout the entire summer tliis
unhappy question furnished matter for acrimonious
discussion, and strengthened the animosities which had
grown up between the lords of the Pale and the " old
Irish," at the conclusion of the armistice in 1643.

But it is necessary to relinquish this important
matter for awhile, in order to witness events of
another character. The truce with Inchiquin expired
on the lOth of April, and the confederates were unani-
mous in tlieir resolve to destroy him and his adherent*.
For this purpose they ordered Castlehaven to proceed
into Munster with an army of 5,000 foot and I,6(X>
horse. In a very short time he reduced all the castles
in tlifi baronies of Imokilly and Barrymore. Cappo.
quin, Droniane, Mitchelstown, Castlelyons, Mallow»
Doncraile, Liscarroll, and Lismore surrendered on
articles. He next reduced Rostellan, and in it took



CONFEDERATION OF KILKENNY. 95

Colonel H. O'Brien* and Colonel Courtenay. Inchi-
qain could not resist, and was obliged to shut himself
up in Cork, pursued by Castlehaven, who wasted the
country to the very walls of the city. He then besieged
Youghal, but owing to some misunderstandings between
himself and Preston, he did not act with vigour, and
thus left the place in possession of Lord Broghill, who
had got a supply of arms and ammunition from the
parliament. Towards the beginning of September
Castlehaven returned to Kilkenny after disbanding his
forces.

The parliament in England, hearing of these move-
ments in the south, lost no time in strengthening
Munroe's forces in Ulster. Having nominated young
Coote to the presidency of Connaught, they sent over
£10,000 to the covenanters, with a considerable
supply of clothing. On the 8th of June Sir Charles
Coote presented letters from a committee of both liouses,
desiring Munroe to send 500 men into Connaught, who
were to be joined by Sir F. Hamilton's regiment, in
order to reduce Sligo. They complied, aft^r some
hesitation, and determined to march a body of 4,000
foot and 500 horse into the counties of Mayo and
Galway. Their progress was marked by carnage and
burnings. Sir Eobert Stewart took possession of
Sligo, and Coote set about raising 1,400 horse, in order
to overrun the entire country. Clanricarde, who had
been appointed president by Orraond, could offer but
little resistance. His apathy in the earlier period of
the war had so diminished his influence, that the people
had little regard for him, and Ormond beheld the
critical position of his friend with a stoic's indifference.
Clanricarde, however, got about 2,500 men to oppose
the overwhelming force which was now devastating the
cor.ntry, and appointed Lord Taaffe to the command ;
but he effected nothing of importance, his efforts being
confined to the reduction of such minor places aa
Castlecoote and Jamestown. The supreme council,



• This mxn c«used a Roman Catholic dean to be hanged a shorl
time befc-ri, .vid betrayed his tnist at Warcham in England, wnicli
hf- jlsldid to th'i paaiiament forces. He was brother to Inchiquia.



Sff CONFEDERATION Ot KILKENNY.

ilarmed for the safety of Gahvay, ordered Sir James
Dillon and Malachy O'Kelly, archbishop of Tuam, to
.Irive the Scotch and English out of Sligo ; and they
attacked the place on Sunday, October 26th, with a force
f;ir inferior to their enemies. They succeeded in getting
mto the town, b-at word was brought that a large
forc^ was now coming to succour the garrison. The
confederates took alarm and fled, pursued by thp
Scotch. Malachy, archbishop of Tuam fell into their
hands, and was brutally murdered,* after quarter
given. The noblest Catholics of the province were
either slain or made prisoners, and Sligo was in the
hands of the parliament.

Now, long before these events occurred, the king,
feeling his difficulties daily increasing, and well
knowing that Ormond was so zealous a Protestant as
to be aijsolutely averse to granting the Irish confede-
rates such terms as they insisted upon, determined to
send them a Catholic envoy, in the person of Lord
Herbert, afterwards Earl of Glamorgan. He arrived
in Dublin about the end of July or beginning of
August.t Having conferred with the lord lieutenant,
Glamorgan soon after proceeded to Kilkenny, where the
supreme council was sitting, and discussing the terms
proposed by the lord lieutenant. Glamorgan had been
empowered by the king to treat with the confederates,
"and also to levy any number of men in Ireland and
other parts beyond sea, commanding of them, putting
officers over them, governors in forts and towns, and giving
him power to receive the king's rents." He, therefore,
in virtue of a commission given him by his majesty,

♦ Bruodin, in the Ilib. Z)om.,p. 652, states, that the archbishop was
eut into bits by the Scots. — " In minutas sectus est partes, abscise
brachio dcxtero, etiam post datam fidem." Mr. Hardiman, in the
History of Galway, p. 12o, has this curious note on the subject: — .
" Here is a true tragidie of the unhappie expedition of ShgoCf
viK. : — Last Sunday our forces, after t.iking the abbie of SlJgoe^
and hearing of tlie approach of Coote with a strong relief, began to
march bacli, and though they beat the enemie that day and the day
before, yet, then, a few horse of the said enemie put them most
shamefully to flight, in which flight (proh dolor) my Lord Archbishop,
Father 'I'eige Conel, Father Augustine Higgin, with other clergymen,
were killed and pittiftillie mangled, and so left ia the way aeof
Sligoe."

^ Traosactlciui of Glazaorgan, pp. 60, 61> 67.



CONFEDERATION OF KlliKENKT. 8?

entered into a treaty with the confederate bodj, by
which it was agreed, and accorded by the said Earl, on
the part of his majesty, and Richard Lord Viscount
'VCountgarret, Donogh Lord Muskerry, as commissioners
appointed by the said confederate Catholics : —

*' I.— That all the professors of the Roman Catholic
religion in Ireland, shall enjoy the free and public use
arid exercise of their religion.

" II.— That they shall hold and enjoy all the churches
by them enjoyed, or by them possessed, at any time
since the 23rd of October 1641, and all other churches
in the said kingdom, other than such as are now
actually enjoyed by his majesty's Protestant subjects.

" III — That all the Roman Catholics shall be ex-
empted from the jurisdiction of the Protestant clergy,
and that the Catholic clergy shall not be punished or
molested for the exercise of their jurisdiction over
their respective flocks. And, also, that an act shall be
passed in the next parliament for securing to them all
the king's concessions.

** IV. — Thattlie Marquess of Ormond, or any others,
shall not disturb the professors of the Roman Catholic
religion in possession of the articles above specified.

" VI — The Earl of Glamorgan engages his majesty's
word for the performance of these articles.

♦< VII — That the public faith of the kingdom shall be
engaged unto the said Earl by the commissioners of
the confederate Catholics, for sending 10,000 men by
order and declaration of the general assembly at
Kilkenny, armed, the one-half with nmskets, and the
other half with pikes, to serve his majesty in England,
Wales, or Scotland, under the command of the said
Glamorgan, as lord general of the said army ; which
army is to be kept together in one entire body, and all
other the officers and commanders of the said army are
to be named by the supreme council of the said eon-
federate Catholics, or by such others as the general
assembly of the said confederate Catholics of Ireland
shall entrust therewith."

When these articles were signed by the supreme council
and Glamorgan, the general assembly, on the 28th of
August "ordered and declared that their union and
oath of association shall reoaia firm and inviolable.



95 COUFEDERATION OF KILKERITT.

and in fall strength, in all points, and to all purpoacft
until the articles of the intended peace shall be ratified
in parliament, notwithstanding any proclamation of
the peace." But, in order to avoid the inconvenience
which the publication of these concessions might pro-
duce to the king, it was thought proper to be deferred
till the forces designed for his majesty should arrive in
England, when he might more confidently avow and con-
firm tlie concessions made, by his authority, by the Earl
Glamorgan."*

Such were the terms offered on the king's behalf by
Glamorgan, copies of which had been already sub-
mitted to the archbishops and other leading members of
the confederates. Ten weeks Avere spent - in Dublin
debating with Ormond on the articles which had nothing
to do witli this, which may be regarded as of a spiritual
nature. But the delegates from the supreme council
had likewise endeavoured to gain from the lord lieu-
tenant some concessions in favour of their religion,
as he had the public authority of his majesty, but,
not so ample a one, in that respect, as the Earl.

The commissioners were charged to hear of nothing
T^hich was contrary to, or inconsistent with, the private
concessions made by the Earl. But the terms which
the lord lieutenant would grant, especially with regard
to religion, were by no means such as were satisfac-
tory to them. While these matters were being nego-
tiated at Dublin and Kilkenny, anotlier event took
place Avliich aggravated the loss of Sligo. Towards
the end of tlie year a parliament flotilla sailed up the
Shannon, and the Earl of Thomond, who remained
neutral, and was not molested by the confederates,
(as it would appear that their orders had been rescinded,)
gave possession of his castle of Bunrattyf to the par-
liament's troops. The result was, however, in one
respect propitious, for Limerick abandoned its neutra-
•iity, and declared for the confederates.

But it is necessary that we follow the secretary.
Belling, to Rome, and introduce one who was destined

• Glairorgan's Transactions, p. 74.

t Bellinp describes Bunratty as " a noWe antient strncture, reput«id
ctrons: Avhea engines of batten- were nets? frequent." -yanxiiivc &'



CONFEDERATION OV KILKENNY. 99

to 8.ct a conspicuous part in these important and
varying scenes. Belling reached Rome about the end
of February 1645, and was presented to his Holiness
Innocent X., by Father Luke Wadding, and received
as the accredited envoy of the confederate Catholics.

The Pontiff — who is described by jMuratori* as of
rough and repellent aspeoi, yet, still of majestic
manner, was suspected to be hostile to the policy of
the French court, and of a strong leaning to the interests
of Spain — succeeded in removing the apprehensions of
both parties ; and now seeing the war which had so long
desolated the Continent drawing to a close, scarcely
needed the memorial of the Irish Catholics to turn his
attention to their then far off region. But in applying
to the court of Rome, it is quite evident that they
calculated on finding unity and power in obedience
to the supreme chief of that religion which was
their only common bond, disunited as they were
in every other respect. His Holiness having heard
from Belling the actual state of affairs, determined to
forward to Ireland considerable supplies of arms and
money, and while the secretary was at the court of
Florence he resolved to send to the confederates
a minister with the high and influential dignity of
nuncio extraordinary.

V He first selected Luigi Omodei, whom he afterwards
made a cardinal, but in consequence of the objections of
Mazarin against the appointment of a prelate who, as a
IVIilanese, was a subject of Spain, he substituted John
Baptist Rinuccini, who, being of Tuscan origin, should
be regarded as belonging to a neutral power. Tliis dis-
tinguished prelate was born at Rome, on the 15th of
September, 1592. From his earliest years he manifested
a decided predilection for the ecclesiastical profession,
and commenced liis studies under the tutelage of the Je-
suits. In his eighteenth year he went to Bologna, and
thence to Perugia, to study canon law ; and in the latter
city, when but twenty-two years of age, he received hig
(ioetor's degree, and Avas at the same time elected a mem-
ber cf the learned academy, " Delia Crusca." He soon



• ^ninll DTtal-a, aao. 1644.



100 COWFZDF.RATION OF RILXENNT.

afterwards returned to Rome, at the desire of his uncle,
the Cardinal Octavian Bandini ; and it appears tliatdur.
ing his sojourn in the Eternal City, immoderate appli-
cation to studies of a varied nature made such fearful
havoc of his health, that he never afterwards recovered
that strength and corporeal energy -which render life so
dear, and sustain it in great and arduous trials. *

To rep.air a constitution which had thus early suffered,
he retired for a while to the patrimony of his fathers, en
the banks of tht Arno ; but quiet and seclusion ill ac
cording with an active mind, he retraced his steps to
Rome, where he practised law under Monsignor Buratti,
a celebrated canonist in the court of Gregory XV.

In Rome, as elsewhere, he earned considerable cele-
brity, and was appointed by his holiness clerk of the
chamber, and M'as soon afterwards nominated one of his
domestic prelates, and secretary to the congregation of
rites. On the demise of Gregory XV., Urban VIII. was
called to the vacant throne, and the successor of Rinuc-
cini's first friend and patron, to evince the high esteem
he entertained for his piety and talents, conferred on him
the archiepiscopal see of Fermo, in the marches of An-
cona, then vacant by the death of Monsignor Dini, which
took place in the year 16*25.

His biographer informs us that his conduct in the ar-
chiepiscopal see was distinguished by the most exem-
plar}' piety and consummate wisdom ; and, as a proof of
his devoted attachment to the flock over which he pre-
sided, we learn from the same authority that he de-
clined the more exalted dignity of the metropolitan see
of Florence, which he was invited to accept by the pon-
tiff himself and the Grand Duke Ferdinand II. in the
year 1631.

This is not the place to enter into a critical analysis
of the character of the nuncio, Avhich should be learned
from the history of the events in which he took such a
prominent part. Were we to place implicit reliance on
the represetitations of his biographer, we might not he-
Bitate to pronounce him a man of genuine piety aitd
/ g^eat political acumen. Without pausing, however, to

• Aiaczl, p. 10.



^



COICFKDERATIOII O? KlLKEMNy. ''v

examine the portraiture which is given of him by sue)
interested parties as Walsh and Callaghan, • we ma)
be allowed to borrow an eulogium from one who cannol
be accused of partiality to Rinucoini, which would reflect
honour on the character of any man, and is, perhaps
rarely deserved by those placed in similar circura-
■stances : — " He Avas," says Carte, f " regular and eved
austere in his life and conversation, and far from anj
taint of avarice or corruption."

Having received his instructions from Pope Innocent
\., he set out from Rome early in the year 1645, and
proceeded to Elorence, where he was joined by the se-
cretary, Belling, who was so much astonished on learn-
ing that a nuncio had been appointed for Ireland that

/^ for three days he was unable to speak. Passing rapidly
through Genoa and Marseilles, he arrived in Paris on
the 22nd of May. According to the instructions wliich
he had received, he was led to believe that he should
hiive an opportunity of negotiating personally with the
Queen of England ; % but on his arrival at Paris circum-
stances transpired which totally removed the possibility
of a personal interview. Sir Dudley Wyat had been sent
to Paris to communicate to the queen and the French

Z. court the news of the overthrow of the royal army ;
and Rinuccini, seizing the opportunity of impressing on
her majesty's mind the necessity of making terms with
the confederate Catholics, offered to visit her in person,
and in his ministerial capacity. She, however, refused
to receive him, alleging that if she did so she woul J vio-
late the English la^, which forbade her to recognise him
and the confederate government of which he was tlie ac-
credited agent. Indeed, it is evident that some inte-
rested parties, who had no sympathy with the Irish, se-
dulously laboured to prejudice the queen's mind against
the nuncio and the Irish themselves. She had been
taught to believe that the object of Rinuecini's raissiou


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Online LibraryC. P. (Charles Patrick) MeehanThe confederation of Kilkenny → online text (page 9 of 22)