- Art Gallery -

 

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The Earl of Aberdeen, K.T.

The Earl of Aberdeen, K.T.




THE VICEROYS OF
IRELAND


THE STORY OF THE LONG LINE OF NOBLEMEN
AND THEIR WIVES WHO HAVE RULED
IRELAND AND IRISH SOCIETY FOR
OVER SEVEN HUNDRED
YEARS



BY


CHARLES O'MAHONY


WITH PHOTOGRAVURE FRONTISPIECE AND THIRTY-TWO OTHER
PORTRAITS AND ILLUSTRATIONS




LONDON
JOHN LONG, LIMITED
NORRIS STREET, HAYMARKET
MCMXII




TO
MY WIFE




{ix}

PREFACE

This is the first complete history of the viceroys of Ireland, the only other book on the subject being the late Sir John T. Gilbert's, which was published in 1864. But as he dealt with the viceroys between 1172 and 1509 only, his book has no claim to completeness. In common with all writers on Ireland, however, I must express my acknowledgments to Gilbert. His keen and discerning research work, covering the first two hundred years of the viceroyalty, has been of the utmost value to me.

Irish affairs appear certain to monopolize public and parliamentary attention this year, and on this account I think that the history of the men who have ruled Ireland for nearly seven hundred and fifty years will be read with interest.

Of the illustrations, that of Lord Aberdeen is from a photograph by M. Lafayette of Dublin and London, who has also supplied the photographs of Lady Aberdeen, Lords Dudley, Spencer, Londonderry, Cadogan, and Crewe, King Edward at the {x} Dublin Exhibition, and those of the Viceregal Lodge, St. Patrick's Hall, and the Throne Room in Dublin Castle. All the other illustrations are from photographs of the originals in the National Portrait Gallery, Dublin.

CHARLES O'MAHONY

LONDON
    June, 1912




{xi}

CONTENTS

                                                             PAGE

CHAPTER I      -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -       15
CHAPTER II     -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -       28
CHAPTER III    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -       48
CHAPTER IV     -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -       62
CHAPTER V      -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -       71
CHAPTER VI     -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -       86
CHAPTER VII    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      103
CHAPTER VIII   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      120
CHAPTER IX     -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      139
CHAPTER X      -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      161
CHAPTER XI     -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      173
CHAPTER XII    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      188
CHAPTER XIII   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      201
CHAPTER XIV    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      216
CHAPTER XV     -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      229
CHAPTER XVI    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      242
CHAPTER XVII   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      261
CHAPTER XVIII  -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      271
CHAPTER XIX    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      289
CHAPTER XX     -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      303
CHAPTER XXI    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      313
CHAPTER XXII   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      326

INDEX  -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -      343



{xiii}

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

                                                        FACING PAGE

THE EARL OF ABERDEEN -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -     Frontispiece

THE VICEREGAL LODGE, DUBLIN  -   -   -   -   -   -   -           30

THE THRONE ROOM, DUBLIN CASTLE   -   -   -   -   -   -           42

ST. PATRICK'S HALL, DUBLIN CASTLE    -   -   -   -   -           54

ROBERT DEVEREUX, EARL OF ESSEX   -   -   -   -   -   -           68

CHARLES BLOUNT, LORD MOUNTJOY    -   -   -   -   -   -           78

THOMAS WENTWORTH, EARL OF STRAFFORD  -   -   -   -   -           84

JAMES BUTLER, FIRST DUKE OF ORMONDE  -   -   -   -   -           86

OLIVER CROMWELL  -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -           90

ARTHUR, EARL OF ESSEX    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          100

LORD WHARTON -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          130

JOHN, LORD CARTERET  -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          140

EARL OF CHESTERFIELD -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          150

EARL OF HARRINGTON   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          152

MARQUIS TOWNSHEND    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          176

INSTALLATION BANQUET OF KNIGHTS OF ST. PATRICK   -   -          188

DUKE OF RUTLAND  -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          192

EARL OF WESTMORELAND -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          194

EARL FITZWILLIAM -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          200

MARQUIS CAMDEN   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          204

MARQUIS CORNWALLIS   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          210

DUKE OF RICHMOND AND LENNOX  -   -   -   -   -   -   -          214

EARL TALBOT  -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          218

MARQUIS WELLESLEY    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          226

LORD MULGRAVE    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          240

{xiv}

EARL OF CLARENDON    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          248

EARL OF EGLINTON AND WINTON  -   -   -   -   -   -   -          256

EARL SPENCER -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          280

LORD CREWE   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          306

EARL CADOGAN -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          310

LORD DUDLEY  -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          318

KING EDWARD CONVERSING WITH LORD ABERDEEN    -   -   -          334

COUNTESS OF ABERDEEN     -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -          338



{15}

THE VICEROYS OF IRELAND


CHAPTER I

The conquest of Ireland by Henry II. is one of the myths of history which Time has endeavoured to crystallize into fact. Rome gave Ireland to the superstitious, cowardly King of England, but the Pope could not make Henry a conqueror, and so the invader, coming to claim that which did not belong to the Pope or to himself, discovered that the native Irish could defend themselves. Ireland was a land of saints according to the chroniclers of the time; Henry discovered that it was also a land of fighters, and the armour and superior weapons of his army were outmatched by the sturdy patriotism of the Irish, whose weapons and methods were, doubtless, crude, but whose courage and determination were inspired by a love of country and intensified by a passion for independence.

Henry II. landed at Waterford on October 11, 1171, accompanied by a great army. The conquest of Ireland was to be short, sharp, and decisive. The natives appeared to know nothing of the fine art of war, and even Henry must have tasted of courage when he viewed the ill-armed {16} legions he had to fight. From Waterford he marched to Dublin, but the result of several battles and skirmishes was an attenuated army and unexpected defeat. Had it not been for the inevitable Irish traitor, Henry and his followers would have been swept into the sea, but it is Ireland's tragedy that she produces almost as many traitors as heroes. Dermot McMurrough, King of Leinster, anxious to gain the unmistakable advantages offered by an alliance with the King of England, came to Henry's aid, and thus the invader was at any rate able to claim the conquest of the land covered by the feet of his soldiers. Beyond that his jurisdiction was imaginary. Realizing this, Henry determined to leave Ireland. His expedition had proved profitless, but he foresaw possibilities of gain in the future. The first of a long line of Englishmen who have never known when they were beaten, Henry, with a statesmanlike disregard for the realities, divided Ireland between ten of his followers, and, nominating one of them to act as his representative, sailed from the country on Easter Monday, April 17, 1172. This, in brief, is the story of the conquest of Ireland.

The first Viceroy

Henry's representative, and, therefore, generally accepted as the first Viceroy of Ireland, was Hugh de Lacy, a descendant of one of William the Conqueror's companions in arms. To De Lacy was committed the care of Dublin Castle and the command of the English in Ireland. The viceroy was a small but muscular man, unscrupulous, immoral, and unsuccessful. Henry gave him 800,000 acres which were not the king's to give, {17} even in the Dark Ages when right was might. To a person of De Lacy's qualities the gift was valueless, for he was not the man to gain and hold the land. Even when Tiarnan O'Ruarc, the original owner, was treacherously slain, the viceroy found it impossible to assert his authority over the vast estate.

De Lacy was soon succeeded by another Anglo-Norman baron, Fitz-Gislebert, who gained Henry's confidence and gratitude by helping to subdue the rebellious sons of the King of England. Fitz-Gislebert came from Normandy to Ireland. His viceroyalty was undistinguished, and he was chiefly occupied in defending himself from the attacks of the Irish or in vain endeavours to assert his authority as the representative of the King of England. When he died in 1176 his widow's brother, Raymond le Gros, acted as viceroy until Henry, having been acquainted with the decease of Fitz-Gislebert, appointed Guillaume Fitz-Aldelm de Burgh to the post in 1177. Raymond was not at all pleased with Henry's choice, but he dissembled sufficiently to receive the new viceroy at Wexford. Raymond had by now assumed the name and arms of the Geraldine family by virtue of his descent from an emigrant of an old Tuscan family, thus forming his kinsmen and followers under one banner, and becoming the most powerful member of the English colony in Ireland. Fitz-Aldelm and the Geraldines were never friendly, and it is not surprising, therefore, that one of the Geraldine chroniclers should describe the viceroy as 'corpulent, crafty, plausible, {18} corrupt, addicted to wine and profligate luxuriousness.' The description, save for the physical details, would, however, apply to almost every one of the early Viceroys of Ireland. They were for the most part needy adventurers sent to Ireland to replenish empty purses, legalized robbers commissioned by the Kings of England, and none the less thieves because they were not always successful in their mission.

English defeats

In 1177 King Henry secured the permission of the Pope to style his son John, aged twelve, Lord of Ireland, and two years later the viceroy was recalled, De Lacy returning to Ireland as Governor with a colleague in the person of Robert de la Poer of Wexford. De Lacy, however, committed the heinous crime of marrying without the king's permission, his bride being the daughter of King O'Connor, and he was superseded by Jean, Constable of Chester, who held the viceroyalty in conjunction with Richard de Peche, Bishop of Coventry. The ex-viceroy, however, managed to secure a renewal of the king's favour, and he quickly returned to Ireland, though for safety's sake Henry gave him a colleague, the Bishop of Salisbury, who was the monarch's paid spy. De Lacy pursued his policy unhampered, and very soon became wealthy and powerful. The king, learning of his representative's arrogance, decided that it was dangerous to permit a subject to taste too much of kingly power, and in 1184 he appointed his son, Prince John, now nineteen years of age, to be the chief governor of Ireland. Fortified by the Papal sanction, Prince John came {19} to Ireland with a large and costly army to impress De Lacy and his fellow-barons, and, incidentally, to subdue the turbulent Irish. An assassin removed De Lacy from his path, but the natives were stubborn, and the English were defeated whenever they gave battle. Thereupon John, with his retinue, indulged in a series of orgies, lost the remnant of his army, and after eight months returned to England in 1185.

During the succeeding four years De Courcy, a powerful baron, ruled Dublin in parts and none of the rest of Ireland, but, of course, maintained the fiction that he was the king's representative, and, therefore, Viceroy of Ireland. Then followed the first viceroyalty of Hugh de Lacy, a son of the previous viceroy, and in 1190 Guillaume le Petil took over the post and occupied it until 1191. After him came in quick succession Guillaume, Earl Marechal (1191-94), Pierre Pipard (1194), Hamon de Valognes (1197-99), and Fitz-Henry, whose father was an illegitimate son of Henry I., whose first term began in 1199 and ended in 1203. De Valognes, when he retired, had to pay 1,000 marks to the king's treasury to settle his viceregal accounts. This was not exceptional. The viceroys of Ireland were given considerable powers, but they had their responsibilities, and among these was a contract to supply so much money and soldiers to their royal masters. To satisfy these contracts, the viceroys, when denied the spoils of battle, had to rob and plunder, while the viceroy who paid his debts was as rare as virtue in Dublin Castle.

{20}

Hugh de Lacy returned in 1203, but King John, his fears aroused by the viceroy's introduction of special coinage, recalled him in 1204, and for the space of a year Fitz-Henry occupied the viceregal position. In 1205 the king issued instructions for the erection of a new Dublin Castle. De Lacy, however, had powerful friends, and in 1205 he came back once more, and ruled the English colony for five years, until King John landed at Waterford on June 20, 1210, when, of course, the vice-royalty ceased for the time being. De Lacy, more courageous and skilful than his father, had carried war into the enemy's camp, and had done something towards extending the boundaries of England's dominions beyond the frontiers of Dublin. He instituted a system of taxation which was very profitable to him and to his royal master, but it exasperated the Irish to such an extent that they rose in rebellion. The opposing forces met at Thurles in 1208, and the result was a signal defeat for De Lacy. The coming of King John, who did not conceal his distrust of the viceroy, caused De Lacy to concentrate his forces with a view to impressing the king. Fortune, however, was on the side of John, and De Lacy fled the country. There are many legends recounting the adventures of the once powerful nobleman. He and his brother are said to have laboured as brickmakers and gardeners in Normandy and Scotland, and suffered many other indignities.

Papal supremacy

King John's stay in Ireland was brief, as the critical state of his kingdom required his presence in England. He left behind him as his representatives {21} Guillaume, Earl of Salisbury—an illegitimate son of Henry II. by the fair Rosemond Clifford—and De Grey, Bishop of Norwich. In 1213 they were succeeded by Henry de Londres, Archbishop of Dublin, a powerful prelate and an unscrupulous statesman. He was given the post because of his influence with the Pope, and John's first task for his new viceroy was to send him to Rome to induce the occupant of the Papal throne to side with him against the barons. Geoffery de Marreis, a follower of the Archbishop's, acted as his deputy during his absence abroad. The deputy robbed friend and foe alike, but eventually the trades-people of Dublin petitioned the king because De Marreis would not pay his debts and added insult to injury by compelling the traders of the city to give him further credit. King Henry III. was on the throne now, and he ordered his representative to pay all his debts within forty days. Furthermore, he was placed under the authority of the Archbishop of Dublin, Henry de Londres, who had helped to make history by forming one of the barons and ecclesiastics who compelled King John to sign the Magna Charta. The archbishop was the most powerful Englishman in the kingdom of Ireland, and, as the representative of the Pope, took precedence of the representative of the king. In 1221 he was appointed viceroy, and then ensued the usual conflict between the civil and religious powers that is inevitable when churchmen turn politicians. The English colony complained to Henry that his viceroy was unable to cope with the insurgents, and they prayed {22} for a more warlike governor. Guillaume Marechal, eldest son and heir of the first Earl of Pembroke, and afterwards second earl, was sent to Ireland as viceroy in 1224, but this brother-in-law of the king's did not find the country to his liking, and he departed in favour of Geoffery de Marreis, whose third term of office began in 1226 and ended the following year.

This viceroyalty was the first to which a definite salary was given, the sum of £580 a year being set aside for the use of Geoffery de Marreis. Richard de Burgh followed De Marreis until, in 1229, Maurice Fitzgerald assumed the reins of government. Fitzgerald was born in Ireland, and was the first Anglo-Irishman to become Viceroy of Ireland. His viceroyalty extended over fifteen years, though at intervals the government was in the hands of Geoffery de Marreis and Richard de Burgh for a few months. The viceroy was given a salary of £500 a year, and unlimited authority to rob the native Irish, and even the English colony, provided he sent part of the proceeds to London to help to pay the king's debts and finance wars. But he fell from grace in 1245, and was dismissed, the reason given being his dilatoriness in bringing reinforcements to his royal master in Wales. Jean Fitz-Geoffery was appointed his successor, and during the ensuing ten years the government was nominally vested in him, minor changes occurring from time to time. The next viceroy, Alain de la Zouche, reigned for four years (1255-59), and died as the result of an assault made upon him by the Earl of Warrene and {23} Surrey in Westminster Hall, while his successor, Etienne, who had married the widow of the second Hugh de Lacy, was murdered in 1260.

The next half-dozen viceroys are summed up easily. Guillaume le Dene (1260-61), Sir Richard de la Rochelle (1261-66), Jean Fitz-Geoffery for the third time (1266-67), Sir Robert D'Ufford (1268 and 1276-82), Richard D'Exeter (1269), and Jacques D'Audeley (1270-72). The majority were adventurers and favourites of the king, and few could claim possession of the soldier-like qualities which were needed at the time. Sir Robert D'Ufford was an exception, but he spent most of his time fighting abroad in the service of the King of England. Maurice Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald, signalized a brief viceroyalty, extending from 1272-73, by marching into the territory of the O'Connors, and promptly being made a prisoner. The vacancy thus created was filled by Geoffery de Joinville, who held the post for three years.

Sir Jean Wogan

Jean de Saundford, Archbishop of Dublin (1288-90), was one of the numerous deputies who governed the English colony between 1282 and 1290. These deputies were mainly ecclesiastics, for England's unsettled state and numerous wars called every leading warrior away from Ireland. Sir Guillaume de Vesci (1290-93), Guillaume de la Haye (1293), Guillaume D'Ardingselles (1294), Thomas Fitzmaurice (1294-95) paved the way for Sir Jean Wogan, who was viceroy for thirteen years, and who did more to establish the authority of England than any of his predecessors. When Wogan was appointed the chief source of danger {24} to the English colonists was the feud between the two great Anglo-Irish families, the Fitzgeralds and the De Burghs. Wogan, however, succeeded in bringing them together, and they agreed to a truce. The viceroy was also fairly successful against the natives, but he made no additions to the territory over which England nominally held sway. In 1308 Sir Guillaume de Burgh was appointed to succeed Wogan, but an unexpected development occurred, and Edward II., urged on by his advisers, nominated his Gascon favourite, Piers de Gaveston, to the post. This was virtually an act of banishment, and the gay Gascon regarded it as such, but for the time he had to accept the post, which was regarded by the wealthy English barons as tantamount to exile. Ireland was not a garden of pleasant memories to the English warriors. Not one of them who had tried his skill in the country had added to his laurels, and, consequently, the only men who would accept the viceroyalty or any of the posts attached to the Dublin Castle Government were the "needy adventurers" who stood to lose nothing and gain something. From time to time the English colony petitioned the king not to send these 'needy adventurers,' but there were no others to fill the vacancies that arose.

Piers de Gaveston's case was an exception. Edward II. had advanced him to the Earldom of Cornwall, and the barons were jealous of him. They plotted against his life, but the king stood by his favourite, and eventually both parties {25} compromised by permitting Piers to go to Ireland. He did not stay in Ireland for more than a few months, for he hungered for the gay English court, and when he left the country Sir Jean Wogan renewed his viceroyalty. It was in this year—1309—that John Lech, Archbishop of Dublin, obtained a Bull from Clement V. authorizing the establishment of a university in Dublin. The laudable project, however, was prematurely abandoned owing to the death of the archbishop. Nearly three hundred years elapsed before Dublin received its now famous university.

Edward Bruce crowned

Sir Edmund le Botiller, or Butler, succeeded Wogan in 1312, and carried on his policy. He is said to have succeeded in restoring order in the English colony and its immediate surroundings, but when reappointed in 1315, after a viceroyalty of a few months by Theobaude de Verdun, he had to cope with the most serious rebellion Ireland had known for two hundred years. The native Irish had been inspired by the exploits of King Robert Bruce of Scotland, and they called upon that monarch's brother, Edward Bruce, to rule over their country and lead them to victory. Bruce responded with alacrity, and he was crowned King of Ireland in 1315. Le Botiller collected a large army, and went in pursuit of the invader and his followers, but the viceroy suffered an overwhelming defeat, and it seemed as though the last day had come of English rule in Ireland. The inhabitants of Dublin, who were, of course, mainly English, became alarmed, but some confidence was restored at a meeting of the chief {26} nobles, who swore fidelity to King Edward, and declared that they would forfeit life and lands if they failed in their duty. The manifesto, signed by ten nobles, was delivered to Edward at Westminster, and he signified his approval and gratitude by creating the first of the signatories, Jean Fitz-Thomas, Earl of Kildare. Fitz-Thomas had been Baron of Offaly. The defeated and discomfited Le Botiller was superseded in 1317 by Roger de Mortimer, the paramour of King Edward's queen. Mortimer brought with him 15,000 men, and while he was pursuing Bruce he appointed the Archbishops of Cashel and Dublin to act as his deputies at Dublin.

Sunday, October 14, 1318, witnessed the last of Edward Bruce and his pretensions to the kingdom of Ireland. Outnumbered and out-generalled, he was defeated and killed at the Battle of Faughard, and in accordance with the rules of war his head was sent to King Edward. When this ghastly trophy arrived, Edward was seated at a banquet with the Ambassadors from King Robert Bruce of Scotland, who had asked and seemed likely to obtain the province of Ulster for Edward Bruce. The sight of Bruce's head, however, ended the conference prematurely.

The first university

Roger de Mortimer was in 1319 induced to forsake the attractions of the queen's court for the rigours of Dublin Castle, but in 1320 he was back again in London, leaving Thomas Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare, to rule in his stead. Kildare was succeeded by Jean de Bermingham, Earl of Louth, {27} in 1321; while in the same year Sir Ralph de Gorges and Sir Jean d'Arcy occupied in turn the viceroyalty. D'Arcy lasted until 1326. It is worthy of note that in 1320 a university was opened in Dublin, but it was never more than a seminary for ecclesiastics.




{28}

CHAPTER II

The year 1326 is memorable in English annals because of the deposition of Edward II. The Viceroy of Ireland, Thomas, second Earl of Kildare, was appointed that year, the warrant stating that he represented Edward III., then a boy of fourteen. The deposed monarch immediately looked to Ireland for support, and to Dublin he came, having heard that the English colony refused to acknowledge the authority of the Earl of Kildare. He was misinformed, however, and he lost his throne without being able to strike a blow for it.

Prior Utlagh and witchcraft

The Earl of Kildare gave way in 1328 to a remarkable ecclesiastic, Prior Roger Utlagh, Chancellor and Prior of the Knights Hospitallers of Kilmainham. He ruled as an autocrat, outwardly acknowledging Edward's sovereignty, but in reality a combination of layman and priest, who feared neither God nor man. When King Robert Bruce visited Ireland, and invited the Prior to a conference, he was ordered to leave the country, and he had to obey. Fellow-ecclesiastics plotted against him, but he was more than their match. When the Bishop of Ossory openly accused the viceroy of favouring heretics, Roger Utlagh made {29} it the occasion of a great public demonstration of his virtuous qualities. The charge was based on a rumour that the viceroy had shown kindness to a man imprisoned in Dublin Castle because he was the patron of a supposed witch's son. The position was serious enough, and the viceroy, therefore, issued proclamations for three successive days, calling upon his enemies to appear and prefer a charge against him. No one came forward, as was only to be expected, the viceroy possessing arbitrary punitive powers, and Utlagh thereupon nominated six commissioners in Dublin Castle and examined witnesses provided by himself. The complacent commissioners formally declared Prior Utlagh's character to be spotless, and in return for this testimonial the worthy ecclesiastic presided over a banquet in the Castle. Thus were his enemies confounded.

The Prior retired for William de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, who was styled Lieutenant, or locum tenens. De Burgh's reign was brief, and in 1332, within a year of his appointment, he was replaced by Sir Jean d'Arcy, an ex-viceroy. The Earl of Ulster was murdered in 1333, an act of revenge inspired by an aunt whose husband the earl had starved to death in one of his castles. The crime had its effect on English history, as the Countess of Ulster fled to England with her only child, Elizabeth, who married a son of Edward III. and became an ancestor of Edward IV. Sir Jean d'Arcy was merely viceroy in name, the deputy, Sir Thomas de Burgh, ruling in Dublin Castle until 1337, when Sir John de Cherlton, who had been {30} appointed in place of the deputy—dismissed for irregularities—occupied the post for a year. His successor was his brother, the Bishop of Hereford, who also became Chancellor. Like most ecclesiastics of the time, the Bishop of Hereford was a very zealous politician, drawing a sharp line between his spiritual and his temporal powers. He seized the cattle of the native Irish in large quantities, frequently despoiling the whole countryside of every head of live stock, and this so delighted the valorous Edward III. that he wrote a long letter of commendation to his faithful representative, and ordered the treasurer at Dublin Castle to pay the viceroy's salary before that of any other official. The year 1340 witnessed the retirement of the cattle-stealing Bishop, the reappointment and death of Prior Utlagh, and the conferring for life of the viceroyalty upon Sir Jean d'Arcy, who had covered himself with glory in the numerous wars of Edward III. D'Arcy did not, of course, come to Ireland. The appointment was in reality the king's way of rewarding his faithful warrior, and, therefore, D'Arcy was content to share in the spoils and gains of his deputy, Sir John Moriz.

Rise of the Anglo-Irish

By now, however, a new factor entered into the protracted struggle for the possession of the rich lands of Ireland. During the centuries of English occupation several great Anglo-Irish families had arisen, and, fattening upon their spoils, gradually came to occupy positions more powerful than the representatives of the king. The heads of the Desmonds, the Geraldines, the De Burghs, and {31} others, resented the intrusion of English warriors sent to Dublin to refill their treasure chests. They wished to rule Ireland, and declined to bow the knee to impecunious adventurers invested with royal powers by the King of England. Slowly yet surely these powerful chieftains ranged themselves on one side until hostilities in Ireland were not between the English and the natives, but between the English by birth and the English by blood, jealousy and greed of gain forming the motive.

The Viceregal lodge, Dublin

The Viceregal lodge, Dublin

When Sir John Moriz, D'Arcy's deputy, called a Parliament together at Dublin to consider the state of the country and to promulgate new Edwardian ordinances, the Earl of Desmond and other leaders of the English by blood declined to attend. In their opinion Sir Jean d'Arcy and his deputy were 'needy adventurers'—a description they applied to them in a petition sent direct to Edward III. Desmond was a clever man, who openly advocated peace and secretly prepared for war. His diplomacy, however, gained a surer victory than all his legions were capable of accomplishing, for in the petition already referred to he asked politely why his Majesty did not receive larger revenues from Ireland. This caused Edward to realize some of the disadvantages of conferring the viceroyalty upon impecunious warriors, and he promptly surrendered to the petitioners, removing Moriz, and appointing Sir Raoul d'Ufford, who became viceroy in the early part of 1344.

D'Ufford was wealthy enough to be trusted with {32} the government of Ireland, and Edward owed him something for his services in the French and Flemish wars. It is more than likely, however, that he was indebted for his viceroyalty to the fact that his wife was Maud Plantagenet, widow of the murdered Earl of Ulster and also of Edward's son. D'Ufford's commission authorized him to grant pardon to rebels on their swearing allegiance to the king, and, furthermore, it enjoined him to search for Irish mines of gold, silver, lead, and tin. D'Ufford's appointment evoked no enthusiasm and some fear. The English colony knew the temper of Maud Plantagenet, a proud, revengeful, and ambitious woman, and greatly as they feared D'Ufford's reputation for severity, they realized that, urged on by his wife, he might be guilty of excesses exceeding those which had won for him the fear of his enemies in France.

The entrance of the viceregal pair into Dublin in July, 1345, foreshadowed the kingly state they maintained throughout their brief reign. They resided in the Priory of the Knights Hospitallers of Kilmainham, and Maud Plantagenet, Countess of Ulster, put into practice the lessons she had learnt at the English court. She exacted homage from her friends, maintained ladies-in-waiting, held courts of her own, and, in fact, was Queen of Ireland. Letters were sent to Edward describing the conduct of his ambitious representatives, and the king's jealousy and fears were aroused. Action on his part, however, was forestalled by the death of D'Ufford, who expired from a malignant disease on Palm Sunday, 1346. Clergy and laity {33} combined to celebrate the tyrant's death, and thanksgiving services were held throughout the English colony. D'Ufford and his wife occupied the viceroyalty for less than twelve months, but in that brief space of time they committed many acts of oppression, torturing, robbing, despoiling, and executing enemies and even friends to gratify a lust for gain and exhibit to the world their vanity of power. Most of D'Ufford's tyrannies were ascribed by the populace to the evil counsels of his wife, and when he was no more they sought out the widow with the intention of laying violent hands upon her. Tyrants have no friends when they fall from power, and Maud Plantagenet suffered the usual indignities of a changeable fate, though she managed to escape from Ireland and carry her husband's body to England. She passed the remainder of her life in retirement.

Since his dismissal Sir John Moriz had laboured to obtain his restoration, and he succeeded in this three days before D'Ufford's death. Meanwhile the council in Ireland had elected Roger, son of Sir Jean d'Arcy, who, however, gave way to Moriz when the latter arrived.

The profits of the post

The new viceroy had been charged by the king to secure supplies of money for him from out of Ireland. Indeed, the appointment was based on a sort of co-partnership, the king insisting upon a large percentage of the profits of the post. Moriz knew that conciliation was the only means of obtaining the money, and he began by releasing the Earl of Kildare from imprisonment in Dublin Castle, and showing similar clemency to other {34} distinguished prisoners. The policy of Walter de Bermingham (1348-49), John, Lord Carew (1349), and Sir Thomas de Rokeby (1349-55), was in direct contrast. They favoured war where Moriz had tried peace, and with the usual result. The native Irish had by now the protection and assistance of the leading Anglo-Irish families, who were influenced by the Irish blood in their veins, and took common cause against the viceroy and his battalions. In almost every encounter the English were defeated, and, finally, Dublin itself was threatened. In alarm the English colony began to make hasty preparations for flight to England. They sold what they could and abandoned the rest, and it seemed as though the English in Ireland would cease to exist when an order came from England declaring that any English colonist deserting Ireland would be put to death. Compelled to remain, they continued their miserable existence, threatened with murder by their foes, and in continual danger of robbery by the very men appointed to protect them. Dublin at this period was in a wretched condition. There had been no attempt to build a city, and in reality the place was a fort whereby England maintained its footing in Ireland. In the country the native chiefs and the Anglo-Irish noblemen ruled, administering justice in their crude fashion, and in some cases issuing their own coinage. The Viceroy of Ireland was in reality Viceroy of Dublin, and not always even that.

The next Lord-Deputy was Maurice, first Earl of Desmond, an Anglo-Irishman. He died in 1356, {35} a year after his appointment, and Sir Thomas de Rokeby, who succeeded him, succumbed the same year. A return to the old condition of things was marked by the appointment of Baron Almaric de St. Amaud, who was created Lord of Gormanstown, but the baron did not care for Ireland, and he went back to England, leaving Maurice, fourth Earl of Kildare, to act as his deputy. He gave way to James le Botiller, second Earl of Ormonde, who was a great-grandson of Edward I. The appointment won the allegiance of Ormonde to the throne of England, and when, two years later—1361—Prince Lionel, third son of Edward III., was appointed viceroy and sent to Ireland with a large army, Ormonde promptly became one of his Generals. In 1347, when the Prince was ten, he had been married to Elizabeth, daughter of the murdered Earl of Ulster and Maud Plantagenet, the girl being sixteen. The object was to secure for the Royal Family the immense estates and vast wealth of the late Earl of Ulster, and when in 1361 Prince Lionel and his wife travelled with their army to Ireland, a considerable part of the expenditure was borne by his wife's estate. Remembering the hostility of the Irish against his wife's mother, Lionel issued a proclamation forbidding the natives to approach his camp.

English army defeated

Having rested for a time, Prince Lionel began the march which was to conquer the land, but again an English army, strong, well armed and victualled, was outmatched and defeated by the Irish. Disaster after disaster followed the prince, who could do nothing right. Edward, when he {36} heard the news, was alarmed and astounded. The first thing he did was to create the prince Duke of Clarence. His second step was more practical, and consisted in raising another army, while he increased his son's allowance from 6s. 8d. a day to 13s. 4d. Victory, however, was denied the prince, and though he returned to Ireland with increased forces in 1364, 1365, and 1366, he failed to improve upon his previous attempts. In 1362 his wife had died, leaving an only child in the person of Phillipa.

The Statute of Kilkenny

Prince Lionel's term of office is chiefly remarkable because it witnessed the creation of the famous, or infamous, Statute of Kilkenny. At a special Parliament held in Kilkenny in 1367, the viceroy endeavoured to gain by legislation that which he and his soldiers had lost in a dozen battles. It was therefore decreed that no English settler could marry into an Irish family; the selling of horses, armour, or victuals in peace or war was declared treason; English was the only language to be spoken; the English style of horsemanship was to be adopted; and no subject of the king's could be known except by an English name, and the education of the Irish was forbidden, no colleges or seminaries being permitted to receive them. There were also special clauses dealing with ecclesiastics, who were ordered to expel any Irish amongst them. The use of the English tongue was enjoined strictly, and if anyone offended the profits of his benefice were to be seized by his superior. The English colonists were likewise warned against admitting itinerant {37} musicians into their houses, for these men were regarded as spies, and therefore dangerous. The custom of calling the English by birth 'English Hobbes,' or clowns, was forbidden, as well as the nickname of 'Irish dogs' bestowed upon the English by blood. The Government could not afford the luxury of schisms amongst its friends. The common people were ordered not to play hurlings and quoitings, 'which had caused evils and maims,' but to accustom themselves 'to draw bows and cast lances and other gentleman-like sports whereby the Irish enemies might be better checked.' Constables of castles were forbidden to take more than 5d. per day from any prisoner for maintenance, and torture was vetoed. Not the least important enactment of the Statute of Kilkenny was the 'one war one peace' declaration. This meant that in the event of a rebellion or uprising all those who did not side with the viceroy were to be regarded as the open enemies of the King of England. Neutrality could not be acknowledged.

When this laborious and comprehensive statute had been drawn up the viceroy requested the Archbishops of Dublin, Cashel, and Tuam, and the Bishops of Lismore and Waterford, Killaloe, Leighlin, and Cloyne to pronounce sentence of excommunication against all those who might by 'rebellion of heart' resist the Statute of Kilkenny.

This was Lionel's last act as viceroy, and he retired, being succeeded by Gerald, fourth Earl of Desmond, known as 'The Poet' by reason of his {38} writings. He was popular, witty, and just, and for two years he ruled the English colony. In 1369, however, Sir William de Windsor, who had been one of the leaders of Prince Lionel's army, was appointed viceroy, and given an annuity of £1,000 until lands producing an equal amount could be settled on him. De Windsor's time was occupied chiefly in repelling attacks on the city of Dublin by the border Irish, but he performed an heroic action by marching to the South of Ireland and rescuing the preceding viceroy, whose poetical temperament and mild manner had not saved him from the hostility of the Irish. In 1371 De Windsor retired for over two years. The appointment of a successor caused Edward great trouble. He was averse to sending a pauper, because that would entail a diminution in the royal receipts from Ireland, while the wealthy men about his court would not accept the post at any price. Ireland to them was a savage country; a stay there tantamount to punishment and exile. There was no prospect of military glory, for they knew that many of the gallant victors of France, Flanders, and Scotland had left their reputations behind them on many a lost battlefield in Ireland. Edward thought that he could compel anybody he chose to go to Ireland, and he selected Sir Richard de Pembridge, who held several very profitable offices under the English Crown. Naturally Pembridge declined the post, and Edward retorted by depriving him of his offices. Pembridge, however, appealed to the Council and to Parliament, and it was decided that it was not the {39} king's prerogative to order anybody to leave the country. Magna Charta distinctly stated that exile from England was the punishment for felony or treason, and that Parliament alone had the power to expel a subject.

The 'Lady of the Sun'

Prior to the return of Sir William de Windsor, the government was undertaken for various short periods by Maurice Fitz-Thomas, Earl of Kildare, Dean de Colton, of St. Patrick's, who secured the post by undertaking to repel the O'Briens at his own expense, and William de Taney, an ecclesiastic. De Windsor came back in April, 1374, having come to an agreement with his royal master, whereby he was allowed 500 marks from the Exchequer and the sum of £11,213 6s. 8d. In return for the money he guaranteed to maintain 200 men-at-arms and 40 archers. De Windsor's object was obviously to make as much money as he could out of the unfortunate country, which was already sending annually the enormous sum for the period of £10,000. The viceroy came to regard all surplus moneys above that sum to be his perquisites, and his efforts to increase taxation and enrich himself were so unscrupulous and cynical that reports and complaints soon reached Edward. The king immediately appointed Sir Nicholas de Dagworth to proceed to Ireland, and investigate the charges against De Windsor. But the enemies of the viceroy reckoned without the famous Alice Perrers. She was the aged king's favourite, and was clever and unscrupulous, a woman of humble birth who had risen high without the aid of a pretty face. In love with Sir William {40} de Windsor, she remained faithful to him during his absence in Ireland, and although surrounded by his enemies, the 'Lady of the Sun,' as Edward styled her, outwitted them all, her greatest achievement being the prevention of Dagworth's departure for Ireland. Subsequently she married De Windsor, but as she belongs more to the history of England than Ireland her career cannot be treated here.

In 1376 De Windsor was ordered to come to Westminster, and confer with the king on the state of his Irish dominions, but this was merely a pretext to deprive him of his post, and he never returned. Maurice Fitz-Thomas, Earl of Kildare, once more acted as deputy for a short time, and then James le Botiller, Earl of Ormonde, carried on the government from 1376 to 1378. Ormonde retired dissatisfied, and the colony was governed by two members of the Council, Alexander de Balscot and John de Bromwich, until in 1380 the king sent over Edmund de Mortimer, Earl of March and Ulster, husband of Phillipa, daughter of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, and therefore owner of vast estates and commander of an army of his own. On his appointment the colonists petitioned the king to compel De Mortimer to live in Dublin and protect his property. The petitioners were successful, and the viceroy, instead of appointing a deputy and sharing the profits, graciously agreed to govern Ireland in person for a period of three years at a salary of 2,000 marks. In princely splendour he entered the country, and immediately inaugurated a campaign against the rebellious south. Death, however, claimed him on {41} December 26, 1381, and he died at Cork in a Dominican Abbey, being only thirty years of age.

The vacancy thus created was offered in turn to the Earls of Desmond and Ormonde, but they declined on the ground that if they were in Dublin they could not protect their own territories. Dean de Colton, therefore, was appointed pending the pleasure of the king, who, when he heard of De Mortimer's death, at once nominated the deceased viceroy's son Roger to the post. Roger de Mortimer was only eleven, but the viceroyalty was intended as a monetary compensation for the death of his father, and the commission appointing him stated that he was to receive all the profits of the office as well as a salary of 2,000 marks. Furthermore, as soon as he attained his majority he could retire from the post. In pursuance of this convenient plan the boy's uncle, Sir Thomas de Mortimer, was chosen as his deputy.

A Parliament in Dublin

The presence of a deputy, however, always had an irritating effect upon the English colonists, and when in 1382 Richard II. ordered a Parliament to meet in Dublin, its first act was to protest against the absence of the viceroy. To satisfy the nobles and prelates the king appointed Philip de Courtenay, a cousin of his, viceroy for life. The commission was drawn up in 1385, but it was not until two years later that de Courtenay landed in Ireland. His reign was brief and stormy. The two great Anglo-Irish families, the Desmonds and the Ormondes, were in conflict, and the Irish were besieging and harassing the colonists. De Courte was not the man for the occasion. He was {42} charged with oppression and extortion, and the king, who had already made up his mind to make his favourite, de Vere, Earl of Oxford, Viceroy of Ireland, gladly accepted the accusations against de Courtenay, and ordered him to remain under arrest in Dublin until the arrival of his successor, who would investigate the charges against his character. De Courtenay appealed to the Council in Dublin, and they declared the accusations to be unjust.

The Throne Room, Dublin Castle

The Throne Room, Dublin Castle

The appointment of de Vere to the viceroyalty was an outcome of the struggle between Richard II. and his Barons. De Vere was the reigning favourite, and when it was proposed that he should be sent to Ireland as viceroy, the nobles enthusiastically endorsed the selection, and, glad to be rid of him at any price, cheerfully voted supplies. Richard created his creature Marquis of Dublin, and allowed him to nominate Sir John de Stanley as his deputy. It was not de Vere's intention to proceed to Ireland, and under various pretexts he avoided assuming personal control of the Irish government. Meanwhile Richard had created him Duke of Ireland, and entrusted him with powers almost regal, at one time actually proposing to make him King of Ireland. When the nobles rebelled against Richard, de Vere raised an army on behalf of his king, but was defeated in his first encounter with the barons. He died abroad after the five judges, who had supported Richard in his attempt to make de Vere King of Ireland, were brought to trial for having declared that the king was above the law, and were punished by being {43} exiled to Ireland! Richard, weak-minded and unreliable, was at least faithful to de Vere, and he had his favourite's corpse brought from Louvain, and interred to the accompaniment of magnificent ceremonies at Colne Priory in Essex.

Richard II. arrives

From 1387 to 1389 the government was again in the hands of Alexander de Balscot, Bishop of Meath, who was assisted by Richard White, Prior of Kilmainham. Then Sir John de Stanley came back until 1391, and was succeeded by James le Botiller, third Earl of Ormonde. During Ormonde's term of office the king's uncle, Thomas Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester, was nominated Viceroy of Ireland, but the commission was quickly revoked. Richard had decided to visit Ireland in person, and thus an English monarch again prepared a great army with which to conquer Ireland. The king landed at Waterford on October 13, 1394, accompanied by the Duke of Gloucester. Ormonde soon joined him, and the Irish were engaged in battle. If the English king cherished any hopes that his deeds in Ireland might secure his tottering throne in England he was doomed to grievous disappointment. He was defeated every time he joined battle with the natives, and in the end he was compelled to withdraw to Dublin and pass Christmas there. A further series of reverses followed, and Richard decided to have recourse to arbitration and conciliation. The Irish chieftains and nobles responded, and by means of various concessions Richard was enabled to return to England with at least a remnant of his army.

The viceroy was now Roger de Mortimer, Earl {44} of March, cousin to Richard and heir to the throne of England. De Mortimer had been viceroy in his youth, but not until this appointment—in 1395—did he rule in person. In 1398 de Mortimer was killed in battle while leading his soldiers, a tragedy which paved the way for Richard's deposition and the accession of Henry IV., and created the motive that led to the Wars of the Roses. John de Colton, now Archbishop of Armagh, again acted as temporary Governor while the Council proceeded to elect Reginald Grey of Ruthyn, whose appointment, however, was vetoed by Richard. His nominee was Thomas Holland, Duke of Surrey, who entered Dublin in 1399. Surrey's chief object was to people Ireland with English settlers, a plan that was to be tried again some 200 years later. The viceroy could not carry out his plan for dispossessing the Irish, and he appealed to Richard for help, and so the king came on another Irish expedition, landing in Ireland in 1399. This time his army was stronger and more experienced, but the result was a series of defeats and the loss of the throne of England. While Henry was seizing the crown his son, afterwards Henry V., was with Richard in Ireland, but the king accepted the youth's explanation that he knew nothing of his father's designs. As it was, Richard trusted to the fact that the legal heir to the throne was Edmund, Earl of March, son of the late viceroy. Henry's success to the exclusion of Edmund de Mortimer was the cause of the Wars of the Roses.

Viceregal poverty

Sir John de Stanley, ever ready to step into a {45} breach, was again deputy, and he reigned in Dublin Castle to November, 1402. In 1401 Henry IV., anxious to secure the allegiance of the English colony, appointed his second son, Prince Thomas of Lancaster, viceroy. The youthful prince—he was only thirteen when in November, 1402, he arrived in Ireland—was provided with a specially selected Council, but evidently not with the necessary money, as there is a letter extant from the Council to King Henry which vividly describes the position of the viceroy. Henry had been asked for supplies, but as his own coffers were empty he could not send anything, and, realizing the seriousness of their position, the Council addressed His Majesty in the following terms:

'With heavy hearts we testify anew to your highness that our lord, your son, is so destitute of money that he has not a penny in the world, nor can borrow a single penny, because all his jewels and his plate that he can spare of those which he must of necessity keep are pledged, and lie in pawn. Also his soldiers have departed from him, and the people of his household are on the point of leaving, and, however much they might wish to remain, it is not in our lord's power to keep together, with a view to his aid, twenty or a dozen persons with me, your humble applicant of Dublin, and your humble liege, Janico, who has paid for your use his very all, but we will render our entire duty to him so long as we shall live, as we are bound by our sovereign obligation to you. And the country is so weakened and impoverished by the long nonpayment, as well in the time of our {46} lord, your son, as in the time of other lieutenants before him, that the same land can no longer bear such charge as they affirm, and on this account have they importuned me. In good faith, our most sovereign lord, it is marvellous that they have borne such a charge so long. Wherefore we entreat, with all the humility and fulness that we may, that you will please to ordain speedy remedy of these said dangers and inconveniences, and to hold us excused also if any peril or disaster—which may God avert—befall our lord, your son, by the said causes. For the more full declaring of these matters to your highness the three of us should have come to your high presence, but such is the great danger on this side that not one of us dares depart from the person of our lord.'

Prince Thomas's tenure

This eloquent appeal was unheeded, but the prince did not return to England until November, 1403, appointing Sir Stephen le Scrope, his deputy, and when that soldier retired in 1405 placing James, third Earl of Ormonde, at the head of the Government. The death of the deputy in the same year led to the advancement of Gerald, fifth Earl of Kildare, whose rule was ended dramatically by the sudden reappearance of Prince Thomas in 1408 and the imprisonment of his deputy. Two years earlier the prince, having lost his indenture creating him Viceroy of Ireland, was reappointed for twelve years at a salary of £7,000 a year. Remembering his previous experiences, the prince had a clause inserted which entitled him to leave Ireland if his salary was a month in arrear. It was also agreed that in the event of the king or {47} the Prince of Wales deciding to take over the government Prince Thomas was to have six months' notice. The Earl of Kildare was released as soon as he paid a fine of 300 marks for having interfered in an ecclesiastical appointment. Prince Thomas remained two years at his post, retiring from the country in 1410, and selecting a son of James, third Earl of Ormonde, as his deputy. This was Prior Thomas le Botiller.

But the colonists could endure the Prior for three years only, and they succeeded in getting Sir John de Stanley reappointed. He was, however, too old to be of much use, and at his death in 1414 the Archbishop of Dublin, who was the author of the pathetic plea to Henry IV., assumed the government for a few months.




{48}

CHAPTER III

The state of the English colony was now so precarious that Henry IV. decided to send one of his most trusted and capable military commanders to act as viceroy. This was Sir John Talbot, and his appointment was hailed with joy. Talbot was given a term of six years of office, and a salary of £2,666 13s. 4d. It was a large income, but as it was seldom paid, that was a detail which must have impressed Henry as being quite unimportant. During his occasional journeys to England, the Archbishop of Dublin acted as the deputy. Talbot soon intimated to the leading members of the English colony that as his salary was in arrear he intended leaving the country. This was tantamount to placing them at the mercy of the Irish, whom Talbot had repelled from Dublin many times. Thereupon the colonists petitioned the king, but without success, and Sir John departed in 1419, ostensibly recalled by the king, and leaving his brother, William Talbot, Archbishop of Dublin, to represent him. Sir John Talbot, however, was destined to renew his acquaintance with the viceroyalty.

The brief authority of the archbishop was succeeded by three years under James, fourth {49} Earl of Ormonde; and then Edmund de Mortimer, fifth Earl of March and Ulster, began a viceroyalty which lasted for less than two years, although he was appointed for nine. Edmund de Mortimer was the legal heir to Richard II., but he was an unambitious man, and there was no guile in him. He appointed Edward Dantsey, Bishop of Meath, his deputy, but William Talbot, Archbishop of Dublin, declined to recognize the authority of his ecclesiastical inferior, and consequently the viceroy had to come to Dublin. This was in 1424, and the following year the plague carried him off. Sir John Talbot was then induced to accept the viceroyalty, but his services were wanted nearer home, and he agreed to the reappointment of the Earl of Ormonde, who acted for two years, and helped to maintain a sort of peace by conciliating the native Irish.

The viceroyalties of Sir John de Gray (1427-28), Sir John Sutton (1428-29), Sir Thomas le Strange (1429-31), and Sir Leon de Welles and his brother, William, who became his deputy (1438-46), were undistinguished. The deposed Earl of Ormonde succeeded in clearing himself of a charge of high treason, but the result of the bitterness and dissensions the charge provoked and fostered were felt for a long time.

The Earl of Shrewsbury

The reappointment of Sir John Talbot, now Earl of Shrewsbury, brought that strong and merciless old man—he was seventy-three—back to Ireland. He was created Earl of Waterford and Wexford, and Constable of Ireland, but even the valour and wiles of one of the bravest of {50} warriors could not prevail against the owners of the land which had been granted to Talbot. Several times he quaintly informed the king that he was unable to collect a penny of his rents, an admission which the monarch politely disregarded. But Talbot left his mark on Ireland. Long service in the Continental wars had taught him many forms of cruelty and lust, and at seventy-three he showed that he had not forgotten what he had learnt. Not always victorious, he was always cruel and vicious. He found time to ape the statesman by presiding over a Parliament that decreed various ordinances, including the prohibition of moustaches—which were then almost exclusively worn by the native Irish, and coming into fashion amongst the Anglo-Irish. A writer of the period described Talbot as another Herod, and the country, including the colonists, who had found in him an oppressor instead of a protector, sighed with relief when the charms of a continental war called him from Ireland, and he left the Archbishop of Dublin to represent him. Talbot was little better than a hireling, and when he was killed at the age of eighty in a battle in France, he was not fighting for his country or for himself, but for a salary, and, no doubt, inspired by the lust of conflict.

A mother of kings

Talbot's retirement from Dublin enabled the king to remove a dangerous person, Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, from his court, but although the duke's commission as viceroy was executed in 1447, he did not see fit to leave England until 1449, landing at Howth, near Dublin, on {51} July 6. His deputy, Richard Nugent, met him and the duchess, a remarkable woman, who was one of the Earl of Westmorland's twenty-two children, and was the most beautiful of them all. Denied the throne for herself, she became the mother of two kings—Edward IV. and Richard III.—and it was her counsels which shaped her husband's destiny in Ireland. As befitting a prince of the blood royal, the duke made a triumphal entry into Dublin, and, guided by his wife, wisely conciliated the native chiefs and the leaders of the Anglo-Irish. They gave many banquets and entertainments in Dublin Castle, at which Irish and English mingled, quarrels being forgotten in the presence of the woman who was known as 'The Rose of Raby.' And when on October 21, 1449, she gave birth in Dublin Castle to her ninth child, George, afterwards Duke of Clarence, she diplomatically invited the Earls of Desmond and Ormonde to stand as sponsors.

The object of the duke and duchess was, of course, to gain adherents in Ireland for the coming conflict between the rival claimants to the throne of England. For hundreds of years Ireland had been looked upon as a source of income to the Kings of England; the viceroyalty was a place of profit, and most of the profits went into the king's treasury. Richard had many followers in England, and they were well aware of the fact that his viceroyalty was merely a pretext for exiling him, but they made good use of the misfortune, continually noising it abroad that the Duke of York was accomplishing wonders in {52} Ireland, that his statesmanship, diplomacy, and valour proved indisputably that when the time came he would make an admirable king of both countries.

The disadvantage of a policy of conciliation, however, was the lack of revenues. Taxes could only be levied by force, and the viceroy deprecated that. He pawned his jewels manfully, and borrowed from his friends in England, France, and Ireland. Twice he wrote to the king asking for supplies, but that monarch had no intention of disguising the exile by lavishing money upon him, and the duke was compelled to return to England. This was in 1450, and for the next nine years he was absent from the country, his deputies in turn being the Archbishop of Armagh, 1454, Edmund Fitz-Eustace, 1454, and Thomas Fitz-Gerald, Earl of Kildare, who acted from 1455 to 1459. The duke's first choice was Sir James le Botiller, who was created Earl of Wiltshire before he succeeded his father in the Earldom of Ormonde, but this nobleman resided chiefly in England, and eventually became a Lancastrian.

Independence of its Parliament

The bewildering changes of fortune brought about by the Wars of the Roses had their full effect upon Ireland. The Duke of York was, of course, the leader of the Yorkists, and his sun was at its zenith when he defeated the Lancastrians at St. Albans and captured Henry VI. He was declared Protector of England and Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. In 1459 fortune turned against him; he was beaten in several encounters, and, finally, fled to Ireland with a few followers. In Dublin {53} he found some consolation, although he had been unable to bring his wife with him. The Irish and the English joyfully welcomed him, and the Irish Parliament met at once and proclaimed him viceroy, formally declaring the acts of the Lancastrian Parliament at Coventry null and void so far as they concerned Ireland. The most significant feature of this meeting of the Irish Parliament was the formal statement that it was absolutely and entirely independent, and could not be controlled by the English Parliament. It acknowledged the obedience of Ireland to England, but 'nevertheless, it was separate from it and from all its laws and statutes except such as were accepted by the lords spiritual and temporal.' Richard established a mint at his castle of Trim; his son, Edmund, Earl of Rutland, was appointed Chancellor of Ireland, the viceroy's person was declared sacred, and conspiracy against him high treason.

The Duke of York was undoubtedly the most popular man in Ireland, but the Lancastrians, who had gained the adherence of the Earl of Ormonde and Wiltshire, looked to the latter to remove the viceroy. The earl sent one of his retainers to arrest the duke on a charge of falsely representing himself to be His Majesty's—Henry VI.—Lieutenant for Ireland. The luckless squire was seized by Richard's officers, brought to trial, and eventually hanged, drawn, and quartered. The next move of the Lancastrian party was an abortive attempt to induce the native Irish to turn against the viceroy and murder him. {54} This charge was denied vigorously, but there was every reason to believe that it was true. The Earls of Kildare and Desmond, however, came to Richard's aid, and they speedily secured the allegiance of the principal chieftains in Leinster and Munster. News of Yorkists' triumphs in England took Richard hastily to London, where he found an excited populace awaiting him, and calling upon him to crown himself King of England. The path to the throne seemed easy, but Queen Margaret, making one desperate rally for her family, met Richard near Wakefield on the last day of 1461, defeated his army, and killed him.

A nebulous state of affairs now existed in Ireland. The Earl of Kildare ceased to be deputy at Richard's death, and Sir Roland Fitz-Eustace, who acted as deputy to the new viceroy, George, Duke of Clarence, was a mere figurehead. In 1464 the Earl of Desmond succeeded as deputy to Clarence, but he incurred the enmity of Elizabeth Grey, Edward's plebeian wife, and she induced her husband to supersede the Irish earl by one of her favourites, the Earl of Worcester. The marriage of Edward IV. and Elizabeth Grey had caused much dissension in English court circles, and the king regarded any criticism of his action as being tantamount to high treason. A contemptuous remark about Elizabeth Grey cost the Earl of Desmond his life, Worcester executing him at Drogheda in 1468, ostensibly on a charge of high treason. It was said that Edward IV., when quarrelling with his wife, had angrily exclaimed that he, if he had taken the advice of the {55} Earl of Desmond, would not have found himself burdened by such a wife. Elizabeth never forgot this, and, as we have seen, it led the deputy to his death.

St. Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle

St. Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle

Worcester retired in 1468, and the Earl of Kildare ruled for the absent Duke of Clarence. Edward IV., however, began to entertain fears that the young Prince might imitate the example of his late father, and make the viceroyalty an office rivalling the throne itself, and convert Ireland into a stronghold against him and his house. The Duke of Clarence and the Earl of Warwick were undoubtedly conspiring against Edward, who promptly offered a reward of £1,000 or £100 a year for life to whoever captured the duke or the earl. The latter, however, did not survive the coup d'état of 1470, when Henry VI. was restored temporarily. The Earl of Warwick, who was nominally Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, being represented there by Edmund Dudley, was beheaded by the Earl of Oxford on Tower Hill.

The Duke of Clarence

The Duke of Clarence, who had the faculty of pleasing both parties, was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland in 1470 by Henry VI., and on the deposition of that monarch Edward IV. confirmed the appointment, granting him the office for twenty years, to date from 1472. Meanwhile the Earl of Kildare continued to rule the country until 1475. Then the Bishop of Meath, William Sherwood, acted for a time, until Gerald, ninth Earl of Kildare, became deputy. In 1478 Clarence was removed, and John de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, was appointed Lord-Lieutenant for {56} twenty years. He could not rule in person, however, and so he conveniently appointed his infant son, George, to the office, at the same time nominating Lord Grey as his locum tenens. Grey arrived in Dublin to find that the Earl of Kildare refused to recognize his authority, giving as a reason his opinion that Grey's appointment was made under the Privy Seal, and was, therefore, illegal. The Chancellor sided with Kildare, declined to surrender the Great Seal for Ireland, and advised Kildare to summon a Parliament at Naas. That complacent assembly voted the Earl a subsidy. This was the state of affairs in 1478, and it really marked the beginning of the great struggle between Ireland and England. By now the Anglo-Irish families had lost their sympathies for the English and had become almost exclusively Irish.

Grey proceeded to hold a Parliament of his own at Trim, and, of course, it formally annulled all the acts passed by Kildare's assembly. These Parliaments were merely travesties of the word as understood to-day; they did not represent even the opinions of those permitted to take part in their proceedings, while a cynical disregard of the English colony was their most characteristic feature. They were termed 'Parliaments' in order to dignify the proceedings, but their only use was to declare their subjection to the person summoning them.

The death of the infant Prince George in 1479 enabled Grey to retire from the contest with dignity, and for two years Robert Preston, first {57} Viscount Gormanstown, represented the nominal viceroy, Richard, Duke of York. Then in 1481 the Earl of Kildare, the only man who could rule Ireland with any hope of success, was reappointed deputy to the young prince. The death of Edward IV. and the accession of Edward V. found Kildare still in power.

The mysterious disappearance of the king and his younger brother from the Tower of London brought Richard III. to the throne, and he nominated his son, Edward, aged eleven, viceroy for a period of three years, Kildare remaining as deputy. It was announced throughout the colony that Richard intended visiting Ireland, and Kildare was, therefore, declared Lord-Deputy for one year only. The death of Prince Edward in 1484 brought the viceroyalty to Richard's nephew, John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, but the Battle of Bosworth opened a new era for Ireland as well as for England.

Effect of Bosworth Field

The Earl of Kildare, notified of the appointment of the new king's uncle, Jasper, Duke of Bedford, declined to be bound by the results of the Battle of Bosworth Field, and when a priest brought to Ireland a boy whom he declared to be the Earl of Warwick, son of the late Duke of Clarence, and therefore the rightful heir to the throne of England, Kildare eagerly seized the opportunity thus presented. Lambert Simnel, the youth in question, was received with royal honours by Kildare and the Anglo-Irish, his claims declared proved, and his identity admitted. On May 24, 1487, the impostor was crowned King {58} of England and Ireland under the title of Edward VI. The ceremony took place in the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, and in the presence of the whole viceregal staff, the principal ecclesiastics and the civic officials, Kildare had the leading part after Lambert Simnel, although the Earl of Lincoln, who had been appointed viceroy by his uncle, Richard III., was also present. Immediately the coronation was over a special coinage was struck, and the comedy protracted by the creation of Kildare as Regent and Protector.

The Earl of Lincoln was given the command of the army to strike the decisive blow in England, but the Duke of Bedford, Henry's viceroy, met the rebel forces at Stoke and crushed them. Simnel was taken prisoner, and Henry, with that sense of humour and a political tact rare in monarchs, decided to emphasize his victory by ridicule rather than the executioner's axe. Simnel was made a turnspit in the royal kitchens and a salary paid him regularly. Had he been executed, his unlucky followers might have made him a hero and themselves patriots; as it was, they were compelled to seek oblivion for their cause and hide their shame. Kildare, however, remained defiant. To him Simnel had been only the means to an end that had enabled him to demonstrate to the English throne and its advisers that the destinies of Ireland could not be subject to the vagaries of English politicians. Henry determined to try diplomatic persuasion, and he sent Sir Richard Edgecombe, a Privy Councillor, to offer Kildare {59} a free pardon if he would swear fealty to the king and give a bond for his good behaviour. The deputy offered to submit, though he would not give a bond, and after considerable wrangling the question of security was waived aside, and the Earl of Kildare once more reigned in Dublin Castle. The records of the meetings between Kildare and Edgecombe are very full, and it would seem that the earl's threats to turn 'Irish'—that is, formally separate his family from England—had more to do with Henry's capitulation than anything else.

Perkin Warbeck

Kildare's appointment was as deputy to the Duke of Bedford, and for four years Irish affairs had no connection with English. But the success of usurpers breeds impostors, and Henry, who had seized his throne by force, had once more to face an impostor and a rebellion. Perkin Warbeck, avowing himself to be Richard, Duke of York, and armed with a circumstantial story of his escape from the Tower of London, landed at Cork, having journeyed from Lisbon, and sent messages to Kildare ordering him to join him there with an army. Whatever the earl's answer may have been, Perkin did not wait for it, preferring to seek temporary safety in Paris. The deputy, however, had always shown a fondness for impostors, and Henry, unable to trust any of the leaders of the English in Ireland, sent Walter Fitz-Simon to be the deputy in place of Kildare. Fitz-Simon worked assiduously to secure the Earl's fall, and when he returned to England in 1493, leaving Viscount Gormanstown as his deputy, he was able {60} to nullify the effects of Kildare's passionate protests to Henry VII. The next year Henry appointed his son, then aged four, afterwards Henry VIII., to be Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and his deputy was the notorious profligate and zealous soldier, Sir Edward Poynings, the son of Elizabeth Paston. The "Paston Letters" throw much light upon the workings of the viceroyalty of the period, although Poynings himself had only a couple of years' experience of that country. He did Henry two notable acts of service, however, by capturing Kildare and sending him a prisoner to London, and by driving Perkin Warbeck out of Ireland.

When Kildare was imprisoned in the Tower of London, his fate seemed settled, but he was too clever for the age he lived in, and he succeeded, a stranger in a strange country, in securing his liberation and the annulling by Parliament of his act of attainder. Kildare thereupon became the lion of the London season. He was invited everywhere, and every class of society crowded to see the man who had held Ireland in his power. All the time he was nominally under arrest, with serious charges pending against him. When Henry summoned the earl to his presence, and offered him the choice of any man in the kingdom to be his counsellor, Kildare promptly chose the king himself! It was a piece of shrewd flattery, but it had less to do with Kildare's restoration to favour than his marriage with the king's first cousin, Elizabeth, daughter of Oliver St. John. The moment his alliance with the clever daughter of a {61} powerful family became known, Kildare's enemies melted away, and the king, saving his face by insisting upon Kildare's son remaining in London as a hostage for his father's good conduct, restored Kildare to his deputyship, and sent him back to Ireland. Henry Deane, a cleric who had been holding the post, retired, and was rewarded later with the See of Canterbury.

The character of Kildare is well illustrated by a story told concerning his fiery temper. The Bishop of Meath, suffering from jealousy and a grievance, declared to the king that all Ireland could not rule the earl. 'Then, in good faith,' cried the king, 'shall the earl rule all Ireland!'

The Hill of the Axes

Perkin Warbeck revisited Ireland, but the men of Waterford drove him from the country without any help from Dublin. In 1503 Kildare was summoned to London to receive evidence of the king's pleasure and approbation. This took the shape of a portion of the king's wardrobe, a signal mark of honour in those days. Returning with his son Gerald, who had married into a powerful English family, Kildare won the famous Battle of Knocdoe, or 'The Hill of the Axes,' and was given the garter for his success. The Battle of Knocdoe was the result of a bitter quarrel between the Earl of Kildare and the Earl of Clanricarde. The latter had married a daughter of the deputy's, and had treated her with such cruelty that Kildare intervened. In revenge Clanricarde formed a confederacy between certain Irish chiefs to overthrow the authority of the king in Ireland.




{62}

CHAPTER IV

The death of Henry VII. and the accession of Henry VIII. tended to strengthen Kildare's position. He was continued in his office, and held it until his death in 1513. Accounted one of the handsomest and bravest men of his time, he was succeeded by his son in the deputyship, as well as in the family honours, and Gerald, ninth earl, was worthy of such a parent. For seven years Kildare was the deputy, with the exception of a brief period in England when Viscount Gormanstown was vice-deputy. His enemies were secretly trying to undermine his position, for the rise of the Kildare family was resented by the other great Anglo-Irish houses.

Cardinal Wolsey's nominee

In 1518, shortly after the death of his wife, Kildare was ordered to repair to London and answer the charges that he had illegally enriched himself and his followers, and that he had formed alliances with the native Irish and corresponded with them. Kildare, however, showed no hurry to obey the summons, and not until 1519 did he arrive in London, his cousin, Sir Maurice Fitzgerald, looking after his official responsibilities. While in London, Kildare followed the example of his father, and married a cousin of the king. {63} This was the Lady Elizabeth Grey, a grand-daughter of Elizabeth Woodville, Edward IV.'s wife. The marriage saved Kildare's life, for his most powerful enemy, Cardinal Wolsey, had resolved that the Irish earl should never return to his country. Acting on the advice of the Cardinal, Henry VIII., suspicious of the loyalty of the Irish nobility, appointed an Englishman, the Earl of Surrey, afterwards Duke of Norfolk, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. Surrey was one of Wolsey's adherents, and although the Earl of Kildare had, by reason of his valour and bearing on the famous 'Field of the Cloth of Gold,' risen high in Henry's favour, the Chancellor insisted upon his being brought to trial. To make certain of the result, Wolsey inspired the Earl of Surrey to write from Ireland charging Kildare with having attempted to make the Irish oppose the authority of the new deputy, but, owing to the influence of his wife, Kildare secured his acquittal, and returned to Ireland.

The Earl of Ormonde was selected in 1523 to succeed Surrey, principally because he was Kildare's bitter enemy, but Elizabeth, Henry's cousin and Kildare's wife, wrote to the king beseeching him to reconcile the earls and bring peace to their respective families. Henry responded by sending a commission to try the charges preferred by Ormonde against Kildare, and, when it found in favour of the latter, he became deputy once more. But again his enjoyment of the office was brief, further charges being preferred against him by Ormonde, now Earl of {64} Ossory. Again Kildare went to London, and was imprisoned in the Tower, his brother, Sir James Fitzgerald, taking his post. While Kildare was in the Tower, Wolsey attempted to have him executed without the knowledge of the king, but at the last moment the Lieutenant-Governor sought confirmation from His Majesty, and discovered that the Cardinal's order lacked the king's approval.

The Earl of Ossory was now deputy, Kildare remaining in London after his release from the Tower. Several noblemen went bail for his good conduct, and although there was another period of royal disfavour in 1532, he accompanied Sir William Skeffington, the new Lord-Deputy, to Ireland, and received a welcome that overshadowed that accorded to the king's representative. It is interesting to note that in 1530 Holbein painted this remarkable man's portrait, and that in the same year he was one of the peers who signed the letter to the Pope setting forth the grounds of Henry's divorce from Catherine.

Death of "King Kildare"

In 1532 he was once more deputy, and he gained the adherence of the Irish by marrying two of his daughters to Irish chiefs. The country was now at his feet; he was respected and obeyed. But he had enemies whose pertinacity equalled his, and they soon aroused the suspicions of a monarch whose chief weakness was a disinclination to trust others or cultivate loyalty in himself. Henry at once ordered the deputy to come to him; instead, Kildare sent his wife to act as mediator. The countess was a clever woman, but Henry's {65} experience of the sex was extensive, as we know, and he declined to receive her more than once. He wanted the person of Kildare, and eventually that nobleman obeyed the summons. The earl appointed his twenty-year old son, Thomas, Lord Offaly, deputy, and left Ireland, never to return. Lord Offaly was something of the mould of his father, and, although young, had been trained from early years to rule. When, therefore, a rumour reached Dublin that the Earl of Kildare had been executed by Henry's orders, Lord Offaly immediately resigned his office, and gathered his followers under his banner with the avowed object of driving the English out of Ireland. The earl was quickly apprised of his son's rebellion, and a copy of the youthful lord's sentence of excommunication shown him. The effect was to hasten Kildare's death, and he died in the Tower on December 12, 1534. Great as had been his father, Gerald, ninth earl, was even greater, and Wolsey, although he spoke sarcastically, was not wrong when he described him as 'King Kildare, who reigned, rather than ruled, in Ireland.'

Sir William Skeffington, the deputy, was ordered to crush the rebellion, and he pursued the Kildare faction into their strongholds, besieging the Castle of Maynooth, while its owner was in Connaught collecting troops. The castle could have held out until the arrival of its owner, but the inevitable Irish traitor appeared in the person of Christopher Parese, a creature who had received many benefits at the hands of Lord Offaly and his father. Parese betrayed the castle for a reward, which was {66} promptly paid him, but the deputy immediately had him executed, because he dare not trust a rogue who had already betrayed one benefactor. Treachery was again employed by Skeffington's successor, Lord Grey, and eventually Lord Offaly, tenth Earl of Kildare, and five of his uncles were executed on Tower Hill. The ten-year-old heir to the earldom would, doubtless, have perished also, but he had a remarkable mother, who kept him in hiding for some years, and succeeded in smuggling him out of the country to France, where his education was supervised by the famous Cardinal Pole.

Lord Grey continued in office until 1540, and although, from the English point of view, he ruled well and successfully, on his return to England he was imprisoned and subsequently executed, the ostensible reason being his partiality for the Kildares.

Grey was replaced by a remarkable man, Sir Anthony St. Leger, whose three terms of office covered thirteen years. Sir William Brereton, a foolish person, was the deputy until St. Leger arrived, and distinguished himself by leading a vast army in search of a phantom enemy. St. Leger, from the moment he arrived in Ireland, set about restoring some order in the country, and he succeeded so well that the historians of the period call attention to the amazing fact that the sight was actually seen of English lords and Irish chiefs meeting in the same chamber and proclaiming Henry VIII. King of Ireland. St. Leger went further than this, and {67} actually paid the debts incurred during his viceroyalty.

Religious persecution

In 1548 he was recalled, and Sir Edward Bellingham ordered to act as deputy and to punish those Irish who had not become Protestants by Act of Parliament. This was a new feature in Irish politics, but Bellingham found diplomacy, force, and threats, and persecution equally ineffective, and he retired in disgust. Sir Francis Bryan followed as deputy in 1550, but he died the same year, and Brabazon, hastily elected in his stead, retired when Sir Anthony St. Leger returned, to be welcomed by all classes. He held office until 1556, save for a period between 1551-52, when Sir James Croft represented him, and when he retired he had the satisfaction of knowing that he left Ireland better off than when he found it.

The appointment of the Earl of Sussex, however, undid all St. Leger's good work, and the new deputy had immediately to take the field. He was lucky, however, to find the Irish chiefs quarrelling amongst themselves, and in the circumstances victory was achieved easily. The O'Neills, headed by the famous Shane, advanced against him, but Sussex defeated them with great slaughter, and the chieftain escaped the battlefield to die a dishonourable death in a drunken brawl.

England had greater attractions for the earl than Ireland could offer, and he returned there in 1557, nominating Sir Henry Sidney and the Lord Chancellor as vice-deputies. Elizabeth, {68} immediately after her accession, sent the viceroy back, but he returned again to London. Hugh Curwen, Archbishop of Dublin, anxious to retain his office as well as that of joint representative with Sir Henry Sidney of the absent viceroy, conveniently changed his religion now that a Protestant was on the throne, and to show the genuineness of his conversion he had the pictures that adorned the walls of Christ's Church and St. Patrick's whitewashed.

Earl of Essex

Earl of Essex

When the Earl of Sussex was recalled in 1564, Sir Henry Sidney was appointed deputy or viceroy, and he acted for fourteen years. What he thought of the appointment may be inferred from a letter he wrote on his return after a brief absence in 1575. Sir William Fitz-William had acted as his deputy, and no doubt Sidney hoped that Elizabeth might give him a more congenial task. He declares that he 'took on for the third time that thankless charge, and so, taking leave of Her Majesty, kissed her sacred hands, with most gracious and comfortable words, departed from her at Dudley Castle, passed the seas, and arrived September 13, 1575, as near the city of Dublin as I could safely, for at that time the city was grievously infected with the contagion of the pestilence.' In the depth of winter he went to Cork, and passed Christmas there. The following February he visited Thomond, Earl of Clanricarde, and caused two of his sons to make public confession of their rebellion and sue for his pardon. Sidney, in recounting this, adds fervently, 'whom would to God I had hanged!'

{69}

Sidney's interview with Grace O'Malley is historic. The English warrior, unaccustomed to Amazonian women, out of curiosity granted an audience to Grace, who came to him in state. This is how the viceroy describes the incident:

'There came to me also a most famous feminine sea-captain, called Grace O'Malley, and offered her services to me wheresoe'er I would command her, with three galleys and two hundred fighting men. She brought with her her husband, for she was as well by sea as by land more than master's mate with him. He was of the nether Burkes, and called by nickname "Richard in Iron." This was a notorious woman in all the coasts of Ireland. This woman did Henry Sidney see and speak with. He can no more at large inform you of her.'

On May 26, 1578, Sidney retired from office, broken in health and fortune. Describing his condition, he says that he was 'fifty-four years of age, toothless and trembling, being five thousand pounds in debt.' Later he declared that he was twenty thousand pounds poorer than when he had succeeded to his father's estate—a commentary on his inability to take advantage in a pecuniary sense of his viceroyalty. His wail is dated 'from Ludlow Castle, with more pain than heart, March 1, 1582.'

English colony absorbed

But Sidney was the victim of his time. There was no English colony now; it had been absorbed by the native Irish families, and to make war against the natives was to make war against the {70} Fitzgeralds, the Butlers, and other great families better known by their titles. Happily for England, Ireland was never united, and if Sidney gained no great conquests he was, by reason of the schisms amongst his enemies, enabled to maintain the sovereignty of Elizabeth in Ireland. It was a purely nominal sovereignty, but it sufficed for the time being.




{71}

CHAPTER V

The gradual disappearance of the distinctively English population did not pass unnoticed in England. During some hundreds of years there had been many attempts to induce English families to emigrate to Ireland, but without any great success. To the average English person Ireland was an uncivilized country inhabited by savages and murderers. Elizabeth's councillors, however, resolved to put into practice the theories of previous viceroys and their advisers. A new English colony was to be created, but instead of crowding all the emigrants into Dublin, the bolder policy of scattering them all over the country was adopted.

On the retirement of Sidney, Sir William Pelham was appointed Lord Justice until the arrival of Lord Grey of Wilton, 'the hanging viceroy.' Two years of systematic brutalities were as much as the country and Elizabeth could stand. She recalled Grey and left the government in the hands of Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Dublin, and Sir Henry Wallop, treasurer, while she and her council, now firmly resolved on the great 'plantation' scheme, could find a willing and a competent instrument to carry out the plan. They found {72} one in Sir John Perrott, and in June, 1584, he was made Lord Deputy.

The undertakers

Perrott was reputed to be a natural son of Henry VIII., whom he resembled in appearance, and, although brought up in the household of Thomas Perrott, who had married Mary Berkeley, Henry's mistress, he soon exchanged the serene life of a country gentleman for the freer and gayer court life of London. He was advanced rapidly in the royal favour, and before his deputyship had had considerable experience of Ireland. He now came as viceroy with a strong and definite policy, fully determined to carry it to a successful issue. Munster was the first province selected for the 'plantation' scheme. To induce English families to flock to Ireland, huge estates were offered for next to nothing. Fertile lands were given at rentals of a penny or twopence an acre, and to allow the immigrants time to put their new homes in order, no rent was asked during the first five years, and only half for the following three. Those who took over twelve thousand acres were termed 'undertakers,' and required to settle or plant at least eighty-six English families whose members were skilled in trades and the arts agricultural. Undertakers of smaller estates planted a less number, and so on in due proportion. It was a splendid scheme on paper, and would, no doubt, have settled the Irish question effectively, but its weak point was its total disregard of the Irish. The real owners of the property were in hiding with prices on their heads, but the people themselves were only awaiting {73} their opportunity to win back the lands of their chiefs and restore them to their rightful owners.

The majority of the 'undertakers'—wealthy English noblemen and titled adventurers—did not, of course, trouble to come to Ireland, though they imported a number of families into the country. Two of the 'undertakers,' however, in Sir Walter Raleigh and Edmund Spenser, the poet, actually resided on their new estates. Raleigh, as a reward for butchering the peasantry, was given forty-two thousand acres; Spenser was granted twelve thousand acres in Cork, and took up his residence in Kilcolman Castle, residence in Ireland being the only condition upon which he was given the stolen land. Spenser wrote the first three books of the 'Faerie Queen' here, and his only absence from Ireland was occasioned by a journey to London to secure the publication of his masterpiece. On his return he married a country girl, and managed to live in some peace until 1598, when the Earl of Tyrone, eager to avenge his wrongs, roused the country. Kilcolman Castle was burnt to the ground, and Spenser's youngest child perished in the flames. The poet, penniless and ill, escaped to England to die in penury the following year.

Perrott's policy required a certain ruthlessness to carry out, and friend and foe alike became his victims. He could not be faithful to Elizabeth and please all parties in Ireland. He shared the fate of his predecessors who had adopted a similar policy, for he discovered that he was being misrepresented in London by his personal enemies. These included the Earl of Ormonde, Sir Richard {74} Brigham, and Sir Nicholas Bagenal, and they even went to the length of bribing a priest to forge treasonable letters in the viceroy's name. When Perrott appealed to Elizabeth to be allowed to come to England and confront his adversaries, the queen refused him his request, bidding him to continue with his work.

He was destined to do England and Elizabeth at least one great service during his viceroyalty. In the middle of 1586 a rumour reached Ireland that Spain was about to strike a blow for Catholic Christendom. Ireland was, of course, Catholic, and always remained so, although its spiritual fathers were mostly 'vicars of Bray.' The native Irish received the news joyfully, and waited anxiously for the day when the might of Catholic Spain would annihilate Protestant England. Perrott heard these rumours, and went to great trouble to verify them, with the result that in 1587 he was able to send confidential despatches to Queen Elizabeth informing her that Philip of Spain was preparing a great fleet for the invasion and conquest of England. That fleet, historically known as 'The Great Armada,' left its remnants off the coast of Ireland in 1588.

Perrott's retirement

When the viceroy realized that his policy, while outwardly prosperous, was never likely to develop into a permanent success, he prayed the queen to permit him to retire. She was averse to this, but every person of influence about the throne was approached by him until the queen relented, and in 1588 the viceroy joyfully prepared to depart from the country which he hated worse than the {75} pestilence. The court of England was then in an idealized state, mainly as a result of the rise of the great English school of dramatists and poets, and at such a time Ireland must have seemed more than ever a place of exile. Perrott, however, openly prided himself upon his success, and when he appeared in Dublin in order to hand over the sword of state to his successor, he made a fulsome speech in his own praise, declaring that he left the country in peace and quietness, and hinting that if Sir William Fitzwilliam, the incoming viceroy, informed Queen Elizabeth of the fact, he would be very grateful. Sir William, as a gentleman, had to acknowledge Perrott's eulogies, and then the ex-viceroy left the country, feeling like a freed man. His last act was to present the corporation of Dublin with a silver-gilt bowl bearing his arms and crest, together with the motto 'Relinquo in pace.' The common people had a certain rough affection for Perrott. He had not robbed them—perhaps because they had nothing to lose—but at any rate they gave him a great ovation, shedding tears of gratitude for the man whose code of morals happily included a partiality for paying just debts.

Sir William Fitzwilliam had already experienced the advantages and disadvantages of the viceregal position in Ireland. He married a sister of Sir Henry Sidney, a woman with a strength of character that absorbed her husband's. Every act during Fitzwilliam's tenure of office was said to have originated from the fertile brain of Lady Fitzwilliam, and she was openly hailed as the real {76} ruler of Ireland. But even Lady Fitzwilliam could not govern without money, and in 1594 she retired with her husband. Fitzwilliam is best known as the Governor of Fotheringay Castle at the time of the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. Sir William Russell, his successor, was the youngest son of the Earl of Bedford, but his two years of office brought him nothing but censure from the queen. Russell's principal fault was that he kept his word of honour to the rebel Earl of Tyrone. The latter came in person to Dublin Castle at the invitation of the viceroy, and made submission. Contented with this, the Lord-Lieutenant permitted him to depart, but Elizabeth wished for the imprisonment of the rebel, and, consequently, Russell retired to make way for Lord Gainsborough. In 1603 he was created a peer by James I. A year sufficed for Gainsborough, who died at his post. Sir Thomas Norris, Lord Justice, acted until superseded by Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Dublin, Sir Robert Gardiner, and the Earl of Ormonde.

Queen Elizabeth's favourite

Their services were dispensed with when Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, arrived in Dublin on April 15, 1599, his appointment dating from March 12, 1598. The Earl of Essex was one of the most romantic figures in the later court of Queen Elizabeth. When, as a boy of ten, Robert Devereux appeared at court, the queen was fascinated by his beauty and his charming manners. She sent for him later, and his early days were distinguished by the confidence of the queen. Elizabeth was an old woman when Essex was in {77} the first flower of his manhood, but he was as crafty as he was handsome, and he made every use of his power over the queen, a monarch aping youth with the aid of powder and paint. She made Essex the most powerful of courtiers, and he attempted to reserve her favour for himself. When the queen showed kindness to Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy, Essex, ever passionate and prone to quarrel, sought out his rival and challenged him to a duel. The result was abortive, but it was only one of a series of incidents which showed Elizabeth that she was raising Essex higher than his peculiar temperament made promotion safe. On one occasion he actually reproached the queen, who in a moment of rage forgot her pose of youth, and boxed the earl's ears. But he was still in the royal favour when Elizabeth sent him to Ireland with fifteen thousand men, his mission being to crush the rebellion of O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone. From her palace in London the queen wrote almost daily to the viceroy, seldom commending him, often hampering, and always petulant and capricious. Essex tried one or two encounters with the enemy, and found the battlefields of Ireland profitless and dangerous to the health of one whose chivalry was better suited to the drawing-room. He hastily concluded a treaty of peace with Tyrone, appointed Lords Justices to carry on the government, and repaired to England on September 24, having spent less than five months in Ireland. Only one who was certain of Elizabeth's favour could have dared to do such a thing, but Essex entered {78} London in the temper of a spoilt child, prepared to rail at the queen for having dared to criticize him, and no doubt expecting to receive her apologies. The queen upset his calculations by having him arrested promptly, and although the public offered up prayers for his restoration to the good graces of the queen, these prayers were unanswered, because Essex was not the man to believe in his sovereign's determination. The arrest he regarded as a joke—in bad taste, perhaps, but still a joke—and when its seriousness dawned upon him he tried to retaliate in kind. In 1601 he was executed. The charges against him were, first, with making a dishonourable treaty with the rebels, and, second, leaving his Government without the permission of the authorities—that is, the queen and Council. When released from the Tower and ordered to remain at York House, Essex attempted a rebellion, and the spoilt darling of fortune paid the penalty with his life.

Lord Mountjoy

Lord Mountjoy

Lord Mountjoy

The next viceroy, Sir Charles Blount, afterwards Lord Mountjoy, was a typical product of the Elizabethan court. He had been Essex's friend and afterwards his enemy, and when the earl retired prematurely from Ireland, Elizabeth sent Mountjoy to reopen the war against O'Neill and to crush him, irrespective of the treaty of security and peace signed by Essex in Elizabeth's name. He carried out his duties faithfully, and succeeded in driving the Tyrones out of their territory. On the final defeat of O'Neill, that chieftain made submission, and Mountjoy was graciously pleased to forgive the rebel and restore his title and {79} estates to him. While in Ireland Mountjoy received a letter from Essex, then a prisoner on parole at York House, asking him to bring his army from Ireland, join a promised army of the King of Scotland, and drive Elizabeth's advisers from power. Mountjoy at once declined to hazard his own neck, and he left Essex to his fate. The hope that the earl placed on the viceroy was inspired by the latter's affection for Penelope, sister of Lord Essex. This lady was so notorious that even Queen Elizabeth had to refuse to receive her, but her faults were the faults of the age she lived in. At a very early age, and without having her wishes consulted at all, Penelope was married to an old roué named Lord Rich, a man of filthy habits and loathsome ways. Penelope bore him seven children, but the gross brutalities of her husband drove her into the arms of Sidney, and when she became Mountjoy's mistress, she had five children by him. The viceroy, however, was a faithful lover, and when Lord Rich divorced her after Mountjoy's resignation of his post, the viceroyalty, he married her, inducing his private chaplain, Laud, to perform the ceremony. The act of Laud's very nearly ruined his career, and, at any rate, it stood in the way of his promotion for several years. It is said that Mountjoy did intend to come to the rescue of his mistress's brother, and certainly Elizabeth, who wanted Mountjoy's services, suppressed a confession by a prisoner which, had it become public, must have cost Lord Mountjoy his head. As it was, he held the viceroyalty until 1603, and could have {80} remained longer, for King James confirmed his appointment. Mountjoy, however, wanted his Penelope, and he left Ireland for her sake. James rewarded him with the Earldom of Devonshire, but as all his children were illegitimate, the titles died with him.

The Order of the Baronetage

The late viceroy's deputy, Sir George Cary, enjoyed only a few months in office, for Sir Arthur Chichester, afterwards Lord Chichester of Belfast, was given the post, and came to Ireland early in 1605. Chichester was forty-one, but he had already nearly thirty years' experience of public affairs, including the fight against the Armada. In his early youth he had assaulted an inoffensive citizen, and had fled from London to Ireland, but Elizabeth pardoned him and found him employment. Fortunately for Chichester, Lord Mountjoy took him into favour, and when the latter returned to England, and was appointed adviser to James on Irish affairs, he nominated Chichester as the most suitable person to govern Ireland. This viceroy made it a condition that religious persecution in Ireland should be abolished. Every precedent was against the continuance of a protracted and futile attempt to force an objectionable religion upon the majority of the people, and when he secured this concession to common sense from James and Mountjoy, Chichester must have realized that he was in a fair way to make his term of office a success. Some luck attended him. He was given a good army, and very early in his career in Ireland two of his most dangerous opponents, Tyrone and Tyrconnell, left Ireland {81} for ever. Chichester then proceeded to colonize Ulster. The order of the Baronetage was created in 1611, and the title sold for £1,080, the proceeds being intended to pay the expenses of the colonization of Ulster. The large estates of the Tyrone and Tyrconnell families were distributed amongst the native Irish, the English and some planters from Scotland, Chichester himself being rewarded with a peerage. It was a wise move on his part, moreover, to give first choice to the native Irish in the matter of the division of the land, for he knew that peace could only be purchased at a price.

On these lines he governed Ireland for twelve years, and when he retired in 1614, he had the satisfaction of earning the praise of those he ruled and those he served. His wife, a daughter of Sir John Perrott, does not appear to have taken a very prominent part in Irish life. She was an invalid and contemptuous of the Irish, though the records of some of their entertainments in Dublin Castle prove that she was lavish in her hospitality, and even invited the heads of the great Irish families.

Sir Oliver St. John was in 1616 appointed Viceroy of Ireland. During the interval the Government had been in the hands of Adam Loftus, the indispensable Archbishop of Dublin, whose power was as great as his cupidity and avarice. St. John was a typical soldier of fortune, who had found fame and fortune on the battlefields of the Continent. In 1580, when twenty-one, he was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn, out a legal career ended suddenly as the result of a duel with Best, the navigator. Best died, and {82} St. John fled the country, but after many profitless years he had the luck to come under the notice of the Earl of Essex at Rouen. Essex, who was in need of brave soldiers, enlisted St. John, and took him to Ireland to fight against Tyrone. In a few years St. John was elected member for Roscommon in the Irish Parliament, and followed that up by entering the English House of Commons as member for Portsmouth. Mountjoy knighted him and made him president of Connaught, so that when in 1616 he was made viceroy, he brought to the office a great experience of Irish affairs.

His first official act was to banish all those ecclesiastics educated abroad, his second, to make the Protestant religion compulsory, and his third, even more remarkable, took the form of a proposal to emigrate 100,000 Irish persons. This was a short method of dealing with a pressing problem, but it was hopelessly impracticable, and St. John, less successful as a statesman than as soldier, was commanded to deliver the sword of state to Adam Loftus, and return to England.

Henry Gary, Viscount Falkland, who succeeded, tried to carry on the St. John policy. Proclamations were issued extensively, and all the Irish were ordered to go to heaven by the Protestant road. Strangely enough, while Lord Falkland was doing his best to establish the Protestant religion, Lady Falkland was secretly a Catholic, and supplying the priests with money. For over twenty years she kept her secret from her husband, but he discovered it eventually, and promptly separated from her. The Privy Council, called {83} upon to judge between husband and wife, declared Falkland's act justified, but ordered him to pay her £500 a year. Falkland retired in 1629 with the character of an unreliable, timid man.

The Earl of Strafford

Another period of government by Council and Lords Justices covered the years from 1628 to 1633, and then Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, one of the great figures of the early days of the Civil War, was chosen by Charles I. to represent him in Ireland. Wentworth's appointment was dated 1632, but that nobleman did not hurry to take over his post, and besides, there were many urgent affairs to keep him at home. Wentworth was leader of the House of Commons, and at the first encounter with the king stood by the Commons. Charles, however, determined to secure his personal adherence, and by means of titles, the bait of kings, Wentworth foreswore his radical opinions, came over on to the king's side, and was ever afterwards a most zealous and devoted servant of the Crown. When Charles conferred with his advisers upon the coming struggle with the people, Wentworth made the first practical suggestion by subscribing £20,000 towards the royal treasury. Wentworth was, therefore, the most trusted of the King's advisers, and he was sent to Ireland with the object of raising money for His Majesty.

The new viceroy hastily summoned a Parliament at Dublin, and persuaded it to vote £180,000 for the king's use against the army of the Covenanters. Further, Wentworth raised an army with the object of invading England and joining {84} Charles's forces. The intention was never carried out; but when Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, stood his trial at Westminster Hall, on April 5, 1641, the principal charge against him was that he had raised an army of Irish Papists to make war upon His Majesty's subjects. Strafford was executed on May 12.

His history concerns England rather than Ireland, but he had considerable influence upon the latter country, and did something towards placing Irish industries upon a better footing. In an age of wars and rebellions the reformer was out of place, but Ireland owes something to the Earl of Strafford's memory. When he died, Ireland mourned for him, and Sir Charles Wandesford, who had acted as one of his deputies, died of a broken heart upon hearing the news.

Earl of Strafford

Earl of Strafford

The civil war

The fatal year of 1641 found Ireland without a viceroy. The Lords Justices ruled in Dublin, but they carried no authority. Throughout the country it was said that England had abandoned her compatriots. The Great Rebellion followed as a matter of course. Centuries of oppression, outrage, robbery, and every other form of tyranny produced their natural offspring. The native Irish, who had not accepted the dictum that time legalizes robbery and sanctifies wrong, rose in their passions and slaughtered the 'planted' settlers. The less said about the rebellion the better. The history of the world shows that when the democracy rises to avenge its wrongs, the innocent pay the debts of the guilty.

Robert Sidney, Earl of Leicester, should have {85} succeeded Strafford, but he lingered in England, conscious that his own country would be the centre of great events. He asked his son, Lord Lisle, to take his place, but that young man had no taste for the rigours of Ireland. His prognostications were justified, and with the outbreak of the Civil War Lord Leicester abandoned all intention of taking up the office of viceroy. Charles wanted every available soldier, and Ireland was left to look after itself. There was a nominal Government in Dublin, and the Earl of Ormonde, at the beginning of his splendid career, was Commander-in-Chief. Ormonde was a devoted royalist, and in the king's hour of need sent him 5,000 soldiers from Ireland, paying their expenses himself. In the midst of his worries Charles found time to show his gratitude by making Ormonde a marquis, and appointing him Viceroy of Ireland. This was in 1644, but strong man as he was, Ormonde's tenure of office was shorn of all its glory and strength. He was destined later to play a leading—the leading—part in Irish affairs; but during the Civil War there was no effective government in Ireland, and the country went back to its ruling chiefs, and Dublin and a few provincial towns sheltered the remnants of the party that looked to England for protection and guidance. Lord Ormonde's determination was to hold Ireland for the king, and with this object he strengthened the garrison towns. The massacres of the settlers in the North he had punished, but until the settlement of the conflict in England he was in a dangerous and anomalous position.




{86}

CHAPTER VI

James Butler, first Duke of Ormonde, was born at Clerkenwell on October 19, 1610. For political reasons he was brought up in London under the immediate influence of the court. The boy, who was known as Viscount Thurles, was as popular as he was handsome, and in his early manhood he was one of the most famous 'bucks' about town. The story of his marriage is a romantic one, and much has been written about it. The facts are that the young Lord Thurles saw Elizabeth Preston, only daughter and heiress of the Earl of Desmond, in church. She was very beautiful and wealthy, and Thurles resolved to wed her. Whether it was a case of love at first sight or not depends upon the sentiment of the reader. We know that the lady's fortune did much towards restoring that of the house of Ormonde.

James Butler, first Duke of Ormonde

James Butler, first Duke of Ormonde

Lord Ormonde's marriage

Elizabeth Preston, however, was already reserved for someone else, and under the watchful and jealous guardianship of Lord Holland she was hidden from Lord Thurles. Realizing that his attentions would not be displeasing, Lord Thurles disguised himself as a pedlar, and carried his pack to the back-door of Lord Holland's Kensington {87} residence. Happily for the course of true love, the ladies of the house were not above opening the door to pedlars, and Lord Holland's daughters performed that service for the lover. They made a few purchases, and then hastened to Elizabeth, to tell her that the handsomest pedlar in England was at the back-door, and to beg her to come and patronize him. The girl recognized Thurles, and when he pressed a pair of gloves upon her, she asked him to wait while she went for some money, although her companions offered to save her the trouble by lending her the necessary amount. This she declined, guessing that one of the gloves contained a love-letter. In the safety of her own room she read Thurles' impassioned address, and then, having penned a suitable and favourable reply, came down again and returned the gloves, declaring that they smelt abominably, and could not be worn by a lady. Never did a pedlar accept the cancellation of a bargain so gleefully as this one did. The message the gloves contained settled his doubts and fears, and later Viscount Thurles and Elizabeth Preston were wedded. Lord Holland's consent was purchased for £15,000, and when he succeeded to the Earldom of Ormonde, Butler took his bride to Ireland.

The coming of the Earl of Ormonde to the country of his ancestors was hailed as a welcome sign by the leading Irish families. By his marriage Ormonde had united two of the greatest and ended a bitter feud, and the native party looked to him to lead them against the English. His only disadvantage was his religion. He was a Protestant, {88} the result of his education in England, but the question of religion was ignored by the Irish, and the handsome and chivalrous earl was called upon to take his stand in the forefront of the Irish army. Lord Strafford was viceroy at the time, and upon him lay the responsibility of influencing Ormonde's choice. The viceroy acted wisely. Personally he disliked the young earl, but he realized that to make an enemy of the most powerful nobleman amongst the Irish families of distinction would be fatal to his own chances of success as Viceroy of Ireland, and so he immediately made overtures of friendship to the man whom he had known as a boy in London. Lord Ormonde responded, and the two noblemen became fast friends, a friendship not forgotten to the last by Wentworth. When the latter had been sentenced to death for treason against the State, he implored Charles to give Ormonde the garter left vacant by his death, and also warned that monarch that the only loyal servant he had in Ireland was the Earl of Ormonde, advising the king to appoint him Lord-Deputy. The king, whose principal weakness was a tardiness of judgment, granted neither request at the time. But in 1644 he made Ormonde viceroy, and later bestowed the garter, though at a time when that emblem of royal favour was little better than a brilliant mockery.

Ormonde served an apprenticeship as Commander-in-Chief of the troops during Wentworth's viceroyalty, and on his own appointment to the latter position he combined the two offices. His duties as viceroy were, however, merely nominal, {89} and believing that he could be of more service to the royal cause in England, he resigned his post—inspired, no doubt, by the fact that Parliament had appointed Philip Sidney, Lord Lisle, Lord-Lieutenant, under its jurisdiction—in 1647. Ormonde went at once to Charles at Hampton Court, and acquainted him with the news that it was the intention of the Parliamentary leaders to seize his person and bring him to trial. Charles, of course, declined to believe the existence of the Parliamentary plot, and the ex-viceroy, again appointed Lord-Lieutenant, but armed with a worthless commission, returned to Ireland. Lord Lisle was not in residence, and the Government that represented the Commons consisted of five commissioners—Arthur Annesley, Sir R. King, Sir R. Meredith, Colonel John Moor, and Colonel Michael Jones—a quintette scarcely likely to impress Ormonde with a sense of their dignity, or inspire in the country a feeling of security.

Dublin, however, was in the hands of the Parliamentarians, and Ormonde chose to assert what authority he possessed from the provinces. Had Charles's cause been the strongest in the world, it could not have survived the adverse verdict of the series of great and decisive battles that temporarily ended the monarchy. Ormonde was not dismayed, however, and even the execution of the king found him dauntless and fearless. He proclaimed the son of the murdered monarch king, and wrote entreating him to come to Ireland, assuring the prince that his troops could hold that {90} country for him. Meanwhile Ormonde attacked Dublin, captured Drogheda, suffered defeat at Rathmines, where Colonel Jones, the Parliamentary leader, with that strange inspiration for successful fighting and generalship which inspired the leaders of the democracy, outpointed him, and drove him and his army from the field.

Oliver Cromwell

Oliver Cromwell

The Cromwellian campaign

Whatever hopes Ormonde may have entertained of recovering his position, they were soon extinguished by the arrival of Oliver Cromwell. It was an unexpected move on the part of Parliament, but now that Charles was dead, and the royal family in exile, it was considered safe to send the strongest man of his generation to cope with the Irish rebellion. In 1642 Cromwell had subscribed £600 towards the cost of an expedition for avenging the massacres of the previous year, and this act showed that he took a practical interest in Irish affairs, and realized the country's importance to England. Ormonde was a resourceful, determined leader, and a man of unquestioned courage, but Cromwell was his superior in the field and in the council-room, and he had the advantage also of a united army. Twelve thousand picked soldiers, their courage exalted by a fanaticism that combined psalm-singing with murder, took the field under Cromwell against Lord Ormonde, who had to depend for the greater part upon ill-trained troops officered by men who were not the less incompetent because the Protestants among them refused to be led by Catholics, and Catholics declined to recognize the authority of Protestants. Ormonde {91} strove frantically to unite his forces, but without success, and Drogheda, Wexford, Ross, and other towns were left to the cruel mercies of Cromwell.

The English leader came to Ireland as Commander-in-Chief and Lord-Lieutenant at a combined salary of £13,000 a year. His first act, characteristic of the man, was to issue a proclamation against swearing, and he discouraged plunder and looting by hanging even those of his own soldiers who transgressed his rules. Inspired by a sense of his own rectitude, Cromwell marched on Drogheda. The massacre has stained his memory almost as much as it stained the streets of the town, and after it Wexford's tragedy seems light in comparison.

Ormonde, suspected by the native leaders, was in no enviable position. Waterford, besieged by Cromwell, declined to allow his army to enter because its leader was 'English.' There was thus no work for him to do, but he remained on, contemptuously rejecting Cromwell's offer of a passport to the Continent.

In the great Cromwellian campaign the ex-viceroy took no part. The English leader, encouraged by a series of victories, was suddenly disconcerted by the successful resistance of the citizens of Waterford, and his failure to take Clonmel ended his enthusiasm for the task of conquering Ireland. In a pessimistic letter to the House of Commons he warned the Speaker not to imagine that by his victories at Drogheda and Wexford he had subdued Ireland. He knew too {92} well that in reality he had not conquered a square foot of the land.

The outwitting of Cromwell by Hugh O'Neill, the gallant defender of Clonmel, is one of the lighter episodes of an era of tragedy. The English leader had restarted his campaign following a rest after the setback at Waterford. He besieged Kilkenny, and was compelled to stoop to an honourable treaty to secure the town, and then he marched on Clonmel, where O'Neill, the Irish idol who had supplanted Ormonde as the national hero, was performing wonders at the head of a small and badly-armed garrison. And this garrison withstood the flower of Cromwell's soldiery, fighting for their country without any hope of gain, and repeatedly defeating the invaders. Cromwell, sick at heart, was considering the advisability of abandoning the siege which had brought him so many rebuffs, when he was agreeably surprised to hear that the Mayor of Clonmel, Mathew White, wished to see him. The mayor's object was to surrender the town on certain terms, and Cromwell was, of course, only too glad to save his face by granting any concessions so long as they brought him the town of Clonmel. A treaty was hastily drawn up, guarding against the atrocities that had distinguished Drogheda and Wexford, and then the English General inquired if Hugh O'Neill was aware of the mayor's action. Mathew White replied with well-assumed diffidence that O'Neill and his army had left the town some hours before! Cromwell stormed and raged, and demanded his treaty back, but White {93} played upon the Puritan's vanity of reputation, and Cromwell kept his word.

Death of Henry Ireton

Despite his reverses, Cromwell had hopes of firmly establishing English authority by means of the Protestant religion in Ireland. He drew up a series of recommendations on the subject, but by now there was more important work for him to do. England required his services, and on May 29, 1650, his son-in-law, Henry Ireton, was appointed Lord-Deputy and Commander-in-Chief, and instructed to carry out the Cromwellian policy. Ireton did not spare himself or others. He besieged Limerick, and in four months starved the garrison out, but it was his last effort, and on November 26, 1651, he died of the prevailing plague.

The rest of the Commonwealth deputies were undistinguished so far as their Irish careers were concerned. Major-General Lambert was chosen to succeed Ireton, but he was more suited for the camp than the council board, being a bluff soldier with a partiality for the rough pleasures of the average campaign. Cromwell did not care for 'Honest John' Lambert, and having in mind a scheme whereby Lieutenant-General Sir Charles Fleetwood, who had wisely married Ireton's widow and the Protector's daughter, should be made Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, he induced Parliament to abolish the post. Lambert was enraged, for the prospect of ruling a country had excited his imagination, and he made great preparations to inaugurate his term of office. The Protector gave him two thousand pounds as compensation, and offered him the post of {94} Commander-in-Chief, which he declined angrily. Fleetwood was thereupon given the post, and after a couple of years of government by commissioners, he was created Lord-Deputy.

Fleetwood distinguished himself by priest-baiting and an attempt to revive the 'plantation' methods of Sidney and Perrott. Henry Cromwell, fourth son of Oliver, who had been given command of an army in Ireland, in order to amuse himself and learn the arts of war, replaced Fleetwood. This Cromwell was unambitious, something of a poltroon, and only kept in the forefront by the personality of his father. Nepotism nourishes even in democracies, and Henry, a Colonel at twenty-two and Lord-Deputy before he was thirty, was not the man to carry on the traditions of the Protector. The Restoration found Henry Cromwell pitiably anxious to submit to the new order of things, and when the new reign opened and Lord Ormonde returned to resume his duties at Dublin Castle, Cromwell was grateful for being allowed to retire into private life.

The Restoration

During the years of the Commonwealth Lord Ormonde had resided abroad, stanchly faithful to the discredited cause of the Stuarts. When others grew faint-hearted, and deserted, Ormonde spoke the encouraging word, and he spent all his revenues in the royal service. Recalling a promise made by Cromwell that his wife's fortune would not be confiscated, he sent her to the Protector, and she succeeded in getting five hundred pounds in cash and two thousand a year for life. In 1658, six years after his wife's visit, Ormonde entered {95} England disguised, charged with a mission from the Royalist party to ascertain if the times were rife for a rising. The ex-viceroy returned with a pessimistic report, and on his advice Charles waited. Two years later came the Restoration, and with it Ormonde's fortunes rose to a dazzling height.

In the first flush of gratitude King Charles showered honours upon the Irish nobleman. He was created Duke of Ormonde in the Irish peerage, Earl of Brecknock in the English, appointed Chancellor of Dublin University, Lord Steward, Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset, and High Steward of Kingston, Westminster, and Bristol. At the coronation of Charles II. he carried the crown. The restoration of his Irish estates followed as a matter of course, and the king added a promise to pay him a large sum of money. This promise was never kept, but the Irish Parliament, anxious to curry favour with Ormonde and the king, voted him thirty thousand pounds. At the close of his career Ormonde declared that he had spent nearly a million of money in the king's service, and although this is an obvious exaggeration, yet it is a fact that he lost heavily pecuniarily and otherwise by his adherence to the Stuart cause.

Ultra-patriotic writers, with that passion for obscure data which characterizes the partisan historian in his search of an argument, have chosen to regard the first Duke of Ormonde as the friend of England and the enemy of Ireland. They shed inky tears over the fate of men like Hugh O'Neill and Shane of that family, but the {96} success of either of these would have meant a return to the absurd state of affairs which made Ireland a nation of kingdoms and traitors. O'Neill represented only his own followers, and his success would have bred rivals and imitators. There was no hope of peace or prosperity if the country came under the dominion of men brave on the battlefield and foolish and quarrelsome in their councils. Mere bravery is not statesmanship; victories on the battlefield have to be supported by wisdom in the council, or all their benefits are lost.

Ormonde and Lady Castlemaine

The Duke of Ormonde was the first of the great race of Irishmen, worthily descended from famous persons in the two countries, who aimed at a united Ireland in honourable federation with England. To a man of his breeding and education the civilization of Pall Mall was more pleasing than the semi-barbarous condition of provincial Ireland, but he accepted again the thankless position of viceroy, and, hampered by the new school of politics that had arisen in London, he did his utmost for Ireland. He was the best man for the task, and Charles knew it, and although his enemies never lost an opportunity for damaging his reputation, he retained the post until March 14, 1669, having conducted the government in person for nearly seven years. Ormonde was one of the first to realize the fact that Charles was endangering his throne by his profligacy. Almost every decree that emanated from Whitehall was inspired by the whims and vagaries of one of the mistresses of the 'Merry Monarch,' and even Ormonde, {97} attached as he was to the person of the king, could not submit to the insolent demand on the part of Lady Castlemaine that her lover should grant her Phoenix Park as a private demesne. Lady Castlemaine, however, ascribed her defeat to Ormonde's jealousy, and it was mainly through her that the viceroy's enemies continued their plottings and secured his recall. The charges against him were that he had billeted soldiers on civilians and had executed martial law, charges so ridiculous that there was never any serious attempt to investigate them after Ormonde's return to London.

He was not without honour, however, even in England, for Oxford University elected him her Chancellor, and in 1670 the city of Dublin presented an address to Lord Ossory, the duke's son, which consisted of complimentary references to the late viceroy and ignored the then holder of the post, Lord Robarts. Lord Ossory had acted as deputy for his father in 1664-65, and gave promise of a brilliant career.

Eight years of court life followed, during which Ormonde, who knew more about Ireland than any other living person, was seldom called in to advise Charles. Robarts, a stolid nobleman of no accomplishments beyond a little pride, managed to last a year—1669-70. On the Restoration, Robarts, the son of a tin merchant and a usurer, was appointed deputy to General Monck, whom he considered an upstart, but he declined to represent such a man, and Charles, who was heavily in his debt, made him Lord Privy Seal, and thus enabled {98} him to avoid the indignity of occupying an inferior position to General Monck.

The next viceroy was a distinguished survivor of the Civil War in the person of John Berkeley, first Lord Berkeley of Stratton. He was a nobleman of elaborate tastes, who took full advantage of Charles II.'s indebtedness to him for services rendered during the great exile. This he supplemented by marrying three times, the third wife bringing him an immense fortune. She was plain and old, but Berkeley overcame his natural repugnance to the ugly in this particular case. In Ireland he was a success mainly because his sympathies inclined towards the Catholic religion, and he left well alone. The country would have welcomed a longer viceroyalty than two years, but Berkeley was not the man to waste his energies in Dublin, and he was glad to return to London and to the court.

The Duchess of Cleveland

Ireland did not, of course, escape altogether from the evil consequences of Charles's partiality for frail femininity. His illegitimate children had to be provided with money as well as with titles, and their mothers' anxiety for the future dispelled. When there were murmurings in England against the king's extravagant methods in satisfying the cupidity of his creatures, these latter asked for something out of Ireland. The Duchess of Portsmouth wanted Phoenix Park, and Charles was quite willing that she should have it, but the Duke of Ormonde and the Earl of Essex, who knew the fatal stupidity of the Stuarts, managed to convince Charles that he would run the risk of losing {99} his crown if he lost his head over the woman who made the title of duchess as cheap as water while she flaunted it in Whitehall. It was not to be expected that an illiterate woman would be able to understand the reasons that made the gift of Phoenix Park impracticable, and she plotted with all the feline spite that she was capable of to injure the men who had defeated her ambitions. Ormonde, however, was too strong, but when Arthur Capel, Earl of Essex, was appointed to succeed Lord Berkeley in 1672, she carried on an intrigue against him, and did not cease until his recall in 1677. Lord Essex was the son of the Lord Capel who had been executed in 1649, and Charles owed him and his family something. That debt was never repaid fully, and had it not been for a sudden revulsion of feeling in Ormonde's favour Lord Essex might never have gone to Ireland. The new viceroy was not popular among the king's coterie of duchesses and countesses. When at the Treasury he had declined to pay the Duchess of Cleveland £25,000 out of the public funds, and, of course, the duchess was furious. Essex was not dismayed. He knew that Charles dare not quarrel with a man of his position on the question of the subsidies he considered his mistresses ought to have. Publicity was the last thing he desired. Essex was not the man to send to Ireland to represent the Duchess of Cleveland or the Duchess of Portsmouth, and Ormonde persuaded Charles that in Ireland he was regarded as king, and that the people in that benighted country were so unacquainted with the manners {100} of polite society as to be quite unable to appreciate the delicate position of duchess without a duke.

Earl of Essex

Earl of Essex

Lord Essex found Ireland as peaceful as he could expect. Fortunately for him, he lacked the ambition that had attacked so many former viceroys like a disease, and did not wish to conquer Ireland. He realized that beyond Dublin and a few provincial cities the rule of England did not extend, but provided he was allowed to remain in peace at Dublin Castle, he did not worry. And in fact Dublin was the only habitable place. Centuries of warfare had left the land in a terrible state. Education and all the arts were at a standstill, while the traders had not yet raised themselves to a position of independence, and the resident nobility dwelt in their strongholds or emigrated to fight under foreign flags. If we are to believe the records of the times, Lord Essex confined himself to Dublin and the Castle, and all his entertainments were for the benefit of the officials and occasional visitors from London. He did something to make Dublin worthier of its position as the capital city. Highway and street robberies were punished severely and building improvements encouraged.

Lady Essex took her part in the work of her husband, being really the first of the 'vicereines'—to use an apt if technically incorrect description of the wives of the viceroys—to enter into the social life of the people her husband governed. She entertained as a great hostess, and was charming and popular. It was her accessibility which led to an incident which rendered the last few {101} months of Essex's viceroyalty painful. The times were ripe for the propagation of scandal. The king's patronage of vice gave it an appearance of virtue, and certainly many rewards. The chivalry of the time was an elaborate ritual in honour of free love, and, of course, the influence spread to Dublin. Personally Lord Essex was almost a little better than his contemporaries, but he held the honour of his wife to be something very sacred, and when he heard that it was the talk of Dublin that she was carrying on an intrigue with a Captain Brabazon he was greatly embittered. It was fashionable to be vicious, but Essex would not believe that his wife was guilty, although Captain Brabazon swore that she was. According to the laws of honour, a duel with Brabazon was the viceroy's only court of appeal, but as the king's representative he could not issue a challenge or accept one, and he was therefore compelled to affect a haughty indifference to the covert insults heaped upon himself and Lady Essex. Fortunately for the viceroy and his wife, Captain Brabazon, rejoicing in his immunity, became too precise; he offered details of times and places, and once he had sworn to these it was easy to prove them wicked and malicious falsehoods.

The viceroy was not sorry to yield up office to Ormonde, although, as is always the case, popular feeling turned in his favour, and even gossip admitted nothing but good of the countess. The whole plot had been hatched by the Duchess of Cleveland in revenge for his refusal to rob the Treasury on her behalf. On his return to London, {102} Lord Essex immediately sought out Charles and complained of the scandalous treatment he had received. The king was sympathetic—weak-minded persons find in sympathy their only virtue—but he would do nothing, and the ex-viceroy, disappointed and enraged, flung himself out of the royal presence. He was a marked man now, and all his sayings were improved upon and reported to Charles. The Rye House plot ended his career. He was arrested and committed to the Tower, where he was said to have taken his own life in a fit of depression. Whether true or not scarcely matters, for his act merely saved his head from the executioner's axe.




{103}

CHAPTER VII

The Duke of Ormonde's career in London during his period of unemployment was not without excitement. As a great nobleman he frequented the court without ever becoming one of its favoured habitués. In his salad days Ormonde had been one of the gayest of the gay, but he was a veteran when Robarts succeeded him in Ireland, and his temperament was that of a statesman rather than a courtier.

His enemies, however, feared and detested him, and finding that they could not compel the complacent Charles to banish the duke, they took it into their own hands to try and murder him. One night, therefore—it was December 5, 1670—Ormonde's coach was stopped in St. James's Street by Thomas Blood and five other ruffians, who dragged the duke out and carried him off on horseback. The affair created a tremendous sensation, the most widely-spread rumour being that the five accomplices were well-known friends of the King's, inspired by him to assassinate a man who had helped Charles to regain his throne. Blood became famous in one quarter and infamous in another, while Lord Ossory, the duke's eldest son, believing that Buckingham had instigated {104} the plot, went in search of the duke, and, finding him with the king, did not hesitate to tell him that if his father died a violent death he would pistol Buckingham, even if he sought shelter behind the king. Ormonde escaped mainly owing to the over-sureness of his captors. The strangest incident, however, was yet to come. Blood was captured—he made no attempt to escape—and it was expected as matter of course that he would be hanged, but Charles sent for the duke, and in a private interview persuaded that nobleman to pardon his would-be assassin. This action of the king's proved conclusively that if Buckingham paid Blood to attempt Ormonde's life Charles must have had cognizance of the matter, while it is certain that the germ of the whole idea originated with one of Charles's mistresses, who hated Ormonde, not because he was excessively moral or squeamish, but because he declined to treat seriously their pretensions to be considered members of the nobility.

Nearly seven years after this episode Charles reappointed Ormonde Viceroy of Ireland. The duke was now sixty-seven, but he took up office with all his old zest, and he made his entry into Dublin an elaborate ceremonial, behaving himself as though he were the King of Ireland, and not merely a king's deputy.

The Duke of Ormonde was not a patriot in the sense that the word is regarded nowadays. His policy was to increase the English ascendancy. His religion naturally placed him in the minority. He was a Protestant and a Royalist, but there can {105} be no mistaking the earnestness of his views. He brought a conscientiousness to his task that distinguished him from the average viceroy, and he could pride himself upon knowing the country. The O'Neills, in their brief day of squabble and treachery, had taunted Ormonde with being English, and their fondness for creating parties within a party had helped to defeat Ormonde's policy more than once. In 1677, however, the duke had behind him the united power of England, and during his last viceroyalty he was all-powerful.

Proclamations against Catholics

The Popish plot that disturbed the Government towards the close of Charles's reign roused the fervid anti-Catholic spirit in Ormonde. He issued a proclamation banishing all ecclesiastics who took their orders from Rome; dissolving societies, convents, and schools, and commanding all Catholics to surrender their arms within twenty days. These measures, however, did not satisfy the bigots in London, and they clamoured for the viceroy's recall, declaring that he was in secret sympathy with the plotters. But the duke had a brave defender in the person of his son, Lord Ossory, the handsomest and most hot-tempered man of his day. Lord Ossory was his father's devoted friend, and during his long stay in London the younger man never lost an opportunity for confounding his father's enemies. In an impassioned speech he defended him in the House of Lords, and he had the satisfaction of defeating the intriguers.

The death of his son was a terrible blow to the {106} duke, and he lost all interest in public matters. His supersession by the Earl of Rochester in 1683 was not unwelcome to him. Ormonde was seventy-three, and had aged considerably during the preceding ten years. On July 21, 1688, he died, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, a fit sepulchre for a man whose loyalty and conscientiousness were rare virtues in his day, and who had given more to his king than he had received. His last public act had been to carry the crown at the Coronation of King James, but he was spared the knowledge of the second and final exile of the Stuart family from England. His eldest son, Lord Ossory, the most popular man about town in his day, a confirmed gambler and an intimate of King Charles, who occasionally paid his card debts for him, left behind a son who succeeded his grandfather in the title and estates, becoming second Duke of Ormonde, and later Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. In Evelyn's 'Diary' there is a notable tribute to Lord Ossory. Universal grief was occasioned by the announcement of his death at an early age.

The new viceroy was the Earl of Rochester, a dull creature who grew restive in Dublin, where he ignored the local nobility, and was for ever pining for the pleasures of London. The expenses of the viceroyalty were very considerable now, and there were few opportunities of making money out of the office. Lord Tyrconnel, the Commander-in-Chief, treated him with open contempt, as he had treated the Duke of Ormonde, a stronger man than either of them, and Rochester, {107} a product of society, was not likely to succeed against the bullying, swaggering methods of Tyrconnel, who was clearly aiming at the viceroyalty for himself.

A Catholic régime

In 1683 Charles commissioned Laurence Hyde, brother of the Earl of Clarendon, to replace Rochester, but Hyde, who was anxious to remain in London at that particular time, managed to delay his departure for over a year, and when the king died and James ascended the throne, Henry Hyde, Earl of Clarendon and brother-in-law of James, was selected for the task of permeating Ireland, especially official Ireland, with the new Jacobean policy. England was avowedly Protestant, and England in Ireland was similar. James, who was that human paradox—an insincere fanatic—instructed Clarendon to proceed cautiously in his difficult task of placing the Government and laws of Ireland in the hands of Roman Catholics, while at the same time maintaining outwardly a Protestant régime. Hyde, who was James's subservient minister, did his best, and within a year the majority of the judges, and nearly all the State officials, were Catholic. He found it comparatively easy to appoint Catholic officers to the highest positions in the army, for Tyrconnel, the Commander-in-Chief, was a Catholic, and he raised no objection to Clarendon's nominations. This was the only help the viceroy received from Tyrconnel, the most popular man in Ireland and the most powerful. He had the army behind him, and, knowing that he could take the viceroyalty whenever he cared to do so, he had {108} sufficient sense of humour to wait until James had exhausted his stock of Pall Mall exquisites, and had to turn to him. It was characteristic of the king that he should try to carry out a Catholic policy with the aid of Protestant ministers, relying upon nepotism rather than upon conviction or sincerity, but the Stuarts were born to blunder, and they blundered.

Lord Tyrconnel pretended to obey the viceroy, but scarcely a single act from Dublin Castle was not ignored by him. He was jealous of the king's preference for English noblemen, firmly believing that Ireland should be governed by an Irishman and a Catholic. The Duke of Ormonde he had regarded as an Englishman, and that viceroy's terms of office were always noted for quarrels with Tyrconnel. The old Irish families and the common people looked to Tyrconnel to save them from the evil consequences of the mad policy of Charles II. and his successor. James certainly gratified them by his return to the old religion, but he went about it the wrong way, and with the usual result. Clarendon did his best, but Fate was against him. He was too weak to stand the strain fidelity imposed in such troublous times, and James removed him from office because he suspected his loyalty. The suspicion was correct. Clarendon was one of the first of James's intimates to go over to the party that invited William and Mary to ascend the throne of England. Later he plotted against William, and only the influence of great friends and a remembrance of previous services saved his life. He was released {109} from prison, and permitted to live in semi-retirement until his death in 1709 at the age of seventy-one.

The Earl of Tyrconnel

When Clarendon's term of office ended there was only one man who could continue James's policy. This was Richard Talbot, Earl of Tyrconnel, the man who had done his utmost to kill the authority of half a dozen occupants of Dublin Castle. Fate retaliated by making his viceroyalty stormy and tragic. At the time of his appointment in 1687 Tyrconnel was fifty-seven years of age, and he had a long record behind him which, despite the tendency to idealize in the course of more than two centuries, seems to prove that he was nothing better than a bully and an adventurer. He was at the same time a brave soldier and a cowardly statesman, but his greatest defect lay in his utter inability to acquire the art of obeying. He wished to rule always, and when the critical time came, this contributed more than anything else to the complete defeat of the Jacobean cause in Ireland.

Born in 1630, Tyrconnel was twenty years of age when Cromwell came to Ireland and besieged Drogheda. Even at that early age he was well known for his reckless courage, and he was certainly one of the most gallant defenders of the town. He owed his escape to the fact that he was so dangerously wounded that he was placed amongst the dead, and he took advantage of the lonely battlefield to make his way out of Drogheda disguised as a woman. Coming to London, Tyrconnel was arrested by Cromwell, but escaped to the Continent, {110} where he quickly determined to enter the inner circle of the royal exiles. Charles and his brother, the Duke of York, later James II., did not care for the society of a person who lacked the finer polish, and who found his acquaintances at the point of the sword. Tyrconnel, however, was crafty enough to sum up James's character, and by offering to go to England and assassinate Cromwell, he was at once taken into the confidence of the duke. Fortunately, it was soon realized that such a foul deed would merely serve to strengthen the Commonwealth in England, and certainly extinguish all hopes of another Stuart régime. It is not at all unlikely that Tyrconnel knew this; anyhow, he gained his ambition, and by the time the Restoration was accomplished, he was one of the royal prince's most trusted companions.

Unfortunately for Tyrconnel, he cast in his lot with the Duke of York, and twenty-five years passed before his patron was in a position to give him his earldom. Talbot, who was a product of the battlefield, was not likely to shine in the court of Charles II. He played a part in it for a time, and he was the hero of several love affairs, but he had not the courtly graces of a Buckingham or a Rochester. Women were afraid of provoking him, for he brooked no rivalry, and the man who in one week fought five duels in London and wounded his opponent every time was no fit companion for ladies whose fame depended upon the number of conquests they made, but they admired his courage and success. In his only really serious love affair Tyrconnel was rejected, and the lady {111} married Sir George Hamilton. Richard Talbot also found consolation, but some years later, when his wife had died, he married Lady Hamilton, a widow with six children.

Charles was speaking more than the truth when he declared that no one would ever assassinate him to make James king, and Talbot, leading an aimless life in London, a beggared gambler, distrusted by the old aristocracy and feared by the new, sought vainly for adequate employment for nearly ten years. Then in 1669 Charles appointed him Commander-in-Chief in Ireland on the earnest and persistent solicitation of the Duke of York. London society was not displeased to get rid of the bully so easily, for in their estimation Ireland was still a place of exile, especially so in view of the comfortable statesmanship practised by Charles and his satellites in the palace of Whitehall. Talbot went to Ireland eagerly, knowing that the qualities which had won for him contempt in London would idealize him in Ireland. With the aid of the Duke of York, and also helped by the indolence of Charles, he knew that he could make his office of Commander-in-Chief at least equal to, if not more powerful than, the viceroyalty. Ormonde had been superseded by Lord Robarts, and Talbot detested the duke, whose religion made him unpopular with the Duke of York and his friends.

'Lying Dick Talbot'

On the accession of James II., Richard Talbot—Macaulay's 'Lying Dick Talbot'—was created Earl of Tyrconnel, and his powers as Commander-in-Chief increased. It was the king's ambition {112} to make himself independent of Parliament by means of the army, and he hoped that Tyrconnel would bring the army in Ireland to such a state of efficiency that would render it an important asset in the struggle between the king and his subjects. To a man of Talbot's temperament unlimited power was a spur to unlimited ambition, and successive viceroys found themselves in a humiliating position. The noted duellist and bully—the man at whom half London sneered and whom the other half feared—was set in authority over some of the best blood in the kingdom, and although they complained bitterly to the king, there was no redress.

The state of the country

The nomination of Tyrconnel to the vice-royalty was, therefore, the only way out of James's difficulties in Ireland. Nearly every class in the country welcomed the appointment. The new viceroy proceeded to strengthen his own position rather than that of the king's. He had been instructed to pack the state and the bench with Catholics, but Tyrconnel, with thoughts of the future, selected creatures of his own, and in a short time he was master of the country. The bench, the corporations, the Justices of the Peace, were all subservient to him. He made and unmade laws, and the spectacle of a bully ruling a country might have made the world laugh had it not been so tragic. The disarmed Protestants were left to the mercy of the criminal classes and the legalized highway robbers; consequently many of the most prosperous and law-abiding families were compelled to leave their lands and homes {113} and emigrate to England. Justice was a travesty; householders in Dublin had to keep watch all night to guard their property because the fear of punishment for crime no longer existed. The viceroy and his wife reigned in Dublin Castle, where sectarianism influenced every single act.

Lady Tyrconnel, who had been in her youth one of the most fascinating of the group of ingenuous beauties gathered about the court of Charles II., was in her middle age ugly, spiteful, and fanatical. Her husband was rough and coarse; she was feline and fanciful, but she adapted herself to the ways of his policy, and the Catholic religion found in her a devout adherent. She was not popular in Ireland, however. The mother of six children, she was fond of recalling the glories of her Whitehall past. Secretly she disliked James, and even at times broke out into petulant diatribes against her husband's patron; but all the time she aped the youth of her early years, and tried to hide the plain present by means of paint.

There was no room for the finer arts of life in Tyrconnel. He was now acting the statesman, and the result was very soon evident. Ormonde, despite his defects and dislike for the ultra-patriots, had succeeded in improving the condition of Ireland, and his successors had been willing to continue his social policy if they could not improve upon it. The Earl of Tyrconnel, however, was not the man to imitate others, no matter how praiseworthy such imitation might be, and in less than a couple of years he 'reduced Ireland {114} from a place of briskest trade and best-paid rents in Christendom to utter ruin and desolation.' Dublin had progressed amazingly under Ormonde, and it seemed as if the capital city would rise to a place amongst the most important cities of the world, when Tyrconnel came to set it back a hundred years. England had never done anything for Dublin or any other town in Ireland, and the progress of the capital had been made in the face of the bitterest opposition and the most relentless persecution. London, Bristol, and the other ports of England were jealous of Dublin, and they were able to get edicts passed interfering with the shipping and the trade of the country, in order that they might not lose in competition. Dublin, however, rose superior to edicts and statutes, and by the end of the seventeenth century it was not a mean city. Even in London it was realized with something approaching wonder that Dublin was not to be despised. For five hundred years it had been the headquarters of the English colony, but it was in Tyrconnel's day entirely Irish. The English families had been merged in the Irish, and the result was a population anxious for peace and freedom from the persecutions entailed by religious squabbles and political struggles.

The Earl of Tyrconnel was too patriotic, however, to let the country rest. His crude mind was full of ambitious schemes, and from England James fed him with ambitious food. Between them they were to make England, Ireland, and Scotland wholly Catholic, and in the remote event of England failing the king, Ireland was to be {115} made a French protectorate, so that the supremacy of the Catholic religion might remain undisputed.

Suddenly James appealed for help, and Tyrconnel sent him 3,000 men; but they could not keep the king's throne, and on March 12, 1689, James landed at Kinsale from France, a king without a throne, a Catholic without a conscience, and a fanatic without a scruple. His visit to Ireland had an ominous precedent in the case of Richard II., and it had a similar result. It was obvious that the English monarch relied entirely upon his viceroy to save his throne. Ireland was even then renowned for its simple-hearted allegiance to the old faith, and James was under the impression that fanaticism can beat generalship and numbers.

King James in Dublin

Tyrconnel, ever optimistic when fighting was imminent, met James at Cork, and headed the triumphant procession into Dublin on March 24, 1689. The king was rapturously welcomed from Cork to Dublin as the friend of Ireland and of its religion, and Lady Tyrconnel organized a fête at the Castle, in which she endeavoured to remind the nervous and dejected king of the former glories of the Stuart dynasty when the family seemed all-powerful and secure. James, however, unwisely and needlessly irritated her by a display of indifference, and at a dance he exasperated her by leading out a less-known but more beautiful member of Irish society. The viceroy's wife was Duchess of Tyrconnel by now, for the Lord-Lieutenant had been created a duke on the {116} arrival of the king; but it is as Earl of Tyrconnel that he is known. James had not the power to create peerages in 1689.

There is no need to enter minutely into any of the details of the Jacobean war in Ireland. It was a religious and a political contest, but the presence of James and the multitude of his counsellors were the chief causes of the Catholic defeat. In the Parliament James summoned at Dublin there was a member named Patrick Sarsfield, afterwards given the worthless and illegal title of Earl of Lucan, who was destined to play a leading part in the fortunes of James, and who might have won success for his royal master had his qualities been recognized in high quarters. Tyrconnel, however, always ready to sacrifice the good of his country for the good of himself, kept Sarsfield under, and James, who had been given proof of Sarsfield's devotion, distrusted his ability. At a time when everybody had deserted James, Patrick Sarsfield stood by him, and in the very first encounter with the army of William he proved his courage. The viceroy was now old and crippled by gout, but he insisted upon holding the principal place in James's Council, and when it was announced that William was coming to Ireland, it was he who insisted upon James fighting for his crown, although that monarch was secretly preparing for his return to France. James created defeat for himself, and his motley collection of adventurers made that defeat certain. No real attempt was made to bring a disciplined army into the field against the King of England, and {117} only the bravery and genius of the troops made the Battle of the Boyne a battle at all.

The Battle of the Boyne

This decisive conflict was fought on Tuesday, July 1, 1690, and the stars in their courses fought for William. James was in the way of his own Generals, and in the many critical moments of the battle there were schisms in the Council. But it was James who contributed most to the defeat of his army, and well might Patrick Sarsfield exclaim bitterly: 'Change kings, and we will fight you over again.'

The ex-king was almost the first fugitive from the field, and he rode without cessation until he reached Dublin Castle, weary, travel-stained, but just the same sneering, disappointed incompetent, who had sacrificed many humble lives nobler than his own. When Lady Tyrconnel, flustered and alarmed, came down to greet him, James caustically informed her that the Irish ran well.

'Your Majesty seems to have won the race,' was Lady Tyrconnel's witty rejoinder; and the king remained silent.

From Dublin James, thanks to his forethought, was able to cross to France immediately, and he scandalized Paris by declaring that the Irish were cowards to a man, who had run away at the first shot from the enemy. The result of this libel was that the members of the Irish colony in Paris were mobbed in the streets, and long afterwards, when physical ill-treatment ceased, the name of an Irishman stood for cowardice in the best Parisian circles.

{118}

The ex-king left Tyrconnel, Lauzun, Boisseleau, and Sarsfield to fight his battle against William, and after the disastrous Boyne they retired on Limerick. William followed hastily, and presently his 28,000 men were besieging the city, which was garrisoned by not more than 15,000 troops. The hero of the siege was Sarsfield, and it is to his story that this belongs. Tyrconnel was anxious to get out of the country, and when Sarsfield had driven the English army from the walls of Limerick the viceroy followed King James into exile, the Duke of Berwick being styled 'viceroy.' A Council of Twelve assisted the duke, while Tyrconnel, having, with his wife, gone to France with all their available resources, interviewed James, and induced him to send him back to Ireland as Lord-Lieutenant. Furthermore, James was persuaded to give Tyrconnel a grant of £8,000. In such a state of war there could be no real viceroy, and Tyrconnel was compelled to pass his time between pleasures and fears. Chroniclers recount stories of the festivities given by him in his own honour during a stay at Galway. He was too old for anything else. Meanwhile the rival generals in the field proved easy victims for William's commanders. The Earl of Marlborough came to Ireland to supplement his small experience of warfare, and, of course, he performed creditably, for the Jacobean troops were badly clothed, fed, and armed. Sarsfield alone seemed worth his position, and his efforts were negatived by the incompetence of his colleagues.

The Treaty of Limerick

On August 14, 1691, Tyrconnel died, sixty-one {119} years of age, but worn out and feeble. He was buried by night and in such haste that his burial-place quickly became a mystery. He died just before the end of the Jacobean struggle in Ireland, for a few days afterwards the Treaty of Limerick was signed, and Sarsfield left the country to fight as a soldier of fortune, and to die an honourable death on a foreign battlefield. In the contest between James's Irish army and that of William the latter had all the luck and the former all the traitors. It was, therefore, a matter for astonishment that the Jacobean troops should have gained any victories at all. Certain it is that the English commanders never gained reputations so cheaply. When Marlborough returned to London he was fêted as a victor by the king; but all he did was to overcome by means of sheer force small and irregular bodies of troops indifferently armed and often badly led. Marlborough did not learn anything of the art of generalship by his month's visit to Ireland. Patrick Sarsfield was the only man who proved his worth as a leader and his courage as a soldier. We know that he fought for a good cause but an unworthy man, and that the cause was something better than the restoration of James to the throne of England.




{120}

CHAPTER VIII

The Orange Government in Ireland was in the hands of two Lords Justices named Coningsby and Porter, but as soon as the Treaty of Limerick ended the hopes of the Jacobeans William decided to send one of his followers as viceroy. There were many claimants on the king's gratitude, but Henry Sidney, fourth son of Robert, second Earl of Leicester, one of Charles I.'s viceroys, had been well rewarded by the Dutchman for his treachery towards James. Sidney had been present at the Battle of the Boyne, being now a viscount, and when there was plenty of Irish land and money to be distributed Viscount Sidney received 50,000 acres and an allowance of £2,000 a year. During the reign of Charles II. Sidney had taken a prominent part in court life, and his beauty was such that he was regarded as 'the greatest terror to husbands' of his day. James, Duke of York, and his duchess, formerly Anne Hyde, took young Sidney into their confidence, and gave him a court appointment. He retorted by endeavouring to ruin the duchess's reputation, and when they dismissed him he continued his plottings. He was successful in so far that he caused a temporary separation between James {121} and his wife; but at the accession of Charles's brother he was taken back into favour. Sidney, however, was determined to act the part of the traitor, and he quickly betrayed his cause to William. Besides this fondness for plotting Sidney found time to earn the reputation of one of the most immoral men, even in Charles's reign. He regarded every woman of beauty as fit prey for his passion, and even when he was nearly seventy his intrigues were the talk of London.

Protestant Party dissatisfied

This was the man William sent to represent him in Ireland, and when Viscount Sidney arrived in Dublin in 1692 he was fifty-one years of age, unmarried, and still very handsome. But he was not a statesman or a soldier, and his position alone made him great. He was not equal to the task of carrying out the changes created by the Treaty of Limerick—a treaty hotly repudiated by the Protestant party in Ireland, who, now that William's cause had triumphed, naturally looked for a return of their supremacy and the subjection of the majority. Sidney's conciliatory attitude towards the Catholics brought down upon him the wrath of the Protestant clergy and aristocracy; Parliament met, and denounced his indulgences to members of the rival faith, and, although Sidney dissolved it, the effect on the king was considerable. He dare not remove the viceroy, and yet Sidney was dangerous so long as he remained in Ireland. A way out of the difficulty was found by the 'promotion' of the viceroy to the post of 'Master-General of the Ordnance,' and in {122} 1694—the year after he vacated office—he was created Earl of Romney.

Sidney never married, but he did not altogether escape the responsibilities of parentage. He complained very often of the worry many women gave him by pestering him with demands for the provision of their children. During his brief viceroyalty one of his numerous victims had the courage to beard him in Dublin Castle, and demand that he should contribute towards the maintenance of the three children she had borne him. Sidney dare not send the woman away empty-handed, and he gave her £500; but the majority of his victims never received anything, for he was as mean as he was vicious. Had it not been that by accident he could claim to have given William and Mary the Crown of England, Sidney would never have risen to any position at all. He became prominent by sheer chance.

Lord Capel of Tewkesbury

It was expected that care would be taken to make the new viceroy acceptable to the Protestant party; but there was a delay, and William allowed the Government to be conducted by three Commissioners, the most powerful being Sir Henry Capel, Lord Capel of Tewkesbury. Capel was a fanatical Protestant and a bitter opponent of Roman Catholicism in all shapes and forms. His fellow-commissioners were less ferocious, but Capel managed to gain his way in most things, and he was viceroy in reality, though not in name. Meanwhile the English party in Dublin used every atom of influence to secure the elevation of Capel to the viceroyalty, and in 1695 they succeeded. {123} The cause of Protestantism seemed safe now, but Capel did not live long, and on May 14, 1696, he died in Dublin Castle. Capel is remembered mainly because he gave Jonathan Swift his first preferment—the benefice of Kilroot, worth about £100 a year. This was in 1695.

Commissioners in the persons of Lords Justices conducted the affairs of State without the supervision of a viceroy. One of these was the Earl of Berkeley, whose dealings with Dean Swift, when that eccentric cleric was seeking a high appointment, have become historic. Berkeley was one of the Lords Justices, and he had it in his power to bestow preferment, but Swift was unable or unwilling to pay his price, and one day in a rage he cried to Berkeley and his secretary: 'God confound you for a couple of scoundrels!' On December 12, 1700, William appointed his wife's uncle, Laurence Hyde, Earl of Rochester, a nobleman who had accepted this office sixteen years before from Charles, and had not troubled to journey to Ireland. His second appointment did not arouse any enthusiasm either in the man or in the country he was called upon to govern, and it was not until the following September that he landed in Ireland. As a relative of the queen's—his sister, Anne Hyde, was her mother—the Earl of Rochester carried greater authority than many of his predecessors; but he was no statesman, and at sixty years of age he was not inclined to try experiments. William thought he was indolent and contemptuous of his duties, and in 1702 he {124} informed him that he had been relieved of his office. Immediately, however, further news came from London continuing Rochester in his office. This was the result of the intervention by Queen Mary; but Rochester resigned on February 4, 1703, rather than be subjected any longer to the machinations of the Marlborough party at the court.

Lord Rochester returned to London in a passion scarcely cooled by the length of the journey; but he was mollified somewhat by the fact that his successor, the Duke of Ormonde, was his son-in-law. He had no objection to his daughter reigning at Dublin Castle.

The second Duke of Ormonde

The Duke and Duchess of Ormonde were received with an enthusiasm in Dublin that was reminiscent of the personal supremacy of the viceroy's grandfather, known as the 'Great Duke.' The new viceroy had been carefully educated for his position. A son of the celebrated Lord Ossory, he had been from his birth in 1665 educated with a view to future eminence in the service of the State. The boy's grandfather sent him to France in 1675 to acquire the French language and the polite arts of the centre of good manners and tone. When he was seventeen he was married to Anne Hyde, a daughter of Laurence Hyde, and a cousin to the Duchess of York. She died early the following year, and when, in 1686, he married a daughter of the Duke of Beaufort, he was a Lord of the Bedchamber to James II., and one of the most influential of the younger nobility. The year of the Revolution witnessed Ormonde's succession to the title and estates, and {125} he became one of the most powerful pillars of the Protestant faith in the country. The ancient Universities were in grave doubt as to the king's intention, and Oxford, therefore, in order to secure the aid of such a powerful nobleman in the cause of the Protestant faith, elected him Chancellor. He had been a student at Christ Church, and the honour was, therefore, a fit one.

James went to work cautiously to win over the young duke to his new policy. He gave him the Garter, and hinted at even greater honours in store for one who by his birth became entitled to nearly everything that life had to offer. The question of religion, however, caused a breach between James and the duke, and William's invasion of England brought Ormonde to his side.

Ormonde's adhesion undoubtedly had the effect of bringing over to the new monarch a great many persons in Ireland who had acted previously like sheep without a shepherd. All that the dethroned king could do was to declare Ormonde's estates forfeited and his person guilty of high treason. But the acts of a fallen king are merely futilities, and the Duke of Ormonde was able to witness the triumph at Boyne and know that William's success meant his own. The duke's principal task in the war was to secure Dublin for the king, and he accomplished this without much difficulty, thanks to the weakness and mistake of his opponents rather than to his own skill. Later he entertained William at his ancestral home, Kilkenny Castle, in celebration of the royal successes.

{126}

The accession of Queen Anne, second daughter of James II., did not affect Ormonde's high position in the State. He had stood by the bedside of William, and he was one of those who settled the difficult question of the succession. Queen Anne must have guessed that Ormonde at heart wished for the success of the Jacobean cause, and it was during her reign that he was successively Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland and Captain-General of the Forces in England.

In 1703 Ormonde entered upon his first term of office as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and, of course, the Protestant party welcomed him joyfully. Parliament met, and subserviently voted him a subsidy, conscious of favours to come. But the viceroy did not fulfil their hopes. Ormonde was not the man to stoop to persecution and fraud, and, being only a layman, he could not see that religion covered a multitude of sins. His Parliament grew unruly, and from asking for favours began to demand them. This was too much for the grandson of the great duke, and so he dissolved the assembly, as his powers entitled him to do, and continued to rule, preferring, no doubt, the private criticisms of Jonathan Swift, who was in his favour, rather than submit to the arrogance of a minority as unscrupulous as it was intolerant.

Swift was at this time beginning to make himself known in those high circles which soon began to fear him. Ormonde liked the somewhat eccentric clergyman, while the duchess and her daughters were delighted with his witty conversation {127} and his powers of repartee. Swift, however, was restlessly ambitious, and he was continually journeying to London, returning each time more disappointed and more ambitious.

Court intrigues

It was one of the most peculiar periods in the history of England. The daughter of James II. was on the throne, and it was the generally accepted national policy that she should be the last of her family and race to wear the crown. There were a dozen parties in the State, and the poor queen had to suffer herself to be buffeted by the numerous leaders, who plotted without principle, and were religious without having any religion. Marlborough, Godolphin, Somers, and half a dozen others buzzed round the queen. Ladies of high estate joined in the numerous intrigues, and every party had its literary hacks and hangers-on who wrote to order, and hoped to fatten on the carcass of the State when their particular masters had triumphed. It was the Golden Age of the wirepullers.

Ormonde's position in Dublin was at once safe and tantalizing. The government was entirely in his hands, and he could do what he liked; but the knowledge that the plotters in London might precipitate a revolution or ruin the country made Ormonde—an ambitious man himself—long to be free to take his own part in the underground fight. The triumph of his opponents in 1707 naturally relieved him of his office, and it was not until the end of 1710 that his party returned, and the queen reappointed him.

Meanwhile Thomas Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, {128} and Thomas, Earl of Wharton, ran their brief careers in the viceregal court. Ormonde's second term lasted a little over two years, but his recall also brought with it the higher post of Captain-General of the Forces and the sweet satisfaction of seeing the Marlborough party in disfavour. No doubt, if it had been possible, Ormonde would have used his great position to insure the Jacobean succession, but he knew that public opinion was unanimous in its detestation of the Stuarts, and that Jacobinism was merely a harmless political theory to be debated by students and ignored by statesmen. Bowing to the inevitable, Ormonde signed the proclamation announcing the death of Anne and the accession of George I. But he could not conceal his dislike of the Hanoverian monarch, and he made his house at Richmond a meeting-place for those who desired the return of the Stuarts.

The remainder of his life is a record of disappointment. There was no chance of his cause succeeding, and without even a blow he fled from England and spent the last thirty years of his life in exile, visiting England but once, and experiencing the humiliating poverty of the harmless plotter, the recipient of pity when he expected hero-worship, and, worse than that, regarded generally as a hopeless crank. His estates were declared forfeited and vested in the Crown; but in 1721 the exile's brother, Lord Arran, was allowed by Parliament to purchase them. Thirty years after his flight Ormonde died, the year of his death—1745—marking the last attempt of the {129} Jacobites to regain the throne of England. He outlived his glory, and those who met him during the last few years of his life could see nothing but a querulous old man who boasted of exploits forgotten if not altogether discredited; but he had been great once, and so merited their pity, and pity is all the fallen greatness earns in obscurity.

Lord Pembroke and Swift

The Earl of Pembroke remained in Ireland less than a couple of years, playing at governing, and amused by Swift. The post of Lord High Admiral was more to his liking, and he gladly resigned the viceroyalty to take it up. Swift acted as chaplain to Pembroke, but his principal duty appears to have been that of amusing the earl with humorous doggerel or by his caustic criticisms of Dublin's leading citizens, official and otherwise. The punning correspondence with the viceroy was the forerunner of a habit that lasted through Swift's life, and gained him a reputation for wit which, fortunately for the dean, was supplemented by something more recondite. During several viceroyalties he exercised considerable influence, and although Swift hotly repudiated the title of Irishman, at times he rendered some service to the country in which he was born. The Earl of Wharton was sixty when appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland on November 25, 1708, and there were forty years of profligacy behind him. He was an atheist, unscrupulous, licentious, witty, contemptuous, and absolutely without fear. From the first he had been an opponent of James II., and the invitation to William was suggested by {130} Wharton. To send this man to Ireland to settle the religious question and maintain the supremacy of the Protestant party was a matchless piece of irony; but Wharton, who could insist upon an elaborate ritual of household prayers in his own home, undertook the task, undeterred by the sneers of his opponents, the amazement of his friends, and the bitter invective of that disappointed office-seeker, Jonathan Swift.

Lord Wharton

Lord Wharton

Wharton had done considerable service to the cause of William by the writing of a single song that proved to be worth an army to the Orange party. Like most of the English nobility, Wharton had been vastly amused by Tyrconnel's elevation to the viceroyalty. In his opinion the position was one for a gentleman, and not a bully with Irish leanings and unrepentantly Catholic. The famous song, set to music by Purcell, and known as 'Lilli Burlero, Bullen-a-la,' was the result, and, whistled and sung from one end of the country to the other, it ridiculed Tyrconnel out of existence. That was Wharton's first contribution to the history of Ireland.

His second took the form of a law declaring that all property held by Catholics must be inherited by their Protestant heirs—a statute which was declared to do more towards stamping out Popery in three months than all others had done in three years. The viceroy, however, took no pains to please anybody but himself. He lived in Dublin as he lived in London, and, when satiated with the pleasures of the Irish metropolis, he crossed over to London, following the example of his {131} predecessors, who never became too fond of Dublin to prefer it to London.

Wharton's first wife, Ann Lee, brought him a large fortune and a plain face; his second, Lucy Loftus, was heavily dowered, but her character almost matched his own—and that is saying a great deal. During his viceroyalty most of the royalty was absent, and Dublin Castle became a glorified tavern and brothel. The viceroy's discarded mistresses were married to distressed profligates, whom Wharton promoted to office in the State or gave preferment in the Church. Once he recommended a boon companion for a bishopric, declaring that 'James was the most honourable man alive, and possessed of a character practically faultless save for his damnable morals.' This person did not secure the bishopric, but he found compensation in a deanery.

Joseph Addison

The only sober member of the viceroy's retinue was Joseph Addison, whose hackwork in the service of the party had been rewarded with this appointment, much to Swift's envy, for the Irishman was supposed to be entitled to payment before Addison, who served with zeal 'the profligate son of a Puritanical father, and the father of a son more licentious than himself.' When the Lord-Lieutenant left Ireland the Parliament actually thanked the queen for having sent 'one so great in wisdom and experience to be our chief Governor.' This was the man who had knighted potmen who served him with ale, tried to idealize the most abandoned women, and regarded with complacency the amours of his wife, who, having {132} lost the affections of her husband, found consolation in a dozen other men. Cardsharpers, profligates, and every species of base adventurer had the entrée to Dublin Castle, where the viceroy reigned as a 'prince of good fellows,' many of whom had been kicked out of decent society in London. But Wharton was powerful enough to be more than unconventional, and it suited his peculiar sense of humour to shock even his most licentious companions-in-arms. When they roamed Dublin at night seeking for prey, Wharton behaved like a drunken madman, and he fondly imagined that his identity was not discovered, except when, in an intoxicated mood, he called for a sword and bestowed knighthoods indiscriminately on waiters and landlords, and even went through the farce of knighting women of the street. His motto was never to give a challenge and never to refuse one. When in his teens he had fought two duels with outraged husbands, and gained the victory in each encounter.

His viceroyalty was certainly unconventional. Dignified prelates, hovering in draughty rooms and corridors, were twitted mercilessly by my Lord Wharton, who was the most contemptuous enemy the Protestant faith ever knew. Once he declared that he hated all religions, but if he had to join one he would select the Presbyterian, because it was opposed to the Church of England. Swift's famous attack on him merely created a temporary annoyance in the English nobleman.

It was no misfortune for Ireland that the fall of the Government entailed Wharton's recall in {133} October, 1710, and the Duke of Ormonde's reappointment was at once announced. Wharton, cynical and contemptuous, looked upon his supersession with indifference. He had exhausted all the pleasures Dublin had to offer, and so London knew him once more. He lived until 1715, and saw King George on the throne and his rival, Ormonde, a penniless fugitive. The latter fact must have enabled him to believe that there were compensations in this world even for a man who defied it. There is a story told of him which aptly illustrates his cynical sense of humour. When the famous 'twelve peers' were created by Queen Anne in order that the Government might carry a certain measure in the House of Lords, Wharton nicknamed them 'the jury,' and, rising in his place in the House of Lords, inquired blandly whether the twelve voted singly or through their foreman. He was nearing the close of his life when a marquisate was conferred on him, and he maintained his influence on public affairs right to the end.

The Duke of Shrewsbury

The second viceroyalty of Ormonde having terminated, Queen Anne selected Charles Talbot, twelfth Earl and only Duke of Shrewsbury, to succeed him in 1713. It was the queen's last important appointment, and Shrewsbury carried on the Government from 1713 to 1717, spending more time in England than in Ireland, and contenting himself by staying at Dublin Castle whenever the Irish Parliament was in session. He was an interesting person in many ways. Named after Charles II. because he was the first {134} of that king's godchildren—being born in the year of the Restoration—he passed his childhood amid Catholic influences. His mother carried on an intrigue with the Duke of Buckingham which resulted in her husband's death. According to a contemporary, Lady Shrewsbury, disguised as a page, held Buckingham's horse whilst he killed her husband in the duel that followed the discovery of her infidelity.

In 1699 Shrewsbury, who had formed one of the seven who invited William to come to England, was offered the viceroyalty, but declined it, as well as half a dozen alternative proposals made to him. He was tired of politics, and for three years—1700-02—he lived in Rome, and then travelled about the Continent. He brought back with him an Italian wife, a lady whose jealousy, ambition, and unscrupulousness shortened his life. Shrewsbury was not ambitious, but his wife was, and it is supposed that she induced him to accept the viceroyalty so that she might play at being a queen amid the indifferent and unorganized state of Dublin society. Swift, who met him very often, described him as 'the finest gentleman we have'; and William referred to him more than once as 'the King of Hearts.' Lady Shrewsbury insisted upon his keeping his Irish appointment, and, bullied by her, he did, although he neither loved nor respected her. In London the Italian sought to place herself at the head of society as the wife of His Majesty's representative, but failed decisively. Her husband became the butt of the wits; he was mercilessly ridiculed, and even the {135} gift of the office of Lord Chamberlain, to enable him to retire from the viceroyalty, could not help him to regain his prestige. He died in 1718, and all England ascribed his premature death to his wife.

Draining the Irish exchequer

Charles Paulet, Duke of Bolton and Marquis of Winchester, accepted the vacancy, and came to Dublin in 1719 to open the Irish Parliament. This was two years after his appointment, but it was not necessary in those days for the viceroy to govern in person. He had his share of the profits of the office remitted to him in London. These consisted of the official salary and such annual sums as were due to him by persons whom he either continued in office or appointed. It is related of Lord Wharton that, despite his wealth, he insisted upon all persons nominated by him paying a commission on their salaries, and in one particular instance he agreed with a certain lawyer to make him Lord Justice at a salary of £40 a month, the latter agreeing to hand over the balance of the official allowance of £100 per month to the viceroy. Ireland was regarded as a sort of till to be robbed by viceroys and their friends. For many years it had been the practice to include the heavy expenses of the numerous mistresses of royalty in the accounts of the Government of Ireland; but most of the money came from London. Yet Ireland got the reputation of being costly and useless, while every monarch and every English statesman continued to rob the Irish Exchequer and the people. They drained the country without troubling to insure its stability and prosperity; active attempts were {136} made and succeeded in injuring Irish industries, and the greatest sufferers were the descendants of the English settlers. By now there was no 'English colony' to uphold the viceroy's rights or wrongs, and to every Englishman a resident in Ireland was 'savage and Irish.' Dean Swift, who spent a lifetime endeavouring to disprove the—to him—terrible accusation of being Irish, was moved to declare that the Anglo-Irish families spoke the best English, and were the most civilized persons under the dominion of the English Crown. It is amusing to read his letter to Pope (July 13, 1737), in which he scornfully protests against the confusion existing in English minds concerning the 'savage old Irish' and the 'English gentry in Ireland.' Five years before this he declared to Sir Charles Wigan that the peasantry were distinguished by 'a better natural taste for good sense, humour, and raillery than ever I observed among people of the like sort in England.' Swift's attack on the English administration of Ireland was, however, not intended for the benefit of the country as a whole. He represented the 'English in Ireland,' and was fond of describing them as 'English colonists.' Whigs and Tories alike used the unfortunate country for selfish reasons, and Irish trade was ruined to appease English voters or to guard the vested interests of great noblemen. There was no purely Irish party to attack the abuses of the administration in Dublin; the leading men were placated with office, or else had to join in the scramble for emoluments, for fear that they should be left out in the cold. {137} The Protestant Church was in the ascendancy; the Catholic hierarchy looked on complacently, leaving it to the priests to show that the Catholic religion was not altogether selfish and political. Swift himself was a typical clergyman of the Established Church, irreligious, scornful of his trust, and seeking preferment in the Church because it was the only way to power for a man of humble birth in those days.

Irish society

Dublin Castle seldom housed the viceroy, the administration being left to one or more Lords Justices who escaped criticism, provided their remittances to the absent Lord-Lieutenant were regular and satisfactory in amount. Dublin society was scarcely half formed, and consisted of beggarly exiles from England, compelled to emigrate by reason of their debts and misdeeds, the friends and relatives of the Lords Justices, obscure army officers and their kind, and a few of the wealthier citizens who could not be ignored. Those with English names affected to despise those with Irish; it was considered sheer savagery not to speak well of the Government, for the viceroy and his lady set the fashions, and not to follow them was to court ignominy and insult.

It is said that the Duke of Bolton accepted the viceroyalty out of curiosity and on the condition that the Government paid the expenses of his journey to Dublin to see the Irish. Charles Spencer, Earl of Sunderland, and Lord Townshend had allowed themselves in 1714 and 1716 respectively to accept the post, but neither nobleman troubled to visit Ireland; and the Duke of {138} Bolton was regarded with a certain amount of admiration for his pluck and fortitude in surrendering the delights of London for the uncivilization of Dublin. Charles Fitzroy, Duke of Grafton, a descendant of Charles II., became Lord-Lieutenant in 1721, and tasted some of the sweets of sovereignty as the representative of the king, whose occupancy of the throne meant the extinction of the Stuarts.

Grafton came to Ireland with no intention of overworking himself in the service of the State, and he was, therefore, disagreeably surprised when he found himself in the midst of a political turmoil. Dean Swift's satire was stinging everybody, irrespective of position or class. Roused by him, the people were actually protesting against the newest form of English tyranny, and they even dared to scream insults at the gilded fop as he drove about the city. It was the irony of fate that all the trouble should be caused by the king's fondness for his mistress. Grafton, however, was averse to facing a crisis; he was better in London—far from the maddening Irish—and when Grafton retired with alacrity in 1723, the Government decided to send John, Lord Carteret, to carry out their policy. The descendant of Charles II. was not eager to battle for the vindication of a policy arising out of the turgid German morals of the oddest figure that ever sat on the throne of England. King George's failing was that he possessed appetite without appreciation; he wanted the best, and yet never recognized it when he had it.




{139}

CHAPTER IX

Lord Carteret was only thirty-four when, on April 3, 1724, he was declared Viceroy of Ireland. The appointment was Walpole's, whose accession to power presented him with the opportunity of sending Carteret to quell the disturbance in Ireland which he himself—the new viceroy—had encouraged secretly while occupying a private position in the State. Carteret, however, did not flinch, nor did he exhibit any distaste for the task. It was not necessary to treat the Irish as human beings, and he knew that if he propitiated the Anglo-Irish he would gain his own way in everything.

The origin of the trouble and turmoil was the grant of a patent to the Duchess of Kendal, the king's mistress, for the coining of halfpence in Ireland. The duchess already drew £3,000 a year from the Irish Exchequer, but her avarice was aroused by stories of how easily the Irish were plundered, and she persuaded the king to give her the famous patent. She passed it on to Wood, who paid her £10,000, and agreed to remit to the State £1,000 a year for fourteen years. The coinage was not base, but it meant that a profit of £40,000 was to pass into the pockets of the {140} king's mistress and William Wood; they were to rob rich and poor alike, and the State was to lose heavily. The grant was made without consulting the Irish Parliament or the Irish Privy Council.

Swift, who had been waiting for this opportunity, seized it with avidity, and the 'Drapier's Letters' was the result. Wood's halfpence was characteristic of English misrule of Ireland, and, roused to frenzy by the dean's pamphlets, the country unanimously obeyed his call to ignore the latest coins, and always to refuse to recognize their legality. The dean's extravagant fancy found full scope in the 'Drapier's Letters'; the pamphlets were sold in their tens of thousands, and Walpole's determination was outmatched by the fury of the Irish not to allow themselves to be swindled to provide for the expenses of the German's mistress.

The new viceroy landed in Ireland in the month that witnessed the publication of the fourth 'Letter,' and his first act was to offer a reward of £300 for the discovery of the writer. Swift's anonymity was too safe, however, and the Lord-Lieutenant had to be satisfied with the arrest of the printer, Harding. When the dean heard of this, he bearded Carteret in Dublin Castle, and reproached him in singularly straightforward language with cowardice and weakness in persecuting a tradesman. The viceroy took the verbal buffeting in good part, for Swift and he were old friends; but Harding was put to all the worry and expense of a prosecution at the hands of a {141} partisan Chief Justice—Whitshed—though the grand jury eventually threw out the bill against him, and he was discharged.

Swift's victory

The cancellation of the patent has been described as a victory for Swift and Ireland, but all that can be said truthfully is that it enabled the dean to claim a personal triumph, while the county actually lost by the agreement. For the surrender of his rights Wood was paid £3,000 a year for eight years, a sum—£24,000—at least equal to the profits he would have made had he been allowed to carry out the terms of his patent without opposition. The principal cause of the surrender to popular opinion was, undoubtedly, the indifference of Carteret to the policy he had been sent to carry out. He was no enthusiastic admirer of Walpole's statesmanship, and he knew very well that Irish affairs were considered of no importance whatever in England, and that if he went to the trouble and worry of defeating the malcontents he would get no credit in London, and make himself and his presence in Dublin unpopular. He was, therefore, only too willing to flatter public opinion by pretending to bow to it.

Lord Carteret

Lord Carteret

Carteret was a scholar and a gentleman, who did much to popularize the Latin quotation as a substitute for logic. The statesmen of the period, whenever they were puzzled in English, immediately had recourse to the safe obscurity of a Latin or Greek epigram. It was polished, abstruse, and impressive. This mannerism gained for him the reputation of an orator—even the best of his generation—and Lord Chatham has placed on {142} record his appreciation of Carteret: 'Whatever I am I owe to him.'

The viceroy did not create any precedent by remaining very long in Dublin Castle. It was an unwritten law that only during the actual sitting of Parliament was the Lord-Lieutenant's presence considered necessary, and Carteret took full advantage of his opportunities to spend at leisure in London the money he drew so readily from Ireland. Had it not been for Swift, he might not have stayed in Dublin half as long as he actually did. The dean was the paramount power in Dublin society, although he complained that he was not popular among his equals. The crowd, however, worshipped him; he was the national hero. All this was pleasing and yet displeasing to the dean, whose soul languished for the smiles of the great. He disliked a popularity that entailed the sneers of the educated, but he was not the man to abjure the applause of the mob. Carteret kept friendly with Swift, and never denied him anything. When this became known, Swift's house was the meeting-place of all the office-seekers in Ireland, and some even came from England. Swift had only to recommend a cleric to the viceroy's attention and the man's preferment was certain.

One of Swift's recommendations was in favour of Sheridan, the grandfather of the celebrated dramatist and orator. Carteret good-naturedly presented Sheridan with a living, and made him one of his chaplains; but the ex-schoolmaster, on the anniversary of the accession of the Hanoverian {143} family, preached a sermon from the text, 'Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.' It was a pure accident, but Sheridan was accused of Jacobinism, and he was removed from his chaplaincy. For the remainder of his life he was one of Swift's satellites, at the mercy of his generosity and his satire. Sheridan records a story which illustrates very vividly the popularity of the famous Dean of St. Patrick's. A large crowd assembled to witness an eclipse. Swift sent out the bellman to cry out to all and sundry that the eclipse had been postponed by the dean's orders, and the crowd quietly dispersed!

Carteret summed up his administration in words that have become historic. 'When people asked me how I governed Ireland,' he remarked, 'I say that I pleased Dr. Swift.' Carteret's egotism and selfishness were diluted by a sense of humour that enabled him to tolerate Swift, his unofficial jester.

Lord Carteret retires

The Lord-Lieutenant was reappointed in 1727, when George II. ascended the throne and the Hanoverian succession assured; but his last appearance in Dublin was in 1729, and his successor did not arrive until two years later. In 1728 the new Parliament building was erected on the site of Chichester House. From all accounts, Carteret was a success. It was no disadvantage to him that he was a heavy drinker—had more viceroys taken to drink, Ireland might have escaped some of the consequences of their greater follies—and without imitating the example of Wharton, he was broad-minded enough to see no {144} harm in the lax condition of Dublin society, which was then following the lead set by London. It is no exaggeration to ascribe Carteret's lack of failure to his cynical indifference to Irish affairs; he quite believed that Ireland was a nuisance, but a nuisance that had to be endured. The so-called Parliament must have ministered to his sense of humour. Its English prototype was bad enough, but to call the collection of retained nincompoops and Castle hacks a Parliament was to degrade the word to the lowest depths. Ireland never had a Parliament, unless the generous historian grants that title to Grattan's. In Carteret's time the 'Parliament' no more represented Ireland than it did the land of the Chaldeans.

The successor to the late viceroy was Lionel Sackville, Duke of Dorset—a courtier whose ambition it had been for years to represent the king in Ireland. It is significant of the progress Ireland, and especially Dublin, was making that a great English nobleman such as Dorset was should exert all his influence to secure the reversion of Carteret's post. Not many years previously an Englishman of position would have accepted the viceroyalty under compulsion only.

Four great noblemen

Sackville resigned the post of Lord Steward to go to Ireland, and he arrived to open the Parliament of 1731, staying until the early part of the following year. He visited the country again in 1733 and 1735, in accordance with the custom that rendered it imperative for the viceroy to preside at the opening of Parliament. Beyond {145} that his duties did not extend, and Dorset found the viceroyalty greatly to his liking. He drew a large salary, executed several profitable deals in the shape of sales of offices, and took the money with him to England. 'Uneventful' best describes his term of power, but to a man of his disposition it was all he desired. When, therefore, in the latter part of 1736, he was informed that he was to be replaced by William Cavendish, third Duke of Devonshire, he hotly resented his supersession, but could not prevail against the ministry, which placated him with the post of Lord President of the Council. But his experience of Ireland had been too congenial to make him satisfied with his position in London. The loss of the great revenues, the sudden change from an almost regal position to one of mediocrity in a society where he had few equals and many superiors, and the ridiculous ease whereby the 'work' of his administration was accomplished, kept Dorset dissatisfied until his reappointment to Ireland in December, 1750.

Meanwhile, however, three other viceroys played their parts in making the history of Ireland. These were William Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire (1737-44), Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield (1745), and William Stanhope, Earl of Harrington (1746-51).

Of these, it is obvious that the Earl of Chesterfield was the most remarkable. The name of Devonshire suggests a yawn, and the third duke was characteristic of it. His viceroyalty was more apparent than real, and seems to have been {146} conducted on the principle that Ireland and Irish affairs were a bore, the journeys to Dublin intolerable, and the Irish Parliament 'impossible.' The duke, however, clung to the office until 1744, content to leave administration to the Lords Justices, and pocketing the salary readily—the only point of unanimity amongst the holders of the office in the eighteenth century.

Lord Chesterfield

The great Earl of Chesterfield was Viceroy of Ireland for eight months only, and his life, therefore, belongs to the history of his native country; but he left his mark on Dublin, and in a few months accomplished more to raise the name of Englishman there than the seven years of Devonshire and the eight of Dorset. It is unnecessary to recapitulate all the main facts of Chesterfield's life, while, as his 'Letters' do not concern Irish affairs, they are no part of this history. At the time of his appointment to the viceroyalty in 1745 he had just passed his fiftieth year, and had left behind him many full years. Before he was twenty-one he was a member of Parliament, and by the time he succeeded to the peerage in 1726 he had gained much of that renowned knowledge of the world which provided the inspiration of the famous 'Letters.' Chesterfield appears to have had a passion for the unconventional, but he carried it to such an extent, and so successfully, that it almost became conventional. Brought up in the society of the Prince of Wales, afterwards George II., he discovered in maturity that it is not wise to put faith in princes. Chesterfield was the prince's henchman in all his escapades, {147} and when Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk, became the prince's mistress, Chesterfield was the chosen friend of both. This meant, of course, that the princess, better known as Queen Caroline, exerted all her influence to bring about an estrangement between her husband and the earl, and she succeeded, as she always was certain to do.

Chesterfield, however, was too powerful a man for even the King of England to ruin, and although George II., after the inevitable quarrel, sought to keep the earl out of public life, he had to agree to his nomination to the embassy at the Hague. He was very popular there, but his sojourn in Holland, while it is remembered by the Dutch by reason of the fortune Stanhope lost at cards, is only famous because it was at the Hague that the English Ambassador made the acquaintance of Madamoiselle du Bouchet. To the son that was born to them Chesterfield addressed his 'Letters.' Returning to England impecunious but as debonair as ever, Stanhope, nevertheless, realized that it was imperative that he should marry money. The heiress of the day was Petronilla Melusina von der Schulenburg, the natural daughter of George I. by the notorious Duchess of Kendal, the heroine of Wood's halfpence. Petronilla, who was Countess of Walsingham in her own right, was not exactly a beauty, but she possessed a fortune of £50,000, and in addition an annuity of £3,000 payable out of the Irish treasury. At the time of her father's death in 1727, the countess was thirty-four and unmarried. The king had kept her guarded jealously, and {148} George II., mindful of the fact that if Lady Walsingham married, her husband might make awkward inquiries about her estate, continued the policy of his father. Chesterfield, however, was not averse to offending George II. There had been a great coolness between them, and the earl must have realized that Queen Caroline would make it utterly impossible for them to renew the friendship of early days. He therefore courted the countess, who was his senior by a year, and the reputed wittiest and handsomest man of his time had little difficulty in capturing the hand and fortune of the illegitimate daughter of his king's father. They were married in 1733, unknown to King George, and when the inevitable discovery came, the king, though passionately angry, could do nothing beyond uttering threats. The marriage was entirely one of convenience—Chesterfield wanted money; the countess required a deliverer from the thraldom of the court. Cynically indifferent to the opinions of the world, they lived in separate houses, but tried to humour Mrs. Grundy—who was born the day the serpent entered Eden—by taking houses next door to one another!

His monetary affairs freed from embarrassment, Chesterfield entered once more into the life of the town, careless of the king's anger, oblivious of the queen's spite. When he had looked into his wife's affairs he sent George a bill for £40,000, due to her from the royal estate, and on the monarch ignoring the hint, the earl promptly began an action in the Courts for the recovery of the money. {149} The king eventually compromised by paying £20,000.

A political legacy

Even in the eighteenth century it was sometimes distinguished to act with the minority, and Chesterfield adopted the now favourite modern pose of championing the weak. He railed at the Government, wrote pamphlets against it, hired men of letters to aid him, and quickly became the leader of that ever-present body of men and women who are dissatisfied, and yet know not what they want. He patronized Johnson and Pope and many others, the majority completely forgotten, and chiefly with their help and his own ready tongue attained the distinction of being the most sought-after man in London society. Whatever Chesterfield did for pleasure, generally brought him gain, and it is only one of the many lucky incidents of his life that the Dowager Duchess of Marlborough should have left him £20,000 as a token of her approval of his opposition to the Government. The legacy came in 1744, and at a time when Chesterfield's affairs were once more badly situated.

The Earl of Chesterfield's character and life have been the subject of innumerable essays, but one incident forcibly illustrates the real weakness of the man who could afford to view with equanimity the bitter antagonism of his king and queen, and the animosity of the most powerful ministers of the day, and yet confess himself mortally wounded by a jest against him. Like most great wits, Chesterfield had no sense of humour, and his witticisms were merely props {150} on which his general pose rested. One day he happened to be standing in the hall of a coffee-house club in St. James's Street, when he overheard George Selwyn remark to an acquaintance, 'Here comes Joe Miller.' This was too much for Chesterfield, and he struck his name off the club at once.

The Earl of Chesterfield

The Earl of Chesterfield

His appointment to the viceroyalty in 1745 was in the nature of a gift from the Government to the most dangerous dilettante of the day. The king, however, point-blank refused to sign the commission, and there were several stormy interviews between the king and his ministers before the former succumbed and declared 'his loving cousin and counsellor' Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. In Dublin the announcement of Chesterfield's coming roused the greatest enthusiasm. His wit, his manners, his wealth, his influence and his handsome appearance were all eagerly discussed. Dublin society, anxious to learn from the leader of society, welcomed him with open arms, and so the man who had been instructed that the Papists were dangerous and likely to become rebellious was able to write to London and glibly inform the Government that there was only one dangerous Papist in Ireland, and her name was Eleanor Ambrose, the daughter of a Dublin brewer, and the reigning beauty.

The beginnings of Chesterfield's viceroyalty gave every promise of a brilliant and long reign at Dublin Castle. He entertained freely and lavishly, and exhibited no scruples of refinement at meeting unofficially wealthy tradespeople or {151} successful lawyers. The women, of course, loved him. His reputation as the philosopher of everything that was delightfully wicked and depraved fascinated them, and Chesterfield maintained the pose with ease. There was no one in Dublin to call him Joe Miller, or to sneer at the somewhat second-hand, if not second-rate, wit that flowed from his tongue and pen.

In his serious moments he declared that the foe of Ireland was not Popery, but poverty, and he expressed his amazement that the Irish should be content to live in a condition worse than the negro slaves. He was viceroy for a very short time, but he gave one gift to Dublin—Phoenix Park, for it was Lord Chesterfield who planted that renowned demesne.

The viceroy was essentially a man of the world, but he did not relax the strict etiquette of the viceregal court. The wives of doctors and lawyers were not allowed within the precincts of the Castle, and great care was taken to limit the entrée to the nobility and gentry. The good-natured Lady Chesterfield, during her occasional appearances in Dublin, gained a sort of popularity, more pronounced among the trading classes, whom she benefited by giving splendid balls at Dublin Castle, at which only costumes of Irish manufacture were worn. It was something towards the debt she owed the Irish treasury.

She viewed her husband's amours with patience, and the fat and ugly old woman even encouraged them.

Chesterfield and Miss Ambrose

To Eleanor Ambrose he paid great attention, {152} carrying on an elaborate flirtation, with all Dublin as the audience. Miss Ambrose, whose reign preceded that of the Gunnings, played her part well, and the brewer's daughter became the centre, if not the leader, of Dublin society. Chesterfield wrote her verses and letters, and at Dublin Castle balls he always flattered her by his personal attentions. Miss Ambrose, who subsequently became Lady Palmer, never forgot her brief acquaintance with Lord Chesterfield, and ever afterwards his portrait adorned her house. When in the second decade of the nineteenth century Lady Palmer died at her lodgings in Henry Street, Dublin, Chesterfield's portrait hung in the most conspicuous place in her room. She was then within two years of a hundred in age.

On April 23, 1746, Chesterfield departed from Ireland, having secured leave of absence, and although he promised to return, illness stepped in, and it was deemed advisable that the earl should not be exposed to the damp climate of Ireland. The king was only too pleased to nominate Chesterfield's half-brother, William Stanhope, Earl of Harrington, to the viceroyalty, and even permit the ex-viceroy to become Secretary of State for the northern provinces.

Earl of Harrington

Earl of Harrington

The spirit of nationalism

The selection of Lord Harrington was received with great disfavour in Dublin, where the formation of a national or patriotic party was almost an accomplished fact. Harrington had the misfortune to be viceroy when Charles Lucas was beginning his great campaign against the corruption {153} that existed in official circles in Dublin. Lucas, doctor and enthusiast, was a remarkable man. He was the creator of the idea that Ireland was a nation, and not the happy hunting-ground of Englishmen in search of pensions for themselves and their mistresses. He attacked the Dublin Corporation and all official Ireland, and, of course, the bureaucracy roused itself and crushed him for a time. Harrington, the viceroy, took a leading part in the persecution of Lucas, and succeeded in driving him from the country. Lucas did not return until 1761, but his fearless exposure of corrupt officialdom had its full effects during Harrington's tenure of office. It did more than this, for it aroused the latent intelligence of the masses, who began to think for themselves. They saw the best paid positions in the country monopolized by Englishmen—in many cases the office-holders were illiterate—and they realized the monstrous injustice of the custom that permitted the farming out of remunerative situations under the Government. Parliament had to move in the matter, and for the first time in the history of Ireland and England the viceroy and his Council had to be careful, when making or selling fresh appointments, not to do it too openly. Once Harrington was mobbed in the streets of Dublin because he was supposed to be in favour of the abolition of the Irish Parliament—the latter consisting of a body of men bought body and soul by the English Government, though in some cases the price had not been paid. These raised a protest against the exportation of salaries to {154} England for the use of men whose deputies did the work for starvation wages in Dublin.

The viceroy fought with all the tenacity of the fanatic for the retention of the privileges of his class. The new tone of the Irish Parliament amazed, but did not frighten him; he ascribed their rebellion to a desire to play to the gallery, but when he discovered to his cost that even the beggars and the blackguards of the city howled their execrations after him in the street, he became aware of the painful fact that the viceroy was no longer a law unto himself.

Lord Chesterfield had described the Irish Parliament in very severe terms. 'The House of Lords is a hospital for incurables,' he wrote, 'but the Commons can hardly be described. Session after session presents one unvaried waste of provincial imbecility.'

That this opinion was not the outcome of his English birth and training he proved by his impartial judgments on other classes of Irishmen.

'We have more clever men here in a nutshell,' he wrote from Dublin to a friend in London, 'than can be produced in the whole circle of London.'

Lord Harrington's opinion of the Irish Parliament was even more contemptuous than his brother's, and he affected at all times a sneering attitude towards the members of both houses.

The Gunning sisters

The reigning beauties of his viceroyalty were the Gunning sisters. During Lord Chesterfield's term they had lingered in squalid poverty in an unfashionable part of Dublin, but being old enough to attend the viceregal functions of 1748, {155} they overcame the disadvantage of poverty by accepting from Sheridan, the theatrical manager, the loan of the dresses they subsequently appeared in at the great ball given by the viceroy in honour of the birthday of George II., October 30, 1748. Lady Caroline Petersham, the viceroy's daughter-in-law, who acted as hostess for him, was greatly struck by the appearance of the Gunnings, and to her interest and that of Lord Harrington was due the first success of the family. The viceroy settled a pension of £150 per annum on the girls' mother, and when they became Duchess of Hamilton and Countess of Coventry, they never forgot the generosity of their first patron. The subsequent fame of the sisters was such that when, in 1755, they paid a visit to Dublin, the viceroy, Lord Harrington, held a levée in their honour.

Throughout his residence in Ireland, Harrington continued to fight, and used every weapon, fair or foul, at his disposal. Lucas, driven from Ireland, was somewhere on the Continent, and several Irish members had been removed from the House by bribery and other methods. Still, there was no suffocating the voice of the people, and in the last month of 1750 Lionel Sackville, Duke of Dorset, was given his second chance as Viceroy of Ireland. Harrington did not know whether to be pleased or not at his removal. He was anxious to rest from the struggle of Irish politics, for he was not the man to create new measures or understand the sentiments of a new order of things, but he was eager to beat the Irish, and to teach them the strength of his authority. Dublin, however, was {156} in no two minds about its attitude towards the departing viceroy. From the moment that the citizens knew of his recall, they lighted bonfires to celebrate it, and held public meetings under the walls of Dublin Castle, in the course of which the speakers publicly thanked God for having relieved Dublin of the plaguy presence of Harrington. An attempt was made to secure a peaceful and unostentatious exit from the country, but the people would not be denied, and at a hundred points along the route of his departure the ex-viceroy witnessed the humiliating sight of bonfires and speakers alike proclaiming their joy at his departure.

It was, indeed, in remarkable contrast to Lord Chesterfield's brief and brilliant reign.

Peg Woffington

The Dublin of Dorset's time was squalid, dirty, and disease-ridden. The gentry were drinking themselves into penury; the city was crowded with young bloods, who gambled, and drank, and called out each other to give satisfaction on the famous duelling-ground of Phoenix Park. Clubs of all sorts abounded, and were in reality drinking dens. The most famous of all, Daly's, was the headquarters of most of the notorious gamblers and debauchées of the metropolis. Five theatres ministered to the pleasures of the Court and people, and the leading actress was Peg Woffington, the mistress of the Provost of Trinity College. Peg, as we all know, was a high-spirited woman, and full of a sparkling audacity that often amounted to impertinence. On one occasion, when the Duke of Dorset was seated in the royal {157} box at the theatre, she saucily concluded a recitation with the lines:

'Let others with as small pretentions
'Tease you for places or for pensions,
I scorn a pension or a place.
My sole design upon your grace—
The sum of my petition this—
I claim, my lord, an annual kiss.'

The verses were written by Dr. Andrews, the Provost, and caused great offence in the ranks of the fashionable ladies, who cut the actress for a time. Peg Woffington, however, did not suffer to any considerable extent as a result of her pert address to the viceroy.

Virtue was not the duke's strong point. Many have been the scrapes Viceroys of Ireland have got themselves into, but the Duke of Dorset was the only one whose conduct enabled an outraged husband to divorce his wife. The lady in the case was Mrs. La Touche, who declared that love was the hereditary passion in her family. A woman who could resist nothing was easy prey to the tenant of Dublin Castle.

Dorset had secured his reappointment by lavish promises. He undertook to restore sanity to Ireland—meaning, of course, Dublin, for officialism did not recognize the provinces—and he guaranteed to bring the Irish Parliament to its senses. In the circumstances Dorset had his way, and in 1751 he re-entered Dublin. He might have succeeded in scoring a personal triumph if he had not brought his youngest son, Lord George Sackville, with him. Hitherto it had been Dorset's policy to let well alone—he did nothing particularly well, {158} and was popular on that account. Lord George Sackville, however, had neither the complacence nor the dignity of his father; he came as the viceroy's Secretary of State, his adviser, the man who saw that things were done. One of his first acts was to quarrel with the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons. This was Henry Boyle, afterwards Earl of Shannon. Boyle was an Irish Parliamentary Hampden, who jealously guarded the rights of his assembly and of the country. Harrington had left Parliament triumphant, and the House was not going to be brow-beaten by George Sackville.

The struggle with Parliament

The cause of the most important and vital dispute was a measure disposing of the surplus revenues of the country. Parliament declared that it could dispose of them without the sanction of the king; the viceroy, through his Secretary of State, declared otherwise, and when the House of Commons sent the bill for the viceroy's approval, he inserted a clause giving the king's permission to its establishment by law. The assembly ignored the clause, and proceeded to other business. Sackville and George Stone, the Primate, were furious. They saw in this act of insubordination the terrible spectacle of a free Parliament sitting day after day and publicly criticizing the privileged class—the officials. Acting under their advice, Dorset signed a warrant for the Speaker's arrest, and an attempt was made to execute it. But in order to get at the person of Boyle—who was the hero of the hour—the officers would have had to arrest half the population of Dublin. Thousands {159} of persons of all classes followed the Speaker wherever he went, forming an unofficial bodyguard that soon so impressed Sackville that the warrant was withdrawn.

Meanwhile the dispute between Parliament and the viceroy formed the subject of all sorts and conditions of rumours. Once it was reported that the king had signed a decree abolishing the Irish Parliament, and substituting for it the attendance of so many Irish members in the English Parliament. There was no foundation for the rumour, but it was not an hour old before a vast mob surrounded Dublin Castle, shouting lurid threats against the person of the viceroy. One of the most popular theatres, owned by one of the most popular men—Sheridan, the father of the famous dramatist—was wrecked because the leading comedian would not repeat some lines which seemed to be slightly veiled, satirical references to the national dispute.

Boyle was now master of the situation, the real ruler of the country. The persecution of the Government had, as it often has done before, raised a man of mediocre ability to the pedestal of genius. Sensational rumours began to reach England and astound the frequenters of the clubs and the coffee-houses. It was reported that Dorset had been murdered and Boyle elected King of Ireland, and there were visions that seemed like stern realities of the end of the English robbing of the Irish till. The ministry became alarmed, and when the Government realized that Dorset was a menace to their authority in Dublin, {160} they decided to recall him, and appoint Lord Hartington in his place. It is said that when Dorset heard of this he burst into tears, and it is, indeed, extraordinary the passion this man had for the position of Viceroy of Ireland. He wrote letters to the king, humbly praying that he might be allowed to return to the Government of Ireland as soon as order was restored, but in the long run he had to feign contentment with the minor post of Master of the Horse.




{161}

CHAPTER X

Lord Hartington was the son of that Duke of Devonshire who had been viceroy for seven years, and was only thirty-five when his commission was signed by the king. Hartington appears to have been a typical Cavendish; everybody trusted and admired him without forming too great an opinion of his abilities; but he was a safe man, and this attribute brought him the premiership in November, 1756, when he was summoned from Dublin to take the control of the ministry. Pitt, it is interesting to note, served under him during his brief premiership—it ended the following May—as Secretary of War.

In the reshuffling that followed, John Russell, fourth Duke of Bedford, was appointed to Ireland. His task was not a difficult one, because the complete surrender of the English Government was known in Dublin, and Bedford was regarded as a sort of peacemaker, prepared to accept any terms, provided he was allowed to style himself viceroy. The Lord-Lieutenant and his wife lived in Dublin Castle and entertained. Hitherto great English ladies had been content to view Dublin from a distance, and were content to spend their husbands' earnings; but the Duchess of {162} Bedford had other ideals, and she did much to smooth her husband's path to power by her tact and graciousness. She threw open Dublin Castle to everybody, and showed by her own and her husband's attention to the social side of Dublin life that their last concern was with the political. The duke announced a great programme of reform, which was to be carried out quietly. He would not favour either political party in the State—there were now two parties, English and Irish—and he endorsed cordially the recommendation of the Parliament that these Englishmen who farmed out their appointments in Dublin for less than the salaries they received should be recalled, and if they did not obey, dismissed from office.

But it was the magnificent state they maintained in Dublin that won the allegiance of Ireland. Parasites feed even on imitation Courts, and increase and multiply, while the not less important parasites—the beggars of Dublin—were fed bountifully from the remains of Dives' many tables. The duke and duchess spent more money in Ireland than they drew from it, and remembering this, no patriot, however fervid his imagination, could accuse the Lord-Lieutenant and his wife of robbing the State. When the potato crop failed in many countries, the duke started a fund for the relief of the sufferers, heading it with a large sum of money.

It was a prosperous and a successful viceroyalty from the personal point of view of the Duke of Bedford. He did not make the country any better or introduce any great social reforms, but {163} it was a relief to have a man who did not plunder the treasury to provide annuities for his poor relations, or satisfy the blackmailing propensities of his discarded mistresses. Bedford was popular, and the duchess had Dublin society behind her to a woman.

The riots of 1759, created by the ever-prevalent rumour that the Irish Parliament was to be abolished and a union between the legislatures of the two countries accomplished, did not affect the viceroy's popularity. The truth of the matter was that Ireland was not proud of its Parliament, even with the history of Henry Boyle fresh in the minds of the people. The Parliament had been just as unscrupulous as the numerous decadent and dishonest viceroys who had plundered the country, but in the eyes of the nation the Parliament and the viceroyalty were one and the same, the outward and visible sign of Ireland's importance. Society followed the lead of the viceroy with dumb obedience, and society feared that it might cease to exist if the Parliament were abolished. Those not in society were anxious to retain the Parliament because it meant prosperity of the capital. It was a question of money, and of the jealousy of the citizens of Dublin for the continued pre-eminence of their city.

The Earl of Halifax

To the regret of nearly everybody, Bedford resigned the viceroyalty in March, 1761, and George Montague Dunk, second Earl of Halifax, took over the duties and emoluments of the high office. Halifax, Nova Scotia, commemorates the name of this nobleman, who was given the title {164} of 'Father of the Colonies' for his encouragement of colonial enterprise. He was popular enough in Ireland, but he lacked the social brilliance that distinguished the previous occupants of Dublin Castle.

Lord Halifax's career was one unbroken record of personal success. Born in 1716, and educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, he affected a learning many of his contemporaries despised. But Halifax had to make his own way, for the family was poor, and only in political advancement and a fortunate marriage did the prospect of fortune lie. His marriage brought him the immense sum, for those days, of over £100,000, and in carrying off the wealthy heiress of the house of Dunk he accomplished something several rivals failed in. Halifax was impecunious and pressed by creditors when he made the acquaintance of Miss Dunk, and she was by no means loath to become Countess of Halifax. A difficulty stood in the way, however, and that was the clause in the will bequeathing her her fortune which stated that she would be disinherited if she did not marry someone engaged in commercial pursuits. For some time there seemed to be no way out of the difficulty—George Montague was not a commercial man; but at last some genius suggested that the earl should join one of the London trading companies. This he did, and won the hand of the lady, paying her the compliment of adopting the name of Dunk, and conveniently hiding it under his title. It was a marriage of convenience that developed into love on both sides, {165} and when the countess died, leaving two children, Halifax was greatly grieved.

In 1761, after thirteen years as President of the Board of Trade, he was astonished to find himself appointed Viceroy of Ireland. He had not been a candidate for the post, but he accepted it with alacrity, for by now the fortune of his late wife was almost gone, and the Board of Trade was not remunerative enough. The salary of the viceroy was £12,000 a year, and there were many perquisites.

Mary Ann Faulkner

The newcomer was at the time of his elevation under the influence of a strong-minded woman, Mary Ann Faulkner, the adopted daughter of the well-known Dublin bookseller. Halifax had found her starving in London, and, touched by a pathetic story of an early marriage and desertion by the husband, he made her the governess of his two children. This position she vacated to become his mistress, and when Halifax told her that he had been given the high office of Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, she coolly informed him that she intended to go to Dublin with him.

The woman's position in Dublin was not without its humorous side. The viceroy was under her thumb, and the mistress governed him with all the jealous watchfulness of a shrewish wife. She could not, of course, maintain her state in Dublin Castle, but she resided within a convenient distance of it, and by sheer force of personality the old Dublin bookseller's daughter gathered about her a large and influential court. Halifax was by disposition a spendthrift, but Mary Faulkner {166} was a miser. She saved every penny, and nothing passed through her hands without leaving a profit in them. Practically every post in the gift of the viceroy was auctioned by Mary Faulkner, who kept the proceeds, and every day in the week her house was crowded with all sorts and conditions of place-seekers endeavouring to come to terms with the most unscrupulous placemonger that ever lived in Dublin. Here was a clergyman offering to buy the vacant country deanery; there an officer anxious for a sinecure in Dublin Castle; again, a lawyer desirous of an official position in the law courts, or a doctor seeking the patronage of those in high places. Mary Ann Faulkner saw them all, and conducted her auctions with no attempt at privacy. When it was generally known that the viceroy's mistress was the real power behind the viceregal throne, Halifax found his levées deserted, and perhaps he was not sorry. He never disguised his admiration for the enterprising Mary Ann, and if her position was something unconventional, there can be no doubt of the fact that she held the unique record of being the only woman who has directed and controlled the policy of a Viceroy of Ireland. And this without the public status or private authority of a wife!

The viceroy endeavoured to please everybody, and he earned general favour by melodramatically declining to accept for himself an increase of £4,000 a year in the salary of the Lord-Lieutenant. It fell to his lot to endorse the action of Parliament in raising the salary of the post to a higher {167} figure, but, anxious to prove his probity, he took up a quixotic position—as it was, of course, regarded.

Two of his retinue are remembered for different reasons. One was his Secretary of State, 'Single-Speech Hamilton,' and the other, Richard Cumberland, the dramatist. The latter was a particular friend of Halifax's, their friendship dating back from the viceroy's Cambridge days, and continuing through his official life. He gave Cumberland a position at the Board of Trade, and, secured by this kindly act, Cumberland was able to indulge in his fancy for playwriting. He did not approve of Mary Ann Faulkner, but as that lady was irresistible, he wisely decided not to provoke a conflict, and he was seen at her receptions, and even helped her occasionally in her appointments.

Halifax left Ireland in 1763, popular and respected, and George III. gave him the garter. When in England he attempted to break away from his mistress by entering into an engagement to marry a wealthy woman, but Mary Ann soundly rated him when she heard of it, and he meekly broke the engagement to please her. This was the man who had ruled Ireland!

A great Smithson

As the result of royal favour the vacant viceroyalty was secured by Hugh Percy, Earl of Northumberland, later to become the first duke of the third creation. Northumberland was a great Smithson, but an indifferent Percy, and it was only his wife's name and family that carried him into London society and into the presence of George III. {168} A man of vast wealth, and wedded to a woman with a passion for power, the viceroyalty of Ireland was the position they both craved for, and when powerful friends helped the Earl and Countess of Northumberland towards their goal, they entered with zest and enthusiasm into the task of governing Ireland. Lady Northumberland was a lady of the bedchamber to the queen soon after her marriage, an appointment maliciously described by Lady Townshend as due to the fact that the queen, who was ignorant of the English language, was anxious to learn the vulgar tongue, Lady Northumberland, she declared, being the most suitable person in the circumstances.

During their two years' reign in Dublin Castle the viceroy and his wife entertained on a regal scale. Their position had been a doubtful one in London, where society found it difficult to forget the old Smithson in the new Percy, but in Dublin the earl and countess led society without fear of any rivals. The countess, more ambitious than proud, utilized her wealth to maintain her supremacy. Dublin Castle was almost daily the scene of a great party, command performances at the theatres very common, and altogether the easily purchased homage of the people was accepted greedily, and created a growing appetite for more. Then in 1765 Lord Northumberland was abruptly dismissed from office, and the Earl of Hertford appointed. Returning to London in a passion, Northumberland sought out the king and his ministers, demanding an explanation. The {169} 'explanation' took the shape of a dukedom, and both husband and wife were content.

Lord Hertford soon tired of Dublin, and his wife induced him to seek an early release from his distasteful task, and the home Government sent Lord Townshend to replace him.

A new era

The appointment of George, first Marquis Townshend, to the viceroyalty marked a new era in Irish history. Ever since the days of the Duke of Dorset's first term of office Dublin had been progressing. The Irish Parliament, though for the most part consisting of 'provincial imbeciles,' to use Chesterfield's words, was gradually attracting to it some of the most gifted Irishmen, and London, which affected to despise it, was perturbed by the reports coming from the Irish capital. One viceroy expressed his amazement at the wealth of genius in Dublin; another confirmed it. To convince the world, a great race of Irishmen was arising. Edmund Burke was a power in London; Grattan, a young man, was renowned in his own circles in Dublin; Henry Flood, in the Irish House of Commons, was winning his reputation for eloquence; and a few years later Richard Brinsley Sheridan was to gain fresh laurels for the name of Irishman. Goldsmith was at his zenith when Townshend came to Ireland in 1767. Others whose names are now forgotten achieved the not-to-be-despised if brief fame that talent is proud of and genius despises. Dublin was quickly losing its mean appearance. An orgy of building had transformed the districts now known as Grafton Street, Sackville Street, {170} Merrion Square, and St. Stephen's Green. In Dame Street Trinity College and the Irish Houses of Parliament, the latter having been built in 1729 on the site of Chichester House, gave the thoroughfare an imposing appearance.

But the most important change lay in the people themselves. The English influence was, of course, paramount, and those who wished to be considered fashionable aped London manners, but slowly and surely there was an awakening of the national spirit; the so-called English colony was beginning to realize the danger of allowing themselves to be subject to the caprices of a Government in London ignorant of Irish affairs. They clamoured for legislative independence, and if their motives were purely selfish and local, yet on the whole they benefited Ireland. Irish trade was being handicapped by English ministers anxious to gain the suffrages of the great trading towns of Bristol and London, and they attempted to impose restrictions on Ireland through the medium of the Dublin Parliament. But the descendants of the Elizabethan and Cromwellian 'undertakers' would have none of it. Their idea was that all Irish affairs should be under the control of the Irish Parliament because they were the Parliament.

The eloquence and statesmanship of Grattan and his great contemporaries has gained a not undeserved fame for the Irish Parliament as it existed from 1760 to the Union, but in the fullest meaning of the word it was never a Parliament, even in the sense that the mother of Parliaments {171} in London was falsely supposed to represent England. The majority of the Irish members were party hacks returned in their master's interests to vote without conscience. Religion entered into everything, but in the sixties of the eighteenth century the problem that confronted the English ministry was the position of the 'undertakers.' The latter were now the paramount power in Ireland; they formed the ascendancy, and from their ranks came all the high officers of state and the men who carried out the policy of England. But time taught its lessons, and the Anglo-Irish ignored London—even defied it—and when in 1767 Lord Townshend was sent to Dublin, it was with the undisguised object of crushing the 'undertakers' and regaining for England the chief authority in Ireland. For the first time in the history of Ireland a resident viceroy was appointed.

Breaking the Irish Parliament

Townshend accepted the task with enthusiasm. He was forty-three years of age, and had succeeded in achieving an unpopularity that provided him with a vast amount of inspiration for lampoons and caricatures. He never cultivated friendship either in men or women, and he found his chief relaxation in vilifying his opponents. He had fought under Wolfe at Quebec, and, the death of his superior having placed him in command, he claimed the honours, declaring that his fertile mind inspired Wolfe's plans and carried them into execution. The man who did this was capable of anything, and he was selected to break the power of the Irish Parliament. Lord Bristol had failed {172} the ministry, declining the post on Lord Hertford's resignation, although he started for Dublin. When Bristol was informed that he would be expected to live in the Irish capital, he threw up the appointment in disgust. In the circumstances Townshend's selection was a hurried one, but he had no scruples about anything, and was the man for an unscrupulous task.




{173}

CHAPTER XI

The five years of Lord Townshend's viceroyalty were fruitful for Ireland. He might have adopted craftier methods and injured the country more than he did, but he openly pursued a stupid policy of bribery and spite: by the former gaining the adherence of the incompetent, and by the latter exasperating the men who in the end defeated him.

Amongst the Irish peers whom he was anxious to win over to his side was a kinsman, Lord Loftus. Loftus had some power in the Lords and in the Commons, and by reason of the viceroy's relationship to Lady Loftus he counted upon dealing the Opposition party a heavy blow. Lady Loftus, with visions of a great social position for herself, fell in with Townshend's plans, though her husband was stubborn. Then Lady Townshend died, and Lady Loftus had a fresh inspiration. The viceroy was a widower, and during his visits to Rathfarnham Castle had often noticed pretty little Dorothea Munroe, her ladyship's niece. Why should she not marry the couple? With her niece as the viceroy's wife Lady Loftus would be the most powerful woman in Ireland, and the exchanging of a viscountess's coronet for a {174} countess's, or even a duchess's, would be accomplished easily. From that moment she let Townshend know that the marriage of Dolly Munroe would be the price of her husband's allegiance, and the Lord-Lieutenant, cynical and daring, began to visit Rathfarnham Castle daily and flatter Dolly's hopes. The girl was only seventeen when Lady Townshend died in 1770, and the leading beauty of her time. Henry Grattan was one of her admirers, but the most favoured in a wide circle was Hercules Langrishe, afterwards the Sir Hercules Langrishe who accepted £15,000 from Lord Castlereagh not to vote against the Act of Union. There is no doubt that Dolly would have married Hercules Langrishe but for her aunt. Perhaps she had ambitions herself, and the prospect of reigning in Dublin Castle dazzled her mind and unbalanced her judgment. Anyhow, she sent Langrishe about his business shortly after Lord Townshend had superintended the painting of her portrait by Angelica Kauffmann. Everything seemed favourable for a match, and Lady Loftus was hourly expecting a proposal.

In her confidence in the viceroy's word she secured her husband's support for the Government in the House of Lords, but from the moment Lord Loftus joined the viceroy's party Lord Townshend immediately ceased his visits to Rathfarnham Castle, and all Dublin laughed at poor Dolly. She became the butt of every wit. Lady Loftus grew desperate. She believed that Townshend was actually in love with her niece, and in her anxiety she took Dolly with her to Dublin Castle, {175} and presented her to the viceroy. He received them politely, but by now there was no need even to act the lover, and Lady Loftus retired in a rage.

There was, however, one more trick in Lady Loftus's repertoire, and she caused the Dublin papers to print a notice to the effect that Dolly Munroe was going to marry the Right Honourable Thomas Andrews, Provost of Trinity College, Dublin. Instead of exciting Townshend's chagrin and jealousy, it merely evoked a characteristic set of verses in which he lampooned the aged Provost and congratulated him in a sneer on his conquest. Andrews was what would be called nowadays a 'character,' mainly because he had none. At one time Peg Woffington, the celebrated actress, had been his mistress, and he secured the provostship through her influence, for which he paid her £5,000. When Dolly Munroe was a girl Andrews was past seventy. Lady Loftus could not have selected a more absurd bridegroom.

Famous Irish beauties

Meanwhile Lord Townshend was flirting with Anne Montgomery, one of the three beautiful sisters. Anne, strangely enough, was also brought up in Rathfarnham Castle, and was a niece of Lady Loftus, but it was on Dolly Munroe that Lady Loftus showered all her affection. Anne was exceedingly pretty, and generally accepted as Dolly's rival, and when Lord Townshend was seen with Anne all Dublin became interested in the struggle between the two to secure the great matrimonial prize. The viceroy accepted the somewhat embarrassing position with nonchalance, {176} affecting unconsciousness of the current gossip of the day. Everywhere the chances of the fair candidates were canvassed, and every man of fashion in Dublin had his 'book' on the contest. Huge sums were wagered by the respective partisans of Dolly and Anne as to which should become Lady Townshend. Dublin society had little else to do, for the city was crowded with loafers in every rank of society. Dinner-parties were the most popular form of entertaining, and the viceroy's matrimonial prospects were discussed at all.

Marquis Townshend

Marquis Townshend

The viceroy did not permit these diversions to interfere with his political policy. He poured out hundreds of thousands of pounds and almost as many promises in his desperate efforts to secure the destruction of the 'undertakers.' No act was too unscrupulous or too mean for him to lend his name to, and to further his ends he made confidants of some of the most disreputable and discreditable hangers-on in Dublin society. No speech did not contain a sneer at the Irish nobility, which he affected to despise as something utterly false and unreal. For the defence Flood, Grattan, and Langrishe united, and produced the famous satire 'Baratariana.' Townshend replied with spirit, writing his lampoon in a low-class tavern near the Castle. He was a frequent visitor to the old Dublin taverns, excusing himself on the ground that they were better conducted and more hospitable than the Irish nobility.

Dublin Castle gradually became isolated, as Lord Townshend alienated everybody of position {177} and clung to drunken brawlers and servile followers of the lowest class. The few levées were ludicrous affairs, and were soon abandoned. Even the official class detested their chief, and when in 1772 sixteen Irish peers drew up a petition against him and presented it to the king and Government, the patience and good temper of everybody had been exhausted. Townshend had not the decency to observe the rules that bind every gentleman who mixes in good society, and he insulted women with the same ease as he insulted gentlemen. To challenge him was to be informed that the representative of the king was privileged, and beyond that there was no appeal.

Lord Townshend's dismissal

The peers' petition, however, resulted in Townshend's recall. In itself the memorial would not have succeeded in causing the viceroy's removal from office, but the ministry in London had received reports from secret agents in Dublin, and it was deemed advisable, if a rebellion was to be prevented, that the unpopular Townshend should be superseded. Lord Harcourt was sent to replace him, and when the new viceroy arrived at three in the morning, he found his predecessor playing cards with a couple of congenial ruffians. With a half apology Townshend declared that at any rate Lord Harcourt had not caught him napping!

The ex-viceroy was in no mood to leave Dublin, and with Harcourt's permission he remained in Dublin Castle for a fortnight, ostensibly with the object of accepting some of the dozen challenges with which he had been favoured before his dismissal. But Townshend did not intend to {178} fight, and his real purpose must have been to make arrangements for leaving the country with some show of dignity. Rumours had reached him that an attempt would be made on his life. Later this was discounted to a plot for throwing him into the sea, and again a circumstantial report of a proposal to make his carriage into a bonfire was circulated. Townshend affected to discredit all these, but he took the precaution of hiring a large body of roughs, whose duties were to escort his carriage and to raise stage cheers all the way.

The hired mob did its duty and earned its money, but it was as nothing against the voices of thousands of persons who lined the streets of the city and shouted their joy at the departure of the hated ex-viceroy. There was no concerted attempt at violence, however, and Townshend was able to reach his ship in safety.

Anne Montgomery was now the subject of many taunts. The common people jested about her openly, and her character was defamed. Dublin society began to look askance at the pretty girl whose name had been coupled with the notorious Townshend. Naturally, her family was furious, and the girl's brother, Captain Montgomery, a noted duellist, determined to bring the ex-viceroy to reason. In hot haste he followed him to England, and before Townshend reached London Captain Montgomery had overtaken him, and, literally at the point of the sword, compelled the viscount to send back a proposal of marriage to Anne. There was no greater coward in the world at the time, and so the self-styled hero of Quebec {179} meekly accepted Captain Montgomery's terms and, rather than risk a duel, agreed to marry the girl. In due course the marriage took place, and £20,000 was won by those of Anne's admirers who had wagered on her becoming the second Lady Townshend. Her rival, Dolly Munroe, eventually married a Mr. Richardson, the rejected Langrishe never returning to her side. Langrishe himself married and lived many years, gaining a reputation for wit, the best specimen of which is his reply to the viceroy, who declared that Phoenix Park was a swamp, Langrishe retorting that his predecessors had been too busy draining the rest of the kingdom to be able to pay any attention to the cause of his Excellency's complaint.

Extravagant society

The viceroyalty of Lord Harcourt, which lasted from October, 1772, to the last days of 1776, was distinguished for its social magnificence. The Lord-Lieutenant was no politician, and he left that part of his work to Lord de Blaquerie, his chief secretary. He set the fashion for costly entertainments until to be economical was to confess oneself a social failure. Dozens of families of note, in their wild efforts to imitate the example of the viceroy, beggared themselves, spending in a few years the income of a whole generation. Thus the Lord-Lieutenant would be invited to a great dinner and dance given on a most lavish and extravagant scale. Within twenty-four hours the scene of the festivities would be stripped of everything of value to pay for the previous night's excesses.

There is a story told of an Irish gentleman who {180} had been compelled to pawn every piece of family plate to meet the expenses of a visit from the viceroy. Of course, this misfortune was kept a profound secret, and when Lord Harcourt intimated shortly afterwards that he would like to be invited again, the would-be host was placed in a most embarrassing situation. His mansion in Stephen's Green was well furnished and staffed, but there was no plate, and, of course, he would not think of refusing the honour of a visit from the king's representative. There was only one thing to do: the pawnbroker must be induced to lend the plate for the occasion. Now, it happened that the pawnbroker was a man with social aspirations; his one ambition was to mix with the gentry, and as he possessed considerable wealth he had almost as much assurance. Finding that he would not lend the family plate, the viceroy's host had to make the pawnbroker one of his guests for the occasion, and, being a sensible fellow, the tradesman enjoyed discreetly the novel experience without adding to the worries of his patron.

This is only one story of many, all illustrating the stupendous folly of the period. Dublin literally danced, drank, and gambled itself into penury, whilst the Castle set, contemptuous and indifferent to public opinion, robbed and oppressed the country, and prepared the way for the ghastly year of 1798. Harcourt was indifferent, careless, and somewhat contemptuous of Ireland and its affairs, and as his viceroyalty was marked by numerous visits to England, he was never on the spot long enough to become conscious {181} of the defects and shortcomings of his administration.

The free trade question

In 1775 Henry Grattan was elected to Parliament, and sat with Henry Flood, but Harcourt was replaced by the Earl of Buckinghamshire at the time when these two Irishmen began their great campaign for the freedom of Irish trade. England's policy had been to restrict Irish commercial enterprise, and only men of the calibre of Grattan and Flood could have succeeded in compelling the Government to remove the embargo on Irish trade. Lord Buckinghamshire, who had been Ambassador to Russia, carried out a policy of concessions, and he was able to give the royal approval to the bills for relieving Irish Dissenters from the sacramental test, and also grant some much-needed reforms in the franchise.

It must have been during the viceroyalty of Lord Buckinghamshire that English statesmen first thought of a legislative union with Ireland, for the reforms initiated by the viceroy undoubtedly pointed that way, reading their history in view of subsequent events. The rise of the Irish volunteer movement must have convinced the English Government that if Ireland was permitted to have its own legislation much longer the country would seek to break away from the monarchical union. Lord Buckinghamshire, however, was never informed of the Government's intentions. When he left in 1780, recalled by the Prime Minister, he was succeeded by Frederick Howard, fifth Earl of Carlisle, one of the commissioners {182} who had failed to conciliate the American rebels a few years earlier. Lord Carlisle was a typical product of his age, when to graduate as a statesman one had to be at school or university with the reigning minister and have gambled one's way recklessly into favour. Every gentleman was a gambler, and Lord Carlisle was no exception to the rule. Before his sudden desire to shine as a politician he ruined himself at the card-tables, generously backing Fox's debts of honour, and, of course, paying them. It was the influence of Fox that led to his appointment to Ireland.

Lord Carlisle, with the easy assurance of a great nobleman whose position was secure, took over the government of Ireland in the spirit of the dilettante. The chief secretary, Sir William Eden, afterwards Lord Auckland, supervised the more arduous work, while the viceroy and his wife—a daughter of the Marquis of Stafford—gratified Dublin society by patronizing the card-table and the ballroom. In 1781 the present Viceregal Lodge was purchased for the use of the Lord-Lieutenant. Lord Carlisle's common sense, however, was not nullified by his native prejudice against Ireland. He came to Dublin prepared to administer laws made in England, but it was not long before he had to confess to his masters in London that it was utterly futile to attempt to govern Ireland by English-made laws. This testimony from a man whose honour was never doubted had enormous effect in winning for the Irish Parliament the famous Declaration of Independence, though it would not have been {183} accomplished had not men like Henry Grattan and Flood devoted themselves to it.

Public opinion in Ireland gave Grattan the full credit for the victory, and some enthusiastic patriots brought forward a resolution in the Irish House of Commons with the object of securing for Grattan and his heirs the viceregal desmesne in Phoenix Park. This was very properly rejected, and nothing more was heard of the matter.

The Volunteer movement

The rise of the Irish Volunteer movement during the viceroyalty of Lord Buckinghamshire had created a new problem in Irish affairs. The Government in London, not understanding the crisis, magnified the Volunteers into a national army preparing to drive the English into the sea, and successive viceroys, well aware that the army in Ireland was in a disorganized and undisciplined state, regarded the Volunteers with a dismay their dignity compelled them to disguise. For the time being Henry Grattan was a greater power than the Lord-Lieutenant, and whenever the Irish statesman appeared at the Castle he was received with a favour that plainly indicated the respect he had gained in official circles. Grattan represented in his person the new Ireland. He was not a patriot in the sense the word is used nowadays; he did not fight the battles of all Ireland or advocate principles for the benefit of the whole country. He was the representative of the Anglo-Irish class which had risen to place and power by reason of its English origin.

When the Government in London realized that the descendants of the English colony and the {184} 'undertakers' were becoming too powerful for their masters, they made a determined effort to cripple them. Lord Townshend's attempt was one of many, but fortunately for themselves the Anglo-Irish possessed in Grattan and Flood the two most powerful advocates in Parliament. Edmund Burke, having sought the more respectable and more remunerative English Parliament for the display of his talents, was driven to express his sympathies with the efforts of his fellow-countrymen to secure an unhampered trade for Ireland. This cost him his representation of Bristol, but the man who gave to mankind what was meant for Ireland might have done more for his native country and not diminished his political reputation.

Lord Carlisle admired Grattan, who, from a fashionable buck, had developed with extraordinary facility into the statesman, and during his occupancy of the post the Irish orator led the country. The solid qualities of Flood were obscured by the brilliance of Grattan, and the senior Parliamentarian had to give place to his youthful colleague. Grattan had the gift of social popularity, which Flood lacked. In his youthful days the famous orator was one of the most noted men about town who seemed to overrun Dublin. He was seen everywhere, and society ladies, anxious to shine in amateur theatricals, always came to Grattan for advice and specially written prologues. Dolly Munroe obtained this service of him, and when her reign as queen of beauty was over, and a new star in Elizabeth la Touche {185} arose to dazzle Dublin, Grattan supervised some private theatricals for the fair Elizabeth, and wrote a prologue for her to recite before the then viceroy. Elizabeth eventually became Countess of Lanesborough, and remained Grattan's friend and supporter throughout her life.

Lord Carlisle's departure

Lord Carlisle was highly esteemed in official and society circles in Dublin, and there was genuine regret when, in April, 1782, the state of English politics compelled him to place his resignation in the hands of the Marquis of Rockingham, the Prime Minister. The Irish Houses of Parliament, in resolutions couched in the most generous language, thanked the departing viceroy for his services. He acknowledged their gratitude gracefully, but did not convey his private opinion that the sooner the great farce of their posing as an Irish Parliament was ended the better it would be for the country. In later years he spoke several times in the House of Lords, advocating the legislative union with Ireland, and his opinions must have been genuine, because the idea was undoubtedly Pitt's, and we know that Carlisle was bitterly opposed to that great statesman on every possible occasion.

Lord Carlisle's later life does not belong to the history of Ireland, although he lived for twenty-four years after the Union, and always took an interest in Irish affairs. Apart from his viceroyalty, he is best known as the guardian of his kinsman, Lord Byron, and the dedication of the second edition of 'Hours of Idleness' is only a reminder of the subsequent quarrel between the two noblemen.

{186}

The successor to Carlisle was William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, third Duke of Portland. Born in 1738, he married when he was twenty-eight Lady Dorothy Cavendish, a daughter of the fourth Duke of Devonshire, adding to his wealth and power by the union. His appointment to Ireland was most momentous for that country, although his term of office began in April and ended the following September. He had no great gifts of statesmanship, and owed his political advancement to his birth and his friendship with Lord Rockingham, but his few months' experience of Ireland imbued him with a passion for Irish affairs and an ambition to settle that disturbed country. Portland, as Home Secretary from 1794 to 1801, had to deal with the Irish rebellion of 1798 and the carrying of the Act of Union. He worked very hard in both instances, but it is only fair to his memory to record the fact that he was opposed to the policy of bribery and corruption which terminated the existence of the Irish Parliament, and he allowed Castlereagh to do the dirty work.

Little is to be said of his brief administration as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. He arrived in Dublin with a large retinue, and opened his season in Dublin Castle with a levée followed by a ball, where the official classes welcomed him because of his rank and birth. Dublin loved a lord, but was passionately devoted to dukes, and had Portland remained in the metropolis he would have been successful, as all mediocrities are who possess sufficient good sense to let difficult problems solve {187} themselves. A sudden crisis in England, however, recalled Portland from Ireland. The Marquis of Rockingham had died suddenly, and the king had appointed Lord Shelburne to the premiership. This annoyed Fox, and he resigned, carrying Lord John Cavendish, the brother-in-law of the viceroy, Burke, and Sheridan with him. When he heard of this development, Portland added his resignation, and Lord Shelburne, after a gallant attempt to defeat the malcontents, advised the king that the only possible solution was the elevation of the Duke of Portland to the premiership. It is an historical fact that when great men differ mediocrities come into their kingdoms, and Portland as Prime Minister was a figurehead.

The Portland period

There is no more fruitful period in the history of the world than that bounded by the years 1782 and 1809—years selected because they mark the beginning of Portland's first ministry and the end of his second and last term of office—and yet he cannot be said to have done anything personally to enhance his reputation. He had much of the dogged and dignified obstinacy of his class, and he made at least one attempt to introduce a code of honour into politics; but it was his misfortune to have Castlereagh as a colleague, and that gentleman's lack of scruple was too much for his ducal friend. The 'Cornwallis Correspondence' gives a vivid picture of the vacillating nobleman, whose feeble attempts to stem the vigorous and unscrupulous polity of Lord Castlereagh might be humorous if they had not done so much harm.




{188}

CHAPTER XII

The resignation of the Duke of Portland enabled Lord Shelburne to appoint his friend, Earl Temple, to the viceroyalty. This was the premier's challenge to Fox and his followers, and was taken as evidence that he meant to do without their aid. Temple, although well aware that his reign must be almost as short as his predecessor's, came to Dublin, and did his best to gain the support of the official party for the tottering ministry.

Banquet given in Dublin Castle by Earl Temple to celebrate his installation as Knight of St. Patrick

Banquet given in Dublin Castle by Earl Temple to celebrate his installation as Knight of St. Patrick

Within a few months several Bills of importance were carried both in the English and the Irish Parliaments, and as a sop for the nobility the Order of St. Patrick was founded in the early months of 1783, the viceroy installing himself as grand master. Previous to this Lord Shelburne had been compelled to resign, and Temple's resignation followed as a matter of course, but he waited for the arrival of his successor, Lord Northington, who was selected only after several noblemen had rejected the overtures of the Coalition Ministry of the Duke of Portland. Temple, created Marquis of Buckingham in 1784, consistently opposed the Government, and he had his reward in 1787, when he returned to Ireland {189} on the sudden death of the viceroy, Charles Manners, Duke of Rutland.

The Volunteer Convention

Meanwhile Lord Northington's brief tenure of office was not without incident. He discovered more about Irish affairs in less than twelve months in Dublin than he had learned in ten years in England. A great Volunteer convention in the vicinity of the Castle augured a disturbing time, but it passed off quietly enough, and the viceroy set about advising his friend and political patron, Fox, of the real condition of the country. Fox was for a display of force; Northington, with the superior knowledge of the man on the spot, and able to gauge the temper of the Irish race, strongly urged a policy of conciliation. More than once he complained to Fox that the evils of absentee officialism were endangering the position of the Government in Ireland; and, unable to cope with this scandal because he had the whole of the official and governing classes against him, he turned to the more congenial task of encouraging Irish industries. Out of his own resources he helped in the promotion and development of the flax and tobacco trades, then in a very feeble state. Parliament, anxious to show its friendliness towards Northington, increased his salary from £16,000 to £20,000 a year, but he never benefited by the change—even if he desired to—for the Coalition Ministry, defeated by the intrigues of the court party, went out of office in the early part of 1784, and the Duke of Rutland, a popular and wealthy nobleman, was selected to succeed him at Dublin.

{190}

It was at first proposed to send Temple, now Marquis of Buckingham, back again, but the king had need of his services, and the appointment was delayed for some three years.

The Duke of Rutland

Rutland was a close personal friend of the triumphant Pitt, and although only thirty years of age in 1784, was entrusted by his friend with the momentous secret that the Home Government had in contemplation the union of the two Parliaments. Rutland's first move in Dublin was to sound carefully the leading officials and noblemen. To his astonishment he found the most determined opposition everywhere. Nobody would listen to the proposal, and the viceroy was compelled to laugh the idea away, pretending that it was but an idle fancy of his own, and quite unimportant.

It is not to be wondered at that Dublin should be unanimous against the proposal. Its very existence depended upon the official classes. Seventy-five per cent. of the well-to-do drew their incomes from Dublin Castle; while the trades-people were for obvious reasons panic-stricken whenever it was rumoured that the Parliament should be transferred to London.

Rutland thereupon sought distraction in such pleasures as the capital afforded, and his wife seconded him. Both were young and in possession of more than viceregal wealth, and they cut the road to popularity short by a lavish expenditure. The leading noblemen built themselves mansions, and the wealthy bourgeois followed suit. Stephen's Green was the favourite residential quarter, but Merrion Square threatened {191} to rival it. Architects, artists, and builders from England and the Continent crowded Dublin, some of them to found families not without renown in Irish annals, if bearing patronymics more suggestive of sunny Italy or France than their adopted country. The professional classes were rapidly rising in social status, and although the rule that prohibited the recognition of lawyers' and doctors' wives by the Lord-Lieutenant and his consort were still in force, barristers and medical men sometimes gained admission to unofficial festivities at the Castle. The large garrison contributed its quota of officers to Dublin society, which at that time and for many years after the union represented all Ireland. The Duke and Duchess of Rutland cultivated society in a manner that gained them immense personal popularity. They led the fashions in the drawing-rooms and in the clubs, and the duke, who dearly loved a good dinner, created a record for dining out never equalled by any subsequent viceroy.

Tired at last of the rollicking pleasures of the capital, the viceroy decided to seek relaxation in a tour of Ireland. He was strongly advised by his council not to undertake the journey, but he was anxious to witness for himself the feudal state some of the nobility maintained in their country castles, and he carried out his resolve. Accompanied by the duchess, he journeyed from place to place, staying whenever possible at the residences of well-disposed noblemen. To mark their appreciation of his visit, the latter spent thousands of pounds entertaining the {192} viceroy and his wife, and the chroniclers of the day dwell with awe on the vast amount of food consumed by the viceregal pair throughout their tour. He must have undermined his constitution during his Irish travels, for on his return to Dublin he was almost immediately in the thrall of a fever, and, not being strong enough to resist it, expired suddenly at his residence in the Phoenix Park on October 24, 1787.

Duke of Rutland

Duke of Rutland

Grattan and Dublin Castle

To the intense annoyance of the Grattan party the Marquis of Buckingham, who as Earl Temple had been viceroy in 1782, came over in December as the result of the king's influence. The question of the regency during George III.'s illness was acute in Dublin as in London, and the Irish Houses of Parliament, true to its reputation, rushed in with a resolution requesting the Prince of Wales to assume the regency. This motion the viceroy angrily declined to communicate to the Government or the prince, and Parliament thereupon censured him in explicit language. The sudden recovery of the king was a triumph for Buckingham's policy, and he dismissed his principal opponents in Dublin from office, utilizing the public funds to gain fresh adherents for his Government. This action caused Grattan to enter an eloquent protest against the 'expensive genius' of the Marquis of Buckingham. In vain did the viceroy attempt to undermine the position Grattan held. The most popular Irishman of his time could set the viceroy and his satellites at defiance, and all the money that could be filched from the Irish treasury was insufficient to bring {193} about the downfall of the great orator. Grattan was not received at Dublin Castle during Buckingham's viceroyalty, but from his place in Parliament he could thunder at the Lord-Lieutenant and even frighten the ministry in London.

In Walpole's 'Journals of George III.'s Reign' there is an unflattering description of Buckingham, which depicts him as a liar and a thief, and more successful as the latter than the former. Proud and stubborn as he was, Buckingham was compelled to give way, and in September, 1789, to the great joy of the country, he announced his resignation. He left immediately, and dropped out of political life. During a debate on the Irish situation in 1799 he followed the Earl of Carlisle—another ex-viceroy—with a speech advocating the union with Ireland. This was a year after he had served in the rebellion of '98, commanding a regiment of Buckinghamshire militia in the country of which he never spoke without exhausting his powers of invective.

The task of naming the new viceroy fell to William Pitt, and, after considering the matter in conjunction with his own policy, he remembered his old fellow-student at Cambridge, John Fane, now tenth Earl of Westmoreland. The post was offered to and accepted by the earl, and in January, 1790, he was nominated Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. Eight years previously he had startled and scandalized society by making a runaway marriage with the daughter of Child, the banker, and reputed to be the wealthiest heiress in the country. Westmoreland was a soldier and not {194} a statesman, but he gladly accepted Pitt's offer, and, disdainful of the growing power of the new Irish party, sought to govern the country from the point of view of the rough and courageous soldier.

Earl of Westmoreland

Earl of Westmoreland

The Irish Volunteer movement—a Protestant organization—had gained independence for the Irish Parliament, and, incidentally, compelled England to grant certain measures of relief to the Catholics because, with the Protestant community opposed to English misrule, it was necessary for the predominant partner to curry favour with the Catholics. Grattan, John Keogh, and other leaders, demanded complete Catholic emancipation, and the more sober-minded amongst the Protestants had come to realize that Ireland could not progress until the Catholics were freed from the obnoxious penal laws even then in existence.

The first law of nature had compelled the rival religionists to join forces, so that when Lord Westmoreland arrived in Ireland he was faced with the problem of dealing with a strong and united Irish party. Some years previously the Catholic Committee had been formed, and now, with Lord Kenmare and John Keogh controlling it, the organization was the most powerful in the country, with the notable exception of the Irish Volunteers. Keogh was a remarkable man in every way. A wealthy Dublin tradesman, he retired from business in order to fight the battle of Catholic Emancipation, and, although handicapped by internecine strife, succeeded in gaining {195} the control of the Catholic Committee and directing its policy. The viceroy contributed to Keogh's triumph by contemptuously returning an address of welcome from the Catholic Committee because it contained a hope that further relief would be granted to Catholics.

The Irish Volunteers revived

This act, which exasperated the moderate men, convinced the majority of the Committee that Keogh's aggressive policy was the only one worth adopting. Parliament had been declared independent of its English prototype, but everybody knew that it was wholly subject to the bureaucrats who reigned in Dublin Castle. Simultaneously with the rise to prominence of John Keogh came the revivification of the Volunteers. Since their great victory of 1782 they had been allowed to degenerate and dwindle, but the success of the French Revolution was not without its influence on Irish affairs, and the years between 1789 and 1792 witnessed a revival on national lines. Froude wrote eloquently of a Belfast Volunteer Review in 1791. 'The ceremonial commenced with a procession. The Volunteer companies, refilled to their old numbers, marched past with banners and music. A battery of cannon followed, and behind the cannon a portrait of Mirabeau. Then a gigantic triumphal car, bearing a broad sheet of canvas, on which was painted the opening of the Bastille dungeons. In the foreground was the wasted figure of the prisoner who had been confined there thirty years. In the near distance the doors of the cells flung back, disclosing the skeletons of dead victims or living wretches writhing in chains {196} and torture. On the reverse of the canvas Hibernia was seen reclining, one hand and one foot in shackles, and a Volunteer artilleryman holding before her eyes the radiant image of Liberty.... In the evening three hundred and fifty patriots sat down to dinner in the Linen Hall. They drank to the King of Ireland. They drank to Washington, the ornament of mankind. They drank to Grattan, Molyneux, Franklin, and Mirabeau—these last two amidst applause that threatened to shake the building to the ground.'

Struggle for Catholic relief

The proposed co-operation of the Catholic Committee with the Volunteers, the latter being a Presbyterian organization, alarmed the viceroy and the ministers in London. Westmoreland was advised to prevent the amalgamation of the forces by concessions to Catholics, and eventually a measure, granting everything save the franchise to Catholics, was passed by the Irish Parliament. The Castle influence, however, was too strong for John Keogh to win the vote for his followers, but it was something to gain for his fellow-religionists admission to the magistracy, to the rank of King's Counsel, and to become solicitors and to open schools without the permission of the Protestant bishop. Beyond that the Government would not go. But the great Catholic Convention in 1792 won the vote for the majority, although Westmoreland and his secretary, Hobart, wrote imploring Pitt and Dundas not to give way to the importunities of the five Commissioners sent by the Catholic Convention to demand the franchise from the king. The Commissioners convinced the {197} ministry that if their mission failed English rule in Ireland would be at an end, and the Lord-Lieutenant's advice was ignored. In February, 1793, the Chief Secretary moved in Parliament the first reading of a Bill admitting Catholics to the parliamentary franchise, to the magistracy, to the grand jury, to the municipal corporations, to Dublin University, and to several civil and military offices. But an amendment proposing the admission of Catholics to Parliament was defeated by 136 to 69 votes.

Lord Westmoreland was personally a fanatical opponent of Roman Catholicism, and the weakness of Pitt, as he termed it, made his position in Dublin unbearable. He would have resigned in 1792 but for a certain vanity that made him unwilling to admit defeat. Besides, he was ever hoping that the natural passion for schism which permeates every Irish politician would dissever the alliance of the Presbyterians with the Catholic Committee. In the North, while the Belfast Volunteers were welcoming with open arms the leaders of the Catholic movement, and making fervid speeches about liberty of conscience, two organizations in adjacent villages were 'cutting one another's throats for the love of God.' The 'Defenders' was the name given to the Roman Catholic band, while the Presbyterians, or Orangemen, called themselves 'Peep-o'-Day Boys.' In September, 1795, when Camden was viceroy, the two factions came into conflict at a village called the 'Diamond,' and the battle that followed takes its name from the scene of the contest. Forty-eight Defenders were {198} killed, and to commemorate the victory the first Orange lodge was founded.

Westmoreland knew that there could be no genuine alliance between the Catholics and the Protestants, and so he clung to office; but Pitt, alarmed by the state of Europe and the isolation of England, was for favouring the Catholics, and the viceroy, as one utterly at variance with the Home Government, resigned.

Lord Westmoreland's term was purely a political one. He came to Ireland at a most critical period in its history, and, although little more than thirty years of age, he showed a courage worthy of a man with better ideals. He was not without his good qualities, and the Castle bureaucrats found in him a stanch friend. He entertained lavishly, but the death of Lady Westmoreland towards the close of 1793 abruptly ended the gaieties of the Castle. He lived until 1841, and held the post of Lord Privy Seal from 1798 to 1827—a period covering nearly thirty years and without precedent or example in the history of politics.

It is interesting to recall that one of Lord Westmoreland's staff in Dublin during the early years of his viceroyalty was a young officer named Arthur Wellesley. While attending a ball at the Castle he made the acquaintance of a girl of great beauty, Miss Catherine Pakenham, a daughter of Lord Longford. They became engaged almost immediately, but Wellesley's family opposed the match, his mother, a haughty and severe woman, being very prominent in the matter. The future Iron Duke, however, maintained the {199} engagement, and when he was in India he kept up a regular correspondence with his fiancée. During his absence she was attacked by smallpox, and wrote to Wellesley releasing him, but he refused to do so, and on April 10, 1806, they were married in the church of St. George, Dublin.

A sensational viceroyalty

The removal of Westmoreland, the friend of the Protestant minority, was followed by the brief but sensational viceroyalty of the second Earl Fitzwilliam. Pitt's avowed policy was to win the sympathies of the majority, and Lord Fitzwilliam was considered the best man to give effect to the policy of the Government. He was gazetted, therefore, to Ireland in December, 1794, and a month later appeared in Dublin. His wife was a daughter of the Earl of Bessborough, and both were very popular in Court circles. Possessed of great wealth, it was thought that Fitzwilliam would be the less independent of the support of the Castle bureaucracy, which was fighting with venom the battle for its existence. No sooner was Fitzwilliam in Dublin than he received instructions to continue Westmoreland's policy. But he had started the work of reform before these reached him. One morning Beresford, who had married Barbara Montgomery, a sister of Lady Townshend, was dismissed from his post of Commissioner of the Customs; Toler, Attorney-General—afterwards the notorious Lord Norbury—Wolfe, the Solicitor-General, and Cooke, the Military Secretary, also received notice that their services were no longer required. The Castle people were panic-stricken; their occupations seemed to be {200} gone, but even Fitzwilliam, with all the prestige of great birth and wealth, could not overwhelm the bureaucracy. Beresford appealed to Pitt and the king, and within a few days the dismissed officers were all reinstated. This was too much for the viceroy, and on March 25, 1795, he left Ireland, to the accompaniment of a demonstration of mourning absolutely unique in the history of the country. Dublin proclaimed it a day of humiliation; all the shops were closed, and the citizens lined the streets. Grattan gave voice to the general regret, and fiercely denounced the treachery of Pitt, who had assured him that Lord Fitzwilliam was to adopt an essentially Catholic policy.

Earl Fitzwilliam

Earl Fitzwilliam

In the circumstances the strongest of men might have hesitated before undertaking the ominous task of carrying on the Government. Unfortunately, there was a total ignorance of Ireland and its affairs amongst the English nobility, and when Lord Camden was offered the post he accepted it without demur, and confidently travelled to the Irish metropolis. Ireland knew nothing of the viceroy, and certainly the latter knew even less of the country he was called upon to rule. He was thirty-six years of age, but possessed all the pompous prejudices of a man twice his age. On his coming of age he had been appointed Teller of the Exchequer, and held it for sixty years—1780 to 1840—though after drawing about three-quarters of a million sterling from the Treasury, he 'patriotically' consented in 1812 to forego the income of the office.




{201}

CHAPTER XIII

The new viceroy was received in sullen silence on the day of his arrival in Dublin, but when Lord Clare, the Chancellor, was returning after swearing in the Lord-Lieutenant, he was attacked by a frenzied mob which sought to lynch him on the lamp-post outside his own house. Beresford had taken the precaution to fill the approaches to the Custom-house with soldiers, and so escaped, but the residences of all the principal loyalists in Dublin were stoned, and for several days mob law was supreme.

Camden, however, determined to show that he was uninfluenced by intimidation. He was not a courageous person, but he knew that the English garrison was strong and that there could be no treachery within Dublin Castle, where everybody had been bought body and soul by the Government. Pitt had advised him to adopt a strong anti-Catholic policy, and he carried out his instructions only too well. It is significant of the attitude and position of the Catholic priesthood that the viceroy could be anti-Catholic and yet in a position to lay the foundation-stone of Maynooth College. This was an open bribe to the clergy, and an intimation of favours to come if the {202} priesthood supported the policy of Pitt and the viceroy.

Lord Castlereagh and the Duke of Portland—the latter as Home Secretary having charge of Irish affairs—had almost carried into execution their plan of endowing the Roman Catholic Church with English money, and thereby securing its allegiance and support for ever; but even the audacious Castlereagh hesitated for fear of the English Established Church, and it was decided to substitute Maynooth and an endowment for the original plan.

Camden's aggressiveness was matched by the determination of his opponents. The United Irishmen threw over their policy of 'peaceful persuasion,' and inspired by Wolfe Tone, became a rebellious organization. Tone went to America, and from there to France. The result was the abortive expedition under Hoche and Grouchy.

The United Irishmen

Camden was not idle. He quickly discovered that there are always plenty of traitors in Ireland, and he bought them up by the score. The news of Lord Edward Fitzgerald's adherence to the rebel cause was disconcerting, but Fitzgerald had friends, and these the viceroy purchased. A similar policy was adopted in the case of every one of the rebel leaders, and every hero had his bodyguard of traitors. The Government had merely to wait for the right moment to strike a decisive blow. Castle money was never more plentiful than in the two years preceding the egregious rebellion of '98. Many patriots who screamed for independence lost their voices at {203} the first sight of viceregal gold; the old bucks, penniless as the result of their early follies, found in the profession of traitor an easy escape from the demon Work; briefless barristers, and even successful ones, were drawn into the Castle circle until the viceroy could say with reason that he had bought practically every man of position or influence in the country.

Despite this, however, Camden felt alarmed at the progress the rebel cause was making. It was no longer a purely Catholic movement, and the knowledge that wealthy Protestant merchants were joining the United Irishmen convinced the Viceroy that, although he could arrest the leaders whenever he wished, yet there would be an army of rebels left which might prove difficult to overcome. Lady Camden urged him to resign, and save the lives of their children and themselves. She and her family existed in a state of siege; there was little entertaining, for no man trusted his neighbour, and in every street beggar the Government saw an embryo assassin. Camden, with the disturbing conscience of the self-confessed coward, was compelled to act the bully. He would not go in the guise of a frightened and defeated viceroy. Then someone suggested that as the country was under arms it would be better if the viceroy happened to be a soldier. Camden seized upon this pretext, and wrote to London offering to resign in favour of Lord Cornwallis, who, as one who had been Governor-General of India and Commander-in-Chief of the troops, was the most experienced man for the post. Cornwallis {204} was not inclined to come to Ireland, though as a soldier he intimated to the Government that he was bound to obey any orders given him in that capacity. Camden, therefore, remained on, and the long-expected rebellion broke out. But the viceroy was not unprepared, and before the day arrived for the great blow to be struck by a united and concerted action of the rebels every one of the leaders was in gaol and scores of traitors were holding out their hands for payment. News of the successes in the field of the leaderless rebels created a panic, and Camden increased it by despatching his wife and children to England. The Orangemen demonstrated feebly, but they formed a small minority, and, although they had been very prominent since the rejection of the Catholic Bill in 1795, they were of no importance or use in the crisis. Camden implored Pitt to send more troops, or Ireland would be lost for ever. The English statesman replied that there were eighty thousand men in the country already, and gave him Sir Ralph Abercromby to command them.

Marquis Camden

Marquis Camden

Abercromby resigned in disgust, and General Lake was sent to replace him, and to this officer fell the task of dealing with the straggling bodies of rebels who were maintaining a 'sort of rebellion.' Shortly after the arrest of the rebel leaders Camden had made way for Lord Cornwallis, and returned home. The ex-viceroy was consulted by Portland, who had disapproved of his policy, and Camden declared that the only solution of the problem was the union of the two Parliaments. {205} While Ireland had a Parliament of its own—however unrepresentative—it would crave for its natural corollary, a native Government. But even a Camden could learn by experience, and in 1829 he voted in favour of Catholic Emancipation.

The Marquis Cornwallis

It was admitted in London that the rebellion of '98 was at an end, so far as its effectiveness was concerned, before Camden resigned, and the appointment of Lord Cornwallis was inspired by Pitt's dread that the shortly-to-be-introduced Act of Union would lead to further trouble. Cornwallis was a soldier and a statesman. He was sixty years of age, and had led a very full life in India, America, and England. One of the few far-seeing persons who had declaimed against the unjust taxation which lost the States of America, he nevertheless obeyed the call of duty, and fought in the War of Independence. His surrender at Yorktown marked the beginning of the independence of the American Colonies. His greatest and most prosperous years were spent in India, and it was as the successful Indian administrator and soldier that he was despatched to Ireland to prepare the country for Pitt's proposals. He found that there was plenty of work left over from the Camden era, and his first six months consisted of hangings and murders. With a courage worthy of a better cause the peasantry were fighting the Imperial troops, but there could be only one end to such an unequal contest, and the soldiery enjoyed themselves after their kind. The Dublin executive was busily employed reaping the {206} first-fruits of Camden's bribery; Lord Edward Fitzgerald was captured, the last of the '98 leaders.

The history of Ireland must have a strong influence on men's hearts, for nobody can speak or write of it without exhibiting the feelings of the partisan. The unstudied inaccuracies of the phlegmatic Froude show that historian to be capable of emotion when dealing with Irish affairs. Froude had no sense of humour, and, therefore, no sense of proportion, and his detestation of the Celtic temperament caused his prejudices to run riot in his pages on Ireland. On the other side are the painfully sincere patriots whose efforts to divide humanity into sheep and goats wrong both parties. Perhaps one of these days it will be agreed that any event more than fifty years old shall be considered outside party politics. As it is, the rebellion of '98 is a subject strong enough to-day to arouse as much passion as the latest proposal of a vote-bidding Government, Conservative or Liberal.

It would be as easy as it is tempting to dwell upon the doings of the year 1798, but the 'rebellion' has its own historians. One example of Castle methods must be given. Among the lawyers who enjoyed a more or less fashionable practice was a man named McNally. He was friendly with the leading patriots and also with the Government, and he approved in a purely intellectual manner of the rebellion. When, therefore, a batch of important rebels were in need of a barrister to defend them, they sent for McNally, and as their counsel he was told everything, {207} including certain information which the wily lawyer knew would be of immense value to the Government. This was his opportunity, and he never hesitated. To the Castle he went, and sold his clients for a life-pension of £300 a year. But this was a venial sin compared with some others which could be cited.

The Act of Union introduced

The surrender of General Humbert to Cornwallis marked the termination of the rebellion, and, in the opinion of Pitt and Portland, the Home Secretary, the most favourable time had arrived for the introduction of the Act of Union. In November, 1798, the duke sent to Cornwallis the first articles of the Bill. These were introduced into the House of Commons in Dublin in the certain hope that they would be accepted. To the astonishment and dismay of the executive, the Bill was rejected by 107 votes to 105. Castlereagh was furious; Cornwallis indifferent. Both men advised Catholic Emancipation as the price for Parliamentary surrender, but the Government was averse to placing the majority in power.

It was resolved to return to the old methods, the methods that had always proved effective when dealing with the Irish aristocracy and ruling class. Castlereagh was given a free hand, and places, pelf, and peerages were promised with reckless lavishness. There was a rush to be first in the field of favours, but Castlereagh was so ready to promise anything that the bribed became suspicious. The English Government in Ireland had a reputation for treachery that was not undeserved, and the place and peerage seekers went {208} to Cornwallis to seek endorsement of Castlereagh's offers. The viceroy gave his personal guarantee that they would be fulfilled, and, satisfied with this, the ready-made majority went to the Commons, and with a force numbering one hundred and fifty-three persons overwhelmed the opposition of eighty-eight. Many of the latter had refused heavy bribes; as many had endangered their political lives.

The Union accomplished, the Duke of Portland endeavoured to postpone, with an ultimate view to cancellation, the bestowal of the promised peerages and the payment of the monetary bribes, and only the threatened resignation of Cornwallis brought about the fulfilment of the Government's side of the bargain.

Society after the Union

The new nobility were received with derision in England and Ireland, and the wits of the day satirized them unmercifully. There is a story told of John Philpot Curran, who had gained the admiration of the patriotic party by his fearless advocacy of the '98 rebels in the law courts. The famous wit was accosted by one of the new peers outside the defunct Irish Parliament in College Green with the query as to the intention of the Government with regard to the empty building, adding, 'For my part, I hate even the sight of it.' 'I do not wonder,' retorted Curran, 'I never yet heard of a murderer who was not afraid of a ghost.' Curran had been a bitter opponent of the Union, and had proved himself incorruptible.

Whatever its political effect, the closing of the Irish Parliament was a blow to the prestige of {209} Dublin as the metropolis. The viceroyalty remained, but it was shorn of some of its glory. With the death of the Irish House of Commons and the admittance of Irish peers to the English House of Lords, there was no longer any need for the native nobility to maintain expensive houses in Dublin. London became their centre, and they made their country houses their headquarters while in Ireland. Gradually the social power fell into the hands of the professional classes and the higher-grade civil servants; doctors, lawyers, officers in the army, and others of the professions dominated Dublin society. The viceroy's court saw less of the aristocracy, and the levées degenerated into a meeting-place for those of doubtful pedigrees or persons anxious to make new ones. Merrion Square and St. Stephen's Green attracted wealthy barristers and doctors, and prosperous tradespeople moved from the 'other side of the bridge' to the desirable regions surrounding Merrion Square. Knighthoods and baronetcies were given to doctors and lawyers, and the wives of the men who could not have been 'received' at the viceregal court previous to the union were now the leaders of fashion and frequenters of the Castle and the Lodge.

The energetic viceroy meanwhile pressed for Catholic emancipation, which he declared would save Ireland from self-destruction. The state of the country was pitiable, and Dublin looked all the more wretched and squalid by reason of its patches of gaiety and wealth. Trade was stagnant and education at a standstill. Almost every viceroy {210} had to contribute to funds for starving peasantry. Cornwallis was not deceived by the carelessness of his immediate circle. He protested again and again against the laxity of the Government, and called aloud for the emancipation of the Catholics. He was informed that the Government dared not bring in such a Bill, for it would be thrown out instantly, and when they wished to commit political suicide the ministers would follow the viceroy's advice.

Marquis Cornwallis

Marquis Cornwallis

Tired and disgusted, Cornwallis resigned in February, 1801, and in May took his departure. In 1805 he died in India, two years after he had, as the English plenipotentiary, signed the disastrous Treaty of Amiens.

Lord and Lady Hardwicke

Pitt having been replaced by Addington, the new premier sent Lord Hardwicke to Dublin. The earl was the eldest son of Lord Chancellor Yorke, and being of a genial and easy-going disposition, it was thought that he would eradicate, with the assistance of his wife, the ill-feeling caused by the union. Lady Hardwicke certainly did her best, and cultivated every class of Dublin society. The Castle for the time being lost its sinister political reputation, and for five years it remained the centre of the social life of the city. There was much beauty and talent in Dublin, and the name of Irishman had gained something by the exploits of the sons of the late Earl of Mornington. Burke and Goldsmith had passed away, but Sheridan, Grattan, Curran, Keogh, and many others remained. The Lord-Lieutenant dearly loved a good story and a good dinner, and he {211} surrounded himself with all the leading wits of the day. The personality of John Philpot Curran dominated the Irish bar, and his refusal to defend Robert Emmet scarcely affected his popularity with the patriotic party. The attempt on the part of Emmet to start a new rebellion failed miserably, and did not disturb the equanimity of Hardwicke. He continued his policy of doing nothing and doing it well. The viceregal etiquette that had prevailed for hundreds of years was relaxed somewhat, and Dublin began to realize that the reign of the official gang was nearly finished. Hitherto Castle functions had been for the few; now they were for the many. The personal charm of Lady Hardwicke lessened the difficulties of the viceroyalty, and when, in May, 1804, it was announced that Lord Powis was to replace Hardwicke, there was great regret in Dublin. Fortunately, Powis would not come to Ireland, and the viceroy and his wife remained until the early part of 1806, when John Russell, sixth Duke of Bedford, was sent to govern the country under the auspices of the Ministry of All the Talents.

The duke was no politician, and fourteen years in the House of Commons had given him a profound dislike for public life. It was only at the earnest solicitation of the Prime Minister, Grenville, that he accepted the post of Viceroy of Ireland, and when the Duke of Portland began his second ministry Bedford gladly vacated Dublin Castle. It was an undistinguished year in Irish affairs, but it is worth noting that amongst the duke's family at the time was a boy of fourteen, {212} who, as Lord John Russell, had in later years a great deal to do with Irish affairs. He was at the head of the Government when the Irish famine of 1847-48 ravaged the country, and it was to Russell that Gladstone owed his first acquaintance with Irish life. He never had a very flattering opinion of the viceroyalty, regarding it as a useless encumbrance now that the country was controlled from London, and more than once he pressed upon his Cabinet colleagues a proposal for its abolition and the substitution for it of a Secretary of State for Ireland, ranking with the Home Secretary and conducting all Irish business. His father retired into private life after leaving Dublin, and earned the gratitude of subsequent holders of the dukedom by building Covent Garden at a cost of £40,000 and otherwise improving the great Russell estates. Agriculture also owes a great deal to the sixth Duke of Bedford, who was one of the first to cultivate the subject scientifically, and for many years of his life he was Vice-President of the Agricultural Society, which he helped to found and guide into prosperity.

Although Catholic Emancipation was very much to the fore now, and the speeches of Catholic orators were embarrassing the Government, it was not considered essential that the Lord-Lieutenant should be something more than a man of fashion. Dukes were plentiful, and to succeed Bedford, another one in the person of Charles Lennox, fourth Duke of Richmond and Lennox, was chosen. The Duke of Richmond was forty-three years of age, and had gained the {213} reputation of a sportsman. He was a keen cricketer and a patron of the 'noble art' of boxing. In his early years he had distinguished himself in a duel with the Duke of York, and altogether was a typical man of the world, to whom the world was very kind. He was assured that the Government of Ireland was a simple matter—no work to do and plenty of opportunities for cultivating those social arts so dear to him and to his duchess, who was a sister of the outgoing viceroy's wife, the Duchess of Bedford.

Colonel Arthur Wellesley

Richmond was given as his chief secretary Colonel Arthur Wellesley, a man who would perform any work there was to do. In the circumstances the duke and duchess crossed over and inaugurated their reign with a brilliant ball which foreshadowed a very gay time for the metropolis. The viceroy was not interested in Catholic Emancipation or in any of the subjects that intimately concerned the country he was supposed to govern, but, to his great annoyance, Colonel Wellesley, in his anxiety to obtain further military service, neglected Ireland, and spent much of his time in London interviewing responsible ministers. Richmond complained of his chief secretary's neglect, but Wellesley excused himself by pointing out that his civil appointment had been accepted on the understanding that he was at liberty to vacate it whenever there was a prospect of service in the field.

Wellesley was nominally chief secretary for two years, and he did some good work during that time, but his sojourn in Ireland is merely an episode {214} in a splendid life. Richmond's other famous secretary was Sir Robert Peel, who practised the arts of the statesman at twenty-four as chief secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland.

Despite Wellesley's neglect of his Dublin duties he became a warm friend of the viceroy and his wife. It will be remembered that it was the Duchess of Richmond who gave the celebrated ball at Brussels on the historic night that preceded Quatre Bras. At the Battle of Waterloo the duke was one of the suite in attendance on the Duke of Wellington.

Duke of Richmond and Lennox

Duke of Richmond and Lennox

The Duke of Richmond was bitterly attacked by the Catholic party, and a libel action against the editor of the Dublin Evening Post in 1813 provided Daniel O'Connell with his first great opportunity for a public display of his oratory. McGee, the editor in question, had published a daring article on the Lord-Lieutenant in which it was declared 'that he was not the superior of the worst of his predecessors—the profligate and unprincipled Westmoreland, the cold-hearted and cruel Camden, and artful and treacherous Cornwallis. They all insulted, they oppressed, they murdered, and they deceived.' The reference to murder was held sufficient to justify the Government in arresting McGee on the charge of having accused the Duke of Richmond with that crime.

O'Connell and the Duke

Daniel O'Connell took up the case for the imprisoned editor when no other member of the bar dare run the risk of offending the viceregal court. The result was a foregone conclusion, and McGee was considered lucky to get off with two {215} years' imprisonment and a fine of £500, but the case was rescued from obscurity by the accused's advocate's introduction of the ultra-political speech for the defence. In those days they allowed a degree of irrelevancy in counsels' speeches that would not be tolerated for a moment in the twentieth century.

The duke did not go out of office until 1813. The position of representative of the king had its advantages, and the almost regal state he maintained in Dublin soothed his vanity, and was, incidentally, good for the trade of the city. The duchess loved power even more than her husband did, and the exploits of the late chief secretary, now well on his way to a dukedom, were her principal topic of conversation. In Dublin she could lead, whereas in London she had to follow, and in Dublin she stayed for several years, an undisputed queen. Curran, now Master of the Rolls, was her friend, and the wits of the town flattered her in their own charming way. Years afterwards the duchess confessed that the happiest years of her life were spent in Dublin.




{216}

CHAPTER XIV

The advocates of Catholic Emancipation could not be expected to be content with mere social pleasures, and the ministry decided to try a diplomat in the difficult post. The duke having resigned in 1813, Lord Whitworth, an experienced diplomatist and a strong anti-Catholic, took his place. The duke and duchess, after their experience of Brussels and Waterloo, consented to govern British North America, as Canada was then termed, and in 1819 the duke died of hydrophobia in the town of Richmond.

Students of Napoleonic history will be able to recall the early career of the man chosen to foil the attempts of the popular party to force their policy of Catholic Emancipation on the Government. Whitworth, who had been born without a title or great wealth, was a self-made man as far as it was possible for one who owed his opportunities to the generosity of well-disposed patrons. He was first a soldier, and then, through the influence of the Duke of Dorset, a diplomat, representing England in Poland, Russia, and France. As Ambassador in Paris he came into contact with Napoleon, and it was Whitworth who demanded his passports from the Corsican {217} when the Peace of Amiens was broken and all Europe plunged into war.

Lord Whitworth was a man who took advantage of his opportunities, and from 1785 to 1803 fortune was very kind to him, but following his sudden withdrawal from Paris he seemed to lose his powers, and for ten years he chafed in obscurity. In 1801 he had married the widow of his first great patron, and the Duchess of Dorset, a woman whose egotism was matched by her greed, brought him a large fortune and some influence. This was increased by the marriage of her mother to Lord Liverpool, and when that nobleman had been at the head of the Government for about a year he succumbed to the importunities of his ambitious stepdaughter and appointed her husband to succeed the Duke of Richmond.

The haughty duchess

To a woman of the temperament that distinguished the Duchess of Dorset the acme of human bliss was the impersonation of royalty. She revelled in the rites attendant upon the state the viceroy maintained, and as the haughty duchess she was known throughout the country. Lord Whitworth, past sixty and somewhat bored, was a tool in the hands of his wife, who never forgot the fact that he was her late husband's protégé and, therefore, to some extent hers also. She personally supervised the list of those who had the entrée to the Castle, and her censorship of her predecessor's list caused a vast amount of ill-feeling. Wives of respectable professional men found themselves relegated to the position occupied by their prototypes fifty years before, while {218} the intrepid duchess even attacked those who had married into plebeian families, and, therefore, forfeited her regard. It was due to her efforts that her relative, Lord Liverpool, conferred an earldom on Whitworth, though she retained her ducal title throughout her life.

The viceregal pair were not unpopular, but Whitworth was scarcely the man to understand Irish affairs. To a large extent the ruler of the country was Sir Robert Peel, the chief Secretary until 1818. The Duchess of Dorset did not always approve of Peel, but, recognizing that he saved her husband a considerable amount of work, she delegated the task of maintaining the usual official correspondence with the ministry in London to him. Peel was a strong—soon to become the strongest—opponent of the Catholic claims. The viceroy was of the same opinion on this important matter, and, backed by an enormous English army, they defied public opinion.

Earl Talbot

Earl Talbot

In the autumn of 1817 it was decided to replace Whitworth by Lord Talbot, and accordingly, on October 9, the new viceroy was sworn in, Peel taking a prominent part in the ceremony. Talbot and Whitworth were old friends, having first met during the latter's embassy in Russia, when the younger nobleman was an attaché in the diplomatic service, and he owed his selection to the good offices of the outgoing viceroy and his wife. That he was opposed to Catholic Emancipation was another point in his favour, while the Government were not unimpressed by the fact that Lady {219} Talbot was an Irish lady, the daughter of a County Meath gentleman.

Visit of George IV.

Lord and Lady Talbot made a determined effort to win the good-will of the country. Daniel O'Connell's raging, tearing propaganda was disturbing, and ever threatened a revolution, but Talbot thought that by devoting some of his time to the patronage of agriculture he might gain more adherents to the Government's policy. The farmers were not ungrateful, but Lord Talbot must have realized before he was a year in the country that the solution of the Irish question was not so easy as he had thought it to be. Peel, summoned to London for more important duties, still maintained his opposition to O'Connell and the Catholic claims. Then, in 1821, the Cabinet had a brilliant idea which resolved itself into this—that all Irish problems should be solved by a State visit from George IV. Hitherto English kings had been accustomed to visit Ireland in the role of fugitives, but George IV. was to come as a great monarch, the first gentleman in Europe—and, as Thackeray had said, 'the biggest blackguard'—and Irish loyalty was to be aroused from its dormant condition.

The king carried out the plans laid down for him, and he had no cause to regret making the acquaintance of his Irish subjects. He scrutinized everything he saw in Ireland with the air and interest of a schoolboy visiting a waxworks show. English uniforms seemed to fascinate him when worn by Irish soldiers, and he hummed and hawed question after question from the beginning to the end of his visit.

{220}

'Who is that magnificent-looking officer?' he asked the viceroy, indicating the figure of Sir Philip Crampton, the celebrated surgeon.

'Oh, that is a general of the Lancers, sir,' was the witty reply, and the king passed on to something else.

The most humorous incident of his visit arose out of His Majesty's desire to witness some racing at the Curragh. In great state he travelled down, and every preparation was made to supply the royal visitor with a magnificent lunch. The pantries of Dublin and London were searched for dainties, and everything possible pressed into service.

It happened to be a very wet day, and the races did not prove very exciting, but the king chivalrously maintained his interest as long as he could. When he retired to his room, where gorgeous flunkeys of all ranks waited breathlessly for the king to name his refreshment, George IV. did not keep them long in doubt—he wanted a cup of tea.

A simple request, and one easily granted, for in the royal pavilion were the choicest teas, the finest sugar and cream, and, of course, plenty of hot water. Then someone called for a cup and saucer. Great consternation ensued when it was discovered that those simple requisites had been forgotten. There was absolutely nothing in which to serve the tea to the royal visitor!

With prayers that the king might not get impatient, a score of scouts were despatched to search the countryside for a cup and saucer, and {221} one of them proved successful, finding in a poor peasant's ramshackle cabin a twopenny blue cup and saucer. They were hastily polished up, and with remarkable celerity the tea was served to the thirsty king.

One of the caterers afterwards visited the owner of the cup and saucer, and gave her a guinea for them. Needless to say, these precious articles were treasured by the caterer's family.

"A clod—a piece of orange-peel—
    An end of a cigar—
Once trod on by a princely heel,
    How beautiful they are!"


Lord Talbot, K.P.

He was received in Ireland with a courtesy that often swelled into enthusiasm, and Dublin, the centre of the local administration, went into ecstasies over the royal visitor. Lord Talbot was installed a Knight of St. Patrick amidst a splendour that contrasted with horrible distinctness with the terrible misery and poverty that prevailed in the very environs of Dublin Castle itself. The king must have seen the shadows of famine and desolation that lurked behind the gaudy trappings that did their best to make the city fit for a king, but he conveniently ignored them. Monarchs have only a distant acquaintance with human nature, and so King George, flattered by attentions denied him in London except by his satellites, left the country convinced that the demand for Catholic Emancipation was an artificial one created by O'Connell, and that in reality Ireland was a most contented and prosperous nation.

But the ills of humanity cannot be cured by a {222} display of royal dignity, and Talbot discovered that pressing social evils could not be eradicated by the bestowal of ribbons and orders. It may have seemed unaccountable to him that when the country demanded bread it should be dissatisfied with the sight of the king. Lady Talbot was feeding with 'cake' the 'upper ten' of Dublin society, but Ireland was dissatisfied. The country was not progressing, the cities presented a squalid and lifeless appearance, and even Dublin, favoured by the being the residence of the well-paid official set and the home of the Government, scarcely looked the prosperous place it had been during the last quarter of the previous century.

Talbot advised stringent measures against O'Connell, but by now the ministry was beginning to feel doubtful of its ready-made Irish policy, and soon rumours reached Talbot that he was to be succeeded by the Marquis Wellesley, a great Irishman, and an avowed Emancipationist. The viceroy resigned at once and left Ireland. He died in 1849, five years after Peel had rewarded his Free Trade allegiance by giving him the garter.

Lord Wellesley

The Marquis Wellesley, an Emancipationist by conviction, was sent to Ireland with promises the ministry did not intend to fulfil. Peel, Goulburn, the Irish secretary, and the rest of his colleagues, were opposed to the granting of complete relief to the followers of the popular religion, and their selection of Lord Wellesley was merely an attempt to blind the eyes of the patriotic party. When in the last months of 1821 it was declared officially that Wellesley was to succeed Lord {223} Talbot, the joy of the Catholics knew no bounds. To them the new viceroyalty promised a speedy attainment of all their hopes, for they knew that Wellesley was a strong man, and one likely to have his own way. Quite apart from political and sectarian reasons, Ireland welcomed Wellesley. He was an Irishman by birth, and although Harrow, Eton, and Oxford in turn educated him, he had learnt the rudiments of the three R's in the town of Trim. It was recalled that the Lord-Lieutenant in his younger days had been the friend of Henry Grattan, and as the result of thirty years' brilliant service on behalf of the Crown, no man—with the exception of his brother, the Duke of Wellington—commanded greater respect or admiration in the two kingdoms, while so far as Ireland was concerned, the marquis was vastly more popular than the duke, who had a constitutional objection to Catholicism in any form. For eight years Lord Wellesley had acted as Governor-General of India, and during the Peninsular War he was Ambassador to Spain—one brother conquering the French and the other reaping the not less important diplomatic victories, made possible by the great battles. From the foreign secretaryship under Percival Wellesley might have had the premiership, but his views on Ireland were unpopular, and his failure to form a ministry prepared the way for Lord Liverpool to assume the leadership for a period of nearly fifteen years. Despite his opinions, Wellesley could have had the viceroyalty of Ireland in 1812, but he declined it.

{224}

When a young man of twenty-four, Wellesley—then the Earl of Mornington—contracted an irregular alliance with a Parisian girl of remarkable beauty, Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland, and for nine years they lived together. She bore him children, and they appear to have been happy. Wellesley, however, was growing in public importance, and it was represented to him privately that his domestic relations might interfere with his chances of promotion. To end an impossible situation, he married his mistress in 1793, and from the day of the marriage they seemed to lose their mutual affection. Gabrielle Roland was modest in her demands, and content to look after her children; as Countess of Mornington she pestered her husband to compel society to recognize her new status. He was helpless, of course, and quarrels ensued, but they lived together until 1797, when he was appointed Governor-General of India. At first Lady Mornington wished to accompany him, but he was able to persuade her to remain at home.

India at the time had a reputation for cruelty and treachery created by the episode of the Black Hole of Calcutta, and Lady Mornington, thinking doubtless of her children and not herself, consented to remain behind, and enjoy the generous allowance her husband proposed to make her. For the rest of her life—which lasted until 1816—husband and wife saw little of each other; she failed to provide him with a legitimate heir, and at the time it seemed likely that Lord Wellesley would be Prime Minister he lived alone in London. It was said {225} that he refused the viceroyalty in 1812 because it would mean taking 'the Frenchwoman to Dublin,' though a close examination of the existing records points to the fact that Wellesley was unwilling to leave the centre of political interest at such a critical period in the history of England.

Lord-Lieutenant assaulted

The coming of Wellesley to Dublin Castle roused the enthusiasm of the Catholic party and the animosity of the governing minority. In 1822 a great public meeting voted an address of congratulation to the marquis, the motion being proposed by O'Connell and seconded by Richard Lalor Sheil. Meetings all over the country followed suit, and the squeakings of the Orange lodges were drowned in the popular welcome. There was a temporary lull in the formation of secret societies, and the Whiteboys, the Orangemen, the Ribbonmen, and other associations for doing evil by stealth, waited for a sign from the Lord-Lieutenant. He gave it by abolishing the annual Orange decoration of King William's statue, and instantly the Orangemen flew to 'arms.' Wellesley attended a gala performance at the theatre, and an infuriated Orangeman entered a practical protest by hurling a bottle at his head. It missed its mark by inches, and the culprit was arrested. The Grand Jury, unanimously anti-Catholic, threw out the bill, and the powerful minority followed up this blow by inspiring a debate in the House of Commons, in which a vote of censure on the Lord-Lieutenant was rejected with the utmost difficulty. It was only too evident that the {226} Orangemen were determined to contest every inch of ground with the viceroy.

Marquis Wellesley

Marquis Wellesley

The general opinion regarding the Marquis Wellesley, when it was known that he had no power to grant relief to the Catholics, was summed up in the lines by Furlong, the Irish poet:

'Who that hath viewed him in his past career
Of hard-earned fame could recognize him here?
Changed as he is in lengthened life's descent
To a mere instrument's mere instrument;
Crippled by Canning's fears and Eldon's rules,
Begirt with bigots and beset with fools.
A mournful mark of talents misapplied,
A handcuffed leader and a hoodwinked guide;
The lone opposer of a lawless band,
The fettered chieftain of a fettered land.'


The Catholic Association

In 1824 Daniel O'Connell, realizing that the Lord-Lieutenant could not force the hand of his superiors in London, founded the Catholic Association, and it is no exaggeration to say that the people clamoured for admission to it. Every town and village throughout the country had its branch, and within twelve months it was the real authority in the land. The English Government was superseded, and O'Connell was the virtual ruler of Ireland. Wellesley, who did not approve of the aims and methods of the Association, was devoting his attention to the suppression of the secret societies, while the Cabinet in London wrote imploring him to deal effectively with O'Connell's society. But the marquis was helpless. There was no secrecy about the Catholic Association, and its objects were, academically speaking, lawful, and its methods legal. Further alarm was caused by the statement in some English papers that {227} every Irish soldier was a member of the association. Wellesley was asked for his opinion—he repeated again and again that the only way to make the country peaceful was to grant Catholic Emancipation. Three Prime Ministers—Liverpool, Canning, and Goderich—in succession rejected the advice so disinterestedly given, and when a turn of Fortune's wheel placed the great Duke of Wellington in power, he intimated to his brother that as their views did not coincide, it would be better if the Marquis of Anglesey, an old friend of both, should replace him in the Government as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. Lord Wellesley resigned without demur. He was well aware that they differed widely on many important topics, and Wellington had never forgotten that if Wellesley's views on foreign policy had prevailed, there would have been no Waterloo and less glory. In the House of Lords the marquis rose to denounce the Irish policy of his brother, but they never made the blunder of carrying their quarrel into private life. Lord Wellesley had in 1825 married an American lady, Mrs. Patterson of Baltimore, the grand-daughter of one of the signatories to the document that recorded the independence of the United States of America, and she brought him a happiness he had never known before. Witty, beautiful, and rich, the American marchioness held her own in London society, and Wellesley was content for her to remain out of political affairs, save when his seat in the House of Lords enabled him to speak against the Government. Lady Wellesley, who {228} was a devout Catholic, was always escorted by a troop of dragoons to the Roman Catholic Provincial Cathedral in Marlborough Street, Dublin, when her husband was viceroy.

In the Lower House Sir Robert Peel, now Home Secretary, was affirming his unalterable determination never to surrender to the O'Connellites, and his leader was also giving a display of the Iron Will. But even Iron Dukes can unbend when they have been tempered by experience. It was the Wellington Ministry that granted Catholic Emancipation, and it was Sir Robert Peel who sounded the note of surrender. The collapse was caused by the historic Clare election of 1828, within a few months of the appointment of Lord Anglesey.

There was, of course, considerable humour, intentional and otherwise, introduced during the agitation for and against Catholic Emancipation. Once King George IV. was heard to murmur plaintively:

'Wellington is King of England, O'Connell is King of Ireland, and I am supposed to be the Dean of Windsor.'

Lord Eldon presented to the House of Lords a petition of the tailors of Glasgow against the surrender to the Catholics.

'What?' exclaimed Lord Lyndhurst, 'do tailors bother themselves about such measures?'

'No wonder,' answered Eldon; 'you cannot suppose that tailors would like turncoats.'




{229}

CHAPTER XV

Wellington's premiership was four days old when Lord Anglesey accepted the viceroyalty. The duke evidently selected his Waterloo comrade without taking the trouble to sound him upon the views he held, but George IV.—that fine champion of Protestantism!—immediately sent for the marquis, and in a touching interview implored him to keep the Catholics at bay, emphasizing his belief that the surrender of the Government to O'Connell would mean the dismemberment and destruction of the British Empire. Anglesey, who knew nothing whatever about anything except women and war, sought refuge in meaningless platitudes. He declared to the king that he intended to take no part in sectarian or political strife in Ireland; he would administer the law equally to all, and so forth, impressing George IV. with a sense of his extreme propriety and impartiality.

On January 29, 1828, Lord Anglesey became Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. He was in his sixtieth year, and could look back with some pride on a long and busy life. He had fought with Moore at Corunna, and at Waterloo was Wellington's commander of cavalry. These were landmarks {230} in his life, and even his unfortunate relations with the wife of his friend's brother did not create any ill-feeling between Anglesey and Wellington. The Iron Duke had a great affection for his relations, and he often expressed his gratification at the remarkable successes achieved by his brothers, the Marquis Wellesley and Lord Cowley. Politically the Wellesleys were always at enmity, and in addition they were handicapped by inheriting from their mother some of her severe manner and not a little of her pride. It is remarkable that the three brothers should each have had marital troubles. The Duke of Wellington's marriage, begun as a romance, ended as a tragi-comedy; Lord Wellesley's went the same way, and he was burdened for years by a wife with whom he could not live; while Lord Cowley was compelled to seek a divorce.

It was five years before Waterloo that society was startled by the news that Lord Cowley had presented a Bill to Parliament, praying to be divorced from his wife, a daughter of Lord Cadogan. The Marquis of Anglesey, then known as the Earl of Uxbridge, was cited as the co-respondent, and as Lord Uxbridge was a married man with eight children, and, of course, an intimate friend of the Wellesley family, London discussed nothing else. The affair was robbed of a great deal of publicity by the influence of the two families concerned, but Lady Uxbridge was not to be placated, and she divorced her husband. Then Lord Cowley was awarded damages to the extent of £24,000 against the earl, and the complicated {231} affair was simplified by the Earl of Uxbridge marrying Lady Cowley.

The Duke of Wellington was too fond of a good soldier to permit a mere family matter to stand in the way of Lord Uxbridge's prospects. He took him to Waterloo, and if the earl lost a leg in that famous battle, he gained a marquisate, bestowed within less than three weeks of June 18, 1815. Promotion in the service followed, and owing to Wellington's influence it was rapid and remunerative.

The appointment to Ireland was his patron's greatest gift. It seemed only too obvious that a soldier at the head of affairs would be very necessary, for it was accepted as truth in ministerial circles that the entire Catholic priesthood of Ireland was engaged in a campaign for converting the Irish soldiers in the English army to the political principles of the Catholic Association.

The Clare election

When the Iron Duke formed a Government, the Catholic Association passed a resolution declaring that it would oppose the election of any Irish member who took office under the new premier. Undisturbed by this, the member for Clare, Mr. Fitzgerald, accepted the post of President of the Board of Trade, and then O'Connell announced that he would be the nominee of the Association, and would contest the seat. This created a veritable sensation. The eyes of the world were centred on Clare, and Lord Anglesey sent an army of occupation to take possession of it. On the polling days there were about five soldiers for every voter, and the Catholic Association {232} received an advertisement that made the world understand the seriousness of its principles. No single election has ever had the effect produced by the election of Daniel O'Connell to represent Clare at Westminster. A month before the result Sir Robert Peel declared that he would die politically rather than give way: the returns from Clare were still being discussed when the same man started to draft the Bill he introduced into the House of Commons in February, 1829, a measure which completely emancipated the Roman Catholics. The posts of Regent, of Lord Chancellor, and of Irish Viceroy were the only ones Catholics could not hold. The Catholic Association had justified its existence.

Meanwhile Lord Anglesey's position was not without interest. He was very unpopular with the patriotic party, and the fact that George IV. was annoyed with him tended to increase further his popularity. Anglesey learned many things during his first six months in England, and he became an emancipationist while Peel was still defiant. The Duke of Wellington was exasperated when Anglesey nullified his advice to Catholics to substitute patience for agitation by advising them to agitate until they obtained their demands. The duke wrote curt letters, and Anglesey answered in a similar strain. He was not fond of Dublin or Dublin society, and Irish affairs began to bore him. The most interesting men were in his opinion the members of the Catholic Association, and he dare not be seen with them, while he knew, as every other viceroy had known, that {233} to withhold complete emancipation was the worst service the English ministry could do the country. The Prime Minister, with the help of the king, compelled Anglesey to send in his resignation, and the vacancy was given at once to Hugh Percy, third Duke of Northumberland, Greville's 'prodigious bore,' and almost the wealthiest nobleman in England. He accepted with the proviso that he was not to hold the post for more than eighteen months, while he advised the Government to reduce the viceroy's salary by £10,000—it then stood at £20,000 a year. The latter piece of advice was not accepted, because the Government realized that there would be future viceroys without the wealth of the newer Percys.

The Tithe War

The Duke and Duchess of Northumberland gave a great display of their wealth in Dublin, and once more the official party revelled in feastings, balls, and flamboyant levées and drawing-rooms. Some serious work was attempted, and in April, 1830, a proclamation was issued suppressing the Catholic Association. Agitation feeds on agitation, and O'Connell's league had replaced Emancipation by Repeal. He was demanding the severance of the Union between the two countries, and Northumberland determined on a vigorous campaign against the agitator. The Tithe War—arising out of the refusal of the Catholic peasantry to pay tribute to the ministers of an alien Church—had begun, and fierce encounters between the military and the country people were everyday occurrences. Northumberland had a large army at his disposal, and the Cabinet advised him to {234} make full use of it, but realizing the temper of the country better than his superiors, he declared that O'Connell's agitation for Repeal could be rendered abortive by reason, and not by force. Despite the friction with his official chiefs in London, Northumberland would have remained in Dublin had not the Tory ministry been replaced by Lord Grey's administration. The Duke and Duchess of Northumberland—the latter best known as one of the late Queen Victoria's governesses—left the country with the knowledge that they had been as successful as any viceregal pair before them. Sir Robert Peel described him as the very best governor of Ireland, and Wellington, never an easy man to please, growled out some compliments when he met the duke at a dinner-party. Lord Anglesey's second viceroyalty began in December, 1830, and ended in September, 1833. He had been popular during his brief reign of 1828-29, but he discovered speedily that patriots are susceptible, and the viceroy who earned popularity as an emancipationist in 1828 was disliked and distrusted by the O'Connellites, because he would not follow their lead and become equally as enthusiastic for Repeal. Daniel O'Connell derided the viceroy in almost every speech made, and no epithet was too strong to be applied to Lord Anglesey. O'Connell publicly prayed for his removal, and the viceroy, out of sympathy with all parties, lingered on at Dublin Castle, worried by the popularity of the Repealer, and disturbed by the havoc the Tithe War was playing with the progress of the country.

{235}

The famous Doon auction

The history of the Tithe War has been told many times, and there is no room for it here, but it possessed so much comedy and tragedy that some of its incidents may be recalled. When the peasantry tried passive resistance, their activities were aroused by the arrival of soldiers to take their goods and sell them by public auction. In one battle twelve peasants were killed and twenty wounded; in another there were heavy casualties on both sides; and there were other affrays with equally deadly results. A touch of humour was provided by the inhabitants of Doon, a Limerick town which, in the early thirties of the last century, contained a population of about 5,000 Roman Catholics and a single Protestant. In due course, the Protestant clergyman demanded tithes from the priest, which the latter promptly refused to pay. With the aid of the law, the priest's cow was seized, and elaborate preparations made for its sale by public auction. The authorities at Dublin Castle were consulted, and a long correspondence dealing with the cow ensued; there was much advising and consultation; the viceroy discussed it in secret and laughed at it during dinner; the Commander-in-Chief of the forces was asked for his help, and he signed an order for the attendance of a small army at the forthcoming auction. Meanwhile the cow, unmindful of its prominence and glory, browsed on contentedly until the time came when it was led into the field by its crown keeper and escorted by a force of police. On the field of auction, besides the police were a troop of the 12th Lancers, five companies {236} of the 92nd Highlanders, and two pieces of artillery. The auctioneer stood in the midst of an arsenal surrounded by the army. Bids for the historic cow were invited; threats and jokes were all he got from the peasantry, and the proceedings finally left the Government in possession of the cow, no one having the courage to buy it. This auction was one of many. Cows and pigs, escorted by several hundred soldiers, became part of the pageantry of the country; officers and men were recalled from leave of absence to take their part in tending cattle captured from rebellious villagers. No Government could maintain its dignity, and ridicule nullified the dearly bought victories in the field. The net result was that the Government collected £12,000 at a cost of £27,000 and hundreds of lives, and £48,000 still due for tithes.

Lord Anglesey saw nothing of the Tithe War, but from Dublin Castle he superintended the operations against the peasantry. The Government regarded the objection to tithe-paying as one of O'Connell's devices for rousing the masses against England, and although the ministry was compelled to abolish the tithes, the victory of the peasants was more apparent than real, because the Tithe Commutation Act of 1838 placed the onus of collecting the dues on the landlord, who, of course, added the amount to the rent he levied on his tenants' holdings.

Between July, 1834, and April, 1835, there were three ministries, two Melbourne administrations being interrupted by Sir Robert Peel's first and {237} brief government. Lord Wellesley's second viceroyalty lasted a few months—from September, 1833, to April, 1834—and although in 1835 he intimated to Lord Melbourne that he would not be averse to a third term, the premier appointed Lord Mulgrave, and Wellesley had to be content with the gilded post of Lord Chamberlain. The Marquis Wellesley lived until 1842.

The viceroyalty of the Earl of Haddington was as colourless as it was brief. He had been in Parliament some years before he was given a peerage, and succeeding to the earldom shortly afterwards, passed into an obscurity from which he never emerged, even when Peel, on December 29, 1834, made him Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. That ministry resigned in the April following, and Lord Melbourne formed his second Cabinet, sending Lord Mulgrave to Ireland.

The Irish party in Parliament

The return to power of Lord Melbourne marked a new epoch in the history of the British Parliament. For the first time English statesmen realized that the Irish vote could be capable of controlling the destinies of an English party. Hitherto the Irish members had been regarded as of no account; ever since the Union one or other of the great parties had been able to act independently of the Irish members, but the kaleidoscopic ministerial changes that had taken place since the termination of Lord Liverpool's record premiership had gradually given the Irish members the balance of power between the two parties. In eight years seven distinct Cabinets were formed, and when the seventh, Lord Melbourne's, received {238} their seals from William IV., they knew as well as O'Connell himself that their existence depended upon the Irish vote.

It was only natural that O'Connell and his followers were delighted. They foresaw the time when England would tire of the domination of the Irish minority in Parliament, and would gladly send them back to College Green, and so certain were they of this that O'Connell agreed to suspend his demand for the repeal of the Union, and give Melbourne and his colleagues an opportunity of doing something great for Ireland. It was a strong Government and rich in statesmen. Lord John Russell was Home Secretary, and Palmerston was Foreign Secretary. The Cabinet had many long and anxious consultations on Irish affairs, and the ministers did their best to keep their bargain with O'Connell. The House of Lords, however, blocked the way, and the Melbourne Government fell in the autumn of 1841.

When Lord Mulgrave was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland in 1835, he was regarded as the best man for the position. O'Connell expressed public approval of him, and the numerous religious and political associations added their testimonials. The Irish leader's compact with the ministry was well known, and although Lord Mulgrave was regarded as O'Connell's puppet, he was not without opinions of his own. Lord Anglesey had expressed the opinion that O'Connell was the real ruler of Ireland, and Mulgrave, in showing his sympathy with the Catholics, became as popular with the majority as he was unpopular {239} with the powerful Protestant minority. He was considered to have the best opportunity to bring peace to Ireland, and English Liberal members of Parliament, in their enthusiasm for their leader, Lord Melbourne, were continually pointing out how peaceful Ireland had become under a Whig administration. When a constable in the county of Clare appealed to Dublin Castle to remove him to the metropolis because the country had become so quiet that he had no chance of gaining promotion or distinguishing himself, the Whig Press and politicians went wild with delight. The enterprising constable was written about in scores of pamphlets, and three-fourths of England got the impression—and retained it for many years, too!—that Ireland was most law-abiding, as well as one of the most prosperous countries in the world.

William IV. and Lord Mulgrave

The fatal weakness of Lord Mulgrave was his partisanship. He could look at nothing except through the spectacles of well-grounded opinions of his own. At a time when he should have exercised discretion, he rushed into the arms of the Catholic party, and thereby mortally offended the Orangemen and their not-to-be-despised co-religionists. The result was that at a Protestant meeting the mention of the viceroy's name was sufficient to fill the building with cries of derision, while at a gathering of the Catholics Lord Mulgrave was cheered to the echo. It was an undignified reputation for a man supposed to hold the scales of justice evenly, and William IV. protested to Melbourne about the conduct of his viceroy.

An examination of the crime returns of the {240} period shows that the compact between O'Connell and Lord Melbourne caused no appreciative diminution of violence in the country. Protestants declared that Lord Mulgrave was encouraging political criminals by his leniency, the culmination of which was his decision in the case of the brutal murder of the second Earl of Norbury. The earl was the younger son of the notorious Chief Justice Toler, who had received honours from a grateful government because of his anti-Irish and anti-Catholic policy. On his deathbed Toler, hearing that his neighbour, Lord Erne, was also dying, sent a servant to assure his lordship that it would be a dead heat between them! The anecdote is characteristic of the man and his times, but his children were of a different calibre. The elder son died a lunatic, and the second was murdered because he evicted one of his tenants, a rogue who objected to paying rent. The country cried out for the severe punishment of the murderers, but the viceroy more than tempered justice with mercy, and every landowner instantly became alarmed. If murderers were permitted to escape the hangman because a Whig viceroy was at Dublin Castle, then assuredly no Tory landlord was safe. Private and public appeals were made to the king and Lord Melbourne. The premier was compelled to 'promote' him, and in 1839, shortly after he had been created Marquis of Normanby, the viceroy resigned in order to take up the post of Secretary for the Colonies.

Lord Mulgrave

Lord Mulgrave

Lord Normanby's subsequent career was quite in keeping with his conduct in Ireland. No matter {241} in what capacity he acted, he always took sides, and during his diplomatic career, the Foreign Office experienced too much Normanby for its liking. His wife was one of the two women of the bedchamber to Queen Victoria to whom Peel objected when called upon to form a Government in 1841. Normanby had been asked to take charge of affairs, but there were not half a dozen men willing to serve under him, and he soon abandoned his attempt to become Prime Minister. Thenceforward his public life was spent abroad in the diplomatic service, and a list of his diplomatic indiscretions would fill a volume. From 1846 to 1852 he was Ambassador at Paris, and Palmerston's sudden recognition of Louis Napoleon exasperated him to an extent that he never forgot. Normanby was not the man for Paris, and when given a chance to represent the English nation at the Court of Tuscany in Florence, his partisanship, when he ought to have been neutral, was such that Lord Malmesbury had to recall him by telegraph! He returned to England, and until his death in 1863, at the age of sixty-six, he acted with the Tories against the Whigs. His conduct was due entirely to his personal detestation of Lord Palmerston. He was not in sympathy with a single act of the Whig, or Liberal, party, but he exerted himself to thwart Palmerston. He shed tears when 'Pam' became premier for the second time, and he died while the Liberal statesman was half-way through his historic ministry.




{242}

CHAPTER XVI

The Melbourne Government had two years to run when Lord Normanby left Ireland, and they were represented for that period at Dublin by Hugh Fortescue, Viscount Ebrington, and afterwards Earl Fortescue. The O'Connell party welcomed Lord Ebrington as they would have welcomed anybody commissioned by Lord Melbourne, and although they had been disappointed by the barren results of the treaty so far, they hoped for the best. The Repealer, realizing slowly, perhaps, that he was going to experience a bitter disappointment, was anxious to raise the standard of revolt, but he was advised by friends of the ministry to wait. They prevailed upon him to give them another chance.

Encouraging Irish trade

The accession to power of Sir Robert Peel dispelled O'Connell's sanguine hopes. It was true that the premier had twelve years previously conceded the claims of the Catholic party, but it was known that he would have none of the cry for Repeal, and that he would appoint a Lord-Lieutenant of his own stamp. It is singular, indeed, how devotedly O'Connell admired the office of the viceroy. To him it seemed to represent Ireland's scrap of royalty, and in the imitation {243} courts of Dublin Castle and the Viceregal Lodge he saw something of regal independence for the country. He was always opposed to the abolition of the post, and during the Melbourne administration was continually suggesting to the premier the names of noblemen likely to make efficient viceroys. When Lord Normanby retired, he promptly counselled Melbourne to send Lord Clarendon over, but the commission was given to Lord Ebrington, and this nobleman's compulsory resignation let in Earl de Grey, who governed Ireland from September, 1841, to July, 1844. He was sixty years of age, wealthy, and popular, married to an Irish lady of great charm, when he was selected by Sir Robert Peel; and with a callous indifference to O'Connell's disapproval he came to Ireland, and with the help of his wife won the respect of all classes. Lady de Grey was a daughter of the first Earl of Enniskillen, and was three years her husband's junior, whom she had married in 1805. While the Lord-Lieutenant entertained Dublin society, and spent thousands of pounds to the benefit of the country, Lady de Grey bore her part well, though she showed at times that she did not regard herself as a hostess only. She realized that the country could do with more trade and less agitation, and without recourse to political means she set herself the task of helping the manufacturers of Ireland. Habitués of Dublin Castle and the Viceregal Lodge entertainments soon heard that they could not please her Excellency better than by patronizing Irish industries, and if the ladies were still compelled to buy their {244} dresses in London and Paris, they were induced to patronize the Irish dressmakers for their less expensive gowns.

It was not, of course, the most auspicious time for a genuine attempt to do something practical towards the social salvation of Ireland. Crime was rife; agitation was rampant; patriotism rioting deliriously. Many districts became acquainted with famine, but if food was short orators were plentiful. De Grey had plenty of work to do, and it was he who initiated the proceedings that led to the arrest of Daniel O'Connell and some of his friends in the autumn of 1843. The Government took advantage of a public meeting of the agitators to apprehend them for conspiracy, and eventually O'Connell and his associates were placed on trial, found guilty by a packed jury, and subsequently 'imprisoned' in an old-fashioned country house, where they passed their time amidst a quiet that must have been to them a luxury. They were allowed to have their own servants and whatever food they wished, and never were prisoners more free than during the three months that elapsed between the conviction and sentence by the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, and the reversal of the verdict by the House of Lords. That memorable trial gave William Smith O'Brien his opportunity, for O'Brien became automatically the leader of the Repeal movement when O'Connell was in 'prison.'

The decline of O'Connell

Between the first and second trials Lord de Grey left Ireland, and was succeeded by Lord Heytesbury, who remained until 1846. Born in 1779, {245} William a'Court, first Baron Heytesbury, was educated at Eton, and spent many years in the diplomatic service, holding the important position of Ambassador to the courts of Portugal and Russia. In 1808 he married a grand-daughter of the Earl of Radnor, and twenty years later his diplomatic services were rewarded by the bestowal of a peerage. Peel always had a high opinion of Heytesbury, and only his resignation in 1835 prevented him making the ex-ambassador Governor-General of India. On the resignation of Earl de Grey, Peel invited Heytesbury to go to Ireland, and the invitation was accepted. He was able to regard with indifference the censure of the Law Lords on the conduct of the Dublin Government in the matter of Daniel O'Connell's trial. He could easily dissociate himself from the faults of the preceding régime. The abandonment of the cry for Repeal by O'Connell lessened the anxieties of Heytesbury, but there were the usual economic problems to be dealt with, and from all over the country reports came of the terrible distress and poverty prevailing. The Lord-Lieutenant did his best, and much money was spent in a vain attempt to ameliorate the conditions of peasant life. By the close of Lord Heytesbury's brief reign, however, ominous clouds were rising on the political horizon. Daniel O'Connell, tamed by age and experience, was by no means the raging propagandist of the twenties and thirties; he was ever counselling his fiery followers to concentrate their attention on the reform of the English Parliament, but his adherents demanded {246} Repeal, and when he disagreed, they passed on, despising the leader who refused to lead. William Smith O'Brien was now the temporary hero, and he was fascinating the rank and file of agitators by his aristocratic manner and superficial unselfishness. Here was a man—not one of themselves—who stood to lose everything and gain nothing by his association with a cause that was supposed to be the religion of the lower-class Irish and the scarcely superior patriotic attorneys and doctors. William Smith O'Brien was a gentleman and a patriot! The country gasped, and followed him, leaving Daniel O'Connell to realize that every generation produces its heroes and geniuses, and will not tolerate the rivalry of the aged, however eminent.

An Irish Lord-Lieutenant

Lord John Russell began his first ministry on July 6th, 1846. His Cabinet was a strong one, and his prospects were bright save on the omni-present Irish question. O'Connell was certainly a spent force, but a new race of agitators had arisen, and the principles of '98 were as strong as ever nearly fifty years later. The premier, however, had some knowledge of Ireland. As a boy he had played in the heavy rooms of Dublin Castle, and as Home Secretary he had studied Irish affairs besides administering them. He was well aware that the chief defect of many viceroys was their inability to understand the national character, and he therefore came to the conclusion that if a resident Irish landlord should be appointed Lord-Lieutenant, something would be done at any rate to popularize the executive government {247} in Dublin. Happily for Russell, there was the man for his purpose in the ranks of his followers. John William Ponsonby, fourth Earl of Bessborough, was a popular Irishman, a large landowner, and possessing considerable influence in his own country. This had been proved by the Kilkenny election of 1826, when he was returned to Parliament despite the most energetic opposition of O'Connell.

Five years later, when the agitator's position and power were almost impregnable, he retained his seat with a majority of sixty-five, thanks to the support of the most famous of Irish Roman Catholic Bishops, Dr. Doyle. Retiring from Kilkenny, he represented Nottingham in the Commons until in 1834, after twenty-nine years of Parliamentary life, he was created a peer in his own right, and took his seat in the House of Lords as Lord Duncannon. In 1834 he was Home Secretary, and from 1835 to 1839 was Lord Privy Seal. Two years after, succeeding to the earldom, he was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland immediately upon Lord John Russell's formation of a Government. Between the date of the Kilkenny election and his accession to the House of Lords, one of the most important events in his life was his friendship with O'Connell. Once his bitterest enemy, the agitator became almost an intimate friend, and Russell's selection of Bessborough for the viceroyalty was a direct attempt to please the popular party. Unfortunately for the designs of the premier, the appointment came too late. There were new 'shepherds in Israel,' and O'Connell {248} no longer led the Repealers or guided them in their councils. Of course, in official circles Lord and Lady Bessborough were successful enough. Lady Bessborough was a daughter of that Earl of Westmoreland who had been Viceroy of Ireland from 1790 to 1795, and her Excellency was like an old friend returning. But their stay in Dublin was destined to be very brief, and just when it appeared that the viceroy was to be overwhelmed by the enormous amount of work created by the followers of O'Brien, his Excellency died suddenly in Dublin Castle on May 16, 1847—a tragedy which, amongst other things, meant that the stormiest viceroyalty in the history of the country should be that of Lord Clarendon. Lord Bessborough was sixty-six, and his death was regretted by everybody. Those who had the welfare of the country at heart had been hoping that, with an Irishman and a resident landlord at the head of the Irish executive, peace might come to the nation, were left to seek consolations in speculations on the 'might-have-been,' while the party of revolution were relieved of the embarrassment of rebelling against the Government represented by a man against whom no charge of self-interest or lack of patriotism could be hurled.

Earl of Clarendon

Earl of Clarendon

One friend of O'Connell was succeeded by another, and George William Frederick Villiers, fourth Earl of Clarendon, was sworn in as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland shortly after Lord Bessborough's death. It was understood that he was to be the last Viceroy of Ireland. He was then forty-seven years of age, twenty-seven of which {249} had been spent in the service of the country. At twenty he was an attaché to the British Embassy at St. Petersburg; from 1827 to 1829 a commissionership of Customs took him to Ireland, where he studied the Irish question so effectively that the Lord-Lieutenant, the Marquis of Anglesey, was glad to have his advice. When he left Madrid, the Spanish Government struck a medal in his honour as a tribute to his successful occupancy of an embassy by no means the easiest in Europe. In 1838 he declined the Governor-Generalship of Canada: indeed, he made a habit of declining honours, amongst these being a twice-offered marquisate and two pressing invitations to govern India. In 1847, however, he accepted the post of Viceroy of Ireland, and with Lady Clarendon, who was a daughter of the Earl of Verulam, he entered upon his remarkable term of office. A year before he had presided over the Board of Trade, and this was his most onerous ministerial appointment until he went to Ireland.

The strongest and wisest of men would have failed in Ireland during the period bounded by the years 1847 and 1852—the time covered by Lord Clarendon's viceroyalty—and the Lord-Lieutenant was by no means entitled to be considered above the average in strength and wisdom. He was a Liberal, and a Free Trader, and a friend of O'Connell, and he had numerous ideas that he hoped would fructify to Ireland's gain, but he never had a real chance. In succession he had to face the Young Ireland insurrection, the famine, Orange disturbances in several counties, the {250} ghastly economic problems created by the increasing emigration of the peasantry, and the consequent bankruptcy of the landlords. Clarendon laboured at the Castle and in London in a hopeless endeavour to restore order out of chaos. To defeat William Smith O'Brien and his followers was ridiculously easy, but it was another matter coping with a famine that threatened to wipe the peasant population out of existence. Ireland, ever the thorn in the crown of British statesmanship, drove Russell to distraction, and made Clarendon old before his time. Daily plots to assassinate him were duly reported to the police, and by them to the viceroy; Lady Clarendon was induced to spend most of her time in England, and eventually so virulent did the enemies of the Government become that for days the viceroy was placed in the humiliating position of being unable to go beyond the precincts of Dublin Castle. At viceregal parties a large percentage of those present consisted of spies and detectives. In the country blood was being shed—at the Castle lives were being worn out. Clarendon was courageous enough, but courage is only a secondary attribute in a statesman. Wisdom was wanted, and wisdom was not to be found. The executive at Dublin scarcely understood the temper of the country. The Lord-Lieutenant's policy was vigorous, but its administration haphazard and spasmodic.

Whenever an experiment or change was tried, it was abandoned in panic before anyone could judge the results. The viceroy overshadowed {251} the Chief Secretary, and thus all the acts of the queen's representative were coloured by the opinions of one political party. To the mass of the people of Ireland the throne of England symbolized oppression and persecution.

In this vague and bewildering state of affairs there was no room for social pleasantries, though Castle seasons came and went with grim regularity. There was, however, some compensation in store for the harassed viceroy, for to everybody's surprise it was announced that Queen Victoria intended to visit Ireland.

Queen Victoria's first visit

The first visit to Ireland of Queen Victoria took place in 1849. Her Majesty was accompanied by the Prince Consort, and the royal parents brought their children with them. Their stay in Ireland had to be limited to five days, and a great deal had to be compressed into the short time at their disposal. Ireland has always been courteous to its visitors of whatever rank, but Queen Victoria received an enthusiastic welcome that voiced her popularity with every class and creed in the country. She had undertaken the journey from a strong sense of duty; she actually experienced a sense of pleasure, and from that time forward there was at least one eminent person in England who understood the good qualities of the people of Ireland. On the surface, and to suit the phrase-mongers, they might be disloyal, but at heart they entertained a strong affection for the occupant of the throne of England. Queen Victoria knew this, and her opinion was endorsed by her successors, King Edward VII. and King George V., {252} when they made the acquaintance of the people of the 'kingdom of Ireland.'

The royal visit accomplished, Dublin returned to its old condition of squalor. Agitation was rife, fostered by the pens and voices of a group of brilliant Irishmen. They had started the Nation newspaper, and had made it one of the most powerful organs in the country; other offshoots of the Young Ireland Press helped to pepper the Government, and as there was no champion on the English side, the patriots appeared to have matters all their own way. Arguments were unanswered, and were, therefore, accepted as infallible, and this condition of things continued for a time until the viceroy and his secretary, Mr. Corry Conellan, decided to have a newspaper champion of their very own. Sir William Somerville, the Chief Secretary, was called into the conference, and ways and means discussed. There can be no doubt of the fact that the Lord-Lieutenant could have had the aid of any one of a dozen clever journalists, but ashamed, perhaps, of their methods, they enlisted in their service a person of the name of Birch, whose only claim to notoriety was the proprietorship of the World, and a conviction ending in six months' imprisonment for having threatened to publish a defamatory article about a public official unless the latter paid for its suppression. Lord Clarendon was, of course, unaware of his hireling's police-court experiences, and he agreed with his private secretary's recommendation of Mr. Birch. The latter was, therefore, regularly supplied with {253} opinions from the Castle upon all subjects relating to Ireland, and week by week the World did its best to counteract the effect produced by every issue of the Nation. It was a feeble attempt on Birch's part, who possessed neither the wit nor the talent of the Nation writers, and his employers tired of his futilities. The hack was given notice, and his World was abandoned by the viceregal party. But Mr. Birch was a gentleman with a knowledge of a greater world; he decided that Lord Clarendon and his Chief Secretary could be made to pay, and so he concocted a list of services rendered and demanded a honorarium of £7,000 for his trouble.

A 'cause célèbre'

When the claim was first made, the Lord-Lieutenant declined to pay a penny more. He reminded Birch that he had received nearly £2,000 in return for very little work, but the journalist did not wish to argue the rights or wrongs of his claim—he wanted money, or else he would bring them into court and open his mouth. This frightened Lord Clarendon, who compromised with Birch by paying him the sum of £2,000 to withdraw his action. The journalist accepted, and turned his attention to the Chief Secretary, who wisely refused to be blackmailed, and accordingly, in the month of December, 1851, the élite of Dublin crowded the approaches to the Four Courts, to witness the spectacle of a viceroy in the witness-box being cross-examined by counsel for the plaintiff. There were rumours that the most sensational disclosures would be made, and in official circles there was much trepidation. {254} By now the viceroy had learned the lesson that to attempt to conciliate a blackmailer was the most stupid form folly could assume. He agreed to submit himself to cross-examination—the only course if he desired to free himself from his late confederate.

Birch boldly stated his case, and described how he had been sent for by the viceroy's private secretary, and bought over by the Government. He had been instructed to reply to the attacks of the Nation, and, so he said, given a free hand in the spending of money. One story is good until another is told, and Birch's was largely discounted when the defence made its explanation. Lord Clarendon confessed that he had paid £3,700 altogether to Birch, and had received practically nothing in return. Of this sum £2,000 had been paid to the journalist to abandon an action he had entered against the viceroy, claiming £4,800 and £3 10s. costs. The action tried was ostensibly against Sir William Somerville, the Chief Secretary, but everybody knew that it was merely another attempt on the insatiable Birch's part to extract more money from the Lord-Lieutenant.

The trial lasted several days, but when the jury were allowed to retire, they made short work of Birch, whose cross-examination had killed his chances of success. Four minutes' deliberation was sufficient for the jurymen to bring in a verdict for the defendants, to whom they awarded costs to the amount of sixpence. It was a blow to the prestige of Lord Clarendon, though the right-minded admitted his honesty in declining to be {255} blackmailed by an adventurer. Naturally, the opposition party made great capital out of it, and the Nation attained the dignity of a classic. For many weeks its pages were never without a reference to the cause célèbre, one of these being a neat epigram, which read:

'"Lord C. has grown most awfully religious,"
    Said Corry Conellan with a rueful air;
"At least, his trepidation is prodigious
    As to how in the next World he'll fare!":


With all the stubbornness of an English gentleman, the viceroy remained on at his post. He was anxious to discover the solution to the problems of the day. English money poured into the country to relieve the famine-stricken areas, and the landlords were helped also, but this did not augur tranquillity in the future. In despair the viceroy began a policy of favouring the patriotic party; he tried conciliation, made advances, and offered the hand of friendship, only to be called a coward, and earn the distrust of his own party. He then reversed his policy with the usual result—nobody was pleased, and when in 1852 Lord Clarendon's term came to an end, he was adjudged by all classes to have failed, although in such times Clarendon's failure was not without its personal compensations. He had the satisfaction of knowing that no man could have succeeded, and history has proved that to be a fact. His subsequent career is part of the history of England, for he was Foreign Secretary from 1853 to 1858, an epoch rendered memorable by the {256} Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny. In 1870 he died suddenly, seventy years of age.

Earl of Eglinton and Winton

Earl of Eglinton and Winton

A remarkable sportsman

Lord Derby's first Government began on February 27, 1852, and ended in the following December. During that short period the Viceroy of Ireland was Lord Eglinton and Winton, a nobleman who is best remembered as the promoter of the Eglinton tournament, an attempt to revive the old-time glory of the age of chivalry. This freak cost him £40,000, a small sum to one possessed of great wealth, a fact he made evident throughout his stay in Dublin. His lavish entertainments created a new era in viceregal hospitality. Lord Eglinton was essentially what may be described as a sportsman, using the term in the old sense, and not as it is now understood. His racing stable was about the largest and most successful in England, and during the forty-nine years (1812-61) he lived, he helped to enliven the crowd. He was devoted to sport, and some surprise was expressed when he agreed to govern Ireland, but he liked the country, and in 1858, on Lord Derby's return, he went back to Dublin, but within sixteen months he resigned, and in June, 1859, it became necessary to find a successor. He was scarcely interested in politics, though in 1854 he moved a resolution in the Lords asking for a commission to inquire into the working of the Board of Education in Ireland. During his second viceroyalty he married again—the first Lady Eglinton having died in 1853—and for a few months a daughter of the Earl of Essex acted as the hostess of Dublin Castle and the Viceregal {257} Lodge. Personally untouched by the political difficulties of the country, Lord Eglinton had the merit of realizing the hopelessness of trying to solve Irish problems, and he did more good with his lavish dinners than the well-meaning Clarendon had with his painstaking investigations into, and midnight studies of, what are termed, for want of a better name, 'Irish affairs.' He was given the United Kingdom peerage of Winton—an earldom—on his retirement from Ireland, the grateful ministry thus acknowledging his popularity as a sportsman, and helping us to remember that he won the St. Leger three times and the Derby once.

Political affairs having terminated Lord Eglinton's first viceroyalty towards the close of 1852, Lord Aberdeen, the Prime Minister, appointed the Earl of St. Germans to Ireland. It was yet another attempt to meet the criticism that English statesmen and Irish viceroys were absolutely ignorant of and indifferent to Irish problems. Lord St. Germans was fifty-four, and for some years—1841 to 1845—had been Chief Secretary for Ireland. He was a man of ability and courage, and as the author of the Eliot Convention taught the participants in the Carlist rising in Spain something of the decencies of warfare. As Chief Secretary for Ireland, his time had been spent in dealing with the numerous petty rebellions and their leaders; he introduced a Bill to restrict the sale of firearms and the importation of ammunition; the Government found it unacceptable, and Eliot went out of office to be given the {258} Postmaster-Generalship by Peel, and later the Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland.

Lord St. Germans married in 1824 a grand-daughter of the first Marquis Cornwallis, and both became intimate friends of the royal family. In 1853 Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort visited Dublin to open the great International Exhibition, and, of course, they were enthusiastically welcomed by the whole of the country. Lord and Lady St. Germans took the lead in a splendid series of festivities that celebrated the visit of the queen. Political motives may have suggested the visit, but in all probability the anxiety of Her Majesty to see Ireland again was not lessened by the fact that her friend was the viceroy.

The Earl of Carlisle

St. Germans' retirement in 1855 to become Lord Steward and confidant of the queen until his death, at the age of seventy-nine, in 1877, was followed by Lord Carlisle's first term of office. As Lord Morpeth he had been Chief Secretary for more than six years—1835-41—the post having been given him because it was his amendment to the address that turned out the Peel administration in the spring of 1835. Lord Morpeth, as he was known during the twenty odd years he sat in Parliament, was the most workmanlike minister of his generation. With the assistance of Thomas Drummond, his under-secretary, he framed the Irish Tithe Bill, the Irish Municipal Reform Bill, and the Irish Poor Law Bill; and, although hampered by the House of Lords and by the fact that he was regarded as Lord Melbourne's {259} hostage for good behaviour to Daniel O'Connell, he was a most successful Chief Secretary in a time when success was very dearly bought. He was, therefore, essentially a safe man when he became viceroy on the nomination of Lord Palmerston in February, 1855. He held the post until October, 1864, with the exception of the sixteen months occupied by Lord Eglinton's second viceroyalty, between February, 1858, and June, 1859.

It is not possible to say that any Viceroy of Ireland has been successful, because there is no such thing as pleasing the numerous parties into which the democracy and aristocracy of the country is divided, but Lord Carlisle went as near success as any human being could. A fine statue by J. H. Foley, erected in Phoenix Park in 1870, is evidence of the popularity of George William Frederick Howard, seventh Earl of Carlisle. He was an emancipationist when it was dangerous to confess to such ultra-Liberalism, and his speech when introducing the Irish Tithe Bill in the House of Commons in 1835—he was but thirty-three—remains one of the best speeches by an Englishman on Irish affairs. He took a genuine interest in the welfare of the country, and did his best. The 'patriots' denounced him as a tool of a tyrannical Government; the few that made his personal acquaintance discovered a scholarly nobleman with the most amiable manner in the world. He never married, and consequently did not entertain on the same lavish and indiscriminate scale as his predecessors, but Dublin Castle was all the better for its acquaintance with the eminent {260} persons the viceroy dined and wined there. Another visit of the Queen and Prince Albert, inspired by the fact that the Prince of Wales was quartered with his regiment at the Curragh, was a feature of Lord Carlisle's term.

There were, of course, the usual political agitations, and although the Smith O'Brien rising had collapsed ignominiously, a new force in Irish affairs came into existence about the time that Lord Carlisle was concluding his first viceroyalty. The Irish in America had begun to take a practical interest in Irish affairs. They subscribed large sums of money to aid the cause of Irish independence, and for six years, beginning with 1858, great preparations were made for the striking of the decisive blow. James Stephens and others founded the Fenian organization described by Mr. Gladstone as having its root in Ireland and its branches in the United States. During the latter months of Lord Carlisle's viceroyalty there were one or two small attempts on the part of the Fenians to make themselves prominent, but it was not until Lord Wodehouse was in power at Dublin Castle that English ministers realized the gravity of the new situation created by Stephens and his friends. Lord Carlisle's resignation was brought about by ill-health, and in October, 1864, he left Ireland, to die before the close of the year. It illustrates the viceroy's position in social and literary circles to recall the fact that when the country celebrated in 1864 the tercentenary of the birth of William Shakespeare, Lord Carlisle should be selected to preside over the festivities at Stratford-on-Avon.




{261}

CHAPTER XVII

The viceroyalty of Lord Wodehouse brought him an earldom in the year he retired from office—1868—but it would be an exaggeration to say that he was conspicuously successful. Until his appointment to Ireland, Wodehouse had had experience of under-secretaryships only, at the Foreign and Indian Offices, and Lord Palmerston's selection came as a surprise. It may have been due to the fact that Lord Wodehouse's wife was a daughter of an Irish peer, the last Earl of Clare, and there have been selections for the viceroyalty based on even more frivolous and cynical reasons. There was, of course, a great deal of anxious and dangerous work for Lord Wodehouse to do, and within a few months of his arrival in Dublin he was coping night and day with the Fenian rising. At first all the viceroy's energy and the underground activities of his subordinates seemed helpless against the efforts of the latest society for bringing about separation from England, but Lord Wodehouse was not dismayed, and he met murder with execution and assassination with the rope. The Fenian movement culminated in 1867 in a series of shameless murders that once more drew the {262} attention of the English nation to the disturbed condition of Ireland.

In the May of 1867 Mr. Gladstone declared in the House of Commons that the time was near when the Government would have to deal with the Irish Church, one of the strongest arguments of the Fenian party. Following this declaration came the murder of a policeman in Manchester, when an attempt was made to rescue two Fenian prisoners. Three men were executed for the crime, and as the 'Manchester martyrs' they are to be found in the calendar of Nationalism. There was a melodramatic attempt to blow up a London prison, and thus free a Fenian incarcerated within its walls. Everywhere the mention of the name of Ireland produced a feeling of panic and an expression of profound contempt.

The Earl of Kimberley

Meanwhile Lord Wodehouse, whose administration, ending in 1866, was wholly political, acted with rigour and fearlessness. The Home Rulers mocked him, issuing imitation proclamations signed 'Woodlouse.' He turned aside from signing warrants to welcome, in May, 1865, the Prince of Wales—afterwards King Edward VII.—to Dublin to open the International Exhibition, but that was almost the only occasion when he made a public appearance unassociated with politics. There was some effort to maintain the social side of Dublin Castle government, but the times were not favourable to hospitality, and when in 1866 the viceroy was succeeded by the Marquis of Abercorn, and took his place in Mr. Gladstone's first ministry as Lord Privy Seal, under his new title of Earl of {263} Kimberley, there was neither regret nor gratitude expressed for his departure. The Nationalists and their Fenian allies could not be expected to show approval or disapproval of persons who merely administered the same system. To them Dublin Castle was the outward token of England's rule in Ireland, and their object was to destroy its existence.

Lord Kimberley died in 1902, aged seventy-six. He is not remembered for his Irish viceroyalty, but as Foreign Secretary under Lord Rosebery in 1892-94 he displayed an ability that was something above mere industry. He declined to join an alliance which had for its object the coercion of Japan after the latter's victory over China, and this far-seeing act was the first step towards the Anglo-Japanese alliance which many consider Lord Lansdowne's greatest achievement during his tenure of the Foreign Office. Lord Kimberley was Colonial Secretary in the days when the affairs of the outer Empire were not considered very important, and a knowledge of the colonies something akin to bad form. His administration of Indian affairs was decidedly tame, but he did no harm. It was his fate who once had been a member of the strongest Liberal Cabinet in the history of party government to witness the Liberal debacle that followed the resignation of the Rosebery Government. In the palmy days of Liberalism it was his good fortune to serve under Gladstone—towards the close of his life he sat in the Cabinet of a man who, having won the greatest prize of political life too easily, treated it with {264} contempt, and in doing so wrecked the party which enabled him to win some fame as a statesman. To Lord Kimberley fell the task of leading the Liberal minority in the House of Lords, and when he died in 1902, the Conservative and Unionist party was in an apparently impregnable position, and Liberalism was in the depths.

The fall of the Liberal ministry brought Lord Derby to the head of the Government, with Disraeli as his Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Prime Minister thereupon asked the Marquis of Abercorn to accept the difficult and laborious post of Viceroy of Ireland, and the hazardous position was accepted from a sense of duty. Lord Abercorn was in 1866 fifty-five years of age, and thirty-four years earlier he had married Lady Louisa Russell, a daughter of the sixth Duke of Bedford, another viceregal family. The viceroy was a popular landlord, though he, too, had a constitutional objection to tenants who would not pay their rents. But the respectable classes admired him, and those who knew him personally considered that he was the right man for Ireland. He was the proudest man in Ireland, with a flamboyant love of display. Fenianism was most active during his first term, and Abercorn was compelled to adopt similar methods in dealing with the trouble as had been part of the Liberal administration of his predecessor. Ireland has always refused to accept the spirit of the English party system, and whether Liberal or Conservative ministry was in power, Dublin Castle remained the same. There were the usual evictions, riots, {265} murders, and other crimes scarcely less reprehensible, and the viceroy, although protected to some extent by the Chief Secretary, who was, of course, the mouthpiece of the Irish Government in the House of Commons, found himself compelled by force of circumstances to undertake political work against which his soul revolted. Lord Abercorn was not a man to revel in a display of the power of the police, or even of the tenacity and strength of the Castle bureaucracy. He aimed at the improvement of the masses, the progress of education, and the cultivation of the fine arts. In society the viceroy and the marchioness were most popular. He was an intimate friend of the queen. No charge of alienism could be laid against the head of the Irish Hamiltons, and while every other great landlord had his land troubles, the tenants of the Marquis of Abercorn had realized in a practical manner their indebtedness to their landlord. If anybody should have been the ideal viceroy Lord Abercorn was the man; but here, again, any success achieved was purely social, and confined to a small area. The unruly state of the country, its increasing poverty, and its record of crime, found no palliative in the reign of the proudest of the Hamiltons.

Prince and Princess of Wales

In April, 1868, the Prince and Princess of Wales visited Dublin, to prove again that if Ireland had the reputation of being a nation of rebels, it could be courteous to distinguished visitors. Lord and Lady Abercorn received them in Dublin, and there were great rejoicings. The executive had taken the most elaborate precautions for the safety {266} of the royal pair, but events proved that they were quite unnecessary, and Ireland might have been one of the most prosperous countries in the world for all the prince and princess saw to the contrary. Within the sacred walls of St. Patrick's Cathedral the Lord-Lieutenant presided over a gorgeous ceremony, which formally created the Prince of Wales a Knight of St. Patrick, and the banquet that followed in St. Patrick's Hall was one of great splendour. The dinner brought together not only all the notables of Ireland, but also the largest gathering of English and Irish detectives that the Castle has ever contained. The number of the detectives was quite embarrassing, but it was considered necessary, with recollections of Manchester and Clerkenwell. The royal guests were ignorant of this part of the programme, however, although the prince once addressed a question to a gentleman whom he thought was the viceroy's secretary. He was not enlightened as to the identity of the detective-inspector from London, who was part of his bodyguard.

Benjamin Disraeli was Prime Minister at the time of the royal visit to Ireland, and he had no difficulty in getting Abercorn a dukedom. On August 10, 1868, his elevation was announced, and Ireland's only duke—his Grace of Leinster—was joined by a second wearer of the strawberry leaves. The new dignity had been earned years before Lord Abercorn lived in Dublin Castle, and by no stretch of official imagination could it be said to hallmark the Abercorn administration of 1866 to 1868. The General Election in the latter {267} year displaced Disraeli, and gave Mr. Gladstone the reins of power, and the Duke of Abercorn went out with the Tory Government to enjoy himself in opposition until 1874, when Disraeli tasted the sweets of office again.

The Irish Church disestablished

We have Mr. Gladstone's own admission that the Fenian agitation of the sixties was the primary cause of English interest in the Irish Church, and in the great land question. It is one of the truisms of history that agitation on unconstitutional methods is more effective than the employment of peaceful persuasion. Catholic Emancipation proved that. When Gladstone took office it was known that he would attempt to create a contented Ireland by disestablishing the Irish Church, and by passing a great Land Act. He chose as his Irish viceroy Earl Spencer, then an unknown and untried young man in his thirty-third year. To be the representative of the premier in Ireland was the most onerous and dangerous position in the Government. The viceroy found society, lay and clerical, against him, and with the passing of the Land Act of 1870 the upper-class Irish believed what they had only doubted before—that Gladstone was the worst enemy of Ireland, and that Lord Spencer was his dangerous satellite. There is no need to enter into the controversy that ensued when Gladstone introduced the Bill disestablishing the Church of Ireland, as the Protestant minority was termed absurdly. Archbishop Trench declared passionately that the disestablishment would 'put to the Irish Protestants the choice between apostasy and expatriation, and every {268} man among them who has money or position, when he sees his Church go, will leave the country. If you do that,' he continued, 'you will find the country so difficult to manage that you will have to depend upon the gibbet and the sword.' It would be unfair to dwell upon the ludicrous moanings of the Church party; they prophesied not only the extinction of the Irish Protestants, but the end of Christendom. We can be content with the knowledge that time has given us of the prosperity and progress of Protestantism in Ireland.

It is a splendid example of the irony of life to recall Mr. Gladstone's declaration when the telegram arrived at Hawarden, informing him that an emissary was on his way from Windsor Castle. 'My mission,' he said, 'is to pacify Ireland.' That may have been true, but Gladstone brought a sword rather than peace to the country which had such a long and fateful connection with the statesmanship of the great Liberal. Lord Spencer, his first viceroy, experienced all the fury of rebellious Nationalism, and during his second viceroyalty had the unfortunate distinction of being the governor of a country where no man's life was safe, and where murder and outrage were as common as sand.

This is, however, anticipating events. The refusal of Lord Halifax to accept the viceroyalty had restricted Gladstone's choice. Liberalism, even in its mildest state, has never appealed to territorial magnates, and the Whiggism of Lord Spencer was scarcely the fire-and-thunder Liberalism {269} of his chief, but he stepped into the breach, and for the rest of his life was one of the strongest champions of a political faith unpopular amongst his own class. Born in 1836, and married at the age of twenty-two, he brought the courage of youth to bear upon the Irish situation. Gladstone never had a more faithful colleague and Dublin Castle a more conscientious occupant. Dublin society was inclined to frown upon the viceroy, and there was some talk of a boycott of the viceregal functions, but Lord and Lady Spencer were independent of the support of the official and professional class which forms what is called society in the capital of Ireland. A great English landlord and his wife could create any society they chose, being somewhat in a similar position to the Scotsman who declared that wherever he sat was the head of the table. Lord Hartington, better known as the Duke of Devonshire, was Chichester Fortescue's successor as Chief Secretary, and the two noblemen carried out Gladstone's reforms with a thoroughness that for a time gave the impression that at last the Irish nation was to be pacified and made amenable to English rule.

The Land Act of 1870

The disestablishment of the Protestant Church in Ireland was, however, a minor reform compared with the great Land Act of 1870. This was a measure of reform that took away the breath of the Tory leaders, but it has proved a most beneficial act, and when in the course of time it became obsolete, it was a Unionist administration that improved upon it, and passed an Act which, {270} compared with that of 1870, or even that of 1881, out-Gladstoned Gladstone. It was not a brilliant success, because it tried to do too much, and, of course, offended both parties; but as the first attempt on a large scale to settle this many-sided question, it deserves a high place in the records of Gladstone's memorable Government of 1868-74.

Any determined effort to ostracize the viceroy was soon killed by the presence and influence of Lady Spencer. She had been no more than twenty-four hours in Dublin when she was nicknamed "Spencer's Fairy Queen," a most flattering description of a great beauty and a charming woman. Lord Spencer's skill as a horseman was in his favour, and his regular attendance in the chase earned him the respect of a large community which has a hereditary affection for the noblest of animals.

Castle seasons were enlivened by visits from the Prince of Wales, the Princess Louise, and the Prince Arthur, now the Duke of Connaught; while the important Dublin Exhibition was opened, and numerous Irish industries patronized and helped.




{271}

CHAPTER XVIII

The fall of the Government was hastened by the Premier's anxiety to fulfil his pledge to pacify Ireland. The Church question was settled, the land problem on its way to solution, and now Gladstone turned his attention to the grievances of Roman Catholics on the question of a university. The Prime Minister's pose as the only man capable of settling Irish affairs had not been strengthened by the passing of a coercion act in the spring of 1870, but if he imprisoned Fenians, he generally followed it up by pressing for their release. And firmly believing that if he conciliated the Roman Catholics he would bring peace to the country, he introduced a measure into the House of Commons seeking powers to establish a university acceptable to all classes and creeds. It was defeated by three votes in one of the most memorable and significant divisions Parliament has known. Friends and foes abstained, and friends and foes voted with surprising inconsistency, but the net result was the discomfiture of the Gladstonians and the immediate resignation of the premier, the latter act prompted, no doubt, by the knowledge that there was no other possible leader of a Government in the country. {272} Mr. Gladstone came back—as he knew he would—but the effects of the Irish University bill were felt right down to the day that the leader of the Liberal party heard the results of the General Election of 1874, and realized that his great rival, Benjamin Disraeli, was at last at the head of a working majority.

When writing of Gladstone's colleagues, it is difficult to resist the temptation to turn from them to speak of their chief. Lord Spencer, however, was something more than a mere official obeying the orders of his superior. His first term in Ireland laid the foundation of his public life, and exhibited those principles of devotion to duty, as he considered his duty to be, and a single-minded adherence to the political principles that distinguished him above his changing and vacillating colleagues. When Mr. Gladstone proposed his university reforms, the viceroy worked his hardest, and Dublin Castle witnessed numberless interviews between him and representatives of both Churches. He saw Cardinal Cullen and obtained his views. As usual, the Roman Catholic hierarchy, never doubtful as to its wants, asked too much, but Spencer listened politely, and in due course informed Gladstone. Doubtless, the English nobleman failed to understand the extraordinary mixture of politics and religion that is always part of Irish affairs, but he tried to understand and even to sympathize.

Gladstone's defeat in 1874 meant, of course, the viceroy's retirement from Dublin, and if the majority of the members of the Liberal administration {273} regretted their defeat, Lord Spencer was not one of them. He merited the rest opposition gave him, and for six years Tory noblemen acted as viceroys of Ireland.

The Duke of Abercorn's second viceroyalty was quiet and threadbare. Disraeli was not the man to attempt heroic measures. Perhaps he laboured to avoid Irish affairs, which since the Union had threatened to monopolize the time of Parliament. He sent Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, afterwards Viscount St. Aldwyn, to the Irish office, and trusted to the viceroy and the Chief Secretary to shield him from the worries created by the awkward fact that a Prime Minister's duties were not confined to England. When the Duke of Abercorn sent in his resignation, in December, 1876, owing to the state of his wife's health, Disraeli prevailed upon another duke to take his place. This was the sixth Duke of Marlborough, who had declined the viceroyalty in the first days of the Government's existence. The Duke and Duchess of Abercorn retired into private life, popular and respected, the duke living until 1885.

The Duke of Marlborough

The incoming Lord-Lieutenant was in his fifty-fifth year when in the early days of 1877 he was sworn in as Viceroy of Ireland. One of Disraeli's personal friends, the influence of the duke had helped the Prime Minister from the outer ring of plebeian obscurity into the inner circle of Conservative exclusiveness. Disraeli had a passion for dukes, although that rank suggested dulness to his bizarre and Oriental imagination. Marlborough {274} had been Lord President of the Council in 1868 during Disraeli's first administration, and he was induced to reconsider his decision not to join the ministry when the Duke of Abercorn retired.

The Duke and Duchess of Marlborough directed their attention to the amelioration of the lot of the poverty-stricken peasantry, and they endeavoured also to aid the trade of Ireland. When the failure of the crops brought a famine, the duchess inaugurated a relief fund, which, with the help of the Mansion House, London, brought over £170,000 to the rescue of the sufferers. Many other acts of kindness could be recorded of them, and although their reign necessarily concluded in May, 1880, on the destruction of the Tory Government, they accomplished much in a brief space of time, and, without being great reformers, achieved something in the way of reform. Her Excellency had been before her marriage Lady Frances Tempest, and was a daughter of the third Marquis of Londonderry. She was a dignified chatelaine of Dublin Castle, a fit partner for a great nobleman. The rumblings of the Home Rule agitation storm could be heard before they vacated the viceregal position, for by now Charles Stewart Parnell had arisen to sound a new battle-cry for Nationalist Ireland. The old methods of dead-and-gone agitators were to be improved upon, new ones invented and exploited, and a decisive battle fought for Irish independence.

Agitation and crime

The records of the day state that the Duke of Marlborough was 'popular' and 'successful,' but {275} these are the records written by partisans. A popular viceroy generally means a Lord-Lieutenant who exhibits an amiable weakness to let things remain as they are, and as Marlborough did this, he was an especial favourite of the official party. He was, however, wise in his generation. Before his time history had taught the vital lesson that the viceroy who did his best to please all parties earned the hatred of all, and the men who ignored the pressing problems of the day, and turned his term of office into a social orgy, was acclaimed by the unthinking multitudes. Riots, and evictions, and murders, were common enough in the closing months of Marlborough's viceroyalty, but beyond giving his sanction to the various acts that dealt with agrarian crimes and the troublous land problem, the viceroy made no display of statesmanship or endangered his ducal equanimity. It was to the Duke of Marlborough that Disraeli addressed his letter asking the electors for a fresh mandate. He lived long enough to feel thankful that the English electors decided in 1880 to have nothing to do with Toryism, and so ordained that, instead of Beaconsfield nominating a viceroy, the task should be Gladstone's. During his stay in Dublin Marlborough had for private secretary Lord Randolph Churchill. In 1883 the duke died at the comparatively early age of sixty-one.

It was expected that Lord Spencer would return to Ireland, but he was selected to fill the decorative post of Lord President of the Council, and Earl Cowper was sent to cope with Parnell's {276} followers. Cowper was forty-six years of age, and ten years previous to his appointment had married a daughter of the fourth Lord Northampton. He was a man of great strength of character, a charming host, and famous for a temperament that he never allowed to be ruffled. A perfect host, and a man of the world endowed with many talents, Earl Cowper might have succeeded at almost anything except the one particular task to which he was assigned. When he arrived in Dublin the country was in a state of rebellion, the remarkable success of Parnell in uniting all shades of Nationalists under his leadership having the result of presenting the most formidable opposition to the Government yet experienced in the history of both countries. Parnell had entered Parliament in 1875, and four years later was popularly acclaimed the new leader of the Irish people. His lightest words were sufficient to render null and void the most important Act of Parliament, his orders were reverenced and obeyed by a vast majority of his countrymen. When Lord Cowper took up his duties Parnell was the ruler of Ireland, and the efforts of the English Government to maintain a semblance of authority would have been ludicrous if the results had not been so tragic. Landlords, agents, and tenants were murdered in cold blood, peaceful citizens were dragged into foul conspiracy by their bullying neighbours, and Parnell went about in open defiance of the Government, preaching rebellion and its ghastly accompaniments wherever he came. Mr. W. E. Forster, the Chief Secretary, induced his official chief to advise the {277} Cabinet to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act, and when Gladstone hesitated, a practical demonstration of its necessity was furnished by the arrest of Parnell charged with seditious conspiracy, his abortive trial owing to the disagreement of the Dublin jury, and the Irish leader's consequent triumph over his opponents. Then the power to imprison without trial was given to the Irish executive, and soon the gaols of the country were full to overflowing. With the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act the Land League was born, and a new terror to officialism created.

The Land League

Lord Cowper's viceroyalty has been tersely described as occupying 'two dismal years—the most dismal of the nineteenth century.' His own life was threatened, elaborate plots to terminate the Chief Secretary's existence were discovered as fast as an overworked detective department could unravel its agents' reports, and from all over the country murders were reported until it seemed that all sense of decency had long since departed from the country. Encouraged by the success of the Land League, a fresh series of revolting crimes shocked civilization. Terrified English ministers tried the effects of another Land Act, and in 1881 it was placed in the statute-book. This was a great triumph for the Land League, and was regarded by its members as the justification of its existence. Again a desire to conciliate had been interpreted as a sign of weakness.

The new Land Act did not decrease the agitation, and on October 12, 1881, a five-hour sitting of the Cabinet resulted in an order to the viceroy {278} to have Parnell arrested under the Coercion Act. The Irish leader was thereupon taken to Kilmainham Gaol, and remained there for six months. Optimists expected that this bold stroke would intimidate the intimidators; it had an opposite effect. Mr. Forster had to report that crime was actually on the increase, and that the Land Act had not been of the slightest use. It was easy to imprison Parnell, but the spirit of the movement remained abroad in the people.

In despair Gladstone turned to Parnell, clutching at the straw presented by one of the Irishman's friends that Parnell was willing to discuss terms of peace with the Government. The premier was willing, anxious, in fact, to remove the reproach from his Government the state of Ireland entailed, and he sent Forster to open negotiations with the prisoner, who was a dictator. When Lord Cowper heard of the preliminaries to what became known as the Kilmainham Treaty he resigned, rightly deeming it demeaning and humiliating for responsible ministers to treat with a man who had roused the passions of the uncontrollables, and who, to his lasting disgrace, never denounced the crimes the Land League produced until the greatest crime of all convinced him that sometimes murder is a mistake. Mr. Gladstone appealed to Lord Spencer, a member of his Cabinet, and an experienced administrator of Irish affairs, to take up the most dangerous and irksome post in the Government. The earl could not, of course, refuse, for refusal in the circumstances could have been construed into a confession of cowardice. {279} He had agreed in the Cabinet to the pourparlers with Parnell, and he was determined to give the Irish leader an opportunity of retrieving the blunders of the Land League, and doing so with a show of victory over the Government, which did not care about its reputation on Irish matters provided an end was made of the reign of the murderers.

State of the country

Immediate events justified Lord Cowper up to the hilt, who must have watched with a grim satisfaction the terrible results of Mr. Gladstone's Irish policy in the early eighties. When the time came that disclosed Mr. Gladstone as the champion of Home Rule, Lord Cowper took a leading part in the forces arrayed against his old chief. At a meeting in a London theatre addressed by Lord Salisbury and the Marquis of Hartington, Lord Cowper was in the chair, and his presence was a tower of strength to the cause. After the final defeat of Liberal Home Rule he dropped out of public life, and at his death—on July 19, 1905—he was almost forgotten by his contemporaries.

There is an admirable and eloquent description in Viscount Morley's 'Life of Gladstone' of the condition of Ireland when Lord Spencer began his second viceroyalty: 'In 1882 Ireland seemed to be literally a society on the verge of dissolution. The Invincibles still roved with knives about the streets of Dublin. Discontent had been stirred in the ranks of the Royal Irish Constabulary, and a dangerous mutiny broke out in the metropolitan force. Over half of the country the demoralization of every class, the terror, the fierce hatred, {280} the universal distrust, had grown to an incredible pitch. The moral cowardice of what ought to have been the governing class was astounding. The landlords would hold meetings and agree not to go beyond a certain abatement, and then they would go individually and privately offer to the tenant a greater abatement. Even the agents of the law and the Courts were shaken in their duty. The power of random arrest and detention under the Coercion Act of 1881 had not improved the morale of magistrates and police. The Sheriff would let the word get out that he was coming to make a seizure, and profess surprise that the cattle had vanished. The whole countryside turned out thousands in half the counties in Ireland to attend flaming meetings, and if a man did not attend angry neighbours trooped up to know the reason why. The clergy hardly stirred a finger to restrain the wildness of the storm; some did their best to raise it. All that was what Lord Spencer had to deal with, the very foundations of the social fabric rocking.'

Earl Spencer, K.G.

Earl Spencer, K.G.

The appointment of Earl Spencer was not pleasing to Mr. Forster, and he sent in his resignation, his ostensible reason being the proposed suspension of the Coercion Act, which had enabled the Irish executive to imprison Parnell. Forster, however, was more concerned with his own status. Lord Spencer would retain his seat in the Cabinet, which meant that the Chief Secretary's position would be of less importance than hitherto. The Prime Minister accepted the resignation without more than the expected and usual formal expressions {281} of regret. Lord Frederick Cavendish was selected to succeed him, and on the same day the viceroy and the Chief Secretary crossed the Channel. This was the fatal May 6, 1882. Lord Spencer was sworn in at Dublin Castle, and during the afternoon he was engaged in 'that grim apartment in Dublin Castle, where successive Secretaries spend unshining hours in saying "No" to impossible demands and hunting for plausible answers to insoluble riddles.' At five o'clock the Viceroy started to ride to Phoenix Park, and at six Lord Frederick Cavendish followed. In the Park he was overtaken by Mr. Burke, the Under-Secretary, and a few minutes later both men were foully murdered within sight of the Viceregal Lodge.

The Phoenix Park murders

Lord Spencer wrote the following account of his knowledge of the murders—a statement inspired by a report that he had actually witnessed the affray and innocently regarded it as an unimportant scuffle:

'It is said that I saw the murder. That is not so. I had asked Cavendish to drive to the Park with me. He said he would not; he would rather walk with Burke. Of course, if he had come with me it would not have happened. I then rode to the Park with a small escort—I think, my aide-de-camp and a trooper. Curiously enough, I stopped to look at the polo-match which Carey described, so that he and I seem to have been together on that occasion. I then turned towards the Viceregal Lodge. The ordinary and more direct way for me to go was over the very scene {282} of the murder. Had I so gone the murders would not probably have been committed. Three men coming up would have prevented anything of that kind. But I made a slight detour, and got to the lodge another way. When I reached the Lodge I sat down near the window and began to read some papers. Suddenly I heard a shriek which I shall never forget. I seem to hear it now; it is always in my ears. This shriek was repeated again and again. I got up to look out. I saw a man rushing along. He jumped over the palings, and dashed up to the Lodge shouting: "Mr. Burke and Lord Frederick Cavendish are killed!" There was great confusion, and immediately I rushed out; but someone of the household stopped me, saying that it might be a ruse to get me out, and advising me to wait and make inquiries. Of course, the inquiries were made, and the truth soon discovered. I always deplore my unfortunate decision to make that detour, always feeling that if I had gone to the Lodge by the ordinary way the murders would have been prevented. I have said that I did not see the murder, but my servant did. He was upstairs, and saw a scuffle going on, but, of course, did not know what it was about.'

No political crime produced as great a sensation as these senseless and stupid murders. The news came to London late in the evening, when Ministers were dining out. The Home Secretary was attending a dinner-party at the Austrian Embassy when a messenger hurried in to tell of the dreadful calamity, and very soon all his colleagues were in possession of the dreadful tidings.

{283}

Another Coercion Act

The murders meant the end of the policy of conciliation, and the House of Commons gave a ready assent to another Coercion Act. Parnell wrote to Gladstone offering to resign his seat, but the premier was not the person to judge members of the House of Commons. With perfect courtesy he acknowledged the feeling that had prompted the Irish leader's letter, though he must have known that if there had been no Land League there would have been no Phoenix Park murders.

It is one of the most difficult of tasks to write familiar history in an original manner. The worthless lives of the assassins paid the penalty of the law, and a crude justice was meted out to Carey, the informer, who was shot dead by O'Donnell on board the liner which was taking him to safety. O'Donnell was brought back from South Africa and executed, but the punishment of the actual murderers was a small part of the after-effects of the whole disastrous episode.

It was not long before the party of progress by murder and revolution cast off the sackcloth it had donned on the deaths of Mr. Burke and Lord Frederick Cavendish. The viceroy, with his back against the wall, was compelled to fight for his own life as well as for the existence of law and order. The Parnellites, confident in their well-established reputation for obstruction and their followers' capacity for riot, looked forward to the day when they could dictate terms to one of the great political parties in England. The granting of an extended franchise in 1884 had cleared the {284} way for an all-Nationalist Ireland. The Liberal party was, as usual, blindly handing to their opponents weapons to be used for the destruction of Liberalism.

Mr. Gladstone was always a difficult leader to follow, but when he was dealing with Irish affairs his movements resembled the lines created by a maze. With the best of motives he performed the worst and most foolish of actions, and Lord Spencer's task became more difficult every day. The Government was defeated on the Budget, and a prolonged crisis ensued. But before the resignation of the Cabinet Lord Spencer had to deal with the notorious Maamtrasna case. This was, in brief, the trial of some forty persons for the murder of an entire family. Twenty-one of the convicted prisoners were executed, and it was alleged that some of these were innocent. A fierce debate absorbed three days in the House of Commons, and later on, when Lord Salisbury was premier and Sir Michael Hicks-Beach was leader of the Commons, a motion was brought forward censuring the administration of Earl Spencer. The only result was to draw public attention once more to the fearless manner in which the viceroy had carried out his duties, and even Tory members had to rise and protest in forcible language against the action of Tory leaders in condemning the man who risked his life to maintain law and order.

Lord Spencer's character

A month after his retirement from the viceroyalty 300 members of both houses of Parliament attended a banquet in his honour. It was {285} noticed that Mr. Chamberlain was absent, but the presence of Lord Hartington in the chair and Mr. Bright among the company testified eloquently to the general opinion of Lord Spencer's conduct of Irish affairs.

The three years of office that remained to Lord Spencer subsequent to the Phoenix Park murders brought into prominence in Irish affairs Mr. G. O. Trevelyan and Mr. Campbell-Bannerman, successive Chief Secretaries. Neither was a pronounced success. The only person in the limelight was the viceroy. His personal bravery dismayed his cowardly foes, who, judging human nature by their own standard, could not but stand in awe of the man who could ride to hounds while the country round seethed with assassins. Trevelyan could earn the title of 'jelly-fish,' while Campbell-Bannerman utilized the position of Chief Secretary to try and convince his superiors that he could do something better if given greater opportunities. The viceroy was firm, just, knowing no fear and showing no favour. The fury of his opponents found expression in the attempt of an hysterical woman to horsewhip him, but she got no farther than stopping the horses and brandishing her whip. He was first called 'Rufus' because of his red beard, but this being deemed too genial, was changed to the 'Red Earl,' and accepted as an omen of his alleged 'red policy' of punishing murderers by hanging them. It was hinted that the Lord Chancellor, Sir Edward Sullivan, was the power behind the viceregal throne, and when the great lawyer died the first {286} favourable opportunity that presented itself to taunt the Lord-Lieutenant with leniency towards the criminal political classes he was declared to have lost his backbone. On one occasion it was thought that he was suffering from lumbago because he was seen pressing his back with his hands; but a malicious wit declared that it was only 'His Excellency feeling for his backbone.' The joke would have been more effective if it contained just a grain of truth to flavour it, but if there was one charge that could not be levelled against Lord Spencer it was this taunt of lack of firmness. His only piece of good fortune was the submission of the Irish bishops to the Pope, who had censured them for disloyalty. This was a great help to the castle. A keen pleasure to the viceroy and a cause of anxiety to the police was a visit paid to Lord Spencer by the Prince of Wales on April 8, 1885.

In the summer of 1885 Lord Salisbury formed a Government, and appointed Lord Carnarvon Viceroy of Ireland. Within eight months a General Election placed Mr. Gladstone in power once more, and Lord Aberdeen spent the few but extremely critical months of life vouchsafed to the Liberal party until Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule Bill split up his followers, and another General Election endorsed Lord Salisbury's claim that the Conservatives and Unionists represented the real opinion of the country on the question of Ireland and its government.

Defeat of the Home Rule Bill

Lord Spencer was President of the Council in 1885, and in 1892, when Mr. Gladstone became {287} Prime Minister for the fourth and last time, he was given the post of First Lord of the Admiralty. That ministry brought in another Home Rule Bill, and passed it through the Commons; but the House of Lords rejected it by the overwhelming majority of 378, the actual figures being 419 for its rejection and 41 against. Mr. Gladstone did not appeal to the country, and thus Home Rule passed out of the Liberal repertoire for nineteen years.

If Queen Victoria had consulted Mr. Gladstone on the question of a successor, he would have advised Lord Spencer's selection. Her Majesty, however, sent for that brilliant dilettante, Lord Rosebery, and Lord Spencer remained on at the Admiralty. There was some talk of the premiership for him shortly before the resignation of Mr. Balfour's Ministry at the close of 1905, but by then he was a spent force, worn out and ill. He could not join Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's Cabinet, but he lent it his moral support, and that was not the least important factor in bringing to reason the members of the egregious Liberal Imperialist League, who at first viewed with suspicion the new premier, and then rushed with one accord to be received into the strangest political fold ever presided over by a Liberal shepherd. Lord Spencer died in 1910 at the age of seventy-four, and it can be said of him, as of the late Duke of Devonshire, that he could have risen to greater heights had he not been born with a sense of modesty adorned by a good nature that permitted younger men to pass him, and left him without a {288} trace of rancour or bitterness. He had the satisfaction of witnessing the amazing triumph of the Liberal party, and could die with the knowledge that it savoured of the Gladstonian Liberalism of the middle eighties and the early nineties—the Liberalism he fought for and in whose interest he had sacrificed his best years.




{289}

CHAPTER XIX

Lord Carnarvon was sworn in as Lord-Lieutenant on July 7, 1885, and on January 12, 1886, he tendered his resignation, departing from the country thirteen days later. It was an unusually brief, yet an exceptionally interesting, viceroyalty. He was rightfully regarded as a man of fastidious honour and sincerity. On two occasions he had resigned Cabinet rank because of conscientious objections to the policy of his leaders, and there was scarcely anybody among the statesmen of his time who commanded greater respect and confidence. The action of Lord Salisbury in giving him the viceroyalty was rightfully interpreted to mean that the Tory Prime Minister realized fully the gravity of the situation in Ireland. Lord Carnarvon might have had a more exalted and powerful position in the ministry. He accepted the viceroyalty in the same spirit of anxiety to benefit his fellows that had been characteristic of him since his entry into public life nearly thirty years before. He was now fifty-four years of age, and was known to fame as the author of the act that consolidated the British possessions in North America in 1867. Again Colonial Secretary in 1874, the foreign policy of the Cabinet did not {290} meet with his approval, and he resigned, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach succeeding him.

Lord Carnarvon's state entry into Dublin evoked a display of enthusiasm, from all classes that indicated clearly the hopes of the people for something brilliant from his administration. Lady Carnarvon was received for her own sake, as well as for that of her husband. She possessed all the arts of the successful leader of society, and she exercised them fully while in Ireland. There was keen competition to make the acquaintance of the viceroy and his wife, and Dublin Castle seemed likely to experience something quite different to its troubles of the previous five years. But the wise knew that the imminent General Election would in all probability terminate the reign of Lord Carnarvon. The Salisbury ministry was a 'Cabinet of Caretakers,' and the most that could be hoped for was the viceroy's return within a few years when the electors had had another opportunity of passing a verdict upon Gladstonian Liberalism.

Carnarvon and Parnell

Lord Carnarvon, however, quickly upset the equanimity of the prophets. Whatever may have been his own doubts about the durability of his position, he startled friends and foes alike by arranging for an interview with Charles Stewart Parnell. A Tory Lord-Lieutenant debating the policy of his Government with the Irish leader was even more productive of astonishment than the sight of Parnell accepting a place in the Government would have been. The interview was kept a secret for a time, but it was too {291} important to escape disclosure and debate, and the result of the General Election of November-December, 1885, hastened the acrimonious and puzzling discussion, with its sequel of denials and denunciations. The scene of the momentous interview was a London drawing-room. The viceroy, the moment he was alone with Parnell, appears to have taken the trouble to explain elaborately—perhaps too elaborately—his adherence to Unionist principles. As the representative of the queen, he could not listen to one word involving the separation of the two countries; as a Tory minister, he did not expect any result from the interview, and he did not even hope for an agreement; while further, to protect himself and his colleagues, he assured Mr. Parnell that he was acting entirely upon his own responsibility, and as an individual, and not as a Cabinet minister.

Despite these preliminary precautions, the Irish leader came away from the meeting under the impression that the Tory party were willing to grant Ireland an assembly giving it complete control of its own affairs, and also a measure of land reform that would settle that difficult problem. Of course, the price to be paid for this was to be the Irish vote. On the other hand, Lord Carnarvon most emphatically contradicted this interpretation of what had passed between them. Nevertheless, Mr. Parnell adhered to his version.

The General Election of November-December, 1885, did not give either of the English parties an independent majority. Of Liberals there were {292} 335, Tories numbered 249; and 86 Irish Home Rulers, all followers of Mr. Parnell, held the balance of power. Mr. Gladstone was now a Home Ruler, and a Bill for establishing a separate legislature for Ireland was introduced. It was in the early days of Mr. Gladstone's conversion to the cause that Mr. Parnell hurled a charge against the Tory party of having at one time been willing to purchase the Irish vote by an eleventh-hour conversion to Home Rule. The charge was denied indignantly, and then the Nationalist leader named Lord Carnarvon as the Tory emissary. The ex-viceroy explained his position in the House of Lords. This was on June 10—three days after Mr. Parnell's speech in the Commons. The latter at once replied in a letter to the Times of June 12. It is worth reproducing:

The Tory Party and Home Rule

'Lord Carnarvon proceeded to say that he had sought the interview for the purpose of ascertaining my views regarding—should he call it?—a constitution for Ireland. But I soon found out that he had brought me there in order that he might communicate to me his own views upon the matter, as well as ascertain mine. In reply to an inquiry as to a proposal which had been made to build up a central legislative body upon the foundation of county boards, I told him that I thought this would be working in the wrong direction, and would not be accepted by Ireland; that the central legislative body should be a Parliament in name and in fact. Lord Carnarvon assured me that this was his own view also, and he strongly appreciated the importance of giving {293} due weight to the sentiment of the Irish in this matter. He had certain suggestions to this end, taking the Colonial model as a basis, which struck me as being the result of much thought and knowledge of the subject. At the conclusion of the conversation, which lasted more than an hour, and to which Lord Carnarvon was very much the larger contributor, I left him, believing that I was in complete accord with him regarding the main outlines of a settlement conferring a legislature upon Ireland.'

The viceroy's explanation of this was more general than particular. He must have been satisfied with Lord Salisbury's verdict that he had conducted the interview with Mr. Parnell 'with perfect discretion,' but all the same it was many years before the Tory party lived down the allegation that had he wished Parnell could have purchased it lock, stock, and barrel, for service in the Home Rule cause.

In social circles Lord Carnarvon's popularity never waned. He was supposed to be that contradiction in terms, 'a Tory Home Ruler,' but he was only a high-minded gentleman who made a genuine attempt to deal with the Irish problem. It was yet another instance of a viceroy risking peace and popularity by trying to be impartial. One of his opponents in Dublin expressed amazement that he should 'bother his head about Home Rule when he had the viceroyalty and a beautiful wife.' It is not to his discredit that he failed, and it must be remembered that he paid a price for his interest in Ireland. The General Election placed {294} Mr. Gladstone in power with the aid of the Nationalists, but Gladstone soon committed political suicide, and Lord Salisbury returned for a six years' lease of power. He did not invite Lord Carnarvon to join his Cabinet, and at fifty-five the earl passed from the political stage. All he gained by his brief association with Ireland was the degree of LL.D. from Dublin University, when he replied to the Public Orator's congratulations with an elegant Latin speech that amazed the dons by reason of its splendour and faultlessness. Lord Carnarvon died in 1890, only fifty-nine, but with a generous record of work in the public service behind him. Never a party hack nor a slave to political shibboleths, always an individualist and a thinker, it was scarcely a fault if his good nature led him into an unfortunate attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable. He came to Ireland with no previous experience of the country and its people, and so he judged them by the standard applied to average men and women. We have been told by an authority that the Celtic temperament is destructive, and not constructive, and the facts of history confirm him. Lord Carnarvon forgot this, and therefore laid himself open to the charge that he was surrendering to Parnellism and reform by crime, and at the same time leading the Tory party to destruction. But political catch-phrases are usually the work of the unthinking and the illogical, and the only mistake he made was the common one of being a little too much in advance of his time. The Tory party has travelled many Irish miles since the day an {295} Irish viceroy and Parnell exchanged their opinions in a London drawing-room.

The Earl of Aberdeen

The General Election of 1885 swept Liberalism out of Ireland, and gave the House of Commons eighty-six Nationalists, the remainder of the Irish members representing the opinions of the Unionist and Conservative party. Mr. Gladstone had to solve the problem created by the indecisive election, and as he finally decided to cast in his lot with the Home Rulers, he formed a Government—his third—and appointed the Earl of Aberdeen Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, Mr. John Morley—now Viscount Morley—entering the Cabinet for the first time as Chief Secretary.

Lord Aberdeen was born on August 3, 1847, and in 1870 succeeded to the earldom—the seventh to hold the title. Associated from his earliest days with the great Liberal statesman, he had always enjoyed his friendship and confidence. It was to Lord and Lady Aberdeen's London residence in the eighties—Dollis Hill, near Willesden—that Mr. Gladstone went to seek repose after giving up his London house, recording in his diary that he felt too timid at seventy-seven to think of acquiring another London home. When in 1894 he resigned the premiership, it was at Dollis Hill that he spent a few days in rest and quiet. Ever a stanch and discriminating friend, Mr. Gladstone was delighted to bestow the viceroyalty upon Lord Aberdeen, and accordingly, on February 10, 1886, he was sworn in at Dublin Castle.

It is almost impossible to write of contemporaries without revealing traces of prejudice or {296} partiality. Lord Aberdeen's Liberalism was moulded by Mr. Gladstone, who was his political mentor; and Lady Aberdeen, his clever and energetic wife, has always displayed a masculine knowledge of politics and politicians. She was a Miss Ishbel Marjoribanks before her marriage in 1877, and from all accounts seems to have been a Home Ruler before Mr. Gladstone's conversion. When she entered Dublin in 1886 as the viceroy's wife she was under thirty, but already had achieved considerable fame as a determined politician, a philanthropist who had initiated common-sense methods in dealings with the grave problems of ill-health and poverty, and a loyal friend. She entered with zest into the social pleasures of Ireland's capital, and practised the arts of the vice-queen which she has since brought to perfection in Canada and in Dublin.

Their hospitality was generous, their popularity boundless. The chosen of Gladstone could not but be an idol with the masses. Until coached by their suspicious chieftains, the rank and file of Nationalism idolized the viceroy and his wife. The Lord Mayor of Dublin and the leading citizens voiced the opinions of the people, and the 'Union of Hearts' appeared to be accomplished. At last Liberalism seemed to have won the allegiance of the Irish.

The influence of Lady Aberdeen was considerable, and she helped to earn success for the viceregal party. An ardent politician, she never made the mistake of subordinating the hostess to the politician, and at her functions all classes and {297} creeds met. It may be necessary here to state that the story which has been in circulation some years, describing how Lady Aberdeen was informed by the late Lord Morris that 'herself and the waiters, bedad!' were the only Home Rulers in the room, is a wicked and malicious lie. The alleged incident never took place, for Lady Aberdeen is not in the habit of introducing politics during dinner-parties and canvassing for opinions when entertaining. Lord Morris was the author of many witty sayings, and he does not require the aid of the unscrupulous to perpetuate his memory. His sayings will live without the help of that type of person who delights in associating persons of eminence with their jokes, well aware that because of their position they are compelled to ignore their slanderers.

While history was being made with startling rapidity in England, Lord Aberdeen continued to carry out the duties of his exalted office. But the Liberal party was by now smashed to atoms. Mr. Gladstone was acting like a broken and disappointed man, and the life of the ministry threatened at any time to cease. It was merely a question of time for the Tory party and the rebellious Liberals to amalgamate and turn out the Gladstone Government.

On July 20, 1886, Mr. Gladstone resigned, and Lord and Lady Aberdeen left Ireland, and it was now the turn of the Tory-Liberal-Unionist coalition to show what they could do in Ireland—the land of opportunities of which no one seemed capable of taking advantage. Lord Salisbury had {298} already stated his views with characteristic bluntness. During the debate on the Home Rule Bill of 1886 he forgot that he had not a reputation for humour, and informed his audience that the Irish were like the Hottentots, incapable of governing themselves, while he suggested that the best plan for Ireland would be the application for twenty years of a stringent Coercion Act. The question of the Imperial contribution towards the setting up of a Parliament in Dublin he touched upon lightly by suggesting that the money would be better employed in aiding the emigration of a million Irishmen.

This was the statesman who was given the opportunity of putting into practice his theories of Irish administration. There was some curiosity as to the new viceroy, and when Lord Salisbury chose the Marquis of Londonderry the nervous felt more relieved. The premier had selected a safe rather than a brilliant Lord-Lieutenant, and one who was capable of perpetrating as few blunders as any of his Tory contemporaries. Sir Michael Hicks-Beach emphasized the new importance of the Irish Secretaryship by accepting it, and, as he had been Chancellor of the Exchequer in the previous Salisbury Cabinet, his action was regarded as a generous one. It was a remarkable innovation to send a tried statesman to Dublin, for it had been the custom for many years to utilize the position as a sort of preparatory school for the Cabinet. It was Sir Michael's second attempt, but this was only a half-hearted one. Two Royal Commissions were appointed—one {299} to report on the land question, the other to examine into the material resources of the country. Lord Cowper, an ex-viceroy, presided over the first. Lord Salisbury was, indeed, making a worthy attempt to effect the political salvation of the Hottentots by Act of Parliament.

The viceroy, Charles Stewart Vane-Tempest-Stewart, sixth Marquis of Londonderry, was thirty-four years of age, and had before his succession to the peerage in 1884 represented County Down in Parliament for six years. As a descendant of the second marquis, who earned undying notoriety by his destruction of the so-called Irish Parliament, he was naturally of interest to all whose affairs brought them into close touch with Ireland. He was an Irish landlord, the husband of a clever, ambitious woman, a daughter of the premier earl of England. They had married in 1875, and she was a leading Tory hostess when they transferred their headquarters from Londonderry House, Park Lane, to Dublin Castle and the Viceregal Lodge for a period of three years.

Mr. Balfour as Chief Secretary

They were stirring times, but the viceroy, by a curious chance, was able to stand aloof. The resignation of Sir Michael Hicks-Beach in the March following the arrival of Lord Londonderry brought the Prime Minister's nephew, Mr. A. J. Balfour, over as Chief Secretary. We know how he made his years in Ireland peculiarly his own, obscuring our view of the viceroy until at times it seems that there was only a shadow behind the frail-looking personality that dominated Ireland in his capacity of Chief Secretary. 'Bloody' {300} Balfour, they called him, and plotted against his life, much to the annoyance of the viceroy, who detested fuss, and never could understand the prevailing passion for political principles. Mr. Balfour answered force with force, and, remembering the history of attempts at conciliation, he went boldly and fearlessly for the criminals, their patrons and instigators. Another Coercion Bill was framed, and, empowered by it, he sent about thirty members of Parliament to gaol, while evictions and murder continued to be reported, and Parnellism became synonymous with crime.

A visit from Prince Albert Victor and Prince George towards the end of June, 1887, was appreciated by both viceroy and people. The event had all the charm of spontaneity and unexpectedness, and Lord and Lady Londonderry had the one opportunity of their viceroyalty to show what they could do as representatives of the Queen of England. There was a brilliant State banquet in the famous old dining-room of Dublin Castle, where the leading men of the country paid their respects to the then second heir to the throne and the youthful Prince who was destined by Fate to ascend the throne. A review in the famous and superb Phoenix Park was another feature of the visit that must have appealed to the viceroy as an oasis does to the traveller in the desert. Not that Lord Londonderry took a too prominent part in the inevitable political and agrarian troubles of his reign. He left those to the efficient and indomitable Mr. Balfour, while he pursued the even way of life, gently patronizing the elect, and {301} good-humouredly tolerating the non-elect who are the clamouring and unsought satellites of every Viceroy of Ireland. Lady Londonderry, who is clever enough to deserve a better title than that of mere giver of dinners, softened the crudities of office and gained a popularity in Ireland not confined to her political friends—a rare achievement in a confessedly party woman. She is the author of a study of Viscount Castlereagh, second Marquis of Londonderry.

The Mitchelstown affray

The affray at Mitchelstown in the September of 1887 was dealt with by Mr. Balfour with his usual splendid disregard for public opinion, and it was succeeded by the Parnell Commission. During these historic incidents the viceroy remained in the background, jogging amiably along, and no doubt thanking Heaven that had cast his lot in pleasanter times than those that fell to Lord Cowper and Lord Spencer. He resigned the office in 1889. Eleven years later he sat in his first Cabinet as Postmaster-General, and when Mr. Balfour succeeded his uncle in the premiership he appointed his colleague President of the Board of Education—a nice, respectable post that nobody took seriously, and wondered why it was represented in the Cabinet at all. The 'tariff' resignations in 1903 placed several important portfolios at Mr. Balfour's disposal, and he thereupon added to Lord Londonderry's official duties by making him Lord President of the Council. And as President of the Board of Education and President of the Council the marquis continued to attend the Cabinet until the ministry perished in the {302} maelstrom that swallowed up the Tory party and astonished the world within a few weeks of Mr. Balfour's resignation of the premiership. The Tory ex-Prime Minister appeared to have left most of his courage behind him in Ireland, where he went as 'Clara,' and stayed to earn the more flattering, if inelegant, sobriquet of 'Tiger Lily.'




{303}

CHAPTER XX

From out of the solid phalanx of Tory peers eligible for the post Lord Salisbury chose the Earl of Zetland, and sent him to Dublin. The viceroy was then in his forty-fifth year, was chiefly distinguished by his fondness for horse-racing, while a painstaking press recorded the fact that his mother was an Irishwoman. In 1871 he married Lady Lilian Lumley, a daughter of the ninth Earl of Scarborough, and the following year he was elected for the family borough of Richmond, Yorkshire. The death of his uncle in 1873 terminated his career in the House of Commons, and until his appointment to Ireland in 1889 he led the life of a country gentleman and a sportsman.

His viceroyalty was somewhat similar to that of Lord Londonderry's, though he soon lost the aid of Mr. Balfour, who was replaced by Mr. W. L. Jackson, raised to the peerage as Lord Allerton in King Edward's Coronation year. He had not been long in office when the report of the Parnell Commission became the sensation of the season; indeed, it was all Parnell and no Zetland from the beginning to the end of his term. The Commission was followed by the divorce case that {304} extinguished the Irish leader; then came the sharp and bitter party schisms, the intervention of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and last of all the death of the central figure of the sordid and miserable tragedy. It was quite impossible for either viceroy or Chief Secretary to do more than be there if he was wanted, and, perhaps fortunately no great crisis called for their intervention. A Tory Lord-Lieutenant can always have a comfortable and easy life in Dublin provided he is not ambitious to be up and doing. Lord Zetland was disinclined to create precedents or seek to alter established things. Every good cause received his approval and the benediction of Lady Zetland. They were not more political than they had to be, while the viceroy's fondness for the Turf was not without its effect, although the Irish sportsman is quite a different type to the Irish, and 'never the twain shall meet.' The viceroyalty jogged on gently to its predestined end, and the General Election giving Mr. Gladstone a majority the six-year-old Salisbury Administration came to an end.

Mr. Gladstone in power

The return of Mr. Gladstone to the premiership caused great perturbation in Unionist circles in Ireland. At last the polls had given him a mandate for Home Rule, and there was no prospect of rebellious Liberals rising again to destroy their chief. There remained the House of Lords, ever the bulwark of the liberties of the people—whether the people appreciated it or not; but there was a doubt whether the Upper Chamber would peril its existence by defying Gladstone again. Nevertheless, Unionist Ireland, with a {305} fanaticism and a determination not unworthy of the Irish Nationalist representatives, determined to fight the odds against them inspired by a 'No surrender' spirit. They resolved not to touch Gladstone or his noble representative with a forty-foot pole, and, numbering in their ranks the majority of the gentry and nobility, their decision to boycott the incoming viceroy meant much more than it appeared on the surface. It is true that any Tory viceroy can create the sort of court he pleases, and so can a Liberal in ordinary circumstances, but Lord Houghton was viceroy at a time when every snob, whether he took any interest in politics or not, became a Unionist in order to be known as a member of the gentlemanly party. It was simply 'bad form' to favour Home Rule, and that was sufficient to unite Unionists as they have never been united before or since.

Mr. Gladstone was in the position of having very few candidates for the viceroyalty. Mr. John Morley was, of course, the Chief Secretary, and he could be depended upon to do all the political work. The premier offered the viceroyalty to the then Lord Houghton, and it was accepted in the hope that it would lead to better things.

Lord Houghton

Lord Houghton was born in 1858, on January 12, so that he was in his thirty-fifth year when he was sworn in as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. His official training had been meagre, comprising the not fatiguing post of Assistant Private Secretary to Lord Granville during part of that statesman's occupancy of the Foreign Office in Mr. Gladstone's second Administration, and a few months as Lord-in-Waiting {306} to Queen Victoria in 1886. The son of Monckton Milnes was always an object of interest to students of history, literary and political, and Lord Houghton had shown that he was not inexpert by writing a number of stray verses that exhibited a talent for rhyming. His ability for statesmanship was, however, more doubtful, and, as events proved, he was not the man to conciliate the important body of opinion adverse to the Government he represented. The position, certainly, was most difficult, and abler men than Lord Houghton would have failed. He could not forget his own dignity, and therefore never attempted to conciliate the Opposition. The distrust of the Nationalists must have struck him as savouring of ingratitude, and as every Liberal viceroy has found it, Lord Houghton was an object of suspicion and distrust to all Irishmen.

Lord Crewe

Lord Crewe

Irish society boycotted the Liberal viceroy. He started badly by declining to receive a loyal address because it contained a reference to the Home Rule question. Lord Houghton, being temperamentally incapable of inspiring affection in inferiors, adopted an attitude of extreme hauteur, offending every class in turn. Mr. Gladstone was in the midst of the battle of his life, ably seconded by Mr. John Morley; but the Lord-Lieutenant of the Government sat in gloomy solitude in Dublin, cognisant no doubt of the fact that for the first time since 1172 Dublin Castle and Viceregal Lodge invitations were being declined or ignored by a society which in the ordinary course of events would sacrifice {307} anything rather than the entrée to the miniature court of the viceroy. No help could come from Ireland, where the masses watched the efforts to plant a Parliament in College Green with a sullenness of demeanour that indicated their lack of enthusiasm. The educated classes were almost to a man and a woman Unionists, and the movement against the viceroy was inspired by party feelings, but Lord Houghton's personality did not tend towards the softening of the austerities. The members of his entourage suffered from the general disfavour, and the aides-de-camp, who are usually almost danced to death every season, ended their labours as fresh as they began them. The entertaining that had to be done was in the capable hands of the Hon. Mrs. Arthur Henniker, Lord Houghton's sister, a lady of many accomplishments. The viceroy was a widower then, and some years from a second wife, an earldom, an heir, and a marquisate.

Lord Houghton's position in Ireland was certainly unique. In a country overwhelmingly Nationalist—using the word in its party sense—he was supposed to belong to the popular side. Hitherto, the Lord-Lieutenant had been more or less a Tory, for the average Liberal was too superior to descend into the cockpit of Irish politics; but Lord Houghton was the Heaven-sent embodiment of Ireland's hopes of legislative independence. He was a member of the Government that had for its first and only object the settlement of the Irish question, and yet the viceroy, with all these aids, might have been the most {308} bigoted Tory of Tories, judging by the attitude of the Nationalists. The native politician well maintained his reputation for suspecting his best friends. The prophets of gloom foretold of the fatal intervention of the House of Lords, and were so certain of defeat as to contribute towards it themselves. Lord Houghton was regarded as a sham, Gladstone's noble self-sacrifice as a mere trick; the whole body politic seemed destitute of honour and honesty. Wherever the viceroy went he was received in silence; there were no popular demonstrations in town or country. Ireland was in the position of the beggar who awaits charity with curses ready on her tongue in the case of refusal or dissatisfaction. She could not—would not—believe and understand that Mr. Gladstone was risking his own life, and that of his party, in his endeavour to grant the Nationalist demands. Eventually he wrecked Liberalism, but it has since recovered—Ireland has not.

The House of Lords is the stock enemy of Liberalism, but the peers did Lord Houghton a good turn when they rejected Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule Bill and numbered the days of the ministry. Heroically enough, the viceroy agreed to continue in office when Lord Rosebery was unexpectedly given the premiership; but all men knew that the Government was merely a makeshift, and that a General Election and a Conservative-Unionist triumph was to be expected as a matter of course. It came in 1895, and with it the end of Liberalism for ten years. Lord Houghton resigned with the ministry, and left {309} Dublin as glad to be out of the country as the country was as pleased to see the last of him. When the whirligig of time brought its revenges, and the Lord Houghton of the 1892-95 viceroyalty was an earl of ten years' standing, earls being remarkably scarce on the Liberal red benches, he was admitted to the Cabinet in the respectable capacity of Lord President of the Council. This post was vacated for a time when in Mr. Asquith's Ministry he was Lord Privy Seal and Secretary of State for the Colonies. In 1910 he became Secretary of State for India, exchanging offices with Viscount Morley.

Lord Crewe's marriage in 1898 to Lady Margaret Primrose, the youngest daughter of the Earl of Rosebery, was a brilliant social function, and the birth of a son and heir in 1911 was more welcome than the marquisate which came to the Indian Secretary in the Coronation Honours' List.

Tory ascendancy

The triumph of the Conservative and Liberal-Unionist coalition cleared the political atmosphere. Once more the rival parties in Ireland were on their old footing; the Castle and the Lodge would be exclusively Unionist, and the other side was saved the embarrassment of having a friend in power. Lord Salisbury, in looking round for a suitable viceroy, found in his intimate friend and colleague, Lord Cadogan, the ideal viceroy. Twenty years previously they had been members of the same Government—Lord Salisbury in the Cabinet, and Lord Cadogan Under-Secretary at the War Office and the Colonial Office in turn. {310} In Lord Salisbury's Government of 1886-92 he was Lord Privy Seal. Their political friendship served to cement a private friendship that lasted until Lord Salisbury's death, and it was the premier's resignation in 1902 that caused the then viceroy to retire.

Earl Cadogan, K.G.

Earl Cadogan, K.G.

Lord Cadogan was born in 1840, and in 1865 he married Lady Beatrix Craven, who died in 1907. Succeeding to the earldom in 1873, he was obliged to leave the House of Commons, to which he had been elected by the citizens of Bath the same year. From the day of his elevation to one of the wealthiest places in the peerage Lord Cadogan became a valued asset of the Conservative party. An intimate friend of the then Prince and Princess of Wales, given to hospitality, married to a lady with more than the usual gift for entertaining, the owner of Chelsea House and his wife became social leaders of the party. Lord Salisbury was fortunate in securing Lord Cadogan for the viceroyalty, and a seat in the Cabinet was only right and proper for one whose influence and support were of paramount importance. As Chief Secretary, Mr. Gerald Balfour accompanied Lord Cadogan, and after an imposing state entry on August 12, 1895, they settled down to work.

In Dublin Castle there is an object-lesson of the relative political importance of the two chief executive officers of the Government in Ireland. The Lord-Lieutenant's room is small and unpretentious, that of the Chief Secretary roomy, well furnished, and comfortable; but during Lord Cadogan's term he overshadowed his first Chief {311} Secretary, although the latter was a brother of the leader of the House of Commons.

Lord and Lady Cadogan

Lord and Lady Cadogan quickly earned that popularity which never left them. Charming to everybody, the soul of courtesy to all ranks and classes, ideal host and hostess, and spending their great wealth freely, it would have been surprising, indeed, if the viceroy and his wife had not achieved success. Nationalists, professional and amateur, learnt the advantage of having a wealthy Lord-Lieutenant, even if he had been nominated by the hated and detested Tories, and the unostentatious munificence of the viceregal pair was not the least factor that contributed towards their success. As a member of the Cabinet, Lord Cadogan's political sympathies were obvious, yet in an extraordinary way he managed to conceal the politician in the administrator. He was even accused of favouring the Nationalists and Roman Catholics, and aggrieved place-hunters ruefully declared that the only qualification for office and promotion was Nationalist leanings or adherence to the Church of Rome. Nevertheless, Lord and Lady Cadogan lost nothing of their influence over all classes. Every Dublin season was brilliant and successful, simply because Lord and Lady Cadogan had the power to do things, and knew how to do them. The visit of the then Duke and Duchess of York in 1897—a brilliant success—was a triumph for Lord Cadogan's political perspicacity. The Local Government Bill of 1898—a measure frankly Liberal in tone—would have wrecked any other Lord-Lieutenant; it left Lord Cadogan as strong {312} as ever. It is the irony of fate that the Conservative-Unionist party should have done, and still be doing, more for Ireland than Gladstone or his colleagues ever did. The Local Government Bill meant that the control of local affairs should pass from the hands of the minority to the majority. Protestant and Unionist councillors, Chairmen of County Councils, aldermen, magistrates, and other minor dignitaries were swept out of existence, and that nebulous host, the people, reigned in their stead. Had Gladstone proposed such a measure, and carried it, there would have been a revolt of the Unionists in Ireland, but as a Salisbury Government fathered the Act it was accepted without demur, and the revolution on the Nationalist side was a peaceful one. In a single phrase, the Act meant that in future the Catholic majority should be the masters of the Protestant minority. There is no quarter given or asked in Irish politics, and from that day to this the Protestants have had no share in the administration of local government in the country.




{313}

CHAPTER XXI

The outbreak of the South African War initiated a display of disloyalty in Ireland which might have embarrassed a less adroit Administration. The policy of killing Home Rule by kindness had not succeeded, and it was very evident that the throwing open of practically every office to the people had not satisfied them. Every Boer victory was received with jubilation, but it was mostly superficial. An English tourist, tactfully extracting the opinions of a cabdriver, was informed that the English deserved to be beaten, as he hoped they would, adding with a grin of delight, 'But we did make them run, sor, didn't we?' referring to the account of an English victory over the enemy the day before in which an Irish regiment had gained fresh laurels. Nothing is more ludicrous than the fervent politician who attempts unearthly consistency in thought, word, and deed. Few persons take seriously the over-serious politician.

The General Election of 1900 was preceded by a visit from Queen Victoria—the last of a successful series. It was a tribute to the good sense of the Irish and their innate loyalty, and Lord Cadogan did much to bring the queen to Ireland by {314} assuring the Cabinet that there was not the slightest danger. Four and a half years' residence in the country had taught the viceroy a great deal about the Irish people, and his trust and confidence in them were confirmed when, on April 3, 1900, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Sir Thomas D. Pile, Bart., presented Her Majesty with the keys of the city and the civic sword. She entered Dublin in triumph, and was received by Lord and Lady Cadogan at the Viceregal Lodge amid great rejoicing and splendour. The following day more than 50,000 children were reviewed in the Phoenix Park by the queen—a happy inspiration on the part of her advisers. There was, of course, a review of the troops, the queen's youngest son, the Duke of Connaught, in command, and several other incidents of an historic occasion passed off with as much success as though there was 'no such a thing' as Irish disloyalty. Thousands of persons who had cheered Boer victories without quite knowing why they did it cheered the queen until they were hoarse, because heart and head combined to welcome their illustrious visitor. Well might the aged monarch write a letter reflecting the emotion of a grateful and proud queen. No other monarch had the happy inspirations Queen Victoria constantly displayed in her messages to her people, and the secret of it all was that she wrote them as a woman, though compelled to publish them as a queen.

Shortly after the conclusion of her visit she wrote to Lord Cadogan: 'How very much gratified and how deeply touched she had been by her {315} reception. After the lapse of thirty-nine years her reception had equalled that of previous visits, and she carried away with her a most pleasant and affectionate memory of the time she had spent in Ireland, having been received by all ranks and creeds with an enthusiasm and affection which cannot be surpassed.'

Death of Queen Victoria

The next important event was the reconstruction of the Salisbury Ministry following the Election of 1900. Mr. Gerald Balfour, not too successful at the Irish Office, was transferred to the Board of Trade, and Mr. George Wyndham took his place in Ireland. The new Chief Secretary was eager to effect reforms, but the influence of the Lord-Lieutenant and the Prime Minister compelled him to pursue the conventional course of Chief Secretaries who are neither poets nor dandies. The death of Queen Victoria in January placed the court in mourning for a year, and when that was over the resignation of Lord Salisbury became an imminent event. To Lord Cadogan it meant something more than the severance of old ties. Lord Salisbury and he were bound together by numerous social and political ties, and when the great statesman resigned in the summer of 1902 Lord Cadogan immediately tendered his resignation to the king of the high office of Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. Speaking to his tenantry on the subject, the viceroy declared that all his political life had been bound up with Lord Salisbury's, and he had no desire to continue in it now that his old chief was retiring. He had spent seven years in Ireland—seven years of peace—and {316} his success was notable and inspiring. Mere wealth could not have achieved it unaided; it was personality and the desire to be as non-political as one in his position could be. It is no exaggeration to say that his departure was universally regretted. For the time the acerbities of political life were forgotten, and Ireland turned out to say good-bye to a good friend and his charming comrade, Lady Cadogan. On all sides people expressed the opinion that Mr. Balfour would find it impossible to nominate a suitable successor, and bad times were predicted for the man brave enough to attempt to follow Lord Cadogan in the viceroyalty.

Had he chosen to do so, the retiring viceroy might have taken a high post in Mr. Balfour's ministry, but he stood aside to accompany Lord Salisbury into private life—that is, as private as the husband of a political hostess can be. His social services were still at the disposal of the party to which he belonged, and they were strong supporters of the Balfour régime.

In 1907 Lady Cadogan died, and this tragedy was succeeded by the death of his eldest son, Viscount Chelsea, in 1908. Two years later his grandson and heir passed away. These events isolated Lord Cadogan, and he led a somewhat lonely life until he married for a second time. The marriage took place on January 12, 1911, the bride being the Countess Adele Palagi, a cousin of the bridegroom.

About two years after Lord Cadogan's retirement from the viceroyalty a deputation of leading {317} Irishmen called at his London residence to present him with a token of the esteem in which he was held by all those who had come in contact with him during his viceroyalty. The deputation was headed by Lord Iveagh, and included Sir David Harrel, Sir James Blyth, Sir Thomas Pile, Sir Lambert Ormsby, and Sir James Henderson. They represented all Ireland, and on their behalf the chairman presented the earl with an address, a silver bowl, and his portrait painted by Mr. Solomon J. Solomon, R.A. It was a unique ceremony, this tribute to one of the most successful viceroys Ireland had ever known.

Lord and Lady Dudley

Lord Dudley succeeded to the viceroyalty at the youthful age of thirty-five. For seven years he had been Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, and had proved himself to be a hard-working, ambitious peer. Immensely wealthy and generous, he was the most suitable man to follow Lord Cadogan, especially as Lady Dudley was a hostess of renown—one of the most popular of the younger hostesses—and a general favourite with royalty.

The Dudley reign in Ireland was full of incident, social and political. It opened unluckily enough, for in the early days of December, 1902, Lady Dudley was seized with a serious illness at the Viceregal Lodge, and at one time the gravest fears were entertained. The operation for appendicitis, however, was successful, and the countess recovered to adorn the office she shared with her husband. The mother of a young family, she won the hearts of all Ireland by sending one of {318} her daughters to the Alexandra High School—an institution deservedly famous for its successful training and teaching of girls. This was one of many triumphs achieved by tact and good nature, and within a few months of her arrival in Ireland there was no more popular person in the country. Mr. Balfour had been fortunate, indeed, in finding a Lady Dudley to follow a Lady Cadogan, while the Lord-Lieutenant at once proved himself to be strong, fearless, open-minded, and just. It was said of a Chief Secretary—Sir Robert Peel—that his one-sided opinions of Irish affairs were due to the fact that he had driven through the country on an outside car. Lord Dudley went all over Ireland in a motor-car, and therefore could not help but see both sides. Ever an enthusiastic motorist, His Excellency pursued his hobby all the time he was in Ireland, and unexpected visits to remote hamlets were numerous. This passion for motoring had a practical result—it enabled the viceroy to gather a great deal of first-hand information about the country and the people; and when he consented to become chairman of the Royal Commission on Congestion in Ireland, the year he retired from the viceroyalty, he brought to bear upon the subject and the problem a knowledge unequalled by any other non-Irish member of the Board.

Lord Dudley

Lord Dudley

The Wyndham Land Act

The supreme political event of Lord Dudley's term was undoubtedly Mr. George Wyndham's Land Act of 1903. Had Gladstone lived to witness a Tory Chief Secretary piloting such a measure through Parliament he must assuredly have gasped. {319} It caused great searchings of heart amongst the colleagues of Mr. Wyndham, but it came into the statute-book—another proof of the political axiom that the Tory party have done more for Ireland than the Liberal, that Tory Cabinets have worked more for Home Rule than their political rivals.

The revolutionary Tory Chief Secretary aroused the suspicions of his friends. Loud-voiced Unionists in Ireland declared that he was at heart a Home Ruler, and when the Lord-Lieutenant declined to take this accusation seriously he was in his turn labelled Home Ruler, too. Reports were sent to London of the dreadful backsliding of Lord Dudley. As time crawled by he was described as an out-and-out Nationalist, a traitor to the party he was sent to represent in Ireland. The devolution scheme ascribed to Lord Dunraven, the late Captain Shaw, and others, was said to have received the viceroy's benediction. Superficially, that plan seemed the easiest method by which the eternal Irish question could be settled; it appeared so nice and equitable. But there was the dangerous rock of finance, on which all devolution schemes must be wrecked. During the uproar the Lord-Lieutenant was compelled to adopt measures of precaution. The party leaders in England demanded a sign from him, for it would not do to permit Liberal and Nationalist orators to assure receptive and eager audiences night after night that the Tory Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland had learned by experience in Ireland that the only cure for the evils of the country was Home Rule. The Wyndham Land Act was merely a palliative, {320} they added. It was deemed necessary that Lord Dudley should write an elaborate explanation of his views on Ireland, and entrust the document to Lord Lansdowne, the leader of the Government in the House of Lords. This precious epistle was to recline in the noble marquis's pocket until, goaded by the taunts of the Opposition, he should be able to produce it dramatically and confound the scoffers and unbelievers. The letter was written, but never read in the Lords, the minds of men turning to other matters when Mr. Wyndham was recalled from Ireland and Mr. Walter Long appointed Chief Secretary. It was Mr. Balfour's way of announcing his dislike of the already dead and buried devolution plan.

The period of doubt left the viceroy unshorn of his friends. Those who knew him personally were well aware that he was a genuine friend of Ireland, and the whole country knew that this English nobleman stood rather to lose than gain by any active display of good-will towards the people he ruled in the name of the king. The personal popularity of Lord and Lady Dudley was such that no political crisis could affect materially. Lady Dudley, a clever woman of rare charm, an artist and a linguist, was not without experience of the vicissitudes of life, and her knowledge of things human had been increased thereby. The daughter of a once wealthy banker, she knew what poverty was, and at one time she was associated along with her sister in the millinery shop their mother started in London soon after the Gurney bank failure. The shop was not a {321} success, and had to be abandoned. The girls were adopted by friends of the family, the Duke and Duchess of Bedford taking charge of Miss Rachel Gurney. Under their wing she made the acquaintance of the young Earl of Dudley, and they were married in 1891, society, headed by the Prince of Wales, attending the function. Never very strong, and often suffering great pain, Lady Dudley, nevertheless, preserved a sweetness of temper and a kindliness to all and sundry that both in Ireland and Australia helped immensely in establishing the influence of her husband. In Ireland, especially, a viceroy's wife has many opportunities, and they are not always easy to grasp. Lady Dudley succeeded every time, and it is not to be wondered at that by thousands of those whose experience entitle them to be considered experts on the subject she is named as the most successful and popular 'vicereine' the country has known for over a hundred years.

Royal visitors

The busiest social year of the Dudley régime was that of 1903, when King Edward and Queen Alexandra visited Ireland. It was the first occasion a King of England was seen in Ireland for eighty-two years, and the people marked the honour by a display of enthusiasm unequalled in the history of the country. The king and queen were greatly touched by the loyalty of the Irish, and under the capable direction of Lord and Lady Dudley the series of festivities went with a vim that gratified the distinguished visitors and added fresh laurels to those already earned by the chatelaine of the Viceregal Lodge and Dublin Castle. {322} A royal visit produces more anxiety than pleasure, as a rule, for those whose duty it is to see that the arrangements for entertaining the guests are perfect and carried out to the letter; but a genius for organization displayed itself in the arrangements devised for the filling up of their Majesties' programme, and that was the genius of the Lord-Lieutenant and his wife. The most significant event of the visit was the Levee held at Dublin Castle by the king. All the leading men of Ireland were invited, irrespective of politics and religion. It was a daring thing to do, but Lord Dudley could count upon his own popularity, and he confidently invited Roman Catholic Archbishops, Catholic gentlemen, Nationalists, and many others whose political opinions were against the Government. The occasion was historic—a King of England holding a Levee in 'the worst castle in the worst situation in Christendom,' as a former viceroy described it—and it was almost unprecedented. With characteristic good feeling and understanding all classes and creeds attended to do homage to His Majesty, who had the gratification of receiving many notable Irishmen and seeing them mingling together, their differences forgotten in the presence of their Sovereign. The success of that Levee was a splendid tribute to Lord Dudley's tenure of the post of Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. Another visit by King Edward and Queen Alexandra the following April was equally successful.

The dying days of the Balfour ministry found Irish affairs inert. The respectable Mr. Long was {323} ready to do anything to prove his stanch Unionist principles, but both countries and parties were in that frame of mind produced by a sense of impending death. There had been ten unbroken years of Unionist sway in Ireland; two viceroys of great wealth and popularity had carried on the Government, assisted by Chief Secretaries of varying qualities of statesmanship; the country had grown accustomed to Tory control, and rather liked it, judging by the experience of Liberal predecessors. Every charitable cause had met with a ready response from the Lord-Lieutenant and his wife, and for ten years the viceroy had appeared almost non-political. The numberless acts of kindness placed to the credit of Lady Cadogan and Lady Dudley created for them a genuine feeling of admiration and affection. The heads of the Government in Ireland were no longer mere party 'jobbers.' The anxiety to be impartial was at times almost painful, but it was not without effect.

Social splendour

Socially, the two viceroyalties had been brilliant successes. The Tory Government had everything in its favour. Two such hostesses as the wives of Lords Cadogan and Dudley are rarely met with, and for ten years in succession the Dublin season was ever one of splendour. There had been periods of mourning, but, apart from these, the years were notable.

And yet the cry for Home Rule was not less shrill nor less determined. Nationalists could say with some reason that all that Lord Cadogan and Lord Dudley had done could be done again with {324} a Parliament in College Green. The growing feeling in English constituencies against the Conservative Government was hailed with delight by the Irish party. They saw Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, an avowed Home Ruler, gladly and eagerly putting their demand for Home Rule in the forefront of the great fight, and when the polls had placed him in power making Home Rule the first plank in the programme of the resuscitated Liberal party.

England could not be expected to be impressed by the successes of the Tory Government in Dublin. As a matter of fact, English electors were feeling rather bored with Irish affairs, and at the polls they scarcely stopped to think about Home Rule, but voted for the Liberal candidate for the negative reason that they did not like his opponent. The General Election was a triumph for the pure, undiluted political faith of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, and, besides smashing all hopes that the Irish party would be the masters of the situation, compelled those minute particles of Liberalism labelled Imperialists, Radicals, and so on, to unite under the lead of the new Prime Minister.

The spirit of conciliation

In the ordinary course of events Lord Dudley resigned with the Conservative Ministry, and on the appointment of a successor departed from Ireland. A few months' previously—September 21, 1905, to be exact—he had escaped death in the waters of Lough Erne, where, with a small party, he was unlucky enough to see his yacht capsize during a race. It was one adventure of many he {325} has experienced in his comparatively brief life. Following his resignation, he still evinced a keen interest in Ireland, and when the Liberal premier asked him to preside over the deliberations of a Royal Commission on Congestion, he accepted it as one who has never allowed his actions to be guided and controlled solely by party motives. The work of the Commission finishing, he went to the other end of the world as Governor-General of Australia, holding the post for three years, when Lady Dudley's ill-health compelled him to return home in 1911. This willingness to serve the Liberal party has been taken by some as additional evidence of his lukewarm Unionism, but Lord Dudley remains a member of the party that made him Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and he is a Unionist at heart, though he permits himself the luxury of thinking on the subject. It is certain that while in Ireland he examined the claims and pretensions of the Home Rule party, and endeavoured to arrive at an understanding. The fact that he was not hounded out of the country by his fellow-Unionists is proof positive of the fact that a new spirit of conciliation has arisen, and that Irish political controversialists are aware that there can be two sides to every question, even an Irish one.




{326}

CHAPTER XXII

Lord Aberdeen's return

Lord Aberdeen's return to Ireland, twenty years after his first entry into Dublin as Lord-Lieutenant, was announced immediately after the resignation of Mr. Balfour's ministry. It was to a new Ireland that the viceroy came. Much history had been made since the days when the 'Union of Hearts' presaged a smooth passage to popularity for the Earl of Aberdeen. Successive Tory Governments had laboured upon Irish affairs, and if they had stopped short at Home Rule they had come very near it. The Nationalist party was inclined to be sullen, realizing their futility, and compelled to wait humbly upon Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's pleasure. He was independent of them. They were free to join the Opposition if they chose to do so, although the Prime Minister, always consistent, hinted that a Home Rule Bill was about to appear on the Parliamentary horizon. There was the South African business to be got through first; then the fiscal question seemed capable of wasting more public time, and questions of Empire and home finance all blocked the way to the ambitions of the group led by Mr. John Redmond. Astute Nationalists quickly understood that they must wait for another General Election, perhaps two, before {327} their hopes could be realized, and therefore they stood aside while the country blinked its eyes at the unusual sight of Liberals sitting in the seats of the mighty, and new men with even newer names flocking to the Cabinet room in Downing Street.

Meanwhile, the Viceroy of Ireland took possession of his high office. For nearly eight years he had lived in retirement, his Governor-Generalship of Canada beginning in 1893 and ending in 1898. The Canadian period was another record of success for the viceregal pair, who were undoubtedly the most valuable at the disposal of the Government for viceregal positions requiring a long pedigree, a long purse, and the royal attribute of being all things to all men.

The position of a Lord-Lieutenant nominated by a Liberal Prime Minister is the most anomalous and difficult in the Government. He is selected because he is a member of the party in power, and asked to fill a post in which, as the representative of the king, he must not display any political leanings. His Majesty is above politics, and the man who is accorded royal honours in Ireland must represent the king non-politically. Even in this attempt he must needs lay himself open to the charges—eagerly laid against him—of showing favour to either political party, for even a Viceroy of Ireland cannot help being aware of the politics and religion of some of those upon whom he bestows office. In the case of a Liberal Lord-Lieutenant he dwells in a country where Liberalism has been buried for more than a generation, where {328} a religious motive colours every political action, and where bones of contention provide the only food for the hungry politicians.

But the severest handicap to which a Liberal Lord-Lieutenant is subjected arises out of the prevalent notion that Nationalism and disloyalty are almost interchangeable terms. This enables every Unionist to charge the viceroy with pandering to the prejudices of the disloyal majority, and thereby degrading the dignity of his office by condoning insults to the king whom he represents. From time to time Nationalist politicians have declined to drink the king's health, or have marched out of a hall or room at the sound of the first bars of 'God save the King.' Instances readily occur to all acquainted with Ireland. Unionists naturally make the most of this, and the Lord-Lieutenant finds himself criticized by all, the fiercest being those who ought to support him. Had Daniel O'Connell and his fiery successors bred a spirit of personal devotion to the throne of England, Home Rule might have been an accomplished fact thirty years ago, but the attitude adopted by Home Rule's leading propagandists has alienated the sympathies of the voters of Great Britain. Comfortable politicians in Westminster can legislate and talk of Ireland far from the centre of the problem, and unhampered by the local difficulties that are to be met with in Ireland. They know nothing, or else conveniently forget that, while Liberalism in England can, and does, hold Home Rule compatible with loyalty to the king, such an amalgamation of ideas has not been {329} recognized hitherto in Ireland. The viceroy, however, has to face the music, and as the embodiment of kingly rule in Ireland he has to remain a Liberal and a Home Ruler despite the knowledge that Nationalists feel bound to hold aloof from the king's representative until self-government is granted.

Very few Viceroys of Ireland have been Cabinet ministers, and it is, indeed, surprising how any statesman can be expected to act as king in Ireland and as an exponent of his party's policy in Downing Street; but the fact that viceroys do not often sit in the Cabinet does not remove the political aspect of the post. The unwritten law seems to be that while a Tory occupant of the Viceregal Lodge may be as partisan as he wishes, no Lord-Lieutenant chosen by a Liberal premier must open his mouth on the political questions of the day. It is easy to account for this. Unionism superficially means this, at any rate—that the party believes in loyalty to the Crown and the Constitution, while the other side can only retort by declaring that a readjustment of the Constitution would not affect the indissolubility of the Crown.

Nationalists and the Castle

Then, Nationalists are by training and instinct suspicious of the Castle. Irishmen are seldom cowards, but it is only necessary to bring a charge of sycophancy against an Irishman to make him forswear the Castle and all its works. It is, in his opinion, the greatest insult you can offer him. You may question the honour of his ancestors, doubt his honour, or even deride his alleged sense {330} of humour—all these things will leave him cold; but hint that he wants a job, sneer at him because you imagine he is hankering after the fleshpots of Castle Yard or the messes of the Viceregal Lodge, and then take steps to insure your safety. This weapon has proved most effective in the hands of Nationalist writers and journalists, though it has not always succeeded in preventing men holding Nationalist opinions from serving their country on the bench or in the administration of the Government of the land.

English ministers possess more patronage than the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and jobbery is ever rampant in London; but the business of the metropolis is not stopped in order that the multitude may hold up their hands in horror at the action of the jobbers. Happily, England's strength is not in its Civil Service. In Ireland it is different, and whereas the ambition of every family was to have a priest amongst its sons, now a Civil Servant within its ranks is considered more desirable. And the Lord-Lieutenant, as Chief Patron, is the natural prey of the eager, and hopeful, and the disappointed.

Not since the mayoralty of T. D. Sullivan in 1886—during Lord Aberdeen's previous term of office—has the Mansion House in Dawson Street known the presence of a viceroy. Successive Lord Mayors of Dublin have held aloof from the Government—some from conviction, the majority frightened by the bogie of sycophancy. Amateur politicians continue to practise the art of debate on the floors and in the galleries of the City Hall, and their brethren in a more sophisticated manner {331} demonstrated their statesmanlike qualities in Westminster; while the Lord-Lieutenant, the symbol of England's despotic rule, mingles with the aristocratic and official sets, which are mainly Tory. In fact, the Nationalists are afraid to indicate loyalty by accepting the hospitality of the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and, curiously enough, the extreme Unionists adopt precisely the same course when a Liberal Government is in power.

Welcoming the Lord-Lieutenant

Lord Aberdeen made his state entry on February 3, 1906. Only veterans could recall the doings of the Lord-Lieutenant of 1886, but Lord and Lady Aberdeen's names were household words, as they had been no strangers to Ireland during these twenty years, but had identified themselves with much work for the benefit of her industries and welfare, and in many ways the new viceroy and his wife received a sympathetic welcome. They were anxious to mark their term of office by social reform, and to keep the office as far removed from party politics as possible.

Two notable deputations waited on the viceroy at Dublin Castle within a fortnight of his arrival. One consisted of the survivors of the extraordinary popular demonstration that had escorted Lord and Lady Aberdeen out of Dublin in 1886. On that occasion the Lord Mayor of Dublin and members of the Corporation had headed the procession, which was intended to show the affection of the Home Rule party for the Home Rule viceroy. The survivors now read an address of welcome to the Lord-Lieutenant, and as all addresses to the viceroy are carefully subedited, Lord Aberdeen {332} was able to listen to the compliments this particular one contained, and reply in set terms indicating his desire to work in sympathy with all parties in Ireland. Twenty years earlier a different reply might have been possible, but during the interval between the first and second Aberdeen reigns the Tory party had stolen much of the Liberal thunder, and the deputation represented something as Victorian as an antimacassar.

The second deputation was from the City of Belfast, and expressed devotion and loyalty to the throne and to the king's representative. In other words, it was a grim reminder to Lord Aberdeen that the Unionists had their eye on him, and that it behoved him not to air his Home Rule opinions during his viceroyalty. There is an unwritten law that all Lord-Lieutenants of Ireland must be non-political in thought and word, if not in deed, and the rule is always applied with rigour in the case of a Liberal viceroy. To this and all other addresses of welcome it was easy to return a speech of thanks, and Lord Aberdeen promised to visit Belfast at the first available opportunity—a promise which was soon fulfilled, and resulted in many subsequent visits to the northern capital, where Lord and Lady Aberdeen have always been accorded a hearty welcome.

Lord Aberdeen in Rome

It was not very long before the viceroy provided his watchful opponents with food for criticism. In January, 1907, he actually visited Rome without taking the trouble to obtain the consent of the Orangemen, who were horrified to hear that the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland had been received {333} in audience by the Pope. In this atrocious act they discovered all the evidence of the intention of the Government to consign the lives and property of Protestants to the inquisitorial mercies of the Catholics. The ministry was going to pass Home Rule at once, and in order to make it complete sent the Viceroy of Ireland to interview the Pope, and obtain his views on the matter. This was the opinion of the easily terrified Opposition. These excitable religionists were well aware of the fact that Lord Aberdeen is a Presbyterian, and an office-bearer in that Church. Ready themselves to sacrifice every shred of religion in the cause of politics, they doubted the sincerity of others, and the Lord-Lieutenant was accused of selling his soul to Rome to further the ends of the Government he represented. Religious extremists, whether they be Protestants or Catholics, always present an unedifying caricature of human nature and human sense. English Protestants made themselves just as ridiculous over the visit of the late King Edward paid to the Pope a few years ago. We know that, in the phrase of a great Irishman, the Catholics in England are a sect, while in Ireland they are a nation; but the brass-tongued minority in Ireland seem to dominate the country when they have any opportunity to bring charges against their Catholic fellow-countrymen. Lord Aberdeen passed from the Vatican to the presence of the king of Rome, but this act did not serve to mitigate the heinousness of his first offence.

The year of 1907 was a full and exciting one for all concerned in the viceregal administration of {334} Ireland. On January 24 Mr. Augustine Birrell became Chief Secretary, as Mr. James Bryce was appointed to the embassy at Washington—or, at any rate, was induced to think so—and the new broom came with the intention of sweeping out many abuses. There was to be a superb Irish University; there were whispers of a new Land Act that would bring peace to all concerned; the reform of Trinity College would be accomplished on the advice of the Royal Commission appointed the previous June; and, finally, there was a promise of Home Rule. Apart from these more or less political topics, quieter folk discussed the forthcoming visit of the king and queen, who were venerated by their Irish subjects.

King Edward conversing with Lord Aberdeen at the Irish International Exhibition, 1907

King Edward conversing with Lord Aberdeen at the Irish International Exhibition, 1907

The Dublin Castle jewels

The royal visitors were expected to arrive during the second week of July, and a few days before—on the 6th—it was announced that the famous collection of jewellery, known as the Dublin Castle jewels, had disappeared. The pecuniary value of the jewels was about £40,000, but their intrinsic worth was considerably more than this. The public amazement was nothing compared with the official consternation. These jewels were to have been used during the installation of Lord Pirrie as a Knight of St. Patrick, and King Edward was to have presided at the ceremony. Strange rumours flooded Dublin and travelled on to London. No name was too high or too sacred to be associated with the theft, and every bar-loafer could pose as a persona grata in Court circles by slyly mentioning the mystery and declaring that 'everybody' knew So-and-so was the thief, and that his family {335} were paying ransom for him. It seemed as though the police confined their investigations to Debrett, ignoring those whose lack of rank and title disqualified them for suspicion. The circumstances of this official tragedy were well in keeping with the romantic result. Dublin Castle is the headquarters of the police force and the detective staff, and on ordinary days presents the appearance of a German fort. Those acquainted with Dublin Castle declined to believe for a moment that professional thieves had entered this glorified police-station and stolen the most rigorously-guarded collection of jewels in the country.

King Edward and Queen Alexandra entered Ireland to the accompaniment of ringing cheers, the people being independent of Crown jewels or any other baubles to symbolize their loyalty. The Irish love a sportsman, and if he should happen to be a king as well they love him all the better for that. The magnetic personality of Edward VII. and the infectious charm of Queen Alexandra triumphed in Ireland, and everybody forgot for the time being that there was a Home Rule Government in power, and that a Liberal peer was their Majesties' host. Dublin was favoured greatly by the royal visitors, who daily performed some public act and received the salutations of the people. Those who expected that the absence of the Crown jewels would tend to depreciate the importance and effect of the visit were disappointed agreeably.

It is scarcely necessary to record that throughout the memorable visit of the king and queen {336} Lord and Lady Aberdeen displayed to the best advantage those perfect social qualities for which they are renowned in two continents. Such a period is necessarily one of hard and often anxious work, and the thousand and one questions to be settled offhand, the numberless applications for invitations to be studied and settled, and the natural anxiety for the safety and comfort of their royal guests, are matters that would place the average person at a disadvantage. Lord and Lady Aberdeen, however, have the happy quality of rising to the great heights great occasions demand, and so, if their Majesties' reception was tumultuous and their welcome regal, that accorded day after day to the Lord-Lieutenant and his wife can be described as viceregal. Second only in popularity to their illustrious guests, they proved to the thousands of strangers who visit Ireland in the wake of royalty that it is by no means certain that a Liberal viceroy cannot earn the affection of the country. Common courtesy might account for the respect royalty and royalty's representatives meet with in Ireland, but only genuine affection could inspire the enthusiastic welcomes accorded to King Edward and his son and their viceroy, the Earl of Aberdeen.

The report of the Viceregal Commission appointed to inquire into the circumstances of the theft of the Crown jewels appeared on February 1, 1908. It stated that Sir Arthur Vicars, the Ulster King of Arms, who was the official custodian of the jewels, did not exercise due vigilance or proper care. His resignation followed as a matter of {337} course, though it must be recorded that there was a general impression that Sir Arthur Vicars had been made the official scapegoat. The decision of the Commission by no means satisfied public opinion, and rumour raged furiously again, inspired by all sorts and conditions of statements said to have been omitted from the report, although stated in evidence before the Commissioners. One of these days the secret history of the disappearance of the Dublin Castle jewellery may be revealed. Until that time, it must be classed among the unsolved mysteries of the twentieth century.

A state visit to Belfast in the autumn of 1907, and the unveiling of a statue of Queen Victoria in Dublin on February 15, 1908, were the most notable events of these years. The tragic death of the Hon. Ian Archibald Gordon, their Excellencies' youngest son, took place in November, 1909, the result of a motor-car accident. Mr. Gordon had just become engaged to Miss Violet Asquith, the daughter of the Prime Minister, and the marriage had been looked forward to with pardonable eagerness on both sides, as it would have united at the altar two families bound together by many ties of friendship. The engagement was a secret until the fact was published that Lord Aberdeen's son was at the point of death. Great sympathy was expressed with his devoted parents.

Death of King Edward

The termination of King Edward's brief and splendid reign necessarily placed the court in mourning for twelve months, and the viceroyalty underwent a period of quiescence. King George's {338} accession was proclaimed in Dublin and other cities on May 11, 1910.

The visit of King George and Queen Mary in July, 1911, was the great event of the year. Fresh from the Coronation, their Majesties arrived in Dublin on July 8, holding a Levee, a garden-party, and a drawing-room, reviewing troops in Phoenix Park, and visiting hospitals and institutions. And all in five days! The Prince of Wales and Princess Mary of Wales accompanied their parents, and won for themselves no little popularity. The magnificent reception accorded to the king and queen astonished even those who possessed a knowledge of previous royal visits. At times it exceeded in warmth that extended to King Edward—a feat which many declared to be impossible until it was an accomplished fact. Again Lord and Lady Aberdeen demonstrated their ability and popularity. Once more they were second only to the king and queen. The perfect organization that had displayed itself on the occasion of King Edward's visit was seen again, and if their Majesties had a most strenuous time, they were equally as pleased as their subjects and their viceregal representatives. Not a single discordant note was struck throughout the series of public and private ceremonies performed by the king and queen, and well might Nationalists fear that the spectacle of Irish men and women outdoing the welcome accorded to the king and queen at their Coronation would give to all the world the impression that Ireland's dislike of England was purely a paper one.

{339}

When the visit was over, King George telegraphed from the royal yacht expressing his thanks to Lord and Lady Aberdeen.

'Having just arrived, after a most beautiful passage,' he said, 'the queen and I, with the hearty cheers of the Irish people still ringing in our ears, wish once more to express to you and Lady Aberdeen our warm appreciation of all your kindness and trouble to insure our stay in Dublin being a happy and pleasant one. You have indeed succeeded, and we thank you sincerely.'

The Countess of Aberdeen

The Countess of Aberdeen

Lady Aberdeen

From the earliest days of her husband's viceroyalty Lady Aberdeen worked actively in connection with numerous philanthropic societies. A champion of women, with a record dating back to the seventies, her specialities are the eradicating of consumption and the improvement of the lot of female workers. Her enthusiasm has led her into conflict with the old order, but Lady Aberdeen has ever been inspired with the best of motives, and she has done a great deal of good.

Lady Aberdeen founded the Women's National Health Association of Ireland in 1907, and the fact that this society has united representatives of every creed and party in the cause of public health and the stamping out of consumption has in itself wrought much indirect good in all parts of Ireland, in addition to the direct result of reducing the death-rate from consumption by one-seventh in three years. There are now over one hundred and fifty branches of this organization, composed of men and women representing all sections of the community, in all parts of Ireland, working {340} devotedly together for the welfare and the happiness of the people as a whole; and these workers have shown a power of initiative in meeting local needs by providing meals for school-children; forming Babies' Clubs, where mothers and their elder daughters are taught how to care for the babies, and how to make small resources go a long way in selecting nourishing food and suitable garments; turning derelict spaces into garden playgrounds; organizing health lectures, health exhibitions, travelling health caravans, besides supporting sanatoria, hospitals, convalescent homes, and maintaining nurses for the care of tuberculosis patients in their own homes.

The success of other notable undertakings might be quoted as an evidence of the support which the present occupants of the Viceregal Lodge can count upon when they identify themselves with any special enterprise.

The Irish Lace Ball of 1907 at the Castle, the Pageant of Irish Industries of 1909, the great Ui Breasail Exhibition and Fête of Irish Industries and Health in 1911, visited by over 176,000 persons in fourteen days, of every shade of opinion and of every class of the community, are events which will be long remembered in the Irish capital in connection with Lord Aberdeen's lengthy reign.

There was a 'storm in a teacup' during the General Election of December, 1910, when Lord Aberdeen aroused the wrath of the Conservatives and Unionists by telegraphing to the Liberal candidate in West Aberdeenshire expressing his own belief that the apprehension that under Home {341} Rule the Protestant minority would suffer was unfounded. A Committee of Privileges composed of members of both Houses of Parliament inquired into the matter, and reported that they found that the viceroy's action had not contravened any Standing Order or regulation. This was accepted, and nothing more was heard of the matter.

Further criticism fell his way when Ireland was in the grip of a railway strike, and he was spending a holiday in Scotland. There was a clamour for the viceroy's presence in Ireland. He was already on his way thither, but though he had been successful in settling the Carriers' Strike some years previously, the present occasion did not offer an opportunity for personal mediation.

The place-hunters

When his term of office ends, Lord Aberdeen can look back upon several years of success in Ireland. He may not be a racing man, and Punchestown may not be a favourite haunt of his, but sterner qualities than a fondness for horse-racing are necessary to succeed as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. In the most favourable times it requires a vast amount of tact, a keen sense of humour, and a sense of proportion. Place-hunters abound and office-seekers are innumerable. Dublin Castle is regarded as the haven of hope for all younger sons without talent and briefless barristers hungering for a regular income. They are all suppliants of the Lord-Lieutenant, and several hundreds of years of ascendancy have given them a sense of right in receiving favours, and one of indignation and injustice in the case of refusal. But when all is said and done, the {342} outcry over jobbery in Ireland is absurd, for it is a fact that there is more jobbery in London in a month than in the whole of Ireland in a year.

There have been some attempts to abolish the viceroyalty, but if ornamental it is also useful, because the Irish instinctively respect royalty, and a country populated by the descendants of kings could not be expected to have an instinctive respect for any form of government savouring of Republicanism, or one that left wholly to the imagination the majesty of the Sovereign ruler.

To satisfy all classes, to tolerate the intolerant, and to represent the non-political King of England, although appointed for his political opinions, are the duties of the Lord-Lieutenant. Surrounded by lynx-eyed critics, Tory and Nationalist, he has to be something more than the shadow of the monarch, and he is not allowed to escape criticism, although the king for whom he acts as deputy is supposed to be above it. It is not an enviable post, and never will be. That Lord Aberdeen and Lady Aberdeen have been successful nobody will deny, and Ireland will lose two good friends when their term of office comes to an end.

The introduction of Mr. Asquith's Home Rule Bill makes the Irish viceroy's position more delicate than ever. Its success means the end of the official ascendancy, and bureaucracies always fight desperately until the first shot is fired. When Liberalism has achieved its ambition, the Irish bureaucracy will cease to hold the power that makes or mars every viceroyalty.




{343}

INDEX


Abercorn, Marquis and first Duke of, 264

Abercorn's second viceroyalty, Duke of, 273

Aberdeen and Belfast, Lord, 332

Aberdeen and Gladstone, Lord, 295

Aberdeen, fourth Earl of, 257

Aberdeen's first viceroyalty, Lord, 295

Aberdeen, Lady, 296

Aberdeen's second viceroyalty, Lord, 326-342

Aberdeen, seventh Earl of, 295

Aberdeen's visit to Rome, Lord, 332

Abercromby, Sir Ralph, 204

Addison, Joseph, 131

Albert, visit of Prince, 300

Ambrose, Eleanor, 150

America, British North, 216

Andrews, Dr., 157, 175

Anglesey and George IV., Lord, 229

Anglesey and O'Connell, 234

Anglesey divorced, Lord, 230

Anglesey, Marquis of, 227

Anglesey on agitation, 232

Anglesey's second viceroyalty, Lord, 234

Anglo-Irish, Rise of, 31

Annesley, Arthur, 89

Armagh, Archbishop of, 52

Arran, Lord, 128

Asquith's Home Rule Bill, Mr., 342

Asquith, Miss Violet, 337



Bagenal, Sir Nicholas, 74

Balfour, Mr. A. J., 299

Balfour, Mr. Gerald, 310, 315

'Baratariana,' 176

Bedford, fourth Duke of, 161

Bedford, Jasper, Duke of, 57

Bedford, sixth Duke of, 211

Belfast and Lord Aberdeen, 332

Belfast Volunteer Review, 195

Bellingham, Sir Edward, 67

Beresford, 199, 201

Berkeley, Lord, John, 98

Berkeley, Lord Justice, 123

Berkeley, Mary, 72

Berwick, Duke of, 118

Bessborough, fourth Earl of, 247

Bessborough, Lady, 248

Bessborough, O'Connell and Lord, 247

Birch v. Clarendon, 253

Birrell, Mr. Augustine, 334

Blyth, Sir James, 317

Boisseleau, 118

Bolton, Charles Paulet, Duke of, 135

Bosworth, Battle of, 57

'Bottle riot, the,' 225

Boyle, Earl of Shannon, 158

Boyne, Battle of the, 117

Brabazon, 67

Brabazon, Captain, 101

Brereton, Sir William, 66

Brigham, Sir Richard, 74

Bristol and Edmund Burke, 184

Bristol, Lord, 171

British North America, 216

Bruce, Edward, 26

    crowned King of Ireland, 25

    defeated and killed, 26

Bruce, Robert, 25

and Prior Roger Utlagh, 28

Bryan, Sir Francis, 67

Bryce, Mr. James, 334

Buckingham, Duke of, 103

Buckingham, Marquis of, 192

    and Grattan, 190

    and Parliament, 190

Buckinghamshire, Earl of, 181

Burke, Edmund, 169

and Bristol, 184

and Irish trade, 184

Burke, murder of Mr., 281

Byron, Lord, 185



Cadogan, Earl, 309

Cadogan's resignation, Lord, 315

Camden, Lady, 203

Camden, Lord, 200

Camden on the Union, 204

Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H., 285

Canada, 216

Canning, 227

Capel of Tewkesbury, Lord, 122

    and Jonathan Swift, 122

Carew, John, Lord, 34

Carlisle and Grattan, 184

Carlisle, fifth Earl of, 181

Carlisle, seventh Earl of, 258

Carnarvon and Dublin University, 294

Carnarvon and Parnell, Lord, 290

Carnarvon interview, Parnell on, 292

Carnarvon, Lady, 290

Carnarvon, Lord, 286, 289

Caroline, Queen, 147

Carteret and Swift, 142

Carteret, John, Lord, 139

Cary, 283

Cary, Sir George, 80

Cashel, Archbishop of, 26

Castle, Dublin, 16

Castle, Dudley, 68

Castle, Fotheringay, 76

Castle, Kilcolman, 73

Castle, Ludlow, 69

Castle, Rathfarnham, 173

Castle rebuilt, Dublin, 20

Castlemaine, Ormonde and Lady, 97

Caatlemaine, Phoenix Park and Lady, 97

Castlereagh and Roman Catholic Church, 202

Castlereagh, Lord, 174, 202

Castlereagh's methods, 207

Catholic Association, 232

Catholic Association, O'Connell founds, 226

Catholic Bill, rejection of, 204

Catholic committee, 194

Catholic convention, 196

Catholic disabilities, 196

Catholic Emancipation, 212, 228

Catholic Emancipation, Cornwallis and, 209

Catholic Emancipation and Union, 207

Catholic relief, struggle for, 197

Catholics emancipated, 232

Cavendish, Lady Dorothy, 186

Cavendish, Lord John, 187

Cavendish, murder of Lord Frederick, 281

Chamberlain, Mr., 285

Charles I. and Ormonde, 88

Charles I., Irish money for, 83

Chesterfield and Eleanor Ambrose, 150

Chesterfield and Phoenix Park, 151

Chesterfield, Lady, 151

Chesterfield on Ireland, 151

Chesterfield on Irishmen, 154

Chesterfield on the Irish Parliament, Lord, 154

Chesterfield's 'Letters,' 147

Chesterfield's marriage, 147

Chesterfield's political legacy, 149

Chesterfield, the Earl of, 146

Chichester House, 143

Chichester, Lord, 80

Churchill, Lord Randolph, 275

Church, Gladstone and the Irish, 262

Church of Ireland, Disestablishment of, 267

Clanricarde, Earl of, 61

Clanricarde, Thomond, Earl of, 68

Clare, attempt to lynch Lord, 201

Clare Election, 231

Clare, O'Connell stands for, 231

Clarence, George, Duke of, 54

Clarendon and O'Connell, 249

Clarendon, fourth Earl of, 248

Clarendon, Henry Hyde, Earl of, 107

Clarendon v. Birch, 253

Clement V. and Dublin University, 25

Cleveland's plot, Duchess of, 101

Clifford, Rosemond, 21

Clonmel, Siege of, 92

Coercion Act of 1881, 280

Coinage, introduction of special, 20

Commissioners, Parliamentary, 89

Conellan, Mr. Corry, 252

Coningsby, Lord Justice, 120

Connaught, Visit of Duke of, 270

Cooke, military secretary, 199

Cornwallis and Catholic Emancipation, 209

'Cornwallis Correspondence,' 187

Cornwallis, Lord, 203, 205

Cornwallis, surrender of Humbert to, 207

Corunna, 229

Coventry, Bishop of, 18

Cowley, Lord, 230

Cowper, Earl, 275

Crampton, Sir Philip, 220

Craven, Lady Beatrix, 310

Cromwell, Henry, 94

Cromwell, Oliver, and Ireland, 90

Croft, Sir James, 67

Cullen, Cardinal, 272

Cumberland, Richard, 167

Curragh, George IV. at, 220

Curran, 215

Curran and Emmet, 211

Curran and the Union, 208

Curwen, Archbishop of Dublin, 68



Dantsey, Bishop of Meath, 49

d'Arcy's parliament, 31

d'Arcy, Roger, 33

d'Audeley, Jacques, 23

d'Ardingselles, Guillaume, 23

Deane, Henry, 61

de Balscot, Alexander, 40, 43

de Bermingham, Jean, Earl of Louth, 26

de Bermingham, Walter, 34

de Blaquerie, Lord, 179

de Bromwich, John, 40

de Burgh, Guillaume Fitz-Aldelm, 17

de Burgh, Richard, 22

de Burgh, Sir Guillaume, 24

de Burgh, Sir Thomas, 29

de Burgh, William, Earl of Ulster, 29

de Burghs, the, 30

de Cherlton, Sir John, 29

de Colton, Dean, 39, 41, 44

de Courcy, 19

de Courtenay, Philip, 41

de Dagworth, Sir Nicholas, 39

'Defenders, the,' 197

de Gaveston, Piers, 24

de Gorges, Sir Ralph, 27

de Gray, Sir John, 49

de Grey, Bishop of Norwich, 21

de Grey, Earl, 243

de Grey, Lady, 243

de Joinville, Geoffery, 23

de Lacy, assassination of Hugh, 19

de Lacy, Hugh, 16

de Lacy, Hugh, 18

de Lacy II., Hugh, 19

de la Haye, Guillaume, 23

de la Rochelle, Sir Richard, 23

de la Zouche, Alain, 22

de Londres, Archbishop of Dublin, 21

de Marreis, Geoffery, 22

de Mortimer, Edmund, 40, 49

de Mortimer, Roger, 26

de Mortimer, Roger, 43

de Mortimer, Sir Thomas, 41

de Peche, Richard, 18

de Pembridge, Sir Richard, 38

Derby, Lord, 256, 264

de Rokeby, Sir Thomas, 34

de Saundford, Archbishop of Dublin, 23

Desmond, Earl of, 31

Desmond, Earl of, 54

Desmond, Gerald, fourth Earl of, 37

Desmond, Maurice, Earl of, 34

Desmonds, the, 30

de Stanley, Sir John, 43

de Stanley, Sir John, 44

de Taney, William, 39

de Valognes, Hamon, 19

de Verdun, Theobaude, 25

de Vere, Earl of Oxford, 42

de Vesci, Sir Guillaume, 23

Devolution, 319

Devonshire, William, third Duke of, 145

de Welles, Sir Leon, 49

de Welles, William, 49

de Windsor, Sir William, 38

de Windsor, Sir William, 39

D'Exeter, Richard, 23

'Diamond, Battle of,' 197

Disraeli, 264

Disraeli and Marlborough, 273

Doon, the auction at, 235

Dorset and Mrs. La Touche, 157

Dorset and Peg Woffington, 157

Dorset and the Irish Parliament, 159

Dorset, Duchess of, 217

Dorset, Duke of, 216

Dorset, Lionel Sackville, Duke of, 144, 155

Doyle, Bishop, 247

'Drapier's Letters,' 140

Drogheda, massacre of, 91

Drummond, Thomas, 258

du Bouchet, Mdlle., 147

Dublin after the Union, 209

Dublin Castle, 16

Dublin Castle rebuilt, 20

Dublin Corporation, Perrott's present to, 75

Dublin Evening Post, 214

Dublin, Exhibition of 1870, 270

Dublin Exhibition of 1853, 258

Dublin, Marquis of, 42

Dublin Parliament, 31, 41

Dublin in the eighteenth century, 137, 156

Dublin in the fourteenth century, 34

Dublin in the seventeenth century, 100

Dublin streets, famous, 169

Dublin trade and England, 115

Dublin University and Lord Carnarvon, 294

Dublin University, first mention of, 25

Dublin, university opened in, 27

Dudley Castle, 68

Dudley, Earl of, 317

Dudley, Edmund, 55

Dudley, Lady, 320

d'Ufford, Sir Raoul, 31

D'Ufford, Sir Robert, 23

Duncannon, Lord. See Bessborough

Dundas, 196

Dunraven, Lord, 319



Ebrington, Viscount, 242

Ecclesiastics, banishment of, 82

Ecclesiastical deputies, 23

Eden, Sir William, 182

Edgecumbe, Sir Richard, 58

Edward II., 24

Edward III., 28

Edward IV. and Desmond, 54

Edward VII., death of King, 337

Edward and Queen Alexandra, last visit of King, 335

Edward and Queen Alexandra, visit of King, 321

Edward, Prince, 57

Eglinton and Winton, Earl of, 256

Eglinton tournament, 256

Eldon, Lord, 228

Election of 1885, result of General, 292

Election of 1906, General, 324

Emmet and Curran, 211

Emmet, Robert, 211

Enniskillen, Earl of, 243

English defeats, 19, 34, 43, 44

Erne, Lord, 240

Essex, Arthur Capel, Earl of, 99

Lady, 100

death of, 102

Essex, Captain Brabazon and Lady, 101

Essex, Robert Devereux, Earl of, 76

and Mountjoy, 77, 79

Etienne, 23



'Faerie Queen,' Spenser's, 73

Falkland, Lady, 82

Falkland, Viscount, 82

Famine, the great, 249

Faughard, Battle of, 26

Faulkner, Mary Ann, 165

Fenianism, 260

Fenianism and Mr. Gladstone, 267

Fenianism, Gladstone on, 260

'Field of the Cloth of Gold,' 63

Fitz-Eustace, Edmund, 52

Fitz-Eustace, Sir Roland, 54

Fitz-Geoffery, Jean, 22

Fitzgerald and Clare, Mr., 231

Fitzgerald, Capture of Lord Edward, 206

Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare, Thomas, 26

Fitzgerald, Lord Edward, 202

Fitzgerald, Maurice, 22

Fitzgerald, Maurice Fitzmaurice, 23

Fitzgerald, Sir James, 64

Fitzgerald, Sir Maurice, 62

Fitz-Gislebert, 17

Fitzmaurice, Thomas, 23

Fitz-Simon, Walter, 59

Fitz-Thomas, Earl of Kildare, 26

Fitzwilliam, Earl, 199

Fitzwilliam, Lady, 75

Fitz-William, Sir William, 68, 75

Fleetwood, Sir Charles, 93

Flood, Henry, 169

Foley's statue of Carlisle, 259

Forster, Mr. W. E., 276

Forster, resignation of, 280

Fotheringay Castle, 76

Fox, Charles James, 182

Franklin, 196

Free Trade and Grattan, 181

Free Trade for Ireland, 181

Froude on Ireland, 206

Froude on Irish Volunteers, 195

Furlong on Lord Wellesley, 226



Gainsborough, Lord, 76

Gardiner, Sir Robert, 76

George and Queen Mary, visit of King, 338

George II. and Lord Chesterfield, 146

George IV. and Lord Anglesey, 229

George IV.'s visit, 219

George on his visit, King, 339

George proclaimed, King, 337

George, visit of Prince, 300

Geraldine family, first of, 17

Geraldines, the, 30

Gladstone and Ireland, 268

Gladstone and the Irish Church, 262

Gladstone and Irish University, 271

Gladstone and Lord Aberdeen, 295

Gladstone on Fenianism, 260

Gloucester, Thomas Plantagenet, Duke of, 43

Goderich, 227

Godolphin, 127

Gordon, death of Hon. Archibald, 337

Gormanstown, Lord of, 35

Gormanstown, Viscount, 57

Gormanstown, Viscount, 62

Gormanstown, Viscount, 59

Government bribery, 202

Grafton, Duke of, 138

Grattan and Dolly Munroe, 174

Grattan and Free Trade, 181

Grattan and Lord Carlisle, 184

Grattan and Phoenix Park, 183

Grattan, Henry, 169

Grattan's position, 183

Grenville, 211

Greville, 233

Grey, Elizabeth, 54

Grey, Lady Elizabeth, 63

Grey, Lord, 56

Grey of Ruthyn, Reginald, 44

Grey of Wilton, Lord, 71

Grouchy, 202

Gunning sisters, the, 154



Habeas Corpus Act, suspension of, 277

Halifax, George, second Earl of, 163

Halifax, Lord, 268

Haddington, Earl of, 237

Hamilton, 'Single-Speech,' 167

Hamilton, Sir George, 111

Hardwicke, Lady, 210

Hardwicke, Lord, 210

Harcourt, Lord, 177

Harcourt, Lord, 179

Harding, 140

Barrel, Sir David, 317

Harrington, William Stanhope, Earl of, 152

Hartington, Lord, 161

Henderson, Sir James, 317

Henniker, Hon. Mrs. Arthur, 307

Henry II. invades Ireland, 15

Henry III. and viceroy, 21

Henry IV. and English colony, 45

Henry VIII., 60

Hereford, Bishop of, 30

Hertford, Earl of, 168

Heytesbury, Lord, 244

Hicks-Beach, Sir Michael, 273, 284, 299

Hobart, 196

Hoche, 202

Holbein's portrait of Kildare, 64

Holland, Lord, 86

Home Rule Bill, defeat of second, 308

Home Rule Bill of 1912, Mr. Asquith's, 342

Home Rule, Gladstone and, 279

Home Rule, Tory party and, 291

Houghton, Lord, 305

'Hours of Idleness,' 185

Humbert to Cornwallis, surrender of, 207

Hyde, Anne, 120

Hyde, Laurence, 107



Ireland and the English party system, 264

Ireland and the Pope, 15, 18

Ireland, Duke of, 42

Ireland, Edward Bruce crowned King of, 25

Ireland, first viceroy of, 16

Ireland, Gladstone on, 268

Ireland, Henry II. invades, 15

Ireland in 1882, 279

Ireland, Jacobean war in, 116

Ireland, proposal to create King of, 42

Ireton, Henry, 93

Irish land, prices of, 72

Irish land, struggle for, 30

Irishmen, Chesterfield on, 154

Irish Free Trade, 181

Irish mines, 32

Irish Parliament and the Civil War, 83

Irish Parliament, character of, 170

Irish Parliament, Declaration of Independence of, 53

Irish Parliament and Duke of York, 53

Irish Parliament's independence, 182

Irish party and Melbourne, 237

Irish trade, 114

Irish trade, Burke and, 184

Irish volunteers, 183

Iveagh, Lord, 317



Jackson, Mr. W. L., 303

Jacobean war in Ireland, 116

James II. and Lady Tyrconnel, 115, 117

James II.'s grant to Tyrconnel, 118

James II. in Ireland, 115

James II.'s Irish policy, 107

Jean, Constable of Chester, 18

Jewels, disappearance of Castle, 334

John in Ireland, King, 20

Jones, Colonel Michael, 89



Kauffmann, Angelica, 174

Kendal, Duchess of, 139

Kenmare, Lord, 194

Keogh, John, 194

Kilcolman Castle, 73

Kildare and London society, 60

Kildare, death of, 65

Kildare, Earl of, 55

Kildare, execution of tenth Earl of, 66

Kildare, Gerald, fifth Earl of, 46

Kildare, Gerald, ninth Earl of, 55

Kildare, Holbein's portrait of, 64

Kildare, Jean Fitz-Thomas, Earl of, 26

Kildare, Maurice, fourth Earl of, 35

Kildare, Maurice Fitz-Thomas, Earl of, 39

Kildare, release of Earl of, 33

Kildare, Thomas Fitzgerald, Earl of, 26

Kildare, Thomas Fitz-Gerald, Earl of, 52

Kildare, Thomas, second Earl of, 28

Kilkenny Castle and William III., 125

Kilkenny Election of 1828, 247

Kilkenny, Statute of, 36

Kilmainham Treaty, 278

Kimberley, Lord, 263

'King Kildare,' 65

King, Sir R., 89

Kingale, 115

Knocdoe, Battle of, 61



'Lady of the Sun, the,' 40

Lake, General, 204

Lambert, Major-General, 93

Land Act of 1870, 267

Land Act of 1870, 269

Land Act of 1881, 277

Land Act of 1903, 318

Land League founded, 277

Langrishe, Hercules, 174

La Touche, Elizabeth, 184

La Touche, Mrs., and Dorset, 157

Laud, 79

Lauzun, 118

le Botiller, Earl of Ormonde, 35

le Botiller, Prior Thomas, 47

le Botiller, Sir Edmund, 25

Lech, Archbishop of Dublin, 25

le Dene, Guillaume, 23

le Gros, Raymond, 17

Leicester, Robert Sidney, Earl of, 84

Leinster, Duke of, 266

Leinster, King of, 16

le Petril, Guillaume, 19

le Scrope, Sir Stephen, 46

le Strange, Sir Thomas, 49

Liberalism in Ireland, 295

'Lilli Burlero, Bullen a la,' 130

Limerick, Siege of, 93

Limerick, Siege of, 118

Limerick, Treaty of, 119

Lionel's army, defeat of Prince, 35

Lionel, Prince, 35

Lincoln, John de la Pole, Earl of, 57

Lisle, Lord, 85

Local Government Bill, the, 311

Loftus, Archbishop of Dublin, 71

Loftus, Lady, 173

Loftus, Lord, 173

Londonderry, Lady, 301

Londonderry, sixth Marquis of, 298

Londonderry, third Marquis of, 274

Long, Mr. Walter, 320

Lord-Lieutenant, first mention of, 29

Louise, visit of Princess, 270

Louth, Jean de Bermingham, Earl of, 26

Lucas, Charles, 152

Ludlow Castle, 69

Lyndhurst, Lord, 228



Maamtrasna case, the, 284

McNally, treachery of, 206

'Magna Charta,' 21

Malmesbury, Lord, 241

'Manchester Martyrs,' 262

Mansion House, last visit by viceroy to, 330

Mansion House Relief Fund, 274

Marechal, Guillaume, 22

Marechal, Guillaume, Earl, 19

Marlborough and Disraeli, 273

Marlborough, Earl of, 118-119

Marlborough, sixth Duke of, 273

Mary of Wales, Princess, 338

Maynooth Castle, Siege of, 65

Maynooth College, foundation of, 201

origin of, 202

McMurrough, Dermot, 16

Melbourne, Irish party and Lord, 237

Melbourne, Lord, 237

Melbourne, O'Connell and Lord, 238

Mirabeau, 195

Mitchelstown affray, 301

Molyneux, 196

Monck, General, 97

Montgomery, Anne, 175

Montgomery, Barbara, 199

Montgomery, Captain, 178

Moor, Colonel John, 89

Moore, Sir John, 229

Moriz, Sir John, 30

Morley, Mr. John, 295, 305

Morley's 'Life of Gladstone' quoted, 279

Mornington, Earl of, 210

Mountjoy and Essex, 77, 79

Mountjoy, Charles Blount, Lord, 78

Mountjoy, Lady, 79

Mulgrave, Lord, 237

Mulgrave, William IV. and Lord, 239

Municipal Bill, Irish, 258

Munroe, Dorothea, 173

Munster, plantation of, 72



Naas Parliament, 56

Napoleon, 216

Napoleon, Louis, 241

Nationalism, beginnings of, 153

'Nation, the,' 252

Norbury, murder of Earl of, 240

Norbury, Toler, Lord, 199

Norfolk, Duke of, 63

Normanby, Lord. See Mulgrave, Lord

Norris, Sir Thomas, 76

Northampton, Lord, 276

Northington, Lord, 189

Northumberland, Hugh Percy, Duke of, 233

Northumberland, Hugh Smithson, Earl and Duke of, 167

Northumberland, Lady, 168

Nugent, Richard, 51



O'Brien, William Smith, 244, 246, 250

O'Connell abandons Repeal, 245

O'Connell and Lord Anglesey, 234

O'Connell and Lord Bessborough, 247

O'Connell and Lord Clarendon, 249

O'Connell and Lord Melbourne, 238

O'Connell and Lord Wellesley, 225

O'Connell and the Duke of Richmond, 214

O'Connell and the viceroyalty, 242

O'Connell arrested, 244

O'Connell, Daniel, 219

O'Connell founds Catholic Association, 226

O'Connell stands for Clare, 231

O'Connell starts Repeal movement, 233

O'Connor, King, 18

O'Donnell, 283

Offaly, Thomas, Lord, 65

Orange Government, 120

Orange lodges, 225

O'Malley, Grace, 69

O'Neill and Cromwell, 92

O'Neill, defeat of, 78

O'Neill, Shane, 67

Ormonde and Wiltshire, Earl of, 53

Ormonde, Cromwell and Lady, 94

Ormonde, death of, 106

Ormonde, Earl of, 63

Ormonde, Earl of, 73, 76

Ormonde, James Butler, first Duke of, 86

and the Civil War, 85

Ormonde, James Butler, first Duke of, and Stafford, 88

honours showered upon, 95

and Lady Castlemaine, 97

recalled, 97

attempt to assassinate, 103

return to Ireland, 104

and the Catholics, 105

superseded, 106

Ormonde, James le Botiller, Earl of, 40

Ormonde, second Earl of, 35

Ormonde's exile, 128

Ormonde, the second Duke of, 124

Ormonde, third Earl of, 43

Ormsby, Sir Lambert, 317

O'Ruarc, murder of Tiarnan, 17

Ossory, death of Lord, 105

Ossory, Earl of, 64

Ossory, Lord, 103

Oxford, Earl of, 55



Pakenham, Catherine, 198

Palmer, Lady. See Ambrose, Eleanor

Palmerston, Lord, 241, 259

Parese, Christopher, 65

Parliament and Act of Union, Irish, 207

Parliament and the Civil War, Irish, 83

Parliament at Naas, 56

Parliament at Trim, 56

Parliament, bribing the Irish, 208

Parliament, character of Irish, 170

Parliamentary commissioners, 89

Parliament, Declaration of Independence of Irish, 53

Parliament, Dorset and the Irish, 159

Parliament House, rebuilding of, 143

Parliament in Dublin, 31, 41

Parliament, Lord Chesterfield on the Irish, 154

Parliament's independence, Irish, 182

Parliament, Townshend and Irish, 171

Parnell and Lord Carnarvon, 290

Parnell and Phoenix Park murders, 283

Parnell arrested and discharged, 277

Parnell, Charles Stewart, 274

Parnell Commission, 301

Parnell, death of, 304

Parnell's leadership, 276

Parnell on the Carnarvon interview, 292

Parnell's second arrest, 278

'Paston Letters,' 60

Patterson of Baltimore, Mrs., 227

Peel, Sir Robert, 214, 218, 228, 232, 242, 243

'Peep o'-day' Boys, 197

Pelham, Sir William, 71

Pembroke, Thomas Herbert, Earl of, 127

Ferrers, Alice, 39

Perrott, Sir John, 72

    charges against, 74

    and Spanish Armada, 74

Perrott, Thomas, 72

Petersham, Lady Caroline, 155

Phoenix Park and Grattan, 183

Phoenix Park, Chesterfield and, 151

Phoenix Park, Lady Castlemaine and, 97

Phoenix Park murders, 281

Phoenix Park murders, Parnell and, 283

Pile, Sir Thomas D., 314

Pipard, Pierre, 19

Pirrie, Lord, 334

Pitt, William, 161, 193, 196

    and the Union, 205

Plantagenet, Maud, 32

Plantation methods, attempt to revive, 94

Plantation of Ireland, 71

Pole, Cardinal, 66

Poor Law Bill, Irish, 258

Pope, Alexander, 136

Pope and Ireland, the, 15, 18

Pope and viceroy, the, 21

Porter, Lord Justice, 120

Portland, third Duke of, 186, 202

Portsmouth, Duchess of, 98

Powis, Lord, 211

Poynings, Sir Edward, 60

Preston, Elizabeth, 86

Primrose, Lady Margaret, 309

Purcell, 130



Radnor, Earl of, 245

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 73

Rathfarnham Castle, 173

Rebellion of 1641, the, 84

Rebellion of '98, 204

Rebellion, Robert Emmet, 211

Redmond, Mr. John, 326

Religious persecution, beginning of, 67

Repeal Movement, O'Connell starts, 233

Repeal, O'Connell abandons, 245

Restoration, the, 95

Ribbonmen, 225

Rich, Lord, 79

Richard II., deposition of, 28

Richard II. in Ireland, 28, 43

'Richard in Iron,' 69

Richmond and Lennox, fourth Duke of, 212

Richmond's libel action, Duke of, 214

Robarts, Lord, 97

Rochester, Earl of, 106

Rochester, Laurence, Earl of, 123

Rockingham, Lord, 185

Roland, Hyacinthe Gabrielle, 224

Roman Catholic Church, plan to endow, 202

Rosebery, Lord, 263

'Rose of Raby, the,' 51

Royal Commissions, 299

Russell, Lady Louisa, 264

Russell, Lord John, 212, 238, 246

    and Gladstone, Lord John, 212

    and abolition of viceroyalty, 212

Russell, Sir William, 76

Rutland, Duke of, 189

Rutland, Edmund, Earl of, 53

Rye House plot, 102



Sackville, Lord George, 157

Salisbury, Bishop of, 18

Salisbury, Guillaume, Earl of, 21

Salisbury, Lord, 279, 284, 310

Salisbury Ministry, 290

Salisbury's retirement, Lord, 315

Sarsfield, Patrick, 116

St. Albans, Battle of, 52

St. Amaud, Lord of Gormanstown, 35

St. Germans, Earl of, 257

St. John, Elizabeth, 60

St. John, Sir Oliver, 81

St. Leger, Sir Anthony, 66

St. Patrick, creation of Order of, 188

Shannon, Earl of, 158

Shaw, Captain, 319

Sheil, Richard Lalor, 225

Shelburne, Lord, 187

Sheridan, 142

Sheridan, 155

Sheridan, actor, 159

Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, 169

Sherwood, Bishop of Meath, 54

Shrewsbury, Charles, Duke of, 133

Shrewsbury, Sir John Talbot, Earl of, 49

Sidney on the viceroyalty, 68

Sidney, Sir Henry, 67

Sidney, Viscount, 120

Simnel, Lambert, 57

crowned King of Ireland, 57

Skeffington, Sir William, 64

Solomon, R.A., Mr. Solomon J., 317

Somers, 127

Somerville, Sir William, 252

South African War, Ireland and, 313

Spanish Armada and Perrott, 74

Spencer, Earl, 267

    on Phoenix Park murders, 281

    motion of censure on, 284

    banquet to, 284

    second viceroyalty, 278

    and the Premiership, 287

Spencer, Lady, 270

Spenser, Edmund 73

Statute of Kilkenny, 36

Stephens, James, 260

Stoke, Battle of, 58

Stone, Archbishop, 158

Strafford, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of, 83

    and Ormonde, 88

Suffolk, Henrietta Howard, Countess of, 147

Suffolk, John de la Pole, Duke of, 55

Sullivan, Lord Mayor, T. D., 330

Sullivan, Sir Edward, 285

Sunderland, Earl of, 137

Surrey, Thomas Holland, Duke of, 44

Sussex, Earl of, 67

Sutton, Sir John, 49

Swift, Jonathan, 122, 126, 131, 136, 142, 143



Talbot and his salary, Sir John, 48

Talbot, Archbishop of Dublin, 49

Talbot, Lord, 218

Talbot, Richard. See Tyrconnel, Earl of

Talbot, Sir John, 48

Tempest, Lady Frances, 274

Temple, Earl, 188

Thomas of Lancaster, Prince, 45

Thurlos, Battle of, 20

Tithe Bill, Irish, 258

Tithe Commutation Act of 1838, 236

Tithe War, the, 235

Tithe War, cost of, 236

Toler, Chief Justice, 240

Tone, Wolfe, 202

Townshend and duelling, 177

Townshend and Irish Parliament, 171

Townshend, death of Lady, 173

Townshend, Lord, 169

Townshend marries Anne Montgomery, 179

Tory party and Home Rule, 291

Treaty of Limerick, 119

Treaty, the Kilmainham, 278

Trench on disestablishment, Archbishop, 267

Trevelyan, Sir G. O., 285

Trim Castle, mint at, 53

Trim Parliament, 56

Trinity College, 334

Tyrone, Earl of, 76

Tyrconnel and James II., Lady, 115, 117

Tyrconnel, James II.'s grant to, 118

Tyrconnel, Lady, 113

Tyrconnel, Lord, 107

Tyrconnel's death, 118



Ulster, colonization of, 81

Ulster, Countess of, 29

Ulster, murder of Earl of, 29

Ulster, William de Burgh, Earl of, 29

'Undertakers,' 72

Union, Camden on the, 204

Union carried, Act of, 208

Union, Catholic emancipation and Act of, 207

Union, Curran and the, 208

Union, defeat of Act of, 207

Union, Dublin after the, 209

Union, first articles of the, 207

Union, first thoughts of, 181

'Union of Hearts, The,' 296

Union, Pitt and the, 205

United Irishmen, the, 202

University and Lord Carnarvon, Dublin, 294

University, Clement V. and Dublin, 25

University, first mention of Dublin, 25

University, Gladstone and Irish, 271

University opened in Dublin, 27

Utlagh and Robert Bruce, 28

Utlagh, charge against, 28

Utlagh, death of, 30

Utlagh, Prior Roger, 28



Verulam, Earl of, 249

Vicars, Sir Arthur, 336

Viceregal allowance, 39

Viceregal Commission on Castle jewels, 336

Viceregal contracts, 19

Viceregal lodge, purchase of, 182

Viceregal profits, 33

Viceroy and cattle-stealing, 30

Viceroy and Dublin tradespeople, 21

Viceroy and Henry III., 21

Viceroy and Pope, 21

Viceroy of Ireland, the first, 16

Viceroy, petition against, 21

Viceroy sued, 253

'Viceroy, the Hanging,' 71

Viceroy's army, defeat of, 25

Viceroys, character of early, 17

Viceroy's debts, 21

Viceroys, rival, 56

Viceroy's salary, 22, 46

Viceroy's salary increased, 189

Viceroy's salary in eighteenth century, 165

Viceroyalty, early English views regarding, 24

Viceroyalty, Nationalist attitude towards, 329

Viceroyalty, O'Connell and the, 242

Viceroyalty, proposal to abolish, 212

Viceroyalty, Sidney on the, 68

Victoria and Prince Consort in Ireland, Queen, 258

Victoria, death of Queen, 315

Victoria on her visit, Queen, 314

Victoria's first visit to Ireland, Queen, 251

Victoria's last visit, Queen, 313

Victoria's third visit, Queen, 260

Volunteers, Irish, 183

Volunteer review, Belfast, 195

Volunteers, revival of, 195



Wakefield, Battle of, 54

Wales, Edward, Prince of, 338

Wales in Dublin, Prince of, 262

Wales, visit of Prince and Princess of, 265

Wales, visit of Prince of, 286

Wallop, Sir Henry, 71

Walpole's 'Journal of George III.'s Reign,' 193

Walsingham, Petronilla, Countess of, 147

Wandesford, Sir Charles, 84

Warbeck, Perkin, 59

Warrenne and Surrey, Earl of, 22

Warwick, Earl of, 55

Washington, 196

Waterford, Siege of, 91

Waterloo, Battle of, 214

Wellesley, Arthur, 198, 213

Wellesley, Marquis, 222

    marriage, 199

    attacked in theatre, 225

    and O'Connell, 225

    Furlong on Lord, 226

    second marriage, 227

    second Viceroyalty, Lord, 237

Wellington, Duke of, 227

Wellington, Prime Minister, Duke of, 231

Westmoreland, tenth Earl of, 193

Wexford, massacre of, 91

Wharton, the first Lady, 131

Wharton, the second Lady, 131

Wharton, Thomas, Earl of, 128

Whiteboys, 225

White, Mathew, 92

White, Richard, 43

Whitshed, Chief Justice, 141

Whitworth, Lord, 216

William III. at Kilkenny Castle, 125

William IV., 238

William IV. and Lord Mulgrave, 239

Wiltshire, Earl of, 52

Wodehouse, Lord, 260

Woffington and Dorset, 156

Wogan, Sir Jean, 23, 25

Wolfe, Solicitor-General, 199

Wolsey and Kildare, 63

Women's National Health Association of Ireland, 339

Wood's halfpence, 139

Woodville, Elizabeth, 63

World, the, 253

Wyndham Land Act, 318

Wyndham, Mr. George, 315



York, Richard, Duke of, 50, 57

York, visit of Duke and Duchess of, 311

Yorke, Lord Chancellor, 210

Yorktown, Cornwallis's surrender at, 205

Young Ireland insurrection, 249



Zetland, Earl and first Marquis of, 330




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