INCLUDING VERY INTERESTING INFORMATION NOT BEFORE MADE PUBLIC.
The Editor with the most profound respect, submits to the Public the following NARRATIVE.–It forms a small portion of a more extended work, calculated to contain the particulars of every remarkable occurrence, connected with the Rebellion, which happened in the course of the last year;–a year which will constitute an EPOCH in the history of Ireland, and the events of which ought to be universally known.
The moment of action is not the most favourable to accuracy of detail:–Notwithstanding the purest intentions and the most scrupulous regard to truth, much will remain, for candour to extenuate and information to supply. Impressed with this sentiment, and feeling the importance of the subject, the Editor has waited till the season of tranquility, and now presents to the public eye, the produce of his exertions. He wished to postpone the Publication in order to complete it, but he yields to the entreaties of his Friends, and finds it necessary to make some sacrifice to the eagerness of public curiosity: The remaining part is in preparation for the Press, and as he continues to be supplied by those who were witnesses at the transactions, and consequently most capable of communicating correct intelligence, he hopes soon to accomplish his design.
The Reader will perceive from the following specimen, that the accounts of the Battles are not arranged in chronological order; neither do they boast of any great pretensions to literary merit; but they will be found to have a recommendation more valuable than either–AUTHENTICITY. The Editor was less solicitous about the style of the work, than the truth of it, and where, upon investigation, the matter conveyed to him proved correct, he has given it in the language of his correspondent.
If History be, as it has been elegantly described, “Philosophy teaching by Example,”–what example more necessary to be held out to public view, and transmitted to posterity, than that which shews the dreadful effects of a Revolution attempted by force? Where the visionary politician enjoys for so short a time his sanguinary triumph–suspected even by those whom he calls his friends, he is superseded by such as are more ferocious than himself, while the fury of Fanaticism equally destroys his prospects in the mad effort to exterminate one religion and substitute another.
The perusal of such transactions must suggest useful reflections. The surviving Loyalist will rejoice in the triumph of law and the restoration of order. The surviving Rebel will repent of his folly, and enjoy the comforts which Law and Order distribute.
Such are the motives and such the object which influence the Editor of this little Work. From those who may approve of it, and whose situation and leisure furnish the opportunity, he requests further assistance. Particulars of Engagements, not included in this part, will be thankfully received, and due attention paid to them in the subsequent Publication.
Description of Clonard,
Battle of Timahoe,
Junction of the Wexford and Kildare Rebels,
Battle of Clonard,
Mrs. Tyrrell’s sufferings while prisoner with the Rebels,
Character of Col. Perry and Priest Kearns who were executed
I. Battle of Carlow,
II. Battle of Ross,
III. Battle at Castlecomber, &c.
IV. Battle of Kilcomney,
V. Second Account of the Battle at Kilcomney,
VI. Battle of Saintfield,
VII. Battle of Kilbeggan,
Battle of Naas
Battle of Kilcullen,
Battle of Hacketstown,
VIII. Battle of Arklow,
IX. Account of the depredations of the Rebels at Gorey–their sacrilegious treatment of the Church, in which they immolated two Protestants,
X. Situation of the Rebels on Vinegar-Hill,
Description of Vinegar-Hill–the Battle,
The Rebels are defeated,
XI. Accurate detail of the effects of the Rebellion in the County Wexford.
Battle at Oulard,
Attack at Enniscorthy,
Battle at the Three Rocks,
Atrocities of the Rebels and the sufferings of the Loyalists in Wexford, &c.
Names of Clergymen and principal Gentlemen put death,
Copy of an Affidavid made before the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin, relative to the attack on Prosperous
Account of the murder of Capt. Swayne–Burning of the Barracks, and the cries of the Soldiers consumed therein–Murder of Messrs. Stamer and Brewer, &c.
Clonard is situate about Twenty five miles from Dublin on the Western road leading to Mullingar. Tho’ constituted a post town, it is a very small village, consisting of an Inn and a few thatched houses; but from its situation being on the confines of two counties, Kildare and Meath, and having a bridge across the river Boyne, which opens a communication from Dublin to Westmeath, and from thence to Athlone and the Province of Connaught, it must be considered as a very important pass in all times of commotion and war. On the Dublin side of the town is situated the mansion house of the Tyrrell family, and at present belongs to John Tyrrell Esq. It is an old fashioned house, fronting the road from which it is separated by a high wall and a court yard; having an extensive garden upon its right, and a sheet of water upon the left.–Mr. John Tyrrell, being a Magistrate of both Counties, Kildare and Meath, and having exerted himself early to suppress the disturbances which were occasioned by the Defenders, naturally became an object of their resentment, and having been repeatedly menaced with an attack, he fortified his house by building up the original hall door, opening another, which might flank the approach to the house, and barricading all the lower windows, so as to render them musquet proof.
Upon the institution of the Yeomenry, Mr. John Tyrrell was honoured with a Commission to raise a Corps of Cavalry, which was immediately embodied, under the Title of the Clonard Cavalry, and Thomas Tyrrell, and Thomas Barlow, Esqs. were appointed Lieutenants. This Corps soon distinguished itself by its unwearied exertions to preserve the peace of the neighbourhood; but in the course of the Spring of 1798, Mr. John Tyrrell the Captain, receiving positive information of a conspiracy to take away his life, thought it prudent to retire with his family into England.
The command of the Corps consequently devolved upon Mr. Thomas Tyrrell, the first Lieutenant, who had also at this critical period been appointed High Sheriff of the County of Kildare.–Upon the tenth of May 1798, he received an official letter, ordering the Clonard Cavalry upon permanent duty; in this emergency Mr. Thomas Tyrrell, finding his own house at Kilreiny about one mile and a half from Clonard inconvenient, and in truth indefensible from its situation, removed with his family to his Kinsman’s house at Clonard, before described, where he mounted a guard of one Serjeant and 18 men who were to be relieved every week.
Orders were about the same time issued to Captain O Ferrall of the Ballina Cavalry, to mount a permanent guard at Johnstown, near the Nineteen Mile house, which were accordingly complied with: but upon the 16th of May, reports of a general rising having been circulated, and being corroborated by encreasing outrages in the neighbourhood, Captain O Ferrall was permitted to fall back from Johnstown to Clonard in the night time for protection; repairing to Johnstown at four o’Clock in the morning, and retiring to Clonard in the evening.
In this way matters went on for some time, when the country becoming still more disturbed and apprehensions of an attack upon Clonard becoming more serious, Lieutenant Thomas Tyrrell repaired to Dublin, with an escort of his Corps, leaving the command at Clonard with Lieutenant Barlow. The object of this visit to Dublin, was to represent to Government the situation of that part of the country, the daily apprehensions of an attack, and the necessity of a reinforcement. Lord Castlereagh, to whom these representations were made, answered, that under the existing circumstances no force could be sent to Clonard, but Mr. Thomas Tyrrell was authorized to raise some Supplementaries, for whom he would be supplied with arms and ammunition.
Pending this application in Dublin, viz. upon the 29th of May the Rebels assembled to the number of 800 in the village of Carbery, five miles from Clonard, where they burned the Protestant Charter School and several houses; they then proceeded through Johnstown, burning and destroying the house of every protestant near the road. Towards evening they halted at a place called Gurteen, where they destroyed the house of Mr. Francis Metcalf.–When intelligence of these transactions reached Clonard, Lieutenant Barlow marched out with a party of the guard, and being joined by Captain O Ferrall they went in pursuit of the Rebels, but did not over take them, until they had halted at Gurteen, where they had taken a very advantageous position upon each side of a narrow road, behind strong quickset hedges, so that Cavalry could not approach them with any prospect of success. Lieutenant Barlow halted his men, and then advancing some paces towards the enemy, took off his helmet, and challenged them to come forward. They however declined leaving their entrenchments, and night approaching, the Yeomenry with great reluctance returned to their Guard house.
On the 30th of May Lieutenant Thomas Tyrrell arrived safe from Dublin, with his escort, carabines for the Troop, musquets for the Supplementaries and a quantity of ammunition. The next day he enrolled nineteen well affected protestants to act as Supplementaries and dismounted.
By this time the Rebels had collected a very considerable force and every night committed some outrage and depredation. They encamped upon an Island in the bog of Timahoe, and also at Mucklin and Dreihid; they plundered almost every house in the neighbourhood of their respective places, drove away all the fat cattle and horse they could meet, and intercepted the supplies for the Dublin market.
BATTLE OF TIMAHOE.
Government being apprized of these proceedings, dispatched General Champagne to Clonard, where he arrived upon the 6th of June; and after consulting with Lieutenant Tyrrell, was escorted by him to Edendery, where the General expected a detatchment of the Limerick Militia; but being disappointed in this respect, an express was sent to Philipstown to hasten the reinforcement, which arrived at Edendery upon the evening of the 7th; and on the next day, General Champagne, having arranged his plan of operations, marched from Edendery, with the following forces: A detatchment of the Limerick Militia, under Lieutenant Colonel Gough; the Coolestown Yeomen Cavalry, under Captain Wakely and Lieutenant Cartland; the Canal Legion, under Lieutenant Adam Williams; the Clonard Cavalry, Lieutenant T. Tyrrell; and the Ballina Cavalry, Captain O Ferrall. These several corps were distributed, so as that the Cavalry should surround the bog of Timahoe, while the Infantry attacked the Camp upon the Island: This judicious plan was completely executed,–the contest was obstinate for some time, owing to the small number of the Infantry, who led on the attack; but their firmness and discipline supplying the want of numbers, the Limerick, headed by the gallant Colonel Gough, and ably supported by Lieutenant Williams marched into the entrenchments, drove the Rebels from their camp, who were attacked in their flight by the Cavalry and many of them put to death. The Camp was entirely destroyed; and a great quantity of prisoners and considerable booty were carried off by the victors!
On the 29th of June, Lieutenant Tyrrell having received information that a large body of Rebels had stationed themselves upon a hill near his dwelling-house at Kilreiny, and had committed various robberies in the course of the preceding night, he went to Kinnegad to solicit a reinforcement and sent an express to Edendery for a force to co-operate with him. The Kinnegad Yeomen Cavalry, under Lieutenant Houghton, and a small party of the Northumberland Fencibles immediately marched with Lieutenant Tyrrell to Clonard, and from thence being joined by his own Corps, he proceeded to Fox’s hill, where the Rebels were posted to the amount of 600.–The attack was began by the Clonard Supplementaries, who displayed great steadiness upon this occasion; the Kinnegad Corps and the Northumberlands supported the attack with great zeal, and the Edenderry force consisting of a detatchment of the Limerick, Lieutenant Colonel Gough, the Coolestown Cavalry, Captain Wakely and the Canal Legion, Lieutenant Williams, having fallen upon the Rebels from the opposite side, they were routed with considerable slaughter. Their commander, one Casey, his brother and another Leader were killed in this action, and their bodies brought to Edenderry, where they were exposed for several days.
JUNCTION OF THE WEXFORD AND KILDARE REBELS.
It might have been hoped, that these successes would have established tranquility in this neighbourhood, and probably such effects would have followed the military exertions, were it not for the irruption of a large column of Wexford Rebels into Kildare, under the command of Colonel Perry who being immediately joined by Colonel Aylmer, commanding the Rebel Camp at Prosperous, was prevailed upon to abandon his intention of penetrating into the North, and to adopt a plan suggested by Aylmer, of attacking Clonard, pushing on from thence by Kilbeggan to the Shannon and surprising Athlone. In pursuance of this plan, the Rebel Forces amounting to 4000 men made a movement towards Clonard.
BATTLE OF CLONARD.
Lieutenant Tyrrell was totally unapprised of the intention, or motions of the enemy:–his guard were extremely vigilant during each night, but not apprehending any danger in the day time they frequently dispersed through the village for the purpose of recreation and refreshment. This happened to be the case with many of his men upon Wednesday morning the 11th of July, on which day, about eleven o’Clock Mr. Richard Allen galloped into the Court, and brought intelligence that he was pursued by a piquet guard of the Rebels, whom he narrowly escaped as they were well mounted; and he was confident a considerable force was approaching. The alarm was instantly given–every exertion was made to collect the scattered men, and parties were stationed in the most advantageous positions. As the enemy were expected from the Dublin side, six of the Corps (including Mr. Allen and Thomas Tyrrell junr. the Lieutenant’s son, and only fifteen years of age) took possession of an old Turret at the extremity of the garden; and which commanded the road. Such was the rapidity with which the Rebels advanced, that the firing actually commenced from this quarter upon their Cavalry before the entire guard could be collected, and the gate leading into the Court yard was under such necessity closed to the exclusion of several, so that when Lieutenant Tyrrell came to ascertain his strength, he found he had only Twenty-seven men, including his own three sons, the eldest of whom was only seventeen years old! Such a critical situation required the coolness of a man innured to military danger, and all the exertion, firmness and skill of a veteran soldier. But although Lieutenant Tyrrell never had served in the Army, his own good sense supplied the want of experience, and his native courage furnished resources adequate to the magnitude of the occasion. He found his men as zealous as himself, determined to maintain their post and to discharge their duty to their King and Country, or fall in such a glorious cause. After sending a supply of ammunition to the advanced post at the Turret, and stationing other out-posts, he retired into the house with the main body, from which he selected the best marksmen, and placing them at particular windows gave directions that they should not fire without having their object covered, he had the rest of the men secured behind the walls and incessantly employed in loading musquets and carabines for the marksmen at the windows.
The firing as we have observed commenced from the Turret at the extremity of the garden. About 300 of the Rebel Cavalry lead on by one Farrell formed their advanced guard, and approached the Turret in a smart trot, without appearing to apprehend any danger. The first shot was fired by young Mr. Tyrrell, which mortally wounded Farrell, and being followed by a general discharge from the rest among the body of the Cavalry, threw them into great confusion, in which state they fled out of the reach of the firing. The Infantry however coming up, many of them contrived to pass the Turret under cover of the wall, and numbers were posted behind a thick hedge on the opposite side of the road, from which they kept up a smart fire against the Turret, but without doing any material mischief.
The Infantry who had passed the Turret being joined by a party who came by a cross road (for it seems their plan was to surround the house by advancing in different directions) they stationed a guard upon the Bridge to prevent any reinforcement arriving in that direction. About ten or a dozen of this guard were in a very few minutes shot by the marksmen from the windows, upon which the rest fled; not one of the Rebels ventured afterwards to appear upon the Bridge, so that the communication with the Western road was in a great measure preserved, the importance of which to the little garrison in Clonard will appear in the event of the day.
The enemy being thus defeated in their first onset in both points of attack, became exasperated to an extravagant pitch of fury, and determined upon the most savage revenge. A large party contrived to penetrate into the garden, by the rere, and some of them immediately rushed into the Turret. The Yeomen stationed there were upon an upper floor–they had the precaution to drag up the ladder by which they ascended;–the Rebels endeavoured to climb upon each other, so as to reach the upper story, but they were killed as fast as they appeared; others then ran their pikes through the cieling, and fired shots but without effect–the conflict was obstinate–twenty seven of the Rebels lay dead on the ground floor, when at length, a quantity of straw was brought and set on fire. The building was soon in flames; two of the yeomen, Mr. Michael Cusack and Mr. George Tyrrell, endeavouring to force their way through the smoke were immediately put to death; the rest of the party viz. Mr. Allen, young Mr. T. Tyrrell, and two others escaped by leaping from a window twenty foot high into an hay-yard, from whence under cover of a wall which divided it from the garden they escaped into the house.
Having succeeded so well by the effect of conflagration, the enemy set fire to the Toll house and some other cabbins on the left near the Bridge, for the purpose of embarassing and confusing the garrison; during this operation, they were seen throwing their dead into the flames, for the purpose, it was thought of evading discovery.
The Battle had now lasted near six hours: about five in the evening the approach of succour was descried from the house–the hopes of all were elevated and they fought with renovated vigour.
One of the guard who had been excluded by the sudden shutting of the gates in the morning, finding he could be of no other use, repaired to Kinnegad, represented the situation of his friends at Clonard, upon which fourteen of the Kinnegad Infantry, under Lieutenant Houghton, and eleven Northumberland Fencibles, under the command of a Serjeant, immediately collected and with great gallantry marched for Clonard. The communication by the Bridge having been kept open in the manner before related, Lieutenant Tyrrell sallied from the house, and soon effected a junction with this reinforcement. A few vollies completely cleared the roads, and having then placed the Northumberland and Kinnegad men in such situations as most effectually to gall the enemy in their retreat from the garden, the Lieutenant undertook in person, the hazardous enterprise of dislodging them from thence.
At this time, it is supposed there were 400 Rebels in the garden; numbers of them were posted upon a mount planted with old fir trees, which afforded considerable protection, and many lay concealed behind a privet hedge, from whence they could distinctly see every person who entered the garden, tho’ they could not be seen themselves–Lieutenant Tyrrell at the head of a few picked men, rushed into the garden; and was received by a general discharge from both parties of the enemy: no time was lost in attacking the party behind the hedge, who being defeated, retired to the mount;–here the action again became warm, the Rebels appeared determined to maintain the advantage of their situation, and the Yeomen, tho’ fatigued with the labour of the day, could not think of retiring. Six of them were badly wounded, among whom was Mr. Richard Allen, who had so gallantly defended the Turrett–a ball passed thro’ his left arm, and entered his side; his comrades still persevered with the most undaunted courage, and supporting a steady and well directed fire against the mount, the enemy were at length dispersed, and in their flight were met by the Northumberland and Kinnegad Corps who made great havoc among them.
The victory was now complete–as glorious an achievement, we will venture to say, as occurred during the whole rebellion, and for which the gallant officers and men can never be too much applauded, whether we consider it as an unexampled display of genuine loyalty and true courage, or estimate its value from its immence importance to that part of the country and the kingdom at large. It was the first check which the United Army of Wexford and Kildare experienced and proved the fore-runner of those multiplied defeats which terminated in its total dispersion.
MRS. TYRRELL’S SUFFERINGS WHILE PRISONER WITH THE REBELS.
After the Battle it might have been expected that the little garrison would have given themselves up to an excess of joy; but the breast of their Commander was filled with anxious solicitude—-the partner of his heart–his wife, the mother of those three gallant youths, who mixed in the hottest scenes of the day, was absent the whole time, and no tidings of her had reached the garrison. The men sympathised with the husband and the children, and success was thought incomplete, until she was restored to their embraces.
Probably the reader may participate somewhat of a similar feeling, and desire some gratification from a brief narrative of the circumstances attending the Lady while in possession of the Rebels.
On the morning of the 11th of July, about the hour that the guard dispersed, as we have before mentioned, Mrs. Tyrrell went in her carriage from Clonard to her own house at Kilreiny upon some domestic concerns–she soon heard the Rebels were approaching, and speedily drove back with the hope of reaching Clonard before them. In this however she was disappointed; the noise of musquetry convinced her of the impractibility of this attempt. The servant was ordered to turn about and drive to Kilreiny, from whence she intended to send an express to Edenderry–she had not however proceeded many yards, when the carriage was overtaken by two men on horseback, armed with drawn swords who with oaths and menaces ordered the servant to stop–They turned the carriage back towards Clonard until they overtook about 200 men armed with pikes, a few musquets and some swords. They searched the carriage for arms, but did not find any. Mrs. Tyrrell describes the men as a ragged, wretched looking banditti: three of them, armed with musquets mounted the boot of the carriage; three more got behind it–and in this manner attended by a great crowd, the carriage was drove two miles round to the high road leading from Dublin to Clonard: here they kept her a prisoner, notwithstanding her frequent entreaties to be enlarged; she at one time apprehended the pike-men would cut her to pieces, as they quarrelled among themselves, some disposed to treat her with civility–others the reverse–After some time she prevailed upon them to permit her to retire into a cabin, the inhabitants of which knew her, and two men armed with musquets were placed as centries. She there remained, until the Rebels were defeated at Clonard, when the whole body upon their retreat assembled at the cabin; one of the rebel officers came in and desired Mrs. Tyrrell to get into her carriage; she asked for what purpose. He replied, that she must go with them; she entreated him to permit her to remain where she was, and that her carriage and horses were at his service; he for some time denied her request: but falling on her knees to supplicate him, he told her she might stay:–He then withdrew, but immediately a great common fellow came in, seized her by the arm, dragged her to the door, and desired some men to lift her upon a horse, which had been provided for her, as some wounded men were to be put into the carriage. Mrs. Tyrrell’s alarm now became excessive–she looked round for the person, who had consented to let her remain in the cabin, and getting her arms round him reminded him of his promise. He acknowledged his engagement, but confessed he had not power to perform it–that she must go with them, but would be accomodated with her own carriage. Three or four men then thrust her into the carriage, which moved on, attended by an immense body of people, and a great number of officers. When they had proceeded about a mile, the carriage was stopped and entered by Col. Perry, who said, he was fatigued. Mrs. Tyrrell endeavoured to prevail upon him to let her go–but in vain–she told him, she would use all her influence for his advantage, if ever she had an oportunity–He answered, that the Yeomen had taken a general officer, at Clonard, and that she must remain a Prisoner till his fate was known.–After some time, the carriage was stopped again, and a fellow came in, who told Col. Perry, he had a right to it, as he had taken it, and tho’ quite a common fellow, Perry had not power to prevent him. Mrs. Tyrrell then applied to this man for protection; he answered, that she could not obtain her liberty. She was now reduced to all the anguish of despair, when a gleam of hope suddenly darted across her mind, upon seeing a man riding beside the carriage whose countenance was perfectly familiar–This was one Kearns, a popish priest, who had been for some time a curate in the neighbourhood of Clonard, and had always been received in Mr. Tyrrell’s house, with the respect due to his clerical function, and the hospitality of an Irish gentleman. Upon meeting a man, who had feasted for weeks together at her table, and a clergyman too! she thought herself secure and implored his protection:–He coldly answered–“O, yes, Madam”–But with all the base and black ingratitude of a sullen and unfeeling heart, insensible to past kindness, he drew back his horse, and with the jesuitical prevarication, natural to such a character, determined not to interfere, while he neglected to console her with an implied offer of assistance.—-Thus deserted, she again abandoned herself to despair, and began to prepare herself for that death, which she now looked upon as inevitable.—-A man, who sat upon the boot of the carriage, was suddenly struck with the fervency of her devotion, and turning round, said, He had as much authority as any other man there, and that the lady should do as she pleased. Elevated a little from her despondency by this expression, Mrs. Tyrrell gave him her gold watch, promising him any further reward he would demand, if he would procure her liberty.—-At this time a person in the garb of an officer, and whose countance beamed with the rays of humanity, rode up to the carriage–she immedeiately addressed him in the most supplicating terms–imploring him to take pity upon a poor defenceless woman, who had not, and who could not injure him–He interrogated her as to who she was and how she came there.–She told him–He protested, that he did not before know of any such thing and requested to know, what she wished to do—-She replied that she only required to be let on her feet, that she might proceed home. He immediately ordered the cavalcade to stop–handed her out of the carriage in the most kind and humane manner–conducted her thro’ an immense crowd of armed men, and apologized for not accompanying her to Clonard, by saying, “she knew, he could not do it with safety.”–Mrs. Tyrrell made him the acknowledgements of a grateful heart, and begged to be entrusted with his name, that if ever it should be in her power, she might return the kindness she had then experienced and repay the obligations she had received.–He said, he was afraid, she could not do him any service, and with apparent reluctance, told her, he was Captain Byrne!–He then returned to his party, and Mrs. Tyrrell having met some of the people in whose cabin she was a prisoner, they accompanied her to Clonard, where she was consoled for all her sufferings by finding her husband and children alive.
The gentleman (for such his conduct evinced him to be) who called himself, Captain Byrne, proved to be Mr. Byrne of Ballymanus, in the county of Wicklow, who afterwards surrendered himself to Government, and Lieutenant Tyrrell being in Dublin at the time, repaired to the Castle, had an interview with Mr. Byrne, expressed his acknowledgements to him in the warmest terms, and represented the conduct of Mr. Byrne to the administration in such a manner, as shewed the Lieutenant’s sense of the obligation, while it promoted the lenient disposition which was afterwards manifested to Mr. Byrne.
Thus have we given an authentic detail of the battle of Clonard and the circumstances attending it, which in fact have been but little known, no official account having ever been published concerning it. One subject of regret however remains for the victors in the loss of Mr. Richard Allen, who died of his wounds in a few days after at Mullingar, regretted by all who knew him, as a young gentleman of unsullied integrity and undaunted courage–attached to his King by the purest principles of loyalty, and to his family by the warmest affection–He was a zealous yeoman and a steady friend. All that seems necessary to add, is to say a few words respecting the fate of this Rebel Army and its leaders.
FATE OF THE REBELS.
After proceeding some distance from Clonard, along the Dublin road, they turned to the right and took up their quarters for the night in the village of Carbery–where they possessed themselves of Lord Harberton’s house, and indulged in drinking wine and spirits to excess–they were most of them intoxicated, in which state had they been attacked, they must have been totally destroyed.–But the force at Clonard was too small, had suffered too severely and expended too much ammunition to attempt a pursuit–On the morning of the 12th of July, the Rebels moved from Carbery to Johnstown, and from thence by the nineteen-mile-house into the county of Meath–They were pursued by Lieutenant Col. Gough, with a small party of the Limerick Militia, and the Edenderry yeomen–An express had been sent to Col. Gordon, commanding at Trim, to march out with a force from thence, and co-operate with the Edenderry detachment–Col. Gordon accordingly left Trim with 200 men and two pieces of cannon, but from some fatality, yet unexplained, did not join in the attack, which Lieutenant Col. Gough, after waiting some time and reconnoitering the enemy posted upon a hill, commenced against them, with only sixty infantry and twenty cavalry. The event of that engagement is well known, the Rebels were compleatly defeated, leaving immense booty of cattle, &c. behind them.
They were next pursued by General Myers, with detachments of the Dublin Yeomenry and Buckinhamshire Militia, and tho’ the General was not fortunate enough to overtake them, yet he drove them towards Slane, where they were attacked by General Meyrick, and in several subsequent days were met by different military bodies who successively routed them, so that at length this formidable body was completely dispersed.
CHARACTER OF COL. PERRY, AND PRIEST KEARNS WHO WERE EXECUTED.
Every man who surrvived thought only of providing for his own safety–Col. Perry and Father Kearns made their escape into the King’s County, and were attempting to cross a bog near Clonbollogue, where they were apprehended by Mr. Ridgeway and Mr. Robinson of the Edenderry Yeomen, who brought them to that town, where they were tried and executed by martial law. Perry was extremely communicative, and while in custody both before and after trial gratified the enquiries of every person who spoke to him, and made such a favourable impression, that many regretted his fate–He acknowledged, that 150 of the rebels were killed and 60 wounded at Clonard–which tho’ accomplished by 27 men will not appear extraordinary, when it is known that these 27 men fired upwards of 1300 ball cartridge.
Kearns was exactly the reverse of his companion–he was silent and sulky, and seldom spoke, save to upbraid Perry for his candid acknowledgements–The history of this Priest is somewhat extraordinary–He had actually been hanged in Paris, during the reign of Robespierre, but being a large heavy man, the lamp-iron from which he was suspended, gave way, till his toes reached the ground–in this state, he was cut down by a physician, who had known him, brought him to his house and recovered him. He afterwards made his escape into Ireland;–was constituted a Curate of a chapel near Clonard, and having suffered so much by democratic rage and insurrectionary fury, he was looked upon as an acquisition in the neighbourhood, then much disturbed by the defenders–He inveighed against these nightly marawders with such appearance of sincerity and zeal, that he was frequently consulted by the Magistrates, and sometimes accompanied them in their patroles–Some suspicion of treachery on his part was at length entertained, from the uniform discovery of the operations agreed upon by the Magistrates, in consequence of which, he was excluded from their councils, and a positive information being sworn against him for instigating a murder which was afterwards actually committed, he fled into Wexford, where he became a member of an assassinating committee, in which capacity he continued to be extremely active, until he accompanied Col. Perry upon the expedition into Kildare, which he is known to have encouraged, and which finally led him to that fate, which was the just reward of an hypocritical and malignant heart, filled with gloomy and ferocious passions–He seemed rather to be an instrument of Hell, than a minister of Heaven, for his mind was perpetually brooding over sanguinary schemes and plans of rapine, while he assumed the sacred vestments of a servant of Christ!
CARLOW JUNE 31st, 1798.
My Dr. Friend,
Your affectionate letter I did not receive till eight days after date: I have felt much uneasiness at not having it in my power to answer it sooner; you may think it strange that in the space of ten days I could not procure time for that purpose, but were you acquainted with my situation you would be convinced that it is a fact. If I live to see you, I trust fully to convince you of the same.
Providentially for me I was absent from Carlow the time of the attack on that Town, I say providentially, for my warm spirit and forward disposition might have led me into danger. The account which I received from people of veracity, who were on the spot is as follows.
On the 24th of May, the day preceding the attack, Haydon, a Yeoman, but an officer of the Rebels, repaired to the Country, and spent the day in mustering his Forces. A letter relative to the business, directed to Mr. J. D. of Arles, was by mistake put into the hands of a Loyal Yeoman of the same christian and sirname, and residing in the same place: The bearer was conveyed to Maryborough and executed, and the letter sent to Col. M– who commanded in Carlow, by means of which the Military had timely notice of the intentions of the Rebels. There being no Barrack for Infantry in the Town, the men were billeted upon the Inhabitants; the genteeler sort paying for their lodging, they were in general quartered in the Cabins. The intention of the Rebels was to murder the Soldiers in their lodgings, surprise and take the Horse Barracks, and then make themselves masters of the Town, which in all probability they would have done, had not God brought their designs to light in the manner above mentioned; for on receipt of the above information the Infantry were ordered into the Barracks, and kept under arms till the Insurgents had entered the Town.
About twelve o’Clock the Rebels came forward in great force, and too confident of a victory not yet gained, gave three cheers crying “the Town is our own!” but how dreadfully were they disappointed? for in that moment, the military rushing forward, cut them down in all quarters; and having posted themselves in an advantageous manner cut off almost all possibility of a retreat. Many of these deluded creatures fled into the houses for shelter, but there justice pursued them–for the Soldiers set them on fire immediately. About eighty houses were burned, but the numbers consumed therein could not be ascertained.
It is supposed not less than six hundred fell that morning; and what is surprising, only two I believe were found among the bodies with any simptoms of life!
Thus did God frustrate the designs of the wicked, and display his justice and mercy in a singular manner–His justice, in suffering the ungodly to fall into the pit which they had digged for their innocent, unoffending neighbours; and his mercy, in preserving those whom he employed as the Executioners of his vengeance on his Enemies. Not a Soldier or Yeoman was so much as slightly wounded! One Soldier indeed who had not left his billet, they hung with a sheet; but being soon extricated he recovered immediately.
Sir. E. C. Bart. Haydon, Kelly, Kane, Borro, two Murphys, one of them a Serjeant in the Yeomenry, and several others were executed a few days after. Haydon it is said, finding it going against his friends, slipt into his Father’s house, dressed himself in his Regimentals, and came out and fought against those whom he had a few hours before led to the slaughter.
Thus by the interference of HIM who declares a hair of our head cannot fall without his permission, was an innocent people saved from the murderous designs of a Sanguinary Foe.
I Remain yours Affectionately
ROSS, JULY 20th, 1798.
My Dr. Friend,
The following account relative to the affair at Ross is remarkably brief: particulars would fill a Volume, and as there are many things said concerning it which cannot be depended on, I think it best to confine myself to a few plain facts which are not disputed by any.
On the 4th of June in the evening, the Rebels to the amount of near 20000, took possession of Corbit Hill, one mile distant from Ross. The military force in the town was remarkably small, the fears of the Inhabitants were raised to an alarming height, but the coming in of the County Dublin Militia quieted them much.
Between three and four o’Clock on the morning of the fifth, the engagement commenced, Early in the action the Rebels were for some time victorious, having driven before them all the black cattle they could collect through the country; this threw the military into confusion, and obliged many of them to retreat in great confusion over the Bridge; some pieces of Cannon also fell into the hands of the Enemy. The Rebels then set fire to the houses in the suburbs, about two hundred and fifty of which were consumed; but this turned to their own disadvantage, for the wind blowing towards them they were inveloped in smoke, which together with the immoderate quantity of spirituous liquors they drank on Corbet-Hill, rendered them incapable of their business. The Dublin and Donegal Militia who kept the guards at the Market-house and Fair-gate never left their post, by means of which the Rebels could not penetrate into the centre of the town; had they ran, Ross, and in all probability the provincial towns in Munster would have fallen.
The Soldiers who retreated (except some who fled to Waterford) soon rallied again, and entering the town in a furious manner, obliged the enemy to run. The Battle lasted for near twelve hours–3000 Rebels it is said lay dead in and near the town; many also must have died of their wounds: ’tis thought that between fifty and sixty of the Military fell: ’twas too many, but we could hardly expect such a victory on more reasonable terms. B. B. Harvey was commander in chief of the Rebels; but for his bad generalship on that day was deposed, and the command was afterwards given to Roach.
‘Twas on this dreadful day that the Barn at Scollabogue, in which one hundred and seventy Protestants, Men, Women, and Children were confined, was burned: the Rebels in their retreat from Ross set it on fire, lest the Prisoners would escape. About twenty of these sufferers I was personally acquainted with, some of them were my intimate friends. This burning was not the act of one person as some report, Priest Shallow of the parish of Newbawn was present, and twenty five not included in the above number were shot in the most deliberate manner, their cloaths being worth preserving. I pass within two miles of the melancholy spot every month, and often converse with those who know every particular relative to it, both Loyalists and Rebels.—-
Yours, F. R.
COLLIERY, AUGUST 1st, 1798.
My Dr. Friend,
It would give me much satisfaction to have it in my power fully to comply with your request, by furnishing you with an accurate detail of the Engagements which took place between his Majesty’s Troops and the Rebels, for the publication you mention. If the following particulars to which I was an eye witness can be of any service, you are at liberty to make what use you please of the same.
On the Morning of the twenty third of June, the Rebels who had been driven from Vinegar Hill appeared opposite New-Bridge or Gore’s-Bridge, a neat Village on the River Barrow, Co. Kilkenny. The Forces quartered there, consisting of one Troop of the 4th Dragoon Guards and a Company of the Wexford Militia prepared to stop their progress, and in order thereto took possession of the Bridge; but perceiving the Rebels planting their Cannon on the opposite side, and fording the River in considerable numbers (the water being low,) they were obliged to retreat; all the Cavalry escaped, but about twenty of the Infantry were made Prisoners, many of whom were put to death on that and the following day. Their intention (as one who had been prisoner with them informed me) was to form a junction with the Colliers, and after taking Castle Comber, to proceed to Kilkenny on Monday morning.
From New-Bridge they proceeded through Kelly-Mount (plundering as they went along) to a hill five miles from Castle-Comber, in the range of mountains called the Ridge, where they stopped for the night.
Finding it impossible to get to Ross according to my travelling plan, I was obliged to take up my quarters in the Colliery the week before. Here I remained in total ignorance of what was going forward in other parts of the Country, till the twenty third, the day above mentioned, when an Express arrived, informing us that the Rebels had crossed the Barrow, and were on their way here. In order to know the truth of the information I rode off accompanied by a friend towards the Ridge. After riding about three miles I got in view of their Camp, and by the assistance of a pocket Tellescope could discern their numbers to be about 8000. They had two stand of white Colours, and some Soldiers (I suppose those taken that morning) along with them. Here I met ten or twelve Loyalists with fire arms; two or three of their company were just murdered by the Rebel picquets, and some more wounded. Having procured a musket I advanced with four more till we came in sight of the dead bodies; but as the Rebel scouts were within musket shot we did not think it prudent to venture farther.
Seeing a Man covered with blood a distance from me, I called to him; he crawled forward and fell at my feet,–he was a Loyalist, and had received a dreadful wound from a broad sword on the head, and a few slight wounds on other parts of the body. Imagining there was no probability of his recovery, I advised him to make the best use of the few remaining moments he had, but on examining his wounds, and having cause to believe they were not mortal, I bound them up in the best manner I could, and procuring a horse to carry him, my friend and I at the risk of our lives brought him four miles across the mountains to Castle-Comber, were he was dressed: He is now perfectly recovered; and the happiness which the remembrance of that transaction affords me, more than compensates for the danger and labour which attended it.
From seven till ten o’Clock the roads were crowded with the Protestants flying from all parts of the adjacent country, into Castle-Comber. At one o’Clock a Troop of the 4th Dragoons, a Company of the Downshire Militia, and a few Yeomen arrived from Ballinakill; these with a Troop of the R. Irish Dragoons, two Companies of the Waterford Militia, and one Corps of Yeomen Cavalry, about two hundred and fifty in all, made up the whole of our Military force; a small number to oppose 8000 Furies! but that the Battle is not to the strong, the event of that day proved.
About four o’Clock, the Rebels arrived at Gurteen, three miles from Castle Comber, where they heard Mass; at five they had Mass again, (it being a holyday) at the Gizebo, a mile nearer.
Between six and seven the engagement began at Cool-bawn, one mile and half from Town. Being with the advanced Guard I was present at the commencement. The Rebels advanced in the most daring manner, and in pretty good order, having placed their Musketeers in the front who kept up a brisk fire. I continued behind the Infantry for about fifteen minutes, during which time the balls were whistling on every side. I was so ignorant as to enquire what occasioned the whistling noise, and being informed it proceeded from the balls, I began to think of providing for my safety, as my presence there was useless, having at this time no Arms. I then planted myself behind the pier of a gate; but observing the Rebels advance and the Soldiers to give way, I rode back to the Town: the Cavalry followed immediately, and just behind me shot a villain who had the audacity to desire the Officer to surrender the Town. Here I had a miraculous escape; for many of the Infantry who came down close behind me were shot, by lurking Rebels from behind the hedges.
The Military then took possession of the Bridge, where the battle continued hot for the space of fifteen minutes, when Captain G–n. ordered a retreat: the Cavalry and part of the Infantry instantly obeyed, but about twenty of the Waterford Militia absolutely refused, declaring “they would prefer death to dishonour.” they were mostly Roman Catholics! I had not heard the order, but my horse taking head ran off; when I knew their intentions, I did not attempt to prevent him. We halted about a mile and half from the Town, when looking behind we beheld it all in a blaze, the Rebel Inhabitants and some who came the back way, set it on fire. The firing ceased for a few minutes, the cause I know not, but words cannot express what I felt that moment; I concluded that my unoffending friends had fallen victims to the human Savages: they were presented to my imagination in a thousand dreadful forms. God pardon my feelings in that moment! how hard it is to forgive such Enemies. I proceeded slowly till I met General Asgill, with about 1000 Men: with these I returned, sunk with sorrow, fearing the tragic sight which I expected to present itself on entering the Town would be too much to bear; but thanks be to God my fears were groundless,–the few Military which remained, and about thirty Protestants, who were determined to fight for their Wives and Children, or perish with them, kept possession, nor suffered a Rebel to cross the Bridge. Our Cannon in mistake played on the Town for some time, but providentially no lives were lost thereby. The Rebels on sight of the reinforcement took shelter in the woods, and from thence killed a few of the Military; but eighteen rounds of Grape shot dislodged them. ‘Twas four in the afternoon before they retreated. It is said 400 of the Rebels fell. There were twenty six Protestants in coloured cloaths, and about twenty Soldiers killed, some of the former were butchered in cold blood, in a manner too dreadful to relate.
For the safety of Kilkenny, the Troops were obliged to return there that night; the Loyalists who fled with them I think could not be less than 600; they left the most of their property behind them, which a party of the Rebels who returned carried off.
The hand of God was visible in our deliverance that day; but remarkably so in three instances which I shall mention.–First, from midnight till five o’Clock, we had the greatest Fog I remember to have seen; had it not been for this, in all probability the Rebels would have divided themselves into different parties, and surrounded the Town: but being strangers in the Country, and not knowing where they might meet the Army, they kept in a body on the main road, and attacked us but in one place. Secondly, the burning of the Town; for the day being remarkably calm, the smoak lay on the street, which prevented them from seeing our Force; for had they known that the Army fled, ’tis more than probable they would have entered, as there were many Entrances unguarded.
Thirdly, the Waterford Militia’s disobedience of Orders,–had they retreated without a very extraordinary miracle the Loyalists would have fallen a prey to their unmerciful yet unprovoked Enemies.
Yours &c. F. R.
KILKENNY, AUGUST 30th, 1798.
My Dr. Friend,
In a former letter you have an account of the fate of Castle-Comber, &c.–I have only to notice in this, that some Gentlemen who fell into the hands of the Rebels while in possession of that town were brought into the presence of the Rebel general Murphy, who is said to have been a Priest in the Co. Wexford, and was excommunicated for his bad conduct many years ago.–He was dressed in black, affected the appearance of a stupid enthusiast, and shewed some bullets which he said had been fired at him, but had rebounded from his invulnerable body–incredible as it may seem, this wretched invention was generally believed by the more wretched dupes under his command–You have here a real statement of the facts, of which I know you have sufficient curiosity to desire to be informed.
On Monday morning[A] our reconnoitring parties observed the Rebel Army posted on the bog, between John’s-well mountains and the Ridge, about eight miles distant from this City–they seemed to be at rest, and remained quiet except when relieving their Centinels, till four o’Clock, when they were observed to move to the right along the Ridge towards Kelly-mount and New-bridge.
[Footnote A: The writer omitted the date.]
In the course of the evening several false alarms electrified the inhabitants here–Yet the Garrison was left the whole day at rest. Next morning Sir C. Asgill marched with a large force, consisting of two pieces of Artillery, part of the Wexford and Wicklow regiments, of the 4th, 5th, and 9th, Dragoons, of Hompesch’s Cavalry, the Romney Fencibles, and of the Kilkenny, Gowran, Fassadineen Shillelogher, Desart, Thomastown, Myshall, and Kellishin Cavalry, he was joined on the march by the Leighlin-bridge Infantry, and part of the Downshire Militia, with their Artillery, also the Maryborough and Ballyfin Corps of Yeomen Cavalry.
About six o’Clock he came up with the Rebel Army, amounting to from five to six thousand men, advantageously posted on a rising ground, in an extensive flat, at Kilcomny, near Gore’s-Bridge–nothing could exceed the joy of our brave Soldiers, after so many fatiguing marches, at last to have a pleasing prospect of retaliating; the Officers were constantly obliged to restrain their ardour. The engagement began with a terrible fire of Artillery, which the Rebels returned with quickness, but entirely without effect.
A very hot fire was kept up near an hour, but unable to withstand the impetuosity of our troops the Rebels began to give way, and fled towards the Co. Wexford.
A horrible slaughter now ensued, which lasted six or seven hours, nor did it cease while a Rebel was to be seen–1100 Rebels were left dead on the field of Action! among whom was the invulnerable commander Murphy. This victory was so very decisive that we have got possession of all their Artillery, amounting to 15 pieces of different callibre–all their Standards, Ammunition, and Baggage, a vast number of Pikes, Muskets, Swords, &c. 700 horses, a great quantity of black cattle, Sheep, &c. also a vast quantity of bedding, blanketting, and wearing apparel which were given up to the Soldiers who bravely contended for the same.
Yours, &c. &c.—-
MARYBOROUGH, APRIL 20th, 1799.
My Dr. Friend,
Being desirous of making public the valour of the Troops of this town under the command of Major Matthews of the Royal Downshire Regiment, against the Rebels, I send you a plain narrative of facts as follows:
On the 24th of June 1798, four hundred of the Downshire Regiment, with their Battalion guns, Captain Pole, with the Ballyfin Troop of Yeomen Cavalry, and Captain Gore, with the Maryborough, (both Troops under the immediate command of Capt. Pole) proceeded towards the Collieries of Castlecomber and Donane, by order of Sir Charles Asgill. On the Road we saw Castlecomber on fire; soon after we arrived at Moyad, and saw the Rebel Army in great force on the high grounds above Donane; we then received intelligence that Sir Charles had engaged them at Castlecomber that morning, and that his force was at least double ours, but that he had retired to Kilkenny. It was now too late in the evening for us to attack; we therefore fell back on Timahoe, determined to be at them in the morning. At Timahoe an express met us from Sir Charles, desiring we should return to Maryborough; this was answered by an express from us, proposing to Sir Charles to attack the Rebels next morning on the road from Donane, and that we would attack on the road from Timahoe. The answer to this proposal we received at 7 o’clock next morning from Sir Charles, who could not agree to it, as he said his Troops were fatigued, but left it to us to fight, we could do it with security, where we were, or to return to Maryborough. We chose to risque the former, and the proper arrangements being made, returned to Moyad, where we had last seen the Rebels: when our Cavalry arrived there, they found the Rebels had gone off to the Ridge; there we pursued them, and were again disappointed in bringing them to action, as they had marched for Gore’s-Bridge: our Cavalry then proceeded to Old Leighlin, from which place Capt. Pole, who had gone forward for intelligence, sent an express to inform Sir Charles Asgill of what he had done, and of our intention to attack the Rebels wherever we found them. At Old Leighlin we met with Mr. Vigars, to whom our intention of attacking the Rebels was made known, and he, seeing our men much fatigued, immediately supplied us with a number of cars to carry them, without which assistance we should have been much distressed; he likewise accompanied us to the scene of action, and was always in front giving us every assistance in his power. The whole Corps arrived at Leighlin-Bridge about twelve at night. In two hours after an express came from Sir Charles, desiring us to meet him at Gore’s-Bridge at five in the morning; we instantly marched, but on the road we got such intelligence as induced our Commanding Officer to alter his route, in order to get between the Rebels and the mountains; an account of which he sent to Sir Charles, by Mr. Moore, Collector of this place, who, with his brother Mr. Pierce Moore, marched with us, and to whose able advice and knowledge of the country I heard Major Matthews say, we in a great measure owed our success. After a march of about three hours we came in sight of the Rebels; and, as soon as we got within a proper distance, fired some cannon shot at them: they retired from us about a mile and a half to form their line; we followed in Column, with our guns in front, and our Cavalry in the rere; just as we got orders to form our line for the attack, we heard Sir Charles’s cannon on the other side of the hill; at this instant our Cavalry were ordered to charge, which they did in a most gallant stile; the Rebel line was instantly broke, and we joined Sir Charles’s Troops in the pursuit, which continued with great slaughter for above six miles; all the cannon, horses, stores and prisoners they had were taken, and their Army dispersed.
When it is known that the Rebel Army would not have been brought to action, or even an attempt made upon them, but for the exertion of this little Corps–and when it is known that this Corps pursued a large body of Rebels at least five thousand strong, with ten pieces of cannon, for nearly forty miles, without orders or directions from any general Officer whatsoever, and that, except some bread they got at Leighlin-Bridge, not a man of them tasted food for forty-four hours, I think you will agree with me that they did their duty, and that their country ought to know it.
Yours, &c. &c.—-
BELFAST, APRIL 29th, 1799.
In compliance to your request I shall set down briefly what has been already communicated to a few, but must thro’ the medium of your intended publication be more generally circulated.
On Saturday morning June the 9th, 1798. Col. Stapleton having received intimation of a number of people assembled at Saint-field, and neighbourhood, he set out from Newtownards, with a detachment of the York Fencible regiment, accompanied by the Newtownards and Comber Yeomen Cavalry and Infantry; all-together about 320 men, and two Field Pieces.
About half past four o’clock in the evening, this little Army fell in with a body of Rebels, supposed to be between six and seven thousand men, near Saintfield.
The Light Infantry, commanded by Captain Chetwynd advanced with great gallantry to secure an eminence on the right, which having accomplished, he was attacked by a force of at least three thousand Rebels–the front armed with pikes, the centre and rear with muskets, whose fire galled them severely till the body of the Troops and Field Pieces came up, when the Rebels were routed with huge slaughter. The Rebels by their own account lost above five hundred men, among whom were many of their leaders. The King’s Troops after routing the Insurgents marched to Comber, where they halted during the night–next morning proceeded to this Town.
I am much concerned to inform you of the loss of three brave Officers by those miscreants hands in this action–Capt. Chetwynd, Lieut. Unite, and Ensign J. Sparks: Lieut. Edenson was wounded. The whole return of his Majesty’s Troops were–29 Killed, and 22 wounded. Not only the valour of the other Officers that fell in this engagement deserves to be publickly recorded, but that of the amiable, gallant and much beloved Capt. C. ought not to be passed without particular notice–This brave fellow at the head of his men received no less than nine pike wounds! notwithstanding which he continued his position, encouraging by his example his men to fight like loyal Soldiers; till alas, two wounds from muskets deprived this hero of his existence, and our country of his future services.
Poor Sparks–whose race of glory was now ended, was but sixteen years old, and had just before he fell, received for his intrepid conduct the public approbation of his commanding Officer.
Too much praise cannot be given the Newtownards and Comber Yeomen Cavalry, who, conducted by Captains Houghton and Cleland, evidenced the greatest intrepidity during the whole of the action.
If it be possible to convince those deluded creatures who were then in arms against the peace and prosperity of this Nation, and of their certain destruction, should they again have recourse to such rebellious measures, it must be the event of the above action, where so many were cut off by such an inferior force.
P. S. It was ludicrous to behold the varied badges of distinction as worn by the Rebel chiefs; some were dressed in green jackets, turned up with white, others yellow, white vests, buckskin breeches, half-boots, hats with white cock-neck feathers and green cockades, &c.
TYRELL’SPASS, APRIL 30th, 1799.
I should have answered your favour sooner, but was making every possible enquiry in order to furnish you with the best account of the engagement at Kilbeggan. The gentleman, the bearer of this (one of our Officers) and I were present on the occasion.
On the 17th of June 1798, (on the preceding day a fair was held in Kilbeggan. The lower order of the people appeared uncommonly civil, and this country had a more placid appearance than for some time before,) at 11 o’clock at night a recruit of Capt. Clarke’s gave information that the town would be attacked on the next day. As many similar alarms had been circulated before, this was not much regarded–however the Videts of Horse were ordered to keep a sharp look-out, and give instant intelligence should any number of men be descried by them.
At break of day, (at that time of the year about two o’clock) some persons were perceived on the top of a hill westward of the town. Immediate notice of this was given to the Officer commanding, who directed that the horse-guard should continue to observe the motions of the enemy; and should their numbers encrease, to retreat slowly, about two hundred yards in front to the town, and apprize him of the same.
It soon appeared that their force was between three and four thousand divided into bands, from sixty to an hundred, in regular order, with different kinds of Arms, principally pikes, from five to ten feet long, pitch-forks, &c. Each band moved separately headed by an Officer, distinguished by a green sash or cockade–most of the men had white paper bands round their hats.
It was generally remarked that they had all clean shirts on, had each a piece of oat-bread in their pockets, and many were apparently intoxicated.
The town (the subject of this letter) has not been remarkable for loyalty–the principal fears of the garrison arose from an apprehension of treachery. There were then under arms sixty of the Northumberland Fencibles, about thirty of the Fertullagh Cavalry, and thirty loyal Protestants, who either belonged to the town or had fled there for refuge.
On the first appearance of the Rebels, (three hours before the attack commenced) an express was sent to Tullamore where the principal part of the 7th Dragoons lay–General Dunne forwarded a Troop about eighty in number–the want of a sufficient force was of the worst consequence, as the Rebels attacked our party in the mountains, and obliged the Fencibles to retreat back to the town–Meantime the Loyalists cleared the streets which were now full of Rebels without the loss of a man–the Cavalry pursued–Sergeant Price alone killed fourteen Pikemen. On hearing the firing a few of the Cavalry stationed at Tyrell’s-pass flew to the scene of action, just before the Black Horse arrived–both, aided by the dismounted from Tyrrell’s-pass killed 400 of the enemy.
Yours, &c. C. F.
The Publisher having waited in vain for a detail of the engagement at Naas, Kilcullen, Hacketstown, &c; and public curiosity daily encreasing, being desirous of gratifying the same, he deems it most advisable to insert the following OFFICIAL ACCOUNTS received at the Castle, with their dates.
Extract of a Letter from Lord Viscount Gosford, Colonel of the Armagh Militia, and Major Wardle, of the Ancient British Light Dragoons, to Lieutenant General Lake, dated Naas, Thursday Morning, 8 o’Clock, 24th May, 1798.
This morning, about half past 2 o’Clock, a Dragoon, from an Out-post, came in and informed Major Wardle, of the Ancient British, that a very considerable armed body were approaching rapidly upon the Town. The whole garrison were instantly under Arms, and took up their position according to a plan previously formed in case of such an event happening. They made the attack upon our Troops, posted near the Gaol, with great violence, but were repulsed: They then made a general attack in almost every direction, as they had got possession of almost every avenue into the Town. They continued to engage the Troops for near three quarters of an hour, when they gave way, and fled on all sides. The Cavalry immediately took advantage of their confusion, charged in almost every direction, and killed a great number of them. A great quantity of Arms and Pikes were taken, and within this half hour many hundred more were brought in, found in pits near the town, together with three men with green cockades, all of whom were hanged in the public street. We took another prisoner whom we have spared, in consequence of his having given us information that will enable us to pursue these Rebels; and from this man we learn that they were above a Thousand strong: They were commanded as this man informs us, by Michael Reynolds, who was well mounted, and dressed in Yeoman Uniform, but unfortunately made his escape; his horse we have got.
About thirty Rebels were killed in the streets; in the fields, we imagine, above an hundred; their bodies have not yet been brought together.
It is impossible to say too much of the Cavalry and Infantry; their conduct was exemplary throughout.
In addition to the account which I had the honor of sending you yesterday, I have the satisfaction to inform your Lordship, that about 2 P. M. yesterday I marched out again to attack the Rebels, who had assembled in great force on the North side of the Liffey, and were advancing towards Kilcullen-Bridge: They occupied the hills on the left of the road leading to Dublin; the road itself and the fields highly enclosed, on the right. The attack began between 3 and 4; was made with great gallantry, the Infantry forcing the Enemy on the road, and driving them from the hills on the left; the Cavalry with equal success, cutting off their retreat. The affair ended soon after 4. The slaughter was considerable for such an action; one Hundred and thirty lay dead. No prisoners.
I have the further satisfaction of stating to your Lordship, that his Majesty’s Troops did not suffer in either killed or wounded. The Rebels left great quantities of all kinds of Arms behind them, and fled in all directions.
This morning all is in perfect quietness. General Wilford, from Kildare, joined me last night; an Officer with whom I serve with unspeakable satisfaction.
The Troops of every description, both officers and men, shewed a degree of gallantry which it was difficult to restrain within prudent bounds.–Captain La Touche’s Corps of Yeomenry distinguished themselves in a high stile.
In consequence of an information received this morning, that a large body of Rebels were marching to attack the Town, Lieutenant Gardiner, with the men under his command, and a party of Yeomenry commanded by Captain Hardy, went out to meet them. Having reconnoitred their force, which amounted to between three and four Thousand, they took post on a hill under the Church, and when the Rebels came tolerably near, the Officers and Men made a Feint, and retreated into the Barrack.
The Rebels seeing this, came on with a great shout, imagining the day to be their own. In a few minutes Captain Hume came up with about thirty of his Troop, and instantly charged them, on which the Rebels retreated. A general Pursuit took place; and so complete was the rout that above Three Hundred of the miscreants now lie dead on the field of battle.
To say that the Antrim Regiment behaved well is not any thing new; but the Yeomen under Captain Hardy’s command behaved astonishingly; nor can I sufficiently commend the conduct of Captain Hume and his Corps; for though his right arm was in a sling, owing to a very severe fall from his horse, which prevented his using his sword, he headed his men with gallantry, and went on with spirit and bravery that surprized every one, considering his situation.
As to Lieutenant Gardiner, his conduct and steadiness throughout the whole affair is far beyond my praise; but I am sorry to inform you that a severe blow of a stone he received on his breast from a villain whose life he had just saved, prevents his writing to you himself. He is, however, thank God, walking about, and having been let blood, is much better; the villain was shot dead on the spot.
Every one of the Antrims was vying with each other who should do his duty best; and I have very great pleasure in telling you that not a man (Mr. Gardiner excepted, and one Soldier, who received a contusion in his arm) was in the least injured.–In short, the loyalty and zeal of the whole party was beyond any thing that has been seen on a similar occasion.
The Publisher having been favoured with the two following letters by an intimate Friend (to whom they were written without any intention of appearing in print,) and also being personally acquainted with the writer, assures the Public that every particular set forth may be received as Facts.
Such is the established character of the writer, who is known to numbers, that he would not advance a falsehood–he was in most engagements from the breaking out of the late Rebellion to the defeat of the French at Balinamuck; an account of which is now in the possession of the publisher, and shall be given in due time.
Some account of the Battle of Arklow, by H. G. of the Armagh Militia, in a letter to a Friend in Dublin, dated Arklow, June 13th, 1798.
Written on the Field of Action.
My Dr. Friend,
I wrote to Mr. H. by one of the Conductors who promised to leave the letter at your house, in which I gave him a circumstantial account[B] of what took place from the time I left Naas, till the battle of Gorey, and our retreat to Wicklow afterwards.
[Footnote B: The Press was stopped for ten days, and every possible enquiry made to recover the Letter alluded to, but for the present it cannot be procured.]
On Saturday last we were informed that the Rebels in great force were pursuing us, the drums beat to arms, and our forces assembled immediately. Our General formed a square of Infantry at one end of the town, and left the Cavalry to defend the other. In a little time the Out-posts were driven in, and shortly after appeared their Colours flying. They extended for more than five miles around us: a most awful sight! In order to intimidate us they fixed their hats on their Pikes and rushed on.
Their Artillery was planted on an eminence which commanded us–Their armed men in Front, and pike to charge in the Rear. In this order of Battle they came forward. We waited the first onset; in a few minutes the firing commenced in all quarters, which lasted from four o’clock in the afternoon, till near nine at night. They endeavoured to break our square in every quarter, but like true Soldiers we cleaved together and repelled them; they stormed our little line twice, but were beat back with slaughter; they drove their dismounted horses to the mouths of the Cannon in order to shelter themselves, but the grape shot made them fall on every side; they even set the town on fire in order to annoy us with the smoak, but the wind at the order of our God turned, drove it from us, and confounded them in their own device; they did every thing like inveterate enemies, and desperate madmen to accomplish their ends; and their Priests informed them that they could catch the Heretics balls in their hands, and threw some (as tho’ they had caught them) to their rebellious mob to fire again at us, and declared they could beat us with the dust of the earth. Oh what superstition! This was confirmed by deserters from their Camp, who informed us likewise, that flushed with victory at Gorey, they thought that after they had taken Arklow, nothing could stop them till they arrived at Dublin; and indeed I believe, that this Battle for the present, has decided the fate of this Kingdom.
One of the Antrim Militia, who fled from them after the Battle reports their Army to have been 20,000 strong. Among the slain was Father Murphy from the County of Wexford. They lost about 1000 killed and wounded, and numbers were hanged in the streets. Every Regiment vied with each other for victory; we took several stand of Colours from them, made of green, white and yellow stuff. We have prepared every thing in case of another attempt–If they do not come forward, we will go immediately and retake Gorey, and storm their Camp. They are greatly discouraged. Blessed be God, notwithstanding I was exposed to a heavy fire I never received one wound. On our side we had about 18 killed and 28 wounded. We are all in high spirits. Capt. Knox of the Yeomenry and two of his men were killed pursuing Rebels. Our men (in a former engagement) kept the town of Gorey when the rest of the army left them. They are worth gold. Pardon this scroll, as I am in haste. We have been under arms these four days and nights.
I am yours in friendship,
W. H. G.
GOREY CAMP, 28th OF JUNE, 1798.
My Dr. Friend,
A deliverance from hostilities and severe fatigue these two days past affords me an opportunity to address you. In my two last letters to Dublin, I gave a particular account of those facts to which I was an eye-witness–You shall now have those which have since occured.
The 13th Inst. we received orders to move forward from Arklow, and in the evening arrived at Gorey–but oh! what a strange reverse! The town in the absence of the Army was plundered, and almost totally destroyed by the Rebels; even the Church did not escape their sacrilegious fury!–they demolished the windows, dragged down the pulpit, and tore to pieces many of the pews; but what is still more shocking to relate, at which your soul must recoil, stained it with the blood of two Protestants, whom they immolated inside–they burned the two elegant seats belonging to the Ram family here.
The Rebels upon being apprised of our approach, broke up their Camp, and precipitately retreated to Vinegar-Hill–We next morning pursued and killed several of them on the way. In the evening we pitched our Tents in a small village called Houlett, within seven miles of Wexford, with an intention of remaining there for the night; but perceiving their pickets on an adjacent hill that commanded our Camp, at ten o’clock we struck our Tents, marched by a circuitous route, and in the morning at dawn of day we found ourselves on the off-side of their daring position.
From their great numbers and strong bulwarks they concluded they were impregnable. It is agreed they had that day on Vinegar-hill 30,000! We reconnoitred for some time, and distinctly observed them to draw up in solid lines. The order of Battle was to commence, by the command of Gen. Lake, at 9 o’clock. His Army took one side of the Hill to bombard it, the Light Brigade, under Col. Campbell took another–other Commanders were fixed in like manner. Our Brigade, consisting of the Armagh, Cavan, Durham, Antrim, and part of the Londonderry, Dunbarton, Tyrone and Suffolk–in all about 3000 brave Troops had to march four miles; it being appointed that we should flank them in another quarter.
I shall give you a view of their situation–Vinegar-hill is very steep, rising in the form of a cone: at the but of it are two other hills, with quicksets and other ditches across them–these were lined with their musketry men:–a river ran at the bottom of both, and adjacent was a small wood. At the bottom of Vinegar-hill was the once beautiful, but now ruined town of Enniscorthy–on the top of the great hill was the but of an old windmill, on which they had placed their green flag of defiance–in a word, the position of the Rebels was one of the strongest I ever saw. The Rebels did not wait the time appointed, but commenced cannonading at seven o’clock. They could not tell what to make of the bombs, and said “they spit fire at us”–indeed they answered they desired end, by the numbers they destroyed upon their bursting.
The Light Brigade, assisted by the Cavalry gained one of the lesser hills, planted their Cannon and played briskly on them: in a short time we possessed ourselves of both–the Rebels made to the top of Vinegar-hill with all possible speed–the Soldiers pursued hard after them, and beat them off it. In a little time the green flag became a prey to the Royal Band, who triumphed in its fall–it was an arduous attempt, but we succeeded in the end. The Rebel commanders deserted their men when they found the day proved unfavourable to their interests and fled towards Wexford, leaving the deluded wretches to be cut in pieces. The engagement lasted two hours and an half–the Soldiers merited the cloth they wore, and gloried in the name of WILLIAM. Our Brigade remained all night in the demesne of Harvey Hay, one of the Rebel Chiefs: next day we returned to Houlet again, where we encamped for two days. The scouting parties killed more after the different engagements than what fell in Battle–many of their Commanders, were taken and hanged. We have suffered much from lying on the roads and ditches rolled in our blankets, I have almost lost my hearing, but am content when the good old cause triumphs.
P. S. At Vinegar-hill we killed men of 70 Years old–we rescued three Officers of the Antrim Militia, and twelve Privates of the same regiment: yesterday we hanged two of them for endeavouring to vote away the lives of two of the above Officers and Soldiers when prisoners.
W. H. G.
The following letter was written by a sufferer in the Wexford Rebellion, while in possession of the Rebels—it fully corroborates the truth of the atrocities stated in the Narrative by Charles Jackson, printed, and now selling by the Publisher hereof.—price 6dh.
WEXFORD, MAY 1st, 1799.
Altho’ I have not the happiness of being personally acquainted with you, at the request of your Friend, Mr. W–s, it affords me pleasure to have it in my power to send you a copy of an acurate detail of the effects of the late dreadful Rebellion, as it respected this part of the Kingdom, written by an intimate and fellow sufferer with me and transmitted to Dublin, for publication in July 1798.
On Friday evening the 25th of May, about 9 o’clock, the North Cork Militia then quartered here, with the Wexford Yeomen Cavalry and Infantry were ordered under arms, in consequence of an alarm that the Insurgents were rising in the neighbourhood of Camolin, in this County; and we continued under arms the whole of that night. On Saturday orders arrived here from Dublin-Castle to the High Sheriff, to apprehend B. B. Harvey, J. Colclough of Ballyteigue, and Edward Fitzgerald of New-park; and they were committed to goal on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Early on Sunday morning the 27th of May, an express arrived here that the day before an engagement took place between a party of the Camolin Cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant Buckey, and a large body of the Rebels, that the Lieutenant was killed, but that they had repulsed the Rebels; that they were then (Sunday morning) in great force in the neighbourhood of Oulard, burning the houses of different Protestant Inhabitants in that part of the County. In consequence of this information; Lieutenant-Colonel Foot with Major Lombard, and six other officers, and 106 men of the North Cork Militia, immediately proceeded from this town, and came up with the Rebels at an advantageous position they had taken on a hill near Oulard. Through the rashness of the Major, in charging the Rebels in an incautious manner, the whole party were surrounded, and not a man escaped instant destruction but the Lieutenant-Colonel and two privates. By this defeat the Rebels had acquired a powerful accession of strength and confidence, having got the whole of the arms and about 57 rounds of ball-cartridge from each man, they not having fired above three or four rounds when they attempted to charge them with Bayonets. On the following morning, the 28th, the Rebels attacked Enniscorthy, and after a severe conflict of three hours, and above 500 of them being slain, they took the town owing to the treachery of some of the inhabitants in setting fire to the town during the engagement, which obliged the Militia and Yeomenry to evacuate it, and they, with all the Loyal inhabitants that could escape, retired on Monday evening to Wexford. On Tuesday the 29th, the Rebels formed two powerful Camps, one at Vinegar-Hill, near Enniscorthy, and the other about three miles from Wexford, at the Three Rocks, on the road between Wexford and Ross, and sent threats in here that 10000 men would be detached from those Camps to attack the town next morning.–On Wednesday the 30th, information was received that a body of the military, (supposed to be the 13th regiment) was attacked by the Rebels near their Camp at the Three Rocks; this induced Lieut. Col. Maxwell, who arrived the day before with two hundred of the Donegal Militia, to march out with his men and four troops of Yeomen Cavalry to their assistance; but before he had come up with them, they entirely cut off the party, which proved to be a slight detachment of the Meath Militia, of about 100 men who were coming to Wexford with three howitzers; and with these howitzers the Rebels attacked Col. Maxwell’s party, and obliged him to retreat into Wexford. The 13th regiment, who were coming to our relief, finding they could not proceed to us without attacking the Rebel Camp, returned back to Waterford. From these rapid successes, and their encreasing numbers, (as it was supposed there were then 20000 men ready to attack Wexford) the people here were panic-struck; and finding that many who were entrusted with arms had deserted the barriers, and it being considered that others could not be depended on, the Officers concluded that the town was not tenable, and without firing a shot it was evacuated on the 30th of May, and shortly after entered by the Rebels; who kept possession of it until the 21st of June. As to the different engagements the army has had with the Rebels at Ross, Newtownbarry, Arklow, &c. you must already be informed of them; in many instances the reports were vague and contradictory, I shall therefore confine myself to such particulars as fell within my own knowledge, of that I have reason to believe are facts.
The atrocities committed by those ferocious tygers while they held this town, were I believe unprecedented. After taking possession of the town, without opposition, they immediately shot several Protestant Inhabitants, tore open most of our houses, destroyed and carried off our effects, (their rage was most particularly directed again at poor Mr. Daniels and mine) put every Protestant inhabitant whom they spared from immediate death (some few excepted that they received amongst them) to prison; but they would not stop here, we were obliged to slaughter each other. The Sunday after they had taken the town, June the third, Pigott, Robson, a Mr. Edwards and I, were dragged from our cells, and forced by the Rebels to put to death a man for being an approver against a Priest of the name of Dixon, who had attempted to swear him to be an United Irishman; after being made the instrument of his destruction, we were forced for to drag his body from the place of execution and throw it into the river. After deliberating for some time whether they should dispatch us at that moment or not, they carried us back to goal. Others of the prisoners were obliged to perform the like Office to another approver. After every species of insult and tyranny to us in prison, the fatal day at length arrived (Wednesday the 20th of June,) when the total extermination of the prisoners (namely 500) and all the Protestant inhabitants of the town, man, woman and child, was openly avowed to be their fixed purpose! About 95 of the prisoners were taken out and tortured to death by pikes on the bridge of Wexford; they returned for more victims, and I was dragged out of the cell, when above fifty wretches (whose ill-will I had incurred by exerting myself in the line of my duty,) cried out to have me destroyed. Providentially an express arrived at that moment, that the army had defeated a considerable party of the Rebels at Long Graige, between this and Ross, and requiring an immediate reinforcement; this made them beat to arms, and induced them at that time to stop the work of blood. The following day they were totally defeated at their great camp (as they termed it) at Vinegar-Hill, and routed in all directions, and on the same day the remaining prisoners were liberated by the army. The horrid cruelties they committed in this town fell short (if possible) of what they did in other parts of the County; at Scullabogue, between Taghmon and Ross, they put 150 Protestants into a barn and burnt them to death, amongst whom were two beautiful and accomplished young ladies of the neighbourhood; poor G–d, the Surveyor of Taghmon, attempted to escape from the flames at this place and was shot by them–at Enniscorthy they scarcely left a Loyal man alive that they could find, and the town was almost consumed by fire–There were about ten of their leaders hanged here, upon the arrival of the army, amongst whom were B. B. Harvey, Cor. Grogan of Johnstown, Captain Keugh, J. H. Colclough of Ballyteigue, and Kelly of Killarn, who were afterwards beheaded, and their heads placed over the Court-house. In consequence of a proclamation from General Lake, inviting the Rebels to desert their leaders, and promising pardon, numbers came in with pikes, &c.—-
Such my dear Sir, is the recital of what I can recollect of the barbarities practised here during the reign of these monsters. What my feelings and sufferings were during that period, I cannot attempt to describe. That the Almighty providence may preserve us all from such another visitation, is the ardent prayer of, Yours, &c.—-
The following Clergymen and Gentlemen, were taken Prisoners and put to death by the Rebels.
The Rev. Samuel Haydon, Enniscorthy; Rev. Robert Burrowes and Son, Oulart; Rev. Francis Turner, Ballingale; Rev. Mr. Pentland, Killarn; Rev. Mr. Troke, Templeshannon; Captain Allen Cox, Coolelife; Major William Hore, Harpurstown; Edward Turner, Esq. Slane Lodge; Edward Howlin D’ Arcey, Esq. Ba—-n.
No account having appeared of the attack at Prosperus, ’tis presumed the following AFFIDAVIT made before the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor of the City of Dublin, will furnish the Reader with every particular relative thereto. The Examinant is well known to the Publisher, and favoured him with a Copy of the same for the present Narrative. The Examinant suffered much in the Rebellion, being obliged to desert his house, and property to a considerable amount, which became a prey to the Rebels.
County of the City of}
Dublin, to Wit. }
The Examination of J. D. late of Prosperus, in the County of Kildare, who being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists, maketh Oath, and saith; That for many nights previous to the night of the 23d of May last, this Examinant and his family were very much alarmed lest they should be attacked by the Rebels commonly called United Irishmen; That Examinant thought he and his family were in some degree secure, by the arrival of detachments of the Ancient Britons and the North Cork Militia; That however Examinant still continued to be alarmed, as his house was a considerable distance from the Barracks; That Examinant saith that he was awakened about the hour of one o’clock in the forenoon, by the barking of a large dog he had, and some time after he was alarmed by the firing of some shots; Examinant saith that on looking out of his window, he perceived a great body of people armed with Pikes and Fire Arms, between whom and the Soldiers in the Barracks a constant firing was maintained; That as the balls passed by this Examinant’s house, and one of them close to his head, he withdrew and let down the window; That soon after Examinant saw the Barracks on fire and heard the Soldiers exclaim, “The house is on fire; we shall be burnt up or suffocated, we can fight no longer”; That soon after Examinant saw the roof of said Barracks fall in; Examinant saith that the said Rebels (whose numbers had encreased so much as to fill the streets of Prosperous and to cover the adjacent fields) on the falling of the roof of said Barracks, gave many shouts which seemed to rend the skies, and made this Examinant and his family thrill with horror; That the said Rebels exclaimed “That the day was their own, and they would there plant the Tree of Liberty”. Examinant saith that the said Rebels knocked at his door and desired to have it opened, expecting to find there a party of Soldiers who had been billited there a short time before, and Mr. Stamer, who had lodged therein when he went there to receive his rents, as part of the town of Prosperous belonged to the said Stamer; Examinant saith that the said Rebels approached his house in a large body, six of which preceded the rest mounted on some of the horses which they had taken that morning from the Ancient Britons at Prosperous; That Examinant as soon as he came out of his door was surrounded by a party of the said Rebels, who presented their Pikes at him, and who he expected from the ferocity of their looks would have instantly put him to death; that one of the said Rebels held a musket at Examinant’s breast with his finger on the trigger; that another of the said Rebels who was a turf-cutter, held a drawn sword over Examinant’s head, and Examinant verily believes they would have instantly put him to death, but a young man in the croud who seemed to have some influence interposed, beat down the musket which was presented at his breast and said he should not kill him; Examinant saith that he knew many of the said Rebels to whom he and his family had been very kind. That soon after the said Rebels went in quest of the said Stamer, who lodged at some distance from the said town; that having seized him the said Stamer, they led him through the street by Examinant’s house, surrounded by a number of Pike-men, while a low fellow held a pistol at his head; Examinant saith that as he passed by the Examinant’s house, he the said Stamer cast a melancholy farewel look at Examinant and his family, that soon after the said Rebels massacred the said Stamer; Examinant saith that soon after he went out with an intention of enquiring for his friend Mr. —- an inhabitant of Prosperous, and that before Examinant had gone far he was again surrounded by the said Rebels, who he verily believes would have put him to death, but for the interference of the person who had saved him before; Examinant saith, he discovered soon after that Mr. Brewer, a respectable manufacturer of said town, who had employed many of the said Rebels, had been massacred by them, and that his body had been mangled with savage barbarity; Examinant saith that they also massacred a poor old man of the age of 70 years and upwards, who served as Serjeant in his Majesty’s forces, they having considered him as an Orange-man; Examinant is convinced in his mind the only reason why the said Rebels murdered the said Serjeant was his being a protestant; Examinant saith that when the said Rebels had committed the said barbarities, they exclaimed with savage joy “where are the Heretics now? shew us the face of an Orange-man”; Examinant saith that many women, who acting with the said Rebels, used expressions of that nature, as often and as loud as the men, and that some old women who were amongst them seemed to brighten on the occasion, and to shew as much fervent joy as the youngest amongst them; That some of the said women kissed and congratulated their fathers, their husbands, or their brothers, on the victory they had gained, and exclaimed “Dublin and Naas have been taken and are in possession of our friends; down with the Heretics, and down with the Orange-men.” Examinant saith that many of the wretches who had been actors in that bloody scene, had come into the town of Prosperous the preceding day, and in presence of Capt. Swayne, of the–Cork Militia, whom with a party of his Regiment that morning, viz. the 24th of May, they had massacred, and also in the presence of their Parish Priest of the name of Higgins, and declared their contrition for their past errors, and gave the strongest assurance of their loyalty, for the future–that many of the said Rebels surrendered their Pikes to the said Swayne, and as such surrender was considered as a test of their repentance, and as necessary to entitle them to written protections, numbers of them lamented that they could not obtain such protections, as they never saw nor had a Pike, and that many of them declared they would sell their Cow to purchase a Pike if they knew where it could be bought; Examinant saith that notwithstanding these declarations many of the said Rebels appeared in the ranks well armed with Pikes; Examinant saith he is convinced in his mind that the said Rebels would have plundered and burnt all the other loyal houses of Prosperous, and would have murdered the remaining Protestant inhabitants thereof, but that a party of the Ancient Britons and the Cork Militia, being a part of the detachment they had murdered that morning, unexpectedly approached the town, and that the said Rebels on their appearance, fled towards the bogs and morasses; Examinant saith he could not refrain from shedding tears at seeing such scenes of savage barbarity, and that a servant who continued faithful to him desired him not to shew any sign of concern, lest he might draw on him the anger and vengeance of the Rebels.
(A true Copy.)
At the breaking out of the late unfortunate Rebellion it was my intention to note every occurrence of any moment, and at some future day to arrange and publish the same.–SOME Materials for such a Work I have collected, others I still wait for—-Such an Historic RECORD may be found acceptable; when ready it shall be announced to the Public.
The present Publication, now offered to the IRISH NATION, while it enumerates the dangers which awaited every loyal Man, must demonstrate to the deluded Creatures (aiding and abetting) the certain Impossibility of succeeding in any similar attempt.
To those persons who kindly supplied the Letters, &c. for the foregoing pages, I feel particularly indebted, and beg they will accept my grateful thanks. As I intend continuing an account of the other Engagements down to the French Invasion and their defeat at Ballinamuck, Gentlemen who have been in the different Battles which are not yet come to hand, are invited to forward an account of them as soon as possible previous to the completion of the SECOND PART of this NARRATIVE.
I am the Reader’s
No. 91, Bride-street,}
JOHN JONES. June 5th, 1799.}
Source: Project Gutenberg