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tyranny chicane was substituted. Adventurers ravened for spoils, and they employed in procuring them the weapons of the forger, the cheat and the false witness. Unwary victims were lured into the meshes of a law unknown and unintelligible to them, and their ignorance and credulity became the instruments of their ruin. Landowners were encouraged to surrender their lands on the promise of better and safer titles; but the surrenders once made, the titles were either refused, or granted with deliberate flaws which afterwards worked the annulment of the grants. The first blow fell on Ulster. The Bann and Foyle fisheries had been in the immemorial possession of the O'Neills; and Hugh, the Earl, had received a grant from the King of all the lands and appurtenances of the clan. By subtle quibbles it was now sought to deprive him of his seigniorial rights over these fisheries. They were taken from him and granted to adventurers. When he expostulated he was threatened with worse treatment still. His clansmen, now his tenants, were urged by castle agents to pay him no rent, and they had to come secretly to Dundalk, where he lived to escape the eyes of the officials. Hugh was harassed with summons after summons calling him to answer in Castle Chamber for charges unsubstantiated by a tittle of proof. Warned from abroad by an Irish officer of an intended charge of treasonable conspiracy about to be brought against him, and knowing well that his life was aimed at so that his lands might be seized, he with kith and kin sailed away from Ireland in 1607.

The confiscators were now let loose in Ulster; but the Chichesters and Hamiltons had to share the plunder with great commercial "adventurers." Lord Bacon had very strongly advocated a settlement or "plantation" of "estated tenants" with fixed rights independent of any lord or landowner, and great London companies were willing to carry out this scheme. This was a terrible blow to the clansmen, for to make room for yeoman "planters" it was necessary that the clansmen should go. Now the clansmen were in no way involved in O'Neill's alleged conspiracy, and O'Neill had by Brehon law no more right to the lands of the clan than a managing director has to the property of the shareholders. But these considerations


In the screen scene in "The School for Scandal"

From a photograph by Sarony, New York

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