Negotiations with Charles I.

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter XXIX

When Inchiquin set out to destroy the growing crops early in summer, Castlehaven was sent against him, and obliged him to retire into Cork. At the same time Coote was overrunning Connaught, and took possession of Sligo. The Irish forces again recovered the town; but, in the attempt, the Archbishop and two friars fell into the hands of the enemy, and were cruelly murdered. Charles now made another attempt to obtain the assistance of the Catholic party, and sent over Lord Herbert to Ireland on a secret mission for that purpose. This nobleman and his father-in-law, the Earl of Thomond, were almost romantically attached to the King, and had already advanced £200,000 for the support of the royal cause. He proceeded to Kilkenny, after a brief interview with Ormonde. England's difficulty proved Ireland's opportunity.

Everything that could be desired was granted; and all that was asked was the liberty to worship God according to each man's conscience, and the liberty of action and employment, which is the right of every member of civil society who has not violated the rules of moral conduct which governors are bound to enforce. In return for the promise that they should enjoy the rights of subjects, the Irish Confederates promised to do the duty of subjects. They had already assisted more than one English King to rule his Scotch dominions; they were now to assist Charles to rule his English subjects; and they promised to send him 10,000 armed men, under the command of Lord Herbert. It was a great risk to trust a Stuart; and he made it a condition that the agreement should remain secret until the troops had landed in England.