Secret Service Under Pitt

CHAPTER XVI

ARTHUR O’LEARY IN LONDON

It is to be regretted that the State Paper naming ‘O’Leary and Del Campo’ should be couched in words so brief and cautious. Mr. Lecky offers no explanation of it. Not only are we uninformed as to the nature of the ‘Report;’ but we are left to guess who Del Campo was. One thing is evident: Dublin Castle and the Home Office put their heads together, shook them mysteriously, and then urged extreme caution in dealing with knaves. Books of biographic reference make no mention of Del Campo’s name; but it is quite clear from Cumberland’s memoirs that Del Campo was the Spanish minister, next in authority to Florida Blanca.

In the year 1780 [writes Cumberland], and about the time of Rodney’s capture of the Caracca fleet, I had opportunities of discovering through a secret channel of intelligence many things passing, and some concerting, between the confidential agents of France and Spain (particularly the latter) resident in this country, and in private correspondence with the enemies of it. Of these communications I made that use which my duty dictated and to my judgment seemed advisable. By these, in the course of their progress, a prospect was opened of a secret negotiation with the Minister Florida Blanca, to which I was personally committed, and of course could not decline the undertaking it.[548]

While the American War still raged, and hostilities from France and Spain continued to threaten, Richard Cumberland, son of a bishop and the secretary of a former viceroy, started on his secret mission to the courts of Lisbon and Madrid, bearing from England letters of accreditation, quite a boxful of instructions, and accompanied by his wife and daughters ‘on the pretence of travelling into Italy upon a passport through the Spanish dominions.’ Cumberland’s interviews with Del Campo are described, and for a time all went well; but, owing to terrible rumours as regards the ‘No Popery’ riots in London, which now broke out, led by Lord George Gordon, President of the Protestant Association, the treaty[549] collapsed; Del Campo refused to appear; Cumberland was recalled, and the Government who sent him out withheld the repayment of 5,000l., the amount of expenses he had incurred.

It may be said that Orde’s want of confidence in O’Leary arose, not because he had furnished so little secret information, but because of some whisper that the Spanish Minister had had pourparlers with him. It would be strange if O’Leary, who in 1779 wrote powerfully against the hostile designs of Spain, should be suspected, within the next few years, of abetting them. The rumour, which Mr. Lecky says is not stated, may have been merely that O’Leary, the only Catholic writer of intrepidity at that day, had been asked by Del Campo, who soon after became resident Spanish minister in London, and was himself of English extraction,[550] to write an exposure of the ‘No Popery Riots’ and their leaders–incidents which Spain, now more than ever defiant in its pose, could not fail to turn to political account.

A postscript to O’Leary’s ‘Miscellaneous Tracts’ mentions that he had been requested to give a history of the London riots. ‘I promised to undertake the task,’ he writes, ‘and began to digest my materials; but afterwards reflecting that the duty of the historian bound me to arraign at the impartial tribunal of truth both men and actions–unmask the leading characters,’ &c…. he then came to ‘consider my own state exposed in consequence of the Penal Laws to the insult of every ruffian, and, comparing the defenceless situation of the priest with the duty of the historian, I dropped the attempt.’

These tumults of 1780 lit a flame which did not die out even with the expiring century. During their height most of the Roman Catholic chapels of London, especially those of the foreign embassies, were gutted and burnt. Papists’ houses were attacked, as well as the houses of all persons known to favour them. For days and nights the mob gained an almost complete mastery of London, which is described as like a city taken by storm. The venerable Bishop Challoner was roused from his sleep and urged to fly; he died soon after of palsy, the effects of the shock. No man’s life was safe who did not mount the badge of riot, a blue cockade; windows displayed flags of the same colour; while the watchword ‘No Popery’ was prudentially inscribed. Broadsides were circulated under the auspices of Lord George Gordon–the unholy high priest of the holocaust–in which Englishmen were exhorted to remember ‘the bloody tyranny and persecuting plots exercised on Protestants by Rome’–the Spanish Armada, of course, included. Society seemed falling to pieces. From Tyburn to Whitechapel the highway presented a frontage of mourning. Every shop was closed. Mr. Archer, a priest, deposed in court that he had paid 40l. to be allowed to pass through Fleet Street, and a hackney coachman refused 10l. to drive a papist to Hampstead. The mob, flushed with victory, now sought allies in the prisons. Newgate, then recently rebuilt at a cost of 150,000l., was attacked with fury; its great gates fell before them like frail partitions; 500 felons, including those set free from Clerkenwell, were let loose upon the burning city, leaving behind them in flames, not the gaol only, but the whole street.[551] It seemed a second 1666, and the famous fall of the Bastile, nine years later, was but the mere echo.

Storm had not as yet burst over Ireland; but the heavy air was charged with electricity. The following are the words with which Mr. Froude awakened widespread interest, and drew forth that missive from the Antipodes given on a previous page.

If rebellion was meditated [Froude writes], the Government required fuller knowledge; and ‘a new plan of management’ had to be adopted ‘to obtain exact information of the conduct and motives of the most suspected persons.’ ‘Useful and confidential agents,’ whose silence and fidelity could be relied on, ‘who would write the daily history of a man’s motions,’ without betraying himself, were not to be found in Dublin.

The Irish Secretary applied to the English Cabinet to furnish him from their own staff of informers. Two valuable persons answering to Mr. Orde’s description were sent, and the name of one of them will be an unpleasant surprise to those already interested in the history of the time.

They were both Irishmen. One was a skilled detective named Parker,[552] an accomplished orator who could outmouth the noisiest patriot, and had already some knowledge of the leading agitators. Orde welcomed this man with a twinge of misgiving. ‘I hope he is discreet,’ he wrote, ‘for he must to a certain extent be possessed of the power of hurting us by garrulity or treachery.'[553]

The other was no less a person than the celebrated Father O’Leary, whose memory is worshipped by Irish Catholic politicians with a devotion which approaches idolatry. O’Leary, as he was known to the world, was the most fascinating preacher, the most distinguished controversialist of his time. A priest who had caught the language of toleration, who had mastered all the chords of liberal philosophy, and played on them like a master; whose mission had been to plead against prejudice, to represent his country as the bleeding lamb, maligned, traduced, oppressed, but ever praying for her enemies; as eager only to persuade England to offer its hand to the Catholic Church, and receive in return the affectionate homage of undying gratitude. O’Leary had won his way to the heart of Burke by his plausible eloquence. Pitt seemed to smile on him: it is easy now to conjecture why. When he appeared in the Convention at the Rotunda the whole assembly rose to receive him. Had such a man been sent over on an open errand of conciliation, his antecedents would have made the choice intelligible. But he was despatched as a paid and secret instrument of treachery, in reply to a request for a trained informer.[554] What the Government really thought of Father O’Leary may be gathered from Orde’s language when told to expect him. ‘He could get to the bottom of all secrets in which the Catholics were concerned,’ and Catholics were known to be the chief promoters of the agitation in Dublin. But he too was to be dealt with cautiously, for he was a priest. ‘They are, all of them,’ Orde said, ‘designing knaves;’ ‘the only good to be derived from them is, perhaps, to deceive them into an idea that they are believed.'[555]

Sir Jonah Barrington describes Orde as ‘a cold, cautious and sententious man.'[556] These letters in some respects support that impression. A few years later he was created Lord Bolton. His letter, announcing O’Leary’s arrival at Dublin on secret service, is dated September 23, 1784.[557] Let us look back a little and see what the previous year was doing.

The Dungannon Convention, which won great boons for Ireland, was followed by provincial assemblies in Leinster, Munster and Connaught. Resolutions were carried, delegates were appointed, and the nation anxiously awaited the great Volunteer Convention in Dublin, on which the fate of Ireland was declared to depend. Meanwhile one hundred and sixty envoys of the Volunteer army met, electing Lord Charlemont chairman. Red uniforms fringed the streets, and the delegates, two by two, marched through the lines, amid the roll of drums and the waving of national ensigns. The Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry rode to the Convention with an escort of dragoons.

A distinguished corps of volunteers [writes Mr. Buckley] had conferred on O’Leary the honorary dignity of chaplain; and we are assured that many of the measures submitted for consideration at the great Convention held in Dublin had been previously placed before him for his opinion as to their prudence and utility. On that memorable day, when the delegates of a hundred thousand men met in the Rotunda, with all the pomp and power that an armed nation could concentrate for a great national purpose, it was gratifying to the assembled masses of spectators to behold Father O’Leary, as he entered the building, received at the door by the entire guard of volunteers with a full salute of rested arms. He marched up the hall amidst the deafening cheers of the surrounding delegates, and, in the debate which followed, his name was frequently mentioned with honour and applause.[558]

‘Plowden’s remarks, which you enclose, do not meet the specific statements of Froude, that O’Leary was employed as an informer at the period of the Volunteer Convention,’ writes Mr. Morgan McMahon, my Australian correspondent.[559] Mr. Froude’s words certainly tend to convey that the Convention took place at the time of Orde’s application for a spy. The date of the Convention was November 1783: Orde’s letter was written in September 1784. Again, it is suggested that O’Leary was despatched in reply to a request for a trained informer. But it does not appear that though he may have been useful as a diplomatist he was already a spy. On the contrary, Sydney writes (Sept. 4): ‘O’Leary has been talked to and he is willing to do what is wished for 100l. a year.’ Orde replies (Sept. 8), ‘I am very glad that you have settled matters with O’Leary, who can get to the bottom of all secrets in which the Catholics are concerned.’ O’Leary had already a pension, ostensibly for his writings; but the pension for espionage must not be confounded with it.

It is certainly admitted by even O’Leary’s panegyrists that at the period of the Convention of 1783 delicate overtures, which they assume he rejected, were made to him; but the magnanimous words supposed to have been used by O’Leary when parleying with his tempter rest on no authority whatever, and some will be disposed to suspect that a colour is imparted to the overtures more presentable to general readers than the naked truth, whatever it was. The pension, I repeat, which O’Leary already enjoyed, was, I think, merely for his writings; though, prior to September 1784, he may have accepted douceurs for distinct acts of diplomacy. At all events it is due to O’Leary to give him the full benefit of the exculpatory words of his brother priest. Describing the Volunteer Convention, Father Buckley writes, eighty years later:–

During Father O’Leary’s visit to Dublin on this occasion, he was waited on by a gentleman who was well known to be on very close and friendly relations with the Government of the day.[560] The visit appeared, for some time, to be merely one of ceremony, and the visitor paid many handsome compliments to the Father on the style of his writings and their good effect on the public mind. Soon, however, it was easy to see that diplomacy had more to do with the visit than etiquette, for the gentleman, in courteous language, intimated that if Father O’Leary would use his pen in extolling certain measures just then brought forward by the Administration, his services would be handsomely requited. O’Leary was displeased and indignant at the proposal to barter his patriotism for a bribe, and conveyed his feelings in no measured phrase. The request was therefore softened down into an entreaty that he would at least abstain from writing on those measures in terms of condemnation. But the minion of the Government knew not with what manner of man he had to deal. ‘I will never be silent,’ warmly exclaimed O’Leary, ‘whilst my exertions can be of the least service to my religion or my country.'[561]

Thus far Buckley, the biographer of 1867. England, O’Leary’s biographer of 1822, finishes the interview in less florid words: ‘He was then told that a pension of 150l. per annum was to be offered for his acceptance, and that no condition repugnant to his feelings as an Irishman or Catholic was to be annexed to it. A change in the Administration[562] took place shortly afterwards, and the promise remained unfulfilled.'[563]

Father England assumes that O’Leary spurned the overtures at the time of the Convention, though later on his acceptance of a pension is admitted. While guiltless, no doubt, of direct betrayal, he may have been led to connive at a trick by which the Irish Government succeeded in breaking up the Convention.[564]

O’Leary, towards the close of his life, had made copious notes illustrative of the history of Ireland–notes handed by him to Plowden, who was glad to interweave them with his own when compiling ‘The Historical Review.’ Plowden dismisses with the following note the great incident of the Convention:–

Whilst the business of equal representation was in agitation at a meeting of the Convention in Dublin, a pretended letter from Lord Kenmare was produced, purporting to convey the general sentiments of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, in which they were made to express their perfect satisfaction with what had been already done for them, and that they desired no more than peaceably to enjoy the privileges they had obtained.

Catholics thus became excluded from the constitutional prerogatives claimed for Protestants. The proceedings of the Convention were at last adjourned sine die. Sir Boyle Roche invented the fatal letter, and Mr. Froude conveys that he was instigated to this course by the Viceroy. Sir Gavan Duffy states–as a common belief in Ireland–that ‘had the Convention not been betrayed by its leaders, the Union would never have taken place.'[565]

O’Leary, though his name, and that of Sir Boyle Roche, are not mentioned in the printed abstract of the proceedings, was certainly present when the fictitious letter was read. Dr. England, describing the demonstration by which O’Leary’s arrival was hailed at the Rotunda, adds that it ‘occurred on the same day on which the message said to be from Lord Kenmare was read at the Convention,'[566] but no fault is found with O’Leary by England, who is his invariable eulogist.

Lord Kenmare was a fast friend of our friar,[567] and is uniformly praised by him.[568] It was when on a visit to this peer that O’Leary, seeing a wounded stag approaching Yelverton, wittily said: ‘How naturally instinct leads him to come to you to deliver him by a nolle prosequi.'[569] Kenmare, this leader of the higher class of Catholics, was falsely represented as announcing at the Convention that his co-religionists were satisfied with the concessions they had got. I find that O’Leary had privately expressed, very much to his honour, but a short time before, an opinion diametrically opposite; and urging the Catholics not to cease agitation till every link in their fetters had been struck off;[570] but he now held his peace, and thus wittingly, or otherwise, aided the base schemes of the Viceroy. O’Leary himself had long been recognised as the most prominent exponent and mouthpiece of the Catholic demand; and, from his intimacy with Lord Kenmare, he could hardly fail to have known his sentiments on a question in which both were naturally most interested; the forged letter, however, claiming authority to speak for the Catholics of Ireland, was allowed to pass unchallenged, to the ruin of the Convention and the exultant triumph of a faction.

O’Leary and Sir Boyle Roche are not persons likely to have been intimate; and yet it can be shown that an intimacy did exist. A letter from O’Leary, written a year before the Convention, and to be found later on, avows that he was the friend and political correspondent of Roche.[571] The forged letter–in which were travestied the opinions and aspirations of the Catholics of Ireland–was read on November 11, 1783.[572] Not until a fortnight after was the fraud exposed by the popular Earl-Bishop of Derry, who read a letter from Lord Kenmare, dated Killarney, Nov. 20, saying, ‘I utterly disavow having given the least authority,'[573] &c., &c. Sir Boyle Roche thereupon addressed to several leading Catholics a remarkable note dated ‘Dublin Castle, 14th February, 1784.’ This document was, of course, the act of the Administration, Roche having been merely wound up and used as an automaton. His letter, seeking to entrap slavish Catholics and sink them in the mire of unpopularity, began by saying that it would flatter him in the highest degree ‘if I should find that my conduct was not disapproved by yourself and friends,’ and he holds out the hope that, being once more in Parliament, he would be not unmindful of Catholic interests.

I had certain intelligence [he adds] that the Bishop of Derry had leagued himself with some of the unthinking part of the Catholics, who were in town for the purpose, and that the admission of that body to the rights of voting for members of Parliament was to be the first matter agitated in the Convention. I now thought that the crisis was arrived in which Lord Kenmare[574] and the heads of the body should step forth to disavow these wild projects, and to profess their attachment to the lawful powers…. I therefore resolved on a bold stroke.[575]

He adds that he was elated to the greatest degree by his success, having ‘entirely disconcerted the measures of the leaders of the Convention.’

The Earl-Bishop of Derry was a decided revolutionist and very eager for separation, and is alleged to have said to Lord Charlemont, ‘Things are going well, my lord: we shall have blood.’ O’Leary, author of ‘Loyalty Asserted,’ and notoriously a man of peace, would probably have felt little scruple in seeking to avert by diplomatic means what Orde feared might become a bloody chaos. Burke, writing to a brother priest of O’Leary’s, said, ‘Do everything in your power to check the growth of Jacobinism on the one hand, and oppression, which is its best friend, on the other.’ No wonder that the Irish Government blenched at the outlook. One Dublin paper, called the ‘Volunteer Journal,’ urged assassination; and some men had been arrested, in the previous spring, on a charge of conspiring to murder seven unpopular members of Parliament. The supineness of magistrates and the absence of any regular police force opened great facilities for crime. Riots raged in the streets owing to trade strikes; men were ‘tarred and feathered’ and let loose before the infuriated mob; soldiers were houghed and left bleeding on the pavement. New corps of volunteers advertised for recruits, and men of the worst repute rushed into their ranks. Meanwhile the Bishop of Derry was raising a fresh regiment of volunteers in Ulster. ‘The Viceroy, at Fitzgibbon’s advice,’ writes Froude, ‘sent down officers in disguise to watch him, with a warrant in their pockets should an arrest be necessary;’ and he adds that ‘this singular prelate ran a near chance of ending his career on the gallows.’ The withdrawal from public life of so remarkable a figure was second only in its effect to the collapse of the Convention, of which he was the animating spirit. When, six years later, Bancroft was sent by France on a secret mission to Ireland, his report, now preserved in the Foreign Office at Paris, states, as we learn from Lecky, that the fall of the Convention had ‘thrown a certain ridicule on Irish democracy, and it may be long before it is repaired.’

The Convention belongs to the year 1783. Not until the autumn of 1784 are any letters found compromising O’Leary–letters not revealing any distinct acts of espionage, or even penned by himself, but showing him to have yielded to the voice of the tempter.

In judging a man who is not alive to defend himself, one whose memory has been for a century revered, I am reluctantly led to encumber this narrative with various considerations for and against, so that readers may have the result of a conscientious study of the case, and he able to form a judicial conclusion.

The promptitude of O’Leary’s arrival in Dublin impressed badly all who read it in Froude; for Orde, according to that historian, asked the English Secretary of State to send him over two trained men from their own staff of informers.[576] The letter containing this request, however, I have not seen in print or manuscript. O’Leary came over at the same time as a detective named Parker; but the alacrity of the priest’s arrival, though it looks badly, may not be altogether due to his readiness to play the spy. This man, ‘poor in everything save genius and philosophy,’ to quote Grattan’s words, was informed, according to England, one of his biographers, that his presence in Dublin was necessary in order that some formalities should be gone through ere his name could be placed on the Irish Civil List.[577] England says that a pension which, during the previous year, he was on the point of receiving, fell through because of a change in the Cabinet; and may not this consideration have been in itself enough to expedite the journey?

O’Leary had been interviewed in London by Sir Evan Nepean, a practised diplomatist, and consented, we are told, to come to Dublin to make certain inquiries. But who can tell what wily words were employed to induce him to wait on the Irish Secretary, Orde, at Dublin Castle? Orde posed as a man rather liberal for the time, and was the correspondent of Grattan and Lord Kenmare. Men of the world know that very different language is often used when writing of a person, than when addressing that person direct. On the other hand it should be remembered, assuming that Sydney conveys a correct impression of what passed, that O’Leary seemed willing to accept 100l. for services dealing, not with the special exigencies of the hour, but on condition that he continued, from year to year, and for the same annual fee, to probe to the bottom certain secrets of his party.

When he arrived in Dublin the country was rent by great and just discontent. One grievance was that Parliament possessed no adequate representation of the popular voice. In March 1784, Flood brought in a Bill for ‘Reform,’ and twenty-six counties petitioned in its favour.

It had been decided that the Convention[578] of the previous year should be followed up by a national Congress. This announcement brought dismay to the Castle. The loss of her American Colonies had just taught Pitt a lesson. Contemporary pamphleteers, thinking perhaps of the then fashionable melodrama, ‘The Castle Spectre,’ saw Dublin Castle scared by mysterious terrors.

‘The letters C.O.N.G.R.E.S.S.,’ writes Orellana,[579] ‘are magic letters, of themselves sufficient to rise an apparition before the eyes of a guilty Minister–an apparition that will seem to draw his curtains in the dead of night, and rouse him from his pillow!’

The Congress was in fact the ghost of the Betrayed Convention.

There was to be a great meeting at the Tholsel in Dublin, on September 27, 1784, preliminary to the coming Congress. The prompt arrival from London, on September 24, of O’Leary and Parker, and Orde’s confidential whisper that they were to begin operations at once, lead to the belief that both attended this meeting. Indeed, from O’Leary’s prominent attitude at the previous Convention, he is almost certain to have taken part in the deliberations that followed it. No mention, however, is made of O’Leary or Parker in the Dublin prints of the day.[580] The Congress and its preliminary meeting are, no doubt, constantly referred to, but they sat with closed doors, and no reports appear. What took place must be gleaned from other sources. A letter from Orde, published in Grattan’s ‘Life,’ and dated September 18, 1784, six days before O’Leary’s arrival from London, mentions that at the coming meeting opposition would be made to putting a question upon the election of representatives for a National Congress.[581]

As this was a period full of great issues, and yet but little known, perhaps I may be allowed to cull from the local journals of the day a few remarks to show the spirit which animated both sides.

The ‘Dublin Evening Post,’ the popular organ, ‘most earnestly recommends a numerous and respectable meeting at the Tholse on Monday next. The occasion,’ it adds, ‘is great.'[582] But ere long the Castle journalist gleefully chronicles a collapse.

The weeping and gnashing of teeth among the city Patriots on account of yesterday’s melancholy disappointment at the Tholsel is not to be described. What a damp must this falling off in the metropolis give to the yet unassembled bailiwicks. Alas! alas! that the city which laid the first stone of ‘a national Congress’ should now give a shock to the precious building! How are the mighty aggregate Committee fallen! ah, how are they despised! Resolutions, address, circular letters–all, all are scattered to the winds; and commotion, revolution, and scramble, sunk in an abyss of despair beyond all hopes of resurrection.[583]

If O’Leary attended the meeting at the Tholsel, it is easy to know what tone he took. Three years later he published a pamphlet in which he seems very familiar with the incidents of that month.

I recollect the unmerited abuse given for a long time in the papers to the Catholics, because seventeen housekeepers in Dublin unguardedly signed a requisition to the high sheriff for the purpose of convening an aggregate meeting relative to a parliamentary reform, though I am confident the seventeen knew as little about the impropriety of their signing that requisition, and foresaw as little the offence it would give, as the high sheriff himself. And as to the Catholics, in their disqualified situation, they could not with either prudence or propriety follow any other line but that of a strict neutrality in a political question, on which neither the friends nor opponents of a parliamentary reform would acknowledge them competent to determine.

This tamed tone will not fail to strike on comparing it with his intrepid letter[584] written not two years before.

Meanwhile the National Congress was announced to hold its first meeting. ‘Whatever underhand engines may endeavour to effect,’ says the popular organ, ‘we hope to see these just and constitutional deliberations re-establish the purity of representation.'[585]

One prime object of the Castle is detected and denounced by the same courageous journalist, John Magee. The ‘Dublin Evening Post’ of November 5, 1784, records:–

The borough-ridden Government, disappointed in its impotent attempts to prevent the laudable exertion of the people in prosecuting a Parliamentary Reform, and finding that even the venal knaves of the Castle nauseate the fulsome charges so long run on Binns and Tandy, has directed the venal writers, as the last effort of an expiring and despairing cause, to endeavour to sow those seeds of dissension which so long desolated this divided Kingdom, and set father against son, and brother against brother, that all might become the easy slaves of foreign tyranny.[586]

These extracts do not criminate O’Leary, but are useful as illustrating the history of the time, and developing secret policy, while, moreover, they correct some strange inaccuracies. For instance: the Viceroy, writing to Sydney, as printed in Mr. Lecky’s History, calls Tandy’s colleague ‘Binney.’ Of course it should be Binns, a name frequently found in the dark records of ’98.

The Castle scribe, in another paragraph, states of Binns and Tandy, both thoroughly honest men–‘Fame is very busy that they have received the all-subduing touch of “aurum mirabile.”‘ This was probably to divert suspicion from the really subsidised quarter. It will be remembered that the date of O’Leary’s arrival, and that of Parker, quite tallies with the meeting on the 27th September; and it may be asked what else could have brought the popular orators to Dublin at that juncture? Parker knew Tandy, and, as Orde remarks, might be ‘able to dive to the bottom of his secrets.’

While diplomacy sought to work its ends in one quarter, brute force laboured in another to disable the arm which had been upraised. The Sheriff of the County Dublin having convened his bailiwick to meet on the subject of Reform, Fitzgibbon, then Attorney-General, addressed an unconstitutional letter to him threatening to proceed by attachment against those who responded to his call. The sheriff himself was fined and imprisoned.

The subsidised journalist, Francis Higgins, writes on December 24, 1784:–

The Roman Catholics may evidently see how wickedly intent on their ruin certain people have been, with a serious idea of extending the elective franchise, or, indeed, any other privilege to them. They endeavoured to cajole (the Roman Catholics) into a commotion.[587]

In conclusion, the old charge of venality and perfidy is brought against the incorruptible Tandy. ‘Napper,’ we are told, ‘betrayed them.’ But Barrington, and all other historians, admit that Tandy was sound to the core.

Grattan, in the Life of his father, notices as strange that the Bishop of Derry, who the previous year was so active at the Convention, absented himself from the Congress. The explanation probably is that his lordship had heard something of the detectives with a warrant for his arrest in their pocket. How the Congress crumbled, and the organisation melted away, a glimpse is obtained from Plowden, who embodied in his ‘Historical Review’ a mass of notes made by O’Leary. ‘It is well posterity should know,’ writes his biographer, ‘how much Plowden was indebted to his co-operation.'[588]

Plowden had never been to Ireland until about the year 1800. The following words seem those of a man who knew the inner workings of the governmental policy in 1784.

The link of unanimity having been once severed [we read in Plowden], the fall of the armed associations into difference and contention was much more rapid than had been their progress to union. The divisions of the volunteers were encouraged by Government; and for that purpose discord and turbulence were rather countenanced than checked in many counties, particularly upon the delicate and important expedient of admitting the Catholics to the elective franchise, a question which it was artfully attempted to connect with the now declining cause of Parliamentary Reform. Through a long series of years Government had never wanted force to quell internal commotions; and it seemed to be now dreaded lest an union of Irishmen should extinguish the old means of creating dissension. The desire of disuniting the volunteers begat inattention to the grievances of the discontented and distressed peasantry of the South: that wretched and lawless rabble once more assumed the style of White Boys,[589] and for some time committed their depredations with impunity, particularly against Kilkenny.[590]

The Volunteer army became gradually disorganised and disbanded; and the cannon, on which the words ‘Free Trade or This’ were inscribed, went back to the foundry.

In 1785 things looked a little dark in Dublin, which must have given O’Leary something to do to see through. A storm signal was raised by a few alarmists, and the Attorney-General, Fitzgibbon, though he sought to make light of the outlook, admitted enough to show that the country ought to be prepared for foul weather. Mr. Lecky, in rejecting as without foundation[591] the report confided by Rutland to Sydney in 1784, that a French agent was then in Dublin, makes no reference to a man named Perrin, mentioned in a remarkable speech of the Attorney-General, Fitzgibbon, better known as Lord Clare. On February 14, 1785, he announced in the Irish Parliament that

The great majority of the original Volunteers have hung up their arms and are retired to cultivate the arts of peace: their place has been assumed by men who disgrace the name. I have seen resolutions inviting the French into this country. On the 26th April, 1784, the Sons of the Shamrock voted Mr. Perrin, a native of France, honorary member of their corps. I have seen publications inviting Catholics, contrary to the laws of the land, to arm themselves to reform the constitution in Church and State. I have seen encomiums on Louis XVI., the friend of mankind and the assertor of American liberty…. They may invite the French to invade our country. I have seen invitations to the dregs of the people to go to drills and form into corps; we should therefore distinguish between the gentlemen–the original Volunteers–and those sons of sedition. I have seen a summons from a Major Canier, ordering his corps to attend with nine rounds of ball cartridge, as there might be occasion for actual service, and at the same time intimating a threat to Government; and will any man tell me, that we should be overawed by such people as these? or that the Commons of Ireland should be afraid to grant a sum of money to array a militia until these people should lay down their arms?[592]

M. Perrin, the native of France, whose name Fitzgibbon mentions in connection with the resolution to invite the French to invade Ireland, was no doubt the father of the subsequently well-known judge of the Queen’s Bench, Louis Perrin. Under what circumstances M. Perrin first came to Dublin is not clear. Sometimes he was styled a Professor of French; usually resided in Dublin; but would sojourn, for months at a time, in the houses of such Irish gentry as wished to acquire a knowledge of that tongue. ‘Perrin’s French Grammar’ was at a later date very familiar in Irish circles.[593]

The tinge of disappointment which peeps forth in the later allusion of Secretary Orde to O’Leary may have been influenced by a circumstance casually noticed by his biographer. We have seen from a well-informed local journal of the day, that venal writers had received instructions to endeavour to sow the seeds of dissension. It will be shown that O’Leary was specially intimate with the proprietor of the Castle organ, and O’Leary would be one of the first writers on whom Orde’s thoughts could not fail to fall. O’Leary’s biographers say, but without giving dates, that he recoiled from the proposal to write in the organ of the Irish Government. Indeed, in a pamphlet, previously published, he records his dislike to anonymous compositions.[594] An eloquent divine, the Rev. Morgan d’Arcy, in preaching the funeral panegyric on Father O’Leary, travelled slightly out of his path to touch on this point. He said:–

The well-timed and effectual exertions of this extraordinary man, could not fail to attract the notice of Government, and, consequently, were not suffered to remain unrewarded by his gracious and beneficent sovereign; but, though he received with all becoming gratitude this unsolicited and well-earned mark of royal remuneration, yet such was his disinterestedness, and the noble independence of his spirit, that when, soon after, a very considerable annuity had been offered him to become the supporter of a periodical publication,[595] which then was, and still continues to be, the foul vehicle of misrepresentation, slander, and calumny on the Irish people; indignant at the insulting proposal, he rejects it with becoming contempt, though by his refusal he was sure to incur the displeasure of a certain description of men, and through their influence might apprehend a discontinuance of his pension; yet, destitute as he was of all earthly property beside, sooner than prostitute his heaven-sent talents, he leaves his native country and repairs to this metropolis, to enjoy the boasted and enviable blessings of British protection and British liberty.

The preacher’s reference here would be to the year 1789, when O’Leary removed permanently to London. It was in ’89 that the great struggle on the Regency Question, which will be dealt with later on, raged between the camps of Whig and Tory in Ireland.

Higgins, the subsidised owner of the Castle organ, was called ‘Shamado’ by John Magee, and painted in colours of demoniac hue. According to Dr. Morgan d’Arcy, O’Leary did not yield to the tempter, but rejected the proposal with indignation and contempt, and this would naturally incur displeasure. The statement proves too much, for Higgins, by his will dated 1791, speaks of O’Leary as his ‘long and faithful friend,’ and leaves him a bequest in proof of affection. Further, his journal devoted part of its very limited space to occasional paragraphs laudatory of O’Leary, and not ill-calculated to strengthen popular confidence in his name. Thus, on May 12, 1785–a few months after Orde says he had consented to work secretly for pay–we read in the subsidised organ of the Irish Government:–

Nothing can more mark the influence of wisdom and superior genius than the mention made of Dr. O’Leary in George Anne Bellamy’s ‘Apology’ where she says the philanthropy and interference of that liberal man put an end to the scandalous conduct of Count Haslang’s (the Bavarian ambassador’s) chaplain on the death of that old representative of the corps diplomatique.[596]

The organ of the Irish Government does not praise O’Leary for political support. To do so would arouse suspicion whether well founded or not; but Higgins, from friendship or policy, seeks to exalt his prestige and popularity. In the ‘Freeman’ of November 20, 1784, we have a long account of how he put down Dr. Johnson, who had addressed him with boorishness. ‘The literati,’ it is added, ‘consider themselves as much obliged by Dr. O’Leary’s conduct on the occasion, as it has much humbled the imperious and surly behaviour of Johnson.’

The statement of Plowden, that O’Leary was pensioned on condition that he should withhold his pen in support of toleration,[597] will not bear test.[598] In 1784, O’Leary is conclusively shown to be subsidised. His dissuasive address to the common people of Ireland denunciatory of Whiteboyism, a bulky treatise, bears date 1786. It seems more likely that a subsidy would be given for writing in support of the oppressive laws of that day. This letter to the peasantry writes up that grinding impost–Tithes–in reference to which Bishop Doyle afterwards prayed, ‘May our hatred of Tithes be as lasting as our love of justice!’

Pray, my brethren, what right have you to curtail, to your own authority, the income of the Protestant clergy? [O’Leary writes]. If the tithes became the property of the laity, they would raise their rents in proportion. Or is it because that, from the earliest ages of the world, those who believed in the true God have consecrated to Him a part of the fruits of the earth, you will think it an heavier burthen to pay the same thing because it was in conformity to the law of God that the laws of Christian states have appointed it? You know that the rules of justice extend to all without exception, and that, to use the familiar phrase, everyone should have his own, whether he be Protestant or Catholic, Turk or Christian. It is more your interest than you imagine, that the Protestant clergy of this country should be maintained in their rights. For many ages you have been defenceless, destitute of any protection against the power of your landlords, your clergy liable to transportation or death. The mild and tolerating spirit of the clergy of the established religion has been the only substitute for all other resources. They trained up from their early days the Protestant nobility and gentry in the principles of morality and virtue. If they preached against Purgatory, they enforced charity…. If they denied that the Pope is head of the Church, they taught their congregation that no man is to be injured on account of his religion, and that Christianity knows no enemy. As by nature we are prone to vice of every kind, and that the earliest impressions are the strongest, had it not been for those principles which they instilled into the minds of their hearers, long before now your landed men in this country would have treated you as Turks, who think it no scruple to violate the beds of the Jew, and warn the husbands that if they come into their houses whilst they are doing them this injustice they will cut off their heads.

Is it then to gentlemen of this description, the children of the first families in the kingdom, the instructors of the most powerful part of the community, the most moral and edifying amongst them, the most charitable and humane, that a handful of poor men are to prescribe laws tending to diminish the support of their offspring, destined to fill one day the most important offices in the State? What! a Rev. Archdeacon Corker, a Rev. Archdeacon Tisdal, a Rev. Mr. Chetwood, a Rev. Mr. Weekes, a Rev. Mr. Meade, a Rev. Mr. Kenny, who spent his time and fortune amongst you, relieving your wants, and changing part of his house into an apothecary’s shop to supply you with medicines, which yourselves could not purchase, must from an apprehension of violence quit his house.[599]

In this strain O’Leary argued at much length; but the impartial historian of this very time describes ‘the system of Tithes as the greatest practical grievance, both of the poorer Catholics and of the Presbyterians.'[600]

Most people have heard of O’Leary’s controversy with the Bishop of Cloyne, in which, when the prelate disputed Purgatory, O’Leary retorted that he might ‘go farther and fare worse.’ The ‘Critical Review’ examined the controversy with a shrewdly penetrative eye. Lord Kenmare, in a letter dated October 2, 1787, writes: ‘I read with the greatest pleasure the ‘Critical Review’ on the Cloyne controversy. It is the best performance that has yet appeared on the subject. Grattan is violent against the Bishop of Cloyne for his publication, and thinks, with the reviewer, that Government is at the bottom of it.'[601] O’Leary’s reply, which runs to 175 pages, contains many excellent truths worthy of commendation; but it is a question whether this elaborate controversy may not have been inspired and encouraged from Dublin Castle. Law and order are, very properly, inculcated throughout by O’Leary, and powerful dissuasives addressed to the ‘Whiteboys’ are printed at the end.[602] As regards the Bishop of Cloyne, O’Leary assures him, in words somewhat supererogatory:

‘I was not sent here to sow sedition (p. 119). I returned here, not as a felon from transportation, but as an honourable exile, who returns to his native land after having preferred a voluntary banishment to ignorance and the abjuration of the creed of his fathers.’ Some years later, i.e. in 1789, he was falsely reported to have taken the latter step, and, like Drs. Butler and Kirwan, to meditate matrimony. ‘Having from my early days,’ he wrote, ‘accustomed myself to get the mastery over ambition and love, the two passions which in every age have enslaved the greatest heroes, your correspondent may rest assured that I am not of the trio.’

O’Leary was a Franciscan friar who had made vows of voluntary poverty. The fact that he had long been accustomed to rest content with a little may help to explain the modest sum he was satisfied to accept for services which, if cordially rendered, were worth the amount twenty times told. And in judging the man for accepting this money it must be remembered that the bulk of it was spent in alms deeds. Bishop Murphy told Father England that when a youth he was frequently O’Leary’s almoner, and that a number of reduced persons were weekly relieved in Cork to the average extent of two or three pounds. ‘Charity,’ we are told, ‘covers a multitude of sins.’

FOOTNOTES:

[548] Cumberland’s Memoirs, ii. 2-38. (London, 1807.)

[549] Cumberland several times calls it a ‘treaty.’

[550] Vide Correspondence of Sir John Sinclair, ii. 385-6. Del Campo’s letters are written in excellent English; it appears that, though born in Spain, he had come from an English Catholic family named Field.

[551] Vide Annals of the English Catholic Hierarchy, by W. Maziere Brady, pp. 170-4. (Rome, 1883.) ‘Sketch of a Conference with Earl Shelbourne,’ The Dublin Review, vols. xx.-xxi. Trials of the rioters, The Rockingham Correspondence, ii. 419. This remarkable incident has been all but overlooked by historians. Dickens was greatly struck by its features.

[552] We have no proof that Parker was an Irishman.

[553] Orde to Evan Nepean, September 8, 1784 (see English in Ireland, ii. 413).

[554] In the postscript to O’Leary’s letter (see Appendix) we catch a glimpse of some of the Catholic leaders in Dublin at this time, into whose secrets Orde assumes he could easily dive. They include Thomas Braughall, so often mentioned in Wolfe Tone’s Diary as a Catholic organiser and United Irishman; Charles Ryan, a very important Catholic leader (fully described in Wyse’s History of the Catholic Association, i. 138-9); and Mr. Kirwan, noticed at p. 177 of the same book. Sutton, ‘the Brigadier,’ also mentioned in O’Leary’s letter, was, with Braughall, one of the thirty-three Catholic delegates who, in 1793, represented the City of Dublin (see Vindication of the Catholics of Ireland, p. 90.) (London: Debrett, 1793.) Edward Lewins, the two Sweetmans, Thomas Reynolds, and other afterwards very prominent rebels, figure in the said list of the Dublin delegates.

[555] Mr. Orde to Mr. Evan Nepean, October 17, 1784. See Froude’s English in Ireland, iii. 414. But Mr. Froude will excuse me for adding that the chief passage he quotes is from a letter dated September 8, 1784.

[556] Rise and Fall of the Irish Nation, Paris ed. p. 319.

[557] My Australian correspondent, Mr. Morgan McMahon, was puzzled to determine how O’Leary, the scene of whose labours was Ireland, could be summoned from London in 1784, inasmuch as his biographer states that it was not until 1789 O’Leary took up his residence in that city (Buckley, p. 304). The accuracy of Mr. Froude’s date is, however, confirmed by a letter in the Life of George Anne Bellamy, iii. 120 (Dublin ed. 1785). On August 16, 1784, Mr. W. T. Hervey writes to that celebrated actress, then living at 10, Charles Street, St. James’, and expressing the ‘infinite satisfaction’ he felt at meeting O’Leary at dinner.

[558] Life of Father O’Leary, by the Rev. M. B. Buckley, p. 203.

[559] See his letter, ante, p. 212.

[560] England, from whom Buckley recast and embellished this account, calls him ‘a gentleman in the confidence of the Ministry’ (p. 118). Was it Sir Boyle Roche–of whom presently?

[561] See England’s account of the overtures made to O’Leary in London, ante, p. 220. England puts ‘country’ before ‘religion.’

[562] In April 1783 the Coalition came into power. Pitt’s administration dates from December 1783.

[563] England’s Life of O’Leary, p. 118.

[564] O’Leary was specially weak in yielding acquiescence. Buckley states (Life, p. 355) that O’Leary, having been led to connive at the legislative union, he expressed remorse.

[565] Bird’s-eye View of Irish History.

[566] England’s Life of O’Leary, p. 105. (London, 1822.)

[567] See Life by Buckley, pp. 212-213, 237, 277. See also England, pp. 133, 134, 176, 179.

[568] See Mr. O’Leary’s Defence, in reply to the Lord Bishop of Cloyne, pp. 41-42. (Dublin, 1787.)

[569] Thomas Moore’s Diary, iv. 112.

[570] See letter to Mr. Kirwan in Appendix. After 1783, no such bold tone is traceable in O’Leary’s expressions.

[571] See Appendix. Their intercourse may have been strengthened by clannish claims. O’Leary was a Cork man, and Roche is described as ‘a branch of the ancient baronial family of Roche, Viscount Fermoy.’ See obituary in Gentleman’s Magazine for 1807, p. 506. His wages comprised the baronetcy bestowed in 1782; a pension of 300l. a year, with a separate annuity of 200l. for his wife; and, later on, the miserable post of Gentleman Usher, or Master of Ceremonies, at Dublin Castle. It is remarkable that in all the contemporary reports of the discreditable transaction, as regards Lord Kenmare, the name of Sir Boyle Roche is suppressed, and George Ogle, afterwards a P.C., put in his place. Ogle and O’Leary were both ‘Monks of the Screw.’

[572] The Rev. Dr. Wills, when writing his Lives of Distinguished Irishmen (v. 243), gathered curious facts from survivors of those times. Of Sir Boyle Roche we learn that ‘it was usual for the members of the Irish Cabinet to write speeches for him, which he committed to memory, and, while mastering the substance, generally contrived to travesty into language, and ornament with peculiar graces, of his own. On many of these occasions he was primed and loaded for action by the industry of Mr. Edward Cooke, who acted during several administrations as muster-master to the wisdom of the Castle.’ Sir Boyle felt that he had specially earned the gratitude of the Crown; and I find, by the Précis book of Lord Fitzwilliam, he had even applied for a peerage. In the Pelham MSS. he is constantly found worrying for honours and reward.

[573] See England’s Life of O’Leary, p. 109.

[574] Lord Kenmare died September 9, 1795. For a careful study of his temporising character see Wyse’s Catholic Association. He had enjoyed his title merely by courtesy. In 1798 his son was advanced to a Viscounty, and the next year to an Earldom.

[575] Mr. Lecky says that ‘it is a strange illustration of the standard of honour prevailing in Ireland, that a man who, by his own confession, had acted in this manner continued to be connected with the Government and a popular speaker in the House of Commons’ (vi. 368). But, in point of fact, Dublin Castle could not get on without him.

[576] See Froude, ii. 415.

[577] Vide ante, p. 220.

[578] The Convention had greatly alarmed the Government. In 1793, Lord Clare introduced the Convention Act, making all such assemblages henceforth illegal; but a popular leader remarked that it was the wisdom of Xerxes attempting with iron fetters to chain the sea. In 1811, Lord Fingall, Mr. Kirwan, and other Catholic delegates were arrested under the Act. It never became law in England, and about the year 1878 Mr. P. J. Smyth, M.P., succeeded in freeing Ireland from its pressure.

[579] The Letters of Orellana, an Irish Helot, to the Seven Northern Counties not represented in the National Assembly of Delegates held at Dublin in October 1784, for obtaining a more equal representation of the people. Halliday Pamphlets, Royal Irish Academy, vol. 482, p. 29.

[580] Besides the journals of the day, I have searched the litter of pamphlets to which that pregnant year gave birth; but, the names ‘O’Leary’ and ‘Parker’ never appear. Their mission, clearly, was a secret one. Sheahan’s Articles of Irish Manufacture (Cork, 1833) certainly speaks of Mr. Parker, ‘who fell in with a Doctor O’Leary’ (p. 112); but, on hunting up the pamphlet from which he quotes, Plea for the Poor (p. 15), it appears that the date is 1819, and the Dr. O’Leary was a physician in Kanturk.

[581] Diplomatic letters, but fulsomely servile, are addressed by Orde to Grattan (vide Life, by his Son, iii. 209-11). Orde must have known that Grattan was jealous–first, of Flood, with whom he constantly quarrelled, and, secondly, of a new, bold, and thoroughly honest Protestant leader, who had just made his début, and worked hard to make the Congress a success. This was James Napper Tandy, commander of the Dublin Volunteer Artillery, and afterwards a general of division in the service of France.

[582] Dublin Evening Post, September 18, 1784.

[583] The Freeman’s Journal, September 28, 1784. This journal, once the organ of Grattan, Flood, and Lucas, fell into the hands of an unprincipled adventurer, named Francis Higgins, who prostituted the once virtuous print to a venal executive.

[584] See Appendix, p. 374.

[585] Dublin Evening Post, October 23, 1784.

[586] The policy of creating a schism has often since been acted upon. We have already seen Lord Northington’s approval of such a scheme. The Viceroy, Cornwallis, addressing Portland, June 22, 1799, writes in reference to a public question: ‘Dublin is not without material for a counter party, which I should have sanguine hope of collecting if my endeavours to produce a schism in the corporation should prove successful.’–Cornwallis Correspondence, i. 339.

[587] The Freeman’s Journal, December 24, 1784.

[588] Life of O’Leary, by Rev. M. B. Buckley, p. 385. See also England’s O’Leary, p. 289. (London, 1822.)

[589] The ‘White Boys’ were perpetually denounced by O’Leary.

[590] Historical Review of the State of Ireland, by Francis Plowden, ii. 104.

[591] Lecky, vi. 369.

[592] Irish Parliamentary Register, iv. 227.

[593] ‘For King Louis is loved by the Irish Brigade,’ we know on the authority of Irish song, and the judge was baptised ‘Louis’ apparently in compliment to the French king, described as ‘the assertor of American liberty.’ The bias of the Perrins was always democratic, and the judge himself had been the attached friend of Robert Emmet, whom he embraced in the dock. The conduct of ‘P. the Scholar‘ (T.C.D.) at this time is noticed by Archbishop Magee, then a fellow, in a letter printed in Plunket’s Life. The judge’s brother, Mark Perrin, rector of Athenry, in a letter to me, states that on the night Emmet was sentenced to death, Louis Perrin came home to their house at Chapelizod, bathed in tears. In that picturesque part of the ‘Strawberry Beds,’ where one can cross the Liffey by a ferry, access is gained to the old churchyard of Palmerstown, in which, partly smothered in weeds and fallen leaves, may be traced the epitaph of Judge Perrin’s father. When Brougham declared in 1828 ‘The Schoolmaster is abroad, and I trust to him armed with his Primer against the Soldier in full military array,’ he used the idea in a higher sense than could apply to M. Perrin and his ‘Grammar,’ who, unobtrusive as he seems to have been, caused some disquietude to Lord Clare, a man of all others the most difficult to perturb.

[594] ‘I disclaim anonymous productions.’–Postscript to his Miscellaneous Tracts. (Dublin, 1781.)

[595] Buckley says that this proposition was made to O’Leary in Dublin (Life, p. 354).

[596] As service of a political or diplomatic sort might possibly be inferred from this paragraph, I thought it just to O’Leary to see the book from which ‘Shamado’ quotes. The incident is described by Mrs. Bellamy in the Apology for her Life, ii. 246-7 (Dublin ed. 1785). She complains that the remains of Count Haslang were not treated with due respect; and that a new chaplain, who had been assigned to the Bavarian ambassador, behaved towards ‘the chaplains and domestics of the late count with unmanly arrogance … had it not been for the timely arrival of that justly respected luminary Father O’Leary.’ Her account is not very clear. In what year Haslang’s death occurred is not mentioned; but the Gentleman’s Magazine of the time throws in a few dates and facts. Count Haslang died at Golden Square, London, on May 29, 1783, after an embassy of forty-two years (liii. 454). George II. had formed an attachment for him in Hanover, and brought him to London. Haslang’s son was Prime Minister of Bavaria, while his father, during a crisis in its history, filled the post of ambassador to England. On June 5, 1783, a solemn dirge, attended by all the corps diplomatique in London, was sung in Warwick Street (R.C.) Chapel; but ‘owing to a dispute at the grave [in old St. Pancras] several of the ambassadors returned home without supporting the pall.’ The dispute, which is not explained, at last obliged the Anglican chaplain to read the burial service over the deceased envoy of a Catholic power.

O’Leary, in finally adjusting the difficulties, may have discharged a diplomatic mission inspired from Downing Street. Mrs. Bellamy alludes to insults offered even to the domestics of Count Haslang. How serious it was to insult even a servant of the Bavarian ambassador is shown by the Gentleman’s Magazine, xxv. 232-3. In 1755, we learn that ‘T. Randall, late an officer to the Sheriff of Middlesex, pursuant to his sentence for arresting a servant of Count Haslang, was brought from Newgate before his Excellency’s house in Golden Square, having on his breast a paper proclaiming that he had been adjudged by Lord Chancellor Hardwicke and the Chief Justices to be a violator of the laws of nations, and a disturber of the public repose, and stands convicted thereof.’ Randall was carried back to Newgate.

Mrs. Bellamy, in vaguely alluding to insults offered even to Count Haslang’s domestics, doubtless includes herself, for Haslang describes her as his ‘housekeeper’ (Life, ii. 104). This woman, the natural daughter of Lord Tyrawley, ambassador at Lisbon, was introduced into society by his sister; became a very influential person, and shared the confidence of Fox and other Whig lights. O’Leary, she describes (ii. 8): ‘… who, with unaffected piety, is blest with that innocent chearfulness which, joined to his brilliant wit and sound understanding, makes him the admired darling of all who have the happiness of knowing him.’

Count Haslang’s house in Golden Square has been, since 1789, the presbytery of Warwick Street R. C. Chapel; and its transfer to parochial uses dates also from that year.

[597] Ante, p. 213.

[598] The Freeman, the subsidised organ of the Irish Government, after extolling O’Leary, added, on May 12, 1785: ‘It were sincerely to be wished that this excellent writer and Christian philosopher would once more sit down and employ his talents in the service of his country and literature in general.’ In the following year, i.e. 1786, he reviewed a ‘forgotten controversy,’ including a defence of Pope Clement XIV. in suppressing the Jesuits.

[599] The Rev. Mr. O’Leary’s Address to the Common People of Ireland, pp. 12-14. (Dublin: Cooney, 1786.)

[600] Lecky’s England in the Eighteenth Century, vi. 540.

[601] Edward Hay, in his History of the Rebellion, says that the Bishop of Cloyne’s pamphlet ‘was dedicated to the Spirit of Discord.’ Dr. Woodward was hardly the bigot that he pretended to be; his epitaph in Cloyne Cathedral records that ‘he was a warm friend to Catholic Emancipation.’

[602] A very clever, poetic version of this and other addresses of O’Leary, entitled The O’Leariad, appeared, and seems to have been written to direct attention to O’Leary’s loyal pamphlets, and to enforce and imprint their arguments on the popular mind. (Printed in Dublin, and reprinted at Cork by Robert Dobbyn, 1787.) Vide Halliday Pamphlets, Royal Irish Academy, vol. 514.

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