The Irish Rebellion of 1641-42

From "A History of Ireland and Her People" by Eleanor Hull, 1931

ON May 12, 1641, the head of Strafford fell on the scaffold. Among the twenty-eight articles of accusation against him seventeen related to his administration of affairs in Ireland. Among the particular charges were included his high-handed treatment of Cork, Kildare, Mountnorris, and other nobles; among the general charges was his statement that Ireland was a conquered nation with which the King might do as he pleased, charters not being binding on the sovereign; a doctrine repudiated as roundly by the Puritan Long Parliament as it had ever been in Ireland itself. Some of the accusations, however, redounded greatly to Strafford's credit. Largely at his own expense he had introduced improvements in the growing of flax. He had enforced discipline in the army and the regular payment of the troops. Landlords had been restrained from living in England while drawing money out of Ireland; he had, moreover, persisted in his determination not to levy fines against recusants. But the main contention--that the ex-Deputy had laboured to override the liberties of the subject in the exercise of a despotic rule--could not be gainsaid, and held true alike in England and Ireland; and when Strafford, "putting off his doublet as cheerfully as ever he did when he went to bed," walked through vast crowds of rejoicing people to Tower Hill, the city bells clashed forth and bonfires blazed, as at a victory gained. In Ireland there were no outward signs of joy; indeed, an aspect of unwonted prosperity was seen in many parts of the country. Strafford had crushed the manufactured woollen trade, because it interfered with the trade of England, and because he found a new means of profit by the double customs arising from the export of raw wool into England and its return as manufactured goods into the country that supplied the wool. But he had helped to extend and improve the growth of linen, which had been an old article of trade in Ireland. Already in 1336 we find Irish linen cloth and 'sindon' or lawn mentioned in a charter of Edward III to Dublin, and the export grew large enough to excite the jealousy of English merchants and to move Tudor princes to pass legislation to restrain its increase. New looms had been set up in Dublin in Elizabeth's reign, and settlers in Ulster like Lady Hugh Montgomery of Grey Abbey encouraged both linen and woollen manufactures, "which soon brought down the prices of the breakens (tartans) and narrow cloths of both sorts." When Strafford came over he found "the women all naturally bred to spinning," and there is no greater mistake than to attribute to him the foundation of the linen trade in Ireland. The spinning of linen yarn both for home consumption and export was one of the oldest industries of the country, but Strafford did much to encourage both the growth and spinning of flax and to bring in skilled artizans. It was not until the great influx of skilled operatives from France and the Low Countries under William III that the industry became one of the staples of Irish commerce and a mam source of the prosperity and wealth of Ulster.

Even before Wentworth came to Ireland the Earl of Cork, who had himself done much to encourage industry, remarks on the marvellous improvement in the country, both in Ulster and Munster. There were great advances in both building and farming, "each man striving to excel the other in fair buildings and good furniture, and in husbanding, enclosing, and improving their lands." [1] The towns were loyal, desiring only peace and quiet to carry on their trade. Wentworth's tenure of office increased the customs and secured regular supplies by lawful means, over and above the special subsidies raised by promises or pressure for the King. Pirates were suppressed, and foreign trade revived. This was carried almost entirely in Dutch bottoms, "there being no home-built ships and no merchants among the natives," though both native and foreign fishing-boats fished the waters round the coasts.[2] But the loss of the foreign wool trade was a great blow to the prosperity of the country, both to the country people who grew and sold the wool, and to the ports, Waterford and Limerick especially, where it was shipped. Among the list of exports at this time for Spain and Portugal are mentioned butter, pipe-staves, tallow, pilchards, salmon, skins and meat, cod and hake, beans, iron, linen-cloth, friezes, and stockings. Nevertheless, the lack of suitable employment "to keep the well-born Irish youths busy" and of trades for the youths of the lower class is deplored by Lord Cork. Industrial employment was, in fact, confined to the towns and was in the hands of the old English families who had created it. The youths turned loose from the plantation lands, though not so numerous as of old, still haunted the mountains when they did not betake themselves abroad; and though no kerne and horsemen were now to be seen, they formed a nucleus of discontent on which turbulent spirits like Phelim O'Neill or Rory O'More could easily work when their plans for a rising were ripe. They were only too glad to return to their old way of life, and take the risks with the excitement of an insurrection. They were watching their opportunity of ousting the planters and recovering the clan lands, and even before Strafford's advent rumours of intended risings had been going through the North and had been gradually taking shape in the minds of the leaders. It is probable that, had the discontent touched one class only, the rebellion might have been confined to Ulster, and have been more easily checked. But the methods of Wentworth and those of Lord Justice Parsons resulted in an almost universal sense of irritation and insecurity. The "discovery" of false titles to land touched the new planters far more than the Irish. The researches of these busybodies were made in the Tower records or among the Patent Rolls, where no Irish titles could have been found belonging to holders under the clan system; it was the pioneer English who had built up often vast estates on very insecure legal foundations who suffered most. Lord Cork, with his 42,000 acres of land and his manors in Cork and Waterford (the latter bought for a comparatively small sum from Sir Walter Raleigh) found his possessions claimed by the King. The Earl of Clanricarde was another victim, as we have seen; the King hoped to be the gainer of £50,000 by his forfeitures. Smaller owners were threatened in proportion. Though they remained persistently attached to the King's interest the sense of unsettlement affected large numbers of the gentry, especially those Catholic lords who were also harassed from time to time in their religious observances, and who had found their complaints treated with levity or indifference by two Stuart kings. So long as jurors were intimidated, Parliaments overawed, and all promises of redress of grievances broken or ignored, they felt little hope of relief by ordinary means, and the general dissatisfaction led them to sympathize with and finally to take part in a rising with which, as loyalist landlords of the Pale and Munster, they would naturally have had little in common, their outlook on life being essentially different from that of the native Irish, even when they professed the same religious faith. It was this unusual combination of two distinct interests, usually found on opposite sides, that made the insurrection of 1641 formidable, and that expanded a local rising into a general movement. By almost imperceptible steps the Ulster rebellion merged itself into the Wars of the Confederation, which kept Ireland in a state of turbulence from one end to the other during the eight years that preceded the coming of Cromwell to Ireland in 1649. The rebellion which broke out in the North in October 1641 came near to uprooting the Ulster plantation, then beginning to take effect in the improved conditions of the country, in the increase of trade and industry, the more extensive and regular cultivation of crops, and in the erection of houses, schools, and churches. It was but the first of a series of moves which made Ireland the chessboard of different parties during the crowded and confused events of the Confederate Wars; the activities of the Ormonde party, the O'Neill party, the Confederate party, the Puritan party, the Presbyterian party, sometimes overlap, sometimes separate.

The armies of Ormonde, of Owen Roe O'Neill, of Preston, of the Nuncio, march and countermarch over the land, sometimes acting in concert, more often apart, all profoundly jealous of each other. The conflicting parties of the English wars of Royalist against Parliamentarian are found transferred to Irish soil with internal conflicts and questions added still further to confuse them; the King's side and Parliament's side alike made bids to one Irish party after another for money and support. From the outside, these years are, as Carlyle says, "a huge blot, an indiscriminate blackness," but their main lines are not so vague as Carlyle would have us believe. The chief difficulty arises from the plain fact that many of the leaders were playing a double game. The King's transactions throughout the conflict were a web of duplicity, so that Puritans, Catholic gentry, Ormonde's party, and rebels alternately claimed him as approving their policy and showed documents said to be executed with his own hand for their support. The question put to Sir Patrick Barnewell on his examination, "Whether the King was privy to or had encouraged the rebellion," has never been satisfactorily answered, and the commission from the King declared to have been sent to Phelim O'Neill, though denied on the scaffold by Sir Phelim himself, remains a mystery.[3] The secret commission to Glamorgan, which was contrary to his open instructions and was intended to undermine the authority of Ormonde, can scarcely now be doubted; indeed, the whole conduct of the King, as we read it closely, is so involved in deceit and inspired by momentary expedients that his service must have been a difficult path to tread. The fidelity with which he was served is only surpassed by the faithlessness of his conduct toward his supporters. "I wonder," said Queen Henrietta Maria to him shortly before the General Assembly at Kilkenny, "that the Irish do not give themselves to some foreign king; you will force them to it in the end, when they see themselves offered as a sacrifice." No less perverted was the management of affairs by the two Lords Justices into whose hands the conduct of the Irish government fell in this disturbed time. Though officially representing the sovereign, both of them were Puritans, who played secretly into the hands of the English Parliament. Borlase was a nonentity; but Parsons, a coward who was perpetually sending cringing appeals to the English Government for help against the rebels, was at the same time universally believed to be fomenting the rebellion in the hope of profiting by fresh forfeitures. The instructions of these officials to Clanricarde at the height of the rebellion were that no submission was to be accepted, but that the rebels were to be persecuted with fire and sword. They were reported to have been heard to say "that the more were in rebellion, the more lands would be forfeit."[4] When a general pardon came from the King to all who would come in within a convenient time, it was withheld by the Lords Justices until only ten days remained for the appellants to take advantage of it, and, even so, it was limited to four counties only. Castlehaven and Clanricarde, two of the principal nobles in the kingdom, complain that the proceedings of Parsons seemed designed to force them into rebellion; and it was only by a hazardous escape from the prison into which he had been entrapped that the former gentleman saved his neck, having, as he said, no wish "to tamely die butchered." With such persons at the head of affairs the rising assumed a character of seriousness which it would not otherwise have had. No one could be trusted, the men who were in power least of all. The firm hand to check the rising at the outset was wanting.

It was on November 1, 1641, the day set apart in the English House of Commons for the consideration of a Remonstrance brought over by Irish gentlemen appointed by their peers, that the news reached London that the outbreak had begun. Rumours of stealthy movements of Sir Phelim O'Neill and Lord Maguire in the North had reached the Lords Justices, but the first serious intimation was given late in the evening of October 22, when a terrified and half-drunken Irishman named Owen Connally, who had been servant to Sir John Clotworthy, was found loitering about the Lower Castle yard in a suspicious manner, and on urging the necessity of imparting private information, he was admitted into the presence of the Lord Justice, and informed him of a plot to seize the Castle and other strong forts throughout the country on the following night, October 23. Dublin at this time consisted of twenty thousand inhabitants still mostly clustered about the castle rise with the two cathedrals close beside it. Chichester House, where Borlase lived, Kildare House, now the headquarters of the Dail, and Trinity College were still described in official records as "near Dublin." A hasty visit to Borlase and a night meeting of the Council decided Parsons to take the information given by Connally seriously, and steps were set on foot to forestall the conspirators. Hugh Oge MacMahon was apprehended, as a chief centre of the Dublin plot, and later Lord Maguire, next to Sir Phelim O'Neill one of the prime leaders, was taken, though he had been forced into the project against his will. The latter was a young man overburdened with debt, the son of the 'Queen's Maguire' of Elizabeth's reign, who had been officially recognized as head of his sept. Lord Maguire had been educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, as a king's ward, and had entered the Irish House of Lords in 1634. When asked what he thought of the rising he replied that he could not tell what to think of it, "such matters being altogether out of his element"; but the large promises of Sir Phelim, who offered to make him leader of the Ulster troops, persuaded him against his better judgment and led him on to his ruin. Later, in 1644-45, both these men were tried in London for high treason and executed at Tyburn.

In the North the outbreak had taken place on the appointed day. Within a fortnight Sir Phelim had made himself master of Tyrone and Armagh, had captured Dungannon and the fort of Charlemont, and had made his headquarters at Newry. He captured Dundalk and sat down before Drogheda. But here his successes came to a halt. Though troops hastily sent from Dublin were cut off on their way to relieve Drogheda by Roger Moore, Hugh Byrne, and Philip O'Reilly, the last two of whom had been trained in the Spanish wars, no decisive result followed; months passed with O'Neill still hovering in the neighbourhood, his large irregular hosts having devoured the district and committed excesses which were soon to shock Owen Roe, who had been accustomed to the rigorous discipline of the Spanish wars. They then either dispersed to their homes or formed themselves into guerilla bands who terrorized the country.

Sir Phelim O'Neill of Kinnaird, eldest son of Turlogh, was brought to the front rather by his name and the traditions of his house than by any personal fitness for leadership. He was no general, nor had he even a good reputation among his own people, for he had ruthlessly evicted his Irish tenants, leaving many of them to starve on the mountains, while he took in Englishmen who were able to pay more certain rents. He had inherited his property from Sir Henry O'Neill, who had been killed in action against Sir Cahir O'Doherty in June 1608. Sir Arthur Chichester had suggested that a division of the property should be made among all the heirs, legitimate and illegitimate, but in 1629 Sir Phelim succeeded in securing a patent vesting it all in himself. Even this, however, did not suffice to meet his spendthrift habits, possibly acquired while he was a student at Lincoln's Inn, and his estate became greatly encumbered. Rumours of his intention to rise had got about long before, his house at Kinnaird having become the meeting-place of the conspirators. But the actual plans were kept with great secrecy, and the first reports were rather of isolated attacks on gentlemen's houses in different parts of the North than of any organized revolt. The first sufferers were the clergy of the Established Church, many of whom with their families were turned out of their homes during the first days of the rebellion and cruelly treated or murdered. Reid gives the names of twenty-seven clergymen killed, many of whom were hanged at their own hall or church doors, with their relations; others are mentioned by name in the depositions of Temple and Borlase; many others died of starvation and pestilential fever.[5]

It is necessary in speaking of the rebellion of 1641-42 to exercise great caution in accepting extreme reports on either side. An immense mass of material exists dealing with this subject, partly histories and memoirs written by contemporaries, partly depositions taken at a later period. It is undoubted that the numbers said to have been massacred were intentionally exaggerated by those who hoped to gain lands for themselves through the future forfeitures of rebel properties.* The large figures given by Sir William Petty, who made what is known as the "Down Survey" of escheated lands for the Cromwellian settlement, lie under the same suspicion. He thinks that out of a total population, which he puts down at 1,466,000 before the rising, about a third was wiped out. The facts, as known, do not support these sweeping calculations. On the other hand, the present reaction, which leads writers to minimise the results of the rebellion, almost to the point of believing that there were no murders at all, is equally to be distrusted. We may probably admit that no general massacre was planned or occurred, but with Phelim's undisciplined army of thirty thousand men, armed with pitchforks, scythes, and knives, moving in bodies about the North, out for anything they could get, and with the isolated houses of the English settlers as their objective, it was impossible that terrible instances of cruelty should not occur. As the insurrection spread to the centre and south of Ireland the area of disorder grew wider and fresh excesses occurred. At the most moderate computation many thousands were murdered or destroyed during the first two years of the war, and multitudes were stripped of all they possessed, even of their clothes, and driven out to die of misery, cold, and hunger on the roadside. They came pouring down to Dublin for refuge, and Sir John Temple, Master of the Rolls, who was in Dublin at the time, describes the condition in which they arrived. "They came up in troops, stripped and miserably despoiled, out of the North. Many persons of good quality and rank, covered over with old rags, and some without any other covering than a little twisted straw to hide their nakedness. Some reverend ministers and others that had escaped with their lives, sorely wounded. Wives came, bitterly lamenting the murder of their husbands, mothers of their children barbarously destroyed before their faces . . .some over-wearied with long travel, and so "subated," as they came creeping on their knees, others frozen up with cold, ready to give up the ghost in the streets; others overwhelmed with grief and distracted with their losses, lost also their senses."[6] The churches, barns, and houses were filled with refugees, yet many lay in the open streets, too exhausted even to take food or clothe themselves, and miserably died. The poorer sort stood in throngs, begging; the better sort "wasted silently away and so perished." The women and children died fast, and two new burial-grounds had to be taken in, one on each side of the R. Liffey, for the old ones were speedily filled. The pestilence, which soon after spread through the land, was already feared in Dublin. The city was, indeed, in a miserable condition, encircled by rebels on both sides from Wicklow and the North, the terrified inhabitants of the suburbs rushing in to complete the congestion. The Council even took the extreme step of commanding all such persons to depart on pain of death. Thousands were shipped off to England as soon as they arrived.

In the North the conditions were terrible. The wretched fugitives dropped all along the roadsides, multitudes of them dying from exposure and cold, for the season was more than ordinarily wet and stormy, and many had been stripped of their last garments by the men who drove them on. At times horrible incidents occurred, such as the Portadown Bridge murders,** when over a hundred persons, who had passes from Sir Phelim to be conveyed in safety to their friends in England, were driven by Captain Manus O'Kane to the bridge at Portadown, "like sheep to the market," and forced into the water. Those who could swim and got to the bank were knocked on the head; others were shot in the river.[7] Cruel tortures were used to extort promises of money, and in one place where prisoners were confined in a small room without food it is related that their pangs of hunger forced them to burst open the window of the chamber, and to scrape weeds and moss from the walls to eat. Every threat that might torture helpless men and women was used to cow them, and as is often the case in times of turmoil, the women are said to have been worse than the men. To add to the misery of the Protestants the rebels killed few outright, but left them in ditches and other places, mortally wounded and stripped of their clothes, where they languished and pined to death, "the rebels affirming that their priests commanded them so to do."[8] The High Court of Justice in March 1653 acquitted Sir Phelim of the murder of Lord Caulfeild, but it is difficult to believe that he did not connive at a deed done by his foster-brother at his own gate, and for which no punishment was inflicted on the murderer. Charlemont fort was surprised and captured by his troops, who made it their principal stronghold during the rebellion. He was chosen commander-in-chief at Monaghan. The old English settlers—the Russells, FitzSimons and Savages of Ardes and Lecale—took part in the dreadful work, considering themselves rather part of the native than of the new population; and the Scottish MacDonnells had nothing to learn from others in deceit and cruelty. The massacre of an English company under colour of a flag of truce at Portnaw and the massacre in January, 1642, of the peaceful Irish inhabitants of Island Magee were the work of Scottish soldiers.** They sallied out and ruthlessly, without provocation or warning, fell upon this group of farmers and killed them all. Carte says that near three thousand harmless Irish men, women, and children, were said to have been killed, but this is a large exaggeration; the depositions give about fifty persons murdered.[9] Nor did it tend to ameliorate conditions in the country when partly in order to relieve the congestion in Dublin and to find employment for the refugees, Sir Charles Coote, then governor of the city, was authorised by the Lords Justices to raise an army of defence from the most able-bodied of the men who had arrived from the North. Burning with indignation at the loss of all that they had built up with years of labour and by the outlay of large sums of money, with the memory of having seen their wives and children in many cases murdered or starved before their eyes, and knowing that it was often their own dependants who had turned against them, it is little wonder that among merciless troops then terrorizing the country, the bands under Coote were reckoned the most ruthless. 

In Wicklow, where they were sent against the O'Tooles and O'Byrnes, the old foes of Parsons, who seems to have been watching for an opportunity of revenge, they took a cruel vengeance, falling upon them furiously, stripping and murdering, and driving them out of their territories. Yet these people had been in no way concerned in the rebellion. It was largely through Coote's cruelties and those of St Leger, Governor of Munster, that the south, quiet up to this time, rose in arms, and joined the insurgents. But the rising in the south was never so formidable as that in the north. The Irish gentlemen of Munster went into it unwillingly, having little to gain and much to lose by fresh disturbances; they had only recently been confirmed in possession of their lands. The Lord of Muskerry, Donogh MacCarthy, who became leader of the Munster rebels, was son of Cormac Oge, who had been created Baron of Blarney and Viscount Muskerry in 1628. In 1642 the rental of his estate was £7,000, and his parsimonious father had saved for him £30,000 in ready money. It required all the efforts of the family bards, reciting the glories of past MacCarthys, to induce him to risk these solid benefits for the perils of insurrection. Other lords, deep in debt, such as the O'Keeffes, O'Callaghans, MacDonoghs, and Lord Roche, were more easily stirred. Muskerry thus found himself the reluctant head of a rabble army wandering about the country, intent only on plunder, and not unkindly disposed toward the English planters among whom they lived, and from whom they had at all times got much money for work, timber, corn, and cloth, out of which their rents were paid. These settlers were as a whole a "disindustrious" lot of people, as was said by one of themselves. Many of them had been soldiers and cared for no other occupation; they were "impatient of labour and much addicted to jollity and good fellowship; the epidemical disease of all the English plantations in this kingdom." But those who applied themselves to labour throve well and the country had begun to wear a smiling aspect of prosperity, with home-steads and farms scattered among the ancient castles of the great lords. The settlers were, as a whole, treated kindly by the rebel leaders, though many of them lost all they had and were plunged from prosperity into misery. The rebel host, on their part, fared well and recklessly. During the single week they spent at Buttevant, Lord Roche's house, and in the towtn of Moyalloe near it, they are said to have slaughtered forty thousand English sheep and probably three to four thousand cows and oxen "only for their skins," which they sold for 1 1/4d. apiece to skinners of Kilmallock. On a report that St Leger was coming they melted away, leaving the place "stinking noisomely" behind them, "their bedding and meat so nasty and sordid that a right-bred English dog would have scouted either." Under a good leader they could put up a stout fight, as they showed when MacFineen, whom they called Captain Suggane, was at their head; but disputes between the authorized heads were so frequent that it was decided to give the command to an almost unknown man who had served in Spain, one Garrott Barry, who proved by his incapacity that he had profited little by his foreign training. Lord Mountgarret, whom he displaced, would probably have succeeded better.[10]

Among the host of inferior leaders who took part in the war some two or three names stand out of men who became local or popular heroes, being distinguished both for skill in generalship and for the humanity of their acts and the purity of their aims. Chief of these during the early months was Roger Moore, or Rory O'More, one of the unfortunate family which had lost lands in Leix when the plantation of Queen's County was in progress. He saw in the rising a chance for the recovery of his tribal lands. His feats of bravery and brilliant leadership made his name a talisman among his countrymen, and they went into battle with the cry on their lips, "God and our Lady and Rory O'More." But the scenes of horror which he witnessed, partly caused, as he felt, by his own words of instigation, revolted him. He risked his life to put a stop to these acts and finally stood aside rather than take part in deeds of blood. Carte calls Rory "one of the most handsome, comely, and proper persons of his time, of excellent parts, good judgment, and great cunning, affable and courteous."[11]

In his own county of Kerry, Pierce Ferriter of Tralee held a scarcely less prominent place. He was a gentleman of old Norman stock, sincerely devoted to the Throne, who believed that the rising would bring about the full establishment of the Catholic religion. An accomplished man and brave soldier, he has left a number of love-songs, elegies, and verses on current events to prove his poetical talent and the warmth of his heart. For over ten years he held out in the mountains of Kerry, defending his people from the Cromwellian spoilers, the last Irish chief to go down before Cromwell, whom he looked upon as a fanatic and a rebel warring against Charles, the rightful King of Ireland. In 1642 he besieged and took Tralee Castle; and he was only caught at last, after the fall of Ross, by treachery, having been induced to come to Killarney to arrange terms of peace. The terms were not agreed upon, and on his way back he was seized and hanged in Killarney, in company with a priest and a bishop, about the year 1653.[12]

If the insurgents, like all parties in the conflict, committed acts of barbarity, there are also cases of humanity and kindness recorded to their credit. In many instances the priests preached vehemently against murder, and several protected the English about them from the rage of their pursuers. Mr. Higgins at the Naas acted in this Christian way, and the Catholic clergy of Cashel exposed themselves in the streets in order to rescue the English inhabitants. Later Cromwell exempted from death two Franciscan friars who hid some flying Englishmen under the altar in their chapel. Some Protestant clergy, like the Rev. Denis Sheridan and Bishop Bedell, were so much respected by their neighbours that during a great part of the rebellion they were left unharmed, and gave shelter to their Protestant neighbours in Kilmore and Cavan; but Bedell, who for a time was shut up for protection in Cloghoughter Castle, suffered hardships from which he died. He spent his time in prayer and in continuing his translation of the Bible into Irish, with his family around him, and at his death Catholics, Episcopalians, and Presbyterians alike attended his funeral. In some parts of the country the English planters threw in their lot with the rebels or remained neutral. Near Tralee the colonists were on the best terms with the Irish (especially on the Crosbie, Denny, and FitzGerald estates) and sided with them in the rising. Robert Blennerhassett of Ballyseedy went even further. He said "the Irish had helped him to plough and till his lands, and that those lands were the worse for every English foot that trod on them." He declined to assist some besieged English shut up in Sir Edward Denny's castle at Tralee.

There were accusations of breaches of trust and of quarter betrayed on both sides; but in some cases, as in that of Alexander Hovenden, half-brother to Sir Phelim, or of Colonel Richard Plunket, the captured were treated with great kindness; the former personally conducted thirty-five English out of Armagh to Drogheda and twenty to Newry in safety. Sir Phelim, whom Owen Roe's secretary calls "a light desperate young gentleman," seems to have been one of the worst offenders, and his example must have been often infectious. When Owen Roe came over to take the command he was horrified at the wild acts and the arsons which gained for his cousin the title of "Phelim of the Burnings." He rescued the few prisoners left in the leader's hands, and burned down the houses of the murderers at Kinnaird, "saying with a warmth unusual with him that he would join with the English rather than not burn the rest." Nevertheless, even the misdeeds of Phelim pale before those of the Scottish officers, both in the North of Ireland and in Scotland. The "Covenant shambles" were depopulating the West of Scotland, and in Ireland the dour troops of Alexander Leslie and later the "burn-corn rogues" of Monroe emulated their cruelties. Leslie was engaged "in hunting out the Irish like deers or savage beasts," and if the Irish retaliated on them as well as on Coote and St Leger, it is little to be wondered at. Captain Chichester and Sir Arthur Tyringham in Antrim, Sir James Montgomery in Co. Down, Sirs William and Robert Stewart with their Lagan forces in Derry and Donegal, and Sir William Cole at Enniskillen, all held commissions from the King, and raised troops to hold the country. Monroe soon had under him twenty thousand men who ravaged in the north without check.


[1] Cork to Lord Dorchester, Cal. S. P. I., Charles I, Vol. ccli, No. 1859.

[2] Lord Deputy to Coke; Strafford, Letters and Dispatches, i, 106.

[3] See Appendix, I, page 458.

[4] Memoirs and Letters of Ulick, Marquis of Clanricarde (1757), pp. 61, 62-63, 167-168; Lodge, Des. Cur. Hib. ii, 132-133.

[5] Reid, History of the Irish Presbyterians, i, 328-331; M. A. Hickson, Ireland in the Seventeenth Century, i, 192-193.

[6] Temple, History of the Rebellion, pp 56-57.

[7] Hickson, op. cit., i, 177-178.

[8] Hickson, Ireland in the Seventeenth Century, i, 172.

[9] Ibid., i, 145-151; 255 seq.; and see R. Bagwell, Ireland under the Stuarts, i, 335. Leland first pointed out that this massacre occurred in January, 1642, not in November, 1641, as stated by Carte.

[10] The above account is largely taken from articles on "The Rise and Progress of the Munster Rebellion," edited by H. Webb Gillman from a manuscript in the British Museum (Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Second Series, vols. i, ii).

[11] Carte, Ormond, i, 315-316 (1851).

[12] Pierce Ferriter's poems have been edited by the Rev. P. S. Dinneen (1903)

* See The Rebellion of 1641 by R. Barry O'Brien

** The Bloody Bridge and Other Papers relating to the Insurrection of 1641, by Thomas Fitzpatrick, is available as an ebook download